I cannot go off with a lengthy post about my myriad of things for which I am grateful without first acknowledging the darkness. I have been so very depressed, angry, heartbroken each day for more than a year listening to the outrages committed on a daily basis against minorities (Ontario government cutting funding to families with an autistic child), victims (more cuts to much-needed services), arts (more government cuts), pensions (the Alberta government, to use my friend Linda's phrase, hijacked teachers', nurses' and more pensions last week by taking away control of them by the members who have paid into these plans and placing it in the control of AimCO, an Alberta government run investment agency, and giving the Alberta government the right to move 10% of the TOTAL VALUE of the pensions into their general fund at any time...How is this democratic??), current genocides, (I've mentioned Rohingya people several times here and am shocked at how many people haven't heard of this crime against humanity which is still ongoing, and this latest: the rounding up, imprisonment and brainwashing of the Uighur people in China, data leaked by a lengthy BBC with CBC undercover investigative reporting), our planet that is ill, while many governments continue to ignore scientists' warning, relax prior limits and controls on carbon emissions, tar sands, (I found out through a little research that tailings ponds have only had regulations since 2015!!!!), fracking, coal, the mockery of courageous Greta Thunberg by some government 'leaders', the continued imprisonment of illegal immigrant families and the lack of attempt to reunite babies and children with their parents and the lack of constant updating and reporting on this issue... It is overwhelming just typing that paragraph and I could add several more issues that deeply worry me so much I feel it somewhere in and behind and around my heart chakra.
A brief article that references a documentary sadly, only available in Canada, but the article is accessible by anyone, that I read on the CBC site about the hole in the ozone layer a few days ago was about how scientists and politicians(!!) put massive pressure upon Reagan and Thatcher to take action. AND THEY LISTENED. Why won't leaders listen today?
So after that heavy opening, here are the little things, many of them that cost little or nothing, that I've noticed and appreciated all month long.
2. Good vegetarian food. I'm grateful for bloggers, daughters, and friends who share recipes for meals that we, yes, MacGyver likes to not eat meat once a week or more, make and eat:
|Roasted Veggie Pitas with Avocado Dip (Pinch of Yum); Veggie Enchiladas (Pinch of Yum); pasta with spinach and roasted cauliflower (Brianne); lentils Dal Makhani (Seth's blog) and Thai Stir Fry (package bought at Zehrs grocery store first tasted at some friends' house)|
4b. I am grateful that Rufus, although extremely frustrating on some levels, is such a joy on others. He loved (past tense; we gave it back a week ago to our friends from whom we'd borrowed it) his crate, and would often lie in there at times other than bed. and this is not an uncommon position! He now is blocked by a baby gate in the front porch, a good spot for him since it's cooler, especially on the floor. He is a furnace, and would get a bit restless in his crate we think because he couldn't find a cool spot on which to lie!
5. I love animals. As I wrote on an Instagram post yesterday, we do not deserve them. This emaciated German Shepherd now named Serenity was on our news this past week. She was found on the side of the road in next county to me, giving shelter and love to this family of tiny kittens. They were taken by a good person to PAW (Pet and Wildlife Rescue). You can read about her here where she is available for adoption. Her story has gone viral. The kittens are being cared for separately now because they are too little to be on their own, but it is hoped that maybe at least one will one day be able to go to Serenity's forever home. And it is important that she gets into a home as soon as possible and doesn't wait for the kittens. Shelters are stressful for dogs. I hope to one day, maybe when this renovation is over, foster dogs to give them a break from the shelter.
6. Speaking of serenity, I like that while MacGyver was away visiting Brady and Brianne in Alberta earlier this month, I got to enjoy more episodes of Gilmore Girls (almost half way through Season 5!) on the big TV. The ambiance was so peaceful and cozy as this photo does show.
7. I like social media when it's used for good and for education. These gems were on two people I follow, one of Dayna's friends and one of my own.
There is a good albeit alarming article on CBC's site about the plastic in our Great Lakes.
8. As you know, I love our Great Lakes, Lake Erie in particular, since I live two minutes' walk from her north shore. I took these two photos November 18, what would have been my mum's 83rd birthday. Serenity abides here, no?
I won't be able to take photos like these (spot the seagull in the photo above) once the couple from Windsor builds their home here, but hopefully they'll let me take the odd finished quilt photo in their backyard!
9. I like Thursday afternoons at Starbucks for the BOGO event on drinks. I like Caramel Brûlé latte, so MacGyver and I took advantage of this last week. I am mad that I forgot to take in my ceramic to-go cup when I bought these two. However we at least do recycle both the paper cup and the lid here. Ontario's recycling programme has a long way to go to match Alberta's. That is another frustration with living here when you know and have experienced excellent community recycling and composting and a family of four had not even one full grocery bag size of garbage each week.
10. I like Seacliff Drive which hugs the shore of Lake Erie and is my favourite route to get to the much bigger town of Leamington, neighbour to us in Kingsville. Some of the sunsets this past week have been spectacular, especially over the lake. This shot did not do the fiery orange-pinks justice, but yes, I was driving and just held my phone up to the side and pressed the circle, hoping for the best.
11. I love books. Like music, they are an essential key to my happiness. This month I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which I highly recommend, and I will be finished today The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón which is a historical fantasy, and extremely good. When I live in the book in my head throughout my day, I know it's a good 'un. The Zafón one was a recommendation from my friend Sue on Instagram, and I am enjoying even more because it takes place in Barcelona, and we were there just a few months ago. The Tattoist of Auschwitz was sitting at the library checkout in the Staff Recommendation holder. I've found lots of good ones through this small service they provide for which I am grateful, and I am profoundly grateful for libraries. And for authors!
12. I like movies, though I don't watch many. I did attend the WIFF this year for the first time, Windsor International Film Festival, where Dayna and I watched an excellent, must-see film, Gay Chorus Deep South. That link takes you to the trailer. There were even a couple of quilts segments in the film! Some of the screenings were in the 1901 Windsor Armouries Building which the University of Windsor has transformed into a School of Creative Arts (and won a Heritage Award from the Ontario Government). This photo shows the main doors they kept. My mouth literally fell open when I looked up...
We got to peek into some of the practice rooms as we walked to the theatre which is a great venue. This entryway though....wow.
13. Speaking of renovating buildings, I am liking that first of all, my kitchen is coming back together.
I had removed all the tchotchkes on the shelves to protect them during demolition and then from dust. MacGyver has finished the drywall in here and he did a superb job. He fell in love with Brianne's 'Opal Silk' soft turquoise she used in her dining room and so did I, so we used it on the back wall, and even one of her two greys on the side walls, which matches almost perfectly the grey we did on the wall behind the shelves which MacGyver made over a year ago. Weirdly, so unlike us, we don't have a paint can lid or a paint chip of that grey (maybe we do but maybe it's buried as so much is topsy-turvy and not where it should be with all the kerfuffle going on over the past 7 -seven!!- months). We moved the table and chair back in, but they won't stay; I'm selling them and putting in an island that will have much-needed storage cabinets below and seating area around. When you are in a small 750 square foot home, you need to maximize storage! The trim is needing to be done and the final electrical hookups/installation done, but those are minor as MacGyver moves upstairs now to get that drywall done and flooring in... (and we wait on the electrician to come back when he can)
|Don't worry, building the railing/shelves around the stairs is on the list! Brady noticed that right away. He's very observant and safety conscious.|
14. I am LOVING that I get to spend this American holiday with this special boy:
15. And you may have noticed a sign in that photo...
I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Brianne has waited since March she said to give this to me for this Christmas. It's made by an Etsy seller, and will go in my new sewing room!! I have planned to make a quilted logo to hang up as well. Yes, it would help to get my butt in gear and get this logo done already... I am so touched at her thoughtfulness, and seeing the 'Est 2013' gives me an extra thrill each time I look at it. So an early Christmas present, mmm!
Speaking of Etsy and logos and small not-exactly-my-business, I just have to do a little shameless plug for my pattern store which is called Sandra Jane Quilts on Etsy. (mmm quilts was taken) I made this image for yesterday's post, and it makes me smile.
Ha, I need to recopy it without the box around it I see. Five patterns! Who'd-a-thunk-it? Truth be told, I actually have more than that number that should be in print. These are all on sale 20% off, so range from $4-10, in my Etsy store until Sunday midnight. No coupon required!
Wishing all my American readers and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful to all of you around the globe, my readers, my supporters, my friends, both real and imaginary, lol, (yep, that post is nearly done, but IB challenge is kind of a priority for the next couple of days) for your support of this blog, your kind and thoughtful comments, your participation, your advice, thoughts, encouragement, just everything.
Speaking of advice, if you have a moment, let me know what you think of these two logo ideas I made. I particularly like the one on the right, but I think I need to take off the circle, but don't think it's allowed. This is a great site and you purchase the rights to the logo and then you can use it wherever. I've started dropping the ! after mmm, just keeping a space there. The punctuation, according to my friend the graphics designer who gave me some blog/business advice this summer, is a distraction. I'd put it in to separate and emphasize the mmm! as in yum, as in ahhh. So let me know on that too if you like! And thank you for reading all the way to here. Okay, I'm really done now. Time to walk a certain doggie and pay attention to a certain grandson who has emerged from his bed!