Thursday, December 31, 2020

Gratitude #47 Wrap Up for 2020

As I'm reading in more than one place, in some ways it seems forever ago that we were ringing in 2020, the start of a new decade, and in others it seems a lot longer ago than just one year. This time last year there were hints of a terrible sickness in China, an unheard-of lockdown in a huge city so that no cars moved, no citizens left their homes, hospitals were overwhelmed, and even doctors died. Then Italy, more horror. And then, as we know, here, and the surreality of what we'd seen in China and in Europe was now and is now, our new normal. Here in Ontario we are back in a lockdown, though it's not quite the severe lockdown of Phase I, where the politicians actually did listen to and follow the advice of the medical and science professionals. This is very worrying to me, and I fear if they don't listen, we will be in this continual loop of pandemic. Would that we followed the Atlantic provinces' leadership (key word: leadership, making tough decisions, decisions that protect your people and are based in science) where they care more about people than profit.

So, here at chez Walker, we do what we've done pretty much since March 15: we stay in our bubble. Now that there is this new much more contagious strain of Covid, we are back to doing our groceries online with curb side pickup, and MacGyver has again done a Lowe's online order (yay for blinds on the patio doors!) when he needed a different grade sandpaper for the drywall, drywall that seems never-ending. I'd hoped we could have paint on the walls by January 1, but it's not to be. Maybe by the 8th! It's been a good year to do this other, planned, second renovation in the living room, which has become the front half of our 750 square foot house (that footage doesn't count the upstairs reno which added maybe 500 more). A good year because no one has set foot inside our house since February, a good thing when more than half of it is in rather a state of shambles. It will be wonderful when done. Same with my sewing room, once we are allowed to move around again for non-essential things like cabinets, and maybe by then IKEA will actually have some stock... 2020 has been for most of us the year of renovation and yard projects!

1. Despite all that mess, I am grateful. Grateful for a husband who is so handy and talented. Grateful for online purchasing, and curb side pickup, grateful for the mail delivery system that has struggled a bit yes, but risen to the occasion of such a huge increase in volume of packages.

2. I'm grateful to our fur kids who give us laughter, never-ending love and snuggles. We had to say goodbye on December 18 to my beloved prince, my pibble,
Dec. 16

my soft grey little hippo with an almost bare piggy belly, the softest ears and sweetest disposition we've ever known in a dog, Rocco. More on him another time; it's still too raw to write any more than that. We are grateful to Rufus the goofus, the doofus, the gangly Rottie/caribou (as Brianne calls him) who makes us so annoyed with his sometimes destructive ways (eating fresh drywall for one) but mainly makes us laugh with his antics, his utter joy with his life (so much like Rocco was at that age).
Trying hard to become a quilt dog, as Rocco was

Loves being outside, especially in this cooler weather

I am grateful for my Bella, for the nights where she snuggles against my belly or between my legs as I sleep. Her warm furry little weight is comforting, and I'll do what Dayna has done all her life: awkwardly and as carefully as possible throughout the night, switch positions so as not to disturb the six pounds of fluff.

3. I am so grateful for my daughters, though I haven't seen Brianne in over a year, and Dayna since February. I am so grateful for FaceTime. I'm grateful for the laughter and the wisdom they share, for their love.

4. I am so grateful for Brady. He brings so much joy to all of us. He has coped so very well with the pandemic, only occasionally having a little meltdown about missing his friends. He has been in a bubble with three of them, but it has changed at times depending on the circumstance. We talk every day, multiple times a day. He's on Christmas vacation right now, so we aren't walking or doing yoga 'together', but we will resume in the New Year.

5. I'm grateful for this blog, a place to write down my thoughts, happenings, my makes, my process. It's a wonderful, incredible resource. The blocks I made for one of the medallion quilt challenge rounds was the one below. As when I'd made it a couple of years ago, it got lots of love, and someone on Instagram wanted to know where I got it from. I sure didn't know! All I remembered was I'd found it (had I even made it? Was it one of Kat's?) was when I was making the 150 Canadian Women quilt in 2017/18. I knew I'd made it for one of my house blocks in the 2017 RSC...
close...but not quite the one I just made

When that wasn't the block, all I did was use the Search feature on my blog and up popped the 150 Canadian Women finish post with the block, with source info. Love this feature; love my blog! Instagram is great, but it doesn't do that kind of stuff, nor give the detail of process, or method, or source, or ability TO search...

6. I'm grateful for Etsy, for a platform to make a little money on the side, and continue to do so during the pandemic. My store SandraJaneQuilts, has seen huge growth this year, in part to publishing more patterns (six of them), adding in a few more handmade items, and in part to starting to be found. 

7. I'm grateful for the ability to walk, where I have time to ponder and think, time to marvel at this incredibly beautiful corner of the planet where I live, grateful that I do live where I have always wanted to, grateful for my life, doing what I love, grateful for the physical exercise. I'm grateful for yoga, for Zoom, for the ability to practice with our Ashtanga group, but also to have practiced with gurus such as David Robson, and to have studied with Bernie Clark this past spring via Zoom.
December 11 no filter

8. I'm grateful for books. I've read more this year, (42!) in part to spending a little less time on the computer, in part to enjoying the gorgeous summer we had (what's not to love about spending a half hour or more floating in your pool chair with a good book?) I'm so grateful for the escape and the learning (and subsequent Internet research and learning that often ensues) that both fiction and non-fiction provide.

9. I'm grateful for music, for CBC Music, for YouTube playlists, for musicians who have given online live performances this past year, for yogis and gurus who give freely of their wisdom. Thanks to my friend Liz, I have found Jay Shetty, and have been doing his 20 Days of Live Meditation, alternating with Bob Proctor's Abundance Meditation with my Ashtanga group after we practice. Both are on YouTube.

10. I'm grateful for CBC Gem and for Netflix, for streaming services that make staying at home not very hard at all.

11. I'm grateful for community, for my family and friends in real life, for my Ashtanga group, for my yin students, for Instagram's Live feature that allows me to teach two classes a week during lockdown, for my readers here and for my online quilting community with real friends, even though I've not physically met with many of you. Thank you for reading, especially these long-winded gratitude posts, and for taking time to comment. That connection is so important to us isn't it? Connection is key to understanding. I've said more than once that I think the world would be better were we quilters running it, well women anyhow. I don't think we're as power and money-hungry as men. I'm generalizing; I know there are exceptions! I know personally many kind caring, community-centred men, and hmmm.... one or two power and money-hungry women. 

12. I'm grateful for being a creative person, and for the ability to have a machine (several!), fabric and all the paraphernalia needed to create. I'm grateful and humble to be fortunate in this way; creating feeds my soul, making me happy and content. 2020 illuminated the less fortunate, the marginalized, the gross negligence of mainly the white supremacy. And I don't mean that in the white supremacist negative sense, but in the factual whites seen as supreme beings narrative that we must work to change. I hope to continue to learn and grow, to continue on my path to being a better ally to and advocate for Indigenous, black and brown and all people of colour and less fortune than I.

Although I do write a post once a month with around ten items for which I'm grateful, I like Jay Shetty's idea of stating one thing each month for which you are grateful, for a final total of twelve gifts for the year. I plan to do that in 2021 along with these posts.

2020 was a tough year. Seth Godin has a great post today about it. 2021 is going to be a hard one too. Hope, patience and continuing to do good wherever we can is how I plan to proceed!

Much love to all of you, my friends! Thank you for being here. Now I have a quilt to quilt and post before midnight! Please pop over to LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color to read more posts of gratitude, and perhaps link up one of your own.


  1. I loved this and crying over Rocco... I'm so sorry for your great loss. I felt his ears when you mentioned it. We will see him again in spirit.
    Thank you for the meditation youtube suggestions... we need that and will go try it. I have monkey brain so I need a focus.
    One of the "women unleashed" speakers said to think of a couple things you are grateful for each morning before you even get out of bed. I've been trying that and it does set a tone.
    Scratches to Bella and Rufus the naughty... making us laugh is a good thing. Love, and here's to a creative and healthy new year full of life

  2. Thank you for your well thought out post! Most of us have lots to be thankful for in 2020! Hoping 2021 continues to improve in all aspects! I too am going to try to do some meditation this year! Thank you for the suggestions!

  3. Your gratitude in a year that has caused so much pain is a balm for the soul, Sandra. I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to Rocco.

  4. Hi Sandra! Another post to write and post before midnight?!! WOW! Such wonderful gratitudes. My favorite, of course, is the time you and Brady spend 'together' every day. Happy Happy New Year to you, my friend. ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. P.S. I forgot to give you a BIG HUGE {{{HUG}}} for Rocco. Waaaaaa. I know Rufus is missing him, too, and trying to help your heart feel less heavy. Those paw prints tread lightly but leave a lasting imprint on our hearts. R

  5. Sandra I am so sorry for your loss, losing a fur baby is tough. I miss that dumb cat I inherited, Miss Lucy at times. Great post with lots of things to be thankful and grateful. I recently saw a gratitude journal, the idea is to write down 3 things daily that you are grateful for. Imagine what a better place the world would be if more people took time to meditate on what they have to be thankful for.

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about Rocco - he was so loved and I'm sure he felt it, too. You always write the most thoughtful posts and I often think, "Oh, me, too!" when I read what you write. I miss our kids terribly, but am definitely thankful for Facetime and Zoom so we can see their faces. May 2021 bring hope, health, and change!

  7. I'm sorry you lost Rocco.

    A lot of good things to be grateful for. Happy new year!

  8. Lovely post on gratitude Sandra & although I read them and think I should do one too or join in, I just can't put it in words as you do. Thank you & sorry to hear about Rocco. I've not had a pet for a long time & still miss the 2 cats we had. Take care, stay safe & hugs from down under.

  9. I am grateful for blogger friends who continue to post. It helps to keep me grounded and connected.

  10. I am sorry for your loss of Rocco. It is not easy saying goodbye. Thank you for being my friend and I'm glad we were able to connect and met each other through your wonderful blog! May 2021 be kinder to uas all!

  11. What a great post to write at the beginning of the year, Sandra. I'm so sorry about your beloved Rocco. Sending hugs.

  12. Sorry about Rocco, Sandra. Thank you for such an insightful post today. My 2020 be full of hope and promise.

  13. I'm sharing your sadness at Rocco's passing and know you'll write more when your emotions settle. As horrible as 2020 was (and so many parts of it will be with us for many more months) as I privately reflect on the last year, I have to admit that I have much to be grateful for as I have financial security, a safe home that's paid for, more than enough food, a family who haven't been touched by illness, good books to read, fabric to sew and wonderful friends to connect with. I'm not much on resolutions, goal planning, choosing a word, and all that other stuff. Of course, that might be why I never seem to get anything accomplished. But I can look at 2021 knowing that things will gradually improve, we will eventually be able to leave our houses and shop in the quilt stores and maybe we can all start working onsome of the real challenges that need to be addressed. Happy New Year.

  14. So sorry to hear about Rocco. ♥ We definitely have a lot to be grateful even in this pandemic. I hope your lockdown helps.

  15. So sorry about your sweet pibble, Rocco. I am grateful for you and knowing you these past few years - your talent, your heart and your wonderful self. Gratitude for all the light you shine.

  16. What great reflections on gratitude and thoughts for the coming times. I understand your feelings about saying good-bye. We had to say good-bye to our 17-year-old Misty 4 years ago on Christmas Eve, of all days! It took us 3.5 years to get another doggo, but we took in a lively 14 months old Cocker Spaniel, Jasper, in May. He is a delight and fills that void that only pets can fill. Here's to a wonderful 2021 for us all!

  17. Beautifully written post Sandra, rounding out a year filled with stress, drama, but lights of learning and understanding. Your lists of gratitudes are perfect and I, too, am shedding tears over your losing Rocco after having recently lost our Bam. They looked similar so the photo grabbed me before I read your words. I can only thank you for being such a great inspiration to us all and your kind replies to my many questions and emails. Wishing you all a safe, healthy and prosperous new year. I’m looking forward to your insights and inspiration in this New Year.

  18. Hello Sandra. You gratitude is inspiring even more so with the loss of your Rocco. 2020 was difficult for so many in ways that had nothing to do with the pandemic, yet people with trials rose above their hardships and found gratitude.

  19. So lovely and inspiring Sandra. Sorry about the loss of Rocco. Losing a beloved pet is so hard. I almost snorted when reading about your gymnastics in bed to avoid disturbing the cat - Peter laughs at me when I do that.

  20. I'm so sorry about Rocco, Sandra. I know how much those pups mean to you. I enjoyed reading all of your gratitude items and many of them resonated with me. Here's to finding lots of reasons for gratitude in 2021 :)