January 25, day 25 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I got my wish for a replay of yesterday’s beautiful morning. It played beautifully, though in a different way. For one thing, I slept in, more than an hour later than usual. It made up for the other morning when I got up before the chickens. Instead of heading out to the park after breakfast, I got out the mixing bowl. We were down to the last loaf of bread. When the temperature dips down to -29℃, it’s a better idea to bake bread first, then ski in the afternoon. There is a time for everything.

The memory of yesterday’s pleasure was still fresh in my mind and body. I decided that it’s a good way to approach bread making and everything else – as a process to enjoy in a relaxed manner. It worked well for me. The morning was sunny and beautiful. In between risings and proofing, I stretched and sipped tea in the sunroom. Somehow everything got done according to plan – 6 loaves of bread, a pumpkin pie, 3 tarts, cleanup and even lunch. Who could ask for anything more?

I have to say that at the end of the day, I was done in. To be continue…..

January 26, day 26 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m back to continue, to finish, to wrap up. I’m back to say that there’s only so much time in a day and so much a person can do, no matter how efficient or how vital you are. I thought I would have lots of free time today but it had a way of running away. I couldn’t stop it. But I had a short visit with my mother after delivering her groceries. I gave her 2 loaves of my bread and ½ the pumpkin pie. I worry about staying too long since she has only one vaccine. I worry every time I cough. It is my usual sinus problems and dry throat. Still one worries.

I think about not skiing every day to have some time but skiing stops my worrying. It makes me feel better when I’m feeling bad. It keeps me fit and strong, so it is not a good idea. There is time for everything. I just have to redefine what everything is.

CEREMONIES/RITUALS – a season for everything

It is August 13 and day 13th of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. As usual of late, I am having difficulty finding the words. My brain is in a fog and my body slow moving. I am feeling the harbingers of summer leaving and autumn approaching. I felt a sudden twinge of the ‘blues’ and a sense of dread out of nowhere yesterday. Can you feel darkness? That’s what I felt, not seen and not spoken of. I gave myself silent comfort, thinking it is probably the changing of the guard – those forces that are ushering in a new season. Perhaps I should hold a ceremony of a sort.

I believe in ceremonies/rituals. They give me a sense of connection, direction and a reason to be. Every morning this summer I do a walk-about on my property, visiting the greenhouse, the garden and flower beds in the backyard. Then I meandered to the front to see how everything is growing there. This is my morning walking meditation – the greeting and giving of thanks to the gods above and those in the garden.

I’m learning important lessons in the garden this year. We are all familiar with the saying, There’s a season for everything but do we really understand what it really means? For one thing, I have forgotten that the saying came from the Bible, from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every [a]purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

What I take away from it is everything is changing. Nothing is static. I must learn not to hang on to everything so tightly as I have been doing, but to let go when it is time. There’s a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. And so I plucked up the Armenian cucumber vine. It was past its best by due date. It has given me many cucumbers and now its leaves are full of white powdery mildew. Letting go is never easy. After trimming off much of the leaves, it took me another day before I could say goodbye. Now it is chopped up and in a bucket for the garbage as mildew is not suitable for the compost. Everything looks much better now. The bitter melon and peppers said thank you for the extra elbow room and light.


No Ordinary Snow Event

I guess we are well initiated to winter and snow shovelling now. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix’s headline was ‘No ordinary snow event’: Saskatoon digging out from blizzard. I didn’t think it was that bad – 35 plus centimeters. It’s alot of snow and some streets were impassable. The transit probably wasn’t running in some places. But I still remember 2007. We had 55 cm of snow then. I remember shovelling all day long to keep up. So this is a piece of cake.

No surprise that our exercise class, AM Energizer was cancelled. We did our own am energizer at home right after breakfast, shovelling. We were glad that we had done some shovelling before supper the day before. Even so, the snow was pretty deep in places. I had the shorter route of from house to the garage and greenhouse. The guy did the walk around to the front and the sidewalk. Then we went over to my parents’ house. I have snow shovelling service for them but you can’t always count on them to be there right away. We cleared a path to the front door and shovelled the back step so the back door could be opened. My mother, of course, tried to shoo us away.

It was a nice little storm, a slowing down into the season. I suppose some people might find the pace already slowed from the Covid but I am as busy as ever. I am as slow as ever, too. I’m a natural snail. I enjoyed the cocooning. The day was a bit of bliss for me, being sunny and all. I must be pretty fit for I didn’t mind the shovelling at all. It brought back memories of other heavy snowfalls when I was working. I remember the times I was stuck in the back alley coming home in the evening. There’s usually no one around to help. I would eventually get unstuck. But then there’s all that snow to shovel with work again in the morning. It was all very exhausting.

So this is a sweet spot for me now. There’s no pressure of time squeezes and going to work. No exhaustion at the end of a 12 hour shift. No getting up at the crack of dawn. No sleep deprivation. I’m learning to enjoy myself, to look ahead, prepare and tend to things before they start knocking at the door. I’m learning to let go of things that don’t matter. I’m learning when to speak and when not to. There’s a time for everything. And even in winter, the flowers still bloom.


August 17/20

I can’t believe it went up to 35 degrees Celsius today. I am not fond of high temperatures in summer. It always bring back feelings of loneliness and isolation. Those memories of growing up in small town Saskatchewan are hard to shed. It comes with being a child of immigrant parents. Though I never thought we were poor,we were. And we were strangers in a strange land. I remembered the starkness of our no frill lives. Though it is what I strive for now, I felt the lack that I can identify now.

It mattered then not having Christmases, birthday parties and such. It probably was because most people in town did. It mattered that I couldn’t have a bicycle or take swimming lessons. It mattered that we didn’t take vacations. Our cafe was opened every day except for Sundays all year. So we never got to go anywhere, even out of town much. No vacations. No lakes. There was Sunday School which I hated because I had no special clothes. I remembered getting feather dustered when I mutinied and refused to go.

Why am I dredging up all this shit? Because it is hot. It triggers bad memories. This morning I came across the name Natalie Goldberg. She advocates in her book Writing Down the Bones, “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”  That’s the way I’ve always written anyways – raw and from the heart. I have no shame.

Sept. 5/20

It’s another Saturday. It’s 16 weeks since Sheba’s left us. Though I am at ease with it now, tears still sting my eyes at the mention. It’s not a bad thing. Love does not leave with the physical body. She resides in my heart forever. It’s another Saturday. It’s not my swim day anymore. Now I swim Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It’s all the better, double the pleasure. There’s only 3-4 people in the pool at that time. Lots of space, easy to relax and enjoy. I don’t have to worry about someone grabbing my toes. I am a turtle in the water as well as out!

I have not been showing up here much lately. I fell off my writing wagaon again. It happens. Words and conversation left me. I enjoyed the silence and absence of my chatter. I enjoyed the change. I am trying to get my shit together. It’s a lifelong project. I guess that’s why I can get up every morning. There’s always something to do. There’s always something new to learn. What I am trying to learn now is how not to scroll my mornings away. These are beautiful precious hours to be spent on my life, not peeking through someone else’s. It’s a good reason to return to the keyboard – to focus on what is really important to me.

An important observation I made lately is that I no longer mind/dread the changing seasons/weather. I see that they all have their gifts. I’m reminded of the song Turn, Turn, Turn. I’m speaking, of course, through rose-coloured glasses now. It is a beautiful warm September day. Time will tell.

To everything turn, turn, turn
There is a season turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose
Under heaven


December 6, 2018  8:27 am

It’s dark out except for the white of the snow. I’m still cocooned in the peace and silence of the morning. Once upon a time I was a quiet girl but something happened during life. I became a very chatty woman. I’ve come full circle as they say. I’m returning to my quiet self slowly, day by day. I’m learning not to ask those questions without answers and give unsolicited suggestions. Sometimes I have to bite my lips. I’m discovering that I have no need nor curiosity about the answers. I’m saving the suggestions for myself. Often I was talking without thinking and the need to fill silences.

Now I feel no such need. I love the empty spaces, silences and the marching embroidery foot of my Bernina. Yes, I am a little bananas over my latest affair with the machine. It’s filling the craving of my creative soul. It does not disappoint nor betray my trust. It builds and lifts me up where I belong. All it demands of me is a little dusting, a lube job and no rough handling. I happily comply. It rewards me handsomely.

December 7, 2018 3:12 pm

The sun came out today. I wish I felt better so I can enjoy it more. I’m a little exhausted. Maybe a little too much of good things. I’m a girl who can handle only small, small. Obviously Sheba is feeling the same. It’s past her supper time and she is content, asleep on her pillow. We both need some R & R. I will sip my tea, muse and tap out my fatigue. I am content with not doing.

I’ve been on a mad tear with the embroidery. It’s not physically or mentally strenuous. The machine does it all once I’ve set it up. I do have to change the different coloured threads when it is called for. I have to run up and down the stairs since the machine is in the basement and I don’t stay put.  I’m getting an added workout especially when it is 12 colour changes. Today calls for a rest. I will let Sheba sleep till she realizes it’s past her meal and walk time. It’s all good.