My Christmas Tree

christmas-tree-2008
Go on, laugh.

Feel better?

Story regarding tree starts now:

So my apartment is a small two room plus kitchen, bathroom, and a few closets. Not miniature by any stretch, but it’s a challenge to fit a full sized Christmas tree (whether it’s real or plastic) for the season, as well as to store decorations and the tree (if it’s the fake kind) for the other 11 1/2 months.

I went with my imagination and made this tree out of squares of felt I sewed together in a Christmas tree-like shape. The ornaments I bought at the dollar store with the exception of the pewter wolf and pewter cat. I purchased those at the recent One of A Kind Craft Show and Sale a couple of weeks ago. I’m hoping to add a small and interesting ornament each year, but I have to be careful not to buy anything really delicate like glass balls or fragile wire creations.

I got a kick out of making the Christmas tree. It’s a little out of the ordinary and easy to change each year. Next year I’m going to pick up some LED lights to brighten up the room. I still need a tree topper but haven’t had much luck finding or making something that I really like. I found a few craft books that had instructions on how to make angels out of clothespins and tulle, or stars out of styrofoam and glitter paint. But none of them hit that happy craft spot. I’ll just save that spot on the top of the tree until I see something I love.

As far as gift giving goes I limit it to those nearest and dearest. My best friend is getting some treats and so is my mom. The Sweet Baby Cat and I decided to buy a 32Gb Ipod Touch for each of us when the Apple Store had their Black Friday sale in November. Ahhh! No puffy sweaters! Life is good.

Oh, the Ipod Touch is excellent. I love being able to listen to music, watch videos, have my favourite photos, and my contacts, calendar (oh disorganization, I’ll best you yet), and get to play games, roam the internet, have free apps galore (my current fav is VeganYumYum’s recipe collection – free! Go look!) and not have to pay for the accompanying cell phone costs when compared to the Iphone.

I’m tolerating the snowfall and cold weather with as much good cheer as a summer worshipper possibly can. I don’t like riding in snow and ice so my bike has slowly turned into a glorified coat rack. Geez, I feel guilty typing that out. I’m going to clean up my bike as soon as I sign off. But once Christmas passes I’ll be back to my winter whining. In the meantime I have to stave off the winter fat (and burn off the stubborn fat) by swimming, assaulting the walk/run track and the gym at the nearby communty centre. I’m already salivating at the thought of conquering the hill on Poplar Plains Road this spring!

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Training continues…

Swimming. What a wonderful activity! I love it. I missed it. I went for my second swim today. I spent a half hour in the “slow lane” trying out the front crawl, backstroke, and kicking while hanging on to the float board. I didn’t keep count of the number of times I swam up and down the lane, but I did manage 34 minutes. Not bad for a noobie!

I borrowed a book at the library about swim drills. Youtube has some swim drill videos too. I need to improve my swimming since it’s been so long. I am not used to keeping my head in the water and then remembering to come up for air while coordinating my arms to stroke forward. If I have to I will sign up for lessons!

What’s even better is my SBC has decided he wants to go swimming with me. Yeah, company! What would be a treat is if our building would repair the pool on the roof. Until the weather warms up considerably, it’s a cold damp walk from the community centre to our home.

Our cycling team blog is slowly slowly taking shape. I took photos of almost all of the team members this weekend, and signed us up as “authors” to post news and pictures. Hopefully, as the weather gets better, we’ll have more news and photos to share. And I’m hoping to take some training videos of us!

Today’s Training

I swam for the first time in 18 years, and you know that saying that you never forget how to swim? Well, I remembered most of it. Luckily I can still doggy paddle like a four year. Even luckier I can still tread water like the 1986 Camp Swim Treading Champion that I once was. One thing is definite, I hate water going up my nose just as much. This time I wore ear plugs to help turning my head into a bucket. I also wore a silicone swim cap. It didn’t keep my hair dry but it does have sharks screen printed on both sides. That has to count for something.

The pool is near my house and has an active senior’s community. I was the youngest woman in the changerooms by a clear 4 decades since I arrived at the start of the senior’s pool fitness hour. They looked like they had fun doing low impact water aerobics in the shallow end. I stuck to the deep end and reminded myself how the front crawl works, and the backstroke is relaxing. Why is everyone more comfortable with the backstroke? Swimming backwards isn’t particularly easy, and then I worry that I’ll smack my head into the wall when I get to the end of the lane. I spent a total of 40 minutes swimming and I am definitely going to swim each morning five days a week from now on.

At the gym I tried out the elliptical. I need a change from the stationary bikes because it is oh so boring as well the bikes aren’t comfortable for long periods of time. I can ride for 50 minutes max before my backside is screaming with pain. I gave the elliptical a ten minute whirl and I didn’t like it at all. It felt like running in place without gravity. I thought I was going to fly off of it and I had to regulate my speed to stay standing. Monday it’s back to the dreaded stationary bike. I’m starting a new routine: Every other day fast intervals, the other days resistance training on the bike. I’m limiting the session to 30 minutes, maximum of 40 to stave off boredom and butt pain.

I managed 60 squats with 50 lbs. Not bad. I’m aiming for 100 squats and then throw on another 10 lbs, starting back at 60 squats and build up to 100 again before adding an extra 10 lbs. Repeat until I can no longer stand it.

The rest was upper body. Monday it will be lower body, switching to upper on Tuesday. I increased the weight on the chest press machine and the lat pulldown, as well as the weird back muscle machine whose name I can never recall. On Monday I’m increasing the hip abductor and adductor to 120 lbs from 110, and the hamstring thingy to 90 lbs. Both will be a count of 60.

I’m saving Saturday and Sunday for recovery, but on tired out days I’ll take it easy and only do swim and bike.

That’s the plan anyway!