Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Handmade Assembly

If you are anywhere near Sackville, NB, this weekend, come on over to A Handmade Assembly. There is a wonderful line-up of people talking, demonstrating, teaching, selling and generally expressing the love of art, art that is handmade, DIY, and sustainability (myself included). Rumour has it that the fabulous Rilla Marshall will be there selling her fabulous scarves as part of the Heart & Pocket Review.

Please click the link for the all the information. It has been getting some very good buzz in the local press. Hope I see you there!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shipping Off

Yes, we are shipping off tomorrow, but a bunch of yarn is shipping off today. I have been spinning a good deal in these last days so I have a few skeins to send to the Craft Council shop in addition to a couple of custom orders.

Tomorrow evening I will bid a tearful farewell to my wheel. I decided to leave it here in the interim because I suspect I will not have a whole lot of spinning time in New York over the next couple of months. It feels a little like leaving a child behind. Well, not really. But it was a Big Decision, if you know what I mean.

But what of the yarn? Here it is:

I may have OD'ed on the yellow saturation in photoshop on this one, but I love those acid green bits. BFL and silk, 406 yds.

Moody and atmospheric, don't you think? BFL and silk, 400 yds.

Another weeper - this skein is so gorgeous! Merino and silk, 500 yds.

All of these skeins were made with fleece handpainted by Michelle at Widdershin Woolworks. I divided the 4 oz rovings in half and mixed and matched. I think the results speak for themselves.

And just to show that I can still turn out a rockin' art yarn, a small skein made with batts that I made for A Good Yarn but liked so much that I made extras so I could spin some myself. Merino, BFL, angelina, mohair locks, and recycled sari silk. 66 yds. Hmmmm...I think I could have turned up the yellow saturation on that one.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Last Things

As the clock and calendar barrel forward, we begin to see all our activities as "the last". Today: the last non-electric laundry (no tears about that!). Last skein of yarn plied and last trip to the post office to mail off packages. We are eating up the last items in our fridge, which makes for some strange meals. Last minute phone calls to make, and perhaps I should put the last finishing touches on the talk(s) I am suppose to give. Somehow I keep forgetting about that detail!

We pushed our departure date back by one because the weather has been so fierce. I had padded our schedule for just this reason (anyone who thinks March = spring in Newfoundland has never been here in March). We took advantage of the padding when I checked the marine forecast and discovered that Wednesday night looked distinctly calmer than Tuesday night. What can I say? I am not an easy traveler, especially when it includes boats. We shall not even mention airplanes. The only downside to this plan is that, after taking the overnight ferry to North Syndey and driving six hours to Sackville, I need to be coherent for the roundtable discussion at 7:30 p.m. Yes, I definitely need to work on those notes for the talk...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Snowiest Earth Hour

This is our third day straight of snow. The past two days, the snow has fallen, or perhaps I should say "fallen", horizontally. The view out the window was grey with white horizontal stripes. This morning, the snow is falling vertically and slowly and peacefully. I think that means it is starting to wear itself out. Our little cherry tree sapling is half-buried again.

Our dear friend invited us to her house for an Earth Hour party last night. As the day progressed, I began to get more and more skeptical about getting there, despite the fact she is a 5 minute drive away. By evening, I called and canceled. I could hear a touch of scorn in her voice. Wimpy mainlander! Fine, I was ready to accept that label rather than attempt to drive through drifts and with visibility of about 10 feet. Call me whatever you want, as long as I can stay next to my woodstove rather than be in a ditch on the side of the road!

Then Lucy said, "But now she is all alone and she prepared all the food." Guilt: it's what for after-supper. So we piled into the car and barely made it there, with me the whole time saying, "This is the craziest thing I have ever done!"

I made Finn run out to her house and tell her we were turning around right now and going back home. And that's what we did, grateful to be back in one piece. A half-hour later, she appeared with her husband and bags of food in tow (she has a 4-wheel drive vehicle, btw).

We had our Earth Hour party after all.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Also, may I recommend looking at this beautiful remembrance of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on its 100th anniversary. It was heartening to learn that so many have not forgotten.

ETA: Dan, who has not mastered the ability to comment, or has been frustrated by blogger at every turn more likely, wanted to "remind us by way of Finn and Lucy's great grandmother Teresa Burke who did exactly that same work on similar factory floors in Massachusetts, how close we all are to the people who were there."

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Universe is Still Talking

Here is the pile of yarn that I made on as a custom order. The catch? After I sent photos and the total cost, I have not heard back from the person who asked for it. Ah well, even if he does a bunk, I will be happy. I think I could make Lucy a sweater out of all this yarn. In fact, I am almost hoping he decides not to buy it now. This is my take-no-prisoners business acumen talking.

Right after the yarn order came in, I also got a custom batt order.

Yello! Universe?

Must have dialed the wrong number.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Handmade for Japan

Like just about everyone else on the planet, I have been watching the events in Japan with horror and with that feeling of helplessness that one feels when watching devastation happening thousands of miles away.

After reading an article from a reliable source that cautioned against rushing to send dollars to organizations not ready to receive them, I have waited a bit before responding in that way. In the meantime, I learned about this:

One person with an idea - that's all it started out to be. A Japanese American ceramic artist, Ayumie Horie, decided to ask some of her artist friends to donate pieces for an ebay auction and she, in turn, would donate the proceeds to Global Giving, which supports grassroots organizations in the stricken areas in Japan. She was joined by two other friends and now there are hundreds of items made by artists and artisans from around the world that will be auctioned off starting tonight at 8 p.m. EST. It will run until March 27th. You can preview the items here.

I am fairly certain that Ayumie had no idea that her impulse to help would become so huge, but sometimes a good idea has legs.

Happy bidding!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Singing for Spring

Give me the splendid silent sun
with all his beams full-dazzling.
Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass

A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Universe Says...

I know I have said it before here, since I say it to anyone who will listen, but the best advice ever given to me was to just point yourself in the direction you want to go and see what happens. Really, this is all one can do so why worry about anything else?

Many times over the years, I have come to the conclusion that I should give up on this notion of being an artist. That flood of questions comes raining down hard: why make art? what use does it have? should I be doing something else? Those questions seem to end with the answer that it is time to finally let go of this label of artist, this ambition, this drive. Every single time I have had this conversation with myself, something happens that makes me believe the universe is saying "not yet!" A curator asks me to propose an exhibition, a grant proposal comes up successful, or I get a phone call from David Blumenthal aka the Tony Soprano of the Yarn World. So I keep pointing in that direction.

Lately, I have been giving lots of thought to the idea that each thing we do is like giving birth: it wants nurturing and it requires our time, energy and attention. As someone who loves to take on a lot of things at once, I have finally begun to realize that I need to focus my energies more specifically. As I scanned my list of activities, I looked for something that I could give up without too much pain. Art? No. Yoga? No. Zen practice? No. My children? No. Spinning? Maybe.

Ok, maybe not spinning forever but spinning for money. Thus, my scaling back the etsy shop and limiting my work spinning to the two shops in St. John's. And then the Universe said, "Hold on a minute!"

When I posted that photograph of the yarn I made that was inspired by Anne Dinan's jewelry, another friend asked if I could make more, enough for a baby sweater. And so it was that I carded up and spun more yesterday.

Three more skeins:

Sometimes, however, I think you need to talk back to the Universe. So, Universe, if you are listening, while I appreciate the encouragement, I still want to ease off the spinning for gold. Thanks!

Meanwhile, yesterday, it seemed like the whole Universe was sparkling!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Twinge

7:00 am. The (almost) supermoon setting over the Blomidon Mountains.

This begins our last full week before we ship off back to New York. Although I know we will be back in a couple of months time, I am still getting The Twinge. The Twinge is a feeling in my chest when I think about leaving Newfoundland, a little constriction that might be my heart breaking.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Source of Inspiration

Courtesy of Facebook, I reconnected with artist, Anne Dinan. Anne and I were fast friends in high school. And by "fast", I mean we would drive her Dodge Dart into Boston very, very fast. But don't tell my mother. It was Anne who introduced me to Elvis Costello's music and his hipster-doofus aesthetic, which in turn was why I noticed Dan on the very first day of art school. He looked a lot like Elvis and definitely had the whole hipster-doofus thing going on. Ah, memory lane! In any case, when I went to school in New York and Anne moved to Boston, we drifted apart. Funny things can happen when you don't see someone for twenty years but in this case, it turns out that, while we both have had very full lives, we still share many of the same interests and sense of humour.

Anne now makes jewelry and other beautiful items out of her studio in Amesbury, Massachusetts. She has an etsy shop and a blog. As she started posting photos of her work to her FB page, the colours popped out, dazzling my eyes. She shares my love of mixing cool and warm blues and greens. Then she started a project called "A Pendant A Day" on flickr and invited other jewlery makers to participate.

Here is a sample of her work:

Making pendants is beyond my abilities but I can make yarn so I decided to try to reproduce some Anne's colour combinations. It was harder than I thought it would be but I think I finally succeeded with at least one skein.

Merino, BFL and Newfoundland heritage wool, recycled banana fibre and sari silk, 110 yds.

Thank you Anne for being a life-long inspiration!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Carding Fever

Snow gently falls this morning. Winter isn't finished with us yet.

Inside, warm and snug, I have been carding batts to sell at A Good Yarn. Now that St. John's is home to 20 new spinners, the demand for batts has increased and Jenny asked me to make some up for the shop.

It makes a lovely mess in the living room. Lucy even got into the act and carded up a few batts to spin for herself. I watched with a twinge of jealousy at her free spirited colour choices. She reminded me of all the rules I set up for myself in this whole process. Ancient art school baggage that appears when I least expect it.

Meanwhile, I have been trying to appreciate the spring snow in all its melty, muddy glory.

Even lingering art school prejudices can't spoil that.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ordinary Bodies Do Yoga Too

In response to recent and various articles appearing around the yogosphere, I thought I would add my two ujjayi breaths to the discussion about yoga and its modern-day emphasis on being slim, calm and sexy. In particular, I want to support Jessica Powers (a fellow yoga and knitting enthusiast whom I met via the wonderful group on ravelry called Namaste Knitters). Jessica lives in New Zealand and, among other things, teaches yoga. She also does not fit the image of a "typical" slim, calm sexy yogini. And hooray for that!

She recently wrote an article for an online yoga journal called Don't Look at My Ass in Asana about body image and yoga. In it, she posted images of her practice, something she had never done before because she felt uncomfortable with how different she looked compared to, say, your typical Yoga Journal cover. I love her article and I love her photographs. She also posted more on her blog.

Inspired by Jessica, I decided to take some photographs of my own practice. Beyond breaking some barriers of ego and cultural stereotypes, I recommend this because it really helps to inform you about what is happening in various asana. The gap between what I thought I looked like and what the pictures revealed was very interesting! And if you have a place to post them, post them! When everyone sees ordinary bodies doing these wonderful, extraordinary things, then yoga will have taken a step in the right direction.

In any case, I roped Lucy in to being the photographer for the finishing sequence of asana for my practice. Although I am not necessarily larger than most people doing yoga, I certainly have more grey (read: white) hair and more stretch marks on my stomach and, as the photos revealed, cellulite on my arms. Jeez. Oh well. To grow old is the way of the flesh.

Here we go...only some of the asana are included. If you want to know the whole finishing sequence, there is a nice recap here.

Our cat, Minky, who might otherwise not look me in the eye all day long, suddenly develops an unrelenting love for me the second I step on my mat. Usually, I lock her out of the room, but she came in with Lucy, so she is the star of the show. Here she is blocking my hands from reaching their full potential in halasana (plow pose).

Urdva Padmasana (Upward-facing Lotus)

Pindasana (my hands should be bound here, and they usually are, but I was laughing too much between Lucy's and Minky's antics...see second to last photo for an explanation.)

Sirsasana (headstand). Note how far I am away from the wall! This is a major accomplishment for me. I am not so sure I am ready to do it in a crowded room full of people, but on the days when it works, it is great.

This is me falling out of sirsasana because a certain cat is brushing against my face.

Baddha Padmasana (Bound Lotus) and Yoga Mudra. I am trying to get my chin on the floor but I am not quite there yet. So close...

Padmasana (Lotus). Strong bandha practice!


Ok, here is the photo that Lucy called, "Mom pooping out her own head". It usually comes after halasana, but I saved it up special for last.

I have nothing left to hide. This makes up for all the photographs I have put up of Finn and Lucy through the years. We are even now.

Here is the picture Lucy took of herself. My photographer - thanks. I think.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Playing with Fire

Although it is not exactly related to the current situation in Japan, this video came to my attention recently. It was created by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto, and it depicts a time lapse of nuclear explosions from 1945 to 1998. I honestly had no idea.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Right Now

I went over to youtube looking for something else but this came up instead. Are there any coincidences?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Devils, Real and Imagined

I deleted my last post. It went beyond silly into stupid, especially after I looked at photographs of what happened/is happening in Japan. It is not a time to laugh.

I wonder if we can now all agree that nuclear power's benefits do not outweigh its risks? People can hold all sorts of crazy thoughts in their heads - I know I can - so I doubt it, sadly.

Perhaps the thing to do is to not fall into a sense of futility but to pay attention to that sense of everything being quite precious. Handle each grain of rice like it were an eyeball, as Dogen instructed, where everything is a grain of rice.

With that in mind, I wander back into my little life.

Yesterday, I took some arty shots of my yarn on the beach as part of the marketing for the summer dyeing and spinning workshop. Colette is heading to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto so she wanted some colourful posters to hand out to people. I thought a bit o' the salt air in the pictures might entice people come. A bit o' the dorkiness - photographing my yarn on a dory of all the things! - but there I was, doing it. Didn't I once make a whole art project about how Newfoundland culture is presented to the outside world? What?

As I sold my soul to the devil (preacher women, are you listening?), I also noticed that there was a whole lot of melting going on.

Mud season is fast approaching.

ETA: If I were more eloquent, I would write something like this.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Over the past week, we have seen about three feet of snow melt. A cherry sapling in our side yard was buried nearly to the tips of its branches. Now I can see grass at its base.

What is the point of making a beautiful skein of yarn or a warm and lovingly made afghan if it all could be washed away in a moment?

But we do.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earth Shattering Yarn Decisions

A couple of days ago, a small box arrived in our mailbox. Actually, a key to a larger mailbox arrived in our mailbox. In Gillams, everyone has a mailbox under an awning next to the Town Hall. Larger packages are put into one of the half dozen large-sized mailboxes and a key is put into your box. After the package is retrieved, the key gets put into the outgoing mail slot. A brilliant system, and you have the excitement of opening the new door like you are on Let's Make A Deal (the Monty Hall version) or something.

In any case, this little box was waiting for me. Like a clown car at the circus, what came springing forth was about ten times more than what seemed possible. It was five handpainted rovings from (you guessed it) Widdershin Woolworks. When I first saw who it was from, I thought she must have sent the five in several packages. But no. When I opened it, it was like trick snakes from a box - all five popped out. The best trick ever!

I feel so fibre rich. It is a kind of existential contentment that feels like, even if everything else collapses around me, I will still be okay because I have this by my side. Maybe I should tell those preacher women about this.

Maybe not.

Here is the first skein from one of the new rovings.

BFL wool and silk. Couldn't you just weep for joy at its beauty?

It is telling me that I need to improve my lace skills a little more so I can make something worthy of it.

No, I am not selling it. In fact, I have made a big decision to set my etsy shop on extended vacation mode and only sell my yarn through the Craft Council shop and A Good Yarn in St. John's. Believe it or not, I am trying to limit my time spent on the computer and I find the amount of time I spend checking and updating my shop on etsy compared to the actual sales just isn't worth it right now. I love etsy and all it stands for but it is time for me to step away for a while. All the yarn in the shop will be sent to A Good Yarn on Monday so if there is something you have had your eye on, please get it while the gettin' is good. Unless you live in St. John's, that is.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


For the past two Wednesday evenings, I have headed down the hill and across the brook to the Gillams Senior Hall to attend Gospel Meetings held there by a church that has no name. I learned about this church from one of my very dearest friends who is a member of it. They don't have a name and they don't have a place where they hold their meetings - the location changes as the missionaries, in this case two women, move from community to community.

I think I can say without hesitation that my friend is one of the most generous people I have ever met. She has had many hardships in her life and currently has numerous health issues but still she seems to be the one who appears with little gifts or acts of kindness - some homebaked scones and a jar of jelly or making up our beds with fresh sheets before we arrive from New York. Last Sunday, she appeared with a bag of dry splits for our woodstove because she knew we were reaching the end of our own dry wood. I try to reciprocate as best I can but I have begun to think that perhaps the best way to acknowledge her remarkable generosity is to try to imitate it. I am not so sure I live up to her example.

I have known that she is a member of this church from some time - she speaks very openly about it and it is clear that the way she lives her life is guided by the teachings of this church. It is a very conservative group with all the women wearing their hair in buns and wearing long skirts and a belief in creationism - they do say they are "born again". My friend has never, ever given me the feeling that she was trying to force something on me when she talks about her religion. And likewise I have been open about my own spiritual path so there are no secrets between us. I guess that is why I thought it would be ok to attend these meetings. Plus, I have a real fascination with extremely religious people and groups. Who are these people that would shape their lives to meet such strict guidelines? Even a slightly close examination of this fascination reveals that it is because I see such possibilities within myself, but we can set that aside for another day.

The meetings were quite interesting. The format was very simple: an opening prayer spoken extemporaneously, a hymn from a book labeled "Hymns Old and New", a talk from one of the preachers, another hymn, then the two switched positions, another hymn, another talk, another hymn and a closing prayer. The talks were done without any notes although they had picked a general theme. All the Bible quotes were from the New Testament, heavily based in Revelations.

The first meeting seemed to be based on the ideas of fear (of God) and obeying Him. Last night's meeting was heavily steeped in sin and the idea of safety. As an aside, one of the women spoke about salt in an extended metaphor of how they, as true believers, were like salt in the world. She listed each quality or use of salt and made it relate to how it actually described how they could act in the world - it was quite a remarkable feat! But I was most interested in this notion of safety. She kept saying that belief in Jesus was safe. Safe to talk about in front of children, and really the only safe thing one could do in this world.

There were many places where I heard overlap with Buddhist notions, in fact, when they talked about giving up the idea of self and dying a kind of death everyday, it sounded exactly like ideas that I have heard in dharma talks. But this notion of felt very foreign. Indeed, as one begins training where I practice, one hears over and over again about how there is no ground to stand on, nothing to cling to, no place to hide because to hold on to even one thought of a self is to miss the point entirely - to be mountains and rivers away from it.

Part of me would like to believe that what she was saying was similar to the notion of taking refuge in the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha). There is a kind of safety implied in taking refuge, is there not? I had a similar feeling when they talked about fearing God - that it was actually about being fearless. And yet...

And yet, their talks were so straight-forward and without room for interpretation. One of things I have come to love about listening to dharma talks is the very fact that I don't understand them a lot of the time. The teacher speaks and every now and then something goes straight to my heart and I feel my understanding, not in my head but in my whole body. I think there needs to be some mystery for that to happen. I didn't feel that mystery here.

Another friend asked me, when I was telling her about the meetings, what was it that appealed to people's minds who were followers of this church because, and there is no getting around this fact, there is a lot of judgement going on. Negative judgement. Last night, I thought I kind of understood what it might be: people want to feel safe. There also might be a bit of feeling special because they have figured out this secret and everyone else is a sinner who will not be elevated on the day of judgement. But I think more than anything, it is the safety. I could feel the room warm up as she repeated that word again and again.

For me, this idea is exactly why I left Christianity. I could never make the leap that believing in the whole Jesus story would be make me safe. I saw and I see that others feel this quite powerfully, but for me, even as I longed for this safety, I knew it was not coming from that direction.

So what is safety? Does it even exist? If you feel it, or if you thought you could, how does it or how would it change your life?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Dyeing and Spinning in Newfoundland in July - Please come!

Natural Dyeing and Spinning Workshop
With Robyn Love
July 1 - 4, 2011

Come to the beautiful west coast of Newfoundland for a hands-on workshop exploring natural dyeing techniques and spinning wool into yarn using a drop spindle and spinning wheel.

In addition to all the fibre fun, we will offer morning wake-up yoga, delicious vegetarian meals prepared with produce from Full Tilt’s organic gardens, a welcoming reception on Friday evening in Full Tilt’s art gallery, film night on Saturday evening, and more.

The class schedule will be: welcoming reception on Friday evening. Saturday - natural dyeing. Sunday - spinning. Monday morning - yoga and farewell breakfast.

Workshop fee: $150/person. Includes all materials, yoga (optional), lunch and snacks for both days. Class size will be limited to 15 people.

Accommodation is available on-site and nearby for those coming from out of town. For rates and other details or to reserve your space (by June 1st), email thehousemuseum(at)

Full Tilt Creative Centre has several options available for out of town participants in the Natural Dyeing and Spinning Workshop.

All accommodations must be reserved with a $50 non-refundable deposit sent to the above email via paypal. Reservations will be taken first come, first serve.

Option #1 – Meadows Point Guest House: Sleeps three singles or two couples and one single. Located in nearby Meadows, a 10-minute drive to McIvers and Full Tilt Creative Centre. $50/night per person.

Option #2 – Blanchard House: Sleeps three singles. Located in McIvers with stunning views of the Bay of Islands and the Blomidon Mountains. $50/night per person.

Option #3 – Brake House: A funky, non-electric saltbox house with gas lamps and a beautiful view in Meadows. Sleeps three singles or two couples and one single. $35/night per person.

Option #4 – Camp out at Full Tilt: Set up your own tent or stay in a trailer (sleeps two singles) right on-site at Full Tilt. $25/night per person.

All options include access to a full kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry facilities.

To see photographs of Meadows Point Guest House, Blanchard House, and Full Tilt Creative Centre, check out

Other Activities

McIvers is located on the north shore of the Bay of Islands. There are many walking trails and easily accessible beaches nearby in McIvers, Gillams and Cox’s Cove. The city of Corner Brook is a 40-minute drive away with a variety of shopping and dining options.

*** Please note that, if enough people are interested, I would be willing and able to host a second weekend workshop the following weekend (July 7 - 11). So, if this one doesn't suit your schedule but you are seriously interested, please let me know and I will start a list for the following weekend.

Let Your Breath Return to Normal

The above phrase is what I often find myself saying at the end of a yoga class as everyone settles into savasana - releasing the extended ujjayi breath that they have been doing (in theory anyway) while practicing their asana and returning to a regular breath pattern. It seems a little funny that I have to say it but then I think of the many times that I have found myself in savasana still deep breathing away as if I was still going through vinyasa after vinyasa. So, a gentle reminder is a nice thing.

I feel a little like life just gave us a gentle reminder. Yesterday was Lucy's last day of school. She had been asking to leave school for a couple of weeks now but I felt she needed to stick to her commitment. Also, getting her registered and included in all the classes caused many people to do extra work, so there was an obligation to respect that work and not just ditch out on a whim.

That said, we have only three more weeks here. When we return in June, summer will be on its way (we have worn our winter coats in June so summer is not a given in that month) and this winter will be far behind us. It seemed like Lucy would learn more and experience this place better if she were out of school at this point. So, we talked and decided that she would clear out her things and say some good-byes on Monday. This morning she is sleeping in.

Last night she sorted through all the worksheets and tests, appalled at the amount of paper she used during those couple of months. She kept saying, "Imagine if I went for 12 years!" Personally, I was appalled at how every teacher seemed to depend so heavily on worksheets to begin with - is there a more boring way to convey information? I can't think of one. Indeed, the whole school experience was proof positive that our decisions about education have been on the right track. I have been genuinely shocked at what passed for teaching and sheer amount of wasted time. I feel terribly for the children who actually still enjoy learning by the time they reach grade 7 - there isn't a lot there for them and expectations seemed very, very low.

I could go on about some of the terrible things that were passed off as education, but suffice to say that our breath is returning to normal.

Let this slightly blurry photograph be an illustration. Each evening, when I am settling down to spin quietly, my mind no longer interested in delving into the mysteries of life except to choose which fleece I think is prettiest at the moment, Finnian approaches and starts to ask me deep questions. One night it was, "Mom, what is antimatter?"

"Well Finnian, to answer that we will need to go all the way back to the Etruscans..."

What the..? Even after looking it up and reading about it, I still have no idea what antimatter is. Last night, his question was about what it meant when people said that dice were "loaded". What exactly were they loaded with?

So we looked it up. He then proceed to attempt to load a die by heating on top of the woodstove. I am not sure if it worked but I know I will be cautious when playing dice games with Finn from now on.

The rich experiences of the homeschooler. We can breath freely now.

Monday, March 07, 2011


T'was a weekend of talent sharing.

First, on Saturday evening, Lucy and I walked down to the Gillams Community Hall for Gillams Talent Night - the grand finale of our Winter Carnival week. If some of the talent was in the areas of beer drinking and skidoo riding around the parking lot, well, far be for me to judge whether that is more or less better than standing up and singing six songs into a microphone when you do not have one scrap of ability.

These gentlemen did have ability, albeit to sing songs like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", but they were rocking it. Additionally, many Eagles songs were sung.

The unequivocal high point of the evening was when Lucy's friend, Hannah, sang two songs and played the guitar, an instrument which she taught herself less than a year ago. Even the rowdy boys in the back of the hall quieted down for Hannah. She was awesome!

Have to admit, Lucy and I exited quickly after Hannah left the stage but we heard that it went into the wee hours of the morning. Gillams has a lot of talent!

On Sunday, more talent was in evidence. We hosted our first ever spinning frolic.

A daughter of one of the frolic-ers said, "It is like a forest of spinning wheels." And so it was.

I would take this over the Eagles any day.