Recently I made marmalade for the first time ever and it was easy, but took quite a bit longer than berry jam. I used the recipe for the citrus marmalade from an awesome cookbook -- Food in Jars.
Of course, it would have been even easier if the power didn't go out just as I was about to start the canning part of the marmalade making. Canning by candlelight was a bit stressful, but made me feel all old-timey. And the marmalade came out fine in the end with all the jars sealing properly.
I have to say that it is delicious on chocolate chip scones and I thought it was quite tasty on the jam thumbprint cookies I made this week.
Maddie is 12 this year, and so is our artificial tree. As you can imagine, it's looking a little scraggly. I didn't really want to get another artificial tree -- they get kind of musty after a few years in the attic or basement and I don't really like the perfect look of them.
We bought our tree at Bengston's Tree Farm -- a local-ish small farm which I am happy to support. And from what I understand, a real tree is better for the enviroment (if only marginally).
It was a lot of fun to walk around and look at all the trees, and cutting the tree down was a breeze as the saw they provided was well sharpened. At the farm we visited, you cut the tree and they come around with a truck to pick it up and bring it back to your car for you after they shake it (to get out loose needles and any debris) and bail it.
The nearly 9 ft. tall tree actually fit in my Honda FIT (love my car!!), so we didn't have to worry about securing it to the roof.
Pete and I both enjoy having a glass of Bailey's at the holidays, so I thought it might be fun to make some from scratch. I found out that it was super easy and ridiculously delicious. So much yummier than the premade stuff!
There are a bunch of recipes out there, but they are mostly all about the same. Here's a recipe I cobbled together to create my own version:
Holiday Irish Cream Recipe
1 cup Jameson's Irish Whiskey
1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Tbsp. good quality Chocolate Syrup
2 tsp. Espresso Powder (I get mine from King Arthur Flour)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Blend everything except the whipping cream in a blender for about a minute. Add the whipping cream and blend until combined (only a few seconds).
Pour into a pretty bottle or jar and refrigerate. Shake before using. Should keep for about 3-4 weeks.
I've had the Instagram App on my iPhone for ages, but just started using it this month. I love the nostalgic look for holiday photos.
If you want to check out my Instagram stream/profile thing, here's a link:
Just click on that little camera icon.
Any tips from Instagram users? I kind of set up my profile and took a few photos, but that's the extent of my knowledge right now. Can you add other filters? I'm clueless.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Holidays. As I get older, however, I seem to be learning to enjoy them more and more. I especially love the planning -- heck, I love planning anything and everything (just ask my poor family!) As you can see, I've pulled out the old holiday issues of Everyday Food. (Did you hear that the magazine is shutting down/getting incorporated into Living? I'm so sad!) I'm making my holiday baking list, so expect more food posts in the coming days!
Finished the Elegant Gauntlets I was making with Sophie's Toes Christmas Lights. Very fun knit and beautiful yarn. My camera is blowing out the red, so I'm having a difficult time getting an accurate photo. I have to say, this colorway really did remind me of Christmastime!
Maddie dressed up as Princess Peach -- of Super Mario Bros. fame -- this year. I think she has at least another year or two of trick-or-treating in her. When do kids usually stop? I know my nephew, who is only 6 months older was really not into it this year, but maybe boys are different?
And don't worry about this gluten free girl -- even after giving away the candies with gluten, she still had a huge bowl left! And as an added bonus, one of her loose teeth fell out while she was eating a tootsie roll, so she got a visit from the tooth fairy too.
Every year my family gets together for the annual pumpkin carving contest. My mom makes chili and my sisters, brother-in-laws, niece and nephews carve up some pumpkins. It's a super fun family tradition for grown ups and kids.
This year's winner was Maddie's pumpkin!! Not bad, considering this is only her second year carving and this year she did all the designing and carving on her own.
I love Sophie's Toes yarns and was happy to be able to pick up a couple of crazy colorful skeins last weekend at the Vogue Knitting Live event in Chicago. One of these is already quickly becoming a new project -- photos soon, I hope!
This beautiful merino roving from Jill Draper Makes Stuff also came home with me. I picked up the spindle again a couple of weeks ago, but I think this will get me to dust off the spinning wheel.
Herbivore is blocked and I love it! The shaping really makes this a functional piece. It sits over the shoulder and is more well behaved than a simple triangular shawl.
You can see what I'm talking about in this photo. Those bent sections really do make a huge difference.
This was my first Stephen West knit and I'm very happy with it. So much so, that I imagine I will be making another of his designs very soon. In fact, I already have his Spectra in my Ravelry queue, so I imagine that might be my next shawl.
More on this project at Ravelry.
... and the yarn really bled. Yikes! When I rinsed it, it was a bit better, but I'm still a bit shocked since I used some fancy shmancy Malabrigo sock yarn. I suppose that's a risk you take to get that beautiful variegation.
Finished photos soon? I hope so. And you can see more details on this project at Ravelry.
Project created September 2009. Yes, sadly that's what it says on Ravelry for this sad little sock. I'm sure I have projectes that I started, and failed to complete, that are older than this... but it's just socks?!?! 3 years? Really?
I've been feeling the urge to knit more and more lately, so hopefully I'll mix in some of these old projects with some new things. Now if I can just find some fun new patterns to try.
While we were gone, Summer disappeared and Autumn arrived. The temperatures are a good 10-15 degrees cooler and the air just smells different. I have a strong urge to knit and bake something with pumpkin in it -- or maybe apples.
Hurrah! My favorite season has arrived!
I finished up the squares for my latest quilt... well, almost finished. I think that square in the lower righthand corner stands out a bit too much, so I'll probably trash it and make a new one.
In other news, we have started our school year -- 9th grade! We're using the iPad a lot this year -- especially iBooks textbooks, which are interactive and include quizzes and reviews. Very nice and much less expensive than a print textbook.
I'm still looking for my next knitting project. Time to go search Ravelry!
Maddie took this photo of Navy Pier from the car yesterday as we were driving up to Lincoln Park Zoo. I thought it looked like it could have come from the early 1900's, so I did a little vintag-y editing.
We had an awesome time at the zoo. Well, really in the general area of the zoo. This time we actually spent a lot of time walking around the newer paths to the south, which are quite nice, and then up past the greenhouse. So much more than just an isolated zoo.
And of course we had to stop for some treats -- gluten free cupcakes from Swirlz. So tasty!
I'm very glad to put the first half of August behind me, this week has been much more to my liking. We're easing into school, working on the garden and I even made a few more jars of jam -- mixed berry this time. I'm looking forward to Autumn and a general slow down after the Summer craziness.
Yesterday -- which happened to be the anniversary of my dad's death -- my sweet bug-a-boo started having seizures. They continued through the night and this morning we said out goodbyes to this amazing old lady. I mean, what cat lives to be 19, right?
She's been my companion since before I had a husband or daughter -- back when I was just a kid myself. Just me and her -- two ladies on our own. I miss her already and I'll miss her forever.
I hate August.
I'm finding the Great Granny Along blocks to be addictive. After sewing 12 of them, I'm more than happy to continue making more. At this point I'm thinking 24 (for a 4X6 arrangement) or 25 (for a nice square quilt) is where I'll stop.
In other news, only one of the many sunflower seed I planted was nice enough to germinate. I'm blaming it on the ridiculously dry weather. I'm happy though becasue the one that did grow is gorgeous and appears to have quite a few buds. Crazy drought.
So, I stared another quilt and joined the Great Granny Along. I've only finished one block, but I'm really having a lot of fun with it. I love the scrappy feel and I'm trying to using a ton of different fabrics to mix things up. I love the look of the quilt so much, that I actually dug into my stash of Flea Market Fancy fabrics. Photos soon!
Okay, this isn't really the "before" photo because only a few weeks ago there were unruly barberry bushes and weeds in this lovely, mulched bed. I ripped them out because I hate them. Barberry is ubiquitous around here, and I guess their reddish foliage is kind of pretty, but they are a thorny nightmare in my opinion. I always had to have Pete pull a bunch of splinters out of my hands after I trimmed them -- even when I wore gloves.
And now we have some lovely roses, some new daylilies and some old daylilies that needed a new home. We have a local nursery that specializes in daylilies and has probably about 30 or so varieties, so we picked up some with unusual coloring.
In other news, our mama robin has had her babies. She's up there feeding them in this photo. We (or maybe just I) have been so worried about her with the wild storm we had about a week ago and the crazy heat wave last week. I heard the babies starting to squawk a little bit today though, so all appears to be well!
So, Pete found out that our local auctioneer was having a multi-estate auction in an air-conditioned space today and we decided to check it out. While there were a few items and lots that I wanted to bid on, there was one in particular that I knew I had to have. It was an unassuming box full of pretty nasty, beat up pots and pans, but hidden in one corner was this beautiful Cathrineholm pot.
Now if you know me, you know that I absolutely love the color orange! I also love Danish Modern -- so I really wanted this. If anyone else at the auction knew anything about Cathrineholm, I figured I wouldn't get it since I've seen these same pots listed on etsy for over $100. Luck must have been on my side because I got the box for $12.50! (I'll be selling the other things in the lot at our yard sale, so I might almost break even.)
I was worried because the previous owner had written her initials on the pan and lid with a black marker, but a light cleaning with BonAmi (love the stuff!) took it right off.
I've been so busy with Summer that I completely forgot to post for about a month. So what have I been doing? Watering the garden -- a lot. We're in the middle of a drought here, and while we never water the lawn, I do try to keep the veggies from wilting. (Heh! I call it a lawn but it is primarily what some might call weeds. But heck, the weeds are greener than everyone elses grass!)
I had an awesome garage sale find -- an Epiphone Les Paul guitar!! So now I'm learning to play, which is fun and a little intimidating (especially since Maddie, who is only 11 is already a very good guitar player).
I've also been reading, but I need to do an entire post to get all that logged. And I'm looking for a new knitting project -- something fun and easy with a enough going to to keep my interest. Any thoughts fellow knitters? I'm thinking of doing the Stephen West mystery shawl kal, but don't have suitable yarn in the stash. Perhaps it's time to enhance the stash.
I'm not sure, but I'm doing my best to try everything. I've made...
I'm still getting loads of berries from my strawberry plants, but I'm ready for raspberries now. Too bad our little canes won't produce until the autumn.
I totally made strawberry jam -- from my own homegrown strawberries! This is a first, as I've never had enough ripe berries at the same time to make it a possibility. The last few days though I've been getting about 3/4 lb. of berries every day, so I decided to make a small batch of jam.
Small batch jam takes very little time to bring up to temperature, plus there is less hassle since you aren't getting all that canning stuff out and sterilized and such. I had just enough to fill my cute little LeCreuset jam pot a little over half full.
Really Small Batch Strawberry Jam Recipe
3/4 lb. of berries (weight before removing tops)
1 cup sugar
Juice and zest of one small lemon
1 tsp pectin (I used the Ball low sugar pectin)
Trim and quarter your garden fresh berries and throw them in a heavy bottomed pan with the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and then until the mixture reaches 220º or appears to be gelling. Add 1 tsp. of pectin -- sprinkling over top of jam -- and stir well while continuing to cook for about a minute.
Transfer strawberry jam to a suitable container and refrigerate once it cools a bit.
We've been getting about a pint of strawberries from the garden every day, which is awesome, so when I skipped Monday (our super busy day here), I was in for a good harvest on Tuesday. In fact, I had enough for the strawberry vodka with plenty left for snacking.
I've seen numerous posts around the blogs concerning strawberry infused vodka and it appears that all you have to do is cut up some berries and add the liquor. I did just that, filling a clean pint jar 3/4 full of cut berries and then filling the jar with my favorite vodka. (Yes, it's a giant bottle -- but it was on sale at Binny's for nearly the same price as the regular size.)
I'm seriously looking forward to a strawberry vodka tonic and perhaps a sparkling strawberry vodka lemonade. Yum!
Potatoes! Onions! (And peonies too!) More and more of our yard is being taken over by edible plants. This back bed was filled with random perennials, some scraggly yews and weeds when we bought the house back in 2004. Today most of that was been ripped out to make way for our newest farming project -- potatoes. They seem to be taking well to this old planting bed, although the ones growing in the shade of the fence are taking longer to get established.
The strawberries are producing well this spring and I think I found the secret to keeping the squirrels from eating/damaging them -- different birdseed in the feeders. The safflower and thistle are safe because the squirrels don't like them and stay away from our yard.
And in the other end of the main raised bed, peppers and tomatoes. I bought them from several different sources this year (and didn't even attempt starting seeds), so things were planted pretty randomly. I did discover that the best place to purchase veggie plants in our area is Keller's Farmstand. We went to their location in Naperville, but they also sell plants at their Oswego location. That beautiful, hearty looking pepper you see in the corner is from Keller's. They grow them locally, so I don't think they suffer from shock like some of the other things I've purchased.
The raspberries are coming along nicely -- you can see the new bed in the photo above -- it's to the east of the main bed. And the secondary strawberry patch, although a weedy mess, is also producing quite well this year.
I'm really enjoying gardening this year and looking forward to harvesting lots of veggies, and hopefully some raspberries, this summer.
A serious amount of my time has been spent in the garden recently. We don't use any weed killer (or any chemicals, for that matter) in the yard & garden, so there are *always* weeds to pull. I'll never be able to keep up with them, but I make an attempt pretty much daily.
There is a pay off for all of this work. Despite the fact that it is only May, we've already eaten several salads from the garden. I just threw an old packet of seeds into an old flower box with some fresh potting soil and it went crazy! The seeds were at least two years old, so I wasn't even sure they would germinate -- ha!
Today I picked the first few ripe strawberries -- the first of many. There are too many green and pink berries to count, and I think I may even have enough to make jam next week.
So, that's were I've been.
I've been looking for a knitting project that would get me excited about knitting again, but I haven't really seen anything new and different out there. Any suggestions on a fun and interesting knitting project?
In the mean time, I knit a Tribble for fun. It's such and easy project that it took me almost no time at all and I'm already using it in the kitchen. Perhaps not very exciting, but that's the state of my recent crafting endeavors.
I've been baking too -- making Maddie's favorite which is banana bread based on this recipe. Of course, I make it gluten free, subbing 210 gr of my GF flour blend for the flour. I also like to use brown sugar for half the sugar, add a bit extra vanilla extract, and top it (in this case) or mix in some toasted pecan pieces and semi-sweet chocolate. So delicious!!
I've also been working in the yard -- pulling weeds, planting potatoes, and other things. Pete spent the better part of yesterday building a new raised bed for the raspberry plants that just arrived. So that's strawberries, herbs, onions, potatoes, lettuces, blueberries and raspberries, so far. The pepper & tomato plants should arrive soon and I really have to get the carrot seeds in the ground. I'm pretty excited about the garden this year.
Stretching the cheese
I've had cheese making on my food project list for quite a while now, and this weekend when I mentioned that I was bored, Pete told me to make some cheese. I didn't think I could find the supplies in town, but it turns out that there is a Brew & Grow not far from us and they had the 30 Minute Mozzarella kits in stock.
The kit -- you can get one at cheesemaking.com
As it turns out, making mozzarella is super easy! From what I can gather, the one problem that can mess up your final product is over-processed milk. Milk producers are now overheating their milk, even milk that is not labeled as ultra-pasteurized, so they can keep it on the shelf longer. (Well, there is a lot more to it, but suffice it to say, this is yet another byproduct of the dysfunctional food system in this country.) This messes up the proteins in the milk somehow which can cause your cheese to refuse to firm up.
If you are from the Chicago area, Oberweis milk is safe for cheese making -- that's what we used and it worked beautifully. As you can see, my cheese set up, although I need a lot of practice with shaping :)
Slices of our finished cheese -- yum!
One gallon of milk makes quite a bit of cheese, although I forgot to weigh the final product. We've been eating it straight up, tossed with pasta and tonight Maddie and I are making homemade pizza. It was a fun project and I'll definitely be making more cheese in the future.
... and apparently I forget how to feed the blog.
Today we shop for a mattress at IKEA. We had one years ago when we bought and had to furnish our first home and loved it. When it was time to replace it, we bought a regular pillowtop mattress and I hate it. So, back to IKEA we go. Hopefully we'll find one we like!
Technically it's still winter, but with high temps in the low 80's the last couple of days, and forecasted high temps in the 70's and 80's for at least the next 10 days, I feel like I've fallen into Summer. I just could not wrap my mind around this bizarre weather for the last few days and continued to wear jeans and even wore a jacket once, but now I'm embracing the June-esque temps and wearing shorts. After all, at this rate, it will probably be in the 100's all summer. Guess I better enjoy it while I can.
Oh, and one more thing... what do I do with the garden??? We did some yard work last weekend and I trimmed back and cleaned out my herb garden. Today I looked and the flat leaf parsley, rosemary and thyme are all thriving. Nothing really died over the "Winter" except for the basil. I'm half tempted to plant some basil seed and see what happens. After all, it may not freeze overnight again this year. Crazy!
So, one day after my last post I turned 42 -- not that that has anything to do with my lack of posting except tangentially. See, I messed up my back (old age affliction? perhaps.) Add that to my usual, chronic neck and shoulder pain, and I haven't felt like doing much. Then, on my way to the chiropractor for an adjustment and massage this week, a guy pulled out in front of me (he had a stop sign, I didn't) and hit me sort of crooked/head on-ish.
So, I've been sitting with a heating pad on my back, taking Advil and waiting for this to pass.
I haven't had any needle work framed in years -- over a decade, most likely, and when I did have it done, I remember it being very expensive. So when I stitched up this little project a few weeks ago, I decided to try tackling the framing on my own.
I have to say that I'm super happy with how it turned out and the it was pretty much free since I already had the supplies I needed.
First I ironed my needlework -- face down, on a plush towel, using steam. Thank goodness nothing bled -- a serious concern when using hand dyed threads. Next I had Pete cut me a piece of acid-free mat board to size. I already had a frame from IKEA that I had bought at some time in the past with another project in mind. The frame already had a mat, but since it had a hole in the middle, that wasn't going to work. (Pete has a mat cutter, which I highly recommend if you are cutting this stuff since it's super hard to get through with scissors or even an exacto.)
After that, I centered the piece and started threading back and forth across the back. Since I used a scrap pf fabric, I didn't have a lot of extra, so this part was a lot harder than it needed to be. Once everything was tight, but not so tight that the board was bulging, I tied off my threads and popped it into the frame.
Now I just have to find the right size frames for a few other completed projects -- I'm all about this framing stuff.
So, last time I posted about books, I had just started Lev Grossman's The Magicians. I liked it so much, that after finishing it, I read the sequel -- The Magician King. If you have read Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling -- check out these books. They reference the authors I just mentioned in fun ways and are reminiscent of their works. We warned -- these are not for young children. There is lots of drinking, some sex and other grown up things. I'm eagerly awaiting the 3rd book in this trilogy(?).
After that, I stuck with the magic theme and read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This was an absolutely wonderful book -- a sort of magical love story set primarily in a unusual circus (more sideshow-esque really).
Having seen my first trailer for the Hunger Games movie which is coming out quite soon, I quickly re-read the entire Hunger Games Trilogy. Just as good as the first time. I love these books for their lack of black and white. I think they would be a great read for teens (keep in mind, these have a lot of death in them) -- much better than the Twilight books, which I have also read and found to be anti-feminist in a disturbing way.
Room by Emma Donoghue was next as my library *finally* had it on the shelf. You may have heard about this book which is about a woman who is kidnapped and forced to live (and be a sex slave, basically) in a shed. She has a son during her confinement and it is him -- at 5 years of age -- that narrates the story. This voice was off-putting at first, but I quickly became so enggaed in the story, that I didn't even notice it. Excellent book.
And now, I've started Swamplandia! Which I had hoped would suck me in as Room had, but I'm feeling lukewarm about it after reading about 1/4 of it.
Besides making delicious Hummingbird cake, I've been doing a little of this and a little of that. I think I mentioned that I finished Maddie's quilt -- my first log cabin style quilt. She was sick the day I finished it, and was very eager to wrap herself up in it, but I managed to snap a few photos.
Here you can see the backing I found, and also see the simple quilting pattern I chose. I've found that this size quilt is manageable on my little Pfaff, but anything bigger and the quilting becomes a serious chore. If I stick with this quilting thing -- and it appears that it is rapidly becoming my creative outlet of choice -- I may need to look into a larger machine or something.
I've also been reading -- *a lot* -- so I need to do a post soon on the books I've read in the last few weeks before I forget them. I have found that that blog has been my best source for keep track of my reading habits. I've joined every book reading site (goodreads and such), tried a written journal, and even tried keeping a spreadsheet, but the blog seems to be the only place I religiously keep updated.
Here's my little sickie, now nearly recovered, sitting on the warm radiator, wrapped in her new quilt. It's always satisfying when a recipient of your crafty endeavors loves what you have made for them.
This is a Hummingbird Cake (recipe here, but apparently from Southern Living mag originally), which I had not heard of until recently. Just in case you haven't heard of it either -- it's like a rich banana bread with a bit of crushed pineapple, pecans and cream cheese frosting. Like banana bread, it works well with a gluten free flour blend. Absolutely delicious!
Did you ever continue working on something, knowing it just wasn't right, but hoping that it would be okay in the end? That's exactly what I did with the binding on this quilt.
This quilt was claimed by Maddie before I even finished the sewing, so I figured I'd save a lot of time and do a machine sewn binding. While I do like the look of a hand sewn binding, I'm not that patient, and neither is Maddie. I think last time I must have made my binding wider, or used a small seam allowance when sewing it to the front of the quilt. I don't remember having any problems like I did this time.
So, I sat and riiiiiipped the entire thing out, started over and this time I sewed the binding with the front of the quilt facing up. Much better.
More photos of the completed quilt soon!
So, Norma got me hooked on The Grand, which I've been watching on Netflix (think Downton Abbey, but with sex, betrayal, murder and more). Since I can't possibly sit and watch without doing something, I've been knitting up a pile of new dish scrubbies. Good thing because I have a bunch that need to be retired.
We were out and about on Saturday, so I decided to stop at Jo-Ann Fabrics to see if they had the new Denyse Schmidt fabrics in stock. They did, and at 30% off too! I spent some time making my selections and had Pete carry them over the the cutting table. I was shocked to see that there was quite a long line, but at this point I decided to stick it out and I got in line.
There was one teenaged boy working the counter, and he didn't seem to be in a hurry. The people around me in line were all in the same boat and everything was fairly civilized... until the nasty lady arrived. See, we were all waiting in line like well behaved citizens -- they had a little "take a number" machine, but apparently the guy working the counter wasn't using it. After all, there was a line and that was working out okay (although slowly).
This woman comes up after we had been in line for about 30 minutes, takes a number and demands to be taken care of before all of us. Seriously?!?! She is going on and on -- making a big fuss. Talking about systems being in place and how they must be used. Good lord! You almost had to feel sorry for her, she was so horrid. In fact, it was getting very uncomfortable and those of us who had been in line for so long were just trying to ignore her for the most part.
Eventually I got my fabric cut (not before the guy's price scanner/printer went dead -- it was quite an ordeal). I love the colors in her new line, and am planning some sort of zig zag quilt which I will hopefully start soon.
And next time, I think I'll buy my fabrics from Jo-Ann's online. I don't think I can hack the intensity at the store!
So, I finished up that needlework project I started a couple of weeks ago. It's from the Blackbird Designs book "Thank you, Sarah Tobias" but done in colors of my own choosing and on an old piece of linen I had in my stash. Fun to work on while watching Downton Abbey (I'm so hooked).
After I attempt to frame this, I need to get to work backing & quilting my current quilt project, and after that, who knows. I have a few ideas brewing...
Once the holiday has passed and the cold weather settles in, more of my time seems to be spent snuggled up under a blanket in our old drafty house clutching a good book. This January has been no different, although my choice of reading material is unusual for me -- a bit of non-fiction.
Life, on the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas was a great read -- very inspiring. Achatz, a famous chef and owner of Alinea and Next in Chicago, grew up in the restaurant business and it seems he has spent nearly every moment of his life striving for perfection as a chef. The book includes parts written by his business partner and friend, Nick Kokonas, which is an interesting twist.
Most of the book recounts Achatz's years as a rising star in the culinary world -- which was interesting enough -- but the later part of the book tells how he survived cancer. Since his cancer was mostly in his tongue, he was unable to taste anything for a very long time -- crazy for anyone, but especially for a chef.
Meanwhile, I was finishing up Mieville's Perdido Street Station, which is another of his Bas-Lag books. And while I found the universe quite engaging, and the story moved along nicely, I wasn't able to get lost in it as thoroughly as I did while reading The Scar. Perhaps I could better relate to the female main character in the later book. At any rate, the book was wild and interesting and a good read.
Now I'm on to Lev Grossman's The Magicians which will be ending all too soon for me. Thanks goodness the sequel is already out.
I had a good first workout on the treadmill today, although I took it a bit easy since I was still getting accustomed to the new machine. Oh yeah, and I'm sore from getting the massive thing into the house and assembling it yesterday. It's all set up in the new work out room / sun room, which is quite a nice set up.
In other news, Winter has finally arrive -- on January 12th. It's been such a strange and ridiculously warm winter so far (yesterday it was 50º here!), but today we have the beautiful snow I've been wanting. And judging from the forecast, it should stay for at least a few days.
Ah, global warming, I am not a fan.