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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.


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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... )

Nov. 13th, 2019

Leaves like rain...

Yesterday started out rainy and overcast. Then the winds picked up and the temps started dropping. Leaves were falling like rain.

This year, we somewhat winterized the house. It's easier to do when you don't have a third person living with you, not actively contributing but offering unsolicated advice when you're doing things to get ready for winter.

So, to that extent, the two long front windows now have plastic , double layer, over them. And I put the window inserts in the double square windows on the sides of the house myself. The chill that had been in here is now gone. Though it was disconcerting to watch the plastic 'breath' in the gusts of wind, even if I couldn't feel any cold air, thankfully.

Monday, knowing this cold snap was coming, I made an outdoor cat shelter for Barny, the barncat that seems to have semi-adopted our property.

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It consists of a plastic storage tote and a stryofoam cooler inside, with a entry hole cut in the front. It was then stuffed with dry leaves and had some catnip sprinkled in and around the front of it. I then took some brtanches that came off of Fezzik earlier and draped them over and around it, after placing it against the cattle fence where Barny usually comes trough to eat on the porch- which is also a covered feeding spot, with an old welcome mat underneath, so they aren't sitting on cold concrete while eating. Hopefully Barny uses the shelter.

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Last night was belt testing. This is the last belt before we go for our 1st degree black belt. So very proud of how far we've come since we started. All the stiffness, aches and weariness we felt last night and today, after class, is so very worth it.




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Oct. 30th, 2019

Ratchet the stress...

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I was up before the dawn yesterday. We were finally getting a new dryer, after deciding that we really wanted a dryer over a washer. That we were ok with continuing to go to the laundromat to wash clothes, but a dryer would be more useful right now.

The old dryer had started dying. Sounding like the bearings were going, not heating thoroughly. That sort of thing.

We had been trying to save to get a full set at the same time, but things kept happening and we kept not being able to get the full amount needed.

So we got a dryer on Monday and will get a washer in a few months, now having an actual total price needed for it.

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It was delivered yesterday. It's so quiet.

Tomorrow I'll rearrange the bookcases. We had to move one so the dryers could be swapped, and I rather like the more openness in the library/laundry now. We don't actually *need* the wardrobe we're using as linen storage, so I'll empty the little that's in it and remove it, leaving space for a bookcase to be placed there instead.

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Worked on this piece on the loom yesterday. It'll be finished and off the loom today. Then I can rewarp and start on a few inexpensive scarves for the next show on the 16th. Inexpensive stuff sells better at that show than my more expensive stuff does.

Then I have 4 turkeys to put together and need to finish santa and snowman ornaments. AS well as a few last large pumpkins for this season.

My last show for the year is at the end of November, and typically, the small stuff, such as ornaments should do well there. Especially this time of year.

Then I'll have all of December, January and much of February to prep for Mysticon. I have plans for things for that 3 day event and will need the intervening months between the end of November and the end of February.

Here's hoping I get it all finished. But first, I need to practice for our last belt testing before full black belt. This time next year, is when we hope to go for our full, 1st degree black.

Hence, the elevated stress levels.


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Oct. 10th, 2019

Goofy dog is goofy

Was laying on the floor, doing to some stretches, trying to work the stiffness out and Leo decided it's play time!

Leo


Leo's help doing crunches and cobra stretches is decidedly not actually helpful at all.

We started learning the nunchaku in martial arts class this week. I have hit my elbows countless times already. This maybe our hardest weapon to learn to date.

Went through the Sai kata, with Leo's help, of course, and remember it fairly well. Mark has issues with it. But he's good at the Escrima kata, whereas I have issues with it, so he can help with that one this weekend.

We're learning a new kata in class, the advanced kata. And having a mild concussion last week put me behind everyone else, but I got the first 13 moves pretty well, out of roughly 25-30 that we went over in class on Tuesday. There's a total of 70 moves in this kata. Yeah. I'll have Mark show me passed number 13, maybe it'll help jog my memory before class tonight. Still can't do head rotations in warmups without getting dizzy, and my shoulders hate pushups after a set number.}:/

Meanwhile, back to making lots of squares for more pumpkins, then on to squares for turkeys, santas and snowmen. Next show is in 2 weeks. I'm going to be so sick of pumpkins.



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Sep. 4th, 2019

Someday...

I'll wake up and won't hurt. That day is not today.

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Last night was belt testing in martial arts. (Oh, hey, for the last 2 years at the end of this month, we've been taking martial arts classes). We made it to black/blue belt. One more belt (black/red) then it's on to 1st degree black belt.

So about this time next year, we should be ready to test for full black. Hopefully.

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Need to add our black/green belts, but this is a good record of how far we've come, all the hard work and how it's paying off. It's highly visible in the living room to serve as a reminder to us to never give up, no matter how hard it gets.



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