Favourite quote(s)

Fandango’s Dog Days of August #26
This too shall pass” and “Always together in my heart
I’m not sure that I can use the first one as my favourite quote but it’s one that I have heard a lot. It’s one that I lean on when things are tough. When I was looking after Mom a church friend would tell me this and she said there is light at the end of the tunnel. You may not see it but it’s there. One week tomorrow it will be 5yrs since my Mom died. Honestly it doesn’t feel that long. Probably because the first year was spent looking after the estate and finding a new place to live. September is a month where I feel more sad than usual, when I feel a flood of emotions. On Monday I had my grocery lady who I have talked about Janet to a lot. She told me that Janet wouldn’t want me to be sad. I know she meant well but if it was reversed Janet would be sad. It’s ok to be sad.
The second quote is something that is etched into a locket that a friend gave me for my 35th birthday. I wear it on special occasions and on days when I need them close to my heart. It gives me comfort. It’s something that I try to remember is that they are always with me. They aren’t physically present but I can hear their voices in my head. Recently my grocery guy posted a video of a tv show that was on a long time ago that my Dad used to watch. I have been following The Holderness Family and yesterday they had a video on conversations with couples. He asked what was for dinner and she tells him you choose. Chinese…no…Chicken…no. This was our family. Dad would want chicken, Mom would want Chinese and I wouldn’t want either. Those memories make me smile.

Lessons learned

Fandango’s Dog Days of August #21
I don’t think I could narrow it down to one lesson I’ve learned. In life we all learn lessons along the way.
1. Do the right thing for me. The lesson I’ve learned in this is being strong enough to say no. That the right thing for me may hurt someone else.
2. Listen to the small voice inside.
3. Don’t wait to buy something that you love. When I went to the Twinless Twins conference and bid on a quilt there was a moment when I almost talked myself out of buying it. When a fellow TT got home she purchased red cowboy boots that she had wanted. She told me I inspired her. Life’s too short.
4. Not everyone is your friend.
5. Not everyone deserves a second chance.
6. It’s alright to ask for help. When I was looking after my Mom I did it all myself because there was no one else. After she died I had a hard time asking for help.
7. Don’t change for someone else.

Lessons are learned the hard way. I have had a lot of loss and I have learned a lot about myself along the way. I became the person that was there all along I just didn’t know it.


Fandango’s Provocative Question #83
Do we control technology or is technology controlling us?
My grocery person actually asked me this last week. She was having trouble linking her phone to the debit machine so she asked if I ever have trouble with technology.
We all like to think that technology doesn’t control us but I have to admit it does. This past Saturday the hydro went off in the afternoon for about an hour. Which meant I couldn’t have my afternoon coffee. I had chicken thawed out in the fridge for supper but that was dependent on whether I could cook it in the oven. Every time the hydro goes out I have to reset the clocks on the microwave and stove and the date and time on my home phone.
Going to the Farmers Market I paid for almost all my purchases with tap. The electronic receipt goes to my cellphone. As I’m walking to the next table I can hear the ping of the notification to my phone. Before covid when I took a cab I would pay with cash because that was their preferred method of payment. Now I pay by debit. I’ve used Amazon a lot. Since I’ve used a credit card I also use online banking.
Recently libraries opened for people to be able to browse the shelves for a book to take home to read. Before this you had to go online and put books on hold. Even going into the library you have to check the books out yourself.
For the most part technology helps us. I can remember when we still had a rotary phone. We didn’t have internet at home until after my Dad died. That was also when we got voice mail. I got a cellphone after my twin died for emergencies. I think we have all had to live with how much technology we have in our lives. It’s a love/hate relationship. I can send my grocery list by email. I can look up clothing stores, restaurant menus, news etc all online. The other day I read a book online that I got out of the local library. Technology connects us to people. I send my friend videos to bring a smile to her day. We had a ZOOM meeting for the twinless twins recently. People can still go to church (in a sense).

My favourite tv show

Fandango’s Dog Days of August #16
I have 2 shows that are probably tied for my favourite which are New Amsterdam and This is Us. I have written a lot about how there are episodes that really resonate with me. I’m going to choose a tv show that I watch a lot.
If you aren’t familiar with this show it is about a couple in Laurel, Mississippi who take a house and give it new life. A lot of the people that they feature in the episodes are young couples just starting out. I loved that Richard T. Jones (actor on The Rookie) and his wife bought a house for someone to lease to own. They bought a guy special glasses to correct his colour blindness so that he could truly see what his house looked like the way THEY could see it. I thought that was so sweet. I was talking to a friend recently who also watches it with her husband and we both exclaimed over the fact that they can fix up a house for less than $100,000. There are so many shows that go over budget. It’s part of the charm of the show, they make do. The house is still beautiful but it looks lived in. Have you ever watched the other shows and thought it doesn’t even look like someone lives there. Ben and Erin are building a HOME for someone.

I love the idea of a big front porch. To be able to sit outside with glass of iced coffee. It really only works in a small town though because everyone would know everyone else. I love sitting on the balcony in the summertime so that would be my ideal spot.

Part of the charm of the show is the love that shines through between Ben and Erin. She laughs at his Dad jokes. He’s not afraid to get dirty in order to find a treasure for the house. He actually sweats. As one of their workers said “that’s how you know you are working”. You can tell that their town is like family.

A former neighbour

It’s interesting that my last post is on the neighbourhood that I live. This morning I got a phone call from a woman that I get together for coffee with that a mutual neighbour died on Monday.

Her given name is Laura but we all knew her by “Dolly”. Her mother’s name was Laura also so I think that is why she went by that nickname. She grew up in the house that she lived in down the street from us. She was one of those people that everyone in the neighbourhood knew her, maybe not by name but they definitely knew the house. She was what one would call eccentric and that’s putting it mildly. She was stuck in a time warp…she still had a rotary phone. If she had to get a hold of a business she would walk down to our place and ask us to call for her. When I emailed my brother to tell him he wrote “how is she 5 yrs younger than Dad”. She never told anyone her age but I know we always thought she was old. She always wore a headscarf or kerchief I guess you would call it. She wore baggy clothes even in the summertime. The only time Mom ever saw her dressed up was for her parents funerals and she wore a white shirt and black skirt.

Dolly loved to garden and was outside every day watering her lawn. My friend and I went into the local pharmacy one time in the afternoon. The assistant was bored and came out and we were talking about how brown the lawns were…so I said well not one lawn. The funny thing was I didn’t have to say who we both knew. He told us this story about walking home from the bar one time at 2 in the morning and he said “boy I must be really drunk I could swear I hear water running”. The 3 of us were almost on the floor we were laughing so hard. The owner was so stoic he didn’t even crack a smile although I knew he knew who were talking about. Everyone in the neighbourhood has a story like that.

When Dad was undergoing cancer treatment he wasn’t allowed to be outside much because of the sun. Dad would sit in the shade when he was well enough and tell me what to do. She would be over at our neighbours house visiting and if she saw him outside she would be so pleased. She was one of those people who meant well but she was nosy. I used to think Dad was exaggerating but he really wasn’t.  She knew EVERYTHING that was going on in the neighbourhood. She was an institution and it will certainly be different for the people living on the street.


My Neighbourhood


These are a few pictures of my neighbourhood. It’s such a small representation of what my neighbourhood is. I live near a park that has festivals almost every weekend in the summer. Sunfest, Home County Folk Festival, Ribfest. Of course I have to include lighting of the lights at Christmas. My friend have started the tradition of going for a walk around Victoria Park when she comes. I live near Eldon House which is a beautiful mansion that they open for tours and tea on the lawn in the summer.
The first picture is of the coffee shop near me. A friend of mine went to a coffee shop in Wortley Village yesterday which is the neighbourhood I used to live near. Janet and I frequented the other coffee shop. It’s interesting how we all have our spots in our own neighbourhood. Growing up obviously I didn’t pick the neighbourhood I lived in but I liked it. We used the local library a lot. We went to Gathering on the Green (local crafts, games, music). I found lots of cool gifts at a little gift shop. It changed though and lost that quaint vibe that it used to have and is now more upscale. Think avocado toast.
I think maybe we grow into the neighbourhood that we call home. When my Mom died I thought I would stay in the same area but like Goldilocks this is just right.

People I admire

1. My grocery delivery people. When this all started they had to quickly adapt. They would still deliver to apartments when many businesses wouldn’t even come inside.
2. People who work in restaurants and coffee shops. They have all had to adapt really quickly. I love how the coffee shop around the corner is still able to maintain that friendly neighbourhood atmosphere. I also have to include the vendors at the Farmers Market.
3. I admire parents. In 10 days parents are supposed to register their child for school to say whether they are opting in or out. Parents and teachers are following the press briefings by the premier and the education minister. 10 days to make a decision for your child or children which is basically like tossing a coin into the air and choosing heads or tails. There are so many questions.
I admire the parents that are trying to make this summer as normal as possible. My friend set up a projector on her front porch to have family movie nights. Going to the beach and stopping for ice cream. Finding a nature trail in the city.
5. Children. They are all making do. They are living in a time that is scary and uncertain. They are learning LIFE SKILLS
6. Teachers. My friend teaches high school and we have talked many times about how the job is more than just teaching. She helps students who are dealing with the stress of parents divorcing. Helping them through their grief of losing a classmate while also holding together her own grief. In a month all of my friends that are teachers will have to wear a mask all day. Ensure that all safety protocols are being met while trying to teach in a very sterile environment (in more ways than one).
7. My superintendents who are still helpful and friendly socially distanced.

Trip to the market

This morning I finally made it to the market. For a while I wasn’t sure about going because I wondered if it would have the same atmosphere.
I will admit that it’s different. The entire perimeter is roped off and there is only one entrance in and out with a security guard at the table. There is hand sanitizer although he didn’t even say anything as I walked past after using it. There are no arrows on the ground and I wouldn’t say it’s entirely social distanced. If there is a line up it’s assumed that you go to another table. All the customers had masks on and the majority of the vendors did too. I had to put a new mask on today as my others are dirty. It was a little heavy but I did appreciate that I could adjust the ear loops.
I’m trying to be more organized this year and put some fresh produce in the freezer for the winter months. I currently have a bag of blueberries and yellow beans. I LOVE yellow beans and you can rarely find them at the grocery store. I was so glad that they had debit so I could get lots more than I usually would. It was great that almost all the vendors had tap so that they don’t have to handle cash and I don’t have to worry if I have enough cash! Although for me it means that I will probably buy more than I intended since I can just pay with debit…and I did. I always tell myself that it’s healthy eating and I’m supporting local business.
I had it in my head what I was going to buy. I wanted to get some pickled onions which I put on salads in the summertime. Blueberries, strawberries, some sort of nut (either walnuts or sunflower seeds) and lemon poppy seed dressing. Unfortunately they were all out. But they did have granola. I put a handful on some yogurt for afternoon snack. I’m seriously considering joining Instagram because the majority of the businesses use that for their social media.
Going to the market used to be my weekly routine but that’s unlikely this year. It’s interesting how something can be the same and yet at the same time different. I think that sums up what this year has been like. For me going to the market is all about the sights, the smells. The sound of musicians outside the door going into the market. Watching a mother and child enjoy their breakfast treat at the patio table.