Thursday, March 24, 2022

Gratitude #62

Thank you for once again reading my monthly Gratitude post. Several of us write these posts on Thursdays and link up at LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life 
is the foundation for all abundance.
--Eckhart Tolle

There aren't too many days go by that I am not thankful that I live within a 2-minute stroll of Lake Erie, whose actual name is erielhonan meaning 'long tail'.
March 18 - the ice went off a week later than last year

I am grateful for these two.

Animals are amazing in so many ways. They have a calming influence, they love and accept you no matter what, they divert your attention, they force you to get outside into some fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine, they take you out of yourself. They can by trying, and the past couple of months have been especially so. Xena was triggered in a debilitating way, by a squeak toy that Rufus got from Dayna. Xena got a cow (grin) that rattled, but she isn't into toys of any kind, just doesn't 'get' them. The first time she heard the squeak, she was clearly scared, but the second time she dissolved into a mass of trembling vibrating jelly, trying to hide somewhere was awful. This continued (we took the bird away immediately) over the next several weeks at almost anything, me walking into the house from teaching yoga, Bella walking by or miaowing, us in the kitchen cooking, the strangest most normal things where she'd never had a reaction. When she put herself in her crate to get away, when she refused food(!!!), we knew something to horrible to let ourselves dwell on, must have happened in her past, and the squeak sound brought it all back and then some.
So, her upstairs snuggle bed we started bringing down every day, so she had a choice of four snoozing places(!) and we blocked off the sectional (the dogs are not allowed on it, and they know it but she suddenly started launching herself onto/into it when something set her off). We made sure that every day was 'groundhog' day as in routine, routine, routine. Yesterday was the first day in two months that she pretty much had a regular day, no attempts to get onto the couch, not trembling episodes, she even rushed Bella 😾 so we hope things are settling. Stray2Play, the rescue where we got her, sent us a couple of things to read, one about 'trigger stacking' that I'd not heard of before but this definitely seemed to be what was happening with poor Xena. The benefit of all this (and there is always a benefit to everything, though you may have to really dig) is that she has become more attached to us, and allows us to hug her fairly regularly, and she loves loves when I deeply massage her spine, curling into herself like a cat! And she's even starting to allow, and enjoy, and even 'suggest' (not exactly ask for) a belly rub, a brief one, but still.
Soaking up the rays in a chair, of course!

It is wonderful once again to enjoy winter aconite in gorgeous carpets of bloom.

Spot the bumble bee!

One landed on me last week when I was sitting on the deck reading and soaking up the warmth of the sun.

I am grateful for innovation and advancement that is environmentally conscientious. Here is an article about the under-construction Gordie Howe International Bridge. Be sure to scroll down to watch the video on it which goes over its current state of construction. It's the longest span of a cable state bridge in North America! There will be a multi-use cross border path that is toll-free! So, pedestrians and cyclists can cross over between Windsor and Detroit at no charge. So cool!

I'm grateful for reading recommendations from quilt bloggers/Instagrammers. This month so far I read two that Bernie of Needle & Foot highlighted as her top reads in 2021, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, and Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. Both were really good. I must admit I struggled with some things in Cold Sassy Tree (think Deep South, still mostly stuck in the Civil War, some rather crude as in underdeveloped thought processes...) but overall it was a good story, though did not turn out like I expected/wanted. There is a sequel, but our library doesn't have it, so I will have to request it on an intra-library loan or purchase. I'm currently reading another excellent one by Ariel Lawhon, The Wife the Maid, and the Mistress. It's sending me to the Internet to check out, 'this really happened?' so I know it's a good one.

I like that we brought in several plants: elephant ears, ti plants and crotons to over-winter them, and I'm grateful that they have done really well. They've all done really well. My mandevilla vine baby is thriving in her water; I need to pot her up today.
Despite insecticide, we still had a lot of little black 'gnats' but with garlic bits, tea leaves, coffee grounds, and sticky yellow papers, we have got them down to just one or two.

Another week or so and we will start putting them out on the deck during the day. Note the green grass that's thriving as much as the crotons are, after the past two days of rain! 

I enjoyed this recipe, Quick Cinnamon Rolls, one that Brady has made a couple of times, so I decided to try it. Next time I'll add raisins though; cinnamon buns need raisins, right? Brady doesn't like them so he likes the recipe as is. I also didn't get 18; more like 14 and even then some of them were pretty small. If I say they're pretty small, you know they really are. So in future I'll cut them a bit large, maybe have 10-12.

I like this meme. I thought it explained very well the concept of defunding, or, a better term, as I've recently learned, from an author, former mayor of Toronto, 'de-tasking' the police force:

I enjoy making my own designs, and re-making them too! I am currently re-making a design I did for Island Batik in 2018, which I will use as my quilt along which will run April 3 - June 15, as per usual. Want a peek? Thought I'd give my blog readers a little ahead-of-the-game look. I've shown a couple on Instagram of the actual fabric...

Two sizes are available, baby and throw. More details forthcoming, but I've mocked I tup in a few colourways, Christmas being the original fabric used. It's free, and has a slow pace, and uses basic piecing techniques. I'm working out the kinks by making the baby size with 'Evelyn's Tulips' a new line by Jackie Robinson for Benartex Designer Fabrics. They are sending me an upcoming line by Amanda Murphy for the throw size to make during the QAL. You know how much I love Amanda's fabrics and well, her quilting is to die for. 

One last gratitude: how many quilters joined in the Postcard from Sweden quilt along I hosted! 34! And how many countries they represented: Canada, US, Norway, Australia, and Scotland. I had two that I know of, new quilters, first quilt, first quilt along! Wow, that makes me so glad. Another heartwarming thing was two sisters, one in Calgary and one in Ottawa, each making their own quilt and sewing 'together'. I met some new people, got further or better acquainted with some blog readers, and/or Instagram followers (hi Ila and Michele, and Dee!) and all in all it was a great time. I will make a separate post to announce the winners and thank the sponsors right after this one.


  1. I added in your link! sorry I forgot but it's there now and I'd hate people to miss this post full of meaning, love and gratitude. Rufus is a calm boy now isn't he?

  2. Oh poor Xena, she must have suffered terribly in the past. I'm sorry that the past few months with her have been hard, but hopefully your bond with her will be that much stronger in the end as a result.

  3. Rescue dogs always seem to take two steps forward and one back. With ours, I found it takes years for them to feel completely secure.

  4. Poor Xena. I do hope she settles again well & I'm a dog lover, although we don't have any pets these days, but when out walking, get lots of doggy pats & licks and even sometimes beautiful cuddles from dogs who are apparently shy when around others. I've just planted a mandevilla which was a gift for looking after an elderly dog for 5 days. I keep thinking of joining in this, but always seem to forget when it is. Is it usually around the 23rd of the month or a Thursday close to that date? Thanks for my quick peek at the upcoming QAL & I've already pulled some fabric from my rather frightening stash. I really try not to buy much as I need to use what I already have at my age. Lots of cuddles to Xena & pats for the other 2, take care & hugs.

  5. Sweet Xena, poor thing. Your patience and love for her is wonderful. I'm excited for the QAL - beautiful design!

  6. Happy puppies! That star looks so cool!

  7. my heart was breaking reading about Xena, what she must have suffered before she came into your loving arms.

  8. Awe poor Xena, she is so lucky to have two humans adopt and love her. I was reading a rescue blog about how they train dogs to fight (squeaky toys, and chihuahuas, and other small breeds) among a few things. Great explanation about "defunding" the police. Pretty quilt, how cool that you had so many people join along.

  9. I'm late to the party again. Poor Xena (and you, McGyver and the rest of the menagerie). Here's hoping calmer days are ahead and in more ways than one. I'm going to have to skip the QAL as I will be away (VA and NC) the first two weeks and have other projects that need to come first when I get home. We have snow right now and an expected high tomorrow of 24F. Enough already, I say.