A Third of a Way Done NaNoWriMo

Yesterday I reached 16,520 words on the story I am working on for National Novel Writing Month. I’m 33% done and there’s three weeks left; I’m making good progress!

I decided that I’m writing my memoir this month. I did have a Comeback and this is my story. I didn’t want to fictionalize it any longer. I’m hoping that my story will one day help others.

I’m proud of myself. Thanks for the challenge, T! Thank you for pushing me. 🙂

Self Care Day | 7 November 2022

7 November 2022 marked nine years. While my PTSD score dropped this year, I still dread 7 November. I took a day off from the Public Defender’s and spent the morning in Philadelphia. I decided to go to Rittenhouse Square Park and I’m glad I did. It was a 78 degree day and I met other photographers. They chatted with me and we shared some tips and tricks. It felt great to shoot photos of Autumn in Philadelphia.

A gentleman was walking his dog and his dog absolutely loved me. He stayed with me for about 10 minutes; it felt great to have some puppy love on my self-care day.

I also met Yvonne, someone new to the area and new to photography. We chatted for a good 15 minutes and she agreed to a DSLR selfie. We exchanged e-mail addresses, and hopefully we’ll keep in touch. Yvonne was telling me about some Philadelphia Photography meetups and I’m interested.

I made a tattoo appointment at Olde City Tattoo for 12:30. When I arrived, I met my artist, John, he had me review the design he came up with. It was beautiful.

John placed the design on my back, had me lay on the table, and an hour, fifteen minutes later I had my new tattoo. I enjoyed chatting with John about music and we commented on the black metal playlist that was blasting throughout the shop. We also talked about art. I was impressed with John’s work and I will definitely be going back to him. My new back piece reminds me that it’s only a chapter, not the whole story.

While getting a tattoo is always exciting, I couldn’t wait for part two of my self-care day.

Nine years ago yesterday, a rather evil person violated and almost murdered me. Nine years ago yesterday, this person told me I was ugly, lame, and that no one would ever love me. I lived with that for so long and I finally learned that he was a liar.

This was the first anniversary that I’m in a relationship and the first anniversary where I spent it with someone loving, and someone who cherishes me. And I spent it with someone I cherish and honour as well.

David couldn’t spend the whole day with me, but he picked me up at the Norristown High Speed Line station and we went to Valley Forge Park. I was happy to see the autumn colours and that the trees still had leaves. I loved driving around the park with David, and I loved looking at the battlefield, while listening to anime theme songs. David is starting to get me back into watching anime,

Once we found a spot, I laid out the beach blanket I brought. I wanted to bring a heavier blanket, but since it was 78 degrees, a beach blanket worked. It felt wonderful just to be held, to lay on the beach blanket I brought, watch the clouds, watch the leaves, and just talk. Even in the moments of silence, I closed my eyes and cuddled him closely. I’m very grateful for this man. This was the highlight of self-care day.

David took me out to dinner at the King of Prussia Mall and we shared a sushi meal. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how yesterday would go and I was a bit nervous, but it went very well. He’s been checking in on me for the past few days. Beyond grateful. I’m counting my blessings.

Thankful Thursday 3 November 2022

I can’t believe it’s November already. First Thursday of Thankful November. Joyce’s 33rd birthday. Autumn is here and the leaves are still looking beautiful.

I’m making good progress with NaNoWriMo so far and I’m not feeling a sense of dread. Of course, my love is cheering me on, as are co-workers from both jobs, and some friends. I’m really grateful for all of them. I should make my goal this month; I know it won’t be 50K, I’d be happy with 36K. However, the fact that I am doing this and pushing through the fear (since November usually isn’t my favourite month), is reward enough. I’m proud of myself regardless.

I made a book cover for my novel since NaNoWriMo.org wanted a cover. Thanks, Canva.

Since today has been a beautiful day, I went to the playground after work and I snapped this selfie to send to my love:

I told him that I think this should be my author photo for NaNoWriMo and he agreed. November looks so pretty on me. November looks so pretty on everyone.

I’m thankful for my love. I’m thankful for my jobs, my friends, and family. What are you grateful for today?

A Little Less Than Two Months…

I open Happiness Box 2022 in a little less than two months. I can’t believe how fast this year is flying. I posted this on Reddit and this photo received a “helpful” award.

I was thinking. 2021’s Happiness Box scrapbook isn’t going to be as ornate as other years. Why?

(1) I’m watching my expenditures. With inflation and everything going up, I want to hold onto embellishments for other layouts. I’m keeping a scrap pile, of course.

(2) While 2021 wasn’t wildly weird, I know there will be some difficult emotions when it comes to December 2021.

2020’s Box and 2021’s Box, I didn’t create any layouts for the Box like I did in years’ past. I decided to create two for Happiness Box 2022 and creating some layouts ahead of time really do help. These are also very special moments.

Halloween 2022

Another Halloween for the books. I kept it simple, especially since I wore it to work, and I was Lucy the black cat. Yes, I was David’s black cat for Halloween. He got a kick out of that and thought it was cute. As did everyone at the County.

We had a handful of trick-or-treaters and there were some pretty awesome costumes. I’m glad two groups of teens stopped by and agreed to take a selfie with me. I printed them for the Happiness Box.

Happy November! It’s the month of gratitude and it’s also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, which means I won’t really be visiting blogs this month and I’ll be writing Thankful Thursday posts maybe (with a few special posts thrown in). I got this!

Halloween with Old School | 29 October 2022

Happy Halloween, dear readers! I hope you have a spook-tastic day.

I had a spooktacular Halloweekend and Saturday was no different. On Saturday evening, I had a haunting good time with Old School. I’m not going to write a lot, but share a video and lots of photos.

I missed having David around again, he’s also friends with Old School, but I had fun regardless. All of the tables were booked and since I was late getting there and there was no table for me.  A woman saw me standing and invited me to sit with her. Her name was Marni. Marni was a blast and I’m so grateful for her kindness.

When people saw my DSLR camera, I became the unofficial photographer for the evening. Maybe I’ll start charging. LOL! I met a lot of neat people and of course, I enjoyed seeing the band. 

David thought everything looked fun and he agreed, next time he’ll go. Maybe not Old School (since most of the band works full-time jobs and can only play on Friday and Saturday), but other shows. There are a lot of talented hard rock and metal bands around.

Halloween at the Philadelphia Museum of Art | 28 October 2022

I decided to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for Halloween this year, just because it was free for me, and it was more laid back than what the Franklin Institute offers. I’m all for a laid back evening filled with eery music, pumpkin carvings, ghost stories, and trick-or-treating through the galleries for all ages.

I really wish David could have gone with me, but he started his new job on Friday evening. He was with me in spirit and I did take some photos for him, so we were texting while he wasn’t busy… so I guess David was with me. :p

I got into the city at 5pm, but I had some errands to run in Old City first. As you know, the 9th anniversary is approaching and I took a personal day from work for some self-care. I wanted to make my self-care appointment. As I walked to Old City, the autumn leaves outlining Independence Hall took my breath away. I had to take a picture. I may make it into a postcard.

I continued on and as I was approaching the Museum of American Jewish Museum, I saw such an adorable site that I had to take a photo. It’s a rather meta photo.

I was able to pet the dog. I told the gentleman, “he reminds me of the type of dog my grandfather used to have.”

“Do you know the breed? We just adopted him.”

“I’m not sure, he rescued dogs that were being abused. I think he was a Doberman.”

We chatted for a few more minutes before we parted ways. I continued my way to Olde City Tattoo to make my appointment for 7 November.

I walked in and was greeted. I showed the clerk the quote I wanted and that I also wanted a small teal ribbon. The clerk asked when I wanted my appointment, so I told him, and he called Jack over. I met my artist and we talked over design. He’s thinking six inches, with cursive handwriting. I’m going to get “it’s only one chapter, not the whole story” with a simple (awareness) teal ribbon. During the pandemic I bought a gift card to this place. Can’t wait to use it.

I arrived at the Art Museum at 6pm. I stood on the Rocky steps and took photos of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway outlined in autumn leaves. As I was taking photos, the clock light switched on. That was cool.

Once inside, I was able to explore the galleries. Trick-or-treating through the galleries was for all ages. I thought that sounded fun and since I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a Renaissance performer, I went trick-or-treating.

At 7pm, I walked to one of the other galleries and listened to some ghost stories. There were also improv acts, which made me last.

The show ended at 8pm and my stomach was growling. I knew it was time to leave. The 38 came at 8:15 and as I was on the bus, I saw this. Only in Philadelphia.

I hopped off at 10th Street and as I walked down to South Street, I walked past Pokiburi and saw that they had gluten-free Ramen options. I went in and had a gluten-free chicken ramen soup. It was good… first time having ramen since my diagnosis.

I went home after dinner. I decided to stay up and wait for David to get done work. I did it! He had a good first shift and I was so happy to read that. He was so happy to read about my evening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We both fell asleep mid-chat. Ha.

Thankful Thursday 20 October 2022

Thursday, again!? I can’t believe it’ll be Halloween in 11 days and then there will be two more months until I open Happiness Box 2022. I started working on Happiness Box 2021’s scrapbook again, with David’s encouragement, but it’s not going to be as ornate as other years. 2021 was a weird year, and I know 2022 will also have some weirdness too.

I shared this with David already; I shared with him my Thankful Thursday exercise. I told him I was very thankful for him and he said he was very grateful for me. I truly am – not only has he been encouraging me with Happiness Box 2021, but NaNoWriMo as well. I return the favour – I listen to him and I also encourage him as well. We lift each other up.

Yesterday was my 1 month with the Public Defender’s and I had my one month review.

I’m doing well, I’m autonomous and independent. Everyone enjoys my positive attitude and the attorneys I research for are really happy with how I work. I’ve helped them a lot. T said, “you’re so kind! Are you sure you’re not a serial killer?” We laughed and laughed.

He also said, “I don’t know what happened with the DA, but they lost a valuable employee. I’m glad you are on our team now.”

Today has been such a great day. I feel like I’m finding my fit and it feels good. I’m sorry if I’ve been over-the-top cheery for the past few weeks. It just feels so good to be in my elements, and appreciated, and loved.

I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you thankful for?