CHRISTURTLE   17,654
SparkPoints
15,000-19,999 SparkPoints
 
 
CHRISTURTLE's Recent Blog Entries

Ok, before and after garden photos...

Monday, February 21, 2011

In answer to requests to show the garden I created yesterday, still with only the red flowering eucalypt which has only recently started to regrow after having been cut down after a storm brought it down, and my newly planted, still tiny golden conifer, here are some before and after photos. The chain wire fencing was put across the rear property line, and to divide the back and front yard areas so the dogs were safely kept at home with plenty of space to exercise while not being walked. In the second photo you can see the damage done to the top railing of the dividing fence when one of the tree branches fell on it.
Before -

After -


Also, while uploading before and after garden photos, thought I may as well include the front garden. The two trees in the before photo had to be cut down along with the other storm damaged ones in the first photos.
Before -

After -

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 2/22/2011 8:27PM

    You lost those two trees? That had to be devasting, but you did put them to good use! I really like what you're doing with your yard, and your backyard looks big! No wonder you get such a workout mowing and weeding!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TYBEWALLACE 2/22/2011 7:13PM

    Totally amazing......and gorgeous.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EJOK170 2/22/2011 6:01PM

    Boy that is a lot a work. Loved seeing the photos after reading about it before. Good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIZZSB 2/22/2011 3:47AM

    wow chris, it looks awesome!

Great job!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNOTT 2/21/2011 10:57PM

    You did a great job on your garden, it looks fantastic!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNIE924 2/21/2011 10:16PM

    Your hard work has paid off, it looks lovely emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 2/21/2011 9:28PM

    nice garden

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILIKECACTI 2/21/2011 9:16PM

    Oh I'm so jealous of your graden! I live in an apartment, so I'm limited to planting things in containers.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWELL10 2/21/2011 9:00PM

    WOW!!! You did an amazing job!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Exceeding my target and taking on a new Challenge...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yesterday for once I went beyond my plans for the day - in one area at least. I not only moved the pieces of cut up tree trunks round to the front yard and stacked them neatly in preparation for making another small garden bed round another of the cut down trees (storm damage mid 2010), a red flowering eucalypt, I did more still. I was feeling great after that huge workout - some of the pieces were about 18inches in diameter, 2 feet long, and HEAVY! Lifted them (safely and carefully, learned long ago I'm no Superwoman)and carried them the 100 feet or so without any trouble whatsoever, when I was completely unable to even lift them a few months back.

Not only that, I was feeling so energized I decided to dig over the ground surrounding my newly regrowing tree, to check on the shape I wanted the garden. It was just going to be small, but then I looked at all the logs, all the shapes, sizes and thought 'nah, go bigger...' so I did. I extended my small garden area in the corner of the yard to one with more than enough space to accommodate the width of the eucalypt, planted a young golden connifer which is also going to take up a lot of space, and made room to plant all sorts of things in front, behind, between...

After that, it seemed silly to stop so I spent over 2 hours changing one log for another till I got my edging looking the way I wanted it. It's made up of large pieces of trunk, medium pieces of a smaller tree trunk, branch pieces of varying size, some V shaped pieces, and I didn't want it to look neat and tidy, I wanted it to look almost as though the pieces had fallen there and a garden had just grown there behind it. Finally, with endless trips to varying locations along the front fenceline to check its appearance, I succeeded. I was still on such a high, I spread the remaining 2 cubic yards of mulch from the tree branches which weren't worth keeping for anything but as firewood. That was too much of a waste of a resource, so I paid to have it all mulched - 6 cubic yards in all - they were large, old, beautiful trees before the storm hit.

I came inside totally worn out, but feeling sooooo wonderfully pleased with both the garden and my efforts, and made the decision to get myself properly in shape (or as close as possible, can't work miracles with this 56 year old body, but I CAN do my best for it). I am 8 pounds from my goal weight, and my body needs toning. I want to get more in shape than I am, want to push myself to do better for my body and my future health. I want to do more varied exercises. I needed a Challenge to do so, cos its only with set-time Challenges I seem to do my best.

I have just returned for another Winter 5% Weight Loss 8 Week Challenge, and went looking for another workout based Challenge. What I found was the Official 28 Day Bootcamp Workout Challenge. Not one to start something before finding out all about it, I checked the team introduction, checked the workout explanations, found out it wasn't the killer, inflexible workout for the incredibly fit super athletes I had imagined it to be. Instead, it is flexible enough to allow me to set my own cardio activities, there are 10 minute Bootcamp Workout Videos by Coach Nicole, and I did the first one of them before signing up, lol, just to make certain it was for me.

So, at the end of these 28 Days, I will still have 4 weeks to go on my 5% WeightLoss Challenge, but hopefully I will be much fitter and toned (oh how I need to be toned - I want to get rid of all those wobbly bits, thank you!), and may just do a second run at the 28 Day Bootcamp program, this time taking the exercises it contains to a more intensive level.

I know, a lot of effort between now and reaching Day 28, and a lot of dedication required, but I AM GOING TO DO THIS THING AND DO IT WELL! No more hoping to achieve, wishing I was fitter, I have to work towards achieving my goals. This is the rest of my life I'm dealing with here, and whether or not I can extend it any, I can at least put in enough effort to make darn sure I am as healthy and fit as possible.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKECACTI 2/21/2011 9:08PM

    Way to go! Isn't it great to notice the progress in our strength and stamina!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TYBEWALLACE 2/21/2011 8:06PM

    OMG, I got worn out just reading about your day, I imagine you will have a beautiful yard and gardens this year and I hope you get to relax a little bit and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 2/21/2011 7:28PM

    flower garden how sweet love them

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRISHP1961 2/21/2011 6:55PM

    Sounds like a very peaceful day! I love working in the garden, too. Unfortunately, I spent today watching the snow fall. It will be a long time until I have a place to garden. Enjoy!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYANNGI 2/21/2011 6:23PM

    Definitely post some pictures of your garden - pre-plants and when your plants are in bloom. It sounds absolutely intriguing! You had a great day, got alot accomplished and probably slept like a baby that night! Right now all I can see in the yard is lots and lots of snow. emoticon Oh well, Spring will soon be upon us - I hope.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACROSONIC 2/21/2011 5:53PM

    Post some pictures when you get your garden done!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIRIRADHA 2/21/2011 5:15PM

    Chris, your ambition is way beyond my ambition! Part of my renewed Spark is that we've finally had a few pretty days in a row. That always makes me feel like getting up and moving around.

Your yard is going to be so pretty! I'd like to see photos, too, if you can find the time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FUTUREHOPE49 2/21/2011 4:54PM

    Gardening is very satisfying and great exercise. Well done for the weight lifting. Sounds like a lovely garden. Where are the photos?
Good luck with the Bootcamp challenge! I like coach Nicoles videos! Good luck with our 5% challenge too. You are doing well! emoticon emoticon
Ellen

Report Inappropriate Comment
SILLYHP1953 2/21/2011 4:12PM

    I miss working out in my yard, it is winter over here. I had to work Friday on our 70f degree day, and Saturday the wind blew so hard you'd have thought a hurricane was coming. Cold and windy on Sunday. Oh well, like I said, it is still winter. You almost inspired me to join that challenge, then remembered I'll be leaving for Italy in 10 days...10 DAYS!!! I was stressing my son's GF out because I didn't sit down and reserve hotel rooms until three days ago. She was ready to do it a couple weeks ago. I guess I just didn't think time was passing. We booked a bunch of tours cause she wanted to do that, too. It's a good thing she's in charge of this stuff. But hey, I have 10 days and I'll be doing lots of walking over there and I'm just making excuses to not do this, so I'm signing up with you!!!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


My two brilliant ideas, well, sort of...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ok, maybe some of you will find the following two things helpful at some future time, maybe not... all I know is that I will, which is what really matters, lol. One thing I discovered out of pain and desperation while trimming the grass growing up through the fence, the other I woke up suddenly realizing this morning... obviously my brain has its own thing happening while I'm sleeping.

Anyway...

My knees were really giving me grief cos of the OA while I was kneeling on the ground trimming the grass by hand from against the fence. I'd filled the garbage bins with it, didn't want to use it for compost, cos there are some weeds in there with it. Brought some of those much hated plastic supermarket bags, and as I trimmed, put the cut offs into the bag. When it was full I tied it and began to work on filling the next bag. Malachai (my sometimes cat) was 'helping me by trying to tear open the filled bag, so I decided to put it under a kneel so I wouldn't have to re-bag the contents. Istant comfort, and almost pain free knee. Tried the same with the next bag and the other knee. Same result. I managed to fill another 8 bags in total, almost pain free comfort.

BRILLIANT IDEA #1- Plastic bags filled with weeds/grass and tied make great kneelers while working in the garden, even with very painful knees.

I was bored while working on that fenceline, kept looking ahead, counting how many fenceposts I still had to reach to finish, kept looking at the time, and the music on my Ipod wasn't distracting me at all. Ok, the job wasn't all that hard, or so bad, or so long, but it was boring. At times I even found myself doing a garden version of pushups against the steel fence, while on my knees, although I had to stop enjoying myself in that way when an elderly lady had some concerns for my health, imagining I was having heart trouble for some reason, lol. Kinda embarrassing, but if ever I do have heart pains while gardening I'll know how to signal my need for help.

THAT MAY WELL SERVE ME WELL IN SOME FAR DISTANT TIME, BUT IT IS NOT MY SECOND BRILLIANT IDEA.

I went to bed last night feeling really pleased with the way the yard now looks, to the point where I stood outside in the dark, checking out the perfection of my fence line by the light of the street lights... ok, I need to get out more, I know. I slept soundly all night (thanks Better Sleep Challenge) and woke this morning wondering why on earth I hadn't thought before of going to the library and borrowing a 'book on cd', to transfer to my Ipod to listen to while working. It would have made all the difference. I have been known to become so involved in listening to one in the car that I kept driving past my destination, then turned round and went back again to where I was meant to be just so I could hear the end of the 'book'.

BRILLIANT IDEA #2 - Use you Ipod/mp3 to listen to books on cd while you are working on a seemingly never ending task, or when lacking motivation to exercise.

Ok, warned you they weren't of earth shattering importance, but hey, they will help improve my enthusiasm for all things active, so maybe they may just help some one else. Then again, maybe not... Whatever, I know I'm going to go borrow some books on cd to put on my Ipod, and I'll finally have a use for those pesky plastic bags which have been multiplying in my bag holder even though I never use them myself - friends seem to feel the need to bring me things, or return something I've loaned them in said bags, probably in an attempt to rid their own homes of them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGY-BEE 2/21/2011 11:50AM

    Two great ideas in my opinion. Don't those dang bags multiply like bunnies?

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNIE924 2/21/2011 8:00AM

    These are 2 good ideas. I often have my best ideas in my sleep. I'm sure some of my more brilliant one's have disappeared with the morning light. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SILLYHP1953 2/20/2011 8:47PM

    I LOVE audio books...love them. I guess I just love being read to, probably brings back feelings of being loved as a child when I was read to. Usually I listen to books by Caroline Myss, or Deepak Chopra, or the like. But sometimes I need a break and listen to fiction. Right now I'm listening to Shelters Of Stone (again), the 5th book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series because the new (and last) book in the series is FINALLY coming out next month. You wouldn't think reading about cavemen could be so interesting! Jean Auel does so much research each book had five years in between them, but this last one has been 7-8 years in the waiting. You'll probably start weeding the neighbor's yard when you're listening to audio books!!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACROSONIC 2/20/2011 7:32PM

    I like listening to podcasts, music, audio books while doing things like riding my stationary bike, housework, etc. It does make the time go faster by keeping my brain alert in what is otherwise a boring task.

Looking forward to getting back to doing the above things in the next few weeks, when I have more time at home to work on my house and yard!!

And isn't it funny how we come up with these ideas, or get them from someone else, and then wonder why we hadn't figured them out earlier!

Comment edited on: 2/20/2011 7:34:22 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANDOK1260 2/20/2011 6:52PM

    Sounds like good idea to me. Also I wish we have your weather in cleveland.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 2/20/2011 5:52PM

    way to go

Report Inappropriate Comment
ELSEEBEE 2/20/2011 5:49PM

    Isn't it wonderful when we can get inspired by the simplest ideas? Good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SVELTEWARRIOR 2/20/2011 4:41PM

    Great ideas!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CSDAYS 2/20/2011 4:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Of fences, grass and life...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ok, they say we learn something new every day, and I just learned today's lesson outside.

For weeks the grass growing between the corrugations of the fence has driven me crazy, cos I knew I was going to have to get down on my hands and knees and trim it using some small garden clippers, which are the only things able to do the job.

Did I do it? No. Was I happy about not doing it? No.

So, yesterday came the crunch. I decided it was making the entire yard look untidy so I had to make a start. I decided half yesterday, half today was manageable, cos I'd have to do it all kneeling down, almost prostrate on the ground in order to be able to see and clip the runners of the grass growing up behind the bottom railing. Due to OA in both knees, I have trouble kneeling, so better to do it over two days and be able to walk normally afterwards.

Yesterday I did the first half, about 50 feet. Following that I went for a walk to get my knees (and the rest of my legs) working as they should. Today I finished the second half of the fence.

How did I feel each day, knowing I'd done what I set out to achieve? Great! Was I sore and aching? Yes, somewhat. Was there any justification for delaying trimming it for as long as I had? No.

Seems to me its all too easy to get bogged down in the negative aspects of any challenge that comes our way, rather than focusing on the positive aspects, especially the great feeling of satisfaction we get from tackling something, not giving in when the going gets a little hard, and from being able to walk away when its finally over, and looking back at what has been achieved simply through effort and determination not to quit.

Just hope I remember that next time I'm faced with some sort of challenge...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 2/20/2011 8:50PM

    I have been known to waste a considerable amount of time thinking about what I need to do instead of just doing it!! I'm getting better about just doing it.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACROSONIC 2/20/2011 4:28PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRISHP1961 2/20/2011 2:02PM

    Stay on the sunny side, always on the sunny side. Stay on the sunny side of life!

Good job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 2/20/2011 12:28PM

    Way to go my friend

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIZZSB 2/20/2011 5:58AM

    great job Chris!


Report Inappropriate Comment
EJOK170 2/20/2011 12:05AM

    Chris,
So true! Yes, I will try to look to the positive side of any challenge. Thanks for the post.

Report Inappropriate Comment


Day 1 of my second 5% Weight loss Challenge...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Well, after the motivation of the last 5% Challenge getting my scales moving downward, and maintaining the momentum since, today marks the first day of this my second Challenge.

What are my expectations? Of myself, to eat wisely and well, to exercise regularly, to report daily, to support and encourage others. Of fellow Spirited Underdogs team members and other teams' members - to keep the momentum up, to work as hard as possible to achieve their goals, and to put in the effort required to help our/their teams up there in the Challenge board top 3 teams.

My goals? Personal - To do everything according to Spark principles to achieve goal weight by the end of this 8 week Challenge. Other participants - exactly the same - to achieve their 5% or other goal weight via exercise, nutrition.

Reasons? I want to have completed my weight loss journey, to know that I have the power within me to achieve anything if I dedicate myself to finding the way that works best for me, and continuing to do so even when I am not finding the going easy. I want to look good for my daughter's wedding in March, only a few weeks to go. Last time my sister and eldest daughter saw me I was overweight. looked decidedly unwell, could hardly move due to arthritis, was depressed and didn't care at all what I looked like.

These next few weeks will be the icing on the cake, and I will prove to myself that no matter the depths we have to struggle up from, it is possible to find our way to the surface, bask in the glory of the sunshine of renewed self-confidence and self-love. Those two things were missing in my life for so long, but now they are back in full force.

UPDATE - I just weighed myself after posting this blog, and after losing another 2 pound this week I only need to lose 8 pound to reach my goal weight - 8 weeks, 8 pounds.... seems this was meant to be, doesn't it?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJOK170 2/20/2011 12:02AM

    Wow. Really impressive Chris. You go girl. Also thanks for inspiring words on my blog today. I will look to you for inspiration!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YMMATTAMMY 2/19/2011 11:17AM

    FANTASTIC Chris!! That weight loss is AWESOME! Keep up the good work, and keep your eyes on the prize... that focus will get you where you want to be when you want to be there! If there is anything I can do to help never hesitate to ask!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KINSBAILE 2/19/2011 10:40AM

    You're awesome, we are so going to rock this challenge!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEATING1 2/19/2011 8:02AM

    Great job and awesome blog. Good luck with this challenge!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 2/18/2011 9:07PM

    Way to go Chris

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYANNGI 2/18/2011 7:47PM

    You are totally incredible lady. My role model! Great blog by the way! Can't post mine until tomorrow though. I can't wait to get started.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SILLYHP1953 2/18/2011 7:46PM

    Yes, it was meant to be and it will be. That challenge sounds good but I have not been good at all lately when it comes to challenges. They don't seem to have any motivation for me. Being warm outside today did cause me to walk a mile.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACROSONIC 2/18/2011 6:48PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Last Page