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sarakingdom

Sara Kingdom Learns From Firebenders

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Weekend 2 Day 1

 

The Good:

  • Rest: I SLEPT. And pretty well, too.
  • Discipline: While I did hit snooze on my alarm, I decided it was time to practice not doing that more, so I got up before the second one went off.
  • Drinking: I have a couple of tea infusers i don't use much (because I have others), so I'm taking one into work. I have loose herbal tea there, which I will now drink more of.
  • Fasting: Yup, totally didn't bother to make breakfast or lunch. (Goals that involve laziness agree with me.) I am hungry, though, because I haven't been eating enough. I'll need to track that more carefully this challenge, and hit my targets.
  • Drinking: Filled up the water bottle and made tea when I got to work.
  • Strategy: Un-workout

The Bad:

  • Drinking: I forgot to drink anything this morning, and noticed on my commute. Fortunately, because I got into the habit of taking my metal water bottle (and thus not emptying it like I would my collapsible one), I had some water.

This is not on my list, but I had to redo my laundry this morning, and it had all my usual clothes in it, so I had to find stuff to wear in the clothes that never come into rotation because I don't like them or they don't look great on me. And I think I managed to do pretty well. They actually combined into an outfit I like. Kimono-sleeve sweater that is just TOO PINK, and also too short to wear with leggings, layered over a gray tank tunic that don't like the above-the-waist hang of but is great below the waist, and black Capri leggings that it's finally warm enough for (and which are a little too faded to wear with other blacks). The correct way to moderate pink is with black, and preferably skulls, but I am a professional person. (Okay, no, I just had no skulls.) This was going so well that I pulled a pair of pink and black striped ankle socks out of the pajama bin, where I'd relegated them for being TOO PINK. (They're not the exact same shade of Pepto Bismol pink, but close enough.) I was on a roll here, so I dug around the scarf bin and came up with a pale gray scarf, which is not perfect, but it looks like I have an outfit, rather than a hurried rummage through the floordrobe.

 

I choose to think of my style as "futuristic casual". That's wishful thinking, but hey, no one can prove it's not.

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2 hours ago, Mistr said:

At least you had the focus to take the bacon and asparagus out of the oven instead of roasting them for 12 hours. 

 

That I would have noticed. Yeah, I wasn't too hungry when I made them, but figured I'd have them for dinner later, and let them coast down with the oven after I turned it off. And then didn't eat for twelve hours. Oops.

 

I'm paying for it now, though. I had two meals all weekend. And not the big "I do IF and eat one big meal" sort.

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12 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

The correct way to moderate pink is with black, and preferably skulls

Definitely a shortage of skulls in most ladies fashion these days

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Week 2 Day 2

 

The Good

Drinking: I had a bunch of water.

Rest: Had a two hour nap after work that lasted for five hours. Choosing to view this as a positive.

Breathe: Tried to meditate, may have been too tired. But I tried.

 

The Bad

Rest: Yeah, didn't do so well last night.

 

The Neutral:

Fasting: This was not a fasting day. I had three days in a row of eating 25-50% of my calories, and that's not good. I worked hard to get my calories up into a normal range. So today is basically "eat all the things".

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Week 2 Day 3

 

The Good

Rest: Got to bed on time.

Eat: Ate enough. It was tons of food.

Discipline: Did my new bedtime cleaning.

 

The Bad

Rest: Did not get enough rest overnight, because I napped too late last night.

Drink: Didn't track, but I suspect I'm under.

 

The Neutral

Fast: Not a fasting day, but a day of being more selective about eating all the things. I have both sleep debt and food debt, which I am paying back.

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Sick. At work anyway. At least till training is done, cuz there are no other teachers for this. Then I'm going home to throw up in peace.

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Finished the course. Came home early. Bought fruit and vegetables. Kept down mashed potatoes and an apple. Now it's naptime. I need an audiobook.

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On 3/30/2019 at 3:24 PM, Teirin said:

Feeling any better today?

 

Yes. I needed lots of sleep, but felt much better.

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Right. I've made some Taiwanese beef soup, and now it's time for more bending lessons.

 

Bending Lessons 3x04 Sokka's Master

 

Appreciate astronomical wonders.

 

Just because you don't think you're the special one doesn't mean you don't have strengths.

 

There are some great animes out there.

 

Everyone feels better shopping for weapons. Especially swords.

 

When you feel down, find a good teacher.

 

Use your time in prison getting buff.

 

Minimalism is nice. Also, sit on floors.

 

Humility is good.

 

The first thing you must learn is that your weapon is an extension of yourself.

 

The warrior practices a variety of arts keep his mind sharp and fluid.

 

Practice calligraphy; when you write your name, you stamp your identity on the paper the way you use your sword to stamp your identity on the battlefield.

 

You cannot take back a stroke of the brush or a stroke of the sword.

 

Landscape painting teaches a warrior to hold the lay of the land in his mind. In battle, you have only an instant to take everything in.

 

Concentrate on what you're doing.

 

Rock gardening teaches the warrior to manipulate his surroundings and use them to his advantage.

 

You must trust your steel with your life; choose carefully.

 

Creativity, versatility, intelligence; these are the traits that define a great swordsman.

 

You can get buff at any age.

 

Using superior agility against an older opponent is smart.

 

Use the terrain and fight from the high ground.

 

Use your surroundings and make them fight for you. Be resourceful.

 

If you're looking for a Fire Nation cover name, try Li. There's a million Lis.

 

The way of the sword doesn't belong to any one nation. Knowledge of the arts belongs to us all.

 

Being a sword master must be lucrative enough for a really sweet castle.

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14 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Right. I've made some Taiwanese beef soup, and now it's time for more bending lessons.

 

I don't know what this is, but it sounds wonderful.  Please tell me how to make it so I may then shove it into my face.

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2 hours ago, RisenPhoenix said:

 

I don't know what this is, but it sounds wonderful.  Please tell me how to make it so I may then shove it into my face.

 

It was this minus the noodles (and plus some beef stock I had in the fridge).

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Yay, a good garden update. Between last week's selective leaf trim and some ladybug action, the aphid problem on the brussel sprouts was greatly reduced. I trimmed a few more infested leaves, harvested a whole bag full of edible leaves to improve the airflow around the ground and the sprouts, and gave it some sprays of soapy water. They're much tidied.

 

And the aphids did not attack the spinach that the rabbits missed, even though a lot of it was hiding under the brussel sprouts; a lot of that regrew. I got a decent serving of spinach leaves, too.

 

The garlic chives left over from the last person sent up scapes, so I pulled those to stir fry (and head off before they reproduce), and I cut some leaves from my monster garlic patch. It's unbelievably healthy. Seriously, it's bullying a brussel sprout plant older and bigger than it is.

 

My new rule is that I cook my harvested produce the night I get it, so it doesn't go to waste. I might roast the sprouts leaves with the garlic leaves, since there's a ton and they can take it, and saute the spinach and scapes.

 

My chervil has come up well, and the carrots are promising - I got a lot of germination. No sign of the shallots yet, or the turnips. The perennial onions seem to be up, and the thyme I put in last November is surprisingly far along. A couple of mystery stirfry greens seedlings survived the shadow of the infested sprouts. My snap peas are already flowering, before everyone else's. They're much shorter, but ready to give me peas soon. (I got an ultra dwarf early variety, so they look tiny, but are about half their adult height.) There are a ton of radish seedlings in there. Either the fennel or the poppies are doing well, I have no idea which yet. I hope fennel, but suspect poppies. Only one cilantro sprout, which is disappointing. But I guess it'd all mostly bolt anyway. Oh well, that'd still mean more cilantro down the road.

 

My transplants have been doing really badly in the greenhouse. I truly do not know why. Other stuff started at the same time, and sometimes with literally the same seeds, are ready to transplant, but just about none of mine are, even the stuff I started two months ago. So I just transplanted some of anyway. I put in half the chard (with some beet seed - a candystripe variety that doesn't bleed like a murder scene). and half the kale, and some of the mixed Asian greens. And the ground cherry, which is sort of a decent size. I moved the rest closer to the good location in the greenhouse. I have at least one eggplant sprout, a currant tomato sprout, and two miniature green melon sprouts. Oh, and at least one tiny strawberry seedling. No sign of the peppers. What I may do is try to start some of the summer stuff directly outside, since it's warm enough and I'm clearly not getting much greenhouse advantage. Two more varieties of miniature melon, a hot and a miniature sweet pepper, at least one more eggplant, and (gulp) a zucchini. I swear, I can make it fit. Somehow.

 

I also need to get some ginger in with the perennials, and I just realized I should trim off the bottom brussel sprouts, since they're mostly no good. The upper ones will be happier if those are gone.

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Week 2 Day 1

 

The Good

Fast: Yes

Strategy: Un-workout (twice)

Rest: I tried, man. I did it right.

Make: Gardening

Breathe: Not yet, but I've been falling down a taoism rabbit hole thanks to Avatar.

Eat: I'm making the best food, and all the veggies are super fresh. (Roasted brassica leaves and garlic chives with Italian sausage and cheddar cheese, and rosemary from the garden.)

 

The Bad

Drink: Not so well, but I'll try to catch up.

Squat: I'm not doing so well on strength training this challenge.

Eat: Had a teeny bit of candy at work.

Rest: Running a bit late tonight. I was gardening, so my commute ran late, and whatever.

 

Total garden haul:

5 oz spinach
4 oz garlic chives
2 oz garlic greens
34 oz brussel sprout greens

 

That should see me through a few days.

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19 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Only one cilantro sprout, which is disappointing. But I guess it'd all mostly bolt anyway. Oh well, that'd still mean more cilantro down the road.

 

I heard an interesting thing on NPR's good food this weekend, and it had about how to use cilantro in all forms, including once it flowers. Might be worth a listen! 

 

https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/good-food/disappearing-saffron-edible-gardens-and-regional-chinese-food/market-report-the-four-stages-of-cilantro

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Toshimi said:

I heard an interesting thing on NPR's good food this weekend, and it had about how to use cilantro in all forms, including once it flowers. Might be worth a listen!

 

I'm in! That's worth a listen for sure. I have yet to find a form of cilantro that isn't great.

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47 minutes ago, Teirin said:

Your garden sounds so wonderful!  Great work!

 

It isn't yet, but I hope it soon will be. And I should get more variety than assorted random brassica leaves and assorted random bits of scavenged allium soon. Healthy, but monotonous.

 

(Did I say 34oz of brussel sprout leaves? More like 41. I pulled the one being knocked over by the garlic; it had some ants on the stem, and ants are aphid farmers. I already have more sprout plants than I need, and I wanted that space, and also fewer aphids. I threw out the stem, but the top was perfect. I had it for dinner with chorizo.)

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Jeong Jeong shook his head disgustedly. "No discipline," he said. "How can one learn if one has not learned discipline?"

 

"For a firebender, certainly," said Iroh. "Too dangerous! But who else can teach a waterbender discipline?"

 

"Me?"

 

"Who but a firebender who understands flow?"

 

Jeong Jeong glanced at Iroh. "Must I?"

 

Iroh smiled gently, but did not reply.

 

The tea was cold. Jeong Jeong blew on his cup to warm it, and sighed.

 

"Sara!" called Iroh. "Come meet an old friend of mine!"

 

* * *


Iroh's friend was short and stocky, with wild white hair and an air of impatience. He paced.

 

"You want me to, uh, squat and breathe?" said Sara helpfully.

 

He spun around. "What are you, an Airbender?"

 

"Not last I checked," she muttered.

 

"Careless," he said. "Distracted. Wrong flow..." He looked up at her, scrutinizing her carefully. "Write!"

 

"Yes, master!" said Sara. She picked up a brush.

 

"Most immediate problem that needs solving!" barked Jeong Jeong. "Quickly!"

 

Sara wrote.

 

"Fix it! Right now," he said.

 

"Okay," said Sara. "I, uh..."

 

"Now!" said Jeong Jeong.  Sara jumped up and went to make soup.

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"Better," said Jeong Jeong. "That is proper flow. Do not think. Do. Adapt."

 

Sara swirled her miso soup with waterbending to mix it and finished the second bowl.

 

"Good use of vegetables," he said. "That is reasonable hydration." He grabbed her hand and turned it over. "Must you burn yourself every day? You must respect fire. It harms. Be careful. Keep your mind on what you're doing. Do not injure yourself, or damage other things."

 

"That makes no sense!" said Sara. "I can't not think and also keep my mind on what I'm doing."

 

"Have you never trained?" said Jeong Jeong. "No mind. Do not think. Remaining mind. Keep it on what you're doing. That is proper flow."

 

"But I don't know how!"

 

"Of course you do not! This is why you must practice it."

 

Sara gritted her teeth. "But I don't know what to practice."

 

Jeong Jeong pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.

 

"Think of water," he said finally. "Water always has proper timing. It is not still when circumstances say it should move. It does not move quickly when circumstances tell it to be slow. Do you understand?"

 

"Yes, of course," said Sara. "I understand."

 

"Good," said Jeong Jeong. He stood.

 

"But understanding doesn't mean I know," said Sara. "Knowing is different. I still don't know."

 

"But. That. Is. What. Practice. Is. For," said Jeong Jeong. "You practice to learn. When you meditate, do you know how to quiet your mind? No! You simply sit and do. Now. Go be water!"

 

Sara banged her head slowly against a nearby rock.

 

"Go!" Jeong Jeong pointed. "Be water!"

 

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Iroh placed a tray on the table with two bowls of rice topped with a fried egg and pickled vegetables. "Come, my friend," he said. "Join me for breakfast."

 

Jeong Jeong took a deep breathe and extinguished the candle he was meditating on with a small gesture.

 

Iroh poured the tea.

 

"Thank you," said Jeong Jeong, sitting at the table.

 

"So how did it go?" said Iroh.

 

Jeong Jeong swallowed his bite of rice. "She was a little like water."

 

"Good!" Iroh poured himself more tea. "That's promising. She did not think she knew how."

 

The sound of footsteps came from the far bedroom and then in the hall.

 

"More like water!" Jeong Jeong shouted towards the hall.

 

The footsteps paused, and there was a long-suffering sigh from the hallway.

 

Jeong Jeong smiled to himself and dug into the pickled radish.

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Part of me is envious that you can plant warm season seeds outside already. We had rain mixed with snow this morning. It is mostly above freezing, but I would not plant any seeds in the garden before May Day. The other part of me is happy that I don't need to worry about gardening yet. :D 

 

I love your stories.

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I did a thing at work I can't really talk about, but I'm gonna boast anyway. Before Christmas, I was chatting to my unofficial underling, and said, "Wouldn't it be cool if we did the speculative thing? I bet that'd be useful." And he agreed, and went off to do his part of thing, and I started planning mine.

 

So this is how I found myself doing the thing. After Christmas, I took the thing from zero to launch on an accelerated timeframe. It launched a month ago and concluded last week, and the official result gathering is later. But the unofficial results we've been seeing look really promising for my division. And today I got a story that indicates the thing has a lot of potential for organization-level change, which was the pie in the sky dream, and that our local, immediate results might be pretty darned solid.

 

Anyway. I did a thing, and I think I'm gonna be pretty proud of it, and of the team who worked on it.

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3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Anyway. I did a thing, and I think I'm gonna be pretty proud of it, and of the team who worked on it.

Whatever it was, hooray for it coming together! 

 

7 hours ago, Mistr said:

I love your stories.

^^^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^^^^

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