August 16 and 16th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It seems I can only show up every other day. Even that is difficult though I have so much good intentions. Now I’m showing up every 3rd day. The heat of this summer is very tiring. I try to do my best to show up where and when it is most important. I was sorely tempted not to show up for my exercise class today. But keeping fit is important for staying active. The class was in the morning and a good way to start the day. It would limber me up for work in the garden after. I bit the bullet, pack my bag and got in my car and went.

Hard things are not quite so hard when you have developed good habits/routines. I have been going to the YWCA for my aerobic class and swimming regularly for years. I know from experience that even though I start off feeling tired and not excited, I end up feeling great after. I have established set grooves which I can slip back into after falling off the wagon. I was glad I made the effort. It was a good class and an opportunity for a bit of socializing, an important thing in these times. It got me out of the house and onward to my day.

I have to admit I have periods of despondency with Covid and climate change. It doesn’t make me feel better knowing that we are all in this together. However, since this is what’s here and there’s nowhere to run, I am facing and accepting. There’s no alternative except to do the things I love and are passionate about. I am a minimalist by nature. I like to ‘make do’ and live frugally. Perhaps it’s from our life in Canada as an immigrant. We didn’t have alot of money. My father had to borrow money to bring my mother, sister and I over from Hong Kong. The money was like an insurance that we would not be a burden on the government.

We/I have always been self sufficient. My mother always had and still have a garden. I got the bug and other things from her. I love experimenting and trying new plants and ways of growing. They are endless. I get tired but I never get bored. I am often excited and awed by the wonder of growing things. It is so rewarding to see some of our harvest.


This morning I am wondering if my ADHD cluttered brain leads me towards the path of depression. It is a very sunny gorgeous morning and I am not at all happy to be a victim of my defective brain. I don’t like to be at the mercy of the weather and other forces. I want to be the captain of my ship. I am hoping I will have more control at the helm with my practice of mindfulness.

To tell the truth, after my morning routines of 20 minutes of this and that, I am at a loss as to what to do. I have ‘much to do’ but they are a ‘clutter’ in my head. I envy people who talked about spring cleaning and can actually get it done. Mostly I talk about it and can never get pass one room. It really ticks me off. Then I fall into gloom, overwhelmed thinking of the rooms, the windows, the closets and tables of clutter and dust. I wonder how I can get past it all.

This morning after I’ve vacuumed the floor of Sheba’s hair and duff, I made a quick sweep of dust in the living room and part of the kitchen. Then I had to stop for a cuppa. And here I am now, tapping out my anguish. I’m remembering to Stop, Take a breath and relax. I tried to Observe this present moment. What am I hearing, seeing and feeling. I am Proceeding forward. STOP.

What I know for sure is, I do not want to do a Marie Kondo. To me, it seems obscene for a consultant to charge $100/hour for a minimum of 5 hours and $50 worth of travel outside of New York City. I wonder how many clutter bugs suffer from ADHD. Would it not be less costly to treat that than spending the money on stuff and then getting rid of them. But I am digressing. How will I solve my problem?

The thing I can’t see is the big picture. The picture is a great big undifferentiated blob in my mind. I have to chop it up into small squares and tackle each square at a time – much like the way I put my tablecloth together. When someone gives me verbal directions to anywhere or how to do anything, my eyes glaze over after the second sentence. I have tried many times to listen more intently but to no avail. However if it is written down, I am able to follow. Ah! Here is my answer. I should put that in practice. I have to figure out what I want to accomplish, break down the steps and write them down. Then DO them.



Oh happy day! I slept last night, not as well as I wished but I was not tossing and turning. The sun is shining. The neighbour’s sunflowers are smiling over the fence. It’s 9 am. The day is before me to do as I please. There is nothing hanging over my head. No deadlines. No must do’s. Nothing. But that does not mean that I should just lull the day away. There are certain habits and routines to follow for a healthy life.

I have gotten up, dressed up and showed up, setting my intentions and goals for the day. I am one who does well with rather than without a program. I like to feel and hear the tap, tap of my keyboard. I like to see the letters and words march across my screen. It makes it real for me, this sitting here, talking to myself and you if you are listening. It’s a great compliment to me if you are.

What’s my plan for the day? First, my qigong routine to loosen and limber up. My shoulders are feeling it from my swim yesterday. Then onward to give the house a quick sweep of Sheba’s hair, harvest the grapes and clean them to make fruit rolls. Those are the important items for today. I’ve been doing my little art projects for awhile now. It’s a habit. I can fit them in easily. They are my dessert of the day.

THE WHOLE PICTURE – Day 101 in a year of…

Day 101, November 2, 2016 @2:22 pm

wewb3750I’ve broken through the first 100 days of trying to doing/seeing things differently. I’m aiming for the next 100.  Any breakthroughs/lightbulb moments?  Yes and no.  The first thing I realize is how habitual I am. I sit in the same chair.  I drink from the same cup.  I wear the same kind of clothes.  I have attachments. I drive the same route.  I go to the same exercise class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I have the same routines.  Habits and routines are not bad.  In fact they are healthy, saving us time and energy.

Change is also healthy but it is hard.  I discover that I do feel uncomfortable when I change where I sit, drinking out of a different cup.  I feel the discomfort thinking about it before I even make the change.  It sounds silly and I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it.  I use the same locker at the YWCA every time I go.  I’m quite put out if someone else claims it before me.  So I’m also territorial!  I will try for a different locker on Friday and get out of my comfort zone.

These 100 days have been a slow go, weary at times.  Each day seem a drip into the bucket from a slow leaky tap.  That’s what real life is like.  It is real life.  But at least I’m breaking out of the grey days of October.  I’ve been whining, complaining  and writing about it the whole month long.  I’m hearing myself and I’m not proud.  I’m making a turn though.

img_7885I’m seeing more of the whole picture now, not just the repetition of me, I and myself. I’m not the only one suffering and struggling.  I’m just more vocal.  And it’s okay. It’s how I find release.  Some of us are more quiet than others.  There’s promise of sunshine tomorrow into next week .  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord.

To the next 100 days!  May I flourish.

Day 3 in the year of…

Choosing something different every day is not relaxing, especially in the beginning.  I don’t mean it is difficult to find something new.  Once I had made the decision to bring it on, all kinds of things turn up.  I am like a kid in a candy store – grabbing this and that.  I am panting with  the excitement of awareness.  I could do different.  I could be different.  I want to multi-task.  That would be defeating.

IMG_6634I chilled, slowed down, breathed and counted to 10.  New is good.  So are old.  Why discard what is good?  I could have a little fun at it, too.  No need to be cerebral all the time.  I got up, dressed up and showed up.  I even put make up on again with different earrings today.  See?  I am having fun playing around with selfies.  Another first.  It is not easy.  Selfies are akin to standing naked in front of a mirror and telling yourself:  I love you.  Ugh!  I am getting over it.  So many things to consider when you point that camera – angle, background, lighting, what to do with your face.  I aim, point and presto!

I stuck with my comfort breakfast -tea and toast. IMG_6638 I don’t have to do a total makeover, to reinvent myself.  Too much could send me into outer space.  Comfort stuff is good  to balance the new.  I love reading mystery and fluff.  Nora Roberts fits the bill.  No need to be cerebral all the time.  I could lighten up with my writing, with everything.  See what I mean?  So many new directions.

PEBO2425It’s a must to stay with some old routines and habits. I couldn’t do without my 3 times a week aerobic class . It works wonders for my brain and heart, keeping cortisol levels low and serotonin high. It clears my brain fog and keeps me fairly sane.

Enough for today.  Not exactly a masterpiece but it was today.  How was your day?  Did you have fun?  Did you choose something different?  Till tomorrow.

PS:  I accidentally screwed up the header photo of my blog.  Dont’t know quick way to fix.  But it is something new. LOL.  Tomorrow will be soon enough.


Today’s prompt:  What tiny rituals: signal that your day is starting; help you ease into a creative project; give you closure from an intensive task; or mark other significant milestones in your day? What new rituals would you like to create in the new year?

IMG_6927For me everything begins and ends with a cup of tea – be it a cup of rich spicy Chai or the smooth woodsiness of Rooibos in the morning.  In the afternoon I enjoy a cup of Orange Pekoe for a pick-me-up.  Nothing soothes like chamomile with a bit of honey in the evening.  I would be in trouble if there is a prohibition on tea!

I have wondered what is it about this simple beverage that gives me such comfort and pleasure.  Having grown up mostly in Canada, I am not familar with the Chinese tea culture or ceremony.  I must have developed and perfected my own tea ceremony over the years.  It has served me well, giving me time and pause to breathe – to inhale and exhale, to rest, rejuvenate and to re-evaluate what road I need to go down next.

IMG_6929Taking time to rise and put the kettle on changes my perspective of many things besides my surrounding.  I am no longer inert and staring helpless and stuck at my keyboard.  Moving and filling the kettle stirs my brain and memory.  A word, an idea and sometimes a whole new sentence comes to me.  I sigh inside, my body whispering, ahhhh.  A conversation starts in my head.  I do not feel stuck anymore.

IMG_6931The water boils.  Steam comes in a steady stream from the spout.  I turn the burner off.  I open the cupboard door and finds my favourite mug.  I look through my array of teas to chooses one for my mood of the moment.  Do I need smoothing out, or do I want to step it up?  How about something in the middle to keep the flow of words coming?

My tea ceremony works well in easing me in and out of the day. In recent days, I have rediscovered my love of swimming laps.  The warmth of the water and the rhythm of my strokes smooth and sooth me.  I am caressed by the water as in a mother’s womb.  I am once again held by everlasting and unconditional love. My arms are reaching through the water, slicing away the worry and stress of an ordinary life.  It is a good routine and ritual to keep for the upcoming year.  I am feeling blessed.


Routines can be so tedious at times.  Ugh!  That is what I am feeling at this moment.  I am here, nevertheless, with my morning Chai.  I am feeling more myself.  It’s good to be able to sleep again laying down – two nights in a row now.

I had been sleeping in my recliner, being breathless and panicky laying down.  I was feeling attached to my Lazy Boy.  I was afraid of letting it go, but I survived.  How quickly habits and attachments set in.  It reminded me of a patient I had.  Her hospital stay was longer than expected.  She had one complication after another.  She finally went home after a lengthy stay.

She dropped by with a box of chocolates and thank you card after being home for a week. She was teary talking about being home.  She was anxious and missed the side rails on her bed and having curtains around.  She worried about being crazy.  I reassured her that she was not.  She had been so sick and having people around her, checking on her 24 hours/day for weeks.  It was a natural thing to feel a bit insecure, even if her husband and children were in the house.  She breathed a big sigh of relieve.  It mattered to her that I understood how she felt.  She left with a smile amid her tears.  I was happy to be able to do that.

Yesterday was a wordless day. It was a time to catch up with family.  It was time for lunch with my mother and sister.  I hadn’t seen them for awhile.  It was time to get reconnected. It was a time for my sister and I to give our mother some time, to listen to her stories and reminiscences.

And today is a picture-less day.  It’s not a day of creativity so I worked – at paying my bills and other necessities of life.  When you can’t create, you can work.  I can work at putting things in order.  I am tired.  I am worn out.  I am feeling life.  This is the best I can do today.  Tomorrow is another day.



I’m moving slowly and heavily through the day.  The weather is playing havoc with my body and my mind.  I am familiar with this game so I know the moves well.  First one foot, then the other and so on.  I am moving slowly but still making progress.

It rained all day yesterday.  But it was one of those comforting days you felt cocooned in the house and what you were doing.  The sound of rain falling was a soothing backdrop. It surrounded me with its music.

IMG_4891Today started off well enough with the sun lighting up my office in the early hours.  Oh, nice!  I breathed, ready for the day.  I went to put the tea kettle on.  By the time I came back, it had clouded over.  And so it stayed for the morning.

You have to play the hand day you’re dealt. This is where routines and rituals came to my aide.  They help push me through the day.  So I hurt and my head is all fogged up.  I’m not scheduled to do brain surgery today.  I have paid all my bills online yesterday.  Whew!  But I still need to eat.

I’ve been baking bread using the same recipe for the four years.  I know it by heart.  On a day like today, I decide to check it just to be safe. Better be sure then sorry that I goofed on the salt or the yeast.  Nothing worse than six loaves of salty and/or leaden bread staring at you, fresh from the oven.

Even then, I still thought as I went along.  Was that number 5 or 6 cups of flour?  How much honey did I put in just now?  I had to put a stop to my defective thoughts.  I needed to trust myself, no matter how uncertain I felt.  It was like running back to see if you had locked the door time after time.  Enough was enough!

IMG_1012It all went well.  There was a flow in the measuring, stirring and mixing. Kneading the dough soothed and cooled my aching hand and fingers.  It took my mind off the fog in my head.  No mishaps of too much/too little of ingredients.  Six loaves came out browned and wholesome.

In the meantime, the weather waxed and waned.  Clouds and rain followed by sunshine, followed by clouds and rain again.  In between Sheba and I managed to get our walk in.

You have to make hay while the sun shines and if you’re handed lemons, make that lemonade.  I like mine a bit on the sweet side, if you don’t mind.



IMG_5779This morning I woke to snow again.  I asked my Sheba if there’s a reason for me to get out of bed.  She licked my face and said, ‘Come on! Play with me!’   So how can I say no?  I got out of bed, washed my face, brushed my teeth and fixed my bed head.

I put the kettle on and went downstairs to turn on the grow light for my seedlings.  It’s all routine now, part of my repertoire.  The water is boiled.  I fix my lemon water with a tad of honey.  I take my medications.  I stretch this way and that way, warming up for my qigong routine.  Soon my languidness and what’s there to get up for attitude are gone.  And I’m into my day.

Snow continues to fall in soft fluffy flakes into the afternoon.  That’s how it is IMG_0558sometimes.  Into your life some snow must fall.  I get my cup of tea and wrap myself in my Hudson’s Bay blanket. What a good time to read a bit of Joan Hammersmith’s The Raw Bold Truth.  I’m ready to read it now, though I am not quite ready to face all my own raw truth.  Some day, some day I will.

I made plans to take my mother out for coffee in the afternoon.  I have my tax return to mail and a prescription to pick up.  It will be good for both of us to get out.  I have some of my best times with my mother. She is the wisest and strongest woman that I know.  I am lucky to be her daughter.

Days can start out on a dreary note.  But we can choose how it can go.  My day has been great.  I am glad that I have developed habits that have enabled me to fly despite the inclement weather.  How has your day gone?