Unsettled

With a big change to my daily routine, it’s been hard to focus on things like writing, so I really didn’t this week. My schedule is still in flux in other areas, but I’m working on it.

I installed my air conditioner in my bedroom on Friday as I needed it to survive the plus 40 C humidity. I had to go buy tape in order to finish it, so I stopped by the sushi place as a little celebration of finishing my first week back at work. I changed up what I usually get by reducing the amount of rice some. I feel good about that change.

I started tracking my food in an app. The first one I tried, I got rid of pretty quick when I realized all the calories were wrong and it forced me to eat more food than I need to. Every item it reported as less than they actually are. Bad! Also, I swear they focus too much on the wrong things. Yes, I’m a woman. But I’m a woman who is under 5 foot tall and I am trying to lose weight. If I’m not active in a day, I really don’t need a ton of food. It made me eat until I was bloated just to fill it’s own metric claiming I wouldn’t have had enough calories to function properly. The “strange” thing is that when I ignored it the other days, my digestion improved and I felt great. I’m now using MyPlate and it seems accurate and doesn’t try to force me to do anything. It also doesn’t tell me to eat more because I did a little exercise. I can just eat extra if I’m hungry instead and have less if I’m not hungry, which I think is a much better model.

I was thankful when the extreme heat broke last night and I could air out my place as I couldn’t get the main part of my condo to cool down. Today, I’m working on catching up on dishes as it’s been too hot to run a dishwasher until today. I was also able to use the stove and have some leftovers for weeknights.

And I tried a new church today. It was a little overwhelming as the sermon was about a lot of the things I’ve been struggling with over these last few years. Plus my allergies have been bad too. It was good though. The group has a decent amount of people around my age. It’s also really close to home and they like playing music. There were a lot of friendly faces and at least one from my building. My nose was running, so I didn’t stick around after. Next time!

I got a few things today like a cute blue dress that was on clearance for $9. I’m going to add some ties to it as it’s currently pretty shapeless, but I’ve been having trouble with the ones that zip up the back lately. I either can’t contort my body to reach enough or it gets caught on itself while zipping. They need to make more side zip dresses in my opinion.

WRITING

I’ve done virtually nothing here. Though I did get inspired by a weird encounter at my library while trying to return some learning materials. I’ll be adding a scene when I remember which chapter it fits in. I have a NOTES tab in Scrivener for those things that need placement.

Since things have changed on the music front, I expect I’ll have more time to just come home and write at the end of the day most of the time though, so I’ll be kicking butt here soon.

I’m thinking about a major change to the setting. There was a companion story published, but it’s not like there are a lot of copies out in the world. I could also revise that and re-release it at a later time. Or that could just be a fun little trivia bit about the story.

  • The Page & The Magician: 72,051/80,000

FINANCES

This week is my first pay week! I’m looking forward to this job and the ability to do a little more than just surviving.

  • OSAP Loan: 3.17%
  • Savings: TBD*

*My adviser and I will meet again in the fall to get things rolling here.

FITNESS

  • Gym: 0/3*
  • Iaido: I skipped out today. I wasn’t feeling great.

*I’m going to ask about this stuff this week as we get a small fitness incentive.

HOME

I tackled my shredding, which has been a long time coming.

My tires are currently in my living room, which isn’t ideal, but I had to move them to get my air conditioner. I might as well leave them here until I can get them on my car because they’re not fun to move around repeatedly.

  • Declutter: This weekend I’ve gotten rid of:
    1. bras that don’t fit
    2. a storage container I emptied out
  • Bathroom: Nothing yet.

FRENCH

  • Read: I’ve read 9 chapters while waiting for my equipment and accounts to be available.
  • Class: I’ll look into this this week too.

MUSIC

  • Piano: I’ve decided to try and go back to my old school as the lessons are half the price and they can also teach me the stuff I want and have the same other opportunities once I’m not such a newbie to the instrument. Scheduling was too difficult at the new one and I don’t have a lot of time to monkey around.

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Flow

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Image created using Bitmoji

We practiced Oku Iai the other day. The seated Oku set.

I love both the seated and standing Oku sets because they are the most artistic and free flowing. There’s no constant stopping, just beautifully dangerous sword work.

Well, if you can do it right.

It takes a long time to get there. I know I’m not there yet.

So mine still looks pretty jerky because beginners are taught to pause in a lot of places.

I sit down differently than in this video because women can grab the left opening on our pants and do a curtsy-like motion instead. I really like that.

Indeed, I have other work to do too. My left quad is not as strong as it needs to be in order to sit properly in tatehiza and my right is not strong enough to let me get up quickly enough.

There is always something to continue to work on with this art.

I see many squats and lunges in my future.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Warrior Wednesday – Food and Fitness

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

A couple of weeks ago, I switched to a low FODMAP diet after having some people horrible reactions to garlic.

Before that, I was having a lot of trouble working out. Every practice had me taking nearly 5 days to recover.

It was ridiculous.

I knew something was wrong, because I used to play roller derby and wasn’t having anywhere near the trouble I was having.

I never thought that it could be the result of eating the wrong things for me.

Working out is hard enough. Early on there should be some pain and it should take a day or two to recover fully, but I was feeling like I had been out doing an intense paintball session including army crawls after my regular Sunday class. It had gotten to the point that I couldn’t make most Tuesday classes because it hurt too much to walk let alone consider doing my martial art.

I was worried I’d have to give it up.

But it’s like night and day after changing my diet.

I’m excited about my art again and looking forward to doing it more.

I’m also super excited for my space gym. I had backed it on Kickstarter before losing my job in July of 2016. At the time, I was freaking out because I couldn’t get the money back. Now, I’m looking forward to getting in better shape and I’m hopeful I can finally fully recover from my neck injury. It’ll be here any day now. One of the best things about it for me is that many of the machines at gyms don’t really fit my petite size well. Especially the ab machines. Another great thing is not having to go to a gym. No extra gym fees and I can work out anywhere. It weighs around 2 lbs, so I can take it with me if I want. It will also fit nicely in my small condo.

I kind of want to see if, now that I know which foods cause me to bloat and increase recovery time, I can get my abs to come out of hiding. I’ve seen hints of them periodically.

Who knows what the new year will bring?

But first, there is Christmas baking to figure out…

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Healthy Progress

thoughtfulI think I’ve figured it out. I know I’ve thought that about 10 times before, but I really think I have this time.

I think my digestive issues are Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The things I’ve had trouble with, those that have given me the most pain, are on the IBS list of things to avoid (dairy, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, beans). I’ve had minor problems with some of the other things on the list like apples and overripe bananas. One of the first things that ever made me sick was ketchup, which I’ve been eating a lot lately.

Why didn’t I think of it before?

Oats.

Oats made me believe it must be Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. They share a similar protein.

Recently, I’ve been having a ton of trouble with garlic. That points to IBS, especially with the other things except oats.

So, I started doing some searching online and it turns out a lot of IBS folks have trouble with oats too. Why they’re on the recommended food list, is strange to me in that case, but I’m going to switch to garlic oil and avoid onions to see if that resolves my remaining major issues. Apparently infused oils give all the flavour and none of the evil.

I’ll have to make my own pasta sauce and certain fruits & vegetables. Oh look, here’s a recipe for pasta sauce that isn’t some weird beet concoction. Italian is one of my favourite food groups, so that’s pretty important.

I also learned there is research being done into autoimmune conditions and heavy metal toxicity. It is convincing enough for me to try zeolite. It’s like a clay that helps remove heavy metals from the body and comes from volcanoes. I’m not generally one for the detox thing. The liver usually does a great job of clearing the bad out on its own. Heavy metals are different though. They’re hard to clear from the body through the natural processes. Since I react badly to a lot of pharmaceuticals anyway, I figure it’s worth a try for $30. I also still have some old metal fillings from the 80s and 90s. My case is so mild, my doctor isn’t totally sure I have an autoimmune condition yet, so maybe I can prevent it from getting worse and get rid of it altogether. It’s definitely worth a try.

I’m cleaning up other areas of my life too. I bought the e-book of The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. I never liked the idea of the Kon Mari method. It feels too hokey to hug the crap I want out of my life. Just pitch it already. Anyway, I read what’s available for free on Amazon look inside and felt like it was the book for me. It’s supposed to even help me clean up my digital files too. Speaking of my digital life, I’ve unfollowed a ton of things and left many groups on Facebook because I wasn’t seeing most of the content I enjoy. My feed is getting better.

Sometimes less is truly more.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Merry Monday – When September Ends

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Image created using Bit Strips.

The annual iaido and jodo seminar happened this weekend. We had a few less people than last year, but those who came learned quite a bit. We split into three groups and the instructors rotated between us. I loved it because we all received feedback from different teachers who may be saying similar things to our own, but they say it in a different way than our own does and sometimes that’s all you need for a eureka moment. I didn’t have a eureka moment this time around, but I did figure out that I can do more at home than just practicing the kata. It’s hard to swing weapons around in my condo, but I can practice the lower body pieces once I make space to. So, that means some cleaning needs to happen, which I want to do anyway. I might make up my own exercises that could be kihon based on pieces from each kata. Of course, I can practice basic cutting too, but they were stressing that we aren’t doing enough to ensure our legs are strong, so I think that, my neck, and some core would be best to focus on.

I did have some trouble with my knees. I hope that won’t become a regular thing. I need to do more before I attempt Nidan grade again. I suspect that will come quick with it being the first weekend in December as we’re already in October.

There were a lot of good conversations and some tasty drinks, though I wasn’t fond of the cider I had on Friday as the acid in it gave me heartburn and other fun issues that made me late on Saturday. I also had missed one assignment and needed to squeeze that in despite a slight hangover.

Ah well, everything came together and it was great to see my martial arts pals!

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Health & Fitness Update

sword

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Between the posture wedge and just carting less things around campus, my neck is doing a lot better. On Tuesday of last week I was crying and wondering how the hell I was going to make it through two semesters in so much pain. Now I feel like I need to become one with the virtual world and set up residence inside Blackboard, but my pain has drastically reduced. My tablet is here, but I can’t use it yet as I’m not allowed to pick it up until after 1PM and I’m in class until 3PM.  I checked with First Draft and I’m good to go on installing it on a second device, so yay 🙂

I haven’t found time to run lately and it’s been impossible to make it to Tuesday iaido classes, but hopefully I’ll be in my groove soon.

It looks like the HEMA club will hopefully be up and running soon. I’m going to take it easy with the sparring aspects and focus on learning some history and maybe help with writing translations.

For one of my assignments, many of us messed up and did the wrong thing, so we have to redo it. I’ve now written an episode of South Park involving martial arts. It needs more work before it’s final, but it’s going to be a nice portfolio piece to show one of my styles of writing.

I got lost in A building briefly, but I seem to know most of the campus now. I’ve gotten used to the extra walking and it’s not killing me now. Hopefully soon I’ll feel good enough and have the swing of things, so I’ll be able to fit in more other exercise.

Well, hopefully this is the last day of class with the laptop. I really enjoyed the freedom I felt on Monday when I didn’t have to lug a bag around. I got to sit upstairs on a double decker and despite the bug guts on the windows, it was neat to see my neighbourhood from up there.

Class should be starting soon if the teacher can get the equipment working, so I’ll have to say bye for now.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Warrior Wednesday – Warrior Spirit

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

I swear I will continue the Book of Five Rings soon. The fire chapter is long and life has been challenging as of late.

What makes a warrior? To me, some part of it is determination. Not every one has the same skills and some of us have more challenges than others. The ability to dig deep and push on despite all odds is an important one.

Tuesday was an extremely trying day for me. My quad muscles were overworked on Sunday making each step I took painful. There was no where to sit on the bus and it’s not so pleasant to be standing with a wheeled bag. I managed to wedge my bag so it wouldn’t move about, but that meant lifting it even more than I already have to because I’m taking the bus.

Which brings me to my first breakdown of the school year. In college the first time, it was the realization that I didn’t want to be a social worker. In college the second time, it was a particular teacher who “lost” my work. Yeah, I know what that sounds like, but that one was sure I didn’t belong in that industry. In university, it was Business Statistics followed by Microeconomics that had me burst into tears because math was super scary for me. I still don’t love math, but it doesn’t terrify me these days.

This time it’s physical pain that is making me worry. I’ll get through it because that’s who I am, but it was a trying day. Part of my issue is posture, so I ordered a few devices to help me with that. I almost ordered a neck brace too, but I’m going to see how the other things do first.

I emailed my teachers to see if they know of any options for me to get around the bus and bag lifting issue that is keeping me in this highly painful state because they really drilled into us not to suffer in silence. Usually, I just suck shit up and deal but I’m trying a new thing.

It’s so frustrating. I know I can do the work. It’s just the damned weight of my things that is making it a struggle. And it’s restricting my placement options, but since I have a car that might work out okay.

I’m wondering if this thing is ever going to heal. I looked at internet stuff and one of the “fixes” is surgery. I live alone and it’s not like I would want the doctors in my hometown doing neck fusion surgery. It’s probably not at that level yet anyway, but I’m skilled at over-analyzing stuff and driving myself crazy.

My teacher got back to me as I was typing this up and suggested I get in touch with the accessibility centre to see if they can help and what my options are. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself. Oh. Probably because my neck was screaming that my head is too damn heavy and it’s tired of having to do all the work.

Back to martial arts though. I met with the man that runs the HEMA club on Tuesday before leaving the campus. They haven’t got a practice space yet, so we’ll see what happens there. I’m too broken for anything that resembles sparring, but part of it is studying different sword styles and I may be more of a member that just reads stuff because of it. My goal is more to learn about what I don’t know about sword stuff already and we do very careful partner practice in my dojo anyway.

Our seminar has had a small insurance hiccup and I’m hoping that is ironed out promptly. The wrong information was written on the rider and now we’re again waiting for the proper one. I guess they ignored our instructions.

The OTC pain killer I took is kicking in as I sit here in inflatable traction since one of the other exercises was doing nothing to help me. I’m feeling quite a bit better after reaching out and starting a dialogue to deal with this neck thing before we’re deep in the semester and I’m in too much pain to function and drowning in homework or something as a result.

The next thing I need to do is eat food. It’s actually Tuesday night as I’m typing this. So food and I’m going to try and get one of my other assignments off my plate since I’m almost done one of them anyway.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~