January 7, Day 7 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. After announcing yesterday that I will finish the Positivity Challenge, I have stepped out of it. Why? It’s not that I don’t think I can still benefit from it. It’s because I have a finite amount of time and energy. It’s a priority choice. Since I am not a terribly negative person, I want to direct my time and energy towards more urgent areas of attention. I have a keener and more discerning eye now. That is one thing I have learned about myself during this pandemic. I have/had a habit of spending time on things that I already know how to do or am good at. Time is precious. I don’t want to waste any of it. I want to utilize it in the best way to serve myself.

I haven’t always have seldom serve my own best interests. It’s not that I don’t want to. I haven’t realized before that I tend to gravitate outwards, towards others’ interests and well-beings rather than my own. For what purpose I do not know. Perhaps it’s because I’ve learned or have been taught it’s better to think of others first. It’s being unselfish and giving. It’s being kind and generous. I haven’t thought about turning it around for myself till now. It’s a gift from our present pandemic circumstances. It’s given me stillness and silence to waken and see with different eyes. It’s given me time and space to breathe in a new vision of how to be. I agree with Caroline Myss that we are living in a remarkable time. It’s up to me how I want to evolve, transform and transcend. 

I am having a good winter – of skiing, cooking, reading, writing, musing… – despite the pandemic, the omicron, the cold, the news, whatever. I am open to see and hear what is going on around me and the world. I try not to be overwhelmed by the avalanche of good news, bad news and fake news. I have chosen FOCUS as my word for the year. I am practicing on focusing on what is good, true and what I can do to serve myself, my family, friends and community. Life isn’t perfect. There are some not so good moments. There are inconveniences and adjustments. It might mean taking more time and using more energy to make changes and adjustments.

I hope I can stay focused and not to fall back into my well worn habitual ruts. I like to default into the familiar. I need reminders and a warning system. Feelings of fatigue, frustration, grouchiness, etc. could be a sign for me to take a moment to rethink, step out of the loop and take another look at the whole picture. Then assess, analyze and implement change.

The end. Good night.


I like to say that I am relaxed and focused BUT I am not. The harder and more I tried, the worse I feel. Logic would say I should stop trying so hard and just relax. Sounds easy but it is very difficult to do. I am restless. My stomach is in knots. I’m trying to stop thinking but I am bombarded with thoughts. Relax! Quit thinking! Let everything go! I could feel the gears in my head going round and round, trying to make it work.

It doesn’t work that way. So here I sit, tap, tapping my anguish onto the page, doing a brain dump. It’s more or less Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. In my case, it’s the Afternoon Pages. It works. I’m finding relief externalizing my pent up angst. Sometimes my thoughts drive me crazy, into a frenzy. I’m like that girbel on the wheel, going nowhere. I lose so much time and energy in this state. It’s better that I can exercise my fingers and let it all out in words. I can call it my brainstorming. I get ideas. I get relief. I get somewhere.

I’m working on getting out my quirks and kinks. I’m focusing on what I can do. I try not to blame other people for my short comings. It’s tempting to throw it on others, but in the long run the only control I have is what I do. That sucks but that’s reality.


I had to abandon my Afternoon Pages yesterday. My mind was overloaded and stimulated. The day was getting on and so was I. So here I am the next day. It is late morning. I have time only to tap a few words before making lunch. I’m appreciating the tips from Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project. Our/my attention span is short and getting shorter. There are so many distractions/things to check. For me it’s a constant scrolling – what is the temperature outside, what is the temperature in the greenhouse, messages, emails, social media….I didn’t realize how disruptive all that was for my brain until I cut back.

It’s not all that easy. It’s become such a habit. I find myself reaching for my smart phone whenever there is a lull, which is every few minutes. It helps if I leave it in a different room and if I ask myself if it’s important knowing a particular thing. What difference would it make? Quite often the answer is no difference and of no importance.

Now it is after lunch. I’m sitting with my cup of tea. I intend to finish this post at this sitting so the dishes can wait. If I was to do the dishes, it would lead to other chores. It would be more difficult to come back and refocus. That’s what happens with distractions. It costs more time and energy. When I am in a flow, I should go with it. Multitasking does not lead to flow. It makes me frenzied and freezes me up. It’s better for me to focus and do one thing at a time. Another important tip in being productive. It’s also important to know when to stop and that is now. Tomorrow is another day.


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.


I didn’t wake up with a Yippee! on my lips this morning. Neither did I wake up with dread. Everything was copacetic. I was in that neutral state of the morning. I gave some thoughts on how I want to feel and how I want my day to go. My goal has always been the sentiments expressed in the poem Desiderata. I should read it every morning to keep heart.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.

It is difficult to go placidly amid the noise and haste now. There’s so many voices and distractions. Who to listen to? Which direction should I go? It must be difficult in all times since Max Ehrmannt wrote the poem in 1927, a time which we think now as much quieter and slower. Some day in the future, someone will think of this time as being slower and quieter, too.

Mornings before the world is fully awake are the best for me. I’m grounded in the quiet.  I’m  a blank page, a new canvas to be filled/painted with optimism, dreams, fantasies. In the mornings I am hopeful that I can make changes. They are possible in the newness of the day. As the day ticks along, I can feel my head fill with thoughts and imagined conversations. Most of them are not true but made up in my busy mind. By noon I am consumed by idle chitchat, paranoia and negative self talk in my head. They drain me. And they are not necessarily true.

Knowing this, I will dedicate mornings pursuing all those things that gladdens and opens my heart. I hope being engaged thus will shut up those negative self talk and paranoid thoughts. In time maybe I can rid them at will, no matter time of day.



OMG it is October! It came fast. It is raining and snowing alternately most of the day. Suffice to say summer is indeed over. I’m not at all sad to see its back side. I can say that the summer of 2018 was the summer from hell. What was so bad about it? For one thing, my left hand pained me the whole time. It still does but the pain has eased and changed these last few days. I know it will disappear soon. (Hope, hope) Secondly, I had a summer cold for a month. I coughed, coughed and coughed some more. I sucked endlessly on Fisherman’s lozenges. I couldn’t sleep laying down. It was a very distressful time.

It is just a memory now and not a very clear one. I hardly remember the summer and what I did except that it was a very bad time for me and it was a volatile season of climatic changes. It was cold. It was hot. And it was HOT – up to 40 degrees Celsius in parts of Saskatchewan. There was no rain. Then there was the smoke from the forest fires on the west coast. My part of the world looked and felt apocalyptic. My heart in my mouth most days.

I welcome the new season and its changes. I welcome the rain and snow. Even the grey did not bother me today. There’s a new energy in me. I feel a bit of joy and hope in me and I’m looking forward to new challenges. The summer was tough but looking back it had many positives also. Given my pain and cold, the garden and all the raised beds got planted. Despite the lack of rain, we had captured enough water in the rainbarrels to keep the raised beds filled and to water the garden. The beans and peas suffered a bit but they still produced. I had enough energy and will to see that my parents’ house insurance came through for the hail damage of last summer. I looked upon my ability to coordinate their house repairs as a sign of my mental health. It was a big confidence boost for me.

I’m giving thoughts to the coming days leading to Christmas and winter. What and how will I fare? It is good to have some plans in place while I’m feeling confident and happy. I want to experiment more with my art and sewing.  It is easy to get stuck and staid even in creativity. I tend to do the same old, same old till I’m really sick and tired of it. For long whiles I did just watercolours. Then it’s acrylics. I have so many mediums. There’s my charcoals, soft pastels, oil pastels, neocolours, Inktense blocks…It’s just occurred to me to let loose and have fun with them all. And why not paint on cloth and then do my free motion embroidery on them? I could join a sewing/quilting club and create amid a crowd.

I’m rambling now. Time to bring this to a close. There’s so much fun to be had. My time on earth is limited. I better not waste it on things I can’t do anything about or things that don’t matter a squat.






It’s exciting to hear that one of my Instagram friends is a nanowrimo winner with her 50,274 words. It is quite a feat. I know that for a fact. I’ve tried a couple of times to write that novel in 30 days and have failed. To win you have to come up with 1,667 words a day. I have trouble coming up with 500. It’s getting easier though. Stretching, trying for more does make a difference.

Talking about excitement, I noticed how my body felt the jubilation at the news. I felt hopeful for myself – that I COULD be a nanowrimo winner, too. I wanted to sit at my keyboard and start writing then. But I was right in the midst of mixing bread dough. Those 1600 some words would have to wait – probably longer than today. I have learned that excitement doesn’t get me very far. Hard work and persistence are the tools.

I’m waiting for the dough to proof. Meanwhile I’m sipping lemon tea and tapping out my meager words. The sun is shining through the windows, warming my back. Sheba is napping on her bed in sunshine. It is still morning. I am changing my routine a bit. Maybe it’ll bring me more productivity. I’m being conscious, paying attention – to everything.

My body betrays me sometimes. I hate it that I am such a truthful person. Life could be easier if I could lie – a little bit even if just to myself. But no, I can’t. I feel so disappointed and annoyed at the inability to accept myself as I am or to change so far. Maybe if I can change my body posture, I can change the way it feels. It doesn’t hurt to investigate and try. Fake it till I make it.


When you change anything, you change everything. I changed my morning routine, now I am not running behind. I’m picking up where I left off. My poofed bread dough, covered by Saran wrap, was in the refrigerator while we went out for lunch. Our lunch was longer than we thought – 3 hours. But it is all is good. The dough is warming up to room temperature on the kitchen island. I’m trying to finish my cast off thoughts here. Sheba got her lunch. Of course, now she is whining for her walk. She can and will wait.

My body now fed, is feeling much better. Food and blood sugar does matter. My thoughts and words are flowing smoother and easier. Life does not feel as heavy or serious. A little yeast helps everything besides the dough to rise. I will savour and remember this feeling. The next time my body gets too serious and rigid, I will remember the effervescence of yeast. I will be resurrected.

The dough is now warm and pliable. I best get on with shaping it into loaves. They will need to be proofed again before baking. Meanwhile Sheba and I can go for our walk. We have time before the bread goes into the oven. She needs chilling.


SEASONS – Day38 in a year of ….

Day 38, August 29, 2016 @6:39 pm

imageThe day finds me struggling a little with the changing season. The shift of the earth on its axis, changing the temperature, sunlight, the wind, the everything. Sometimes I forget that change is all around us, every minute, every second of every day.

I am just learning to embrace all these changes. Without them there is no life. I rejoice in the bounty autumn has brought. I am reaping the harvest from the seeding and planting of the previous seasons. I have much to be thankful for. What are you thankful for?

Till tomorrow.

CHANGES – Endings and Beginnings

IMG_3103The dishes are done and laundry hung. The Roomba is operating on its own in the living room. There’s still a million things to be done but isn’t there always?  The tomatoes can wait. A few more hours on the vine will sweeten them more. That goes for the grapes also. Everything can wait.

It’s time for me to put up my feet and have my tea. What is it with us girls?  We just can’t do without our cuppa. Life is so much better and easier with this pause in the day. I like to sit here in my favourite spot and savour the experience. Thoughts, pictures and words parade through my mind.

IMG_3088It is September, end of summer and the beginning of another season, school and work for some. For us it is a return to the city from the lake. Endings, beginnings and changes are ever with us. But for all that, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

It is easy to slip back into the same old ruts. The grooves are deep and the mud is sticky. It is only with grit and determination that I don’t fall over the slippery slopes again. Past experiences are painful but I do learn from them.

My ugly sister, my evil twin showed herself again, whispering her thoughts and feelings. I believed her at first but then I had to ask. Is that true?  She was silent. I forgave her lies and loved her anyways. I loved her that was part of me.

We are stronger knowing we are part of each other. Even though with all the things that remain the same, we do not have to be the same. We can do different.


IMG_2885What I know for sure is there is no certainty. The world according to our plans does not exist.  Faced with reality, there is no comfort in known adages the likes of:  You are not getting older you’re getting better.  You are not alone.  You are beautiful just the way you are.  Funny how time and circumstances can change my outlook.  Once upon a time, I believed in those truths.  Now…I am older  wiser, and more vulnerable. I don’t believe in fairy tales anymore.  Perhaps it is with the shift of the planet and the sun.  I feel and smell the coming autumn.  The sun comes up a bit later.  Its slant and quality a little different.

photo credit: Ava as Wonder Woman via photopin (license)
photo credit: Ava as Wonder Woman via photopin (license)

I feel a little melancholy with the change.  It is not a bad thing but somehow I do feel inadequate and apologetic that I do not put on a brave face and say regardless, the show must go on.  To whom, I do not know.  Yes, I would like to stand tall and be the Wonder Woman of my dreams.  I want to pump that fist and give life that confident pump.  But I do not have the bravado to fake it till I make it.  I wonder if it is true.  Maybe I CAN fake it – not to make it, but to become it. Life and our planet are shifting.  Things are never the same.  We stand on feet of clay in the sand.  I am shifting.  I am changed.  Maybe I need to change my stories, too, along with my posture. I can learn to strut and punch like the Wonder Woman that I am.  They say body language sends powerful messages about who we are.  I want to pump it up a little.  So what if I am faking it?  Do you want to make something of it?  Bring it on!  I’m ready.


IMG_6596If you are a friend of mine, you will know that I am obsessed with self-improvement.  It is my habit to read and gather information of how I could change for the better.  I don’t know if I ever put the knowledge into application.

They say that recognition is the first step towards a journey of a thousand changes.  At least I got that.   I  often just sit on my duff, read and gather, looking for yet more information.  So let me be a little more proactive and use this month to propel myself forward into action and towards towards changes.

How can I succeed in this journey?  What tools do I need?

  • Goals
  • Commitment
  • Priorities
  • Courage
  • Patience
  • Flexibility

I am committed to carry out my actions every day this month.  Next month is next month.  I am already setting my priorities for the NOW instead of later.  It is important for me to do my morning quigong routine.  It is a must.  The movements set my body ready to meet the day.  The breathing and quietness fuels my brain and heart.

So here’s to my courage, patience and flexibility.