Taking umbrage

As of today there have been 3 incidents in my city in the past week. I’m not even sure that is a strong enough word for what is currently happening here. My friend teaches at a high school in the east end that has a connection to something that was in the news. Yesterday was the big Fake Homecoming bash. It’s Western students but not associated with Western as it’s off campus. Then early this morning there was another shooting downtown.
A little over a month ago was when I found out about the group of teens that trashed my childhood home. I guess the thing that I take offence with is that there doesn’t seem to be consequences for your actions anymore. 25,000 students can wander out into traffic, shut down the only north/south connection to a hospital and cost the city 1/4 of a million dollars for police, EMS etc. And no matter how upset we as actual residents of our city get there is nothing we can do. The general consensus is that it will take something bad to happen to get it to stop. That is certainly not the outcome I want!
I want to shout from the rooftops that this is not MY city. It’s still the neighbourhood where everyone knew your name. When I walk to the market on Saturdays the people out walking their dogs will say hello. The produce lady at the market who yells out “hello darlin'” in greeting. The super who calls to check on me. I’m trying hard to remember that the goodness in people far outweighs all of the bad things happening. Oh yes and a hug from a friend.

Saturday morning

Last week I arranged with a friend to go to the market this morning since they were holding a Fall Fest and I thought it would be more fun to go with someone. When we went last month for our usual coffee date by the time we finished our coffee most of the vendors were sold out so we met half an hour earlier and shopped first! 2 funny things happened today. I went down to the lobby to wait for my friend and there was a guy that was waiting for someone. His car pulls in and the driver gets out with a bag from McDonalds. My friend pulls in just as they were finished. I get in the car and say to my friend “how lazy do you have to be to order in breakfast?” Ok full disclosure I’ve gone out many times but that was a treat.
I was disappointed that it was sprinkling rain when we left. It was one of those days when I couldn’t decide to wear a coat or not so I went without. They had an apple tasting table set up near the door so I tried a couple that I wasn’t familiar with. I like a sweet apple and these were both quite tart. They were setting up a bean bag toss and they had a tic tac toe board with little pumpkins for the pieces. We went over to my usual table and were standing behind a couple buying quite a few items. He told her “you got to choose the last time so it’s my turn”. D and I had a hard time keeping a straight face. One of the bonuses of being single! His cheddar herb biscuit must have been breakfast because he told her he didn’t need a bag.
When we were finished my friend spotted the bench with pumpkins were you can get your picture taken. Unfortunately we couldn’t sit down since the bench was wet so we stood in front. Despite the fact that I have known D for years we don’t have a lot of pictures together. It’s creating memories together.
My friend was telling me about something that happened on a field trip recently. She realized that the reason that she didn’t tell me when it happened was because she knows that September is a hard month. We talked about how the things that we see and read on the news aren’t always black and white. She shared that she got an article sent to her about marigolds. How you have to surround yourself as a teacher with people that will help and support you. It works in relationships too.

When she sent me the photo she put in the subject line MARIGOLDS. Everyone needs a friend like that!


This week is the start of all the fall shows coming back for the season (well except for Murdoch and The Voice which were the 17th). There was much anticipation to watch New Amsterdam after a dramatic cliff hanger. This is Us also left us with a lot of questions too. Since they are both dramatic shows I watch one the night it airs and the other one the next night.
Like many people I was quite confused when I was watching This is Us. I kept thinking who are these people and what is the link to the main characters? I almost turned it off half way but I thought no, it will all be revealed in due time. Probably the last 5 mins but it will be revealed. It’s ironic that the soldier and the mechanic were both on House as they just started rebroadcasting it on a channel that they “rebranded”. It used to be BRAVO and now its CTVDRAMA. At the end of the show Nicky throws a brick through a window which is his connection to the young woman and Kevin. Deja meets the boy at a BBQ. I thought I would get through the entire episode without crying but it didn’t happen. When Jack got up on stage and sang it was beautiful. I think everyone that watches a show or a movie relates to it in a different way and I saw their legacy. He is named after his grandfather and his love of music from his grandmother. How their love lives on through the next generation.
For New Amsterdam it was teased that 2 people die. When they started the show with Georgia and Max in bed singing to Luna I was surprised because I thought she was the one who died. The fact that the show kept going from present time to the day of the crash was quite confusing at first and seemed a little disjointed. When they showed Sharpe on the gurney and she was barely hurt I figured out that there must be a catch to this story. I will admit I’m one of those people that sometimes flips to the last pages of a book to see how it ends so I had to stay away from the fan page on Facebook until I watched the show. When they showed that Georgia died it all made sense. Max imagines her beside him because his mind hasn’t processed the fact that she isn’t there. The fact that the pace seemed a little disjointed made sense because that is what grief feels like. The whole world moves on around you while it feels like you are standing still.
Really good shows draw you in. They make you feel a connection to the characters and their stories.

Be adventurous

Since I moved downtown and started going to the outdoor Farmers Market I have become more adventurous in the food that I am willing to try. I will admit the colour of the soup is a little off putting but it tasted good. She even called it ABC soup since it was apple, beet and carrot. On my own I would never think to put those items together but that is why she is a chef and I’m not. Not all of the items are a win but that’s the same with any new thing we try.
There is a new vendor at the market who makes vegan food. I like meat but I’m going to try the chocolate avocado pudding and a couscous salad.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.

A 2 horse race

A couple of my friends have posted on their Facebook pages their frustration at our choices for the upcoming election. According to the polls there is a one point difference between the Conservatives and Liberals. The NDP is polling around 13.5. So if you don’t want Trudeau to get re-elected you vote Conservative.
Yesterday I read an article written by a first time voter how he felt like his vote is wasted. I was watching a video of Singh at a rally and a woman behind him had a sign that read “I have value” in response to Trudeau’s gaffe this week. He had a panel with a group of young people discussing their thoughts. He is the only leader that has really brought much of a platform and yet we all know he doesn’t have a chance of winning. Since I am single and live in an apartment there are very few things federally that even affect me. Health care would be #1.
When I was watching the news I kept thinking how it would be nice to be able to go back to a time before internet and 24hr news channels. When we actually voted for someone based on their qualifications. When a candidate actually had to go door to door to speak to people. Ok they still do but it’s not the same. We find out about debates on their Facebook page.
I’m not sure if there is anyone out there that is excited to vote. If there is I haven’t found them. We talk about broken promises, lack of leadership, who do we think is more trustworthy. So do I vote for the candidate in my riding that I think will do the best job even though I don’t agree with what their party stands for? Even writing it down it sounds awful but this is the way it is. This problem isn’t just limited to Canada as other countries are struggling with leadership as well. I hope that means people believe strongly enough to vote. To make their voice heard even if it’s just by placing an X beside someone’s name.


I added this picture today because it represents what is missing. Pure joy that I could only have with my twin. My buddy.
Today is one of those days when I have no words for what is missing but I can feel it.


The first thing that comes to mind right now is politics. Last night they had the first leaders debate for the federal election. I found it odd because the campaign was only officially announced 2 days ago. I turned the news on in the evening and the PM was speaking at a rally. This is when you get the press people read into the reason. “Oh he’s arrogant because he doesn’t believe he needs to go”. Or someone else would probably say he’s running away.
According to the press this election is about which party leader you dislike the most. In other words the lesser of two evils. For many people it boils down to 2 choices Trudeau or Scheer. Singh was in our city on Wednesday and while he is likeable he certainly doesn’t seem polished enough to be a leader (that’s just my opinion). If you read the comments online there is a lot of hatred for our current PM. Personally there are things that I dislike about both options. I think we also forget that we don’t actually vote for the party leader we vote for the person that is going to represent us in parliament. I know absolutely nothing about the candidates running except for the incumbent and the guy that is running for the Peoples Choice Party because he used to have a column in the Free Press. Lets just say my views don’t align with his. I really wish candidates would create their own webpage instead of having a small blurb on the parties site. I want to know their education, family, what they have done in the community. When we first started volunteering on campaigns I actually believed people did it because they wanted to make a difference but in time I became cynical in that for some it was just how to get ahead or money.
I recently saw an article in the Free Press that my councillor brought up to council about noise complaints regarding the music festival happening at Harris Park. Unfortunately because she is not on the committee in order to look into the noise bylaw she needed a seconder on council to bring it forth. It is so sad to think that it appears they care more about the money than they do about the constituents that are affected by the noise. This is when you get people who feel disenfranchised, who wonder why they even bother to vote because their vote doesn’t matter.
I grew up in a family that talked about politics. It was instilled in us by our grandfather, uncles and parents that voting was important. I grew up in a family that was predominantly Conservative, my Uncle is NDP and my grandparents were mostly Liberal. I have also learned that it isn’t as black and white as it was when I first voted. Right now I think I’m decided on who I’m voting for. Sometimes you just have to plug your nose and vote. It’s not a popularity contest.

Not brash but certainly outspoken

September is a time of mixed emotions for me so today I decided to share memories of the person that Janet was. These pictures so fully represent who she was. When I look at the Christmas picture I see the bond that we had from the beginning. There are pictures when we are babies where I can’t tell who is who but I would know Janet’s smile anywhere. When I saved the second picture to my computer I actually titled it “pouty Janet”. I don’t know whether my grandmother was trying to take our picture but you can’t possibly get a more stubborn position than that!
Growing up Janet and I were in girl guides so we had to go camping. It was only for 3 days but lets just say that was long enough for us! Both my parents grew up on farms and my Mom used to say we were such city slickers. Janet hated camping although while we were there we went along with it. She really hated outhouses.
Today is the first official day of campaigning for the upcoming Federal election. I have mentioned many times that my Dad’s family like to talk politics. We were at my Aunt and Uncles house and he asked Janet who she was going to vote for and she said none of the above. It must have been mid 90s (in the Stockwell Day era) because we were just recently old enough to vote. We volunteered on our local candidates campaigns. Our first day in 2006 we asked the campaign manager what do you do about people that call in and just go on and on. Janet had a word for it but for the life of me I can’t remember at the moment. And the funny thing was he knew immediately what we were talking about. Janet and I were in charge of putting together lawn signs and got quite a system going after a while. I was even interviewed for the evening news when Stephen Harper was in our city for a rally. Nobody else wanted to do it…they all ran away. Janet was in the paper but nobody believed us because you could only see her arm.
The hardest thing about losing my twin was the fact that I lost my best friend. All of my memories are shared with her. A friend from public school shared a picture of my nieces and even in the photo I can see that they inherited Janet’s spunk. It brings me comfort knowing she lives on in me and the memories of many people that loved her.