Lettuce in December

I have to admit that I’m still struggling to rise above – to write, to appease myself of so many things. I have to be satisfied with just getting an earlier start. I’ve been negligent of late. It’s making me angry with myself. I feel the ferocity of its bite. I know it is not healthy for me. I’m feeling and acknowledging it and letting it go its angry way. Its energy is at least useful in giving me a start. I should read Pema Chodron’s Don’t Bite the Hook.

I know I am obsessive sometimes. It is good and bad. The bad part is when it makes you think about something or someone, or doing something, too much or all the time. I have gotten fixated about a few things/people in my life time. It’s such a time waster. I need to work on this. There’s lots of suggestions online to get started. Did I tell you I’m obsessed with self improvement? Well, there’s the good and bad in it, too. Balance is the key.

A little fury helped get the dishes done and the bathroom floor washed. Golly, why is it so hard sometimes? It is a puzzle I don’t try to solve anymore. Blame it on the weather. Blame it on barometer pressures changes. It works for me. It was cold this morning, -26 degrees Celsius at 0600 according to Environment Canada. No wonder everything was stiff and frigid in the greenhouse – the geranium, kalanchoe, aloe vera and onions. It was -12 degrees C at 8:49 am. By 10:30 it had risen to 0 degrees C. At 2:30 pm, with the sun on the roof, the temperature rose to 20 degrees. At 5 pm the sun has set. The temperature had already dropped to 2 degrees C.

It seems impossible now to have fresh home grown lettuce in December. If I had the greens well established in the greenhouse, I am sure they would have survived into December. I guess I have to be satisfied that the greenhouse is all closed in before the snow. So much for this obsession. I haven’t given up though. I was looking at the sun shining on the bougainvillea and the herbs in the sunroom. There’s no reason why I couldn’t add a few pots of greens in the mix. I might have to move things around. It’s good incentive to clean and clear. Some obsessions are wonderful. They give you reasons to bounce out of bed, get dressed and go out in the cold to check the temperature.


One of my problems is that I have to get to the root of everything. I’m obsessive about it. I dig and dig, trying to get to the heart of the matter. Sometimes it does me in. I’m worse off. There’s such a thing as knowing too much. I go into overwhelm. Another problem is it takes a long time for me to overcome an every day illness like a cold. These two are not a good combination. It comes as a no surprise now that it’s a huge battle for me. They take away much of my time and energy. Quite often I feel I’m robbed of huge chunks of life.

I see some of the error of my ways. I don’t have to get to the root of everything. They will be revealed to me in time. AND I do have a lot of knowledge already. I have to accept how my body heals. I cannot hurry it along. It goes into more stress and I into more distress. Everything gets worse and I go beserk. Not a good scenerio. Now I have learned to chill, just be in my usual mode of moping along, laying in the sun, sipping my tea, watching my navel, do a little of this, a little of that, and not trying to get anywhere. In essence, be the tortoise.

On the other hand, it is always good to rise to the challenge. I should not so readily accept my bodily’s inability or my mind’s disability without question. I should at least give it a good go without pushing too hard. There’s the rub, to have good judgement and to have balance. Upon rising in the morning, I drink my little cup of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. I meditate to the voice of Mark Williams on Youtube. Then I listen/watch something educational and uplifting. This morning it was a lecture on Immunology 101 from the University of California. I have a passion for learning. I just need to keep in mind not to pursue it to the nth degree AND to put the knowledge into practice.

I’m coming out of my body and mind funk. The other night I gave up fretting, took a pain killer, laid on the couch and watched two episodes of Grace and Frankie. Comedy can be healing. Then I popped a sleeping pill and went to bed. Uninterrupted sleep is very healing. I’m not advocating medication but sometimes it is what I need to get over the hurdles. When all else fails, it is how I get over my over obsessive mind so that I can heal. Now that I’m unchained, I’m in a better place. I’m soaking up the sun in my space, tapping out my melody. Meanwhile it is cold out, baby. I don’t feel it, only the warm healing sun though the windows.


I love lunches that require no dishwashing. Who wouldn’t? I’m still in my lazy, relaxed mode but I’m moving as required. Stagnacy gathers dust and mold. Let me rest and tap here for a bit. Then I will descend the stairs and wash another window and another set of blinds. I said I will seed more kohlrabi and I will. After that, it’ll be time to walk the dog. I’ve discovered that things do not take as much time when I am “in the flow”.

I take care not to linger too long with any one thing, place or mood. In other words, balance in all things. There are so many truths in those proverbs and adages:

  • A change is as good as a rest
  • A good beginning makes a good ending
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
  • Actions speak louder than words

These are a few of my favourite. If I practice them every day, I could go far. Perhaps it would be a good idea to pick a few each day and work on them. It would create some fun and maybe a new way of thinking and problem solving. It would be a change.

The wind is howling outside. It makes me think of W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind. It’s about a boy growing up in Saskatchewan during the Great Depression. I have seen the movie but not read the book. I have to add it to my reading list. After all, Mitchell is Saskatchewan’s own. The book sold almost a million copies and was made into a movie. What other incentive would I need?

An interesting blog I’ve recently stumbled onto is Julie Yip Williams‘ cancer fighting journey. She lost her fight in March, 2018. Her writing is beautiful and honest. What drew me was her cancer journey and that she is Chinese. Well, all of her life is interesting and inspiring. She was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. It is the same interest I have in Amy Tan. In both I found the common denominator of a Chinese in America and our relationship to our parents. Julie writies of Filial Love in 2 parts. The link for part 1 will lead to part 2, if you are interested.

Now, I have to tarry here no more. There are other things calling and I have to abide.


Thank God for packaged cooked food ! Even though they are made with Italian herbs and spices, they are not as savory as their write up. They are rather flat, but on days like today I’m grateful for them. I can just pour the meatballs onto a baking sheet, put it into the hot oven and voilà – lunch in 15 minutes. I just add a salad and warm up some leftover rice.

The morning is cold. Sheba is pesky and underfoot because she didn’t get her morning walk. She makes us pay. We will bundle up after lunch and go to the dog park. I am not 100% but it is easier to let her run, off leash. By then the temperature will be more reasonable. For now, I am enjoying a little quiet and a cup of chamomile tea before turning the oven on. That extra heat will be welcomed.

Though my fatigue is less, I can’t seem to get warm enough. Once I get sick, it takes me a long time to recover. But I’m thankful my symptons are mild this time. I’m prone to respiratory ailments probably due to my congenital undeveloped frontal sinuses. I’ve learned to live with the condition better over the years. What is important for me is clean moist air. It has been over 3 years since I’ve been really sick. I’m grateful but it’s still an irritation not to have the energy of an EverReady Bunny. I have so many things I want to do.

It’s a good thing, my ever present desire to do. I mustn’t knock myself but learn to temper it to a healthy level. It was not a hard thing to do today. I have that desire to pamper myself a little on such a cold morning. I crossed exercise class off my list. Really, I have no energy to huff and puff, on and off the step. I had pushed myself too hard the previous weeks working at a level of 9 out of 10. 8 is well good enough. In a while after a rest, Sheba and I will try to do 2 rounds at the park. That is exercise enough for today.



I am somewhat obsessive by nature. Once I hook onto something it is hard to stop or to be moderate. Now that Sheba and I have found our old off-leash dog park again, we’re quite taken with it. I pack her up every afternoon and we do our walk there. It’s much easier walking hands free than with a dog on a rope. I love climbing up the hill, feel the breeze and gaze up at the blue of the sky and the traffic on the freeway below. I feel the weight lifting off my shoulders. I am alone in my desert.

Though I am weary coming through the gate, I am rejuvenated by the fresh air and open space. It is a very meditative walk as we go round and round. Though I intend to do just two laps, I am often tempted to do another and another. I have good sense enough to stop at 3, remembering Sheba and I are in our senior years. Today I was happy to stop at two. It is enough. Sometimes more is too much, leading to injury and illness. We have to save something for tomorrow.



I’ve reached that rocky spot on the road where I want to say, Enough! I feel crummy. I don’t want to do anything any more. It doesn’t make me feel better so I’ve taken up another saying instead. “Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the sign.” It’s a bit of Canadian Cree humour.  You might have to be Canadian and a CBC Radio fan to understand. It came from the radio show, Dead Dog Cafe. Like all good programming, it is now also dead.

Humour, even if it’s off beat is better medicine than whining and feeling sorry for myself. I got off my duff and moved here, sitting, flexing my fingers and tapping away the aches, blues and what have yous. There is action. I’m doing. It’s a verb. Now we’re talking. Sheba’s hanging loose, like a limp rag on the rug. She can sense when I’m in a mood. It seems she absorbs it. She gets underfoot, dogging and bugging me even more. It soothes her when I soothe myself. It’s best to stay calm.

We are brave, too. We’re like the postmen of yesteryear. We’re out for our walk, rain or shine. And can you imagine it. There was a bit of freezing rain. I guess that was the sign. Watch out! Slippery ice. It didn’t last long. We did our full walk even though I had the urge to cut it short. I always do but I always stuck it out, not wanting to cheat Sheba her sniffing and smelling the coffee time. I try to think of it as my walking meditation. Sometimes I count my steps. Sometimes I listen to the tap of my walking stick on the sidewalk.

Some days all of life feels gall darn hard. I would just take a swallow, sigh alot and carry on. The sighing is my deep breathing. It helps to fulfilling my daily mission of :

Yesterday, I only managed to do just one of the three. Some days are like that. I have to use my judgement. There are some days when it is wiser to let go and relax. There are other more pressing priorities. It is all about balance. But today, I’ve done all three. Horay for me!





Today is the coldest day of the year. Saskatoon, one of the coldest place in Canada with temperature of -37 C this morning. With the windchill, it felt like -46 C. We were beaten out by Meadown Lake with their -39 C and -49C with the windchill. Brrrr! It was a very good reason to change our routine. Sheba felt no urge for a morning walk. We did not push. It was good to stay in and put that soup pot on again. It is still simmering its goodness and humidity. It’s good to listen to nature and do as it dictates.

I haven’t always been this wise. I like to fight nature, the system, myself and everyone else. I HAVE to be strong. Not too long ago, I heard that click in the universe. A voice spoke to me. Give it up. I finally heard the message. It just doesn’t matter that much. I don’t have to prove anything. Nobody cares. Life is a stage. We are all players. I can write my own script. The play will be over soon enough. I can play my part, give a graceful bow and exit. There you go!

Life can be fun. No need to take everything and everybody to heart. By all means it can be serious. For sure I should take it seriously, but not as much when nothing matters. I should not scoff at everything and everybody when everything does matter. It’s that damn scale. It’s tricky to balance it. But balance it you must. Things go smoother when it is. Meanwhile chin up, eh. The year is coming to an end. A new one will be starting. How will you begin? Cheers!


Yesterday I had my one year post cataract surgery checkup.  All is well and I am still seeing better than I have ever, with or without glasses.  What a miracle!

I had trouble throwing out my contact lenses for awhile, not quite trusting that my vision would last.  Those tiny plastic orbs were my lifeline.  Since my 20’s I lived in fear that there will come the day when my optometrist would no longer be able to fit me and I will have to make do with the thick heavy ugly glasses.  Even the high indexed ones were thick and heavy, causing discomfort if I wear them all the time.

The checkup is a reminder of what a gift I’ve received.  It’s a reminder to take care of myself.  There’s so much of life yet to be lived and enjoyed.  So today I am taking time to consciously take care of myself again.  I’m trying to find the balance that I had lost the last while.  I am resuming my exercise program.  I am taking up the challenge of living an engaged life.

I was sorely disappointed to hear from the City of Saskatoon that there is no bylaw in regards to disposing snow on adjoining properties.  Situations like that were left to neighbours to deal with between themselves.  The news deflated me until I remembered that I wasn’t having the City deal with the situation anyways.  I just wanted some ammunition to help me.

My anger and disappointment have dissipated.  It is really not good karma to harbour such negative feelings.  It is true what they say about what goes around comes around.  Life will take care of things if you live in a correct way.  Do unto other as you would want them do unto you.  And so, I am at ease again.  I am at peace.