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Archive for August, 2013

A Late-Night Walk: Try It!

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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!

Tuesday, 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.



























































Post-Toronto Touching Base

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Wowie, I hit the ground running when I got back to Lansing! I took so many photos and videos there that I can only hope to catch up here.

This video I took on Saturday (I got home about midnight Wednesday and was out of town all day Friday singing with Brian). Please forgive my focus off screen, I’m still getting used to video. I get more comfy onscreen in the last little bit, but you can tell I’m in there by my voice.

I considered stripping out the visual and posting just my voice… Would you like that, or do you prefer the video even if it’s less than Hollywood style? I find it a bit distracting that somehow I focused off camera. Does that bother you?

Inspiration for a Monday

Monday, August 19th, 2013

If you hold back or hoard and find that tendency hurting your life, or if you sometimes are afraid that there is no abundance, read this quote.


It’s a great quote for me, as I start a day at my desk. I’ve been gone long… it will take more than one session to catch up.

I must remember the abundance in the air around me, in my creativity, in my creative soul.

One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a better place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water.”

– Annie Dillard,
– “The Writing Life”

City Hall Fountain, Toronto

Photos from Toronto. The second one is City Hall’s fountain (a skating rink in winter). There were several folks there in wheelchairs. The man at center left was reading a newspaper, without company. How freeing that must be for him.

Deep Feelings – Travel, Change & Art

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

LynnH at Textile Museum
I went to the Textile Museum in Toronto yesterday. (The photo above is me in front of the Museum.) To get there, I took an unusual route via streetcar and a lot of walking.

An important section of the subway track is under construction this weekend. This means the above-ground transit is bursting with passengers.

The transit drivers are kind and helpful, and they have information workers at the top of every stairway leading down to the closed trains. Here is one of them helping two women find an alternate route.
Video with Heart
I know I’m known for being cheerful, and typically that’s truly me. Some readers ask for do-overs when I post photos of me with a thoughtful, rather than happy, face. However, there are other moods which contribute to a good life.

Walking through the part of Toronto which was such an important part of my teen years, of my becoming the Lynn I am now, has me pensive and thoughtful. It’s an emotional trip for all the right reasons.

Last night I recorded a short, shaky, imperfect and heart-full video for you, on the roof terrace of this Hostel where I’m staying. I talk about the Textile Museum I visited yesterday and why this trip touches me so deeply.

When you watch, I think you will be OK with my lack of an outright smile. Click the photo below to see it.
chat from the roof

Art is Real Life – a Split Second

Saturday, August 10th, 2013


Yesterday, I caught this stylish older woman outside the Art Gallery of Ontario / AGO. Sometimes real life is art.

My Canadian Yarn Collection

Friday, August 9th, 2013

I added one final skein of Koigu yarn to the other yarns I have purchased on my trip. All were dyed in Canada.
Left to right:

  • Koigu PPPM #P123 B367, 50gm / 160m
  • Rhichard Devrieze Pepino #Eaton Street 3, 65gm / 206m
  • Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 #none, 125gm / 350m
  • Rhichard Devrieze Pepino #Pastoral 2, 65gm / 206m

People keep asking me what I will make. I don’t know.

Usually, yarn calls my name and then whispers what it wants to be. Sometimes that whisper takes a while.

This yarn is all fingering weight 100% merino wool. That would suggest a shawl/ wrap or perhaps a long sleeved tee? Socks often use this weight of yarn but can wear out prematurely without nylon or silk to strengthen it.

I’m done with the yarn crawl for this trip. Good yarn adds up fast!

I’m having lunch with a knitting friend Friday/ tomorrow. Looks like Indian food is on the agenda. Yum!
Birthday Girl
This last photo is a young woman with balloons celebrating her birthday. I saw her group of friends taking photos of her, so started to sing the happy birthday song as I walked past. They joined right in.

It was fun!

Toronto View & Yarn Images

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Here I’ve given you a brief video of the view from “my” room at the Toronto Hostel where I’m staying (my room has 10 ladies in bunk beds, I lucked into a bottom bunk).

I also include a peek at my yarn/ sock purchases thus far. Of course you are curious…?

Click the photo below to view the video on the youtube site.

toronto video class=

A Warm Toronto Welcome!

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

It’s not a Purple House, but I’m staying in a blue & orange building in Toronto. Perfect, yes?

colorful hostel

I’m feeling really emotional, being back in Toronto. I’ve been close to tears regularly.

My first trip here was in 1975 and it ROCKED my world. It wasn’t like home. I needed to know the world was bigger than the safe but quiet place I lived.

Traveling alone really brings time and space to feeeeeel. My heart is at home where diversity is a given.

The first night I went to a knit-in at a yarn shop called The Purple Purl. More perfection – purple, indeed! It was too dark to take a good photo when I got there.

Last night (Wednesday) I went to a knit-in night at Lettuce Knit. I’d been there years ago, but it has had a change of owners since then. I tweeted that I’d be coming.

I was welcomed so warmly, it felt like a red carpet came out. They offered me homemade trifle (oh my, what a treat) and we debated the perfect yarn to go with the yarn I got the night before.

Sylvie, the owner, consented to a quick photo with me on my way out. I took this with my iPod, so excuse any quirky photo oddness. We *were* having a lovely evening.

Thanks to Sylvie, Emily, Stacey and the others I remember talking with but whose names elude me right now. It was a memorable night.


A Quick Video from Toronto

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Let’s see how this works. Blogging from Toronto, using only my iPod Touch 5 and WIFI. Wish me luck.

The video is only 1 minute. When you click the image above, you will be taken to the YouTube site to watch.

Crossing fingers,,,

Toronto short Video

Toronto… Shall We Meet Up?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

I’m in Toronto for a focused week. It’s about Museums, ethnic food, Yarn Shops (and the associated knit in events), subways and skyscrapers. Toronto is my favorite city for taaaaall buildings.

I spent Tuesday in transit. I drove to Sarnia, Ontario. Took a “bus” (van) to London, Ontario where I boarded a VIArail passenger train. In Toronto I took a subway to the Hostel where I’m staying.

After checking in, I took an electric streetcar to The Purple Purl, where I enjoyed their knit in evening. I bought 2 skeins of handpainted yarn by an Ontario artist, one in bright greens & one in deep teal/blue. Lovely.

Ms. ColorJoy herself (me), famous for very late nights, is wiped out before midnight. I may give in & crash early (for me). Tomorrow brings curiosity and delight!

My Wednesday goal: at least one museum, one ethnic food meal, and one yarn shop. Lettuce Knit in Kensington Market has a knit in, so that is a feature of my plan thus far.

Do you live here? I’d love to connect. 20130806-233936.jpg

Abandoned Walmart is Now a Library!

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

I love collecting libraries. Brian and I often spend time in them all over Michigan as we travel to sing.

Originally this library in Texas was an abandoned Walmart. What a creative use of the building! And better yet, library enrollment has gone way up.



Technicolor Train

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Olek, the Yarn Bomb artist originally from Poland but now living in New York City, has recently completed the yarn bombing of a four car train, in her homeland Poland. If this doesn’t make you smile, you need to start over with a new day!

When I was in Montréal last year, I happened upon a piece created by Olek near the fine art Museum. If you want to read more about that encounter, you can click to read it here.