Monday, November 30, 2009

Cheer up Sunshine! It's Sunday....

The Observer and I saw the movie The Blindside staring Sandra Bullock last night. My taxi was late picking me up. Rain delayed transportation in both regions. My parents were waiting for me at the bus transfer point. In one way, I was glad the bus was late as it gave me time to visit with Mom and Dad. Keeping them waiting made me feel bad. I knew that I was holding up their plans to meet my brother and his girlfriend for dinner. Our visit was short, but sweet as usual. I gave Mom a big bag of dirty laundry and she gave me two bags of clothes and yummy food. I have the best family. I was reminded of my good fortune by my friend's boyfriend. He and I both took the bus from my building to the transfer point. His girlfriend is the one I often have sushi or coffee with on Sundays. He doesn't come from a very loving family and could be called a latch key kid. My heart goes out to the guy. He's very sweet. I admire his intelligence and kindness. Most of his positive nature can be credited to himself alone. My friend's boyfriend said I lucked out in the area of parents. He's right.

The Observer was not his usual sunny, happy self when I got to the movies. He greeted me with, "What happened?" which he only says when he's a little tiffed. Part of me thinks his response his funny. I'm late and that's all I can really say. Bus and taxi tardiness is out of my control. The Observer's phone was off, so he must have been occupied with his ipod. I was glad as that's better than worrying. I kept telling him to, "Cheer up Sunshine! It's Sunday!" I knew the Observer really wanted to see The Blindside, but he likes to do things a hundred per cent or not all, particularly where movies are concerned. I still wanted to see the movie, even though we were twenty minutes late. The Observer took a bit to cheer up, but was himself once he started enjoying the movie. I had a hunch that the Blindside would bring out the Observer's sunny side. Movies always do. The story focused on a football star who was taken in by a loving family when he was orphaned. Sandra Bullock played a determined, loving mother. The Observer was chuckling and got choked up a few times, so I knew he liked the film. We both left the theater happy, a sure sign of a good movie.

At Starbucks later, a very sweet coffee server helped us out. She was extra attentive and made my coffee just right - a major score in my world. They gave out free slices of gingerbread holiday loaf. The treat was so yummy. I wanted another slice but restrained myself. A favourite taxi driver picked the Observer up. I got to chat with him, which was a bonus. The night started late, but ended with much sweetness. I'm not always so lucky. When I am, I count my blessings.

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with a full bladder. The staff on shift couldn't reach me in time and had to clean me up. Fortunately, the wetness was contained and she was kind. Today I saw an attendant who I haven't seen in ages. She's one of my old favourites. I enjoyed our morning together. This afternoon, I dealt with a miserable attendant. It took everything in my not to be rude. I was struck with the thought, "Cheer up sunshine! They're not all bad."


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lost, lights, cold and love...

Cold weather, finding my way and I do NOT mix. The event that the Observer and I attended last night confirmed this. The evening was part of a weekly celebration called the Cavalcade Of Lights. One of our city's main public venues lit a beautiful, red and gold tree to symbolize the beginning of the holiday season. Being evening, the sky was dark and showcased the Christmas tree and lights. There was also a full skating rink and glow sticks for kids. The big attraction had to be the musical performers who included Ed Robertson who used to sing for the Bare Naked Ladies, Matt Dusk and Keisha Shante and some other performers that don't stick out in my mind. I got to the venue well before the Observer. I saw some of the night's preparations and staked out different places to keep warm. By then, I was already starting to get cold. I should have realized that I wasn't going to get any warmer. Cold and finding my way while anywhere new are two of my biggest challenges. The Observer knew to text me when he was nearby. Both of us trying to find each other turned out to be a big nightmare. In the hundreds of people, it was an hour and a half before we tracked each other down. Amist the crowd, a heard a frantic male voice yell out for me. Finally meeting up with the Observer was a huge relief. He's a pretty patient guy. I was really chilly. As we tried to find shelter, we saw a bit of the beautiful fireworks. All was not lost. Having waited for dinner, we needed food. Since I was nipped, the Observer sweetly got me a coffee in a jam packed Timothy's. I appreciated his gesture, but wished he had bought some hot beverage for himself too. The Observer gave me the Fun house CD by Pink and Matt Dusk. I'm not a big Matt Dusk fan. He's OK. Seeing him perform for free is a good deal, but I would never buy his album. I told the Observer my thoughts and he's going to try to return the both CDs. I've listened to Fun house countless times, so I really don't need a copy. Was I rude to tell the Observer that I really don't want both albums? Would it have been classier to graciously accept both gifts, even though I won't use them? Hopefully the Observer knows that I appreciate his kindness. Isn't it a good sign that I can be honest with him about what I want and don't want? I'm not sure I ought to have been so blunt.

We found a table. The Observer bought a hot dog with ketchup and mustard. He didn't want it when he spilled on his pants. I called him a baby. I would have eaten the hot dog plain or worried about the mess later. Living and eating is more important than being clean in my books. Everyone is different. I almost missed my bus. I couldn't find the pick-up spot and the bus driver was just pulling away when he saw me. I got lucky. Getting under my covers last night, I still felt cold. The Observer might be a baby when he comes to making a mess, but I'm truly a baby when cold weather hits me. It takes one to know one, doesn't it?


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Caramel syrup in my coffee fantasy...

Last night I was exhausted. I had a coupon for a free beverage from Starbucks. I belong to their online newsletter and one perk is getting free coffee for your birthday. I had a decaf with soy milk and sugar free syrup. The barrista asked me if I wanted "Something more fancy." In my opinion, there's nothing better than the natural deliciousness of coffee. I loved my coffee with it's caramel zip. The only drawback was my choosing decaf coffee, so it didn't wake me up.

Knowing I wouldn't be good company, I asked the Observer if we could take a rain check on our plans to hang out. Disappointed and missing each other, we talked frequently throughout the evening. I did something I have never done before while in my apartment - I sat on my couch and watched Ice Age 2: The Meltdown and read my book. The change was fun and relaxing. Sitting in the same chair all the time can get boring. The only snag of the evening was that the TV converter wasn't working, but I was able to control the TV using the DVD controller. When I got too tired to read, I watched repeat episodes of Dr. Oz and Oprah on tape. Not surprisingly, I slept well. Funny though, I'm still tired today. The Observer and I are going to a Christmas lighting and music festival tonight. The excitement ought to liven me up. Maybe I need a coffee with a shot of caramel first. Once I get an idea in my head, that's it.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Tired day...

I'm very tired.............i couldn't sleep last night. my laxatives kicked in. talk about bad timing. i miss my parents and want to go home. i watched tv all night. three's company was on, which made me happy. That show never falls to make me smile. i love Jack Ripper. There are so many sexual undertones.

Today I got my hair cut. it's a lot shorter. I've had the same hairdresser before. she knows her stuff. I'm not sure if i like my hair. maybe it will grow on me. after getting my haircut, i bought vegan pizza. the store isn't wheelchair accessible, so a kind woman brought my pizza out. it's colder today. i needed a table, so i went inside the library and ate at a table there. on the way out, i almost bumped into someone being wheeled out on a stretcher. thankfully, the attendant spoke up before there was a collision.

i miss my mom............i wish i could see her. i need her lovin'. call me a baby, but it's how i feel. my head hurts and heart aches. the observer is coming over, so I'm happy about that...everything passes, right?

- ocg

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Barbara's blah biography...

Have you ever been chilled to your bone? I am today. I just can't warm up. I've got the shivers. They began as soon as I woke up. Unfortunately, I had to drink my laxative mixed with purple Kool-aide. Luckily, it went down quite easily. I'm happy about that, as not every time goes so smoothly. I am often gaging, sputtering and chocking the awful tasting liquid down. Sometimes it's my laxative that makes me cold. Drinking so much medication has to be a shock to the system.

Last night I got stood up. I was planning to have psyiotheraphy, but it was cancelled at the last minute. I was a bit disappointed. My bottom has been sore and I was wondering if my psyiotheraphist had any answers. I spent the night reading the Barbara Walters biography called Audition. So far, the book isn't too exciting. It has only delved into Barbara Walter's childhood. I have a hunch it will pick up. Audition is a huge book, so it must be filled with lots of juicy stuff. Who can fill a book saying nothing? Well, it's not that hard, but not everyone can do it well. I'll see how Barbara does.....once I warm up.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday rain...

It's a grey, dreary, wet Wednesday. At this time last year, there was snow, so how can we really complain? It was another unproductive morning of TV watching. I saw a documentary called My Jewish Mother's Lesbian Wicken Wedding. The show is playing in a theater close to where I live. I pass the theater every day. The show does look funny, offbeat and happy. The producers worked hard to find success. They seemed like a down to earth couple who worked hard and got a little yucky. Isn't there a saying, "Success is when preparation meets luck." (or something like that?)

I called my friend last night. Her mother is in the hospital. Her mother is the sweetest person. I'm praying she is OK. When a Mom is sick, it's like the end of the world. My friend's call waiting went, so she had to let me go. She called back, but I was going to bed. Hopefully, she's got some answers. Not knowing what is wrong can be so stressful. I left a message for my friend this morning. I hope she knows I'm thinking of her....

The Observer had a rough day too. He was sad that he couldn't walk. He said, "it seems like you and I talk less and less." This upset me. I don't mean to NOT call him. He knew I would be busy until evening. Sorry if I'm busy....We talk at least twice a day and it's important to me. That said, life gets busy. I hope the Observer understands. When I'm a ninety year old woman, I'll look back and feel grateful that someone wanted to talk to me.

Christmas is a month away. Soon I'll be saying that there's one more sleep until Christmas. Time flies, so life is for enjoying, talking, living, loving and living. Fitting all that in can be challenging, but none of these actvitives are unpleasant. It's a bit like filling our plates during holidays meals. They end up pretty full, but we manage to pack all the yummy food in. There's always room for good.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gone With The Wind...

You know how one day can be so good that you just know the next one will have challenges? That's how things are shaping up today. Yesterday was great. I had a productive appointment close to the Observer's family. Since I have to take two buses to get to both places, I thought it wise to take advantage my location and make it a multi-purposeful day by visiting the Observer at his parents. My trips worked well. I had ample time to travel. The same bus driver picked me up twice. He's nice but the dude loves to's a free country, right?

The Observer's family switched to Bell cable to save money - or so they thought. The cable was switched yesterday. TV is a major source of entertainment for their family. They specified that they wanted access to The Score and Food Network, but they weren't given those channels. Both of the Observer's parents spent at least two hours on the phone with Bell trying to negotiate a fair price. They did get the food network and score, but I don't think they are happy with Bell. I was impressed with how assertive the Observer's mother spoke. She is quite the advocate, especially in the name of the Food Network. She made a yummy dinner of pasta, chicken parmigiana, salad, fruit and pannetonne. My favourite part was the espresso. I drank at least three cups. Thankfully, I was exhausted by the night-time so I slept well.

Today an attendant gave me a rough time. She's older and miserable - neither of which is my fault. Bursting to pee, I had to wait. My bladder rocks. On the upside, I was blessed with a forgiving librarian who made my day. I returned the DVD Gone With The Wind not realizing that the cover was still in my backpack. Rules state that patrons must pay for damaged or lost materials. Explaining the situation, staff kindly let me off the hook. I'm not sure where the DVD cover is. Perhaps it's gone with the wind...


Monday, November 23, 2009

Free coffee..

I forgot to mention that on Saturday the Observer and I stopped by the mall to see the crystal tree. The Observer got some top notch shots with his cell phone camera. There were a few people who had the same idea. Technology is so multi purposeful. By this time next year, cell phones will probably be able to perform a new function.

Last night I was very tired. My whole body felt sucked of energy. Too tired to read, I watched I Love Lucy on DVD. There's nothing like light, classic comedy when one needs to relax. Mom bought me the whole series on DVD. I'm on season two. There was an episode I watched last night called Murtz and Kurtz. Lucy posed as a maid named Bessie for a dinner hosted by Fred and Ethol. Fred wanted to pretend he was wealthy and having a maid was a way to uphold that image. Lucy was a klutz. She spilled food and was more interested in participating in the dinner-time conversation than working. I was struck by how Ethol treated Lucy as a menial worker, but I suppose this wouldn't have been unusual for maids in the 1950's. I'm glad we are more accepting of everyone now. If equality wasn't the norm, I would be in trouble.

I didn't sleep all that well last night. Having appointments today, I got up early. MacDondalds is having another free coffee promotion. Since it's only offered until ten ' o clock every morning, I usually miss it. My day commonly begins between nine and ten. If I have to get up early, a free coffee makes it worthwhile. MacDonalds was quite busy. Anything that is free draws quite a crowd. I saw quite a few homeless people in Macdonalds. It's not surprising. They need free coffee more than I do. My coffee was tasty and the young person who served me was sweet. Friendliness and free stuff is a rocking combination.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mindless matters...

Today is a sunny Sunday. Those are always a blessing. This morning wasn't too productive on my end. I talked to the Observer, listened to the UK countdown on the radio and read People. My plan was to go outside, but it just didn't happen. Yesterday was the same deal....I need to get my arse into gear. Soon my arse will be in gear to get out, but it will be too cold. I dread the winter like never before. I'm not sure why. It will come whether I'm ready for it or not. Christmas is the only enjoyable part of winter. I hate having cold hands. Everyone does, I suppose.

Meeting the Observer and my friend at Union Station yesterday was fun. I was a bit late getting there, but they are an understanding bunch. We all had subs and chatted. It was a nice afternoon. I was glad the Observer could make it. He and my friend get along well. The Observer gets along well with anyone. Sometimes I know I can be the most challenging person in the Observer's life to tolerate. He would never say so, but I know. My friend gave me an overgenerous monetary gift. I may use it for a haircut. I am feeling rather shaggy. Putting away soaps last night, I accidentally unplugged my TV. I was surprised at how disappointed not being able to watch it made me feel. I've never really thought of myself as a big TV fan. In fairness, Top Chef was on and I really wanted to see it. Thankfully, my attendant came right before the show started and plugged it in. I tuned in just in time. Luck was on my side. Top Chef is more about cut throat kitchen behaviour as opposed to cooking. It's like a soap opera for cooks. It's light TV before bed. Even so, it's obviously a more important part of my life than I thought. Sometimes mindless entertainment plays an important role in our lives.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday on the Go...

There's nothing like a good sleep. Top notch rest is one of life's natural highs. I had a good sleep last night. I must have needed it. My day was fun, busy and productive. It's no wonder I was tired. I am feeling refreshed today. My visit home was fun. Dad and I took the Go-train. We had to wait around for about an hour and a half, because the Go-trains don't start running until 4:30. Dad bought me a yummy hazelnut coffee from Second Cup. I must have been thirsty as I downed that drink in a flash. There are two Second Cups at Union Station. I like the different choices each chain offers. It's impossible to have too many choices when coffee is involved. I brought Dad a muffin top that he munched on. I asked my attendant to take it from the freezer. I was worried that she took out the wrong treat, but Dad enjoyed the muffin. I was glad. I met more of Dad's co-workers. He let his mustache grow. His look is a little scruffy. I don't know if I like it. I think Dad can tell I'm on the fence. Sometimes it's what we DON'T say that counts.

We saw some of the same people on the Go-Train from our last trip about three weeks. There is a cute little boy with curly, dark hair named Tye, who I recognized. People were loud and happy. Being Friday, they must have been happy to head home. Dad chatted with the Go-train staff who asked me where I was coming from. Dad's car was waiting at the station close to our house, so we made it home fast. Dad was starving. We opened the door of our house to the smell of stir fried veggies. Mom had a yummy super of salmon, veggies and my favourite salad ready. My sister came from work. I was glad to see her as it gave me a chance to thank her for the ride from Collingwood to my apartment last weekend.

After I ate two servings of Mom's apple crisp for dessert, we headed to Homesense. Dad and I browsed while Mom and my sister shopped. Mom bought Christmas sprinkles and some gifts for my brother. He wants stainless steel bowls. I think he scored those yesterday. Dad and I found a children's book for the Observer's niece called Boo . The book might be a bit young for her, but it's cute. We laughed at the life size Santas. They're kind of hooky. An old, big, blind, gay man lives in my building. He's always saying he's lonely. One of those Santas would be great company for him. They are begging to be hugged. I am debating painting my orange sun room a more neutral colour. I'm growing up. I'm thinking brown or grey, but need to think more seriously.

Mom plucked my eyebrows before my taxi came. They were bushy. I was tired, so I drank lots of diet Coke before saying goodbye. Both of my taxi drivers were kind and funny. One was very happy to be finishing his day. I could relate.

I saw the cast of the movie Nine interviewed on Oprah today. Daniel Day Lewis seems so cute and sweet. I think he trumps Jude Law on my list of attractive actors. His gentle, sweet nature stirred something in me. I bet sleep is sweet in his bedroom (and for other reasons than a good rest!)


Friday, November 20, 2009

Here comes the tree!

It's a sunny Friday, but not as warm as one would think. I'm chilled, but it doesn't take much. Yesterday it rained, so we can't complain about today I suppose. Last night a Christmas tree was unveiled at the mall. My plan was to go and watch the entire ceremony. My dinner-time attendant was late, so that plan didn't quite materialize. She's very chatty. I kept looking at the clock to try and hint that I was in a rush. She didn't get the message. I wanted to say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah...please get going because I've got somewhere to be." It's better to be late than rude, right? The mall was super crowded. People were clamouring to take pictures of the tree being unveiled just as I got there. I made it just in time for the big event. The host of the evening was from Breakfast Television. I think her name is Tracy Wilson, but I could be wrong. Music was provided by the Three Tenors. I didn't hear much of their music, but was impressed by what I did hear. They sing opera-like music. As happened last year, I got all choked up. Maybe it's the spirit of Christmas that hits me - or maybe I am super sensitive. Perhaps both is true. I tease the Observer for crying at the drop of a hat, but if truth be known, I cry just as easily.

I came home exhausted. My lack of sleep from the previous night caught up with me. I was grumpy and had a sore stomach. Being so tired, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go home. There is only one pair of underwear left in my drawer, so that should have been the deal breaker. Having cancelled plans with the Observer, I didn't want to end up home and stuck in the washroom tonight if I could help it. The Observer was so sweet and understanding about my indecisive plans. He rolls with life and rarely complains. I can learn a lot from him. There are many better ways to spend an evening. Nature called at two o clock in the morning. Thankfully, my attendant was kind and helpful. We have all had to go to the washroom in the wee night hours, so there wasn't much my attendant could say. I did decide to go home. I need underwear. Plus, I'll get to see my parents. It's a win win situation.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Only sometimes...

A major subway line was out of service yesterday. A worker made a mistake putting public safety in jeopardy. Luckily, I wasn't directly involved, but I did pass the congestion. Everyone was on their cell phones calling families to say they would be late. There's nothing that brings people together like being stranded. I felt lucky not to be trapped in the madness. Getting to the theater took a bit of extra time due to traffic. The wait was worth it because A Christmas Carol was a great movie. I really enjoyed it. The Observer did too. The animation was fantastic. Jim Carey's voice is one of a kind. His character looked like his real life self. Modern technology seems to be better and better at making animation seem real. Tiny Tim is my favourite character. I love when he says, "God bless us - everyone." There was a song by Andrea Bocelli that I really enjoyed. It played as the credits rolled. I have a hunch that it will become popular on the radio once more Christmas carols get aired.

I was munching on cauliflower and celery sticks. I must have bothered the movie watchers and the Observer. In fairness, there was the sound of popcorn munching from surrounding seats. A crunch is a crunch regardless of what makes the crunch, right?

By the end of the night, I was a grump. My butt was sore. Poor Observer who took the brunt of moodiness. He never complains. I met a lady on the bus who had a sore back. She was sweet. I felt bad for her. I could feel her pain - only in a different location. Pain is pain regardless of where it comes from, right?

My attendant care manager forget to schedule an attendant to get me ready early this morning. I awoke at seven ' o clock with a hunch no one would come. What could I do? I called the attendant care lounge, but nothing could be done. They can't magically produce staff. Quota is quota regardless of schedule changes. It sucks, but that's how life goes sometimes. Fortunately, life only sucks sometimes.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Funny, fresh, fast, and frosty...

Yesterday I met the Observer at the mall. Being almost a week since we saw each other, I was happy to hang out. I missed his shiny head and infectious grin. Trying to avoid an overflowing bladder, I opted out of having coffee. It was hard, but having a washroom accident isn't worth it. To make myself feel better, I bought a package of melon mint gum. It has a unique taste. I offered some to the Observer, but he wouldn't go for it. He must have seen my face when I tried it. I was teasing the Observer about some of his gestures. He's a good sport. We both couldn't stop laughing. We have such a good time just being together.

The Observer had a sub for dinner. I took forever deciding what I wanted to eat. No surprise there. I must have circled the food court three or four times before deciding to have a salad from Freshii. I know they are good. My salad had mixed greens, salsa, cucumbers, celery, apple, mushrooms, red onions, beans sprouts, red peppers, egg whites, chickpeas, broccoli, and cilantro. I enjoyed it. Freshii salads are a bit pricey, but I like to think that it's because I am paying for fresh ingredients.

Today I went grocery shopping. I bought broccoli and orange and yellow peppers. No Frills grocery store didn't have the bread I like. Craving toast, I zipped town to another grocery store. I was a bit late for my lunch booking, but it was worth it. My toast was delicious. As usual, my lunch attendant was miserable. When she was helping me, I had all these evil thoughts about her. Thank goodness that she couldn't read my mind. I would have been in trouble...

The Observer and I are seeing the movie A Christmas Carol staring Jim Carey later today. I've heard good things. I'm a bit worried that my bus will come before the movie finishes, but I can't do much about it. The bus comes whether I'm ready for it or not. It's a bit like my grumpy attendant. She s who she is, but I don't have to like her...


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feeling the sunshine...

Last night I caught up on my Oprah, W5, and Dr. Oz episodes. I missed a lot of from my weekend in Collingwood. I watched an episode where a woman's face got destroyed by a chimp. She lost her eyes, hands and her entire life as she knew it in the attack. Amazingly, the woman had a positive outlook. She admitted that she sometimes felt angry, but knew that feeling wouldn't get her far. In the rehab center where the woman stayed, she made a point to walk around. Her greatest pleasure involved "feeling the sunshine" on her arms. How many people really stop to appreciate such small things? The woman always wore a hat that covered her face. She chose to take off her hat publicly on Oprah. She was missing her eyes. Though her facial structure was unlike anything I've ever seen, I couldn't stop thinking about the impact her injury would have on the rest of her life. How could she not feel alone? Who else in the world would know how it felt to be attacked by a chimp, to not have eyes or hands?

Yesterday the Observer was frustrated because he wanted to walk. I understand. My attendants were frustrating me. I use attendants because I can't walk. Our specific frustrations are different, but somewhat connected. The cause is often the same behind the problems the Observer and I encounter. Being challenged can feel lonely, but at least there are people in the world who understand exactly how I feel. I'm not sure the woman who lost her face will ever be able to find anyone who understands. Maybe she'll meet super compassionate people. We ALL have challenges. They happen to be different. Hopefully the woman will get to feel the sunshine on her arms every day.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Shopping for complaints...

Monday has been OK. I can't complain about too much. Actually....yes I can. Since I don't often complain and this IS my blog, I might as well. Two of my attendants have been bothering me. Remember how the one from last Monday hurt her arm and was off work for a week? My closet door "almost' fell on her arm and she injured herself stopping it. Honestly, I do feel bad, but the whole thing seems a bit odd. I don't know if I completely trust this attendant. She kept moaning and groaning while washing my hair. If she was in so much pain, why did she come to work in the first place? I told her that I was sorry the accident happened and I hoped she felt better. What more can I do? I HAD to have my hair washed. After three days, my head was pretty greasy.

Another attendant hurt her arm while standing me on the pole to help me transfer. My legs got crossed. Who can stand properly with crossed legs? Not me. I asked her if she was alright. She mumbled. Whatever....I don't like anyone getting hurt, but some people really push it...

This afternoon I went to the mall. Wearing only my vest, I was pretty chilly. I bumped into a flirty acquaintance. He's sweet, but very touchy feely. I gave him a hug, but drew the line when he asked for a kiss. Those are only for the Observer. Every Christmas, a beautiful crystal tree gets unveiled with music and a countdown building up to the big moment. I love going to the true unveiling. I found out at the mall that the tree gets unveiled on Thursday. I'll be there. I won't have bells on or any complaints. Well, maybe one or two...


Sunday, November 15, 2009


Oh, I'm bein' followed by a moon shadow,
moon shadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin' on a moonshadow,
moon shadow, moonshadow
And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,
Oh if I ever lose my hands,

Oh if.... I won't have to work no more.
And if I ever lose my eyes,
if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes,
Oh if.... I won't have to cry no more.
And if I ever lose my legs, I won't moan, and I won't beg,
Yes if I ever lose my legs,
Oh if.... I won't have to walk no more.
And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,
Yes if I ever lose my mouth,
Oh if.... I won't have to talk...
Did it take long to find me?
I asked the faithful light.
Did it take long to find me?
And are you gonna stay the night?

- By Cat Stevens

Sunday at the chalet...

I slept like a baby. I was exhausted. I woke up thirsty. Dad got me a drink. When I'm thirsty, sleep is impossible. This morning, I slept until about 9:30. Everyone was already up. We had the apple strudel. Everyone liked it. I had the last piece just as all of the food was getting packed. The strudel was worth the cold trip to the market. Even so, I wouldn't want to make that trek too often in winter. Last night I was ready to drop. I kept eating these little, oatmeal chocolate cookies my brother made. Going to bed was what I needed - not more food. Oh well, I can't turn back time - only learn.

Needing to check-out of the chalet by noon, everyone was kind of rushing to pack up. I felt a mixture of emotions. The weekend was fun, social, relaxing and good for me. A break from routine is therapeutic. All the things I worried about turned out to be non-issues. My siblings all helped carry me up and down the stairs and I asked anyone around for whatever I needed. Sometimes I make things into such a big deal...I couldn't shower, so I was staring to feel a bit grimy. My face felt dirty and so did my hair. I missed the Observer too. Surprisingly, I didn't miss my freedom to move freely as much as I thought I would. Maybe it's because there were so many helpful people around.

My sister and brother-in-law kindly drove me home. We were tired, so it was a quiet ride. My brother-in-law acted as a backseat driver and we managed to divert all the traffic from the Santa Clause parade. He's a clever one. We munched on muffins and pita chips. I think I ate too much because queasiness set in. I was praying that we'd make it home quickly. I felt better in my apartment. Saying goodbye to my sister made me sad. As sister's go, she's one of a kind.

I watched the first half of Gone With The Wind. I enjoyed the romantic elements as well as the historic ones. I hope to see the other half soon. There were some pretty profound quotes. I watched the rest of Alfie. The plot was light and cute. I was so tired that I was glad that I picked a mindless movie. My brain wouldn't have been able to process one that was too intense.

I'm feeling another top notch sleep coming on. When I have top notch weekends, top notch sleep often follows. Tiredness comes in different forms and this is a good tired. To think that I almost missed such a special weekend makes me sad. All I can do is be happy that I didn't.


Saturday, November 14, 2009


I am STUFFED. The rest of today was full - both figuratively and physically. I went exploring into downtown Collingwood with my brother and his girlfriend. Every place has a cute, old fashioned town with little shops. Collingwood is typical. We went into a home decor shop and bought Mom a pumpkin, hazelnut and butter cream candle. My brother's gilfriend and I went in a chocolate shop where a kind lady gave us a sample. We left with chocolates. It pays to be kind....

Reading People on the deck was challenging. The wind kept blowing the pages. I went into town with my brother in law and sister. The temperature dropped. i wore my winter jacket for the first time. i can't say I'm happy about that. The weather will only get colder. we found a funky bonfire where people gathered. The lake had funky orange chairs.

we talked about Christmas. we're all contributing to a worthy person or cause instead of gifts. i like that.......

- ocg

Saturday at the chalet...

My family weekend at the chalet is going well. The trip here with my brother and sister-in-law was fun. When we left the city, there was tons of traffic. Picking up my sister-in-law from her work took the longest. It's not often that I'm on the road at rush hour, which is probably good. We made it here in time for dinner. Seeing everyone settled and happy was relaxing. There's nothing like arriving to a place that already feels like home. I sat with my sister . She and my brother-in law were dinner chefs. They made a delicious roast chicken, white and green beans and cauliflower. After dinner, we played a movie trivia game called Scene It. Since I don't watch a lot of movies, I didn't get many right. I was wishing I had the Observer here. He is a movie expert. My brother-in-law won. He wins most games. I think his brain is a bit larger than average. The same could be said about the Observer's heart. Later, my twin brother sang Cheer Up Sleepy Jean. His singing had everyone roaring. Last year, he would have never taken such a risk. My twin brother's girlfriend has brought out his outgoing side. Sometimes all it takes is the right person to bring out what has always been within us.

Sleep didn't come easily to many of us last night. A change of scenery can make sleeping rough. I was cold and uncomfortable. Dad turned me over and covered me up. I drifted off. We were up bright and early. My sister-law and I chatted while Mom baked our raspberry french toast . Slowly, I've been working my way through People magazine. Fergie is on the front because her actor husband Josh Dumale is accused of cheating. Hopefully reports are false, but I haven't read the article yet. Stay tuned....

I had great intentions of reading which haven't materialized. I think I'll call the Observer. Today is his niece's fourth birthday party. Though I'm sad that we're not together this weekend, it's important that we're both with our families. Our shared love and respect for our families is one of the threads of our relationship. There is a lot of love in our hearts - for our families and each other.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Out of here...

I always have trouble sleeping the night before going away. Last night was no exception. My eyes didn't close for more than an hour. I watched the last little bit of Grey's Anatomy, Dr. Oz, Wylde On Health, According To Jim, Reba, and two episodes of Three's Company. The pickings were top notch, but I still would have rather slept. Three's Company was my favourite show. I have no idea why I can't sleep before going on a trip. I do it to myself. My mind gets all worked up. It's just the way I am. I worry about forgetting to pack something and all the logistics of going away. I worry about being out of routine, getting in the way and being a grump. I worry so much about not being miserable that it makes me tired and I end being grumpy anyway. It sounds silly, doesn't it? Sometimes I wish I was better at going with the flow. Life isn't a schedule. Things happen spontaneously, which is sometimes best. Being surprised can be one of life's greatest pleasures. I'm not used to handling surprises. They often make me nervous at first. I guess everyone feels this way with some surprises.

As with every Collingwood trip, I'm nervous. The thought of being bored and eating too much scares me. The idea of feeling confined and dependent scares me. The possibility of fighting with my family scares me. Being carried up the stairs scares me. My washroom issues scare me. Being away from the Observer makes me sad. Missing the Observer's niece's fourth birthday makes me sad. The fact that the Observer can't join my family this weekend makes me sad. The feeling that I don't have the freedom I am normally afforded and love so much frustrates me. The inability to get up and go as I please frustrates me. Needing to ask for help frustrates me.

All that said, I'm excited to go away for the weekend. Spending time with my family is important. We only get one. I'm blessed to love mine. Being around loved ones reminds me of what matters. I often see that I take life too seriously and that being alone doesn't always equate to strength. There can be strength in numbers too. Being part of joint activities is good for the soul and heart. Laughing is a stress relifer. A change of scenery can be therapeutic.

Last year's trip to the chalet was fun. I peed on my oldest brother as he was carrying me up the stairs. We both laughed. What else were we to do? We talk about that incident at least once a month. It's a funny memory - for me anyway. I know that I am blessed to have a family who includes me in their plans. Helping me is like second nature to them. It's me that is bothered by needing help. This year I asked if we could bring a commode for my personal care. Doing so should ease the need for the men in my family to have to carry me up and down the stairs. I'm also bringing my Winnie-The-Pooh mug, which will help me control my drinking. Hopefully my brother and I won't have a repeat incident.

I seriously considered not joining my family in Collingwood this year. I wondered if going was too much stress on myself and my family. Thinking about missing out made me sadder than all the challenges. Every experience creates a memory. The weekend helps me to apperciate the accessbility I am live with, my wonderful boyfriend, and my amazing family. This awareness makes going worthwhile. As an old lady, I'll look back and be glad that I decided to go. After all, what other sister can say she did (and might) pee on her brother?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A better night...

Man, I'm tired. Exhaustion hit me. I went to the St. Lawrence Market this afternoon and bought pumpernickel and rye bread for Mom and Dad. It was a chilly trip, but I stopped at Second Cup for some butter pecan coffee. It warmed me up. Speaking of warming up, remember how yesterday was going so sour? Fortunately, the latter half of my day turned around. Last night Dad stopped by the hotel to pick up my laundry, bagels and the Chelsea bun to bring to Collingwood. Seeing Dad was special and a life saver. I REALLY had to pee. Since Dad needs to help me in the washroom (because of my physical disability) using public facilities can be a challenge. After all, men aren't usually welcome in women's bathrooms and vice versa. Fortunately, I know the hotel staff and they were quite understanding once I explained the situation. I had to go so badly that I would have peed in the grass. Dad was nervous about entering the women's restroom, but was glad to help. He couldn't believe how badly I had to pee. It must have taken me five straight minutes to empty my bladder. Giving Dad my landry felt good. He bought me some of my birthday presents that I was too over-loaded to bring back to my apartment last week. One of the gifts was a new electric toothbrush. My teeth have been missing its funky rhythm. I tried my toothbrush last night. The modern Sonic Electric is different, but does the job just as well.

Dad helped me stretch out, which was so helpful. We chatted to a taxi driver who has driven me around for a number of years. It was the taxi driver's last night working behind the wheel. He is taking early retirement to go and care for his ninety-year-old father in the United States. I was glad I saw the driver and said goodbye. He's a good guy who I will miss chatting with. Dad, the driver and myself all talked about the various customers. We didn't say a formal goodbye, which is probably good. Goodbyes can be awkward, especially if it's someone we are very close to or a person who is an acquaintance. Both types of connections can cause awkwardness because we're not always in control of our emotions.

Dad left before I met the Observer halfway for dinner at the hotel. His father drove him because he couldn't get a ride. Funny how we both got saved by our Dads. We went to Subway for dinner. I ordered a small vegetarian sandwich, but the guy made a foot long. Since I didn't order a foot long, I didn't want to pay for one. The guy knew I wasn't impressed and only charged me for what I asked for. He gave me the rest of the sandwich for free, which was kind. I thanked him a few times. We went to Tim Hortons. Sitting and talking to the Observer was relaxing. We eavesdropped on teenagers. Somehow, I ended up with two orders of a large black coffee. I'm not sure how that happened. I only drank one. Travelling with the other coffee on the bus would have been rough. Throwing out coffee always hurts me. The bellman gave the Observer and I oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Having had my share waiting for my bus over the years, I know they are delicious, huge, and full of saturated fat. Though it wasn't the smartest choice, I enjoyed the cookie. Saying goodbye to the Observer made me sad. I will miss him. I won't get to see him until we get back from my family's annual weekend at the chalet in Collingwood.

Speaking of Collingwood, I had a backpack ready full of clean clothes to take. I asked my evening attendant to unpack clothes I brought home. She misunderstood what I meant and unpacked all the clothes I had ready. I knew what had happened right away. I was frustrated, but it was just one of those days. On the upside, I did get to see Dad and the Observer, which makes any day brighter.

Since we started renting the chalet,Mom and Dad have been wanting to stay for three days. To be honest, the inaccessibility of the chalet makes going for two days days seem long. Three days would be very rough on me. Everyone except my oldest brother, his wife and myself are going to the chalet tonight. We are leaving tomorrow afternoon. I am lucky they can take me. The drive will be a welcome chance to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law before they become too busy when their baby arrives. Brophy, my brother's dog, is travelling with my parents tonight. Dad joked that Brophy is a fair trade off for me. We both act goofy and drool, but I don't shed. My dependence on my family when in Colling wood is rough. Tomorrow I will need to reassure myself that going is the right decision. I know so, but positive reinforcement never hurts, does it?



ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully. TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other. THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want. FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it. FIVE. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye. SIX.. Be engaged at least six months before you get married. SEVEN.. Believe in love at first sight. EIGHT. Never laugh at any one's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much. NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely. TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling. ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.. TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly. THIRTEEN! .. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?' FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk. FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.. SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson. SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions. EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship. NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering over oatmeal...

I'm having one of those days. Everything is bothering me. Yesterday morning one of my attendants injured her arm when the door frame almost fell on her. Luckily, it didn't, but it was quite a close call. The manager called me and wanted to know details. Worker's Compensation is now involved. I didn't think the attendant was that hurt, but I guess I was wrong. Things turn into such a huge deal. I do feel bad. I asked the same lady where my hip bone was. A close area has been sore. I wasn't sure what the area would be classed under. Now, that was a mistake. The woman LOVES to go on about how skinny I am. Would you EVER comment on some one's weight? I bet not. She told me to "put on more padding." My butt and cheeks are big enough thanks. I always tell the lady she's beautiful. She is. Why can't she be positive towards me too? She doesn't have to compliment me, but please say something positive. The "put on more padding" remark was not meant in a mean way, but it was uncalled for. I'll be the first to admit that I am VERY sensitive about weight. It's my obsession. Sure, it's an unhealthy one, but it's mine. I'm working on managing my thoughts and being okay with myself. Isn't everyone? Who thinks they're perfect? If someone does, he or she has another problem.

This morning my attendant accidentally poked me in the eye with my toothbrush. She felt horrible. I kept telling her that I was fine. It was true. My eye stung with toothpaste, but I knew I would survive. OK or not, a poke in the peeper is not the best way to start the morning. Another attendant made me oatmeal. She made it before I even got out of the shower and she filled my small coffee cup halfway. Everyone who has ever made me coffee knows that I like my coffee cup filled right up to the top. You shortchange me on coffee and I don't like it. My breakfast was cold. The attendant who made it for me thinks I have eating issues. I do. So does this particular attendant, but her issue is being obese. Her struggle makes me sad, as it's not too different from my own. My bowl of oatmeal looked unusually hardy. Part of me thinks the other attendant and the one today agreed to secretly give me two packets. My disordered thinking tells me they want to bulk me up. Maybe this is not true. Maybe this is me being nuts. Maybe there is some truth to what I am thinking. Maybe I am having a grouchy day.

As I lifted my spoon to grumpily take my first bite of oatmeal, I couldn't help but notice that it was one minute to the eleventh hour, of the eleventh month of the eleventh day. I took a minute and remembered those who have died in past and present wars. Maybe I did eat an extra packet of oatmeal. At least I am able to freely make choices - a luxury many lose lives fighting for.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Little sleep and lots of TV...

Why did I wait until this afternoon to go outside? The same question has been plaguing me with each beautiful day that arrives. How many will we have until the snow comes? I feel the need to stock up on weather that doesn't demand mittens or heavy winter coats while it's here. Today, however, my plan to get out and about never took shape. Good intentions are one thing: action is another. I spent the morning listening to Pink. While I'm borrowing the Observer's CD, I am stocking up on her latest and greatest tunes. Pink puts a smile on my face. One of my attendants said she came by my apartment door yesterday but my music was blaring so loudly that I couldn't hear her knocking. I must have been having a true party for one. The music has to be top notch for me to attend and host my own party. The soundtrack for yesterday's party delivered. *Thanks Observer!*

My friend gave me cinnamon sticks from Second Cup as a part of my birthday gift. They are delicious when infused in coffee. The cinnamon sticks smell and taste amazing. They add a sweet, nutty flavour to my coffee. I think cinnamon sticks are my new addiction. Next, I want to try my coffee made with seeds from a vanilla bean. I'm getting adventurous with coffee. Plain, old, straight up brew will never disappoint.

Last night was spent lying in my bed watching TV. I couldn't sleep. The second I put my head on the pillow, I knew it would be a rough evening. My first show was the health addition of local news, which was all about the H1N1 vaccine. Listening to all the questions and concerns made me feel relief that I have my shot and grateful that I didn't catch the flu. I watched Top Chef next and Natalie Portman added as a judge. Chefs had to prepare vegetarian dishes for her in a steakhouse. I tuned into Three's Company and part of a Food network biography show called At The Table With....

Last night involved a lot of TV and little sleep. So far, I've felt alright today, but my eyes are starting to feel a bit heavy. I'll sleep well tonight. If I have more trouble, maybe I'll get up and have another party-for-one in the wee hours of the night. The neighbours will LOVE me. Maybe I'll try tea infused with a cinnamon stick instead. It's a sweeter option - in more ways than one.


Monday, November 09, 2009

In praise of coffee...

Drink up, coffee lovers. Not only is coffee aromatic and delicious, it's good for you.

While coffee was once considered questionable for your health, researchers at Harvard Medical School have found the beloved beverage is actually healthful in moderation. That means a few cups a day.

At about 20 cents per six-ounce cup, coffee is a good deal if you brew it yourself.

Harvard researchers say drinking coffee may help prevent diseases such as:

Cancer: Some studies have found coffee drinkers have lower rates of colon and rectal cancers and are 50 per cent less likely to get liver cancer than coffee abstainers.

Type 2 diabetes: Coffee is thought to contain chemicals that lower blood sugar, so heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as those who drink little or no coffee. Coffee also may increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help prevent diabetes.

Parkinson's disease: Coffee seems to help protect men from Parkinson's disease, but not women. The difference might be due to estrogen, researchers say.

Heart disease: Coffee is not linked to the development of heart disease. In the past few years, Harvard scientists say, coffee has been shown to be safe even for heart attack survivors. Scientists think antioxidants in coffee may reduce inflammation and protect blood vessel walls.

Life span: Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee decreases the risk of premature death, especially in women. Women who drank at least five to seven cups a week had a death rate 26 per cent lower than non-consumers, according to results of a large investigation by researchers in Spain and at Harvard Medical School.

It's not only Harvard researchers who are touting the brew's benefits.
Last month, a study led by Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., showed that people with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who drank three or more cups of coffee a day cut their risk of the disease progressing by 53 per cent.

Although caffeine might be considered the "active ingredient'' in coffee, coffee is only 2 per cent caffeine and 98 per cent "other stuff," including more than 1,000 different compounds such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
It even contains fibre. Each cup contains from 1.1 to 1.8 grams of soluble dietary fibre, the kind that dissolves in water and helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines, according to researchers at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.

Do researchers have any words of caution? Yes – although regular coffee drinking isn't harmful for most people, that might not hold true for pregnant women. Research has linked miscarriage to caffeine consumption of 200 milligrams or more per day. A typical cup of coffee has 100 to 150 milligrams, Harvard reports.

Of course, we like to be able to justify our morning addiction as healthful, even if the truth is we can't get moving without it!

Is it possible to be caffeine-addicted? Yes, University of Florida professor and director of toxicology Bruce Goldberger says.

"It is one of the most commonly ingested drugs worldwide. It is addictive. One example of that is if you consume a lot of caffeine, then you don't, you start to crave it. If you consume a lot of caffeine, and it is not working, then you need to consume more," Goldberger said.

- Toronto Star
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A sweet and salty evening...

We have been blessed with another beautiful day. It's mild, sunny and fall like. I went to the dollar store and bought coloured, scented garbage bags and peppermint gum. Exciting stuff, isn't it? I was wishing I had spent more time outside, but ended up dawdling. I can be the worst dawdler. I drive myself nuts, so I can only imagine how others feel....

Last night I went out for sushi with a friend. It's our biweekly ritual to meet up on Sunday nights for either Starbucks or sushi. She treated me to dinner and bought me a beautiful brown sweater. I need to tights to match. I was touched by my friend's kindness. I had miso soup, spring rolls and seaweed salad. The seaweed salad was my favourite. The miso soup was good, but salty. I drank tea and Kool-aid when I got home. My attendant was a bit grumpy. She's usually very sweet. Maybe she was tired. The Observer was not himself either. I think he was mad at me. I watched some of the movie Alfie staring Jude Law. He's one beautiful man. My Dad says there's an older version. I want to see it. I was cold last night and had to call for a blanket. Winter is coming........argh! Then again, so is Christmas....WOHOO!


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Pink and I...

Today is GORGEOUS outside. It's sunny and unusually warm for this time of year. A few people have told me to "Get out and enjoy the last warm day before the winter cold comes." Hearing this makes me sad, but it's true. This morning I ate too much cereal. I am sad because I had to miss a celebration of the Observer's family. My sheduled care didn't correspond with timing. I would have loved to see everyoone, especially the Observer niece and nephew. I'm feeling food guilt, but still trying to focus on the good parts of today.

I went to the grocery store to buy romaine lettuce and red peppers. The cashier was very sweet. On the way home, a sweet twenty something girl was giving out free coffee. When she offered me a cup, I said no at first, but then went back. I knew if I took the coffee, I'd be late for my booking, but some things are too good to pass up. The girl asked me if I liked coffee. If she only knew how much I LOVE coffee and that she made my day. I wish I had told her how happy she made me. The coffee was delicious. Being free made it extra yummy. I stopped and drank it right in the middle of the street. I was a bit late for my booking, but my attendant understood. Once I told her the reason, I knew she would.

The Observer and I had a sweet visit last night. He missed his bus coming to my apartment, but luckily they sent another. There was a long wait. Hungry, I took crackers from the fridge. Somehow, I got my wheel stuck and dragged the fridge. Loosening the plug, I had to call the super indent. He fixed it up for now, but still has a few repairs. He and his wife are so sweet. I love their kind way. I was happy to see the Observer. He's almost back to his old self, but still has a cough. He arrived around eight 'o clock and we went to Swiss Chalet. Being so late, I was wishing I had dinner ready. He was hungry and so was I. The Observer had the festive special and I had a salad. We went to Starbucks and I had a house blend coffee. Wide awake at three in the morning, I regretted not having decaf. There wasn't much on TV in the wee hours of the night. I listened to fighting across the street.

The Observer loaned me his Pink CD. I've been cranking up the tunes. If we can't be together today, at least I have Pink.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

This Is It (or just OK)...

My visit with the Observer last night was fun. We saw the new Micheal Jackson movie called This Is It. Since it opened last week, the Observer has been waiting with baited breath to see the movie. He preordered his ticket. If he's not a fan, I don't know who would be. When the Observer got sick last week, he missed his chance to see the movie. Poor guy. Part of me wondered if he would still drag himself there - sick and everything. I'm glad the Observer waited to see the movie with me. I'm not a huge Micheal Jackson fan, but he was talented. Most of the movie was mediocre. I found it long and draggy at times. The best part was seeing the song Black Or White performed live. It's my favourite song. The Observer loved the movie. That's what mattered.

We went to a theater near the St. Lawrence Market. It was one cold trek. The theater is in an old, historic part of the city. It's not the most accessible location, but I still like going. Seeing a movie there feels intimate. We got there early, so we bought our tickets and went to Second Cup to wait.To prevent having to pee, I passed on coffee. It hurt. The Observer ordered his favourite frozen hot chocolate. I drank the end of it. Frozen hot chocolate would be yummier with a bit of coffee mixed in. The Observer doesn't like coffee, so he wouldn't agree. We all have our tastes. I think everything tastes better with coffee. We rushed home and were worried the Observer missed his bus. Luckily, the driver waited. Phew! I was freezing and glad to get in bed.

My sleep was broken last night, but I'm not too tired. I can't remember what I watched on TV, so I must have fallen asleep quickly. It's beautiful outside. I went to the St. Lawrence Market and bought apple strudel to bring to Colling wood next weekend. The lady who sells her baked goods always recognizes me. She was so kind today that I even bought a Chelsea bun for Mom and Dad. Maybe her friendliness is a sales tactic. If it is, I'm a sucker for sweet people selling sweet treats.