Happy New Year to all in 2014

This is likely my longest post ever, so I won’t mind if you don’t read it all (or if you don’t listen to all the music) Music is such an individual thing and not many share my tastes, so no worries . . . it’s a great joy to me and I’ve been playing my old favourintes while I’ve been typing this, so I thought I’d share a bit of my soundtrack. However, that said, you may want to listen to the first one, as it’s really a New Year’s Eve song:

One of my brothers-in-law sent me this link and I thought some of you would enjoy the song, the photos and the wishes, which I echo for you. The singer is Sissel KyrkjebΓΈ, the well-known Norwegian soprano:

I’ve noticed how many of you have summed up your past year and shared some of your plans, wishes and hopes for the coming year; reading your posts has caused me to think about my own past year and the year to come.

I began this blog in November of 2012 and originally it was meant to complement my Etsy store (still not open). I’m planning to start another blog for publicizing the store. Like many of you, I rarely look at my stats, as I don’t have a goal of acquiring followers or whatever. My main interest, stat-wise, has been seeing where people come from.
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The view early this afternoon facing West from Mum’s place. We’ve had frequent snow over the past few days, but now too deep at any one time.

As I said, I have an Etsy store, which I began working on before I was laid off in May of 2012. But I chose to focus on family this past summer, so didn’t make any progress toward creating actual stock. That’s still on the cards, though. Seeing Pauline open her store has inspired me to get focused again, as for now I’m not staying with my Aunty (her son is home for an indefinite period). I’ve run through a lot of ideas, but it hasn’t been easy to decide on what I might create and sell successfully. Hence the name of the store and this blog. πŸ™‚

Divine Intervention?
During the run-up to Christmas, the only Christmassy thing I did was some baking and cooking. I have to share what happened, it’s so typical of me and my ‘random’ approach to nearly everything: After I’d made the shortbread, I made two pound cakes, one with halved green and red cherries, the other with sultanas and coconut. In both cases, the fruit sank to the bottom, which isn’t quite what I’m used to. Nothing deterred, though, I pushed onward . . . to the Apricot Slice that was posted by Wendy of All the fruit chopped and ready, I opened the can of condensed milk that I found in the cupboard a while ago. The lid was half off when I realized it was not white, but brown! What I had was the new flavour, “Dulce et Leche” . . . oh, well, that’ll teach me to read before opening (you’d think . . .), so, since it wasn’t going to be a white slice, I put in half white chocolate chips and half semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate. That part worked fine. I think I have a photo of the results here:
IMG_4607[1] There was more, but I sent some with Mum for the Christmas dinner and of course I had to test a few pieces to make sure it really was ok . . .

So the slice done (sort of), I moved on to Stacy Allbritton’s Christmas Divinity I had all the ingredients in my big old pot that I used to use to make popcorn, soup, stews and more for my family. I love that pot. Not as much as I love Mr. 23Thorns and his wife Tracy πŸ˜‰ but quite a lot. See?
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Then I took the bowl with the egg whites and got ready to beat them . . . I found the beaters, but no power handle. I guess it’s been MIA since we packed everything up for the bug spraying a couple of years back. We have no idea which box it’s in, either. Oh, well . . . I got out the stick blender, the old one that’s quieter. It did its best, but no go. I tried the new, and noisy, one. Same result. I tried the various whisks we have, but they aren’t very big and didn’t do it, either. So I gave up . . . I planned to get a new handheld beater at the mall the next day. But I had a lot to do that day, didn’t write it on my list, got home and oh, no! I didn’t have it. That was Christmas Eve and everything was closed. So I packed up what I did have for the dinner and let it all go, sort of. On that Friday (the 27th) when I was downtown, I checked the dollar store and they didn’t have an electric beater, but they did have a decent sized whisk, which I promptly acquired. The next day, I added a couple more egg whites to the bowl, to make up for any evaporation, also a pinch of cream of tartar and a squirt of lemon juice, both of which help egg whites turn into lovely stiff peaks. Then I proceeded to whip . . . and just over ten minutes later, voila!
IMG_4623[1] See that lovely peak? Yes!!
Back to my favourite cauldron pot:
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For a while, all went well; the pot bubbled in a most satisfactory way and I stirred without stopping. Then it was time to add the syrup to the egg whites. Well, my ancient electric mixer is languishing in the storage units in Vernon (BC), but the new whisk would do nicely. I placed the bowl on a folded tea towel so it wouldn’t skitter off the counter while I was whipping the mix into some sort of submission. But I’d misjudged one thing: the bowl wasn’t quite large enough. The bigger bowls were in the fridge already, so I figured if I held my mouth just so and hoped . . . but no, not quite. A wee bit of egg white made its escape to the counter, the rest simply rose over an inch above the edge of the bowl and threatened to follow suit. I hastily dumped the remaining syrup in, put down the pot and commenced to stir as best I could. Note I said ‘stir’, not ‘whip’. It does make a difference and I do know that, since I made candy similar to this aeons ago for our family Christmas feasts.
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But I couldn’t whip; so I did the best I could, then managed to transfer the mixture into the greased baking pan I had waiting. As I still had plans for giving it away the next day, and it was pretty hot, I popped the lid on the dish and put it out on the balcony in the snow:
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Later I brought it in, to find that the mix had separated and the bottom layer was still very syrupy. Oh, well . . . I got out the old, smaller, wire whisk and mixed it up well; back outside, but this time onto the table right next to the doors. Next morning, I went to bring it in, hoping the dish held something approaching edible (I’d given up on divine Divinity by then); oh, no! the doors are frozen shut . . . so the divinity or whatever approximates it is still outside enjoying an Edmonton winter . . .

Some days I think my whole life can be summed up thus: “It seemed like a good idea at the time . . .” And sometimes you just have to laugh and move on . . .

So, my apologies to Wendy and Stacy. I’d hoped to include those treats as a way of including some of my followers in my Christmas, but it didn’t turn out exactly as I’d hoped . . . maybe next year. I do have ingredients to make one more Apricot Slice and this time I have the proper version of condensed milk. I’ll let you know how that works out . . .

I hadn’t mentioned, and might as well, that in that week before Christmas I set up the bread machine that my crafty friend gave me last summer. Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone then, either (this was before the candy catastrophes) . . . I forget now exactly what I changed, but it was more than one ingredient (my recipes aren’t up to my hand-made bread healthy standards, so I tend to ‘doctor’ them up a bit . . . worst of all, I didn’t measure properly. I know I’m supposed to be exact and all that, but I sort of fly by the seat of my pants when doing most things . . . you may have noticed πŸ˜‰ Having gotten the machine started, off I went to Mum’s room to check my FeedReader, emails and probably post something or other. Not to mention play a couple of games of Blitz on FB, for the soothing results it produces. A couple of hours later, I went to the kitchen for water and noticed that white smoke was curling up from the vents of the bread machine. Oh, no! I flung open the lid and guess what? The dough was lovely and very, very lush . . . so lush, it had expanded upwards and outwards and then, slowly, downwards . . . onto the heating element (I knew there was a reason I preferred wood stoves), where it stuck and began to do a credible imitation of charcoal. Oh well . . . I turned it off, got the basket out and dumped the dough into a large bowl (the one that would have been perfect for the divinity later, only by then it was in the fridge holding jellied salad or something. I set the pan to soak in the sink, scooped as much of the dough as possible off the walls of the machine, added flour (quite a lot, as it turned out) and began kneading.
IMG_4526[1] The inside of the machine after I scraped it down . . .

I had the electric stove oven heating by then and a couple of bread pans greased and waiting. When the dough felt right (just like a baby’s bottom, as my Mum taught me when I first learned to make bread; I was 12 or 13 then) I divided it in two and set it in the pans to rise. A while later, I popped them in the oven and this was the result:
IMG_4542[1] YUMMY!! Lucky me!

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Last Friday (the 27th), looking from the bus stop across the street south toward downtown. Enough snow so the skyline has disappeared . . . but at the time, it was only -6C, so I was a happy camper. I had a nice afternoon; posted a Little Christmas box to my older son, his partner and their five kids (and it didn’t break the bank, either; last time I sent a box, it was much larger and had not only books, but cookies and other baking and it cost over $50 in postage. Since then, I’ve just sent cash when I could, but it isn’t the same . . . This year I stuck to books.) The bad news, though, was that even if I had paid extra, there was no guarantee that it would arrive by the 6th, so I sent it regular post and we’ll see . . . I was told maybe it wouldn’t arrive ’til the 17th or 18th . . . oh, well . . . if I’d known Christmas was coming, I would have been ready πŸ˜‰

For those of you who love Scots Gaelic, here’s two links to what I’m listening to right now:
This one is “An Sabhal aig Neill (Over by Neill’s Barn)”, if you are interested.
A toe-tapping tune . . .

and this is “An Abhal ad Airde (The Highest Apple)”, live at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow.

This one is on my playlist for my funeral one day (not too soon, I hope). I really love it! My heartfelt apologies to Mr. 23Thorns, whose great post on the word ‘Love.’ (and Bacon.) is here:
http://23thorns.com/2012/08/31/love-and-bacon/ I have to say, I love his blog, too . . .

After I posted the box, I went to the library, returned three quarters of a rolly cart’s worth of books plus a few DVDs, then promptly filled up again. I’d ordered everything they have by Lian Hearn, whose work I’ve been in love with for a couple of years now. Plus a couple of Fair Isle knitting books. Plus some DVDs. So Mum’s card is full (40 limit per card) and the rest are on mine. I had planned to meet a friend, but the roads were so icy, she decided not to come out (good idea, too; I saw a police car going through the main intersection downtown and skidding quite a lot; and those guys can drive!); so I decided to treat myself and took myself off to the Second Cup coffee shop that’s attached to the downtown library for a Mocha Mint Icepresso (yep, a blended iced coffee!) and a yummy Nanaimo bar (huge, I have to say!). I sat there reading the first of the Tales of the Otori, “Heaven’s Net is Wide” and falling in love all over again. Lian Hearn is from New Zealand (think I mentioned her in a recent post, didn’t I?)
IMG_4619[1] I took this after I left the coffee shop three hours later. You can just see it on the corner towards me. By this time the temperature was nearly -30C with the windchill and the snow was blowing and biting. It was still worth it, though, just sitting, reading, thining and looking out through the big window as the snow came heavier and heavier . . . if there had been a hammock handy, I’d be there yet . . . So that was my 27th of December and a good day it was . . .

Here’s another Gaelic song, “Tillidh Mi (I will Return)” with photos that will touch your heart, all those of you who are working to create this sort of life for yourselves:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDc1vit8roI&list=PL4150FCD007BB03D3 Makes me homesick . . . and happy.

There was a lot of good for me this year, including knitting over two thirds of a Fair Isle style cardi that is likely to be wearable once done. I’m finishing up the bottom now (sorry, no photos yet), then it’s on to the sleeves and the button bands (and maybe a hood). I did a bunch of other knitting, too, and earlier in the year quite a bit of hand-sewing. No further progress on those projects, yet.

I made new online friends, too; it’s such a delight for me to find so many kindred souls and see my ‘virtual village’ come to life. The best of the ‘net . . . I hope to go on reading about your lives, learning from you, sharing some of my own stories and much more . . . We are a diverse bunch who share similar hearts and spirits; checking your blogs is a highlight for me every day.

And for you greenies, here is “Our Earth Was Once Green”:

This song “South Australia” makes me think not only of my Aussie friends, but also the kiwis and others from the bright side of the earth . . .

And last, but certainly not least (in case anyone is still with me . . . ) my favourite Canadian group, no longer together, but I did see them in person once and it only increased my already deep regard for them: Kashtin:

Have a wonderful year, everyone! We are building the world we want to live in and that’s the best thing ever.

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40 thoughts on “Happy New Year to all in 2014

  1. I enjoyed reading your egg whipping adventures Linne. I often make meringues for a gluten intolerant friend and on New Year’s Eve, thought I’d whip up a quick batch. I was in a hurry and for some silly reason, tipped in the sugar before I’d whipped the egg white. I had no more eggs so persisted with whipping them. Finally, after a long time they were forming into peaks, so I spooned little hills onto the baking tray and popped them in the oven. I opened it when the timer went to discover, completely flat discs. Nothing I could call a Meringue!

    Happy New Year to you, I hope it’s a good one!

  2. I’m so sorry your divinity didn’t “take,” but the bread looks perfectly yummy. And I agree that blogland is a very pleasant way to spend one’s time – visiting with friends all over the globe is almost like having them over for a cup of coffee and (dare I say it?) divinity. πŸ™‚

    • Stacy, the ‘goo’ tasted divine, even if it never set up properly; I’m sure if I’d had a larger bowl available and then beaten well, it would have been perfect. Next Christmas . . . I only make foods like this once a year or I’d be wearing very large tents . . . A lot of the idea, for me, was celebrating the connection with you and with Wendy. I have the ingredients now to make Jess’s steamed new potatoes with mint. That’s likely going to be supper tonight . . .

      The bread WAS very yummy; so it was a serendipitous ‘save’ πŸ˜‰ I think of blogland as my virtual village (think I’ve mentioned it a time or ten lol) and yes, that’s just how I see it. I’d love to drop by and have real coffee (and yes, divinity! Dare away!!); for now, I’ll settle for virtual and for having my own ‘real’ coffee and treats while reading everyone’s adventures and imagining them doing the same . . . most rewarding, isn’t it?

  3. “Some days I think my whole life can be summed up thus: β€œIt seemed like a good idea at the time . . .” And sometimes you just have to laugh and move on” . . .this is my life TOO-lol…so well put! πŸ™‚ I loved the film with all the animals +scenery + singing by Sissel KyrkjebΓΈ. It is late at night here in Illinois, so I am heading to bed and will check out the other music tomorrow…don’t feel bad, I am always behind on many of my goals:-)…great post..enjoy reading about your life:-)

    • Nice to have so many ‘twins’ out here in the virtual wilderness . . . or I should say, in the virtual village in the middle of the actual wilderness. πŸ™‚ Sissel’s got the greatest voice, doesn’t she? I don’t care for sopranos if they don’t hit the notes well; but she seems to be always right on. And she’s Norwegian; my Mum’s parents were born in Trondheim (my MorMor) and Lillehammer (my MorFar), so it will always be a meaningful country for me. I have posted more music on my Music!! page; it’s a very long list; don’t worry about listening to each link (unless you’re a closet obsessive about music, like me); some may appeal more than others; it’s a pretty wide range of stuff. Not as wide as my interests, though; I’m saving some for future posts. πŸ˜‰ Isn’t it great, learning about people we are so unlikely to meet face to face? It’s been a true gift for me, for sure. ~ Linne

      • Aww…my first grandson is in Europe and part Swedish. He calls me MorMor:-) I don’t hear that too often here in the USA. He is only 20 months old and my great Grandmother came from Norway! So when I noticed she was Norwegian, well…shoot…she must be talented!LOL…no, she really was a beautiful singer..I will check out your music. And it has been a true gift for me to meet people that have “similar” interests, but are different enough for me to learn from about new things and places in the world over our cyber fence! I just wish I could knit like you—pretty amazing:-)

      • Robbie, that’s so sweet! My older son and his wife have five kids and there are several grandmothers and step-grandmothers, so I asked to be called Bestemor, the generic Norwegian for grandmother; Mormor is specific: Mother’s Mother. Bestemor is what my Mum called her Mormor. I never knew my grandmothers, so this was a way for me to honour them, though on my Dad’s side I would have said Oma (I doubt we would have been informal enough to call her Omi). The stories I heard were always from my Mum’s side, so that stuck, I guess. If I am ever a great-grandmother, I will be called Oldemor (from Oldemoreldre) and as a great-great grandmother would be called Tippoldemar. Not likely I’ll get to that, but handy to know.

      • Sissel is great, isn’t she? I’m not a huge fan of sopranos, but I really like her voice.

        Hope you enjoy some of the music; I never expect anyone to like all my stuff; it’s pretty varied.

        I love learning; even things I will never use (like bookkeeping).

        Stranded knitting is much easier than it looks, ’cause it’s done in the round. You always have the pattern facing you. Do you knit much, Robbie? I’m itching to design a couple of ‘starter’ projects, but am committed to finish the cardi. The ribbing is not so exciting, even though I’ve fancied it up, and it’s a good thing I’ve been posting about it for so long; now I HAVE to finish it! (of course, I also want to wear it . . .) πŸ˜‰

      • I know I am not a huge fan of sopranos either, but she has an appealing and beautiful voice. Varied is good–I am an eclectic at heart with most art forms..just depends on my mood-lol
        I am a lifelong learner and that is the key to a happy life…how can you be bored if you can always find something new to learn:-)
        as for knitting-No, but my grandmother did and she was quite good. She made me pleated knitted skirts and amazing dresses that she knitted! I kept them all! I like to read about your knitting and watch your projects develop. My grandmother use to make all my mother + siblings mittens, hats, sweaters etc. She passed away about 8 yrs ago and no one really picked up her knitting talent, but my oldest daughter that lives in UK does. She is talented like my grandmother in that area and loves the same kind of plants. So maybe it is in the genes-lol.
        I don’t knit, but I draw some, jewelry, print,craft, and use to train modern dancers ( I was a modern dancer -many moons ago!) at an art center, but left that all to become an educator in my 30’s…but lately I am starting to go back and rediscover my “artistic side” of my life! My youngest just left the empty nest and the last bedroom is converted over to my creative studio! I am working on it this summer:-)

      • I like sopranos if they can hit the notes well (and I don’t have a perfect ear or anything, either). I’m eclectic about pretty much everything . . . and it’s mood-dependent for me, too. So when asked what I like or what my favourite xx is, most of my answers are qualified with “well, that depends . . .” πŸ˜‰

        Another life-long learner! I don’t understand how anyone can NOT be one . . . I was bored exactly once in my life and it lasted only a coupld of minutes; as soon as I realized that must be what I was feeling, I thought “oh, how interesting!” and proceeded to spend quite some time thinking about boredom and related issues . . . and of course I wasn’t bored anymore πŸ™‚

        I’m impressed by your Grandmother . . . I remember knitted clothes for kids and actually have been collecting old Beehive for Bairns booklets (thanks to our Re-Use-It Centre; $5 for whatever you take, no matter how much!!) I know no one wears those things nowadays, but I love to remember . . . and dream . . . I’m SO glad you kept the things she made for you. My Grandmothers were both gone long before I was born, so there was nothing like that for me. And likely they would have been worn out by siblings if there had been, but still . . . Lovely that your daughter inherited the yarn gene . . .

        I do a bit of drawing (nothing impressive, but fun to do), have done bead jewellery and have the tools & supplies, I’ve done/do a variety of crafts but never mastered any really (too much to learn, too little time!). When you say ‘print’, do you mean as in printing words? or do you mean print-making? I absolutely love printmaking; took a course once at a college (uni-level course called ‘Introduction to Studio’, so lots of varied segments) and later a couple of courses from a Victoria, BC, print-maker. But it takes more space than I have available just now. One day . . . I always wanted to learn to dance, but more classic, like waltzing and folk styles. I was just too shy back then. Later I took a jazz dance course for larger women (I was the slimmest in the bunch); that was taught by a very well-known dancer and was a lot of fun. We even did a public performance at the end of the year. I saw the video later and had to laugh at myself; ‘laid-back’ is not really the sort of energy that creates jazz dancers . . . everyone else was moving with emphasis and there I was, in the back (I’m tall), waving around like kelp when the tide has just turned. Too funny! I still love watching ballet, too and learned many steps when I was a teen and later in my young adult days. But I’m too tall for a proper ballerina. I like quite a lot of modern dance and recently became aware of the Stardance movie project: http://www.stardancemovie.com/ and of Jeanne Robinson (sadly, she passed away from cancer xx) You may be interested in this link: http://www.spiderrobinson.com/jeanne.html She and her husband (and their daughter Terri Luana) are all fascinating people. As to education (which I prefer to ‘teaching’), I like teaching what I know to anyone who wants to learn, was in education in uni (dropped out) and have done a lot of ‘a capella’ teaching over the years.

        How exciting, to be creating a studio! What a difference to leave your projects and later walk in, choose one and resume work . . . hope you share some of your creations as you go along . . .

      • You are a creative soul! Printing with inks + carving tools where you just simply print. Not as expensive as the more elaborate methods. I just don’t have a lot of time , so I will carve out some time this next year. There are a few women I met that might want to stop by and share some creative ideas this next summer in my outdoor studio. I sure hope it happens. We have raised our kids and have some time to work on projects. We are all into different things. i will share what I do, my creative activities are centered today around the garden. Today my old gal in the yard was trimmed. She looks pretty nice, just don’t know if there will be a lot of shade..we shall see:-)
        I trained as a classical dancer, but modern in college. I never really liked pointe shoes-bloody feet + it hurt! Barefeet was so much better and free.I loved dancing + teaching those early years…It was a time in my life, I hold very special.
        How neat you got out there and performed!It takes guts and you should be proud of yourself…..Judith Jamison of Alvin Ailey company was 6 feet tall! She is one of my favorite dancer:-) There is no body type in modern dance, it is about the “art” not the body…it as about the movement. If you move beautifully…that is all that matters, not some perfect body type..That is what made Isadora Duncan (May 1877 – September 1927) so special + one of the first modern dancers…she went against the norm…..and many to follow after her as they developed the art form….it truly is a beautiful art form. I enjoy ballet, jazz, but modern is really about the individual + does not exclude..it is what the artist wants it to be…

        I don’t know how anyone could throw away something handcrafted:-) It almost seems like a sin-lol
        I will check out the movies you put up above…love to look at different art…

      • (reply #1) Robbie, I only got to use a press during the print section of that course, but it was great fun! We were to make 2 prints of our ‘plate’ (heavy cardstock, with a 3-D collaged self-portrait glued on), but I worked hard and fast and managed to make 3!

        In the private (not uni) classes, I learned a few techniques; one of them you might be interested in, either on your own or with your friends; it’s what I would start a class with if I were a teacher. Let me know if you are interested.

      • You inspired me to go and dig out some books I was looking at on printing. I love Angie Lewin’s work with plants…I messed around with carving and would like to check it out again. Just have been too busy the past few years, you inspired me to go and check it out again…anything you can share– much appreciated.I finally have time for myself in my life …time to explore…,but helping my middle daughter with my 7 month grandson…he is a blast! My other grandson is 22 months in Enlgand, so I will get to see the world through their eyes again..that should help me explore again!

      • I hadn’t heard of Lewin; just googled her and found this page of images of her work: https://www.google.ca/search?q=%22angie+lewin%22&lr=&as_qdr=all&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ESzWUp3NKc3soATCqYHAAw&ved=0CJMBEIke&biw=1360&bih=553 She is good, isn’t she? I’ve done a very little linocut printing and when my husband was doing etchings, I helped with the inking and printing. I think that’s what first really wakened my interest in printmaking although I’d been exposed to it before when my sons’ dad was studying Art back when I first met him.

        I should do a post on the technique I like; it’s good for beginners to experts. All you need is a piece of glass a bit smaller than your paper, some watercolour paints, brushes, paper and a few other bits. I’ll try and get to it soon.

        Those babies sound like such fun! You are lucky to live near enough to help with the younger one. Mine are on an island on the west coast, so I haven’t seen them often; I’ve been down there three times, I think, each time for the birth of one. I missed the older girl’s birth and the littlesn’t one’s, too. But I phone from time to time. I was lucky enough to be there for six weeks the last time, but it still isn’t like living nearby. I would have liked to teach the older girl, especially, how to knit and all that. She’s a natural ‘maker’ who taught herself to hand-stitch very early. By the time she was 5, she’d made a doll quilt and when she was 7, she made a skirt from some knit material and put in a zipper by hand! The hem was irregular, but she loved it and wore it a lot. That zipper really impressed me . . . These days, she’s around 13 and has taught herself to make wire jewellery, which she is getting orders for from her schoolmates. (and getting paid, too!)
        You are right; seeing the world fresh through the eyes of that generation certainly is good for opening us up again to all sorts of things . . .

      • Yes, presses are pretty pricy (that was a weird sentence, wasn’t it?). If you are near a college or university, you might be able to rent some time on one, though, or even from a working artist. Then you would have to prepare your plates ahead of time and be ready to ink and wipe at some speed . . . might be worth looking into, though. Wish I could show you what I did back then; the prints are here, but in storage now. I may have posted a photo of one of them way back. I’ll check and see. I know I have a picture of one done with the easy technique, though. I’ll hunt it up.

      • (reply#2) I would have hated the pointe shoes, too, graceful as they look. Interesting that the men never had to wear anything painful or damaging, isn’t it? I thought I remembered Judith Jamison, googled her and, yes, I had; she is quite distinctive. I found a gorgeous photo of her, too:
        http://www.google.ca/images?q=judith+jamison&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=lVvVUrP5BoiIogTxkIDQDQ&ved=0CBEQsAQ# (3rd down on the left: glowing golds behind her). I was impressed years ago at how she gracefully transitioned into directing and now I see she has transitioned to a more senior position, with a Director Designate set up to follow her. A good sign for the company, as her death will not be the end of it.

        I read about Isadora Duncan in high school, but can’t remember if I ever saw her on film. She impressed me at the time for her courage and willingness to live on the edge (not that it was called that then lol).

        Of them all, though, Martha Graham stood out most for me. Remember, we never had tv. Mostly I learned about people from reading biographies; occasionally a ‘short’ at the drive-in (remember them? Our family went most weekends if the weather was good). I may have read about her in the papers, too. Not many dancers have such a long career and that impressed me, too.

      • Yes I studied Martha Graham in college, but I prefered her husband Eric. I studied with him MANY years ago and had a chance to join the company WAY BACK in the old days. I preferred his work to hers and his technique just clicked better with my body. Her was about “tension and release” and his was about “flow” and when I did his technique my body just felt like it belonged. I decided to finish my college and not be a starving artist. Every evening we would listen to him lecture about working with many great artists but he said something to me that changed my life….to do this for a living it has to be your first love…boy was he right! LOL….I was very blessed to find out in my early 20’s that it was not my journey:-)

      • You know, Robbie, I don’t remember reading anything about him. How lucky you were to study with him! And to have such sage advice. Most of us just bumble along until we figure things out a bit; and that can take decades. One thing that I learned was that there are a lot of ways to include one’s interests in one’s life. I am way too tall to ever be a jockey (I was a horse-crazed girl who never grew out of it; not even now), but I did work one summer as a hot-walker at a race-track (at that point, the Victoria, BC, track was only used for training; the horses went to Vancouver for the racing season). I’m good with horses and it was a lot of fun figuring out ways to outsmart the ones who had (or were) problems. I read something later that made me realize that I’d found a way to make horses part of my life several times; I’ve owned them, trained them, ridden, driven, harnessed, all sorts of things. I just couldn’t have been a jockey. πŸ˜‰ Same for ballet; I was too tall for that, too, but I could have done like you and taken up modern dance, or gone to see troupes dance, or become a patron (in another, more affluent, life). I could have written about it, photographed it, all sorts of things are possible. It was a great life lesson.

        I think that if dance had been your journey, you would have ignored Eric and gone for it. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to motivate us. But in your case, you were saved a lot!

      • (reply #3) I agree about throwing out handcrafted things; the love, the time and skill, most of all the intention . . . I have ‘rescued’ quite a few things over the years πŸ™‚

        Movies: I tend to prefer non-hollywood movies and our library has given me the chance to watch other foreign films as well as some Canadian ones. Not enough time in my days . . .

        If you like different art, you may like that of Alex Grey. I only learned of him recently, after reading the Stardance trilogy, then researching Spider and Jeanne Robinson (Jeanne was the dancer I mentioned earlier). Grey’s work is here (and even more rivetting once you read about his evolution and process): http://www.alexgrey.com
        His series ‘Sacred Mirrors’ is worth seeing. He’s often described as a modern visionary who depicts humanity as flawed, but perfectible, which is in synch with my own thoughts. I’d be ibterested in your impressions, interested or not.

      • but if you designed a ( easy) beg. knitting kit, I might be attempted to try and learn , but it may not be successful since I do believe you need some innate talent, and I have never been adept in that area-lol:-)

      • Well, Robbie, I’m not so sure about the ‘innate talent’ bit; I think anyone who wants to learn and puts in some time can do so. It’s basically two sticks and a piece of string; and the string being made into loops. I’m still working on that cardi, but in my mind already have some plans for a simple kit, so stay tuned . . .

      • I will stay tuned…you make it sound simple-lol- two sticks , string + loops..:-) when you say it like that it makes it seem like it could be possible!

      • Nearly forgot: there’s a fun blog called My Little Norway that might interest you; I’ve learned different things from it and it’s also interesting ’cause she is married to a Norwegian, but I think she’s from the States. So a different understanding and perspective.

  4. I think your approach to life is pretty similar to mine–dive in and hope for the best! Thanks for this look into your life–and looking forward to getting to know one another better in this new year!
    ^K.

    • Sounds like we have twin approaches, doesn’t it? I saw a T-shirt that I’d like; it says, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room”. I find myself out on the edge often and in many ways. I love visiting your blog, too, so yes, we will get to know each other more this year. It’s going to be lots of fun for us all, I’m sure . . . ~ Linne

  5. I think I passed my “HUGE POST” bug on to you ;). I love how you just got on with business after your spate of “interesting recipes”. I tend to throw things over the deck in a temper tantrum (one of my “must work on this year narf you naughty girl” ideas…) when they go wrong. I think I might have to have a closer look at my reasoning for thinking that “over the deck” is the answer to all of my problems (and better hope that Stevie-boy doesn’t make me twitch too much! πŸ˜‰ ). Talking about the deck, we are up to our eyeballs in paint at the moment and I look like a Gaelic maiden on her way to war covered in wode. I tried to get most of the paint off yesterday but my new “nail polish” is badly applied and not at all fetching. Here’s to an excellent New Year. Here’s to past, present and future happiness and here’s to good music, creative energy enough to expend however we see fit (even if it IS just throwing things over the deck πŸ˜‰ ) and “enough” for each one of us to live simply and well πŸ™‚

    • No kidding, Narfie7! I nearly fell off my chair when I saw I was up to 2,587 words!!! I have to laugh at the thought of you throwing stuff off your deck . . . do you have red hair, by any chance? πŸ˜‰ I’m pretty laid-back and patient, as a rule (and like all rules, that one has some exceptions!). I like people with some spirit, though. I always think I’m a bit boring when it comes to character. If you move a compost bin near enough, you could kill two birds with one ‘thrown’, if you’ll forgive an awful pun . . . get rid of the experiment and feed the compost beasties, all in one (not to mention strengthening the throwing arm).

      I can imagine you as a Gaelic Goddess, running down the road in nothing but woad, crying loudly, “Woad is me! Woad is me!”

      If you are still reading (lol), I happily lift my glass (of water, unfortunately, at the moment) and toast you back the same . . .

      We are all going to have such a good time this year, no matter what comes . . . at least we’re all in it together, alone . . . as they say.

      • Again I am reminded that social media is an incredible tool if channelled in the right directions. We get to share our combined knowledge, interests, plants, fermentations, plottings and sense of hope together and arrive bolstered and buoyed at the other end by our interactions with like minded mates all over the world. My grandmother would have LOVED the internet :).

      • Yes, yes, YES! My Mum uses it, too and emailing her sister on the coast has been fun for her.

        I see the ‘net and social media as tools; I can use a knife to cut bread, chop kindling, harvest veggies; or I can kill with it. Social media is great for bringing the big companies to their knees and making them demonstrate at least a semblance of humaneness; ir I coukd use them to waste time . . . my choice, of course.

  6. Great post Linne! looking forward to “seeing” more of you in 2014! Fabulous clips! I didn’t quite understand the South Aussie reference but the songs were lovely and thanks for calling us the “bright” side of the Earth! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Sharon. Oh, I was referring to the fact that I have several readers from Australia (not from SA, I don’t think) and the song was titled ‘South Australia’; it’s about a ship heading to SA. Glad you liked the songs. I just posted more on my Music!! page, if you’re interested (and have time; it’s a long list). Have to smile here; you are the bright side of the Earth for now . . . but our day will come . . . πŸ˜‰ ~ Linne

  7. I’m only half way through the music catalogue Linne – absolutely loved the first one I am such a sucker for sentimental music and videos πŸ™‚ South Australia is playing now. I wrote a post ages ago – I think it was called the music of my life or something like that – If you find yourself at a loose end one evening maybe you could find it and have a listen – tell me what you think……..:-) or 😦

    Your descriptions of cooking disasters have me roaring – I can see it all – there’s a couple of good movie scenes in a Steve Martin film I think…….. and my mind boggles that you can put food out in the snow to cool [or freeze] it makes me reflect that our seasons are so mild and temperate compared to yours – not nearly so exciting! The music has rolled over to Mairies Wedding – haven’t heard that for years! I don’t listen to this style of music very often – I don’t own any – but I can see how you could get into it.

    Right Kashtin is now playing while I reflect on your last sentence. It is a very good one and I am proud of you for choosing to close with that. Such an excellent sentiment! Nice music! Great post! big hugs my Crazy Cooking Canadian Comrade, you have been one of the great finds for me πŸ™‚

    • Syssel is awesone, isn’t she? Am just checking out your Life Music; don’t know whether to laugh or cry . . .
      Eric Clapton Unplugged is high on my list, too; love Layla, but it’s Will You Know My Name? that makes me weep.
      Cohen’s Hallelujah – Yes! Jeff Buckley’s cover is good, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4 and Rufus Wainwright’s cover.
      Love Bocelli’s voice, but don’t know this one. Will listen later.
      If I Should Fall Behind – Says it all, eh?
      Delta Goodrem and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu: haven’t heard of them, but will check them out soon.

      Ok, now I am going to add to my Music page, but I have emailed you a slightly longer version of that list.

    • Thanks, Dani! Glad you liked the music; not everyone likes all my favourites, but they usually like some of them. πŸ™‚

      I’m looking forward to opening the store, too; I seem to have equal bits of excitement and trepidation going on. I’m like that in everything, though; I’m drawn to opposites, for some reason.

      All that to you, too, this year.
      xoxoxox to you, as well.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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