A lovely sunny Saturday morning. I will try not to let it slip away on me by useless redundant thinking and scrolling through the Internet. I love the early morning light as it dances through the sunroom. First it is the faint orange glow of the sunrise. I look up to see if it isn’t the ceiling lights. It isn’t. It is as if I’m on a stage as I move through my qigong routine. Things are sharper and colours more vibrant. I am at ease. I watch as the light turns more golden and plays along the walls. Soon it is gone, to return later in the day.

I have to be present to catch these precious moments. It is the time of day when I am opened and freed from the cares and despairs of our modern world. It is a good time to fill myself with hope and optimism. This morning I am reading Larry Dossey’s The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things. The title speaks for itself and to me. I am a huge fan of the ordinary. I’ve experienced a few Eureka! moments already just in the first part of the book. I’m more awake to understand and question things as they are. So much for my wanting not to do these very things.

I might as well give up trying to fight myself. I am who I am. After all, my maternal grandfather was a teacher and principal. I believe I got my high principles, stubborness and stern nature from him. Like they say, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree even a generation removed. It’s hard to disregard your genes. It’s not as if I chose to be serious. I would much rather be gay and the-devil-may-care. I would  rather have fun than the way I am. A coworker once accused me of always reading ‘strange’ books. She called me ‘eccentric’. That’s the kind of family I come from. On my mother’s side, that is. When they get together, they talk about things that matter, family history, village history, the way of the world, health, what food to promote health and exercise.

I suppose we are an eccentric bunch. But it is all good stuff, don’t you think? We’re always thinking and learning on how to do things and live better. My mother continues to fine tune her soups for maximum benefit. She consults her book of soups for ingredients. What roots, what barks, what berries for this and that. It’s no wonder I am the way I am. Like mother, like daughter. I gotta like that.


It is strange how books find their way to me. It is as if they know that they hold the knowledge I’m seeking. You know I’m a serious girl. I’m always pondering about the universe and the meaning of life. I wonder about what is love and hope. Are they verbs or nouns? Can you hold them in your hands and examine their nature? If they’re verbs, how do you go about loving and hoping? Would you get anywheres hoping and loving? Or is it  just pining away?


I know I think too much. It would be good if I could lighten up and just live and be happy. Maybe I should heed one reader’s advice and ‘start filling a jar with notes of things you are happy for‘. And what would a gratitude list do? Don’t I have to do some other stuff besides? Is it not like Facebook’s rhetoric?  If you believe this, if you are my friend, etc. etc. copy and paste. What does copy and paste accomplish besides that and getting a whole bunch of people copying and pasting?

I know, all I am doing is asking more questions. I offer no answers. Putting the questions out there is valuable. They’re food for thought, stimulous. Wait, what about the books? you ask. Yes, the books. They’re the two latest ones I’ve read. Strange that they both landed on me at the same time. Both contained the answers I needed. The first one was Home by Toni Morrison. The second is Mercy by Jodi Picoult. Strange, how some books get ratings. I loved both books but Mercy got a lot of bad ratings. Perhaps the subject of mercy killing and a cheating husband doesn’t sit well with female readers. It sat very well with me. Made me look at love and forgiveness from many sides. Both book made me feel hopeful again. They’re both fiction but you know what they say about truth and fiction.



I’m a little late in getting up and dressing up today. I lingered a little longer over Sue Grafton’s G is for Gumshoe this morning. I had trouble putting it down. I love the book cover. I love the character, Kinsey Millhone. I fewl happy and secure in tagging along with her. I’m practicing discipline so I put it down. I went downstairs and hung up the laundry. Then I painted my index card for the 365 Something 2018 Challenge. I was in danger of abandoning it. I had given up on it for a little while. It’s that discipline thing. I completed day 179 this morning.

Then I had trouble wanting to fold up the dried linen. I stood there looking at it. There’s no use trying to understanding it. There’s no need in understanding it. I just have to do it and put it all away. And so I did. I know I am not the only person with such feelings. I can hear different conversations in my memory.

I don’t know why I don’t do it. I have the things for it. But I don’t do it. I don’t know why. I know I should do it but I don’t.” 

I can hear myself offering advice and suggestions of “Why don’t you try this? Why don’t you try that?”  I was never successful. Nobody ever took my advice/suggestions. I was left feeling pissed off most of the time. Now I’m seeing I’m as guilty as they are but I DO try. I have trouble with keeping it up.


Yesterday, I talked about metamorphosis. It’s only later that I realize it is kind of retarded for me to talk about it at my age. Do I have time left to morph? I am no spring chicken as they say. I am on a pension for crying out loud. I must be somewhat retarded. My head is still stuck in youth. I’m still thinking about when I grow up. I guess it is not a bad thing. I still have optimism. I have hope. I am still looking forward.

Today I am not quite as sleepy. The sun is out. Most of my ‘must dos’ are done. The rest of the day is just gravy/groovy.


So, I’ve let out my morning angst and shed my morning tears. I must feel and acknowledge my feelings of disappointments and sadness. I must give voice to what is in my heart. To deny myself and suppress all that is in me does me harm. I’ve lived too long in a world of taboos where you feel all the unspoken tensions. It’s like being in a vacuum. Can you hear the sound of one hand clapping? Do not disturb the shit. Now that the shit has hit the fan, let me get on with life. So welcome to my world.

Welcome to my world
Won’t you come on in?
Miracles, I guess
Still happen now and then
Step into my heart
Leave your cares behind
Welcome to my world
Built with you in mind
Knock and the door will open
Seek and you will find
Ask and you’ll be given
The key to this world of mine
I’ll be waiting here
With my arms unfurled
Waiting just for you
Welcome to my world
Waiting just for you
Welcome to my world

Yes, I still believe in miracles. It’s been a tough spring. Yet, the seeds got seeded and the seedlings got planted. They are all thriving despite our strange and erratic weather of hot, cold, dry and drenching rain. It gives me hope that we, as a planet will survive and thrive. I still believe in love. Despite the tsumanis we create ourselves, we will have our lifejackets on and learn to navigate the rough waters.


Do you get fed up sometimes? Today I feel at the maximum fed up level. February is l-o-n-g. I had set out at the start with such heart felt hope. This was suppose to be my feel good month. Not that anything is wrong or that I’ve been plagued with a truckload of disasters. None of that. I just feel such malaise even though the sky is blue and the sun is shining. I need another cup of decaf.

Perhaps it is because of my recent sinusitis of the past week and a half. Not that it was such a struggle. It was a tad tougher than my usual state for I am forever complaining a lack of energy, of joie de vivre. I’m fed up with being a wet blanket, a party pooper and being my worse enemy. It’s good to let it all out. This is my space, my confessional. It is where I come to cleanse my mind and soul.

It doesn’t help that my sleep is disturbed lately. I had nightmares a couple of nights back. I screamed and screamed in my sleep. I thought it was only in my dreams. I was stuck in an elevator with unsavory man. I was scared to death. In my dream, I had trouble getting my screams out. It wasn’t so in real life. I woke the guy and Sheba as well. Then last night, I had trouble getting to sleep. I got up and read awhile. Luckily that helped. I slept and dreamt as well. Lucky it was not a nightmare. I dreamt about little cupcakes. The cost was $15 for 15. I guess the cost is nightmarish. I wonder if it was those little unsavory Italian meatballs that triggered the dream.

It really helps to tap out my feelings, whatever they are. I was seeing the world through bleak eyes. I couldn’t see the point of anything. The world is gone to hell in a hand basket:

  • The war in Syria. Seeing the dead babies on the evening news.
  • The school shooting in Florida. Hearing a politician saying the teachers need to have guns when the students were crying for gun control

These are the two weighing heavily on top of all the others right now. What can be done to make the world and humans better? Being fed up is not the answer I know. Now the question is how do I get out of it? I bet Oprah would say, Live your best life. A good answer, I’m sure but it won’t do for me. It’s too generalized, too neat. I have to chip, tap and hack my way out bit by bit.

I’m a fan of Sue Grafton. You’ve probably deduced it by the title of this blog. Her detective series is just what I need on my not so buoyant days. Janet  Evanovich is in the same genre. I’m glad it’s women that help me get through the tough days. Their energy, humour and narrative story telling take me away from the moody blues into adventure and laughs. I have to love that.

So another day comes to an end. I’ve limped through it but I’m still standing. I’ve gotten up, dressed up and shown up. I had to work a little harder at it. It was my Olympic effort, not a Gold Medal but nothing wrong with a Bronze. My mantra was I can do this. I can do this. So it went. Now I have a few more trays seeded – 3 kinds of tomatoes and geraniums. The petunias and chili peppers have germinated. Things do look hopeful. The effort is worth it.

When I have a Sheba, I have to make an effort. She wears my moods so I had to show her that I was okay. Nothing to worry about. She is safe and cared for. She is her confident and happy self again.




An autumny sunny/cloudy day. I’m mostly in the clouds, feeling the pains of life. The words of Killing Me Softly play in my head. The world is a harsh place and humans can be a cruel species. I have to turn off the news. The Rohingya refugees crisis is cutting me to the quick. That a tweeting Donald Trump can be the President of the most powerful country in the world is overwhelmingly depressing. Why is it that I care anyways?

I guess the answer lies in that we are all connected. What is in one is in the whole. Throw a pebble in the water and the ripples will reach the other side of the universe. It’s like a contagion, a disease infecting all. I feel the anger of helplessness and hopelessness watching all this unfold on the national news. Would it stem the tide if I don’t watch? No, so I might as well suck it up and do whatever I can to contribute to the good of me, you and us.

It’s not much but I can sit here and tap out a few words, clear my thoughts, settle in the quiet, find peace and solace. I tap to stay alive, to find hope, ideas. I come here not to give in to the despair of not being able to scale the Wall. I don’t have to get to the other side. I can just be here in the now.


Well, hello there.  It is Thursday and I have a story for Friday Fictioneers. We gather each week to tell stories of 100 words or so according to a photo prompt. We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Anyone can join in if so inclined.  Here’s my 100 words.

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

It was a long ways down.  Her hair fluttered across her face. The moving traffic below made her dizzy.  She pulled back from the edge, stumbling.  Her heart caught in her throat and she had to bend over to catch her breath.

Tears streamed down her face.  She was not good for anything.  No brains.  No looks.  No money.  No courage.  How was she going to face everyone, anyone? She was such a failure.  Now what?

She stood and wiped her eyes and blew her nose.  An anger rose in her.  She had, still has something after all.  Her stubbornness.


IMG_2871It’s another hot day.  For now I can still sit here on the deck.  I am trying to tap out a few letters, words, a thought or two.  They do not come easy, but I try anyways.  That is how it is.  Life is hard.  I have never expected it to be anything else.  So you put one foot in front of the other and take a step.  You do that over and over.  You end up with a journey that is your life. I am doing likewise with my writing – one tap, another tap, and so on.

Meanwhile inside the house, my Roomba is whirling around the dining room and the kitchen, cleaning the floor – making life a little easier for me.  I accept help wherever I can.  It is called wisdom.  It’s taken me IMG_0515this long for me to accept that I do not have to do everything myself.  I am not Wonder Woman but a woman in wonder awe – of what life, the world and I can be.  There is magic and wonder in the trying, the struggle of each step and tap.  The tap of the keyboard is grounding.  I see with more clarity with each letter, word and thought that come.  I am doing an archeologic dig of that it means to be alive.

The heat is rising.  Our forests are still burning.  It is difficult to believe that everything is as it should be.  It is hard to be at ease and not to be with fears when so much is wrong in the world.  But it is what is before me today.  I accept what is.  I cannot change it.  Instead, I focus on what makes me feel good – the open spaces, the roses along the roads, campfires, the dog and the man.  I can choose where my mind goes.

The sun has disappeared.  The sky is grey.  The world feels eery and ominous but it is cooler.  Rain would be very welcomed but the air feels dry and empty. The forecast is for a dry, dry summer.  The forest fires will burn till winter.  The hope is for them to be controlled.  Hope is where I choose to reside.  It is where everything is possible.

I inhale and exhale, releasing stress and taking in chi.  I take comfort from Sheba at my feet and the petunias nodding in the breeze.





Another day begins, cloudy and overcast, but it is 4 degrees C.  Be grateful, be happy and count your blessings.  I am!  I am and I will!

Spring is around the corner.  The snow is melting.  The slush and puddles are less and less. My amaryllis  is showing its lush red promise.  Sheba is over her anxiety funk.  She can eat and piddle without someone standing guard.  She sleeps in her usual limp and boneless mode.  She is her bright-eyed, bushy-tailed self again.  How wonderful it is!  I can let go of my fears, too.  There’s no boogeymen, witches, spells or hexes.  We will go boldly forward. March!

IMG_2018Some days are harder than others but you just suck it up, get up, dress up and show up regardless.  Some days are real grinds.  You put one foot in front of the other and shuffle forward if that is all you can do. Sometimes I am surprised by how far I have travelled with my heavy footed shuffle.  I’m reminded of my mother’s words again.  Don’t put hard in your vocabulary.  Be patient.  A drop at a time may be slow and small but they will eventually fill a bucket.

My bucket is not full yet.  But it has results – enough to spur me onward.  On days when the drudgery is heavy on my shoulders, I look at those drops, those little igniters of hope.  I take one step, then another.  I put a letter, then a word onto my blank page.  And so it goes.

When I least expect it, I feel a shift within me – fear leaving my body.  I am relaxed and gliding through the waters.  I am moving forward in life.  And I go ahhh!  So this is how it is.  I am grateful and buoyed by the moment.  I store the memory drop in my bucket for prosperity.



I love the word possibilities.  It’s the hope that opens my heart’s door to let in laughter, love and forgiveness.  It holds a promise that a leaf is forthcoming and a bud will bloom. Possibilities push back discouragement, frustration and a downtrodden spirit.  They teach me patience – to hang in there.  Rome was not built in a day.  The road to Anywhere is not an easy one.

Presto! happens only in magic, an optical illusion like time-lapsed photography.  We cannot make results happen like that.  The presto and voila come  much slower.  Life doesn’t happen just pushing ENTER or DELETE. Dang, hey?  Anything worthwhile takes effort and time.  It’s the daily grind.  It always take longer than you figure and like.  But what is the hurry?  Is your life full of emergencies you have to tend to?

Be patient, my dear.  Stay calm and enjoy the moments as they come.  Everything has its time.  The leaves will emerge, the bud will burst into magnificent blooms.  You will be awed by the richness and beauty of what life can offer.  Take time to live each day to the fullest and believe in possibilities.  Be grateful to the Universe.