April 20th. Another new dawn. Another new day. The sun is gracing us with its presence. We are joyous. I’ve been in the greenhouse, raised the shade and removed the cardboards from the windows. The nights are still cool, dipping into the minus. Every little bit of heat I can help retain is worth the effort. I harvested some brokali greens for a stir fry for lunch and did a little weeding. They don’t need much sun or heat to thrive. If I don’t take care, they will take over. That’s what happened with my garden within. I haven’t paid attention and the weeds have invaded my head space. Now comes the painful but needed task of weeding within.

The important thing is to create a clean canvass each morning. Put up boundaries so overwhelm cannot come in. In this case, I’m fencing out intrusive and negative thoughts, trashy tidbits from the world wide web and any distractions clamoring for my attention. It is important that I think of only the thing I’m doing/working on at the moment. When I’m writing, I should be thinking only of what I am writing. It is a hard task since I’ve set my brain on autopilot for so long. Now I have to work to take back control. It can be done. First, I need to have a plan. I need to know where the trouble plots are in the garden of my mind. I need to know what weeds are growing in each plot and then to find the right solution.

It’s late afternoon. I’ve come back to this plot to work on the weeds. I have just a little more to do and then I will call it quits for today. I must not bite off too much all at once. Working in small squares add up. I’m staying on track with set goals and intentions. I have not over indulged on my cuppas, having one Orange Pekoe in the morning and a decaf in the afternoon. I noticed that I really would like another after the decaf. I think it’s the sugar and cream calling me. The pumpkin chocolate chip muffin added its voice. I resisted their calls. A good ending for this 22nd day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am pleased.


Saturday. Five days have passed since my drama with my crazy neighbour. I’m almost back to normal but I will never be the same again. I am stronger and smarter. I know I cannot let my guard down with her and in no way can I engage with her. Knowing and saying all this is no guarantee though. I am human. I can slip up. Accidents happen. What cannot happen is I get reactive and angry. It can kill me. I remember all the emotions that ran through me. I was on fire with no escape. After 5 days, the fire is out. I’m left with a dull sorrow wondering how someone could hate me that much for no reason known to me. We live next door to each other but not in each other’s lives.

No, hate is not too strong a word. And no, it’s not a misunderstanding. I’ve lived beside this woman now close to 15 years. It was like this from the beginning. And if you ask me what’s it all about, it’ll be hard to tell you. And you probably think I’m the one causing the trouble. If it is not one thing, it is another. It never stops. I joined a support group with Narcissist Negotiators with Rebecca Zung. I was looking for support but I got trashed by some of the members. I was mocked for growing vegetables in the front ‘messy’ yard. My yard was a huge eye sore for my neighbour. She calls my raised garden beds coffins. She comes into my yard to ‘weed’ and mess around. Her driveway runs along beside my property but she feels she can plant little pine trees right next to my raised bed on my side. She claims she has inches beyond the driveway and she has right to access.

I am sure it all sounds very trivial and I agree. But she has thrown rocks at me because she didn’t like the way I landscape. She removes all the mulch we put around the cedars growing on our side. So we put in a little fence to keep the mulch on our cedars. She enlisted her boyfriend to pull it out. After these episodes we called the police liaison for help. They do help. It keeps her in check. Summer times are bad because we are outside more. Therefore more encounters of the ugly kind. Winters are not trouble free either. She used to shovel all the snow from her long, long driveway onto my yard. She has even thrown it over the back fence when she first moved in. I have asked her not to since I get water damage in my basement from the melting snow in the spring. She calls me crazy and talks over me. But now she can’t because of the cedar trees and raised garden beds. More reason for her hate.

You probably think I’m punishing myself reliving the shit in the retelling of the stories. Not true. The bite and sting of it are all gone. I can see that I contributed nothing to her treatment of me. I respect our boundaries. I do not tell her how to garden or landscape. I do not go onto her property to ‘weed’ or spray whereas she has done unto me. No, I cannot make peace and talk it over with her. She does not allow me to speak. She talks over me. Communication is important but in this case it is not possible. Talking with her is very dangerous for my health. The only tools I have is the police liaison and total disengagement. Once upon a time I would have found that sad. Once upon a time I thought it good to know your neighbours. Once upon a time is a beginning of a fairy tale that no longer works for me.

It is Sunday morning and cloudy it is. It was so sunny and hot only yesterday. Like the climate this new world of ours is stormy and unpredictable. I don’t like it much but it is what it is. We’ve all contributed to the making of it so let’s not cry over spilt milk. I read a wonderful quote from someone’s Instagram post this morning. I was in that peaceful space for a very short time, just before my mishap with the neighbour. I guess it was my practice run. Maybe I add add on a few seconds each day.

“How wonderful it must be to speak the language of the angels, with no words for hate and a million words for love.” ~The Angels’ Little Instruction Book


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.


I have fallen behind in this Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m behind in my Daisy Yellow Index Card a Day Challenge. I have fallen behind in life. I feel as if I’m always playing catch up. I’m up burning the middle of the night oil. I’ve been up since 2 am and unable to get back to sleep. I awoke with all the anger and frustration that I took to bed with me. It’s a wonder that I got to sleep at all. I could feel the anger and frustration building across the tightness of my chest. I decided that it’s best to get out of bed. I feel just helpless in bed.

It’s amazingly cool for a July night. Life has certainly not been kind this year. First, Sheba’s ear hematoma in December. She had to have it drained 3 times. Poor baby! I won’t go into it again. There were sleepless nights like this, sitting up with her, taking her out in the middle of the night. She recovered from her ear thing and we had a few good months, going to the park. But we lost her middle of May.  Another difficult night and morning with her before our final goodbye.

It’s not quite 2 months since she’s left. I’ve not had peace in mourning the loss. Trouble resume fast enough with the woman next door. It’s at least 12 years of on and off harassment. It’s too much to go into. I’m still singing my old song. It is exhausting. The police liason officer finally came yesterday about the June 11 incident. I was overcome with emotions. I’m not sure how clear I came across. But I did show him the video of June 26th without explanation. Halfway through, he asked if she has a mental health issue.

I did express that I think she’s a psychopath/narcissist, that she’s more trouble now that she has enlisted ‘Al’ to help her. I am not hopeful at all that the police will have any effect. We all are sure that when she presents her side, it will be quite different. But how many ways can she explain her actions? Her outburst and intrusion into our yard was caught by my camera as is her ripping out our signs. It is not logical to plant a row of spruce trees in a 6 inch space beyond your driveway and right against our raised bed on our property. I would not call that cooperation but malice.  And why and how can she prevent us from mulching our cedar trees on our own yard? But somehow she has done that thru bullying and belligerence. She will not allow me to talk. She talks over me. And I have to yell and shout but I will not succeed. I will become angry by all this. I have.

It is not just one thing. It is about everything. She is very definite and sure I can not cross the what she consider is her line. If my bean crosses the fence, she will snip it off. But she says the bylaw gives her right to come 2 feet into my yard. She does not offer me this same courtesy. She has crossed my line many times – into my yard to spray and weed. She has added on top of my fence (it is a fence I paid for and 2 inches within my property)  without permission. All this sounds very petty. It is. When you examine it, it really is about nothing. And yet here I am, bothered and bewildered , tapping out my angst in the middle of the night about all this f’ing nothingness. It can and does drive me mad.  It is 6 in the morning by this time.

I am really disgusted that I’m spending so much energy and getting so emotional  about this malicious nothing of life. And yet, when I try to walk away, she won’t let me. She would say or whisper something to insinute, to malign to cause trouble. She is very good at this and I have fallen into her trap many times. She tells me that my neighbours hate my yard and that they leave their keys with her. That’s a suggestion that they are on side with her and against me. This, of course, is heresay, made up . But lying is not against the law. She whispers her pretend sympathy and support that I should not have to do the yard work. I’m retired and should be enjoying myself. She’s insinuating my partner is doing nothing, getting a free ride, taking advantage of me.

When I tried to disengage, she interferes with my work, removing my landscape rocks, tossing them at me. When I put down my hoe and try to walk away, she calls out that I can’t keep her out. She can tear down anything I put up. This was last fall. When I try to walk across the street to maybe get Al to talk to her, she calls out, ‘Al is not home’. That was the first time I called the police for help. Enough is enough.

Last fall, we each had our separate talks with the police liason officer. We were both not to trespass, stay on our side of our imaginery wall to the sky. Spring comes. Things haven’t changed. She hasn’t changed. We cannot do anything on our property next to her driveway without her noticing and interfering. And here I am, in my space, still tapping my angst. I like to think I have changed, made some progress. I like to think I have some insight. This is not about me. This is not just about property issues. This is about harassment. Before, she did not talk about ‘it’s her property’. She talked about doing ‘our work’ scraping the natural mulch and weeding around our cedars though we don’t want her to.

Way back when she first moved in, she was intent on shovelling all her snow onto my yard, even after I asked her not to. I have problems with moisture getting into the basement with the spring thaw. It fell on deaf ears. She even threw the snow over the back fence, had her handy man clear the snow off her roof and dump it onto my backyard.

Now my cedars have grown, with no or little gaps between them. We have placed a raised bed where they ended. They make a natural fence line. With that and her big driveway between us, there are clear boundaries. Given that there are 6 inches between the fence line and her driveway, is that enough room to plant spruce trees there, right beside our raised bed. And to ask the Weedman spray all along the edge is just nasty. We grow vegetables in the bed.

I’m unloading a lot of crap of 12 years onto the page. I have to. Otherwise all this shit will kill me. It is especially frustrating and lethal because it is all about nothing.  After talking with the police liason officer, I felt the frustration over the years all the more. I felt more helpless and powerless. In the end, I felt: ‘what the hell was all this?’ She will spin her tale. She knows and plays the game so well. She is quite skill in it.

I know that it is wise for me to let this crap go. It is NOT about me. I’m not the one who is trespassing on her property. I’m not the one weeding and spraying on her side. I’m not the one who is doing anything to her, except report her to the police. I am standing up for myself. I have to stay true to myself – to who I am. I have to look after myself. And if there is a time to swear, it is now. F*^#k!! The police did say it would be ok for me to douse her with water if she is trespassing on my property and causing trouble. But no punching. But if anyone had pulled out his signs like she did, he would punch them. (VBLOL)

** I’ve written quite a mouthful. It must be equivalent to 3 posts. I might sound crazed but  hope I make sense. I consider myself all caught up with the Ultimate Blog Challenge.






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 sleepless again. After wrestling unsuccessfully with the mattress, I decided to give it up. So I’m here, sipping my Orange Pekoe tea, trying to tap myself into ease and sleepiness. It is about the enigma, the woman next door again. I tell myself that there is clearly something wrong with her. Yet she has enough wits about her to run a business out of her house and a talent to irritate the hell out of us.

The frustration comes from not finding a solution/resolution to the problem. It’s difficult to conduct a conversation, never mind to enter into a negotiation with someone who makes her own rules/laws. Who does not allow you a voice at all. Who talks/yells over what you have to say. Who lies. I guess she could be called a bully.

What has she done this time? It’s the same thing – her obsession that she has rights on our property. She doesn’t like how we do our yard.  She planted little spruce trees on our property next to the raised bed that she doesn’t like either. She ‘weeds’ and digs little trenches to ‘drain’ rain runoffs on our property.  Somethings are just too small, petty and too tiring to fight over. So I had been ignoring all this before. Then she doesn’t like that we use woodchip mulch because it is a fire hazard. We mulched  under our cedar trees adjacent to her driveway. Whatever we use, she would push, scrape back when we’re not aware. So we put up some low wire fencing along the trees to prevent her from doing that. We used black (dyed with vegetable oil) wood chip thinking that it’s the colour of dirt and she wouldn’t see. How can anyone object to that since it was on our property and with a fence to keep them from her driveway?

Of course she would see and object. Today I found the posts pulled almost out and the wire netting laying flat on the ground, the mulch pushed back. I took photos. I am not sure as what to do. I could report this to the police as this is clearly vandalism, mischief and destruction of property. But I’ve been dealing with this kind of stuff from her for years. She is ‘something else’ as one could put it. She clearly has a bead on me and knows what gets my goat. She is very clever in this way.

I’ve also been getting smarter about myself, how I let people push my buttons. I don’t like how bodily reactive I am. I don’t like how the blood and thoughts rush to my head and I can’t think anymore. I can only feel – the cortisol coursing through my system and the feeling of helplessness. I’m here taming my thoughts and adrenaline. This is not a bitch session nor a tell-all. I’m trying to find some peace. I’m trying to find some love and compassion for the woman next door. It must be terrible for her to be so obsessed about me, my yard and whatever. Don’t we all need love and compassion?

I want to end on a positive note with a video of Daniel Champagne. We saw him perform live at the Bassment the other evening. He’s travelling across Canada. If he comes to your town/city, do go and see him. His guitar picking and music are out of this world. I came away from it with total body relaxation. I suffer anxiety and high blood pressure. It’s hard to explain but I suffer a hundred deaths of fright getting my blood pressure check. It’s difficult to feel confident about how well controlled it is. I’m always high at the doctor’s (white coat syndrome). The last visit a couple of weeks ago, I registered a reading of 180/90. Eeeek! I’ve come down since then, desensitizing myself each day by taking it regularly. My reading after coming home from the concert was 108/79. Music is good therapy. I have to listen and attend live concerts more often. Forward, ho!



So I come to this space to bitch and complain again about how unfair it all is. I want to lay down, throw a tantrum on the floor, kick my legs up and down and scream. I didn’t do any of that but I felt as if I had. What I did was I called 911 and then the police because it wasn’t a life threatening emergency. It felt like one. You would know how it is if you’ve lived next to someone like my neighbour for 12 years.

It’s really difficult to safeguard oneself against a social path 100% of the time. I am upset with myself that I let her get under my skin. But what can I do when she’s right in my face, baiting me? My attempt to walk away when she started removing my flat rocks from around my freshly planted juniper failed . She threw in a monkey wrench in my policy of no reaction whatsoever. When she started calling out to me that she has public access to my property 3 feet  beyond the property line and that she has the rights to remove any barrier got to me. She stated that she has studied the bylaws well and she knows many people at city hall and the police dept. Then she accused me of giving her 2 parking tickets and setting up a mouse trap to get her. Oh yes, I mustn’t forget our ‘weeds’. She named all the neighbours that hate the ‘weeds’ in our yard. She hates our ‘weeds’ and has a right to come and weed 3 feet into our yard.

How is it possible for me to give her 2 parking tickets? I’m not the meter maid and there’s no meter on her driveway. As far as the mouse trap, my partner did find one on our property but we did not put it there. She’s accused him of storing bicycle parts under our deck a problem for attracting mice. I felt trapped as how to deal with the woman. I decided to cross the street to a neighbour who she’s friendly with for help/witness to this situation. She promptly told me he’s not home today. It did not surprise me. She always chose times when I’m alone to ‘talk’ to me.

My guy was in the house having his lunch. I rung the doorbell to get him to come out and to bring my phone. What I should have done was to yell help to scare her off instead of engaging with her. By this time, she had removed my cement blocks I had put to support the trellis I put up between my house and the fence to keep her out and my dog from running into the front yard. It was silly of me that we could get her to listen. I asked her to repeat for my partnership what she had said to me – her right to access our property. By this time I’ve got my phone to record her. Not a good plan or I wasn’t smart at it. She tried to grab it from me. Good thing she had a cup in her other hand.

The moral of the story is, it is not at all worth it because here I am at 4 am. Still unable to sleep. The policewoman did give me a phone number to check up on the said bylaws and to call the police if she is moving and taking things on my property. And the only answer I got at the number was a recording. Instead of just stewing, I’ve sent off an email to city hall, the bylaws depart. It’s good to get the facts from the right people even though it sounds like she’s bluffing.

I think I’m done. I hope I can let it go now. I know the right thing to do is to let it go. But people, it is not easy. What I know for sure is I can not engage with her. I know for sure is that I’m the one that looks bad when I react. I cannot have a normal conversation with her. I will have my phone with me when I’m working in the yard. It is a pity that I cannot enjoy the peace and beauty of my own yard. I’m redoing my perennial beds, digging up my irises and daylilies to divide and relocate. I hope I will get some rest. I have plans for a morning swim and work on my sourdough bread. It will be a 2 day affair and my first one.


April 30th, last day of the month and last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have mostly shown up. I missed a couple of days. I believe in commitment but I’m not as rigid as I was. All or nothing is not good. Prioritizing and showing up when I can is good enough. That is my favourite phrase, good enough. I’m not sloughing off. Really, I’m not. I like being flexible and secure enough not to feel I’ve failed if I miss a day or two. Boundaries and moderation are good practices.

Keeping track of goals is as tough as my mail and finances. I must have a built-in radar system. I do most things by hook and crook. Often I can’t find anything but I haven’t encountered any disasters and my finances are in pretty good shape. That’s probably due to my Chinese-ness. We’re good with money. We know how to spot a bargain. And I am cheap. I don’t really want to classify all my fellow Chinese as cheap. I might end up standing by myself in a corner.

After a month of mutterings I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a square peg. I’m trying too hard to fit into a round hole. I could give up the effort and look for a square one. It would make more sense. I cannot make myself into what I am not. I’m going to give it all up and relax into the nothing, the not doing. I’m tired of  being a gerbil on the wheel to nowhere. Instead, I could focus on the awe of the sunrise, sunset, the moment, the breath.  You know the drill. I can mutter a new song. I can look at the hole rather than the dough in the doughnut.


January 7, 2019  5:44 pm

I’m arriving here late in the day again. It’s difficult to clear my head of the day’s debris and tap clearly and coherently. I’m not a great one for proofreading. I talk faster in my head than I can tap. Mistakes and omissions do occur. Sometimes I don’t even understand what it is that I’m trying to say. But at least I am still trying on this 7th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

A week doesn’t feel that long but when you are counting, it is. There’s 24 more days to January. I will carry/blog/tap on as best as I can. I have to try harder not to get sidetracked by the internet. It sure can gobble up many minutes/hours. Just now I’ve been checking out Hoopla. Really, do I need another app to help me live a more isolated life? I like going to the library. I like to browse the aisles and touch the books, magazines, cds and movies in real time. So why am I so foolish, wasting time on virtual libraries?

I give my head a shake. I’m already shopping more online and taking online courses. Texting is so inconvenient than phoning. I don’t have to worry about disturbing busy lives, taking up peoples times. The World Wide Web connects. I’m meeting people through FB, Instagram and blogsphere from other parts of the world. I’m learning new skills and arts. I have information at my fingertips. The Web is saving me time as well as eating it up time. I just have to be a better keeper of it.

There is the danger of getting lost in cyberspace. Imagine how alluring it is to travel such expanses without leaving the comforts of home. But I still rather have the real thing vs the virtual. I need fences, walls and other boundaries. I don’t believe you can touch the walls in cyberspace. I need walls and floors to walk on. I need to touch and smell the pages of books. I like to smell and taste the texture of food. I can do without the designer perfumes though.

That’s it for another night. Signing off.

Being A Scarecrow and a Scarity Cat

The noise in my head has subsided. My heart has chilled and slowed as if taken over by a bypass machine. I need the extra oxygen. I need the help and rest. I can let every care go now. Otherwise I will get overtaxed and become ill. The leftover pizzas from yesterday helped. There’s the chocolate chip cookies yet. Thank God for all the carbohydrates! Now I will go and make myself a pot of tea.

I am declaring today my resurrection and independence day. It has been difficult living on tip toes, worried about stepping on others’ toes. In reality it is mine that are being squashed. Being my mother’s daughter, it is just ridiculous to worry about intruding and encroaching on another’s rights/property. I’ve been brought up to bend over backwards to be a good and virtuous person. I’m shedding the scarecrow’s outfit and putting on my righteous outfit.

I’ve not really lived in fear of my sociopath neighbour, but rather in dread. She behaves as she has the right to dictate how and what should or should not be in my yard. She feels no qualm ‘weeding’ or spraying my yard. She has planted a row of young spruce trees on my property next to her driveway. She has taken away things we stored in our yard next to our garage and fence. She thinks it detracts from the beauty of her lawn. Then she thinks it’s alright to put her heavey crates on my property when she has a huge yard and driveway. What harm would they do? She asks. They would scratch her driveway and not good for her lawn though.

If you think I’m sounding petty, maybe I am. I am tired of being pushed emotionally and otherwise by this woman. I’ve been letting her do it for at least 8 years, since she’s moved next door. Things like this tends to spread to other areas of my life. I doubt myself. I wonder if it is me that is being difficult and unfair so I don’t  stand up for myself. I let myself be pushed and manipulated into feeling guilty everywhere.

Well, enough is enough. A straw coat is a fire hazard. I better put on a suit of armour or thicker skin. I don’t really want to fight but I have to stand my ground at some point. I’ve pulled out some of the little spruce trees she’s planted. It’s really a ridiculous situation. I’ve been a scarity cat with no back bone. The other little trees will come out soon. I will call 911 if she gets abusive or/and violent.