Snack

Snack
The first thing that came to mind for this prompt was my Mom taking snack for her seniors group at church. Except she wouldn’t call it snack she called it “lunch”. No lunch is a meal snack is what you have with tea. I think she thought lunch sounded a little fancier. If it was someone’s birthday she would bring cupcakes. For Halloween she made cupcakes with white icing (ok, out of a can) and she bought these orange candies to put on top..kind of like jube jubes. I even took a picture of her pointing at her work. One woman’s specialty was date squares and Mom made sure she brought me home one.
When we went to bible study we brought chocolate chip cookies. We all would take turns bringing snack. When I went to another church the first time I went to a book study in someone’s home I thought “where’s the snack”? Because for me that was part of the evening.
Of course snacking also brings to mind all the different nutrition advice. Eat 5 times a day and someone else tells you no snacking is bad. I meet with a dietician every 6 months or so and have to fill out a food journal. When I first started going she noticed I’m not a snacker. I always have something mid afternoon but I’m not a morning snacker. Sometimes I’ll have an evening snack but it depends on what I have for dinner. I try to have lots of fruit on hand but realized I forgot this week. I do keep some in the freezer and I’ll throw a handful on some yogurt. For me it has to be quick. Cherry tomatoes and dip, baby carrots, half an apple.
In our family we all loved sour cream and onion chips and they had to be the ridged it was all about the texture. If we got chips for Halloween Mom would use them to put on top of a casserole. I was never one of those people who could sit with a bag of chips and mindlessly eat. I could with popcorn. It’s actually a healthy treat as long as it’s not swimming in butter. My Dad and I both liked caramel corn.
In the summer months I used to get an iced cap at Tim Hortons but then I switched to iced coffee…less calories. Some are almost a meal in themselves.
Summer is a great time for snacks. Watermelon, strawberries. I almost bought some cherries today. It’s such a short season.
Happy snacking

On the fridge

Magnet
When I think of magnets that is the first thing that comes to mind. Our fridge growing up had magnets from businesses. Pizza Hut, a maintenance person. My Mom had a calendar on the wall in the kitchen but this was were she put reminders.
At one time I had kid art. A drawing sent to me from the child of a twin friend.
On my fridge right now is a magnet that a friend gave me that has an inspirational quote/saying. There is a poem as a Memorial tribute to my Mom. It’s held on by a magnet that looks like a stone given to me by another friend. The word on it says LOVE. I bought a grocery list sheet that has magnets on the back. It has boxes next to items and it has it separated into groups…vegetables, meat etc.
Because everything is digital now there isn’t the need for stuff on the refrigerator as much. If I go out for coffee with a friend I will put it in my calendar in my iPad. I will put in Dr appointments in there too.
There is a drawback to being digital as I tell myself that I should print some pictures off from computer but I haven’t done it yet. Nowadays friends take photos with their camera and then I save it to my computer. Which means transferring them to a site to print.
When my Dad was in the hospital I printed off our family photo to put on his bulletin board. Technically because it was a professional portrait it’s not supposed to be reproduced but I thought this was ok. He was so pleased. I did the same thing with Mom only I printed off one of her granddaughter. A good pouty one. One of the nurses said that girl has attitude. It was a way of making a place feel a little more personal. It was also a good conversation starter for Drs.
Most home shows have stainless steel appliances. They have eat in kitchens and most have bar stools. But I can’t imagine the front of the fridge filled with kid art. But it’s like photos on the wall it’s what gives a home a personality.

Driving the bus

Wheel
I had a Dr appointment this morning and was given a really good report. I am able to get my bloodwork results online so I knew what the numbers were. I have lost 7kgs since my last appointment the end of January. My goal was actually 2lbs less than that as it would have been an even number.
This Dr looked after Mom when she was in the hospital. She knows that I was her caregiver and she saw it in the paper when she died. She knows the toll that it took on my health. Being a caregiver is a 24/7 job. It’s physically and emotionally draining. I guess that is why she could see the change. I said that I’m taking better care of myself. Janet was my walking buddy so I had to find that motivation within myself. Many of my friends have told me “you seem happier”. After all the events last year were over I didn’t have anything planned. But I also think I needed that time to be able to rest, recuperate. I remember Mom saying one year that she didn’t even sit outside once during the summer. Now I do it as often as possible. Every time I do it I think that she would be glad. It’s also easier eating outside at a smaller table when it’s just one.
I’ve titled this post driving the bus because I’m the one doing it. After my Mom died I had to change my thinking about things. A list of things that I felt guilt over. I never liked the term “superwoman” but I slowly learned that I had to own the title. Many people consider having a grocery delivery service a luxury but I do it once a week. When I go myself I have impulse purchases so I’m actually saving money this way. It’s a personal touch. When I go to the grocery store some cashiers barely speak to me. Driving my own bus means tuning out the voices that tell me “you should do this”. I made a choice after Mom died that she probably wouldn’t agree with but I had to do what I felt was right for me at the time. It was something a friend and I were discussing the other day that as adults we don’t need our parents permission.
I write this post because after a really touch couple of years it’s wonderful to have someone appreciate the efforts. It’s possible to make a U-turn.

Local

Local
It’s interesting how all the local businesses just have one name. Turner’s, Tuckey’s, Landon. My brother was replacing the door knob for the side door but he was missing something so we said “oh Tuckey’s will have it”. His girlfriend at the time asked “what’s Tuckey’s?” Nobody calls it Home Hardware.
It also makes me realize how people seem to stay in their neighbourhood. The only time Mom and I ever went to the north end was when she had to pick up prescriptions at the hospital. The first time I went to Byron library I wasn’t really familiar with the neighbourhood. My Dr office is way out in the east end because that’s where my Mom used to live and she kept the same Dr.
I grew up living 5 minutes away from the public school and high school. I could walk to the bank, library, grocery store and coffee shop. Growing up in the same neighbourhood the business people knew you. Often when we walked to Wortley Village people would pass us and say hello. We didn’t know them but it was just a friendly neighbourhood. Although now I often pass people walking their dogs and they say hello.
I never would have thought I would live downtown but I really like it. Oh sure I avoid Dundas and Richmond as much as possible. When I walk to the market I walk down Ridout. There is a new Italian restaurant going up near me so I definitely want to check it out. A lot of turn around with restaurants. Williams has become my local coffee shop.
There was a food festival on the weekend. I didn’t get to it because it was raining..again or more like still. I love going to the festivals in the summer. There are a lot of events happening this weeks for Canada Day. It’s our one hundred and fifty anniversary. Two places near me are having events.
My friend and I went to idlewyld inn at Christmas. Many people have lived here all their life and never been. A friend of Moms has never been to Eldon House. I remember going on a double decker tour in the summer when we were young. It was a great way to learn about local history.
Maybe we should try to see our city from a tourists eyes.

Eating together

Illusion
Last night a friend and I were talking about that family time of sitting around the table for dinner. We both treasured it. She and her husband sit at the dining table to eat but I don’t think they talk about their day.
I realized that I was blessed to grow up where food was about showing ones love to someone. When we went to our grandparents for lunch we would have mac and cheese. She would always have oatmeal cookies on hand. Sometimes my Dad would request his favourite meal. We had pancakes for Sunday breakfast. We would accompany Dad to his gardening club and then he would have hot chocolate and a donut after.
When my Mom went into the hospital I would eat off a TV tray in the living room. Which wasn’t allowed growing up unless you were sick. But eating at the table was hard because I was so used to eating with Mom. I missed talking to her. And at the time I didn’t value the process of cooking it was just food that I had to eat.
I was watching Cityline last night. They were having a special for Canada’s 150 celebration. They were showcasing the foods from different regions. At the end she was talking about sharing food with others, not eating alone. It was something that was brought up when I went to the nutrition talk at my church. I love going out to dinner with friends but timewise it’s not always possible. It’s fine for people to say it but it’s just not realistic.
Treasure those times sitting around the table. Get out the fancy dishes more often. Some day they will be memories that you will look back on fondly.

Commitment

Commit
A memory came up on my Facebook page today. It was such a Happy memory at the time but brings with it a tinge of sadness now. Doing the right thing for myself isn’t always easy.
I was going to title this post making a commitment to myself. I have found in life that making a commitment to something that I didn’t want to do means I’m probably not going to give 100%.
Taking care of myself in mind and body. Avoiding stress as much as possible. I learned to live with stress for a long time because I didn’t have a choice but it took a toll. This year I made a commitment to eating healthier. Taking better care of myself.
It also means that I have to surround myself with people who will build me up. Not in the sense of tooting my own horn but accepting me for me. Wednesday afternoon I sat on the balcony and enjoyed a hazelnut coffee and a chocolate cupcake while reading the paper. I have amazing friends but there are days when putting on a smile when I feel sad is an effort. I’m still going to “celebrate” it will just be later. And that’s ok.

Paper

Paper
This is an interesting word for today. My former neighbour emailed me on Tuesday to wish me a Happy Birthday since they were going away later that afternoon. She told me to check my mailbox because she knows I don’t check it everyday. My birthday and Christmas are the only times that I get mail that isn’t a bank statement or junk mail.
But even that is going by the way side because everything is electronic nowadays. Bell even charges you for paper statements. The bank charges you for a passbook. A lady that lived down the street from me didn’t have a computer. Mom kept statements for her records so she would pay the fee. When I go to the bank to withdraw money I don’t get a receipt. I figure I will drop it in the bottom of my purse and eventually it will be garbage anyway.
Yesterday when I went to the bakery down the street from me I paid with debit because I rarely carry cash anymore. I can remember when debit first came out you weren’t allowed to use it for a transaction less than $5. Now everybody buys coffee with debit.
But there is something sentimental about paper though. My Mom always reread Christmas cards after Christmas. My Dads cousin loved getting Moms Christmas letter. My friend draws a picture in a card. It’s so special. The fact that my Mom was a letter writer is why I have a connection to this friend. Most of our correspondence was by email but they were long emails and there were letters mixed in too.
It’s one of the things that I had a hard time letting go of when I moved. I had boxes of letters, wedding invitations, baby shower invitations, thank you cards. I kept the last Father’s Day card I gave to Dad. A birthday card from Janet. My Dad rarely had the need to write anything but he had a garden book where he sketched out his plan. I kept that. It’s such a personal thing. We won’t have that anymore though because very few people I know write letters anymore.
Who doesn’t love receiving a letter in the mail. Somebody went to the store to pick out a card specific for you.

Just for fun

These are questions that were posted on a fellow bloggers page. I thought for fun I would do them today…

If January was a candle, what would it smell like?
Clean clothes. I have one called fresh linen and that is what I think it would smell like. January is the beginning of a new year a clean slate, a fresh start.

Regardless of nationality, do you prefer gray or grey, and why?
Grey definitely.

If you could pick your own lottery jackpot (and win it) what would the cash value be?
One million. Just enough to live on but not an exorbitant amount of money.

If you couldn’t write anymore, how would you express your creativity?
This is tough because I’ve written in a journal for a long time. I didn’t even think of myself as a writer until I went to a class with a really supportive teacher. I think I would probably paint.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I remember writing often when my Dad was sick that I wanted to live on a deserted island. I just wanted to escape. There was a time when I wanted to live somewhere where nobody knew my name. But I learned that I can’t run away.
I like living in a place where I don’t have to worry about the air conditioner going on the fritz or changing furnace filter. I like four seasons. My answer would be I like where I live now.

You’re only allowed to listen to one song for the rest of your life. What do you choose?
I don’t know that I could only choose one. I have a whole list of songs when I feel sad. I love Michael Buble. No more car pool karaoke?
If I had to pick just one it would be You Raise Me Up Josh Groban

Roasty-Chocolatey or Fruity-Tarty-Fresh?
Fruity

Sand or snow?
Although I like having a white Christmas it would be sand.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Rabbit stew or gooseberry pie. While not that strange it is when you are twelve. My Aunt served us the strangest foods. Every time my brother went he always asked Mom what is it.

You can have any mythical creature as a pet. Which do you pick? Unicorn although a dragon would be cool too

If you could be any vegetable in your next life, which would it be?
Asparagus…I would be skinny

Birthday


I was looking through photo albums last night and this is one of my favourites. I recently did a blog post where I wrote that I don’t celebrate I honour the day. It’s hard to explain what the difference is but celebrating means friends, cake, presents where as honouring is posting a picture on Facebook. Honouring the love I have for my twin and honouring my feelings. That’s a big one. When I posted this photo I said it’s not hard to figure out which one is me and a close twin friend got it right away. I’ll give you a hint and say I was the Imp. That’s what my Mom called me. I would get a twinkle in my eye and Mom knew I was up to mischief. I have gotten to the point where I can look at pictures and there isn’t the pang that I used to get.

Some people wish me a Happy Birthday but I prefer thinking of you because it’s not happy. A good friend of mine wrote how lucky I am to have this photo. My former neighbour wrote how blessed I was to be a twin. It’s a day where I am very loved and that’s special but I miss Janet terribly. This picture is of us celebrating together.

On my way home on the bus on Monday I stopped off and bought myself gerbera daisies. A friend bought me them for my birthday one year and it’s been a tradition ever since. I buy yellow for me and red for Janet. The woman asked if I needed a card and I told her no they’re for myself.

I’m going to go for a walk today and buy a cupcake. I’ll sit on the balcony to eat it. The past few years it has rained around the time of my birthday and yet the day of it’s sunny. That’s Janet shining down on me.
I love you my bud.

Meddle

Meddle
The definition of meddle…interfere in or busy oneself unduly with something that is not one’s concern.
We had this happen a couple of times with very personal family issues. My Dad asked his brother to help but of course he ended up taking over. When my Dad was in the hospital he meddled again and it bit him in the butt. In both of these instances he didn’t trust us to be capable of doing it on our own. Because isn’t that why people meddle because they think they could do it better?
In my life I have carried this with me. When my Mom was sick I didn’t ask for help because it was easier doing it on my own. Looking after my Moms estate we were “joint executors” on paper but when someone has meddled in your affairs it’s pretty hard to trust them.
I wouldn’t say my Dad meddled but he gave “advice” for money. My Mom was the type of person that let us figure stuff out on our own. She knew if a friend wasn’t right for us. When we were little they didn’t break up a fight they let us resolve it on our own.
I think I’m a good listener. I have found with myself that I know what to do it’s just a matter of working it out for myself. I want to give my friends that same respect.
After my twin died there were a lot of things that were out of my control. There were a lot of decisions that I didn’t get to make. The things I could control I did. When I was looking for an apartment people gave me advice. My Mom could tell you that I am stubborn. If you told me to do something I would do the exact opposite. Or MY WAY as she would say.
There are times when I wish they were hear to give me advice but I also know they gave me the skills to do it on my own.