Friday, August 3, 2007


Everyone, and I mean everyone (except Camilla, who barely moved, and so has an excuse) had updated their blogs when I checked them today, so I figured that it was my turn also. I was going to be amazing, and tell some funny anecdote, but I can't think of any, so we'll just stick to the family news.

We bought our plane tickets last week; $2073.26 worth of them (for three round trip tickets; Lydia gets her own seat). I like having them bought, because no matter what happens now, we are at least flying to England. They took all the money Avram had earned so far over the summer, which is somewhat sobering. World traveling is really not for the student budget.

We're in the depths of trying to finish up the technical aspects of going to Oxford; Avram needs to get passport photos (we need about twelve for all of the various programs at Oxford), we need to find a bank for our student loans and finish them, we need to sign and return the contract for Oxford, and most importantly we need to find a bank in America that will let us open a reciprocal bank account in England, because we need to have an English bank account for Avram to work in England, but we can't just get a bank account if we're only students. Some parts of moving to a foreign country I think I can live without.

Like their paper size is different; about a quarter of an inch narrower, and the same amount again longer; not much difference, so little I hadn't even noticed it. Except their documents won't print on our printer unless we very carefully feed every sheet by hand (the printer's in a different room from the computer). And I don't even want to think about us trying to print things in England (because the software's set up differently, so even on screen the pages are different sizes). Should we bring our own Comp. paper, and always print our papers at home? Will the professors accept different sizes of pages anyway? The questions, the questions.

This post is beginning to sound kind of down. I don't mean it to be. I'm finally starting to feel like going to England is real, instead of just an idea we talk about. And once we're in England, I'll be glad we took care of all of these technical aspects here. (which reminds me, we also need visas). And we've begun shopping for Lydia's new winter/spring wardrobe.

We only have seven weeks of work left, and then one week of preparation before we leave on September 27th. Writing it down, it sounds like a long time, but it doesn't feel like it when I think of all we need to do before then.

Lydia's doing well, as always. Since I weaned her last month, we've started a bedtime routine (this week we did; we're a little slow on the changes). So far it's going well; Lydia definitely knows where the routine is headed in the end every night, because she'll start fussing whenever I mentions sleeping, or bed. But she's gone to sleep fairly easily, for her. She doesn't really talk at all, and although she knows about seven or eight words, rarely uses them. And when she does, it's usually because someone else says the word first, and she's mimicking them. She'll talk eventually, just like she learned to walk when she was ready.

My garden continues to struggle along; it's been a good learning experience in gardening, but it's also a very good thing we don't depend on my labors to eat. My vegetables keep on rotting/their bottoms turning black while still on the vine (the zucchinis rot, the bell peppers turn black) I don't know what this means, but hopefully next time I have a garden, we won't have this problem.

I had already published this post, and was reading it over when I felt how blah it was. I'm sorry, I suppose the summer heat and humdrum routine are getting to me. Every day and every week are the same, and we have no friends here to even see on the weekends. I just feel like on the one hand everything is so topsy-turvy in feeling somewhat homeless, and trying to get everything to work for England, and on the other hand nothing ever happens. I'll write a happy, up-beat post next time, I promise.


  1. Ah, the important things in life: Shopping for Lydia's spring attire. She sounds like she is getting really big and cute. We miss you guys.

  2. If life were always funny (translate that as disasters you can laugh at) think what your life would really be like--It's kind of like life for Tali (Thora's sister) living with Lily Jane (Thora's one year old niece who thinks she constantly needs to be on top of [counters, changing tables, stoves, fridges] or into things or running to the next thing). She's a disaster on the run, a destroying angel but she makes for lots of good stories.

  3. Seasoned traveler's advice: take half as much stuff as you need and twice as much money. Works every time.

    In your case, I'd probably take the laptop, but NOT the printer or anything else that needs local input of power or supplies. Unless you are going for a short visit to a tourist mecca, don't buy anything "to take with you"--it's FAR easier to transport money than luggage, despite your banking problems.

    Zion's bank may be able to help you with those, if you give them two or three weeks' notice. There's a branch on the south end of Provo we worked thru when we were coming here, (our Dominican Republic mission) and they were very helpful.

  4. Hi Thora,

    In response to your comment on my blog, I am about to write a really long thing about meatless meals/meals with little meat and not actually comment on this post except to say, I hope you and your family get to Oxford safely and that you have a wonderful time there.

    I have actually been a "Vegetarian" for a few stretches in my life, ranging from strict to not strict, and from periods of over a year to just a few months. This was not because I hate meat or think it is wrong to eat meat. It's just because I wanted to take more thought into what I ate by trying not to eat something that I though I might be eating too much of.

    From my experience, the things that are your friend when you are trying to cut back on meat:

    eggs. they are cheap! (at least in the U.S.) and they go a long way. things I can think of to make are: omlettes, quiche, egg salad sandwiches, and various forms of just plain eggs.

    pasta. soooo many things can be made with pasta and little or no meat. spaghetti, soups with egg noodles, alfredo, pasta with butter and herbs, a million kinds of casserole, ....

    rice! I don't know if Avram likes stir-fry, but I ate it almost every day when I was a strict vegetarian. Just stir-fry various vegetables with garlic or something, and eat them with rice. rice is good in burritos, too. Samuel likes just plain rice. I like to mix it with cheese and maybe sour cream.

    lentils/split peas. good mixed with rice (not the split peas)as a pilaf type thing, or as a soup.

    beans. you already mentioned them, but I will pretend you didn't. bean soup, baked beans, refried beans, bean burritos, bean dip, yum yum yum.

    nuts (kind of expensive, though.) peanut butter is your friend. it is filling and has lots of the diet essentials that meat has. so do beans and eggs.

    very long! sorry. :D

  5. I forgot two biggies: bread and potatoes. My Grandpa eats bread and butter with every meal. Bread is good. And potatoes, too.

  6. I have to respectfully disagree with elder fallick in what you take with you. While I agree less is often more, since you'll be based in Oxford, it's really only a matter of getting your stuff from America to Oxford and back (not get your stuff to England and then schlep it across most of Britain as a tourist).

    I think with the current exchange rate woes, you'll probably not want to plan on buying a new wardrobe for yourselves once you get to England. I'm not suggesting you take a year's supply of toothpaste, but I wouldn't leave everything to wait to buy in Britain (especially underwear). And as far as I can tell, its night unto impossible to travel light with small children.

  7. Thora,

    You may feel your post is Blah but it's the blah that makes the spicy so much better. Not all your post can be Gargoyles or flying buttresses sometimes you needs some bricks