I’m having my second cup of tea and waiting for the sun to rise high and bright. I woke at 6 am to a temperature of -16 ℃ outside and -5.1 ℃ in the greenhouse. It is 7:50 am and the temperatures have climbed to -17 ℃ and -5.9 ℃. It will start to get warmer in another hour. Will my 4 tomatoes survive the test? They each are under layers of 2 pots and at least 5 layers of different cloth. They had survived minus temperatures up to -5 ℃ in the greenhouse before but I think it was a shorter period. I guess we will know in a few hours. The sun is bright and full above the horizon now.

Spring holds so much promise but it can be wearing also. I do not like this in between phase, the bouncing temperatures and the melting snow. I will miss the cross country skiing. It was not a great ski yesterday afternoon. The tracks more messed up, the snow sinking beneath my skis. One round around the park and I called it quits. The sun was out when we started for the park. Then just like that it disappeared. The clouds came and the sky darkened. I could feel a storm in the air. I would have welcomed more snow. None came.

The sun is quite bright now, coming in the east windows of my sunroom. It has always been a very bright room. Since we took the spruce trees down in August it is that much brighter and warmer when there is sunlight. Sometimes it is almost too warm even in March. How powerful the sun! In these few minutes the temperature has risen to -5.5 ℃ in the greenhouse. I am hopeful for my tomatoes.

It is 9:30 am. The greenhouse is warming up nicely at -3 ℃. Meanwhile it is -14 ℃ outside. The sun is bright. It looks warmer than it actually is. Stepping out onto the deck, the sun does not look or feels so warm. It has that grey cold of tepid dish water. I feel livelier than yesterday but I still would like to sink into a chair and stay there. Self talk was effective yesterday so I talked myself through sweeping the kitchen floor. Without Sheba, it is full of crumbs of all sorts. It is surprising how crummy a crumby floor can make me. Now if I can extend my self talk….

Ah, it is 0 ℃ in the greenhouse at 10 am. Pretty soon I can do the unveiling and see what happened to the tomatoes.


I’m feeling super slow and stiff this morning. I would not mind drinking tea and not moving at all today. Of course that makes me feel so guilty. Not wanting to ski till afternoon, I had to think of how to offset my laziness. While waiting for my kettle to boil, I summoned enough energy to throw all the laundry, blacks and whites, into the washer. I hear that is the trend nowadays. It usually goes against my grain, but I see no harm in doing that once in a blue moon. It saves a bit of energy for vacuuming the stairs and bathroom. Lint and dust gatherings there makes me feel worse when I’m feeling tired.

It never fails. No matter how many pairs of reading glasses I have, there’s none around when I’m looking for one. But I did find a pair when I was downstairs putting the laundry in. And, of course, it has to be right after I planted some tomatoes in the greenhouse that the night time temperature will drop. Why did I not check before hand? I was feeling pretty confident yesterday after 2 mornings of above 0 temps in the greenhouse. So I planted 4 of my Long Keeper tomatoes. Then I see that the low tonight is going to be -18 ℃. Yikes!

Not all is lost. I had 24 plants total. Lost one to frost. Planted 4. That still leaves me with 19. I shall bring all the unplanted seedlings in the house for tonight. There’s no point in playing Russian roulette and losing them all. The 4 that are planted can be the test subjects. It is sunny morning. Already the greenhouse is up to 9.1 ℃. I shall cover the tomatoes with black pots, row covers and blankets and hope for the best. I have to test the waters. I’m impatient. It’s all a new experience for me.

The laundry is done and hung. I’ve been hanging up clothes to dry forever. It’s not my favourite thing to do but it sure saves on the power bill. It feels like such a hard thing to do. I know it’s not true. It’s a brain thing like so many other chores. Our brains can be tricky. I try not to let it fool me with self talk. I ask myself what’s so hard about it and goes through the steps of hanging up a piece of clothing, one by one. Then it’s all done. I ask myself again, what was hard about that?

I’m having a cup of decaf now. I still feel like hell. Opening a new jar of coffee took effort. Some days are like this. I appreciate that I had put in some seed orders in the winter. I still want a few more things but it is not essential if I don’t.


Some Things You Have to Let Go of

I’ve just done a whirlwind harvest. I’m whopped! I resent not being an Energizer Bunny. I want to go on and on. Alas, I can only go on and then I’m out of huff. That’s how I am. I have to let go of what I can’t do and do the things I can.

This morning the low pressure tire light came on in the car enroute to my exercise class. I pulled over and had a look to see that I’m not driving with a flat. I’ve done that before. All good but it still nagged at me. It would be an easy thing to stop at a tire shop on the way home. They do it for free. I’ve done it before. But it felt difficult. I didn’t want to do it though I tried to tell myself it would be good for me. But my other self said how is that good for me? I don’t have to challenge myself on stupid things. Let the guy do it. It’s a guy thing. It would make him feel good. That won me over. Now I’m convinced that I make life harder than it need be too often. I should relax a little more and more often.

My plan had been to return some library books on the way home this morning. But I didn’t want to drive too much on low tires. The tires are pumped up now but I’m not. I had talked myself into doing the harvest first and then do the library. But now I’m too tired. It’s cold and windy out. I hustled my butt pulling and cutting veggies. I’m talking to myself again. The books can wait another day. There’s no fines because of Covid. There’s lots of traffic this time of the day. My fatigue could cause me to be careless.

My other self didn’t argue with me. So here I sit, sipping my cuppa and tapping for the 14th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It’s good to talk it out, assesse the situation to see if the doing needs doing. Sometimes the not doing is the better choice. Sometimes I get twisted about the stupidest things. Tell me you do, too. Please!


It’s another Covid-19 morning, cool but sunny. I’ve gotten my addiction, my cuppa Orange Pekoe out of the way. It is definitely a trigger for my bladder. I’m not quite as in love with it this morning. I drank it out of a Corelle mug instead of my usual one of china. It does make a difference. Tomorrow I shall try one of my fine china teacups. I have quite a few sitting in the cabinet, just for show. If I’m going to suffer, I might as well do it in style. And they are quite a bit smaller than a mug – 1/3 smaller.

My mood is an improvement over yesterday’s. There’s no need to trash myself about it. I am susceptible to anxiety and depression. There’s no shame about it. These are difficult and weird times. Everyone is feeling it. A dog walking friend admitted that he was feeling anxious and needing some help. I talked to a neighbour at a distance yesterday. She looked tired and a little worn. Worse than me, I thought.

So here I am, tapping out a bit of conversation. I’ve pushed my damp mop around already. I took my dust cloth along, giving a wipe here and there. The mop is much lighter and easier to push than a vacuum. It’s faster and saves on the power bill. I’m learning new and better ways of doing. Hard to give up those ‘healthy’ and yet not good snacks. I’ve just had a few pistachios. They’re on the ‘bad’ list for me. I shall counter act with a couple of dates. I’m off to indulge in my crime novel before tackling lunch.

Now I’m in the evening of the day. Sheba and I had our afternoon walk in the sunshine. I never got my intended work on the other raised garden beds. It can wait till tomorrow. I did indulge in my crime reading. It is a good addiction sometimes. It dispels those creepy feelings of anxiety. My attention is focused on the crime and the chase. It’s a good escape hatchet. Just what I need sometimes. But I did not spend the whole afternoon in escapism. I did a little chopping up cabbage and this and that. Now I have two jars of kimchi fermenting in the basement.

So ends another day. I’m glad I’m showing up here for myself. Self talk is comforting and can be enlightening. Keep well and safe.





I’m consoling myself this morning with a cup of rooibos tea. I’m staring at another blank morning, another blank page. I despise this feeling of blandness and emptiness. But how to make a mark, to scratch the surface? Will it bleed? I resort to mopping up Sheba’s hair to get a start. She has never failed to give me a supply. At least the ice is broken now. We have a start of a conversation.

Lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have interstial cystitis. It’s not deadly but at the same time, there’s no cure. Oh joy! However, let me look at the bright side. It can be treated by dietary changes. I’ve decided to take up the challenge. I’m tired of continuous treks to the bathroom, not to mention getting up 3 times during the night and the water bill. At the same time giving up my favourite drinks and food is enough to spiral my mood downward. I feel a huge depression coming on.

On the list of foods to avoid are: tea and coffee, regular or decaf, carbonated drinks, chocolates, spicy and acidic food, wine….Just when I’ve discovered the wonders of ferments, kimchi and kombucha might be on the no list. Booo! Surprisingly, sourdough bread is ok. I will just have to experiment. I know for so wine is a trigger. It is not a hardship to give it up. On the other hand my Orange Pekoe is. I’ve already caved in and had a diluted cuppa after my walk with Sheba. I am so weak but I haven’t thrown in the towel yet.

I’m still showing up, tapping out each letter, word, sentence, urging myself onward. I felt so low after lunch, it was hard to keep my eyes open, to clean up and get the dishes done. It was one dish, one utensil at a time. Then there was the frying pan. Man, that was tough to get that beast washed. But I did it. I took Sheba for a long walk after. I felt the sun and exercise would be good for stimulating the production of serotonin.

My self talk/tap, urging myself onward worked. I mobilized myself enough to get six tomatoes planted in the raised bed. after our walk. They’re caged and under cover. Let the cold nights come. As for my bladder, I think I’m on the right track. I’m able to increase my holding time to 2 hours and sometimes 3 hours. It is on my mind alot. You know what happens with that! I feel the urge almost instantly the moment it pops into mind. I can talk myself out of it by relaxing a little. I put it off for 10 minutes at a time. Then another. And so on. I’m having some success. I got up only twice for the last couple of nights. Small victories.




Morning has broken again, just like the first morning. The least I can do is get up, dress up and show up. And I have. To do anything, to get anywhere, to change anything, one has to move. That is the law. I have limbered and warmed up to the day by pushing my damp mop over the floors. There is no good reason for me to be despondent and be like a wet noodle. Regardless of what is happening in the world, I am alive and breathing. I still have to get up, brush my teeth and eat. Sheba greets me each and every morning. She still sheds her hair everywhere.

I haven’t gotten the world by the tail but I have made a stab at the day. I’m having a little celebration with a second cuppa. I haven’t cleaned my winter footwear nor filed my income tax yesterday. I did get the humidifier cleaned and put away. Some things are easier to do than others. I try to work with that. No use in fighting against myself. I have a ‘bad’ neighbour for fighting, though I’m brainstorming on how not to let her ‘undo’ me. It is hard. When I see how she is still ‘interfering’ into our yard, I feel anger starting up inside. I know it’s not proper to hate, but I truly hate her and her ‘boyfriend’ from across the street. I take a deep breath in and let it out. I will discard and disregard those few inches of my yard. She can scrape and scratch around our trees if it makes her happy. I will call the police liason again if she goes any further.

I do not want to dwell in the valley of negativity. I am just preparing myself for the coming summer, to foresee possible problems and solutions. I have not always been wise in my actions, words and judgement. I put too much trust in reason and doing the ‘right thing’. I forget not everyone thinks like me and see through my eyes. What I need to remember is boundaries and to respond instead of reacting.

Now it is afternoon. I HAVE cleaned my winter and summer footwear. They’re drying on the deck. I’m thinking how nice it would be to slip my feet into clean shoes. A pat on the back for me! I have to own the day by grabbing it in the morning. It means a little work and will power. What’s life without some work and effort. Nirvana is overrated. It leaves me without a compass. A little stress of the right kind makes for a happier, fulfilled life.



Just like that, yesterday’s sun left us. I woke to grey misty skies. The air is heavy and humid, smelling much like a wet Sheba. I had decided last night I would give up my exercise class for this week. I was feeling the fatigue of the heat. I am getting enough exercise running after Sheba and tending the garden. There’s no point in over stressing myself. Our aging bodies are not as efficient at regulating body temperature as when we were younger.

The thunder and lightning storm was no surprise. It was a lot of noise and show but it was short lived. Sheba and I still did a short walk with our umbrella. The rain cooled the streets and sidewalks. The smell of wet cement and asphalt was not pleasant. It made me wonder when did we get to be a concrete jungle. Oh, life in the city. I hear Joni Mitchell singing, Big Yellow Taxi. She wrote that in 1970 when she was 27. She certainly saw things clearly. Wish I was that observant.

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

That was this morning. Now it is after 4 pm. Just as quickly the sun, heat and humidity is back. I was enjoying my lunch in the cool of the deck at noon. I was even thinking of a sweater or blanket then. Now I’m driven indoors by the heat. I’m feeling a tad blue despite the brilliant sunshine. That, of course, makes it worse. I know that it’s due to the fluctuating weather and temperature. Still it leaves me with a feeling of failure, inadequacy and whatnot. The air is heavy, still with a faint wet dog odour.

It is not Sheba, either, though it would be easy to blame her. She’s freshly laundered 2 days ago. She’s still sweet smelling and shedding her now fluffy fur. We’ve had 2 days of brushing now. First one side one day, then the other the next. She’s looking almost sleek now. I am glad that I’ve done that before my mood dip and my energy with it. I’ll see if I can talk myself out of it.

Talking to myself is not always effective or good when I’m feeling low. I end up ruminating on the wrong things, things that probably have no validity. I opted to get up and do something, like making supper. I wandered out to harvest some veggies from the raised beds. The raspberries needed picking, too. Then why don’t I trim the grass. It’s getting long. It didn’t take long. I thought maybe I should fill the beds with water. It’s been awhile since the last time and the top soil felt dry. I amazed myself at how much I got done once started.

No sooner had I got inside, the sun disappeared and thunder started rumbling in the air. The house was encased in gloom. Ah! I am really sensitive to the weather. I’m not using it as an excuse for my moods at all. The wind blew and the rain came pouring down. No climate change, eh? My supper was later than I planned. Then I discovered my fridge didn’t feel cool at all. Investigation, tossing, cleaning and defrosting the little freezer on top all ensued. I hope it solved the problem till a new one could be bought.

No surprise that it is late again. The dishes and stuff in the sink can wait. Sheba never got her afternoon walk. She’s ok. I’m ok. We’re getting wiser and more flexible as we age. Both of us.




I’ve let go of some of my routine and habits. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought I would relax a little and ‘let go’. I’ve let go too much. I’m having trouble getting my discipline back. It’s time to walk my furry baby but I don’t want to do that either. I must. It’s her birthday. She got her birthday chew. I can’t deprive her of her walk. Guilt will get me going – after I finish my tea. Heavy big sigh.

How did I get to this spot? It’s like pulling teeth getting things done. The arthritis in my left hand is not helping. It’s almost 4 months now. Some days it is not bad. Then it’s not good the last 2 days. My ring finger is swollen and bent. I spend moments straightening and massaging it. Otherwise, it would seize up and I would have to snap it open. Ouch! Ah, I better take a tylenol. Time to take Sheba out.

I tanked out after Sheba’s birthday walk yesterday. My discipline has gone to the dogs. Not a good thing. Real life happens. I don’t want it to go on for much longer. It doesn’t feel good, this lethargy. I feel as if I’ve lost all ambition and resolve. I feel as if I’ve lost purpose. I want to say, What is the point? The world is on the brink of destruction. The fires burn on. Violence continues. We are a selfish specie. We only care about the me, I and myself. We only care about money and stuff.

Clearly one thing I need to change is my self talk and my vocabulary. I am thinking and talking myself into a blue streak. I have to keep some blinds open and let natural light in. Maybe I can paint some blue skies to counter the clouds and smoke. Real life sucks sometimes but that’s life. I must be doing some things right. I am not behind with life. My bills are paid up. My car is serviced. Doctor and dental checkups done. I have family and a few friends. I have some junk cluttering my surfaces but nothing that would shock your socks off if you pay me an unexpected visit.

By my own accounts, I must be doing okay. I went to my exercise class this morning. I can still talk and interact with people. Somebody gave me some rhubarb muffins. Another some cucumbers. I harvested 2 more spaghetti squash from the raised garden bed. I already have 5 in the basement. I made lunch. Dishes are not done but soaking. I think I’m just going through a life bump. I’ll be back to ‘normal’ in a bit. No worries.



So here I am, in the late of the evening. I’ve wined and dined. I haven’t come up with the secret to eternal wisdom nor happiness. Needless to say, it has been a tough day, a day of clouds and cool temperatures for July. But I did the best I could. Despite the clouds, my yard and garden glowed in the early morning light. It cheered me, standing on the top step. The path led straight to the garage door. Lao Tzu and the Chinese maiden are standing on duty on each side. I’m waiting for Sheba to finish her morning business. My passion for a well lived life remains unabated.

Nothing was really wrong except for my chemistry. My mood is like the weather. The good, bad and ugly played hide and seek with each other. I let them be, but stepped in as a referee when needed. It was tough and painful at times, almost bringing tears to my eyes. But I got through the tough stretch. The bills were paid and recorded. I thought I would leave sorting and filing for another day. I rewarded my efforts with a hot chocolate and a few pages of my crime novel, Moon Music. Faye Kellerman is my new favourite mystery writer. I find mystery/crime novels soothing and calming because they engage me.

Engagement is the key for me on difficult days. I tell myself, I can, I can. I can change my thoughts and how I speak to myself. I can make lunch. I can make a rhubarb crisp. I can do my art projects. And so I did. The rhubarb crisp wasn’t quite up to par. That was because I decided to make it in a smaller pan with same amount of rhubarb. But after I popped it back into the oven for another 20 minutes, it was okay. My indexcard collage and watercolour turned out superb – in my opinion. I experimented with pureeing steamed lettuce for freezing. I put the puree into an ice cube tray. After they are frozen, I will pop them out and store in a freezer bag. I might be going overboard in preserving veggies, but I hate waste. And we have lots of lettuce. I will see how they will work out in soups and chili.

After that being done, there’s the dog to walk. It’s a pleasure after we get going. A sniff here, a sniff there. I like admiring other people’s yards, their efforts. I am sure they struggle, too. We are all trying. We all have our passions. We are all the same. We are connected by our humanity. Thus I feel comforted in my own struggles along with them .


Sometimes ill winds blow even on sunny days. There is nothing I can do. I have learned over time to stand/sit tall and let them blow over me. I try to emulate Patience and Fortitude, the lions in front of the New York Public Library. I must with patience and fortitude retain the core of myself through all kinds of weather – sunshine or rain. Whatever comes my way, I’m ready. Bring it on! Amazing the power of words and self-talk! I love Mary Sarton’s words, her self talk.

“Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”

It is hard for me to let go. I tend to hang on with tooth and nail. My grip is loosening with age. The truth is I’ve worn my nails to the quick. Sometimes there is no choice but to let go. I have to confess I have lost some parts of myself on this life journey. I’m walking my own Camino Road to retrieve them. I’m much like Dorothy and her companions going down the Yellow Brick Road. The Scarecrow searching for a brain, the Tin Man a heart and the Lion courage. I’m searching for all three. There is happy ending for Dorothy and her friends. I believe there is one for me, too, though I wouldn’t call it ‘ending’.

I much prefer beginnings. I like the idea of waking every morning to a new day and another crack at things. I get to re-program myself. I would delete the stuff that didn’t work and try something new and different. Who wants to wake up to the same old, same old like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day? No one but I have been without knowing it. I’m grateful to my ‘bad’ days. They tell me that I’m not having such a good time and things are not ticking along. My ducks are all out of alignment. It’s time to take a different path or pull over and take a rest.

Maybe, just maybe, I have all the stuff I’m looking for. Maybe I should search within myself. I could have been barking up the wrong tree, going down the wrong garden path all this time. Gee whiz, why don’t I watch where I am going?