June 21, 2011


Danielle had her official "closing" ceremony as it's called at her school....not to be confused with a graduation ceremony. It was such a beautiful event and we were so happy to have family there with us...Paul's mom and brother Dan and my mom. It was just perfect.

Unlike in the States were graduates typically wear a cap and gown, the "girls" at her school all wear white dresses with certain restrictions. Because there were only 36 graduates in the class, as each girl got up to receive her diploma, the Headmistress was able to say a few words about each girl, making the entire program seem a bit more personal. The entire school comes to the event (all 300-something of them) as do many "Old Girls" or grads of the school.

Danielle and her Grandma

Singing the class song

Danielle and her Nana

Danielle's name will forever be on the walls of Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's school
While the road has not always been easy on this Canadian adventure, we are so proud and pleased with all that Danielle has done with her education here in Quebec. She has made the most of it and absorbed so much that will make her a better human being. We couldn't be prouder of her accomplishments!

Proud parents

June 9, 2011


There's no doubt we're Chicago White Sox fans. Our family is particularly fond of General Manager Ozzie Guillen. His rants and raves are classic. Just You Tube them for yourself.

It seems as though each time Ozzie and the Sox travel to Toronto to play the Blue Jays, Ozzie seems to ruffle feathers, no pun intended. We were particularly amused when Paul's brother Dan emailed us this story from The Onion...

CHICAGO—Following the latest outburst from the much-sanctioned White Sox manager, officials from the National Hockey League fined Ozzie Guillen $25,000 Monday in order to see if he would pay. "We saw that he had taken a few jabs at his critics before the Blue Jays game and we decided, well, what the heck?" said NHL chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, adding that the league knew it was a long shot but decided it couldn’t hurt to try. "We need the money, and if he doesn't pay, we lose nothing. Plus, come on, he totally deserves it." When reached for comment, Guillen said he would pay the fine, as he cannot afford to be suspended by the NHL during the Stanley Cup finals.

Who says hockey and baseball don't mix?
2004 or 2005 ish

June 8, 2011

Last day of school

It's hard to believe that Louis finished grade 7 yesterday....marking his third year of school in Canada. All in all we remain quite happy with his education on a daily basis. Is it perfect? No. We hear so much about budget cuts in the U.S. we ask ourselves often if we're in a better spot. We will say that there seems to be more special education resources in the U.S. Louis remains "included" in many of his classes with a modified curriculum. Finally, this year we were able to insist that he be pulled from the daily French class and use that time in the resource room instead. That seemed to make a big difference. We find it necessary to supplement school with twice a week tutoring and once a week speech therapy. Our team of outside help has been fantastic. Unfortunately, there's no summer school available for special education. Those resources remain limited, especially in the English schools.

Louis always looked forward to going to school to see his friends. Never once did we hear "I don't want to go to school." He left happy in the morning and came home happy. That's worth more to us than whether or not he can fully explain photosynthesis. It's all good.

June 7, 2011

Because Canadians are smart

I love the mode of transportation for the Public Works dude in our town. Very smart.

The never-ending annoying healthcare issue

I can't even believe to describe how frustrating it is to read the news in the U.S. and discussion about the morality of Medicare, socialized medicine or whatever you want to call it. The part that pisses disturbs me the most is that the politicians and blowhards like Beck, Limpballs, Coulter, Palin and the other clowns are all sitting pretty with plenty of money in the bank and premium coverage for themselves.  As if they know what they are talking about, they love to bash the Canadian system.

I've written about it several times before, but we have no issues with heath care in Canada, thus far after almost three years. None. It's been so much easier to navigate than what we dealt with in Illinois with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Each and every time I spoke with them I was certain I should drive myself to the doctor for a stress test. Here? My real stress test was fully covered by medicare and our private insurance at the old age of 45. And my mammogram? I whipped out my credit card at the last appointment and guess what? Covered by medicare. The receptionist looked at me like I was crazy and I walked out of there feeling like I was shoplifting.

I just read a great posting on Bob Cesca's blog and he sums it up perfectly. Yes, I know he can be left-leaning. But he's right 99.8 percent of the time and he tells it like it is.

From Bob's posting....

Okay...I'm not very good at math, but this pie chart pretty much sums it up.

Is the system perfect? No. Do some people have complaints? Of course. But, the complete article in the link below is a nice summary. I have to say, when we move back to the U.S. some day, I'm not at all looking forward to re-entering the U.S. health care quagmire.


June 5, 2011

Surprise blooms

One of the greatest gifts the previous owners of our house left us, besides a home we love, is a garden. They were originally from the Netherlands and very much into the yard. This Mandarin Azalea surprised me this year as it did not bloom the past two seasons. Being partial to the color orange, this plant amazes me each and every time I drive up to the house. It also matches the road construction signs we have near our house.

June 2, 2011

the Daily Duke 6.2.11

I absolutely adore this photo. It was taken by Danielle's friend Chloe who is also our neighbor and an AMAZING photographer, eh? I'll be posting some of her rugby photos later this week. She's just great. She has quite an eye and is wonderful all around.

I love it because it so captures a boy and his dog -- a dog who does not normally sit still like this. It also captures the construction that has been going on outside of our house for the last two weeks. We're thankful for the sidewalks that are slowly, but surely being constructed.
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