calm, romaine calm

WYDAH Approaches

Yours is the body
The hands and the feet
And Yours are the eyes to look compassionately

To bless you and me
He will bless you and me

This time I have a good excuse for not writing sooner - ever since we hit ground zero week for my planning of the World Youth Day at Home for our diocese, I've been burning the candle, or at least the modern lights, at both ends.

Tonight I had a major headache, and in the middle of looking up information for a part of our prayers, I was struck by a relevant fact: St. Theresa of Avila is the patron sake of headache sufferers. I asked for her to pray for me, and my headache did ease a great deal, allowing me to finish a lot of necessary work.

It has been a blur - editing order of ceremonies documents, finding games, shopping for necessary items until moments before the stores close, and typing. So. much. typing.

During the thrift shopping for necessary items, I also found some great unneccessary finds. We finally found a crucifix that Paul really likes, so that's going in his office. We also found a very small Anne of Green Gables doll, which both Paul and I fell in love with at first sight - she's been added to our cabinet of curiosities. There are a small number of other great finds, as usual. I had intended to purchase something like the Anne doll on our honeymoon, but never found one that I liked, so she has come to me a little later than expected, but is greatly welcomed as a kindred spirit. I've had a little time to read Anne's House of Dreams to Paul this week, but unexpectedly had to end on one humdinger of a tragic note. I'm glad we've resumed the tradition of reading to each other, though typically these days it's Paul reading articles to me, and me reading Anne to him. So it seemed fitting to find her as we've been spending time with her again...

I've been finding a little new music recently, and I'm looking forward to finding more over the next few months, as well as occasionally re-listening to old favourites, like Jason Gray's Everything Sad is Coming Untrue album, which Paul and I listened to on our commute to games night. 

Tonight I took a break from my computers-and-packing toil and went to a games night with a recently made friend, a board games night that turned out to be mostly family, and we were greatly welcomed and enjoyed a lovely time with them. We also had a chance to play Wits and Wagers. I found it at Value Village last night for $8, though we played their game - still, a thrift score!

It has been absolute ages since I added any new LiveJournal icons here, but since I've resolved to post far more often, I've added more than a dozen 100x100 pixel masterpieces, including the "Romaine Calm" icon, which comes in handy days like today, as deadlines approach and life gets super nuts. I'm also hoping to return to my musical format, especially since I have so many new songs floating around in my head.

Go into the world
Showing how much He loves you
Walk in the world in meaningful ways,
He loves you, he loves you, Emmanuel on earth
No Loafing

Super Wolf Blood Blood Moon

Two nights ago, we were so tired we went to bed at 6pm. And here I was at 1am, wide awake, while Paul continued to sleep.  I made use of the time well, though. I'd been meaning to try out some iron-on transfers to fix a pair of jeans with the usual rubbing split hole. They were easy to iron-on, but they are a little stiff, not sure if I'll find them comfortable. I also spent some time ironing cheap tropical flowers for the WYDAH reception. So glamourous, me in my very stained winter nightgown, ironing fake flowers barefoot in the kitchen. I think it will be worth it to add some colour and pizzaz to the event though!

We finished the Series of Unfortunate Events, which I had forgotten the ending to by now, so it was nice to feel freshly surprised.

After getting into almond butter over the past few years, one of my favourite breakfasts is an almond butter and raspberry jam sandwich on toast, provided the raspberry jam is seed-free. One of the few food frills I am willing to pay extra for.

I ended up going to bed around 9am and getting up again at 2pm, and writing here at 4am, being very productive and annoyingly peppy. Thank goodness for the Send Later option in my emails. I can at least get my communications out at a reasonable hour, even if they were written in the middle of the night (and very, very poorly proofread, typically speaking.) I am sending the last major spurt of confirmation and question emails about World Youth Day at Home in the morning, and after a few more zip back and forth, I won't have more than a few more hours of work to do on the event before Friday - which is good, as I have some frightfully boring, but very exacting editing to do.

When I woke up yesterday afternoon, I found out that my grandma had fallen on Friday in the wee hours of the morning and broken her hip. One successful surgery later and she has a plate holding her hip together. Crazy things we can do with our bodies. I haven't spoken to her directly yet, but she's happy with her roommates and likely charming the socks off her nurses. In a crazy twist, there's actually someone else I know in the same hospital right now, and a cousin who just broke his finger... Plenty of health-care required, if you're related to me, apparently.

We still managed to play a fun little game of D&D last night, freeing a bunch of slaves from some nasty overlords and also liberating a rather large number of awesome magical treasures. Great fun.

Just after that, I happened to catch a message from a friend that there was a very cool blood moon. The eclipse was called a 'super wolf blood moon' and has only happened 3 times in past 2 centuries! A Wolf moon is the first full moon in January, and a Super Moon is closer to the earth than usual. The blood part is self-explanatory, I think. Paul and I poked our head out the back door to see it and it was indeed mostly covered over with a very rusty red. I can see why superstitious folk might have been scared of such a phenomenon, it does look like the colour of blood has washed over the moon. Of course as a woman I have a blood moon every month or so... so this was an even rarer super wolf blood moon with a side of actual blood, for me. People have associated the ebb and flow of tides and the moon with menstrual cycles for ages, though apparently this hasn't fully convinced the scientists at this point.

Since then I have worked on WYDAH and then tried to sleep, had to deal with a very bored dog, and then wrote a bunch of huge emails. At the time of writing, I am winding down from work, but not sure when I can wind down entirely for the night. Tomorrow I have a big day planned but we'll have to see how much energy I have after spending half the night working feverishly on things that simply must be done.
  • Current Music: the jigglypuff song. No idea why.
awaken me

Jack Frost Nipping At Your Windows

Some of our near neighbor cities are experiencing a cold snap, but we're just experiencing run of the mill -15° C to -20° C temperatures. With them, however, came a small set of absolutely stunning frost drawings on several windowpanes of my back french door - or in our case, general back door, after the renevation officially gave the back porch to our downstairs neighbor (we can still go there to leave, but don't have the key to enter... it's a slightly convoluted system but it works.)

I used an app called Adobe Capture which my good artist friend Corrina introduced me to several months ago, and was able to capture the three most beautiful specimens. I have always thought that lepidopterists (butterfly collectors) were a strange bunch in some ways, but also very logical in others - being able to capture that kind of beauty. I wonder what a pin board of frost would look like? I wonder if I could 3D print a pattern like this and keep the frost forever? I am often reminded in times like this of my friend Leah's astute assessment of my character in just a few words, "You're a beauty collector." I am honestly happiest when collecting, disseminating, discussing, and considering beautiful, orderly things. In words I can be creative, when the mood strikes me, but my ability to create art that is fully mine is lacking - which is why the discovery of this app - allowing me to capture and create from the world around me - has been such a fantastic opportunity. The app also allows me to pick out colours from any photograph. I'm finding myself very attracted to a rose shade of pink and a green that Google tells me is named Reseda green after a particular leafy plant at present. There are more names for all the colours than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio. As I was wikisurfing colour names, I thought that would be a good piece of advice for any colourblind individuals trying out those newfangled colour-seeing glasses.

Speaking of glasses, I'm on a project of moving to using contacts a lot more often. I've finally managed to take less than an hour to get the crazy things into my eyes... But I've whittled it down to less than 10 minutes now, which is a great victory. I kept them in for most of the day today.

Today was errandy. Various appointments and banks that didn't have anyone for walk-ins (I am always annoyed by this, as though the fact that the purpose of a bank is for tellers to interact with people, but when I'm literally there to offer you new business, nope, gotta book in advance. Sheesh. As a business person I find this insane, but anyway.) I also ended up at Ikea, only to find out that I'll still have to order the thing I wanted online - though I did get a chance to try their veggie hot dog, and it was way better than expected. Paul and I have agreed to go vegan for weekdays for Lent this year again, which I am on one hand looking forward to (delicious things) and on the other hand, a little apprehensive about, because it's HARD for me, as the main meal planner and cook, to make it work. Nevertheless, we both agree it's very good for us, so March and half of April could be looking very leafy.

The other major thing that happened today was the reintroduction of boots to the dog. Paul's had the car for two days, and despite my best efforts, because of the cold, Murphy has been bored out of his little doggie mind. Tonight I tried a new tactic with his booties - using cloth medical tape to keep them on. It worked better than most previous options. I still need to find a waterproof, sturdy tape that comes off fabric afterwards with little fuss - this has proven to be extremely difficult. Paul and I had a hilarious time attempting to get Murph to walk about in his boots without lifting and shaking his foot around, as dogs do. Some of this hilarity was caught on video, but by the end of the night Murphy was running full speed - and it was a much longer outing that usual. I have snow pants, a warm coat, great boots and thick socks - and I've added a soft scarf for days like this when the air hurts my face. (Why do I live where the air hurts my face? It is my heritage and my destiny!)

Tonight Paul retired early, and I finally watched Race, the movie about Jesse Owens. As my athlete dog might suggest, I am fascinated with the capacity for speed, and the film was an excellent one - hoping for another one tomorrow.
  • Current Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
  • Current Music: Benediction - Jars of Clay
Tags: , , , ,
world is quiet

Writing About Nothing?

They say that we're supposed to journal daily, those of us who struggle with mental health or traumatic experiences. There's good scientific evidence that it can be as effective as antidepressants in helping to maintain a balanced outlook on life, which I suppose is due in part to the tendency to want to write about things that are going well.

Honestly for me there are things going well and badly, and many things are running thin, like when in science fiction there is an emergency and they divert all the power of unnecessary systems to main power.

These last few years the haze of depression obscures so much of my past. It has stolen so much of my memory, my concentration, my confidence, my focus, and my drive to do anything. It has trapped me in a private hell of boredom.

It's partly phisiological, I know: as my massage therapist (and very supportive, good friend) always says, "Everything is connected." Sometimes she sings the silly song, "The ankle bone's connected to the... knee bone!" or whatever thing I am exclaiming could not possibly be causing pain in what seems a perfectly alienated part of my body. Once on a particularly memorable and painful session on the table, she took me through an exercise of locating my emotions in my body.

My sternum is the center of my sadness. My chest is bristling with resentment. My upper chest and shoulders are seething with smouldering, old anger. In the center of my belly I tremble with fear.

Most of the time I experience this as physical pain, and sometimes as emotional pain, but the effect is often similar on my life. Reduced capacity, reduced trust, and a heightened sense of fight, flight, and failing those two, simply numb, mindless escape.

Some days are better than others. I'm finding that every third day or so (today being one of those days) I have a day where the good, productive, and unhappy moments outweigh the bad 10 to 1. The other two days usually rate a 2 and a 5 out of ten. Thankfully my memory is bad enough that I rarely remember those anyway.

This is one of the reasons that I stopped blogging regularly. What am I going to say? "Today I am once again alone, have no work, I'm cold and hungry because my office floor is always cold and I didn't have the energy to meal plan something easy enough for me to make. This morning I stared at the wall for nearly an hour before I mustered up the recognition that just because it seems monumental to take a shower, it will feel good and it won't take all of my energy to do it." (This day brought to you by my actual life.)

I'm getting better at using that one day in three. I'm even getting a little better at giving myself grace the other two days. But it's not something that inspires me to share very often, because my acute loneliness refuses to acknowledge the presence of people in my life. When I'm in a good space I don't mind being the main aggressor in ensuring that my friends and I spend time together, but unfortunately with several years of funk behind me some of those relationships have suffered. I've got some plans to repair and refinish them, much as I have plans to repair and refinish many of the objects in my house and yard.

So that's the story of two out of three of the days in about a third of the months of 2018, and the first two weeks of January have been brutally similar.

The other portion, on the other hand, has yielded some Very Fascinating Days.

Paul and I are watching the Netflix Series of Unfortunate Events, which has been an excellent way to a Very Fun Date every night we watch. But ask any stable person, and they would say look away. I had forgotten all of the wonderful literary references, incompetent villainy, and unique stylistic touches of the world. Highly entertaining.

Last year I had heard that there was a project in Edmonton to create a Tool Library - and by the time I got around to getting myself a subscription last week, they have grown to two medium-sized rooms full of tools. I borrowed several to put up some hooks that I had been meaning to put up for years, but have been at the top of a closet since we moved in. It has vastly improved the front porch and the back door areas. I find that having a place to put things is the biggest contributor to uncluttered living other than actually putting said things in said places... Which is a whole other set of habits, but improving all the time. I am excited to tackle quite a few woodwork projects in 2019.

I spend a lot of time watching YouTube and TV. Most of what I enjoy is silly or informative or some of both. At the moment I am into Returning the Favour on Facebook, which reminds me of a young adulthood spent yelling "Move That Bus!" at my screen while watching Extreme Home Makeover. I like this new show more though, so that's nice. I'm following various professionals on YouTube - two doctors and a lawyer, all of whom review and talk about TV shows and current events and how they relate to their jobs, a singing teacher who talks about the technique of various celebrity singers, and a few other things. Paul and I watch cartoons about funny D&D incidents (Puffin Forest) and Worth It! Food on Buzzfeed. I also watch a lot of entertainment filler, but I'm cutting down on those and sticking to the "Discovery Channel" kind of content I always liked best. There's always deeper content like documentaries, TED talks, and amateur or professional psychology/sociology. I usually have this stuff on as background filler while I'm working. (I've never understood people who have TV on when other people are around and talk over it - but I do like it on when no one else is around.) Yesterday I saw a Lindsay Ellis video about how successful youtubers essentially fool people into feeling like they're in on something and are friends with them... which, while depressing, is clearly happening to me. I'm doing my best to stop replacing people with internet personalities, but that's tough to do after midnight when you can't sleep.

I just recently splurged on a present for myself to make me feel feminine - gel polish and a gel nail light to harden it. The polish I purchased a few days ago, and the light came in the mail from Amazon today, and after layering while psuedo-watching TV, I'm sporting a neutral tone that I quite like. I was tired of never-drying, too thick, short-lasting polish, and I've always liked doing my nails. Something I have in common with several friends. It will take years to assemble a collection of colors again, but at least I can do french tips, which I definitely enjoy. Also, the internet tells me that if I can wait for regular polish to dry overnight, I can put a gel topcoat on, so that might be a solution for the immediate future. In style news, I also got a new pair of jeans and a cute dress last week at serious discounts, and I've got a few nice new makeup options that I've been using - the secret of using green on red areas of the face is really nice, now that I don't have completely flawless skin anymore. Makeup can be a really fun thing to do sometimes.

I'm seriously looking forward to plus size shopping in Dallas, TX, where I'm headed sometime in the next few months for my friends' wedding, which I'm photographing. There are SO many American plus size chain stores, not to mention there possibly being some thrift options, too.

The rest of my time this month has been in planning the World Youth Day at Home at St. Theresa's, where I'm the young adult co-ordinator. Co-ordinator is a job I am reasonably good at. Speaking of St. Theresa's, we played Taboo and ate pizza yesterday with our other Catholic friends and some new folks, and it was a really great time. The buzzer, as usual, nearly broke up couples and long-term friendships!

I just found out today that I get to shoot the opening ceremony for a new Cora's restaurant - it's my favourite breakfast place, and I think I actually like shooting corporate events more than anything else.

So, now I've written a whole big blog post, like I used to do. How do I feel? Well, I guess it helps me to remember that I'm not writing about nothing. I have a life.

I've got plans for the future that involve blogging again, but who knows. If nothing else, I'll have some little snapshots. Maybe it's just another failing New Years resolution. Or maybe it's Maybelline. At any rate, I put the writing client on my application bar on the computer, so perhaps that will allow me to remember to blog more often.
  • Current Mood: calm calm