It’s a grey cool Monday. I’m feeling the weather again. I’m sipping on a cup of decaf while contemplating what would be my best moves. I hate letting the weather get the better of me. But it might not be a bad idea to just take it easy for the rest of the day. I’ve already stormed out after breakfast and did a whole pile of work before 10. I planted the last 4 squashes between the haskap berries in the backyard and the rest of the celery in the squash bed. Yes, I got a little crazy with the squashes this year. I’m sure I’ve planted 30 for ourselves. Then there’s the giveaways. I will take an inventory of plants and produce in the fall for better planting next spring. It’s what I keep saying. Now I will have to do it.

I am feeling better for having started this tapping out. I sure felt like hell when I came in from the garden. I’ve done some work in the greenhouse, too. It’s nice and warm there, out of the cold and wind – a good place to clean up the pots and trays. I can put them up on the rock wall to dry. I am trying to have a better handle and not let them scatter all over the place. It’s hard to develop good work habits. So easy to just drop things drop wherever they are. But then there’s the hard part later picking them up.

Well, so much for taking it easy. We’ve had lunch and the dishes done. I find the cleaning up part the hardest. My mood drops and my energy deserts me. I have to talk myself through each step. It happens most days. You would think I could overcome this by now. No, I have to battle it every day but I do win every time. I’ve gone out again to the greenhouse to finish cleaning all the little pots and plant trays. The lettuce there are past their prime. It was hard but I’ve pulled them and planted 2 eggplants in their spot. I tend to wait and hang on to things too long, even lettuce. Well, no more of that!

It seems my keyboard is my best tool for working things/my moods out. It doesn’t give me any back talk either. I can talk myself out with no criticism. Sometimes I just need to put it out here on the page, sounding myself out. If I pay attention, I can hear/see wherein my problems and solutions lie. It’s worth it to make the effort of showing up on my self scheduled days.


It’s Friday, another write day. I’ve just come back from a walk to our community garden. I’m not as fit as I thought. Though as the name suggests, the garden is in the community and close by, I found it not that near. I am fairly taxed by the trek. I am relaxing with a cuppa after doing some stretches for my heels. Since Sheba’s left us for doggy heaven, I haven’t done much walking at all. I must schedule some regular times for it. It is good to keep all my muscle groups in good working condition. I do lose what I don’t use.

I have to admit that I am still distracted by the rich and famous and have a fascination with why people commit suicide. It’s not as much fascination as wanting to understand. And so I found myself scrolling through this article about famous people who took their lives and left notes. It hasn’t helped my understanding one bit. I don’t think that it’s stigma that prevents people from talking about depression or seeking help. There has been plenty talk about it. Don’t you think? I think it is the nature of the disease.

I had suffered from it. What I mean is I had suffered enough that I sought help and had received counselling and medication for it. I no longer do. I’ve come to a place where I feel fairly peaceful and restful with life. I recognize that life is not perfect. Humans are not perfect. We are all flawed in different ways and degrees. I have sorted out my priorities, what is important and what makes me happy. I know what is what in this moment. It is now I see it and now I don’t. Sometimes understanding and knowing yourself is fleeting. I guess that’s why it is important to be in the moment, to be flexible and willing to change.

I am happy for my walk today. The scent of lilacs was in the air. So many trees in bloom. It was a pretty sight with colourful blooms and the green grass all around. I have missed my daily walks with Sheba through our neighbourhood. You would be surprised at how many people noticed us. I was. One time a teenager came upon us and said he has been watching our walks for years. I had to smile at that. It’s a good memory to keep me smiling and feeling mellow.


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Another writing day and I’m sitting empty of thoughts and words. The world is too strange now. Another shooting in the US of A. Another 18 year old shooting his grandmother and then went on a rampage at an elementary school. He killed 19 students, aged 9 and 10 and 2 teachers. Who can make sense of this? And how can you grasp that there is no talk of changing gun control laws by those who can? Are guns more important than lives of children and teachers?

Well, that’s my little rant. I got it out of my system. These shootings are frequent repeaters, aren’t they? Should we be getting used to them now since nothing changes no matter how horrific they are? It is very strange to me. And strange, too, how we are riveted by the dramas of the rich and famous, myself included. I am at this moment talking about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. I am not for one or the other. I do think Johnny Depp looks a bit scary. I wonder why we are so fascinated. Having seen this seamy side of their lives, I do not envy their fame or money at all. Darn! FB has distracted me again with a scandal about Bob Hope and his mistress, Doris Day. Bob Hope and Doris Day. For christ sake! I will practice restraint and read it later.

So now what? How shall I move around in this strange world of ours? There’s nothing to do but carry on, not as usual but with more awareness and care. Everything we do matters. Every minute counts. I shall try not to fritter my time, my attention and my energy away in despair or indifference. If I try my best of the moment, that’s all I can ask of myself. My best today was getting up, dressing up and showing up for my exercise class, shopping for groceries and doing some gardening. I planted a few cabbages at the community garden and some squash at home. I still have alot to plant but that’s enought for today. Now, I am showing up here with a few words and thoughts to end my day.


Here it is after 6 pm Monday. It is a write day. What do I have to say? My #100dayproject is done. Now that I have finished 100 little watercolour paintings, I can clear the dining room table and put all the paints, pens and brushes away. It’s a bit of a relief, freeing up my mind and energy to work on yard and garden. After weeks of cool and cloudy weather, the sun smiled on us today. It’s nice to have a little heat. I’ve been busy puttering in the greenhouse and the yard.

I concentrate on not overdoing, being over zealous and doing myself in. I got a little excited yesterday planting some of my many celery seedlings. Then I thought how much celery can we eat? I already have a bunch in the greenhouse and a dozen or 2 in the raised bed. So I stopped and thought I would seed some more lettuce and spinach instead to have successive crops. The only thing was I couldn’t find my seeds. I looked high and low to no avail. That’s what I get for being scatter brained and not putting things back in their place. I made a note to work on that. I made do by seeding some Chinese broccoli and green onions. They’re good alternatives.

It is Tuesday morning. I didn’t quite finish my post yesterday. That’s how it is. I’m giving myself some slack. My plate is small. I can handle only so much and no more. Otherwise I get into such a tizzy. Then I run around in circles like a chicken without a head. Now I try to stop myself and take a deep breath. I tell myself I can stop – if there’s no life or death emergency. And there isn’t. It is all good. I had a visit with my mom yesterday. I took over a few tomato, kohlrabi, cabbage, squash and celery seedlings for my father to plant. My mother is not strong enough for it any more. My father still likes to putter though mom thinks he kills most of what he plants. No matter, if it keeps him occupied, it is all good.

My mother still likes to tend to her flower beds just outside the house. She didn’t want me to start petunias or anything for her this year. Last year’s snapdragons and marigolds self seeds and that is good enough for her. For once I listened. If it is what she wants, it will also be easier for me. I did have a few petunias left over and she let me plant those for her. Her tulips have finished blooming and she had moved some of them around so that there’s some all around the house. She said that she doesn’t know how much time she has left but she looks forward to enjoy them next year.

She and my father used to do their own groceries before Covid. Now my siblings and I have been doing their shopping for them. They visit with their friends on the phone but no meetings for coffees or lunches. They have talked about meeting for coffee when things are better. Mom says she is not bored at tall. She says life is very good. She is still able to go outside and look at her flowers and yard. She is still able to keep her house spic, span and beautiful. It would be better still if she was stronger and able to do more. I can see that she means what she said and not just trying to make me feel better. I can see it in her face that it is all good.

TRIGGERS – Winds of Change

Thursday evening. I thought I would start my thoughts since it’s running. It’s another day with strange weather. I felt it coming on last night though I didn’t know it then. What I felt was irritability, a sense of dissatisfaction. I didn’t act out or on it though. Hooray for me! Instead I thought each thought and feeling through. It was only in the morning that I checked the weather forecast. It was after I had carried all my trays of seedlings outside. The guy asked me why I did that. It was going to be cold and windy by 10. I was surprised because it was so beautiful and sunny. I thought I would give the plants an early outing.

Now I am quite sure that weather changes are a trigger for when I am not so copacetic. I hate being a weather vane but knowing it enables me to have more control if not sleep. It is Friday morning. I’ve been up forever – since 1 am. I tried reading and taking a tylenol. I did fall asleep after awhile only to wake up again when I went back to bed. Instead of tossing and turning in bed, I got up, made LAB for my plants and then drawing and painting a watercolour for #the100dayproject. They are 2 things today that needed doing. I won’t fall too far behind or apart if I tank out during the day. Now I will be heading off to my exercise class. I don’t have to drive. So no worries.

Now it is almost 10 pm. The day was a bit of a blur but not at all a disaster. I did not nap and even read a bit here and there. Nothing to brag about but not crying the woes either. I hope we get some sun and heat soon. It does not look like we will get summer


It’s the start of another Wednesday – exercise class and write it day. It’s good to have a schedule, a routine. It helps to keep me on track. I should schedule a clean house day, too. I remember I had to dust on Saturdays when I was a kid. It worked then. It will work again. What a great way to start the day, getting ideas and finding solutions. I hate the feeling of being stuck, of no movement and nowhere to go first thing in the morning.

I love waking up early especially now when it’s already light by 6 o’clock. I saw 2 people out walking already at 6:30. Clearly they’re disciplined early birds. I’m up but I like to lull around. I did my meditation this morning but I was not in the present moment at all. My mind went wandering as soon as I turned on my usual recording. I tried to bring my attention back again and again. It was no small feat and I was not very successful. That’s how it was and that’s how it is with life. We try. We succeed or lose or don’t lose or gain. We try again and again. It’s call living. Nothing is static, not even when we think we are. The things around us change. They don’t wait till we’re ready.

I guess this is my self/pep talk to keep me moving, present and on track. My days are like my paintings. The outcome depends on how much effort I put in. Even then the results are different from day to day. I don’t come with a ton of energy. I am slow as molasses in winter. I can only handle so much – people and activity. Needless to say, I don’t have a load of friends. I am not a party goer. I don’t accomplish a lot in a day. I did a little grocery shopping for my mom this afternoon. It came to only $45.00 and I’m pooped. Everything takes a lot of effort. One thing I can say for myself is that I do make the effort – every day. No matter the size, any effort is no small feat for me. I tread water a lot.


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It’s Monday afternoon and one of those days I’m hit with a large dose of laziness and sleepiness. I said I would come to this space Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I am here and the show must go on. It’s too early in the game for a no show. That’s a major problem for me. I set up a program but I can’t keep it up for very long. I fall back to my old ways. I tread water alot. Let’s see if I can break the cycle.

I’ve picked up some papers off the dining room table and taken them to the recycle bin. While I was out, I put all my seedling trays back in the greenhouse. The sky has turned grey and it is cool with the wind. It is better to put things away now rather than later. I’m remembering my new motto – do it now, not tomorrow. I win some. I lose some.

I had resolved not to dwell on Naomi and the Judds too much but it’s a hard task. I am now reading Ashley’s book All That is Bitter and Sweet. It got some not favourable reviews on Goodreads. I have not ventured far into it but it is interesting to read her take on things. It is a bit different from her mother’s. It goes to show that we each have our version of truth, of what happened. My truth is I missed the Monday deadline. I am now into Tuesday. I felt it wiser to go to bed early rather than staying up to finish this post. I am sure it would make sleep harder to come.

It is another not so cheery day. It is cool, cloudy with the sun coming up now and then. I/we cannot expect the sun to pull us up all the time. I/we have to do our part. For me it is essential to get up, dress up and show up for the real thing as well as the dress rehearsal. Practice does make for better. And sometimes we have to fake it till we make it as part of who we are. I do not want to wallow in my or others’ depression. I am very permeable to absorbing all kinds of emotions from everywhere and everyone. I have finally at this late date learned about boundaries.

I have in the past gone overboard in being too caring for others. Is there such a thing? I don’t mean to sound like I am a super good person. I am not but I had felt it was a duty to care, even at my own expense. What happened was I got resentful and critical about these situations. I did not feel generous or caring at all. It made me unhappy and more critical of myself. It was no way to be. Now I am learning to sort things out, how to care for myself as well as others.


It’s Friday, Chinese AirForce Day, as someone once called it. I took the bait and asked why. He said, It’s F-l-y-day. Would you call that a racial slur? Anyways, I chuckled like a good agreeable Chinese woman. I wasn’t offended, honest. I’m a little sleep deprived. I couldn’t sleep past 3 this morning. I hate it when that happens. And it does occasionally, especially when the weather shifts. I whine about the weather alot. Not only it disrupts my sleep but also my moods.

There’s alot I could whine about but I’m too tired. My edginess have worn off and I’m pretty mellow. My AM Energizer class certainly helped. My serotonin level was further elevated by lunch with the “YWCA” girls, our first in 2 years at the Parktown. We had a good time but we do miss the buffet which is no more. So many changes in 2 years. The diningroom was mostly empty except for us. It was a good and bad thing at the same time.

I am just poking along here, keeping up with my routines. I have just finished reading Naomi Judd’s book, River of Time and watched Ashley Judd speaking to Diane Sawyer about her mother’s suicide by a firearm. So sad! I have to be careful that I don’t dwell on all this too much. I am not emotionally fragile but vulnerable. Having experienced depression myself, I admire and have great respect for Naomi and her two daughters. Life is hard and messy and their lives certainly were. Wyona described it perfectly when she said they literally went from the shit house to the White House. What a journey and what an adjustment. Now they have more to adjust to. River of Time is a worthwhile read.

I am happy to say that I have a handle on my moods. Knock on wood. I have worked very hard every day to maintain good mental health. I have read countless books on the subject. I’ve put what I’ve learned to practice. One of those was getting Sheba. She took me out of the house and out of my bad moods. I got a heavy dose of nature and exercise. We went out rain, snow or sunshine. We were more regular than the mailman. Now she’s gone but she’s prepared me well. She certainly had earned her keep. I love her forever – then and now.


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I hate it when my mind is stuck in overthoughts. I bet you’re thinking, why don’t you stop but it is not that easy to get my mind out of my head. I know. I’m whining again but I’m leaving it just on the page. You don’t have to listen/read. It helps me to splash it out and not let things swirl around in my head. It can be very exhausting. It takes all my energy and I get nothing done. I haven’t been meditating the last while. Let this time here be my morning meditation.

The morning has progressed into afternoon. My overthinking would not let the words flow. I moved on to the next best thing – doing my draw/watercolour for #the100dayproject. It worked. My pen and paint brush flowed effortlessly. I felt soothed and smoothed with a painting to show. When one thing doesn’t work, don’t stay stuck. Don’t try think it out, move on and try something different.

Now if only I can heed my own advice. Habits are hard to overcome. I must persevere and not give up because of a few failings. I must adopt the 1000 hour rule of practicing a new activity till it becomes a habit. Life is easier with good habits in tow. Life would be easier, too, if I don’t overthink and overdo. When I find myself pursuing everything and anything, to get to the bottom of things, to understand everything, anything and everyone…. it’s time to STOP. There’s nothing to figure out, to understand. There’s no answer to the whys of my thoughts.


It is Monday morning, another first day of the rest of my life. It is time to fulfill one of my do-it-list of showing up here Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is not a hard thing. I can do it now that I’ve made it as an intention. My new motto is not to make intentions that I’m not going to keep. Words are important. They matter. If you don’t live up to them, no one will believe you ever after. They would guffaw and say, Oh, she’s just talking. Don’t pay any attention. She doesn’t mean it.

Another Mother’s Day is over. Have I told you that I have fallen out with all these occasions – birthdays, Christmas and Easter, too? I am exhausted by the idea that we are obligated to feel celebratory, joyful and all that jazz. I feel guilty and bad for saying all this, but not bad enough because I am saying it. Anne Lamott says it much better in a piece she wrote about Mother’s Day in 2015. Needless to say, she received not a small amount of flak. I suppose I will, too, even though and more so because my voice is small. It does not carry much weight.

It’s not that I have anything against joy and celebrations. It is not that I don’t love my mother and motherhood. I feel uncomfortable. I have adopted all these occasions and traditions because it is ‘the right thing to do.’ When in Rome do as the Romans. But when you are not Roman, you can’t quite pull it off authentically. Everything felt fake and not as good, especially when I was young. It left me feeling less of everything. Things have changed over the years and now we seem to have a monoculture. The whole wide world is celebrating Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. You would think that would make me feel better. But it has left me feeling that things are more meaningless.

So what to do? I do not like feeling like this. I don’t want to be a badass. I’m a bit of a rebel but I’m not great at it. The thing to do is to adopt those wanted warm fuzzy good feelings and fake them till they become real. Enough said but one thing more. I tried to do all that stuff regularly if not every day, in my own ways. I love and care for my mother every day and not just on the official Mother’s Day. I used to buy her presents. Now I give her my time and attention. Still, at times it is hard to quiet the voice that say’s buy her something. So I do Chinese take-out to feed us both.