Saturday. Five days have passed since my drama with my crazy neighbour. I’m almost back to normal but I will never be the same again. I am stronger and smarter. I know I cannot let my guard down with her and in no way can I engage with her. Knowing and saying all this is no guarantee though. I am human. I can slip up. Accidents happen. What cannot happen is I get reactive and angry. It can kill me. I remember all the emotions that ran through me. I was on fire with no escape. After 5 days, the fire is out. I’m left with a dull sorrow wondering how someone could hate me that much for no reason known to me. We live next door to each other but not in each other’s lives.

No, hate is not too strong a word. And no, it’s not a misunderstanding. I’ve lived beside this woman now close to 15 years. It was like this from the beginning. And if you ask me what’s it all about, it’ll be hard to tell you. And you probably think I’m the one causing the trouble. If it is not one thing, it is another. It never stops. I joined a support group with Narcissist Negotiators with Rebecca Zung. I was looking for support but I got trashed by some of the members. I was mocked for growing vegetables in the front ‘messy’ yard. My yard was a huge eye sore for my neighbour. She calls my raised garden beds coffins. She comes into my yard to ‘weed’ and mess around. Her driveway runs along beside my property but she feels she can plant little pine trees right next to my raised bed on my side. She claims she has inches beyond the driveway and she has right to access.

I am sure it all sounds very trivial and I agree. But she has thrown rocks at me because she didn’t like the way I landscape. She removes all the mulch we put around the cedars growing on our side. So we put in a little fence to keep the mulch on our cedars. She enlisted her boyfriend to pull it out. After these episodes we called the police liaison for help. They do help. It keeps her in check. Summer times are bad because we are outside more. Therefore more encounters of the ugly kind. Winters are not trouble free either. She used to shovel all the snow from her long, long driveway onto my yard. She has even thrown it over the back fence when she first moved in. I have asked her not to since I get water damage in my basement from the melting snow in the spring. She calls me crazy and talks over me. But now she can’t because of the cedar trees and raised garden beds. More reason for her hate.

You probably think I’m punishing myself reliving the shit in the retelling of the stories. Not true. The bite and sting of it are all gone. I can see that I contributed nothing to her treatment of me. I respect our boundaries. I do not tell her how to garden or landscape. I do not go onto her property to ‘weed’ or spray whereas she has done unto me. No, I cannot make peace and talk it over with her. She does not allow me to speak. She talks over me. Communication is important but in this case it is not possible. Talking with her is very dangerous for my health. The only tools I have is the police liaison and total disengagement. Once upon a time I would have found that sad. Once upon a time I thought it good to know your neighbours. Once upon a time is a beginning of a fairy tale that no longer works for me.

It is Sunday morning and cloudy it is. It was so sunny and hot only yesterday. Like the climate this new world of ours is stormy and unpredictable. I don’t like it much but it is what it is. We’ve all contributed to the making of it so let’s not cry over spilt milk. I read a wonderful quote from someone’s Instagram post this morning. I was in that peaceful space for a very short time, just before my mishap with the neighbour. I guess it was my practice run. Maybe I add add on a few seconds each day.

“How wonderful it must be to speak the language of the angels, with no words for hate and a million words for love.” ~The Angels’ Little Instruction Book


I never have a lack of things to do. Still, I’m apt to waste time scrolling through celebrity gossip. I caught myself just now and quickly exit the article. Why do we do it? For me it is procrastination. It’s a lot easier to do than to settle down to business of writing my Friday now Saturday post. I’m tired and wanted to go the way of least resistance. I’ve learned that it can lead to trouble and more work. Now I tried to be more disciplined and focus on the task at hand. There are other tasks in the lineup. I better step on it and smartly.

I’ve been a busy little beaver. I’m usually up before 7 am. For an ex night owl, it’s remarkable. I look forward to getting up each morning. It’s the best part of my day. Goes to show that we are not born a natural this or that. We can change. I love the quiet of the morning when the world is still asleep. There’s no rush of traffic. Sometimes there’s a fellow early bird out for a walk. How I wish that the world is always so peaceful instead of being on fire as Dr. John Campbell talks about in this video.

Serious, scary and not so new news but not talked or reported much. I wonder what it will take for the powers to address the problems for the good of the planet and humanity. It seemed that they are concerned mostly with economic growth. What about social and humanitarian growth? And I wonder what kind of a man choose war over people’s lives and livelihoods. I wonder what kind of society we live in that choose guns and money over children’s lives. Our world, indeed, is on fire.

I can take some comfort that I am doing some correct things no matter how small. I took heed about where our planet is heading. I haven’t been preparing for a famine but rather spending time on things that mattered to me. I take pleasure in growing my own food and being self sufficient. It is so satisfying to see the lunch before me is prepared with everything that we grew. It is hard work. It is a choice gladly made.


It’s Saturday morning, September 25th. It’s sunny and warm – 17℃. I should be happy but I am quirky and irritated as hell. I am living in the moment of how it is. I had a restless sleep, waking up every couple of hours. Things creep under my skin, unwelcomed as they are. I am pissed at the ineptitude of our government, the stupidity, ignorance and selfishness of anti-maskers,anti-vacs and conspiracy theorists. How can we go from stringent restrictions for Covid to have them all lifted on July 11th? There was no easing in period to see what would happen. The outcome was quite predictable given that the variant was already in our midst and that it is much more contagious.

It is Sunday morning, September 26th. Another beautiful sunny day at 16℃. It is 20℃ in the greenhouse. It’s pretty fabulous for this time of the year. My cucumbers and bittermelons are thriving. I’ve lost count of how many and which of the little starting cukes I have pollinated. The tomatoes and peppers are still going strong. I am really surprised at all the new growth. This is my therapy room. I feel better the moment I step into it.

I am feeling a tiny bit more cheerful, having gone to bed super early last night. I had a good sleep the first 3 hours. Then it was awake every 2 hours. It’s like my body was on alert, waiting for something to happen. I’m not fretting over it. It is what it is. My kitchen drain is still not free flowing. I will give it till after the weekend and the bottle of enzyme is finished. A professional plumber might be in order. Somethings you can’t be stubborn about.

The other day I noticed how difficult it was for me to focus. I had trouble even looking at a flyer. I see the pictures but the information was not travelling to my brain. I’m buggered! I need to get my mind back. This time I am working on not going down the same old paths. They haven’t been too successful. I’m resisting looking for and reading another self-help book/video. What I need is action and practice. What do I need to do? What is my next step? What comes to mind is first is:

  • I need to clear my mind by: not multi-tasking, doing one thing at a time
  • stop wasting time scrolling through social media, googling for needless information

I think that these two things are enough for me to work on and chart on for this week. I will get better results if I am mindful and not overburdened. These last two mornings I am mindful, noticing that it doesn’t take any more time or energy if I put things back neatly where they belong instead of just tossing them to wherever. In fact it saves time and energy. A light bulb moment. I am a slow learner!


I seem in live in such chaos though I try so hard for order. Maybe it is only so in my head. I was in such a fluster this morning when I couldn’t find my cheque book. Now if I would only get my shit together and take the time and trouble to get organized, I could be more tranquil. Easier said than done though, right? Not really. I recognize my problem, moan and groan about it but I don’t make a physical move to rectify it. But I did find my cheque book, made it out and mailed it. I could learn how to use E-Transfer in the future and dispense with the cheques altogether.

It is afternoon, 4:50 pm to be exact. Not the best time of the day for me. I have prioritize and got the important things done first. Morning walk with the mister to the mall up the street. I got the said cheque mailed, bought soy sauce, yogurt, vitamins and sunblock. I was tired by the time we got home. Walking seemed to use a different set of leg muscles than skiing. I was unpacking my bag and looking forward to my second cup of tea when I noticed I was missing the sunblock. Phoning the store, I learned that I had dropped it near the cashier when I was packing it. Darn!

It seemed like a wasted morning walk but I drove to retrieve it. It was so quick and easy. I could see why people/me opted for the easy solution. Heck with walking. I’ll just drive everywhere. Seriously, I was just tired. Walking is good. It’s never wasted. Driving back, I saw a not so young woman carrying 2 bags of groceries and walking home. That shamed and corrected my thinking. Life is hard. It’s good to see people doing the right things.

It’s another beautiful sunny day. The greenhouse was 9.5℃ at 6 am. I think it was 4℃ outside. No need to cover the plants but I don’t trust the weather yet. I seeded a few more things today – Big Beef Tomato, Roma Tomato, some purple sweet pepper and brokali. Seems like I have so many things to sow. I hope I get to reap what I sow. Now It is after 5pm. I better go and cover and close up the greenhouse. Better early rather than late.


Come Saturday Snow

I’m looking forward to have a rest day tomorrow. I’ve had a full but good day. The prediction of a snow storm for the weekend was correct. I’m feeling the storm within. I’m feeling Caroline Myss’s statement of what is in one is in the whole. What’s in the universe is in me. It is a heavy feeling. I hope it passes soon.

I was happy to get my Saturday morning swim back. All the better that it is an hour later than the pre Covid time of 8 am. It wasn’t exactly a crowd but there were 4 more bodies than my previous pool all to myself. It is rather sad that it took a pandemic to make people stay home and not go south of the border. We have plenty of good stuff to enjoy. Too bad for me though. I lost my own private winter pool. But it was good for me to share and to swim a little faster. Some people are nervous. I could feel their frenzy in the water. I was happy enough to step out after doing 18 lengths.

The snow started coming down heavier in the afternoon. I was glad to get to the library after my swim. Two of my reserved books have arrived – Brave New Medicine and The Art of Fermentation. Both have very good reviews. I love Michael Pollan’s forward in the latter. He describes fermentos as a most interesting, eccentric and generous bunch. I like to think of myself belonging to such a group. To date, my fermentation adventure includes making sourdough bread and pancakes, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha and fermenting beans and Jerusalem artichoke. It is very rewarding. The book promises more.

Looks like winter and snow is going to stay. I don’t really mind. The snow makes everything look clean and lightens up the darker mornings and earlier evenings. We got our greenhouse finished just in time. It’s a good thing I rescued the little onions from the garden yesterday. It’s something already a little green I can plant in the greenhouse. Today I thought of the geranium and some succulents that can tolerant some cold. And I seeded some radish. The passive solar greenhouse is a total new thing to us. It is fun to experiment to see what can and cannot be done. What I could lose are a few seeds and plants. I will gain much fun and knowledge. It will all fill my spirit.


Life is messy. My house is messy. My head is messy. That’s how they feel to me. There’s a correlation between it all. I don’t know how to clean them up. I don’t know where to begin. I’m a little antsy. I’m a little stressed. I got a yen for something sweet. So I ate 2 little Coffee Crisp bars left from Hallowe’en. They’re very little. I’m having a green tea to counteract them. I know it’s faulty rationale but it is the best I can come up with.

I did enjoy the chocolate bars immensely. Sometimes I just have to indulge. I might as well get pleasure and not guilt from doing it. I did this the other day. I’ve just done it again today. I am feeling annoyed with everything in my universe lately. It’s just a feeling I’m not sure I’m entitled to. It helps me to tap about it. It helps to do something else besides obsessing about it. Nothing changes without action.

It’s about a week now since I wrote those words. It’s another Saturday – still my favourite day of the week. I haven’t fallen off my swimming wagon. I was late but I still showed up. I got in 16 lengths, in 30 minutes, 4 short of my usual 20. I was impressed with myself, feeling powerful. Not only that, yesterday I jumped up on 3 risers after our exercise class was over.  Not long ago I was afraid to jump on just the platform without any risers. Every little extra thing I can do beyond myself gives me a little boost. It’s a good reason to indulge in an A&W whole enchilada breakfast.

My goal now is to get to the pool on time Saturday mornings and go for 22 lengths. I will practice a little while on jumping 3 risers till I gain enough confidence. Then I will try for 4 risers. It’s really mickey mouse when you look at this guy.



Saturday morning, 9:37 but already my eyes are heavy with sleep. The sky is very grey, the air humid and heavy. We had more rain last night. We might again today. It’s not difficult to believe that the earth is coming to an end. We are experiencing weather like we’ve never had before. We cannot deny that there is climate change, can we? I am feeling grey and morose but who can blame me.

It would be easy to curl up with my current read, Educated by Tara Westover. It’s very compelling, hard to put down like Wild by Cheryl Strayed. You might disagree as each reader reads through different eyes and experiences. However, this morning I am practicing discipline. I’m trying hard not to give in to my natural inclination of going with the flow of not being in the present moment, not trying, not doing anything. I’m here with my tea tapping my ponderings of this and that.

What I cannot ignore in this minute is Sheba. She’s laying right next to me. She’s not smelling sweet and hasn’t for a while. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and take her into our walk in shower. It’s not as hard to do as it is thinking about it and smelling her. I have enough time before making lunch.

It’s Sunday morning coming down. I’ll try not to dawdle and dwell in the sad song of Johnny Cash and Kris Kristopherson. After all, I haven’t been out on an all night bender. So let me sit and be here, present and full alert, starting my day.

I’m not much of a to-do list maker, having tried numerous times. It only lasts for a few days. I have more success of showing up here consistently. It’s a good place to ponder and ask questions of myself (and you if you are reading). I often do get insights and answers. Seeing thoughts and questions in writing gives me clarity and objectivity. Sometimes the thoughts in print pushes me into action.

Yesterday was such a case. After having said that Sheba stank and needed a bath badly, I thought why don’t I do it now? I had time before lunch. I did just that. First, I showered and dried Sheba, cleaned the shower and then me -all before lunch. It was a bit physically taxing but rewarding for me. She was sweet smelling and sleek after a good brushing. I’m still brushing today. It’s molting season and there’s endless hair coming out with each brush stroke. Heavy big sigh…

It’s the Canada Day long weekend, a national holiday. I’ve never been a fan of holidays. For me there’s this obligation to celebrate and have a good time. Not that I have anything against either, but you see, I’m an immigrant child of immigrant parents. I know I am no longer a child and I’ve been here much longer than I’ve been in my born country. Still, feelings persist. Feelings of missing my tribe and culture. Growing up in small town, Canada, there was very few of my people in town to gather and celebrate. So this feeling of being left out, looking from the outside into another culture left a gnawing feeling of always longing for belonging.  It is not a bad thing. It’s good to recognize one’s feelings. That longing has led me on a search that has led to many wonderful things.


Saturday rainy morning coming down. I’m counting our good fortunes. I can’t imagine anyone complaining about more rain. Our corner of this earth is very dry. I am trying to move forward in my day. It is easier said than done. So many things are easier said than done. I have been reading Pema Chodron’s Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. It is beautifully written and full of wisdom. I’m soaking up tiny drops of it every morning.

What I value most of all is that I am softening up inside, slowly letting go of my rigidity, of things that no longer work. It is not an easy process. This morning I am feeling my heart closing up again. I am who I am. And you can’t make me change, it declares. Alrighto! I will not fight it. Nothing good comes out of ill fought struggles. The heart feel what it feels. I will observe and honour it. The time will come when it can willingly soften and open its door. The time will come when I can receive and accept whatever that comes without judgement and resentment. I can and I will!

I am happy that I have shown up here before my keyboard. I am sitting here amid the clutter of my desk. I’m not waiting for the perfect moment. I’m not waiting till everything is in perfect order. I am not waiting till I feel ‘fine’ and in ‘working condition’. I am showing up, sitting down and letting my fingers do the walking and talking. Somehow, they find the words and sentences. I sit and watch them march across the screen. I wonder where they come from. I wonder where they will go and when they will return.

Now that I have some words and thoughts out, I can settle into the day. I will not be distracted and lost in my head and feelings. Lunch is the next thing on my agenda. I bought some hemp hearts and chia seeds yesterday. I am eager to try them out in salads. I have a bag of spinach harvested from our raised beds begging to be eaten.

It is after lunch. The rain is pouring down. I hope that it’s not too much of a good thing all at once. All our rain barrels are full. We can stand to save some rain for later in the season. It is what it is. We can not hold back nature but we can learn to live in harmony with nature to ensure the health of our planet. What we do to nature, we do to ourselves. So how much do we care – about our earth and ourselves?


Saturday, my favourite day of the week. The sky and air are heavy, pressing their weight on me. It is difficult to feel at ease with the day. I am proceeding as best as I can. The time is appropriate to be reading Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You, A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. There are many places and things that scare me but I am learning to sit and stay with them. I am learning to be a warrior-bodhisattva though I am at times quivering in my seat.

I should really come here regularly, more often than I have of late. I should but haven’t. I am really doing the best I can most days. I should give up the shoulds and just accept myself as I am. The complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is called maitri. The 4 qualities of maitri that are cultivated when we meditate are: steadfastness, clear seeing, experiencing our emotional distress and attention to the present moment.

It’s Sunday morning. It has drizzled overnight. The sky is overcast but the sun is trying to show up. I am, too. I am glad to have an art challenge to do. When the going gets tough, it is helpful to have a ‘chore’ to do. I’m doing Daisy Yellow’s annual ICAD (index card a day). It gives me a start to the day when I’m in stuck mode. I’ve been feeling stuck for too long now. At the end of the day I’ve created one thing even if it is the only thing.

Today is such a day. I haven’t even gotten out of my pjs. I should have used the momentum from the paint session to propel myself forward onto another activity. I didn’t. But I did learned that once I put a splash of paint on the card, it painted itself. The paint and brush had a life of their own. They were guiding and soothing me. I was infused with this exquisite feeling inside. My judgement and criticisms of my work and style evaporated. I was happy just pushing the paint around the card. I felt delicious just being me, painting the way I do. Perhaps I’m not stuck but just staying with being myself.


It’s another Saturday. I’m still on my sabbatical from my Saturday morning swim. I’ve given in to my natural state of inertia. It’s nice to have a rest and enjoy the nothingness of a weekend morning. I was tempted to resist all physical efforts but the stiffness from yesterday’s tabata workout urged me to do my qigong routine. I was happy that I could overcome my resistance. I’m loosened and more relaxed for the rest of the day.

I want to get back into the swim next week or my inertia could go on forever. I am like that. A reminder that I have two big credit card bills coming due motivated me to settle them right after breakfast. It’s a wise move to do the hard things first. It lifts that burden so my mind is not preoccupied with it all day. I have learned some things in April. They’re working for me. I’m gaining small pockets of organization here and there. I am pleased. I have worked hard last month. It’s time to sit back a little and not be so uptight about everything.

But I know myself. I’m a bit anal. I am obsessive by nature. If something grabs my attention, it is difficult for me to do small doses at a time. So now that I’ve identified this trait in me, I’ll probably obsesse about correcting it. I guess it is not a bad thing but I will try to modify myself. I never run out of goals. I’m a self-improvement junkie. I think it is in my genes but at least it is not about drugs.

I’ve really enjoyed the free version of The Brain Change Summit presented by Sounds True. Brain health is another of my obsessions. I didn’t have time and energy to catch them all but was happy to catch the one on the Alzheimer’s Solution by Dr. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai. It was an excellent presentation with no magic cures/pills. The solution is more about prevention. I shall add their book to my list of readings. Enough muttering for now. Time for a little down time with Kinsey Millhone in O is for Outlaw.