I am grateful for time spent in the studio, quietly painting by myself, accompanied only by other quiet painters and Ira Glass in my earbuds, for most of the day.

I am grateful for a lunch date with Julie.

I am grateful for a board games with Julie and the lads while we waited for dinner to finish cooking.

I am grateful for a phone conversation with my brother after the kids were in bed.


I am grateful for Farley’s second piano lesson, and my first Farley’s piano lesson. He learned a bit of the Star Wars theme.

I am grateful for a quick visit with the baby Gerbils for Farley and I at the pet store that we’ve ordered them from. Cute little fellers, they are.

I am grateful for a quick trip to the beach even though it was raining and cold, and Cooper tripped in a stream and lost his shoe, for a while suspected to have washed into the ocean but later recovered, and an ear injury to Farley, when, on the way down, Cooper managed to accidentally hit him in the noggin with a small trowel. It must have been good, the trip to the beach, that I am still grateful despite all that.

I am grateful for some Dungeons and Dragons with my lads and brother in law this evening. The adventurers managed to defeat 2 ochre jellies in the ruined dwarven temple. It was no trip to the beach, that!

I am grateful for time spent listening to Farley read this evening.


I am grateful for a show I just took down from the central branch of the public library.

I am grateful for cooperative kids for that takedown, I had them both with me. Luckily enough, the paintings weren’t far from the kids section of the library.

I am grateful for some general excitement at the pet store today. We’d decided to surprise our kids with a cage for gerbils at Christmas; previously we’d taken a pretty hard line against any mammalian pets. Today we decided to get the animals. Sadly, there weren’t any ready for us to take home, but we were able to meet and hold some of the litter born December 8th that we would be able to get in a week or so. They are cute little fellers!

I am grateful for the Mandalorian, the Star Wars based TV series. For the first time I can recall us doing so, our whole family binge-watched a bunch of episodes today.

I am grateful for my brother in law, who is here for a visit. He was keen to join in on the Mandalorian, and to entertain his excited nephews.


I am grateful for a fine Christmas morning.

I am grateful for a couple hours in the hillbilly hot tub, spent with a good book, and phone conversations with my parents and my brother.

I am grateful for Christmas Dinner, with turkey and all the rest, and our chosen family, Jeanine, and a walk to the place with the spectacular light display on Grosvenor Street.


I am grateful for a fine Christmas Eve.

I am grateful for a skate with my boys at a fundraiser friends organized. I grew up skating at the outdoor rink in the park near our house in Calgary. The weather is nice here, but I do miss the skating, and it’s fun when we get a chance to do it every once in a while.

I am grateful for Coop, who wrapped up presents for some of his buddies, and had us drive him around to deliver them. The rest of us sat in the car and waved from the curb while he knocked on the doors to present the gifts. It was nice to see him being so generous.

I am grateful for lunch with my family at the Fig, where you can get absolutely the very best spanikopita there is, anywhere.

I am grateful for our Christmas Eve tradition, which is to make appetizers for dinner. We had potato skins, bacon wrapped dates with almonds in the middle, and Persian meatballs, as well as some other good stuff.

I am grateful for stockings hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there.


I am grateful for the time to try to get my house in some semblance of order before holiday madness and cheer.

I am grateful my back is feeling better.

I am grateful for a fair amount of puttering with the lads today.

I am grateful for a quick walk up to and around the park this afternoon with those fellas.

I am grateful for meatballs with our neighbours at their place across the street.

I am grateful for Julie because she is cussing awesome.