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I used to wash my white belt. I don't wash my belt often anymore because it rarely needs it. It is protected from sweat by my gi and a layer of hakama. It probably gets dirtier from being next to my sweaty shirt in my gi bag than it does from being worn.

 

There are students in my dojo whose white belts are getting gray. I think that is a sign that they don't do laundry enough. As opposed to the black belts that are so worn and faded they are getting white. Those are scary. :)

We teach kids. EVERYTHING gets washed.  Anything else is a germ festival :-P

 

I am apparently a dirty, dirty individual.

 

At this point I don't know if I'd recognize my belt if it was pure white...

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cantelope and gin?

 

uggggghhh re middle of the night stress waking - but I am well impressed that you did enough kitchen prep in the middle of the night (impressed also that in the middle of the night you're still safe to operate knives) to get back to sleep......

 

and I still have courgette seedlings on my windowsill - round 1 was planted out too soon (duh) and suicided due to frosts, so I'm trying again.......

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Cherry liqueur?  What do you have on hand?

 

Congrats on getting your garden in!  If it helps, I'm still thinking about mine.  And yet not doing it.....  Hope you do take more downtime the rest of this week. 

 

Yay for your boss changing the priorities to be easier on you.  You're dealing with a lot there right now.

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Cherry liqueur?  What do you have on hand?

 

I have an extensive and eclectic liquor cabinet. The good stuff is Scotch and Armagnac. There is quite a bit of rum ranging from very cheap to pretty good. Some of the stranger bottles date back to my grandparents. Apparently they used to throw parties and serve mixed drinks. I am assuming that creme de cacao never goes bad. I don't think I have cherry liqueur. I might have a cherry rum. I know I have Grand Marnier. That might work.

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I think cantaloupe would be good with amaretto or disaronno.

 

Good idea. I am very fond of amaretto.

 

Week 2

 

Wednesday:

  • 7 hours sleep
  • Meditation 17 minutes
  • walk outside at lunch
  • taught aikido. Only 3 students so I got to practice too. Mostly reviewed 4th kyu techniques for a student who will be testing.
  • Did not snack after aikido. Ate hummus and veggies before I left work and a peanut butter chocolate chip bar earlier in the afternoon.

Thursday:

  • 7.75 hours sleep. Not snacking helped with sleeping better. Swariwaza practice did not help. Left knee is sore again.
  • Shoulder/core exercise at lunch
  • Walk with my partner after work.
  • Completely out of motivation. Relaxed.
  • played piano 20 minutes

Friday:

  • 7.75 hours sleep
  • Grouchy for no good reason all day. Did make some headway in my backlog at work.
  • Blew off working out at lunch.
  • Aikido 2 hours. One hour weapons class with a visiting instructor. He taught Sugawara sensei's boken vs. jo kata #5. Koshi in open hand class. I was paired with a very short partner. No way I could get under her center - my knees just can't bend enough. Got close and practiced modifications.
  • a little piano practice

I got home from aikido to find the guys grilling outside the front porch. Steaks. Nom nom nom. I did not manage to pack food at all and was hungry. Within 15 minutes of me getting home we were eating steak, brocoli and cauliflower. My partner redeemed himself from not having dinner ready when he said he would on Thursday. :)

 

To top that off, he and our housemate had gone grocery shoping with intent to cook food for the week. There are four steak and veggie lunches packed and ready to go in the fridge. He also told me that I am off the lawn mowing rotation for the rest of June and July. I am very happy about how he is stepping up to do his part and support me through a tough patch at work.

 

Saturday:

  • 8.75 hours sleep
  • Meditation 26 minutes
  • medium walk
  • Adult task - cleaned up all the planting materials from the back porch. I also wrote gardening notes, sorted and packed up seeds and washed more pots. The back porch is clean and inviting again.
  • Quite a lot of piano practice.

I did a bunch of cooking in the morning. Not part of the challenge or an adult task. Just a sign that I am getting better at this balance stuff. The weather was finally cool and dry enough to have the windows open. In fact it was so cool that having the oven on for a couple hours seemed like a good idea. I made roast veggies with andouille sausage, baked cookies (from frozen), corn bread (from scratch) and cooked kale with bacon. The sausage and bacon really needed to get cooked. So did some of the veggies, although I didn't know that when I pulled them out of the fridge. I am happy that we are buying more veggies AND managing to cook and eat them before they go slimy.

 

In between the responsible things I took breaks to read and play games (with mandatory cat petting). I have a good start on dance planning for tomorrow's class. Hopefully I can fit in a little cleaning tomorrow. No laundry has gotten done. Still, I feel much calmer than usual. I have plenty of clean clothes. No laundry needs to be done tomorrow. Or cooking for that matter. Making ice cream would be nice but is clearly optional. I'm not going to manage to get my knee exercises done this week. I might do some tomorrow morning. On the other hand, I will have aikido and dancing. If I don't do more PT exercise it will be because I'm too active, not because I'm being a couch potato.

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Is there ever a time when sitting (for whatever reason) that cat petting is not mandatory?

I'm late with this but am fairly certain nothing with alcohol content ever goes bad... :drunk: however I could be wrong...I may need to finish the bottle of wine in my fridge to be certain ;)

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Woo-hoo! Nice to see the guys step up! Now we have to see if they'll make good.

 

Sounds like the knees are getting a little cranky. Sorry to hear that. :( I hope you get the chance to give them some rest and maybe also get some PT done this next week.

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Week 2, day 7

  • Sleep 8.5 hours plus a nap in the afternoon. I think my body is telling me something.
  • Aikido 1.5 hours yudansha class
  • Grocery shopping
  • Swept laundry room, sorted laundry. Started a load of gis.
  • Made cantalope ice cream
  • Taught dancing and danced. Poor form but still counts as movement.

Aikido was interesting. We have three people getting ready for shodan tests. Instead of demonstrating, sensei made them show their techniques. Over and over. We had three groups with everyone else taking ukemi for the three candidates. It started with specific techniques (ikkyo, iriminage), then anything from an overhead strike. Continuous taking ukemi is aerobic. :D

 

After that we worked on sword take-away from yokomenuchi. Sensei had us start with shinai so that we could hit each other. Then we moved to using boken. Boken are shorter and lighter - much easier.

 

I took advantage of the newly clean screen porch in the afternoon. I felt like the house was a bit chilly. My partner runs warmer than I do and we argue about the air conditioning. I decided to concede on that topic for this summer. I lounged on the porch in the warmth watching the clouds drift past the skylight and listening to the neighbors mowing. It was heavenly.

 

The guys stepped up again to do their part. My housemate moved the lawn. He was outside working on his car with a friend when I went to get more charcoal and meat to grill for dinner. He and his friend got the grill going while I pattied burgers. They cooked the burgers while I made ice cream and salad. I had to run to dancing right after supper and they cleaned up. Win!

 

Cantalope ice cream (vegan, non-dairy)

1 slightly over-ripe cantalope

14oz can full-fat coconut milk

2/3 cup sugar

dash salt

2 Tbsp plum brandy (Slivovitz)

 

Cut the cantalope off the rind. Puree in food processor. (Or mash by hand with a potato masher). Mix in sugar, salt and coconut milk. Chill. Add brandy and mix well. Freeze in ice cream maker.

 

This made about 6-7 cups before freezing and easily 8 cups after freezing. I can't taste the coconut milk at all. Or the brandy for that matter. It tastes strongly of cantalope to me. Very refreshing.

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Week 3  days 1 & 2

 

Monday

  • 7.3 hours sleep. As usual it took me until 10:30pm to get to bed after dancing.
  • My weight is back down to where it was a month ago. Yay!
  • Two people called in sick at work. Luckily it was a slow day. I even made a little progress on my backlog.
  • I got home mostly on time and my partner was starting to saute pork chops for dinner. I hadn't even said for sure that I'd be home. He just wanted to make sure we had a good meal. I owe his guardian spirit tribute.
  • Knee/core exercises at lunch: thread-the-needle side planks, Sahrmann core exercise, bodyweight squats, blind ankle circles. Squats are much easier for me with a wider stance.
  • Took things easy. I washed my hakama to take advantage of the drop in humidity (it has to hang dry).
  • Made rhubarb tart because my partner made puppydog eyes at me while I was chopping the rhubarb so it would fit in the fridge.

Tuesday

  • 7.6 hours sleep. Stayed up too late cooking.
  • Finished ironing before work. I intended to do this Monday evening but got sucked into cooking instead. Which left me with a pile of damp linen clothes that really needed to be ironed or else.
  • Two different people called in sick at work. I had to stay late to cover. Busy day.
  • Short upper body workout at lunch - only two circuits. Considering that the last time I did pushups was April 30, it wasn't bad at all.
  • Grocery shopping (different store) on the way home. I wanted tortilla chips so I could have fruit salsa with dinner.
  • Finished the fruit salsa and pulled pork for dinner. It says something about the state of our fridge that I feel accomplished for finishing containers to make room. Getting more fruit and veggies to fit was a challenge.
  • Prepped breakfast and dinner for tomorrow. Lunches are already prepped by my partner.
  • Folded and put away clean laundry from the line, put laundry in dryer (that my partner put in the wash).

I told myself I did not have to do any work this evening because I stayed late at work and did grocery shopping. Apparently that is the right approach to getting a lot done. When I have a long to-do list I want to goof off instead.

 

My original plan included working in the garden. That got scrapped early on, but I did walk through the yard to see how the plants are doing. The raspberries are full of green berries. All the vegetables I transplanted survived and look good. The kale and Swiss chard have sprouted already! It occurred to me that all this gardening is just for fun. I can buy all the fresh veggies I want at the farmer's market. If I want to raise kale and chard for seed (both are biannual) that is perfectly fine. I could use them as accent plants in the flower beds. My yard is not a market garden that has to have everything in neat rows for cultivation. I think the cultural expectations I picked up in the Agronomy department in grad school are finally wearing off.

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My original plan included working in the garden. That got scrapped early on, but I did walk through the yard to see how the plants are doing. The raspberries are full of green berries. All the vegetables I transplanted survived and look good. The kale and Swiss chard have sprouted already! It occurred to me that all this gardening is just for fun. I can buy all the fresh veggies I want at the farmer's market. If I want to raise kale and chard for seed (both are biannual) that is perfectly fine. I could use them as accent plants in the flower beds. My yard is not a market garden that has to have everything in neat rows for cultivation. I think the cultural expectations I picked up in the Agronomy department in grad school are finally wearing off.

Loving this!  The switch to, yep, i'm growing ornamental beetroot!  I'm a big fan of veges avoiding straight lines - I slightly started it in reaction to my neighbours who a straight row gardeners - i was never going to match that (and their gardens make me twitchy in a bad way) so rebelled, and they still don't get it.....  though my raspberries start out as straightrows, then the suckers always escape.  Though wow - grad school agronomy!!!!!!!  Kudos.

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In your partner's defense, rhubarb tart is pretty awesome. If it's anything like rhubarb pie, he had a completely emotionally appropriate response.

 

Sounds like your garden is doing well too. I'm glad to hear that. :)

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In your partner's defense, rhubarb tart is pretty awesome. If it's anything like rhubarb pie, he had a completely emotionally appropriate response.

 

Sounds like your garden is doing well too. I'm glad to hear that. :)

 

He did indeed text me that it was awesome after he had some. I can't fault him on sticking with his goal of not eating after 9pm.

 

We have had a LOT of rain. Everything looks like a jungle. That gives me a free source of mulch by catching the grass clippings when I mow the yard. :)

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I think you need to make a rule against anyone getting sick at work until you are able to hire more people.

 

Yes, we talked about that. The last time our admin told the team not to get sick, one of the guys fell off a ladder and broke his arm. We know better than to do that again. :P

 

Week 3 continued

 

Wednesday

  • 7 hours sleep. Not a good trend. Got up early for:
  • Aikido early morning weapon practice. Jo katas. We have the moves of numbers 5 and 6 confused. Hopefully sensei will sort us out on Friday.
  • Meditation 16 minutes
  • Lunch-n-learn instead of PT at lunch. Mildly useful information and good roast veggies in the buffet.
  • Taught aikido 1.75 hours. Review for tests this weekend. Only 3 students so I got some practice in as well.
  • Stupid thing - I forgot my on-call phone at the dojo and did not realize until I got home. Only 20-25 minutes round trip but very frustrating.

Thursday

  • 7.5 hours sleep. Would have been more if I had not been upset about being stupid when I got home.
  • Knee exercises: floating lunges, pilates clams, Cheechoe's hip stretches and kicks. Arms still sore from Tuesday.

Major win on the relaxation goal today. My partner and I went out to dinner and a concert. Date night!

 

We often struggle with figuring out what to have for dinner and what to do. This time a friend sent me (and our whole dance group) a note about a concert given by the instructors of a fiddle camp (her kids were students). There is a restaurant nearby that we talked about trying. So I invited my partner to meet me there after work. We had a pleasant dinner and a great time at the concert. You can tell by my level of excitement that we don't get out much. Yep.

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Date night sounds lovely. Getting out rarely makes it all the more special when you do.

 

having to go back for that cellphone must have been very frustrating.  Otherwise, it sounds like the week is going well! 

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Quick post to say that I am not dead. Last week was pretty ugly. This week I am back on top of doing exercise and getting more sleep. I finished a couple time-critical things at work and even beat my backlog into submission.

 

On the other hand, I was right about things getting crazy busy. This week I have maybe an hour of open time in the evenings Monday through Friday. That is 1 hour for the 5 days.

 

Not all that time is work. Monday evening we had a birthday party for one of the chief instructors after class. Lots of people came to Monday night class who aren't usually there. It was fun.

 

Tuesday I had to stay late at work. When I got home I had to take care of an adult task (filing health care reimbursements). Then prep for an early morning on Wednesday.

 

Wednesday I did weapons practice before work, core/shoulder exercises at lunch and taught aikido in the evening. I knew I would not have time to meditate so I tried to incorporate meditation into my plank exercises. Instead of letting my mind wander while doing planks, bird dogs and supermans, I watched my breathing and form and worked on mindfulness. Total of 15 minutes in 1 and .75 minute segments.

 

Tonight my partner and I are going to a neighborhood festival for date night. Hopefully we will get home early enough to do a little house maintenance before I have to head to bed. Tomorrow night I want to go to both aikido classes. I want to ask sensei to teach a set of jo exercises that I have only seen once.

 

Work update: our first new hire starts on Monday. That's the good news. The bad news is that another person gave notice. The last week of July and first week of August we will be down six people: 4 gone, 1 on maternity leave, 1 on vacation. The new person won't start covering incoming work until the first week of August AND training will take someone else out most of the day.

 

Most of my time here we have been one or two people short. There was one summer when we had two people out on maternity leave, two on vacation and were training a new person. That was intense. This is going to be even more intense.

 

My revised goals are to make good triage decisions and keep a good attitude. Also keep up with exercises because cranky knees interfere with the good attitude. The garden is probably going to turn into a jungle. I can live with that. Maybe I can take some time off in the fall and clean it up before winter.

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Here is an interesting article for all of you: Quantification of biological aging in young adults

 

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/07/01/1506264112.abstract

 

The authors followed a group of over 1000 people born in one town in 1972-1973. They took health and interview data at 26, 32 and 38 years. Some people showed much faster aging than others.

 

This is more of a descriptive study than an experimental study. That said, it supports the contention that good habits and exercise in a person's 20s and 30s will make a difference in better health as they get older.

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Ooh, that week does sound ugly. Sorry to hear. :( And I definitely sympathize with you in terms of working places where there's not enough people to go around for all the work that's going on.

 

So, as they say: adapt, improvise, overcome. You may not get to make the decisions and do the things that you want to do, so you make the best decisions with what time and resources you have (in terms of willpower, etc). It's not a good time at work right now, but it's not going to last forever. It can't, not and your company keep the same level of productivity/profit. There will be correction in one form or another. As much as it may feel like it is to ask, you just have to outlast it.

 

I mean, come on. Going with the flow is what you aikido-folk do, isn't it? :P

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