Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hellooooooo.....is anybody out there??

Joshua Tree National Park, February 2013

Wow. It's hard to believe that the last time I posted here was almost a year and a half ago. And to be honest, I was barely even here for the year previous. Things pretty much slowed to a halt on the blogging front right about the time we found out we were moving from Japan to San Diego, but this very long, very extended blog silence is only partly because of that.

Sure, it did take quite a while to adjust after our big move. Lots of reverse culture shock, and for me, just a general feeling of disconnect after being transplanted to a brand new environment yet again. When I was younger, a new city, or country, was fun and exciting, but I swear, the older I get, the more it feels that moving, and having to start over again from scratch, is a right pain in the a**. Anyway, I don't really know where the time went, but somehow a year passed.

Then in spring of last year, life went a bit nuts. My father's health suddenly declined and he could no longer take care of himself or live alone. So I spent most of the summer in Victoria, and many, many weeks there over the next few months. At the same time I was also trying to navigate the bureaucracy of the Canadian health care system. As an only child, living in a different country, it was a challenge, to say the least, and frequently overwhelming.

About this time, one of our cats became quite ill. Jiro is my cuddle buddy and it was so hard to see him so unwell. After many tests, and finally biopsy surgery, he was diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Since the worry was that it could be cancer, this was at least some good news. Even now, he is still on daily medication, which if you know cats, is not fun for any of us, but he is stable, and in recent weeks he has even regained some of the weight he lost so he doesn't look so skinny and fragile anymore. To some, he may just be a cat, but to us, he's a part of our family.

During all of this, I also had my own health issues but luckily nothing that turned out to be too serious. We also moved again last December. This time it was just to a different apartment nearby, but it was just one more thing in a very long year. So overall, 2013 was a really crappy, stressful, no good year.

This year actually started out much the same, but in the last two to three months, life finally feels calmer, to the point where I feel I can focus a little on my own life again. So here I am. As for In Spring it is the Dawn, I need to tidy some things up around here, get used to the procedure again, and figure out where I want to take the blog from here. But for now, it's nice to be back.




54 comments:

  1. Hello and welcome back! Sorry to hear you've had a difficult year and I'm glad that things are finally settling down. We've all missed you!

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  2. Nice to have you back, Nat - hope things go a bit smoother for you in the near future :)

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  3. You will be glad to know that Dolce Bellezza is in the midst of reading the new Murakami book and has many bloggers reading along for a big discussion down the road. Welcome back!

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    1. Thanks! I did know that Bellezza is hosting a read-along. I read it the week it came out and look forward to chatting about it.

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  4. Welcome back! 2013 was very difficult for me as well, and I've been dealing with a cat with cancer since February. I hear ya on the daily meds routine! It takes a lot out of everyone.

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    1. Susan, I'm very sorry to hear about your cat. They just don't understand that what we're doing is to help them! I hope your cat is doing as well as can be expected.

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  5. Welcome Back!!! Can't wait to catch up with you here. Off to bed, but will read this tomorrow. Just wanted to say "hi."

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    1. Thanks, Les! "Hi" to you too. :)

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    2. I'm so sorry you've continued to struggle with your father's health care, in addition to your cat's health issues and your moving situation. It all sounds so overwhelming and I know blogging would be very low on my list in this situation. I'm glad you're back and hope this gives you some sort of emotional outlet. You're among friends, you know. :)

      I thought you might like to know that mom is spending 2 weeks in Sidney. By herself! After my stepdad passed away last December, she decided she needed to get away. She book a place through AirB&B and it looks absolutely lovely from all the photos she's shared. She's enjoying her retreat, spending most of her days reading and walking into the "village." I wish I could have gone with her!

      I'll be in San Diego in October, but only very brief. Heading up to Manhattan Beach for a family reunion. I'll let you know if I wind up with a few extra hours. Maybe we could meet for lunch. More later.

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    3. Thank you, Les. I was away from blogging, and barely even online, for so long, I wondered if there was any point returning. It's really nice to have friends here, making me feel welcome. :)

      Things are much better now that my father is settled in the care home and his health has stabilized. Sometimes I still wonder though how I suddenly have to make all his medical and financial decisions, when I can barely manage my own. lol.

      That's great that your mom is taking the time away and enjoying her stay in Sidney. I'll be in Victoria later this month, but I don't think my trip will be as relaxing. Unfortunately.

      Please do let me know if you'll have time for lunch, or even coffee, when you're in San Diego. It really would be great to meet up!

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  6. I think the best thing when you don't really feel like blogging is not to blog, otherwise it feels like a chore and you're much more likely to quit for good. So, welcome back! I'm glad things in your life have settled down a bit. :)

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    1. Thanks Kristen! You're right, of course. Blogging is supposed to be fun after all. In the past, it has at times been a bit of a burden, mostly because I probably took on too much. Anyway, I've been thinking about that lately and really want to blog on my own terms this time around.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about the difficult times you've had but I'm glad to see you're back! Looking forward to reading your blog.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone!

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  8. Welcome back, Nat! My cat was diagnosed with the same (after weeks of tests and it-could-be-cancer panic) last year and I know how challenging it is. Good luck to you and Jiro.

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    1. Thanks Ana! I'm sorry about your cat. It's hard to see our fur kids sick. Jiro is our nervous kitty and even taking him to all of the various tests: x-rays, ultrasound, surgery(!) etc etc was traumatic for him. And me. Thankfully, he's doing quite well at the moment.

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    1. Thanks Bellezza! It's good to be back.

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  10. Nice to see you here!:) Hugs to your cat - I do understand your feelings.

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    1. Thank you! I'll be sure to give him an extra cuddle. :)

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  11. So very nice to have you back Nat, you where misses. I wish you a much calmer, serene life. Cuddles to your kitties, I understand that they are family, Oliver is my family and it is painful to watch him not always feeling well as he ages, 14 years old.

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    1. Thanks Sylvie. Our pets really do become family, don't they? I hope Oliver is doing ok.

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  12. Welcome back! It does seem like time disappears when we have so much to worry about/be preoccupied by. Hope things will settle down for you a bit in the coming months.

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    1. Thank you. The time really has flown by. The saying: "Time flies when you're having fun" isn't always true. ;)

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  13. At the very least, I have been seeing you on Instagram! Welcome back. :-)

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    1. Thanks! Instagram was pretty much the only place I still posted online, even if it was sporadic for a while.

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  14. Welcome back! Thank you for the update and I hope that life settles somewhat after your difficult year. Look forward to hearing more...
    Linda :)

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    1. Thank you, Linda! Things are already calmer and I hope it continues that way. :)

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  15. It's so great to see you here, Nat. I hope things will be calmer for you in the time ahead.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. Me too! I hope you are doing well. H has recently decided he'd like to visit New Orleans. I'll have to let you know if we get a chance to come your way!

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    2. Please do. That would be great. I know I'm prejudiced toward the city, but I think everyone who comes to the U.S. should visit N.O.!

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    3. I didn't mean that to sound like I didn't want to go, just that H has talked about it recently. He has been watching some food shows lately and being a foodie has decided he must visit. LOL. It would be next year at the very earliest, but I'll definitely let you know.

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    4. I didn't take it that way at all. :) I was just trying to be encouraging. :) And, yes, if it's food he's looking for, our cup overfloweth!

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    5. I know, and I didn't think you would think that, but just didn't want it to sound one-sided. :) I think H would be in food heaven! :)

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  16. It's so good to see you back, Nat! I agree with you about 2013. A year I wish I could forget. I hope things continue to improve for you and that the rest of your year is a good one!

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    1. Thanks, Wendy! I'm happy to pretend that 2013 never happened if you are! But even though that's not really possible, I hope the rest of this year is a good one for you too.

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  17. Hey, Nat! Good to see you back here! I'm taking an Internet break (allegedly -- will get off in a minute but I just remembered you were coming back and thought, "Oh, oh, oh, I have to go see if Nat posted!"). New Orleans is just about 3 hours from us, so let me know if you and H. ever do head that way. Maybe we could whip down to the coast and share a meal with you. I have been dying to meet up with New Orleans Chris for ages, so I'd have double the excuse.

    Glad things are going better, this year! Head rubs to Jiro. OK, back to my "break" . . .

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    1. Hey Nancy!! Hope things are good with you. Sorry for the late reply, clearly I'm not fully back yet. That would be fabulous to meet up with you in New Orleans. I will definitely let you know if we do decide to head that way.
      P.S. Jiro's head has been duly rubbed. ;)

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  18. Welcome back, Nat! You have been truly missed! Yes, 2013 was such a stressful year for you. I hope the rest of 2014 stays calm and even happy for you.

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    1. Thank you! I'm not sure about the happy part (working on it!), as this year is still quite stressful, but it is considerably less so than last year, so that is something. I'm aiming for a good year in 2015! :)

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  19. Doing a happy dance to see you here. Now, what should I read? I've finally tackled Tale of Genji. Maybe that's all I'll be reading for the rest of my life. :)

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    1. Hi Jeanne! I haven't read much in the way of JLit this year, but am currently enjoying The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. Have you read it? I'm impressed that you've read (or are reading?) Tale of Genji. It's one I haven't quite had the energy to try it yet, the size of it is quite intimidating, but I do want to one of these years.

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  20. I haven't been doing very good on blogging or blog reading, but I hope you manage to get in a groove. :)

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    1. I haven't managed to get into a blogging groove quite yet, but there is still hope. :)

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  21. Hello! So happy to see a post from you pop up in my RSS reader! I hope your life gets and stays a bit calmer.

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    1. Thank you! That's my wish also and one of these days it is bound to come true. :)

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  22. I was so happy to see you cheering others on today (including me). Sorry to see that you've been facing so many difficult things in recent times.

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    1. Thanks Deb! It was fun, and so nice to be able to join in again. :)

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