Orchestra & Working Weekend

by Christine on August 15th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Good morning Revolutionists! I hope you all had a good weekend. What did you all do over the weekend? Hopefully something fun!

My weekend was filled with work, work, work. I worked my butt off on household chores! The bad part is that I didn’t get as much fun-time in as I would have liked, but the good news is that I got a lot of things done that sorely needed to get done.

Friday I did a ton of yard work: majorly trimming the shrubberies and weeding, primarily. I hauled six huge tarp-fulls of debris away from my work areas. It was a LOT of work! It involved a lot of over-my-head pruning (hello triceps muscles!) and bending over, up-and-down work. It took about 4 hours and whew, I was exhausted!  Afterwards I met a friend for dinner.

Saturday was another big work day. I mowed the lawn with the push-mower (half an acre), which took me 4 fill-ups of gas, maybe 2 hours worth of work?  I trimmed the grass under our little adolescent trees. I did about 6 loads of laundry and ran some much-needed errands.  That evening I went to SPAC, which is an outdoor amphitheater, to see the last night of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra play their Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture and other Tchaikovsky hits. I think the picture of me from that night is hilarious! Compare this with a mere 3 years ago, when I went to another outdoor orchestral event:

tanglewood john williams spac orchestra

What a difference 100 pounds make! (And oh my, look at those bags under my eyes!)

I actually have a friend that plays in the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, but he wasn’t playing that night: he was in D.C. with my husband playing in a card tournament!  Still, it was fun to go to the concert even without Friend there.

Sunday was more work.  We have an indoor hot-tub room that we use during the winter. In the summer I move all the plants onto our screened-in porch and we shut the hot tub down. In the fall we move all the plants back into the room and open the hot tub back up.  Well, it was “Fall Cleaning” time, and I spent about 4 hours scrubbing the floor down there. Oh, I tossed four buckets of BLACK water! Where does the dirt come from?? That was hard work, scrubbing the floor with a stiff-bristled brush.  After 2 hours, I took a short walk around the block to stretch my legs. I also did another 2 loads of laundry. Afterwards, even though I was dead tired, I went to the gym for an hour. It was weight-training for my legs, plus jogging on the treadmill. Man, was I tired! But I didn’t stop there. I put a movie on (5th Element was on Syfy) and hand-sewed a satin Christmas bag for our advent calendar ornaments. It turned out cute–I’ll have to remember to take a picture at some point.

According to HealthStatus.com, an individual my size burns 172 calories/hour doing housework. I”m sure that varies greatly depending on what kind of housework! It also says you burn 250 calories/hour mowing with a push mower. If that’s true, then I burned well over  1000 calories with my housework this weekend.

That’s a lot of housework-related-exercise that I did this weekend! The good news is that I can confidently say that I’m rocking out my 2-week XN Challenge!! I’ve successfully completed 10 out of my 11 days of exercise; I only have three more days to go!

Weight is still the same: 131.2 today. My size 2 pants don’t seem to fit, and my Size 6s are baggy on me. Must mean that I’m in the 4-range. Why don’t they make clothing sizes in half sizes? I bet a 4.5 would be just perfect!

Have a great week everyone!


Tuesday and feeling frantic

by Christine on August 24th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Happy Tuesday Revolutionists!

Yesterday started off well-planned, very nice. Then I got clobbered with two projects that need to get done ASAP. This is a good thing! I’m normally bored to tears at work — it’s exciting to have something real to work on! I’ll need to get both projects done by this afternoon.

Tomorrow is my interview with the government job. We’re apparently meeting over lunch.  Wish me luck! I worry that it’s not a job that interests me and I also worry about a stuffy and rigid office environment.

Yesterday I went to the gym after work. I asked Hubby to give me a good arm workout at the gym, mostly because I’m timid with the meatheads around me and wanted hubby to chaperone me. We focused on shoulders and the back, and it was a great workout! I then did 2 miles on the treadmill. I knew ahead of time that I didn’t want to do a full 5k, but I wanted to push my limits. Normally I jog at 5.5 mph. (When I first started jogging, I started at 4.9 mph).  Well, I did a full mile at 6.0 mph! I thought I was going to stop three times, but I pushed through it. It was a difficult mental challenge for me, but I persevered! I walked the other mile (half before jogging, half after jogging).

I tried to get creative for dinner yesterday. I sauted up some onions and green peppers and some leftover ham. I then threw in some diced cheddar cheese, that got all melty. I added some brown mustard for a sauce, and served over cous-cous.  All the ingredients sounded like they went together, but it was vile!! I had to throw it all out. Instead I had two slices of cheese, a handful of almonds, and half a beer for dinner.

I always need to measure my cereal when I eat it in the morning. I don’t know why, but I’m great at estimating portion sizes except for cereal. I always pour more than I think I want to have. Consequently I always, always measure my cereal. Today I had a half a cup of Honey Bunches of Oats.

I get my hair done today! I can’t decide what to do. I want to keep the length because I like pulling it back into a pony tail. Should I try going blonder? Or go back to some red highlights? I’d love to do some kind of funky colored stripe in my hair — I’ve never done that!! — but now is not the time to do funky, not with a government job interview tomorrow. (It’s bad enough that I’ve got a nose ring!) What do you think I should do? Hopefully someday soon!

Weight is 137.0 this morning, and today Aunt Flo came a-calling.


HOLY CRAP!!! Today I am wearing new blue jeans (the size 6, not the size 4) and as I was walking down the hallway I realized that I was walking quietly. I took a few more steps then realized…there’s no “swish swish swish” sound when I’m walking. What the heck? There’s ALWAYS a swishswishswish sound! I look down, between my legs, and lo and behold, I HAVE THIGH GAP!  A gap between my thighs! No swishing/chaffing going on at all!


Saturday Excitement!

by Christine on August 21st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Happy Saturday Morning Revolutionists!!

I am thrilled that the scale this morning is holding steady at 137.4.  It’s been awfully good to me considering I had a few slipups this week. Thank you body. I’m grateful to you (for once!)!

Last night we went over to my hubby’s game-playing friend’s house where they were having a “reunion” or sorts. All the friends were there, along with their girlfriends and fiancees. It was a really nice gathering. Do you guys watch the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.” Well, first of all, I’m married to Sheldon. (Well, Sheldon, except with a very sweet outgoing personality. But the always-right, type A personality is dead on!) Imagine going to a party with the whole Big Bang Theory cast! That’s what it was like! I stepped into the bathroom at one point and had a two-minute giggle fit over it at one point.

It was going to be a late night, I could tell. (Hubby didn’t get home until 2 a.m.)  I said, “Self, you can either stay here all night long and play board games with them. **OR** you can go home now — 11 p.m. — and get a decent night’s sleep AND get up early in the morning to go to the gym.”  I decided that the gym was far more important to me. So I bid everyone adieu and went home and went to bed. (Hubby caught a ride home with a friend.)

What a great decision! I woke up at 7:30 this morning and got a great workout in, not a rushed workout or anything like that.  400 calories burned, 200 situps, good good.

Today we have a wedding and reception to attend. Then the last symphony performance. Then a late night of bar-hopping. It’s going to be a challenge to eat well and not overdo the drinking, but I’m feeling strong and confident. I’ve got this, today!

Have a great Saturday everyone! Be strong and make good choices!


Adventure hiking leads to calories burned and good fun!

by Christine on June 29th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

GeocachingI reached the top of the trail and looked around. A mile of steep terrain was in my wake, and I was 4,000 feet high, just above the tree line. My navigation system blinked over the bullseye indicating that I had arrived at the destination. I looked around, searching. Nothing stood out to me.  I picked up a stick and started poking at the ground, stirring up leaves and overturning rocks. Nothing.

To my right hand side was a stone ledge, about eight feet high. The craggy ledge smelled faintly of moss and mildew from yesterday’s rainstorm, and it was comforting to me. I noticed that the right hand side of the ledge jutted out in such a way as to resemble a crudely-cut stairway. I climbed up.

Geocaching ContainerI looked at my notes again. I was looking for an ammo container, camouflaged green, of substantial size.  The contents promised to be “sports-themed,” with a “take an object/leave an object” rule. Using my stick, I poked at the leaves and stones. Clunk!  Success! I squatted down and brushed the leaves away. Sure enough, there was the ammo container. Like a child on Christmas morning, I unhooked the clasp and eagerly opened the container.

What a treasure! Trading cards, dice, a small baseball, a soccer trophy, and other items cluttered the box. I picked through the items and found a glittery ice skating shoe in the form of a keychain. I pocketed the keychain and slipped an old leather golfing glove into the box. I pulled out the pad of paper and pencil. A lot of people had been here, I noted, flipping through the spiral-bound notebook.  “First to Find” (FTF) was some guy named “PluckyDucky” and was four years ago. Usually the FTF prize was something fairly substantial. I wondered what the prize was.

Geocaching made hiking and getting exercise fun. I discovered it about a year ago, when a friend took me out on a hike. He had pulled his portable navigation system (the one you use for driving in your car) out of his pocket and plugged in some coordinates that he had scrawled down on a piece of paper. That day the hike took us about a half mile to the edge of a river. The “micro-cache” was a teeny tiny little container hidden cleverly in the crook of a pine tree. If you weren’t looking for it, you never would have found it. There was no prize in that cache; it was too small. There was only an old rolled up piece of paper for signing your name.

Geocaching is totally free; it only requires that you sign in with a username and password. To get started, just go to www.geocaching.com and type in your zipcode and click “search.”  The website will bring up all the caches nearby. The first time I searched, I was shocked to discover that there were two caches on my street!

If you are just starting off, you want to search for caches that have a single green brick as its icon:  That indicates that it is a traditional, one-cache adventure. (The two yellow bricks indicate that the coordinates will lead you to another set of coordinates, and so-on. It can get lengthy. The question mark usually involves a riddle that you have to solve to find the next set of coordinates.)

Once you find a good “green brick” cache that sounds interesting, click on the name/description of the cache. You need to be logged in to see the coordinates, which are located at the top of the page.  Also at the top of the page you will find the difficulty level in finding the cache (how hard it’s hidden) and how hard the terrain is to get to the prize. If you scroll down you will see a description of the cache, perhaps a little history. There is usually an additional hint that you can click on that gives you a cheater of where to look, such as “in a big pine tree” or “Under a rock.”

When you find the cache, it’s nice to log back onto this page and leave a note at the very bottom of the page.  It’s fun to look at other peoples’ comments – sometimes they leave photos of their hunt!

Geocaching is great for kids. It’s free, it’s outdoors, it’s exercise, and it usually involves a prize f some kind. Who doesn’t like a prize?  Look for themed caches for even more fun. I’ve even found caches that are just for dogs and recommend leaving/picking up a treat for your dog.  These sometimes even have toys and special smells so the dog can help you find the cache!

Geocaching can be educational, too.  One day I looked up a cache that took me to a very remote trail that local Native Americans used  and where arrowheads are commonly found. Another cache took me to a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., who had given a speech in my town (I had no idea)!  Caches are terrific tools for learning about local history.

The best part about geocaching? It burns calories! It’s basically hiking and exploring. The day I searched for the sports cache located on a medium-sized mountain, I burned over 1200 calories!  Not all geocaches are hard to find though. There are about 10 geocaches located in my mall parking lot.

A note about GeoBugs and Geocoins:

On the search page, you’ll find some curious looking icons, representing Geobugs and Geocoins. These are special objects that have a purpose. For instance, I found a Geobug once, in the form of a small gorilla statue with attached dog tag. I went to the website and discovered that this Geobug had come from Germany and whose goal was to make it to the top of the Empire State Building in NYC, then return to Germany.  I was able to take it from my cache to, a few weeks later, a cache a few miles closer to NYC.  It was on its way! I found another Geobug once in the form of a martini glass keychain. The goal of this “bug” was to go to parties and have its photo taken with groups of party-goers! The website had a bunch of photos of merry-makers with the keychain!  Look for Geobugs and help them along their journey!

Many thanks to Heather, from Heather’s Banded Journey, for reminding me about the fun and benefits of geocaching! Visit her blog today! http://heathersbandedjourney.blogspot.com/


142 pounds (83 pounds lost): Whirlwind Weekend

by Christine on June 18th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Me todayHappy Friday Afternoon, Revolutionists!
This is going to be a truly action-packed couple of days! For instance, this weekend will involve:

  • Dancing on board a Hudson River boat cruise!
  • Attending a Bridal Shower
  • Going to a PHISH concert
  • Traveling to NYC to meet a lovely friend from Norway!  (Overnight. Dinner. Touristy things. Probably drinking.)
  • Travel back home

Yikes! How will I fit it all in? I can’t — I need to take Monday off from work!  But more importantly: Will my diet and exercise get completely blown out this weekend? I hope not! With careful planning, I can get plenty of exercise in: dancing tonight, gym tomorrow before the bridal shower, dancing at the concert, then LOTS of walking in NYC. Possibly even going to the gym when I return home on Monday.  Consuming a healthy amount of calories: that is indeed going to be a challenge, especially because every day will probably involve drinking. I’m not going to lie: I like to drink. Oh, I’m not an alcoholic — far from it! — but I enjoy the taste of a Cosmo or a Mojito or Sangria. Do I need to drink to have a good time? Absolutely not. I will allow myself to drink and have a good time, but I can adopt some healthy strategies such as:

  • No finger foods. While I can choose to have alcoholic beverages for my fun night(s) out, I don’t feel any urge to partake in finger foods. I tend to eat those more out of boredom or convenience than out of real hunger or desire.  So I will skip those, unless fresh veggies or fresh shrimp are on the menu.
  • I will drink a glass of water in between all of my alcoholic beverages, in order to “slow me down” and cut the calories.
  • I will eat something healthy prior to attending any event (such as the bridal shower). This will mean I will not be hungry and therefore less likely to over-consume calorific foods at the event. I will try to remember to pack healthy snacks in my bag for when I’m walking around NYC, such as an apple, bell pepper slices, or almonds.
  • Because I know I will be drinking unhealthy beverages this weekend, it is even more important that I drink water and not drink soda, even diet soda. I really need to watch getting dehydrated. So if I’m not drinking alcohol, I need to choose water. This is actually the hardest concept in this list for be to adhere to.

Now about this dancing thing tonight on the cruise ship….I really hope I actually dance. I know that sounds so silly. “But Christine, aren’t you going dancing, after all?” I always feel like a complete moron on the dance floor, so I always stand (or sit) off to the side, drink in hand, and watch my friends dance. Oh, I WANT to dance, but I never work up the guts to. I really want to dance tonight, partly for newly found-confidence reasons, and partly to get some good FUN exercise in!  I want to break a sweat!

I’m not a bad dancer, per se. I took 14 years of dancing lessons when I was younger: jazz, tap, and ballet. I was on a competition dance troupe that won a lot of awards and traveled quite extensively. I feel confident doing pirouettes and grand jettes, funky layouts, or the soft shoe. But put me on a dance floor where I get utterly clausterphobic and can’t move around…all you can do is kind of bounce-in-place…and I feel like a complete idiot. Plus, I never know where to look. Do I check out hot guys in the room? Do I watch my friends dancing? Do I smile? Not smile? Stare at my drink? Ack!  See, the whole dancing thing is quite confusing. I really just need to get over myself!

Tubs of clothes ready to be given away!Also: In regards to the clothing giveaway: Please be patient! I hauled up several tubs of clothes from the basement. I need to go through them and take photos to see what everyone would be interested in taking off my hands. However, with my busy weekend, I definitely won’t have time to get to this until next week. I haven’t forgotten!

My gorgeous friend that I finally get to meet!


My view out of the office today:


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