Nov 29, 2021

Magazine Nostalgia



Most women’s magazines simply try to mold women into bigger and better consumers.
— Gloria Steinem

Magazines all too frequently lead to books and should be regarded by the prudent as the heavy petting of literature.
— Fran Lebowitz

A magazine or a newspaper is a shop. Each is an experiment and represents a new focus, a new ratio between commerce and intellect. — John Jay Chapman

I started thinking about magazines recently and it was a real trip down memory lane.

When I was a kid, I have a vague recollection of my mother picking up the occasional women’s magazine, like Family Circle, Woman’s Day, and Good Housekeeping. When I was a young teen I’d read about my favorite pop stars in magazines like Tiger Beat, and Teen Beat, and Sixteen Magazine.

My favorite magazine over all at that time, which you could only subscribe to through school, was one called Co-Ed Magazine. It was filled with wonderful articles, not glossy pictures. It also featured at least one or two fictional stories, which was another big selling point for me.

In my later teens I subscribed to Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, which I believe is still around today. It’s a digest sized magazine filled with stories. I used to dream about being the youngest person to be published by IASFM, but I knew very little about writing back then, so I also subscribed to Writer’s Digest.

I remember picking up the occasional glossy fashion magazine like Vogue, or Harper’s Bazaar. I rarely found anything worth reading in them, for me it was all about the fashion. I couldn’t afford to follow the fashion trends, but I could sure look at them in the magazines.

Magazines are an amazing thing. They come in all shapes and sizes, from glossy fashion magazines to digest sized periodicals that are easy to carry with you. They inform, they entertain, and they can open up the world to you. In today’s electronic world I’m actually surprised to see so many of them still on the shelves.

What started me thinking about this is that I couldn’t help but notice a special issue of National Geographic, the king of magazines, on the stands recently. It concerned ancient cities, which has always been an interest of mine (the hubby’s too). I was very tempted to get it, but the price put me off. I mentioned it to the hubby and he said I should go ahead and buy it, so I did. And then I told him a subscription to National Geographic would make a good Christmas present.

I used to get magazines passed down to me from an aunt – Chatelaine, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living – and I’d go through them and merrily cut them up. I have file folders full of pictures I’ve cut from magazines, all neatly organized of course, to inspire me in my writing. I rarely consult them, mind you, but they’re there. I have fewer folders of articles I’ve found interesting enough to save, and of course I have a few folders of recipes that I have given up trying to keep organized.

The only glossy magazine that was safe from my scissors was National Geographic. My uncle subscribed to it, and he’d pass his old issues on to me. There was so much information in them that it was like having a set of reference books, and I certainly wouldn’t cut up reference books. However, sometimes I’d find National Geographics at a church book sale, and if they were duplicates of ones I had, then I felt free to cut away.

I buy two magazines on a regular basis when I grocery shop, First For Women, that comes out every two or three weeks, and Woman’s World, that comes out weekly. The first one I get for the recipes mostly, and the second features a short, romantic story as well as a mini mystery. And let’s not forget the horoscopes. ;-)

My only subscription at this time is to Fairy Magazine, which comes out quarterly and is now called Enchanted Living. It’s another magazine that’s safe from my scissors, although I’m running out of shelf space for the back issues.

Do you subscribe to any magazines? Buy them when you grocery shop? Inquiring minds want to know. . .

Nov 24, 2021

Spice of Life Part XIII
Cardamom



Description:
Cardamom comes from the seed pod of the Elettaria cardamomum, a perennial plant in the ginger family. The entire cardamom pod can be used whole or ground. The seeds are small and black, while the pods differ in color and size by species. It has a warm, pungent, sweetly aromatic flavor.

Cardamom can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. It’s a popular seasoning in Indian and South Asian dishes, especially curries. In Scandinavia it’s used in pastries and mulled wine. Cardamom is a key ingredient in Arabic and Turkish coffee, as well as masala chai.

History:
Cardamom is one of the most ancient spices in the world, dating back at least 4000 years. Initially it grew wild in South West India where the native tribes harvested and sun dried it to trade. It was brought to merchants who took it to the ports along the Malabar coast. From there it found its way to the various trade routes.

The Egyptians used it in medicine and also added it to the oils used for preparation in the mummification process. The Arabian traders introduced cardamom to the Romans and Greeks, and it became a popular trade item with the Babylonians, Mesopotamians, and Assyrians as well.

The Vikings came cross it in Constantinople, and introduced it into Scandinavia, where it remains popular to this day. During the 19th century, British colonists set up cardamon plantations, some of which are still in use today, although Guatemala is the largest commercial producer of cardamom. In some areas, it’s considered an even more valuable crop than coffee.

Medicinal Uses:
The Ancients used cardamom to help with digestion issues, specifically indigestion, nausea, and relief from ulcers. It’s both an antioxidant and a diuretic that may help lower blood pressure, and it’s believed to contain cancer fighting compounds. Its anti-inflammatory compounds may help protect from chronic diseases such as liver disease.

Chewing gum often contains cardamom to fight off the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath, although chewing on cardamom pods after a meal can have the same effect. Breathing in essential oils containing cardamom can help relax your airway, stimulating your oxygen intake which is helpful when treating asthma. Cardamom extracts and essential oils have compounds that fight many strains of bacteria that can cause fungal infections, food poisoning, and other stomach issues.


Recipes:

Cardamom Sun Tea

Ingredients:
6 cups water
1/4 cup loose white tea leaves
6 whole cardamom pods
Honey

Directions:
Place water, tea leaves and cardamom pods in large container or pitcher. Stir. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Let stand in sun for 3 to 5 hours.
Strain tea, discarding tea leaves and cardamom pods. Serve over ice or refrigerate until chilled. Sweeten with honey, if desired.


Indian Rice Pudding

Ingredients:
2/3 cup jasmine rice
5 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flaked coconut
6 whole cardamom pods
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons raisins

Directions:
Combine rice and milk in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy, stirring frequently.
Stir in sugar, coconut, cardamom and vanilla. Pour into bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to serve. Remove cardamom pods. Sprinkle with almonds and raisins before serving

Nov 22, 2021

Three Sheets to the Wind



The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.
— Ogden Nash

I have cotton or flannel sheets, depending on the weather. They have to be ironed, and I get my bed changed nearly every day.
— Martha Stewart

The housekeeper had been there that afternoon. I could always tell because the sheets on the bed would be tucked in so tight, trying to get them out was like wrestling an alligator.
— Tiffanie DeBartolo

How often do you change the sheets on your bed? Weekly? Every other week? Once a month? Twice a year?

With me it depends on the season. When we have a hot and humid summer (like we did this year) the sheets get changed more often than they would during a cold, dry winter.

Yesterday the hubby had to be up and out early for a bowling tournament, so I took advantage of the fact he was gone to get some re-organizing done upstairs. See, the problem is, I don’t get many opportunities to work upstairs during the morning because he sleeps really late. And by the time he does get up, any urge I have to do anything upstairs is gone.

So yesterday I started by changing the sheets on the bed, then washed and dried a couple of loads of bed linens. THEN I decided I wanted to reorganize the linen closet upstairs, and maybe make room for more of the blankets and pillows that were stored in the guest room, getting them out of the way of all the craft stuff I have in the bookcase in the guest room, but can’t get at as easily as I’d hoped because of all the aforementioned ‘stuff’ in the way.

I started by taking the sliding doors off the upstairs closet. See, the mirrored doors are meant for a much bigger closet and overlap so much you can only access about a foot, foot and a half of the closet. And that’s just at either side (one at a time). You can’t get to the middle part of the closet unless you take the doors off.

The center of the closet is mostly taken up by a chest of drawers, which I’d like to get rid of so I keep it empty. But there’s also space on top of it, and a couple of shelves above it, and a narrow shelf unit to the right which is where I store the extra sheets.

I pulled stuff out of the closet and pulled stuff off of the bookcase in the guest room, and immediately lost interest in finishing the job. LOL It was a heck of a lot of work, but I moved stuff around, rearranged the spaces, and even managed to clear a path to the craft supplies.

I made room for pillows and blankets in the linen closet, and was a little appalled at the number of sheets there were for two people. Time to thin things out. I kept six sets for the queen sized bed and five sets for the double sized bed, and have a nice pile to donate. Don’t judge.

Have you ever noticed that no matter how clean your sheets are, if they’ve been in a closet for a while they start smelling funky? I don’t remember where I learned this trick, but I put a set together in a plastic bag, and put a dryer sheet in the center of the set and it keeps them fresh smelling. But you have to remember to tuck the ends of bag underneath it, because if the bag is left open you get that funky smell.

And no one likes funky smelling sheets. :-)

Nov 17, 2021

Spice of Life Part XII
Anise



Description:
Though similar in flavor to star anise, anise is slightly different. It comes from the Pimpinella anisum plant, which is part of the parsley family. It has a sweet, aromatic flavor that is much like black licorice. In fact, it is often used to flavor licorice as well as black jelly beans.

It comes from the Mediterranean region and is a key ingredient in candy and alcoholic drinks, such as Ouzo, Sambuca and Absinthe. It pairs well with seafood, and can also be used in dairy products, gelatins, meats, and breath fresheners. In Europe it’s used in cakes, cookies, and sweet breads, while in the Middle East and India it’s used in soups and stews.

History:
It’s generally agreed that the Egyptians were the first to have cultivated anise, more that 2,000 years ago. Both biblical and ancient Egyptian texts mention its use for both culinary and medicinal purposes, and the seeds were often entombed with the bodies of Pharaohs.

It was also cultivated by the Greeks and Romans, and made its way to Europe by the Middle Ages. By the 14th century, anise could be found throughout the Mediterranean as well as Germany and England. Anise seeds were introduced to the New World by the Spanish and the Virginia colonists, and made its way to Mexico where it became a staple in many Mexican dishes.

Medicinal Uses:
Anise is most commonly used for indigestion, and to reduce the pain and bloating of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A cup of anise tea before bed is thought to reduce the symptoms of asthma and sleep discomforts due to allergies. Anise seed extract has been taken to reduce the frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women. It is sometimes used as an expectorant for dry coughs, and aniseed tea can help alleviate the pain of a sore throat.

Other Uses:
Anise has a wide history of use in folklore. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed anise seeds had the ability to avert the evil eye. It was also believed to act as an aphrodisiac. It was used in voodoo and lunar rituals, and it was believed that filling a small pillowcase with anise seeds will prevent nightmares, while the fresh leaves will ward off evil spirits.

In modern use, anise seed extract is used in perfume, soap, creams, sachets, and toothpaste. It can also be mixed with lard for a treatment for insect bites.


Recipes:

Anise Milk

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon crushed anise seeds

Instructions:
Place milk and anise seeds in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Strain into a mug. Add sweetener if desired.


Bizcochitos (Anise Cinnamon Sugar Cookies)

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
1 1/2 teaspoons aniseed
1 large egg
2 tbsp rum
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
Crush the aniseeds in a mortar and pestle.
Add the crushed aniseed, egg, and brandy to the creamed mixture and combine thoroughly.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 1-inch thick disk.
Wrap disks of dough in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining cup of sugar with the cinnamon.
Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick on a well floured board. Cut the dough into shapes.
Dip in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and put on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Transfer to a rack to cool.

Nov 15, 2021

Eye Yi Yi!

No person ever ended his eyesight by looking on the bright side.
Zig Ziglar

Life begins at 40 - but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.
Helen Rowland

My eyesight's gone, my reflexes are shot, and I can't stay awake, but thank God I can still drive.
Robert Breault

Last week the optometrist’s office called to remind my husband it was time for his two year check up. While I had them on the phone, I mentioned that I was past due for my yearly diabetic eye check. I was told “So sad, too bad, you can’t have one.”

You see, starting on September 1, optometrists in Ontario have been withholding their services from patients covered for eye care under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. This includes children under 19, seniors over 65, and those with certain eye conditions, like me with my diabetes. The Ontario Association of Optometrists made this decision because they feel they’re not being reimbursed enough from OHIP for their services.

So I asked, if we could no longer have eye examinations, why were they calling my husband. Turns out my husband can have his eyes examined because he’s not a senior and he pays for it himself.

I was more than willing to pay for my exam – I suspect my eye sight has changed over the last year and I really needed my eyes checked. But no, me paying for it on my own isn’t allowed. I guess just being on the OHIP list makes you personae non grata.

What bothers me even more about this, is the fact that my granddaughter is starting to have trouble seeing the black board at school and she can’t have her eyes checked either because of her age – she’s covered by OHIP. And again, they won’t let my daughter just pay for the exam or use her benefits from work to cover it.

But . . . I was talking to a friend last week and she’s heard that if you get your doctor to refer you to an ophthalmologist, you can get your eyes checked by them. I have a (phone) appointment with my doctor this Friday, it might be worth mentioning.

And it’s also worth mentioning to my doctor that I think the “timed eating” thing the substitute doctor put me on is a bust. I maintained my weight, but my A1C went up instead of down. In fact, it’s the highest it’s ever been, and I refuse to believe it’s my all my fault. The timed eating thing goes against everything I was told when I was first diagnosed with diabetes.

My blood pressure’s gone up too, not surprising.

But you know what’s good for lowering your blood pressure? Snuggles with a puppy.



Meet Omega. He’s a ten-week-old, purebred yellow lab puppy, and the newest addition to my daughter’s family. We drove up to the kennel on Wednesday to pick him up. The daughter had already been on the list for a puppy before Bishop got so sick. With the pandemic restrictions being eased up, she figured he could use some company. And maybe even teach the next generation some of his good habits.

But alas, it was not to be. And then the breeder had to let the daughter know that the breeding didn’t take, so there were no puppies yet. The daughter told her about Bishop, and the breeder said she had one puppy that she just got that she was intending to show and later breed, but health issues were going to prevent her from doing so. As much as she was loathe to let him go, she thought the daughter would be able to provide a good home for him (which is why she jumped her to the head of the puppy list.)

He is darn near perfect. First of all, he’s a yellow lab instead of black, so people aren’t going to confuse him with Bishop. He was a good traveler – a couple of whimpers when he was put in the crate, but not a peep out of him during the two hour car ride home, and he never got car sick.

He’s clumsy and friendly and totally in love with his new family, especially the youngest human. He’s already housebroken, and knows a few basic commands. AND, and this is the most important part, the crotchety, elderly cat loves him.

Clearly, it was meant to be.

Nov 10, 2021

Spice of Life Part XI
Star Anise



Description:
Star anise comes from the illicium verum, an evergreen shrub native to Southwest China and Vietnam. The star shaped pods are picked before they’re ripened and then dried in the sun, turning brown or rust in color. It has an intense, licorice-like flavor with hints of mint and clove.

In Europe it’s used in cakes, cookies, and sweet breads, while in the Middle East and India it’s used in soups and stews. The French use it in mulled wine and coffee, and it also pairs well with fish. It’s widely used in Chinese, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisine.

History:
Star Anise has been used in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking and medicine for over 3,000 years. In the late 1600s an English navigator was introduced to it in the Philippines and brought it back with him to England. By the 17th century it was being traded in the western civilizations and the Mediterranean and by the 18th century it had spread along the tea routes to Russia and Germany.

Medicinal Uses:
It has both antiviral and antimicrobial properties and has shown promise as a treatment for influenza. It may also lower the risk of cancer, prevent fungal infections, and boost circulation. The relatively high amounts of antioxidants it contains can help improve skin health and help old scars and blemishes to fade as well as support respiratory health.

Star Anise has been shown to possess sedative properties which can aid in sleep issues. It has a high level of iron, which helps boost red blood cell production. It has long been used for digestive issues, including easing cramping and flatulence, and maintaining bacterial balance in the gut. For women it is effective for regulating menstrual cycles and controlling mood swings.

Other uses:
The oil from star anise oil is extremely fragrant and is also used in perfumes, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin creams. In Chinese folklore, it was considered good luck to find a star anise with more than eight points.

Warnings:
When using star anise is used for medicinal purposes, its important that you use Chinese star anise and not Japanese, which is poisonous.


Recipes:


Star Anise Tea
Ingredients:
4 cups water
2 tea bags (black tea or green tea)
2 cinnamon sticks
6 star anise
2 teaspoons honey (optional)

Directions:
Bring the water to a boil and pour into a tea pot. Add the tea bags, cinnamon sticks, star anise and honey.
Stir the tea, and leave it to steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add any extra sweetener if you want, then serve!


Honey Glazed Chicken

Ingredients:
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup liquid honey
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp fresh ginger, cut in thin strips
6 star anise
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds boneless chicken (breasts or thighs)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl, mix well.
Pour into a zip lock bag with chicken and refrigerate 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish (or line with tin foil).
Place chicken pieces in baking dish and pour remaining marinade over top.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until done, basting every 10 minutes.


Serve with rice or Chinese noodles.

Nov 8, 2021

Going to the Birds




Give food to the birds, you will then be surrounded by the wings of love, you will be encompassed by the joys of little silent hearts!
— Mehmet Murat Ildan

Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.
— Douglas Coupland

Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?
— David Attenborough

Do you put out seed for the birds?

We have a variety of birds around here, and I just started appreciating it this summer. So I got a bird feeder and hung it from a shepherd’s crook, and sporadically filled it with seed.

I know some people don’t put out seed during the summer, but I did once in awhile so the birds would get used to checking it out and the plan is that when winter comes I’d fill it on a regular basis.

Right off the bat I noticed how greedy the grackles were. They could empty a feeder in under an hour, so I began varying the days and times of day I put out seed and at least the other birds had a chance once in a while.

Then the grackles disappeared. I have no idea where they went, I was just happy they were no longer holding my feeder hostage. So I began putting the seed out a little more regularly. And then I noticed that it seemed to be disappearing a little faster than it should be, given the frequency of the birds that visited my feeder.

Then one day I happened to notice a chipmunk scurrying across the deck. Normally I think chipmunks are kind of cute, but this one headed for the shepherd’s crook, climbed the pole, and then crossed over to the feeder where he proceeded to stuff his little cheeks with my bird seed!

Eventually I determined that there were two of them (I think they live under our deck) and between them they could empty my feeder almost as quickly as the grackles. They didn’t seem particularly worried when I’d go out to yell at them, so I tried talking to them instead, patiently explaining that the seed was for everyone, not just them, and if they didn’t start sharing I was going to stop putting it out.

They must have seen I was serious because they actually did ease up a bit. Instead of emptying the feed in a couple of hours, they’d take a couple of days. Or maybe they were just getting tired of the same old seed every day.

I also put out peanuts for the blue jays and just recently started putting out black sunflower seeds, which seem to attract some kind of small bird – sparrows maybe? – as well. And squirrels. Lots and lots of squirrels.

In the past when I put out a feeder, squirrels were the reason I’d give up filling it. One was a finch feeder, which lasted about two days before the squirrels destroyed it. The next one was a really nice wooden one I’d been given as a hostess gift, and it took a couple of months before they (with some help from the grackles) gnawed through the top of it.

I’d hung both of those two in the birch tree beside our deck, and I guess it was a little too easy to access. The feeder on the shepherd’s crook has nothing within jumping distance, so it’s lasted a little better than the others. However, the squirrels are still somewhat of a problem.



Yes, that’s a squirrel inside the feeder. When I first saw him he was upside down and I thought he was stuck, but he managed to get out okay. What I’d really like to know is how he got in there in the first place.

It’s too bad the green spaces are all disappearing from our area. I really wish the coyotes would come back to keep the squirrel population down!

Nov 3, 2021

Spice of Life Part X
Cumin



Description:
Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. It has a distinctive, slightly bitter, warm flavor and can be found as either whole dried seeds or as a ground powder. It’s a common ingredient in many spice blends, and a staple spice in a variety of cuisines such as Mexican, Indian, African, and Asian.

It works well in soups, stews, and curries. Ground cumin is stronger than the seeds, and adds a distinctive flavor to marinades for poultry, lamb, or pork. It’s used in both meat and vegetable dishes, and can be added to chili or sauces.

History:
Cumin is one of the more ancient spices. It was used in preserving mummies in Egypt as well as a spice. Mention of it is made in both the old and new Testaments of the Bible. The Romans introduced cumin to Europe where it was valued both as a spice and for its medicinal qualities. Traders from Arabia introduced cumin down the Persian Gulf and into South Asia and China.

After its popularity peaked in Europe and Britain during the Middle Ages, the Spanish took cumin with them when they settled the Americas. It became integral to Spanish and Mexican cuisine and is a key ingredient in chili powder.

Medicinal Uses:
Cumin has a long history of medicinal use, mostly for digestive and bowel problems. It has also been proven helpful for those trying to lose weight, lower their cholesterol, or control their blood sugar. It can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating and stomach pain. As an antioxidant it helps the body handle stress and can help improve memory.


Recipes:

Cumin Tea

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups water
1 teaspoon honey

Instructions
In a sauce pan, add water and cumin seeds.
Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain liquid into a mug. Add honey and stir well.
Can be drank hot or cold. Lemon can be added for extra flavour

Spiced Pork Chops

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
4 bone-in, ½ inch thick loin pork chops
Cooking spray

Instructions:
Combine first 9 ingredients; rub over both sides of pork.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
Coat pan with cooking spray.
Add pork; cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Nov 1, 2021

Happy All Saints Day



Would it surprise you to know that Halloween is actually a three-day celebration? It starts October 31 with All Hallow’s Eve, November 1 is All Saints Day, and November 2 is All Souls Day. Just one of the many pieces of trivia rattling around in my brain. :-)

I usually enjoy Halloween, but I felt curiously let down this year. I think a lot of it had to do with the weather. We’ve been experiencing intense wind the last couple of weeks, sometimes with rain, sometimes without, but it put the kibosh on my decorating plans. The skeleton with the seven foot long trailing shroud and the witch for the front porch are both battery operated, so I didn’t want the electronics ruined by the rain. And the smaller bridal skeleton couple also had trailing shrouds, and not much weight to them so I didn’t want them to get blown away. So I didn’t put anything out until just before the trick-or-treaters started up. And as it was, the wind kept knocking over my witch.

Though windy, it wasn’t rainy or all that cold last night so I was surprised we didn’t have more kids than we usually do. Of course I remember the years when we had like 6 kids at the most. But the area has built up since then and there are more kids on our street. There are also a couple of big subdivisions off the next street over and the smart kids would hit that first. LOL

I think I remember last year that not only did I wear a mask, I used tongs to drop zip lock bags full of candy into the trick-or-treaters pumpkins. This year, nobody was wearing a mask and I just handed the bags over. But I’m not na├»ve enough to believe this means things are getting better, pandemic wise. Case in point, our shopping trip to Peterborough Friday.

I think we’re all getting used to wearing masks in public places, but what I found disconcerting was when we stopped for lunch. We decided to pick something up at the food court of the mall, which was fine, but when we went to sit down in the center court we had to show proof of vaccination and a picture ID. Seriously?

This was the mall. People were going in and out of stores and ordering food from the venders in the food court, all without having to prove they were vaccinated. Yes, they were masked, and I think that should have been enough.

I was at that same mall a couple of weeks ago and the only thing that changed was the cordoning off of the center court. There was one way in, and one way out. The seats were still spaced out and every other table had a “do not use” sign on it.

I understand that businesses and restaurants have the right to ask for proof of vaccination, but I always thought of the food court as a public space, like a park. I find it disturbing that if I wasn’t vaccinated I could shop in the mall and buy food in the mall, but couldn’t sit down for afternoon tea (or lunch) in the big open food court. It makes me think about the segregation of the 60s in the southern states where people of colour were only allowed in certain areas, only today it’s vaxxers vs. anti-vaxxers.

Is this what we’re coming to? Think about it.