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Get a move on

Hello, my LJ friends! I know I have at least a few of you who don't do FB, so I thought I should pop in here to let you know I'm still alive.

We have a crazy neighbor who has done things that are heading out of annoying and into dangerous. This crazy neighbor, coupled with the fact that both boys are moving out (Cordell is headed to Davis for his PhD in physics and Clayton is headed to France to teach English for the 2014-2015 school year) has added up to us deciding to move out of this neighborhood. We will soon land in Rogers Park, which is also in the northside of Chicago... but this time, we will be only a few blocks from the lake.

I am getting really excited about our new place (1628 W. Juneway Terrace, Apt. 2W, Chicago IL 60626-5898). We're on the second floor, and the back deck overlooks the historic and beautiful Calvary Cemetery (my third cemetery neighbor; read into that what you will). There's a community garden right across the street, and Chicago's newest field house is a few blocks away in Willye White Park... it has a summer circus program that Linc wants to do! There's another park on the same block as well. And it's just a few blocks away from an El stop, where, if Bill catches the right express train, he'll have a 17-minute commute (compared to 1.25 hours now). And for the icing on the cake, it's about two miles from a health club that offers both Nia AND a jacuzzi!

The downside is that we are losing about half of our total living space, and nearly all of our storage space. So I'm currently deep in the sorting phase of our move, and I'm having to be ruthless. Cordell and I attacked the garage today, and I feel like I made some progress... but looking around our densely packed house, I quail at the prospect of getting through it all. We do have the luxury of a month's overlap on both places, though, so that's a blessing (we get access on June 1, and need to be out of here by July 1).

It's a little sad and a little exciting to have both of my older boys headed out of the house. I'm not sure I know how to cook for only three people.

While the rent and expenses should go down, we are still going to be tight in the money department. In an effort to try to make some more cash, I got my freelance writing site up and running (http://www.katjesabin.com). I had another article published over at LTHForum, on a local craft distillery. I picked up a little writing gig over at Helium.com. And I've done two weekends of braids: one at the Whole Earth Festival in California (not really for money, more to raise funds for the state's midwives, but still a blast) and the Janesville Renaissance Faire (covered my expenses and a little more, so while I probably won't do it again, at least I didn't lose money this year).

The push to get back into writing again has been spurred on by a little writers' support group that two friends and I have formed. It has helped immensely with my writing, mainly by giving myself hard deadlines and an audience with good feedback. I wish I'd done it years ago!

While Linc and I were in Davis last weekend, we met with a friend who has been working on her PhD in physical therapy, specializing in children with issues like Linc's sensory processing challenges. She kindly agreed to meet with us and give us some feedback on our approach to supporting Linc, and it was good to hear that we had (mostly) been doing lots of the right things. We heard some ideas on how to avoid meltdowns, and got good advice on how to give him more structure in his life.

My ears are doing OK now. They both got full of fluid on the flights out to California (three planes there, and three back, with 3-hour layovers... Priceline deals can make you pay in other ways), and stayed stuffed up for the whole time I was out there, but they didn't get infected. The middle ear (bacterial) infections have really slowed up, and while the outer ear (fungal) infections do sneak up periodically, the tea-tree oil mix I've made will tamp it down in under a day. So while I despair of my ears ever returning to 100% again, I feel like I've found a balance of maintenance that I can manage, as long as I pay close attention to what's going on in there.

A few other notes: Bill has been painting miniatures lately, and doing some really gorgeous work. Clay has taken to boxing and now looks even scarier than he did before. Cord is letting his brain rest after his push to graduate (he finished after winter quarter; Clay finishes spring). They'll both be walking in the commencement ceremony on June 15; my sister Amanda is flying out for it, too! They are also both graduating with straight As, and, I assume, with highest honors. We've been all watching and loving the new Cosmos series, and the older boys have been watching the new Mushishi season with me. Clay is thinking about doing the game design masters program at DePaul when he gets home from France. I finished one of my biggest knitting projects to date: a spiral circle shawl for my mother-in-law. Julia flew out to talk to University of Chicago about a Masters program (she's probably not going to do it, but it was still awesome to see her, and we went out to Green Zebra for my Christmas present... it was delish!). Linc has fallen in love with archery, and shoots each week at an indoor range (where we can rent his gear) with the local SCA companie of archers, who have taken him under their collective wing. He is also still a huge Minecraft and Blockland fan, plays lacrosse and dodgeball, and enjoying his weekly nature classes.

Up early tomorrow morning, so time for bed. I LOVE reading your posts, and I will try to post again soon!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update, Katje. It sounds like things are going pretty well this year, and I'm very happy to hear that!
May. 20th, 2014 12:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, it was a pretty hard winter, and we're very grateful to be on this side of it now.
May. 20th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC)
Wonderful to hear about all these good developments!
May. 20th, 2014 12:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It does feel like we are turning a corner.
May. 20th, 2014 06:47 am (UTC)
Ooh, congrats on the new place! I hope the move goes well--having a good chunk of overlap in leases will help, I'm sure. I totally do the goldfish thing, too; this place seemed chock-full of empty storage space when we moved in, but I keep somehow amassing possessions.

Writing support is one of the best things about fandom. Having written fanfic for so long and built so many connections with other writers in the community, I now have several incredibly competent friends who will happily cheerlead and criticize anything I ask, from fic to original short stories to blog posts to grad school application essays to novels. I don't know where I could have developed that kind of relationship without fandom; I'm glad you've found a way!

Piper is super into Mushi-shi, and we've watched the first few episodes together. The art is just beautiful. I didn't know you guys watched it too. And that shawl is amazing! Is it the same yarn as my sweater-tank? It looks similar, but it's hard to tell in photos.
May. 20th, 2014 12:05 pm (UTC)
Well, I've done it before, so I know I can do it (unloading before a move). This is just the biggest downsizing I've ever had to do. I'm coming to terms with the sad fact that it's not likely we'll ever be homeowners again, so I'm letting go of things I've dragged around for "the forever house." It's hard but it's reality, and it will lighten our load as well as getting those things into the hands of people who can use them right now.

My challenge with writing is that the world has changed in huge ways since I last wrote for money. I need to reframe my expectations for the worth of my work... it feels pretty frustrating that the same things I write now for $25 or $50 used to be worth $200 or $500 twelve years ago. But it's good to flex those muscles again, and I'm hoping that as I get more out there, I can find other ways to bring in cash.

I think I tripped over Mushishi a few years back, looking for anime I could watch with Linc. It turned out to be a little intense for him, but I kept on watching it on my own. Cordell picked up the live-action movie for me, as well as the DVDs of the first season, and we recently rewatched them all in preparation for the second season. Clay wandered in at some point and joined the party. Gotta say I felt pretty chuffed at finding something they hadn't already known about!

No, the yarn for your top was a very springy and firm superwash merino in purples and pinks, and this was a much thinner and wispy wool (it would totally felt if she washed it, and turn into the world's heaviest doily) in oranges and reds. But the dye pattern was similar and I liked how the colors played out together... I see the similarities you mean, but if you could feel it, the "hand" is entirely different.
May. 20th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the move! Have fun exploring the new digs! :D
May. 21st, 2014 01:48 am (UTC)
Thank you! Hope I get to see you sooner rather than later!
May. 22nd, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
I would like that. I'm generally off on Fridays. I'm a little busy this week with flood cleanup, but soon! :D
May. 21st, 2014 04:34 am (UTC)
Much, much sympathy on losing the space, but I hope the great location makes up for it. There's some pretty credible research on how much commute length affects happiness: I hope Bill's shorter commute makes all your lives nicer.
May. 21st, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
I'm certain it will. Oddly, we were looking for either a significantly shorter OR longer commute, because the current train ride is too short for him to concentrate on something but too long to do nothing... if it were longer, he could grade papers or review journal articles or something like that. Fortunately, it turned out to be shorter, which will give us at least an hour more of him each day! <3
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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