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Happy Friday

November 18th, 2011

As Jian Ghomeshi likes to say, happy Friday.

I’ve been running on overdrive the last couple of weeks, preparing for a big move, writing papers, and knitting up a storm. Today’s the first day of the All-Handmade Craft Sale that you should come check out. Items in the photo may or may not be available for purchase.

Also, today marks the arrival of Breaking Dawn, Part 1, that probably none of you should go check out, but feel free to admit it if you do.

And finally, if you didn’t get a chance to check out TGS’s fantastic two-month campaign yesterday, you should most definitely check that out.

- Linette

Making My Mouth Water

November 4th, 2011

My roommate just called me a foodie, and I took that as an ultimate compliment.¬† She called me this as we were eating slightly-out-of-season, but-still-delicious Strawberry & Leek Quesadillas. I’m sure they would’ve tasted even better with in-season strawberries and not-two-week-old leeks, but they were pretty great regardless.

Another recent and slightly more season-appropriate eating experience was Roasted Squash with Goat Cheese salad. Super simple and super delicious.

And when I get my hands on some almond flour (does this actually exist??) I might just try Harvest Cake with Vanilla Cream, a dietary-restriction-friendly recipe that still sounds so yummy. The photos alone are making my mouth water.

Since I seem to be really loving the hyphenated phrases today, I hope you have a fantastically-cozy-mid-fall-Friday, full of good food, lovely friends, and perhaps that new issue of TGS.

- Linette

Some Reflections on Death

September 2nd, 2011

I spent the last couple of weeks in Ontario, visiting family and friends. One of the weeks was spent at my aunt and uncle’s cottage resort¬†with lots of family and friends. In particular, we went with close family friends who lost their 18-year-old son to cancer last fall. Today would have been Josh’s 19th birthday.

I hadn’t had the opportunity to spend time with the family since Josh’s death, and as we relaxed by the lake and ate dinners around the picnic tables, I was able to witness and be a part of their grieving. Stories and memories of Josh flowed. I think that I had some sort of preconceived notion that perhaps a family who had just lost a son would be hesitant to talk about him, for fear that remembering him would bring too much pain. But not with this family. Of course, tears flow and I don’t know if one can ever get used to that much crying, but that did not hold them back from talking about Josh. In fact, the whole community up at the resort – many who had spent time with Josh right there last summer – told stories about him. This fishing incident, that boating adventure.

My last memory of Josh was last October. He was not well, in so much pain, but his zest for living was unmistakable. He had just bought a new truck and took so much pleasure in driving his family and friends around in it. As he and his family left my parents’ house, he drove back and forth past the sensor on my parents’ country driveway, making the dinger inside our house ring over and over.

Today I’m reminded not to take my own life for granted: to live it fully and deeply. And I’m reminded that death is an inescapable reality and so in some way I need to embrace it. I can talk about Josh, remember him, and reflect on the impact that his life has made on those he loved.

- Linette

My August (sort of) Personal Challenge

August 12th, 2011

If you haven’t already read my and Lauren‘s little non-fiction piece in this month’s issue of TGS, go do that right now! And then come back and read the rest of this.

So, this month I’ve challenged myself to my first ever knit-along. This means that a whole bunch of knitters all sign up for a group knitting extravaganza on Ravelry – what Slate calls the social network for knitters. Right now there are 2294 people signed up for this adventure, all of us devoting the month of August to knitting the same pattern and each week we get a new clue.

Unfortunately, since Lauren isn’t obsessed with knitting like I am, I had to recruit my one and only knitting friend to do it with me, and we have officially embarked on Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL 2011: Earth & Sky. (Sounds cool, right?) I’m sure once it’s done it will be amazing, because Stephen West designs really cool things. But right now my shawl looks like this:

I think the rest of August is going to involve a lot more knitting…

- Linette

Happy Birthday Canada!

July 1st, 2011

This Canada Day I’m spending the day driving north to Burns Lake, BC. I’m excited for new adventures, and I hope you get to enjoy the same!

And when you have a few moments to spare, spend some time soaking up the new TGS issue RITUAL over at www.thisgreatsociety.com.

- Linette