That's not long. It's already Monday. Christmas is on Saturday. Blimey.
So I've changed the heading for this 'fitness section' back to running, because I've been slack and haven't been to any Pump, RPM or Attack classes in weeks. But! I've been running, a lot, and think I'm doing pretty well. Granted, each run has been on a treadmill, but dude!! It's so much easier to keep track of what you're doing! I can run 5km in 30 minutes for a fast-paced run, or in 40 minutes if I want a more leisurely pace. I can also do a 5km run with a 20 metre climb on a hill programme in 40 minutes. Plus, for the first time ever, I ran 7km yesterday! Took me 46 minutes 40 seconds (running at 9kmph). I was pretty proud of myself :-) Don't think anybody else was though...
Knitting/Spinning/Crochet etc etc etc
Phew! Have I been busy!! Finished the socks, and have nearly finished the Blanket of DOOM!! I put in a good eight hours on it over the weekend thanks to Deane allowing me to escape the house on both Saturday and Sunday in order to sit quietly by myself in a cafe and crochet like a mad woman. Got in a bit of hand sewing that I'd been putting off for ages too, which I can include in the pile of Christmas pressies (although it is rather cheeky, but what the hey? ;->) During the days now I'm limited to knitting my Malabrigo lace scarf because - a) I have a self-imposed ban on starting new projects until I've gotten rid of all my WIPs; and b) I can't work on the Blanket of DOOM!! during the day, because then X will see it, and it will ruin the surprise.
The lace scarf is the only other thing left on my WIP list, and I'd love to have it finished, so hopefully I can get it done before the new year. I started it in February, so it will be nice to finish it before next February!! Then I think I'll start on some cardigans, or perhaps a shawl...
No spinning lately, been too busy knitting and crocheting :-( My lovely is looking rather forlorn, and no doubt feeling quite neglected. Perhaps early in the new year, I can start on some of that divine alpaca Deane bought me for my birthday. He did request some fingerless gloves made from the chocolate-coloured alpaca fleece. We shall see...
Baking has been done!! And plenty of it!! I got some cute boxes and packaging from a cool shop in town called $3 Japan (they have some seriously funky stuff!) so it's all packaged nicely, unlike last year when I ended up using oven bags and curling ribbon :-/
One can only assume people like receiving hand made gifts for Christmas, instead of generic stuff off the shelves. Baking and crafting takes time, and patience, and a lot of love and care goes into the making of such gifts. I, personally, always appreciate a well thought out gift, or one that has been made by hand. I just hope others feel the same. Regardless, I get a lot of enjoyment out of making things for people, so I'm gonna keep doing it anyway.
Our tree was put up and decorated the weekend before last (yes, we found the decorations - after I spent over an hour making popcorn garlands so the poor tree wouldn't be completely bare). The boys have happily munched through their chocolate advent calendars - they particularly enjoy having several in one day, when we've forgotten about them for a few days (or been away) and they pile up. School finished up on Friday, T has been to his last swimming lesson for the year, X has his tomorrow. Things are drawing to a close.
Shopping is almost complete, although I feel kind of bad about the fact that my boys won't be getting anything they asked Santa for - T wanted a real bath tub (won't fit in the apartment) and BeyBlades (there are none left in the country to be had, unless you spend over $70 each for them on TradeMe. No thanks). X wants the XBox game 'How to Train Your Dragon'. Santa, however, won't be getting this game for X, because Santa thinks it would be silly to do so after X has spent the better part of a year saving up to buy exactly this game for himself. Perhaps they'll be disappointed, perhaps they won't. Maybe Santa will write a note of explanation as to why they will not be receiving the gifts they asked for...
Still a few more things to get - a couple of things for Deane, something for Mat, something for Deane's god-daughter, and then I think we're done. Oh wait, Ben & Lichelle - there's always somebody you forget about! Darn it!
Books!! Lots of Books!!
I'm kind of glad I kept a list of books I've read this year, and I think I'll be doing it again next year. It's a great way of keeping track of what I've already read, because sometimes I do forget if I've read a book or not. Especially when reading a series, with breaks between books (sometimes the breaks are rather long) - I forget which one I'm up to. In any case, so far this year I have read a total of 37 books:
An Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon
The Host - Stephenie Meyer
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J K Rowling
Ferno the Fire Dragon - Adam Blade
Careless - Deborah Robertson
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Harlequin Rex - Owen Marshall
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J K Rowling
Sepron the Sea Serpent - Adam Blade
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Journal of Mrs Pepys - Portrait of a Marriage - Sara George
On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J K Rowling
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer
The Family that Couldn't Sleep - D T Max
Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris
Club Dead - Charlaine Harris
The Biography of Jane Digby - A Scandalous Life - Mary S Lovell
Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
Nightlight, A Parody - The Harvard Lampoon
Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris
Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris
From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris
Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris
Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett
It - Stephen King
The Endless Forest - Sara Donati
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Steamed - Katie MacAlister
Peeps - Scott Westerfeld
Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
That's an average of about three a month - not bad!! This total was boosted somewhat by the True Blood series, which take only a few days to read each - in one case, I read an entire book in a day. They're easy to read, and not too big. Unfortunately, I have to wait until May next year for the 11th book to be released :-( Poop! Oh well, I have plenty of others to read, and I plan on reading the Twilight series again soon. At the moment, I'm reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I've always wanted to read all the classics, its just a matter of working through them. I'll never read all of them, but a girl can try, right? ;-)
The list of books read will stay there until the new year, when I will wipe it clean and start again for 2011.
Favourite Things Right Now
1. Absolutely loving the smell of fresh nectarines - not to mention the taste. Damn, they're good!!
2. The ideas for all the many many projects I have planned for next year - just the thought of all those gorgeous squishy yarns and beautiful fabrics... sigh
3. The smell of Christmas baking, but equally, the knowledge that I've finished and everything is good to go
4. The amazing hand crafted spindles by Sourkraut - if only I could afford one. Particularly this, which of course sold straight away! She's a wonder, dear Frances.
5. Taylor Swift. Love her.
6. Reading the Yarn Harlot's blog - she's so funny! And normal (or at least, to me she is). I find myself checking the blog list every day hoping there's an update.
7. The knowledge that on Saturday afternoon I will be enjoying a lovely turkey dinner. There's just something about the way my mother-in-law cooks the turkey, and the stuffing she makes, and those to die for roast vegetables - my mouth is watering just thinking about it!!
So, only five more sleeps then...
Things should get finished in time, as long as I keep up the pace, and I can get some alone shopping time. Deane will probably take Friday off work so we can head to Napier before Christmas Day. Wouldn't want to miss Christmas morning at mum and dad's place!!
Hopefully this year I won't forget to grab all the stuff we need out of the fridge and freezer - last year I forgot the Christmas ham, so we had to buy another one. Then we had a giant ham sitting in the fridge waiting for us when we got back to Wellington. Deane put in a valiant effort attempting to eat it all, but unfortunately there was a large amount of wasted ham. It was unavoidable. I'm quite amazed that every year, he's still happy to eat large amounts of it over the Christmas/New Year period. Of course, every New Year, he's thoroughly sick of it and doesn't want to look at another ham again for at least another 12 months ;-)
So, just in case I don't manage to update again beforehand, have a Merry Christmas everyone - have a great break, enjoy catching up with friends and family, and see you in the New Year!!!
Love to all :-)