Update: Apt, Exercise, Camp NaNo July ’15

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….

Read onwards….

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!

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

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

Quick Update and Imber

Hey, everyone.

First of all, sorry about going silent the last couple of weeks. I’m afraid that they haven’t been the best (last week I was at home Thursday and Friday with nasty migraine and feeling sick), and I couldn’t really think of much to say. I hope I’m getting things back on track now (certainly working on doing that with work and my NaNo novel)… but that’s not entirely why I’m writing.

As you might guess, looking at the subject line, I’m writing about Imber. My adorable, lovable, so brave kitten.

Who came upstairs – to the kitchen – to meet me when I came home from work tonight.

I was stunned. It’s still something of an effort to get Imber to come up to the den (1/2 level above my bedroom and unfinished “living room”); to get her upstairs to the main level, I’ve been carrying her every afternoon. (We have to go past other cats and Sancho, you see.)

Well, I get in this evening, and I come over to the door from the hall to the kitchen, glance downstairs to see that Dad’s still working… and Imber’s looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs. I crouched down and beckoned for her to come up, and lo and behold… that’s exactly what she did! She even came onto the kitchen floor from the stairs and over to me, so I lifted her up and cuddled her for a minute. Then I put her down on the kitchen table, she got down, and headed downstairs. But it’s a breakthrough! She’s never come up on her own before!

And it means a lot personally as well. She misses me when I’m gone, and waits impatiently for me to get back. She’s been mewing when I get in since about two weeks ago, when I had a call that lasted until 2:15 so was about 45 minutes late getting home. The next night, Imber was crying for me as soon as she heard the key in the lock.

Well, I’ve got to work on winding down now, but I wanted to let you all know that I’m not dead, and to share the marvelous news about Imber. I’m bouncing about it, and how I’m going to get to sleep tonight I don’t know….

‘Later, all!
😉 tag0

Posted in Cats, Life in General | Tagged , , | Leave a reply

Imber’s Adventures, Part The Second

Yes, she’s had another adventure – this one a lot more relaxing and pleasing for me than the last! Read all about it behind the LJ-cut (put because some people – for some reason that utterly escapes me – might not be interested in reading about my adorable little kitten)!

First of all, a little diagram of the floors of the house… it’s got four “half-floors”:

___2nd Fl_____
              ---
                _____1st Fl______
              ---
____Bsmt______
              ---
                ____SubBsmt______

My room, the “suite/main room” and the laundry room and furnace room are in the “SubBsmt” (sub-basement). The den, Dad’s study, and the downstairs bathroom with the cats’ food is in the “Bsmt”. The living room, the dining room, and the kitchen are on the “1st Fl”, and the rest of the bedrooms and the upstairs bathroom are on the “2nd Fl”. Since Imber and I arrived, she’s mainly stayed down in the sub-basement, mostly in my room, with the occasional foray up to the den (when none of the other animals were there, preferably – which is getting hard now, because the colder weather is setting in, and Thor, whom she hates with a passion, likes the den).

So, as mentioned in my weekly update last Sunday, I’ve started taking Imber up to the living room occasionally. I’m trying to do that a bit every day. A couple of days ago (Thursday night) while I was out at work, Imber apparently wandered up to the den where Mom, Dad and Daph were watching TV three times, including a visit out to the bathroom (the den is right off the stairs leading up from my “main suite”; the bathroom is down a short hall to the back). Good for her!

Well, I got home from work tonight and needed to use the washroom. Looking at Imber, I decided to see if I could coax her out, despite the fact that Thor was in the den and Mew was at the top of the stairs leading from the basement to the kitchen.

To my amazement, it worked! She didn’t even need that much coaxing! I was floored! (In a very, very pleased way, of course.) So she stayed in the washroom with me, then came out, and Mew was down at the bottom of the stairs to the kitchen, watching us. I blocked him with my feet as she slipped carefully around him (not without a hiss or two) and into the den.

Then I started to head up to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate (it’s getting cold here!). After a bit more coaxing, Imber decided to stay up in the den to wait for me; and then, to my astonishment, when I got up the stairs to the kitchen and turned to look, she’d settled in the doorway of the den, right across from Mew, and was just watching me!

At some point while I was waiting for the water to boil, Mew got up and wandered up to the top of the stairs – which luckily kept Sancho (the large dog) from bounding down them as soon as he saw Imber. Everything went surprisingly peacefully, and then when I started downstairs with my drink (and Sancho following me), Imber headed back down to my bedroom.

I’m really, really proud of her right now. She’s been so brave, it’s humbling. She is scared of the other animals, but she put that to one side to follow me. It means a lot. I know I shouldn’t compare her to Brightspot too much (though I still swear she has to be Brightspot’s next life) but that devotion reminds me of my Burmese demon-child. And yet there’s something in there that’s pure Imber, determined to prove herself fully capable to her Mommy-Cat. That cat doesn’t know the meaning of the term “physically handicapped”, and thank goodness for it!

Well, thanks for listening to me ramble on about my kitten. Weekly update coming later today.

😉 tag0

Posted in Cats | Tagged | Leave a reply

Weekly Update: Sunday Oct. 23/11

Okay, here’s the belated update for this past week. Sorry for the delay in getting it out, but, well… it’s been that kind of week, as you’ll read. It’s not going to be very long, because most of this week has been a blur and a half, and I don’t remember specifics.

Hm. In no particular order, the following happened:

Had a very enjoyable Scrabble game on Wednesday with the WAMUN group – I even managed to win a game! Yay me! 😉

Got a detailed response back on my Canada Writes story from my adopted uncle that echoed some things that my sister-in-law and one of my other uncles both said, so I’m planning to do some revising (AKA re-writing) during my free days this week, so I can send it in to the contest by the weekend. (It’s due in by 11:59pm ET on Nov.1.)

Um… brought Imber up to the living room a couple of times. The last time was early this afternoon, and I’m told she stayed up there for about an hour (a whole hour!) without me after I went down for a nap. I was very impressed by this, because she spent last Saturday or Sunday (whichever was the first day up there this past month) shivering the entire time. She even let Dad hold her for a while when I went in to make Mom some hot lemon with honey and answer the phone!

Right, that brings up another thing. Mom’s sick with a cold/the flu. Nasty sore throat, no energy, etc. She’s been sick since Friday (at least).

I have a few more ideas for my NaNo story, and am getting impatiently eager for November to start.

Work is… well, it’s been improved the past two days (yes, I’ve worked seven days in a row, and I’m working again “tomorrow” – Monday), but it was draining me this past week. I was having a lot of trouble with sleeping and depression – and headaches – and that was worrying me. We (my supervisor and I) now have an attack plan for part of what the problem’s been, which is part of the reason why the past two days (Sat. and Sun.) haven’t been too bad. Also, I got another 5 renewals this week in total, so that’s not too bad either. (And no, we don’t get commission on renewals, but we do get point awards, and you can buy things with points.)

We had Julia last night and this morning (Sat/Sun), and Dad, Daphne and I went to breakfast/brunch with her. That was nice. She was very chatty, and she’s started learning her lower-case letters (as opposed to just the capitals). She’s wanting to know how to spell everything even more now. And she was pointing out the various things that appear on my NaNoLand t-shirt, and having a ball doing so. This cheered me up a great deal.

I’ve resumed doing Tai Chi Chuan by myself, and am hoping that once my work schedule stabilizes, I’ll be able to get involved in the St. John’s chapter and actually go to weekly meetings for Tai Chi. I need it, based on the help it’s been so far the past couple of days.

Mom saw a physiotherapist for her rheumatoid arthritis earlier this week, and she might be able to get into a study on it. This would be a good thing, so we’re rooting for that. This might also mean that she wouldn’t have to go down to CR in November.

Huh. I guess there was a bit more to talk about than I thought. Well, that’s good. Hopefully there’ll be more details about what’s going on in my next update, and I’ll have pleasanter things to talk about. (Though some of my points were pleasant enough – like Imber and Mom possibly getting into a study.)

Okay, I’m wiped and really need to get some sleep. *sighs* Can’t wait until I have the seniority to move my schedule down a bit, so that I’d get home by about 9:30 or so. That wouldn’t be too bad. (On the other hand, after midnight, things get fairly quiet….)

‘Later, all!
😉 tag0

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 16/11

Well, it’s been an exciting and surprising quick week for me this week. Third week of training for work (three more to go, and we’re down to six people, from eight), and we had our first weekly assessment on Tuesday. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and the whole class passed. I was the only one to get 100%, so that was a nice bit.

Imber’s been getting braver; she’s starting to go up to the den on her own, rather than waiting for me to coax her. Sancho (the mutt) chased Imber on Wednesday when she had gone up there. *sighs* Imber also has it out for Mouse; for some reason, she seems to dislike Mouse intensely.

In terms of physical health, I seem to be doing well overall. I suspect I’ve lost a bit more weight over the last week, though I don’t have a scale to confirm that. I’ve also felt more energy (especially Tuesday and Wednesday!), so clearly the iron pills are working. Only thing really bothering me (in part because Sykes is a scent-free workplace) is my buggered up right knee and the occasional headache (note that they’re not as frequent). I plan to go to physio for my knee – the doctor’s given me a referral – I’m just waiting for my health insurance to kick in. (Not until 3 months at work, unfortunately!)

Speaking of insurance, I have got on the NLPDP (Newf & Labrador Prescription Drug Plan) but they won’t shell out at all for my anti-depressant (which is one of the two drugs that costs a few hundred dollars for 2-3 months’ worth). They’ll do it if used for neuropathic pain in diabetic patients, but not as an anti-depressant. *sigh*

However, in terms of mental and emotional health… well, honestly, I’m doing a lot better than I have been in a while. One of the reasons I was so pumped up Tuesday and Wednesday was the fact that… well, first of all, the assessment test at work. Secondly, Tuesday night was my first meeting of the Adult Aspergers Support Group – and it went wonderfully. It was… I don’t know how to describe it in short form. It was like meeting someone you’ve known for ages without realizing it. It was seriously relaxing. So I was right bouncy Tuesday and Wednesday.

Other than that… well, we’re suffering the ravages of the approaching Hurricane Maria right now. It made landfall at St. Mary’s Bay at 3:30 our time, and Mom figures it’ll hit here within the half hour (it’s currently ten to five here). The winds following it, though, are due to be the worst of it. Steady winds of 95 km/h with gusts of up to 130 km/h, and the soil here has been softened by the rain we’ve been receiving since the middle of last night (though not as much as they were predicting, because apparently the hurricane is travelling north faster than they thought, and the faster it is, the less rain it drops on the areas it goes over), so there’s concern about the trees. That’s why I’m sending this so early, so that if the power does go out, at least you’ll have received my update on time. It’s fairly important to me to make this as regular as possible.

Anyway, that was my week. How have you been? I very eagerly await the news from you.

‘Later all,
😉 tag0

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,
😉 tag0

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 02/11

Okay, weekly update time. Like I said, I’m going to try to do this every week.

This one’s not a long one; just… it’s been a long, exhausting week, mostly because of the training (the first two and a half days, we were sitting listening to and watching speeches and PowerPoints, and doing paperwork; it’s only in the last couple of days that we’ve started doing things, like training on the systems we’ll be using).

Imber continues to get a bit bolder, and we’re now finding her semi-frequently in the “main room” of my “suite”, or in the laundry room, rather than just in my bedroom. This is a good thing. Now we need to get her up to the level of the den, the basement bathroom, and the food and litter box that are around the bathroom (food inside, to dissuade Quixote, the cocker, from getting at it; litter box(es) outside so that the bathroom can be used). So that’s the project for the next two weeks, I think.

Hm. Not really all that much else to say, save that my younger niece has been staying with us since Wednesday evening, and will be here until/including Monday, since my brother and sister-in-law are camping. And I don’t have to go into work on Monday because it’s Labour Day (though I don’t get paid for it either). Yay, sleep-in time!

*shrugs* If I think of anything else, I’ll add another entry.

See you next week!

😉 tag0

Posted in Cats, Life in General | Tagged , , | Leave a reply

Imber’s “Great Adventure”

If you’re interested in finding out about Imber’s so-called “Great Adventure” (and how scared I was), feel free to read on. Telling it helps exorcise the fear – and express delight at the resolution. Included are some details about taking her on the flight.

Imber’s Great Adventure

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Goold Zoo | Tagged , , | Leave a reply

Major Update

Lots of changes since my last post.

– We now know what’s wrong with my hand (ref: Ugh. Hand Is A Problem. from April). I’ve got a frayed ligament in the wrist. So splint, zinc tablets, and rest.

– Secondly – remember my absence from LJ last summer, when I had trouble walking and the final diagnosis was nerve damage? Well, guess what happened to me the early morning of June 24th. Same symptoms (except for no physical shakiness) – but it’s not the same diagnosis. I’ve had a brain & spine MRI, an electromyograph (AKA nerve conduction test), a chest x-ray, some blood tests, spent 5 days in hospital getting this done… and no one knows what’s wrong. And it’s not got any better. So as of today I’m back on short-term disability, since there’s no way I could respond with any speed in an emergency (I can’t even attempt running), which is a major part of a security officer’s mandate. *heavy sigh*

– Mitzy, my elderly but still active Burmese inherited from my youngest siblings, was put to sleep due to a major chest and stomach lymphoma (cancer) on July 21. Still miss her. She lived a good life, though; she was 15-1/2.

– And introducing Imber, a now 7-month old kitten adopted from Toronto Animal Services on Aug. 1. She’s a grey and cream tabby who is missing half her right hind leg (pretty sure she was born without it). The userpic attached to this post is of her the morning after I brought her home. (“Imber”, FYI, is Latin for “rain storm”. Her coat looks like a storm cloud….)

As for upcoming news:

– One of my best friends, Loui, is going to be visiting for a week at the end of September, four days of which will be spent in Montreal. I’m really looking forward to it.

– Given I’m likely to have some time on my hands for a while, I’m not only looking at possibly doing a university course or two, but have gone and done the inevitable – I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo 2008. I’m planning on doing an original SF novel (tentatively entitled Search & Rescue).

Anyway, that’s basically everything from the last few months. *sigh*

😉 tag0
(working on keeping my mood up)