In which we find evidence that I need to vacuum

Cara is having a contest to celebrate her upcoming January One birthday. Read the clues and guess what sock she’s knitting before December 31, 10 am EST, and you could win some not-yet-for-sale STR yarn and other goodies.

Kristi is looking for a baby whisperer (and celebrating her blogiversary) – leave her a comment with tips for getting both of her twins asleep at the same time and you could win some fibery gifts (and provide relief to some exhausted parents!). Deadline is January 4, 11 pm EST.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Typepad hates me this week. I’m having trouble commenting on Typepad blogs – pages load really slow and I (eventually) get error messages when I click “Post.” This is happening in both Firefox and IE – anyone have any ideas what might be the problem?! Much appreciated… If you’re on Typepad, really, I still love you. I just can’t comment! 🙂

I got nothin’… Look! Over there! A kitten!

“How can you resist such perfect cuteness?” -M

“You know you don’t want to resist… Hey, Mom, you need to vacuum in here! That’s not my hair.” -M

“I can’t bear to look at evidence of such slovenly housekeeping. I must avert my eyes!” -M

Not a USPS approved use of a Priority Mail box…

Susan used Patons Soy Wool to make some Kureyon-Chans – they turned out really cute!

Cursed bloglines – it’s not seeing my blog again. Not seeing a lot of blogs, as far as I can tell. Grrrrr…

Reading Update
Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris. This is the second book in the series about Harper and her stepbrother Tollivar. Harper was struck by lightning and can now find dead people and knows how they died. This series is ok, but not as good (so far) as the Sookie Stackhouse or Lily Bard books.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I’d read this a while ago and enjoyed it, but after reading Anansi Boys recently, I knew I needed to reread this book. Wow. I got a lot more out of it this time! Anansi Boys was a good read, but this is a great read – it’s epic in a most unusual way.
Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180 by Mike Magnuson. Warning: the cover picture of this book is not for the faint of heart. It’s a “before” picture of the author – and it appeared in GQ, probably as a spoof of Liebowitz’s famous photograph of Lance Armstrong.)
This is the first From the Stacks Winter Reading Challenge book I’ve completed. Hey, I have all of January to read the remaining four…
Anyway, I love reading cycling books, which is how this book ended up in my stacks in the first place. I read another of Magnuson’s books a long time ago (The Right Man for the Job), mostly because a friend of mine knew him and was pushing the book. I remember nothing of it, other than it took me a while to get into the book, due to Magnuson’s writing style. Same thing with this autobiographical tale of how Magnuson used cycling to turn his life around as he neared 40, but after I got into it, the book gave me a lot to think about, including some ways in which I need to consider changing my own life.

Not much else going on around here, so maybe it’s time to check the mail…

“All I know is I sure can’t fit in there. Your mileage may vary, May.” -C

“I wonder if I can fit…” -M

“It looks awfully snug…” -M

*muffled*

In which no cats were forced to wear baby socks

Ok, I actually did do a little bit of Christmas knitting – I knit a pair of socks for my friends’ baby from some of the stripey purple and black yarn Jeanne dyed for my birthday. I immediately attempted to get pictures of a cat wearing them, but the cats, they were having none of that. Instead, I present pictures of baby socks lying on or near cats. I know it’s a poor substitute.

“Why did you put these things on me?!” -C

“Maybe if I ignore them, they’ll go away.” -C

“Don’t you move those things any closer. I’m getting wise to your sneaky ways, Mom.” -M

Driving in a winter wonderland

Vicki Knitorious has written a nice post about knitblogging that I highly recommend.

Trek is having a funny fiber fiction contest for those who usually purchase from Amazon.co.uk – you could win a £5 gift certificate!

Strangelittlemama is having a contest – let her know what your favorite FO from 2006 was and you could win a fun gift!

If you’re looking for some different Christmas music on Christmas Eve and you live in the Twin Cities or have good internet access, you can listen to several hours of various programming from Minnesota Public Radio’s station The Current. The music gets going at 5 pm CST on Sunday with an hour of local Minnesota holiday music. Then Aimee Mann shares some of her favorite Christmas music from 6-7 pm. Next is the Sound Opinions’ Christmas Special from 7-8 pm, American Routes’ Christmas in New Orleans from 8-10 pm, and Peter Otroushko’s Heartland Holiday Concert at 10 pm. I’ll definitely be listening!

So, I’m pretty sure you all have a mental picture of Minnesota, and it might involve a cold, snowy, wasteland (perhaps year round). 😉 Well, until yesterday, we’d had only a bit of snow this winter (Mayhem chittered at it, thinking it was quite the flock of falling birds) that didn’t stick around because it’s been so warm. Yesterday, it started to rain in the morning. That turned to freezing rain around noon, and by 12:30 pm, we had heavy snow for a while. Here’s what we could see from the window at work at around 1:30 pm (the close blobs are frozen raindrops on the window – the farther blobs are cars on the freeway, crawling along):

Here’s what things looked like from the window at home a few hours later, after a drive home on sidestreets (and a stop at Home Depot for some tubes of sand for ye olde rear wheel drive car):

Winter wonderland, no doubt! Except that’s only about an inch or so of snow, which probably won’t survive the weekend.

“Neener, neener, neener – I’m warm and cozy inside and life is good! And for any flying mice that break into the condo – look out, because you are toast!” -M

Happy holidays to all of you from all of us here at Casa de Chaos (and Mayhem!).

Knit Knacks, paddywhacks, give the cats some tuna…

Kat with a K is hosting UFO Resurrection Challenge 2007. Signups close January 31 and everyone who finishes will be entered in a prize drawing at the end of next year.

Hmm, not much knitting going on here (but I do have my presents wrapped!), so I think it’s time for another trip down memory lane… Check out those tights, eh? I bet you’ll all be emailing me, begging me for that pattern, because what could be more flattering to our thighs, right?! 😉

Elf hat, anyone?

How about a massive collar with bobbles?! Here’s another weird thing about me – I never wear turtlenecks because I have a long skinny neck and turtlenecks are not flattering. I see these collar thingies and picture one of them on me… and I might have nightmares.

Doesn’t the French poodle (at the bottom) look like it should be holding a roll of toilet paper in someone’s grandmother’s guest bathroom?!

Quick! There’s still time to make yourselves a sequinned hood and party slippers before New Year’s Eve…

And can you believe that there are no actual photographs of these bonnets in the booklet?! These are the best part! I’m sure we can all think of a deserving child who needs a Clothilde Cat, Oswald Owl, or Lionel Lion bonnet…

Since you’ve all been doing so well interpreting black blob pictures this week, here’s another for you. I call it “Under the Chaos Bridge.” (If it helps, Chaos’ head is just off the bottom of the picture and one of May’s ears is to the right.)

“Chaos bridges falling down, falling down, falling down, I’m a fair kitten! Or something like that.” -M

Cooqi

Ruth is having a contest – leave her a comment by Friday with your best guess as to why she knows that Lamb’s Pride Worsted (color “coffee bean”) burns with green flame in the fireplace – you could win some sock yarn.

Check out the Yarn Life 2007 Crafting Challenge! By declaring your fiber-related goals for the year, you can be part of the support forum (y’know we all need support!) and eligible for prizes throughout the year.

So I might’ve mentioned that I’m a celiac and follow a gluten-free diet. Living life without wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and oats is definitely a bit of an adjustment. When I was diagnosed over 10 years ago, gluten-free products were only available over the internet or in limited selections at co-ops. Now? Wow. The times, they are a-changin’ and it’s good. One sign of this is that the Twin Cities now has a gluten-free coffeeshop and bakery!

Cooqi is located at 2186 Marshall Avenue in St. Paul – basically on the southwest corned of Marshall and Cretin – and has been open a week.

I visited them right before closing on their first day and they were a bit shellshocked (but happy!) about the response they’d received, as evident from the empty bakery case!

I’ll definitely be back to try some of their bread, have some more muffins and a mocha, and sit and knit. Cooqi is extremely warm and cozy and I wish they had more seating for knitters! 🙂

They also appear to be extremely kid friendly.

“I’ll get you for the foot incident, big kitty!” -M

Another completed project of which you were completely unaware

I thought of another good weird thing after I put together my list – I can’t bear to have those stupid little postcard subscription things in any magazine I receive, so I go through and rip them all out when a magazine arrives.

It’s so hard to get out of bed at this time of year! Not only is it dark dark dark, it’s chilly, so I don’t want to crawl out from under the flannel sheets and down comforter. Plus, when my alarm goes off, both cats come in (if they weren’t there already) and snuggle and purr. Flannel, down, warm purring cats… I think I need to go back to bed!

Reading Update
Back Story by Robert B. Parker. This is one of the Spenser novels and I just read it for the tiny bit of Jesse Stone crossover in it.
Blue Screen by Robert B. Parker. I just read this Sunny Randall novel a few months ago, but it was fun to reread it after reading the Jesse Stone novels, since Sunny and Jesse get together in this one.
Shakespeare’s Champion by Charlaine Harris. This was (I think) the second Lily Bard novel and I read it totally out of order, since I finished the others weeks and weeks ago. You should definitely read these in order if you can – and it should be easier since this one was reprinted at the beginning of this month.

Knitting Update
The gifting season can be difficult for the knitblogger – you’re working on these great things, but you can’t blog more than evasive hints in case the gift recipient happens across your blog entry and the surprise is ruined. But on Saturday afternoon, I finished another 13-stitch wide Arrowhead Lace scarf and since it was a birthday gift presented Saturday evening, I can actually blog about it!

This particular scarf was made from SWTC Bamboo in Fiery Red. I was so excited to have finished it that I promptly wrapped it and forgot to take any pictures with the usual suspects! 😮 They’re probably pleased that they missed out, actually.

Why yes, that might actually be genuine Naugahyde in the background! (As opposed to artificial Naugahyde?!)

The usual suspects kept busy at home.

*glug glug glug* -M

“Licking the empty bowl isn’t going to bring Mom home any sooner to feed us our late supper, big kitty.” -C

In which I capitulate and do the six weird things meme

Ok, although I tend not to do memes, I think I’ve hit critical mass on being tagged for the six weird things meme. First it was Anmiryam of Gromit Knits, then La, then Peeve. Um, I’m not sure I can think of six weird things that I haven’t already included in my 100 Things About Me list… I suppose, since I don’t really remember what’s on that list…

  1. I never thought of myself as being particularly into cars. Sure, I had my beloved purple Escort wagon, but that was mostly the perfect quirkiness of said vehicle. However, I’ve discovered a deep and abiding pleasure in driving the replacement for the traitorous Escort – my silver BMW 318ti (“ti” should stand for “tiny”!). This shakes me selfview a bit.
  2. I have to wear earplugs to sleep, even when it’s not noisy.
  3. I’m not sure exactly when I last turned on my tv, even to watch a movie. Um, April maybe??
  4. Smears and smudges and streaks on the inside of the glass in my car drives me crazy. Do you know how hard it is to keep that glass streak-free?!
  5. My Rainbow vacuum cleaner is the same one I used as a child! It’s wicked on cat hair, kitty litter, etc.
  6. When I go to bed, I have to start by lying on my left side for a while, then turning over to my right to fall asleep.

Whew! That was hard. Cat picture, anyone?

(muffled) “Got your foot, May! Ha! Now what’re you going to do?!” -C

The Tongue Edition

Nishanna is having a contest – caption a picture of her cute pup before Monday, December 18, 7 pm EST, and you could win some yarn!

Wendy’s putting together Knit From Your Stash 2007. Wisely, it’s only the first 9 months of the year. And there are additional conditions. Me? I freak out and start buying yarn like a maniac if I’m part of something like that. If I’m not, I don’t. Your mileage may vary!

So I have my blog signed up for Google Analytics, mostly because it’s fun to see what search terms bring people here. I’ve included some of the most interesting ones – feel free to discuss them amongst yourselves:

  • dress butt picture (whose butt?! I wear a dress about 2x/year, so not likely mine)
  • mom armpit lick (EEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!)
  • sock monkey cookies (not sure they’d be edible!)
  • pics of chaos dying (NOOOOOOOOOOO!)
  • tossing ferrets (Like tossing cookies?!)
  • french coat flasher book (*blink blink*)
  • i love when my kids lickes my armpits (EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!)
  • ferret licks my hair (I swear, I have no ferrets!!)
  • lederhosens for dogs (please make sure you leave the appropriate holes!)
  • pics “boy’s butt” (I prefer men over boys, but whatever)

How disappointed do you think most of those people are?! 😉

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area and are looking for a kitty, I got May through Underdog Rescue. They have several kittens at my fabulous neighborhood petstore (Urbanimal) right now, including a gorgeous little black kitten girl called Suri (yes, like the alpaca – she’s obviously meant to be a knitter’s cat!), another older black kitten (Esmerelda) not listed on the website, and a dilute tortie called Tink (Tink?? Really, you need to come visit right now). I cannot get any more cats, due to condo regulations. Hopefully some of you can!

Ok, since I’ve obviously run out of vim and vigor and blogging ideas at the end of the week, I present the Tongue Edition (yeah, baby, that’ll pep up my search terms).

“Neener neener neener, May, I’m first cat in the blog today!” -C

“Big kitty, it’s age before beauty.” -M

“But my tongue is bigger than your tongue, May! Ha!” -C