Sunday, December 9, 2007

A giving meme

From Tandaina, a lovely idea she got from a friend of hers.

I will send a handmade gift to the first five people who comment to this post. I make a lot of stuff that I have to unmodestly say are really cool: beaded jewelry, bath salts, scented hand lotion, sewn and embroidered things. I'll need your address, of course, but I'm sure we can work out a way to get that to me without it being all public.

Here's the catch: If you comment to this post, you'll have to post to your own journal (wherever it is, doesn't have to be on Blogger) making the same offer. Comments are open!


I have a confession to make.

What with one thing and another, I haven't been to church in something like months. I could blame this on my work schedule (and truly, now that I'm working retail it's awfully difficult to get to church anywhere) but even before I got this job I wasn't going. I felt like I needed a break, or I'd get up on Sunday morning and get involved with something, or I'd tell myself I didn't need the church to pray...

Yesterday before work I got a call from Ray. He and Tim had gone to a local SCA event and forgotten a few things; could I possibly run them over before work? Sure!

I'd woken up feeling fairly crappy, and the thought of scraping snow from the car and slogging my ass out to get things done didn't help a'tall. On top of which I hadn't been to local SCA stuff for months, either, was feeling bad and annoyed about that; I'd really wanted to go to this event and couldn't. But off I went.

I felt odd and alone and left out, walking through a hall decorated with bright banners and soft Indian cushions, among elegantly-garbed folks in all the fashions of the Middle Ages, wearing my heavy winter jacket and jeans and snow (and snowy) boots. They were in the kitchen which put me walking right through the center of everything. Tim gave me a big hug which helped a lot but then it was time to go. I wanted naught more than to shed my heavy coat, put on bright Persian clothing, and settle in for the day...but work beckoned (or perhaps threatened with its riding crop, I'm not sure).

I'd hoped to find a back way into the kitchen. No such luck, but in my wanderings I did find the sanctuary as well as the small chapel attached to the church building the event was held in. I looked into the sanctuary, thinking to slip in for a moment's prayer, but there were people inside and I felt shy; the chapel, however, was empty, so I ducked in there.

Empty. Never empty. I'd intended to sit in a pew for a moment or so, instead found myself kneeling at the altar rail, head bowed and hands clenched, eyes streaming with tears. Never empty. God's love enfolded me and welcomed me back; nevermind that this isn't my church, it's his. I didn't see a Presence lamp, don't know if they do that there, didn't even think to look; God was there, God loves me.

I wiped my eyes and went on with my day, errands to run, always something to do. But I've been waiting too long, or perhaps God has been waiting too long for me to come back. It's time, time for me to rejoin His people and await His coming, both at Christmas and whenever He comes again in glory.

Friday, December 7, 2007


You out there? You okay?


I've been tagged by Eileen! I think. Well, doing the meme anyways, since it seems to be a good time for that sort of thing.

Here are the rules, from John at SmuloSpace (the same guy who brought you 5 Things I Dig About Jesus):

• Write down five things that you’re thankful for.
• Tag five friends who you’d like to see participate in this meme.
• (Optional) Include a link to the original at SmuloSpace in your post, and then visit the post yourself and place a link to your completed meme in the comments section so John can keep track of the thankfulness running around the blogosphere.

1) Friends. The friends who are allowing me to stay at their house, the friends who dropped what they were doing to help me move. The friends back East who check up on me from time to time to make sure I'm okay. New friends found in unexpected places. Old friends, comfortable and familiar.

2) My little cat. Brave, snuggly, warm, soft, frequently sharp. Couldn't survive without him.

3) Good, healthy, well-cooked, flavorful food.

4) Mountains.

5) My Godblogs folks, because some days I need the reminder.

I tag Tim, Mother Laura, Lark, Hedwyg, and Grandmere Mimi.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Short Takes

First off, a link from Jadwiga: The cute! It burns! I'll be following this tale.

Secondly, my cats, my poor, long-suffering cats. Taltos and Samson spend most of their time under the futon I sleep on here, though they do venture out when nobody's around or I'm asleep. No hollering, no crying, no clawing at the door like I've gotten previously. Chocolate sleeps with me, pesters me when I'm on the computer, and even will come out and bother Tim or Ray occasionally when I'm not around. I'm very pleased with them all.

Thirdly there's Sarah. I've posted about her before and she's an awful lot of fun to live with. Also a total pain in the ass, mind you. Spends a lot of time outside the computer room door being totally pitiful because all the people in the house are in there but her and she's all alone and lonely and dying. So I go pet her.

Been taking her for walks a lot. To the play ground where she'll happily go down the slide, then into the fenced-in basketball court to chase tennis balls. She's a blast. I think I'll borrow her sometimes when I've moved out, just to have a dog around. The cats will be thrilled.

The problem with working retail is the weekends. I haven't been to church in forever and ever. I miss it.

The faith, though -- that faith that so surprised me when I found it, that still surprises me -- is still there, even when I've forgotten about Him for a few days in all the bustle. This reassures me mightily. And someday, I will have a job that Does Not Suck and so will give me time to, y'know, go to church.

Tim's home -- time to go.

Surviving...rather long.

*crawls back online*

Having been prodded pestered gently reminded that it's been a while, herewith an update. (Hi Nina! Hi Mother Laura!)

Not dead. Not even particularly broken. Still working at Wallyworld, still have a place to live, still have the three cats I had left.

I dreamt twice about Shanti in the week after I took her to the Humane Society (and I thank those of you who commented about her in my last post -- your comments were reassuring). In the first dream, I found out that she'd been adopted by someone in the apartment complex, who wasn't treating her right. I got together with one of the maintenance guys (who'd told me about the situation) and we planned to steal Shanti back out of the bad which time I planned to take her back to the Humane Society.

In the second one, she'd escaped on her own and made it back to my place, and was hanging around outside my bedroom window. I figured I'd catch her, bring her inside, brush her good and feed her, pet her a lot...and take her back to the Humane Society.

I miss her a lot, but it seems that deep down I somehow know that I made the right decision.

The job remains a job. My legs are hurting less (except when I'm dumbassed and pull a groin muscle running to the bathroom, but that wasn't as bad as it could have been) and my coworkers really rock. My schedule is varying a lot more so I'm actually getting out of work at decent times some days. It'll do, for now.

The place to, what a saga.

I started looking back towards the beginning of October, planning to move at the end of November. Of course, all I found back then was places which would be ready October 15, or around Halloween. Not much use for me; 'look in November', said the landlords I spoke to.

So I stopped worrying about it for a month or so, and began looking again at the beginning of November. And nothing. Nothing, and nothing, and nothing. No cats; not ready until December 15; nothing until January; what, are you nuts, trying to move during the holidays?


Franticness grew. I began negotiations with Tim and Ray to possibly stay with them for a day or two if necessary. I began packing. I began realizing that there was no way that all of my things would fit into Tim and Ray's house with all of their things. I began to seriously panic as the fifteenth, then the twentieth, rolled by with no place to live.

The week of Thanksgiving I called a local company about a place in the paper. That apartment was already rented; they said; well, asked I, I'm looking for a place in this part of town for this price range and, oh, I have cats. She listed for me three places; I promptly asked to see them. She'd give my number to the lady who did showings, she said, and I didn't hear from them for a few days. When I called back she said, oh, okay; can you meet the lady who does the showings on the day after Thanksgiving at this address? It wasn't one of the addresses she'd listed; I figured it must be their office or something, and we'd drive around to see the apartments.

Thanksgiving rolled around, and the lot of us wound up at Bri and Richard's home with rather more people than I'd expected, most of whom I didn't know. I managed to avoid a total freakout by napping in a chair most of the afternoon, though I felt like a jerk for not helping with dinner. Normally people I don't know don't get to me much, but with everything that's been going on...dinner was fine, we wound up staying much longer than I wanted to but since I'd come over with Tim and Ray I didn't want to say anything (mea culpa, I know, Tim), and eventually I found myself hiding in the basement with Richard, trying to help him get his computer up and running. His big, mostly empty basement. 'Hey, Richard,' I said, 'I'm having trouble finding a place to move into' (I could see his shoulders stiffen), 'I can crash with Tim and Ray' (they relaxed) 'but I have a lot of stuff. Any chance some of it could stay here for a while?' He had to consult with Bri, she being in charge of such arrangements, but they agreed that it would be just fine, since they have all the space anyway. One worry down! But only one.

And not enough to calm me the hell down, because I wound up having a bit of a freakout well after dinner anyways. Fortunately almost everyone had left by then, and fortunately, the people who remained are people I know, are local, and (with one exception) was comfortable with at the time. I'm still worried, I told them, because I have to have my stuff out by next Friday, I don't have a place to move to yet even though I have a place to put my stuff, and I work all weekend, so I can't ask people to help me move.

Because, really, you're lucky enough to get friends to help you move; you aren't going to wind up good enough friends with people for them to move you out when you can't be there, right?

It was Leif-Bob, the one I didn't know well and wasn't too comfortable with (at the time), who asked what people were doing the next day.

So while I worked Black Friday, my dear friends (and one new one) showed up at my place with two trucks and a trailer and moved about half of my crap to Bri and Richard's basement.

I have the bestest friends in the world.

Leif-Bob also wants to join in our (unfortunately postponed due to my crappy work schedule) D&D game. Heck yeah!

So thence back to Friday morning and the apartment tour. The place I met her was, it turned out, an apartment itself, a two-bedroom place for quite a reasonable price. Lovely light, lovely windows, grand large kitchen, lots of closets. I fell in love. Filled out an application and put it in Monday morning. Prayed and prayed that I'd get the place. Especially as it turned out that the other three apartments I'd heard about a few days before were already gone, gone, gone.

It also turned out, later on Monday, that this apartment that I loved didn't allow cats.

I cursed and railed and damn near had a panic attack. I did all this quietly, mind you, since I was at work the whole time, but nevertheless. I'm guessing the part about 'have cats' got lost in the shuffle somewhere. Well, I wrote them off and started looking again.

Tuesday I went to look at a couple of other places, didn't like them much, but put in applications anyway, just so I'd have an option somewhere. Prayed I'd hear back soon. Breathed a lot. Sometime that afternoon. the lady who'd shown me the apartment I loved called me back and told me they had another one -- two bedrooms, $595 a month with all utilities included, and best of all was the location -- right I mean right across the street from Tim and Ray's. The former occupant was still in residence so I couldn't see inside but I walked around the building, called back, and said 'I'll take it'.

It'll be ready around the 3rd or 4th, they said. Fine; a couple days with my dear ones was perfectly doable. I politely turned down the other two apartment approvals and waited.

Tuesday night I brought a load or so of things to Tim and Ray's; Wednesday Ray came over during the day to help me pack. Thursday night my crew of impromptu movers came over and moved out the rest of my stuff, short Tim who was sick enough that he actually went to the doctor (horrendous cold, but better now). Friday after work Ray helped, again, with the very last of my things including the cats. And so I moved in with my beloveds finally, and prayed we didn't kill each other over the next four days.

Saturday night when I got home from work (at nine-thirty!) they'd waited for me to eat dinner. Two kinds of soup on the stove, fresh-baked bread. The next morning Tim packed my lunch and Ray made me a bagel. I began to wonder if they wanted me to move out ever, but I'm sort of wedged into their computer room with three cats and this can only go on for so long.

Monday morning the apartment people called me and said there was a problem with the painters, it would be next Tuesday and was that all right?


Sure, I said. No problem. Can't lose this place now. I won't find another.

Many deep breaths. Told Tim that night, we talked it over. My cats were behaving, his cats were behaving, nobody'd killed each other yet, might as well stay. Just praying we'd all still be friends at the end of it.

And then he said something totally heartwarming. We'd gone out to by food for the critters (and incidentally pick up another couple of unplanned fish for Tim) and on the way home, he told me later, as the three of us pulled in and set about bringing in fish and food, dog awaiting us at the door and cooler sitting out for the milkman, he had the loveliest sense of 'everything is in its place'.

And I know where he's at. This place isn't big enough for the three of us, and I'm certainly (still!) not ready to be living with anyone else, not really. I need my own space for a while yet. But for a week or so, it's been lovely, truly grand, to get that little foretaste of what it'll be like when everything finally comes together the way we hope it will.

It's Thursday now and nobody's killed anyone else yet, cats or humans. five more days to go and we'll see. But right now, I feel like things are going okay.