i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings.
i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

still here

I keep thinking I should write something here, and then I get distracted. I don’t have my laptop open much when I am home. I have been spending my days reading, crafting, or watching netflix. I am on the computer all day at work and well, I am simply computered out when I get home.

I miss my blog though. I feel guilty about not updating. I mostly post photos on instagram and that’s about the most social media-ish I get. IG auto posts to fb and I’m not on any other platform anymore. Social media is too negative and annoying.

But here I am. Just completed one full year back at the university in the new job, and it’s a weird thing to think about. Though this time last year I was sure I’d never remember all the stuff I was learning, and this time around I was doing stuff without my notes! So woo! And I feel rather proud of all I have learned.

Who knows what happens next. Every day becomes an adventure.

loss & lost

wilted flower by me, Cat

there are a multitude
of words and emotions
crashing around inside my head
and heart

none want to escape their
dark, swirly, hideaways
and find themselves on paper
or screen.

these days I see nothing but
of who lived within each box
of 28, 30, or 31 days
I know it’s just a matter of perception
a glass half empty / half full
sort of filter when I look at the calendar
but right now, all I see are empty spaces
where family, friends, pets, and loved ones
used to be

this date used to celebrate that person
that date used to celebrate this person
empty boxes that represent empty spaces
in my heart, and in the world.

and six years ago today, when my life changed
for better or for worse
(who knows)
perceptions changed, priorities changed.
but I’m still not sure how
or what I want to change

I have been wandering, lost.
through a maze of possibilities
uncertainty trailing behind me like a shadow
what I thought I needed, wasn’t what I needed
what I thought was the right path, turned out to be a dead end
and somehow, I am back at the start
all over again
or, maybe not.
maybe it’s a new direction, from the same entrance, but with different
possibilities and goals to achieve
maybe it’s not the same start, but a new one

I look at those empty boxes on the calendar
and all I see is loss
a birthday that is now a memory
a deathday that reminds me, yet again, of the empty space
each loved one, human or animal,
now has two empty boxes within 365 days
sometimes more
and I have lost so much time myself
because of six years ago today
the catalyst for change,
the shift in perceptions and priorities
I left, I grew, I tried something completely different
but it wasn’t the right path
and I am lost again
on another path that I am sure
is also the wrong direction

but I have so little energy to look for the right way
and I am so tired of trying to see through the fog
in my head
in my heart
in front of my eyes

I miss my father
I miss my dogs
I miss my friends
I miss my grandfather, grandmother, aunt, etc.

I miss seeing full squares in the calendar on my wall
eventually I may see them half-full
but I don’t know which path will take me there
or how long it will take to find it, or arrive

I am exhausted by loss
and of being lost

the year that fell apart

I can count on one hand the things that went according to plan this year. Not that I had grand plans or anything, but if something could go wrong this year, it did. At full volume.

Three and a half months ago, my father passed away. I wish I could say that was the worst thing in the entire year, but it wasn’t. By mid-September I was so emotionally drained that when my father passed away I was simply too numb.

Normally I do an annual recap for the last post of the month. There’s very little about 2018 that I want to remember. It was a year filled with way too many hospital visits, health scares, financial distress, anxiety, and loss.

At Christmas last year, my father let us know his cancer had come back, and at some point in the coming year he’d need major surgery. In March my Dad turned 70, and four days later ended up in the hospital. The cancer was more aggressive than at first thought. So plans had to be cancelled and surgery was pushed up.

Early in the year, I was balancing working at the bookstore, and suddenly back at my old place of employment two days a week. I was helping with a transition due to staff departures. For a while it was fine. I knew I didn’t want to work back downtown, and the extra money was nice. Minimum wage isn’t a liveable wage. By March, with the extra stress of my dad’s health, I was burning out. I had to make a choice, and I let go of the job that wasn’t paying me enough for me to have financial stress on top of health and family. So at the end of March 2018, I said goodbye to Indigo.

I didn’t know what I was going to do next, but I had the brief respite of working three days a week back at the university, and the flexibility of when I was working so that if I was needed by my parents I could go. I also had the bonus comfort of being surrounded by people I’d worked with that I missed terribly, considered family, and who CARED about me. It was a surprise to me how much I needed to be where I was when everything was falling apart around me.

April and May proved to be a nightmare of anxiety, health scares, and more. And the more that got thrown at me, the less I felt I could breathe. I didn’t know what my future held. I didn’t know if everything I knew was over, and a lie, and how I was going to survive. My Dad was now on dialysis, my husband wasn’t well, jobs changed, my idea of how the year was supposed to pan out was erased from existence.

I was asked to consider staying on at the faculty. I was encouraged to apply for my friend’s maternity leave position. It would be a year. I’d be in a different department than the one I left. No matter how often I told people, “I already quit this job, I do not want to come back” the more they’d try to convince me I should come back. And in the end, I’d made a decision to test out this contract. It’s at the opposite end of the floor, it’s a completely different beast of a job, and I have been loving every second of it.

And as I hovered in “my dad isn’t doing well” limbo, I was again surrounded by people who cared deeply for me, and my family. Who understood the stress I was going through. And who understood that I might have to leave suddenly, but I couldn’t say WHEN. And then, on September 12 when my Mum called to say the doctor thought that we should visit that weekend because my dad wasn’t doing well at all, I knew that I could focus only on my grief and my Dad and not worry about any ill will from my office.

And my father, never a patient man, decided that after he saw both my sister and I, talked to his priest, talked with the grandkids via skype, talked with our husbands…simply passed away the morning after he’d seen us all. No one was expecting that. They were hoping to get into palliative care on the Monday. But while I was chatting with my Mum by phone, trying to see if I could stop by once more before I went home that weekend, he just…left. He didn’t have an easy night. My mother didn’t have an easy night. But I think he knew he was finished with what he needed to do and there was no reason for him to suffer any more.

And so I stayed with my mother that week. Shawn went home and came back the next weekend for the funeral. I had to buy clothes since I’d only packed for 2 days. And for once in my entire life, I didn’t OVER pack.

And health things, and more things, and so much sadness and negativity. And it’s been such a rough year. And it started last Christmas when my bank account was hacked. And it just kept going on and on and on.

I know we aren’t the only ones who had an awful year. I know too many others who also seemed to have an exceptionally bad year. I don’t know what it was about 2018 (other than it being one of those blasted Even-Numbered Years. Grrr.) but I am so ready to see another number on the calendar.

There were some good things though…

I am extremely lucky to have the love and support of my friends. Without some of them, I don’t know how I’d have gotten through so much. Monkey, especially, is possibly the best anchor a person can ask for. When I am not ok, she’s there to tell me that I will be, and that my head can lie. There were a lot of times this year when I wasn’t ok. I didn’t think I’d ever be ok again.

But I’m getting there.

And I made the right decision to take the job at the university. It’s been a huge learning curve, but fascinating, and very helpful at keeping me focused when everything outside of the office was going up in flames. And I felt so comforted and safe back with people I had grown to consider family in the 11 years I WAS there. And this new job is different enough that there’s nothing about it that triggers any PTSD reactions from being back downtown and across the street from that infernal building that caused me so much trauma. And I have felt so loved and welcomed (back). And I made a new friend, who was new to the faculty, too, and she has been a blessing to me this year.

And my Mum. My Mum is going to thrive. She’s sold the house, got herself her first ever apartment, and has been back here twice since my father passed – drove herself! We got to have a visit a Thanks Giving – always a family holiday in my family. And it almost happened that she wouldn’t be able to make it for Christmas as planned, but in the end she was able to drive here on Christmas Day and spend it with her grandkids and then stayed with us for a couple of days before heading back (before the freezing rain storm!) My sister and niece went out to visit her this past weekend to help her get her unpacking done and organized – and were there to celebrate her 70th birthday, so she wouldn’t be alone.

Lost jobs, lost health, new jobs, health learning curves, and all that. It’s been a roller coaster of a year and I don’t think I can put the pieces back together. I am hoping that 2019 sticks together better and then I can just sweep the shards of 2018 out the door and be done with them.

I don’t know what 2019 will bring. I DO know that I don’t have any ideas or plans for the year. This current year taught me that it’s simpler to just live each day as it dawns and go from there. No need to think about what might happen in May when I don’t even know what will happen by the end of the week. I’ll just deal with things as they happen. That seems to be the safest course of action. Here’s to rolling with it, yo!

national poetry writing month (napowrimo)

you might think

a poem

is an easy thing

just some words

on different lines

word after word after word

some of them rhyme

some of the time










between them




a poem is painted

thoughts illustrated with letters


it can be cryptic;

hidden messages about the one that got away

who still haunts your heart,

or at least your dreams


it can be literal, or mean nothing at all

but words on paper can heal, ignite, or wound

releasing the words from inside your head

can be the difference between sleep and worry

a poem can be a lot of things

easy or hard

the choice is yours


© cjh
april 7, 2018




lots of things, and nothing at all

I really don’t want to schedule myself time to blog because I know that as soon as I set a schedule I’ll never follow it. I am great with schedules and deadlines when it comes to work, but when it comes to my own personal stuff it’s the easiest way for me to ignore what I am supposed to be doing completely.

For a person who doesn’t think herself spontaneous I much prefer to be spontaneous about things like creativity. I like to do things when I feel inspired to do them. If I set up time for me to create…nothing happens.

I realized the decline of my blog is due to the ease of which I can post small snippets of life, with a photo, through instagram. It’s easier than logging into my blog dashboard, editing a photo in another program, and then using a third program to upload said photo, and then writing about it all here. I know I can add photos directly through wordpress, but then they aren’t saved in my extremely well-organized files on my server. I also happen to really love the filters I can use on IG, even if my love of IG has been slowly fizzling out since facebook bought them and ruined the platform. (I JUST WANT MY INFORMATION IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, FACEBOOK. *shakes fist in consternation*)

I could always blog here without photos, but that’s boring. (to me) Besides I’m way more of a visual person and like to include something that’s photo-y.

I’m going through something right now and I don’t know what it is, but I know its going on because I keep making life changes. I quit working at the bookstore, I am back at my old place of employment twice a week helping out for a while. That’s certainly not a permanent thing because I quit there once, and I know I don’t want to be back there full-time. I am in this annoying perma-funk sadness phase. I am unhappy with so much right now and I am doing the best I can to figure it out.  I am trying to do art stuff more. I am enjoying my bullet journalling thing. We’re entering month 4 and I am still keeping up with it. It’s must less restrictive than the planner I used to use. I eventually retired all of the different agendas I was using and now stick with the journal full-time.

There is a little part of me that breaks down each time I abandon a semi-full agenda though. It’s up there with not finishing a book. It feels wrong. I am trying to let go of these types of hang ups though. There’s way more in life to be upset about than not finishing an agenda through to the end of the year. (But still.. all those pages wasted. The money spent. Ugh.)

I have discovered I love watercolour painting. I have been experimenting with this medium a lot lately. Mostly small, messy things. I did make something for a friend for her birthday, but I haven’t mailed it yet. The birthday was over a month ago, so.

I am trying to fill my newly free time with productive things. Cleaning the house (goodbye clutter!), practising art (painting, drawing), reading (that is productive in a way), and I am determined to be out there jogging again. I started back up in February when we had an early thaw, but that was derailed once March got too cold. I do not have the right clothing to run in cold weather and I am really not out there often enough to merit buying a whole new wardrobe. If I become a regular jogger this summer then I will invest, for now I’d rather not.

I had planned to run today, April 1. No, not a joke. But it’s still 2C (feels like -3C) and that’s just too cold for my body to handle. Per my facebook memories, I have started running again on April 1 almost every year. Funny that. Maybe that’s why I drop off the plan, my brain thinks I am playing a prank. Though this month in my journal I have added running to my habits to track and I plan on trying to get out TWICE a week. I rebooted my Runkeeper training plan (for the second time this year) and have it set to remind me to go out twice a week. It’s SUPPOSED to be 7C today and if it does hit 5 or over I will force myself out. I end up enjoying the run but the cold is too hard on my body and then I HURT a lot. Not hurt from running, different hurt. And I don’t feel like dealing with that.

I have some stuff going on this month that may or may not help me climb out of this funk. At the very least this stuff will involve friends I do not see often and that will be helpful to my mood. There’s also some stuff this month I am not looking forward to, but I’ll cross those bridges when they appear.

There is this constant struggle to figure out what I want. What makes me happy.  How is is possible to do what makes me happy AND actually be able to pay the bills without it being a struggle. And what exactly is it that I think makes me happy. Can I be happy? Is that feasible? What do I want in my life right now? So many questions. I have learned very well that health & happiness are a joint thing when it comes to myself. I need to find a balance there. I need to figure all this out. How can one be happy AND financially stable? And still have a work/life balance that doesn’t drain you or burn you out.

Being a grown-up is annoying. Being a kid was annoying, too. I don’t want to go backwards.

So I’ll continue to use this extra time I am lucky to have to figure shit out. I will paint, draw, write, read, clean, apply for jobs (ugh), and reflect. Hopefully I will come to some sort of conclusion that makes sense. because I am tired of things not making sense.