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Everything posted by juliebarkley

  1. Welcome to the Rebellion; pleased to meet you! You've joined right at the start of a new 4-week challenge, so feel free to jump in.
  2. It took me seven interviews for the same library service before I finally got my first library assistant position. Every interview you fail makes you better, honest!
  3. It was a quiet evening at the library. There had been no customers for half an hour, and closing time was just five minutes away. Julie was relaxing and tidying up a bookshelf when she heard a *tap *tap* *tap* on the window. She glanced over, but saw only a large crow eyeing its reflection in the mirror. She smiled at the bird and finished tidying the shelf, locked up the library, and started to walk home. As she turned from the door, she heard a flutter, and a crow landed on a tree branch right in front of her. It seemed to be looking her right in the eye. Could it be the same bird as before? She approached the crow slowly, but it didn't flinch, didn't fly away, but continued to meet her gaze. As Julie got near, it dropped a small, olive-green flower that it has been holding in its beak. Instinctively, Julie reached out and caught it. Immediately, her mind was flooded with images and sensations. Amidst the swirl of thoughts and pictures, she could feel a message. "For years you have loved the swamp. You have learned our secret ways and treated the plants and animals of our community with kindness and respect. We have grown to love you too, and we have chosen you to be our guardian. It is a precious duty not to be lightly undertaken. Will you accept?" And in her heart, she knew that there was only one answer. "Welcome, Midnight of the Swamplands!" The images danced with joy, then faded away. The crow, still perched on the branch, was still staring. It blinked, seemingly in approval, and with a caw, flew away. One of its black feathers fluttered downward and Julie caught it, somehow knowing that she would see the crow again soon. And so juliebarkley gained a secret identity. My challenges for this round: Physical: Tour the Swamplands. To acquaint myself with my new duties, I have to explore the area. The terrain can be rough, and I'll need to keep my strength up! 1. Continue bodyweight workout 3x per week. I've been using the Body by You program by Mark Lauren, and I really like the structure and progressions. I am just starting Cycle 2, so we'll see how that goes! As of now, I am at: Pulling: level 12 Squatting: level 13 Inline Pushing: level 7 Perpendicular Pushing: level 6 Bending: level 19 (!) Pass: 3x per week, unless sick or injured. Modify as needed. Fail: Any voluntary skip. 2. On non-BWW days, walk to the mailbox and back (about 1.5km). I would like to do more long-distance walking, but I think my form is bad somehow as I have ended up with very sore hips on the left side the last few times. So I am starting small and trying to improve my walking form. Pass: 4x per week. Can make up with walks on strength days if necessary. Fail: <4x per week unless injured, freezing rain, or severe flooding. In strong winds, can stop that the edge of the forest. Health/Spiritual: Know thyself. To be able to live up to my new responsibilities, I need to be healthy in body and peaceful in spirit. 3. Brush teeth and do dental rinses 2x per day. This is a level up from last challenge. The before bed session remains the same. The additional set will be after my first food/meal of the day at home. Pass: 2x per day at least 5x per week. Fail: 2x fewer than 4x per week or 0x on any day. This can be moved off my challenge list and considered a habit if I miss no more than 2 all challenge. 4. Make a tray of sprouts 1x per week. I have a lovely tray sprouter and seeds and somehow never get around to sprouting them. They are nutritious, cheap, and make great snacks, so let's kickstart this! This is a first step, as I realized in setting up my Epic Quest that I have a lot of food-related goals (cheesemaking, fermenting, etc.). Pass: Sprout the sprouts. Fail: Don't sprout them. 5. Pray 2x per day. Level up from last challenge. I expect this one to be quite a bit harder. Pass: 2x per day 6x per week, at any of the appropriate times. Fail: 2x per day 5x or fewer per week, 0x on any day, or any day that I chose voluntarily not to do it (this is a psychological goal). Level up if I miss no more than 2 times in the challenge, and never chose to skip. Knowledge: Build a plan for success. "Guardian of the Swamplands" doesn't pay well. I will still need to eat while also learning about my new role. 6. Enter one homeschooling subject into Firetask per week. This is a continuation of last month's challenge, and will continue until I get it done. Pass: 4 subjects done. Fail: Fewer than 4 subjects done at challenge end. 7. Enter 10 babytime programs and all of my songs into OneNote. Now that I have a new supervisor, I will be getting some planning time. Having to plan regular programs at the last minute stresses me out, so I am putting in the planning time now so that the bulk of the work is done for the future. Pass: Have the stuff entered at the end. Fail: If I have the babytimes in but not the songs, that is a pass. Otherwise, fail. 8. Log into transcription site every day. I would like to build some online income, plus I just signed up for a La Femme Nikita convention in Toronto, and a little extra cash would not go amiss to pay for it! Since I may not have time to work on any given day or there may not be tasks available, the goal is to get in the habit of logging in only. Pass: Log in 5x per week. Fail <4x per week. 9. The scariest one... Sign up to LibriVox, record an intro poem, and sign up for a chapter in a book. Begin Audacity course on Lynda.com. My son keeps telling me that I narrate books beautifully, and I have heard the same from the parents at storytimes. I really want to give this a go as a potential career option, but somehow it is so scary. The best that could happen? Awesomeness. I find a new talent that gives me the freedom to work from home doing something I love. What's the worst that can happen if I fail/suck? I make a bad chapter and lose a few hours. And I never have to wonder What if?. Pass: Do the things. They are nicely set up for one per week, if I feel so inclined. Fail: Don't do the things, but has to be voluntary. If there is no book available, I can't sign up for it, for instance, but if I looked and tried, it counts. This is a lot of things! Wish me luck? Challenge begins on Monday, ends on Sunday.
  4. For cheap organic veggies, you could always grow some yourself. Pretty soon the seed packets will be available for all sorts of things. If you're a newbie to growing stuff, I would start with a really easy herb like chives. If you can get a clump of something perennial, it's even easier because the plant's already strong. I have garlic chives and sorrel and they are now basically unkillable. Leaf lettuce is very easy to grow in a tray of soil and if you pick the leaves, you can let the plant keep growing. You can even replant parts of veggies you have bought to regrow them again (carrot and radish tops, onion bottoms, etc. Of course it will take a while, but it's free! Depending on where you live and the time of year, you can forage a little food, too. Greens are the easiest to find if you are in a city, though sometimes you can luck out and find an apple tree or blackberry bush. It's almost time for dandelions! This requires a little research and is outside some people's comfort zone. Stay away from mushrooms and anything in the carrot family and start with plants you could never mistake for anything else. Like dandelions. My favourite though, is sprouts. You don't need any fancy equipment (though it can help). Cheapest way is to sew a pouch out of cotton fabric like a handkerchief or a piece of old tshirt, fill it 1/3 to 1/2 with seeds, rinse it well for 30 seconds or so twice a day, and hang it in the bathtub or over the tap in the sink to drain, Ready to eat in about 3 days. I get sprouting seeds, but you can use regular dried beans from the store if they're not too old (if you use kidney beans, cook 'em after sprouting). Super nutritious and super cheap. None of this will supply your whole vegetable supply unless you are pretty hardcore, but will give you a cheap dash of nutritious organic vegetables for nearly no money.
  5. I have enjoyed following you in this challenge and looking forward to the next!
  6. Cross fingers as we're not at the end of the month, but I am feeling very good about this month's challenges. They have all been very successful (I still have a little work to do on the homeschool tomorrow, but I have a plan and am not concerned). I think the reason that it worked for me was that I picked small things. My challenges seem very small and few compared to everyone else's, but I think it really worked. They were still hard at the start, but not so hard that I couldn't force myself to do them even when I didn't feel like it. By the end of the challenge time, I am finding them much less difficult. I feel like they are habits now that I can maintain for the long term (well, the ones that are habits). If I had picked harder ones, I would have struggled a lot more (and my challenge thread would be more interesting ), but if I didn't feel this good by the end of the month, I wouldn't be confident I could keep them up long term. The fact that I was able to do the goals without missing is a huge confidence boost. I am going to keep this up for my next challenge, building on these habits with small steps until I get them to where I want them to be. Slow but steady wins the race, and all that.
  7. Work may have been busy this week, but even if you have missed some goals, you have hit at least one in every single category. It looks like the ones you missed were mostly the more time-consuming ones, so they may not have been ones that you had a great deal of control over this week. You seem to be doing the best you can with what you have where you are. You are making forward progress, and you deserve to be proud of that. And we all want to see Codex when it is done.
  8. Moved on in three exercise categories today! Basically the ones that didn't kick my ass last time. I was not expecting that! Though it does mean that I likely won't move up in anything for a little while, it does mean that I might finally move on to Level 2 (you can only move to Level 2 when you have not advanced in anything for three workouts in a row). All the other daily habits are going well - no misses. Having the tooth rinses laid out in order on the bathroom counter really helps! I have entered both math curricula and all of the memory work. Not sure what to enter for next week. The small one is anxious for me to put in science as he has been working on it quite a bit lately, but it might be a lot of work, and my job is going to be stressful and busy next week due to March break planning. Maybe I'll do art. I think that one's relatively easy.
  9. I am doing very well. Which is good for me, but makes for really boring updates.
  10. Just finished my strength training. I was feeling a bit down when two of the new exercises kicked my ass (Pulling #12 and In-Line pushing #7, I think) and I realized I won't be moving on in those for quite a while, so I looked at my record sheet to see my progress. Compared to two weeks ago, I have advanced by at least 1 in every movement category (there are 25 in each category), and since I began almost six weeks ago, I have moved up by at least FOUR in every category! That means that for exercises that I could not do even 12 of in a row six weeks ago, I can now do 3 sets of 10 with good form and not collapse! Even the ones I feel aren't improving (I'm looking at you, pushups!), I actually am moving forward. I'm feeling proud of me.
  11. I'm doing great, thanks for asking! I'm at 100% for all but one of my challenges, and I only missed that one once. I did pick quite easy challenges though, and I have been ruthless with myself about completing them. That does sound like a killer bad week, but despite it, your total percentages for the month are quite impressive for all but one of your habits. What's throwing you off on your first challenge, do you think?
  12. I used to be able to walk 5km with no real problem, but when I have tried it lately, I get pain in my hips the next day. I paid attention to how I was walking, and I noticed that I swing my legs inward a bit, so that my feet land by my center line rather than the (I presume) more normal shoulder width apart. I think this rotation in the hips is causing my pain, as when I get tired it is even more exaggerated, to the point where my feet sometimes actually cross over the center line. Not sure how this developed or why, but does anyone have tips, videos, anything really on how to fix it? I would really like to be able to go on long hikes in the future.
  13. Two of my challenges are actually working together really well - I can start prayer prep during the toothbrushing routine, so the transition is super easy and if I think about one, the other one happens too. Though it does mean they both happen right before bed. But I'm cool with that now. Except for that one day, I haven't missed any of my challenges yet. I am actually a little tiny bit ahead in my homeschool challenge; however I am of course picking off the easiest ones first. Still, I should have enough easy subjects to polish it off without too much trouble, and I wrote out what I need for all the rest and made notes in week 1, so I am ready for next challenge when this task will surely continue. Maybe I can finish it next challenge? That would be a weight off my shoulders. Aah, but that's the future. Focus on this challenge first. Habit building. Baby steps.
  14. Glad to see that you are rocking your dental health goal! How was this week?
  15. I envy your circuit! Just walking to the mailbox and back is like 1.5km for me. Roads/trails that make a loop would have to be a minimum of 10 km. Do you vary your route to see different things?
  16. Ok, this week, I am going to make an obstacle course with my son tomorrow. We are each going to make one, it has to be physically challenging, and then set each other loose on it! I'm looking forward to it already.
  17. I"m doing bodyweight exercises pretty much exclusively. The challenge is to try something new, and I've tried yoga in the past - not my cup of tea. I really like tai chi though (relearning that will be a future challenge). Maybe I'll look at the library for a workout DVD and try that. They have some pretty weird ones, so I'm sure I'll find something I haven't already tried.
  18. juliebarkley

    Vita's Quest

    Welcome to the Rebellion!
  19. Better to modify the workout to something that you can succeed at than to beat yourself up for not sticking to the original plan. The point was to develop a fitness habit, and now you can work on that, so yay you! Your grading system seems a little harsh to me. If you are only supposed to do something once or twice a week, why are you giving yourself no stars when you don't do it on any given day? Just in case you end up back on Duo, there is a course for Japanese in the incubator (ie. in development). It's expected to be out in June, I think. It's only been in development for a short time officially, but the team has been working on it for quite a while offline. I'm looking forward to having it come out! I did Memrise for a while, but found the format awkward and the courses I was doing had a lot of errors and often seemed random (and repetitive if you did more than one in the same language). Different strokes, I guess.
  20. Late doing Week 1, but have followed several rebels, mostly newbies like me. And I am looking at every single person's challenge thread in the Rebels, so if you are in the Rebels I am rooting for you, even if I couldn't think of anything to post. I don't know what to try for this week, though. I live in a small town and don't drive, so classes are pretty much out for me. The weather is highly variable and the ground a morass of mud and snow, so indoor activities would be preferable. Any suggestions? (NOT pole dancing, lol)
  21. I am glad to hear that you have been doing great in your challenges so far. I don't know what kind of cheese you like, but some lactose-intolerant people can still eat yoghurt as well, as the lactose is pre-digested. You can make yogurt into a sort of cream cheese really easily by just dumping it into cheesecloth and hanging it over a bowl to drain for a while.
  22. This. We would love to hear more about your week!
  23. I am so proud of you for killing your challenges in week 1 despite everything life could throw at you. Well done! I hope week 2 was a bit easier on you...
  24. How are you doing with your arm exercises?
  25. "Spark Joy" is by the same author, so if you liked "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying-Up" chances are good you will like it too (apologies if you already knew that).
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