Thursday, August 26, 2021

Gratitude #55

Each month I keep track, mentally and with photos, of things for which I am grateful. There is a group of us who do this and link up each Thursday with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color. If you feel like joining in, or just reading some uplifting posts, write your own, and/or hop on over to read others' posts. Adding gratitude to your day truly changes your attitude and lifts your spirit.

1. I love jasmine. I first saw the hedge and smelled it around the condo we used to have in Bradenton, Florida. I now have Sweet Autumn Clematis, (Clematis paniculate) which is remarkably akin to it. The display is glorious, as is the fragrance. It's just starting to open. In another week or so it will be a cascade of white. The bees love it too. It's rather topiary-like as it flows over the fenceposts!
2. I love books as you well know. I just finished an excellent one by Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles. The tender love story of Achilles and Patroclus is told so beautifully, in stark contrast to the brutality of the Trojan War. Books that I live in while I read them, but especially when I'm not reading them, indicate excellent ones, and this one was definitely that.
August was full of great books: Joanna Goodman's The Home For Unwanted Girls, Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots, and The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk were all the kind I lived in. The latter two were Canada Reads books. I absolutely loved Hench, so different. 

3. I love dahlias, and finally grew some here, and boy are they gi-normous! MacGyver has had the idea to make a flowerbed in our front just for these showy huge bushes (they grew much bigger than they did in my Alberta garden, yet they were still pretty enormous there too). I braved the earwigs (ewwww) that also love to nestle in their petals, to make this bouquet which lasted a long time.

4. I like fresh produce. Once again I grew tomatoes, though this year in a raised bed. They are bountiful. Now that MacGyver has returned from his Alberta annual visit, we will be making salsa. A batch or two I'm thinking! I'm regularly getting this amount every day or two.

5. I just love how our yard is developing. When we moved in at the end of March, 2017 it was basically a double- lot with some trees and grass. Now...


The plants are creating such a green tropical vibe. I love siting here, on the deck in a chair or in the pool in my pool chair or floating around with a blowup noodle-thing, Cafe del Mar, one of my all-time favourite CDs playing on my phone...ahh.

The dogs were so good, this boy especially, when MacGyver was out west for most of the month. Xena, as I've mentioned, has come around even more, but she's still got a long way to go. We've walked them twice together since he got back, and she's horrible, just horrible, like I'm starting all over again. Sigh. And she's still got that feral, 'get me out of here at all costs' desperation: this morning after our walk when I went to take the first picture of the post of the clematis, she freaked and jumped the gate!! Without even a run at it. She is fixated on the truck. We think she must associate it with her lost pups (it's become clear that they were taken off her just before she was brought here from Texas) and maybe she either lived under a truck? or they were taken away in one? as she is obsessed with ours but also wants to investigate every truck and sometimes vans, on walks. Her fosters noticed it too. Luckily, she just hangs out at the truck, and came to me right away, not fighting me when I brought her back into the yard. Sigh. Anyhow we do have quite the zen going on, and while MacGyver and I did the tour of our yard, she was with us, and content to just lie on the deck or follow us and not attempt to jump over the fence at all.

When MacGyver was away, I would haul Xena's (formerly Rufus's) crate from upstairs to the main floor for her to be in while I taught my afternoon class of yoga. However, to Rufus's utter joy, he would spend most of the time in it! He just adores his crate, as is evident! He is just so darn cute.

She is feeling pretty comfortable to relax like this after a walk in the heat and humidity.

That's it for now! That pool is calling me on yet another hot humid day. Looks like that is the way things are going to be for the foreseeable forecast and I'm just fine with it! I'm also grateful, I must state, for MacGyver's safe return, and for no more grass cutting duties and shared watering duties now!



  1. Lovely post on gratitude once again & I really should try and join in too, though my blogging has been somewhat lax just lately with all that is going on here. Love your dogs & the way they can relax & be so laid back.(sigh). Take care & hugs.

  2. Your yard is just lovely, and I love your dahlias, too! We also get earwigs here, and I really DISlike them. They always seem to appear out of nowhere and startle me. Xena sounds like a character and you are so kind and patient with her. I hope she gets more and more comfortable with you. Love the photos of your pups all relaxed and napping!

  3. The sweet autumn clematis is just delightful. Doggies resting in the shade by the pool or on the in the crate or floor - so sweet. Love seeing your dear Rufus again. I love that you have a pool to relax in and so perfect. The heat in MA has been awful but we have AC and that is delightful. Love your loves...always.

  4. A beautiful summer oasis! It sure has been warm and humid, that pool looks tempting. Enjoy it while you can!

  5. I think that Xena is doing a "doggy yoga" pose in that last photo.
    Those tomatoes look so good. The heat and dry this summer killed our vines.

  6. What a beautiful garden you two have fashioned there and a productive one too. Loved to see the dogs. We are just getting Ned used to his crate. Meanwhile, I enjoyed Hench as well surprisingly. You write so well...always enjoy reading these posts.

  7. Hi Sandra - Lovely post! A month is a long separation - so nice your husband is home now. You are grateful in all the right places!! Thank you for the book list - I love having recommendations and will check them out to see which ones appeal to me. The dahlias are beautiful. I planted just one this year and it has been vigorous with loads of big blooms.

  8. I'm glad Xena is slowly settling in. Love to see the photos of your yard (the pool looks so inviting). Those dahlias are gorgeous (I hate earwigs - ewww, for sure). Nice post!

  9. I love the color of your dahlias. Mine are meh this year. I got them in the ground late due to weather issues and I think some of them have developed a virus (it's everywhere) because they are stunted and often wilted (even when the ground is moist). Fortunately they were all gifted, so if I toss them after this season, I'm not out any money. I'm glad MacGyver is home again to share the duties.

  10. Enjoy the pool! I would love to have a pool here, but I keep thinking it would just mean even more mosquitoes (even though I know when properly cared for that is not true).

  11. I love your list of gratitudes and the photos of your yard. What is that big leafed plant in the sun behind the pool. You and your husband have worked hard on that yard to make it so beautiful. So happy he returned safely. The dogs are good companions even though they are work. Hot and smokey here in northern Nevada.

  12. I am not a fan of Clematis, perhaps because I always see it just climb a post, but I love how it looks in your yard. Your yard is lovely. The heat and humid kind of finally broke.

  13. Such a beautiful yard! I’ve been admiring the dahlias in several bloggers posts. I need to check if they do well here. I’m farther North than you. Don’t we wish we could speak to our animals to hear their stories? They probably have some adventures to share! Thanks for the lovely Gratitude post!