Stop and smell the roses

There are times when I think “busy” is a 4 letter word. Ok, technically it is but you know what I mean. There are people that wear it like a badge of honour…look at how busy I am. I have a teacher friend who I get together for coffee with and I appreciate it so much that she makes the effort once a month to maintain our tradition.

About a week ago I was having a bad day where I was feeling kind of lonely and missing my twin. Even though it was a little cold I bundled up and walked to the market. I walked past the glass window where these were stored and I couldn’t resist. Flowers have the ability to brighten my day.

There is nothing I love more than sitting outside and enjoying my morning coffee (with a treat from the Farmers Market). For some of my friends it’s an afternoon coffee or a glass of wine on the deck in the evening. A friend of mine has been posting sunset pictures from her apartment window. We should never get too busy to enjoy the little things in life.

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Trying to “recall” what I did before Facebook

This morning Facebook was down for a couple of hours. It got me thinking about how much I use it. Today is a friend’s birthday and I like a lot of other people posted on her wall. Before Facebook came into existence we used to email each other regularly and send letters in the mail. I still send her a birthday card. We will be seeing each other in the summer so she gives me a belated birthday card. She is the one who takes pictures with her phone and then posts them to Facebook. Facebook seems to be the only form of communication with all of my friends. My coffee buddy isn’t on Facebook and perhaps that’s why it’s easier for us to get together.
Most businesses have a Facebook page. It’s how I found out about the Easter Farmer’s Market. It’s also where I found the woman who makes frozen meals at the market. I’ve gone to Idlewyld Inn a couple of times for my birthday so I will check to see if they have any specials that month at the spa. It’s also a good way to read reviews of hotels/resorts.
I will go onto a tv shows page to see if they have a new episode. It’s interesting to read the fan comments for theories on the show. People were up in arms when it looked like Beth and Randall (This is Us) were headed for divorce. I think I go to the sites since I live alone it’s like having a conversation about the shows.
Facebook is also the place where we go to get recommendations for restaurants, stores or help for tricky situations.
I reconnected with 2 cousins through Facebook. I miss having long conversations with her Mom or seeing them post funny things on each other’s walls. Some days there will be a memory that pops up that makes me smile. When I first joined my cousin suggested having a memorial page for Janet but since I didn’t know enough about Facebook at the time I didn’t do it. I’m glad that I waited and can use this blog to honour my family. Technology is a tool, we just choose how to use it.

Track

Doesn’t it feel like there are times when there are so many things to keep track of? Since I use online banking I can track my spending but I will admit some months it’s more than other months. The cost of groceries is nuts so what I budgeted originally doesn’t cover it. But it sort of levels out in the summer when I get produce at the Farmers Market. Since I pay cash I don’t pay attention to how much I spend.

Since next Saturday is the Easter Market I have been keeping an eye on the weather. Fingers crossed it looks like it’s going to be sunny. Not very warm but that’s ok. They are having a scavenger hunt and I almost wish I could borrow a couple of kids so that I could participate it looks like fun. One of the questions is to go up to one of the vendors and ask what time they got up that morning.

Because I’m diabetic I have to track my numbers. Every once in a while I also have to do a food journal. I ordered the book yum and yummer after hearing good things about it from people on a Facebook group. I’m hoping I can get more excited about cooking again.

I can also track my packages. I bought a couple pairs of pants yesterday. It’s frustrating when I make a purchase and then a couple days later find out that the item is no longer in stock.

Of course this would be complete without talking about the people that keep track of everyone in the building. They will deliver packages to your door. When I moved in they would ask how everything was going with the estate.

Natural

This morning I went to Supercuts to get a haircut. It’s in the same plaza as Metro so I chose it because I needed a few groceries. I can remember going to First Choice with Mom on a Saturday and we would have to wait and there was nobody in this salon. She mentioned my cowlick in the centre of my forehead…which my Dads eldest sister had too. I need a colour too! When she was finished cutting my hair she asked if I wanted some hairspray since I had some flyaways and I said yes. My hair is very straight and I told her in my teens I used to have natural curl. Most people don’t believe me but she said hair does change. If I scrolled through my friend list on Facebook I wouldn’t see very many with their “natural” hair colour.

As I was coming out of the grocery store a woman passed me in a bright yellow coat and multi coloured leggings. This is the second senior that I have seen with leggings on. Since when did leggings become pants? THEY AREN’T!! I just don’t want to see someone’s butt.

Spring is coming which also means joggers are out in full force. Whenever I go to the Farmers Market I have many joggers pass me. But they are always polite and they say good morning. It’s 2 weeks today that there will be an Easter Farmers Market. There is something about eating locally grown food. I’ve been counting down the weeks for a while. I can’t wait to be able to sit outside again. I saw my first Robin this week sitting on a branch outside my window. Listening to the honking of geese.
Ah the sounds of nature.

Spring cleaning

Yesterday I did some laundry and tidied my bedroom…rearranging some things in closet. While I did so a frame that I received from a friend fell out. I’ve had it for over 2 years now. I should have been honest at the time and said it doesn’t really go with my décor but when she asked I was too polite to say anything. I somehow thought I could make it work but it just doesn’t. At the same time it may have been given with the best intentions but the day was crazy. She was late but couldn’t text me because her husband had her phone. I was hangry and a little bit mad because I felt like it was disrespectful. So when she gave it to me I honestly didn’t know what to say. You know the craze that an object should bring you joy…this doesn’t.
A memory came up on Facebook of an incident that happened when someone took offense at something written about her post. I know it may seem weird to keep it but it’s a reminder not to let negativity into my life. There is a connection between these 2 people. Casting off people that don’t build me up. I remember after my Dad died I couldn’t deal with drama in my life. It seemed selfish but I was so physically tired that I couldn’t deal with people or things that drained more energy. Right now I am frustrated with health stuff. There are days when I feel like I should have this figured out by now. I have only shared this with one friend. I don’t share anything with another friend anymore because I feel like she doesn’t have the time to really listen.
Getting rid of clothes that no longer fit is easy but deciding when a friendship no longer “fits” is tough.

My empty fridge

I had to laugh at the word being pickle this morning because that is literally all that is left in my fridge. Milk, eggs and an entire door full of condiments. And the only bread that is left are the end pieces and I hate the end pieces! I was hoping to go to the market yesterday but it was raining…not heavily but enough to deter me from going. I can’t wait until the outdoor Farmers Market opens for the season because I always have fresh produce on hand. I like to get cherry tomatoes because they are good for snacking.
This morning my grocery guy posted a blog titled “Why I hate grocery shopping”. I had to laugh when the blogger talked about stretching out the food that she had on hand because that is what I am doing. I used to like grocery shopping but that was when I was going with Janet. When we were cooking for 4 people. We would go to Tim Hortons afterwards and laugh that Janet was the only one who won during Roll Up The Rim. I’ve been cooking for one for 4 years now but I’m still not that great at meal planning.
I ended up going to the grocery store this morning even though it snowed heavily during the night and it was a bit slushy in areas. I can still hear my Mom in my head that we don’t shop on a Sunday. But if I want to have healthy food choices I had to. I got a deli salad for supper and was standing beside a group of 3 university age guys who were actually filling their carts with healthy food options. Spinach, baby carrots, fruit and bottled water…NOT POP. And the one guy got some ripe bananas on the reduced rack. I overheard him tell the one guy he had plans for them. I also got bananas which I will freeze. I add them to some berries, yogurt and blend. My building has a lot of university students and I can tell on recycling day that they eat a lot of pizza.
When I left this morning I found this in the lobby. After I put my groceries away I went back down to the lobby and took a picture. What a sweet idea. Is it any wonder I love my building.

Learn to value yourself

Recently I had a couple of conversations with regards to family. One person didn’t know the history and one person did. I have mentioned to a couple of friends that the reason I walked away from this family member is because I could either be the strong person I am or be the person they wanted me to be but I couldn’t be both. I knew that my self worth was more important than having a relationship with this person.

I hadn’t been talking to my former neighbour for a while so I decided to phone her to chat. In the course of conversation I mentioned that I’m trying to plan a getaway in the summer. She and her daughter book a hotel room for one night and then she stays an extra night so she can catch up on reading and time to herself. So then she said living alone I don’t have that problem. “The grass is always greener” she said. Like the only child who wishes for a sibling but has never had to deal with the issues that come with it. The single person who doesn’t have someone to watch tv with.

I titled this giving yourself value because I am a person that had to learn to put myself first. A friend of mine emailed me a couple days ago and talked about how she is so busy. She needs a spa day. The last time we went for lunch she spent the entire time on her phone. Being told over and over again that she is too busy for me really doesn’t make me think she values my friendship. A friend of mine told me if someone truly wanted to see you they would make time.

I value the friends who will ask how I am and really mean it. Who remember the days that are harder and pray for me. Who will stand with me at the cemetery and cry. The friends who make me laugh. And most importantly friends who value strong, independent women!

What’s in your closet?

I have previously written that in my house we had a plethora of closets. Our bedroom closets weren’t large by any means but they were big enough to hold our clothes. My closet had shelves so that is where I stored my quilt, dolls and eventually memory boxes. We had a HUGE linen closet in the upstairs hallway. When I was cleaning it out to move I couldn’t believe how much stuff was in it. At Christmas I used a poinsettia tablecloth and my friend asked where I got it. I don’t know it was Mom’s.

This morning my grocery guy posted a picture of toilet paper that is on sale at No Frills this week. It made me laugh because my Mom was the type of person that always had laundry detergent and toilet paper ahead. Whenever it went on sale she would buy it and keep it in my brother’s room. When I moved I had 2 full packages of 12 double roll toilet paper. Only trouble was it didn’t fit in my new linen closet so one went in my bedroom closet. When my brother was in university he actually went upstairs and got 3 or 4 rolls of toilet paper and took a large margarine tub downstairs and filled it with laundry detergent. Yes, he did ask first. That mentality has stood me well because I still make sure I have stuff ahead. I keep one bottle of toilet cleaner in each bathroom because that’s what Mom did.

When I moved into my apartment the best thing was I finally had a large bedroom. My bedroom at home only had room for a twin bed. I have an end table. Well actually it’s an old trunk that I use as a side table. The closet is HUGE. I know that technically when you buy a new piece of clothing you should get rid of one already there but there is no way I could every fill up my closet so that doesn’t happen.

I watch a lot of home shows and I just don’t get the fascination with walk in closets. Can’t you just put the outfit on your bed? It’s not a clothing store, it’s a closet
I’m just happy if my clothes are clean and put away!

Excited

1. On Wednesday I got to wear a spring coat for the first time this season. It’s -12 today…oh well
2. One month today is the Easter Farmers Market which will be held outside. This makes me deliriously happy because it means soon it will be warm enough to sit outside, fresh fruit and delicious goodies.
3. I’m happy that I found frames for my birthday cards. I remember when I put up my family picture in the front entrance. How it felt like home. Each time I find that perfect piece of art it makes the space look more complete.

4. Right now I’m trying to figure out where I am going to go in the summer when the Rock concert is on. I haven’t really found anything but I still have time.
This morning I saw a video of a friend’s 3 year old dancing in a clothing store. Remember the joy of dancing like nobody is watching? It’s a reminder that the little things should bring us joy.

Exercising self control when shopping

Yesterday was my monthly coffee day with my friend. I asked her if we could go to Staples and Michaels in the north end. There wasn’t much selection of desktop computers and no one around to help us. The weird thing is Best Buy is right beside it so we went in there. I was overwhelmed with all the gadgets that I passed on the way to the section that we wanted at the back of the store. A sales clerk came over immediately and was so helpful. He told me to bring it in and it sounded like it only needs a card you plug in the back. I had one at my house to increase the signal as my modem was downstairs. After receiving crappy customer service at Staples this was a refreshing change.
Going into Michaels (craft store) I knew what I wanted but wasn’t sure I would find what I wanted. The only collage frame that they had was for 3 4X6 and I wanted at least 6. My friend found large frames down one aisle and then she went to the aisle with 5X7 frames and we measured it out on the frame to make sure it would fit. The only downside was that because it’s going in my bedroom I would have preferred a lighter colour frame…all they had was black. I found bulletin boards online but they were over 100 dollars for the size I wanted and I didn’t want to spend that much for something only I would see. We walked over to find Bristol board paper after asking someone where it was and I found this really cool one that looks like whitewashed barnboard. My friend is a teacher so she let me use her teacher’s discount AND she had a 40% off coupon online. It meant I saved $40 on my purchases. I bought 2 frames because I’m going to have a gallery wall. My friend asked the sales clerk “How do you work in here and not spend all your money?”
Since we were finished it was now on to get a much needed coffee and snack. When she suggested Starbucks I said we can’t go there since it’s in Chapters and I have no self control going in there. I forgot there is another one in a plaza on Fanshawe Park Rd. Thankfully it wasn’t busy (although it was late afternoon which probably helped). There weren’t a lot of snack options so I had a oat bar. My friend and I are both at the age where if we have a coffee late in the day we will probably be wide awake when we go to bed…which I was. I never thought I would become a Starbucks regular but the ambiance is better than Tim Hortons.
Yesterday’s word was abandon and I thought about how my friend has always been there for me (and Janet). She will help me with errands, listen when I’m frustrated and of course she makes me laugh. When Janet died our relationship didn’t change. We all need those friends that tell us “I’m proud of you”. That embraces the person we become as we abandon the things that don’t work for us anymore. She truly is a treasure!