A Thief in the Night

October 26, 2018 by Rieshy

Grief: a cat,
quiet and heavy.
Settling on your chest
at two a.m. inhaling
your exhalations.
Whispery whiskers,
tickling your lips.


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New Newness

January 14, 2018 by Rieshy
On my kitchen counter I have an espresso machine and a French press.  On my stove I have a percolator, an Italian stove top espresso maker and a Turkish cezve. Because, umm,  because- actually I have no good reason to have 5 ways to make coffee.  I just really really like coffee.

Sometimes you want your cup of joe with a nice creme, and sometimes you want a demitasse filled with coffee thick enough to chew- you get the idea.

When I got the cezve from a daughter this Christmas I researched Turkish and Greek coffee making videos and started boiling away.  I experimented enough with different recipes that I couldn't sleep.  So I took some time off and came back to the cezve from a different angle.  Almond milk.

What if I boiled the coffee directly in almond milk instead of water?

And I discovered perfection and a bit of an oddity.  If you boil Turkish coffee in almond milk not only do you still get that wonderful froth but the coffee somehow ends up tasting like hot cocoa without the treacle-like sweetness of hot cocoa.  Not to mention strength and thickness wise it is like having your coffee and eating it too.

2018- may I discover something new each week, and may at least some of the discoveries be more life changingly profound but all just as delicious as this week's new newness.

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Grappling Games, Part 1

December 11, 2017 by Rieshy

Standing with my 16 year old in line and having to explain, 4 times, that the spectator bracelet was for my son and not for me was fun.

Having all my children excited for me was both an ego boost and a prod.

(note to self, get photo of children standing still and looking at camera)

Having a teammate to pose with was awesome.

Knowing that my Sensei Dani and Larry Kooyman, from Family First Martial Arts, were both there with their kiddos to support Tina and me brought home comfort to an unfamiliar arena.

Having a blast both losing.

And winning.

And losing.

And winning.

The Jujitsu community is amazing.  
Sean Patton from UFC in Hendersonville coached me- just because he is awesome.


Rule of Thumb- No Snakes In The Dark

November 30, 2017 by Rieshy

I love teaching martial arts.  I love having a mat full of kids; it's a mat full of potential and I don't mean just martial arts potential.

Someday everyone of "my" kids is going to be out there; adulting.  I'd like to think that the discipline, focus, patience and kindness they practice every time they come onto the mats will become part of who they are.

A couple of days ago I was talking with a class about how performing kata solo in front of an audience can be nerve wracking or scary but it helps you lock the moves into memory and strengthens your ability to rely on your own knowledge.  I thought I'd segue into a little motivational talk on the importance of forcing oneself out of comfort zones to practice self-reliance and strength....

It was all going well; one child raised their hand and talked about how scary it was presenting a science project at school, another child talked about dance class.  Encouraged I said, "Find something a little scary, like doing your kata in front of your family or friends, and make yourself do it.  Practice bravery."

At this point a nine year old raised his hand; with a frightening lack of facetiousness he blurted, "I think playing with snakes in the dark is scary!"

We took a water break.

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Daily Swindles

November 19, 2017 by Rieshy

Confidence is a shell game.

Fake it 'till you make it.
Speak softly so people will listen;
except sometimes they won't.

       Is that where the big stick comes into play?

Believe in yourself,
your talents,
your skills,
your worth.

       But what's the grading scale?

Know yourself,
your talents,
your skills,
your worth.

       Is there an office for remediation?

But don't think so much.
Convoluted venn diagram contraindications.

Only God remains,
immutable and most surprisingly of all;
omnisciently still in love with us all.


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Planning Squirrels

October 10, 2017 by Rieshy

A skill I'm working on.

I fly by the seat of my pants.
Most of the time.
I plan just enough to have a track to be derailed from
because, duh, trains can't fly.

My 10 year plan?
It's been: be alive
while not eating cat food as a dietary staple.

It's not lack of faith nor a paucity of dreaming.
It's years of mothering and multitasking others.
Years where flexibility equaled survival.
And admittedly the latent tendency to let a teenaged daughter convince me to purchase new socks.

The exact same socks I had in 7th grade.
Except in 7th grade I wanted to be too cool for pompoms so I cut the pompoms off.
Pompoms- eternally derailing but actually kind of fun.

what was I planning?


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Drip Drab

September 30, 2017 by Rieshy

Everyday decisions.

No puppy dog tails,
Instead mostly Dribs.

I've started testing for my second degree in mixed martial arts which ends late September 2018.
I've got a plan- and a training schedule for the pre-season and I'm pondering running shoes and the disappointing impracticality of 35 year long-desired nose piercing.

I'm vibrating now but I know the dream squisher is coming:
the Everyday Drab.

I was told last weekend to have one goal and accomplish it.  I don't have one goal, my brain is too messy for that.  Jujitsu- siren song, Goju Shorei- rock in my awkward shoe.  Curses, I find myself lusting after swords and hakama.  Or maybe I'm just a little in love with Caitlin Dechelle.

And that's just martial life goals.

Drips and drops.

Because brains and muscles take time and everyday coffee needs brewing, children need civilizing, bills need paying,  mowing needs scheduling and eyebrows (occasionally) need plucking.

One goal? ARGGHHHH.

So it's everyday drips and drops the dribs and drabs of training for a person who loves grand schemes.  Living... everyday... patiently, it's a hard skill.  The lack of fanfare a temptation to quit and not even  grandly; just slowly fade until life is just a series of everydays, all passing through.

This testing? Drips and drops, dribs and finding joy in drabs.
Hoping for sugar and spice along the way.


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