August 26 and day 26 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is another beautiful sunny morning. I wonder whether it is safe to say that the dog days of summer are over. This is the summer when you have to turn on the AC one day and the furnace the next. In a way I do miss the heat. I did acclimatized after awhile so when the temperature drops, I really felt it. It’s been a roller coaster summer.

Haven’t life always been a hilly ride? It’s a journey of the good, the bad and the ugly trips. I’ve had many of each. In the end, when I look back, it was the bad and ugly that were the most memorable. With time and distance, the bad and ugly were mellowed. I was left with a sense of nostalgia for the times past. All the experiences taught me something but it takes time for me to realize that.

My first trip was my birth. Of that I have no memory. I was told I was a home birth and a difficult one, requiring a midwife. There is no kept record for I was born in a village in China. I have a cousin who is 3 years older. Her birth was a snap. Her mother gave birth to her on the side of a road. She was walking to her mother’s village, felt contractions, squatted and had my cousin. That is the story anyways.

My childhood in China was a fairly happy and secure journey though my father left for Canada when I was 2. I was raised in a matriach family, most of the men being overseas in Gold Mountain (Canada). I had a terrible 2 in that my left arm had a nasty burn that would not heal. I don’t remember the accident at all but I remembered playing and chasing the chickens in our courtyard just before. And I remembered my mother taking me to the hospital after they’ve tried all the home remedies. We had to go by a hired bicycle and it was our luck that we got the same bad driver every time. He could not stay on the road very well.

My mother said I was very good. I did not fuss or cry. I have no memory of the accident ,the pain or the treatments. Isn’t nature wonderful. I remember the bicycle rides and going through the arches to the hospital. My arm healed with bad scarring up to and a little past my elbow. I have full arm mobility. It’s on the inside so not very noticeable. I was very conscious of it from childhood up to adulthood. I would wear long sleeves even on the hottest summer day. I got over it when I entered nursing. I couldn’t wear long sleeve uniforms. So I got over it. And now, well, I couldn’t give a shit.

This trip kind of took an expected turn. It wasn’t my intended journey. It is what it is.



I am here again, though somewhat reluctantly. I am like a well/river gone dry. I have little water/words to give. My flow is gone and I am stuttering along, scraping the bottom for dregs of wisdom/experience. I show up once in awhile to stir the pot, aggitate the scene a little to see what will come alive. I hope I still have some sparks left. I’m still taking my Omega 3’s, 1,000 mg. three times a day. Sheba is, too. We old gals need our fish oils to keep our brains and hips lubricated and working. Life can be a hard grind. I see it Sheba’s stiff and slow rise each morning.

I can’t hold back our advancing years and hips, no matter how much and hard I try. But I can slow it down a bit. We might not be as agile as in our youth. We can no longer jump and leap as well, but we can at least try to stay strong and land on our feet.  It has been and still is an interesting and fulfilling ride. We still love and do many things. There have been times though that have been tough, painful and boring. What goes up must also come down. That is nature and the law. Would we want it any other way?

So I sigh a lot, bitch a little and carry on the best I can. I still love words, the tap, tap, tap of my fingers on the keyboard and seeing the letters march across my computer screen. I am thrilled when I get a lightbulb moment, tickled by a clever phrase that pops into my head. And when I find that photo that brings everything together, I am beyond words. In other words, I am elated. The struggle is worth the effort.



Winter came in October this year. The snow fell. The temperature dropped. There was nothing I could do about it except sit back and enjoy all that it brings. The world is in repose. There’s no need to hurry and fuss. Nature rests and so must we.

The snow lights up the dark mornings and evenings. It covers the ground in holy whiteness. No need to wipe the dirt off Sheba’s paws. She can roll and dig in the snow to her hearts content. I feel a peace grow inside as I gaze at my surrounding architecture. Love is here. Serenity is here. I hear the words of St. Teresa of Avila.

“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.”


I’m trying to get my ass in gear but it’s feeling mighty heavy today. It doesn’t help that I pulled or twisted something in my lower back this morning. I was simply moving my sewing table into a better spot. The table had wheels so it wasn’t even heavy nor the move strenuous. But my back went an oh-oh. It passed fairly quickly but remains a dull ache. Life is never pain free. Now, I have to google for stretches for the lower back.

It’s snowing again, just when our solar panels are cleared and making electricity. This late March snow is wearing on my one nerve that is left. Sheba and I have just come back from our walk. Yesterday’s slush have frozen into hard crusty bumpy ice. I did not enjoy an inch of the walk. And we did inched along, my footsteps heavy as lead. Nothing fun about nature today. Am I complaining? You bettcha. Having a bad mood day but I’m not throwing it around. I’m keeping it here on the page.

I had time this morning to watch a small segment of Caroline Myss’ video on Self Esteem and the Power of Your Choices. I agree with her that words are magic carpets. They are transformative. That is why I return here, to my space, to tap out the words, to dig out the magic/solutions. It’s one way for me to be in the present moment, to sit here with my mind focused to this moment. It creates space for silence and rest for my busy wandering mind. I let go of the daily chatter. I hear the tap, tap of the keys. It is soothing. I feel my shoulders relaxing and dropping. The ache in my lower back is easing. My forehead unfurls. I am emptied of my striving and fussing.

Another cup of tea and some toast and jam and I will feel replenished and ready for moving and doing again.


IF NOT FOR – Day 82 and 83 in the year of…

Day 82 and 83, October 15, 2016 @8:26 am

There is a bit of sunshine this morning.  Thank the Lord for small mercies.  I am feeling a little blue and discouraged.  Too much in the news and social media last evening and this morning.  How do you not pay attention to what’s happening in the world?  You would want to know if disaster is coming and prepare for it, wouldn’t you?

img_8074The question is, What do you do in today’s climate?  Our world is a minefield waiting to be detonated.  Which way to go?  It is likely that we all are tiptoeing carefully in our personal domain.  We are careful and silent till the explosion goes off.  I am tired of it all, aren’t you?  I am tired of the Trump-Clinton dramas, of the media circus, of the corruption, racial slurs and inequities, of personal conflicts.  If only I could vomit it out. I guess that’s exactly what I am doing!

Please do not worry about my state of mind.  It’s my writing mind and my fingers tapping out what is in my body.  But are they true feelings?  It’s helpful to put them on the page and let the light shine on them.  I have been accused by many people that I say what most people would only think.  That has puzzled me. What is wrong with what I say?  They are not vulgar.  They are not lies.  I do not gossip. Others have said I’m brave.

I do not feel particularly brave.  I love words.  I love their sound as they fall from my fingertips.  If not for them, I would find it harder to breathe.  I would find life more difficult.  If not for life’s adversities, I would not be as adept with my words. As I am now tapping, I hear the Byrd’s lyrics.

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

Yes, sometimes it is hard to watch what is unfolding before me – chaos, distrust and hatred.  But I have to believe in purpose and the beauty in our lives. Sometimes I moan and groan about Sheba, but if not for her, I would miss a lot of nature’s beauty, the stuff that can heal a battered and disillusioned soul.  She insists and drags me out to witness skies, blue or grey, to feel the wind rippling my hair, the rain on my face and in my shoes.  She’s like a bunny hopping through the snow, a little black seal in the river …. She brings me utter joy.

But now she’s barking.  Enough already!  It’s time to go for our walk.


I hate to contradict the FlyLady’s motto, “You are not behind”, but I am a day behind in writing my posts.  To make up, I’m going to start from where I am.

IMG_0866I did a bit of kicking ass yesterday even though the day was grey.  The sky was cloudless, covered by smoke from forest fires up north.  The air was filled with its acrid smell.  Our world was covered with an eery gloom.  It felt just like the moment before the shoe drops.


But Sheba and I braved it in the early morning, walking/jogging down back alleys to the park. We sniffed the grass, smelled the coffee, and admired the many glooming blue delphiniums and pink hollyhocks, towering above back fences.   We saw some grape vines trailing along and on top of fences, clusters of little green grapes showing through the leaves.  It was a magnificent sight, nature’s colours glowing through the grey.  It gave us heart.

IMG_5481So though the day was grey, I saw my inner world filled with the colours of the rainbow – much like the colours of  Daphne’s bouquet from her garden.  Even Monet could not out do Nature’s artistry.

Its beauty is there for all of us to share and enjoy.  It’s not something you can covet, own and hoard in your own private museum like a painting.  It’s there for the moment.  Then it is gone to be reborn in another time and place.

The skies did not lift.  I did some slow weeding and watering of my flower pots.  One thing led to another.  Somehow I cleaned up some beds and transplanted perennials.  I finished reading about Stephanie Plum and Lulu’s adventure in Fearless Fourteen.  Did you know that Stephanie had dreams of being Wonder Woman when she was a girl?  How awesome!

IMG_6845The first raindrops came at supper time.  It pittered pattered on the deck roof.  A breeze came up, stirring the purple petunias on the deck railing.  It was a pretty sight.  Distant thunder rumbled and lightning flashed.  It was a dramatic and romantic backdrop to our evening meal.

The heavens gathered more force through the evening and night.  The wind grew and the rain poured.  Thunder and lightning continued to play and grumble across the sky.  Was it God reminding us to mind how we walk on this earth?  Was He sending the artilleries because we are such fools and don’t listen well?

He has my attention.  Now I know why I was sleepless.  I was feeling his tension – his wrath as he brewed over his children.  He has exploded, the storm over – still gifting us his tears to wet the dry earth.  I feel relief.


IMG_6663It’s raining again.  I am sitting here watching the rain and listening to its beat on the deck roof.  And wherever I go, Sheba has to go, of course. She is happily listening along with me.


Two doors down, I can hear the children of the daycare blissfully playing in the rain. Their laughter and chatter fill the air.  It is as it should be – spring, rain, the greening of the earth and the laughter of children.

Thunder rumbles.  The children are gone.  The rain stops and the sun comes out amid the clouds.  How strange and wondrous nature and the weather have been.  And equally, so is life.  Nothing can be taken for granted.


It’s Sunday morning, rainy, grey and cool.  It is August the 5th and I can feel it in my bones even before I got up.  I’m one of those weather vanes that can feel the changes of the moving calendar.  There’s this icky sense in my body and my mind…a feeling of dread and doom.  I accept this as part of me and rise to greet the day.

I’m thinking as I’m writing.  We should have accepted our friends’ invitation for beer and sitting around the fire pit last night when the weather was nice.  Should have, could have, but we didn’t so here’s hoping it will be nice tonight.  And that is the thing.  There is no undoing a decision once it is done.  It is what it is.  And maybe even if the weather is cool tonight, we will enjoy the fire pit more.  There is always another side of everything but you cannot go down two different paths at the same time.

Sometimes in your life, you just have to stop and pause and stall…and smell the flowers along the path.  You might not come along this way again.  And so I have,  even though it is through the paths in my photo album of our camping trip last month.  It is filled with wild flowers at Brightsand Lake Regional Park.

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