12 December 2007

Eight happy things!

Eight things that make me happy…Stuart of Gardening Tips n Ideas tagged me to play the ‘things I’m grateful for’ meme, so I’ve been mulling over this for a few days, in between sneezing, coughing, and generally being a bit blah. So here they are, not in any particular order.

1. Living where I do. Our house is not perfect, or new. It’s about a hundred years old, with a rock-wall basement, a spring that runs through that basement, uneven floors, interesting drafts here and there…and a ghost named Henry Thorpe, who the cats see and we hear on a regular basis. Yes, really. But he’s rather like the ghost of my grandfather Charlie, who still walks through the house HE built and lived in all his adult life. According to the people who own that house now, “Charlie must like what we’ve done in caring for his house, because he doesn’t make a fuss.” Neither does Henry. Our house has no plastic siding on it, no plastic wrap suffocating it, lots of windows, and looks down at the upper Bay of Fundy, where race the world’s highest tides. Yes, we get a lot of wind. But that keeps the bugs down.

2. Doing what I do. While the road to becoming a freelance writer was circuitous and challenging, there is nothing else in the world I would rather do. I’m very blessed to be able to share information, tell other peoples’ stories, and create portraits in words, in a number of great publications where I get to work with terrific editors and designers.

3. The cat-children. I could not imagine living without cats, and it would have to be multiple cats, at least two. They ask so little of us, and they bring us such joy, amusement, entertainment, and love. Yes, love. Only people who don’t know or understand cats think they are aloof, unfriendly, unloyal and not loving.

4. My office. I used to work in a little room upstairs, with a wide doorway but no doors (ever since I slammed the double louvered doors (like you have on closets) one time in a fit of artistic pique…and they fell off the hinges. Writers need—no, we crave—privacy when we’re working. Last year, I asked my longsuffering spouse if it would be possible to partition off part of our L-shaped living room and make me a real office, with more space and a door. He, man of many talents, said of course…did a huge chunk of it while I was away in Nfld for a few days, and I moved into the office about two weeks after the initial conversation. It’s cluttered, chaotic, I could use more room… and certainly more bookcases...but it’s bright, cool, and mostly contains my resources—and it’s private when I need to be undisturbed. Except there is ALWAYS a cat on the wrong side of the door.

5. Coneflowers. Yes, most plants give me joy, but coneflowers especially do it for me. They’re so tidy and symmetrical in their form, they grow politely, even joyously, in our garden, and they are always playing host to bees, butterflies, other visitors…and they just invite artistic photography.

6. Family. My family isn’t large, and we don’t always get along, especially in the past when my sister and I were growing up. What family does, truthfully? But the people who matter most to me are my family—and they aren’t just family that I love, they’re also friends who I enjoy spending time with. We generally laugh a lot when we’re together, and we support each other through rough times and celebrate through good times. And I’ve got the bestest long-suffering spouse on the planet, because it isn’t easy living with a writer.

7. The ocean. We all came out of the sea, or so many cultures and science believes, and some of us feel closer to it than others. I have lived most of my life not far from the mighty Atlantic or the Bay of Fundy/Minas Basin, and I’ve been out on it in some rather bombastic weather. But I find it intensely soothing and inspiring, and healing, no matter what it’s doing. My longsuffering spouse, a retired commercial fisherman, gets up every morning, and looks out the back window down at the Bay. He says he has to make eye contact with the water before he can get on with his day. I perfectly understand.

8. Sunlight on flowers, caught with a good camera. It’s perfect for chasing away the coldest and bleakest of midwinter nights. Actually, there's two things here, because like Stuart with his choices, I love my Canon Rebel XT digital SLR camera, (and its lens, and my tripod, and my strobe flash) and I love even more that I had a good teacher recently show me all kinds of things that I didn't know how to do. I may yet become as good a photographer as some of my heros. Well, maybe not in this lifetime...but a girl must aspire, mustn't she?

Normally, others are tagged in these sorts of memes. But we’re two weeks from Christmas, and people are busy….so I’ll do an open house tag. Feel free to write about eight things that you are grateful for, and if you want, come back and leave a comment here. No pressure, however. I believe in stress-less Christmas seasons.


  1. I just happened on your blog by random selection and what a great site you have! I moved from a rural area to the city recently and miss it so much, so it was great to read about and see your beautiful abode. Thanks Jodi and have a happy holiday season.

  2. I can tell you two things I am happy about right now. Photos and garden thoughts. I am so happy that you are a writer that shares your garden thoughts with us as well as the wonderful photos you take.

    It is funny that you have a ghost where you live. Where I work the house (it has been made into a shop) is over 100 years old and has a ghost. We don't know who it is but we think it is a she and she is happy with the way we use the house. It isn't widely known that we have a ghost because the owner thinks it might deter some people from shopping there. We have had clients that come in and after being there for awhile ask if we have a ghost because they can feel it. Hmmmmmm

    I think it is healthy for a house to breathe. The houses they build now days don't breathe. In with the good out with the bad...

    I do hope you get to feeling better soon.

  3. Sounds like you love the life you lead, and that is a very good thing. If I did the meme, it would be a lot like yours. Please keep putting down your thoughts, we enjoy reading them!

  4. Jodi, I sure hope you'll be feeling better and be fit as a fiddle soon. Your 8 was so interesting and thoughtful -- heck, I could ramble on for 500 words or more!! ... don't worry I won't! :) Let me summarize by saying I feel and understand so much of what you've written here because it's almost identical to my own joys, feelings, and pleasures. By the way, I realize the memes are intended to tag people to 'spread the word' about individual blogs but I get worried when tagged because I don't feel comfortable tagging others ... I might just do this meme (again) and not tag others ... love the open concept. CHeers and feel better soon.

    Diane, Sand to Glass

  5. Finally MADE time to come here, update my blog and read my buddy's blogs. I'm in awe - I bow in your general direction. Lovely blog, lovely words. God has certainly gifted you with talent, my dear. Now, after the rant I just put on my blog can I come up with eight things that I'm grateful for? I'll try tomorrow - first, must ponder. LOVE your 8! xo - Debi

  6. Jodi:

    A post such as this helps us all to understand each other a bit better. To be thankful for what one has, with all their imperfections,is a great gift! Thanks for the beautiful photos. I can feel the wind!

  7. Hey, I just found your blog while browsing around the site. I love the names of your cats, especially Simon Q. Snark. My family has seven cats, three of which have permanently attached themselves to me. And I agree, they're definitely loving creatures <3

  8. Well this was fun to read. Love that house of yours, ghosties included and I'm glad to learn that you don't have plastic (ugh) siding. And where your house is standing is not too shabby either.;-) I love the sea too! And cat-children and writing! (no surprises there).

    Wish I had been there when the double louvred doors fell of their hinges! That must have been sooo funny! :-) Great that your hubby built you a new office space eventhough there is always a cat on the wrong side of the door. Hmmm, I'm thinking cat-flap. ;-)

    I have been thinking of taking a few lessons in photography as it would come in handy as a freelance writer to provide your own pics with the articles.


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