It’s true that I’m seldom bored. I don’t think I’m an exciting person or that my life is exciting. But I find life very exciting. Our universe is a wondrous thing. To wake up each morning to a new day is magical. I look forward to it before I go to bed each night. What will the day hold? What new things will I learn? I try not to think about how much I can accomplish. Being somewhat type A, I do – want to squeeze in as much as I can. I have learned to ease off and relax when I start feeling a bit squeezed.

So I am in my Ease Spot in this moment with my fingers on my keyboard. My morning was busy tackling my grapes. I had one pail separated from the stems last evening while watching a movie. They are now washed. I made a start of squeezing them out of their skins first before I steam juice them. It was a difficult task of separating them and the pulp through the food mill other day. I got distracted from that task. We’re down to our last loaf of bread, so I got the dough started. It is now proofing in the oven. The yeast is very active as we have another warm October day. I will do the loafing and baking after lunch. The dough is very resilient. I will punch it down and stick it in the fridge till I’m ready. It is hitting the roof of the oven.

Now it is after lunch. The bread is in the oven. Dishes, pots and pans washed. No further progress with the grapes. I’m a little tired. Time for a rest and a stretch after the bread comes out of the oven. The thing with getting older is, my mind is still willing but my body says no. It needs some TLC. I will now do my daily C.A.R.S. No, I’m not talking about driving a car but doing exercises to improve/keep my mobility. It stands for Controlled Articular Rotations. I was introduced to it by our exercise instructor at the YWCA. I always felt so relaxed after each class- as if I’ve had a massage. This video is excellent showing how each exercise is done.


Egads, it is 6 pm already! I’m as tired as can be. I’ve been busy being Martha Stewart all day long. I made yogurt in the morning. Then soup with all the leftovers from Thanksgiving for lunch. Seems like not much if it was just the makings and no cleaning up after. I had alot of mashed sweet potatoes left from Thanksgiving. I made muffins with them after lunch which resulted in more washing up. I bet Martha never did any stuff around the kitchen. She just writes about it and somebody else do the cooking and cleaning up. Well, it’s all done, the cooking, baking and cleaning up. I’m finally here for another Ultimate Blog Challenge post.

I’m glad I was reminded about choosing my battles yesterday. I can’t fight/do them all. I did pause and thought about the more important ones. It’s prioritizing. I can have my cake and eat it but I can’t do it all. It’s a good thing we have the walk-in cooler in the garage. I’ve harvested 4-5 ice cream pails of grapes couple of days ago. I got my bottles for bottling juice from Amazon yesterday. They are washed and dried. They are ready but I’m not. There’ll be alot of sorting and washing grape before they can be juiced. They can keep in cooler till I can muster up more energy. I will aim to juice one pail tomorrow. It’s not about all or nothing. Just one thing will suffice.

It’s another day when I can only write my post for the challenge. I will pass the daily thread again today. I’m choosing what is the wiser thing to do today. I am tired and need to wind down for the evening. Tomorrow is another day.


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.


I am most happy when I am working on a project or challenge. Right now my challenge/project is writing this post and baking bread. I’m in between risings. I have a few minutes to tap out some first words/thoughts. I’ve been away for awhile. It might take some time for my fingers to limber up and my brain to gear up. Thank God the heat wave is over. The 30+- 40℃ have chilled. I don’t function well in heat but I did remarkedly well through it this time. And that is because I’ve learned to work smarter, not harder. I owe my thanks to Chris Baily of the Productivity Project.

I’ve finished baking my bread. The loaves are out, cooled, bagged and put away. The mixing bowl, tools and all the pans are washed and dried. After everything is said and done, I know that I’ve worked hard. I’m not sure about the smart part. But it is at the end of the day. I am tired. Though it is only 22℃ now, I feel hot. I am sure I am still processing the past week of heat. I do not bounce back like the EverReady Bunny. I’m more like the tortoise. I am slow but I try to be steady and committed.

I’m intent on writing this post as I had set out to do this morning. It’s a good thing that I chose only 2 things for today. I’m not sure I have enough energy for more. Oh, I’ve done more than just baking bread and writing this post. I’m talking about commitments- things I MUST do from start to finish. I have a bad habit of starting something and not following through. I hope to change that by working smarter, not wasting energy and time on the wrong things. Coming back to this writing space will help me chart my way. I’ve been away for too many days.


It’s Saturday morning shining down. I woke to a plus 1.5℃ in the greenhouse. It is now 2.9℃ and -3℃ outside at 9 am. I’m sounding like a weather station, aren’t I? I’m recording history, not trusting my memory. I’m at that age now where I have to put my medications in a pill box organizer. I’m at that age when tying my shoe laces and clipping my toe mails are also a problem. I have to rely on my wits and not my physical agility. Too bad I can’t have both at the same time.

Saturday morning. I used to go swimming Saturday mornings not so long ago. It’s a has been. Then I took up the skis. Now it will be another has been until next winter or the next snowfall. I wonder if I can be as enthusiastic and dedicated on a bicycle. I’m not skilled, agile or at home on it at tall. I even fell off a tricycle once. I used to walk Sheba every day. Now I’m walking my fingers on the keyboard. I’m still exercising.

It is Saturday morning. I’m slow but not quite at a standstill. I couldn’t talk myself into tackling my sourdough tout suite upon wakening as I had planned the night before. But it is divided, folded, shaped into 2 loaves. They are dusted with cornstarch, wrapped and chilling in the fridge. They will be baked after my regular loaves this afternoon or evening. It is going to be a slow bake Saturday. Now for my second cup of tea.


Another morning, another second cup of tea. It’s warmer both in and out of the greenhouse. I’m very hopeful my tomatoes will thrive and bear fruit by June. I’m not exactly thriving. Another slow morning. I think I am a bit under the weather. I will give myself a break today and stay off the ski trails. They are not their best anyways. It has just been an outing to stretch my legs the last two days. Even the Wildwood Golf Course was a bust. I had a few almost oops! But the fresh air, open space and the sky was worth the effort. It was a little country inside the city.

I’m happy to find my way back to the keyboard. These morning conversations are helping me to start the day. They’re a help for my mental health. I can mutter away and not bother any ears except the ones that want the bothering. I can get things off my chest, brain storm and start a creative process. They also help me by keeping track of things, a journal of gardening, cooking and whatever I have been doing. They’re kin to Julie Cameron’s Morning Pages. I like to use whatever tools I find to make life easier and more fulfilling. I love learning.

I’m learning it works to talk myself through difficult tasks. I ask myself what is it that makes it hard. Then I ask myself to describe and do each step. I try not to label myself lazy anymore, that it is just my brain thing. Thus, my laundry is folded and most of it put away. I still have those idiosyncrasies where I can’t put everything away or quite finish a job. I can work on that. I’ve fed Oscar, my sourdough starter, readying for starting some dough this afternoon. I’ve been trying for the last couple of days but haven’t muster enough energy. Today is the day.

My brother has just texted me telling me that our parents got their first Covid vaccines. Everything was very organized. It’s a huge relief. The sun is up and shining right on the greenhouse roof. It is -5℃ outside and 1.8℃ in the greenhouse. I’m looking forward to a great day.


Sometimes my emotions can turn on a dime. I’m paying attention to identify the triggers. Maybe it is just a matter of my chemistry being altered and any one thing can upset my apple cart. By now I have had enough experience with my history, I don’t need to run off to the psychiatrist’s couch to lament or to ask for a prescription. I’ve also stopped reading those self-help books and taking online courses on how to fix myself. I have graduated from life’s school of hard knocks with a prestigious PhD. I am my own Personal Health Doctor.

No one knows me better than myself. It is about time that I listen and trust in me. It is only natural that we have good and bad days. What goes up, must come down. I should listen to the Blood, Sweat and Tears and “ride a painted pony, let the spinning wheel spin”. In other words, get on the damn merry-go-round and ride it out. It will eventually stop. So that’s what I’m doing – riding it out.

In the meantime I’m still living and feeling whatever it is that is here in me. I’m not trying to fight it off like I used to. That would be a form of self abuse, wouldn’t it, to deny part of yourself? Is self love not encompassing all parts of the self, the good, bad and ugly? Though it is hard, I do try to sit with all my physical and psychological discomforts. My natural inclination has always been to run away. It never works. It comes back again and again. And now, after I have stopped running, it comes back less and less. My bad feels better and better.

What is it that I do besides not running away? Well, nothing special. I just carry on with daily life as best as I can. I still have to get out of bed, dress up and show up. It’s doing all those boring things like brushing my teeth and other personal hygiene routines. It’s having nutrituous meals and getting fresh air and exercise. It’s keeping house and having hobbies. It’s showing an interest in life and others. Even when I don’t feel like it, I act like I am. There’s wisdom in faking it till you make it. One thing for sure is I never feel like just curling up and sleeping it off.

No matter how I feel, I can still bake – bread, cookies, muffins. It’s comforting to measure, mix and kneed. The aroma of bread and chocolate chip cookies baking is very healing. No matter how slow and sluggish I am, I still took apart a long winter coat, lining and all. Somehow, some way I will find the energy to revamp it into a different coat. Recently I sew up 2 pairs of panties from an old t-shirt. It’s good to have something to take apart when you’re feeling out of sorts. Then there’s painting. It’s also a good thing when you’re feeling blue and that your life is nothing. In those moments, I feel it’s ok to just splash paint and make a mess on the canvas. I am so delighted when something nice comes out of it. Then there’s writing. The tap, tap, tap on the keyboard is very relaxing and therapeutic. And I get to let out my angst. There’s pleasure in putting in and arranging my photos, too. I love reading other people’s words. Today I’m rereading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. The last time was when I was in high school.


What Keeps Me Up and Going

What do you do to keep your spirits up, to keep the ball rolling? I have today and tomorrow to finish the month of daily posting. I am pretty sure I can finish by gosh and darn. I hope to keep going beyond into December. It helps to have a place to come to at the end of the day to unload, de-stress, to pass on a bit of news, wisdom or joy. Writing and chronicling my day gives me a sense of purpose. It is hard to have a conversation without Covid-19 butting in. Such are our times. In Saskatchewan we have 351 new cases, 94 in Saskatoon. It’s hard not to feel the heaviness of these times.

I plod along, trying to do my daily best. It’s best to have a list of things I want to do each day. I make it before bedtime. I still keep it in my head. That’s on top of my list, to make a list each day. Today I got the laundry and some dusting done. Oh, my pork belly is cooking in the Instant Pot. We’ve had these packs of pork belly in our freezer from last year. And what does one do with it? It’s bacon except it’s not cured. It’s mostly fat. I seasoned it with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Now it’s cooking on high for an hour. That should take care of the fat. They will make filling for Chinese steamed buns. It’s an experiment for tomorrow – maybe. Oh, my pork belly is done. Looking and tasting good. I hope I won’t nibble them all away before the buns get made.

I didn’t have a long list of to do’s. It’s good to start small. Less chance of failure. Wait! I got the bathroom floor cleaned, too. That’s my hardest to do. Strange why that is since there’s not much floor. Sometimes I have to question myself, to get to the root of why I hate doing something. I still don’t understand why but I got the job done. What’s on the list for tomorrow? I will do my seed order to beat the rush. That’s THE one thing I want to do. There are many things that NEED looking after. I will think of them later.

I like to have a project/skill to work on. That always keeps me going when the going gets tough. So far, I’ve mastered bread making, regular and sourdough from scratch, kimchi and kombucha. Making food from scratch is so satisfying. It just fills me up.

The latest thing that’s keeping me afloat is learning cross country skiing. I’m not gliding yet but I’m still keen. There’s alot more involved than meets the eye. Bending over to tie my boots is quite challenging in itself. I get out of huff just doing that! I’m learning to do put the boots on and tying them before putting my coat on. Less bulk to bend over with. Then there’s carrying the skis and poles while walking to the park. It’s only 2 long blocks away but it’s surprising how heavy things get when you’ve not used to carrying them. I’ve mastered that now, too. I even managed to fasten my boots to the bindings by myself today. I failed the getting up after I fall test. Still, I felt so much more relaxed after my fall. I think I should just fall down right off and get it out of the way so I can ski better. What do you think?


Something Good

Though our new cases of Covid-19 for today is lower at 175, our provincial government is doing a lousy job at containing it according to Steven Lewis. He is a Saskatchewanian healthy policy consultant currently living in Australia. Pretty depressing! Let me move on to something good. Jill Salahub of a Thousand Shades of Grey writes a post each week on Something Good and Gratitude Friday. I find lots of good stuff from her posts.

The sun did not peep out even once today. I thought hard on how to navigate these so cloudy days. What could I do to give myself and my brain a boost. Finding some good stuff like Jill is not a bad idea. It would help me and others like me. The library is always a good place for me. Now they, in collabration with Open Door Society and the Saskatoon Council on Aging, are offering to be phone buddy service for lonely shut ins. What a wonderful idea! It is good news. We are looking out for each other.

Other good news is after Saturday, there are going to be a bunch of sunny days. Meanwhile, I will have to plod along as best as I can. I have nothing that I have to do and nowhere that I have to be. I can be as fast or slow as I am. I have done none too bad today. I’ve baked 6 loaves of bread and a dozen plus pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. The aromas of baking bread and chocolate chips is always something good.

It is way later than usual. I still have the muffins to put away. I must say good night.


Weekend Storm Coming

It is Friday. Environment Canada has a winter storm watch for the weekend. I’m feeling the storm already. I cancelled my aerobics class this morning. I’m in a mood. I don’t always believe in keeping a stiff upper lip and hang in there. Some days I just have to phone in sick even when I’m retired. Enough is enough.

We’re expected to get 10 – 15 cm. of snow on Saturday. Sunday is supposed to get worse with heavy snow. It is sunny at the moment. 6 degrees Celsius. There’s an ominuous feel in the air. It is in tune with what is happening in the world today. With Covid-19 increasing, why are some people deliberately putting themselves and others more at risk by having a house party of 50 people? And how can a president of a country keep repeating that he is being cheated out of the election when there’s no proof? I am, of course, feeling bluish. I am repeatedly paying attention to bad stuff.

Meanwhile in the greenhouse, it is 22 degrees Celsius. I planted a few small onions in the raised bed inside. They had been crowded out by the garlic in summer and remained small but had set roots. We’ll see if they will do ok with the transplant. While I was at it, I seeded some mixed baby lettuce and Asian Greens – the same as I had in the planters. Now I will wait and see. If my mood improves, I might seed some leeks in the house and transplant them when they’re bigger. This is a brand new adventure. I don’t have to follow rules. I can just experiment and find out for myself what works and what doesn’t. It’s mostly what I’m already doing.

How’s your day? I keep rehashing my usual litany of nonsense. It’s problem solving for me in a way. But perhaps I should just keep it on the page. It’s works better that way. I see my words, sentences and thoughts march across my screen. I can edit, I can delete. And I feel better tapping out my angst. The rhythm soothes and smooths me. I shall skip my walk, too. The sky look like the colour of dirty dish water. Nothing inviting about that. I shall put away the baked bread cooled on the racks and rescue the cooked pumpkin from the Instant Pot. Perhaps I shall bake some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I love the colour orange. I love the smell of chocolate chips baking.