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About juliebarkley

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  1. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    Now, a proper challenge update! Week 1, Day 4: Physical: Strength for the journey. 1. Current bodyweight workout. None yet. It would have been Friday, but that was not going to happen. I think I did enough exercise to cover it. I will not be doing squats in my workout tomorrow, but arm and core stuff will be fine. 2. Original Couch to 5k Zombies, Run! 3x per week. Not started yet. When my blister has healed enough that I am comfortable running. 3. Brush teeth with rinses once per day. 2/7. Did on Thursday before leaving, and did brush on Friday, but couldn't bear the thought of standing at the sink to do the rinses. Will do tonight, but haven't yet. Spiritual: Find peace amidst the chaos. 4. 2 prayers per day. 3/4. Missed Thursday due to the trip, so I have to stay vigilant for the rest of the challenge week! Mental: Don't journey alone. 5. Post to Nerdfitness every day. Post on someone else's thread everyday. 4/4. I managed this even on travel days, thanks to WiFi. Random Encounters: Anything can happen on the road. Bonus: 5 random encounters/week. No. Bonus: 30 minutes of online work/day. Today, yes! Bonus: Assassin Mini. Put my name in the spreadsheet, but not assigned to a team yet.
  2. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    All right finally: trip summary! I had reasons to be nervous at the start of the trip, above the physical challenge. I planned out the route beforehand on Google maps (with some modifications) and took notes on all of the turns as I wouldn't have any other way to find out where I was after I left. I didn't bring a map; only these written instructions on when to turn. Also, when I called the only B&B anywhere near my route to book a room, the experience was very odd. First, the place was listed as permanently closed on Google, despite having a review only a week before. When I called to book a room, the lady who answered didn't even ask for my name, but just said that it was reserved for that date. I was less than certain that I would have a room when I arrived. Plus, the SIM for my phone had not yet arrived, so I would have no way to call for a ride home if the B&B flaked on me. Also, my son had decided to come along a few months before, so any mishap was doubly scary. However, we took the plunge and began! We had only one small bag with a change of shirt and underwear each, toiletries, phone, and three peanut butter and banana sandwiches (and a couple of small items). We each had a water bottle in each pocket of our jackets, which we tied around our waists. These were our "saddlebags" for the duration. We left at 10 am. The walk started out very ordinary, as we followed the usual daily walking route from home and then the walking route to work. However, and the walking path, we turned left rather than right for the first time ever (on foot at least), and had a very cool LoTR "if I take one more step, I'll be farther from home than I've ever been" moment. The walk along this very straight, very long path took up most of the rest of the day. But that doesn't mean that it was boring! We saw SO MANY butterflies, as well as grasshoppers, frogs, chipmunks, squirrels, and a couple of tiny snakes. It was a beautiful warm day, but we were shaded by the trees, so we weren't hot at all. And there was almost no one else about, so we were alone with our thoughts as well as having some great conversations and being able to be silly in public. Before leaving home, I had looked on Google Maps to figure out the approximate quarter, half, and three quarters marks of our first day, so that we could tell whether we were making decent time and predict a time of arrival. The quarter mark was G--- Road. We walked and walked, took several breaks, but hadn't reached G--- Road yet. I knew that a modification at the beginning of the route would have added an extra km, maybe 2, and I didn't know how long we had walked as I have a crap sense of time. So we were making bets on what time it would be when we arrived at the quarter mark. We felt like we were moving at a reasonable pace, the trip was great, and we weren't going to check the time till then. We finally arrived at G--- Road, sat down to rest, checked the time and... 3 pm. 5 hours to our quarter way mark. We were shocked dumb by that. It had to be wrong. Didn't it. How late were we going to arrive? What had we gotten ourselves into? We cut our rest quite short after that, trying to convince ourselves that this had to be some horrible mistake. In about a hour we reached our "half way point" (it wasn't actually the right road, but we didn't find that out until later) and were both confused and relieved. After thinking back on it, I realized what had happened: when I picked out landmarks on the map, I found the halfway point first, then the quarter and three quarter from that. Except that I didn't. G--- Road was the halfway marker (except that it was more than halfway because of the route change at the beginning), but when I calculated the remaining two points, I somehow messed up and measured them as if G--- Road was the quarter marker. It scared us silly, and after realizing my error, it became a happy memorable moment of the trip. The rest of the day was uneventful, though the trip up the road to the B&B was longer than I remembered. We were happy to arrive at 7:15, find out that we did indeed have a reservation (though this involved calling the lady I spoke to), and lying on our comfy, comfy beds. And as my son kept reminding me, to get here, all we had to do to get here was walk out our front door! I had only a tiny blister on one toe and a hot spot on the ball of my foot; my son was in perfect condition. Rinsing your feet in warm water after a long walk is bliss. Walking across the street to buy supper is not (though the food was good, and the family there was super nice). I sent a message to my mother to say that we hadn't been murdered en route using the WiFi connection I now had, and to come and pick us up at a pre-arranged point after the walk the next day between 8 and 8:30 pm, based on the time it took us that day. After a pleasant breakfast, we left at 9:30 am and began the less familiar part of the walk. This was the part I was most nervous about as the Google Map was unclear. I had to get onto a local walking path and follow it around the correct side of a lake, and it seemed that you got to it by walking through a transit station and into a construction zone. Half of my written directions are basically how to get on and stay on the path. I needn't have worried; as long as I followed the basic "stay on the left side of the lake near the big road" it was easy to keep on the right route. At a later point in the path where I was unsure, there was a helpful map, and indeed I would find numerous helpful maps along the way as we travelled into more built up areas. It was much hotter Friday, but we had the sun at our backs the whole way as we were walking north. This made the unseasonable warmth bearable. There was much less nature on this pathway, but it was still beautiful. I would like to come back sometime and do the full circuit of the lake. The paved road portion of the journey was not terribly exciting - basically, find a bridge and then walk north until you run into Parliament Hill. However, my son jazzed it up by finding a stick, which he thwacked on something and gave a lengthwise crack. His mission was to get the crack to run the entire length of the stick before getting to the Hill (he failed; that stick was sturdy). The stick became a feature of the trip. At around the same time, I noticed a tiny feather stuck to one of the band-aids preventing a hot spot. It stayed with me all the way home. and made me think of Sparky supporting me on my trip. We also saw lots of interesting shops on the road north - I even saw a small stone gargoyle outside an antique shop! We took a little detour to visit the dinos and mammoths outside the Museum of Nature before getting back on track. We arrived at the Hill at 4:30. We were still feeling pretty good as we poked around the statues and walked around the building, but stairs were getting painful for me - the ball of my left foot was hurting some now. However, my son brought up a stretch goal that had now taken root with me: what if, after we got a photo of the giant spider at the National Gallery, we went over the bridge to Quebec so that we could say we had walked to another province? We were never going to get that opportunity again unless we repeated this walk. We had to do it. So we did. We made it to the Quebec side by 6:00, starting to suffer, but so happy to have done it. A guy with a rickshaw even approached us on the bridge, offering us a free ride to Quebec because he was on his last trip and was heading that way anyway. We were very tired but had to turn him down or fail our mission! On the way back, the stick rang out on the railing like the bells of the Peace Tower. Victory! We were pretty slow walking back due to soreness (really, we were waddling, or at least I was), but we picked up some McDonalds (victory McDonalds!) and caught the bus to our meeting place. Apparently my son has only been on the bus a couple of times before; he was kind of excited about that, too. Got back to our meeting place at 8:20; right on time. However, there was no ride, and no way to call for one. We waited, used Walmart's WiFi to send another email after we used their bathroom, and waited some more. Ride finally arrived at 9 pm. The email with our plans never arrived, and after waiting, my mom remembered that I had said in the phone call the night before (when I borrowed the phone of the super nice restaurant people) that we would probably arrive around 8-8:30, so she came. Thank goodness I made that call! My son is still totally unscathed, if achy. I however, have three blisters on my toes (which do not bother me at all), and one reasonably large one on the bottom of my left foot right below my second toe (which does). I'm stiff and sore today, but that's to be expected. I have a tiny feather as a souvenir, my son has a stick, and we both have good memories and something to brag to the grandkids about!
  3. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    Will post a better trip update in a few hours, I swear. I am going through some papers for KonMari and just got to a folder labelled "Jerry". This was my cat who died 10 years ago (maybe 11). I loved this cat so much, I knew this might be emotional. The first batch of papers was pretty easy in there; apparently I just shoved in anything cat-related, like black postage envelopes and advertising leafets, old vet bills. Easy. Got a sheet of memories I wrote up; easy keep. Feeling good. Then, I look at the welcome letter from the vet. It gives the usual, happy to have you as a customer, here are our office hours. Then, a contact number at a bigger local office for out-of-hours work, because "unlike some other practices in the area, we continue to do all our own out-of-hours work. So if you do need help in an emergency you will always see someone you know and who has access to Jerry's records. We hope you will call us whenever you need assistance." And now I can't stop crying. My poor cat died from a urethral obstruction (he had crystals in his urine and couldn't pee). The first time, it was a Saturday night I think, we didn't even realize anything other than he was squatting funny and didn't move much all Sunday. He had a regular appointment late on Monday, when they realized immediately and rushed him in for surgery. Changed his diet, hoped it was fine now. Happened again, again on a Friday or Saturday evening, but we were able by gently pressing on his stomach to get him to pee, so I think medically it was better this time, though it must still have been agony until then. The third time, I think it might have been a Friday night and we had to wait till Monday to get him to the vet (I hope I am misremembering, but it was at least 24 hours). And we knew he was in agony, and exactly what was wrong. But, after the first two surgeries, we had very little money as me and my ex were just out of school and not yet employed. The only emergency vet thing we knew about was from a leaflet we had, and the place was a hour away by car and cost I don't even know how much, and this is a cat that would both pee and poo in the carrier in the 5 minute ride to the vet just up the road. If I had known that I could have called the bigger surgery out of hours, which info was on the letter that I so carefully stashed away, my cat might have lived. At the very least, he would have been spared hours, days, of excruciating pain. I feel so guilty. I feel like a horrible person. And I can't stop crying. I didn't know. I just found out now. Oh my god, Jerry, I am so, so sorry.
  4. Have Adventures Now SunSeeker!

    That's the spirit! Glad to have you back!
  5. 31...hours? Yowza. Do you have a consistent enough work schedule to be able to plan which days you want to work out on? It makes a world of difference to me in getting it done to think "It's Tuesday, and Tuesday is exercise day". And seconding the coolness of the Munchkin tournament!
  6. Third times a charm right?

    You are always welcome back! Good on you for trying again after a difficult period.
  7. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    Week 1, day 3: Another short one. I made it! I am back but exhausted, and my phone is about to run out of juice. On track for all of my challenges; woo!
  8. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    Week 1, day 2: Short update, as the wifi here is pretty poor. I made it to my stopping place! I think it was about 25 km today, and my feet are happy to be resting now.
  9. Mission 1: N00b Quest

    Congrats on a big early success!
  10. I agree; updating your NF character can be confusing. How do you decide on XP? How detailed should it be? I'm working on mine slowly whenever I think of it, and planning it on paper to fit the restrictions of the site. Don't worry about it too much right now; maybe just enter some things related to the goals you're working on now and a few things you know you want to do to inspire you. After you've been around a while, you might have a better idea of how you set up your challenges, and therefore how to set up your character. For example, you might put in just big goals right now, and then later, realize that you want to have all of the little steps so that you can pick from them for new challenges, and then you have to redo everything. Or vice versa. Waiting a little could save you a lot of work later.
  11. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    Week 1, Day 1: Physical: Strength for the journey. 1. Current bodyweight workout. None yet. 2. Original Couch to 5k Zombies, Run! 3x per week. Not started yet. 3. Brush teeth with rinses once per day. Ooh, I still need to do this! Spiritual: Find peace amidst the chaos. 4. 2 prayers per day. On track; still need to do the last one. Mental: Don't journey alone. 5. Post to Nerdfitness every day. Post on someone else's thread everyday. Working on it *right now*. Random Encounters: Anything can happen on the road. Bonus: 5 random encounters/week. No. Bonus: 30 minutes of online work/day. No. Bonus: Assassin Mini. No. Long day, and then made final preparations for the big walk tomorrow. No time for anything else. I still can hardly believe that 1) it's tomorrow, and 2) I'm doing it! I will post on Thursday assuming I have internet access, otherwise I shall see you again on Friday!
  12. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    Aww, thanks! I have only been playing DnD for a little while, but I had to start out as the DM, so I learned fast. If you want ideas, feel free to message me! I am not the world's greatest writer, but I like coming up with new ideas! Only do it if it's fun, though, not if it'll just stress you out. Your challenge (to me) looks like - discipline in many forms, self-discovery, and walking - a vision quest or a pilgrimage would be a good fit.
  13. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    Forgot to mention, challenge starts tomorrow, so a week will run from Wednesday to Tuesday. Because that won't be confusing at all.... I gotta start my threads on time.
  14. Juliebarkley is ready for adventure

    I'm not a writer like some of the people on here (can't promise riveting plot or sizzling dialogue), but I created my character as a sort of "D&D in the real world" adventure, and it is fun for me to imagine. Thanks! All good adventures should be kind of scary, right? I actually saw it in Level Up Your Life, I'm pretty sure. An example adventure was "walk across your town", and when I read it, I thought, "Who would want to do that?". A few days later, I realized, "I want to do that!". If it goes well, I may try walking across it the east-west way next year - about 70km or even longer, so it would be an even bigger adventure! Always good to have you on board.
  15. Respawn Decoder

    Sounds interesting! Do you have your books picked out yet?