September brings changes. My website is, at last, fully functional again. Kudos to Dreamhost for sticking with it and resolving the issues. It took a while (months really), but they were extremely communicative the whole time and I received frequent updates. It did put a crimp on my blogging, but as it was summer, I didn’t much feel like it anyway. So there.

Before I forget, I have a story coming out in the fall issue of Mythaxis, sometime in the next couple of weeks. Check that out when you get a chance.

Beyond the writing…

Life has been a bit strange lately. Not in a bad way, though. First and foremost, the wife and I decided to move. There wasn’t any real impetus for it. No emergency. No new job offer. We simply decided we were tired of the growing (and massive) sub-division across the street, the endless barking of neighbor dogs, the traffic, the whole exhausting kerfluffle of life in Maryland. I’m not sure how we managed to come to this decision almost in unison. But now we’re looking at homes in New England. Vermont was our initial target, but more and more we’re seeing properties in Maine we like, and having grown up there, that would be an easy transition for me. I know what to expect. Both states have their appeal, though.

For now, we’re taking a look at what’s in our price range and putting aside extra money for it. We’ll go up north in the Spring to start picking out locations we like and, by early summer, we should be loading up and heading out. With luck we can buy a place, move into it, then clean and sell this place after. It’s always a bigger hassle to try and buy/sell contingent on each other.

The bad part of this: I’ve already found a place I love. Right at the top of our price range, but a lovely combination of old farm house with newer improvements (including a wonderful rustic library-office), in a rural setting, with some extra land, a nice workshop, AND with private lake access (not on the water though). There’s no way it’ll still be on the market when it’s time for us to move. But at least we’re figuring out what we both want and what appeals to us since this is our planned “last move” retirement home.

Second: I cut back on coffee a while ago. I used to have two giant mugs every morning. While I liked the buzz, I didn’t much care for the constant bathroom trips. Felt like I was pissing it all away (ahem… ). One big cup is perfect, though I do miss the caffeine high two cups provides. Takes me longer to get around to my writing each day.

Third, and more importantly, we also quit vaping. Both of us have been smokers most of our adult lives. We’ve both quit at times, only to take it up again later. We switched to vapes not long after we met, figuring it couldn’t be any worse than cigarettes. A lot nicer smelling, that’s for sure. But like cigarettes, its an expensive habit, and we still don’t know the long-term health effects from using. We kind of kept it on the low down, not being the type to smoke around those who don’t.

Today marks one week since I stopped cold turkey. Dropping off vape juice has been a little easier than cigs, probably due to a lower nicotine level. But it’s still a work in progress, with the occasional daily spikes in cravings. Mostly it’s the triggers, the “I normally reach for my vape here” moments that are hard. There’s a reason habits are habits, and it’s not always the chemical addiction, but the way you’ve programmed your mind to expect certain things to happen at certain times. I’m allowing myself more sweets as compensation and will worry about weight later. For now, we’ll work through one change at a time.

The only real negative is insomnia, which I knew might be a side effect of quitting nicotine. First few nights were real bad. The last couple not nearly as bad, with longer stretches of actual sleep, though I still woke up far too early both nights. It’s put a crimp in my writing, and I’ve been a bit more snarly lately, though trying hard to watch for the grumps and avoid barking at my always patient and darling wife (who is using nicotine gum to help with her cravings; I should have as well, but now that a week has passed I don’t want to undo the work I’ve done weening off nicotine).

Life is change. September is change, too. Fall weather is near. The days are still very warm, but we’ve started getting some crisp, cool nights. Almost time for hot chocolate and apple cider donuts and sweaters. Next year, we’ll add beautiful New England leaf colors to that list.

Fingers crossed!

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