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MrsVan - I'm Baaaacccckkk! ... without the aliens


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"Hello Guys and Girls... I'm back!"

 

I just couldn't help myself... whenever I hear the words "I'm back" I think of the scene in Independence Day where the dad tells the aliens, "Hello Boys! I'm baaaack!" (2:08 in the clip) Luckily I'm not in the fight of my life, and there are no aliens.

 

There are also the iconic words of Arnold, "I'll be back." Here is a compilation if you can't remember them.

 

Any similar sentiments in other movies/scenes you can think of? Don't be shy, share them here.

 

Didn't really plan on this being the theme, but *shrug* it is as good as any to start a challenge again after being off Nerd Fitness for about a year. I took a break from a lot of things though. For as much as there were changes a lot stayed the same however. We're still homeschooling; I'm still shooting; I never got around to sword training but hoping to change that now... We can catch up during the challenge ahead, because you know I like chatting and using this as a sort of diary to boot. I would really like to catch up with you.

 

So the deal behind my training is (there might be smidges of t.m.i. in the paragraph ahead - be warned): I do it to keep strong and be able to keep up with two teenager boys, as well as join hubby on longer shooting days and just enjoy life in general with him/them. Obviously if I'm fit, strong, healthy and can think, I can tackle life a whole lot better. Certain times I'm not going to feel like training, and that's ok, but I would prefer to get something in, rather than nothing. Then again, that time of the month I often skip the whole week as I seem to be going into peri-menopause, and although I don't have a lot of symptoms, what I have is enough, I don't have to force myself through exercise when I'm not up to it. I don't have to prove anything to anyone, and I'm comfortable in my own skin now.

 

Strength Training:

Mondays:

Warm Up:

  • Star Jumps 20x
  • High Knees X Elbows 20x

Training:

  • Deadlifts
    • 3x5 @ 24kg;
    • 2x5 @ 30kg;
    • 1x5 @ 34kg (this set is a new addition)
  • The Arnold Presses and Skull Crushers form a mini-circuit. I do 5 of each for 3 sets. So 5 AP's followed directly with SC's as one set.
  • Arnold Presses (huh, the video above fits right in now)
    • 2x5kg db
  • Skull Crushers (standing with dumbbell above my head)
    • 1x5kg db
  • Side Lunges (are on their own - not part of a circuit) 2x10
  • Pushups (knees at this stage) and Mountain Climbers also form a mini-circuit. I do 5 PU's, followed directly with 10 MC's (each leg 10) as one set. I do this for 3 sets.
  • Pushups (knees are fine if I'm tired) 5x
  • Mountain Climbers (each leg) 10x

Cool Down:

  • Hang at least 1x5sec, but try for more. This is more to stretch my back than anything else.
  • Downward Dog walkout-cobra stretch-walkin-up
  • Sit-Twist stretch

 

Fridays:

Warm Up:

  • Star Jumps 20x
  • High Knees X Elbows 20x

Training:

  • Walking Lunges (preferably outside) with Farmer's Carry: 2x10 @ 2x5kg db
  • Dumbbell Halo's (straight arms above my head): 2x10 @ 1x5kg db
  • Tire Jump Squats (or just broad jump squats depending on the weather) 1x10
  • Scapular Pulls 1x5

Cool Down:

  • Downward Dog walkout-cobra stretch-walkin-up
  • Sit-Twist stretch

 

Sword Training:

I can't remember whether I've bought the decorative sword before I left NF, but I bought a Stainless Steel sabre like sword for a steal at a local security shop. Rocco will be helping me with footwork and other movements, as well as teach me how to duel. *Insert big eyes and one very wary mom* He is still taking fencing lessons and although his epeé training (attacks and parries) is a lot different than "old military style sabre fencing", the footwork and some things are the same. He is so looking forward to us training together on a Saturday. I'm... carefully optimistic with a dash of apprehension 🤔. In later months I'm going to mix the "military sabre" with a bit of "Han Dao". I've worked out a rough 34 week plan in general, but herewith the first 4-5 weeks. Pretty mundane. I'm going to train left and right to balance things out as much as I can. Don't know if I can do it, or will just confuse myself.

 

Saturdays: One Handed Cut & Thrust Sword

Warm Up:

  • Star Jumps 20x
  • Scabbard: unsheathe / sheathe (safely) 20x

Footwork:

  • Fwd/Back steps 20x
  • Step Lunge 10x
  • Advanced Lunge 10x

Basics:

  • Wrist Circles (small to big to small - clockwise - anticlockwise) 20x
  • Wrist Waggles (left to right; up and down) 20x
  • Cuts 1 and 2 (but try the wrap the brain technique from Han Dao) 20x each

 

I think that's it.

  • Like 4

Mrs. Van's Latest Challenge

 

Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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Oh I forgot the learning part... I'm currently doing an unofficial computer security/IT course by making use of a set of free course videos on YT. I've done a basic Computers Diploma years ago, but the IT and Network part was minimal as I focused more on programming and computer user (i.e. MS programs, web design, etc.). For the last while now, a couple months, I've felt compelled to study computer security, etc. so I'm doing that over weekend evenings at the moment. There is no set completion date, but I need to do a little bit every week to keep going. I really feel a push to do this.

 

On the official side of courses I'm busy with three different firearm competency courses which I have six months to finish, but seeing as 60% of the information in the books are the same, and only the individual firearm type differs, I am hoping to finish that by end of May. Each book is less than 60 pages worth of learning, which includes a 4-5 page open test on the topic/firearm. When I've completed the open book tests, I need to arrange formal 1hr tests on each book with our shooting club, through whom I'm doing the competencies, after which I have to do practical shooting at their range.

 

Courses:

  • Computer Security
  • Competency 1: Manual rifle/carbine (Bolt action .22) - completed
  • Competency 2: Self loading rifle/carbine - start now
  • Competency 3: Shotgun

 

Last year around 12 May, I applied for a new license for the pistol I changed. I sold my CZ75B, and bought a Grand Power P1. As is the law here, you have to apply for a license for every single firearm you buy. I'm supposed to have the license done and back with me within 3 months of application. It will soon be a year. Brandt bought a .22 rifle and handed in his application with mine. He got his license card back two weeks ago, and has set up the .22 with scope this past weekend. My f.a. is still at the shop as I'm not allowed to use it until I have my license. In the meantime I practice with Brandt's Grand Power K100, which is exactly like mine, except his barrel is a bit longer. I'm irritated to say the least.

 

So at the end of each week I need to report back on Strength training, Sword training, and Courses.

 

  • Like 5

Mrs. Van's Latest Challenge

 

Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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I was a bit surprised when you messaged me back right away that I decided to wait until you returned! 

 

Wowza for the amount of workouts. Here to cheer you in with all your goals!!

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Larger than Average Fairy Druid Level 1

10 STR / 8 DEX / 10 CON / 13 INT / 13 WIS / 17 CHA

(DnD Stats)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm so glad you are back.

the lion king hug GIF

 

I'm excited for your sword training, I bet that's going to be fun. 

I missed you all and will hopefully catch up to what shenanigans you have been up to.

Rocco is super excited about sword practice with me. He had this mischievous grin and promised not to push me harder than I push them on their strength training... So there is a hard time ahead of me :D Naahh, he is excited and I'm looking forward to it. The sword is heavy as it is ornamental and not really made for sparring. We'll see how it goes. It is in it's scabbard in the photo, but has a flat edge on top, and cutting edge on the bottom, so a thrust and slice sword. I took the red tussle off the handle, and then covered the grip in tennis racket grip tape, as the metal was hurting my hands. It looks almost like black leather, but not quite. At least now it's comfortable to hold for longer periods of time. Rocco will still be using his epeé though.

31b-Swaard.jpg.20bfe94a35746f211b5f9fbc2949a1d1.jpg

1 hour ago, Fairly_Bouncer said:

I was a bit surprised when you messaged me back right away that I decided to wait until you returned! 

 

Wowza for the amount of workouts. Here to cheer you in with all your goals!!

That was really a big coincidence! I was thinking a lot of NF and you guys that morning, and I thought for some or other reason let me just check my emails, as I don't have the email programme open all the time. And there was the email from you! So I answered right away. Thank you for sending the message, I really appreciate it.

1 hour ago, Elastigirl said:

Welcome back!!!!

Hallo! So glad to see you are still going strong. I missed our chats so much. Those pistol squats are impressive, as always.

 

  • Like 2

Mrs. Van's Latest Challenge

 

Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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Welcome back! That's awesome that you're taking up sword training; can't wait to hear how it goes.

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Level 16 Wood Elf Ranger

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15 hours ago, Jarric said:

Welcome back! That's awesome that you're taking up sword training; can't wait to hear how it goes.

Thank you! I hope my son takes it easier on me. We are both looking forward to it.

 

---------- 00 ----------

Update for Monday:

I did do my strength training yesterday, but not everything, partly due to me not concentrating on how much weights I put on the deadlift bar, and partly because I was a bit tired. Ok, very tired, as it had been one of those nights again where there were alarms going off in the street, a short while later there were unknown gate sounds from neighbours (we were scared they were being broken into - but it was safe), and then I just couldn't fall asleep again until an hour before I had to get up just before 6am.

Star Jumps - done

High Knees X - done

Deadlifts: 2x5 @ 20kg (instead of 24kg), then 2x5 @ 30kg. Did NOT do the new heavier set

Arnold Presses & Skull Crushers circuit - done

Side Lunges - done

Pushups & Mountain Climbers circuit - only two sets NOT three

Hang - 1x5sec

Downward dog - done

Sit-twist stretch - done

 

T.m.i. warning - Peri-menopause and related issues

I'm supposed to have started yesterday, but alas it is one of those months again where the date is off. This is one of the few issues that I'm struggling with. How strong or long/short it is have also changed, as well as no cramps! And the latter two is because of food changes I've made. Night sweats also stopped short, except on days where I have more than 3 mugs of coffee for the day. So food wise - we've gone Carnivore as a family. The only 'vise' Brandt and I are struggling with, which has a very minimal impact on us, is the coffee. So I really have no complaints except being irregular.

 

Food: Carnivore - Health
Just a long story about what we (Brandt mostly) went through health wise, and how we became "carnivores".

Spoiler

I don't know whether you remember, but shortly before I left last year, Brandt was due to have a prostate laser operation. His blood infection counts were sky high; he was having one urinary tract infection after the other; the inflammation in his foot (which all the drs. called gout) kept getting worse and not responding to medication. He was in a great deal of pain - nearly constantly. The laser op was a huge success. Then two weeks later he was back in the hospital - early morning hours - for an emergency appendix problem. The GP was the same one that assisted with his previous op, and immediately phoned the urologist. Brandt's infection counts were sky high again, his inflammation excruciating, and the appendix on the point of bursting - but, thank you Lord! - it hadn't burst. They pumped him full of anti-biotics, did a full blood count and body scans - also of the previous laser op site - and two days later removed his appendix. I couldn't see him until shortly before this op because of Covid and moving him to various sections of the hospital, as they needed to do tests, scans, etc. COVER YOUR ASS from the doctors as they were terrified something had gone wrong during the previous operation. Both doctors said they had no idea why his body kept becoming inflamed either. All went well, and he came home two days after the operation. For a week at home things were fine, then Brandt's foot started swelling again, and back came the inflammation! By now we had changed to being full keto - no carbs of any sort, little sugar (chocolate or cinnamon sugar on pumpkin, etc.) for the boys and myself - no sugar for Brandt.

 

Brandt of course went full research mode (again!) because he couldn't handle the constant pain anymore. None of the medications were helping; drs wanted him to 'live' on pain meds every single day for the rest of his life, which meant he couldn't work properly, to his level, and that was just not a solution. So he came upon Dr. Ken Berry's YT videos during his research. A couple days later he asked me to cut all vegetables and fruit out of his diet. He asked me to listen to the videos, as it was insightful (could also maybe help Rocco), but that he was going carnivore. And that was it.

I listened to the videos - at first very sceptical. I learned a lot, and realised that the constant problem I was having with Rocco's 'eczema skin reactions', his near diabetes state (which the dr. just wanted to give him meds for and he was getting very little sugar in), and Adam's constant pimple infections on his face could maybe be all due to an adverse reaction to ... vegetables! Because veg contain oxalates and other toxins, and maybe this was at the root of our respective problems, not discounting teenage hormones with regards to Adam. Long story short, we've been on carnivore since July 2021, and we are just not going back. The boys and I had the occasional keto bombs or small-small chocolates, until February this year, when we each had a big piece of fudge (as treat coming from uShaka Aquarium) and the three of us had a huge stomach/tox reaction. Adam not as bad, but Rocco and I definitely. Anyway... so Brandt has been pain free since about a week after stopping veg. He went for check ups for both operations, and due to the huge blood infection counts previously, they redid that, and the doctors were amazed/shocked.  His blood work results were apparently wonderful. They told him to just keep doing what he was doing as he told them about going carnivore.

 

Rocco and Adam both lost a tremendous amount of weight. Adam is tall and skinny, while Rocco is still very strong, stockier built than Adam, but definitely a lot leaner. He lost all the pre-diabetes symptoms, he hasn't had any eczema or other skin marks (except when we had the fudge) and they are just so healthy and energetic. I was especially worried about the gray/black marks on the inside of his thighs. Neither Brandt nor I lost drastic weight, maybe 2-3kg over these 10 months, but both of us are a lot leaner. I fit comfortably in some of my smaller clothes, and I can actually see some muscle definition! Little bit of the top abs, obliques, thighs, glutes, biceps. My face is leaner, and I've been told that I'm starting to look younger, my skin looking better and healthier, then the bonus was the peri-menopause that improved drastically.

 

This is where we are at now. I frequently watch Dr. Ken Berry's videos to make sure I haven't missed something for either one of us, and listen to dr. Paul Saladino, as well as Dr. Anthony Chaffee's informative videos as well. We have eggs and meat for breakfast, the boys have something like biltong (jerky) or some other meat for lunch, and then of course we have some sort of meat for dinner. We stop eating at 7pm, and breakfast for the boys are around 7am. Brandt and I only eat twice a day now (9-10am breakfast and then 5-6pm dinner with the boys). I occasionally only have one meal a day when I feel that I'm definitely not hungry. We don't limit ourselves to only beef, but eat beef, lamb, mutton, chicken, pork, and every now and again fish. As we are eating more red meat, our Omega 3 is also more, so we don't actually crave so much fish/seafood. We eat butter and dairy (milk and cream, and cheese for the boys) as it doesn't cause any reactions for any one of us. The closest we come to vegetables are whatever are in the spices I use for the meat. I'm very careful with what I buy to put on the meat, but there are some 'cleaner' options. It does look like in this regard, we are leaning more and more to plain Himalayan salt, with no flavourants. And Brandt and I are still drinking coffee, but we've again cut drastically back to ~3 mugs a day. Otherwise water, which we also don't need a lot of any more.

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Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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Wow, I'm so glad you found something that worked for your family. I remember how sick Brant was.  That's interesting, because a lot of times with gout they tell you to eat less red meat! I've always been a bit skeptical of that advice, because red meat is so nutrient dense. 

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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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On 5/3/2022 at 2:55 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm so glad carnivore works so well for your family, that sounds like amazing results.

Thank you. I look at the three men and can't believe everything that has happened. The boys saw the pain Brandt went through, they also saw the pain his mom went through due to overweight (back issues), and then three back operations later, and said, "Nope! You want us to eat different, we'll try our best. " It's been difficult for us to cut back on sugar and certain veg which we loved, but it's just for the better. At one time I made carrots and gem squash for the gardener and cleaning lady, as side to their meat - lunch, and Rocco asked whether he could have some. He had maybe two bites of carrots and half a gem squash (those smallish round pumpkin types). The very next day he had those eczema type marks on his arms and it took nearly two weeks to clear! Now even Eric (gardener) and Nosipho (c.lady) only get meat here.

On 5/3/2022 at 5:33 PM, Elastigirl said:

Wow, I'm so glad you found something that worked for your family. I remember how sick Brant was.  That's interesting, because a lot of times with gout they tell you to eat less red meat! I've always been a bit skeptical of that advice, because red meat is so nutrient dense. 

Yip, in those beginning times we cut down on red meat, meat in general, Brandt stopped drinking red wine, cut out all the night shade vegetables (potatoes, peppers, etc.), and nothing helped. Even coffee! Some people (this goes back to pre-generations of where your ancestors came from) just can't seem to tolerate vegetables, like others can't tolerate dairy (like you - and cream giving me sinus). Some are ok on veg. Anyway... It is now basically 10 months that Brandt has been 99% carnivore (except the coffee), and he hasn't had a day's problem again! Dr. Berry has some videos on the research on meat, and he was shocked by the bad research/data, and how the summary of the results didn't really portray the results. That's what I like about his videos, he explains it that even blonde me can understand most of the time. :D

---------- 00 ----------

I haven't done any studying this week as I realised that I had made some serious mistakes in calculating the boys' rolling points calculations in the spreadsheets I use for their marks. By 15 June we have to give in middle of the year (end of the year for USA) results, so I sat down and fixed those. It took a couple of hours as I had to go through every table for every subject for both boys. Some subjects have 10% for a part/type of the work, then 30% for another part of the work, and 60% for the tests/lab work/big writing assignments. I calculate up to middle of the year with a result for the first semester, and then calculate second semester with those results (formulas are in, just need to add the respective marks), and added together for a final result for the year (by end November).

 

With regards to the cold/sniffles... We heard beginning of the past weekend, that one of Brandt's colleagues had Omicron (he and his whole family). Not a big deal, but Brandt, myself and Rocco spent some time the previous week (two weeks) in his company because he fixed Rocco's computer. I had a big sinus reaction over the weekend, going into Monday. By Monday night it was over. Brandt had a sore throat on Monday morning. He had some Pegasus Anti-Virabac (about three times) then that was over. Rocco had no symptoms - on Wednesday he had a bit of a sore throat. Adam came down with a proper head cold by Monday evening and he finally felt much better yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. I cancelled their sport and art lessons for the week, and we're staying at home. Luckily Brandt works from home, except on a Monday when he goes to one office. So we don't know whether it was Om, but *shrug*, we are lucky that we have options. We are all fine now, but this early winter (ok, it's autumn, but it is COLD) isn't helping things. When we take a break from work, we probably look like lizards scampering over the concrete steps at the back so we each have a place to sit in the sun :D

 

Adam's Smaug drawing compliments of his drawing lessons so far this year. Yes, I'm a very proud Mama. Sorry, it's a bit big. With this project she taught him about shading, textures, and using blocks to know where to copy-draw what - get a perspective on size and position. We'll see where art takes him, but he is definitely interested in possible jobs as gaming artist (or course! *roll eyes*), graphic designer, computer art (later on as extension out of natural art), etc. He is also looking for options of integrating animals and art together.

387630912_30-AdamDraakskets.thumb.jpg.ed1ee7846c081248b107458af4164a15.jpg

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Mrs. Van's Latest Challenge

 

Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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On 5/5/2022 at 10:06 AM, Mr_Willes said:

Just dropping in for a quick hi! Or better Hallo!

Hallo! Hoe gaan dit daar? So bly om van jou te hoor.

 

20 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Tell Adam I'm very impressed with his drawing!

He says thank you.

Do you have a challenge up yet?

 

---------- 00 ----------

I haven't done my exercises for Friday yet, but I hope to do them soon. I have studied some last night, and again very early this morning (4am). Last night I was struggling to concentrate, with the generator going in the background, and the boys and Brandt having to talk loudly over the generator to hear each other. The generator was on because we've been having loadshedding (blackout - no electricity) the whole week at scheduled times. It'll hopefully stop Monday at 5am for now. We have 2 hours loadshedding in the morning, and 2 hours in the evening (different suburbs, towns, etc. on different schedules throughout the country). Luckily some of the weekday mornings' scheduled times are for midnight to 2am, or 2am to 4am, so that doesn't affect us as much, but all the afternoon/evening schedules obviously affect us. Luckily after the floods in our province a couple weeks ago, we have enough petrol available again. At that time they stopped loadshedding for the worse affected areas (we were affected but still had loadshedding), and only sold limited amounts of petrol (gasoline).

 

I have finances to do tonight or over the weekend, then also have to drop my mom's stuff off at the home tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning Brandt and I are also hoping to go shooting at the small indoor range as he'll be away for the following two weekends there after. As I don't have my new license (or f.a.) yet, I'm not allowed to shoot without him (fully licensed) there, as I practice with weapons that are registered in his name. This range is hoping to start a club for adults as well as kids. We'll definitely let the boys register and learn all the ins and outs of safe f.a. use. If there is one thing that last year's riots in town showed us, it is that everyone should be able to defend themselves with force when necessary.

 

That's all for now. Hope you guys and girls have a good weekend. We'll chat again soon.  👋

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Mrs. Van's Latest Challenge

 

Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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Updates

Friday:

Star Jumps 20x - done

High Knees X Elbows 20x - done

Walking Lunges (outside) with Farmer's Carry: 2x10 @ 2x5kg db - done

Dumbbell Halo's (straight arms above my head): 2x10 @ 1x5kg db - done (think I leaned too much to the left, because left shoulder a bit stiff this morning)

Tire Jump Squats (or just broad jump squats depending on the weather) 1x10 - did not do

Scapular Pulls 1x5 - done (or might have been this one that hurt my shoulder? I struggled getting form right.)

Downward Dog walkout-cobra stretch-walkin-up - done

Sit-Twist stretch - done

 

Did study - Book B: Self-Loading Rifle

 

Saturday: Sword Training

Star Jumps 20x - done

Scabbard: unsheathe / sheathe (safely) 20x - done, this is rather difficult, as I'm trying the Aikido way with regards to sheathing, because I want to use the sheathe later on as part of defense. I also practiced sheathing in between the different movements.

Fwd/Back steps 20x - done

Insert: I forgot the basic lunge 20x - done

Step Lunge 10x - done

Advanced Lunge 10x - done

Wrist Circles (small to big to small - clockwise - anticlockwise) 10x each direction - done

Insert: Figure 8 or Infinity Circles 10x L-R - done

Wrist Waggles (left to right; up and down) 20x - done

[Cuts 1 and 2 - 20x each - only from week 3]

 

Oh my word, I am going to be so sore tomorrow! When I practiced with my strong arm/leg, I made longer lunges, and I could feel it pull on the hamstring. I practiced left-side as well but took more care. I couldn't help but start laughing at myself knowing what will be coming tomorrow. 😁😭 Rocco was a great sport and first showed every foot movement for me, then practiced some with me. We won't be sparring for a while yet. This is a really great whole body exercise IF you practice both sides and not just your strong side.

 

We went as family to the indoor shooting range first thing this morning, and spent almost 2 hours there. We basically gave them a once over on the pellet gun again (they have experience shooting this), and then Brandt gave them a proper training in safely handling, loading, and unloading the new Marlin .22 rifle. It has a huge scope which makes shooting very easy and smooth. I helped with stance, breathing, grip, extra safety instructions... Both boys said they had a great time, and that shooting in real life is so much different from shooting in a game, except for aiming through the scope. Then Brandt and I took turns with the .22 and the 9mm. We'll probably only do a family weekend once a month due to time and other commitments, and then only focus on one weapon (either .22 or 9mm) on that day. The pellet is for in between shooting, warm up, and aiming. It's just fun while waiting. Adam commented on the way home that he'll watch more of the loading/unloading scenes in the (good) first person shooter games thoroughly so that he can start to identify the various actions (the way that the bullet is loaded, casing expelled, and new bullet is pushed into the chamber). Brandt agreed that some of the games they play have excellent scenes that depict that (lever action, bolt action, pump action, self-loading semi or fully automatic, etc.)

 

Now it's almost 4pm. I'll start with finances, then start dinner, etc. and see about some more studying.

Hope you have a good weekend.

XXX

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Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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I was actually not sore at all after Saturday's Sword Training, but the crick in my neck/back shoulder is more likely from sleeping funny. It is better after some more neck stretches and rubs. Also... didn't exercise Monday, but did it today (Tuesday). I was just tired Monday due to our one neighbour having a new puppy. He seems to wake up and start to moan/cry/funny bark/make a racket from around 4am. I nearly used tiredness as an excuse again today, but scolded myself for looking for a way out of exercise, so went on and exercised. Got the boys off their chairs as well, and they did their exercises too.

 

Monday --> done Tuesday:

Star Jumps - done

High Knees X - done

Deadlifts: ALL sets done! Even the heavy one, 34kg, which is the heaviest I've lifted in the last year or two... or three?!

Arnold Presses & Skull Crushers circuit - done

Side Lunges - done

Pushups & Mountain Climbers circuit - ALL done, and full pushups, not on knees, BUT the first two sets I went down almost fully down, but not quite. The last set I got about just before half way down. My arms were tired.

Hang - NOT done. I couldn't grip.

Downward dog - done

Sit-twist stretch - done

 

No fencing for Rocco today as the coach cancelled. That gave me the opportunity to take the car (old Mazda station wagon) in to have someone look at the engine/computer settings, and/or the spark plug leads, and then to go to the aircon place across the narrow alley from them, to have the aircon serviced, etc. At the first mechanic shop the original owner had sold up and I had a hard time trying to explain to the receptionist what I needed checked. The owner/mechanic came over and I explained the situation to him. He told me I was looking for the previous owner, and although they couldn't do the checks I needed, they could have a look old-school-like (no diagnostic machine) and see what they could find. The car is miss-firing on start, and doesn't have power. They think the spark plug leads need to be replaced as they are sparking on the engine, so their rubber cover is broken and spark/electricity is coming out. Brandt thought this might be the issue, but is having trouble finding parts. The mechanic didn't charge me anything!

 

So across the alley to the aircon place. Explained the history and they said they'll check. Put a machine on to check for leaks, couldn't find any. So they serviced the aircon, found that the aircon fan wasn't turning, and they put dye in the unit to do a "dye test". If there is a leak, they'll see it when I take the car back on Friday. The receptionist (owner's wife) gave me the name of a used parts shop in Durban where we might find spare parts. It's been the one thing after the other with the car lately, but then it is a 2001 model and the first owner didn't look after it properly. We've been fixing it up since we bought it a couple years ago, and replaced the front shocks last month. Just that change already makes the drive totally different. Doesn't feel like your insides are trying to hop out of your body when you go over a speed bump anymore.

 

The only place we could find a lot of the spare parts for this car, was in Estonia, Eastern Europe! Unfortunately they can't send anything that is gassed/under pressure via courier airplane, and only via postal services. For our province/town, postal services are out! Doesn't matter whether you have insurance or a tracking number, there is an 80-90% chance your parcel will not arrive, or it will get here missing something. That is if you get it through customs which are years behind schedule. The only way we send and receive things in and outside of the country, is via courier.

 

On a personal note: made an appointment to see the ob/gyn for a long overdue checkup, and they could only fit me in, in July. Then... My friend Francoisana fell yesterday and broke her hip. She should have had the emergency hip replacement this morning. Her daughter in law (old friends of ours) will let me know tonight how it went. R said I could visit, but visiting hours are limited as well as who are allowed in (ICU department). Either way she'll let me know how things are going. This hit me very hard, as Francoisana's health is seemingly failing rapidly the last couple months. I've taken her to town for appointments, or to the shops, whenever her children couldn't, and a couple times she came over to get out of her house and visit (and be peaceful) here with us/me. She was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimers about two months ago, and I was supposed to take her to the dentist this week. R checked, but there wasn't a dentist appointment made yet. In March I helped her with her insurance claim because she couldn't remember who to phone and suddenly couldn't remember some English words to talk to the people. She just started crying. I was able to do everything online for her, and made a note that an Afrikaans assistant should phone her.  A while before that her medication hadn't arrived and I had to phone to get that sorted out. Her children work full time, and they help where they can, and I'm closer, so *shrug*, I really don't mind. It's just hard/sad to see her like this.

PS: Ironing is good to work through things in your mind.

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Nothing challenge related, just life.

 

Running on a bit more than fumes, but I really would like to take a nap sometime today...

 

Neighbour's puppy was in their outside room most of yesterday and his sporadic crying worked on my nerves. At one time I went to the fence between our properties, that is closest to that room (about 5m = 5yards) and just spoke calmly so he could hear me. He quieted down. Their big, adult white shepherd X also came to the fence to greet me. They are keeping the puppy in that room during the day because they are scared someone will jump over their very low front fence and steal him. It is a high probability. Us looking after him on the days they aren't working from home, won't help, because we treat and teach our dogs totally different to how they do, so that would also just cause more trouble for the future, not taking into consideration that we have two small dogs and a cat of our own.

 

Second issue, that time came, late, peri-menopause, and as has been the rule of late, goes on through the night, so I basically woke up around every two hours to go to the bathroom. Then the cat decided around 4h30am this morning that he was very hungry. He ignored Brandt and pushed against me, spinning and rubbing his head against me, until I finally got out of bed (5h30 ish) and fed him. He wolfed his food down. I got back in bed, set the alarm for 6h15, but got up again around 6h05 when the dogs wanted to go out as they've heard people moving in the street. Yes, the neighbours were getting ready to leave, the people across the street were packing their truck to start their day (transport/selling business), etc. So I gave up trying to get those extra 5min. of snooze time in and got up. Sat on the stoep with a hot cup of coffee a little while later. Then started my day in the kitchen.

 

This morning I have to finish proofreading a book for the Australian author I've helped for years now. She sent the book late  Tuesday evening, and we (the other proofreaders and I) have to have it back to her by late this afternoon. I'm 90-93% through, so it's just finishing up, and rechecking one or two chapters I'm not sure I checked thoroughly enough last night. This same author also recommended me to a friend in Aus, whose husband is writing his debut action-drama-little bit of horror story. The wife contacted me about a month ago, and I'll be proofreading that book (85,000-90,000 words) as soon as it has gone through the last big editing phase. The first edits left him apparently with a tremendous amount of work to correct. This will probably only happen around July/August this year.

 

Luckily the boys can just go on with their school work, working mostly independently from me. When they get stuck with something they ask me, I help, and they go back and do it. The curriculum changes we made last year, and this year has taken a lot off my shoulders as they work on the computer, watch video lessons, and the programme tests and marks automatically. Their Afrikaans and English writing, literature, and reading I still have to help with, but again, the new programme works in small increments, so they feel much more confident and able to handle it. Adam's Sharks research paper for English writing is already on 20+ pages and he isn't even halfway yet. He just actually enjoys working on it, especially the way they set up the day's work. Rocco is flourishing with Math and has taken it upon himself to help Adam when the latter gets stuck. I keep an ear out, but for the most part Rocco knows what he is about.

 

This afternoon I'm taking Adam to swimming. He had art lessons yesterday and finished a drawing of Vincent van Gogh. Tomorrow I have to get a couple things in town, as Brandt will be away for a racing event from late afternoon till late Saturday night. The same next weekend.

Love ya, but leaving you now with VvG to ponder on (if you want to).

1078204795_32-AdamVincentvanGogh.jpg.cdb626772d94f118a2d59e11a9f3412a.jpg

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Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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Again, nothing challenge related except I won't be doing my exercises today or tomorrow.

 

Brandt left around 9am this morning and will only be back after 9pm tomorrow night. I went to town to buy stuff, and have the car aircon people check whether they've fixed the Mazda aircon or if there is still a leak somewhere. They seemed to have fixed it, but I have to take it back when they can have the car for a day so they can find the electrical problem to the aircon fan. It isn't getting electricity through. We've also managed to order parts for the Mazda from Estonia (Eastern Europe). It should arrive via courier in two weeks' time. The only things we can't order are gas filled, or things under pressure, as the couriers don't send those via plane; and they don't ship via ship. Now we know these parts are 100% for the Mazda, so there shouldn't be fitting problems.

 

The boys finished up their mini-term today, and they'll be off from school next week. I am proclaiming that I'll be studying AND playing games on the computer for most of this weekend. Oh, I actually have to fix some clothes as well. And I'm going to sleep in tomorrow - Saturday morning. No getting up early!

Huh, just realised that I'll have to get up to make coffee, then I can climb back into bed and enjoy coffee in bed. Seriously time I taught the boys to make coffee with the filter machine.

That (all of it) seems like a plan! 😀

 

Have a good weekend.

 

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Zechariah 4:6

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So... car troubles galore. The Mazda wouldn't start this morning. Brandt fiddled in front and decided it must be the coil taking strain because of the spark plugs/ignition leads giving problems, etc. etc. We are waiting for the spare parts which have to come from overseas, but he could find a coil here in South Africa. It should be here by end of the week, and if that is the problem we should be able to drive again next week. Then again, I'm scared that driving before having all the parts replaced (specifically the ignition leads we are waiting for, which is the main culprit it seems) might damage the car again, and the new coil, so I would rather just wait until everything has been changed and fixed.

 

In the meantime I cancelled the boys' sport for the week as I won't be able to take them. Brandt quickly took me to town to hand in the over locker and sewing machine to be fixed/serviced (what I was going to town for this morning), then dropped me off at home, and left for his client in Hillcrest (just under an hour's drive away).

 

I was able to speak to Francoisana over the phone this morning, and much to her and my shock, I burst into tears. She is doing well, and staying with her younger son and his family until she can cope on her own. When we have a car again, the boys and I will ask to pop in to see her. I'm not sure how long she'll be there for, as she seems to be recuperating superbly after the hip replacement. Mom-in-law is also doing well after her hip replacement the week before Francoisana's. She and Brandt have compared x-rays from their respective metal parts 😀.

 

This is the boys' off week from school and they are enjoying it! Staying up late, playing games, still exercising at home, although now they can't go to the outside sport this week/month. And on that note...

I did not exercise yesterday (Monday), but I have been studying, and doing extra finances (due to all the overseas buying etc. - want to make really sure about what our situation is day to day). Adam and I will walk to his art lessons on Wednesday as it is relatively close to our home.

Hope you have a better week than mine has been so far.

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Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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I walked Adam to art lessons and back, and then there and back again (not in the Shire, but it was a nice enough afternoon) to fetch him. One round trip is approximately 1.5km, so I did 3km this afternoon. Now I'm enjoying my rib eye steak and a mug of coffee. I'll skip Friday's strength training and then do sword training with Rocco on Saturday, seeing as he won't be fencing for two, three weeks. That way we all get some form of exercise in.

Brandt's rally for this Saturday is possibly postponed as the weather bureau is expecting snow and rain showers. We'll just have to see.

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"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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Finished with book B (Self-loading rifle or Carbine) and the open book test. Started book C (Shotgun). I've typed all the questions and answers on the computer (as I've done for every book - my way of studying). All the repeat questions I can answer basically off by heart, but those specifically related to the fire arm (making safe, loading, unloading, diagrams with parts) I need to go through more. Then basically fill in the open book test and I'm done. I can only book appointments for the formal tests when I have a car to travel to the fire arms shop and offices, which is in Howick (about 15-25min via high way). It's their club we belong to, which gets together in a rural area once a month.

 

I am hoping to get hold of our local police station today, specifically the lady in charge of licenses, to find out what is happening with my pistol renewal. It has now been a year since I applied for a 'renewal' on the new fire arm, and I should have received the documents (competency and license cards) within three months of applying.

 

Brandt's rally (off road) race is still on for this weekend. He'll only be away for Saturday. My calves are feeling it a bit since last night due to the walking on Wednesday. All those down- and uphills, and the fact that I'm not used to walking so much, so fast.

 

Last night I heard metal scraping noises somewhere in the neighbourhood. It sounded like someone was dragging corrugated iron sheets around or off something. I looked around but couldn't see anything happening close by, so decided that it must be from down by the railway (1 block down the road in a ditch). Then about 30min. later (~2am) people across the road decided to entertain everyone with their music while driving away from home, going who knows where at that time of night. And low and behold about another half hour after that Brandt jumps out of the bed because he thought he heard someone chopping wood, or bumping wooden blocks together or something - hard knocking sounds. He went out looking through our garden, but also looked into the neighbours' gardens over the fences, accompanied by the dogs of course. Nothing. A couple months ago people broke into the garden storage house/thing in one neighbour's garden (also stole their gas BBQ standing on their stoep), and before that they tried in the other neighbour's garden, but didn't get far due to their big dogs barking. We are not happy that they might be using our garden as pathway again. That was one of the reasons we replaced the back outside light with a stronger 30W LED light beginning of the month. One that lights up the whole back garden when we switch it on.

 

Due to all the shenanigans of last night, I only got up around 6h30, made coffee (new coffee machine arrived yesterday), let the dogs out, got back in bed, and got up around 7h00 to finally have that coffee, feed the dogs, and let Brandt sleep some more. It's now 7h30.

Here is our new coffee filter machine. Very basic. Due to the regular electricity outages, we don't want something with a lot of electronics (boards and programmes, etc.) as it breaks more easily. This one is sturdy, basic, and makes a big pot of coffee if necessary. And most important, our old permanent filters fit 100%.

picture20150520115626

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Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord."

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