It’s Thursday. I’m a day late coming to my space. I felt so terribly busy and disorganized yesterday. It was better to be flexible and silent rather than stressing myself more by trying to do everything. So here I am this morning. Not exactly fresh but willing to have a conversation. Where shall I began?
I’m on top of the necessary things like paying the bills, etc. I will not have to worry about my utilities being cut off. The property tax is taken care of. I’m sure there will be more bills and they will keep coming. It’s a good thing actually. They are signs of life and activity. The greenhouse is doing really well. The snow peas are loving it in there. I’m harvesting some pods every morning. Our community garden and city allotment are and planted. I was a little angry yesterday to find that someone had stolen one of the 2 squashes I planted Friday. It is a community garden but not everyone is community minded. There are thieves among us.
I am not quite as naive now. It’s taken me a long time to learn that not all gardeners are nice people. And not all dog owners love dogs. They might love their dogs but not yours. Some scary guy at the dog park threatened to kill Sheba one time. He was tossing sticks to his dog and Sheba got it first. I reported him but I was wary of people after that. What was I thinking, eh? that certain people are saints. We are all capable of nastiness and thievery.
Talking more about nasty, I have not been lucky with neighbours. I seemed to be surrounded by strange and some outright nasty people. Some clearly have mental health problems. The one good neighbour has just moved because he could not handle his nasty landlady. I miss having a neighbour I can just greet and have a friendly chat. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently so. Then there’s the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard brand of nastiness and the shootings in Texas and Buffalo. Our planet is none too healthy physically or spiritually. I wonder what we can do.
At present I’m going through the drudgeries. There will be no brilliant ideas or inspirations from me. Life consists of a lot of hard work, much of it boring but necessary. Sometimes I want to take a nap through these periods. I think that is why I have so many piles awaiting for my attention. But I have done the lunch dishes and cleaned the fridge. The fridge was psychologically hard but I’ve conquered that voice in my head, a small battle won.
There you have it – my Thursday mumblings. I will finish my cuppa and tackle the mess in the front yard. It is no longer morning as you’ve might have gathered by now.
It’s a cool -11℃ but sunny March morning. It’s a good thing we have a small heater in the greenhouse for periods like this. It’s keeping the temperature above 0. Right now it is 5.2℃. The tomatoes and cucumbers are appreciating it. I’m trying to move along, staying focused but already I’ve been sidetracked by a post on FB about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I have no will power at all against the attraction of mindless scrolling. I’ve disentangle myself now that I’ve read the whole article. I have to get serious and write this post.
I am feeling so much better for having returned to my keyboard. Letting my thoughts run helter skelter is not helpful in these times or any time. They’ve made me feel more unsettled and helpless and hard to live with. I am one who needs to talk/write things out in hard copy, on the page. I prefer solo written conversation with just myself. Oh, I know, communication and talk it out, get it out in the open. I’ve seldom found that helpful but I’ve learned a few things from that process.
Most people, myself included, do not listen or hear well. We can’t wait for the person to stop talking so we can tell our story.
We all see and hear differently. Quite often I feel doubly wounded after telling my story. It is strange but the listener always seem to defend and take the other side. I am left feeling unheard and unseen.
I see those 2 things in myself, too. Now I try harder to just listen carefully first before talking. I try not to offer solutions because I don’t think that’s what is wanted or needed. A person wants and needs to be heard. When the person I’m talking to takes or tries to present the other side, I feel not only unheard but judged also. That is the why of my writing space here. It’s my sounding board of working things out. I hear me. I see me. I try not to judge me.
I’m almost at the end of this post. Feeling pride of accomplishment and of setting goals. When I break things down into do-ables, I do not feel so overwhelmed. The lunch is souping in the Instant Pot. My drawing/watercolour for #the100daychallenge is almost done. Doing one thing a day whether it be a drawing/painting, a blog post, a quilt square…works well for me. I feel soothed and smoothed typing on the keyboard, holding my pencil and paint brush. Working on a post or a painting is working on my life. Work brings everything to life.
Day 24 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m always happy to share another cup of coffee with the community. There’s something so warm and soothing sharing coffee and conversation with someone who’s truly with you in the moment. It’s like being wrapped in a fuzzy blanket. I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years before retiring. I’ve had more than a few cups of coffee, too many for my health. My mug was never empty. It was good while it was good. Now the coffee I do drink is decaf and I always love a cuppa. If you were here with me, what could we talk about today?
I could probably wear your ear off with my chatter. I can get excited about the most mundane things, those very, very ordinary moments of daily life. I am captivated by thoughts and dust mote in sunlight. And if we were sitting at my dining room table, I would tell you about tablecloth that was years in the making. It started out as block building out of my extensive stash of material collecting. I had no destination, no end product in mind. Everything just evolved. I found the material was excellent to paint and embroider on. The blocks were perfect for story telling. Some are sewn together for a rich tapestry. Others are stand alones, each with their own story.
Life is like that, one block building onto another. And then you have history and stories to tell. Coffee and conversation are wonderful, isn’t that so?
We’re having another beautiful day for this 9th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It’s almost noon and I’m reluctant to leave my sunny writing space. Lunch doesn’t cook itself so I will finish my cuppa and tap a few words and rise to the occasion. These golden moments go so fast. I mustn’t rush. I will savour them while they are here. They will come again. I tried to push out my words after my meditation this morning. They wouldn’t come. It wasn’t their time. They couldn’t be forced. I had to be patient and wait till they are ready.
So if we were having coffee today, what would we talk about? If we were simpatico, I am sure our words would flow like water. We would not need wine to loosen our tongues. Some friends are like that. We are sisters from different mothers. Our friendships spanned decades, remaining steady through the seasons of our lives. It’s wonderful. It’s marvelous. I couldn’t have asked for more. Everything is copacetic.
It is after 4 pm already. The sun is gone. The light is steely grey. Snow is coming. I better shorten my new snow pants. We might have to do some shovelling tomorrow. My words are few today but a photo is worth a thousand words.
A very good Saturday morning to you. It is still rather cool at 10 am. It is 1℃. The sun is just coming out. Welcome again to my writing space on this 6th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is too early to say I’m still going strong. I’ll save it for the middle of the challenge. I like to lay down a few thoughts and sentences to get things going. I can’t jump in with both feet. I have to let things simmer and percolate slowly. Like wise our passive solar greenhouse in November. Everything is still growing but ever so slowly. I have rolled up the shade to let the light and sun in. There’s not much excitement going on now except the lettuce. They seem to be able to grow new leaves overnight. They are a welcome sight when I open the door. So fresh and green! We can still have fresh salads every other day.
I’m glad I started this conversation this morning. It’s late afternoon and I’m running out of steam. We just came back from our walk around the hood. Yesterday we went out to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforation area. It was our first time here. The day was sunny and warmer than today. The park was beautiful, awashed in autumn sun. I wished Sheba was still with us. More than a few people and their dogs showed up so I got my dog and nature fix.
Today we watched the online event celebrating the Jubilee celebration 50 years after Richard St. Barbe Baker received his honorary doctorate at the University of Saskatchewan. I’ve only learned of the man a few years ago. And what an interesting man Richard St. Barbe Baker was. Strange how I can live in this city for so many years and only heard of this place and man recently. It is true the most valuable jewels are those within our reach.
The sun has set. It is time to roll down the ‘blanket’ in the greenhouse to keep the heat in. I fed all the plants with homemade LAB (lactic acid bacteria) earlier. I’m hoping to give them enough of a boost to keep them going till December. It’s wonderful what you can learn on YouTube. The LAB is made with just rice water wash and milk. You not only get a liquid fertilizer but curds to make cheese. I have to warn you the LAB is a little smelly but the plants don’t mind at all. I made only a small batch since it’s my first attempt. I didn’t want to waste my milk if it doesn’t work. It does and I made a little cheese. The cheese wasn’t exactly gourmet but was good – like feta. The LAB has other uses besides as a fertilizer. I love learning to make my own stuff.
It is time to close shop. Tomorrow is another day. I hope you will drop in again for a cuppa and a chat.
It’s so difficult to come to the keyboard these days. It’s difficult to start a conversation. It’s equally hard to start the day. I’m trying hard not to let time slip away. The time on this earth is valuable. It is limited and it will never come again. I’m resolving not to let my thoughts and emotions get the best of me and render me useless. The show must go on. I start my day with those daily routines. Breakfast, taking my vitamins, getting out of my pjs, straightening a thing or two and feeding Oscar, my sourdough starter.
I wandered downstairs to look at my fabric stash. I’m thinking of joining the100dayproject. It starts on January 31st. I thought I would sew a square a day for a 100 days. I have already sewn a few squares together a couple of years ago, thinking I would make a colourful summery quilt. Here’s my chance to finish another abandoned project. It would give me a purpose, add to my daily routine. A square a day could keep the pyschiatrist away. It would also help to clear out my fabric stash.
It’s not that I lack things to do. I have a million and one interests/things to do. I lack emotional stamina to keep going. I fall into ruts and off the wagon often. I do need motivations, many cups of tea and those strong rah! rah! rah! from the sidelines to cheer me on to the finish line. My first 100dayproject in July/2016 helped me to realize doing art instead of just talking about it. Here’s the first and the 100th of that project.
I’m feeling super pumped now. It helps that I’ve just been out on the ski trails and breathing all that fresh air. I tried the ski trail at the Wildwood Golf Course the first time today. I did the 2.5 km perimeter loop. It’s just what I need to develop technique and confidence. It took some time to get back to the parking lot. I had no concept of how much being out there under grey skies. I quite enjoy the spaces when I was alone. I could practice without worrying about how ridiculous and clumsy I look or if I fall. I would have to had an audience when I couldn’t make it up a hill and slid backwards, eventually falling. But no despair but laughter on my part for now I am able glide downhill comfortably without much fear. I’ve left those weak knees and jelly legs behind.
I am so glad to have had this time together. It’s good to have this conversation. It makes me feel not so blue, that life has meaning and purpose. So I will let Carol Burnett take me out with her sign off song. And I will tug my earlobe for luck.
We had another thunderstorm last evening. The rain hammered fiercely on the roof. It was noisy. Sheba was either too tired from the night before or else she was not bothered by the energy of this storm. She did perked up from her pillow, wandered about warily, going to the door, listening to the rain and thunder. But she did settled back on her pillow after some reassurance and petting.
The rain stopped before bedtime. We went to bed and all had a good night’s sleep. Not a peep from Sheba. How wonderful sleep felt after a night without. It is the best medicine. I felt strung out all day yesterday with the kind of tired that doesn’t let you sleep. I was a walking zombie for lack of a better description. It felt like somebody had died. It felt like a depression. I felt like behaving badly. I didn’t because I knew better.
I’m not one who rises singing. I felt like it this morning. But my lack of sleep the other night still affected my mood through the day. It went in and out. I felt pesky and irritated at times, wanting to act out. I didn’t but accepted my moodiness. I let myself feel whatever came up. I didn’t squish or squash them. They were left to do a slow simmer inside while I behaved my best on the outside. I am becoming a good Buddhist. Thank you, Pema Chodron for your wisdom.
It’s a beautiful day after the 2 rains. The temperature is perfect, with a light breeze. I could sit on the deck in the middle of afternoon. It was wonderful in my outdoor studio, painting my little index cards. Sheba is always nearby, the birds chirping in the cedars and I have my cuppa. I take care not to dip my brushes in it instead of the water. I sometimes struggle with the prompts for Daisy Yellow ICAD Challenge. But today they just came. It was so much fun, so satisfying.
Now it is getting to be almost 9 in the evening. It is still light, a splash of pale sun against the garage wall. It is so calm, a mellow yellow and tender evening. I can sit here and gaze at it forever if it lasts. But soon the light will disappear. Dusk will come, followed by the dark of the night. It is time for me to finish though it feels like I have a ton of conversation left in me. Nothing exciting or profound. They’re just the little stuff of this ordinary life. They’re as elusive as the butterfly and they fly away as quickly. I will have to wait for another day to catch them again.
Sometimes I feel foolish being here, day after day. But it is the need of conversation and a friend that I return. It is true that I am my own best friend. Who has walked in my shoes and see my exact point of view? I feel it is foolish to tell another, “I understand. I get it. I know where you are. Been there. Done that.” We each have our own unique experiences and way of seeing the world. We couldn’t possibly understand another’s. All I can do is accept another’s when they tell me. Believe and don’t try to change or contradict. That is my motto.
It is here that I get to talk without interruption or correction. No one will say, Who’s THEY? No one will tell me I’m making assumptions. Before I go on and forget, I can tell you now who THEY are. They are our human tribe. I hope no one will demand who the THEY are from me any more. In my space, I can speak without judgement. No one will tell me that I say outloud what others would think only. It’s good I’ve unleashed my dark twin. I am getting a load off my mind.
Speaking of loads, it is quite difficult to rid them. Attachments have deep holds even though they serve no purpose. I felt so elated after doing my tax return this morning. It was a heavy load off my mind. In the process, I found that I’m not totally dizzy, ditzy and disorganized. I felt it was a good time to unload more of my outdated nursing texts and journals into the recycle bin. I gathered all the hard covered Nursing Skills manual. They were in excellent condition. I don’t think I’ve ever actually read one. Regret coursed through my body. I put them back on the shelf. Then I gathered them up again and ran outside. Into the bin they went. My logical self had asked: Of what purpose do they serve on the shelf for another 30 years?
My book shelves are getting thinned and dusted. I am sure I will experience more regret as I rid more of what is not needed anymore. It is not the books or objects that I am attached to. It is the memories they invoke. The regret over choices made, things not done, etc. There is only one path we can go down at any one time. Too bad we can’t straddle them all. Maybe hanging onto stuff is the straddle. I’m afraid of letting go. It is really being stuck and unable to go forward.
The feelings of regret and pining over choices not made are human. They are short lived like the ones of a buyer’s regret. I remember I’ve said “My God, what have I done!” over many purchases. All that evorporated with the enjoyment of the piano, house renovations, my Bernina sewing machine. I’m making real progress now, however slow it may be. An inch, a book, a square a day can add up to quite a bit in a year. I have alot of books but not 365 – I think.
It is after lunch. Lethargy seeps into every part of me, body and mind. I want to vegetate forever and forever. If I was to allow it, the food, pots and dishes would sit there till mold grows. I wonder how I ever held down a job. The wonder of it was that I was in a high stress, 12-hour-shifts nursing profession for over 30 years. I thought I did well but looking back now, maybe not. I attended to the job but not to my life. My still-full laundry basket of laundered clothes still sits from 4 years ago when I was still working. Clearly, I haven’t missed those items. Maybe, too, I don’t want to dig into that basket of memories. BUT, I will tend to it today.
I have been missing in action here for a few days. I was tending to my body and soul. Sometimes I have to take a rest into the quiet, still my thoughts, silence my words and not let them march onto the page. Silence is golden. Some things I need to keep for myself. Otherwise, I will have nothing of my own. I will be emptied out.
It is hard to resume the conversation though. It is like the after lunch dishes. If left too long, things get stale and crusty. It would require more energy to get going. I had to get up and fetch a cuppa. My eyes were droopy. It would be so easy just to curl up and have a nap. But I’m stuttering on, letting my fingers find the rhythm and the letters. The clouds are gathering, the wind picking up. I hear a train whistle. I better not tarry. There’s Sheba to be walked – hopefully before the rains come.
It’s the end of March. It’s messy and melting outside. Nothing pretty about it – icy muddles and dirty snow. Seems like there’s always stuff for me to bitch about every month. I can hear someone asking, Are you ever happy? Probably not! Want to make something out of it? I demanded back in my head. That’s what I like about having my own space for conversations. I get to say what I want without interruptions and corrections. It is very difficult in the real world. Have you noticed that? I’m guilty of it myself. I try very hard to stay quiet and let the other person speak for himself, how he sees, how he feels. I can just listen. I don’t have to offer answers, solutions or opinions.
I’ve had a few difficult days with hip pain. It sure woke me up on how much we take things for granted – like getting in and out of bed/the car, getting up from the chair, turning over in bed. The list goes on and on. I discovered that everything was painful and tiring even just sitting. I should have listened to my body even when the signal was soft and quiet. But no, I only heard when the pain screamed at me. It got my whole attention then. I went on an internet search for answers and solutions.
I am lucky. I found some. I incorporated some of the stretches in the above video with some strengthening exercises. I do them in the morning, afternoon and before I go to bed. I still have some discomfort but I can roll on both sides in bed. This afternoon I am able to climb up the basement stairs using both legs. Hurray!
I’m in a better mood now. Things are improving. I am getting better and wiser. I rid my week’s activities of everything except absolutely necessaries. That alone took a lot of pressure off my hips and allow me to heal faster. Now to apply that philosophy to other areas of my life. Indexcard art and quilt squares remind me to keep things small and slow. Life in bite sizes. There is no rush. Savour everything.