January 21, day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I can’t say that I am one with the Universe though I am feeling better today. No headache and my eye is feeling better. It did caused me a bit of concern yesterday. That happens when you get a jab with a stick because you weren’t paying attention. Good thing I have experience as a nurse and past similar mishaps. I didn’t run off like a jack rabbit for medical attention though that’s what they tell you. I assessed and treated myself first. There was no need for the doctor at the moment. Sometimes I stressed myself more catastrophizing. Then there’s energy and time spent needlessly.

I was surprised at how calm I was. I was remembering all the Bruce Lipton videos I have watched. I have had the habit of accumulating information and material. The trouble is I forget to put them to use until now. It matters not how much smarts a person has if they don’t use any of it. No use just hoarding. In this case, you do lose it if you don’t use it. It is just a habit. I don’t need 50 ways of solving a problem. I can try with one or two first. Start small. Then build on it. I have to remember this one. Use what I got. I already have and know a lot of stuff. I don’t need to search, google, take another course, taken another summit of how to. I don’t have to buy more sewing and art supplies. I already have binfuls. I think it’s my way of procrastinating and avoidance. Like Caroline Myss would say, STOP IT.

January 22, day 22 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am living my words. I can’t do everything. I am doing small. But I am not throwing out the baby with the bath water. I am still here, tapping away. I haven’t shown up every day. I haven’t posted every day, but I am still posting. I am still working on and participating. I am tired for sure. I had a 2½ hour watercolour art class this morning from 10-12:30. Painting is supposed to be therapeutic and relaxing. It is not at all when you are learning a new medium. I am, instead, tensed and exhausted like a wound up spinning top. It’s good to sit, sip and tap to loosen my muscles.

Watercolour Class – Still Life study

I would have loved a ski today. However, I am too tired. It is good that I can stop and not push myself. On the other hand I did buy more paints. It was on the advice of my instructor and the store had everything on sale at 25% off. Sooo…I’m being wise and flexible.


August 21 and day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m starting to sound like a broken record. It’s another busy day. I don’t think I can finish this post but I thought starting might give me some inspiration. I’ve been feeling extremely busy and tired. I gave myself a pass from my aerobics class on Wednesday and Friday but I swam this morning. I rarely miss my Saturday morning swim knowing that the water always make me feel better. Most Saturdays I have the pool to myself. I had to share with another today.

Guess what? It is August 22 and day 22 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is raining in Saskatoon. I feel exquisitely tired, achy and grateful. It is not the best timing for rain for the farmers but I am sure we are all thankful for it. It’s not like we have a say in the when. And the yard and plants look beautiful in grey mist.

I like to stand inside the greenhouse (there is no place to sit) and just breathe in the sweet fragrance of the bitter melon. It’s especially restful on a rainy morning. My tiredness, aches and pains seem to ease in the warmth and breath of this living atmosphere.

I have 3 bitter melons on the grow, the third one just a baby. I hope it grows up. I disturbed the petals while trying to pollinate it. A couple of petals fell off.

Autumn is certainly in the air. Winter will be upon us before I am ready for it. The thermal rock wall is almost finished. It is used to moderate the temperature inside. It will absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it at night. I still have lots of growing things inside that’s taking up space – the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants not to mention the cucumbers which are still very productive. I have to think about finding space for and how to start a winter crop. Maybe tomorrow. And you know what they say about tomorrow. Maybe I can prove them wrong.


I am so happy that the dishes are done and I’m finally sitting down. Happy, too, that the weather is warming up and the sun is out. It is almost 4 pm and I am pooped on this 22nd day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I realize now that I’ve just gave out a very noisy sigh. Somehow that always makes me feel better. I’m alone at the moment. Sometimes I forget and do it in public. I would get a few chuckles. So no problem, eh?

Now that I have an opening, how shall I proceed? I always thought I was an active person. People seem to think I do alot because I garden and have lots of other hobbies. I also used to go to an aerobic class 3 times a week and swim every Saturday morning before Covid. That only took an hour or two counting travelling time. Then there’s the rest of the day in which I’m sedentary. Now I don’t even have that hour Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I’m trying to rectify it by keeping in motion and not being such a couch potato.

I used to hate having going downstairs so I would try to line up jobs so that I would go down just once or twice. Now I think of it as an opportunity to move and work off some fat. Change my thoughts, change my life. Wayne Dyer would be so proud of me. I have the book on my bookshelf but I haven’t read it. It’s been there for a number of years. I have so many bad habits but I’m working on changing them. It’s not easy but I’m not sweating it. I’ll work on one small thing a day.

Today I worked on being in motion more. I did my 20 minute sitting meditation with my morning tea. Then I got up and put away last night’s supper dishes drying on the rack. I fed Oscar, my sourdough starter. The guy likes to linger over his morning coffee before breakfast, so I did my qigong routine. After breakfast, I tended to the garden beds, taking some of the covers over the plants. Then they would have to be folded and put away. In my other life, I would just drop them somewhere, wherever. I’m trying to correct my sloppiness also.

All this correcting takes more time, of course. I try not to feel resentful about it. It is actually helping me in having more time in the long run. You see, I’m thinking differently. It didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken me a long, long time to get here. And I’m really, really tired. I did some harvesting of my veggies this morning, cleaned and chopped, stir fried, made soup and did the dishes. I think I’ve earned the couch now. No, wait! I better do my hula hoop and other exercises. It’s a short routine. Doing something different can get rid of fatigue.


It’s not a good idea to come to the keyboard at the end of the day. Nevertheless it is what it is. I’m here at the end of the day, tired and a little bluesy. I’m hoping for inspiration and a few worthwhile words. I’m thinking of skipping my Saturday morning swim. But I’ve packed my gear to be ready. There’s really no good reason for me not to go except that I’m feeling a bit maudlin. I get like that from time to time.

I have no good reason for it except that I’m a bit tired. AND I’ve absorbed some bad energy from my Sourdough Bread Baking Group on Facebook. I’m sure you’re scratching your head. How could that be  – from bread? Me, too, I’m scratching, but one comment led to another. You know how those online things could get. Out of control! So I turned off the notifications till the sourness is neutralized somehow. It seems I don’t have much protection against such energy. I have to build stronger walls.

Our exercise class this morning was a stations circuit workout. Our instructor set up different exercise ‘stations’ in the gym. We spend one minute doing an exercise. At the end of the minute, the instructor calls out ‘Change station!’ We move on to the next station and a different workout, and so on and on till the end. It’s a good system to ensure a well rounded workout. I think I could use this model of changing stations in my every day life.

I need to hear that signal that it is time to change my train of thought or emotions. Stop dwelling on things that doesn’t work. I could do anything that can interrupt or derail the train of thought or emotion. Whatever works – hula hoop, play with Sheba, plant some seeds, watch a video. Last January I made this video using CLIPS on my iphone. Watching it again now lifted my maudlin self. I want to go swimming in the morning. So ends day 17 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.


Good morning! My hair is standing on end. I feel stiff and awkward like a non functioning robot, but I am here. My fingers are poised over the keyboard, ready to tap. The exercise will loosen me up for the day. I’m used to sit in meditation with Mark Williams daily on YouTube. I’ve been doing it since July. It’s become a habit now. My body cries for the familiar posture. It’s a good way to kick start the day and my brain – to warm and fire up its cylinders. And if nothing else, I will have a strong core and good posture.  Let’s see if it worked.

I’m sputtering and stuttering a bit. What did I expect – smooth sailing? I’m still tired from the busyness of yesterday and trudging through the snow. I have never stalled and stopped completely – yet. Somehow I always manage to stoke the fire and keep going. Maybe I can have another cup of decaf. Maybe I can just sit here, enjoy the sunshine and watch the traffic on Preston Avenue. Would that be such a terrible thing – not doing or trying to get anywhere?

The sun disappeared while I was making my cuppa and unloading the dishwasher. Light and life are so fleeting. Here one minute, then it’s gone the next. Canada and I’m sure, the world, is still reeling over the the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752. All 176 passengers were killed. 68 of them were Canadians, mostly students and young professionals. Such a loss and tragedy and the why of it? Where are we going as a world? And will there be a world for the next generations to come?

I cannotmust not stay in the valley of the shadow. I must rise up above to do the best I can and know how. Perhaps that best is to take the slower train, savour the landscape and moments and have my coffee. Tomorrow is another day.


Sunday morning I heard and saw my spruce trees whispered to me as I stood by the window.  A feeling of calm and knowing came over me. Everything is going to be alright. The message became clearer later when I was watching Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. She was interviewing Shauna Niequist on her new book, Present Over Perfect. While I got over being impressed by Shauna in a hurry, her one sentence stayed with me. ‘Listen to your life.’

I have not been listening. I felt the danger of listening and hearing. I would then have to act on what it is that I’m hearing from me. There’s always this urge to run and run fast, stick my head under the pillow, put my fingers in my ears and go lalalalala! Catch me when you can. I think I’ve been caught. I don’t feel trapped. I’ve finally stop running. That is all. I’m out of breath, exhausted by my efforts. It doesn’t work anyways. Underneath the ignored knowing is all that unease fighting to get out.

I’ve been feeling all the fatigue, the aches and pains of futile efforts in this part of the year. Maybe it is January. Maybe it’s my SAD. Today I’ve given up and in to the struggle. I don’t have to keep a stiff upper lip. I am not British after all. I am allowing all my feelings their freedom. They have a right to be heard. All the emotions – sad, glad, mad, every shade, are part of the human equation. I suppose we all feel a sense of shame and failure when we can’t live up to our own expectations. I know I do.

Today I’m takings off my Wonder Woman costume. I’m tired of leaping over tall buildings and holding up the world. My shoulders are sore. My tiara and boots need polishing. My lasso needs repairing. I’m not young anymore either. There’s grey in my hair and crow’s feet around my eyes. I need to hang up my rescue gear alongside the nurse’s duty shoes. I need to rest in the retirement of my careers. Drop all that busyness of distraction. Listen to the spruce trees talk. Hear what my life is telling me. Rest in the nothing of the day. There is nothing that I have to do and nowhere that I have to go. I can hear the sound of my one hand clapping. It is my life calling.

                          Love After Love

The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 

all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life. 


Here I am. It’s tough to get going some days. The best tactic is not to sit too long. Get up and get going. It’s just what I did this morning. I got up and started stitching though I was still in my pjs. Absorbed in my task and listening to Waylon Jennings and the Platters took my mind off my physical aches and pains. ‘Resting’ offers no relief. I’ve learned to be useful at a slower pace. At the end of it, I have made something beautiful.

Creating is not always an enjoyable process. It involves taking things apart if I mess up. The hair was not right. The stitches too tight, pulling and puckering his head. His nose was too big and too long. It was in my face. Undoing his hair was murder. There were a lot of tight stitches. The nose was much easier. I can reconstruct it all again. It’s all in a day’s work. It’s teaching me about patience and not settling for good enough.

Writing this post is not easy. I’m constructing one painful sentence and paragraph at a time. Walking Sheba was another difficult thing. This grey weather is not conducive to have a passion for anything. But when I walk out the door, I was surprised to find it was not all that cold. I was surprised to see the broccoli in the garden is still green. I was surprised to find I do feel more expansive out of doors. Still…it was a trial to step along with Sheba.

Fatigue made me anxious to get the walk over and done with. But guilt kept me going the distance. I started to feel better as I walked. My aches eased and I straightened my spine. I looked over fences to see what’s on the other side. It was ok. We’re home again. I did a little more stitching and painted a little. Supper’s ate and my glass of wine is done. I’m done, too.



Why are the things we need to do the most prove to be the most difficult? Is it mental or physical? Most likely it’s a combination of both. Nothing is clear cut however much we long for simplicity. My body was clearly crying out for relief this morning. My neck and other body parts were stiff and sore from sleeping crooked. My mind must have been, too. It wasn’t commanding enough to make the body get down on the floor for my stretching routine.

Instead, I did the qigong routine from the DVD QIQONG for beginners by Francesco Garripoli and Daisy Lee. I have done it often enough that I know the 18 exercises without the dvd. It’s a good standby when mind and body are tired and out of sync. The moves are stronger than their gentleness imply. Their glue is long lasting. After all this time, I still have the moves. I will let them ease the aches and pains. Let them coax me into some productivity today. When I can’t get down, I do standing up. There’s always an alternative. When you can’t do more, do a little less. Less is always more than none.

I haven’t been looking forward to walks with Sheba these days. We went anyways. It was sunny but chilly. The streets and alleys are still a nightmare. They’re icy and slippery with puddles of water in between. In the back alleys, it is like walking on glass shards in places. I was happy to have my walking stick with me. I’m delighted to be back sipping my cuppa tea and eating one of my sister’s Easter buns. I feel like another but I must restrain myself. Let the first one digest and fill my tummy. I have to learn how to make them myself now that I’ve mastered breadmaking. Expand my horizon, why don’t I?

I must finish my tea, fold some laundry and put them away. I’m catching on to the fad of dealing with things and not letting them pile up. It’s working quite well. After Easter supper with the family last night, we cleaned and put everything away. The table cloths got whipped off and laundered with the dishcloths. The table leaves taken out and put away along with the extra chairs. It’s best not to think too much and just do.

I’m tickled that I got enough muster to start my tapping. It’s the second day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It was too much of a challenge yesterday to write. I was caught up in cooking the Easter turkey according to Chef John. I thought I should concentrate on making it a success seeing as 7 other people were coming for supper. I must confess that it turned out quite well. It helped that it was a Butterball turkey. Did you know that a Butterball turkey does not contain butter inside? It’s just a brand name. Perhaps it’s best not to google for too much information. Somewhere in my google, I came across info maybe their turkey is not ethically raised. So I must stop here and go fold the laundry.






Funny how the weather can affect my body. My mind is delighted with the bright sunshine. My physical body is voicing its displeasure. The whole of me hurts as if I’m being fried alive. It doesn’t feel any better ‘resting’ so I try to move and do my stuff as best I can. Prepping a cloth square for free motion sewing takes my mind off the pain.  No point sitting and suffering. I might as well spot clean messy areas that bug me – the bathroom and the backdoor mats.

I’m reaping the reward of ‘keeping up’. On days like this, I can afford to ‘slack off’/take it a bit easier. I’m getting the hang of living life block by block, being Steady Eddy. No more burning the candle at both ends, then die sputtering thereafter. The wind has whipped up. It is chilling. I’m not hankering on taking Sheba out for her walk. But I will – after I’ve sit a spell and tapped another sentence or two.

I have done well. I feel somewhat better after taking my parents to the library, then coffee. My mother still likes to read and learn about everything. My father likes the outing. It was an easy thing for me to do for them. It didn’t feel that way before I went. But once I start, I had to keep going. The outing broke up my fatigue and discomforts. Now, to bundle up against the wind and take the dog out. The exercise will do us good.

We’re back. The wind was not bad with my hood up. The walk eased the ache in my back and hips. It’s like getting a lube job. It’s true what they say. If you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it. I’m feeling delicious now, sipping a cuppa and eating a sweet Chinese pastry. One doesn’t feel quite enough, but I will refrain. Tomorrow is another day. Stretching out the goodness.


Thank God for packaged cooked food ! Even though they are made with Italian herbs and spices, they are not as savory as their write up. They are rather flat, but on days like today I’m grateful for them. I can just pour the meatballs onto a baking sheet, put it into the hot oven and voilà – lunch in 15 minutes. I just add a salad and warm up some leftover rice.

The morning is cold. Sheba is pesky and underfoot because she didn’t get her morning walk. She makes us pay. We will bundle up after lunch and go to the dog park. I am not 100% but it is easier to let her run, off leash. By then the temperature will be more reasonable. For now, I am enjoying a little quiet and a cup of chamomile tea before turning the oven on. That extra heat will be welcomed.

Though my fatigue is less, I can’t seem to get warm enough. Once I get sick, it takes me a long time to recover. But I’m thankful my symptons are mild this time. I’m prone to respiratory ailments probably due to my congenital undeveloped frontal sinuses. I’ve learned to live with the condition better over the years. What is important for me is clean moist air. It has been over 3 years since I’ve been really sick. I’m grateful but it’s still an irritation not to have the energy of an EverReady Bunny. I have so many things I want to do.

It’s a good thing, my ever present desire to do. I mustn’t knock myself but learn to temper it to a healthy level. It was not a hard thing to do today. I have that desire to pamper myself a little on such a cold morning. I crossed exercise class off my list. Really, I have no energy to huff and puff, on and off the step. I had pushed myself too hard the previous weeks working at a level of 9 out of 10. 8 is well good enough. In a while after a rest, Sheba and I will try to do 2 rounds at the park. That is exercise enough for today.