New Leaf

May. 1st, 2017 08:48 am
mousme: The face of a green woman forest deity against a black background (Green Woman)
 I am not going to even try to catch up on the last few months. Well, I might, but it will likely end up in bullet point form. ;) I'm going to try to get back into my good habits of posting every day, or most days of the week, at least. There may be some hiccups on days when I'm extra busy, but I was doing pretty well up until two months ago.

I finished the Move That Would Not End yesterday, after weeks of moving small things and running into minor problem after minor problem. I am swimming in an ocean of unpacked boxes, but my parents came to visit this weekend and helped me unpack about 75% of the kitchen, which is fantastic. So I can now at least make myself a cup of tea in the morning, and I can see my whole kitchen! I have stuff all over the counters which needs to be sorted out, because my new kitchen is WAY smaller than my old one, but at least I've got the basics down.

Yesterday the old house got professionally cleaned, and I took video of the house before I left, and photos of one room because I ran out of space on my phone for video. Bah. This morning I was extra vindicated because I found some old photos of the dog I took when I first moved in in 2014, and those photos show the stain on the floor my landlady claims I made. So now I have *proof* that the "damage" wasn't done by me. I mean, I knew that it wasn't me, but the gaslighting was starting to take a toll after all that time. Anyway, I dropped the keys in the mailbox, and Cruella de Froot Loops, as [personal profile] blackmare  has dubbed her, should forever be out of the picture. Hurray!

I quite like my new house, overall. The one disappointment is that my sofa bed didn't fit in the stairs, and thus can't go in the house. I have decided to donate it to a refugee organization. Hopefully they will be able to make good use of it. I am pretty disappointed, because it was a good sofa, and now I have nowhere for my guests to sleep if I invite them over. I haemorrhaged money these past few months due to the move (moving by yourself is an expensive proposition folks: take it from me, don't be single and mostly by yourself in a strange city), so I can't afford to buy a new bed just yet. My parents have made noises about giving me the two single beds they have in storage, but that would mean moving them from Montreal, and I'm not sure it's worth the cost, honestly. We'll see.

I don't know if I mentioned it, but the adoption-from-foster-care plan is in the toilet, mostly due to my landlady. The CAS wants a stable environment, and apparently moving house makes me unstable. Also, my case worker, after being AWOL for nine months and never answering my emails or phone messages, took exception to the fact that it took me several days to answer one email and decided that I wasn't fast enough for her liking, so they've closed my file. It's not permanently closed, as she told me to reapply in a few years, but I think maybe it's a sign it wasn't meant to be. I've had a bad feeling from her from the start, and I strongly suspect she was just looking for a reason not to accept me as a candidate and just couldn't find a good enough one until now.

I'm going to give myself some time to recover from the financial shock of moving (it was a doozy this year, for several reasons), and then look into other avenues. I think I can still make a great parent, regardless of what CAS thinks. Private adoption is an option, but a very expensive one for a person on a single income. Or there's always artificial insemination, which is also expensive but far less so. The thing with that is by the time I'll be ready to start, I'll be 39, and that's kind of old for a safe pregnancy. It worries me quite a bit.

Since that Big Life Plan™ is on hold for now, I'm looking at smaller plans for the upcoming summer. The move meant I didn't get to start any seedlings, so I'll be buying my plants again this year. I don't know anyone local who has spare seedlings. Hell, I barely know anyone local. I can count the people I know on my fingers and have some left over, and 90% of those are married couples. I should probably feel bad that I have so few friends, but if I had more friends I'd just feel bad that I can't see them most of the time due to work. So that's some consolation. ;)

Anyway, I still have my plot at Vanier Community Garden, and I'm going to hang onto it for as long as I can. I can still get there easily from work, so I can pop by when I'm working, and it's a 20 minute drive otherwise, which is totally doable. I need to be more vigilant about going every day this year, because last year all my edible produce got stolen, and the rest died, which was very sad. Of course, this year I'm not suffering from massive burnout, so I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be better about things.

I'm also going to try to start writing again. This is probably a terrible idea, but there you go. I haven't written much in well over three years, and what little I do write is basically garbage, but I have this fleeting hope that maybe someday I won't write garbage anymore. I'm going to start out small, maybe 100 words or 10-15 minutes a day. I have some ideas for original fiction, since I haven't yet found a fandom that's making me want to write the way my old fandoms did. I miss having a fandom to be super excited about, frankly, and I hope I can find a new one soonish.

Last but not least (for now, anyway), my trip to Paris has served to remind me how much I love travelling. So I have decided to start putting money aside each year for a trip somewhere. I adored by weekend foray into Scotland, so the plan next year is to go back there and do some more thorough exploring. Two days wasn't nearly enough, if you ask me.

Okay, I think that's it for today. Catch you all later!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Always Summer)
November has arrived again, with its customary dip in my energy levels. I'm experimenting with being off Facebook and Twitter again, after a successful one-month hiatus in May. This time I'm not enjoying it as much. I took a break in May because those platforms were making me a little crazy, but right now I'm finding that I feel more isolated from my friends and community than anything else. Maybe November isn't a good time of year for introspection. At least in May it's sunny and the days are longer.

Apart from that, my news is mostly good. I got the promotion I applied for, despite the fact that I thought I was by far the least likely of the candidates to get it. Apparently I got a bit lucky. There were four of us applying for two positions. The girl I thought was most qualified got one of the positions. Two guys also applied from outside our section, but one of them withdrew without my knowing, and the other one, by all accounts, had a bad day when he interviewed. He'd applied before and been passed over in favour of a more qualified applicant, and it seems that he came to this new interview with something of a surly attitude as a result. My boss told me that it had showed that I'd come prepared, and that I had done really well, so no one on the interview panel doubted for a moment that I should get one of the two open positions.

So, in short, promotion! YAY! Also, in related good news, fully 75% of the supervisor positions in my section are now staffed by women. Go us! The three of us also get along like a house on fire, so it's going to be so much fun to work with them. I'm excited. :)

I'm also going to be spending the next four weeks training to perform a completely new set of functions at work, unrelated to my new supervisory role. Well, sort of related, but I would have had to learn them anyway, regardless of the outcome of the promotion process. That means four week of an almost bourgeois schedule of working 06:00 to 14:00, Monday to Friday. It will be very interesting to see if I can deal with working five days in a row with only the weekend in between for four weeks. I've been working shifts for eight years now, it feels weird to be going back to a "regular" work day, however briefly.

By the way, we are horrifically short-staffed at my office, and we will likely soon be opening up new jobs (again). If you or anyone you know is a Canadian citizen with a high school education or higher, good computer skills, and a more than basic grasp of French (you need to be functional but not fluent), and you want to come work for some great bosses (myself included, now!), drop me a line! I will send you the application information the moment the jobs open again. :)

I've also been nominated to become the Clerk for the First Day School of the local Quaker Meeting. It sounds more glamorous than it is. ;) Basically it just means I'd be responsible for herding the cats in order to keep FDS running smoothly. First Day School is the kids' program at Meeting, a bit like Sunday School, only a lot less formal. There's singing and crafts and occasionally lessons about what it means to be a Quaker/Friend. Honestly, I'm still learning myself how to be a Quaker, so I feel ill-equipped to be the Clerk, but most of the FDS Committee have been there for years, and they're all burnt out. So I've agreed to take the helm, and two of them will be mentoring me until I get the hang of it.

Technically I'm still an Attender at the Meeting, not an official member. I've started doing some reading to become more informed, and the more I learn the less I feel I know. I think that's sort of normal, at least at first. I don't want to ask to become a Member before I feel like I know what I'm doing. The Religious Society of Friends has had a long and rich written tradition, letters and essays and diaries, and there is a lot of history to go through. I basically know absolutely nothing of the complexity and nuance of thinking that evolved over the centuries to bring the Quakers to where they are today. So, that's one of my current projects right now.

The adoption project has slowed to a crawl while we sort out paperwork. I need to get a police check done to prove that I have no criminal record (yes, you may all laugh now) and no history of abuse toward children or anyone or anything else (go on, laugh harder). Also, even though I've been stable and not medicated for nine years, they want my former psychiatrist to sign off on my mental health. So I've been jumping through hoops trying to get him to answer his damned phone. He's moved to a private practice, and I've already left messages several times. His secretary assures me he'll call back "when he gets the chance," but it's been three weeks, so I'm a little irked. I realise I'm not a current or paying client, but sheesh. Once all those papers are in order, I'll find out whether or not I've been accepted as a potential candidate. If I'm accepted, things will proceed as they are right now. If not, I am toying with a Plan B, which I will explore more in depth if needs be. I'm not thinking about it too much right now, as it involves a pretty drastic life change, which won't happen at all if I end up on the waiting list for kids.

In the interim, I've been spending my free time returning to the gym, playing video games on the computer, and watching probably way too much TV for my own good, even though I've become even pickier about what shows I like to watch. The trouble is that, even if I'm picky, there's still a lot of enjoyable programs available, especially once you have both cable and Netflix. Yes, I caved and got cable, because my DSL internet provider, despite promising speeds of "up to" 30 Mbps, never delivered anything above 300 Kbps, and it was rather frustrating to pay for a service I wasn't getting. So I coughed up extra money for much better internet, and got a land line and cable TV out of the deal, too, which really isn't half bad.

The rest of tonight's plans involve sacking out on the sofa with the cats, the dog at my feet, and the latest episode of Sleepy Hollow (or maybe Elementary, I haven't decided yet). Then it will be bedtime. In fact, it will be past bedtime, as I am now old and boring and am usually in bed by 21:00 these days. Kids, lawn, etc.

How's everyone else in LJ land doing? Let me know!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Canadian Borg)
Well, Canada, you didn't exactly vote for change, but at least you didn't vote for the status quo. Many of my non-Canadian friends have congratulated me on having a Disney prince as a Prime Minister, which I think is hilarious. I have my hopes set to "cautious optimism," since the Liberals are basically a centre-right party who are slightly to the left of the Conservatives, so I don't expect any kind of radical change.

I just spent the last four days at a fan-centric convention (no stars, no special guests, just fangirls fangirling about what we love), and it was wonderful but totally exhausting. I spent 12 hours driving yesterday (8 with friends, 4 by myself), and I am paying for it today in very sore muscles and stiff tendons. I'm not looking forward to going to the gym in a little while. It was fantastic to get away and hang out with like-minded people for a few days, though. I have been very spoiled this year in terms of travel, I must say.

I have become a Busy Person, and I don't like it. I'm not sure how to fix that, because I genuinely enjoy my extracurricular activities, and all my errands need to be run, but I still need to fix it because I have spent nearly two months without any alone time. As an introvert, this is making me a little crazy. It's not like I have all that many extracurriculars, either: I have the soup kitchen on Mondays, and Meeting for Worship on Sundays, and that's pretty much the only regularly scheduled stuff I have. It's not like I can suddenly stop grocery shopping or going to doctor's appointments. What has really started eating into my time is my return to my local gym, which, while good for me, doesn't (to me) count as down time. I am working with one of the trainers, and she only ever seems available in the middle of the day, which tends to put a crimp in any other plans I'd want to make otherwise. Anyway, I'll have to give it some thought, and see what I can do. I don't enjoy worshipping at the altar of busyness. It's a social sickness that needs to be eradicated.

The adoption process is going along at a moderate clip so far. I finished my PRIDE training a couple of weeks ago, and had my first home visit around the same time. It was actually a lot less invasive than I had anticipated. I thought for sure that my assessor would poke into every nook and cranny in my home, and so I dutifully tidied the whole house so that it would be as "child-safe" as possible, but she barely glanced into each every room, and pointed out a couple of things I'd need to do to conform to safety standards. So far, so good. My next "home" visit is actually an interview at the Ottawa CAS, and takes place on Thursday. During this bit we're apparently going to detail my own personal history from Day 0 all the way to today. Holy hell, Batman. It will be interesting, to say the very least. I understand why we have to do it, but I think I should invest in some lozenges. I foresee a lot of talking. I still have two classes to take: one on Openness in Adoption, and the other on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. After that, if I'm approved, it's all a waiting game. CAS has a child-centric approach, so what they do is look at the current children in care and determine which families would be a good match for them. So even if there are lots of children in care, that doesn't mean that I would be the right parent for them. Adopting could take a few weeks, or it could take a few years.

Tomorrow I'll be interviewing for a potential promotion at work. The other candidates are all very strong, and all of them have interviewed before (I have not), so I'm not holding out much hope that I'll get the position. That being said, I do interview very well, so I refuse to despair, either. I will prepare as best I can, and that will have to suffice. The promotion would be nice, though, as it comes with a pay increase, too. I'm not hurting for money, but I'm trying to get rid of some consumer debt, and a bit of extra income would go a long way to fixing that.

I've also got a doctor's appointment on Thursday. Partly it's to get a form filled out for Ottawa CAS, so that they can make sure I'm not about to keel over and leave any prospective children orphaned, and partly I want to get my shoulder checked, as I seem to have mysteriously injured it, and it's not getting any better after several weeks.

So there you have it. My life isn't very exciting, but I thought I would update anyway. How is everyone else? How's kicks?
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Delusions of Grandeur)
I don't think I could possibly catch up on everything that's happened since I last posted here, so I won't even try. That being said, there's stuff coming up that I may want to blog about in more depth, so making a bit of an effort now is in order.

First off, hi LJ Land! I haven't been posting, but I do read everything you write. <3

Anyway, have a bullet-point version of the past few months:

  • I adopted three new cats in February. It was meant to be two, but then [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave was forced to rehome his kitties due to health concerns, and so I got his Maggie as well. Alas, one of the other two cats I got is not integrating into the household, so he will be vacating the premises and going to live with good friends of mine. So far all the cats mostly get along, with some spats and negotiating of territory still happening. Things are settling down slowly but surely.

  • I am still volunteering in the soup kitchen at Shepherd's (I won't use the full name, because I don't want their media relations people reading all my posts), and have also started volunteering one day a week at their community garden plot, helping to grow and harvest vegetables for the soup kitchen. I still love it, although the work is often physically very demanding.

  • I went on a trip to Barcelona with my parents in March, which was far too short but truly wonderful. I posted lots of pictures on Facebook, so anyone following me there probably saw them.

  • The work restructuring continues apace. It is, as I suspected, a PITA, and has resulted in a lot more work being given to much fewer people. Those people are also the ones who are paid the least, not surprisingly. It appears every workplace is the same when it comes to penny pinching: the higher up you are, the less you feel the pinch.

  • I also managed to escape to PEI for a while this summer, also with my parents. I've joked with them that we've seen more of each other since I moved to Ottawa than in the past five years I lived in Montreal combined. That's not quite true, but they have been making extra efforts to come out and see me (and vice versa!) since I moved.

  • The past two years of commuting to and from work in Ottawa, as well as trying to run two households on one income, paying for private daycare, and then renovating the house in order to sell it, all took a pretty serious financial toll on me. The short, ugly version is that I accumulated a fair bit of debt in order to do that. So I've been tightening my belt (the two trips notwithstanding, although in both cases my parents were generous enough to pay for almost everything) and looking for extra sources of income. I'm currently trying my hand at being a mystery shopper. It doesn't bring in a fortune, and it's not super great work for someone with anxiety, but I'm hoping it will at least offset some of my monthly bills. Every little bit helps, right? I also need to get my act together and try to sell some of the "extra" furniture that doesn't fit in my new, smaller house.

  • In happier, not debt-filled news, I have been approved by the Ottawa Children's Aid Society to continue with PRIDE training (Parental Resources for Information, Development, and Education) as well as a home study. The training starts on September 9th, and if all goes well I should be done with everything by the end of October. If I'm approved as a prospective adoptive parents after that, then I get to start the waiting game of being matched up with a child (or maybe children!) in need of a permanent home.

So that's me in a nutshell. I may be using this space to talk about the PRIDE training in September and October, so apologies in advance to everyone who finds that sort of stuff super boring. I promise to put it behind a cut if it gets overly long. :)

I know lots of you have been having a really rough year. I hope you're all keeping as well as possible under the circumstances. *hugs all around*
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
I promised I would update on all the things, and then never did so. So, uh, I'm going to try to do this succinctly. I will very likely fail at that too. Succinctness (succinctitude?) has never been my forte, as you all know. ;)

Update behind the cut! )
I think that's it for now. Thank you for bearing with me if you made it past that wall of text. ;)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Carpet Ship)
The universe rewarded me for turning 36 with a wicked bout of vertigo in the middle of my night shift, which I was working alone. So I had to call my boss in disgrace for the second time in six months and crawl home and wait for death, but not before I ended up puking in the trash can at work because I couldn't make it to the bathroom. It was extra humiliating. /o\ I also had to cancel my first ever volunteer session at Shepherds of Good Hope, which also sucked.

So things are a little like my icon, but without the vodka, and it's not nearly as fun as it looks.

I spent today curled up with my laptop, posted some fanfiction and took a nap. I also did dishes, so that today wouldn't be a total write-off. I'm scheduled to have a Skype chat with my parents later on too, which will be nice. The world has (mostly) stopped spinning, and moving doesn't make me throw up anymore, so that's a win. :)

Now seems like as good a time as any to talk about my plans for the year. I've decided not to do "resolutions" in the traditional sense of the word. That being said, I do have a lot on my plate for the foreseeable future.

2015 behind the cut! )

Anyway, that concludes my lengthy rambling about what I have in mind for the year. I'd promise to post more, but that's probably a lie. I seem to go through phases when I post a lot, and others in which I post only sporadically or not at all, and I think I'll just stick to that. I'll post when I feel I have something of value to share, and that will have to suffice.

Happy New Year again, everyone!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (George (curious))
Hi there, intrepid f-list!

This is Sasha. She's a good-natured two-year-old tortoise-shell cat (more or less, her lineage is unknown, really) who needs a new home. She belongs to my neighbours.

She's currently expecting her third(!) litter in September, after which her owners have told me they're going to have her put to sleep. (The kittens have already been promised to various homes) Since I'd really rather they didn't do that, as she's in perfect health, I offered to take a picture and spread the word.

Sasha has all her shots, but isn't spayed (obviously), and would do best in a home with no other cats where she'd be allowed to roam outside a fair bit. However, as long as she's well-treated, all of that is negotiable. She's very, very friendly with humans, but apparently doesn't get along all that well with the other cats she lives with.

If you want to adopt Sasha, or know someone who'd be willing to take her in, please email me at my livejournal address and we can work out the details. Also, please spread the word as far as you can. Sasha is a darling, and I'd hate to see her be euthanized just because her owners can't be bothered to keep her anymore.



cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] adopt_a_cat

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