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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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LOTR ticket

I spent most of yesterday with my niece Annie. It was one of the first times that I've had Sara or Annie all to myself, and I found it was a much different experience than hanging out with both at the same time. I found myself feeling almost shy with Annie at first, as if we were getting to know each other for the first time. Annie was oblivious, of course...she was obviously overjoyed about getting me all to herself for once. :-)

After hanging out at our apartment for a bit, we went to the du Maurier Theatre Centre at Harbourfront; Ruth and Kaarel had tickets to some of the kids' "cushion concerts". Yesterday's concert featured George Gao on the erhu, a Chinese bowed instrument...very cool-sounding instrument. He did a couple of solo pieces, but the main story was the story of Hans Christian Andersen's The Nightingale, which Barbara Budd narrated as Gao played in the background.

I don't think the ehru really grabbed the childrens' attention...or maybe children's concerts are always like this. Almost all the kids were fidgeting and restless by about the midway point, some babies started crying.

"When is the show going to be over?" Annie whispered into my ear about ten minutes into the performance. She was pretty good, though, and sat quietly through the rest of the performance, patiently waiting for it to be over. While waiting in line, she had befriended a little girl named Mackenzie; the two sat close together on the floor cushions.

My favourite Annie-quote happened during the ten minutes before the performance began; things were pretty chaotic as we all trudged in and found our seats on the floor or up in the stands. Lots of kids running around, grabbing cushions, yelling.

"Babies," sighed Annie. "First they're born to their mothers, then they all run away."

I gave Annie a hug. "You're not going to ever run away, are you, Annie?"

Annie grinned and squirmed out of my arms. "No, Auntie Debbie."

Our friend Helen is visiting from Amsterdam! She'll be staying at our place tonight, then going to Amanda's. We'll likely see Harry Potter again sometime this week (Helen hasn't seen it yet). :-)

Food/fitness update: So I actually seem to be sticking to my goal of eating better and getting back to a regular workout schedule since OVFF. I go to the gym about five times a week, am cooking at home more. Whilst browsing through Chapters recently, Parki pointed out a new Moosewood cookbook that's just come out! Augh!!! I am resisting the urge to buy it until next year (budgeting, y'know). I love my current Moosewood cookbook (Moosewood Restaurant Lowfat Favourites) but I know there are now at least two Moosewoods out there I don't have.

Enjoyed practising some Christmas carols on my harp last night. I am SO in love with my harp, it's scary. Also having fun starting to do some improvisation and composing on it. Jeff's going to show me how to convert tapes I record on our four-track to digital, so I can make some homemade CDs. I'd love to write/arrange/record some harp and flute stuff for fun. I also reallyreally want to hear Kim Robertson in performance sometime.

LOTR ticket


- Annie, earlier this summer.

- Sara's Dolly. As you can tell, Dolly's well-loved. Sara took Dolly to Brownies' camp this past weekend.

Today's Poll: (Suggest a question)

Have you attended a classical concert within the past twelve months?

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