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Archive for February, 2010

Score! (at Target)

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Brian and I decided to go out to dinner. We stopped at the office supply store to buy my TurboTax program on the way there.

I’d run out of hair conditioner that day. I realized we were a few doors down from Target, and we could run in there and get what I needed quickly, before going to dinner.

The conditioner was on sale for $0.87, which came to $0.92 with tax. Our cashier said he had never seen anyone spend less than a dollar. It was a new experience for me, definitely.

As we left the store, I heard a college-aged girl say “That’s the least money I’ve ever spent here at one time!”

Me: I just spent ninety-two cents.

She: I suck.

We chuckled all the way to the restaurant.

A Blast from My Past: Telex Machine

Friday, February 26th, 2010

As I work on my taxes for 2009, I sometimes need to look up a photo from the past year (I make photo images of all my checks that I deposit, rather than making paper copies for my files). I found these photos as I worked. This is a TWX/Telex machine just like one I used 30 years ago.


The first full-time job I had, I started in January or February of 1981. I worked for an appliance parts wholesaler, doing data entry 40 hours a week. Because it was wholesale, a few people did a good variety of jobs. I was very lucky that the office at the time I started, was one big room with desks everywhere. I could hear everyone (purchasing, finance, sales) make telephone calls, decisions, fix problems, make customers happy.

A Fish Out of Water

I came from a background where not only my parents were both educators, but most of my friends’ parents worked in some sort of academic setting. I was not at all familiar with business (although my grandfather and my uncle both owned newspapers in Minnesota, far from my world).

However, somehow I found myself with a secretarial certificate, sort of by accident. I could type, though slowly, but I never looked at my fingers and I typed numbers as well as letters. It was a time when there was little work available in Lansing. I was a bad waitress but I could still make more waiting tables than many of the desk jobs available to me.

It’s All in the Numbers

I pretty much got the wholesaler  job when they asked me to sit at an IBM Selectric typewriter and type the numbers from the phone book. I don’t think they even checked my work. I sat there and typed without looking at my hands. They knew that if I didn’t look, I’d improve with both speed and accuracy.

They needed me to type all day, 40 hours/week. I typed over 4000 invoices a month, plus orders, purchasing, receiving orders into the computer database, and other tasks. It was a cleaner job than waiting tables, with more regular hours. I entered the 8-5 workforce.

Pre-DOS/PC Computing

At this job, we had a Xerox Diablo computer. This preceded the IBM/DOS personal computer by a handful of years. The machine itself was about the size of a desk. It had 10″ boot disks, and the monitor/keyboard were all part of the desk/machine itself. There was a dot matrix printer which stood on the floor and fed tractor-feed paper (most of the time, invoices in 3 parts). (Click this link to see an image, can’t believe I found one!)

There was also a huge metal box, connected with a wire cable over an inch diameter (not shown in image linked above). It held the data disk. In order to back up at night, we had to open the box like a car trunk, unscrew the disk out, put a new one in, copy data to the extra disk, then remove that and put the main one back in. There were 4 disks in all. I am sure they were pricey things, though they no doubt held very little data by today’s standards.

Clunky but Effective Telex

Next to that machine sat two TWX/Telex machines. The more modern one (it had a pushbutton dialing pad) was owned by a major appliance manufacturer, and we used it only to order parts from that manufacturer. The other one was owned by my employer, an older one with a dial (it looked nearly identical to the one in these photos). We ordered from assorted other parts suppliers on that one.

The technology was evolved from the old morse-code telegraph system, and by WWII there were banks of telex operators using typewriter keyboards to send messages as quickly as technology would allow. The machines I used had built-in modems which would connect our machine directly to a computer at the parts supplier.

We would enter an order in a very specific format, and the numbers would be fed into the system, with no human on the far end. With the one supplier, we would get parts sent out the next day if they fit a certain criteria.

How the Gizmo Worked

How this actually worked, was that you had a ticker tape, a very strong and rigid/smooth paper tape, which got punched with basically a binary code (hole or no hole, off/on) as you typed. Each keystroke took one row of tape.

The keys you typed on with your fingers, were manual. You had to throw each key hard and strong, or that tape would not be perforated properly. (You can imagine how hard it was for me to get used to “quiet” computer keyboards after that training.)

No Room for Mistakes

We sometimes had dozens of line items to type. You typed a quantity, a space or a comma, and then the part number. To start a new line, you had to both hit the line feed key and the carriage-return key.

For the dedicated manufacturer-owned machine, we could not make one typo or the order would fail. If you made a single stroke that was wrong, you had to start over typing the order. That manufacturer had numbers only, no letters or hyphens. An order might look like this in the middle:


The paper printout could be feet long, with enough numbers on a page to make your mind numb. If you blew a single keystroke, you started over. The tickertapes were often twice as long as I was tall. It was stressful work. (I did figure out how to fix a non-dedicated-machine tape but had to pretend I wasn’t breaking “the rules” even when saving my employer’s time/money by doing it.)


Beep, Beep, the Modem Song

After you made the tape (at right in photo above), you ripped off the tape and put it in a tape reader which interpreted the perforations and sent them as data through a phone line. You dialed the number of the part supplier’s machine, and when it indicated it was ready, you pushed a button to tell it to start reading the tape. It made a horrible racket!

You didn’t know how things had gone until the tape was read and the other computer sent you a message (which printed on your paper), that said it was received properly. More stress. Mind you, I needed this job SO badly that I just did whatever they needed me to do. It was not about having fun or liking the work. It was about being grateful for income, and I was.

Photo Luck

I took the above photos through a plate glass window at the ATT (formerly Michigan Bell) building on N. Washington, in downtown Lansing. There is a “history of phone communication” museum in the building. That is, there are items there which once were open to the public.

Now nobody watches the space, and so we can not go inside any more. Luckily, this piece was in the window where I could photograph it as I walked by on the sidewalk.

How about You?

Anyone else out there ever use a 10″ floppy disk? Anyone else out there do any TWX/Telex work? I think we are becoming rare birds.

My father died in 1973. He was a statistician and he did his calculations with a slide rule. He said he would buy a pocket calculator when they went under $500 and fit in a pocket. No luck for him. My brother bought one in ’75 which fit the bill.

And now I have an iPod Touch. It surfs the web in my hand. It runs a lot of programs, has a built-in calculator and surely there are available apps that would do what dad did with his slide rule. For less than those 1973 calculators.

I *SO* wish I could give my dad a Touch for his birthday, you know? He would LOVE it.

Sailing into the Future

I think we are past Dick Tracy’s amazing image/telephone watches, now. It’s good to remember where we came from.

Office Control?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

I think I need some.


Despite the sign, I found nothing on the shelves called “control” anything. Wouldn’t it be handy if one could really buy such a thing?

Let it Snow?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010



I live in Lansing, Michigan, USA. I love the community. I don’t love the snow. The longer I stay here, the longer I think I’ll stay. However, in February/March I always consider changing my mind, at least for a fleeting moment or two.

Kid Adventure

Tuesday night Isabel (5 years old) and I tried to make a snowman. It had been warm enough during midday to have sticky snowman-making snow. By the time we got outside, it was too cold for such ideas. I chased her in circles in 6″ (15cm) of snow in her backyard until my legs were tired and my hands cold.

She played with some molds she has that make snow bricks. It was not fully successful, but she enjoyed quantity over quality and was content.

Luckily for me, we went out at twilight. We could not stay out too long, because we just could not see much after a little while. (Photo below is her on the swingset in full snow gear, in near darkness. Love this child!)

isabelsnowswingI wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Except maybe sticky snow and a snowman on top of the rest.

More Adventure

Wednesday it was another melty-sticky day. My friend Barbara said she made a snowman during the day, I was happy for her.

The roads were worse, it seems, Wednesday than even Monday (when so many schools were out for snow days). One of the main highways on the way out of town, was closed up tight at 3pm… just as state workers started to trickle out of town. It took me 30 minutes to go about 4 miles, normally a 6-7 minute drive. Crazy.

1-2-3 Rescue

I started my day stuck in my own driveway. My bug is usually better at snow than you might imagine.

I am a skilled and experienced driver. I have decent tires, and as long as the snow is not taller than the underbelly of my car, I can get around if I am cautious.

Here is a photo of my car/driveway on Tuesday morning. I got out just fine after taking this photo. We got a few more inches by Wednesday noon, when I attempted to go pick up a friend.


Wednesday morning somehow there was sheet ice under my wheels in the driveway. It does not help that our drive is made of earth rather than pavement, so there are little dents where the tires rest in the driveway (it’s a very short drive, there is little wiggle room).

Plan A: I tried to back out, with the reasonable assumption that I could do it just as I had Tuesday. I could not edge half an inch out of that icy low spot. I’m pretty darned good at winter driving, but I could only spin my wheels.

Plan B: I shoveled a lot of snow from anywhere near the car, and then got two thick pieces of dry cardboard from the house (thank goodness I had not taken out the recycling yet). I put the cardboard behind the front tires, as close to the tires as possible. Still, I could not get a half inch of traction to get on the cardboard so I could move.

Plan C: The big guns, so to speak. We have “salt” which is the kind which supposedly does less damage to soil and cement than regular salt. It’s also grainy like colored fish gravel. We do not use salt unless things are desperate. I was desperate.

I tossed a handful of salt in front of/in back of my tires. Fortunately, since the weather was a little warmer than freezing, the salt could take hold rather quickly. I was able to back out. Whew!

My Own Princess Charming, Today

I love being able to say “I rescued myself.” It is a powerful phrase. However, don’t think for a minute that the part where I figure out how do do the rescue is much fun. Today, no fun at all.

But I did it. I rescued myself. Score 1 for Lynn!

Olympic Setback

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Friend Cynthia and Friend/Shop Owner Rae checked over my Olympic-Season sweater project Tuesday. We all 3 see the same thing. The fabric of one piece is different, in texture and gauge, from the other. Both are the same yarn and the same exact needles used. One is smoother, with a smaller gauge. One is fuzzier and gives larger stitches on the same needles.

Rae says there was more than one shipment of that yarn to her shop over the years she carried it. Clearly the reason my swatch was a smaller gauge than the sweater, is that I used an old lot for the swatch and for the second piece of the sweater. Here is how much I’ve completed thus far (before stopping on a dime, yesterday, when I saw the mismatch):


The newer yarn (for which I have two extra 100gm balls, no shortage) is fuzzier and fluffier. It’s the same number of yards per pound but it is knitting at a fatter gauge than the one “oddball” from which the swatch came. Sigh.

Thank goodness the colors match almost exactly. I have made the decision to make the tighter-gauge piece be the back of the sweater. If I sit on it a lot, maybe it won’t stretch out as much being the firmer gauge, I can only hope.

What I will do is what others sometimes do when they have color mismatches in dye lots. Starting now, I will alternate two rows of one ball, then 2 rows of another, until I run out of the oddball. Then I will continue with the new ball, which will match the front and sleeves.

It just does not look different enough to rip and restart. I guess it’s like an ice skater who falls and continues their program. It is not 100% but continuing is part of being an Olympian. Or that’s how I’m justifying it today, anyway.

Here is a comparison shot. The top piece is what I have 7 balls of. It’s fluffier and fuzzier, and the gauge ended up bigger. The bottom piece, can you see that it’s just plain smoother? The stitches are definitely smaller, though for some reason the “garter rib/pearl rib” makes the gauge over the stitch pattern less different than knit stitch compared to knit stitch.


For the record, if this were a sample that the public would see, especially if I designed it? I’d rip and re-do. However, this is something for me to put in my closet and wear. Someone else designed it. You might say my “name” is not on it. Compromise is in order.


Here is a photo of the two yarn balls next to one another. Can you see that the top one is less fuzzy, more shiny? I think the colors are very, very close, but the textures are quite different.

Live and learn. Back to the needles…

Doe, a Deer (in the Suburbs)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

CityGrrl Goes Suburban and Learns Something


I visited my Mom’s house the other day. This is maybe 10 miles east of my house. I’m a city-dweller and she’s suburban. My lot is not as wide as a city bus is long. The photo above is part of her front yard.

deertracksbushI grew up in this house. It edges a cemetery, behind which once was wetland/flood plain. Now even the wetland has houses built on it. This means that critters crowd into the cemetery for peace, and forage out when they need food.

When I was a kid, we had rabbits in the yard. They were guaranteed to eat the blueberry bushes, from the bottom up. We had chipmunks and squirrels. I do not remember other wildlife, besides birds.

In the last dozen years or so, Mom has dealt with large rodents (groundhogs?) at the back of her yard, near the cemetery. She has been brilliant dealing with those, but that is a different story than the photos I present here.

When I visited Mom’s the other day, I saw tracks in her front yard and thought “bunnies!” Then I looked again, and the tracks seemed too deep for that. I stopped and got out my camera.


deertracksdriveThe glimpse above made me think “hooves, not paws.” I remembered mom’s stories of her plants being eaten, even her front yard, last year. I wondered… deer?

Looks like it to me. I found a photo on Travels.com which confirms this thought.

I can’t help it, now I want to sing that song from Sound of Music…

Olympic Knitting Progress & Other Good News

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I’m loving the alpaca/wool magenta fabric I’m getting as I knit my current Olympic-season sweater project. This is NOT what I normally knit, not at all. It’s lovely in spite of needing more attention than I typically spend.

It’s funny, but knitting a sock with two colors of yarn in a stranded pattern, would be more comfy for me than this. I am knitting on medium-sized needles. I often work on size 1 and smaller, or size 10.5 and larger, but this is on size 8 US (5mm) for the main part. I am knitting flat, not in the round.

I am doing a chart/pattern, for texture. I see color “hiccups” very easily, and very quickly. Texture mistakes I can miss until I’ve passed the hiccup by a dozen rows.

I’m very glad I’m knitting rather than crocheting, because I can switch a knit to a purl or vice-versa without fully ripping back. (One can run a column down like a nylon stocking, and then re-chain things back up the run to correct the problem. Very cool.)



It’s a lot like a rib, actually easier in some ways than rib. The right side rows are “knit all stitches.” I love that part. The wrong side is essentially “Purl 4, Knit 1, repeat.” No big deal, mostly. I don’t usually purl much, but as long as it is not 100+ purls in a row, I’m good with that.

However, I am so used to working with socks, which most often have a multiple of 4 stitches for ribbing, that I keep finding myself doing a P3K1 pattern. This requires fixing, but does not require ripping out.

About 20% Finished (Cringe)

This is where “she” stands right now: my percentage finished is not great. The 2-color swatch in the above photo is approximately in the area of the sweater where I will embroider a zigzag/chevron pattern around the sweater once I finish. The small piece on the right will be the back (or front, at this point they are identical).

It is ready for me to work the area of 10 rows or so, where the embroidery will go. I am putting knit stitches where I will do “duplicate stitch” embroidery to add turquoise, later.


Placing an embroidered “knit” stitch over a purl in the fabric is not fun (I tried it on the swatch). So I made myself a bit of a chart just for knitting that short strip of stitches at the bottom, to help me accomplish my hand-sewing easily, later.

I guess I could have just done stockinette for the 10 rows, but I like that the rib won’t be interrupted. It’s costing me a little time but giving me a product I’ll be happy wearing.

I hope this is interesting enough, friends… what can one say with a sweater that is not half done? I’m plugging away, anyway.

A Lovely, Off-Topic Report

In other news, I am enjoying a Facebook thread where folks are registering their contentment with their spouse/partner. Someone went on about “does anyone believe in love anymore” and the answer was definitely YES in my circle of the world. Love that.

I saw the same thing when we sang at Altu’s on Valentine’s weekend. One woman (a knitter) came alone and was her own valentine, having dinner and knitting and sitting in the front row for the show. However, from my view on stage, I could see people I know. And I saw seven couples I know, who are happy together. Happy.

When I was single, I kept a list of happy couples I knew. Often it was folks I knew well. In some cases, I’d note “lady I met on elevator” or “someone in class with me.” Didn’t matter. I wanted to believe it could be real and good. I liked being single just fine, but if I could have a good partnership I wanted to recognize that opportunity.

Let’s hear it for happy relationships. This stuff doesn’t make the news at 10, you know?

Fascinating Film, Sustainable Cotton Farming

Friday, February 19th, 2010

This is totally fascinating. Story of cotton farmers in Texas, dedicated to doing a better job… if you are interested in cotton, organic/sustainable anything, farming, business or human-interest stories, you will be glad you watched this.

Thanks to a Twitter post from Deb Robson/@effortlesszone: RT @RAntoshak:

STORY: When organic cotton is not sustainable
FILM: Two days in Texas

My Olympic Knitting

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

boyfriendsweaterpatternI am destined to knit a sweater out of beautiful, hot pink yarn. I can prove that I am an incredible optimist, by admitting that I thought I might be able to knit it during the Olympic games. That is 17 days.

This becomes more complicated, because we have chosen not to watch TV since it all went digital. We own 3 black and white TVs but have no converter box, cable or any other service.

I adore figure skating. It used to be I pretty much did not turn on the TV, maybe 2-3 times between the winter Olympics and the next winter Olympics. For skating, I watch happily.

So four years ago, I attempted a project during the Knitting Olympics. I got pretty close to done, even though it was a very unfamiliar sort of project. It was a vest (relatively thin yarn), and I messed up the decreases on the neckline or I probably would have been able to finish.

Now, I have cast on a full-length, long-sleeved sweater. I did swatch. I did have the right gauge/stitch size on that swatch. Then I cast on 100+ stitches and knit for about 2.5 inches, and figured out the stitches were far too large. Never mind I can not remember ever knitting too relaxed, ever. There is always a first time!

So last Sunday, Brian took me to dinner at a neighborhood eatery with TVs. I normally don’t like that about this restaurant, but was delighted Sunday. I cast on the 2nd time, while waiting for our food.

olympicsweater2ndstartI expect I will finish. I expect it will not be next weekend. I’m having fun, though. And I totally went out of my comfort zone, which is a good thing. It’s a sweater (have finished ONE long-sleeved sweater thus far, which took me a year). It’s also knit flat rather in the round.

I have now knit about 9″ or so on the bottom of one piece (front/back are the same at this point). I will post progress as I have something to show.

The yarn is Nashua Creative Focus Worsted, for those who like to know such things. I adore this yarn, which is a “singles” (one ply) yarn of wool/alpaca.

I plan to embroider the “Charlie Brown” stripe on it with a smoother yarn. I hope I have enough leftovers of the turquoise yarn in the top photo. It’s Heirloom Easy-Care 8 (a DK weight washable with cable structure). The Nashua yarn is rather fuzzy, and I think a stripe in less-fuzzy yarn will show up better.

Impromptu Still Life

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

My beloved Brian goes on long bike rides whenever he can. He really enjoys being outdoors in this weather. He notices you can see further when trees do not have leaves. Snow does not slow him down (though his winter bike has metal-studded tires).

Since he sometimes goes over 100 miles by bike on his day off, he spends a lot of time on remote roads looking at fields and woodlots. Right now, there is little color out there, it is nearly monochromatic. Again, Brian is able to really appreciate things for exactly what they are. (Photo added 2/18 pm)


Me? I have opinions. I like big cities with skyscrapers, art museums, ethnic diversity, and subways. I collect cities which fit this profile. I especially collect subways/public transit systems. I’ve been on 10 systems, plus Detroit’s people-mover (which does not take anyone to work, so I don’t consider it equal).

I always feel a little let down when we drive 3-4 hours to somewhere for a vacation, and it is rural rather than a bustling metropolis. Walking through a field of knee-high grass is stressful for me, but walking miles on a sidewalk makes me happy. I understand the appeal of “the great outdoors,” but it doesn’t register inside of me.

What is nice, is that Brian can get a full dose of any needs he has for rural Michigan, by riding on his days off. He loves to find good local diners (especially if they have excellent fruit pie). He notices trees… which types grow more in which counties, for example.

He enjoys checking out the small, older towns he can find. He looks to see if there are signs of a mill, if the town is old enough to have been built on a river. Sometimes the mill is no longer there, but he can figure out where it once was.

He notices in railroad-era towns, where the grain elevator is. Usually it is next to the track. Of course this  makes sense, but I never thought about it at all. These days, often the grain elevator location will include a feed store, if it’s still operational.

Right now, the ground here is covered in white snow. On a lot of days, the sky is covered with clouds. The trees have no leaves, though if you look you will see tree bark in many subtle colors from gray, to red, to green. Brian spends long days viewing neutral scenes.

Then he comes home. And he finds his citygrrl wife, with her “retina-damage color” collections. My clothing, my dishes, paint trim inside/outside the house? Color!


This Sunday, he was so struck by the contrast, that he took this photo. It’s just the top of the dresser which functions as our bathroom vanity. This is just how it looked that day. Yes, this is how I really live, there were no attempts to make it anything other than it was at the time.

This makes me giggle. I just don’t notice it when I’m walking by. The photo makes it much more clear.

Yup, that’s me. Good thing Brian appreciates variety in his life!

Keep Making Music

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Brian and I sing (as The Fabulous Heftones) for a number of retirement homes, independent living communities, retirement homes and Alzheimer care homes. We absolutely love this work.

Our music really is the right sort of thing for this setting. So many of our songs bring back good memories for folks. Even for those whose memories of recent events are fading, songs from decades ago seem to stay stuck in their minds.


Last Friday we went up to Alma, Michigan (an hour north of our home) to a place where we have sung several times. When we arrived, a woman was sitting at the piano. She was playing “Amazing Grace” and singing along. Sometimes she had to stop to get the chord right, but then she kept on going.

I did not want to disturb her, so I took a photo from across the room, without flash. In order for you to see her at all, I had to play with light/color levels in my PhotoShop program. Low light turns out grainy, but what happened almost looks like a pointillist painting rather than a real photo. I like it.

This woman stayed for our full concert. We really enjoyed this… at one point we had about 80% of the crowd singing along with us. They particularly enjoyed “When You wore a Tulip… and I wore a Big, Red Rose.” They also seemed to love “Bye, Bye, Blackbird.”

I just wanted to share this photo with you. It reminds me that so often we give up things that have given us joy in the past. This woman’s voice is no doubt not as strong as it was when she was younger. The piano was not in perfect tune, and she did not proceed confidently through the music.

All of the imperfections did not matter. There was no audience until we came in, part way through her song. And she was having a nice time, playing and singing just for her own pleasure.

I think we need to remember this. Do not let go of the things you love, even if you can not do them as well as you once did. Jump in and enjoy!

I Have the BEST Life: Singing at Altu’s Tonight

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Once I knew others were happy but I thought I could not have what they had. Now I have such a different life, I am amazed. I did a lot of work on the road here, but the payoffs of that work are tenfold.

Tonight, Saturday, February 13
The Fabulous Heftones (Brian and I) sing at the newly expanded/renovated
Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine in East Lansing.

This is truly our home venue in a million ways. We became a better act because of our regular 2-hour performances here.

We were in the What’s On section of the Lansing State Journal this week (page 3, with a photo). There is an online version of that article (with a photo of our friend Frog, who is mentioned later in the same column).

But today, on a day when we are again booked as the “Most Romantic Act in Lansing,” I feel like it is Thanksgiving even more than Valentine’s day.

I wrote a post January 31, 2009 that sums it all up, gratitude for my new life. It’s a short column (for me). Please consider taking the time to read it. I think good news doesn’t usually make it to the masses, and I’m all for spreading the good stuff when I can.

Deep but Beautiful Indeed

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

It is snowing like a 1950’s Christmas movie here. It was normal, sparse snow until about 1 pm or so, but it got more dense all day. I am not a fan of winter, to say the least, but this snow is gorgeous. It helps that it stayed about freezing all day, and there was little wind until dinnertime.

When the streetlights shine near this snow, the undisturbed spots sparkle like glitter. Flakes on my mittens look like perfect miniature crystal artforms. Sound is muffled, and it is magical. That is, when you are not driving.

At 1:30, the main roads were damp but the side roads were ice rinks. We park on a very short street, and as I pulled away from my home, an SUV was helplessly driving an S-shaped path, using two full lanes on a two-lane street, barely stopping in time to avoid a collision with me. I saw his face in horror just before he stopped.

It’s actually better when the main roads are also slow, because then folks realize that prudence is essential. Four-wheel drive is no good once a skid starts.

I was out until about 7pm or so. On the way home, even the ambulance route on Michigan Avenue was white rather than wet. I took the main downtown artery, I-496, for a mile or so from Frandor shopping center to the Pennsylvania exit. Nobody was going over 35MPH. Excellent!

I got home safely.


Brian also got home safely:


Lovely Little Things: Gifts & Barbara Winter’s Book

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I followed a link today and found myself reading about an experiment where people took a $100 gift and used it to creatively make a difference, a smile, a connection. It’s much deeper than all that, and I encourage you to read the post here:

Seeing How Far $100 Can Go

booknojobwholeI found this link, thanks to a referral from Barbara Winter, known as @Joblessmuse on Twitter. She wrote a book titled “Making a Living without a Job” which I read years ago.

I have read it over and over, even when I was still an employee. (My book has a 1993 date in it.) I guess I just knew where I was going, but her book helped me see that it could really work.

One need not train for a job where there are millions of positions available in the world. One might make income on very special things which make their own talents really sing.

For example, I have made/sold over 150 “Hershberger Art Kazoos” (including the one I sold to hubby Brian, one year before we started dating). And in April a few years back, I was flown to Dallas to teachTurkish Socks, Toe-Up Socks and Polymer Clay buttons, for the Dallas-Ft. Worth Fiber Festival. I don’t know anyone else teaching Turkish Sock design right now, though Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Anna Zilboorg have both written books on the topic.

Why not be the only Kazoo artist or one of a handful of Turkish Socknitting teachers? I don’t need to be an accountant or secretary to pay my bills. I *do* have to work, and I *do* have bosses (they are my clients). But I adore what I do and my bosses are lovely.

Barbara’s sane but new-to-me ideas changed my inner world first, my outer world now (I have been self employed for 10 years). You might like to check out her website here:


Thank you, Barbara! Your book changed my life. Much appreciated.