Thursday, September 26, 2019

I Like/Love #32

Just this week I said to a friend that gratitude has been the saving grace for the past couple years of loss and pain. I said that when I'm upset or sad, I actually feel my nervous system switch gears, so to speak, when I consciously make the effort to notice something beautiful or think of something for which I am grateful. I enjoy collecting these likes all month long.

1. I like Jackson Park in Windsor. It has changed a bit since we lived here in the 80s. The rose garden is no more, and that saddens me as it was glorious. However, the garden that replaced it is pretty beautiful.

2. I like Essex County wines. I feel very fortunate to live in a county that has 17 wineries on record, and many more back yard ones. This one is my long-time favourite, Pelee Island.
The main vineyards are on Pelee Island, which is an island in the middle of Lake Erie between where I live on the north shore, and Ohio, on the south shore. Some of the vineyards are here in Kingsville, just a kilometre from my house - yes, dangerous!

3. I like tomatoes. Leamington, the bigger town next to me, just 8 km from Kingsville, is known as the tomato capital of Canada. Earlier this month, Lee & Maria's, the on-farm market across the road from us, had boxes of tomatoes, and I put my name down for one, planning to make salsa with them.
Gulp! 14 POUNDS??
I uh, didn't realize the boxes were that humongous.... I need only seven for a batch of salsa. And it was hot, and I didn't feel like making salsa that week... So, when I got around to dealing with them, a few had to be thrown out, and--! I learned that you can freeze tomatoes whole! I've used two since, and all you do is run them under warm water and the skin slips off like a dream. Slice them and use them: in spaghetti sauce, or a zucchini boat lasagne sauce! I did blanch a ton, peel them, slice them and freeze them in containers. I won't need to buy canned tomatoes for some time, and that makes me happy. From the farm across the road, to my home, no preservatives, no salt. And I got my batch of salsa:
Although I do not do the canning I used to, I do make a batch of salsa each Fall, and I usually make a batch of strawberry freezer jam in June with local berries.

4. I like Pinch of Yum. I made her Pumpkin Energy Bites this month - yummy! We both loved these; I could've eaten half a dozen in one go I'm sure.

as well as her Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat which MacGyver also gobbled up!

5. I like this teabag holder I bought in Scotland for my Auntie Irene. She's the one for whom I made the cows quilt. She's a tea drinker, and a former cow farmer. I love the Scottish 'hairrrry coos'.

6. I do not like to eat mushrooms. At. All. However, I have several wild beauties growing in front and back yards here! I like this red one that I thought was maybe an apple when I first saw it from quite a distance away:
and this pretty lacy one:

7. It's well-known how much I love trees.
I love the blue bead-like berries on these trees on the Greenway. I googled them and discovered that they are called Eastern red cedars, but are actually junipers, (University of Guelph) . I always thought junipers are low-growing, and these grow 30-40' in height, so there, I learned something!

My photo does not do the beautiful blueberry-blue berries justice. U of Guelph has a much better photo on their site. I learned that the wood of these cedars used to be used for wooden pencils, and that they are still a popular source for trims and window sills.

8. I love this street, which forms one half of the cul-de-sac next to my own:
I love walking my dog here, listening to the birds even though their numbers have been shockingly decimated (three billion in North America in the news this past week) and admiring the 100+ year old trees. What they've seen, heard, witnessed...

And look what I spied:

A closer look:

It's an ash tree I believe, growing in the 'belly' of this what I think is a silver maple!! I've never seen anything like it before, and I marvel at it.

9. I like 2 Waves, where I go for pedicures. This month pedicures were the special, and if you had one, you got this card, that guarantees you...

10. Another well known love is my library and love of books. I am lucky in that I have two branches pretty close to me. I sew once a month with some real life friends at one branch, and at the other, I pick up my holds and browse. One of my former 'imaginary friends', Sue Godfrey, now real life friend (more on this in an upcoming post) puts out her reads on Instagram, and as we have similar tastes, I often head right over to the laptop and put titles on hold. I had to wait a little bit for one she recommended this past week, The Woman in the Window, as there was a waiting list, but I just picked it as well as these others up:
Sue also recommended the four-part series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, of which The Shadow of the Wind is the first. Good timing as I'm almost done The Last Enchantment, third in the King Arthur series by Mary Stewart, and it's one I don't want to end. I also like that my branch subscribes to McCall's Quick Quilts. I put the most recent two issues on hold as well as the collection you see here. Force of Nature was right by the self-checkout, under a sign, 'New Paperbacks'. It caught my eye, and looks good.

11. I like The Great British Baking Show, aka The Great British Bake Off, which I got into this past summer. I am now into The Great Canadian Baking Show, and I'm really liking Natalia, a Ukrainian immigrant to Canada, who lives in my hometown of Edmonton! Her showstopper last night was STUNNING!

12. I like immigrants. (I will state that I do not like the history of what white immigrants have done to indigenous peoples in continents like North America and Australia, and I believe we aren't doing enough still to rectify that egregious wrong.) My mum was an immigrant; my grandma's parents were as well. I admire and respect what they go through when moving to a new country, especially one where they do not have the language, as was the case with my great-grandparents, but even when they do, I am in awe of the hardships they face in a new foreign culture, the ridicule they face because they are different, in looks, in dress, in voice, in all. Having spent 3.5 weeks in six foreign countries this past summer, where in some we did not have the language and in none did we have the culture, or basic knowledge of how things (like transit) work, I have even more respect and gratitude for these people, especially those who have fled their own beloved countries because of persecution and worse. They enrich our own culture tremendously.

Linking up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color where you can find many other grateful people!


  1. I truly love your "I Like/Love" posts!" I think we are kindred spirits and were we neighbors, we'd have conversations about each of these things. Your trees...that does indeed look like a Mountain Ash growing in the crook of a silver maple. How wild! I just read Mary Oliver's poem, "When I Am Among the Trees" on the Brainpickings website the other day. Wonderful! I am off to explore the recipe links.

  2. I just realized it's Thursday and I haven't done a post. My brain is still on cabin time :-) Enjoyed reading this post, Sandra. I'm jealous of all your local wineries! I'm making note of those books, too. Have considered The Shadow of the Wind several times, so maybe I need to read it.

  3. What a fantastic list of likes! I also got Jane Harper's books from the library and really enjoyed them. I hope you like them. Her ones set in the australian outback were so evocative. Really a great sense of place. Your tree pictures and flower garden pictures are so lovely- what a beautiful place to walk! I hope you have a great week!

  4. I loved this post. What great ideas for stashing veggies. There's nothing better than home grown tomatoes. I wish i lived in that cul de sac. I love trees also and we have very little here. Thanks so much. mary

  5. There is truly a lot to be thankful for in this complicated world of ours. And a great reminder to call out the things that make us happy. Loving all your likes!

  6. Hi Sandra! Fabulous likes for this month, and your last I find especially endearing. Having spent a wee bit of time in France and having my mind go completely blank of my high school French, I relied on the kindness of the natives. And many of them knew a small bit of English, thankfully. Anyway, I greatly admire all of our ancestors for their courage (we all are mostly immigrants, aren't we?). Love your tree-lined walking path/street - so beautiful and I expect it will be glorious in the Fall colors. ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Lovely likes all! Both hubby and I are second generation immigrants.

  8. Well, this post is speaking to me! I, too, am a real fan of trees, leaves and their accoutrements. I just gathered up a small bowlful of tiny acorns from the giant oak that grows in front of the house. I'll keep them to remind me that "mighty oaks from little acorns grow".

  9. I love/like your loves/likes! Those Energy Bites look delicious. Our local store with a bakery makes oatmeal bites and chocolate bites. When I buy those, they disappear quick!
    I understand your feelings about indigenous people and how they are treated here in North America. (United States to be more accurate in my case) I got into a argument of sorts when a person was mad at me for saying 'WE' took the native Americans land. She said the land belongs to no one they are just using it. Aarrrgghhh! Some people will never understand that this place never belonged to us, and that we basically took it from them! (I shall step down from my soap box now.)

  10. I loved this post and even checked the internet for information about Kingsville and Pelee Island. Hope to visit sometime as your photos intrigued me. I also retired early from teaching as the job changed so much and I didn't like what we were doing emphasizing curriculum over helping students to love learning and independence. Love my life but am plenty busy. I live on Cape Cod and fall is our best season. Days are warm enough to sit on the beach but less humid, crowded, and with full parking lots. I have been marveling at the color changes of cranberry bogs, the marsh grasses, and the ocean which is always marvelous. Thanks for reminding me of how lucky I am.

  11. Love your trees and mushrooms. We both seem to gravitate that way. :-) I don't drink much wine, but I love the labels. The pumpkin bites look yummy and I'm curious about the cauliflower taco meat. Rob can't eat walnuts, otherwise I'd try that! Maybe make a small batch for myself. Lots of great stuff!

  12. I saved this post till I had some time to really enjoy it Sandra. Lovely bit of writing and wonderful things to enjoy and be grateful for. I'm fascinated by how much we in the blogging/quilt/stitchy world are alike. Sympatico.
    #12 so important!

  13. Lovely likes this month. In Central Oregon Junipers grow quite tall, but not quite as pretty as that one. You can make Gin from the berries. Scottish cow make you smile no matter what.

  14. There are always so many things to like in your I Like posts, Sandra! The ash tree growing out of the silver maple is amazing! I will have to look for the books you've checked out there, too. I love our public library, and their ability to find books from a consortium of libraries they belong to. Thanks for sharing so many great things!

  15. Great post Sandra!
    I never knew you could freeze tomatoes! Who would have guessed the box would be that size, tee hee! You did well with all the Salsa!
    Thank you for the book recommendations ..... i was wondering what to read next while I wait for a book to be transferred to my library. I’m grateful we can check our library on-line, and tomorrow I’m off to look for two of your book choices which the system tells me (in theory) the books are “on the shelf”!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Barbara xx

  16. I completely agree about gratitude. Change your attitude, change your life! And I love libraries, too. . .and librarians! have a great week, Sandra.

  17. I enjoyed reading about your likes. Very cool. I freeze tomatoes whole, too, but all I do is wash, dry, and bag. Depending on what I'm using them for, I'll either put the frozen tomatoes directly into what I'm cooking or defrost them first in the microwave. I like how the frozen tomatoes taste nearly fresh when I use them.

  18. I am a little late to respond to this but love your loves - plants, foods, immigrants and fun trinkets. You have it all in here and that is terrific. I did add the pumpkin bites to my recipe app (now I am really hungry)!

  19. I did not know you can freeze tomatoes!! Mind blown, lol. I will have to remember that. I love my library, too, and I'm sure I've saved thousands of dollars over the years by borrowing books rather than buying them :) That tree growing in the crook of another tree is all kinds of amazing.


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