Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ready or Not Here I Come! The Story of My Book's Birth


Dear Readers,

I signed a book contract this past week with a BC-based publisher, someone whom I had met a few years prior.

The storyline* of the book came to me from Spirit in January and I ended this blog in part so I could devote time to this cause.

Circumstances started opening up with an opportunity I took advantage of so I started the process, one little step at a time.

Today in fact is designated to be (and is) my first official writing day of the chapters of my book. My aim is to have it published by July 2016, if not before. When the book is ready to launch, I will let you know.

*The storyline is about being a surviving twin - my twin and I were tiny premature "dolls" at seven months of age with her dying the following day - and the impact of that on my life.

My story includes phenomena such as phantom grief and survivor's guilt, feelings of emptiness and estrangement, a couple of other "near-death" experiences, how I came to terms with my twin's death, my healing journey, and my life purpose/mission. The background of my book will be my spiritual journey with intuition being a major factor.

This book is primarily meant for those who are twin survivors. The reader may relate to some of the challenges as a survivor, gain awareness of and understand their grief, how they may be supported in dealing with their grief by learning of ways to cope, and coming to terms with their other half's death.

However, this book could also be enlightening for other multiple birth survivors as well as for parents and siblings, and even those working in hospice through counselling and/or grief support groups. It could be for anyone who wants to know and understand the possibilities and ramifications of growing up as a sole twin, including (like myself) not knowing my twin or knowing of her till years later.

My aim is that it gives hope and meaning for those who are left behind, primarily the twinless twin, as I truly understand what it means being one.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Last Post, Here?

Sunset from North Van, BC (photo taken by me)

Dear Readers,

I am truly grateful to all of you who read and especially those of you who read AND comment on my blog posts.

When I first started this blog, it was to feature myself in terms of my to-be children's choir, inspired by Spirit quite a number of years ago (I am embarrassed to say).

Last July I was seriously considering that I would end this blog at the beginning of or early July of this year. One blogger I met early on through one blogging community can testify to that as I had chatted with her online about it.

It came to me today, spontaneously, when I awoke exhausted this morning, that now is the time. Below are some of the main reasons why (as there may be more that I am unaware of: only God/Spirit knows!).

But before I do share that, let me inform you that I so love and appreciate blogging. I LOVE writing, truly!

Over the past five years, I have given voice to subjects such as this choir-to-be in part, many ideas, a poem here and there, a few local and world events, as well as writing short stories as of late. However, it is now time for me to give voice to something else, something bigger than me.

I speak here of one of my missions which is in simplest terms to serve people. I can do that to a certain degree through my blog, though I feel drawn/called to write at least one book - hopefully three that I have in my heart, mind, and soul. All will require devoted time, energy, and resources.

My preference is also to focus on my life's purpose and this will require me to continue pursuing my two primary loves of singing and dancing. In part with that, I just joined a fab(ulous) rockin' choir that I have ever belonged to (having been in a variety over the years) and experienced/witnessed.

The energy created from a recent rehearsal was out-of-the-rental-hall-space huge! Words fail me at the enormity of love and joy that I felt, other than to say it was tremendous and powerful: I was "on Cloud 10" till about mid-morning the following day after my first rehearsal.

I also expect that I will take up drumming again as this came to me out-of-the-blue - one way how Spirit speaks to me - at a recent workshop on loves and life's purpose.

And I need to use not only my voice through singing and/or speaking, but also my hands whether writing, dancing, singing, and drumming as well as for hands-on/energy healing which has been put aside since just before my move in early spring.

I also need to settle into my new home, unpacking the last of my boxes, organizing, and reading all my beloved books on my bookshelf and walls.

Note that I have been very happy as of late, extremely enjoying my summer thus far being outside, listening to various bands, dancing, and singing in various choirs - two that are on a drop-in basis – so I am not making this decision in haste.

I would truly love to hear your sincere heart-felt comments - including those who are worldwide whom I never hear from - you can post anonymously if you wish - in how my blog may have affected you. If not, no worries as I can't please (or aim to please) everyone! ;)

And if any of you bloggers whom I am familiar with would like me to write an occasional guest blog post, I am open to that as (after all) I have many posts in draft form! Otherwise, I may keep them for the day I may return, possibly with another blog name and/or site.

Feel free to touch base with me those of you whom I know via Facebook preferably.

IF I consider doing the latter, I may possibly "go solo" as I did prior to joining a blogging community. Though I realize the pros to this, I also realize the amount of time and effort it takes to maintain the desired readings and commenting subsequently. Time will tell.

Whatever decision I make, know that in my heart I appreciate you all and thanks again for reading my posts and/or commenting. Those whose posts, comments, and faces I have become familiar with, know that you will be in my heart. A special thanks to you bloggers from BAR (Blog-A-Rhythm), especially Shailaja Vishwanath and others who have hosted it.

In the meantime, I wish this for you and for me indicated by the picture below. The first word is "live" by the way!

Sign on side of a food truck (photo by me)

I will see what awaits. In the meantime, I am volunteering for my favourite upcoming summer festival (Harmony Arts Festival, 25th anniversary) as well as at 55+ BC Games, hosted in my North Vancouver community.

Namaste, Elly

P.S. An afterword is coming...soon...stay tuned!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The #Cherished #Blogfest

Directive for the CHERISHED Blogfest, we invite you to talk to us about one of your cherished objects. Tell us what it is, post a picture of it if you like, and tell us why you cherish it.

Keep your post to 500 words. Place the Cherished badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Above all, join us in making new connections, and renewing old ones: visit each other and leave comments, try and follow your co-participants on your blogs and social media so they can follow you back.

Add your name and blog link in this Linky List, sign up for the Cherished Blogfest, and share your cherished memories on 24th, 25th and 26th of July 2015.

Since others aren't writing about an object necessarily, I will choose not to either. Otherwise, you can read about that in an earlier blog post of mine. I actually need not take a(nother) photo or write as it is all here: in black and white and colour, photos in colour that is!

It took me a few minutes to think about what I most cherish. Objects provide temporary pleasure, but something more of a lasting nature is what I was considering. And then it came to me: But of course! (

Heart mandala (I made from stones & shells)

When it comes to something precious, one thing I most value is the size of a person's heart (, and yes, mine included! ;)

In keeping with that, friendships are very important to me as friends can be there for me at times when I need support that I think I won't get from my family. Also it's fun to enjoy community events and activities with friends.

Furthermore, I have come to realize the value of friendships having had none at one point in my life. This occurred when I left my entire support system behind, shortly after moving to British Columbia from Ontario. And having no friends is like a vacant room: bare, empty, and boring, lonely even!

I have felt lonely a big part of my life - distant past - and still do occasionally at times, though rather rarely as of late. Loneliness hasn't been an issue for me the past few years for the most part, and in particular this year with new people I have encountered in various networks.

Lucky me, this year it seems that I have been blessed with more friends than usual as I usually have had only one or two close friends at a time in past.

A number of people, primarily friends and some acquaintances live in my neighbourhood and surrounding area. A few in fact moved a few blocks below the highway, whereas I live a few blocks above it.

I am so grateful for that as I cherish their friendships. Hopefully they do likewise! ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sunshine Blogger Award

A kind thanks to Aathira Jim for nominating my blog for the Sunshine Blogger Award on July 13th. (More about her below.)

According to one blogger, "The Sunshine Blogger Award is a way for bloggers to get to know each other and also get other bloggers to link to their website (very good for SEO!)" (That's 'search engine optimization' by the way.)

See the award rules below.

1. When did you join the blogging world? Did any incident/ person inspire you to do so?

In July 2010: Oh WOW! I forgot to celebrate my fifth blog anniversary! I was inspired to start my blog as I was attempting to initiate a children's co-creative choir. I thought if people google my name, they won't find me! So I thought I would share a bit about me and my choir-to-be (a bit) so people would get a sense of me.

2. What is the best lesson that Life has taught you, till now?

So many of course as I am still learning and re-learning. However, I would say to like, accept, and love myself. This after not one - I needed to really get the lesson! - but two almost "near-death" experiences at the hands of ex-boyfriends. Read a bit about the story here: and the lesson here:

3. What is the role that blogging plays in your life?

Blogging is an outlet for me. Self-/expression is extremely important to me and creativity. Blogging allows me to do both. It also is a vehicle to write about anything and everything and not be censored; thus, I love this medium. I can write about issues that are dear to my heart or local community or worldwide events as I have on occasion.

4. What would you do if you have all the money in the world?

Sing, dance, play, read, write (three books: children's story, poetry, and part of my life story (to empower others), organic farming for three months at least...

5. Which is your all time favorite book that you can never get tired of reading?

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon.

It is a short read, but brilliantly written about an autistic boy's perspective ...don't wish to give it away now do I?!

6. Name a dream city or location that you want to visit someday and why.

There are several but I would say Alaska first and foremost. I would love to experience the pristine wilderness and see the phenomenol Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis)

Photo from Pixabay

7. Share a hilarious incident of your life.

My two sisters, one brother (at the time), and I used to walk to the bookmobile. No libraries back then I guess! It was close to Christmas time and I was carrying a lot/heavy books. I was struggling to hold them at the same time that I kept rubbing against one side of my pants with my arm to keep my pants up: the waistband was loose. It fell just before I stepped into the bookmobile and Christmas tree vendors noticed and I felt so embarrassed. I was about eight or 10 at the time. It wasn't funny then of course, but now, yes of course! ;)

8. What are your thoughts about my blog?

Aathira writes on her blog titled, Bewitched by words: A place where I dream and let my fingers do the talking (

I love your blog's title first of all Aathira. I love your play on words and the word "bewitched" with "witch" in it too! ;) I love the pictures you have on top as I see/collect heart-shaped objects, love chocolate, and books...and is that a reading nook to the far left? ;) I love how your blog is organized in categories on top and easy-to-read font - thank you! - and your profile under the "About Me" tab. And of course, your writings whether fiction or poetry.

Award Rules

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Nominate some other bloggers for this award.
3. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated.
4. Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

I'm nominating the bloggers below for this award (in alphabetical order):

1. Eloquent Mind
2. Parul Kashyap Thakur
3. Rajlakshmi H Boruah

Questions to nominees: no new questions. Just the ones that are mentioned above.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gratitude List #14: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry 2

'Blood Orange Smoothie' (photo by me)

Today's gratitude list is on the theme of the usual: music, free concerts, and summer foods/drinks, in order of the events of this past week, in no particular order of importance:

* The launch of a local Green Party's campaign, Claire Martin, for North Vancouver with appetizers, music, and speeches by her and Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party
* Drop-in singing with an impromptu rock choirin West Vancouver
* Singing with a beautiful view of the ocean (inside though) at Silk Purse Gallery
* Listening to a cool band Friday evening (I thought 'Frozen' was playing so came late)
* A fresh fig given to me directly from a tree next door where I live
* Reconnecting with my previous landlady at her garage sale
* Receiving a raindrop umbrella from my previous landlady's daughter
* Being provided with fresh ice and cold water before heading out again
* Attending a block party in my old neighbourhood
* Summer fruit: blueberries (and organic at that!)
* Preparing and creating a green salad with fruit (blueberries, strawberries, and a fig from next door)
* Salmon patties
* Cold drinks on a hot day: iced tea, water, mineral water
* Popsicles and/or ice cream on a hot day
* A great live Latin band, Alma Chevere, to dance to (

Me (being silly) smelling the herbs of one of my favourite teas today, 'Blood Orange Smoothie' though not a smoothie. (It almost looks like I am drinking it; however, we each received a small plastic container to taste various iced teas with.)

* Sampling different teas at an iced tea event (
* Tea Sparrow: their integrity, generosity, and sense of fun
* Receiving a goodie bag for volunteering

Just curious, what is your favourite type of tea: black, chai, green, herbal, oolong?

And what are you grateful for at this time? Today/yesterday/this past week?

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Versatile Blogger's Award!

A kind thanks to dear Usha Menon for nominating my blog for the Versatile Blogger's Award - oops! on July 1st! (I am definitely running behind, my apologies.)

Versatile means "to adapt" or "able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities" according to a google search. I hope that describes me and my blog! ;)

If you are as curious as I am to know what it is about, here are some facts about this award (copying from Usha'a post as she was recently awarded):

"The Versatile Blogger's Award is given in recognition for great commitment, diverse talents, and generosity shown by bloggers. It is a great motivation and celebration of their work in the blogosphere."

The award comes with rules as follows:

1. Display the award on your blog.
2. Thank the person who has nominated you.
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate up to 15 bloggers.
5. Link your nominees' blogs and let them know.

Ok, here then are seven facts about me. I decided to do some silly ones 'cause after all it's summer and we are supposed to have fun, at least then, right? ;) And besides, since I have been nominated for several awards already, I would likely repeat myself having done this exercise prior.

1. When given a choice between two things, I will usually choose both!
2. I sit on a ball at work and currently on a heart-shaped cushion on top of four big fat phone books (ouch!) at home in front of my (current) desktop computer!
3. I often push elevator buttons with my pinkie, open doors with a scarf or sweater or bottom of my hand, or the side of my hand in a closed fist for other things (and I didn't think I was a germophobic!)
4. I love to do lip trills! It's a fun exercise, especially when tired/bored/frustrated/angry or the like or when waiting in line or at the bus stop, and sometimes just for fun! ;) (It is a great vocal warm-up, especially for choir.)
5. I like to invent words, sometimes with a definition and sometimes not! ;)
6. When I remember I do my body anchor and/or happy dance when really excited about something! The equivalent of "Cowabunga" perhaps?!
7. I used to doodle like crazy when on the phone and/or bored - often - in past. Now, I um, don't have anything exciting to do whilst bored and such. Anyone have any ideas, especially one where I can burn some calories easily? ;)

Ok, now your turn to those whom I nominate (in no particular order, and only five as it could get out of hand being forwarded!):

* Carol Graham whose blog provides hope and inspiration to those who are survivors of tragedy
* Parul Kashyap Thakur whose posts seem to advocate for social issues and justice, in particular for women
* Sanch Vee who blogs at who, at times, questions ethical and moral principles
* Nabanita Dhar who questions life's dilemmas at
* Debbie D. Doglady blogs in her amusing tone on dogs, travels, and music

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: What's Cooking?!

Today's Wordy Wednesday sentence prompt is: "What's cooking?" courtesy of B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer, and blogger who prefers to go by the name Pixie.

Her blog 'Pixie's World: My take on everything' ( is where she writes "fiction, anecdotes, and observations." She is also a foodist, thus the prompt!

The posts that I have read of hers I have thoroughly enjoyed, occasionally chuckling at her writing style. I find her writing witty, direct, and carefree, as if to say "This is me, whether you like it or not!"

Am I right Pixie? ;) Did I capture your essence well?

I shall attempt to write from that place, though I will require your assistance. Can you do me a favour and please read this (as best you can) with an American accent? If not, pretend you are a country singer, except that you aren't singing! ;)


Mama Jo was busy in her kitchen preparin' potato salad, singin' and hummin' some gospel tunes while she worked. She had a secret ingredient that came to her one day while plantin' herbs, flowers, and vegetables in her large garden.

She concocted her potato salad with zeal and pride. After all, she wanted to win first prize at her local country fair!

Usually the fair was in the fall, but due to some unforeseen circumstances - not one person 'cept the mayor really knew why - it was cancelled. Actually, he declared a weekend in mid-July instead, naming it the 'Christmas in July Fair.'

The townsfolk was kinda confused by that as you can imagine. However, once the posts were up in terms of activities and prizes to be awarded, they soon forgot as they were too busy scramblin' to get ready. They had little notice to prepare considerin' the fair got moved up a number of weeks prior.

The day before the fair, Mama Jo was busy in her kitchen cookin' a bunch of red, white, and blue potatoes, not only to make her salad more colorful,* but also to appeal to the American's fair judges-to-be.

After the potatoes had cooled just right first at room temperature, then in the fridge, she mixed various food items in a big white ceramic bowl: radishes for example gave her salad a bit of a zing. Her sweet garden peas and juicy cherry tomatoes added extra color, while pickles and organic eggs added texture. Other ingredients were a part of her famous-salad-to-be, including an eye-measured amount of homemade mustard-mayonnaise, pinched fresh herbs from her garden here and there, and one special secret ingredient.

She transferred the ingredients into a clean dish, covered it well, and placed it at the bottom of the fridge. Having prepared it the night before would allow the various aromas and tastes to permeate real good by mornin'.

When the time finally came, the judges stood around her big bowl of potato salad. They looked at it, smelled it, and tasted it.

And they all shouted enthusiastically and simultaneously: "What's cooking?!"

*I purposely used the American spelling for this story. Photo is by Pixabay.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gratitude List #13: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! ;)

Today's gratitude list is on the themes of 'Eat, Drink, and Be Merry' as part of my summer fun in terms of music, free concerts, and summer foods/drinks, in order of the events of this past week:

March Hare Band at Shipyards Market, North Vancouver, BC (my photo)

I have to tell you, I had a fabulous week this past week!

* Kirtan in North Van in someone's home in my old neighbourhood
* I knew the woman hosting the kirtan
* Creating a scrapbook page for a colleague leaving work
* A staff BBQ in a Vancouver park, near the water's edge
* A pair of new runners for walking (hope they work out fine!)
* An outdoor movie playing at the main library's plaza area
* A fun movie, "Into the Woods" with Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp (
* Winning a popcorn prize for the trivia question what the movie was based on (I knew as I sang part of the song in a previous choir)
* A free slushie at 7/11 as it is 7/11 day
* Salmon burger - yum, yum!
* Summer fruit: cherries and apricots
* March Hare Band (, a great band to dance to!
* Dancing in the rain literally with other folk: fun and cooled me while dancing
* Rain - finally! - for nature including gardens, wildlife, and us humans
* A volunteer meeting where I got to sample different iced teas
* A free concert of a boys chorale in North Vancouver
* The Maryland State Boychoir (

Last week I had wondered if I "should" stop repeating that I love to air dry my laundry. Well I did on this list as I did'nt as we got some much-needed rain! (Needless to say, I really missed doing so this weekend.)

What are you grateful for at this time? Today/yesterday/this past week?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Quote Challenge Day 3: Quotes are mine!

Hazy smoke-filled sky (photo by me)

I have a number of phrases that I often say. I consider them quotes, my (own) quotes! Thus, I will feature different ones for three days as part of this challenge.

One thing I often say is: "There are pros and cons to everything" or similarly, "Everything has its pros and cons."

You cannot appreciate the sun without the rain, the warmth without the cold, etc. This actually makes me think of the hazy atmospheric conditions we have been experiencing lately in Vancouver and surrounding areas as there have been many wildfires in parts of BC.

Now after about four or five days, we are finally experiencing some cloudy skies and even some cooler weather and some sun (this afternoon). Let me tell you, I SO appreciated seeing the clouds today as it was a sign that there was no more haze or smells of fire, at least for now!

Vancouver area is known for its rainy season. When it rains, it rains! And oftentimes "raining cats and dogs" for hours and seemingly days on end at times! This occurs primarily during the late fall to mid-to-late spring.

The past year or two, I have started responding to people complaining about the weather that "It's better than ...." [fill in the blank]. For example, "I'd rather have rain, than a hurricane or flood" or something along those lines.

I recommend appreciating what you have now, if possible, for things could be worse. Bless the rains that come that give life to our land and life to us through food as well as for wildlife: trees, etc. as well as birds and animals.

Can you think of something 'good' about something 'bad?' Feel free to give an example.

I have more quotes that I would love to share! Can I share them (with you) anyway?! Ok, just one? ;) This is one that I say from time to time:

"There will always be people who love you and those who hate you. You can't please everyone. It's best to just please yourself."


I have been nominated for this challenge by Parul Kashyap Thakur, Shilpa Garg, and Usha Menon.

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.

1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Since the BAR (Blog-A-Rhythm) community that I am involved with have already been nominated already from what I understand, I will skip the nominations. However, if anyone is interested, feel free to pick up the challenge in case you haven’t already received it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Quote Challenge Day 2: Quotes are mine!

Can opener (photo by me)

I have a number of phrases that I often say. I consider them quotes, my (own) quotes! Thus, I will feature different ones for three days as part of this challenge.

Another saying I often say in frustration, occasionally in amusement is as follows: "Who invented that?!" or "Who invented this? I could have done a better job!"

I occasionally come up with creative ideas and/or designs which have included office furniture, a cellphone, and the like! Unfortunately though, I know no inventors!

And though I have never studied mechanical engineering, I can see - read yesterday's blog post on uncommon sense as it relates to today's quote - how things are sometimes poorly designed.

I primarily find designs of homes, bathrooms, and home and workplace kitchens, as well as clothing (women's fashions), the worst culprits in terms of practical functioning. Sometimes gadgets fit the bill too, such as old style can openers.

The can opener above made of metal, rusts easily, especially when washed which is often the case. Also, some are primarily for right-handed people. The one shown has solved that dilemma by being able to open the top of a can rather than the side of it.

Photo (right) by me of workplace kitchen: not much space for appliances etc.

One pet peeve I used to have were cleaning bathroom tiles both above the bathtub and the floor! I had such a disdain for them years ago as I spent hours attempting to clean them.

Bathtub tiles get water stained and dirty between the tiles - floor tiles too - and they are not always easy to clean, particularly if not done so on a regular basis.

In contrast is acrylic material (I believe) that is 100% smooth. It is so easy and effortless to wipe down, making cleaning it such a pleasure (as weird as that may sound). I mean it's such a whiz to clean that it's almost fun!

I have an idea or two of poor designs though will have to take a photo tomorrow and show it sometime then, so stay tuned!

Do you notice poor design/functioning as well or is it just me? And if so, in what capacity?


I have been nominated for this challenge by Parul Kashyap Thakur, Shilpa Garg, and Usha Menon.

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.

1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Since the BAR (Blog-A-Rhythm) community that I am involved with have already been nominated already from what I understand, I will skip the nominations. However, if anyone is interested, feel free to pick up the challenge in case you haven’t already received it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Quote Challenge Day 1: Quotes are mine!

Bubble soccer players (photo by me)

I have a number of phrases that I often say. I consider them quotes, my (own) quotes! Thus, I will feature different ones for three days as part of this challenge.

One I say from time to time, sometimes relatively often is as follows: "There's no such thing as common sense!" or similarly, "There's no such thing as common sense cause it ain't common!"

Did you ever notice that? Or am I the only one? I'm sure I'm not, right?

Being a keen observer, I see so many things that, well, defy logic! I can think of so many things, including designs and fabrics of women's clothing, such as socks and the like, and especially when it's so hot outside! (I would love a bra made out of bamboo for example!)

At times, I imagine designs and layouts in terms of furniture, kitchens, rooms, and even house layouts. Why for example is the handle on the other side of the fridge? It's totally inconvenient and impractical on that side! (This is dependent upon where the fridge is situated, of course!)

And these examples are only the tip of the iceberg! ;)

On Canada Day, I saw a number of people - the general public (both men and women) - play bubble soccer. Why are they wearing such dark colours, especially on such a stinking, hot day? And why play bubble soccer mid-day in the blazing hot sun in the first place?!

Soccer is a hot sport already with all the running around; however, add plastic bubbles and arm/knee pads for example, and you're probably sweltering inside even before the game starts! ;)


I have been nominated for this challenge by Parul Kashyap Thakur, Shilpa Garg, and Usha Menon. Thank you all.

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.

1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Since the BAR (Blog-A-Rhythm) community that I am involved with have already been nominated already from what I understand, I will skip the nominations. However, if anyone is interested, feel free to pick up the challenge in case you haven’t already received it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Her fairy tale!

Today's Wordy Wednesday phrase prompt: "Her fairy tale" is courtesy of B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer, and blogger, Nibha Gupta.

On her blog, 'Expressions!' (, Nibha describes herself as "Poetess" - love that word and thought I coined it! ;) - declaring "Poems are something that come naturally!), Storyteller (I thank my Imagination for my stories), Artist, Photography Enthusiast (I love clicking photos!)." Quite an artist she is, don't you think?

Nibha continues, "'Expressions' is a place where, Feelings are let go and words are unleashed; a place where I Express myself and all my imagination come alive! Come fly with me with wings of words in my world of imagination. I write to Express! Feelings are best described through art, the art that I choose is the art of words!" (Sounds so poetic!)

Nibha's blog boasts a mélange of writings including poetry, letters, stories, book reviews, and the like. She writes deeply with feeling - no wonder her blog title! - and enunciates every word, giving texture to her writing style and mood.

I think you will be happy exploring and getting lost in her writings. Do stay there awhile if you can!

Since I identify with expressing - my blog post does have "Xpress" (short for "express") in the title after all - and I notice she seems to like exclamation marks as well, I will aim to write from that place as best I can. Let's see how I do, shall we? ;)


If you've seen Walt Disney's animated movie 'Frozen' it is a "kick-ass" - my words - female empowerment story, primarily for young girls. Me being young at heart though, I love watching children's movies and do so occasionally (and yes, even despite that I do not have children). This is one such movie I SO love and admire, and highly recommend too!

The movie 'Frozen' was actually inspired by 'The Snow Queen,' Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale. 'Frozen' is non-traditional in nature, a fairytale-of-a-story that makes the heroine the hero!

The storyline is as follows: "When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff and his reindeer sidekick to find Anna's sister, Snow Queen Elsa, and break her icy spell. Although their epic journey leads them to encounters with mystical trolls, a comedic snowman, harsh conditions, and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff bravely push onward in a race to save their kingdom from winter's cold grip." (

Here is Wikipedia's version and a bit of history plus all the awards the movie garnered: ... how is that for female empowerment?! ;)

Okay, I can't help getting excited. I am female after all. What can I say? However, this is NOT my story to tell, this was Her fairy tale! ;)

P.S.I had to chuckle as I had to delete a few characters from my labels. I deleted 'hero' and the rest fit! ;)

I was considering writing fiction or poetry, but I felt a strong impulse to share the above. Hope you don't mind!

The last Wordy Wednesday story, I 'got' the first three words and the story developed. This time, I 'got' that the phrase was to be the last three words. ;) Now tell me, honestly, how did I do overall?

If you haven't seen the movie yet, go and watch it, at least once. I have seen it twice and will again for the third time this weekend (outside with a bunch of families/kids and possibly some adult friends as well)!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Gratitude List #12: A Feast of Food, Friends, and FUN 2!

Today's gratitude list is on the themes of summer fun - food, friends, and fun including music and drinks (black cherry theme), in relative order of this past week (but not in order of importance!):

* Meeting up with a BAR (Blog-A-Rhythm) blog member, Sanch Vee and her sister in Vancouver, BC after work
* Having 'a drink' (Black Cherry cocktail mix) and dinner at a pub patio (Steamworks) in the cool air on a hot day
* Sharing an interesting dessert amongst us with three flavours of custard/mousse-like dessert
* A holiday mid-week - Canada Day
* A paid holiday (at least for me)
* Fireworks to music (on Canada Day)
* Free concerts outdoors, two nights in a row
* Dancing to live music outdoors
* Bumping into someone I know, a former choir member
* Having 'a drink' - I rarely do (honest!) - and feeling groovy (a little tipsy perhaps as I drank too fast with an empty stomach, not realizing till later that they did allow food in the beer garden
* Creativity - ideas for a scrapbook page
* Another sunny hot weekend to air-dry my laundry*

* A coupon for a free tea beverage
* Fresh brewed iced tea
* David's Tea, a colourful and wonderful shop for tea-drinkers/lovers
* Fresh summer fruit: cherries and apricots
* Ice cream - black cherry! - to keep me cool, albeit temporarily! ;)

*Should I stop saying this as I think it will be a summer-long theme?!

What are you grateful for at this time? Today/yesterday/this past week?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Canada Day Holiday: July 1st

A flag with a First Nations motif (photo I took)

And here is the traditional version of the Canadian flag (in the middle) between the Vancouver flag to the left and the BC (British Columbian) flag to the right of it (below):

Flags of Vancouver, Canada, and BC (Wikipedia photo)

I'm grateful to be living in a free land/country without war, without having to worry about living in a refugee camp, starving and destitute on the streets (though there are people here who are) and the like.

Waving my paper Canadian flag, wearing my Canadian flag pin and red and white coloured clothing, I attended a Canada Day parade in North Vancouver, British Columbia before heading back home, grabbing a bit to eat and what-not before heading for a Canada Day festival of music, food carts, vendors, and the like. Later on, watching the fireworks to music which I prefer, i.e., without music it seems rather dull and boring in comparison.

Watching a Canadian National (CN) train - I love trains - go by.

Photo of CN train I took

See my two previous short posts of prior Canada Days:;postID=6182933957545827564;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=31;src=link AND also

What do you appreciate most about being Canadian if you are one?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Potential!

Since I usually pre-feature the blogger before the story, I will thus toot my own horn a bit, if you don't mind. And if you do, just scroll down to below the line. I won't be at all offended. I promise!

Today's word prompt (by me) is "Potential". I know why I chose this word. It's simple really.

Potential was my favourite word in my 20's when I started reading self-growth, self-development, or "self-improvement" books. or books on what I term potentiality.

And, well, you can do so many things with the word potential can't you? After all, it is about the potential of the word isn't it? ;)

My initial blog post had potential at least of a different kind. Not long ago, my bio read along the line as follows:

Elly is the founder and artistic director/facilitator of Children's Co-Creative Choir. She sang harmony as a child with her sisters, harmony as an adult in church and community choirs, currently with Burstin' with Broadway. She is a certified Expressive Arts Therapist having trained and/or worked with various modalities such as sound, movement, visual art, clowning, psychodrama, mask-making, clay, poetry, and fairytales. Elly's educational background also includes AD(H)D, counselling, bereavement, and children's programs. With her thirst for knowledge and inquisitive mind, she has also participated in numerous workshops ranging from art-making to singing. She has participated in two intensive bootcamp retreats being tested physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Ok, with all that potential in (the back of your) mind, let's move on shall we?

Stacked marbles (picture from Pixabay)

"See this marble?," asked Sally? Her brother David looked up from where he sat beside her in the living room.

"This," remarked Sally emphatically, "is Earth!" as she outstretched her hand having picked a marble from a stack of them.

"No it's not!" exclaimed five-year old David.

"Oh yes, it is! Look! Look carefully! See all the blue. Those are the oceans. And see the green. That is the land."

"No!" yelled her brother this time, shaking his head vigorously.

"You just have to use your imagination!" Sally responded in a bit of a huff. "This marble has lots of potential!"

P.S. I am relatively new to fiction and if you were paying attention to my previous Wordy Wednesday posts, this is my first fiction with conversation in it. So I challenged myself in using speaking as potential in developing the story.

Though a short story, I would love your feedback. Do you prefer this style or my previous non-speaking Wordy Wednesdays? (Just do a search on the side bar.)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gratitude List #11: A Feast of Food, Friends, and FUN!

Pizza sign at Bowen Island Pizza Company

Today's gratitude list is on the themes of food, friends, and fun (not necessarily in that order)!

* Listening to music while working and bouncing on my ball while working
* Great music and musicians, example Roger Hodgson, co-founder of Supertramp
* Great views when I walk uphill in my neighbourhood
Pizza menu: we had pear & brie special

* A night out with female friends sharing a movie, pizza, and a drink
* Bowen Island Pizza Company at the Quay in North Van
* Friends, especially female friends (at this time in my life)
* Foreign movies: Monsieur Lazhar (filmed in Canada)
* Gelato on a hot day or evening
* Buskerfest, a showcase of buskers in Vancouver

Kutapira, a cool troupe playing Afro-Cuban and West African percussion

* Storing food in my landlady's fridge and freezer: mine was on the fritz
* Air-conditioned venues and transportation such as the seabus and cars
* A day trip to Bowen Island (not where I got the pizza from!)
* Shared summer fruit such as cherries and blueberries
* "Accessing Your Soul's Direction", a husband-wife team-lead workshop
* Canela Michelle Meyers and Steve Clippingdale co-facilitators
* Gorgeous sunsets with various hues
* Seeing bright, beautiful Venus pulsing, twinkling in the sky
* Singing in choir - rehearsing and singing on the same day

What is on your gratitude list today?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Camping Candle

Today's picture prompt is attributed to B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer, and blogger Parul Kashyap Thakur.

I met Parul online via the April A to Z challenge where I was impressed by her fervent writings on pressing women's issues that I could tell were dear to her heart (and wish were on everyone's heart).

Parul writes about "Everything about my idea of happiness, food and a lot of food for thought!" according to her site's home page (

Her recent post, a tribute to fathers on Father's Day is an easy-to-read post mostly made up of infographics with some rather interesting statistics about fathers:

I find Parul to be a kind, warm, compassionate being expressed through her writings in terms of what she blogs about. I highly recommend you consider reading her blog: I doubt you will regret it as you will probably learn something new at least!

The Kampers loved to camp (and not just because of their name). Their favourite pastime was lighting a fire to sing campfire songs, tell stories (especially ghost stories), and roast marshmallows.

Sometimes they would camp afar, sometimes closer to home, and even at times in the event of inclement weather on their house deck.

It was this one impending storm that drove the Kampers to their deck. They gathered round in their cozy hoodies and blanets, hot drinks in hand, not around their usual campfire unfortunately.

Instead, one lit candle stood tall and glowed, sheltered by glass as if from potential harm. It occasionally flickered at first, and eventually more fervently where the flame tossed mercilessly as the wind gathered force.

The wind howled picking pace and along with it anything on its path. The Kampers fled to their basement in fear, forgetting the lone candle standing there, at least for now.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Gratitude List #10: Fresh, Refresh and Refreshment

Serbian dance at Centennial Theatre's Folkfest in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Today's gratitude list is on the themes of fresh, refresh, and refreshment! In no particular order, here it is:

* Folkfest: a multicultural showcase of dance and music/songs
* Free admission - cash donations accepted for the show
* Centennial Theatre, not too far from home (I can even walk it!)
* A night out with female friends for the show and dining afterwards
* Being treated for a refreshing drink and appetizers after the show
* Dances of Universal Peace to refresh my soul
* Anne MacDonald Studio (an old church hall made into a rehearsal space)
* Summer solstice and an event to celebrate it
* A father with principles and lives with good standards
* Reading outside in a nearby park with tall pine trees
* Gelato and other ice cream on hot days for refreshment
* Refreshing rain one evening
* An end-of-the-season potluck BBQ with choir members
* A brisk night walk in fresh air with a friend along West Vancouver's seawall
* Fresh produce at a local farmer's market
* Lots of fresh fruits and veggies in my fridge
* Another sunny weekend
* Another weekend for fresh air-dried laundry
* A beautiful breeze to air dry my laundry
* Recycling non-blue box items
* Thrift stores for second-hand items
* Dropping off donations for abused women at a local thrift store
* A wicker laundry basket

My 'new' second-hand laundry basket

* Crocs (shoes) for outdoors/gardening and indoors
My new crocs in two styles and colours

What is on your gratitude list for today and/or from this past week?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: The world is a small place

Today's prompt is attributed to B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer, and blogger Usha Menon nicknamed 'eccentric grandmum'.

Her blog, 'Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha' ( means 'Some sour some sweet' as life is like that, certainly not always a bed of roses!

Usha is retired and loves to write and does so daily if she can, otherwise almost daily (

She has participated in a number of blog challenges and has won a number of awards, including 'Best Blog of 2013' - that's quite an accomplishment!

Sometimes, or do I imagine this, she pokes fun at herself in her writings. However, with compassion, sincerity, and warmth - at times humour too - Usha writes a combination of fiction in the form of stories and non in the form of poetry, primarily haiku, a very short form of Japanese poetry (

I am always amazed at her writing of haiku: I think Usha is a natural! It seems to just roll off her tongue, er I mean off the tip of her pen, or rather computer keyboard. Oftentimes, you will notice several of her haiku in one post!

I hope you enjoy reading her posts, haiku and all! If you do, please bless her writing with a comment. It only takes a moment and she not only deserves it, she will also surely appreciate it.

I could challenge myself in writing fiction about this, but I change my mind.

I have had many small world experiences, especially since moving from Toronto, Ontario to Vancouver, British Columbia years ago.

One instance stands out for me in particular as follows (written to the best of my recollection):

Not too long after moving here that rather tickled my funny bone was an ad I saw in a local newspaper. I can't recall the heading nor the ad for that matter though it had something to do with friendship or dating.

Believe me or not, I actually KNEW immediately who it was when I read it: no kidding!

With playful humour, I responded somewhat coyly with no clues as to who I was. I believe I emailed in question form similar to his questioning as if I was questioning him (if memory serves me correctly).

Well, the day came where we met over a cup of coffee or tea.

I smiled quietly outwardly though hugely inside attempting to keep my secret for as long as possible: he didn't seem to recognize me at all which somewhat surprised me, though it had been a few years since I had seen him last.

When I finally told him who I was after about five minutes or so and some guessing, he laughed. He was both shocked and surprised, yet delighted to meet someone from his past.

We ended up having a great discussion reminiscing about people we both knew from the church we used to attend and our lives since then.

The world is a small place after all
! Isn't it?! ;)

Epilogue: A number of years later, I attempted to re-establish contact with him as I moved into the region he used to live in. Unfortunately, I lost all contact with him as his information had changed. Too bad!

P.S. I couldn't figure out the share buttons...almost but not quite (enough)!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Gratitude List #9: More of Free and Freedom

Sci-fi book cover: Kéthani by Eric Brown

Today's gratitude list predominantly continues on the theme of free and freedom from last week ( as well as the outdoors, in no particular order as follows:

* Reading an interesting sci-fi book: didn't think I was a fan of science fiction!
* Relaxing and reading in a nearby park with lots of trees, including tall pine trees
* Creating colourful and tasty salads with organic vegetables and fruit
* Free samples including that of food
* Fridays Shipyards Night Market in North Van
* Gelato! Especially on a warm summer evening - oh, spring!
* Free music outdoors and great bands
* Free vocal session (introductory)
* Free coffee after so many stars/points collected
* Free/donation luncheon
* Being able to air dry laundry again outside on a sunny weekend
* Walking the neighbourhood nightly, usually around sunset (before/after) sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend
* Beauty whether homes, gardens, neighbourhoods, and vistas
* Living in North Vancouver: I love it here!
* A walk by the ocean in picturesque West Vancouver
* Eyesight: being able to read and see lovely vistas

P.S. I changed my photo on last week's gratitude of the side of this Bavarian Alps home.

And now your turn, what are you grateful for? Today and/or this past week and/or in general?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Powerful yet graceful

Today's Wordy Wednesday prompt - Oops! I just realized I accidentally initially titled this with "Wordless" rather than "Wordy" and now wonder for how long did I do that?! Perhaps that was for a photo prompt? I just came back from checking and luckily only last week was incorrect. (Thank goodness!)

Anyway, as I was starting to say, today's prompt is attributed to B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer, and blogger 'Eloquent Mind' as she calls herself. She writes a blog entitled, "Life! As it is...experiences, writing, poetry, and more..."

Eloquent Mind writes both fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and stories to spice up the flavours and enliven her blog posts.

I hope you enjoy reading her posts as much as I do as she has an easy writing style and thus makes for easy reading which I so appreciate. Hope you do too!

In line with Eloquent Mind's love of ballet dance, I write similarly as 'ballet' came to mind - actually the image of a leg came first - with her phrase prompt, powerful yet graceful.


Her feet twisted outwards, knees bent in plié, the young girl exerted all her effort into holding that position. [Note: For those of you who aren't familiar, this is a common ballet pose where a dancer bends the knees and straightens them again, usually with the feet turned out and heels firmly on the ground.]

So easily a pose come by the other similar-aged dancers she saw around her. But then they weren't like her. No, not at all!

For she had a formidable strength and an indomitable spirit unlike others who would more than likely fail from resigning firsthand, given her circumstances. But little Chloe knew what she had to do, what she wanted to do, and channelled all her strength, energy, and willpower into whatever she undertook, particularly in her passion for dance.

Chloe was what others - some - would term "special" as in "special child." She had been born healthy with exceptional progress in the first few years of her life when tragedy struck.

The doctors weren't 100% sure, not just yet, what with the myriad of childhood illnesses and diseases - as many it sometimes seemed as likely questionable causes - mother's health including her diet and that of her child's, environmental toxins in food, water, clothes, homes, and the like, as well as vaccinations and a host of other possibilities - that were rampant everywhere.

The wee lass though had started dancing from a tender age showing a natural inclination due to her zest. Both her parents knew instinctively to sign her up for lessons, though eventually they ended up being held at home.

Her parents shielded her from possible ridicule in the form of shaming and bullying. They were protective of Chloe not wanting to worsen her condition anymore, whether physical, mental, or emotional.

Yet Chloe was charmed with not only a resolute determination, she also possessed a natural poise, a grace beyond measure. In fact, because of her persistent attention to her movements, especially that of her arms and legs, you would say she was powerful yet graceful.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Gratitude List #8: Free and Freedom

Bavarian Alps style home

Today's gratitude list is on the theme of free and freedom, neighbourhood and mice as follows:

* Free training for public speaking via my work
* Free exercise class focusing on legs, bum, and tum
* Sunny hot weather this weekend to air dry my laundry :)
* About an hour nap due to a few early mornings, late nights, and allergies
* Making time to read (and enjoy) a book
* Spending some time outdoors: farmers markets, reading, walks
* Going for walks in my new neighbourhood
* Farmer's markets on the North Shore, including a few in North Vancouver
* Having an abundance of food in my fridge including lettuce/salad & fruit
* Meeting the owner of a Bavarian Alps style home: love that look!
* Meeting a neighbourhood cat just down the street where I live
* Scenic views from up on high (on the streets in Upper Lonsdale)
* Two mice caught in the hall/storage area between the outer and inner doors
* A dog upstairs with a keen sense of smell: he found the second dead mouse - I had heard the snap of one mousetrap ...hmm, wish I had a cat or dog! ;)
* Found a loonie (a one-dollar coin)

Mouse traps: old and new styles

Though I had SO wished for the mouse to escape outdoors to freedom - thought I had only one mouse (unless another came in in the meantime) - to go back outside harm-free, my landlord had tried various means including mouse-friendly traps where they would be caught alive.

Nothing seemed to work and thus she resorted to old, traditional mouse traps which I did not wish in my home. Thus, they were placed in the corridor between the outside door and my apartment door.

What are you grateful for today and/or this week?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: SCREAM!

My story today is a word prompt challenge (

Today's word prompt is "Scream." 'Scream' makes me think - pardon the aside - of the following childhood rhyme: "I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream."

I'm going to take the liberty and morph "scream" into SCREAM! (in all caps and with an exclamation mark). I hope you don't mind though I am sure you can understand why, right?

This word prompt was submitted by B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer, and blogger Inderpreet Kaur Uppal (

I have come to know Inderpreet through Blog-A-Rhythm where I have read some of her Indian book reviews which sound rather intriguing. She also writes reviews on American, Australian, and European books as her travels take her around the world. Her other writings include fiction based on blog prompts and non-fiction for articles such as where she writes as "indywrites."

You can check more about her writings here:

Now, onto my story ...
She moved recently. Was it two or three weeks ago, already?!

At first she thought it was the crackling of the new thermostat-controlled electric baseboard heaters she had in her new studio suite, two steps below ground level of a house. Then she thought it might be the rain outside, strumming against the window panes and cement pathway.

One night there was no rain and no heater on. Yet there it was. The distinct sound of something. Something rustling. In the nook acting as storage were a number of boxes filled with various items, some with brown wrapping paper, bubblewrap, and the like. Somewhere in there. Over there.

Oh NO! Oh dear! What was it?! She let out a blood-curdling SCREAM!

Note: This is based on a true story of me except that I actually didn't scream. ;)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gratitude List #7: Beauty, Nature, and Spirit

Deep Cove, North Vancouver BC

Today's gratitude list:
* the warmth and healing energy of the sun
* sunny weekends to air and freshen laundry
* a women's gathering to create art (write etc.)
* beauty to inspire and create
* a beautiful home and views (photo to left)
* stunning views of trees and water
* tall pine trees (I have an affinity for trees)
* Satsang (spiritual discourse)
* another beautiful home and views
* more tall pine trees and a garden to look at
* seeing the beauty of a Stellar jay flying
* the play and call of Stellar jays
* walks exploring the neighbourhood

Last weekend was also spent in nature in Hope, BC for a spiritual day retreat - see my gratitude post last Sunday and picture below of this woman's front yard. And (my) Spirit knows I desired and needed to get out more, especially in nature!

Photo of Hope garden

There was a connection from last weekend to this weekend in terms of being in nature and partaking of a spiritual event. However, there was also a spiritual thread, a focus, that weaved during mid-week and again today in topic.

In essence, I was being drawn or "called to" these circumstances. Some may call this coincidence as I used to term it years ago or synchronicity as I now refer to this phenomenon of being in the right place at the right time.

What does your gratitude list look like today, this past weekend and/or week? Did you notice any synchronicities?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: The Tomato Family

Today's picture prompt was submitted by B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, Aparna George who blogs about being a parent and learning to live in the moment:

How appropriate! My immediate thought of this photo was Tomato family. I kid you not! And yes, I am writing this impromptu!
It was time. Yes, time for Tomato family to get their weekly photo taken. I know, I know it sounds silly, but hey wait a minute, let me explain.

You see the upcoming fair is coming to town and there are prizes to be awarded. And this includes tomatoes. But wait a minute, NOT just tomatoes. These here are heirloom tomatoes!

Meanwhile preparing for the shot, Ma Tomato was becoming quite hot and flustered, thus looking rather red and ripe, more so than Pa Tomato beside her and other members of her family: four grownup children and two young stepchildren, babies in fact. They sure were a sight for the eyes as they were such a large family!

However, would they be a sight for the judges in a few weeks time? That was the question!

I am linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm (

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gratitude List #6: Blessings

Photo of Om symbol (

Today's gratitude list is on the theme of weekend, Nepal and India, gratitude and blessings:

* A short work week due to the long weekend last weekend
* Sunning in warm weather that kisses my face
* Great bands - free entertainment - and dancing, especially outside
* Community events to gather, socialize, and support one another
* Fundraisers to support others (like Nepal due to the recent earthquakes)
* Henna in the form of a lovely flower design and Om symbol on my hands

Om design henna on my right hand and flower design on my left hand and arm
* An invite to "Sacred Chambers," a spiritual process
* Power in prayer
* Gratitude for blessings
* Music (including spiritual as in Sanskrit chants)
* Silence
* Beauty of nature and peace in nature
* Nature sounds: birds, running water (a brook)
* Trees, including tall pine trees
* New friendships
* Nourishment including herbal tea and water
* A safe journey: there were three accidents on the opposite side of the highway as we headed home, including a car on fire
* Leftovers and a delicious, nutritious meal

And similar to last weekend, there was wildlife too in the form of a hummingbird hovering or flying near and/or past me as I heard its wing vibration quite loudly, and an eagle (though I didn't see it when a few of us were driving homebound).

What is on YOUR gratitude list today?