Paper

Paper
This is an interesting word for today. My former neighbour emailed me on Tuesday to wish me a Happy Birthday since they were going away later that afternoon. She told me to check my mailbox because she knows I don’t check it everyday. My birthday and Christmas are the only times that I get mail that isn’t a bank statement or junk mail.
But even that is going by the way side because everything is electronic nowadays. Bell even charges you for paper statements. The bank charges you for a passbook. A lady that lived down the street from me didn’t have a computer. Mom kept statements for her records so she would pay the fee. When I go to the bank to withdraw money I don’t get a receipt. I figure I will drop it in the bottom of my purse and eventually it will be garbage anyway.
Yesterday when I went to the bakery down the street from me I paid with debit because I rarely carry cash anymore. I can remember when debit first came out you weren’t allowed to use it for a transaction less than $5. Now everybody buys coffee with debit.
But there is something sentimental about paper though. My Mom always reread Christmas cards after Christmas. My Dads cousin loved getting Moms Christmas letter. My friend draws a picture in a card. It’s so special. The fact that my Mom was a letter writer is why I have a connection to this friend. Most of our correspondence was by email but they were long emails and there were letters mixed in too.
It’s one of the things that I had a hard time letting go of when I moved. I had boxes of letters, wedding invitations, baby shower invitations, thank you cards. I kept the last Father’s Day card I gave to Dad. A birthday card from Janet. My Dad rarely had the need to write anything but he had a garden book where he sketched out his plan. I kept that. It’s such a personal thing. We won’t have that anymore though because very few people I know write letters anymore.
Who doesn’t love receiving a letter in the mail. Somebody went to the store to pick out a card specific for you.

Just for fun

These are questions that were posted on a fellow bloggers page. I thought for fun I would do them today…

If January was a candle, what would it smell like?
Clean clothes. I have one called fresh linen and that is what I think it would smell like. January is the beginning of a new year a clean slate, a fresh start.

Regardless of nationality, do you prefer gray or grey, and why?
Grey definitely.

If you could pick your own lottery jackpot (and win it) what would the cash value be?
One million. Just enough to live on but not an exorbitant amount of money.

If you couldn’t write anymore, how would you express your creativity?
This is tough because I’ve written in a journal for a long time. I didn’t even think of myself as a writer until I went to a class with a really supportive teacher. I think I would probably paint.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I remember writing often when my Dad was sick that I wanted to live on a deserted island. I just wanted to escape. There was a time when I wanted to live somewhere where nobody knew my name. But I learned that I can’t run away.
I like living in a place where I don’t have to worry about the air conditioner going on the fritz or changing furnace filter. I like four seasons. My answer would be I like where I live now.

You’re only allowed to listen to one song for the rest of your life. What do you choose?
I don’t know that I could only choose one. I have a whole list of songs when I feel sad. I love Michael Buble. No more car pool karaoke?
If I had to pick just one it would be You Raise Me Up Josh Groban

Roasty-Chocolatey or Fruity-Tarty-Fresh?
Fruity

Sand or snow?
Although I like having a white Christmas it would be sand.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Rabbit stew or gooseberry pie. While not that strange it is when you are twelve. My Aunt served us the strangest foods. Every time my brother went he always asked Mom what is it.

You can have any mythical creature as a pet. Which do you pick? Unicorn although a dragon would be cool too

If you could be any vegetable in your next life, which would it be?
Asparagus…I would be skinny

Birthday


I was looking through photo albums last night and this is one of my favourites. I recently did a blog post where I wrote that I don’t celebrate I honour the day. It’s hard to explain what the difference is but celebrating means friends, cake, presents where as honouring is posting a picture on Facebook. Honouring the love I have for my twin and honouring my feelings. That’s a big one. When I posted this photo I said it’s not hard to figure out which one is me and a close twin friend got it right away. I’ll give you a hint and say I was the Imp. That’s what my Mom called me. I would get a twinkle in my eye and Mom knew I was up to mischief. I have gotten to the point where I can look at pictures and there isn’t the pang that I used to get.

Some people wish me a Happy Birthday but I prefer thinking of you because it’s not happy. A good friend of mine wrote how lucky I am to have this photo. My former neighbour wrote how blessed I was to be a twin. It’s a day where I am very loved and that’s special but I miss Janet terribly. This picture is of us celebrating together.

On my way home on the bus on Monday I stopped off and bought myself gerbera daisies. A friend bought me them for my birthday one year and it’s been a tradition ever since. I buy yellow for me and red for Janet. The woman asked if I needed a card and I told her no they’re for myself.

I’m going to go for a walk today and buy a cupcake. I’ll sit on the balcony to eat it. The past few years it has rained around the time of my birthday and yet the day of it’s sunny. That’s Janet shining down on me.
I love you my bud.

Meddle

Meddle
The definition of meddle…interfere in or busy oneself unduly with something that is not one’s concern.
We had this happen a couple of times with very personal family issues. My Dad asked his brother to help but of course he ended up taking over. When my Dad was in the hospital he meddled again and it bit him in the butt. In both of these instances he didn’t trust us to be capable of doing it on our own. Because isn’t that why people meddle because they think they could do it better?
In my life I have carried this with me. When my Mom was sick I didn’t ask for help because it was easier doing it on my own. Looking after my Moms estate we were “joint executors” on paper but when someone has meddled in your affairs it’s pretty hard to trust them.
I wouldn’t say my Dad meddled but he gave “advice” for money. My Mom was the type of person that let us figure stuff out on our own. She knew if a friend wasn’t right for us. When we were little they didn’t break up a fight they let us resolve it on our own.
I think I’m a good listener. I have found with myself that I know what to do it’s just a matter of working it out for myself. I want to give my friends that same respect.
After my twin died there were a lot of things that were out of my control. There were a lot of decisions that I didn’t get to make. The things I could control I did. When I was looking for an apartment people gave me advice. My Mom could tell you that I am stubborn. If you told me to do something I would do the exact opposite. Or MY WAY as she would say.
There are times when I wish they were hear to give me advice but I also know they gave me the skills to do it on my own.

In the fridge

Bottle
Right now I have 4 bottles of salad dressing in the fridge. Ranch, coleslaw, lemon poppy seed (which goes great with spinach) and sun dried tomato. Lemon poppy seed was one Mom picked up to go with a prepared salad and she liked it so much she bought a bottle the following week. It’s funny that a couple of weeks I had all these condiments but no food to put it on. I also have the usual stuff that most people have ketchup and mustard.
In the summertime I will buy a bottle of hazelnut or Irish cream creamer. It’s my afternoon treat and iced coffee.
I love watching cooking shows but they often have ingredients that I would never use. Buying a bottle or jar for a tablespoon or something for a recipe wouldn’t be worth it. Many recipes include wine or beer neither of which I drink. My Uncle had Janet try beer once and she said “yuck, people drink that?” We also lived close enough to a brewery that we could smell it in the summer. I should say my sister liked champagne…it was all about the bubbles.
When I moved I had groceries delivered twice because I realized that I didn’t have spices, flour etc. My Mom had a full spice rack, poultry seasoning, sage, oregano, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, cloves etc. I just buy the ones that I actually use so I only have about 6 jars. There is one cupboard that I use as my pantry.
What’s in your fridge?

A name

Blossom
Growing up my Mom didn’t like my name shortened. She told me I gave you that name and I want the full thing used. My brother shortened his but my Aunts were very formal so they always used the full thing even when he was young. My minister shortened it because most people he knew went by Jenn but for me it’s a sign of respect so I told him to use the full thing.
When I went to the Twinless twins conference for the first time a fellow newbie called me Jenn. Because I was on chat many people started calling me Jenn there too so it stuck. I would tell people that I would answer to either or. It was special because my twin was the only one that called me that.
Now pretty well everyone calls me by the short form. If I use the word for today I guess I kind of blossomed into it. I have a couple of friends that call me sis. The ones that are like family. My twin was my bud. That’s what we called each other. We were each other’s best friend. While I have friends that I love the bond that I have with my twin is special.

Creating memories

Create
I grew up with a grandma that made quilts, crocheted afghans and made most of our clothes and some of Moms dresses too. She made her own wedding dress. She could also cook and taught us how to make cookies and pies.
My sister caught on to crocheting and she made many afghans as gifts. I used to think I wasn’t that gifted in this department but I was the one in our family that took pictures at family gatherings. I started scrap booking. Janet said that was a talent. I look back now and realize I was capturing that moment in time, a memory.
When Janet died I had a roll of film that I needed to take in. It’s hard to describe what it was like looking at her eating ribs and seeing her smiling face. I have the video from my parents 25th wedding anniversary and many of the people are no longer with us.
My birthday is coming up soon and I don’t feel like doing much. Last year was a very full year with moving, selling house, going to conference and having celebration of life in September. I created a new home. I created memories with friends in September and at Christmas. A couple friends that I usually spend the day with are crazy busy at the moment. We will probably do something in July. I know that I will have a day that is just right for me.

Tapering off

Taper
A couple of years ago I made the resolution that I would blog everyday. When Moms health declined it was something I could do since I was pretty well housebound with her. There was certainly a sense of accomplishment in meeting my goal. I was asked by a couple of friends recently if I’m still blogging everyday and I replied that I’m not. Some days I’m just too busy but some days I just don’t have as much to say. I haven’t been to a writing class since the fall. It’s good inspiration. There is a blogging class in August which should be fun. A chance to meet fellow bloggers.

My superintendent passed my former house recently and mentioned that the neighbours house was for sale. I have only been by the house a couple of times since it’s been sold. While I love my new home that was my home for forty years. I know that eventually I will be able to go past it but I also know I don’t NEED to.

When I go to the Dr for about a month after I eat really well and exercise and then while it doesn’t taper off the motivation kind of does. It’s not a diet but a lifestyle. But there are days where I miss the foods that I can no longer have. Growing up we lived on iced tea in the summer. But I’ve learned to like the unsweetened kind. I just add my own.

Some things don’t taper off…love, support and friends

The mute button

Volume
My grandparents used to listen to baseball on the radio. Before the Bluejays came into existence they were Tiger fans. My grandfather didn’t like the television announcers Tony Kebek was one of them and he thought he talked too much. They loved Jerry Howarth and Tom Cheek so they would mute the tv and listen to it on the radio. The dynamic is key. Buck and Dan were awesome. Dan used to tease Buck about his glory days.

Both my grandfather and my Mom kept score. It wasn’t technical like the real way you keep score. And when she had to go and take her evening medicine at 8pm she would throw the book at me and tell me to take over. Oh and chances are if one of us had to go to thr bathroom it was a sure bet someone would hit a home run!

My Dad grew to like watching baseball but he was like my grandpa and thought the announcers talked too much so they watched it with the sound off. He wouldn’t let Mom have the radio on because the timing wasn’t right. My brother thought it was crazy but you get used to it.

In my Moms eulogy I mentioned how she and Dad would yell at the screen when they got really involved in the game. Come on Ump that wasn’t a strike! My sister-in-law couldn’t believe it.

The picture I have included is of a game I went to almost 9yrs ago Toronto vs NY. Roy Halladay was pitching. He was one strike away from the win and the last guy fouled off 15 pitches. There is something about the sound of a full stadium. Booing a certain player, screams when someone hits a home run.

Celebrate the little accomplishments

Triumph
When I was looking after my Dad my big triumph might be that I got the weeds pulled in the front yard or I made it to the library to check my email. When I was looking after my Mom it would be that I ate 3 square meals a day.
I think of friends that have kids and their big accomplishment would be if the Landry basket is empty. For my one friend she considered it an accomplishment if her daughter made it through the day in the same outfit she started out it. When she was little she would spill something on her clothes so half way through the day she had to change.
I remember a friend was working through a book for a group that she belonged to and one of the chapters had them write a list of accomplishments for the year. When I started I couldn’t think of much but she said they didn’t have to be big things. So one was growing out my hair. I had short hair all my life and my parents didn’t like the longer hair so I had to go against their wishes and do it anyway. My Mom grew to like it…no pun intended. She even told me going out for coffee because socializing when you are grieving is an effort.
I’m not superwoman even though some friends have told me I am. I have accomplished a lot on my own. I don’t consider it a triumph over adversity but doing the best I can.