Weekly Windows…

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Sounds rather esoteric, no? Weekly windows…but no, it’s just an insight into my cluttered desktop.  I have a bad habit of bookmarking everything and leaving a million windows open on my computer.  Eventually it tells me my computer has no more space and my browser crashes and if I haven’t bookmarked them, I lose the pages forever. I open things that I want to read later, or that I have read and may want to read again later, or that I just can’t, virtually part with yet.  Or just things that people have sent me that have been interesting to me in some way or another.  Is this weird? Once a year or so I have to weed out my bookmarks because they are so unmanageable, I could never find anything even if I wanted to.  It’s kind of like my closet.  If I haven’t worn it in the same season last year, it has to go.  Here is what I have open in my browser this week:

The Broken Lives of FukushimaThis is an article that a friend had posted on Facebook and admittedly, I haven’t had time to read yet.  Obviously my past time in Japan has made this issue rather close to me and I read a lot of news and opinion based articles on this topic.  To be read later. 

Workaway.infoThis is a site that hooks up potential workers with host families around the world.  The site has a membership fee and I suppose it is a lot like WWOOF’ing.  My Mom recently got a membership so I’ve been looking around at the site, getting ideas for things we could do around the world to save on accommodation and food while doing some volunteering.  I would love to do some Reef Conservation work at some point or language exchange abroad.

The Editorial Freelancers Association-This is an organization out of the US that links together Editors and Freelancers from around the world.  I have recently thought about getting more into editing and proofreading, specifically copy editing and proofreading as I have done some of this in the past, and this organization offers formal courses and training online for a reasonable price. I am currently looking into how reputable they are and trying to find out more information from people who have actually taken the courses.  A lot of people that I am reading are suggesting that apart from a related degree, a lot of people are self taught from certain recommended books, so I have downloaded some of these books as well.  There seems to be a lot of freelance work online in this area, depending on where you look.

Cheshire BMDA few years ago, I found out that, or I came to realize that the person I thought was my paternal grandmother was a “step” grandmother and I have never met my “real” Grandmother on my Father’s side.  It turns out that her father was a former MP of Red Deer, Alberta and was born in Cheshire, UK, which opened up the realization for me, that I am a tiny bit British on my Father’s side.  I have recently tracked down a record of his birth certificate which can be purchased online.  Turns out he was buried in Vancouver, not far from where I lived and has been there, unaware of me or me of him for ages, until now.

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Craft Passion-Owl Amigurumi-Sorry, but how freaking cute is this owl? I have recently delved into the world of amigurumi, at the request of an aunt who has ordered a toy from me as an Xmas present for a new baby cousin.  This website has lots of good patterns and I’m not sure why I have this open.  It’s just cute, and I like looking at it, okay?

You would think this is enough windows for one person, but no-I have five more open besides the above! Until next time…

 

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How to Kill a Summer and Move On…

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Fall is here in this “Paris of the Prairies” and another summer has more than wrapped up, with already one below 0c night that I can think of.  My garden is all pulled up and it’s definitely around this time of year that my mind starts turning Westward.  Or Eastward.  Or anywhere that isn’t this bloody cold! I am usually lamenting the end of the summer here and all the beautiful hot, dry weather that comes with it.  But let’s face it, this summer has been shit.  I am so glad it’s over and I am able to MOVE ON.

As I’ve touched on before, this summer has been completely dominated by my health problems/health scare.  Doctor appointments, neurologists and trips to the University, blood tests, and finally an MRI all to determine what happened in my head back in April where I had “sort of” symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia, but not really.  The more the tests and time wore on, the more I started to get really freaked out that I had MS or something else.  My symptoms were quite bad at some times and I was usually crippled with a near debilitating exhaustion.  Numbness and tingling in my face and fingers and arm, dizziness.  It’s all been very annoying, but mostly just blindingly stressful.  For both of us.  And my family.  What would happen if I had some disease that was going to be here for the long haul? What about our long term career options? My husband is an artist.  What about him? What about travel? Would he have to eventually take care of me? What was going on in my brain RIGHT NOW? 

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Fortunately, to make a long story short, my MRI turned out okay and there are no signs of any lesions or tumors.  I do have some small, minor birth defect whereby a blood vessel didn’t form properly but it’s completely unrelated and won’t cause any problems down the road.  So while I don’t know why I had the initial nerve pain and the fallout from all of that, I am obviously elated that it’s nothing too serious.  I have one more neurologist appointment in November so maybe he can shed some light on what I should do if I am abroad and this happens again. 

Sooooo…..Now that all THAT is over, for the first time, I’m and WE are actually able to start looking forward at what is next for us and what our next travel plans shall be! This has all put a huge new level of excitement on travel for me.  I mean, for a while there, I didn’t know when and if I’d be able to be away for a longer trip again or if I’d need to hang around here for more tests or what.  Nothing had flavour or interest to me during those months and the prospect of travel didn’t really interest me because I wouldn’t allow myself to think of anything that far in advance. 

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We have all sorts of ideas of what we want to do and where we want to go and because of the above mentioned sidetracking, it looks like we will probably be leaving about a month later than we normally do, which is okay because we get a chance to save a bit more.  We’ve started getting some ideas together and budgeting out what would be viable.  Ultimately, as much as we could keep on going and doing this every summer, we feel that this could be our last “big” trip for a while.  We are playing around with the idea of going away until next summer again, coming back here and working another summer and using the money to move to Toronto.  It’s not something we are super pumped about, but opportunity wise, it might be best for us.  But that is a ways away, so who knows yet! It would be kind of nice to unpack some boxes that have been in storage since 2011 and to have my own kitchen again.  But once I start travelling, I don’t worry too much about that so I wouldn’t be surprised if we change our mind again. At any rate, as far as locales and dates we don’t have anything set in stone yet.  I am trying to swing a flight through Vancouver so I can see my family and friends, which would be so great.

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We are also hoping to do some house sitting to cut costs.  Not having to pay for accommodation is a huge deal while travelling and we are looking at joining a particular house sitting website that has great reviews.  This could open up some potential places to use that would otherwise have to be pretty short visits.  I would really love to go back to London and to be able to spend more time there than last time. 

So really, one of the only other positive highlights of the otherwise “heavy”  summer has been my creative ventures.  I’ve managed to fill quite a few personal orders for my handmade items as well as sell a few things a local store.  I’m not sure if I will leave my stuff in there while I am away or take it out.  It has been really fulfilling making things for people and making people happy with things that I can create.  Working on these things has been a great way to take my mind off of stuff when I was so worried about my health.  Apart from this I have been working here and there for a few local businesses with friends either in the local homemade ice cream stand, which I always love, and more recently for a catering gig through the Co-operative Cafe I worked for last year when I was here.  I love being able to use any creativity, through work and get paid for it too.  Now I am trying to finish up some stuff that people have requested I make for Xmas gifts, so that has been keeping me quite busy.  I am always up for more orders though, which I can do up until I leave, of course…more soon, maybe?