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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Had fun at the cottage. Surprised Helen on Saturday night with a birthday cake...I baked it while Helen and Jeff were swimming across the lake. Baking at the cottage is always a bit of a challenge since the oven's ancient measurement scale (a mysterious "1" through "5") only occasionally reflects the interior temperature. Cake turned out ok, though, and I managed to finish the icing before Helen and Jeff came back (I panicked, though, since I could hear their approaching voices as I was writing "Happy Birthday Helen" across the bottom, so the writing got all squished at the end). Did a lot of swimming, reading, some work. Lots of mosquitoes and chipmunks. :-)

Forgot to mention that Jeff and I went to a Nahanni meeting last week. As I've mentioned before, we'll be going on a 1-day paddling expedition down the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories in late August. The meeting was a gathering of people going on the trip; some of us hadn't met before. We each also got a Canoe North cap, t-shirt, and sweatshirt (Canoe North is the company organizing the expedition). I'm a bit nervous about the trip since I'll likely be one of the least experienced, but also super-excited! Been going to the gym pretty much every morning, doing the rowing machine, stationery bike, push-ups, ab curls, weights...hopefully this will keep me from wimping out on the first day, begging to be taken back home again. :-) The main part I'm nervous about is the whitewater bit on part of the trip.

Penny whistle is coming along, tho I haven't had time to memorize any new pieces lately. I played "happy birthday" for Helen this weekend. :-) Ordered a tuneable Susato whistle from Andy's Front Hall last week for $16 as well as a new songbook (I've gone thru my beginner's songbook pretty thoroughly now). I've started eyeing wooden Irish flutes lately, but I can't afford to buy one yet...I've been inspired, though, by a Chris Norman CD that Jeff has ("The Man With The Wooden Flute").

Officemusic: Dan Bern.

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