alice adventure outside

still here, still trying

Thursday, May 26th, 2016.
12:38am
I haven't been consistent with journaling but I'm not giving up on it since it is something that feels essential to my well-being. I may have gaps in writing but I pick up the pen again or I start typing those 750 words whether I've failed the monthly challenge or not. I will try to write every day in June but if it doesn't happen, I'll be okay about it as long as I've continued to keep up with my College courses and whatever else I've got myself up to these days.

As far as the college courses go, it's getting real now as the assignments start being, well, assigned. Since day one, there have been Exercises to complete on the Discussion Boards of a couple courses and while they count for a mark, it's the assignments that will be worth more. This is where my fear of failure and my eagerness to be perfect or over-achieve and succeed kicks in (to try and compensate for everything that's gone wrong in my life, ha) and I have to remember that I can do this and that my effort is likely more than good enough to do well in the courses. The grades will ultimately prove whether that is true or not but I can't allow the lack of cheerleaders for my team of one stop me from playing hard. I can do this. I am doing this. Just keep doing this. I have been keeping track of when I work on each course and what I get done on a log sheet. It shows that I've been keeping up but it also shows that I could put more time into it as well. I'm very interested in what I'm learning and I can see how applicable it all is - I only hope to set aside enough for future courses to maintain momentum toward earning certificates. This is where I agree that education should be free. Barriers to access is a real problem for many, including myself up until recently.

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On Sunday (May 22nd), husband and I went for a bike ride together. It was my first time out on the bicycle this year. It was a lovely day and we did over 11 miles - or at least 10 miles if you subtract the times I stopped to take photos or when we were walking along a bridge. It was a lot of exertion for me considering I don't get out at all but my enjoyment of riding my bike and my love for taking photos and that I actually do like being outside in nature (despite the way it seems because of anxiety) all of it made for a surprisingly good outing. I posted my photos to my Flickr but I'll share a few here in this post to show some of what I saw. Yes, a lot of it will be familiar territory as I seem to go to the same places but I think that once I start getting out there more often, I'll wander about elsewhere in town and take photos of different places and things.



































[22 May 2016 / St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada]

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We're at the point with Vincent & Pekoe, Smudge & Chai that they've accepted each other and we're a family. Vincent & Pekoe will assert themselves when necessary but no harm done and soon enough they're cleaning, playing and chasing one another around. Vincent and Pekoe meow like kittens sometimes but we know that's because they've seen that the kittens have obviously used this super cute power to their advantage and want in on that. We're giving lots of love to all but the ratio of affection the kittens get is a bit higher right now but not so overly much that Vincent & Pekoe are distraught or anything like that. Vincent and Pekoe are especially more playful with the kittens in the past day or so. Sweeping and vacuuming is done more often but it's worth it. A lot of work - especially the first couple of weeks or so - but they're all awesome. Husband loves the kittens and all of the cats want his attention when he gets home. It used to be Vincent & Pekoe greeting him when he'd get home from work but now it's Vincent, Pekoe, Smudge & Chai excited that he's come back to us. I think it makes husband feel quite loved. I get my share of attention from the cats too, no worries and they are great during the day when husband goes to work and the cats conclude that I'm the only human who will love, feed and take care of them ever again.

Expect a lot of cat video clips in the vlog I'll make at the end of the month, eh?


Vincent and ChaiSmudge and Pekoe

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1:50am I'm still on track with thinking of a house and settling down in my hometown. There is some worry about how long husband's job will be here but a lot of people are hoping it sticks around after business stuff is finalized. We're in an area where a lot of jobs have left and it's risky to try and put roots down these days, these economic times. I suppose that's where we're hopeful that my getting some education will help us out and maybe we're trying out that hope and optimism thing. No big moves until things are more clear with his job. I would also like to have more of an idea of what I'm doing once I've completed more courses.

Meanwhile, I have to keep an eye on my health. So much of this year (so far) has been a reminder of how important it is to try and do what one can in that aspect, as well as to enjoy whatever moments one can because you just don't know how many of those you'll have left.

I'm thankful for good music, good books, snail mail letters and postcards, good food shared with husband, cats and kittens, people who have reached out to me because gosh darn it, I need that -

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Last year, we helped someone change their life completely. Near the end of a nightmare yesterday during a nap, I tried to talk to her in it. Realized after waking, it was her one year anniversary of starting the job here. So it goes.

alice dork

if we were having coffee... (10) #WeekendCoffeeShare

Saturday, May 21st, 2016.
10:25pm If we were having coffee,
it would be kind of weird, I suppose, to be drinking it this late at night, in the dark, in front of my computer. I am drinking a cappuccino that husband made before he went to bed so perhaps it's not too strange to think of sharing a coffee with someone at night. It's just been a long time since I've had that kind of experience. Reminds me of the tea & talks I'd have late at night with a friend in Toronto. Record playing in the background. Talking about messy relationships and stupid boys we kept breaking our hearts for, as one does, recklessly, with romantic despair.




I don't have anyone to talk with over tea or coffee. My husband isn't one to have chats (and we've ironically had some talks about this but it's one of those things that comes up every now and again, frustratingly) and I've successfully isolated myself, if that had been my plan all along. (It was not.) This is my own fault and I'm aware of that. Staying inside and making my world small is my own doing. I don't want to be this wary of letting others close but I got burned bad not that long ago. While I've moved through the various stages of grief with that, I am not in a hurry to put myself out there again. I'll get over it soon enough. I know that I am more social than this and my heart is more open and brave.

If we were having coffee, it'd be good for me to have someone to talk to, listen to and get out of my own head. I miss hearing people's stories, their thoughts about their own lives and things they want to do or have done. I like to learn about people and what motivates them, what inspires them, what they've been through and what they think of where they are now or where they hope to go. I think people are interesting. I like it when connections are made and you find the similarities in your lives through the most random things despite any differences or various paths taken to the place you're at right here & now, having your coffee, tea & whatnot.

We've had the kittens (Smudge and Chai) for two weeks as of tomorrow and they've grown so much already! Things couldn't go perfectly smoothly, of course - Chai (the tiny one) was sick with a cold and husband took her to the vet where she was put on antibiotics. Tomorrow they get their second dosage of deworming medication and the next time they get anything will be when they're old enough to get their first shots. It's been fun to have little kittens running around and our other cats (Vincent and Pekoe) have accepted them much easier and sooner than we expected or hoped. This had a lot to do with us being sure to give a lot of attention and reassurance that they were still our cats while being sure to show that we would be giving affection to all of them. If I had been blogging every day, it would have been mostly cat pictures.




If we were having coffee, you'd notice that my face has slimmed a bit but that's about it. I'd probably tell you about how I went vegan in February and just passed my three month mark of not eating meat or dairy. It's done wonders for my skin but we suspect that the i.u.d. is messing with my weight a bit. I don't know. I think I should eat smaller portions and get out there on my bicycle and exercise. I'm unbelievably self-conscious. The intense anxiety I struggle with is an obstacle that I am desperate to overcome.

Did I tell you that I'm taking some college courses? I am! Three different subjects that have their own paths toward certificates of a sort but all fascinating. I love learning. I can see each of these subjects opening up some opportunities for me with each course I take. I think I made good choices with the courses being useful for various work environments, including from home. I'd tell you that it's been easy so far (and it has) but I know that it's because the courses only began and it's as if they're allowing us to ease into them. Maybe? Or it's my enthusiasm and whatever is left of my intellect waking up.

If we were having coffee, you'd know that mine is cold by now. Still drinkable! It's the long weekend here and my husband will be working overtime on the holiday Monday but tomorrow we intend to go for a long bicycle ride in town. I truly do hope we follow through with that because it's not just about getting some exercise but it would be good to take some photos of something other than cats. I'm nervous about riding my bicycle even though I know I'll feel exhilarated once I'm out there biking around. I have always loved feeling the freedom of riding my bike.

Our rent is paid for June and we've got what we need to get through. I'm back to thinking about getting a house and making a life here. Not sure what will happen (who is?) but I hope that I can keep my focus on what is in my life right now instead of falling into the trap of always yearning for something other than. I can put that into my writings if I must but I need to allow myself a more stable life. It will be what I make of it. That's the truth of it no matter where I am or if I'm on my own or not.

If we were having coffee, I'd beg you to please talk about yourself now because I've heard enough from me.



 photo weekendcoffeeshare.jpg


P.S. I've returned to letter writing and postcard scribbling, yay!
alice directions

should take my own advice

RavenLaughs: "How? How do artists, creative people, real writers. How do they ignore all the voices? The parts that screen it's crap, the parts that say it's not good enough?

How do they let themselves embrace ego enough to ignore the thoughts that what they create isn't just something someone with no talent would think is worth creating?"

Me: "They write anyway. Read 'The Art of Memoir' and other books by writers about writing. This is very common. You have to write anyway. Allow yourself to write drafts and "badly" but write anyway. Then later on, revise and read it after some time with the critical eye. You just have to tell those voices to take it outside or to the other room or to shut up because you're writing here and so write and write anyway. Most writers who have read any books of any nature at all will be especially critical of their writing because they hold higher standards. Write anyway and realize your voice is still valuable, unique because only you can write what you write, that you are the only one who knows your truths."
breakfast club i relate to her

took a few days to return to writing again.

We went for a stroll through Optimist Park near sundown and I took a lot of photos.


Thursday, May 12th, 2016.
12:44am
So much for daily writing, eh? I have a good excuse / reason for this recent fall off the map though. I had mentioned in a previous entry how another breast cyst had flared up and that I had started bleeding (the last one especially annoying since I have the minera i.u.d. and I'm not supposed to go through that anymore - and haven't since the early days of having it put in) but as to what happened last week, I got sick.

The night that I let my writing streak go to the wayside was when I was experiencing a lot of pain with the cyst. It was quite large and it hurt like heck. This is not too long after I had that previous one that wouldn't heal properly and required antibiotics and stitches and so on - but this one, fingers crossed, wasn't going to be as bad because it was located in a more breathable location of my breast. Still, it was not draining and it had a large area of redness. I was in a lot of pain from it. I believe I may have got a fever from it because I think I felt the fever break the next day. The night before was bad enough that we were discussing whether I should go see the doctor or emerge to get it drained. I held off because of the hassle of it. Bleeding alongside with it made it apparent this was a hormonal thing and it was upsetting enough that this was going on. At the same time, I thought that it was likely to run its course.

I wanted to keep my writing going but any attempts to try and write / type were painful. I figured I would try again another time. I had to get some rest.

The next day, while washing the dishes, I received a text message. This made me step back from the counter and that's when I noticed blood on it. The cyst had finally started to drain. What a relief it was, even if icky. I finished the dishes and then took care of the cleaning and bandaging. The infection cleared up over the next few days and while it is still healing, it isn't a complicated nightmare like the last bad one.

On Sunday the 8th, husband and I adopted two more shelter cats that I'd seen through my Facebook feed. Two kittens that are about five weeks old. My Aunt Terry helped out by driving husband to the vet for their first appointment. They're healthy and are started on their round of deworming medication. Since they are so young, they won't receive shots or be fixed for a few months yet but we'll be sure to have all of that done as soon as it's allowed. We want them to be healthy and for the household to be harmonious.



The kittens are named Smudge and Chai. They actually are siblings - both girls - and they're pretty gosh darn adorable. Vincent and Pekoe, as of yesterday, both have adjusted well to them. Vincent took longer to come around but he's accepting of it now. A lot of that has to do with how we've interacted with them and made sure to be inclusive, to give extra attention and to have an encouraging and affectionate tone. Even with the initial hissing, I didn't give the big cats heck for that - just reassurance and made sure that no one would get hurt. The kittens really are too young to have been taken from their mother but they're doing really well.

So, on the evening of having the cats (Mother's Day), I had a nap because I felt exhausted from everything. I woke up with lots of blood and it was back to the excessive bleeding that I hadn't experienced since before the minera device was inserted. This scared the heck out of me. The timing of it sucked. I didn't know what I was going to do, what with husband working overtime and being gone all day and the fact of life being that I don't have any friends nearby who could watch over things for me if I was to go to the hospital. I stayed home and went through a day of worry and flashbacks to "the bleeding times" but now it's to a manageable level, although again, I shouldn't be going through this at all. I know that I need to follow up with the gyno because there is clearly something not right. Either the device has moved or is no longer releasing the stuff that was to keep me from going through this --- given that I have this thing in me to stop me from having to get multiple blood transfusions, it was never meant to be a long-term solution but I thought I would at least get the five years out of it - apparently not. I've not made an appointment yet but I will. One thing that stops me is that I have yet to lose the weight to get the hysterectomy. I think I'm going to have to get the surgery regardless. Which brings me back to my concern about not being home to take care of things.

I can't put this off but I have for the past few days. Once things calmed down (flow-wise) I have been busy with the cats and becoming more active to help out and move my body. I'm trying to do more, at least. The first day or so, I didn't sleep hardly at all because I didn't want the cats to be unsupervised. Things are much better now.

On Tuesday (the 10th), my college courses opened up / officially began. I'm keeping track of when I work on the courses and which ones I do on a planning schedule sheet. It's helpful to know what I've done since I'm in three different courses and to make sure I keep on track. I love learning and it's fascinating so far. Lots to learn so far as the various online learning platforms go for college but it's awesome. Only thing I wish is that I'd done this sooner. If I'd started even three years ago when my claim was settled, if I'd known this was an actual attainable thing to attempt, I would be so much further along!

But then I think of the great things we've experienced - traveling overseas and significant life lessons - and I think that I've probably come to this at the time I was supposed to, maybe? Much like becoming vegan - another path I wish I had taken sooner - but better now than never, eh? I feel good about these choices. I think I'm finally starting to take better care of myself, or trying.

Yesterday was a productive day for me. I bathed, vacuumed the carpet, washed the dishes and went for a walk with husband in the evening to a nearby park where I took a lot of photos and saw the sun going down. It was good to get outside and was the first time I'd been out in weeks. Yes, weeks. I could see the budding of the leaves on the trees outside the book room window and when I'd stand out on the balcony and look down, the blossoming of a tree below - and I yearned to be out there. I wasn't feeling well for several days though, so there's that. I was feeling antsy by the time we did get out. I look at my bicycle on the balcony and think of how I so badly want to go for a ride about town and go exploring and taking photos. I can finally wear a bra again without pain so if I am on the mend again, I hope I get out there and do that.



I've typed all these words after not writing much at all lately. I'm not sure if I'll be back to writing daily but I'd like it if I would. I would hold myself to it but it'd be nice if I would write more often.

To those who have stuck around as I try to figure out what to share, what to keep to myself and how to move forward with the inevitable moving forwardness of life - thank you for being here.

Twitter: @goldmourn
Instagram: @goldmourn
Flickr: goaskaliceithinkshewillknow

P.S. Mother's Day was only tolerable this year because of the kittens.

P.P.S. Globally Local has meal kits and husband and I have eaten incredibly satisfying and delicious food because of them. Worth it.