Thursday, December 23, 2021

Gratitude #59

Welcome to my last gratitude post of 2021. Foof! but it's been another 'interesting' year hasn't it? Gratitude and pausing to just be thankful for what I see around me, for little happenings, discoveries, events, just regular stuff, has again been very therapeutic. I hope you will pop over to Not Afraid of Color, where you can read our host LeeAnna's weekly post, and visit several others who write these posts. Here are mine I've kept track of through December. 

1. Some good news regarding the environment in Canada. A 93-year-old man has donated the 7-acre island, called Île Ronde, which he bought in the early 1960s to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Multiple offers came over the years from developers but he refused them all. Now he's protected it for (hopefully) good, even after he's gone. Read the fascinating article here.

Map turtles (so named due to the map-like appearance of their shells) are endangered, and so the natural shoreline provides them nesting and sunning habitat. Most of the developed areas have been shored up with concrete walls and turtles cannot climb them.

2. I like the 'dining table' the resident squirrels have set up in our backyard on Naala's bench. (so named because one day her ashes, currently residing on my husband's night stand, will be buried there).
Walnut shells in such a neat pile! Those two old glass bottles were unearthed in various places in the back area of our backyard. Clearly, burying and burning garbage was the norm back in the 40s and 50s and perhaps beyond...our house was built in 1947, same family lived in it until 2011.

3. I love this new to me Italian wine which was a gift.

4. I love most Christmas music. My favourite albums are Michael W. Smith (LOVE) and Boney M. I also love Do They Know It's Christmas by Band Aid.... Anyhow. On the plane to Edmonton, I had Michael W. Smith play, only the second time I've listened to it, while I was reading my book. For the first half an hour plus (the album is 37 minutes only) a baby was screaming, so I had to have it fairly loud, as you do on airplanes regardless. A while into the flight, I realized it had stopped, so I started it again. It wasn't very loud in my ears, so I turned it up. Hmm. A little more. Hmm! Weird, turned it up pretty much full volume. I'm engrossed in my book. Suddenly the flight attendant is leaning over (I'm at the window) saying, "Ma'am? Ma'am!" I take out an AirPod and the FIRST thing that registered is, weird, I can still hear my music... "Can you please turn down the volume on your phone?" In utter horror and debilitating embarrassment, almost to the point of bursting into shocked tears, I say, "What? How? I'm so sorry! I don't understand! My AirPods were in, and where did it go? oh my god..." And she kindly points and says, "I think it fell behind you onto your seat." Yes, thank god it's there, but I am flushed with heat and just cannot BELIEVE I could be so DUMB, to the point that 


about the stupid moron of a woman in aisle 21 who's playing her Christmas music, born again stuff:


I'm not Christian, definitely not a born again, which makes it even more hilarious, but I do love this album and one doesn't have to be any religion to love its music, anyhow, right? Don't get me wrong; I am very deeply spiritual person, just don't want any part of manmade trappings of religion.

So now I'm thinking why didn't the guy in the aisle gently tap me and say, ma'am, your phone is playing, not in your AirPods.... Maybe he was the one who complained?! I am still mortified and when Brianne played the album my first day, I didn't enjoy it as much as I always have.😞😂Kind of like barfing up guacamole when you actually drank too much wine, but it takes years to love guac again... (don't even ask me how I know that)...

Well, both daughters, my grandson and my husband all DIED laughing at my story.

5. I like the Christmas movie, Single All the Way on Netflix. I watched it on the plane. Don't worry: I checked my AirPods multiple times to be sure I wasn't playing the soundtrack for the entire plane to hear.😖
I like watching movies with my daughters and, of course, with Brady. The three of us watched Cruella on the second night I was here, and yesterday Brianne and I watched Love Actually. I've started that movie twice over the past couple of years and never got around to watching it all, and it is just so good. I kind of think we may watch a few more together before the week ends.

6. I do love this young man. Selfie of us taken by him within minutes of my arrival.

Who happens to be at least an inch and a half taller than his nana now! We both had a very similar reaction when I walked into the living room after he ran out in the cold and snow to meet me at the car and carry in my suitcase (such a gentleman, needs no prompting, just so heartwarming and wonderful). We'd hugged and hugged, and then both backed up and let go, and just looked at each other kind of misty-eyed, and a bit dazed. Brianne asked if we were okay, was Brady okay?  I think we were trying to just make sense of actually seeing each other in person after over two years. I was trying to get this much taller, leaner, grade 8, 13 years old now grandson of mine to overlay the grade 6 boy I had in my head, and let it sink in that I was actually HERE.

7. I am grateful for the federal government mandating that all passengers are fully vaccinated on domestic flights, as well as wear masks for the entire flight. I had an N95 under my cloth mask from work. I am grateful that Hamilton International has a rule that only passengers leaving that very day are allowed inside the terminal; ergo everyone in the terminal is fully vaccinated, and I am grateful that West Jet and Swoop, owned by West Jet, has a direct flight from Hamilton to Edmonton. (Sidenote: I hope the London-Edmonton flight comes back soon as it's closer.) I was grateful that the centre seat in my row was empty (for music reasons as well, snort).

8. I like Mexican food. I am grateful that we have an excellent restaurant in town with takeout available. We got tacos for my husband's birthday earlier this month. We got Esquites, MacGyver had a fish taco and a pork taco, and I had a peanut tofu one and a jackfruit one. Delicious!

9. I love books. I am happy to report that I've read 50 books, my unspoken goal for this year. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr was the 50th, just fantastic, so so good, one of the few books, that as soon as I'd finished, I wanted to go back and start it again. Seven Fallen Feathers is another must-read on the journey. 

I'm halfway through Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. It's Young Adult literature, and very good, very informative about Anishinaabe culture, and based in actual fact. I also hope to get The Alice Network read before the year ends. Four-hour plane rides can help with that!

10. I like baking, but I especially like the special saved-for-Christmastime baking. Brady and I baked up a storm on my first day, and we did a bunch again on my second day. Brianne, not a baker, but an awesome cook (have loved every one of the three suppers she's made) even made a couple of batches she wanted to try. Here's the results of Brady and my first day:
Sugar Cookes and gingerbread

11. I heard this story on CBC just before I wrapped up (see what I did there) this post this morning, and it made my heart soar. We truly are in amazing, mind-blowing times where big changes are happening, some good, a lot very scary, a lot of it on a grand scale. This is of the good kind, as in raising awareness, and it's about my favourite Canadian chocolate company, Purdy's! They are releasing accessible packaging, packaging with Braille lettering on it!

I wish all my readers a lovely holiday season with some fine quality chocolate😁. For those where it's going to be a hard time, may you find comfort in the quiet of the season, and in your memories.

Note that there will be no DrEAMi linkup this month, but I may run two in January just to share our chasing squirrels moments.


  1. Oh Sandra, getting to see you and Brady together with those big smiles makes my heart so happy for you. I love that you are together in person!!!

  2. To meet in real life these days makes it so very special. Funny fact that Grandsons are taller than we are, I just reach to Josh's shoulder, and only then if I stand up so straight!!! Brady, have a wonderful Christmas , you too Sandra , enjoy every day there.

  3. I feel how much fun you're having together... I put one of your books on hold and I'm 322nd on the holds list!!! must be good

  4. Ha ha, I am laughing so much about the music. When I was in college, we had a piano lab. I would go in, put on the headphones and play. One lovely young lady came over one day and said "I know you have on the headphones, but...." and waved the jack that wasn't plugged in- in front of my face. I suspect my ears turned crimson.

  5. Oh my gosh Sandra. The part about the music on the airplane and the barfing guacamole because of wine - it is all HYSTERICAL. Best post of the day for sure. So, so funny.

    Love the selfie with Brady and so glad you are together baking cookies and enjoying each other.

    I'll make note of your book suggestions. I love to read and am always up for something new. Right now I am listening to The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett. Tom Hanks reads it and oh, such a great book!! I just put The Handmaid and the Carpenter by Elizabeth Berg on my kindle so will start that tonight.

    Merry Christmas!!

  6. Laughing about you being an inadvertent DJ on your flight and am surprisingly shocked or amazed about your choice of music, Michael W Smith who has played at our church twice and I have a few of his CDs. I would have lost big time on that one. Glad you had a lovely visit with Brady and Brianne. Wishing you and yours and a special furrball a Merry Christmas.

  7. OMG I can just see you about the music and airpods, thanks for the chuckle! A wonderful picture of you and Brady! Enjoy your time with him and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!!!!!

  8. So many good things in this post, Sandra, although I will look at guac completely different now (and maybe wine too - haha). May you enjoy your Christmas celebrations with family! Fun to see the photo of you and your grandson, too!

  9. Well, you made me laugh out loud with the comment about barfing guacamole. I'm kind of surprised it took so long for someone to complain about your music. I'm glad you're enjoying your visit with Brady and Brianne. It will go too fast, I'm sure. Merry Christmas.

  10. Such a wonderful post, Sandra. It may be a little while before you can listen to that music without a little cringe factor...I identified so much and felt your mortification. How very wonderful to be with the family again. What a great kid too! Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday time and a hearty, healthy New Year to you too!

  11. What a joyous post! The air pods story is hysterical, but I think we can all picture ourselves in that situation. BRADY!! what fun to see how he has grown. I had similar reactions to my grand nieces who I saw briefly. SO many blessings in a hard year - it is good to be reminded.

  12. Wonderful that you were able to spend time with your daughter and GS! I love the earbuds story (hehe the sort of thing that I would do!). Seasons Greetings!!xx

  13. Oh, Sandra, I died reading that music story and actually had to read it out to my husband! Too funny!! How good that you finally got to have that visit :) Happy New Year, to you!