Can I tell you something? It is difficult to write and work on being stuck when you are! Sometimes I feel so disgusted with myself. I try not to stay there. Yesterday I talked about how much time we spend on scrolling. I know that I haven’t always done so. I was a very late comer to the computer and smart phone. I was the smart one then. I’m not so now. It’s really not my fault. I fell into the same trap as many other people. Now I am determined to get out.

Instead of wasting time fighting my urges, I gave in and let my fingers wandered over the buttons, the mouse and keyboard. My brain still has some control over where they go. It can still say, enough now! I found this video this morning on clutter. It was a bit long, an hour. But since that’s what I am working on, it was well worth my time. I made my breakfast while I listened to it. I got some value from it.

I agree that the 3 things to work on are my emotions, time and stuff. And to work slow and prioritize, of course. I am not what you would call a hoarder. My house is not jam packed with stuff. I am a clutterer from way back, getting worse with each day. I tend to drop things wherever they happen to land. They never seem to be able to find a home. My worse traps are the dining room table and my desk.

The best time to work on anything is the present moment. That cuts the procrastination. I took her hint, got a box and cleared off my dining room table into it. That is, whatever could fit. Other times, I used a shoebox. I have a few of them around, waiting to be sorted and emptied. Next, I whipped off the tablecloths and threw them, along with a few other items into the washer. What a relief! I’ve been wanting to do that for quite a few days, but unable to, being paralyzed by emotions of I don’t know how. I know it sounds silly and lame. It is what it is.

I know my laundry is done by now. Time to hang it/put in dryer. I’ve done some dreaded dusting in the bedroom. The drapes are taken down and in the washer. It’s the blackout ones I made and hung last year. I’m sure they would appreciate a wash. Now that I’ve done that, I am not sure why it was so hard. I guess the hard part is if you don’t move, it’s hard to get it done. By taking ClutterClarity’s advice on going slow, I did kinda enjoy the process. It is nice to have a cleared table again. The next stop is my desk.


So..I’ve had my first dental checkup and cleaning since Covid disturbed everything. I had been waiting till things got better but things keep getting worse instead. I ended up going when the numbers of positive are at the highest. But I do have both vaccinations. Looking at the news, the number of positives today is under 400, the lowest in over a week. Though I had a few misgivings about my appointment, I am glad I kept it. The hygienist and dentist were masked and had face shields on. We are all as well protected as possible. It is good for my mental and physical health to keep up the activities of daily living. The hygienist and I had good chats about gardening. We were a good fit.

I’m finally able to have my second cup of tea of the day. I had to wait a couple of hours after fluouride varnish was painted on my teeth. I wouldn’t think it’s such a long time except when I have to wait. Oh, but the tea is so good and warming. Just what I need. I’m having a bit of irksome day. I’m trying to work on my concentration and decluttering. It’s hard when the kitchen sink plugs up and the window venetian won’t open. Then there’s those pesky fruit flies. There seems to be swarms of them around the diningroom table. I’ve set out a glass of diluted wine to leer them away from the kitchen area.

I’m trying to be patient and not fret too much about these things. It’s quite unlike me. I think I am getting a little smarter. I want to work for and not against myself. I couldn’t let things be when they aren’t working. I spent the rest of the afternoon pouring kettle after kettle of boiling water down the kitchen sink in the basement. The trouble lies in that both upstairs and downstairs kitchen sinks are on the same drainage pipe. It leads to easily cloggage if we are not careful. We had to call the plumber last year. I’m hoping we can forego that this time. The hot water is helping a little. We need to do another round of enzyme down the drain tonight and cross our fingers and toes.

That was my muttering on Tuesday. Today is Friday. I’m still working on declogging the kitchen drain. We might have to call the plumber but for now I want to give it and my patience a chance. Nothing is easy or simple. Have I said that already? It is a cool but beautiful sunny morning. I’m looking forward to visit a farm with a high tunnel greenhouse this afternoon. Meanwhile, things are still looking good in our greenhouse. The lettuce I’ve transplanted are looking quite at home. There are 6 bitter melons at various growing stages. At long last I have one viable winter melon. They have been difficult to take. I had quite a few little ones started. I have not been successful at hand pollinating them. The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are still being quite productive. My harvest basket overflowth.

And so is my kitchen drain. It is still a problem but it is slowly getting better. It is also teaching me to look at problems in a different way. Problems are also solutions in themselves – if I have patience to wait, observe then try to solve. While I was/am waiting I clear and create a little bit of space in whichever corner I happen to be in.


I like to live up to my words – as much as I can. Yesterday I said that I would like to prove the saying of ‘tomorrow never comes’ wrong. It gives me incentive to show up no matter what. I can always do my best for that day. I was thinking ahead to how to create space for a winter crop in the greenhouse. There is a noticeable difference in the amount and kind of daylight this week.Time is running out. There’s no tomorrows left. It will be September in just a week. The weather has turned cold. I need to act today to get some greens going and get matured enough to survive in the greenhouse hopefully till December.

It is hard to decide where or how to start. Seeing that we no longer need shade in the greenhouse, I took down the Scarlet Runner Beans. I had trimmd them back already but now they are all down. Oh, what a relief! More room and light. I should have done it sooner. But better late than never. It’s a learning curve, this being our first year of growing in a greenhouse.

Next I pruned back the excessive branches and leaves of the Black Krim tomatoes, giving them space for air flow. Now I can see how many of them there are.They’ve been very productive all summer. As you can see, there’s still alot and there’s one right up next to the roof. They are very juicy and sweet. We’ve been eating them since early July.

I’ve cleared up 2 planters of flowers to seed some lettuce and kale. This summer proved to be too hot for nasturtiums and sweet peas in planters so it was not hard to pull them out. I hope that it will not be too cold to germinate the lettuce and kale. They love the cool but I’ve had to turn on the furnace just now. As a precaution I did throw a row cover over them. Tomorrow I will seed more lettuce and spinach in modules inside. Covering all my bases.


I’m in my irked and frustration mode this morning. I am comforted by Stephanie Vogt’s (of A Year to Clear) confession that she is a pack rat. In other times, I would have dismiss her ability to help people to clear and declutter their lives. Now I know that personal experience not only looks good on a resume. It actually works. You have to be there to truly know the whys and wherefores. I love the sentence: Yes, clearing even a single paper clip or hairball has the potential to change our lives. It certainly does! It reminds me of the one red paperclip story of Kyle MacDonald. He started with one paperclip and traded up to a house in one year’s time.

I’ve tapped away some of my ill feelings. It’s a good way of starting the day. Sometimes I’m held hostage by my emotions. I have nobody to blame but myself. I can choose/change – an action, emotion. It’s up to me. I’m holding myself accountable. It’s not always easy but I can build up my resilience, one paperclip at a time. I’m working on slowing down my brain by reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I remember having read it during one lonely hot summer when I was in high school. We didn’t have a library in town. I bought it in the town drugstore. You can guess there was a dearth of selection. Why a drugstore carried Charles Dickens was hard to fathom.

It was a difficult read. I’m not sure I grasped the story at all but one cannot forget the opening and closing lines. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,” ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known. ‘ Then there’s Madame Defarge. I only remember her name. I don’t know what peaked my memory and interest at this time. Where do thoughts and memories come from? At any rate, I am surprised to find I am enjoying the read. It has much more substance and the English is far, far better than my usual thrillers. It is also calming for my brain. I hope it is growing new dendrites.

I think my brain has reached its maximum work capacity for today. We put in time downstairs, clearing a few paperclips on my sewing table. It was hard work. I didn’t know where to start. I had to be the coach and the athlete. Start here! Do one thing. Then another. Believe you me, I had a thundering headache after but also a sense of accomplishment. Tomorrow will be easier. And maybe this summer we can drive out to Kipling and see the famous red paperclip and the house that is now a cafe.


It’s another first day of the rest of my life. I’m as grumpy as all get up. Summer heat makes my whole body ache on rising. But I shall grin and bear it. I’m going to tackle my most dreaded chore of tackling the paper pile today. I’m not exactly fresh nor energized but mornings are still my best time. We’ll see how I will progress. Nothing happens if I don’t begin. Beginning is hard. Beginning is the magic word.

Purging is the first step. Boy, what a chore! I’m very bad at not opening my mail. That was my first pile. They’re mostly opened now and put in their appropriate piles. I’ve had this problem for a long time. It’s something that I do know. There’s only one way to correct it. That is to open my mail and deal with it ASAP. Let me put it on the list of bad habits to correct. I’ll start off August with opening each piece of mail. Let me to see if I can do that for the whole month.

It is now middle of the afternoon. My box of paper is not overflowing anymore. My bills are paid. I will not try to do any more hard sorting today. I do feel less overwhelmed. Why do I keep doing that to myself, eh? Over and over. I will not try to deal with the psychology of all that. No need to be that gerbil on the wheel. I can just fall off and do the work.

It’s another first day of the rest of my life. There has been a couple of such days since the last. I don’t profess this great or inspired writing. I just want to chart my progress of this journey call life. Once you hit a certain age and certainly after retirement, there are less significant markers. But I can’t say that for this year. Covid-19 is a huge marker of 2020. Myy mother’s shingles experience is memorable but with a good outcome. Sheba’s leaving us for doggy heaven was heart wrenching but natural in the order of life and death.

It’s good for me to do my tapping/talking here. I know I’m not being correct when the words hit the page. I can do an edit. But if I keep it all inside, the words and worries will turn over and over, fester and grows infectious. They can poison my body and soul. This is a good practice for me. Now that I’ve tapped out a few words and thoughts, I will head over to sort some paper clutter. Another day in the life of….


Discipline is what I don’t have. I’m disappointed with myself. Even after all this time, being aware of it, I still fall off the wagon. I succumb to what comes easiest – vegetating. I fool myself by being busy. So how can I be busy and vegetate at the same time? By definition, vegetate means: live or spend a period of time in a dull, inactive, unchallenging way. 

This is probably not a good time to talk about meaningful living. I feel dull as a mollusk in its shell though I have been in a flurry of activities moments ago. I shamed myself into sweeping the floors of Sheba’s hair and clearing my ever-cluttered dining table. I wiped it and put on a table cloth. Let’s see how long it will stay cleared. Oh yes, I lured Sheba out to the deck with a chew to brush out her shedding hair. Sometimes I wish she had alopecia.

Here I am, showing up again two days in a row. I’m trying to sprout my discipline backbone again. I’m sipping a decaf, trying to tap out my therapy session, urging myself forward. It’s still morning, a little before noon. I can feel my eyeballs wanting to roll to the back of my head. They want to close. I won’t let them. It’s really a mystery, a fascinating one the way my body and chemistry work. I will pay close attention and see if I can outwit it. Didn’t they say that I am the captain of my ship?

So far, so good. My coffee is done. I am going to see if I can do some magic on my desk now. I’ll try to let you know tomorrow if I can trick myself.


It’s a hot, hot day! I have laundry hanging outside. The blinds are drawn. It’s warm and stuffy upstairs. I turn the furnace fan on. I make my way to the cool of the basement. It’s a lovely happy space to have my decaf and toasted baguette. I sink back against the leather couch enjoying the cool quiet of being alone. It is worth all the effort I’ve put into cleaning and clearing. It fills me with joy to see there’s a space for everything. And everything are in their places.

It’s taken me a long while to get to this stage. Gaining some confidence from the process, I’m moving onto cleaning and clearing the deck. I want to make every space into a creative living breathing place and not a storage area for all the stuff I don’t know what to do with. It’s time to be clear about what our lives are about. It’s not about collecting and hoarding.

Let me be bothered enough to take the time to care, to organize, clear and clean. Let my mind work behind the scene and figure out what gives life meaning, what I need to keep and what I need to discard. I have lived too long haphazardly, by gosh and by darn. I’ve been lazy, just wishing and hoping for the best. Now I want to plan and be decisive and do what is the best for me and what makes my heart sing.



Strange times. I have to sit and chew on it for a bit. Sheba and I have just returned from our walk. It is WARM out there all of a sudden. Most of the snow are gone. I’m hot and sweaty, tapping a few words waiting for the water to boil for a cuppa of decaf. I’m cutting back on my tea consumption. Too much of a good thing was making my bladder crazy. I wonder why I have this addiction to Orange Pekoe tea. The more I drink, the more I crave it. Limiting myself to two cups a day seem to be helping – the bladder and the craving.

This feeling of craving is such a curious thing. The more I give in to it, the worse it gets. It’s a good thing that it’s only Orange Pekoe tea. Imagine the consequences if it is something else, like sugar. Maybe that was part of it, too. I like my tea sweetened with honey. So far, so good. I’ve kept to the 2-cup limit for a week now. No more craving. This principle probably applies to other things as well. It is wise to practice balance in all things. I will pay more attention from now on. I am sure I have the addict archetype in me.

It’s the next day, Saturday. My tap ran dry yesterday. I’m back to finish though today I’ve been taken over by sleepiness and idleness. I hope I can find a few interesting words and ideas. I could just do my usual mutterings. I am cured of the need ‘to do and accomplish’ for the time being. But it’s not good either to give in to languishing. I’m feeling as if I’ve grown roots into the loveseat. I’m still in my pjs though it is almost 3 pm. Soon I have to get dressed for a walk with Sheba. In the meantime let me enjoy my decaf and tap out a few more words.

It’s been a long while since I’ve felt this ease and peace within. Everything is working. I’m not fighting anyone or anything. I see all my ducks lined up in a row. How is it that life seems so easy in this moment? It could be that I took some care to clear, clean and organize my living surroundings. Cleanliness is next to holiness. It’s not that I can eat off the floors yet. But soon! And that what needs to be dealt with are, and not hidden beneath the piles. That never worked anyways. Things may be hidden from physical sight but they were just festering beneath the skin. So how could I have peace of mind when they were worming within?

Now that I have learned a few lessons, I hope I won’t slide back to my old ways of ‘later’. It’s much easier to JUST DO IT now. I’ll just sit back and breathe in this new feeling. It will help to keep me on track.




When I show up late, it is difficult to find those first words. I flounder around, trying this and that. My mind is full of cobwebs. This afternoon I finally made a start clearing this very desk I’m sitting on. It was full of paper crap and dust. I was on hold to Sasktel and looking at it all. How long am I going to take before I attend to it? I started wiping a bit here and there. Got one area dusted before the Sasktel person got back to me. Another billing hitch worked out again.

It all goes to remind me how much of our lives are caught up in paper, whether it’s on hard copy or virtual. I have trouble dealing with either form. The truth is I don’t deal with it at all till absolutely necessary. It is THE reason why everything is so hard. I really want somebody else to take care of – EVERYTHING for me. Of course, that never happens nor is it possible. Everyone is responsible for their own shit and should take care of it themselves. Of course, we know that is not always the case. I decided I might as well get my head out of the sand and deal with the truth.

The truth is my shit includes some of others’. Acknowledging and accepting that will lift the emotional part of the burden. I have to look at it in an impersonal and impassionate way. I see it. That’s half the battle. Life is short and shorter when you’re in the retirement age bracket. I do not want to tap forever about my dust, paper crap and other angst. My plan for this month is to clear all the crap. It needs a deadline.

I’m not thinking too clearly now that I’ve had my glass of wine. But here’s the plan. Whatever I come across that doesn’t have a use and can’t be recycled will be tossed into the garbage. I have already tossed numerous post-it-note, memo and other pads into the recycle bin. How many pads or scrap paper do I need? How many lists do I make – none. There are several heavy outdated textbooks in the bin also. School is over. So is work. I’ve shredded a bundle of old bills and receipts. I have to let go of hanging onto every scrap of paper as security or proof of my worth. I have to hang on to my life instead.

Enough crap said. I’ve laid bare my soul. Tormorrow is another day.



It’s another day and I will have a few less items clogging up the basement. I have hauled them up and by the door, ready to load in the car for disposal tomorrow. They are heavy – both for the body and psyche. I am pooped but feeling lighter already. It was a chore going through the computer and deleting and clearing as best as I could. I stopped reading the emails after the first few. Otherwise it would take forever, which it already has – since 2005.

There’s another PC waiting in the wings but I will hang on to it just a little bit longer. It has alot more data than the first one. It is really an arduous task for me just thinking about getting rid of the stuff that I no longer use. I understand why I have left it for so long. The mental part is as difficult the physical. But it MUST be done. The rubble in the basement and in the head do not go away by themselves. I must have reached the maximum tolerance and now I AM ready to do the hard work. I am done in by today’s small progress but I am satisfied. I am calling it a day.

Tomorrow is another day. It is an ongoing process. Maintenance work – a little dab daily will do it.