Once again, there is much for which to be grateful. Being aware, and jotting things down, or snapping photos, all month long has helped me deal with some of the sadness in our world in this first month of a new decade.
1. I like Ian's Wrap Shack, a family-run business that offers much more than wraps. We get take-out, usually wraps, sometimes after I teach my Friday 4:30-5:30 yoga class. Last time I asked for an order of fries, which was going to go with our home-cooked burgers. I asked her not to put my fries in the usual styrofoam container, but to just put them in a paper bag, a double-one. She kind of hesitated, and said, "Oh, okay..." When I went to pick them up, I heard her tell her husband, "No, she wants them in a bag, not in styrofoam; it's to do with the environment." In this part of Ontario, our recycling sucks as compared to what we had eight years ago in Alberta. They don't recycle styrofoam here! So this is my way of doing my 'little bit' in every way I can. I also said no thank you to the individual packets of ketchup, no plastic forks, no napkins. It's not that hard.
2. I like CBC and PBS's 'Brief but Spectacular'. An episode earlier this month featured Phan Thi Kim who is a Vietnamese Canadian currently living in Toronto. PBS teamed up with CBC to have her on both networks' spotlight segment. Connecting Kim's name and her current face with a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph of her as an innocent, agonized and naked child whose clothes were burned off after a Napalm bomb was dropped is to graphically show this horror of continual war.
She turned this horror and trauma into good. She now helps other victims, usually children, of war. There should BE no others.
3. I have no words for this man--! Like/love... more like in stupefaction/awe! I came across this on my Instagram feed. Sometimes good things come of those annoying ads... He helped clean up a river. Oh, just 160 kilometres of it.
4. I like taking the time and aggravation of calling in to our Internet provider to get a new router/modem despite having to refuse his continual attempts to get me to buy TV and a phone line from them. I do not like how expensive Internet services are here in Canada and in the US.
5. I like the ezine Make Modern. Although it is nice to hold a magazine, (I still have a subscription to American Patchwork & Quilting, the first magazine I ever did subscribe to; we're talking going back to 1998), I love that I can take my laptop with me on vacation and have a couple years' worth of Make Modern!
6. I love watching these little birds, sparrows I think, in this willow bush outside the bedroom where I currently sew.
7. I love FMQ. Here's a sneak peek of what is currently on Avril, my longarm. First day home from Cuba and I got the backing pieced, the batting cut and loaded it up. It barely fits on the skinny version of Avril. We had to take out an entire section of her table/frame while she's living in the basement because of the renovations. Hoping to get a finish for Friday, though the post will probably be on the weekend since Friday is my day to post my Unboxing video and blog post for Island Batik!
8. I love this new detergent from Tru Earth, a Canadian company. That stick of gum type thing in my hand is the soap for one load. It works really well. It comes in an envelope which you see in the photo. No plastic, and very little paper packaging for this product that is only slightly more than what I've been paying for liquid Tide in a plastic bottle.
9. I love this paint!
10. I love books, and having several hours to just lie around and read them. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I was in Cuba recently, where I got to do just that. With the backdrop of a beach, the soundtrack of gentle waves and seabirds, and the warmth of the Caribbean sun, I went through 2.5 books in the week we were there.
A Spark of Life by Jodi Picoult is an excellent, if not sobering, to the point of shocking, read, especially when you read her author notes of her research. Prophecy by S. J. Parrish was another gripping read. This is the second one featuring an historical monk, Giordano Bruno who seems to get entangled in horrid murder mysteries. This one involves the gruesome murder of two of Queen Elizabeth I handmaids, John Dee, a good friend of Bruno's, and the continual plotting to get Queen Elizabeth off the throne, her half-sister Mary on it, and the Roman Catholic church back in power in England. Man, that Elizabeth I was a Me Too! pioneer, woman-power AF, to use an expression of both of my daughters. The third book I took and got half way through is I am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley. I love the spunk, sarcastic wit, and intelligence of Flavia, the main character (who is 11 btw).
11. Speaking of Elizabeths, I am enjoying The Crown, and watched the first three episodes of Season 3 while I was away, along with three more of Gilmore Girls. I like the downloading capability of Netflix!
12. I like Google. When you don't have round-the-clock access to it, one realizes how much one uses it! Wifi was better at this resort in Cuba, but it was still the same price, $1/hour, and it was still quite slow (3G and 4G is what they're on) and it was only on from 9 am to 10:30 pm. Still, I also liked so much less online time and phone time, and so much outside time.
Please accept my apologies for not responding to comments or commenting on blog posts over the past week or so. I did read the comments but I wasn't able to visit many blogs as photos load at a snail's pace or slower. I was able to do a little of Instagram. Our one guide on our Sugar Cane, Rum and Cigar tour said basically you go on, check your FaceBook super quick, get off. I'll be doing a Cuba reflections/quilt inspirations post in the next few days or so.
If you'd like to read more posts about gratitude, head on over to LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color where you will find lots more posts. Perhaps you'd like to join in! Expressing gratitude is good for one's mental health, and always lifts the spirits.