Piper and the lions

It has gotten very chilly here in Seattle!  Our temperatures were in the 70’s and very suddenly they dropped down to the low 50’s during the day and the 40’s at night.  It has definitely been cold!

Fortunately this weekend the weather warmed up considerably.  It was great timing because I really needed to clear out all of the old, dead plants from my garden and get my winter crop planted.  My friend from work who gave me seeds this spring for my garden gave me more seeds this fall.  If this keeps up, I may never need to buy my own seeds and might be fine just using his overflow seeds.  It took me about half an hour to clear out all the old plants, but I kept the lacinato and curly kale because they were actually still alive and growing.  Our rosemary tree is flourishing like crazy.  It’s a little out-of-control actually.  I pruned it back, and now whenever I open our refrigerator door I’m greeted by a strong rush of rosemary scent.  I love it!  🙂

Mike and I started our 90-day P90X workout plan Monday.  It’s strange.  I’m used to working out regularly, but I was still expecting to be suffering because P90X is supposed to be SO extreme.  Mike was expecting to suffer just because he hasn’t worked out regularly in awhile.  So, what were our first impressions?

So, let’s start with the first DVD – Chest and Back.  It was hard.  Very hard.  But not hard in a doable way.  Hard in a ‘I can’t possibly do pushups and pullups for fifty minutes’ kind of hard.  In a way, this was probably discouraging.  Typically when I do a hard workout I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end.  I didn’t feel that after this workout, because I wasn’t able to accomplish most of the exercises without a lot of help.  Mike and I made it all the way to the end of the workout, but we were using a chair to assist us in the pullups and we were on our knees during most of the pushups after the first couple of sets.  Also, there were lots of water breaks during the workout, so it definitely didn’t get my heart rate up.  Since I’m used to interval training and a lot of cardio, I didn’t even break a sweat during the workout.  Mike did, but it was still kind of unsatisfying since we were doing modified versions of the exercises so often.  Bottom line: Mike and I were sore the day after, but not as sore as I would have expected after a P90X workout.  However, that was just the first DVD.

The second workout was plyometrics (i.e. interval/jump training).  This was right up my alley after all the Jillian Michaels workouts I’ve been doing this summer, so it was extremely doable for me.  Mike agreed that it was much easier than the first one.

Our third workout was arms and shoulders which, again, we both agreed was extremely doable.  (Granted we were using weights a lot lighter than the 35lbs the lead trainer was lifting!).

Day four was yoga, which was amazing for Mike!  His back and neck have been noticeably less tense and he’s been less headachy ever since  the yoga workout.  I think Mike is a fan of yoga now!  Day five was legs and back.  Again, challenging but not undoable.  We had a lot of pullups in this workout as well, but I think we’re getting more acclimated to doing the assisted versions of them so that’s going well.  Day 6 was kickboxing which was just FUN!  Throwing punches, kicks, uppercuts… lots of old-school boxing moves.  We got one day off, and tomorrow we repeat the whole series again next week.  One week down, 12 to go.  (When I put it in that perspective, it seems like we have SO far to go!).

Unfortunately for the past week and a half I have not been motivated to cook.  At all.  Pretty much ever since I made the eggplant stew that neither Mike nor I liked.  I don’t know whether it was just really demotivating to make something that neither Mike nor I cared for, or if I’m just running out of steam because of all of the CSA veggies I keep getting.  🙂  Because of that, I reluctantly bought some beef to make up into a stir-fry last weekend, but didn’t actually make a stir fry.  Then Tuesday night at 8:30pm after the P90X workout, I got mysteriously motivated (probably by the fact that I had just picked up ANOTHER CSA load and knew I had to start using the veggies I already had) and made mongolian beef.  It smelled really good!  Just like stir fry should.  Mike liked it, but really he enjoys stews and potpies the most.  I also got motivated enough to chop up two heads of cauliflower and made cauliflower soup this morning from this book of veggie soups.  The book has some editing issues in it.  For instance in the cauliflower soup recipe one of the steps listed adding the cilantro, but the list of ingredients didn’t contain cilantro anywhere in it.  I still don’t know whether it was supposed to have cilantro, but I didn’t add any.  However, for three dollars, it has a lot of great, easy vegetable soups so I’m willing to overlook cilantro ambiguity.

Mike got the Wii up and running again now that we have a TV so I have been doing a lot of Wii Fit (basically exercise disguised as a video game).  I also bought a zumba game for the Wii, so I’ve been doing that too (basically exercise combined with dance disguised as a video game).  Mike has already commented on how much better my dancing is getting as a result of that zumba game, so apparently I’m making progress.  🙂  Piper loves hanging out with me while I play the Wii.  She finds a sunny spot and chills while she watches me.

Piper in the sun watching Wii Zumba

Piper in the sun watching Wii Zumba

It has been incredibly rainy lately.  Rainy to the point that there was actually a tornado touchdown south of Seattle in Tacoma last week.  Tornados in Seattle is a new one for me!  One of my friends at work said we rarely get tornados here because the mountains break up the wind.  Or something.  I didn’t quite understand what he was getting at.

TWO corgis came into the office one day last week!  Baxter and one of his friends Maggie Moose.  (Yes, her name is actually Maggie Moose.)  I mastered the art of synchronized treat throws so that they each caught their own treat in midair at the same time, thus ensuring that they didn’t get into a fight over the treats.  (With corgis, friendship is one thing, but treats trumps friendship every time.)  There was a LOT of cuteness going on with those two!  🙂

Baxter and Maggie Moose.  Yes, Maggie Moose is wearing a shark costume.  Long story.

Baxter and Maggie Moose. Yes, Maggie Moose is wearing an off-kilter shark costume. Long story.

I have also started looking up info for Mike’s and my trip to the British Isles this next spring.  This will be a little more complicated since we can’t just take a train the way we did in Italy.  (Surprisingly there are no train tracks across the Irish Sea.  Weird.  The British government should get right on that.)  So we’ll have to figure out what mixture of trains, planes, and automobiles we want for our transportation once we’re there.  (Actually buses, subways, and potentially bicycles should also be present in that list.)  I’m also starting to talk to Mike and get a list together of things we want to see while we’re there.  It’s already a lot easier to plan this trip than the Italy one because all of the websites are in English.

Mike and I bought the set of Planet Earth DVDs this weekend.  I seriously think that was the primary reason we bought the TV… to be able to watch Planet Earth and other nature shows.  Well, that and being able to use the Wii.  😉  We watched the Great Plains episode last night and Piper, who had been asleep on the back of the couch when we first started watching, woke up and stared at the screen with giant yellow eyes when she heard the animal noises.  The lions were her particular favorite (maybe she could recognize their sounds as being similar to hers?).  She watched with so much interest… she loved it!  It was fun for Mike and me to see her reaction and to feel like she was “watching” the show with us.  I think we’ll watch the Jungle episode tonight and see if she has the same response watching jaguars as she did watching lions.  🙂

With the cold weather lately, Piper has been loving our knitted afghan.  🙂

Piper on the afghan

Piper on the afghan

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend!  🙂


1 Comment

Filed under Animals, Apartments, Cooking, CSA, Food, Gardening, P90X, Pictures, Planet Earth, Rain

One response to “Piper and the lions

  1. Lia K

    Thanks for letting us know your first impressions regarding the P90X workout program. Geeze, I think I would’ve just died during the first DVD…pushups and pullups? I’ve never been able to do more than a few of those at a time. Good for you and Mike for finding ways to modify those a bit so you didn’t just give up! I much much prefer the kickboxing and yoga part. Keep us updated on everything the further you get into it!
    “Planet Earth” is incredible! I’ve seen each episode at least twice. Keifer is also a fan and he too “watches” the TV when he finds some of the animals and sounds curious. He likes the underwater ones the best or anything that has a bird in it. I have a feeling Mike will enjoy the one with the shot of the Great White Shark–you’ll know what I mean when you see it.;)

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