Free Stuff That Makes Me Smile

I’ve been making a conscious effort to be thankful these days, maybe because Thanksgiving’s coming (and both kids and partners will be home!); here are some of the free things that have brightened my days lately:

*Walking through the woods, really paying attention, marvelling that the ingredients to grow such massive trees are all contained within tiny acorns, pinecones and prickly horse chestnuts.summer-2010-005

*The excited little love whimpers Charlie makes when we pick her up from the kennel.

2015-01-07-19-22-20 charles-finding-us-in-the-car








*Sun lace on the ground tatted by sunlight dappling through the trees.

*Surfing Kijiji, an endless 24/7 online yard sale.

*Weekly visits to the library and walking out with hours and hours of reading enjoyment in my bag.

The Wolfville Library

The Wolfville Library

*Browsing the racks/shelves at used clothing/junk stores like Guy’s Frenchy’s, Value Village (said with a French accent) and Goodwill. This is not usually free as I often find some bit of treasure to take home.

*The Canadian health care system. Okay, I realize we pay for it through our taxes, but it is nice to seek medical attention without worrying about how you’re going to pay for it.

*Hiking and biking trails, especially the parks, TransCanada Trail system and Rails to Trails here in Nova Scotia.


*The salty smell of the sea and the shushing of the surf, beachglass, sunsets, shells and beach art, like this:


*Google with all its blogs, YouTube videos and how-to sites – the answer is always on there somewhere if you spend enough time looking… Here’s one of creative illustrator Sydney Smith (transplanted Nova Scotian) doing an illustration for GRANT AND TILLIE GO WALKING (by Monica Kulling) – fascinating!  Again, this isn’t exactly free, but almost…

What’s been brightening your days lately? Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Turkey Day!p1010677img_3579

Scattered Thoughts of a Kijiji Surfer


So, I ask myself – what have I been doing this summer rather than updating my blog?  Well, I have been working on my writing, but here are a few other things I’ve been up to:

a) surfing Kijiji for everything from a new apartment in Toronto for Liam, to a circa-1980 caramel-coloured Scandinavian leather chair/ottoman for Don’s birthday (I think I was actually looking for an old wooden double headboard at the time – a rare item as it seems people used to be a lot smaller and only required 3/4 beds rather than doubles, queens and kings);

b) painting – walls, not canvases. In particular, recycled Sky Blue (Walmart, $13.88/gallon) for Liam’s room and Aqua Whisper for the kitchen at The Lazy Loon. What a great job for somebody, making up names of paint colours;

c) avoiding vacuuming up dog hair and weeding flower beds, while hoping housework becomes Don’s new retirement passion;

d) Googling everything under the sun – I’ll be writing away, pause to look up something pertinent to the manuscript, then an hour later find myself browsing all-inclusive vacations or walking tours of Ireland – go figure!

e) reading – most recently (I even bought this book) – The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous (Suzanne Crowley) – reading is actually classified as “working”, fortunately;

f) thinking about facilitating a course as part of the Acadia Lifelong Learning program – an introduction to writing for children – this is also actually classified as “work”;

g) eavesdropping on conversations from Inverness to Bridgewater, Quebec City to Queen St. West in Toronto – this is also classified as “work”;

h) helping Shannon get ready to live in France for the year – this apparently involves upwards of 400 forms/applications to be completed;

i) catching up on the sleep I miss while “brain writing” between 2:00 and 4:00 am most nights!

Are you an expert at avoiding the task at hand? Did you do anything equally interesting this summer? Scattered thoughts welcome:)