1. Moving and Nesting: I love our apartment- it has great bones and is just small enough (1 very large bedroom, a living room, a teensy bathroom, and a nice sized kitchen) to manage cleaning without feeling totally overwhelming. Having a dog and 3 cats makes life, well, lets just say, vacuum-worthy.
The architectural detail of the building (it's an old stone heritage building that used to be a bank) keeps us there despite the neighborhood's less-than-desirable location. Although we love the apartment, we have kept searching for either a house or large apartment to rent that offers access to the outside world- that's really the only thing this place lacks. It's a little miserable to have no outdoor access aside from our front stoop- upon which I have found (on more than one occasion) a used condom, used needle, half-eaten pizza slice, too many cigarette butts to count, and the occasional hobo, misanthrope or prostitute.
There are also good things about our neighborhood that give it that rough-around-the-edges inner-city charm, like the sweet little old Eastern European ladies wearing babushkas, Emma's favorite prostitute who always loves to give her lots of love and petting, and the constant entertainment of the various modes of transport (e-bikes are the standard followed closely by those old-people scooters and bikes with hacked shopping carts as trailers). So, we're sort of half-searching for a new place, but reluctantly, as I firmly believe we would be total shoe-ins for the 2014 Apartment Therapy Small Cool contest! My goal is to settle on something, whether it's this place or something else, by early Spring 2014 so that I can know which community garden to join.
2. Work: I had trepidations about my current position as the office manager/Girl Friday for the physician and Traditional Healer that I work for- mainly due to funding issues, but since my last post (and after some job searching, interviews and offers) I decided to tough out the storm of uncertainty and stick with the job knowing I may not know how long it will last. I couldn't bear the thought of working anywhere else. Nowhere else in my life have I ever felt so valued as an employee, a person, an herbalist, and a woman. I totally believe in the work that we're doing and feel that I'm a part of it, even in my limited administrative role. My bosses (who I feel honored to call my friends) are patient, respectful and encouraging. I decided that was worth more than more money, more benefits, or a closer commute. The day after I decided to stay for the long haul my employer handed me my paycheck with a significant raise- like almost twice what I was making- along with a hug. I don't think I've ever glowed at work, but this was as close to that as I've ever come.
In addition to my position at the clinic, I was just offered a contract position as an Archivist for the Indigenous Knowledge Centre on Six Nations. It's part time for 5 months and will not only give me the extra cash I need to dig myself out of debt, it will afford Noel and I the money that we need to pay for his vasectomy reversal surgery. It doesn't hurt that I have access to this amazing cache of Indigenous Knowledge- a cache that I'm now charged with making some sort of sense out of!
3. Noel's Update: Noel doesn't seem to come here as much as I do, I guess that's up to him to share if he wants. Basically, Noel decided to forego school this year and stick to working at the Coaster company that hired him on shortly after returning to Ontario. It's similar grudgery to his last schleppy warehousing job, but he has a cool benefit- awesome coasters. Sounds crazy, right? I never realized what a great design vehicle coasters are for interesting art! I'll have to scan some and share.
Well, basically we've been unpacking more, settling into the area and getting to know Hamilton in all it's Steeltown glory. It's a wonderfully multicultural city with tons of greenspace (it's saving grace) and a funky-weird vibe, not good or bad, just funky and weird.
I keep pining away for Vermont, but know that all in good time we will be back to visit our favorite state. For now, we've decided it's best to put down roots in a place that will allow us to thrive and build up our skill sets.
I'm starting school in January and Noel is trying to figure out where and when and what he wants to learn. My intention right now is to finish my Bachelors and move into a health-based field- maybe finish my Master Herbalist diploma or possibly apply to Naturopathic school. I usually set all these lofty goals for years down the line without really allowing life to unfold the way it's supposed to, so this time I'm trying to take each day, week and month as a sort of fluid progression that naturally evolves from choice to the next.
Life keeps throwing curve balls at us, but we're making progress and don't feel half as vulnerable and freaked out as we did in December. I've started running again and am planning to take a 6 month yoga teacher training at Dharma Door retreat beginning in April. I promised myself I would give the training to myself as a gift after a solid 6 months of running and yoga, so it's still tentative, but I feel confident that I can get through 6 months without backing into my sedentary self again.
Rest In Peace, Layne Redmond:
One more important thing that really merits it's own post- Layne Redmond, a wonderful frame drummer who I had the pleasure to work with at Kripalu Center (her Bee Priestess Training) passed on yesterday from a lengthy illness. I'll write more about it, I'm sure, but wanted to note that we have lost a wonderful woman who inspired a whole community of percussionists to explore rhythm as an integral part of their expression of spirit. She lived her life to it's absolute fullest until she let go, working on the revised edition of her now famous book "When the Drummers Were Women" during her last days. She will be sorely missed, but her work is being carried on by those she acted as mentor to- many many MANY women (and some men!) who are now teaching their own frame drum techniques based on Layne's work.
|Emma and I enjoying Little Rock City.|
|Brilliant autumn <3|
|Hey there :)|