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January 27, 2020: KEMP and KAMMP

A while back, my sister Eleanor began working on a self-improvement program with the acronym KEMP, the initials standing for Keep Eleanor Moving Program. A part of her program involved taking the Portland Tri-Met buses places. I thought, ahh, we Culhanes are a hard-wired bunch. My mother was a life-long mass transit user, and in this way ahead of her time. El and I grew up in the city, and because our mother saw no need to drive, we also became mass transit users. El eventually got a driver’s license, and so did I. Mass transit then took a backseat (no pun intended) to driving, bicycling, and walking. These days, I’m carpooling with Pete because we live in a rural area.

Alys and Hrimmi ready to do agility
Alys and Hrimmi ready to do agility

I hesitated before starting and giving a name to my own self-improvement program because I didn’t want to follow on the shirttails of El’s brilliant acronym. However, the thought, that I should follow suit kept resurfacing. Yesterday I came up with my own acronym, and today I embraced it.

Mine is, Keep Alys Motivated and Moving. I told El about this, and she said that we are lucky that our names both begin with vowels, otherwise this acronym thing would not work. I don’t know about Eleanor, but I am glad to now have an acronym-based program. Otherwise I would become lazy and sloth-like.

Today is a good example. I worked inside this morning, at my standing desk. Outside, the wind blew tufts of snow here and there. And, I knew from having gone outside at 8:30 a.m. to tend to the horses that it was pretty damn cold. The optimistic thermometer, on the upper cabin porch, indicated that it was -5 F. The pessimistic thermometer, on the lower garbage shed, indicated that it was -15 F. What was I to believe? I put my money on the lower garbage shed thermometer because my nose soon began to sting.

No, I wasn’t going outside today. At lunch Pete then suggested that we go for a horseback ride. This wasn’t something that I wanted to do, but then the new acronym came to mind. If I ignored it, I’d be a hypocrite. So out I went. Pete rode Hrimmi and I rode Raudi. The wind was still in the woods, and not all that cold. Afterwards, I presumed that I’d head back inside and maybe get Tyra and Tinni out tomorrow. Once again, the new acronym came to mind. I wanted to feel righteous, so I suggested to Pete that we take them for a walk around the loop today. Pete, who does not need an acronym, obliged.

The best was yet to come. I’d been putting off cleaning the goat pen and the chicken roost. And, I figured it could wait a few more days. KAMMP again came back to mind. And so, I cleaned both areas. My reward came after, in seeing the look of contentment on the faces of the upper quadrant animals. Yes, even the chickens looked grateful when I was done.

So KAMMP it is. This acronym is going to get me through this winter. Thanks El, for being the self-improvement motivator.

Next: 28. 1/28/20: Constructing a Bookstore

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