Wham, bam, thank you ma’am

Shazam. Just like that, I’m back home among the snow and ice, but only for about 36 hours, since I got home last night and I’ve got a flight to Madrona in the morning. Today is all about packing and printing handouts and doing laundry, although it’s not as bad as all that, since I had the intelligence to pack most of it before I left for Mexico. (I totally did it the wrong way the year before last, and I’ve vowed never again. It was a really crazy 36 hours at home, and I think that Joe enjoyed it even less than I did.  It’s hard living with someone who’s crazy – and being rushed like that makes me crazy.) Still, I’ve got no time to mess around today, so without further ado:

Ten Things I did in Three days

1. I went to the ruins of the Mayan city of Tulum.  It was extremely cool.

tulumruin 2014-02-11

tulumbeach 2014-02-11

2. Actually, I lie. It was extremely amazingly interesting, but it was about as far as you can get from cool.  It was like walking on the surface of Venus.  I have never been so hot in my life. No wonder the city isn’t inhabited anymore. The Mayan’s probably went somewhere with a little freakin’ shade.

3.There were lizards everywhere and they were not small either.

lizardtulum 2014-02-11

lizardeverywhere 2014-02-11

4. I learned that my mother has taken to killing the ants in the apartment with Coppertone  suncreen.  It has been noted in her presence that this is not really bug killer, but her response was “they’re dead, aren’t they?”

5. I met an Irish guy named Noel who said he could teach me thousands of Spanish words in two minutes.  He was right.  (He said that there’s three great rules for knowing lots of Spanish words.  a) If it ends in “ive” in English, then you just add an “o”. Collective = Collectivo. B) If the English word ends in “tion” just change the t to a c. Selection = selección C) If the english word ends in “ly” then the Spanish will end in “mente.” Continually = continuamente.)

6. I swam in a cenote.

cenotesmall 2014-02-11

mumcentoein 2014-02-11

It was fabulous, and full of fish, which is something you get over in a few minutes.  Except for the big ones.

cenotemum 2014-02-11

7. I went snorkelling with my mum on the reef outside of Puerto Morelos, which is a National Marine Park that’s part of the Great Mesoamerican Reef.

maskfaces 2014-02-11It was extremely cool to see all the coral and fish, and a barracuda swam by and I saw a sting ray.  In that picture we have “mask face” and I feel a little proud that it’s on me, and super proud that it’s on my mum.

8. I got a sunburn on the part of my arse that isn’t covered by a bathing suit, and while it totally makes sense that it’s a risk of snorkelling, I didn’t think about it until after. When I was sitting down.

9. I finished a pair of socks on the way home.

socksdonebright 2014-02-11

Trekking XXL 550, in my basic sock pattern from Knitting Rules.

socksobrightdone 2014-02-11

sockshome 2014-02-11

10. Now that I’m back where it’s snowy, they look too bright again.

112 thoughts on “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am

  1. 7. I cherish the times I spent with my Mom over the years. Now she is unable to do much we still have our memories and I have no regrets.

    10. no, they aren’t

  2. They don’t look too bright.. they look like promise of weather to come. Sounds like an awesome vacation with your mom. so happy for you both. Good luck and have fun in madrona

  3. Agree with the ‘no they are not’ too bright comments, very cool things you did with your mom/mum. We love ’em and then they get old (per my mom when she turned 80 and now she is 90) She’s not up to much but we still can talk about the books we listen to and she still likes pumpkin pies, which are easy-peasy!! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. The fish in the ceynotes didn’t freak me out, it was the risk of big things with teeth coming after me when I nudged them out of a nap!

    Our “eco lodge” had thatched roofed cabanas for our rooms and carved out logs for tubs. . .Your pictures bring back the memories and make me want to return! Glad you enjoyed the warmth.

  5. Always apply sunscreen at home naked. You don’t miss spots that way. (Learned the hard way in Hawaii years ago. I also had burned strips on my butt. OUCH!)

  6. The socks are beautiful. Think of it as bringing some of that color back with you. Millions of your neighbors to the (immediate) south are struggling with the same winter blahs, and we love seeing socks like that!

  7. en mi opinión, los calcetines no son tan brillante. ellos son perfecto.
    with your new “instant” spanish, the above should be easy-peasy to read.
    (i’ve thought for a long time that spanish should be taught that way — help students see how easily they can communicate right from the git-go.)

  8. Great vacation you had there, eh? I’ve been to Tulum (late January, 2009) — definitely fabulous and gloriously hot, with a bit of a breeze the day we were there. Snorkel? I can’t see a foot in front of my nose w/o my glasses so would probably get eaten by something just for bumping into it. You and your mom are braver women than I! Socks? Equally wonderful — in colours that are Mexico all over. 🙂

  9. I know we probably aren’t getting hit with as much snow as Toronto, but we’ve been having a pretty cold winter this year. And when you first posted a picture of that Trekking I was *COMPELLED* to track down a skein. Forget “too bright”; it is EXACTLY too bright!

      • yes! once when i was just a sweet young thing, i was trying to make small talk with some young hispanic men here in portland. as soon as i said it, my friend elbowed me and told me my mistake. the young men laughed because they knew i had made a mistake, and they liked my attempt because they had no english, but i never forgot.

        • That’s always the funniest one….for those who haven’t run into this, Embarazada = pregnant, NOT embarassed. Throw in national dialect variations, and what could be a regular everyday verb in one country can mean something like mother****er in another.
          Good times.

          • A friend of mine was at a supermercado in Argentina looking for peanut butter without preservatives. She asked a clerk if they carried peanut butter “sin preservativos,” which in fact would be peanut butter without condoms. Darn those false cognates!

  10. Ah, the iguanas! They’re everywhere in Mexico.
    So glad you enjoyed the snorkeling. I went for the first time on my last trip there. I imagine that must be what heaven is like. Must’ve been a fish in my past life. My husband, the chicken, refused to get in the water. So, he sat on the boat all by himself, while I experienced the wonder that is the world under water.

  11. The socks look bright now, but if you had the terrible misfortune to be upside-down in a snowbank they’d have you out of there in no time! 🙂

  12. The low temp here in Cowansville today was minus twenty-effing-four. I am reading about your trip with tears in my eyes. Also, knitting.

  13. Wow! That sounds like a totally awesome trip! Love the photos of you and your mum, you guys look pretty happy together. Socks are definitely NOT too bright, it’s february here in Canada, we are in bright colour withdrawal, colourful socks are necessary for survival in these parts. Also, the part about you sitting down made me chuckle..hope you found some soothing aloe vera cream!

  14. I loved Tulum! I can’t believe it was 25 years ago that I was there for spring break. Man, time flies.

    And the socks are gorgeous, they are very cheery! I’m in the SF Bay Area and we don’t have winter like you do, but they are definitely cheering me up!

  15. When the days are gray, bright colors help you remember that they aren’t always that way.

    And now we give you the tips on applying sunscreen, right? I had a stick form one summer…and my legs ended up looking like candy canes! At least you have the winter to tone down that patch…my legs were striped all summer.

  16. The socks are glorious. I love them and cannot wait to get some equally gloriously cheerful yarn. I have been basking in the warm glow of your Mexican vacation. I can practically see the heat rising off the rocks and it feels so good. Thank you for sharing your adventure with your mom. You are very generous for sharing her with us.

  17. What a wonderful trip, thanks for sharing pictures of sunshine. My sympathies on the sunburn, especially the location. Have a great weekend at Madrona.

  18. Hello! I’ve just found your hilarious and relate-able blog and have been busy reading archived posts with much laughter. I’m learning a ton 🙂

    I’m stationed in Hawaii and have re-kindled my love for knitting. I’m fairly beginner. Since you have just been to someplace warm, what are your suggestions for knitting in warm, humid weather? (suggestions and comments from anyone are very welcome!) I tend to knit socks, hexipuffs, and light shawls and cowls to wear with tanks. I’m tempted to knit some tanks out of cotton or silk, but am a little nervous about it.

    Thanks for a peek into your world and providing me with lots to learn from and lots of giggles!

  19. 1) Those socks will remind you of a wonderful time.
    2) Nothing is too bright for this cold, snowy winter.
    3) When you look down and smile at those socks (and related memories) people will wonder why you are smiling.

    P.S. Love the new blog design.

  20. I misplaced your blog and missed hearing you say you were going to Mexico. I saw the bright and beautiful socks and thought Wow after all the dreary winter white I have seen that was a breathe of warm air. Really brighten my day. Thanks .Hugs to your mom and you for trying something new.

  21. Those socks are perfect, not too bright at all. Following your lead I just started a pair (using the sock recipe of course, with a slip stitch every 4th stitch for a little texture) in a lovely stripe of orange, cherry red and purple. The name of the color is “pick your popsicle”

    • Brilliant! I’m going to add “slip every 4th stitch” to my plain sock recipe. Thanks.

      Did you ever try “purl when ready?” It’s a fun way to add (more) interest to knitting plain vanilla socks with variegated yarn with long-ish repeats. The way it works is you choose one of the colors and when they color shows up in your working yarn, NOT stitches on the needles, you purl until your chosen color runs out, making various width purl-bump bars in your socks. Do not purl when ready on sock bottoms, it isn’t comfy to walk on.

      • I do “the slip stitch every so many stitches” on my plain vanilla socks a lot. It is unisex and breaks up the stockinette nicely, Helps break up pooling on variegated yarns or a little interest on a self striping as there is a stitch of the last color showing in the next stripe.
        I have never done the purl when ready though I saved that pattern to my library when I started knitting socks 4 years ago.

  22. The socks look wonderful either in Mexico or back home. I wear bright socks at home in Canada under my jeans and sweatshirts. i’m 70 years old and they make me feel young. I’m knitting a pair right now in Knit Picks Felici Rainbow using the Dragonfly sock pattern in Ravelry. I’m in Cabo San Lucas Mexico right now and appreciated your Spanish lesson. I also like your mother’s bug killer…all that matters is that it worked.

  23. I have Trekking XXL 1000 (mostly bright reds and yellows) OTN, and dirty five-day-old snow in the yard – why yes, I do believe there is some correlation, and who knows? Your 550s might (just maybe) have sent me digging in my stash to see if I owned some similar woolly sunshine. ;o)

  24. It seems The Blog has spoken: the socks are not too bright. Try pairing them up with some of your spring wardrobe. If you still don’t like them, you’ve got a lovely present for one of your daughters!

    P.S. Hank would be certain he’s got the coolest aunt in North America if you could have brought one of those iguanas back as a pet for him. His mother, however, would be considering justifiable homicide.

  25. Woo hoo – I’ve got a flight to madrona in the morning too! Actually it is already morning and I’m trying to work out how my suitcase can possibly be over weight – is 7 sweaters excessive for a week? Holiday and socks both lovely.

  26. The socks are fabulous: a brilliant reminder of your tropical vacation. 🙂 Thank you for sharing the photos of your stay with the snowbound folks in Ontario!

  27. So envious! I’ve been to Tulum which I loved. Snorkled at Xelha, and climbed El Castillo at Chichen Itza. Wish I could go again. I want the socks! The color is just what I need to brighten up this endless winter.

  28. Hi! I had this Trekking colourway in my hand on the weekend and put it down thinking it was too bright, and a tad too orange. Maybe I was wrong…

    Regarding the new blog – thank you so much for choosing to continue to blog, rather than retire the blog (how can ‘blog’ be both a noun and a verb? and there isn’t even a change in spelling. anyway…) after the spammers attacked. I find the blog educational (about knitting and about life), entertaining, and enjoyable.

    I am liking the new format. I have a small suggestion. I find there is a LOT of scrolling to access the links for twitter, ravelry, patterns, calender, archives, etc. I understand this may vary based on the platform of the user. Your site is a blog, yet it also functions as a website with links to patterns, twitter, calendar, archives, and whatnot. I’m wondering whether it might be possible to add a small tab at the level of “Knitters Without Border” and then toss in links for all these various items at that location. I know it would be a duplication. However, it would have the benefit to keep the style clean (readers will only view the links after they click on the tab) and also increase functionality and access. Personally I would find this infinitely helpful and have a fantasy that other readers may as well.

    Happy Knitting. Oh, and enjoy the upcoming Book Tour!

  29. Isn’t Xel-Ha (spelling?) a fantastic National Park? My husband and I had a wonderful time there until a few barracudas entered the space. Glad you and your mother had a great vacation.

  30. I never, ever post here (though I always read) but had to tonight, to let you know that I’ve just booked a brief vacation to the Yucatan two weeks from now. Today, finally, the cold was just too, too much, and I snapped. Trudging through more snow and bitter cold and not feeling my fingers despite my mittens, I thought, “the Yarn Harlot did it; I can do it, too.”

  31. For any veggie-lovers going to Madrona – I just discovered that there’s an incredible vegetarian restaurant very close by. Quickie Too is the diner that spawned Plum Bistro (plumbistro.com) and they’re less than a mile from Hotel Murano. I will admit that I haven’t tried Quickie Too (I live an hour north) but I can vouch for their food truck, which is full of really yummy vegan burgers. I will definitely be making a trip while I’m down there and I thought I’d share in case anyone is looking for extremely tasty vegetarian friendly food in the area (don’t worry, there’s plenty 😀 ).

  32. I have those same socks. About 20 minutes from where Madrona is taking place. They brighten up the gray. Bring ’em, you might need ’em.

  33. Love the socks. Bright spot for the ice and snow you’re coming home to. I know you’ve changed most everything that points to the blog, but could you please change it on your Ravelry profile? That’s the way I generally ‘follow’ you! Can’t wait for Madrona.! 🙂

  34. Socks are perfect – brought some bright color home (and then, of course, to Madrona). I have a vicarious thrill from watching you/your mom in that pool/pond thing – wow. Very happy for you both.

  35. I love the socks. Instead of thinking too bright morph over to 70’s refrigerator colours I’m totally seeing Harvest gold and Avocado 🙂

  36. I would like to know why they don’t teach #5 in school????!!! Grrrr….couldn’t have actually learned something in the 4 years of Spanish that I took. LOL

    • Yeah, I know!!! Sister Bonaventure made us learn in a totally different way – and this way, I might have actually retained the ability to say something other than “where’s the bathroom?” I can say it, but I don’t remember enough Spanish to be able to comprehend the ANSWER!!!

    • It also begins with the past tense since that is what we use the most often in conversation. Who walks around saying, “My name is Kelley. I am 44 years old, and I eat watermelon.” Nope. We all want to talk about the things that have already happened.

  37. I am terrified of fish-it’s a full on phobia. Thanks for letting me know that cenotes are off limits to me too. I’ve honestly always wondered. *shudders* Those socks are the perfect reminder of the color palette of your time in Mexico, aren’t they? I don’t know about you, but I find that vacations can have a profound affect on my color palette and preferences. A trip to West Africa permanently changed my view of tangerines and oranges for the better.

  38. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Those socks are gorgeous! They look like intense Easter eggs, which is perfect for this time of year.

  39. LOVE the sock yarn. I may be compelled to buy it… Also, I like the look of the new blog; I’ve been thinking about shaking mine up, but haven’t taken the plunge.

    Gorgeous pics, too – I loved the swimming scenes and I have a soft spot for iguanas. We had one. His name was Maynard…

  40. So hot! (I was going to say cool but as you point out, that’s not really appropriate.) Glad you had a wonderful time and got a little break (and gave us a little break) from the wicked winter we’ve had this year.

  41. I read your post to my college-aged son. He chuckled whole-heartedly ( not just humoring me). Then he said, “Hey Mom, you’d like those socks.” Yep. I would.

  42. I would advise you to use Noel’s Spanish lesson carefully (ahem…NOT carefulmente…but rather “con cuidado”) as it fails to cover exactly ALL the bases. But likely (not likemente…but rather “probablemente”) you already figured that. 😉

  43. Tulum is definitely the hottest place on the planet that I’ve been to date. When I was there (in 1987!) it was about 1,000,000ºC and the air simply did not move at all.

    Good colours!

  44. Tulum is magical. The blue waters always inspire me (kind of like your blog does!) Glad you had some time in sunny Mexico with your mama.

  45. LOL, so true about the ruins. Definitely made one a little thirsty afterwards for a blended drink. 🙂 The views though, oh my, too amazing. I guess we were wrong about their calendar… here we are.
    The socks are GORGEOUS. I want a pair. Too bad the yarn is sold out. 🙁 They actually say on their website “Thanks Yarnharlot!”, lol.
    Bring something awesome back from Madrona, can’t wait to see it. Have fun! When are you coming to California? FYI, Stitches West is two weekends away.

  46. the photos are so beautiful and what a wonderful blessing to be doing all of those things with your mum. winter must be getting to me. those socks look wonderful! (my wardrobe rarely drifts far from black/grey/some dark green).

  47. It is 12 Feb 2014 and it is about to snow buckets here in CT. Those socks are NOT TO BRIGHT RIGHT NOW!!!!!…..sorry…I lost myself in all that color….

  48. My, your mum is some cute! And love the socks too. Great colours. Def not too bright. At first glance I thought the last photo was of you wearing the socks and standing on a urine stain. Obviously I’ve had my share of training puppies.

  49. I love the photos of you and your mom- you have the same nose and mouth. Those are the things that horrify you as a teenager and fill your heart as an adult.

  50. The consensus on the socks seems to be they’re not too bright, but they certainly looked great against the deep green and aqua tones of Mexico and kind of bright against the airport pseudo-carpet.
    Thanks for the photo tour, it makes me want to go there… now!

  51. I ordered some of that amazing yarn, it’s backordered because your post caused mass hysteria and everyone had to get it. LOL I live in SoCal where it is hot and we are having a drought so if I am ever able to wear them they will fit right in.

  52. Why didn’t my high school Spanish teacher tell me that? Would’ve helped us learn a lot more words quickly! I’ve been lucky enough to travel to the Mayan ruins at Chichen-Itza a few years ago and they really are something to behold. To think a civilization could create such great structures without modern construction equipment…just blows the mind. What an exciting trip! Love the socks! Happy Knitting! I was just in Seattle in January but next time I’m going to have to try to make it for Madrona! Would love to get to meet you some time and take a class!

  53. You just lost a very expressive comment – about how beautiful those socks are because I had – wrongly as it turned out – Dragged and Dropped the symbol BEFORE I wrote my comment. Sigh.
    And now the words are gone. They were a candidate for expressive heart-felt comment of the year.

  54. I’ve never been to Mexico. It looks like a wonderful place to visit. No knitting found anywhere? Amazing. You and your mom have the same face & beautiful smile. I’m glad you worked out the blog issues.

  55. My sister-in-law and I visited Tulum a few years ago and I was giddy about all the new, exciting, historical wonderments to see — she just melted along the way.

  56. That picture of you and your mom is great – when I first saw it I thought that you both looked so happy. Then I read that you were proud of yourselves for going snorkeling and now I can see that in your faces too. So satisfying to do something new and terrifying and fun and wonderful.

  57. If you thought Tulum was hot in February, you have no idea how hot it can be in August! My sister is a teacher and likes to go on vacations right before school starts.

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