Thursday, 31 October 2013

Nap time

One crazy day later, and we're here in Saskatoon.  I won't give you all the gross details about traveling by plane with two cats, but suffice to say being well prepared really helped.  My carry on bag looked ridiculous: food bowls, treats, extra pee pads (we used them all!), antibacterial wipes, latex gloves, plastic bags, etc., but I'm glad it all on hand.  I was very thankful that I packed a leash because I had to take Cameron and Cleo out of their carriers at security.  Both cats were cooperative and didn't try to run away, but that leash certainly provided peace of mind.  Kudos to Air Canada staff for taking good (gentle!) care of the beasts.  That airline gets so much bad press about all sorts of things, but they were nothing but friendly and helpful on our journey.  I might even write them an email to thank them for making the day go as smoothly as possible.

I did a lot of unpacking yesterday and today, and things are looking good.  I was so nervous about choosing an apartment in one weekend and had no idea if I made the right decision.  Now that my stuff is here (there was never a happier reunion) I'm feeling much more comfortable. The building and neighbourhood are ABBA obsessed neighbours or fire hall next door here!  A new co-worker took me grocery shopping today and I made my first real meal in almost a month.  Seriously, that was the best roasted sweet potato ever.  My fear of freezing to death will not likely come to fruition in this apartment: the radiator is on.  When I say "on" I mean it's like a freakin' oven.  I have the windows open and a fan blowing warm air out of the apartment in order to keep it under control.  I'm happy to be toasty, but my skin is also already taking a beating.  Excellent moisturizer is in order.  The cats are looking a bit freaked out today, which is to be expected.  A lot of hiding and worried looks, but right now we're all in our regular places on the couch and chair, enjoying the evening (be that spent blogging or engaged in extreme grooming...).

Here's a peek at my new place...

I've never liked any bathroom I've ever had in an apartment and this one bothers me too, although the tub is cool (getting out of it is a bit awkward...there isn't much room).  I'm sure I'll get over it soon. 

I missed my bed so much.  Oh my happy to have it back.  I don't even care that I still don't have a frame for it.

My new kitchen is narrow but tonight's meal prepared from scratch proved that having less space can actually make cooking more efficient.  Everything was close at hand and I have a brand new stove too.  They forgot to plug it in, however, but I crawled into the corner and got it hooked up (I was not going without dinner last night).  All good.  I love me a functional kitchen.  I also have a pantry, which is super cool and provides lots of storage space.

When you walk in the door, there's a door and a little hallway to the left that leads to my bedroom.  The hall has hooks and is a great alternative to a front closet.

My living room is quite a bit smaller than the one in my former apartment.  I made some good decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of...there's no way it would all fit in here!  The space is cozy, but has two big windows.  Lots of natural light during the day, which I love.  The floors are great too, though they need to be cleaned.  I went to Canadian Tyre today and got a steam mop for $72 (originally about $179), thanks to a sale and an incorrect price tag.  Score!

So, it seems to be coming together. I even squeezed in a walk by the river this afternoon and located some professional looking (and virtually wrinkle free) clothes for my first day at work tomorrow.  All signs point to great co-workers and an interesting job.  A lovely fresh start...but I really need a nap.  :)

Monday, 28 October 2013

We're ready!

Well, almost.  A few errands today, a few tomorrow...then off we go on Wednesday morning.  Most of my anxiety about moving and starting a new job two days after arriving in a new city has faded.  I think this has a lot to do with the outrageous hospitality of my new colleagues.  I haven't even met these people and they're going out of their way to make sure I get settled in quickly: rides from the airport and to the grocery store, invitations for lunch, and even a ticket to a concert on Saturday night.  I'm finding it a bit overwhelming, being a bit guarded emotionally and very independent, but perhaps this is a sign, a little nudge from the universe, that it's time to make some changes in the way I interact with people.  (I prefer the little nudges over the huge smacks in the head I get sometimes, but both are effective.  Thank you, universe.)

Cameron and Cleo are loving their carriers!  I'm sure their attitude might change on Wednesday, but it's good that they're finding them so cosy.  They make a great place to grab that 6 hour afternoon nap...


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cats on a plane

I think most people reading this know that I'm a cat lady.  If you didn't know that, shame on me for not regaling you with stories about my fur babies!  A bit of background: Cameron is my 15 year old boy, a laid back brown tabby with a recently diagnosed thyroid problem.  Cleo is his 13 year old sister, a dramatic overweight torti with a touch of arthritis who is currently in the middle of her annual allergic reaction to god knows what.  They're a bit rough around the edges, but super affectionate.  We loooooooooooooooooooooooove each other.  I had to leave them behind temporarily a couple of years ago when I left my ex-husband and vowed never to let it happen again, as it was clearly hard on all of us.  So, along comes this job in Saskatoon and the first thing that pops into my head is "how in the hell am I going to get the cats to Saskatchewan?"  After reviewing the options (all two of them), Cameron and Cleo will fly with me to our new home next week.  Preparations have been crazy and expensive, with online research, visits to the vet, shots, medication refills, new carriers and pet beds, collars, leashes, pee pads, calming treats and natural remedies, luggage tags...the list goes on.  And I haven't even paid for their plane 'tickets' yet (they will fly in baggage in separate kennels and hopefully we all end up in the same place at the same time...cue the nail biting).  At this very moment I'm about three seconds away from downloading "Through A Cat's Ear" from iTunes.  I'm serious.  What's another $9.99 for a collection of bioacoustically designed classical music that will keep my babies calm?!!  *sigh*  We'll get through this somehow.  Strange, they don't look overly concerned at the moment...

Personally, I've found refuge in the 'fuck it bucket,' a term coined by David Sedaris referring to a stash of candy that is consumed in times of stress.  As long as I have a fistful of chocolate covered almonds or super soft jujubes, I'm good to go.  Too bad I don't get to fly in one of these, however...

I'd like to take a moment to express deep gratitude to my Dad for agreeing to drive me and the beasts to Pearson Airport so we can take a direct flight to Saskatoon.  I know he hates driving on the 401 and Toronto is so not his idea of a good time, but he's overcoming his fears to help us out.  Big love, Dad. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

An afterthought

It occurred to me over the weekend that I haven't talked much about the actual job that is waiting for me in Saskatoon.  Oopsies.  The position is full-time Music Library Assistant in the Fine Arts Department at the Saskatoon Public Library, and is a temporary job for up to two years.  I was being a bit narrow-minded about it when I applied ("but it's not a LIBRARIAN position!"), however, when I looked closely at the job description I realized it was an opportunity that I shouldn't be so quick to pass over.  I'll get to do great stuff like in-depth reference and research, select adult CDs for the library system and maintain the collection, and put my writing skills to work through the creation of subject guides, reviews, and annotations.  There will be other fun stuff in there too, like creating displays, and assisting with programming and outreach work.  Lots of interesting tasks to sink my eager little teeth into.  So, in a lot of ways this is the perfect job for someone with a music background and a Master's in Library and Information other words, me.  I was worried about losing touch with children's materials, but I'll be doing reviews for an online publication called CM Magazine.  (My first review can be read here  Fun!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Feeling empty

I rather enjoy living without a lot of stuff.  Stuff complicates things, gets in the way, creates clutter.  If I keep it simple I tend to be able to think and feel more clearly.  But I reached a new level in minimalist living this week as most of my belongings are now on a truck bound for Saskatchewan.  I had to send it off three weeks ahead of my own departure to ensure that it would all be waiting for me when I fly away at the end of the month.  Not ideal, but I'd rather be without at this end than on the other side of Manitoba.  Usually coming home at the end of the day (or in the middle) is comforting because I've got my crappy couch to sit on, my old boom box to listen to, and a comfy bed to climb into when I've had enough of dealing with the day.  Now all that stuff is gone and I've got a big space to exist in for about three weeks.  The cats are enjoying the makeshift bed and don't seem to care about the lack of stuff (first thing Cameron did was check that the food dish was still in the kitchen...typical), but I'm finding it uncomfortable.  Physically, because lying on the floor for extended periods is painful, but also emotionally because there's less to distract me from all the thoughts bouncing around my head ("is this move stupid or brave?" "what if I lose a cat at the airport?" "will I be a flop at my new job?" "why is there no State Farm Insurance in Saskatchewan?" "will I freeze to death by January?").  Maybe this is a good thing, though.  Perhaps if I dump all my worries into the empty space in my living room I won't have to examine them so closely after I hit Saskatoon, I can simply go about  quelling my anxiety by turning my concerns on their heads. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Do you take requests?

I worked with an energy healer, Kim, for a couple of years.  She called herself a wellness companion, meaning that her job was to point me in the right direction, then walk by my side as I made changes and healed old wounds.  Kim often told me all I needed to do to get what I wanted was to put a request in with the universe.  Be specific and believe that I could have what my heart desired.  For a long time I thought that was complete crap...we don't have that much control over the direction of our lives, do we?  Don't we just have to deal with the hand we're given and make the best of the situation?  Kim died in the middle of May this year and I was devastated.  She had continued to book phone appointments with me during her last year, but stopped charging for them at some point.  We grew close.  The last couple of times we spoke she told me to get my shit together, cast away fear, and that she loved me.  I think she knew that she wasn't going to be around much longer and that I would need to take care of myself.  I still feel a bit lost from time to time because this beautiful person who cared so much about me and my life is no longer available to provide guidance.  Sometime in the summer, when my grief was still fresh and I was feeling like I had little left to lose, I decided to take Kim's advice and ask for what I really wanted.  On a piece of note paper I penned a request for a cool new job in a cool new place, either a city smaller than London or a large town, that would provide me with easy access to natural surroundings, including water and trees.  I stuck my request up on the fridge for a while, then put it in a kitchen drawer, and eventually cleaned the drawer out and threw my request in the garbage.  Fast forward to September when I was offered a job that is ridiculously well-suited to my background and experience in beautiful Saskatoon.  Huh.  I guess putting in a request worked.  Kim would be proud. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Don't be a pussy

Fear has been a theme in my life for the past couple of years.  It's been a key player for a long time, but only recently has it stepped from the shadows into my direct path.  Long story short, I'm getting sick of babysitting fear and watching it run (ruin?) my life.  That winter a few years ago when I felt nothing except anxiety, despair, and physical pain?  The handiwork of fear.  Sooooooo done with that crap.  With that in mind, I've decided to devote the next few years of my life to doing all sorts of things that scare the shit out of me, just to see what happens.  I've already dabbled in this mindset for a little while and, surprise, I'm still alive.  Perhaps even thriving.  Who knew?  Most of the scary stuff turned out to be an illusion, and now that I've decided so many things are illusions I feel ready to procede with creating something more authentic.  The Seven of Wands is a tarot card that represents courage and perseverance.  I return to it over and over again for inspiration, and decided to use it as the title of this blog.  Down with fear, or as I've said frequently to a friend, don't be a pussy.  :)