• Got Bread?
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • The English Robin
    The English Robin
  • Japanese Maple
    Japanese Maple
  • Waterton Lakes Valley
    Waterton Lakes Valley
  • Magic Mushrooms
    Magic Mushrooms
  • Skywing
    Skywing
  • Fairy Stream
    Fairy Stream
  • Canadian Fall
    Canadian Fall
  • Amethyst Sky
    Amethyst Sky
  • Summer Lake Cabin
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • Stormy Mountain Sunset
    Stormy Mountain Sunset

Category: Blog

Welcome to my blog! The blog is mostly for random ramblings. Sometimes entries that belong to other categories will be cross-posted here.

For shop articles and yarn-specific updates, please check the Yarn Shop category.

For crochet, knitting, or yarn-specific entries, please check the Crafts category.

For gaming-specific entries, please check the Gaming category.

For art and writing-specific entries, please check the Scribbles category.


Getting Settled

It’s been two months since I moved into my new home. Time flies!

Although I sold the previous condo on March 25, and then took possession of the new one on June 5, it wasn’t until the August long weekend that I could actually move.

In between I worked a lot of overtime, had a mishap getting the new place painted (yike$), and tried not to go crazy while living with my parents.

Now that I’m in my new place I’m almost (but not quite) settled in. Still a “few” boxes to take care of! But it’s been good. Very good, in fact. Much better than the previous place. It’s quiet, and appreciably soundproof. I don’t feel anxious anymore about having the TV or stereo on, or having a conversation. I can’t hear my neighbors except for the most obvious bumps and bangs, and then only from the neighbor upstairs, but not anything like what I experienced before. I no longer have to use earplugs to get any sleep! I still have some furniture to buy (shelving mostly), things to organize, and art to hang, but coming home isn’t a stressful endeavor that I’d rather avoid. What a relief.

My job has been overwhelming lately so getting back into my routine hasn’t been easy. A lot of overtime, and combine that with some family emergencies, well… Life has still been a bit of a challenge and I’ve struggled. I haven’t done as much creative work as I wanted, and feel like I basically missed most of the summer.

Thankfully, it hasn’t been all work and no play. Photo dump ahead!


Third Time’s the Charm

(Or so I hope!)

threeI sold my home on March 25! I found out while at work and the first thing I did was start to cry when the words “I sold my home” actually left my mouth. Disbelief, mostly, I think. Relief, too. By the time the offer to purchase came in I was quite a ways down the road to giving up. Sure, it had only been just under two months since my place was listed, but the oil price-related economic downturn here has been a huge factor. The worry that my listing would become lost among all the others that were still languishing on the market was very strong.

But, I got lucky. :) A young couple came along and viewed my home, liked my home, wanted my home. I will gladly let them have it.


Relief

soldOfficially homeless. Best news!


Nine Days to Relief?

Don't ask if it's a lie, just gimme cake.

Don’t ask if it’s a lie, just gimme cake.

It hasn’t been an easy couple of months. At the start of January I wrote about the troubles I’ve been having at home, and following that I put in the effort to get a For Sale sign up. I signed away my life to do that on February 3—my birthday.

Although I’ve sold a home before, this has been my first experience going through the process most other people go through to rid themselves of real estate they don’t want. It’s been an eye-opener for me, especially with dealing with feelings of discouragement.

Right when I put up that For Sale sign, the price of oil crashed. Calgary is an oil and gas town in an oil and gas province. The change in mood around here was palpable: like in other cities, companies began cutting operations and laying off employees, and there were a lot of grim faces all around. This also meant that, quite suddenly, people became cautious and protective of their money. Very quickly, my realtor began telling me how the market was drying up. Other homes larger and nicer than mine were slashing their list prices yet were still languishing on the market. Some were getting no showings at all.


When Things Don’t Quite Work Out

In the fall of 2004 I was 23 and coming out of a short-lived relationship. It was a relationship where nothing horrible happened, but nevertheless it failed hard to the extent that a friend from Australia (who happened to be in Calgary at the time for his book tour), after being introduced to my then-nearly-ex-boyfriend (at a book signing in front of a room full of prospective readers), immediately declared loudly, “You need to treat her better!”

Yep.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I decided that was the single most excellent and epic example I would ever be able to point to of someone sticking up for me of their own free will, and that still holds true today. (Thank you, Adrian.)

But getting out of that relationship presented me with a problem: where was I going to live? At the time I had been sharing a place with Mr Didn’t Treat Me Better. Earlier that year I’d bought a brand new car and was basically at that point in life where I was ready to start doing other so-called “grown up” things…like having my own home, rather than being at some landlord’s mercy as a renter. Or moving back into my parents’ basement.


Now for the Hard Part

I’ve finished reposting content to Incyanity and feel pretty good about the state the site is in now. Hallelujah!

Using Joomla to manage the backend is something I kind of wish I had discovered years back, as I realize now how much time it would have saved me. After all, Incyanity has been around in various forms and at various URLs since 1999. Anybody remember GeoCities? I started out in the coveted Area51 block. Yeah. Fifteen years of literally spending days coding in Notepad and Notepad++, learning HTML, CSS, PHP, and a bit of JavaScript from scratch and by examining the source code of other websites, and then being forced to go back and redo whenever the standards changed, things were depreciated, etc.


Success! Moving Forward

Success! Thanks to some help from StackOverflow I’ve been able to solve the problem with the member-only content. The solution seems really silly to me, but it does work, so now I am working on reposting the missing content. :) Look for articles appearing in the menu with a lock icon next to them. Existing chapters of Heart of the Empire will be reposted too. The chapters will have public previews and require a member account to read the balance, as before.


Roadblocked!

I’ve run into a roadblock with reposting the member-only content.

This version of Incyanity is being built using Joomla. Joomla has built-in user registration and permissions settings, which is great! It has built-in syndication feeds, which is also great!

Alas, apparently these two things don’t get along. Since I don’t use user registration or permissions on my other two websites, this is my first time monkeying around with it in Joomla, and either I’ve found a bug OR things are “working as intended” which (if that’s the case) to me is just really stupid.

I posted a protected “test” article, and from the website front end, everything works as it should: visitors who aren’t logged in get an error message, etc. But in the Atom and RSS feeds for HOTE?… The whole freaking article shows up! Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Or I did something wrong and have no idea what. That could be it, too! No help has been forthcoming yet from the Joomla forum so I may have to go searching for a solution elsewhere… But in the meantime, that’s why nothing else has reappeared just yet. I’ll be working on public-only content until that issue is resolved.


Rebuilding

Incyanity has been neglected for a long time. :) Too long, in fact!

The rebuild has begun. I’ve wiped out all prior member accounts, historical blog entries, comments, articles, everything. I’m going to be picky about what I repost, as I need to be able to focus my energy so that I’ll actually be able to create new content rather than being bogged down all the time in trying to make the website work.

For now, only a few public articles are available under Heart of the Empire as well as a few other general pages. The member-only content will return soon. If clicking a menu item doesn’t result in actually going to a new page, it’s because the content hasn’t been restored yet.


Culinary Adventures: Crock-Pot Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Anyone who knows me knows I hate cooking. It’s one of my least favorite domestic-type activities and if I could have my way I’d never do it. I’d much rather have food that arrives already prepared (if I could have a Star Trek replicator I’d be set). No fuss, no muss, no risk of under-cooking, over-cooking, burning, drying out, etc etc.

I don’t get along with certain kitchen appliances, like the oven, either. Many years ago I tried to bake banana bread. I followed all the directions. After the allotted time had passed, I used a toothpick to test if the bread was ready. The toothpick said it was. So out came the loaf, all lovely golden brown. It looked right. It smelled right. But when I attempted to move it from the baking sheet to a cooling rack, the loaf cracked open like an egg and spilled out its innards. Only the first inch or so of the loaf had baked, and the rest was raw. That lying toothpick…