Egads, it is 6 pm already! I’m as tired as can be. I’ve been busy being Martha Stewart all day long. I made yogurt in the morning. Then soup with all the leftovers from Thanksgiving for lunch. Seems like not much if it was just the makings and no cleaning up after. I had alot of mashed sweet potatoes left from Thanksgiving. I made muffins with them after lunch which resulted in more washing up. I bet Martha never did any stuff around the kitchen. She just writes about it and somebody else do the cooking and cleaning up. Well, it’s all done, the cooking, baking and cleaning up. I’m finally here for another Ultimate Blog Challenge post.

I’m glad I was reminded about choosing my battles yesterday. I can’t fight/do them all. I did pause and thought about the more important ones. It’s prioritizing. I can have my cake and eat it but I can’t do it all. It’s a good thing we have the walk-in cooler in the garage. I’ve harvested 4-5 ice cream pails of grapes couple of days ago. I got my bottles for bottling juice from Amazon yesterday. They are washed and dried. They are ready but I’m not. There’ll be alot of sorting and washing grape before they can be juiced. They can keep in cooler till I can muster up more energy. I will aim to juice one pail tomorrow. It’s not about all or nothing. Just one thing will suffice.

It’s another day when I can only write my post for the challenge. I will pass the daily thread again today. I’m choosing what is the wiser thing to do today. I am tired and need to wind down for the evening. Tomorrow is another day.


How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard

I wish I could write such insights as Annie Dillard. But then I’m not a Pulitizer winning authour. She has written many books. I wonder why I haven’t read any of them, especially since so many of them are in the library. I’ve just fixed that, reserving The Writing Life. I thought I should start with just one book. I’m still working on James Mitchener’s The Source. It’s an ambitious read of 1000 pages. I’m only on  page 207. I have a ways to go.

How do you spend your days? I’ve wondered what other people do with their time. I’m always busy it seems. I’m a doddler, poking away at life. Maybe if I speed up a little, I wouldn’t feel so busy. But it’s who and how I am. I need that slow pace to digest and process. So I can’t get up in the morning and hop to it. I have to ease my way with a cuppa tea and a few pages of fiction. Then it’s breakfast. If it is Monday, Wednesday,or Friday I’ll be heading out the door to aerobics. Saturday mornings I used to swim. Then somehow I got tired of always heading out of the door and I stopped. But I kept it up most of the winter.

I’m a homebody so I was glad to read that Annie Dillard is a recluse, albeit a gregarious one. I wish I’m like that but alas, I have no gregariousness in me. It should be no surprise that I don’t do a lot of frollicking with my days. I’m a rather quiet, somber person. I live within rather than without. That is, I contemplate alot. I like to read and muse. I wonder about the universe, why people do what they do. I wonder about the speed of the changes we are experiencing. How long life as we know will last? I wonder what gives meaning to the things we do. What does it matter anyways? I could have more time if I could just cut down all this musing.

You see, I am no fun. I do have fun though. I have numerous, maybe too many hobbies. I like to read and write. That gobbles up tons of minutes and hours in a day if I let it. Even painting my little index cards takes up at least half an hour. More if I’m ambitious. I’ve picked up sewing again. I went out and bought a fancy dancy new machine. It’s no small endeavour. It took time to learn all the ins and outs. Then there’s the organizing – fabric, patterns, projects. I’ve taken a fancy to free motion sewing, creating a picture with stitching. I haven’t thought about quilting yet. I have all the notions – collected through the years. At least I don’t have to go out and shop for material. I have a fabric shop right in my own basement.

I’m tapping here in my space. I’ve just turned the oven on for the roast. There’s a lot to do every day. Roasts to put in the oven, bread to make, lunches and dishes to do. The guy does supper and getting groceries. I start my own bedding plants for the garden. Been doing that for years now. Sometimes I enjoy. Sometimes it’s work. Well, isn’t everything? It’s worth it. It’s nourishing my body and soul. Even the cleaning and washing. It’s taking care of this business of living. What meaning or satisfaction would I get not doing any of this? Sure, I complain sometimes and wish that everything was taken care of for me. That sounds like being in a nursing home, doesn’t it?

It’s time to shut up and do something else now. There’s the dog to walk yet.





The sun is pouring into my space. I loathe to leave its warmth and brightness. I shall linger here for a bit with my decaf. The pasta for beef stroganoff and Sheba’s biscuit can wait awhile. It’s easy when you have a Phillip’s pasta maker. It takes minutes to make but longer to clean. I’m not doing a sales pitch but it’s a heaven send along with my Instant Pot. After I got acquainted with them, it’s as easy as abc. But let me tell you, it was hair pulling the first time with pasta maker. The hardest part was removing the plastic lid. By the time I figured it out, I was pooped. I should have waited till another time but I wanted to make pasta. You know how it is with a new gizmo.

My sister said that it was very easy. She was the one who had whispered pasta maker in my ears. Follow the directions. Put the flour in. Press a button. Voila! Pasta in 3 minutes. She neglected to tell me at the time her first tries were not quite successful. I learned that only after I told her our disasterous first time. Now I don’t trust anyone when they tell me how easy things are. First times are always difficult and tricky – for me anyways.

I had to pick the guy up at the airport at 6pm that day. I thought, perfect. Now that I got the most difficult part figured out, we’ll have fresh pasta for supper. We followed the directions. Put the flour in. We measured. We were extravagant, too, adding an egg to the water. Pressed the button. It started turning. We poured the liquid mixture in as the paddles turn. After 3 minutes when the pasta was suppose to come out, the machine quit. We decided maybe we would save the egg till we’ve mastered it. Two more times failed. In the end, we cooked store bought dried spaghetti. By that time it was 9 pm.

I’m happy to announce that we are now experts. It is easy as abc. We use an egg every time. It does add a little extra taste. Now, it is time for me to bring out the pasta maker. Lunch coming up.

Post script: The Tagliatelle for the stroganoff and the lasagna for Sheba’s biscuits turned out wonderfully. The cleanup, however was not. So much to clean! Cutting boards for onion, garlic and the left over roast into cubes. Then there are the knives, salad spinner besides the pasta maker parts. The pot for cooking the pasta and the frying pan for the stroganoff are stilff left. Then there are the baking sheets for Sheba’s biscuits. Oh, my God!


LEARNING & NOVELTY – Day 62 in a year of…

Day 62, September 22, 2016 @6:05 pm

Day 62 finds me here a little earlier but I am depleted.  I am fortifying myself with a few chocolates.  Hope they can give me a little boost.  I am a bit of a wimp. A few chores can tire me out.  I’m trying to learn to be more efficient with my energy.  Making changes in habits and routines can be exhausting as well as exhiliaring.  The yin and the yang applies to everything.

img_7734September is the month of kids returning to school and learning.  I find the changing of weather and the turning of the leaves a signal for me to change and learn, too. Today, I’m trying to be more open and flexible to the novelty in life. It’s not too much out of my comfort zone to cook a little differently.  I’m Chinese, right? We stir fry anything and everything.

I have a couple of not too fresh cucumbers from the garden.  It’s a squash/melon of a different sort.  So why can’t I stir fry them?  I also have tomatoes on hand and oh, lots of hot chili peppers and abundant luscious green pepper leaves. How about a carrot to take on some of hotness of the chili pepper?  Slice and dice and into the frying pan they went.  I’m happy and alive to say it was a culinary success though my tongue is still a little tingling from the pepper.

It is just a little change in my cooking.  A little novelty in my day.  I don’t have to do big or exciting.  I’m not one for parachuting or bugee jumping.  I can be thrilled by learning that I can do a little different each day.  By doing so today, I learn that I have been doing it most of my life.  What a surprise for me!


IMG_5160Hurray, it is 6:30 am and the sun is up and so am I.  The house is suffused with the quiet and soft light of early morning.

I love this time of the day when the city is still asleep.  Traffic is sparse and slow.  It is quiet and peaceful.  I can think.  I can feel.  This is my favourite vantage point, in my sun room, looking through the dining room into  the living room.  The lines and spaces are very pleasing to the eye.  I feel pride in myself for having created it all by myself.

We must acknowledge and feel pride at our accomplishments.  They fuel our passions….to live and to build.  Passions need not always be fiery and grand.  Sometimes they show up in our quiet moments.  Our creative flair can appear in the soups, bread, pastries and snow forts we build on a whim.

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