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Gah, Wednesdays are rough.

 

I got 8 hours of sleep for the first time this week and it was not enough. It took a cup of green tea and half a cup of coffee before I was semi-functional at work. I was feeling better by the time I headed home. I was fully on-task for the rest of the evening.

Part I. 50 minutes at home between work and aikido. Ate food, started writing out a grocery list, folded and put away a load of laundry, got out clothes for work & exercise for the next day, updated log book. Brushed teeth.

Part II. Taught aikido. It was a small class with two beginners. Instead of doing an intermediate class, I asked if they had any questions. They asked me and the intermediate student why we chose aikido and stuck with it. You put in your $0.02, you get an answer. That took almost as long as class would have.

Part III. Gave a student a ride home and stopped by the grocery store to pick up chicken breasts (on sale cheap). Made brine for the chicken breasts and thighs. Removed skin from thighs, put everything in brine and stuck it in the fridge. Washed knee pads. Washed face and went to bed.

 

Did not: eat anything after supper, do Duolingo, do zen, do anything fun.

 

When I look at my choices, they all still make sense. I hate scrambling to find food for lunches. I feel responsible for thawing the chicken thighs and letting them sit in the fridge. Doing the prep last night sets up the chicken to be grilled today, which is feasible. Possibly even a good idea. This morning I drained the brine and put a marinade on the chicken so it is ready to grill. My fiendish plan is to ask Dumbledore to grill the chicken while I cook veggies for dinner tonight. The only completely optional choice yesterday was folding laundry. It could have sat until the weekend with no problems. I'm not sure if the feeling of getting a task done was as good as spending 15 minutes doing something fun would have been. It seemed like it at the time.

 

I'll see how things go today. Want to do a core workout at lunch. That takes >45 minutes. I could go for a walk and take advantage of the gorgeous weather instead. Or I could ask for some down time this evening. I'm leaning toward the latter option. I really want to do the core work.

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Update

 

I made it to aikido on Friday. Not on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, in spite of initial good intentions.

 

I did get some things done over the weekend. Looking at my previous list:

  • Saute summer squash with onions and red bell peppers I used the squash from the most recent CSA. The older summer squash was looking really sad. It is compost now.
  • Cook greens (collard, kale and carrot) with pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice
  • Make granola (we are going through a batch a week)
  • Marinate the cucumbers or make salad
  • Make calico beans to use up the hamburger I cooked the hamburger on Sunday and threw the beans and fixings in the crock pot this morning.
  • Figure out how to use up the fennel and the other half a cabbage. I have recipes that use cabbage. Fennel does not occur in my cooking world.
  • Marinate and grill chicken breasts and thighs Dumbledore did the grilling on Friday.
  • Stretch goal: make baklava. I have the nuts ground and ready to go. I've thawed the phyllo dough and put it back in the freezer. Hopefully it will still be okay. Now it is just a matter of time for buttering layers of dough and putting it all together. This falls under the Dark Side attractions banner.

Dreaded tasks:

Did more weeding in the back garden. I got Elf to help me move the wood-and-wire cover from the strawberries. The strawberry bed is now weeded. I planted the second hanging basket with flowers I bought a week ago. I moved other flowers around so that my front porch planters have almost all the geraniums and the back garden planters have all the petunias. That leaves me with two creeping phlox that need to go in the front garden yet to plant.

 

Did some filing and finances. I moved everything when I had people over. I haven't found the layer that has the papers I need. I'll work more on that tonight.

 

Other things:

I took Elf shopping on Saturday and got him a bike. We started at a big bike store located on a bike path. That way he could test ride different types of bikes without worrying about traffic. He was amazed at how light new bikes are. He sort of liked the first one (a commuter style) and loved the second one he tried. We checked out used bikes too. No surprise that they were not as good. I was surprised that they were not a lot less expensive. We went back and got the bike he loved, along with a helmet, lock and lights. I know that he will be riding after dark more often than not.

 

Elf rode home from the bike store (4.7 miles). On Sunday he biked to apply for jobs at a couple places that are not on a bus route. Then he mowed the lawn. He was wiped out afterwards. I learned that he hadn't biked at all in five years. He had a skateboard, which uses completely different muscles. :P 

 

Dumbledore and I figured out how to split up doing the laundry on Sunday. Hermes still had a load of clothes in the washer, and a load in the dryer that was still damp. I ran the dryer again, then came back in an hour and switched the clothes over from the washer and started a load of our laundry. I realized something was up when I had to run the second load of drying three times before it was mostly dry. Plus the dryer started making metallic clanking noises. Bad sign.

 

My project for Monday was finding a used dryer. If I had been more patient I could have gotten a gas dryer and spent less on getting it home. As it was, I had to rent a van on the last day of the month (ouch! $$) and drove 45 minutes each way to get an electric dryer. The plumber is coming today to disconnect the gas and fix a leak in the basement sink drainpipe. Dumbledore went to the hardware store to get a power cord that actually matches the 220V outlet in our basement. Who knew there were different types of 220V plugs in the US?

 

Now I've been goofing off online for an hour. Off do do some biking or weeding before getting back to work at home.

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Sounds like you had a busy weekend to make up for not making it to Aikido. As happens from time to time. Everything will work itself out, given enough work and time, although having to spend money in the short term can be pretty scary. :-\ Hope things work out soon!

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On 8/1/2017 at 4:07 PM, Mistr said:

 

  • Figure out how to use up the fennel and the other half a cabbage. I have recipes that use cabbage. Fennel does not occur in my cooking world.
  •  

 

I dont really like the anise flavor in fennel most the time, but I did use this once and i did enjoy it. Orange braised fennel Braising it seems to take out some of that strong flavor, and the orange added a nice sweetness

 

 

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My week so far:

 

Monday - ugh, did not sleep well. Must have coffeeeeeeeee.

Tuesday - Mostly enough sleep, swearing off caffeine again.

Wednesday - Still had trouble falling asleep for no good reason. Sticking to the non-caffeinated beverages.

wee hours of Thursday - sounds of shit hitting fan wake me up. Did not go back to sleep.

Thursday - Give me coffee and chocolate and no one gets hurt.

 

I'm doing okay now, in a caffeinated and slightly grouchy way. I got to do bokken work at lunch, which helped a great deal.

 

The problem last night was not really all that bad in the cosmic scheme of things. Elf was getting something out of the fridge and dropped a Pyrex storage container. Which shattered on the kitchen tile, like they do. The problem was that he was too shaky to clean it up. Probably why he dropped it in the first place. I suspect he is having some bad medication interactions. I also expect it will be a long road to getting his body chemistry on an even keel.

 

Aside from the recent excitement, I feel like I am starting to move forward after being stuck in the mud for a week. I've been able to focus and get more done. 

On 8/1/2017 at 6:07 PM, Mistr said:

Now I've been goofing off online for an hour. Off do do some biking or weeding before getting back to work at home.

 

What actually happened Tuesday evening is that right after I had a bite to eat, Hermes got home and wanted to finish installing the new dryer. Dumbledore did indeed get a new cord that fit. Hermes was happy to see that the connectors were color-coded, unlike with the old cord. He hooked up the cord while I scrubbed the lint catcher and wiped out the inside of the dryer. Clearly the previous owners were strong on fabric softener. I avoid scented products because my previous roommate was allergic to all of them. I helped Hermes get the dryer leveled and we verified that it works. Then I put the load of clothes that spent two days being wet in the dead dryer back through the wash.

 

I even got 20 minutes of work done after taking a break to relax and do Duolingo. Luckily Dumbledore got home early and told me to go to bed. I'm sure I would have stayed up late playing games on my phone if he hadn't.

 

Wednesday was my first really productive day in a week. My weapons partner cancelled at the last minute. That let me do an intense Elements workout - just what I needed. I got a few things done between work and class. I took some ukemi as well as teaching, and made a strike run to the grocery on the way home. I even got in a few minutes meditation before bed.

 

Tonight ought to be date night, but neither Dumbledore nor I got enough sleep. Best case is we will go for a walk. We agreed that I need to have a long talk with Elf about how to manage his bad days. Wish me luck. I need to walk the fine line between respecting his autonomy and pushing him to clean up his act. The joys of being a new parent to a 20-year old. I needed a challenge, right?

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2 hours ago, Mistr said:

Wednesday was my first really productive day in a week

Is it just me or does anyone else think that you sound more productive on your non-productive days than they do on a productive one?

 

2 hours ago, Mistr said:

 

Great to see you here again! How are things going with you?

Job is great, finding my feet again to find time to be here! Busy looking for a place...RV life is not everything I've dreamed of :lol:

 

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On 8/2/2017 at 5:10 PM, RES said:

I love taking the time to catch up with your thread :) 

me five dude.

I'm glad to hear that you've been making lots of good house cleaning progress!

 

My understanding of parenting is that it is a challenge.  I hope things go well with talking to Elf. 

 

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Quick update:

 

I went to the Friday night aikido seminar class. The visiting sensei was awesome. He had some great insights on basic technique and attitude in aikido. In spite of the awesome, I decided to not go to the other seminar sessions. I've been feeling behind at home for weeks. Instead, I went to both Saturday and Sunday classes at my dojo. My sensei is back on the mat after having to coach from the sidelines for months because of medical issues. When I'm training with a 6th dan and a bunch of yudansha at home, I can't complain. In fact, I know just how lucky I am. Sunday class was ukemi, taught by one of our shodans who just got back from a 10-day aikido camp. She had us work on soft fall prep exercises and connection. This is the first time she has taught at our dojo, and she did a great job.

 

Parenting: My talk on Thursday with Elf went much better than I expected. He was perfectly willing to think about short term and medium term goals. We talked about writing things down and making lists of potential jobs with pluses and minuses. He does not want to go back to school this fall for good reasons. That shifts his job hunting from a flexible part time gig to a full time job or two compatible part time ones. He wants to save some money so that he doesn't have to work as many hours when he does go back to school. We talked about him keeping a regular schedule. He allowed that he was not ever going to be a morning person. That's totally fine with me, it's a good thing that some people want to work second or third shift. We agreed to meet up again on Sunday and talk about what he decided.

 

So I got home this afternoon and Elf said that he had had quite a bit of time to think about things. He spent the weekend with his friend in a small town ~45 minutes away. He wants to get on a 2-10am sleep schedule, work out regularly and clean up his diet. He is going to apply for more jobs this week. He has an interview at a restaurant tomorrow. It looks promising. We agreed to keep checking in with each other every other Sunday.

 

A sign of parenting success - after we had lunch, Elf said he wanted to take a shower because he hadn't showered for two days. He blamed me for making him notice how disgusting his friend's bathroom was. WIN! :devilish:

 

On my side, I did indeed make progress on the things I've been avoiding. I balanced my checking account and the household account for the last three months. Tomorrow night I can tackle the medical reimbursements and budgets.

 

Now I'm off to bed so I can do weapons practice at the crack of dawn.

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Challenge Summary

 

I was clearly on the right track in looking at the things I do.

 

Aikido. How often do I want to practice? How often do I need to practice to keep making progress? Add the question: how often will my knees tolerate it?

Looks like the answer is still practice two days a week plus teaching on Wednesdays. Either Friday and Sunday or Saturday and Monday. Exceptions for seminars.

 

Archery. This is a new thing that I want to include in my next level. I started this. Didn't get very far. I need to figure out when to fit in the time.  

 

Zen. Ongoing. Sometimes it seems to be getting better. Lots of times I avoid doing it at all.

Still true. The retreat went well. Sitting zazen is going better when I do it. That time thing again.

 

Exercise. I decided to do the Elements program again, with HIIT and core work mixed in. I like the updates to the program so far. The mobility work is streamlined and better focused. I feel like the bodyweight/movement approach to upper body strength is safer for my joints and helping me develop better control. I'm only halfway into week 2 (out of 8 weeks). So far so good.

 

Sleep. This means getting to bed early enough to get 7.5-8 hours of sleep. Resisting temptation is part of it. Planning ahead and prepping clothes and food for the next day earlier would be smart.

Why is sleep so hard? I did implement doing prep work earlier, which helps. There were only a couple of nights when I made bad decisions and stayed up too late. Those were mostly on weekends. There were several nights where things happened outside my control. I also figured out that we have the night time temperature set too cold for me. I need to put a throw on my side of the bed if Dumbledore is away or staying up late. It doesn't feel chilly but I was not able to relax until I was warmer. 

 

Household stuff. My goal here is to get my part done efficiently without procrastinating and to negotiate about which parts are mine. Not to assume that if I don't do it, no one will. That might be true, but I need to ask first.

Partly successful. We did well on getting the house clean for a social event. I made progress on the garden and other tasks. Cooking still needs work. I reminded Dumbledore and Elf about cooking veggies last Wednesday. They both said they had ideas and would do some cooking. As of this morning, no veggie cooking has happened. (Except that I used up the summer squash in a gaspacho/hamburger soup).

 

Fun stuff. Allow time for some. Even plan ahead to do fun stuff with other people.

Several fun things happened. I went out for coffee after zen yesterday and had a chance to get to know some of the people better. I still feel like I have too much to do at home to take time for creative projects.

 

Overall I feel like things are heading in the right direction. AND I have a plan for my next challenge. :D 

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Break week mini-challenge: Clean up my act

 

I'm putting this here so people can find it.

 

I start each week on Monday by weighing myself. Same place, same time. This morning my weight was up to 155.0. That is the trigger point for taking action. The frustrating part is that my eating was not particularly bad last week. My weight was up a week ago too, so I was being careful. Apparently not enough.

 

Goals for one week:

  • No white sugar
  • No white flour
  • No caffeine
  • Good sleep hygiene

I will also cook more veggies. That is part of my plan for tonight if Dumbledore and Elf don't get to it first. Cabbage salad, cucumber salad, roasted veggies, roasted potatoes. Elf said he is going to cook chicken.

 

Tomorrow I made arrangements to get off work early to go train with another visiting sensei. That may or may not happen depending on how my knees feel. Three days of aikido in a row this weekend may have been too much. Plus my right shoulder is stiff in a new way. I'm thinking that two days of mobility work and evenings to do stuff at home may be just the thing.

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Geeeh, that sleep, though. A lot of learning experiences, sounds like. That might have done some things to your weight, and I'd recommend working on it... which you are, apparently, so that's good.

 

Seriously, get those men to work! You need time for your stuff too!

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Mid-week check-in

 

So far, so good.

 

Goals for one week:

  • No white sugar - Good
  • No white flour - Good
  • No caffeine - Good
  • Good sleep hygiene - Okay

I will also cook more veggies. That is part of my plan for tonight if Dumbledore and Elf don't get to it first. They didn't.  Cabbage salad-made Tuesday, cucumber salad, roasted veggies-made Monday, roasted potatoes-made Monday. Elf said he is going to cook chicken. He was still trying to thaw the chicken last night. Maybe today. I also guilt tripped him about not having cooked any veggies.

 

Sleep: I got seven hours of good sleep on Sunday night and eight hours on Monday night. I can tell I am still not caught up because I was dozy in meetings on Tuesday. So what gives with not being able to fall asleep on Tuesday night?!?!? I stayed up a little late to sit zen before going to bed. That is usually a good choice. I didn't eat anything after 7pm. The last time I had caffeine was on Friday. I did Elements at lunch and went for a short bike ride after supper. That should have been enough exercise to make my muscles at least a little tired. My brain just didn't want to cooperate. I wasn't thinking about anything stressful. No reason why I was twitchy and just resting in bed most of the night. Go figure.

 

Work made a sudden shift from nearly boring to all kinds of interesting. Two people gave notice this week. Both have career reasons not related to how things are going at work here. That will leave us short just as a bunch of people are out for training and summer vacations. I'm very glad I put in my request for time off at Labor Day weekend early on Monday.

 

In the medium term this means I am going to be busy. For right now, it gives me a bunch of things on my list that are easy to do. I feel like I can make a lot of progress quickly. Plus I'm more with it because of more sleep. I feel good about things right now. I may feel differently next week. :P 

 

I clearly picked the right week to not eat white sugar and flour. The treat table at work has been full: taffy and fudge from my grand-boss, mini-cupcakes for a coworker's birthday, bagels because another manager felt like it. One of the ways my boss counters stress for the team is to stock a cabinet with candy. That will start as soon as we become short-handed. I expect I will need to go back to the "only sweets I cook myself" limitation when I decide to eat sugar again.

 

My knees were terrible on Monday. They locked up anytime I sat still more than half an hour. I did HIIT at lunch in hopes of getting things moving. I could do it, but it didn't help. Maybe it was the barometric pressure? They were better Tuesday, but not so much that I wanted to spend an hour each way going to an aikido class. Instead I went grocery shopping, did a few responsible things and did fun stuff at home. I'm feeling much more on top of the things that were preying on my mind at home now.

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Break week update: Wed-Fri

 

Goals for one week:

  • No white sugar - Okay
  • No white flour - Okay
  • No caffeine - Good
  • Good sleep hygiene - Okay

I accidentally had some flour on Wednesday because Elf made chicken nuggets. I'm happy with giving myself the slack on this because I want to encourage him to cook and there is not much flour involved. I had more of them for lunch today. I also strayed a bit on the sugar with some candied almonds. Still on track with no caffeine.

 

This mini-challenge is demonstrating once again how much I use food as an emotional reward. I've been drinking chocolate-hazelnut tea (decaf!) to stave off the cravings for chocolate and coffee in the mornings. I might also be under my calorie needs a bit too much. I've been eating what I think of as reasonable portions of healthy food. I'm supposed to be a little hungry when I'm on a cut. I just have to figure out a way to do it that doesn't make me resentful. That way lies ice cream sundae madness.

 

As of Friday morning I've had two nights of 8 hours sleep in a row. Thursday I was tired and unfocused. Today I am not tired,  but I am grouchy and unmotivated. Just the kind of thing I would normally address with chocolate. :angry:  It's bad enough that going to aikido and not quite hitting people over the head with sticks does not sound like fun.

 

Things are good on the exercise front. My knees were bad again yesterday. I did an Elements workout at lunchtime. That felt okay. My knees felt puffy and walking was uncomfortable in the evening. Today they felt better. I did some mobility work from a Kate Galliette intro course plus core work. My squats are getting deeper and more comfortable. My knees still feel tight in the front when fully compressed and don't like carrying weight through part of the range of motion. At this point I'm leaning towards barometric pressure as the culprit. I've been eating pretty much the same food and doing the same exercises. No smoking guns anywhere.

 

Plan for the weekend:

More chocolate and more fun. I'm going to loosen up my eating goal to allow sweets that I cook myself. My ganache supplier has been traveling this summer, so I may need to get out my notes and try making my own ganache. Or I may go the easy route and make ice cream. Next up on my list is orange-chocolate made with coconut milk.

 

I still have quite a bit on my to-do list. I'm going to try alternating fun things and chores. I will see how I feel about going to aikido. I want that to be a fun thing, not another thing I feel I have to do. Taking inspiration from @Xena, my reward for dreaded tasks will be half an hour of doing fiber arts. I can pool this up to 1.5 hours. That should help keep me from putting it off too long. I want to limit the amount of time I spend playing games on my phone. The fact that I feel any attraction for phone games is a sign that I'm not doing enough other fun stuff. Go biking, check out a beach, go to a concert, read a book. Also work on my next challenge. I have a plan. B) 

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Summary

 

I stuck to my plan through Friday. I eased up on food restrictions over the weekend. As in completely threw them out the window. I did not pig out on junk. I did eat commercial cookies and grocery store hamburger and hot dog buns. I pretty much got enough sleep. I stayed up too late on Saturday, as usual. Luckily I could sleep in both Saturday and Sunday.

 

I got a bunch of stuff done. Saturday I went to an awesome aikido class and did a bunch of batch cooking. I grilled all the things: chicken, pork chops and brats. Sunday I attacked and conquered the grass that was trying to take over the end of my front garden. I had to use a garden fork to get it out. The landscape fabric under the former mulch did not stop it at all. It was the same sort of work as digging a new garden bed from the lawn. I planted two more creeping phlox. That finishes off the transplanting from my last garden center trip. I skipped zen and worked in the garden all afternoon.

 

By rights I should have done something fun in the evening. I did have a nice meal with Dumbledore and Hermes. Dumbledore asked me to go with him to a vigil in support of anti-white supremacy. I'm glad I went and showed my support. Many of the speakers were good. I was especially happy to hear an evangelical Christian denounce the actions of people who claim to be Christian but do not follow the word or spirit of their doctrine. I don't think most Christians in America see how much the alt-right wing fanatics are tarnishing the halo of their religion. Just like Islamic fanatics tar the reputation of Muslims. It makes a real difference when ordinary people speak up against violence and hate.

 

New challenge is here

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On 8/15/2017 at 5:38 PM, Mistr said:

By rights I should have done something fun in the evening. I did have a nice meal with Dumbledore and Hermes. Dumbledore asked me to go with him to a vigil in support of anti-white supremacy. I'm glad I went and showed my support. Many of the speakers were good. I was especially happy to hear an evangelical Christian denounce the actions of people who claim to be Christian but do not follow the word or spirit of their doctrine. I don't think most Christians in America see how much the alt-right wing fanatics are tarnishing the halo of their religion. Just like Islamic fanatics tar the reputation of Muslims. It makes a real difference when ordinary people speak up against violence and hate

 

Thanks for going and doing that.

 

...I'll go check out the new challenge!

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