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

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

June 2021

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Posts Tagged: 'martial+arts'

May. 17th, 2021

You either succeed or you kill yourself trying.

1st Degree Black Belts, Senshi Ryu martial arts

We succeeded. May 15th, 2021. 1st Degree Black Belts, Senshi Ryu martial arts.



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May. 7th, 2021

In which the brain squirrals are rampaging

Last night was a shitty night for sleeping.

Mischief deliberately antagonizes Morrigan, so I had to deal with a multi-room cat chase that almost became a fight if one of them hadn't knocked over a fan, successfully scaring themselves out of fighting.

Mischief is a bully at times. Mayhem doesn't put up with it anymore- he's almost as big as she is now. But Morrigan has never had to deal with another cat being mean to her, so doesn't know how to react except to hiss and flee. WE do what we can to mitigate it and are successful most of the time. But sometimes, like last night, they're quicker. Especially when it's zero dark thirty.

Tonight is Kama certification. Which means weapons ranking testing as well. So that means showing our profiency in Sai, Escrima, Nunchaku, Bo *and* Kama. So today I'll be running through the katas for all of them multiple times, to be sure I know them still. Not that we *haven't* been practicing, it's just extra practice.

Brain squirrals decided, hey, let's dredge up memories from our time as a Unit Tech at BSTS (Battle Skills Training School) in the Marine Corps. Wheee!!! Only, not. The memories they dredged up are not the good memories.

I know a lot of it is stress and anxiety over next weekend and knowing that *helps*, but doesn't *stop* it. Ugh.

Stupid brain squirrals.

7 days.



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Apr. 27th, 2021

We really need better internet options.

My computer downloads an update- generally during the day, because that's when I'm on it and when it's running- and wipes out the 'allotted' data for the month.

Well, instead of simply slowing it down, Dish has started in with putting a banner across the top of my webpages that tells me I have to log in to the network to use the internet. Annoying, but can be closed.

On top of that though, they've now, after about an hour, started hijacking webpages and redirecting to *their* website. Even typing in an address doesn't work. Closing the browser and reopening it, redirects directly to the Dish website.

Asking them about why they are doing this, gets the standard 'we're not doing anything, it must be on your end' spiel.

With Win10, you can no longer simply turn off updates, but only delay them up to 35 days, then you absolutely *have* to update before you can delay again. And metering the data usage doesn't stop the downloading of updates either, only makes it so they download a lot slower- it still uses up the internet data allotment.

Unfortunately, our internet options where we are are slim and none. We're pretty much stuck with what we have because the local cable companies won't expand to our 'neighborhood', and the local phone company (Verizon) claims they do not service our location, despite there being a junction box directly behind the house, on the other side of the cattle fence and the prior owners having had internet through them (dial up, but still).

So. Yeah. Fun times. And why I'm not around much right now. No internet data.


Mowed half the property this passed weekend. First mowing of the year. It rained all day Saturday, so we mowed on Sunday and boy was that fun.

The grass is extra everything this year- extra long, extra heavy, extra thick. It took 3 hours for the two of us to do what we did. We were beat after. Hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow or this weekend so we can get the rest done.

Then it won't be so bad when we do it once a month (we like the slightly meadow look).

The kittens have more or less settled in. Mischief plays more now, but still really wants to simply be where her humans are. She'll meow her head off until you call her. She's all about sleeping with you when she can. She also likes the kitchen sink, and sitting in it calling for you.

Mayhem is all kitten, and has now managed to escape the house twice. We really do think he was born feral. The big outdoors doesn't scare him much. He talks *a lot*. If you don't open the back door in the morning when he wants it open, you get yelled at. The birds get chattered at. Right now, he's on the back porch, yeowling out the door.

Morrigan, well, she's a grumpy old lady. 'Get off my lawn!' type. Mayhem wants nothing more than to play with her, and she wants nothing more than to be left alone, oh my gods, go away now. Mischief likes to anatognize her though. She';ll deliberately walk into the room and just stand there staring at Morrigan until Morrigan gets fed up. They've gotten into it twice now. Not blood and fur flying, but bad enough that they both hide after. *sigh*

I have to remind myself it's only been 2 weeks, despite feeling like it's been longer.

Leo is gradually learning that cats, particularly young ones, are noisy and like to play. That that is ok and he doesn't need to whine at them because he's 'concerned'. He's learning to walk away when Mayhem stands his ground and hisses at him. He's allowed Mischief to not only sniff his nose, but to rub against his face. While he's wearing the muzzle, but still, progress. He still really wants to chase them when they run from him though. We're still working on that part. That's going to take longer.

2 weeks to belt testing. Still need to tighten up some things, so we've been trying to practice nightly. Don't always succeed- the motivation sometimes just isn't there. Kama certification is next week though, so that's first. Then belt testing the weekend after. Fingers crossed. At this point, we just want it over with.

We won't talk about all the damn police shootings since the Floyd verdict. Because it's too anger inducing. None of them should have happened. There are better ways. ACAB. All of them.



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Nov. 25th, 2020

Interesting...

So we went back to martial arts class on Monday. Wore a mask through the class, and it wasn't *too* horrible to deal with.

Class again last night, 2 of our other instructors were there. Little more active of a class, so had a couple times where Mark broke out in a coughing fit, resulting in him having to go to the bathroom, and where I had to pause to catch my breath.

The interesting part is that *both* of the Senseis each had the virus around the same time as us, though, no where near as badly. And, of course, their symptoms were somewhat different. Neither has a sense of taste back yet, whereas, we never lost taste or smell.

So, that makes us wonder, was someone who came to class, asymptomatic and didn't know it, thus exposing the four of us?

We simply don't know.


A couple fellow students had had the virus in early October, and were out for 2+ weeks. They too, had really mild symptoms, almost cold like. And another had had it a few months ago, but he got it from his brother who gave it to the entire family and he hadn't been in class before being exposed. It took him a month to get over it.

So, community spread is definitely getting worse here. Wear a damn mask, people.

Getting ready to order our new Gis for when we test for black belt. That makes it that much more real, I think, that this is actually potentially going to happen. Which means we need to double down on practicing beforehand.



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May. 15th, 2020

So it begins...

Virginia has entered phase one of reopening.

As for us, we're still going to be minimizing our exposure as much as we can. Which means, groceries and class and not much else.

Martial arts and C.O.B.R.A. classes start back, in person on Monday, outside only, limited to 10 people, 10 feet apart. We have to sign up the Friday before, for the next week's classes, to be able to do them. We can't simply show up. We can still do the Zoom classes too.

And we get to start working with the Bo staff.

Because it's mainly hands off and you practically *need* that 10 ft spacing. Heh.

It's up to us as to whether we want to wear a mask for the outside classes- for us that will be a yes, emphatically, because better safe than sorry.

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The lettuce and spinach are finally taking off, so we harvested a sinkful last night. It was tasty on tuna fish sandwiches, and I had more than enough for a big lunch salad for Mark, and will have one myself in a bit.

The rest of the garden is settling in. A couple tomatoes have too much frost damage, despite being covered, one at least I know isn't going to make it. Still watching the other. Can't remember which hill was what for the cucumbers, zucchini and butternut squash, but 2 hills have done nothing. I suspect its the zucchini, so need to find either seeds or seedlings if we can. Otherwise, I'll plant more cucumbers. Leviathan will eat those as well as zucchini.

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The irises are going nuts with blooms this year. Ones that haven't bloomed since we moved here, are now blooming. Of course, I fed them this year too. Can't wait to see what the others turn out to be. So far, all along the porch has been shades of purples. Which plays nicely with the fuschia azaleas and the orange azalea.



Today is my dad's birthday. He's 82.


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Mar. 27th, 2020

Ow and Yum!

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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-

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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

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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

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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

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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. 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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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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Aug. 14th, 2019

Pertinent things...

Until I have more time available to me...

My brother finally moved out, after a year of living with us. After telling him, repeatedly, to save money for deposits that he may or may not have, he still ended up 500.00 short for electric and water deposits. And now has a loan out with our mother.

Like clockwork, 2 weeks after he moved out, he made himself sick. *Every month*, he'd get sick for a week. He'd claim it was his stomach, we think it was deliberate. *Every. Month.*

We lost Miss Sassy, suddenly, in December 2018. She's buried out back, as will all our pets from now on. Morrigan, Caena and Leo are doing well.

My mother in law is in the final stages of Alzheimer's. WE expect by the end of the year, she'll be gone. Of course, she could fool all of us and hang on for another few years.

My dad had a new pacemaker put in, it deals with *both* D-fib and A-fib, since, he's contrary and has both. He's doing much better now.

My second oldest niece is expecting her first, a boy, this Christmas.
My oldest niece apparently is going by 'Owen' now. I have no idea if that means they are deciding to transition or what, as we do not actually communicate.

My youngest niece graduated high school, will be attending community college for a few years, then transferring to a university.

We are now black/green belts in martial arts, and green belts in C.O.B.R.A. self defense fighting systems. We test for black/blue belt in martial arts next month. After that, it's black/red, then full black belt, 1st degree.

Garden did exceedingly well this year. Lots of beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, some zucchini, some potatoes. Pulling the sweet potatoes this weekend, hoping for lots of those too.

Still weaving, took the summer off, have a show the end of next month, then one a month for the next three. Have a whole list of things to create between now and then, so back to work I go.


Apparently my Galaxy Fit thinks I'm cycling... Fool thing.



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