Tuesday, July 10, 2012
For a few days anyway, after an 8.5 hour flight with a crying toddler in front of me who finally fell asleep 10 minutes before landing.
I left the airport by 2; by 2:50 pm I pulled into my driveway and saw this:
My earlier assumption was wrong. Instead of 20 feet of blue spruce in the yard a good 30 feet of the tree had snapped of, taking a large limb of the maple tree with it. Inside the house I had an estimate for cutting everything up, cutting down the remaining 15 feet of tree and removing the stump for the "deal" price of $800. Which is not too much more than I was expecting.
So by 3 pm I was back in the car and up to Lowe's to buy myself a chainsaw. $95 and 4 hours later this is what I'm left with:
I think I'll just leave it there for now, see if it survives, instead of having it cut now and de-stumped. At least I no longer have to worry about it falling onto the house.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
I know I've been MIA lately. So much going on, not enough time to do it all. You all know the story.
Had black belt pre-testing last Saturday. I was to chicken to read the results until today. You know how it is when you take any sort of test...you keep reliving and magnifying all of the mistakes you made. And while I am confident on the outside there is still that nasty little voice inside convinced I failed. And then I had a dream this morning that I finally looked at my results and they had a big red line through them, meaning I had failed and would not be allowed to test next month. Since I didn't like that dream at all I woke up and got out of bed to make sure I wouldn't continue with it, instead of sleeping in today like I had planned. But nothing for it now but to bite the bullet and finally look at the results.
I passed the areas of the pre-test! I have areas to work on, and we didn't test everything, but I get to test in a few weeks and have a pretty good shot at it.
Please don't tell me you expected nothing else, I can't afford to get over-confident right now. I need the worry to push me to try that much harder.
I've been in France for work this last week, no real exercise at all during this time for various reasons. Unlike home which has been going through a major heat wave here in Compiegne it has been cool, overcast and rainy. At least my nutrition has been OK. I couldn't get an affordable flight home on the weekend so I'm sill in France today and fly home Monday morning. All flight options seemed to have me connecting to a Royal Dutch Airlines flight...which had a "sudden" price increase of over $6000 as soon as I clicked on the flight option (for a coach seat mind you, not even Business Class). Even if I'm not the one paying for it...I don't think so. If my ticket is going to cost over $7000 it had damned well better NOT be in coach. So I go home tomorrow.
And get to see the damage. On Tuesday there was a huge storm and the top 20 feet of the blue spruce in front of my house came crashing to the ground. Fortunately it was to the ground and not on my house or the neighbour's house/car. I still haven't seen a picture to know how bad it really is but I can imagine. Getting rid of it is going to be an expensive pain, my insurance would only cover it if the tree had hit a building or vehicle. I'm OK with that b/c if it had hit the house it would have taken out the 2nd floor...not to mention landing squarely on my bed! But it's still going to be an expensive pain to get rid of, and I get back on the plane to France Saturday night so coordination is not going to be fun.
Yesterday I spent the day at the palace and grounds of Versailles. I almost didn't go but as with exercise and other times I forced myself out of my comfort zone, I'm glad I went. I have pictures, which I will post in another blog b/c they are on my camera and data roaming charges are too astronomical to send them until I get home. I had lunch at a little cafe stand in the gardens there and was joined by several of the cats that apparently live in the gardens. They ate all the chicken from my pizza and were reasonably polite about it. One of them even ate a slice of tomato someone gave her and two of my mushrooms. I've never seen a cat eat veggies before.
This was initially meant to be just a quick check in to let you all know that I'm still alive so I will end here and go take the nap I promised myself.
Friday, June 29, 2012
As you may remember for I few months I did. Push-up challenge with some other Spark members, which ended sometime in June. The challenge was for consistency, not quantity and the goal was to do a minimum of 4 sets of pushups 6 days per week for several months.
Honesty, however, compels me to admit that is only because GETSTRONGRR missed a day due to some travel misadventures. Further honesty compels me to admit that the actual challenge was really a tie since I also missed one day in May when I was feeling contrary and just did not do them.
But I still won.
A few weeks ago Sensei B announced that the black belt candidates would have to do a pre-test to make sure we were ready for the real test on August 4. The pre-test is tomorrow. So last night I went to the early class to assist and during the classes' warmup said "Mr. M, come over here and count Rebekah's pushups and situps, she has two minutes to complete 50 of each.". And these are military style pushups, not girly ones.
Nothing like being on the spot unexpectedly!
But thanks to my daily pushups challenge from the past few months I finished 60 of them in less than the 2 minutes.
So then I asked Sensei B "Since I did the pushups/situps tonight I don't have to do them on Saturday, right?"
I knew the probable answer but had to ask anyway since one just never knows what the answer will actually be. I might have gotten lucky.
His answer was "If you couldn't do them tonight you wouldn't BE testing Saturday, I don't want to waste my time if you can't meet the basic fitness requirements. And you will do them again on Saturday."
Right. Just what I expected but I had to try
But I wonder how the other 3 candidates "knew" to miss class last night?
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
1) Maintain my weight at +5 / -14 pounds
still ~5-6 lbs over goal range at month end but this has changed for June
3) Do some sort of housecleaning or maintenance daily
5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.
Debt #3 to be paid in June
6) Ready to test for black belt by end of June:
6c) Make terminology flashcards by end of February; review weekly until testing
Have not been reviewing weekly
6d) Assist in 4 classes per month (20 total required)
Ahead of schedule, have 17 classes of 20 needed by end of May; 3 more to go
6e) Learn and master sais kata
Have learned most of the form, need to confirm the final few steps next week
6f) Keep running so as to maintain ability to run 2 miles in 18 minutes
My 90 seconds is still missing because I was barely running in May. This has changed in June
6g) Be able to do 55 pushups in May; 60 in June
7) Goal revamped – finish mailbox / light switches / outlets / floors / doors / ceiling fans / curtains before I move, timing TBD
2 doors & ceiling fans installed, mailbox finished, switches & outlets finished, floors done (the ones I had planned to do, now I have to do the small bathroom floor which I had not planned on); 3 doors left to do
8) Postponed to 2013 - Run my first marathon by October 21
My priority is black belt testing; I will aim for the Paris marathon in April 2013.
9) Other goals as they occur to me.
Refinanced my car; tested for & earned my new professional certification; finalized my expatriate employment contract; closed out the kids’ high school records
10) Have fun and stress less!
11) NEW GOAL - weekly pushup challenge
Doing 5 sets of pushups, 6 days per week. Currently at 5 sets of 30 plus extras during karate training class.
2) Become a half fanatic by the end of August
4) Break my dependence on Splenda
6b) Ni kyoso suro no kata approved in February; Bassai kata approved in March
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