Thursday, April 29, 2021

Gratitude #51

I know we say it each month, but it seems only two weeks ago that it was the beginning of April, the start of my annual QAL, and my birthday, and here we are with one day left in the month! April is one of my favourite months of the year. Although the up and down weather can be frustrating, in general, it is such a month of hope and promise.
Top row: First week of April beginning with April Fool's on the 1st - no fools, snow! March had been beautiful and all kinds of spring flowers (many posted on Instagram) were thriving, like the squill and daffodils and the white magnolias, with the pale pink ones beginning to open. I was even in the pool on April 7, enjoying the summer-like temperatures.
Bottom row: April 18, my azalea was glorious, as was our pale pink magnolia, at its peak, when, on the 21!!! we got even more snow. We've lived here a total of 14 years, and other than a few whirling flakes through the air that melted as soon as they hit the ground, we've not seen snow like this. I was able to cover and protect the azalea but not the magnolia. It melted within the day, so it was good for the grass and roots of plants! Not so good for Sandra's spirits however.

I made myself this out-of-this-world Buckeye Brownies recipe for my birthday 'cake'. I got all but one square of it to myself since MacGyver was doing a diet for most of the month. Best Birthday Present Ever.

My sweet friend Susan of Granny Smith's Quilting sent me this darling wombat present for my birthday. I think wombats must be cousins to, or kindred spirits with opossums. I mean look at their claws and their adorable faces. I've been using the bookmark ever since it arrived. It's fabulous, a 3D one with such depth!

The following photographic story, though rather worrying, has a good ending. PEI Canada Goose vs Eagle. Mother Nature never ever ceases to amaze and stop me in my tracks.

Speaking of Mother Nature, I've started watching a new docuseries on CBC Gem, 'Arctic Vets'. It centres around the work done out of Assiniboine Park in Manitoba. I doubt that my friends in other countries can watch it right now, but I hope it will got to Netflix eventually. Such a worthwhile watch. With the death in a helicopter crash this week of world-renowned biologist, Markus Dyck, who had been studying polar bears for many many years, it has even more importance. His loss is just devastating, especially because he believed in including traditional Inuit knowledge in polar bear conservation.

I'm enjoying (and heading to Google repeatedly again) 'Victoria'. I have absolutely loved watching 'Kim's Convenience' and am so sad it ended this month, and from what I've read, there are hints that it came as a shock and blow to all involved with the show. Hopefully I'll be seeing Mr. Kim say, "See you!" again in the not-too-distant future. The first four seasons are on Netflix, and are well-worth the watch. They are filmed in Toronto, and it's refreshing to see a cast of mainly Asian actors, and get an authentic glimpse into their lives.

I spied these adorable fairy doors in the front garden on one of the many streets I walk along in my morning walks. I asked for and got permission to photograph them.

They put them at this height so dogs won't pee on them! Speaking of dogs, Rufus regularly likes to spend time upstairs with me, but one day this month he went into our bedroom and my spidey senses went off...

No, he is not allowed on that window seat/shelf, and no he has never hopped up there before, and yes, he was firmly but kindly told, "Off! I like this window seat! I have another in the other dormer in my sewing studio. It's more IKEA furniture we had in our condo that MacGyver painted white, and it works perfectly under the dormer windows. I plan to paint the doors and he will attach them. Smart dog: usually the cushions are spread out across the back, but I'd moved them to place a new solar light there to charge up. The light had been moved but not the cushions put back!

Here is said solar light. I love it! It's a gift from my dear friend, Liz. It's from Wayfair, and is for outdoor or indoor use. Right now, I've enjoyed it indoors, but will move it outside shortly.

I've read a few books this past month. As always the Louise Penny ones do not disappoint. How the Light Gets In has been my favourite of all.
I snort-laughed out loud several times, was sent to the Internet multiple times, and actually played my CD Canto Gregoriano again, ahhh, and was absolutely devastated at the ending, so much so, that I immediately put the next one on hold and got it out on audio to start it while I waited for the hard cover to be ready to pick up! One of the things I just loved in this book was, well as always, her description of all of the meals, but one in particular, their first at the monastery, when Beauvoir was nearly drooling at the plates being passed along, and noting in amazement at the meagre helpings the monks were taking, and ruminating whether he had better follow suit, but then, when the first platter got to him, he dove right in heaping his plate, and thought, in an oh-so-snarky-Beauovoir way, 'Bite me,' at the monks.😂😂😂

One other item to note about this book, well maybe two, is the title, a line of one of my all-time favourite poets, and composers, Leonard Cohen, but the story behind Louise's use of his line for her title. As she does with all the poets and authors (most of them Canadians) whose works she cites, and quotes, she requests permission to use them. When she asked for permission to use lyrics from this song, and sat back with baited breath as to how much she'd have to pay, saying she's paid handsomely in the past to use various others' lines/works, she was utterly blown away when he gifted it to her. What made it even more poignant, and I don't even know a word for the feeling I got when I read it, is that Leonard Cohen had recently been pretty much wiped out by his manager to the tune of $5 million. Goodness. Generosity. Gifts. Much-needed when I've found myself rather despondent this past month thanks to having a trump-style un-leader in power in my province. Health care is provincial and he is doing basically nothing, not following the doctors' advice and warnings, nor his Science Advisory Council's recommendations. It's dire. Both MacGyver and I have had our first shot of AstraZeneca, no effects, not even a sore arm. All I will say is follow the science, the medical people, the experts not the Facebook armchair wannabe's, to make your decision. Think of community, as Cohen did, and not just your own little bubble.

Yesterday we drove into Windsor to pick up, curbside, a couple items at two different stores. (All our stores are closed still, and will be for another two weeks at least.) We went for a wonderful, spirit-lifting, soul-massaging stroll alongside the Detroit River. Windsor has about 10 km of parks and walkways that follow the river. I put several photos, and a short video of a mama duck and 13 babies looking for a safe spot to hop into the river, on my Instagram feed yesterday. Here are a few for your viewing pleasure.
Glorious indeed, and inspiration for a quilt!

Finally, I happened upon this video just before I sat down to finish this post. I did the entire thing, and wow, was it helpful! I hope it may help some of you with anxiety. Who knew your ears were so important to the nervous system. I may incorporate a little of this into my yoga classes.
Now I am off to finish my OMG, and hopefully with any luck, my PHD project for the month!


  1. A lovely post Sandra & full of good vibes. Love the way you do your collages & still haven't been able to do that. Your slice looks rather delicious & I bake too instead of buying very many biscuits/cakes. Love the photo of Rufus looking completely innocent even though I expect he is being gently told off & glad you are putting the bookmark to good use. The Youtube thing looks interesting, but I don't seem to be able to get my head around using it, must try harder. Have a great weekend, take care & hugs.

  2. Your Buckeye Brownies look yummy, Sandra! Definitely the perfect birthday treat. Lots of pretty things blooming in your area, too! The Louise Penny book you're featuring is the one that hooked me on the series. I had to read the next book right away, too, and then went back and read the whole series from the beginning.

  3. Lovely post and all those beautiful photos of flowering trees and plants just add to it. I like the solar light.

  4. You pack so much into your posts - they are always an enjoyable read! That Louise Penny book is a favorite of mine as well. Hope you get the next one soon!

  5. A wonderful review of your April, despite the devastating performance of your rogue Premier. Your birthday brownies look delicious. And all the beautiful flowers. The magnolias around here also were mostly wiped out by the snow and cold and we're getting another shot of cold today with a chance of flurries tonight. Love, love love Louise Penny, but I've told you that before. Now off to do some serious sewing for the first time this week.

  6. Those brownies look to die for! I fairy doors are so cute. I'm in the middle of "A Better Man" - I love Gamache! Lots of good stuff. :-) And happy birthday!

  7. Hi Sandra! Fascinating ear video - I am going to give that a try for sure. I could use some stress relief right about now. RUFUS!! He knew he wasn't supposed to be up there - just look at that face! The brows are worried yet he's sitting at his best 'good boy' stance. That light looks pretty nifty! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Lovely photos of the blooms around you. Found the vagus nerve massage very interesting - will have to investigate further. One massage just kept making me cough! Our weather here in Scotland has been very cold; I'm sure it's the coldest April I can remember since we got here 21 years ago.

  9. So much to read and enjoy in your post (except the Provincial update). It always fills me with joy to read your post. I laugh/snorted when I saw Rufus trying to look so innocent. 😉