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With (my own) sword in hand [Nov. 4th, 2010|11:15 pm]
[Current Mood |awake]

Last week fencing night was also "major rehearsal night", so no fencing.  The week before, I had confidently tossed my equipment bag in the vehicle, but then drove off without the blade case, which I remembered halfway to the city.  DUH.   Fencing with instructor's blades is OK, and better than no fencing,  but every blade has its own balance, its own grip, and...I wanted to play with mine.   (Though, to be fair, fencing occasionally with other blades is good practice.)   The week before *that* (I think it was the week before that)  I had the blades but not the equipment case, and thus no mask, gloves, gorget, or buckler.   Instructor has more blades than masks, etc.  
This week, despite the need to add other objects with other destinations (including a visit to the lawyer who handled our son's guardianship stuff)  I managed to have all the fencing gear in the car (yay!) and so got to fence on a crisp, cool night with my instructor...yes, the ouchy toe is still ouchy, but not ouchy enough to keep me from enjoying the practice.    It was the first real, serious, all-out test of the new blade (purchased at Dragon*Con) and yes, it plays as good as it felt in the dealer's room.   It is indeed fast--the perfect balance helps that, and the slightly narrower (thus lighter) blade than on my older one.   I thought I wouldn't like the flat, disk-shaped pommel, but I do...it doesn't bump into my wrist tendons at all.  The grip could be a little thicker (but I'm not having trouble holding onto it, with gloves on.)   The older one, always technically too long for me, has become harder to manage as I get older (I've had it over 10 years), so I'm having an inch taken off of it, which should improve its balance, lighten it a little, and thus make it faster--but I don't expect it to be as fast.  We'll see.  

Lots of fun, and the toe would've been ouchy anyway.

[User Picture]From: forestcats
2010-11-05 03:11 pm (UTC)
I have empathy with your leaving things behind. I have my primary chant at the front door, key, phone, purse, wallet, glasses. Then I get into the truck and try to figure out where the heck I'm going.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-11-05 03:51 pm (UTC)
Distractions interrupt my habit-trains more than they used to. Afterwards I can identify the distraction that led to the forgetting (usually--the dang cellphone lives on its charger in the house, so it's easier to forget than anything else.) The day I left the blade case behind, I'd stopped between trips to the car to talk to my husband about something else entirely, and I had loaded the equipment bag first (usually I take the blade case out first.) So my brain was telling me "Red case loaded" without reminding me "But you left the black one..." until I was well down the road.

Yes, the little mantra at the back door (keys, purse, check purse for the right contents) is growing longer.) Forgetting where I'm going, not so often, though yesterday on the way back from the grocery in the larger town, I missed the exit to the road to our town. First time ever. I'd let my mind get busy on a plot problem, set an automatic "stay this far behind the venicle in front" (a big red truck--easy to see and space) and it wasn't until I was just passing the exit that the navigator woke up and said "WHOA!" Had to go up the road, exit, cut back under an overpass.

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[User Picture]From: forestcats
2010-11-05 04:34 pm (UTC)
I think the neighbors get a kick out of watching me pull a U turn almost every time I leave the house. Each night I work out my extra duties for the following day to try to map out the plans but in the light of day I can wander off to many 'shiny pretty' side adventures.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-11-05 05:04 pm (UTC)
Sure...me, too. Because after all, if you're over *here* and it will only take a couple of minutes to do this other shiny-pretty...of course you do it. Luckily, yesterday I remembered that no, I did not have time (having missed that exit) to go four or five exits up and stop by rancherfriend's place and check with E- to see if J- had gotten my emails and to talk about whether they'd gotten more rain than we had or not, and which heifer I might want to acquire to make up for Dark Rose's sale...etc. No, I needed to be in city downtown before the lawyer's office closed, to deliver paperwork needed before we do a reorganizing of son's guardianship and our wills (he having progressed enough that this needs doing, but not enough that we can simply ignore the remaining limitations.)

Thanks to the 10-15 minutes it took me to get to the next exit and back to the road to our town, I managed to leave my (already late) lunch on the counter when zipping in and out of the house with the stuff for the city run...the hastily made peanut-butter sandwich went to the person who stayed home.

More and more I regret having written that ridiculous poem in 8th grade in which I declared my scorn of an easy simple life and asked for a complicated one. 13 year olds have no sense!
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[User Picture]From: forestcats
2010-11-05 05:22 pm (UTC)
:-) The Chinese curse of 'May you have an interesting life' does bite. My husband was cursed by the Irish, 'May you have an interesting wife'.
So are your cattle beef or dairy?
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-11-05 06:07 pm (UTC)
Beef. Beefmaster breed, in fact, from a tested TB-free, brucellosis free herd. My girls (plural in past, singular now) get to keep living with their familiar companions at rancherfriend's place unless culled for nonproduction (the drought of the past several years, though interrupted by occasional floods, has really stressed the older cows. The herd has been cut back severely.) Rancherfriend gets half my calf crop as pasture rent; I have someone really knowledgeable keeping an eye on the herd and teaching me how to do stuff. Currently on the stove as the foundation of soup/stew is the brisket of a one of the bulls. These guys are all range-fed, sometimes with extra hay or alfalfa cubes in the serious drought. Right now there several families eating the meat.
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[User Picture]From: forestcats
2010-11-05 07:34 pm (UTC)
Eating local is excellent. I'm a sucker for 4H kids and will buy from them to keep the freezer full. Right now I've gone further about the bend going to a local CSA (community supported agriculture) to join a cow share for the milk. Tuesday nights and every other Friday morning are my times to milk. I'm making cheese. I may borrow a friends goat to start having chevre on hand, it is just that daily am & pm mandatory milking schedule.

Slightly off topic have you ever had Musk Ox meat? It is amazingly flavorful but the animals aren't very productive and don't thrive in heat.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-11-05 07:49 pm (UTC)
The nearest musk ox is a long, long, LONG way from here. As a child at a game dinner I once ate elk and bear (in addition to venison, which I'd already had) and I think antelope, but that's it, and not for years. Favorite was elk. Wow, that's a good meat. My mammalian meats are limited to beef, pork, lamb (we butcher it; my farrier raises it) and venison, plus the occasional little guy (rabbit, squirrel.)

Range beef, as you probably already know, is a lot more flavorful than supermarket beef. I don't know how it compares to grassfed that's been on improved all-grass pasture...our critters have grass and forbs both, including some strong-flavored forbs. The flavor is not in the fat. It's in the meat. (And in the fat, but more in the meat.)
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-11-07 03:42 am (UTC)

And the soup will be on

Continuing the foray into soup learning - the discussion of meats above has gotten me interested, so I placed a call to a friend of the family who hunts. he says he will bring me venison bones and a little meat next week. SOUP! YAY! The chicken broth with a touch of lamb seems the most popular. The lamb soup (no chicken) was a bit too strongly flavored for many of my extended family, they not having been raised on that meat, and it being distinctive. I don't anticipate the problem with venison, and will have to clear space in my deep freeze for some of the stock.

I can't wait! Deer is not as sweet as lamb, so I think for the vegetables, I will add some herbs, carrots, leeks, and ...not sure yet. Thinking. I'll let you know how it turns out. :)

~Gretchen in Minneapolis
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