Sunday, October 13, 2019

J in the UK

My youngest is off on his adventure - university in the UK.  I went along with him to London, we got over jetlag, checked out some sites, before sending him on the school airport pick-up bus to his campus. I miss him quite a bit and I imagine the gray, drippy skies there are a bit of an adjustment too.

The Rosetta Stone. Because if you're in London,
you have to go to the British Museum (it's free).
And if you're in the British Museum, you have
to see the Rosetta Stone.

The Lewis Chessmen.  J was less interested in the
chessman as he was in that little belt buckle.  It was
one of the 5 things he said he would steal from the
museum if he had the chance.

This was another of the 5 items J said he would
steal. Especially the $50billion note in the corner.

We always find this guy (on the left) too.  He's
on loan from Jordan.  I believe he's the only thing
on loan to the BM. Everything else is
"permanently rescued."

We added in a couple escape rooms.  Room one was a success.

Room 2, well, we needed another minute. In each room we asked
for 2 hints.  Not bad.

No photo by the lions this time.

The next day we went to the National Gallery
and found The Ambassadors - from the top right.

A painting of a love goddess.  But all the images
in the back were miserable.

A giant painting, and the artist took the time to
add in this chained monkey, but didn't even finish the
background. Hmph.

The full image is of 2 martyrs. The body attached
to this leg is pierced with a bunch of arrows. But
the bigger question: Who are these miniature people?

During one walk we went through St James Park
and came across the pelicans.

And an adorable cygnet.

Can you really go to London and not see a show?
I guess it's allowed, but why? J has now seen
"The Book of Mormon" and actually laughed
out loud.

And then it was time to say goodbye.

But he allowed a farewell selfie. Does he look
like a college fresher?? delivers.

One of his first projects.  Building a board game.

It's cloudy and drippy, but he says the leaves are turning.
School didn't start until 3 October so I had a long summer with him, but it does mean that he started school just as the weather was turning blech. The year finishes end of June, so hopefully he'll have some nice days in there to wander the campus grounds without getting soggy.

All in all, so glad to see him a little bit settled.  He's not much for communicating, but he's sharing some glimpses and it's nice to know he's not starving and he's going to class. 

It's all a mom can hope for.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The other half

Ian is my partner (shocker, I know): life partner - parent partner - exchange-of-ideas partner - laugh-at-stupid-things partner - sit-and-watch-TV partner - move-around-the-world partner - adventure partner.

Every time a memory pops up on my FB timeline, I just sigh and smile. 90% of those photos have him in them (the other are the kids, or probably the cats). I miss traveling with him - checking out new foods, sights, and just walking together wherever we feel like. But most of all I miss talking with him.  A 7hr time difference plus a 6-day workweek for him means that we talk when we can, but of course it's not the same. It never is.

It's one of the reasons I took up MPC.  And go to Jazzercise with my mom (don't laugh, it's actually fun - never tell anyone I said that).  And why I'm blogging a bit more.  And reading a ton more.  And made a blanket and now making another, while contemplating how to crochet a vest, and did 4 cross-stitch things for the kids.

Living week to week means I've focused on small, reachable goals. I did apply for a job early on only to make it to last round and tell them I just didn't know how long I would be here, The job went to someone else.  Fairly so, I might add.  I wouldn't hire me.  I've thought about taking an online class and of course now realize I should have started in July.  I just didn't know, and was too unsure to commit myself while thinking that at any moment I'd be moving and starting a new 6day/week job half-way around the world.  Obviously that didn't happen.  I should have just jumped right in.  I didn't. My own fault.

It's just not enough to say that I miss him. I'm needing just being with him. Part of me is missing, people! And I'm totally not embarrassed to say it.  I didn't marry him to be away from him, after all. This isn't "I need space" or "Some quiet time is good."  Both of those are valid, but this ain't it.

102 days done, 27 days to go to R&R#1.

Sunday, October 6, 2019


So for those in the know - nothing to see here, move along. For those who don't know, MPC is the My Peak Challenge and it's actually like nothing I've ever seen before (not that I ever went looking for an exercise program before, minor detail).  Not just the workouts, but the on-line community, the in-person community (I hope to join when I'm better settled), and the idea that the rest times, eating times, family times, etc. are just as important as the workout. After all, most people spend what, 30 mins to 2 hours in the gym or working out and the other 22+ hours are where everything happens!  Sleeping, feeding the body, keeping it clean, stretching the brain, etc.  It's all important.

Now, I can say I'm all gungho about this because I'm on Week 1, Day 5 of the Foundations program.  Foundations is the part where you learn about the exercises used and start building up strength and stamina.  It's for the weak.  Like me.  But it gets better.  Just about every exercise has modifications, all in video form in the on-line program guide.  As I currently do not have a home and am not part of a gym, I have to make adjustments.  Also, as I am truly weak, I do modifications that make everything, even in this beginner's beginner phase, easier.  No, I cannot do a push-up.  But that's a OK, because I should clarify: I cannot do a push-up YET.

The crazy thing is that because I still end up sweaty and wiped even with the modifications, I look forward to the workout days.  This is not me.  I do not exercise.  I hate exercise.  And yet now I find myself going to Jazzercise about weekly and thinking ahead to when I'll do the next MPC workout.  It's a brutal mindset shift, truly.  I can hardly recognize myself.

But back to this only being Week 1, Day 5 of beginner beginner's month long "get your butt moving, you can do this" phase. I need to have little goals - and that's built in too.  M= My and C = Challenge. What do I want to get out of this?  Well, besides being weak with no stamina and now 45 years old I want to be strong and HAVE stamina.... isn't that enough?  Maybe, but I also want to do another Mud Run or something like it and not be the person everyone waits for during the 5K parts.  I want to do another City Run and not be the one my kids have to push push push to just keep going to the finish line.  I want to never hesitate if someone says we should go do something, even if it's way out of my experience zone.

I've gone white water rafting (OK, they were only 1-3s, but it's a start!), scuba diving and snorkeling, spelunking, mud run-ning, City Dash-ing, sky diving, stand up paddle-boarding, skiing, wall climbing, rock climbing, sea kayaking, river bouldering, but there's so much more. Why not mush? Coasteer? And that Munro Challenge is mine next year. It's not just because I want the t-shirt either.

So now that I've put it out there, I'm committed.  I have nothing in my way for the next 25-30 days to complete the Foundations program.  And since I've done Week 1, I went to the sporting goods store and got a foam roller, jump rope, and stretch band.  The simplest, lightest, and easiest of all.  Because it's still hard for me, and making it really hurt will just have me quit. I need to finish each day, even if I don't finish perfectly or on the hardest setting. So bring on the sweat and the sore legs and shoulders to this puny weak body.

The MPC is also a charity program where a part of the proceeds of the yearly membership goes to charities close to the heart of the gym rat program creators. I'm cool with that.

My membership t-shirt is hanging up in the closet where I can see it every day.  I'll reward myself with wearing it when I've finished Foundations.

Curious?  Check out My Peak Challenge.  I'll be your cheerleader :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

THROWBACK: 5th grade Language Arts

There are some posts that I started months, some years ago, and never published.  This is one of them:

Jonathon's Haikus (the misspellings are his own... yes, he's in 5th grade and his spelling is atrocious)


My horn has magic
My fur is soft as silk
I have saved many

Minitor (he meant Minotaur)

My horns are deadly
I have the strangth of a bull
My ax is pin sharp

Sky Sun

The sun in the trees
Warming all our cold harts
The heat of the sun

And our favorites....


Love is a big wall
And unbrakeable strong force
It will stay always


The heat of ther breth
The warmth of ther beating hart
A born warior

The Two Sides

Greed is an Evil
A black hole of all good lite
It has to be slain

Good is an angel
A light in a pitch black room
The life of all things

Caps training camp & preseason

I should wait until after Saturday so I have photos from the Caps-Canes preseason game, but hey, whatevs.

Here's a smattering of photos from training camp that goes on until the season officially stars.  I made my way to Kettler - pardon, MedStar - to watch the team practice.  Lots of new faces for the Caps.

Not new, but man this guy is FAST. Go Hagelin Go!

Samsonov gets lots of 1-on-1 time.

Ovechkin doing Ovechkin.

Looks like the top line.

Kempny in a no-contact jersey.

Holtby watching from the bench. On his BIRTHDAY.

Even scrimmages get handshake lines.

It's been interesting for me because I like hockey, but it surprised me that I like it enough to go do these things on my own.  I'm not a rabid fan, it's fine that the game last night was blacked out and I can't watch until Wednesday and that I already know the score. I certainly don't know any of their junior league statistics.  Some of the new guys.. no idea where they were before here. But I actually like hockey enough to want to go out and pick up some gear, and watch them practice, and follow the various FB and Insta accounts (no Twitter for me, sorry), and find it really enjoyable.  It would be more fun with Ian of course.  But I guess I can classify myself as a fan on my own now.  Perhaps that's no surprise to anyone but me? 

Seriously - the thoughts of a middle-age woman are baffling sometimes.  I weird myself out.

Go Caps!

Thursday, September 12, 2019


Jonathon has a visa! And is >this< close to a plane ticket. And lucky me is going to go to London with him to send him on his way.  I just realized that I'll have a checked bag allowance but won't need it, so he can have an extra bag!

Becca got the car emissions test completed! And Katherine too! (Girls, put reminders on your phones for the next due date for all your car/home requirements.)

Nicholas made it back to base after the hurricane passed and is now waiting for his promotion to LCpl! And his training trip to Cali!

And most importantly, Ian has scheduled his R&R! He's going to come here! I'll get to see him!  I'm counting down the weeks.  Even though my calendar counts down the days. 76 days passed. Only 53 more to go.

(Please don't ask about my situation... Still. Pending.  At this point, it's a challenge.  How long can this go on?  Oh. We. Shall. See.  Yes.   




So we continue to keep busy.  Right now my focus is on getting J squared away.  That's right around the corner.  And I'm trying to do some fun local stuff. 

  • On Sunday J and I met up with K and Erich at the MD RennFaire and had quite a good time people watching.  So many kilts.  And wings.  And Danaeryses.  
  • Last night on 9/11, not necessarily fun but needed, I took J to see "You Are Here: A Come From Away Story" about Gander, Newfoundland.
  • Tonight I'm off to see the new Downton Abbey movie.
  • Sunday it looks like J and I will be rafting in W.Va. Let's hope the weather holds.
  • The following weekend is full with a pre-season hockey game for J and me, and another Sunday at Games Workshop for J.
  • Somewhere in there he gets his driver's license.
And then we head out to the UK.