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TToT: Vanilla and Peppermint – Ringing in the Season, #10Thankful

“You look like you’ve been run over by a steam roller and left on our doorstep.”

–Dr. House

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No, not that Dr. House. The real Dr. House is alive and well and a nephrologist, a kidney transplant doctor in Ontario, Canada.

I feel like I should add, before I go any further, he is nothing like the grouchy, dysfunctional, fictional doctor people can’t help mentioning when they hear the name.

The above quote is the first thing he said to my brother, when he visited him, on his Sunday morning rounds. A real word mincer.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

The season has begun. Whether it begins: (in retail) immediately after Halloween ends, after November 11th (as is the respectful way), at Thanksgiving (for Americans), or on December 1st is really up for debate.

All I know is: I attended my local Santa Claus Parade, there’s snow on the ground, and the Home Alone movies are being shown on television.

Christmas is on its way.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For the common cold.

Okay, well I’m thankful that that’s all it was for my brother.

He was unwell at the beginning of the week. He was dehydrated. He had been sleeping somewhere between 16 and 20 hours a day, every single day the week before. He hadn’t been to school in days.

But once he was where he needed to be, in hospital, they began to assess him. They gave him intravenous fluids and antibiotics, plus a specific treatment for

CMV.

CMV is more common after transplant, but he is more than two years out from his. It took a few days to test for, but he did not have it. once they discovered he didn’t, when the fluids had a chance to work, once his blood pressure wasn’t so low, and once he could eat again he was released. Such a relief. Transplant patients just must be careful. My brother’s case is proof that even a common cold can cause a lot of problems.

For vanilla bean everything!!!

One thing I love about the start of the Christmas season is my favourite scents.

I stocked up on everything vanilla bean at

Bath & Body Works.

No photos or words can do it justice. If I could send the scent of my vanilla bean shower gel, hand lotion, fragrance mist, hand soap, and lip balm to all of you, through the screen, I would.

🙂

Or better yet, the products themselves. They make excellent Christmas gifts.

For more red.

My favourite scent may be vanilla, but my favourite colour is red. I have been working on finding red appliances for my kitchen.

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This week I found a microwave that would fit the theme.

For some wonderful praise of my writing.

It was my second time at the writing group I’ve started attending and this week’s mystery object, fittingly, was someone’s ticket stub for the Eiffel Tower.

I like this group. Wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, but I like that I am put on the spot. We all are. We find out the answer to the mystery object question and, within minutes, we’re all writing furiously.

We have about an hour to come up with a piece of writing, based on that object. This week I brought my Braille Display and was able to read what I’d just come up with.

Silence. Crickets, if there had been any crickets in the library.

🙂

And then someone in the group told me they were silent because they were still imagining the scene in their mind. It was one comment, but it meant a lot to me to hear it.

For a Saturday afternoon writing workshop.

More writing. Yes, I could spend lots of money on classes and workshops. Seems, these days, like every writer or editor teaches them. I’m sure it’s a good way to make money, as there isn’t always money to be made in literature.

I went on a whim. It was a workshop on dialogue. I learned things, as logical as they are and I should already know them, and got to share my writing with an old guy who is working on his own novel, crime I think he said it was.

These things, whether I learn a lot or not, are great places for me to practice writing and meet and hear from other writers, all at different levels of writing in life. It gets me out of my shell and feeling a little less afraid.

For snow.

In this case, for the first real snowfall, accumulation of snow for the season.

I love that smell. Maybe someday Bath & Body Works will figure out how to bottle it, but nothing will ever compare to the real thing.

I wish it wasn’t so cold though. I love to run my hands along a railing covered b snow. Unfortunately, my fingers won’t tolerate the soft, powdery texture for long. Gloves just cover up its wonderfulness.

For one cold Saturday evening family activity to ring in the holiday season.

The Santa Claus Parade was a favourite holiday ritual of mine growing up. We’d get our spot, all bundled up, and watch the floats slowly pass, with their Christmas lights, music pumping from loud speakers, and all the kids on the floats, yelling or singing.

And then always return somewhere warm and be thankful for heat all the more. I know I always was. And was again last night.

Well, so what if the parade from two years ago had us out in hardly a coat at all. This year, with the blankets, hoods, and gloves was better. It started out with rain, but by the end of the parade the snow was falling steadily. It had to be shook from our umbrellas.

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My nephew thought, upon hearing the first sound of sirens in the distance, that we should hurry up and run. He’s still figuring out parades and Santa Claus, for that matter, but I hope he grows up with as much wonder for all these traditions as I did.

For my trusty little iPhone 5 and for the fact that it still works.

I “may” have dropped it, a short drop, after I lost use of its original case. It was a short drop from the porch swing, onto the porch, but it still operates.

However, if you were to shake it just hard enough, a shifting sound inside the phone would make things seem worse than they apparently are.

Every time I receive an email though, the sound it makes to notify me causes the phone, if I am using it at the time, to reverberate throughout. It is a strange sensation, if I happen to be holding it at the moment, and, let’s face it – I’m holding it most of the time.

😉

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For a book review.

After the Scars #bookreview

A friend, writer, and blogger read my short story and the anthology it is in and wrote her review on both.

I haven’t heard a lot of feedback, so this was important, I believe, for me to grow as a writer.

She also wrote a post, on one of her multiple blogs. This one,

3 Writers Dine Together

is a lovely summary of our very first in-person meeting in Toronto.

For my fellow Lord of the Rings nerds, especially when they’re Stephen Colbert.

No One Confuses Smeagol & Gollum On Stephen’s Watch

The man makes some excellent points and uses humour to make them.

🙂

And…on that note…

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and let it snow, snow, snow!!!

“November-with uncanny witchery in its changed trees.”

–L.M. Montgomery

Yes, I know I include a lot of Lucy Maud Montgomery quotes in these TToT posts, but the woman had a way with words.

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18 thoughts on “TToT: Vanilla and Peppermint – Ringing in the Season, #10Thankful

  1. Praise for your efforts always feels nice. I’m glad your brother is on the mend, and that red microwave looks pretty cool.

    A workshop on dialogue sounds intriguing. I’m not sure what makes well written dialogue, but I do know on of the fastest turn-offs when I’m reading a book is bad dialogue.

    • Thank you. He seems to be getting back to his old self. He went back to school for the first time in over a week today and in a few days he is performing with the other musician he plays with.
      Yes, there is definitely a trick to writing that stuff and the instructor explained there is a difference between dialogue and conversation.
      And now I’m off to do more searching for red appliances.
      🙂

  2. Dialogue is my favorite thing to write. It might be fun to take a class in that one. Yknow, about red… I am not fond of it but for some odd reason i love it in appliances….whats that about!? I want a red kitchenaide mixer!

  3. Vince says:

    I’m glad that it wasn’t anything more than a cold for your brother. It sounds like he suffered far more than the average cold sufferer, though! Hope he gets well soon.

  4. Lorraine Marie Reguly says:

    Kerry, thanks for the book, for meeting me, and for the links. 😉

    I loved meeting you and had a great time dining with you!

    I have mentioned many times that when you write about yourself and your experiences, you touch my heart. You’ve often made me cry. That said, you have had feedback from me on your true writings. Your fiction writing, however (and I hate to say this) is not as good. It’s good, but not great, like your true writing is. I hope you don’t hate me for saying these things, but I want to give you honest feedback so that you can grow as a writer… which is what you say you want.

    Kerry, perhaps you should consider publishing a book of true stories. I think it would sell like hotcakes! Include things you have published on your blog. If you need help determining which ones, to include in it, I can help.

    Just take a look at the posts I have commented on, my comments on each, and select those stories.

    If I had access to your blog, I can help you find these, if you want. Think about it. Let me know.

    Self-publishing might be an option for you.

    I’ve helped Max with his book, as you know, and I can help you.

    Have a good day!
    ~Lorraine

  5. snow…. no, thank you. (though we’re in New England and it is a Winter fact of life… not a fan of the frozen water)
    funny, my phone (Adroid type) is getting on in years and for unknown reasons, sets the volume of the ringer down to nearly nothing, on it’s own and at random intervals… lol (probably just a cry for attention)

  6. Kristi says:

    I’m glad that your brother is all right. What a scary thing!
    I also wish there was a way to share scents through the computer. A picture of a rose is nice, but just imagine if the smell could be shared, too!

  7. So glad that your brother is doing better now. Those writing workshops sound like fun. Your kitchen is looking so bright and cheery with the red appliances.

  8. Hi Kerry,

    It is Thanksgiving here….and it means snow is on it’s way here in New England. So far so good…no snow yet and I am thankful for that one. But soon we will be in Winter Wonderland for a few months I don’t mind it much…it is just putting on and taking off all that “gear” that bothers me lol.

    -Donna

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