Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 8

Day 8! Wow. I'm impressed with myself.

It's not easier, exactly, but, in the words of my friend Tabitha, "it's less worse." I see how the next level will be needed because if I kept this level up for more than ten days I'd stop working as hard.

I'm still scared of level 2.

It's supposed to snow next week, which has my children excited. I've been frantically finishing mittens so they can play in the snow. The snow is supposed to hit Tuesday, so we'll see if I make it. I have two and a half mittens to go.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

sourdough, books

I made a sourdough starter last week - did I mention that? and it's looking good! It will get its inauguration tomorrow. Mmm, sourdough!

I did Day 3 of the shred. Whew.

I'm reading the sequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society. Here it is:

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey

It's great too. It was my Christmas present from my awesome niece Sophia.

After that, I have
Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter

which is excellent, if the Kindle sample is to be believed.

I also read
Room: A Novel

which was riveting and heart-wrenching and very satisfying.

Gosh, lots of books.

Fencing continues apace. I'm practicing my footwork. I need a rapier! Have to wait for the tax refund.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

day 2

Day 2. A little easier. The jump rope style bouncing eats my calf muscles. Ow! The reading I've done says that this thing burns 225-250 calories in 20 minutes! Hot diggity.

I baked bread today. I was going to make sourdough but I didn't allow enough time.

I'm pretty boring! I just wanted to log that I Shredded.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I did Level 1 of the Shred today. I'd say I learned I'm weak as a kitten, but that would be insulting to kittens who I'm sure they are much stronger than I am.

Both Bede and Gloria (who is three today!) were very distressed by the whole affair. I think they were freaked out. I persevered and they seem recovered now. With any luck they won't mind it so much as I continue.

The hardest things were jumping in place as If I were jumping rope and also the push ups. My abs aren't as trashed as I thought, yay!

I'm going to stick with Level 1 for a while. Dude.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

so I guess this is turning into a fencing blog

I went to practice #2 last night. I was outfitted up in some loaner gear (it was pink and rose-covered) and learned about judging the distance between myself and my opponent. I was better at it than I thought I would be, what with my lack of binocular vision. I have a tendency to keep one thing good while letting the other six things I need to do fall apart. I expect this will improve with time. Like, I parry a blow but in the process get my blade tip off in South Texas somewhere and pfft, I'm dead. Or my feet will be placed correctly but I'm slouching and lifting my back foot up. Etc.

It makes driving a stick shift seem pretty easy.

I'm worried about how hard I'm hitting. Surprisingly, I'm hitting too hard. I think it's due to my weak little arms. In order to get there (even remotely close) at all, I have to use most of my strength, and so I bang! too hard. I don't have anything left to contribute to controlling the power of the blow. At least I hope that's it. I'm shooting wild. In any event, I'll get better at that too. Either I'm right and strength will help it, or I'm wrong but time will help it. Or both!

Strength will help with the slouching too. My core is so trashed. Probably every pregnancy and definitely the last three my abdominal muscles unzipped themselves to accommodate the baby. I'm not sure if I can repair them, but I can strengthen what's left and also work on my lower back muscles.

I asked about the cost to get outfitted in this gig because I can't really tell from online sources. I don't know what length of blade I need, or which manufacturers to avoid, or, well, anything. I hope to find someone who was in my position a year or two ago who is ready to sell his noob gear. The Marshal (person in charge of rapier) said he'd make me a price list and give me some sources to buy from. I found this Practical Rapier - 37 Inch Blade and think maybe it will be okay?

I also need a helmet/mask, a gorget (neck protection) and gloves. And armor, such as it is. This is unarmored combat, so the armor consists of puncture and abrasion resistant clothes. I can make that.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Ever vulnerable to the effects of peer pressure, I, along with many of my friends in flabby mommyland, have purchased Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred

Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred

I'm scared! Hold me! Don't hurt me, Jillian!

Monday, January 17, 2011

En garde!

I'm baking bread today. Tomorrow is the First Day of School here, since it worked so well to go with Sean's semester last year. It would have been today but I want to tidy up the kitchen and dining room and also make bread. Abaigeal requested a knitting refresher course s well, so I'll get out some needles and re-teach her. I think I'll see if she wants to make some of these cute little bunnies.

I didn't mention that I started rapier combat before just jumping in to the getting-in-shape part. Well, I did. Start rapier combat, that is. And I love it! SCA rapier is in the round, not on a straight line like Olympic fencing. And of course there's no electronics to see who made a touch, either, you have to call it as you feel it. I don't know much about sport fencing, but I don't think it allows cuts, just thrusts, and SCA rapier allows draw cuts as well as thrusts. No chopping cuts though, those are for the heavy armored combat. The rapier cuts involve placing the blade and pulling it away.

It's REALLY AWESOME. Here is a charming email + photos of a rapier practice from a Canadian Scadian (how poetic.)

If you have Netflix streaming, you can watch a cool documentary (is that an oxymoron) about the history of modern swordsmanship, called Reclaiming the Blade. Faith and I watched it last week and we give it two thumbs up.

I was given a new sewing machine by my dear mother! So I have no excuse not to sew garb.

I better go bake that bread. And get the stuff for school tomorrow - William the Conqueror! Da-dum!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gilbert's Mittens

Gilbert is into vexillology, which you may know is the study of flags. He requested "American flag colored mittens!" and here's what he got.


Seems pretty pleased!

Friday, January 14, 2011

If you think round is funny

I'm trying to strengthen my old, tired body that has birthed six children into a lean, mean rapier-fighting machine.

It hurts.

I can do the following, pitiful amount of exercise:

10 sit-ups
30 seconds "invisible chair"
Several minutes of squats
5 full-leg push-ups
10 knee push ups

I also held a 3/4 pound weight at full extension for very little time before my arm screamed at me.


I'm fairly convinced I'm doing most of the footwork drills wrong, so I'm sticking with the two I think I'm doing right. I don't want to unlearn bad habits later.

I'm going to look back on this and be amazed. Right? RIGHT!

Monday, January 10, 2011

skoolin, churchin

I'm ready for the next semester to start! Sixteen weeks, here we come. I'm going to use Famous Men of the Middle Ages along with A Child's History of the World, and only sparingly dip into Our Island Story. The anti-Catholic bias is becoming apparent the closer we get to 'Enry VII.

I went to Latin Mass again! I missed it so.

Oh drat, a child is coughing.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


We passed a stressful December. Sean, Faith and Abby made an unscheduled trip to Chicago to see Sean's family and were gone for nearly a week. That was tough. While they were gone, Gloria fell ill with influenza which has been working its way through the rest of the family since. Bede is sick now and the rest of us are done with it. Thank goodness.

Christmas was nice though! We celebrated Christmas here and then went to my parents' house for Boxing Day and an extended family party. The children are pleased with their gifts, I think, which were selected with care and love. I don't have many pictures of it though.

Gilbert got this neat-o racetrack, Neo Track. It has a bajillion pieces but it's bendy and easy to use. Highly recommend. Even though Bede's favorite thing is to take it all apart. They also got one of those spring-steel insta-tent things that's a big hit. Many (many!) books, Toy Story 3, lots and lots of blocks, wooden railway, hmm, did I mention books.

Bread and Jam for Frances Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Warriors Super Edition: Bluestar's Prophecy How to Be a Pirate [HT BE A PIRATE] The Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One: Lightning Thief Deluxe Edition There's a Wocket in My Pocket!Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume 1 Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator The Princess Tales, Volume I The Princess Tales, Volume 2 Flags of the World Richard Scarry's Bedtime Stories (Pictureback(R))

And there must be more.