Yesterday morning I woke up to more snow. While I was sitting in the living room watching Hawaii Five-O it was snowing again. I think we all have the same thought “Oh come on!!”. I should not still have to put a hat on in April.
So I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and write what I am thankful for.
1. Taxes are done. The past couple of years since I also had to look after Mom’s estate too it was quite stressful. Not this year.
2. Money in the bank to pay for taxes. Yes, I had to move some around but I know how blessed I am to not have to worry about it.
3. Family. People who have really come to my aid. My uncle and cousin who I can share stories with.
4. My writing class is starting up soon
5. Health care. I had to write a food journal for my dietician. I don’t enjoy doing it but I know that this is there way of helping me. I’ve gotten better at making sure I eat more vegetables. I buy frozen fruit (her suggestion). I can email and say I’m frustrated.
6. In 4 weeks the outdoor Farmer’s market will be there. This summer I’m going to buy extra so I can freeze fruits.
7. My grocery “person”. I don’t have to go out in the rain or snow (or both!!) to get groceries
8. Rotisserie chicken. Convenient, economical and it tastes good
9. Clean clothes (ok they are clean but still have to be put away)
10. Products that make cleaning easier. Since the weather hasn’t been so great this week I’ve done some spring cleaning
Recently I heard about someone that I haven’t thought about in years. I thought about the last time I talked to her which was not long after Janet died. She told me that she would pray that God would bring someone into my life so I wouldn’t be alone. At the time I was too numb to really listen but it wasn’t helpful. The first thing to pray for is strength, healing. It was at a time in my life where I never felt more alone. I had wonderful friends who comforted me or took me out for coffee to get away from everything. The ones that are still with me know there will always be a hole that can never be filled.
I was also brought back to a time that honestly seems like a lifetime ago. At the celebration of life for Janet I had someone tell me she couldn’t believe I had a blog because we were so quiet. When i started journaling it was because there were things I needed to say that I couldn’t talk to my family about. I’m no quiet anymore because I had to find my own voice.
Yesterday I went out for coffee with my Uncle (Mom’s younger brother). He brought up the elephant in the room. He brought it up the last time but I kind of put him off. He and Mom were close so he couldn’t understand how I could get to a point where I don’t talk to my brother at all. When we were finished he told me there is no judgment. That is huge because he could judge me. Mom reconnected with him when he moved back here but she did it cautiously. I couldn’t and he knew why. When Mom went into the hospital I had to tell him despite the fact I never talked to him. I had to tell myself it doesn’t matter what I think he needs to be able to see her. His daughter was the one who found me on Facebook. Last summer the three of us went out to dinner and it was comfortable. It’s a blessing to be able to talk about Mom with other people. Shared memories.
I titled this post baggage because I can’t change the past. Sometimes things work out and sometimes things have to stay in the past.
This morning I walked to the Farmer’s Market as they were having one outside for Easter. I made a beeline for the booth that I usually go to and beside it was a vendor with items that should come with a “warning”…chocolate peanut butter cupcakes need I say more? I told the woman I had to avert my eyes and she told me “but they are soo good”. It was only zero degrees celcius this morning so I had to wear a hat and mittens. She did notice my hat because it was purchased at the market…plus it’s super cute. I bought some carrot soup for lunch which would be better with crusty bread but I will find a healthier alternative.
I’m the type of person if I go to the grocery store there should be a sign on the door that says “warning walking in means you will spend more than you intended!” I will go in for 2 items and 9 times out of 10 I will walk out with bag full of stuff. Mom was the person if they put lemon pies on sale at the entrance she couldn’t pass it up. Thursday afternoon I went to M and M meats with my neighbour and I was glad that I placed my order ahead of time because right behind the cash register was boxes of Nanaimo bars. My grocery guy told me once that having someone like him do your groceries certainly cuts down on impulse buying.
Since I have purchased clothes from a bunch of different stores I’m on the email mailing list because I ordered online. I’m not sure I’m quite at the point of being a clothes horse but I will open the email and ooh and ahh over the pretty clothes. Do I need it…no but it’s so pretty! Honestly there should be a big red STOP button before ordering.
I often think my friend’s cards should come with a warning before I open it. Sometimes I will cry at the drawing because it will bring up a combination of emotions. She is the type of person who uses every lick of blank space on the card to write a note and if she writes how proud my family would be of me tears will flow. My coffee buddy teased me one time that is why I have Kleenex in my purse all the time because they would come without warning.
We are currently a little over a week into spring and it certainly doesn’t feel like it. According to the weather channel we are going to be waiting a little bit longer for spring to come. I went out yesterday with a former neighbour for coffee and had to put a winter coat on and it was pouring rain.
Tomorrow they are having an outdoor farmers market for Easter. It’s not expected to be very warm so I’ll have to break down and put a hat and gloves on as I go around 9AM. In 4 short weeks it will be outside all the time.
I know I just have to be patient but patience has never been a virtue. Can’t be just have a hint of spring…a couple of days of double digit temperatures? When we had a lot of snow this winter I kept telling myself I just have to wait until spring. I want to be rewarded darn it!
Maybe this means we will have a more moderate summer. Ahh one can hope.
This weekend is the second anniversary of moving into my apartment. Frantic is a good word for today as that is what it felt like. It’s weird thinking that something good came out of that frantic time…ok frantic year…but that is how I found this place. It was at a time when all I wanted was for it to all be over so I googled an intersection in the city and this apartment came up. I know that I was guided to this place because I have the benefits of living in an apartment, helpful caring superintendents and I live within walking distance of a farmers market which helps in healthy eating. Honestly I look back at that time and wonder how I accomplished it all.
Most of 2016 was frantic. People would ask if I was enjoying my new home and I didn’t really have time to. This is tax season and I remember having so much stress from it. I couldn’t believe how easy it was this year. No rushing around getting everything, no worrying whether I had everything either.
Today I’m going out with my former neighbour for coffee. I have to make a couple stops first. I ordered a few things from M and M meats. I remember going with Mom at Christmas and she would have 2 boxes of bars…butter tart bars for me and Nanaimo for my brother. We would get the bean and carrot medley for vegetable, some single serve entrees to have on hand and I’m sure a few other things that I can’t remember. I would sit on the stool in the kitchen and cut the bars to put them in the freezer. I would eat the parts that broke off because there aren’t any calories in that.
In a few weeks my writing class will be starting up again. It’s nice having time for it again. The biggest stress will be staring at a blank piece of paper waiting for the words to come.
When my Mom’s health started to decline grocery shopping became harder. Although I helped it was still a lot of energy for her. When she went into the hospital I took a cab home from the grocery store but I had to haul the bags onto my porch (with the help of cab driver) and then lug them inside. It just wasn’t efficient especially in the wintertime as I was tracking snow all through the hallway and letting cold air in. One night I looked online for grocery delivery services. This one was the most convenient because I could pick a day and time that worked for me. I will admit it took a little bit of trial and error to learn how much to put on the list. I keep a basic list on my Ipad (milk, eggs, bread, veggies) and add to it as I run out.
This morning I did a load of dishes and put a load of clothes in the washing machine. Both done by the time my grocery person came. Unlike store delivery people they also do errands as well so I was able to give them something to drop off for me. 2 dollars for a bus ticket and it costs 3 dollars for what they call an “extra stop”. That’s what I call a WIN!
Last fall I purchased a really cute cart for my farmers market purchases. I have a system where I walk around the perimeter to see what is offered and then I go to a few booths. I go to one which has single serve homemade meals. It’s always a good idea to have some on hand in the freezer.
My friend was teasing me when I told her I ran out of coffee. She forgot I had a Keurig. For one person it’s a lot more convenient. We all have items that make our life more efficient. A dishwasher, coffee maker, computer (although I’m not always sure about this one!). If I’m running errands I always try to make sure I do 2 or 3 things at that same time. I have my bills taken out automatically. My parents did this for years and I can’t imagine having to go to the bank once a month to stand in line and pay my bills.
In a few weeks my writing class is starting up again and I will have to change my schedule a bit as it’s on my grocery day. I will now have “homework”. It’s kind of like school I get my bag ready the night before.
In my city I used to have a favourite coffee shop that Janet and I went to. Our favourite restaurant was Swiss Chalet. Now one of my favourite places would be Victoria Park because of the festivals, Williams coffee pub and of course walking through the park at Christmas to see the lights. Made better by sharing it with a friend.
I think Covent Garden Market would be my favourite place in late spring as it’s my weekly routine. I love wandering through the market and finding unique gifts and flowers. It’s so much easier eating healthy when there is an abundance of fresh produce and vegetables. There is more of a connection with the food as opposed to buying it at the supermarket.
I decided on the sign that my friend gave me as a house warming gift because there really is no place like home. As much as it’s nice to go away on vacation there is no better feeling than coming home to sleep in my own bed. To cook my own food. Shouldn’t your home be your favourite place?
I belong to a weight loss group on Facebook. Something happened this morning and this woman decided to leave. It’s not the first time I have seen this happen. I belonged to the Twinless Twins Facebook page and I eventually left because of the lack of respect for everyone. Before I went to a TT conference I probably would have thought that losing your twin as a baby wouldn’t be the same but the more I learned the more I realized it’s just different. There loss isn’t LESS than my loss. I don’t know what it’s like to go through life with only one photo of my twin. I was able to make memories with Janet.
I also had to leave a support group because I didn’t feel my loss was respected because I hadn’t lost a spouse. I felt like I should have been supported by the facilitators whose job it was to create a safe environment for everyone. Losing a twin is not the same as losing a sibling. I lost my partner, my other half.
Losing 3 family members has meant that there have been times when I needed to create space for myself. Thankfully my friends have respected that. I’m not perfect there have been times when I don’t agree with something someone is doing but I respect the fact that it’s their choice.
Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday so in honour of her and my family I wore my heart shaped locket. On the front side it says always and on the back it says together in my heart. On the inside it has a picture of my and Janet and my family picture on the other side. I don’t wear jewelry often but this is one I wear a lot.
My friend and I went to Idlewyld Inn after she picked me up around 3. Unfortunately the dining room is closed but they made allowances and put us in a room off the side. I was telling my friend that it has been a roller coaster of emotions because I was remembering birthdays we celebrated together. How sad memories are mixed in with happy ones.
This is what I had. I didn’t finish it. My friend had a cheesecake that kind of tasted like cookies and cream. It was “ok”. Cheesecake isn’t my thing.
This has been kind of a hectic week so I forgot a couple things on my grocery list…coffee being one. Anyone that reads my blog knows that I HAVE TO have coffee in the morning so we stopped at Metro. I didn’t tell my friend that I had planned to go anyway. The flower area is right beside the door when you come in. I looked through the one lot but couldn’t find the right balloon then I found this one.
I took a picture when I got home and posted it on Facebook. The mother of a public school friend wrote underneath what a great idea. I teased my friend I hope I can get it in the building without my super seeing. I was standing behind a mother and son at the grocery store and he was eyeing my balloon. Sometimes I get flowers but a balloon seemed more appropriate this year.
As I mentioned yesterday my Mom isn’t the type that would care if I bought a balloon for her birthday. But I know that my family are all smiling and happy that I honoured her. That I did something that makes me happy.
Today is my Mom’s birthday, she would be 75. This photo was taken after we went out for lunch for her 70th. I love this picture because it’s so natural. I remember going to White Oaks mall to get something and I passed Carleton Cards on the way to the store. It was near Mother’s Day and they had this frame that was floral and had the words Me and Grandma on the bottom. Since Mom was waiting in the car I was able to buy it. We never bought gifts for mother’s day or father’s day because Mom and Dad were just happy with a card. When I handed it to her she said “what’s this?” Of course she admonished me for getting her a gift. When she opened it she cried.
These special days come with a roller coaster of emotions. The “invisible” scar from a broken heart. The invisible tears. I was looking through my photos and there was photos from trips she took. Photos from our cruise. I posted one on facebook from Easter and I thought she looked pretty and she thought she looked old.
This afternoon I’m going out with a friend for coffee and dessert. A way to honour my Mom.