Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The last two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind around here.  My Third Degree Black Belt test was this past Saturday and I'm fairly certain that I was not a fun person to be around during that time.  Added to that stress was the fact that both of my boys came down with some sort of coughing plague and missed a full week of school.  I was losing sleep about covering the test fee (it was massive) and trying to keep the household bug at bay.  I spent a small fortune on homeopathic remedies and kept plugging away at my practice schedule.

During the week before the test when the boys were home sick, I dealt with the stress by doing huge amounts of cooking.  Monday was spaghetti and meatballs, a delicious new recipe for beef stew with mushrooms was made on Tuesday, and Wednesday's dinner was pork chops with caramelized onions braised in ale.  There's no "starving a cold" in this house!

Thursday and Friday the cooking toned down a little as I ran around like a crazy person and planned a post-test party.  The only cooking I did for that was 2-Alarm Chili, guacamole, some grape tomatoes stuffed with cheese and that other thing that I can't think of right now.  Oh-truffled mac & cheese.  Yum.  My Mom kept telling me that I was making way too much food- for only about twenty or so guests.  Very little of it was left over.

So here are a few highlights of the test.  The beginning went fairly well, did the warm-up stretching, etc.

Managed to get through the forms, which was a bit of a challenge, but in the end I passed.

After that, I was tested on the self-defense and grabbing techniques.  My friend CJ was a good sport and let me throw him around a lot during practice and the test.  I'm sure he's glad it's over!

And then I had to break a bunch of pine boards with my hands and feet-this for me is the fun part.  I just love breaking stuff!

And, last of all, I had to break three pieces of concrete, stacked one on top of the other.  This is Master Kim getting them ready.  You might be wondering what he's pouring on the top brick...

 It's gasoline.  Yup, the bricks had to be on fire when I broke them.

During the last few weeks I was waking up at night from nightmares that the only thing I would break would be my hand.

As you can see, it didn't.

After the test, we all came back to my house for a party that went on to the wee hours and had a great time.  And Monday morning I woke up feeling like someone had a vise on my chest and that I had inhaled something caustic that burned me from the inside out.  It hurts to breathe deeply and swallowing is painful in a way that I never experienced before this.  I guess I managed to hold off the plague until I needed to so now it's come at me full force.  As long as I'm all recovered in time for Rhinebeck--