New blog: Kookaburra is up and running

30 Oct

I have started posting at my new blog Kookaburra. I was going to wait until my blog designer had finished my custom design, but that’s still a few weeks away so I’m using a basic template until then.

Kookaburra is focused on well-being – meditation, yoga, healthy recipes, inspirational people, books about healthy living. It will have tips and ideas that can be incorporated into your life to give it a little bit more meaning and make you a little bit more healthy.

Also, Bee isn’t my real name. Bee is for Brigid, which is my real name, and which I’ll be using at Kookaburra (just in case you thought someone else was writing it). Hope to see you there!


on hiatus

23 Oct

I have been busily collecting information and madly writing for my new blog, and haven’t had time to look at Prairie Journals for a while. The new blog focuses on well-being, and looks at things we can do each day to make our lives a bit better. Since I thought of it, I have been completely consumed by the idea – never a bad thing in my book.
I’d love to have time to keep two blogs going, but I’d also love to quit my job and lie on a banana lounge all day; sometimes life gets in the way. So for the moment I am leaving Prairie Journals, but will continue to follow the blogs of the lovely people I’ve met along the way.
Thanks for reading.
I’ll update this site once my new blog is up and running, so you can follow along if you like.
Happy reading, book bloggers!

get grateful on sunday: 9

17 Oct

β€œThere are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
β€” Albert Einstein

I am aware that this blog is turning into barely more than a bunch of “get grateful” posts, and to be honest that’s the part I enjoy writing the most. I have been mulling over this for a while, and last week started work on a new blog, one which will focus on well-being. Well-being has always been a primary interest for me, from my late teens studying psychology at university up to my recent studies in Classical Yoga. There is so much to say, and so much to investigate. I’m excited. But because of this, reading and reviewing has been on the back burner as there are just not enough non-work hours in the week to do everything I’d like.

Things I’m grateful for today:

  • The diversity in nature astounds me. I love it. Returning from a hot trip to Vegas, temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, mountains in the distance, I have landed in this flat, chilly world where the trees have lost their leaves and the squirrels are busy stocking up for the winter. My morning walk was a cool minus 1 degree Celsius. But the sky was blue, the sun was out, the atmosphere was quiet, and it struck me how much I love these different places.
  • I am always grateful when I feel inspired. Beginning a new blog about a subject I’m passionate about has had me thinking of little else recently, such is the motivation to get the project going. This time I have my own domain name and everything, and it’s taking more effort to get going than a wordpress blog but I think it will be worth it.
  • Every time I log on to look at Prairie Journals, I’m grateful for my consistent readers. Who’d have thought I could get so attached to people I’ve not met, and yet feel that I know so well?
  • I’ve recommitted to vegetarianism recently, after a long stint of eating fish as well (and too frequent lapses with burgers at A&W). I feel healthy, motivated and proud that I am not contributing to practices that harm animals.

It is a short post today, as I’m itching to try out a new recipe for Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad. Mmmm.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


get grateful on Sunday: Las Vegas

12 Oct

This is “get grateful on sunday” on Tuesday due to my visit to Las Vegas. I was staying at the Bellagio on the weekend, where the internet is charged at $14.95 per 24 hours despite the excessive cost of staying there. I decided blog posts could wait until I moved to a cheaper hotel!

I love travelling, and see myself as a traveller before anything else. I love almost everything about it and structure my life so that nothing interferes with it (no children, no mortgage, low-paying job that has travel as a perk). So I have many things to be grateful for:

  • As mentioned, I stayed at the Bellagio on the weekend. I am grateful for every circumstance that led to me entering that beautiful lobby. The attention to detail in this hotel leaves nothing to be desired, from the attentive staff to exquisite designs that engage your heart and make it want to stay forever.
  • I love hotels, and I love hotel staff. I am interested in anyone at the bottom of the pecking order making a living in the travel industry. The things they must see, and the stories they will tell you, if you ask (and I do). I’m grateful for the smiles and well wishes from the cleaning staff as I pass them in the hall; the woman in the coffee shop who winks at me now because I wished her a good day; the valet who nearly tripped over his feet to open my car door before I got to it myself.
  • Airports are one of my favourite places. For me, being at the airport is part of the travel experience, and I have been known to voluntarily arrive up to six hours early for my flight so that I can relax with a coffee and just soak up the surroundings. Airports, to me, represent freedom. I am grateful that I am one of the fortunate who can fly off to new worlds, no matter whether it’s an hour away or a whole day of flight, and I will never take this for granted.
  • After my short stay at the Bellagio I went down-market to Circus Circus. What I love about this hotel is that it is full of young families and unfashionably dressed people from goodness-knows-where, who have probably saved hard and really looked forward to their big Las Vegas trip. I love being around these people because I know them and I am one of them. This is how my family travelled when I was young, when our big trip each year, excruciatingly saved-for my my parents, was to a historic town just two hours drive away. I feel that you can see the gratitude and wonder in the eyes of these people when you pass them, and you know they don’t take any of it for granted.
  • There is only a two-hour time difference from Manitoba to Las Vegas, and yet it seemed to make me a little delirious. It was in this state that I picked up an expensive sugar bowl in a homewares store and watched it slide from my fingers to shatter on the floor. I quickly told the saleswoman I would pay for the breakage, but she refused, and said she was just glad I didn’t hurt myself. How often does that happen? In gratitude, I bought several expensive coffee cups from her store πŸ™‚
  • As I have previously mentioned, I was given a ticket for a Cirque Du Soleil show (Love) that is playing here in Vegas. I saw the show last night, and let me just say that if you know anyone who is lacking a little fun in their lives, you should rush them to the nearest Cirque show, pronto. What an absolute delight it was, and a celebration of the best things in life: music, dance, colour, fun fun fun.

I have two more days here in Vegas before heading back to Canada. I do love travelling, but I will be equally grateful for my own bed and my normal routine. It will give me a chance to try out my new coffee cups πŸ™‚

Have a great week!

Eat Pray Love in Las Vegas

7 Oct

Just a very quick update from Las Vegas:


My copy of Eat Pray Love has just been placed in clear view near the elevators of my hotel (which is, unfortunately, not the Venetian). The book is decked out in BookCrossing stickers as well as an additional note poking out the top, saying “Please Take Me!”

Fingers crossed, the person who picks it up will take the time to locate the book on the BookCrossing website.


Now, I’m off to the pool. πŸ™‚

get grateful on sunday: 7

3 Oct

β€œThank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance, self-control, diligence, strength of will, content, and a hundred other virtues which the idle never know.”
~ Charles Kingsley

I read the above quote at Simply Col‘s blog, and think about it each day when I’ve got something ahead of me that I would rather not do. I admire people who challenge themselves, and the quote is a good reminder that to have a life worth living you sometimes need to feel uncomfortable.

I’m grateful for so many things this week:

  • While I’m in Las Vegas next week I plan to see a Cirque Du Soleil show. I was told yesterday that a ticket has been purchased and paid for already as a gift, so now I get to see it for free.
  • I had my first not-related-to-work social visit this week in my new town. I was invited to hang out with some locals at their home; they were so lovely and welcoming, and I had a great time. I love having new friends!
  • For work I need to drive a large SUV, which in my Corolla-driving life equates to driving a tank. I had to reverse said vehicle out of a tight parking spot for the first time. I will be forever grateful to the woman in the parking lot whose (friendly) hand signals helped me avoid a collision with the vehicles behind me as I backed out. Little gestures go a long way.
  • How spectacular the weather has been this week! Yes, I always mention the weather, but at this time of year I have to. Beautiful blue skies, sunshine and light breezes. It’s as good as summer in my book.
  • I’m excited about all the new blogs I’ve come across in the last few days. The Canadian Book Challenge ’round up’ has provided me with many new links to check out and I’ve found some that I’ll continue reading. I’ve also found a multitude of new Canadian books to read in the future. I just wish I was a faster reader!
  • The generosity of people astounds me. I have been offered the loan of several books and DVDs this week, which are sitting in neat piles on my coffee table. Every loan means less money I need to spend, and I’m grateful for that.
  • A friend from Australia, whose son will shortly be in Canada for a working holiday, is coming to visit me next year. She will be my first Aussie visitor and I can’t wait to show her around.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Cockroach is running free

2 Oct

I mentioned a few days ago that I would be releasing Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love as my first BookCrossing release when I’m in Las Vegas next week.

But this morning I went on a last-minute trip into Winnipeg, so I decided to set Rawi Hage’s Cockroach free into the urban wilderness while I was there. I left it on a bedside table in the furniture store ‘Bombay’. Hopefully some lucky browser finds the book and gives it a lovely new home!