Table for one

This morning I decided to go and get a haircut (really little more than a trim) and I treated myself to breakfast afterwards at Cora’s. Since you have to wait to be seated the waitress asked how many in my party…just one. It’s one of those things that I’ve had to adjust to. Although I don’t think that’s even the right word. Every other table has at least 2 people or more.
Three weeks from today it will be our birthday and I’m feeling very alone. I think it’s compounded by the fact that it’s a bigger birthday this year and many memories from 10 years ago. There is a Mexican festival this weekend that has eating contests and that was like a punch in the stomach too. I so wish Janet was here and as much as it’s unfair that she isn’t, I can’t change it.
All my life I had someone to go places with. We would walk into each other’s room without knocking and ask “can I borrow that?”. One time I was putting clean sheets on my bed and she walked up behind me and spooked me so bad I almost hit my head on the wall. She laughed and laughed.
Janet and I were not good at sharing. I have a subscription to the Oprah magazine and I no longer have to wait my turn to read it. At the same time I miss Janet going “ooh and ahh” over something. I will still see a shirt online and think “oh that would look good on Janet”. It’s all the little things that I miss. Last week when I bought some tulips at the market they had lily of the valley which is my twin’s favourite scent. She would pick some and put it in a little glass and put it on her dresser. One year I bought a bottle of perfume at Kingsmills for her for Christmas. I currently have one and every time I wear it the scent reminds me of her.
In time the pain lessens but missing them doesn’t. She will always be my best friend.

Who is to blame for this awful weather?

My last blog post was titled sensing a pattern and you guessed it…it’s raining again. The one day this week that we had decent weather I was waiting on a package and grocery delivery. I did walk to the market in the rain but we are expected to get thunderstorms today and Saturday. I guess the silver lining is that I don’t have to cut the grass.
Right now I feel like Mother Nature isn’t playing fair. We dealt with freezing rain for a couple of months. We wait patiently (or in my case not so patiently) for warm weather and it really hasn’t happened yet. We’ve gotten the occasional day but by May 23 we should have 20 degree temps.
This morning the market posted a picture of a dog in rain gear. They said that they are going to make lemonade from lemons. Since it’s going to rain anyways they are having a contest for the wackiest rain gear. It made me smile. Going to the market is my routine. It’s not just the food (although it is really good!). It’s the sense of community. People I don’t know will talk to me in line. One woman was buying ribs and she told me the recipe she uses for sauce. I love watching the joy of children picking out a cookie or the simple pleasure of the sweetness of watermelon.

Sensing a pattern

Today is market day and of course it’s raining. It rained for the Easter market, the first weekend in May and today. Last week it didn’t but it was cold enough I had to put a winter coat back on. A woman at the booth with baking said according to the weather forecast it wasn’t going to rain. Thankfully since I can walk there I don’t bother putting up my umbrella unless it’s pouring rain (and chances are I probably would stay home then). It has been a pleasant week and I’ve got my daily walks in. I went to the evening farmers market on Thursday because I wanted to check out the new vendor with prepared meals. Really convenient since I eat around 5 and it starts at 4. I won’t be able to do it when we get into the dog days of summer because it will be too hot. I’m hoping that my friend and I can go in the fall since we meet for coffee around 3.
There was a picture that came up in my memories recently where I was sitting outside enjoying my afternoon coffee while reading my Oprah magazine. It hasn’t even been warm enough to sit outside yet. I have a feeling we are going to have a cooler summer. I look forward to sitting outside all winter and the season is way too short!!
When I was trying to decide what to buy one of the women remarked on my cart. It’s black but the cover is red with white polka dots (like Minnie Mouse). She said that’s so convenient for the market and I told her where I bought it. It’s not big enough for grocery shopping but it’s just right for the market. One week I bought bread and a melon and it was very full!!
This morning I bought a lasagna that will be enough for 2 nights, a quiche for lunch and a piece of steak. I will have to cut the steak in half since he didn’t have any small ones. I bought a rhubarb oat bar (oats are healthy right??) and some granola. I also bought some mixed greens, asparagus and some frozen raspberries. I had to go inside to get some mushrooms for my steak. I usually have a salad with my quiche. I was talking to my dietician on Tuesday and she said it’s ok to buy a treat once in a while. Since I have pretty much given up sweets the last time I had something chocolate I found it too sweet. It’s hard because they have 3 tables with baked goods now. I have heard that most people are either a salty or a sweet person and I’m the sweets. The one table had pb and j cruffins with peanut brittle on top. They look so pretty. I don’t do much baking any more and honestly it’s easier to buy it…and I’m supporting their business. Win Win.
Most of the businesses have a facebook page so you know what they are going to have that week. You also get to know the owners. Many people pre-order and they get to know their customers likes. When I went to the twinless twins conference in Minnesota the guest speaker did her talk on what kind of fruit or vegetable you are. I’m predominately an eggplant which means if we have a lot of choices we will be there all day. So many choices so little money!

Having the courage to walk away

As I wrote on Sunday Mother’s Day is full of mixed emotions for me. I received an email from a person that meant well but sometimes the words don’t need to be said. I told another friend that it was like twisting the knife in my chest. Because email is our only form of communication at the moment we don’t talk that often and it acts as a buffer.
I’ve titled this post the way I have because I know it’s time when I no longer feel comfortable. I’ve had experiences before where I felt like the person was trying too hard. You know when a husband does something wrong and buys his wife flowers…friends shouldn’t have to. I’ve tried to be accepting that someone can’t really understand until they have lived it themselves. I feel like I have stayed longer because I don’t want to be the “bad guy”. Because walking away from family or long time friends is never easy even if it is the right thing to do.
I go for coffee with a friend once a month. Unfortunately right now her life is crazy and that’s ok. True friendships allow for those times when life gets busy because we know that they are still there for us. I sent her an email on Saturday and she always finds a way to make me laugh. That’s what friendship should feel like…a warm hug

Mother’s Day

Today is one of those days that is filled with mixed emotions for someone that has lost her mother. I look at the picture of a woman that I know from the Farmers Market who recently had a baby and I see the absolute joy that she has. I see the photos a long time friend posted and it makes me smile because I know what it means for her to be a mother.
After Janet and I started going to another church we would still go with Mom to her church on Mother’s Day. After Dad died we would go out for brunch or to Tim Hortons for lunch. When I went into the card store to find a birthday card for my friend they already had Mother’s Day cards out even though it was still March. It’s hard going into that section because it’s a reminder of the cards I can never buy…sister and Mom. Even yesterday when I bought tulips for myself the woman thought I was buying them for Mother’s Day. Last year I went for a walk in Victoria Park but this year it’s cold with the threat of rain.
This morning I changed my profile picture to the first pictures taken after we came home from the hospital. Grandma is holding both of us with Mom sitting beside her on the couch. Although I had seen the picture many times when I looked at it I could see that joy that a new mother has. A twin friend asked if my mother knew she was having twins and she didn’t until she was in labour since one of us was always behind the other one. We were born a month premature so we stayed in the hospital for 2 or 3 weeks. I remember Mom telling us that it felt weird giving birth but going home without her babies. I guess in a way it must have given them time to adjust. When I was moving I thought about the fact that my Mom was very pregnant with us and was also working. Gosh I can’t even imagine. Growing up I just took everything that Mom did for us for granted. I talk a lot about the values that my parents taught me. Finish what you start. If you make a commitment to someone you see it through.
As I mentioned in the eulogy for Mom she was a selfless person. She used to say that she couldn’t win raising 3 kids that were incredibly stubborn. She used to tell people that if she told me to do something I would do it the exact opposite way. “I did it MY WAY” as the song says. Although I wouldn’t admit it she wasn’t entirely wrong.
Don’t worry Mom I did listen sometimes!!

Not skimping on myself

This morning I made a reservation at my favourite place for lunch and a manicure for my birthday. I was hoping to have a manicure first and then lunch but it didn’t work out that way. Oh well I can just have my dessert after. I decided to book something for myself since I already know that I won’t be able to get together with my friend until after. My friend from Australia will be visiting in early July so I will have a late celebration then. I’ve learned that it’s ok to do things on my own, to make my own plans.
I also booked a hotel for a getaway the middle of July. Although I had decided on a place I hadn’t actually booked it yet. My friend said that it’s too bad that I have to leave my home because of the noise from the concert but it’s a good excuse to take a mini vacation.
Tonight I’m having butter chicken for dinner which I purchased at the market. I can also include that in this post because all of these things are taking care of myself. Feeding the body in more ways than one. I’ll buy myself what I call “just because flowers” to brighten the table. Growing up treats were for special occasions but I’ve learned that life is short. We all deserve to treat ourselves well.


I’m grateful for…
A health care team. The other day I emailed my dietician because I’m frustrated so she phoned and will go over my numbers with me. I also had a question for pharmacist.
A full freezer and the convenience of grocery delivery.
Every vendor who gets up early to come to the market. Farmers who provide the food that we eat.
Sunshine after the rain. The joy of being able to open the patio doors in the spring
The sound of birds chirping
The comfort of a teddy bear on nights I need him
Memories that make me laugh


This morning when I saw the word “road” it made me think of the blog post that I wrote almost 2 and a half years ago titled PATH. As I was rereading it I realized how different that road is now. Not easier, just different. For me the word road represents a journey. It is even a line in the poem I wrote after my Mom died “I walk alone this journey now”. I remember using the path analogy after my twin died. How I couldn’t see the path but I just took one step in front of the other. The light was dim but I just had to trust.
The thing about using road as an analogy is that along the way I faced a lot of detours. It’s like when there is construction in the city and they show you where to go. You have to take that route whether you want to or not. When we were in high school Janet was much better in English than I was. I hated journaling and yet after she died it was the outlet I used. I never would have thought that I would have a blog but again it came about from a place to write about my family. I’ve talked about the struggles but I’ve also talked about the joys.
I’ve been thinking about Janet a lot lately as our birthday gets closer. This year I will be 45. There is a part of me that would like to have a party but then there is another part of me that thinks maybe I’ll just go out with my friend. Even though I have many twinless twin friends we all deal with a birthday differently. For me it’s finding a way to honour the fact that it will always be OUR day. It’s tough because as twins it’s a day we celebrated together. I’ve learned along the way that we all have to do what is best for us.
Last night I was sitting in the living room and I was admiring the colours of the sunset. I have a tree in front of my balcony so you have to look through the tree to see it. Even trying to take a picture it doesn’t do the colours justice. We need to stop and appreciate those moments.

“May the fourth” be with me as I try to avoid temptation at the market

Yes, I used the pun that goes around every year on this date. Today is the first official outdoor Farmers Market and of course it is raining. Technically drizzle but enough I had to put my umbrella up. A good day for geese as I actually saw one crossing the street right in front of me. The rain does wash off the bird poop. Thankfully it didn’t rain enough yesterday to produce puddles so that’s something. Are we ever going to have a nice sunny Saturday? I so want to be able to sit outside again!
The other day the market Facebook page had a link to a blog post and at the bottom of the post they had a link to the vendors that would be there today and Thursday (including what they would have). I noticed that there was a new booth called Salt and Pepper Meals. Of course I went to Facebook and typed it into the search bar to see if they had a business page…and they did! Yesterday they posted that they would have butter chicken for sale. I don’t think I have ever had butter chicken so I googled it. The great thing is that the meal is enough for 2 nights. I did put it in the freezer because it comes with rice and I’ve had that a lot this week!
Before I went I had an idea in my head what I needed…eggs, bread and lettuce. The great thing about going to the market in the summer is that I can buy a bag of lettuce which is just enough for one person. I bought bread from Whole Grain Hearth. Oh my goodness the first thing I noticed was this thing that had icing and a blueberry on top. When he was going over what he had available he said it’s a CRONUT. I kept telling myself “Walk away Jennifer, walk away!!”. They have a new bakery too called Helm Baked. It’s gluten free products. I bought some granola and also had to use willpower at this table as they had brownies, loaves, cookies ok I should stop I’m making myself hungry! I’m going to miss my usual table as the person has retired.
On Saturday I always buy a tart from Morsels. As I told the lady at salt and pepper I love Saturdays because I don’t have to cook for the entire weekend.
As I look out the window in my office I can see the signs of spring. Every day there are more leaves on the trees. I have noticed advertisements for summer festivals. It may not feel like spring yet but the summer festivals are coming. It seems like it all revolves around food but it balances out…I think! The convenience of living downtown.