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Mistr

Mistr gets creative

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Mistr gets creative

 

Last challenge I worked on foresight and making better choices. That went reasonably well. I've been much less stressed about getting ALL THE THINGS  done. I want to keep working on this.

 

I had an interesting week doing zen and not needing to worry about doing anything. The thing I missed most while I was away from normal life was working on creative projects. I want to maintain the good habits that I've been working to establish over the last year, but with a bit more flexibility.

 

Main goal:

work on creative projects at least 3 times a week

Bonus points for finishing projects

Extra bonus points for weaving

 

My main project right now is spinning fiber from my stash.

  • I just finished spinning the singles for a three-ply silk yarn from silk I dyed in February. Next step is to ply it.
  • I have alpaca yarn in progress on my wheel. I have half of that done and am working through it fairly quickly now that I figured out to pick out the bits of vegetable matter before I start spinning it. This will become a 2-ply yarn.
  • I'm free to choose any of the bags in my stash when I'm done with these two yarns. It is all fair game.

 

Other projects include:

  • knitting a pair of socks - nearly done with the leg of sock #2
  • embroidery - large counted cross-stitch picture of a sorceress
  • embroidery - packed so long that I've forgotten what the picture is about
  • anything from my unfinished objects bag - must finish socks first.
  • Current mending counts because it is sitting out and I started it a couple weeks ago. This kind of involves being creative with a needle.

 

Check things off goal:

Things that need doing and mostly stay done. Taken from @Xena's sushi list idea

  • Swap out summer/winter clothes, take bins back to the attic
  • Put up the new shelves in the laundry room
  • Donate or discard the cooler packs in the trunk of my car
  • Sort one box from the garage. Bonus points for more boxes sorted.
  • Wash and donate the dojo lost & found (currently in my car)
  • Make an electronic list of articles that Dumbledore has on paper (linked to the journals). Recycle the paper and use the file cabinet for things we actually should keep.
  • Donate the stuff that is accumulating next to the coffee maker.

 

Keep up good habits:

  • Lay out clothes the night before
  • Pack lunches and breakfasts ahead of time
  • Do something for exercise every day. I'm struggling to do weight training regularly because it takes a lot of time, even though I enjoy it. Try adjusting my schedule to do weight training before or after work. Yoga or walking is fine if I'm feeling stressed.
  • Zen every day. This can be after work or at lunch if I'm running late in the morning.
  • NO CAFFEINE. I broke this rule yesterday and am regretting it (again) today. Yes, I like coffee. No, it is not worth it. Herbal tea is fine.
  • Plan for down time after work. Maybe even take a brief nap. Better to take a break than to drag for the whole evening.
  • Make short lists of things I might do and pick the top ones. Wash, rinse, repeat.
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19 hours ago, Mistr said:

NO CAFFEINE. I broke this rule yesterday and am regretting it (again) today. Yes, I like coffee. No, it is not worth it. Herbal tea is fine

I am here with you in solidarity! Although I have to do green tea, I am on the no coffee train. I always regret it later too.

 

the embroidery seems really cool, and also extremely complicated. 
 

looking forward to reading about ALL THE CLEANING and how your projects go! Will you be posting pictures?

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On 10/26/2019 at 12:08 PM, Treva said:

the embroidery seems really cool, and also extremely complicated. 

 

I bought the embroidery pattern to have something fun to work on when I visited Dumbledore at his grad school apartment. We lived three hours apart for 10 years. I made good progress on it an enjoyed it a lot. My need to destress by doing embroidery dropped after we were both out of grad school. Plus it is much easier to work on with natural light, which cuts down on possible time half the year.

 

On 10/26/2019 at 12:08 PM, Treva said:

looking forward to reading about ALL THE CLEANING and how your projects go! Will you be posting pictures?

 

I'll see what I can do. I've been meaning to take photos of my spinning projects anyway.

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Zero week weekend

 

I feel like I started the new challenge last week.

 

Creative things done - two good sessions of spinning. I also finished winding off the silk from my drop spindle into a ball.

 

Cleaning done:

  • scrubbed the kitchen sink
  • washed dishes
  • laundry (my turn)
  • pulled weeds out of the cracks in the sidewalk in preparation for shoveling season. We are supposed to get snow this week.
  • moved the pots of herbs onto the screen porch. Maybe they will survive the winter with a little protection. The parsley, marjoram and rosemary look good. Thyme and tarragon are struggling. Oregano, feverfew and mint are competing with the weeds in the garden (or becoming weeds, depending how you look at it).

Cooking done:

  • cabbage and ricotta timbale (used up half a cabbage, half a quart of ricotta and three spare egg whites!)
  • apple pie with home-made all-butter crust, safe for a friend who can't have corn or artificial anything
  • chocolate/white chocolate chip cookies

The cabbage/ricotta timbale turned out really mild, even though I added garlic and more herbs than the recipe called for. I used a package of tofu instead of hard-boiled eggs. My original plan was to make cabbage with tofu and soy sauce, based on a dish I had at the zen monastery. Then I decided to see if I could use up the ricotta as well. I think the monastery dish was tastier, but I'm happy with the bonus points for using up a bunch of aging groceries.

 

The apple pie was for a friend's birthday party. It got rave reviews. That made Dumbledore feel better. I asked him to take it out of the oven for me and he got busy with something and forgot until ~15 minutes late, at which point the crust was darker than it should have been. It still tasted okay. The cookies are for us. Those came out fine.

 

Other things done: Aikido on Saturday and zen on Sunday. I came out of the aikido class more sore than when I started, which is not usually the case. Zen went better than normal. Maybe I did make some progress at sesshin. I also did grocery shopping Saturday. I'm glad I forgot my to-do list at work because I barely got half the things done. I didn't waste time unless you count sleeping in. I felt like I'm still making up for the sleep deficit last week. Hopefully I can be done with that now and have some energy this week.

 

Late update - one of our planned houseguests had an accident and can't come visit. I'm sorry he is hurt, but it does make my cleaning load much lighter.

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On 10/25/2019 at 4:47 PM, Mistr said:

NO CAFFEINE. I broke this rule yesterday and am regretting it (again) today. Yes, I like coffee. No, it is not worth it. Herbal tea is fine.

 

I try to limit my caffeine, too. Timing is everything, such as directly before training--early morning gym and late night training hits hard lol. 

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Day 1

 

Zen - success

Aikido/exercise - fail. Skipped both

To-do - success. I felt guilty about not going to aikido, so I was productive at home. I did everything on my list

  • cooked brussel sprouts with bacon (filling the green veggie gap in our batch cooking
  • brought in the flower pots from the front porch
  • did a load of laundry
  • ironed a shirt
  • packed lunches
  • put away clean dishes
  • evening chores
  • watered house plants

I'm tempted to say I stayed up late to do zen, but really that's not true. I stayed late at work reading web comics and that made everything later than it should have been. Except that I would not have had time to get everything done if I had gone to practice. Overall I think I made the right choice. I got a lot of small but important things done. Especially bringing in the plants, since we got several inches of snow last night.

 

I got up on time this morning even though I set my alarm to allow for a little more sleep. That gave me enough time to sit zen before work. Maybe it is helping because I've been more productive this morning than any day in the last week. I hope I can keep it up through working out at lunch and cleaning up at home after work. The houseguest who is arriving tomorrow is an old friend, but I still want the house to be marginally clean for her.

 

Elf update

Spoiler

For those who are new to my thread, Elf is my non-binary adopted adult kid.

 

Elf got a job at a pizza place this summer. That has been all sorts of frustrating. First business was slow and Elf had only a few tables a day. No tables -> no tips. They were short-staffed and Elf got lots of hours. There were some busy nights that Elf was the only server working. Those were better because Elf was busy and made some money. Recently the restaurant hired a new manager and several new servers. Suddenly Elf has gone from working nearly full-time to only a couple days a week. The manager promised full-time hours when Elf was hired, but the new manager does not feel bound to that. Elf talked to the owner, who was not willing to help. Elf made use of the unexpected time off to take resumes to all kinds of places.

 

Good news - Elf starts full-time at a downtown restaurant this weekend! 

Being downtown means that the restaurant will be busier and saves at least 30 minutes on the commuting time by bus. Dumbledore and I have been giving Elf rides when we can. It will cut down from a 45 minute round trip to 25-30 minutes. Win all around.

 

On the relationship side, Elf still has a long distance romantic involvement. The new development is a local friends-with-benefits arrangement. Elf insists that they are just friends. The friend has had Elf over for a steak dinner, taken them out to a movie, took them to a fancy restaurant, and drove them around to drop off resumes. This friend is older, with a stable job and a house. He is also a good cook. Elf says that they are dealing fine with a polyamorous situation because we've set a good example. :D

 

I'm pretty sure that Elf would prefer to be monogamous, but this is working for now. I hope there is not too much drama later.

 

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I lost momentum when I got home. I made the mistake of reading web comics "for a few minutes" and got sucked in. Again. You'd think I'd know better by now.

 

I ended up cleaning the bathroom when I should have been getting ready for bed. I asked Elf to help with the dishes. This morning I got out bedding and picked up the books and papers in the family room. That leaves me with just a little cleaning tonight. I don't think my friend will care, but I have standards.

 

I was planning on practicing aikido at lunch, but my weapons partner has a conflict. I didn't bring clean exercise clothes so I'm going to use the time to sit zen. That counts for my creativity for today.

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On 10/28/2019 at 6:21 PM, Mistr said:

My original plan was to make cabbage with tofu and soy sauce, based on a dish I had at the zen monastery. Then I decided to see if I could use up the ricotta as well. I think the monastery dish was tastier, but I'm happy with the bonus points for using up a bunch of aging groceries.

 

You are my soul sister on this one :-)

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With our snowy weather I just want to curl up on the couch with my knitting and a cup of tea. Instead I am going to be a good Monk and spend my weekend at an aikido seminar.

 

I will take my drop spindle with me so I can spin during breaks. I'll see if I can go out to lunch with the instructor tomorrow. That would let me skip the dinner and get home early. I can take more time to go out to lunch after the session on Sunday if that's an option.

 

Week 1 Wed-Thurs

 

I did indeed sit zen at lunch on Wednesday. That was a good choice. I certainly did not have time in the evening. I got off work on time and stopped by home to eat a little and vacuum the worst bits in the family room. I tasked Elf with washing the dishes while I was at practice, which they did.

 

Aikido was fun. I ended up teaching because the person who signed up wasn't there. Only one of our beginners was there. I think the snow made it difficult for people to get there, especially for those who normally bike. I taught iriminage from cross-hand grab, step-by-step. I am putting into practice the principles I learned at the teaching workshop last year. I also taught two variations of the "hey babe" attack I learned from Lloyd McWhirt sensei at a seminar a couple years ago. This is an attack where uke stands right next to nage and puts their hand around nage's waist/hips. The response is for nage to glue uke's hand in place with their closer hand, shift their weight into uke's arm and turn towards uke, only moving the closer foot. This results in uke being flung backwards. It is the easiest realistic self defense technique I know, and it uses aikido principles. I had the class tell me how this technique relates to the classic techniques we worked on earlier.

 

After that we went out to our local to celebrate the end of the beginner's class. I learned that our steadfast new person is dating the nephew of one of the senior instructors. That's great, she has a personal connection, she bought a gi and she seems to be having fun. I hope she continues. We all encouraged her to stay. It was fun to get out and socialize. I brought up the idea of having an aikido movie night and people liked it. I need to figure out some kind of monitor set up. We don't own a TV and the only big monitor we have is on Dumbledore's desk. He's been wanting to get a monitor for media use, so maybe we can make that happen. My little laptop screen is not going to suffice for a party.

 

My original plan had been to make cupcakes for a work Halloween party after I got home. Ah, nope. It was already past my bedtime. I had also agreed to meet my weapons partner to practice. I went to bed only a little late, skipped the party and did half an hour of aikido instead. I hope some of that stuck. My big take-home was that I need more sleep and yoga. I was achey all over and too tired to focus. I tried taking a nap when I got home but that didn't really work. It felt like my brain was running around instead of resting.

 

I had a nice dinner with Elf, then did a bunch of cooking. I finally made chocolate custard using coconut milk and almond milk instead of dairy. That had been on my list for months (originally intended for ice cream). I'm not sure about the final texture, but it tasted good. That counts as a home-made chocolate dessert for next week. I also made baked pears because no one but me will eat them raw, and pumpkin bread. I tried a new recipe for pumpkin bread with less sugar - in hope of making bread and not cake. I made two loaves to use a big can of pumpkin and have one to eat at home. Then I forgot to bring in the loaf for work this morning. Oops. I hope it freezes okay. To top it off, I worked with Elf to prep pot roast.

 

I stayed up much later than planned to talk to a friend who just had a death in the family and to wash up the cooking dishes. The rational part of my brain told me to leave the dishes, but my brain weasels weren't having it. The kitchen counter was clear when I went to bed. Plus I got laundry done while talking with my friend.

 

So far I have avoided caffeine. I'm leaving work early to go to the seminar. Maybe being hungry will keep me awake. I didn't allow enough time for dinner on the way. Or for zen. If I'm really good I will come straight home after aikido, eat something, sit zen, and go to bed. All the other chores can wait.

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On 10/28/2019 at 6:21 PM, Mistr said:

Cooking done:

  • cabbage and ricotta timbale (used up half a cabbage, half a quart of ricotta and three spare egg whites!)
  • apple pie with home-made all-butter crust, safe for a friend who can't have corn or artificial anything
  • chocolate/white chocolate chip cookies

these all sound delicious!  I'm glad you had time to make them, and sounds absolutely delicious.  The apple pie sounds particularly good--preservative free/artificial free stuff sounds amazing.

 

21 hours ago, Mistr said:

I also taught two variations of the "hey babe" attack I learned from Lloyd McWhirt sensei at a seminar a couple years ago. This is an attack where uke stands right next to nage and puts their hand around nage's waist/hips. The response is for nage to glue uke's hand in place with their closer hand, shift their weight into uke's arm and turn towards uke, only moving the closer foot. This results in uke being flung backwards. It is the easiest realistic self defense technique I know, and it uses aikido principles. I had the class tell me how this technique relates to the classic techniques we worked on earlier.

Are there videos of this?  I would like to see it done!! It seems useful.

I'm glad to read about the nice community you have with aikido; it's really nice that you have a sace that is great for a workout and for building interpersonal relationships.  I really enjoy reading about it.  

 

21 hours ago, Mistr said:

I finally made chocolate custard using coconut milk and almond milk instead of dairy. That had been on my list for months (originally intended for ice cream). I'm not sure about the final texture, but it tasted good.

how can this not taste good this sounds delicious.  Sounds like you are killing it on the cooking game.

 

21 hours ago, Mistr said:

With our snowy weather I just want to curl up on the couch with my knitting and a cup of tea. Instead I am going to be a good Monk and spend my weekend at an aikido seminar

#respect.  Way to keep the momentum going, whether or not the seasons compliment it.  

 

Spoiler

I am glad to hear elf found a position and that it makes the commuting much easier!!!  And it sounds like the hours and pay should be better?  that is wonderful news, I am glad to hear it.  

 

Best of luck to Elf with the new friends-with-benefits situation.  I am glad they have good role models to look up to, and I hope that there is little drama later if Elf finds they would indeed prefer to be monogamous.  

 

 

21 hours ago, Mistr said:

 

So far I have avoided caffeine. I'm leaving work early to go to the seminar. Maybe being hungry will keep me awake. I didn't allow enough time for dinner on the way. Or for zen. If I'm really good I will come straight home after aikido, eat something, sit zen, and go to bed. All the other chores can wait.

I hope that goes well!!  For me it takes a lot of self control to put aside the other chores and just get some rest.   I am glad you are doing well with avoiding the caffeine!!

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On 11/1/2019 at 1:51 PM, Mistr said:

I brought up the idea of having an aikido movie night and people liked it. I need to figure out some kind of monitor set up. We don't own a TV and the only big monitor we have is on Dumbledore's desk. He's been wanting to get a monitor for media use, so maybe we can make that happen. My little laptop screen is not going to suffice for a party.

 

Or I bet one of your guests would be willing to bring a monitor for the evening in lieu of some chips and salsa.

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Weekend report

 

TL;DR: Busy and productive

 

Details:

Aikido and more aikido. This seminar is at a small dojo so they limit attendance to 20 people. In fact there were only 18 on the mat at the most. That means individual attention from the instructor. This instructor does a lot of demonstration and explanation with less time for practice than most. That worked out okay with 11 hours of class over three days.

 

The topic was application of internal power to basic techniques. Internal power means using one's body structure and force vectors rather than muscle power to move one's partner. If you feel like you are pushing or pulling, you are doing it wrong. The advantage of this is that it does not matter how massive the other person is, you can just move them by moving yourself. The hard part is that you have to use your brain and body in a particular way to make it happen. I have been working on this for a few years and it is getting easier.

 

He also talked about how the basic forms we practice to learn the body movements relate to actual martial situations. People both in and outside aikido dojos tend to mistake technique practice for actual aikido. Nope. The techniques are dynamic katas. Once an aikidoka is competent at all of the techniques, they need to let those go and just move freely in response to any dynamic attack. You hardly ever see that in a demo or on a video. Usually the highest level you see is a moderate speed multiple attacker (randori) practice. Partly that is because people who are really good tend to make small movements that are hard to see in a fight and it just looks fake.

 

Home front. I got done the essential things. No time to do creative things.

Saturday night I did grocery shopping because I was concerned we did not have essentials for breakfast on Sunday. It turned out we didn't have time to make a big breakfast Sunday morning, but I didn't know that until later. Just as well I got it done Saturday because Sunday was equally busy. No zen Saturday night because Dumbledore and our house guest got back early.

 

Sunday afternoon I did two loads of laundry, put the family room back together, and cooked. I made granola, sweet potato hash and packed lunches. That and washing dishes took all the time. I snuck in sitting zen for 11 minutes before heading to bed.

 

I think we are okay on the food front. The lunches I packed used up the pork loin, squash and brussel sprouts from last week. There is still half of the cabbage timbale left. The pot roast I made with Elf did not turn out well. Elf forgot to add garlic and I think someone turned off the crock pot too early. It is tough and bland. I may convert that to beef stew. The chocolate custard tastes good but the texture is off. Not smooth. I will try this experiment again with some tweaks to the method. The only thing still languishing in the fridge is the kale I bought last week.

 

My plan for this week is to do aikido just Monday and Wednesday. My weapons partner is travelling for work again (he is cranky about it), so I'm going to do strength training or yoga every day. My main goal is to get 8 hours of sleep a night.

 

 

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Tuesday week 2

 

Sleep - only 7 hours. My excuse is that Elf needed a ride home. It would have helped if I had started washing my gis right after class instead of sitting down with hot chocolate and cookies first. ;) 

 

Caffeine - fail. Not much, but I had coffee after our team meeting today. In spite of my best efforts I was nodding off by the end of the meeting. I felt much better after some coffee and pumpkin bread. I'll take melatonin tonight to faciliate getting back on my planned sleep schedule.

 

Tonight ought to be a night off, but there are several time-critical things I did not get done over the weekend. I'm going to make a point of spinning before I start those tasks. Sitting zen needs to happen too - that gets slotted in right before bed, after everything else is done. It is much easier to tell my brain to shut up when I have everything done for the day.

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Tuesday evening I stopped at the grocery on the way home. I was surprised to find Elf home and cooking because their local sweetie picked them up from work. The plan had been that he would help Elf study for a test at work. Elf said that after a little bit of companionable studying, their sweetie started getting fresh, so Elf made him take them home. I congratulated Elf on setting boundaries and standing up for them.

 

I unpacked the groceries and Elf saw that I got a package of deli fried chicken, along with fresh chicken breasts and broccoli. Elf looked at me in concern and asked "are you okay, you brought home fast food". :lol:  

 

In fact, no, I was feeling overworked. Work has been busy and I have not had any down time. Spinning has been high on my list of things to do since last week. Some days there just is not enough time to do zen. I went to aikido on Monday to train with Sensei and Wednesday because it is my class. I'll have the next several days off from practice. Wednesday night one of my favorite senior instructors taught. I stayed for the extra half hour of advanced training. That was great. He covered some of the same principles that were taught in the seminar last weekend.

 

I'm really looking forward to having Friday evening and all day Saturday to work on projects at home.

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Last night after dinner, Dumbledore and I discussed all the difficult topics and slew them. Elf joined us for the holiday discussion.

  • Thanksgiving - we will have dinner for the three of us, with cooperative cooking. We will invite my mom, Hermes and his girlfriend; none of whom we expect to accept. We talked about other people we could invite, but no one was a good fit. We will ask more friends to come over for pie in the evening.
  • Holiday parties - my work and my zen group picked the same day for holiday parties. Dumbledore doesn't sound enthused about either one. Elf said they would go to the work party with me. I will check with both of them again in a week or two. At this point I'm inclined to go to the zen party by myself.
  • Boxing day - we will host an open house and invite pretty much everybody. Dumbledore was firm on this one.
  • Elf's girlfriend will visit for at least a week over winter break. I made it clear that we would feed her while she was staying with us, assuming that she and Elf would help with cooking and dishes. Elf had a weird idea that they would need to eat out. Squashed that.
  • Figured out health insurance options for next year.
  • We will buy medium ticket things we want/need:
  • Tires for my car
  • a new phone for Dumbledore. Move up to last year's model from a 2016 model.
  • Gym membership for Dumbledore. He dropped the Y and is going to the gym at his work. Less $ and more convenient.
  • New boots for me. I loved the cheap boots I got three years ago, but they wore out. The new version claims to be leather. I have my doubts. I'm getting them and keeping my fingers crossed.

I am proud of us for working through all the things without getting off topic or even a little grouchy. Dumbledore and Elf don't really want to have my mom visit, but they were both adamant about inviting her when they heard how my sister-in-law dissed her.

 

After that we spent some time relaxing and I sat zen. I didn't even try to do anything useful. Enough progress for one day. :star:

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Goodness but it sounds busy over here. But it sounds like good busy too. Like a well-oiled machine. Good and smooth.

 

I hope you take your time and enjoy the things you're doing tonight and tomorrow. :)

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On 11/8/2019 at 3:18 PM, Kishi said:

Goodness but it sounds busy over here. But it sounds like good busy too. Like a well-oiled machine. Good and smooth.

 

I hope you take your time and enjoy the things you're doing tonight and tomorrow. :)

 

Yes, that pretty much covers it. I was looking at my weekend on Sunday evening and saw very little slack. I could have made different decisions with how I used my time. I don't feel like I goofed off except for the hour Friday night playing games on my phone. I know Two Dots is addictive and know better than to "just play a couple rounds" at 10pm. 

 

Friday

  • Reception at work. Good music, good food and nice to connect with people I don't see often.
  • Knitting - several rows on the sock I have not touched for a month
  • minor house chores, nothing big

Saturday

  • Cooked kale that had been languishing in the fridge
  • Washed living room curtains because I needed to take them down to put up window plastic and couldn't remember the last time I washed them.
  • Washed the living room windows before putting up plastic
  • Put plastic on the windows because winter arrived early this year. We have had snow on the ground since the week before Halloween.
  • Did not rake the yard because the leaves are covered in snow. They were still on the trees when it started snowing.
  • Finished spinning alpaca singles.
  • Cooked almond poppyseed poundcake
  • Cooked meatloaf
  • Had dinner with my BFF who I haven't seen for a month
  • Dropped off and picked up Elf from work
  • Folded freshly washed gis from the dojo lost-and-found
  • Called my mom early for a change.

Sunday

  • Took pile of gis to the dojo, helped with dan test prep.
  • Zen - was tasked with running the sit (jikijitsu is the name of the role). I've done this before, but never with a senior person present.
  • Grocery shopping + co-op shopping
  • Cooked brussel sprouts with bacon (with help from Elf)
  • Cooked mashed potatos + rutabega
  • Washed dishes
  • Family dinner with Elf and Dumbledore
  • Updated financial software and paid a couple bills.
  • Put away blankets used by house guest last weekend
  • Watered plants

I even got my morning prep done and got to bed on time on Sunday.

 

I have the weird feeling of wishing I could have done more while knowing I did the best I could have with the time available. I didn't have to wash the windows and the curtains, but I feel strongly that it was the right choice. The amount of cat fur in the lint trap of the dryer confirms that. I'm certain that neither Elf nor Dumbledore would ever think to wash the windows. Dumbledore did notice that the bedroom curtains were terribly dusty at the top. Maybe he would have washed them if I had not put them in the hamper. I can hope.

 

On the bright side, we have plenty of food. I plan on making shepherd's pie later this week. The pot roast still needs to become beef stew. I may do that Tuesday so that I can have stew for breakfast. 

 

I am looking forward to being able to tackle more projects this Thursday and Friday. I think I've decided what to spin next, but I'll let that mull for a few more days.

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15 minutes ago, Mistr said:

Zen - was tasked with running the sit (jikijitsu is the name of the role). I've done this before, but never with a senior person present.

 

Have to admit this phrase made me giggle a little bit. Although being in charge sounds like quite a bit of responsibility and like having someone looking over your shoulder would not be entirely soothing at first.

 

19 minutes ago, Mistr said:

I didn't have to wash the windows and the curtains, but I feel strongly that it was the right choice. The amount of cat fur in the lint trap of the dryer confirms that.

 

The thought of this about our house frightens me. I think if we put ours in the dryer it would cause a house fire. Even after being washed.

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2 hours ago, Mistr said:
  • Knitting - several rows on the sock I have not touched for a month
  • Cooked kale that had been languishing in the fridge

 

Rescuing the abandoned project and the languishing vegetables deserves serious props. Both of these things take some activation energy!

[Having the holiday family talk is obviously a bigger deal, but congratulations on all these victories]

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19 hours ago, Urgan said:

Have to admit this phrase made me giggle a little bit. Although being in charge sounds like quite a bit of responsibility and like having someone looking over your shoulder would not be entirely soothing at first.

 

:D  Not soothing is right. Usually I try to hold still and stay awake. It feels a lot different sitting at the front looking out at the other people. There were only four of them, which helped some. We are arranged on three sides of a square, with the participants on the sides and the jikijitsu and the roshi at the front. I had a clear view of the two people sitting near me and could barely see the other two using my peripheral vision. In addition to keeping track of the time, I was supposed to notice how people were doing. Twitching a lot is a sign that someone is uncomfortable and desperately wants the jikijitsu to ring the bell to end the sit. I could work on my own mediation for the first 20 minutes or so. For the last 10 minutes kept bouncing between trying to meditate and worrying about losing track of the time.

 

Added to that is the fun of getting up when I've been sitting for half an hour. One of my feet is always sound asleep. The good part is that my feet now fall asleep without screaming in protest first. The bad part is trying to stand up. I can do it, but it isn't graceful. I usually sit in the row far away from the jikijitsu to give myself more time to stand up before the walking meditation line gets to me. Being the head of the line meant that everyone was standing in front of their cushions waiting for me to get up. No one is ever going to say anything about it (silent meditation and all that), but it still feels awkward, even though I know other people have the same problem.

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20 hours ago, Mistr said:

On the bright side, we have plenty of food. I plan on making shepherd's pie later this week. The pot roast still needs to become beef stew. I may do that Tuesday so that I can have stew for breakfast.  

 

The pot roast would also make a kick-ass shepherd's pie. I mean, that's basically stew and mashed potatoes.

 

13 minutes ago, Mistr said:

I usually sit in the row far away from the jikijitsu to give myself more time to stand up before the walking meditation line gets to me. Being the head of the line meant that everyone was standing in front of their cushions waiting for me to get up. No one is ever going to say anything about it (silent meditation and all that), but it still feels awkward, even though I know other people have the same problem.

 

Ah, so you mean you haven't successfully released your attachment to your pride in favor of humility, or given them the practice opportunity to work on compassion. ;)

 

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30 minutes ago, Mistr said:

:D  Not soothing is right. Usually I try to hold still and stay awake. It feels a lot different sitting at the front looking out at the other people. There were only four of them, which helped some. We are arranged on three sides of a square, with the participants on the sides and the jikijitsu and the roshi at the front. I had a clear view of the two people sitting near me and could barely see the other two using my peripheral vision. In addition to keeping track of the time, I was supposed to notice how people were doing. Twitching a lot is a sign that someone is uncomfortable and desperately wants the jikijitsu to ring the bell to end the sit. I could work on my own mediation for the first 20 minutes or so. For the last 10 minutes kept bouncing between trying to meditate and worrying about losing track of the time.

 

Definitely wasn't sure how formal it was. I guess they don't give stink-eyes in zen meditation....

 

31 minutes ago, Mistr said:

Added to that is the fun of getting up when I've been sitting for half an hour. One of my feet is always sound asleep. The good part is that my feet now fall asleep without screaming in protest first. The bad part is trying to stand up. I can do it, but it isn't graceful. I usually sit in the row far away from the jikijitsu to give myself more time to stand up before the walking meditation line gets to me. Being the head of the line meant that everyone was standing in front of their cushions waiting for me to get up. No one is ever going to say anything about it (silent meditation and all that), but it still feels awkward, even though I know other people have the same problem.

 

So it's like test night lol. Do you have to relearn how to walk after testing is over and it's time to line up again because of tingling legs/feet? It me.

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Aikido news

My dojo is hosting a seminar at the end of January with the specific goal of holding dan tests. Everyone who is up for their first or second degree tests (shodan or nidan) is being pushed to test. That does not include me. I don't think I've got enough hours for my sandan test yet and I'm certainly not at the necessary skill level.

 

What this means for me is helping my friends get ready for their tests. My weapons partner is taking his nidan test. Last Sunday sensei ran practice tests for two people who will be testing for shodan. This Sunday will be nidan practice tests followed directly by advanced class. I think both of the people testing for nidan are well prepared, so hopefully sensei will be happy. One of the people testing for shodan has some gaps in his skills. Sensei criticised the ukes for being too nice. My weapons partner told me later that he had pulled his strikes because he could see the testee freezing and not blocking or getting out of the way. We need to find out if sensei really wants us to hit him if he doesn't move. That can be educational or demoralizing. Tough call.

 

I plan on being at the dojo Wednesday (teaching), Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Last night I stayed for the extra half hour of advanced practice after the basic class. Hopefully this means that I will integrate some of the things I've been learning at seminars. I also need to do cardio so that I can keep up in randori.

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Tuesday

  • No exercise because I met an old coworker for lunch. Points for networking
  • Made beef stew from the pot roast. Recipe here. Now I have something hot for breakfast that does not have dairy and has protein and veggies.
  • Packed a gi for today.
  • Washed the pile of things that had been waiting a week to be ironed. They were frozen on the porch, but I washed them with bleach anyway. I ran out of time for ironing them, so they are back in cold storage on the porch.
  • 15 minutes of French games.

That used all my time plus a bit.

 

This morning I decided to do a few dishes instead of sitting zen before work. I needed to get in early and didn't want to worry about the time. It means I have to sit zen after work, but that is okay. I miss the worst of the traffic by leaving later.

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