Fortune Follows the Brave – SoCS

Welcome to the Island View Café. If you recall, we changed the name of this bar – rather we gave this bar a name, it never had one before – to make it easier to have guests visit us. Some renovations were going to accompany the name change, but, oh let’s say “supply chain issues have prevented that from happening.” Despite the absence of a fancy marquee and a guy outside smacking a paddle ball ushering everyone inside, we are going to welcome our first guest of 2022. We’re also trying to satisfy Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt – in fact, I think we did that in the title. I think the title suits our guest very well.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘fortune.’ Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, you would be trying to cash in on the fact that I’m buying in honor of our guest.

“When does our guest get here, Dan?”

“Natalie will be here in a few seconds, David. She has to clear Customs.”

“Customs? Where’s she coming from.”


“Are you boys going to wait until she gets here to order?”

“I am Cheryl. I like ordering when we have guests because Dan buys from the top shelf.”

“John Howell’s Bourbon is pretty top-shelf stuff, David. You sure you want to trade?”

“It’s not often I get treated like a special guest, Cheryl. I’ll take my chances.”

“Well, I think she’s here. Welcome Natalie!”

“Thank you. Thank you, Dan, for inviting me here.”

“We are happy to have you join us today. This is David and Cheryl is our bartender today.”

“Hello David. Cheryl, it’s nice to meet you.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Natalie. I know Dan is having a Corona. David is waiting to see what you have.”

“A non-alcoholic margarita, please.”

“Did she say na, na, non-alcoholic?”

“She did, David, and I make very nice one, if I do say so myself. I’ll be right back.”

“While we wait, I want to get started with the questions I have for Natalie. Your blog name, Natalie the Explorer is fun and interesting. Have you always been an explorer?”

“Yes, Dan, I have always been an explorer. I’m drawn to adventure stories in books, films and in real life such as ‘At One with The Sea,’ ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ ‘Star Trek,’ National Geographic articles, etc. Before the pandemic, I’ve had many travel adventures. During the pandemic, I’ve been exploring Toronto.”

“Star Trek? Oh, my goodness, Dan, she’s one of you.”

“Now David, be nice.”

“Here you go Natalie, a non-alcoholic Margarita, with a wedge of fresh lime, and here you go David.”

“Mmmm, Cheryl, this is delicious.”

“Thanks, we make our own sour mix here, and it’s the best.”

“Cheryl…you gave me three cherries on a napkin…what the…?”

“That’s a non-alcoholic John Howell’s Special, David. You wanted to go where the guest goes.”

“Speaking of where our guest goes, I am in awe of the list of countries you have visited, Natalie. Yours might be the first travel list I’ve seen that’s organized by continent. When do you think you will be at ease traveling again?”

“I’ll travel again when travel restrictions are lifted, Dan. At time of writing, the Government of Canada is advising travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, to avoid non-essential travel internationally. Within Canada, each province or territory has their own travel restrictions.”

“Where would you like to go?”

“That depends on where I can go, David. In Canada, I’d like to visit Newfoundland and Labrador. My international travel wish list is long. I hope to travel far (e.g. New Zealand) and frequently while I’m in good health.”

“Where would you recommend someone who has not traveled much internationally visit?”

“Dan, for someone who has not traveled much internationally, I’d recommend starting with a country where you’re fluent in the official language, you feel comfortable with how COVID-19 is managed at the destination, and there are frequent flights between your home country and your destination.”

“That sounds stress-free. That’s the way I like to travel.”

“Um, Cheryl, do you think I could drop down and have my regular drink today?”

“Of course, David. In the future, be careful what you wish for.”

“Natalie, you and I both began hosting a weekly blog challenge at about the same time. Most of the people who visit this bar are familiar with Thursday Doors, but please tell us about your Weekend Coffee Share, and how you came to be the host.”

“The Weekend Coffee Share linkup has been around since 2014 and had four hosts between 2014 and 2020. On January 1, 2021, Alli, at Eclectic Alli blog, decided to step away from hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share. I was a participant and volunteered to continue hosting it. I’m the fifth host.”

“Natalie, I don’t follow many blogs, and as you can see, I prefer sharing bourbon, but what do people share at the Weekend Coffee Share?”

“There’s nothing wrong with bourbon, David. Weekend Coffee Share is a weekly social event where bloggers share their news, random musings, stories, and photos.”

“How would someone like me find those posts?”

“Go to my site and click on the button to join the Inlinkz link party! You don’t have to post anything, but you can read all the other posts.”

“The post I read on your site that convinced me that I wanted to invite you here, Natalie was one where your talked about running your first ever food drive. People can read the post, but I’m curious about your motivation and how you overcame what had to be a certain trepidation about what seems like a daunting task under normal circumstances and even more so during a pandemic.”

“Thank you, Dan, for your kind words. I remember reading about Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how needs lower down in the hierarchy (e.g. food, shelter) must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.

“When we have food insecurity in our community, it’s an issue that leads to more issues such as children unable to focus on learning, youths tempted by crime activities, family crisis, etc. My motivation was to bridge a service gap that I thought I could help.

“How I overcame a certain trepidation was to gather the facts. I sent a couple of email inquiries and discovered it was easy to set up a community food drive. Since I could run the food drive without making contacts with anyone, I felt safe to do it during the pandemic.

“The results exceeded what I hoped to achieve. Three hundred-fifty non-perishable and most needed food items (or value of CAD $1500) feed a family of four for at least one month. That’s something worth doing.”

“Natalie, you are also a voracious reader. I don’t know how you fit the level of reading into your already active life, but you do, so I’ll ask, what is your favorite thing about reading?”

“My favourite thing about reading is imagination. I read mostly fiction and I enjoy the book immensely when the words make me imagine I’m in a new place with new experiences.”

“Natalie, Dan, David, do you want another round?”

“I think one more round will be nice, Cheryl.”

“I’ll get them, Dan, but I have a question for Natalie.”

“What can I do for you Cheryl?”

“I read your page on Wellness, and I have to say, I’m impressed with your wellness routine. I do some of the things you mention. How long has this been a focus in your life?”

“Wellness has been a focus since my 20s. I’ve made changes to my fitness program as I age. I believe that from midlife on, a well-rounded fitness program has to address four components: Balance, mobility, strength and endurance (cardiovascular conditioning).”

“You mention this being your “current” list. Does it change often?”

“I change my list approximately every two years, Cheryl, although I make smaller changes in my exercises every four to six weeks. I like to rotate a variety of physical activities to keep my mind engaged and to use different muscles.”

“Natalie, it’s been fun. Thanks for helping us learn a little more about you, your blog and the Weekend Coffee Share.”

“Thank you, Dan, for a fun chat and for the drinks. Cheryl, you make the best margarita. I look forward to continuing our blogging connections.”


  1. Hi Everyone, hey Dan fabulous photos as always especially the leaf on the ice and the sunset!
    Natalie it was great to meet you and so interesting.
    David I hope you got your drink we will air brush over what Cheryl gave you to drink/ eat first!
    Cheryl good on ya!! 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was so nice to meet you, Natalie! I look forward to visiting your blog! I meant to suggest a visit to Central America if ever you get around to it. Panama has much to offer and the Covid restrictions are reasonable. How did you know I’ve been thinking of those margarita cookies, Dan? Wait! I see two sweet bunnies…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cheryl. I’m glad you could be with us today to meet Natalie. I remembered those cookies and I hoped I had used the image. Two sweet bunnies, which might lead to even more bunnies at some point. Judging from the pictures you’ve shared, Panama would be a wonderful place to visit.


    • It was nice to meet you, Cheryl! Panama looks like a fantastic destination with a lot to offer. My sister and I had planned a girl trip to Panama with our nieces to celebrate when the older niece graduated from university. We put it on hold due to COVID We hope to do it in the near future. I’ll be off to see your photos. Oh I spotted the bunnies, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s delightful to meet Natalie. I just visited her site. Thank you, Dan, for introducing her. As always, I love your photos. MuMu is particularly precious today. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Natalie is an extremely interesting person. No moss will grow under her feet! Thanks for letting us meet her. Glad the truck blockade in Canada didn’t prevent her trip to the Island View Café.

    Maddie and Smokey look like they’re having a face-off at the OK Corral! Hope MuMu got her brushing. A girl has to keep up appearances ya know!

    The sunset shot is beautiful as is Old Glory. Love the frozen leaf.

    Enjoy the warmer temperatures today, but don’t put your long johns away just yet. Hopefully the brutal low temperatures are through with us. 🤞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ginger. Thanks for visiting today. I’m surprised Natalie stayed in one place long enough for us to talk to her. She seems to be always on the move, but her explorations always yield interesting stories and delightful photos.

      Maddie is funny. Sometimes, she drags me up the ramp to sniff the porch. She’s never out there, but I think she knows it’s hers.

      We walked in relative comfort today, but I’m hanging onto the winter gear.

      Give Murphy a scritch from the M-girls.


  5. Good morning Dan, The SoCS prompt and your post title made me smile. I’m fortunate to have met you and your blog friends and readers here. Thank you again for introducing me on your blog. Maddie did a good job navigating the ice buildup in your walkway. After your walk, did you get to play with your cat? The sunset photo is gorgeous. I’ll be flying on one of those geese to get home bypassing the truck blockade :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for joining us Natalie. Maddie is adept at walking on the ice, but she has four feet, and is lower to the ground. I only have two, and it’s a long way down. MuMu and I “share” a space. She has the shelf above my desk, until she wants to be in my chair. Then we have words. Another group of geese left this morning. It seems to be a regular flight these days.

      Thanks again for visiting the bar. I hope yo have a nice weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing Natalie with us, Dan. I admire her diligence in organizing a food drive back in December, and she gets 1,000 bonus points for being one of our people (Star Trek Nerds Non-anonymous). I’ll check out Coffee Share when I have some spare time this weekend.

    Maddie is still cute in her inside-out plaid coat. She shouldn’t be embarrassed as long as it keeps her warm. Have an excellent day and weekend, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice to meet you, Mary J. December was a prime month for food drives here due to the holidays. I was glad that everything came together and the food drive was a success. I’ll visit your blog this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary. I knew you’d like the fact that Natalie is a Star Trek fan. Sorry that your spare time, like mine is due to our not needing to watch all the pregame hype. Congrats to you MVP – I was glad to see it go to him and not some other…

      Maddie’s coat does seem to keep her warm. I was embarrassed for her. I made that mistake many times while growing up. I hope yo have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the MVP congrats. I posted comments about it on a Packer FB page and unfortunately got far too many “he choked in the playoffs, he’s a prima donna, Tom Brady and Cooper Kupp are more deserving and what, are you married to the guy” comments. Yeah, I laughed at the last one. There always have to be trolls and haters.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Maddie looks lovely no matter which way her coat is on, but mum’s the word. 🤐 “Oh, my goodness, Dan, she’s one of you.”–David is a riot. Natalie has a most interesting blog. South Florida gets so many visitors. Come to the Panhandle, Natalie! You were so close when visiting New Orleans…! This is a great idea, Dan–to bring visitors to the bar. So nice to meet you, Natalie.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How wonderful to learn more about you, Natalie! We have a lot in common: non-alcoholic drinks, Star Trek, wellness (though I could be a little more consistent…. I lived on the naval base in Argentia, Newfoundland when I was five and remember the icebergs and wolves howling at night up on the hill. I hope you get to go there. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog more. Oh, hi Dan! I love how you write about freeing the leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, this is one of my favorite interviews and I’ll be visiting Natalie’s blog to see what’s going on and possibly participate. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that I really like Maddie’s winter jacket (I’d say “coat” but she already has a coat.)

    I have to share something that gave me a good laugh and you know I don’t mean it in any way to be critical. But my grammar side saw this: ““I am Cheryl,” and thought it was Cheryl delivering a “I am woman” type of moment. Obviously the following sentence made me realize it was “I am, Cheryl” but for a moment I was almost pumping my fist in the blogosphere air as she asserted her authority and Cheryl-ness. :-) Ah, well, I take my humor where I can find it. A most happy Saturday to you, Dan.

    I am janet. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Janet. I’ve been running late for the past many weeks, and I haven’t had the benefit of The Editor looking over my posts. Commas are my downfall, but I would have normally caught that one. Maybe it was a Freudian slip – perhaps “I am Cheryl” is meaningful.

      I hope you enjoy Natalie’s blog. I follow a few people who participate in the coffee share. It looks like fun. I keep meaning to join.


    • Nice to meet you, Janet. Your first sentence made me happy :) You’re welcome to join the Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup any week. I’m the WCS host so I feel committed to write a post weekly and that’s part of the challenge for me, LOL.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Natalie’s approach to life is inspiring and I admire her commitment to her routines – and the weekend share. A fun interview, thanks for bringing us a little more Natalie.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I had a nasty reaction to the Covid booster and so am behind in my wellness regime. I do agree that changing to adapt to the problems of aging – balance, etc. – is important. Speaking of which, be careful on those icy rivers … err … roads!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cheers to another wonderful interview! Nice to hear about Natalie and her adventures in Canada, etc. I enjoyed your photos too – even the inside-out dog coat. I appreciate your flag photos too – nice to see the sun’s position changing – Spring is in the air soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Traveling in imagination is a good thing to be reminded of. My favorite picture above is the one of the geese flying back to Canada, needless to say. I do hope that’s where they’re going. However, I also appreciated how warm and cozy a napping cat can look after all that ice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cats have the best life (around here). If it’s cold, they find a sunny place or a warm place and sleep. If it’s hot, they sleep. When they want to play/eat, they scream to get our attention.

      The gees do seem to be heading north, although they seemed to be heading north in November.

      Liked by 1 person

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