Monday, September 30, 2013

List of Good Things

Extra hours.
Elen had a great vacation.
Straw on the garden
Leaky shower fixed
Homemade applesauce

Sunday, September 29, 2013


We had a bit of a deadline on something so I went into work an hour early today. I loved it in there, so quiet and peaceful surrounded by all those books. The very first person through the door was a visitor who commented on the beauty and grace of the building. The original library was in the old courthouse which was a rabbit warren of rooms full of history and chaos.

I got home in time to cover the side garden in newspapers and old shirts. I reused the wood pellets from the bird cage as the mulch. What looked like a large volume in the cage was a spit on the space. I needed more pellets anyway.

I'm watching The History of Scotland. I've seen it before but appreciate the scenery and accents.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lovely day

I rode my bike all the way to work and home. Climbed the hill again. It's getting easier.  Woohoo. Who knew I had it in me?  I'm not exactly ready to cycle the Cabot Trail but it feels good.  The weather was gorgeous. I ate my lunch under the crabapple tree.

Hockey is on.  The windows are open.  Ky found another bone so he's happy. Ky's happy, I'm happy.  Milo is still clawing me awake. Then lies down and goes to sleep when my alarm goes off. He wakes me three hours early!  I do love him though.  Eliot hangs off the front of the bird cage. Yoda yells at him. Sometimes, the crazy bird runs over and pecks the cat paws.  It's odd, the way they interact. I trust neither of them so opportunities are limited to life with bars between them.  I have let the birds out supervised. If I have the water gun in my hand, Eliot runs into the spare room while Kiki flies around the living room. Yoda likes to snuggle.  It's ongoing but I think we'll be able to live together as one some day.  Milo had to be trained not to eat the birds. Family is not edible.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I fell into a good book over my lunch. I never left the big comfy chair let alone went for a walk.

Later in the afternoon,  my coworker suggested I take a break. I grabbed my pear and ate it outside while walking the building's perimeter. That involved traipsing through our garden.  I'm so glad I did that. It cleared my mind and refreshed my energy level. I sent coworker out to do the same.  She'd never seen our patio or garden. After work we walked through Old Town in search of fish and chips.  We landed at the ghost in with its low beamed ceilings. It was impulsive but fun.

I came home to a lovely package of horse themed bookmarks,  postcard and magnets from my friend Nancy Herkness as well as a copy of her latest book,  Country Roads. What a delightful surprise.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Private good things

Some stuff has been happening the last few days that I don't feel appropriate discussing on the Internet. It's not all mine. It affects me directly and deeply but the good thing is other people have stepped up so that we can resolve some serious issues together.

Eliot has learned to yelp like the dog. This is a neutral thing but it amused me for some reason. I was ignoring his meows so he yelped.  It definitely got my attention.  I should have a video camera on my living room at all times. I suspect the animals don maroon velvet smoking jackets and discuss the latest literature they've digested.  In Kiki's case that would be literal.

I've been using my new standup desk and writing my paranoid character into a corner.  I like it.

I hope your week is progressing with more than one or two good moments a day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Little things

It was a gorgeous day and I got to take a trunk full of books to the seniors home.

Milo and Eliot are in the same room.

I'm making minion hats.

Joss Whedon is back on tv.

Monday, September 23, 2013

One good thing

The idea is not to list my day so much as find things to appreciate about it. Those things are rarely big. I'm a fan of simple pleasures. Our lives are full of them if we open our eyes. The end of an engaging story, a funny interview with a serious actor, conversations with the cat (particularly the ones with parrot ), amazing discoveries of lost cities in Egypt, the sound of children playing in the street in front of our house, the smell of grilling burgers, the slide of needles sliding through yarn to create fun gifts for the Littles and the healing bite of Oil of Oregano.

Life is good

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I've only been working on it a week but it needed to look like the character on which it was fashioned. It's for a young friend who probably knows exactly what every one of the hundreds of minions looks like, right down to the smiles. I hope this one passes muster

In other news, it's the first day of autumn. I love the colours, the smells and the flavours.  It is a season rich in depth and texture. It is my favorite.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Re - purpose

Yesterday brought a weather-induced migraine, hence the lack of post. I was very grateful for my bed, and the rain once it finally arrived. Milo's 6am wakeup claw was less appreciated.

This is what I did today

It's the standup desk made from my old waterbed frame.  I've yet to get the wireless keyboard to work again but once I do, I'll be thrilled to bits. I can see the mulberry tree again.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Things were a little tense and frustrating at home so I left the house a bit early and drove down to the library I wasn't working at today.  It's a gorgeous drive. I pulled to the side of the road to call my mom and remind her to take a peach to my great-aunt. While we were chatting I watched four sheep run up to a horse who was standing beneath an apple tree. The horse ignored them as they ran in and around his legs, the tree and the fencing then they raced away, leaping and kicking their legs in the air.  One was clearly the ringleader, daring his friends to see how much they could torment the horse without getting kicked.  I thought of taking a photo but was enjoying simply watching them.

I stopped at a local market and picked up a small salad from the salad bar before I headed into the library.  It was such a lovely day that I sat outside in the patio and absorbed the fresh air and sunshine.  My boss saw me and asked if I had time to stay for a coworker's birthday cake.  Knowing these lovely treats  from Willow Cakeswere on the table, I stayed. Even the little pumpkin was edible - marzipan.

 The one with the fan and raspberry was my favourite but to be honest, they were all incredibly delicious. 

From there I went to pick Milo up from the vet. He's home now, lying beside me on the couch. Eliot is lying on Ky's bed and Ky is on mine. It's nice to have them all sleeping peacefully. I like the illusion of peace and camaraderie.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interesting times

Okay, so today was interesting. I took my DNe to work at 430, fell back to sleep half an hour before I had to get up and call the vet.  Seems Milo is fine. Eating and drinking, no vomiting.  The consensus is he was stressed by Eliot.  I have a hard time believing that was the problem when they got along fine for the first two weeks Eliot was here. Then Saturday night, Milo hated him, stopped eating on Sunday.

I was scrubbing the living room floor (I had wiped it up when Milo was sick but wanted to eradicate all germs) when I got a text photo from my DBro.

Apparently my DNi had a cartwheeling incident. That is her left arm, broken in two places. She's in surgery right now.  Poor kid.

But my house is sparkling clean.  Milo will be alright. And I won horse magnets at Nancy Herkness Book Launch Party last night.

Tomorrow we take the kid out for ice cream. Because she's going to need something to distract her from that arm. Btw, she's left-handed.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One of those days

Today was one of those days. My coworker and I were discussing the idea of calling in apathetic.  You just know you're better off staying in bed til the day passes.

Some of it was pointless silly inconvenience.  Some of it was worrying.  Milo's pretty sick and it was hard to leave his care to others while I was at work. He's spending the night at the vet's where he's getting fluids and blood work.

Tomorrow is my day off. Let's hope it goes better than today.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Good things still exist

One good thing about blowing off a visit with my great aunt because I felt sick was the afternoon was free. I spent it writing. Thanks to an online touching of base with another writer friend, we set our timers and wrote for two hours. I was able to figure out the mystery of the scene, thanks in large part to the dog treats on her hoosier. 

Pretty cool.  And I canned pears and make a pear crisp as well. 

Tomorrow I work twelve hours. I bet I still find something good to report.

The world is filled with wicked people doing horrible things. I am not oblivious to all of that. I'm coping in the best way I know, by acknowledging that there is good in every day even if it's as simple as we're all still here.  And for those who are not, they are deeply missed. In some very odd ways, I carry them with me throughout each and every day.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flu writing

Lots more orange juice.  Cats beside me, dog on my feet.  Work was alright and the rain held off so the drive home wasn't too bad.

I feel kind of loopy so I'm going to write. One good thing about having a paranoid character, nothing seems weird.  It all makes sense in his head so if I can justify it when I feel better, I'll keep it.  Not that it shouldn't follow the plot but that my brain is seeing patterns that it wouldn't normally see. That makes for some creative solutions, strange conversations and unique situations for the characters.  I redesigned my living room in my mind today and came up with a configuration that's never occurred to me in the past. I'm hoping for that kind of thought process in the story.  It's worked already. Instead of starting the conversation with his usual aggression, the protagonist is attempting to be reasonable. Of course his idea of that differs greatly from most people. Fun.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Simple pleasures

I'm sick so my Good Things for the day are Oil of Oregano, Orange Juice and patrons who didn't make the day any longer than it was.  The zoo is sleeping all around me, hockey is on the tv and I've had some cinnamon honey in tea. 

Simple pleasures. I've got 'em

Friday, September 13, 2013


I drove home from work thinking today wasn't as up and down as yesterday. It was really blah in comparison. There a few fun conversations, people whose sheer stubbornness begged to be mocked. I don't tend towards meanness but I was borderline. I'm pretty sure Melvil Dewey was rolling his eyes at someone's attempt to reclassify an entire subject.  I know we all were.

Anyway, Stashaholic has settled more or less on a date for her Feline Inspection. It's nice to have company in our future.  That's what we use as an excuse to get everyone to clean up their part of the house.

Someone was grilling something when I got home.  There's nothing quite like the smell of a bbq on a cold Autumnal day.  Turns out it was DNe making hamburgers.  I walked in the back door, tripped over a cat while DNe was grabbing buns out of the freezer. It took me a moment to realize it was Eliot, back a day early.  He was quite vocal about his return. I guess my dad didn't get the message that tomorrow was the pickup so he went down this afternoon and got him. It was wonderful to hear my dad so animated while telling the tale. 

Milo and Eliot are staring at each other from two different chairs in the living room. There's been a lot of hissing and spitting on Milo's part.   He thought he'd gotten rid of the young upstart.

As an unrelated aside, I love oil of oregano. I've been fighting a bad cold all week.  Every time I remember to take the burning tincture, it holds the symptoms at bay for most of the day. 

I hope your day went well

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I took Eliot to the vet this morning for a checkup. It started with confirmation that he was neutered which led to the discovery of a microchip(the procedures tend to be done at the same time) A couple of phone calls later, I was returning him to his rightful owner. It was hard. And all day long I felt good about doing the right thing and at the same time horrible that energy was no longer part of our household.  Three weeks of looking out for him led to us all getting attached. DNe said that he wasn't going to miss tripping over the stupid cat but it sucked that he was gone.

I consoled myself with grocery shopping.  It needed to happen.  The store was ridiculously busy and overrun with managers. It seems Jamie Oliver has teamed with Sobeysto encourage healthy shopping. There were great recipes in each department along with demo tables. Of course it was too early in the morning for me to take advantage of any taste-testing. Only the produce department had their set-up ready. Still, the cashier at the checkout was so enthusiastic about it all. He made the entire shopping experience better.  And I didn't buy any junk food so that was a win.

Still the rest of the day was bittersweet.  We let the birds out of the cage to take advantage of the loss of Eliot.  They didn't really do much. Milo looked around. Ky looked around. DNe asked if we could get another cat.  No. We weren't looking for a cat. We just happened to find that one.

Anyway, it took me all day but I finally decided it was Karma in action for the time Milo went missing 15 years ago. He was gone two weeks before I found him with a family and two young pretty felines who adored him. I felt like a rat for taking him from them. They'd named him Inky - because he was black and they owned a printing press.

In the spirit of that memory, I texted the following photo to Eliot's real owner

I think Eliot looks like a kinkajou.  Several texts later and it was decided that we have more time and bodies to entertain Eliot, not to mention a great deal of affection. I'm picking him up Saturday after work and bringing him home.  Phew.

Plus, I think I've convinced Stashaholic she should come here for a few days to recuperate.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


It's a hard date to ignore so we didn't even try. My friend and I went for an early morning walk along the">9/11 Memorial Trail
.  It was peaceful and calm down by the lake.
We walked for two hours, visited a baby alpaca who was full of bounce, and reconnected with all that is good in the world. We even climbed the base of a willow tree.  It was a great morning.

The afternoon involved a good book, waiting for the phone to ring and watching the cats slowly get closer and closer. Ky has learned to respect Eliot's boundaries.  I noticed a couple of scabs on his snout. I suspect a correlation.

I went to my Great Aunt's house and packed up two boxes of teacups. I hope that my cousins will want some. I only took ones out of which I've consumed tea.

My story is shifting around inside my head. This means I will write tomorrow. Long, emotional day today. I'm headed for bed shortly.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Air-conditioning. That and fans are the Good Things for the day.  Summer is back, baby and she's kicking ass and taking names on all those who doubted her return.  She's scorched the rest of us as well.

All I could think of was Martha and the Vandellas

Monday, September 09, 2013


I spent months from March to June getting in shape to walk 20 miles to commemorate Laura Secord's walk. We continued to walk for a few weeks after that then a heat wave hit, I injured my back and I took the rest of the summer off. I jog on the spot while watching television, brushing my teeth and using the photocopier at work( only if it's before we open so that no one sees me).  I was pretty sure I'd lost all the stamina, endurance and fitness. My clothes are definitely tighter but not all the way back to pre-training days.

Anyway, I rode my bike to work.  And it was easy!  It's never been that easy.  Usually I struggle, arriving 1.5 km later, breathless and in agony. Not today.  I practically bounced into work.  Three hours later, I was still feeling good about my accomplishment that I attempted to ride up the steeper of the two hills. I don't know what I was thinking, but I did it!

I've been in a good mind set the last couple of weeks about making better choices for my overall health. That includes food, exercise and finances.  Yesterday, I made plans with my walking buddy to hit the trail again on Wednesday. Today, I met a goal I thought would take weeks to attain.

I topped the day off by visiting my great aunt.  It was amazing to hear her assessment of my parents and I, even of herself. We concluded that we rarely see ourselves the way others do. That can be both positive and negative.  She says I'm fortunate to realize that I'm a good blend of the best of my parents.  She wished she'd been more clever and had been the lady her mother had groomed her to be.  I always thought my aunt was elegant and refined.  And very clever indeed.  I guess it depends on how you define those words.  At 100 years old, she still thinks there's room for improvement and strives to do so.  She's an amazing example.  We concluded today's meeting of the Mutual Admiration Society with plans to meet next week.

Special healing thoughts to Stashaholic who had surgery on her wrist today.  May you be knitting and spinning very soon.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sunday goodness

Someone forgot to tell the city that the library would be open on Sundays again, starting this week. The front door wouldn't open from the outside.  We tried propping it open but the automatic door crushed the recycle box. I made a sign for people to enter through the garden doors at the back.  It's amazing how many people didn't read the sign. I was more entertained than I should have been by that.

A gentleman came in and rented Six Feet Under. It was his second time watching that fantastic series. He said I made his day when I said the ending of that series was the extremely well-written.  The writers were true to the theme, characters and story of that show. Hands down, it's the best series end of any show on television. The man was so thrilled I couldn't help but wonder if he was one of the writers.

I've been working on family photos for what feels like forever.  Some of the photos are over 100 years old.  It's interesting that people who were younger then than I am now look so much older. Times really have changed. I had a great chat with one of my cousins tonight on Facebook.  Some of us have been connecting that way more often.  We're a little far-flung so the Internet has been a wonderful tool for us to stay in touch. It's much better than the old days. The newspaper notice of my great-grandparents wedding in Newcastle, England had a directive for Canadian and New Zealand papers to carry the announcement.  I didn't know we had New Zealand relatives.

In keeping with the family tradition theme, we had roast beef for dinner tonight. That always makes me think of my paternal grandparents.  It wasn't burnt like Grandma used to make, thank goodness. I was a teenager before I realized my grandpa didn't like his food burnt to a cinder but that he had made the best of my grandma's horrible cooking. He always said carbon was good for the heart. And that, ladies and gentleman, is where I get the need to always look for a silver lining.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Fun with kids

Oil of Oregano did a good job. I didn't sleep late this morning but I did feel much better.  Some important puttering occurred before I went to pick up DNi.  Part of the kids' birthday presents is a day with their Beloved Aunt.  They pick the activity and we spend the day together making memories.

Our plan had been to go kayaking but a thunderstorm sent us to the movies instead.  Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.  Based on a series of books, the movies inspired DNi to read.  That always makes me happy.  Plus, Nathan Fillion as Hermes. Hilarious. With a Firefly reference.

When we got back to the house, DB had repaired my bicycle so DNi and I went for a bike ride with her little step-sisters. The smallest one was so proud of herself for pedaling her tricycle past two driveways!  The older one had two flat tires so that wasn't as much fun.  All four of us walked our bicycles back to the house in solidarity. 

We decided that as much fun as the movie was, next time we'd like to do something outdoors - as long as we were dressed for the weather.

We also had a great time trying to think of who A&W were - Albert and Wallace, Agnes and Wilma, Ariel and Wall-E?  We played that game all the way through lunch. It stretched our imaginations and caused a few giggles.

Good day.  I hope yours was as well.

Friday, September 06, 2013


I walked to work today. That was awesome.  I was desperate to wake up and it was chilly out there. I love that Fall freshness even if it's too soon. 

I'm exhausted, rundown and headed to bed early.  All of my evening plans fell through and I'm grateful. Tomorrow is scheduled for special time with my DNi.  It's unfortunate that we can't do the 5km Run or Dye (I would possibly die, I am that tired) but if the weather holds we'll go kayaking.

For now, though, I'm just glad I have a good book and a nice bed.  I suspect the book will be ignored.

Some good things happened today - animals got along, dishes were washed when I came home, family attempted to go support my DNe's art show that I had completely forgotten - but I am happiest about the oil of oregano that will keep this sore throat/cold from developing into anything. Boo hiss to the sick guy who came into work today and spread his germs without care. 

What's your favourite curl up and relax thing to do when your brain power is set slightly above zombie?  Shoot, I forgot to take my migraine meds.  I did remember to put the ear seeds back on. Maybe it's a very tiny increment above zombie.

Thursday, September 05, 2013


My aunt and uncle have been visiting from British Columbia but my work schedule has made it impossible to see them. Imagine my joy when they stopped by the library to say hello.  They are wonderful people and I'm tickled they made the effort.  It's funny how it takes seeing someone or hearing their voice to realize how much you miss them.

That was even better than watching Ky and Eliot stare at each other from less than two feet apart. Eliot is on the back of the couch, just over my shoulder. Ky is in front of the couch at my knee.  There is hope for detente.  World leaders could take the lead from these two creatures who have an innate distrust of one another but are finding a way to slowly accept the other on the path to leaving together. Of course, it helps that I won't back done on the whole "why can't we all get along" attitude.  Maybe I should broker world peace?  Forget it.  I'm still working on the "housemates are not food".

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


One Good Thing about being woken up by heavy machinery at 630 so they can idle the big Cat until their 7am start is I was up and out the door with enough to go to the bank before work.

Thanks to a friend's math lesson, I've had an epiphany about spending vs saving. This is going to help my waist line as well. I didn't drive through McDonald's for fries. I went home, sliced up a potato, lightly coated it with coconut oil and put it in the oven.  Delicious.

I did stop at the Farmer's Market on the way home and get some lovely yellow tomatoes. They seem counter-intuitive to me(are you sure they're ripe) but taste yummy. Very yummy.

Eliot is settling in.  He's still freaked out by Ky and Milo but is getting closer to them all the time.  The bird cage is covered for protective purposes when we're not home.  Right now, he's playing with fish food. The joke's on him. We don't have fish any more.  The last test cat ate him.

A patron brought in a large green garbage bag full of pears from a tree in her yard. We all took some to make pear leather, jam, crisp or to can.  I think mine are for immediate consumption. My grandparents and great-grandparents had pear trees in their yards. I associate them with love.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


 One Good Thing about paying attention to all that's good in my day makes me aware of the good in the world. Facebook is full of stories involving initiative, cooperation and consideration for others.  Today alone, I read about a community who have taken on a big energy company in order to have cleaner energy.  I read of a group of people who spent weeks getting a stray dog to trust them so they could bring him off the street before the freezing weather hit.  Once rescued, they discovered he was almost completely blind.  I read of children helping each other realize their dreams. Of parents teaching their children what's important. Of people supporting their gay comrades in Russia, of those recipients risking prison to thank their supporters. 

I'm an optimistic, emotional wreck.  Good intentions do count. Individuals make a difference. 

This deeply moving video left me gobsmacked.  The song is Read all about it by Emeli Sande. 

I know. It's not quite in keeping with the rest of my day's joys.  But it did wrap itself around my heart like all the rest.

It's all about connecting.  When we relate, we care. When we care, we create solutions.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Labouring Good Things

One Good Thing about cleaning out the pantry was the room I made for the jars of canned and jammed peaches.

Ky and Eliot (I was right, TS Eliot wrote the poetry that was the basis for the musical CATS, he didn't write the fog poem but I knew there was a reason I associated him with felines) spent an hour together in the same room.  Ky is learning boundaries. Eliot is learning not to run.  Growling continues.
I  finished a good book by a debut author - The handbook for lightning strike survivors.  It was a slow start but had a satisfying end.

I didn't get as much done as I'd planned for today, the living room looks the same apart from the Pilates ball being on the opposite side of the room from the bird cage - but my bedroom looks better, laundry was washed and floors were scrubbed. 

When all that bending over made me dizzy, I popped a movie into the DVD player.  I was surprised that I'd never heard of Flipped.  This sweet story about a couple of eighth graders who have a complicated relationship.  Told from both points of view, it's thought-provoking and complex.  To mangle a quote, it's a delicious parfait that reveals a surprising richness of flavour.

Harvesting good things

Lots of good things today in the midst of being dizzy. The latter is most likely the coming equinox. For some reason it upsets my equilibrium for a month on either side of it.  Odd but well-documented.

A late afternoon visit with my Great Aunt left me alone while she was at church. We'd misunderstood my arrival time.  I used the interim to work on more family photos. She was tickled that I'd scanned so many.  I'm patting myself on the back for having the sense to hit the record button on my phone.  That way, I not only have her sweet voice but her memories as well. Even though that makes me sound like a character from Harry Potter, I plan to do it again next week. I have so stories to go with the photos now.  It's a good way to keep everyone alive.  The shared history gives me a sense of belonging.

Because it makes no sense whatsoever to bail on a party because of dizziness then come home and stand over a hot stove for hours, I did just that.  Elven jars of canned peaches, three containers of frozen and three and a half jars of peach jam. 
Why aren't they called jarred peaches?

Peach jam bubbling on the stove

Tomorrow, I will be moving the living room around so that Elliott and Milo can each have their own window to gaze out onto the world.  There also needs to be a bit more distance between a flat surface and the bird cage. Apparently, the Pilates ball offers an excellent vantage point.