Friday, May 27, 2022

Gratitude #64

Good heavens, I forgot the last Thursday of the month - where did May go? I started this post, as I usually do, part way through the month, but Thursday just sneaked up on me. Remember if you'd like to read more of these uplifting posts, several of us write them, some every week, and we link up at LeeAnna's blog Not Afraid of Color.

1. I like Kopegaron Forest, a little nature preserve we just discovered at the beginning of the month just 20 minutes from home.
Magical. Fragile. Perfect.
And we are about to re-elect a government in this province who wants to pave over thousands of square kilometres of wetlands to put in a highway that will benefit commuters by shaving off seconds, not lying, of their drive, but that will give billions to his rich buddies who clearly buy him off. I have to stop thinking too much about it other than signing petitions and writing to my MPP because I get a panic attack feeling in my chest.

Trilliums are a big deal to me, being from Alberta where they do not grow. But seeing these rich burgundy ones took my breath away. I looked them up: red trilliums. Who knew.

2. This next story just warms my heart! It's like the painted rocks as far as bringing a community together and making us feel positive and connected. There is some serious cash to be found in the New Brunswick town of Miramichi's found money mystery.

Just so cool, and it reminds me of the painted shells I found on the beach in Florida. I wrote about them way back in possibly my first thankful post. This was before I found LeeAnna's group.

3. This article about Ojibway Park in Windsor being transferred to Parks Canada gives me some hope in very disillusioning times regarding our planet. I'm so very glad that finally, finally, this pristine piece of land, "It is the last piece of natural habitat along the Detroit River" (MP Irek Kusmierczik) is going to be preserved for generations to come. Another MP, Brian Masse, has been working on getting this designated for five years now. This is the piece of land I referred to a few gratitude posts back where I noted that an under-the-road tunnels should be built so that endangered turtles and snakes can safely cross busy roads.

4. I love seeing a few of our new perennials blooming. We bought them last year. This azalea bloomed this week and wow, what a fiery burst of colour she is. AND? MacGyver decided he'd see if my calla lilies might overwinter in this southern-facing garden where the ground doesn't freeze very deep, if at all especially with the black mulch. He put some straw on op as well. Normally you should remove the bulbs and place them in paper bags over the winter in a cool dark place. Well, we are in zone 7b here thanks to Lake Erie who keeps us a bit warmer through the winter, and what with this warm bed, I thought, heck let's give it a try. Well, four of the five have popped up! I'm ecstatic.

I'd forgotten that these iris were double colour and frilly!

5. I love the view from my sewing room windows. It's green green green, and I feel like I'm in a sewing treehouse.

6. I really enjoyed a 3-part series Almost Australian. The actress Miriam Gargoyles "embarks on a 10 000 km, two-month journey to discover what it means to be Australian today." (IMDB) It's from June 2020, so very recent. Miriam has recently become an Australian citizen, formerly a British subject. She plays Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films. I watched this on Kanopy, a movie service through our library. 

7. I might have mentioned the Maori singer Teeks before, but this song, another off his debut album, Something to Feel, is one I've fallen in love with. I just love his voice!!

8. I loved seeing our new trees in bloom this spring. We planted them in autumn 2020 in commemoration of a few life events: my 60th birthday was in April that year, our 40th anniversary was in August, and one for my mum who passed away in 2018. In fall of 2021 we transplanted a tulip tree that a neighbour had given us, a baby from her giant mama tree, in memory of Rocco, our beloved pibble, who we lost just before Christmas 2020, and spread his ashes beneath it.

9. I loved this cilantro and merlot head lettuce we purchased from Greener Farms, along with a few seedlings. What a great business: they pick up your food scraps, compost them, and bring you back the compost in the fall! They also sell veggies (free delivery) and in the spring seedlings. We haven't joined their composting programme because we actually bought a composter last year and have been doing it ourselves for a year now, but we plan to take their composting session this fall to get some tips. It's pathetic that we don't have composting in this county, but it's about to change because the province has ordered Essex County to get their shi... I mean food together and out of the landfill. Gosh, we had composting in Strathcona County in Alberta since 2007 or 8 and a much better recycling programme too. The neighbouring county to the northeast of us is so much better in this. My county is ridiculous for being unwilling to change. A group of high school students even made a presentation to the town of Kingsville pleading with them to reconsider (for some reason small municipalities like ours can opt out which they did, citing the expense, to which MacGyver and I call bs) and they still voted no. These students' response? Know that we are in grade 12 and will be of voting age imminently.

10. I like this good advice, some of which I struggle with, from Laurel Emory on Instagram.

11. A (not so quick) nod to some good books I read in May. I'm currently on my sixth book for the month! That may be why my sewing has slowed a bit now I think about it. I'm currently living and even dreaming in Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon. Part of me has not wanted to start it because I don't want it to end! I found I had to go back and skim a bit of the end of her previous one, to try to recall just what had happened with Roger and Jem, Brianna and Mandy... 
Circe by Madeline Miller was excellent, a terrific telling of the witch Circe's story, daughter of a Titan and a sea nymph, a good strong women-themed tale. All the Devils Are Here, another I have 'saved' as I do believe it is the latest Inspector Ganache book so now I have to wait until the next one comes out. Loved it, especially since it was set in Paris, so I loved revisiting some of the places I've been, and now I want to go back and find a bunch of others featured in the book. I read two more by Maggie O'Farrell, a terrific Irish, now living in Scotland author. The Distance Between Us was excellent. She can really spin a good yarn! I learned some more about how women and especially their mental states were treated in Victorian times in The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

One that everyone really needs to read, and apparently it's been made into a movie out this month in theatres, is Peace by Chocolate by Jon Tattrie. It's non-fiction, and tells the story of the Hadhad family, Syrian refugees, who came to Canada in 2016 after being in limbo in Lebanon for three years. They had a very well-known chocolate factory in Damascus that supplied chocolate all over Europe. It was completely destroyed in the war. They decided to start it up again, from their kitchen in Antigonish, NS. WHAT a community that is; would that we all could be so supportive of newcomers. I had trouble reading through tears as much of it was so moving. Next time we are in Windsor, I plan to stop in at Sobeys and buy some of their chocolate! Yep, they now sell across Canada, and yep, they've only been here for six years! Amazing. Uplifting true story. You can follow them on Instagram, and order their chocolate online too!

As usual my gratitude post took me longer than I'd planned. I hope some of these 'likes and loves' will lift you up this month.


  1. Lots of delightful things to love in this post, but I, too, appreciate the green out my windows and am trying to soak it in as much as I can...

  2. I am equally delighted by the perennials that keep showing up in our yard, both those we've planted here in the last 5 years, and those previous owners have left for us. Every year, it's a crap shoot, so it's anybody's guess what will return in spring and summer.
    Thanks for your excellent book recommendations! I've read the Esme Lennox book, and loved it. I completely understand your reluctance to have read some of your highly anticipated TBRs. I'm right there with you. I'm unable to find any of Maggie O'Farrell's other books, but won't give up the search.

  3. just added you in, and the singer... oh my... kind of sounds a little like Seal who I like lots. blossoms are so nice.

  4. A delightful post with beautiful photos!

  5. Thank you for so many lovely likes/loves. All the trees and plants are so green. I look out the window from the walking track and think that I missed some of the changes. I'm always so grateful that the plants in my pots (where most of my gardening is done) return every year. The deer tried many times to eat the tulips. The day lilies and my red lilies will soon start blooming. Hubby has been composting for years. Some of the things that have grown in the compost pile are interesting.

  6. As always, such an interesting post. I love your boardwalk photo. Great successes in your garden. Imagine having to read your post to discover one of 'our locals'!! Great voice and I will be following Teeks up. I took 6 weeks to read ."...the Bees...". I also re-read the previous two before starting it - that was while Mum visited and it didn't take me nearly as long to get through them!! Insightful (and wise) thoughts from Laurel Emory.

  7. a road through that beautiful land... really? you'd think that you live in the US !!!

  8. So many awesome things. The tree is gorgeous. Love your azalea, mine wasn't quite ready to bloom yet. I love when I hear of green spaces, especially that give access to the river, lakes, streams. Your books sound fabulous. I love merlot lettuce! It is so easy to grow, but you have to grow it in stages, otherwise you have a lot of lettuce at once. Someday I will get my act together to compost right.

  9. I love the nature preserve and trillium. So fun that your calla lilies did well. So many other good things especially that saying is just for me right now. I do find myself dwelling on the past mistake of stepping off the steps the wrong way! I will keep those practices in mind. Some good reads, too. You would think I'd read a ton, but the first weeks were so busy whether in hospital or rehab or even at home...someone coming by or doing something or checking on me.

  10. Love the post, Sandra, the Trillium, the Iris (it's beautiful - mine have stopped blooming the last 2 years, and I need to figure out why), the azaleas, and blossom trees. Because there is just the 2 of us, I tend to by Napa Cabbage, and use it instead of lettuce, it lasts so much longer, it's nice and crinkly, and you can do cole slaw and stir fries too. My sewing room is in the upper basement - so I can still look out at the garden and it is nice and cool in the summer - your view is beautiful.
    Diana Gabaldon - she's wonderful, I met her in Chelmsford, UK and had a number of books signed. Like you I hate to read the current book, as I don't want them to end, and at the moment, I'm a couple of books behind, plus haven't bought the 'Bees' yet - my neighbour/friend is into them as well. There is a facebook group - Random Acts of Crochet Kindness, and I have been thinking of doing some little things for the tree out front, with packages for people to take that may cheer them - it's just finding that time. Thanks for sharing!