Window

What is your favourite sweet treat?
Being diabetic I don’t have sweet treats very often so if I do it has to be really good. I’ve started buying products from The Whole Grain Hearth and anything they make is delicious. They use seasonal ingredients so one week it will be strawberry/rhubarb, then peaches when they are in season.

If you want to relax what it is your go to?
This one is easy. You are looking at it

I will sit on the balcony with my morning coffee or enjoy a lunch with items I picked up at the Farmers Market. It’s my spot to read my Oprah magazine or chick lit. It always makes me a little sad when I have to bring the cushions in for the season. We had a cold wet spring so I didn’t feel like I had enough opportunities to sit outside this year but I made the most of the days we did have!!

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Hmm I’m not sure I have one. If I had to think about it it would probably be food. Other than rent it’s my biggest expense for the month. If you read my blog posts in the summer the majority of my posts are about the food at the market. I don’t know that it’s a guilty pleasure since it’s eating healthy food and I’m supporting local farmers. The guilty part of it is probably admitting to how much money I spend a week on food purchased there…but it’s soo good!
Clothes might be another one. Confession time…I bought a new shirt for Christmas because I’ve worn another shirt a few times to dinner. If I find an item I like I might spend a little bit more. Since I am fair skinned I don’t wear black since it washes me out but 99% of holiday wear IS BLACK!

That’s deep

Last night I was watching New Amsterdam. I ended up watching it on my Ipad since the new episode wasn’t loaded into On Demand yet. New Amsterdam is one of those shows that tugs at the heartstrings. Watching Max go through cancer treatment was like watching my Dad and there are similarities between some of the ways Max is dealing with his grief in losing his wife. At the start of the show Dr. Sharpe was mad at Max for refusing her offer of a cleaning service. This was me because when a person is grieving there is a fine line between helping and imposing. But at the same time the person who is grieving doesn’t even know HOW to ask for help. At the end of the episode the team knocks on Max’s door with cleaning supplies. As soon as Georgia told Max “it’s ok to let people in” I started crying. There is a vulnerability to letting people see you at your worst. You want to believe that you are capable of doing it on your own.
In my last post I talked about having random conversations about my twin Janet. My Dad’s family wasn’t comfortable talking about someone after they died so Mom and I had to find other places to do so. She lives on in me so why wouldn’t I talk about her? There is a holiday event downtown the end of November. It’s one of those things that I would have gone with Janet. Yesterday I bought a new shirt for a Christmas dinner. If Janet was still here she would have bought the red one and I would have bought the gold one. At the same time I can hear my Mom in my head “you spent HOW MUCH?” Love means that I can hear their voice or their laughter. I can feel their presence.

Random


I’ve had a couple of interesting things happen this week that were so random that they can only be Janet saying hi. On Monday I had my grocery person that has been here before but not for a few weeks. The last time she came I was discussing that I moved there after my Mom died. Since she knew my parents were deceased she asked if I had any siblings so I said a brother that I don’t see. A sister? Yes, she’s deceased. Older or younger? The same age. I walked over to my family picture that I have hung in the entryway and pointed to the picture of Janet. She then says “holy smokes you were identical”. She asked what it’s like to be a twin. It’s hard to describe it to someone else. I did tell her that it’s great when you are young but in our teen years people didn’t really get it. Being different in high school means we were picked on.
This morning I emailed my former neighbour. I’m not sure why I decided to today since it’s been a while since we have talked. When she emailed back she told me that it’s funny I should email today since she and another neighbour were talking about us. The other woman was talking about cute we were at girl guides…how there is such a thing as “twin speak”. It made me smile. Today is Halloween and I have a picture of me and Janet dressed for the occasion. We lived in the same neighbourhood for many years so we knew all the houses that we went to. After Janet died my parents met with a lawyer that was also the father of a friend that was in our class in public school. His wife saw me out for a walk after Janet died and had to come back inside and cry. We don’t realize how we touch other people’s lives until that person is no longer there.
I know that Janet makes an appearance when I need her the most. I have been feeling frustrated and she always finds a way to make me feel loved. To remember that bond that is still there.

Blast from the past


Last night I was watching “This is Us”. Kevin was sitting beside his Uncle trying to get him to tell him stories about his Dad. “He liked ice cream”. At the end of the episode Uncle Nicky pulls out a carton of ice cream (vanilla!) and tells Kevin the story of his Dad asking them how good were you today? Until I saw them cut their ice cream I hadn’t thought about that memory for a long time. My grandfather used to do that for birthday celebrations at their place. Grandma cut the cake and Grandpa was in charge of ice cream. We always had Chapmans ice cream and it was usually vanilla only I do remember having Neapolitan too. My siblings had chocolate and I always had vanilla. It’s so weird how some little thing can transport you back to a moment in time.
A fellow blogger posted a scene from “Fawlty Towers” on another daily word site. My family loved watching British comedies and we had tapes (remember VHS?) of Fawlty Towers episodes. Although neither one of them liked Keeping up appearances.
I recently bought an apple crumble pie for Thanksgiving. I cut myself a piece and put the rest in the freezer. I told the woman at the market that my Mom would have loved it because she preferred that kind of pie. She would put cheese on it (so I did too). It was like it was a connection to my Mom.
I’ve been thinking of that commonality through our memories. My cousin has to have ice cream when she goes to a music festival because that is what she did with her Mom. We carry on the traditions to have a little part of them with us.

Broken

Today I learned of the sad news that the minister of pastoral care of our church passed away. It makes me sad because I think of his family and all the people that he touched in his life. I was reading the comments yesterday underneath a couple of Facebook posts and there is comfort knowing that he was remembered for his smile.
He assisted in the graveside service for my Mom since he knew our family. I remember the first time I came in contact with him at Metropolitan and I mentioned how my grandfather would be up in heaven laughing because it was a running joke that he seemed to follow us. My mother grew up in Dorchester and she got married at Richards Memorial where he ended up after they moved away from there. We would go there occasionally in the summer because they met in the hall which was air conditioned. Most churches don’t have choir in the summer so they have soloists fill in. Rev. S would not only sing but he played the piano too.
He organized cruises at the church and I’m sure he had full suitcases as he was quite the snappy dresser. On Canada Day he always wore a red shirt and matching red socks. I had to laugh at the fact that someone else commented on his socks! He had a collection of manger scenes that he displayed in the lower hall at Christmas. I guess that will be passed down to someone else now. He did the Blue Christmas service for people who have lost loved ones and find the season difficult. He was the right person to do it because he had a comforting way about him.
When we lose someone close to us we are broken hearted because we miss what they brought to our lives. Rev. S brought light and laughter to so many and I know that is what he will be remembered for.

Thankful

In Canada we are currently in the middle of a Federal election campaign. I am thankful that we can have differing opinions and we can voice those opinions freely. I am thankful for the right to vote. We should appreciate the people that take time out of their lives to run for office. They take time away from their family in order to represent us. Every time I see a negative ad on tv I’m thankful that it will soon be over!!
As I read the news we should be thankful for the people that protect our city…police, fire and ambulance.
There is a saying that if you ate today thank a farmer. It wasn’t something I really thought about until I actually bought directly from the farmers. The Farmers market starts at 8AM so they are getting up while it’s still dark out. Last week there were a couple of people that had hats and mitts on. I have started buying BBQ sauce from one table because all the ingredients are recognizable. As someone who doesn’t a lot of processed food I appreciate that the food that they make is made from locally grown items. There is something about that connection to the businesses. They get to know their customers.
Of course I have to include my grocery guy. It’s not just the convenience, it’s a friendly face.
I am so thankful for my friend DJ. There were times this year where I wouldn’t know what I would have done without her. She listens without judgement and doesn’t try to fix it. She makes me laugh. A couple of weeks ago we went to the market and got our picture taken. It’s fun to have someone to share it with.
Thanksgiving is a time when I miss my family. There is a commercial for Loblaws where this woman opens a can of cranberry sauce and stands it upright on the plate. Then they show a woman sitting across from her giving her the side eye. It makes me laugh every time I see it because I thought everyone ate it that way. I remember making a pumpkin pie and it was cooling on the counter. I was getting something out of the cupboard above and it dropped onto the pie. My Mom told me “don’t worry whipped cream will cover it and no one will know”. Those are the memories I hold dear.

Insanity

Since I ran out of a few items I decided to go to the grocery store this morning and also vote for the federal election. I wasn’t 100% sure who I was going to vote for but chose the party whose platform I most align with. Advanced polls don’t open for another week and the polling station is not within walking distance of where I live. I was behind a woman who must also be in this area because I heard her say that the polling station wasn’t easy to get to.

Insanity is expecting people to walk through construction in order to vote. Yes Central Library is wheelchair accessible and the building has underground parking but how are you supposed to get there if you drive? The sad thing is I think a lot of people in my area will probably choose not to vote. Honestly I almost considered not voting because I just thought it should not be this hard. Insanity is listening to all the leaders bash each other. Having to wade through the muck to determine who you are going to vote for. I read an article yesterday where it said that it’s basically a nothing election. That the Conservatives and Liberals are pretty well tied in the polls. A friend of mine from public school now has to choose another candidate because hers stepped down. She was really mad. And I know some people are voting Liberal just so that Scheer doesn’t get in. But shouldn’t our vote mean more than that? I’m pretty sure the incumbent in my riding is going to get re-elected (although I’ve been wrong before about these things). So in other words if I voted for someone else my vote is wasted.

Politics is the definition of insanity. They promise us the moon and as soon as they get into office they break every one. And yet every 4 years we expect better.

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!

Confused

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.