December 20. We’re a day away from the shortest day and longest night of the year. There’s light in the tunnel now. I can start emerging from the cocoon of my mind and claw my way out into the sunshine. I have to admit that I’ve spent more time in the valley of the shadow this December. It wasn’t that bad since I did not put up a fierce fight. I greeted it with gentle acceptance. That made the difference. 

I’m working at this conversation. It would be easier if I came at an earlier hour when I’m more up. But I needed that energy to do the ADL (the activities of daily living). Being so cold and dark this morning, I did not go out with my skis. I was content to stay put, read and make soup. I was not content long, disturbed by the noisy snow blowing from next door. I was irritated and unsettled. John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar was not engaging me either. It got rather monotonous and boring. Looks like it’s just not mine opinion only according to ratings on Goodreads. I might just dump it. Why waste my time, eh?

Irritated, I pounded on the piano for awhile, getting out my frustrations. By then the sun had come out, shining full and bright. The sky was so blue and the snow so white. It was a totally inviting picture. I made up my mind that I was going skiing after lunch no matter the cold temperature. Besides there was no wind. It was my kind of day.

I was not disappointed. I had the guy drop me off at the park on his way to his boat building workshop. The park was a picture of perfect white beauty. School must be out for Christmas. No children around. Not a soul was seen. Just me, bundled up like an eskimo, walking on sticks. After making once around the park, I was limbered and faster, almost gliding along the track. You might think I knew how to ski. I was pumped coming off my skis at the end. Ok, I was panting a little, too. It was a little harder breathing through a mask, but it kept out the cold air. 

Now, it is day’s end. I am content with no angst or anxiety. The dining room table is still clear. I’m looking forward to the morning and another day.


December 13. 8:30 am. -13℃ and dropping as the day progresses to a low of -21℃. It is as dark as can be. I am feeling amazingly well. I do generally feel better in the morning and my energy and spirit drop as the day progresses, much like today’s temperature. Anxiety starts to creep in between 4 and 5 o’clock. I’m taking advantage of this morning’s good fortune. So here I am, tapping away.

As you may have noticed, I am somewhat partial to Labrador Retrievers. They are beyond adorable. I’ve been saving their photos from Instagram, especially the puppies. This morning I got an itch to draw. Since I’ve signed up for a drawing class in January, I thought I would start practicing and do one every day. Here’s the first cutie pie.

Last week I found my sketch book of 100 day drawing challange. I don’t know why I stop drawing and doing blind contours. They look like so much fun and I thought they were pretty good. Here’s a sampling from the collection.

Now it is 10:20 am. Looks like the sun is a no show today. It’s still -13℃ and snowing. I’m sure the city set ski track in our neighbourhood park are covered. I will not venture out for my exercise. I will do my stretches, hula hoop and a few weights. I am very versatile. I’ve already gone up and down the stairs a few times this morning changing and laundering the bed linen. I’m killing 2 birds with one stone. Hopefully I’ve whittled my waistline a little and killed an ounce or two. A pound would be preferable.

This is it. I’m wrapping up. Have to check to see if the washing is done. AND I will clear my dining room table. Then prepare lunch.


Photo by Pixabay on

December 12. How time flies away on me. I am late getting to the page. It is harder to get the conversation started. As usual I haven’t tended to all the clutter on dining room table or my desk. My problem is now like an ingrown toenail. It’s a hard fix. I will break the record and not say I will get to it tomorrow like I do every night.

Sometimes I can’t win for trying. In the last day or so, I’ve chipped my chip-resistant earthenware Mason Cash mixing bowl and broke a glass. I did the laundry today. I thought I had gone through all the pockets but apparently not. When I opened the washing machine and pulled out the first item, it was all spotted with little white tuffs. Then I found the messy wet kleenex inside the rubber rim along with a whole pile of yuck. After cleaning it out, I put the laundry through a speed cycle and then the dryer. That did the trick. Only a few white tuffs.

Sometimes life is like that. It is heavy. I try not to take it personally or seriously. Let’s get serious and real. Sometimes there are no shortcuts. Not everything can be done virtually. Somethings are physical, hard and takes time. Like this post. I get ideas and thoughts. Unfortunately, they don’t write themselves. I have to park my butt and tap it out, word by word. It would be better if I had a daily set time. Life and my moods get in the way. I do my best and come to the page whenever I can. Sometimes I don’t make it.

This December has been more difficult than others. This year I am more cluttered than others. I am even having difficulty sweeping everything off the dining room table into a box. Now I have 2 boxes added to the mix. How can that be! Well, life can be like that. I shan’t fret about it. I’m on top of the other stuff. I got my car serviced Friday. The laundry is done today. I baked 6 loaves of bread yesterday. Meals are cooked and dishes done. I shovelled snow for my parents today. I exercised every day. Went skiing Saturday and Sunday and to exercise class this morning. That’s a whole pile of stuff. I will try to sweep everything into boxes tomorrow.


Photo by Pixabay on

December 6. Good evening. It is almost time to say good night. It’s still early enough. I have time to tap a few thoughts. Getting started is a bit tricky. We’ve just finished watching Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in It’s Complicated, a romantic comedy. It’s very funny, entertaining and worth watching. An added bonus is Steve Martin. The night before, we watched him and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles – another comedy! That’s a record for me, 2 comedies back to back. They’re good for my mental health. I think that’s what I must do for this darkest month of the year.

Taking these 2 days off from my usual grind of exercise class, walks and skis have been good for me. It’s extremely cold today. The low was -37℃, the high -22℃. It’s a good day to stay home and huddle. I think I will take this whole week off. It can be a vacation, a retreat and a home spa. Who says you need to physically travel distances for it to be exciting and rewarding?

When it gets this cold, it is usually sunny. And so it was. The sunroom was so warm and beautiful in the morning, I couldn’t leave it. I just lounged and read. At times I felt I was wasting time. I endured it. The feeling passed and I started to feel like I was ‘getting back to normal’, that sense of normal when I wasn’t caught up in all the technology, of pushing ENTER and getting an immediate result. I felt I had time. I had time to think, observe and really feel all the things happening around me. I don’t want to push a button to get an immediate result. I want to do the work, one step at a time. It was a good feeling, not feeling squished, pushed for time.

December 8. It’s almost the supper hour, if the roast would cook faster. In the space of 2 days, our temperature has risen to -12℃ from -37℃. I wonder how our bodies process the rapid rise and fall of temperatures and barometric pressures. I know I am not a happy camper with the ups and downs. With the climate change we’re experiencing, I guess I can look forward to lots of ups and downs with my physical and mental well being this winter. My radar is on red alert. I am taking care and taking it easy on myself. No need to beat myself up. The weather is doing that for me. I don’t sleep as well some nights. I can feel my bones and joints hurting more. Then there’s my mood. It can turn on a dime. There’s nothing I can do about the weather but I can change myself. Now that I am so well acquainted with myself and the weather I am in control. Here’s what I do to stay sane and alive.

  • 20 minute sitting meditation with Mark Williams on YouTube in the morning.
  • do stretches morning and bedtime.
  • weaning myself off electronics.
  • take a mini vacation from my usual routines.
  • get fresh air and sunshine out of doors most days -walks/ski.
  • read.
  • write.
  • play the piano.
  • listen to music.
  • cook and bake.
  • do whatever makes me feel good.

There! I think that’s a pretty good list. I hope I am making sense. I find life extremely hard. I get a little wonky and down in the mouth sometimes. Depression is just a very small part of who I am. I am also made of anxiety, worry, joy, contentment, excitement….I am a kaleidscope of emotions. We all are. It’s all a matter of how to handle each and every one – and to accept them all and have no shame.


Dec. 4. Good evening. It’s another day. My happy feelings have disappeared, leaving me feeling like a hoax, a liar and a failure. However, I am here, showing up rain or shine, in good times and bad. I heard somewhere that feelings are not real but they sure can feel bad. I shall see if I can tap dance them away.

My weakness is that though I know better, I tread where I shouldn’t. I am a truth seeker. Being such it is hard to dance around the edges, hoping for the best and not wanting to know. Now that I know more, I am not feeling better for it. But so what? I’ll live and tomorrow will be a better day. There’s always consequences to any action we take.

It’s December. It’s the darkest month of the year. Christmas is 3 weeks away. People are shopping and decorating. I envy them their joy. Christmas has not worked for me for quite a few years now. I miss and grieve for the joy and reverence I once had. Moments like this, I miss Sheba the most. She was always next to me with her soft animal body.

I’m feeling a tad better now that I’ve cried onto the page. Feelings are deceptive sometimes. Maybe it is just my SAD (Season Affective Disorder) talking. Or maybe it is just the weather. We were having -30℃ weather a few days ago. Then today we had a balmy -3℃. If I can blame the weather or a disorder, I’ll take it. It’s better than blaming myself.

Life is just a little weird and wonky nowadays. I shouldn’t take everything so seriously. I should lighten up, relax and be a little wonky myself. I would probably feel better.


Day 29 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Tomorrow is the last day. I’ve had a full day baking bread and doing laundry. Baking bread always seems like a simple thing when I start out in the morning. You add, mix, let it sit, knead, yada yada. The steps and stages add up before you can get the loaves in the oven. By the time I’m finished everything, I felt like I’ve washed everything twice over. The loaves are chilling on the rack. I have yet to bag them and take them down to the freezer. I am feeling a little fatigued. Do I have it in me to talk about what where I’m heading after this challenge?

Since I don’t have a business to promote, I will take a rest from my daily tapping. I’ve had a good run this November. I’ve missed 2 or 3 days. It’s good to be flexible and not to be obsessive. When the going gets tough, it is ok to step off. There is no point in forcing. This is not a race. I am learning a bunch of stuff this month and that is one of them. We have a wealth of knowledge among the group. Mary Elizabeth O’Tool’s posts on minimalism gave me a push to get started. Florence Callender’s posts on dyslexia are a great help and encouragement. I’m working better at slowing down and concentrating. So I will probably be back on my keyboard in January.

December is a good month to slow the pace and hunker down. I am looking forward to joining in Susannah Conways’s December Reflection on Instagram. It’s right up my alley, posting a photo/day to a word prompt. It’s how a see things – words and pictures. It’s a wonderful way of easing into the holidays. It’s probably not a popular thing to say but I don’t do Christmas. It doesn’t work for me anymore. Not that it did before but now I’ve dropped the facade. I don’t miss the rushing around looking for perfect gifts Christmas Eve. And I am not so sure about the meaning and spirit of Christmas. Shouldn’t it be like that all year long – the kindness, generosity, celebrations, family time, friendships, goodwill to all men..?

In January I’m taking an in person watercolour art class. That will give me something to write about. I hope I won’t get too frustrated listening to directions and taking steps on how to’s. Mostly I’ve been winging it. Sometimes I don’t even use a palette. I took a quilt class a long time ago. The instructor was very fussy. You had to cut, sew and iron precisely. I found it quite stressful and had to do some yoga before I went. But I did end up with a beautiful sampler quilt. I’m hoping I’ll paint some beautiful watercolours. I think the class goes into February. By then the days will be getting longer. The greenhouse will be warming up. I’ll be starting seedlings and maybe planting. I won’t be lacking for things to do. I’m also hoping for lots of snow so we can cross country ski all winter long into March.


December days can be murderous on humour and well being, especially for one such as I. Add Sheba’s pesky afternoon shenanigans to the mix and I want to scream and pull my hair out. My hair is thinning so that stops me. What’s so bad about December days? Well, let me tell you.

In November, it snowed just about every other day. That was fine. The snow lit up the grey. It made everything look bright and clean. No dirt to track in. Come December a warm front came. The snow went but enough left to freeze over, making it treacherous and difficult for our walks. Ugh! Now the cold came back. No snow. We are still left with grey and ice to navigate on. Double UGH!

Egads! Days like today set me on edge. Everything is difficult. Everything gets on my nerve. Sheba on my heels continuously. Her hair everywhere it seems. Then there’s all my clutter. Everything seems to go wrong. Trying to work on a painting, I picked up my spray bottle to wet the paint. It comes apart. The bottom falls off. Water falls out. The bottom cracks. More water on the floor. Nothing to do but retrieve the bottle, mop up the floor and give a great big sigh. No LOL – laughing out loud.

What do you do when life hands you lemons? Make lemonade, of course. In this case, I’m not sure what to make. I am sure everything would turn into lemons. Best course of action is to lay low. The day is almost done. I can do like Scarlett. After all, tomorrow is another day.



December can be dangerous – for me at least. The days are shorter, the nights infinitely long. Then there’s the snow. Just when you’ve adjusted to it and the cold, a warm front comes along. The snow melts. You welcome the not shivering and bundling up but the world is grey and muddy. I find myself longing for the snow to clean and lighten my world.

Christmas comes along to add to the challenge. “Tis the season to be jolly. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. I was born serious and quiet. I was never jolly. It does make me feel obliged to go ho, ho, ho! I still have this bad little girl feeling inside.  I’m so serious and somber. I was criticized by those ‘aunties’ in China when I was a child. She speaks so little, they would say to my mother. That was how I was. How can I unbecome myself?

The answer came later in my young adulthood. I became a nurse. It was not to help mankind. My motive was I was bored working as a steno in a large office. I was searching for another career, one that would help me get over my quiet/shyness. A hospital would fill all my criteria. It answered all my wildest dreams – in a sense. I certainly developed a gift for chatter and a backbone for sure. Then there’s the anxiety.  We won’t speak about that today but it has gone. Thank goodness and knock on wood.

There are so many landmines in December. Even my iPhone is intent on tripping me up. No Internet connection, it tells me. Can’t use Google Map. I think I can find my way. How hard can it be when it’s only 13 minutes away. I’ve been there a few times already. I was wrong! My 13 minutes turned out to 30 minutes. But I got to see the countryside, blue skies, red barns and horses. Maybe someone up there knew I needed to get out of the city if only for a little while.

What I know for sure is that I am lousy at directions. On not so copacetic days, my sense of direction is even worse. I can’t even get myself out of a wet paper bag. Getting lost is not a big deal. Google Map is a good friend. If the iPhone is malfunctioning, turn the power completely off. Then turn it back on and it will work like a charm. It redirected me back on course. I have to give myself a pat on the back for persevering with my day, following through with my errands. I could very well have thrown up my hands and abandon ship.

On some Decembers days, my head is thicker and my fuse is shorter. It’s good to see myself reflected in the glass doors/walls I walk by. Not only did I get lost hopelessly going to Costco, but I didn’t realize I was pushing 2 shopping carts as one. The Costco greeter asked: Do you need 2 carts? Well, no. We had a good laugh and so did another customer.

All’s well that ends well. I have to echo Mr. William Shakespeare. I ended my adventures for the day at one of my favourite spots on 8th Street – A & W. The bright colours and big windows reflect comfort, ease and cheerfulness. Seeing the orange/gold orbs hanging down, I felt a Fa-la-la-la-la rumbling deep within. And maybe a ho! or two.