07 December 2006

Meet Ralph

Ralph is our Christmas tree this year. Beautiful, ain’t he? Also very high maintenance. We put Ralph up in our living room on Monday night and filled him up with water with plans to decorate Tuesday night. Tuesday evening, less than 24 hours from the first watering, the base was completely dry, all the water sucked up. Not a drop was stirring. I put more water in. No luck. The tree had sapped up. Wednesday night, we took old Ralphie out of the base, laid him down, and sawed off about an inch or so, maybe two inches, from the bottom, put back up, filled him back up, and set out to decorating. So now we have a beautiful, full, and decorated Christmas tree. Ralph. And he took a sip of water overnight. Just a sip.
All blue lights. Yup. Tried something new this year. And you know what? I like it!
Footnote on the Christmas stake stake-out (Erin’s pun): forgot to take pictures. Sorry. Today I had to go back to Elliot’s to get more stakes. Can I just tell you that I love this place? You walk in the door and are greeted by a group of older men who can’t wait to help you. Not like the Wal-Mart model: can I help you? Oh, no, we don’t have that. You don’t have paper? Anywhere in the store? No, we don’t carry that. Yes, folks, that is their standard answer. Drives me crazy. But back to Elliot’s. They have all sorts of odds and ends. Tea pots, slinkies, and sleds. (Sleds in Texas? Who knows.) So I asked if they have jump ropes. No, ma’am, but we’ll be happy to make one for you. And make one they did! Love this place!
So, yes, Jeanne, it’s too cold to run, so I want to start jump-roping rather than getting flabby, but I need tips. I haven’t jumped a rope since I was a wee little girl (no comments, from the peanut gallery, thank you – what are the guys names in the Muppets that always made the snide remarks? Loved those guys.). Any suggestions, Jeanne?


Jeanne Damoff said...

Wow! Heather wants my advice. How fun is that?

I've been jumping rope for exercise since my kids were little, because I needed something I could do without leaving the house. I also like the fact you can take a jump rope anywhere when you travel.

Tips? I jump by the clock. 30 minutes. I actually count skips in my head, but I've been doing it so long, my mind can wander all over creation while counting skips. In fact, when I hit roadblocks in writing, I do a lot of my best problem solving while skippity skipping. So, this is my routine: 120 speed skips double-footed forward; 120 jogging skips, lifting my knees up in front; 120 more double-footed speed skips; 120 jogging, kicking my feet out behind (knees stay low); then 120 double-footed backward speed skips. That's one set, and it takes between four and five minutes. I pause long enough to sip some water, then repeat that process until 30 minutes have passed--roughly seven sets of 600 skips.

Before jumping rope I warm up for 10-15 minutes--stretching, then doing a couple of light aerobic exercises. I don't know what your current endurance level is, but don't be discouraged if you can't jump for 30 minutes right off the bat. I've always been athletic, and I had to work up to it.

Partly because I'm a choreographer, and partly because I love dancing, after jumping I dance for 30 minutes: clogging, hip-hop, and then line dancing to cool down. Then I do upper body weights, abs, and other toning exercises. The whole work out takes almost 2 hours. I do it three times a week.

That may be more than you wanted to know. :)

How cool that the guys at Elliot's made a jump rope for you! I just ordered a half dozen speed ropes from jumprope.com. I tend to wear them out, and finding what I want in a store has always been a challenge.

Ralph is dreamy. Enjoy his blazing blue glory. Oh, and one more thing. Please send me your mailing address. damoffj at yahoo.

Happy skipping!

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Those two guys in the balcony remind me of Snyder and Mikesell. My pretzel guys. LOL

Ralph is just gorgeous.

L.L. Barkat said...

I guess the sleds are a form of faith?

Pamela said...

I've never named a Christmas tree. It is too hard to part with them to begin with.
You undress them , and throw them out for the Boy Scouts to come and haul away.

booo hooo... and I'd have to cry cuz it was Ralph.

Erin said...

I learned last year that Maryland has no naturally occuring lakes in the entire state. They're all man made.
So in an effort to create hiding holes and lurking grounds for all the (stocked) fish in those man made lakes, the state of Maryland's Christmas tree recycling program dumps them into the lakes to "create" an artificial reef.

Nifty idea to solve the overpopulation of Ralph's, Belinda's, Chester's, and Chris S. Tree's, when they begin getting dry and crispy.

Gina said...

Heather, you flabby? Ha! I'm trying to figure out when to exercise myself. Since homeschooling, (and not being an early riser) I can't seem to be consistent. I've tried the video tapes, but with kids bouncing all around, I get stressed out and can't get my heartrate up enough for it to be worth it.

Jogging and jumping rope is just too boring to me. I like to multitask and use an elliptical at the gym while I'm reading. But alas, I can't fit in the drive time to the gym...excuses, excuses, I know!

I told hubby I want an exercise machine for Christmas! He told me to just go buy bigger jeans. I threatened to gain a lot of weight just to get my machine, and that got him thinking sereious about my request. :)

Probably too much info, but I've got to drop Edmund off in Narnia. TTFN!

Robin said...

I am freakin' amazed at Jeanne's exercise routine...sounds like you knew who to ask for advice!

Our tree would be named Charlie if we named our trees...He's skinny. I like fat Christmas trees. Bummin', but not about to plunk down another wad of cash to replace him. Blue lights, a nice touch. I tried red a few years ago, for no other reason than to rebel against white, and our home looked like a house of ill repute...I went back to the white quickly;).