#2 daughter tumbled out of bed just in time for us to get to the gym, if not to do a whole lot of exercising before she had to get ready for work. This is the current entrance to the gym, which is in the process of remodeling. Yes, this is a strange painted-on facade of a village. I could tell you how it came about, but it is not an interesting story. Through this door, there is a graveyard of old fitness machinery, bench presses and pec decs and rowing machines and treadmills.

We made a complete tour of the new equipment. It is from a company called TuffStuff. You know I am not making that up. I like it because it has diagrams and instructions and tells you the muscles the machine works, many of which I have never before heard of.

Last week, our gym contained three girlie weights machines, pink and teal things for abs and thighs, which had instructions on them. The other stuff was HammerStrength, looked like farm machinery, and could only be used by those in the know. Now, I don’t want to make too much of this. I am sure that the folks at the gym never even considered the names of their machinery. But I will not be surprised if more women end up using the strength training equipment. There is something daunting about stepping into a black and yellow thing that looks like a combine harvester. Silver and blue stuff with instructions is just friendlier.

The pullover machine, just to give you a heads up here, has nothing to do with knitting. And I have to admit that we sort of scampered about trying out the machines and chirped girlie stuff to each other like “Ooh! This one is really hard!” And read out the muscles we were strengthening with doubtless execrable pronunciation (how do you say erector spinae, after all? Just like “spiny,” I suppose, but that does sound funny, doesn’t it?). Never mind. We had the place almost entirely to ourselves.

The boys went later, and did the same tour approach that we had done. We’ll go back today for a more thorough workout. #1 son and I actually bought new workout pants. Inspired, I guess, by the sleek new machinery. Mine were hand-me-downs ten years ago and now have a hole in them. #1 son had merely grown out of his. They seem too scruffy for the new equipment.

We also bought #2 daughter a suitcase for her UK tour. And a quilt frame. This is an amazing amount of shopping for me to have done in one day. I actually also did an online yarn order, in order to have enough yarn for the lovely Jasmine sweaters. I included the book Poetry in Stitches, an expensive knitting book which I have been coveting for about a year. I obviously do not need such a book, but as I say, I have wanted it for a long time, and you begin to feel entitled to a thing on that basis after a while, don’t you? Well, I pushed the button and got a message “While you were shopping, the inventory of Poetry in Stitches was ordered by another customer.” While I was shopping. I have to imagine someone in some other part of the world entirely, reaching for this hard-to-find book at the same moment I did. And pushing the button sooner than I, presumably because he or she did not stop to calculate as much as I did, or was faster at it. Sigh. It is clear that I am not meant to have that book.

Then I returned to my rigorous program of lolling around. Here is the current knitting.

It is, at least in theory, the sweater Jasmine. But it is holding-pattern knitting. You know how you sometimes begin a piece without having the right needles, or without enough yarn, or in some other state of uncertainty. You say to yourself that you are just swatching, kind of, and may take it all out. That is how I have been working on this piece, because I am waiting for the #0 needles to appear — either by magic, or in some yet-to-be-discovered yarn shop. And since we are not leaving on our road trip this morning as planned, chances are good that no needles will appear before Friday, when we will actually go to another town where they might have yarn shops. So this has no ribbing — I guess I will do it upside down later. Or do some other sort of edging. I don’t know. I’ve just sort of been knitting along on this because it is Spring Break and I am reading or talking while I knit, not paying attention, and this is all stockinette. So here I am, one inch away from the decreases for the raglan sleeve, still thinking of it as sort of temporary.

Here is Nadia, who is really good at lolling around.

She is an inspiration to us all.

It is actually a good thing that we are not heading out on a camping trip today, because it is 33 degrees and snowing slightly. Like, if it were rain, we would say it was drizzling. It would not add to the pleasures of a camping trip, though. Today is a day to stay in front of the fire, with cups of hot tea and a nice stack of novels.