Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Stuff I am learning right now

Hi, this is a brain dump.

Things I am learning:

Business Law: for college, really cool, love my textbook.

Principles of Finance: for college, only done the intro so far, but mostly repeat since I have already done the higher level class that is supposed to come after it.

Humility: really hard. Praying about it. Learned so far: humility is not the absence of pride, but having an accurate view of oneself. As such, it is neither pride nor shame; those both stem out of a comparison to others (like, " I am better than so-and-so"=pride, "I am worse than so-and-so" = shame).

Socializing: So far I have gotten as far as not panicking around people (exaggeration). I found four basic things that help with that for me (though I know others have other things that they struggle with) :

  • Comparing (socializing seems based on comparing, but knowing that it leads to pride/shame helps me remind myself to relax and breaks down one barrier to relating to people)
  • Ok-ness (as a Christian, I must remember that I have something beyond this, and that whatever happens now is either forgiven or credited to me later. Hence, it is all ok (variations include "I am enough")
  • Meaning (as in, what does it mean? Basically, socializing is based on comparing, but the key to succeeding at the whole comparing thing is knowing that even if so-and-so is better or worse than you at something, it doesn't mean anything. All have sinned, and fallen short. In the grand scheme, we are all basically the same.)
  • Business (any other problem with relating to people for me seems to stem from trying to mind someone else's business. Bad idea.)
So, yeah, I have an acronym (COMB- really relates to the topic? Nope. :-P), and it helps to reduce the panic factor around people. The next thing? Learning to understand others. 

I got the idea in part from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  and though it is sort of a self-help book, it has a lot of really excellent ideas behind how to be a effective person. The "7 habits" are (in my words)
  1. Take responsibility for yourself (don't blame your problems on anyone else, you are the one responsible for the outcome of your life)
  2. Live out of your principles, not anything else. ("What is your center?"-North, Rise of the Guardians It is easy to live out of your needs and desires, like the need for approval from someone, or the need for money, but the author encourages being Principle Centered. Like, have God at the core. Yeah)
  3. Take those principles into your day-to-day planning (He has a whole system, using a weekly planner instead of monthly or daily, etc. etc., but basically he wants you to plan your schedule while looking at your principles as applied to the roles you live in.)
  4. Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself (He phrases it "win-win" but basically you should not be a push over, but you should look at the other persons needs and desires as much as you do yours. Love them as much as you love yourself. )
  5. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood"- This is the one I will talk about in a minute
  6. Appreciate other peoples differences (and live out of that appreciation. He calls it "synergy")
  7. Invest in yourself (exercise your mind, body, and spirituality, so you have more to work with)
Yeah, so that is a lot of wisdom, in my opinion. The hardest thing for me right now is the "understanding others" part. Basically, what he says is to use your right brain to feel what the other person is feeling. I am calling this empathy. I am not good at this. I like logical discussion, but socializing is not done like this. So, totally out of my comfort zone, I am attempting to edge into that understanding of others from their point of view. 

This seems to involve a)not logic-ing out what they feel and b)throwing yourself into a non-logical state where you... ehhhhhh..... react? Not really clear on that. :-P But the not logic-ing is a good first step. The 7 habits book has a list of 4 things to avoid, and 2 things to do:

  • Advise people on whatever they are saying. Unless they specifically ask. So, for now, advising is a definite no-no
  • Probe people on what they are talking about, as in asking a question for your logical construction. This is opposed to asking the questions that THEY want/lead you to ask.
  • Interpret what they are saying. Like, taking what they are saying into your own context. They aren't you, and if you are interpreting them to your perspective then you won't actually understand them.
  • Evaluate what they are communicating as right or wrong. This could also be called judging. 
  • Absorb their emotion
  • Absorb the content
The "Don't" list conveniently gives me "A. P.I.E." as an acronym, so when I socialize I will COMB A PIE. :) The "Do" list is mostly a crutch: you can reflect back their emotion and their content and have a sort of functional model, but if you don't actually try to understand them in the meaningful, empathetic way,  then you aren't succeeding.

What else am I learning? I am building a house, so that is always a learning curve. Oh....

Blacksmithing, because I want to make cool mechanical things. 

//Brain Dump complete.

public void endpost()
int stuff=3
int important=5
commence (imporant, stuff)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

CROSSFIT!!!! *bleh*



For those who are unfamiliar with Crossfit, it is an... exercise philosophy? There are Crossfit gyms. The basic idea is that no day's workout is the same, and the muscle groups worked are  more universal than running or weightlifting alone. A typical workout has three parts: the warmup, the weight work, and the WOD or workout of the day.

The warmup changes too, but it usually has running or jump roping, calisthenics, and stretch/exercise combo thingys. (<that's a technical term)

The weight work is weightlifting (did you know that puny, chubby me can deadlift 265 lbs? I didn't either!) and we do a variety of lifts (deadlift, strict press, push press, squat snatch, power clean, power snatch etc. etc.)

The WOD is extremely variable. In general, it is either as many reps as possible (AMRAP), or a specific set of reps that you do as fast as you can (I call them chippers, because you chip away at them but I don't know if that is what the trainer people would call it). Of course, what you do reps of depends on the workout. Once it was 150 wall balls. Another time it was box jumps and pullups and hand stand pushups. Sometimes it is squat snatches and other stuff. It is totally variable. The only unifying factor is that you work as hard as you can. Seriously. How many squats can you do in a minute before you pass out? Now how many pushups? Now how many pullups? Whew, go ahead and rest a minute. Now do it all another two times.

It does have tremendous benefits. I am way more confident, happy, and peaceful. The testosterone increase that goes with this has been great for just balancing my life better. Also, I am getting stronger, more toned, and thinner. :-)

Now, since I am writing this for a scheduled post and therefore writing on a Monday, I am headed out to Crossfit. Today's WOD?

For time (a chipper)
21 Thrusters at 65# (for girls)
21 Toes to Bar
21 Hand stand pushups
400 meter run
15 Thrusters at 65#
15 Toes to Bar
15 Hand stand pushups
400 meter run
9 Thrusters at 65#
9 Toes to Bar
9 Hand stand pushups

I go now to die in puddles of sweat and blood on a rubber mat. RAHHHH!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Jan 9th- what is up

So I am trying out scheduling my blog posts. Which means I am actually writing this on the 4th. Not sure how that will work out for accurate posts, but so long as everything is in the past tense then I guess it will be fine. :-)

Current projects include a lot of weddings.

Danielle, my cousin, is getting married on the 10th. I did some of the bridesmaids'  dress alterations, which made a great warm up for the other work I am doing.

LeeAnna, another cousin, is getting married in February. I am sewing her *gulp* wedding dress. It is so exciting and a little intimidating. We designed it to her ideals, and we have draped the pattern to fit her perfectly. I will put up pics when I have them.

Pretty cool, huh? But that isn't all folks.

I am going to be sewing a wedding dress for our very own Jessika. *Passes out from happiness and excitement*

Friday, November 27, 2015

Miss Mouse's Breakfast with Santa

Miss Mouse's Breakfast with Santa

I wrote this. I was feeling Christmasy.

Once, in a very small hole in a wall in a very large kitchen, lived Miss Mouse. She was a very small mouse, with a very small nose, and very small paws, and her very small hole was just the right size. She loved her little hole, because it was right near the big, black stove, where all the good things were baked, boiled, fried, and steamed. Every day new delicious smells would come from that great big stove, and every night the fire was banked up so that the coals would smolder until the morning. On the cold winter nights, Miss Mouse loved to curl up under the stove with her favorite shawl, and feel that warm stove and smell the memories of the feasts it had made.

On one particularly cold winter night, when the wind blew around the corners and the eaves, making sad sounds, Miss Mouse was curled under the stove when the big door to the kitchen opened and a gust of wind came in. The door shut again, and two feet came over in front of the stove. They were peculiar feet, rather small, and covered in wooly green slippers. The slippers stood on tip-toe and the little person took a big pot off the stove. This pot was making heavenly smells, and Miss Mouse desperately wanted to see what was inside it. It was such a big pot that you couldn't see much of the person carrying it, except the feet. The feet walked back to the door, and let in another gust of wind as they went through. Miss Mouse hesitated, then pattered across the floor as fast as possible to go out the door before it closed.

Outside, it was just beginning to get light out, but Miss Mouse couldn't see the pot or the feet. The snow was deep on the ground, and the air was full of crystal flakes. It was very blustery, and the cold cut right through her little shawl. She looked around and around, until she saw the foot marks in the snow. She jumped in the first one. Blasts of wind tried to squish her or pull her out of the little hole, but she kept on going, right into the next three foot marks. When she jumped to the fifth mark, a big white owl swooped down out of the darkness and tried to snatch her up. It grabbed with its big feathery feet, but she burrowed into the snow, and waited. The owl hopped around on the snow for a while, but the wind was fierce and the owl was not hungry enough to hunt around in a heap of snow. Miss Mouse was very cold now, soaked to to skin, and her little shawl was drenched. She climbed out of the hole, and hopped to the next foot mark, and then next, and the next. By now it was dawn, and the snow glistened and sparkled as it swirled around. She saw the pot again now, and the little person carrying it was just going through a door into a big wooden house, with chimneys smoking everywhere. Miss Mouse darted through the door at the last second, and it shut the cold and the wind out behind her.

Now she saw that the feet had belonged to a little man, who gave the pot to a little woman. The room was vaulted and spacious, but filled with little people like the man and woman. A wide wooden door, with knobs low down, was thrown open then, and a whole crowd of little people then trooped into this other room. Miss Mouse followed them and the big pot, and the great room she entered was so bright that she had to look at the dimmest things first. There was a dark wooden table with benches on either side, covered with a feast fit for a king. There was turkey, and ham, and fried eggs, and heaps and heaps of bacon. There were jugs of milk, and cream, and wine, and cider. There were platters of apples piled high, heaps of oranges, fried mushrooms, piles of toast with pools of creamy butter. At the end closest to Miss Mouse, there was a jolly woman, taller by twice than the little people, laughing at their antics as they closed around the table and filed into the seats. At the far end of the table was an even fatter, jollier man, laughing and waving for the little people to come and sit. But the biggest, most dazzling thing in the room, was a tall fir tree, standing upright behind where the big man sat. It was covered in glistening orbs of glass, and delicate ornaments of gold and silver. Under the tree were colorful packages covered in bright paper. At the top glistened a great gold star, and all over the tree magical lights floated, blazing white and yellow all around. It filled the hall with blazing, cheerful light, and made Miss Mouse forget for a moment how cold and tired she was.

Now all the little people were seated, except the first little man she had seen and the little woman with the pot. They ceremoniously gave the pot to the jolly woman, and as they bowed the little man caught sight of Miss Mouse. “Hello! Who have we here?” He exclaimed, “ I do believe it is Miss Mouse from the kitchens!” Miss Mouse gave her best curtsy. The little woman was very kind, and said, “Miss Mouse, would you like to join us elves in a breakfast with Santa?” Miss Mouse was very glad to do this, hanging her wet shawl by the fireplace and coming up to the table. The little elf lady made a place for Miss Mouse on the table (for even very polite mice may sit on tables to eat). Santa, that great fat jolly man, bowed his head, and they all did the same. He said grace, and then carved the turkey. Miss Mouse ate until she could hold no more, and all the elves and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus had eaten their fill.

Now the table was cleared off, and Mrs. Claus ceremoniously went to the blazing tree and gave Santa the first present. Then everyone brought out their gifts, one by one opening and exclaiming over them. Santa gave Mrs. Claus a beautiful comb for her white hair, and she gave him a new pair of rabbit skin gloves. The head elf gave his wife a neat little green coat with beautiful designs on it, and Santa gave him a new sledge. Finally, every present had been opened. Miss Mouse had enjoyed herself immensely, and was just getting ready to slip away when Santa turned to her and asked, “What do you desire for Christmas my dear?” Miss Mouse paused. She knew exactly what it was that she wanted, but it seemed to big a thing to ask. “Anything at all my dear.” She decided. “What I most dearly want is a little kitchen of my own, in my little hole, with its own warm stove to make delicious smells of my own.” Santa looked very wise, and winked at the head elf. The head elf winked back, and then helped Mrs. Claus to put the big good smelling pot on the table. Then she opened up the lid and the delicious smell filled the room. She started scooping out heaps of popped corn, buttery and delicious. Miss Mouse ate three whole pieces, before she was too full to hold another bite. Sighing with happiness, she sat back for a moment, but now the party was breaking up and it was time to go home.

She took her leave of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and the head elf and his wife, then she got her shawl and scurried back to the door, over the fresh new still snow, and into the kitchen. She looked at the big stove, and then her hole. The stove was so warm and delightful that she couldn't resist going under it to curl up, warm and cozy, for a snug nap after her delightful breakfast. She slept and slept, and when she woke it was quite dark outside. She pattered to her hole, but it was different. Instead of chill and shadowy, her hole was light up with warm golden light, and quite warm. She looked around, and there in the corner was a brand new stove, with a little stove pipe and a little wood stack. In the fire box was a little banked up fire, and on the warming box sat a little note. “Merry Christmas Miss Mouse, and thank you for joining us for breakfast -Santa Claus”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How it all turned out

Wow, what a cool costume dance!

We had so much fun and I got it all done! Whew!

I spend all that time making the costumes, and all that work is really worth it, but what really makes or breaks a costume is the person that wears it. This year, everyone was so fantastic, and made their respective costumes come to life

Jolena was the most amazing Danielle deBarbaroc: so elegant! So amazing! She totally stole the night! (She also won the best women's costume prize)

My armor ended up really nice. I wish I could have made it better, but my fist attempt at armor was, on the whole, a ripping success.

Becca made an amazing viking, and it was so much fun copying the large scale work on Stoick's outfit. I even convinced her to wear the fur cape. :-D

I only did the vest for this costume, and a little advising, but she rocks it, dontcha think? (plus, she is dancing with Barbossa!!!)

And last but not least, there is Cori as Bellatrix Lestrange; this one speaks for itself. :-)

It was great! Good times were had, so many cool costumes were there! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What is up:

I have been doing nothing but costumes and watching The Flash.

I like the Flash. It is like the Spiderman character of DC, in many ways. I have mostly dismissed DC as dark and depressing and unworthy of my time, because of their characters like Superman and Batman. These characters have dark stories, full of unhappy endings and the futility of goodness. However, the Flash has been surprisingly upbeat.

I finished the Ever After costume, the Jack Sparrow vest, the Jane Foster costume, and the Stoick costume. Now for Bellatrix....