Monday, January 30, 2012

Paint it white

There is something very relieving to me about snowfall.  Snow gives us pause.  It makes us slow down just a bit as it covers over the details and garbage, and offers another perspective, even if just for a few hours.  Snowfall to me always feels in some depth of my being like a sigh of relief.  It's something that offers us just a bit of extra time to reflect, wherever we might be when it happens.

I needed this.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wrapping around it

Kitty has seen the vet and after a jab of her needle seems to be on the mend.  He had a nasty upper respiratory infection "coryza" which causes inflammation in the throat and nose -- hence the not eating.  The needle the vet administered had an anti-inflammatory in it which had the desirable side-effect of stimulating his appetite while making it easier for him to smell food, not to mention less painful for him to swallow it.  It worked perfectly, and we've been sneaking his antibiotics into the high-calorie food she gave us to help him recover from his anorexic spell.  He's been more alert and spent some of the morning exploring the house, a very relieving sign.

The vet was lovely with him, and all-told for the consultation, the antibiotics, deworming meds, the shot, and the can of high-calorie food?  47 Euro and change.  Not bad.  We'll discover what vaccinations cost here in Belgeland when he sees her again in February for his second round of them.  Kitty belongs to The Boy, but until he has a name I'm reluctant to write about him.  This morning the names tossed around included Théo, Elvis, Peyo, Usagi, Tigrou... *sigh*  We'll see.  The Boy doesn't like Hobbes enough it seems, and it's his cat, so he'll get final say on the name.  Please hope with me that this poor cat won't end up named Elvis?  *shudders*  (My apologies if you happened to be named Elvis.)

As for my ex-job and the papers... I'm still waiting.  The oh so very Belgian game of waiting on papers as they bounce back and forth between administrative bodies continues, and I must say I'm taking it in stride, rather patiently, too.  I've found my zen in this I guess.  In the wait-time I look over documents that need looking over, scan job listings, try to whip the house and my studio space into better shape, dig into one of the 4 books I've got on my nightstand (2 French, 2 English,) keep an eye on kitty, keep up with my online language classes, annnnd.... (drumroll please) soon I'll fill some of my wait-time with a month of Bikram Yoga!  (Or, as much of it as my body can take in one month.)

At my most recent physiotherapy session we reviewed the positions in the Bikram sequence and I was given the green light (for REAL this time,) to resume (gently) with my yoga practice.  The only yoga studio that allows "drop ins" in Liège is a newish one that opened at the end of last year, and they do Bikram there.  I've always been an Ashtanga and Iyengar girl, but I do love a hot room... and my physiotherapist likes the idea that the 26 positions never change, which will allow me to focus intently on alignment and autoaggrandisement (spinal lengthening,) in each class as I continue healing my back (yoga, done correctly can do wonders for the muscles that support your spine, by the way.)  So I'm stoked to give it a go.  I'll be trying to hydrate the heck out of myself over the next few days, since my natural water-drinking abilities are generally made of suck, and spending 90 minutes in a 40 centigrade room isn't for those of the demi-sec persuasion.

image from

All said, it's a tranquil(ish) period in my life, which is saying a lot considering that waiting on papers and administrative stuff used to drive me batty.  I am rarely bored, and most days I feel like I've made positive progress in some area of my life, so this period of waiting is actually turning out to be pretty opportune, as I see it.  (I'm pretty sure my spine agrees, too, having the extra time to work on healing up well can't be bad.)  The paper will settle eventually, as it must, and until then I'm settling down to other matters needing my attention.  Who knew waiting could be such a fruitful thing?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There's a kitty here.

I have stories about how this came to be, but right now I'm too worried to write.  He has an appointment with the vet tonight, and until then all I can do is fret over his fragile state.

Please cross your fingers for him?  He's been fighting the good fight against whatever's got him, and has been nothing but sweet and gentle, but he seems to be heading sharply downhill today, and I'm terrified he won't make it.

I think he looks like a "Hobbes".

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The sea of not knowing.

We are back and beating away the jet-lag after an incredibly turbulent flight that afforded us very little sleep.  While the flight wasn't fun, our visit was heaven.  A beautiful blink of time consisting mostly of family, with a little bit of friends and shopping tossed into the mix for good measure.  Happily, I found two new pairs of Guess Jeans, though sadly after the massive quantities of turkey, mashed potato, gravy, wine and beer, date squares, shortbread, fudge, sugar cookies, and so on, I find they fit a little more snugly than when I tried them on in the store, pre-Christmas.

I'm ok not knowing how much I weigh for the moment.  I am in a sea of not-knowing, actually, and so I figure "why bother about the number if I still fit (albeit badly) into my skinny jeans?"  There are more important things I'd like to know now, anyhow, like:

---When will I get that little piece of paper I need from my employer?  And how much of a difference will this make in my job-hunting/training plans?
---Will I receive any kind of help from the government with respect to feeding myself while I hunt down my next career move?
---Will anyone in Belgium give me an apprenticeship opportunity in chocolate or will I manage to secure some other learning opportunity here?

In the meantime I read over the pile of documents from the FOREM, partially bewildered.  I have good days and bad days with my back.  I review bank and health-insurance policy changes with furrowed brow.  I make phone calls, check websites and plan visits.  I move deliberately and methodically, carefully collecting the fragments of information I need to have a clearer idea about what direction my life might be headed in 2012.  While many people use the beginning of the year to set goals, this year I find myself making plan A and B and C, and wondering which I'll end up using, while hoping that at least one of them works.

And I drink herbal tea.  I'm trying to rehydrate.

I am the girl with the far away look in her eye, fingers crossed, counting down to the stroke of something.