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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Today's poll question is: Have you ever bought groceries online? I used to, and revelled in the fact that I could do it. The novelty has worn off somewhat, however, and I have to confess that I usually prefer shopping in person.

This realization crystallized during my last shopping expedition, at the mega-Loblaws complex at Lower Jarvis and Front. Jeff offered to help, but I turned him down right away. Not because I wanted to save him the trouble, but because I had been looking forward to the solo experience. Sounds bizarre, I know, and some of you are probably wondering if I've taken this sabbatical thing too much to heart. :-)

There's something about browsing through the aisles of a supermarket, however, that is incredibly satisfying. If you're in a hurry (as most of us are most of the time), you'll view it only as an inconvenience...grabbing the items on your shopping list and getting out of there as fast as possible. If the opportunity ever arises, try going at a more leisurely pace. The best situation is if you have no real deadline, and only a few items that you have to buy. And go alone.

Last time, I mostly hung out in the produce department, surrounded by crisp lettuces, carrots, sweet-fragranced fruit, hovering over small bundles of fresh herbs like basil and spicy coriander (wishing I had an excuse to buy some). I did buy some watercress, simply because I've always wanted to try making watercress sandwiches. They always sounded so yummy in the British children's books.

The tropical fruit section is also intriguing, changing throughout the year. Every once in a while I'll indulge in a piece of fruit I've never tried before. This time I picked up a loquat. Urban Tapestry covers a song by the Indigo Girls called "Wild Wild Party In The Loquat Tree", and I've always been curious. I meant to share it with Allison when she visited last week, but forgot. Haven't eaten it yet; might do that later today.

Something else I'm trying to do is learning to taste things again. I've been too used to viewing meals mostly as a necessary inconvenience, stuffing food into my mouth without really tasting anything, anxious to get back to work. I pretty much lived on frozen Michelina dinners when I was in Philly.

Now I'm trying to make an attempt to actually focus on the appearance, taste and texture of what I'm eating. One good side effect is that this forces me to slow down my chowing down, and I only eat if I'm hungry (as opposed to automatically cleaning my plate, no matter what).

I don't think this "stop and smell the roses" trend is merely because I'm forcing myself to slow down in general. My need to get back to my own creative fiction writing has been gradually increasing. I suspect that writer part of me has been in hibernation for a while, having given up on waiting for me to disentangle myself from the whole corporate thing, and is only now just waking up. Probably muttering to itself, "It's about bloody time..." :-) In order to get back into fiction writing, I need to start noticing (REALLY noticing) the world around me again, and spending more time offline.

Speaking of writing, my editor approved the article I sent for her book, yay! My last work-related deadline is this Friday, when I have to have a cover blurb written for a new book coming out from Allworth Press: "The Writer's Guide To Queries, Pitches & Proposals" by Moira Allen. Love the book so far, and am going to be referring to it when I get back into my nonfiction writing this fall.

And I'm *really* looking forward to Andrea's visit this weekend. :-)

Today's Link: (Courtesy Jodi)

The VC:

I especially love this particular strip :-D

Today's Blatherpics:

- St. Lawrence Market on Saturday.

- Sign outside the Oak Leaf Steam Baths in Toronto.

- I took this picture at the cottage, very early in the morning, leaning over the back of the motorboat. The water was very smooth and reflected the colour of the sky just as it was starting to show signs of sunrise...amazing colour textures; the photo does not do it justice. The white splotch in the photograph is the reflection of the moon, which was half full. I miss the cottage.

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll:

Have you ever bought groceries online?

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