7I finished reading Honeymoon by James Patterson and began Marrying Mom by Olivia Goldsmith, so I guess those can be my two books for this week’s Summer Reading Challenge. Both authors are fine storytellers. Honeymoon was given to me by Blessing, who gave it high marks for having a twist at the end, but I would take off some points for loose ends.

I got some knitting done while I read (and watched Casino Royal with my kids.) Here is Ivy. Ivy is not going to be interesting to photograph for a long time, because she is all gray stockinette. However, the fabric is light and soft. This is Knitpicks Essentials on #3 needles, which is quite a different yarn from the one suggested for this pattern, but I think that it will be very nice 7for fall.

 And here is the Doctor’s Bag, in Telemark. I have forgotten what size needles I am using. The book this pattern comes from, Knit 2 Together, has the very sensible suggestion of tying knots in the tail of your yarn to show what size needles you are using — three knots for size 3 and so on. I did not do this, though. I’ll have to check the needle size and let you know.

I hope that you can see the texture at least a little bit. It is a very cool stitch, and quite thick. The pattern calls for a double strand of heavy yarn, so the original must be like a carpet. Good in a bag, of course.

7In addition to knitting and reading (and dusting, scrubbing, vacuuming, and washing), I got the grocery shopping done. #2 daughter came with me to the meat market, where I picked up a Freezer Variety Bundle — 25 pounds of meat for $75, so it’s a bargain, and it lasts us a full month or more. I also had the Schwann’s man bring us lots of good things. With the garden and the stuff from the farmer’s market, I feel that we are heading into Back to School well provided for. 

I offer you gratuitous cat pictures. #2 son took them.7

#2 daughter has returned to her town. It was fun having her here. It was also good for errand-running. She thinks shopping is fun, and it is more fun for me when I do it with her, certainly.

In addition to the meat market, we went to the fabric store to pick up a couple of yards of cheap solids so that I can finish up SWAP Part II with a hasty Plan B. That is on the schedule for tomorrow.

And we went to the outdoor sporting goods place. We have about four sporting goods places — no, six, now that I think of it — but this is a probably my favorite.

7 They have a little pond in which you can try out a kayak. #2 daughter is wanting to buy a kayak, and a car rack for it, and the people there were very helpful about those things.

I admired hiking boots. I did my hiking vacation in hand-me-down athletic shoes too old for the gym (not wanting to spoil my gym shoes, you know) and I found that after five miles or so, my feet hurt.

The story is that this doesn’t happen if you have proper hiking boots.

With the sinewy, tanned staff there looking happy and relaxed and fit, I could believe that a pair of Sun Dragon hiking shoes would not only keep my feet from getting sore on long hikes, but possibly that they would also cause me to feel younger and equally happy and relaxed, if not sinewy.photo_1113399909425d2265b01b1

I have to pay tuition and car payments and butcher’s bills, so I did not lay down a C-note on hiking shoes, but I  can see why people do in this sort of setting. In fact, standing there near the climbing wall, I could see why people load up on all sorts of gear for hobbies they do not have time for and won’t really do.

I don’t do that, myself. I read my books, knit with my stash, and wear my gym shoes to the gym. But busy people who buy hiking boots — or, for that matter, a kayak — that they will never really use can, for a few minutes or even a day, imagine themselves part of the whole “Life is Good” balanced life young fit happy milieu, even if they really have more of a “Life is Horrible” setting.

Actually, for me, Life is Good.

I hope it is for you, too.