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.


No matter how I feel, I get up, dress up and show up has been my mantra for a couple of years now. Getting up and dressing up are not difficult any more. However, showing up is. The more I don’t make a showing, the harder it is to do so. Blue skies are here again but my blues haven’t quite lifted. Maybe they never will completely. Maybe I should not obsesse about my moods so much. I should live and let live.

Easier said than done. Everything takes a huge amount of effort and energy. At least I find it so. Each night I go to bed thinking of all the things I want to do the next day. With each morning, I fall into ‘after my cup of tea, breakfast, read this and that’. Then I will begin. Before I know it, it is almost lunch time and I have to bring out the pots and pans. I go on the same merry-go-round – again. Does this sound familiar?

I’m living Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. I am ashamed of myself. I am not living up to my expectations and certainly not my potential. But at least I am showing up here today. I am trying. I’ve gotten over my bluer than blue mood. I am not so overwhelmed with grief for our burning planet. I am just being with the awareness, accepting and going forward with my best foot forward.

I try to count my blessings. I am taking an inventory of our garden and harvest. Considering the extremes and weirdness of our summer, we’ve done well.  Even with the heat and lack of rain the garden have given me 11 spaghetti and 10 butternut squashes and tons of Swedish beans. Isn’t that amazing? Considering I had a summer cold for a month, I was able to put in a full garden. True not everything did as well as the squashes and beans. But there was lettuce and spinach for salads. We had broccoli for a few meals, and enough snow peas for stir fries. Enough kohlrabi to make up for not so many tomatoes. Then there’s the chili peppers and……..

I’m rambling on and on. The sentences running into each other. The grammar something else. The words might not be making sense. I better call it quits. Till tomorrow then.


IMG_1262I’m back from the woods again. I can feel the vibrations of busyness as I enter the city limits – the hum of electricity and traffic. I can smell the aroma of fast food and concrete along Idylwyld Drive. The quiet and coolness of the woods are left far behind – along with the sweet scent of spruce pine needles.

Still, I am happy to be amid all of this.  It is good to feel the life force that drives the city. It ables me to appreciate the serenity of the country.  In its quietness, Sheba’s excited bark cuts and reverberates through the air as she chases squirrels up the trees. There is no sweeter sound than the quiet.

I can be happy in or out of the woods.  Too much of either makes me sing the blues. Life can get equally crazy and unbalanced out in the ‘wilderness’ as well as in the city. The big ‘cabins’ with their satellite dishes, green lawns, boats moored at the ends of long docks, etc. give testimony that the simple life is not so simple.  They are extensions. It is hard impossible to get away from all the stuff – the wants gnawing inside ourselves.

IMG_6846Am I any different?  I like to think so.  Maybe I am naive, unwilling to admit to my own cravings.  I am just human after all.  I am not immune.  It is good to ‘get away’, back home to familiarity, to sit and let things be, to be grounded, to tend to my inner as well as my outer garden – to care for my ‘self’. I am loving and honouring myself as Sandra Ingerman advises in her September Transmutation Newsletter. 

IMG_1178I am happy and content to be here in this moment.  Happiness is portable.  It travels with me – in and out of the woods.  I am cleaning and weeding my inner and outer world.  It is so exciting.  I tap, tap like a woodpecker on my keyboard.  The empty screen fills with my words, thoughts and pictures.  Amazing! I see the building of my life story before my eyes. My hands are my tools.

Life is good in or out of the woods.  Where are you now?






standing with tomatoesI think retirement has been good for me.  A year later, I am standing slightly straighter, my smile more relaxed, albeit goofy.  I’m working on being natural and ‘me’.  My vegetable beds look awesome, don’t they?  I’m slowly excavating and recovering the lost parts of myself – my core, my hard drive.

I wonder if I have been suffering from what they call ‘compassion burn out’.  I do not miss work at all nor have any desire to revisit my place of employment of 34 some years.  It is strange and troubles me sometimes.  Does my work have so little meaning?  I feel cynical and sarcastic at different times.

I thought I would be tapping out story after story of my life as a nurse.  There were many stories over the years, some funny, some not.  You could count on plenty of drama. There was always plenty of poop if not blood and gore.  My blog was set up, BUT the words and stories were slow to come. My memory went blank. My mind fled the scene.

27097_321356195886_8251743_nNow the blog sits abandoned like an unfinished house, waiting for the contractor to return.  Its few posts are still standing, bravely holding the space till the once-upon-a- nurse returns to tell her tales.  Will she?  Can she – recover her nursing cap and pin?  Can her fingers tap out the medical history?  Only time can tell.

clearingMeanwhile she is busy clear cutting the under/over growth of her life.  Woolly and wild things can take over when you are busy slinging bedpans and saving lives.  Now the weeds are being machete-ed.  There are clearings in her forest.  She can breathe.  She can almost think again.  She has resuscitated herself.

The bread is rising, the flowers are blooming, the guy is tinkering in the garage.  Sheba is keeping a close eye on him.

She is tap, tapping out her history.


IMG_0303Today is full of sunshine and promise of things to come.  It looks like spring could spring into action any day now!  It is time to think about my garden.  How well it grows depends very much on how I tend it.

Will I have the patience and the consistency of maintaining it regularly – the watering, fertilizing and weeding throughout the season?  Will I succumb to the setback of cooler than usual temperatures, bugs, and weeds?  It’s a challenge all right.

Last year’s garden started out on a bright and green foot as you can tell by the picture.  In the end, it was not so great.  We got little for our harvest in the fall.  But still – we had some fresh vegetables for the table.

It does no good to be discouraged.  One has to have heart in life.  I will tend to my thoughts as I will for the garden.  I will be conscious of those nettles in the brain as well as those in the vegetable patch.  They can take over if you don’t pay attention.  Learn from the past mistakes and move on.  Harvest and be thankful for whatever you can reap.


The sun is out in all its glory this morning.  It is the 27th of August.  Fall is in the air, but it has been a wonderful summer, even with the weather’s unpredictability…..even with all the rain and the ever-present lake in the back alley.

Believe it or not, the City of Saskatoon does listen to its citizens.  And now the lake is no more even after an all-day rain.  I will have to send them another email…one of thank you, for a job well done.

Our garden started off slowly and pitifully.  The lettuce got crowded by the cress.  The beans didn’t show and the peas were sparse.  The radish didn’t radish.  Neither did the kohlrabi and broccoli.  And I wondered if we will get any tomatoes.  Even the sweet pea failed us.  Oh well!  It did look good, lush and green.  Who knew there was hardly anything edible?

But surprise, surprise!  It was not a total failure.  Yesterday I discovered the broccoli did brocc’ed.  I found enough to serve us a meal. There was also a kohlrabi even though it was small and old.  The beans took after a second planting and we’ve had a few meals.  The carrots came, but not enough to satisfy Sheba.  I found a couple of cherry tomatoes turning reddish, too.

So, all in all, the garden is like all of life.  Some things turn out and some didn’t.  Best to make notes for next year.  Learn from our mistakes.  Do more of what works.  Take pride in our labours.  Enjoy the sunrises and sunsets.  Give thanks to the Universe.