Nostalgia photo challenge

Nostalgia
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This is the first year that I won’t be raking leaves. We also had a walnut tree so I would have to bag the walnuts as well. Yard work meant picking up the sticks and or branches, then raking leaves then mowing the lawn for the last time. With three people it wasn’t that bad. Janet and I would pick up the sticks and walnuts, Dad would rake the leaves and mow the lawn. Doing it all myself was overwhelming. I enjoyed raking leaves though. Something very calming about it.
This picture was taken the fall after my Dad died. I was talking to a friend by email and I said I was going to go and jump in the leaves and she said are you serious so I invited her to join me. The leaves from walnut trees are not colourful but it’s more about the expression. We had sticks up our noses, I’m pretty sure I had leaves down my bra but we laughed so hard.
This picture makes me nostalgic for when I was a child helping my Dad. Running around in the backyard. I’m glad I no longer have the chore but I miss the smells. I miss the leaves.

Accounting class

Test
After graduating from college Janet and is started out in different courses. They just weren’t a good fit for us. So we both went into Office Administration.
One of the courses that was required was Accounting. Janet had taken accounting to Grade 12 and I took OAC. I barely passed but the teacher said that I showed great determination sticking with it. Because we both had a very good knowledge of Accounting this class was very easy. One young woman wondered why we didn’t get exempt but this college didn’t exempt you if you had an OAC most other colleges did.
When it came time to do a test Janet was the second one done every time. There were students who thought she must not be getting a good mark if she did that but they were proven wrong. Many people in the class didn’t even understand the basic concepts.
The teacher paid more attention to the students who were struggling so Janet and I were pretty much on our own. Janet sat behind me and we were both working through the workbook when the teacher asked Janet for the answer to the question on the blackboard. She was trying to trip her up because she thought she wasn’t paying attention. She wasn’t but Janet looked up two seconds later says “the answer is this” and of course she was right. And the teacher was left sputtering at the front. As soon as she turned her back I high fived Janet.
I have a lot of friends from public school. It’s where I have my fondest memories. I guess because it’s before school became about grades and achievements.

Yes, I’m listening

Facade
Haven’t we all been in situations where we are sitting with a person or a group and they go on and on and eventually you just tune them out. I don’t do well in crowds anymore. Maybe it will get better in time, maybe not. Personally I think if I’m sitting in a group of 4 each person should get a chance to talk. But there always seems to be one person who holds court and the other people just sit back and let them go to it.
I just nod in the right parts and hope nobody notices I don’t have a clue what she just said.
I had a friend from bereavement group who would do this. After Janet died it was hard to talk about her so I didn’t mind that she did all the talking. After a while I realized that it continued. I quickly learned that the people that won’t let you talk are usually people that like drama.
I’m a what you see is what you get type of person. I don’t want to be called an inspiration or brave. Those are labels someone else gave me. I’m a beautiful person who is continuing to honour her family everyday.

Facebook and politics

Disagree
Because the Twinless Twins organization is based out of the States I have a lot of American friends on Facebook. I am actually surprised by which way some are voting. Obviously they haven’t publicly said but if they like a page by a certain candidate it pretty clear who they are voting for.
I have one friend who just wants it to be over. She said she has had to hide some people from her newsfeed until it’s all over because it has become so divisive.
That’s why I don’t post anything political on my page. My friends know I helped with the campaign of a certain party. Most of my friends do not vote the same as I do and that’s their right. I always tell people as long as you are informed and VOTE that’s all that matters.
As a Canadian I don’t have a right to talk about the candidates. I can’t vote for them. Do you know what was happening in Canada? Prince George wouldn’t high five the PM.
Oh the scandal.

Ladies who lunch clothes

Outer Layers
image

image
Last week I went out for lunch with the mother of a friend from public school. Because it was after writing class I had to figure out what was casual enough to wear but still appropriate to wear to a nice restaurant. She was wearing a thin white three quarter length shirt with elastic at the sleeves and beige pants but somehow she has a way of making it look casually elegant.
When I was planning the event at the inn I realized I didn’t really have anything to wear. The black flowered shirt I have worn a couple of times there. It’s easy. Throw it on with black pants or white capris. September is a hard month clothing wise because it could still be warm but it gets cooler at night. I ordered two shirts online but only one came on time. My coffee buddy came in and said that’s new isn’t it. My college friend told me in an email that maybe Janet was deciding which one she liked beat. It is a shirt that she would have worn. I purchased it from Laura Plus. The first time I have purchased from there as it’s expensive but it was what I wanted. My friend teased me that we will have to come up with an excuse to wear the other shirt.
My Mom used to say it was nice to have an occasion to get dressed up. Most days I’m in jeans and a t shirt. She’s right though let’s make more occasions.

The Daily Dilema…What’s for dinner?

Dilemma
Isn’t this what most of us struggle with on a daily basis? When we were a family of five we didn’t seem to struggle with this. Although we had things that were our go to…lasagna, spaghetti, Mac and cheese. After my Dad died it was harder figuring out what to cook. My Dad loved our cooking. Oh he wouldn’t actually tell you (because that was praise) but if he had a second helping we knew he liked it. The joy went out of cooking and we just did it because we had to eat.
People tell me that I should cook for two and then I would have leftovers. Most of the time I just cook one thing…like one pork chop or a salmon filet. Last year I bought a turkey and cut it up and froze it. But I could only do that because I had an extra freezer.
I was looking over my online banking this morning and was shocked how much I have spent on groceries and the month isn’t even over. There are all sorts of blogs online for hints and so on but that is only for people who have a car. I have to shop at the closest store. I can’t buy in bulk because I don’t have the room. If I shop by myself I go twice in the week. Usually Monday and Friday. And I don’t buy extras like chips and pop.
I eat out a lot more too. Sometimes it’s just for the convenience. Sometimes it’s laziness.
At least fall cooking is easier as I can make squash soup or slow cooker recipes. Tomorrow I’m going to put pork in it for pulled pork for lunch. There is nothing like coming home to the smell of something cooking in the slow cooker.
Last week when the grocery guy came in I said “FOOD!” Then I told him all I have is a jar of pickles, milk and one tomato. He said that’s like his house before shopping day he’ll go to the fridge for a snack and realize there isn’t anything.

TV Shows

Pretend
There are a lot of new fall shows out so Thursday night I was watching “The Good Place”. I had seen previews and was curious. It’s not a show that I would continue watching but it was cute. I could hear Mom “Jennifer you are not watching that!” The Good Place refers to heaven. The premise is completely outrageous but there were some points that made me think.
Pitch was on after that. It’s about a female pitcher that gets drafted to the San Diego Padres. Mom would have liked it.
Yesterday I was watching Bull about a guy that does psychological profiling of jurors. Dad would have loved it because he found the whole process fascinating. Dad had to go for jury selection a couple of times. I went once. I was chosen too but because I was a student the judge said I could go. And if you are wondering it was for a murder trial. I got a summons for another murder trial but got a Drs note because I was Moms caregiver.
Mom got me started on watching Hawaii 5-0, Bones and House when it was still on. I don’t watch the really gruesome Hawaii 5-0 ones I prefer the ones that are more character driven. We loved Murdoch. Having On Demand means I can catch up on my shows on the weekend. I watch The Voice Monday nights but it’s also when Murdoch is on.
I just realized this works with today’s prompt because it’s all pretend.

Colours part 2 or panicked because I don’t know what to write

Panic

COLOURS
Red is spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove
The aroma of tomatoes wafting to my nose
Red is a lone flower in a vase
The innocence of a child putting it to her face
Yellow is tangy, sour and sweet
Like lemonade to beat the summer heat
Yellow is a sunrise covering the sky
Yellow is laughter drifting by
Pink is bubblegum bought from the store
A nickel will buy you some more
Green is newly mown grass in the summer
Trees awaken from slumber
Purple is lilacs, lavender too
Such a sweet smelling hue
Orange is pumpkin the scents of fall
Pumpkin spice lattes for all

It’s really interesting how colours make me think of family. We were supposed to write a story but I realize this is. My Moms spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove, rhubarb crisp. My niece holding the rose up to her nose at the graveside service for my Mom. Picking lilacs for my Dad to put beside his bed when he was going through cancer treatment. One year I was pulling a branch down to pick some and the whole thing broke off in my hand. I was sure my Dad would be mad but he said go get a bucket because they’ll have to go in water. My friend was thrilled because she got a big bunch.
I don’t even like pumpkin spice lattes but it fit the poem and it’s EVERYWHERE right now.

Generous

Generous
The definition of generous is to give more of something than is necessary or expected.
Growing up my Dads eldest sister was very generous. We would have family dinners and she would pay, she gave art as a wedding present. But if wasn’t just the big things. She would have us over for pizza and a swim.
I have given just because gifts to friends. I wrote a blog post titled sometimes a kindness can’t be paid back and it’s true. I can’t repay the people that came to my aid when Janet died. Or my neighbour that drove us to the hospital or had me over for dinner or just takes me out for coffee to chat. Generousity doesn’t always mean some big expense because often it’s just spending time. My friend CB drove an hour and half so she could come and honour Janet with me. Driving home late at night.
I’m sure my friends would say it was generous of me to provide the evening to celebrate Janet. Doing something nice for someone else makes both parties feel good. It’s fun to.
I was telling the mother of a friend from public school that I bought a new shirt for the occasion because I had worn this one shirt many times. So she said oh we all do that. But I also have enough of my parents frugal nature to make sure that I can wear it in multiple ways…with pants, capris or a skirt. Being generous also means including myself.
We received a flyer in the mail for lobster dinner at the inn down the street. It must have been my birthday after Janet died because the year after Dad was undergoing treatment for cancer. Dad decided he was going to treat me for my birthday. We might go to Swiss Chalet or Red Lobster but this was more than they usually did. But he was adamant. I realize now that he wanted to make the day special.
Being generous to other people is how we show our love.

COLOURS

Jump
At the end of writing class one of the leaders read part of a book on colours. She shouted out a colour and we went around the room and said what we thought of for that colour. Red for me was bold. Purple makes me think of advent candles. When she said green I said money…you can tell I’ve spent too much time at the bank.
Then we spent ten minutes writing on it. I started something and then decided to go a different direction and all of a sudden time was up and I had just gotten going. Last night I thought about writing about red brick house and all the colours in the house. Then I thought of how our closets are full of different colours. I started a story about cleaning Moms closet…the white wedding dress, her favourite green shirt, the red blazer she wore to her granddaughter’s baptism but it’s too soon. Someday. I have yellow, pink, purple, white, orange in my closet. Oh and royal blue.
When I was in bed an idea popped into my head so I had to get up to write it down. What do colours smell like. I thought of spaghetti sauce, rhubarb crisp. i haven’t got anything for yellow yet. I used the colours of the rainbow.
Brown made me think of the smell of the garden. Grey would probably be rain.
Colours evoke memories. Red and yellow always make me think of when we were six and had dresses in those colours. My Dad had a favourite rust coloured short sleeved sweater that he wore until it had holes in it. I like the colour orange and realized it’s a combination of our two favourite colours red and yellow makes orange.
Isn’t it interesting how colours are associated with so many different things. It will be neat to hear what people wrote about.