Friday, April 25, 2008

A Slight Cheat

Hey there, hi there,

yes - I will admit it - I cheated "slightly" on my most recent Thursday 13. I did indeed post my list on Thursday - but went back and expanded upon it today (is it still Thursday somewhere?)

I added links to my favourite blogs, added them to my blogroll, and added a short snappy description of why I read these particular blogs.

I notice that my themes are (in no particular order) :
  1. knitting
  2. productivity
  3. writing
  4. environment
  5. paganism
  6. anarchy/political activism
Yup. All I need to find is a good coffee blog, and that pretty much sums up my life. Maybe one about Extremely Good Single Malt Scotch as well. Any ideas?

There are blogs that I read for work - but that is under the classification of professional development, which is an entirely different arena all together. Speaking of work - I get to go back half time starting next week, and full time the week after. Can't wait. Hope I can sit upright for the duration, and not need a nap to get through the day. Here's hoping!

And so it goes.....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Blogs I Read Daily (TT#3)

Thirteen Blogs I Read

In No Particular Order -

1. Between The Ticks - Randilin's blog about what's turning in his world - always delightful.

2. Wendy Knits - my favourite knitter (that I don't live with) - who inspires and amuses me.

3. Zen Habits - Om Mani Padme THWAP! Om Mani Padme THWAP!

4. Lifehacker - tools, tips, and tricks to help manage my digital existence into the 21.5 Century ... and beyond!

5. Tree Hugger - where green ideas gather, are fruitful and multiply. A MUST!

6. Unclutterer - if common sense were as common as the word implied, it wouldn't be so suprising to see these common sense ideas for organizing my life. (Jacinthe's fave blog, btw)

7. 43 Folders - life skills for grown-ups, no holds barred, with both ideas and wit so sharp it can hurt my brain, and improve my attitude at the same time.

8. Bad Language - Matthew Stibbe's very British very funny very inspiring blog on how to communicate. Spot On.

9. Wyntergreene News - the closest thing we have to a Canadian National Pagan Magazine. A labour of love and language that deserves more exposure than it gets. The blog is just a teaser for the mag itself.

10. Manage Your Writing - really for business writing, it also inspires my creative writing by focusing on the "tools not rules" for better written communication.

11. Copyblogger - blogging for fun - blogging for profit - always blogging for the purpose of making other bloggers better!

12. Daily Bleed - okay, so it's not a blog - but a near daily email that tells the ugly truth about power over throughout history - past, present and predictable future. The site is ugly too - but worth the visual pain as it cuts to the heart of the matter. SUBSCRIBE! then ACT!

13. Knitty - the blog for - the worlds best site for knitters (and spinners via knittyspin) - and its Canadian to boot! Visit the rabbits! Visit the pattern archive!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

13 Men Whose Music Changed My Life (TT#2)

Thirteen Things about 13 Men Whose Music Changed My Life

1. Nick Drake - poetry and melody from the inside of a mind slowly unravelling, telling me truths to help keep my own ravelled sleeve of care on the needles of life. Fave song: Pink Moon

2. Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead) - to groove, to boogie, to ponder, to sing along, and to explore the fringes of reason at the edge of the psychedelic universe. Fave song: Golden Road of Unlimited Devotion

3. Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) - simply, a place to "get what you need" when you need it, no matter what that might be - from sweet to spicy, tangy, salty, savoury and sour. Fave song: Gimme Shelter

4. Bob Dylan - Nick's older wiser brother-in-spirit, who talks about life as it is, and people as they are, in a way where we can always (grudgingly) recognize ourselves and our own petty dramas. Fave Song: Like a Rolling Stone

5. Martyn Joseph - Welsh Troubador of Truth, Spirit, and the Connected Way. Literally saved my soul from despair at the 2004 Winnipeg Folk Festival. Fave Song: This Being Woman

6. Krishna Das - He teaches my pilgrim's heart the way to the altar of reverence through music, and honors the many faces of the Vedic divine with profound joy. Fave Song: everything.

7. Ellis Paul - like rubbing a bruise to help it heal, Ellis' music salves a broken place to make it feel better. Fave Song: Did Gallileo Pray? (solo) and Citizen of the World (with Vance Gilbert)

8. John Lennon - yeah, the Beatles stuff is great, but his own stuff is what warms my soul. Proud to be a Citizen of NUTOPIA. Fave song: Imagine

9. George Harrison - yeah, the Beatles stuff is great, but his own stuff connects me to the luminous divine. Fave song: Give Me Love/My Sweet Lord (who can choose?)

10. David Bowie - Ziggy played guitar & crooned with Bing Crosby, the Thin White Duke showed me a way through the darkness, (with a little help from #11), and then put on red shoes to teach me how to dance the blues. Fave song: Wild is the Wind

11. Lou Reed - both with the Velvet Underground and solo, this man speaks about a world I wish I had the courage (and stupidity) to explore. Dark Mysteries and Brave Explorations. Fave song: I'll Be Your Mirror

12. Robert Gass - the Chant-Master, who created a new world of sing-along-sacredness with his chant recordings from all the world spiritual traditions. Fave song: The Circle is Cast

13. Hank la Riviere - an old-school country/folk singer from Ontario, who sang Canadian regional songs and ballads. He was the first live musician I remember seeing (at age 7) and his was the first signed album I ever got (Hank's Centennial Travels) - which in some ways shaped 25 years of my life in music - meeting artists and getting things signed. Fave Song: I've Been Everywhere (Sleeping Giant Version).

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Hey There, Hi There,

Time for true confessions for the purpose of full disclosure. I'm Pagan - Wiccan more specifically, and of the Gaiaist Wiccan Tradition, if you want to be more precise.

My spiritual community hosts a near-monthly event called Knit-Witch. Had to miss the last one due to my current convalescence - but a big shout out to Tamile and Randilin (of the wonderful blog Between the Ticks) for hosting the evening!

Anyone who does any form of portable hand-crafting is more than welcome. Here's the best part - even if you don't do a hand-craft, you can come out to The Witchery and join in the Discussion of the Question of the Month, an extension of Cliff's regular Question of the Week on our Communitas Paganus googlegroup discussion list.

Now that I'm out of the Knitters Broom Closet, I guess I should apply to join the Pagan Bloggers Network.

Knitting has always been a spiritual thing for me - entering into the act of creation - and sometimes destruction - and more recreation - some of my projects have emulated the birth/death/rebirth cycle more than once (such as the little grey lace shawl, RIP).

and so it goes...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Hey there, hi there -

ah, a line from one of my father's favourite songs (one that he very much could identify with - more's the pity)...

I find myself home alone with the cats this Sunday am - Adrien has gone off to work at Moxies Classic Grill (Bring back the Kahlua Cheesecake!) and Jacinthe is Mistressing her Choir, Musique Magique. I'm usually at rehearsals with her, singing in the Tenor section, but my abdomen will not support any deep breathing or sustained singing - yet. Soon I hope.

So its me and the cats. Blissful silence. Right now, there's the clicking of computer keys, soon to be followed by the clicking of knitting needles. Ah, what to put on in the background - music? a movie? and what to knit? A new project? finish up an older one? decisions, decisions.

My little grey lace shawl has been unravelled, due to a visit from my grandson, Jayden - who attempted to hand me my knitting, but unfortunately precipitated a tragic lace stitch run for freedom - and given that it was being knit on 2mm needles with crochet cotton, basically - once the lace started to let go, so did I, and started rolling it into a grey ball of sadness, waiting to be knit again.

"Cultivate patience"
, says the Knitting Buddha. "Knitting is Impermanence."

I was reminded that I usually knit variations of one of three patterns - all blankety shawlly wrappy type things - and while I ooohhhh and aaahhhhh over various garment patterns that come my way, I rarely (translation: NEVER) knit garments. I resist. I knit baby blankets, wedding blankets, birthday blankets, chakra shawls, croning shawls, housewarming blankets, but no clothes. Sad but true, the Knitting Empress has no clothes.

I have mastered these three variable patterns and knit on. I have made sweaters, ponchos, mitts, socks, etc in the past, but for the last two decades, I have not produced a wearable shaped or pieced garment, unless it was a circle, a square, a rectangle or a triangle. Minimalist that I am - I have become a Pythagorean Knitter - concerned only with geometric shape, and not structure. I wonder if this in any way coincides with my decision about 25 years ago to wear almost only ever black? mmmm..... time to sit on Ponder Rock for a bit.

Off to refill the coffee cup (all hail the Sacred Bean) and determine what audio / visual stimulation I require to enhance this morning's knitting experience.

and to ponder. I'll consult the cats - my mewses for many of life's creative mysteries.

and so it goes...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday 13 Promotes Regular Blog Movements

So - I'm going to commit to weekly blogging. Go figure. Part of the commitment is evangelizing - so let's see if this works.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My First Thursday 13 List - Why I Knit

Thirteen Things about Why I Knit

1. Someone finds less pleasant work for what are perceived as idle hands (usually my partner).
2. There is a sense of accomplishment.
3. It makes me feel artistic (can't draw a straight line with a ruler).
4. I love to give gifts that I have made, and watch people enjoy the gift over time.
5. Knitting allows me time to think that doesn't look like thinking.
6. Some of my best friends are knitters, and I like being in their club.
7. I love the play of textures as the various yarns passes through my fingers.
8. It provides me with a way to deal with stress that spins straw into gold.
9. The colors! all the lovely colors.
10. It connects me to my ancestors - I have my great grandmothers knitting needles and my grandmother's pattern books.
11. pretty things. practical things. pretty things.
12. It feels good. Right down to my bones.
13. The 13th Fairy put a set of knitting needles in my cradle.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Where I am is Convalescing

Hey there Hi there!

Where I am is recovering from a laproscopic double salpingo oophorectomy - surgical removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes - and the tumor that was dancing with my right ovary. Biopsy results are encouraging - no chemo slated - other than a heaping helping of pain management drugs and some pretty intense body pain - all is well.

And yes, I am making light of this, to the best of my ability. If I don't laugh, I'll cry.

Knitting did not accompany me to the lovely St. Boniface hospital - there was no time or space, and it would have gotten tangled in the self-administered morphine pump thingy - and I was far more interested in self-medication than self-entertainment. The nurses were amazing (with the exception of one nurses' aid who talked to me like I was 3) and I am grateful to my doctor (the wonderful Dr. Erin Dean) for her steady hands, her confidence, and her unwavering belief that all would be well. As a gynecological oncology surgeon, I'm glad that she gets to have a happy ending patient story (me!) - sitting in the waiting room at Cancer Care was pretty hard on the emotions. There but for the grace of the Goddess goes I.

Now that I am home, and being well loved and cared for - I am knitting in the lucid moments between codeine comas and self-care stuff. It's a little grey shawl, on 3mm needles, knitted with mercerized crochet cotton. I plan to weave some beads into it, making one of my (should be) patented "chakra shawls" that I love to make and give. It is a simple pattern, abridged from a book on shawls - it starts with 8 stitches, and grows from there. I'll look it up for you.

I also have a couple other projects on the go - and they will get mentioned as they get attention. This blog is being created in direct response to my dear friend Randilin's blog (Between the Ticks)- he has inspired me to do this. I have started two blogs - this one for the everyday stuff, and one that is attached to my Bloglines subscription called The Exponential Times - where I can riff on the stuff I'm reading "in the moment". They may end up combined - or not. We'll see.

We'll also see if anyone reads this (or that). I have no cherished outcomes. I hope to be as fascinating as the very famous Wendy, and her lovely seal point rag doll cat named Lucy - I have 3 more cats but have far less knitting skills. Since there is NOTHING I can do for the next three weeks except sit - knit - type - sleep - snore - then perhaps I'll try something more adventurous.

Or perhaps knitting will just be the excuse and I'll rant and rave about whatever moves me - and be as interesting as Randilin's blog - Between the Ticks - worth the read every single day.

So there you have it.