And now he is 4

Happy birthday, Chaos Kitty! You haven’t changed a bit!

“That isn’t even a cat, much less me! Hmph. You and your stories, Mom.” -Chaos

Knitting Update
Before Marina calls me to task for the shocking lack of knitting… 😉 I finished knitting the Trekking 126 socks a week ago and now just have to settle down and sew the picot hems. Eventually!

When I finished those, I started a new pair of socks (to be another holiday present). Of course, since I took this picture, I finished the first sock and am several inches into the second sock.

Really, it’s hard to get an unobstructed shot around here some days! I’m knitting Los Monos Locos (the Crazy Monkeys), which are a no-purl toe-up variation on the popular Monkey pattern. The yarn is Wool2Dye4 supersock that I dyed. (Of course the second sock isn’t spiralling the same way the first one did.)


Thank you all so much – your supportive comments have been wonderful to read! *sniff* I love you guys. You know that, right? Hugs for everyone!Deb posted about our Saturday dyeing adventures, too.

Yesterday evening I went over to Depth of Field to pick up some yarn for MrsPao, who’s running a bit short for a project. Of course, I ended up buying a bit of yarn for myself…

“Psssst – May, can you believe that Mom bought more yarn?! Sheesh.” -Chaos

“I know, big kitty! She’s outta control.” -Mayhem

I walked from Depth of Field out onto the 10th Avenue Bridge because I really just needed to see the remnants of the 35W Mississippi River Bridge for myself. Things have been cleaned up a lot and virtually all of the bridge decking has been removed, but it was still eerie to see the empty space. (Plus I’m sure I saw Mayor R.T. Rybak out there.)

I’ll take the highway, across the river

And down through the valley, around the bend

And here’s to my disgrace, if disgrace is what you call it

And I’ll take the highway out of this place

– Ben Weaver, “Here’s To My Disgrace

Goodbye, spare unused bits

For several years, I’ve suffered from fibroids; for at least the past year, I’ve also suffered from persistent anemia because of them. I’ve tried taking the pill, but it only helped the cramping, didn’t alleviate the anemia, and turned my brain into utter mush. After a lot of reasearching and thinking (with many thanks to those of you who’ve shared your stories), I will be having surgery at this time next Wednesday.

Although I am absolutely convinced this is the right choice for me, I am understandably anxious about the whole business. But I am looking forward to reclaiming the active part of my life, of biking without fear of bleeding, of having enough energy to go on long rambling walks again. I’ve felt as if I’ve been living a partial life for quite a while, and I’m doing what I need to do to change that. So please, no horror stories, ok?! 🙂

What does this mean for the blog? Jeanne has graciously agreed to post an after-surgery update on October 3rd or 4th. I should be home by sometime October 5th or 6th; however, I don’t anticipate having much energy for blogging right away – heck, I’m going to be on medical leave from work for four to six weeks! I’ll definitely be playing it by ear, since this surgery business is all new to me.

Until next Wednesday, I’ll continue hoarding groceries, kitty litter, and books! 🙂 Many thanks to all of you for being part of my extended support system.

“I am very worried. How will Mom feed us?! And how much purring and snuggling will it take to make her better?!! I will probably need extra food and tuna to keep up my strength. Did she mention hoarding kitty food or tuna?!” -Chaos

In which Mayhem goes to the vet

Jeanne and Miss T have posted about our dyeing adventures on Saturday.

Roxie’s looking for pictures of your hands doing knitterly things. You could win some lovely black cashmere! Deadline is midnight PDT, September 26.

Pam’s celebrating her blogiversary – answer one of the four knitting questions she poses and you could win some yummy yarn. Contest closes at 11:59 pm, September 30.

Angela’s hosting a contest for her friend Nikki, who’s been nominated for an award for her children’s book illustrations. It’s a tiny bit complicated, but by voting for Nikki, you could win some lovely goodies (and Nikki could win, too!).

Mayhem’s Big Adventure
Yesterday was Mayhem’s annual trip to the vet for a checkup and some shots. She was very, very quiet for the entire trip, which she spent huddled into a very small ball. She weighed 10.3 pounds, up from 3.1 pounds at the same time last year! The vet was particularly impressed by her soft, shiny fur and asked what I fed her (Innova EVO).

“This sucks.” -Mayhem

At first, Chaos hissed at her a lot when we got home – I wonder if he thought he was an only cat again?! But he did unbend after a bit.

“I guess you’re the same cat that was here before. Taste like it, at least.” -Chaos

“Hmph.” -Mayhem

After feeling horribly guilty for the entire trip to the vet because May looked so miserable, I don’t think she was permanently scarred by the experience – see how suspicious she is of the cat carrier?! 😉

“Don’t look! My foot is too dirty to appear on the blog! Mom! Stop! Don’t use this picture!” -Mayhem

“Hmm, I wonder if I’ll get abducted again if I go in there…” -Mayhem

“Hey, big kitty… Hee hee hee.” -Mayhem

Now I have a song from Cloud Cult stuck in my head…

…since I’m pretty sure most of you haven’t ever heard of Cloud Cult (a local Minneapolis band), you’re completely safe. Unless, of course, you want to go listen to the song (“Take Your Medicine”) and see if you can get it stuck in your heads… Since some of you actually clicked on links to notorious earworms last week, I know you like to live dangerously. 🙂

Anne in New Zealand would like to send some goodies to whoever leaves the 300th comment on her blog.

Sorry my posts haven’t been very energetic lately. I’ll fill y’all in on why in a few days. Hopefully you can hang in there for a while!

Reading Update
Witch Hunt: An Ophelia and Abby Mystery by Shirley Damsgaard. Sweet and fluffy paranormal mysteries set in small-town Iowa, about a librarian who’s a witch – I’ll keep reading these (and not just because there’s a black cat in the books).
Electric Blue by Nancy Bush. It was harder for me to get into the second Jane Kelly mystery than it was to get into the first (Candy Apple Red), but once I did, I enjoyed this light read.
Touch of Darkness: Darkness Chosen, Book 2 by Christina Dodd. I’m enjoying this series – I know it will be at least four books (based on the premise outlined in the first book) and I’m already waiting to find out when the next one will be published!
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. I’d read this before, but I was looking for a light and fun read and Jennifer Crusie rarely disappoints.

Dyeing Update
On Saturday, Jeanne, Miss T, and I converged on Deb’s house for a lovely day of conversation, dyeing, knitting, eating, drinking, and laughter. Here’s what we dyed – I didn’t use any black and only minimal purple! Hopefully none of you hit your heads falling off your chairs in shock. 😉

“This isn’t as hard as you all think it is. Go try it right now! I’ll wait.” -Mayhem

No earworms today!

Probably everybody could use a break from earworms, eh? 😉 I don’t have much of anything today – I’m very sleepy this morning and ready for the work week to be over. I wonder if anyone would notice if I took a nap under my desk?

At one point yesterday evening, Minneapolis was under a severe thunderstorm warning, tornado warning, flash flood warning, and an urban and small stream flood advisory, and the sirens went off four times in an hour. Very exciting!

“I don’t like storms. They’re loud and scary. I’ll just hug Mom’s Birkenstock until it’s safe again. If you’re looking for the big kitty, he’s hiding behind the toilet.” -Mayhem

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Stoned on sunbeams

Congratulations to Kellie, Lisa, and Kim, who were randomly selected in my contest! Thanks to everyone who left such, um, interesting advice for Chaos and Mayhem. I’ll be having words with a few of you, should the kitties take your advice! 😉

Apologies to those who got stuck with an earworm yesterday… Particular apologies to poor Sydney who read both post and comments and left with a mixture of “Wuthering Heights” and “Wimoweh” going through her head. I hope she’ll be ok… I did loop 10 or 15 minutes of “Wimoweh” (aka “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”), but I continue to be impervious to that particular earworm.

Thanks to the Knitty Professor for sending me a link to Monty Python’s Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights. It is well worth watching. Also, thanks to YouTube, not only can you see the video for the Kate Bush version of the song, you can also see the video for the Pat Benatar version!


One thing I didn’t do much of at the cabin was knit, so really, I have no new knitting to show you. Shall we look at the lake and the leaves instead?


And I may not have had a chance to take a picture of the Yellow Brick Road in Grand Rapids (honoring Judy Garland), but I did get a few pictures of a wonderful coffeehouse. Great name, eh?

I totally wish this coffeehouse was just a few blocks away from me!

I had lunch there – they make a quiche with rice instead of “real” crust (so it’s gluten free!) – this was the first quiche I’ve eaten in many, many years.

Although I have no proof, this is how I suspect Mayhem spent her weekend while I was at the cabin, all “waaaaaah-ing” aside:

*sunbeam sunbeam sunbeam* -Mayhem

*sunbeam sunbeam sunbeam* -Mayhem

Make it stop! Make it stop!

Don’t forget to enter my contest! The deadline is today (September 19) at 5 pm CDT.

Suzanne’s having a contest – show her or tell her about your favorite knitting spot, and you could win some sock yarn.

Becka’s curious about your favorite sewing or crafting tool – leave her a comment, and you could win a lovely handmade ornament. She’ll randomly select a winner on September 24.

So on the drive up to the cabin Friday afternoon, I started listening to Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’ve never read it it before, but after reading about Heathcliff being “the most hated character in English literature” in various Thursday Next novels, I’ve been meaning to find out why.

Well. This is certainly a novel filled with much mewling and whining and carrying on and people willing themselves to death hither and thither. And Heathcliff truly is a cruel, arrogant fiend. But even worse… ever since I started listening to the audiobook, I’ve had the Kate Bush song “Wuthering Heights” going through my head (here’s the video if you’re brave or foolish). Yes, indeed, ever since Friday afternoon, no matter what else I listen to instead, I hear Kate Bush warbling, “Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy. Come home. I’m so cold! Let me in your window. Heathcliff…”

Make it stop! Make it stop! Argh!!!

“NOOOOO!! NOOOOO!! I don’t want that song stuck in my head, either, Mom!! Run away!!!” -Chaos

“Moooooooooom!! That song melted my ears!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!” -Mayhem

You know I hate knitting thumbs…

Don’t forget to enter my contest! Deadline is 5 pm CDT, Wednesday, September 19.

Diane’s curious about fair judging – guess which two of her items won blue ribbons at her local fair, and you could win sock yarn! Leave your guesses by September 24.

Sarah’s hosting a preemie knit-a-thon in gratitude for the knitters who clothed her tiny PeeWee when she was born premature. There are all sorts of ways to participate in her knit-a-thon and contest before November 29, such as knitting items for your local NICU.

Reading Update
Whack A Mole by Chris Grabenstein. The most recent John Ceepak mystery is another good read (well, duh, I guess, since I’ve read the three-book series in less than two weeks, eh?).
Deadly Advice: An Advice Column Mystery by Roberta Isleib. It was ok, but will I read any others when they come out? This was the first Advice Column mystery, in which psychologist Rebecca Butterman tries to figure out how her next door neighbor really died. I admit to picking this up simply because it had a condo, a cat, and a blog in it. 😉
Troll Bridge: A Rock’n’Roll Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple. Trolls and boy bands and dairy princesses and butter heads, oh my! This fantasy was a quick read that will be particularly fun for those familiar with Minnesota.
Scent of Darkness: Darkness Chosen, Book 1 by Christina Dodd. This series is about a family that can turn into predatory animals due to an ancient pact with the devil – the age old struggle of good and evil and how neither are purely one or the other. Well-written, but avoid if plentiful steamy scenes aren’t your thing!
The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes by Anne Stuart, Jennifer Crusie, and Eileen Dreyer. The three orphaned Fortune sisters are witches denying their often inconvenient power and on the run from their murderous aunt. Things get a bit complicated when their true loves turn up. More with the steamy scenes here! *fans self*

What Did I Buy?
Yesterday I mentioned that I did purchase something for myself at the Goods for the Woods craft fair in Grand Rapids (birthplace of Judy Garland!). Well, y’all know I hate to knit thumbs…

“Wow, Mom, this is some darn spiffy knitting. When did you do this? I must’ve missed it entirely.” -Mayhem

“Are you done with the pictures yet?! I have important things to do.” -Mayhem

“I see what you mean, Mayhem.” *sniff sniff sniff* -Chaos

“Nope, Mayhem, Mom sure as heck didn’t knit these. These are made from some pretty slick wool blankets. Tricky of her, eh?” -Chaos

Words in the willow

Do you think Chaos might’ve suspected something was up when I was packing?

“If I sit on her bag, she can’t pack and leave. Ha! I foiled her but good.” -Chaos

Poor Chaos.

While I was up north over the weekend, we went to Goods from the Woods in Grand Rapids.

It turned out to be a great place to find holiday presents for certain hard-to-shop-for family members. None of said presents will be pictured for obvious reasons, but here were a few things that intrigued and amused. (I did pick up one or two things for myself and I’ll post about them later in the week!)