Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I quit!


No, not this blog, not exercising, just trying to come up with cute phrases for every single exercise log entry.

25 minutes or so of walking. The plan was to set the timer on my iPod for 13 minutes and walk, and turn around when the timer went off and walk back. Either the armband was doing something to the iPod, or I touched the screen unintentionally, but it didn't go off. I think I walked a little over 3 km. Forgot to check end heart rate.

My schedule will not let me devote more than half an hour a day to exercise itself, so pretty soon I will have to either do something to make walking more strenuous, or stop walking and start running. Hopefully I will figure out what I want to do by next week. If I want to run, I need decent running shoes. Or I probably could make walking more strenuous by wearing toning shoes like these.

Either way, new shoes are in order. My only pair of sneakers were bought in a different millennium.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Not stopping


I'm probably going to run out of cute phrases for my exercise logs soon...

Pilates. Apparently a good Pilates session lasts at least half an hour. The one on my DVD is something like 13 minutes...

30 crunches

6 (bad) pikeups

15 pushups

60 squats

I just realized I forgot my backward pushups. Excuse me.

12 backward pushups. There. (And that's the only thing I did more than yesterday...)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Still keeping it up

Mada tsuduiteru

I haven't been out walking because...well, I'm going to blame the weather, even though part of it is lack of motivation. So I got up this morning and I was going to (yeah, that's what they all say) but it was raining, so I stayed in and did

Pilates flow

6 pikeups

30 crunches

15 pushups

60 squats

11 backwards pushups

even though it is supposed to be better to do strength training at night. But strength training at six in the morning is a world apart from no strength training at all. So there.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Boxed lunch


I make lunch once a year, for the annual Pumpkin Daycare field trip to the Safari Park. I spent the week pondering how I would do this, and got up this morning half an hour earlier than usual to make these.

For the Pumpkin Princess, Sugar Bunnies. She voiced her approval during a sneak preview before breakfast.

For the Pumpkin Prince, Anpanman

The faces are egg, ham, and a carrot slice. For the eyes/ eyebrows/ noses/ mouths, I used special punches to cut nori (dried seaweed sheets).

The egg was a little dry, which meant that nori did not stick to it as well as it did to rice or ham. The Pumpkin Princess burst out laughing when she opened her box at lunchtime because the nose and mouth of the rabbit were stuck to the top...

The grownups just got everything tossed into 3 tupperwares :P

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keeping it up


May 24th
20 crunches
6 pikeups
14 pushups
11 backward pushups
55 squats

Note randomness of numbers, and how obvious it is that I just wanted to be able to say I did more than last time...

May 25th

20 min walking (Cross Walker) max HR 124

HR not as high as before, maybe I am getting used to this?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Formal dress


The dress code for the party was "formal." So we all compared notes and decided it would be a good time to wear kimonos. As a married woman, for most formal occasions, I wear what is called a "houmongi," or "visiting dress." It's a kimono with standard length sleeves, and a large pattern that is either dyed or embroidered (tradition dictates that formal kimonos have large printed or embroidered patterns. Small printed patterns and woven patterns are considered less formal, even though they sometimes are more expensive. I guess it's like a JCrew cocktail dress being more affordable than a pair of Chanel jeans).

Of course, I do not own a houmongi (or a small print kimono or a woven pattern kimono, or for that matter, a JCrew cocktail dress or Chanel jeans), so I rented one. And I did not know how to dress myself in it, so I went to my trusty hairdresser (some Japanese hairdressers are also licensed kimono dressers). She did my hair and makeup, and then padded me in towels and gauze until I was the right shape (the design of the kimono is such that you want to be as cylindrical as possible) and then proceeded to strangle me dress me in my (OK, the dress shop's) beautiful kimono.

The sash, or obi is just as important, if not more so, than the kimono. The best are pure silk, and are frequently more expensive than the kimono. The way it is tied reflects your age social status. This plain flat tie shows I am an married lady.

Hair is always done up, although these days, most people (including me) get it done the way you would do for evening dresses.

Please don't ask me how I'm supposed to go to the toilet in this thing. Fortunately nor not, I didn't need to.

Move (exercise)

Karada wo ugokasu

Movement log for May 22nd

"Flow" portion of beginners' Pilates DVD

14 pushups

10 backwards pushups (using piano bench)

20 crunches

5 pike-ups (done very poorly, but oh well)

53 squats

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The first step

Hajime no ippo

I don't know if I have done it here, but I have used my hectic schedule as my reason for not getting any exercise. Then I was reminded that a woman I used to work with started running seriously at age 40 and now runs full marathons on a fairly regular basis.

No, I do not have delusions of grandeur of running a full marathon anytime soon, but I started thinking, if she can make time to run 5 km every weekday morning, shouldn't I be able to make time to walk 20 minutes 3 times a week?

So, I tried, and it worked, sort of, when I can get the motivation to do so. Then the Pumpkin Daddy left us for a week (no, we are not separating, he went to do volunteer work in a part of Fukushima hit by the tsunamis. ) and I was wary to leave the house devoid of adults. But he's back now, so I'm out of excuses again.


May 19th: 20 minutes brisk walking, end heart rate 134 bpm

May 21st: Same as above, 130 bpm, wearing "Cross Walker," which is a tummy/ rear/ thigh shaper that claims to work your thighs so that they become toned by just walking throughout the day

Also, not walking, but I did the "flow" part of the beginners Pilates DVD I bought 4 years ago on Tuesday night.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A man's job

Otoko no shigoto

At the Pumpkin Palace, cleaning the bath is a man's job. It's a challenging job which requires years of training to learn to do properly.

.That's why it's best to start early.

You missed a spot...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

(She) doesn't miss much!

Yoku mite iru!
I have conjunctivitis. Viral, bacterial or allergic, I am not sure (and neither is the ophthalmologist I saw this morning. And while Japanese medical care does have its drawbacks, I am not going to complain about how I woke up on a Sunday morning with an eye puffed out so badly and stuck together so tightly it could not be opened without using my fingers, and was seen by an ophthalmologist, prescribed medication, and left the pharmacy with said medication in my hand by 11 a.m. the same morning, and only about 4000 yen, or $50, poorer for my trouble). This morning, I could not get my left eye open without using my fingers. It's slightly better now, after 2 doses of oral antibiotics and eye drops, but not much. I'll figure out what to do next after a good night's sleep. In the meantime, I will not let this get me down. Actually, it is getting me down, but it won't take me down without a fight. Or something. Anyway, I'm going to be bright and cheerful and upbeat for my internet friends, imaginary or otherwise.

We went to the 2 local malls to see the Pumpkin Princess's Mothers' Day pictures.

You may recall this image from last year.


I am still not sure what the pink circle over my head is. I have received suggestions that it is a halo. The artist said it was my ponytail holder.

This year, we have this

and this.

Can you see I'm wearing glasses in both pictures? And can you make out the necklace with white flowers on it the Pumpkin Daddy got me for White Day in the bottom picture?

In (somewhat) quake related news (of course you knew I had to say something about the quake in this post), the Pumpkin Family planted bitter melon in containers

and the Pumpkin Daddy hung gardening net in front of the patio door. The idea is to get the plants to grow in front of the patio door, creating a green curtain that will make shade in summer (and help us put a dent in the amount of electricity used by the AC). We made the choice of bitter melon because of its robust, large leaves (as opposed to something like morning glory) and its disease resistance (as opposed to something like cucumber).

That's all 151 cm (4' 11" 1/2 or thereabouts) of me you see in the photo, so you can see how ambitious (and also potentially effective) this plan is.

There's only one container in the photo, but a couple days later, we added another one just like it on the left hand side of the patio.

Of course, the potential drawback is the possibility of a big bitter melon harvest. Anyone know any good bitter melon recipes (other than Okinawa-style stir fry with tofu and egg?)