Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Wednesday chat

Good evening. I hope you have had a lovely day.

Lets open the with:-

The things that made me laugh, smile and happy today

  • My daughter had a fantastic day at the local grammar school today, and was so excited when he met me after school that she jumped up and down whilst telling me about her day.
  • My eldest son has got a fantastic deal of virgin return flights to New York in May.
  • My eight year old saved me some of his lunch today because he knew I hadn't taken any lunch with me (I had cream crackers walking home)
I'm afraid that's about it for today, I have been a bit grumpy. Unfortunately every bit of tech whether it be computers or printers that I needed to use today decided it was going to have an issue and I had to waste quite a lot of my day re-doing things. 

I have not done very much at home today other than:-

  • load the dishwasher
  • Put some washing on
  • Make the beds
  • Clean the kitchen
That's really lazy don't you think?  I have walked five miles today so at least I am back to getting some regular exercise again.

I didn't end up reading any of my book last night as I fell straight to sleep so tonight I think I will have another early night and this time try to read some of my book.

Have a lovely evening and take care xx


  1. Sigh... I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot when I comment on your blog, but once again you did more than I did and I don't have a job. Darn it, Tara, you're doing it on purpose, right? Greg put you up to it, right? lol.

    I'm melting at the idea of your 8 year-old keeping you a part of his lunch because he knew you didn't have one. Awwww, seriously, awwwww.. Let me say it again. Awwwwww. What neat kids you have! I have to steal a piece of bread with Nutella from my 14 year old Locust the other day because he wouldn't share and he chased me throughout the house while I gobbled it down and almost choked on it too! Well, that might have been because I was laughing so hard. But boy, he wasn't happy with me:)

    So great of your daughter having a fantastic day!

    And yay for great deals on airfare! NY in May, does he know where he'll be assigned for his summer camp, then? I hope he has a great time!

    My brother from Paris bought a new couch and sent me a picture that says "here's your new bed"... so I'm taking this as an invite to go back and visit him and his wife. I wish. I told him that I'd be there as soon as his new AC system is installed. Since that's actually not something he has planned on getting, I guess I'm not getting to look for a great airfare to Paris any time soon, hahaha.

    Have a great evening, I hope you got to do some reading (PS: great job on the walking... and here you go again, making me look bad!).

    1. Ha ha Nathalie, trust me I only walk so much because I don't have my own car, if I did I wouldn't even walk to the shops and that's five minutes away but I guess if I did have a car I would weigh double what I do now.

      I know seriously I said awwww too. That boy is so kind and thoughtful to me he makes my heart melt.
      I think my thirteen year old locust would chase me around the house too. I can just picture you nicking it and running, so funny!

      Ok so my eldest son is not doing the summer camp this year but he is going out for three weeks to look at some colleges. He is travelling from New York to Pennsylvania then to Cleveland and then back to New York and then that will be that side done but he is still considering a few others including Florida State. This is quite a task that he is undertaking but it has to feel right to him. He booked his flight today and has most of his hotels booked apart from Cleveland.

      Has your brother come to visit you? You have the aircon perhaps that's what he should do this year and then you could look for cheap flight Paris next year with a stopover in London so we could have afternoon tea. See win win all round. He he.

      Have a lovely evening xx

    2. FLORIDA STATE?!? Oh no, we can't be friends anymore.

      lol. Well I hope he had a good time. How he is traveling from city to city?

      My brother visited me back when he was 19 or so and it did not go well, I ended up kicking him out and then we didn't talk for something like 12-15 years. Now we get along very well but he's no longer the little twerp he was then :) I love his wife, she is so sweet. I have invited them over but they have a very old cat who turns 20 on Friday so until the cat is gone, they're not going to be able to come. When we didn't speak he visited the USA several times on his own. He plays the blues on the guitar as a side gig (plays concerts in Paris) so he has lots of friends here too and would love to come back, but I think they went into debt for their wedding last year so they may not be able to come because of that too.

      It would be so awesome to meet for tea! I think that if I go back to France, though, I'd fly Aer Lingus again through Dublin. I really liked that airline last year. So still hoping I win that Downton Abbey sweepstakes!

      Hey, and good luck with those 2 contest with Florida trips as prizes that YOU entered recently! We might be able to meet for tea at the Grand Floridian Resort if you win!

    3. Hi Nathalie, it's Liam, Tara's "eldest", was wondering university you reccomend in Florida. I'm covering part of America in one trip but trying to keep my options open. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

    4. Hey Liam! I'm happy for you that you get to come over for a month to explore your options, that's very smart!

      I'm very partial to the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville even though my oldest son attends UCF in Orlando. UF is the most prestigious public university in Florida. It's very selective and when I went to visit the campus a couple of weeks ago with my daughter who hopes to be admitted there in about a year, we were both very impressed with the campus and the facilities. From what your mom tells me, you're interested in grad school to continue your studies in Education. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with their specific reputation for that program, but to be honest with you, UF has a great reputation as a school so, especially for education, I would assume it's quite good. Taking the campus tour (and then the College of Engineering Campus Tour), you could feel that the school is very much interested in leaving a good impression and pays attention to details, something that I feel is important, I don't know if I explain it very well. Gainesville is in North Central Florida so the weather is mostly warm to hot year-round. The cost of living isn't very high. My stepdaughter had a 2-bedroom apartment there for about $600 just a few years back, whereas in Orlando (where the University of Central Florida - UCF - is) you'd pay probably $1400 for the same thing!). Gainesville has small hills so the topography is more interesting than the rest of Florida. A lot of students bike or ride scooters and they have bus routes to most places on campus that are free to students. We were told that there are over 1,000 clubs on campus so pretty much any interest/hobby you might have is probably represented. In years past, UF has also been rated as one of the top schools for "partying", not that it's a desirable attribute when you think of it as a parent, but maybe it is of interest as a student, lol. I'm not quite sure what the night life is there, but apparently it is not lacking. The closest international airport is probably Jacksonville, which I think is like 2 hours away. Orlando International Airport is about 2.5 hours away.

      My oldest son's girlfriend attends UCF in Orlando and majors in Education. She wants to be an elementary school teacher. UCF is very large, it's the largest university in Florida and I want to say the 2nd largest in the country. It's located in East Orlando, which, quite honestly, isn't such a great location. But you're closer to the theme parks (expensive), NASA, and the East Coast beaches. The cost of living in Orlando is much higher than in Gainesville.

      I don't have anything good to say about FSU (Florida State University) because they're UF's arch-rivals and we're Gator fans (the Gators are UF's American football team) and I've been very frustrated with their lack of attention to detail on their website, which is poorly organized, IMO, and has lots of links that no longer work. It just left a bad impression in my mouth. I passed the campus once but I don't remember much about it. It's located in Tallahassee which is the capital of Florida so I would assume the cost of living wouldn't be cheap. It's on the Gulf of Mexico Coast, which is very pretty (white sand beaches) and the climate is a little cooler than what we get here. My middle son's girlfriend will be studying there this Fall (majoring in Psychology, I think).

      I wish I could give you more insight, lol. Good luck with your plans!

    5. part 2:

      Oh, here is an article about the 2016 ranking of the best grad schools for several majors, including Education.

      If you use their search function on the right side of the screen, it says that UF is ranked #30 for education. FSU is #40. (Here is their methodology for the ranking

      You can check this link out for all the education grad schools. You have to pay an access fee to see more info, but without paying you can see how each school ranked and the tuition that they charge (you would pay out-of-state tuition) and how many students are enrolled at the college of education of each school.

    6. Thank you that was really insightful by the sounds of it I've been looking in the wrong places when it comes to Florida. My big concerns was the living expenses but having just looked into Gainesville it doesn't seem to bad at all. Will look further into UF and the type of education programmes ran their, as the quality appeared to lack from their website at Florida state. Really appreciate the advice :)

    7. I'm glad it was useful! Good luck! Let me know if I can help in any way.

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