i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

seven things on a sunday

Seven Things on a Sunday @ Beyond Elsewhere

1 – I will never get tired of staring at the night sky. A dream goal is to move to a way more rural area (not, like, totally rural, but away from any big cities) and have a skylight in my bedroom. There’s something about staring at the stars, when there are no other lights around, that takes my breath away. I love the sky. So much. (But I love it from the ground, I am way too terrified up in a plane to appreciate the sky while IN the sky. Not for me. Nope.)

2 – I hate wearing shoes. Unless I’m wearing a specific pair of slippers in the house, I would much rather not wear shoes (or socks). I can’t stand having my feet imprisoned! Which is an odd thing for someone who can’t stand feet. (They gross me out. Yucko!) I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much this summer, but I spend way too much time trying to figure out what shoes to wear when I have to go out. Not because of look, but because of how they feel on my feet. I would much rather walk around barefoot if I can. Especially in the back yard, and garden, much to the chagrin of my body, because I’m allergic to the grass and then end up with a rash, or hives on my legs. But it’s worth it to feel grounded. Well, maybe not right before bed. *itch*scratch*itch*GAH!

3 – I have been extremely restless lately. Especially today. I have likened this feeling in the past to a bird rustling its feathers. Nothing holds my attention very long anymore. For example, I thought early this morning that writing this blog post would be a great idea. Five hours later, I’m only just starting the third item on this list – that’s after trying to nap, taking a shower, and playing in the garden (not all in that order.) At lot of this feeling is likely due to the week-long 40C+ weather we’ve had. I’m slowly evolving into a summer season girl, over the winter, but I still cannot stand these humid, no-air, 40C and over days.

4 – I have never known comfort of my soul like I have known with Yoshi. If you follow me on any social media you’ll probably have noticed that 95% of what I post is about Yoshi. I love all my Finnish Lapphunds, past and present, but Yoshi has stood out over them all with how much he helps me with my anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

Life as a hooman pillow

I had a week off of work at the end of July, and every morning, without fail, Yoshi would use my left arm as a pillow. He would stay there for 30-60 minutes, as I drank my coffee and browsed the internet. Sometimes he would cling to my hand as he drooled all over my arm and slept. It’s a strange thing, but I don’t think I have ever felt anything so comforting as with Yoshi sleeping on my arm. He centres me. He calms me. He’s always with me. If I go upstairs, he follows. If I nap, he’s on the bed napping. When I’m down in the shower, he’s outside the door, laying with his face in the bathroom. When I come home from work, he crawls into my lap and tries to merge his body into mine, while giving me kisses. And then he just rests. If I’m crying, he lets me hold him (of course if I happen to sneeze, or cough he gets the heck outta dodge and runs away.) Yoshi is like a real life plush toy. He calms me. He loves me. And he brings me so much joy.

Me and my Best Guy

5 – When I am rich I am going to take care of rescued Capybaras. Well, it’s up there with my dream goal of having a house in the country, with a giant skylight over my bed. Because I’ll also have a nice pool to help my little rescued Capybara swim and enjoy life. I have been in love with these rodents since I first saw one at the Montreal Biodome a billion years ago. And this past summer, two Capys escaped a zoo in Toronto and were on the lam for a month. I love these critters. I follow two of them on Facebook because I am THAT much of a dork. Joejoe the Capybara and Sweetie the Capy. How can you not love them?? I require one. I think Yoshi would like one, too.

6 – I have been listening to the same playlist on my phone for almost two full months. This might not be a big deal to anyone else, but I normal change my music up regularly. I have certain songs I always want to hear, but I love to have my music on shuffle and just see what comes up. I made a playlist of up-beat songs back in June and I have had that playlist on shuffle to and from work, at work, before I fall asleep. Over and over. I’m still not tired of it. Granted, I have removed or added the odd song or two in this time, but for the most part these 23 songs have been my daily soundtrack. I named the playlist Sunshine because it makes me happy. (Artists include: Taylor Swift, DNCE, Justin Timberlake, Walk the Moon, Tegan and Sara, The Lumineers, Fitz & the Tantrums, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Marianas Trench, and many more!)

7 – Obviously there needs to be an update about Jinx’s Garden v2.0! When we last checked in on the garden, it had just been planted. Now it’s a wild beast of a garden!

Jinx's Garden v2.0

I have never seen cherry tomato plants grow so big before. They are entangling themselves into the cucumber and melon vines, too! Maybe I’ll have some fun cross pollinated fruits. 😉
Jinx's Garden v2.0 August 2016
We have two melons coming along. One of which you can see in the first image on this post – and that’s from two weeks ago. The melon is much bigger now! I have given away more cucumbers than I have kept for myself, but I do have two on my kitchen counter right now. I am sceptical about the cherry tomatoes though. The plants are HUGE and there are green tomatoes everywhere, but they are certainly taking their time turning red. I have only picked four cherry tomatoes so far this summer. Maybe the plants are just growing TOO much and so they aren’t focusing on ripening the tomatoes they have already grown? Not sure. But this new location for the garden seems to grow plants very well. Woo!

And so ends my Seven Things on a Sunday for August 14, 2016. I almost ran out of Sunday before I got this posted. Until the next random time I post! Toodles, internet!

The Other Alice [a book review of sorts]

Yoshi and The Other AliceThe Other Alice
by Michelle Harrison

What happens when a tale with real magic, that was supposed to be finished, never was? This is a story about one of those stories . . .

Midge loves riddles, his cat, Twitch, and ? most of all ? stories. Especially because he’s grown up being read to by his sister Alice, a brilliant writer.

When Alice goes missing and a talking cat turns up in her bedroom, Midge searches Alice’s stories for a clue. Soon he discovers that her secret book, The Museum of Unfinished Stories, is much more than just a story. In fact, he finds two of its characters wandering around town.

But every tale has its villains ? and with them leaping off the page, Midge, Gypsy and Piper must use all their wits and cunning to work out how the story ends and find Alice. If they fail, a more sinister finale threatens them all . . . (goodreads.com)

Oh, internet. How can I express how much love I have for this novel? I have all of the feelings but I cannot find the words. So let me first tell you a bit about why I read this book – I read the book because it was written by Michelle Harrison, an author whose books have filled me with such joy and wonder that I need to read EVERY! STORY! SHE! EVER! WRITES! I kid you not.

Her first book was about faeries. If you know me, you know how I feel about faeries. The title even had the word “treasure” in it, and I looooooooove treasure. And the title also had the number 13 in it, and that’s like, my favourite number. And the story captured me fully. As did the next novel, and the next. I was sad when I ran out of Michelle Harrison books to read. I was reading them faster that she was writing them! (Work on that, MH.) Then I found out that a new story was being written, and this story had the name “Alice” in the title, and I looooooove the name Alice because: Alice in Wonderland. So of course I was mega-excited.

And THEN Michelle asked on the facebooks to help name something in her novel. There was a narrowboat in the book that a character lived on and she was trying to name it. I commented with a few brilliant ideas (note this was at the same time the internet named a research ship Boaty McBoatface, so you can get an idea of my brilliance!). I also added one real idea: Elsewhere. Because that word is just everything to me.

Elsewhere.

Best word/concept/feeling EVER.

And I won the comment poll, or whatever you want to call it. So my name is actually IN this book in the acknowledgements at the end and I am so excited to see my name in print. It’s almost like I wrote the entire novel MYSELF. (Right!?)

So, this new novel (that I totes helped write) is about a girl who vanishes and leaves a story unfinished, and about her brother who is trying to find her and help finish the story. Because scary things are happening, and magical things, and all of the things, and it’s just such a fantastically written story about stories that I never wanted it to end. I wish I had this book in my life when I was 10 years old. I seriously do. It has every element within it that I love dearly. The whimsy and magicalness of it all made me so giddy I was bouncing while reading it at times. I am 40 years old, internet, and I was so giddy about the whimsy in this book that I could not contain my happiness while reading.

I even love the concept of having a Museum of Unfinished Stories. Doesn’t that just sound delicious and delightful? The idea of it just swells around me with possibility!

I pre-ordered a copy of this book myself, but I also received a signed copy from the author because, as I mentioned, I did help write the darned thing. I will be gifting the non-signed copy this month to someone I hope enjoys it as much as I did. Here’s hoping. It was tough to find a hard copy of the book outside of the UK. It seems to be available only as an eBook on Canadian retailer sites, though I got my BOOK from the Book Depository UK shop (which I think was because I am in Canada. If you are in the US I don’t think it lets you order from the UK site?)

otheralicecollage

I haven’t blogged much at all this year, nor have I read very much (I’m up to 16 books though!), but I wanted to write about The Other Alice because it was a book that my soul needed so badly this summer. It was a perfect weekend escape for me when I needed to find solace in a more imaginative, whimsical space than what real life throws at us. I am now, sadly, out of Michelle Harrison books to read once more. I guess I’ll send her a note to help with the writing of her next novel, since I am obviously a much needed part of her process. 😉

If you love magical middle grade books, with very well developed characters, then I highly recommend you read everything you can get your hands on by Michelle Harrison. Her novels are worth everything.