In The Meantime: Continue Cutting Back βœ‚πŸ›πŸ« πŸ’΅ πŸ’­…..

Investing in your peace of mind, in the meantime, doesn’t take much, time, or energy. It’s very easy to do, and the rewards lasts a lifetime. You just need to prioritize and continue to cut back, as you would on unnecessary unhealthy foods. The more you cut back, the more you’ll realize you don’t need many extra things. The fact that the economy is going through major changes, it’s the perfect time to implement changes. I haven’t posted a food related blog in a while, but I have some good news! I no longer have need for a piece of chocolate, or anything chocolate everyday. I also have a large bag of chocolate that has lasted for months. I haven’t had the need to add chocolate to my grocery list. I don’t need it, and my cravings have decreased tremendously. Through these stressful times where I have more excuse to eat more chocolate, plus we’re forced to stay inside, by law. I’m proud of myself! That money I haven’t had to spend on chocolate has been going towards healthier food that sustains me.

Another way that I have helped satisfy my need for sweets, is by burning sweet scented candles. I never thought that I’d be a fan of them, compared to my usual favs. Sweet, flavourful, rich, candle scents make up for the sweets that I cut back on. I love pumpkin pie, but since I’ve cut back, the pumpkin pie candle is the best substitute. I haven’t been buying cookies, pastries, or pies as a need any more. I still like them, and crave them, but they are a special treat once a month or so.

I have more to say on this topic, but I’ll continue in another blog.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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What Should We Expect?πŸ™„πŸ’­β“β„πŸƒ

So, we’ll all be staying home…. for a while. Mentally prepare yourself to be as comfortable as you can, inside. The mainstream news constantly reminds us, what trouble we may get into, if we dare break these rules. So fresh air has become it’s own currency, that’s becoming out of reach. I hate to say that, but it’s true. The weather has been amazing for this time year, no ice, sleet or snow to trudge through. Almost fall-like, ironically my favourite season extended. Unnatural man-made, affected weather, but a blessing in disguise. Going outside to run errands, while filling my lungs with fresh air, is one of the highlights of my day. Unfortunately that has become much more of a privilege, than a basic human right. It’s crazy that we must “schedule” going outside and getting fresh air. I say all this, but I am not complaining. I’m simply sharing one aspect the “triple-double-down- shutdown”, what I named it. The fact that I can be censored for sharing what I see, is very disappointing but I’m not surprised.

I took this photo weeks ago, on my walk home. It’s very close to home. I’ve taken notice of this business since March, and it’s sad to see now it looks as though it’s been robbed. If I ever break my favourite gold chain, again, the one I wear everyday, the one I’ve lost and found, the one I bought as a gift to myself in 2014 for making it out of tough times, I won’t have any place to go to and get it fixed.

I have a lot more to share, but I have to go to sleep for work. See you in my next post.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

β„πŸŽ‰πŸ“œWelcome To 2021πŸ‘‹πŸ½…..

It never feels different from the day before, but hey we’re here. I’m happy and feeling blessed that I made it through 2020. I’m happy that you made it through too, Happy New Year!

This has been one of the only business that has maintained and stayed open during this pandemic. A good handful have closed for good, or have closed and are being replaced by a franchise, or are now closed until further government announcements. It’s a shame. The mainstream news continues to emphasize our more on our troubles to come, but not on what we should do to cope. No “expert” guests or doctors, providing tips on how to eat healthier, or tips to improve our immune system. I will be sharing my own personal eating healthier/how to cut back tips in another blog. This year I’ll be sharing more in general, and I’m excited to do so!

Salute to all the local markets who have made it to 2021, despite the shutdown. As more and more of the city seems to perish, I must express my gratitude. They’ve been a life saver for me, and of course a money saver! I wouldn’t have been able to make it residing in this area without them. I took this photo outside of the produce market, while shopping on the evening of Jan 1st. It was in the midst of blowing snow, but you could never tell by the picture. I don’t mind trekking out in the windy snow to run some errands, I need the exercise and the weather has been very reasonable. No crazy snowfalls, we’ve been blessed considering the current climate. Ironic the weather is good, and we’re not supposed to go outside.

I’d like to share a little story about how much the new norm has had an affect on me, more than realized:

I went on road earlier than usual, before my shift, because I was in desperate need of a portable heater. As I walked quickly, weaving in and out of the crowd, I came face to face with an elderly woman, with a walker. As I tried to quickly pivot around her, I thought she was trying to social distance. I notice many elderly folks have an air of worry, which is understandable. I felt guilty that maybe I had tripped her up, so I stepped aside of the crowd. The lady rolled up to me, keeping her distance, and politely asked me for the time. I felt very silly, because I didn’t realize that she was actually trying to approach me the whole time! I assumed that I was in her way, and also was trying not to make her uncomfortable, by keeping my distance! As she said Thank you, I told her have a nice day. I walked away feeling odd, I realized how this social distancing thing has really got to me!

This year is definitely going to full of new “New Norms”, and I’m doing my best to prepare.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

Those Holiday Expectations πŸ™„πŸŽ„β³πŸ’­…

Christmas day was exactly what I expected it to be. I had worked the night before, and was exhausted the next, and slightly anxious. I wasn’t sure that I would see my family, even though my beastie cousin invited me to Christmas dinner. I assumed she would be doing the majority of the cooking, organizing the house, and dropping off/picking up family. I assumed that she would be too tired, or run out of time, by evening. I assumed she’d run out of steam, and not be able to trek all the way to midtown and pick me up. I was right. I wasn’t mad or upset about it, just a little disappointed. It was one of my only days off in a extremely grueling work week. I truly wanted to spend my off day with my extended family, I miss them more than ever.

My intuition told me that she was probably had burned out, and was exhausted. Come to find out, I was right. I went the whole day and didn’t address it, I was too tired. By night, I texted her to check in, and let her know that I wasn’t quite sure what the day would bring, because I didn’t hear from her all day. She promptly replied, in broken text, that she was out all day, didn’t sleep well, and wasn’t feeling well, but it was NOT the virus. She added “SMH” and that her “body said no mo”. I knew she was tired ASF. I hoped she would get some quality rest, and would feel better by the next time we talked.

So, Christmas was exactly what expected, but Thankfully, I don’t get caught up in holiday expectations. What are holiday expectations you ask? Well you didn’t ask, but in case you don’t know, I will explain. Holiday Expectations, are those elements that are associated with the holiday season: Putting up a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, purchasing and receiving gifts, buying fruit cake and or making rum cake, Christmas bun, gathering with all of my relatives, buying chocolate, buying candy, buying cookies, buying and/or receiving Christmas cards, time off of work/vacation time, kindness and or understanding from others, a big holiday budget…I don’t get caught up with Holiday Expectations. I stopped that way of thinking a loooong time ago.

Growing up I was blessed with having the most amazing Christmas’s, even at the worst of times. My mother (RIP)made sure to make our Christmas magical, and I truly enjoyed the time I spent with my five other siblings. I feel very, very blessed to have those memories. It’s good enough for me! I don’t need anything but food and a roof over my head, in order to enjoy my holidays. Some folks still don’t understand that about me.

This year has come with a whirlwind of unpleasant surprises, and making through is a blessing. I don’t need people to give me anything, spending money and energy they need to preserve. It always saddened me to hear about the stats of folks going through depression during winter and the holiday season. I told myself I would not allow myself to get caught up in that, regardless of what’s going on in my life.

I took this photo on my daily brisk walk home, weeks ago before the snow. I was surprised to see such a large artificial tree, put up in this little parking lot. It looked a little out of place to me. It’s cool that they put up this humongous tree in the parking lot. It’s cool they can afford the energy cost to keep it lighted, but, Aren’t we going through a pandemic??? Which business had this tree put here? Is it from the city? (Shrugs)

I will continue on this subject in another blog. In case I don’t post before then, Have a safe and blessed start to your New Year. Don’t sweat the extras, just appreciate that you made it through the holidays, to 2021.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

I Meant To Post on β˜€ πŸ™πŸΌ SundayπŸ•’…..

I apologize for the delay, I meant to post this on Sunday…..

It almost doesn’t feel like a Sunday, or the weekend for that matter. Days of the week haven’t been the same. It feels as though I’m operating on different clock then the world around me. It feels as though I’m in a fish bowl all by myself. From the inside looking out, feeling as though I’m missing out on life, yet strangely peaceful on my own. Loved ones check in by phone, but can’t touch. Still I am grateful. I hope this week Christmas, I can spend some quality time with them, that’s the plan. It definitely hasn’t been easy being far away from them, in addition to the shutdown. Still I am grateful.

Thankfully I’ve been occupied with work, which help the weeks go by, regardless of how hectic. It’s been incredibly hectic, and a little stressful because the volume has went up, by eighty percent, and unfortunately we’re one man short. I’ve been taking it in stride, pacing myself to avoid cramped fingers, or premature carpal tunnel. We barely take breaks and management checks in and asks, if we’re okay, knowing that we’re not. I grab a snack in between and I don’t complain, I’m grateful that I have food.

My very small virtual team, has been awesome, through the roller coaster ride of changes. We ‘re one man down and we’ ve adapted very well to the eighty percent increase in traffic. We look out for one another as much as we can, as there’s only a few of us.

I stopped to take this photo the other day on walk from home from shopping. I thought to myself, how lovely… It’s nice that this shop decorated these little bushes. Very pretty.

As of today the province wide “full” lock down, has been announced. I’m speechless. Well, actually I’m not speechless, I just don’t feel the need to share my two cents on it. If I did, my two cents will amount to two dollars!

Talk to you soon.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

Just Some Thoughts πŸ€”:⌚They Say A Dark Winter β›„ is Coming…..

They say a dark winter is coming, and we should prepare for the worst! These words echo all over mainstream media and out of politician’s mouths. If you live in a climate that receives the gift of winter, you probably aren’t keen on it coming early. There are so many fears and changes we all are trying to prepare for. Way too many. We already had our first major snow, but none after that. They say it’s going to be a cold and harsh winter, in addition to a “dark winter”. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that, and the first time I heard it, it threw me off. I thought it was very negative and unnecessary to say. Folks get depressed as winter hits as it is, Why do they keep repeating this??? Oh, I know why, more conditioning for the mind, on a negative tip.

On one of my days off, I woke up and I didn’t want to get out of bed. The air felt chiller than usual. I had some errands to run, and usually I like to get my day started early, but I just couldn’t budge. I was warm under the covers, and, I didn’t want to get up from under the warm covers. I was very reluctant to go outside, even though I really wanted to get some fresh air. I caught up on my sleep and allowed myself to sleep in past noon. I felt guilty, because I like to make the most in the day, no matter the weather. This winter, I feel as though I don’t want to deal with it, I intend on avoiding it at all costs. The shutdown and “dark winter” mantra, ain’t making it any better. Everytime I hit the road and walk past a newly closed business, with boarded up graffiti cover, I feel a hit of the winter blues. I had to stop and take this photo, although my fingers were cold. This place is changing slowly yet drastically, day to day. It feels like a lucid dream.

I will not allow the media to influence my mood, or alter my state of mind, regardless of how much they say life supposedly “sucks”. I count my blessings times ten, and I will not have a dark winter, no matter what they say.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely