Thanksgiving

For those unaware, Canada does celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s generally celebrated on the second Monday of October, but my family has always celebrated on the Sunday. Originally, it was celebrated in late October/early November (with the harvest). After WWI, Armistice Day (now Remembrance Day) and Thanksgiving were to be celebrated on the same day; however, they felt like they should be different days, so now we celebrate on the second Monday of October.

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(Thank you Mr. Schulz!)

I like history, let’s have some fun, shall we?

  • Many relate Thanksgiving to the United States, but long before Europeans set foot in North America there were celebrations of thanks and harvests in Europe.
  • We can trace Thanksgiving back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher (from England) voyaged to find the Northwest Passage (sea route connecting the Pacific and Atlantic). They experienced freak storms and ice, losing a ship in their trek. When they arrived in what’s now known as Newfoundland, him and his men gave thanks for surviving such a treacherous journey.
  • With the aforementioned fact, it shows that Thanksgiving was celebrated here 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Massachusetts!
  • Why is Thanksgiving in Canada in October, otherwise? We’re farther north. Our crops tend to be ready in October, and it’s more about giving thanks for a bountiful harvest than it is a bunch of slaughtering pilgrims.

A lot of people view Thanksgiving as a time for food and that’s all, but it’s so much more than that.

I get so upset when people have friends with nowhere to go and families turn them away. Thanksgiving isn’t a time only for family, it’s for everyone. My family has always been incredibly open about that. If you don’t have anywhere to go, you’re coming over for dinner and entertainment!

This year, there was my Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, W, Artist, me, Boyfriend, Little P, Tophat, Mistress, Tim, and even my parents’ neighbours showed up for a little while. There was supposed to be more people that showed up, but they didn’t make it for whatever reason.

We like to cook. There was two turkeys, a ham, potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, honeyed carrots, stuffing, cranberry sauce Mistress and I made, and homemade buns… oh, and pie. I’m glad there was so much food, it means I get to eat leftovers! Yum, yum.

But it isn’t all about the food… I got to spend time with people who matter to me…

What am I thankful for?

  • A wonderful and supportive family.
  • Friends I can be myself with.
  • A boyfriend that loves me.
  • Freedom…
  • Being able to walk.
  • Having everything that I need.

I’m thankful for a lot, I only mentioned a few (and quite vague) points. I reflect often.

This past year has been nothing but change, and it’s been, more than likely, the best change I’ve ever had in my entire life. I don’t always act like it, and I don’t always notice everything (who does?), but I’m thankful for everything, big and small. And to anyone that’s made such a positive impact in my life… I love you! You make life worth living, even when I don’t want to anymore.

What are you thankful for?

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Review: The Archived

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived
Pages: 328
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
My Rating: 3/5
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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“Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.”

* * *

I have to admit, I was drawn to this book because of the synopsis. “Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.” Okay, so the supernatural world kind of intrigues me, mostly due to personal experiences, but still…

The Archived was an interesting read and I am by no means going to berate it. It was fun, quick, and it kept my attention so I read it in one sitting. So why the 3/5 rating? Where to start, where to start…

I feel as if I would’ve enjoyed The Archived more had I read it at a younger age. This doesn’t usually bother me, considering I still sometimes pick up Dr. Suess books, but there was something about it that really made me feel out of place. Not only that, but I feel as if it wasn’t written as well as it could’ve been. I’m not the best writer in the world, but if we put ourselves out there, there’s always going to be criticism.

I really enjoyed the idea that Schwab allowed to unfold though. Mackenzie’s grandfather was apart of a secret organization that only certain people could ever be part of. He decided to choose Mackenzie. After Da (her grandfather) dies, all she has is herself, and she finds herself in the position of constantly lying to those she loves to protect them.

Every day is a bit of a struggle as she feels more alone than she ever did before. Da’s gone, her brother is gone, and her parents moved her away from her best friend! But maybe the new place will bring more adventure…?

Mackenzie meets some interesting people in this weird old building, and finds herself putting pieces of a puzzle together, all while finding love (it’s a YA, it’s not a spoiler, c’mon now). Will she ever come out on top? Read and find out.

Overall, The Archived was a good read. I’m not sure I’d ever read it again, but the idea was solid, it’s just a shame it wasn’t written better. This is probably best suited for someone in the 11-16 age range. But I promise, it really wasn’t bad! It just wasn’t as solid as I wanted it to be… nor as captivating.

Will I read the sequel? Probably. Just to see how it ends, and if the writing style improves at all.

Enjoy, and happy reading!

-Insert Happy Face Here-

I always sleep incredibly well when I’m next to the Boyfriend. I don’t know why, I just do. I went to spend time with him the other day, and it was quite literally the happiest I’ve been in a while. Little P was there too, so it was a lot of fun.

Yes, the Boyfriend has a child, and no, I’m not running. Shocking, right? I can’t believe how many shallow people there are out there. Sure, it isn’t always fun and games, but it’s really not that big of a deal. So he loved someone before you… unless you’re 12, I don’t see how it’d be any different. So you can’t go out to the club on the weekend… Okay? I’ve never been anyway, so why would I care? It’s not my scene!

Anyway… I’m fond of children, I really am. When I was young I always said I wanted a family, and even now, I want one eventually, but it’s easier to lie and say that I don’t. Too many cons. Don’t know if I can get pregnant… don’t know if I WANT to get pregnant. Most of my friends have children, but I’m not ready for that yet, so talking about it is slightly redundant, but it’s nice to get it out.

It’s really nice though. It’s like having a little family… which weirds me out sometimes, but it’s nice. I get to play dinosaurs (if you know me, you realize I LOVE dinosaurs), I get to read stories, I get to play with chalk… I could do these things anyway but not without getting strange looks.

I think the weirdest thing is when people come up to me and ask questions or give compliments when it’s just her and I though. I don’t even know how to respond. “Uhh… thank you… yes… so, I’m 21, I’m too young for kids, she’s not mine…” How do you even respond!?

It’s neat though. I like having my little side come out.

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I cabbed there… which was weird. The driver even talked to me, which never happens. When he rolled up, I immediately started thinking of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air… he was just blasting rap music. He wasn’t wearing his seatbelt though… silly driver, don’t you know that’s a $167 dollar fine!?!

Anyway, I’ve been a little… pushy. Not pushy as in bitchy, but pushy as in I keep pushing the Boyfriend away because I feel like he’s getting too close… which is terrifying. But I had a dream… it wasn’t the best dream, it was actually a little scary, but it made me understand a little bit better. I kind of already knew, but it helped clear my vision a bit.

Can’t have both.

We basically just hung out while I was there. Watched some movies with Little P, played with chalk, and played some games. We talked a lot too which was really nice. Communication is vital to me, and I’m not always the best at it, but it’s good to have someone that can push the words out of you. Sometimes I just need to talk about nothing. Or not talk at all and just… be.

I think his bed is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in in my entire life… and I’ve had a lot of beds… okay, maybe my grandparents’ water bed beats it, but just barely… and that’s because it’s wibbly wobbly.

It is GIANT. It’s a king sized bed and you could roll for days, I swear. It isn’t even the size, it’s just comfortable. I lie on it and fall asleep almost instantaneously.

Usually, I end up waking up in the middle of the night to use the washroom, but I didn’t that night. I was falling asleep and he crawled in next to me, cuddled up close, and we fell asleep. I’m usually a light sleeper, but neither of us woke up until Little P opened the door. It was the best sleep I’ve had in ages. The first sleep in weeks that didn’t include me crying beforehand. It was needed.

After a few hours of being awake, I started not feeling well. I don’t know if I ate something wrong, or if it was because I had forgotten my “eaty pills”. But I got a really bad headache (I almost never get normal headaches) which upset my stomach. I went to lie down for a bit and Little P brought in a T-Rex, tucked it in next to me, gave me a kiss on the head, then left. I have to admit, it was pretty cute.

Later on, we all enjoyed a storm. I love thunderstorms and I wish I got to see them more often. The Okanagan had the BEST storms, and I miss them a lot.

Eventually, Little P’s mom came to get her. I don’t think she likes me.

The Boyfriend’s mom was back before then and eventually took me home. It’s a good thing she likes me! Both like me. But my parents like him too, so that’s a good sign, right!?

Anyway, I’m feeling a lot better now, even now, so I guess thinking things through helped a lot.

Here’s to a good tomorrow too!

Review: The Forestwife

The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson

Series: Forestwife Saga

Pages: 170

Genre: Fantasy, Childrens, Fairy Tales, Adventure

My Rating: 5/5

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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“Deep in Sherwood Forest, there lives a community of outlaws. These heroic people have escaped the cruelty of medieval England’s lords and their unjust laws. The brave young Robert (alias Robin Hood) is one of these rebels; the Forestwife, a woman with magic healing powers, is another. Soon a fifteen-year-old orphan named Mary will flee into the forest to avoid the fearsome marriage her uncle has arranged for her. She will not be heard from again, but the legend of Maid Marian, the Green Lady of the woods, will have begun.”

My loverly friend and I have started sharing books with each other, which works especially well considering we’re both big into fantasy. Even Friendly Giant has told me about books I need to read, so be prepared!

The Forestwife was a lovely book, full of magic and intrigue. I have a wild imagination, so this really piqued my interest. As you can tell from what the back of the book says, it’s about a girl named Mary that runs off into the woods to escape a terrible marriage she wants no part in. Luckily, Agnes, a good friend, helps her in her journey.

Personally, while reading this book, I imagined everything, from the trees to the deer. When it talked about the Forestwife’s house, I imagined a very large oak tree with a door in the trunk filled with shelves upon shelves of herbs and healing potions… corners with burlap sacks full of grain… I’ve always been into learning about natural approaches and this basically is how I always wanted to be.

If you have a vivid imagination, it’s a wonderful read.

I didn’t even really grasp the romance. It wasn’t pronounced or ugly, it was just… there. Hell, I didn’t even mind the birth stuff… not that much anyway.

And the ending? Holy bajebus…

It’s always fun to share books from your past, and I’m really glad she shared this with me (onto the next one, right?!). I gave it a 5/5 because it dragged me into the world, and I actually liked the main character for once. Not only that, but this is the type of book I would’ve read when I was younger, and it was beautifully written, thus, appreciated even at 21.

Enjoy, and happy reading!

Daily Prompt: Impossibility

March 18th

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland.

What are the six impossible things you believe in? (If you can only manage one or two, that’s also okay.)

Firstly, Alice in Wonderland quote. Beautiful.

  1. Miracles: I totally believe in miracles. Not the type where, “God is watching over you! You’ve been saved-a!” but the real life miracles that happen every day. People survive events where no man should have survived (animals too), babies are born, just… weird things happen. A person that never should have walked that is walking… I got called a miracle. I shouldn’t be walking but I am. It’s just little things that happen every day.
  2. Spirits: I believe in the other side, you know, life after death. Just like everyone else, I am uncertain about what comes after death, but there has to be something else. “Energy can neither be destroyed nor created.” A lot of people may think I’m crazy, but certain… abilities… run in the family. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been able to sense things, feel things, hear things, see things. I saw my Poppy, that had passed away, standing in my Nana’s hallway when I was 11. It isn’t always seeing things, it’s that brush of cold air that gives you chills, or the way the hair on the back of your neck stands up. I’ve had far too many experiences to dismiss them. Good and evil.
  3. Aliens: Aren’t we the aliens? The universe is vast, there is no way we’re the only living creatures out there. No, I don’t believe there are little green men wanting to abduct us, but I do believe there is more life out there, somewhere out there.
  4. Bigfoot: A lot of people don’t believe in Bigfoot or Skunk-ape (whatever you want to call him), or most creatures (Jersey Devil, Mothman, etc.) for that matter. I truly believe Bigfoot is real, he is. I’m sure there’s a whole family of them living out there! How can people dismiss this? There is so much uncharted territory in Canada alone, imagine the rest of the world. Look at the Amazon – we haven’t been in most of that! Just because something has a silly name, doesn’t mean it can’t be real. We’re finding new species everyday, things we thought were extinct, things that we never knew existed. The world is a big place, we don’t know everything, get over yourselves!
  5. Me walking better: This is completely impossible. I have spina bifida, my gait is off, my feet are weird, my legs are weak, my hips aren’t in the right places because one leg is shorter than the other… I believe one day I’ll walk, maybe not perfectly, but better than I do now. I think I need to lose weight and start training myself. I believe if I could accomplish this, my pain would lessen. If I can’t, well, no big deal!
  6. Happiness and love: A lot of people say happiness and love aren’t real. They aren’t, not exactly, not in the way we feel them. They’re chemical reactions in the brain! That doesn’t matter to me, to me, I believe in these. I believe that happiness can put a smile on everyone’s face and love can change the world.

I believe in a lot. I’m sure if I took the time, I could come up with far better ideas, but I’m getting tired. It’s been a long day.

Daily Prompt: Quote Me

January 4th

Do you have a favourite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

I love, love, love quotes. I read them all the time, I go out of my way to find them, and I even, at one point, had a book that held all the ones I found and liked. It’s a bit difficult to choose one, but at this particular moment:

“If you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.”

– Johnny Depp

Now I know that seems a bit bizarre, and from my perspective, that’s only common sense. I’ve only ever loved one person at one time and that’s how I believe it should be. Nowadays, however, it seems as though people cheat more often, they’re having children at younger ages, and as saddening as this is, more and more people are going from person to person and questioning their feelings when they’re already in a committed relationship.

Why does this quote move me? Because I live by it. A lot of my friends have this problem where they say they’re crazy about this girl, but then they say they love another. I sit there shaking my head because it makes absolutely no sense to me! None! None whatsoever! If you love someone, you don’t love another person, you just don’t, it doesn’t work that way, which makes me think that a lot of these people can’t comprehend the feeling of love, or at least, they haven’t felt it yet.

Sometimes I just show people a picture of this quote, and yes, there’s pictures of it floating around, but they still fail to see the truth in it. They say I just “haven’t experienced it yet”, or “only stay with the familiar”.

It’s the same thing with people who cheat on their spouse. If you’re unhappy in the relationship, just leave, don’t do things behind their back that do, or should, make you feel guilty! It’s like when people talk about what marriage means to someone. To me, it’s a relationship between two people and only those two people, it doesn’t include a third person, or a fourth, and when you’re married, why are you questioning if you’re in love with somebody else?!

This subject just really irks me. But I enjoy the quote because it makes sense to me, and I really wish more people understood it.