Visit to Nova Scotia

*gives everyone a guilty look*

Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I’ve ended up fairly busy with a bunch of things, including becoming part of the ASD Advisory Board of the recently formed Autism Canada, and also of the Canadian Autism Partnership Project. The latter of which was what let me come to Nova Scotia (see tagÂûght’s Blog: Leaving, On a Jet Plane; Two Wonderful Sisters; and Nova Scotia, How I Love Thee for the details and explanations).

The important part is that in coming here to Nova Scotia, I got to spend a great deal of time with my middle sister and her children, and meet her friends, and it’s been great. I’ve even tonight got to see my older cousin for the first time in ages.

To read the details, continue on.

Aunt-To-Be, 5th Time Winner!

So, as can be seen by the title, I’m going to be an aunt for the fifth time, come around about the end of August! Yay! Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law, and my younger niece – who announced to me via Skype last Sunday that she was going to be a big sister!

Continue for details and a lovely, heartwarming video….

New Year: 2014

So, it’s the new year. Happy 2014, everyone!

And yes, I know – I haven’t updated since the end of November. There are a few reasons for this.

See reasons, and blog stats!

My Nieces and Nephews

Here’s a picture taken of my nieces and nephews (including Milo) from when my brother’s family was visiting my sister’s on their way to Toronto (they moved there the end of May / beginning of June). From left to right:

Julia (my brother’s daughter): 5 years old
Danny (my sister’s older son): 3 years old
Zoe (my sister’s daughter): 7 years old
Milo (my sister’s younger son): 4 days old (at the time the picture was taken)

Nieces and Nephews: Julia, Danny, Zoe, Milo

My nieces and nephews, taken May 29, 2013.

Aren’t they adorable?

(Posted with permission of their parents.)

😉 tag0

New Nephew: Welcome, Milo!

I’m an aunt again!

My middle sister gave birth to her third child – a boy, Milo Ulysses – yesterday. So Zoe and Danny now have a new brother (thankfully less than nine days after the original due date – only two), and Julia has a new baby cousin.

Here’s just saying: Welcome to the family, Milo!

‘Later!

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Very Happy Birthday To Me! Plus SaR

Yes, it’s my birthday today. And I’ve had a wonderful one. My parents and I went out to the Classic Cafe East this morning for breakfast, then came home and I got my presents. {Hugs Mom & Dad!}

I then spent most of the rest of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon relaxing with Imber, and reading fanfic. (Specifically Vathara‘s story Embers, which though currently in progress [finally starting to near the end!], is a wonderful Avatar: TLA fic – especially for those who like Zuko, Iroh and Toph, and hard, realistic choices.) Then I went out to coffee with a friend, and finally came home and had dinner with my parents, my friend, and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.

It was a really nice, quiet day, and I think it was exactly what I needed. So I’m both happy and content. (As well as tired. Didn’t sleep well last night due to writing high-induced insomnia.)

As well, for those who are interested, I managed to get a full 2 pages written on the re-write of Chapter 8 of Search and Rescue last night. I doubt I’ll write any tonight, but I’m back in writing mode! 🙂

‘Later, all!

😉 tag0

Storage Iron, BP, and Exercise

Just came back from my visit to the doctor (GP). During said visit, I was informed that “storage iron” was not what I thought it was. It turns out it has nothing to do with low iron anemia, the way I thought it did. It’s the reserves of iron in one’s system, and only makes a difference for things like emergency surgery and the like. So, yeah, diet can get to work on that.

With the blood pressure medication I’m on now (Olmetec), my BP is normal; the GP took it and it was 100/70 (you want it to be 120 or less over 80 or less). Yay for normal, but not happy at the thought that I probably have to continue taking the medication. *sighs*

And I’ve been told that to get over the tiredness, I need aerobic exercise. (Well, I think some of it is still depression, but….) So, Dad and I are going to work at taking Sanchy out for more walks. The weather’s getting better (though it was cold today, despite the sun and blue skies… or maybe because of them), so those ought to be more pleasant than Mom’s Saturday walks in the middle of winter. (No matter how much Sanchy enjoyed those as well.) I imagine we’ll probably go to Long Pond (aka the Fluvarium area / Pippy’s Park) again; that’s a nice trail and quite enjoyable. Time to start warming up for that on the treadmill!

‘Later, all!

😉 tag0

Welcome: New Blog Site

First of all, welcome, everyone, to the new site for tag’s Haven. I’d like to thank you all for following me here. Please, feel free to subscribe to my posts – the link is in the sidebar, just under my recent posts.

For those who are new and have followed a link here, Be Welcome! This is the blog where I talk about my life in general, moan and vent about the weather, and pre-publish my fanfic to get comments on it in order to improve it further before it goes to FFNet and tag’s Library for the wide world to see. 😉 (If you want to see the fanfic I’ve put up, links to all of it are available through the Fanfic page, as well as a bit of a summary.)

Over the next little while I’m going to be wandering around the ‘Net, changing the URLs of my blog everywhere I’ve put it up. But there is news, for anyone interested… see below. (Also, question re fic. Sorry, RK fans, not quite ready for updates yet, but have been reviewing and doing a bit more writing….)

Continue for more about me, my family, and fic….

“BiMonthly” Personal Update: Sat. Dec. 10/11

(Okay, so it’s Sunday. It was still Saturday when I wrote this.)

Hey, all.

So… I have apologies to make to everyone. I am terribly sorry that I’ve ended up getting so far behind on my weekly updates. It’s just… well, first I was busy working on getting ready for NaNoWriMo, then November hit and suddenly my stress levels went through the roof. Fans, picture a Sentinel starting to come online without a Guide. That’s what it felt like. My senses were starting to overwhelm me (random note: “whelm” means to cover with water, according to the Scrabble dictionary), particularly sight and hearing, and particularly at work. I’ve been wearing my yellow sunglasses and a bright pink (Fighting Breast Cancer pink) visor to work every day, to try to control the headaches from the CRT screens and the fluorescent lighting. And the noise… don’t get me started. Over the past week and a half or so, I’ve been using an earplug in my left ear (I keep the phone headset on my right) at work. It helps somewhat, but….

I ended up taking a week off work, doctor’s note included, at the end of November to the beginning of December, because my stress level was so high (taking sick days off work due to headaches and nausea, most of which could be put down to stress, and the rest of which could be put down to my senses, which contributed to the stress). It helped a huge amount, though my stress level still isn’t down where I’d like it to be. So, thanks to my lovely training supervisor (who is no longer my supervisor, except in a general sense during the late nights – I got moved to a new team at the beginning of December), I met with the scheduler, and I’ve cut back to 4 days a week, starting today – Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – with slightly reduced hours and generally ending my shift at midnight (on the weekdays) or before 11 (on the weekends). (Except on the weekend after Christmas, which is bound to be busy – but given I’ve actually got Christmas Eve and Christmas off, I am not going to complain about that.)

On a lighter, better note, Imber is improving by leaps and bounds! She regularly comes up to the main floor of the house – she’s even been known to do so when I’m sleeping in my room – and while she still growls and snarls at Thor, the two of them spent last night in an uneasy truce (punctuated occasionally by said growls and snarls) on my bed. In fact, she is up here in the living room, where I’m typing this out, draped over my forearms asking for scritches, and generally making it hard to write. (Scratch that – Dad just came up, and made a remark, “Look at that baby!” and Imber rolled forward onto the arm of the chair. She doesn’t mind the other animals – except Thor – seeing her lying on her back, but Dad is a different matter. Not that she dislikes him, she’s just wary of someone so tall.)

So, back to the somewhat gloomy, but getting hopeful stuff: We’re looking to get me a local psychologist (though I’ve still got Dr. Garling on consult for a bit, in case it doesn’t work out) and I’ve got an appointment just before Christmas at the START Clinic, recommended to me by my Aspie friend (whom I’ve only seen once this past month! *pouts*), which will hopefully lead to a semi-rapid official diagnosis of Asperger’s. (The alternative is waiting 1-2 years to see a qualified psychiatrist, then waiting more time for the team to be assembled to render the diagnosis….) I’m also seeing an occupational therapist who has a very good method for working on getting me to focus on dealing with feeling unwell, and who is trying to get a consult with a specialist in sensory over-stimulation. (No guarantees on that one, but it’s worth a try!) Hoping the combination of these factors will get things resolved with reasonable rapidity – or at least get things on the road to being resolved. Dealing with mental health is, unfortunately, a years-long process.

Family news is, unfortunately, not as good. A few of you already know this (my family, namely), but my “adopted” aunt Gloria was admitted to hospital on Monday. She’s been fighting cancer (uterine and stomach, I believe) for several years, and it’s gotten fairly bad. They don’t think that she’ll live to see Christmas. She’s going to be going into Palliative Care as soon as there’s a bed free. Mom flew down to Toronto on Thursday, staying with Daphne’s friend, to see her, and is currently on her flight back here.

Hm. What other good news do I have to break the gloom?

Well, Daphne’s got her audiology hours finished, is waiting impatiently on the Praxis scores (they were supposed to be up last week), and has only her final anatomy exam, on Tuesday, to complete her anatomy course. She’s got paying work for the rest of the time she’s here in St. John’s, at least. I’ve had two interviews for more clerical type jobs (one with RONA, one with the Canadian Red Cross), and continue to send out resumes. Even with the problems I’ve been having, I’ve been able to continue to enjoy Scrabble Wednesdays, and this past week spent Tuesday evening (before and during making dinner) making cookies for the group. They were much appreciated by the family, at least, as well as the one member of the Scrabble group who decided to start nibbling before I had to leave at 12:30, and I found even the burnt ones quite addictive.

A wonderful link from my aunt:
Man With Autism Absolutely Stuns an Entire Crowd

Also, a Happy Belated Birthday to .

Thanks for your patience and continuing friendship, everyone.

‘Later, all!
😉 tag0

Weekly Update: Friday Oct. 07/11

So, this past week.

Well, turns out that Dad got cashews when he went shopping last Friday, so my friend and I had Oriental Chicken with cashews. Was good, and there were a couple of servings left over for lunch this past week.

The weekend was fairly quiet – nothing much happened, really. I read a bit, relaxed, did nothing much… it was nice. Mom and I did go out shopping for a rain jacket and shoes on Sunday – found a really nice, light jacket and a pair of good, black shoes with velcro “laces” – I’m a match for Julia now! *G*

Not a lot happened Monday – just went to work/class, did a few things there (though not much, because we’ve had ID troubles all week – see more on that below), and started learning the basics of the Loyalty program. Got 92.5% on my final Wireless test – yay!

Tuesday… well, Tuesday during the day was pretty much the same as Monday. Tuesday night, however, I found a link to CBC’s Canada Writes contest and decided that there was no way I wasn’t going to participate. Actually started writing the story I plan to enter today.

Wednesday again, went much the same. Did okay on my Loyalty test (86.something%) and got my schedule for the next couple of weeks. Sort of. Again, see below for details on what’s been going on with that. But I was due to be working the floor Friday and Saturday from 3:30pm to midnight, and next week Tuesday through Friday, same thing (though I had put in a shift request form to get Tuesdays off, because I have the Asperger’s Group meetings the second Tuesday of every month), and the week after Monday through Friday, same thing.

Wednesday night I had my phone appointment with Dr. Garling. It went well – I was able to tell him all about what happened last week (the bad and the good things) and how I handled the bad things, and we were able to discuss the books I found (ref. Update Fri. Sept 23rd). It went well.

Yesterday… ah, yesterday.

First of all, yesterday was cold. Today was worse, but yeah, winter weather is starting to hit.

Secondly, I (well, Mom, but that should hopefully be fixed now) got an email to say that the Asperger’s Group meeting this coming week would be Wednesday, rather than Tuesday. Hmph. As Dad pointed out, changing schedules like that is not the best thing to do to anyone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder… and it also screwed up my next week’s schedule (which has thankfully been ironed out, because I told Heather – our trainer – about it as soon as I got in to work). I wrote an email back about that (not the ASD stuff, but the work stuff), because this coming week we’re going to be discussing relationships – friendships and dating – and it’s an important topic, one I really, really don’t want to miss.

So, then, on to work.

We were due in at work at 4:30 to get certified, and then go on the floor. We got in there… and discovered that A) Adam, the only male left in our group of 4 students, had evidently decided not to come back; and B) we didn’t have our IDs set up for the live environment system, meaning we couldn’t go on the phones. So no certification, and no floor work.

So we shadowed (listened to other people taking calls) for a few hours, then had a “huddle” – an hour-long meeting – with our new supervisor, who seems very nice. Then we were free to leave, so Dad came and got me and drove me home at about 8:30 or thereabouts. *shrugs* We were also told to come back for 5:30 tonight, rather than our scheduled 3:30, because our supervisor wasn’t going to be in until 5. That was fine, a bit more time before I had to face the phones.

So, I get into work today to discover that Suze – the other newbie in our class – was shadowing. News? Our IDs still aren’t live. *sighs heavily* Which means that really, all we can do is shadow. So we shadow for about 2-1/2 hours, then have another hour-long huddle, and head back home after that. We were informed there was really no point in coming in tomorrow (Saturday) because the Rogers guys (it’s Rogers Wireless we’re working for, so they’re the ones who have to set up our IDs in the live environment, because they’re Rogers programs, not Sykes) aren’t working the weekend – or Monday, seeing as it’s Thanksgiving.

We were told that we could come in for about 3 hours (minimum) on Monday to do some more shadowing, and both Suze and I are going to do that – go in at 1 and shadow for a few hours.

Other than that… the plan is that we’re having family Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday (Tony, Anna and Julia will be coming over, I believe) – with pumpkin pie as an option for dessert, yum! (I love pumpkin pie with – or even without! – whipped cream….) Tomorrow I think I’m going to make another try at the Margaret Mews Library, now that I know exactly where it is. Hopefully it won’t be too cold out (though compared to Toronto’s winter weather, St. John’s is mild – there’s windchill, yes, but it’s rarely below -10°C, if that), and there might be sun. (Hey, it was sunny today while some light rain and hail were coming down!)

The rest of the week – well, I’ve mentioned that I’ll be working Monday for a few hours. We really, really hope that our IDs will be live by 3:30 on Tuesday, and I’ll be working Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the afternoon and night. Despite the fact I’m uncertain about my ability to bridge for renewals and upgrades, I’m rather looking forward to getting on the floor and starting to answer calls myself.

Anyway, to those of you in Canada, I really hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. To those outside, have a wonderful weekend, and a good week to come!

‘Later, all!
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Weekly Update: Friday Sept. 30/11

So, it turns out that Tony and Anna had a couch-surfer from New Zealand this past weekend, so on Friday night, we looked after Julia while they took him downtown to be Screeched In. I slept well Friday night – I even slept in! – and woke up to Julia and Mom in the morning.

Had a good, relaxing Saturday. Not much happened; I read a bit, relaxed, read fic… and in the evening, went to see “Dying Hard”, my cousin Mikaela’s show.

Gods. I sent out the link to my review on Sunday, but… man. The show was intense. I really enjoyed it.

Sunday was mostly quiet, but I ended up meeting the guy from the Asperger’s group that I clicked with. (It turned out I’d been waiting for him to contact me, and he’d been waiting for me to contact him – but he had my phone number, and only Daphne had his info.) We met up at Tim Horton’s at 3:30, and before we knew it, it was 6:30! Had to call Mom and Dad as we were leaving to let them know I hadn’t disappeared. The two of us just have so many similar experiences and manifestations….

Monday morning, I discovered that the cocker, Quixote, had peed behind Imber’s litter box. (It was definitely a dog, and Sancho won’t walk on the laminate that is the floor of my “main suite”.) Turns out he’s also done some peeing on the floor of the den, which he knew he wasn’t allowed to do – and it wasn’t kidney problems, he was choosing to do it. As a result, Monday afternoon, Mom and Dad went to the vet and had Don Quixote de la Rancho put down. Sancho and the parents miss him, but they’re adjusting.

Had an issue at the end of work that upset me Monday evening, but was able to talk it out with Mom and Dad. However, I was really upset and crying, and I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat.

Aside from getting 96% on the weekly assessment test on Tuesday, nothing much happened Tuesday and Wednesday. Just went to work, came home, and crashed early because I wasn’t feeling too well. Took a few cups of hot lemon and honey Wednesday and Thursday.

Yesterday (Thursday) I was feeling even worse (still just the sore throat, luckily), so grabbed some Strepsils, and took a drink of cranberry cocktail to help with the throat. It’s still sore today, but much better than it was yesterday morning.

Yesterday I also had coffee/tea (well, hot chocolate) at Timmy’s with the guy from the Asperger’s group again – though this time I set my watch alarm so I wouldn’t be late for dinner – and he’s coming over tonight for dinner. *shrugs* We’ve just clicked so well….

Today was fine – somewhat warm and muggy, though. Work went fairly well, and going to have Oriental Chicken and Cashews with rice (and without cashews) for dinner and chat some more. Watch us still be chatting when Mom and Dad get home from dinner out!

Dying Hard: An Award-Winning One Woman Play

Tonight I went to see the performance of my cousin’s play, Dying Hard. It’s based on the book of the same name by noted anthropologist Elliott Leyton, professor of anthropology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, about the miners in the town of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland – miners who suffered and died from cancer and silicosis got from working in the fluorspar mines, and their wives. Those of you who have read yesterday’s weekly update saw some links about the play, but this was the first time I saw it. I won’t be posting this review behind an LJ-Cut, because I want everyone to read it.

The play consists of the verbatim responses to the interviews given by six of the subjects of the book, four of them miners and two of them wives. Their stories are powerful in and of themselves, because all the ones chosen by Mikaela (my cousin) faced their fates with strength, and weren’t afraid to prompt laughs – even with the subject matter, the play had the audience laughing at numerous parts.

The order in which they progress is also powerful – two miners, one of the wives, then the other two miners and the second wife, who had already become a widow by that time. And I hadn’t realized before just how versatile Mikaela could be with her body language, and her face: she became those characters, using only a prop or two for each, even taking on their dialect (which made those of us in the audience unaccustomed to the thicker Newfoundland accents listen even more carefully to the first character) in a way that really got the essence of who they were across.

The play took place in the basement theatre of the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, a small and fairly intimate theatre. Several songs were playing leading up to the play, including “The Chemical Worker’s Song (Process Man)” by Great Big Sea, from their album “up” – all focusing on the plight of miners in the developing industrial world. It added something to the atmosphere, I think.

I won’t describe the play in detail – it’s really something that has to be experienced to be understood, because it’s very much a visual and audial experience, and one that I think would be cheapened if I were to write it down. All I can say was that it was exceedingly powerful – so much so that as the lights faded after the widow’s part, one member of the audience (no idea who – we were sitting in the front row) breathed, “Wow!” That really said it all, I think.

Both last night and tonight were fully sold out; she’s going on to show the play in twenty more locations around the island over the next month or so, and she’s also going to be giving talks in high schools and junior highs about sociology and the means of passing on culture and history by means of stories and things such as theatre.

The play was first performed last year, in 2010, as part of the Fringe Festivals, which is where it won at least some of the aforementioned awards. Given the performance I saw tonight, it definitely deserves them. Mikaela mentioned in an interview she gave (the one with WAM, see link below) that while the stories were harsh and unpleasant, in terms of what happened to them, she wanted people to come away from the experience of watching the play with a feeling of hope and strength, the way the subjects had faced their fates. I think she definitely succeeded. And the order in which the characters appear plays a role in this, as well as the elements of humour from each of them. You might think that the widow’s story is the saddest – and in a way it is, if any of the stories can be said to be sadder than any other. They’re all facing death, after all. But at the same time, the widow spent a wonderful life with her husband while he lived, and she herself talks about the strength that everyone has shown facing this, and that really comes across.

Mikaela: Congratulations on succeeding in your aims for “Dying Hard”. You really did a magnificent job.

Links for some further information:
Here’s her interview on CBC WAM (Weekend Arts Morning).
Here’s a The Telegram article (for those who don’t know, The Telegram is the St. John’s newspaper).
Another newspaper article, from The Southern Gazette.
And one from the Calgary Herald.
Dying Hard: Industrial Carnage in St. Lawrence Newfoundland by Elliott Leyton at Amazon.ca, at Chapters/Indigo, and at Amazon.com

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Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 23/11

Because this past week was so busy, and I recorded most things, I’m going to put it behind an LJ Cut.

Continue reading

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 09/11

And… it’s Friday again!

Well, it’s been a long week, despite the fact that Labour Day was on Monday (thus no work). I must admit that I’m rather glad it’s Friday, and not just because I got paid this morning (;)). During this week, I have discovered that I am (again) low-iron anemic (which may explain part of why I’ve ended up so tired the last week and a half or so), and Imber has gotten braver at following me out of my room.

Work has gone well. I’m finding that despite my tiredness, I’m enjoying the training – in large part because our trainer, Heather, is very enthusiastic and tries to make things interesting for us. (Glitter. Glitter everywhere. *snrks*) We’ve been learning this week about phone manufacturers (if you want a durable cellular phone, Samsung, Apple, or Nokia are your best bets), and about phones themselves. We’ve started learning about other products as well, and some of the service plans Rogers offers.

Hm. Other than that… my niece was here until Tuesday afternoon. We had a reasonably good weekend, though the weather has gotten a bit more towards “St. John’s normal” (i.e. colder and greyer) this week – though today ended up warm (to me) and sunny…. Note that the temperatures in St. John’s do feel a bit cooler than the same temperatures in Toronto, probably because of the difference in humidity and how it reacts. Not that I mind! (No, the only thing I mind is the fact that the training room’s air conditioner has to be broken – Heather insists it’s 21°C and we’re all freezing, or nearly so!)

I’ve lost some weight since I got here, which is good. The everyday walking I’m doing is helping with that, definitely.

What else? Nothing much, really. I’ve been busy with work and with dealing with my exhaustion, and cooking the occasional dinner. I’m really hoping that I’ll get some writing done this coming week, because I haven’t written a word in weeks, and it’s beginning to really get to me.

The good news is that my sister-in-law has been dragged into NaNoWriMo, and we’re going to meet up Sunday so she can pick my brain about it. Ought to be fun – window-shopping followed by coffee/tea!

Oh… and I’ve gotten into Twitter. Not going to use it much, but if any friends of mine out there are also on and want to follow me… there’s a link over to the side!

Hope you’ve all had a good week as well!

‘Later,
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Rant (Because I Need To)

*sigh* I know I haven’t posted since the end of NaNo (which means you didn’t hear about the birth of my first nephew, Dec. 19th!), but right now, I need to rant, and I can’t chat to anyone about it. So if you want to read my rantings about today at work and the cleaners and people who can’t listen to directions, click on the link. Otherwise, hope you’re having a good winter!

Work, the Cleaners and Everything

I’m An Aunt Again!

My brother’s eldest child, Julia Ivy, was born early this morning. Haven’t yet spoken to the proud parents (they’re exhausted – my sister-in-law was in labour for over 24-hrs. before they did a C-section), but got the news from the proud grandmother. *g*

I have another niece! *bounce, bounce, bounce*

😉 (the very happy) tag0

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(Long Overdue) Update

First of all, I apologize for the long (very long) delay in updating this LJ, not to mention the dearth of updates for several months before the last post. RL took over, in a rather unpleasant fashion, and this was one of the results.

So, a few different updates (long ones!)….

First of all, the major reason behind things:

Health Update: Depression and Nerve Damage (Unable to Walk = No Fun!)

New Family Member (& General Update)

Whoa! Been a while….

First I got distracted, then I got sick, then I got busy (and distracted), and then I ended up with the November blahs. Yeah, it’s been a long few months. (Though the “busy” part was fun – I had one of my best friends over from Scotland for a week, and we had a blast!)

Getting over the blahs now, and I have a wonderful announcement!

I now have a brand new first cousin-once-removed; my cousin Alain and his wife Claudia had Kaleb James one week ago today! The second of the new generation of O’Dea-Judds (actually, that was my place for our generation…) – my niece Zoe – whose first birthday was on the 9th – being the oldest. (Though we Ontario family members only found out about him on Sunday….) I have even more reasons to look forward to my short XMas visit to St. John’s now!

So, welcome to the family, Kaleb!

Back to general update…. While Loui (the aforementioned Scottish friend) was here, she got me hooked on Supernatural. *sigh* So, now I have another new fandom – and another one I’m writing stories for!

Yes, I have two Supernatural stories underway. One will (most likely) be published in Blackfly Presses Chinook Vol. 7 (debuting at MediaWest*Con 2007), and the other will be ‘net published. More details to follow….

Now, I’ve got to catch up on everything from… what? August?! Yeesh! I know what I’m doing this weekend (aside from the CPR/AED refresher course on Saturday…).

Later, all!

😉 tag0

General & Fic Updates

Well, went and volunteered for the 12-hour Saturday shift this week (partly since I’ll be going to MediaWest*Con 26 next weekend, so off work for three shifts; and partly because we’re still two people short, though we have a new S/O starting next week). So I’m here at work, on the one Canadian long weekend of the school year that the boarders aren’t sent home…. *rolls eyes*

In general, I’ve been having a fairly good month. Starting with my birthday weekend (*g*), and then the fact that I’m managing to get some writing done.

And speaking of that….

I have finally, finally managed to get started on Chp. 5 of RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade – which I’ve been trying to do since… gah! October! In fact, got Part 1 of Chp. 5 written and finished yesterday morning.

Still working on those vignettes for ravenstormfire, merula31, and Anon. (So don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten….)

Getting some more work done on that odd SF RuroKen AU….

And in other news:

My youngest sister’s Commencement (graduation from the Bachelor’s program at Memorial University, St. John’s, NFLD) is on Wednesday. Parents are there, and she flew down (from here) on Friday. One of my cousins has her Commencement the same day, so it works out well.

Only 12 more days until the parents, middle sister and niece Zoë come up to T.O. for the week. And that Saturday (two weeks from today) is for Mom & me to spend all on our own… I’m looking forward to that.

*smile*

Later, all!

😉 tag0

Wonderful Weekend!

Well, I had an absolutely wonderful weekend! Not just Friday, but the rest of it as well….

Saturday, I spent most of the day with my parents; we went and got my countertop dishwasher (gods, I’m so glad I’ve got that now!), and then that evening I went and got my present from my brother – an Obus-Forme body pillow! I slept quite well Saturday night….

Sunday, we had our family brunch, and then I went off to hethos‘s for the get-together with my friends; we had a great time. hethos told us about her trip to Japan, and we chatted about a bunch of different stuff, and I got even more pressies! Including (ready?) the Stargate SG-1: Season 4 DVD Box Set!

So all in all, I had a really great weekend; it seemed almost as though my birthday lasted the entire three days!

Well, given that I’m heading off to dinner with the rest of Blackfly Presses tonight, I’ve got to head to bed (and my nice, comfy body pillow).

TTYL!
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It’s My Birthday And I’ll Laugh If I Want To…

Laugh (with delight) if I want to,
Laugh (with delight) if I want to…
It’s my birthday and I’ll laugh (with delight) if I want to;
You would laugh (with delight) too if it happened to you….

I had an absolutely marvelous day today! A gorgeous e-card plus LJ entry mention from mickeyk started off the day (around midnight at work – or it might have been just before going to work, actually…) very pleasantly. Then two of the teachers who come in by me every morning before I go off shift brought me presents – a gorgeous miniature rose (Parade Rose) bush from one, and a delightful wooden pinwheel with a bead that makes a neat noise when it spins, that I’m sure will provide myself and the cats with hours of entertainment from the other…

Then I went to breakfast with most of the family here in T.O. (my youngest sister, my parents, my aunt, and one of my adopted aunts), and found out that my parents are getting me a countertop dishwasher for my apartment! I mean, I put an apartment-size dishwasher on my wish list, but it was more one of those “I’m hoping I’ll get it someday” things…. But I’m going with Mom to pick it up tomorrow morning! (Which does mean that I’ve got to do a bit of cleaning up of my apartment tonight/tomorrow morning, admittedly….)

Then I came home and slept for a while, and then went out to dinner with all of the above plus the other adopted aunt (who’s a teacher, so she couldn’t be at breakfast). And I got roses, sheets for my bed that actually fit (being so tall, I have an extra-long bed, which is a nuisance when you only have regular twin sheets), and a gorgeous sweater/cloak with a lovely cat pin. (As well as much needed funds and gift certificates!)

I’ll be posting pictures of the miniature rosebush, the sweater/cloak, and me in my birthday finery when I get them (I’ll edit and add a link to the gallery in this post).

All in all, I had a wonderful birthday, so I’m (as it says under “Mood”) ecstatic! And I’ve still got the get-together with hethos and our other friends on Sunday to look forward to!

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More Rambles…

Well, there’s another week gone. We now have one more person working with us, so we’re only short one person at work now…

My birthday is in… actually, one week! (Plus 5 hrs. and 40 mins. from the time noted of posting…) My parents will be in town (and my sister is currently in town), so the four of us plus my aunts will be going out to dinner at the Summit Grill (nice, reasonably good/well-priced restaurant that’s close enough to everyone). Then, on Sunday (the 7th) I’ll be getting together with hethos and our group of friends, something that I’m really looking forward to – I haven’t seen most of them since last October, and that’s way too long a time!

The cats are doing well, the family’s doing well (as far as I’m aware) – my brother’s even picked out his house – and I’m feeling reasonably good. (Except I’m ready to shoot my knee – it might make it feel better – but we won’t talk about that.)

Now, I just need to get to work on writing – the beginning of the week wasn’t the best (I got 4 hours of sleep – at most – both Sunday and Monday, so Tuesday I spent pretty much the entire day, between finishing my breakfast at 0815 hrs. and getting dinner around 2140 hrs. sound asleep…), and I haven’t been doing that much since then, either. *sigh* I’m working on it…

And once FFNet lets me log in, I’m going to post the Rurouni Kenshin haiku Wolf and Dragon that I wrote about 8 months ago…

Later, all!

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Rambles of Week…

Boy, it’s been a long week…

We’re exceedingly short-handed at work at the moment (4 people covering 6 shifts’-worth), because two of my colleagues quit (one to go back to university, the other to move back to Hamilton to be with his grandkids). So I worked last Saturday (12-hr shift); the only reason I’m not working this Saturday as well is that I have a prior commitment. I’m probably working next Saturday, though… (yes, I volunteered – yes, I’m a masochist… but hey, the pay is good!). Then this morning at 12:40 (0040 hrs.), I got a call from my supervisor saying that his wife was in labour, so he wouldn’t be in today (and apparently the baby wasn’t due until May!). So ended up working an extra hour this morning; luckily, the students were elsewhere for the morning so all I had to deal with were phone calls, working out the new PA system, letting students in who forgot they were supposed to wear their formal uniform today and didn’t have their swipe cards, an irritated piano tuner…

*shrug*

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Work

Flying On A Jet Plane…

Well, I suppose an Airbus 319 is close enough…

Okay, here we go – the story of my trip from about the time I left you 9 hours ago…

The boarding pass for my flight said Gate 4. Given that last year, the pass said Gate 4B, and it ended up being Gate 4A1 (which is a floor below Gates 1-5 & 4B), at about 1:15 pm (more or less) I checked the gate with Customer Service, who confirmed that it was definitely Gate 4.

About 5 minutes later, an announcement comes over the PA system to say that flight AC 999 from San José to Toronto was leaving from Gate 4A1, as opposed to Gate 4. I had to laugh.

Turns out that we were actually leaving from Gate 4A3, but since that’s just across a small room from 4A1, the only problem were the crowds (Gate 4A1 was actually a Taca flight going to Guatemala, and Gate 4A2 was the Lacsa flight going San Salvador-Toronto).

Spent the 25-30 minutes waiting for my particular boarding call chatting to a man who was on my flight; he’d been in Costa Rica for 9 days, mostly on business that had involved also going to Belize and Guatemala. We had a pleasant conversation.

Then, when I got into my seat, I was seated next to an older couple who’d been on vacation. We got to talking about our trips, a bit of where we’d gone (they’d visited Arenal – one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes – and actually had a clear view of the top the first morning they were there), and then got a surprise.

Turns out that they live about only two blocks south and six to eight blocks east of me!

We definitely had some turbulence, both taking off (a bit, not nearly as much as we did landing in CR) and during the flight, but it didn’t really bother me that much. (Experienced flyer here…) The flight was fairly enjoyable overall, and I actually managed to (*gasp*) get another page and a half of RuroSen written!

When we arrived at Pearson (we reached the gate at 8:45 pm), it turned out that we were actually in the main building of Terminal 1 (as opposed to the temporary building out in the middle of the runway area, which takes a 10-15 shuttle bus ride to reach), at Gate 155. Went through Customs, which took about 10 minutes or so – I was right behind the couple I’d been sitting next to – part of which was used up being entertained by the very excited dog sniffing for drugs (he was bouncing around all over the place!). Got my luggage fairly quickly (my largest suitcase came by just as I reached the carousel, so I managed to grab it quickly, and then it was another rotation and a bit to get my other suitcase), and was through the last checkpoint and out by the taxis just before 9:15 pm. Less than half an hour all told – better than my last two trips from CR! (The first one, one of my suitcases had been grabbed and moved over to the claim area in the back, so I waited at the carousel for about 40 minutes for it to show up before going to report it lost; last year, I ended up having my suitcases checked – random spot check, I suspect – before I could leave the baggage claim area.)

Got home half an hour ago, and after about 30 seconds of staring at me (Dad, you were right on the timing!) I had both cats coming up to me for attention; right now, Mitzy’s on my lap (trying to make sure that I’m not paying too much attention to the computer), and Aspen is stretched out over the back of my chair (her favourite place to be when I’m sitting there).

Well, I’m tired; going to quickly eat my dinner (the sandwich Mom packed for me), put away a few things, and then go curl up in bed. Off to breakfast/brunch/coffee tomorrow with one aunt, and then the same again with another on Friday (we’re not going all together due to scheduling difficulties), to tell them all the details and show all the pictures… *G*

RuroSen Chapter 3 will be posted tomorrow. RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade Chapter 3.4 will most likely be posted either Friday or Saturday.

Later, all!

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Cats & Rambles

This is what is called posting for the sake of posting. Well, mostly, anyway…

Regarding Cats: Mitzy (see entry pic) is an adorable little Burmese cat. And I do mean “adorable”, despite the fact that some of her habits (like trying to lie on my face when I’m attempting to sleep, and sucking on stuffed animals, electric blankets, etc., and licking the sides of the plastic laundry hampers, for example) drive me crazy.

Unfortunately, over the past two or three weeks she has developed yet another habit that drives me nuts.

I’m used to Burmese lying across my shoulders – that was one of Brightspot’s favourite perches, as it happens. And Mitzy generally liked to be lifted up to hang over one shoulder facing behind me. But lately, she’s been climbing onto my shoulders while I’m sitting in my chair, and draping her forepaws and the front part of her torso over my chest, for all the world as if she’s reading what’s on my computer screen. And it’s driving me bonkers! *sigh*

Of course, Mitzy’s bonkers anyway… Sweet-tempered, but definitely “not all there” at times…

As for other things:

First of all, a belated Happy 23rd to my sister Daphne…

Secondly, a belated Happy B-Day to stormheller!

Thirdly… hoping to have another chapter/part of either RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade or RuroSen: A Strange Partnership to post soon…

Fourth – anyone know any good ways to deal with headaches without taking drugs? (Currently having the occasional dose of Tylenol Migraine, since it seems to help, and I can’t have anything with aspirin due to the medication I take for my TMJ/osteoarthritis.) Other than sleep, that is. I’ve had a fairly good winter so far with respect to headaches, but lately… *sigh*

Fifth: I’m leaving for Costa Rica for just over two weeks on Monday the 20th. Will probably upload the occasional update (or maybe more frequent – I like Costa Rica, and I generally tend to relax there)… I’m really looking forward to it. And I may even get slightly warmer weather than last year, given that this year, I’m going down about 2 weeks later… (And will hopefully not come back to a nasty snowstorm here in T.O., given it will be into the second week of March by that time…)

Okay, that’s about it for now…

Talk to you soon!
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Update: Life, the Universe, and Everything

Well, it’s been a while since my last post here; been rather busy with various things, including visiting my sister and new niece in Halifax (went from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4). I’ll be putting up some pictures in a new gallery – probably this weekend, I expect.

Work is going well, though I must admit I can’t wait until next Thursday (last day of school until the second week of January – Yay!). Having a bit of a problem with strange dizzy spells, but they aren’t really interfering with work and I’m going to see the doctor about them next week.

In terms of writing… well, I haven’t done much. It seems the November blahs waited until after I came back from visiting Sonja and Zoë to pop up, and I’ve been pretty apathetic about it since. (It doesn’t help that I’ve been devouring a new fandom’s worth of fics, either…) However, I do plan to get back in the groove either today or tonight at work. And good news for those waiting for new parts to Edge of the Blade/RuroBatt and RuroSen: A Strange Partnership; I plan to post Chp. 2 of the latter by this weekend, and Chp. 3.3 of the former at some point next week.

Plus, I’ve got another new RK fic on the go – this one based (with permission – in fact, she’s beta-reading it for me, as usual) on an idea of Vathara’s. Major AU; it’s an science fiction scenario that has some… interesting elements to it. Including the fact that Saitô and Kenshin were on the same side in the war they fought… So far, I have the prologue, Chp. 1, and the beginnings of Chp. 2 written. Do people want me to start posting it now, or would you prefer to wait until I’ve got more done?

Other than that, I’ve seen Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and must say that it’s definitely a better quality movie than Prisoner of Azkaban was; while they did cut out scenes from the book, of course (the movie being over 2-1/2 hrs. long as it is), they managed to hit all the important parts. (Unlike PoA, which didn’t even establish the identities of the Marauders or what Sirius did to Snape with respect to Remus! Those are some of the most important parts of the book! Sorry, that just ticks me off, that they left that out…)

And on Thursday, going to see Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with my adopted aunt. Looking forward to it; that was one of my favourites as a child.

Later, all!
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Rambles and RuroSen/Sentinel Query…

Well, it was my aunt’s birthday yesterday. Went home from work, got some writing done, then went over to her apartment to give her the gift from myself and two of my sibs. Had a nice chat with her and got to relax for a bit before returning home to sleep.

Going to an Irish Tenors concert with her and one of my adopted aunts tonight – I’m rather looking forward to it. Hoping that I won’t have to leave for work until after the concert is over and done with… Will probably write an entry on the concert either tonight or tomorrow.

Now, I know someone wanted me to get cracking on posting RuroSen, which I certainly don’t mind doing – but I need to have an issue resolved first. Any Sentinel fans, I welcome responses to the following:

Opening Statement: All right, we know that (in fanon definitely, and there’s more than a hint of it even in canon) Guides serve as anchors for their Sentinels’ senses – a baseline, as it were. Or at least, that’s the variation of fanon that I’m using.
Problem: In what way can a Sentinel anchor a Guide? Please note that I do not want to use the “Guide as empath with no barriers” variation – I’m trying to do something else. What Guide traits (and/or traits that Blair and Kenshin have in common, for those fans of both) would require a Sentinel’s help to control?
Notes: Any and all help is appreciated, and credit will be given for any suggestions/help I use.

Thanks!

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Safe & Sound…

Well, I arrived back safe and sound Sunday morning, in time to go to brunch with my aunts here in Toronto. Got home, and crashed until a couple of hours before work.

Somehow, while I was gone, Toronto had its spring and jumped straight to summer. My sister was saying Sunday morning (it was at least 28C, and the humidity made it even worse) that it wasn’t late enough yet in the year for the nights to be hot enough to cause a problem for me at work (my uniform for the school year is a long-sleeve shirt and black pants). Well, she was wrong about that… at 9pm here, the temperature was 26C and the humindex was 29C… Luckily, we’ve been given permission to wear the polo/golf (short-sleeve) shirts that are part of our summer uniform, so tonight should hopefully be better than last night (as I didn’t know before I left for work that I could wear the short-sleeve shirt).

Emotionally… I’d have to say in some ways, I’m still numb/coping. *sigh* It’s going to take a while.

Coping…

Well, my grandmother’s funeral was yesterday.

The service was lovely (the priest was excellent, which is not something I’d say very often – I’m not Christian, much less Catholic – but he gave a very tolerant homily, and made us all laugh more than once), and then we had a reception back at the house for family and friends, which was surprisingly easy for me to handle, despite the fact that I hate social situations like domestic cats hate water (or perhaps even worse!). The sun was shining brightly, and it was the warmest day St. John’s had seen so far this year… the priest joked that Granny must have more pull than he did, to have arranged the weather so well. She would have loved it.

I’m coping. Writing definitely helps, so I’ll be doing more of that today, tomorrow, etc. Even likely to be doing some work on original stuff…

Going back to Toronto early Sunday morning (will, in fact, be arriving in time to go to brunch with my aunts).

Later…

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