Thursday, July 30, 2020

I Like/Love #42

Once again, I'm sharing my list of likes and loves for the month of July, in other words, sharing gratitude. There are several of us who do this, and we welcome anyone who wants to join in. You can write a post weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, and link up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.

1. I liked being on blog vacation for the first half of July. I love writing, and I will not stop blogging, but it does eat into my sewing time, as does the reading of, commenting on, and responding to comments I receive. It's something lots of us struggle with in finding a balance. Since I was not writing posts during those two weeks, I missed doing a Thoughtful Thursday post, so you will get a bit of that in this grateful post.

2. I love reading. I read several books this past month. I think some are ones recommended by some of the I Like/Love crew, and some are recommended reading, part of my ongoing deep thinking about systemic racism and white privilege.
Ashley Hope Pérez - Out of Darkness. I'd just started this on my last I Like/Love post. I cried through the last several pages. It's an imagined story, within the actual school explosion in New London, Texas in 1936. Well-researched, and plausible events/scenarios that had me upset and shaken because the racism is still going on today.
Desmond Cole - The Skin We're In. - Every Canadian needs to read this. Anyone who wants to educate themselves about racism viewed and experienced through a Canadian-born black man’s eyes needs to read this.
Sally Rooney - Normal People. I also am watching (one episode left) the Irish mini-series on CBC Gem. I love how closely it follows the book. 
Lisa Wingate - The Book of Lost Friends. Another excellent book with two storylines, one in 1875 following Hannie, a freed enslaved person, and 1987, following Benny, a young teacher who moves into a house on the plantation where Hannie worked. Because the majority, if not all, of enslaved families were separated, they were able to post ads looking for lost loved ones in a newspaper that was read out at church services. Benny stirs up a nest of hornets with her student project of researching ancestors when the intertwining of black and white families is revealed within the town, because Black and White share the same lineage through the same white, plantation owner, father. Again, another imagined story but set within well-researched actual history.
Kristin Hannah - Winter Garden. Just about done. I had to return it without finishing it (darn digital books you can't just hang onto for a day or two extra) but I now have it back and I'm nearly finished it. It's about the siege of Leningrad during WWII. I've read another two books about this horrific time. Have I mentioned how much I abhor war?
I finished the Flavia de Luce one, need to get the next one on Audio book; I like reading and sewing at the same time! (ha! See what I did there?)

3. I like the fruits and veggies of Essex County. We've enjoyed a couple of feasts of local corn this week. We had a few cobs left over so MacGyver cut off the kernels, and we froze them for winter, yum, a taste of summer when it's cold outside.

4. I like my newest quilt, Shine. I like the message, and the design. I like how the design just popped into my head, almost fully formed, after seeing one of the many inspirational and humorous painted rocks around my neighbourhood. I like that I got the pattern written up in time for my turn on the Christmas in July blog hop on right now with Benartex Fabrics. I like that I was invited to be a part of another hop of theirs! You can purchase a copy of Shine in my Etsy shop, on sale until Sunday for just $8.50CA.

5. I love my screensaver on my MacBook. I'd really like to get a digital photo frame that just scrolls all day through my photos. I love tootling down memory lane.... This shot appeared a couple of days ago, of my darling grandson, Brady, in our Alberta home. See the tile sample on the floor? We were about to rip up the 1999 linoleum and install porcelain tile!
July 21, 2009. He was just nine days short of his first birthday. When I went in my Photos app to find the date, I saw this one, taken just two days prior, in our living room, Naala peeking in the window. I love it.

Today is Brady's birthday, and he is 12!! I do not know how this can be. Eleven years have passed since that photo...

6. I like curbside pickup. Of everything pretty much. Both Colio and Pelee Island wineries offer this as their only method of buying their wine right now. Graffiti is new this year, and I sure am enjoying it.

7. I love trumpet vine. The deep oranges ones are my favourite.

The chainlink fence between us and our neighbours has this apricot one which is really pretty too. This is the only place I've seen it around here.

8. I put this on Instagram, a new salad I really liked from Pinch of Yum. And it was definitely yum! See the flecks of green and purple? Parsley, oregano and Italian basil from our garden.
Of course I'll give you the recipe link!

9.I love 'my' Lake Erie. I wax poetic about her, as you know. I have some lovely neighbours in my 'hood, Dave being one, who said we could take Rufus down anytime for a swim, and certainly, yes, I could photograph my quilts on his beach. We are on a bit of a cliff here, so you may recall from previous posts, and Instagram, the steep stairs I had to go down to get to the water's edge for this glamour shot of Fly High.

Well, I promised you the story of me being involved in a photo shoot for a presentation on the importance of protecting and preserving Lake Erie, and the importance of her to the locals who dwell on her shores.
Several months ago I had a random email that I at first thought, huh? Sounds like a scam. However, I checked out Environmental Defence Canada, and found out they're legit, on Instagram too. Their mission is first and foremost on their site: Defending clean water, a safe climate, and healthy communities. Um, sign me up. Jennifer found me through this blog. She was researching, googling, digging for people who were local, who were connected to Lake Erie. Wow. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about where this li'l ol' blog has taken and is taking me. On many levels, not just quilting. So in the initial contact, she established the scope of the project, and that I'd be interested. She'd get back to me if they chose me.

Well, a few months later I heard back from her, and I had been chosen. I guess there aren't too many quilter/yogi/beach glass bowl-making peeps around after all! The day I met with Colin Boyd Shafer, who is a most accomplished photographer (another connection: look at his series on the Canadian Rohingya, a group of persecuted people I've spoken about here) was magical. Yes, I felt incredibly awkward at times, trying to just be natural while holding still in various weird-to-me photo set-ups, though after I looked through his Canadian Rohingya photos, I 'got' some of those set-ups.  Overall, it was just so cool to connect with him on many levels, a teacher, a world traveller, an ambassador of our planet and environment, and lover of all peoples, lover of Canada, a fairly new dad to a baby daughter.  He found connections I didn't even see, like our old willow chair in the garden here that MacGyver and I made together in Alberta in a willow chair making course. Mum had given us some money for a special anniversary, maybe our 25th? and we took the course with it, and didn't come to fisticuffs... Rather, we made something beautiful that we hauled from Alberta to southwestern Ontario.Colin and I went to the exact spot of a 1985 photo from the Cedar Beach marina just west of town, where he took a photo of me holding that photo! I took him to Seacliff beach where I find the best beach glass and lucky stones. He took photos of me holding pieces of beach glass, found right at that moment, took photos of me taking photos of my quilts, and took photos of me even in some (not crazy, though I did offer to do a headstand, ha) yoga poses, hearkening to my teaching yoga on the beach several times over the past few years.

That's the top of the massive willow my quilt is under in the previous photo! This was a little bit calmer of a day. Incredible colours, n'est-ce pas?
He was meeting a local commercial fisherman at 3:30 the following morning to go on his fishing boat, so cool, and then later that day meeting up with the owner of Mettawas Station, a Kingsville restaurant (fantastic food) that occupies the former train station built by Alberta Kahn in 1889, who had been commissioned by Hiram Walker.

So his job was to take some photos of around 25 - 30 of us from various communities along the 400 km of shoreline, doing stuff that we do that involves the lake, and telling our stories as to why we love it and think it should be better protected. It was to be a physical exhibition, but with Covid-19 it has been postponed. Environmental Defence Canada doesn't know quite yet what shape it will eventually take. At least it is going ahead though. I was so honoured to have been a part of it.

10. I really like and intensely admire Craig Kielburger. Those of us in Canada have been hearing a lot about WE, a fantastic charity I have long supported. My support goes back to the 90s as a teacher when it was known as Free the Children, where our school was involved with fundraising to build a school (and we built TWO) over the course of 5 years, to as recently as two Christmases ago when I bought bracelets like the one I'm wearing below for myself and Brianne and Dayna, and chocolates for MacGyver and Brady, and hmm, something else for Brady which now escapes me, perhaps a bracelet too.

I love that the money goes directly back to the makers and farmers. Craig and his brother Marc facilitate this. Craig started his charity at the age of 12. He got an audience with our then PM, Jean Chrétien, pleading the case of child labourers who he'd just witnessed working in terrible conditions on his Silk Road trek, yeah you read that right, age 12, off half way around the world with a friend of the family because he was so driven to stop child labour. I am disgusted with the politics of the Conservatives (not surprised though) and of the NDP, who seem bent on trying to smear this charity whose main purpose is and always has been, to make the world a better place, and to especially empower and help YOUTH. I did my IG stories one day this past week educating people about their good works, and above board policies, financially and philosophically. They took on the distribution of a CERB-like programme for youth, where students would volunteer with WE-approved places, and get a certain amount of dollars for volunteering. WE believes strongly in volunteering. That is how kids get to go to their huge events, events my school sent several students to over the years, students who came back incredibly pumped, educated, and eyes-more-open. So that is another piece of my Thoughtful Thursday, speaking out, using my platform, albeit rather small (just short of 1500 woo hoo! followers on IG).

11. I like seeing magnolias blooming a second round, though it's a bit strange. It's little hard to spot the buds, and they aren't as prolific as in the spring. I also love and am in awe of the height of the catalpa tree to the right of the magnolia!

12. I love this chartreuse colour (which is known as Lime solid) with the Berries Navy, both Island Batik fabrics. ahhh!

I love their solids, period. I can't wait to show you this quilt on Friday!

13. As you know, I love music; it plays almost all day. I mainly listen to CBC Music, but I also listen to my YouTube playlists, and my own playlists, (uh, I have 3040 songs) in my iTunes library. I like their app, CBC Listen, which is how I've been able to listen when travelling to other countries. This is how I've found so many artists and songs. When I was teaching, it was a great way, through À Propos, now known as C'est Formidable, to find current French songs for my students. We did a 'fill in the missing lyrics' activity with our song of the month. Such fun. Students would actually source the song or CD and purchase it on many an occasion.😁 Anyhow, I have found many Canadian Indigenous groups, and listened to Indigenous groups from around the world, not just on Turtle Island, in the programme, Reclaimed, with Jarrett Martineau.  But it was in Tom Allen's Shift programme this past week where I heard Aasiva's song 'I Love Music', and was so mesmerized I just had to buy it.  And follow her on YouTube.  I know what a little thrill I get with each pattern purchased from my Etsy shop, so I figured she may get a little thrill, though I know artists don't see even as much as we do from our patterns when selling through iTunes. Still. It matters. Here is the YouTube link to her song which I have a feeling you may love too. Yes, I've added it to one of my several playlists on my YouTube channel too! Aasiva, who is Inuktitut, and whose real name is Colleen Nakashuk, is from Baffin Island, but now resides in Iqaluit. She is also a throat singer.
Another one that I have been loving hearing on CBC, and it's #1 again for the second week in a row, is Beyoncé's 'Black Parade'. So when I read that sales will benefit Black-owned small businesses in need, I bought it. Check out this link she provides under the video for more information.
Look up the lyrics.😉 another powerful song they play a lot on CBC Music is by H.E.R. 'I Can't Breathe', another one whose lyrics need to be read.

Well that's it for this month. Stay cool!


  1. I lived in Southern Ontario in my formative years. I went to summer camp at a camp on Lake Erie between Point Ryerse and Turkey Point. We had to stop going there when a large chunk of the property eroded into the lake. It was a time when Lake Erie was becoming seriously polluted. I am so glad to see your pictures of how the lake has been cleaned up and returned to its former beauty.

  2. I'm not sure how you find time for all the things you do, but I admire your dedication to so many causes. You show that there are many ways to be an activist without marching in the streets (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not for everyone). Have a peaceful weekend.

  3. Oh wow, Sandra, I love that you connected with someone about Lake Erie through your blog. Seems like it was meant to be!

  4. Wow how neat that you are a part of the Lake Erie project! I don't go to Lake Erie the way you do but it sure is nice to be able to see her after just a short drive.

  5. My favorites today are the young Brady and the lake. Of course, many of your other loves I love too, but those touched me today.

  6. So many wonderful likes in your post today, Sandra! I love your beautiful views of Lake Erie, especially remembering when I was growing up in Rochester, NY, that no one went to Lake Erie because of its pollution. Adorable photos of baby Brady - you can still see that little guy in the 12 year old. I highly recommend a digital picture frame - we love having ours scrolling through all the photos of the past 10 or more years! Great book recommendations, too. The one I've read from your list is The Book of Lost Friends - historical fiction teaches us a lot about where today's attitudes and issues came from, I think. Beautiful flowers, too!

  7. Happy Birthday to Brady! He is such a cutie! My second son will be twelve in a couple months.

  8. Hi Sandra - I loved reading this post, so much info, and so many interesting things. I have a red trumpet vine (and love it, too) and was so surprised to see the Apricot one - so pretty. I was especially interesting in #10 about the WE organization, so much more information than we, the Canadian public, are receiving. And I used to vote Conservative, but Stephen Harper put an end to that, and Andrew Shear is just convincing me that I made the right decision. Mr. Trudeau and the Liberal Government have been working harder than any government this country has ever had - and none of this is taken into account - disgusting. I can't imagine what a mess we would be in if either the Conservatives or NDP were in power. What I don't get is the Conservatives still think there 'Old Boys Club' ideas and ideals are acceptable to anyone anymore. Now if they could just get rid of the Looney Toon in the USA, there might be a reason to safely open the borders one day. Take care and stay safe. Thanks again for the great blog!

  9. Hi Sandra! I'm glad that you join in once a month with the Likes posts, and what a great collection you've shared today. I was just thinking this morning if I should stop blogging - it does take a lot of time and energy. What's the point?! But then, when you share that connection about Lake Erie that never would have happened. And so many friendships that have been formed, and collections or quilt drives that hopefully have made a positive impact. Such deeps topics that can't be ignored but can be gently shared. {{Hugs}} I'm so glad your blog vacation is over. Happy Friday! ~smile~ Roseanne

  10. Such a fabulous collection of likes and loves! I am particularity excited by your photo shoot of lake Erie and your connection not only to the lake but to the photographer. Very cool!

  11. Thanks for the book recommendations :) How exciting that you get a be part of a project celebrating your beloved Lake Erie. It is amazing what adventures starting a blog can lead to!

  12. What an interesting post, Sandra. I’m glad I left it for this morning so I could really read it, if you know what I mean. You live in a beautiful place in our beautiful country. I will be following your links and noted several other things to check out. Just love those family photos. Time is flying even while in isolation.


I wholeheartedly appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment, as they make my day! I answer every one by personal email. :-) Unless... you are a "no-reply" blogger, which can occur for a few reasons. You can get around that by writing out your email within your comment so that I can answer you.