Thursday, March 25, 2021

Gratitude #50

Once again the end of the month is nigh and it's time to gather my 'likes' for the past month and link up at LeeAnna's blog Not Afraid of Color.

"When I'm grateful, I live in Three Pines."
-Louise Penny, from an interview at the end of Bury Your Dead

1. I am so grateful for these books. I'm grateful for authors, period. Living in another's world, be it fictional or real, is nourishment for me, on all levels, mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. You may think huh? Do you walk/run while reading, Sandra? Well, tbh, if the book is an audiobook, occasionally I will listen as I walk, one earbud in so I can still hear my surroundings. However, I prefer to listen to my surroundings when I do walk, so listening to books while walking is the exception, not the rule. But if reading sustains, no, nourishes, enhances, my mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, then it is a given that physical health follows, for me.

Sidenote: This was the second time reading Bury Your Dead. The first time I read it was over a decade ago. It was recommended to me by my good friend, Marianne, a prolific reader. She introduced me to the Gamache books, and said how good this one was, and that it had won more than one award. However, it's book #6, and at the time I had no clue about the first five, so although I enjoyed it, especially because of all the places in La Belle Ville (Quebec City) with which I'm familiar from many school trips there with my students, much of it had been entirely lost on me. I got out of order by mistake, reading #7 before #5, and then once I'd finished #5, I knew from having read #7, how important it was that I reread #6 now I knew.... you with me still?! So I reread it on audio book, loving every word (though I'm still irritated at the mispronunciation of some of the French by the narrator, but I digress). 

I've mentioned before that I write my gratitude posts off and on throughout the month, adding things or taking photos along the way. So the above two paragraphs were written a couple of weeks ago. As I was adding to this post on Thursday, what came up in my YouTube suggestions when I went to do another meditation? This! I've only started it (it actually starts about a minute, slightly more, in) but I am in LOVE! I want a mask like Danny's that says, " I'm F.I.N.E." (snort!) Think I may have to make myself one! 

Update: I've finished watching the interview, worth every minute of the hour. Knowlton is a truly beautiful town, like so many in eastern Canada, such history, the houses, the buildings, ahh, so be sure to pay attention to the video and don't just listen while you sew. 😉 

Another really terrific read this month was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It takes place during WWII, set in both Germany and France, and features to some degree the French Resistance. Their bravery, resilience and ingenuity take my breath away. Mainly it's about doing the right thing, goodness, and the unlimited power and glory of the human mind.

2. I like the Calm app, and really really like Tamara Levitt's calm voice as she guides me through daily meditations. When I looked her up, seeing if how I imagined her was how she looked IRL, was I surprised to find out she's Canadian and lives in Toronto! There are loads of free 10-minute meditation on YouTube.

3. I like finding new and delicious recipes. When I moaned a little to Wendy (Pieceful Thoughts) about loving French onion soup in my pre-vegetarian days, and musing as to whether there was a vegetarian way to make the beef stock-based soup, Wendy wrote back with a recipe link!
I made it and was it ever delicious!

And, when I was at a loss as to what to make for myself for supper a week or so ago, and felt like quinoa but wanted to do something different with it, a quick google pulled up this wonderful recipe! I added in a clove of garlic, a little cauliflower, a little less carrots, and substituted oats for the bread crumbs. Fabulous. Had a couple with spinach and chipotle mayo, Brussel sprouts and broccoli as my sides, a fantastic supper. Froze half of them too. MacGyver is doing his own thing right now, 'nough said...

4. I like spring flowers. From snowdrops on March 3, through buttercups on the 14, daffodils open yesterday, they are just so glorious, and remind me that life goes on, and Mother Nature and Earth will prevail.

Our daylilies, both the big orange ones they call tiger lilies here (but they aren't the tiger lilies I know from Alberta days), and the smaller yellow ones are all up, and the grass is becoming a wonderful green. Green is truly a most welcome colour.

5. I am grateful to have a dog. They add so much to my life. Rufus is really growing into a lovely dog. He's got such a personality. He loves MacGyver's poang, and the ratty old loveseat, and has taken to sleeping with me until MacGyver comes to bed. He's very polite. When Rocco would sleep with me, he usually slept crosswise whereas Rufus curls up right beside me or at the foot of the bed.

Not to be left out, I am also so grateful for Bella. Her antics keep me in smiles every day. In doing more organizing of my sewing room, I pulled out various items that had been packed in storage tubs, and it didn't more than a few minutes with a couple of these buckets I'd made a few years ago for her to take advantage!
Bella in a bucket
She helped in organizing as is evidenced on my Instagram post yesterday quite a bit! She loves any kind of organizing, fixing (that's when she loves MacGyver; otherwise he's nobody except if he's doling out treats), and of course, yoga-ing.

6. I like electric vehicles, and have done for a very long time, ever since MacGyver showed me a video from about 12-15 years ago of a Tesla racing a Porsche and beating it, no, laying waste to it. Our next vehicle, which we plan to buy next spring, will be fully electric. I was really pleased to read this CBC article, and learn about digital testing of vehicles in a virtual reality CAVE right here in Windsor.

7. As ever, I am so grateful for such a wonderful husband. He painstakingly painted the IKEA Kallax and I've put most of my yardage there as well as some projects in the rattan drawers, such an inspiring view. Once we are allowed to travel, (we are still being asked to stay home except for essential trips), we will drive up to Toronto to get the last few pieces needed, and I can do a long overdue tour of my beautiful space. Here is the unit all organized. 

8. I like QALs. It just adds to the joy of sewing by sewing with friends. I've been a bit remiss in visiting and commenting on blogs the past week and a bit, because I've been busy behind the scenes here, working on the upcoming fifth QAL! The fabric for the new quilt I am making is sitting on the pressing station in that photo above. 'Believe in Unicorns' is the line by Benartex. You may have noticed a new blog button on my sidebar...we will be making 'Follow Your Own Path' which was the cover quilt in the most recent issue of Modern by the Yard. I'll have the directions here on the blog for the originally planned size, a throw, but you can get the baby size directions by downloading a copy of the ezine for free. Just click on the photo below. I'll have a pattern with both sizes in my Etsy shop very soon.

I'll be back on Saturday during the DrEAMi post and linkup with a few more details. The QAL starts as per usual on April 3, which is the birthday of the daughter of a famous Canadian 😉


  1. What a great list! I'll have to check out Bury Your Dead- I'm always looking for new books, but maybe I'll try to start from the beginning. Rufus is just adorable, so sweet looking, and like he has something really important to tell you. And your flowers are beautiful. Especially the snowdrops- I've never seen those here where I live and they're so delicate and lovely looking!

  2. That day will come very soon, and that famous Canadian, his love and memories are always with you. Love the B in a B!!!

  3. I have really enjoyed reading all the Gamache books from 1 - 15 over the last few years. The one set in Quebec City was a favorite and made me want to go visit there! I'm so glad Rufus has grown into such a lovely guy, and always enjoy seeing Bella on your blog, too. Your gratitude posts are always a pleasure to read, Sandra!

  4. I haven't read a Gamache book in a while. Time to grab another one, I think. I like your list of things you're grateful for. I need to make some time and be more intentional about being grateful for many blessings, large and small.

  5. Hi Sandra! I was just going to ask if it wasn't time for the QAL soon. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it. Oh, Rufus is pretty chill, isn't he?! And Bella in a basket - such a cutie. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. Such great likes! Rufus is a beautiful dog and it's nice to hear how well he has turned out. But then look who his people are, how could he not.

  7. Thank you Sandra, as always, for a great list of gratitude! Started "reading" the Louise Penny audiobooks and love to listen to them when just doing some mindless piecing or quilting. Your organized fabric is stunning...and oh your fur kids! Can't wait for your QAL.

  8. Looking forward to the QAL and love your gratitude post as always. I'll have to look for the Calm app and Tamara. I too have read All the light we cannot see - it's excellent. My snowdrops have just finished. I would call your buttercups aconite. British buttercups are much smaller and wouldn't be out until summer - I'll try and remember to send you a photo when we finally get some. My daffodils are just starting to come out too. Totally envious of your shelves, well the fabric really :-) Bella is a darling. Agree with you about electric cars. I'll have to look for the Gamache books.

  9. I love Bella in a bucket! Your fabric shelf is beautiful (and functional!). Yay for spring flowers - we had a bunch suddenly come out yesterday.

  10. I'm going to try that quinoa recipe. I'm trying to eat more plant based. Guess I better check the stash for fabric for the QAL. I always enjoy your QALs.

  11. That quilting space is beginning to look organized. Love the spring flowers and green grass. My day lilies are poking their noses up as are the red lilies. Must water today as the promised storm did not materialize with any moisture. Both Bella and Rufus are such great models and it is nice to have company when sewing. I hook up to audio books all the time when sewing and love Louise Penny's books. I've read them and then gone back to listen to them. I loved the voice of the first reader but have become accustomed to the second.

  12. Wonderful gratitudes...enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See. That quinoa cake looks good, gonna copy that down (and now I am hungry). Thanks for all the goodness and the QAL coming up!

  13. love, Love, LOVE the colorful organized storage so much!