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2005-11-17 00:52:56 (UTC)

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I took the Graduate Record Exam yesterday. It's a tough
exam but I got a good score. It's a relief to get that over
with. I'm working on the rest of my application for graduate
school and hope to have everything done by the end of the
month even though the deadline isn't until the end of
January. I'll still need to have a personal interview in
March or April but things are looking good. I did a bit of
research on the Internet and found that 5-10% of students
seeking graduate degrees are over 50 years of age. It made
me feel better to find out that I'm far from being alone!

This week John is working 12-hour shifts up to, and perhaps
including, Thanksgiving Day. This is the why we're having
Thanksgiving dinner here. His mother wanted me to fix the
dinner at her home (15 miles away) but the thought of
bringing everything there, cooking in her kitchen and then
bringing everything back was daunting. John agreed that
this wasn't a good idea as he may have to be working
Thanksgiving Day. I suggested that his parents come here for
Thanksgiving dinner and John offered to pick them up and
drive them back. We asked them last Saturday and I think
they accepted but it wasn't really clear. I know John's
mother was disappointed that I didn't agree to cook at her
home but that's just the way it is. We'll see how that all
works out.

John will be taking the week after Thanksgiving off. He's
been working hard and he's just plain tired. He says he'll
be catching up on all the things that need to be done around
here. He has already been buying Christmas presents for the
boys. He bought me one too--an Ott floor lamp with a
magnifier for my quilt frame. It's tough to quilt when your
eyes start getting old.

Hugh, the youngest of our four sons, is thinking of joining
the military. It was just about this time last year that
Gavin, the third oldest, had been thinking of joining but
his girlfriend helped change his mind. Hugh has several
friends who are happy in the Navy but is also considering
the Air Force. He said he took a test at the recruitment
office and scored 94 out of 99 but he doesn't really know
what that means. John suggested that he talk to his Uncle
Dave who was not only in the Navy for over 20 years but was
also a recruiter and Hugh thought that was a great idea.
Until he's made a final decision on joining he does not want
his grandparents, particularly his grandmother, to know as
she'll do nothing but fret.

I can understand that. A few weeks ago she asked John if
he'd read some article in the newspaper and he told her he
hadn't, adding that we'd cancelled our newspaper
subscription. She interpreted that as meaning we were
hurting financially and asked us if we needed any money. He
told her firmly, thank you but no, we're fine. And we are.
But she obviously is still worrying now that we cancelled
the newspaper because we're scrimping and the truth is I no
longer want all that bad news in my house sitting on my
coffee table and any news I want to read I can read on-line.
She doesn't believe that and is still worried.

Hugh said he was worried I'd be upset and in some ways I am
but I told him that a mom is somone who helps her children
get where they want to go. I reminded him that I was upset
when Jack said he wanted to go to university 3,000 miles
away but I helped him get there and it turned out well for
him. He's happy. I don't want my sons to live their lives
to make someone else happy. They have to make decisions for
themselves even if it's not the ones that I would have
wanted. It's what they want that matters.

I'll be working on getting everything ready for Thanksgiving
this coming week. I need to shop and clean. I want to bake
a couple of fruitcakes as well as some pies and maybe a
coconut cake as well.

The week after Thanksgiving I'll begin the Christmas
decorating and cookie baking. The church is having a
Christmas bazaar on December 2nd and 3rd. I'll be bringing
fudge, brownies and pies to sell as well as homemade
Christmas ornaments (angels, Santas and little rosehip
wreaths) and, if I get ambitious and have the time, maybe a
couple of little doll quilts too. I really want to finish
the Snowbound quilt before Christmas so we can have it on
our bed so that's been added to my to-do list . My mother's
Christmas cactus is already blooming so this year it's a
Thanksgiving cactus. It's gorgeous! I've also planted
some paperwhite narcissus bulbs which hopefully will bloom
right during Christmas week.

The choir has dilegently been practicing Christmas songs
including Carol of the Bells, Do You Hear What I Hear, Sing
Softly, World, Little Drummer Boy, Birthday of a King and at
my special request, Oh Holy Night.