kareina: (Default)
At the SCA event this weekend I spent the first part of the event wearing a tunic and my new Tjorsberg trousers, with the really comfortable sheepskin feet, but as it came time for the evening feast I decided to change into a dress. Remember how some weeks back I said that I had needed to change out the underarm gores in my 12th century underdress so that the sleeves would fit over my larger arm muscles? Well, this time, when I put on the dress I noticed that the fabric was kind of straining over my lats. (Which explains why I found it so difficult to put on. Yes, it has always been difficult to wriggle into this dress, but I barely managed getting the narrow part of the waist over my shoulders at all this time.) Yet, it was still reasonably comfortable, providing the same really good breast support it always has, so I put on the overdress and enjoyed the evening.

However, late in the evening I managed to move my arms and flex my shoulder muscles in such a way that I heard a ripping sound, followed by several other ripping sounds. We looked, but saw no damage to the over dress (which laces up the sides, so better handles the larger muscles), so suspected that it was the underdress. Sure enough, when I finally took it off that evening I saw several rips in the part of the dress that falls between the shoulder blades--a long one pretty much dead center, and a few smaller ones parallel to it between the mid point and my left shoulder blade. Sigh. Luckily, none of them extended low enough to compromise the breast support the dress provides, since that mostly comes from the fact that the dress diameter just under the bust is exactly the same as the circumference of my ribs at that point, and that point is all ribs--it is just under the newly bulging lats.

Therefore today after work I cut out a diamond-shaped hole from the back of the dress and sewed in a diamond shaped replacement, cut on the bias, so it is a bit stretchier, though the same size (after finishing the seams) as the shredded part which I removed. Then I opened up the seam between my back and the underarm gore from the bottom of my lats to where the underarm gore hits the sleeve, and added an insert there. I used the original square underarm gores for this--sewing one straight side to the bottom edge of the underarm gore, one straight side from that point along the body rectangle to the point at the bottom of my lats, and then sewed along the hypotenuse of the triangular gap to let third the edge of the new gore curve to fill the space. Then I trimmed off all of the square that wasn't needed and finished the seam. This adds about 2 cm at the widest point, which takes the strain off of the fabric over my back. With luck I won't grow so much more in the way of muscle bulk, even though I have every intention of continuing to train and get stronger. But the new underdress in progress will be cut a bit loose over the shoulders, just in case.

Other than damaging the dress (which was fun when it happened), the event was a good one. I did much crafts, got to visit with many delightful people, did some dancing, some singing, and even took a short walk. I should have brought my fur hood and muff though. I hadn't expected to go outside, but I did try to watch the fighting, both the torchlight tourney Friday night (where my poor champion took a cup shot :-( and the day time tourney on Saturday. I didn't stay out long for either of them--while the weekend weather was generally warm and sunny, there was also an icy breeze, which I wouldn't have noticed if I had brought the fur.

It must have been sunny and warm at home over the weekend, too, since the bike path between here and uni has pretty much had all of the snow and ice melted away from it since last I took it. Only places which are shady still have some ice. I noticed when dropping O. off at home after the event that the part of the path I can see from the road was clear, so I opted to take my trike in this morning, and was pleased that my 45 minute walk was thus shortened into a 26 minute pedal. (good thing, too, since the above mentioned repairs to the dress took nearly 4 hours!)

My apprentice was supposed to do her analysis of the Roman coins today, but we are nearly out of the Argon gas needed for the ICP-MS, so instead we just set up the experiment, polished the coins, and took photos of them under the laser camera--it will automatically stitch together as many as 7 x 7 photos (which measures about 4 mm wide and 3 mm tall), and it took six sets of 7 x 7 photos to get the entire coin cross section photographed. But it makes sense to get good photos of "before" we fire on it with the laser.

So the plan is (assuming that the gas arrives on time) to run her analyses as the demo experiment on Wednesday during our lab demo day. Hopefully my colleagues will be ok with this.
kareina: (me)
My food log tells me that my intake has crept back up this month (my average since starting the log in 2008 is 3.03 bowls of food a day, but for this month it is 3.54 bowls/day). My exercise log, on the other hand, says my activity level is also high (my average hours per day since starting the log in 2005 is 1.49, but for this month it is 2.59 hrs/day). Now, I wonder, why is it that I am so hungry lately? :-P

Why is it so high? This morning started with 28 minutes of situps and other abs exercises before getting out of bed (while reading livejournal etc.), then I did a quick 12 minute upper body workout before leaving the house for my 45 minute walk to work. The morning at work flew by with questions from a PhD student on her upcoming laser session, and yesterday's master's student on his data reduction, and before I knew it it was time to meet my personal trainer for another 45 minute workout. He wants me to work more on strengthening my lats now, since other parts have gotten reasonably strong.

When I was done I ran into C. who had finished her cardio workout at the gym and would soon be taking the bus home. I have never gotten a bus card because, really, I would rather walk 45 minutes than wait 5 for a bus, but the driver will let one swipe a bus card more than once if there is more than one passenger, and I was hungry, so I grabbed my coat and pack from my office and joined her, which meant I got only 7 minutes walk home from work, but it also meant that I got to eat sooner, so my tummy was happy.

While eating I finally finished the book Tempelriddaren, which I have been slowly working my way through for six months (during which time I started and finished four other books). The first book in the series took me only three months, but this one has so much focus in the Holy Lands instead of Sweden that I found it really easy to not bother to pick it up many days. Yet it is good for me to read in Swedish, so I kept at it in between the other books, and finally managed to finish. I recently found out that we happen to have this series in audio book form, so my plan is to read the third one while I listen to it, and, with luck, it will go faster.
kareina: (me)
I have been feeling like I am not being very good about doing my workout lately, so I just checked my exercise and counted how many days I have spent doing what activity recently (since switching from the summer program back to the normal program), to see if my perception is grounded in reality. The totals:

stats for the past 40 days:

activity # of days done
yoga 40
situps 40
trike 22
day one 6
day two 6
day three 6
day four 5
walk 5
dance 5
7 min hang 5
manual labour 4
meet trainer 3
acroyoga 3

so, if you count meetings with my personal trainer, I have done my assigned workout 26 of 40 days (or 65%, but only 57% if you don't count those meetings)

yoga and morning situps are daily

and other forms of physical activity happened on at least 44 other occasions*, so more than one thing a day, on the average, but sometimes it is several one day and none the next. (Note: when doing the counting, I only counted each type of activity on a given day, so riding my trike both to and from uni counts as once, not twice, in this summary)

In other words, I could be doing much better with the actual workouts, but I am reasonably active otherwise. Indeed, my exercise log for this month shows that this is my most active September since I started keeping records on the computer (2005, when I started my PhD program), with an average of 1.98 hours a day this month.

So I guess I shouldn't really be surprised that my food log is also running high, as is my weight--I am up to pretty much 57 kg (126 lbs), yet I am looking slimmer in the mirror than I remember looking this time last year (when I was 2 to 3 kg lighter)
kareina: (stitched)
Tomorrow morning I start driving south to attend the Medieval Week in Visby. The SCA camp won't have electricity, so I will mostly leave my phone in flight mode while there to conserve battery (so that I can keep using the phone app for my food log etc.). So don't be surprised if you don't hear from me between now and my return on 17 August.

If you are going to be there, you can find me in the Styringheim camp--my pavilion is the one with blue lions and seahorses painted on it.

Today all I need to do is bake a bit more road food (yum--Norwegian Buttermilk Flatbread), pack up a few last minute things, and try to remember to exercise a bit more, since the summer program my personal trainer gave me is "easy"*.


*by "easy", I mean that today I only needed to do three different types of things:

* three sets of 10 "wall walks" (hands on floor, facing the wall, walk your hands across the floor and your feet up the wall till you are in a handstand,

*4 sets of sideways walking on my hands, with my back against the wall for support (each set 20 feet of distance, which means four times back and forth across the one stretch of wall we have clear enough to do this),

*plus five sets of 10 kick ups into a handstand against the wall.

However, I confess that for both of the types of walking on my hands I needed to take mid-set breaks as well as between set breaks. At least kicking up into a handstand ten times in a row is doable without resting.
kareina: (me)
I have just managed to catch up my exercise log after getting a little behind in getting the information from my phone and into the spreadsheet during the trip to Italy last week. I am pleased to report that, even though while traveling there were a couple of days when the only exercise I got at all was my daily yoga, I have been doing enough workouts, acroyoga, and biking and/or walking to work often enough that my March average hours a day is still 1.79 hours/day of physical activity. This is down compared to January (2.20 hrs/day) and February (2.65 hour/day), but it is the second best March since I started keeping the log on a computer (in 2005), and the month isn't over yet.

It is now 11 weeks since I started my sessions with my personal trainer, and I am seeing improvement in my overall strength and balance. Today at Phire practice I tried, for the first time, doing and handstand and from there rolling onto the super thick mat we use for aerial silks. Not only could I do the rolling out of the handstand, I also managed, a couple of times, a pause in the handstand for a few seconds before rolling--this is the first time I have tried hand-stand without a wall, human spotter, or giant rubber band to help, and I am pleased to have managed this milestone.

On the other hand, returning to aerial silks after 4 weeks where it wasn't an option (due to travel on my part, mostly) really emphasized how much further I still have to go. At the start of practice this evening I couldn't climb the silks at all--my hands simply wouldn't grip the fabric enough to work my way up it. However, after doing some acroyoga and handstands suddenly my hands remembered how it is done, and I managed to climb and do some simple poses, though I confess I couldn't remember much of what I had been able to do when last we tried.

With luck there may be some photos from tonight's session--my friend who likes playing with antique cameras joined us tonight, and took a bunch of photos, it will be interesting to see if any of them came out once he has a chance to develop the film.
kareina: (stitched)
Having stayed up too late last night, I did't get up on time to do a workout before work today (though, of course, I did my before-getting-out-of-bed situps). However, I had planned to meet E. for acroyoga at 12:30, so I figured at least I would get some exercise. As it turned out, I didn't actually check FB for messages till after 11:00, since I was at work and had plenty to do, but when I did I saw a message from 08:00 saying that she wound up having a conflict due to a class meeting, and would we do 14:30 instead? I told her "of course", and after a few minutes thought, decided that it would be smart to go to the gym over lunch anyway--I have not been doing the workouts that my trainer gives me on days that I am doing acroyoga, because it seems like enough, but actually, I need those workouts to develop the strength needed for acroyoga. So off I went.

The workouts have a series of warm-up exercises that are common to every day, and then, depending on if it is day one, two, or three, there is a set of exercises that one is meant to go through four different times. In just over 30 minutes I managed the warm up and two repeats of the exercises themselves for day one, and then was hungry, so I returned to my office and had some food and did more work.

Then I met E. and we did 50 minutes of acroyoga--we have a nice set of poses that flow well together that we hope to perform (accompanied by music from my second apprentice) at the feast in Reengarda in a couple of weeks, and we are getting much better at the more difficult transitions. (She is really strong--while I am hanging from her upraised feet like a bat, she is able to let go with one foot, put it on my hips, and push me up into lying horizontally on my side across her feet.)

After we were done she wanted to work out, so we did the other half of my day one workout, including more of the warmup stuff, and followed by some stretching.

By then it was nearly 16:30, so I returned to my office, ate some muesli, and started walking home. Since it was a bit cool for how I was dressed (only a really light sweater under the coat, when I could have done with a medium one, since it is -10 today) jogged part of the way home, for three long stretches. I only went most of the way home, and then it was convenient for [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar to pick me up and take me the rest of the way.

After a bit of time with a book and a bowl of popcorn I shoveled a bit more snow, and then curled up with the computer.

Tomorrow we plan to unload C's stuff from the trailer, now that it has arrived, and drive down for the Umeå folk festival in the evening.
kareina: (house)
Was it just yesterday I posted about how nice it was to finally get some decent snow? Today it warmed up above freezing, with a warm wind, and the roads and walkways have a film of melt water over ice. Ick! Hopefully we will return to proper winter temperatures soon. I hope this won't be another of those dreadful winters wherein every snow is promptly followed by melting. I didn't move north for that.

In other news, I had a great work out today, which got my arms recovered from the pain from Friday's aerial silks--now they are just normal after-workout tired, rather than hurting.

I am also pleased to have gotten lots of award recommendations sent in today.
kareina: (stitched)
Last night I managed seven hours of sleep, which was more than I might have gotten, but I had forgotten when I lay down that I had switched the dawn light from 05:30 to 06:20 the night before when I had stayed up rather later. So when I finally woke up at 06:15 and looked at the clock I decided that it would be wise to do only part of the morning phone app workout, so I could make it to work on time to meet my friend at the gym at 08:30 as planned.

Then, as I started my morning situps before getting out of bed, I turned wireless on my phone to read LJ, and saw a FB message from her, sent after midnight, saying that she wasn't sleeping due to a headache, and so didn't think she would make it to the gym. My first thought was "ok, I don't have to go". Then I thought again and decided that, no, of course I was going.

Then I got up, got dressed for the phone app workout (bra out the outside of yesterday's shirt, so that should I sweat, it isn't on the bra, and I can still wear it the rest of the day), went to the living room, opened the app, and discovered that it thinks today is a rest day. For all four categories of exercises. This was a bit of a surprise, since for weeks now it has been a rest day for three of the four at once, and the fourth gets a different rest day. However, having gotten dressed to work out, I deiced to do a little anyway, and spent 10 minutes moving. Then I got dressed for work, posted to the Phire FB group that even though the one friend couldn't make it, I would still be going to the gym if anyone wanted to join me, had breakfast, and spent 15 minutes shoveling snow till [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar was ready for work, and then I rode in with him.

As an aside--the downside of yesterday's long day at work and then having fun with friends on campus is that meant that no one was home yesterday to do the shoveling when we got the first decent snowfall of the winter. Not that it was much snow this time, either, but at least it was deep enough that one wouldn't want to wear low shoes in it. To make matters worse, after weeks of lovely temperatures (read: -10 to -30 C, or "cold enough not to melt and get slippery), today it warmed up to 0 C, so after sitting in the warmth the snow was getting a bit heavier than it was when it fell. Needless to say, I didn't get much of the driveway done in the 15 minutes I had before work.

Arriving at work I took my computer to the lab, turned on the plasma on the ICP-MS, and then went to the gym, where I was met by another Phire person I had only seen one time before. We had a nice workout and enjoyed chatting while we did. I did only a short 30 minute session, as I wanted to be certain I was ready when my lab technician arrived at 10:30 or 11:00.

I was, and spent a couple of hours with him, as he looked at the laser and checked a few things, explaining as he went. I now understand why it was that when I asked for the laser to deliver a fluence of 7 J/cm2 it was only giving about 3.5 J/cm2, but if I asked for 50% output I could get 7 J/cm2. It turns out that when the laser was installed the technician opened up the sample chamber, turned off the safety feature that keeps the laser from firing when the door is open, set in a sensor, fired the laser on it, and took notes as to how many J/cm2 it delivers at each % of output. Then the computer looks at my request, compares it with that table, and sets the output level at that given by the table to yield the result I want.

Expect that sometime between installation and when I first noticed the problem something has gone wrong, so that it simply isn't giving as much energy as it did when that table was created, so now when I ask for 7 J/cm2 it uses the 40% output that it thinks ought to be good enough, but really, we need 60% these days.

Eventually the technician had enough information that he was ready to actually open up the machine and get to work, but first he needed lunch. He didn't really want me present for the opening thing up and changing stuff with the optics, saying that I wouldn't be able to help, and he didn't really want someone else in the room when the laser was unshielded. So, it being plenty late enough to do so, I went home for the day, enjoying a nice walk through a forest of snow-covered trees.

That gave me time for a short nap (~20 min), some food (baked a yummy cornbread) and a good book, running a load of laundry, and a bit more snow shoveling, before it was time to head to uni for the Frostheim social/crafts night.

I brought my dulcimer, which seriously needed tuning after the temperature changes this week, and made some progress on my tunic in progress. This week there were four of us for most of the evening, but a friend who can't eat gluten dropped by on his way to his martial arts session to try the cornbread, since I had told him I was bringing it).

We had my senior apprentice working on her wool dress, the friend from Phire who didn't make it to this morning's workout, working on her wool dress, me working on my wool tunic, and a really cute new guy, working on some chain mail project he started working on three years ago (he is so in the right place!) It was a lovely time, and I was quite surprised when the apprentice's husband returned to pick her up, as I didn't think it was that late.

As we were packing up to go I looked at my phone, and saw that my service technician had sent me a text message at 19:30 saying he was finally done for the day, having found the root cause and started the repair, and suggesting that I meet him tomorrow at 10:00. I am glad I didn't stick around till he was done!

From there I went over to the local grocery store to pick up my package, since I had received a text message earlier in the day saying it was in. But we also needed a few things from the store, so I filled a basket first. Then, when I had found everything I wanted, I looked at the line to deal with the one human on duty, and went over to the self-scanning station, and checked myself out. Then I hopped in the car and went home, and it wasn't till I pulled into the driveway that I realized that I hadn't picked up the package. Oops! I have now added it to the calendar for tomorrow, so hopefully I will remember.

However, the self-annoyance at forgetting the package was completely overshadowed by the joy at discovering that [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar, who had stayed home from Frostheim to finish up a few things for work, had finished up the shoveling while I was gone.

Now I should do yoga, before [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar puts down that nyckleharpa he just started playing...
kareina: (stitched)
Of course, I should have gone to bed before 01:00 last night, but I didn't. So instead of getting up at 05:30 to start my morning exercises I slept till quarter till seven. I still did my before-getting-up situps, and then went to the living room and did the pushups and squats section of what would have been yesterday's phone app workout, but yesterday I opted to stop after only the abs and "extra bodyweight" sections, because I thought that 52 minutes were enough. Of course, the two sections that remained to be done today added up to only 10 minutes, which was good because that gave me time for a shower before riding in to work with [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar.

Work went well, and kept me busy till time to go meet my friend at 13:00 at the gym, where we did the "day one" workout as I haven't yet received the description for the day two workout from my trainer. After the workout we spent a bit of time doing very basic acro yoga--just the airplane position, since she isn't used to doing it, so just that much takes an effort.

Then I worked for another couple of hours till it was time to go to Phire practice at 16:00. Since E., the girl who is so good at acro yoga, was sick today I was on my own, but managed to convince a number of people to give it a try. Mostly just the basic airplane pose, as they had trouble holding their legs still if they were base, and had trouble balancing if they were flying. But it is good for me to practice being base, too, and I still have fun flying, even if the base wobbles a bit. But boy does it give me appreciation for E.'s skill. When she lifts me into airplane it is as stable as laying on the ground, and she has no difficulties doing all the advanced poses. Hopefully she will be feeling better by next Tuesday (even if she is better by Friday, I won't make it to practice then, as I will be in Finland).

After Phire it was time to head to choir, which was much fun. We got some new exchange students, so there were 12 of us tonight--exactly six each male and female voices.

Since I did my yoga during Phire practice I can head to bed as soon as I post this, which would be very wise, since tomorrow I am meeting my friend at 08:30 for another workout, and then I will go to work, where, at 10:00, the laser service technician will arrive from Germany. He will be here all day, and tomorrow as well. I suspect that I probably ought to work full time the next couple of days while he is here, but I don't know for certain yet if that will be happening. It is mostly up to him, and how easy he finds it to have someone else present trying to learn stuff as he works.
kareina: (fresh baked rolls)
Despite (or because of?) being tired much of yesterday, and wishing before I went to bed that today could be another weekend, I seem to have found some much needed energy as I slept.

I woke up at 05:30, with the motivation to do my before-getting-out-of-bed situps etc. And then did 50 minutes of workout as suggested by my phone app. Then I walked the 46 minutes to the office, and happily worked till time for my 13:15 appointment with my physical trainer. (ok, till just past time, since I didn't actually stand up from my desk till 13:15, so I ran to the gym, which, fortunately, is in the next building.)

Then I returned to the office and worked some more, so I managed just over 6.5 hours today (which is good, while I am supposed to work four five-hour days each week, I had gotten a bit behind the last part of December and the first part of January, so I need to do a bit extra here and there to make up for it). Then I still had enough energy remaining that on the walk home I ran for a number of short distances. I never do that. I have (nearly) always prided myself on never running at all, yet, I was in a good enough mood that the extra movement sounded fun (and it was). As a result the home trip was only 42 minutes.

After all that I *still* had energy, so I decided to convert the last of the whey from this weekend's cheese into brunost, the Norwegian style brown cheese that tastes like caramel. I had already turned two cups of the whey into bread rolls on Sunday, so that left me about 1.15 liters for today's experiment. Reading up on the internet told me that the trick is to heat whey till it is getting thick, add some cream, and keep heating till it is as thick as you want it.

While it was cooking I also roasted a butternut pumpkin and toasted the seeds. The seeds I ate straight away, because I cannot resist them, but I ate only a tiny bit of the pumpkin.

The progression from Whey to Brunost today

start heating 1.15 liters of whey at 17:10:
after 50 minutes it had reduced to 1 liter
after 1 hr, 30 minutes it was 0.8 liters
after 1 hr, 15 minutes it was 0.9 liters
after 2 hr, 20 minutes it was 0.6 liters
after 2 hr, 40 minutes it was 0.5 liters
after 2 hr, 50 minutes it was 0.4 liters

at the 3 hour mark it was getting rather thick, though not really browning yet--only a pale kinda golden colour. I didn't have any cream in the house, so I decided to see what happens if one uses Turkish yoghurt instead, so I added 1 dl of that, which brought the volume back to 0.4 liters. I switched at that point from using a metal spoon for occasional stirring to using a flat coiled whisk thingie to break up the yoghurt chunks and get it well blended, and then kept using the whisk.

By 3.5 hours the texture was like an over-thickened gravy, but the colour was still only golden, not brown.

At 3 hrs, 40 minutes it had the texture of a very thick paste, bu was still not browning, so I added 1 tablespoon of milk, to make it easier to stir.

Ditto at 4 hours, so I added another tablespoon of milk.

another tablespoon of milk added at 4 hours and five minutes, as it was once again getting a bit thick to stir with the whisk. At that point I started seeing tiny wedges of nicely browned cheese in the mix, so I switched to a heat-proof rubber spatula and started mashing them in and scraping the sides and bottom of the pot as I kept blending everything together.

at 4 hours and 10 minutes I decided it was getting too thick to stir anymore, so I scraped it all into a single silicon muffin tin. Total yield from the 1.15 liters of whey (plus 0.145 liters extra milk products) was just over 1 dl--it heaped out the top of that muffin tin like a small cupcake. Concentrate that much dairy into such a small space, and of course it will be yummy (and only meant to be eaten in very small quantities). I never did get it as brown as I would have liked, but it is a pale brown.

Next time I want to try it with cream instead, and I want to see if I can have the patience to get it browner before I start adding the cream. I also think it might be fun to buy one of those silicon molds for doing chocolate candies and pack the cheese into that before chilling--then I would have cute little cheese-candies, in a reasonable serving size without the need to slice off bits...

Thank you again [livejournal.com profile] northernotter for introducing me to yummy Norwegian cheeses...
kareina: (me)
Tuesdays will be my longest day this semester (side note: I have been in Sweden long enough that it feels funny to use that word in this context, since here that spelling means "vacation"). Today's schedule:

06:00 wake up, start situps
06:19 finish situps (and reading LJ/email)
06:34 start my actual morning workout (phone app)
07:04 workout done (today was a shorter/easier day than yesterday)
07:38 start playing dulcimer
07:44 done playing dulcimer
07:58 start walking to work
08:44 arrive at work and start my day
11:20 pause work and head to the gym
11:30 meeting with my personal trainer (who showed me my first workout routine, now I just need to find time to do it--he promises to email me the details tomorrow)
12:37 back to the office, arriving just as a friend dropped by to say hello
12:58 resume work
15:44 pause work to eat some dinner and check personal email, LJ and FB
16:30 begin Phire practice (today: staff work, acrobatics, head stands (with splits) and hand stands against the wall, and juggling)
18:02 pause in Phire practice for a meeting, during which I did yoga
18:18 resume Phire practice (more staff work and juggling,and some hand stands against the wall)
18:40 done Phire practice
19:00 begin choir practice
20:30 done choir practice, hang out and chat with people for another 30 minutes
21:12 shovel snow
21:18 check mail, look up used pianos and keyboards for sale, and email the choir officers the list so that the group can buy one, instead of us needing to bring ours
22:15 get this far in typing this post. Once it is done and posted I may do a bit more yoga before bed, since my legs could use it...

Choir was much fun today--we started two new songs, both of which are done in mixed groups. The first was Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 (which song could have been a factor in my having been a career student--it came out when I was 14 and convinced me that I never wanted a "job"), and the second was Alice Cooper's Poison (while I had heard this one before, I didn't have hearing aids then, so had never actually heard/understood the lyrics before tonight--Oh, My! I didn't realize that it was a love song, nor that it had such... vivid images).

Tomorrow the only thing on the calendar is work, so I should be home early enough to do something useful around the house. Unless I just sleep.
kareina: (mask)
Tonight was the first scheduled practice for Phire at the school gym since the holidays. Our fearless leader was going to be out of town, so I went by her place this afternoon and picked up the bag of aerial silks stuff. However, when I arrived at the gym, about five minutes after we were meant to start there was a small group of us outside, wondering if I had the key. We checked the bag, but no key. We exchanged messages with a few people, found out who had the key, and the fact that he was in an exam just then and so not reachable, and decided that even though it has warmed up noticeably, -10 C is still too cold to be just standing around outside of a locked building.

So we went over to building F of the Uni (the one closest to the school, and where my office is, and checked the large space in the basement, but found out that it was reserved for a group who would be arriving soon. So then we decided to head to the other end of campus and see if the large Drama room we have for Tuesday's practice happened to be empty, since my key opens that door. It was empty, so we happily practiced there instead. However, that room doesn't have any place we can attach the aerial silks, and so we had to content ourselves with playing with juggling toys, staffs, and doing acrobatics. One of the girls had classes in acrobatics when in highschool, so she is happily giving us pointers.

It took only three tries for me and one of the other girls to find the balance point for me to stand on her thighs whilst our hands are clasped over one another's forearms, and I got to ride on a few sets of shoulders etc. I also worked on trying to find the balance point to let go of the wall when doing a handstand, but I am not quite there yet.

It may be a good thing that we didn't have the silks available today, since about 45 minutes before practice I managed to bang up the knuckles on my left hand a bit. I had been washing some metal shelves to be used for the shelves we are building onto the wall in the boiler room, and was nearly done--only three left to go. I went to pick up the next one, and somehow it got caught with its neighbour at the base, and so didn't come up when I lifted, which somehow set me off balance, and I tripped forward, getting my knuckles slightly mashed between the two shelves as the impact stopped my forward motion. Luckily, the knuckles lost a bit of skin in the process, so instead of bruising and swelling I just bled a bit, but they are feeling a bit sore and stiff now. I suspect that had I played on the silks they would be even more unhappy. Luckily, the damage is minor, so with luck they will be fine next week, when we should actually have the key to the gym.
kareina: (me)
I am pleased that, even though I (once again!) stayed up quite late talking with a loved one, I still managed to do both my before-getting-out-of-bed situps and the morning phone-app exercises (have now finished "intermediate level one", AND I rode my trike in for the first time since before Christmas. Even though it is -22 C (-7.5 F) this morning.

Last time I rode it, it was -15 and my brakes were frozen so I couldn't squeeze the handels, so on that occasion I put it in the shop when I got home, so they would thaw, and it has been there ever since as we have traveled over the holidays, so it wasn't in the way. I was hopeful that if I remembered to squeeze them often on the first part of the trip they would keep working despite the cold. But if that theory works, I didn't do it often enough, because the left side was already frozen in the time it took to lock the garage door and pull the trike to the top of that driveway so I could start pedaling. The right one worked while I was still on the mostly flat part of the road near the house, and, of course, I didn't try it while pedaling up the hill, so by the time I got to the top of the hill and started down the other side that break had frozen shut too. However, I had no problems slowing down by just putting my feet down on the ice, and there was no traffic on Haparandavägen, since I left later than usual, so the morning commute traffic was already done, if it even happened at all today--certainly not many people came in to uni (tomorrow is a public holiday, so many people just take the whole week off), and I didn't actually need to stop before crossing the road. However, I brought the trike into the office with me, so it will be thawed again before I start home. There are no hills on campus, so I can try squeezing the breaks often right away, and see if it helps. But if it doesn't it shouldn't be an issue, since I can always use my feet if I need to stop.

Today had been my appointment for my first real session with the personal trainer I hired as a birthday present to myself. Alas, I had an email from him last night saying that he caught a cold on the weekend and hadn't yet recovered enough to work, so we need to re-schedule. I suspect that knowing that I didn't have the appointment helped give me the motivation needed to trike in despite the cold.

The other adventure on today's calendar, which will happen, is to go see the new Star Wars movie again--it will be the second viewing for C and I, but [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's first. I am looking forward to the part about being able to talk freely about it with him.
kareina: (stitched)
Monday evening I went to bed early, since I wasn't feeling well, and woke in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, which appears to have been enough to chase away whatever virus had dared to try to infiltrate, because I have been feeling pretty good since then. Tuesday morning I had the energy to do my morning phone-app workout before work, but I choose not to try walking or biking, since I knew that I would have my first meeting with my personal trainer that afternoon, and I wanted to be certain that I still had energy when the time came.

It worked, and the meeting went well. The session was mostly about him seeing what I can and cannot already do in terms of balance, flexibility, and strength, and he gave me a few things to work on at home over the holidays. The real workout program will begin in January.

After the meeting I returned to my office, ate a quick lunch, and worked another couple of hours. Then I had a light snack and went over to the Phire practice and hung out for a bit. No aerial silks on Tuesdays, since we are in the Dramasalan, not the gym, and there isn't a place we can hang them (but we did brain storm some possibilities), but I did pass on the exercises I was given to S, who would love a personal trainer, but student budgets don't stretch that far. If I make a habit of working with her, I will, in theory, better remember what he taught me.

Then I spent the rest of the evening helping V with the last of the sewing for his costume for the new Star Wars movie premier, while O worked on painting the accessories for his. It would have been smart to head home early, but I was having fun, and we were making good progress on the costume, so I stayed till we were done, and then went home and did yoga, and finally got to sleep somewhere after midnight.

This morning I again had the energy to do my morning workout, but I didn't get out of bed early enough to walk or bike in, so I got a ride with [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar. To make up for it I took the scenic route home from work today--through the forest of the Nature Reserve. It takes a bit longer (53 minutes vs 45), but totally worth it for the increased beauty. The mid-day sun at this time of the year does clear the horizon, but not the tree line, so the forest is well lit, but in an ethereal way, with lots of dusky purple, pink, and blue tones to the snow. Since temperatures today are around -10 C the trees were all lightly coated with ice, letting them partake in the light show.

Not that we have much snow yet--the total accumulation is not more than 4 or 5 cm, but it is enough to make the world pretty. And to show the tracks of everything. That path is mostly used by people, dogs, skiers, and, in the latter part, snow machines, but deer and rabbit have also crossed the path.

This evening I will be joining some of the Phire guys for the movie, which is a good opportunity to use the movie gift certificate I was given for my birthday. I didn't need to make a new costume--I still have the jedi-inspired robes we made for a party my first year in Sweden, and, of course, there is a light saber in the sword cupboard...
kareina: (stitched)
I joined Phire today for their practice session. While most of the people present were doing stuff with juggling, and practice with swinging around sticks (which, during a performance or outdoor practice session would be burning), some of us played with the aerial silks. I have thought they looked fun since first I saw them, but never had an opportunity to try before tonight.

First she taught me two different ways to hold the fabric with one's feet, one of which she finds easier than the other. I tried them both, they are both hard, but the one she thinks is easier was, in fact, easier, once I got the coordination together to do it at all. Much to my delight, after only a handful of attempts I got the trick of it, and succeeded in climbing all the way to the top, and got back down again safely. This took much more effort than climbing the same distance on a rock wall, which I suppose shouldn't be surprising, since one has to hold on with only one's arms in order to wrap the fabric back around the foot in order to be able to stand up higher to make any progress. (One of the boys demonstrated climbing up with arms only. I am so not ready to do that yet, my arms simply don't have the power in them, yet.

After that she showed me many other things one can do, several of which involve being upside down or horizontal. I actually remembered to get out my camera, once, so there is evidence:

sideways

Sadly, this was the last meeting in the gym for the semester, so I need to wait till January to try it again. Other than holidays they meet two times a week, once at the Uni, and once in a school gym near the uni, and I expect that I will be joining them often. On Tuesdays I will have to talk them into doing silly people tricks with me, since there will be no aerials. [livejournal.com profile] aelfgyfu, how did we do that trick where you were laying on your back and I did a shoulder stand in your hands. I can't remember how it worked... Do you have any good suggestions of other fun things to try? Or what this sort of thing is called so I could ask google for ideas?

It will be interesting to see how much I improve on the silks over the next year, since my birthday present to myself was a year with a personal trainer...
kareina: (Default)
Back when I had plenty of time to spend at the computer for non-work as well as work stuff I posted here nearly daily. The upside to that was that it gives me a pretty good record of what I was up to then, but the down side is that I wasn't doing much outside of working on my PhD and going for walks. These days there is so much I would like to record about what I am doing, but the only way I can manage it is to take time that I should be doing something else (like, now, for instance).

I have managed a couple of f-locked posts in recent weeks, but they have focused on very narrow topics and haven't included updates on everything else in my life. So, what all is "everything else"?

music )

projects )

uni work )

travel/family )

health/fitness )

There are many more categories of things happening in my life, but it is time to put down LJ and get to them.
kareina: (Default)
I keep meaning to post, but have been busy, so by the time I catch up on reading what others have posted here, on email, in FB, and on blogs I don't seem to have energy left to type. How different this is from when I spent all day, every day on the computer. I am enjoying not being on the computer much, but it has gotten at least one person to ask if I was ok because he hasn't heard from me lately, so I need to resume regular postings.

We have come into autumn here in the north--the trees with leaves are all showing greater or lesser amounts of yellow, and the morning air is kind of crisp. Last week [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and I managed to start our morning with a run three days a week. This week we managed only two--he wound up working till after midnight on Tuesday, so opted to sleep a bit longer on Wednesday morning, but I got up and went for a trike ride on my own--might as well do something resembling exercise, and, honestly, I like the trike much better than running. But the running is better exercise--I don't break a sweat pedaling, I do jogging, even at our slow speed (the loop we do is something less than 3.5 km (based on my bike computer, taking the paved path, which isn't quite the same as the dirt track we jog, but is close) and takes us 25 to 30 minutes right now, though he says that he has done it in 15 previously)

Why exercise when I am about as slender as I have ever been as an adult? Because I would like greater fitness, too. I am enjoying weighing in at 55 to 57 kg (121 to 126 lbs), and like how it looks in the mirror, but despite seeing the difference in how I look, I don't really feel very different from most of my adult life, when I ranged from 150 to 160 lbs. So, in addition to the morning sit-ups and evening yoga I am trying to add in a few more things than just walking to get to places which are close enough to walk.

Next week starts the Swedish Folk Dance class that [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and I will be teaching. I am looking forward to it--dancing is fun, and having to explain what the lady's steps are in Swedish will be good for me. I have already been taking care of the email correspondence for the class in Swedish--so far the questions have been "is there still room in the class" and "how much?", so after getting his help editing the answer for the first one I have been able to answer the others on my own (copy-paste is your friend), so they won't know till they meet me that I don't, actually, speak Swedish.

I rather like Sweden's health care system--they are proactive. I only just got my Swedish Personal number a week or so ago (that all important number which one needs to do anything in this country--even registering for a gaming convention requires the number), but in today's mail was a letter from the local health care service explaining that in Sweden one is expected to have a pap smear and gynecological exam every three years, and that I have an appointment scheduled for the 29th of September for mine (please let them know if that date/time doesn't suit and they will reschedule). The fee for this appointment is 150 kr (about €15). The letter explains the importance of the exam in preventing and/or catching cancer or other problems early enough to solve them, and encourages me not to hesitate but just come in. I did nothing whatsoever to request this appointment, I only requested the personal number--apparently that is all that is necessary to get added to the health care system and be given an appointment (at a clinic which is only 10 minute walk from my home, no less).

Today's plan was to do some pre-cooking for the SCA event I will be attending this weekend. It is being held by the next group to the south, so only a 1.5 to 2 hour drive away. The weekend is a "bring your own food" weekend, so we have agreed to share meals with a couple of friends who will be there. I started the day by making a pound cake filled with a raspberry/marzipan blend, and I also turned the rest of the marzipan into balls for the weekend. I then settled into the computer intending to relax with second breakfast for a bit while reading LJ/FB/etc. before deciding what period recipe I wanted to make for food to bring to the event.

That last part hasn't happened yet. I had paged only part way down the most recent status updates when I saw a note from a friend in An Tir commenting on the fact that he had just heard the news of the death of one of his FB friends he hadn't yet met in person and encouraging all of us to cherish all of our friends, because we never know how long we will have them. The friend in question was [livejournal.com profile] dorinda2212, who was one of my closest friends when I lived in Atenveldt (between 1986 and 1988). Needless to say, I promptly forgot about everything else I had meant to do, and went straight to her FB wall to read the good by messages that people have left there for her, and to leave my own.

It is funny, she has been someone I have missed in my life for more than 20 years, yet there is such a world of difference between "miss you, look forward to the next time we meet" (especially for a friend like [livejournal.com profile] dorinda2212, where we picked up from wherever we had last left off on each of the rare occasions we got to see one another in the years since I moved away) and "miss you, and will never get to see you again". The years were not as kind to her as they have been to me--she lost her first born son to drowning some years back and she has had some issues with her health over the years, yet through all that she remembered to laugh regularly, and was always a delight to visit with, be it in person or over the internet. I am so sorry she is gone, and feel bad for all of the people who were even closer to her than I was, and the pain they feel at her loss.

When he was home for lunch this afternoon I talked with [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar about how nice it was to be able to go to FB and see the many messages people have left for her now that she is gone, and how in the case of another friend of mine who is gone the fact that some of his friends returned to his wall a year after he died to say goodbye again. We agreed that this is one of the nicest things about FB--the fact that death doesn't take away our accounts--it is possible to go back to the account of a loved one and leave them a message, even though they are no longer current in this time zone to actually see and respond to it.
kareina: (me)
This has been yet another busy week full of progress on projects in addition to the normal round of social activities.

We have nearly finished a new wooden ice chest to take with us to Double Wars (we leave on Friday)--my old wooden ice chest is in quite bad shape from years of heavy use and several intercontinental shipping experiences, so it is time to replace it.

I finished nålbinding my sun hat, felted it, and have sewn it to a frame to dry in the shape I wish it to be. Sadly, I forgot to get photos of "before"--it was huge, floppy, and the brim was very, very ruffled--it covered my entire head with folds hanging loosely to my shoulders. After felting the brim was still ruffled, and was floppier than I want it to be, so I dipped it in water containing cornstarch, ran it through the centrifuge in the laundry room, and sewed it to the frame, where it sits yet. The sewing process got the brim to flatten out and become large--it now looks very much like the straw hat I had to leave behind when I left Italy because I didn't have space to bring it on the plane, and couldn't pack it safely into boxes to be shipped. Hopefully it will still look like that when I take it off the frame.

I have managed to accomplish some armour repair that needed doing, and even cleaned off some sword marks from the front of my shield. I had to, really. One of the black sword marks just happened to be positioned over the closed eye of the sleeping cat, exactly perpendicular to and centered upon the eye, so that it looked like the cat had and X instead of an eye--just like a cartoon dead creature. Very funny looking, but so not acceptable! (again, I didn't think to take a photo--somehow I never do. Then again, do I really want photographic evidence of a dead cat on my shield?).

We got the last of the fitting done for my 12th Century underdress done--there is just a bit of seam finishing left to do on that one. I did this one with the really, really long sleeves that runch up on the forearms. The upper arm is only just exactly wide enough to put my arm in it, which puts the square underarm gusset exactly in my underarm, giving me a good fit *and* full range of motion. We got the body to be exactly the same diameter as my ribs just under my breasts, which means that the gown is fully supporting--I can jump while wearing it and my breasts don't go anywhere. Yay to not needing to wear a bra! When I take in my bliaut so that it, too, fits properly across the shoulders and ribs this outfit is going to be so comfortable. Granted, it will then be very important to neither loose or gain weight in such a way as my diameter over ribs or upper arms changes, but since I am quite happy with my current shape this should be easy enough to manage (not losing any mass shouldn't be an issue--there isn't a whole lot available to loose over my ribs, anyway).

On Thursday we went to a sewing workshop with the local Folk Music and Dance group. The project of the evening was a traditional man's shirt, so that [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive and the other musicians will have appropriate costume for upcoming performances. I was very delighted to see that fashions in Northern Sweden never really changed. While the shirt cuffs are late period in design, with the full sleeve gathered to a buttoned cuff, the torso and sleeves are a straight rectangles, with a square underarm gusset--the same style they have been using for many centuries! We did take photos of some of the completed shirts that were available as models, and of the cutting pattern we settled on--used every scrap of that bit of wool--it was necessary to take one of the underarm gussets from the neck hole, because the end of the fabric wasn't cut straight at the store. I might make time to post those photos another day.

Friday we had a couple of people over for a gaming night as part of a mini gaming convention that a friend of ours runs. Sadly, our weekend was so booked we got to play in only the one game, but it was quite fun. We played While the World Ends, which was written by the guy who organized this mini con. This is the game we played at Gothcon early this month that I so enjoyed. It was fun this time, too )

This makes twice now that I have played this game, and I really enjoy it. It is much more like reading a book (or even watching a movie) than traditional role playing adventure games, but it is a shared activity with friends. Even though I think of myself as a reader not a writer, with the formal structure of the game it is easy to come up with things my character might do towards achieving his goals, and so it is easy to set the scene. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys gaming, story telling, reading, and just spending time with friends

Saturday morning was an SCA bbq and fighter practice. After practice the local knight authorized me, so if he has done whatever paperwork goes with that I am good to fight at Double War next week. In the evening we had a party for the choir. Not many of us could make it, which made it a fun night, as we were able to play games )

Sunday we didn't have fighter practice, since it was on Saturday this week, so we used the time for projects, and also skipped the folk music session in favour of project time. However, we did attend folk dancing in the evening. This is the last practice before our performance, the day after we return from double war, so we had live music and everything, and we ran through the performance set three full times, working out last minute details to make it all flow smoothly and prettily. I also picked up the costume I will borrow for the show, which will need slight modification to get the vest to fit me properly.

My goal to pedal at least 10 km a day, five days a week is progressing nicely. I didn't actually manage a ride a week ago Friday because [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive had the day off of work and I spend the time with him instead, but the week before that I did an extra 10 km, so it has all averaged out. I did manage this Friday, but only barely--I got distracted actually working on that paper from my research, and suddenly it was 16:00 and I hadn't gone yet, and it was necessary to start some soup to feed myself and the gamers. Luckily, about the time I went to the kitchen to start cooking [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive came home from work, so I left him to cook the soup, and I went for a quick lap around the lake (which is not quite 10 km, but I had done a bit more than 10 the day before), getting back just as the food was ready.

In other news, I have booked my tickets back to Australia--I will be flying on 30 June, the day my visitor visa expires here (assuming that there are no volcanically caused flight cancellations then, of course). I land in Sydney on 1 July, which is a Friday. I still need to book travel for within Australia, but the tentative plan is to head straight to Canberra to head that Monday to the Swedish Embassy there to submit my visa application to move to Sweden to live permanently with [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive (which paperwork *must* be submitted in one's home country--one may not apply for such a visa from within Sweden). Once the paperwork is filed with the Embassy I plan to visit Melbourne to see my mother and step-sister and her family (mom will be visiting Australia for around a month, so that timing is nice). Then I will go to Tassie to await the visa approval. While there I plan to meet with my PhD advisor and finish up paper(s) for publication. I have no idea yet when I shall be able to return to Sweden--the paperwork processing on their end could take a couple of weeks, or many months. I will be renting a room from [livejournal.com profile] mushroom_maiden while her usual housemate is in Iceland. With luck the timing will work out for me to head back to Sweden before the housemate returns from Iceland.
kareina: (me)
Friday's progress took longer to accomplish than I would have liked. My morning attempt at welding shut the second capsule for my next experiment almost worked. I achieved a decent looking bead across both the left and the right sides of the seam, but I wasn't certain if there might be a slight gap in the low spot in the middle, and the corners didn't look quite right, either. So I tried the 30 seconds in the oven test, and the darn thing lost mass (which is likely due to the water inside being cooked out through small gaps in the seal).

So I went home and cooked myself some yummy homemade pizza to drown my sorrows, and returned to uni after lunch. However, at that point I wasn't feeling up to doing more welding, so after a bit of other work on the computer, feeling more and more icky as time progressed, I decided to head home for a nap, intending to return afterwards and fill another capsule (and weld it shut) then.

I don't think that the feeling icky is coming down with any sort of sickness, I think it is a somewhat annoying reaction to the tree outside my window, which is happily doing everything in its power to encourage flying creatures to help it have sex with other trees in the neighbourhood. I never used to have (or at least never noticed having) allergic reactions to pollens before moving to Tasmania. Perhaps the plants in Alaska aren't a problem for me, perhaps there has been some change in my body chemistry. Whatever the reason I've had to deal with a drippy nose for a couple of days now, combined with low energy and an ...awareness of that portion of the back of my throat which is so high that it is in contact with my nasal cavity. The awareness doesn't cross the line into pain, but it can't be described as pleasant, either. Frequent hot showers seems to help, as does rest. Part of my secret in rarely, if ever, being sick is that I listen to my body when it asks for things like extra rest, which is why I went home for that nap.

Of course, as luck would have it soon after I drifted off to sleep my boss called--he actually had a free moment to check in with me (something that isn't happening as often as he'd like, as he's dealing with complications related to his parent's aging). When he asked if I was in my office, I explained that I'd gone across the street to take a nap, with the plan of doing the second capsule after I'd rested. He let me know that he'd be in till about 17:30, and I went straight back to sleep. I woke up earlier than I really wanted to, since I thought it would be a good idea to actually meet with him before he left for the weekend.

After meeting with him I went to the store to pick up the replacement bulb for our microscope lamp. I'd tried purchasing it the day before, but they didn't carry that type and had to order it in. Boy am I glad I'll be reimbursed for this purchase--52 euros for a single light bulb! Then I finally settled in to capsule filling and welding. Much to my delight, this time it worked; not only is the bead sealing it shut pretty, but it also passed both the 30 seconds and 60 seconds in the oven test, not losing any mass either time.

To celebrate I called it a day at 19:30 and went home to play D&D with [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t, cook some lovely spinach tarts for today, and work on another of the nålbinding needles I'm working on for [livejournal.com profile] zoezebra.

Today I've spent more time relaxing over e-mail/livejournal/facebook than anything else. I've added as facebook friends a few cousins I haven't seen since I was a child, and had a lovely chat with one of them. That cousin left some complimentary comments on some photos taken about the time I moved to Milan, and of course, I clicked on the link in the e-mail to see which photos she'd commented on. I have been noticing recently that I've added just a bit of softness to my middle this winter, but looking at those photos makes me realize that, actually, it is more than a bit. Sure, I'm still well within "healthy range", and the jeans I bought in Tassie when I dropped a fair bit of weight as I was finishing up my PhD still fit. But then, when I arrive in Milan they were loose, and now they fit.

This realization got me thinking about my exercise levels. While I do plenty of walking, I haven't done anything in the way of aerobic exercise in months. As soon as I thought that, I shut down the computer, when home and changed into clothes I was willing to sweat in, and went for a short run with [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t, who also hasn't done anything aerobic in months, though he, too, gets in plenty of walking. I was very pleased that he was the first one to suggest we switch to walking for a bit--it does the ego good to not be the first one to need to drop the intensity of the workout. We did run for far more of the loop than we walked, but it being the first time to engage in such activity in ages, we also opted to do only 20 minutes. He dived straight into a shower after we got home, but I put on some music and danced for another 20.

Now I just need to remember to keep doing some sort of aerobic activity in addition to all of the walking. It doesn't do much good to be active once a month--bodies are happy with regular movement. Of course, the sensible thing would have been to have been doing this all winter, when the temperatures were nice and cool, not to start being active again just before Milan settles into the hot season. Oh well, I can't change the past, but I can make certain I stick with the plan going forward, and, perhaps, getting out and running regularly will help me better cope with the heat when it arrives. I can only hope.
kareina: (me)
Friday's progress took longer to accomplish than I would have liked. My morning attempt at welding shut the second capsule for my next experiment almost worked. I achieved a decent looking bead across both the left and the right sides of the seam, but I wasn't certain if there might be a slight gap in the low spot in the middle, and the corners didn't look quite right, either. So I tried the 30 seconds in the oven test, and the darn thing lost mass (which is likely due to the water inside being cooked out through small gaps in the seal).

So I went home and cooked myself some yummy homemade pizza to drown my sorrows, and returned to uni after lunch. However, at that point I wasn't feeling up to doing more welding, so after a bit of other work on the computer, feeling more and more icky as time progressed, I decided to head home for a nap, intending to return afterwards and fill another capsule (and weld it shut) then.

I don't think that the feeling icky is coming down with any sort of sickness, I think it is a somewhat annoying reaction to the tree outside my window, which is happily doing everything in its power to encourage flying creatures to help it have sex with other trees in the neighbourhood. I never used to have (or at least never noticed having) allergic reactions to pollens before moving to Tasmania. Perhaps the plants in Alaska aren't a problem for me, perhaps there has been some change in my body chemistry. Whatever the reason I've had to deal with a drippy nose for a couple of days now, combined with low energy and an ...awareness of that portion of the back of my throat which is so high that it is in contact with my nasal cavity. The awareness doesn't cross the line into pain, but it can't be described as pleasant, either. Frequent hot showers seems to help, as does rest. Part of my secret in rarely, if ever, being sick is that I listen to my body when it asks for things like extra rest, which is why I went home for that nap.

Of course, as luck would have it soon after I drifted off to sleep my boss called--he actually had a free moment to check in with me (something that isn't happening as often as he'd like, as he's dealing with complications related to his parent's aging). When he asked if I was in my office, I explained that I'd gone across the street to take a nap, with the plan of doing the second capsule after I'd rested. He let me know that he'd be in till about 17:30, and I went straight back to sleep. I woke up earlier than I really wanted to, since I thought it would be a good idea to actually meet with him before he left for the weekend.

After meeting with him I went to the store to pick up the replacement bulb for our microscope lamp. I'd tried purchasing it the day before, but they didn't carry that type and had to order it in. Boy am I glad I'll be reimbursed for this purchase--52 euros for a single light bulb! Then I finally settled in to capsule filling and welding. Much to my delight, this time it worked; not only is the bead sealing it shut pretty, but it also passed both the 30 seconds and 60 seconds in the oven test, not losing any mass either time.

To celebrate I called it a day at 19:30 and went home to play D&D with [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t, cook some lovely spinach tarts for today, and work on another of the nålbinding needles I'm working on for [livejournal.com profile] zoezebra.

Today I've spent more time relaxing over e-mail/livejournal/facebook than anything else. I've added as facebook friends a few cousins I haven't seen since I was a child, and had a lovely chat with one of them. That cousin left some complimentary comments on some photos taken about the time I moved to Milan, and of course, I clicked on the link in the e-mail to see which photos she'd commented on. I have been noticing recently that I've added just a bit of softness to my middle this winter, but looking at those photos makes me realize that, actually, it is more than a bit. Sure, I'm still well within "healthy range", and the jeans I bought in Tassie when I dropped a fair bit of weight as I was finishing up my PhD still fit. But then, when I arrive in Milan they were loose, and now they fit.

This realization got me thinking about my exercise levels. While I do plenty of walking, I haven't done anything in the way of aerobic exercise in months. As soon as I thought that, I shut down the computer, when home and changed into clothes I was willing to sweat in, and went for a short run with [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t, who also hasn't done anything aerobic in months, though he, too, gets in plenty of walking. I was very pleased that he was the first one to suggest we switch to walking for a bit--it does the ego good to not be the first one to need to drop the intensity of the workout. We did run for far more of the loop than we walked, but it being the first time to engage in such activity in ages, we also opted to do only 20 minutes. He dived straight into a shower after we got home, but I put on some music and danced for another 20.

Now I just need to remember to keep doing some sort of aerobic activity in addition to all of the walking. It doesn't do much good to be active once a month--bodies are happy with regular movement. Of course, the sensible thing would have been to have been doing this all winter, when the temperatures were nice and cool, not to start being active again just before Milan settles into the hot season. Oh well, I can't change the past, but I can make certain I stick with the plan going forward, and, perhaps, getting out and running regularly will help me better cope with the heat when it arrives. I can only hope.

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