IMG_2229A beautiful day and warmer temperature at last!  Queen Sheba is basking in the sunshine.  I am, too.  One must take time to luxuriate when the opportunity/sun arises.

I have found the new year challenging.  How many times have I said it already?  I’m like a broken record that can’t be fixed.  I have taken to ranting to ease my discomfort and misery.  I hope it hasn’t been too loud or too much.  But the shadows and gremlins have been advancing on me.  It’s better to rant than to keep all that in.

Sometimes you need to rant.  Some things need to be said – the injustices, the cruelties, the senselessness and the killings of the world.  You can’t understand and there is no understanding.  There doesn’t seem to be any fix either.  Don’t you just hate all that?  I just hate that there’s no perfection, that the world is not peachy keen.  Though I’ve written many words on the virtues of imperfection, disregard all that.  In the words of Murray McLaughlan, I want to be undone.

Singin' don't you want to keep on moving
Don't you want to get undone
Don't you want to change from losing
Don't you want to have some fun


I want to keep on moving.  I want to get undone.  I like to have better luck and some fun.  I guess I will sing and keep on moving with Murray.  It’s a great song and he’s a great singer and writer.  And he’s Canadian.  I hope you will enjoy the song as much as I do.


IMG_6102Here I sit at the end of the day, trying to tap out my few words.  It is dark already and I don’t know what to say.  Maybe Mr. Moon can shine his light and guide me.

Some days/nights are like this. You have to take them as they come.  Acceptance is the word.  It is something I still/will always have to work at.  It is not a bad thing.  It means I am trying – trying to do better but not perfect.

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I sound like I’m making excuses.  Maybe I am.  I am comforting myself.  You have to do that once in awhile.  You know your tender spots the best.  Go ahead.  Tend to your wounds.  Dress them with tender loving kindness.  Smile upon yourself for you are the child in everyone.  When I see you, I recognize myself.  So I am sure when you see me, you recognize yourself.

We see ourselves reflected back in each other’s eyes.  Perhaps if we look long enough, we can have a conversation and speak from our hearts instead of our minds.  Who knows, we might surprise ourselves and become friends.  What would we do then?


It’s another glorious morning.  The sun is shining bright.  The petunias are in their full bloom – the blues, purples and lilacs waving in the sunlight.  Not wanting to be over-shadowed, the roses are strutting their stuff.

Sheba is out sniffing and chewing grass, while the man of the house is cranking up his bicycle to help set up the Bike Valet for The Taste of Saskatchewan, July 15- 20th.  Looks like some time for me to write, dabble and talk to my tomato plants.  Hurry up, grow!





IMG_6830I am sitting here tap, tapping on my new Mac.  I am happy with its speed and slickness. No more heavy sighs and gnashing of teeth – for now anyways.  My desk is a little neater, having to do some rearranging to accommodate my new Mac and my old PC.  But it is by no means perfect. I’m showing the good part.  The mess is lurking in the corner.

I am now a lot older and just a little wiser.  But I am still fooled at times, buying into the perfection of everything.  We have/want warranties and insurance for almost everything we own.  You can’t insure life though you can buy life insurance.  They are not the same.  Life can indeed crash just like my MacBook.  I could only watch it sizzle and burn.  But there is hope after a crash.

IMG_4377What you do then, is pick your yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on.  You re-start from where you are.  Do not wait till it is perfect and you have all your ducks in a row.  The only ducks lined up in a row are those at the fair.  They’re waiting to be shot down.  Real ducks glide and splash around but they are not synchronized swimmers.  They get out of line.

photo credit -
photo credit -

That is what I have learned after all these years of self doubt and running back to third base time after time.  I have to take a chance, take a breath, not looking backwards, run and slide into home base.  After the dust settles and I pick myself up, I might see the ump signalling, “SAFE”! with his arms.





The skies are grey this morning but at least the air is not as heavy.  Funny how heavy the grey can sit on your shoulders, pressing you down. Funny how old feelings can come washing back over you and then you realize how important it is to be in the now of time and to live and create new feelings in the present moment.

I did my qigong routine from memory, all the 18 movements.  Practice did make perfect in this incident.  I breathed in and out, visualizing the sunrise, feeling the calm and the beginning of a new day…pushing out the chaos of my mind.  And the sun came, uncertainly at first, darting in and out of the clouds.  I raised my arms, embracing heavenly chi.  It formed a protective shield around me.  And I knew that all is copacetic.

Breakfast is done.  The dishes put away.  The day and life begins again, however where or how I am.  I do not want to wait for all my ducks to be in a row.  That day may never come or if it does, it will not stay.  I have time and I am not behind but I do not choose to wait.  There is no pleasure in the contemplation of perfection but it is satisfying to move, to do and make progress, even if it is only an inch.


I am pretending I am the new FlyLady, buzzing around with my purple duster, putting things in order, not obsessing, just doing.  I am surprised to feel joy in the doing, in the folding, in the putting away…..There is comfort in the cleaning and drying, in the smoothing and folding and putting things away.  It is almost like finding the heart in myself again.


Photo on 2011-02-02 at 18.45The nights are over and I am in recovery mode.  After all these years, I am still trying to figure out how best to exit the night shifts and into the day.  What is the best way to rejoin the rest of the world?  Of course now, most of the world is out of kelter, too.  We are all shifting in every which direction.  So why try?

However, not trying does not feel good.  So I give up sitting in front of the computer.  My hair is standing on end.  I cannot read.  Nothing sinks in.  My mouth feels like yesterday’s socks.  I am tired and restless at the same time.  I do not want to go to bed.  The sun is out and the world is moving and I feel I should, too.

In the end, I give in to what my body needs….sleep.  I brush my teeth and rinse the grit out of my mouth.  I lay down and sleep only lasted 3 hours.  Well, it is better than nothing.  Oh the joy of shift or social jetlag!  Thou is doing me in.

It is a week and a couple of day shifts later.   I am still feeling like hell.  What excuse do I use now…the weather and changing barometric pressures?  Why not.  End of April and I am still bundling up in winter coat and scarf one day.  The next, I’m in short sleeves and leveling the snow pile in the garden and I’m sweating.  Is that normal?

I woke up this morning with all my bones aching.  My fingers are swollen and my hands sore and throbbing.  I felt nauseous with pain.  I was whiny and miserable.  I felt like throwing a temper tantrum but I am just a little too old for that.   So a painkiller was the next best thing.  It saved the day and a few nerves.

The pill put out the fire in my hands and a small smile on my lips.  It eased my way out the door for a walk with Sheba in the morning and the afternoon.  I was not what you call a ball of fire but I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  The laundry got done.  My uniforms got ironed.  Yesterday’s shopping of meat got cleaned, packed, labeled and put in the freezer.  The floor did not get vacuumed but they were swept.  I remembered not to dwell on perfection.  I remembered to start where I am.  I remembered that I am not responsible for everything, that it’s not my fault that people are unhappy.  I remembered.

Now the day is done.  The sun has set and I am sipping wine.



It is the 20th of March and 36 days into Lent.  It is another day.  I am trying to find my zen.  I am tired from a rem-less sleep.  It is where I am, heavy and loaded down.  This is where I will start.

The fact is, we are down to one loaf of bread and there are no makings for sandwiches for lunch.  The utensils, flour, yeast come out.  And while the dough is rising, I steal one of Sheba’s bones for making soup.  The pot goes on the stove, the bone and water goes on to boil.  In the meantime, I find, wash and chop the vegetables.  The bone comes out, the vegetables go in.

The dough is ready.  I punch it down and divide into three loaves to rise again.  The soup bone is cooled, so out the door it goes with Sheba.  She is out of my hair, gnawing happily for some minutes.  I have some free time to relax with my second cup of tea.  I have an urge to make biscuits to go with the soup but axed it along with the urge to vacuum.  Better to just chill.

The timer is beeping that the loaves are ready for the oven.  I will put them in and then enjoy the warmth and brightness of the sun.  I will catnap with Sheba while the bread bake.  This imperfect life is just purrr-fect.



I’ve lost track of how many days we are into Lent.  I haven’t read my daily messages from A Course in Miracles.  I feel I have lost so much time shifting through my nights at work.  I’m feeling as if I am in my own separate bubble, divorced from the whole wide world.  My cries echo silently in my tiny bubble.

All I feel is my physical discomfort – the thousand aches in my body, my breathlessness, the heaviness of my fatigue.  I would like to be inert forever, but that is also a discomfort unto its own.  So, with effort and the help of Sheba’s insistent barking, I rise out of bed in the morning.  We do the breakfast habit and somehow find ourselves at the park and on the trail between the trees.

Sheba runs this way and that way, happy to be free out in the world again.  I trudge along, my steps easing and lengthening as we went along.  I take a breath in and breathe out through the opening in my heart and felt my aches melting with each breath.  Oh, sweet relief!

Life is a struggle sometimes.  But where would we be without those struggles?  There would be no need to find solutions to problems, no experimenting, no puzzles to solve.   Through these days in Lent, I have abandoned my pursuit of happiness and perfection.  I think we have been sold a false set of goods by the media of what a good life is – the perfect house, the car, the money, the job, the stuff…..

Instead, through my time in the desert, I will learn to live, in this moment as I am.  I will be impeccable with my works.  I will not take anything personally.  I will make no assumptions.  I may fail and fall down, but I will get up and try again.  I will do my best. That is all that anyone can do, their best.



I dare you to.  How often have you been dared?

I came upon  a website called the other day.  I thought I would like to do a dare a day, but maybe not for 30 days.  The dare issued out by Fakeku Fatumise appealed to me.  He dared me to breathe into my bigness and bring it out into the world.

Well, I am Chinese, the first born and a born again Catholic.  That should say something to you.  I am forever immersed in guilt and duty, and of course, perfection.  Even though I try my best not to fall into their clutches, down I would fall again and again.  I have  no bigness and my heart feels small and tight.  And my mind chatters ceaselessly into my ear – about how lacking I am, how small I am.

And so I sit and close my eyes.  I relax my shoulders. I take a deep breath in and breathe slowly out through this small opening in my chest.  I feel the opening widening, my chest expanding.  I’m rising out and above myself.  I see myself as this small human being who never thought of herself as being an individual with her own breath.  How could that be, a person with no breath of her own?

Well, she never lived for herself.  She was unconscious.  She was bound by duty and guilt.  Long ago in one conscious moment, she was aware that she would rather be unhappy herself than make another so.  But somehow we have this innate sense of survival and she could not quite forfeit that right.  It was a good thing, she was told by an expert.  Since then, she’s daring to breathe, but sometimes she forgets and falls down, down, down the winding staircase of life.

But I can pick myself up, dust myself off.  I try not to beat myself up too much.  I try not to obsess too much.  I breathe.  My heart is getting bigger and I see it is towards myself that I am being small.  I am unkind and ungenerous towards the one that really matters to me.  Without a me, I cannot do for others.

I DARE me to breathe into my bigness and treat myself with loving kindness.  The rest will follow.