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Saturday, September 16, 2023

Sherbet Blanket, Outlander, Exercise Oh My


Making headway with the Sherbet blanket.  The middle section is just about an inch short of what I want.  I want the blanket to be in 3 parts.  The first section is all the colors, the middle the bright pink, and then repeat the colored section for the third section.  Didn't work on it while in England for 2 wks, which I've been blogging about on my travel blog.  But did take it on our road trip to Williamsburg, which I'll blog about when I've finished the England tour blogging.

The entire series (9 books), of The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is 413 hours in audio books.  Whew!  But, is soooooooooo worth it.  Sadly this picture is not in order.  Not sure why, maybe a color thing.  Yes I've watched some of tv series, but not the last 2 seasons and decided I wanted to read the books.  The narration is so well done, I think you would miss something if you read them vs listened to them.  Here's the proper order.

  1. Outlander                         33 hours
  2. Dragon Fly in Amber              39 hours
  3. Voyager                           43 hours
  4. Drums of Autumn                 45 hours
  5. The Fiery Cross                    56 hours
  6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes     57 hours
  7. An Echo in the Bone               46 hours
  8. Written in My Own Blood          45 hours
  9. Go Tell the Bees I'm Gone        49 hours

Davina Porter is the lady that narrates all 9 books.  She is English, her father was a real Londoner= Cockney, her mother was born in St. Andrews Scotland, and she married Glasgow born Scot.  So lots of diversity in language/accents.  She truly does a wonderful job!!  I highly recommend all 9 books with her reading them.
All I can record for the month of August is steps/miles walking which would include mowing the yard.  I was in England for 2 wks and got a good number of steps while on tour.  My highest day was 20,473 steps (9miles) in the month which was mid month, while in England.  Additionally I had 2 days with 17K in steps (7 miles), again while touring England.  So, I'm happy with the steps/miles  The month total is 126.58 miles (306,953 steps) which is more than the July total of 102.54 miles.  Elbow is better, but still not 100% so have not tried to do planks.  I have started doing some yard work with the fall clean up of flower beds.  I am not however using the spudbar which caused the injury.  I am able to dig up lilies with a shovel because they  don't have hard roots in order to thin things out in the flower beds.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Summer Flowers, Exercise, Elbow Injury


My Red Mallows have been beautiful and plentiful this year.  My folks always called these Mallows, though I know some folks call them Hibiscus.  

A close up so you can get a feel for the size.

The Pink Mallows get even larger than the Red Ones.  The Red tend to bloom first.

These orange ruffled Lilly's lasted a bit longer this year; but are now all done.
As are these purple Lilly's.
The Cone Flowers were just getting started in this picture, but then got a bug problem, so did not flourish this year.  The landscaper sprayed them and suggested we spray next May just before they come out.  Apparently whatever the bug is falls to the ground until next season.  The nest is the flower and eat partway through the stem, and flowers just sorta hang there...that's when the bug falls to the earth.  This problem is said to be a problem for Cone Flowers and Sun Flowers.  What a disappointment, they typically attract lots of bees and butterflies.

I was having a really good start to the month of July with walking, mowing, yard work, planks, and side planks....then injured my right elbow using a heavy spud bar to dig up roots of Yucca plants.  Yucca's are are really hard to remove, and typically take multiple years of digging to get all the root.  It's been a month since the injury, and it's better; but not yet 100%....so I feel off the exercise routine.

Planks dropped from 12 to 8, side planks dropped from 4 to 3, walks dropped from 9 to 7...plus I did yard work 4 times and mowed 3 times before the injury.  I was about half way through the month when it happened.

I've not done any knitting, so no update on the blanket.

I've been out of the country for the last couple of weeks, touring The UK, so have gotten decent steps in thus far in August.  I've begun to blog about the tour HERE.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Sherbet Colored Baby Blanket, and Politics Galore


Leia's blanket is coming along, a bit slower than I might like; but I tend not to knit as much in warm weather.  The colors remind of sherbet.  The bright pink section I'm working on will be the main section, then I'll repeat the mint green, bright pink, light pink for the edge.  It currently measurers 13.5 inches by approimately 40 inches wide.  I can't quite lay it out without the risk of losing stitches off the ends of the needles.

These books aren't listed in any kind of order, I just collected up the pictures of the political books I've read since posting any previously.

14 Hours of Audio.  Watergate, Deepthroat, Nixon's downfall.  A best seller, and a Pulitzer Prize winner.  I did not read this book at the time.  Actually my wedding day and the Watergate break in occurred on the same day.  I was too self absorbed to pay much attention to this at the time.  But, thought it was important to read/listen to now as a point of comparison.  Nixon was a crook, and a liar; but sorta looks like a choir boy compared to trump. 
12 Hours in the audio book.  This book details the hot mess that exsisted during trump's administration.  The temper tantrums, the last minutes changes in decision.  And how erratic the decision making process was handled in The Oval Office, In The Residence, On AirForce One, and even The Situation Room.  His staff would go into a meeting thinking he had made a decision and then he would change his mind, often as a means to embarrass a member of his staff.
I found this book absolutely fascinating!!!  What an accomplished woman.  She was involved in so many levels of politics her entire life, not just her adult life.  I listened (14 hours audio) to this as her retirement was announced.  It just seemed like the thing to do.
7 hours of audio.  Rumsfeld, Chaney, and Bush lied over and over again to the American people, and to congress about the state of affairs with regard to Iraq.  They refused to pay head to detailed reports about how failed the invasion of Iraq was.  How many lives were lost unnecessarily?  How much money was spent?  The infighting between those that hungered for power is also exposed in this book.
6 hours of audio.  This book focuses on Alexander Butterfield, an aid with far too much power.  He knew about the secret tapes that blue things apart for Nixon.  You can see how obsessed Nixon was with secrets and deceptions.
14 hours of audio.  Beyond a scary time, the end of trump's administration and the beginning President Biden's.  So much at stake, the most dangerous time in US history.  Woodward and Costa interviewed over 200 people to write this book.
11 hours of audio.  Much of this book seems like a repeat of many things you've already read about and or heard in the news; but to hear these tapes with trump's own voice, and all his dis-jointed sentences...run on, and or actually not sentences.  His ramblings, his utter lack of decency in all forms is beyond the pail.  

These important books total 78 hours of audio!!  That's a lot of political jazz, but it seemed to me to be truly important to read/listen to them all.  So much deceit, so many lies, so much corruption.  I really shouldn't include the book about Nancy Pelosi in this group, but since I was grouping the political books together; I did.

I've been doing yard work, going for walks, and trying to keep up with my planks.  I've not done well with trying to do any yoga, and I'm not knitting as much these days.  The hours just seem to slip by.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Let's Start at the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start.....


Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...are you singing with me?  Bet you are, lol.  This is the beginning of a baby blanket for our newest family member, my great-great niece, Leia.  It reminds me sherbert with the light and dark pinks, and mint green.  I hope this won't take too long to knit; but it's 165 stitches for one row, so it's not going to be a quick project.

A fascinating true story about Cornelia Fort, Nancy Love, and Jacqueline Cochran among the 1,100 women who became pilots, who ferried bombers, who trined the men who had far less hours flying to serve their country.  Another situation where the women didn't receive the respect and honor they deserved until after the fact.  Highly recommend this book.
Those in Peril is a novel with lots of twists and turns about billionaire Hazel Bannock and Major Hector Cross.  The author, Wilbur Smith describes the book as a tale of sex, violence, and other things through in.......like Somali Pirates.  A very different sort of book for me; but one you keep reading/listening to........because you must know what happens next.
Three Sisters by Heather Morris is considered to be book 3 (#1 The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #2 Cilka's Journey), but I believe it can easily be read/listened to as a stand alone book.  Three Slovakian sisters survived the horrors of the death camps.  As the Allies were moving in, The Nazies forced Men, Women, and Children on the Death March; but the sisters escaped and their story of surivival is riveting.

I've added my stats to the tab across the top of my blog.  June was a so-so month.  I traveled one week,  and bascially maintained.
Planks down to 12 from 13 the previous month (Full arm planks)
Side Planks   up to 4 from 2 the previous month
Walks    9 (forgot to record May), miles slightly down from 104.
94 to 102.54
High Steps  down from 4 to 2 from the previous month
Mowing, the same 5 x
**I did not manage to do any Silver Sneakers Classes in June


I have Windows 11 on my laptop, I have Samsung Android Cell, and an ipad.  Recently I got a notice on my computer indicating I could use something called Phone Link to link my phone and my computer.  Pictures, texts etc would appear in both places.  Typically I use my phone to take pictures, then transfer the pictures I want to my computer for use on my blogs and or just photo's I want to keep.  Once I do this I generally delete the photo on my phone so I don't have lots of things on my phone taking up space/storage.  Has anyone used this app to have everything automatically on your phone and your computer?  If so, do you like it?  I can see it would save time; but ...........what I've not been able to find out is, if I delete a picture I no longer need or want on my phone does it automatically delete it from my computer?  Thanks for any info any of you may have on this.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

This and That, Days Turn Into Weeks

Made some headway with my scarf.  I finished the heather section and started a gray section which will be the middle.  This has been layed aside and I've not knitted in almost a month, which is a bit odd for me; but for some reason that's just the way my time has worked out.  Can't believe how much time has lapsed since my last post.  Days just seem to blend into weeks for too quickly these days.

Yes, another WWII book, by Pam Jenoff. Sadie Gault age 18 lives in the Krakow Ghetto with her parents, until The Nazi's decide it's not cruel enough to live in the Ghetta and liquidates the ghetto's forcing people to flee, to hide if possible. But, where?  She and her family lived in the tunnels/sewers under the city.  An unlikely friendship blossoms above and below the ground.  LOVED this book and highly recommend it.
A very different topic for me.  This book, The Four Winds takes place in Texas back in 1921 and takes you from a country with abundance and happy lives to 1934 during The Depression.  A young woman coming of age when women had no choice in the lives.  They were expected to be married and race children, or be a spinter and live unhappy lives.  Love, betrayal, hardship and how hard people worked to stay alive are all strong emotions in this book.  Add it to your list.  We all know about the dust bowl, but maybe we really didn't know how bad, how desparate this time in history was.

The Paris Wife is an historical fiction complied through letters and diaries of Hadley Richardson, the first of 4 wives Ernest Hemingway had.  I must say reading this book made me think entirely different about him, as a man.  He was despictable, in my opinion.  He was a womanizer, and a user.  But, at times I was furious with is wife for enabling his horrific behavior.  Read it and let me know what you think.  I decided he's in a category like Frank Lloyd Wright.  Two famous people that got respect they did NOT deserve.  Neither was a good man, neither treated friends or family well.  And both were takers and self absorbed.

May was a better month for me for exercising than April.
I upped my planks from 7 to 13 (4 rounds of 45 seconds with 13 sconds of rest between).  AND I managed to do side planks (2 x 20 with 6 seconds of rest between) in May, compared to zero in April.

Mowed 5 times vs 3 in April.

I added high steps (knees to chest) 60 repeats 4 x during May.

I found an abd workout through Silver Sneakers that connects to Burnalong and did that twice in the last week of month.

Cardio Mix through Silver Sneakers gives me quite a work out for 45 minutes, and managed it 4 times during the last 2 wks of the month.  I also did a Yoga Pilates Infusion class once the last week of the month.

Steps (which is both going for a walk, mowing, up and down steps for laundry and just all around what you do in a day.  April was 0 actual walks, but 97.28 miles for the month, while June I recorded 5 actual walks and 104.94 miles for the month.

I was out of town for the first week in June, so we'll have to see how that impacts my stats for the month.  Fingers crossed I can continue to increase my numbers.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Projects, Books, and Exercise


The picture doesn't show much of the blue section, but it's more than it looks.  However, it's slow going and I've not worked on it in a couple of weeks.  Needed a break from it.  Not sure when I'll get it out of the project bag to knit more.

You might remember I started this in the car on my way to Hilton Head and had about half the gray section completed.  The remaining gray and heather you see was completed in the car on the return trip.  Like the afghan above, this has been put aside.  It's odd, quite unusual, I've not knitted in a couple of weeks.  Just been occupied with other things.

Been awhile since I've been here blogging as well.  Life sometimes gets in the way.

Not good.  Never got around to blogging about March.  Walks sick a week so did nothing during that week.

Walked 8 times 99.13 miles (down from Feb), took 3 bike rides  (also down from Feb), Yoga 2 which was up over Feb, Planks 9 (which is the same as Feb...except I increased my time mid month from 4 x 45 to 4 x 50 seconds and 13 second rest to 14.

I hadn't added the stats on my exercise page (see tab above), as I forgot to take Dec stats with me, so today added Dec, Jan, Feb, March, and April to my page.

April had some travel which also decreased stats (sigh).  Planks were down to 7, but still doing the higher time of 4 x 50, I also did one day of side planks at 20 seconds x 2 with 5 second rest.  I added High steps which I did 6 times during the last week a count of 60.  I didn't manage any yoga during the month.  Walking was normal day to day stuff, plus mowed the yard 3 times for a total of 97.28 miles, sligtly down from March.  After my travels returned home to day after day of rain and cold weather.  Hoping May will be a better month....I keep trying.

Another book about WWII.  This is based on a  true story and absolutely fascinating.  The book was a NY best seller.  A woman who's a book worm, mother, worked in a library becomes known as "Lady Death".  She mets Eleanor Rosevelt.  Timely I think to read now, as it deals with Ukraine being invaded by Nazi's.

Another book by the same author, Kate Quinn focuses on the important role women played in England during The War.  Also a best seller.    I highly recommend both books.

Several of you leave comments and choise anonymous rather than name and url, and then type the name of your blog in your comment; but when you do that, it is not a live link.  So thought I would post this note to show you how to make a live link if for some reason you don't use name and url.  When you use name and url, you simply type your name, and cut and paste the url from your blog post.  When bloggers don't have that option available you can do as above in the text of your comment so people can click on it and go right to your blog.  Hope this helps.  When you use anonymous it takes me or others several additional steps to return the favor of a blog comment.

Will get busy and visit you all so I can catch up.