Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday


Probably the only good thing about inventory is that we get the next day off. I spent most of today moving stuff, and I finally feel like I'm making progress. I still have some furniture to move, but I'm going to have to find somebody with more beef that I've got to do so. I could hardly move my dresser out far enough to unplug the lamps. And that was after taking most of the drawers out!


Last weekend, Cody and I rented some movies. I finally got to see Failure to Launch. It was pretty good. Tuesday night, Barrett, Twinkie, James and I were standing outside the dojo chatting before class began, and I mentioned the movie. I said that on the special features they had a man on there who was 38 years old and still living with his parents. I couldn't believe it when Barrett--who is 25--said,


"If I wasn't married, I'd still be living with my parents."


And Twinkie--who is 21 and lives with his grandparents--said, "I'm staying there as long as I can."


What is with these people? There's no way I'd still be living with my mother, though my 35 year old brother does. I guess I'm far too independent. I like being on my own, not having to answer to anyone but my own conscience.


I just don't get it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Inventory

I was at work from 5:15 AM until 7:45 PM. The first thing Cody said to me when I got home was,

"I hate inventory days."

You're not the only one, little man.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Beautiful Fall Day

It was a beautiful fall day today. Cool temps and a pleasant breeze from the North. I didn't even break a sweat at work today.

Speaking of work, we have inventory tomorrow and I have to be in at 5:30. I'm going to bed early tonight.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cody's Disappointment

Some of you may remember, we had rank tests in karate last week. Yesterday sensei promoted those who tested. I thought Cody was going to cry when sensei promoted him to yan-san kyu. That is brown with a white stripe. He thought he would be testing for full brown, and if he had put any heart and effort at all into his basics and kata, he probably would have gotten it. He just can't seem to understand that he can't just slop his way through basics and kata and expect to do well. I guess he thinks sensei doesn't look, but he does. He sees the huffing and sighing, the eye rolling and muttering, and most of all, the laziness and sloppiness. I don't dispute this promotion at all. I talked to sensei years ago and told him that I wanted Cody to learn that he's got to work for what he gets. The only thing I didn't agree with was he gave Cody a Needs Improvement on his history and tradition. I tested Cody on that, and he knew everything I asked.

I worked for several hours in the old house packing up stuff, but it seems like I hardly made any progress at all. It's getting frustrating because I pack and pack, and it hardly seems like I make a dent in my pile of junk.

I've got snakes that need feeding...Gotta go thaw mice.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Thought

From Charles James:

The goal of training in karate is to develop a mind that is in harmony with the self and the Universe. By controlling the self you are able to control any situation and will find the way.

Forge;Discipline;Train

I like that.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Have a New Cousin

John Curtis Brimm, Jr. was born Saturday, September 23, at 7:24 PM. He weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs 8 oz.

His mother Misty was in labor for 36 hours, and when John, Jr was born, he had some breathing problems. He was on oxygen for a while, but is now off and breathing well on his own.

This is John, Jr. with his dad, John, Sr., his great-grandfather Curtis, and his grandmother Judy. Not pictured is great-grandmother Martha, who is my late father's oldest sister.

The little girl in the background is John, Jr.'s cousin Alexa.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fall

Yesterday was the first day of fall, and I completely missed it. With temperatures still in the mid 90's, I can't imagine why...


Harbingers of fall are all over the yard and fields.



These are spider lilies, that I always want to call tiger lilies, though I don't know why. This is a tiger lily:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's Raining



My Saturday Sky photo today is of a massive storm moving in. Cody and I went to the store after I got off work, and just about the time we got home, the bottom dropped out. It was a pretty bad scene there for a while, but my new house felt solid as a rock.
There must be something in the water around here. Two of my friends from work are expecting their first grandchildren. Both of them will be having twins. How weird is that?
There was something else I wanted to blog about, but right now I can't remember what it was. Maybe I'll think of it later...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Squeaky

does not like the new house. She has been staying in the old house, and last night, she jumped out the window. When I let Katie out this morning, Squeaky followed her back inside--to the new house. As soon as she got inside, she stopped and looked around like, "wait a minute, this isn't my house!" Boy did she set up a squall! Even after I picked her up and comforted her a bit, she was still yowling, so I finally let her back outside. Once I finished dressing, I let her back into the old house, and you could almost hear her say, "ahhhh..."

Not much to talk about today. The old wisdom tooth is flaring up, so I'm going to take a pretty good sized pain killer and go to bed. Good thing I already have a dentist appointment in two weeks, or I'd have to schedule one.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rank Test

It was my first time testing kyu ranks as a black belt in class tonight. It really wasn't all that much different from when I tested them as a brown belt, though. Being the highest ranking student means I helped sensei out a lot, even before I got my black belt. James and I tested all the students on their history and tradition, terminology, and vocabulary. We also tested them on their self defense. That's pretty much what we'd done as brown belts, but...

we also got to critique kata and test sanchin. We'd never done that part before. I discovered one thing--it is as much of a learning process to test sanchin as it is to perform sanchin. I only tested one green belt who was testing for purple, so I didn't have to do any hard testing. It's probably a good thing too, or I might have hurt him.

Proud mom moment--Cody tested for his brown belt. I think he did really well, and I'm his second worse critic besides himself. He actually studied for this one, including reviewing his history and tradition, and practicing his kata. In fact, I reviewed him so much on his H & T at home that I didn't really have to test him on it at the dojo. I knew he knew it.

Sensei was going to start having black belt meetings every Friday, but we've postponed that until next week. Due to a death in his family, sensei's been out of town all week. He drove back from Indiana or Illinois ( I can't remember which--it's wherever his dad lives) today and hadn't even been home before going to the dojo. The kids had a rank test also, and I helped them with their sparring and self defense.

And I haven't moved a thing today...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Project for Today


Bought these nifty little shelf units from Wal-mart, put them together and sorted most of my yarn stash into them. They are in the closet in the snake/computer/craft room. Just eyeballing it, I have room to put two more sets of these in that same closet, so maybe I can get most of my art supplies in there, too. Gotta wait for payday for that, though. Here lately, I'm spending money faster than I'm making it.
The house is slowly becoming a home. The yarn stash has found niche, the snakes are settled, and the dog has drunk from the toilet.
Yep, the house is becoming a home.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Karate

Isshinryu karate was developed by a man named Tatsuo Shimabuku, who was born 98 years ago today. It's kind of fitting that my first night back to karate class would be on his birthday.

Since I got my black belt, classes have become very dull, mainly because black belts don't participate in class--at least not in our dojo. Sensei always says black belt is the beginning of learning, so why then does learning stop at shodan in his dojo?

What instruction I get, what training I do is done after class. If sensei has time.

Otherwise, I'm on my own.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Lesson for The Day

Cody occasionally gets nosebleeds. He's had them since he was 2. The doctor says they are related to his allergies, and maybe he'll outgrow them when he gets older. While we were sitting in church yesterday, Cody's nose started to bleed. I sent him out to the bathroom to get it stopped and get himself cleaned up. After a couple of minutes, he still had not returned, so I went to see if he needed any help. When I entered the bathroom, the first thing I saw was blood spatters everywhere.

With a sheepish look on his face, Cody explained, "I sneezed."

Lesson for the Day: Never sneeze while your nose is bleeding.

*note: I was supposed to post this yesterday, but forgot. My loving son gently reminded me that I'd better blog about this.


Here is the video I took a couple of weeks ago of the hummingbirds fighting over the feeder. B and J have put a new one out that looks like a lighthouse. It is really cute. I need to get a picture of it, too.
I haven't moved anything today. Well, except for two measuring cups and three mixing bowls, and my aluminum foil...I was so tired of moving that I really needed a break. I'm going to go try to fill up my big bathtub...Maybe I should go get the bubble bath...
Nah, I don't want to walk back over there.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Minute to Relax

...is what I really need!

I got a little bit more done moving in, but it rained a good deal of the afternoon, which put a bit of a damper on things. It is going much slower than I'd hoped it would. It's amazing how much junk one can accumulate when living in the same house for over a decade. I don't want to bring anything into my new house that I don't want to keep, so that means sorting through everything. That is what is taking so long.



Also, I don't want boxes of stuff sitting around my new house, so I'm wanting to bring stuff over and find a place for it before bringing more stuff over. That isn't working too well either, since I don't have my dressers or bookshelves over here yet. This afternoon I finally just backed my truck up to the front door and just started piling stuff in. That worked, only I now have to find places to put all that stuff...



If I could only find someone to help me move the rest of my big stuff--sofa, dressers, stuff like that--it will be much easier.



We did, however, get all the snakes moved and set up this weekend--at least temporarily. I need to get a stand for Blaze and Scarlett, but the rest are settled. Well, I'll have to shift them over a bit. I've got them and my computer in the third bedroom, and I forgot to leave room for my file cabinets. So the snakes will get shifted about two feet over and the 2 drawer file cabinet will go next to my computer desk. I haven't decided where to put the other one. I may get rid of it. I don't have that much in it, and it is stuff that can be stored elsewhere.



Well, I'm sure you don't want to read all the details of my moving, so I've a bit of good news. I fed all seven snakes today, and six of them ate, including Onyx who hasn't eaten in 10 weeks. Yippee! The only one who refused is Slider, but I expected that since he is getting ready to shed.

Speaking of Slider, I caught him out a couple of weeks ago and managed to get these pictures before he headed back to his hide.


Isn't he a little beauty?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Catching Up on Skies




Today's sky, right at sunset...
And some storms I missed while I was without Internet access:

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Gordon

And Hurricane Helene

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm Back!

Didja miss me? I'm back online, with phone lines and Internet access all my own. That means I can spend all the time I want on the computer, blogging and reading message boards. We can't get Cody's computer to connect, though, so I'll have to work on that some here in a little bit.

But the good news is, that is the last thing I have to have connected, and only the skirting needs to be installed and I'm all done. Thank goodness.

I'll have to catch up on reading tomorrow. I'm too tired tonight. To whet your appetite, here is a picture of my bathtub. It's huge! I've never filled it all the way up, because I run out of hot water before it gets full. I suppose I'll have to adjust the hot water heater too.



In BBM Challenge news, things got kind of neglected this past week. I'll start fresh Sunday, though. I couldn't update my ticker, because I was posting on B's computer and she has that site blocked. Also, I went by the dojo yesterday to let sensei know we really haven't quit. We haven't been to class in two weeks because of moving and stuff. He told me our first black belt class will be next Friday. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Furniture Part 2

I got the bed together last night, and this afternoon I went and bought a mattress for it. The mattress cost more than the bed did. But I'll wager it'll outlast it, too.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Furniture

Going today to buy furniture for the new house! We're going to start with a bed for Cody.

Hopefully, I'll be back online at home Friday evening, so I'll be able to post pictures.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Keith and Air Conditioning

I have Air Conditioning!!!!

The a/c man showed up around 4:30 this evening. He didn't come this morning like I thought he would because he said he didn't want to be in the house with no one there. But he got here eventually! I told him we'd been waiting a long time for him to get here, and he said,

"I bet you have!"

One of my cousins came out and helped me move my bed, so I can sleep in the new house tonight. It'll be good to be in my own bed again.

I still don't have Internet access, so I can't show you any pictures. However, I had already uploaded this one to blogger several days ago:



B and J have several hummingbird feeders around their house. There is one bird that hangs out in the bushes, and when any other bird comes around, he chases him off. They decided he needed a name. Cody came up with the name Keith.


They have another feeder on the front of their house, and I got video of hummingbirds swarming around like bees. It is something, I tell you. I'll upload it as soon as I can.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Update...

I don't expect the A/C man will show up tonight since it is nearly 6:00 PM. He'll be here first thing in the morning.

The phone line won't be moved until Friday, so what posting I do will still be from B's house. Basically, that means I won't be able to post pictures. Moving the phone line will cost about what I expected it to. Of course, the A/C--including installation--was included in the cost of the home, so no charge there.

For what it's worth, I've already done a kata in the new house, hung a few clothes in my closet, and broke in the toilet. He He He....

Sensei Granny

My dear friend and sempai Linde Belt posted this to a karate list I'm on. I thought it was so good, I asked permission to quote her. Here it is:

This morning I took off work, drove 45 miles one way, to Grandparent's day at one of my grand daughter's schools. Parked what seemed like a mile away. The minute I walked into the door of her classroom, the teacher looked up and started to ask who I was there for but she never completed her sentence. Harleigh Rose hollered out "GRANNY" her smile was as big as Texas and there was pure joy in her voice. ( It was all worth it in that moment.) Right after that an elderly man ( probably a great grand dad ) walked in and again before she could ask a little voice hollered "POP PA". This little boy was just as excited as Harleigh Rose was. Well, I went over to sit behind Harleigh Rose, but the little boy next to her moved over so I could sit between them. When I got up to leave, I hugged Harleigh real big. Then the boy on the other side grabbed me and hugged me as did one other little boy. At that moment I was a "GRANNY" no matter that I was not their granny, that moment I was a granny. Grannys to a first grader are love, hugs, and someone that accepts them. One person's Granny is everyone's granny. ( I left there with so much more then what I gave them today.)

On the way back I got to thinking, A Sensei is like a Granny in a lot of ways. We look up to them. Though we do our martial arts for our selves we still love the approval of our Senseis. Grannys are always there for us in life no matter what. So is a good Sensei. Yes, there are Senseis who abuse this relationship and do not hold up their end of the bargain. However, they are not true Senseis in all senses of the word. A true Sensei will push you and guide you but allow you to make your mistakes then be there to guide you out of them. A true Sensei will never injure you, though they will push you and you will have known that pain is not something you want to feel again from them. ( There is a difference in feeling pain from a technique and being injured.)

From what I have heard from the first generation students I have known is they all loved and respected Sensei Shimabuku. They respected his techniques and knowledge , yearned to learn from him and get his approval. He never injured them, though he definitely made them believers in his techniques. He guided them. Just like a Granny guides us.

A Sensei is a Sensei to all martial artists. He may not be their Sensei but they know he/she is a Sensei, and they know that they will guide them in the correct path (as they see it) . Just like a Granny has responsibilities to their grand children, so does a Sensei to not only their students but anyone who wants to learn, whether that be the physical, mental or spiritual part of the martial arts.

I am glad to be a granny, not only to Harleigh Rose and the 4 other grand girls but also to all those first graders today. I am proud to be a Sensei, not only to my direct students but to anyone who will allow me to be.

Thank you Sensei for showing me how to be a Sensei.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Almost There

I've got electricity.

I've got water.

Now I just need the air conditioner hooked up and the phone lines moved and we'll be good to go.

Now comes the hard part, actually moving!

I missed my Saturday Sky post yesterday because I am posting from B's computer. We'll be back on track next week.

Gonna go clean up a bit in the new house.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

So Close

and yet so far...

The electrician came out this afternoon to hook up my electricity. He was almost finished. All he had left to do was hook the wires up to my meter. Well, he noticed some charred parts on my meter box, and said I had a shortage in the meter base. I called the power company, and the guy came out and removed the meter. There was a huge spark and a blinding white light, and when he got the meter off, the entire base was all burned up. They are going to have to replace the entire meter box and disconnect box. The guy from the power company will bring out a bucket truck tomorow and disconnect the power from the pole, and the electrician will stop after he gets off work around noonish and replace the base. So now I don't have electricity in either my new house or my old one. Back to B and J's for another night.

But the water is fixed...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Getting there

We are slowly getting there with the house. Since the electrician I spoke to didn't show up, I talked to another one and he came out after work and looked the job over. He is going to hook me up tomorrow!

The air conditioner guy did come out today and installed my A/C, even though I didn't have electricity yet. He said I lived close enough to town that if there are any problems, he can come back out and take care of them pretty easily. Hopefully, there won't be any problems.

The representative from the manufacturer will be here tomorrow to fix everything we found during the initial walkthrough. He is also going to fix the leak in the small bathroom. Once they are done, we will be able to begin moving in.

The only thing left to do after that will be to get the phone line moved. Until that happens, I may not be able to post, so if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, try not to worry.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

So Many Frustrations

We are so close now that every little thing seems to be going wrong. The crew got here around 9:45 this morning to move the house to where it should be. It wasn't just guys off the street either. This was an experienced crew who knew what they were doing.

I showed the foreman what the other crew had done, and he called the owner of the dealership to find out what he wanted them to do. His instructions were to do whatever it took to make me happy. By this time, I was talking to one of the other crew members and showed him where I had staked my back corner and where my electrical lines were run. He said, "They just put it where they wanted to, not where you said to."

So they put it where I wanted it. Exactly where I wanted it. Like it should have been done the first time. They had the neatest thing. It looked like a great big pallet jack. They picked my whole house up with it and moved it sideways. Too cool. Anyway, they made sure I was happy with where it was before blocking it and tying it down. I asked them to put my steps by the door before they left, and the foreman said, "We were going to do that anyway", and he seemed surprised when I told him the other crew hadn't.

Later he said, "I don't know what you said to Sweet (the trailer place owner), but you sure got him hopping." I told him exactly what I had told Mr. Sweet--"You have two choices here. You can put it where I want it, or you can put it back on your lot."

While they were still working, a man from the River Homes manufacturer came to see what he needed to fix. Moving trailer houses can really tear them up, so they come and fix everything that gets broken. As soon as the house was blocked, we did a walk through and wrote down several things that needed to be fixed. He will be back Saturday morning to fix it all.

Sounds like everything went well, so why am I frustrated? Two things...

The electrician never showed up. So I still don't have electricity in my new house.

J and I did get the water hooked up, but when we turned it on, there was a tremendous leak in Cody's bathroom. We had to turn the water back off, but since we disconnected the water from my old house, I don't have water there either. We are going to have to go stay with B and J for a while until everything is all lined out.

Hopefully it won't take too long.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More Disappointments

When I talked to the mobile home place yesterday, they said they were going to hire a new crew to bring out my house today. I thought to myself, 'I hope they get people who know what they're doing.'

They didn't.

J and I had staked where we wanted the back corner of the house, and had measured out where the electrical conduit was to be placed from there. As you can see by this picture, the back corner of the house is no where near the stake we had placed.


Maybe I could have lived with that, but they missed the electrical hookup by 4 to 5 feet! There's no way I can hook up my electricity like that.


You can see from this side view how far off they were. You can also see where they left my steps.
J said he'd called them and told them to send someone out to jack up the trailer a bit so he could move that conduit back under the house. Then we'd get a couple of 90' couplings and snake the wire over to where it needed to be.

I said, "No, they're going to move it to where I want it or they're going to move it off my land and give me my money back. "

So I called the owner and he tried to tell me that he'd put the front corners of my house right were he had put those stakes when he came out Saturday (he didn't). I told him that maybe he should have used a tape measure instead of just pacing it off. Then he told me that the back corner was right where the stake J had put down was (it wasn't). I told him it wasn't and he said, "well we had to pull up the stake to put the house in." I replied, "I know that, but I also know where I'd put the stake in the first place, and the back corner of my house was nowhere near that." Then he started talking to me like I was a real idiot and didn't know what I was talking about (men--especially automobile mechanics--often try that with women), so I just handed the phone to J and he lit into him.

The owner told J that the house was going to stay where they'd put it, and he told them they had two choices. They could move it to where it was supposed to be or they could move it off his land and I would buy a home from someone who is reputable. He got really helpful then. He said he'd move it, but it'd be next week before they could get to it. J told him, "You'd better be here bright and early Monday morning." About 30 minutes later, the salesman called back and said they were hiring an extra crew and would be here to move it tomorrow. They'd better be because I'm calling in sick this time to make sure they get it right.

That's another point...the owner tried to play it off like the whole thing was my fault for not being there. But (1) I had told him last week that I wouldn't be able to be there and he said it was OK and (2) if they had showed up when they said they would, somebody would have been here. B and J waited around for them until after 11 yesterday, but they never showed. Not a phone call...nothing.

After getting off the phone, I went back out and measured with a tape measure and replaced the stake where it was in the beginning. Refer back to the first photo... Stakes aside, they were supposed to put the house where the electrical conduit was to run. Refer to the second and third photo. What were they thinking? Any idiot ought to be able to see that it wouldn't work like that.

I'll tell you one thing, I'll never do business with them again.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

So Disappointed

I was so excited all day thinking about my new house. I told Cody this morning that I was going to be watching the clock all day, and he said, "You'd better be watching that brazing torch or you'll burn yourself again!" The morning went by pretty fast, but the afternoon just seemed to drag. The later it got, the slower time seemed to pass.

But finally the day was over, and I was so happy to be coming home to see my new house. The closer I got to home, the more excited I got. Then I rounded the curve and...

no house.

They didn't bring my new house! My little chin--burned chin--started quivering and my big blue eyes welled up with tears...

Why wasn't my new house here? It got even worse when I went inside and checked the answering machine and there was no message. Nothing.

You can be sure I called them and gave them an earful! Anyway, they told me they were going to have to hire some more setup guys and they hoped they would be able to get it out here tomorrow.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Singer 3 The house'll be here tomorrow.
It's only a day away!!!! Wakka Wakka

We got the electrical wire run through the PVC conduit this morning, and boy was that a hard job!
Cody was a big help, laying out PVC


and helping J run the wires through it

It actually took all three of us to get that wire through there, but I couldn't get a picture of myself. Meanwhile, Squeaky watched with interest, but decided her help wasn't needed.


It has been such a pleasant day I've had my windows open all day. There has been a nice breeze that has kept the house cool despite the temperature. I haven't gotten much done today. I've been working on cleaning out the bathroom and knitted a little bit more on my scarf. I found a pattern in an old issue of Creative Knitting magazine, but I can't make it work out right. I checked the website for corrections, but there weren't any. I guess I'll have to adapt it myself.

Our spirits were a bit dampened though as we learned of the death of one of our favorite TV personalities, Steve Irwin aka The Crocodile Hunter. It's one of those things you don't want to believe--that maybe there was some mistake and it isn't real. But, no, it's like a bad dream you can't wake up from.

Rest in Peace, Steve-O. We'll miss you.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

For Lizzie

Lizzie, it seems I cannot post comments on your blog anymore until you switch to Beta, or change your settings to allow non-bloggers to post. I tried to post this comment twice and was unsuccessful, so I'm posting it here hoping you will wander over here and see it. What I posted was:

Becky, will I still enjoy and love the MA if I go to another dojo?

To me, that's like asking if you will still be able to love a man if you leave an abusive husband and remarry. The answer is, "of course you will."

True, no dojo is perfect, and there will always be those who will disrespect you, but you shouldn't have to put up with the way you are treated in your dojo. What I see happening is out and out abuse.

In keeping with the marriage analogy, no marriage is perfect either. Couples have their problems. They disagree, they argue, they get angry with each other. But that doesn't mean they abuse each other. Yes, I know abusive marriages do exist, but they are not the norm.

My best advice to you is to visit other dojos--several of them if you can--and see what goes on in them. See how the students are treated, and how the classes are conducted. See what level of respect is given to the students regardless of rank. Compare them to your own dojo, and see the differences and similarities.

Remember, just visiting a dojo doesn't mean you are committing to anything. You are just visiting. Also, don't stick with your current dojo out of a sense of loyalty. Your first loyalty is to yourself, not the dojo. After you have visited several dojos several times, you will be able to make a decision with a broader perspective.

Just out of curiosity, how did you come to choose your current dojo anyway? Also, you keep saying that you wouldn't be able to find a sensei as experienced as your current one. First off, how do you know that if you don't look for one? How long has your sensei been training, then? How long has he been teaching? The reason I ask is because most senseis are those who started training as a child, and have many years of experience. My own sensei has 35 years of experience, and I know others who have much more.

Cotton

Back in April, I decided to do a photo essay on the life of a cotton field. What I didn't know at that time was that this would be one of the dryest summers in living memory. Some farmers are trying to cut their losses and have defoliated already. Defoliation usually doesn't happen until the end of September.

This field is doing marginally better, though it isn't good. The plants are still green but the bolls have started opening too soon. That is like the fruit falling from a tree before it is ripe. This will be a lean year for the farmers.

While I was taking my walk this evening, now that it is cool enough to do so, the neighbor's son stopped to chat a bit. He told me that somewhere back in those fields through which I walk is an old cemetary dating back to the 1800's. Now, I'd never ventured too far from the road before because of all the poison ivy, but I may just have to put on long pants and boots and go find that cemetary. I love old cemetaries. I wonder about the people who are buried there. What kind of lives did they live? What hardships did they face? What legacy did they leave?

Yep, I'm going to have to go find that cemetary.

Good news and bad news on the snake front. The good news is that yesterday, Slider ate a completely unscented rat of the proper size. It has been a long, rough road for us, but he is going to be fine now. The bad news is that Onyx refused his mouse once again. I don't know what's put him off feeding, but it's actually pretty common for snakes to go on hunger strikes. I fed the mouse to Sunny, even though it wasn't his feeding day, to keep it from being wasted. For now, until Onyx starts eating again, I'll only offer him mice on days when one of the other snakes is scheduled to eat.

Finally, while cruising through blogland, I ran across this nifty little gadget. You can go to the website and make a map showing all the states you've visited. They have a worldwide map also, but mine was pretty pathetic, so I didn't post it here.

These are the states I've visited:



create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Here is Cody's map:



create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

He visited several states while on vacation with his aunt and uncle a few years back that I have not been to.

When you put our two maps together, it looks like this:



create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Pretty impressive, though I hope to one day be able to visit all 50 states. My aunt and uncle have done it, and it's quite an accomplishment.

The Challenge

I've decided to join Black Belt Mama's challenge. Here is what I am going to do--

1. Create a personal fitness goal: Mine is to do my pushups and crunches at least three days a week. I already do this at irregular intervals, but I am going to work at being more consistent. The eventual goal is 5 days a week. My second goal is to do at least one kata per day--more is better, but one is the minimum.

2. Create a plan: My plan is to begin getting up 15 minutes early to meet my fitness goal. Also, I plan to do pushups, crunches and a kata sometime between getting home from work and going to bed. I may have to spend 15 minutes a day less on the computer to do this, but that is a sacrifice I will try to make.

3. Write about it: I've done that here. I'll also update every so often. To keep my blog from sounding like a daily ship's log, I'll limit my entries to confessing when I don't meet my goals.

4. Get the code: Put the button on my blog--I'll have it in my sidebar--and e-mail BBM that I have joined the challenge. I'm sure this is not limited to karate students only. Anyone wanting to improve their fitness would be encouraged to join the challenge.


Now, to go do a kata....

P.S. When the new house gets here--day after tomorrow--I'll have so much more room to work out in! But I've also made a rule: NO WEAPONS PRACTICE IN THE HOUSE!

Samuri

Saturday, September 02, 2006

You're Not Going to Believe This,

but one week after my burns, this is what they look like now. Here is the one on my face,

and the one on my stomach.
That one may leave a bit of a scar, but I don't think my face will scar at all. There is a small spot under my jaw that may scar, but it will be small and easily concealed with makeup.

Since today is also Saturday, it's time for:




We've finally gotten a break from the relentless heat. The highs have been in the upper 80s and low 90s, and breezy. It almost felt like fall was in the air.

The owner of the trailer place came out this evening and looked over the trailer site. Everything is all set for them to bring it out Tuesday. He marked where the front corners should be, and said there shouldn't be any problem getting it in. Then will come the hard part--moving! I have a little bit of a time constraint, since J doesn't want it sitting there too long, but at the same time, I don't want to take anything into my new house that I don't want to keep. I have a really hard time throwing perfectly good stuff away. I want to have a moving sale, but I can't imagine when I would have time to hold one. Becky T has offered to help me move because I let J dig a trench for her and didn't charge her anything. I figure it would have cost me the same amount of money to dig one trench as 20, so might as well get good use of the ditch witch while we had it. And I know their money is tight. Anyway, I may see if she will help me organize and hold a moving sale for a percentage of the profits.

Two more days...Woo Hoo!


Lizzie

I've mentioned it before that those whose blogs I read regularly become like friends to me. Well, my friend Lizzie is a bit discouraged right now.
She's having a rough time of it in her dojo and shown here, here, and here. Let's all go over and give her a word of enncouragement!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Signing...

My contracts are in at the mobile home place, so after work, I went down there and signed my name more times than I care to remember. BUT...that means they are ready to bring it out, and bring it out they will. Tuesday morning. Three more days....the countdown begins!

Spaz Wakka WakkaSpazWakka Wakka Spaz Wakka WakkaSpaz





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