photography, artist

Honey, I Shrunk November

Here I sit, two days after my last wedding of the season, trying to be
realistic about what is possible to accomplish when I am this worn out.
November was an absolutely ridiculous month of working, parties, cosplay,
and initial preparations for Christmas. We've got a tiny tree this year,
one that took me mere minutes to decorate, and in red and gold to match a
lovely tablecloth I scored at a garage sale this year.

Paul and I both had a very busy month actually, and I feel like looking at
my calendar is a more realistic view of my month than writing in the blog.
It's very colourful, nearly every day is blanketed with items, and though
many days I accomplished a great deal, there's a great deal to do yet.
While I know it's lame to just say that I've been busy, it's really the
truth. Between updating a bunch of business items like contracts, training
my new staff person, shooting and editing, and all the various
business-related items, it's been madness. So I have to admit, I'm pretty
pleased with all the fun stuff I did in November as well.

But first, I would like to make a eulogy to my iPod, who drowned in a
tragic accident involving a defective water bottle lid at swing dance class
a few weeks past. I haven't had much time to mourn it's passing, but it has
been greatly missed on car trips despite my phone doing a great job of
standing in for the function of playing a song or two. I almost don't
remember life before this iPod. What I do know is that luckily I spent a
little time last year making sure I saved the play listings for previous
years and so only this year's playlist was lost, and I can easily recreate
that one. All my music is safe on my computer and backup hard drives, too.
So the loss is mediated, but for an item that's been everywhere I've been
for over 5 years, it's still a loss. Plus at the moment I can't really
afford to replace it. Oh well. My phone is a great interim item, and right
now we have bigger fish to fry with our hard-earned cash.

*Twyla's iPod*
*RIP*
*2008-2013*
*We made good music together.*

Speaking of things that are gone from our lives, we sold our Avalon car and
I am really loving our new orange mazda. Especially the expensive and
useful snow tires and auto-start feature. The weather's been awful and I've
been driving back and forth in it pretty much every weekend of the winter
so far. Crazy to think that there's only a month left of the year! But it
always is around December.

I got so busy this month that I had to postpone my guitar lessons to the
new year, I haven't been able to make it to two of our six lessons for
swing, and I've barely seen anyone. Of course, the people I have seen it's
been a pleasure. Leah dropped by for half an hour while she was in town,
which was lovely. I went for breakfast with my Aunt, which we don't often
do just the two of us, and my cousin helped me clean out a lot of our
garbage and recycling, including a bunch of stuff from our garage and then
went out for supper with the family. Thanks to that event, and hiring an
unemployed friend to help me sort some things around the house, we've got a
lot less junk around these days, and I'm slowly sifting through the rest.

For work I spent a weekend with one day at the Saskatoon BarCamp, where
presenters talked about nerdy topics like BitCoin, and the following day at
a tradeshow for parents called the Parent and Tot show - a new show in
Saskatoon. I haven't had any leads from it yet, but I gave it a go. I
booked a couple of weddings and ended the month with a wonderful wedding
with a battle scene for the reception - I am super excited to edit it and
to show it to my bride for the first time.

We hosted a Prohibition Murder Mystery party at our house, which was a
really fun time - Paul ended up wrapping up the show by revealing that he
was undercover for the FBI and arresting the police chief! Pretty sweet
deal. I was playing as a reporter and took a lot of pictures, which I
processed in black and white afterwards and everyone enjoyed.

And speaking of role-playing, once the long-awaited Dr. Who episode aired
in the movie theatre last Monday, Paul and I and a friend all dressed up -
Paul as the tenth doctor, myself as River Song, and our friend Corrina as
the 11th Doctor. I now eagerly and sadly await the Christmas episode. I
spent what felt like a million years costume shopping for us and it was SO
worth it. A lot of my costume elements are going to be very useful for
steampunk dress-up as well!

Probably the very most important things that happened in November were the
meetings we had with a realtor and mortgage broker in Edmonton. I met with
the realtor alone, but Paul was with me for our mortgage meeting. We're
really glad we spoke to the person, we have a much better idea of how to
proceed from here - and that is, to save money in cash. Paul's making
pretty decent money at work these days and there's not a whole lot left on
my list of things to buy for us, at least nothing that can't wait, so most
of my income is going to be stowed away for down payment. What these
meetings taught us, however, is that it's entirely possible for us to
afford a tiny home, they exist, and we are happy to be moving directly into
our own space. It will very likely require work, but in the end we're just
happy to be on our way to making all the ends meet. It's finally real. 2014
is coming so quickly now.

So is my sabbatical, and it can't come soon enough. I took the day off to
veg today and yesterday was pretty lax too, just a road trip and some time
spent with my Paul, but I'm going to have to spend the next couple of days
gunning it with work so I can prep for the upcoming Christmas parties and
family get-togethers. After that, though, I'm going to be trying my hardest
to take it a little easier this month, and the next few months leading up
to my Sabbatical - which I've decided is going to be 6 weeks starting at
Valentines Day again - but this time I have a staff person to handle some
things during that time, which is going to make me pretty free to work with
personal things. This time, though, I want to try and use this time to
create a much more sustainable routine for myself, and I hope I can do that
slowly. I'm already starting work on that.

This first week of Advent, as we prepare the way for the coming King, is
the week where we focus on Hope. The hope that comes with the Gospel of the
incarnation - God humbling himself to live among us and show us how deep
his love really runs. There are so many things I have hoped for that have
come true. Love and marriage, having a successful small business,
travelling, and seeing the success and happiness of my friends. Lately, I
hope and dream of a cozy little house to enjoy. But more than that, I hope
for a renewal of my heart and life as I continue to make a lot of personal
changes, a great job for Paul in Edmonton, a continued building of joy in
our married life as things get easier and more hopeful and we get better at
handling all the curveballs life throws our way.

I'm so glad that 2013 has been the good year I hoped for last year at
Advent. This year, my hope doesn't masquerade with desperation, but rather
springs from all the good things that have happened, are happening, and
will happen.