Thursday, November 28, 2019

I Like/Love #34

This will probably be my longest gratitude post, but it's rather fitting, falling on the American Thanksgiving. I collect these likes and loves all month long and link up with other like-minded grateful peeps at LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color. You can join in anytime. Writing down my own moments/incidents of gratitude and then reading others' likes is a massage for the soul. I need it now more than ever. One of my yoga students told me about this e-book available on the Hoopla app (I like that app!) Gratitude Daily 21 Days to More Joy and Less Stress by Nataly Kogan. It's a great read/activity book, and I highly recommend it. It reaffirms what we do here, express gratitude.
Isn't that just perfect? It not only starts off the month, but also this post, in the right frame of mind. And it is so very true.

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)
3. CBC. TV, News, Radio, the new Listen app, Radio Canada (the French CBC), I would be lost without my CBC, and I love it and have no problem with some of my tax dollars going towards this beloved Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Dayna was in Toronto this month and took this photo and sent it to me as she knows my love goes deep for them.
4a. I'm grateful for progress with Rufus learning to respect Bella. He still has a loooonnnng way to go, but he's friendly, stumpy tail wagging furiously. He hasn't figured out he cannot bump her with his nose, encouraging her to play, and that he cannot play with her. So his encounters of the up close and personal kind are restricted.

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!
A like in a like in a like! I like the newly bigger-potted fern and the mandevilla plants, two babies and a mama, that are now living inside for the winter until they can go back outside next year. One of the advantages to not going away for extended periods of time in the winter is the ability to have plants inside again.

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

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)
This is what my sewing room looks like this week! So much light, yay! And looking in the opposite direction:
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.

We are hoping to have it finished mudding, sanding and painted within two weeks.

14. I am LOVING that I get to spend this American holiday with this special boy:
Yup, thanks to a helluva deal of flights Brianne found, she and Brady are here again for a few days. Brady and I made cookies last night.

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. 
Thank you! 

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!


  1. Serenity - that feeling we are all in search of! There are too many horrendous things in our world today. It's hard to know what to do about any of it. Rufus looks like he is sweet and full of it at the same time! Love the photos of him trying to be on his best behavior around Bella. Your reno is coming along - love the peeks at it!

  2. Glad you get to spend some time with your special loves. Your Rufus and Bella story made me chuckle. I have barn kittens, they are acclimating, but I go out to feed, water, clean their litter box, and give them some love. Bobbin rushed in today and was being a bully so I yelled at her to sit. She sat and those kittens took advantage, rubbing all over her, nose bumps, tail in the face. Bobbin gave me a look like mom help, they are putting their scent all over me. Once I was done with the water and food, we all went outside for a rousing game of tag, and some zoomies.

    I agree what is going on all over the world is heartbreaking on so many levels. When I listen to the news I usually listen to the CBC. So many great likes and pics. I like the logo on the left.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving and I'm go glad you get to spend it with Brady, too. :) I like the logo on the right. As for with or without the circle, I kind of like the circle around it.

  4. Oh, some excellent likes. Your kitchen shelves are cool! Sewing room will look cool, too. I like the logo on the left, but the logo in the right is so much easier to read.

  5. A heartfelt post. You are a very caring person. I like the log on the right complete with the circle. I'm neutral on the !. Hope you make some progress on the IB challenge. It's looking great so far.

  6. What a wonderful post! I like your kitchen wall colour, your sewing room is going to be nice and bright and a happy place to be. I like the logo on the right as for the circle I can take it or leave it.

  7. Wonderful post, and I like the logo on the left - the little square makes me think of actual quilts (however the one one the right could arguably be some FMQ). I love the little gratitude calendar page, and I live on the south side of L. Ontario, the dog and I walk up there every day - I hope you still have easy access after the house is built,I get the serenity. Also, thanks for the hoopla app info, I've been meaning to get a library card since we moved here 6 years ago - now I think it is a must. Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for sharing.

  8. Hi Sandra, where to begin. I couldn't live without CBC I feel. It has been a comfort for as long as I can remember and I think it teaches us so much about being Canadian and humans too. I too lament those things you mentioned...breaks my heart, makes me fearful for the future, and loathe how greed supercedes moral choices. So yes, sometimes we have to work at staying positive. So many great things in our lives to love and celebrate too. Your new sewing area looks wonderful. I can only imagine the great use you will put it to. I like the logo on the right and don't mind the circle which is so meaningful in its own right. Congrats on your store too!

  9. Hi Sandra! So many things to comment on and love in your post. First - yay for Brady and Brianne visiting. And Rufus with Bella - nosing means I like you, you know. He's just trying to tell her that. All the atrocious events that are happening - most are just mind boggling, and could be stopped/reversed/eliminated if just a wee bit of thought by someone in power. I also like the logo on the left - especially the half circle. It implies to me that you're not yet complete - it's still an ongoing process that someday may come full circle and you should just stick around to find out. I would leave out the "!" only because it's not in your website address. It's ancillary yet not really providing any support or bringing anything extra. Just my two cents - take it for what it's worth and after the conversion - I owe you money. HAHA! Happy Friday, my friend. ~smile~ Roseanne

  10. Hello Sandra: A beautiful post. I've quit listening to the radio except in the car and sometimes not even then. I watch the news for the weather. Everything is so negative. We have a new trash contract this year the recycling is so much better. 1/2 a bag of trash a week; the rest to compost and recycle. I can't believe you only had a 750 sq ft house! Will it be bigger with the remodel? Love the colors for the kitchen, all the photos (especially Brady and the dogs and cat). The author of Tatooist of Auschwitz has a new book out. Can't remember the title. I like the logo on the right the best...easiest to read. I think it needs the circle. Wishing you a great weekend.

  11. I do like your like/love posts. I really must try and continue with my gratitude diary - I seem to run out after a few days and keep repeating myself. I like the logo on the right, perhaps try and make the circle less intrusive by making the line thinner? Glad you got to spend time with Brady and Brianne. The Tattooist of Auschwitz keeps coming up as a recommendation; I obviously should just read it, and maybe start using my local library. Thank you for a thought provoking post.

  12. It's good to balance out all the scary stuff going on with the good stuff. A post full of thankfulness.

  13. To concentrate on the blessings in our life is a way to keep our spirits up, even with all the turmoil in the world these days. It helps to gather our resources and make an impact on our circle of influence, no matter how small or large that may be. Keep your chin up! You are doing great things. I think I shall write out my gratitudes too. About your logos, you should probably lose the ! mark. Why? I'm not sure, but it seems to be just a distraction and something else for my brain to remember, if I were to search you out. However, in checking Google, all your info comes up whether or not the ! is there or not. I kind of like the logo on the left - it gives a visual that you are a quilter, whereas the other symbol doesn't tell me that.
    Your sewing space will be fabulous! Hoping your doggie gets more adjusted to his home each day. And yeah for nature at your front door!

  14. wow, this was wonderful. I love you Sandra, your righteous anger matches mine, your love of nature and animals too. Your grandson is handsome and has a twinkle in his eyes. Rufus is a good boy, just needs Milo to wear him out. Both logos are beautiful... maybe use both, in different locations. Some business cards with one, some the other, stationary with either. I like the idea of the etsy framed blog art. I need to let dh get that for me for a little christmas gift. Going to see if our library has the book you liked. Thanks lots. Love Lee Anna

  15. Another wonderful like/love post. Glad to see that Rufus and Bella are getting along and that he is learning. As for the logo, I like the one on the right.



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