Fall

A couple of weeks ago when I walked to the market in the morning all I could think about were the things that I would miss about summer…sitting on the balcony with my morning coffee, fresh berries, not having to wear a coat. Fall is one of those seasons where I don’t know what to wear because if I wear a jacket an hour later I’m too warm.
So I decided to write about all the good things about fall
1. I don’t sweat when I go for a walk
2. New clothes. I usually replace some fall and summer.
3. Soup! I love squash soup and I make a hearty taco soup in my slow cooker. Slow cookers are great and it makes the house smell warm and comforting.
4. Pumpkin and I don’t mean coffee
5. Turkey. It’s cheap meat and it’s so versatile.
6. Leaves changing colour. I have a picture of me jumping in a pile of leaves 9 years ago. Since I live in an apartment the company that does the yard work use a leaf blower. They are so loud!
7. Being able to open the windows. Unfortunately with all the construction around me some days it’s just too noisy to do so.
8. My writing class starts soon
9. All my tv shows are back on this week.

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Inspire


When I started this blog it was a place to share stories about my twin. That is why it’s called my journey as a twinless twin. Eventually it morphed into stories about my Dad and the trials and tribulations of caring for my Mom. I never thought about who was going to read it or who it would resonate with. During my journey I was inspired by many people. The young widow who was raising her child on her own. A friend who inspired me to go on a trip. A twinless twin who had been on this journey a lot longer than I had and every new person that walks through the door.
We don’t even realize that we are inspiring others. That’s the great thing…it’s like a spider web one thread leads to another. Writing is a solitary activity but when I attend a class we get to share our work. We build each other up. I remember my teacher telling Mom you must be so proud and she didn’t say anything. She respected that I had a blog and attending writing classes but she wasn’t the type that would ever praise me. I am so happy for a friend that has started a page for her art. Maybe she’ll inspire someone else. There was a paragraph on her about section that made me realize why we connect the way that we do. How when she draws something for me she knows exactly what I need. Every piece of art that I have in my apartment was chosen because I was drawn to it and that’s what a painting does. It’s a gift to be able to paint or draw like that.
I’m inspired by people that do what they love. When I go to the market on a rainy windy day I think of the people who bake scones, bread, quiche or pizza. It’s not just ingredients they are also baking with love. Going to the market has inspired me to cook healthier. There are weeks when I watch them chatting with each other and they are a family.
None of us go through life intending to inspire someone, at least I didn’t. We learn from each other. We just build connections along the way.

It should be personal

Last night I was talking to my Aunt who said she probably isn’t going to vote in the upcoming municipal election. My Dad rarely voted in the municipal election either. It’s not surprising though as 60% of eligible voters don’t.
Why do we think that provincial and federal is more important? If you own property there are so many things that the city looks after. Garbage collection, snow removal, road repair, hydro, fire etc. I recently signed up for a writing program which is run by the city. When I go to one in a library they wouldn’t be able to run without funds from the city. Every time I walk to the market I walk past the construction on Dundas. We get some funds from the federal government for infrastructure but any events are run by the city.
I am currently undecided who I’m voting for mayor as I’m not a big fan of any of the front runners. I’m leaning towards someone as councillor. The great thing is you can rank your ballot this year. There is a person running in my ward that has been endorsed by labour unions and by one of the top four in the race for mayor.
As someone who lives in an apartment a lot of the issues don’t affect me but I was raised that it’s important to vote. These people give of their time to run and if elected to represent us. It doesn’t take that long to stand in line and mark a ballot.

Trying to be an informed voter

Last night I looked online for the video of a debate held recently for Ward 13 and 14. I’m in 13. A friend posted a link from our local paper that had an article on our candidates. For each person there were things I liked and things I didn’t. I’ve checked out the candidates social media (although not all of them have a Facebook page). While this is somewhat helpful it’s like reading a resume without ever meeting the person you are going to hire face to face.
I had met one of the candidates who came to my door. Although I wasn’t 100% decided I respected the fact that he came to the door. He has been going to events in the neighbourhood. And then he got up to speak. He was so stiff. I don’t think he even looked up from the podium once. I saw a segment on The Social about public speaking in school and should you be forced to do it. While we aren’t all going to use it in real life public speaking is a big part of public office. There was one candidate who has a large online following but when she was speaking kept tugging at her skirt and talked so fast I could barely hear her. Part of being an informed voter is voting for the person who is going to do the best job not based on gender! When I was at the market a couple of weeks ago I picked up a pamphlet from one of the businesses for one of the candidates. I have to say I thought it was a little weird endorsing someone but I knew nothing about him so I picked one up. It’s interesting how someone comes across differently on paper than on tv.
According to our local media there are 4 front runners for mayor. As someone who has helped with federal campaigns this is a little tougher decision because there is a part of me that goes into it knowing they are telling you what you want to hear. As mayor you represent the city so out of those people who would be the best choice? A guy that attended the same high school as I did has thrown his hat into the ring. I respect the fact that he is running because he has a different perspective than the others. We are falling behind other cities.
To be honest transit doesn’t affect me since I only use it for Dr appointments and occasionally for bloodwork. Since I live downtown I just take whichever bus comes first. It is such a contentious issue at the moment. Nobody has said if they decide to scrap BRT what happens next?
I “guess” I’ll find out October 23.

A reminder

When I opened my email this morning and saw that the word for today is “GRUBBY” it made me smile. It was a word that my Mom and sister used. Oh Janet has her grubby clothes on she must be going to do work. Although for me sometimes it was because I had to do laundry and it was the only thing left. We all have those clothes that we wear to clean. The tshirt that is stained or stretched out. The track pants that have holes in them…which I am currently wearing. To my defence they are tiny.
Yesterday’s word was oasis and it’s not really feeling like that for me with the sound of construction around me. I’m currently sitting on my balcony and I can hear the beep beep of trucks backing up. The street I live on is down to one lane because of construction on Dundas. My friend asked me on Wednesday when we went for coffee if I had plans for today and I don’t. I did think about going out for lunch but I didn’t feel like eating by myself.
I had a couple of friends ask how I am and I can’t explain it. I told my friend September is a big ball of pain. It’s comforting knowing I don’t have to sugar coat it with her. I can buy myself flowers, go for a walk or a little retail therapy but it doesn’t change the fact my best friend isn’t here. It’s 12 years today that she died and that number seems so big. I think about all the changes since that time. On Wednesday I passed my childhood home. It doesn’t bother me as much going by anymore but it took time.
My friend said it best when she said it’s not just September, it’s Mother’s Day, June, holidays. Days where their presence is missed more.
It’s why the little signs from above are such a comfort. It’s a poke saying I’m here.

A routine

I don’t have a schedule but I think everyone has a routine. I start my morning with breakfast and a morning coffee. On Thursday and Saturday I have cereal when I get up and then coffee and a scone or muffin when I get home. I love being able to sit on the balcony with my coffee and write my blog post. Although right now with the construction it’s not a quiet place to think. Last night I was sitting in the office and a driver had their radio in the car turned on full blast.
Yesterday I saw a commercial for a new drink at Tim Hortons. You couldn’t call it coffee as it’s a pumpkin spice iced Capp. With whipped topping and caramel sauce. I know they are trying to cash in on the pumpkin spice craze at Starbucks but I can’t even imagine how sweet that would be. It’s funny seeing friends post their drinks on Facebook because you are either one or the other…you either love it or hate it. When we went to Tim Hortons Mom would get a pumpkin spice donut. So yummy. There is something comforting about the smell.
A couple of weeks ago I tried the cold brewed coffee that they sell at the market. It was ok but I honestly couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. It’s amazing how many brands there are around.
A couple days ago I signed up for a writing class through a program run by the city (Spectrum). The great thing is it’s within walking distance for me. I will miss my Saturday routine as that’s the day it’s held. Since it’s in the morning I will bring a coffee with me. I always get my bag ready the night before so I don’t have to scramble in the morning.

Tantalizing


As anyone that has read my blog knows I am a frequent customer at the Farmers Market in my city. This is a picture of some of my purchases from last year. When I walk to the market I can smell bacon from one of the restaurants near by. Last Saturday I purchased beets from one of the vendors and had 2 for supper. I was trying to decide what to do with the rest when I wandered around and decided I would make a beet salad. I ask at one of the tables that sold cheese which one would go with it and he let me sample a piece. I’m not sure what else I’m going to add to it but I’ll figure it out before shopping day on Tuesday. I know kale is supposed to be good for you but it’s too strong for me. It made me think of Janet who was the more adventurous cook in our family. How she should be walking around with me and trying all the new things that I get to try. That’s the thing about grief a little thing like food can bring on sadness. At the same time I know that she would be proud of me for not only trying new things but eating healthy too.
The hard part about going to the market is there are a lot of vendors with baked goods. I allow myself a muffin or scone for breakfast and then something for a snack like buddha balls or an energy ball. My Uncle buys lemon bars every week. Date squares were my favourite but they have too much sugar for someone who is diabetic. On Thursday I bought half of a watermelon and it was HUGE! It would probably be comical watching me trying to get the thing out of my grocery cart as it was kind of stuck in the bottom. I’m sure Mom would be shocked at the person that never liked cantaloupe is now spending her own money buying one. I now know the reason I didn’t like it was buying it in the grocery store they weren’t always fully ripe. I bought a few peaches which I’m going to add to pork for dinner.
I find I’m an emotional eater in September and there are days when I don’t really feel like cooking. Thankfully there are 2 tables that I go to. One has quiche and that’s usually my lunch on Sat. The other one has AMAZING single serve meals. Oh my goodness the week I found out she had pizza I was so happy. I had given up take out and store bought pizza because it’s loaded with salt, carbs and fat from the cheese. My friends all laughed at me going on and on about it. When she has them I buy 2 so I can keep an extra one in the freezer.
Yesterday I purchased a dozen eggs from one of the vendors inside the market. I cracked one into a bowl and it had 2 yolks. Ok…then I crack the other one and it has 2 yolks too. I would have taken a picture but I was too hungry! It made me smile because that was definitely a sign from above!