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I Always Loved You

I Always Loved YouI Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Historical fiction

Aspiring American artist Mary Cassatt is living in France in the 1870s trying to make a name for herself as an artist.  After some initial success she finds her latest work rejected from the all-powerful Salon, which controls which art is considered good and worthy and which is not.  Fortunately for her, Mlle. Cassatt’s  work has been noticed by other painters who want to reject the stranglehold of the Salon and paint in a new style.  She is invited to exhibit with them next year by their mercurial member, Edgar Degas.

Mary Cassatt aspired to be a traditional painter in the style admired at the time.  She had been admitted to the Salon previously but as her style began to change she was rejected.

An example of her early work:

One of her first Impressionist paintings.

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By the mid 1870s she was the only American and one of 3 women who was exhibiting with the Impressionists.  Her specialty became painting women and children.

Her parents and chronically ill sister Lydia lived with her in Paris and their care took a lot of her time.  She had an on-again/off-again relationship with Edgar Degas but never married.  He painted this portrait of her.

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I like historical fiction that looks at the stories behind works of art.  This book is ultimately frustrating because it is a real story and doesn’t follow a fictional, happy ever after plot line.

 

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Lost Lake

Lost LakeLost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Contemporary fiction, magical realism

Today Kate woke up. She’s been sleepwalking through the last year since her husband died. She woke up to find that her disapproving mother in law has taken over the lives of Kate and her eight year old daughter Devin. They are supposed to move into her house today. In an act of rebellion, Kate decides to take Devin the place where she had one magical summer as a child – her great aunt Eby’s lake resort – if it even still exists.

Today Eby finally agreed to sell her property on Lost Lake. The few campers who still come here for the summer are getting old and won’t be coming back forever. Now that the decision is made, she has to deal with the anger of her campers and her companion/cook who don’t want anything to change.

I love this author’s blend of contemporary fiction and magical elements. There is a ghost of a lost lover in the kitchen and an alligator with a secret that he wants Devin to figure out.

This story is about finding out where you want to be in your life and who should be a part of it.

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Quilting Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced I started sewing together the first column on my hexagon quilt!

I immediately sewed one of the hexagons onto the wrong spot!  Now I have to get the seam ripper out to fix the purple one.

 

I finished a few more of the fox fabric hexagons this week. I wanted to have a nice cute picture with hexagons and animals but apparently my models are completely over posing with quilt blocks and I’m embarrassing them.

If they want to be that way, fine. I’ll take my fox pictures without them.

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Fitness Tuesday

Thursday

We ran 400 m for a warm up.  I had a plan.  I was going to stay with one older lady in my group.  It worked but she was going at a pretty good pace.  I found out later in the class that she goes running after class and that she used to win a lot of races but she’s getting slower.  Maybe not such a good plan after all…

We did snatches which is taking the bar from the ground to straight overhead.  We did 5 sets of 3.  I did 55 lbs.

Then we did a stone deadlift ladder.  We had stones laid out on the floor in ascending order – 45, 75, 95, 115, 145.  You started at 45 and lifted them to waist height and then moved to the next one.  I could do 95 but I couldn’t get a grip on the 115 lb one.  We did that 5 times.

The workout was 5 rounds of:

  • 10 wall balls – I did 14 lbs and I took off my glasses so I didn’t break them again this week.
  • 2 rope climbs or 8 pull to stands – You lay on the ground and pull yourself to standing using the rope.
  • 200 m run

I did it in 14:55.

Tuesday

It is snowing so we didn’t have to run. Yeah!

We warmed up with a 500 m row and then stretching. Our strength work was 5 sets of 3 front squats. I did 105 lbs which our computer program tells me is a record. I’m not so sure that’s true. I think it might tie my record though.

Then we did bench press. I did 5 sets of 3 at 60 lbs.

The workout was 21 reps then 15 reps then 9 reps of:

  • Burpee box jumps – Lay down on the ground, get up, jump up onto a box
  • Overhead squats – Hold the bar over your head and squat.  I did 45 lbs.

I did it in 10:10.

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My Name is Mary Sutter

My Name is Mary SutterMy Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

My rating: 4 of 5 stars Historical Fiction

Mary Sutter is a midwife in Albany New York who dreams of becoming a surgeon.  Her applications to medical colleges are ridiculed and her attempts to apprentice herself to local doctors are met with scorn.  When nurses are called for at the beginning of the Civil War, she volunteers in order to learn more about medicine. 

At this time Florence Nightingale had just published her account of nursing during the Crimean War.  It was considered extraordinary to have trained females in the hospitals.  Of course, many surgeons considered women who wanted to do this to be prostitutes as women who have wanted to do anything outside the home where so often considered.  Hospitals were unsanitary at best and deadly at worst but no one understood the link between cleanliness and disease.

quote-Florence-Nightingale-it-may-seem-a-strange-principle-to-77532

This book was an interesting study in what passed for medicine in the 1860s.  I spent most of the book yelling, “Wash your hands!”

When the U.S. Civil War started, Dorothea Dix wanted to set up a nursing corp based on Nightingale’s.  In order to not be accused of being a cover for prostitutes she required that they be between 30 and 50 and plain looking.  Women who didn’t meet her requirements were not allowed in.  Of course, the needs of the war overcame the number of “suitable” volunteers much to Ms. Dix’s consternation.

In this book Mary Sutter is not suitable.  She was too young.  She went and volunteered directly in an overwhelmed make-shift hospital in Washington D.C.  She also went to the front to distribute the meager supplies that the medical staff had.  She learns to do amputations out of necessity because of the huge number of wounded soldiers.  She learns how to judge healing of wounds.  Pus is good because all wounds heal like that.  (“WASH YOUR HANDS!”)

There are some emotional story elements in here too but to me they were very secondary to the medical aspects because I’m like that.  Besides, her family was just hateful so I’m ignoring them.

I’m giving this book four stars because I learned about the history of nursing in the United States which was a topic I didn’t know much about in the course of this historical fiction book.

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EPP Progress

splish splash stash

I knew I was within a few flowers of having the center of this quilt ready to be put together. I laid it all out today and was confused by the fact that it seemed like I had too many flowers even without finishing up the last few I had calculated that I needed. I was feeling like quite an overachiever!

I should have known better. I realized it when I went to bundle them up.

I had forgotten to lay out the whole last row. I’m off to finish up by last few flowers that I need and I’ll start trying to sew the rows together!

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Manners, dear

When did I turn into Miss Emily freakin’ Post?

Z’s psychologist and psychiatrist finally decided that yep, she’s autistic. They are the last people on Earth to come to that conclusion. Seriously, there is no one who has ever met this child and thought to themselves, “Why, that there is one fine specimen of a neurotypical child!” There is a gulf between Z’s brain and a neurotypical 10 year old’s brain large enough to lose the Grand Canyon in.

One of the ways this manifests itself is a complete and utter lack of learning ability about anything other than Disney. One of these things that is not Disney is table manners. I’m not sure why I have chosen this as my windmill to tilt at. I think it is because watching her eat completely grosses me out.

Consequently, I’ve spent years working on her ability to use a fork. I’m not exaggerating there. I’m considering just recording, “Wipe your mouth please” and “Chew with your mouth closed” so I don’t have to say them over and over at every meal.

We were just out for dinner. She had a hamburger. I had already said each of the above phrases (I’m not kidding) at least 5 times. Every time it was like a new idea to her. Her father leaves the table momentarily. She decides to take another bite of her burger. She hunches over the plate with her lips about at the level of the table. She takes a gigantic bite of burger that can not fit in her mouth. She puts the burger down. Bits of bun and meat are hanging out of her mouth. There is ketchup all over her face up to and including all over her nose. Then she says to me, “I don’t really like it” around this humongous amount of food.

I held my palm up. “No,” I said, “Just, no.” She looked at me like she had no idea what I was nattering on about.

Guide to Naming Pets

A public service announcement on the naming of pets:

1. I think it is creepy to name pets after real people and then refer to them by the full first and last name. Example – “So how long has Ernest Hemingway been peeing outside the litterbox?”

2. If you name your pet after a fictional animal be careful crossing species lines. This became an issue after The Lion King came out. There are so many dog Nalas and Simbas. If those dogs knew they were named after cats they would not be amused. The only acceptable variation of this is for Pomeranians.

3. You can cross species if they are far enough apart. Baloo doesn’t have to be reserved for bears. I don’t care if that isn’t logical.

4. Never, ever, ever cross gender. I am going to use the appropriate pronoun for the name and then you are going to yell at me. My personal pet peeve on this is the name Artemis. She was a freaking Goddess, people. Don’t disrespect her by naming a male after her. Now I have recently learned about the Artemis Fowl books that have obviously led a generation astray and led to lots of male Artemises but I’m still grumpy about it.

5. Don’t name your pet after something that you can neither pronounce nor spell, especially if you are apt to get pissy whenever someone else does it correctly. I feel this way about Versailles KY too. I could never live there because I’d feel like an ignoramus ever time I had to say Ver-sales.

6. Do not name your pet after bodily fluids or excrement. You’d think that would go without saying but obviously not. That one is by request of every vet staffer who has to go into a crowded lobby and yell your pet’s embarrassing name.

I hope this helps.

Quilting Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I feel like all I’ve done is work on quilts this week!

I finished 2 flowers this week. I’ve only got 6 left before I start putting my top together!

I had a big, busy Quilts of Valor week!

On Friday I got representatives from as many groups in the state as possible together to go through the free fabric available to nonprofits at a fabric warehouse in our state. We all left with bags and bags of fabric to use for QOVs. It was nice to be able to put faces together with email accounts.

On Saturday we had our second northeast Ohio sewing day. We have a big, sort of spur of the moment presentation coming up and we worked on getting tops together for that.

Stars were appliqued on 6 of the striped quilts and we made triangles and started putting together the 4 hour star quilt tops. I’m loving this pattern from quiltfrog.com.

We may need to change our event name. My mom was there from Pennsylvania and one quilter brought relatives from Michigan. Her granddaughter had sewn but never quilted before but now she can make half square triangles like a champ!

When I got home from the QOV event on Friday night this was waiting for me. I knew that I had to get it to someone I would see on Saturday night so I hurried up and got it bound and had my mother make a pillowcase for it. It will be presented soon.

This quilt came from a group in the Toledo area. It is going to a veteran in central Ohio.

Our Akron group donated this top made from anniversary blocks collected last year.

I have to get a backing made for that and get it sent off to a quilter.

I got two quilts back from a quilter yesterday. She surprised me by binding them and making pillowcases for them too!

I’ve gotten my mother involved too. She brought me her version of the 4 hour quilt top.

I think I have 3 more quilts coming back from quilters this week. That should temporarily take care of the backlog of individual requests we have here. There are other states that are swamped with requests and don’t have enough quilts to get to everyone. If you would like to help out, check out Quilts of Valor’s website.

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A Mouse in the House

When we went to bed last night the husband asked me if Riley had come back in.  I didn’t know that he had gone out.  I was surprised because it was raining.  I might have whined a bit about “my poor RiRi.”  The husband got up to see where he was.  Riley came running back in the house as soon as the door opened.

That should have been it.  About 5 minutes later the husband and I realized we were alone in bed.  That’s odd.  We should have had 2 dogs and at least one cat.  Then the commotion started in the dining room.  The husband got up.  He came back to inform me that my “poor RiRi” had brought something in the house.

Freckles was under the dining room table hopping up and down.  Powder was sitting near her.  Riley was on the table pretending that he had nothing to do with anything.  I’m not sure where Under the Bed Dog was but I’m sure she was hiding.

Closer inspection revealed that Freckles had a mouse.  She wanted the mouse to stay between her front legs.  It is possible that she was trying to shield it from a very interested Powder.  She knows what cats do to mice and has tried to take them away from the cats before.  This mouse wasn’t cooperating.  It kept running away.  So Freckles would jump up, catch it in her mouth, lie down, and spit it out between her front legs again over and over. Freckles has a tendency to rescue rodents to death.

(I was impressed by her ability to catch it, usually in midair.  If you threw a treat to her it would bounce off her head.)

I grabbed a dish towel and told Freckles that she needed to give the mouse to me.  She didn’t want to.  It got away and was retrieved a few more times before I got the towel over it.  I wrapped it up and released it outside.  It is probably now trying to explain how it was abducted to the other mice and signing up for a lifetime of therapy.

 

 

 

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Fitness Tuesday

Thursday

We had to run for warmup. I’ve been dreading this. We haven’t run all winter because it has been so cold and icy. I had done some running in the last few weeks but for some reason the thought of running warmups was really stressing me out. I usually start out first and end up last. I’m slow. This time I started off first and was going my normal pace and no one was passing me. We got to the 200 m point and I was still ahead. I was getting confused. Eventually some of the guys passed me but I was mid-pack at the end. Weird. I think they were all just being lazy. I could breathe ok so I guess it isn’t really spring yet when the pollen makes me wheezy on sprints.

We did 5 sets of 5 front squats. I did 85 lbs.

Then we did bench press. I was at around 60 lbs.

The workout was as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:

  • 4 pistols on each leg- These are one legged squats.  I can’t do them.  Most people can’t so we started in a lunge and had to stand up without using the back foot.
  • 8 kettle bell swings – I did 35 lbs.
  • 12 wall balls

I did 4 rounds with an injury time out.  Seriously, I am a danger to myself.  The wall balls consist of taking a 14 lb medicine ball, squatting, and then standing up and throwing it up to a mark 9 feet up on the wall.  The next part of the move is catching it on the way down.  That’s where I had a bit of a failure.  The ball smacked me in the face and bent up my glasses.  The nose pad snapped off when I tried to fix it.  I was all crooked for the rest of the day.

 

Jerks

I live with a bunch of jerkfaces.

I have to have a special feeding time for Under the Bed Dog because she won’t eat if Freckles is around. They don’t share a bowl or anything but apparently it is too scary. So last night I locked Freckles in the bedroom and presented UTBDog with her food.

Immediately Riley sauntered over and took a big bite out of the bowl. The dog covered under the table. Now, I have tried to feed Riley canned food. He doesn’t like it. He wasn’t there to get the spoonful of canned food in her bowl. He was there for a pure joy of taking her food from her while looking her in the eye and saying, “Yeah, dog? Whatcha gonna do about it?”

I shooed him off. He went and sat on top of the table. He casually dangled his front paws off the edge a few inches above the head. I told him that if he “accidentally” hit her from above when she was eating he was going to be in big trouble. He gave me his super innocent look.

By this time I was sitting on the floor next to the bowl while she ate. Powder showed up next. I just bodily turned her around before she enacted whatever devious plan of attack she had.

Boys and dogs

Z’s dog, known as Under the Bed Dog, is visiting because she is very stressed at her own house. She is not stressed with us. However, she is stressing us.

She can NOT be outside off lead. I learned my lesson this last time when I chased her in the woods at 3 AM. The husband did not learn this. She ran off on him during this visit. I had to chase her through the woods again. He agreed that she was NEVER to be off lead.

So why, pray tell, was I hearing him call her name over and over at 4 AM? Surely she wasn’t off lead?

The husband appeared and said — wait for it — “Freckles tricked me.”

I was flummoxed. She isn’t known for her cunning. How did she become a criminal mastermind? Turns out he opened the door to let Freckles out and then intended to put the leash on. UTB dog ran out.

So I head out I the woods wearing a bathrobe, sandals, and ankle deep mud. He stays in the yard. I see her by the light of my flashlight app but I can’t get near her. Finally I grab her collar and she screams like she was attacked out of the blue. I get her leashed and drag her back to the yard where the husband says, “Freckles ditched her.”

I reply, “Freckles hates her.”

I get her inside and while the garage door was shutting he tried to unhook her leash. “Don’t…..You……Dare!” I could see her running free again.

I tried to go back to bed. She was so excited that she needed to jump on me repeatedly. I went to the guest bedroom after rinsing my mud filled sandals in the shower and making a mess. I couldn’t go back to sleep. Neither could the husband. He got up and started unloading the dishwasher. Loudly. Just in case I was sleeping and needed to stay awake.

Then he appeared in the guest room. Both dogs and one cat came with him and piled on the bed. I mentioned that I was seeking alone time. He said that they were there to support me in my quest for aloneness. He tried to pet my head to tell me I was a good girl. He poked his finger in my eye.

Then the cat on my pillow and UTBDog got in a fight. The fight took place on top of my face. I gave in and got up.

I’m tired now.

Quilting Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I finished 3 more flowers. I only have one more to go in this fabric and then I’ll be moving on to my last fabric.

The turtle quilt is quilted and bound. I quilted it with straight lines in the black and free motion on the turtles to help hold down the fused applique. It is just a wall hanging so that should work.

I started making this four hour quilt top. This is about 2 hours in so I suspect the timing is about right.

We have a couple of Quilts of Valor presentations coming up and we have a backlog of quilt requests so fast patterns are appreciated.

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Fitness Tuesday

Thursday

We started with back squats. That is where you put the bar on your shoulders behind your head and squat. We did 4 sets of 8. I did 105 lbs.

Bench press was next. We did 4 sets of 6. I did 55 lbs.

The workout was 12 minutes long. Every minute on the minute we did:

  • 3 hang snatches – bar from mid thigh to over head.  I did 55 lbs.
  • 5 burpees

Friday

I went to the track again.  I walked 1/4 mile, ran 1/4, walked 1/4, ran 1/4, walked 1/4, ran 1/2, walked 1/4, and then walked at least another mile and maybe more.  I lost count as I am so prone to do so I went to the end of my playlist.  That was an hour and at the pace I was going should have been close to 4 miles.

I planned to do it again on Sunday but came down with something that made holding very still in bed the best idea for the day.

Tuesday

We did deadlifts.  It was 5 sets of 5.  I did 105 lbs.

Then I worked on ring rows.  I did 3 sets of 10.

The workout was just plain mean.  It was another every minute on the minute for 12 minutes workout.  We had to do:

  • 5 power cleans – bar from floor to under chin.  I did 55 lbs.
  • 4 push jerks – bar from chin to overhead

But then instead of resting if we finished before the minute was up, we had to do sit ups.  Our score for the day was the number of sit ups we did.  I did 27.  I didn’t always get through all the lifts.  I think I did 10 sit ups on the first minute and then got 2 or 3 each time at most after that.

There was a new person there.  He went up to the trainer afterwards and mentioned that he was transitioning to vegetarianism.  I swear my ears must be attuned to the words because I’m not sure how I heard him from where I was.  I swooped in with advice.  CrossFit coaches tend to be very Paleo diet focused.  They are flummoxed by vegetarians.  The guy was very happy to know there were other vegetarians who haven’t died doing CrossFit.

 

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The Undead Pool (The Hollows, #12)The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rachel Morgan is the only day-walking demon. She’s just starting to come to terms with living as a demon when a series of magical mysteries hit Cincinnati. First of all waves of magical misfires cause harmless spells to become incredibly powerful and dangerous. The waves also seem to be following her. Then all the master vampires fall asleep and the vampires under their control in the city suddenly have no one stopping them from wreaking havoc. With law enforcement breaking down, it may be up to Rachel and her friends to figure out why this all happening.

This is the 12th book in The Hollows series. I listened to this one on audio because I like the series and I wanted the book to last longer than if I was reading it. The author used this book to change the direction of several of the established characters in the series. I liked that. (Possible spoilers ahead) Ivy, Rachel’s vampire best friend and former tough girl, spent most of the book being described as sobbing or crying or some other emotional crap. I don’t like emotionally crippled female characters, especially when they are vampires. Vampires should be tough. I was pleased that it seems by the end of the book that she’s moving on. She was getting pretty extraneous to the series. Other characters are moving into new roles. I was pretty convinced that someone important was going to die (I wasn’t sure who) but no one did. I think this shakeup could breathe new life into the series.

Sir Apropos of Nothing (Sir Apropos of Nothing, #1)Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How does the deformed son of a small town prostitute end up saving a kingdom? Mostly through trying to avoid heroics of any kind and accidentally doing the knightly thing anyway.

Apropos hates knights ever since he found out the circumstances of his conception. When his mother is murdered he sets out to get justice at the court of the King. He doesn’t get justice but he does get a job as a squire to the most senile and inept knight in the kingdom. His life just keeps getting worse from there.

I liked Apropos because he is smart and sarcastic and hates the idea of honor. He sees himself as selfish and greedy and always out to save his own skin but occasionally glimpses of a hero shine through against his will.

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Quilting Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I finished my Honus of Hawaii top. (Like my socks? I didn’t notice them since this was an instagram photo and they didn’t show up there but they sort of match. They can stay.) My goal is to get it quilted by Saturday when I am going to my parents house. They did the same Hawaii trip. I am going to casually say, “I finished this up less than a year after the trip. Na na na na na na.” That last bit is important. Even if I don’t say it it will be implied. My mother makes lovely scrapbooks but never in a timely fashion. This came back to bite her when she finally got around to working on her Grand Canyon scrapbook and realized that many of the pictures included my ex-husband. That’s why you should get things done so you aren’t stuck working with pictures of people you don’t like anymore. Free life lesson for the morning. (Wow, I’m really free associating today.)

Of course immediately after taking that picture, this happened because quilts without cats are an abomination.

It is a wall hanging but he makes it look so small. A friend on instagram did note that he is actually a mountain lion so it isn’t truly representative of scale. The turtle blocks are 9 inches square. The quilt is around 40 inches square. The cat is very long.

In EPP news, I finished up the seven text fabric flowers and moved on to the ninth of ten fabrics – the pink polka dots. At this rate I’ll be done making flowers in less than a month and then I have to figure out how to put the top together.

Quilts of Valor news – There is a new program where you can buy bolts of patriotic fabric for $3 a yard to use in QOVs.
Here’s a link to the PDF of how to order. PatrioticQuilt-SalesSheet

The 2014 Block Drive Pattern is here too.

HearthHome_BlockPatternB

Linking up to One Flower Wednesday.

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Fitness Tuesday

I see articles all the time about how Crossfit is going to kill you or at the very least maim you. I have an injury that I’ve never seen mentioned in all the articles.

On Tuesday the workout contained 200 sit ups. I was wearing a new pair of workout pants. Apparently there is a seam across the butt. It rubbed me raw. I look like I’ve been branded across the butt. Ow. Not fun. Note to self – don’t wear those if there are situps on the schedule.

Thursday

We warmed up with a 600 m row and then we did the whole workout with a PVC pipe instead of weight to finish warming up.

For strength work we did 5 back squats (I did 85 lbs) on every even minute and 10 box jumps on every odd minute for 10 minutes.

The workout was:

  • 10 strict presses – push the bar overhead from under the chin
  • 15 overhead squats – hold the bar overhead and squat
  • 20 push presses – bend your knees a little and stand up quickly to give yourself a little momentum to push the bar overhead
  • 25 front squats – squat with the bar under your chin
  • 30 push jerks – push the bar overhead and squat a little to catch it.
  • 35 back squats – squat with the bar on your shoulders behind your head.

I used 35 lbs.  That was a little light but I got nervous because the Rx weight for women was 45 lbs.  I usually do a little less than Rx.  I could have probably done 45.  I did it in 7:50.

Sunday

We went to the gym where we swim and exercised on the track. I was getting anxious about it getting warm because we’ll start running in CrossFit again. I hate running. I’m bad at running. Even thinking about running stresses me.

So I did 1/4 mile walk, 1/4 mile run, 1/4 mile walk, 1/4 mile run, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile run, and 1/4 mile walk. It was surprisingly easy. I even rechecked the track distance and my math several times because even the 1/2 mile was easy. I’m still convinced I did the math wrong.

Tuesday

It is bring a friend week so the workouts are a little easier. I don’t have any friends who want to get up before dawn with me in order to beat up their bodies.

We started with snatches. That is taking the bar from the floor to overhead. We did 5 sets of 3. I did 55 lbs, working on form.

We did reverse hypers.

HT-reverse-hyper-3 This is a hamstring move.  You bring your legs up to level with your hips.  We did 4 sets of 10.

The workout was 2 minutes of:

  • 12 Deadlifts – bar from floor to hips
  • 9 Power Cleans – bar from floor to under chin
  • 6 Push Jerks – bar from chin to overhead

Then we rested 2 minutes.  We did it for a total of 3 times.  You used the same weight for each lift so the deadlifts were simple and the push jerks were hard.  I did 65 lbs.  I did 3 full rounds and did 3 more deadlifts.

 

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The Daring Ladies of LowellThe Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lowell Massachusetts was a cotton mill town. Young women who did not want a life on a farm flocked there to work as “mill girls.” The mill owners promised that these women were of good virtue and that they would be safe. A murder of one of the girls led to a sensational trial.

This is the fictionalized account of the trial following the murder of a real mill girl. It occurred at a time when tensions were running high because of unsafe working conditions in the mill that was leading to deaths from inhalation of cotton fibers. One side of the story is represented by a mill girl who is friends with the murdered woman. She starts to speak out to try to get justice for her friend. The other side is represented by the heir to the mill who starts to realize that they are killing the workers but who can’t convince his father to change his ways.

I enjoyed this book.

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Quilting Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

After I finished off getting six Quilts of Valor tops off to various longarmers around the country and all the quilt back making that that entailed, I was at a bit of a loss for what to do. I decided to work on some stuff of my own. Crazy, I know.

I started working on a quilt pattern that I bought when I was in Hawaii in June.

It is a wall hanging with 4 sea turtles. I got the first two together. I still need to applique the shells. They are fused right now. I’m not even going to try to applique all those details. Cutting them out was bad enough. I think they are just going to get heavily quilted.

I signed up to take a Craftsy class on machine quilting. I’ve done a bit but I figured more practice was good. Now I have to make a top to quilt before I can start. They give a pattern that is cute.

I also made 4 and half hexy flowers this week.

The husband finally grasped the implications of all the time sewing these. We were in the car and he said something about how he couldn’t understand how I could sew those all the time because it would make him crazy. I said that everyone thinks that until they do one and get addicted. He asked if making the flowers was the point. I said no, it was a quilt and I was getting close to having all the flowers. I was around 50.

He was shocked. 50? I said that it was 7 flowers from each of ten fabrics and the text fabric was fabric number eight. I think he thought I just made flowers and shoved them in a drawer. Actually given the number of UFOs I have that isn’t a crazy assumption.

Linking up with One Flower Wednesday.

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