September 14, 2011

Ahhh Spring

As the days begin to get cooler, the mornings being darker and the sun setting earlier I’ve been thinking about how summer began. I had made a few trips to visit my family in Southwestern Ontario, so many in fact that my dad joked that he had seen more of me in the first half of 2011 than in all of 2010. It’s a long drive, especially if you get stuck in Toronto traffic (if you don’t know, imagine).

My summer began in May with a drive to my sister’s to help her pack up her house. She had sold her house and was moving in a few weeks. She hadn’t really moved before (in and out of uni rez doesn’t really count); she knew she needed boxes and that’s it. She needed a pro and so she called me. When I walked in her house all I saw were boxes – paper boxes, large boxes, collapsed boxes – you name it. ‘You told me to get lots of boxes’ she said.

We were busy packing all weekend. Some nights were late because we just wanted to get one more box packed, while other nights we went to bed early from exhaustion. Even our other sister came by for a visit, on the condition she help pack. Being May and spring arriving a bit earlier than in Ottawa the windows were open and the fresh spring air helped keep our energy up. There were many glasses of wine, stories and laughter.

Moving can be tricky. Not only is there all the stuff you see, but there’s also the stuff you don’t see – under the bathroom sink and the fridge and freezer. Luckily my sister didn’t have an assortment of products under her bathroom sink, but her fridge and freezer had been stocked when the sold sticker was put on the sign. Since then, she had been slowly working her way through everything. No eating out for quite a while and only the minimal from the store.

I had taken a chocolate cake mix from Cherrybrook Kitchen with me figuring we may need a chocolate or sweet fix.

Putting them into cupcake form ensured we didn’t eat them all ourselves and some were handed out for my dad and nephews. The cupcakes were chocolaty and moist, and so easy to make.


Did I mention it was May? BBQing and dining alfresco was wonderful as it was still too chilly for that in Ottawa. It gave us a chance to take a break and relax (just like the wine bottle says).

Our fresh salad helped us finish us some salad dressing and our grilled chicken opened up some real estate in the freezer. Those gherkins didn’t last too long either. One jar down, two more to go (Yes, my sister is like me; she likes pickles too). It was so nice sitting outside that it was difficult getting up to go back to work.

Our first morning started off well and with a great breakfast too. Since my sister had given away her baking supplies I picked up a package of Bob’s Redmill pancake mix.

Crepes were the perfect way to begin our day and sliced up with some fresh bananas and reduced frozen berries (warm them up until the juice thickens up a bit) then drizzled with some maple syrup. Yummm. With delicious meals all weekend I didn’t mind helping pack.

Boxes began stacking up in a side room and shelves, cupboards, and closets were emptied. By the end of the weekend all that was left were two bedroom closets and under her bathroom sink. There were also a number of boxes for a garage sale she was going to have the following weekend. When I left, my sister had a few little plates, bowls, cups and some silverware to get her through the last two weeks. She was finishing a period of her life and moving on and seeing empty spots made it sink in a bit more. I have yet to see her new digs, but she’s settling in to her new place and her new job. She’s happy as she’s learning about her new neighbourhood and her friendly neighbours.

If she’s happy, I’m happy.


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