So..I’ve had my first dental checkup and cleaning since Covid disturbed everything. I had been waiting till things got better but things keep getting worse instead. I ended up going when the numbers of positive are at the highest. But I do have both vaccinations. Looking at the news, the number of positives today is under 400, the lowest in over a week. Though I had a few misgivings about my appointment, I am glad I kept it. The hygienist and dentist were masked and had face shields on. We are all as well protected as possible. It is good for my mental and physical health to keep up the activities of daily living. The hygienist and I had good chats about gardening. We were a good fit.

I’m finally able to have my second cup of tea of the day. I had to wait a couple of hours after fluouride varnish was painted on my teeth. I wouldn’t think it’s such a long time except when I have to wait. Oh, but the tea is so good and warming. Just what I need. I’m having a bit of irksome day. I’m trying to work on my concentration and decluttering. It’s hard when the kitchen sink plugs up and the window venetian won’t open. Then there’s those pesky fruit flies. There seems to be swarms of them around the diningroom table. I’ve set out a glass of diluted wine to leer them away from the kitchen area.

I’m trying to be patient and not fret too much about these things. It’s quite unlike me. I think I am getting a little smarter. I want to work for and not against myself. I couldn’t let things be when they aren’t working. I spent the rest of the afternoon pouring kettle after kettle of boiling water down the kitchen sink in the basement. The trouble lies in that both upstairs and downstairs kitchen sinks are on the same drainage pipe. It leads to easily cloggage if we are not careful. We had to call the plumber last year. I’m hoping we can forego that this time. The hot water is helping a little. We need to do another round of enzyme down the drain tonight and cross our fingers and toes.

That was my muttering on Tuesday. Today is Friday. I’m still working on declogging the kitchen drain. We might have to call the plumber but for now I want to give it and my patience a chance. Nothing is easy or simple. Have I said that already? It is a cool but beautiful sunny morning. I’m looking forward to visit a farm with a high tunnel greenhouse this afternoon. Meanwhile, things are still looking good in our greenhouse. The lettuce I’ve transplanted are looking quite at home. There are 6 bitter melons at various growing stages. At long last I have one viable winter melon. They have been difficult to take. I had quite a few little ones started. I have not been successful at hand pollinating them. The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are still being quite productive. My harvest basket overflowth.

And so is my kitchen drain. It is still a problem but it is slowly getting better. It is also teaching me to look at problems in a different way. Problems are also solutions in themselves – if I have patience to wait, observe then try to solve. While I was/am waiting I clear and create a little bit of space in whichever corner I happen to be in.


These may not be the best of times. It certainly is the strangest of times. Most of all, it is the only time we have. I’m trying to find a way to make the most of it. I’ve been a little frustrated, irritated, a little angry, a little up and a little down, feeling the whole kaleidoscope of emotions. Today I’m feeling more at ease and relaxed. I’ve come through the clouds though it is a cloudy day. No sun at all but it is a mild December day. It is -1 degrees Celsius. It is cooler in the greenhouse, -1.6.

I’ve been frustrated with my clutter, my inefficiency. It seems I’ve been working at it for years. Or have I? I’m probably just spinning in my tracks, going nowhere. I have Stephanie Bennett Vogt’s A Year to Clear on my Kindle app. Maybe it’s time for me to open it and follow it daily. The chapters are in weeks and within days. Surely I can tackle a single day at a time. It will be good training for my errant brain. I really have difficulty concentrating and doing things step by step in order. I often skip the middle of the book and read the ending. I am impatient. I can’t tolerate/enjoy the whole process. Often I don’t make it back to read the whole story.

I’m practicing on being more patient, tapping slowing and patiently on my keyboard. Sometimes my thoughts race ahead of my fingers. It’s torture to proofread but I will start to do that from now on. I’m good at figuring out computer glitches. I tap here and there until everything works. I can’t tell you how or why though. That’s what my brain is like – a mess of synapses snapping away. Order inside and out is what I desire. I will put that down on my list on my Notes app.

The day has progressed into evening. I will shut it down soon. I have opened A Year to Clear. I will take the time to work through the days and weeks. I am taking this week to relax into the process and to reflect on what it is that I want to clear and what to keep. It is not just about stuff. My mind is as cluttered as my dining room table. I will take it slow and easy. I have a whole year ahead.


So here is the thing. Life is full of distractions. My attention span is getting shorter and shorter. I often don’t follow up on my plans and practices. It’s part of my humanness. But here I am, showing up again. This must be part of the practice. I’ve given up on perfection. It’s hard to maintain. It is not possible. There is a flaw in me, everybody and everything else. It is part of the universal struggle. Life and nature happens. That is the law. There is no blame.

I am struggling these August days. Mornings are darker and cooler. I miss the light and warmth of those summer days when the sun rises by 5:00 am. Then, my sunroom was bathed in bright light and warmth. I was infused with its warmth and brightness. My unease is a response, a signal that autumn is on the heels of summer. No need to worry or panic. It is my nature’s response to the shortening of the days and lengthening of the nights. I’ve been this way forever and a day.

It is time for me to accept and come to terms with this part of me. I have. I’m doing so much better after having Sheba in my life. Her physical leaving was difficult but it is nature’s cycle of life and death. Nothing can change that. And so I grieve and miss her. Some days more than others. Then the grief changes. It grows softer and I’m left with those tender precious memory of her spirit and our time together. I sift through the lessons learned and strength gained.

I raised her from scratch at 2 months old – with just one book from the library and a largest dog crate from PetSmart. Boy, it was a tough go for quite awhile. I expected a puppy to have breakfast and walk together with. I did have that but it took years instead of days. There were so many days that I would moan and groan. There were many days that I almost gave up. Her beauty and brain were her saving grace.

She was so pretty. She would shake a paw and then the other paw. She could crawl and roll over in no time. But she did jumped alot and was scared of everything. I knew nothing of dogs. I knew nothing of  a Border Collie Lab mix. Sheba was that EverReady Bunny. We did alot of walking. We went to off leash parks. We got into trouble here and there. I lost 20 pounds with all that exercise.  In the end, she and I were a perfect pair, soul mates. She taught me the rewards of patience and stick-with-it-ness.

I’ve come full circle. I am dogless, Sheba-less. I’m not quite the same though. I am stronger and more accepting of how things are. I am more accepting of how I am. I cannot force myself or others to be other than what we are. But I can change the way I think and see. I can choose to see my glass half full instead of half empty. I can accept my vulnerabilities and work with them instead of fighting against my natural tendencies. It’s sticking with me now. I now longer run away from my shadow self.




It is another sleepless night. Somehow I knew it was too easy. It’s only a little over a week since Sheba’s developed her ear hematoma. Two trips to the dog ER to get it drained 21 cc and 11 cc respectively. A followup 2-3 days later resulted in 5 cc drained. All of this has been very draining for all us, humans and canine. Sheba already had a bit of sundowning just before all this happened. Since, the nights have been worse. So the vet suggested a short course of trazodone. It would chill and help her recovery from her ear traumas. It all sounded wonderful but wasn’t. The first day, the trazodone knocked her out. Her legs didn’t really work well. When she was awake, she would pace like a stoned dog. So I decreased her dose a little. Whereas she was restless only at night, she became restless day and night. Our nerves were raw from her ceaseless pacing and banging into things with her head cone.

If something doesn’t work, why keep doing it? After 4 days on the trazodone, I stopped it. Sheba slowly became more her old self during the day. She would lay down on her pillows by herself. Hope was on the horizon. We leased her to the piano leg at night so she could not pace and bang around. We need some sleep. It worked last night. We all slept in till 8 in the morning. Hallelujah, right?

Today’s or rather yesterday’s vet checkup showed that she does have an ear infection. A good reason to rejoice. There was a cause , therefore an end to all this misery we’re going through. We were jubilant and came home armed with earwash, antibiotic eardrops and oral antibiotics. Earlier in the day my order of melatonin for Sheba and some for me came. I dosed us each with 3 mg. All was well. Sheba settled and relaxed on her pillow. Then it was bedtime. I took Sheba out for her business.

The disappointment was keen. But at least I had 2 hours of sleep when I woke and heard her panting. Perhaps I should have ignored her but I was never good at it. She gets more stressed and worked up. Then she starts barking. Yes, she is a smart dog. She knows how to get attention. But she is 13 and has an infection. Human elders with infection do the same. So here I am, sitting on the stool beside her. I’m tap, tapping away, hoping for a better day. It is almost 4 am. She is at least relaxed and laying down.

Things feel very difficult at times but they are getting better. Her ear has stopped bleeding. Surgery is not needed. The underlying cause has been discovered. Treatment has started. Nothing is easy nor simple. Hope her night time anxiety and restless with improve with melatonin increased omega 3’s. I am doing fairly well with all this. When I accept what is, I am less stressed and more at peace with it. This is what we have to do. One day at a time. Sheba deserves the best from me. She has and still is giving me much joy.



So I’m sitting up with Sheba tonight. She’s been through a lot the last 2 days. Sunday morning we noticed her left ear was swollen like a perogy. We took her in to the ER at the Veterinary College. She was diagnosed with an aural hematoma. They drained 21 cc of bloody fluid from her ear under sedation. She was a very sleepy dog after. Though she walked out to the reception area under her own steam, her legs gave out right after. She sank to the floor in a puddle. She had to be carried out to the truck and then into the house.

I thought for sure she would have a speedy recovery, that it would not recur so soon. I was wrong! Though her ear was tightly bandaged and she was so sleepy, somehow she managed to worked her ear out by morning. And she was still pretty groggy, plastered to the floor in the hallway. To our dismay her earlobe looked full again though not quite as bad as before. So after hemming, hawing and talking to the vet clinic, we took her back in late afternoon. They drained 11 cc this time without sedation. We were happy that she was not so zonked but now I’m not sure. A tad sleepy would be ok.

I’m not complaining. It’s possible that she got whacked in the ear by my twirling hula hoop. I couldn’t see. She was behind me but I heard a thump. I don’t know where she got hit. I was surprised that she would get so close to a moving thing. Usually she is afraid of strange moving objects. Ear infections could also cause hematomas but her ears are clear and clean. So I do feel responsible. My poor baby.

She’s finally laid down on her fat pillow with her chin resting on her cone. I’m holding my breath as I sit beside her tap, tapping on the keyboard. Maybe I can make a quiet trip to the bathroom, lay down, turn out the lights and get some shut eye.

It was about 40 minutes of sleep for her. I almost got off to zzz. That’s when I heard the bang of her cone on the floor. Oh well, it was enough to ease the tension between my brows. Good enough! I got up and gave her a couple of spoonfuls of rice, hoping some carbs would mellow her out. It worked the last time. I had some toasted sourdough bread. I shared some crumbs with her. I cannot insist and force how she, a dog should be. It would only stress both of us out. So I let her just wander and bang about, making sure she does not hurt herself. She will get tired again and have another lay down.

Patience, I tell myself.  I can be calm. She can see that I’m here and everything is ok. I thought about giving her something for pain but googling tells me human painkillers are no no for dogs. It’s so typical that we caretakers are left up the creek without a paddle. When I asked the vet doctor about something pain, she said to call first. In the middle of the night that I would go to the vet pharmacy? Situations don’t change for human or canine patients.

I just have to suck it up and accept the situation. Tomorrow will be better. Sheba’s ear will feel better. The bandage and cone will not bug her as much. She won’t be so pissed off. I’m just pulling a night shift, sitting with my child who has a head injury. Once in awhile we go out for ‘potty’ , stretch our legs and a change of scene. It will wear off some of her anxiety. It’s the afternoon walk we never got the last two days. She’s getting good at navigating the deck stairs with that thing on her head.

I’m off to make myself a cup of tea and maybe a bit more sourdough toast. It’ll be breakfast. Maybe Sheba will get another mouthful of rice and fall asleep. I’m not in any rush. I have nothing to do. I have nowhere to go. We can sleep in the morning. It’s not long off.



I’ve never ever found an optimum time for doing anything or an easy time for starting something. Truth be told, I’m a daydreamer, a doodler, lounger, wistful thinker. In short I’m a procrastinator, trying to hold life at bay. What is this fear of starting and living?, I ask myself. I have no clue, no inkling of an idea but just this physical discomfort of not wanting to commit. Laugh if you will but we all know that he who laughs first, laughs last. I am sure you have that procrastinator in you, too. Only you haven’t recognized yourself in the mirror.

I see myself as molasses in winter mode. It is cool this morning. I see my little cucumber plants shivering in the raised bed in the front yard. First the heat. Now the chill. I hope they make it. I’ve never had much luck with them except for one year. Now that’s something to aim for. Something to get my juices flowing and off my butt. It takes patience and persistence to succeed at anything. My cyclamen is such a testament. I gave it the attention it needed. I don’t have a steady supply of that either. It comes in sporatic spurts. I’m not good when the going gets tough. Sometimes I abandon ship. Now that’s another thing to work on.

It’s another morning. I’ve clearly abandoned ship yesterday before finishing this conversation. I’m going through a spell. I’m lacking motivation. Nothing turns me on but I’m working on it. I feel as if I can’t even get myself out of a wet paper bag. Sometimes I just have to put in the effort as if I do love it, whether I feel it or not.  That’s life. What is it that gets you up and going? What are your secrets for joie de vivre? What keeps you on the job till it’s finished?

I’m sipping on my cuppa, my favourite diversion for not doing. I’m glued to my chair but at least I am flexing my fingers, tapping on the keyboard. I’m trying to stay awake, thinking of how to overcome my inertia, how not to feel overwhelmed about our climate crisis. What else can I do not to contribute to the carbon footprint? How can I get outside of myself to help the world I live in. These are some of my thoughts on this sunny cool June morning. Perhaps I can bake some rhubarb crisp to warm up. I’ve been making rhubarb sour cream muffins the last 2 days but I’ve run out of sour cream.




It’s another Saturday morning, grey and misty. I am starting where I am. My desktop is cluttered with my cross stitching of Jesus. I have puddles of socks, slippers and Sheba’s toys at my feet. Yes, I am a messy disorganized lass. I’m working on it, ok? I’ve been tired and overwhelmed the last few days. I’m picking myself up, trying to dust myself off and start again where I left off. If I was to ‘fix’ everything before I start anything, I would still be in my mother’s womb. I’m doing the best I can. I’m obsessive, persistent and slow as a tortoise. We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. We slowpokes can win.

I’m not winning today though. It’s difficult to get past go. I’m leaving the race for another day. It’s no point in fighting, going upstream. I haven’t lost ground but maintaining my stand. I am still starting each day with meditation. It’s good to begin with a clean slate/mind. Some days my slate is cleaner than others. I’m reading my books page by page in order, not skipping ahead. It requires a lot of discipline from me.

Patience is not my virtue but I am sitting with my discomforts, breathing in and out, watching my thoughts float by like clouds in the sky. Yes, I’m easily addicted, watching too many episodes of Longmire and Call the Midwife on my iMac. It is soothing for my aggitated mind but I’m not wasteful with my time. I am stitching Jesus while I’m watching, making good progress. Yes, I’m multi-tasking but it is relaxing. It does not make me fret. Finishing Jesus is one of my goals. I’m killing several birds with one stone, sorta speak.

So here I am, almost at the end of the day. I’m glad to be back in this space, tapping out this post word by word. I’m finding rhythm tapping on the keyboard. The exercise grounds me. Documenting my days, charting my progress enables me to see my way ahead as well as where I have erred in the past.




The trick with getting anything done is making a beginning. Elementary, my dear, you say. It is at that but a very important elementary point. So we’ve begun, Sheba and I. It is 2:59, not quite 3:00 pm. She rises and whimpers. I said no. Down. She does. We are both sitting, she on all fours, me on the chair. We will wait it out. The minute passes. She rises on her fours. I continue to sit and tap. Patience is a virtue. So is discipline.

I could easily become a hermit given my disposition and inclinations. I know very well it is not healthy to isolate myself socially. I was also brought up and trained to to live properly. Those things have saved me from myself. I always try to do the right thing or else it would nag at me. Even having bad improper thoughts gnaw at my conscience. I could never be a thief but I have sinned.

Sheba passed her test. 3:10 and I reward her with her supper. She is getting it. Obedience and Patience = food. I’m getting it, too. Consistency and Patience = success. Our successes comes slowly and in increments, sometimes sliding back and forth. The furry princess tries and does get on my nerve in the afternoons. At 11 years old she is still full of vim and vinegar. After eating, she energetically humps her bed. Then she wants to play, insisting that I play toss her squeaky toys with her. What a mad house! I lose my patience.

That’s how it is at our house. Most mornings I’m not geared up or look forward to doing anything. Today is a Wednesday, an exercise day. I have breakfast, pack my gym bag, vacuum a room or two and head off to the YWCA. I’m trained by habit and routine. It’s not a big deal or painful as in the beginning. Some ruts are healthy. It get things done. I repeat this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Sometimes I bored myself writing every day. What could I possibly have to say – every day. It’s a discipline I want to keep up – within reason, of course. It gives me clarity and direction. I hope I am not boring you. I write mostly for myself but I do appreciate the support and readership. I’m now pushing and struggling to increase the length and the quality of my writing. I’m doing the best I can. Today is not a day when words flow. They come slowly after much thought.

Another daily practice I’m doing is my art. It has been dormant many, many years. It came alive last year much to my own surprise. It has been mostly talk on my part. You know how it goes. It’s my passion but I was too this and that – all the usual excuses. It takes very little time to pick up a pencil or a paint brush and art. So that’s what I do every day, a little practice. It takes minutes sometimes, an hour another day. The thing is to begin and do it. I admit starting can be difficult. I just do it.




It is 1:18 pm. Sheba and I are having a mini session of sitting, get down and staying. It’s what we do in the afternoon. Obedience training for her, patience training for me. She is momentarily distracted by the guy leaving for his workshop. There is some excited barks and prancing around. We refocus. Now she’s on her bed licking per paws . A quiet interlude. We will go to the park for her reward later.

It’s a beautiful sunny and warm day. A lot of the snow have melted. I should be jubilant. Instead, I am in an undetermined mood -somewhat despondent, somewhat mellow yellow. No, I’m not under the influence of drugs. Maybe languid is a better word. Energized is not my frequent state. It is no wonder that nothing seems to matter to me. To care takes a lot of energy, energy that I don’t have.

But in order to live and thrive in this world, one has to give a shit somehow. I know what happens when you don’t. You fall through the ‘cracks’. I imagine they are the same cracks that lets the light in in Leonard Cohen’s song, Anthem. All the same, I rather stay out of them. I’m experimenting on how to manage the energy that I do have.


I took time and Sheba out in the middle of this post. We went to the dog park and had us some time. Some days you just have to make that effort. Some days are made for sniffing snow and to look up at the blue of the sky. Sheba found a few furry bums to sniff, too. All the better. She did get into a scrap or two but it was all good. No blood was shed. We came home tired and hungry but also refreshed. So it was double the pleasure to sit with my tea, toast and jam while Sheba devoured her kibbles.

Now it is evening. I’m sitting with my wine, trying to tap the end to my mumblings. Perhaps the wine isn’t helping my thinking or writing. What I can say is morning is the best time for an energy burst. I indulge myself with reading in my tea time before breakfast. I’m still engrossed in Last Night in Twisted River. I love it. There’s lots on cooking in it since it is about a cook and his son. After breakfast I try to do the hard stuff – those chores of keeping house and lives in order. If I leave those for later, it doesn’t happen.

You must know by now that after lunch, my energy leaves town and me with it. Afternoon is the time I sit to tap even though I feel like napping. It’s working out. I’m succeeding and stretching for more. I’m learning to adapt my activities to my energy and time of day. It is a struggle but if I don’t struggle and stretch, I would end up being a puddle on the floor. I’m struggling now and will struggle to review and edit this – practicing to be patient.






October 2, 2017. Cloudy, rainy and windy, the stuff of ugly autumn days. I should not put labels on the day. It is a day. The weather has changed. The ugliness is my automatic reaction to change. I struggle with it. It throws a monkey wrench into my well grooved rut. It means I have to work harder to get my brain around the change/problem. I can feel my cortisol rising, my brain fogging up. Sometimes I want to cry and have a tantrum. I know it won’t help. Nobody can/will help. It’s my problem. Everybody has their own shit. Better buckle up and suck it up, Buttercup. You are a big girl now.

I’m tapping it up, or out. I’m taking a breath in and out, calming and clearing my head. I’ve reviewed the process of problem solving. What is the problem? What is it that I want to achieve? What is it that I need to do first, next, and then. I take my own advice and do the steps. There, done! Now I wait for the resolution.

What I know for sure is that I lack patience and concentration. My mind is fractured in a million directions. It probably is contributing to my sleeping problems in the last while. I need to stay more focused and not be so distracted and distraught – wasting energy, treading water. I am going to work on staying in the present moment using Caroline Myss’ advice. I will chart my progress here.

Five Rules for Staying in Present Time

  1. Choose something in your life that you want to change, but make it a reasonable choice. Choose something that will require daily attention, such as exercising every day or changing your nutritional program. Whatever the choice, just make sure it’s something you really can accomplish each day without having to turn your world upside down. Pay attention to every obstacle or distraction that surfaces to prevent you from accomplishing your goal. Write down the obstacles along with your impressions about why you are sabotaging your practice to keep your awareness in present time.
  2. Two times a day, create an image and see how long you can hold that image without any distraction from your external environment. Once again, make note of what distracts you—emotional concerns, noises, bodily discomfort, traveling into your past. Every form of distraction holds a literal and symbolic meaning. It’s worth the extra step to consider the meaning of your distractions.
  3. Pay attention to your excuses and how often you use the past to excuse something you are doing or do not want to do in the present moment, particularly if you use illness or lack of energy.
  4. Make note of what energizes you in the present moment. What makes you feel good? And then pay attention as to whether you think, say, or do something that sabotages your joys, particularly if what you think or do is based on the past.
  5. Develop a mantra—a special short positive thought—that brings your attention back to present time.