Frugal

Passport
Yesterday’s word was fortune. It was appropriate because the day before I went to Giant Tiger which is a discount store in the city. I wasn’t really looking for anything but ended up buying some t shirts for $10 each. Although I have money to spend I begrudge paying 25 dollars for a T shirt.
I also need a new spring coat so I have been looking online. Yesterday they had a sale 50% off and I found one that I liked. I threw in another small thing so I could get free shipping. The last coat I bought at Walmart and it was a very popular style because everywhere I looked I would see women wearing it. It came in blue or pink. The inky drawback was the material did not breathe.
My next big purchase will be patio furniture. Possibly an outdoor rug too. I was talking to my former neighbour about how when I sat on the deck it wasn’t relaxing because I would be thinking of all the things I “should” be doing. She said she is the same way. Someone told her can’t you just turn it off. I have to get good quality furniture that can be left outside.
It’s not about spending a fortune, it’s about having things that make me happy.

Keeping score

Territory
The title of this post came about from a segment that was on one of the talk shows yesterday. They were talking about a column in an advice column about a women who held a birthday party for her son and one of the children didn’t bring a gift so when it came time for their son she wasn’t going to bring one. Everyone agreed that this was petty. But I sat there thinking yes, for children but we all do it.
When one of my cousins got married we were the only ones on our side that were invited because my Uncle and my Dad noticed for a previous one that we weren’t invited. Honestly I didn’t care but my Dad believed that you invited everyone and we knew from the time we were 14 that if we ever got married he was going to enforce that. My brother was moving to the States for work but he made an effort to go to another cousins wedding. But when it came time for his she didn’t go. And Janet and I got rants about this from her too how if you are invited to something you go.
I once went months without talking to a friend of mine because she is awful about phoning and I got tired of being the one to always phone. Eventually we talked it through and we make an effort to go for coffee once a month.
Christmas cards. My Mom would keep track in her head who she received a card from. If a couple of years went by and she didn’t get one they were off the list.
I love giving gifts but I don’t care if the other person can’t reciprocate in the same way. For me it’s seeing the joy on their face. There are some things that I can’t pay for. Friends inviting me for holidays, friends who helped me when Janet died, helped me move.
We are human. We are just doing the best we can everyday.

Elixir? It’s called coffee

Elixir
Growing up coffee was a treat. I wasn’t allowed to have any until I was deeemd old enough by my grandparents. I was told it would “stunt my growth”. I didn’t believe that but I respected their wishes. When we had company we always put the tea kettle on and we would have tea with dessert for dinners. We didn’t even have a coffee maker until after my Dad died. We would go to Tim Hortons and they were plentiful in the city. My Dad was a social coffee drinker he preferred tea. Our entire family drinks it clear even aunts and uncles. Which makes it very easy!
After we had a coffee maker we rarely had tea. When the cord on the kettle wore out we didn’t bother getting a new one. When I moved I bought a Keurig because it’s easier for one person. I could have a fairly empty fridge but there would still be coffee in the cupboard! One week I had to ration the sweetener so I try to make sure I always have that on hand as well. A friend of mine drinks his black so he never has to worry about that.
I sometimes have a cup in the afternoon too. Mom would kiddingly call it “high tea time”. It’s the time I usually have a snack. My friend and I used to go for coffee on Saturday but now we seem to be going after she gets off work at about 3. When I go for groceries on my own I will have a cup when I get home. It’s interesting how there is such a routine to it.
I can remember going out for dinner and my grandparents begrudged paying that much for coffee or tea so they wouldn’t have one. Nowadays I think with the cost of the meal who cares. I like a leisurely dinner…coffee with my dessert.
I miss the neighbourhood coffee shop. I miss walking it and seeing someone we knew. The barista knowing the regulars order. Listening to the chatter around me. I notified the last time I went to Starbucks that there were a lot of people sitting alone with their laptops. I think that’s why I have gravitated to it, I blend in.
Pretty soon I will be able to enjoy my morning coffee on the balcony or an iced coffee in the afternoon. Ahh

Television shows

Purple
On the weekend I got caught up on Bones. I can never remember what day it’s on now so I just watch it On Demand later. It’s on Tuesday night and that when I watch The Voice and then Bull afterwards. But it got me thinking that a lot of the shows that Mom watched weee pretty gruesome. We used to watch House although that was really for Hugh Laurie. She started watching Hawaii 5-0. I wasn’t a big fan of it but it kind of grew on me but I will admit that I prefer the ones that have a little more comedy in them or more relationship oriented. We watch Murdoch but that’s because it’s Canadian and Murdoch is cute…at least that’s why I watch it. He’s also in the Aurora Teagarden mysteries and he and Candice Cameron Bure make a really cute couple. He has chemistry with everyone. There is a definite pattern with these shows as they are all cop shows. Bull is a legal drama.

Monday night is The Voice. The dynamic with the four coaches this season is good. Alicia was a little stiff last season she’s definetely getting into it more. I wouldn’t say there are any WOW singers but they are all good.

Fashion

Ordinary
Yesterday a woman that used to attend my church wrote on her Facebook page for her business asking what our worse fashion advice was. It was an interesting question because I’ve never really been given advice on what to wear or not to wear.
Growing up I adhered to the rules. Don’t wear white after labour day, switching out my purse according to the seasons. I wore pantyhose all year because I was told it looks better. When I went to the Twinless Twins conference in Detroit I was so hot after the walk that I decided I’m the only one that cares if I have pantyhose on or not so I didn’t wear them. When we were growing up every woman wore a skirt to church even in the winter. Not anymore. I would wear a skirt in the summer because Dad would not allow shorts or capris. I grew up in a fairly conservative family.

Today she asked what your best advice was. My grandmother taught us to dress like ladies. I didn’t get it when we were younger because to be honest we dressed older than we were. Everyone else was dressed in Northern Reflection sweatshirts and Levi’s..not us. Now that I am older I understand it better. It’s about having respect for yourself. If I’m going to a nice restaurant I should dress appropriately.

I would watch talk shows where they would have the experts say to accentuate the parts of your body that you like. I have long legs. I love a cowl neckline. When my brother got married they were things that I had on the dress. It was shorter in the front and longer in the back and had a cowl neckline. I’ve also learned that sometimes things that I wouldn’t normally gravitate to look different after I try them on.

Because I buy clothes online I get emails regarding sales sent to me. They have beautiful dresses at one of the stores right now. Great if you have a wedding to go to but how often do we wear a dress anymore? Even going to the Twinless Twins conference there is a banquet the last night. Most women just wear dress pants and a nice blouse.

GREEN PHOTO CHALLENGE

It IS Easy Being Green!

This is a photo taken on our memory walk at the Twinless Twins conference in Ann Arbor in 2010. It was a hot day but there was a little bit of a breeze which made it more bearable. I remember feeling like Janet was walking with me because we would go for walks in the neighbourhood together. For me it was my favourite part of the entire weekend.
Growing up I had a big backyard and we had lots of mature trees on the street. The first time my friend came to pick me up when I moved she told me “I love this neighbourhood because even though you live downtown it’s quiet”. There are two trees in front of my patio window. I live across from a park and within walking distance of another one. I know that because of where I grew up that green space was important.

First day of Spring

Today is my Mom’s birthday. Last year I was going to go out for dinner but I was so busy preparing to move that it didn’t happen. This year I really didn’t know what to do to honour her so I bought a cupcake at the grocery store.
This morning I got my haircut and somehow I was telling the story of when I was six and we went to a family picnic where Dads family grew up. I was in a mood and I wasn’t in any of the pictures. Mom would tell this story for years. The hairdresser said that’s their job. So true. But then she never lived down the amount of times she locked the keys in the car. Our last car beeped if the keys were still in the ignition or if you left your lights on it was great! It also beeped if you didn’t have your seatbelt on but that’s another story.
It’s a beautiful sunny warm day. One of those days where I wish I had someone to share it with. In March these days are a gift.
The word for today is minimal and it suits my Mom. She never wanted people to make a fuss over her. For her birthday I would buy her a baseball magazine…she called it her bible. Everyone thought it was Dad that was watching it but it was actually Mom. When she turned 70 a few years ago she had a party at a restaurant. It was really nice.
If your Mom is still with you give her a call and tell her you love her. Hug someone you love.

Labels

Label
Growing up we were known as the Rudd girls or J and J. My Mom used to say I gave you names in other words people should use them. Our first “labels” said RuddA and RuddB…I’m B.

When Mom was asked whether she was Ms or Mrs she would tell them “Mrs. I earned that title”. I remember the first time I went to a bank with Mom and we were standing in line and the teller (a guy) called out “I can help you here Ma’am”. I leaned over to Mom loud enough for him to hear “I think he’s talking to you”. I think I was maybe 30? The guy laughed but I do know it’s more respectful to use Ma’am then miss.

In life we use labels. For income tax we write down our title. Are you single? When my Mom died for probate I was listed as caregiver because that’s what I was. It’s just not recognized by most people as a job. Especially not by people who earn a six figure salary. But I also realized the other day that I am the only person in my Dads family that cared for her parents.

My Aunt told my Mom that we were courageous. My friend tells me I’m strong. There are some labels I’m not sure of. As I have written before I don’t feel like I’m an inspiration. I know I’m helping people by this blog or when I went to conference. Someone who has a recent loss can see ok there is life after this.

I will always be a daughter, twin and friend. Those are special labels.

Automated

Conquer
I’ve been thinking about this word recently because when I went for coffee with my friend all I had were 20s. I haven’t been into a bank since January…I think. My bills are paid automatically and my banking is done online. I even pay my groceries by debit. But it means that banks don’t have to pay for tellers. Most branches don’t even put many on until after 10am.
My Aunt asked if I had been to White Oaks mall recently so I said I tend to order stuff online. I’m closer to the mall at the north end but all the stores I go to are across the road. Even the last time I went to Reitmans their selection was limited because they sell most of it online. If I’m going to buy pants I would like to try them on in the store. There is even a plus size clothing store that was downtown that closed and is doing it entirely online. The don’t have to pay for a storefront.
Last night I was watching a movie On Demand. I didn’t get to watch the whole thing because all of a sudden it stopped and wouldn’t load. I do know that how to reboot tv. I don’t know whether it saved it at the point it stopped or not but I found a synopsis on YouTube so I watched that.
Even the last time I took the train I purchased my ticket online. I always went to the station because I liked the personal service. But nobody does it anymore. You hold up your electronic device and they scan the code. The station doesn’t have to pay for an attendant.
Mom went to the same grocery store every week. They knew us. It’s why I enjoy grocery delivery it’s the same thing, a friendly smile, someone asking how your day was.
We need more of that!

On the right

Controversy
Last night I was looking online for patio furniture. I’ve been “unofficially looking” for a week. I found one but there is assembly required so that’s out. I found another one and it might be a possibility I just have to measure. Since I will be getting 2 I suddenly realized that I would be sitting on the side that Janet always sat on. Sitting on the right would mean I would be sitting beside the a/c.
When we were babies I was usually on the right in pictures. When we asked Mom which was which that was how she told us. Janet was with Dad and I was with Mom. It was the same with pictures of us and our grandparents Janet was with grandpa and I was with grandma. In my favourite picture of the 2 of us I am on the right in the picture (although it’s her left) and I’m leaning in.
I always walked on the right side when we went for walks in the neighbourhood. I still did it after she died it was instinctual. The day I realized I was still doing it I realized it was because she was walking with me.
A twin friend of mine seemed to favour the right side too. It made me smile last night when I thought of it. How I have that link with Janet.