One Day – Friday Fictioneers

Well, well, well… would you look at that?  Rochelle really is sneaky!  She must have missed my participation coz why else would she lift ask me to “John Hancock” my photo.  Not to subtle, my friend!  But that’s okay coz it HAS been a good long while and maybe my mojo is slowly coming back, just like my remodel is coming together… not quite there yet but almost functional!  Should you want to place, just click on Rochelle’s name to be brought to her site for the how-to’s and once you see how easy-peasy it is, add your link to your 100-word story by clicking on my frog below. G’head, you know you want to!

Autberry Frog Reading Book Statue

She sat there daydreaming, or was she reading? head resting on her hand; elbow, anchored to the table.  She took an absent-minded sip of coffee now and again.  It was a Friday morning ritual that had now become his.  His being to gaze at her through the sheer curtain of the restaurant.  No, he wasn’t stalking her – never something so creepy as that!  He just marvelled at her sense of peace.  She seemed to be at ease with herself and, while he really wanted to make her acquaintance, he was afraid to disrupt that sense quiet grace.  Maybe next week…

For Love Of Reading, Answering The Bookish A-Z Questions

I know I’ve not finished my Catskills series.  It requires fiddling with my fingers and trying to write it in a manner enjoyable to read.  I am smack-dab in the middle of my moving/demolition/renovation and cannot seem to sit down for long enough to do so.  Even though I quit my job, I still seem to have no hours to spare, except to take breaks and read a post or two, go back to work, etc.

So, when I landed on Ally, of The Spectacled Bean’s post, I found myself thinking up my own answers to the questions.  So, between schlepping boxes and clothes, et al, I come back here to answer another.  Why not, right? I have until Sunday night to be done with the house so… not much left to do (she tries to convince herself…)

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From: This was a toss-up and I had to google the number of books.  Maeve Binchy – at least 11; Jodi Picoult – at least 8.

Best Sequel:  Hmmm… hard to say. The Interview With a Vampire books were all enjoyable (the ones I read); and the series from The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes:  The Bastard, The Rebel, et al. were also good.  I cannot remember thinking, dang, they should have stopped at the previous one. Mind you, that was a bazillion years ago, so..

Currently Reading: LOTR, The Fellowship of the Ring in a reading group; we only read half a chapter per week, so I am also reading, I Am a Girl From Africa, by Elizabeth Nyamayaro on my Kindle (in bed) and Thérèse et Pierrette à l’école des Saint-Anges by Michel Tremblay, because I like to have a book-book for reading in my moments.  I like to read a French book every 4-5 books to keep my skillz up.

Drink Choice While Reading: Don’t really have one and depends on the time of day and my mood.  Could be coffee, tea or wine or an Aperol Spritz or….

E reader or physical book:  Both.  I prefer a physical book but when travelling or before bed (no night light needed), I’ll choose an E-reader.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school:  Hmmm… None come to mind.

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling (as if anyone doesn’t know this!). My sister kept telling me to read it. I would read the first few pages and meh… she pushed some more and then I devoured them all.

Hidden Gem:  Gosh. West With the Night, Beryl Markham.  I actually listened to this on Audible, read by the fabulous Julie Harris, which added a level of wow to the book.  I have recommended this book to anyone who will listen – and hey, Ernest Hemingway highly recommended her and he recommended no one!

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:  I cannot think of any one particular book.  So many have touched me deeply in one way or another.  However, having access to so many books at Boucherville Elementary School and reading all the Black Stallions and all the Chica D’Oro (about a palomino horse) books with my friend Lynne marks my true start of loving to read.

Just FinishedA Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman. It had been recommended to me by more than a few people so I finally succumbed.  I fell in love with this grouchy not-so-mean-as-he-wants-people-to-think Swede.

Kind of Books I Won’t Read (anymore):  I no longer can stand historical romance which I used to devour.  I tried one the other day.  Nope.

Longest Book You’ve ReadShogun, James Clavell.  All 1210 pages of it.  Texas, by James Michener came in close, though the version I read was in two volumes so doesn’t quite count, does it?  Anyone who had the single volume, got 1096 pages…

Major Book Hangover Because Of:  Does this mean that I didn’t want to end? Or that stayed with me for a long time?  Either way, it’s hard to say off the cuff.  I shall have to think long and hard on this one.

Number of Cases You Own: Four.  But there are books to be found all over the place.  I have a lamp with four glass “shelves”  There are books on three of them.

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times: I am not a re-reader, though I have read Pride and Prejudice twice and am re-reading the LOTR – because of the group thing I mentioned above.

Preferred Place to Read: Comfy chair in the living room, outside in the shade (still comfy chair, please) or in bed, with lots of pillows to support my back.

Quote That Inspires You, or Gives You All the Feels, From a Book You’ve Read:  I don’t really take notes (though I have started to highlight on my kindle) so, if I were to cheat, I’d have to go look at said notes.  Obviously didn’t leave that much of a mark if I have to look, right?

Reading Regret:  Going to a French high school, the required reading was not what we would call “the classics” (though I am sure my French teachers would protest).  I mean the Anglo classics.  So, determined to make up for the lack, I read a few For Whom the Bell Tolls – blow up the bridge already, you’re killing me and I don’t care anymore; and then Anna Karenina – hurry up and throw yourself in front of the train, I’m done with you, you simpering idiot… So, to say I am reticent about continuing my quest is an understatement.  I shall, however, try more!

Series You Started and Need to Finish: Haven’t read a series in forever.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:  This is too difficult a question.

Unapologetic Fanperson For:  Maeve Binchy. Alas, she passed away and there will be no more new stories; however, I’ve not read them all yet so I do have some to look foward to.  Oh, and Jodi Picoult, too, though I am long overdue for one of hers.

Very Excited For This Release (More than all the others):  None, in particular.  I read what I read when I read and am currently on a “no-buy” thing (failing miserably at it, but trying, nevertheless).

Worst Bookish Habit:  Finishing a book I don’t enjoy because, dammit, I started it… well, not true. I did manage to put aside a book for maybe later (which might never come).

X Marks the Spot—start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th bookSwimming Lessons, Claire Fuller. (I chose the 2nd book case as the first one has cook books 😉

Your Latest Book PurchaseThe Winding Road: A Journey of Survival, Miriam Hurdle, on a friend’s recommendation.

Zzz-Snatcher Book (the last book that kept you up late)The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides.

 

With a Little Help From My Friend – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Friday Fictioneers is here! And would you looky here… Rochelle is using our little trouble-maker, Omelette, for the prompt.  Sorry she is blurry. It was one of those “quick before she jumps” situations.  Can’t very well diss my own pic now, can I?  How about you click on the frogs below to check out the other 100-word stories, or, how about you add your own link?

Bookshelf Frogs | Etsy

Haha!  Cute!  Does she always hide inside the bookshelf?

Yep!  I’ve decided to start using her as a helper.

How so?

Ever watch The Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon uses cute puppies to choose the Super Bowl winner?

Actually, I have.

Well, my guy uses his cats in the same manner. ‘Course, this year he had a 50/50 chance as they each chose a different team. I thought they should be disqualified but hey, who am I to judge?

So what’s your point?

Sorry, Got carried away. She helps me choose my next book to read!

Hope she changes shelf sometimes…

Walking. With Stanley

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery… However (Stanley’s favourite word), I do so hope you don’t mind, David Kanigan, of Live & Learn, that I have usurped your style for this post. As I was considering writing what shall follow, I kept hearing in my head “Walking… With Stanley” and, well, I decided not to fight it. I’m inspired by you but will still add my own thing by bombarding inserting photos here and there.

I have been convinced into actually using my subscription to Audible by my fellow blogger and friend Janet. You see, she told me about Stanley Tucci’s new book, entitled “Taste: My Life Through Food“. and said she had listened to it, as read by the author himself, and found it wonderful. I said I didn’t listen to books and she said maybe I was like her sister who doesn’t like to be read to. I said I think it was more about my not liking to have continual sound in my ears. I can be up for most of the day, in total silence, before I turn on the TV (when at home). We exchanged back and forth and next thing I knew, I was on Audible, thrilled to find I had one credit and was able to get it for free.

Usually, when I walk, my movie is the view around me and the accompanying sounds of nature serve as soundtrack. I have to admit that when running, I am too busy trying to regulate my breathing and trying to convince myself that I am totally loving it (I’m actually starting to), to notice. I am, however (there it is again), getting a tad bored during my forced every-other-morning walks. (Gah! I cannot wait for this year-long challenge to end!) Anyway, why not try listening to a book? It might make the time go by faster or feel a tad less monotonous. There are only so many times I can be thrilled at the sight of “my” willow.

Okay, so how does it go, D.K.?

3ºC (37.4ºF), 6:44 a.m., Tuesday, November 2nd.

Boucherville, La Seigneurie neighbourhood. Day, I have no idea but day 364 will be on January 2.

Wind is negligible. I have a thick white (to be seen) sweatshirt over two layers of tops, my tuque (not tuk, David) and gloves. I don’t feel the cold at all.

I start my new book. And I walk. Not my usual path. I go right instead of left outside of my house, past Industrial Blvd.. I snap a pic as I’ve decided to take a daily record. It’s still very dark and I see the morning crescent moon. I’m half-tempted to go back and get my real camera but that defeats my walk with purpose. I’m already bad enough taking pics with my phone!

I decide I’m going to go to the second block and turn up de Nogent which will bring me, I am frankly not too sure where, but am not too worried. I’ve got lots of time and it’s not that complicated. I am enjoying listening to Stanley wax on about his youth and his love of food through memories of family meals and can now understand why David ends up buying both the Kindle and the Audible versions as I think, shit! I would’ve highlighted that part. Or, dammit! I want that recipe (coz he gives quite a few of them). Now what? No way in hell I am going to stop and mark the time and the chapter so I can go back to it. Hmm. Not sure now about this whole listening to a book thing. Still on the fence.

However, (yes, Stanley, your editor should have pointed out just how many times you say it), I continue listening and don’t fret as I cannot do much about it for now and before I know it, I find myself in the park that I usually go through first on my runs. I’ve not gotten lost after all. It’s still pretty dark. Already the ubiquitous hockey rink has been set up in preparation for the upcoming season of thwwack of a puck slapping the boards, the Ksssh-ksssh-ksssh of skates cutting into the ice and shouts of laughter.

A chapter ends and I notice the sky is starting to “orange up”.

I look at my watch and see it’s 7:11 and think wow, only half an hour has passed? How fast have I been walking? Or was that loop a helluva lot shorter than I realised? I decide on a whim to make my way over to the overpass and hope the sunrise will be capturable. This is the only place I can even hope to do so. Where David has the best spot EVER to get it and does so spectacularly every morning, I have none. I have lots of options for the sunset, however ( 😉 ) so not all is lost. I make my way up to the top of the overpass and not only is the traffic so loud that I cannot hear Stanley, getting aggravated at the bombarding to my eardrums while I’m at it, the sunrise was totally not worth it and, as if that wasn’t enough, I screwed up and it’s blurry. C’est la vie.

As a result, have decided to only listen to the book when I am walking – far from traffic. Or when I am raking up 12 effing bags of leaves. The noise level was tolerable but not ideal. I have come to realise I prefer quiet streets or parks to do my listening.

And no. I do not want to get noise eliminating ear buds. I want to know if a car is coming and could run me over. And, imagine that, on today’s noon walk? I realised I had forgotten my buds but still could listen to the book through my phone in my pocket. As my guy would say, Win, meet Win! (And a reminder to leave a set at work!)

Weekend Writing Prompt #233- Vellichor

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  I so love when Sammi chooses a word I have to look up. How could I resist?  I couldn’t.

 

wk 233 vellichor

That Je Ne Sais Quoi

 

“The Book Nook”

Senses stimulated

Eyes see shelves and piles of books

Ears hear soft classical in the background

Fingers touch soft, used leather

Nose takes in that scent of musty

Together they make up a feeling

John Koenig calls it vellichor

Strange wistfulness

Sounds right to me

 

Boo Radley’s House – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning!  Say it like you mean it!  Today’s Friday Fictioneers came immediately and I just simply wrote it without thought. Gah… that always worries me. However, I am sticking with it!  Today’s photo is brought to us by Ted Strutz.  Excellent choice, Rochelle. I love the feel of this photo.  And thank you for hosting this weekly party.  If y’all wanna see what others wrote or, even better want to add your own, click on the frog below!

©Ted Strutz

Frog House Stock Illustrations – 610 Frog House Stock ...

Click me!

Boo Radley’s House

That house has a Boo Radley feel to it, don’t you think?

Are you thinking like a Finch or like the rest of the lot?

What do you mean?

Well, are you scared for no reason or do you have compassion for the man inside?

No need to get all uppity with me!

Seriously. Does the place spook you or are you curious and empathetic about who lives there?

I think we’re talking nonsense. The place looks abandoned.

Not nonsense.  I feel love coming from it.

You are so weird.

If you say so. I wonder if it’s for sale?

 

How Did I Become a Prompt Queen?

I went to a French high school.  We didn’t do things like the Prom Queen and King. Come to think of it, I wonder if any of the English schools in Quebec did?  Maybe it’s just an American thing. I honestly don’t know and frankly, don’t feel like looking it up because, in the grand scheme of things, it means diddly-squat.  Prompt Queen? Now that’s a different story.

Somehow any writing I have done in the past few years has been a good ninety-to-ninety-five percent prompt-related.  How did this happen? Is this a bad thing or a good thing?  Or a nothing to even waste my energies on?  I know I am far from alone.  Many bloggers only write prompt-induced posts. And that is a fine thing.  It has helped me work on my writing chops, I think.  Plus, when it comes to creativity, I need a nudge.

I take a pause in writing to think about this, and what my point shall be while I make myself a coffee,

Random shot of coffee

then get side-tracked by catching up on my daily blog reading, check my emails, and I land on my horoscope.  Coz yeah, I receive it daily, even though I don’t buy what they’re selling.  However, it is ironic that today’s says this:

07.30.2020

You may find yourself asking some major life questions today, Aries. Thoughtful Mercury finds itself opposed to grandiose Jupiter, asking you to ask whether you have all of the tools you need for the career you wish to create for yourself. You may find yourself revisiting educational or travel plans today. A positive sense of optimism permeates the day, lending support and strength to your questioning.

Okay, so why I write what I write is not a “major life question” but it is one of the questions I’ve been posing myself lately, and the only one I shall tackle at this time because it does affect how I spend some of my time.  Time that suddenly became plentiful, yet ill-used.  Since March, our lives, the world over, have been turned upside-down, sideways and inside out in a manner none of could ever have imagined.  Now that we are almost half a year into this (Seriously?!?!) we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  How are we spending this time?  Everyone has seen some kind of change in their schedule.  Some barely had a break as they went from working in an office to working from home (and are working up to 20% more than before), some went from working days to working overnight, many of us lost our jobs, some were/are on hold, waiting, convinced they will be able to return to their former jobs at some time (though less and less a probability) and some, like me, have managed to find new jobs.  A first, it seemed this no working thing would be the perfect time to tackle projects! Um. No. I couldn’t justify it as projects require money which is no longer coming in, or at least, not with the same flow.  Many took up baking and cooking and gardening.  And reading. And writing.

Because flowers are pretty even when they are straggly

Many bloggers went to town. Suddenly the once, twice or thrice-weekly bloggers became daily bloggers. The multi-posters wrote even more.  My inbox overflowed.  (I hate using the Reader though I swear I am contemplating moving to it so that my overwhelm doesn’t send me to the looney-bin.)

I know I have a point to all this.  Oh yes. Prompts.  I don’t know how I went from Friday Fictioneers to also participating in Crimson’s Creative Challenge, Weekend Writing Prompt and an occasional dVerse.  I don’t like to post more than once per day and I’m not a daily blogger, either.  I often would find myself wanting to write about something and then thinking, oh no, it’s Wednesday, that’s when I do FF and then I can’t write it on Thursday because that’s when I do CCC and then it’s too late because that feeling has passed.  Just so you know, there is no obligation for me to write FF on Wednesdays nor CCC on Thursdays. It is all self-imposed.  The reason I do this is it gives me a chance to read everyone else’s story/poem, whatevs… because. There is the rub. I’m an excellent participant and reciprocator. But it is as time-consuming AF to read and comment on 65 other 100-word stories. And I do. Mostly. I have since cut back on those who don’t even acknowledge my comment – after a few weeks of nothing, I drop them. Got better things to do with my time. And there are those who never visit mine. (And that’s okay, too. Just don’t expect me to go to yours after a while, either.)  That’s what blogging is.

The swirls of the clouds resemble my thoughts

So what about those blogs I follow (and love) and read outside of these prompts? I feel so bad when fellow bloggers read me and I find myself three posts behind on theirs.  How much time per day is a person supposed to sit on their ass reading and commenting on blogs?  I swear I must read a novel’s worth per day.  When can I sit on my ass and read a book?  Because, frankly, after reading off the computer for 3-4 hours (if not more) I no longer feel like picking up a book.

That’s a helluva detour to my point, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s why I do these prompts. They force me to keep myself brief as none of them are longer than 150 words. 😉 They have and will continue to serve their purpose as they push my creativity to write different things.  And I think my writing has improved because of these challenges so no, I am not giving them up.  I am, however, going to cherry-pick from now on because for me it is important, when participating in a challenge, to participate.  I’m not a write-and-run kinda gal.

Back in February 2016, Eric Tonningson, Awakening to Awareness (a coach, speaker, writer, blogger I admire) commented with:  “Hey, where are those thoughtful Dale posts??? All I’m seeing in my WP Reader is Friday Fictioneer stuff. 🙂”.  I haven’t heard from him since this time, last year, but his words have been swirling in my head lately.

What would he say now?  He’d probably nod his head in agreement.

I have now seen the light.  I officially demote myself from Prompt Queen to Prompt Baroness.

Apologies. I understand if it was TL:DR

2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Funny how things work, sometimes.  I can’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd of January) when I thought to myself: I wonder if Dawn is doing her Attitude of Gratitude thing this year. Not two days later (or three) what do I get in my inbox but Dawn’s post! Serendipity at its best. Let’s just say that if she hadn’t, I would have been sad and maybe, just maybe, I would have done my own anyway. It’s kinda nice to be part of something that already exists, dontcha think?

The rules are really simple.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and start listing – very stream of consciousness, this thing.  I will do exactly that by listing whatever pops into my head and at the end, shall return to my list and clean up typos, remove duplicates or even maybe cheat by adding more deets to the items, because, well, if I stop to write all the whys, then my list will be shorter.  Then again, this isn’t a contest so, does it matter just how many I have? Maybe cheating won’t even be necessary!  Okay, Rogerson, just shut up and write already.

The following are the things for which I am grateful or simply bring me joy and peace:

  1. B – for what you give and what you agree to receive;
  2. My sisters – no matter what’s what, they will be there
  3. Mom – same thing, without you, I’d not be here
  4. Dad – no longer here, you still influence some of my decisions
  5. Mick – no matter that you’ve been gone five years, you are still a huge presence, not to mention a great muse for my writing
  6. Writing – the ability to share what I want to say and have people receive it
  7. Reading – we learn so much about life, the world when we open ourselves to reading
  8. Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle in particular for being the first challenge that opened me up to writing more
  9. Blogosphere – for introducing me to so many fantastic writers
  10. Friends made over the blogosphere – it’s amazing how close we can become, like you, Sawsan, now a flesh and blood friend
  11. Julie, Giselle, Linda, Cathy – my girlfriends who are there to drink, eat and be merry with
  12. My guy friends – who keep me laughing
  13. My boys – for keeping me real – whether I like it or not
  14. The scent of petrichor in the summer
  15. The sound of rain on a window when lying in bed
  16. Being able to sit outside on a covered porch when it rains
  17. Big fluffy snow in winter, especially on Christmas Day
  18. Zeke – for giving me a reason to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  19. Standing outside, and realising all is silent and being in the moment
  20. Coffee!
  21. Wine (and beer or spirits 😉 )!
  22. The sound of the wind in the marcescent leaves
  23. My house – it keeps me safe from the elements
  24. My health – it might have blips from colds but otherwise, I’m healthy
  25. DK – for introducing me to soooo many books and for being you, who shares such beautiful things
  26. My laptop – which keeps me connected to so many people
  27. Hang Outs – which allows me to chat with my bestie face-to-face
  28. Warm thick socks in the winter
  29. Dresses in the summer
  30. My capacity (capability?) to smile through the tough stuff
  31. My ability to love freely
  32. Photography – a way to capture everything that grabs my attention
  33. Sunsets
  34. Being by the water – lake, river, ocean
  35. Travel – introducing me to cultures and broadening my horizons
  36. Cooking – not only to nourish but also to show my creativity
  37. Discovering my creativity, which I was so sure I didn’t have till it was pointed out to me
  38. Movies – being able to escape into another world for a couple of hours
  39. Merril – for introducing me to poetry and inspiring me to keep trying it
  40. Frank – because you introduced me to sooo many fabulous bloggers and your concerts were the best that I was honoured to act as your Maître D’ and because I want you to know that I am going to miss you – blogging. I shall hound you elsewhere 😉
  41. Light to see
  42. Dark to rest
  43. Love, in general – amorous or friendly
  44. Sex and the joy of sharing intimacy
  45. My eyes – so I can appreciate what is out there
  46. My ears – listening to the sounds around me, music, my loved ones’ voices
  47. My limbs – though they sometimes let me know they need more limbering
  48. My sense of humour – which helps keep me out of trouble
  49. My ability to connect with people of all stations
  50. My intellect – which permits me to have proper conversations on all sorts of things
  51. My curiosity – which keeps me learning always
  52. My snarkiness, which keeps me from not being taken seriously
  53. To you authors who trusted me with your works and allowed me to be a beta reader – I am beyond chuffed

Movie Over Book – Friday Fictioneers

Lawsy I’m late!  I am just shy of midnight on this Wednesday evening. I admit I was a tad stumped on this one. Started and rejected more than a few.  Gave up and went to work. Didn’t have time to scribble any ideas before I left regular work to go help out a caterer for his first big shindig.  Came home, forced myself to walk around the block with Zeke despite my already 20K+ steps taken today.  Plopped myself down on the sofa and here is the result!

This week our leader Rochelle, chose a picture from c.e. ayr. Thanks to both! Click on the frog below to read other submissions or go crazy, and add your own!

Click me! Click me!

Movie Over Book

“Hey!”

“Hey.”

“Whatcha reading?”

“Life of Pi.”

“Life of Pie? What kind? Blueberry, strawberry—”

“No, silly! Not pie with an ‘e’ but just P-I. The story is about a boy named Pi Patel.”

“Stupid name.”

“His full name is Piscine.”

“What? Like a pool?”

“Yep.”

“That’s awful. His parents were mean.”

“Maybe.”

“Tell me more?”

“He’s alone on a boat with a tiger.”

“A tiger? Woah!”

“Yep.”

“What else?”

“Why don’t you read it yourself?

“Ugh. Read a whole book? It’s too big! Did they make a movie?”

Sigh.  “Yes.”

“Cool. I’ll go see it, won’t have to read it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 2018 Annual Attitude of Gratitude: Bloggers Flood The Internet With Happiness & Positivity!

Dawn Quyle Landau of Tales from the Motherland has issued the 5th annual “50 Happy Things/Attitude of Gratitude” challenge and I am more than pleased to join in once again.  For instructions on the “how-to”, please click here.  Once you’ve figured out how to do it and have been inspired to do it (Why not?  How much can it hurt to bring forth things that make you happy?) click here to add your link.

There is absolutely no order to my following list.  I have set the timer for 15 minutes and this is basically stream of consciousness stuff (i.e. as it comes, I type).  All embellishments are added after the clock has run out and I’ve spell-checked my list 😉

  1. My boys – they remind me that I am human
  2. My home – protects me from the elements
  3. My family – all the way down to second cousins thrice removed
  4. My sisters – despite whatever goes on in life, they are there for me
  5. Mom – without her, I would not be
  6. Friends who are the chosen family
  7. Blogosphere – a world I could not have imagined ten years ago
  8. The friends I’ve made on the blogosphere – I cherish the connections I’ve made
  9. Going to Old Montreal for New Year’s Eve with good friends
  10. Getting on the ferris wheel for the midnight fireworks
  11. Friday Fictioneers – for teaching me how to cut the fluff and get to the point
  12. B – for pushing me to be a better writer while becoming a close friend
  13. My ability and joy of cooking
  14. Sharing my food with those I love
  15. My boys when they help me before I have to ask
  16. My computer – as a tool to connect and write
  17. Internet – bringing the world to my fingertips
  18. Brothers-in-law who help out for stuff that I just cannot do on my own
  19. Girlfriends – to share those things that you just can’t with family
  20. Blogging community – I keep learning
  21. Rochelle for her friendship and for trusting me with her lateest WIP (and any other writings)
  22. Julie for being my “culture friend” and my trusted date for stuff no one else is interested in
  23. Feeling part of my close knit gang
  24. Food – the diversity, the sensuality
  25. My taste buds – which permit me to enjoy all the flavours out there
  26. Good wine
  27. fun work colleagues
  28. New colleagues who seemed to really appreciate me
  29. Clients who appreciate me
  30. My legs for allowing me to take my walks
  31. My big-ass bathtub for when I need to get away from it all
  32. Reading – opening my world to other realms
  33. Writing, which allows me to let go of stuff
  34. Writing prompts that push me to do better
  35. My bed, where I get the rest I need or at least pretend to
  36. My hands which are capable of so much more than I thought
  37. Heating which protects me from the cold
  38. My capacity to love no matter how many times my heart is broken
  39. Being appreciated for what I offer
  40. My wit and sense of humour – keeps me sane
  41. Travel – I need to do more; experience other cultures
  42. The communities I’ve built – virtual and real
  43. Connections I’ve made with people from around the world
  44. A cozy fire, to gaze into, to snuggle with someone
  45. Zeke – who is not getting as much love as he should but will
  46. Eyes – to appreciate the beauty around me
  47. My smile, which seems to be what people remember about me
  48. My camera, which helps me to look at things differently and record the memories
  49. Being able to express myself and be open to others’ opinions
  50. Widow’s pension, which helps to make ends meet
  51. EI which permits me to take the time to rest between jobs
  52. Working a seasonal job which allows me to take the other seasons off
  53. Sense of smell, without it, I would never appreciate food and cooking so much
  54. My body – it may be quite as I would like it to be, but it’s mine and it functions
  55. Dishwashers – because sometimes, doing the dishes just blows
  56. My car – I can go anywhere when I want
  57. My resilience – even though it’s a word that bugs the shit out of me, it is the right word for me
  58. The close friends who will always include me in their happenings
  59. My ability to adapt to whatever life throws my way
  60. My boys – I am so proud of them both for the young men they are becoming
  61. That Iain has decided to go back to school to get a diploma in electricity
  62. That Aidan has decided to pursue an education in animation (yeah, yeah, it has another title that I always forget)
  63. That I know I can count on my sisters for anything
  64. My lack of cynicism – despite the world we live in
  65. My charm that can be helpful when I screw up
  66. Dark chocolate
  67. Camaraderie – that can be found
  68. Facebook – say what you will, I have kept in contact with many because of it
  69. Book, books and more books
  70. Potential for love – I’ve not given up