July 2007

The Obviously Eternal Travelogue

In the last installment of the eternal vacation, I was driving down from Estes Park to stay with Kristi and Drew in Ft. Collins for a few days. We had a great time! (Well, Kristi and I did; Drew carried on with his usual workaday schedule and joined us for tasty dinners out.)

Kristi and I hiked Coyote Ridge.

We got a tour of Interweave Press and met Sandi and Erin of Knitting Daily.

We went to the Swetsville Zoo.

We enjoyed many lovely coffee beverages and blogged on the street.

We visited bookstores and yarn stores.

And on Wednesday morning, I got back in my car and drove north and east into the wilds of Nebraska.

“Mom, the big kitty and I wish you would stop talking about that horrible time you call ‘vacation.'” -Mayhem

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See the Sights

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Randomly Monday

Congrats to Anne of Paper Tiger Knits who won the Biteberry yarn and thanks to everyone who participated!

Leah is celebrating her one-year blogiversary at her own domain. Leave her a comment with a specific pattern suggestion for the amazingly yummy laceweight yarn she has, and you could be selected to win a fun fibery prize. Leave your comments by midnight EDT, July 29.

Swaps
If you haven’t tried swap-bot before, I have to warn you it can be kind of addictive… although not quite as bad as I Can Has Cheezburger! 😉 Here are a couple of swaps that I’m signed up for:

Hand-Dyed Sock Yarn Swap – If you enjoyed Dye-O-Rama last summer, this could be for you. Currently, I think Jeanne, Deb, and I will just be exchanging yarn, because we’re almost the only people signed up!
Indie Music, Coffee, and CD Cover Art Swap – Now, since I’m obviously a mix cd junkie and a notorious coffee fiend (give me that espresso roast for my soy mocha and no one will get hurt… much), this one seems made for me, although I am a bit nervous about the cover art! But I’ll be brave and give it a try. 🙂

Reading update
“Banshee Cries” by C.E. Murphy (novella found in Winter Moon). Murphy describes this novella as book 1.5 of the Walker Papers and I have to agree. If you can, do try to read this after you read Urban Shaman and before Thunderbird Falls.
Charmed and Deadly by Candace Havens. I really do enjoy this sweet and fluffy series about Bronwyn, a witch who protects the British prime minister. This series is worth reading in order (Charmed and Dangerous, Charmed and Ready, Charmed and Deadly).
Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis. A light-hearted mystery about mystery writer Sophie Katz and her cat, Mr. Katz. I believe there are two more books in the series so far – and I’m already on the list at the library for them.
Decaffeinated Corpse by Cleo Coyle. This is the fifth “Coffeehouse Mystery,” and I continue to enjoy the series. But really, who knew that owning a Manhattan coffeehouse could be so fraught with danger?! 😉
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead. It’s not easy being a succubus with a conscience in modern Seattle… This is the first book in what looks to be a promising new series – I’m definitely looking forward to the next book!

A few random images
A business in my neighborhood that I’m sure is much more fun to wonder about than to know about…

At least May seems to recognize that the water might not be so good to drink, right?! And this would be why there’s another water dish in the bathroom…

*crunch crunch crunch* -Chaos

“I think the water looks fine, but I’ll wait to have a drink until Mom’s not looking.” -Mayhem

“Whoa. Maybe Mom was onto something about the water.” -Mayhem

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Reading
Swappin'
Tales of the Neighborhood

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Nip nippin’ away

Don’t forget about the Biteberry Yarn contest, which runs until 6 pm CDT, Friday, July 20 (aka as today)!

Wendy’s giving away a copy of The Celtic Collection. Send an email to her contest line before noon EDT, July 24.

Miss T is giving away a copy of Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued by Dr. Sue O’Doherty, which Miss T thinks “every woman who’s an artist of any kind – painter, writer, dancer, sculptor, singer, whatever – should read…” Leave a comment by noon CDT, July 24, if you’d like the chance to win.

Beware! My neighborhood pet store, Urbanimal, has some adorable rescue kitties (from Underdog Rescue) in need of homes. That’s how I ended up with Mayhem… There’s an adoption event at the store (2106 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis) on July 21 from 2 – 4 pm. Check out some of the kitties I was petting today: a little black kitty boy named Davis, a very fluffy and extremely affectionate black kitty boy named Wendell (I was oh so tempted), a handsome tuxedo kitty boy Clark Gable, a fluffy tabby and white kitty girl named Harriet (she looks like Matisse, Fraro!), and more…

Yesterday morning I was in the shower and May tried to jump up on to the shower curtain rod. I saw paws over the rod and then her little face peeking over. I could see the outline of the rest of her dangling body through the curtain… and then she fell to the floor with a mighty thump. Fortunately she seems ok. But it was scary for both of us! At least the commotion definitely woke me up.

I mentioned yesterday that KnitNana sent some homegrown catnip along with the stitchmarkers. May was quite taken with it…

“Hello? May?? Helloooooooo? Um, maybe you could let Mom get some of that nip out of the bag? Never mind, I can see it’s a lost cause… You’re such a niphead.” -Chaos

Hmm. Chaos might be onto something there…

Contests
Those Cats

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Thursday is for thank yous

Don’t forget about the Biteberry Yarn contest, which runs until 6 pm CDT, Friday, July 20!

Eliza’s printing some small sock pattern books on an old-fashioned flatbed press (sounds very cool). She’ll give a copy away to a random commenter – you have until August 1 to leave your comments.

Time for thank yous! The random number generator loved me recently – through its graces, I received some Azul body butter (lemon), which is one of the products available at Kristi’s new store. (How does she have time with those busy twins??) I’ve actually been using the body butter as hand lotion and while it didn’t feel quite like what I’ve been using (duh, it’s body “butter,” not lotion), it’s done great things for my chronically dry hands. Thanks, Kristi! Think I’ll be ordering some more – maybe the “chocolate mousse” scent…

The random number generator also selected me to win some yarn in Jewel’s recent contest – I picked those two lovely skeins of Regia Bamboo. Thank you, Jewel!

I got that great (partially obscured) card of Charlie for supporting Debby’s husband Chris in the Get Your Guts in Gear bike ride to raise money for Crohn’s and colitis research. (Charlie the kitty has inflammatory bowel disease, too.)

“It looks like a kitty, but it doesn’t smell, taste, sound, or feel like a kitty. I give up. What is it?” -Mayhem

I received mix cds from Van and from E, plus a great insulated sheepy water bottle carrier from E! Thanks, Van and E!

“More of these wee unsheep. Hmph.” -Mayhem

“I see what you mean about the unsheep, May. Hey, I bet you could fit in this bag.” *hee hee* -Chaos

“Hmm, big kitty, I am not sure you have my best interests at heart…” -Mayhem

KnitNana sent me these adorable personalized black kitty stitchmarkers from Wee Ones. I love them! You should really go check out Wee Ones – she has more cats, penguins, sheep, dogs… Thank you so much, KnitNana! (She also sent some homegrown… catnip… but that’s a post for another day.) (The photos are most excellent.)

No, you don’t get caption commentary from black cat stitchmarkers!

Remember last week when I mentioned getting a little distracted over at etsy? I picked up two black cat-themed pouches and a black cat key fob from bagladiesinpa, and she threw in a matching black cat hair fastener for being a return customer! Awww…

“Big kitty, you better get over here! There are an awful lot of black kitties… Should we be worried?” -Mayhem

“I think it’ll be ok, May… unless you steal that hair fastener. Bet that’ll get Mom shrieking at us again.” -Chaos

“But it’s so cute! I can’t help myself!” -Mayhem

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Randonymity

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The more-orange-than-scarlet letter

I always notice trees. Maybe it’s because I have a forestry degree.

In my neighborhood, the more-orange-than-scarlet letter “A” marks elm trees with Dutch elm disease. I know we’re pretty lucky to have as many elms as we do, but the weather of the past several years has really hit our remaining elms hard. These pictures were all taken within two or three blocks of where I live… and this isn’t all of the marked elms.

Every year, fewer streets are shaded by arching elms, which turn even the most mundane street mysterious and lovely.

By the end of the summer, the trees in these pictures will all be gone…

“Well, sure trees are important, because otherwise the birds outside our windows aren’t up at my eye level!” -Mayhem

Tales of the Neighborhood

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