Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

Christmas 2014

On December 22nd, at 5:13 pm, I received a text from my eldest brother telling me that my father was taken to the hospital by ambulance. My world was turned upside down in that instant. I was distraught. I could barely type an email to my boss to let him know I had to leave town earlier than was planned.

I was texting back-and-forth with my brother trying to figure out if I should head to North Bay that night or wait until the morning. Freezing rain was on its way to both Ottawa and North Bay and I was trying to miss that. Weather sites indicated that the freezing rain was due around midnight in Ottawa, so I decided to quickly finish packing and grab what food I needed from the store and home. It's not as simple for me as it is with other people to travel as I'm sensitive to a few foods and they're in a lot of things. I grabbed a quick bite to eat, which was nearly nothing. I had everything packed and ready to go by 7:15 pm and proceeded to leave town, or attempted to. My c…

Coming Home

It's that time of the year where I travel to visit my family as I'm not from Ottawa. I was born in North Bay, Ontario and I still have a lot of friends that live there. I always enjoy the trip home in the warmer months as the northern landscape is often breathtaking. I won't see much of that beauty on this trip, but at least this year I have my snow tires on. Last year I felt extremely lucky to be alive by the time I reached my parent's home. If the freezing rain hasn't started, I'll leave town soon, but I may have to postpone by a day.

Books and knitting are probably coming with me. Also ice skates, snow shoes, and winter wear. My parents don't have the Internet, so keeping busy with a variety of activities is key to staying sane during the holidays. I don't mind disconnecting though. I get out and see friends that I haven't seen in several months. I often get to do a lot because parking is pretty much a non-issue there.

While this post is about my t…

Blog Hop!

Well it looks like it's time for me to pop my blog hopping cherry!
I was tagged by Nicole Lavigne to share a recipe. Linda Poitevin started this whole thing. I've tagged Isobel Adams to share a recipe on her blog next week. I tried to tag more, but they were already tagged or are either bakers who don't blog or bloggers who don't bake. Clearly, the world needs more blogging bakers.
This is actually a daunting task for me given that I cannot consume dairy, eggs, or yeast. I regularly get asked how I'm still alive. What's my answer? I eat almost everything else (save seaweed, grapefruit, and some sea foods because yuck) that is not related to those things, which is challenging, but not impossible. Mostly I stick to fresh things, but who doesn't love a cookie, pie, or cake now-and-then?
It's a good thing that I'm not one for running from challenges or I would have starved by now. I'm constantly discovering new tricks like bun-less hamburgers that have…

Ikkyu Grading

Iaido has a different grading system than other arts. We don't have a belt system; our belts are simply to keep our hakama up and our katana in the right place.

How do we do ranking in the dojo? You just know who's ranked higher than you are and line up appropriately. If you don't know, you err on the side of them being higher than you. Within ranks age also plays a factor. If needed, seniority can go as granular as the day you first came to the dojo to train.

That being said, the ranking system is:

No Kyu
Ikkyu - 1st Kyu
Shodan - 1st Dan
Nidan - 2nd Dan
Sandan - 3rd Dan
Yondan - 4th Dan
Godan - 5th Dan*
Rokudan - 6th Dan
Shichidan - 7th Dan
Hachidan - 8th Dan
Kudan - 9th Dan
J┼źdan - 10th Dan

So in essence we go from white belt to brown belt and skip the ranks that are in between in other arts. I believe this is because we swing swords around and even someone who hasn't done the art extremely long can kill someone with a sword, thereby making them more dangerous than the average inex…