Still hanging in there

Hey everyone – I’m not sure how many folks are keeping up with the blog anymore, but I’m still here, still trying to dredge up the energy to write new content.

It’s been a rough few months, to say the least.

I figure I may as well update everyone on what’s been going on. Not much of it is really crafty or nerdy, but at least it’s a post, right? I’ll start out with the rough news, then share the good stuff.

The rough stuff

This has been a very rough year for me. I haven’t talked about it all much on the blog, aside from Rana’s death, but depression and grief have been a constant fog over my life since the beginning of the year. And it sucks.

Saying goodbye to Steve

A black and white cat sitting on a set of stairs, looking out a window.

My buddy, Steve, enjoying the view in one of the last pictures I took of him.

I’m sure long-time followers of the blog remember my cat Steve. After Rana’s death, he and his sister Hannah came to live with me, and while everything felt unbearably terrible after Rana died, having Steve and Hannah here helped me cope. Steve especially helped me feel better – he stuck with me just like he always had when I wasn’t doing well, and his presence had the same calming effect as always.

Sadly, Steve passed away from an unexpected illness at the beginning of May, and his passing really hit me hard. Aside from the two years between me moving out of Rana’s and Rana’s passing, Steve had been by my side since early 2014. He was the best cat anyone could have asked for. I miss him fiercely, and the past month has been rough without him.

Farewell to the Fanthropy running clubs

In other sad news, it turns out that the Fanthropy running clubs are shutting down, due to legal nonsense involving Warner Brothers and the Potterhead Running Club. This hits me hard too, because doing the virtual races with the Whovian Running Club have helped me out as I’ve been processing Rana’s passing. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find a virtual running group that’s as wonderful as the folks from Fanthropy Running. At least they’re still planning on releasing all this year’s medals, so I can still finish out the season’s races for the WRC. I’ve earned quite a few medals this year so far, and may sign up for a few more virtual events from the Fandom/Whovian Running Club back catalogs to earn later on before things wrap up there.

Virtual running event medals from left to right: Fandom Running Club Keep Your Feet 5k, a Lord of the Rings themed race; Roar Your Light 5k, a Doctor Who themed race; Nearly Full 9k, another Doctor Who themed race; and the K9 9K, yet another Doctor Who themed race.

The Fandom/Whovian Running Club medals I’ve earned so far this year!

I’ve got the Kissing Book 10K and the Everything is 5K virtual events lined up, as well as the last three Whovian Running Club events. If you want to sign up for any of the Fanthropy Running Club virtual races, you can check out the back catalog of all available medals, or view the following collections of 2022 events:

The good stuff

While there’s been a lot of rough things happening last year, there’s also been a fair amount of good. And the good things have definitely helped keep me going recently.

The new house

Close-up photograph of a blue house with tan trim in the Folk Victorian style.

The new house!

First off, I just bought a new house with my dear friends Peter and Heather! It’s a lovely, giant, old Victorian house built in 1908 with enough rooms for me to have a proper office again – which you might have seen a little peek of if you follow the blog on Facebook. I’ve been working on turning the closet in my office into a small recording booth for work, which has been a good and much needed distraction. I’m trying not to immediately throw myself back into podcasting once the studio gets set up, even though I will someday have a podcast that lasts for more than two episodes. (I need to start writing blog posts more regularly first before I decide to throw myself into something else that requires sticking to a schedule…)

Anya moving in

I haven’t really talked much about Anya, the tiny cat J and Kasi and I adopted in August of 2020. (Mostly because I haven’t really done much talking in general on the blog over the past two years, but that’s my fault.) To make a long story very short, a stray kitten found her way under my co-worker’s house nearly two years ago, and when I asked my co-worker to send me a picture of the kitten so I could see it (I’m a sucker for cats, and was curious to see the wee kitty), I instantly fell in love.

A tiny kitten with black and white markings coming out of a box.

How could you not fall in love with that tiny kitten?

J and Kasi and I decided to take the little kitten in, and I came up with the name Anya (after the Buffy the Vampire Slayer character of the same name) as a bit of an homage to Rana’s old cat Buffy, who had run away earlier in 2020 and was also a black and white kitty.

Anya’s an anxious girl, and with all the changes going on in everyone’s lives over the past few months, poor Anya was not doing well at J and Kasi’s. So, we all came to the decision that Anya should come live here, since it’s much quieter here and would hopefully be a calmer place. The only other cats here are my moderately-cranky Hannah and Peggy, Peter and Heather’s 15-year-old sassy orange tabby lady, and so far things are going well with the three kitties. (Granted, that’s mostly because Hannah’s limited to exploring my room and the attic so she doesn’t start fights with the other cats. She’s a territorial old lady.) So far Anya’s been doing pretty well, given her anxiety.

A young cat with black and white markings, laying on her side on the floor and looking at the camera.

She’s not quite as tiny as she used to be, but she’s still small for an almost 2-year-old kitty.

I’ve been reading to her a little bit each night to help her calm down and get used to everyone. She especially seemed to like it when I read The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Pat Rothfuss to her – which worked out well, because that’s an extremely soothing book to read, whether it’s to myself or out loud. I’m glad little Anya is here – and I think she’s glad to be here, too.

Gen Con Online

Gen Con Online logo over a purple background depicting stylized dice and meeples.

The best four days in gaming – and I don’t even have to leave the house!

Another good thing coming up is Gen Con Online. My pandemic-induced anxiety is still bonkers, so I don’t think going to Gen Con in person this year is doable for a number of reasons, but there’s still Gen Con Online – and I am looking forward to that. It’ll be something for me to focus on for the blog that I can do from the relative comfort of home. (I say relative comfort because the attic – where my home office is – gets insanely hot during the summer. Then again, it’s not really Gen Con unless you’re stuck dealing with the heat at some point, right?)

Also, to be completely honest, I think it’ll be a little easier to go to Gen Con Online than it would be to go to Gen Con in person – I haven’t been to a convention without Rana since 2014, and I’m not sure I’m ready to go to Gen Con without her yet.

I’ll post more about Gen Con Online when the online event catalog is released on July 10th.

Doing better in general

I’m also finally starting to come out of the grief fog that’s blanketed my life since the beginning of the year. I don’t want to jinx things, but I’m feeling a bit more energetic lately, and have actually started crafting again. Granted, my first project was hemming curtains while watching Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy, but even though it wasn’t exciting, it was something. And that’s what counts.

I’m hoping to get back to posting more regularly. I have a list of topics to write about, and now I just need to figure out a posting schedule for myself that I can stick to for a little bit. I might even change up the site’s branding a little, to freshen things up a bit. I’m certainly not letting The Crafty Nerd drift off into retirement, though. This blog has been a huge part of my life for the past nine years, and while it’s been quiet since the beginning of the pandemic, I finally feel like I’m at a point where I can start writing again.

Thanks for sticking with me, everyone – not just through this long post, but through the long quiet spell. I appreciate it beyond words. 🧡

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