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Showing posts from 2022

Coming Fully Out - Part I

I'm on a much needed vacation. And I decided to reduce my technology use during it to really unwind. It's my brother's birthday week and he wanted me to come visit. Image by depaulus on Pixabay The only stress I have is that I haven't come out to my father yet as I'm worried how he'll react. He grew up in Catholicism in Northern Quebec in a tiny place that had about as many people as my high school did. He has occasionally said some  homophobic things in the past. One of my friends asked me awhile ago why I even feel the need to tell him about this part of myself and it's partly a yearning for him to know me better. It's also because one day I expect to have a woman in my life that I'll want to introduce to my family. I'd rather not wait until then because I don't want that hanging over the relationship. I don't think it's fair to the person. I also feel like I lost that chance with mom and don't want to lose it with dad too. Part

Scheduling Challenges

I've been meaning to post for awhile, but I was sick for a bit and the fatigue was quite unbearable. Following that, I've had difficulty sleeping full nights or falling asleep at all. I think part of it is that I'm just really excited about my life right now in a way that I haven't been for a very long time.  Scheduling is a constant rework for me. Why? Because life throws curveballs and my goals change as I learn more about themselves, the world, and what fits. The last time I reworked my schedule I did something different; I looked at what I was already doing fairly consistently. Then I looked at what times couldn't be consistent. This let me choose the best days and times for streaming on Twitch and I could already stick to much of the schedule because it was mostly what I was already doing.   I've had to tweak my exercise time due to the hot weather. As Ella Fitzgerald sang, "It's too darn hot!" I lost a week because it was up around 40C at the

Slashing Goals

Lots of updates. Last week was a bit of a tire-ing week. That was terrible and I'm not sorry about it. Declutter I took a slight detour on this goal and decluttered my balcony. I felt it was important for my mental health to have a little outdoor space and it was a quick thing. It's funny how I can dread something that ends up only taking a couple of hours.  I keep putting off listing items because I keep having things to do that take me away from home. I don't like to waste my time or anyone else's. Still, I should just get them up there. I'll feel better and hopefully they won't take to long to get rid of. Goal 1: Put items up on marketplace. [July] Goal 2: Plan next steps in the declutter. Finances My tires have been changed and the winters have been stored. I felt quite unburdened after I got this done. Almost like I was finally getting my shit together. I'm not sure I can really afford the calipers right now with the Bank of Canada changing rates and su

Making Space

So I'm almost ready to start listing some large items for sale to hopefully get some space and cash back. Today though, I did some work on making my balcony a nicer space. I bought a little hand broom to clean up the dirt that got all over. I also got some large planters, which I hope one day will have plants in them. There seems to be a plant shortage for full sun varieties in my area. My timing is impeccable as usual. But I did manage to find some cute little succulents for pots I already had and just this change has me feeling pretty happy. I'm planning to make much better use of the space. I also got a yoga mat for working out there as I thought it could be a nice way to start my days. And I thought I could even use my little practice sword out there. It's a mini fukuro shinai, for those interested. Of course there is definitely going to be some reading, drinking, chilling, and maybe even some ukulele too. This week, I got my tires changed finall

Mega Update + R3 Goals

It's been an odd, but mostly good week for me. Also, quite an eventful one. Declutter I have reclaimed my reading chair finally. I'm looking forward to making use of it! I have several larger items I need to sell in order to get my living room, hallway, and entrance back. my tiny condo feels extra tiny right now. One item, a friend will be helping me with later in the month, but I'm hoping I can get the rest gone before then and get a little bit of cash to put on my credit card. Goal 1: Put items up on marketplace. [July] Goal 2: Plan next steps in the declutter. [August] Finances This morning, I sent my last payment to OSAP. Now I can focus on other debts more than I have been. My CPAP was covered despite only having mild Sleep Apnea, so that's excellent! With my student loans gone, I can make a plan for the rest, though I have one more major expense to deal with and that is the calipers on my car. With some luck, I can hit it all much harder though.  Goal

The July Long Weekend: 2022 Edition

Friday was Canada Day. I had a lovely time with a small group of friends not far from Lebreton Flats. Drinks were had on a deck in a back garden, which became more magical as the night went on and the bats and fireflies graced us with their presence. Though I'm not a big fireworks person, I enjoyed seeing them. It was nice being out of the house and in an area where the convoy people were not. Saturday brought an evening to network with alumni from Screenwriting. It was really good to meet people I had only previously talked to on Zoom. I enjoyed being outside on a deck in a green space again. I should get some plants for my balcony to make it a more restorative place to be. They will be succulents because it gets full sun and everything else will die. The fun night was marred by a hateful man who got off at the Lees station just after midnight, looked directly into my eyes, and threw an empty drug vial in at me through the open doors. I spoke to two OC transpo employees and gave t

Canada Day 2022

Image by Vishnu Vijayan on Pixabay I'm not celebrating Canada on this Canada Day. I'm not celebrating the history of a country who has so much to fix in how it treats its Indigenous People. I'm not celebrating a country where a nationalist faction held my city hostage for several months and continues to attempt to do so. I'm not celebrating a country where I as a gay woman was made to feel like I have to worry about persecution over my sexual orientation by that same nationalist faction in what is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly places in the world. Canada, to me, was always about a beautiful mosaic of differences. Differences that made the country a wonderful place to live. We have some serious things to fix. I am spending today with friends I've hardly seen due to necessary pandemic precautions we all took to ensure we all stayed alive. I am also enjoying a day off in summer. But that's all today means to me right now. I hope the future brings a place where ha

Stream #4

It went OK, though I need to check my microphone before starting  in the future. For some reason, OBS changed it to "default" and then it wasn't on at all.  But, I had my first spammer this evening, so I guess that means I'm a real streamer now! On Monday, I plan to start streaming SOMA and I'm looking forward to it. I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Friday is Canada Day, and I will be hanging out with some friends across town. On Saturday, I have plans to go to a small party at an old teacher's house. And Sunday brings participation in a music video! I may need a weekend from my weekend... Please check out my digital to-do list: https://trello.com/b/RM8yD3eq/rae-roy-general

My First Streams

Before I get into my update, I just want to say that my heart goes out to many in the U.S. I'm feeling so many things about that decision right now, especially anger and sadness. I'm also feeling fear because sometimes the bad there seeps up to Canada. That has been happening more in recent years and as a lesbian woman, I truly hope I won't have to seek refugee status in a European country all because some U.S. citizens have a need to force their lifestyles on others. My Update I've starting streaming on Twitch. Right now, I'm streaming Lost Ark while I learn things. Like that my first stream on Monday had no microphone on! And like my stream on Wednesday had an echo because my speakers were too loud, so it kept repeating what I said in my microphone in an endless loop. And like, how do I write things into my channel like about me and stuff? I haven't figured that one out yet. I'm sure there is a video on YouTube about it though or a friend can tell me. Fu

A Musical Plot Twist

Saturday was my favourite day of the week. It began with Dino Streamfest, which spanned from 9:00 AM to Midnight. There were a few of the channels that weren't really the kind of content that I was looking for, so I did other things in between. Things like self care (showering and eating), relaxing (video games - Fenyx Rising and Lost Ark), and music (keytar and writing). This week, I decided to stop doing music lessons. There were a few factors going into this. The cost was putting me into financial hardship. That was a big one. But I also wasn't getting to learn the instrument I really want to focus on: keytar. And much of the curriculum wasn't made for piano even, so I couldn't really even just learn that well. And given the cost to new material to me ratio was not worth it, I decided to take my money and time back. And I've done more with my music in one day than I have since April. But it wasn't a total loss. It got me motivated and I got just enough inform

2022 Q2 Fitness Update 2

I completed Ankgor Wat and did nothing for a little bit as I have been dealing with an angry toe. While scootering, I basically kicked the ground when falling and other than the immediate pain, I didn't think too much on it. I don't think I even looked at it. I should have. Maybe I would have noticed there was a problem before it started oozing. That was a couple of weeks ago. It's doing a lot better, but still not healed. Which is impacting my Everest walking this round. If I go above 5000 steps, it seems to get angrier. So I'm having to take it easy and just do things like cleaning around the house and whatever walking I get while shopping. And I'm annoyed about it because I really enjoyed doing the first one. The medal from it is due any day and I ordered a medal hanger for it and all the rest to come. I'll probably need another hanger at some point. On the Everest Challenge, it's partly about getting the names of all the places on the route for research.

Clutter & Trauma

Image by chenspec on Pixabay. I had a really bad day on Monday where I reached the limit. I realized that I wasn't always struggling with my home like this. I used to be able to clean a whole house in a day. In fact, once upon a time it was my usual Wednesday when I worked part time. One of my challenges in decluttering has been that I wasn't being honest with myself. I think I've been putting off cleaning up for a long time in order to keep people away. By not letting anyone get that close to me, I don't risk being hurt again. But the thing is, I don't let love in either then. I just get to be lonely and to wish things were different. And the people who hurt me in the past get to continue haunting my present and future like sadistic ghosts. Well, no more of that. I deserve a clean home for me.  And I don't have to let someone come over just because it's clean. Silly brain. I don't need a physical boundary that just makes my own day-to-day more difficult

Scary Things

On Friday, I did the most uncomfortable thing I've ever done. What was it? I read my own published short story, The Solarium , in front of other people. Prior to my turn at the virtual open mic night, I was really squirmy. I suppose I would've been less nervous if it hadn't been so long ago that I looked at the story that was written and published in 2016.  As I stumbled through the words, I tried to remind myself to just slow down or try again as needed. What else could I do? I also didn't look at the chat to see how it was going for fear I would just mess up more. After it was over, I felt odd. My head especially. Like there was a buzzing. Or like my blood pressure was way too high. I suppose the fight or flight response may have been triggered. One of the issues I had while reading is that there were a couple of places that I think I have words missing or grammar issues. And it was published six years ago, so I think I should dust it off and put it out on Amazon with

My Pride Journey - Part II

Image by Gordon Johnson "Wait, so you really got to age 39 before figuring out you were gay? Are you stupid?" Yeah, so I know a number of my friends and/or readers have probably been wondering about some things. Or maybe I just think so because I would be curious as to how someone can not know they're gay after doing a lot of sampling over the decades. At one point, I just thought most men were terrible at sex. Or mediocre at the very least. OK, I'm going to cross into too much information territory now. Penetration has almost always been unpleasant for me. I've thought so many things over the years on that beyond men being awful lovers. I thought it could be because I'm petite. Or maybe because I have Sjogren's Syndrome. One partner even had me convinced I had vaginismus for a time. Or maybe it was that I had trust issues and that's why I often couldn't "arrive"? But it was often the case for me that sex would be fine once or twice and s

My Pride Journey - Part I

Happy Pride Month to all those celebrating! I'll be somewhat brief this year, but suffice it to say that it took me a long time to figure out this piece of myself. For many years, I just thought I was on the asexual spectrum. This is partly because I had a number of things to heal from, which had left me emotionally numb in a lot of ways.  The pandemic gave me the time that I needed. It also brought with it the opportunity to do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as the cost was covered by the province and I couldn't go out anyway. The model wasn't for everyone. It was a split between phone conversations and online work. The early modules were full of things I already knew from my diploma in Social Work. Perhaps that made it easier for me to go through it in a non-traditional setting or perhaps it was my background in I.T. that made it work just fine for me. Whatever the case, I'm really glad I seized that opportunity. As far as I know, it's still an option for any

Reducing

I've come to the realization that I need to chill the fuck out a bit on my goals. I don't know what made me think I could reasonably carry on a schedule of trying to work on all of them every day while having a full-time job except utter silliness. Anyway, all this to say that I need to tweak my schedule again. My piano teacher advises that 5 minutes of scales and 10 minutes of song practise daily is enough at my current level. That's really doable.  I'm thinking drawing will be once or twice a week. I'll start with one for now. It's generally recommended to exercise at least three times per week to stay healthy. On the writing front, I've found it hard to do a lot during the week. I'm just too tired in the evenings from being on a computer doing office work all day. Decluttering can be done in small amounts daily. And that should leave plenty of time for reading. There. Sanity restored. Now I just need to figure out which days for which activities and t

Fitness Update

We've started a steps challenge at work and to keep motivated, but also because I've been wanting to do these things, I've joined The Conqueror Challenges. I'm walking through Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, from home. I'm enjoying the challenge, however, you need to have your phone with you at all times if you want to actually look at the places you're walking past. It would be nice if it vibrated once you arrived at a location because sometimes I'm just walking around my house as I clean and it's not useful to be staring at a screen while doing that. I've been checking out the places I've passed by in a day. This is the shortest challenge they have and I'm 58% through it. And a neat part of the challenge is that I chose bottles as my contribution, which means that each time I hit a milestone, 10 plastic bottles are removed from the ocean. Angkor Wat was originally built for the Hindu God, Vishnu. Fun Fact: Vishnu, like Lord Shiva, is a fan of Cann

May Long Weekend 2022

It's a long weekend in Canada. Friday and Saturday were quite warm. Saturday ended with a severe thunderstorm that has uprooted trees and knocked out power across the city. Two deaths have been reported. I spoke with a tree removal service who is working with hydro and several hydro megastructures were twisted up. No one knows how long the power will be out in any area of the city. I'm in a little pocket with power, but nothing around me has power. Because much of the infrastructure is messed up, I have no internet.  Yesterday, I finished the edits on chapter 13. It turned out not to need too much as it was mainly what I had named something that was bothering me. I also tried a number of video games and didn't enjoy the bulk of them. I'm glad that many were around $5, so I didn't lose out too badly. I'd really like to game right now, but most of my consoles require Internet. I know I'm luckier than most of the city. It's a good time to catch up around th

First Heat Wave of 2022

I'm finding it difficult to do anything during this heat wave beyond watch TV, game, and read. We've been having weather that is more typical of July. I like that we are having warm days, but a couple of weeks ago, we had snow. It would be nice to gradually acclimatize to the really hot weather! My keys lesson when well on Thursday. It definitely helped me feel better after a tough week between having my first Mother's Day without my mother, a hectic work week, and having to commute on Tuesday to a friend's house because they had to cut the power in my building all day in order to work on the building's electrical panel. Tuesday was productive even with a dance party in the other room. My buddy is a DJ. Actually, dance music was quite motivating in the early morning. And it was so nice to spend time with their kids when they got home from school. We used to get together all the time and then Covid happened. Tomorrow begins an exercise challenge at work, which I'

Review: The Descent

Image from IMDB. I've been watching horror films for more than 30 years now and very few of them actually scare me. Fewer still are the ones that continue to terrify me long after I've watched them. A handful of films have done this in recent years including Get Out , Insidious , and The Platform , but I ultimately got over them. Get Out didn't scare me per se, but it was more shocking and I truly appreciate the craftsmanship that went into it from all disciplines. But The Descent continues to linger with me and it's been well over a year since I watched it. The basic premise is that a group of women go on an adventure to reconnect with each other. Their choice of activity is spelunking. This quickly turns to misadventure as the group gradually shrinks. Thematically, it's a man vs man and a man vs nature tale. The nature part being differently evolved humanoids. But it's also an allegory for the divisiveness we see in society today. These humanoids are brutall

Mother's Day 2022

Mother's Day isn't easy when you've lost yours, but there are hopefully many other people in one's life who fill aspects of that role. Moms do a lot more than wipe butts, clean houses, and cook. The people who: - will listen to you talk about the dumbest stuff - regularly check that you're OK - are there to help you through tough times - help you grow as a person - help you make sense of this wacky world - cheer you on toward success - celebrate your accomplishments - help you make tough choices - encourage you to practice self care - drive you places no matter the cost of gas What would you add to this list? Please check out my digital to-do list: https://trello.com/b/RM8yD3eq/rae-roy-general

Renewal

The last couple of months had me struggling.  I was burned out at work and with my writing. Then an event I was lightly involved with planning happened and it was like a reset button for me. I had such a good time with friends that it reinvigorated me and despite being a bit hungover the next day, I wrote a chapter on a passion project. On Monday, I decluttered my schedule and started fresh. I was able to shift things around to give myself time to do all the activities I love most. Thursday was the only day I really struggled to get everything in because I had my keys lesson and a learning event related to eventually streaming games. I've since completed the edits on chapter twelve, which originally ended in a way I was never happy with, but hadn't figured out how to improve yet. Sometimes a writer just needs more time living in order to write what a story needs. I'm very pleased with where I ended up in this chapter. This is probably ambitious, but I put together a list of

Scooting Along

Saturday was my last beginner scooter lesson. I missed two in the middle due to a mild concussion and the actual final one is happening when I have an event, so that's it for me.  I love scooter. It's hard to explain, but it just works for me despite chronic pain and hypermobility.  For my last lesson, I avoided most ramp work. I worked on jumps and was able to jump off boxes. A young man offered to give me a scooter deck next time I see him as I was leaving. He borrowed mine for a moment and easily did the trick I had been trying to do for much of the hour I was there, which was a tailwhip. The trick takes much of the body as it needs the scooter deck kicked out and swung around as the rider jumps ideally back onto it after it circles around fully. I can do about a quarter of one right now. Though I enjoyed the lessons, I'm also happy they are done as I like keeping my Saturdays free for the possibility of adventures. And I prefer to go on ladies night when I might meet a

Easter 2022

After several hectic weeks at work, I happily slept in on Friday and eased into the day. Following that, I got a lot of decluttering done, some knitting, rehomed my books in a reorganized office space, repotted all my plants, wrote a ritual for the full moon, watched several episodes of Supergirl , paid a parking ticket, and made a lovely dinner of top sirloin with rapini and seasoned creamer potatoes.  Saturday was a mix of decluttering, chores, and was capped off with a little full moon ritual and some homemade lemon wine a friend gifted me.  Sunday was a very chill day. I did a lot of relaxing. I gamed and watched more Supergirl . I'm now close to finished Season 6. I also tried to do my drawing homework, but the assignment is a special kind of collage using tape to transfer an image and my tape isn't doing what it's supposed to, so I'm stuck there. Today, I was an extra in Lee Demarbre's Enter the Drag Dragon . This was a returning role. In the summer, I was an

Inching Forward

Things didn't go as planned on Saturday at all, but I decided I was going to have fun regardless. And I did. I got a bit of writing done then I danced with a bunch of strangers at goth night. I'm even flattered that a couple seemed as if they wanted to unicorn hunt me. I left shortly after that to meet a friend at another bar. I'm happy to be at a place with myself where I can change gears like that and move on rather than languish in a funk. It wasn't always the case. I started Tuesday with a scooter session. It felt great. The only annoying part was seeing my nosy, gossipy neighbour while I was out. Of all the people to run into, but it could've been much worse. As annoyed as I am, I'm not letting that person stop me from working on my fitness goals. It did spike my allergies because the morning is just about the heaviest time for pollen. Perhaps a little later would be better for preventing that. I'd also be less likely to run into people I rather wouldn

Unstuck

I have been stuck for several months. This declutter project is at the point where I need some furniture in my office area. It has been this way for a long time for a couple of reasons beyond life stuff. 1. It was a challenge to figure out what I needed and how to configure it. Part of this is because I want my electronic keyboard to be in the back of my little office while still having the storage needed for other things like writing resource books and pantry items. My first ideas wouldn't fit in the space. 2. The biggest problem has been availability of shelving. I got halfway through executing my plan and then nothing was available. Or one item would become available and it would be the only one in stock and there was no way for me to get to IKEA in time.  Well, the last piece just became available for delivery! Delivery often isn't an option with IKEA in Ottawa because I live in Ottawa. For whatever reason, it is this time. It's a tad more expensive, but I live on the o

2022 ROW80 Round 2 - Goals

Starting this Monday I will be getting back to crushing my goals. My focus for this round includes finishing up the remnants of two projects, which will actually help with my declutter efforts as there will be items I'll no longer need. Those are the bathroom and the couch projects. Bathroom: Finish the door area/trim and get the locking mechanism to fit and allow the door to close. Couch: Finish the upholstery. Declutter: Complete the last third of my decluttering efforts. I'll add more specific tasks as needed as decluttering is really like a project portfolio with smaller projects making it up. Projects like: 1. Tool declutter 2. Office shelving 3. Desk declutter And more. Drawing: Complete Drawing for Beginners Level-1. I think doing 30 minutes a day will get me done in no time and get myself in the habit of drawing something. Keys (Rock Piano): TBD as lessons start on Thursday. This is a mix of in-person and online. There is a whole virtual segment now that I will be

End of ROW80 2022 Round 1

It's the end of the round again. Despite it being year end at work, I found time each morning to get some editing in and made a lot of progress in a short amount of time compared to previous rounds. I averaged half a chapter each morning that I was able to edit. I plan to continue this method in the new round as year end will be done and I will be fully recovered from the time change. I really hope North America moves toward scrapping time changes soon. Lately, I've been lining things up for the next round. I have keys lessons (rock piano) set to start in early April. I've started trick scooter lessons. Decluttering will continue though I'd really like to be done by the end of the round, which would be in time for summer. I will also be continuing the drawing course I'm in. I have size 4 Vans as my scooter instructor recommended proper skate shoes. They were under $60, which may partly be because of their size. Sometimes being small is a good thing! I

Nails and Things

OK, this post may seem a bit uncharacteristic of me, but only because I haven't shared this thing about me. Not that it's a big deal really. I almost never leave enough time before an event to do my nails before it. I want to, but life always seems to get in the way, Anyway, I figured out that I should do my nails the day before rather than the day of because I can  just tweak it on the day of rather than trying to fit it all in.  Why am I even posting about this? For me, it's a milestone in a way. It's a sign that I'm *finally* getting my life together in some small way. I may not be super girly, but I feel like having my nails done is as crucial as not leaving a tiny opening with my saya. My martial arts buds will get that. Basically, it means that if I can get this miniscule part handled, the bigger things are nothing to tackle. This is one of those #lifeisbudo moments. For the first time ever, I don't care about colouring inside the lines with my nails becau

Finally Unstuck

I'm feeling pretty fantastic lately. what's changed? Two things. I've reduced my sugar intake and I have a daily nasal spray called Avamys from my allergist. I guess I've been allergic to something in my house?  I have more energy and focus like I haven't had in years. And this is letting me do more of the things I love, which is just making me feel even more fantastic. I've been editing a bit every day and I am already onto chapter eleven. I'm also working on all my other goals.  I got really lucky on my casual Beleev scooter the other day. I was riding around on it in the parking lot without issues after I dropped off some food at the food bank nearby. It turns out the handles weren't actually connected to it. Later, one popped out completely in the hallway when I was going much slower. But I also got myself a proper one that was on sale for tricks and I'm excited about that. I'm planning to start lessons in April for this. Along with switching

Early March 2022 Update

I really thought I had started a draft. I guess I did so in my dreams. I've been sleeping a lot lately, which I believe is a combination of a lot of stress leaving my life and the usual, almost monthly, low iron that happens because I'm a woman. Someday, that will stop.  Yesterday was a dental visit for a cleaning. I have a filling that is "leaking," which isn't a pleasant feeling as it's a little too accessible to food and drink getting in there near the root. So I have a couple of spots needing repair and a crown to get. I'm really hoping a lot of that crown gets covered by my insurance, because it's pricey. Anyway, enough of that. I'm halfway through editing chapter 9. When I get through chapter 11, I will be at the point where I have not edited the rest of the chapters as much, so I have no idea what I'm looking at. This is because I don't think I completed the edits where I briefly thought everything should be set in the U.S. They migh

Bathroom Reno Update

The Neverending Reno I am excited to report that my bathroom is basically done. Bathfitter was here yesterday and completed the valve conversion and made everything nice in the shower area. Before After All that's left is a bit of work with the door.  I may eventually touch up the walls with white paint as I feel like the white on the walls still has some of the lime bleeding through, which is more noticeable now with the shower area updated to the modern day. But I'm in no rush. It'll probably be some weekend boredom thing next winter when I don't want to go out anyway. With that complete, I feel less stressed and like I can get the rest of my decluttering done more easily. They had to reschedule the job a couple of times because the worker originally assigned was in the middle of deciding to retire. Luckily, there were no issues on the day. The water shut off well enough that the plumber didn't have to be here too long and everything was do

On Ukraine

There has been a lot of bad happening thus far in 2022.  With all of the unrest and the atrocious acts in the news, it's easy to get overwhelmed and feel hopeless, paralyzed. I previously learned this the hard way. It's why I changed job roles in 2021. I couldn't do anything about my mom dying. I couldn't do anything to end the occupation in Ottawa. I can't do anything about what has happened in the Ukraine. Yet. It's at times like this where I turn my focus to what is in my sphere. In time, there very well may be a way to help, such as donating relief funds. That is when I will be able to do something about this crisis that is half a world away. For now, I am focusing on chores and decluttering. Because it's all I can do. #istandwithukraine

Ups and Downs

Is anyone else getting a ton of comments filled with links to junk on their blog? I've been marking them all as spam. It's annoying. Please go pay for actual advertising! Anyway, things have been up and down for me of late.  My bathroom was supposed to be done last Thursday, but the installer called in injured. I wasn't shocked after all the other hiccups on this project. It's now supposed to be this Friday, but I guess time will tell on that one. The hell that Ottawa underwent for nearly a month is mostly over though pockets of hateful people are still out on the streets harassing residents. At least the state of emergency has been lifted? Talks are happening whereby the area by parliament may become a pedestrian area only, which I don't think is a bad thing since it is a major tourist area anyway. A month has passed since we lost mom. Her 79th birthday was on Sunday. It was a hard day. Much of the occupation in Ottawa was handled the day before and I found myself

On Losing a Parent

Losing a parent feels like an attack on your own mortality. It is utterly destabilizing.  It can unite your family or destroy it. I've seen families fight over cutlery. Thankfully, mine was mostly united when I went back home to help out with cleaning up the house. And cleaning with my one brother was helpful for me in pushing through a large chunk of my own clutter when I returned home. You might not realize some of the parts of you that came from them until they are gone. I long thought that my dad was the musical one in the family, but discovered that my mom was learning guitar at one point in her life. I also learned my grandmother and great uncle used to write each other letters with song lyrics in them. You might find odd things and wonder if they got them for you to have eventually. There were a number of skater style clothes in my mom's abundance of clothing that were in black. They weren't her style at all. Her style was floral print tops and bottoms of

Decluttering Update

One good thing about going to my hometown and cleaning up my mother's things was that working with my brother helped me figure out how to tackle some of the challenging clutter at my own home. This week, I did a ton of paper decluttering. And because I've reduced how many things I receive in a paper format, I was able to get rid of my filing cabinet and downsize to a box. This box is handy because it now lives under my desk and can stop my footrest from moving to unreachable places. I have a bit more to shred, but I'm through the bulk of the outdated paperwork that is no longer needed. Another side benefit of all this paper cleanup is that I think I may have what I need to fix a gap in the couch I made. I won't know that for a bit, but I'm looking forward to finding out. So my next step is to swap some shelves out of my office as I'm building a better shelving system using IKEA Kallax. This is a slow moving project, due to supply issues, but I can swap out the m