Oh dear, the day got away on me! It is already 7pm on this 14th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I had intentions of being here earlier but I got distracted and delayed. It was for a good reason so I shan’t complain. I was out in the yard, taking some buckets of water for the greenhouse. My neighbour across the back alley saw me and came across for a visit. She was having some trouble with her neighbour and just needed a shoulder to cry on. I know what that feels like. We had a nice and very long visit. When I came into the house, it was 5 pm. Time to have a sit down and have a cuppa to warm and relax a bit before supper.

Earlier in the day, I read someone’s post on consistency. She shared Marie Forleo YouTube video on How To Be Consistent: 5 Steps To Get Things Done, All The Time. I thought it was pretty good and jotted down the 5 steps for myself. You can watch the video for a full explanation but here are the main points.

  1. Keep an eye on why. I tend to forget my goal after awhile.
  2. Pick your battle.
  3. Schedule it.
  4. Ignore your feelings. Quite often I don’t feel like doing anything but I try hard do it anyways.
  5. Catch that wagon. I fell off my writing for 3 days over Thanksgiving. I’m back on now.

Seeing these steps and writing about them keeps me motivated. My eye is on the why I want to complete the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is important for me to do the best I can but to enjoy and have fun also. Though I’m short of time and it is late, I can still put in an earnest if not long effort. As it is getting late, I will not put it in the daily thread. I don’t have time to read 2 posts and comment on them. I am picking my battle – writing my piece and posting it. Tomorrow I will do the second part. I like following the rules. I am an earnest person. I’ll have fun later.


Yesterday, I joked about writing a blog on how to do anything better. On second thought, I’ve decided that it’s not such a bad idea after all. How else can I improve anything if I don’t even try? Just because I have an unfocused mind doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Already I’m working on my addiction to tea – Orange Pekoe, to be exact. There must be some secret ingredient that makes me crave it. Could it be just caffeine?

I’m sipping chamomile as I am tapping. I hope I can stay awake. Sheba is keeping me company. She is usually very rowdy and restless in the afternoons. It is that time between her supper and her walk. I’ve been working patiently with her for the last few weeks. When she barks up, I coax her in laying down, staying and then giving her lots of verbal praise. It took awhile but she’s finally getting it. Quiet = food and a walk. I could see the comprehension in her eyes and behavior. Really, a couple of weeks is not a long time. It is so pleasurable to see her ‘getting’ it.

The truth is I am the one finally ‘getting’ it. Raising Sheba has been strenuous, frustrating, fun, and satisfying all at the same time. It was very tumultous in the beginning. I was more a cat person, having had 3 cats previously. A dog was a new thing. What I knew about dogs was in movies and on television. It was myths and fairy tales, no true hard facts about raising a dog. The only preparation I made was to buy a very big crate and a book from the library.

The book was a very good resource at toilet training my new puppy. I followed the suggested schedule to a t. I can’t remember the number of times I took Sheba out to ‘potty’. It was enough times to wear me out but Sheba is perfectly toilet trained. One time she got into some ripe prunes and she had to go. She was in her crate in the garage when I was at work. She tried to poop out the crate door. She had some messy back end. When I let her out, she got away from me. Out the yard she ran. I had to chase her through the neighbourhood. Oh, what a time that was! Lucky for us, nobody saw us and the messy back end. A big sigh of relief when I finally caught her.

I listened and read too many accounts of how to raise a dog. I was terrified of doing the wrong things. Everyone and every source stated how difficult it is to correct a dog once it learned the wrong thing. I was a nervous wreck, feeling like a failed dog owner. Puppy classes were of no help. We weren’t keen on the trainer. She made both Sheba and I feel bad about ourselves. One time Sheba charged full throttle into Pet Smart (where we took the class), choked on her collar and pooped on the floor. On the way home after, she threw up in the car. What a mess! Ugh! We decided we did not need any more puppy classes. We’ve been limping along on our own ever since.

My advice on how to if you are a very first time dog owner, is to relax. Enjoy your dog. Get to know each other first. Go from there. The best thing is about consistency. But when you are a novice, you don’t even know what that means. The next best advice is don’t worry too much about making mistakes. Even old dogs can be corrected. They are just like us. They can change given the right motivations. It’s practice, practice and more practice – the same way each time – over and over = success. It only took us 11 years. But better late than never.




I surely struggle with consistency and energy. I suppose you do, too. It’s always good to have company. It’s my words I’m struggling with now. But I’ve come to my space. The keyboard is on my lap, my cup of tea nearby. Across the back alley, the roofers are tap, tap,tapping with their hammers. They sound like woodpeckers. A crow caws nearby.

It’s a perfect August day. The sun shining. The petunias and nasturiums nodding their heads in the breeze. I shall just sit here and not worry so much about accomplishing and doing. It is trying that I can’t quite get my shit together. But really, what does that mean anyways? Oh brother, Sheba is next to me. She’s just let go some of her metal-melting farts. Phew!

I’m feeling like hell in the mornings,  waking with aching in every possible joint – down to the toes. I just know that autumn is in the air even if I didn’t know what month it is. Changes are coming. Changes are here. Some of it’s scary. A lot of it is frightening – neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Donald Trump, neighbours… The list is long. It’s good to ventilate, even if it is just listing. At least I’ve identified some of the things nagging at me. I’m not just whistling in the dark.

I have pushed my way through the wet paper bag. I’ve broken free. Despite my fatigue, I’ve trimmed off the dead raspberry canes, gathered up some other garden wastes and deposited them all in the Green Bin. The City truck has kindly come by. I’ve dumped a bag of peat moss in the front flower bed. I hope that will give the petunias there a much needed boost.

The hammering is getting more insistent – and annoying. It’s not conducive to my tapping any more. It’s giving me a headache. It’s a sign to close shop. I think I work best in short spurts. I just need to have more spurts in a day.



IMG_2101I am well into this month’s challenge.  Besides writing a post every day, I have incorporated  some healthy habits into this challenge.   It would make marking my progress and assessment easier and in writing.

I have been faithfully getting up, dressing up and showing up.  I have done my qigong exercises faithfully every morning.  Some mornings I am more focus and in the moment than others.  But I am always here, trying.  I always feel the better for it.  It opens up my channels to receive the world.  So why would I  neglect a good thing?  After awhile it is like brushing your teeth and washing your face when you get up in the morning.  It is a habit.   Ahhhh, it feels so good after!

Another challenge is to keep the floors reasonably clear of Sheba’s hair.  She sheds a lot and I haven’t been good at housekeeping for awhile.    Some days, it is light duty and when time and energy permits – a thorough vacuum.  It is a surprise to find the big vacuum is not really that big.  With practice and practice, I have been able to do it in a relatively short time and with ease.

These are simple challenges that I have success with.    I have been consistent and persistent or you can say, I have been neurotic about it.  They are good neurosis, wouldn’t you say?  But I have not been successful in other areas – the area of the heart IMG_0514and mind.  The gremlins are still rearing their ugly heads.  Though it is the holy time of Easter, the demons are still tearing at me.  They are not succeeding yet.  I have put up my shield and sending out hot and searing flames IMG_0512to thwart them.

All I need is consistency and persistence and lots of heart…and a good hearted Easter bunny, and maybe an Easter basket.  Well, the hot chocolate sort of helped.