Been experiencing sharp pains in the arch of one foot for a couple of months now. Based on web research I’ve concluded that it is plantar fasciitis. Not going to the doc for this as I don’t need to spend $25 to be told that rest and weight loss would help. To make things more interesting, today I tripped over my bag while getting up from my desk and fell forward and sideways, smacking the side of my knee into the ground. Right now there’s a noticeable bump on the side of the knee and pain when bending and straightening the leg.

There’s a lot of beef defrosting in my fridge right now. Going to make a slow cooker roast tomorrow and something or other with ground beef.

School year is almost over. Plan is to have all grades entered for all my classes by the end of May, then stay out of the building during June and July. Come back re-energized in August, all syllabi revised, all class websites redone, materials uploaded and ready to go. Hope the powers that be send out the course schedules for 2016-2017 early.

Obviously, I want to revise more than my courses and materials this summer. I want to revamp me. Feel like I’ve been in a rut for the last couple of years: nutritionally and exercise wise, and I finally want to dig myself out.

The Middle of May

A productive weekend: grading, grocery shopping, MMA watching, a pretty teal green manicure (“Give Me A Break-dance” by Gelish), a little watching of the Eurovision live stream, some much needed rest and also some reading. I’m about 1/3 of the way through Honky Tonk Samurai. Also got four paleo cookbooks out of the library to jump start my meal planning for the summer.

Ate well this week. A week ago I sponsored a seuda shlishit at one of the local synagogues in memory of my father, and when it was done they sent the extra food home with me, so I ended up with a large amount of mostly healthy deli meats and vegetable crudités. There was also a package of Black and White cookies but I found a New Yorker to give them to a few days later. Had no idea they were a New York “thing”.

The Wednesday before last I finally took all the kendo gear (bōgu, two unworn hakamas and a short bokuto missing a tsuba) and gave it to the club. Felt emotional for about ten minutes afterwards and then I was relieved and pleased that the gear was no longer gathering dust in my home and that someone would be using it to sharpen their kendo skills. .

Saturday night I went to H00ters to watch UFC 198. Not thrilled with how many fighters with prior steroid/performance enhancing drug issues there were on this card, but at least some of the non-users won. Switched to H00ters from BWW because the local BWW recently stuck a “We Ban All Guns” sign on their door. Fortunately, the local H00ters has screens with even better definition and equally good (actually, slightly better than BWW) service. It was a good card other than the execrable early stoppage in the Smith-Cyborg fight; you can read Smith’s reaction here and she’s absolutely right. A former colleague joined me after Shabbat ended and the PPV card began, and he was very good company because he’s not an MMA newbie. I like this sport and I don’t mind explaining it to newbies over and over, but it is so nice to watch the fights with a fellow MMA fan who can distinguish a triangle from an Anaconda, knows that Hendo and Bendo are two different people, and can appreciate the resurgence of Maia over the past six years and how much better he is at 170 lbs than he was at 185 lbs.

Over the past six weeks I’ve contemplated not re-signing with my employer and moving to a different school in another part of the country, but in the end I decided to stay in the midwest for another year. Identified some new challenges to work on, primarily tech related. Also decided to focus on fewer things and do them better.

Pesach Dishes

Went to Canada to spend Pesach with mom. We always do the first Seder at the home of aunt A and this year was no different. When we sat down for the Seder everyone noticed the dishes: gorgeous white china with black and gold trim.
I love the new Pesach dishes,” I said to aunt A, “So beautiful.
We got them for our wedding,” said aunt A, “But we never used them. We waited for a special occasion, and they say hand wash, so…

Aunt A and uncle A got married in 1989, the dishes have been sitting unused for 27 years, and uncle A passed away in 2011. Aunt A showed me the rest of the set. Apparently they had registered for the pattern and received several pieces, even a soup tureen which was over $400 at the time. I told aunt A that I was happy to hand wash them for her, but she said it didn’t matter; she was going to put them in the dishwasher on the china/gentle cycle.

Been thinking about this a lot since I came back from Canada; a swirl of thoughts about using the beautiful things I have and enjoying them while I can.

Back and Forth

This weekend was marked by periods of great productivity alternating with periods of complete sloth. Still, when I look at the to-do list, there are more things checked off than not checked off.

Made slow cooker beef stew today, using ideas from a number of different recipes I found online: used sweet potatoes as in this recipe, but thyme and Bay leaves as in this recipe, and so on. Not sure where I got the idea to throw in rosemary, probably from here, but I think I used a bit too much. Glad I took the time to sear the meat prior to putting it in the slow cooker. Used veggie broth because I had neither beef broth nor red wine. In any case, I’m pleased with the results: it yielded enough for 6-8 dinners. Going to serve it on top of Basmati rice. Found a bag in the pantry with a Best Before date that has come and gone, but I highly doubt it matters. Also made salad out of some veggies that were at the end of their useful life.

Haven’t heard back from SnD, and haven’t had a chance to stop by the kendo club practices, so I still have the bogu. This is shaping up to be a busy week, but maybe I’ll have a chance to drop it off next weekend.

Went to the dentist last week for the 6 month cleaning and checkup and discovered that I need a filling, first time in 12+ years. Not exactly looking forward to it, but made the appointment for early March, no sense putting it off. Planning to research the heck out of it between now and then, as the more useless details I know about any medical procedure the calmer I am while it’s happening.

Throwing Things Out

Threw out so much stuff today. Amazing how I managed to acquire so much stuff I dislike. And it will be even more amazing when I get through the entire process and end up sharing my dwelling only with the things I love.

Moved all my books from one room to the other, clearing the big room so that the carpet cleaning person can actually clean the high traffic areas tomorrow. Got rid of more books while I did that. There’s a sense of déjà vu here because I was doing the same thing – cleaning in advance of the carpet cleaning – back in September 2013, but it’s different this time as I am ok with throwing things in the garbage rather than trying to find each item a perfect home. Also because this time I am not stopping until all the crap is gone.

It was another week of no eating out M-F, and I considered ordering a pizza for dinner, but the fact is I have plenty of good food in the fridge and I don’t feel like spending money on low quality food.

Going to chill on the couch with some DVDs I got from the library: either the British TV series DCI Banks (season 1) or the Israeli film Cupcakes.

Gently Used Bogu

Carried the week’s momentum into the weekend. Today I got rid of two boxes of books, two bags of clothes, several dozen plastic hangers, even some housewares and costume jewelry. Some of the stuff went to Cath Charities and some to the Sally Ann. Threw out things that were in no shape to be donated, such as an old leather purse that had reached the end of its useful life.

Got rid of the suit I wore to my job interview 10+ years and 70+ lbs ago. For the record, it was a J0nes New York petite size 10. Not going to keep it around until I fit into that size again. With it went many other things, including another suit, a pair of black pumps that were never really comfortable, a ton of exercise clothes, a crinkled skirt, a faux fur coat (size 8), and, after almost two years of holding on to it, a shirt that belonged to my dad.

The book I mentioned in my last post is still around, but I was able to let go of many others. Tomorrow I will tackle DVDs.

E-mailed SnD to see if the kendo club can make good use of my bogu, two unworn hakamas, and a short bokuto. Have no interest in selling them; would much rather some kendoka used them to further their training. Haven’t heard back yet, but if it is a yes I’ll drop everything off later in the week.

It was an emotional day; getting rid of things was not always easy. Towards the end of the day, when I heard the news about the passing of Justice Scalia, things got even more emotional. He was my second favorite Supreme Court Justice and I loved reading his decisions and dissents.

Dealing With Books

Giving up books has always been very hard for me, but the decluttering project will never be finished if I don’t deal with my books. Remember when I bought Hell In A Very Small Place back in 2009? Never finished it, kept it around for 6.5 years hoping to finish it, got annoyed at myself for not finishing it, still feeling like I failed for not finishing it. So much energy invested into an inanimate object. The author died before I was born; it’s not like I could apologize to him directly for not finishing the book. And in any case I’m old enough so that I will never read all the books I want to read, even if I started now and read one a day for the rest of my life.

Took a few books with me to work today and placed them in the staff lounge with a little note saying “free books”. By the end of the day all were gone but one. I’m going to take a few more tomorrow, and discard/donate the ones that remain at end of day. Obviously I can’t do that with all my books, but at least I can get some momentum going so that the removal process can begin in earnest.

Got home from work today and did nothing. Sat on the couch and wasted time on the internet. Had a phone call that stressed me out, but there’s really nothing I can do about it, so I have to turn my focus elsewhere. Finally made myself get up and chop vegetables for tomorrow’s lunch. Felt better after doing something, however small.