We are getting into the heart of December. The nights are longer and darker. I slept in to almost 8 am. My blackout curtains and all the fresh air from cross country skiing are helping, too. The sun is out, pale and cool. It is -11 Celsius outside and -6.1 in the greenhouse. It is almost 10:30. I think I have given up on having homegrown lettuce for now. I might just stick my tray of lettuce seedlings under grow lights. If I’m really keen, I can investigate the hydroponic Kratky Method. I could have lettuce in 5 weeks. Better yet, I should just stop fussing and use this time to rest, read, ski and all that leads to self care and rejuvenation. I should take the lead from the bears and ‘hibernate’ through winter and wake up, hungry for life and adventures. In this case, hibernation is the feeding of my soul.

I am heeding my own advice, not fussing too much. It is almost 7 pm. I am waiting for supper. We eat like the French – late. I took a rest from skiing today. My parents have been on my mind. I took out some Chinese books for them from our public library a few days ago. It’s easier to visit when I have something to give them. It’s easier to have a reason. It’s difficult to just drop by these days. I’m out of the habit, thanks to Covide-19. It’s good news that the government have approved the vaccine and that it is due in Saskatchewan by mid December. I’m not so sure that we will get out of the woods just like that though.

I shall not dwell on that but on things that I can do. I am entering week 2 of Stephanie Vogt’s A Year to Clear. She begins it with an old Sious saying: The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart. It is so true. Self confessions are the hardest. Posting a photo of myself when I was about 7/8 for Susannah Conway’s December Reflections, I felt the child in me for the first time. It was a very strange, wondrous and homecoming moment. My insides cried for the child that was me, for not having known her then and for not being with her. But I can rejoice now. I have found her. December is a good month to get acquainted. We are in darkness. There are no distractions.


It is the evening of the day. I sit and watch the last of the sun play on the wall. I’m tapping again on the keyboard. I thought I would get a head start on the last post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It will be the caboose on my train. Perhaps I can reach my 1,002 word count as was my initial intention for this blog.

So where have I been and how far have I come on this journey? Reading back to my first post in January, I was in a bit of a dark place. I had lost the meaning and sentiments for Christmas and most ‘special occasions’. I’m not sure if I have regained them. I might have developed new meanings and sentiments. Time will tell when they next roll around. At any rate, I’m not feeling empty and lost in space any more. What I feel is grounded.

It’s a good sign, right? It’s the reason why I took up writing daily again. It’s more binding and easier doing it in a group challenge. It’s a chance to enlarge my write tribe. It’s always better with company. It’s like walking the Camino Road, the spiritual path trading secrets on cooking, baking, creating, health, running a business –  to that destination of enlightenment. Maybe one day soon I will walk it in Spain. Until then, I will walk the path of my words here. I will try to get up, dress up and show up as best I can. That’s all I can ask of myself – my best.

Now it is really the evening of the day. It’s that time if you’re not feeling well, you”ll feel worse. I’m feeling worse. Chest is heavy, sinuses dripping and finding it’s an effort to take a deep breath. I’ve taken an extra strength tylenol and sipping hot water. I do periodic percussions on my chest. My nurse’s experience is coming to help myself. I hope today is the day when the tide will turn and I will start to feel better tomorrow. I will use accupressure to see if it will help. I’m glad I’m Chinese and know of those ancient Chinese secrets. Heh, heh, heh! I will this a rest and do some qigong and come back tomorrow.

It’s true that things always look better in the morning. My cold is turning. Believing in myself and my health practices have turned the tide. It’s not any big thing that I do, but all the little ones that I do each day. And if I fall off the track, as I’m apt to, coming back again and again. Being sick made me realize how good healthy felt and demonstrated to me the power of qigong. I felt the effectiveness of the gentle exercises I performed last night. I’m a fan of Daisy Lee and Radiant Lotus Medical Qigong.

My world here in Canada is bright and sunny today. I felt well enough to take the fur baby out for a stroll. It was +3 Celsius. I’m hoping the sun will melt the snow off our solar panels. It was a pleasant surprise to receive our electric bill this morning. It had a credit of $56.25! We had hopes of zeroing out our electric bill with our 40 panels. But our climate interferes. Still, we are happy we are doing something to offset climate change. In 2019 we paid electric bills in January, March, April, and a small one in December. It looks like we could have a better coming year. But that also mean we having worse climate change.

So there you have it. I’ve come to the end. I will not make it to a 1000 words. I’m a Hallmark girl after all. No use repeating myself for word count. It’s been a pleasure showing up and doing my little tap and dance. Thank you all for your company. Thank you Paul Taubman for running the show. Thank you Doug Jarvie for advising me to take a photo of my old photo. It works really well – and fast. Thanks for your stories and recipes from Mexico, William Chaney. I wish I could raise chickens here, too. Maureen D., I love how kind and generous you are to me. Then there’s Karen Sammer, Martha and all the rest of you! I could hit a 1000 words if I keep on. But I’m going to take us out with Mick and the Boys. I love this video. It is almost the evening of the day again.




I was so delighted by all that sunshine this morning. All the heaviness fell off my body. It helped too that I had a healthy dose of sleep last night – almost nine hours. AND the fact that I’m not that mouse on the tread wheel screaming: I have to fix it! I have to fix it! Yesterday, I gave myself permission to languish prn. Prn comes from the Latin ‘pro re nata’ meaning when necessary.

It’s the nurse in me coming out, though I am no longer a nurse. I’ve hung up my cap and taken off my duty shoes. Old memories are still alive and kicking around somewhere in my body and soul. The memories are ok. Some are good. Some are not but they all can stay. They all contributed to the sum total of who I am today. It is time to let go of the duty part though. It is always the right thing to help one another if I can. It is not my duty to fix anything, anyone or even myself. Just listen and let be. I have to knock the duty part off and have a happy retirement like my cake says.

It’s taken me a frigging long time to arrive here – 6 years post retirement. I’m not complaining. I’m marvelling. It’s been such an interesting journey. I’m feeling the lightness and weightlessness after dropping some self-taken burdens. What a dork! I could kick myself around the block but I won’t. I know we all have moments like these. We don’t know what we don’t know. We will when we’re ready.

Happy Thursday. Now I have to take Sheba around a few blocks, a happy self-imposed duty.


Beginnings of anythings are hard. Mornings are the best for me. It’s that time before trivia creeps in and fills all the recesses of my mind. They block the flow of oxygen and ideas to my being. But it is so tempting to linger over that cup of tea/coffee and scroll one more page and read another article, then another post. Before I know it, an hour or two have passed. The good/bright ideas/intentions have disappeared. All I’m left is lethargy and annoyance with myself.

I have to be stern with my lagging, sagging self. Nip it in the bud or it could run rampant, like an infection. So here I am, showing up before I get feverish and succumb to another lazy day. Movement begats more movement and energy. I go back to things that work for me, working in small blocks. If I get stuck, I stop and do something else. I’m learning not to sabotage myself. It’s been a long journey of many slow steps. But I am seeing more clearly as I am walking this, my very own Camino Road of enlightenment. No need to go to Spain. I have Sheba to keep me company here on the road.

Now it is 3:30 in the afternoon. I’m pecking/tapping away at my day. An index card painted for 365 Somethings 2018, a photo for April Love , Sheba’s afternoon walk done – these are the sign posts that guide me. They add order and rhythm to my day. In between these projects, the bedding plants are placed onto the deck, getting some natural light, readying for permanent residence out of doors. The deck chairs are rid of their dust and grime. Corners of the deck cleared of last year’s dirt. Screens wiped. Not all finished but a good start. That’s all that is needed. A start and the rest will follow. Repeat this every day.



I was surprised that I did sleep well last night. But my worms are alive and wiggling again this morning. Our province and I’m sure other parts of the country are awashed with grief. 15 people were killed over the weekend when the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus collided with a transport truck. There are no words to describe but I’ll try to tap dance my way out. It serves no purpose to be caught in darkness and hopelessness. I might as well get on with shedding my mental and physical trash.

I have never found an easy journey, not any that’s worth travelling. First of all, you have to know your destination, where you want to arrive or achieve. Then you have to know the directions and how to’s. You would need a vehicle or tools. Do you have enough fuel or the desire. These are the considerations before you start out. I have failed in the past because lack of planning and thinking out the steps. Now that I know better, how am I doing?

I like to think I’m doing better. I know I am doing very well. I have a destination. I have tools. I have focus. I have read 70% of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. It contains very good information of how and why we became who we are. Understanding is the key to any procedure/change. It is the aha/lightbulb moment. It is tricky though. Now I see. Then I don’t see. I’ve had to give things a rest until I see again. It is difficult but I am persistent in emptying my mental trash along with my physical and computer trash.

It is almost noon. Time to think about and prepare lunch. My Roomba is going up and down the hall, having vacuumed the bedroom and the bathroom. Cleanliness is next to holiness in my humble opinion. No more trash is my new motto.


PAINTING MY WORLD – Day 175 in a year of…

Day 175, January 17, 2017 @1:23 pm

img_9005My Tinker Bell and her fairy dust is still out. Now she is on her lunch break. I’m flying solo without a net. My only magic is my keyboard, a loyal and dependable friend. I might as well tap and breathe, tap and breathe while I wait for Tink to return. The going is slow but it’s better than at a standstill. My great, great ancestor did say that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I am stepping, finishing my White Snake/Tiger/Dragon maiden. She looks like she’s flying on a magic carpet. Maybe that is enough magic to keep me going.

img_9007I take comfort in making some progress with the beginnings of a little cherub. I can wait for elation to come later. Now the important thing is not to let feelings of inertia and despondency to weigh me down. Perhaps it is not good to dwell on this but it is necessary to know and acknowledge oneself. I am soothing and nurturing this part of me. I might as well use this energy for words and pictures. I like to paint my world with both these brushes – words and pictures.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS – Day 116 in a year of…

Day 116, November 18, 2016 @1:49 pm

img_4638I come to this space today in better mood and spirits.  It helps that it is early afternoon and the sun lighting up the room.  I’m encouraged that I’m almost a third through my journey.  But then, this journey does not have an ending.  I will still be on the road till I have reached my mortal end.  Till then, I am obliged to struggle on.  I am not daunted by it.  I love journeys more than the destination for when I get there, I find that it’s not there.

On this 116th day, I find so many things have shifted for me since yesterday.  I’m back to being the novice of learning.  I’m listening and observing with an opened heart and mind.  There is much wisdom in Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements. I need to review them.  They offer the possibility of personal freedom from suffering.

  1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD.  Speak only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.  Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.  Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.  With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.  Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.



IMG_3404I’m forever trudging down this long lonely windy road. There’s no end to it though I do see a light at the end.  I might as well put my head down and keep going.  I’ve come this far.  I should buckle up, bear down or whatever and see it to the end.  Never give up!  Never say uncle or squirrel!  I have to keep my focus, my eye on the road.  I’m so close and yet so far.

IMG_3398The road is long and oh, so dark and lonely. Won’t you lend me a hand?  Can I sit at your table and rest for just awhile?  I’m cold and my feet and soul are weary with this journey. No need for talk.  No need for false comfort. Rest and honesty are all I need.



partyAfter the party is over, after all the drinks are gone, after all the speeches have been spoken, after everyone has gone home… We can relax and let our smiles fall. We can take our shoes off and drop our clothes on the floor.  We can sigh, breathe and let our shoulders drop. We can wash the weariness off our faces, smile again, remembering the moments, faces, toasts and stories, feeling grateful that we have friends and family to invite and share.

After the party is over, after we can take no more, after we have come home, we can let our faces fall.  We undress, hang up our clothes and stumble to the bathroom.  Under the warm shower, we breathe and sigh with relief and contentment.  We smile at the memories, stories and happy faces, feeling grateful to be invited.

mountainjpgAfter the journey is over and the dog collected, after the bags are unloaded, after a cup of tea and a glass of wine, after a meal cooked and ate, after a good night’s sleep…..After the bags are unpacked, the clothes laundered and hung, I am able to sit here, feet up, tap, tapping on the keyboard, feeling grateful for the journey, the hills and valleys, the laughter, the tears and the people who travelled with me.

GUIDED BY THE LIGHT – AugustMoon Day 5

AugustMoon Day 5 Photo prompt

I could see a light in the distance but I wasn’t sure if I could make it that far. Should I try anyways, not knowing? Should I or shouldn’t I?  The tug of war begins.  I am worn out before the journey begins.

The light is waning.  I am losing resolve.  My ugly sister whispers in my ear.  Loser, you can’t do it!  I do not shush her.  I let the words sink in.  Is it true that I can’t do it? Would that make me a loser?  I feel anger rising up towards her, towards myself.

I breathe.  The anger is gone and so is the hesitation.  I take one step forward, remembering what my great, great, great forefather said.  A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  The light brightens with each step I take.  It beckons me forth.  I am getting closer and closer.  I realize then that the light is a guide and not the end.  Success lies in trying and beginning.