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Will You be Our Valentine???

February 13th, 2014

Will you be ours? Come solo and we’ll serenade you… bring a group of friends and we’ll celebrate you… bring the family and we’ll get the kiddos singing and dancing. Everybody can relate to love, no matter what their life situation is.

The Fabulous Heftones are Lynn Hershberger (Hefferan) (me) and Brian Hefferan… arguably the most romantic act in Lansing.

The Avenue Cafe is in the former Gone Wired Cafe (same owners, new name). It’s on the 2000 block of Michigan Avenue in Lansing, Michigan… my favorite block in Lansing. (Down the block from Green Door, across the street from Emil’s Italian Restaurant, sharing a wall with Everybody Reads/Triple Goddess Bookstore.)

It’s a family-friendly neighborhood “pub” of sorts… food made in-house and Michigan brews, and good locally-based music. Harmony, followed by more harmony.

Please join us.

(If you can’t make it… click here to hear us sing By the Light of the Silvery Moon.)

Warmth under a Blanket of Snow

February 6th, 2014

It feels like eternal snow here in Lansing…

Allowing the snow to be a blanket (warm, snug, fluffy), because it persists in tugging on my awareness like a toddler pleading, “Mom, Mom, Mom…”

Choosing to change all word meanings toward the concepts of “warm” and “knit.”

My JoyBug looked tucked into a soft white blanket, before I woke her to create a day together.

JoyBug

Sitting in a cafe, near the corner of two fully-windowed walls… Six inches from the sidewalk snow blanket.

Giving thanks I’m in a place where we are warm and safe indoors most of the winter. And where we can buy wool sweaters instead of raising sheep, shearing them, washing, carding, spinning and knitting the wool.

thin walls on a snowy day

And where I can enjoy tea leaves from halfway across this globe, prepared for me for a few dollars.

Abundance, warmth and knitting are the words of the day. Even if I never pick up my knitting needles & wool.

So, how are YOU?

Help from Strangers… NOT on News at 10

January 26th, 2014

Snow!

It has been a bear of a winter here in Mid-Michigan!

A few days before Christmas, we had the biggest ice storm in recorded history. 40% of the city was without electricity and there were some folks who were out of power for over a week.

Trees were down everywhere. Many roads were un-driveable because of branches and power lines in the streets.

After that we have had periods of deep snow, and extreme cold. We are all done with winter around here.

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Today ‘s Adventure
I was afraid driving from Lansing to Owosso today. Merely 25 mph seemed unsafe at first (6:00am on a Saturday). It was good that there were very few drivers on the road!

Generally, I opt out of travel in difficult weather these days. I have finally given into the fact that I am human, and this is Earth. Nature is bigger than I am.

However, a friend’s car is in the shop, and her child needed to go to a standardized college-admissions test. I chose to make sure the kid stayed on track, and that’s how I found myself driving in drifting snow.

I love to drive, and drive a LOT (my JoyBug turned over 200,000 miles today. I have a better than average skill at handling my vehicle. I was still concerned enough to not feel safe sipping my hot cup of tea until I arrived an hour and a half later (it usually takes less than 45 minutes).

Short-Term Drama
Near my destination, I did get pulled into a drift on a back road (no ditch, thank goodness… A drift in the middle of a flat road). I had taken a good shovel with me and un-beached the bug. That was ONE way to wake up quickly!

Four men passing by this country road (in big vehicles) stopped to push me out. Three guys wasn’t enough… but that 4th guy was the charm. I’m so grateful!

Again, it is proven… Most people are good. They just don ‘t make the news.

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Make mistakes.

December 31st, 2013

Author Neil Gaiman on creating:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

“Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

“So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes.Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.”

Watch his whole 17 minute speech here. Wonderful. Inspiring.

Read more here if you enjoyed that.

…not quite knowing what you are doing.

December 13th, 2013

Be brave enough to live life creatively

The creative is the place where
no one else has ever been.
You have to leave the city of
your comfort and go into
the wilderness of your intuition.
You can’t get there by bus,
only by hard work and risk,
and by not quite knowing what you are doing.
What you will discover will be
wonderful.
What you discover will be
yourself.
- Alan Alda 

Oh, Yeah! You are Beautiful!

November 30th, 2013

I’ve been talking a lot with local friends and some internet friends, about how mean women are to themselves about their bodies. How they really do believe there is a perfect shape and they aren’t it. Unfortunately, some also criticize others as well.

There are magazine articles about “downplaying your flaws” and more nonsense of that sort. How about “show off/be proud of your favorite features!!!” ???? How about that?

Correct Your Flaws?

I heard a radio advertisement this week, offering plastic surgery to “help you correct your faults.” To give you a better shape.

UGH. Big UGH. What a horrible business to be in. Cutting people up to make them look different. (I’m all for plastic surgery to help put people back together after accidents and the like… this is not what I’m upset about.)

I am the same age as Michael Jackson… who looked fine as he was born… and had HOW many surgeries to look different? I ache for him that he couldn’t just be happy as himself… with the amazing talent he had.

Plastic surgery is elective, which means a doctor gets paid directly by the patient rather than going through insurance. It’s a BUSINESS. I’d invest in good therapy to help me develop boundaries and confidence, over surgery, any day! Therapy is cheaper and so helpful!

Go On, Find Something to Love!

Which parts of your body do you like? Have you ever thought about it? If not, it’s time to consider loving that pretty knee or your laugh, your freckles, your curly hair that has a strong personality and which other people envy even on humid days.

My friend J has beautiful, small, tapered fingers. Although she wore a bigger dress size than me, she wore a full size smaller wedding ring, a size I wear on my pinky finger.

J also has a beautiful back… smooth, pale skin and a straight posture. She never knew her back was an asset. Once when we were in our young 20′s, I sewed her two dresses that showed off her back and pretty hands (back “cleavage” and tapered sleeves)… one pink crepe satin for dress and one blue knit for work. She looked SO beautiful in those dresses. She didn’t think of herself as beautiful, but I surely did.

I know I have beautiful long hair. I have had this hair since I was a teenager, except for 9 years while I was a young businesswoman trying to look old enough to work. No matter what my weight, my hair is pretty. My legs have always been lovely. Mom says I have the “Carvey calves” which come down many generations of my matriarchy.

My weight has fluctuated from a little high in high school, to a member of Weight Watchers (I weighed more than my man who was 8 inches taller than me), to a healthy normal weight, to a too-thin person for whom most food caused me uncomfortable reactions such as hives, to a menopausal woman for whom food is finally friendly but whose body is now trying to protect her inner organs by making a small tummy fortress around her abdomen.

Take a good look at the photos here. The women I dance with have a rainbow of differing features. They are all BEAUTIFUL. Beautiful. So are you.

Keep Lovin’… or Find Lovin’ for the First Time

It’s important as we see our bodies change while we live our lives, to see that we have those pretty hands, eyes, hair, feet… at least let someone else tell us how beautiful our back is (in J’s case), or to let my friend A tell me how beautiful my curves are while she’s helping me pick out clothing for my slowly-rounding 55-year-old figure.

You may have an amazing smile, a soothing voice, expressive eyebrows, the best tush the world ever saw (my friend W), the loveliest round female tummy of all (my friend M, here she is below… gorgeous and confident, with roundness that some women would wish to dissolve… yet my, she is pretty).


Curves mean we are mature. The Hollywood ideal is very close to pre-puberty, and I see this as hurtful to each of us as well as our society. We can look good at all ages.

Your Differences are your Good Parts

The very things that make it hard for you to fit into “normal” clothing may be your best asset! Those are the things where you are different and noticeable.

Don’t cover up… instead find a way to celebrate. Delicate hands deserve bracelets. Eyebrows want lovely eyeglasses over which to peek, or perhaps bangs that let them take center stage. Strong shoulders are queenly and elegant, and beautiful in a halter top or drapey shawl.

Beautiful “grrl” curves beg for a scooped neck or v-neck. Hips love a good shirred wrap to make them more shapely and alive. Don’t hide your special features!

Take a Deep Breath of Kindness for Yourself

It is the holiday season. We can spend it enjoying company of friends or worrying about our weight and whether it’s OK to eat that hand-made gingerbread cookie. Balance and proper portions will make us feel healthier, but guilt for enjoying special treats need not be part of our six-week holiday experience. Be kind to yourself, OK?

ALL OF US ARE BEAUTIFUL. I love you. Consider loving yourself, too. Please.

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Lucille Clifton

YUMMY Pumpkin Pie for the Food-Restricted

November 19th, 2013

I am a Thanksgiving baby. I was born the day after Thanksgiving, and this year my day falls exactly on the US holiday.

I love pumpkin everything. I don’t know if that has to do with the timing of my birthday, but it may. I want pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake. Yum!

However, about 8-10 years ago I got socked with a long list of “normal” foods which typically make me feel crummy. Pumpkin was fine, but for 5 years I could not eat dairy or eggs (and a host of other things).

I got diagnosed in early spring. I knew I had to figure out how to make pumpkin pie so that in late November I could have my birthday pie.

I made some HORRIBLE pies. There was one I would not even eat, it was throw-food-away worthy, and I’m not one to waste. However, I think I’ve got it down now.

My beloved Brian loves pie. He’s tasted a lot of pumpkin pies in the last several years, and his vote is for this recipe, despite its limited ingredients.

This recipe can be used for vegans, celiacs/other gluten-free eaters, lactose-intolerant folks, and the rest of us with a lot of limitations. I use soy milk. Any milk with a lot of particulate matter should work… almond or oat milks might also substitute well. I’m a bit skeptical about rice milk here, though… it’s pretty thin.

Please: Pass this recipe around! There are SO many people who need something they can eat happily and without reaction! I want to help those who will be tempted to cheat (and feel lousy afterwards) during the holidays. If you want to print it or send to a friend, and you know how to download a document, here is a PDF Adobe Acrobat version for you:

LynnH’s No Nothin’ Pumpkin Pie Recipe in PDF format

It’s one thing to stay away from a restaurant where you can’t eat, or perhaps to choose the right thing from many choices on a cafeteria line. It’s another thing to sit in the same room with Grandma’s pie, for hours and hours while idly chatting with family members (who are eating the forbidden).

If there is no healthy choice, some of us will choose to eat food which makes us suffer in the long run. I love bringing pie to holiday gatherings, and then I can eat without pain.

Note: This is not diabetic friendly as written. It’s dessert, and it has brown sugar in it. The sugar is not required for browning, so you may be able to figure out how to adjust it for your own needs. Maybe adding some fruit juice or unsweetened applesauce and letting it cook down a little longer would work, but I have not tried that myself.

That said, please enjoy!

LynnH’s No-Nothin’ Pumpkin Pie

I was born the day after Thanksgiving. This is my “Birthday Pie” every year. Cake, I can live without. Pumpkin pie, never.

At a potluck with many pumpkin pies, my pie-afficionado husband declared that he liked this one as well or better than the others. I consider that a blue ribbon.

Makes two 9″ pies

Main Ingredients:
2 Unbaked Pie Crusts in 9″ pans (make or buy one you can tolerate, there are Gluten-free and Spelt versions in the healthy food store’s freezer department)

1-3/4 cup Soy milk (Unsweetened—I use Westsoy Organic.) If you tolerate dairy
milk, goat milk, Oat Milk or Almond milk, they should substitute well. I have not tried them.
1/2 cup Golden Flaxseed Meal (dark works, but the filling appearance is speckled)
3-1/2 cup (2 sm 15oz cans or 1 lg 30oz can) Solid Pack Pumpkin (not pie mix)
2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt (optional)

Spices, as desired (leave out some or change amounts):
1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
1/8 tsp Cloves

  • Preheat oven to 375F / 190C.
  • If you are making your own crusts, make them now. If you purchased frozen crusts, pull them out and separate them while frozen.
  • Measure soy milk into large measuring cup or small bowl. Slowly mix in flaxseed meal (I use a wire whisk).
  • In large bowl, place all other ingredients. Add milk/flax mixture (above) and blend thoroughly with whisk.
  • Fill unbaked pie crusts with filling. Cover edges with foil (optional) for the first 45 minutes in the oven.
  • Bake. Depending on the moisture content of your ingredients, it will take no less than 50 minutes and easily an hour or more. When the very center of the pie filling is boiling energetically, it is done. Do not be too eager, it’s tastier if you let the center truly cook through. It caramelizes… yum!
  • Let the pie cool. Refrigerating overnight will help it cut perfectly.

Note: My pie pans are glass/pyrex. Your baking times may be different if your pans are metal or ceramic.

Keep Walking

November 18th, 2013

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I love to walk and I love our earth. (I don’t love camping… so my walks are relatively short, but frequent.)

I just found an eloquently-written story at National Geographic. This man is starting a 7-year walk in Ethiopia. (I visited Ethiopia during holidays 2004-05, which makes this extra fascinating. I took the above photo in northern Ethiopia while I was there.)

An Afar proverb: It is best, when you are lost or thirsty, to keep walking under the sun, because eventually someone will see you. To be tempted into shade, to drop under one of 10,000 thornbushes, means death: No one will find you.

Keep walking. This is a metaphor for many inner journeys as well.

I loved reading this short story. I wonder how he can write like this in the middle of a powerful journey. When I’m traveling, I tend to get sucked into the moment. I’m glad he can write for us.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/out-of-eden/salopek-text

A Halloween Laugh

October 31st, 2013

Oh my gosh, this is so funny I’m laughing out loud.

My first trick-or-treaters came at 10 after six. It was a group of about seven older kids.

I went to the door and said “I’ve got stickers! Do you want smiley faces or flags?”

They all turned around and ran away….
Then two boys came back and asked for smiley faces.

I’m laughing so hard I don’t need any more trick-or-treaters to make it an excellent night!

Photo: Pumpkin pie transformed into a smiley face/ jack o’lantern by Brian when I wasn’t looking one day. He keeps me smiling.

The pie was made with an allergy-friendly, celiac-friendly, vegan pie recipe I developed when I couldn’t have milk or eggs. Try my recipe for LynnH’s No-Nothin’ Pumpkin Pie

Darn It!

October 14th, 2013

Tonight I teach a sock-darning class called “Darn that Sock!” It’s been a slow summer, I haven’t taught a single *knitting* class since May. I’ve taught other things, and spent a lot of time singing on stage… but I really love teaching and I’m ready for fall to click in. It’s too late to post tonight’s class (it starts in half an hour, I’m on my way out).

However, for those of you in the greater Lansing, Michigan area, here are a few more coming up soon (all at Sticks and Strings Lansing, in Old Town). These are my all-time most popular classes, and they are fun as well as incredibly informative. Please consider joining me.

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Buttons and Beads/Polymer for Fiberartists
Date:
Saturday, October 19 11:00 – 3:00
Cost:
$40.00
Material fees:
$10-15 for clay and optional slicing blade paid to the instructor.

Have you ever made a beautiful item by hand, and then had trouble finding the right buttons? Learn to make your own. Blend colors and make the perfect thing! Buttons, beads, tie-ons for baskets, and jewelry items, all can be made with polymer clay using simple tools found in most homes.

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Fix & Finesse
Date:
Tuesdays, October 22 & 29 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Costs: $30.00 plus materials

Do you panic when your needles fall out of your project? Do you rip out a project when you find a mistake, because you don’t know how to fix it? Learn about how stitches look, how they work, how to fix them. Make friends with your knitting, and learn to be the boss of your project!

We’ll cover picking up dropped stitches, tinking (unknitting one stitch at a time),  changing colors, weaving in ends, avoiding knots in knitted items, the  difference between DK, worsted and Aran yarn weights… and much more.   You get an illustrated handout to take home. ========================

Twenty-Minute Tossing Week

September 14th, 2013

20130914-020106.jpgFriends… It’s Autumn weather literally overnight, here in Lansing. One day it was sweltering and I wanted air conditioning, and the next day I wore alpaca and wool sweater and wished for the furnace to kick on.

In weather where eating lunch on the porch is too uncomfortable, I need the inside of my house as comfy as possible. However, housekeeping is not my strong suit.

On Facebook I started a group about a year ago, called “Toss-It Tuesdays.” We share our adventures in letting go and tidying. I picked Tuesdays because they work for me, and because it sounds good to say. Other days are, of course, also fine!

This Week’s Challenge
Because it’s fall now, I want to intensify my tidying. Maybe you want to join me? Here is what I posted to the Facebook group–

I have a plan: Twenty-minute Tossing week. Twenty minutes, max, on one area per day.

Sunday: any drawer
Monday: anything with a door (cupboard/ medicine chest/ pantry)
Tuesday: any box, bin or suitcase
Wednesday: any flat surface above the floor (desk/ table/ shelf)
Thursday: Purse, Tote, backpack or carrier
Friday: any floor area or under something
Saturday: any closet or vehicle

The idea is to do 20 minutes with a timer, and then stop. So often we think things will take too long, so we don’t start.

Committing to a short time helps us get started. If we need time to tidy from the process, we will plan to toss for 15 minutes followed by “tucking it back onto bed” for 5 minutes.

Let’s see how a week works (do it only days you can free 20 minutes, and “Get Out of Jail Free” any day you don’t participate.

If you decide you want to do a different area than I suggest that day, do what you choose. This is just a way to get started.

I know I need my indoor space happy when it’s heating season. I want to get started now.

Are you in? Starting tomorrow?

A Late-Night Walk: Try It!

August 27th, 2013

It’s been too long since I’ve had a long walk. Between being out of town and midday heat, I’ve missed the chance.

Last night after 1 am I went out and got 25 minutes in. I LOVE the tree frogs and crickets this time of year. Evening is so peaceful in my usually busy neighborhood… I saw 2 vehicles go by the whole time.

No, I’m not afraid of a bogy man. I’m in a lot more danger when there are more cars driving 2 feet from me. I know which houses are awake at this hour, and have greeted folks in most of those homes over the years I’ve been walking (both daytime and evenings).

I refuse to stay home and be afraid. I went to Africa for 38 days and came home safe. I have traveled over 200,000 miles in my previous car, solo, to large cities, and came home safe. My father died in our kitchen.

Nothing is certain, but staying home afraid is no way to live. You can die at home, trying to be safe (or not). Case closed.

And yes, it was a wonderful, refreshing walk. Thanks for asking.

A Peek Into a Hostel

August 22nd, 2013

(Written in Toronto, but posted after uploading the videos about a week later.)

Staying in an International Hostel is so interesting! Had conversations Tuesday with folks from Sweden, Scotland, Australia, Spain, Brazil and England. Monday, Spain, Mexico, England and Australia. Sunday, Brazil and France. There are lots of Asians here but they are not chatting with me… the languages I think I hear are Korean and Japanese, and maybe a type of Chinese.

A hostel is so much cheaper than a hotel, I can stay here much longer. My fee was about $30 a night. Since there is a kitchen, many of us get to chat while eating the food we made. I’ve had such great conversations in the kitchen eating space!

Sometimes folks share food, often not. It’s not expected but sometimes one has more than one can eat. There is also a “free food” shelf where people put extra supplies… things like cereal, spices, soy sauce, even chocolate syrup get placed there.

Add to that, the good company. Yes, I happen to be sharing a room with 9 people I never met before, but the boundaries are well respected. I have a locker to keep valuables safe when I’m not in the room with them. It’s not luxurious but it’s comfortable and safe.

This hostel is run by Hosteling Intenational. I stayed in one of their properties in Portland, Oregon for the first Sock Summit. I also stayed at an NYC property in 2004, near the north west corner of Central Park, that I think was also run by this organization.

If you are curious about how this one hostel looks, here are a few peeks. Every hostel is different, but all share common spaces. I did not video the social spaces but this will give you a sense of what it’s all about.

A quiet moment in the kitchen:

A peek in a 10-bed dorm room:

Late-evening diners in the kitchen:

Garden behind the Hostel (where I could get wifi access):

This is the Hostelling International Hostel at 76 Church street (near the King subway stop) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Oh, Toronto! Beautiful Doors!

August 20th, 2013

When I visit cities, I love to notice the doors. Last year when I was in Montréal, I posted a collection of doors I saw there.

Here is another collection of doors and other architectural details, from this year’s trip to Toronto. It’s pretty long (the cost of passion) and the styles are amazingly varied. I hope you enjoy it.

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