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Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 0-8.  The last few challenges have been rough; Jessie’s job has been in the busy season, my job has been in the busy season, and the bakery officially opened for retail business.  Plus kids. Plus school. Plus struggles with one of the teachers at school for one kid and struggles with dance instructors with two others. As often is the case, this post is taking place over two days. 
 

That said, good news everyone! We officially hired a new full-time bakery manager today (offered Friday, she accepted Monday, starts 2 weeks from tomorrow/today). I’m extremely excited. It’s going to take a huge amount of pressure off of me, and also make it easier to plan advertising. I’ll get to move into a role heavier in sales, marketing, and finance (while still spending plenty of time in the kitchen!) and we’ll be about to expand as well as actually take our vacation this summer. 

 

I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger).  I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family.  Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part.  I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.”  I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs.

 

This time, we’re training for one of the Disney races as a family. It’s gonna be a later event so we have plenty of time and I’m training, in particular, to be prepared to carry the younger 2 kids for the race.  So far this has taken the form of loaded carries and greasing the groove with squats and lunges; I’ve been either using 50-lb sacks of flour or dumbbells thus far. I can farmer’s carry my weight for 100 meters.

 

Homesteading season is upon us. I am afraid the Ranier is dead and I’m afraid one of the apple trees died as well. We’re reigning in my red neck tendencies this year and redoing a bunch of our gardens. We may also be remodeling the house to add more space for my mother in law and her sister to move in as well. 
 

 

At the beginning of last  year, we started shopping for an existing business with a professional kitchen  to give a physical location to our small bakery. We now own the bakery kitchen and business. The bakery has been opened a month and  we just hired a full time manager which I am ecstatic about. Once she starts we can get more serious about expanding business without completely running ourselves into the ground.  There will be a lot more flexibility to handle groups of people (larger numbers ordering made-to-order items cause our biggest throughput issues) and  she can also help us build the team.  I wish she was already on; L’enfant somehow got a cupcake with egg it in yesterday and thus yesterday was one of those nearly-no-sleep days. 
 

Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for most

of the year and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am past my arbitrary goal weight, and I’m focusing hard now on maintaining around this weight while achieving my goal composition.  I think the race/loaded carry training will help. I’m concerned that sleep problems will hamstring me though which is why, as always, it’s goal number one. 

 

I’ve not been physically or mentally as well lately. Jessie has work friends and I’m grateful (she really, really needs some good friends especially given her job) but she’s home less while I have been more isolated and I’m feeling the loneliness return. It can be pretty intense. I don’t really have many IRL friends. I love Marinara but he’s sort of emotionally unavailable and my other friends are almost all far away anymore. I’ve been working on connecting with people, though, and it has helped. We saw Rex’s godparents after his birthday party and that was amazingly helpful. 
 

I've been struggling hard on my “no yelling” goal. I feel exhausted all the time and it’s made it hard to break habits.   I continue to strive towards zero yelling.  I am also striving to be careful with my words at all times. I’m tired of being so very careful of my words most of the time to the point where I’ll simply be silent (where I have to be careful to not stonewall) but then just let loose and impulsively say a bunch of thoughtless things. 

 

Goals: 

1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. I’m currently trapped in sleep deprivation until we can hire and train our team. But I can also see a light at the end of the tunnel. 
 

2. Race training. This includes calisthenics, the race plan training, and loaded carries. Race training as a family is currently paused as Jessie hurt her sciatic nerve and needs rest to recover. She tried training through and reducing the intensity but that exacerbated the problem.  
 

3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. 
 

4.  Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> Currently, this involves finishing the bakery paperwork and executing the grand opening. .
 

5.  Home and Garden. I want both to be better. Especially the home. The basement is… bad. I spent one today doing laundry and cleaning up. The basement needs a tremendous amount of work. The dogs have been staying down there and it’s better than kenneling them but they’ve eaten some toys and containers which made a huge mess and the best dog’s separation anxiety issues are coming back into play. I hope that in the future I (or one of us at least) can be home half the day with them most days. We have a cleaning lady but I don’t think 3 hours a week is quite enough. Over the summer she’ll be moving to 2 days a week. 

6. Therapy.  I have a new(er) diagnoses and new(er) medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am

working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. And I’m adding care of words as well to this goal for things don’t have to be yelled to hurt. 
 

I am eager to rest and get to work. 
 

Oh, and if you’re following from my last thread and the thread before, we’re STILL RPing a scene with Barnaby the Brass Dragon in our D&D campaign since March 4th. Almost 2 months of RP and close to 60 hours of me pretending to be a lonely brass dragon having the time of his life at a party while sharing dragon lore with the party. 

  • Like 6

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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In other news, Rex discovered that I used to eat frog legs. I mean, I grew up in a redneck culture in which frog gigging was seen as peak hunting. And ngl guys, I enjoyed it. Mostly because I had no idea how many copperheads were close by 😂. But it was fun. However my little chef snd animal lover has taken to frogs and I can no longer eat them. (Not that I have in 20-25 years). 
 

Tuesday night Woody and I did weights at the YMCA again. He’s pretty good, actually. It’s nice one-on-one time for us. I was at about 350 feet on the farmers carry with half my body weight in each hand and he’s the same distance with about 20% of his total. Not bad for an 8-almost-9-year-old. 
 

Tonight I did the farmers carry alone as Woody had to go into dance class. I went 450 feet (more floor space was open) with a total of 10 lbs over my body weight. That’s further with an extra 5 lbs a hand and I’ll take it. I know this level of “progress” is mostly me getting towards where I actually should be with the weight but I’ve way too many responsibilities to go too hard again and get super bad DOMS by acting careless. As it is, I had to stop 3 times to redo my grip on the last 50 feet so this is probably pretty close to the sweet spot for the 450 and I can maybe go up one more dumbbell for the 350 distance. It’s broken up into 4 sets as it is so the overall goal is to get to the biggest dumbbells and make the trip with fewer and fewer sets in preparation of carrying children, increasing grip strength, and supporting my grease the groove practice of merely carrying a 50 lb sack of flour in each arm ( not terribly far off of carrying the two youngest children sans child acrobatics). 

 

Altogether, I’m feeling pretty good considering I missed almost an entire nights sleep Sunday into Monday and I’ve been literally falling asleep  whenever I sit down. 

There’s been a lot of other frustrations as well, not directly for me. I’ll be glad when we’re all full time at the bakery. Those days are the best days. Those are some good days. Today I was alone though. It wasn’t bad. But it always better working with Jessie.  I’ll be happy to have our new manager start.  Less than 2 weeks!!
 

 

 

  • Like 4

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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I am sorry to hear you are feeling so run down and exhausted. It sounds like an overwhelming situation to be dealing with so many different things and very little sleep.

 

Congrats on the new hire!

  • Like 1

Chaotic-Neutral, Elven Bladesinger (Apprentice): Level 1

Current Stats: STR 11 || DEX 11 || CON 12 || INT 15 || WIS 15 || CHA 12

Goal Stats: STR 14 || DEX 17+ || CON 14 || INT 18+ || WIS 18+ || CHA 14

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily; to not dare is to lose one's self". - Søren Kierkegaard

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On 5/3/2022 at 4:05 PM, Sciread77 said:

I’m feeling the loneliness return. It can be pretty intense.

Let's play a game, dude

 

 

Every time I read your thread:

Juggling GIFs | Tenor
 
Just always seems like to many things are getting balanced.
  • Like 1
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On 5/9/2022 at 2:56 PM, Teros said:

Let's play a game, dude

 

 

Every time I read your thread:

Juggling GIFs | Tenor
 
Just always seems like to many things are getting balanced.


Wait, are you suggesting it might be healthier for me to do less?  
 

It’s like the writer used your comment as too-obvious foreshadowing. (See below)

 

On 5/8/2022 at 11:38 PM, Aquarii said:

I am sorry to hear you are feeling so run down and exhausted. It sounds like an overwhelming situation to be dealing with so many different things and very little sleep.

 

Congrats on the new hire!


Thanks!

 

I should be able to slow down substantially with the bakery with the new manager starting. (She starts tomorrow).  My other job is getting bad this month; as bad as March 2020 with how the market is doing. Yay! I won’t be murdering myself for it though. I’ll be giving my contracted hour and that’s it. 
 

I did have a health scare last week. It was probably a panic attack but I went to the hospital anyway because it presented a lot like heart issues. They did an ekg and some tests and we eventually left after about 8 hours of not being seeing. But the tests showed up in the online account and matched an EKG from when I was 18. Still following up with a cardiologist Friday.
 

 On other news we’re actively pursuing getting and training a service dog for Woody, especially for his anxiety. He got all excited and told his classmates about it and a large number bullied him relentlessly Friday. He was devastated. His godfather Marinara, in a rage including his solid sense of humor, indicated we needed to get Brutus https://www.pixieandbrutus.com as his service dog and give the little brats a good scare. Seriously though even after that he’s excited. The Best Dog is 10 and was trained as a therapy dog, and has performed that function within our household for years. But a service dog could follow him to school where he really needs the help. 

  • Like 4

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

Link to comment
22 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

Wait, are you suggesting it might be healthier for me to do less?  

 

Hey, I hurt my lower back while lifting the other day and I said to myself: "This hurts. I'm gonna stop." instead of doing another 30 reps and not be able to walk properly so I *think* I'm on to something.

 

Will the service dog be named Cujo?

 

 

 

  • Like 1
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9 hours ago, Teros said:

 

Hey, I hurt my lower back while lifting the other day and I said to myself: "This hurts. I'm gonna stop." instead of doing another 30 reps and not be able to walk properly so I *think* I'm on to something.

 

Yeah. I need to slow down. We need to slow down. We’ve known that for a while but sort of dug a financial hole with student loans that made even all we do just treading water. The bakery is a serious game-changer in this way. 

 

 

9 hours ago, Teros said:

 

Will the service dog be named Cujo?

 


Woody is dead set on Max. But Cujo would be pretty funny. 
 

The manager’s first day was today and she did great. Business also appears to be up; we’ve been advertising more actively and a local bowling alley owner appears set to buy most of our products wholesale *fingers crossed*
 

Also I got home today and visited my much-neglected homestead. The berries have taken over. There is a single apple and a single cherry growing which is all good news. I harvested half a pound of strawberries which is awesome considering I otherwise haven’t looked at them much less watered or fertilized them this year. (Just the stuff I’m protecting from deer) Woohoo!

 


 

 

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  • Like 5

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

Link to comment

Well, it’s been a heck of a few weeks. I had what was potentially some kind of cardiac event and went to the ER. They did and EKG and some blood tests in triage and after 8-9 hours without seeing a doctor (and still sitting next to the rather sever case predating us by 4 hours), we left. After receiving test results online showing the EKG matched the one I had at 18 and a big physical altercation occurred. 
 

I followed up with a cardiologist, who agrees with my thoughts that it was probably just an unusually severe panic attack but that given my

dad just had a fib issues and blockages I should get it all tested out. Especially since I’m going to Europe. So I was off my physical routine from the event until Last Friday, about a week and a half.


But now I’m back, baby! Today we went to the Botanical Gardens. I held Rex at shoulder height for about an hour. He’s 80 lbs and was the same height as if he was sitting on my shoulders but he wouldn’t do that, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. Still, it wasn’t exactly what I’ve been training for so I know I’m gonna feel that in the next couple of days. 
 

We did some working on the yard today including adding some fencing to protect the trees from deer. Only one is totally done but the rest are ready and it’ll be faster. 
 

We are getting about a quart of strawberries every 3 days. We’re about to have more blackberries and boysenberries than we can eat and frankly, I’m here for it. Though L’enfant may well prove me wrong. That boy ploys though berries 😂

  • Like 3

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

Link to comment

Ope. Yup. I’m feeling it, all right! I could feel my trunk muscles-core, chest, and back-all engaging in an endurance contest they aren’t used to. I normally practice my awkward child carry as a pair of grocery bag carries, cradling them in each arm individually giving the biceps in particular a good run on endurance, or as a bear hug-style carry for the larger boys. But not with them being quite so high! 
 

In other news, I’ve long carried the low grade  worry that the pain in my calf is related to pulmonary health instead of just being a stupid old injury. I was at least able to put that to rest! I took an ankle-brachial reading during the pain and it’s right at just about the optimal health range. Part of my goal here is to ensure that my heart health hasn’t been quietly suffering over the years. The cardiologist seems unconcerned in general given my general activity levels, especially since I’ve joined NF, and the fact that I engage in both strength and aerobic training along with almost constant general activity these days like homesteading, playing with kids, and running the bakery. That said, I’ve a family history including early cardiovascular deaths and cardiopulmonary issues so I want to stay on top of it. I can’t count how many times I’ve said “I don’t  want to be the guy found dead somewhere because he was too stupid to go to the doctor and wrote off every telltale sign of the problems.”  Beyond the family history I also have the autoimmune problem that is associated with increased likelihood of such problems as well as some intense emotional struggles that I worry aren’t great for that either. 
 

My primary goal here from the very beginning has always been to live a healthy, active, long life in which I can enjoy doing things with my wife and kids. I’m not against pleasing aesthetics or even putting some of my time and energies to pursuing them but it’s health first. That’s part of why I read about workouts, diet, supplements, etc. because so many, for example  steroids and Insanity-style workouts, really aren’t healthy in the long-term. Even keto which I’ve been on for let’s say 12 of the last 15 months comes with potential negatives for the heart due to fat intake, which I have to weigh against major increases in overall endurance in my hectic lifestyle as well as massive reductions in inflammation and improvement of my psoriasis and arthritis. I carefully use clean keto unless we go out and take in between 25 and 50 grams of soluble fiber a day, which I hope mitigates any cholesterol issues. (And fortunately my cholesterol really hasn’t ever been an issue; it always was for my dad and I hope I inherited that stuff from the Italian women in my family). 

 

Anyway, when I joined almost 8 years ago holding an 80-lb kid to watch the music, acrobatics, and Kung-fu demonstrations at the festival after also carrying one of the smaller ones or the other almost all day was practically unthinkable.  So as usual, a major win. I was also struggling with depression and anxiety, and still am. But I also feel better equipped to deal with it than I was, too, especially with a proper diagnosis of ADHD and the life-changing treatment of what is probably the most underlying issue of it all. 
 

Here I am waxing poetic again lol. Time to get the kiddos out the door. 

  • Like 5

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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On 5/17/2022 at 11:51 PM, Sciread77 said:

harvested half a pound of strawberries

Dude, I am fucking JEALOUS.  Strawberries were total shit last year for me.  I had a whopping 2 that grew and they were a little bitter.

 

 

On 5/23/2022 at 7:45 AM, Sciread77 said:

So as usual, a major win.

Chuck Norris Thumbs Up GIF - Chuck Norris Thumbs Up - Discover & Share GIFs
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6 minutes ago, Teros said:

Dude, I am fucking JEALOUS.  Strawberries were total shit last year for me.  I had a whopping 2 that grew and they were a little bitter.

 

Oh man. Mine are out of control, fighting with the blackberries for world domination.  I’d give you pointers but I don’t think I did much too much aside from feeding them bone meal. I think the strawberries went crazy on their own otherwise. Have yours started multiplying this year?

 


 

 

6 minutes ago, Teros said:

 

 

Chuck Norris Thumbs Up GIF - Chuck Norris Thumbs Up - Discover & Share GIFs


Sometimes it feels like a low bar, but 2012 was a pretty low year for me.

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

Link to comment

I am so, so, so jealous of the fresh berries. They look amazing. I would happily eat my weight in berries, lol.

 

I am sorry to hear you have had some health scares. I completely understand your caution and think it is great that you are seeking medical guidance. They run rampant in my family as well, and is something I will probably get some periodic screening for when I am older.

 

I am glad to hear that so far everything is coming back clean for your physical health, though I am sorry to hear that it likely implies your mental health and stress levels are suffering. 

  • Like 2

Chaotic-Neutral, Elven Bladesinger (Apprentice): Level 1

Current Stats: STR 11 || DEX 11 || CON 12 || INT 15 || WIS 15 || CHA 12

Goal Stats: STR 14 || DEX 17+ || CON 14 || INT 18+ || WIS 18+ || CHA 14

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily; to not dare is to lose one's self". - Søren Kierkegaard

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32 minutes ago, Aquarii said:

I am so, so, so jealous of the fresh berries. They look amazing. I would happily eat my weight in berries, lol.

 

It won’t be long before we’ll have that around lol. Well over 200 strawberry plants this year. And if you recall me chopping out the blackberries last year and moving them? Yeah now they’re just in more spots. And they’re also spreading. We’re gonna have a delicious hedge 😆 

 

Also I think Rex is spreading them throughout the neighborhood with his little gardening club. 

 

32 minutes ago, Aquarii said:

 

I am sorry to hear you have had some health scares. I completely understand your caution and think it is great that you are seeking medical guidance. They run rampant in my family as well, and is something I will probably get some periodic screening for when I am older.


 

 

I’d rather check out a potential scare and stay ahead than kick the bucket or end up extra disabled from ignoring it.  I know I have to get screenings earlier than usual for some stuff and I’m at higher risk due to family history and autoimmune stuff. But c’est la vie. 

 

32 minutes ago, Aquarii said:

I am glad to hear that so far everything is coming back clean for your physical health, though I am sorry to hear that it likely implies your mental health and stress levels are suffering. 


Thanks. Me too. My mental health is probably easier to improve than heart disease. Btw,  congrats on admittance to your program!
 

 

  • Like 2

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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Lol, sorry for the delay. I think I responded to this post in my head not realizing I actually didn't type anything 🤣

 

200 strawberry plants!?! Now I am super jealous. And fresh blackberries...I need to visit, lol. I have heard strawberries can easily take over your entire garden if you let them because of their root system. Any idea if you can grow them indoors? I recently bought a new home in the city, so aside from maybe putting a little something on our deck, our options to growing fresh stuff are limited to indoors. 

 

On 5/24/2022 at 7:46 PM, Sciread77 said:

I’d rather check out a potential scare and stay ahead than kick the bucket or end up extra disabled from ignoring it.  I know I have to get screenings earlier than usual for some stuff and I’m at higher risk due to family history and autoimmune stuff. But c’est la vie. 

 

Totally. Better safe than sorry when it comes to that stuff. And between lifestyle interventions and modern medicine, there is a TON you can do for most heart-related issues, especially when you catch risks or warning signs early. 

 

On 5/24/2022 at 7:46 PM, Sciread77 said:

Thanks. Me too. My mental health is probably easier to improve than heart disease. Btw,  congrats on admittance to your program!

 

Well, thankfully a lot of the ways of improving mental health ALSO help reduce risk factors for heart disease, so working on mental health also acts as a preventative measure. So, half the work, right? lol. At least that is what I like to tell myself when I don't feel like putting in the work for the here and now, but know it is also about my future health.

 

And thanks! I am excited. I have missed taking classes, and working on a college campus has only amplified that. So, now that the move is out of the way, I am itching to get back into it, haha.

  • Like 2

Chaotic-Neutral, Elven Bladesinger (Apprentice): Level 1

Current Stats: STR 11 || DEX 11 || CON 12 || INT 15 || WIS 15 || CHA 12

Goal Stats: STR 14 || DEX 17+ || CON 14 || INT 18+ || WIS 18+ || CHA 14

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily; to not dare is to lose one's self". - Søren Kierkegaard

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3 hours ago, Aquarii said:

Lol, sorry for the delay. I think I responded to this post in my head not realizing I actually didn't type anything 🤣


 

 

No worries 😂 

 

 

3 hours ago, Aquarii said:

200 strawberry plants!?! Now I am super jealous. And fresh blackberries...I need to visit, lol. I have heard strawberries can easily take over your entire garden if you let them because of their root system. Any idea if you can grow them indoors? I recently bought a new home in the city, so aside from maybe putting a little something on our deck, our options to growing fresh stuff are limited to indoors. 


 

 

You can as far as I’m aware. They do well enough in part sun; I planted the blackberries and boysenberries under trees snd most of the strawberries underneath those snd we still have a ton of them. 

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Aquarii said:

 

Totally. Better safe than sorry when it comes to that stuff. And between lifestyle interventions and modern medicine, there is a TON you can do for most heart-related issues, especially when you catch risks or warning signs early. 


 

 

Yeah. I’m both a “better living through chemicals” guy AND a “do everything as naturally as possible” guy.  Lifestyle changes are slower but probably a better overall solution and modern medicine can improve you enough to wait around for the lifestyle changes to take effect. Plus both together can ge pretty amazing. 

 

 

3 hours ago, Aquarii said:

 

Well, thankfully a lot of the ways of improving mental health ALSO help reduce risk factors for heart disease, so working on mental health also acts as a preventative measure. So, half the work, right? lol. At least that is what I like to tell myself when I don't feel like putting in the work for the here and now, but know it is also about my future health.

 

Yep. I doubt I’ll ever be totally free of mental health problems but  I am at least at a point where they mostly slow me down instead of stop me. And working on them will also have a lot of cardiovascular carryover. 

 

 

3 hours ago, Aquarii said:

 

And thanks! I am excited. I have missed taking classes, and working on a college campus has only amplified that. So, now that the move is out of the way, I am itching to get back into it, haha.


I totally get that. I enjoyed my MBA. I will warn that about 80% of the value for anyone not starting their own business is networking and meeting people. But it’s been helpful in planning our own business, providing we’re successful in the long run. Worst case, it put me in contact with a nonprofit I care very much for, connected me with local private equity and businesspeople, and gave me a solid idea of how to grow the business. 
 

Back to the strawberries. Tomorrow, I’m taking a chunk of the day to weed the edges of the fruit border, pull up the fences, etc. Which means that we’re gonna have a lot of extra strawberry and thornless blackberry plants. A lot of these spread in the upper soil this year and tend to pull out when I weed,so I expect they’ll be fine to transplant and they definitely won’t survive the work I have to do. I talked to my neighbors and they’ve agreed to let Rex and our next door neighbor transplant them to the cul de sac circles to become community fruit gardens and I’m super exited and proud. The time is tomorrow morning!!

 

Also, it’s taken 3 years but a whole community of carpenter bees finally moved into my bee post! So this fall, that’ll be moving from my deck out to a corner of the fruit border. 

  • Like 2

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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Today I spent the morning working in the garden, tearing out the fences around the strawberries and blackberries and removing the ones that are deviating from the path. That’s a lot of them. Currently, about 5 strawberry plants and 5 thornless blackberries have been transplanted to the cul de sac circle by Rex, Bo Peep, and the neighbors. It’s looking good and I’m excited. Well, the circle. My yard still looks like an overgrown mess. The fortunate part is most of these bushes are hard to kill and nearly invasive so periods of neglect only empower them. *cackles*
 

I remembered with annoyance and some dread that my stress test prohibits caffeine 24 hours prior to the test. Mine is at 11. I am not excited because I suspect going cold Turkey for 24 hours is really gonna mess with me. Hopefully, I’m fine otherwise though. 
 

Jessie painted the cabinets, the first set is done and drying. It’s a blush pink that is /almost/ white and I love it after how dark the cabinets and kitchen have been. 
 

  • Like 2

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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Stress test was today. Overnight a big rainstorm hit and triggered a massive migraine exacerbated by my frankly high caffeine intake at this time. So starting out my blood pressure was a bit high but not so much considering the migraine. 
 

The results were actually better than when I was 20, totally off the charts. Which is good! Probably due to that time being a bad time for mental health and me still recovering from bad diet and undernourishment; I didn’t really start training with weights until I was 21 and as y’all know my training is built around carrying heavy, awkward loads for a long time and developing farm/old man strength. The doctor already said that based on my training descriptions he expected my heart to be healthy and a good stress test because strength endurance is relatively rare these days but he still wanted to make sure and rule things out. 
 

That said, I could still totally have blockages or hardened arteries or something and those won’t show up on that kind of test, which is why I’m having a couple others.  I am feeling a lot better and more like I probably inherited heart traits from my mom, her maternal grandma, and my dad’s mom instead of my maternal grandma and my dad who have cholesterol, blood pressure, and general heart issues  or my dad’s dad (who died at age 38, the same age I am now, of a stroke). 

Still, that means that my mental health is down which, frankly, tracks 😂. My psychiatrist today continued to encourage me to completely dump my desk job. I’m not quite ready to yet, because a little further into the bakery business and we’ll be able to, again, feel something of financial freedom AND given the boss I couldn’t stand has been replaced by someone who is far more competent as well as having a second level manager who is also far more competent than the previous one, I am quite content to stay here provided they continue to allow me to work remotely as it makes things a lot easier on my family. Still, it’s likely something with an expiration date on it. 
 

Even a week out of that environment (not even) Jessie is becoming more like her usual self. Living in the constant stress that is relatively unique to her district plus the news of constant school shootings has taken a heavy toll. I am glad she is feeling better and I think remodeling over the summer as well as traveling to Europe just the two of us is going to rejuvenate her significantly. I know it will help me significantly. 

 

I am thoroughly back into my training program.  And the Europe trip is basically a backpacking trip for 12 days only with staying in regular hotels instead of hostels so I’m totally stoked. 
 

The rest of the plants will be in the ground soon. The fruit bushes at spreading. The kids are now planning to ask and plant in every cul de sac in the neighborhood which is super cool. I’m going to make them start with just the double cul de sac circles this season. Our neighbors like the idea of requesting antique apple trees and planting 1-2 different varieties in every circle along with other types of fruit trees. I mean, that’ll get to be a lot of maintenance for just us BUT we know kids at at least one other cul de sac and if we could recruit a bunch of 5-10 year-olds to water and maintain a community fruit garden/mini orchard that would be absolutely epic. 
 

I’ve been feeling frustrated and powerless when it comes to the social, political, and cultural landscape of the country.  I hold the (apparently extremely radical) beliefs that humans are naturally social creatures with intrinsic worth. I believe in helping one another and investing time, effort, and resources in our communities instead of only focusing on ourselves and our immediate family. I believe in homesteading and taking independent responsibility for yourself whenever possible, and that if you have the means and ability to help others you have the ethical and moral responsibility to do so. 
 

I loved being involved in my nonprofit on the board but I’m on the outs, given my tenure ends soon and I’m the board leadership mentor. Given my special one-year appointment through the school program, I’m the most senior person and know the host well but I’m also leaving a legacy in part by training the latest officers and being directly involved as little as possible. Which is also kinda sad. It also is far enough away to be difficult to get away for, and I want something closer to home. 
 

I want to be involved locally taking direct action to make things better via our community networks. So local community gardens seem like a great place to start. 
 

 

  • Like 2

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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Our “Europe wardrobe” has arrived. We needed new summer clothes that fit (last year I had a grand total of 2 outfits that actually fit me after having lost weight and Jessie was in a similar boat).  We also have new backpacking-style carry-on luggage. This is very much the kind of travel that interested me in my early 20s- I was a virtual nomad with no real roots and also quite impulsive so I just carried what I needed. Backpacking across Europe was one of the dreams. But this time we get to crash at decent hotels at night. When I met Jessie, I spent a lot of my free time on the Couch Surfing website dreaming of floating travel; this isn’t exactly that but it is consistent travel while lacking light. I’ve found it super hard to pack light while traveling with small children. But I think we’re gonna be forced to this time since we get back into the country and board the plane the next day to meet my family in Gulf Shores. Especially since we don’t fly straight in, we go to Panama City and grab a rental van (same model as I have) which will be tight but doable as long as we pack light. 
 

I am excited for our travels even if I am anxious about spending part of it with my family (there’s usually some kind of drama) and leaving the bakery for so long. Marinara is house sitting and taking care of the animals.  New flooring and the service pupper are coming when we get back!

  • Like 1

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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On 5/24/2022 at 2:37 PM, Sciread77 said:

I’d give you pointers but I don’t think I did much too much aside from feeding them bone meal. I think the strawberries went crazy on their own otherwise. Have yours started multiplying this year?

Well I grew 2 of them in a big terracotta pot.  I looked the other day and one one of them growing back but weather has been so unpredictable.  I got 1 more strawberry plant to add to it this weekend.

 

On 5/24/2022 at 7:46 PM, Sciread77 said:

We’re gonna have a delicious hedge

Berry hedge sounds like heaven.  I mean with that many, you mine as well use them at the bakery.

 

On 6/1/2022 at 10:03 PM, Sciread77 said:

The results were actually better than when I was 20, totally off the charts.

 

star trek - What episode is the "Kirk and Bones" nodding gif from? -  Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange

 

Since I've always had health/mental health issues, that's a huge goal of mine. I want to be better at 40 than I was at 20 and considering the most recent doctor's visits, I'm getting there.  Props, man

 

 

On 6/1/2022 at 10:03 PM, Sciread77 said:

Our neighbors like the idea of requesting antique apple trees and planting 1-2 different varieties in every circle along with other types of fruit trees.

 

I mean, this is actually a genius networking/business growing strategy even though it's not intended that way.

 

On 6/1/2022 at 10:03 PM, Sciread77 said:

I hold the (apparently extremely radical) beliefs that humans are naturally social creatures with intrinsic worth.

 

An hour on any social media seems to challenge this, sadly.  You can just do the best you can with what you have.

 

  • Like 1
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On 6/3/2022 at 9:07 AM, Teros said:

Well I grew 2 of them in a big terracotta pot.  I looked the other day and one one of them growing back but weather has been so unpredictable.  I got 1 more strawberry plant to add to it this weekend.

 

Very nice. When those things get into the ground and drop the big long roots they’re practically unstoppable.  Plant to plant they’re totally unpredictable but plant a bunch and they’re awesome. 

 

On 6/3/2022 at 9:07 AM, Teros said:

 

Berry hedge sounds like heaven.  I mean with that many, you mine as well use them at the bakery.

 

Berry hedge is part of the dream, along with Crapemyrtle hedge. Especially with the violent dogs gone and only the sweet but annoyingly mouthy ones left 😂.  Also, that IS the plan. And did you know that for a mere $1000/year in revenue you can register as a farm under federal and USDA programs?

 

 

On 6/3/2022 at 9:07 AM, Teros said:

 

 

star trek - What episode is the "Kirk and Bones" nodding gif from? -  Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange

 

Since I've always had health/mental health issues, that's a huge goal of mine. I want to be better at 40 than I was at 20 and considering the most recent doctor's visits, I'm getting there.  Props, man

 

Thanks man. I was obsessed with “health” but utterly lacked perspective back then. I thought that running myself half to death and being thin would be best for my heart, for example, while utterly ignoring my mental health and the damage I did through neglect and unhealthy diet (like the 4 months of literally only consuming fruits, vegetables, and skim milk.). That’s a good goal to have and mine is actually similar now. I am stronger than I was and my cardio is actually… better? I’m not as fast a runner and I can’t run as long but overall I’m in so much better shape.  Props to you for your work and being on the way. I’m here in support. 
 

 

 

On 6/3/2022 at 9:07 AM, Teros said:

 

 

 

I mean, this is actually a genius networking/business growing strategy even though it's not intended that way.


 

 

Never even thought about that but you are correct. I mean, networking sure but the idea is to get to know other people in the community in a non-political way to effect nonpartisan positive change. 

 

On 6/3/2022 at 9:07 AM, Teros said:

 

An hour on any social media seems to challenge this, sadly.  You can just do the best you can with what you have.

 


Social media drops people into a bad environment surrounded by brainwash-level framing.  It brings out the worst in people. I prefer to get them in person, find common goals, and pursue those without bringing inflammatory language into it. I’m not always successful and I’m not interested in doing this with, for example, Nazis or anything who makes other humans justify their own existence/humanity as a regular tactic of discourse. Most people are not like that, especially if you can break them out of the loop. 
 

In the end this really is the embodiment of doing the best with what I have. I’ve been very frustrated and in part it’s because we can’t seem to do the simplest thing without a massive partisan fight. So I’m hoping that something like this will break the loop and return the zombies to normal, at least for a time. 

  • Like 1

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

Link to comment
On 6/1/2022 at 7:03 PM, Sciread77 said:

Our neighbors like the idea of requesting antique apple trees and planting 1-2 different varieties in every circle along with other types of fruit trees. I mean, that’ll get to be a lot of maintenance for just us BUT we know kids at at least one other cul de sac and if we could recruit a bunch of 5-10 year-olds to water and maintain a community fruit garden/mini orchard that would be absolutely epic. 
 

I’ve been feeling frustrated and powerless when it comes to the social, political, and cultural landscape of the country.  I hold the (apparently extremely radical) beliefs that humans are naturally social creatures with intrinsic worth. I believe in helping one another and investing time, effort, and resources in our communities instead of only focusing on ourselves and our immediate family. I believe in homesteading and taking independent responsibility for yourself whenever possible, and that if you have the means and ability to help others you have the ethical and moral responsibility to do so. 
 

I think it is awesome that you  are encouraging kids to have a community fruit garden! Not only are you growing things, but you are helping others too.  I get why you feel powerless, but you are doing so much both by your example and by encouraging others. That's the way things get done, not in big huge ways, but in small, community changing ways

  • Like 1

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 6/7/2022 at 7:47 PM, Elastigirl said:

I think it is awesome that you  are encouraging kids to have a community fruit garden! Not only are you growing things, but you are helping others too.  I get why you feel powerless, but you are doing so much both by your example and by encouraging others. That's the way things get done, not in big huge ways, but in small, community changing ways


Thanks! I’m excited about it too. I wouldn’t quite say I’ve given up on overall societal change. But I have been working, hard, and in active roles since caucusing for Obama in 2008. (Incidentally, caucusing for him because he was new and didn’t have a cottage industry of weird conspiracy theories already floating around about him and not against his rival).  There’s been some major wins, but frankly those don’t affect the day to day lives of me and mine directly enough to “see” the progress and keep me from burning out. I suspect a lot of my anger comes from feelings of powerlessness. Which even though we have health care (that would have been denied or excluded if the pre-ACA rules were in place) and my friends and family can marry the person they love, there has also been a backlash. What’s more, people’s overall situations are either tenuous and not improving or improving but still ready to crash and burn. Too many things are problems. Division and road locks in the country’s politics prevents most of even the highly agreed-upon solutions from being implemented. We can’t rely on the government to do that. 
 

I can’t solve every one of these things, but I can improve something and I can do so using one of

my long-standing and most posted about interests-homesteading. And gardening. By community gardening, I can help expand the availability of healthy, delicious foods. I didn’t think it was so much of an issue at first;  more a fun hobby that would save me a small fortune on groceries. But then a bunch of things happened. The pandemic severely limited the ability to grocery shop at all for a while. Even many in my reasonably well-off neighborhood had trouble getting fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, milk, etc. I had a whole shelf of boxed milk with a year until expiration and about 50ish lbs each of beans, rice, flour, sugar, powdered sugar, and animal food as well as canned meat. Many neighbors had too much of something or other too, and together we could make sure nobody had to go without. Further, some of the picky neighbor kids couldn’t get enough of our fruit, to the amazement of their parents (our friends) so I invited them to pick stuff whenever they wanted. Now, we’re organizing and building out our circles to establish more plants and bring more people into the group. I’m of the opinion that more people contributing to this effort makes it stronger; more people to ensure they’re watered and protected from deer, surrounded by red and deep purple rocks to ward off birds, etc. while it also helps more people. 
 

It’s not much. It doesn’t solve a lot of problems but it does help and in a way that I can see and I am quite excited. 
 

On another note, we’re in Paris as of today. I’m elated, and thus far I’ve loved this city. I’m also terrified because as it turns out I’m the most fluent French speaker of the group. Our guide is Italian and speaks Italian and English but not French. I read French pretty well but I’ve been so busy since starting the bakery that with the exception of a 1-2 week period in February I haven’t been studying French. (I’d hoped to spend a lot more time studying French and Italian before the trip). So now when something goes awry and someone doesn’t speak English or Italian, I’m the guy. Also I’m getting lots of “how do you say” questions from the others. My usual default is to kinda withdraw and listen but I’ve decided to do the talking and talk around something if need be, like I do in English 😂. It’s been effective enough so far I also had a great time with our driver today. Here’s hoping I can keep going strong the next two days! And when we get to Italy I plan on speaking that as much as possible as well. Our guide is great and we’ve been talking a lot so far on the trip. I’m excited and Jessie seems to be motivated to join as well. 
 

I’m still looking for some Jules Vern printed in French as a souvenir. I have the ebooks but the print ones are more special. I’ll let everyone know. 

  • Like 3

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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Never found my Verne printed in French. I suppose that’s one for next time. We arrived in Venice today which was awesome. It felt like you could touch the Alps during our flight. 
 

I gotta say, the “kids” on the trip (almost all are now legal adults at 18, 19, and 20 with one 16-year-old and one 17-year-old) are reasonably good travelers and, in general, waaaaay better at rolling with the punches and functioning in foreign countries than… their parents. Notre Fille Aînée (a friend’s daughter we’ve known for 15ish years) is rocking this thing and I think that her independence and success sort of intimidates a lot of the other adults who as a whole aren’t well prepared and adaptable. But, it’s been a very good experience for everyone. For me as well; I’m feeling quite comfortable even in customs, though US Customs is always the biggest anxiety challenge for me. Altogether, I am enjoying things here enough that it sort of confirms my thoughts that I’d like to live here. 
 

Jessie was out of her mind excited and uncharacteristically emotional in London, which I also quite enjoyed. I was characteristically emotional and ecstatic in Paris, which Jessie also enjoyed. But we’re both looking forward to all the things in Italy. Our guide is also Italian, so I look forward to learning some Italian here as well. Things went incredibly with using French and unlike most Parisan language stories I hear, nobody seemed to bat an eye when I spoke French. (Or Jessie either).  So I’m feeling pretty good. Also, I think it helps that I spent a lot of time talking with our drivers. I loved it. I shall return there! And I’m sure here as well. 
 

 

  • Like 2

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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Oh my goodness. Where to even begin. 
 

Italy was amazing as well. Notre Fille Aînée was joined by Notre Fille du Nord, they immediately clicked together as well as with us. They move quickly, roll with the punches, and have the spirits of Adventurers. We had a blast, taking a short flight to Venice.  It looked like we could touch the Alps. We saw Lake Geneva. Then when we went to land it almost seemed like we were landing in the water, then someone slid a runway under us at the last second. 
 

In Venice we stayed in a hotel hundreds of years old that was decorated like the wealthy decks on the Titanic. Not nautically themed,

just fancy. We had good Italian food, celebrated the 18th birthday of one group member, and took a boat tour to Murano. We watched a glass blowing demonstration that was awesome, grabbed some lasagna and spaghetti with lobster, and did some shopping for souvenirs.  We also had a walking tour of Venice and went on a gondola ride, which was super cool. 
 

I could easily live on Venice or Murano.

 

Tome was pretty cool but I wouldn’t want to live there and I wouldn’t go back to visit unless I was taking someone. The Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, the temples, all super cool and historic but the city itself was crowded, dirty, gave a feeling of paranoia due to pickpocketing issues, and wasn’t terribly welcoming. It was shockingly Catholic even after years of study, preparation, even a full on comedy bit by Lewis Black. I shouldn’t have been surprised but I don’t think much could have prepared me 😂

 

After Rome, we took a bus to Pompeii. 10/10 would go again. It’s pretty small but still amazing. Only about 1/3 of the city has been uncovered. I saw the fast food shops that had been uncovered as well as the bakery whose oven still had bread in it when they unearthed it. And that’s not even the cool part. 
 

Turns out, one of Jessie’s previous students (and theatre alum from the national show) is working this summer as an archaeologist on the dig. She’s like a more badass version of Indiana Jones who also doesn’t steal artifacts 😂. Talking to her was fantastic and we got pictures. Fille Aînée shares a first name with her and we all were able to have a sadly brief lunch together where she told us all about her sciencing. 
 

Also, there was a wiener  dog portrait, multiple statues, and carvings into stone buildings. And an actual wiener dog, obviously famous, who I got a selfie with. 
 

Next, we went to Sorento. Also fantastic. Less excited with the hotel and the area smelled fishy (shocker) but there was some kind of fashion show on the top floor of our hotel which was like a shot of espresso for Fille Aînée (who is going into makeup design and fashion design) and a lot of the others. Fille du Nord had a sad moment of insecurity that sort of hit my parent buttons pretty hard. She’d already received some pretty bad news from home and was not in a great place, then she said she wasn’t pretty/modelly enough to be present. I pulled an quick photo one of the others took to get a feel before everyone headed up and had to point out an old guy who looked like Milton from Office Space. I told her that if Old Milton could make his way here and be present that she absolutely deserved to be there. I’d also offered to go up with her if it would help. Thankfully, she felt better after seeing the photos and they all had a good time. 
 

I should note here (probably again)  that Fille Aînée is basically the 19-year-old version of Bo Peep. And Bo Peep is exactly like 4-year-old Fille Aînée, since that’s when I met her. Fille du Nord is also very similar so… my already empathetic bleeding heart was sort of amplified here. 
 

Next, we took a boat to the Isle of Capri. This paradise reminded Jessie of her previous favorite place, San Torini, and was the perfect marriage of our two favorite vacation locales. Jessie loves beautiful beaches with calm, clear blue water and I love mountains. This was a mountain with awesome beaches. And an incredible garden. We took the train tram thingy to the top which was fun and Woody would have loved it. Then we saw the garden. Amusingly enough, the entire group shocked the tour guide by being 1000 times more interested in the plants and animals (especially the numerous friendly cats) than in the perfume manufacturing 😂 

 

Lunch was on the beach when we were at Capri, and accompanied by hilariously aggressive sea gulls. Notre Filles left part of their sandwich on their towels to go swimming along with their shinies (about 20 feet from us) and I took some video of the birds destroying those sandwich leftovers, then chased them off when they decided the towels and shinies were theirs, too.  
 

We returned to land via Naples, our guide’s home city. I wish we could have stayed for a while, that was my grandpa’s favorite city in Italy. We drove back to Rome and stayed at a cool hotel. We had dinner and goodbyes with lots of pictures and exchanging of info. We’re planning additional trips with some of our northern friends, particularly 2 who want yo do Disney with us. 
 

Jessie and I are about equidistant in age between most of the other parents and “kids” on the trip, which is kind of a cool place to be. 
 

I was very pleased with the effectiveness of my French language skills. Italian was harder to adjust to, and I once accidentally confused the bejeezus out of a bartender who spoke Italian and English but not French. He passed me off to the place’s sole French speaker. Whoops. However, after 5 days I at least had a reasonable handle on the basics as did Jessie, though it helps to have constant coaching from our friend and guide. 
 

Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure we’re now lifelong friends with our guide. We’re planning future trips together. She’s magic and we’re open and easygoing. She called us the best group ever several times and Vice versa; after seeing some examples of other tours (translation: ones with teenage boys) I totally understand what she meant. As a group of women and me, we were pretty quiet and didn’t cause trouble. Some of the boy and mixed groups were almost always right on the verge of a brawl and that seems quite stressful. 
 

NGL we also looked fabulous. 
 

We had so much fun. We travel well together. I felt confident. My calf acted up a bit as did Jessie’s pulled hip but our training was incredibly successful. 
 

When we met the other group in Trafalgar Square, almost all the women naturally handed me their stuff to take photos. Someone made a comment about “I hope you’re ok” and I replied with no irony that this is exactly the kind of thing I train for 😂

 

  • Like 2

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

Link to comment

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