50 Happy Things 2018

50 Happy Things 2018: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet With Gratitude

Somehow I seemed to have missed participating in this wonderful project last year.  Couldn’t understand why so I went to look at my past posts and realised that I participated two years ago without officially joining in.  Well this time, I am.  Thanks Dawn Quyle Landau for officially inviting me to play with you!  I think it is important to focus on what makes us happy and what fills our hearts with gratitude.  Happy is so much easier to attain when one actually focuses on it rather than on the negative and sad.

This is a 15-minute-timer exercise so the point is to simply start the timer and type without over-thinking it.  So, in no particular order and some seemingly simplistic things, here are the – would you look at that? – 60 things that make me happy and fill me with gratitude.

  1. My boys
  2. François
  3. Winter
  4. Warm clothes
  5. Zeke
  6. My sisters
  7. My family
  8. The closeness of my family
  9. Friends
  10. Having friends over and being received by them in return
  11. Holidays as an excuse to just have fun
  12. Cooking and Baking
  13. Boucherville, my home town
  14. Photography
  15. Writing
  16. Friday Fictioneers
  17. Walking Zeke, no matter the weather
  18. The golf club where I work – otherwise wouldn’t have met François!
  19. My co-workers
  20. My friend – François L. who offered me my job though I have zero experience
  21. Good neighbours
  22. My home
  23. My strength, not just physical but mental
  24. My resilience – seems to be everyone’s favourite word for me so I might as well embrace it
  25. My ability to see the bright side of any situation
  26. My ability to do what needs to be done
  27. My cooking skills
  28. Blogging Buddies
  29. Rochelle – our almost daily FB chats, occasional Skype sessions and her trusting me with her words
  30. My car – it permits me to go where I want
  31. Spring – new beginnings along with the stench 😉
  32. Music – all kinds
  33. Reading – so many genres
  34. My bed – so comfy!
  35. The possibilities awaiting me in the future
  36. Jean-Louis, for inviting me to keep him company in Punta Cana, no strings attached
  37. Facebook, for helping me keep in touch with far-away friends and family
  38. Cook in Tuscany experience, for making my dream come true and giving me new friends
  39. Being able to welcome far away friends to my home
  40. When my boys do what I ask after only one request!
  41. Warm clothes so I can enjoy our frigid winters
  42. Concerts – classical, rock, folk – I love ’em all
  43. Introducing François to English Canadian music
  44. Having a handy-man boyfriend who will help me fix this house to sell it
  45. My ability to easily adapt to various situations
  46. My bathtub for two – a luxury I must enjoy while I am still in this house!
  47. My gas stove/oven, which allows me to create my concoctions
  48. Mick’s organisational skills, which help me find and fix (or get fixed) things that need fixing, even though he’s been gone for 3 years
  49. My office space which allows me to comfortably create with words
  50. Even when Zeke doesn’t get to go on a long walk with me, he is still happy to see me.
  51. When my boys let me know they do care
  52. Autumn, for its crisp air and colours
  53. Snow in the winter, which keeps my world a bit brighter
  54. My sense of humour
  55. Delicious food at a wonderful restaurant with great company
  56. Netflix – for when there is really nothing on TV!
  57. Having my mother closer to us after years of being 2 hours away
  58. Employment insurance, which allows me to stay home until golf season starts up again
  59. François’ kids and mother, who accepted me on first contact
  60. The ability to feel love and gratitude

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A Mindful Walk

The day was too beautiful to waste my time in a gym (and really, like I was going to go, eh?) or in the house, cleaning, so, why not go outside for one of our (Zeke and me) walks?  We were way overdue and hadn’t gone on one of our mega long walks in a long time.

I chose to go over to the other side the main drag (de Mortagne, for those of you in the know) which helps me get my 10,000 steps in.  Though Météo Média “told” me it was -9ºC, but felt like -18 ºC, I found myself overdressed.  I should learn to NOT to put on my thermal shirt under my coat unless the temps dip to -35ºC!!  Didn’t take long to remove the scarf and stuff it in my camera bag!  Taking pictures usually requires me to warm my hands between each shot but not today.  The sun made a huge difference.  That and the lack of wind!

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As I was walking, I started thinking of my blogger/Facebook friends and how amazing it is to have connected with people all over the world.  People I have yet to meet in person.  People who have touched my life in one way or another.  People who graciously and generously sent me love when I needed it and who encourage me to try new things and challenge myself.  This post has become a sort of thank you to a just a few of them!

It all started as I was taking pictures of trees.  Suddenly I thought of Phyllis, because she loves trees!  We met through an on-line photography class, and I’ve followed the tenuous arrival and amazing growth of her beloved grandchild, Madeline.  What an inspiration they all are in that family!

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I came upon some benches.  They were not the prettiest ones out there but benches make me think of Raye, a wonderful artist and writer, (though she doesn’t write much any more – much to my chagrin) that I met through another blogger, named John.  Raye’s writing grabbed me and next thing I knew, I was stalking her, reading every single one of her posts and leaving my two cents’ worth all over the place.  She played along and we found that we must have been separated at birth in one of our past lives.  We have been known to use another’s site for our bantering (right, John?) and have since become friends – by the way, RRR, we are WAY overdue for a Skype session, hmmm?

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Speaking of John, I wish I had one-third of his photographic talents.  I’m working on it!  This Irish guy has an eye for beauty in the simple things.  Here’s a little something for you.  I was playing with the shadows… At least the blue sky was my friend 😉

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Walking along, I came upon the little “bridge” in the middle of nowhere in Parc de Coutance.  Well, of course I though of Jean, another Irish blogger (methinks I may have met John through her, I could be wrong, but does it really matter?)  She is fascinated with all things bridge and not just the structural kind made of wood or metal or whatever but mostly the social kind between people, cultures, etc. No one, and I mean NO one loves her homeland as Jean does.  It just oozes through her words and pictures of her beloved Tramore County.

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I was starting to enjoy myself immensely because my walk suddenly had a new purpose.  Well, purpose, that’s a big word.  Let’s just say I had made a game of it. Exercise, fresh air, great company and now a game.  What fun!

Photography has been a part of my life ever since I got my first Kodak Instamatic.  Remember those?  With the flash cube you added on top?  Fun.  I took one lesson at Dawson College and truly enjoyed myself.  I’ve been the “Kid Kodak” in my family for a long time (still am) and have the boxes of negatives and photos to prove it.  That said, when Joy  showed up… (The how I met Joy is a four-blog-hop process!  So.. Thanks Jessica for getting the ball rolling!) …and offered on-line photo classes, I jumped in.  I learned a lot through her and – no worries, Joy, I WILL do my classwork on the last one I signed up for.  My timing was shot, my computers were shot, the light was shot and next thing I knew it was over and done with.  But I’ve kept my lessons and will do them.  Promise.  PicMonkey has become my new best friend for editing photos and having fun with my images!

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The clouds were making cool patterns and Janet, chef, teacher, artist, writer (another who needs to write more!) came to mind.  I would link to one of her blogs but, cannot. This link is a guest blog she did and truly gives a sense of who she is.  Her sarcastic humour is what got me at first and that was through her comment on another blog (please, do not ask me which one!)  Next thing I knew, I was once again a stalker.  We have since become friends as well and like to Skype for a good chin-wag when we can.  She is brilliant and I am lucky to count her in my circle.

I then was on a mission for the colour purple.  Figures. No matter where I looked, I could not find anything purple!  Ah come on!  How am I supposed to honour Rochelle? She’s the queen of purple.  Her blog is called Addicted to Purple!  I can’t use just any old image!  This woman has become my writing mentor and friend.  I was half-way home and thinking dang… I am going to have to play with the colours of something or other and make it purple!  And then… I burst out laughing!  Okay, I admit, I may be pushing it a bit but you gotta laugh, no?  Lucky for me, these little girls flocked to Zeke and one just so happened to be dressed in the appropriate colour.  So I used both.  Because.  It’s my blog.

Now I am going to cheat here as there is another I would like to mention.  That would be Sarah.  It is all her fault that I write haikus and am now a member of Friday Fictioneers.  Last Friday, during our walk, I composed a couple of haikus in my head – then dictated them to my cell because, frankly, they would be lost otherwise –  but didn’t post them when I got home because I was invited out and just didn’t take the time.  Sooo. we’ll just pretend the following was from today, okay?

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And lastly, before you all fall asleep in boredom, I cannot write such a post and exclude Zeke now, can I?  He’s way more popular than I am!  How can he not be; such a handsome and faithful companion…

 

 

Flooding the Internet With Gratitude

50 Happy Things I’m Grateful For in 2016

I follow Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and her blog Addicted to Purple and she took on Dawn Landau from Tales of the Motherland’s challenge that she took on from… well, you get the picture.  Actually, it was originally a “50 Things That Make You Happy” that evolved into a “50 Things that Make you Grateful” because, as those of us Gratitude Practitioners know, being grateful brings happiness and vice-versa. As I write this… I realize that I participated in a happy challenge in 2015!  Seriously, Dude.. where is YOUR memory? (she says to herself…)

OK… Enough blah, blah!  If you want the official rules and regs, I would click on Dawn’s link as she gets into the nitty-gritty.  But basically, get ready, put a timer on for 15 minutes and write away 50 things for which you are grateful and/or that make you happy.

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. (folks have trouble with this, but it’s not that hard. 4)Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. The inLinkz will be open until January 3, 2017

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50 Things I’m Thankful/Grateful For That Make me Happy, in no particular order…

  1. My children Iain and Aidanimg_2223
  2. Snow at Christmas
  3. Having a roof over my house
  4. My dog Zekeimg_2666
  5. Friday Fictioneers
  6. My sisters Lisa and Tracysisters
  7. The blogosphere and the friends that I have made.
  8. Mom, who is always there when we need hermom
  9. Running water
  10. Being able to drive to where I want to go
  11. Tuscany – and me finally getting to go there!2016-09-06-09-17-43
  12. Milena from L’Albero Gameli for making my first night in Tuscany so memorable20160904_104102-2
  13. Linda and George for creating Cook in Tuscany
  14. Facebook which has allowed me to not only find people but keep in touch with them
  15. Sunflowers!20160905_092511
  16. My almost 20 years with Mick which has given me so many stories to write aboutmick&dale
  17. Living in a place that enjoys all four seasons
  18. Summerimg_20160710_180901
  19. Springimg_2608
  20. Winterimg_1920
  21. Fallimg_20161102_144642
  22. My eyes, for allowing me to be able to read and see the world
  23. Running into an old friend in the middle of Montefollonico20160909_150608
  24. My job that I never thought I’d like, much less be good at
  25. The fact I don’t have to work this winter, unless I really want to
  26. Flannel sheets in winter
  27. Air conditioning in Summer
  28. Heating in Winter
  29. Boucherville – home town and where I find much blissimg_20161230_104959_451
  30. Frank – because he is going to ask me why is not on the list
  31. My smile – I have to accept it as good as it is always commented on!dale-2016
  32. The fact my boys are starting to do things on their own just because and not because I asked!
  33. My lack of allergies.
  34. My cooking skillsimg_20161106_173503
  35. Circle of friends
  36. Photography, which allows me to express myselfimg_20161230_104523_294
  37. Resilience – to overcome obstacles
  38. Laughter – the best sound ever
  39. My independence
  40. Coffeeimg_20161230_123709_669
  41. Brothers-in-law for all the ways they help me out
  42. Smell of fresh cut grass
  43. Scent of petrichor
  44. Summer rain
  45. Big fluffy snowfall any time in winterimg_20161230_101837_054
  46. Warm clothes to be able to play in the snow
  47. Pools and lakes and oceans in hot weather2016-03-08-13-21-30
  48. Good glass of wineEverything is better with wine
  49. Fireplaceimg_20161211_010246
  50. Love – the possibilities of it

Now, this is quite the random list, and that’s okay.  It’s what it is supposed to be!  I could have cheated and changed some of my answers but I followed the rules and added the pics later… days later.  I wanted this out before midnight and I’ve got three minutes to post!

 

 

Gratitude Sunday – June 21, 2015

First day of Summer or Summer Solstice, Father’s Day.  Sunday!  So, to you, my Daddy readers, I wish you a most wonderful Happy Father’s Day!

These Sunday posts are all about gratitude but I must allow a little moment of sadness for my boys who are experiencing their first Father’s Day without their father, and for me, though it’s the second one without mine.  We were all blessed to have these men in our lives for the time we did!

Dad and Mick

Dad and Mick

So, on to business!  It was quite a busy week for me, cooking-wise but I did take time to enjoy life!  (But I will still tease you with some food images…)

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Gratitude List

  1. My two catering days went well, delivered on time and got some positive feedback.

  2. Was invited to Christina’s for wine, cheese and bread (uh… sorry WW, we won’t be doing a weigh-in this week!!) and great conversation.

  3. Had a most lovely evening with Tammy, André, Dorothy & Lorne; we (OK, I) made salmon tartare and André made a fabulous cedar-planked vodka/lemon salmon on the BBQ.

  4. The above folks were my guinea pigs for an upside-down rhubarb cake.  Oh, I will SO be making this again!!

  5. Had a long overdue get-together with Patti and we caught up on each other’s lives ~ always nice to share stuff you don’t share with family!

Gratitude Sunday – April 19, 2015

(Oh. Em. Gee. This explains everything… nothing but crickets on this post because…I pressed “Save Draft” instead of “Publish”!)

Another lovely week has come and gone and, once again, much to be most thankful/grateful for.  If it weren’t for family and friends, I think I’d maybe go a tad nuts! No worries there, however as I am, as ever, well surrounded!

I was going to get my tires changed (here in Quebec, we must use winter tires from December 15 to April 15), then realised that there are no tires at the house!  They are at the shop so…. another time then!

Gratitude List

  1. Had a birthday and was spoiled with a lovely lunch with my friend, Daniel.

  2. Had dinner with Dominique and Susan, two girlfriends from high school that I hadn’t seen since our 25th reunion! We laughed and reminisced and just enjoyed ourselves.

  3. My lilacs are budding!  Woot, there will be flowers!

  4. My hero of the week is my brother-in-law, Sébastien, who came to my rescue twice this week!  First, to help me put my oven door back on.  I don’t know how I managed to remove it in the first place!  These gas ovens don’t work the same way good ole electric ones do!  Merci Sébas!

  5. Today, Sébastien came with reinforcements, in the name of Aldo, his neighbour and friend, to help Iain and me take down the Tempo.  (Aidan was working so he was excused.)  It definitely is a four-man job.  You maybe could get away with three, but who would want to?  That thing is huge and cumbersome!  The deadline to take it down was April 15… so happy to see I was not the only last-minute one.  Down the street, they were doing the same.  Merci, infiniment à Sébastien et Aldo.  Without you, it would have been quasi-impossible! XOXOXO

Gratitude Sunday – September 14, 2014

Another busy week! But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, ya know? 1st full week of school for the boys so even more he feeling of rhythm returning. I was able to help out at the school for picture day – always fun to see friends of the boys and to meet ones we only hear about! More cooking and jellying taking place and a big help from a friend who spent the week promoting my wares! All good, I say!
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Gratitude List:

  1. After seven years of “trying him out and seeing if he’s a good father and husband material”, I finally said “I do” with Mick!  I cannot believe that today is our twelfth anniversary!  We figure we’ve got quite a few years in us to go!

  2. Whenever the school calls to ask for some volunteer work, I’m happy to oblige.  This time it was to help the two photographers with the rambunctious high-schoolers.  Fun stuff!

  3. Having lunch with an old friend is always nice, especially when the weather permits us to sit outside in the backyard terrace.  We end up eating, drinking and chatting for hours!

  4. A huge thank you to David Croteau of Vergers des Dix-Terres (he still doesn’t have a website!) for promoting my jellies to various hot pepper societies.  Got me 10 sales and a few more likes on my page!

  5. Going out for a date with Mick is always a pleasure but last night’s was particularly fun.  We didn’t talk business at all!  We did talk about some dreams we’re working towards and that’s always a plus.

Sunday Gratitude – August 24, 2014

Ohh la la!  It’s past 9:00 p.m. and I still haven’t written my Sunday post!  Why?  Because it’s been such a fabulously full week-end and I’ve only just sat down!

Each of my sisters had us over for dinner on Friday and Saturday and today we went to pick the first Paula Red apples from our friend’s orchard.

Not only THAT, We also participated (well a gang of us, anyway) in the ALS ice bucket challenge as, in my sisters’ and my case, our neighbour died from the disease and also, my hubby’s mentor just passed away less than a year ago from the same disease.  I wanted to insert our video but unfortunately, it did not turn out so well!  So instead, here’s the video on how it all started…

I’ll take a moment to mention this ice bucket challenge as so many people are fed up of hearing about it.  I say, keep it going!  This is one of those rare diseases that has never before received such attention.  The more attention it gets, the more research can go into finding a cure.  So please, donate and/or do the challenge to bring more attention to it!

 

Happy 22nd birthday, Jennifer!

Happy 22nd birthday, Jennifer!

Gratitude List

  1. How wonderful to spend an evening at my sister Tracy’s with her family and fun neighbours, who just happen to crash…

  2. Every year I so look forward to going to my sister Lisa’s for her annual BBQ – that just so happens to fall on Jennifer’s birthday – and where all the extended family and cousins and friends all gather.

  3. How fun is it that in 22 years of celebrating Jennifer (Happy Birthday again, Niece!), the sun always shines… we may have gotten sprinkles once or twice only!

  4. Being able to pick apples at just the right time at a friend’s orchard (see you in 2 weeks, David, for the pears!) with which I will make jellies with and without hot peppers… yum!

  5. So happy to have been chosen to test four recipes (at least) for an upcoming cookbook – putting my skills to the test!