mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
It's a statutory holiday here today, so that means I get to wear jeans to work! I have come to deeply loathe and resent having to wear "business casual" office clothing, so God help me if I ever end up having to work in a regular office setting again. Right now I only have to wear the hated clothes about five days a month, often less, when I'm working day shifts during the week, and the rest of the time I can wear comfy jeans, which is my favourite thing to do.

Not much has happened since I last posted. I have been procrastinating like crazy on unpacking the house and doing anything remotely productive when it comes to keeping my life together.

Instead I've been playing Stardew Valley, which is entirely the fault of [ profile] fearsclave , who, as usual, is a terrible influence. It's a horribly addictive little farming sim game, which is normally not at all my bag, but on top of the farming there is a significant emphasis on social relationships and community building in the game: the goal is not just to become good at farming, but to integrate a small community and become a respected member of society. The village, called Pelican Town, is also disturbingly realistic in some ways when it comes to depicting small town life, and the otherwise cute and lighthearted game has gotten dark on me a few times. There are characters with depression, suffering from isolation and alcoholism, people on the fringes of "civilised" society. Anyway, it's been weirdly compelling, and it has occupied a lot of my free time in the past three weeks. I finally reached some of the artificial goals the game sets this past weekend, so hopefully my fervor for it will die down a little now, and let me be productive in other ways.

I took Sergent to the vet last week for his shots, and also for our third ride on the "Does the Dog Have Cushing's Disease?" merry go round. I was worried because he's been having accidents in the house ever since I moved. I had attributed it to stress at first, but since it had continued for a month after (though with diminishing frequency), and he's been presenting with other symptoms (panting, less energy, whatnot), a lot of the signs pointed to something else going on. $1,000 later, and the good news is that he still doesn't have Cushings. The bad news is that I'm almost out of savings now. *sigh* I have a new vet, one who is much closer to home, which is much better news for both the pets, who hate being in the car for extended periods, and for my sanity, because my previous vet was an hour away by car, which meant that a vet visit before this meant basically writing off the entire day. It will be nice to be able to do other things on Vet Days now.

In more uplifting news, my new friends L. and J. managed to sell their house, and as of last week no longer live right next to the people who harassed them and made their existence a living misery for two years! I'm so excited and happy for them. They're still looking for a permanent place to live (they both suffer from severe mould allergies. which means they have to be very careful about finding a new home), but at least they now don't have to orchestrate their lives around making sure a vehicle is always parked around their home and that they're not alone for extended periods of time. They no longer have to wear their hoods up to keep their faces covered, or be afraid to leave their house during the day (they did most of their moving in the dead of night), or have their neighbours rev their truck engines at them half the night or point floodlights at their house at all hours, or leave threatening notes on their car windshield. In short, this is fantastic news for them. They sold their house to a heterosexual white couple who already have ties in the neighbourhood, so they're confident the new people won't also be the target of harassment, so it's good all around.

This past weekend ended up busier than any other time since I moved. I ran D&D on Saturday for the first time in over two months, and it went pretty well. I planned a non-combat session for my players: a solstice festival which would allow them to roleplay and just have some fun without worrying about getting killed or having larger moral decisions to make. It was a good way to get back into the swing of things, and give me a bit of breathing space to try to plan out the next arc of their story. In a way, Levels 1-5 were there to help them figure out who their characters are, but now I want to try to start pulling things together and introducing them to the larger world I've been creating. It would likely help me if I worked out more of the details of my world, I guess. :P I don't know if they'll make it all the way to Level 20, but I have plans for them if they do, that's for sure. I just have to figure out what I want to see happen in the interim, and how to make it as much fun for them as possible, too. I have a lot of their backstories to play with as well, which ought to be fun.

Sunday I went to Meeting, after missing two weeks due to work. Now that I'm a Member I'm finding it more difficult to arrange my life with so few free weekends. I'm the clerk of First Day School, which means I feel obligated to lead FDS at least once a month, which means I have only one Sunday a month to attend Meeting, and therefore that's usually the Sunday I will sacrifice if I have to make other plans (like go on a trip, or what have you), but it means I sometimes won't attend Meeting for several months, and I feel really bad about that. I have no good solution to this, unfortunately, short of finding a job that doesn't require me to work weekends, or winning the lottery so I don't have to work at all anymore. :P

Meeting was more stressful than usual, too, because we had an elderly Member become unresponsive during worship. I feel especially bad, because I noticed early on that he appeared to have fallen asleep during worship, and was drooling a little at the time, and I debated with myself if I should go check and see if he was okay and decided against it. This happened to him last year (the only two times I've ever seen him attend Meeting, for that matter), and I wondered if it might not be happening again, but I worried about overstepping my bounds, as I don't know him at all. If I end up in a similar situation again, I'm damned well not going to worry about being told to mind my own business, so long as it means I'm not possibly sacrificing someone's health and safety in the name of social delicacy. It was a poor decision on my part not to interrupt Meeting to check on him, and I regret it.

When worship was over, it became obvious that something was wrong, and people were oddly reluctant to call for medical help for the man. A few of his friends said they would just take him home, and so I stepped in then and put my foot down. He was slumped over in his chair and completely unresponsive, his skin was clammy, and his breathing was extremely rapid and shallow. "I'm calling an ambulance," I told them, and then got them to move chairs aside so the paramedics would have room to work, and employed my best crowd management techniques to get well-meaning but unhelpful people and the looky-loos out of the way. An ambulance arrived within about three minutes, which was great, along with a policeman, who was helpful in getting people to move back and also to have someone to act as a point of contact with the gentleman's family, whom we were having trouble contacting during the emergency.

The funny thing is, because I was the one who essentially took charge of the emergency, everyone at Meeting decided I must know everything there was to know about the gentleman who'd collapsed. People kept asking me what his medical conditions were, if I'd contacted his children, all sorts of things, when the truth is that I didn't even know the guy's name. I'd never met him properly: I just knew from last summer, when he'd also collapsed at Meeting, that there was a history of this happening. Anyway, in light of this latest event, I approached the Meeting clerk and told her we should suggest that everyone volunteer to give us emergency contact information, for cases such as these. We got lucky that a few of the Members in attendance that day not only knew the man, but had phone numbers for his children in their cell phone contacts, but those Members could just as easily not have been there that day, and then the children would not have found out for hours or perhaps even days that their father was in the hospital.

Everything turned out okay, as far as I know: the gentleman was already awake and more responsive by the time the ambulance took him to the hospital, so I'm sure he will be fine. Still, it could have gone much better, and I have learned quite a few lessons from what I did wrong yesterday.

Back to better news: I'm slated to go to a fandom convention next week, which I'm really looking forward to. It has changed names, from Wincon to Confabulation, but it's basically still the same con. I'm looking forward to seeing all the friends I made there last time once more, just to hang out and geek out about fannish stuff. It's a convention run by fans, for fans, with no celebrity guests, which keeps the prices mercifully low, and lets us have panels and round tables to discuss all of our beloved things in depth, which is one of my favourite things to do! So I'm pretty psyched about it, even though it's coming at a time when I no longer have the kind of money I thought I'd have before going, due to unexpectedly having to move and two very hefty vet bills in a three-month period. Still, I can swing it, only because I'd been carefully putting money aside for this convention since last year. I just wish this year had been less expensive.

And that's it! Things are starting to happen in my life again, so with any luck I will be around more and posting.

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 picture of Wol from Winnie the Pooh, holding a note that reads "Gon Out. Backson. Bizy. Backson." (Back Soon)
I'm moving this Friday, and between that and work and other stuff I just haven't had the wherewithal to post to LJ or DW. I will make it up to you all, I promise!

I'm still reading everyone's entries, so at least there's that. Sorry for the relative radio silence, things will be better in May. 
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'm still here. Sorry for the radio silence. I had an AMAZING trip, and while I was there I was mostly too busy running around Paris and Edinburgh to actually write about what I was doing, and then I got back and was immediately super depressed about not being in Europe anymore and thus didn't update either.

I promise to try to do better in the future. I go back to work tomorrow, and my levels of "I don't wanna!" have reached the stratosphere by now. I'm also in the throes of trying to find a moving company and packing before the end of the month, and things are a tad stressful right now. I'm hoping to get everything pulled together with

Please let me know if I missed anything super crucial in your lives, LJ!

Oh, also, I am not leaving LJ, but in case it implodes after this latest bit of shady business, you can find me on Dreamwidth under the same name.

Also, for people who are on Twitter, you can find me there as @ratherastory. I tweet quite a lot, and it tends to be in the form of yelling about social justice issues, fandom stuff, and sometimes live tweeting shows or movies. Follow me at your peril! ;)

:::ETA::: Okay, cross-posting from DW appears to have weirdly hard-coded a different font into my post, and I can't fix it. Sorry!

What a week

Mar. 5th, 2017 10:28 pm
mousme: A text icon in black text on yellow that reads The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote (Avalanche)
I've been remiss the past couple of days. There was a lot of running around, birthdays, and an emergency trip to the vet with the dog. I am heading to bed to collapse, and I will update in detail tomorrow. Sergent is sick and in pain, but he's doing better than yesterday, so no need for anyone to worry too much just now.
mousme: A picture of Wol from Winnie the Pooh, holding a note that reads "Gon Out. Backson. Bizy. Backson." (Back Soon)
 Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, I got super busy with various commitments and didn't have the time to sit at the computer and compose an entry to talk about all of it. It's been a busy week, and it doesn't look like it's about to get any less busy any time soon.

I visited with L. and J. (well, only L., but I met J. later), the lesbian couple being harassed by their neighbours. They are just the most adorable people, and what they are going through is horrific. It's been taking place for years now, and it's not an exaggeration to say it has ruined their lives. Not permanently, but right now they can't even have a semblance of normalcy. It's not just verbal harassment, either. They've been assaulted on a couple of occasions, and it sounds like the police have been treating this as a neighbour dispute rather than a clear case of harassment/hate crimes. I am livid on their behalf, because it sounds like the entire case has been badly mishandled from the start. Unfortunately, the situation is beyond salvaging now, not without their putting in time and money and energy that they simply don't have, and I don't blame them for not wanting to put up with it any longer. 

We're setting up a tentative schedule for me to go hang out at their house once a week starting in early February (my schedule isn't free until then, unfortunately), and with any luck they'll be able to sell their house soon and move to a place where they can start fresh.

The rest of the week was taken up with cleaning the house, hosting a potluck for the young Quakers, and work. Oh, and making sandwiches for a Quaker wedding today (which I was unable to attend, due to work, alas). It feels like I haven't had a moment to myself all week, which isn't true, since I actually got to stay home most of Wednesday and just chill. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been had I not had at least one day to myself to do not much.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my one day off before I start a week of training, but of course my landlady has decided to make my life hard again. She's insisting on twelve post-dated cheques (and wanted them two weeks before the first of the month, no less!), so I pushed back a little, and so now we're signing a new twelve-month lease. I refuse to give post-dated cheques for a month-to-month lease, and at least this way I'm slightly more protected than before, although it means a commensurate increase in my rent, which is going to hurt. *sigh* I can't win with her, and it means I have to put up with her in my home for an extended amount of time tomorrow, instead while we sign a new lease. Bleh. Still, it could be worse, and I hope it won't take too long.

I'm going to call it an early night tonight. I've poked at my Romanian lessons a bit, and now that I know how to say "cow" I feel like my life is just that bit more complete. ;) Tomorrow I'll go to Meeting, then come back to deal with the landlady, and maybe after that I'll have a bit of peace and quiet before work starts up again on Monday.

I will say that the highlight of today has been watching the Women's Marches taking place all over the world. It gives me hope, even as fascism soars to new heights to the south of us.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (White People)
So, yeah, I really should found that company called "Good Intentions Asphalt and Cement."

I keep telling myself I should update more, and then more life stuff happens, and then I get overwhelmed with how much I'd have to write to get everyone up to speed, and so I just... don't post. Not my most shining moments, let me tell you.

Cut because of triggers for mental illness and weight/body image issues )

Did I tell you my plans of taking dog training courses and eventually opening up my own business? I think I did. Anyway, the first semester is over, and the theory is going really well. The practice? Not so much. We're observing one of the puppy classes (which is going fine), and then doing basic obedience with our own dogs, following the new curriculum. The problem is that poor Sergent's anxiety levels go through the roof when he's in that class. First he has to sit or lie quietly for an hour during the puppy class behind a board so the puppies can't see him, and that stresses him out (because he can hear the high-energy puppies and can't see them and isn't free to move around). By the time obedience class comes around he's a nervous wreck. On several occasions he nearly pulled my shoulder out of its socket trying to get to the exit, poor thing. Of course, when he's that stressed he can't learn, and having him learn is a big part of how I'm being evaluated. So I have no idea if I'm going to pass this class or not. I also need to take Sergent to the vet, because I think the anxiety is making him chew his paws and his side, but I want to make sure it's just that and not a sign of something worse.

If I do pass, I've decided to skip the spring semester and do the fall semester instead. I've found it extremely punishing on my body and my schedule to do these classes, and I could use the break until September. Not to mention the finances. These classes are extremely expensive. In the meantime, I'm going to educate myself on how to start up my own business, and see if it's something I can realistically do.

Anyway, I have to jet to work. See you on the flip side!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Gone Out)
Life has been a whirlwind of stuff now that I'm back at work full-time, and on meds that seem to be allowing me to have more energy. I've been playing catch-up on life, and it is ridiculously busy as a result.

I have said before that I am not a fan of the Cult of Busyness™ that has infected our culture. I don't like using "busy" as a positive descriptor for myself, as if my levels of productivity are a measure of my worth. Nonetheless, I have a lot of shit to catch up on that I didn't get done while I was recovering from burnout. There have also been landlady and her useless handyman shenanigans, which are both energy draining and time consuming.

In short, I shall endeavour to write a post by the end of this week (so by next Saturday at the latest) in which I shall explain (no, would take too long, let me sum up) everything that's happened since I last posted. Almost all of it is positive, exciting stuff. It has been time-consuming, however, and has kept me even away from Twitter most days, which is where I hang out the most.

There have been finance developments, fitness developments, pet developments, career developments... all sorts of things. For once, the curse of 2016 appears to be lifting for me, though sadly not for many others. Though I haven't been posting, I have been reading faithfully, and I do commiserate with all of you who are having such a rough time of it right now. The good part about burning out this summer is that since I've been on a similar roller coaster before, I kind of knew what to expect, and I knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel (which wasn't a train), which kept me going pretty steadily. So, that's a useful psychological skillset I wasn't aware I had.

On that note, I have more Things To Do, so I shall see you on the flip side!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Reason is a Flawed Tool)
i'm averaging one post a month. That's... actually better than what I was managing before, but it's not quite the prolific journaling I had imagined myself doing.

Part of the problem, of course, is that I'm not doing much with my days. The only thing I'd be able to write about is my circular thought patterns, and how many hours of Borderlands 2 I've logged in a day. Not exactly the most exciting or uplifting stuff, you know? I'm still off work, and most of my days are spent puttering around the house, taking the dog for short walks, playing Pokémon (while on said short walks), and bopping from one doctor's appointment to the next.

I used to be a lot more confessional in this journal, but now I feel like I have a weird case of stage fright. It's most likely been brought about by the slew of new people I've added. You all seem really cool and interesting, but I don't know you, and I guess I'm past the point in my life where I feel comfortable sharing the more intimate parts of myself with people I don't know well. Those of you who aren't new to this LJ will doubtless already be well-acquainted with my failings at intimacy, and not be at all surprised. :P

I'm giving therapy another shot, after over 13 years since the last time I did it. The last time was group therapy, and it was an unmitigated disaster. I hated it intensely. I also had a brief few sessions with a student, who upon learning that I'd once dyed my hair green asked me if I'd done it to make myself ugly on purpose (o_O), and also seemed convinced that I couldn't possibly be gay. He had very rigid views about what was and wasn't appropriate, didn't understand much about gender or sexuality outside of cisgendered heteronormativity, and I felt like I was educating him most of the time. It was exhausting.

Anyway, I'm trying again. The new therapist seems nice. She's also a student (I'm going through a program at St. Paul's University), but she seems less horrified by LGBT stuff and geeky things than my previous therapist, by which I mean not at all. I saw her yesterday for the second time, and she asked me how I thought things were going, to which I didn't really have a response. I mean, am I supposed to see major changes after two sessions? I thought this was meant to be a longer process, to be honest. :P We'll see. I'm going to keep with it until the money runs out (some of this is covered by insurance, at least).

I'm off work until August 31st, at which point I'm seeing my doctor, and we'll proceed from there.

I had a really lovely weekend, at least. I went to visit [ profile] fearsclave and his lovely wife, and spent two days going on Pokéwalks, having delicious food, learning how to play Go, and fishing. It was awesome, and I wish we could get together more often.
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
It's not that I've forgotten LiveJournal exists. I come on here and read my friends' list almost every day. Few of you post that often, but enough of you post intermittently that I feel as if I'm keeping track of many of you. I suspect that may be a bit of an illusion, but that's okay. Social media is always a bit of an illusory beast.

I just saw [ profile] slipjig link to a friending meme, and I think that it would behoove me to at least try to post more regularly. Sometimes I feel like my life is far too mundane to be of interest to anyone, but then, I love hearing about the little things that all my friends are doing. Going to work? I want to know how your day went! Planning a garden? Show me pictures of your squash! Taking your kids to school in the morning? Yes, please! Are your pets adorable? PICS, OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN! Etc. So if I'm interested in all these small, daily victories and disappointments, it stands to reason that at least some of my LJ friends feel the same way.

So, what have I been up to since the last time I posted? That was in February, I am a little horrified to see, when my computer keyboard bit the dust. I got it repaired, it's working fine now, except every now and then it... decides not to. It's always a bit nervewracking when that happens, but it's never for more than about 10-15 seconds, and it's happened maybe twice or three times. I'm trying not to worry about it too much.

Quaker Stuff )

Pet updates, with cute pictures! )

The Parental Units )

Work and gardening )

In short, I'm slowly re-aligning myself with my values. I'm trying to cook and bake from scratch more, getting back into being a steward of the earth and not just a mindless consumer. It's a process, and I still have a long way to go, but at least I'm moving back in the right direction. I feel like, in some ways, I lost a lot of myself for a while there. While there are still important decisions to be made, it's nice to catch glimpses of the person I used to be.
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
Two days late, and probably more than a dollar short, but who cares!

To all my friends who had a rough 2015, may 2016 treat you ever so much better!

Last year, someone (I believe it was [ profile] bodhifox, but I could be mistaken) said that it always felt like people at the end of the year only ever saw the bad in the preceding months, and that's why everyone was always glad to see the old year go by the wayside. That stuck with me, because 2014 treated me like utter shit, and I was really happy to get a new start on things. I decided I'd pay attention, and see if I'd be as glad to see the door close on 2015.

I am happy to report, for myself, that it's not the case. It's a relief to know that I'm not the sort of person who only focuses on the negative in life. 2015, while not perfect, certainly treated me very well overall. Let's make a list.2015, in bullet-point form )
And that's it for my 2015. Overall? A pretty great year. :)

I am making resolutions this year, but they haven't gelled in my mind yet. I figure I can mull them over some more, let the ideas percolate, before I set them into stone.
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 [ 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. (Always Summer)
I've been having some internet issues. My new provider leaves something to be desired, alas. Connectivity problems aside, it's been a busy few weeks anyway.

I think I mentioned that the move went pretty well, overall. I haven't yet recovered from the exhaustion that came after a month of packing up the house, running the pets to and from various veterinarians, wrangling my parents, running back and forth to sign off on various papers for the house sale, and the actual move itself. That's not even counting all the unpacking I've been doing of late.

House stuff )

Pet stuff )

A brief digression about plans I have for the near future )

Yes, I know, most of you are rolling your eyes and thinking something along the lines of: "Great. Phnee is on another self-improvement kick." What can I say? If at first you don't succeed try, try again. After all, there is a lot about myself I need to work on. I do think that, on the whole, I've improved at least a little as a person in the 12 (nearly 13!) years since I started this journal. That being said, there is a whole lot of room for improvement.

Anyway, I'm going to stop here, because this entry has gotten huge without my noticing. I'll try to update a bit more regularly, but no promises. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (End of the World)
Working a 78-hour week. 7 days, although one of those was a half-day (yesterday). Back home Sunday night, then I get a full day at home on Monday, then it's back to Ottawa for another 60-hour week next week.

So, yeah. Busy busy busy.

I have ten million things to do on Monday, all of them time consuming. No idea how I'm going to get it all done, but whatever, I'll improvise. I might be able to do some of them on Tuesday morning, too, before I get going.

There you have it, the main reason I haven't been posting: I am insanely busy. Also very stressed, but that's not new.

I hope the universe is treating all of you better than it's treating me these days. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Gone Out)
*points to icon*

Not dead, just busy.

There is lots of Big Life Stuff happening that I'm not able to discuss. Plus, I'm really really busy.

What I can discuss is that I've been asked at work to fill in for another section, so I've been working some overtime lately and am likely to be working more overtime in the future. This is good news from a financial perspective, at the very least.

If you don't hear as much from me in the next little while, that's why.

If I have time sometime next week, I will try to post pictures of all the yard work I've been doing. I'm nowhere near done, though, so it might have to wait, unless you're really keen on seeing pictures of dirt. :P

Hope everyone is doing well, or at least as well as they can be!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Gone Out)
The power adapter for my laptop just died a tragic death. Yay, another unexpected expense. I've ordered a new one but it'll take several days to get to me, and if it hasn't arrived by Thursday I'll have to go to Ottawa without my laptop.

So if you don't hear from me, that's why. I will be checking in on Twitter by phone, but that's probably it.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Not A Song)
I had a very, very busy week last week. I got a chance to work an OT shift and jumped on it, because 12 hours at double time is not something I can afford to refuse. Alas, that meant another two commute days and even less free time than usual, and I ended up letting LJ slide. In situations like that something's gotta give, and blogging gave.

I did go see the doctor last Wednesday, and although the appointment felt very rushed (when I asked for five more minutes to discuss something she squirmed and sheepishly refused), overall I think it went well. Though now I know that when my doctor books "an hour" what she really means is that I'll wait for her for 15 minutes, we'll get about 15 minutes together, and the other 30 minutes are just for show.

She had blood taken for various tests, including a thyroid function test, and I'll find out in about two months what that's about. Having a doctor beats not having one, but I am not enjoying this two-months-between-all-appointments schedule. I was hoping to get this figured out in January, not in June.

You'll be pleased to know that I got all my immunisation boosters while I was there. I am contributing to herd immunity! The doctor tried to tell me that vaccinations were important, and then got treated to my usual rant about people who don't vaccinate their kids, and we both had a good laugh about it. My left arm is still bruised all to hell, though. I think the nurse nicked a vein going in. :/

So for the moment it's more waiting to see if there's anything actually wrong with me, or if I just need to find a ladder and get over myself and stop being such a whiner.

Bean and I went to the park on Sunday before I had to go to work, and had a great time. I haven't had the chance to transfer the pictures over onto my computer, but if you follow me on Facebook there are a few there. Otherwise you'll just have to take my word for it. ;) The last time I took him to the park was in the late fall, and it was amazing to see how much he'd grown since then. Things he couldn't reach six months ago were well within his grasp this time, and there was no question but that he'd sit on the "big kid" swings. He did forget to hold on at one point while I pushed him (gently) and ended up sort of faceplanting into the sand, but he was more shocked than hurt, and after a couple of tears he was off and running again. He refused to slide down any of the slides because they were wet from the early morning rain, but he happily straddled a soaking wet see-saw, so I'm not sure what the difference was in his mind. Either way, the water dried quite quickly.

He wanted to go for "one long walk" after that, but approximately ten seconds later jumped feet first into the deepest puddle he could find. Given that he'd insisted on wearing his canvas shoes to the park, that put the kibosh on the walk pretty quickly, much to his disappointment. It was simply too chilly out to allow him to walk around with wet feet for long. It was also nearing lunchtime, so his attempt to negotiate going home to get his boots and then go on a walk also met with failure. It was a frustrating time for him, though perhaps next time he'll agree either to wear boots or not to jump in puddles. We shall see.

I've been completely slammed at work this week. Just busy-busy-busy, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon. I'll try to be more diligent about updating, though.

Hey, if you're lucky, I might make another update about television! I know everyone loves it when I ramble on endlessly about my TV-watching habits.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Random Sentences)
I have decided that in the New Year I'm going to make a point of writing here every day, even if it's just a couple of sentences or something. Until then, I'm going to try to at least post more often, maybe a couple of times a week.

Every time I think of posting here, I worry that I'll never be able to catch up on everything that's been happening that I haven't had time to post about. Then I feel overwhelmed and decide there's no point in even trying, and I creep away from LJ filled with guilt and regret. Wah. :P

So I'm not going to try to catch up. I'm just going to jump in where I am and hope people aren't too confused.

Quick bullet-point summary of significant events of the last year:

April: [ profile] pdaughter moved in with Bean. We are all very happy, if adjusting. (:::ETA::: It occurs to me I shouldn't speak for them. I am very happy. I have no idea if they are, but if they aren't they haven't told me.)
June: I applied for a transfer to Ottawa
August: My transfer was accepted, and I was offered a permanent position with the RCMP. Whee!
September: I started work in Ottawa

Because [ profile] pdaughter is still in the midst of her studies, and because we didn't want to pull Bean out of his wonderful new preschool, I kept the house in L'Ile Perrot and am renting a tiny (no, really, it's 8' x 11') room in Ottawa at an exorbitant price. I commute back and forth roughly every five to six days. In two years' time we will be selling the house and moving to Ontario permanently.

This year has also been the year of hospital visits (one each for Bean and [ profile] pdaughter, though luckily in both cases it was for stuff that was easily treated with antibiotics), car accidents (one each for me and [ profile] pdaughter, though in her case the accident wasn't her fault and in my case it was technically I who hit the other car—no injuries in either case and insurance covered all repairs) computer deaths (only one, but that was enough), and cat-assisted cell phone death.

In short, life right now is insane for me. Whenever I get a chance to be at home I cling there like a limpet because there are so many chores to do that I can never seem to get to the bottom of them all, and because I'm a homebody at heart and I hate having to spend so much time away from my family. I'm reasonably sure they don't enjoy my absences either (though in my more paranoid moments I wonder if they don't heave a sigh of relief when I'm not there screwing up the new routine).

I haven't been writing at all (creative or otherwise), because I'm a) really really busy with mundane things, b) really really exhausted from the new job and the new commute and general stress, c) perennially stressed out about money. All these things basically fuck up the headspace I need to be in in order to settle down and let the muse out to play. I'm hoping to change this in the New Year. I have vague plans that I hope will become more concrete to not only write but also finish my writing projects (something I'm notoriously bad at).

So, yeah, that's me in a nutshell. I'm open to questions if you have any about just what the heck's been going on with me these days. ;)

Happy trails!


mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Default)

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