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Archive for October, 2009

Whose nose do you think this belongs to?

Are you sure that's a nose?

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Finally!
Buttons sewn on.
Shrugs sent off to Mom and OS (Oldest Sis) yesterday.

Shrug: Blue for YS, Pink for Mom

Now, I’ll just finish YS’ (Youngest Sis) red shrug this weekend and it already has buttons waiting to be sewn on. Buttons are totally different from the ones on my Mom’s and OS’ shrugs.

Also, I finished My Precious’ afghan over the weekend. Right now, it’s just all spread out being lightly blocked. Heavy blocking isn’t necessary as I like the bobble-waves look making it look and feel 3-dimensional. When it’s ready, I’ll finally put a FOFO (Finished Object/Finally Over) stamp to it. And blog about it. Soon.

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 Apples!

More Apples! These ones called Winter Bananas!     Mr. Wonderful's Faves: Red Pears!

Last Saturday, October 10th, with the great sunny weather still hanging around, Mr. Wonderful and I thought to go for an Autumn Foliage Fruit Loop Scenic Drive at Hood River.Two routes of interest: 1) Route 84 that runs from North Portland on the Columbia River Gorge. Columbia River Gorge, a powerful river sandwiched between Washington and Oregon, starts from the mouth of the Pacific Ocean on the west to somewhere close to Idaho on the east; and 2) Route 35, from Columbia River Gorge/Hood River town, goes south to Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood is the highest point in Oregon topping at 11,240 feet of magnificence. It may be lower than Mt. Rainier in Washington or Mt. Shasta of California, each of which tops at 14,000 some feet. Does anyone remember the disaster at Mt. Hood in 2002? So, even at 11k feet, it’s a mountain not to be reckoned with lightly.

Fishing Boats Out Early in the Morning on the Columbia River

Surprise Around the Bend ~ Mt. Hood!

Surprise Around the Bend ~ Mt. Hood!

 We have never gone through the fruit loop before. We had always stopped at Hood River town and to Mt. Hood itself in the summers for long hikes, but never stopping in between. It’s called fruit loop because of all the orchards doting in and out of Route 35. The premise of this autumn drive was just to see the orchards and not to go U-Pick on fruits. One can’t help but get a few fruits from the dozens upon dozens of fruit bins in these farms, though. Plus, the atmosphere and scenery in around the orchards were just something to behold. You just had to get some souvenirs.

 Pumpkins, Hay Stack and Picnic   Rambunctious Goats!

Autumn Is Definitely Here!   Orchard with Mt. Hood in the Background

Part 2 promises more photos.

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Portlandia, Official Icon for Portland Oregon

Yay! All done! Finally, all those months (9 to be exact) of training have finally come to an end by (I wish I could say, with a bang!) completing the 26.2 mile marathon in Portland, October 4th, Sunday.

Such A Pig Bib, Medal & 26.2 Magnet

My Official Shirt & My Good-Luck Charms

Target time of 6.5 hours just didn’t quite happen. I had problems early on, at mile 3. The toes to my right foot started to scream at me, with intense burning sensation. I can only think, ‘Oh boy, there are 23 more miles to go. How am I gonna finish this?!’ I was totally miserable as I reached mile 14, where I had a complete exhausted feeling and racking my brain for new strategy. Mile 17, which is the highest peak of the race literally on the St. John’s Bridge, was supposed to be the WALL. My wall started at mile 14.

But I had weapons of distraction on the ready by then. I puffed the last puff of my asthma inhaler, put on my mp3 player and swallowed (yuck!) 2 of the 2x caffeine gel for a boost. That changed everything. I was able to pass about 20 racers (some of which were seniors and some who were shorter than me. hahahahaha!). Also, I noticed that the burning sensation on my toes had ceased; with the conclusion that my feet were swollen enough to elevate the toes from touching the bottom of my shoes.

I even cheered on racers who were dragging their limping legs, as I passed them by. I would say, ‘xxxx more miles to go. Pick up, pick up!’ But deep down, I’d say, ‘Darn, xxx more loooooong miles to go.’ Even the last mile seemed like forever to reach.

Finally, I see the finish line. Hardly anyone on the sidelines were cheering. But surprise, surprise, my training coach was there and was happy to see me. I was just going to wave to her, but she came and hugged me. It was really a nice gesture, but all I could think then was, ‘Hey, you’re delaying my finish time.’

So, what was my finish time? Let’s just put it this way………I beat the 8 hour clock! Because after 8 hours, the organizers were supposed to clear away the area. Unluckily for my race partner, who always beats me in the dust at other races, finished at a dismal 9 some hours. Others were still there till 10 hours. So, really, I shouldn’t be whining, right?

It’s just my first full marathon. One learns alot at any first time events, right? First time marathon….lots of lessons learned. I mean A LOT! During the race, all I could think of was WHY? WHY WERE YOU CRAZY ENOUGH TO THINK YOU CAN DO THIS?!

After the race, the mind set is in a different state. In a state of euphoria for:

  1. overcoming one’s self-doubt;
  2. not giving up; not even the thought of giving up;
  3. not succumbing to the mental circus of thoughts going on during the race;
  4. and lastly, for actually reaching the finish line.

There’s a wish (death wish?) that there would be more marathons to accomplish even if it meant ‘just walking them’. This is very addicting! In a positive way!

Notes of Importance from This Race:

  • The weather that started with rain overnight before the race, turned out really wonderful with overcast skies (hate sunshine!) and about high 30’s into 40’s, I think. So, no overheating feeling there.
  • I didn’t overdress, one lesson I learned from the Eugene Half Marathon.
  • I didn’t overload on crappy useless stuffs in my backpack.
  • From watching other racers, I saw a couple with Cyclist’s Vests on. They seemed happy without any burden to carry. Next time I will invest in one and put all my necessities in the back pocket.
  • And depending on the amenities of the race, I will minimize carrying my own water. Portland Marathon was great giving out water and electrolytes and gummy bears. For this race, I loaded up with my own electrolyte thinking I’ll just drink their water. After so many miles, I was getting sick of and bored with drinking & eating SWEET stuffs like such electrolytes (which by the way is an absolute necessity) and power bars. To this day, I don’t even want to mention power bars. AND GELS!
  • As for food, variety is the keyBeef Jerky, dried fruits, pretzels, cheese stix, and trail mix would give one a no humdrum feeling.
  • And last lesson learned: it’s not only the physical that we train to accomplish feats of impossibility, one has to tackle and train THE MIND. Long races play tricks on the mind. It can drive you insane (well, not literally).

So, onto other races. In the meantime, I would like to tackle running, I mean RUNNING (not walking) a 5K.

Until the next marathon…….I remain optimistic and positive. On to a healthier lifestyle! Remember, walking is a way of life, use it!

Behind the Start Line at the Fountain, Early Morning Prior to Race, Hardly Awake

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Remember this?

I must not be a good mom. Because those little lemons never grew up. Instead, they all dropped off. Or, the birds got them. I bought this plant from a holiday bazaar last fall. I can’t wait to go back and try to find out from the grower why fruits dropped like they did. Anyone know anything about lemon trees?

I feel totally inept with house plants. They die on me left and right. A birch tree I planted 2 years ago suddenly died this summer. For awhile it looked like it was thriving.

The only thing that I can nurture seem to be the wrong kind of plant. The weed kind and those darn blackberry brambles.

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2-tone Pink Shrug 

Knit In Progress #6
Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
 
Marianne Garrison Design (LYS)
Needle Size 5 to gauge
Gauge 5 sts +1″ stockinette stitch 
Start Date: Early August
Target Finish Date: Ongoing

Special Note: Knitting this little shrug is so much fun and a cinch to make. I’ve already finished a small-sized two-tone pink one and a medium-sized blue one. I love this shade of blue ~ Blue Paradise. The pink one is Blush; the darker pink: A Mistake!  Both shrugs are just waiting to have a button sewn up on each of them. Actually, I haven’t bought the buttons. I’ll have to wait till I come back from the marathon.

Then, I’m in the middle of knitting a red tweed-looking piece called Rosy Paintbrush ~ very pleasing color piece. The pink one goes to my mom; the blue one (a bit late birthday present) to my oldest sis (OS); the red tweedy one goes to youngest sis (YS). I’ll send my mom’s and (OS) the week after the marathon. YS will get hers a week or so after that.

About the 2-tone pink shrug, the yarn was on sale and I grab two of them not even looking at the dye lot. I’m such a blind bat! After I’ve finished knitting the piece did I only discover the different shade. My mom is more blind than I am and so will not mind at all. hahahahahaha!

Eyelet Edge Detail Edges look more like cables

Unfinished Blue Shrug Sleeves I made this longer

Red Shrug Still On The Needle YS will love this

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