Best Use of Library Card Ever!

Or at least for today…I read a lot and the books are great. However, this is really cool. Tampa Bay has expanded to new services for today’s patrons. Check out all the things offered on the third floor of the John F Germany Public Library. They have just opened a 10,000 square foot space called the Hive, which contains multiple makerspace functions  – everything from an art studio through to 3D printers to a robotics lab. Managed by librarians.

Do I haf’ta spend the day in a museum??

Kinda whiny about tomorrow’s mandatory school trip. My art class is going to the Minnesota Institute of Art and the Walker Art Gallery. I like going to museums, but not with huge groups of people. Not a herd animal here, I guess. Meh. I have a list of things I want to see and I’m sure once it all starts it will be fine, but here tonight I’m…well….I’d rather go by myself and take the time to see what I want to see.

At least I know Van will have dinner waiting for me when I get home. He’s fixing steak tonight. Yum!

I’m listening to a webinar by Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend , who is talking about making your first dollar. I’ve made my first dollar and more than that, and if he doesn’t turn around and start talking about something I’ve not heard before, I will have to do something else. Laundry, maybe? Or maybe working a bit on my part of the Global Entrepreneur Week Rochester. My event is on Thursday, noon, but I’m going to try to make as many of the events as I can. Part of my participation is the marketing bits to my contacts for the entire event, not just to my own. So if you are reading this? Please check out the link and consider going to an event or two, supporting both individual entrepreneurs and to the Rochester area community in general.

There. Now I don’t feel so badly about listening to this webinar instead of doing something more useful. I’ve given him 30 minutes of my time, though, and I’m done. There is nothing new here. Which is a basic challenge, of course, creating some thing that is both useful and interesting that people are willing to buy and continue buying into, and it doesn’t matter if you are creating your best widget ever or encouraging others to create their own best widget ever.

So tomorrow, my goal is to stay mellow and enjoy talking to people. And see some awesome pictures and other artwork.

Everything coming up roses!

Just a quick update post before I tear into homework for the day. All is well and so rather unnerving. Meh. If that shoe drops, I’ll roll out from underneath it.

The new position at the Rochester Public Library is going well. I’ll be working at the Customer Service desk that you see as you walk into the library, mostly evenings and weekends, I think. That’s not a big issue at the moment as I really need to be scheduled to train with a number of different people and not go into brain-overload. I reached at point today going over the circulation system but that’s probably my own fault. I kept thinking of scenarios and discussing them because I was very interested in understanding local policy and because Kim was very willing to do so.

I’m also working on the new services platform at Rochester Fiber Link, building the contact lists to help people find fibery goodness. I want that ready to roll out on the 22nd when I’m at the Pine Island Holiday Expo. That week is also the week of Rochester’s Global Entrepreneur Week events – if you check out the link, you’ll find a week’s worth of useful and interesting presentations around Rochester. The one I’m involved with is on the 20th, noon.

And there is always homework, which I should be getting back to doing. I’m enjoying the learning but here is yet one more thing eating up the hours.


Ever woken up convinced you can do everything you need to do? Today?

Yesterday was not that day. Wednesday was horrible – after nightmares and more all night (it seemed), I was in a gray depression. Blah. Yuck.

Today is different.

I feel that maybe I can do it today. Nothing like getting a good start on things, either! I’ve already got an article done and am editing another. Then on to homework! We are starting a unit on collage making in one of my art classes and I do like that art form.

First though, I need to go feed the kitties and find some more coffee.



Pulled in many directions


Being a business owner that is going to school that is also involved in her community means being busy beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. Staying organized is vitally important and I’m refocusing on my use of calendars, organizational to-do apps and lists on paper like never before. And if you’re a long-time reader of this website, you know I like my to-do apps…I even spend money on a good one.

But that’s part of the problem. I app-jump when really the problem is committing to a daily review of the things on the list, and prioritizing them and then sticking to them. In reality I jump from task to task, rarely sticking to one thing until it is done. And I hate that! I know that the current thought is that as long as these are all high level tasks and as long as I don’t have that fifteen minute gap between them, as long as the flow is seamless – who cares? Keep moving forward and produce! It still feels like I’m giving in to impulses.

So here on my personal website, I’ll confess that it’s an exciting journey! This *being a business owner/ student/ community person*! And I’ve gone back to paper – specifically, tiny cute index cards meant for vocabulary flashcards. I use Myndology’s cards because the company is out of Wisconsin. I can sort things out on my desk and reorganize tasks and toss out cards when the task is done. It’s what works for me.

Well, bouncing on now.

Edit – I’d emailed Myndology several days ago to warn them that their website is displaying odd warnings. I can’t be the only one seeing that.

Truth in advertising – Walking Dead style…spoiler alert

The package said “stewing hen.” I was warned but I did not believe. Size-wise, it was obviously a baking chicken! Good sized, just perfect for roasting. As I was prepping it for the pan, I rejoiced in the fatty, thick skin that I usually only find in organic, truly free-range birds.

Hum…no. It was a tough old bird. After roasting it for longer than I thought I should, the bird was still chewier than I’m used to. Good flavor, though. Probably a flavor intensity similar to any other old bird, myself included. Did you catch the season opener for Walking Dead? Where after 4 years they finally ran into a band of people living the cannibalistic lifestyle? I’m not saying that this was a good thing, I think eating people’s flesh is really, really nasty-yucky even in fiction, even in television. Don’t go there if you end up in a zombie apocalypse and manage to survive several years of scrounging around abandoned houses.

And don’t stay on the East Coast. Lots of people over there, most of them zombiefied by now. Head northwest, get into corn-and-bean territory and find a good place to hole up. Someone, who warned me not to plan to go there cause he wanted to survive within the marble walls, said he would head for the St. Cloud prison. Federal or State? Do you know? Anyway, now that I know, I’ve got dibs and so you all just stay away, too, OK?

I pulled the moist, still-warm meat off my stewing hen and plan to chop it up for chicken salad, a dish in which the firmness will be a plus. Next time I will listen to the packaging. And I’ll continue to look for the perfect place to survive the zombies. You with me, there?

I started a new resource page for people who love fiber

Wool, angora, alpaca, spinning yarn, weaving, knitting,crocheting….

The list goes on and on. I know enough about knitting and crochet to be dangerous, as they say. I love weaving and need to do more of it, I spin wool (so much wool yarn! What to do with it all?) and I’ve been known to set up dye pots on a whim and simmer well into the night.

Most importantly, I so enjoy being with people who also love the fiber arts that I want to spend huge chunks of my life supporting other people’s enthusiasm. I like seeing people who spend huge chunks of their own lives pursuing their crafts.

So I started a new website…

RochesterFiber.Link. And I started it earlier than I should have, I know. I don’t have the resources the page promises listed yet – but the stories about Spinzilla are quickly passing us by and I needed to get those down on paper. Where they belong. On this page that I realized I could do and do well, as I know social media marketing.

Invitations will be going out to the people and businesses I already know, but AFTER Spinzilla is over. I’ve moved my spinning wheel to be within inches of this desk – hehehe – this makes me happy. Now while I’m listening to school lectures, I can also spin. This also makes me happy.




Getting ready for Spinzilla

Next week is A Monster of a Spinning Week!

Presented and organized by The National Needlearts Association, Spinzilla challenges hundreds of spinners to compete in teams for prizes and recognition. All funds raised by our entry fees go to education, so I get to feel good there, and there are some awesome sponsors helping to make this happen. It’s become an important event in the world of fiber arts and I’m glad to be part of a team.

My team captains are Lisa Ramsey and Lisa Hanesworth, owners of The Angora Girls Fiber Arts shop in Winona, Minnesota. I caught them off-guard with my phone on Monday when I was out there picking up fiber for next week. They have an adorable shop with space for dyeing, group spinning, and lots of touchable fibers. Just outside the door, a dye garden is being created and steps away is a backwater stretch of the Mississippi. Check out the website for shop hours and special events they will be attending.shop2

I bought several braids, thinking that having lovely fiber will help motivate me to spin more. It should be enough that I can then make something pretty with it. AND I’m also going to spin up all the bits and batts of fiber I have stashed around and get everything tidied into yarn and string. Useful formatting.

IMG_0743_0021                                                     IMG_0748_0071                                                                      IMG_0744_0031

Oh! Back to Spinzilla…. ‘The Lisas’ have arranged several fun events next week and I’m free to take part in what I want or can. I know I’ll be at the Tuesday fiber retreat and at the Spinzilla Vs Godzilla final timing count-down on Saturday. I wish I could be at some of the public demos but I’d probably do better to stay in Oronoco and spin here, right? I am looking forward to meeting my teammates via the web, sure, but I also enjoy meeting people in person. They are planning to do some fun demo spinning around the area, as you can see in the link above. Maybe I’ll just have to host some local spinning opportunities here, maybe?

I’m taking part in this for several reasons

Firstly, I think it’s going to be lots of fun, challenging, and a positive time. I love being part of a fiber-based activity like this one. Additionally, I need something that I love doing and with the winter coming up, I think I’ll have less opportunity to get out in the garden. Yeah…Not much into cultivating snowdrops and iceberg lettuce here. Just not that kinda gal, I guess!

Spinning and dyeing gives me activities that are often done alone, something I’m craving lately, but that can be loads of fun with other people as well. Like when I went to the Zombie Knitpocalypse earlier in the year; I wasn’t able to get to all three days but I certainly enjoyed what I attended. And crazy! It’s inspired me to start knitting. All the lovely projects I’ve seen over the years, and suddenly I want to get better at this skill. Good thing! The goal for Spinzilla is 5000 yards. Wowsers.

I’m also working on a new website

I love hanging out with fiber-people. The spinners, the sheep-angora-alpaca farmers, the knitters and crocheters, and the weavers. The dyers. So in between everything else, I’m working on a new website whose purpose is to help all these people find their customers. Well. Reverse that, to help their customers find them. I’m good at social media marketing, and I’ve decided to use my skills at something I love.

Back to the homework for me. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you online!





Today I made a bended thing

Ricky at forge


I got the forge, my forge, up and running today at Squash Blossom Farm’s Cow Puja event. Richard Burnett taught me how to start the fire, how to manage the heat, how to set up your tools so they were handy. In the picture above, he is working on a piece he heated in his own forge, behind him there, with a young helper manning the air. I worked at keeping a fire hot, learning how to manage my tools and how to drive from the shoulder; I’m not pounding a nail, after all.

I had a great time. I got a rod cut in half, more or less, and then learned to make the round into square, and then into flat, and then I bended it. About that time I had to run to the shop for my shift and then there was the blessing ceremony and then I was pretty much done with it; I restarted the fire for the experience but mostly I was done pounding for today. Too many people to talk to, you know?

Here is LaFonda, the gentle milking cow from the farm. There are two others on the farm but none quite as pretty as herself.


Time for a shower and another glass of wine! Van went to pick up chicken, too, so a good evening ahead.



Beautiful day to check out glaves..and other pointy things


Headache most of the day as the weather fronts have ground against each other. Or I have a bug. I took a five hour nap and could do it again although I guess that would be called ‘going to bed for the night.’


However, before the nap Van and I went over to the Castlerock Arms and Armor Museum in Alma, WI. Amazing collection of authentic edged weaponry for an artists’ town along the Mississippi River. I really enjoyed visiting with the docents as well. We also visited The Weaving Studio, Tansy’s on Main, and the Danzinger Vineyard….and no, the last is NOT why my head hurts. I had that heading over, lol…we did bring some home, though, to share with friends.


The people working at the Armor Museum suggested that if anyone wanted to geek over old weaponry with the curator, to get in touch the the museum’s director to arrange that. I guess the curator, like a lot of us, is always up for a good conversation about sharp pointy things. I don’t know him and have no idea if it would be a good time or not, but the potential is there.