September 30, 2011


I took this picture on my way to work the other day. Such a beautiful fall morning. It makes me want to play hooky even more then usual and go hiking or walk the dogs or sit in the sun, drink coffee and knit.

I love fall.

September 29, 2011

Almost Ovals, Finally Progress.

I started working on Almost Ovals a few weeks ago but got sidetracked by working on Larch. But I decided that I wanted a more dense fabric then one strand of lace weight yarn could make so I ripped out what I had done, which was less then one repeat of the pattern. I wound a second skein of yarn and cast on again with the yarn held double.

I finished two repeats of the pattern and decided to faux block it to get a good look at the fabric and the pattern.

I love the pattern even more now then I did before. It's so beautiful.

Unblocked...U.G.L.Y. I hate the way lace is so ugly before you block it. I keep pulling the the fabric out to look at it over and over again.

I love the fall light right now. It's so soft and beautiful.

When the light is like this, I want to take pictures all day long.

September 28, 2011

Shalder is done!

The buttons are one and I've worn it...and I love it sooooo much. Still need to get pictures wearing it.

Love the toggle buttons!

September 27, 2011


Racing helps keep my running fresh for me. So I signed up for Oktobrewfest over the river in Davis. I can't wait for this race. It's October 8 and it is an evening race which will be new for me. I'm used to running in the morning. But more importantly Hubbs will be running this race with me. I'm not sure he's going to make it since he hasn't had any training at all and every time I ask if he wants to run with me he turns me down. The race is only a 5k so I'm sure he'll be able to do it even if he has to walk a bit (no shame in that, I've done it). Honestly, I think without the training he'll still get a better time then I will! lol Thankfully, while I am competitive, I only race against my last time trying for a new PR.

But what I'm really looking forward to is after the race. I bought food and drink tickets for after! There's going to be beer (of course, it's Oktobrewfest after all) and lots of yummy food. They also have costume judging and bratwurst eating contests! I can't wait! It's going to be so much fun!

September 26, 2011

Book# 74 of 2011...

Rise Again, A Zombie Thriller by Ben Tripp


And a warning that would come all too late . . .

Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun—starting with what might very well be the end of the world. Danny thought she had seen humanity at its worst in war-torn Iraq, but nothing could prepare her for the remorseless struggle to survive in a dying world being overrun by the reanimated dead and men turned monster. Obsessed with finding her missing sister against all odds, Danny’s epic and dangerous journey across the California desert will challenge her spirit . . . and bring her to the precipice of sanity itself. . . .

Filled with adventurous human drama—and shocking inhuman horror—Rise Again marks a vivid and powerful fiction debut.

My take:

3 out of 4 stars. A thriller for sure but I didn't love the end.

September 25, 2011

Time for a New Training Plan...

I officially finished my Bridge to 10k training last Sunday. I could have finished it sooner but I didn’t like how the last week had you jumping up additional minutes of running time every day instead of once as week so I took extra time to run Week 5, Day 1-3 a few times each to get used to running those additional minutes before moving on to the new time.

Since then I’ve been running for 60 minutes on each of my run days. It’s taking me about 75 minutes to run 10k and I’m not sure that I care that much about picking up my pace. I’d like to run it faster but I think I want to start thinking ahead to begin training for a half more then I want to run faster.

I’m planning on continuing to run 10k 3 times a week until October. In October I have to switch my work hours and will be working a later shift. So I’ll be able to run in the mornings every day that I want to train during the week instead of just 2 days a week during the work week with runs on the weekend when I feel like it.

Picking a training plan is so hard! There are so many out there and I just don’t know what to chose. I’ve had recommendations for the Jeff Galloway plan, Runner’s World Smart Coach and Hal Higdon’s plan. But how do you choose? I’m thinking of printing out the training plans and doing a comparison. Hopefully this will get me a step closer to making a decision. I still have a week before my work schedule changes and I’d like to have at least some idea of how I want to proceed before October 1.

September 24, 2011

Have you seen Sugarbunny Yarn from Knitpicks?

I came across Sugarbunny doing the thing I know I shouldn't be doing...yarn shopping on line. I know I should stay away from yarn shopping but I figured it wouldn't hurt to take a peek at Knitpicks to see what's new. Little did I know...Sugarbunny.

It looks so soft and cozy and beautiful. I just want to order it all, make a pile on my bed and burrow in for the winter. deep and beautiful.

Sea Spray, cool and inviting.

Even the gray of Hawk is just lovely.

And Potion...what can I say? I want a couple dozen skeins of this!!!!

So after I envisioned a beautiful worsted weight sweater perfect for cooler fall temperatures I remembered...Angora makes me itch. Not just an occasional scratch like wool but itch like my skin is on fire and the only way to put it out is by scratching until I don't have skin left. And the itch doesn't go away because I take the garment off, oh no, it lasts for a few days afterward! And it leaves my very pale skin blotchy and red for days.

Some times life is so unfair.

September 23, 2011

Book# 73 of 2011...

Lockdown (Escape from Furnace) by Alexander Gordon Smith


Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars, I really enjoyed it but didn't totally love it. The worst part of the whole book is when (spoiler alert) Alex jumps into the underground river and the book ends. Ugh!!! Suspense! It's killing me. But based on the fact that the next book in the series is called Solitary I'm going to guess they don't make it to freedom. But I still want to read it to find out.

September 22, 2011

Ya think?!

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
— Lousia May Alcott

So true but let's be honest, I'm pretty sure my brain was turned long before I started reading so much!

September 21, 2011

Book# 72 of 2011...

Death & Decay by Jonathan Maberry


Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. The average rating for this book is 4.56 stars and it was good but I didn't love it. I would have liked a little more depth in Liliah then the author gave in this book but I'm sure that the next book in the series (which I do intend to read) will hopefully go more into her character and less into Nix. It doesn't look like the next book is out yet so I guess I'll just have to wait and see what's going to happen.

September 20, 2011

Book# 71 of 2011...

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.

My take:
4 out of 5 stars. I hope there is a sequal to this book. I'm intrested in finding out what happens to Stephen.

September 19, 2011

Have You Seen This?

Have you seen this new Goldfish Sandwich bread? I know that I'm 35 but I totally want a goldfish shaped sandwich!

September 15, 2011


Shalder is blocking! Love the waist shaping.
Yoke with lace.

Detail of lace on yoke.

Pocket detail

I love this sweater. I can't wait for it to be dry so I can wear it. Of course I need to get buttons first.

September 14, 2011

Book# 69 of 2011...

The Help by Kathryn Stockett


Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

My take:

5 out of 5 stars.

My family is from the south. My Mom was born on the west coast and raised mostly in the south in the 60's. When my great aunt passed away last year she had live in help, a beautiful black lady named Lala. This book as made me think about her a lot and I realized that I never learned her Christian name.

September 13, 2011

Book# 68 for 2011...

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban


A brilliant, unique, and completely realized work of fiction, "Riddley Walker"--first published in 1980--is set in a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England (Inland), where humanity has regressed to an iron-age, semi-literate state, represented by a language created especially by Hoban for the book.

My take:

1 out of 5 stars. I didn't read much of this book. The phonetic spelling that the author chose to write this book in made it really hard for me to read it. I get that it's supposed to be the first written word in 100's of years but I just couldn't get into the story because I spent so much time trying to figure out what each and every word was supposed to be. I gave up after about 60 pages of trying to muddle through.

This book is on the list for my 50 book challenge but since I finished the challenge on the book I posted about yesterday, I didn't really feel like bothering to try to force myself to keep reading a book that I just wasn't enjoying. Ah the joys of a library book...don't like, return it and check out a new book. No money outta pocket (not counting the property taxes I pay to support this type of public service).

September 12, 2011

9/11 Memorial 5k

Yesterday morning to memorialize the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I ran the 9/11 Memorial 5k in Sacramento. It was a perfect day for a run, the sky was overcast and there was a cool wind blowing. The temps were in the low 70's.

There were over 3000 race participants. It was an enormous race.

I wore my hot pink running skirt and a white top. My race number was 1030.

After the race each participant was handed an American flag to place next to the name of a first responder that died in the line of duty on 9/11. I placed mine next to the name George Lopez. I didn't know him but we share a last name. It was a very touching scene.

It was amazing to see all these people coming together for the same thing.

Unlike when I ran the 5k Foot Pursuit in June, I ran this race all the way through. I finished in 31:57, 103 in my age group and my pace was 10:18. Not bad at all. I was super happy with the results. I didn't train as hard as I would have liked to for this race but sometimes life is like that.

September 11, 2011

Book#50 of the 50 Book Challenge

The Enemy by Charlie Higson


As the days pass, the situation has gone from frightening to terrifying. Kids are being picked off the streets; the barricaded teens are surrounded by flesh-eating zombie adults. When a mysterious traveler arrives with an offer of refuge in London's Buckingham Palace, they realize that they have no other option. What they can not yet understand is that their intense challenges will not end with their harrowing trip... Another hard-pulsing teen thriller by the author of the Young Bond series.

My Take:

5 out of 5 stars. Good, quick read. Lots of action and a cliff hanging ending.

September 10, 2011

9/11 Memorial 5k

Tomorrow is the 9/11 Memorial 5k run that I signed up for a couple of months ago. I'm not nervous about the race but I don't feel like I've trained enough for this race. I'm still working on my 10k training but it's been a bit sporatic and honestly only 2 days a week for the most part. Not really the kind of effort that I know I should be putting into it. However as of Tuesday, I'm running 51 minuets without stopping, so I have that going for me.

Last update from Fleet Feet had the participent numbers at over 2500for this race. That's more then double what was in the 5k Foot Pursuit that I ran in June. I'm planning on beating my last race time of 33:42 but with that many people on the course I may have a hard time of it just based on the number of people in the race. However, only time will tell and I will be doing my best to beat my old time.

September 9, 2011

Larch is blocking!

I finally got around to blocking Larch.
I love the detail around the cuff and hem of this sweater. I can't wait to get it seamed together so I can move on to the collar and wear it this fall.

September 8, 2011

A New Toy...Sort of

My washing machine finally bit the dust the other day. A couple of months ago we called a repair guy out to look at my old front loader and were give an estimate of $800 for repair and a suggestion that we just buy a new one since a new machine would be cheaper then fixing the old one.

We decided to buy a new machine but just keep running the old one until it finally died before purchasing a new one. I got top loader this time instead of a front loader. This sucker has such a huge tub that I washed about 2 dozen towels at once. It was almost too much for the dryer to handle. But I love my new machine, it's quite and so easy. I love new toys.

September 7, 2011

Book# 49 of the 50 Book Challenge

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist


Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm. There's a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up... What do they want? What everybody wants: to come home. 'Handling the Undead' is a story about our greatest fear and about a love that defies death.

My Take:

3 out of 5 Stars. It was a decent story but it just petered out at the end, no real wrap up.

September 6, 2011

I thought you weren't supposed to labor on labor day...

But it seems like I spent most of my labor day weekend doing chores. I scrubbed floors on my hands and knees and washed dogs among other things...

Poor wet Dixie
I think Rex is almost drowned!

September 5, 2011

A New Book!

A few months ago, fellow Blogger Gertie (she blogs at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing) posted that her husband had written a book and it was being published. Being that the book is about what happens after the end of the world, I hauled tushy over to Amazon and pre-ordered it. Gerties husband, Jeff Hirsch posted a guest post on her blog about the book (find it here). I'm really excited about the book and I can't wait to get some time to sit down and read it. It fits in with all the books I've been reading and the general genre of post-apocalyptic that I seem to be in love with lately.

Congratulations to both Jeff and Gertie on the new book! I'm sure it will be a huge success!

September 4, 2011

Book# 48 of the 50 Book

Divergent by Veronica Roth


Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

My take:

5 out of 5 stars. Excellent book. It only took me two days to read this book, I couldn't put it down. I requested this months ago from the library and was on a hold list so long that you couldn't see where it ended to get this book. After reading it, I know why the hold list was so long. Lots of action, adventure, mystery and just a touch of romance for the teenager in all of us. Good book.

I can't believe that I'm almost to the end of this challenge. 2 books to go. I'm starting to look forward to reading whatever I want...not that I haven't been in addition to the books in my challenge. But it will be nice to request whatever catches my fancy.

September 3, 2011

A broken Rule and a New WIP

For the first time this year...I have more then 4 Works In Progress. Insert menacing music here. I have 5, count them, 5 WIPs. Run!!! I'm pretty sure that its one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse. Or at least a sign that I need to finish up a couple of projects that have been languishing (I'm looking at you, Larch and Lacy Leaf Satchel) or maybe frog and re-purpose the yarn (Central Park Hoodie).

But in being true to myself I had to have a new project to take on vacation with last weekend. I can't help it. The thought of being at the beach with nothing to knit makes me stir crazy. I like going to the beach and hanging out with Hubbs and our friends but I can't just sit, I need something to do and still be social. Enter Shalder by Gudrun Johnston.

Stockinette body, circular yoke, seamless construction ...perfect vacation knitting. Nothing too strenuous and nothing too boring.

Beautiful lace yoke

Interesting I-cord bind off or something. Not sure about that part. I've never done one before.

Love the pockets.

Super cute.

I ordered my yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool last week before we left. I had high hopes that it would arrive before we left and it did. Jimmy Beans is so fast! I love them! I ordered Bamboo Ewe by Debbie Stroller. I've used this yarn before for my Lacy Leaf Satchel and I loved it. However that being said I'm less then thrilled with one of the skeins that I received. No fault of Jimmy Beans, but one of the skeins of yarn had at least 3 separate joins in it, big knots. I kept having to cut them out and then rejoin the yarn to my fabric. Not really that big of deal but it was annoying. So far I have only experienced this with only one of the skeins.

September 2, 2011

Book# 47 of the 50 Book Challenge

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry


In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book. Lots of action and it totally set it up for the next book, Dust and Decay. I've already requested it from the library!

September 1, 2011

Book# 46 of the 50 Book Challenge

Patriots by James Wesley, Rawles

"Part novel, part survivalist-handbook, Patriots tells of a small group of friends facing every American's worst nightmare - the total collapse of society. The stock market plummets and hyperinflation cripples commerce and then a seemingly isolated financial crisis passes the tipping point when an unprepared government fails to act. Practically overnight, the fragile ...more"Part novel, part survivalist-handbook, Patriots tells of a small group of friends facing every American's worst nightmare - the total collapse of society. The stock market plummets and hyperinflation cripples commerce and then a seemingly isolated financial crisis passes the tipping point when an unprepared government fails to act. Practically overnight, the fragile institutions of democracy fall apart and every American is forced to survive on their own." Evading mobs of desperate, out-of-control citizens who have turned Chicago into a wasteland of looting and mayhem, this novel's protagonists make their way to a shared secure ranch in the wilds of northern Idaho. Here the survival-driven group fends off vicious attacks from the outside and eventually assists in restoring order to the country. The compelling, fast-paced action-adventure novel has readers jotting notes and referencing the book's impressive index for informative survivalist tips on everything from setting up a secure shelter to treating traumatic flesh wounds.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. It was a good book but I found it interesting that the author seems to think that all the good guys will be christian after the fall. Over all I liked the book but I could have done without the, what seemed to me, forced religious lessons.