October 28, 2011

A Change in the Weather...

Despite this being the end of October we've been having very warm. It's been in the 80's every afternoon. But I guess October has finally decided to act like October instead of September.

45 degrees yesterday morning on my way to work. Brrr. And thank goodness, I'm ready for some cooler, fall like weather.

October 27, 2011

Ahead of Schedule.

You have read 89 books toward your goal of 100 books.

89 of 100 (89%)
Great work, you're 8 books (7%) ahead.

Woohoo! I'm 8 books ahead of schedule. I love being ahead of schedule!

October 26, 2011

Book #88 of 2011...

XVI by Julia Karr

From Goodreads.com:

Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world-even the most predatory of men-that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past-one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. Kinda the opposite of The Scarlet Letter in a way. Teenage girls encouraged to have sex without thinking the consequences of it. Of course the main character, Nina, doesn't go in for all that. She wants to hold on to her innocence, not the norm for girls her age. I didn't love the characters but I did love what the story is trying to teach us...don't let the government tell you what is right, follow your heart, Think for yourself.

October 25, 2011

Book #87 of 2011...

From Goodreads.com:

A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

My take:

3 out of 5 stars. I like the premise of the story in this book but the characters came off a bit flat for me. I never felt any real connection for either Lucy or Aidan. Not to mention that I saw the twist coming from a long way off in this book. It's not a terrible book but it's not a great book either.

October 24, 2011

My New Toy!

I've been searching for a Garmin 110 or a while but at over $200 I couldn't really justify buying it. But last week I finally found it online for $180 from Holabirdsports.com. I got free shipping so it didn't cost me anything extra. I'm hoping that this will help me find my stride in my training since I've been having trouble. Switching from running in the morning to the afternoons has been tough for me. It's hotter in the afternoon and I'm tired from working a long day. When I was running in the morning I was able to run 6 plus miles with no problem. But in the afternoons, I'm struggling to complete even 2 miles. Fingers crossed, this will help me.

October 23, 2011

Books# 85 & 86 of 2011

From Goodreads.com:

After crossing the Line, Rachel finds herself in a world where survival is never guaranteed - a world where bizarre creatures roam the woods and people have strange abilities. Everything has gone to ruin Away and the survivors have banded into warring clans. Rachel finds her father being held prisoner by a tribe of Others, and she and her new friends set out to rescue him. But when they cross back over the Line, Rachel and Pathik make a foolish decision, bringing them into further danger that can only be resolved with an unthinkable sacrifice.An adventure filled with life-and-death choices, dark conspiracies, and heart-poundingly suspenseful moments, this sequel delivers.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I really like this story. My only real complaint, as shallow as it might be, is that the books aren't long enough! You could have made one decent length book between this one and the first one with the next installment thrown in. Just when the story starts to get good, the books end. Too short.
The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell

From Goodreads.com:

Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I liked this one. Not your typical zombie book and it had an unusual ending. I would read this one again. Only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because it had some really slow parts and the fact that 20 years after the zombie apocalypse there were still abandoned places with the power still on. And cars that would start no problem. I just don't think it would happen that way. But otherwise, a good read.

October 22, 2011

Books 83 & 84 of 2011

From Goodreads.com
Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. For Eli, no amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary - and their sanity - Eli can't help but wonder if he's rather take his chances outside. Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe - or sorry?

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. Creepy. Read the book, it's creepy. And really sad.

From Goodreads.com:

Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

My take:

3 out of 5 stars. I liked the idea of this book more then I liked the actual book. The entire time I kept thinking, "Just go home. You haven't done anything wrong. Stupid kids." I don't think I'm going to search out the next book in the series. I just didn't enjoy it that much.

October 21, 2011

Book 81 & 82 of 2011

I've gotten a bit behind on reviewing the books I finished, so it's going to be two at a time to catch up. 3 posts of books vs. 6 posts of books sounds much better to me.

From Goodreads.com:

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human. Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

My Take:

5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book and was sad when it ended. I'm still wondering what happened to Tom and Ellie and are we going to see them again. Looking forward to reading the next book.

From Goodreads.com:

In her stunning novel, Hall imagines a new dystopia set in the not-too-distant future. England is in a state of environmental crisis and economic collapse. There has been a census, and all citizens have been herded into urban centers. Reproduction has become a lottery, with contraceptive coils fitted to every female of childbearing age. A girl who will become known only as "Sister" escapes the confines of her repressive marriage to find an isolated group of women living as "un-officials" in Carhullan, a remote northern farm, where she must find out whether she has it in herself to become a rebel fighter. Provocative and timely, Daughters of the North poses questions about the lengths women will go to resist their oppressors, and under what circumstances might an ordinary person become a terrorist.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. It was very The Handmaiden to me. But I loved that she left society to try for a better life for herself. Based on some of the reviews on Goodreads, I know that some people were a bit miffed by the fact that the main character had some lesbian feelings and that she acted on them. But I didn't find it off putting or out of the character of the story.

October 20, 2011

Christmas Knitting

It's getting to be that time of year where I need to think about my Christmas knitting. Normally this is one at the beginning of the year and worked all year long. But this year I didn't make any plans and barely knitted for myself. Not sure why but I just didn't knit like I did in 2010.

But that aside, it's time for me to start the Christmas knitting. I have Pyroclastic in the works for my grandmother and a second pair of socks planned for her as well. I'm planning to block Almost Ovals (I know it's been done for a month but I still haven't blocked it) and giving it to my mom. But I still need gifts for my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and my older sister. Not to mention something for my extra mom (I hate calling her stepmother, she's so much more then that) and my baby sister. Also I need something for my dad, my nephew and my father-in-law. I'm not sure if I'm going to knit for the men or not.

Here's what I'm thinking for my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. I didn't knit or sew for them last year and comments were made. Oops. For my mother-in-law I'm thinking Saroyan by Liz Abinante. It's a really beautiful scarf with an unusual leaf edging. It's been in my cure for a long time and I think this is a perfect opportunity to knit something that I've been wanting to knit but haven't got around to.

Photo by by Feministy

I love the leaf edging, makes a very wearable item so beautiful.

Photo by by Feministy

As far as choosing a color and a yarn for this project, I'm trying to keep things on the cheap side this year. Well, not so much cheap as inexpensive. I chose Knitpicks Merino Style in the colorway Storm. My mother-in-law is a blond with beautiful blue eyes, so this should be lovely on her.

For my sister-in-law I'm thinking of Lubov Scarf by Grumperina from the Brave New Knits book. I bought it a few weeks ago and haven't knit anything from it yet.

I love the lace work on this scarf. My sister-in-law has a big personality and I think this would look lovely on her.

I love the lace pattern and the fact that it's knit in one piece and not grafted in the middle.

I've chosen Stroll Glimmer from Knitpicks in the Runway colorway. My sister-in-law has a black pea coat that will really make this color pop.

Now that I've decided on at least two more gifts I have to find time to knit them.

October 19, 2011

Indian Grinding Rock State Park

Last Friday we went to Indian Grinding Rock State Park in Volcano California. I'd been wanting to go for a while and we finally took some time to do it.

The sheer number of holes in rocks was very impressive, especially when you start thinking about how long it must have taken the Native Americans to grind out those holes.

We had some rain last week so most of the holes were filled with water.

It was such a beautiful day.

They had a replica village and a round house that the local tribe uses for ceremonies.

We saw this awesome hawk in a huge oak tree.

The park was really awesome and totally worth the drive to go see it. However, on the way up there we saw signs for Dark Chasm National Landmark. It was just a couple miles up the road from the park but we didn't know what it was so we didn't go. Turns out it's a really cool cave that you can take a walking tour through. I totally want to go back and check that out some time.

October 18, 2011

Pyroclastic Socks

I spent part of Saturday evening and Sunday morning trying to find a pattern that I really liked to knit up my new sock yarn for my Gram. Ravelry is a great tool but sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to find a new pattern out of the millions out there.

But after some searching I finally found Pyroclastic by Marlowe Crawford.

My Gram likes her socks a bit taller so I'm going to add at least one additional repeat of the pattern for the leg.

The bottom of the foot is interesting with the decreases. I haven't done a foot like this one before.

I love the mock cables.

I decided to use the Cascade Heritage in Red for this pair for my Gram. It'll be a red hot pyroclastic.

I got started on the socks on Sunday evening and did three repeats of the pattern before bed time. It's really easy to memorize and I love that. I used it to hide behind during The Walking Dead season premier.

October 17, 2011

Weekend Recap...Sorta

This is what happens when you let your husband do the chores!

So yes, we did some chores around the house over the weekend. But since I also had Thursday and Friday off of work we also did some fun stuff too. I spent most of Thursday at the Subaru dealer getting the Outback serviced. Nothing major just needed an oil change and have it's tires rotated. There was also a couple of recall notices on it that needed to be taken care of, again nothing major but since I was there might as well get it taken care of.

Friday, Hubbs and I went up to Volcano and checked out Indian Grinding Rock State Park. It was pretty neat. Post and pictures to follow on that adventure. We also drove down to Manteca from Volcano on the back roads to check out a couple of new 5th wheels at a dealer there. We're not buying anything right now but Hubbs is considering it. I enjoyed the drive on the back roads. We decided that Walnuts are king in that part of the central valley. But we also so lots of cherry, almonds and peach trees too. Plus the weather was perfect for driving with the windows down and really enjoying the fall weather.

Saturday we decided to take a run to Reno. The plan was to leave early on Saturday morning but we didn't get up and going until later. I haven't been sleeping much lately so when I get up in the morning I'm really groggy and have a hard time getting going. The plan was to hit Jimmy Beans Wool at their new location and then Schells and the Cabelas on the way out of town. We didn't get to Jimmy Beans until almost 1pm, so I just did a quick in and out. I picked up a couple skeins of sock yarn to knit my Gram a couple of pairs of socks for Christmas. I got one skein of Cascade Heritage in a beautiful read and one skein of Madeline Tosh Sock in a purple color. Pics to follow on those too.

After Jimmy Beans we had a quick lunch on the fly at Quizno's. Neither one of us had eaten there before so it was fun to try something new. Then we hit Schells. Let me tell you, it was the biggest sporting goods store that I have ever been in. It had huge fish tanks that you walked through and a ferris wheel in the middle of the store. It was also two stories! It was truly amazing. However, we didn't buy a single thing there. But we did spend several hours just wandering around looking at all the stuff. I would like to go back again sometime when I have money to spend. It was really cool.

On the way out of town we hit Cabellas for Hubbs, all your hunting and fishing needs under one roof. I got an amazing wool jacket with a hood (pictures to follow on that too, I was too tired to take pictures yesterday). Hubbs got a nice shirt and a new baseball cap, because you have to have a clean, fancy going-to-town ball cap. lol

We didn't get home until pretty late so we decided to hit McDonalds for dinner, something we never do. I don't know what was going on last night but the line was super long and not moving so we opted for Carls Jr instead.

After such a busy couple of days, we decided to take it easy and spend most of Sunday at home. We only ventured out for a joint Walmart/grocery store trip. I did loads and loads of laundry and set up the crock pot for chicken taco stew for tonight's dinner. We also watched tons and tons of football. But more importantly Sunday evening was the season premier of one of my favorite shows, The Walking Dead! Love it! I can't wait for next week!

October 15, 2011

Book #80 for 2011...

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

From Goodreads.com:

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings. Editor's recommendation.

My take:

3 out of 5 stars. I didn't love or hate this book. I found it a very disturbing concept that because new generations were dying off at such a young age, the found it ok to kidnap and impregnate 13 year old girls. Blew my mind a bit and totally disturbed me. The though process for the main character, while 16 years old, was very adult and I had to keep reminding myself that these were children in this book. Really disturbing.

October 14, 2011


“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

— Jane Goodall

Another quote that speaks to me. They seem to be coming at me from all sides. I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me. Must be something important.

October 13, 2011

Book #79 of 2011...

Solitary (Escape from Furnace #2) by Alexander Gordon Smith

From Goodreads.com:

Alex Sawyer and his mates should have known there was no way out of Furnace Penitentiary. Their escape attempt only lands them deeper in the guts of this prison for young offenders, and then into solitary confinement. And that's where a whole new struggle begins—a struggle not to let the hellish conditions overwhelm them. Because before another escape attempt is even possible, they must first survive the nightmare that now haunts their endless nights.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. The concept of a maximum security prison with no government oversight is an interesting concept for me since I work for a government agency that oversees this type of thing. But add in the concept that this maximum security prison is for children and it really blows my mind. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

October 12, 2011

Book# 78 of 2011...

The Line by Teri Hall

From Goodreads.com:

An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the United States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It's said that bizarre creatures and super humans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel's dad died in the last war. It's a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. Good character depth and a plot I hadn't really run into before. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

October 11, 2011

Book# 77 of 2011...

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsend

From Goodreads.com:

When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong--their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision--run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults.


When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I really liked this book. It was like the Australian version of Red Dawn. If you're a child of the 80's you remember this movie. It had all the big stars, Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson, C. Thomas Howell, and Charlie Sheen. The US gets invaded by Russia and a group of teenagers fight back. Tomorrow, When the War Began is pretty much the same story but a new location and new kids. It was a pretty good book and I'm interested in the rest of the series. Unfortunately, my library doesn't have them so it might be a while before I can afford to order them from Amazon or some other big box retailer. Sadly my town no longer has a book store so I can't buy them locally.

October 10, 2011


I love finding quotes that speak to me.

October 9, 2011

Challenging Myself

You have read 76 books toward your goal of 100 books.

76 of 100 (76%)
Great work, you're on track!

I like challenging myself and part of that has been with my reading over the last couple of years. In 2010 I challenged myself to read 50 of the most banned books and I did. This year I challenged myself to read 50 post apocalyptic books and I did. Along with the 50 post apocalyptic books I wanted to read 100 books of any shape, size or genera. It's almost the middle of October and I've read 76 books. I expect to finish a couple more this weekend only because I'm so close to the end of two more books.

I love reading. I love getting to know new characters and the endless possibilities of what could happen.

October 8, 2011

Book# 76 of 2011...

The Dead (Enemy #2) by Charlie Higson

From Goodreads:

THE DEAD begins one year before the action in THE ENEMY, just after the Disaster. A terrible disease has struck everyone over the age of sixteen, leaving them either dead or a decomposing, flesh-eating creature. The action starts in a boarding school just outside London where all the teachers have turned into zombies. Together they begin a terrifying journey to find safety, and home.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. Lots of good action but it was pretty predictable. I was never really worried that the kids wouldn't make it and you never really got to know any of the main characters. They played a bit flat for me.

October 7, 2011

Book# 75 of 2011

Patient Zero (Joe Ledger #1) by Jonathan Maberry

From Goodreads.com:

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. And that's both a good, and a bad thing. It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....

My take:

3 out of 5 stars. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. What really killed it for me was all the science-y stuff about the virus that killed it for me. I'm not a scientific person by nature so when the characters would start talking about the microbiology of it all I tended to tune out until there was action. I honestly don't think that I'll pursue reading the rest of the series.

October 6, 2011

Wise Words...

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”

I love this quote but I want to change the word dance for the word run...

October 1, 2011


Happy October!! And Happy Fall!!!

Also, happy birthday to my mom. Love you you so much!! I hope this year is better then any that's come before it.