Halloween

Eerie
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Today is Halloween. I will get to see my friends kids dressed in their costumes for school. I remember I couldn’t wait until I was old enough that we didn’t have to wear one to school anymore. We weren’t that original so making a homemade costume was hard. This was before people bought a costume. I think we were maybe in Grade 6 and one young woman went as Madonna. She looked amazing. I think that was the year I went as a cowboy. It was an easy costume. I think I borrowed overalls from my Dad. Wore a red plaid shirt and a hat from my grandpa. No boots though. One of the girls painted freckles on.
The first costume my brother ever had was a clown. My grandmother made it. I think she even bought a wig somewhere. We don’t have any pictures though.
My mother used to tell me the story of two older ladies that came to their house to get dressed for Halloween. They wouldn’t go around in their neighbourhood because they didn’t want the neighbours seeing. Some things never change! I don’t think my Dad ever dressed up for Halloween, living on a farm they were probably too far apart from other people to do it. Having 7 children there wouldn’t have been money for frivolous stuff like costumes and candy. But my Dad loved Oh
Henry’s. Mom had to get an extra bag just for him. My Moms favourite were Kit Kats or crispy crunch. I didn’t like the crunchy ones so I would gladly give those away. My brother had his counted and he was not about to share! Potato chips usually ended up going on casseroles. And the sugar things that look like little mints those just went in the garbage.
Growing up there were lots of kids in the neighbourhood around our age. Once I was old enough to give out candy our numbers started dwindling. After Dad died we didn’t bother since we would get a dozen at the most.
I do enjoy watching some of the talk shows today wondering what the hosts will dress up as. I was watching Hawaii 5-0 on Friday and they had a Halloween special. Oh how Jerry makes me laugh!
Happy Halloween 👻 Stay safe.

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Discover challenge

Flâneur
Yesterday I walked to Shoppers Drug Mart because I forgot the script to a prescription that I needed. It was a little chilly first thing and the fog was just lifting. On the way I pass a lot of construction. They are working on a house near me. It used to be a mansion, now it’s used for tours and they have tea on the front lawn in the summer. I pass the courthouse…now I realize why there are so many law offices near me. There is a huge sign advertising a Christmas bazaar on the 12. Can’t believe it’s already that time of year. They always get good crowds. The baked goods are the first to sell out.
After picking up my prescription I walked to the market for a few things. They had a Halloween party and I passed a girl dressed as super girl. There was a boy sitting on the mechanical horse and it bought back memories of us doing that. Yesterday was the outdoor farmers market. Ahh the smells. I didn’t need anything so I bypassed it but when I first moved here I couldn’t wait to go.
Next week there is a wordfest at the art gallery which I would like to go to. Sounds fascinating.
Always something to do.

Burning bridges

Bridge
I have been mulling over this topic for part of the morning. Burning bridges sounds so destructive.
In some respects it is. It’s messy. I had a couple people in my life that are bullies, harder still when they are family. But to me sometimes there is a reason that bridge can never be crossed again. I can’t go back.
But there have also been instances when I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall. The well meaning people. Growing apart from a friend. I used to think it was me but a wise friend told me that I wasn’t doing myself any favours by keeping a friend out of duty.
I know there are times when I tend to isolate myself. I would hope that I am a good friend and that my friends would understand why I do it. I have friends from public school. We haven’t always been close. They go off to university in another city, have kids. Facebook has really brought us back together. A bridge to the connections we still have.

Rearrange

Rearrange
Ha, the first thing I thought of when I saw the word for today is how Mom and Janet would rearrange the dishes after I put them in the dishwasher. When we got a new dishwasher there was only one way to load since the tines were smaller on top.
When we went grocery shopping we made sure that we put the like things together but often they got rearranged for packing. There is nothing worse than having to hunt through bags for something that is supposed to go in the fridge.
I am the type of person that has to adjust a picture that is crooked. I get it from my Dad. Oh speaking of that yesterday I was watching Days of our Lives and Steve brings breakfast to Kayla. She tells him this is good. I’ve learned something. Really what did I teach you. “I no longer put ketchup on my scrambled eggs” oh that made me laugh out loud. And long time followers will know why!
One time Janet and I were ushering for communion with a friend of ours. We were sitting at the back and I was staring at the flap of a pocket on this mans suit jacket. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and went up and adjusted it so that it was flat again. Of course my friend and Janet laughed so hard. Her Dad was an elder and was looking at me like what the heck is she doing? Yes, I’m the woman who will put your tag inside your shirt.
My parents were careful with their money. Now I have to rearrange my thinking to tell myself go and have fun! Go and get a manicure or a badly needed pedicure.
This year I’m going to be more extravagant on gifts because my friends have been there for me.
Right now I am sitting in Williams Coffee Pub having a coffee while I’m writing my blog. Looking after Mom time like this would be a luxury. Now I do it fairly often.
When I first started writing I never thought I was a writer. But going to writing class I realized everyone has a style that is uniquely their own. I write from the heart. I’m humble like my Mom so I’m not used to praise.
Sometimes life chooses to do a little rearranging or in my case a cyclone went through but I came out the other side.

Banned foods

Banned
For health reasons I am on a salt restricted diet which means there are foods that are pretty much banned for life. Pizza being one of them. Salt, fat, carbs all a no no. Did you know a plain Harvey’s hamburger has 1000 mg of sodium? That’s pretty much my allotment for the day.
I’m not perfect I will admit that I eat convenience foods but it’s certainly not an everyday thing.
Having a salt restricted diet also means that sometimes I have to miss out on events that involve going out to eat. If I’m going out to eat with a friend I pick a restaurant where I can look at the menu ahead of time. Most people are accommodating. I will admit going to conference is awkward. One night I sat outside with a group of twins who were having snacks they ordered from the bar. Nachos, quesadillas none of which I could eat. People don’t get it’s not a choice. I had one person say what’s the big deal? Sometimes it’s unavoidable. We had dinner buffet. I don’t know how it’s prepared but I just do the best I can which is what Mom would do too.
I would like to ban fasting blood work! I miss going out for breakfast with Mom after. We always went to this little diner and would have eggs and homefries. And that first cup of coffee in the morning never tasted so good. Sometimes we would go out for breakfast just because and I miss that too.

The transformation

Transformation
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Monday to Saturday I wear jeans and a t shirt or in the summer capris. When I was young we wore a skirt to church. Nowadays I just wear a dress shirt and pants.
The first picture is of my 35th birthday. My friend told me to get dressed up even though we were only going for cake and ice cream. I wore this outfit because I bought it for my Dads funeral and I didn’t want to associate it with that. My friend made me pose in front of the entrance to the park. I wore the skirt to a wedding in May (with a white shirt) the weekend my Dad came home from hospital. I came down the stairs and Dad made me come into the dining room…that’s new isn’t it. Yes. Then he made me do a little twirl which my Dad never did. I like it. Obviously I couldn’t tell him what it was really for. Before anyone thinks that’s morbid I wanted to look for an outfit while I was still calm enough to do it.
The second picture is of a dress I purchased for twinless twin conference five years ago. The wife of a former minister who is on Facebook wrote ooh la la when I posted it.
I’ve had a couple of dresses that I have purchased where I look at myself and think wow I look good! It’s like Cinderella at the ball..is that really me? And yet it’s not magic it’s just enhancing what’s already there.

The not so tiny chore list

Tiny
Even living in an apartment I still have chores to do. This morning I took the papers and cardboard down for recycling. I have to take it outside so I wait until I have a full bag to make it worthwhile. Boy was it cold out!
Laundry seems to be never ending. Although I did procrastinate a little on this one as I should have done it on Saturday.
And of course there is the gross job of cleaning the bathroom. My sister never cleaned a toilet, that was Moms job. I don’t have that luxury since it’s just me!
My Mom always stocked up on toilet paper and cleaning supplies when she went to shoppers drug mart so when I moved I didn’t have to buy stuff for a while. Although I didn’t have any laundry detergent so my super gave me a sample.
I went grocery shopping on the weekend. I ended up going to my old store because I know where everything is. Trouble with that is I always buy too much. But it was nice to get some variety.
Tomorrow is the second last writing class. They don’t hold it in the winter because the weather is sometimes iffy. Last year the other teacher held an informal coffee chat at the mall. That would be nice.

The Classics

Artificial
Right now I am watching Field of Dreams for the umpteenth time. There is a reason it’s a classic. The story never gets old. A couple of weeks ago I was watching Sleepless in Seattle. I was telling my friend that it takes on a different meaning now that I have experienced loss. Mrs. Doubtfire was on recently too.
A lot of it is about chemistry between the actors too. The little kids in all of these movies are priceless.
My Dad had favourites. The Sting, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. We all have our favourite movies that we have to watch at Christmas.
Last night I was going to watch a movie On Demand but couldn’t find one that I thought was interesting. The comedies are so crude. I don’t like Action movies.
Nowadays I don’t think there are movies that I would consider classics that I would watch again.

Real people

Artificial
Friday night the super knocked on my door to change the furnace filter. He said he would prefer to catch people while they are home instead of putting a note on the door to the building. They are both sweet people. They know everyone in the building by name. My friend who has been here many times said it’s nice to have people who will look out for me.
It’s hard for me to accept help because I’ve had a lot of fake people. The ones who offer to help if you tell them what to do. The ones who offer but on their timetable not yours so it’s easier to just go by yourself.
I think that’s why I have longtime friends because they have been with me through the hard times. They have listened to me rant about family, hospitals, looking after my parents. But they have also shared in the joy of becoming an aunt, the joy of finding an apartment.
Last year for my birthday my friend phoned me up on the day and she drove here to eat dinner with me. Two friends celebrated with me this year.
Friendships evolve. Life gets busy and we don’t see our friends as often as we would like but real friends start up where they left off. My Mom had friends like that. Dad did too. I know that’s where we get it.
This year i get to buy presents for friends. Last year I bought two. One friend has helped me a great deal. One is visiting her family this year. I love buying presents. Finding the perfect gift. For me it’s more fun giving. Seeing their face.
Their is nothing artificial about that.

Volunteer

Volunteer
Janet and I started volunteering for a candidate for the federal election in 2002. Going to college for office administration we thought it would be good experience. Plus we found it all very interesting. It was pretty tedious we stuffed envelopes, made phone calls and stuck pins in the map to show the areas where they had canvassed. It takes a lot of money to run a campaign and they couldn’t do it without volunteers. We heard a lot of interesting stories.
In 2005 we helped with the campaign again only this was a different candidate. A really nice guy and a friend of ours was working on his campaign. He was running against a longtime liberal member and honestly it wasn’t likely he would win. This time Janet and I worked up to answering phones. The first day Janet asked what do we tell the “ranters?” At first he didn’t know what she meant and then he said OH THE RANTERS…Send them to Mazillis office. Nobody liked him. The honest answer is you take their name and number and their concern and the person running would phone them back. Some people have too much time on their hands. One person was so into their rant that they filled up the message and forgot to leave their number. One of the other campaign managers told her “don’t worry people like that ALWAYS phone back”
Janet and I got really good at putting signs together too. More signs going out meant more people voting for our guy.
Often the candidates wife would come in and she would call the incumbent Miss Sue. One night we went to a meet and greet with the candidates. We were told we could go but don’t let on we work for Al. There were a couple of guys in another riding that we asked questions of but all they did was bash the other opponent. The type of individual that as soon as we shock their hand we felt like we had to go and wash ours!
My friends have heard me tell the story that Janet and I got to hold the sign when the future PM came into the building. He and his wife walked down the hall into the conference hall. We stood side by side and he looked at me and then looked at Janet. A great memory. I even got interviewed for the news. Everybody else ran away. Our candidate asked me weren’t you nervous but honestly I didn’t think about it.
Janet was in the paper too. Ok HER ARM. Nobody believed her but we knew it was her.
I also have to mention that we got to meet Jim Prentice at a town hall meeting. He had a lot of idiosyncrasies when he talked. He took off his glasses and put the edge in his mouth. He had terrible trouble keeping his pants up. Mom leaned over and told us somebody should go across to the mall and get that man a belt. I asked a question. Afterwards we went up to speak to him and we told him we watch question period with our Dad. On purpose? Then he asked if our member ever did a statement by member and Janet said I think once but many years ago.
He recently died in a plane crash and it made me remember how kind he was. I got lovely cards from a few of the people that worked on the campaign with us when Janet died. I even got a card from the Prime Minister.
I have good memories of our time volunteering.