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  1. Right now, I'm enjoying the summer, spending time in my garden, and catching those summer vibes. This challenge is going to be pretty straight forward. Maintenance Last challenge I just focused on my eating skills , and trying to maintain weight. I don't mind if I gain a bit ( muscles ) but I was gaining a bit more than I like, and the trend was going up. I'm going to keep focus on my eating skills, with one small tweak. I've gotten back into the habit of an evening snack. I think if I ditched this, I would be better off. I don't work really well with strict rules, so I am just going to put it as a guideline, with one stipulation: I can choose to eat something in the evening after dinner if I want, but if I do, I need to write it down, and record the calories, and also the why I am eating it eating skills I'm also practicing eating afternoon snack without a screen pausing before seconds, extra meal stopping half way through a meal and thinking about satiety stopping when full Life: The habit of spending some time on Monday writing out my weekly goals, and each morning writing out the goals, is super helpful. I will continue that. Garden is going great. I will work in the garden. Make foods with the stuff I grow. Fitness: Continue with my zone 2 rowing 4 days a week (ish) and my sprinting once a week Just started with the GMB and I will work on that walking- I will enjoy that. I will also recognize that I am working in the garden, and rowing, so even if I don't hit my 10,,000 steps a day, I don't need to feel guilty. Walking 10,000 steps a day is great, but so is other movement, and I don't need to feel guilty about not hitting it. Today: DId 20 minutes at 28 spm on the rower in the morning. Then I did my first session in GMB. It was just an intro to all the movement. Sort of similar to NF, but enough different to mix it up. On rings, we are working on the inverted hang. It's been forever since I did that, and I was a little nervous, but it came back fairly easy. Also working on L-sit. I enjoy GMB because it has some skill work mixed in. They also do stretching and mobility as part of it, which is good, because otherwise I skip it. GMB does shrimp squats instead of pistol work. I'm not worried about losing ground on the pistol though. GMB has you do a flow of front leg lift, to back to shrimp.It's pretty intense balance work, so it will help with the pistol. I don't think it does any dips though. I may add them in once a week, just to maintain the work I've done. We are in a heat wave, so not a lot of walking. I get some just by wandering around watering all the things. Took a short walk last night , and will do so again tonight. Right now I'm typing this challenge in our bedroom, which is where we have our portable AC
  2. Better late than never? At the end of this challenge we'll get the keys to our new house. I'd very much like a fresh start in the battle against chaos and clutter, which means that we should not move all of our stuff with us. While prepping for the move I'd also like to maintain my tenuous grasp on sanity and not completely lose all the progress made against chaos and anxiety* these past few months, which means keeping up with the things that help with that aka exercise, gardening or otherwise being outside and attempts at bullet journaling. Decluttering: - block out time for some major work together with Jaap - tackle clothing (mine and the kids) and paper clutter on my own - throw away 5 random things every day Maintaining grasp on sanity: - run, lift kettlebells and strength train twice a week each.. but try to be content with at least once - do 5 min of work in the backyard or the garden every day - just brain dump in my bujo, anything else is bonus, but just brain dump as often as possible *The good news is that last Monday during our holiday I spend 4 hours catching up on admin stuff that I've been avoiding for literally months. I had build up a nice block against doing some of the things and somehow broke through all of that in one sitting. If only I could bottle some of that magic!
  3. Hi I'm KB Girl, 34 year old mom of two littles (5&2), gym owner, kettlebell sport coach, avid Harry Potter fan fiction reader, novice gardener and lifter of heavy things in many shapes. I struggle with juggling too many things I want to be doing and things I feel I should be doing. The overwhelm does my mental health no good. In the past bullet journaling has helped me keep that overwhelm at bay while also helping me focus on all the good things in life, so I want to get back my regular habit of using it. Main quest: use my bullet journal Perfectionism is standing in my way, there are so many things I have used my bujo for in the past and I also have many ideas for how I could be using it and now I feel like I have to pick all of that back up straight away.. which is bullshit. I think that if I give myself permission to start small that I will gradually pick things back up and start new things. Plan: write down one good thing about the day, every day, ideally right after the kids fall asleep and I've cleared some space for it if necessary. Side quest: pick up running I dislike starting running because.. well its painful at first isn't it? I've always toyed with the idea of pushing through that initial phase because it would be very beneficial for my kettlebell lifting, but never felt motivated enough. This has changed in Porto when two of my teammates would go for a run together in the morning- it seemed like such a great way of doing some extra sightseeing. I love being outdoors, running could be something I'll love. Plan: start small, on Saturdays when my 5yo is in swimming class and on Wednesdays after lifting heavy things. Bonus challenge: grow and cook good food! This one is simple! I shall learn all the things about the growing and the cooking! if the stars align I might even write down in my bujo what I'm learning aka what went wrong and what I'll have to do different next time Plan: there is no plan! just winging it. Also give me all your recipes involving lettuce, because I have so much lettuce to eat!
  4. [Preamble] Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England. I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and pre-school son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. However, this challenge will involve a lot of time away from home…. [Challenges] Zero Week we are headed off across the country for a wedding and will be away for 4 days. During Weeks 2-4, we will be headed across the globe to attend my father’s memorial hike in the US, staying a bit extra to reconnect with family and friends that we’ve been separated from due to life and pandemics. And in the spaces in between we’re going to be preparing and catching up on what’s fallen behind at home. … so I’m keeping this challenge very simple. Organize: Keep using the planner every day. I started it again a couple of weeks ago and it’s been so helpful. Keep on top of travel-related organization. This has its own planner… Continue to Mordor: I will aim for 30 miles walked on a week (average). 435 miles left to Mordor… my goal is to reach it by November. Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width: I’m starting this challenge with a BMI of 22. My goal this challenge is to be the same or less by the end of the challenge. I have a longer term ambition to get to 21 BMI, but at the moment I’m focusing on maintenance. I will check in weekly on Mondays or thereabouts, optional when I’m traveling.
  5. Fashionably late to the party… [Preamble] Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England. I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and 4 y/o son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. [Challenges] Two, actually. The first one is a happy event in the Yorkshire Dales in June for a wedding, and the second is a solemn pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest, USA, to help carry my father's ashes* into his favorite spot in the mountains, as per his request. These both happen during the next challenge, but there's a lot of preparations! * Rise Up The hike into the mountains is steep and challenging. I know because I did that hike with Dad many times as a child and once as an adult. Most of the adults (sisters, nieces/partners…) joining us are not particularly fit for purpose, and there will be four children under the age of 5 as well. It’s going to be chaos and I don’t expect everyone will make it to the top before turning back. I’m not turning back. So I want to make sure my hill game is in order, and also get Enting prepared for a longer, steeper walks since I likely won't be carrying him--I'll probably be carrying other children! This means going out at least twice a week and walking (for example) up our lane, which is a very long, steep climb. (More often is better, but I’m trying to be realistic given other life constraints.) I also want to take Enting with me at least once a week to get him better motivated for walking distances. (He has proven he can walk for several miles, but he often doesn’t want to.) The post-wedding June hike in the Yorkshire Dales will be a bit of a test run to further gauge what we will expect in the mountains and any strategy changes we should consider. Organize We haven't done a family overnight trip (let alone a trip abroad) in 2.5+ years. Setting up both of these trips is a lot of faff! I have some huge to-do lists and files and paperwork and coordination with family, and I'm making my way through them. Keep on it! Reach Mordor I’m 555 miles away! I’ve been wanting to complete this challenge since the early 00s (when it was called the Eowyn Challenge), and I’m sure I’ve been “there and back again” several times over, but I’ve never managed to track the whole thing. I want to finish my walking route to Mordor by November 2022. I’m so close! A Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width At the moment, I'm in a good place with my weight/BMI. I do want to get both a touch lower, but all things considered for this challenge I’m under a lot of emotional stress and I just want to maintain. I’ve got enough other things on. My BMI is currently 22.1, and I'll count this successful if it's the same or lower at the end of the challenge. Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday. I’m also useless at actually updating my challenges, but I’m always a better me if I post one.
  6. Hi. I'm Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF for almost 9 years now. I'm just as fat as when I joined... but maybe a bit healthier overall. I'll take it. Last challenge tanked because of a putative Covid-19 infection, and I spent most of April managing and recovering. I'm at like 99% now though. All the symptoms are gone, but I'm still regaining bits of strength from weeks of barely eating and getting things back in balance. This is my last day off from a week-long (and long overdue) vacation, where I got some gardening done, but not finished, and I still need to fix my bathtub. I recently bought a bass guitar and am (obsessively) learning to play it. I've been playing guitar since I was 13, and can even sit at a keyboard and dink around with chords without getting lost. I have an unpolished knack for music, and I want to start writing/recording my own stuff and maybe join a band for fun at some point. I also bought an electronic drum kit, but that's not top priority. (Nyango Star vid, not part of theme... but I just can't bring myself to delete it) Yeah... I just turned 38, so I might just be getting an early start on a mid-life crisis thing, but I'm just gonna roll with it and have some fun... Playing music is great for a lot of reasons... keeps me active (at least better than TV and video games), it can be a way to connect with other people, and it definitely lifts my mood and keeps me engaged intellectually... but I am getting a little bit obsessed and need to take care of other things. I'm focusing on learning RB and Soul at the moment, so might as well go with a Blues Brothers theme... cuz I've heard them sing more Soul songs than actual blues songs... and whatever, these gifs are fun. GOALS: 1) Plant based diet:: Don't eat like Jake and Elwood Before I got sick, I was eating a '99% plant based diet' and made to a bit past 30 days. It was going very well. I'd lost a few pounds and had zero acid reflux and was overall feeling really good. When I got sick I gave up because I wanted comfort food and couldn't eat much with my sore throat and nausea and lack of taste. Now I'm dealing with upset stomach and acid reflux etc. again. So I need to go back. But I'm going to aim for 90%... meaning 18 or 19 of my meals each week should be entirely plant based. The other 2-3 meals are just allowed to deviate for the sake of flexibility and filling in a few nutritional gaps. 2) Stay Active: I could easily sit around in all my free minutes playing music and watching videos about music. But I need to make sure I get some actual exercise again. For starters I'm going to start going Morning Burpees (with a pushup). I'll start with 5 on day one, and add one every day till I hit thirty. After that I'll do another activity like walking, quick calisthenics routines, and gardening/house work all count. 5 days per week. 3) Fix more than I break and don't leave a trail of destruction everywhere I have a long list of projects and things to do in or around the house. Usually, once I get started, 1 hour can become 3 or 4. Every day I'm off of work make at least 1 hour of progress toward gardening or getting things fixed in the house. 4) Get good at BASS! -- I'm taking online lessons through a self-paced study platform, that also has web forum just like this with practice logs you're supposed to maintain... actually using the same web platform and is almost identical except for the color palate and minor format things... so if I mistakenly just insert a post on this thread about rambling about bass guitar and music theory or whatever, just know that I'm really tired and got my forums mixed up Practice Bass everyday, and post in my practice log. And for fun I'll post some videos of the songs I'm learning. I think the direction I'm heading in is to learn Soul and R&B bass as my focus. So I'll be learning and transcribing (learning by ear) those along with some rock, blues, and jazz gems mixed in there. Maybe I should learn 'Rawhide'
  7. O hai, it’s a new challenge! This month my trail race series kicks off! Less than two weeks to race day #1 - I’m a bit nervous but also really looking forward to it. I liked the gold star approach last time, so I’m gonna stick with it. Even if it wasn’t enough incentive to get me to do my laundry promptly… Fitness goals 2 runs/week beat my average in some way 2 workouts/week longer than 20 minutes 3 stretching sessions/week I need to do more than just stretch after I run. I used to get to bed early enough that I could stretch for 10 minutes nightly, so that’s the long-term goal. But for now, I’ll do 3x/week. Which, along with 2x/week after I run plus 1-2x doing yoga is not bad. 5+ nighttime stretches Life goals 400 minutes of housework over 5 weeks This was one thing that I didn’t do so well with last challenge. Plans for how I will do better: lower expectations, be more energized by longer daylight hours, set reminder on my phone for 15 minutes after I usually get home. laundry folded/put away within 48 hours put up a shelf or empty a box get a box worth of stuff out of the house (donate, sell, gift) In bed by 10pm on weeknights My sleep hygiene is not bad, really, but it’s not as good as it was a while ago. If I get back to considering 9:30 the time when I put down what I’m doing, it will improve Mr. Radost’s night (he is a worse sleeper than me and needs a little extra time in bed) and mine (I like to read for a while before I turn out the light, which is harder to justify when I lie down 7.9 hours before my alarm). Diverse hobbies No expectation based goals, just gold stars for: painting a mini photographing/cataloguing 10 unpainted minis working in the garden photographing the garden hike, bike, or other outdoor fun hosting vocal ensemble practice reading something I’ve meant to get to for a long time (current thoughts: Watchmen, one section of Canterbury Tales, Odori, Killing Monsters, The Three-Body Problem, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Listen Slowly, Gods of Jade and Shadow) Monday: 30 minutes housework
  8. Last challenge (and the previous challenge) I was trying to exercise and lose weight by training like a boxer. It was going well enough, then this happened... My bathtub capsized... Okay, no not really. The drain pipe cracked causing all the water form my last shower to go all over the floor. I have it turned upside down to work on it. Once I got all the fixtures off of it, it was pretty apparent that it's going to need to be re-finished. Then I can add the new hardware... might as well, take on the sagging ceiling above... and install the exhaust fan the bathroom desperately needs... and spackle the walls and throw on some new paint... and now we've got ourselves a full on remodel. It looks so sad and helpless... And that thing is heavy boy. So that's going on. And Spring is pretty much here... it's time to plant the garden and do a bunch of landscaping. I've got an absurd amount of seeds, some of which are already started, for the vegetable garden. Then I have an order of plants coming for the last week of April. I am taking that week off from work to take a break from that grind, and get these things done. The back yard is going to be used almost entirely for the garden (I live on a small 1/8 acre lot in the city) and the front will be mostly landscaped with native plants, with the exception of one sunny spot in which I will plant berries. The need for home repair, and the want of gardening, is forcing me to move more, so I want to use these initial pushes to keep moving and re-ignite some better habits. I'm also currently aiming for a 99% plant based diet... I'm not going vegan. I don't fret minor ingredients or refuse animal products when faced with no other options. Hence, 99% just means not perfect. I'm trying to make it to 100 days of this... so until June 4th at least. I also need to track nutrition and try for more protein. I can hit 85 g in a day, easy, which is a tiny bit more than I need to survive okay, but I should be hitting 120 g / day to thrive. Goals: 1) Morning work routine: Do it every day Warmup with easy calisthenics Go for a walk (1 mi+) [if it rains, stay in and do more calisthenics] Work in the garden/landscape Stretch (as per @Snarkyfishguts's unsolicited advice. 2) Maintain a 99% plant based diet Take as many plant based food options as are available Track food daily Aim for more protein. 3) Finish Projects by End of Challenge The tub needs to be refinished and put back together at least to pass this one. For the garden, I need to at least have the ground ready (tilled) and fenced off.
  9. [Preamble] Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England. I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and pre-school son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. The big Owlshire news for this challenge is that we have chickens. On the last day of the last challenge, we adopted 6 ex-commercial hens from a rescue organization. They are currently recuperating, re-feathering, and learning what it is to be outside (they have a pop-hole into a large grassy hillside run that you can’t see in these photos). [Goals] Reach Mordor Finally finish my (tracked) journey to Mordor. I’m 773 miles away! I’ve been wanting to complete this challenge since the early 00s (when it was called the Eowyn Challenge), and I’m sure I’ve been “there and back again” several times over, but I’ve never managed to track the whole thing. I want to finish my walking route to Mordor by November 2022. My goal for this challenge is to do more than 20 miles each week (this includes any movement my Fitbit tracks), as that seems to be my “default” without extra effort. Find the Entwives It’s the spring, and… well, there’s always a lot to do at Owlshire, but this is the time of sowing seeds and hens, and I want to throw myself into that. At least 5 days a week, I want to do something that moves gardening/related activities forward. For this purpose, basic maintenance doesn’t count (such as daily hen care or watering the garden). Steps forward (such as creating a new gardening bed, sowing new seeds, increasing the defenses of Chook Castle) will count. I will do this at my discretion, and a project (such as creating a garden bed) doesn’t have to be completed that day to count as activity for that day. Some of these are big tasks that must be done in small steps. A Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width I want to continue to reduce my BMI/weight. This will be done with increased activity and continuing to watch my portion sizes/limited snacking. I’m currently at 22.5 BMI, and I will count this goal successful if my BMI or weight is less than it was at the start of the challenge. Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam. [Challenges] It’s likely that my husband will begin commuting part of the week to his workplace (after being remote the last 2 years) and I’ll be regularly solo-parenting which will require some routine adjustments. Seriously, can we get through one challenge without a nasty cold (or, like last challenge, Covid) derailing the household for 1-2 weeks? Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday.
  10. For this challenge, one thing I’m going to implement is baseline/gold star aspects for each goal. Baseline has to do with making sure something happens: a certain number of workouts per week, meeting goals around the house. Gold stars are for the stuff I want to be aiming for every time but that might sometimes be out of reach. Gold stars get a gold star here! I like stars so that will be motivating! Maybe I will even do something in physical space with my gold star total at the end! Fitness Running: Baseline - 2 runs/week - don’t be lazy! There are a lot of ways I can push myself: add distance, improve average speed, improve fastest km, improve number of km at/below average, run different courses…probably some other stuff, too. I can get multiple gold stars per run, even! Here are my starting averages to compare against: Other workouts: Baseline - 2 per week - if not all of the workouts I choose are yoga. Body weight routine is cool. Dumbbells is cool. Uh, probably there are other options? But I’m not going to the gym so maybe not. Max one star per week. Home Gardening: Baseline - 300 minutes over the course of the challenge. Includes maintenance (e.g. mowing). - actual plants in ground; before and after photos taken of areas I’m working on Housework: Baseline - 500 minutes over the course of the challenge. Does not include meal prep. Any other cleaning/tidying/organizing/handypersoning task is fair game. - specific challenges include Laundry folded within 3 days of washing Unpack a box/bin A round of canning ??? I feel like something else goes here Hobbies: (no baseline expectations): Paint and photograph a mini Photo catalogue 15 unpainted minis Vocal ensemble practice or meetup Finish and/or block a handknit
  11. Hi! I'm KB Girl, 33 years old (34 this month), mom of 2 kids (5 and almost 2), dietician, small gym owner and kettlebell sport coach (and sometimes athlete). The last 2 years have been rough (post partum depression, long covid, lockdown related burnout) but I am doing better and better, of course with ups and downs. February is going to be a busy month with a competition this Sunday, lots of birthdays including my own and lots of post-lockdown catchup activities. I learned from last challenge that I shouldn't take on any new projects, but working on my sleep is still a high priority. I also need to get on top of some things I've been hiding from that stress me out (both work and private stuff), hence the frog stomping title. My bujo should help with this, it disables hiding. My new custom build KB rack- when all the KBs are home these are full (some are visiting with people in quarantine so they can train online with us). A new thing; build an evening routine (to make sleep gainz) While I have a good bed time routine it has occurred to me that my evening routine is lacking. On days I'm tired I'll just crash on the couch and scroll through my phone- which does not make me happy. When it's time to go to bed I will still feel like I have things to do so I feel that I can't go to bed yet but I'm also too tired to do those things so .... I scroll through my phone some more? yes. Very smart, I know. When I'm done taking the kids to bed I will clear the high table, grab a drink and work in my bujo* (*fill in my trackers, gratitude journalling, check+update my to do lists, wish list and deadlines, prep for tomorrow) Then I will decide what to do with the rest of my evening Bonus points for doing more cleaning and/or hotspot clearing More bonus points for screen free evening activities OR useful screen use (like sorting photos or learning to video edit) Things to keep up with that I will also track; The personalised zone missions and daily cleaning habits Exercise magic (strength 3x a week, kettlebell class on Friday evening, extra cardio work once a week and 3-5 walks/hikes a week) Reading to the kids, dance parties, extra hugs, vitamin D Bonus fun: We've started in our garden and community plot by building some raised beds and a compost heap and pre-sowing beans and spinach. There are loads of things to do and really this is Jaap's project, but I want to try to keep up and contribute. make a spread in my bujo tracking what we've sown and what needs to be sown next and anything else useful make (kid-free) space for Jaap to do his thing and join him with the kids whenever possible
  12. NGL, I don't even know what number reboot this is, whether you mean challenges, goals, fitness, whatever. Anyhow, here goes: Short recap: at the beginning of the year, my old job of 7 years announced they were selling out. I got hella lucky and landed a job a month later but it required in-person training far from home. I've been living out of a hotel for the past couple months, got home this past weekend, and hit the office for the first time today, only to discover that it's not quite what I expected from training. Not bad, but I haven't really grasped what my part in all of it is. To summarize, then, this challenge is focused on 1) recovering physically, mentally, and stuff-ily from being gone so long, 2) figuring out the new job and how much mental space I'll have left at the end of the day to pursue hobbies, and 3) re-starting workouts which only kinda sorta happened during training, due to several things beyond my control. So... goals: Exercise: 3 weightlifting days, 3 cardio days, 0 injury days. Build back up intelligently. Work: Give it time, see what happens. House stuff: Recover the backyard from months of neglect (already put in 6-7 hours and I'm maybe half done) PURGE, BABY! Go through 2 rooms and basically konmarie every single item. Goal is the whole house by... idk, 2023? Quality, not quantity: If there's something I truly use and delight in, make sure I have a good one. This will also take some time. Mental: Find and learn 2 new "end of day" routine songs. Not looking to go nuts this time around- the focus is definitely on settling in at work, becoming a productive member of the team, and re-starting the exercise habit. The other things are nice goals but not priority. Overall flavor this time is just "get back to it."
  13. A quick introduction: In my former life I was a massage therapist, but stuff and all... Now I'm playing at being a feral housewife, improving my gardening and preserving skills, and caring for one dog, one cat, and one husband. Last challenge I only earned a passing mark by sticking to my stretching and shoulder strength/mobility work; everything else was great, but didn't earn extra credit. This one continues similarly. The aforementioned shoulder work seems to be a product of pushing into harder work before I had proper base strength (pull-ups before I had good posterior shoulder stabilizing strength), combined with not doing all the beneficial stretching and mobilizing work before or after. Yep, duh. Ok, now that the groundwork is set, on the the real stuff! Getting grounded: play in the dirt and get the garden started. mental grounding by mindfulness and awareness work develop ground/base strength in all ways before moving on. spending grounded in value, not price Finding balance: balance budget by playing in the dirt. Don't need to buy if I can grow garden for balancing effort, cost, and use (easier to grow and what I'll actually use/save) balancing productive vs consumptive energy (somewhere there is an NF image about balancing what you consume with what you produce for mental health. Imagine that here) balance strength and flexibility. Same topics but more fleshed out... Fitness I'll continue the shoulder health work. IF I don't continue with improvements, I WILL be seeking PT after this challenge. There, said it, now I'll have to follow through. Right? I'll return to calisthenics strength work with a focus on control, not pushing forward for exciting goals. Controlled arm balances and scap activation hangs will feature here. Back to running! Woot! I was pleased that I was still able to run a 5K last week, didn't worry about time. Also, trying to be lighter on my feet. Healthy Eating I finished my Walk to Mordor and still have "tracking things" energy to spend. This will go to tracking calories for a bit. Other stuff is focusing on vegetarian breakfasts and lunches while maintaining certain nutrition goals. Garden Use the auto-generated garden planner that I pay for. Look ahead to be sure I have the things I need, like fertilizer. Learn preservation methods, canning etc ahead of time so I'm prepared when the time comes. And have some fun along the way.
  14. Hi, it’s me again! The way that I had this year planned at the end of 2020 went completely off the rails—and it wasn’t exactly in a bad way! But I’m still trying to catch up with all of these major life changes. To summarize: In late November, moved to our dream property, Owlshire. It’s a big, demanding lifetime project with some urgent issues that need addressing to create a strong foundation for future years. Luckily, I wasn’t working (outside of minding the toddler) and didn’t plan to start looking for a job until he started school.... Except in January, I was contacted (and eventually) offered an opportunity to get my foot into a dream job/industry. But it’s full time, new territory, and really demanding. We decided the pros of this opportunity outweighed the cons, but the cons still have costs XD I’ve not worked for other people in a proper 9-5 in over a decade. I’ve not held a job previously since I became a mother. Oh yeah, we’ve now been in a pandemic Lockdown for over a year and while we’ve had it pretty “easy” we’re still talking EASY for A PANDEMIC YEAR+ LOCKDOWN. Balancing act? What balancing act? So many dreams come true! It’s awesome! But also an ongoing pandemic! It’s exhausting! And, actually, while we’re supposedly on the road out of Lockdown, doing all this when we get back to having social lives and community again... is still going to mad. This challenge is more about assigning priorities and learning to juggle better, and a lot of my updates will be links to my Instagram, because that’s my current favorite and low pressure/effort place to document and photospam online. But I still love NF and want to keep connections here More Deep Work/Focus Time in my day job Personal journaling Bujo Lite Gardening Walking/time in the woodlands Quality time with family Sleep (as is within my control with a toddler who still wakes in the night) Less Mindless Interwebs Getting caught in stress loops that affect my mental health but also my relationship with my husband and son Trashy stress snacking (These lists will evolve.) No metrics, really. I’m rubbish at keeping up with them. May edit this more later... may not XD
  15. I’m formerly Ann of Vries, often Adventurer and sometimes Ranger. In summary: a 41 year old American emigrated to the UK. Mum of Enting, a 2.5 year old agent of chaos. Kitchen witch, gamer (mostly LARP and TT RPGs), knitter/spinner, writer. On November 17th, my family (finally!) completed an Epic Master Quest—to move from central London to our woodland dream property. Now we’re settling into our new home—dubbed Owlshire—in a beautiful part of the Wye/Dean. The Challenge My goals for the challenge is transitioning from the moving/unpacking phase to settling in to my new environment and the lifestyle changes that come from it. I suppose there’s a milestone in mentioning this is my 1000th post! Seems fitting given change of chapters. WARNING: There will be picspam of Owlshire, surrounding areas, and Enting. Find a daily rhythm for my family We’re in a new home in a new place in a new lifestyle—while still under pandemic Lockdown restrictions. This is not your normal relocation situation, and we need to make the best of it and find our rhythm to live our best lives under our circumstances. Continue local explorations I’ve begun to investigate local footpaths, and I want to continue this. I want to find a footpath route to the farm shop in a neighbouring village and similar route to the shop in our village. As an added difficulty, these routes also need to be toddler-friendly—either with him walking or my being able to carry him. We live on a steep hillside amongst many hills it can get treacherous to manage in places, especially with a toddler along. Some routes are overgrown and unused and—as I’ve been learning—some local routes in use aren’t on the OS maps at all! Build my PAI score I’ve been doing mileage/step goals for a while, but after discovering and discussing PAI with @oromendur, I want to give it a try. (I will still track mileage for my journey to Mordor, it’s just not a specific challenge goal.) My goal for this challenge to build up to a 50 point average. I want to do this primarily by daily activities: the continuing process of salvaging the grown over garden so we can plant in it next year, leaf removal (so many leaves....), errands/local exploration, housework, etc. A returning focus to creative activities 2020 has been preoccupied with trying to make this move happen and a living amid a pandemic. Now we’ve moved and are nearing the end of unpacking, I’d like to use some of that “moving” energy to invest in my neglected practices, such as (but not limited to): Needlework (knitting, spinning and embroidery) - Pick a project, cast on, get on with it. Writing Interactive fiction - 5 min day/ 3x week “Tales of Owlshire” stories 3x a week posted on my thread. (Inspired by @KB Girl‘s storytime.) Homecooking: I love making homecooked meals, baking my own bread, etc. but things moved in a more “convenience” direction given the chaos of the last few weeks. Make at least 1 loaf of bread a week 3x homecooked meals a week (does not include leftovers) So, here is a prelude to what I hope will kickstart a set of challenges in the new year....
  16. For this challenge, I'm going to tackle a couple of things that I've been meaning to do for a long, long time: Improve the quantity of my weekday sleep by getting to bed earlier. By the end of the challenge I want to be in bed before midnight on a regular basis. Establish a regular daily meditation practice, starting at 5 minutes and working towards 15 minutes a day. The third health/fitness item is to continue my daily walking to and from work. Epic quest will be to make my garden into a more attractive place that's easier to maintain. A lot of this will be design work, things like getting quotes for a garden path, but I suspect there will be some actual gardening as well. Those weeds aren't going to pull themselves...
  17. Seriously, just realised now (4 May) is International Star Wars Day May the fourth be with you! (A trying to be funny tall tale, made up on the fly. Don't think too much if you read it, just go with the flow...) ... ... Moving to the Moon (This is the house I bought on the Moon in the House Flipper game) I have to work out a new routine for my responsibilities, old and new: My usual To Do's: Bible study/Pray/Quiet time; [every day] Weight (and measurements when I remember) (there is artificial gravity, I don't need extra weight ); [Monday weigh] Sleep (before 21h45, preferably 21h30); [every night] Cleaning (No vacuuming when Brandt has to talk online with colleagues - we have more of an idea of their schedule now) [vacuum Sunday - dust Monday]. New Moon Duties: Shooting (dry fire practice for security) [Monday] Chosen workout (modified from Darebee's Chosen One workout) [Tuesday] SpaceLann workout (modified from Darebee's Spaceman, and Lannister workouts) [Thursday] Gardening/DIY [Friday and Saturday] Chosen Workout (modified to suite me better): Jumping Jacks 10x High Knees Twist 10x Reverse Lunges 4x (each leg) Side-to-Side Lunges 2x (each leg) Side Leg Raises 5x (each leg) Reverse Lunges 4x (each leg) Calf Raises 4x Plank Rotations 4x (each side) Mountain Climbers 10x (each leg) (put foot down in front, no foot touch) Sit-Twist stretch Butterfly stretch Butterfly fold over stretch Rest 2min. after this set, before continuing on with the 2nd set. SpaceLann Workout (modified to suite me better): Jumping Jacks 10x High Knees Twist 10x Wide hands Push ups 5x Diamond hands Push ups 5x Shoulder taps (no push ups) 5x (each side) Jumping Jacks 10x Side-to-Side chops 10x (each arm) Straight Punches 10x Standing Band Row 10x Sit-Twist stretch On Knees in ball hold (5 count) Superman hold (5 count) Rest 2min. after this set, before continuing on with the 2nd set. Dry Fire Training (Shooting): Unholster/Holster firearm (f.a.) Practice Israeli grip and point Magazine load, unload from f.a. Garden/DIY: We are still not allowed to buy any DIY things if we are not a registered builder, plumber or electrician with a valid permit. We don't have a lot of things left to do DIY with (paint, varnish, seal...) but we'll go on with what we can. My main focus will be in the garden, pulling out weeds, cutting back, mowing (last month before winter). Things in that line. Welcome to my Moon Base!
  18. Mistr

    Mistr catches up

    Mistr catches up My challenge goals are pretty much the same as last time, so I'm putting those below. I'll start with catching up. Week 1 What I did on my summer vacation by Mistr age (old enough to know better) I took week one off from work because I had friends visiting. I knew Dumbledore would be busy with the first week of summer session. That was a good decision on my part. I thought I would have lots of time to get things done on my task list from last time. Hahahahahahahahahaha It was a fond hope. So what did I really do? Reread Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. Realized I had not read Monstrous Regiment so I got that out from the library and read it too. Gardening: weeding x 3; planted herbs and flowers in pots, planted cilantro and basil seeds around the herbs and alyssum seeds around the flowers. Planted swiss chard and basil in the main garden between the rows of salad greens. Shopping: groceries x 3; hardware store; pet food; garden center; clothes Spinning - finished plying lace-weight yarn for my friend, got it washed and blocked to send home with her. When I weighed it I noticed it was only 65g. I started out with about 90g. There is very little loss during spinning. Then I found a box with more fiber in it, ready to spin. I must have prepped that last summer and put it in a safe place. So much for being done with this project... Socializing with friends who were in town over Memorial Day weekend Knitting and spinning silk on my drop spindle (mostly while socializing) Driving Elf to work and errands Laundry - I did three loads of sheets and towels to prepare for and clean up after guests, even though it is officially Dumbledore's turn. Cooking: Lots and lots of cooking. Cabbage and ground turkey hot dish; coconut macaroons, hard boiled eggs; coconut milk custard with chocolate or peanut butter - made into ice cream; grilled chicken and asparagus; roast carrots; couscous; grilled turkey; broccoli salad; stuffing; strawberry-rhubarb pie (with rhubarb from our garden!); meat loaf; roast pea pods; lime bars; bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with feta. Cleaning: dusted upstairs; swept hard floors; cleaned the bedroom for guests. Elf did most of the vacuuming and cleaned the bathroom. I washed all the cooking dishes except for one evening, when our guests pitched in. Mowed the whole yard I was going to have a goal to keep exercising while on vacation. Good thing I didn't write that down because there was no way I could have made it to the gym. I didn't even have time or space to do yoga until after my friends left. No zen either. I picked up both this weekend. Friday night aikido was rusty but not horrible. I was pleased that my rolls felt smooth on Sunday. Zen wasn't great, but was still better than a couple months ago. I did not get to any of the things on my task list. I was feeling good about gardening before my friends arrived, so I bought a bunch of impatiens to put in the front garden. I figured it was full of holes from pulling dandelions, so I might as well put flowers in them. That will make it look like a garden with some weeds instead of a sad neglected area around the maple tree. The flowers are still waiting. I was grouchy about having to do all the mowing. Elf said they would do the front yard, then weaseled out. They did cook a batch of roast potatos for me while I was mowing for them. By the time my friends left on Friday, I was done with being responsible for everything. I had time to do some of the errands Friday and Saturday, but had no motivation left. I did reading, gardening and aikido. I wanted to get this written, but ending up doing other things. I had almost no online time all week. On Sunday I did aikido, zen and spent time with Dumbledore. In addition to starting the summer session, he had to finish submitting grades for spring semester. We went for a long walk and went out for dinner. We agreed that we had both been running as fast as we could.
  19. Tzippi Tastes the Vinegar If you've read the Tao of Pooh (and if you haven't, consider it!), you might remember the allegorical image referenced at the beginning of the Vinegar Tasters, in which three men taste from the same vat of vinegar, one tasting sourness, one bitterness, and one sweetness. These three are representations of the three major religions/philosophies of China, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The vinegar is life, and the men each taste it differently. Tai Chi, which I have begun studying and is a hugely positive practice in my life, is largely based on Taoist philosophy. I'm not going to get very deep into Confucianism, Buddhism, or Taoism, as I am at best a tourist and at worst completely ignorant of them. Instead, I am going to use my battered copy of The Tao of Pooh to look at what I want to do in my life, as I get a little deeper into my goals, study of Tai Chi, and continue to grow and refine. The "theme" of this challenge is halfway between using the three vinegar tasters as my models and metaphor, and using the characters from the Hundred-Acre Woods as the same. Taking my inspiration from the inimitable @sarakingdom and @Mistr, I am building on last challenge's success by adding tiny incremental goals to enhance my new habits, rather than adding a million new ones. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” Body and mind - * Continue to support my Tai Chi practice with daily work, whether class, Tai Chi practice, or some other exercise. * Once per week, one weight workout or long walk/hike. Could be body weight, or a hammer. Poetry and Hums - * Continue with daily (more often nightly) five-minute+ meditation. Got Calm subscription, starting with the Pooh meditations. * Using my MyOmer App, count the omer every evening. * Once per week, one longer meditation. Try different stuff, report and review here. I may start with metta meditation: Rumbly in my Tumbly - * Three servings of vegetables a day. * Plant more stuff in the garden. Herbs? Will it get warm enough for cukes, zucchs, and tomatoes?
  20. Book: Water Also known as the Tale of Tzippi and the Too Many Tags I am returning to the Rebellion after a long battle with a demon of depression. The dark spirit swept in as I was weakened by becoming a mother. I am doing better now, and am just beginning to practice Tai Chi, which (along with the fine spring weather) is inspiring me to respawn here, as a monk. One goal under each bending style is a constant habit, one-two one-time goals under are straight up success if done. Thanks for the help refining my foals, @sarakingdom Goal One: Plantbending ☆ Eat 2 fruits and veg per day. (If this gets too easy, up it to 3). ☆ Research and plan an indoor greens growing system. ☆ Shop for weeStockings sized garden tools, pit on wish list. Goal Two: Waterbending ☆ Exercise every day to support Tai chi. On class days, go to class. Other days, Hammer, walk, yoga . . . ☆ Sweep back deck for morning practice. Goal Three: Cloudbending ☆ Harness the breath like an Airbender by Meditating 5 minutes daily. ☆ DONE. Get reusable travel mug again. A nice ceramic one with a silicone lid. ☆ For week with April 1st, make a new Gratitude BuJo spread. ☆ With first paycheck, sign up for Calm premium subscription.
  21. Challenge ? - Mistr figures things out I was on the right track last challenge. This one is mostly the same with a few tweaks. I need to get a bunch of interlocking things to work together. And get some things done before May 24, which lines up nicely with the end of zero week after this challenge. A) Fit in my clothes. My weight has crept up alarmingly. I have made some progress on cutting back on snacking. That helped a little but not enough. No white sugar, no white flour for the first two weeks. Exceptions allowed for special occasions and desserts I cook myself (within limits). No snacking. Specifically nothing between breakfast and lunch; nothing between lunch and 4:30pm; nothing after 8pm unless I miss dinner completely. No caffeine unless critically needed to survive work. Continue the effort to add mostly vegetable dishes to our meal rotation. Make time for important things. Everything fits better when I get enough sleep. I am vastly more likely to do meditation in the morning than after work. Make that happen. Stop doing things at 9:00pm, get to bed by 9:30pm. On Friday and Saturday nights I can move this back by an hour. Get up at 5:30am during the week. On Mondays when I have aikido I will get up at 5:00am. Do zen in the morning. My follow-through rate on doing zen in the evening is dismal. A short sit in the morning is better than nothing or staying up late. Exercise at lunch or before work. If my work schedule does not have time at lunch, get off the computer and go do other things. Leave work on time. This will give me more time to do things before 9pm. Yes, the traffic is worse during rush hour. That is still better than wasting time on the computer at work. C) Fit in a variety of exercise. I've been very happy with doing yoga and aikido. Strength training and cardio have been lacking. Balance it out. Aikido at least twice a week in addition to classes I teach. I'm backing off some on aikido to make time for other things. Add at least one session of cardio a week. This can be HIIT, biking or swimming. Options open, just get my heart and lungs working. Strength training two days a week. I have Starting Strength and fractional plates. Get on with it. Yoga. I've been willing to do yoga when I'm not motivated to do other exercise. Keep working that. My balance and flexibility are getting significantly better. Download more sequences to my phone and tablet. D) Fit in the important things. Triage time. Several things have been neglected and others are time critical. Let the dust bunnies roam and get these done. Buy mulch and put it on all the landscaping beds. (Should have been done two years ago). Remove major weeds first, ignore the rest of them. Slash and burn if needed. Budget analysis for major purchases. We recently purchased a new refrigerator and dryer. Dumbledore's car needed hundreds of dollars in repairs and is on its last legs. Now the washer is making bad noises. We made a list of all the things that need fixing. Figure out how to finance it all. Plan vacation travel. We bought plane tickets right before everything broke. Figure out where we are going and who we are staying with on our trip. We want to see more of England and France this time. Pack early. That will avoid a rush at the last minute. I will be living out of a suitcase for three weeks, I can live without wearing those things for the prior couple weeks.
  22. I've managed to get a stable pattern for challenges and hobbies over the winter months, so naturally, here comes a season change to shake things up. Goals: Crafting: Mjolnir, skirt, finish bracer, kenpo knife carrier. Exercise: keep it up. Languages: keep it up. Gardening: let the games begin. The main goal for this month is to finish Mjolnir, my first major EVA foam project, and the main focus of a female Thor cosplay (hence the possibly misleading title). Once/if I get that done, the next projects are: recreate a work skirt (two, if possible), finish the Worbla bracer (need warm weather to work outside), and throw together some sort of carrier for the practice kenpo knives I made last challenge. Exercise is the same: weights, cardio, kenpo, and PT. Languages are the same: maintain French, improve Russian. The troublemaker is gardening. Gardening takes a lot of time, and is entirely dependent on the weather, making it difficult to plan ahead. I have put several limitations on the garden this year: not starting seeds indoors, buying plants rather than seeds if I'll just have a few plants, a strict "follow the plan" policy to avoid last-minute additions and chaos, and outlining the projects I want to complete this year. Even with these efforts to cut chaos, there's still just a lot of work that goes into a garden. Fun, productive, and calming work, but still work that takes time. My preliminary plan is to only go out on weekends, since my days are pretty strictly scheduled with workouts. This might get tweaked as things progress. Another point to note, although I don't think it needs to go into goals, is that "reading" is no longer classified as "strictly leisure." My tastes have shifted in that I enjoy reading books that are useful to my long-term goals, so I don't need to feel guilty about devoting a couple hours to reading. It's not stealing time from goals, it's actually helping. All things in moderation.
  23. It's been awhile... Over the past past couple of months I have lost my way in terms of fitness. A combination of the end of the school year, my wife being hospitalized a couple of times (eventually being put on bed rest), the birth of my first child, and spraining my ankle have caused me to neglect working out and eating properly. Now that we have gotten into a routine (as much as possible with a newborn) it's time to get back to taking care of myself. Quests Lift: 3 days a week - no excuses, I have the length of this entire challenge free from work, so there is no reason I can't set aside 3 hours a week to lifting. Chart Calories: Everyday - I need to be more aware of what I am eating and take ownership of it. Eat Like an Adult: No pizza, no burgers - with all that was going we got into a bad habit of eating carryout several times a week. Not only is this unhealthy it's expensive. Garden: 3 days a week - in addition to neglecting my fitness, I have neglected my lawn and parts of it are starting to look like a jungle. I need to spend at least 3 days a week trimming plants, pulling weeds, and getting things looking nice. WARNING Cutest Baby Ever
  24. I am not an insane person. A little (a lot?) weird and quirky and I'm okay with that, but I'm not straight up insane. So why have I been doing the same thing, and expecting different results? This question has come to a head lately when an unusually hectic schedule was placed on top of my usual gamut of goals, and I crumbled under the pressure. Pushing oneself can be a good thing, but pushing past the brink is not. So this challenge is about taking a BIG step back, and showing myself some serious love and care. My schedule is still a little bit crazy, so the focus is going to be on reducing stress, showing my body and my mind that I treasure both, and having some fun. Eat more fruits and vegetables. This is a great goal for the summer anyways. And I like vegetables (I can take or leave fruit - not that I don't like it, I just don't particularly care if I eat any or not). At any rate, I eat some form of vegetable at most meals, but I want to drastically increase the volume to both bolster my micronutrient intake, and hopefully crowd out less healthful choices. My goal is 10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day (1 cup leafy greens or 1/2 cup other veggies or fruit = 1 serving.) Eat more mindfully. I've tried this in the past, and mostly found it tedious. But that's largely because I am utterly addicted to reading/browsing/watching TV while eating which is a terrible habit. 1. Pause before meals to contemplate the source of the food, the nutrition it will give my body and my gratefulness for it. 2. No multitasking while eating. Taste the food. Chew it. Enjoy. I am going to give myself a little leeway with breakfast, as I eat it at work, at my desk. But for Lunch and Dinner, for sure. 3. Eat outside when possible. I love the idea of bringing a blanket to work and having a mini-picnic daily. Grass between my toes, sunshine, so good. This should also help with the no screens etc while eating. Relieve stress My goal is to engage in at least one form of stress relieving self-care per day, from the following options (May add to this list as time goes on. I also know exercise and walks and books and tea help with this too, but I want to go above and beyond my usual strategies). - Meditation - Yoga - Painting, drawing, crafting or creative time in general - Foam roll - Write down things I am grateful for - Go fishing - Get grounded (bare feet to earth) - Go for a nature walk. (Does not count walking the dog around the neighbourhood - although of course he can come too! Nor does the disc golf course count. Needs to be an actual forest.) Love myself: I am guilty of negative self talk - I try to catch it, and shut it down, but kind of like with the veggies, it's not just enough to stop with the bad stuff, it needs to be pushed out by good stuff. I am committing to a daily pep talk to myself. I'm going for a full-out every day streak with this one! Keep up on the Gardening: I have a tendency to be all gung-ho with this at the start of the year, and then burn out quickly. I really want to have a nice yard this year to enjoy! We've gotten a good start on things, but there are still some major projects to complete, plus the usual maintenance. 1. Amend soil in balcony bed, and get flowers planted. 2. Make new raised bed along side of house. 3. Clean up back parking area and branch trimmings 4. Mulch under apple tree (and other beds once plants have come up). 5. Weed at least weekly! 6. Water potted plants daily. Steps: I am still trying to hit my 3,650,000 steps in 2017 goal. Plus walking totally counts as self-care Aiming for 77,000 steps per week. And that's it. I will definitely be on here celebrating all the activity I do, but I'm not making myself a workout or a biking goal. I just want to be healthy and happy, and I am pretty confident that this is the way to do it. I know these goals are a little nebulous, but I need a break from the structure of SMARTness. I am also hoping that this will help me finally shift towards a focus on health, rather than the ever looming spectre that is my weight. I can't just not care about it... but maybe I can channel a more productive and kinder attitude towards my body, and come to reach my goals from that direction.
  25. Back to the Shire, a Gardener's tale. Wikipedia: Samwise Gamgee - Hobbit Families Now many of you may know that my grandfather Samwise Gardner, was originally known as Samwise Gamgee. Yes, thé Samwise Gamgee that traversed the world with his friend, Frodo Baggins. Oh how he enthralled us as little urchins with many a tale of adventure! Spiders as big as houses! Trolls! Orcs! And daring fights! Fearsome creatures, but also breathtaking Elves, scary Dwarves, and fighting Boulders! Our best times however, was spent in the garden. While teaching me to nurture the plants, just so, he would tell of the The Lady of the Light, Lady Galadriel. Oh how she had my head spinning with awe. The braveness of Queen Arwen, was also often mentioned in his tales. But there were more tales than just the one about The One Ring! Oh so many more... I'm no way near as good a gardener as my grandfather was, but ours is the duty to look in on those trees that he planted so many moons ago. As my boys and I take to the road once more, to visit these places near and far, I hope to entertain you on some of those tales of old. It is nearing winter solstice here in The Shire, the best time to leave on such an adventure. First we must get to the Ents, to help us persuade some plants to move to new homes; spread their roots, literally, to rest, then start new green pastures. Each place we venture to should have a little box, a treasure chest of sorts, where we place little trinkets as keepsakes, to show that we had indeed been there. Our hope is to find all these treasure chests, and be able to leave this generation's trinket as well. MORNING ROUTINE Now grandmother Rose taught me to always have my ducks in a row, from sunrise till the dark of eve's. So for this coming adventure we will have to start a new morning routine. I'm focusing on making the green points part of my routine. The rest is pretty much set. (5h30) Make coffee and stretch my joints Bible study (6h30) Make breakfast - feed animals - clean and tidy up (7h30) Family Devotional (with aunt and mom) over W.app Prayer Group (8h30) School work and/or sport AFTERNOON ROUTINE There are various things I need to do every week. Some preferably on set afternoons, but I can chop and change depending on the weather, etc. for some. Sunday (first day of challenge) - Gardening Monday - Laundry Tuesday - Walk (Playball/Soccer) Wednesday - Gardening Thursday - Laundry and D.F.D. Friday - Walk/Geocache TO DO's Finances: April and May Proof Reading SLEEP Now a gardener cannot work if she has not had sufficient sleep. I know this, and my gift does not come to the fore if I don't sleep enough. Lady Galadriel was very adamant that enough sleep strengthened her "Gift for the Earth", especially after long arduous days of walking from planting to planting. It lifts the mood and gives energy, enough to spare, and then entice little seedlings and saplings to push their roots deep. 21h00: Shower - Tidy kitchen - final prep for next day (get meat out to defrost, pack and switch dishwasher on, etc.) 21h30-22h00: In bed - Go to sleep!
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