It’s another Saturday morning. In my previous life, I think of my weekly morning swim. In this life, I think it is the day that Sheba’s left. Today it is 6 weeks. It’s short and long at the same time. I’ve had her for almost 14 years. Those years seemed to have gone in split second. I feel as if I’m left with nothing. I know it is probably part of the grieving process. Knowing things will get better does not make it easier. It is what it is.

Life truly can be difficult even in ordinary times. Now that there is no more ordinary or normal, bad neighbours add a heavy load to the challenge. I am coping as best as I can. I’m here breathing in and out, tapping out the stress on my keyboard. I had such hope of getting back my focus each day but I keep getting these curve balls. They’re fast and wicked, catching me off guard and unprepared. I should have known better. I didn’t. Now I’m working on recovering.

I’m still missing Sheba. I’m still irritated with the neighbour but I am not mad. I am obsessed with occupying my own space with confidence and not allowing her to bully me. She is not taking it kindly. I don’t know how successful I am. I am working on remaining calm and not reacting. I try to be smarter and keep silent but sometimes you can only take so much. So here is what happened yesterday morning. I was checking to see that she had not scraped away the ground covers I had planted. She ducked behind her plants and started talking at me. For once I’ve caught her on video and uploaded it on YouTube.

I hesitated and hesitated on putting it out there today but I did. I could not get on with my day otherwise. It must be why an abused woman who stays with her abuser. I was afraid that it would make me look bad, that no one would believe me, and that I’m really the one whose causing all the trouble. It was a light bulb moment. If you allow someone to bully you long enough, you start to believe that it IS all your fault. Bullies, narcissist, pyschopaths have amazing skills in lying and turning everything around on their victims.

I am a little afraid of her but I will stand my ground. I am fed up. I will not take it any more. I am not happy I’m losing sleep, giving her my time and energy. It is what it is. Now that I’ve tapped out these words, I feel lighter and tired. Now maybe I can go back to bed and sleep.


Sometimes I am immobilized by those ‘light bulb moments’, when I see the truth staring at me in glaring black and white.  You know those Kodak moments, don’t you?  I am blessed/cursed with them at the same time.  I do not want to see the raw naked truth.  I rather not be in the know.  And that is the honest truth.  Is there any other kind?

photoI am a bit melancholy with a bit of wine and the truth.  Life looks better through rose-tinted glasses or in the dark sometimes.  I am talking through my yin yang, of course.  You would have to take what I say with a grain of salt.  Do you know that I knew time before electricity?  Yes, that is correct.

I saw my first electric light bulb when I was six.  My mother and I were overnighting in a hotel in Canton, en route to Hong Kong.  I had fallen asleep early in the evening.  When my mother shook me at dawn, I opened my eyes to a bright light dangling from the ceiling.  It was truly an Oprah light bulb moment

Do you know that I see ghosts, too, that is, when I was a child.  I no longer see them now that I am all grown up.  But I feel them still.  They are my friends, my angels.  I have learned to trust them, that they are here to look out for me.

Our HouseI remembered seeing them when I was playing on our rooftop in China.  I saw them standing beside my bed at night before I went to sleep.  I asked my mother, Who are all the people?  My mother saw that there was no one there.   She said, “They’re our ancestors.  Do not be afraid.”

I wasn’t afraid until I grew up.  Then I started to cross my slippers by my bedside.  One of my friends told me that would keep them away.  And it worked!  They visited me only on those nights I forgot to cross my slippers.

They do not visit me any more in the same way.  I sense them when I am quiet and still.  They let me know their presence when I am in need.  I am no longer afraid as an adult.  I am truly grown up.

It is now almost the bewitching hour.  Time to stop babbling about light bulbs, ghosts and such.  It is time to put the memories away and get ready for sleep and sweet dreams.


It is another Sunday, a week home from wine country.  Today we can only dream of warmer temperatures and snow less grounds.  It is windy and the sun has already left.

But this morning we made wine, one batch white,  from B. C., the other one red.  It was a soothing process, going through all the steps of scrubbing the tubs, sterilizing, rinsing, stirring, adding, more stirring, and sprinkling.  Well to be honest, I was mostly an observant and the cleanup crew.  But none the less, I enjoyed the process, the aromas and the rewards.

I have forgotten the pleasures of creating…the sense and feel of making something.  My brain has been rewired for instant success, instant pleasure, instant everything by our electronic age.  Perhaps I have been fooled that everything can be done stat by aiming the mouse and pressing enter.  I have been fooled that life is getting everything done now, so that I will have TIME.  I have been obsessed about time, having more of it, having huge chunk of it, hoarding it… till I will have enough.  That never happens, of course.  I am like a rat in a maze.

So that is my Oprah’s light bulb moment from making wine this morning…that everything in life is a process.  You cannot have everything all at once.  It’s in the steps that give us a sense of accomplishment and meaning.  It’s really not all that earth shattering, but sometimes I am a little dim.  I could not see it any sooner.  I see it now.  And as I am sipping my cup of coffee, I am blinking at the wonder of it all.


Would you believe me if I told you that I came out of the womb, ranting and raving? Well, that’s how it’s felt, how I have been.

I am always making scenes, speeches, on the soapbox about the injustices of the world, about the faults of individuals, organizations, and so on.   I’m always wondering what the hell is wrong with people.  What makes them tick?  I obsess about figuring it all out,  to get to the bottom of things to the point where I’m doing myself harm.  I’m sure a lot of the people around me would also like to do me harm, to give me a punch or two, to put me in my place! 🙂

Well, no more!  I’ve heard that bell go off in my head.  I’ve seen Oprah’s light bulb moment.  Who the hell do I think I am…full of ego and righteousness.  If I do any ranting and raving again, it better be about myself and my passions.  Ranting about what is wrong has never worked for me.  It only made me an angry Chinese woman.  Being right doesn’t necessary make it right and it may not always be the best way to live life.

So, in the words of my forefathers, live softly, bend like the willow, but breathe like a dragon!  I lied.  These are my own words.  Chinese women can lie.  I am not so virtuous.