My Swinging Uvula

It sounds dirty, I know. Uvula. Swinging. Swinging Uvula!

It is October already and I have fallen way behind on posting. Not even Oisin Akbar Makamaka my Ukulele has been able to pull me out of this writing slump. I have been paying a lot of attention to Oisin, he is getting a lot of playing time and my audiences can almost decipher “Over the rainbow” accompanied with a wobbly voice. Today I did not intend to talk about my Oisin but rather my Uvula.

It has been many years since I have experienced a bad bout of tonsillitis. Now I am not sure if you’ve ever had it and I can’t guarantee you’ll appreciate my post about it however this very morning I feel compelled to talk about it.

Like most people I don’t enjoy being sick. This is when I want my family the most! My mom to rub my back, my dad to read me something entertaining, my sisters to shower me with gifts of soup, chilli and large interesting bouquets of flowers and my brother to sit in the easy chair in the corner, chatting away about everything. The problem is this isn’t 1994, it is 2012 and the last decent meal I had was Sunday night.

I haven’t had my back rubbed or an entertaining article read to me, a large bouquet of flowers did not mysteriously appear on my bedside table and there has been no chatting from the easy chair in the corner.

……I did however, get my soup and soup is a wonderful thing! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

Before this tonsillitis turned into the beast it is today, it started out as a mild sore throat. I didn’t pay too much attention. Yes I felt the chill, the fever, the lack of appetite, the headache and the list goes on, but I had work to do, boxes to open and stickers to press! There was no time for getting sick so on I soldiered until I couldn’t soldier anymore.

A quick visit to the doctor ended when he sent me home to rest, drink water and sleep. Really? That’s it?

So off I went like an obedient patient, home to rest. The only problem is this tonsillitis thing takes time to go away and seems to get much worse before it gets better.

Now what about this uvula business?

I can stand a razor sharp sore throat and ear ache – ice, fluids and soups all work well to help alleviate the pain. What I wasn’t prepared for this time was a swollen uvula. That grape like sack that hangs at the back of your throat between your tonsils. What can I tell you, it’s super uncomfortable when it is swollen. So much that swallowing becomes impossible and breathing can only be done through the nose.

After a good day and a half laying around in bed, resting, drinking water and sleeping, I was pretty confident that the worse was behind me. I would wake up this morning feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to go!

Not so fast tiger. Yes the sore throat and ear ache persists on but what really got me this morning is my uvula. The swelling is starting to decrease and therein lays the problem.

Instead of being so swollen it fills the entire opening of my esophagus, it is now medium sized and can move around at will. I can’t think of a worse sensation than that of being in a perpetual state of choking all from something dangling, swinging around, teasing my gagging reflexes each time I move my head or open my mouth.

Today’s lack of talking and laughing doesn’t come from the pain alone, it comes from my uvula bursting into my mouth sending me into fits of bent over choking.

Needless to say today, not only will I be quietly laying in my bed resting, drinking water and sleeping, I will also be mostly inert as to not disturb my uvula from resting on whatever side of my esophagus where it brings the least sensation of the gag!

Goodbye Indiana and all your hot weather

Goodbye Indiana and all your hot weather

I am on my way home. My new baseball hat doesn’t have a hole in the back for my hair and when it sits all the way down on my head it makes my ears stick out ever so slightly.

I bought this newest edition to my collection of hats in my favourite city. The City of Trees, Indianapolis. I’ve posted about this city before, but I’ve noticed three things on this trip.

1. Flying over the top of the city, it looks like the city was placed between the trees in a forest. It’s unbelievable how the houses and buildings really are covered by a canopy of trees.

2. The Monon trail. I have a love-hate relationship with this trail. The hate is that it means a rail road will likely never again connect Indianapolis with Chicago and you know how I like trains. The love is the trail goes for miles and connects the North to the South. It’s glorious, it is paved, it is policed and the bikers on the trail don’t insinuate that they own it. I can hardly believe my luck!

3. I realize why I love this city. You can live it. It is a big-small city and easy to navigate (you really need a car unfortunately but I did see people using the IndyGo and my heart swelled with joy!). It is a city with community.

There is also a fourth reason this city is pretty cool, it’s where family lives and one little guy in particular who made it impossible for me to keep a straight face, even when he was being knowingly mischievous. πŸ™‚

This little guy LOVES to talk. He cocks his head to one side, tips his hands outward and away from his body and with a quizzical look on his face says,

“App ohh dad abb ack oh.”

The tricky part is the response. Even though it appears that the appropriate response would be over-dramatized humour – it isn’t. I tried and it was received with a river of tears and frustration that Auntie responded inappropriately to the question. By day 7, I am a slow learner, I learned the best respond was a nod of the head and a “I totally agree! Silly eh?!”.

He might have been born in America but he sure appreciates the Canadian “Eh!”. I am so proud of him.

The last evening him and I hung out together. We visited the famed City Circle. We had Qdoba, I am already going through Buritto withdrawal and it ain’t pretty. We sat and watched the horses with their buggie’s, the motorbikes sporting their *badass* riders (I am confused) and overall people watched.

The last part might be his best feature. He is such a great people watcher at just over 1 year old. I might not yet fully understand his full sentences but we can sit side by side on the cement steps of City Circle and get a kick out of the crowd that surrounds us.

I am almost home and just like when I leave my nieces and their chitter chatter, I am already missing the bird noises and my nephews conversations.

Long Weekends

Long Weekends

I will do my best not to bore you with my long weekend adventures or rather lack there of, but I fancy writing something this afternoon and unfortunately have not had anything particularly funny or interesting happen lately so will make do with my imagination.

Life has somewhat turned into a routine now that I’ve learned what it is like to live without a car. I didn’t realize leading up to this weekend how deep set my cabin fever had become. It wasn’t until I was whisked away on an unplanned Sunday afternoon that I realized how bad it’d become. I am turning into a hermit which I imagine will eventually turn me into “that nutty aunt of ours”.

So this whisking away business is simply my family deciding it was time that I visit them regardless. When I was able to visit on my own, by the evening I usually would complain and find an excuse to dart home to sleep in my own bed but this time I didn’t have much of a choice.

See I don’t mind sleeping over. What I have a hard time with is that since I live so close, 30 minutes in a car, it seems ridiculous that I’d sleep in a bed that is not mine when mine is so close by. Mind you it is much more entertaining to wake up and have a full breakfast ready. That happens rarely at my house and only when guests are arriving from their own homes for a mid-morning brunch, usually with coffees in their hands (and the downside is I am the one making the breakfast haha). So you could say that sleeping over even when I live only 30 minutes away is worth getting over my unfounded sleep-over anxiety.

It isn’t that I think I’ll miss out on some fantastic unplanned adventure any one of my friends may come up with while I am out of town (Ok, maybe it is, just a little ;)) but really it’s more than that. It is also that the next day I can never figure out when the “right” time is to leave.

Here I am, still 30 minutes away from my house without any stress of “when should I leave” simply because walking is not an option. I smell like barbecue and I just finished a cold can of Pepsi, this is relevant only because I dislike pop but here I am enjoying a gut wretching pop. Its been a long while since I have been this relaxed. The so relaxed feeling where the only energy I possess is to curl up and read a book from a favourite author.

I chalk this weekend up to being a little like a cottage weekend that is nowhere near a lake or a river.

We did spend a fair amount of time outside hiking wood trails. I don’t know if there is a difference between “wood trails” and “trails” but I feel it is important to note that we were in the woods on trails. The reason for the importance are the dangers when it comes to being on a trail in the woods.

Growing up I spent most weekends riding the back trails to the lake, having a swim across the lake and back, then racing home soaking wet. I decided however that partaking in the swim after the plus 2 hour ride was only suitable between the months of June and August. That’s only three months of swimming. This worked out most of the time because it coincided with summer break from school.

What was so exhilarating about the bike rides wasn’t the swim. It was the idea that lurking in the woods was a giant black bear waiting quietly for their dinner. I don’t really think black bears are meat eaters but they certainly will attack when frightened, hungry, have cubs or just feel generally bored.

I never physically faced a black bear. I’ve seen them up a tree, in the bush but never face to face on the bike trail. But thinking about the possibility made me ride as fast as my legs would take me.

This weekend while trekking through the woods I wasn’t pre-occupied with bears, I was pre-occupied with deer ticks.

They are not as physically ominous as a black bear but to me they are much more sneaky.

They are mooches that latch on and potentially infect our bodies with crippling lyme disease. As we were trekking along I was contemplating what is better; an adrenaline battle with a giant black bear that had an obvious advantage or a small pin head sized insect that could wreck havoc over a period of time if not detected?

Both can be easily subdued – one with a loaded shot gun and the other with DEET laden bug spray. The long term health effects certainly are worse with the bug spray + the lyme disease – providing the bug spray fails. However the alternative, if the gun shot fails to hit its target, well, the outcome is much more immediate and final – not in a good way.

I haven’t decided which is a better or worse scenario.

What I have decided is that neither will keep me from enjoying nature and a relaxing afternoon, evening, day or weekend. πŸ™‚

Here is a link to some information on Lyme disease. And be proud, it is NOT wikipedia πŸ™‚

Life is like a box of…letters

When I left for college my family was really good at sending me letters in the mail. Yes I was old enough, or young enough, or whatever enough that email was a normal method of communication, however there is just something about getting physical mail.

I found my box of saved up mail in my junk drawer.

As a side note, junk drawers, no matter how organized one might be, are super important. It’s in these drawers that treasures are found πŸ™‚ Like old comics cut out of the newspaper or that thing we made when we were in grade 3 that was “Oh soooo cute.”

In my box there were a few typed letters from a friend of the family who was living with my parents. He was…I dunno, 90? It is safe to say he wasn’t young and he had lots of advice for me while I was away in my first year at college. I laughed out loud when I read this Christmas Card from him:

MAY YOUR LIFE BE LONG AND PLESENT
MAY YOU HAVE TEN KIDS AND LOADS OF FRENDS

MERRY XMS, TO YOU.

Ummm, 10 kids – honestly!? I am WAYYYYY BEHIND πŸ™‚

Anyhow in my box of letters there are some really funny notes and a few diaries I started but never finished (I likely got tired of the cover and found a new book to write in).

Perhaps this post is against my better judgement, but I cannot resist.

In my diaries from when I was 20, I didn’t realize this, but I was looking to find “Love”. And this makes me laugh. I will be the first to admit that this term was lost on me in my 20’s. It was a nice catch-all word that was the answer to everything. A little Love.

The problem, as a 20-something snot faced know-it-all, love was staring me in the face all along and I ignored it. I walked around it, I hid from it and yet would write in my diary at night, “I am looking for Love!”

You see the humour in this?! I do πŸ™‚ and frankly it makes me laugh.

For whatever reason I decided that finding love was finding a magical man that I could put on MY mantle (forget about being his prize, I didn’t want to be a prize I wanted to win a prize!)

I can hardly stop myself from laughing and I can understand if this is making no sense but I will do my best to give some clairty (although that just may not be possible.)

When I talk about me walking around love and avoiding it, Love was my family and my close friends. The ones who cared about me and were there to laugh with me, poke fun at me and get away with it.

In my box of letters I see the love they had for me (how did they put up with me!).

So ladies who are in your 20’s who know it all, there are no magical men riding around on dark stallion’s or whatever colour of horse you prefer. There is family and best friends who have your back, who’d take a bullet for you, who’d do anything to keep you safe – that is Love.

I don’t believe love can be found just sitting there in the shade waiting to be happened upon.

I do believe it can be nutured and it can grow into something amazing and that it is worth the effort of friendship.

I am not sure when in my 20’s I stopped with my ridiculous “looking” and just started living – focusing on nurturing my attachments with family and friends and collecting new friends along the way, but it happened and perhaps that is just part of growing up.

It’s like the saying “Do a job you love and the money will come.” I say “Build strong friendships and love will come.”

To not finding Love. πŸ˜€ but rather great friendships!

A poem my sister sent me and yes I found it in the box of letters.

Friendship
To laugh and joke a bit, and grasp a friendly hand;
To love a bit and scold a bit, and hope they’ll understand.
To tell one’s secrets hopes and fears, and share a friendly smile;
To have a friend and be a friend is what makes life worthwhile!

Bananas

Bananas

On my way home tonight I was having a conversation with one of my coworkers about Banana’s. How they must be the correct ripeness for eating and that if one was to eat it outside of the optimum ripeness the preference we agreed would be to be under-ripe versus over-ripe.

Working so close to a grocery store has its benefits when it comes to picky banana eating. Instead of buying a bunch of 6 or 7 banana’s I can pick up one, two or three bananas at a time and they will last one or two days, staying in perfect eating condition.

I found this handy website that tells me all the nutritional facts on bananas. Size is VERY important for bananas when it comes to nutrition :D. For example an extra-small banana only has 72 calories where as an extra-large banana has 135 calories. Check out the nutrition website here – I cannot validate it’s validity but its fun that there is a webpage dedicated to Banana nutrition!

For all you folks who must rely on buying bunches of banana’s all at one time, I am happy to report that there is still a way to enjoy those over-ripe bananas.

I agree, it’s pretty good news.

There is this recipe that is called Best Ever Banana Muffins and you guessed it, I am going to share this best ever recipe. Just so there is no confusion before I share the recipe my sister introduced to me, I must first tell you a little story that will solidify the claim that this is the best ever recipe.

So over a year ago I went to visit her and her new family. I am still sad they live so far away but it is fun visiting (thank goodness I like visiting places or else this would be a huge drag). So I was visiting and along with me being a visitor (sort of visitor because family doesn’t always get classified as true visitors since sometimes family visitors hold that ho hum of “the relatives are coming again and they did bring their kitchen sink this time! I wish they’d leave it at home.”), there were also real visitor’s at the same time, meaning there was no blood relation.

My brother in-law being a thoughtful shopper purchased lots and lots of bananas that were on the verge of being over-ripe. You can guess why he did this? He really likes the Best Ever Banana Muffins and my sister being a great hostess and also really liking the recipe baked not one but TWO batches of the recipe.

So getting to my story of why they are the best, I know, you are all sitting on the edge of your seats. The visitor’s put shame aside and asked for a doggy bag for their drive home so they could continue enjoying the Best Ever Banana Muffins for the next day or two!

That’s right; these banana muffins will do that.

They’ll wash away any manners that your mom drilled into you as a child. They are THE best and they will make you lose your manners πŸ™‚

BEST EVER BANANA MUFFINS

3 Large Banana’s (see handy website for nutrition value, way over-ripe bananas are the best!)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (the original recipe leaves this delicious addition out, probably because they aren’t so great nutritionally but they are much better with chocolate chips.)

Mash bananas. Add sugar and slightly beaten egg. Add melted butter. Add dry ingredients. Put into muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Take them out and eat them warm.

The Saturday Identity

The Saturday Identity

First, I saw this tree today and I thought it looked interesting and perhaps a little more interesting in real life.

I have been attempting to write this post for a while. It is the beginning’s that are sometimes the most difficult but once I have one I can’t stop myself. Thank you my friend MK for letting me use this personal story:

“Just met a gentlemen who invited me to go in front of him at the parking meter. Said he had lots of time since retiring. I asked him how long he had been retired as he looked relatively young. Said he retired ten years ago after the doctors told him he had only two years to live. An inspiring moment for me on a rushed Monday morning.”

I really liked this story and I am sure everyone who reads it will take something a little different away from it.

These past few months I have had the freedom to a lot of alone time. Alone time is pretty scary. It’s like those Saturday’s when we have nothing planned and it feels like everyone else in this world is doing something fun and exciting except us. We try to rationalize and figure out what we can do differently to have a more exciting life. How do we fill up those empty spaces when the second hand on the clock stands frozen in time? Who are we and what is our identity?

I don’t know about you, but I am familiar with this frozen time on Saturdays. For whatever reason Saturday’s were the worse. The panic started creeping up as it got closer and closer to 5pm on Friday.

Yesterday my friend and I were talking about this. She took a year to herself in 2010 and well I am really happy that she did. That’s a selfish statement but it is true. I watched her let herself slow down. She allowed herself to feel, to philosophise about life, to peel away the layers. I had the privilege to be there and to hold her hand when she needed reassurance and you know what, it doesn’t make me a hero. She is the hero and she allowed me see the rawness (this apparently is not a word!), the fear, the human emotion of self-doubt and you know what, it is not weakness like we are told. What I saw was a women getting stronger everyday, following her dreams, being her person and that is strength. I am thankful to have her here today in my corner.

What does this have to do with frozen Saturday’s?

Identity.

When we allow ourselves to identify with who we are underneath all the layers. To acknowledge our emotion, accept it and reconcile it. When we ignore the stereotype, the media, the social pressure to be whatever it is that we are perceived to be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday.

It can be lonely and it challenges us and ya maybe not everyone is going to think we are interesting, funny and like our art or whatever other ego driver’s that are important to us and that help us belong (big surprise to feed my ego – if we can laugh together and frankly I don’t care if you like me (but I secretly hope you do haha), if we’ve laughed together that means a smile and I love smiles! and as for interesting, I am quirky (aren’t we all) πŸ™‚ I accept it)

So to those contemplating stripping away the layers, identifying with yourself versus what surrounds you: your career, your friends, your lover, your family, its pretty rewarding and I dare say…freeing!! Don’t get me wrong, we need surroundings but it’s easy to get lost in them too.

I know one day will come and I’ll need to rejoin the marching band and start identifying with more than the bare essential surroundings and lose some of my freedom. I’ll stop pretending to be retired, spending my days living in a moment of time and quite frankly that day scares me. I am sure that I’ll have a slight panic attack reporting for my first day of work. Will I be able to hold out and not become so involved that I forget who I am? Will I continue to look forward to Saturday’s regardless of the lack of a “plan”?

I am not sure, but I am going to do my damnest and I’ll be sure to use my best defence in the face of adversity; the dumbfounded look of a stunned bird – that is sure to keep me grounded cause who cares if I look silly as long as I am free πŸ™‚

Joie de vivre

It’s past my bedtime, but I am so tempted to post today, plus tomorrow’s lunch and dinner is in the oven and it would be very wrong to go to bed and let it burn. I know this post is going to go a little all over the place and I apologize in advance.

This weekend turned out to be a little bit like a parabolic graph and it’s a wonderful feeling when strangers, acquaintances, friends and family all mysteriously come together to add sunshine and sprinkle a little humour here and there.

We wont talk about the low point of the parabolic (I just love this word, sorry!) weekend, because it’s really unimportant. The important part was learning something and well, seeing the bright side of what looked like a lot of doom and gloom πŸ™‚ . We don’t like doom and gloom, they are terrible words and even worse feelings.

What was so wonderful about the weekend? It’s really hard to explain. It’s more of a collection of events at the beginning and end that are linked together by a connection of belonging, attachment and a certain kind of Joie de vivre.

I spent two evenings out with girlfriends, both long overdue and needed.

However, it was the second evening’s coffee adventure that we ladies were interrupted by the unlikeliest (another word I rather enjoy) gentleman who couldn’t resist sitting next us (we were hogging the couches). We warned him that the material we may end up discussing would more than likely be a little offside and maybe offensive for his ears! He said he was prepared. He had two older sisters, a girlfriend who shared more than enough with him and besides he was going to be listening to his MP3 player.

Must I tell you, more than once we saw him smirking at our conversation that included a game of comedic charades. We were laughing so hard that no matter how high he turned up the volume of waves crashing into the surf, he eventually gave in and joined the discussion. I just wanted to tell this story, because well, never sit beside a gaggle of women! You will either get annoyed and leave or be forced to join the hokey pokey conversation!

What I really wanted to talk about was the Joie de vivre. I am sure it can mean different things to each of us individually.

Just over three months ago I decided I had too much free time and needed to fill in my off-days at the dealership. My sister highly recommended taking up a part-time job at Pier 1 Imports. I landed a Sales Associate job, was given a nice blue apron and spent a few days going through training.

If you are like me you are thinking training, really, it’s a Retail sales associate job. Why would anyone need a few days of training, don’t you just have to greet people, cash them out and send them on their merry way?

You’d think that right? I certainly did.

Well Pier 1 Imports it turns out is more than just a retail sales job. I like to call it my paid volunteer job because that is exactly what it feels like. Who knew that working in a retail store making minimum wage could have any impact changing how one views the world?

It has for me.

It’s this job that I have met many intriguing women; from the people I work with to the customers who come into the store looking for something new to spruce up their space. Everyone has a story, something learned and most are willing to share a tidbit here and there.

The store is more than great merchandise that has a rich background. It exudes a culture that permeates the entire organization that I can only imagine a handful of companies ever truly get to enjoy. It is one giant army spread across the globe marching towards a common goal. I have never experienced anything quite like this unity, their message and vision is consistent, authentic and believable. They have One Voice.

What amazes me the most is Pier 1 has perfected the process in which to induce a positive emotional response from their employees that draws out their strengths and creates a strong team.

So what’s all this post have to do with the Joie de vivre.

I realized tonight while sitting in our late evening staff meeting that it’s pretty nice to be part of something that holds so much positive energy (I have no idea if energy is the right term here :)). To not only have a strong, positive social network of women and men in my life, but also to have the opportunity to work with a group of people who have a Joie de vivre. People who are looking beyond status quo and have choosen to be part of something that values who they are and what they can offer.

I am doing my best to be realistic and not romanticize this job but perhaps it’s giving me an avenue to consider my dreams a reality. I have not always chased my dreams, I am guilty of putting them in the cupboard, shutting the door and leaving them there to collect dust.

It wasn’t until last year when I was hilariously chased down Queen Street by a gentleman looking for my number that I realized what a terrible mistake I was making. I honestly believe some of the most ridiculous things happen for a good reason and that story is one of them! You are all wondering, yes he did get my number and we did share an afternoon or two at the local ice cream shop talking about life. It was a curious conversation worth having with a man twice my age that got me thinking about my Joie de vivre.

To me, Joie de vivre is when we are able to let go of the pressure and the expectation to be anything different than who we are in our hearts.

When I left home for college, my mom had sent me a note that said something like this “We will miss you and I am sure that the people you meet will enjoy you as much as we enjoy you.” I discounted it for many years, what joy could I possibly bring anyone when I was not even happy myself.

Today I realize that we are most enjoyed when we are at our best and being at our best is when we are willing to be ourselves and by being ourselves we will find our Joie de vivre! πŸ™‚

My Fulfilling Life…part 1

My Fulfilling Life…part 1

My fulfilling life. There I’ve said it three times all in a row without interruption. I decided this would be the next logical post since it seems that this topic has been in my last few posts in some shape or form.

After reminiscing about the Hilda street adventures, I decided it was fitting to go back and just see how fulfilling this life of mine has been, using the places I’ve spend more then 10 consecutive nights sleeping as a guide (I may not get through all of it in one post, hence the part 1 haha)

So let’s start with college. I moved a total of 7 times in 3 years, not counting the summers I spent at home. That means on average during each school year I moved a total of 2.3 times a year. Let’s just summarize, I moved 6 times the first year, once the second and none the third. It’s safe to say I was having a little trouble finding a suitable place to call home away from home.

The place I stayed for a year and a half was a nice basement apartment with a single mom and her son on the first floor. Every so often I would be serenaded with boyfriend noises from yelling and screaming to what I can only imagine was maniacal love-making – I am not sure how much love was in the making, but anyhow.

I didn’t live in this basement alone, no I had lots of friends. They were small, black and they would frequently frighten me. Raise your hands if you have ever lived amongst an infestation of carpenter ants?! They are the freakiest and worse then cockroaches, believe me. At least cockroaches hide during the light and only appear in the dark, skittering away at the first sight of a human. Carpenter ants wanted to be friends, they would hang out day and night, darting across the floor and tickling my feet, legs, arms and face at all hours and sometimes even attempting to crawl into my nose – ewww right!?!

Peripheral vision is a handicap when living with these insects (they are insects aren’t they). It would be better to be completely blind and lacking in any sensory processes. I’d be sitting, minding my own business working on school work when out of the corner of my eye I’d see something dash across the room. In my minds eye this something was never merely a carpenter ant, it was a giant black, tail-less rat. I’d have major palpitations and when I’d look the creature in the eye, of course it was only a minuscule ant.

I would get so frustrated.

My frustration manifested itself in deep rage!

I’d grab the latest ant fighting product that I’d found at Walmart and dart after the little critter, dousing it in the inexplicable, foul smelling gunk. But these ants were immune. They’d turn their little heads, stick out their tongues and scurry off only to re-appear later good as new. It was infuriating.

Near then end of my year and a half stay, I was ready to be committed. I could hardly sleep or spend anytime indoors at the apartment. To release the stress, my safe haven became the 1 foot by 1 foot shower. I’d huddle in, close the door, turn on the water as hot as I could stand, crouch to the bottom, let the water roll off my back while crying a river of frustrated hot tears.

I was happy to say adieu to my digs after graduating. I try not to reminisce of those ‘good ‘ole days’ for slight fear that these physical little tormentors may somehow make it into my nightly dreams where there are no hot soothing showers!

A Memory That Lives

A Memory That Lives

The part of life that perhaps cannot be adequately explained and likely will never be fully understood, are the people that come in and out of lives and touch us in such a significant way that forces us to examine ourselves and become better people.

They teach us how to trust, to love, to forgive and be the best person that we can be.

Today I miss Amanda.

“I’ll put that on my account, thanks”

“I’ll put that on my account, thanks”

Starting work at 9am has its benefits – don’t get me wrong, 7 and 8am are equally great work day start times, but for me, I am starting to really like 9am.

I admit, I’ve not really had a morning routine that I’ve made an effort to make it relaxing. When living with two of my good friends a few years ago, I was secretly envious that they both had solid, interesting morning routines. There was the way the coffee was made, the dish towel folded, the clink clink clinking of the spoon against the sides of the coffee traveller mug. I just didn’t have TIME for such nonsense.

This was my morning routine – sleep as late as humanely possible, dash to the shower, work on my Guinness book of world record shower time and find something work appropriate in my closet.

If you aren’t laughing, you should be. When I run the reel of my morning routine in my head, its as though I am preparing to escape the bad guys but super clean! Downstairs my house mate would be leisurely stirring her coffee and I was upstairs being a bird.

So what is different today. Well I’ve been making an effort to go to bed early and wake up 2 hours before I need to be anywhere significant. Its been working out so far for the last two weeks, I even manage to make myself breakfast!

But that’s not what this blog is about.

Its about my coffee shop stop between my house and my destination. I can’t take credit for finding its existence, that goes to a friend. The other fun part about this coffee shop, also discovered through my friend, is the personal “account”.

Now besides the shop being Bird Friendly, Organic coffee beans, Socially Responsible, and filled with old church pews, this coffee shop let’s each of its patrons have an account, if you so wish.

Its not everyday you can feel this important when out shopping.

“I’d like a large bold and a banana nut muffin to start my day, thanks.”

“Would you like that on your account?”

“Well yes by golly, I sure would.”

And I envision all the newcomers standing behind me in line thinking – “wow, she has an account!

Even if they aren’t thinking it, I’ve impressed my sister with my coffee account and that counts for something. We may no longer be 10 and 8, but boy its still fun finding joy in our own self-made importance πŸ™‚

A great day to all – and if ever you might be feeling down, drop by Birds and Beans and open a coffee account – you will not be disappointed.