Thursday, February 23, 2017


A friend called me for animal advice this morning. I have a lot of contacts in health, behaviour and rescue. Over the course of the conversation,  she commented on my ability to find the good in any situation.

That's how I cope. I find the silver linings in clouds. That can be as simple as the unusual shape or colour of the cloud. I'm not immune to the fact that there's a severe thunderstorm raging all around me. Instead, I focus on the safety of our shelter,  the electric charge in the air, the way people gather together to share resources.

I've felt unbearably sad today for no discernable reason. The weather was sunny and warm so I played outside with the dogs. I finished reading a good book out in the fresh air. I drove with the car windows down.

And I helped my friend brainstorm a solution to her animal problem.

At the end of the day, helping someone else is a good way to help yourself.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Real Life has been kicking ass and taking names, leaving me exhausted. The constantly changing weather hasn't helped but every single day at least One Good Thing happens regardless of whether I post it or not.

I'm finally back in the routine of writing.I genuinely like both of my main characters and enjoy getting to know them. As a bonus, I watch a lot of hockey -  for research purposes.  Okay, truth be told, I already watch three or four games a week but now I watch teams and broadcasts other than my team.

Life is good. Lots of changes in this household but they are all improvements. No, the toaster oven wasn't broken. I checked the wrong plug. But the new toaster oven was on sale. It also toasts a lot faster and more efficiently than the old appliance. Our smoke detectors work.

I've got a lot of creative project irons in the fire. They make me happy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Middle Niece won four golds, one silver, one bronze and Most Creative at her gymnastics competition in the morning. Her younger sister was the only one in her group at Cheer to perform a back flip without a spotter.  We went for dinner afterward with these two increase, poised young ladies. It was wonderful to watch them go from performance personal back into two under-ten year old who giggle over food and tell silly jokes with no clear punchline.

Still,  it was interesting to glimpse their futures - Olympics 2024.  We're all saving up for that.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Cozy blankets, hot tea, puppy on my feet

Stress-cleaning, not eating, strange switch from the past.

Reading, writing, reading some more

Nothing exciting to see here as I work through some life stuff. Simple pleasures can make the difference between sanity and barking mad.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


My friend and I go out to the Jordan House for buffalo cauliflower. But it was snowing and freezing rain today so instead of going out, I made my own from this recipe.


We finished it off with frozen bananas mixed with fine cocoa and walnuts.

The weather sidelined a lot of my plans for the day but it all turned out well.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Young 'uns

My DNe's friend told me that he likes to spend time with me, that I always help him relax. That was sweet. He has high anxiety.

I spent time with my pregnant friend today. It's her first. I think she's going to go early. The baby really dropped since last week. I better finish up the shark blanket - that I haven't even started.

Puppies playing in the snow always make me smile. Technically,  none of our three are puppies any more you'd never know that to watch them race like cartoon characters around the cold, white yard.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Lots of good things

Today's good things include fair trade dark chocolate, projects that distract me in a positive way, vegan doughnuts and the joy on my coworkers faces when I shared that box of deliciousness.

My TBR pile grew by three books this evening. I love opening the shipments of new books at work. They smell like comfort, adventure, knowledge and hope.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Stress reducing

The last three days have been over-the-top stressful.  Every day, I've found something good to help me remember that "this too shall pass" .

I'm most proud of how I've moved away from stress eating. Vegetables first has been the mantra that fills me before I reach for cookies or chips. I need to be healthier and that's starting to stick.

Threading my fingers through Ky's fur grounds me. Today, I left an angry, non-productive interaction and took the dogs for a drive. We got out and walked alongside the Niagara River. The rush of water over the Falls rarely fails to put things into perspective.

Finn saw ducks and geese and nearly lost his puppy mind. That seemed to amuse Ky.

We stopped at my favourite tree by an old stone fence. The garbage scow still rests where it ran aground 90 years ago.

There's new graffiti since my last visit over a month ago. I took it to heart.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Could be worse

Instead of stress eating today, I did some cleaning and organizing. That's a win on several levels.

It did lead to the question, is my thing for notebooks out of control. These were just the ones I found in one drawer.

Saturday, February 04, 2017


I went to one friend's house to help her embroider a chair cushion.  I had clearly misunderstood.  She needed help recovering the chair cushions. That was good as I had no idea how I was supposed to embroider leather. We pieced and pinned everything together. Another friend is going to do the sewing as it will much faster with her machine that with my hand sewing. The bonus was the time spent with two friends do instead of one.

I'm also going to learn how to use the sewing machine that lives in the front closet. I might also look for my great-grandmother 's small machine. I carted it around for years from one house to the next thinking it was my grandpa's old typewriter.

I adjusted a graph pattern yesterday so that the reindeer is now a moose. I can knit that now. It will fit my friend's granddaughter next fall/winter.

The puppy and parrot played tag last night. I laughed til I cried.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017


I wrote the following on Facebook yesterday.

My home is sanctuary for any and all who need it. I was raised by both of my parents to give everyone a chance. Race, creed, color and gender were not to be used as determining factors but rather a person should be taken on face value and, at most, measured by their actions. Never judged. We always shared whatever we had with those who had less. We invited strangers into our homes to share meals and holidays. We were encouraged to work in our communities in ways that made life better for all. Of course, we're not paragons of perfection. We all have biases. It is important to see past that to the value each life has.

Historically,  Canadians are peacekeepers.  I cherish that role. It took me to Germany where there were constant reminders of desperate people believing the disguise evil quickly shed. I grew up hearing first hand accounts of the war, and how it affected ordinary people.

I was five years old when we moved there and what I learned dug deep into my soul and grew roots. I knew and loved individuals, families and businesses. The war wasn't some dusty dry recitation in class about evil people. Most of those I loved had been Nazis, or silent. They kept their heads down and tried to survive. Their shame and regret were palpable. But history could not be altered no matter how much anyone tried to rewrite it.

My home is a sanctuary. I welcome all who are in need. I always have. I always will. I'm not blind to hate, not blind to fear. I've experienced both from opposite perspectives. 

Love trumps hate. Canada has her problems. We will never all agree on the best way to meet common needs for security, for shelter, for equality, justice or business. But if we continue to deny fear and hatred, we have a shot not only of surviving but thriving.

Today I went to our local mosque to offer support and to learn more about being Muslim as they opened their doors to celebrate #WorldHijabDay. It was an incredible experience. My niece and I were shown different styles for wrapping the scarf and each gifted with our own. We had our hands dyed with henna. The Iman spoke about everyone being free to choose whether to cover their heads, necks and shoulders - or not. He took questions from the curious and answered with a great deal of openness and honesty.  We had a tour of the mosque then sat as a group in the women's prayer room and learned more about Islam. The five pillars of faith are remarkably similar to Christianity.

In one of those nice tricks of synchronicity that I so adore, I tripped over this shirt at the bazaar.