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About Mistr

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    Madison, WI


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  1. I am glad you are back at work, but yeesh, the situation sounds dicey. Like "keep your nose clean or else". At least they gave you clear instructions. When you encounter a grey area, as you noted you are sure to do, I think it would be prudent to check with your boss. Along the lines of "I think approach A would meet the requirements for this case, but I could see where approach B might apply. What do you think?". That would demonstrate that you are paying attention, thinking critically about the cases and taking action to follow the rules. Are you working remotely or on-site? If you have the option to go to the office, some face-time might be beneficial in restoring your standing. Yay for having fun things to do and friends to see when you are done with work!
  2. This is a common thing with martial arts teachers. There are a lot of styles of each martial art. That usually means that senior students of some teacher disagreed on various points of how the art should be taught, so they broke off and founded a different style. Sometimes the only difference is that the instructors could not get along with each other. There are several things you can look for as a new student. Is the dojo part of an organization with other dojos in different locations? Does the teacher talk respectfully about his/her teacher? Can you find any history of the style and instructors on Wikipedia? How does the teacher talk about their students? How do the people in the class treat each other? Not having a history is a bad sign. Especially when the teacher is claiming to teach an "original" style. A teacher who speaks well of their teacher and chief instructors at other dojos is a good sign. That means that they see value in what other people are doing and don't claim to be the sole authority. How the students and teacher deal with each other is a good predictor of how they will treat you. Even if all the signs are good, that does not guarantee that the style is a good match for you. A big part of the reason there are so many martial arts is that different approaches appeal to different people. If you feel uncertain, go watch classes from other instructors.
  3. That's a great idea. It is already wrapped for freezing. I can just cut it in smaller portions and freeze most of it. We are in what is probably the last warm week of the year. Once it gets cold, I lose interest in ice cream. I am going to enjoy it while I can, then let it go until next summer. It also helps that work has been less crazy busy. I don't need vast quantities of chocolate to deal with work stress. I have my spinning wheel right next to my desk. I am promising myself that I can take a spinning break instead of a sugary treat break when I need one.
  4. I would have enjoyed it if we hadn't been pressed for time. I enjoy cleaning the oven because it is such a dramatic transition from black crud to shiny surfaces. Which reminds me, I need to do that again this weekend while the weather is still warm enough to open the windows. I did it earlier this summer using an old can of oven cleaner which did not do the job. Week 1 review 1. Getting to bed early did not happen all week. I hit the sack by 10:15pm most nights. That is not terrible, but not ideal. Keep working on it. 2. Exercise has been good. I like alternating the bodyweight and yoga days. NF bodyweight level three is not strictly bodyweight, there are dumbbells and resistance bands involved. 3. Zen has been happening most days. There were two days last week where I sat shorter times and two days I missed entirely. 4. Prepare for winter: Discussed colors with Dumbledore. Went to the paint store and got two dozen color swatches and taped them to the bathroom wall. Cut down the old raspberry canes and tied up the new canes from this year. Mowed the back and side yards. Probably not the last time for the season, but I can hope. Organizing project with Dumbledore in the mud room. This cleared off space on the pantry shelves, which we used to store empty jars that had been accumulating on the kitchen counter. We also went through the coffee mugs and decided which to keep and a few to donate. This was all Dumbledore's idea. There is now more usable space in both the mud room and the kitchen. I also sorted all the reusable bags and folded them neatly so they fit in two bags instead of sitting around in piles. Grocery shopping Cleaned the microwave. It needed it even before I had a strawberry sauce disaster. Started cooking chicken soup 5. Eating - apparently Not Good. My weight is up. I finished off the birthday cheesecake and some of the ice cream that was in the freezer. Dumbledore and Elf both asked me not to buy cookies, candy or chips when I went grocery shopping. Then my BFF stopped by with a loaf of paleo banana/tahini/chocolate chip "bread". It is lovely cake. I am working on not snacking. Next will be cutting back on portion sizes. I got a ton of stuff done over the weekend. Probably too much. It all needed to be done and there were still more things that I wanted to do and didn't touch. Sunday was completely full with very little down time. That spilled over into me not being willing to dig into work on Monday. Not good. My goal for the rest of the week is to balance out work and fun stuff. Only try for one or two things each evening, not five like I had on my list yesterday.
  5. Thank you for posting. I was starting to get worried about you, apparently for good reason. I'm glad that you are establishing back-up plans and resources. I hope your family members treat your kid relative decently. Having been over the territory once with you makes it less of a shock. Also it shows that queerness is not a rare thing that only crops up in other people's families. Having you and your partner there shows everyone that queer people are normal members of society. Plus you can quash any homophobic comments. I think you are right to be concerned about a COVID uptick this fall. That is happening in several countries in Europe that had things under control at the beginning of the summer. As opposed to my area, which has gone from plateau to increasing several times. If you do have to go to lockdown again, you may appreciate being in a large apartment.
  6. Smoothies. Or possibly milkshakes if you don't want to pretend to be healthy. I recently tried using fizzy water with fruit and protein powder for making a smoothie and it worked surprisingly well. Or you could use coconut milk to get all your calories in one decadent concoction. True, flat-leaf parsley and cilantro look alike. Smell is the best way to tell.
  7. Good for you making progress on all fronts. Bachelor #3 sounds interesting. I hope that the pursuit is fun, even if he isn't a keeper.
  8. Your days off last week sound lovely! I take it that Sunshine is making progress on health issues? You sound much more relaxed about things than a couple weeks ago. I know exactly what you mean. I want books to go to a good home, even the ones I didn't like. My family has a lot of old Readers Digest Condensed Books at our cabin. My grandmother had a subscription to them. The idea was that a person who did not have much time for reading could keep up with popular books by reading edited versions. I find the idea of reading a "condensed" version of a book appalling. The author and editor already made decisions about which words were important and what could go. A shorter version is a different book; and more similar to a student's guide to literature than anything else. Dumbledore and I would like to quietly replace them with other books that the family might actually enjoy reading. I tried to find places that will take donations of Readers Digest Condensed books. No one wants them. Maybe some nursing homes might accept them. Even the recycling centers won't take them because the bindings make them difficult to process. We will have to throw them away. That is emotionally challenging.
  9. Wow, those views are amazing! Sounds like you are in a better place for moving onwards. Go RP!
  10. Your cooking sounds delicious! I made roasted potatoes like you described, with garlic and rosemary. They were tasty. My sympathy on your woes with the dishwasher and water heater. I frequently give thanks for our dishwasher. We get a lot of dishes dirty with everyone eating at home. That is one chore I'm glad to have partly mechanized. Good job on continuing to move things back where they go. I am with you, organizing the books is part of the job. That is not distraction, that is finishing the task that you started.
  11. Yay for getting sleep and food! Also for making progress on things, which comes a distinct second. Food prep is good. I brought up a medium size bag of frozen veggies from the big bags in the chest freezer. Elf agreed that it is often handy to have frozen veggies ready to go, even though we are mostly cooking fresh veggies. I just started 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene. The first two days have a lot of stretching and no demanding poses. She also encourages doing the variation that works for your body. She has several other series too. They are all free on YouTube. I figured this would be a good place to start expanding my yoga. You might like it.
  12. Zero week was great. I was on vacation at my family's cabin on a lake in central Minnesota. I was good about exercising and much better about sitting zen than when we were on vacation in July. I did much more socializing than I have in recent months. We stopped to visit friends on the way there. The next day two people came over and we grilled out. Thursday we drove an hour north to meet up with friends who live up by Bemidji. Then we got together for dinner with a friend at a restaurant (outside) on the way home. It was fun to talk with people without a computer screen, but it was exhausting. Monday was an amazing day where I had nothing on my agenda and just worked on my fun projects at my own pace. I did yoga, knitting, made a notebook to keep track of French rules and tips. Dumbledore and I went on a long walk and I helped him make bread. In the evening Elf and I read in the living room while Dumbledore gamed (online) on the porch. A perfect vacation day. The rest of the week had more activities and so less open time. I finished knitting the patterned leg of my sock and knit the heel flap. Good progress for a project that had been sitting unloved for months. Elf and I shared the cooking and we all took turns washing dishes. Dumbledore and I went on walks. And there were projects. Dumbledore and I decided to rearrange the bedroom we use because he was frustrated with having to squeeze in with six inches clearance on his side of the bed. This was one of those "let's take half an hour" projects that turns into three hours. We expected to find dust buffalos under the bed. We did not plan on moving both the dresser and the dressing table. It was apparent that no one had cleaned under the dresser in many years. After a fair bit of vacuuming and scrubbing, we got the room back together in a configuration that gives both people plenty of room, the heat register and cold air return are unobstructed, and one can open the windows without climbing on the bed. WIN! I checked with my mom afterwards. That bedroom was my grandparents' when they had the cabin. My parents had the other upstairs bedroom. Mom didn't really change our bedroom after Grandma died, other than to replace the double bed with a queen. Which explains why the fit was so tight. It also confirms that no one had done anything with it for 20 years. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in my family who organizes things. Mom did when she was younger, but her health is no longer up to it. Another remnant from Grandma's tenure is a big garden. It used to be a vegetable garden. Mom converted most of it to a daylily seedling area when she was collecting and breeding daylilies. Only the raspberries and rhubarb are left from the old days. I cleaned out the old raspberry canes and weeds. In a perfect world I would have tied up the young canes, but I ran out of energy and time. A nice side benefit was that I got to meet the next door neighbor. Our assigned big project for the week was to defrost and clean the fridge. We discussed how to divide up the cleaning tasks early in the week and Dumbledore volunteered to take the fridge. Elf and I spent several hours on Friday cleaning the house. Dumbledore got triggered by something I did, and did not want to do anything near me. He decided to leave the fridge for Saturday morning. That sounded reasonable, since we could just load the cooler once and be ready to go. Nice theory... In practice, cleaning the fridge was a major project because no one had done a thorough job in years. There was not much stuff in it because it gets emptied of perishables every fall. It may even get defrosted. Once it was empty, it became apparent that no one had really cleaned it. Dumbledore did the inside of the fridge and freezer while I cleaned the drip pan, veggie bins and shelves. I don't think my siblings know that the fridge has a drip pan. It was truly disgusting. Three rounds of bleach and cleanser got it close to the original color. Dumbledore was just starting to work on the gaskets when we had to go. We vowed that next year we will come up in the fall and do a complete job on the fridge - right away when we get there, before grocery shopping. It was a good week, even with the projects and minor misunderstandings. Mom came up the day after we left and said the house looked great. She said the kitchen was really clean - as clean as she would get it, although she can't do that anymore. YAY! Having my mom happy with us using the cabin is important. If she feels that maintaining the place is too much work and her kids don't appreciate it enough, she will sell it. I don't want that to happen. Up until this year I felt like I didn't have much say in the matter. My brother lives much closer and his family uses it more often. Apparently that is not sufficient to convince mom. My family going up there and taking care of the place matters. I have far more emotional connection to the cabin than to any other place. My grandparents build the house and my mom designed it. My dad did the electrical and plumbing. It has been our favorite vacation spot my whole life. The last several years I've been feeling like each visit could be the last. Now I'm starting to feel hopeful about keeping it.
  13. Yay for new seedlings! That reminds me to plant wheatgrass seedlings for the cats. I'm hoping that will distract them from chewing on my christmas cactuses. My houseplants have been recovering on the screen porch all summer. I don't want the cats to chew on all the new leaves as soon as I bring the plants indoors.
  14. Mistr tries something different I was tempted to say completely different, but actually most of my goals are the same. The different part is my exercise plan. Goals: 1) Go to bed on time. I am struggling to go to bed on days when I have to work late or do time consuming chores. I want to have more time for fun and relaxation in the evening. Which I would have if I got exercise and zen done before work. My evening brain says "it will be fine, we can get up with just 7.5 hours of sleep". My morning brain says "sleep is key to productivity. Where is the snooze button?". Implementation: Start going to bed sequence at 9:00pm. I can do spinning or knitting until bed time if I get those tasks done earlier. 2) Exercise of some sort. I am currently doing the bodyweight - Level 3 and Walk 30 Days challenges in the NF App beta test. I'll be done with the walking challenge today if all goes according to plan. I am finding the structure and rewards in the app to be helpful keeping me moving. The bodyweight sequence alternates training days and rest days. I'm going to do yoga on the rest days. There is a Level 1 Yoga challenge that I can sign up for. Since I bought NF Yoga when it first came out, I suspect I can do more than is in Level 1 of the app. If that turns out to be true, I will substitute a new-to-me video from Yoga with Adriene. I have been doing four of her core videos and like them a lot. She has put out a ton of material on her YouTube channel. I would enjoy expanding my yoga horizons. 3) Zen most days. This should be every day, but feeling pressure to do that makes me contrary. The NF App has a 5 Minutes of Meditation challenge. I'm doing that to give myself permission to sit just 5 minutes on days when I don't want to sit 30 minutes as usual. 4) Prepare for winter. I will be working from home until my work feels it is safe for people to congregate again. Considering that my state had record-breaking case numbers last week, that may be months. I have several tasks that I need to get done before the weather gets cold and others that would be nice to do. Paint the downstairs bathroom. Wash and Rainex-treat the windows on my car Bring down my cold season clothes from the attic Put the ice cream maker in the attic for the winter Make candles 5) Improve my eating habits. I've been eating too many treats and it shows. The weather is turning cooler and I will want to wear jeans. Right now I can't zip up the jeans that are in my closet. I could get down my old fat jeans from the attic, but I don't want to do that. Instead I will implement all the strategies I've learned here to make better choices.