Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Last Day of Vacation

The weekend doesn't count officially as vacation.  I'm glad I have it, but reality is setting in, and it's time to finish any chores that haven't been done yet.

Yesterday was a snow day --- and it would have been one if we'd had school.  We had a mostly snow event, but there was also some freezing rain.  We got somewhere around 8 inches of frozen white stuff, and the roads were not good.  We don't venture out on days like that.

One chore we finished was compiling tax information for the accountant.  In the process we discovered that a small investment had been "sent to the state" as abandoned property because our statements had been returned as undeliverable.  Since we've lived at this address for almost 30 years that seemed odd to us.  Plus we received tax info from the company last year. We discovered this when I couldn't find the 1099 for 2010 so we called the company to get our tax info.  Apparently they turned it over to our state back in September, when they said the statements had been returned.  This makes no sense to us, and my husband spent almost an hour on the phone tracking down information, and then I spent some time on the phone with the abandoned property division of our state to find out how to get our money back.  It's not a  huge amount of money, but it really drove home the point to make sure that you check on everything at least once a year.  I'm not sure how I missed the fact that we weren't getting the statements, but I guess the fact that we were getting 1099's lulled me into a false sense of security.

I did a little bit of genealogical research but found more questions than answers.  One of my criticisms of is that fact that there's a huge amount of misinformation on it.  People find their name and assume that it's their ancestor without verifying facts.  Not everybody with the same last name or even the same first and last name is your relative.  On my mother's side, I'm well-documented  on one branch back to colonial Connecticut.  I'm trying to document some family lore about other important colonial connections, but have lost the thread.  On my  father's side, I'm stymied by the fact that he was born in Cuba in 1924, and his parents died there during the 1930's.  There is family in Asturias Spain, and in Brazil, but I don't have all the names and dates I need, and I don't speak/read Spanish well enough to be sure that I'm understanding what I read.  And I don't understand the Asturian dialect, nor do I understand Portuguese.  My husband's family is from Russia and the Austrian-Hungarian empire, and they were Jewish, so many of those records are just lost.    It's an intriguing, fascinating, and frustrating search!  It's certainly not the straight-forward "journey" that the current TV genealogy show portrays.  I'd love to have the help of some of the professional genealogists they use though!
I spent a good part of the day reading this book:

Bury Your Dead (Armand Gamache, #6)Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best Inspector Gamache book in the series so far!  I stayed up until 1 am last night to finish it.  That hasn't happened in a long time.

Penny masterfully weaves three stories into one.  Gamache is in Quebec City recuperating mentally and physically from a tragic terrorist plot in which four of his agents were killed, and he and Jean-Guy Beauvoir were critically injured.  He's staying with his friend and mentor Emile Comeau when a well-known Quebecois citizen is found murdered in the basement of the Literary and History Library. Gamache acts as a consultant to the local police as this murder is investigated.  Anglo and Quebecois political and cultural rivalries are brought to the forefront and questions about Samuel de Champlain's burial site are raised.   The story of the terrorist plot is played out in Gamache's flashbacks, and by Beauvoir's narrative in Three Pines where he's been sent to unofficially reopen the case against Olivier who's been convicted of the Hermit's murder.  As both Gamache and Beauvoir come to terms with the tragedy they've both survived, new facts emerge in both cases, and new dimensions of both characters are revealed.

View all my reviews

This was a terrific read.  My only disappointment is that I am now caught up with this author's series.  I can't wait for the next one, and yet wonder how else can the series be extended.

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