Category Archives: Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: An Average Day in My Life

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

My answer to this prompt certainly isn’t what I was expecting it to be when I first saw it about eleven months ago, but I’m sure you all can say the same thing.

Most of my time is spent at home or outdoors.

I’m lucky to live in a walkable, safe neighbourhood. Practically all of errands I need to run can be accomplished without using public transit, a cab, or a private vehicle. My biggest hurdle there is only buying what I can comfortably carry.

I add things to my shopping list before they run out, and I consolidate trips as much as possible. If paper towels are on sale and I know I’ll need them next week, I’ll pick up a package of them during a normal grocery store run. For heavy items, I buy what I can and try to remember I’m not superwoman.

This has been a good way to develop my muscles! My arms do a lot of lugging stuff around for my household, and I’m grateful for my ability to act like a human pack mule when necessary.

Much of my time at home is spent typing up blog posts and stories. The gentle clicks of a keyboard is one of the most common sounds you’ll hear here. it’s so common that sometimes I dream about it.

woman doing yoga. stretching head down into lap.
Someday I’ll be this flexible!

Home workouts are another way I pass the time. Lately, I’ve been doing lots of yoga while a knee injury heals and trying not laugh too much when my spouse tries to distract me during  the most pretzel-like moves. He likes to poke gentle fun at the instructor.

This is beginning of the coldest months in Ontario. When the weather allows for it, I love going for long walks at the park and seeing the first signs of winter and the last signs of autumn in the land.

On freezing days, I stay home and watch television instead. I enjoy sitcoms like Kim’s Convenience, science fiction like Star Trek: Discovery, and nonfiction science/history shows like Cosmos.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to Read Again

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

a book and a dried bundle of flowers sitting on a wooden chair I’m the sort of reader who bounces between doing many rereads and only wanting to read books that are new to me.

The next time I’m in the mood for a reread, these titles will be at the top of my list because of the sense of wonder I felt when discovering their marvellous plot twists and character development for the first time.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

2. 1984 by George Orwell

3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams

4. The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid’s Tale, #1) by Margaret Atwood

5. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

6. The Valley of Horses (Earth’s Children, #2) by Jean M. Auel

7. The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

8. The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1) by Angie Thomas

9. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

10. The Martian by Andy Weir

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Recipes from Fiction Books That I Want to Try

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Honestly, it’s been years since I read a book that included actual recipes in it, But I do love stories that describe food, especially when they goes in great detail about it.

All of these dishes seem simple enough to reverse engineer recipes for, so I figured that’s close enough for this week’s prompt. 🙂

A strawberry tart with whole, fresh strawberries piled on top of it. Tarts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

In the next moment, her eyes fell on the White Rabbit that was serving the court as a herald and was reading the accusation that the Knave of Hearts had stolen the Queen’s tarts. In the middle of the court, a large platter of tarts was on display.”

(In my imagination, they’re strawberry tarts!)

Roasted potatoes from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett:

“Dickon made the stimulating discovery […] there was a deep little hollow where you could build a sort of tiny oven with stones and roast potatoes and eggs in it. […] Very hot potatoes with salt and fresh butter in them were fit for a woodland king—besides being deliciously satisfying.”


A blueberry pie sitting on a wooden cutting board Blueberry Pie from Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White:

The children ran for the kitchen. ‘Just in time for a piece of blueberry pie,’ said Mrs. Zuckerman.

Clam Chowder from Moby-Dick

“However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”

This entire amazing meal from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg:

“Idgie and Ruth had set a place for him at a table. He sat down to a plate of fried chicken, black-eyed peas, turnip greens, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, and iced tea.

Is anyone else hungry now?

Top Ten Tuesday:What I’m Thankful for

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Last year I used the Thanksgiving prompt to discuss Native American authors and books. This year I decided to share some of the things I’m grateful for.

Answer #6 mentions Covid-19, so feel free to skip it if that’s a sensitive topic for you. I’m sending virtual hugs to everyone who has had their heart broken by this awful illness this year.

1. Canadian Healthcare

I grew up in the United States in a family that sometimes struggled to pay medical (and other) bills, so it blew my mind to immigrate to a country where you can make an appointment with your family doctor (or even a specialist) without ever having worry about how you’ll afford to pay for that visit.

Canada definitely isn’t a perfect country, but I love the fact that everyone here has the ability to get that suspicious mole/lump checked out or find out that they have high blood pressure/diabetes/other chronic health conditions before those diagnoses balloon into something life-threatening and very difficult to treat. I wish everyone on Earth had this same access to decent medical care.

Drawing of the phrase Happy Thanksgiving on a wooden sign. The sign has some leaves flanking it and a pile of squash, tomatoes, and pumpkins sitting below it. 2. Jana, Top Ten Tuesday, and You

Thank you, Jana, for hosting Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog hop, and I’m grateful for all of you.

3. A Quiet, Warm, Safe Place to Live 

4. A Kitchen Filled With Food

5. Clean Clothes and Comfortable Shoes

There are far too many people in this world whose basic needs aren’t being met. I do what I can to help them and only wish I could do more.

6. My Parents Surviving Covid-19

Both of my parents caught Covid-19 this year. I am so grateful that they are still around. May next year bring a vaccine that will grind this illness to a halt.

7. The Internet 

How many of you remember what life was like before most people had access to the Internet? I do, and I’m glad we have ways to digitally reach out to one another during this pandemic. Life would be much sadder and more isolated if we were all stuck at home without it.

8. Humorous Pet Videos and Gifs

This list needs something silly on it.

Humorous animal content brings so much joy to my life. When my parents were sick earlier this year, I relied heavily on stuff like compilation videos of cute baby rabbits  to distract me while we waited for updates about their health.

Purple, blue, and yellow overlapping bubbles. The largest bubble is purple and has the word Thank You written on it. 9. Front Line Workers

I deeply appreciate all of you. Thank you for working so hard to keep everyone healthy, safe, and stocked up on all of the necessities of life like food and medicine.

You are the true heroes of 2020.

10. Exercise 

A good workout does wonders for my mind and body!

11. Dairy-Free Treats

2020 has felt like it lasted a decade, so I’m sneaking one last item onto my list.

I love the fact that there has been a surge of companies offering dairy-free ice cream, cookies, chocolate bars, and more. These items used to be much harder to find, so it’s marvellous to have such a big selection of them now when I want a treat.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Funniest Things That Have Happened To Me

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Wooden sign with polka dots and the words "did you smile today?" written on it I can’t wait to read everyone else’s stories! This is one of those WWBC topics I’ve been looking forward to all year long.

Story #1

My extended family is interracial and multiracial. Various versions of this conversation have happened multiple times over the years, and I hope I always see the amusing side of them.

(Yes, I do share relevant details with medical professionals or friends. I simply choose not to explain the intricacies of my family tree to every nosy stranger in the world).

Them: Who’s that person?

Me: They’re my <cousin, etc.>

Them: But they’re Black! <Cuban, etc.>

Me: They sure are.

Them: Okay, I get it. You’re biracial.

Me: No, I’m Caucasian.

Them: Are you sure about that? I mean, you do have curly hair.

Me: Yes, white people have curly hair, too.

Them: So are they biracial then?

Me: Nope. (Well, not in most cases).

Them: I’m confused. Are they your real <cousin, etc.>?

Me: Yep.

(repeat ad infinitum).


Story #2

This happened at the end of an exhausting holiday shift right before Christmas at a retail job I had years ago. Normally, I would have been much more responsive, but my brain was fried from the long hours, rotating shift work that made it impossible to get enough sleep, and frantic workflow for retail workers in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas. This customer had been inspecting our pans for a few minutes before she waved me over.

Customer: Excuse me, do you sell adamantium* pans?

Me: Sorry, we don’t sell them.

Customer: Do you know where I can adamantium pans?

Me: I honestly have no idea!

*That is to say, the fictional metal alloy used to coat Wolverine’s skeleton and claws in Marvel comic books. (And I still have no idea what she meant or why anyone would want to make baking pans from that material if it really existed).



Story #3

The most recent story of them all. A few years ago, I noticed a weird-looking mole slowly growing bigger on my body and decided to ask my dermatologist to take a look at it.

The dermatologist asked me a few questions about the history of the mole and then brought out some specialized tools to peer more closely at it.

He was silent for a moment and then exclaimed, “your mole is bland!” It looked a little odd,  but it wasn’t cancerous like I’d feared it might be.

I still chuckle at this memory ever so often. My name is Lydia, bearer of bland moles. Ha!

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Bookish Hobbies

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl For the sake of this post, I’m going to pretend like the Covid-19 pandemic is not happening since some of my hobbies aren’t currently safe or even possible to do. Someday that will change, and for now I’ll enjoy the rest of them. Visiting museums I especially enjoy art,… Read More