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FIX'ER UP

This is a follow on from last time where I went to the Moon through House Flipper the game. Well, I'm back on Earth, but instead of fixing houses in the game, I'll be starting to fix things around our own place. Seeing that it is now winter and all, the season for fixing. So I'll be fixin' myself up, as well as fixin' the house up.

image.png.8e756826e7d730a3c63e3c8a5884011e.png

 

Same formula with a little tweak here and there:

  • Bible study every day
  • Weighing/Measurements (preferably on a Sunday/Monday morning)
  • Cleaning (the house): floors, dusting, wiping, washing...
  • Fixing: I actually have June-July-August for this
    • Clean windows;
    • Wash curtains (I did a lot of curtains about end of last year, only had front rooms left to do);
    • Fix dining room table (Brandt) - I have to sand and re-varnish, etc.
    • Varnish front door frame, and other wood surfaces as needed;
    • Paint security gates properly (I painted the rusty spots a month or so back);
    • Paint garage door;
    • Replace window putty around glass, and repaint (two weeks later after putty dried);
  • Sleep: In bed by 21h45.
  • Exercise: At least twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday, or as possible)
    • Jump Rope 30x
    • Walking Lunges (10x15m)
    • Pushups 10x
    • Tire Rope Pull 10x15m~
    • Russian Twist w. tire 10x
    • Sit-Twist Stretch
    • Tire weight is 7.7kg

image.png.de7070110c110c83ff801f6dffae29b1.png

 

 

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I went like "a tornado" through the front room last night (said Brandt). I cleaned up, made neat, packed stuff away, drew up floor plans on the computer of a lay out where each boy would have his own desk, or share the big table, each with his own computer, AND have space for workbooks next to it. On the plan I shifted my desk to another place... well a lot of things got moved around, and in essence Brandt has approved it. This will happen when we manage to get fibre internet (July if we are lucky). Had to plan everything around where the cables will be, the router, work for our home school situation, as well as not be too close to Brandt (less than 5m) to distract him from his work, as he'll be working mostly from home for the foreseeable future.

 

Today I bought four already turned table legs, right height as well to replace the dining room table's center pedestal. Brandt will do that tomorrow. That will stabilise the table, which will cut down on a lot of our frustration while doing school work (it's wobbly). I'll be sanding and varnishing it after Brandt fixed up the table. But back to other things I did today: took down the two front rooms' curtains, washed, (semi-dried in the tumble dryer) and then hung them up again. I also started cleaning only the front door (glass sliding door with wooden frame), but ended up washing all the house's windows: inside and out. My shoulders and back are SO sore. But it looks good.

 

Tomorrow it's the table, and then sanding and varnishing other wooden surfaces: front sliding door frames, kitchen worktables' legs and work surfaces...

Edited by ElizeElvinFoxRyder
added info
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4 hours ago, ElizeElvinFoxRyder said:

I also started cleaning only the front door (glass sliding door with wooden frame), but ended up washing all the house's windows: inside and out. My shoulders and back are SO sore.

 

Sounds like functional fitness to me!

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16 hours ago, Bouncer_the_Lovable said:

Huh never thought of winter being a good fixing time, but makes sense in a warmer climate. New things to learn, and love all your pic choices!

 

May things get figured out smoothly!

Yup, winter in South Africa (all parts except the Cape) are the ideal time to fix things up. Not so hot that the paint dries on the brush, you can actually get stuff done, and there are a whole lot less to do in the gardens, so you have more time to focus on other renovations.

14 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Following along.

Howdy!

12 hours ago, Xena said:

 

Sounds like functional fitness to me!

Yip, definitely. No aches or pains this morning, but after a constant couple hours' work, it's probably better to take a break in between jobs (layers drying). It's now around 14h00 and I'm not done with the table yet. I could probably start sanding the doors and window frames for varnish while waiting for the first layer of wood protector to dry, but honestly, my fingers are stiff and a bit sore from sanding (sand paper not machine), and my back needs a break from bending over. When I've had a break I can continue. But the table is looking really nice so far (sorry for saying it myself). Rome wasn't built in a day, so waiting with the other varnish jobs for another day won't make a big difference.

 

Eric (gardener) can't come to work for garden work either as he is now sick. He thinks it is normal flu, but had to be tested at the clinic. I couldn't get hold of him to find out whether he was ok or not, which is a bit upsetting. I know he was very scared that he'll be put in a quarantine facility with just flu, and not Corona (due to all the false positives). I'm hoping it is just normal flu, but Brandt says he'll still not be allowed to work for at least 2 weeks. He will have to keep himself separate anyway, and we would rather him get better, before working. And if he is sick, and goes around, there is a greater risk of contracting Corona.

 

I'm going to have some left over salads just now (I actually want warm food, but I'm not going to spend the time to make warm lunch now). We had delicious fish, chips and salads yesterday. This is the coldest winter I can remember in the last couple years. We've had a couple nights where it was between 5-10C inside the house, meaning it was below 5C outside!

Edited by ElizeElvinFoxRyder
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hey elize!

 

hey to watch you fix it... and should you need me to

add that little "mmm I think so" 

 

cuz with me at least.  fixing anything is an iffy thing- it might work or it might not.  

 

at any rate, it sounds like you guys are pretty handy and good at fixing stuff- so I'll hang around and admire your skills.

 

PS

Bob the builder was truly one of the more interesting cartoons to come out.  my older girl , particularly, was just the right age to enjoy it. 

so I love the theme!

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2 hours ago, TGP said:

add that little "mmm I think so" 

You're supposed to say "Yes we can!" but I'll take a "mmm think so". :D

We also enjoyed Bob the Builder when the boys still watched it. He just came along last night, I didn't plan him or Fix it Felix, just thought of "Fix'er Up" as a reference to myself and the house.

 

2 hours ago, TGP said:

cuz with me at least.  fixing anything is an iffy thing- it might work or it might not. 

We try to fix most things ourselves. I try to ask for professionals to come and do a lot of things which I think is difficult, but that only works when it is something serious, and specialist tools are needed. I'd say we are better than 50% on getting it right, but we definitely have our share of failures. Like today with the varnish; although not an out and out mishap, it didn't come out as I expected and I had a difficult time painting with it.

 

----------------------------------------------

Day 1 of redoing the table:

  1. Table last night with its center pedestal. If anyone press anywhere on the side the other side lifts up, it was unstable. My fed-up-ness (is that a word?) grew to a point where we discussed it, and decided that something had to be done if we want to use it later for the boys' computers and schoolwork.
  2. This morning after Brandt screwed on the four pine legs (top is mahogany - yeah I know, they don't really go together, but *shrug*), and added metal triangles for support and strength. The triangles are supposed to look nice too. I didn't want something too ornate, that would make dusting a schlep.
  3. The table and kist after one layer of varnish. I did seal the new legs first with another wood 'food' thing, so the varnish was the second coat. The legs will definitely need a third coat though. I sanded and varnished the top of the kist as well. I sort of got it from my mom through my gran (her mom). It now houses our board games.
  4. The table from another angle. From here you can see that the surface isn't as smooth as it is supposed to be, but knowing me I'll live with it. Ooorrrr I'll be so irritated tomorrow morning (after it dried for not 24hr, but at least 12 hr), that I'll lightly sand the top (again!) and give it a second coat of varnish. I'm not sure whether I'll actually do that.

tafel.jpg.819fda551df3acf02ddd81ad31f50cef.jpg

I'll see what it looks like tomorrow and then decide. And no... because I knew we will most likely be working inside the house I haven't cleaned the floors yet. I'll do that after the table is done.

 

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On 6/16/2020 at 5:56 PM, Elastigirl said:

The table looks nice! And it will be so wonderful that it is now stable.

Thanks!

On 6/17/2020 at 12:02 AM, Xena said:

Great to see all your hard work paying off!

Thanks!

 

It turned very, very cold here, and Brandt thinks part of why the varnish didn't come out properly was because of the cold. We had three icy days, and rain which wasn't forecasted (but very much appreciated). Today it turned a bit more sunny again, so I sanded the worst of the blotches, and varnished it. I also sanded the front door frame, and varnished that too. The actual glass frame and the wooden frame. My fingers feel a bit squashed trying to get into the crevice between the door and the wall. There is still another three window-frames like this one (but each only 1m wide) to do.

tafel1.jpg.48578b4fc78f9a9522b4b3e5ea26591c.jpg

 

Oh, I spoke to a lady here in SA who have gone through the trouble of having her children do the American High School Diploma. She gave me wonderful advice, and introduced me to an online academy which is very reasonably priced and also used by a lot of American military families, among others. There is still a lot of time before we need to register (1 year+) for gr.9-12 for Adam (and later Rocco). I thought it was gr.8, then it would have been end of next year, or rather middle 2022 (now). We've decided to change our academic year from January to July each year, and plan accordingly. I'm actually very excited about it.

 

Otherwise our internet is still very intermittent, and we are hardly getting any emails. Things are as they usually are. Oh and by and by, Is this challenge only 4 weeks long?

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On 6/16/2020 at 1:05 PM, ElizeElvinFoxRyder said:

Yup, winter in South Africa (all parts except the Cape) are the ideal time to fix things up. Not so hot that the paint dries on the brush, you can actually get stuff done, and there are a whole lot less to do in the gardens, so you have more time to focus on other renovations.

 

We're having a heatwave here in the UK. A heatwave in these parts means it's 25C in my office and I think I'm going to melt. I half expect you to tell me that's your normal winter temperature.

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On 6/20/2020 at 5:44 PM, Elastigirl said:

I count 5 weeks in the dates listed 

 

On 6/20/2020 at 10:55 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Correct, it's five weeks.

I had the dates and weeks wrong in my journal. It's now fixed up.

17 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

 

We're having a heatwave here in the UK. A heatwave in these parts means it's 25C in my office and I think I'm going to melt. I half expect you to tell me that's your normal winter temperature.

:D Correct, but we had a week where it was terribly cold. Around 0-3C at night. I half expect you to tell me that's your normal nightly temperature, and not that cold at all ;)

16 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

How's it going?

Hi EG.

7 hours ago, Xena said:

Hi Elize 🙂

Hallo Xena.

 

---------------------------------

Sorry for being so quiet. It is still a case of me only getting some of my emails (very little from overseas), our internet being off intermittently, and me being so tired at night that I plop down, and fall asleep, for some or other reason. Most nights I was in bed way before 21h00 and got up at 6am (woke up during the night for various reasons, almost every night); which would explain why I'm still tired although I sleep a lot.

 

We've also switched our school work, and are incorporating Easy Peasy, which for some or other reason is making my brain super tired. The first day of doing E.P. we only finished school work just before 16h00! From the next day the boys put some extra speed on working, we found a new rhythm and way of doing things, and now we finish around 13h00-14h00. We only start at 8h30 though, and take a lot of short breaks, so that is understandable. So we've "started" our new year now, and will finish end of June next year. Then the boys will finish a lot of their subjects at gr.8 level, and languages gr.6-7. Then I need to take it a bit slower with Rocco, but Adam has to continue. I think this "pressure" to reach a certain level by a certain time can also account for some of me being extra tired at night. South African school levels are definitely a grade or two behind US levels.

  • Bible study: every morning
  • Weighing: 91.7kg (finally below 92kg!)
  • Cleaning (the house): floors, dusting, wiping, washing... all done. As well as extra shelves in the kitchen, and extra scrubbing in the bathroom.
  • Fixing: I actually have June-July-August for this
    • Clean windows; done
    • Wash curtains; done
    • Fix dining room table (Brandt) ; done
    • Varnish front door frame;
    • Varnish other wood surfaces as needed - one done, three more to do;
    • Paint security gates properly; (haven't been able to buy paint yet)
    • Paint garage door; (paint shortage ^^^)
    • Replace window putty around glass, and repaint;
  • Sleep: Most nights were in bed before 21h00. Nightly visitors as usual.
  • Exercise: Did only on Wednesday, but I did Jump Rope 20x in between each exercise, for a total of 100x Jump Rope in the end.

---------------------------------

 

The guys have finished digging the trenches and laying fibre cables, but the service is still not available. We've upgraded our internet with a faster adsl line speed and more data, as we nearly ran out of the latter this week. It took three-four days to get hold of people telephonically, because their 'internet service centre' wasn't working properly. But now things seem to be working better, although I'm still not getting any emails from NF, and very few from overseas. Brandt doesn't have the same issue, so I'm wondering whether it might be spam settings on the online mailbox.

 

And as I mentioned in my summary, we've had nightly visitors again. Two and four legged. There were definitely two nights where the young dogs chased someone off our property. They ran over a loose concrete slab, which makes a very specific "thunk" sound, and you must have weight to make it move, so that couldn't have been wild cats.

More animal craziness: the monkeys have grown bold, and we now have to fasten our outside bin lids with those stretch bands with the hooks on. (photo) They tend to raid the bins between 5-6am and the metal lid actually cracked our concrete (broke a small chunk out) when it hit it.

bin.jpg.a101a0c5fc2750d24ad076b67f2eee7d.jpg

 

Don't know whether you remember, but South Africa's very first case of Covid was here in town, just up the hill. Then everything here went quiet, and Covid spread through South Africa. With the cold setting in Covid is spreading a whole lot faster (but not bad), and has come back to our town/city. About 10 new cases were reported this week, mostly from schools (children and teachers), and some from people employed elsewhere.

 

The boys had to help me with the pets last week as I had to take all four (3 dogs and 1 cat) to the vet for their Rabies booster shots, otherwise those very expensive rabies titre tests and 'certificates' from last year, won't be valid for an additional two years (for immigration). That was the very first time the boys went off our property since middle March! They were shocked by the amount of people and traffic in the streets. And very little to no police or traffic police. Everything went quiet on that side since the 'unconstitutional' ruling (and authorities being reprimanded for misusing their positions/power) by the court.

 

Another 'old' friend (she was actually Brandt's brother's girlfriend years and years ago who I only met briefly, but we chatted on and off via Fb), contacted me all of a sudden via Facebook! And curious enough that email notification came through. She and her family moved to Canada two years ago, and she was all of a sudden thinking of me, wondering what we were doing and how things were going. We chatted a bit, she told me a lot about emigrating to Canada, and gave me some pointers. I think Brandt and I might study up in the near future to do our IELTS English tests within the next couple months.

 

And on Brandt's side, he got email replies for positions in New Zealand he had applied for, direct from companies. One was from the manager/owner himself, saying that he would definitely have loved to get Brandt over but due to the Covid rules on travel and them being limited on whom they are allowed to employ, they cannot at this stage consider people from outside NZ. There was nothing about Brandt's age, etc. (which some recruitment agencies have mentioned before), which gave Brandt some much needed hope and encouragement.

 

Otherwise, ja... going on as usual.

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If you move to Vancouver Canada, you will only be a couple of hours drive away from me! I think teaching school can be very tiring, especially when you are using a new curriculum. Woot for all the things checked off on your list!

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Wishing you all the luck on emigration. Really glad Brandt has had some encouragement.

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On 6/27/2020 at 10:48 AM, ElizeElvinFoxRyder said:

Correct, but we had a week where it was terribly cold. Around 0-3C at night. I half expect you to tell me that's your normal nightly temperature, and not that cold at all

 

That's a fairly normal winter night temperature around here. We had it a few times during the spring, too. We'd expect the numbers to be negative in January or February. "Terribly" cold would be below -10C. Of course, our houses are designed to keep the heat in and the breeze out, whereas I expect yours to do the opposite.

 

On 6/27/2020 at 10:48 AM, ElizeElvinFoxRyder said:

The guys have finished digging the trenches and laying fibre cables, but the service is still not available. We've upgraded our internet with a faster adsl line speed and more data, as we nearly ran out of the latter this week.

 

I hope the fibre becomes available for you soon. It really does make a difference. Will there be an unlimited-data fibre plan available?

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On 6/27/2020 at 7:10 PM, Elastigirl said:

If you move to Vancouver Canada, you will only be a couple of hours drive away from me! I think teaching school can be very tiring, especially when you are using a new curriculum. Woot for all the things checked off on your list!

I was wondering how far from the border you (and I) would be.
I think you are right that part of switching curr is what might be tiring me out, because my head is just off at night. From around 20h30-21h00 I can't think. My body isn't so much tired, but my head is definitely not in the game anymore.

On 6/28/2020 at 1:54 AM, Xena said:

Wishing you all the luck on emigration. Really glad Brandt has had some encouragement.

Thank you. It will at the shortest be another couple months before borders are open for normal emigration (at least from September), but we are not putting any hopes on moving before end of the year.

On 6/29/2020 at 1:58 PM, The Hero of Time said:

Of course, our houses are designed to keep the heat in and the breeze out, whereas I expect yours to do the opposite.

Yes, ours is the opposite, although we've added insulation layers which are seriously helping. So we don't have to use heaters, but I've closed most windows, and by 6pm I close doors too, to stop that breeze coming through.

On 6/29/2020 at 1:58 PM, The Hero of Time said:

I hope the fibre becomes available for you soon. It really does make a difference. Will there be an unlimited-data fibre plan available?

They are behind schedule in laying the cables, although our area is nearly finished. We are looking at Metro Fibre (everything goes through the national telecoms company anyway - Telkom), at 25Mbps, uncapped which is the most cost effective. They do have capped and FUP options, but not implementing them at the moment, while they are trying to get more clients. FUP - Fair Usage Policy, where you are supposedly uncapped on data, but if you exceed a certain amount of data usage per month, they throttle your speed and data. They did that to a previous uncapped ADSL plan we had. You are literally paying these companies to throttle your speed and data to a certain amount. At the moment we are on 8Mbps adsl line, capped at 300Gb/month. It's double what we had in data, and more than double what we had in speed, but a serious boost, and we are saving in not renting dvds, etc. Between the boys and Brandt they are watching so many YouTube videos now on anything from old Afrikaans movies, to history channels, animals, etc. I don't know how they take everything in! It must be a man thing. ;)

 

---------------------------------------

Guys I am seriously having trouble connecting to NF! This is the first time this week that I could connect, and I still haven't received any email notifications about your threads. I don't have a problem connecting to Easy Peasy, or some other international sites, but I do have a problem receiving emails. Brandt has no issues. I've checked my email account, spam folders, etc. and there is nothing. Nothing is set up, nothing has been stopped. I'm not even getting emails through from Paypal! But Facebook for some or other reason has no problem connecting. Yesterday's emails only came through late last night. There were financial messages which were sent early morning so I could reply during the day, and the people could act through the day, but I only got it after 7pm last night! I don't know what is going on. So for now I'm just basically going to lay low w.r.t. NF. I'm going to change some of my emails over to my Gmail account and see whether that changes anything. Otherwise I'll probably have to look at my browser setup.

 

Otherwise... Exercise fell a little out of the bus this week, as I had to rush into town to buy and do stuff for Brandt. He is taking part in his first race this weekend, with the built car. It is unofficial, called a practice race. He'll be towing the Celica there (about an hour normal drive away) with the Mazda. The boys and I are not going along, as they'll be in the fields and between sugar cane (although that's probably burned by now) and not where we can watch.

 

The boys are doing well with the new school work, but it is a lot more work. The fencing coach won't be able to give fencing lessons until September, but she is trying to set something up via Zoom on a bi-weekly basis. Adam won't be continuing with horse riding, as the horse he rode had to be put down due to a tumour, and the other horses are too small (not high enough for his length/weight, they fall under the tall pony class). So that won't start again either. There are other riding schools, but we'll rather just wait and see what happens later the year. They might also join the trampoline group, if that place opens again. That is also a big if.

 

I'll be trying to finish the varnish-work this weekend, and also have another book to proof read. I've done our tax year end financials, just have to send that to the accountant, but also still waiting for tax certificates (via email) from financial companies (don't even try land post, that isn't working at all). I have to finish other monthly financials, but it is basically up to date. Everything is going on, up to date. Even Corona is just moving along. Apparently our numbers for infections have risen quite a lot, but nothing is serious, or very few people are seriously ill. *shrug* I'm not keeping up with that at the moment.

 

Oh and since Brandt started (and stopped, and changed his exercise plans multiple times and goes on with some mix weights, BW exercises, etc.) seriously training at the start of Corona, he has lost 10kg+ (March-June).

  • Bible study: every morning
  • Weighing: 91.7kg (didn't weigh this week)
  • Cleaning (the house): floors, dusting, wiping, washing... all done.
  • Fixing:
    • Varnish other wood surfaces as needed - hopefully this weekend;
    • Paint security gates properly; (Brandt needs to buy anti-rust paint, and he wants a specific brand, which he can't get at the moment)
    • Paint garage door; (paint shortage ^^^)
    • Replace window putty around glass, and repaint (August-ish);
  • Sleep: Most nights were in bed before 21h00 (one night 21h38-ish when I switched off my light). Nightly visitors NOTHING! Whole neighbourhood is quiet. Neighbourhood watch started again on some nights.
  • Exercise: Did most on Tuesday, then had to rush out. Did some jumping and tire pulling on Wednesday (3x30), and some jumping on Thursday, but nothing else. Some jumping again this morning (Friday).

So that's it in a nutshell. I'll try to look in on your challenges, but no promises. I'm thinking of you though, and praying for you. Stay safe, enjoy yourselves, and don't be too naughty! ;) :love_heart:

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11 hours ago, ElizeElvinFoxRyder said:

Oh and since Brandt started (and stopped, and changed his exercise plans multiple times and goes on with some mix weights, BW exercises, etc.) seriously training at the start of Corona, he has lost 10kg+

 

Wow, that's pretty amazing!

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On 7/3/2020 at 6:55 PM, Elastigirl said:

Glad you were able to check in. Do you think your email is going to spam?

Got in! No, I checked my email online and in the program that I download email to my computer with, and there is nothing in junk/spam, and there are no filters set up to do things automatically. Emails just don't seem to come through from some sites. I reported it to our email provider now, but haven't heard from them yet. I don't know whether it has something to do with the safety setup of my internet browser, that it doesn't let options that I click on go through? *shrug* Otherwise I've been able to connect to the internet regularly yesterday and today, so I'll try NF tomorrow again.

On 7/3/2020 at 9:20 PM, Xena said:

 

Wow, that's pretty amazing!

He is visibly thinner and more muscled.

 

----------------------------------------

Brandt took part in his first (unofficial practice race) dirt rally race this Saturday past, with Skedonk that he'd been building up over the last couple years. He was so thrilled when everything held and lasted and they could finish that he even sent me a text message afterwards.

 

I didn't get much done over the weekend, as I got stuck in figuring out what/how much school work must be done for Easy Peasy (now and for high school). Luckily there were a number of USA HS moms who answered and helped me. They also helped me with information about online schools/institutions; how it works with regards to age and grade levels, and I'm happy to say that we are all much calmer. The one lady also had me test Adam's silent reading as well as him reading out loud, and silent he is much faster and at a higher reading level than out loud! So that was a huge relief. It took most of Saturday, and by night time my head was so "dof" that I fell in bed around 20h00. Well I was up well before 5h00 am which was also a reason for being tired.

 

Sunday a friend came over to get advice about homeschooling their two daughters. They are serious about it, and with the current atmosphere and changes government propose to make to schools, not even mentioning that they close and open the various grade levels almost weekly due to new Covid cases, they aren't interested in sending the two little girls back to school. They are also planning to emigrate.

 

It was m.i.l.'s birthday Saturday morning, and I reminded Brandt early (before he left for the race) to phone her. I didn't speak to her at that stage, opting to phone later, as Brandt had woken her up with his call. And of course I nearly forgot. Only phoned her just before going to bed that night. She was happy and friendly, and had a good long chat with both boys. She turned 76. I'm having a good hard look at my attitude; I'm not going to 'protect' myself against what she may say when we talk, I'm not going to be on the defense; I'm trying not to be so negative. These last couple years have made me very negative w.r.t. family and relations in general.

 

The boys and I are trying to do 100 jumps (jumping jacks or jump rope) on the three days that we don't do the exercises. We got it done today. Not much else.

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lots of Winning in that news espacially for Brandt.

 

I think its great that your doubling down a little on exercise.  

 

I've done plenty of jumping jacks but very little jump rope.  the stuff I remember is as a kid I had a hard time keeping it coordinated, and I looked on others with envy (as they fluidly and gracefully jumped the rope).

 

hmm

 

maybe some day I might want to adopt that in my routine. maybe.

 

how does it compare to other stuff? burpees, planks, yoga? 

 

since I've never mastered it, I don't even have a clue on whether its quite athletic; or when you get coordinated pretty easy and relaxing.

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