Keeping Busy

I’ve had my new computer up and running for just over two weeks now and I must say that it has made a world of difference in my life. It is wonderful to have a computer that is fully capable of doing all the things I need it to do. Programs are opening within seconds and not taking close to a minute like they used to on my old MacBook Pro. I understand it was 7 years old, and its age was catching up to it, but it doesn’t make those kinds of things any less frustrating. I just have a few things left to transfer from my MacBook to the computer, but I need to get my hands on a flash drive, as I seem to have misplaced both of mine. I have started playing my games again though, and it feels fantastic to be back at it. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I started playing again!

I was back in World of Warcraft within days of getting things all set up, and I admit, I was quite surprised at how much the game has changed, meanwhile at the same time having not changed at all. Talents and specializations are completely different now, but the overall gameplay and the quest grind is the same as it ever was. I started a new Horde toon on a new server because that’s where my friend who is still playing the game is now playing. No one else I used to play with is left! That’s okay though, as long as there is someone! Because of the changes though, rather than use the Level 90-character boost for my first new toon, I am leveling it from the beginning to become familiar with the game again. Two weeks in and I am at Level 38. Not too shabby for working full-time, and doing school part-time as well! I created an undead Warlock and I am playing it in the Destruction spec. I love me my warlocks and I also love playing the Destro spec. It’s just so darn much fun! I haven’t run through any dungeons yet, but that is up next on my list of things to do in-game.

I’ve also downloaded Path of Exile, so I can play with Jen and possibly Wayne as well. I haven’t started on that one yet, but hopefully we will get to once our final exam is done. That’s happening next Wednesday morning, and we will get about a month break before our next class starts. Hopefully we can get some game play in during that time. It looks like an interesting game; I am excited to try it out.

Next step will be to get Steam going so I can try out a few other games I’ve been keeping my eye on! Looking forward to doing that hopefully early in the new year.

Tobi seems to have taken a liking to the new computer as well. She is always laying near it, probably because it’s a bit warm. I’ve also caught her licking it a few times, which was just kind of funny to me. I imagine the novelty will wear off soon. I will just have to wait and see. She’s a kitty after my heart, though. Even for all her oddities, she’s still my baby and I can’t imagine my life without her. We have been together since she was just a tiny kitten – over 8 years, and I hope we have many more years together ahead of us. Sorry. Always the cat-ramble. I just love her so much I can’t help it.

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Things are starting to look up for me these days. I mean, sure, I am super broke now, but after this month, everything will finally fall into place. And here’s the best part: starting early in the new year, I will start saving for a down payment on a house! This is a very exciting thing for me, because I never thought it was something that would happen. I honestly thought I would end up renting for the rest of my life. It just goes to show how far I really have come in the past year. My goal is to have a minimum 20% down payment when I start looking. It will probably take me a couple of years to get to that point, but it will totally be worth the wait. Now some may ask, “But what if you’re in a serious relationship before then?” Well, on that, I’m not actively looking for a relationship these days, and I’m going to make plans for myself as things are now. If things change somewhere down the road, I will change my plans accordingly. It’s as simple as that!

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Final exam for my course is in less than a week, and I’ve now been studying for it for about a week. Needless to say, I am a bit stressed about it. I am hoping all goes well, and I pass, but these courses are like nothing I have ever taken before. They are NOTHING like the courses I took in university! I have taken an extra-long weekend off this weekend to study and catch up on things, and I can only hope that it helps me out in the end. I will just have to keep preparing and then hope for the best when the time comes. My goal is to pass the course. I don’t want to have to rewrite the exam!

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The busy Christmas season is about to begin for me. My work Christmas party is next week, and then I am babysitting for some friends that weekend while they attend a work Christmas party as well. Then comes the family Christmases. I still must figure out how I’m getting to them all, but I have time to figure that out. I am hosting a Christmas dinner of my own on Boxing Day and I am kind of excited about it. I’ve already started planning dinner! I never plan things this far in advance… Usually not more than a week before for something like that usually. Probably better that I am planning now though. Things are pretty busy for the next month!

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September

September has turned out to be a very busy, very interesting month to say the least. A lot has been going on and a lot has happened, and I’ve been doing a bit of adjusting.

The biggest thing that has happened is I finally made the decision to speak to my doctor about medication for my depression. My doctor was very receptive and listened to my concerns and asked appropriate questions. He agreed that medication was a reasonable option, and I walked out of my appointment with a prescription he felt would be a good fit for me. I started the medication that very day and haven’t looked back. I started noticing improvements around the four-week mark, just as my doctor said I should. Here I am almost 6 weeks later, doing better and feeling better than I’ve felt in a very long time…

…Aside from my stupid foot! Earlier in the summer I did something to my foot and initially it was no big deal, but it progressively got worse (mostly because I kept walking and didn’t rest it; my fault, I know). Earlier this month I finally started taking it easy and lo and behold! It started feeling better! Then, just shy of two weeks ago, I had to run to catch a bus to make it to an appointment on time. As I was running (of course I was wearing flip flops), I felt a horrible twinge in that very same foot and it starting hurting again just as much, if not worse than before. I felt like I just couldn’t win! So, as it turns out I strained my foot. Bye bye flip flops for the rest of the season! It has been less than a week wearing my cute and comfy polka dot shoes and my foot is already feeling better. it is amazing how a minor change can manage that! Anyway, foot is officially on the mend and I will be walking 10,000 steps a day again in no time. That makes me very happy.

Unlike the close call I’ve had with Tobi this month! My poor sweet fat cat has had a rough go. Tobi started acting a bit unlike herself, agitated and such. She was also a lot less snuggly, but she was eating and drinking fine so I just kept an eye on her. THEN she had a couple accidents. It was time to go to the dreaded vet, as she NEVER does her business outside of her box, nor does she leave it uncovered. I knew something was up and had a pretty solid idea of what it was. It’s not a new issue for her. She needed or bum squeezed again (a.k.a. her anal glands expressed). Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like and it is exactly as gross, but it helps my baby. She went in two Saturdays ago, and I am SO thankful I talked a friend into coming with me. The tears started flowing as soon as I heard her start to cry. It had to have been painful. THEN the veterinarian came out and told me that when she expressed them, one of Tobi’s glands was about to rupture it was so full. It was a super close call. The vet put her on antibiotics to prevent infection, and a new food to help with the root of the issue. I felt so bad for her. It was a lot to go through. The good news is a week and a half later, she is back to her old self and is more snuggly and active than ever! I am hoping for no more close calls with her. I’ve had 8 great years with her and I want a MINIMUM of 8 more!

In other news, I started a bullet journal earlier this month and I freaking love it. Not only is it helping me keep better track of appointments and events, it is helping me to keep track of daily tasks, habits, and the nice little things that happen in a day that we often forget. It is also allowing me to get creative with decorating it! October is almost upon us, and I will be making a few tweaks for October that will hopefully help keep my reboot on track. It’s a small thing, but it has created a huge positive change for me. I like positive change.

I also started my second course for my CIP (Chartered Insurance Professional) designation. Let me tell you, this one just dove right in! There is a ton of material being covered, and I already have my hands full. I am pretty sure I will have to put in a lot more effort than I did for the last one. That’s okay though. It’s nice to sort of have that feeling of being in school and learning again. Especially that learning part…Even if it is the driest subject matter know to man… I kid, I kid. Or do I?

And guess what?! My new computer is close at hand! I had a small setback in timeframe due to Tobi’s impromptu almost emergency trip to the vet, but things are back on track again and I dont have to wait too much longer before I have the money available – probably only a month or so. It will be VERY exciting to have a computer I can play games on and use Photoshop and Office without it freezing on me every little while. Don’t get me wrong, my MacBook has served me well these past several years, but it has done its time. I am ready for a change (and a computer I can play World of Warcraft on again)!

Along with the resurrection of weekend MTG nights with Steph and reading more than I have in a long time, and weekly Alice visits, I have managed to keep incredibly busy. Super awesome nerd-friend-coworker is doing the CIP class with me, and I think it’s going to really help with motivation and keeping up my studies for this term’s class. Some apple-y goodness may also be in the near future now that autumn has arrived, and probably a trip to Sparta too. In all reality though, I am looking forward to the fall wind-down and some cozy nights in. I want to get back into blogging more regularly and I think that just might be the time to do it.

Catching Up

The last few months have been a whirlwind. Event after event has taken place, and I have just had so much going on I haven’t found the time to sit down and chronicle it all. That is the case, yes, but I also made the conscious decision to be as present as I could possibly be for it all. There were happy and fun moments, frustrating moments, stressful moments… I experienced it all through the eyes of someone who was actually there for it all and not worrying about something like writing a blog post about it just to stick to a schedule I created for myself in my head. Things have slowed down, and now I am finally back to enjoy the summer and get back to some of the little things I do really enjoy like blogging. It’s time to catch up now! And catching up takes us back to the end of April…

On April 30, an event took place in London called the London Game Crawl. It took place on International Table Top Day and it was all quite fitting. It was my first event with a new friend: Jen, a coworker at my new job whom I discovered is a) super awesome and b) a fellow nerd. Since then we have done tons of things and had lots of fun together… But back to the Game Crawl now. Several local shops participated and we played lots of games and even collected a free London Game Crawl edition of the game Love Letter for attending. It was a lot of fun.

On Friday May 6, I met several more new people as I went to see Captain America: Civil War with Jen and her husband and daughter and several of their friends. GREAT MOVIE and great company as well. The next day was Free Comic Book Day and I met up with Jen and a few others bright and early in the morning for the festivities. I pulled out the TARDIS dress and my light-up headband and didn’t feel the tiniest bit out-of-place. We managed to make it to every comic book shop that was participating in FCBD, while also avoiding the rain, and discovering a great local restaurant. I even ran into another friend from my old job who was dressed up as well! It was a great day all around.

Next up was my first game night with my new friends. We played a game we had discovered at the game crawl called Camel Up. Basically, you’re betting on a camel race and you win money based on how well you bet. It is a ton of fun with the right people, and I was definitely playing with the right people! I ended up live-tweeting the game because it was so hilarious. You can find those tweets looking back in my twitter feed to the right of this post.

Things just kept getting busier from this point on. I think June of 2016 was one of the busiest months I have ever had in my life. I wrote a midterm for my CIP class at the beginning of the month which I did very well on. I attended the Gathering on the Green in Wortley Village, I went to my first Paint Nite event with my friend Ash, I went to a couple more game nights, I went to see a live band on the beach in Port Stanley, I planned and executed a surprise birthday party for my Mom’s 50th with the help of my sister and my stepdad, I took my dad to a baseball game and then my sister and I took him out for dinner afterward for Fathers’ Day, I attended the Ingersoll Relay for Life for the first time as a member of my niece’s team, I went to my first Staff Appreciation Day with my new employer, attended the London International Food Festival and a cookout at a friend’s place, and all the while I was studying for my final for my CIP course which took place just two days ago. Oh, and I donated blood somewhere in there too. I have been a very busy girl! But it was all a ton of fun and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The reasons for my long absence…in a nutshell. I’m nervous about my final, but I won’t find out how I did for probably a month or so. Since I have to wait so long, there is really no point in working myself up over it. I have a life to live, though hopefully not so crazy a one as I have been living up to this point this summer.

I have also been trying to focus on my second attempt at a life reboot. As you can probably imagine, I have been doing well with some things but not with others. I am attributing much of it to the stress I was putting myself through while trying to study and prepare for my exam. Turns out that after a seven-year break from writing them, I get some massive test anxiety when they come back around! That stress made a number of other things harder as well.I am hoping though, that now I know what to expect, the next one won’t be so bad.

I’ve been crocheting a bit, but I haven’t made much progress on my blanket for quite a long time. Most recently I have been working on dish cloths: a set for my mom for her birthday, and a set for my sister as a housewarming gift since she moved recently.

Work has been going well; I am transitioning a bit as the way things work was changed just this week. Tobi is doing well too! She is as snuggly and adorable as ever. We have had a great time just chilling out together over the past couple of days.

Oh! And I can’t forget the latest little bit of geek that has joined my collection! Here they are:

Here’s to the rest summer of exciting weekends and being busy, but not TOO busy.

Busy Busy Busy

I’ve had two great blog posts in the works for the past few weeks, but I just haven’t had a chance to put the time into them to really make them great. I’ve really been putting a lot into my posts recently and I’m really proud of them. I don’t want to publish something I don’t think is worthwhile. 

Anyway, to the reason WHY I haven’t had a chance to put the time into those posts I’d like to: homework! I am currently taking a class that is work-related, working toward my CIP (Chartered Insurance Professional) designation. While I’ve taken free online courses over the last couple of years, this course is the first course to come close to my single class workload from when I was in university! I have a three-hour virtual class to attend every week, two assignments to complete over the time I am in the course, I have to write a midterm and a final exam as well. Not only that, but my anal-retentiveness over having perfect notes still stands. I submitted my first assignment last weekend and received a perfect grade on it, and that has helped me get back into the saddle with studying. When my course began three weeks ago, I had no idea how things would go as I hadn’t been in a proper class setting for almost seven years! I’ve been stressed about it, but I’m ready to take this class by the horns now. My next assignment is due in a week and a half and I write my midterm at the beginning of June. The tricky part seems to be balancing working full time with the course load as well as still having a life. Tricky, but doable with effort. I debated taking two classes this term, but I am SO glad I didn’t. 

I guess, in essence, what I am saying is if I’m not working on homework for this course, I’m trying to relax a little bit with what little free time I have, or I am sleeping! Since this class started, I’ve taken two days off from it. I’ve done work on it every day aside from those two. I’m hoping over the next week I can put some more work into at least one of the posts I’ve been working on. I’m so excited for you all to see these blog posts I’ve had up my sleeve. 

Tobi has been a huge help with all the school work. I just thought I’d add…

Much Too Long…

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a post, and I figured it’s time. This month has been very busy and hectic as well as quite stressful. The month is coming to an end and I am hoping October takes some of this she’s and the other problems we have run into these past few weeks. In the meantime, I intend to re-cap October just to get back into the swing of things, starting from the beginning of the month.

The beginning of the month got off to a rather pleasant start with a day of gallivanting about London and area with the best on the first Sunday of the month. We visited a new open-air market called Ogilvies where we encountered some yummy breads, teas and other goodies.

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From there we continued on to Picard’s Peanuts which is a bit of a local icon and do all sorts of yummy things with peanuts and chocolate.

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After visiting these two delicious places I saw her new (last June) apartment for the first time, and we visited her community garden plot where we harvested some massive gourds.

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We ended the day with a walk through the woodlot behind my apartment building taking photos as well as some tasty tea and good chat.

Jess

Each week Monday to Friday has been much of the same this month. Going to work, running errands and keeping the apartment in order. The excitement (if any) tends to happen on the weekends.

Holiday dinners are usually an occasion for relatively large family gatherings on my side of the family. (Canadian) Thanksgiving happened during the second week of October this year. These gatherings usually happen at my Grandma’s home as she loves to cook large meals. Jay was still away at work, so I spent the weekend at my mom and step dad’s house. It was a good weekend though I missed my kitties. Dinner wasn’t quite the same this year as it was smaller than it is most years. My aunt and two cousins as well as Jay weren’t in attendance. It was still a fun and joyful gathering as my Grandma (who was going through treatment for breast cancer) is now cancer free. Not to mention any family gathering where I can see and spend time with my Great-Grandmother is an excellent one in my books.

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Jay arrived home again the Thursday following Thanksgiving. We didn’t do much but curl up at home until the weekend as I still had to finish out the work week. Then things started to get a bit busier. On Saturday of that weekend we focused on getting him settled back in at home, ran some errands that need running and the like. We curled up exhausted that evening with a football game and some pizza and chicken wings. On Sunday, we set to work on a large home project that has been an elephant in the room (at least for me). We cleaned out and organized the storage closet in our apartment. It took a good chunk of the morning and at the end of the process we ended up disposing of two full garbage bags of junk as well as several other containers of things that were no longer serving any purpose for us. There is so much more room in there now, and it is nice to have some shelf space in there again. No more just shoving things in there and praying it doesn’t come crashing down on our heads. Mission = successful.

As a reward for our hard work, in the morning we went for another walk through Springbank with lattes. This time though, we added some cookies to the mix as well. It was peaceful and enjoyable and it was some great quality catching up after two weeks apart.

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Things weren’t really too bad at this point but his month, especially with it still being dark in the mornings when I leave for work, I have been struggling a lot more with a lot of negativity and generally low moods. I have been lacking motivation and energy to take enjoyment in much of anything, and unfortunately this has included blogging and stitching. I haven’t stitched a single stitch this month and thinking about it makes me feel even worse. I have been doing some things to help (or are supposed to help, according to some things I’ve read) but I haven’t seen a whole lot of improvement – these things being keeping up with taking my vitamins and supplements, more physical activity, and some dietary changes. When Jay came home, we ordered a Sunlight Jr. – a light therapy lamp designed for treatment of SAD. It arrived less than a week later on Wednesday and it’s quite a nifty looking thing, and very simply designed.  Basically it’s an obscenely bright light that you sit in front of that simulates sunlight. I have used it three times or so now, and I think I have noticed some minor changes in the form of slightly elevated mood though I am suffering from lack of sleep these days. Next, I hope the negative cloud that seems to be hanging over my head recently disappears…

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A week ago Monday our sweet little grey cat Dizzy went to the vet for a dental procedure – a cleaning and possible tooth extractions. She has always had bad teeth. The procedure itself went well. Only one tooth ended up being pulled, and they sent her home with us that afternoon with painkillers that lasted until Saturday. Things were going relatively smoothly until Thursday evening when she stopped eating. We think she may have hurt her mouth while trying to eat her kibble. She stopped eating almost completely. We couldn’t get her to eat much of anything.

Dizzy

This was a huge concern for us as a cat’s metabolism does not handle not eating well at all.  We were quite worried and we ended up taking her to the vet again in Sunday. Good news is the vet seems to think things will be fine as she is healing well and acting like a healthy cat aside from the not eating. He gave her an appetite stimulant and sent us home with some food he was sure she would eat. At this point she has been eating, and we are hoping she continues to as the stimulant should be wearing off (lasts three days). Talk about stressful. We needed to take care of this ASAP as Jay was leaving again soon. I am hoping things continue as they are with Dizzy, because we have more issues to deal with with our fat cat.

My baby girl

Tobi went for her vet checkup and rabies vaccination on Friday. She is doing well aside from the vet suspecting she may be diabetic. We will have to have testing done and get a diagnosis in the near future. So not only am I worrying about Dizzy, I now have cause to worry about Tobi as well.

In light of all the happenings and how I have been feeling, while I haven’t been stitching, I have managed to continue to read. I don’t know exactly why I have been reading, but I think it may be a book’s ability to take me away from this reality and plant me in another where things are completely different. I have finished Jane Eyre and The Ocean At The End of the Lane this month. Both books were good in their own way. I have to admit my mind wasn’t really blown by Neil Gaiman’s new book as I had hoped I would be (based on reviews I read beforehand), but it was still a good read. I am currently reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving. I’ve yet to form an opinion on these yet. I have a hold on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak at the library and am just waiting on it to come available. Last of the book excitement is the mass market paperback version of A Dance with Dragons releases this week which means after over a year of waiting my set will finally be complete (up to current release). There have been a few positive things at least.

A few plans were made in these past two weeks while Jay was home. The biggest being that for Christmas this year Jay and I are going to finish decorating the apartment rather than buying each other gifts. We have been living in our place for almost four years now and we still have some very bare walls. It just doesn’t feel finished. So the wheels were set in motion for this plan, and a list of things to do has been made starting from the entryway and working in. On Saturday, we actually scoped out some items for the entryway including a new mirror. I hope to start executing this plan once Jay is home again. I am excited to make home more homey.

Over the past month as well I have been doing a lot of thinking and made some decisions – especially in the past week. The main thing being that I need to put a lot more stock in my health than I do. I actually neglect it quite a bit. What all this thinking has come down to  is that I need to exercise more often, eat a bit less and focus a lot more on the positive things in life as I have been focusing way too much on the negative of late. I realized I need to incorporate workouts into my daily life. Let’s see if I can make this happen. I think I really need to.

Last but not least, if I can get to feeling more energetic in the near future, I hope to go out and do a proper photography outing and capture some of the vibrant fall colours. I am hoping there will be a blog post of this soon as well as about all the stitching projects that are floating around in my head.