My day off….


photo by my Chandra

My friend Trudy takes every Monday off. At least that’s what she says, but then when we talk afterwards, I learn she was busy all day catching up on stuff at home. I’ve never done that, but this week I decided I too needed a ‘day off’.

Did I sit around watching Soap Operas and eating chocolates? Did I hunker down under my favorite lamp reading a favorite book from cover to cover? No…. But I did have a wonderful time. This is how things went.

My knees had been tortured the afternoon before by too many miles on my Exercycle — at too high a tension. It wasn’t by plan but by error — or plain old stupidity. I didn’t realize it until it was too late. Thus my plan to walk the next morning was abandoned. I promised my knees a rest instead.


My knees had been tortured

I stayed home to relax and okay, just maybe do a few things around here. After reading my emails, I decided to shred some documents, mostly of my 2010 tax return which I no longer need to retain. What efficiency, I felt good about that. Well, wouldn’t you?

Peter the Great1

Peter the Great turned a swamp into a city

Turning around, I saw a thick envelope full of photos, postcards and souvenirs I’d saved from my trip to Scandinavia and St. Petersburg with my sister Shirley in 2000. What a great opportunity to go through it and get rid of more things as part of my effort to be a thoughtful mother so my offspring won’t have to deal with so much stuff in the future. I hadn’t seen these since I first stored them on my office shelf right after the trip. Looking through it gave me an interesting hour or two.

Why in the world did we take all those photos of buildings and bridges anyway? Yes, St. Petersburg was originally a deadly swamp, thousands perished in the creation of the city and it still has many bridges. Do these photos mean anything to me now? Out, out — oh here’s one of Shirley and me, and Tony and Barbara, who live in Australia. We first met these dear friends on that trip! They’ve added so much to my life through the years.
Tony is an Australian member of our book club. He reads every book we do if he can get his hands on it, then sends his reactions via email, which I share at our next meeting. His opinion is of value and always of interest.


a pot on my balcony

Spring is in the air, and when I looked out at the pots on my balcony, I decided to be optimistic and plant some flowers, kale seeds and peas. The sun was shining — what better time for it? Done! What a noble soul am I!

Then… Oh, you’d better sit down for this one or the shock will be too much for you. I don’t know why, perhaps insanity, but I decided to bake bread — actually Aboriginal bannock. The doing of same reminded me why I don’t do it more often. What a mess! Multiple measuring cups, bowls and spoons, flour covering counter and floor, and butter sticking to my cutting board. Sure, it tastes great with homemade jam, but as long as I have any memory left, I vow not to try this one again. Whew!

Old lady baking. jpg

I won’t try this again

No more days off for me! I’m exhausted…..



22 thoughts on “My day off….

  1. I think if we wanted to get you to sit on your keester and actually RELAX, we would have to tie you up!

  2. Haha, loved this! Relaxation is often quite exhausting for women. Men, however, seem to have finetuned it to an art. Which, in turn, drives us up the wall! Enjoyable read. Hope your knees are fine.
    Wish I could taste the bread you baked, specially since you are never going to bake it again! 😉

    • What you REALLY want to taste of hers, Jaya, are her potato latkes! Somehow, they are the perfect blend of crispiness and softness, with just the right taste of onion…and you put sour cream on those babies and your mouth is just HAPPY! Every time I have had latkes at someone else’s house or a restaurant, I am always, always, always disappointed. She also makes awesome matzo ball soup, but I’ve figured out her secret on that one: You can get the matzo balls firmer (the way I like them) if you roll them tighter in your hands before putting them in the soup. I only tried once to do the latkes on my own…not so good.

      • Oh Susan, now my mouth is watering! However, to tell you the truth, what I really enjoy is Muriel’s writing, her humour and vibrant nature. 😀

  3. What a lovely way to have a day off. Meeting you in St Petersburg was a delight and we have treasured your friendship now for many years. Did you get that recipe for Aboriginal bread in Australia as it sounds like our damper but with a touch of Scotland? Great picture of you at the stove. I think we all need such a day off every so often.

  4. Muriel, I would love to have you as my neighbor. I would convince you to take more “days off” so that I could pop into your apartment and watch you “relax” in the kitchen while I wait for surprises. OK, you gave up bread. But, what about home made apple strudel, my favorite. Like your friend Trudy don’t forget the flour. Baking Apple strudel is a lost art. My Mom was the Queen of baking Apple strudel… written recipe, just put a little of this and a little of that, and more of the other, and when the strudel came out of the oven the entire neighborhood knew where to go: Mama Mollie’s kitchen for a taste of heaven. Take care of those pretty knees of yours. Too much exercise is just as bad as no exercise. I enjoyed your blog immensely.

    • Oh Joe: I think if I were your neighbor Trump would not be the only one building a wall. And, you wouldn’t only be building a wall in your Florida apartment, but putting one up between our residences to keep me out. As always, thanks for reading. Fondly, Muriel

  5. That’s quite a busy “day off”! I baked bannock once in cooking class.
    I had no idea that St Petersburg was a swamp! So thanks for that, I’ll be reading about it now

  6. You reminded me of a few things. But my memory says look back to check them. Oh Boy.
    Oh yes, re the cards and pictures, the Jewish Museum says don’t throw them out. Give them to the Museum. But I see that too much time has passed to save anything since you wrote it.

    Also, some post cards are valuable. Years ago, in Florida, I paid $5 each for 2 of old Vancouver. One was of a streetcar on Davie St in English Bay, and the other of the
    9 o’clock gun under the shelter, neither of which I had seen. And collectors of old photos, do so for different reasons, like for the clothes worn in a period, and whatever else.

    You can tell I save a lot of stuff. I have letters and books from the 1930’s to present from my parents, and their friends too, and of mine. I sent some back to the senders, and that was fun. Have to do lots more, before my sons throw everything out. And I love your old blogs too.
    Love, Leonor

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