Monday Musings – Bootstraps Edition   29 comments

On Snowpocalypse

It’s been a little quiet. There are many reasons for that, but one of them is that the Seattle area just had a big dumping of snow that kept both Brade and I house bound for 3 days. As such, rather than doing things like working on a Hagara guide or finishing one of the dozen blog posts in my draft folder, I spent some of that extra time with Brade. Amongst other things we discovered the glories of Castle and navigated our way through the first season. When he opted to play Star Wars, I spent some quality time curled up with the puppy, drinking tea and reading People. And…I enjoyed it.

Anyhow, we received 12 inches of snow, if the weatherman is to be believed – which is a ton for the Seattle area. We only lost power a few times, and in flickers, so we were fortunate on that front as many people in the area lost power for days (and some still don’t have it back). There was so much snow that after we walked the dog, we had to carry her back to the tub and use hot water to get the clumps of snow off of her feet.  Here are some pictures of what it looked like at the end of last week.

On How I’m Doing

I’ve had a few people ask me how I’ve been – and the honest truth is I don’t really know. I’ve kind of curled up into a little protective shell and I’m just trying to work through how I’m feeling. My life outside of the game has been great – and Brade has been nothing short of wonderful. However, I still feel like I’m trying to pick up my bootstraps and keep moving. A good number of people in the guild have been very supportive, which is encouraging. We’ve made a few more changes in the guild recently, and I think only time will tell how they work out. I think they have the potential to be very good, but like all things with potential, that potential has to be realized – so we will see how it plays out when all is said and done.

As for me, I’ve done quite a bit of baking the past couple of week. Which, of course, means I have to sample that baking to make sure it’s edible. We wouldn’t want to have anyone eat something that isn’t tasty would we?! Brade and I are also planning a small holiday at the end of the month, which I think will be very healthy and that I’m looking forward to very much. Just some time away for a few days, where all we have to worry about is what time to get up in the morning and where we should have dinner.

(yes, those are as delicious as they look)

On other random things.

I’ve still been plugging along with A Dance with Dragons, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. I’m moving through it slowly, but that’s more because I’ve been doing a little less reading and a little more of other things right now (like having wonderful lunch chats with Keredria and Tikari, both of whom have been absolutely amazing these past couple of weeks, even if Chicago import K was highly amused by Seattle’s reaction to Snowpocalypse!). I also have a list of things in my “to read” column right now that I’m looking forward to reading, so I may have to make a few “date nights” with good ol’ George here soon.

In the couch potato field, (as I mentioned above) I’ve discovered Castle and wondered how on earth I missed this show. It’s really quite good – and I got some quality snuggle time in with Brade during Snowpocalypse as we were both drawn into the show. I dare say that the dog quite enjoyed this snuggle time as well. Did you know that petting your pets is a known stress reducer?

If some of the changes that we’ve made with the raid end up working well, I’ve been thinking about taking some classes. What kind of classes you ask? Well, I wouldn’t mind a gym class of some sort. When I was in college I took a PE class every semester just to make sure that I got out and had a scheduled exercise time. I think I’d like to explore something similar again. I’d like to do something with Brade, but I think he’d prefer a yoga type class where I think I’d rather a something a little more…active. Does anyone have anything that they’ve really enjoyed and would recommend?

I think I might like to take a class or two that keeps my hands busy – like a pottery, photography or cake decorating class. My mom used to do pottery type things with us as kids, and I still have a Dopey piggy bank that she made for me when I was a kid. I always enjoyed it when I got to go with her, so it might be something worth exploring. Something else that I used to do as a kid was cross stitch. I’ve not done it for, well, let’s just say a very long time. But my mother was very adept at it, and I wasn’t half bad, so it might be something to think about. One other thing that I’ve thought about – and you have to promise not to laugh – is picking up a Bob Ross Painting Kit and seeing how I did at making happy little trees. Just something to keep my brain and hands active, I suppose.

I’d love any suggestions people may have! If there is some activity that you love and would recommend, let me know! I have plenty of books, movies and video games – but I think I wouldn’t mind exploring outside of those comfort zones a little bit to try something new. I know there’s not a lot of “game” updates in this post, but that’s because I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to recover from the past couple of weeks – I hope you all understand. I do have intentions of getting a Hagara video up soon, and doing the guides are something that I really enjoy (and have missed a bit in all of the stress), I’ve just needed some time to sort out myself and my thoughts. I’ve truly appreciated everyone’s support, insights and suggestions. And I thank you all so much for them.

Posted January 23, 2012 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump, Deep Thoughts

29 responses to “Monday Musings – Bootstraps Edition

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  1. Beru, I too have just started watching Castle, and I think I heard you talking about it recently so finally decided to give it a shot. I also love it! 😀

  2. Are those lemon tarts?! Those are one of my favorite desserts! *drools*

    I’m so happy you’re getting by, and thinking about stepping out of the box for a while. That’s what it means to live life, to learn new things and have fun with it! I’m sure your city has a few pottery stores where you can make the commitment to go once a month. You don’t have to take a class, you just go in and buy something they have available and paint it. You can apply different techniques and control how your pieces get fired in their ovens. I’ve not been to a studio like that yet, but I want to someday, I hear it’s a ton of fun ^.^

    I also find it very relaxing to write about my work when I finish it afterwards. I like to explain how the final piece came to be, sometimes going into tips or a mini tutorial. Most of the time, it’s about the design process and the decisions I made. I always feel good when I finish an awesome picture and an article on it, published or not. You could try doing that also if there’s a particular piece you’ve done and are proud of 🙂

  3. Yeah, we just got power back here yesterday after losing it on Wednesday… 😦 No fun at all! (I’m about 20 minutes north of Olympia, and of course it was the southern half of western WA that got nailed the hardest…)

    Glad Snowpacolypse is over for sure, and also great to see that you’re doing well and taking time for yourself!

  4. For an activity, try indoor rock climbing if there is a center near you.
    Gives you a great feeling of accomplishment and is great no impact exercise.

    If you enjoy it and start climbing more difficult grades, they become a type of physical “puzzle”. And when you solve it, you just want to do another one!

    Trust me, give it a shot 🙂

  5. Pottery sounds like fun! I’d worry about cross-stitch being un-restful for your hands, though, so perhaps you should pick a small design to start out with?

    • Maybe, I did worry about that as well, as it’s pretty small and intricate work 😦

      • I do cross stitch, and the thing that I do that helps tremendously is after finishing with each thread, I take a few moments to stretch all my fingers as far apart as I can, then rotate my wrists a few times. This seems to work wonders, and I can actually cross-stitch for a few hours without difficulty.

        Another thing you might really enjoy that I just got into is Origami. There are thousands of available patterns – online or in easy-to-find books. I picked up a page-a-day calendar this year to ease myself into the learning experience, and it’s been quite enjoyable. Also, if you don’t like the way a piece turns out, you can unfold it and use it for scratch paper!

  6. Wow snow! I think one day I must experience living in a place that has snow.

    • Maybe just visit 🙂 It’s only a novelty for awhile!

      • Well, until you get a winter *without* it when you’re used to it.

        Minnesota has less than an inch of snow on the ground (and in many places, none at all.) I never thought that no snow would be an issue with my first try at snowshoing!

  7. Glad to hear you guys didn’t lose power much, down here in Olympia our neighborhood lost it for 24 hours (Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon). Not bad in my opinion especially compared to some of the folks at church who didn’t have it back as of yesterday morning or the closest post office which was still dark this morning.

    Pottery sounds like fun, I know my MIL enjoys cross-stitch and I am enjoying photography myself. They all sound like good choices.

    Any word on your hat?

  8. The Seattle area has a very active Salsa scene. It’s great exercise, and introduces you to interesting people. I picked it up when I was in college, I was apprehensive at first, but I had a blast.

    If you’re looking for something to read, I got a copy of 1Q84 by Haruki Marakami a week ago,and it’s quite a compelling read, it’s a little bit mystery,a littlebit pure lit, and kind of hard to describe, but I’ve been quite engrossed by it.

  9. No fair showing us the picture without the recipe!

    Tai Chi is cool. Similar to yoga wrt the flexibility benefits, but more aerobic, more teamy/groupy, less of the taking-your-weight-through-your-hands/wrists. (That downward-dog thing in yoga kills me.)

    Once you’ve memorised the forms you kinda get in a zen-zone when you’re doing it, it’s a good place to spend some of each day.
    We are, of course, currently enjoying blissful and mild summer days. Struggling to imagine being snowed-in, that sounds awful. I guess as long as people have electricity they turn up to raid though, rather than skiving off to the beach.

    • Who am I to deny sharing deliciousness?!

      Cooking Spray
      12 oz. refrigerated sugar-cookie dough, chilled (I used the Pillsbury tube from the store)
      3 egg whites at room temprature
      1/4 tsp. cream of tarter
      pinch of salt (I used 1/8 tsp)
      3/4 cup sugar (have this pre-measured and sitting in a dish, as it’s for the meringue)
      1/2 cup lemon curd (or lemon pudding), chilled (I used lemon pudding the first time, but found that the curd provided a stronger lemon flavor and was easier to manage in the cups)


      [*]Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
      [*]Coat a 24-well mini muffin tin generously with cooking spray and place 2 tsp cookie dough into each compartment, pressing dough up the sides to form a cup.
      [*]Bake until edges are golden, 8-10 minutes. Remove cups from oven; cool 30 minutes in muffin tin.
      [*]Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until frothy (about 30 seconds). Add cream of tartar and salt and beat on high, gradually adding sugar 1 tbsp at a time, until glossy and stiff, 3 to 4 minutes.
      [*]Leaving cups in tin, fill each cup with 1 tsp. lemon curd (I used a little more)and top with 1 tbsp meringue. Broil on low until golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute, being careful not to burn.
      [*]Remove from broiler, let rest 10 minutes in tin, then gently loosen sides and transfer to a serving plate

  10. Good luck 🙂

    And try a belly dance class if it is just you. Really active, great for improved flexibility. (Brade might not be keen to learn to belly dance) If you don’t mind spending money, there’s likely an art studio in your area that offers lessons. I often take odd random new things at mine just for funsies. I’m eyeing off a watercolor class next.

  11. (Longtime reader, first time commentor! 🙂

    You’re a very creative person! So bear with me if this seems like an odd suggestion, but have you considered taking up knitting?

    I’ve just started to learn myself, and while I’m not very good (yet), it’s actually proven very relaxing, and I’m told that once you get the hang of it, you can watch TV and carry on whole conversations while keeping your hands busy! My grandmother used to make some of the most amazing clothing, and my mum still has the jumpers Gran made for my sister and I when we were small, though sadly she had to stop when her arthritis made it too difficult to keep up with it. So I have lots of fond reasons to start, and its fun to see what the final results are. 🙂

    (Plus, knitting circles pop up everywhere – great reason to get out and meet people, and you could bring tasty treats too. 🙂

    • And then I remember your issues with your hands. :< Ooops, sorry! I guess not as helpful, I'm sorry!

      Given you like cooking and baking, maybe look into baking classes? More advanced cake and icing techniques ftw? ^^

  12. Ballroom dancing! It’s great fun and involves both of you. Plus, if you take it from a local dance studio/club they often have mixers/dances Friday and Saturday nights when you can go out and dance outside of your actual class time.

  13. When I was in school I took bowling and badminton. Both of which were a blast. You don’t realize how much you move and bend in bowling sometimes.

    Another good activity is swimming. You get quite the work out without the added stress on your body.

    Good luck!!

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