Strength

Cur
Yesterday I was watching CTV news at noon while I was waiting for something I put in the oven to cook. In the segment they had a group of musicians who were playing “Hallelujah”. They also showed a clip earlier of people singing Amazing Grace. It rained yesterday and the words on the hand written signs were washed away. Someone told one of the woman covering the vigil/memorial that it was like the words were crying. There is something incredibly moving watching the people put flowers on the ledge or just standing in silence not even noticing the rain washing over them. What really stuck me was the sense of community. It’s a family neighbourhood but when I was there I didn’t notice anyone outside. Going for a walk in my neighbourhood (new and old) I always passed people who said hello even if we didn’t know each other. There was a TTC driver who said our city will become stronger because of this.
We are started to learn the names of the people who died. That’s the hard part for me because I know what it feels like for your loss to be public. When Janet died I got letters and condolences from people I didn’t know and it felt strange at the time. She was MY sister but I see it more clearly now. People wanted to do something. They wanted to acknowledge how saddened they were for us. I was going to title this post community because that’s what we do when something bad happens…we come together. As sad as this week has been that outpouring of love makes my heart glad.

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Prayers for Toronto

Bestow
I’m not really sure what to write today. Yesterday started out with the happy news of the birth of Prince William and Kate’s 3rd child and we were FINALLY enjoying spring (almost summerlike) weather. Just before suppertime I turned on the tv and learned of the shocking news of a van that hit pedestrians on the sidewalk. The scary thing is I have family members that live within walking distance of this neighbourhood.

Of course with something of this magnitude happening in a large city it’s all over the news. We watch hoping for answers and even if we are eventually told what his motive was I don’t know whether it would help. It doesn’t make it easier to digest the fact that 10 family members have lost loved ones. There are signs and flowers in the area where it happened. The mayor has closed the businesses around the area out of respect. He has also told people to go about their lives. But I’m sure it will take time for the people living in that area to do so. We know bad things happen in the world but it’s different when it hits so close to home.

Pray for the people of Toronto. Bestow love.

Are we friends?

Authentic
When I joined Facebook 11 years ago I think I was like a lot of people and added people that I may not have known really well but figured if they sent me a friend request then I should accept. I belonged to a group on Facebook for Twinless Twins and added more “friends”. But there came a time when I realized that they weren’t friends they were more like acquaintances. Some I have never met but we communicate a lot by email and others I have met and the only communication we have is when they post to wish me a happy birthday. I don’t know how someone can have hundreds of friends on Facebook because I only communicate with a dozen regularly.
A few years ago I took off some because I got to the point where I realized it wasn’t about how many friends I had but whether I could actually consider that person a friend. For me friends are the people that I would phone if I needed them in an emergency. The real friends are the ones who asked how Mom was when she was in the hospital. The people who sent condolences when she died. I have twin friends who live in the US and we talk by email. I send a Christmas card to a few (and some electronically).
We use social media to “connect” with people but how do we know whether that person is putting their authentic self out there. I looked over photos on a friends page and told her she had an exciting year. She responded that looks can be deceiving, it’s not real life. We post the flattering photos. While the photo of my friend and I at Christmas is good I hated the haircut (it was just at the point where it was almost growing out to a decent length).
Because I’m a what you see is what you get type of person I will post that I had a cranky day. One day I went to the grocery store with my shirt on inside out (a friend commented she’s done it!). I’m familiar with what party most of my public school friends vote for. For the most part I don’t post things on politics or religion. My Mom always said that there is a reason it’s called a secret ballot. Social media is not a place to argue about politics.
Since my coffee buddy is a teacher right now she is busy with teaching and coaching after school. I sent her an email recently after having a frustrating day. She understands what it means for me to honour my family. She rejoiced with me when I found this apartment and laughed at my lone chair when my furniture was on back order. A memory came up today on Facebook…a video actually. Many pictures of a family that has included me in theirs. We still share the story about Janet giving our friend “the look” because he had holes in his jeans. They loved Janet too.

Just one wish

Genie
I think anyone that has ever lost someone close to them has a wish for one more day. I wish I could tell them I love them. I wish I could give them a hug.
I remember when Mom and I started attending a bereavement support group at the funeral home that we used and the son of the owner came out and he asked me if there was something he could do for me and I said only one thing and you don’t have the power to do it.
Yesterday I was reminded of a quirk thst my Dad had. Our running joke was that he never watched a movie from beginning to end. He would get up at 4 and watch a movie but it might have started at 2. We would come down the stairs and he would ask us to look it up for him. Back when they actually made TV guides. The trouble with that is most of the time it said TBA. We would ask who was in it. Neither of my parents were that good with remembering or recognizing actors. This was before google.
When my Mom was in the hospital I would bring the paper in and help her with the crossword. According to the nurse the fact that I would look up the word on google was “cheating”.
I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately. Mother’s Day coming up, just little reminders.
Maybe memories are like wishes. They are reminders of love shared.

Grocery shopping

Fret
Since I found a grocery delivery service you would think that it isn’t something I fret over but it’s not a perfect system. Today I changed to a different store because they had pasta and sauce on sale which I’m going to donate to food bank (there is a box in lobby). They also have whole chickens on sale which is good for a few meals. I usually only get a couple of avocados a week because that is all I use up but some only sell them in bags which is too many for one person. I was lucky that she had to phone to ask about something because I ran out of cheese and forgot to put it on list. At Metro they sell ready made quinoa cups but she couldn’t find them. They also didn’t have small jars of peanut butter so I replaced it with a big jar. Sometimes I just have to go with the flow…don’t fret.
Last week I asked for dishwashing liquid. I prefer sunlight the lemon scent but it’s not available in many places. What’s up with all the different scents. It’s soap to wash your dishes for goodness sakes. It’s a pet peeve of mine.
Honestly I don’t know how some people go all over the city to grocery shop. For me if I keep to the same store I know what brands I can buy.
Yesterday I wasn’t sure what I was going to have for meals since my fridge was getting a little bare. For supper I added some a few beans to a few mushrooms and sautéed them in a pan. A good accompaniment to my pork chop.
I’m looking out the window at the snow falling. Hopefully this will be the last of it and spring will officially come.

Things that make me happy

Crank
While it isn’t raining at the moment it’s another grey day which makes me cranky. It’s so dark! Thankfully our region wasn’t hit badly…a friend had to stay home from work because her kids school is closed and it’s half an hour away from where I live.
I decided to do the opposite of the post and write things that make me happy because I have to be different.
Teddy bears…the fluffier the better

Manicures. It’s been a while since I’ve had one so I’m overdo!!

Sitting outside with a cup of coffee and a book or doing the crossword in the newspaper

COFFEE

Flowers. They make a day brighter

Summer festivals and food

Song

Song
Hmm what song would be appropriate for today? “Stormy weather” or perhaps “Ice, Ice baby”.
We are experiencing a weekend of mostly rain mixed with freezing rain and depending on your region it might be snow too. My street has a nice coating of slushy stuff. The only silver lining is that it’s during the weekend and people would be home from work and off the roads. It’s hard to believe that in 3 weeks the Outdoor Farmers Market will be up and running. I think we are all at the point where enough is enough. For me it’s the week that marks spring for me. I can’t wait to be able to go for walks in the neighbourhood.
Since it’s stay at home weather last night I binge watched episodes of Good Witch. It’s unusual for On Demand to have every episode for a show so I started from the beginning. A good way to get background on some of the characters. The new season is starting in two weeks. On a Monday which is The Voice so I can watch it another night.
I was thinking of making stew for supper but alas no beef broth. This would be the type of weekend my Mom would bake but I don’t even have items in the apartment to bake with. A friend posted the other day a picture of date squares which I love. My job was to cut them with kitchen scissors. Monday I ordered a couple of night shirts because they were on sale. The one is really long as it goes down to my ankles and it made me think how it would have been perfect for Mom. She usually wore pyjamas because her legs were cold. There are so many little things that are reminders. Last night I was taking a bag of garbage to the chute and my super caught me. I came back in and laughed because I can’t even do that without bumping into him. I miss sharing a laugh with someone…I guess you all are it.

Empty pockets

Deplete
This being an election year both provincially and municipally the first thing that came to mind was politicians making lofty promises with taxpayers money.
Last night I was watching the local news and another candidate has tossed their hat into the ring for mayor. She is actually my councillor although I don’t know a lot about her other than the few times I have seen her on t.v. She ran as a candidate for the NDP but lost the nomination. They are still discussing the contentious issues of BRT (bus rapid transit). They are planning for something that the federal and provincially government will have to help pay for and yet they don’t know how much money they are going to cough up. I used to take the bus all the time but since I moved downtown I rarely do. There are times it just isn’t that practical since it doesn’t come as often any more. Personally I think we should be putting money into the simple things like garbage collection once a week, snow removal, street maintenance. They are going to make Dundas St a flex street so it’s pedestrian friendly. A portion of it is going to be closed from May to October (if I remember correctly). I don’t see the point. People who live downtown already shop here. I only shop at the market.
Provincially they seem to be promising everything in order to get elected. The NDP is promising universal pharmacare which is something I could get behind. There are many people who are self-employed, working part time who don’t have coverage. It would mean I wouldn’t have to side step the question of paying. A Dr shouldn’t have to ask a patient if they can afford a medication before giving it to them. The only problem is where is the money going to come from?
Because I’m single and live in an apartment there are a lot of issues that don’t affect me. I pay a flat rate per month for hydro but I lived in a house long enough to know how expensive it is to maintain one.
There are so many things that we base our vote on. We vote for a party. We vote for the platform that we like the best. Maybe we like the person that is running in our riding. Right now I don’t know enough to make an informed decision and the provincial election is getting closer. I think attack ads are a waste of money. As a voter I want to know what YOU are going to do. Attacking someone else doesn’t make you look better.
Ahh decisions, decisions.

Friends that are golden

Glimmer
Today a memory came up on my Facebook feed from when Mom went to Charleston, SC for a vacation. It isn’t the memory that makes me smile but the comment made by a friend underneath. He was teasing me because Mom didn’t leave me grocery money. They were kind enough to invite me for dinner one night. It makes me smile because it’s a reminder of how they were always family. I remember when Mom came home and I stored up everything I wanted to tell her. I did tell her what my friend said and she did kind of feel bad. I remember walking home from the grocery store and having to stop multiple times because I bought too much and the bags were heavy. A kind lady came along with a kid in a stroller and offered to load it up. That was what people in Wortley Village did.
On Wednesday I had a frustrating day. Being diabetic there are days when I get discouraged that I’m eating healthy but not seeing the benefits. I emailed a friend of mine to vent a little and she said exactly what I needed to hear. I think we all have people in our lives if we have a problem they want to fix it. They go on websites and send links to all sorts of things. This friend knows I don’t need that. I just need someone to listen.
There are days when I feel like email is my only means of communication. It depends on how it’s used. I have a friend that lives far away but we talk a lot on Facebook. When I went to writing class in the summer a few years ago we had to write about someone we admire and I choose my friend. It took me 3 tries before it seemed right.
True friends make us laugh, commiserate with us and shine a light to our strengths. I’m blessed to have these people in ,y life.

Being thankful

This morning I got groceries delivered. Tuesday is my regular day but I was running out of variety for meals. When I went to the mail room this afternoon I saw a notice that they are collecting for a food drive. It’s ironic that it was posted the day I got groceries. I don’t buy extras but there are weeks that I will buy a steak if I feel like it. Most of the things on the list are name brand.
Until I started paying for my own groceries I kind of took it for granted that we always had a well stocked cupboard and fridge. When we went with mom we knew what the bill was but there was a sense of separation because we weren’t the ones paying.
There is some irony in the fact that I just paid my income tax recently. I pay for services that most people do themselves. It’s why I try to give back a little more because I never want to take it for granted that I am blessed to live the life I do.