Sunday, 23 January 2011

Last of the Photos!

Yes, here are the last of the photos ... I'm guessing I'll continue taking pictures when I get back and try to get everything in order again (especially since I'm thinking of redecorating my living room!).

The last of the really old electrical outlets that are now finally exchanged for new ones:

The living room:

Note in the last two pictures the beautiful plastic instead of a doorway! *lol* I have a door but it's down in the basement so they decided to cover it up with plastic instead!



Bathroom - BEFORE renovation:

I am very much looking forward to seeing the AFTER-pictures! :)

Please note that I will try to update my blog whenever I can, from Uni or from my families when I'm up there visiting - but there will be no pictures until I get back (sorry...).
It seems right now that I'll be able to move in on Feb. 11 but I guess there's no guarantees, right?!

Take care!!

My Mess In Pictures!

So, here they are ... the photos from The Mess!
I have been taking a few photos every now and again during this mess, and will share them with you here. I'm counting on making a final round tonight when most of it is ready (also would like Before- and After-pictures of the hallway and bathroom which will be redecorated), so I will probably make one last entry tonight ...
(all photos taken with my new camera, Samsung ES28)

Here we go:

Moving books and bookshelves (from the hallway into the kitchen):

My hallway, on January 18 (before the electrician was here):

My bedroom - I had to move one bookshelf for them to reach the electrical outlet, but in order to move that I had to move a lot of other things as well:

Kitchen and bedroom:

The hallway (Jan. 22) - the wardrobes are covered in plastic, and the electrician has (among other things) moved the fuse box:

Moving bookshelves in the living room to free the last of the outlets that needs to be remade:

Tough Week ...

I do apologize for not writing here at all during the week - but it has been one of the most intense weeks I've experienced in a VERY long time! It's been quite hard to get through everything, also because during the fall I wasn't feeling great and I wasn't very "active" at all. Now it seems it's all caught up with me and it tends to get a bit too much at times.

I had an exam with a deadline on midnight Monday so I spent almost all day at Uni and continued working on it when I got home. I wrote frantically until around 11 p.m. but just as I was about to send it I felt like maybe I've completely misunderstood a couple of things! NOT good! It was too late to do anything about it, but I sure am dreading the result (also, it's SOOOOO important that I pass this exam, which makes me even more nervous!) ...

On Tuesday the spring semester started at Uni, and with that the Old Testament/Hebrew course where I am mentor, this year along with another girl. We were supposed to introduce ourself and the mentor activity - and even though I really have become quite secure at the Department, things like that do make me nervous still ... I think it worked out fairly well, and it seems like 16 students will take the course now, which is a lot! Not sure how many of them stick with it until the end, but at least it's a good start.

We had lectures in the afternoon as well, and I sat in on the first half before rushing home to start moving furniture. The electrician was supposed to come on Wednesday morning, and I needed to move everything away from every single electrical outlet in my apartment as well as make sure they could change the ceiling outlets and the fuse box in the hallway. That sure took some doing, especially since I was REALLY tired ... I realized I did NOT want to be home while he was doing it ...

I didn't get everything done Tuesday night, so I was up at 2.30 a.m. on Wednesday and finished it, and left home at about 6 ... I was at Uni at 7.30 and stayed there until about 4 p.m. (and sat in on an OT lecture), ate in town before going home. I was home about 6 p.m. and it was a MESS. I hadn't managed to disconnect my ceiling lamps, so that had been done ... but all of them were just in a mess on the floor and it was pitch black inside my apartment. I had no idea what they had done or if they had connected ANY of the leads at all. I ended up finding a tiny flash light and went around the apartment trying to figure out what they had done and how to get at least one lamp working again... and I did succeed in the end even though I was in a terrible mood.

On Thursday I went to Uni again, though I slept in a little. When I was about to get ready the electrician showed up - apparently he'd forgotten something in my apartment and he also told me I had missed one outlet when I was clearing away, so they hadn't been able to change that. I said I'd have it cleared by the time the renovations started - but it does involve moving two or three bookshelves *sigh* - so hopefully they'll get it done then ... At Uni it was an OT lecture and I spent some time talking to the teacher afterwards. I also met the other mentor and we talked a little about the first mentor meeting that was scheduled to Friday afternoon.
When I got home it was time to move more furniture, as on Friday morning construction workers would be in here covering the floor in the hallway and doing some other stuff.

I was up early Friday morning as well and went to Uni. At 9.30 there were three lectures in sociology of religion, as they will appoint a 50% teaching position in that subject. Of the three people there, I "kinda" know one of them, at least I know who she is, and I do know another one. I had him during a few courses back when I started Uni after my sick leave, and I actually chose between sociology of religion and Old Testament when it came time to specialize my studies ... I hadn't seen him in a long time so it was nice to be there, and I'm actually surprised at how much I remembered (since I haven't taken this subject since 2006!).

I had a little while to myself during lunch before it was time for OT lecture and after that the first mentor meeting. I think it went really well although I always have a tendency to over analyse things. Afterwards I talked a bit with the other mentor, Elisabet, before heading home.

Friday afternoon and yesterday I have spent trying to prepare for my three week absence ... I am really nervous about these three weeks and how things will turn out, but I guess I just have to hope for the best. At the moment I'm trying to get my apartment fit for the renovation, move some furniture for the electrician, trying to find a way to save my flowers, doing laundry and trying to figure out how to actually pack stuff that will keep me going for three weeks ... etc. etc.

I have taken photos continuously of the various states my apartment has gone through, so I will try to make a photo entry later tonight.
But now I have to try to dismantle the mirror wall I have in the hallway ...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

2 months

I had originally planned to follow up on my 2010-entry with one focusing on what lies ahead during 2011 ... but as soon as this week started I felt like I was stuck in complete chaos, and that entry never happened.
I do hope to make a summarizing entry tomorrow about this week and a bit about what lies head.

Today though, it's been 2 months since Zorro passed away. It's been a difficult day (and a strange one at that!) ... I know I shouldn't try to really write about how I feel, because at the moment I can't seem to know what or how I do feel.
Most people I've been talking to lately keep telling me it's good I'm keeping busy (although I might be a bit too busy right now ...), I need to focus on my life right now, and since things are pretty chaotic I won't get stuck in these intense thoughts and feelings involving Zorro.
And I don't know ... maybe they're right.
I do not feel like they are right, to be honest, but than again - maybe I'm too emotional and maybe I don't know what is best for me.

At the moment I feel a need to focus on Zorro, on remembering him - and I don't get a chance to at the moment. Right after he passed away I kept busy ... there were a lot of practical things to do then - my Mum came here for a visit, I had to tell everyone about what happened etc. When my Mum left I basically broke down and spent pretty much days and days just writing in my diary (and crying). From sometime around mid-December it felt like things were going a little bit better, I had a good meeting with the OT professor, I was at Uni and met a friend that I talked to for quite a while, I was on a really interesting seminar that worked out well etc.
Then I went up north to my families for Christmas holidays - and I didn't get much chance to think about my little darling as things were quite intense. I did miss him a lot there as well, but the only time I could allow those feelings to actually come out was when everyone else had gone to bed and I had some time to myself.

Since I've come back here, I feel like my grief has been worse than before Christmas actually ... and that makes me somehow think that maybe I am the kind of person that need to really dive into the difficult feelings instead of trying to push them aside and focus on other things.

But I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. This has been a long day and I'm tired and have a headache at the moment, so I'm not sure how much sense I'm making right now ...

But fact of the matter is, it has been 2 months and I still feel like I've been torn apart - and it seems impossible to accept the fact that I have to live the rest of my life without Zorro ...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Looking Back: 2010

While it's been 2011 for a little while now, I still would like to summarize 2010, thereby hopefully putting at least some of it behind me and look forward.

In many ways 2010 was not a good year for me, so I can honestly say I'm glad it's over. I had high hopes for 2010 when it started, but now I'm feeling a bit disappointed. I know I could have done a lot of things differently, but there were also a number of things happening I had no control over.

What was basically really good was being mentor for the Old Testament/Hebrew course during the spring semester. This was my second time, and I have to say I felt I had learned a lot from the first time. I felt more secure in my role as mentor and I actually think I did do a better job the second time. We had a lovely group of students in the mentor group and usually about 6 students came every single time (compare that to 2 or 3 the previous year)! I really enjoy the subject and the course so that was one of the highlights of 2010. I also "sort of" followed the New Testament/Greek course, mainly to freshen up my Greek skills for a course I took at the end of the semester, and that was also a lot of fun. I discovered that I learned a lot taking this course for the "second time" and lectures were usually lots of fun and quite interesting.

I also took another course during the spring that caused nothing but problems. I don't have the time or energy to go into detail but for me the course didn't work at all. I found out I didn't have to take it - or so I thought! The whole thing ended up being very messy and I basically talked to everyone at the Department about this, without getting any clear answers. The whole thing wasn't completely solved until mid-September (!!!) and then it was said I had to have the course in order for me to get my Degree. I had a hard time reaching the teachers involved, but now I have finally gotten an exam for the course, it's due back on Monday, January 17th, so by then I REALLY hope I can put this course behind me once and for all.

During the spring my Dad fell quite ill ... he's still not doing well and that has been another hard thing to deal with this past year. Understandably I won't go into detail, but health issues are always difficult to tackle, I think.
I also had a pretty bad accident, where I got second degree burns on parts of my right foot. At first I didn't think it was that bad, but it ended up being worse than I thought, and I spent a month visiting the Health Care Centre every other day, being dressed and bandaged to the hilt! It is completely healed now, thank God, but I have a pretty nasty scar left.

During the fall, I haven't been feeling very well. Things haven't worked out and finally, in late October/early November I finally realized what was going on. Again this feels a bit too personal, but I really discovered a few truths about myself, my past and present, my behaviours and thought patterns - and that was quite a revelation. I was able to really start to make some changes to my life and I felt I was doing a pretty good job of it.

Then came November 15. Well, actually it all started on November 13, when I discovered Zorro was bleeding after having used his litter box. He continued to bleed throughout the weekend and I got an appointment with a vet on Monday afternoon. It didn't take long for her to discovered that in all likelihood he had a large tumour in his stomach ... since this is a difficult diagnose to make with certainty and treatments are not 100% - and Zorro was 13½ years old - the decision itself wasn't hard to make.
I held him as he had a calming shot and later on the fatal shot, and our 10 years-4 months together was over for good.

My Mum came down a few days later to help me with things and I am very grateful for that, for at least it gave life some form of normality after this had happened. I still however, have a very hard time dealing with this grief. At times it is better, I know I have to move on with my life and I think I do - but inside I hurt SO much! I can't really say anything about it, because everything has already been said about grief and it just feels so clichéd to try to say anything ...

The end of the year for me was basically all about Zorro, no matter how hard I tried, I could not let him go in my mind even though, inevitably, life goes on. I know people tell me that the grief will eventually go away, even though I will always miss Zorro - and maybe that's true ... I guess I'll have to get back to you on that. For now, however, the grief is a constant part of my life every single day (if not every single hour) ...

Mainly because I was in such a poor shape to begin with, Christmas holidays were hard to handle this year. While nothing really went wrong, I didn't feel good and didn't cope with the time spent with my families as good as I think I could have, had I been feeling better.

So, like I said in the beginning of this entry - 2010 has not been a very good year. By the looks of things, at least the first half of 2011 will be quite difficult and very demanding for me, but I hope I am mentally better prepared to cope with the difficulties now, and hopefully 2011 will be a better year (I will be back with an entry on what lies ahead later on.).

Thursday, 6 January 2011

As Time Goes By!

This entry will be about my sisters, M and I - they grow sooo quickly, it's almost scary! I can still remember visiting the hospital and getting to hold M when she was about 27 hours old (!) - now she's 6½ years old (on Jan. 11) - it's really hard to take in.

M has grown a lot just since this summer, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that she started school this fall! Big girl, indeed! From what I hear she's doing really well, she could read on a basic level before she started and now she's amazing. You can pick up a newspaper and basically point to any word and she can read it ... which I think is really cool for a 6½-year old!! She's also a really good speller, even though she sometimes fails when it's supposed to be double consonants or other specific sound-combinations - but overall, she's amazing!
Both of the girls has been trying out some winter sports now (they have quite a lot of snow where they live) and M is doing pretty well on both skies and ice skates - at least a whoooole lot better than I ever did. I think it's obvious she's developed her intellect more than her motorical skills - so did I when I was a kid, but it's good to see she's attempting sports as well!

I is turning 4 years old soon (Jan. 11) and she's such a darling, I bet she could charm anyone!! Both of the girls were with my Dad meeting me when I arrived before Christmas. I's first words when I got in the car: "Jessica? I don't like you ... [I starting to think maybe she's into a "grandmother-phase", or has taken a liking to one of her preschool teachers or something like that] ... I looooove you!!!!" Said with the most adorable intonation! Is she a cutie or what?!? :)
She has grown a lot too during the past 5 months or so, I think she's really inspired by the fact that M has started school - because she's basically reading and writing too!!!!! *gasp* Granted, not long words or anything like that - but shorter words, like four-five letters long, she goes through them without any problems at all .... she did a drawing for me and on the back it said (not extremely clear and some letter were backwards, but still clear enough to read): "From I to Jessica, a nice drawing" (free translation!) [For Swedish readers: "Från I till Jessica En fin teckning]. Not bad for someone not quite 4 years old yet!!
She too has tried out winter sports... She can "walk" on her skies, and has just started skating, so for now, her mother holds her - but you can tell she's trying to keep her balance which is the first step.

Here are various photos from the holidays (including one of all three of us watching the traditional Swedish Donald Duck Christmas show!):

Finishing of with a selection of photos from a session the girls' mother did, trying to get a Christmas card photo! They do look amazing, don't they?! :)