Help us build The Open Food Network!


In case any of my Aussie friends haven’t heard of this, here’s a great post. Hope this takes off on the other continents, too. ~ Linne

Originally posted on Milkwood: homesteading skills for city & country:

Ok folks, we’re excited about this one: an Aussie-initiated open source food network dedicated to connecting producers with consumers, every which way you can imagine.

Yes, I know. There are a lot of these kinda ideas out there. They’ve all got their hearts in the right place. But we rekon THIS ONE has not only legs, but some seriously amazing potential. 

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The Thin Green Line


If you haven’t heard about TGL, you’ll find this inspiring. ~ Linne

Originally posted on Foodnstuff:

Watched Australian Story on ABC TV last Monday and was blown away to see Sean Willmore and the story about the organisation he founded called The Thin Green Line:


The Thin Green Line Foundation was founded by award-winning conservationist, documentary filmmaker and Park Ranger, Sean Willmore.

In 2004, Sean set off around the world to make a documentary about the stories of park rangers. Taking almost 12 months to travel through 23 countries, he uncovered  many inspiring stories along the way.

The Thin Green Line documentary premiered in 2007, capturing people’s hearts in over 50 countries. The film has since become an international success story, offering a sense of hope and pride for park rangers around the world.

The documentary became the catalyst for Sean to set up The Thin Green Line Foundation, to support park rangers in danger.

I was rapt, because I know Sean. When we bought our…

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CROCHET: Pattern for the Reversible Shell Afghan and an awesome pair of linkies!

I was so hot, I just had to take a break, so here you go . . . Please note, I am not referring to FIFA again for four years (well, except for the women’s matches, of course! None of my teams made it to the finals . . .  :-(

Note: awesome linkies are at the bottom of this post, but first, here is the pattern for the


Supplies: 20 x (50 gm skeins), 10 each of two colours (one can be variegated, if you like; I haven’t tried this with two variegates, but if you are super adventurous, do make sure the colours create a strong contrast.  4-ply Sayelle knitting Worsted is what’s suggested in my pattern. That will make an afghan approximately 50″ x 60″ (4 feet by 5 feet). Use a Number 5 crochet hook.

Since I was using yarn I already had, I simply used a hook the right size for that yarn. If your yarn and hook are larger, then the afghan will be larger (and you may need more yarn)

The first two rows need you to pay close attention; after that, you’re sailing!

Row 1:  (Shell stitch row) With either colour, chain 203 loosely.

Work 1 dc in the 5th chain from the hook (turning chain), 3 dc in the next chain, 1 dc in the next chain (1 shell completed)

* Skip 2 chains, work 1 dc in next ch, 3 dc in next chain, 1 dc in next chain.

Repeat from * across to within one chain from the end, do not work in last chain. There will be 40 shells in the row. Crop loop from hook (leave the loop long enough so it doesn’t pull out).

Row 2:  (chain loop row). Do not turn.

With your second colour, make a loop on the hook.

Starting at the beginning of the last  row, chain with a sc in the 4th chain of the turning chain (the chain before the first dc of the first shell stitch row)

Working in front of the last row,  * ch 5, skip next shell, work 1 sc in the 1st chain of the 2 skipped chains in the foundation chain (between shells). Repeat from * across.

End with chain 6, 1 sc in end chain (the free chain at the end of the last shell row)

There are 40 chain loops in a row.

Row 3:  (Shell stitch row) Ch 2, turn.

Work a slip-stitch in first dc of last shell-stitch row.

(NB: make sure the new colour thread doesn’t twist around the first colour, or you will spoil the look of the edge)

Ch 2,  * inserting hook through the dc and under the chain loop, work a shell (5 dc in same st) in centre of the next shell, repeat from * across row, drop loop from hook, do not turn.

Row 4:  (chain-loop row)  Pick up dropped first colour loop at end of the shell st row before last ch 6, working in front of last shell-st row, skip shell, work 1 sc in space before next shell (same colour shell as cahin-loop being made); repeat from * across, end with chain 6, skip lst shell, 1 sc under chain-loop at end of row.

Row 5:  With first colour, work same as for row 3. Do not turn.

Row 6:  Pick up dropped 2nd colour loop at end of the shell-st row before last and work same as for row 4.

Repeat rows 3, 4, 5 and 6 for pattern and work until afghan measures approx. 60 inches from start.

Fringe: Cut 10 inch lengths of both colours. Using 2 lengths of each colour, attach fringe between shells, catching chain loops also.

Notes:  A baby afghan is made the same way, but use baby wool.183 chains and is usually 32″ by 40″  For a baby afghan, cot or pram blanket, I like the look of white on one side and a baby colours variegate on the other. (see photos below).

Be careful with the first 2 rows – and after that it’s a piece of cake!

For me, a dc (double crochet) is made with a loop on the hook, then wrap the yarn around once, insert hook through next chain and grab yarn, pulling yarn through to make a loop (on the hook you will have a loop, a wrap and the original loop); pull yarn through the loop you just made and the wrap (leaving two loops on the hook), then through those last two loops. I know that dc is different in some countries, so I hope this helps. If it’s not clear, let me know, please.

If you have any trouble with this pattern (especially if you are new to crochet), please let me know and I’ll do what I can to help.

Here are the photos again, to save you having to go back and forth with the earlier post:

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Note: these photos show the work upside-down to what it looks like when you are working on it. In the picture below, the working edge is at the bottom. The shells have the wide edge up and their base is worked through the chains of the previous row (same colour) as well as through the top of the opposite colour shell. Don’t worry; all becomes clear as soon as you have the first four – six rows done. Honest!

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In the top piece in the above photo, the work is seen with the beginning on the right side and the working edge on the left.

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Now for that awesome link:

This pattern belongs to Robin Sanchez, of the Once Upon a Pink Moon blog, which I’m sure you will enjoy browsing. I know you need another project as much as I do. I think these would be stunning in tones of teal, aqua and sea-foam, don’t you, Boomdee:-)

If you make this and blog about it, please be sure to  give Robin the credit and link back to her blog. She does some great work!  Narfie7, stop reading here!

Robin also shares a link to another blog with a recipe for vegan date bars . . . and art journaling, among other topics . . .

I think this Flower Power valance would be lovely over sheer white curtains, too, or on the side windows of a motor home or van . . . hmmm, my era is showing again . . .


It’s been very hot here this afternoon, so I spent some time at the computer listening to music; then realized I could have done a proper post . . . oh, well, a short one isn’t so bad, is it?

We’ve also had a fair bit of smoke coming down from fires in the Northwest Territories; enough to make the sky hazy and I can feel it when walking or hauling stuff up and down stairs. Not too bad, though. Apart from my weight, I’m pretty healthy still.

I have written in my organizer from Pauline! It’s so lovely and she was so kind to make it for me, I can’t bear not to write in it; this is a first for me. I hate to think of how many lovely blank books I have bought and then simply stored, afraid I would ruin them with my handwriting. It’s not too bad, actually, but my Mum’s is still gorgeous; she went to school when you had handwriting practise weekly right through grade 12. In my time, it only went to grade 4. sigh . . .

Too hot to cook and I have resorted to bought cole slaw . . . cold and fast, at least. Also iced bought blended coffee drinks. I know; I swore off coffee a while back, but have not been sleeping so well and found myself dozing off right after breakfast . . . I had a lovely stroke of luck after my PhiloFriend and I (see below) walked around the lake; we went to a fast food outlet for iced drinks; I ordered the coffee one, but the girl got it wrong (darn speakers at the drive-through) and gave me hot coffee with mocha and milk added (no sugar, though). When my friend pointed out the error, they suggested I keep the hot drink rather than them tossing it out, then hurried and made me the cold drink I’d wanted, insisted on not letting me pay for it – I was quite willing, as I’m fairly forgiving of people making errors. And I WAS keeping the hot drink! I put the hot one in the fridge later on and enjoyed it this morning, with, alas, some sugar tossed in. Kept me awake and going all day!

Mr. and Mrs. Crafty took a car load of yarn and ‘boxes’ of projects to their cottage last Friday morning. I’d spent all Thursday getting ready for that. Thursday was lovely and very cool, so I had plenty of energy. I planned to spend the rest of Friday packing, but had no boxes with lids . . . grrrrrrrr  So  after I got back from the bi-Friday library run I kept on sorting and discarding and did get stuff done. Then yesterday (Saturday), my Philosophical friend took me to a liquor store and we filled her trunk and backseat with nested boxes. To thank her and to let us catch up (haven’t had a visit for well over a month), we went for pizza. Not my usual choice, but this was amazingly good! A thin, whole wheat crust and a veggie topping that included artichoke hearts. Mmmmm! And afterwards, we went for a walk around the man-made lake where I walked with another friend year before last. I haven’t been there since and was a bit dismayed to find I wanted to sit four times, just to catch my breath. Of course, it WAS quite hot still . . . but lovely just to be outdoors, hearing birds instead of traffic.

Today I’ve done lots, too. And now that I can see that it isn’t as bad as I’d feared, it’s a bit easier.

There have been other stresses, though; some I can’t post about. One very sad thing for me is that a very dear friend is dying in BC and it’s hard to think that I won’t see him again in this life. I think it’s been six years since I was back and I have always tried to get to Abbotsford to visit him and his wife (they have moved since I was last there). She is my age and he is 20 years older, so this is not exactly unexpected. Still, we always expect these things to happen another day, not today, don’t we? I have known this family for almost 40 years and they are the sort of friends where we don’t email or phone, but when I show up at their door, it’s as though no time has passed . . . we share so many basic beliefs and the whole family is very dear to me. Their four daughters are the sweetest ever; one of them was the first Mum I was ever a doula for. (I think that’s a badly worded sentence, but can’t figure out what I did wrong . . . oh, well, as Churchill famously said: “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put”  . . . but you may have to . . .  :-)  )

So today I got through most of what I have had stored in the long hall storage area and have several boxes nearly full and ready to tape; those will go in the storage unit that Mum and I share. My PhiloFriend will haul them for me once I have a load ready. So I’m making progress. Since I’ve already moved so much into storage, it doesn’t look quite as bad as I first envisioned. I’m learning to take a break when I find myself tossing things into the box without making a decision as to whether I will actually need/use it. That’s helping. So is cold water.

The best thing about going through stuff is finding the things that I knew were ‘somewhere’ . . . including the instructions for the reversible crochet that a few people asked for back when I posted photos of it.

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Ok, I lied about no photos, but these are re-runs, so really they don’t count :-)

No time to type it out tonight, but soon, I promise. I have it sitting out to remind me . . . It’s very, very easy, so after you have done a couple of Bavarian afghans, you might want to try one of these, too. This is very good for a pram or cot blanket for a wee one. And it looks gorgeous! I was given the pattern by a bus driver back when I was manager for a Lewiscraft store in Sherwood Park (a neighbouring town, about an hour and a half to two hours each way on the bus). I haven’t finished any of these (nothing like ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is there?), but they will go to the Crafty house and be dealt with in due course. After the Bavarian bevy is done. I did find some smaller skeins of white that I think will do, so I can see at least one more child-size afghan in the near future.

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More double-sided crochet pieces. It works best (or so I think) when the two yarns are a good contrast, either in shade or in colour.

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I also found the knitted hood/cowl/whatever thingy that I was free-forming a year or two ago (no photo, sorry) . . . and this shawl that I began when I was first going to my Aunty’s, remember? Those are also going to the Crafty cottage . . .

. . . and a-whey we go . . . (nope, I’m not apologizing for that one  :-)  )

I made a huge amount of kefir cheese, thanks to Christi‘s Diligent Dorcas, who just keeps cranking out the kefir (about a cup a day or so) and gave away four jam jars of whey; two to the Crafty’s for soaking their feet after a long day of whipper-smipping grass on the new acreage; they are clearing where the driveway and the home will go. They are buying a simple garage package, then will do the finishing work themselves, as they are both so handy with finishing carpentry, tiling, whatever needs doing, really. The other two jars went to my PhiloFriend to use in her bath. Once this is done, I’m planning on a long, cool bath myself, with some of that whey; it softens the skin amazingly; I use about a half cup in a tub of water and sit and read for an hour or so. I shower before I fill the tub, so my hair is clean; then I put some of the whey on my hair, pin it up and leave it to dry. Usually by the time I’m out again it’s stopped dripping. The whey acts like a very soft hair gel.(read about it on one of the kefir sites) and I like the bit of extra body it gives.

‘fraid I’ve been pretty lazy of late . . . instead of figuring out what to add to the kefir cheese to make it more appealing, I’ve been buying light cream cheese (I like the garlic and herbs one, also the smoked salmon . . . yum!); I add it to the kefir cheese at about 2 parts kefir cheese, 1 part bought cream cheese. It tastes pretty good on my toasted bagel, but I’m going to try it on steamed veggies and pasta, too, once it’s cool enough to stand cooking again. I add a fair bit of garlic powder to the garlic and herbs variety; nothing extra for the salmon, though. I love smoked salmon . . .

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print, as they used to say . . . hope all of you are getting the weather and temperatures you enjoy most, along with some downtime for crafting, reading and general relaxing . . . summer or winter, it’s good to have that . . .

And now for something a wee bit different:

Joan Baez, singing  “Diamonds and Rust

and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

and “Birmingham Sunday

. . . on a lighter note: The Corries singing “The Food Blues

Happy Mail! and Progress

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I’ve been working pretty steadily on the multi-coloured Bavarian Afghan, which is going to be pretty big. Thanks to not being able to get more of this yarn in white, I’ve done nothing more on the afghans for the grandkidlets. While I’ve been crocheting, I’ve been thinking about what I will do with my ‘stuff’. A bit of progress there, too. more on that another day . . .

It’s been a rather challenging time, so I will draw a kind curtain over the last few days . . . as the old novels used to say.

Today, I was watching the supper news with my Aunty and crocheting, when there came a knock at the door . . . and there was my Mum, who had just gone down to see if there was any mail. And there was! for me, no less!! I was SO puzzled! And then I saw the return address . . .


Yes, it was from the Contented Crafter, the lovely Pauline! Still puzzled (forgive me, Pauline, my memory isn’t the best when I’ve been stressed), I tried to open the envelope. Too tough. My Aunty dug out her all-purpose scissors and that was that!




A card with my favourite image . . . I LOVE that chair! In fact, it was that chair that brought me into Pauline’s orbit way back. sigh . . .

But that wasn’t all . . . now I remembered! My organizer!! Just what I need!!

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For some reason, wordpress is acting up and my screen keeps going blank, so please forgive the upside down photos; I’ve been struggling to get this put together and am running out of time. I’m SO glad I chose the “Choose Joy!” cover; I need to be reminded a wee bit just now and this will help every day. Serendipity, always perfect!

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Beautiful inside, too . . . with lovely handy pockets . . .


Don’t know if these will be very clear, but on the left is a Pegasus, one of my favourite images (I think Pauline has a magical way to her; either that or she’s been inside my head of late . . .)  On the right is a lovely raven that looks just as I imagine Odin’s ravens to look. And if it’s not a raven, don’t bother to enlighten me :-)  Also a sweet wee heart that is stamped ‘made with love’.

Pauline, thank you so, So much! I adore my organizer and I promise to use it well!

Big hugs (on the warm side; we nearly got to +30 over the past couple of days. And along with the hugs, much love and many blessings; you deserve lots and lots and lots!

The same to each of my readers, too . . . you are in my thoughts every day.

An old folk song for you who like them: Runrig, of course!

And my current favourite – I nearly have the chorus memorized: “‘Ic Iain ‘Ic Sheumais

July . . . and maybe August . . .

Well, I had hopes of being caught up and returning to regular posting, but it’s not to be . . . at least not in the immediate future.


Apparently I have ‘too much stuff’ (‘too much’ still being undefined) and so, in the interest of harmony with the condo board (such harmony as is possible, anyway), I am moving pretty much all my remaining things to the storage. As I am not officially a tenant, I can easily be evicted and the board chair has already suggested that for both Mum and myself. We like the landlords, who support us, but are pretty powerless against the board, and we don’t want to cause them further trouble.

The ceiling will be fixed, like it or not, and we can put Mum’s things out on the balcony for the duration (packed up again, of course). The issue of breathing dust remains, but our choices are leave for a few days (and go where, exactly?) or stay and deal with it. Grumpy-making, all of it, but I’ll get over it. Doesn’t do to stay grumpy for too long . . .


What Mrs. Crafty has been up to: a filet crochet curtain for one of her windows.

So I have been in a not-positive mood for a few hours, but have simmered down a bit now. Thinking has helped, as I think about how some people would like the world to be Disneyised, all sanitary and no visible sign of the inner workings or anything at all messy or even faintly upsetting. In other words, not ‘real’. Give me messy reality any day; that I can cope with . . . And when it comes to ‘reality’, I can cope, even if I whinge a lot at first. I’m a bolshie survivor, first and foremost, with a taste for the subversive. “You can lock me up, but you can’t change my thinking” sort of thing . . .

CDNs what we think we do

The dyeing I’d planned to do this summer (needs steaming, which I was going to do out on the balcony) is postponed indefinitely, along with the hand-printed embellishments. By the time I’m done with the moving and the renovations are complete, it will be too cold again. So I’ve put a notice in the Etsy store so people don’t wonder what has happened to me.

So I will be here when possible, but can’t promise anything much. Things have to go into boxes, then plastic bags and then one of my two friends with cars will take a load to the storage as I get stuff ready. Can’t do much when with my Aunty, so next six days at home will be busy.

I was looking at my original storage unit when I went through some of the yarn for Mr. and  Mrs. Crafty and noticed that the paint on my favourite old cupboard has begun to bell out and split away from the wood; The paint is very old, maybe back to the ’40s or so; several layers of it, dark red, a lighter green, then an egg-yolk yellow on top. And it seems to me there was some white involved at one time, too. ;-) Anyway, I think I am going to give that and my other cupboard to the Crafties. Likely more things too. I can take photos; they are easy to store and will hold the sentiments for me.

The Crafties have just purchased ten acres about an hour north of the city, out where there are low rolling hills and some, but not too much, forest. They will be building, fencing and preparing a garden over the next four or five years, then selling the city cottage and moving permanently. They will have room for the things I am unable to keep and their tastes are much like mine, so my stuff will have a good home.

I will go out for a look at the new place, maybe next time I’m ‘off’ and upstairs, packing and moving notwithstanding. I do need a wee break every once in a while. And I can crochet on the way up and back, too. :-)  There will be photos . . .  :-)

1830s huswif spinning

Me, a few years from now . . .

I was over at the Crafties’ most of yesterday; we moved a bunch of older, aluminium-framed windows that had been discarded at their son’s new home. Mr. Crafty will use his router to make new wooden frames for the glass and the windows will eventually be part of the greenhouse on the new place. There is also a swampy section that they plan to dig out so they will have a pond of sorts. I haven’t seen it yet, of course, but it sounds lovely and they are very excited at the thought of being out of the city and away from close neighbours.

Last post I forgot to include pictures of the Crafty’s newest ‘child’ (well, I forgot to take any pictures, so it wasn’t exactly possible . . .). For those of you who are dog-lovers, here’s a couple:

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A lovely profile, no? He’s a four year old Boxer; still very puppyish and fast-moving; I have several quite blurred photos of him, thanks to my camera taking a bit of a second to actually snap the photo after I click the button . . . But this was pretty good. You can see the latest row of  the number three afghan on my knee in the foreground. That row and the next are now complete and a sky-blue pair of rows is coming up. The gorgeous flooring was laid down by the Crafties, too. They do nice work.

Well, posting will be done as time permits, likewise commenting and comment responding. Just don’t want you all to think I’ve lost heart and interest . . . I can read your posts on my iPhone, so should be able to keep up with that, at least.

See you soon, my friends. Love, Light and Blessings to each of you.  ~ Linne

p.s. I’ve been planning a fun event for a while; one day soon, I hope.

Anticipation 301 commences now . . .  :-)


Just couldn’t resist . . . for the bolshoi bolshies among us . . . <3

for Narfie and the Rabid Little Hippy


Crochet! Crochet! Crochet!

Futbol! Futbol! Futbol!

:-)  <3  :-)  <3  :-)  <3  :-)

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I would ‘normally’ be all for Canada, who apparently never made the cut this time, then Scotland or Wales, then England. After that, the Netherlands, then Spain. So I’m not doing so well this time around . . . maybe the women’s cup will be better. I watched most of the games last time and the Canadian team were brilliant! Christine Sinclair, oh, my! I like the futbol and I like Aussie Rules rugger (no accounting for tastes, eh? especially for a mostly non-violent sort)  ;-)  Otherwise, I prefer the individual sports; dressage, show jumping, ice skating, skateboarding, footbag, etc. Not much into sheer brutality, but have seen a few hockey games that qualified as sport. Most memorable was the series between Canada and the Russkies way back in another century . . .

.I was a bit ticked off this time, when England lost and the announcers said England was packing their bags to go home. I took it literally . . . fool that I am! Nearly missed their next match . . .

So . . .

Narfie! FIFA! Narfie! FIFA! Narfie! FIFA!

Rabid!  Futbol!  Rabid!   Futbol!  Rabid!   Futbol!

Crochet! Crochet! Crochet!

LOL!   LOL!   LOL!

And a great sporting song:  The Clash of the Ash!

The last shot of this video is well worth watching!