My empty fridge

I had to laugh at the word being pickle this morning because that is literally all that is left in my fridge. Milk, eggs and an entire door full of condiments. And the only bread that is left are the end pieces and I hate the end pieces! I was hoping to go to the market yesterday but it was raining…not heavily but enough to deter me from going. I can’t wait until the outdoor Farmers Market opens for the season because I always have fresh produce on hand. I like to get cherry tomatoes because they are good for snacking.
This morning my grocery guy posted a blog titled “Why I hate grocery shopping”. I had to laugh when the blogger talked about stretching out the food that she had on hand because that is what I am doing. I used to like grocery shopping but that was when I was going with Janet. When we were cooking for 4 people. We would go to Tim Hortons afterwards and laugh that Janet was the only one who won during Roll Up The Rim. I’ve been cooking for one for 4 years now but I’m still not that great at meal planning.
I ended up going to the grocery store this morning even though it snowed heavily during the night and it was a bit slushy in areas. I can still hear my Mom in my head that we don’t shop on a Sunday. But if I want to have healthy food choices I had to. I got a deli salad for supper and was standing beside a group of 3 university age guys who were actually filling their carts with healthy food options. Spinach, baby carrots, fruit and bottled water…NOT POP. And the one guy got some ripe bananas on the reduced rack. I overheard him tell the one guy he had plans for them. I also got bananas which I will freeze. I add them to some berries, yogurt and blend. My building has a lot of university students and I can tell on recycling day that they eat a lot of pizza.
When I left this morning I found this in the lobby. After I put my groceries away I went back down to the lobby and took a picture. What a sweet idea. Is it any wonder I love my building.

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Learn to value yourself

Recently I had a couple of conversations with regards to family. One person didn’t know the history and one person did. I have mentioned to a couple of friends that the reason I walked away from this family member is because I could either be the strong person I am or be the person they wanted me to be but I couldn’t be both. I knew that my self worth was more important than having a relationship with this person.

I hadn’t been talking to my former neighbour for a while so I decided to phone her to chat. In the course of conversation I mentioned that I’m trying to plan a getaway in the summer. She and her daughter book a hotel room for one night and then she stays an extra night so she can catch up on reading and time to herself. So then she said living alone I don’t have that problem. “The grass is always greener” she said. Like the only child who wishes for a sibling but has never had to deal with the issues that come with it. The single person who doesn’t have someone to watch tv with.

I titled this giving yourself value because I am a person that had to learn to put myself first. A friend of mine emailed me a couple days ago and talked about how she is so busy. She needs a spa day. The last time we went for lunch she spent the entire time on her phone. Being told over and over again that she is too busy for me really doesn’t make me think she values my friendship. A friend of mine told me if someone truly wanted to see you they would make time.

I value the friends who will ask how I am and really mean it. Who remember the days that are harder and pray for me. Who will stand with me at the cemetery and cry. The friends who make me laugh. And most importantly friends who value strong, independent women!

What’s in your closet?

I have previously written that in my house we had a plethora of closets. Our bedroom closets weren’t large by any means but they were big enough to hold our clothes. My closet had shelves so that is where I stored my quilt, dolls and eventually memory boxes. We had a HUGE linen closet in the upstairs hallway. When I was cleaning it out to move I couldn’t believe how much stuff was in it. At Christmas I used a poinsettia tablecloth and my friend asked where I got it. I don’t know it was Mom’s.

This morning my grocery guy posted a picture of toilet paper that is on sale at No Frills this week. It made me laugh because my Mom was the type of person that always had laundry detergent and toilet paper ahead. Whenever it went on sale she would buy it and keep it in my brother’s room. When I moved I had 2 full packages of 12 double roll toilet paper. Only trouble was it didn’t fit in my new linen closet so one went in my bedroom closet. When my brother was in university he actually went upstairs and got 3 or 4 rolls of toilet paper and took a large margarine tub downstairs and filled it with laundry detergent. Yes, he did ask first. That mentality has stood me well because I still make sure I have stuff ahead. I keep one bottle of toilet cleaner in each bathroom because that’s what Mom did.

When I moved into my apartment the best thing was I finally had a large bedroom. My bedroom at home only had room for a twin bed. I have an end table. Well actually it’s an old trunk that I use as a side table. The closet is HUGE. I know that technically when you buy a new piece of clothing you should get rid of one already there but there is no way I could every fill up my closet so that doesn’t happen.

I watch a lot of home shows and I just don’t get the fascination with walk in closets. Can’t you just put the outfit on your bed? It’s not a clothing store, it’s a closet
I’m just happy if my clothes are clean and put away!

Excited

1. On Wednesday I got to wear a spring coat for the first time this season. It’s -12 today…oh well
2. One month today is the Easter Farmers Market which will be held outside. This makes me deliriously happy because it means soon it will be warm enough to sit outside, fresh fruit and delicious goodies.
3. I’m happy that I found frames for my birthday cards. I remember when I put up my family picture in the front entrance. How it felt like home. Each time I find that perfect piece of art it makes the space look more complete.

4. Right now I’m trying to figure out where I am going to go in the summer when the Rock concert is on. I haven’t really found anything but I still have time.
This morning I saw a video of a friend’s 3 year old dancing in a clothing store. Remember the joy of dancing like nobody is watching? It’s a reminder that the little things should bring us joy.

Exercising self control when shopping

Yesterday was my monthly coffee day with my friend. I asked her if we could go to Staples and Michaels in the north end. There wasn’t much selection of desktop computers and no one around to help us. The weird thing is Best Buy is right beside it so we went in there. I was overwhelmed with all the gadgets that I passed on the way to the section that we wanted at the back of the store. A sales clerk came over immediately and was so helpful. He told me to bring it in and it sounded like it only needs a card you plug in the back. I had one at my house to increase the signal as my modem was downstairs. After receiving crappy customer service at Staples this was a refreshing change.
Going into Michaels (craft store) I knew what I wanted but wasn’t sure I would find what I wanted. The only collage frame that they had was for 3 4X6 and I wanted at least 6. My friend found large frames down one aisle and then she went to the aisle with 5X7 frames and we measured it out on the frame to make sure it would fit. The only downside was that because it’s going in my bedroom I would have preferred a lighter colour frame…all they had was black. I found bulletin boards online but they were over 100 dollars for the size I wanted and I didn’t want to spend that much for something only I would see. We walked over to find Bristol board paper after asking someone where it was and I found this really cool one that looks like whitewashed barnboard. My friend is a teacher so she let me use her teacher’s discount AND she had a 40% off coupon online. It meant I saved $40 on my purchases. I bought 2 frames because I’m going to have a gallery wall. My friend asked the sales clerk “How do you work in here and not spend all your money?”
Since we were finished it was now on to get a much needed coffee and snack. When she suggested Starbucks I said we can’t go there since it’s in Chapters and I have no self control going in there. I forgot there is another one in a plaza on Fanshawe Park Rd. Thankfully it wasn’t busy (although it was late afternoon which probably helped). There weren’t a lot of snack options so I had a oat bar. My friend and I are both at the age where if we have a coffee late in the day we will probably be wide awake when we go to bed…which I was. I never thought I would become a Starbucks regular but the ambiance is better than Tim Hortons.
Yesterday’s word was abandon and I thought about how my friend has always been there for me (and Janet). She will help me with errands, listen when I’m frustrated and of course she makes me laugh. When Janet died our relationship didn’t change. We all need those friends that tell us “I’m proud of you”. That embraces the person we become as we abandon the things that don’t work for us anymore. She truly is a treasure!

Beware

Tuesday night tv is what I refer to as Kleenex night because I know that This is Us and New Amsterdam will make me cry. I actually watch New Amsterdam either Wednesday or Thursday since it comes on at 10. I know of many people who won’t watch these shows because they are sad and there is enough sadness and drama in real life. The reason I like these shows is they portray real emotions. On last Tuesday’s episode I cried when Rebecca was telling Miguel at Randall’s graduation that she wanted to turn back the clock. I think anyone who has ever lost someone close to them has felt that way. She and Kate were talking about time. How she hated time. Oh my goodness I could relate to that too. You know when they show time frozen in a movie and everyone else is going at the same speed or warp speed…that’s what it feels like. You just wish that time would stop for a moment so you can catch up.
Last night I was watching New Amsterdam. I was going to watch it on Wednesday but the new episode wasn’t On Demand yet. I could have watched it on my IPad but the battery was too low. I have to admit that for most of the show I couldn’t really get into it as it seemed a little far fetched but the scene where Kapoor walked to the husband’s hotel so that he could say goodbye to his wife was heart breaking. He just stood at he window and the husband knew. I cried when he was talking to Iggy about having an argument with his wife. How there were things he wished he had said. I remember when my Mom went into the hospital the last time how angry I was at her. How much I wanted to have a life of my own. Of course afterwards I regretted that but I also knew that she knew I loved her. That it was ok to have conflicting emotions. It was one thing that I never had to worry about when my loved ones died that they all knew I loved them. I didn’t want to regret not saying it to my Dad.
We cry watching these shows because we can relate. I’ve sat in the waiting room waiting for news. I had to laugh at Miguel because it seems so trivial but we do that.
I don’t have to beware of shows like this because once in a while a cry is ok.

Technology

I didn’t have internet at home until after my Dad died. My Dad had the belief why pay for something when we could go to the library and use it for free. A good thought in theory but with limited computers there were times when we could only use the 15 minute one to check our email. We only had one phone jack in the house (in the kitchen) so when they came out with wireless internet it was a dream come true. I didn’t know how I lived without it for so long it was so much more convenient. At the time they had a chat room on the twinless twins site. Even on my worst days someone would make me laugh.
Of course technology is also a pain. I upgraded my internet and somehow Bell disconnected my phone line so I was without internet or phone service. I recently took my computer in to be serviced and found out that I need to purchase a new one. I have a smart phone but unlike 99% of the population I don’t use it to take pictures and it is kept in my purse until I need it. My Uncle recently commented on Facebook that he was the only one on the bus that wasn’t looking at their phone (he doesn’t even own one). There was a debate on one of the morning shows yesterday about cellphones in classrooms. I graduated high school 25 years ago so I don’t know what the answer to this is.
I was thinking about technology recently as a friend of mine was going to call to chat. Because she has a young child it’s easier for her to phone me. But it didn’t happen. We used to have long conversations now it’s quick chats filled with emojis. But in a sense I can hide behind the computer screen on days when I don’t really feel like talking. Next week I’m going out for coffee with a friend of mine. I email her to arrange a time and she will phone or text when she is on her way. We sit in the coffee shop and chat. She brings out her phone to show me pictures otherwise it stays in her purse. I call my Australian friend the selfie queen. Like my coffee buddy we talk about anything and everything.
Technology connects us but it will never replace one on one connection. The comfort of a hug

Walking thru the mall

This morning I had to go to Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up a couple of things and I ran out of snack food so I picked up some stuff at the grocery store as well. Because Shoppers Drug Mart is at the opposite end of the mall I get to look in the windows as I’m walking past. The mall I frequent now is known as a seniors mall because of the apartment buildings beside but there are a lot of students that shop at Metro. The clothing is geared towards older woman and is more business casual. Interesting that there aren’t any men’s clothing stores there. There is a camera store there and they had a sale on frames. I actually saw a couple that were possibilities for my birthday cards that I want to frame. Trouble is they are too large to carry out on my own. I would prefer to have a collage frame for 5X7 photos but they are harder to find! A week ago I went to the mall to buy a birthday card for a friend and I saw this really cool mug so I bought it. I love a big coffee mug. This morning I was walking behind a woman at the grocery store who was checking her list and I didn’t even have one. I have a general idea of what I need and then I just buy what I feel like eating for supper. Although when I got home I realized I forgot to buy COFFEE! Thankfully I have enough to last until grocery delivery day.
People don’t shop in a mall anymore and I can include myself in this. It’s why everyday there is another store that is closing. Most of my clothes I buy online. It’s a contradiction since I believe in going to a grocery store that bags my groceries. I used to go to the teller at a bank because if you don’t use it the job becomes obsolete. Now all my banking is done online.
Originally I was going to walk to the market this morning but it was -15 at 8AM so that is too cold for a walk. Right now I am counting down the days until the Farmers Market is back outside. I can’t wait to be able to eat fresh fruit again. Juicy cherry tomatoes and strawberries. Fresh baked bread. Watermelon. Walking to the market is a routine and I miss it in the wintertime.
I’m making myself hungry. I’m going to walk to the fridge and get a snack.

March

For me thr month of March represented Mom’s birthday which is March 21…the first day of spring. If the weather was ok we would usually go out for dinner. Sometimes we would order Chinese food and buy a cake at the grocery store. Because it wasn’t right for Mom to pay for her own cake I would pay for that.

This morning I went to the mall to pick up a few groceries and a birthday card for a friend. Her birthday isn’t until April but since she lives in Australia I have to mail it out early. I walked over to the section for HER birthdays. The first thing I see is for Mom and then sister. Standing in front of a card that I will never be able to buy again doesn’t get easier. I found the perfect card for my friend but didn’t check the price until I got home. My Mom would have been horrified.

My Mom’s birthday is exactly 3 months before mine. This year I turn 45. The last time I had a party was 10 years ago. It was bittersweet because my friends tried to make the time special for me since my Dad was dying of cancer. I’m thinking of having a party this year since I can use the room in my apartment building. As I sit here looking at the snow outside it’s hard to think about summer but time “marches” on.

I’m also trying to find a place to go to for a few days in July. Last year I did it last minute and while the hotel was nice I need to do a little more planning.

Now I’m going to march into the kitchen for another coffee.