joie de vivre

I'm back now

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Celebrate Cloudberry's birthday April 18 with intentionality and joy! (read all 2 entries…)
Happy birthday!

Sorry to send you wishes late!

Word for April: Plant
Not much of April left, but

I want to do this goal too.

I have the following to plant:

Vegetable Garden
  1. Tomato starts
  2. Zucchini seeds
  3. Basil starts (will need a cloche)
    (I already have chard and rhubarb growing in the veg garden)
Container Gardens
  1. Nasturtiums
  2. Something I got at the nursery – now I can’t remember what it’s called! It needs to be repotted.
  3. Ivy Geraniums
Flower Garden
  1. Daphne – I saw these all over Japan and fell in love. This will go where I used to have those nasty true geraniums that Charles pulled out thinking that they were buttercups :-)

have an office in my house (read all 3 entries…)
New, New plan

First draft of the plan

First, in R’s room:

  • Sell or give away R’s desk (lower priority – can just be moved out for now)
  • Move all R’s books off her bookshelves to the basement
  • Re-install closet doors (lower priority)
  • R’s dresser emptied and contents moved to the basement

Then, in the basement:

  • Toys and games out of the storage closet
  • Purchase some means of clothing hang-up and storage for storage closet and install
  • R’s dresser and closet items then go into this, and also into the dresser where my athletic where currently resides
  • R’s books from her bookshelf go on the bookcase downstairs
  • Bed is made up

Then, back to R’s room:

  • My athletic wear into R’s dresser; I may move some other items in there too, freeing up some closet/dresser space in our bedroom
  • The long table I am using as a desk goes upstairs
  • Clear out one of the metal filing cabinets that is in the bonus room – contents reviewed, purged, and remainder stored in another way
  • Ideally, paint the metal filing cabinet, but this is a lower priority—then bring upstairs
  • Put in the metal filing cabinet and R’s old bookshelves my papers and items, purged and organized

maintain my weight
Nervous about setting this goal

In my dim past, I dealt with an eating disorder. It makes me really nervous to set a weight-related goal. I’ve read things about how you never are cured, just like an alcoholic is always a recovering alcoholic, not a former alcoholic.

But – in my last year or so of employment, I gained a fair bit of weight. I quit riding my bike as much, and did more yoga. Yoga was good, but it’s not aerobic exercise.

After completing the 88 Temples pilgrimage, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I weighed myself today, and I was under 170 pounds, and that’s the first time in a long time I’ve been there. My BMI is now under 25. In a lot of ways, the BMI is bullshit for me, as I have very muscular thighs and generally cycling has kept me in shape, no matter what my BMI is. But damn, it’s better for me to be lighter – to be on the under side of 170, rather than the upper side of 180.

So – it would be great if I didn’t just regain all the weight I lost walking around Shikoku. The question is, how?

First, I want to acknowledge how doing the pilgrimage was a cracker-jack weight loss plan. Generally, I was walking 8 to 10 hours a day. So it was more or less continual aerobic exercise. I had little to no sugar – the Japanese do not eat sweet breakfasts like we do. I never ate desserts. I had a limited number of sweet treats: once I had ice cream; once I had some cookies; twice I ate chocolate. Portion sizes were small. Snacks were limited. All the produce was organic and locally-sourced (except bananas). I had limited non-fish, non-vegetable protein – for example, I could count the number of times I had beef at a meal, and sometimes that means a single paper-thin slice of beef floating in a bowl of soup, not like, a steak or something.

If I wanted to maintain my current weight, then I should continue to follow my Japanese diet. No sweet breakfasts, not even jam on my morning toast. Avoid desserts, cookies, chocolate and the like entirely. Limited red meat and even poultry. Smaller portion sizes. Green tea if I don’t feel like drinking black.

Improvement to Japanese diet: whole grains. I ate nothing but refined grains in Japan. I can do better here.

And then: exercise. Yoga is not a substitute for daily exercise, it’s a supplement. If it’s less than 10 miles away, I can ride my bike there. If it’s less than two, certainly I can walk. If I’m serious about the centuries and touring I have in mind, then I should be riding 40-50 mile rides on the weekends this month, and 50-60s in May.

I will mark this goal as done if I end up September 1 at less than 170 pounds. If I find myself weirding out over my diet, exercise, or weight, I will suspend the goal.

have an office in my house (read all 3 entries…)
New plan

Since my elder daughter has a paid internship in Colorado for the summer, I do not need to kick anyone out of her room. I will take it over when she leaves town mid-May.

Get organized
Now that I'm back

I am feeling completely overwhelmed with all that I need to do. And the pilgrimage made me realize how much time I waste.

So: Get organized. I won’t start this today, as I am still mega-jet lagged. But soon. Soon. Soon.

The countdown list (read all 5 entries…)
Leaving today, so what's left on my list is:

Yoga class
Write the first real entry for my travel blog

The countdown list (read all 5 entries…)

Final laundry
Write packing list (final)
Visiting my parents
Not just withdrawing money, but converting $500 to yen as well
Purchase of omiage for Prof. M who helped us with reservations for Temple 12 and is walking with us between T11 and T12 – done, but now he’s cancelled.
Grocery shopping for the above, plus for other meals until I go

The countdown list (read all 5 entries…)
Final packing list
  • 2 travel trousers
  • 1 thermofleece tights
  • 1 belt
  • 3 “performance” Panties
  • 3 athletic bras
  • 3 t-shirts: the blue v-neck, the pink/blue pattern, the charcoal
  • 3-5 sock liners
  • 3 pairs of wool socks
  • 1 100% wool sweater (the brown hooded one)
  • 1 fleece vest
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 rain hat
  • 3 bandanas
  • 1 pair wool mittens
  • Hiking boots
  • Slip-on shoes
Religious paraphernalia
  • Tallit
  • Rosary
  • Jewish prayer sheets
  • Photo copy of the heart sutra (transliteration and translation)
Other items
  • “Business” cards
  • Folding spoon
  • Plastic knife, since I can’t take my pocket knife :-(
  • Pens
  • Journal
  • Tablet
  • Tablet charger
  • Watch
  • Wedding ring
  • Necklace
  • Books? Dead tree books? If so, I’ll label them with bookcrossing labels, bring them only for the plane, and then ditch in the first day or two
  • Ziploc bags: at least 1 one-gallon bag, 4 quart bags
  • 1 large black garbage bag
  • Map book
  • Camera
  • Charger for camera, batteries
  • Small flashlight
  • $500 in cash (5 Benjamins, yo)
  • Money belt
  • Passport
  • Visa card
  • Debit card
  • Present for Professor Moreton
  • Little Japanese – English dictionary – maybe also English to Japanese
  • Print-out of hotel info, map from temple 3 to hotel
  • airline info
(Here be lots of choices)
  • Chapstick
  • Bottle of Ibuprofen
  • Tape for blisters
  • Bandaids
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Dental appliance
  • Dental appliance case
  • Dental appliance cleaning tablets
  • Nail clipper and file
  • Travel brush – MAYBE
  • Hair goo, for better or worse
  • Hormone cream, because I’m a crone
  • Two sudafed
  • Two tums
  • Extra pair of glasses?
  • Melatonin
  • Sunscreen
  • Goos
  • Mojo bars
  • Nuun tablets?
  • Water bottle
  • Water bladder

Set Kavannot for the 88 Temple of Shikoku Pilgrimage (read all 4 entries…)
I figured this out

Here they are:
1. Receive
2. Understand
3. Extend
4. Integrate

The countdown list (read all 5 entries…)
Three whole days, one partial day left.


  • Clean up and put away everything related to my old job
  • Final walk with Ann
  • Massage, final in a series
  • Yard work – completed by my daughter’s boyfriend, in exchange for a day’s worth of meals (including a relatively fancy dinner), and use of our house including our nice TV/stereo
  • Various family and social pleasantries
  • Shabbat services


  • Tea with my parents on Monday at 3:00 PM
  • Funeral Sunday

record my dreams (read all 32 entries…)
upstream, downstream

Our boat was in this congested area of the river, and we could not pass. I think it was my husband who suggested that we swim in the river among the boats that were waiting behind us. It was hard to swim up the river. When I turned around, though, I was swept downstream. I could not work against the current to return to our boat.

Train for the 88 Temples of Shikoku Pilgrimage (read all 23 entries…)
Last training walk

We were supposed to climb to the summits of West Tiger 3, 2, and then 1. But there was too much snow and ice as we climbed, and we had to turn around. Only 8 or so miles today:

Next time I do this much walking, it’ll be on the island of Shikoku (!) so I’m marking this goal as done.

The countdown list (read all 5 entries…)
four complete days, two partial days

This is what I have left: four whole days, two partial days.

What MUST be done:
  • Final laundry
  • Write packing list (final)
  • Final assembly and packing
  • Review of the bills and payment; it isn’t like my husband can’t pay bills, but it’s my usual job and it will be helpful if I do all family finances before I leave
  • Print out of map to first night, mobile phone info, boarding pass.
What really, really should be done:
  • Clean up and put away everything related to my old job. It doesn’t have to go in its permanent location, but a location it can be until I get back and not drive my husband nuts. These items are in the following categories:
    1. food – can be integrated into household groceries
    2. housewares – mostly need to be put into storage in the basement
    3. clothes – hang up or put away; when I get back I will do a serious declutter/closet cleaning.
  • Final walk with Ann – this is scheduled for tomorrow.
Already scheduled, less critical:
  • Waxing, because the Japanese are really anti-hair
  • Massage, final in a series to deal with shoulder pain I had from stress over several weeks previous
Not yet scheduled, not critical, should be done:
  • Instructions for my husband for watering plants, as I can not expect him to know what the heck to do
  • Yard work – major work needs to get done, as it will be mid-spring(!) when I return. I may need to hire a day laborer to get this done. Looking at Tuesday for this.
  • Purchase of omiage for Prof. M who helped us with reservations for Temple 12 and is walking with us between T11 and T12
  • General housework and laundry
Mostly pleasantries, but still require some time and planning:
  • Having my son-out-law over for shabbos dinner
  • Having my cousin over for dinner on Saturday
  • Grocery shopping for the above, plus for other meals until I go
  • Shabbat services tonight
  • Tuesday afternoon yoga class, if I have time and energy
Completely optional
  • Write the first real entry for my travel blog
  • Decide if I’m taking any books in dead tree format; register these with bookcrossing for release in Japan
  • Purchase additional books in digital format

have a one word resolution for 2014 (read all 3 entries…)

My new life begins today.

New Horizons

go on a 43t anti-spam rampage (read all 40 entries…)

Only ~30,000 spammy accounts up for review, which means about 50,000 were recently flushed!

be a zealot about dental hygiene (read all 6 entries…)

Another great check-up – all 1s, 2s, and 3s. The few 4s are all stable – no swelling, inflammation or bleeding.

complete the 88 temple shikoku pilgrimage (read all 25 entries…)

I’ll want to take lots of pictures, so I started to rummage around for my camera and all the related accouterments.

I found the camera. I found the cord to download the photos. Didn’t find the battery charger. Looked all over. God knows what hotel room outlet it was left plugged into.

I went on eBay to look for a replacement. I found a whole camera, two batteries, and charger, for just $20 more than the cost of a charger. The total extra cost, considering the additional batteries was $10 for the camera to be included. So I bought the set. I really like my camera, which is really, really rugged (for idjits like me – I’ve dropped it off of the bike several times), but because I’ve taken it on so many outdoor expeditions, it is in pretty sad shape. Functional, but beat-up – beat up enough that I wouldn’t put it underwater any more, even though supposedly it’s waterproof.

So, maybe the used camera I bought will be in better shape. If it isn’t, very little harm done. I can still take my old one of the same model.

Edited to add: here’s the entries for when I bought the camera in the first place!

have fun at least once a week (read all 14 entries…)
going to Portland this weekend

sort of a Valentine’s Day thing

change my job (read all 15 entries…)
Deleting over 21,000 "deleted" emails

I have saved most of my “deleted” emails through my time here. I am now deleting the whole lot of them as a part of my purge.

It’s going to take about 20 minutes (!) according to the Microsoft dialog window.

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