So, it’s been a while. Since early May, in fact. Sorry about that, and hi, everyone! I hope life has been treating you as well as it’s been treating me.
This is going to be a fairly long post, which a number of different sections: about my new apartment, about Imber, about Camp NaNoWriMo for July 2015, and about exercising and how I’m doing with that. And pictures are included! (Luckily, I figured out how to do them as a gallery.) So I’m definitely putting it behind a “more” tag, and as you can see, I’ve added internal links to each of the sections to make it easier if you only want to read one or two of them at a time, and not have to go all the way through everything else….
Since January of last year, I’ve been with a program called “Pleasant Manor“, learning to live more or less independently (no one is completely independent) – I have had issues with cleaning and meals and such, and needed the assistance. I’ve probably mentioned this in a few of the posts over the last year and a bit. Anyway. Phase 1 of the Pleasant Manor program involves living in a house with two or three other people also going through the program (depending on which house you’re in; one has 4 bedrooms, the other has 3; I was in the one with 3 bedrooms), and a life skills counselor who is there for 20 hours a week to help you with the difficulties that you have.
Phase 2 of the program, assuming you “graduate” Phase 1 – which not everyone does, for one reason or another; frequently it’s simply that they’re not quite ready to live independently – Pleasant Manor has certain apartments in the city that are reserved for them, and when one of those apartments opens up, you get to go for it, assuming you’re first in the line. So by May, there was an open apartment in the building that Kirian (the executive director of Pleasant Manor) had wanted to get me into in the first place, and on June 1st, I signed the lease. 🙂
Because my parents had to go to Costa Rica the first two weeks of June to sell their house down there (after 5-1/2 years, it was a huge relief to them to have it done!), Imber and I didn’t move in to my apartment until the 16th (because I had to take care of my parents’ animals, and it was just as easy to stay at the house until they got back). I was moving stuff over from the start, though, and one of my uncles and aunts (Mom’s younger brother and his wife) did a lot of driving me back and forth with loads – and bought me my couch as a housewarming gift!
It’s not a large apartment (the bathroom is particularly tiny), though the closet space is comparatively huge. (My bedroom closet is larger than Mom’s, and she has a house!) Imber and I are quite happy here, though.
And here are some photos of my place, most of them taken before I officially moved in (so things have changed around a bit and it’s not quite as messy anymore). Yes, I warned you there were photos!
And as I said above, it wasn’t only me who moved in to the apartment, it was also Imber. And in the last two weeks (exactly, plus about 7-1/2 hours by the time this post gets published), she has relaxed a hell of a lot.
Three weeks ago, she was tense and snarly, wouldn’t approach anyone (except for her Mommy-Cat) for attention, much more liable to run away from you if you were anywhere near her.
The day we moved in, she spent most of the day under the couch (that’s her go-to hiding place if she’s nervous; there or under my bed, but under my couch is much more hidden). By the time I went to bed, she was a bit more relaxed, and had come out and poked around the apartment a bit.
The next day (Wednesday the 17th), she wasn’t slinking around the apartment anymore (slinking defined as with her body pressed close to the ground, and very wary), she was walking.
Then last week, one of my aunt’s (Mom’s middle sister) came by with a housewarming package (she has a standard mix of stuff she gives). Non-stick frying pans, yay! And she included a package of three meese (toy mice – “meese” is what I’ve called them since I was young) for Imber, since Imber had moved in as well. (And Imber was willing to stay on my bed after I’d introduced her to my aunt, and let my aunt pet her.) I gave one of the meese to her almost as soon as my aunt left (she’s only getting one at a time, and they’re large enough that they’re harder to lose than the tiny ones), and she adores it. (Get ready for more pictures!)
I took some photos of her playing with it one night last week so I could let my aunt know just how much Imber appreciated her gift.
Aww, isn’t she cute? (Yes, some people think I’m weird for loving to see cats attacking toy mice and showing their predatory instincts. *shrug* Well, I think they’re weird for not enjoying it, so there! 😉 )
And then (no, I’m not finished yet), on Sunday Mom and Dad came over to my place for tea before we went back to their house for dinner (I’m required to go to dinner at their place once a week, and Sunday is a day that’s convenient enough for that). As usual, when they came in, Imber hid under the couch. I was hoping that at some point before we left again she would come back out… and lo and behold, she did! In fact, she even approached Mom (with a little bit of coaxing) to let Mom pet her – something Mom says Imber’s never done before. Not even with a lot of coaxing. And then she went to play in the hall with her meese rather than hide back under the couch. I was so proud of her.
She’s currently drowsing on the chair that’s on the other side of my coffee table from the couch (where I am), as I write this post. Look! 😉
For this month, I’ve decided to be a bit of a NaNoWriMo Rebel (yes, it’s now a thing for NaNoWriMo). Instead of starting a new story, or trying to continue one that’s already started but stalled, I’m going to be making an effort to complete my re-write of Search and Rescue, my very first (2008) NaNoWriMo novel. 🙂 I’ve been stalled about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through Chp. 8 for some months now, and I decided that this coming month’s Camp would be perfect for getting that back on track. (Note that I may have come up with the idea in part because one of my best friends has gotten her NaNo 2013 novel all edited and is self-publishing it via Createspace; there’s just a few steps left for her to go before it becomes available!)
Anyway, I’m still trying for the normal 50,000 word goal, which is easier when it’s a re-write rather than a revision (though that’s still possible to count, depending on your program – I use Scrivener – and there may be some revising of the earlier chapters as well). So wish me the best of luck, please – I’d really like to get this done so that I, too, can get it into what I consider publishable status! As usual, I’m going to try to provide updates throughout the month. And my plan for this evening is to re-read what I have already, and get some notes set up for elements that I have to go through. (And figure out what the doctors will think of Brendan essentially fleeing the planet while suffering from second degree burns, when he’s allergic to Stim-Heal….)
A while back I got this free pro version of an Android app for my phone that was for core exercises (which I need to do, because my back muscles aren’t exactly the strongest, and I want to avoid having problems further down the road). It was by a company named Runtastic, and they have a whole suite of apps for exercising, so I went and got a few of them, including one that was probably their original app, Runtastic, which uses GPS and Google Maps to track where you go when you set it to start an exercise. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now (since the end of May) to track my walking, which I’ve started doing more often lately.
(Exercise is very necessary, but temperature has always been a problem because of my heat allergy – even in winter. St. John’s does tend to be cooler than Toronto, though.)
It helps that my apartment is located just above Quidi Vidi Lake, in close proximity to the famous Signal Hill and also that to get to the bus stop that I can use to get to my parents’ house, it’s about a ten to twelve minute walk from my place. (I could always get the Number 15, which has a bus stop just outside my place… but I want to exercise.) So it’s really neat, and I’ve been doing a number of walks lately.
Today, I had my first try at the trail around Quidi Vidi. I knew there was no way that I’d do more than a quarter of it, at most, right now – my endurance isn’t great enough for much longer than that, and it was 21/22°C out, which means that it was hot enough, even with the breeze blowing off the lake, to make my fingers swell.
I made it about 1/5 to 1/4 of the way around (it’s a lake, not just a pond), and felt fairly good about it (in part because I discovered two good potential writing spots!). Then I had to climb back up to my apartment building, which is much higher (about nineteen steep metres higher than the trail just below it), and by the time I got up, I wasn’t sure my legs would manage to carry me into my apartment!
Well, I did make it – but only just. Collapsed on my couch once I got in, and couldn’t move for a few minutes. My legs are still feeling it now (and I dread how stiff they’re going to be tomorrow), but I think it was worth it.
And, of course, I went and took photos of part of my walk. (I did mention the photos, right?)
I’m getting better, increasing my endurance and my fitness… and honestly, St. John’s has some beautiful scenery, so visually it’s worth it as well.
And… that’s my news for this post.
Stay tuned for two posts tomorrow: my first day of Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015, and also a recommendation for a couple of posts by a member of my tagÂûght blog circle.
I hope everyone’s summer is off to a wonderful start!