Monday, April 30, 2018

Lifting the stigma

Last week I ran across a video from a man in the UK who had started a project called Lifting the Stigma. It was started because he wanted to raise awareness of male suicide, in hopes of preventing men from taking their own lives.  Pete is a suicide survivor.

He was diagnosed with a mental illness, and medicated.  Yet this did not fix things for him.  He eventually found relief through powerlifting, in tandem with medical treatment.  Well, DH and I also do "The Big Three" lifts in our own training routines.  That means Squats, Bench Press, and Deadlifts.  We also add Overhead Press, and Bent Over Rows.  We both feel better mentally and physically when we lift.  Much like we did when we were cycling a lot.  It was pretty clear to us too, that physical activity is GOOD for the mind as well as the body.
The challenge from Lifting the Stigma is simple.  Do 6000 repetitions, at #187 (85kg).  Use the hashtags #6000reps and #6000lives when you post to social media.  Take as long as you need to work through 6000 reps.  Use any lift you are able to make weight on.  It doesn't matter.

For me, there are two lifts that allow me to get enough reps to make progress.  Deadlifts and squats.  I could add chin ups, but my reps would not be high enough to make I stick to the two I mentioned.  Right now I am doing 50-60 reps a day and trying to go at least 5 days a week.  Its proving to be a large increase in volume for me, which isn't necessarily a bad thing!

I'm not a guy (duh!) but I have known men who were suicidal at various points in their lives.   I care about them.  If through this challenge, and posting about it, someone is helped through a tough time, especially if they started lifting to help themselves, that would be fantastic!  The more folks who join the challenge and share their experiences of it, the better!  We can reach more people.

Will you join me in 6000 reps?

You can share your progress with Lifting the Stigma, on Instagram and on Facebook

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mothra lives!

Polyphemus moth

This is Mothra.  DH found this in the parking lot at work this morning.  That's a parking lot stripe it is sitting on.  Yes, it really is that big!  Based on the extra 'furry' and large antenna, we believe this to be a male of the species.  They only live a short time, appearing like this for their breeding season.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Baby Fruits!

Well it looks like this week's freeze did not get cold enough to damage our fruit crop!  So far, we are seeing the blueberries set fruit pretty heavily for their second season in ground,
Santa Rosa Plums
Then we get to the plums!  Yay!  Lots of little plums all over both the trees.  They are growing fast too, as I saw them in the middle of last week, and they were much smaller that what you see above.  If the crop survives to maturity, I'm thinking plum jam sounds wonderful.
These are my two peach trees.   I thought I had a better picture of the little fruits, but I guess not.  The set is fairly heavy, especially on the eastern tree.  The western tree lost a main branch over the winter, so it has less branches available to set fruit.  I might cull the fruits on the western tree, to give it more time to recover from the winter damage.  I'll just have to see how desperate I am to have fresh fruit!

Sadly the apricots, though they fared well over the winter, did not bloom much at all and set no fruit this year.  Hopefully, next spring they will get up to speed and bloom heavily and set lots of apricots.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Learning curve - Minor remodel

For the last year and a half, more or less, DH and I have suffered with a "naked" reading room, aka bathroom stall.  It was once covered with wallpaper.  We are not fond of wallpaper.  One evening, DH was sitting there, reading, and began to pick at the wallpaper.  Unfortunately, some of it was put up with the wallpaper equivalent of Gorilla Glue!  We picked, and peeled, and ended up stripping down INTO the drywall.  Oops!

This is what the walls looked like for over a year!
Eventually we decided we would skimcoat the walls with drywall mud.  It's difficult to impossible to match texturing, so we thought smooth walls (like I grew up with) would be better, and couldn't be that hard to do.  I mean, you just mud the walls, smooth it out with a knockdown knife, sand it when dry, prime and paint...right?

Yeah, right.  Apparently there is an art to skim coating drywall, and neither DH nor I have the skill or artistic ability to achieve anything close to a smooth surface.  We applied so many skim coats of mud I swear the stall was shrinking!  Well, rather than pay someone to come skim coat the walls (and we have a much larger area that needs done in the entryway to the house), DH decided to go ahead and try his hand at texturing.  We already owned the necessary gear.  He just had to practice on some cardboard.  So practice he did!  Then onto the master bathroom.

He had some problems with the mud being a little chunky, which left lumps on the walls.  But then we realized we could lightly sand the mud, and get a nice surface.  The walls were all sanded, and it looks pretty darned good.
Then we found the main wall color in one of the paint cans we inherited with the house.  It's a pale yellow, and looks good.  And we like it better than the paint we used on our old house, which Monkey1 has dubbed Excessive Beige (Accessible Beige was the real name).
Painted! (different camera gives different wall color)
And finally the important hardware was added!  We've been without a roll holder since the wallpaper was peeled off!  But at last we were able to mount the one we've had in storage for 2 years now, and only just have been able to install it.  DH was even able to add a new electrical outlet, one with dual USB ports, so you can sit, surf and charge all at the same time. 
Reloads are on the back of the water tank.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Warm human on a cold day

Yesterday it was a bit chilly.  DH and I were both cold, even in the house.  So I lit a fire and grabbed a blanket, dozing off quickly.  Suddenly I was awoken by a gently applied weight...Indy decided he wanted a warm human to warm him by the fire!  He was very comfortable and we both dozed for a while.