A sleepy February afternoon. I shall try not to let it slip mindlessly away. Though I don’t have anything particular on my agenda, I can always put in some efforts on tidying, sowing some pepper, eggplant and tomato seeds. February being a short month March can be here in a whisper. I don’t want to be caught saying, Oh, why didn’t I do this or that? I’ve been watching Serina and Ian of You Can’t Eat the Grass on Youtube again. They are a young couple trying to make a go of farming. They share everything – their dreams, hard work, how much money they are making or not making. They’re very inspiring. So when I feel discouraged about anything in life, I think of them. So I will get some seeds potted up today.


I had a dream last night. It was about work. I’ve been retired 9 years now. The dreams that I remember on waking up are work related. Like most dreams, they don’t make sense. Why would there be a rack of bras on a hospital ward? But there was one and I took a pair of scissors and tampered with one. It was a no-no so I was trying to hide and get rid of the scissors. I hid it under my clothes and was trying to get out of the hospital to dump it. And here’s a funny recurring thing in all my hospital dreams. The staircase and the way out are all the same in all my dreams. They are long and confusing and I can never get back  to the ward by the same route. 

I’m looking towards making changes for success so I’ve trotted downstairs and prepped some soil for potting up some seeds. I’ve found the pepper, eggplant and tomato seeds. It took some digging around to find them. That’s what happens when you are a clutterbug and let things fall where you drop. I am changing my ways. I am taking time to find homes for everything. To keep on track and on top of things for my drawing class, I’ve gathered my reference photos for my homework. This hoody selfie will be used in the gridwork exercise. First I will have to make a grid on tracing paper and put it over the photograph. Next, I will have to make a distortion grid to make my drawing. Sounds hard and complicated, doesn’t it?

Our drawing instructor is away for 2 weeks. We do have enough homework to keep us busy. Since I have been talking about my time in Ghana, I thought I would do a series of drawings/paintings from photographs of that time. Here are some of my reference photos.

I think this is enough for today. I’ve already written a post today but when words and thoughts flow, they are a gift not to be wasted.


It’s November 13th, day 13 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It’s 3:13 in the afternoon. Not prime time for me to talk about inspiration or to get inspired. I am a little weary after making, consuming and doing lunch dishes. To top that off, I received a phone call from a neighbour. She was inquiring the name of my neighbour right next to me. She was going to file harassment charges against her. It brought back alot of bad memories and feelings. But at least I feel somewhat exonerated – that it was not I who was behaving badly. I’m not the only one who had trouble with her.

I am feeling better now that I’ve let that breath out. Words are powerful. They’ve always helped and inspired me. I’ve written many posts on my relationship with this woman. I am happy to have curtailed the need. I can sing a different song now. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves when we hang onto things/people/issues for seemingly too long. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time yet. Perhaps there’s a lesson we have to learn first. That is what I tell myself. There’s comfort in that.

Words and stories inspire me. My mother excels in story telling and is great inspiration to me. She doesn’t set out to tell a story but the stories come out just in our every day conversations. Here’s my words on her in a post from 2018:

If there’s anybody that I aspire to be, it would be my mother. She gives me inspiration on how to be, how to live. She teaches me through her story telling. That’s how I’ve learned everything Chinese, the culture, my ancestors, my very being. Don’t get me wrong. I find faults with her, too. Our mother/daughter relationship has had many difficulties like all such relationships. I’ve had my share of ‘I hate my mother’. Growing and maturing has enabled me to understand my mother and see from her point of view. Sometimes, especially in recent times, I feel as if I am my mother.

my mother and sister

Words and pictures speak to me. I see pictures in words and I see stories in pictures. They give me inspiration to tell my stories with ink, paint and thread.

My energy tank is running low. Let me finish by acknowledging that the Ultimate Blog Challenge and Paul Taubman, our digital maestro, also give me inspiration and a platform to tell my stories.

CHOOSING JOY – Day 46 in a day of…

Day 46, September 6, 2016 @10:49

Days like today are dangerous for falling into moping and feeling sorry for myself.  They are dangerous for wasting time and feeling justified in it.  Oh, I deserve to have a rest and let everything go.  Meanwhile, underneath it all, things gnaw at me.  I do want to … I wonder as to what is stopping me.  I do have a choice.  So I work a little harder in trying to understand myself.  I wonder if I have to understand.  I think about just doing.  After all, all I have to do is move a body part, then another one.

I’m an inspiration seeker – wherever I can find it.  This morning it is from the poet/writer, David Whyte. He writes of joy as “is a meeting place, of deep intentionality and self forgetting”.  It is a little ping, ping moment for me.  I get them often but have mostly laugh them off.  I discard them, not honouring my ability for sensing these gifted pings from the Universe.  But now, I am trusting myself and valuing my senses.  I am listening.  I am setting intentions to create an environment for joy to come.  Not all days are equal.  Some days it is harder to carry out the intentions.

What/how am I going about today?  Now that I have changed my mood and mindset a little, I can see the forest through the trees.  I can think about what’s for dinner, changing the sheets on the bed and bringing out the fall duvet.  It’s none too warm in the morning, though I can see a teenage girl wearing shorts on this first day going to school.  I can clean the deck and bring in my plants .  I have been thinking about that every day but haven’t. There’s tomatoes, hot peppers, squashes, beans and grapes to be harvested.  There’s rhubarb to pick and a crisp to make.  Then there’s art to do.  Oh, a little bird just came to the window.  I felt my heart lighting up. Is that joy?  I will tell you tomorrow.

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Morning, my favourite time of day. Saturday, my favourite day of the week.  I’m sitting here this sunny Saturday morning in April, tapping out my words.  I’m tapping from this newly uncovered flexible spot.  I’m tapping in ease for Susannah Conway’s #Aprillove2015’s prompt: Five years ago. I’m tapping for Kat McNally’s #AprilMoon prompt on sources of inspiration.

#Aprillove’s prompt is: Five years ago.  Five years ago,  after being in a relationship with I, me and myself for many years, the three of us took a chance and became a WE with someone from the distant past.  I remembered that moment vividly.  My phone was ringing as I unlocked the back door.

Sheba lunged in, pulling me with her.  We skidded to a stop in front of the phone.  The call display said:  Sasktel Pay Phone.  My curiosity pushed me to pick it up.  “Lily, this is the voice from your past”.  An unfamiliar voice said. “I don’t know who you are.  Who the hell are you?” I queried. The rest is history as they say.

Being WE has been a challenging journey but I have no regrets.  Challenges has always been one of my greatest sources of inspiration.  They have taken me down untravelled roads.  I have taken many wrong turns and been lost many times but I always find myself again.  I consciously choose The Road Not Taken.  I don’t like regrets of I should-haves.

Had I not taken the chance of reconnecting with the past, I would not have experienced Ghana (where he was living at the time), the country, its people and culture.  Some people thought I was brave, but I had no doubts.  I felt it was meant to be.  I’m a believer in synchronicity.  Somehow the heart knows.

side by eachThat was five years ago.  We’re still together- now in Canada.  It is still challenging.  Our relationship is very complicated as they would say in Facebook.  But we talk a lot to each other and watch each other’s back.  Is that love?  #April Love and #April Moon.



It is so easy to be distracted from your purpose!  I’m browsing through my Facebook page this morning, looking for any excuse not to write.  It is not a conscious decision, but I feel it gnawing at me – delay, delay!  Something is screaming at me inside.

Silcoff_home_aNot all procrastination is wasteful.  I did come across an inspiring post on Canada Writes.  It is about a woman, Mireille Silcoff who has a chronic disease and was confined to a period of bed rest.  She wrote her first book of fiction in bed in 15 minute spurts. It’s reminder to me that Rome was not built in a day, nor the Taj Mahal, or the pyramids of Egypt. Patience, woman, patience, I tell myself.

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I was reading my emails on my iPhone in bed this morning.  A terrible habit, I know.  But I love warm luxury of those short or not so short moments before the day starts.  A friend had sent a story of a woman who walked 10,000 miles in three years.  The story of Sarah Marquis’s journey and a bit on Robert Falcott Scott’s expedition to the South Pole grabbed my attention.  It is something I would love am trying to do.  I don’t mean doing a trek or expedition.  I mean I am on the arduous task of completing a goal – writing a book.

Perhaps I shouldn’t use words like ‘arduous’.  It might discourage me.  Here’s the definition of arduous according to Webster’s online dictionary:

Full Definition of ARDUOUS

a :  hard to accomplish or achieve :  difficult <years ofarduous training>

b :  marked by great labor or effort :  strenuous <a life ofarduous toil — A. C. Cole>

:  hard to climb :  steep <an arduous path>
ar·du·ous·ly adverb
ar·du·ous·ness noun

Scary stuff, Huh?  Years of arduous training, marked by great labor or effort!  I have no doubt that Sarah Marquis and Robert Scott worked and trained hard.  There’s results to show for their efforts.  Am I cut of the same mettle?

I’ve been easily scared off, influenced and distracted off a chosen road many a times.  What would be different this time?  Already the thoughts are playing their song in my head.  “Even if I don’t write my book/novel/memoir, at least I AM writing.”  Already I’m making an escape plan, making compromises.  I have to stop.

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I have to stop the negative self talk and start the I can, I can rant.  I can breathe and let go of the can’ts.  Breathe and think of the sphynxes and pyramids built in ancient times.  Picture the slow, but steady progress of the men moving one stone after another.  The magnificence of their work still stands today.

Can I put aside my impatience and discomfort for just 15 minutes at a time? I can build with one word after another on the page for 15 minutes at a time.  Can you see my sphynx yet?  Will it last till the end of time?  15 minutes is good enough – for now.  It is a start.