Thursday, August 25, 2022

Gratitude #66

Ah summer, my favourite season of the year. I am grateful to live in a place in Canada where we do get four distinct seasons, and for that reason, I've come to love three of the four. I tolerate winter better now we live in southwestern Ontario, though I'd still prefer to be away and in warmer climes for the two months it's most unpleasant: January and February. But enough about those two months! Welcome to another post about gratitude! Here is my current view as I type this post, on Thursday morning.
Morning coffee in a favourite mug bought in Monaco, mug cosy removed for the photo; smoothie in my also favourite Angela Walters 'Quilting is my Therapy' cup

Pretty idyllic, I'd say. It's going to be another hot and humid day. I don't mind a bit. This morning, like most others, it's already 24C at 9 am, and the humidity is such that the air feels soft. Crickets and katydids are singing, and soon the cicadas will join in the chorus. I love the symphony they create.

So much to be grateful for, and also for my five senses that enable me to appreciate all this beauty right in my own backyard. Bella would like to note that her favourite summer place is also this deck, as well as her cat grass you see on the table here.

So LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color has started giving those of us who write these gratitude, or 'I Like/Love' posts, a prompt that we can choose to answer or not. This week it's a place you like to go in summer. Well, you're looking at it right there. From one end of Canada to the other, Alberta and Ontario, the two provinces in which I've lived, my backyard deck is the place I love to be in summer. As a kid, it was our patio, and perhaps that's where the love of and appreciation for, one's peaceful back garden has come from. I've been known to sew many a time on my deck, and of course, reading outside is just the best. Eating meals outside is another love, and definitely afternoon tea and morning coffee outside!

Last week the prompt was favourite summer sandals, and for me it would be my Body Glove flip flops, my Sanuk flip flops, and my Keen sandals for dog walking. I have small feet, so I have been fortunate to find my size either on sale or in discount stores like Winners and Marshalls.

Other things and places not far from my backyard deck for which I'm grateful this month would be the Leamington Marina and Seacliff Beach, just 8 km away. It's a wonderful place to walk the dogs, or grab a coffee or lunch and eat at one of the many picnic tables or benches along the walk and in the grounds.

The floral displays do not disappoint! I love them, and every year at least one quilt gets photographed here.
'Crystal Constellations' the throw version of Pop Star, taken back in June

I enjoyed the first season (and there's going to be a second!) of Alma's Not Normal, which I watched on CBC Gem. It's a memoir of creator and main character Sophie Willan's life, such a hoot, and best of all, I love that it's filmed mainly in Bolton, Lancashire, England, my mum's hometown. I recognized several places where we'd been in 2019, and especially LOVED seeing The Tea Court, which is the cute little tea place where we had afternoon tea! It features prominently in the episodes, as the sandwich place where Alma's friend Leanne works.  When I first saw it, in indoor shots, it immediately reminded me of it, but I thought come on, what are the chances... And then an outside shot confirmed it. I pressed pause on the TV, grabbed my old iPhone since I was streaming Gem through my new phone onto the TV, and here you have it, a little grainy from an iPhone 4 but still:
from the TV on my old iPhone

In real life in 2019 - I follow them on Instagram, and found out, sadly, they've closed.

Another favourite place to go in all seasons, really, but especially in spring, summer and fall, is Point Pelee National Park, which is a mere 15 minutes' drive east of me.

Looking south towards the point, the southernmost point of mainland Canada

a wild hibiscus

Looking west. No filter. That water is so clear and warm, the sky like a painting.

Two other moments of gratitude and awe occurred on my deck this month. Interesting how the list almost all ties together.
And the 7 am sky this past Saturday, no filter. Notice the light, like icing on a cupcake, on the far clouds.

I joined a book club (first time I've done this), through my alma mater, The University of Alberta. In July we read Nowhere Girl by Cheryl Diamond. What a gripping, shocking, childhood lifestyle way outside my own, memoir. August is another memoir, Rick Mercer's Talking to Canadians. It too was mesmerizing, and I finished it in a week. To my Canadian readers, you should get a copy of this book! As I said on Instagram, I view it as a love letter to comedy, to Canada, to the CBC, and to his lifelong partner, Gerald. Other good reads are below.
Life in the City of Dirty Water, aka Winnipeg, another Canada Reads 2022 book, was excellent, though the lack of chronology for the first part was confusing. What Strange Paradise also another from Canada Reads, is next after The Axeman's Jazz, which I'm about 1/3 way through.

Didn't realize it until I was writing this, but August was definitely a memoir month, with three of the five being memoirs.

Last for this month, but always and forever, is I love new fabric.
Bird Song by Pat Sloan for Benartex Designer Fabrics

These are going to become this small quilt or wallhanging:

It's one of two quilts, a throw and a wallhanging, or perhaps a table centrepiece, in my newest pattern, The Light Within. I actually have yet another pattern ready to release, perhaps next week!


  1. What a lovely gratitude post and an insight into you August happenings. Your deck & pool area look great. I enjoy that we have 4 seasons here too & maybe a couple of weeks away during your winter to Oz would be exciting.(smile). Ah, so your Mum was from Bolton & my DH from Leeds with some my own ancestors from the Penines & near to Huddersfield. Love your new fabric & that wall hanging will look nice in it. Take care & hugs.

  2. That sky! I do have to admit that we loved how clear the air was in Hawaii and have never seen such blue skies before. The dust and haze here in Central California does make for some spectacular sunsets, though. Pluses and minuses to everything! Sounds like you've been reading some good books. I am grateful today that our move is finally complete - our vehicle was delivered yesterday. I took it in to try to get it smog certified this morning, but because of a check engine light (that we took in to have fixed just prior to shipping), we have to drive it another ~200 miles (sans air conditioning, oy!) before it will pass. Getting there. One mile at a time right now, it seems. Ha! Anyway, this has turned into quite the rambling reply. I always enjoy your gratitude posts and how it helps me focus on the things I am grateful for, too.

  3. You have a beautiful spot there, Sandra, and it's so lovely to live near water, too! I love that new fabric from Pat Sloan - I'll have to look for that!

  4. adding in your link now, sorry I forgot! What a fab post Sandra! Great locations for summer, I also like my keen sandals ironically first purchased in Lake Placid on vacation! The puppies are so cute and what a view! Thanks for the show suggestion and books to read. Leeanna

  5. Thanks for another wonderful gratitude post! From beautiful skies and waterfronts to a dragonfly I've never seen or even heard of.

  6. Another beautiful post, Sandra. Love all your mentions and have a couple of takeaways, as always, to look up or check out. Your new pattern looks awesome too.

  7. Oh Sandra, I’m so happy to hear that you love summer. Not because I love summer but because I can now think of you loving summer weather. In general, I hate summer in Baltimore as the heat and humidity are just too much for me. But knowing someone somewhere is happy about the weather always helps me. I LOVE winter; feeling cold is always better than feeling hot in my life. I will say, being in Portland OR for most of this summer (we just got home to Baltimore) was WONDERFUL. Portland had the BEST summer weather ever - even when it was hot, it was dry heat and I tolerate dry heat so so much better. Thank you for sharing your gratitude! I rarely comment on your posts but I always enjoy them.
    Laura Links

  8. It does sound like summer is your happy place! You have a beautiful spot there on your deck and it inspires me to try to add more life to ours! You have some lovely spots near you. Your new fabric is a lovely line...I might just have to have a look to see if it is available here in NZ! Lovely post.

  9. Thank you Sandra for such a wonderful post. It was just the read I needed; seeing your beautiful deck and the pride you have in our country. 😉