ORDER

Order
This photo could also work for last weeks word which was FRIEND. The middle teddy is the one that I would hold on to when I was scared or lonely. As you can see they have their own shelf. I like that it makes it look more homey, personal.

Chores

Polish
The first thing that came to mind when I thought of polish was dusting. Polishing is what you do to the silver. I guess you could polish the floors but we had tile so I wouldn’t use that word.
Each of us had chores that we didn’t really like. Dusting was mine. My Dad had a wooden elephant that we kidded that was going to be passed down to my brother so he could dust it. It wouldn’t have gone with his decor so it went to Goodwill.
My Mom didn’t like vacuuming the stairs so I generally did that. Of course I have mentioned here many times that Janet did not do toilets. My Mom preferred this kind that is granular but you had to pull it a certain way to get the lid off so I had to do that. After a while they didn’t even sell it anymore and I was thrilled!
When I went to sit on my balcony for the first time I noticed that the windows were filthy so I got out the glass cleaner and wiped them. We had two big bay windows…one in the living room and one in dining room so I would go outside and clean them and Janet would do the inside. Occasionally we would put our noses up to the glass. It was ok because we were going to clean it anyway.
We didn’t really do spring cleaning but when my Dad put the screens on and then switched to the storms we had to wipe down the window sills. I always wondered how they got so dirty in the mean time? Eventually he replaced the windows so he didn’t have to change the screens.
Living in an apartment there is a spot for everything. I went to a women’s luncheon on Monday and one of the women was admiring the tea cups and she said I can’t remember the last time I even got mine out we just use mugs. She mentioned how they used to be given as bridal shower gifts. My Mom told me that. I did feel bad giving them away because there were memories attached but I knew I wouldn’t use them nor did I have the room.
Nowadays my friends and I go out to dinner. Someone else cooks and no dishes to wash.

Uniform

Uniform
My Dad was a letter carrier so he had a uniform. When the pants wore out he would wear them for gardening. I donated a couple of his coats that were in a closet in the basement. They are really good quality and warm. My Dad didn’t wear jeans but in later years he wore them for gardening because he couldn’t find the right weight of everyday pants. Marks was his go to place. My Dad was five foot nine which was short for a man so his pants had to be hemmed up a lot!

Clothes are really our uniform. Around home I’m a jeans and t shirt person. I have my go to shirts for social occasions. When I go to see my kidney Dr because it’s in the hospital I wear my favourite shirt. It’s something that makes me feel good and I need that boost. Absolutely anything goes though. I was taught to dress respectfully so that’s what I do.

Right now the big trend is yoga pants. Some talk shows have called it the Mom uniform. I’m all for comfort around home but personally I wouldn’t wear it out of the house. Ok…grocery shopping. I think there is a way to be comfortable while still looking put together. It’s probably the way I was brought up but it’s just not a look that I like. Ahh my family is in heaven smiling…see we taught her that…something sinked in. That would be Mom saying that. Occasionally I would wear a skirt to church in the summertime. One greeter exclaimed over my attire and I said I’m a girl and felt like looking like one today. Sometimes I attend functions and have to guess at what is appropriate attire. I always think it’s never wrong to be overdressed.

I think we all have go to clothes in our closet for certain occasions. Clothes are our uniform.

Farmers Market

Imaginary

It’s a busy day in the city. Today is Gathering on the Green which is held on a green space behind what used to be a school but was purchased by the YMCA. A couple of my friends are going to it. It’s great for kids. My Dad used to take extra plants over for the garden club he belonged to. One time we walked it over. We would go into the library and then go on for a coffee. I couldn’t do that today because the library is closed for renovations. It doesn’t seem like that long ago since they did some. It isn’t that big so there is only so much they can do!
They are having a movie night at the baseball park near me.

My Saturday routine is going to the farmers market. Now that it’s getting closer to summer there is a lot more variety. This is some of my haul. I also bought a granola/energy bar. That table was very tempting with cinnamon buns, scones, date squares (and I LOVE date squares) and muffins. I bought 2 bags of spinach. He said I could mix and match but I don’t even know what any of those lettuces are except for arugula. I couldn’t decide between a tart or quiche they both looked good. I was thankful I brought a reusable bag with me because by the time I was done it was full. It’s a great place to try new things and it’s single serving. I even ate my lunch on my balcony today.
Good food, beautiful weather. I can’t “imagine” anything better.

Shopping

Brassy
Last night I had an early dinner with a friend and her husband. We went to Swiss Chalet across from Masonville mall so they could continue home (as they live out of town) and I was going to look in the stores. I haven’t been up that way since I went with Mom. It was certainly a different feeling going on my own. I guess it’s another first.

I went into Addition Elle which is a plus size clothing store. I was looking for new pants since I’ve lost weight…jeans specifically. I couldn’t find a single pair that I liked. And even looking online when I got home a lot of them were embroidered or ripped. No thank you! It’s frustrating because I wanted to be able to try pants on since I’m not really sure what size I am. And don’t get me started on the inconsistent sizing. Some tshirts are made so big that even a 1x is big on me.

Since I was there I decided to buy some underwear. I picked up a couple of pairs and when I went up to pay the woman said they are on sale 5 for something so I went back to pick out some more. I ended up picking out one that was polka dot. It made me smile because I always had white. My Mom made fun once when I was folding my clothes one day that I had coloured underwear.

Afterwards I went into Pier One. I was just browsing because anything I bought I had to carry home. Their plates were gorgeous such a range of colours. Really cool glasses too. I went over to look at the lanterns. I’m not sure I have room. If I could find a small yellow one it’s a possibility. As I was wandering around I did find a serving tray. Round white with bright rainbow stripes in the centre. It sort of matches my cushions. AND it was on sale. The sales lady said I love this!

When I got home I got to thinking how my life is filled with colour now. I’m the girl with the red couch…a bold colour. I have red plaid patio cushions. I bought rose coloured capris. I always bought black or navy because they go with everything. It’s conservative. I’m not sure what changed. Maybe it’s realizing that life is short. I think part of it is I can see colour again and anyone who has dealt with grief knows what I mean by that.

Portion control

Portion
I think whoever does the word for the daily prompts is having fun with me today! Did somebody know that June is going to be filled with social engagements which all involve eating?
There were a couple of years after my Dad died that I had what my Mom called a birthday week. I went out for lunch with a woman from church, dessert with friends, dinner with Mom and coffee with my coffee buddy.
Being diabetic I try to balance healthy eating with the occasional treat. I’ve often heard of it referred to as the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80 percent of the time and you can allow yourself some leeway the other 20 percent. Going out to dinner I choose the restaurant. I’m going to have cake on our birthday. Or maybe a cupcake. It’s about sharing time with friends.
When I went to a conference last year they had buffet for breakfast and one lunch. Breakfast was easy eggs and fruit. My trick is I usually fill up on salad or vegetables but I don’t think they had much. In times like that I just have to do the best I can. Harder too when I didn’t know what time I would be eating dinner. I always carry snacks in my purse.
Tonight I’m going to dinner with a friend. I will get a hug. I don’t have to portion those!

June

Trace
I can’t believe that tomorrow is the first day of June. June always seems to be a busier month for me. Tomorrow I’m meeting a friend for dinner who happens to be in the city for an appointment. Monday I’m going to a luncheon at church. A dietician is giving a talk on nutrition and cooking for one. It’s a lot easier in better weather since I can walk to the farmers market and get fresh produce but my issue has always been buying too much stuff. Cut melon is more practical for one but it costs twice as much.
June is a roller coaster of emotions for me. It’s full of memories. Three weeks tomorrow is our birthday. It’s not just my birthday it will always be ours. Mom and I would go to the cemetery. It may seem weird to some people but it was my way of acknowledging that it’s her birthday too. After my Dad died we would put flowers on for both. I try to avoid card shops because it’s full of Father’s Day cards. Of course there are commercials and all the flyers…Dad needs a new BBQ. At the same time June 26 is the day we went outside at parkwood and wheeled him around the gardens. It was the first time he had been outside since his tumour grew back. It’s a memory we all cherish.
Facebook reminds you of the day of a friend’s birthday. When I wake up in the morning I will probably have a few posts on my wall. I have twin friends who will include Janet in the post which is special. It’s a day where I feel really loved. But at the same time I don’t “celebrate” because it just isn’t the right word. I honour our twinship.

Filling my day with treats

Infuse
Yesterday I was going to make tacos for lunch. I had all the ingredients except for the soft tortillas. This morning I decided to go to the mall as I wanted to go to the library too. Healthy items purchased then I window shopped as I walked down to the library which was at the other end of the mall.
I wandered into Bentley luggage because I’m on the look out for a smaller purse. One that is crossbody, big enough for cellphone and keys. I kind of like the wrist wallet ones but they are just wallets. She was showing me different styles and of course all of a sudden I find a red one. Ever since I got the red couch it seems like red is everywhere. I was going to buy blue and red patio cushions but my friend said no these are you. Maybe it’s Janet’s way of being with me as I shop. I shop a lot online so I don’t have to shop alone.

I was looking for cookbooks for one or low carb but I was so confused about all the different ones. And they were all celebrity cookbooks. Paleo, gluten free, vegan. Then they had exercise videos beside and self help books. I think I’ll go online and place a hold since I need to update my library card pretty soon anyway. The last couple of years I have been so busy that I’ve forgotten to do it the month of my birthday. My Mom went to the library often. My Uncle goes once a week. It was different when it was a routine. I don’t have a neighbourhood one since I’ve moved.

As I was walking back I saw a foot spa in the window of the home health store…it’s an off shoot of Shoppers Drug Mart. I have been looking for one online but I didn’t know what brand to buy. I figured if it’s in a health store it must be ok. AND I could use my Shoppers points…win win.

I titled this post filling my day with treats. Today it will be warm enough to sit outside and read. I may have a foot soak tonight. They aren’t huge things but they are treats for me.

A moment in time

Survive
This is actually the photo challenge for this week but how do I possibly choose just one?
That’s what photos do…they capture a moment in time.
There is a whole album of photos of family checking out the new babies. My Moms brother went through a whole roll of film…we were sleeping in all but one.
I have pictures in an album from a picnic and Janet was in a mood. I have heard the story so many times it’s like it is my memory despite the fact I was too young to remember.
Playing in the snow, my first teddy, all of us piled up in Janet’s bed reading. Graduations, weddings.
I thought of the first time I saw my niece. Those pictures are precious. One of my favourites is back at the house after Moms 70th birthday. Although it also made me think of her baptism. The photo would be titled “little miss cranky pants” because she picked up on all the frenzy of the weekend and cried a lot. But that’s life. We were trying to get this perfect family photo and it has a screaming baby. It’s part of the memory.
I remember going on vacation before digital cameras and praying that all the photos would turn out. There was usually 5 or 6 out of a roll of 24 that didn’t. I made a photo book for my friend for Christmas and each photo had a memory associated. I can’t look at the photos from Gastown without thinking of the story that goes along with it. It’s not just photos it was a dream fulfilled.
After someone dies photos take on a different meaning. The photo of the balloon release is bittersweet. Her last church photo. We had a family portrait done the December before my Dad died. The men didn’t want to do it but somehow I knew that this may be my only chance. It’s displayed prominently in my front hall just like at the house.
Obviously I wish there were more moments. I know many people who would say the same. But all those photos are a gift because they come alive in them.

First Impressions

Impression
Don’t judge a book by its cover. You only have one chance to make a good impression. Doesn’t one seem to go against the other? I think we all judge people on first impressions. Growing up I was taught by my grandma to always dress nicely because that is the way you present yourself to the world. I didn’t get it then. I just knew that we didn’t dress like the other kids. But it stayed with me as an adult.
It’s one thing I don’t like about casual Fridays at banks. Men never really get to dress down but women do. Even as a teenager I could pick up on who treated customers equally and who was only looking out for their own interests. I guess you could say that made a “lasting impression” because I still do it.
Looking for an apartment the first impression is what I went on. I was predominantly looking online so I would look at the floor plan and photos. When I went to see one I kept telling myself to look beyond the clutter but I just didn’t have that gut reaction. When I went to see this one I knew immediately. There was also the difference of superintendents. One treated me like a number and one treated me like family. Everyone’s home has a different vibe.
First impresssions are also deceiving. My Dad drove a Ford, my brother drove a BMW. But now he drives an SUV…not a van because that’s a MOM CAR…his words not mine. We see a certain car and think of the type of person that drives that. Some people can be very charming and then you dig a little deeper and realize it’s all an act.
I’m a what you see is what you get type of person. Janet and I had our handwriting analyzed at a women’s show one time. We were both the same. I had a twin friend tell me that I took after my Mom and it was a wonderful compliment.