Happy Mail via ravenpost

IMG_5884

What I woke up to this morning . . .

IMG_5857 IMG_5858

Two photos of the ‘Project’ that I’ve been referring to for some time now . . .

that was part One.

 IMG_5864

Part Two of the same Project.

And now, here is the Happy Mail being readied for my trusty raven to carry west and south to the lovely new owner, The Contented Crafter, Pauline!

  IMG_5885 IMG_5886

Those are the two scarves she purchased from my Etsy shop.

 IMG_5923 IMG_5925

Walking back from the local outlet for ravenpost.ca, I spied an amazing raven in the sky to the west. I think that was Pauline’s box on its way already . . .

I took that as a good omen on an otherwise rather trying day (not Pauline’s parcel, believe me; no, just some stuff going on in my life), so after I arrived home, I was checking out the Etsy store run by Sarah of the Frühlingskabine micro-farm and spied the most perfect little raven  necklace. After the stress of the past few weeks, and then the happiness of having some financial stuff with the government finally resolved (after nine months!), I took that sky as an omen and purchased the necklace. That was my very first Etsy purchase, too. Ravens are important to me for my own historical reasons (to be blogged about in future) and because of their importance in Norske mythology.

If you’re curious, here’s a link to the necklace.

I’ve been listening to Runrig’s O Cho Meallt (Much Deception)

The full line is “There is much deception in the world” and the song is about what happened when they signed a contract (in their early days) with an unscrupulous English producer from southern England. Once that contract was done, they went back to managing their music themselves. A good lesson for us all, eh?

See you soon, my friends.

Building an Upcycled Goat Milking Stand

Linne:

Rabid Little Hippy, I thought you might find this interesting . . . (and any other goatherds out there, too. ~ Linne

Originally posted on Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm:

I wouldn’t say that we used all recycled materials on this one either because the base of our whole milking stanchion is made from a crate used only for a few days about twenty years ago. However, the crate has been waiting for new purpose and we were able to reuse the rest of the 2×4′s from the old rabbit shed.

20140408-125619.jpg

I wanted to give you all a full tutorial on how to build a milking stanchion, but after a quick google search, I realized that there are so many DIY plans out there that anyone could figure out the basics. I did, however, glean a few great ideas from milk stands I have used and seen over the last year of learning to milk goats. I would give you measurements, but to be honest– I literally went out into the goat pen and measured our goat with a tape…

View original 387 more words

A to Z: Irene

Linne:

I love George MacDonald!! No time to watch this now, but soon, I hope.

Originally posted on Part Time Monster:

I

George MacDonald published The Princess and the Goblin in 1872.  First, we meet Irene–and yes, she’s a princess. The story centers around Irene and Curdie, a young miner. As 8 year old Irene first discovers the goblins who live in the cavernous parts of the mountain on which her home sits, she is thrown into a world for which she is unprepared–for Irene had never seen the night sky, as the goblins always came out at night, nor did she even know of the goblins’ existence. At least, not until she and her nurse are out after dark one night, and Curdie saves them by singing away the goblins. (Yes, singing them away. They hate songs and rhymes.) Curdie is later trapped by the goblins, and it is Irene’s turn to save him, which she does with the help of her mysterious great-great- grandmother, who is sometimes-but-not-always-there. And later, of course…

View original 776 more words

The last award . . .

I haven’t been participating in awards due to lack of time, so while I’m grateful, honoured and somewhat flattered by receiving them, I simply can’t keep up (keeping up with comments can be challenging, not to mention following various blogs out there). So I won’t be accepting any from here on. I hope that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

What I am going to do, though, is answer the questions posed by Country Home and Hearth, who so kindly nominated me recently for the Liebster Award:

1. Why did you start blogging?

Originally, this blog was intended to support an Etsy store. Opening the store was delayed so long that I finally designed a second store and started a new blog for that. This blog has turned out to be a huge blessing in my life, as it has brought me friends from across the globe, all of whom share at least some of my thinking, opinions and activities. The Virtual Village is an Introvert’s Paradise . . .

2. What is your favourite food?

This is harder than it seems . . . I have to say ‘homemade’ for the most part. If I had to choose just one thing, it would likely be frittata with mild salsa, with a Cara Cara orange and a bit of bacon on the side. Of  course there is always chocolate, especially the sorts with sea salt or cayenne pepper added . . .

3. What is your biggest accomplishment?

Also a hard question . . . I have to say that surviving one very challenging stretch would be it: Three of us (myself, my sons’ dad and our oldest son) made it for eight months on only five dollars cash.

4. What is your favourite childhood memory?

sneaking out in the middle of the night to ‘raid’ the neighbour’s used binder twine stash (he didn’t use if for anything; it was looped around a beam so the cattle wouldn’t eat it), braiding it into halters, reins, etc. (kept hidden under my mattress), then sneaking out in the middle of the night and walking a couple of miles to a large pasture, catching up one of the horses there (I loved the big draught horse, but there were others, too) and riding for ages, in the dark . . . my parents never knew, of course, and I survived just fine . . .

5. Name a fun fact about yourself.

I sewed by hand a tipi that was 27 feet high and 27 feet front to back; we lived in it for most of a year when our oldest son was four.

6. Do you have a favourite book?

Hundreds!! It might have worked better to ask for a list of favourite authors . . . ;-)  Just now, I’d have to say “The Lions of Al-Rassan” by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay, our foremost author ever! This is a complex and subtle book (as all his books are); to me, it’s the greatest love story I’ve read yet. And I’m not talking about teenage angsty ‘love’; these are mature loves (and not in the X-rated sense, either). I’ve read it several times and will read it several more . . .  But I love all his books.

I read a lot of children’s books, too, and of them I’d have to say “The Hobbit”. Also “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, “The Rising of the Dark” series, and “The Book of Three” and other books by Lloyd Alexander.

Of the older books, anything by Gene Stratton-Porter (Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost, Keeper of the Bees, and many more).

All the classic girls’ books; The Anne of Green Gables series; Little Women and the rest; Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm; Pollyanna, The Secret Garden, and more . . .

And Sci-Fi / Fantasy!!  “Stranger in a Strange Land” and most of Robert A. Heinlein’s books, “The Martian Chronicles” and all the rest of Ray Bradbury’s writings, all of Andre Norton, Zenna Henderson’s “The People” series (major love, there!), and many, many more . . .

7. What would you do if you won $1 million dollars?

Set up a charitable foundation; pay off all debts of mine and my family; buy a property in BC that I could reclaim and live independently on, so about fifty acres or so (I have plans for some of that, including a large woodlot, a wild section to be preserved, an orchard, garden, cottage and work studio). If I win more, I would simply make the charitable foundation larger. I’d also set up a trust to pay for education for all the younger members of the family (no point just handing out cash, I think). I have family and friends who could use a bit of help in one area of another, also there are projects around that I’d like to support in some way; the foundation would target those.

8. What is your favourite animal?

Morgan horses (the old style, not the new, Tennessee Walker sorts with long legs, etc.), with collie/border collie dogs and Norwegian skoggkatts close behind.

9. Are you a morning person?

Yes, and an evening one! However, early afternoon has not much to say for itself and I’d happily nap then . . .

10. Guilty pleasure?

Reading in a huge claw-footed tub while eating dark chocolate, sipping something yum and listening to Runrig . . . I think I’d stay there ’til I turned into a prune and maybe longer (’til the books ran out!)

No questions about music, eh? Well, anyone who reads my stuff likely has a pretty good idea of what I love most . . . :-)  Movies would have been interesting, too. But then this post would have been very long . . .  :-)

I have to add one, though:

11. Favourite activity:

Creating stuff. I do a variety of things, have mastered none, and am always up for learning new things . . .

I’ve been a bit quiet . . .

. . . but up to quite a bit. I finally figured out how to upload the green scarf photos to Picasa, not to Google. I did it the first time with no trouble, then couldn’t remember exactly how. Oh, well, I got it figured out; only took about four or five hours . . .  So, when Pauline gets home, she can choose the one she wants before I put them in the store. I do love the greens; there are five dark green and three light . . . I dyed six dark, then accidently snipped three tiny holes in one while removing the threads for the final rinsing. But all is not lost . . . I’ve got an idea or two on what to do with that one. :-)

Then I’ve been working on an interesting project for my friend Mrs. Crafty:

IMG_5803[1] IMG_5804[1]

Mrs. C found a few crochet patterns at the Re-Use-It Store recently and only after she had them at home did she realize they were all in Danish! So I have been typing the instructions into a Word document, complete with the special characters, and then using the Word Translator utility to turn them into U.S. English (no option for Canadian English, of course). The translations aren’t finished, though, because some of the words didn’t translate and some were translated into very odd wording. So now I must go over the originals, word by word, and figure out the missing bits. Lots of fun for me, the word/language geek (who is only fluent in English hahaha!); I do love an odd challenge! I have done two of the five so far; the lovely summer hat pattern pictured above and another for a baby set; jacket, bonnet and booties, all in Tunisian crochet.

So what was I listening to while doing this typing? Yep, Runrig, in Gaelic, of course! I’m not sure why it doesn’t distract me from what I’m doing, but it doesn’t. Interesting.

I have just finished a most fascinating book, too:

IMG_5796[1]

This is the true story of a boy diagnosed as autistic at two and a half. His parents, after a fascinating series of events, including a treatment by some shamans (Bushmen of the Kalahari people, whom the dad was helping in their fight for autonomy and to not be evicted from their ancestral homelands) took him to Mongolia to meet with a group of shamans and then a single shaman of the Reindeer People. I won’t tell you the whole thing, but if you haven’t read this yet, you may want to add it to your winter reading list. If you know anyone who has a family member with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, I highly recommend reading this. I learned so much from it and found I couldn’t put it down! What the dad has to say about the boy’s special relationship with animals of all sorts and especially with horses is also fascinating. After they returned from Mongolia, they set up a riding school for both neuro-typical kids and kids with autism, Asperger’s, etc. In addition, the mum is a psychologist teaching at the uni in Austin, Texas. She is a Buddhist and has been developing a study on self-compassion, which she says is much better and more helpful than raising self-esteem. After reading some of her writings,, I have to agree. She has done some TED talks, too, apparently. Her name is Kristin Neff, if you want to google her and learn more.

This is a perfect example of why I’m not in favour of e-books replacing ‘real’ books; As you can see by the sticker on the cover, it was a ‘Staff Pick’, so I happened to spy it sitting on a shelf and immediately knew I had to read it! If I’d had to know the title and then look for it in the ether somewhere, I never would have discovered it. It’s given me so much to think about; I can’t begin to address all that here, at least not just now.

IMG_5806[1]

Oh, yes . . . you know what this is, don’t you? That’s right, a new project! And yes, there are four circular needles in play; I couldn’t find the right size of double-pointed needles for this project and I need to get it done soon, so I’m improvising, as usual . . .

I really needed another project, as you all know . . . I can’t tell you what it is exactly, but all will be revealed one day soon. I can say that (generally speaking) it’s going to be sent to the Snail of Happiness once completed . . .IMG_5744[1]

This is a framed photograph taken by my Dad when he and Mum were on a trip through part of the Yukon. That’s Atlin Lake in the background and my Mum is just visible, coming back from the water with a couple of bucketsful for their camp. The picture is in our living room / lounge and I love to look at it, so thought I’d share it with you.

IMG_5736[1]

In case Christi is reading this, here’s a picture of Dorcas, who has been settling in nicely (it takes a while) and is now producing delicious Kefir for me. Her grains are so BIG!

IMG_5814[1]  IMG_5816[1]

While eating supper, I’ve been watching several movies. These pictures are from Les Miserables, the version with Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean. I read the book in school and later, but hadn’t seen any of the movies. This one was good. I especially love the robe the young Cosette is wearing in the second picture. The first picture is her playing with her doll after Valjean pays the horrible greedy caretaker so the girl can have some time to play. This little girl is quite adorable.

Well, I’ll be back soon (not too soon; don’t want to stuff up your Readers ;-)  ). Have a wonderful week, all of you.

Oops, nearly forgot: here’s some music for you . . .

Malvina Reynolds, an original Bolshie Little Black Duck, if you don’t mind my saying so, Narfie! Malvina began her songwriting creer in her late 40s. You’ll know her “Little Boxes” and “What Have They Done to the Rain?”

and Tracy Chapman . . . I haven’t heard anything about her for a while, but a friend loved her work and we used to listen to this a lot.

Random stuff (including a huge surprise!!) and two big thanks to Wendy . . .

First I apologize for not answering all your lovely comments (again!). I’m nearly out of time and I had to make a choice. So the post won out . . .

No, not the lovely Emerald Scarves post . . . due to events beyond my control, I’m still not quite done with the ironing. But, to my (small) credit, I did get the dyeing done!

IMG_5692

A variety of ribbons, some with one dip, others with two; the ones on the far left are amethyst purple with green over-dyed at the bottom. I wasn’t thinking when I tied them onto the dyepot handles, so the purple transferred to one of the greens, leaving (luckily) only a couple of purple blots. I will likely use that bit of ribbon for something myself.

IMG_5698

One of the first green scarves, just rinsed and about to be rolled in a towel ’til it’s damp dry and ready for ironing. This time I’m ironing them damp, with spray starch as well.IMG_5712   IMG_5713

There are six darker green scarves and three lighter green. In person, it’s a marked difference; in the photos, I don’t think it shows up that well. Both are very spring-green, though, and looking at them makes me happy! (these are not yet ironed, of course)

IMG_5684

What I was watching while the scarves cooled enough to rinse out: an old favourite, “As Time Goes By” with Geoffrey Palmer and Judi Dench, whose work I love. I just saw a film on tv called “The Lavender Ladies” starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith!!! Set in the ’30s, they are older women who lived through the First War. There is a violinist, too,

whose playing is so moving . . . I won’t tell the story; you’ll have to find it yourself. :-)

Now, I have to say there are two reasons to thank Wendy from Quarter Acre Lifestyle:

xxIMG_5719   IMG_5714

The Golden Yogini Milk mixture, coming to a boil (I had fun playing with the spoon and swirling the floating spices around in fascinating patterns (see left photo)  :-)

IMG_5716

  Ice cubes, waiting for the golden goddess to descend and transform them . . .

     IMG_5721

The frothy drink in all its golden glory . . . it was as yummy as advertised, even though it was iced, but not as thick as my coffee shop iced lattes; next time I’m going to try adding some protein powder and maybe a banana. Banana chai, anyone?

This next bit deserves its own post, but I am conscious that FeedReaders can get clogged up by people who post multiple posts in one day (never mind over a week), so I’m just tacking it on here. It’s definitely the biggest bit of the day, though. :-)

Background:  Today, while waiting for a the grocery list to be made up, I played a few games of Bejewelled Blitz, my not-so-secret vice. I play with two young friends and we each send ‘gifts’ of coins to the next person, who sends to the next, etc. So we all get 40 ‘gifts’ of virtual coins a day (ideally). In addition, there are monthly bonuses you can ‘buy’ with your virtual coins and ‘boosts’ that cause you to win more points. If you buy a ‘shamrock’ bonus, at the end of each one minute game, you see nine shamrocks and when you click on one, you gain however many coins are behind it.

:-) I know, get to the point, Linne (you are assuming I have a point, and you are correct!) Today, for the first time, ever!!!, I chose the highest-paying shamrock four times in a row! 100,000 coins (all virtual, of course; I’m not the sort of idiot who spends hard cash on virtual coins to play a game . . . I may be financially challenged, but not that much!)

Anyway, that made me feel VERY LUCKY and quite Green Little Leprechaunish and Pots-o-Gold at the end of the Rainbow were seen floating around between my ears (well, I have to keep something there, don’t I?)

So, to make a long story longer . . . (still practising Anticipation 101, are you? Good!

When I went to the grocery store, I took along Mum’s lotto tickets from last week along with my own tickets. Just in case, you see . . .

AND . . .

WAIT

FOR

IT:

TA DA!!

Winning Ticket 24Mar2014 Guess what? I won! (Mum didn’t, but I’m the one who BELIEVES!   :-)  )

Now, wasn’t that nice? And worth waiting for? The last time I had a win over $20 was about five years ago, when I won $100, just when I needed it. So I bought a couple of tickets for us for this week and the rest went into the grocery fund.

As you can see, I’m on a roll, here . . .

Oh, I forgot to say why I’m thanking Wendy for this (and any of the rest of you lovely readers who put up with my teasing and procrastination and whatnot . . .

You may have seen our comment exchanges centred on how nice it would be to win the lotto. Well, here’s the first taste . . . As I always say, if you don’t buy the ticket, don’t expect to win . . . both Wendy and I know people who’ve won large amounts twice (the man I met is a friend of a friend and won two very large lottos. It was very inspirational to meet him.) Anyway . . . Wendy’s comments caused me to think about being lucky and how lucky I’ve been all my life, in so many ways . . . and now I wish that you all may be even luckier than I am . . . always . . .

 Now, for all you folkies and John Denver fans, here’s a link my brother-in-law sent me:

The Chad Mitchell Trio reunion with John Denver (1987)

It’s over an hour, so I haven’t heard it all yet, but if you like this sort of music, it’s great!

 For those of you who like very bad jokes (or, more likely, your men who do LOL), here’s a song by Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly   Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

It’s from a movie called “A Prairie Home Companion” (Robert Altman’s final film) with Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Garrison Keillor, Lily Tomlin, Tommy Lee Jones, Maya Rudolph, Virginia Madsen, Lindsay Lohan, etc. It’s loosely based on the real-life radio show of the same name, which was created by and stars Garrison Keillor. I love the move, because much of its music and style are what I grew up with when I was young.

And the 20th Anniversary Concert (1989) of Steeleye Span

and one last album: The Pentangle, the first by the group of that name

“The Pentangle was the 1968 debut album of the band Pentangle: Terry Cox, Bert Jansch, Jacqui McShee, John Renbourn and Danny Thompson.

It brought together their separate influences of folk, jazz, blues, early music and contemporary song-writing.”

Lessons from the Rustbelt

Linne:

Some of you may find usable information here; check it out! ~ Linne

Originally posted on Damn the Matrix:

geofflawton This video, part of a whole series of free videos Geoff Lawton makes available at his new website, surely has to be one of the most inspirational things he has ever produced.  I believe it shows glimpses into the possible future we could salvage from the ruins of the fossil fuel era……  appropriate technology (and NOT nukes!)

I found it interesting that this place, Holyoke Massachusetts, used to run on the back of the sheep… a bit like Australia used to.  I instantly put two and two together, and came up with the fossil fuelled powered synthetic fibre industry being the cause of this.  The same industry that lobbied the powers that be to can the hemp industry with a fear campaign centred around cannabis…..  all so that Dupont could make money from nylon, and later, polyester.

Unfortunately, Geoff’s clips are neither downloadable, nor able to be embedded… so here’s…

View original 27 more words