It’s 10 am Sunday. 5℃ outside, 9℃ in the greenhouse. It was 4.3℃ at 7:30 this morning. I can leave things uncovered at night. But it would be just my luck that the temperature would plunge if I did that. I will be patient and careful till April. It will be good exercise walking back and forth to the greenhouse now that my ski season is over. I will keep up with the routines to keep my head and heart healthy.

Sundays are for bacon, eggs and sourdough pancakes. For a moment I had thought today was Saturday but then I remembered our breakfast. Where would we be without these time reminders? And Saturdays used to be swim mornings and breakfast at A&W after once or twice a month. Saturdays used to be dusting chores when I was a child. I had to do some laundry, too. That was before we had a washing machine. I learned to use a washboard and to rub the cloth between my hands. My mother was preparing me for when she had to go to the hospital to have my little brother. Even though my grandmother came to stay during that time, I was expected to do the chores.

My mother prepped me well for life. I know how to keep house, mend and sew, pay bills and not live beyond my means. I never had to cook though. I guess I learned from observation and trial and error when out on my own. Her passion for us was education. She made sure we had time for homework and studies. She only had the opportunity of Grade 3 in China but she never stopped learning. I guess I got the bug from her. If something catches my interest, I’m off investigating and experimenting. That’s how I got into the sourdough. It was a year or two before the Covid-19. It started with just a bit of water and flour. Thank goodness for Google and the generosity of people who want to share their knowledge. The little bits of water and flour grew and tranformed into loaves and pancakes. It’s somewhat magical. You can learn anything if you have a mind to.


Why I Bother

I often wonder why I bother with a lot of things. I get into these mood sets. It’s habits that keep me moving. I’m feeling quite blasé with my November adapted NaNoWriMo writing. I wonder if my readers are feeling as bored with it as I am. But then I came across a post in Brevity, Write Anyways and I feel heartened once more. So here’s on with the show.

This morning the U.S. election results are still the same with Biden at 264 and Trump at 214. So why is America so great? It takes them forever to run the election and forever to get the final results. Why am I talking about it anyways? Habit, a bad one this time. I have many of them. I should be focusing on important issues but my mind is wandering – I would like another cuppa, I want to do my cross stitch, I should put away my laundry. The list(mental) goes on. At least I can say I am aware of it. Now I can settle down to the heart of this post.

It’s really not as easy as that. I couldn’t settle down to the heart of things. I was restless. I wrestled with myself for awhile. Then I had to move around. I wandered down the stairs. I settled my restless energy on cleaning and tidying an area. I have many of those throughout the house. I have to match each area to the state of my mental and physical energy. Do you know what I mean? No? Well sometimes one spot is too hairy for me to deal with. So I move onto a different one. On a different day, I can come back to it.

Now the day is almost gone. I did have another cuppa. I got 2 rows of cross stitch on Jesus in. I’m ready to get back to the heart of this post which is contained in this video. I was excited by it this morning. I have always been passionate about sustainability. I am interested in living with as little as possible. I don’t mean in a self depriving way. I want to find meaning without ‘meaningless’ consumption. We each have our own idea of meaningful and meaningless. I’m not here to judge but to find my way.

Finding and knowing my passion gives me fuel on days when I’m feeling ‘why bother’. There are many moments in my daily life when I just want to sink into the couch/chair and while them away. I think it is part of our ‘natural’ inclinations. Then something gives us a spark. We get up and chase after it. It’s how I am anyways.

Today was warm but not an especially sunny day. I was feeling maudlin gathering up the lunch dishes. I thought of cancelling my daily without-Sheba walk. But then the sun came out. I feel myself perking up like a drooping flower. Well, I had to go for my walk. It’s time with my puppy girl though she’s not here. I was just leisurely strolling but it was still good for my heart.

Our greenhouse now has a real door with a latch. The raised beds are built. The soil brought in. Tomorrow I shall plant some onions and seed some greens. Snow is coming on Saturday. It shall be an interesting winter.


My daily practices have become my joy and salvation. Seeing the letters and words march across the screen, hearing the tap, tap of the keys, pushing the paint on the canvas with my brush – they all bring me incredible joy. The feelings are so subtle at first. Now I’m infused with them. In this moment with the sun beaming into my room, I can say I am happy. It is enough.

I’ve never wanted much – for myself. Maybe that is why I’ve never felt poor even though we were. My sister felt it and my mother testified to it. Dried anchovies were mostly what we had to accompany the rice. But we were never hungry, except maybe on Sunday mornings. That was the one day the cafe closed. Everybody slept in, even if you were 8 years old and itching to get up, with tummy rumbling for food. We had a roof over our heads though it was an old one. We lived in a little house behind the cafe and near the town’s public bathrooms. Sometimes our house was mistaken for it.

Our next house was along the highway. It was bigger though not newer. My foot crashed through the floorboards of my bedroom the first day. It wasn’t my bedroom long, for our grandparents came to live with us. My sister and I had bunkbeds in the livingroom and our little brother slept with mom. Dad slept at the cafe because he had to open it early. The livingroom was great in the winter. It had an oil furnace. I would undress and dress next to it. Sometimes I got too close and ouch!

Recounting our early days in Canada, I see that we WERE poor. It mattered less to me maybe because I was warm, fed and nourished. Everything was new. I was learning a different language. I had school and friends. The Grey Hound Bus bought me books from the provincial libraby in Regina regularly. I always had a voracious appetite for the written word. The teachers told my father at the Grade One parent/teacher meeting that I have a talent for drawing. In my teens, I drew portraits of teen idols – Elvis, Fabian, etc. I only did trees in art class. My affinity for faces and people started young.

I’ve never made any money with my two loves. They were stuff of dreams. Who doesn’t dream of making it big, writing that novel or creating that painting? I didn’t work at making the dreams come true. I earned my living and money the hard way. I waitressed, worked in an office and slung bedpans as a registered nurse in a teaching hospital. Oh, glory days! Now in the aftermath of my youth, I have lived, am seasoned and have suffered. I have something to say and perhaps the fire to say it.

I was not a child genius, who upon falling out of my mother’s womb, can pick a brush and create a masterpiece. But that’s what it feels like in my senior years. It happened once I decided to pick up my brush after talking about my passion for decades. I push these blobs of paint on the canvas. Somehow a picture emerges. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it is even great. It keeps me showing up for my daily practices, my daily bread. It feeds and nourishes me. God I saved the best for the golden years.



IMG_6262My live-in has a passion for building new things out of old and has given a whole new meaning to recycle.  He feels he has a mission to rescue discarded bikes out of landfills, back alleys and wherever else they might be.  It explains why our backyard looks like this at times.

Some he revitalizes, retunes and re-tweaks.  Others becomes parts and they end up looking like this:

We had fun for a couple of years with the Sunshine Cruiser and made use of the Cargo shopping for groceries.  They have found new homes since.  We are happy that they and their young children are enjoying the bikes.  There are still many parts for more building!

IMG_9646_2His latest project is Lemon and Grapes with a custom paint job.



Today is probably one of those windy days that W.O Mitchell talks about in Who Has Seen the Wind.  It has been constant since early this morning.  The wind blows and blows, whooshing through the branches of the trees.  It wears insistently on your nerves, unsettling and disrupting your ease and thoughts.  But we do live on the prairies and the wind blows.

It is tough to stick to your guns sometimes.  It would be easy to go with the flow, to give in to your natural inclinations.  When I feel like this, I like to stick my head under the covers and hide.  But I have done a lot of that already.  It doesn’t help.  You just get more piles added to your life.  So now it is time to do something different.

I have found the little book, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals really helpful.  The author, Joan Vernikos, states that our life style of sitting is killing us.  We don’t move anymore.  Technology has enabled us to be inert.  My short time of heeding her advice have proven very beneficial.  I am energized.  I MOVE.  I do the dishes, sweep the floor, take Sheba out, weeded a small patch in the yard.  Better small patch than nothing.  Little patches add up a yard!

The wind is giving me a headache.  I get up and make a cup of green tea in my zen tea cup with a lid.  I take the kitchen waste to the composter.  I warm a cinnamon bun.  The words were hard in coming, but here they are, marching across the page.  It is like in Field of Dreams – build it and they (the players) will come.

Dreams remain dreams.  They need passion to be realized.  And passion needs commitment for direction.  Nothing is or comes easily.  Start small, start often, rest in between and start again and again.  Before you know it, those little projects will lead to a life.  And then you will know what passion is.