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About Mistr

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    Madison, WI
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  1. Here to cheer you on! I also find it easier to stay on plan when I have to be accountable to other people. It is much easier to goof off when you feel like no one is paying attention. We can help with that.
  2. Hi Sloth! Good to see you here again. I will actually be in your neck of the woods this weekend. Of course there are casseroles in Minnesota. You can use them for baking a hotdish.
  3. Catching up and following! Nice work on getting your books sorted and packed, and old emails deleted. I hope the school lets your son in soon. I would think they would have placement tests they could use for students coming in from other districts. That would be more informative than saying someone had taken Intermediate English.
  4. I am glad to hear you have been doing well. One of my previous cats had hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure. She was fine with the thyroid pills, but hated the blood pressure pills. However, the pills worked and made her life much happier. I hope you can find some interesting German shows to listen to. I am looking for podcasts in French. My brain wants to use English pronounciation when I read, even though I know better. Listening is a whole different thing. One of my friends recommended listening to familiar movies. That way you already have an idea of what people are supposed to be saying, which makes it easier. I get the same thing with video games, especially when I have been pushing hard to get things done for a while. Video games are designed to be engaging. No surprise that they are more fun than anything that takes effort.
  5. I made it to aikido last night for the first time in a couple weeks. I am not counting Monday, because teaching is a different beast. It was great to practice. I can tell that I am more out of shape. Clearly aikido is an important part of my cardio, although it is not continuous movement. I know things are out of balance when I look forward to going to the dentist because I can knit while I am waiting for my appointment. I am taking some steps tom make things better. I just set up time off so that I will have a long weekend in October and another in November when I am not going anywhere. I have these earmarked for working on the downstairs bedroom project. I also took off the Wednesday before Thanksgiving because Dumbledore wants to have a big dinner this year. Prep cooking is key to making Thanksgiving a fun holiday for me. If I'm good, I can get all my stuff done on Wednesday and stay out of the kitchen on Thursday. The short term is another story. Dumbledore and I are doing another road trip this weekend because my MIL will be in town at his brother's. It would have made more sense to combine this trip with the one we did two weeks ago, but my vacation time was already set and could not be moved by the time we learned about her visit. We are doing what we can to make it a fun and low-stress trip. I can do knitting in the car for part of it. I have hope that I can do fun stuff at home tonight in addition to packing and necessary things. If I am really lucky, Cleo or Elf will grill the chicken and pork chops that have been marinating in the fridge since Monday. They expressed interest, but nothing happened yesterday. Dumbledore is talking about cooking too, but I am sure that won't happen until next week. I am less concerned than I might have been because the cafeteria in my building just opened this week. I can get healthy lunches here for a pretty reasonable price.
  6. In my experience, knitting is both easier and faster than crochet on a stitch-by-stitch level, but knitting has worse failure modes. If your hook falls out in crochet, there is just one loop that is free and chances are good that it will hold still if you don't pull on the yarn. If you drop a stitch or a needle slips out in knitting, you have a bunch of live loops that want to make trouble. Crochet gives you a lot of options for how to make individual stitches and where to put them. That allows for more creative shaping of projects. Shaping in knitting is possible but more limited. The structure of crochet makes for a fabric with hard lumps that holds it shape, while knitting makes a softer fabric that is stretchy. I would choose crochet for making a stuffed animal and knitting for making gloves.
  7. I love your Discworld writing. If you don't like butter straight up, another option is Brie. I have on both good authority and personal experience that Brie keeps at room temperature for several days. It is good by itself and on various things. I would recommend cutting it up ahead of time and putting it in a container, because I would be sure to drop something in a plate of brie sitting open on my nightstand. You could keep it in the fridge during the day and set it out at night. It tastes better at room temperature, and would be nicely equilibrated by the time you needed a snack. I'm catching up! The last challenge ended with my household hosting a party for live humans for the first time in 2.5 years. (it was to celebrate my 60th birthday) Then work presented the usual craziness and I was getting ready to go on vacation. Being on vacation was fun but not very restful. Now I am back and working on establishing a better equilibrium. I am strongly in favor of zen and swords. They work well together.
  8. It is a hat. The idea is to use up the extra yarn from the scarf I made a few years ago and have a hat that coordinates. There are two challenging bits. The first is that it is double-knit in the round. The double-knit part is fine, but working on multiple dpns was challenging. I tried to cast on using a circular needle, but the stitches need to be tight to stay in place for the foundation row. They got too loose when they got to the cable part of the circular needle. Then I had trouble losing stitches at the transitions between the dpns. This last time I used more needles, so I cast on using 6 dpns instead of 5. Then I moved to a circular needle after the first row was done and the stitches were more stable. The second challenging bit was learning to increase and decrease in double knitting. The pattern I am working from has stripes with an increase on one side and a decrease on the other side of each one. That makes the stripes spiral up the hat. The instructions I used first for increasing did not work well. I think I have a better option now. BTW, I am not using the cable design shown in the pattern because my gauge is different and the stitch numbers did not work. I am using a celtic knotwork pattern that I graphed out myself.
  9. I am happy to report that I made it to the dojo last night. I knew the chief instructor was out of town, but thought one of the other senior people would be teaching. Nope. Turned out to just be me and four students. Two are quite new and two are getting ready for their second test (for 4th kyu). We worked on the basics of a technique they need to know. It was fun, but not really exercise for me. Probably not for them either, because we were working on form rather than movement. I'm glad I was there. They would have been stuck if I had not shown up. I think I need to talk to our chief instructor about lining up substitutes. Having the senior student teach is fine when there are lots of people there. Post-Covid, we can't count on that anymore. I signed up for the 30 Days of Walking challenge on the NF Journey app. I am not sure yet how I feel about it this time around. Getting outside and walking is my preferred way to deal with stress. I went for a walk in the neighborhood by the dojo in the evening after class. It was lovely. I'm just not sure if I want someone else telling me I have to do anything right now. In local news, I learned that another team member is leaving in October. We just had two new people start at the beginning of September. Two people are leaving, so we will be two down again. It feels never-ending. We have another second interview and a first interview tomorrow. We might be able to fill both open positions soon. Assuming that happens, the team will have a lot of new people and we will have done three rounds of training back-to-back. I am continuing my resolve from last challenge to not work late. Running faster is not going to get me any closer to the end. I will work on making good use of my time at work, and putting it down at the end of the day. There will be more to do the next day regardless. Dumbledore (my partner) has been doing strength training with a coach for a couple months and is seeing progress. He is now looking at improving his eating habits. We talked about this on vacation. He said he is more willing to cook healthy meals for me than he is for himself. I am encouraging this plan. I don't want to take as much time for cooking and it would make me feel better about our division of household chores. For my part, I know that I have been stress eating sweets. I am going to deal with the stress part first. I am also working on keeping to an 8-hour window of eating most days. I hope that helps. My weight has been stubbornly within a 2-pound range for the last six months. I would like to lose 10-15 pounds to get back to my pre-Covid weight. In family news, Cleo is doing well and devoting herself to being a full-time student. Elf just quit their new job again. This time it was because people were staring at them and making comments. I was afraid that might happen at a manual job in a small town. Our area is very progressive, but the small towns around us are not. Cleo is supporting Elf in going to school part-time. I hope that Elf can find a part-time job that lets them get enough money for expenses and go to school.
  10. Mistr takes a step back I feel like I've been running too fast to think for months. This challenge my goal is to not push so hard. I want to take time to sit still and consider what I'm doing instead of just picking the next thing off my to-do list. I am starting this challenge late because I was on vacation last week. The "vacation" part was more of a hope than an actual restful time. I did get to do a bunch of fun things and went to my family's cabin on a lake. I brought along my computer and planned to have time to write my challenge and read what everyone has been doing. The only thing I did with my computer was send an email to my boss asking for time off for a dentist appointment that I forgot about. I did get my knitting project going again. I cast on (for the 5th time) and made it through enough rows that I think it is going to work. I learned some things that make the later rows look better than the first few rows, but I am not going back and starting over again. I did some exercise and some zen. Dumbledore and I did some exploring and had good conversations during the road trip. I would like to kvetch about stuff, but I don't have time for that either. Tonight I am going to the dojo for the first time in a couple weeks. I will check in when I can.
  11. Wow, you have been busy! Yay for getting to spend time with your youngest! Too bad the mamas had to pick the same week to come visit. However, if they are good to drive, hopefully that will cut down on some of your trips to FL. I hope the new doctor helps will all the things that you are struggling to get in balance again.
  12. Yay for a great challenge and getting to spend time with your family! Absolutely take your PTO. It would be thoughtful to warn your boss that you have a grandbaby coming and will be taking time off to help out when that happens. One of my new people is expecting twins in December. We are already planning ahead for his parental leave.
  13. Great job this challenge! I am impressed with sorting and dealing with a huge pile of books. Also with going to a conference in a second language. See you in the next round!
  14. Yeesh, that sounds awful. I work on doing things right away when I remember them so that they don't take mental space and cause anxiety later. I could not do that if changing tasks meant I lost my previous order of operations.
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