It’s a glorious sunny morning.  Sheba and I are out on our daily morning run. It’s really a slow trot with a stop every half block.  It’s exhilarating.  I feel every cell in my being oxygenated and revived.  My spirit soars.

That’s what a little sun can do for me.  I savour the moment, feeling  pleasure all the way down to my toes.  I will remember this on those endless cloudy days when the sky is a grey blanket pressing down on me.  I can choose how I feel.  I will not just wish and say, I’d do things differently.


IMG_3934You’ve made it to retirement and if you think you can just fall back into life again, guess again!

It’s not that easy.  The life you once knew is no more.  For one thing, you’ve grown up.  No, you’ve grown old – pensionable and pensioned.  You can no longer fit into a size 5, 7, or 9.  Even a 10 is stretching it.  Now you are breathless just bending over to tie up your boot laces.  What the hell happened here?

What happened to all my plans that I saved up for ‘when I retire’?  Not that I am bored with nothing to do.  I have too much to do but don’t know how to do it.  The world I knew has changed and I am hanging from the ledge.

Deep breath now.  Relax.  Remember that you are probably not alone.  You have the tools.  You have the words.  You can write your own script.  This life is but a dream and you are the dreamer.  So dream the life that is meant for you.  Be brave.  Be daring.  You are already on the ledge.  Be vulnerable.  Be true.  Be you.



I am not sure why I reach so far and hard for things out of my reach.  There are so many good things close at hand, but somehow things beyond my grasp are always more attractive.  You know the saying, The grass is always greener on the other side.

So I struggle and reach for that thing up there and over there to no avail.  All I get is an ache in my back and in my neck, not to mention the frustration of the unattainable.

I have learn my lesson for now, till the next time.  I know there will be a next time.  There is always a next time.  That’s how I am, an imperfect human being.  Now, I will let go of the struggle.  I will appreciate what’s here, ease the pain in my back and neck.  Life should not be a struggle.  It is a celebration.



Sunday morning, snow raining down.  Looking out my window the title of the movie, Snow Falling on Cedars, comes to me.  Pictures and words come to me and I speak of them out loud, not that they have anything to do with what’s at hand.  Sometimes I confuse people with my unattached thoughts.

I have just recognized that now.  I am upset sometimes that I am misunderstood so much.  But having heard the bell rung, I understand everything better.  I am in a better place with a clearer view.

When one knows better, one does better.  I do not need resolves.  I just do.



It is Saturday morning.  Breakfast and dishes are done.  I am sitting here with my second cup of tea.  Somewhere in downtown Saskatoon, there is a big rally on defending our climate, defend our communities.  I am not there.  There are too many things to defend.  You have to choose your battles, or I should say, defenses.

The world is running amok.  I have just finished watching Jon Stewart on YouTube.  He has a field day with President Obama and Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford.  The show is funny.  Jon Stewart is funny.  Maybe Obama deserves it.  Rob Ford certainly does. If it is true that Ford ran the city better while on cocaine, alcohol and what have yous, than the others, what does that say about the others?

While I liked and respected Jon Stewart, I had a distaste in my mouth after watching the show.  He was too gleeful.  I can understand that joy he displayed at another human being’s downfall.  I have felt that myself once or twice.  I tried not to put it on public display, remembering, ‘There but for the grace of God, go I”.

Closer to home, I still have difficulties with my neighbour, Teri.  After many unsuccessful attempts at ‘mending our fence’,  I decided to adopt a ‘let it be’ attitude.  If she wants to keep shoving her snow onto my yard through my Junipers, let her.  I will clear it away from the house in the spring.  If she wants to blare her music, it is okay.  It is winter.  My windows are closed.  I have learned to look at the problem in a different way,  thanks to Byron Katie’s tachings.  I now see her as a gift, a reminder to me that you cannot change a person.  Only they can change themselves.

What would you do, even after letting it be, that person still does not go away?  That was my dilemma yesterday.  Teri’s new man was trying to tear out our little fence, on our own property that we put up to keep her from driving into our trees.  She had expressed that it was ugly and for us to take it down.  She said that someone had told her to just rip it out.

Imagine my surprise when I saw her man doing that.  I was frozen momentarily.  Can I let it be?  Well, I could not.  I can let go, let be, but I cannot let someone disrepect me.  I ran down the stairs, Sheba on my heels.  I opened the door, being careful not to let Sheba run out the street.  I had not known what I was going to say or do.  I called out to him:  “Excuse me, what is your name?”

I could see that he had a pleasant kind face.  He looked uncertain as what to do.  I kept a big smile in my voice, “We’re neighbours so we should at least know each other’s names.”

“My name is Robert.”  He finally said.  “You will be seeing me around.”

“Please to meet you,”  I smiled.  “I would appreciate it if you do not touch our stuff “, pointing to the fence.

He said that he ran into it night before and was putting it back.  I did not contradict him, that we saw him pulling it out further.  I told him he should be careful as one of my shrubs had been ran over and flattened.  I did not tell him we already have plans of replacing it with more Junipers in the spring.

So far, so good.  No further attempts.  No words from Teri.  I have to respect and  stand up for myself.  I will not be at all surprised if our fence goes missing before spring.  BUT now, I can let it be.



I am reading Byron Katie’s A Thousand Names for Joy.  I am always in perpetual pursuit of happiness.  Perhaps it is the ultimate book for me because it is about living in harmony with the way things are.

I love the word joy.  The very letters seem to jump up from the page, dancing with life.  No doubt the way I see things has a lot to do with my Chinese background.  Some of the Chinese characters are pictures of the objects they denote.

Sheba is one of the thousand names for joy.  She is joy whether she is leaping off the page, or laying contently with her stuffed toys.  She needs no reason.  She is just joyful with what is.  She is my teacher in life.  Be with what is.  It is not easy but I am learning to sit with that, too.  I am sitting and staying, Sheba.  Thanks for being in my life.




Last night I dreamed that I cut my hair during my coffee break.  It took me almost two hours and I hadn’t done my back yet.  By that time my shift was over.  I had wondered, in my dream, who was covering for me.  Then I woke up.

I remembered it because I wrote it up in my dream journal right away.  Otherwise it would have disappeared like the morning dew on a sunny summer morning.  I wanted to remember my dreams, every single one of them.

Perhaps it is a foolish thing, grasping onto will ‘o wisps.  It’s like holding onto smoke.  It reminds me of the time when I was a young woman and still living at home.  When my mother walked into my bedroom as I was having a cigarette, I instinctively put my hand over the ashtray.   The smoke curls out and up between my fingers.

We watched the smoke curling through my fingers in silence, my mother and I.  We did not speak.  I realized how foolish I was in that moment – as if I can hide something from my mother.  It would have been better if we could have talked.  Living up to what I thought was her ‘standards’ was very hard.  Life could have been easier if we knew what the other was thinking.  I would not have to always fight life so hard.

Here I go again with the ‘ifs’, ‘ would haves’, etc.  One thing I know for sure is that we can’t go backwards.  No time traveling to the past nor the future is possible.  Can I say YET?  Well, whatever!  Life itself is but a dream.  You can grab it, hold onto it with all your might, and squeeze the hell out it all you want, but it will go on.  It is an inane phrase but life goes on.

I guess I should not waste any more valuable time.  The thing to do is to honour and respect this life of mine.  I know I have a purpose.  I want to fulfill those ‘dreams’ of mine, however elusive they are.  To steal the words of my hero, Martin Luther King, I have a dream…

  • to write my novel
  • to lose 10 pounds
  • to live in the present moment
  • to learn compassion
  • to learn forgiveness

These are five big dreams.  They will keep me pretty busy.  Any help will be accepted.


IMG_0198I am my own worse enemy so much of the time.  But on this day, Sunday, the day before Remembrance Day, I find myself singing one of the Beatles’ song:
‘When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be’
Yes, let it be.  It is good to surrender.  Just let it be.  I surrender.  I am letting it be, knowing that in the end all will be as it should be.  In HIM I trust.



I did not show up for my novel this morning.  It was intentional.  I felt at an impasse – boxed in by my own words.  It was best to let it sit and percolate on its own.

It’s Saturday and everyone deserves a day off to do something else, to let the creative juices rejuvenate.  After two days of long walks with Sheba on the rope, I head to our old dog park.  I want to roam free.  It’s small and on a Saturday, lots of company for both of us.

Things went relatively well.  Sheba played with another enthusiastic young Lab.  After awhile she got annoyed with the pup going after her butt constantly.  A little snapping of the teeth and few barks did little to deter the lad.  More dogs joined the group, among them a GREAT BIG furry one.  It was close quarters.  The young lad keep prancing at Sheba,  Sheba barking and snapping her jaw.  All of a sudden the big one and Sheba were after each others throat.  I grabbed her but she slithered through.  The big one’s owner grabbed his collar.  He broke loose.  I started running away, calling for Sheba.  She followed.

Disaster was averted.  I took Sheba into a different fenced off part of the park.  We ambled through the snow and frozen cattails.  It was peaceful.  The gate clanged.  Oh no!  The young prancing Lab and its owner entered.  So we tried walking with them again.  I didn’t have the heart to tell the owner that well, we don’t want to walk with them.  The dogs decided it for me.  The pup wanted to play, but Sheba didn’t.  To avert another fight, I said it was time for us to go.

Saturday is almost done.  No great accomplishments.  But we are doing the best we can.  Fights and words are averted.  Wine sipped and we have supped.  And I am still writing words every day, though not necessarily for the novel.  I am keeping my fingers limber and flexible.


IMG_5703Everyone needs a day off.  Today was one of those days for me.  My desk was as messy as ever.  The how-to manual close by.  My writing jacket was on the back of my chair.   I had no words.  They would not come.

I have to honor and respect them.  I will wait till they are ready to come back.  In the meantime, I am researching and studying plots, characters, timelines, conflict, etc.  There are so many parts that goes into writing a book besides the writing.  I have just discovered this in the process.

Things happen in mysterious ways.  It is wonderful but strange that I am writing a book at this time.  How opportune that I picked up a how-to book by Janet Evanovich.  She is one of my favorite mystery writers.  I love her character Stephanie Plum. Her how-to is very helpful and as much fun to read as her novels!

At the same time I came across a novel by a Chinese writer.  The novel is based in Shanghai, a city I have visited and where the author was born.  The main character lost his ability to speak Chinese due to a head injury.  But he is able to speak English.

The first page of the book is very riveting.  It grabbed me right away.  I thought:  Wow, what a good translation!   I was wrong.  It was written in English.  The author left Shanghai at age 10 and graduated from Brown University.  She has lost her written and spoken Chinese – much like myself.

I am learning much about the written word to bring events, pictures, emotions and actions alive in the mind.  The way someone uses words tells much about the culture we come from.  It is interesting how and what we identify with different writers.  The book is called The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu.

As you can see, my words are not coming easily.  But I am still having fun.