Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things: of shoes ~ and ships ~ and sealing wax ~ of cabbages ~ and kings ~ and why the sea is boiling hot ~ and whether pigs have wings." ~ Lewis Carrol -aka- Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January, 1832 – 14 January, 1898)
(psst: go check out Joel Birenbaum's Lewis Carrol page!)

Inspired by Lewis Carrol's Walrus, I'm choosing to end my blog-year tonight by sharing a few proverbs, aphorisms and other quotes that have developed a special meaning for me in the last year. Feel free to pass them on - I didn't make them up. And please tell me what some of your favourites are.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a "profoundly sick society." ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti (11 May, 1895 – 17 February, 1986)

"I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out."
~ Paul Newman (26 January 1925 – 26 September 2008)

"It's too hard, and life is too short, to spend time doing something because someone else has said it is important. You must feel the thing, yourself."
~ Isidor I. Rabi (29 July 1898 – 11 January 1988; Nobel Prize in Physics 1944)

"Just because you're good at something doesn't mean it's a strength. If what you're doing completes you, it's a strength. If it depletes you, it's actually a weakness. Find something you are passionate about."
~ Marcus Buckingham

"In hell, people sit around large pots of bubbling, delicious food.They're all starving, though, because their only chopsticks are three feet long, and you can't feed yourself with three foot long chopsticks. In heaven, people also sit around large pots of bubbling, delicious food. They've also been given three foot long chopsticks. But in heaven, people are all well fed. The difference, is in hell, people try to feed themselves. In heaven, they feed each other."
~ Vietnamese parable

"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room."
~ Dame Anita Perella Roddick, DBE (23 October 1942 – 10 September 2007)

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try"
~ Beverly Sills (25 May 1929 – 2 July 2007)

"Fall down seven times. Get up eight."
~ Japanese proverb

"The music is the message and the message is:
fight for change, fight for inclusiveness, fight for compassion, fight for self-empowerment, fight for intelligence and ecstatic release, but don't forget the joy of the life you're fighting for."

~ Mr. Something Something (listen at

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
~ Anne Frank (12 June 1929 – early March 1945)

"You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mister In-Between.
You've got to spread joy (up) to the maximum, bring gloom (down) to the minimum,
have faith or pandemonium liable to walk upon the scene..."

~ Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen

"Half Full? Half Empty? You decide!... an empowering interpretation is just as valid as a disempowering one. You get to decide what impact life has on you. Make it positive."
~ Real Simple magazine, March 2007

"Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one!"
~ Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)
and, for the knitterly inclined:
(and if you're not yet one of us, rest assured that we WILL ultimately bring you over to the string side)

"Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crisis." Elizabeth Zimmermann (9 August, 1910 – 30 November, 1999)

Friday, December 26, 2008

An apple a day.

We can all count the seeds in an apple. But what kind of a world can we reap if instead we count the apples in a seed?

After stuffing myself silly yesterday, I'm starting fresh today (pardon the pun) by pledging to eat an apple a day for the next week and into the new year.

We got home last night from a terrific family dinner to find the annual huge pile of newspaper flyers advertising boxing day deals and door-crasher specials for just about any consumer good imaginable. Now, I am all for stimulating the economy and I have a healthy appreciation for a good sale (especially if it's on items that we genuinely need). But really, after being blessed by the generousity of friends and family this Hannukah and Xmas and throughout the year, it's fairly safe to say that I don't really NEED any more yarn, bath products, clothing, jewelry, or whatever. Possibly ever in this lifetime.

So I am feeling rather blessed and I want to spread it around a bit. This morning, instead of planning to hit the streets and the stores, I donated a little extra cash to Doctors without Borders and some to the The Tso Pema Medical Emergency Fund

This Boxing Day, consider donating to a worthy cause instead of (or as well as) shopping. And if you are feeling the economic pinch and you cannot donate money, then consider doing a kind deed for someone - it can be as simple and uncomplicated as a kind word, a phone call, or shoveling someone's driveway, to something on a grand scale, like doing some research today and pledging one day a month to building homes for people who need them or sorting and stocking at a food bank. For that matter, if you can, then why not do both - donate the funds and donate your time, effort and good will.

Do it openly or do it anonymously, whatever makes you feel best. Then sit back, have an apple or a cup of tea, and bask in the glow of collective Karma generated by all the small and grand acts of human kindness and generosity. And maybe it will inspire you to cultivate this habit in the coming year and all the days of your life. Each seed you plant grows a new tree and lots of apples for years to come. If everyone would help someone else in any little (or big) way, what a wonderful world it would be.

An apple a day, indeed!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

RIP authentic and original diva, Eartha Kitt.
Inimitable epitome of elegance and sensuality.
Nobody compares and now no one ever will.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy ChrismaHannuKwanzaaDiwalEid-mas!

I get the most wonderful emails forwarded c/o my Mom. Often she sends hysterically funny and outrageous jokes that have my husband and me rolling in the floor holding our sides as tears run down our cheeks from uncontrollable laughter. The best dirty jokes I ever receive are from her! And she sends beautiful power-point presentations from all over the world.

Once in a while she sends a stirring and heart-melting story that has me weeping at my computer. I found one of these this morning when I came down for some tea and checked my email while I waited for the kettle to boil. I have no info regarding the source of this lovely story, but I just had to share it with you. It is not known who replied, but there is a kind and beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Best wishes for a lovely holiday season and a new year filled with love and laughter, health and happiness, peace and prosperity, and many happy returns.
XO - MezzoDiva


Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven.
Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.
Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by..
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Purple Purl is having their Pre-Boxing-Day Boxing Day Sale today! The regular line-up is at least 20% off and several fabulous favourites will have extra festive pricing. Also, they’re planning door crasher sales!

I am afraid the prospects don't look too good for me leaving the local premises today. With snowmaggedon-smack-down III playing out on my extra wide-screen view-screen to the outdoors, I'm suddenly very eager to hibernate and knit at home while I cheerfully contemplate poking (with my size 3 nickel DPNs) the idiot who left his van in front of our house again so the snowplow will have to plow us in completely as it detours around his car.

So I will not be going out there to molesting any merino at the Purl today. Sigh... It's probably just as well. I have already had a few too many fibre-related plastic-accidents recently and I would be helpless in the face of all that string on sale.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowmaggedon: It’s beginning to look a lot like Xmas!

I really must get a T-shirt that says something like “I survived Snowmaggedon 2008.” I simply love the term Snowmaggedon, so aptly coined to describe the weather we’re getting this late December 2008, just in time for Chrisma-Hannu-Kwaanza-Diwali-mas, as four major snowstorms hit southern Ontario in the span of a week! The first arrived Tuesday Dec. 16, the second was yesterday, Friday Dec. 17, with the third is due overnight and tomorrow, Sunday Dec. 21, and the fourth due next Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Honey – uncover the sled and hitch up the huskies. We’re socked in for the holidays!

Ahhhh... Perfect knitting weather! Don’t you agree?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is it ready now?...

How about now?
tap tap tap...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moving along, but nothing to see.

"The whole difference between construction and creation is this; that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists." ~ Charles Dickens

I must admit to being in a creative (or rather a creating) slump right now and sadly it's even affecting my knitting. The fall has been a roller coaster, professionally and personally. Extreme highs, sudden plunges, inexorable climbs back up... lather, rinse & repeat. There have been some valuable life lessons and the occasional existential pop-quiz. It's all (well, mostly) been good (or ended well). I was never bored. But I do feel rather wrung out - like all my get up and go just got up and went (if you see it, please send it home).

I need to putter around the house and take long walks, to rest and think and mostly just to be.

I am knitting, but not much and I can't seem to concentrate on any project for more than a few minutes and a few rows here or there. However, I am getting a lot of pleasure from reading about knitting, contemplating knitting, admiring other knitters' projects, trolling Ravelry and Etsy and planning, scheming and dreaming about what I would be knitting and wearing right away if and when I break out of this temporary insanity (BTW - have you seen the new cardigans and pullovers and mitts and neckwarmers and ... well, everything at Knitty for Winter 2008? Go. Now. Really. I'll wait.)

If you're on Ravelry and have seen my profile there then you know two things about me:

1. I am completely unapologetic about the size of my stash (which by the way is not nearly completely catalogued yet - that ain't the half of it, baby!) though I admit I could (and should) probably stop as I will never ever (EVER) run out of yarn to play with, even if I live to be a hundred and twenty and knit all day every day for the rest of my life. I have recently endeavoured to radically restrain, if not totally stop, the procurement of additional stringy stuff in the interests of: (a) financial solvency, (b) marital congeniality, and (c) a healthy fear of seeing my house actually explode from the surfeit of contents.

2. I am an incorrigible magpie (see item 1. above - oooh, look... Shiny!) and enjoy collecting clever crafty ideas, growing my project queue to fantasmagorical size, with proportional pattern acquisition, and a concurrent affliction with startitis with complete abandon. I just love the adoption and planning of a new project with all the pleasure and promise of new hours of contented or challenging stitches and colour and texture. Too many WIPs? Never! Queue amassed beyond life expectancy? Absolutely! Regrets? None.

What do you do when you're in a knitting slump?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

We interrupt this blog-less vacation to bring you the following notice:

The Paper Place is GIVING AWAY the ultimate Chiyogami sample pack, an 8.5x11” sheet of every Chiyogami paper we offer in their online store (637 patterns in total, retail value $1911.00). All tied up with a pretty red bow.

That's a mother-load of exquisite decorative paper, people!


I need more material things to play with and make a mess here in the 3-D house of stuff like a need a... but this is SO BEAUTIFUL! And I actually just got interested in decoupage...

Note to self: the new house we get (yes, I am looking) will totally have a self-contained craft studio!

What would you do with a win-fall like this?