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Valkyrie The Dungeon Master


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A party of adventurers, five in total, gather round a table, two in physical proximity, and three via mystical and magical means, known only as "Zoom." A sixth member sits at the head of the table, obscured from vision by a screen painted with dragons on one side and inscribed with supposedly important information on the other.  The sound of dice on the wooden table is followed by a muttered, "Oh, shit," as the dice rolls off the table and the errant adventurer retrieves her dice of destiny from the floor and rolls again, this time into a velvet-lined bowl created just for this purpose.

 

"Nat twenty!" The halfling adventurer crows, and the sixth member at the table, the Dungeon Master, describes, with glee, the success of the Halfling Rogue's sneak attack on the unsuspecting goblins by the roadside. The Paladin, a moody and dour human with a nifty eagle familiar (because, homebrew), has witty repartee with the water-wielding Tiefling wizard, while the Druid gnome is following his slightly pointed nose into trouble, as per usual. Nearby, the Dragonborn ranger is keeping a sharp eye on the short members of the party, who she is sure are incapable of taking care of themselves, they are so very small, afterall.

 

The DM, well...she's furiously trying to keep up with where they are in the in the quest, because it's like herding cats, getting confused about the layout of the map she drew, answering questions she doesn't know the answer to, and generally making things up as she goes along. Two hours flies by in the blink of an eye, and the adventurers spent most of it chasing down an unnamed NPC that the DM accidentally put too much emphasis on and is now canonically an integral part of the plot, even though they were just supposed to be extra flavor. 

 

Every other Sunday, at 10 AM Mountain Time (a very specific time on a very specific day in order to accommodate a player in Alaska, Minnesota, Ireland and the three in Utah), a group of family and friends who are family gather physically and digitally round the table to play DND. My parents played before I was born, my brother is a DM for his friend group in MN(and is probably really fucking good at it, because he's super smart and creative, but he is only encouraging and helpful while I learn how to do this), while my husband in Ireland, my best friend in Alaska, and myself, Valkyrie, have never, ever played DnD. So, of course, I volunteered to DM (alpha gamer here, if there's a vacuum in leadership, I will fill it, whether I'm qualified or not...*shrug* blessing and a curse haha) and now we play every other week. It's a way to be close despite all of the miles between us, and it's the best. I don't have anywhere to talk about our exploits, so I thought I might share our biweekly adventures here, alongside normal "challenge-y" stuff! 

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Challenge-y Stuff: Breaking Things Into Bite-Sized Pieces So I Don't Spiral Into Anxiety And Inaction

 

  • Bedtime
    • 8 hour sleep window every night, including weekends (this means in bed by 8 pm on weekdays so I can chill for an hour and play on my Switch or read, and go to sleep at 9 pm, and probably 10 pm on weekends because I wake with the sun, no matter when I go to bed)
  • Morning Routines (MWF and TR) 
    • Gym M/F mornings, leave by 5:35 am, and W nights, leave by 5:10pm 
    • W is early work day, leave by 6 am
    • T/R get up by 5:30 am, school from 6-7 am, walk 7-7:30, drive to work. 
  • Eating For Success
    • Drink 80-100oz water (use tape method to keep track and stay on top of it) 
    • Loosely track to ensure enough protein and general intake 
    • 20+g Fiber, 120g+ protein

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Tuesday, May 11th 

 

bedtime: 8 hour sleep window ✅

morning routine: woke up at 5:30, studied for an hour and got a 15 minute walk in. ✅

eating for success: 128 G protein, 23 g Fiber ✅

 

Excerpt from The Lost Mines Of Phandelvin:

Ború the Paladin has had enough of goblins, enough of this tiresome fighting, and in a fit of righteous pique, draws three crossbow bolts from his wrist crossbow, tosses them in the air, and swings his mighty sword like a deadly baseball bat. The arrows zing through the air, cutting down the remaining goblins, who were kind of hanging by a thread anyway, and the rest of the adventurers are left somewhat stunned, with exclamations of victory combined with “I can’t believe that worked!” Amazing what a creative mind and a nat  20 can achieve.

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Wednesday, May 12th

Today I failed forward- nothing went right, but I rolled with it. I stayed up too late but for a good reason, reconnecting with my brother. Then I couldn’t get to sleep, so I ended up sleeping in till the last minute this morning, missing my morning routine, and still only snagging 5.5 hours of sleep. 
I got pulled over and ticketed because somehow, in the midst of the chaos of last year, I didn’t pay my car registration NINE months ago! But instead of getting upset, I just laughed at my serious confusion (feeling like I would definitely remember doing that, realizing that I didn’t, and staring dumbfounded at the police officer as I tried to process it). Every time I circled round to feeling upset, I actively chose not to be. 
Instead of further taxing my stressed body by going to the gym tonight, and rather than just be sedentary, I took a 20 minute walk with my mom. 
I ate a cookie for breakfast and killed my protein, fiber and water goals, while staying within my calorie range. 
I’m really pleased that all the mindset work I’ve been doing has paid off today, making it a good day, instead of a bad one. 

bedtime: ❎

morning routine: ❎
eating for success: 162 G protein, 20 g Fiber, 80 Oz water ✅

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Thursday, May 13th 

• I got my emissions taken care of so I can make an honest car of my Pontiac at the DMV tomorrow.

• I turned in the hellish school assignment that has me feeling like a dunce.
•  I identified a possible course of action that would allow me to spend a few months in MN with my brother and his family, and my husband was on board.  All good things.

My grandmother is likely dying, and my grandfather is fighting tooth and nail against every suggestion or resource that might help her at home, in a misguided attempt to feel in control of the uncontrollable.  I’m just doing what I can, which isn’t much, and trying to let go of the rest. 

 

bedtime: 8 hour sleep window achieved ✅

morning routine: homework and 15 minute walk ✅ 

eat for success: 163 G protein, 26g fiber, and somewhere between 80-100 Oz water (I lost track after the 3rd 24oz bottle) ✅

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Here for in-over-our-head DM Solidarity.  I am also DMing a family game in which 2 of the players know a whole lot more than me and one of them (my brother) is the one who introduced me to D&D in the first place way back in the 80s.

 

Sorry to hear about your grandmother :( 

 

 

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread   Challenge Log   Bodyweight Exercise Library   Recipe Book   Shuffle Club 

 

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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10 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Here for in-over-our-head DM Solidarity.  I am also DMing a family game in which 2 of the players know a whole lot more than me and one of them (my brother) is the one who introduced me to D&D in the first place way back in the 80s.

 

Sorry to hear about your grandmother :( 

 

 

Are you mentally exhausted by the time you finish a session?  I hope my endurance improves with practice, but right now it takes a looot of brain power! Are you running a premade quest or making your own? We are doing The Lost Mines of Phandelver, with home brew characters- writing a quest was too daunting, though it may be something I work on in my spare time for “someday”. 
 

Thanks ❤️ she has declined suddenly and rapidly, turns out she has lymphoma. She says she wants to fight it, but she isn’t eating or drinking. She’s 86, I think if she doesn’t want to go through chemo, that’s her right, but my grandfather (who is 89 and starting to have cognitive decline) is on a power trip born of fear, I think, and bullies her. 

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Friday, May 14th

 

Finished adulting and got my car registered- it took almost 2 hours, and I missed the afternoon gym class, but I got it done. I never knew the car registration was such a big deal, as crazy as that may sound! Everyone I’ve said it to was like, “wow, they didn’t impound your car?!” So, I’m feeling blessed it didn’t turn out badly after all. 
 

im writing this on Saturday, and last night I had a shot of vodka in my homemade orange julius, fully aware that it would jack up my digestion....and it did. Dang it, my body hates alcohol so much. I think I’m prone to inflammation because I have gut problems most of the time- just this week it has normalised for the first time in over a year as I work on cutting out possible inflammatory ingredients (ditching sucralose has changed the game!)...probably should have skipped the vodka. Oh well, live and learn. 

bedtime: 8 hour sleep window achieved ✅

morning routine: read for 45 minutes, not the usual routine but I was caught up on homework ✅ 

eat for success: I didn’t track yesterday, which is okay. Part of my success is not having to track every single day or weigh every gram. I ate with an emphasis on protein(those little tuna cans or seasoned tuna packets are great for a quick protein hit),, had veggies with every meal, and had my fiber cereal with Greek yogurt, which knocks the fiber out of the park. I love that I can feel like I’m winning with flexibility. ✅

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I didn't realize they might impound your car over  registration! I figured you would get a ticket. Funny story: One day we went geocaching. We went to the park and I discoveredd our Discovery Pass was expired( permit that lasts  a year to get into state parks) I told my husband we would have to buy a day pass at the park. He got this horrible look on his face and looked panicked. I assured him it was no biggie, yes the day passes aren't as cost effective, but really no worries. He then said that  he always pays our license tab renewal at the same time as our Discovery Pass, so that meant we were driving with expired tabs! Oops.  He made sure he drove the speed limit that day, and the next day he went to renew. At the DMV, he found out that the DMV had not sent out renewal reminders to anyone over the last 6 months.

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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16 hours ago, x Valkyrie x said:

Are you mentally exhausted by the time you finish a session?  I hope my endurance improves with practice, but right now it takes a looot of brain power! Are you running a premade quest or making your own? We are doing The Lost Mines of Phandelver, with home brew characters- writing a quest was too daunting, though it may be something I work on in my spare time for “someday”. 

Usually very drained, yes :D   I am running 3 games right now, 2 of which are premade modules and one is homebrew (world only, the races, classes, monsters etc. are all vanilla).  I started with Lost Mine which I think is probably the best module for 1st time DMs because it gives you everything right there including treasure, XP, etc.  My other campaign started with Sunless Citadel but they have both now moved on to the Yawning Portal campaigns so I can get multiple run throughs with different groups.  My home brew one is Play-by-Post on Discord, so it moves super slowly and I have plenty of time to prepare everything. 

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread   Challenge Log   Bodyweight Exercise Library   Recipe Book   Shuffle Club 

 

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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19 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

I didn't realize they might impound your car over  registration! I figured you would get a ticket. Funny story: One day we went geocaching. We went to the park and I discoveredd our Discovery Pass was expired( permit that lasts  a year to get into state parks) I told my husband we would have to buy a day pass at the park. He got this horrible look on his face and looked panicked. I assured him it was no biggie, yes the day passes aren't as cost effective, but really no worries. He then said that  he always pays our license tab renewal at the same time as our Discovery Pass, so that meant we were driving with expired tabs! Oops.  He made sure he drove the speed limit that day, and the next day he went to renew. At the DMV, he found out that the DMV had not sent out renewal reminders to anyone over the last 6 months.

Oh noo, poor Mr. Incredible! That moment of dawning realization is terrible. I was told that the DMV quit sending them for a short time, nobody paid their registration, and they’ve since recommenced sending reminders. I’m fairly sure that’s why I missed mine! 

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6 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Usually very drained, yes :D   I am running 3 games right now, 2 of which are premade modules and one is homebrew (world only, the races, classes, monsters etc. are all vanilla).  I started with Lost Mine which I think is probably the best module for 1st time DMs because it gives you everything right there including treasure, XP, etc.  My other campaign started with Sunless Citadel but they have both now moved on to the Yawning Portal campaigns so I can get multiple run throughs with different groups.  My home brew one is Play-by-Post on Discord, so it moves super slowly and I have plenty of time to prepare everything. 

3 is a lot! 
is play-by-post a written version? I’ve done written roleplays for years, but it’s the sort where each person plays a character and we write the story together, no GM. 

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Saturday, May 15th

Routine always goes a little sideways on the weekends, and I’m glad because that means  my mom and I can spend all day on a FaceTime call with my best friend in Alaska, hanging out and playing video games. 
As it was, I went for a 30 minute walk (the only steps I got all day 😹), hit my intake goals and didn’t quite drink enough water. My calories have been a little high the last few days so time to reel it in a little and focus on whole foods to satisfy snackiness. 

 

 

bedtime: 8 hour sleep window achieved ✅

morning routine: Coffee and video games with my two best friends  ✅ 

eat for success: mixed success- got my protein and fiber, but not quite enough water (feeling that this morning 🧟‍♀️) ☑️

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Sunday, May 16th

 

Sunday is my planning and reflection day. 
 

How did the week go: Overall, it went great. Life had a bunch of punches and I rolled with them. I adjusted my expectations and redefined success so that I failed forward and got some important stuff done this week, including making an honest car of my Pontiac, and successfully completing a tricky school project. 
 

8 hour sleep window: 4/6 days 

Morning routine: 5/6

eating for success: 5/6 


 

Area of greatest difficulty:

I didn’t hit the gym but once, and I really am committed to making this a 3x/week thing. It needs to be just “a thing that I do,” where I don’t have to spend a lot of willpower or mental energy, because it’s just what I do on Monday and Friday mornings, and Wednesday afternoons. 
 

How to make sure it doesn’t happen again next week: I’m going with my mom, so I’m going to cement a plan with her, and then I’m going to commit to going either way. I prefer the afternoon class vibe, but the morning class means I don’t have any time to talk myself out of it or for anything to come up, which means 2/3 days I need to go to the morning class. This means, working backward: leave for the gym at 5:30 am, get up at 5:15 am, going to sleep by 9 pm, go to bed to chill for an hour by 8 pm, take supplements and do bedtime routine at 7:50 pm, have lunch and gym bag packed by 7:45 pm. 
 

Next week’s plan:

Bedtime: 8 hour sleep window is my Big Domino, it is the one thing that sets me up for success in every other area. 
 

Routine: Evening routine: All prep done by 7:45 pm, in bed by 8 to play Stardew Valley or whatever and listen to The Adventure Zone, going to sleep by 9 pm. 
Morning routine: Up by 5:15 am, go to the gym at 5:30 M/F, homework and a walk (7-7:30) on T/R, 6:30 am meeting and gym at 5:30 pm on W.


Eating for success: 120g+ protein, 20g+ fiber, 80-100oz water. I track loosely a few to most days a week to keep an eye on overall intake. It’s been a little high the last week so I’m going to track 3/5 days, with a goal for an average of about 1800 calories.
 

Subgoals: 

Gym sessions:  0/3

Walks: 0/2

Loose weekly calorie average: 0/1800


Adulting and other goals:

• start and finish task 2 for SPED class (This can be achieved on T/W/R, especially)

• fill up pots with soil and plant tomatoes (go to plant nursery tomorrow after work) 

• spend 15 minutes cleaning bedroom 3x this week or a total of 45 minutes (at least one session today, Sunday) 0/3

 

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13 hours ago, x Valkyrie x said:

is play-by-post a written version? I’ve done written roleplays for years, but it’s the sort where each person plays a character and we write the story together, no GM. 

Yep, a written version.  Not really that much different from yours except the DM is there to describe the world they interact in (and give them bad guys & monsters to fight to keep things interesting)

 

13 hours ago, x Valkyrie x said:

8 hour sleep window is my Big Domino

I find a good sleep window is like a lynchpin for everything else.  

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread   Challenge Log   Bodyweight Exercise Library   Recipe Book   Shuffle Club 

 

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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21 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Yep, a written version.  Not really that much different from yours except the DM is there to describe the world they interact in (and give them bad guys & monsters to fight to keep things interesting)

 

I find a good sleep window is like a lynchpin for everything else.  

Oh, interesting, I’ve seen people looking for partners for games like that but haven’t tried it before. Sounds way fun, though! 
yep, sleep>pretty much everything else in my book 😹

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bedtime: 8 hour sleep window achieved ✅

morning routine: gym! ✅

eat for success: 152g protein, 33g fiber, 100+oz water ✅

 

gym: 1/3

calorie ave: 1853/1800

 

Hit the gym this morning with my mom, her first time going to class with me, and we killed it! I’m so proud of her for coming with me, it’s definitely outside of her comfort zone, and she did great. 
 

I forgot my packed lunch on the kitchen counter but had some time before I had to be at work, so ran to the store and got fixins for a healthy, high protein breakfast and salad for lunch. Big win over resorting to McDonald’s, or just trying to white knuckle it through the day without food and ending up snacking on all the readily available junky snacks at work. 
 

I got 12.5k steps today...nearly a record for me as I usually hang around 5-7k a day, so that was cool, too! 

FFA971FC-5C2E-4DFF-8E09-0479EC53E4F5.jpeg

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Tuesday, May 18th

So many great things today! foremost on my mind is the fact that I planted a potted garden today! I went to the nursery, I picked my plants, then I went to the garden guy and said, “I don’t have a clue how to get started. Can you help me?” And you know what, he did! He even gave me big black pots for free, I think they were for trees or something, and it really cut down my cost. He showed me what potting soil, mulch and plant food to get, explained how to mix everything and how much to water (less than I thought!, everything I needed to get started. Then, I came home. Now, I’m the kind of woman who starts a load of laundry, fully intending to see it through to being hung up and put away in the closet, and it ends up moldering  in the washing machine, or getting wrinkled as it sits, forgotten, in the dryer. I was determined that these baby plants would not meet the same fate as the bell pepper and tomato plants I bought last year and never planted.


So, I went to work dragging out the old wheelbarrow so I could mix my dirt. I knocked over my dad’s table saw and broke the cabinet it’s mounted on...sorry dad, I’ll help you fix it. Mom and I hoisted it back to rights,  and then I loaded up my wheelbarrow with my dirt and plants and...discovered the wheelbarrow had a flat tire. It’s 80 degrees, I’m sweating, I haven’t taken a minute to chill since getting off work...and I found the air compressor, freed the hose from the tangle of death trap bicycles (are you getting the impression my parents’ garage needs to be organized? Me too.), and fill up the tires. After that, it was just a matter of mixing the dirt (talk about functional fitness!), filling the pots and planting the plants. 

 

Afterward, I made dinner, took a shower, and had an amazing 45 minute FaceTime conversation with a lady I know through a group on Facebook. She’s an author, and I’m a writer, and she talked to me about the structure of story and her process for getting to a point where it’s a story and not just an idea. It was really helpful for me and I’m excited to read some books on the craft and apply it to my novel idea(s)! 
 

Today is a day that shows me how far I’ve come. I gardened in short shorts and my sports bra because it was HOT and I was super comfortable in my own skin, little belly rolls and all. BB74DA58-17DC-4276-9D2C-448ED29420F5.thumb.jpeg.9b876915c51867ef5f6b3e5503054003.jpeg


Gardening is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but never did due to intimidation and lack of initiation, and I did it in one go, all the way through to the end, and I didn’t get frustrated or lose my temper when things didn’t go quite smoothly.  I’m super happy how it all turned out! 5B31104C-8E38-43DE-98BD-CCC00EEC08E6.thumb.jpeg.df0d240e1e09b172e65debabd382c253.jpeg

 

And, I went out of my comfort zone and talked to a lady who knows how to do what I want to do, and I learned a lot. I also got over 12k steps again! 2 days in a row...who am I?! I’m Valkyrie Managing Her Mindset and it’s fucking great. 


bedtime: 8 hour sleep window achieved ✅

morning routine: homework and morning walk ✅

eat for success: 115g protein, 24g fiber, ~80oz water, didn’t keep good track. Gonna call this a win because 115 loosely tracked could be 110 or could be 120, the effort was there. ✅

 

 

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All the wins! One thing about gardening,  you really have to roll with the punches, because there is so much to go wrong. Did you read my post about how I bought Kale, and one day later rabbits ate it ALL? I hope your plants grow big and healthy. Last year, we built a garden shed. Our garage sounds a lot like your parents, so you now understand why I love my garden shed so much

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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11 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

All the wins! One thing about gardening,  you really have to roll with the punches, because there is so much to go wrong. Did you read my post about how I bought Kale, and one day later rabbits ate it ALL? I hope your plants grow big and healthy. Last year, we built a garden shed. Our garage sounds a lot like your parents, so you now understand why I love my garden shed so much

Yes, I did, those naughty rabbits!! We don’t have rabbits here, that I can tell, but plenty of nosy birds. Will you get more kale or is that a lost cause this season?

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Wednesday, May 19th

I slept badly and have been up since 3:30, but I got a bunch of homework done before work, so that was a win. 
I also made no knead bread dough before I left for work, and that’s why my sleep tonight and morning routine tomorrow will look a little different because I forgot to get it shaped and baked at 6 pm so I’ll be up a little later tonight. It’s got half a wedge of Romano grated in it, cannot let it go to waste 😹🤷‍♀️
 

I finished a book tonight that I highly recommend to anyone who loves magical realism, emotions, and beautiful story telling. It’s called A Million Junes, by Emily Henry and it was so good.  
 

I don’t normally consume media that makes me feel my feels...I have so many feels 😹 and truly, I sobbed at the end of this book, but not out of sadness, just because I felt such a huge volume of emotion, and I’m out of practice, I think. I need to read more, to let myself be open to the love and hurt and beauty in the world that can be found in fiction, rather than avoid it out of fear of discomfort. anyway, this was a really good one. 6FB4BAAA-CA27-429C-9F58-7F3B67FCCDA7.thumb.jpeg.a825e26f03d91ba04a63c348e9cd13c2.jpeg
 

bedtime: I went to bed at 10 and woke up at 3:30...most unfortunate. ❎

morning routine: homework, but no gym because no sleep ✅

eat for success: 127g protein, 25g fiber, ~100oz water ✅

 

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1 hour ago, x Valkyrie x said:

Will you get more kale or is that a lost cause this season?

Probably not. By the time  I planted what I  had , my garden was full. If something else is eaten or dies, then maybe

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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On 5/19/2021 at 11:18 AM, x Valkyrie x said:

I gardened in short shorts and my sports bra because it was HOT

But, but, but...  The SUN????  How did you not get completely lobstered?

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread   Challenge Log   Bodyweight Exercise Library   Recipe Book   Shuffle Club 

 

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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