Friday, July 31, 2015

Move number ...13?

I have moved more than the average person. Between June 2003 & now, I moved 10 full times (from Langley -> Vancouver -> Calgary -> Airdrie -> Vancouver -> Victoria -> Saanichton -> Victoria -> Vancouver -> Kitsilano -> Langley)

...but I've also done two half-moves. What that means is, during the Victoria -> Saanichton -> Victoria stint (I think that time period was 4 years? 5 years?) twice my ex and I rented a place in Vancovuer because we missed 'home' so much and we stayed there as much as possible while technically still living on Vancouver Island.

(it was ferry-hell. Seriously. I never want to get on BC Ferries ever again)

Because we moved so much, choosing a new house/condo was always about one thing. Resale. Several places I completely renovated so we could (and did) sell them really quickly when needed.

This is why I joke about owning more power tools than high-heeled shoes. I've done plumbing, electrical, drywall, roofing, I've torn out brick walls, built stone walls, converted a wood burning fireplace to natural gas, done tiling, flooring, rebuilt cabinets, landscaped, and of course all the easy stuff like painting, repairing walls, re-doing all trim/baseboards, etc.

But I've been renting the last 3 places I've lived, including where I am now.

Which was nice, not to have to do renos/etc, but also frustrating because they never felt like 'home'. They were never 'mine'.

So, at long last, I am moving again. This time, to Cloverdale (easy access to the border, 45 min to Vancouver, 45 min to Chilliwack, 1 hour to the cabin, so location is pretty central/perfect). And the most glorious thing about this place? No major renovations needed. The only hard work this place needs is all the carpet ripped out/replaced, but that doesn't have to be done right away since it's in pretty good condition. I want to rip it out because carpet + pet hair = dust/dirt/allergies, but I can live with it for now.

Although it's already been a bit of a crazy summer, I am absolutely delighted at the prospect of living in a 'home' again, something I can paint and change and re-work to suit me (and the pets, of course).

Mostly I'm excited to unpack since 90% of my possessions have been in boxes for over 2 years, since I made the last Victoria -> Vancouver move.

I get my keys August 23 and I'll probably move in early September, after I've done a little bit of painting/etc.

So, happy long weekend (to those who have Monday off), I'll probably be out touring paint stores and looking at paint swatches.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A small tribute + orchids

I was already planning to put up a short series of posts about orchids because a few people have asked me about my ever-growing collection.

The reason I decided to do it now is because the dear family friend who just died was also an orchid lover. One of her favourite things to do was go plant shopping with me and my mom, so it seemed fitting to write these posts as I am coming to terms with her very sudden death.

For all of you who have private messaged/emailed/texted me, thank you so much.

Orchids, pt 1

Orchids, pt 2

Orchids, pt 3

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Short break

Guys, sorry but I'm going to be offline for a few days, probably not even checking email.

A very, very close friend of the family has just lost her war with cancer, and even though we knew it was coming, it's about 6 months earlier than expected.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Short update

Wow, the last couple of weeks have absolutely flown by! Somehow, I think that's a quality of summer, even though it's not like I'm in school anymore so I am not revelling in the freedom of vacation.

Maybe it's the heat? Melts the brain a little and time slides sideways?

So... divorce! Yes! It's done! I should get the final paperwork this week!

(okay, I am officially banning myself from further use of exclamation marks in this post before I poke someone's eye out)

Eva, my beloved and... always troublesome beagle companion... had a small surgery to remove a lump from her chest (nothing seriously, thankfully) and was confined to a cone-of-shame for a week. Oh yes, plus 2 weeks fighting with ear drops for a persistent ear infection. She gained almost 5 lbs due to the number of treats I had to bribe her with... sigh...

Berkeley knocked my laptop on the floor, which meant a trip to the Apple store + a new screen + a couple days forced-detox from computer-land. Don't worry, I got the crying & shaking under control after the first 24 hours.

I was out in Chilliwack with my painting mentor for a few days and plan to head back on the 24th in August to help go through stuff for the next PAC convention. This one is in Montreal, May 2016.

Editing more photos for the PAC magazine, new issue deadline is the end of the month, and I've also taken over the website related tasks. It was kindof fun to realize that teaching myself basic coding when I was a teenager somehow stuck in my brain enough to allow me to pop into the backend of a website I had not built and manipulate it. Good times were had by all :)

Most exciting thing of all? I've jumped back into the Northern Fairytale with both feet. I've been going through the 25,000 words of first-draft-ugliness and editing for consistency and logic (seriously, why did I ever think that deer would have already given birth to fawns in March? IGNORANCE, and I now know better) and have been tapped into a lovely collection of Arctic-related notes/research/documentaries for the next portion of writing.

Where did I leave off last time? Maybe you recall my (slight) obsession with crows/ravens? And a peculiar goddess/monster (or as she prefers to be called) a 'Lady' made up of an entire flock of crows?

So yes, Selka is back and hungry for blood. Quite literally. And my brain is positively buzzing with ideas, notions, and random tangents that might possibly intersect at some point and connect into a cohesive plot.

This also means Jay, Kell & the crew from SCARLIGHT are currently banished into the dark corners of my brain until a later time & place. Writing 2 first drafts at the same time is apparently beyond my abilities, not only just in the sheer number of tense errors flipping from past to present & back again, but due to the bi-polar war going on in my head hopping between a somewhat noble female character and a selfish, self-involved male character. Oh, but Kell? Parkour? So much fun research somewhere in the future :)

And while all this is going on, I am on the hunt for a new place to live. The plan is to move before the end of September, but so far my extreme pickiness is limiting my options. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask for to find a place with a fenced yard, room/lighting to accommodate 40+ orchids, a snooker table, 2 pets, all my porcelain/painting stuff, 2 kilns, a light table, my computers, books... ugh. Okay, you can see why this might be difficult...

Yes, the last couple weeks have flashed by... how are your summers shaping up so far? Any writing goals you're shooting for? I have been informed that Camp NaNo is not somehow related to a horror-novel plot and is quite legitimate. Any non-writerly goals? Moving? School? Career/drudgery? Family? Vacation/trips?