This evening, I am testing for my Purple Belt in Kempo Jujitsu. I am excited for it, and nervous. Far more nervous than I was for my yellow or my orange. I know what I need to know - as far as I know.

But I am nervous. Shaky nervous. Queasy nervous.

Because this important.

Yellow Belt just meant that I wasn't a newb anymore (thank god). Orange meant that maybe, just maybe, I might be okay at this.

But purple? Purple means I'm taking it seriously. Purple means dedication. Purple means expectations. Purple is the highest beginner rank in my dojo. When I test for my blue belt (note the use of "when") it means that I will move up into the intermediate class. Which is where - according to my Sensei - is where you learn "all the cool stuff you see in the movies."

Not that he has to sell me hard or anything.

I've been moving relatively quickly through the belts. Not fast tracked like another in my class who should by all rights be a brown belt (she transferred…

Spinning in Place

I've been feeling pretty low this week. It was a tough one for me career-wise. Although in the grand scheme of things it really wasn't that bad, it brought me low enough to consider it may be time to move from massage therapy.

On the one hand, I truly love what I do. On the other hand... I'm tired, yo.

It's a physically demanding job, and I came to it in my late 30's. I'm no longer able to keep up with a "full" massage schedule, and I'm past even trying. It's also an emotionally draining job. People come to you expecting you to make everything better. While I can certainly help, I am no magician. I'm tired of constantly being "on the hustle" for more clients, more money.


When I see someone wander out of my treatment room after a treatment and they have a dazed expression on their face and all they can say is "Woah," then I know I'm doing something right. That I'm where I need to be.

So... how can I be wh…

Getting Rid of Ugly Things

A couple weeks before we left for the UK, we (okay, I) met with some local tree management people. The crab apple tree in our front yard was looking mighty pathetic, and I made no secret about how much I detested the overgrown bushes along the front of the house.

We were mainly doing the meet for an estimate, figuring we'd have to get rid of things piecemeal due to cost. The tree was our main concern. Sure the bushes were ugly, but the tree was half-dead and looking more dead every day. We were concerned about wayward branches making their way through our living room window.
Turns out, not only could we afford to have it all removed, we could even afford the stump removal! So we engaged their services. They were booking in mid-October and we were going to be be gone until then anyway, so it worked out perfectly. Last Friday they swung by around 2pm, and by 3:30 our front yard looked like this:

I can't tell you how happy I am with our naked house! Now that the bushes are gone (…

Project 251: Honeymoon Edition

Before we headed off to the UK, we headed down to New Jersey to spend some time with one of Best Guy's oldest friends and his family, whom I had never met. We took off fairly early in the day with the intention of knocking off a few 251 towns on the way. After all, we had to drive through them anyway, why not?

After a couple harrowing miscalculations on my part behind the wheel, we managed to knock off five towns before leaving Vermont and heading in to New York. I present to you, the very start of our honeymoon:

UK Honeyswoon

We are back.

After 10+ days on the road, this past Saturday we pulled back into our driveway and were reunited with hearth, home, and pup.

It was an incredible experience. From meeting one of Best Guy's oldest friends, to watching him perform in another country to experiencing driving on the other side of the road, it was something I will never forget.

We started our trip by heading down to New Jersey to spend a couple days with one of Best Guy's oldest friends. We toured around, visiting old haunts and listening to favored music. It was a wonderful opportunity to really get a taste of BG's childhood. We even visited one of his old homes, and they were having a garage sale. He bought a kitschy old Halloween decoration and swears up and down it was left over from when they lived there. It is now in our living room window.

From there we took a red eye to Heathrow, and then rented a car and drove to Wales. BG did all of the driving while we were over there, and I am so proud …


We leave tomorrow.


We'll be leaving bright and early tomorrow morning, heading down to visit one of Best Guy's old childhood friends for a day or so. On the way we will pick off a few 251's, although I probably won't blog it until we return in a couple weeks.

Thursday evening we fly out. Friday morning, we arrive.

This morning, I have a 2-hour hot stone scheduled for myself. Because taking care of me is important too. I have been looking forward to it for a solid month now. Hot stones massages are my absolute favorite, and I am lucky enough to be able to schedule it with one of my favorite people. Working in the industry really has its perks sometimes.

When I get home this afternoon, the packing begins. We've got a tiny amount of space, and some of it has already been taken up by merch we're bringing in. If anyone asks, we're giving it away not selling it. Because lord knows none of it is coming back with us. I will be packing with a glass of wine, b…

Project 251: They Say it's Fall, But it isn't Fall

We have had some record-breaking heat here in Vermont the last few days. Today, the Burlington Electric Department is prepared to call it a "Peak Day" and is in full conservation mode. This is very unusual for late September. A lot of the trees which should be near to bursting with color (especially after the wet spring we had) are shedding dried up leaves that never bothered changing.

And they say global warming isn't a thing.

Still, it's warm in Vermont and I'm having a hard time complaining about it since Summer didn't start until practically July. Since winter generally lingers for six months in these parts, I'm in no hurry to get the process started.

Anyhoo, this weekend we had a rare one in which neither of us had anything planned so we decided to knock off a few 251 towns. For the first half of our adventure, Best Guy usually drove, I navigated, and we spent half the trip bickering over the fact that I'd rather look out the window than at the m…