Wolf SilverOak
Akita Owner.
Marine.
Artist.
Pagan.
Foodie.

You don't like it, don't read it.

"I believe in god, only I call it Nature."
- Frank Lloyd Wright

October 2020

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Mar. 31st, 2020

Ugh. Mini rant, then the good stuff.

People simply want to be told what to believe and then, believe everything they see on Facebook.

See the recent meme about Hobby Lobby closing all their stores and laying everyone off, as well as that letter about it's in the hands of god, for example. Research shows, that letter in particular is may or may not be true, the veracity has not been established, it was *Oklahoma stores only, and the rest are abiding by the state they are in guidelines. I mean, there's numerous people who either work at HL who are questioning this, saying, that's not happening at my store, where'd you hear this?

*And no one provides links!*

I mean, if you don't want to buy from Hobby Lobby because they're a bigoted, misogynistic, chauvinistic, backwards, religious zealot owned company, that's one thing and perfectly good reasons to not frequent that establishment. But to take something, blow it way up and then post it as fact? No, don't do that. *Truth matters*. Look at the Gamestop fiasco. *It wasn't true*.

Ok, rant over.

So, we found out Friday, after almost 3 years of behind the scenes work by his boss, Mark has received a promotion and a significant pay increase. As well as being switched from hourly to salary. Now, instead of doing the work without the pay or title, he has both. Heh.

So, going to salary means a big change in how I pay bills. One week next month will be a no paycheck week, but it'll be late in the month, so maybe we'll get lucky and that so called stimulus check will come that week (not holding my breath). He's stressing over causing complications in bill paying for me and I'm looking at him and saying, I got this., it'll be ok.

And it will be. Because this was a good thing and we needed it.

Sunday we tried a new breakfast recipe.

It failed, miserably.

It failed so very badly, that even though we hate to waste food, we looked at it, at each other and said it had to go away. It was that unappetizing. It didn't remotely look like the recipe for breakfast tacos whatsoever. That recipe got trashed. Our version of breakfast tacos turned out beautifully.

Dinner was a new recipe too. THAT recipe turned out great.

20200329_195003~3


Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno-Lime Cole Slaw

Recipe courtesy of My Magazine from Kroger

Hands on time- 10 minutes ( closer to 20 if you ask me, especially if you use fresh jalapenos like I did)
Total time- 20 minutes (well....)
Serves 4 (yes, or 1-2 with leftovers)

Ingredients-

3tsp blackened seasoning (I didn't have any, so instead I used Stone Spice Company's Screamin' BBQT seasoning They are a locally, artisan spice company)
1 tsp salt, divided
1tsp pepper, divided
15-20 large shrimp, raw, shelled and deveined, rough chopped into bite size pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
Juice from 2 limes
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1tsp honey
3 Tbsp olive oil (again, or oil of your choice)
1/4 cup jalapenos (they say to use canned, I used fresh and deseeded them), diced
1-2 scallion onions, chopped
1 bag of cole slaw blend of your choice
8 corn or flour tortillas

Directions-

1- In small bowl, mix shrimp with seasoning, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1 Tbsp oil. Toss to thoroughly coat. Set aside.

2- In large bowl, add lime juice, yogurt, honey, oil, remaining salt and pepper. Mix well. Add chopped jalapenos and scallions. Stir well. Add cole slaw mix and toss to combine. Place in refrigerator until needed.

3- Heat medium-large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil when hot. Add shrimp and cook through, about 2-3 minutes. Let shrimp rest while you prepare the tortillas. (heat or char the tortillas or do nothing as we did, your taste.)

4- Place 2 tortillas per plate and top with shrimp. Place roughly 1/2 cup of slaw on each, top with more sliced jalapenos and scallions, even black olives and sour cream if desired. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers, obviously.

IMG_20200329_201626_097


Enjoy!


Today's numbers in Virginia-
13401 tested
1250 positive
165 hospitalized
27 dead

2 in Bedford County


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Mar. 30th, 2020

This is why we can't have nice things.

There's a 'church' here in my small, rural town, that is refusing to abide by the Governor's guidelines and restrict not only it's Sunday gatherings, but allowing congregants to gather in *numbers*.

It's the type of belief system that the pastor gets rich, while you tithe, weekly, and get a 'weekly allowance' (hearsay from someone who has a family member in this belief system) and get no where. After each Sunday service, they then, en masse, go to Walmart or other retail shops that are currently allowed to be open.

So, on Facebook, I belong to a community group for my town and someone posted a photo of the packed parking lot, questioning it.

Here, for your incredulity, is a sampling of the resulting comments-

"Just my opinion maybe people should mind their own business."

"I understand. There's only supposed to be ten people but it's their choice. If you're so worried then go tell them, call the police, call governor blackface."
(Oh yes, my small, rural town is deeply red, and many apparently hate Northam)

"Guess it's a good thing then that the death rate is a heck of a lot lower than first thought. Take care of yourself. Don't worry about others. You'll only make yourself angry for no purpose" (Except, that's not the damn point)

Comment thread- (this gives you an idea of the type of 'church')

"Why dont they do what other churches are doing and just have the pastor video his sermon and they watch it at home?"
"they aren’t allowed to use that much tech , are they ?"
"i dont know. But they have cellphones"
"They are not allowed to have tv's in their home."
"but they do have computers!"


"While I don't agree with what they're doing, just an observation I had today while out mowing (and yes I'm by myself, and having customers leave payment outside, or pay online). This is no different than the kids playing in neighborhoods. I've seen groups of kids, as large as 15, playing together. So before you go throwing your stones in your glass house, keep your kids at home.."

"Maybe instead of foul mouthing, you can call it in? MAYBE, just maybe, if there’s enough people acting on what’s right, and less fussing about what’s wrong, there will be a decision made to control this? Just a thought... see a problem, make a move. I’m pretty sure calling them stupid isn’t pleading the case." (I didn't see anyone saying they were stupid, per se, just that the whole gathering to worship right now is stupid.)

"My understanding their religious beliefs are that they don’t believe covid-19 is a problem. And that they say that God is going to handle it and they won’t get it because God is going to take care of them. I think God is going to take care of us however I don’t feel the need to risk everyone in the community. My church does service via Live feed" (Your church is smart.)

"This is absolutely hilarious!...
I didn't think this great nation had gone to dictatorship...
Let's close the schools! No more than 10 people crowds...
Hey I got a question where are all these kids that are out of school? My guess when mom and dad have to go to work they are in daycares instead.. is that any more safe? Bet walmart isn't adhering to 10 people or less! Or any of the other big box chains... liquor stores and planned parenthood still open for business... and y'all on here whining about a church... all of a suddenly because mommy government told you to be scared you goin To freak out about a church while the government controls your every move...
2112 people have died from covid-19 In The US and 24,000 people have died this flu season from influenza (the common flu) compliments of the CDC website.."
(Oh yes, someone went there.)

(Someone tells them they need to go read up on the CDC guidelines, etc, obviously they're missing something, to which they respond-)

"I have not missed anything... I'm saying there is a lot more serious things than this to be worried about..." (Oh yes, 'more serious things to worry about' than potentially killing your neighbor because you were stupid. )

" keep listening to your governor. You will end up brain washed. We need to pray for his salvation."

"f you believe anything this man says, you’re going the wrong way. I’m in the health field every day. Use common sense. Quit watching TV. Faith not fear!" (Faith, I tell you! Faith!)

And finally, this gem-

"They are already an isolated group of people. If the corona virus does break out in the congregation, then rest of Bedford will probably be okay. I remember a time in world history when people would turn other people into the government. Let's not head down that road As long as they stay to themselves just let it be. . ."

Except they are not an isolated people. They go to grocery stores, they go to big box stores, they go to restaurants, etc. If it does break out in their congregation, it will not stay there.

It devolves from there. Until an admin finally turned off comments.

Oh, hey, bonus! We are now officially under a Stay At Home order as of today. That means it's no longer a *suggestion*, it's now an official *order* and will be enforced by law enforcement. Executive Order 55.

Today's numbers-

12,038 tested
1020 positive
136 hospitalized
25 dead.

In my County-

79 total tested
2 positive (I guess someone recovered)

Tomorrow, better news, I promise. And a new recipe!


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Mar. 27th, 2020

Ow and Yum!

IMG_20200326_154108_121


Took Caena and Leo for a really long walk yesterday, 1.27 miles. Leo was literally leaning against me as we walked up the driveway to the house. I think I broke them.

We had martial arts class online using the Zoom app last night. So stiff today. Hard wood floors are not conducive to proper workouts. We are biting the bullet and making a quick trip to get mats for next time, after we go and mow my brother's front yard for him, on Sat.

So, yesterday I said I would post the recipe of the Slow Cooker Citrus Salmon with Melted Leeks if it turned out good.

It turned out amazing. Here's the recipe-

IMG_20200326_202217_387


Slow Cooker Citrus Salmon with Melted Leeks

active: 10 mins
total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 4


Ingredients

Cooking spray
3 cups sliced leeks (from 2 leeks) {I used 3}
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme {dried works too}
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage {Oregano works as well as dried}
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 (6 ounce) skinless salmon fillets
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil


Directions

Step 1

IMG_20200326_162734_660


Coat a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the leeks in a bowl; toss with the thyme, sage or oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and spread in an even layer in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour the wine over the leeks and dot with the butter. Cover and cook on LOW until the leeks are tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Step 2

IMG_20200326_184415_875


Place the salmon on top of the leeks in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining salt and; top with the lemon slices, and drizzle with the oil. Cover and cook on LOW until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of the salmon registers 140 degrees F, about 1 hour to 1hour 15 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a platter, and serve with the leeks.



Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 fillet, 1/2 cup leeks

Per Serving:
369 calories; 20 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 569 mg sodium. 10 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 35 g protein

20200326_195148~2


I served it with oven roasted asparagus seasoned with lemon juice and slices, salt pepper and olive oil. If you get a chance, and like salmon, make this. You won't regret it.


Virginia numbers-

7337 tested
604 positive
83 hospitalized
14 dead

3 in my County (no change)




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Mar. 26th, 2020

It's official...

Black Belt testing (pretest at least) has been postponed until further notice.

We rather expected it, honestly. And I am relieved that they did decide to postpone it. We simply can't test properly right now, there's too many of us.

Meanwhile, we keep practicing, we keep working towards maxing out the situps, pushups and trying to get that 1.5 mile run down to 15 minutes or less(hahahahahaha...).

Blue Man Group, which we had tickets for, and was scheduled for tonight, has also been postponed, indefinitely. Had to find that out by going to the website, since they couldn't be bothered to announce it.

In other news, my subconscious decided I needed to be yelled at in a dream, and it upset me so badly, that I literally woke up crying. Stupid brain.

Fat little groundhog was foraging under the flowering quince. Cute little guy. I say little because it was half the size of the one that lives under the murder shed out back.

One thing this pandemic has given me, is time to actually try out new recipes and do real cooking. So tonight we're trying Slow Cooker Citrus Salmon with Melted Leeks. Possibly oven roasted asparagus on the side. If it turns out good and is tasty, I'll post a photo and the recipe.

Got called a naysayer yesterday, for saying it was unnecessary and excessive, about the video of the guy on Facebook, claiming we needed to leave our *groceries* in our cars for *three days*.

I posted exactly what the CDC, FDA and USDA, as well as USPS all said- that it wasn't necessary, that we could bring in groceries the day we buy them, and as a *precaution*, wipe down pertinant containers, put stuff in other containers as we normally would, properly dispose of all excess packaging, then thoroughly wash our hands. That the CDC has *never* said we needed to leave our groceries in our cars for 3 days.

Someone posted an 'updated' video, saying, well, he's a doctor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you're not, so I believe what he says. My thought was, 'Great! I'll ask *my family that lives there if they ever heard of this guy!' But I didn't post it. I merely asked if his so called updated video told you to do what the *CDC suggested*, otherwise, *I* personally was going to follow *the CDC guidelines*, not some random guy, I don't even know, posting on *Facebook*. (They said 'he was reading through the CDC guidelines, which means 1) he was talking out his ass in the original video, and 2) no, he still wasn't telling them to follow CDC guidelines. That shit is infuriating, honestly.)

I mean, seriously people. Common sense. I really wanted to Ok, Boomer, or whatever, Karen, them. Why are we white people so damn ignorant and lacking in common sense?!? So tired of the rumors, the false information, the sheer stupidity.

Today's numbers in Virginia-

6189 tested
460 postives
65 hospitalized
13 dead

3 positives in my County still.


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Mar. 25th, 2020

Round 1- Fight!

Only not really. Heh.

Took Mark to work so I could get groceries. We needed gas, so I told him to drop me off at Kroger, I'd see if there was any toilet paper or paper towel, while he got gas.

We got there around 715, 15 minutes after they opened, he decided to park and come in, letting me out at the door, because of idiots who can't drive.

Because it wasn't our normal Kroger, it took a few minutes to figure out where paper goods were. Once there, I grabbed on of the last packages of paper towels and had just stepped up on the shelf to grab one of the last packages of toilet paper. He snagged the other- it was too far back for me to get.

They're limiting it to 1 package per customer, so we were going to go to separate checkouts, but an older gentleman came down the aisle, and I asked if he was looking for toilet paper. He looked at the now empty shelf, his shoulders sagged and he said yes. So Mark gave him his package. WE didn't really need 12 rolls anyway, a 6 pk was enough.

Also managed to find a couple spray bottles of antibacterial cleaner(!). Lemi-Shine. There were 3 bottles and I pulled the last to the front. Mark took one to work.

So, round 2 was after I dropped him off and went back for the rest of our groceries.

This time I was ready to fight by the end. Seriously, what part of *6ft apart* do people not understand?!?

I managed to get all the fresh veggies I was looking for. The produce section is looking much better stocked lately. Then I hit the aisles and had to keep backtracking because of people down aisles- trying to keep my distance, mind. But then there's the fools who stand really close to you when you're already on an aisle, getting canned goods. Or deliberately choose the register right next to you in the self checkout that's less than 6ft apart.

By the time I was done, I was absolutely ready to go home. Luckily, I managed to get everything at one store.

So I came home, put stuff away and then proceeded to make my house smell like Lemi-Shine. Heh. Mark said his office smelled like it too.

People are still passing around crap information. Things like, you need to wipe down everything you get in the mail or delivered. Like takeout isn't safe because you can get it from the food. That sort of thing.

Ummm, no. The CDC, FDA, USDA, even the USPS, has said, repeatedly, that mail and packages are unlikely to carry the virus, that the chances of getting it from that sort of stuff is very low. Same with takeout. And food that's properly cooked, would kill the virus.

Now, I'm all for being cautious. But there's being cautious and there's going overboard. I can just see it now, people making themselves sick by ingesting cleaning products they used on their food stuffs.}:/

Stats for Virginia- 5370 tested, 391 positive, 59 hospitalized, 10 dead. (Yesterday- 4470, 290, 45, 7)

3 in my County now.


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Mar. 24th, 2020

Damn this pollen.

It was nice today, for now, suppose to rain this afternoon.

So I opened a few windows. Mainly to make Morrigan happy, but to also air out the house.

As I opened the side window in the downstairs office, my nose immediately stuffed up and the persistant cough started up again.

I regret deciding to open the windows now.

Damn pollen.



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Mar. 23rd, 2020

Status- holding steady

Not on lockdown here yet.

Mark got his 'essential personnal papers' for when we do go into a lockdown/shelter in place status. So he can still go to work.

He says Norwell, where they have another office, goes on lockdown tomorrow at noon. So it's coming for Virginia as well. Likely later this week.

Just means we'll either have to go grocery shopping on weekends, as soon as the stores open, or before he goes to work on Weds so I can be dropped back off at home.

Either way, we'll still have funds coming in, so that'll help.

Got our first positive case of the virus in our County this weekend. A 70yr old woman who is self isolating. Every County surrounding us now has at least one case. It's slowly moving west into the more rural areas, unsurprisingly.

Today, it's raining, so can't do my mile+ walk. Hopefully it washes the pollen out of the air though, so it'll give my sinuses a break.

Need to get milk, eggs, yogurt and a few vitamins, maybe a package of toilet paper and paper towel to have as back up, at the grocery store this week. Here's hoping.


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Mar. 20th, 2020

Welp.

We have our first Covid-19 case in SouthWest Virginia.

It was really just a matter of time, honestly.

Online martial arts classes are...interesting. They put up the curriculum for the day, with videos on how to do whatever it is. And we post short videos of ourselves doing the curriculum.

We hates it.

We hate videoing ourselves and then watching ourselves. Because then, we nitpick every little thing about ourselves. Ugh.

But, well, it's mostly working and it's helping us to actually practice *more*, so that's something.

I get the reasoning for the daily briefings, both state and federal, but let me tell you, the anxiety that they raise isn't helping. Ugh. So most of the time, I go do other stuff until they're done.

Today, I find out how well our new washer can handle a queen sized comforter, by stripping the bed, and then flipping the top mattress. Of course now my shoulder hates me.

Now, I need to go practice intermediate kata and fighting combos 10,11, 12 before videoing tonight. }:P



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Mar. 18th, 2020

Getting my steps in...

That's for sure.

Went for a run/walk this morning, about .89 miles. That's 2 laps up and down the driveway, about have of it at a jog. That's getting easier at least.

Then I took Mark to work and hit the grocery stores on the way home. Most are now closed overnight for cleaning and restock of whatever they can- which is *a lot*.

I kept telling myself not to be too optimistic, that I'll be lucky to get what I can get, if it's half my list, that'll have to do. Especially since there's others who won't even be able to do that.

Stayed away from our lone, small Food Lion in town- there's plenty who live here who can't go 25+ miles to another store, so they'll need what our local store has more than me.

Hit up Kroger first. As I was going in, an older woman said good luck! She had several bags of things, but obviously wasn't a hoarder. Several other people also had full carts, but didn't appear to have dozens of any one item, so that was hopeful.

An hour later, I had 3/4 of my list and a few items that hadn't been on my list. That was *amazing* to me. I only got 2-3 of each item, to restock our existing supplies mainly, but they had Kraft Mac & Cheese on sale 10 for $10, so I grabbed 6 boxes of those. My niece likes to eat that, so we keep multiple boxes on hand. Passed by the only apple juice they had left- it was a WIC item, best left for those that need it and I can go elsewhere. Cat litter was surprisingly empty. I'm glad Morrigan isn't picky about her litter. Unlike her dry food. Ugh.

Getting pet food yesterday was fun. Mark had to go to 2 different stores to find dry dog food that both dogs could eat if needed. Chewy delayed our dry cat food order, so we had to find that as well. Luckily PetCo had it in stock, I was able to buy it online and have him pick it up at the front of the store. Maybe next week, I can order a back up bag from Chewy, after the buying slows again.

Hit Walmart for KT tape, Tiger Balm, and more cat litter. Found sugar and rice there. Found a creamer Mark likes there too, didn't need it but it's not an easy to find flavor, so I grabbed one. No hot dogs,not surprisingly.

Hit the larger Food Lion we go by on the way home and got apple juice, they had hot dogs 2 for $4, so stocked up on those. And realized we needed hot dog buns. Huh. Bread aisle was empty. Managed to find a couple packages of buns, on sale, so grabbed them. A package can sit in the fridge, it'll keep until we need it.

2.5 hours later, I had every single thing on my list as well as other things I forgot to put on it. And no, toilet paper and paper towels were not on my list, as we had already stocked up on those, 2 weeks ago.

I got lucky. It was a good paycheck week and I was able to drive around and go to stores we wouldn't normally go to.

There are so many who *can't*, who don't have that mobility or transportation, let alone the funds to be able to go shopping for extra stuff, let alone necessities, more than once a month. People need to remember them. If you can go to a store further away, *do so*. Leave the closer stores for those who *can't*.

Still no virus cases in my part of the state. Knock on wood that it stays that way.


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Mar. 16th, 2020

Various and Sundry

Caena is doing well.

Came home Sat morning. They didn't have to put a drain in and it looks like they got all of the cyst out. She looks so much better now. Lots of stitches, and she'll have a gnarly scar, but she's ok.}:)

Her appetite is definitely back up. She raced to the kitchen last night and danced while we were prepping their dinners. And today, she refused to eat the Clavomox in her food , then proceeded to fight me when I tried to force it into her mouth. It took 4 tries to get her to swallow it. That's my girl!

Took the dogs on a long (1.19 miles) walk through the woods yesterday. Found what we think are rabbit warrens. Discovered that there's another abandoned barn structure at the end of the private airstrip behind the house. We'll have to go down there sometime when the weather is better, to get some photos. Otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful.

Our local Food Lion was thoroughly picked over yesterday. It doesn't help that the other small, local grocery store shut down 2 weeks ago (and won't reopen until sometime in April, under new ownership), creating a food desert in that part of town as well as our Food Lion being half the size of a regular one. And we have no ethnic food stores here either.

We did our grocery shopping last Weds, and luckily, thought to stock up on some dry goods and canned goods. This Weds, we'll go get our usual weekly perishables. Hopefully.

It started with a rumor that our all toilet paper comes from China(it doesn't) and escalated from there. People are trying to price gouge and well, it's illegal to do in at least 38 states, so they're now finding themselves in trouble with the law.

The panic shopping here is odd. It's not even in our half of the state, it's all on the coast. But, well, human nature. Yesterday when I went to see if I could get some coleslaw, half the egg supply was gone, almost all the milk. There were 3 lone paper towel rolls, at the back of the top shelf where no one could reach them. The canned goods were distinctly reduced- not cleared completely, but definitely well shopped. The fresh meats had no chicken left. It's the cheapest, so not surprised. Glad we got a couple packages of thighs last week.

But the *freezer section*. That was practically empty of frozen pizzas and dinners. Seriously.

Mark just texted that they were being given the option to telecommute now until the 27th, if they so chose. Our internet being what it is, he's going in unless they physically close the building. He asked if I was ok with that, I said it's not in our area, once it reaches here, we'll reassess.

Martial arts classes have been cut back, so they have time to wipe the dojo floor mats and such down between classes. It only makes sense. We also have to bring our own water now. The water dispenser will be removed for the duration. Not sure what this will mean for the black belt test. I imagine if/when it gets worse, it'll be postponed.

I'm actually ok with that.

Talked to my parents on Friday. They're of the generation that grew up with shortages and probably are best suited for knowing how to prepare for a crisis like this. I'm glad they passed that on to us and we know to keep at least a month, if not 2 months, worth of dry goods and canned goods on hand. Though, I'm pretty sure we had 6 months worth growing up. Heh.

Knowing how to grow your own food, and how to preserve it, will definitely come in handy this spring and summer.

Meanwhile, keep your heads down, wash your hands and stay well out there.


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Feb. 13th, 2020

So tired...

Of rain.

We had maybe a day, day and a half, reprieve from rain, and it's right back at it again.

Gloomy, overcast, west and grey. Everything *squishes*.

So tired of it.

My joints are too. So tired of the aches.

We've gotten to walk once this week. Well, twice really, but yesterday's walk was cut shirt because, yup, it started to rain. Ugh.

At our walking pace, we're looking at a 25 minute 1.5 miles. Which isn't bad, but we want it to be better. Sit ups and push ups, we rock at. So, for our black belt testing, on the physical side, we need 150 points total. Between sit ups and push ups, we get almost 200 points. So if we massively suck at the 1.5 mile run, well, we'll still pass. Heh.

Providing of course, I don't manage to tweak my shoulder again. Seriously, was taking my gi top off on Tuesday, moved just right and sharp, pulling pain in my right shoulder. Made doing stuff Weds in C.O.B.R.A. class difficult. I ended up stopping using that arm for half the class.}:/

Woke up to it being stiff and sore. The rain doesn't help either.

So tired of rain.



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Feb. 5th, 2020

Misled is a good term for this feeling.

We made a decision last night, after a meeting after martial arts class, that essentially confirmed what we'd known at the back of our heads for the last almost 5 months now.


When we first started with the CIT (Certified Instructor Training) program, it was because they had asked us to eventually become instructors. That was well over 2 years ago.

About 8 months ago, they announced we'd be doing STORM training, which was a path to becoming instructors. So we went through and completed the course to become what they said was 'blue tops'.

A martial arts event happened in Lexington last summer, we were unable to attend due to finances. One of the others in the CIT program did. I had a bad feeling after that event, one I couldn't explain.

All well and good. And in class, they kept up with using us to lead the classes in warm ups, occasionally to train a technique, etc.

Gradually that stopped. They said they'd return it to it. They never did. They started getting on us for things we weren't doing, for things *full instructors* were supposed to do, for things they *said* were happening *outside the dojo* (case in point- they claimed one of the parents overheard one of the CIT swearing in front of the kids. We know for a fact we never do that. But the implication was that it was either me or Mark.) That was the first time I thought, I don't want to do this anymore.

4, almost 5 months ago- last fall, they said the course for red top was coming up, that it was a streaming thing. WE explained, along with the other guy, that none of us could stream. We were told about an app we could use to conference call in. That we'd be told when it was starting.

Only we never were. And the other guy was. Occasionally after C.O.B.R.A. class, he'd be called into the office to do this course. We knew this because once we overheard them. That was the second time I thought, I don't want to do this any more. I should have listened.

The other guy shows up, in December, in a red top. We looked at each other with knowing looks. We had deliberately been left out of that course. I think it was then we both figured out, we were never going to become instructors.

He went to black top and asst. instructor the week after he went full black belt.

The January meeting was cancelled. We weren't given an exact reason as to why.

Last night, we had a meeting, where upon its announced we are no longer CIT, we are instead 'Leadership', ie, model students. Only, we would be model students doing things instructors are supposed to be doing, like greeting parents, greeting new kids and getting to know them, then getting to know their parents, lining kids up, holding pads for pad drills, cleaning the dojo, etc.

Mark asked if we were still to become instructors and we were told, quite firmly, that was a whole other conversation that needed to be had. That it was a three year program that required a lot of hours and commitment to do. Never you mind we'd already put in over a year. Never you mind we'd already had that conversation.

Let me tell you, my poker face was on point.


On the way home, man, we vented. Betrayed. Irritated. Disappointed. Discouraged. All those and more.

So, we decided after tossing and turning for a good portion of the night, after investigating why someone drove down our driveway to the empty house next door at 1230am and drove through their yard, that we were going to step down from this 'Leadership' group thing.

It was not what we had originally signed up. It was not what we had been asked to join and it was not what we had been told we were working towards.

We both also had noticed over the last month to almost 2 months, a distancing between us and the full instructors and the guy that is now an asst. instructor. We decided we didn't want to deal with this crap anymore.

so tonight, at COBRA class, we will inform them that tomorrow will be our last class as former CIT/Leadership. That we had decided it was in our best interest instead to step back as students and focus on the upcoming black belt pretesting and testing. That we'd revisit the possibility of working towards becoming instructors again after May.

And next Tuesday, we'll go back to wearing our regular uniforms and attending only our class instead of both our class and the beginner/intermediate class.

I rather feel like they've done this to themselves, by telling us one thing, then excluding us and preventing us from actually *doing* that thing, then changing the program completely, all while deliberately excluding us from pre-class talks, from meetings and generally making us feel like outsiders. They could have just been upfront and told us they changed their minds and no longer wanted us to become instructors. We might have been ok with it then.

But instead, they wanted us to do the work of instructors,while still being *students* without us actually *becoming* instructors and I'm sorry, but it doesn't work that way for us.

Mark said he actually *slept* after we had our discussion and made our decision. Quite frankly, so did I.

Which means, for us, this is what we need to do.


vBulletin statistics

Feb. 4th, 2020

A fresh , new look.

Made myself a new shop logo.

Simple, and to the point.

20200204_114507~2




vBulletin statistics

Jan. 30th, 2020

Various and sundry...

People who have no business in politics, think various counties in Virginia need to secede. They want us to join *West Virginia*.

Like, how will that work? A county in the middle of Virginia is suddenly part of a state, over half a state away? And why would we join a state that can't even take care of its own people, where drug abuse is worse than it is here, where the unemployment rate is , at 4.6%, *nearly twice as high as Virginia's at 2.6%*, and ours is *dropping*, whereas their's is *climbing again*.

Apparently this all stems from West Virginia invited Frederick County to join them, *158 years ago*. Yeah. That's how ignorant this all is.

Our way of life is not under attack, by the way. Nor was our state government elected by 'federal workers'. Parts of the state that have never voted blue, went blue big time this last election. We just got fed up with the Republican led majority idiocracy.

Moving on...

Virginia ratified the Equal Rights Amendment recently and now, our AG, among others, is suing the US to get it ratify at the federal level". Hopefully more states ratify it- to date, 38 now have, with Virginia being the latest, Nevada and Illinois the most recent after the 1982 deadline, and then do the same thing. Maybe then it'll, finally, become a real Amendment and part of our Bill of Rights.

And onward... )

Jan. 29th, 2020

Let there be green...

I love horror podcasts. DreamWidth user Rydra_Wrong turned me on to The Magnus Archives a while back.

Since then , Mark has told me about a few others that apparently he listens to. And then a friend on Facebook mentioned a new one.

Old Gods of Appalachia is amazing. They use historical events to form the basis for their stories. Names and places sometimes change, but dates remain the same, sort of thing. It's an alternate Appalachia of sorts. (Though sometimes I wonder just *how* alternate it really is.) This one gives me chills.

Episode one is set in Barlo, Ky. There's a 'Barlow', Ky, but no 'Barlo', mind. The historical event it portrays was the Western Kentucky #7 mine disaster, Aug 4th, 1917. That same mine had another, similar disaster, 10 years later. There is a prologue and a half episode to set the stage, so to speak, but Episode 1 is where it really gets going.

What they describe in the podcast really did happen, the numbers remain the same. In 2017, the town, which remains and was actually known as Clay, Ky, held its first ever memorial, 100 yrs later. That town is still a mining town, generations later.

Suffice it to say, this is one horror podcast that will lead you down a rabbit hole, to figure out what historical disaster they refer to. so if you're a history buff who also likes a bit of horror, definitely check this podcast out.



vBulletin statistics

Jan. 17th, 2020

Death is only the beginning...

It's official, my computer is starting to die.

Well, it is over 8 years old, so to be expected, honestly. Luckily, much of my important stuff is already stored on my external drive, so when the hard drive does finally fail, I won't lose too much.

So, come tax refund time, we'll be getting me a new computer this year. I so look forward to reinstalling all my Sims games... not. Heh.

In other news, they passed 3 'gun control' bills this week here.

One, reinstates the repealed 'one hand gun per month' law, another allows localities to ban guns from certain areas, such as government owned buildings, and the third expands background checks yo all fire arms sales and commercial transfers.

People are already angry over these bills, claiming, wrongfully, again, still, per usual, 'they're coming for my guns rights!' If you can't control yourself and buy *one* gun per month, then you have issues. If you can't understand why government officials don't want guns anywhere near where they're holding court proceedings or passing laws, etc, then, again, you have issues. If you are so against expanded background checks, then *you must have something to hide*, and you have issues.

I mean, seriously, they already arrested three alleged white supremecists, with *way more ammo than they really need*, enroute to the 'rally' in Richmond. Do you really think they were planning something, with 1500+ rounds?? Are you that out of touch with reality?

Some people, apparently, are that out of touch, mind. That's why idiots are trying to form an illegal militia in Floyd. Form a gun club, form an organization. That's fine. You just cannot call yourself a militia. Only the *state* can do that.

I swear, my state gets more insane with each passing day, because no one will read what the proposed gun bills actually do, and they believe rumors and misinformation spread via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, et al.

For gods sakes, they're trying to claim Virginia is 'criminalizing gun ranges, cellphones for anyone under 21, and martial arts', among other things.

Yup.

News to me, particularly that last one.



vBulletin statistics

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Jan. 16th, 2020

So...

This is how my day started...

IMG_20200116_110209_868


How about you?

It seems to be working fine now. I guess it just needed to throw a fit or something. This weekend, we'll open it up and blow out the dust, etc. It's been awhile since we've done that.

IMG_20200115_143943_059


Yesterday I sat down and cut up fabric for liners for gaming bags and for scarves. And realized that at 44 bags and 23 scarves, there was no way I was going to be able to hand sew all of them, as well as weave the outer shells, makes pins, ornaments, bookmarks, and jewelry as well, in the next 1.5 months.

IMG_20200115_144301_171


So I broke out the new sewing machine I got for my birthday last year. Yup, it was still in the plastic bag and still had the shipping tape, etc on it.

I got all that off , got it plugged it and then...

... proceeded to sit, 5 ft away, staring at it. Yes, I admit, I was intimidated by this machine. I mean, the last sewing machine I used was a 1940 Kenmore with exactly *one* stitch. Until the cord fell apart, it was a great machine.

This machine does *99 stitches*.

I skewed up my courage and played around with it a little bit. I now know how to thread it. It came with a filled bobbin already to go, so I still need to figure out that part. I also made 2 wee little bags. Heh.

Today, I'll do a test bag, to see how much I can do on the machine versus what will still need to be handsewn. Either way, it should still cut the time needed drastically.


vBulletin statistics

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Jan. 13th, 2020

That light at the end of your tunnel...

Turned out to be a freight train, and you decided not to move, this time.

Dammit, CJ.


* * *

To be quite honest, we were not surprised to hear about his passing. Allegedly, he overdosed on fentanyl. Allegedly, his father found him. I say allegedly because all and any information I have regarding how he died has been secondhand.

But, again, not surprised. He, like Charlie, had mental health issues. He, also like Charlie, had drug issues and a drinking issue. Unlike Charlie though, CJ had a daughter that, one would think, would have helped him try to stay around longer. But life doesn't work that way.

So long, CJ. Say hi to Charlie for us and give Puped, that sweet dog of yours a big hug for me.

We'll miss you.



vBulletin statistics

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Jan. 10th, 2020

So long, won't miss you.

I was unfriended on Facebook last night.

No big deal, I don't post there anymore and only commented a total of 6 times this month along. Well, 4 times now, since 2 comments disappeared when I was unfriended.

Anyway.

This person had posted a video of a group of guys- most of whom appeared to be black, or able to pass as such, problematic for other, sad reasons- who apparently used their *religion* (Christianity, to be precise) to "convert/cure themselves of being gay to being straight".

I replied that that was not how it worked. That wasn't how any of it worked. That I pitied them for having deluded themselves so badly.

She replied that they likely knew better than I.

I said, yes, they likely did know better than I. They likely knew better that they were deluding themselves into believing there was something wrong with them that needed to be fixed. Because that *was not how it worked*. That I still pitied them for having deluded themselves.

Whatever she replied with, I have no idea, as she unfriended me before I could see it and that post was, ironically, friends only.

Now, we'd been friends, well, distantly, for some years now. And I once followed her on Instagram. She still followed me. So I sent her a message there, saying that since she unfriended me over a difference of opinion on Facebook, she might as well unfriend me here as well.

And I learned something last night! I didn't need to wait for *her* to unfollow me! I could remove her as a follower myself! Which I did. And good riddance to such a closed mind, honestly.

If your religion, which pretty much says your god does not make mistakes, tells you , you can't be LGBTQ+, then maybe you need to reexamine your religion. Because if your god , who you say doesn't make mistakes, who created you in their image, created you to be LGBTQ+, then who are you to decide they did in fact, make a mistake and that you must be cured of said mistake?

Because obviously it's not your god telling you something is wrong with you, it's *your fellow mankind*.

Yeah.


In other news, went to let the dogs outside last night and while standing on the back porch, distinctly and loudly, heard an owl hooting. It was either in the peach tree or the mimosa, it was close.

I literally stood outside in the cold, jacketless, just to hear it again. Which I did, further away.

And I was reminded how *lucky* I was to live in such a place, where the deer wander through the back yard, opossums come on the porch, looking for cat food, an occasional fox wanders through the hayfield, a rafter of turkeys sometimes passes by, a hawk flies off down the driveway, clearly having been perched moments before in a tree in the front yard...

Yeah.

Pretty damn lucky.



vBulletin statistics

Jan. 1st, 2020

Good GP






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