Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still here

Sorry to be quiet on the blog - I'm working on things.  Finally finishing my first (tester) podcast episode too, and finding out about what to do to get it going/hosting, etc.

Will keep you posted :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A tidbit for today


My favourite line in this sweet, sad song: "Tell me now, where was my fault, for loving you with my whole heart?"

Mumford & Sons is a great UK band - I highly recommend these boys :-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A love affair with Guernsey...

I find myself in the throngs of a love affair.  Not with a man.  Not with a person, in fact. 

No, it's the lovely island country of Guernsey that I have suddenly become enamored with.

You see, I entirely blame Martine of the iMake podcast for starting this fascination.  She is a born & raised Guernsey resident, and still lives, works and crafts there.  Since discovering her podcast, I have become more intrigued by the island, and have also been learning something of a place I knew so little about.

How is it, for instance, that I did not know about the German occupation of Guernsey during World War II?  I knew all of Europe had been involved or affected by WWII, and certainly much of the UK was left mangled (London, especially).  Yet the the Channel islands were somehow left out of the equation for me.  Strange.

I think it's been this time period - the German occupation - that has really stirred up my interest.  It doesn't help that I have, at Martine's suggestion, picked up the audiobook version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society novel, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, and am listening to it this week.  The story is set in post-WWII, with a young female writer corresponding with Guernsey residents about the German occupation.  The entire book is written in letters.  It really is a lovely read.  It's the kind of story I wish I had thought of first.

However, all of this has stirred my creative pot, and I, vastly experienced screenwriter that I am (not), have come up with an interesting story/movie idea.  I shall put it aside for now, as my current project requires my attention, but I shan't forget about it. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beware the Jungle Cat

Exit stage left: the loud, needy, but sweet Marucho.

Enter stage right: the silent wisp of a black panther.

 Meet our new kitty, Little Nips.

We picked her up at the same cat shelter (Cat's Cradle) here in Victoria, where we found Marucho.  Marucho has, incidentally, found a new home with some friends of mine, where he very happily is the centre of attention, and can come and go outside as he pleases.  He is a content kitty there, and I'm pleased to have found him a loving pair of "parents".

Little Nips was found as a stray near a local movie theatre, a week before we adopted her.  She is two years old and tiny - only 5.5lbs, slender, with sleek, short black hair.  Yes, she is pure black - not a trace of white, brown or gray.  I had to lighten both of these photos so that the details of her face where more visible.

And no, your eyes do not deceive you - our Little Nips has a short tail.  A "Pixie" stub.  She was born that way.  It's very cute to see her waggling the stump like a black bobble-head as she walks.  It will also thump on the window pane when she gets excited over a view of birds nearby, rather like a dog's tail.

She came to us healthy, fixed and with up-to-date shots.  There is some minor gingivitis along her gumline, but the vet has us using a special "dental" cat food for her, so that should get cleared up soon.

She is definitely a playful cat - very kitten-ish.  We four humans in the house all take turns dancing a bit of string or a squeaky mouse around her.  Our other cat, Sarah, took to her much better than she did with Marucho.  We wonder if it's because Little Nips is so small and not threatening.  Little Nips and Sarah play quite a bit - chasing and batting at each other.  They rarely hiss at each other, and we separate them if they do. 

We have had her for a month now, and overall, I am thrilled with how this has all gone down.  Our second choice of cat suits us perfectly, and the first choice has a great home of his own too.

P.S. Little Nips doesn't meow.  Or so infrequently that I almost forgets that she has a voice box.  I love a silent cat :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Get a handle on this!

If you follow me on Twitter or have friended me on Ravelry, you may soon notice that I have changed my "handle" on both of those sites.  I was, until tonight, "GaiasColours" for both.  Since I am shutting down the Gaia's Colours business, and now no longer needing the name for social networking, I figured it was time to find a different handle. 

So I am "The Pagan Knitter". 

This will also be, should production go ahead, the name of my upcoming podcast as well.

Hope you are having some lovely summer weather and fun with friends!

best,
Ursa

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To podcast or not to podcast...?

That really is the question I am tossing about in my brain these days.

Some of you might recall last autumn (here, and here) that I was toying with the idea of starting a podcast.  Well, guess what?  I now have a microphone and pop screen filter (new toys!)


It's the Snowball Microphone by Blue Microphones.  This was mentioned/recommended by the gorgeous Kate of A Playful Day podcast in the UK.

So does this actually mean that I'll start a podcast?  The short answer: maybe.

My recording set-up:


It's a decent space and come the night, when my boys are in bed, I can have the quiet I would require.

I guess the main reason I have been still debating with myself about doing this is simple - can I keep it up?  The starting is the easy part.  The initial enthusiasm and ideas and desire to "try something new" will be enough to get me going, and likely keep me going for a while.

But then what?  I've heard that many podcasters run out of steam after six months, a year, maybe two.  Is is worth starting this, getting a schedule and a following of happy listeners only to fade out after 15 episodes?  Will it become like my indie dyeing business (Gaia's Colours) where the very idea of dyeing of yarn or spinning fibre is akin to having a tooth pulled at the dentist (oh, did I just admit that outloud?  I guess I'll have to do a wee blog post on that another time)? 

Should I even bother when I know that I won't be willing to keep it up for the long term? 

Thoughts?  Suggestions?

Oh, and just in case you are curious, I have an almost completed first episode - a tester, if you will - that I can and might put up here sometime soon, to get some feedback, etc.

Now, off to knit...

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Joy of a Ripe Mango...

I'm not much of a mango person, but this was so perfectly ripe and delicious!

P.s. Happy Independence Day to my American friends and followers!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Our weekly produce pilgrimage...

It's that time of year - the weekly trips to local farms and farmer's markets.

Many of you may know that I love local and organic produce, and try to support local growers and suppliers as often as possible.  Last summer I started a weekly pilgrimage up the peninsula with my two sons.  Every Thursday or Friday we would pack into the car, and head up to visit Madrona Farms (which is quite close to us), Sun Wing Farms, Oldfield Farms and Silver Rill Farms.  We didn't hit each one every time, but usually had specific farms in mind for specific produce.  Silver Rill is the place to get corn (amazing & sweet), Oldfield is the place for berries (all kinds), Sun Wing had fab green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes, and Madrona has lovely dark leafy green, plus wonderful, sweet baby carrots and new potatoes.  We come home loaded with our cloth grocery bags full of fresh-picked lovelies.

Today was our first trip of the summer, and we stopped at Babe's Honey too (which is sadly shutting it's doors).  Here is some of the loot from the afternoon:


Not pictured above are some new potatoes, asparagus, wee yellow zucchinis, red and white onions, plus the rest of the honey and a few chunks of beeswax. 

These tiny beauties below didn't last long - they were washed and steaming in a pot less than an hour after getting home.  I have kept the greens for steaming with chard later, but I couldn't resist the beets themselves.  With some butter and a little salt and pepper, the dark purple jewels are now in the bellies of myself and my husband.  It's great to think that just eight hours ago, they were still sleeping underground.  Talk about fresh!


For dessert, my sons and I had to try strawberries with the Babe's honey. Oh my....


(Yes, those are a couple of drops of honey on their downward journey to my fingers.)

What a great way to celebrate Canada Day!