It’s a cool cloudy foggy/smoky August 23rd. Yikes! Summer is almost over. It certainly feels like autumn this morning. My body and mind are certainly confused by our sudden dips and climbs in temperature. It was only 2 days ago that we had been having blistering hot 30+℃ temperatures. I was at our community garden watering our plot in the heat of the afternoon. I was careful to don my big brim hat and long sleeved work shirt. I harvested a few tomatoes, a cabbage and my Georgian Candy squash. The Georgian Candy was new to me. I was attracted by the description as ‘heirloom’ in the seed catalogue. There was no picture of it. I had expected it to look like a squash. I was pleasantly surprised by its unusual appearance.

August 31. It seems like a long while since I was here but it was only 8 days ago. I left without finishing the conversation. I don’t know if I can pick up where I left off. I feel bereft of words, desire and ambition of late. I don’t know how to get them back. Nothing seems important any more. I feel somewhat jaded. I’m kept afloat by good habits I’ve developed over the years. I guess I do have some cares yet. I’m just tired by the heat. Today is hot as hell.

Sept. 8. Darn, another 8 days have passed. Much has happened in my silence. The Queen died today. I can’t say that I am emotional about it but I have to say she was a great dame. She worked and performed well right to the end. It is really quite remarkable. And now Charles will get to be king. He is the King. And Camilla is named Queen Consort with Elizabeth’s blessings. How wonderful is that? Meanwhile in the Commonwealth of Canada and in our province of Saskatchewan, all have not been well. We are reeling from a Labour Day weekend of violence and deaths. True, it did not happen to me or many personally but I am sure we all are affected. ‘What is in one is in the whole.’ Words by Caroline Myss.

Sept. 9th. I think I am losing my memory and a lot of my mojos. I’ve been late paying my bills the last couple of months and finding my words and the love of them are a bit difficult. I hope what we all fear the most is not on the horizon – dementia. There! I’ve said it out loud. I will have to pay more attention and be more present. I’ve been distracted in many directions.

Sept. 10th. My mind and memory are not any sharper today. I’m one day ahead of myself, thinking today is the 11th until I was alerted otherwise by Facebook. Egad! I am in a muddle, having just come back picking up my prescription from a new pharmacy. Even with Googles map and been there once, I got lost. We don’t have too many roundabouts in Saskatoon. I don’t have to navigate one too often. When I do, I get into a dither about exits. As a result, I keep exiting from the wrong one. Thus I’m directed back by Google and spent many minutes driving round and round. I’m trying hard not to waste more time and energy distressing about it. It is what it is.

I still haven’t got all my bills straightened straightened out but have set up a monthly alert to pay them. My big ones are taken care of so late fees on remaining ones will be minimal. I am at least prioritizing. I was hoping to do some tomato saucing today but it took me longer to vacuum the floors than I had planned. I will close out here, get the dishes out of the way and head outside to harvest more tomatoes and cleared up some of the beds. It will give me a sense of accomplishment. I will do better tomorrow and tomorrow after that. I need to pull myself up by the bootstrap. My inner and outer chaos is driving me crazy.


A very warm welcome back to my writing space. Today is day 4 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. If we were having coffee together, what will we talk about? Writing/living consciously and intentionally is very hard work. I was exhausted after yesterday’s effort. You see I used to write/live by the seat of my pants. It worked and is desirable for a coffee conversation but not optimum if I want to write a book/my memoir or ‘get ahead in life.’ I’ve had to adjust my aim/goals accordingly. Instead of writing that book, I’ve settled for writing this blog. I’ve settled doing UBC instead of the NaNoWriMo because how can I possibly write 50,000 words in 30 days?

I’ve settled for things because it is easier. It was not an intentional thought or action but rather just going with the flow. I have done ok – a successful career and life. It was good enough was my often, much used retort. It was good enough BUT I could do better. It’s never too late. Now is the perfect moment. I’m inspired by a story I’ve just come across. It’s about a woman who climbed El Capitan on her 70th birthday. She took up mountain climbing at age 60. Then I found the story of the oldest man who climbed the same mountain, 81 year old Gerry Bloch. You’re never too old.

I’m not going to take up mountain climbing, bungee jumping or even downhill skiing. Taking up cross country skiing last year was exciting enough for me. I am happy to recognize and accept my limits. I don’t have to be the oldest daredevil on the steep slopes. If I can coast down the snowy bumps in our local park without falling, it’s more than good enough. I fell down and up the bumps alot last winter. There’s lots of room for improvement. A few weeks ago I bought an all new ski package – boots, poles and no wax skis. Tomorrow I hope to get snow pants from Amazon. I am ready to get better- when the snow comes.

If we were having coffee, the words would come alot easier. I have no end of things to talk about. I was a nurse for over 30 years so I’ve talked alot to many people. I got good at talking about nothing in those years. My dream when I graduated from high school was to become an artist. Everybody told me I was good at it. My grade one teacher told my dad that even before I learned how to speak English. I believed everyone so I majored in fine arts at university. No one told me I had to work at it. I thought if I was really good, I could whip out creations. That didn’t happen so I dropped out and settled for being a nurse. It was no picnic either but difference was I stayed and worked at it and just talked about my old dream. My claim to fame was having taken classes taught by notable artists like Dorothy Perehudoff, Bill Epp and Hans Herold.

I’ve lost my whole portfolio of drawings from Dorothy’s class and the sculptures from Bill Epp’s. I have only one painting I did in Hans Herold’s class. It is my best and favourite. It is of my two young cousins sitting in a field of daffodils in Central Park. I had another one of a small country church. I gave it to my dance instructor at Arthur Murray so many years ago.

It’s nice having this coffee and conversation. I hope you will drop by again tomorrow.


What strange times we are living in. It is almost straight out of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. It is the best of times, it is the worse of times. I hope the outcome is that it is also the age of wisdom. We have no one person or country to blame. We are all in this together, whether it is by duplicity or complacency. We are in an upheaval. This is our French Revolution. It is unprecedented times.

It is a bit frightening. It does not make me want to take note. I still don’t like to take my head out of the sand. But I’ve finally all grown up. I come out and take a look around. I am learning to see how things as they are and not how I would like them to be. It’s a steep learning curve to take my personal emotions out of the equation. But I am getting it. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Enlightenment does not always bring gratification. Sometimes it brings regret – of wasted time and energy. Gratification comes much later.

I have been showing up less here on the page. I feel a reluctance to put down the words. I am also feeling an upheaval within, a change, a revolution. They are hard to articulate. I am sitting, feeling and savouring them for awhile. I am giving them and myself time to evolve and develop. I don’t want to sabotage the outcome as I have many times in the past. Meanwhile I’m trying to live each day, be my own person as best as I can.

I am still working on Stephanie Bennett Vogt’s A Year to Clear. I have faltered a little here and there but always try to get back on track. It is easy to do one little thing a day on hard days. When things flow I do more. I guess that’s what going with the flow means. There’s no point wasting energy fighting myself. I’ve learned to put that energy to better use. I have given up growing lettuce in these winter months in the greenhouse and the sunroom for the same reason. There is not enough sunlight. It is a season to rest from the planting, growing and harvest of the preceding months. It is the time to get ready for spring and start the cycles again.

We are still in the midst of Covid-19. It will not be over soon. We are locked in, psychological if not physically. I’m beginning to feel much like Dickens’ characters, Charles Darnay or Dr. Mannette locked in jail. I worry about my mental and emotional well being. It is good to have projects and challenges to work on. This is a gift of time. I shall put it to good use. The days are slowly getting longer. In a few weeks I can think about starting a few bedding plants. This is the best of time to do different, to do better, to reinvent our lives and our world.


August 1, another Saturday. 10 weeks since Sheba’s left this world. Time and life seem strange in this Covid-19 times. Perhaps we are more alert, paying more attention to what is here now. No more Saturday morning swims for this year. I can go swimming on weekdays. I have to book a week ahead. Only 8 people allow in the pool at a time for lane swimming. I will wait for now. There’s my morning bike rides and work in the gardens. Today I am working on decluttering my head and my desks.

I’m learning that everything takes time. What a surprise, eh? It’s already after 11 am. I’ve cleared off and dusted desktops and watered the plants. What a mess! I have to stop painting here or clean up right after. Ridding dried acrylic paint splashes on the iMac, glass surfaces and everything else is a chore. And why can’t I clean my brushes right after instead of leaving them in the dirty water? So many bad habits. No wonder my brain is like scrambled eggs. All the paper stuff are in a big box – to be sorted later.

It is a new day and a new month. I get a new chance to do better. I’m making time to gather my thoughts and energy to take another step forward. Surprising how those aha moments come to light the way when I stop, breathe and have a look. All I get when I rush around is confusion and reaction. What I want is calmness and thoughtfulness. It will give me time to be aware of what is going on. Time well spent leads to life well lived.

As you can see, I haven’t been rushing around. It is Monday night and I’m still working on this post. I wonder what happened to the rest of Saturday and Sunday. Well, at least my desk is still clean and somewhat orderly. I haven’t been here to mess it up. The truth is I’ve been caught up in Netflix’s TV series, Bloodline. I’ve been binge watching weekend nights. I’m up till 1 am. It’s no wonder I’m not too spry or impassioned to write.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s a break from my routine. A change is as good as a rest which is what I did this afternoon. I rested. I had a nap. I’ve been like an energized bunny all these years. I’m not fast but I’m doing something all the time. I seldom nap. I seldom do nothing. I’m always reading something. Mostly it is on my devices. My attention span will not allow me to hold a book for long. The things that happen when we scroll and scroll.

I’m adapting to life without the physical Sheba, without our walks and romps in the park. It’s ok. There are bike rides to the community garden. There’s the work in the yard and garden. I’m as busy as ever and she is always with me somehow. The house is easier to maintain. I don’t have to sweep and vacuum the floor every day. No more endless dog hair.

It’s getting late. I heard the pitter patter of a few raindrops. Then it stopped. I should stop, too. I’m calling an end to my useless mutterings.


It’s one step forward and three steps back.  That is the way it is, life in all its glory.  I have never known a time without struggles.

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I know that this is the voice of my seasonal affective disorder talking.  Funny I recognize it and yet I cannot rid the spell cast upon me.  I feel it in my very marrow.  I want to cast it out.  Out, damn spot out!  I’m sounding like Lady McBeth.  I hope I’m not going mad.

Perhaps I’m being melodramatic, the hidden actress in me coming out.  I should not be so weak and selfish, feeling only my own small discomforts.  But I canot deal with all that is out THERE – the Ebola in Africa, the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong, the violence of Isis…

The world is too much with us.  I feel small and helpless in its wake.  It does me no good to be crushed under its weight.  I turn off the television set.  It’s not healthy to go to bed with the images of health workers in white protective clothing, carrying away stretchers of bodies wrapped in white.  Let that not be the last image before I close my eyes for the night.

IMG_1501I sit for moments, drinking my hot water, watching Sheba sleep.  The remains of a stuffed toy by her face, front paws curled and tucked in – a sweeter image to take to sleep with me.  I get up, straightening up and folding the Hudson’s Bay blanket, picking up strayed napkins off the couch. I take my mug to the kitchen.

If I want to feel better, I have to do better.  If I want different, I have to do different.  I put away the few pots and pans left drying on the dish rack.  It would be nice to be greeted by order on the counter in the morning.  I move on to my office, clearing off my desk.  There is no reason why I am not able to do that.


It is morning.  After a little struggle getting to sleep, I have had a good sleep.  Good things come to those who try.  I wake up from a dream, remembering it vividly.

My hairdresser, Audrey comes home with me after work.  It is strange how I still remember her name.  I haven’t gone to her for over 20 years.  She gives me a perm at the kitchen table.  It takes 3 hours. I have no sense of her putting in the rollers but I remember the shampooing and rinsing.  She was using this small teacup to pour the warm water over my hair.

The teacup is my mother’s.  She had found it discarded somewhere and she wants it back. She’s always rescuing cups and napkins from eating out and reusing them again to pour cooking fat in and the napkins to wipe up messes.  She hates how wasteful and careless we are in regards to the environment.  So she does what she can.

My perm is done and Audrey calculates her time and worth.  I can’t see the number on the bill.  Dreams are like that – not clear nor complete.  It is a mish mash of this and that, much like Alice in Wonderland.  Somehow, my father is at my place and he is dusting my bookshelves.  That is most unlikely in real life.  His mother, my grandmother (now deceased) is the dream, too.  She is doing the dishes – another most unlikely.

The dream continues.  I see my gold shag carpet in the living room with the floral orange and brown sofa set.  Remember those?  Our family is suppose to go out for supper but some of the kids are sick.  It is called off.  A coworker pops into the dream.  I’m coughing up a storm in front of her, working up an excuse to phone in sick for the next day.  I’ve been retired for a year! And yet it follows me in sleep.  Not often, I’m happy to say.

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What stuff  dreams are made up of!  I wonder what it means.  Perhaps there are no meaning, hidden or unhidden.  Maybe it is just irritated dendrites firing and misfiring.  I shall just enjoy the mysteries of the dream and move on with the day.  The sun has just come out.  My Chai is strong and sweet.  Savouring life, valuing dreams.