The prairie wind is blowing again.  It blows and blows, the kind that makes you feel weary.  It is the kind that gives me a headache and the shivers, as if someone is going to walk over my grave soon.  So it feels so good to have a shower, washing off the layer of old sweat and grime.  I am clean once more, unencumbered, naked and pure.

I take out a bag of trash…old underwear and an old hair dryer.  The heat had somehow melted a hole on one side and I burnt a finger on the hot molten plastic.  Until then I was still using it.  How foolish I am to hang on to it when I have another one in better condition.  I take that as a sign to let go of the broken, misshaped and the dysfunctional.  But it is easier said than done.  So I MUST be alert and pay attention to these things before they bite me in the ass.

My mother use to tell me so many things….things that nagged on her.  She tells them to me because I’m her oldest and she needs to get things off her chest.  And when I said to her that she shouldn’t talk so to me, she said who could she talk to if not her daughter.  It was just garbage and for me not to mind and to throw them away.  That, too, is easier said than done.

But she did listen to me when I told her it was making me sick.  I am not getting so much now.  Chinese people are proud and private.  They do not like to air things in public.  They have to save face.  Something must have happened to me.  I am not such a good Chinese.  I am not saving face.  I am a stranger in a strange land.  I’ve discovered that I cannot go home again.

But I have found a new land of LOLL where each person takes care of their own trash.  In this land of mine, there is no history, no accounting, no envy, no accumulation of trash….Each day starts anew.  The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west.  And all is as we make it to be.




The karaganas are blooming in the park.  I wish that I had a camera but I do not so I just enjoy their beauty and fragrance and store the moment in my memory.  I will capture their digital essence another time.  Sometimes you have to give up one thing to have another.  Such is life.

The other evening, I went riding with my little biking class.  Can I say that I did awesome….for a total distance of 20 k’s?  Well, I did have one little wobble which ended up being a big, big wobble – and I came tumbling down the hill..like Jill but without Jack. But I got up and dusted myself off and got back on my ‘horse’.  Jack had to help me get up and untangle the chains.

I am a little bruised and stiff but none the worse for wear.  And the first wobble is the worst.  Now that I have experienced the worst wobble, I can get on and push off with confidence.  It’s what I tell myself anyways,  even though in my heart, I will always feel the beginning of fear at the beginning of that first little wobble before I pedal off into the sunset.

It is good that I feel that little trepidation.  It means I am alive and human.  I can feel that excitement of uncertainty.  What is life if there are no wobbles, no uncertainty?  Where would the challenge be?  So I am happy to say that my life is full of wobbles and challenges.  But everything is copasetic.  And perhaps one day I can sit astride my bike with ease and confidence.  THAT would be very copasetic indeed!

Bike 6

VENTURING OUT….on my tipping toes


It has finally rained.  I am hoping the rain will ease my unease.  But I am still venturing out, stepping out even if it’s on my tipping toes…tentatively at first.  I will be more bold when I land and not fall, when I know that the shoe will not drop.

Last evening we rode our bikes all the way to Broadway.  I stopped traffic a couple of times but I did not fall.  Even though I knew I have time, I felt pressured.  So I got off my bike and walked it across the intersection.  I can do that…stop and walk across.

So many lessons I have learned from riding a bike.  I have time.  I can stop and do it another way.  So impatient I have been. I rush at life the way I used to ride a bike.  I don’t take the time….for directions, to listen, to look, to see….often interrupting, finishing other people’s words, sentences.  I am better now.  Sometimes I can remember to wait.

The raindrops are falling steadily now.  It is soothing.  I am sipping dandelion tea from my zen teacup.  My roast is in the oven.  The letter is in the mail.  I can wait.  I have time.


Today is probably one of those windy days that W.O Mitchell talks about in Who Has Seen the Wind.  It has been constant since early this morning.  The wind blows and blows, whooshing through the branches of the trees.  It wears insistently on your nerves, unsettling and disrupting your ease and thoughts.  But we do live on the prairies and the wind blows.

It is tough to stick to your guns sometimes.  It would be easy to go with the flow, to give in to your natural inclinations.  When I feel like this, I like to stick my head under the covers and hide.  But I have done a lot of that already.  It doesn’t help.  You just get more piles added to your life.  So now it is time to do something different.

I have found the little book, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals really helpful.  The author, Joan Vernikos, states that our life style of sitting is killing us.  We don’t move anymore.  Technology has enabled us to be inert.  My short time of heeding her advice have proven very beneficial.  I am energized.  I MOVE.  I do the dishes, sweep the floor, take Sheba out, weeded a small patch in the yard.  Better small patch than nothing.  Little patches add up a yard!

The wind is giving me a headache.  I get up and make a cup of green tea in my zen tea cup with a lid.  I take the kitchen waste to the composter.  I warm a cinnamon bun.  The words were hard in coming, but here they are, marching across the page.  It is like in Field of Dreams – build it and they (the players) will come.

Dreams remain dreams.  They need passion to be realized.  And passion needs commitment for direction.  Nothing is or comes easily.  Start small, start often, rest in between and start again and again.  Before you know it, those little projects will lead to a life.  And then you will know what passion is.



Sheba and I are spending time alone today.  She is cuddled up with her toys and I am sitting before my keyboard, tapping out my thoughts and feelings.

It has been a good day.  I am not only reading self-help books, but I am actually putting my gained knowledge into use….finally.  Imagine that!  I have spent a lifetime gathering information on mood disorders and how to be happy.  But knowledge without action equals zilch.  If we keep doing the same things over and over, we keep getting the same results.  Who said that…Oprah, Dr. Phil or some other luminary?  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that, but sometimes a hammer on the head is necessary.

After reading Sitting Kills, Moving Heals by Joan Vernikos, I decided I better MOVE today.  And so I did.  Sheba and I went for an early morning walk after breakfast.  The morning sunshine and kids going to school was energizing.  I did my qigong routine after we got home.  I breathed and moved, clearing my stagnant chi.

Having limbered and stretched,  I got on my bike before I could procrastinate away the opportunity.  I am learning to prioritize…get the important things done first.  I rode to the park at the school, pedaling along the meandering paths, practicing gear shifts.  I made it up the hill once.  On my second time around, I couldn’t find the right gear and couldn’t make it up.  I had to stop and turn the bike around.  It was still a valiant effort.


I kept my natural restlessness in check by moving – doing my neglected daily living activities.  I ironed my uniforms and damp mopped the floors in a steady leisurely pace.  I tried to keep my attention focused on what I was doing.  I was practicing the yoga of housekeeping.  I felt a certain pleasure in doing my chores.  Weird!

It sure sounds like I did a lot today.  I did, compared to my usual slothful ways.  Sheba and I even went to the park after lunch and then stopped at the library on the way home.  The secret for me is tiny steps and small varied chores….a little of this and a little of that.  They add up big.

I’m not saying it was easy, but I’m not saying it was hard either.  Throughout the day, I felt moments of blueness, anxiety, fatigue.  I took a break in those moments for a cup of tea, a handful of walnuts, an avocado.  I laid on the floor and did some stretching and meditation.  I’m not at all flexible.  My mind wanders.  So what?


And my mood waxes and wanes…the blueness and anxiety.  They are fleeting, but I resist the need for conversation, company and comfort.  Sometimes you need to spend time with yourself…to wrestle with your demons or to talk with the angels.  You cannot share everything.  You have to save something for yourself.



This morning I set my priority to practice my cycling.  From a class last week I had learned that it is in the push off.  Push and glide.  Push and glide.  The momentum keeps me upright.  I don’t fall.  I push off, glide and rise to sit on the seat.  I do not have to do all three all at once.  I can not.  That is why I fall.  I have time.  It is amazing what directions and a few pointers can do for you.


I have time.  In the same fashion, I am learning to stop and get off a bike without crashing and falling to the ground like I usually do if I don’t have a curb handy.  I have time to brake, stop, and get off the bike.  I don’t have to do all three at the same time.  I cannot do it all at once.  That is why I crash and fall.  How amazing is that?

I have time.  This is my big life lesson from riding a bicycle.  I am doing my big push off in a different direction.  The momentum will keep me upright.  I have time.  I can glide.  There is no rush.  I can do one thing at a time.  I do not have to charge forward blindly, angrily, or in fear.  I will not fall.  I have support.  I am in good company.




Yesterday, I got back up on my horse, the bike, to see if I can ride it again.  It’s been 20 some years since I was on it.  I tried a couple of years ago but my confidence was gone and I failed and I fell and didn’t get back on.

It’s funny about the things that matter to a person.  It’s odd about the things that matter to me.  Getting back on the bike matters to me.  So out to the back alley I go.  I decide that the dirt was no harder to fall on the pavement of an empty school parking lot.  Besides, I have more privacy.  I do not want laughing eyes upon this mature fool falling off a bike.

Do you know how scary it is getting on a bike, especially when you have short legs and your feet no way can touch the ground even with the seat lowered to the max?  But….I once rode this baby to work in traffic.  I should be able to do it again.  There’s that word again….SHOULD.

With SHOULD echoing in my mind, I line my bike behind my neighbour’s fence beside some pipes where I could rest my foot and push off.  I breathe, I push, I fall….Too many grooves in the ground.  I could not get enough momentum to stay upright.

I dust myself off, pick up the bike and scan for another starting off spot.  I line myself along some landscape ties behind another fence.  Perfect!  I breathe and pushed off.  I cannot describe the fear I felt as I pushed off, letting go of gravity, letting go of touching something solid.  But I remain upright, riding down the back alley.

So back and forth I went in the alley.  I chose a place with a higher grassy bank to stop and get off, in case I fall off instead of getting off.  To my delight, the spot was high enough for me to push off from, too.  I’m learning to breathe and PUSH OFF, letting go and trusting in the universe and the law of gravity.

BREATHE, PUSH OFF, LET GO of fear and the shoulds of perfection.  Practice makes better.




I used to hinge so many things upon the little word, IF.  If I was taller, if I was smarter, if this, if that.  Yes, if I wasn’t Chinese, I would be have bigger bosoms.  I would be more desirable.  I would have more men panting after me.  I would be happier.  And if only the cow could jump over the moon……What then?

We cannot realize our what ifs.  This is how I console myself today in the midst of my anxieties and throat in my mouth moments.  Just keep driving.  Keep your attention on the road.  Smile!  You are on candid camera.  Talk.  Keep the conversation going.  Move.  Breathe.  Live.  One breath at a time.  One moment at a time.

There.  The day is almost done.  You have risen from bed, stretched and bended and reached forward.  You have jogged with Sheba around the neighbourhood.  You have driven through traffic, met and breakfasted with friends.  You have divided and repackaged the meat you bought yesterday for the freezer.  And you have met with your podiatrist.  Your feet thank you.  It is a miracle.  I have not been frozen in my fears and what ifs.

So maybe the cow can jump over the moon.  I am on the other side of if now.   I CAN.



Some days life is damn hard.  You just want to lay down,  even amid your own dirt and grime.  You don’t want to lift your head off the floor.  It is on those days when I feel I can’t, I DO.

I do any little thing that I can .

  • lift my head off the floor
  • take a single step
  • make the bed
  • make a cup of tea
  • write a word, a sentence, a paragraph
  • put in a load of dishes, laundry
  • pick up something off the floor besides myself
  • sit on the deck, sweep the deck
  • pull out last year’s tomato plant(s)
  • put in pickets around flower bed to keep Sheba out
  • take Sheba for a walk
  • yoga. qigong
  • file one thing

These days have been hard.  It does not matter for what reasons.  But one thing for sure is that they will pass and in the meantime, you still have to do, whatever you can, however you can.  Cause you want to be ready to rock and roll when you come out of the ‘some’ days.