November 2022 Round Up

It’s one month till Christmas which means November is almost over. I’ve not watched one Christmas movie, Hallmark or otherwise. But we did see Bryan Adams in concert and it was fabulous. My Mom and I went to see our first Globe Theatre of the 2022/2023 season. Also, wonderful. And I’ve been busy with my watercolours and watching The Great Canadian Baking Show. And the sunsets and sunrises the last couple of days have been gorgeous.

Favourite Small Business Mention: Ell and Kay Clay Designs made in Saskatchewan. I love their earrings!

I’m leaving you with a tiny snippet from Charlotte and Ridge’s story (Whisper Creek Series, Book One). For a guy who’s trying to keep a low profile he’s not doing a very good job. It’s been a lot of fun throwing him into the deep end of the pool and figuring out what comes next.

I hope you find a moment of calm to read a great book in the amidst of the storm that is Christmas shopping, baking and socializing, oh my. I’ve recommended some great reads in previous posts. I also share bits of this and that on Instagram and Facebook, in case you’re interested.

Until next time…

I hope the last week of November is kind to you.

November 2022 Theatre Recommendation

This Sunday is Grey Cup. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the CFL (Canadian Football League), that means this weekend is the final game of the season. Now normally I don’t care about the sports. Sorry, not sorry. But my city is hosting this year, which means there are all kinds of events happening. None of which I’m attending, by the way. But it’s fun to absorb the atmosphere from enough degrees of separation.

However, Globe Theatre is back and this year’s first reproduction is paying homage to football in Saskatchewan.Yes, ’tis the season for theatre going. That I can get excited about. Last Sunday was our first time back and the Globe is putting on #34 by Munish Sharma which highlight’s the incredible, groundbreaking career of George Reed. Reed was a running back who played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for 13 seasons from 1963 to 1975. So, if you’re here to watch the Grey Cup, you might like to buy a ticket to the show.

I found it interesting. I really loved the last fifteen minutes of the show. There was deeper level of depth there that I felt was maybe missing from the rest of the production. Although, that is probably because of my lack of interest in the game of football. I still found it very entertaining and I learned some things about the early days of the CFL and what life was like for the players. I came away with even more reasons to love George Reed, like his support of Special Olympics Saskatchewan.

Me and my Momma! Who knit the sweater she is wearing, which in my unbiased opinion is a piece of art!

Until next time…

What’s everyone else out and about doing? Or are you keeping close to home?

November 2022: The Sun is Shining

It’s been a joyful beginning to November as we welcomed our newest grandchild. Little fingers, little toes, little nose. That new baby smell! He’s the sweetest little guy! Babies are the best, aren’t they? Especially, when you’re not the one responsible for them 24/7.

The writing is also starting to flow better. I don’t mind saying, it has been a slog for a while now. BUT, I’m finally making consistent progress. Making notes like the ones below put me in the right mindset, so to speak. They also help me with the story itself and brainstorming all the details that add tone and mood to a story.

I also signed up for an online lecture on November 24 through the Saskatchewan Writers Guild with Joshua Whitehead: Writing From the Body. I’m very excited about this.

For local friends: Come listen to some fabulous writers read. You’ll hear Donna Gartshore, Gail Bowen, Brian Bowman, Pam Bustin and Tara Gereaux. The event is free and open to the public.

Until next time…

How is your November starting out?

October 2022 Round Up

Halloween is almost upon us. To be honest, I don’t go to a lot of trouble. I put up a few decorations, we carve a pumpkin, make a couple of crafts, and hand out candy. Most of that effort is because our adult daughter, who has an intellectual disability and still lives at home. She keeps us young!

I have to say the highlight of this October was once again finding myself in a theatre seat to see the musical Come From Away. The story of how Gander, Newfoundland, with a population of under 10,000, found themselves hosting almost 7,000 air travellers who were redirected there on 9/11. It was so uplifting and so inspiring and just what I needed. If you get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

Also, it snowed. Ugh. But it’s melting. So, yay! A couple of fashion brands to mention. The black sweater is from Sarah Sue Design, a sustainable and ethical, female owned fashion brand out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is one of my very favourite brands. The blue tunic is from another lovely brand, sustainable, ethical and female owned, Cider and Vine. From Estevan, Saskatchewan, they focus primarily on linen, although the one I’m wearing is a heavy terrycloth. The black pants are Eileen Fisher and the burgundy pants are Free Label (Vancouver, Canada, ethical, sustainable, female owned). Both pants are several year old and have been worn multiple times.

The banana bread recipe was delicious and from my new favourite baking site, Sally’s Baking Addiction. The delicious apple cake is my Mom’s recipe. I’m going to try and get that recipe up in December.

I’ve never written a Halloween story. The closest I’ve come is Exposed, which takes place in October and centres around Aspen Lake’s annual Gothic Revival Festival. One of the key events of the festival is The Mad Man’s Ball. I had so much fun brainstorming ideas for this festival and then putting them to paper. The whole town gets into and it’s a major source of income to many of the businesses. Putting those details into a story is what makes writing so much fun.

The Abbey, where the ball takes place, was inspired by the Moosehead Inn at Kenosee Lake, southeastern Saskatchewan. I spent lots family time at Kenosee Lake as a child and I worked at Moose Mountain Provincial Park, right next door, for two summers. I met my husband that first summer. Sadly the Moosehead burnt down in 2021. No one knows what happened to the resident ghost, who was quite infamous, and a total troublemaker…

Until next time…

What’s everyone else up to? Is Halloween a favourite holiday for you? Or are you a bit meh about the whole idea?

October 2022 Book Recommendation

This is the book I picked for October because, you know, Halloween. And it has vampires and werewolves and soulless humans (?) and the typical mortal kind. And they’ve found a way to co-exist in Victorian England. Mostly.

Soulless by Gail Carriger a combination of urban fantasy, victorian, romance, steampunk and mystery. I’ve never read anything like it. I enjoyed it. Alexia Tarabotti is an outspoken, sarcastic delight. She may have no soul but she’d got character in spades. Though I have to admit I had to do some backtracking. That doesn’t necessarily bother me, especially if it’s a genre I don’t regularly read. And there was a lot going on in this story. And a lot of characters. And layered world building to sort through. It’s not for everyone but if you’re curious definitely give it a try.

Here’s a sneak peek at a book I’m writing which may or may not have a ghostly character.

Until next time…

What’s everyone else reading? Anything spooky?

October – Midway Through

Thanksgiving was delicious. A new season of The Great Canadian Baking Show has started. So, life is good.

Speaking of baking, the heroine of my work-in-progress bakes cakes for people. Aside from getting ready to open up a bed and breakfast, she has a little side hustle called Buttercream. New in town, she’s getting to know the people of Whisper Creek one cake at a time. Or at least, she’s trying…

Sometime during the earth plague, I decided I enjoy baking. Weird. But yummy. I think my favourite thing to make is galettes, or pies. But I’m on a snacking cake kick at the moment. Today I’m going to make my Mom’s apple crumb cake. I’ll let you know how it goes. Hopefully, as good as my Aunt Alma’s Chicken casserole, which I made with leftover turkey, despite the rather sparse instructions. It’s from back in the day when you recited the recipe from memory to the person requesting. Like throw in a few peas. Add maybe 1/2 cup of milk – or maybe a 1/4. No indication of baking times or oven temperatures. Because if you have to ask you aren’t worthy. I made it anyway.

Until next time…

Which flavour would you choose?

September Mug Shot

I’m thinking of Atlantic coast family and friends today as they batten down the hatches for Hurricane Fiona. A left hook of heavy rainfall and powerful winds expected to hit tonight and into Saturday morning.

This Friday’s mug is full of steaming Earl Grey tea, my morning favourite. It rained here last night and it smells glorious. All cool and crisp with brooding skies.

What a week it’s been. Tragedies around the world. It’s hard to set boundaries around what to take in and what to let go. Including the guilt of looking away. Because we aren’t meant to absorb all the world’s troubles 24/7. I hope you find peace this weekend. I hope it includes a book and a quiet moment in the mad dash fall rush. Also, thank goodness, there’s new programming on television. Looks like some good shows coming. I’m looking at you Alaska Daily, and East New York, because Jimmy Smits. I’ll watch anything with Jimmy Smits. I still miss NYPD Blue.

Until next time…

What are you looking forward to TV wise this fall?

Labour Day Long Weekend

It’s Labour Day weekend here in Saskatchewan. This weekend is synonymous with the end of summer. The last dip in the lake. Firing up the grill for one more big barbecue bash. Maybe it books and hammocks and soaking up as much sun as possible. It could mean biking, or hiking, or strolling. If you’re a fan of the Canadian football fan, the CFL, then you know it’s Labour Classic Weekend. Whatever it is you find yourself doing this long weekend, I hope you soak it all in.

A belated birthday present arrived yesterday. A new journal! Isn’t it lovely, with its hand painted cover? I’m going to use it as a gratitude journal and for quotes and doodles. There were also steel candles. Have you heard of these? They’re now my new favourite thing. And best of all an adorable photo of our grand.

Until next time…

What plans do you have for the weekend?

August Summer Snapshot

Sunflower season. When the days are still plenty warm, but the evenings are cooling down. I wish I could bottle the scent that met me when I walked onto the patio this morning. Crisp air, dew on flowers, sunshine and blue skies. The perfect morning. I planted dwarf sunflowers in pots this year and I will definitely being doing it again next year. But these sunflowers are volunteers. A whole row of them sprouting up from seeds scattered by the birds.

I’m in a bit of a reading slump right now. I’ve borrowed books, started them, or skimmed through them, only to return them early. Or I’ve raced through them, which is unlike me. I’m a slow reader. I read every word. That inability to focus usually means my anxiety levels are creeping up. There were many things I wanted to get done this summer and didn’t. And now summer is ending and we’re transitioning into fall. I’m not ready!

I may have bought a new pair of shoes to cheer myself up. And possibly put another pair on hold. Always buy the shoes. At least, that’s what I tell myself. I’m not sure that’s sound advice, though…

We finished watching Only Murders in the Building! You can stream on Disney+. Highly recommend.

Until next time…

I’d love some reading inspiration. Only happily-ever-afters right now. Or a great historical mystery series, along the lines of Veronica Speedwell.

Summer Snapshot

These days I’m enjoying my morning tea outside on the patio. That’s where you can find me most evenings too. Enjoying the riotous colour and hum of summer. I had no idea that chicks and hen plants bloomed! The bees love the tiny flowers. Apparently, the tall flowering stalks die off to make room for the plant to expand. You can also see budding sedum, which is one of my favourites.

Also, we’re watching the mystery-comedy Only Murders in the Building and it is wonderful! If you haven’t watched yet, I would definitely recommend. It is charming, nostalgic and funny. Steve Martin and Martin Short make an obvious pairing but adding Selena Gomez to the mix was brilliant.

Until next time…

Btw, you can view on Disney+ in Canada. What’s everyone else watching?