Stress Relief

After a long, rough day at work I went downstairs and kicked Susana, defended against Renshi’s punches, and worked the bo.


I forgot about my stressful day, wore myself out, and slept like a babe. Ahh…


Whirlwind Weekend in Texas

Twelve hours in the Ninja Bus. 38 hours in Bryan, TX. Twelve more hours in the bus.

Energy drinks, stinky beef jerky, a DDD BBQ joint, numerous truck stops, missing our turn in Waco, almost getting stuck in the DQ bathroom, spastic noise I can’t call music, laughing til we cried, discovering I still have a “safety stripe” on my black belt, and always feeling safe because I travel with “bodyguards.”

Desperate measures to avoid the beef jerky stink.

We looked for armadillos on the roadside, but the only ones we saw were fuzzy replicas at the truck stop. I watched for Walker, Texas Ranger to ride by on his horse but he didn’t show. Even better, I got a lesson in knife defense from a real-life county investigator.

I discovered greens, ate smoked bologna and mysterious boudin balls for the first time. I had alligator, not for the first time. In case you’re wondering, it tastes like chicken. I passed on the pork skins, but devoured brisket and strawberry banana cake.

I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. Including a volunteer at the military museum who wouldn’t stop following me.

Working Hanshi Baker’s Finger Lock Flow.

I worked a finger lock flow, practiced increasing my reach, reviewed bunkai, and tried new things. I saw a well-respected martial artist honored by many who love him. I learned on the mat alongside the masters of our art. I felt privileged. I was privileged.

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Unwinding — my way!

It’s been pointed out to me that I’ve been a lunatic lately. Not in so many words, of course. The speaker was too tactful for that, but I got the idea. I couldn’t even argue the point, because it’s true.

We’re short-staffed at work, with a workload that has blossomed like a bed of daffodils in spring. The geriatric dog won’t let me sleep through the night. My body is rudely acting its age despite my protests. And my black belt test is less than 2 months away. Yeah, I’m a kook.

I’m taking this weekend to unwind. Not the whole weekend – there’s work to be done. But I’m going to set aside work and worries for a while and pamper myself.

My pampering methods vary from week to week. Sometimes it involves sleeping in, lounging in my jammies all day, reading books and watching the dust collect. But not this weekend. I do need sleep, and I’ve got that scheduled in. But I need more.

I need to cook. Playing in the kitchen relaxes me. As soon as I finished working I made spaghetti for dinner, and I have Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies in the oven as I write this. The cookies are quite good, and they’re relatively healthy as far as cookies go. I’ll take them to the dojo in the morning so I don’t eat them all myself! You can find that recipe on my food blog, Munchies Mind.  

I need to go to the dojo. As much as I like to sleep in on Saturday mornings, I need to go to the Brown/Black Belt Class. My Shodan test is fast approaching and I’ll take all the Hanshi Love I can get! Class starts bright and early at 8 am; why it can’t start at 10 am is beyond me. So Miss Morning Person will be up at 6 am for class. It’ll be worth it – it always is.

I need a pedicure. I’m barefoot a good part of the time, both inside the dojo and out. With a casual work environment, I wear flip-flops every chance I get, so my toes are on display. I used to hate getting my feet done, and there are some parts of a pedi I still don’t enjoy. But I have a nail polish fetish that must be fed, and I love the final result – beautifully painted nails that make me smile. The choice for this visit: Louvre Me Louvre Me Not, a shimmery royal purple wonder by OPI. I’m just a little excited.  🙂

My idea of pampering might sound strange to others, but it really does relax and de-stress me! Cooking, kicking things and getting a pedicure.

I’m unwinding… my way.