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The Feminist Mafia

Square dancing. From what I recall from high school (which is to say, not much), you have to remember a lot of steps. Better start while you're still young. Plus, I'd pay money to see you twirling around in a flouncy gingham skirt.


damn! that mafia girl took my idea. i was going to suggest some sort of dance. square dancing at first, but now i'm thinking tap. i could see you as a tap dancer.


Heh heh. Learn to sign your name with your left hand. That will definitely fire up a few new neural pathways!


I vote for ballroom dancing. Lots of thinking involved with learning the steps, and it's good exercise.


I'm going to echo the suggestion to learn to weave, because it's my new thing for 2008. I taught myself to knit for exactly the reason you're stating - to teach my aging brain new tricks. That was 5 years ago. Then I decided to learn to spin last winter. With all the handspun piling up around us like multi-colored snowdrifts, the next step in the progression was obvious. So my Christmas gift this year is a loom, and I'll spend the next few months learning to use it. Old dog, new trick.


i think you should learn to paint. it can be like knitting, choosing the colors and the subject are half the fun.
good luck in whatever endeavor you choose


At the risk of getting cyber slapped (and also in person)- toe up socks baby! Hehe. Second on my list is as Susan said making beer- my grandfather used to make it in the spare tub- never mind that he was allergic to it and would break out in hives head to toe. And thirdly hang gliding OR sky- diving. Heck throw in Bungee jumping!!

As for the song? Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young all the way! I listened to them a lot in high school.


I think you should learn the ancient art of origami. :)


I don't think I've laughed so hard in a while: crochet more dangerous then bungee jumping and mountain climbing.
Tho if you wore a flouncy gingham skirt bungee jumping from a mountain wearing crocheted toe-up socks...

I have no suggestions for you. Unless it's repotting the jade plant.


I have always been fascinated by large machinery! (will be a farmer of some sort in my next life). For my 40th birthday my DD's gave me a lesson on learning to drive a semi trailer truck! or an 18 wheeler as they are often called. The lesson, for many reasons did not materialize and I have always regretted that!. I am also fascinated by all things "building related". Wood, carpentry etc. A few years ago I took a wood carving class and it has given me great pleasure off and on through the years. The brain forgets all the other mumbo-jumbo one has in there while concentrating on the emerging animal/face/object from the block of wood!
Go for it..my sis and I also took a traditional rug hooking class. Strips of wool fabric are used to create some gorgeous pieces of art. pick whatever you have an urge for and pursue it. Knitting has been the constant in my deviations over the years but I have loved the experiences all these things have taught me.

Angela Baker

for something practical, how about CPR and first aid? or something fun, about ballroom dancing lessons or cooking class for a type of ethnic food you aren't familiar with making?


I learned a bit of woodworking and that was fun. I never got real good at it, but it gave me some confidence making some crafty things myself instead of having to rely on someone else.

julia fc

How to turn a cartwheel.
How to blow glass.
How to identify birds by their songs.
How to get on an airplane without fear, and to go someplace really really mind-altering.

Lisa RR

I vote for learning French, which would go well with potential future vineyard visits.
There must be many French websites about wine as well?
However Italian would also be a fun choice.

The Spinning Guy (Kim)

My first thought is music. Do you play a musical instrument? I suspect you would really enjoy learning to play one. If you don't have an instrument, that's first on my list of suggestions.

Other thoughts are long-distance bicycling and trail running for the physically active side. There is more to bicycling than balancing -- long distances teach discipline and allow one to see the world from a slower pace. Plus, you'll learn to read traffic like you never did in a car. Many people I know who enjoy skiing really enjoy trail-running in the mountains.

On the fiber arts side, I'm curious about the opposition to crochet because it's such a complementary skill. I learned to knit because I can do things with knitting that I can't with crochet, but there is so much I can do with crochet that I can't with knitting. My other suggestion is weaving, but looms take so much space ... We sold our loom because it became an expensive clothes rack.

You're already a gardener and I suspect you're not right for livestock ... Ballroom dance has been suggested. I did that in college and loved it. Given your photographs of flowers, I think possibly painting or learning to use Photoshop's power features ...


I think you are ready to learn to knit back backwards. :)
You will always be able to keep the right side of the knitting facing you when not knitting in the round.


I'm late to the game, but I second the ballroom dancing. I didn't learn how to dance until my mid-forties, but it was liberating! And healthy. And sexy.


Learning to fly a plane is not nearly as scary or as difficult as you may think. I can almost do it--I started learning in 1999 and got sidetracked by D going back to school. If he ever buys one, I'll get back to it.

For a suggestion that you may do, learn to play bridge. It is an excellent activity to share with Mr. Etherknitter, leads to meeting all kinds of interesting people, and is something you'll be able to do even after your hands are too arthritic to keep knitting.

I am also a fan of learning to surf. The feeling the first time you stand up on a board is absolutely incredible.


Swedish. Similar syntax to English. Bohus knits and Glogg, 'nuf said. Russian grammar will only make you swear. Also glass blowing for color, light and perfect for winter - requiring fire. Always good to have a working relationship with the elements.


Belly dancing. It is beautiful, great for the core, and relaxing. It is also an excuse to wear scarves...what could be better?

Mary Beth

Try learning either German or Latin. I had to take them both during one summer of graduate school. It was a mind-expanding experience.


Try something that you never learned as a kid but wanted to - for me that was swimming - for you it might be horseback riding or painting or whatever. The point is to satisfy that little girl who wanted to learn something - that will keep you young because you will approach it with the enthusiasm of a child. I believe that children (in addition to the physiological aspects of learning) learn so readily because they don't see it as "work" or even as "learning" - they just approach living from a learning perspective. So do what your inner little girl would like to learn or in her case - do. One thing I learned later in life was racewalking - it's great exercise and adults can remain very competitive well into later life without the risk of injury associated with running. Also - what about ASL? That's something I've wanted to learn and is probably next on my list. I'm attracted to the beauty of it as well as the functionality and inclusivity of being capable to communicate with people. Good luck. And Happy Birthday for your January birth celebration!


I'm not familiar with the song others identified. But "Step by Step" I know as done by Eddie Rabbitt! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Step_by_Step.

There are lots of excellent suggestions for more to learn! Since I tat, do bobbin lace, (barely) play a musical instrument, and know some German, I support all like suggestions!

Betty in Minnesota

Suzanne Ress

While it is important to keep the mind active, don't forget the body. Try something like Tai Chi or square dancing that you can do forever.


Hmmmm. I love all the other suggestion for something new to learn, many of them are on my "life list". How about karate? Or take a college class in something you didn't have time for in pre-med. Maybe Victorian English literature, or world history. Or a philosophy class.

Beth P.

My first visit to your blog!! My suggestion was also tatting. I was quite surprised when the first comment suggested the same!

As for the rock 'n roll reference...the phrase "Learning to Fly" jumped out at me, which happens to be the title of a Tom Petty song.

Cindy D

I think you should learn Chi Gong. It teaches meditation and that my dear is what massages the vagus nerve.

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