March 17th, Wednesday morning. It’s almost 9 am. The sun is weak like tepid tea. I am, too. No get up and go. I sit, sip and tap. There’s no need to rush off to anything. I used to like to sew my quilt blocks in the early morning. It was still in the winter dark. I would turn on my feel good bright lamp, the radio and the fireplace. It was cosy and comforting, stitching up, cutting and ironing. All the while I’m listening to what is happening in Saskatchewan.

Now that the sun is rising earlier I rather sit and bask in its bright or not so bright light. I’ve had my fill of listening to the radio, especially the news. It’s all about the Covid, the vaccines and side effects. Have you noticed that all conversations are about that? It is all so very heavy and fatiguing. And yet we can’t seem to talk about anything else. Our National news is the same. The whole hour mostly focused on that, night after night for a whole year now. Oh, Donald Trump and the U. S. election did break through. But what about the rest of the world, the rest of life?

I am getting rather comfortable in my little bubble. I am happy with sewing my quilt squares, starting seedlings and messing and checking up in the greenhouse. I am reluctant to venture out. A trip to Costco was a major deal in my head. I had to take the guy with me. When we got there, it was no big deal. He was handy in pushing the cart and unloading things into the car. I feel I always struggled with bulky and weighty packages. Even visits with my parents feels big and problematic. I would have to do some head and mind clearing first. What a sad sack I am, heh?

My first vaccine shot is about 2 weeks away. I think I will head back to the gym and pool a couple of weeks after that. I miss the challenge of physical activity. It is the best medicine for my physical and mental health. It’s a-get-out-of-the-house prod. Being dour by nature, I have to work very hard to be in a good mental space. It’s a good thing. I have something to do all the time. I could not very well stay in a puddle or down the rabbit hole. I’m a very slow learner. I’m slow at everything but like the tortoise I can win some races.

Here’s my autobiography by Portia Nelson:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I still don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
It isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there, I still fall in.
It’s habit. It’s my fault. I know where I am.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down a different street.


It is New Year’s Eve. It’s the first Christmas and New Year without Sheba. My eyes mist and my throat tightens. It is the way of nature. There’s birth, life and then death. A cycle complete but not an ending. I like to think that Sheba came to me in the guise of a fox the other evening while skiing in the park. I went or fell down two little hills. A little fox came and stayed with me till I was on my feet again. I thought it was a cat at first. I called ‘here kitty’. It came within a certain distance, crouched down and watched me all the while. I felt we were part of each other, breathing in and out. A miracle of connecting. Perhaps it was Sheba coming to check on me. I remember her favourite cuddly was her little fox with a squeaker in the head and tail.

Happy New Year has come and gone. Not as much fuss as other years but it was still marked with an explosion of fireworks at midnight. I did not feel I missed much. Most of my new year’s eves have been pretty quiet affairs. Sometimes it can be the loneliest night of the year for many people. I know that I’ve often felt a misfit and a failure on many of these evenings. One year my then husband and I attended a New Year’s Eve party at his boss’s house. There was a pot of chili on the stove, people here and there. We all wore party hats and had whistles streamers. At midnight we dutifully blew our whistles but none of us seemed at all pumped. It was the saddest party of all times. It still left an impression on me after all these years.

I’m well past my prime and finally I’m okay being left out of the hoopla. What I mean is I’ve never been a party girl but never been brave enough to admit it. It’s a natural thing to want to fit in, be part of the crowd. I wonder if we are all like that – putting up a front. So for the first time, I don’t have to make up a cover story for New Year’s Eve. I did nothing. So there is a silver lining to every cloud, even Covid-19. I probably wouldn’t have taken up skiing either if it didn’t happened. I would have missed out on our moonlight skis. I would have missed the fox/Sheba encounter. I wouldn’t have had this pause to think, to question the many aspects of life, of relationships, of my past thinking /behaviour, of where to next and how to get there.


Feeling kind of flat another blogger wrote. I’m feeling that way, too. I can’t blame it all on Covid-19 though. The feeling comes upon me now and then, for whatever reason. I will not exert myself trying to find the reason. It comes with the mysteries of being alive. I will bear it and get with the program. But I am really irked and bombed out with all anti-mask and conspiracy theories and rallies in our city lately. I will try to tap it out of my system.

I have alot to get out of my system. I feel stressed just ordering supper online. We decided that we would do Christmas meal early this year since our Chinese restaurant is closed from December 22 onward, not opening till the 26th. I have trouble deciding from the menu. We’re taking some of the food over to my parents. Will this or that be ok? Too spicy? Too tough? Too many meat dishes? Etc. Etc. I sound like the Yul Bryner in the King and I. That wasn’t the only decision and order I had to make online today. But I got it all done. I also ordered the New Balance Sports Slip 900 walking shoes after much hemming and hawing. I have bad feet. They need support and my slippers gave none.

You can see that decisions or shall I say indecision can cause a lot of angst and anxiety. It eats up alot of time, too. I feel a bit besides myself after this workout. A ski would have been much more beneficial and enjoyable. I skipped another day – to rest my feet. But I shall resume tomorrow. The guy went this morning. He informs me that, indeed, the city had groomed a trail in our neighbourhood park. So Santa does exist after all. Shame on me for being such a humbug. I felt even more contrite listening to the story of the Amazing Kreskin on CBC radio. Did you know that he sends out thousands of Christmas cards every year? If you make it onto his list, you will keep getting them forever as this CBC radio producer has. This is a much nicer story than the ones about Covid-19, anti-maskers and the cospiracy theories.

Talking about masks, I’ve made my second one. It was much easier than my first but the elastic part still poses difficulty. Practice does make better. I shall make a few more, varying cloth patterns. I don’t think we can discard them any time soon, seeing the numbers for today is still high – 3 deaths and 226 new cases. I know, it’s just a hoax. I wonder what the Brits say about that. I bet no one is laughing.

Postscript: Supper is over. The food was delicious. But it was still hard – picking up and wiping off everything. Then dividing out the dishes and taking them over to my mom’s. It was worth it though. At least I tried and it gave my parents something to look forward to. I do understand why it is so difficult for some people to mobilize themselves to do something, anything. It is damned hard from get go – deciding that I would do this supper for my parents. Then phoning them because then I am committing. And THEN I had to make good my offer. This kind of thing will be hard for me forever. It would be easy not to do anything. I will continue to do something forever because I am a living being.


‘Tis the season is in the air. And Covid-19 is the gift that keeps giving but is it the gift we want? Today the stats in our province are 1 death and 283 new cases. Perhaps it is a good time to rethink Christmas and gifting. Perhaps it is a good opportunity for all of us to exam what Christmas means. Perhaps the best gift this year is distance. It could save lives and our economy. It would mean less new cases mushrooming out of control. We would get back to ‘normal’ quicker. It would mean getting back to ‘business’ again. Less strain on the healthcare system. Less strain on everyone. So why aren’t we doing it?

I feel like I’m the original scrooge. I am. Christmas does not really work for me any more? Did it ever? I was not born into this culture. We did not celebrate Christmas. I did not have birthday presents and parties either. When I was a child in China, I got a boiled egg and a chicken drumstick on my birthday. They were considered a treat. When we came to Canada, we adopted some of the western traditions to fit in. I’m not sure that I ever felt it worked. I still felt lacking on these occasions.

Now that I’m all grown up and more, I don’t feel the need to pretend. Covid-19 is giving me and everyone of us the opportunity to come out of the closet. This opportunity is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not celebrating Covid-19. I’ve been in a bit of a difficult patch lately. It’s been colouring all mine and probably your days, too. You can’t help but talk about it when you’re in conversation with your family and friends. It is not at all uplifting or relaxing but you can’t stop.

I’m trying to stop: letting Covid colour my thoughts and days; being a hardcore scrooge. I’m going for a softer heart and more joy. I don’t believe there is a Santa Claus. My name is not Virginia. And I can’t believe that there is a man God up in the sky. So what do I believe in? Where do I go from here? To be continue….


So it is December and what have I learned? November is over and things will never be the same again. Today our Covid-19 stats are, 181 new cases and 4 deaths. Our provincial government has not made any new changes. We, as individuals, must change and assume responsibility for doing the proper thing.

So it is December. A lot of things have happened in the last 11 months. It’s a year ago Sheba had a big hematoma in her left ear. It was big like a perogy. She had to have it drained 3 times. It was a tough one. There were many sleepless nights but we pulled through. We went back to enjoying our walks and romps in the dog park. She was good till she wasn’t. She went to doggy heaven middle of May. She was always a happy girl – right till the end.

It is December. What a year we had. My mother came down with shingles shortly before Covid-19 came to Saskatchewan. Oh, the pain, the worry. Then it went into her eye the day Saskatchewan declared state of emergency. Everything shut down. We were in a state of emergency also. We got in to the Eye Center at City Hospital. I lit a candle, said a prayer each night, asking others to do the same. Our prayers were answered. My mother recovered her eye sight. It was not till middle of May she had her last medical appointment.

It is December. Summer is long past but it was good. We had a successful growing season and good harvest. Autumn has passed, too. We’ve built a greenhouse. It was finished just before the snow came. Winter is here but I am looking forward to spring. I got a seed order away yesterday. I suspect I will be looking through the catalogues again and finding more to order. Soon January will be here. It will be time to start a few tomatoes and other things. Spring will come early for us in the greenhouse.

So it is almost Christmas. I hope we will have peace and less Covid. I don’t need to go shopping for gifts. I will be happy if we are safe. I will be happy if we love one another.


What Keeps Me Up and Going

What do you do to keep your spirits up, to keep the ball rolling? I have today and tomorrow to finish the month of daily posting. I am pretty sure I can finish by gosh and darn. I hope to keep going beyond into December. It helps to have a place to come to at the end of the day to unload, de-stress, to pass on a bit of news, wisdom or joy. Writing and chronicling my day gives me a sense of purpose. It is hard to have a conversation without Covid-19 butting in. Such are our times. In Saskatchewan we have 351 new cases, 94 in Saskatoon. It’s hard not to feel the heaviness of these times.

I plod along, trying to do my daily best. It’s best to have a list of things I want to do each day. I make it before bedtime. I still keep it in my head. That’s on top of my list, to make a list each day. Today I got the laundry and some dusting done. Oh, my pork belly is cooking in the Instant Pot. We’ve had these packs of pork belly in our freezer from last year. And what does one do with it? It’s bacon except it’s not cured. It’s mostly fat. I seasoned it with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Now it’s cooking on high for an hour. That should take care of the fat. They will make filling for Chinese steamed buns. It’s an experiment for tomorrow – maybe. Oh, my pork belly is done. Looking and tasting good. I hope I won’t nibble them all away before the buns get made.

I didn’t have a long list of to do’s. It’s good to start small. Less chance of failure. Wait! I got the bathroom floor cleaned, too. That’s my hardest to do. Strange why that is since there’s not much floor. Sometimes I have to question myself, to get to the root of why I hate doing something. I still don’t understand why but I got the job done. What’s on the list for tomorrow? I will do my seed order to beat the rush. That’s THE one thing I want to do. There are many things that NEED looking after. I will think of them later.

I like to have a project/skill to work on. That always keeps me going when the going gets tough. So far, I’ve mastered bread making, regular and sourdough from scratch, kimchi and kombucha. Making food from scratch is so satisfying. It just fills me up.

The latest thing that’s keeping me afloat is learning cross country skiing. I’m not gliding yet but I’m still keen. There’s alot more involved than meets the eye. Bending over to tie my boots is quite challenging in itself. I get out of huff just doing that! I’m learning to do put the boots on and tying them before putting my coat on. Less bulk to bend over with. Then there’s carrying the skis and poles while walking to the park. It’s only 2 long blocks away but it’s surprising how heavy things get when you’ve not used to carrying them. I’ve mastered that now, too. I even managed to fasten my boots to the bindings by myself today. I failed the getting up after I fall test. Still, I felt so much more relaxed after my fall. I think I should just fall down right off and get it out of the way so I can ski better. What do you think?


A Different Saturday

It’s another Saturday and I’m coming to the keyboard late again. It is easy to get up and dress up but not so easy showing up. It’s the procrastination and avoidance playing tricks on me. It does not feel like my Saturdays any more. It is a different Saturday but it is still the same day that my Sheba went to dog heaven. She had given me normalcy during the early new Covid-19 period. We had our walks and runs in the dog park. Life seemed almost as usual then.

Now we can’t go on saying business/life as usual. We must change the way we are living. I have given up my Saturday swims again. It’s a wise thing to do given our current Covid-19 situation. Today we have 197 new cases, 1 death. Yesterday 4 deaths, 329 new cases. So it’s time to cuddle up and keep warm at home. When we know that large gatherings lead to an outbreak of new cases, why do we continue to gather? Why do we defy and challenge the wisdom of those who know?

Like Bob Dylan sings, the answer, my friend is blowing in the wind. So let me not dwell on them. I like to believe that crisis gives us an opportunity to change the way we see and live. The documentary film, A Simpler Way: Crisis as an Opportunity (2016) gives me hope for the future. Give it a watch. It is a bit long, over an hour, but well worth it.

Today is a rest day for me. No walks or skiing. I tell myself it is ok. I don’t have to go, go, go like the EverReady Bunny. I went to the library instead to pick up some books for us. It would have been a good day for skiing for we had more snow. But I am a little weary, feeling a strain on my left leg. I was satisfied with my little outing. I found a couple of hopefully good fiction and I got to watch some kids playing on a snow hill outside the library.


Building Resiliency

I’m later than ever. It is almost 8 pm. I hope my American friends are having a safe Thanksgiving. Today we have 299 new Covid cases in the province, with 72 at the Correctional Centre in Saskatoon. It’s nothing to celebrate or be grateful for. I’m starting to feel like a reporter. I have to snap out of watching the numbers. We all need to step up to the plate and do the right thing. It frightens me to listen to those people who are anti-masks. Do they really believe what they’re saying or do they have another agenda? Either way, they are dangerous, stirring up vulnerable people to create havoc. Be careful of stories you tell. If they are not your story, do not repeat.

Now that I got my rant out of the way, let me tell you about my main concern. I feel much more settled and comfortable having decided to stop going to the gym. I don’t have to second guess whether I’m putting myself, family and friends at risk. I can put my efforts into keeping and building resiliency. I am also one of those vulnerable people. I am easily affected by the weather and mood of others. I am easily affected by everything. It is important for me to keep physically, emotionally and mentally fit. I want to be kind and empathic but I don’t want to feel everyone’s pain. I’m not good at either one though I am improving. Sometimes I just have to grit and bear the pain.

I am learning that I have to be kind to myself first. I’ve had a hard time of it. I think that’s the reason for the anger I’ve felt and held so often in the past. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt it. Hooray for me! Free at last. It’s not so easy ‘getting it’. It takes a life time. It really have given me a mental boost in these times. I’ve learned to get up, dress up and show up no matter how I feel. That’s thanks to Regina Brett. These are the things that you still have to/can do even if you feel lousy. You might not be able to do them as well on any given day. If you try your best, you can forgive yourself.

Get up, dress up and show up is etched in my brain. It gives me that boost/resiliency on especially difficult days. And these are those days. Even so, I still find great joy and satisfaction – of getting up, dressing up and showing up – to make a soup from all my garden veggies for lunch, making kimchi and then going for another ski in the park. They were not all masterpieces but they were my honest efforts. I feel proud of them.

If you are interested in the recipe for my kimchi, here’s the link. I throw in different ingredients sometimes. Today I put in Jerusalem artichokes instead of radishes. Making food is very healing – for whatever ails you.


Something Good

Though our new cases of Covid-19 for today is lower at 175, our provincial government is doing a lousy job at containing it according to Steven Lewis. He is a Saskatchewanian healthy policy consultant currently living in Australia. Pretty depressing! Let me move on to something good. Jill Salahub of a Thousand Shades of Grey writes a post each week on Something Good and Gratitude Friday. I find lots of good stuff from her posts.

The sun did not peep out even once today. I thought hard on how to navigate these so cloudy days. What could I do to give myself and my brain a boost. Finding some good stuff like Jill is not a bad idea. It would help me and others like me. The library is always a good place for me. Now they, in collabration with Open Door Society and the Saskatoon Council on Aging, are offering to be phone buddy service for lonely shut ins. What a wonderful idea! It is good news. We are looking out for each other.

Other good news is after Saturday, there are going to be a bunch of sunny days. Meanwhile, I will have to plod along as best as I can. I have nothing that I have to do and nowhere that I have to be. I can be as fast or slow as I am. I have done none too bad today. I’ve baked 6 loaves of bread and a dozen plus pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. The aromas of baking bread and chocolate chips is always something good.

It is way later than usual. I still have the muffins to put away. I must say good night.


You Light Up My Life

I am so porous to the prevailing moods around me. It is not an advantage. I am one of those people who can feel your pain. It is not a good thing. I’m feeling a little under the weather, mood wise. It is, of course, a very cloudy day. If not for the snow, my world would be very dark. Therefore, I do love the white stuff. It lights up my life.

The Covid-19 numbers in Saskatchewan today are 4 deaths and 235 new cases. I am still tracking the numbers. I should stop but it is better to be informed. It is depressing and difficult to understand why we aren’t all compliant with what we need to do. Why are some so defiant about wearing masks and having large gatherings? Why do some still believe it’s not real? I guess the answers are blown in the wind. I best get on with what I can do and not sink deeper into the rabbit hole.

Talking about rabbits, I met up with one on my walk. It was all white except for the tips of his ears. I’m sure if Sheba was still here, she’ll be lunging and straining on her leash. I have her to thank for my daily walks. It’s hard to give them up after 14 years. My body knows when it is time to get up and get walking. Sheba is with me in spirit. We go down the streets and alleys as before. And it is all good – for my body and spirit. Being out in nature, even if it’s in the city, is something good I can do for myself.

Gardening is another good thing I can do. I know it is almost December but spring in the greenhouse won’t be that far away. I’m excited to get seeds ordered,organized and started. We had the greenhouse built in record time. It’s hard waiting. Here’s the guy’s video of its construction to take me out of here. The greenhouse is a very good thing.