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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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meeting Moira

Moira and Patrick

Moira Allen and I worked together for over five years on Inkspot without meeting each other in person. At first she just wrote the occasional freelance article, then became my Assistant Editor, then Managing Editor. In the last six months of Inkspot, Moira and I exchanged e-mail or phonecalls on nearly a daily basis, mainly to commiserate ("Can you BELIEVE they just did that?!?").

We figured it was finally time to meet in person. :-)

Moira at computer

Not surprisingly, we got along just as well in person as we did by e-mail. We talked, we browsed craft shops, talked more, baked Christmas cookies, talked some more. I found out that Moira doesn't just write and edit...she's heavily into crafts of all kinds; her handiwork was all over the house. Whenever I saw something especially cool or interesting, I got into the habit of asking, "Did you make this?" More than half the time, the answer always seemed to be "yes".

As a Christmas gift, she gave me some handmade bookmarks, a copy of her recently published book (which hadn't yet arrived in my local Chapters), and a gorgeous beaded "dream catcher" that she designed and created herself. I drooled over the latter so much that we visited one of her favourite local craft supplies shops the next day to get materials so I could get a quick lesson in how to make them, too. The craft supplies shop was dangerous, packed full of all kinds of tempting things. In addition to getting the materials for another dream catcher, I also did some Christmas shopping.

Moira at computer

Moira's also much more of an sf/fantasy fan than I realized, plus she and her husband Patrick are Star Trek fans. One of the many reasons we got along so well, I think. :-)

And they are very much cat people. They have three cats, Nonny (elderly type who sleeps on a heating pad), Fluff (a stray they adopted as a kitten), and Brisco. Nonny basically ignored me, while Fluff openly resented my presence and refused to eat while I was in the house. Brisco was the friendliest, and kept rubbing up against my legs whenever I was around, obviously sensing that I was allergic to him. Very cute cat (and he knew it, too!).

My friend David says that the main difference between cats and dogs is that dogs look at humans like part of the family, while cats view them as staff. :-)

Moira at computer

I stayed at a place called ExtendedStay America...have any of you heard of this chain? I was pretty impressed. Super-cheap ($49/night), clean, comfortable, and each room comes with its own kitchen area complete with fridge, stove, and microwave. While picking up a few breakfast-type foods, I had a chance to check out Moira's local grocery store (you -know- how I like grocery stores!); I'll be posting a photo report in a future Blathering.

Lots of writing talk, lots of Inkspot re-hashing. By the time I left on Sunday morning, I realized that I should have booked for a little longer. Even the Canada Customs agent on the way back to Toronto asked me why my trip was so short. (!)

Moira at computer

Anyway, a really great weekend, and I'm so glad I finally had a chance to meet Moira in person.

Don't think I'll be flying again for a while, though. I used to like flying (way back in my naive and more inexperienced days). I began to dislike it during my stint in Philadelphia. Dislike it even more now.

There are fewer flights these days, so I was stuck with a connecting flight through Washington instead of being able to fly direct. My flights were all in smaller planes, with the Washington/Norfolk flights being on a noisy prop plane. I suspect the airline is trying to save money by using smaller planes...can't blame them, but it sure makes flying even more uncomfortable. I spent the hour flight to and from Norfolk with one leg propped up on a ledge because there wasn't enough floor space to sit normally. Going through security is much more of a hassle, and I found the Norfolk United Airlines staff at security rude instead of just courteous/serious; I understand the need for diligence, of course, but it just makes air travel that much less appealing. I know of several others who feel similarly for different reasons, and who have already made vows not to fly again until things improve...factors cited include the abysmal Canadian dollar, the fear of another terrorist attack (though to be honest, I think that flying is safer now than it's ever been because of heightened security), declining customer service, decrease in perks (like in-flight meals), frustration of late and cancelled flights, and the general rough shape of the economy.

airport sign

After I finally got back home last night, I left again to attend a 40th surprise birthday bash for my friend, Tom West. The surprise part was over by the time I arrived, but it was great to see so many old friends again. Photo report in an upcoming Blathering! I also found out that my friend Michelle HAS ALREADY SEEN THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIE...*TWICE*!!!!

I'll be taking a three-day Standard First Aid and Basic Rescuer course (9 am-5 pm) with St. John's Ambulance starting tomorrow, so I'm not sure how much Blathering I'll be doing in that time.

inside plane

Today's pics:

- Moira and Patrick Allen.

- Moira at her desktop computer. She also has a Apple iBook just like mine! :-)

- One of their three cats, Brisco.

- Patrick showing me a Star Trek game on his computer.

- Moira showing me the finer points of making cookie dough.

- Sign at the Norfolk Airport, just before going through security. This is the first time I've ever seen the warning about jokes. It would have been more amusing if there hadn't been a few military guys with nasty-looking rifles a few feet down the hallway.

- My view while I was typing most of this entry (en route from Washington to Toronto).

Today's Poll: (Suggest a poll question)

Have you taken a first aid course within the past three years?

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