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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Massively overdue

Thought I had abandoned this little gem in the sea of the blogiverse, didja? Nooooo... just very busy living life and, to be honest, I haven't really known what to share and what to keep to myself. Noel and I have been figuring our shit out and I'm finally ready to give an update, in lovely numbered-list-style!

Enjoying Japanese treats in our new pad.

1. Home: After several months of taking refuge with my boss/friend/landlord on the Rez we decided that we were ready to emerge from our feathery nest and take flight into the "real" world. It was easier said than done. I'm not sure why my experience of searching for apartments in Vermont didn't kick in and remind me that it's extremely difficult to rent anything outside of a barn with the small illegitimate petting zoo that we call a family, but it didn't. I idealistically logged onto Craigslist and Kijiji and started my search, finding all sorts of lovely little apartments nestled on the tree-lined streets of Hamilton. "Do you take pets?" was my question each time, and each time the answer was a resoundingly loud "Hellz NO!" or some similar unsympathetic rejection. We finally found a place after several missteps, refusals, botched lease signings and disappointments.

"Red Light District" (view from our kitchen window)
I'll share more about our new place as time goes on, but for now what I'll mention is that we have landed in the north east end of Hamilton, which, for all you Hamiltonians out there will immediately serve as a mental picture of our new home and for all you Buffalonians out there, to give you a comparison, is very similar to the East side of Buffalo. Extremely economically depressed neighborhood in the oldest part of the city. Wonderful old steel-soot covered buildings mixed with a potpourri of horrid 70's architecture, a bedraggled lady of the night on many of the corners, and crack houses situated next to the homes of tidy old Italian and Polish grandmas. It's home, for now, and we're finding it better than we hoped. We're so close to so much. We're finding that Hamilton is a vibrant and interesting city similar to Buffalo in that it's an old steel town going through a bit of a Renaissance right now. So, we've been delving deeper into that world and will report on our experiences as they unfold.

2. Love: Noel and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary a couple weekends ago on July 20th. I'm grateful for having such a lovely partner who compliments me in so many ways yet still has his own thing going on. I'm grateful for our ups and downs, our willingness to work on them, our open and honest communication and our mutual love of this world. As Noel would say, we're "hitch hiking our way through the galaxy together"... I mustn't forget my towel!!!

3. Job: I'm still working at the clinic as a practice administrator to my boss/friend the MD and the Traditional Healer. It's been really interesting and not too stressful now that we're up and running. What my experience at that job has made me realize is that my interests really lie in the exploration and use of natural medicines to heal and help. As a western herbalist for the past decade or so I thought I had a decent amount of knowledge about herbs and their uses in a practical, take-care-of-your-family, kind of sense. Having been introduced to Haudenosaunee medicine has given me a gift of insight into another world of healing. I'm grateful for how I was brought here and definitely feel I'm being guided in an interesting direction. I'm sure I'll elaborate on this as life happens.

Oh, sweetie, it'll all become clear soon!!!
4. Noel: Well, I should let Noel post for himself, but will at least share that Noel continues to wrestle with the decision of whether starting school this fall is right for him. He's taken a job working for a coaster company in Dundas and is feeling the weight of realizing he's 43 and still hasn't found his work in this world. He was accepted to a local college's woodworking program and is trying to make it work financially. I love the idea of Noel going to school. I don't love the idea that we're living on the edge financially, and that his much needed education might push us over that edge, but I also want to be supportive and totally know he needs to do this. So, I'm trusting him to make it work if/when he goes.

Luci & Lily chillin at Time Beach in Bee Eff Ell Oh

5. Friends & Family: I haven't had much time or money for trips to Buffalo, but try to get there when I can. After about a month I start going through niece-withdrawal and need to get my Luci & Lily fix. It's always a lovely time hanging out with my sisters and aunt and brothers-in-law when I can get there.

I had a chance to stop by my friend Marian's home and amazing herbal center, Cat's Tail Farm Herbal Center. That was a true treat! Aside from seeing Marian again, I ran into some other dear friends, Joan and her husband Russ, and had a wonderful time learning about Marian's work with the Green Nations.

The same weekend my friend Sundari who moved to northern Cali last year came back for her first visit. It was like she never left. We just kind of picked up where we left off, walking in the woods, drumming in circle together, and generally being the lovely supportive friends that we've been to one another since we started hanging out almost a decade ago.

A couple weekends ago we had our first visitor to our new place. The woman who I just realized is my oldest friend, a girl I started hanging out with when our combined ages would equal less than the age of 20, the lovely, talented and ridiculously talented Jocelyn came to visit. I can still remember playing Dirty Barbies with her in her two bedroom walk up in Blasdell. We flitted off to our separate social circles in High School, but always remained friendly. We found each other through the social network and have been enjoying a pleasant reconnection.

So, that's life in a nutshell. Extremely lifey, huh? Work and love and food and money and pets and friends and herbs and steeltown blues. I make no promises about when I'll post next, but now that my life is almost unpacked and we're feeling safe enough to put some roots down for at least a year, I'm sure that my next post will be a little sooner than my last!

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