It’s Beginning to Look like Winter

For the month of December, I took Saturdays off from the library. Although I don’t celebrate Christmas, I still have some stuff to get done and I’m making time to visit some friends. I look forward to having Saturdays off this month – I miss working only five days per week (I usually work 6 days since I have the library on Saturdays).

On Friday, I decided to hike to Manayunk since it’s been a month andĀ  a half (the last few times I walked to Spring Mill to take the train headed home). I saw a crane swoop in on the Schuylkil River, but the images came out blurry. The ducks were having a blast too. As I neared Manayunk, I met Jeremy who moved from near Asheville, NC. I guessed his accent and I mentioned I have a friend in Greenville and the last time I visited in 2009, we went to a snowy Asheville. He was a joy to chat with.

From Manayunk, I ventured to Philadelphia to check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s ugly sweater party. I’ve attended for the past two years and since I am a member, I thought it would be a great way to welcome in the season. I wasn’t wrong because I enjoyed Slowey and the Boats, a Hawaii band, made a card and an ugly sweat shirt. I had a lot of fun, especially with the photo booth.

After, I went ice skating and the River Rink was offering free photos with Santa. I couldn’t pass up the photo booth opportunity there! Everyone loves Santa and many other women gave him kisses and hugs too. I may not celebrate, but I want to enjoy the season. No sin in that. I laughed and had much fun with Santa. They also lit the tree and the rink was much more crowded than usual, I only skated around for a half an hour. A lot of teens were snapchatting, cutting in front of me, and I don’t play around with risky behaviour. I’ll go in a few weeks.


The photo booth photos. I was given two print outs of each, one lucky friend will get the duplicate copies. The originals went into my Happiness Box.



I can’t believe that in a month’s time (now 30 days instead of 31 days) I’ll be opening my Happiness Box! This was shot yesterday; I’m making great progress for 1 December! Last year I had the box top filled and by 31 December 2017, the box top was filled to the gills. I wanted to avoid that this year (I’m hoping it’ll make scrapbooking easier too) and so far I’m keeping to that goal. I just have to remember not to go overboard this month, the only exception will be on the last day – 31 December 2018. I’m excited to open this on 1 January 2019.


Thankful Thursday 29 November 2018

I can’t believe tomorrow is the end of the month! We only have one more month of 2018 and one more month until I can open Happiness Box 2018!

Last Friday when I went skating, I forgot my ice skates at Panera in Philadelphia. I realized it when I was on the bus, I called Panera and the manager found the skates. He is holding them and tomorrow I am picking them up. I am grateful they were found and that the manager agreed to hold them for me for a week. I kvetch about Philadelphia and while I do want to move out, I am grateful for the kind people. Kind people live everywhere.

I’m also thankful for Terry. She brought me back a small gift from Florida, thanking me for watching the kitties. I know one is chocolate, but the other I’ll open when I open my Happiness Box. I keep some small trinkets/gifts to the side that I can open after I open the main portion of my Happiness Box.

I just accidentally deleted this post and I am grateful that WordPress has an undo button! My post wasn’t lost!

What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Sunday And Monday

On Sunday, I had lunch with Ms. Janet today, an old co-worker from the library. She brought me a goody bag and then went to lunch at Panera. I didn’t take photos, sometimes I worry they might annoy people. Maybe next time! We had a nice lunch and caught up. I can’t wait to see her again and write about this for my happiness box.

While I don’t celebrate Christmas (and will participate out of respect for family and friends), I do enjoy giving gifts and celebrating the joy of the winter season. Giving and celebrating know no religion – everyone enjoys this time of year. Anyway, I went to Trader Joe’s and found this cute Grump Tree. After the season, I can plant it – it’s a Lemon Cypress.

I am also thankful for Trader Joe’s because they often help me find gluten and dairy free items. They have plenty of gluten and dairy free holiday treat a, especially the coconut nog. I want to go back next weekend.

Beginning of Ice Skating Season 2018-2019

Yesterday, the Blue Cross River Rink opened for the 2018-2019 winter season! To commemorate their 25th anniversary, they gave everyone a day of ice skating free of charge! I always skate free, since I hold an insurance card and have my own skates, but it was nice that they extended this to everyone yesterday.

I arrived just as the rink was opening. I had my gluten-free Starbucks drink in hand and I was prepared to place it outside of the venue. One of the security guards recognized me from the last time and he said, “long time no see! How are you?” We caught up for a bit, it was so nice catching up and before I went in, I asked him if I could bring in my GF drink. He said, “since you have a restriction to what you can eat and drink, you may bring it in.” I felt grateful.

I’ve noticed a big difference since going gluten-free. In the past, I would have to take a break because I was sore, but that wasn’t the case yesterday. I skated for an hour, pain free! I also skated without an ice walker, I was zipping and flying and it felt nice. I even made it onto NBC10 for 10 seconds. As always, I met kind people yesterday and helped a few skate.

I am looking forward to the rest of this skate season. šŸ™‚

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving 2018

We had a lovely dinner tonight — mom made a delicious gluten-free pumpkin pie. I made gluten-free stuffing and we sat down at the table and enjoyed dinner together as a family. I’m grateful for my family, I have a roof over my head, and people that love me.


I am also cat-sitting for my library co-worker. I am thankful that she trusts me to watch the kitties until Sunday and I am thankful that these three little loveys love me. šŸ™‚ Tonight I am going to cuddle up with them and relax.

I wasn’t quite sure what to write tonight, I of course wanted to do my normal “Thankful Thursday,” but I always do something special for Thanksgiving. I looked at what I wrote last year in my old blog and honestly, I feel the same way as I did in 2017. Let me copy it here:

Happy Thanksgiving! This is more so dedicated to my American readers, though I know some expats celebrate in their respective countries. My Canadian friends still wish me a Happy Thanksgiving on their Thanksgiving Day (our Columbus Day) and on the actual American Thanksgiving. I think it’s just lovely to send well-wishes, even if the holiday is celebrated on a different day.

I will admit that in the past few weeks I’ve found it hard to be thankful. While I took the Canadian refusal gracefully a month and a half ago, now I’m wondering what is next. I can reapply at any time, but I need a new job here. What I really want to do is not offered in my area and I’m not sure if I want to move to New York City to pursue it. I want to pay off debt and IĀ have a feeling NYC is the last place on Earth that I want to go to pay off debt. While my bank is a Canadian bank, there is no guarantee of a transfer and I would be back to square one. I don’t need a job lined up, but having a job would give me 600 extra points and having a job would issue me a provincial nomination. For the government itself, I just need the money and full-time work experience. I’ve also thought about looking in other places, but it boils down to I need a new job and work towards moving out.

I suppose I should be thankful for this refusal in a sense. It’s making me look long and hard at what I want to do with my life. When I graduated from college, it was ten days after my assault case was dropped and I was still reeling from what had happened to me on November 7, 2013. I wasn’t in a good place at the time and it made functioning hard. I graduated with a writing degree and while I tried to move to a different state, it didn’t work out (I’m glad it didn’t work out, looking back). In April 2015, the senior centreĀ gave me a chance and I will always be grateful for their kindness. When the contract ended, I had to look for a full-time job. The career counsellors from WCU suggested finding something in my degree field. There are some writing jobs in this area, but you must drive for most of them. I don’t drive. I decided to take any job I could find and that is how I ended up at my full-time job now. While it’s something I don’t want to do for the rest of my life, I am thankful for the chance and it has proven my communication skills. I can use that experience for anything. I’ve been reading career and personality books to see what is next.

I am thankful for the people I work with at the library. My cousin is getting married on December 30th and IĀ needed a formal shawl to go with the dress I bought. I was telling Hannah and sheĀ mentioned that she had a few shawls that she could give me. On Tuesday when I went back to work, a bag was waiting for me. The one shawl she gave me is beautiful and I can’t wait to wear it for the wedding. I am thankful for Hannah’s kindness and I am thankful for my co-workers’ kindness in general. I love my library job.


Ms. Bunny modeling the beautiful shawl.


The dress I am wearing to the wedding. I will have to try the shawl on with it.

I joined the website to start a gratitude journal. I posted yesterday that I did something nice for someone at my full-time job. My co-worker was grateful for what we did. This is what I posted:

I made someone grateful today (11/22/2017).Ā My department bought her a bouquet of flowers since her sister died. I suggested the idea and put the plan in place. I also gave her a sympathy card and talked to her about her feelings.

I felt closer to her and glad that I could help.

I am also thankful for my family and friends. When my dad was working a later shift, he took me to the train station every morning. My dad runs me to buses, trains, and places I can’t go to by buses and trains; for that, I am truly thankful. I am truly thankful for dad getting me coffee in the morning, and picking up lunch when there are no leftovers. Tomorrow I have to get a liver ultrasound done (my liver ALT and GGT numbers are elevated; my ALT levels have been elevated for a year and my cholesterol is high – doctor wants to make sure my liver is not damaged before he prescribes another statin) and my parents will go with me. I have to fast (no food and water) for 12 hours and after, we will go to breakfast. I am thankful that they will go with me.



Friends! I am thankful for the funny card Marsha sent me yesterday and I am thankful for her friendship over the years. Christina! I am thankful for all that Christina does for me. I am also thankful for the love and support my friends also give me. That love and support, along with my family’s love and support, has been helpful.

The funny card from Marsha. Thanks, Marsha!










Marsha and Mimi, 2015.





Also thankful for the Browns!

Finally, I am thankful for life. I am thankful I have a roof over my head and while I kvetch about my full-time, trying to move to somewhere I truly want to live, it could be a lot worse. I could be living in squalid conditions or living in a place like Zimbabwe, Haiti, and other third world countries; while I want to move out of America and Donald Trump is horrible, we could always be worse. I am thankful that we do not live in the same conditions of those whose countries are falling apart, people are persecuted, and have no chance at life. We also have access to clean water, fresh foods, and healthcare.

I’m in more debt this year, some of it from seeing friends in New Jersey this summer, but my health is better for it. I am working to pay it off now and I am actively looking for new work. I am grateful for my full-time co-workers, I tried toughing it out this year, especially for the insurance, but 2019 is going to be the “new year, new me”.

I am still grateful for my friends — especially Christina, Claire, and Marsha. Like my family, they have been a rock through the health up and downs this year. Words can’t really describe my gratitude.

I also posted this earlier on the Happiness Box’s Instagram:

This holiday season, Iā€™m giving thanks to Lyft drivers everywhere. Thank you for everything you do.
Back in September, I had an awesome driver named Nial. He was from the UK and we enjoyed chatting for about 20 minutes – it’s like we were old pals. That’s one thing I love about Lyft, also the fact they care and make sure I arrive to my destination safely. Nial agreed to a selfie, a great way to end a lovely ride filled with laughter.Ā #ThankYourLyftDriver@lyft


Thankful Sunday 18 November 2018

Today, our book discussion met for the last time until Spring. I am thankful for the book discussion group, the conversations, and the moments shared. I am the youngest one in the group and I always enjoy learning from the older members. Today did not disappoint, Miller’s Valley was a great book, but it was awesome hearing the history from others. It was nice seeing everyone before the holidays and catching up.