Pancake Day

Quicken
When Janet was 19 she volunteered at the Kidney Foundation. On Shrove Tuesday one of the women was wondering where to go for pancake supper that would be close to the office. So Janet said her church had one. Do you have sausage or ham. Ham but if you prefer sausage you can go to this church. The guy that worked there teased her that she was sending customers away. Of course Janet being Janet it didn’t bother her any.

We helped for many years when we were in the youth group. We usually did the dishes. When we were in our twenties we helped the youth leader. He was flipping the pancakes and joked I think my arm hair is burning off so Janet told him just take some off the top. He had long hair at the time. He had these cow tights/leggings and when he left to go home Janet told him “guess you’ve got to be moo-ving along”.

Sunday was pancake day in our household. Dad would ask “are we having pancakes?” It’s amazing how many memories I have associated with pancakes. My siblings put peanut butter on it which I thought was gross but they loved it. It’s not something you can make for one person unless you are making it from a mix and that is sacrilegious.

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A good day

Baby
We have had a very mild winter and yesterday it felt like spring. I didn’t want to spend the afternoon at Dr office but I had to go. For the first time ever I had normal BP at a Dr office. It usually goes up when I go. I’m going in the right direction and don’t have to go until July…woo hoo a break from bloodwork.

Since I was finished around 3 I decided to go and get an iced coffee and sit in the park. Many others had the same idea. I passed a guy playing with his dog, a woman taking photos of her friend (professional not selfies) and lots of people just wandering through the Park. It’s February! You could definitely feel spring in the air people were friendlier. As I was walking back to my apartment I thought “I love this neighbourhood)”

Yesterday in my Facebook memories I had written about wallpapering with my Dad. Oh my goodness never wallpaper with family! I am not handy at all so this was not fun! But I love him for the reason that he did it. He knew he had cancer so he wanted to make sure that some things were done if something happened to him. A boy that grew up on a farm and was a letter carrier gave his family a good life. We all went to college and university with no debt. I went on a cruise with Mom. I am so thankful.

Perfect match

A Good Match
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For me mashed potatoes go with beef. This meal was so good because it was LOBSTER mashed potatoes. It is very rare that I finish my entire meal but I did. I laugh that there is one piece of bread left because my friend and I were like “you go ahead, no you”. Neither one of us wanted to be the person who ate the last piece. Oh my gosh their bread is so good. They bring out really good olive oil and pour balsamic over it and you dunk the bread in. I’m like my Dad I love “crusty bread”.

When I go out for dinner I take a picture of the meal because it’s so beautiful. As I was looking through my photos I also had dessert. Coffee and dessert is a perfect pairing too. But I was also thinking about this prompt based on my friends. I was supposed to go for coffee with a friend today and she is sick. She and I went for a manicure for my 40th birthday and we have the goofiest pictures. I tease another friend because she really likes her emojis and then I start doing it too.

Sunshine, good friends and good food. A good match

Dancing

Rhythmic
This post makes me think of the first time I saw my parents dance. It was at my cousin’s wedding in 1985. I knew they met at a dance but at that point it was just a story because I had never seen them dance. I remember doing the chicken dance with my cousin at another cousins wedding the year before.

My Dad’s youngest brother and his wife went dancing a lot. I watched them at my brother’s wedding and they were really good. She did say that nowadays there are less places to go to dance.

My Mom could play the piano but she had no rhythm when it came to clapping along to music. The church I grew up in is very conservative so we don’t clap to the music but the odd time someone starts it it’s the most pitiful thing you have ever heard. My uncle thought it was wrong to have drums in church. But people of my generation aren’t really into organ music. I fall somewhere in between. I think some churches are geared more to the entertainment than the message.

My Mom was not one to listen to music in the car. I often have music on at home. I dance along in my chair or while I’m doing chores.
This video is so much fun.

My home

Hideout
Growing up in a household with four other people the only place that was private was my bedroom. Janet and I would often sleepover at my grandparents on the weekend. A much needed break and they enjoyed entertaining us.

When we were in our twenties Dad redid the basement but that was his hideout. We used it a few times with friends. Dad rarely sat on the deck he preferred to sit under the tree so that was our spot. It’s interesting how I never really thought about how we really didn’t have a “hideout”. After I had internet installed after my Dad died the computer room was my hideout. I would spend hours up there chatting with friends. I couldn’t call an office because it literally just had a computer desk and chair. The printer didn’t even have a stand.

Call display means that I can hideout from people I don’t want to talk to. I had a nosey neighbour so after Mom died if I took the bus home I made sure I walked to the bus stop on the corner and not beside her house.

Now that I live alone my whole place is my hideout. I have already had an overnight guest. I have had my friend for coffee a couple of times and my friend came to see it at Christmas. I do want to get patio furniture soon and some art for my bedroom. It’s still a little sparse. I was telling a friend about how I can’t leave the building without my supers noticing but it’s nice that I have someone looking out for me.

Unpleasantness

Glitter
Last night a family “friend” of Mom called. I put it in quotes because they kind of grew apart when the woman became more involved in church activities. When Mom was in the hospital she asked her if she was prepared to meet the Lord. I actually had to ban her from going to the hospital because it was very upsetting to Mom. They talked it out but Mom couldn’t forget.

In the course of conversation she brings up about Trump. I said that the ban is wrong, that it’s not right to discriminate based on someone’s religion and colour. She told me they are bad people and our government should stop being so inclusive. That if you are an immigrant you should assimilate. Seriously, we aren’t the Borg. About half a dozen of my cousins all married people whose parents are immigrants. My brothers wife was born in Canada but her parents weren’t. Because when someone starts saying “they” should go back to where they came from how do we determine who “they” are. I usually let the woman go on but last night I couldn’t because as much as I’m not going to change her opinion I don’t want her thinking I agree with her opinion. We are supposed to love our neighbour even if they are a different nationality.

Today is Family Day, a holiday that our former premier made up so that people could have a holiday in between Christmas and Easter. My local coffee shop is open so I went there. It’s sunny but still cold in the morning since it’s still February after all. As I was sitting enjoying my coffee about the start a blog post I could hear a guy storm up to the counter and had an argument with the waitress. I finished up and left.

On Wednesday I’m going for coffee with a friend. Should be fun!

Am I speaking another language

Translate
Dealing with grief I have learned to read people. The people that are uncomfortable, the well meaning people who think they are helping and the people who sit and hear what I don’t say.
That’s the great thing about talking to twinless twins we speak the same language. Everyone’s circumstances are different but we lost our best friend. We all say that it’s a group we wish we didn’t belong to. I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a relationship with a sibling. It’s because our place changed. Our family sees us as the person we were before and that person don’t exist. A friend of mine said that she feels Janet really near when she reads this blog. She was the person who would tell it like it is.

When someone dies people say if you need anything let them know. I have found that you have to spell it out to people. Don’t just think people will know. At the same time it’s kind of a dance. There were times when I would think there is no sense banging my head against the wall to try to be heard. No matter how hard I yelled they wouldn’t hear.

I am sitting in my local coffee shop drinking coffee. That in itself is a big deal somedays because it’s not easy eating alone. But if I sit with my IPad I look like everyone else. This is Family weekend. What Mom and I called a made up holiday. As I wrote yesterday it’s going to get into double digits which means wonderful weather to go for a walk in the neighbourhood. So much has changed in a year.

Juicy

Juicy
Summer seems to be the season for fruits that would fit this category…peaches, watermelon, strawberries. My Dad liked to have a grapefruit sometimes in the morning. Because Mom had a kidney transplant she couldn’t have grapefruit because it affects certain medications. I can no longer have grapefruit either. I didn’t eat it often but I love the smell. I actually like the smell in a body wash.
Whenever Janet and I went to a picnic at a friend’s house we would always bring a watermelon. It serves a lot of people and everyone likes watermelon. The other day I froze a handful and then threw it in my MAGIC bullet and had a slushy. It was good. I have bags of frozen fruit in the freezer because I find I don’t use up fresh fruit fast enough but I’m getting better. I had some blueberries for breakfast.
Tomorrow it’s going to be warmer…into double digits (Celsius) so I’m going to walk to the market and get some stuff. Still a couple of months away from the outdoor market. There is still snow on the ground but spring is coming.

Against the odds

Squat
This is actually the theme for the photo challenge for this week but I decided to use it for my blog post today. The picture I would use would be of myself.

When I think of the past ten years there are times when I wonder how I got through it. When my twin died I didn’t know who I was without her. Growing up a twin I never realized how much my identity was tied to her. We went everywhere together, talked about things, went shopping together. She was just always there and then she wasn’t. The hard part was everyone else had a partner and I had lost mine.

My Dad found out he had cancer 16 months after Janet died. When the tumour grew back all I could think was I can’t lose another family member. There were days when I was looking after him where all I wanted to do was run away. I didn’t know what to do but I would ask questions. I railed at God why was this happening again. And yet against all odds I found a silver lining. My Dad and I became closer. My Dad appreciated me. My Dad was never demonstrative but when he was dying I didn’t care and I would give him a hug or a kiss on the forehead.

It was different when my Mom became sick because I could see it for myself. We would go grocery shopping and she had little energy. People couldn’t believe I looked after her completely on my own. I look back now and think I could’ve done some things differently but I did the best I could.

Moving would also be included in this. My friend wrote it took courage to do it and I never thought of it that way because I thought of it as something I HAD to do in order to sell the house. I also knew it was time. This would give me freedom from yardwork and maintenance of a house. The process was hard. I had an idea that I would live in the building in our neighbourhood but when I went to look at the unit I didn’t like the layout at all. I wanted everything over with. One night I typed in a location in google and found this apartment. What are the odds that it had EVERYTHING on my list…laundry in unit, walk in shower and controlled heat and a/c.
I know that Mom worked her magic because I also have wonderful superintendents who take care of me. Mom knew I needed a little taking care of.

I have people that have stepped up to the plate for me since Mom died. My former neighbour still helps me with errands. My friend CB is a great listener. My friends who have taken me in for holidays. Who tell me we are your family. Of course S and J for advice, help and many laughs. And a little chocolate never hurt either. Love you both!

An invite

Sound
Yesterday I was checking an email account that I don’t use often and found an evite from my cousin for a family gathering at her house the long weekend in May.

I have been to 2 family events since Janet died. One was a birthday party around 2 years later. It was awkward and I really wished I hadn’t gone. It wasn’t in the same city as me so I had to take the train to get there. My cousins husband wouldn’t even say hello to me. When I got home I didn’t tell my Dad the whole story but Mom understood because we had heard others talk about how people treat you differently after your loved one dies. They avoid you like you have the plague.

The next one was my Dad’s eldest sister’s 90th birthday a few years ago. I didn’t want to go because for me it was hard going without Dad. Plus I knew that it would be awkward and it was. But I had Mom there for support.

The thing that makes me upset is that my sibling and I lost the same people and yet I’m the one that is treated differently. I’m alone in my own family and that is a very painful thing to write. My Aunt understands it because she said your brother has a family and you don’t. They don’t talk about their loved ones after they die but for me it’s natural. They all live on in me. Dad is my link to these people. Growing up we attended ever family event…weddings, picnics, dinners. My parents raised us that if you were invited to something you went. Family was very important to Dad.

I have 2 family members that know I write a blog. Most wouldn’t understand the reason. Being raised to believe that crying is a sign of weakness is BS. I’m like Mom I can cry at the drop of a hat but I also know that it’s a healthy emotion to be sad. I have come a long way in 10 years. I know that my family would be proud. Success isn’t measured in dollars. At the end of the day I would rather have a heart full of love and memories.