Have I told you I’ve given up my Orange Pekoe cuppa? I’m making some changes to the way I live. I’m starting small with a cup of coffee in the morning, a very small cup. It holds 125ml, just a swallow. That was all I needed. I surprised myself with a burst of energy and a flurry of hard-to-do activities.

I warmed up with my usual pushing the damp mop around the floors and a little dusting along the way. I’m getting quite good at it now. Having limbered up, I used my hula hoop, what Amy Tan call the gym for seniors. I’ve already achieved the 1 minute mark, so now I’m working towards 2 minutes without stopping. Took a few tries but I got it! By then I was in a good sweat. I had to do a walk around the house to cool off before doing 3 rounds of 20 seconds of planking. I stretched by doing my qigong routine.

I probably over did after 2 months of potato couching. It was so nice to have the energy. It was hard to stop. I went for a little bike ride after lunch before taking Sheba out for her walk. Then I finished raking the leaves in the front yard. Now I’m all revved up. I hope I can sleep tonight. I did have another small cup of coffee after lunch. I was tired of being a wet noodle. I hope to repeat my day tomorrow but maybe a little more moderate. I might have to skip the 2nd coffee.


Wednesday morning coming down. It’s another cool May day. I wonder if our planet is trying to reset and right itself now that we humans have slowed down the flying and driving and the manufacturing. I hope we can and will return to greener pastures. Remember when stores were opened from 9 am to 6 pm? Wednesday they were opened only in the morning. Thursday was late night shopping till 9 pm. Sundays were closed. There was time and opportunity to savour Sunday suppers and our lives instead of the shop till you drop mentality.

I’m old enough to have those memories. Now there is the time and quiet to reflect back to those times. There’s no reason why I can’t put back those things that were good and meaningful for me. If we all do that, we can recreate a more sustainable life for ourselves and the planet. Maybe the reason we are where we are today is because our ways are no longer sustainable. Why do we have to have more, bigger and faster? Individually it can lead to burnout. Collectively we are burnt out and locked down.

This is where I am now, deciding how to live, how to proceed. Do I feel any desires or passions? Right in this moment, I do not.  But I do not want to stay in this feeling. I have the desire to have a meaningful life. I worked hard today at doing the hard to do things, those things that I keep at bay for days and days. Some of them are not big or important at all. Things such as clipping my finger and toe nails. But they do add to my comfort. There’s no understanding why it was such a big chore. It’s done along with setting up payment for my property tax. I had a good go at my income tax. I just need to check it over and get all the receipts in order.

It is early evening. I’m winding down. I know mornings are my best times. Come after lunch, I slowly wind down like a dying EverReady battery. Now, I’m pooped and not much in my head. I don’t have much left in me. I best call it the end. I’ll try for better tomorrow.



I think I will have to stop living this Covid-19 lifestyle soon or else I’m going to turn into mush. I don’t mean I’m going to be rash and careless. But rather I have to stop thinking and living it 24/7. It would help if the CBC would stop devoting the whole hour of the National to it. The world has stopped but life and other deaths and diseases are still going on. It is not good for our my mental health not to have other focuses.

It is early evening. I’m waiting for supper. I’m sleepy as can be having started my day at 5:30. This is what happens in these times. Things are niggling on the edges of my consciousness. It’s hard to sleep in. It’s not a bad thing. I love the early morning hours when the sun is already up. I was not always a morning person especially when I was still working. I worked shift as a nurse for over years. Today is International Nurses Day and the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. There’s a flurry of Happy Nurses Day posts on Facebook. I wish all my fellow retired and working nurses a Happy Nurses Day.

Supper is over. Where did the day go? I started early enough. I still feel I’m behind even in locked down with nowhere to go and nothing I must do. I still have that must do and ought to do mentality. I did get 2 loaves of sourdough baked, made a couple of beeswax wraps and roasted a tray of egg shells. Egg shells, you say. Whatever for? They’re supposed to be good in the garden for tomatoes, rose bushes and other things. I will have to crush them up first though.

I still haven’t tackle all those I hate-to-do tough jobs because after all that baking, beeswaxing and roasting, there was so many things to clean up. It took up the rest of the morning. Then there was lunch to be made and more washups. After all that, it was time to take Sheba for her afternoon walk. I’m not as distressed today to see her stumble a little. I give her behind and hips a little rub and she was okay. She got a little dose of CBD oil in the morning. It seemed to perk and limber her up. We’re being daring and experimenting with life. I heard tell that life is a chronic condition. I’m trying to roll with it.

The end and good night.



Monday morning coming down. May 11th, the calendar pages are advancing. The sun is out shining bright. My day has started. Breakfast over and done with. I’ve shaped my sourdough loaves. They are chilling in the fridge. They can chill up to 24 hours. The longer they stay, the tastier and more stable they get. That is what they say. Maybe I will wait to bake them tomorrow morning and test out the theory.

My Sheba and I are growing old together. She has a little more white than I do. Her hips are worse off, too, giving her trouble these last couple of weeks. I try not to feel too bad or sad when I see her stumble. She still loves her walks and able to go up and down the deck stairs. There’s a few more things I can do to help her like doing range of motion on her hips. She’s content to let me massage and brush her, even on her backend. She is already on fish oils and glucosamine. I will try to wean a little weight off her. It will be a task as she loves food. I’m adding a little ground flax to her food and see if that will help. I hear that cumin is a good anti inflammatory. We will check with the vet.

Mornings are my best time. It is late afternoon. My mood and energy are sagging and dragging the floor. It is impossible to work on the hard stuff when I’m feeling thus. Bad habits are hard to break but I did get the kohlrabi and broccoli seedlings transplanted. They were beyond leggy and flopping over. Gardening has not been easy this year. I keep plodding along. I will be glad for my persistence and efforts come harvest time. I think of the reward to keep myself moving along.

Excuse my monotone. I’m struggling to finish this post. I find myself struggling with everything. I just have to take life in smaller bites and swallows these days. You wonder why I bother with my mutterings. Sometimes I wonder, too. But I’m the better for showing up here. It gives me order to my day. The rhythm of the keys tapping calms and soothes me. It gives me purpose. It records my moods, problems and helps me find workable solutions. It keeps me sane.



I woke up to a snow falling on cedars Saturday morning. I’m getting used to strangeness and unexpectedness. It was rather pretty and serene. It gave me a peaceful feeling, as if everything is okay. And it is, isn’t it? I have food, water, clothing and shelter. I’m lucky that I don’t have to worry about employment and income. I’m retired with a pension. I don’t know what it is like to have those worries now. I have been there in my younger days, always thinking of how to stretch the dollar. I have paid my dues. I feel no guilt.

It is almost supper time. The day can go accounted for when you linger and scroll here and there. It’s that kind of a day. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter too much if things don’t go according to the plan. I learn not to get into a sweat and make another plan. I mustn’t be too lackadaisical though. There IS a deadline for filing income tax – June 1. I still haven’t made a move on it. Perhaps tomorrow.

Contrary to the popular saying that tomorrow never comes, it has. It is Sunday. I haven’t done my taxes yet but I haven’t been idle either. I’m not in the flow of things so my words come in stutterings. It is almost supper time. I’m tired, having fought Sheba to clean her ears. She hates it with a passion, snapping her teeth at me. But it is done. She got the whole body treatment today. A brush out, massage and range of motion exercise on her right hip. It’s been giving her trouble lately. It’s worrisome. I don’t want her to suffer.

It is Mothers Day. The world is still stalled and in limbo. This time last year we were seated around a big table at Yip Hong’s for a Chinese supper celebration. I wonder when we will be able to do that again. It seems unreal, like a dream or a bad joke that we can endanger each other, that there are over 280,000 deaths worldwide due to Covid-19 in these months.


It is almost 4 in the afternoon. Cloudy and rainy. Not inviting weather for a walk. I shall forego it if Sheba does not kick up a fuss. She is slowing down, her right hip giving her grief at times. She is always up when I mention ‘walk’. But today might be a good day to play hooky. She had her morning walk. We’ve both earned a day off.

Conversations are much easier to start in the morning but I had bread making on the start. Somehow it is always most the day affair. The day is almost gone but I have 6 golden loaves, minus the slices we ate, bagged and in the freezer. The pans are all washed, dried and put away. I haven’t always been this organized and orderly. I’ve learned it pays to be so. I’m trying to apply that principle to everything that I do.

The snow is coming down now after the rain. It melts as it hits the ground. It’s a cool 2 degrees Celsius. I wonder at my wisdom of planting some of my tomatoes. It’s going to be -2 Celsius tonight, -4 for the next 2 nights. The nights won’t get above 0 till Wednesday. I hope they will be okay under the covers. It will be an interesting experiment. And why not? Everything is so uncertain this year. Who knows what the summer will be like. I can dare a little, stretching our growing season a little. Maybe I’ll get a bunch of early tomatoes.

I won’t try  to stretch this post any longer. My mind is scattered. And I don’t have much more to say. Sheba is restless and pacing back and forth. I think she wants me to go watch TV with her.


It’s another Covid-19 morning, cool but sunny. I’ve gotten my addiction, my cuppa Orange Pekoe out of the way. It is definitely a trigger for my bladder. I’m not quite as in love with it this morning. I drank it out of a Corelle mug instead of my usual one of china. It does make a difference. Tomorrow I shall try one of my fine china teacups. I have quite a few sitting in the cabinet, just for show. If I’m going to suffer, I might as well do it in style. And they are quite a bit smaller than a mug – 1/3 smaller.

My mood is an improvement over yesterday’s. There’s no need to trash myself about it. I am susceptible to anxiety and depression. There’s no shame about it. These are difficult and weird times. Everyone is feeling it. A dog walking friend admitted that he was feeling anxious and needing some help. I talked to a neighbour at a distance yesterday. She looked tired and a little worn. Worse than me, I thought.

So here I am, tapping out a bit of conversation. I’ve pushed my damp mop around already. I took my dust cloth along, giving a wipe here and there. The mop is much lighter and easier to push than a vacuum. It’s faster and saves on the power bill. I’m learning new and better ways of doing. Hard to give up those ‘healthy’ and yet not good snacks. I’ve just had a few pistachios. They’re on the ‘bad’ list for me. I shall counter act with a couple of dates. I’m off to indulge in my crime novel before tackling lunch.

Now I’m in the evening of the day. Sheba and I had our afternoon walk in the sunshine. I never got my intended work on the other raised garden beds. It can wait till tomorrow. I did indulge in my crime reading. It is a good addiction sometimes. It dispels those creepy feelings of anxiety. My attention is focused on the crime and the chase. It’s a good escape hatchet. Just what I need sometimes. But I did not spend the whole afternoon in escapism. I did a little chopping up cabbage and this and that. Now I have two jars of kimchi fermenting in the basement.

So ends another day. I’m glad I’m showing up here for myself. Self talk is comforting and can be enlightening. Keep well and safe.





I’m consoling myself this morning with a cup of rooibos tea. I’m staring at another blank morning, another blank page. I despise this feeling of blandness and emptiness. But how to make a mark, to scratch the surface? Will it bleed? I resort to mopping up Sheba’s hair to get a start. She has never failed to give me a supply. At least the ice is broken now. We have a start of a conversation.

Lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have interstial cystitis. It’s not deadly but at the same time, there’s no cure. Oh joy! However, let me look at the bright side. It can be treated by dietary changes. I’ve decided to take up the challenge. I’m tired of continuous treks to the bathroom, not to mention getting up 3 times during the night and the water bill. At the same time giving up my favourite drinks and food is enough to spiral my mood downward. I feel a huge depression coming on.

On the list of foods to avoid are: tea and coffee, regular or decaf, carbonated drinks, chocolates, spicy and acidic food, wine….Just when I’ve discovered the wonders of ferments, kimchi and kombucha might be on the no list. Booo! Surprisingly, sourdough bread is ok. I will just have to experiment. I know for so wine is a trigger. It is not a hardship to give it up. On the other hand my Orange Pekoe is. I’ve already caved in and had a diluted cuppa after my walk with Sheba. I am so weak but I haven’t thrown in the towel yet.

I’m still showing up, tapping out each letter, word, sentence, urging myself onward. I felt so low after lunch, it was hard to keep my eyes open, to clean up and get the dishes done. It was one dish, one utensil at a time. Then there was the frying pan. Man, that was tough to get that beast washed. But I did it. I took Sheba for a long walk after. I felt the sun and exercise would be good for stimulating the production of serotonin.

My self talk/tap, urging myself onward worked. I mobilized myself enough to get six tomatoes planted in the raised bed. after our walk. They’re caged and under cover. Let the cold nights come. As for my bladder, I think I’m on the right track. I’m able to increase my holding time to 2 hours and sometimes 3 hours. It is on my mind alot. You know what happens with that! I feel the urge almost instantly the moment it pops into mind. I can talk myself out of it by relaxing a little. I put it off for 10 minutes at a time. Then another. And so on. I’m having some success. I got up only twice for the last couple of nights. Small victories.




Morning has broken again, just like the first morning. The least I can do is get up, dress up and show up. And I have. To do anything, to get anywhere, to change anything, one has to move. That is the law. I have limbered and warmed up to the day by pushing my damp mop over the floors. There is no good reason for me to be despondent and be like a wet noodle. Regardless of what is happening in the world, I am alive and breathing. I still have to get up, brush my teeth and eat. Sheba greets me each and every morning. She still sheds her hair everywhere.

I haven’t gotten the world by the tail but I have made a stab at the day. I’m having a little celebration with a second cuppa. I haven’t cleaned my winter footwear nor filed my income tax yesterday. I did get the humidifier cleaned and put away. Some things are easier to do than others. I try to work with that. No use in fighting against myself. I have a ‘bad’ neighbour for fighting, though I’m brainstorming on how not to let her ‘undo’ me. It is hard. When I see how she is still ‘interfering’ into our yard, I feel anger starting up inside. I know it’s not proper to hate, but I truly hate her and her ‘boyfriend’ from across the street. I take a deep breath in and let it out. I will discard and disregard those few inches of my yard. She can scrape and scratch around our trees if it makes her happy. I will call the police liason again if she goes any further.

I do not want to dwell in the valley of negativity. I am just preparing myself for the coming summer, to foresee possible problems and solutions. I have not always been wise in my actions, words and judgement. I put too much trust in reason and doing the ‘right thing’. I forget not everyone thinks like me and see through my eyes. What I need to remember is boundaries and to respond instead of reacting.

Now it is afternoon. I HAVE cleaned my winter and summer footwear. They’re drying on the deck. I’m thinking how nice it would be to slip my feet into clean shoes. A pat on the back for me! I have to own the day by grabbing it in the morning. It means a little work and will power. What’s life without some work and effort. Nirvana is overrated. It leaves me without a compass. A little stress of the right kind makes for a happier, fulfilled life.



I’m suffering somewhat with this locked/shut down. Sometimes I feel as if I’m suffocating and can’t catch my breath. These times come with some tiny memories that drift in uninvited and unannouced of times before, of people lost and forever gone. They’re like mini panic attacks. I know now what it is meant by grasping at straws. Those times and people are gone and irretrievable. I feel such a loss, a hollow which cannot be filled. How callous I have been!

So here I have sat for the last while. I don’t know how many days. Immobilized, devoid of ambition, desires. I have not hula hooped, done my qigong, sew or painted. I cannot use being busy and no time for an excuse.  If not for Sheba, I would not have gone for any walks. My shame and guilt have been overpowered by lethargy. I’ve been caught up reading murder mysteries to quell my anxieties of uncertainty. After a long while, I’m nauseated and disappointed in myself enough to make a change.

What if I could just do one hard thing a day? It would be a start to rise up and out of this self-induced coma. There’s a whole slew of things that I need/could do.

  • Filing my income tax. It’s due June 1 this year because of the Covid-19.
  • Cleaning and putting away winter boots and clothes.
  • Cleaning and putting away the humidifier.
  • Showing up here again as a daily practice. It was keeping me sane and functional. I must keep what works for me.

This is enough to wake me up a bit and get me on my feet. I must not let this opportunity go for naught. I came across Mary Oliver’s Invitation yesterday. Her simple words have stirred me to thought and hopefully action.

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.