Thursday, November 26, 2020

I Like/Love - Thanks and Thoughts #46

Welcome to another post of gratitude with some thoughts thrown in. A group of us links up weekly, bi-weekly or monthly with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color. Please feel free to write your own post and join in with spreading positivity.

As is usual for me, a lot of my gratitude has to do with Mother Nature. The brilliance of these colours in the grass on my walk one day made me stop and appreciate these jewels of fall.

That same day, this 'lit' tulip tree had me stopping mid-stride. I do love tulip trees.

I love trees as you know. My November challenge celebrated trees, yet contained a dire warning about their plight.

Ever fascinated by the play and effect of light, especially on water, I captured this shot on Lake Erie. I never tire of gazing at and listening to my beloved lake, yet always always acknowledging that this lake, erielhonan, an Iroquoian name meaning 'long tail', does not belong to me or any white man or anyone, for that matter. One cannot 'own' land. Really contemplate that if you will, for a moment. Land, whatever land upon which you reside, is not yours. It was given to humans, to animals to share. With this philosophy, think how different a world it could be.

I like our Linden tree which has provided quite the show again this year. It stays green a long time into the fall. Again, the play of the sunrise through the leaves is something I love, and ran out to take a photo, an early morning shot.

I got back to the deck and thought wow! The sun was hitting a red tree one street over at just the right angle to make it glow.

We had some gorgeous blue skies and warm days in November. This cloud formation caught my eye on a walk.
There was no airplane in sight, nor had there been. Hmmm....

I like Kathleen Riggins. Her blog, Kathleen Quilts, has been a great source of inspiration to me. A few years ago I bought her self-published book, Diary of a Young Swirl. Somehow I discovered that not only did she get a book published by Lucky Spool, but also that my library had it! I put it on hold and had to wait a very long time, but finally got it a few days ago. I will be buying this one as it's definitely a keeper.

Speaking of books, I finished another Louise Penny book, The Cruellest Month. It was good, as per usual. This paragraph struck me as just so very Canadian that I put it on Instagram. Tuque is our word for a knitted hat. It comes from French. Anyhow, stuffing one's mitts and tuque in the sleeve of a jacket is just what one does in the winter to keep all the paraphernalia together. How many times I've gotten into my parka and found 'the blockage' as Louise describes it...
I'm pleased that I've read six books so far in November! I am so grateful for my library. I love reading. I've read two Louise Penny books and the first two in the Trickster trilogy by Eden Robinson. The CBC Gem series, Trickster, ended this month, and wow, was it good. Highly recommend watching it. I like the Trickster playlist on the CBC Listen app. If you're looking to increase your knowledge of, and appreciation for, Indigenous culture, then that is one playlist to listen to. Another that I've mentioned before would be Jarrett Martineau's 'Reclaimed' playlist. His programme airs on Wednesday evenings at 7 for an hour. He has quite the impressive bio there...and he's quite easy on the eyes too!😁 Two other Indigenous-authored books I read this month and enjoyed are Red Wolf by Jennifer Dance and The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor.

I like Jaffa cakes, and I'm so happy to have found them in the International section at my grocery store. They're a sort of soft shortbread cookie with a thin layer of orange jam on top and finally a thin layer of dark chocolate on the top of the jam. Another divine English treat!

I love my Brady. I love that he enjoys baking. Here he is showing off some biscuits he made. Just look at that proud smile! I can't wait to hug him again, hopefully sometime next year.

I love walking once again with Brady. We got out of our spring routine (hello friends and summer) but we have been walking 'together' once again. He goes on his treadmill and off I go with a dog, and we chat as we walk a couple of kilometres. This shot is last week, our first walk back together since late spring. It never gets old. This morning, one of the reasons this post is late in getting finished, we had an amazing and thoughtful conversation thanks to his telling me that he is going to study some more for his test in Social Studies 7, which is tomorrow, on settlers and 'New France'. I am happy to hear how much he knows about various aspects from nations (he listed off a half dozen without skipping a beat), to illnesses that killed thousands of Indigenous peoples, to their Creation philosophies, clans and character traits attributed to the specific animals and more.

I finished the Indigenous Canada course, and I was and still am amazed at Dan Levy's generous offer to match, up to $25 000, donations to the only Faculty of Native Studies in North America!! This past Sunday I was missing the Live discussion, but my spirits were lifted once I remembered to follow the link in @uanativestudies profile and donate. A small token of gratitude for this eye-opening free course.

Allow me a wee rant. I am so tired of man-babies, whiners and liars in positions of political power. I am so tired of media that wastes time on stories that are either not true or have false statements within. I am so tired of politicians like Jagmeet Singh, a leader of a political party in Canada, the NDP (a party I usually like a lot), who doesn't seem to understand that health care and child care is provincial, and keeps trying to blame the federal government for shortcomings at the provincial levels. Maybe Jagmeet needs to follow Dale Smith on Twitter, and learn the facts of how our system works. I am so tired of hearing lies spouted yesterday and today by Conservatives about how come Canadians will be 'last in line' (false; we have the best vaccination procurement plan in the WORLD, according to several sources) to get vaccinated. Why Canadians will be behind Americans, Germans and British to get vaccinated is because we no longer have a vaccine-producing facility in our country thanks to the Conservatives under Mulroney. Thank you CTV for properly explaining this sad fact that PM Trudeau mentioned in his speech this week when a reporter had asked him why we are behind our American neighbours in getting vaccinated. ('behind' meaning a few weeks)

“The problem was they (the vaccine-making companies) had a poor business model,” said Brown. “These were vaccine companies spun off from universities, so there was indirect funding and they had a model of not making so much profit.”
So they were eventually sold, Montreal's Frappier lab to British multinational GlaxoSmithKline and Connaught, through a series of mergers, to French multinational Sanofi Pasteur​ after Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government's program of privatization​. The labs now have a “tighter production line and not so much capacity,” said Brown.

Conservatives love money, (profit) and that is all they love. Not people.

I am appalled at our provincial health minister, Christine Elliott, and our premier, Doug Ford, who didn't like yesterday's Auditor General's non-partisan report that criticized the Ontario government's handling of the pandemic in the early days. Constructive criticism is what the AG job is, and why they couldn't say they're grateful for the findings, and will work hard to improve from now on, is beyond me. A little humility goes a long way. Not having even one medical person on the original pandemic committee is unforgivable. Admit that they will listen more and include fully the medical and science community. I am finding once again that I am hitting the 'off' button when the hourly news comes on the radio.

Perhaps this is why I love and appreciate my afternoon tea break even more these days. Chocolate and a book are always a part of that break. I like that I've been taking a bit longer and reading, rather than continuing to sew while I have my tea. That's the latest tea cosy which you can read about in my previous post.

I like the Holly channel on Sirius, and the app that lets me listen to it wherever, whenever. No news either.

I also have enjoyed a couple of Hallmark channel Christmas movies.🎄 Yeah, they are a bit corny at times, but they provide a feast for the eyes of Christmas dĂ©cor, and, as my dear friend John said last weekend when we FaceTimed (how I love FaceTime), "I've been to Iceland, I've been to Austria, Canada..." Well the first one I watched was filmed in Ottawa, so I recognized several places there. The main male lead is actually from Ottawa, and now lives in Toronto. The second one was filmed in Utah, and featured a Latino main set of characters. Christmas With the Darlings, next on my list, was filmed in Vancouver, BC, a recommendation from Brianne. Although not the main character relationship, there is a same-sex couple within the movie apparently. Glad to hear of more diversity being in the mainstream, as it should be. In the movie vein, on Netflix is a cute 8-part mini-series, Dash and Lily. I especially loved it because it's shot in NYC, and took me back to a November 2007 trip there. Ahhh.

Being grateful is a very important practice, and so it is solely with that in mind that I wish my American friends a day of thoughtful gratitude.


  1. Being thankful and saying those words is so important, more so this year than for many. Your lake, it brings memories when we lived so close to Lake Tarawera for many years. The coloured sky on a frosty night, the waves rippling, our many trips with friends across the water, so I give you so many thanks for our friendship, so far away from each-other but so close in mind and heart.

  2. I love Louise Penny's books - just finished Book 15 in the series, and it is so good! I love your love of trees, too, Sandra, and enjoyed your photos from around your neighborhood. So neat that you and Brady can walk and visit with each other. I hope you get to see him soon!

  3. Not sure if you heard me but I may have said YES when reading about our government. A couple of years ago Hallmark filmed a movie in Killarney and some of the crew stayed at my son's place. Beautiful nature pics!

  4. I agree that listing gratitudes is so important - perhaps now more than pre-pandemic. We have lots to be thankful for. We need only to look around to realize it.
    I quit watching the news years ago as a way to avoid the feelings of "hopelessness." One of my friends made the comment that a certain newscaster looked "delighted" when she announced death and tragedy. I realized that watching a "calm recitation" of such sad happenings made me sad. I have been in much better mental health since.

  5. How fun that you and Brady can still walk together - love that grin on his face in the photo, too! You've had much on your mind this week. Your nature photos are lovely, Sandra.

  6. Thank you for your Thanksgiving greetings and for your monthly list of gratitudes. I'm going to refrain for commenting on the current political scene as it is much too depressing and I'm trying to be more positive these days (it's hard). Time to think about Christmas decorating.

  7. Great post Sandra!
    I’m glad you can “walk with Brady” let’s hope it won’t be long before you really can walk with him!
    Loved the photos of your area.
    Barbara xx

  8. I disagree with Trudeau’s statement that there is not a vaccine production facility in Canada. The U of A in Edmonton has a facility capable of producing vaccine. The problem with that is Alberta is not Liberal and therefore forgotten. You’re tired, so am I. I’m tired of turning on the TV and only hearing updates about Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Once in a while there will be an update on Manitoba and B.C. Very rarely is Alberta mentioned. Remember without Alberta’s transfer payments a lot of Canada would not be as well to do as they are.

    1. Thank you for your comment Ioleen. I thought I'd answer here because it's worth stating facts. Remember, I am an Albertan. First and foremost it needs to be made absolutely clear that Alberta's GDP is roughly the size of Toronto's, and that 85%, yes 85%, of the federal revenue comes from OUTSIDE of Alberta. Alberta sends higher transfer payments to Ottawa for two simple reasons: 1. they have the highest household income in the country (even with the recession) and income tax is a percentage of your income, and 2. they spend the most in the country and 5% GST is charged on what you spend. It is a myth that they pay a higher RATE than anyone else in the country; they pay a percentage just like everyone else, (a doctor pays more income tax than a teacher aide because the doctor makes more). Here is an article debunking the myth, written by an Albertan who lives in Lethbridge.
      As you see, Alberta does not 'cut a cheque' to Ottawa or to any other province, as I was led to believe for 45+ years.

      If you did read the CTV article, you'll see that Montreal and Toronto HAD facilities, and in fact Montreal HAS a facility capable of producing vaccine but it is still in construction.

      I tried to find a reference to the U of A (my alma mater, yay!) facility you mention and all I could find was this article from April 2020:
      which has some great information. Incidentally this U of A research has been funded by the federal as well as provincial governments. Alberta is not 'forgotten'; I'm sad that you've fallen into that mindset, as has an entire section of my family, sigh. FACT: Alberta has received over $20 BILLION just since the UCP was elected.
      He has a great chart there, and references out the yinyang, ha. I know that the feds gave nearly 2 billion with a B just a few months ago to clean up oil and gas wells, some of which are near my family's farms.

    2. Even my UCP-loving cousin has said it should have been the O&G companies who cleaned up their mess, and that there should have been a clause holding them to that. Sadly, Alberta has never been good at holding onto their resources, as I witnessed the majority of my years living there. Nor have they been able to effectively manage the way in which the companies coming in TAKE our resources, or clean up after themselves, or to ensure adequate compensation to our province for allowing the pillage so many of these countries wreak on our beautiful province (think China and Japan and lumber, China and PetroCanada, think America, France, Norway in Fort Mac, now the Saudis are there...) and, as I mentioned in another post, probably selling our coal to Australia, allowing them to mine it, and destroy precious territory for grizzlies, water for salmon, and not one lump of coal will stay in Alberta or Canada, and temporary jobs only. I am very alarmed, as are many of my family and friends there, that the UCP has been running things Ă  la Trump-style. This divisiveness does no one any good. As for news, I listen to CBC radio and watch my CBC local station. I've heard a lot about Alberta and BC and Manitoba regarding Covid cases. I've actually really liked hearing Dr. Bonnie Henry's (BC) voice as well as Dr. Theresa Tam's over the past many months. Another fact that Albertans dislike is that the majority of the population of Canada IS in the east: the city of Toronto has 6.2 million people as of 2019 and Alberta a mere 4.3, Ontario has 14.5 million; BC, AB, SK and MN combined have LESS than ON alone... and democracy is 'rep by pop'. Alberta got more seats when I lived there I recall because the population had increased. It's so important to look at numbers and separate them from emotions, but politicians love to play with people's emotions!

    3. I am as you may know from the east and I will always be an eastern. I never said I disliked the east. Please do not count me in as an Albertan. Alberta by the way is being run by a man from Ontario. Let’s stop these comments and agree to disagree. No more history lessons.

    4. Well it is my blog so I get to have the last word :-) One can agree to disagree with opinions, but one cannot disagree with facts. It is sad that this has become an Alberta vs Ottawa discussion when in my original 'wee rant' nothing of the sort was implied. I am a Canadian first and want what's best for my country, the entire country. I was expressing my dismay and disgust for politicians who spout untruths or half-truths. Fact: GST is 5% across the country and is taxed on certain items we buy. That 5% goes to Ottawa.
      Fact: Federal income tax is the same percentage, based on what you make, across the country.
      Fact: Albertans have the highest income in Canada; ergo they will pay more dollars because they make more dollars but the RATE is the same.
      Fact: Albertans spend the most per capita; ergo their 5% GST translates into more dollars because they spend more dollars.
      Fact: Alberta is charged the same percentage as every other Canadian.
      Fact: Equalization payment formula was revamped under Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney was a part of that.

  9. Can't comment on your politics - I don't know enough; they sound as bad as ours. Have ordered the quilting book :-) Love the photos of trees, lake and sunrise. I have a photo I took a few years ago of a sunrise where four trees in our (large) garden looked as if they were on fire! It was truly spectacular and memorable. Love that you can 'walk' with Brady - so lovely.

  10. Hi Sandra! Oh, so many lovely trees and Lake Erie. It looks just a wee bit angry that day - the winds made her a little choppy. I would love to spend the rest of my life lakeside. I would never tire of watching it. The Jaffa Cakes!! LOVE them - my Mom always, always, ALWAYS had them. I'm not sure where she got them and I haven't had one in about 15 years. Geez. I'm going to go on a hunt for them now. Brady, Brady, Brady! You can come bake for/with me anytime. And the tree looks so pretty behind him and twinkling in the window reflection. Aren't those walks and chat just PRICELESS?!! LOVE. I've succumbed to a few Hallmark Channel movies myself. I never tire of seeing the decorations or the message. Plus we know how it's going to end with the guy getting the girl. Enjoy your weekend, my friend. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  11. I was not familiar with the word tuque but the concept of stuffing your scarf or hat into your sleeve is one I know, as well as the "blockage." Loved that paragraph!