Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Another Day Closer To My Dreams

As I was getting ready for bed last night I had another thought about waiting for my soulmate.  I tend to have trouble falling asleep at night, work nights are the worst.  I seem to get into watching or reading something and have trouble putting it down.  Even things I have seen a lot already.

So my big thought was the sooner I fall asleep the sooner tomorrow will come.  Tomorrow is another day closer to my soulmate, my goals and my dreams.  Another day closer to the life I want instead of the life I have.

Although the life I have now has definitely improved since this time last year.  I learned so much about myself, what I want, where I want to go and who I want to be.  I have learned to accept myself, be comfortable with myself and love myself. I have learned to live as a single person.  I have forged a new life for myself out

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Soul Mates & Hidden Vows

One of my of my soul sisters posted a meme to my Face book wall.  I have seen it before and really liked it. A picture of an elegant woman with long hair in a full length black leather coat hiding a sword behind her back.  It reads "Don't look for a princess in need of saving, look for a queen to fight by your side."   Today I read it and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I now love it.

I realized somewhere in the past six months I have made a vow to my soul mate and to myself.  I have vowed to be patient and await your arrival in my life.  (I am fully aware of the fact that this meeting may never take place in this lifetime or that if it does we may not be able to have the relationship I am yearning for.)  But for now I can stand strong and improve myself.  So that if that blessed event should come to pass I will be ready for you.  I can and will continue to learn and train to be a better person and to have the skills I need to be his queen and fight at his side.

When that day comes I want my soul mate to see me as a beautiful, strong confident woman.  One that he can respect and admire. One who can inspire him and give him strength. A woman worthy to be queen to his king.  Mentally, intellectually and physically.  I will do my best to be ready for that day.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Today I had a good stretching session and a really good practice session.  On top of it all I remembered to do free weight training.  

One thing I do before I start stretching is I spin in circles.   I am doing this to improve by equilibrium.  I found that I would get dizzy too quickly.   I started out with about five spins and now up to twenty plus.  I call this my "spin training", lol.  Once I am dizzy I go into the splits. From there I do stretches that involve being on the floor.  I finish up with stretches best done standing.   About two days ago I noticed my flexibility has improved.

Practice involved footwork followed by unarmed blocks against blows-dagger or otherwise.  I practiced fendente, mandritto and reverso dagger strikes right and left handed.  My left hand is weak on these.  I don't know why I haven't been doing these left handed before this.  Sword training started with one handed techniques, left and right handed.  Then onto two handed guards and strikes.  

I remembered to train with my free weights tonight!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I watch a lot of anime, A LOT.    Since my boys introduced me or should I say I stumbled into watching it from being in the room as they were watching it.  Anime is about all I ever watch anymore.  Of course this has led me to go read whatever my current favorite is in it's manga version online. I have noticed that although I tend to go for the fantasy genre I do  seem to find ones that have good lessons.  No not lessons, but inspiration.  I feel I am being guided to whatever inspiration I currently need or that will help me.  

The inspiration I found in my current favorite is about the strength of one's determination to work hard to get where they want. The protagonists in this series know what they want and they inspire each other to work hard to get there. That is what stood out to me.

I have spent the past year learning about myself, what I want and need. I spent months thinking and searching about what to do to get there.  Changing jobs where I work has given me a fairly stable schedule.  This helped me to decide what I wanted and needed to do.  I have found a new path and new goals.  This series has been a positive inspiration for me as I adjust to my new life.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday, March 3, 2016

As of yesterday meetings are now on Saturdays.  As long as I can get someone to babysit the glass shop I am able to go.  We now have a schedule of three Saturdays on and the fourth one off.   We worked on our sword skills this time.    Now learning a new form of measure, practiced our fendentes from Posta di Donna.  Learned a nice little move to use when the swords bind in the "weak" areas, aka about the last third of the sword.  (the pointed, sharp end, lol)  We also practiced not flinching as a sword is swung at us.  It was all done in a very controlled manner.  I found it harder than I expected to not flinch.  It is very instinctive to flinch when something comes flying towards your head.

We were granted the pleasure of watching our teacher spar with the youngest member of our group.  This young man works with us and over in the valley.  He has been doing this longer than the rest of us, excluding our teacher.  He used longsword and dagger against our teacher.  Teacher used longsword, dagger, poleaxe and axes.  It was very neat to watch.  They did about three rounds.

The more weapons I see used the more I want to learn how to use them myself.  My inner Celtic warrior queen appears to love all weapons.  Apparently she has quite the blood thirsty, battle streak.  She loves weapons.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

Had another fun and informative HEMA club meeting.  More dagger work.  I really enjoyed the counters, blocks etc we learned yesterday.  I love how he informs us of how this can all be used to defend oneself against a modern attack.  How these counters work against other things being swung at us.  We worked on the first, second and third masters of dagger.  Blocking dagger attacks barehanded.   How to block the strike, move into a bind or arm bar and use that leverage to off balance one's attacker.  And how to counter their counter against such a move.

Dagger is the one area where I have had the most trouble with so far.  The first session was okay.  The second one I struggled with the counters and finally managed to really get one.  The third one was very frustrating, and I felt like I really didn't learn anything at all.  This fourth session I did well with learning these counters.  I was able to grasp the concepts and repeatedly apply them properly. 

I think the main issue is my mental state.  Being able to put myself on a even footing with the other members in my mind makes a big difference.  I am learning and practicing how to dismiss my fears and insecurities to get into that proper frame of mind.  In doing this I am able to free my mind which allows me to relax and focus on what we are learning.  My insecurities can cause me to tense up and try to hard or maybe I should say overcompensate which leads to frustration and failure. The more I practice the easier it becomes.  

This discipline is really helping though.  Most our members are already experienced in martial arts.  I am getting much better at taking constructive criticism from my sparring partners.  I feel like I am becoming a better sparring partner too.  I am learning to be more aggressive in my attacks so they have to work harder.  I am honored to work with and learn from these members.  

Now if I can only find someone to practice this with repetitively until it becomes instinct.  That would be lovely.  I have the time, energy and a place to practice by myself.  I can practice guards and strikes.  But I cannot practice these lovely counters that require a second participant.  This is where I really wish I could get my boys into it.  

*After writing all this I can see where a lot of the previous dagger work has combined together in yesterday's session.  A block from the first session, the dagger strikes that I got down pat from the second session.  That arm bind I couldn't get from the third session.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Winter Bend 2016

Winter Bend Rondevous is an annual  late winter black powder shoot and re-enactment camping that has been going on for decades.  Our time period is pre-1840 and basically about the love of black powder guns, mountain men and their lifestyle.  We dress and camp "primitive".  Their is also a "tin tipi" camp for those who can't of don't want to camp primitive. This particular rondy gets a lot of tourist traffic.  I realized this Winter Bend that I have been doing this for twenty four years.  Below is a picture of the camps that were set up in front of ours.

I have camped at as many as I could when the time and money allowed.  If I couldn't camp we almost always visited.  I've not shot a lot after the first couple of years.  I have gone for the primitive camping and to see good friends and make new ones.  I have a large canvas wall tent.  Which I have set up to have a liner.  It also has a wood stove.   The picture below is of the inside of my tent.  The wood stove is in the lower left hand corner that isn't in the picture.

There is a Trader's Row.  There are a few core traders who can always be counted on to be there.  After that you never know what goods one may find.   My first Winter Bend there was a tinsmith.  I still have my original, tin candle lantern.  I wish I had two or three more.  I am thinking of looking into the craft.  I've honestly thought it sounded like a PITA.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Busy As a Worker Bee

I have been so busy for the past few weeks.  I have friends visiting for a while who are staying on the property.  It is actually working out well and we are having fun.  I get to be a support and encouragement system for my good friend who is physically disabled with several critical illnesses. We are stretching out and walking together.  I am helping her to become more active physically and we are good company for each other. In return she is helping me to become motivated on getting stuff done around here.  In other words she is keeping me on track.

I have been working on cleaning up stuff in the back corner of my yard.  I have been feeding trash left behind by my ex into my garbage can.    I have been working on my pile of wood too.  I pulled a bunch of the old wood scraps out and cut them into firewood for camping.  Which we used on our *annual winter camping trip.

We came home from camping on Sunday (the 28th).  We got everything unloaded.  I had planned to completely clean the camp kitchen on Monday.  Along with washing the camp quilts and tumbling the dust out of the wool blankets  And of course the usual chore of emptying, cleaning and re-packing the clothes box.

The drain pump on the washer died as John was washing his work clothes Sunday afternoon.  The drain pipes on the kitchen sink started leaking badly on Monday when I was dipping the water out of the washer.   So Monday I also cleaned out under my kitchen sink and replaced a corroded connector. I still cleaned the camp kitchen inside and out too along with the clothes box.  I decided I would worry about the camp quilts and wool blankets another time.  They aren't that dirty.

I missed the past two HEMA meetings.  I missed the one that was changed from a Sunday to a Saturday.  And had to give up yesterday's meeting to move my "new to me" fridge.  I have been lazy with my sword practice lately with everything going on.  My weight has stayed the same I have not lost anymore weight, but I haven't gained any either.

This month's physical goals are to keep up my HEMA training and practice.  To make lifting free weights to build my upper body a daily, anime watching habit.  Keep stretching and walking.

*Tomorrow-Winter Bend Rondy, aka my annual winter camping trip.