Today I took a nice 3 1/2 mile walk. It's been a long time since I've exercised outdoors and I've missed it. It's so much nicer to be outside, seeing the gardens, saying hi to the neighbors, and seeing who's doing what to their houses than to be in a dark basement.
I can't wait until later, to see what the New Hampshire returns look like. The initial reports have Obama and McCain leading. It's possible that this could be the beginning of an Obama run toward the nomination*, but the Republican side is a bit muddier. With Huckabee winning Iowa, Romney taking Wyoming, McCain taking New Hampshire, and Giuliani claiming he has a good shot at some upcoming primaries, there isn't going to be a clear front-runner for Republicans to start uniting behind. Will this mean that the eventual nominee will have a harder time? I think so, and here's why: I think that the old school/new school rift in the Republican party is getting harder and harder to ignore. None of the candidates is perfect for all of the party factions. Shrub managed to appeal to both factions in the last elections: the evangelicals because he spoke their language, and the old schoolers because of his father, the quintessential old-school Republican. This time around, Huckabee's overt religious fanaticism puts off the old school fiscal conservative/libertarian wing of the party; Giuliani doesn't satisfy the evangelicals; ditto for Romney, no matter how many religious speeches he makes; Fred Thompson hasn't lit any fuses like people were hoping. McCain's an interesting case -- he's more of an old school Republican, but his vaunted "independence" in the last election may have cost him some of those votes. He also may lose a lot of the independents who voted for him last time around, specifically because of his independent streak, because he's spent the last 7 years as Bush's little yapping lap dog. In my (admittedly somewhat hopeful) opinion, none of this bodes well for their chances in this election.
*Obviously, I could be very wrong about Obama's chances after New Hampshire. However, Clinton appears to be imploding; Edwards appears to be running for VP again by aligning himself with Obama in New Hampshire; and poor Bill Richardson is still being ignored.
(It'll be interesting to come back and reread these posts in November, won't it?)
On the knitting front, I've abandoned the Swallowtail shawl AND the Raven yarn. The yarn came and, frankly, it looks awful. I need to send them a picture and ask if this is the way the yarn is supposed to look, because as it stands, I'm not sure I would use it. The dye is uneven and spotty, not up to their usual standards.
Instead, I have started "Miss Lambert's Shetland" shawl pattern from Victorian Lace Today in KnitPick's alpaca lace yarn in the Autumn color:
Unblocked lace, crappy looking, huh? Here's a more arty shot:
It's a pretty simple rectangular shawl with a narrow, knitted-on border. It's not a lace masterpiece, but I think it will be very versatile. It's not so delicate and ornate that I'd feel overdressed throwing it on over jeans, you know?
One of the other things I love to do when I have the time is bake. Breads, cookies, cakes, scones, whatever. I don't do the sweet stuff too often because it's not healthy, but I love fresh baked bread. The boys love it, too, which is nice. Today I baked a rye bread, even though I'm the only one in the house who will eat it.
When it's cool, I'll slice it and wrap and freeze the slices individually so I can grab a piece or two out of the freezer when I want. Smell-o-vision would be a good thing right now :)