Salvage

THINGS THAT AREN’T SALVAGABLE
1. Burnt toast, an egg dropped on the floor and any baked good that is as hard as a rock. Yep, I’ve done them all.
2. Broken appliances…it’s cheaper just to get a new one
3. A bad haircut. I think most of us have been there waiting for the bad haircut to grow out.
4. A hair colour mistake. This hasn’t happened to me but a friend of mine that had auburn hair dyed it blonde and it is a very expensive process to dye it back!
5. A receding hairline
6. Relationships. This is a tough one because if both parties want to mend the relationship maybe you can
7. Trust
8. Reputations

THINGS THAT ARE
1. A bad day. A couple of Christmas’ ago I was having a bad day missing my family, feeling alone and then I received something in the mail to brighten my day. A rainy day is a good time to read a book
2. Writing. It took me 3 tries to figure out what I wanted to write about a friend. She drew a picture of my family for me and we both had the same “issue” in that we wanted it to be perfect.
3. Pictures. My grandfather had a photo of my grandmother that he had cropped that ended up being better than the original. My Dad had old photos taken in to get copies as well.
4. Clothes. We can put patches on holes in our jeans (although that’s the style now). You can make quilts out of old clothes or rugs.
5. Grass and plants. It’s amazing the things in the garden that will grow with a little love
6. I love watching Home Town because it’s what Ben does. He takes old wood that is in the house and he turns it into something beautiful. Plus it’s the only show where I can actual imagine people living there, putting their feet up on the coffee table.
7. People. I know I wrote that relationships aren’t salvageable but it’s actually both. People can change and grow, improve themselves.

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Travel

I think for most of us the actual travel time to get to our destination is the more stressful part. Living in London I have to go to Toronto to take a plane somewhere. A lot of people fly out of Detroit because it’s cheaper but then you have to cross the border. When Mom and I went to Vancouver we told the travel agent we wanted to fly out of London even if it cost more (which it didn’t). I had to take enough cash with me for cab fare to get to and from the airport. It was before interac was really used to pay for taxis.
When Mom and I went on our cruise a friend who worked for sunwing booked our flight. Unfortunately we came back the day after the shoe bomber incident. It was a learning experience because it would have been better to go with a bigger carrier like Air Canada.
The first time I went to Detroit for the Twinless Twins conference I took greyhound and a fellow twin picked me up. Unfortunately I got held up at the border by a guy that was bringing wine across and they had to X-ray the bottle. It’s not easy explaining to the security officers where I was going. The second time I went I decided to take the train. A little more expensive but so worth it! I love taking the train. This has changed too because everybody purchases their tickets online. Most people show the app on their smart phone but I just printed the piece of paper out and put it in my purse. It does make me feel sad tnat it means less jobs for people.
I recently went to an inn near me for a few days. I now travel with an iPad (which means the charger too). Because I’m diabetic I take snacks with me. Mom always said that was the hard part about travelling was the sodium in the food. When she went on a tour of western Canada by the time she got home her feet were swollen from the salt. I noticed it too when I was at the Inn. I tried to make the best choices but I have to choose from what is offered. They did have complimentary water bottles in the room which helped a lot.
Going on vacation is great because someone else makes your bed and cooks your meals. I was telling my friend that although I like a walk in shower the rain head shower does not give enough pressure to wash your hair! And hotels never have firm pillows!
The nice thing about living in an apartment is that when I go away I just have to lock the door behind me and I’m good to go. I do have to tell the superintendents when I’m away so they know I’m not home. I certainly don’t have to worry about mail because I don’t get enough to fill up my box!
The best thing about a vacation is coming home to your own bed!

Taking the time to teach us

Growing up my grandmother taught Janet and I to bake. I remember my grandfather saying that my mother didn’t like sewing on buttons but everyone should know how to do it. Janet and I were not good at fractions and I remember thinking when am I going to use this in real life. Sometimes I would double a recipe and that involves using math! We would often go to the corner store to buy candy and my Dad would tell us bring me back change. Nowadays a computer tells them how much it is.
At an early age we could cook so when we got older it boggled our mind that a couple of cousins couldn’t. One cooked by opening a jar and the other could barely boil water. Their parents put greater emphasis on marks and status then life skills. I learned about writing letters by example. The courtesy of writing a thank you note or RSVPing. The last one I’m not sure if it’s not taught or it’s just something that has fallen by the wayside with our reliance on technology.
When Mom had her kidney transplant we all had to become self-sufficient. When my Dad had cancer I had to do the jobs that he did before. I dealt with service people. When we went on a cruise the winter after he died I called the newspaper so we wouldn’t get delivery while we were away. Unfortunately they didn’t get it. So I phoned them up and laid it on how anyone could know we weren’t home (even though my neighbour took them inside). My neighbour asked who taught me how to do that. My Dad by watching him do it.
I’ve always been the type if I was going to do something I would do it myself. This morning I had to text a friend who has been offline for a few days. Maybe because I have had so many losses it’s hard for me to imagine a man or woman not knowing how to do things that if something happened to their spouse they wouldn’t know how. How much are your expenses? How to fix something in the house if you needed to.
While I felt overwhelmed when my Mom died I knew that I had the necessary skills that I could fall back on. I am so thankful for all the people who have guided me.

Welcome

This is an appropriate word for today because as I’m walking out of the building I pass my supers coming out of their apartment. She asks where I’m off to. It’s like having parents. Obviously living in a house I have nothing to compare it to but having people that made me feel welcome when I went to look for an apartment really helped. I’m not the only one who has mentioned this, many people in the building feel the same way.
Today is Market day. I was talking to one of the vendors who I bought cherry tomatoes from. I told her I bought some at the store (technically grocery person did) and they were product of Dominican Republic. They were hard and tasteless. They would be ok to throw in sauce. I told her it’s wrong that grocery stores should be selling USA produce when local is in season. She completely agreed. I’m lucky that I live close to a farmers market but not everyone has that opportunity.
I was so disappointed that the table that has ready made meals was all sold out by the time I got there…and it was only 9:15! Thursday is usually a slow day. It’s supposed to rain on Saturday so I’ll have to wait and see.
This morning I mailed off a photo card as a thank you to a friend. I know she wouldn’t think it was necessary but I was taught that if someone gives you a gift you should send a thank you. It’s also a way that she can have a copy of a picture of the 2 of us.
When we have someone for a visit we make their favourite foods or accommodate dietary restrictions. We don’t have to go out of our way to make someone feel welcome. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a smile or a hug.

Choosing my words carefully

Recently I changed my profile picture to my favourite one of me and Janet. A friend commented that I looked comfortable…I’m not sure whether that is the exact word she used. When she said that it made me think about the fact that I was because I was with my twin. How that unconditional love is irreplaceable. The mother of a Twinless twin who attended conference recently for the first time wrote about the pain and loneliness and it’s true. I’ve gotten used to doing things alone but there will always be moments when I wish Janet was here.
I could talk to Janet about anything. I’m thankful that I have a couple of friends and family members that I can share my feelings with but it’s not the same. Recently a friend shared something with me and said that she held back from sharing it. There is that sense that we both see our lives drifting apart. We shared a lot and now we are choosing what we share with one another.
I think grief has made me more guarded. I’ve learned who I can trust to speak off the cuff and when I have to hold things back. I think life also teaches us what doesn’t need to be shared. We all have those friends that we go home and think TMI!

Relaxed


Before I left for my 3 day getaway I did feel like life was a bit chaotic with trying to get things done and then they were also painting the railing and replacing the glass on balcony the day before I left. They painted the floor of the balcony and it looks great. This morning I put all my furniture back.

I’ve included a picture of where I hung out in the morning with a book or the Toronto Star. Thankfully it was quite comfortable in the morning as long as I was in the shade. The humidity was bad even at 9am when I went out to take these pictures on Saturday. I was telling my friend that I could read the paper at home but I don’t. It was nice to get caught up on things that are going on in the news. I will admit there were a couple of times when it hit me sitting in the chair looking at couples or groups sitting together and I’m alone. It’s good people watching. Many people dressed up for dinner. Every single person had beer or wine. I’m not a drinker I would rather have dessert. There was a table of 3 couples. I don’t know whether the women were related but the dynamic reminded me Dad’s brother and sisters.

And then I returned home to cooking my own meals and putting my dirty laundry in the wash. This week is Home County Folk Festival. Like Sunfest I don’t go for the music but to look around. There is a Colombian Festival at the market on Sunday and a week after that is Ribfest. Hopefully for our August coffee date my friend and I can sit outside. She is overdue in trying it out. These are all the things I love about summer.

Friday the 13th

I’ve never really been a superstitious type of person. My grandparents had their first day on a Friday thr 13th and they were married for 50 years. My cousin was born on a Friday the 13th so I guess you could say in our family it’s brought good luck. I know when I go up in an elevator I think it still has a 13th floor we just don’t call it that.
I will admit that I am a bit of a worrier in that if something is going to go wrong it will. I thought I was so organized packing my bag and there are a couple of things I missed. I bought a travel sized Tylenol and it’s probably still on the counter or in the bag. The last time I went on vacation I was going to refill my toiletry bag so I wouldn’t have to get stuff at the last minute and that didn’t happen. I am the type of person that packs too many clothes. I don’t wear a different shirt everyday at home but on vacation I do. Although lately I’ve been wearing two shirts a day because I spill something on it.
Yesterday I sat outside and read my latest Oprah magazine which came a week ago. They asked the editors “WHAT WOULD YOU ACCOMPLISH IF YOU HAD NO FEAR?” It’s an interesting question. I guess the point is that fear holds us back from doing things. I remember the first time I went to a writing class and I was so scared to read something out loud. I was afraid of what people would say. But it got easier. I think fear took on a different context for me after my family died because the worst thing had already happened. I used to fear being alone but now that I’ve lived with it for a few years I’m more comfortable. There are moments when it’s still hard. While I’m sitting in the dining room and I’m on the only person eating alone it hits me.
Even doing this blog was something that I had to get up the nerve to do. I was afraid of what people would say. It’s not easy sharing personal things for other people to read. I’m amazed at how many things I have accomplished even though I had fear. My friends constantly told me I was strong and eventually I believed them.

Groove

I’m currently staying at a lovely Inn not far from London to avoid people getting their groove on at Rock the Park. 51 weeks out of the year I love where I live but not living across the street from a very loud rock concert.
Because of transportation I ended up getting here around lunchtime and they wouldn’t allow me to check in until 3. They do have lovely grounds so I picked a chair in the shade and read a book. The funny thing is I could do it at home and yet I rarely do. We all have the things that we NEED to do. They are replacing the glass on my balcony railing and painting so I’m hoping that is done by the time I get home. I made sure that the rooms that you could see were all tidy before I left as they will need to enter the unit.
I don’t really feel into a groove as I forgot a couple of things at home. This morning I woke up with a charley horse and realized I forgot rub to put on it and rummaging in my case I also forgot Tylenol. I’m one of those people that sometimes I can sleep like a baby at a hotel and sometimes I’m wide awake.
It’s really neat people watching. The interesting thing is there are no single people staying here. This morning it was a group of business women. A couple business men who sat at the back. One thing about hotels is the only time you have fruit is for breakfast so I load up!
Today is the official start of the Twinless Twins conference although a lot of Twins arrived yesterday. It feels weird to see pictures of something I’m a member of but no longer really connected to. Does that make sense? Looking at the pictures posted on Facebook there are very few people that I know although their face is familiar. The reason I go is to honour my twinship. I want to be able to share stories of who she was. I want to be able to learn how others coped with situations I have been in. Unfortunately that isn’t really where the emphasis is anymore. The friends I made are spending time with their families.
We all have to find out own groove which means doing what is best for us.

Clues

When I went out with my friend on Friday she told me she hadn’t had time to draw my birthday card. She told me that she would have be able to drop it off to me the next day but I had to tell her what I wanted in it. Usually she just draws it on her own so I wasn’t really sure. I almost told her to draw snow because that’s what it looks like when our cottonwood tree is out in full force around the time of our birthday. But I’m not sure how you draw that on a card. I told her she had to have Janet talking. When I go to the cemetery I talk to them. When I would go for walks in the neighbourhood I would talk to her.

This is it. I could have posted this with the word yesterday which was embrace because I had to embrace the tears that came when I opened it. Sometimes it makes me smile, sometimes silent tears fall and yesterday I had a full on cry. Perhaps it was a build up of emotions from June and July. It’s happy tears too because it’s jusr so special. When she dropped it off she said I hope you like and I told her I’m sure I’ll love it. I have written a few times about how I’ve embraced colour again in my life. This is only the second card that my friend has drawn with colour. They represent where I am. Each one is special but the last couple have been a little bit different.
I sent an email to the head of the Twinless Twins organization and I titled it honouring our twinship. Because that is what every drawing does. It honours the bond that I still have with Janet. The fact that she still walks with us.

Embrace

Oh how I love this word. Yesterday I met a public school friend for lunch. What is the first thing we do…give each other a big hug. When she draws a picture in my birthday card the 3 of us have our arms around each other.
When I go out with my friend I have to embrace the goofiness. Because she was visiting I tried to get some pictures of her in Victoria Park but I ended up in more pictures than her. I had to pose on the cannon and of course we get the selfie pictures. When I was sharing this with the woman at the market she said it’s all about making memories. It’s so true. We had our picture taken with Santa the last time she was here and it’s something we both look at fondly when it comes up as a memory on Facebook. For me if I’m having a bad day I can look at pictures of my friends and family and remember love shared.
I have had a lot of losses in a short amount of time so I had to embrace change. It was hard because I don’t like change. I had to embrace the person that I had become and hope that other people would too. That’s why I hold on to the friends that I can be open and honest with. And embrace the ones that make me laugh.