A "G-Rated Journal" That Even My Mother Can Read (because she does!)

Effervescence is a state of mind. It's about choosing to bring sunshine to the day.
Every person I meet matters.

If it's written down, I know it (If it's not written down, I don't know it)
If it's color-coded, I understand it (If it's not color-coded, I don't understand it)

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Daddy-do and me, 2010

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As I was saying, or Speaking of

The Other Updates - I used the phrase "more on that later" twice in my last post, so here's where my brain was going.

Fighter practice on Wednesday night - I arrived fairly late, because I spent over an hour on my job application paperwork. But when I did arrive, I had a little time to work on my new borrowed instrument (snicker, snicker), chat with friends, and approach a couple people about my alms-box from my Laurel. Afterwards we went to IHOP for dinner, where I had some coffee and two harvest-grain-nut pancakes, and lots of time spinning a wool/silk blend on the top-whorl spindle Lynn made for me. I have 2 skeins done of this fiber, and probably 2-3 more left I can make.

Amya was wearing the cutest knitted wrist cuffs, and I so totally want to knit some now, too! *squee* I'll have to see if she'll let me take photos. Today I was browsing (which is a buy/sell site for homemade items), and the tag or keyword "wrist warmers." All of them were ugly compared to Amya's cute and adorable cuffs. I cannot remember who knit them (was that Marion?), but whomever it was did a wonderful job!

Hmm, speaking of knitting, I also only have two scarves... [I was going to say "two cute scarves" but I only have 2 scarves total, and of course they're both cute]. So now I'm feeling all motivated to knit up some more scarves for myself (and ideally from my own hand-spun yarns) because there are only so many ways to coordinate with a yellow/black scarf (knit for me by Meala) and a purple scarf (knit for me by my roomie). I need more colors!! (hee hee)

In my previous post, I also mentioned I was still exercising and stretching in the morning. I had some thoughts on this recently, about how to stay motivated and how to look for mileposts and accomplishments. I'm looking at it like a 10-week course at university (I was on the quarter system, rather than semesters), and thinking about it as if I were enrolled in a fitness course. After 10-weeks I'll have finished the first level, and I can enroll in the next course. So far I have successfully worked out (or "attended class") every day for two weeks, taking just Saturday morning off for rest. Two weeks of class down, eight weeks left to go in this level.

I'm having fun remembering elements from all the ballet, jazz, musical theatre, movement, and belly-dancing courses I ever took, and even some of the stretches from running cross-country in high school. I'm feeling the stretches a little better every day, and I'm looking forward to seeing how far I've come after 10 weeks. Yippee. Here's to feeling the successes of setting goals and achieving them!

* * * * *
The Rest of the Adventures - Last night Nathan threw one more dinner party before he goes back to see family in Hawaii for a month. He invited a co-worker, Simon, who wore a t-shirt that stumped me for a moment. Looking at it I was thinking, "Why are those Hebrew letters written the wrong way?" (left to right, instead of right to left) Then, "Hey, that's not a Hebrew letter... Oh Cyrillic!" Then I realized I was reading in Russian, and I actually figured out that the shirt was a bear saying "Hi! How are you?!" Wow. Hard to believe I can still read any Russian anymore. Hmm. Maybe I should go look that up again. [ooh, look, shiny!]

Sorry, I'm back. :)

Besides Simon, Adam was there, Bruce and Ellen, Sarah, Kim, Nate, and me. Sarah's out of finals and sitting around bored in Santa Barbara lately, so although she had the longest drive, it made plenty of sense. I brought some spinning in with me (the fiber that Ellen gave me), and I got to show her the 2 finished skeins so far. I also brought my alms-box since both Bruce and Ellen are peers. Ellen went and got an actual token for me, and stuffed a spindle whorl and a spindle shaft that she filed herself in through the "coin slot" of the box. It took some finagling, but she did it! *laughs* Bruce still hasn't figured out what to write or put in for alms, so I'll hit him up again later.

I also brought in the stringed instrument I'm practicing (hint, hint), and noodled around on the tuning and the accompaniment work for a good 30+ minutes just as background to the conversation. I'm trying to remember to practice every day from now until the competition on January 5th, and I also hate to leave the instrument in the car when it's cold out. So it comes in the house with me every night, and goes with me every day when I head out. I found a big enough drawstring bag (gotta love those Elyramere bags!) in my stash to put the instrument and case in, because the case is falling apart.

Unfortunately this meal at Nathan's wasn't on a weekend, so it was a little more inconvenient that he had to do his grocery shopping on the way home from work, then unpack all the food, then cook. Dinner was late according to old-Nathan patterns, but when we finally all sat down at the table there was a 10-lb salmon, a giant bowl of salad (with sliced pears and fresh mozzarella cheese), two blended creamy veggie soups (butternut squash and broccoli with fresh garlic), a great flat bread (and oil and balsamic), some crunchy dark bread sticks, and a huge pan of potatoes. Nate was the funniest, with his bowl and plate so wiped clean that they almost looked fresh out of the cupboard. With all the assembled guests, we managed to put away nearly half the salmon, which looked amusing to see all the flesh on one side, and all skeleton sticking out the other side (almost like a cartoon fish skelton). We finished up with some coffee (which Nathan ground in this awesome hand-crank coffee grinder, and then made in a french press) and some single-malt whisky (only for the 1 or 2 people who didn't have to drive anywhere). Yum. What a lovely evening.

I got home much more awake and safely than some dinner party nights, and I didn't even need a nap for the drive. Of course, I also had to sing quite a bit during one sleepy stretch, but singing at the top of my lungs in the car at midnight going past the downtown LA skyline has a unique appeal to it. And there are some great resonant harmonics I can get out of the tiny interior of a Ford Festiva, me alone, and my lungs filled to capacity. I'm just sayin. *grin*

* * * * *
Coming Up - Tonight I'm going to a "mini-shabbat course" dinner at the synagogue -- they're doing a 3 part series on "how to have a Shabbat dinner in your home" which makes me giggle, since I've been enjoying Shabbat dinners with Jeff and Adrienne semi-regularly for nearly 2 years now. But I'm curious about their perspective from an instructional point of view, and it never hurts to learn more things. This month is Friday dinner (and probably it leads right into Friday services, which I've never attended before). January is a Saturday services and a Lunch get-together. And February is a Sunday afternoon on how to bake Challah. I'm really looking forward to the baking one, although I'm torn now because it's scheduled on the day of the "Arts and Archery" event in my Barony. I'm not sure which one I'll have to miss out on, because I don't think I can squeeze both into my schedule.

Speaking of schedules, my Mom's birthday is next week (*squee*) and I need to double-check all my weekend commitments compared to my sister's schedule and my Mom's schedule. Plus tomorrow is a huge Archery demo in my barony, and I'm thinking of taking my Great Wheel to demonstrate spinning. Plus one of the guys wants to take photos of my wheel (with the idea that he wants to build one), and I want to take photos of the demo for our local newsletter (which I publish). And there's Quidditch on Sunday, so lots of exercise in the park! *yippee*
* * * * *
Today's Blessing That I'm Thankful For: Nathan, a man with a big heart and not nearly a big enough kitchen (or kitchen staff, *grin*)

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