Presenting… the Clown Vomit Socks

Does this remind you of anyone?! How about this?

I know, I know, you’ve all been waiting patiently. The yarn is Socks That Rock colorway Fire on the Mountain, which is absolutely stunning in the skein. I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t take a picture of the yarn before I wound it into a ball. The pattern is Charade. I tried something else first, but can’t remember what it was. I’m knitting each sock from the opposite end of the ball.

“Mmmm… More Socks That Rock yarn! I really loved that tasty Lagoon yarn.” -Mayhem

“Nom nom nom nom.” -Mayhem

As you can see, I was under siege whilst trying to take these pictures, so please excuse this blurry picture of the first heel – the only place that I really like what the colors are doing. That heel redeemed these socks for me. Now I’m trying not to flinch at the unholy mixing of mango and olive that happened across the gusset of this sock and across the sole of the other.

Flamingo flamenco

HockeyMom’s having a contest – guess her age (brave woman!) before midnight EDT, August 1, and you could win a “yummy prize.”

Er, I didn’t mean to start a Christmas panic with my post yesterday… I just hate to rush at the last minute. The half-done “clown vomit socks” are also for a Christmas present. (Oh, come on, I bet clown vomit socks are at the top of your Christmas list!)

Onward – today, it’s all about flamingos. Yeah, I know, flamingos aren’t a native Minnesota bird, but they sure are fun, aren’t they?

I’ve mentioned the house on West Lake of the Isles Drive that has flamingos wandering through the front lawn during the summer. Here are some past configurations – the first is from May 2006. I wonder what happened to those big dark pink flamingos and the tiny light pink ones?

June 23, 2008

July 6, 2008

July 11, 2008…

A random lawn (October 2006)

You simply must embiggen this picture, which was taken (using actual film!) at the 1998 Powderhorn Festival of the Arts. Somewhere I have a t-shirt with a very similar picture – everything is black and white, except for the hot pink flamingos. Hmm. I wonder where that t-shirt went…

Another film picture, from Sante Fe in 2002

An artistic flamingo and friend from a lawn near Lake of the Isles

Some guardians that don’t exactly look like flamingos – Jeanne and I decided they were the ever so rare and dangerous flamingo raptors.

Real flamingos from the Minnesota Zoo! Ok, ok, you caught me – I did a bit of color tweaking.

And a tiny flamingo from my own living room.

“That’s just lame, Mom. Here I thought you’d been hiding a tasty bird from us, but it’s nothing but a cheap plastic fake stuck in the grape ivy! Hmph.” -Mayhem

Tidepool Lagoon (aka In which I complete the first Xmas present for 2008)

I finished a pair of socks! I knitted these from the STR Lagoon I won in Kerry’s bird naming contest, using the Tidepool Socks stitch pattern. And yes indeed – these will be a Christmas present. 🙂

“These socks sounded very watery.” -Mayhem

“But I’m disappointed to report that I found no water here.” -Mayhem

“I do so like water, big kitty! Just not so much when I fall in the shower every few days.” -Mayhem


I actually have things to blog about. Really. I have a pair of socks completely knitted, with only the ends left to weave in… but since I let the socks unattended for a few minutes while I was knitting them, Mayhem helped make sure I would have many more ends to weave in. I even have a second pair of socks (we shall call them the “clown vomit socks” – you’ll see why) nearly half knitted. And I biked both Saturday (15.5 miles) and Sunday (12 miles).

But… I don’t have pictures of any of that stuff yet. So, allow me to present a cat! Sleeping in her toybox! So cute! (Are you distracted yet??)

“I was sleeping. Who can sleep with that thing flashing all the time?!” -Mayhem

“Really, Mom, my nerves can’t ta… zzzzzz….” -Mayhem

Lost in the linkiness again

Kat is going to bike 192 miles over two days in support of a good cause. (You know how I feel about biking!) She’s giving away some relatively amazing prizes (such as a 4 gb Zune), plus everyone who donates $50 or more will get enough yarn to make a pair of socks or other small project. So if you or anyone you know has been impacted by cancer or a cancer scare, head on over to Kat’s and donate by September 15 to be included in the prize drawings.

The kitties do love their fancy pants chaise lounge scratcher – they spend a lot of time lounging on or near it and sometimes even scratching it. Now I’m wondering how this scratcher would go over…

Interested in toning up those arms and getting more fit in six weeks? Willing to post before and after pictures? Then click over to Carrie’s website and let her know – you could win “a prize of woolly goodness” in six weeks! (No, I’m not going to join – no better way for me to stop exercising than to join an along for exercise! Besides, I already do crunches and push-ups five days a week – and believe me, push-ups can do as much for your arms as a fancy gym. Really. Even knee push-ups, my favorite.)

Haven’t discovered Cake Wrecks yet? You are in for a treat! Here’s one of my (somewhat twisted) favorites… I think I even have one to submit – just have to dig it out and scan it.

Thanks to Jeanne for pointing me to Consumerist, which has been an intriguing and informative blog for empowered and empowering consumers. In fact, here’s something from Consumerist: a nice list of seven ways your library can help you during a bad economy. Really, if it wasn’t for the library, I’d be destitute and building myself shelter in a bookstore parking lot from all the books I’d purchased. Speaking of which…

Reading Update
The McKade Brothers: Rafe and Jared; Entranced (The Donovan Legacy); Montana Sky; Angels Fall; Tribute (I really, really liked this one); and Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay Saga, Book 1) by Nora Roberts. A-hem.
Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister. I have no idea why I read the entire book. I have to admit that, based on MacAlister’s paranormal romances (Sex, Lies and Single Vampires, etc), I was expecting something in the time-traveling Highlander genre. This wasn’t… in fact, it had me wondering if it was vaguely autobiographical.
Breath of Magic by Teresa Medeiros. Extremely fluffy paranormal romance. Apparently I have no shame. Hopefully y’all like that about me! 😉

“I can’t believe you guys think that I’m dorky. You wound me.” -Chaos

Triumph of the Wheel

If you pay attention to the very fine print in my header, you’ll notice it says “Knitting, reading, bicycling, and cat parenting.” “Hmm,” you’re all thinking. “What’s this about bicycling?!”

‘Tis true. Once upon a time, I was a cycling fiend. I wasn’t ever into having the latest gear or the latest bike – my beat up old Specialized crossbike was always good enough for me. I would get on that bike and go go go, because cycling was the activity that totally worked for my body. Running – hatey hate hate. Walking – good, but my #@$*(!&* bunion starts to rebel after enough days of walking. Biking? I feel strong and fast and sleek.

In fact, one of my favorite vacations ever was in September 2004, when I rented a cabin in the Black Hills for a week and biked over 100 miles on the gorgeous George S. Mickelson Trail across three different days.

Until this past Saturday, I hadn’t been on my bike in over two years.

Remember that pesky surgery I had last fall? For nearly two years before my surgery, riding my bike would trigger a nasty period. Can you think of a better disincentive?! Obviously, I couldn’t bike for a while after my surgery. And then it was winter. And then it was spring, but I was feeling pretty blue and just couldn’t seem to bring myself to pull out the bike and get it operational.

However, several weeks of regular walking have upped my energy level and mood, so on Saturday, I dragged out my bike, cleaned and oiled the chain, pumped up the tires, and hit the Greenway to reacquaint my tush with the feel of a bicycle seat. It was a short ride (only 3.75 miles), during which I added air to the rear tire four times. Hmm…

Yesterday, armed with a good reference manual and a set of tire levers, I replaced the rear tube – the first time I’ve ever done any significant bike maintenance on my own! 🙂 (You would not believe how unhandy I am – and how uninterested I am in becoming handy.) No reinflation was required during the subsequent 6.1 mile ride, and I feel ready to add cycling back to my exercise routine.

“What’s going on here, Mom?!” *sniff sniff sniff* -Chaos

“Big kitty, where are the stripey socks? I’m scared.” -Mayhem

Time travel: 1999

But first, Wendy’s having another contest – suggest some classic rock that she could download from the itunes store and you will be entered in a drawing for a WendyKnits sock kit. Leave your comments by midnight EDT, July 23. (Those of you familiar with my musical taste will be shocked to know that I actually made some suggestions.)

I recently scanned in a few pictures from the wayback before I had a digital camera and thought I’d slowly share some of them with you. Looks like 1999 was a year of travel… although some of these pictures could certainly be from 1998, since they don’t have dates!

From the Art Institute of Chicago – hmm, looks like my guardian fascination isn’t new, eh?

For further evidence, a Chinese dragon/Fu dog from the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts:

Also from Salem – I can’t remember who this is a statue of, other than that it isn’t a witch. Help me out here, Massachusetts peeps! Update: Thanks to the Massachusetts (and Utah) folks, I now know that this is Roger Conant, founder of Salem.

Moving right along to the other coast, a ginormous tree in Olympic National Park:

The Cherry Bank Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, where we stayed simply because it had a rotating mermaid statue on top. Who could resist?! (Sadly, it appears to have been torn down and “boutique residences” are being built there instead.)

Also in British Columbia – the lovely treehouse we stayed in on Salt Spring Island. Again, who could resist? (And dang, looks like this place is closed now, too.)

“The big kitty and I had a meeting and we decided that none of these things actually happened, since we didn’t exist yet. Good thing, too, because we would’ve had to be mad that you left us for so long.” -Mayhem


It’s always interesting to see what sort of “guardians” people have in front of their homes. Of course, there were the German shepherds from a few weeks ago.

I’m not exactly sure what these are – Chinese lions, maybe?

I’ve seen plenty of more traditional lion guardians.

That doesn’t mean those lions can’t be a bit whimsical.

Some closeups of the lions above, because their expressions made me laugh:

These were rather small lions above a door:

Turtles – not quite as common…

And what the heck are these, anyway? Guardian fruit baskets?!

“I have to say – I’m offended that I haven’t been asked to pose for a guardian statue! My ferocity would be perfect.” -Mayhem

Books and ivy and another sad kitty, oh my!

Kelle, her daughter, and the Cure Rageous Knitters will be participating in the Relay for Life later today. For every dollar that you donate before noon CDT today (July 18), you will be entered in a raffle to win a gorgeous handknit lap blanket!

Nicole’s at Disneyland this week – guess what sort of antenna ball she’ll buy there, and you could win something from Disneyland yourself! Leave your guesses by midnight PDT, July 21.

Caption a cute baby picture over at Noolie’s and you could win a mysterious prize.

Reading Update
Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon, Heart of the Sea (The Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy, aka the Irish Trilogy); Heaven and Earth and Face the Fire (Books 2 & 3 of the Three Sisters Island Trilogy); Captivated (The Donovan Legacy); The MacKade Brothers: Devin and Shane; and Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts. A-hem. Moving right along!
Carrot Cake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery) by Joanne Fluke. This sugary sweet cozy series set in a fictitious Minnesota town features cookie baker Hannah Swensen and the two guys she dates, dentist Norman and deputy Mike. She’s definitely no Stephanie Plum…
Curse the Dark (Retrievers, Book 2) by Laura Anne Gilman. This continues to be a solid paranormal romance/urban fantasy series – if you get tired of all the graphic groping so common in the paranormal romance genre, you should give this series a try.

Isn’t it amazing that ivy can make even an alley look cool?

Although it does sometimes get a bit out of control – can you see the balconies?!

A nifty roofline…

And the “mini apple” (from the sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry):

“I want the windows open, too! Even though it was cooler, Mom was whining about the humidity last night… but she said maybe when she gets home from work tonight, she’ll open the windows. I wish she’d hurry.” -Mayhem