Getting our house in order.

How is everyone doing in quarantine land?

I hope everyone has what they need, and I am thinking about those of you living in countries where I know the government is not doing as much to support their citizens as they should.

Sweetie and I are doing fine.  Sweetie is not working right now, though we are positive that once things in British Columbia start to settle into a “new normal” and places start to hire again, that she will be able to find a good job.  The job she had before was always a bit dangerous, and the hazard just became too high to tolerate after you throw a pandemic on top of it.  Our finances are of course tight as a result, but completely manageable and we are so fortunate and thankful for that.  We are very lucky.

Our new home is great too.  Well, we have had an issue with the shower, that has resulted in the need to tear out the wall, and because of the pandemic, we can’t have that project completed right now.  One of our shower walls is actually plastic vapor barrier, and we hope it will hold up until the contractors are taking work again, which we expect them to do soon.  Fun stuff.

Sweetie and I are making our new condo feel like a home.  We had the luxury of space in Ucluelet, 3 bedrooms and nearly 2000 square feet.  It’s the biggest space we have ever lived in!  We may never have that kind of square footage again, so we are getting creative with our lovely and modest 1 bedroom, which, by the way, feels so much larger at 675 square feet than our 500 square foot apartment did.

We have set up the bedroom to be an art studio / sanctuary for Sweetie.  When I have sessions on Sundays, Sweetie is usually in the bedroom where she won’t disturb or overhear me.  It was important that she have a functional creative space in there.

To maximize the floor space, we pushed the bed against the wall – something I haven’t done since I was a teenager, but was *totally* worth it.  There is space in there now to do yoga, and half the room is set up with Kat’s easel, a soft pine bookcase with sea-grass baskets holding her paints, pencils, gesso and other mediums, her art inspiration books, and her dozens of sketchbooks.

The top shelf is half-full with mason jars holding her 100+ paintbrushes.  One side of the book case has a teal wire magazine rack holding 1970s “how to paint seascapes / trees / mountains” over-sized booklets with gorgeous cover illustrations, reminding me of Bob Ross.

The side of the bookcase nearest to the wall supports a stack of large “work in progress” canvasses, some blank but primed, some partially completed, some still untouched.  It makes me want to sit down and paint again myself, something I haven’t done in over 10 years.

In the center of the room there is a decently-sized window with a wood venetian blind we will replace at some point (it came with the unit).  In front of this window, we installed three ceiling hooks (because we own the place and can put holes in the ceiling if we want to!)  Suspended from these hooks are three spider plants, who instantly spread out to embrace their new space.  These plants transformed the energy of the space, granting it a relaxed, nurturing feeling.

I have mentioned before how I have allowed my enjoyment of houseplants to run amok since we moved away from the rainforest.  Victoria does have impressive access to nature, but it’s no longer a part of my daily life, so I am doing my best to turn our home into a jungle.  This process is even more interesting given our access to multiple nurseries and thus a variety of unusual and sometimes rare species of plants.  I like to focus on the ones which feature purple or pink foliage.  I installed a few more ceiling hooks in the living room, so the jungle transformation has begun!

The living room is currently in disarray.  The dining table is dominated by my computer set up.  I think I will have to make room for a proper desk, or we will just not have a dining table ever.  I need to think about where I’d actually PUT a computer desk.  These are spatial problems I really do enjoy, and I have a few ideas, but these things will require some more time and probably some more purchases to execute.  I really do need a dedicated office space, to replace the office I left behind in Ucluelet, and to provide space for my continuing education studies, once “normal” life resumes.  I just can’t find the mental headspace to start studying right now, given the pandemic, the work-in-progress bathroom, and Sweetie who is always home.  I also would rather keep the tuition money in the bank right now, just in case.

The cats have adapted well to apartment life, though I do feel a bit guilty to have to confine them to a smaller space.  They have each other though, and now that we are both home quite a bit, their happy place is right in front of our faces, breathing our breath and using the mysterious force of feline gravity to discourage us from moving and disturbing them.

I did buy a little mini Nintendo, the kind that is pre-loaded with games, for indulgence in our quarantine amusement.  I found a second-hand knock-off one in the facebook marketplace for $50, and the contactless-exchange of goods for dollars went off without a hitch.  It plays Super Mario well enough for me to really enjoy, but it’s a kinda glitchy, so that Sweetie, a veteran player of the 1990s, can’t pull off show-boaty moves like getting 100 free lives as she would like to do.  In fact, her aggressive style of play may have resulted in a broken controller in the first week!  There is a slight chance it may have broken when dropped, though, or maybe it was pre-broken when I bought it.  I have seen how she plays with her whole body though, so I think the jury’s still out.  The return to Super Mario game play is very fun!  We may decide to get a “retron” for Christmas if we are still enjoying playing the vintage games of childhood.

On Sundays, I am working through the line-up of New Year Report Card sessions!  I really love doing them, and it’s so nice to talk to the folks who book these every year.  If that’s you, thank you so much.  It has been so cool to hear how these sessions work out, year-to-year.

I have left the New Year Report Card booking option active on my professional website for now, mostly because I haven’t had time to update my website in months!  You can see it still says “Now booking Fall 2019” – LIES!  See, this loops back to me needing an office area, or so I tell myself!

I will give a sneak peek into the future and confirm for my regulars that yes, I will be doing another Pet Session Special this summer!  Keep your eyes out for that post.  I will launch it by August, maybe sooner depending on how other demands on my time pan out in the next few months.

Meanwhile, I do have a pet session discount available which you can always use – just enter “ILoveMyPet” in the coupon code space 🙂

Take care out there, stay safe everyone.  ♥

George: Invitation, and Practical Advice

George

How are y’all doing out there, in Covid19 land?  I hope you’re minding the social distancing advice, I hope you’re eating carbs and checking in with your friends and family.

 

I have been connecting with George Harrison these last few days, having a preliminary conversation almost in the background of my consciousness.  I’ve been concerned about some things I’ve been seeing on the internet about the Corona virus outbreak, and I’ve been rolling these questions over to George, so he can roll them back with some ideas and feedback.

 

Here’s our conversation.

 

K:  Hi George.  Thank you for coming in to help.  It’s been a while since we’ve talked, or done a blog post together.

 

G:  Friendship ages well.

 

K:  I have been really concerned about the harmfully misleading information I’ve seen, particularly when it appears on a psychic / intuitive influencer’s blog.  Why do people say things like the novel coronavirus was engineered by malevolent governments to scare people into vaccinating, or to submit to further surveillance by the state?

 

G:  Incredibly complex question there.  The answer begins in the human condition, in our desire to make order and sense out of, what seems to be, chaos.

 

Some might seek to position themselves in a position of authority, or to solidify a position of authority among a group of fans (or followers) they may already have.  It’s a pursuit of the ego.

 

Others might truly believe the fiction, and they recycle it to others (spreading much like a virus.)

 

One may inoculate oneself against such fiction by quietly observing, from a peaceful and loving perspective, exactly who is making these statements.  When this observation is done not from a place of fear that their words might be true, but from an attitude of curiosity (not judgement), their motivations, their position among their peers, and even their isolation will become apparent.

 

We all have this ability, to decipher truth from fiction.  It has served us well in the past.

 

K: So doing things like checking the posting history of a person speaking with authority would be a good strategy?  If they have a history of conspiracy theory posts, then that can provide some insight into what they say now?

 

G:  Yes.  Others simply want to join in on circulating the message.  Any message.  They want to feel… like a part of it all.  Intimacy with a conspiracy theory can feel more comforting, a tighter more exclusive circle of compatriots who dare to believe.  It reminds me of the early days of transcendental meditation, rebels we were back then!

 

K:  Rebel meditators.

 

G:  Peace Spiritualists!  We were spiritual children.  I believe, (our current generation, born 1980 and later) was born wise.

 

K:  Really?

 

G:  Yes, allowing for community and environment.  The current youth (chuckles) have had access to information, free discourse, their entire lives.

 

K:  I know that’s comforting to a part of me.  I am still concerned about the people disseminating conspiracy theories in a time when the actual truth really matters – an individual being responsible with social distancing and quarantine could literally mean life or death for another human being.  People are scared enough without the added stress of imagining this viral pandemic was engineered and released, accidentally or intentionally.  How is that helping anyone?  It’s just adding to the legitimate stress people are feeling right now.

 

G:  I invite all those who know and love (me – feel a connection with me) to join me in meditation at a time and place of their choosing.  I am available for comfort, guidance, and support.  Meditate, and join me.  I am here, in love.

 

(To take) You, yourself, are disseminating fear at this very moment.  (Said with love.)

 

K:  Yeah… people bug me sometimes.  Wash your damn hands.

 

G:  (Chuckles, reminds me energetically that we cannot affect the actions of others by feeling bugged by them.)

 

K:  Okay, that’s a great point.  What is a good thing to do right now, to be helpful to ourselves, and each other?  We have checking in on neighbors, (through a closed door, obviously) friends, family.  We have taking walks and maintaining physical social distance, while still connecting with our bodies and nature.

 

G: (teasing me that I’m basically saying “I know all that, but what is the REAL  secret to ____”)  How many times, my friend, have I been asked versions of this question? (Shows me “I know how to meditate, but what is the real secret to serenity?”  All of this, is a rephrasing of the ultimate question.  How do we really matter?  How can we make our lives count?

 

Our lives do count.  Do not discount your own actions by comparing it to those of others.  Picking up the phone, writing a letter (or sending electronic notes of care) are all actions of consequence.  This time of global stress is a perfect opportunity to watch your actions ripple outwards, and see in action the great web of light and life which connects us all.

 

K:  Wow, George, you got ethereal there.

 

G:  Is that not why I am here?  (wry smile)

 

K:  Of course it is.  I really would like to offer some helpful, practical advice for folks who may read this.

 

G:  Donate to food banks, donate blankets, bedding, donate to shelters, share share share the resources.  The collecting (hoarding) is antithetical to the comfort, community, and solidarity (people incarnated on earth right now) are seeking at this time.  If you have extra, give it.

 

I believe many people will come to regret (grocery hoarding).  Do not allow that food to expire, unused.  Donate it in a few weeks, or a few months.  People need it.  We will all get so sick of pasta.

 

K:  Thank you so much for your help today, George.

 

G:  My pleasure, stranger (teasing).

 

 

Well people, I hope this was helpful, and I hope you are finding comfort in your community right now.

 

I worked at Sunnybook hospital during SARS, and I actually contracted H1N1 while working there during that outbreak, (not fun), so a lot of what is happening right now is familiar, though neither of those outbreaks resulted in a global pandemic and the necessity of isolating in the our general population.

 

I do remember what it was like to work at the epicenter of the extremely scary SARS outbreak, when everyone in the hospital had to get screened upon entering the building, and had to wear a surgical mask at all times while in the building.  It felt pretty apocalyptic at the time.  The social impact of everyone wearing masks was profound.  People couldn’t recognize each other, read facial expressions, and the psychological impact of wearing masks was determined to outweigh the very small benefit of a slightly decreased risk of non-symptomatic transmission of SARS.

 

What I learned then was the social connection piece of our life as humans is literally life-sustaining.  As we physically isolate from each other, remember to make up for it with authentic connections.  We have to make the additional effort to make authentic connections with each other.

 

And social media doesn’t count, people!  Close facebook, and invite a true friend to have a facetime / messenger conversation.  Drink tea and cookies while you’re at it!  I have a list of people I would like to catch up with, if I find myself isolating at home… for now though, my day job is essential services, and I will be going to work.

 

Take care of each other, my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Big Decision!

A close friend of mine advised me not to make any big life decisions when you have experienced a major upheaval… but this is a decision I’ve been working on for years.

Here’s a little background.

As a child – teenager, I always wanted to be a veterinarian, so much so that i determinedly applied repeatedly to a local animal hospital until they hired me on as an assistant at minimum wage, from the time I was 16 until I was 19. I can’t believe it was only 3 years, because it seems like such a huge and formative part of my life.

Thing is, gaining entrance to doctor of veterinary medicine programs is extremely competitive, and while I was a smart kid, I wasn’t the smartest kid. I was on the honour role until I became seriously depressed (for a laundry list of reasons) and my grades dropped enough to disqualify me from the bachelor of science program at Guelph University. I was accepted to the agriculture program, but by the time I received that news, I just didn’t have the willpower to go. I promised myself then that I would go to university later in life, when I knew what I wanted to do.

I was so young then, that I didn’t know that depression can make you think you don’t want the things you used to want, and I have wondered in the years since, what would have happened if I had just gone and taken the agriculture program? How would my life been different?

I don’t dwell on that, I just reminisce on that particular fork in the road.

What I did instead was go to college and take nursing. This was a program that would get me into the work force quickly, (the RN program was just two years back in 1998), but I found my depression followed me into nursing, and that I am not really cut out for primary care. I felt like I couldn’t continue in that, and so I just decided to enter the workforce.

From there, I moved to Toronto, quickly attained a management position in one non-profit, then after two years switched to finance in the healthcare field. I took night school courses and got promotions.

But I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like living in Toronto, and was thinking about leaving for a smaller tourist town when I met Sweetie. Well, I decided to give that a shot, and I’m so glad I did.

Together, Sweetie and I moved across the country to Ucluelet / Tofino, where we would spend the next ten years, where I ended up in a hospital job I loved, and where I started my psychic business. We lived a challenging and charmed life for years, yet it always had a sense of impermanence.

For two years before we were evicted by the new property owners of our rental so they could “move in family” and of course rent it out for more than double what we had paid, I had been ruminating on the question of what I should do – and this is when I seriously began to consider my options for a university degree.

Student debt was always something I have wanted to avoid, so attending a full-time program is not an option. I am also mindful of how burnt out I felt attending school full time, and I would really prefer to take courses as I can fit them into my schedule and build to a degree.

So that limits my options substantially, but there are a few great programs that meet these parameters. Quite a lot, actually. All of which were expensive, and I couldn’t justify putting money into school when the housing situation on the West Coast seemed so precarious (and it was!)

All that brings me to now – we are settled into our little Victoria condo, in a diverse neighbourhood (that we LOVE) and after all the stress and uncertainty, I am so so SO grateful to live here. At this point, I would not move back to Tofino if we had the option, as much as I miss it, it feels so good to be here.

Almost involuntarily, I found myself focussing on the university question. Time to make a decision! But how?

I was pointed down a rabbit hole when someone suggested massage therapists are in high demand in Victoria, and can earn 100k / year. “That doesn’t sound right,” I thought… but I had to investigate. I know six massage therapists, off the top of my head, and none of them are living like they earn that kind of money. Most are just trying to pay the bills, a few like to travel, and all have other jobs supplementing their income. Not what I had in mind.

Yet the colleges offering these programs would loudly say massage therapists can make this kind of money…. and maybe it’s my finance background, or my aries tenacity, but I just needed to see the proof.

This search led me to a great little corner of the statistics canada website! I’d been all over statistics canada before, looking for ideas on what career path to pursue, but had not landed on this particular page… a page listing the top 100 growing fields in BC. You could click on each job title and see the median, low and high end reported incomes for each job title, along with projected job posting numbers, and educational requirements.

Sure enough, massage therapist was among the top 100 – and I clicked on it! Ha ha, I was right! Massage therapists in canada, on average, make nowhere near what the programs want you to think, in fact, they make significantly less than I do in my current job. So that’s a no. I couldn’t really see myself working in a spa, anyway.

What I then did was click on every job title that intrigued me, even the ones I knew were impractical to pursue, and wrote down the key information in my little purse notebook (a handheld palm-size notebook with a picture of a beaver and the words “dam it”). I made a little chart of educational requirements, (2 year, 4 yr degree, Masters or doctorate) the projected job growth statistics, and the median salary.

I then made notes on the lifestyle and hours of the job. Did it require on call hours or shift work? If so, I eliminated them. Did they offer Monday – Friday, 9-5 hours with holidays off? If so I highlighted them.

Finally, I circled the job titles with educational requirements I could achieve through part-time study. This narrowed my list down to to three titles: healthcare management, which I have already been considering for years but I know is a thankless and stressful job, healthcare policy which is provincial government employment, and I just don’t have much information on what that job is actually like day to day, and… human resources. Huh!

I stopped at human resources. Here is a career path I have never considered. I thought about it. It actually makes a lot of sense for me.

The best part is a degree in human resources would still keep the other two career paths of provincial government employment and healthcare management open to me, but it would also open MANY more doors, as a degree in HR is widely applicable.

My favourite part of this plan is that there are programs that offer a 1 year certificate, a 2 year diploma, and a 4 year degree. I have found job listings that require only the certificate or the diploma, which do pay me more than my current position, so I could start reaping the rewards of continuing education along the way.

It’s not all about the money, of course, it’s about the stability and the choices making a higher income will allow; and I want to be sure that if I invest money into an education that I will make that money back in a reasonable time frame. I have about 25 years of working life ahead of me, and it will take a chunk of that time to earn a degree on a part-time basis, so it helps to be in a field where I can see some benefits earlier on. I also need to make sure that sinking money into an education will work out financially in the years I would have in the field.

The problem nagging me in Tofino was the math that just didn’t work for us long term. We were managing to get through, year by year, but it always felt like we were surviving, and our survival was a bit uncertain and precarious. I want a more solid plan for our life, and I want to make good on that promise I made to myself at 19 when I decided after completing my first year in nursing that I would not return for the second year – that I would pursue a degree when I knew what it was that I WANTED to do.

And I finally do! I’m so happy to have finally made a decision – and I know I’ll do well in that field.

My next step is to engage in a prior learning assessment, which will transfer my relevant college credits (from nursing and night school) and assess the skills I have acquired in the job market, through my early management experience, my finance job, and my hospital supply chain job. I am hoping to start with a year’s worth of credits, but we’ll see.

For now, I have to deal with a pipe that burst behind our shower and flooded the communal bathroom below… this is my first major issue as a new homeowner and it’s quite a stressful experience. We are going to have to rip out our whole shower to dry the wet wall behind it. This is just one of life’s hiccups and we will figure it out. Once we do, I’ll get the ball rolling on education.

This is the stuff of life my friends. Sometimes spirituality is set aside, temporarily, so we can engage fully in the practical matters of our home and community. Nothing wrong with that.

I can’t help but wonder if this burst pipe is a gift?

Did I tell you that I found out the previous owner of our condo has the same kind of brain tumour my mother had? There is a connection there I am tempted to make, as I’m sure my mother and grandparents were as involved as they could be from heaven in helping us find an affordable condo in the high-demand Victoria market. The one thing I wasn’t so keen on is this condo has a shower, not a bath. If it all has to get ripped out anyway, maybe I can have a bath tub installed while they’re at it. I would not be putting money into renovating the bathroom if this hadn’t happened, but since it has, maybe it’s just a tweak to fully feather our new nest.

We will have to see how things work out. Wish me luck!

When the good ones go…

I believe there is a cyclical element to our crossing over into spirit. I don’t know exactly what it is or why it happens, but I have noticed over the years of my practice that there seems to be a season for special animals leaving their bodies.

Nothing is set firmly, of course.

This year, in January & February, I have seen a small group of my animal friends, and my friends’ animals, leave their bodies.

It reminds me of my big dog Mocha, and my cat Leo, who left their bodies in January & February.

Maybe “the veil” is a bit thinner this time of year. Maybe after the darkest days of the year, circadian rhythm plays a role.

If you have lost a friend in fur, or a human loved one, this winter, know that you’re not alone. A lot of the good ones seem to choose this time of year to go.

One thing I often meed to remind pet people of is, animals almost *never* hold judgement for the last days of their life. They are mot angry if you had to help them leave their bodies – even if they MIGHT have had a bit more time in their bodies.

They do not blame you for what they experienced if they were ill before they passed. They just don’t think like that.

This is a gentle reminder, to anyone who needs it, that grief is a powerful shapeshifter. We feel so sad, and our grief wants to create a “logical” reason for us feeling bad. Don’t fall for it if your grief tries to guilt trip you. Do your best to ride that roller coaster, and take all the time you need to feel your feelings.

I have personally found reiki to be amazingly helpful during times of grief – even distance reiki. There are often free reiki sharing circles. Reach out and give it a try if you are open to it.

I also, obviously, find writing to be therapeutic. Writing helps me feel my feelings, process them, and helps me move into peace, eventually. You can try that too.

Sometimes my writing may take the form if a letter to the animal, or person, I miss. Sometimes I write to myself, sometimes I write to god.

Sometimes, I just light a candle, and bake myself something that smells good.

If you’ve said goodbye to a loved one, with fur, feathers, scales, or skin, you’re not alone. We are a tribe of survivors, with enough love in our hearts to generate powerful joy. We just need to remember to recharge.

In loving memory of my animal friends…❤️

They’re Back! New Year Report Cards!

Hi all!

New Year Report Cards are back!

Due to all my life changes, they are somewhat fashionably late, but that doesn’t feel weird – because every year these sessions sell out and I’m often doing Report Card sessions into May.

If you are new here, and wondering “What on earth are New Year Report Cards?” I’ll tell you:

New Year Report Cards are a 45-minute phone session, where we consult with your guides, spirit friends, and family, to review overall themes in 2019 and then look ahead to what themes 2020 has in store!

Most of my New Year Report Card sessions are with people who have had report cards in previous years, and especially enjoy seeing how the messages from their session unfold each year!

New people also book every year, so the result is every year I offer a few more spots, and spend more time doing New Year Report Card sessions than in previous years – which is just fine by me because I absolutely love doing them!

You can book yours now!

If Sundays don’t work for you, please book the next available spot and then email me tofinopsychic@gmail.com and we can reschedule you another time that works for both of us ❤️.

Don’t delay booking because New Year Report Cards *sell out* every single year!

Looking forward to talking to you!

Re-Invention

(Me about 1 year ago on Long Beach, Tofino, BC)

I am so looking forward to moving day! Jan 8!

Only in the past few weeks, since the purchase of our new home went through, have I started to feel settled in Victoria. Remember when I wrote about looking before you leap, leap and learn how to land? Well until we had our housing situation locked down, Victoria wasn’t a permanent home. It is scary to see rent skyrocketing, even in just the six months we have been here. There is a unit listed in our building – smaller than our 500 sq foot one bedroom – for $1800/month.

It’s crazy. Renters are more vulnerable than ever before.

We are so, so lucky to have been able to buy a home, and bring our cost of living back down and stabilize it at a reasonable level. With that sigh of relief, I finally lifted my head up and looked around at this place we have landed. Victoria. We live here now!

My friends, this is a really amazing city! I am a country mouse, I will always fondly remember and miss the ocean, the expansive unaltered beaches, the rainforest, the prolific, wild, powerful omnipresence of wildlife.

Ukee became a part of me. So did the hospital. It was tough to say goodbye, in no small part because I was leaving a part of my identity behind. My life on the coast defined me as a person, through my choices, sacrifices, and values.

But let’s be real here: I knew two years ago that we would probably need to move on. As much as I loved my hospital job, it was part time and the math on a part time pension does not work out in our favour. Not only that, but there wasn’t much opportunity to develop professionally, only a distance-learning university, which made little sense to invest in at the time, knowing that eventually, our housing would de-stabilize, and our entire future really depended upon getting out of the ballooning rental market and into a mortgage. THEN I could think about school.

And now we’re here! I suddenly have access to a couple of colleges snd an excellent university. Which brings me to the next delicious, heart-fluttering question: WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?

I have been given an opportunity to reinvent myself. Ukee Kate is a part of my story, and Psychic Kate will always be me, don’t worry. I’ll be doing sessions even after I retire from the general workforce. Sessions on Sundays is my church.

Now, what about the other six days?

I still work for the health authority, and my job is OK. It has a lot in common with the job I left in Toronto, ten years ago. It’s an office, the work is necessary and important. I am truly grateful for it. Not only did the transfer increase my income, but my schedule is potentially a lot more flexible, as this job needs staff from 5am – midnight.

The main thing I have in common with my new colleagues is that many of us came to work there while in a transition in life. New graduates or current students, quite a few people going through breakups, more than a few veterans of the west coast, people who lived and worked in Tofino for a year or two.

This is a really small island, folks. Not geographically, it takes 8 hours to drive from tip to tip, and four hours to drive side to side. But the community is pretty much continuous, which is comforting.

So, what do I DO?

I think that’s my big question for the next year. I mean, technically, I could probably stay in my current job the rest of my working career, but I think doing do would be doing myself a disservice. One of my Tofino Hospital friends said that staying where I am long term wouldn’t be working to my full potential.

I agree.

So what DO I DOOOOOO?

This is a luxurious question!

Maybe you can help me out – if you have any thoughts or advice, please feel free to share them here in the comments, or email me if you prefer.

One of the potential directions I am thinking of is social work. I don’t think front-line social work would be the best fit for me, just like primary care nursing was not a good fit, but you can do a lot with a degree in social work. Even more with a masters.

I may start out with taking a single course and seeing how that goes. I have no interest in taking out student loans, so any continuing education would be part-time. I was originally looking at healthcare administration, but social work would also prepare me for an administration position, and open up job opportunities not just in hospitals but in government, in care homes, in corrections, and in outreach programs. A close friend of mine is becoming a parole officer! I don’t think that’s for me, but it does go to show you that there is satisfyingly work to be done all over the place.

I feel like I want to better arm myself to not just make a better living, but to have more of a positive impact over my lifetime.

I also found a counsellor who has multiple BAs and IS actually a social worker, so I’m hoping consulting with him will help me with my next steps.

Who knows where life is taking me next? Victoria will become a part of me too. I wonder who I will become?

Black Forest Cake from Heaven

Well folks, I’m ready for 2020, how about you?

This past decade has been one of incredible transformative change for myself and my wife, but 2019 really topped this decade off with a bang.  In the past two weeks alone, we have experienced such intense contrast of simultaneous joy, stress, sadness, grief, and gratitude, which seems to bring all of our life experience from 2009 to 2019 into sharp focus. 

This past weekend, my Sweetie lost her brother.  It was such a shock as he was a young and healthy man.  We thought we’d be travelling to Ontario, but as he passed in a foreign country where he lived for years, there will not be a service in his home town in Ontario in the immediate future.

This happened right on the tail of us buying our first home – finally achieving housing stability after a decade of being tossed around in the volatile rental market.  (We have rented for over 20 years, but the past 10 years have been completely off the chain in terms of expense and unpredictability.)

When my brother in law died, we were pretty sure we’d be travelling to Ontario, but we hadn’t finished closing on our condo – so I asked the realtor and lawyer if there was anything they could do to help us sew things up, so that Sweetie and I could travel if we needed to.  

This pushed the final signing of all of the paperwork to yesterday, December 12, which is my mother’s birthday. 

That alone was nice, to be starting a brand new, more secure future on a date we have traditionally celebrated in our family.

Before my mother died, she said “I’ll send you schnauzers,” as a way of saying hello from the other side.  I said, “That’s great, but can you please also send birds too?  Because there aren’t a lot of schnauzers around.” 

There aren’t a lot of schnauzers around in general, but Mom has found ways to put schnauzers in my path over the years since she died – and she found one to send my way on Dec 11th, right after booking the final appointment with a lawyer.  It was an unusual white schnauzer too, who had deep brown eyes that reminded me of my childhood dog, Heidi.  I figured that was Mom saying hello.

Well darn it, I got to work and one of my coworkers had brought in black forest cake for no reason.  She said it just “jumped out at me!”  So she bought it on impulse and brought it in. 

I love black forest cake, mainly because it’s the official birthday cake of our family.  Every time anyone in our family had a birthday, the request for black forest cake was happily met, and even years after my sister and I left home, we would continue to make black forest cakes on our birthdays and send each other photos to share our celebration across the distance. 

It wasn’t until I had actually eaten a piece of the cake, which reminded me of all of these childhood memories and how many birthdays and other big life celebrations had been marked with this cake, that I realized what had just happened.

I was eating black forest cake ON MY MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY in celebration of our first home. 

WOW!

And then I started crying at work!  It was a special moment. 

10 years ago, Sweetie and I moved from Toronto to Ucluelet, to start a brand new adventure together.  Adventure it was!  Filled with growth and uncertainty, surrounded by the savage wild beauty of beaches, ocean, apex predators and rare migratory birds.  It was a spectacular place to live for a decade, where I developed my identity as a community member, a hospital worker, and a professional psychic.  I feel like Ucluelet and Tofino gave me the space and community to grow into who I became, who I am now.

Here we are now, just arrived in Victoria, able to make a permanent home here.  We are so lucky!  The city is growing on me, and while I still keenly miss the wild west coast that felt like home from the first days I discovered it, I know that it is time for us to return to city dwelling, and grow anew here.  There are a lot of things I enjoy about Victoria which I missed living in a remote area.  I missed movies, art galleries, museums, comedy clubs, and I missed shopping options.  There is a lot to enjoy about city life.

And Victoria is such a beautiful city, surrounded by ocean, harbour front, bike paths, and gorgeous architecture.  There are centuries of city-history visible here, and thousands of years of First Nations history to discover.  I still see eagles, blue herons, and deer – not every day, but often enough that I can still feel connected with the nature I adore.  Annually, I do plan to get on a boat and go out to visit the whales too.  They’re still here as well! 

It is a comfort too, to know that we can take a direct flight from the Victoria airport, to Toronto or Ottawa to connect with our family back there, if needed.  Travel to Ontario will no longer be a two-day venture, but a completely manageable 12 – 16 hour journey.  

I think, six months in, I am settling into Victoria.  I love our neighbourhood where we bought our condo, and I won’t have to deal with the busy highway on a daily basis to get to work anymore.  I’ll be able to bike to work when I feel like it too, which is great because I need the exercise.  

We will be moving in to our new permanent home on January the 8th.  Sweetie and I send you all warm holiday wishes, and we would really appreciate your thoughts and prayers for her brother, and our family as we grieve his loss and remember his life and love.

I hope you all have a beautiful December, and remember that winter solstice is just around the corner, so the daylight will be coming back soon! 

 

 

 

 

JOY!

It is with great joy and gratitude that I can share Sweetie & I are buying a little home!

This move into home ownership means so much to both of us. We’ve been experiencing housing insecurity for nearly 10 years, culminating in our eviction from our home in Ucluelet, because our landlord sold the property. This event caused us to make the decision to move to Victoria, as there were better employment possibilities for both of us, and whereas the housing and rental markets had doubled in our ten years on the wild west coast, the potential numbers looked a lot better for us in Victoria.

Since the move, I have focused fiercely on getting us a permanent place. I’ve been taking all the overtime I could get at my new job, because I needed to show potential mortgage lenders that I can make mortgage payments. There is a conservative “stress test” you need to pass, and the higher your employment income, the better your chances of being approved.

Well, now we have a home. YAY!

We can paint the walls and hang our wedding pictures. We can invest in some furniture solutions, like a litter box cover, a desk, a dresser.

We can save for the future, and enjoy the stability of affordable, long term housing, in a lovely “up and coming” neighbourhood.

I am so full of joy and gratitude right now!

Typically, I would be running a promotion for my annual “New Year Report Cards” right now, but seeing as we will be MOVING in January, I am going to hold off on running a promotion that typically fills my schedule up for months.

I WILL run a special for New Year Report Cards after we have moved and actually settled into our new HOME!

New year, brand new future!

Happy Halloween!

Lots of people have been asking me, “How are you settling into Victoria?”

Well, the truth is, I’m not quite settled, and likely will not be for some time. We are working hard to open up some more options for the future, and when these things start coming to fruition, I will absolutely update you all. Meanwhile though, I’m working a lot of overtime at my full-time job, which is a big change from my part-time job at Tofino Hospital these past 8 years.

So if you’re popping in here to see how I’m doing, that’s what we’re doing! Nose to the grindstone, knuckling down, focused on manifesting our future here in this beautiful city.

Today, Sweetie and I went on a walking “Ghost Tour” of Victoria, which was a lot of fun. A crazy coincidence was, we ended up in the SAME HAIR SALON that my friend Carly spoke about in her guest episodes of the Joyful Telepathy Podcast!

Here is the link to the first episode.

Here is part 2.

I can’t recall which episode she told the hair salon story; all her stories are fantastic so I think you should listen to both episodes.

When I heard that the room we were visiting used to be a hair salon, I briefly paraphrased Carly’s story of the terrifying, six-foot dark shadowed figure she saw in the hallway. It turns out, the story of that very site was of a large, dark figure who is believed to be the “enforcer” of the brothel that used to be in that building. If any of the women tried to run away, he would follow them, and either bring them back, or kill them.

No wonder his presence is so menacing to those who witnessed it!

That’s my quick update for now. Happy Halloween, and give Carly’s episodes of the Joyful Telepathy Podcast a listen!

EDIT / PS: I am happy to share how much better I’m doing physically, nearly *two years* after my surgery I’m back up to a full day of walking! Walking is one of the primary ways I enjoy life, and until recently, I was only able to walk an hour or two max, due to some muscle and alignment issues secondary to the chronic pelvic pain I experienced before surgery.. I hit a wall with physiotherapy a year after my surgery and was getting discouraged. It turns out, massage was what I needed. I’m very fortunate my benefits covered the care I needed, and my body is finally functioning in a way I can just join in with activities like walking ghost tours! I walked six hours today! Yay!

(The tour was only 1.5 hrs, but I walked pretty much the whole day!)