November 2, the second day of a new month. I’m still motivated and since it is NaNoWriMo I could come to this space and write a post a day. I don’t have it in me to write a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. I have tried to a couple of times and failed. I’m a woman of few words. I believe what I have to say is more important than the number of words. It could be that I am just comforting myself with that idea. It works. Comfort is what is needed in November.
I am still pleased with myself on how I am staying on course with my missions began in October. Some days are better than others. No matter how they are, I keep plodding along. If I do fall and I have, I pick up where I had left off. I do not think I am behind. It’s a phrase I picked up from The FlyLady. I’ve been on this self-help, self-improvement gig a long time. Even though I am no longer a FlyLady follower, some things stick, coming back to help me along this road. I never give up. I pick myself up,dust myself off and continue on. The road of life is very interesting. There are many things to see and learn.
It just happens that I am reading novels about the times of the Depression and the Dust Bowl. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and Whose Names Are Unknown by Senora Babb are excellent reads. The Four Winds was published in 2021. Whose Names Are Unknown was written in the 1930s, not published till 2006. These stories of those difficult finanical times and ecological disasters are revelant to what is happening in today’s pandemic and climate change world. They also remind me of our early years in Canada as immigrants. They were lean though we had a roof over our heads, warm clothing and we never went hungry. Our little rented 2-room house was between the cafe and the town outhouse. Often it was mistaken for the outhouse. It had a pot-belly stove and peeling floors. We lived in the community but we were not of the community. It was no one’s fault. I’ve never felt despair. Difficult times prepared me for living.
November 3. I woke to see snow on the ground. I felt it before I saw it. It was not enough to light up the world. It was still pitch black at 6 am and -5℃. It got colder to -7℃ but the sun is shining on me at 9:22 am. The greenhouse is sitting at 6℃. I hope the sun will linger though the forecast calls for clouds. Traffic is moving slow on this first day of snow. It is backed up from Taylor to 8th Street as we are on the only street out of StoneBridge. I wonder what could happen if there was a huge emergency. How will vehicles get in and out? Best not to think about such things so early in the morning. Bad things might not happen if we don’t think on it. Somehow, I don’t think things work that way. Just look at history. Wish we could/would learn from it. Wish we could do better. If horses were wishes.
January 4th, Day 4 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, Day 3 of the Positivity Challenge. It has been a challenging day. My positivity assignment was a date watching the sunrise or sunset. No phones. No devices. Just me and mother nature. The sunrise was rather bland as no sun came up. All I saw was the grey of the sky lightened by the white of snow everywhere. I thought I could kill 2 birds with one stone shovelling snow while watching. I was out in nature. Would you call a shovel a device?
The questions from the Unravelling My Year are:
What was the best day in 2021? What happened?
What was the most difficult day in 2021? What happened?
The questions are hard to answer. My 2021 was peaceful and tranquil. That is my thought at this moment. Of course I’m sitting here with a glass of red wine. What I know for sure is there were difficult moments but after they have passed, the difficult part is forgotten. What else I know for sure is I have grown stronger and more resilient with the years. I am a fighter. I do not dwell in darkness. I always fight my way into the light. I have always love winter, the cold and the snow. I love the darkness, too. It is a part of me. Sometimes the worse of times is my best of times. It drives me to create.
The Worse of Times
Doubt often creeps in On fatigue’s uncertain feet, Filling me with fear. And I would have to reach Deep into Faith’s pocket for trust, And remember that often, My worst of times are The best of times.
Unbound joy, a girl and her dog, Walking and running on the river, Each lost in thought and dream, Content, just being with the Universe.
Frozen expanse under blue skies, My footprints in the snow. Overhead a plane soars On its way to Elsewhere. I hear God’s voice calming me, Shhhhhhhh! All is bright, all will be right, In God’s land we abide.
Jumping for joy on the river of life, Naked in our happiness, baring our souls. Leaping and laughing, free spirits in the wind.
I woke up to snow and -8℃! Happily it was 4.4℃ in the greenhouse. Of course it dropped a bit until the sun rises. There is no sun today. It is almost 10:30 and the greenhouse is sitting at 5.6℃. I hope the sun will make a showing later on. Meanwhile the covers stays on everything for extra warmth. I had brought in my trays of seeding last night. Everything is an experiment this spring. I wonder if the cooler temperatures at night in the greenhouse affect the germination. Will I have to reseed them? Time will tell. I have time.
Meanwhile the world still turns. Covid-19 is still here and still rising. Our province’s stats are not good at all. Despite this, there are still anti-mask people protesting about their freedom. The news from Brazil is alarming. There are more than 2, 200 deaths daily from Covid-19. Then there’s rising Asian hate in the U.S. and Canada. It is very hard to understand and digest all this. I guess it is all right for me to have a blue funk day once in awhile. Life is hard. Now life is harder. But it can be an opportunity to see as we’ve never seen before. We are all captured and captivated by this virus. There is no discrimination, no borders unbound.
Meanwhile, I am happy to see that my blogger friend, Minna from Suddenly Mad is still writing. She was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer in 2016. It has been progressing, affecting her balance and walking. She started babbling incoherently in 2018. It has not affected her ability to write or draw though, but her posts are coming slower and further apart. I have learned much from them. They are very rich. Minna is an artist and was a professor at a university in New York. Then last summer, her husband/caregiver was diagnosed with lung cancer. They are both carrying on.
We all have our hard spots. My little episodes of blue funk are really nothing but a glitch in the day. They are like the clouds that drift in and out of the sky. Perfects I need them to anchor and remind me of what it is to be alive. I’m fortunate to have the tools of writing and photography to record my highs and lows. I am the weather girl.
I am so porous to the prevailing moods around me. It is not an advantage. I am one of those people who can feel your pain. It is not a good thing. I’m feeling a little under the weather, mood wise. It is, of course, a very cloudy day. If not for the snow, my world would be very dark. Therefore, I do love the white stuff. It lights up my life.
The Covid-19 numbers in Saskatchewan today are 4 deaths and 235 new cases. I am still tracking the numbers. I should stop but it is better to be informed. It is depressing and difficult to understand why we aren’t all compliant with what we need to do. Why are some so defiant about wearing masks and having large gatherings? Why do some still believe it’s not real? I guess the answers are blown in the wind. I best get on with what I can do and not sink deeper into the rabbit hole.
Talking about rabbits, I met up with one on my walk. It was all white except for the tips of his ears. I’m sure if Sheba was still here, she’ll be lunging and straining on her leash. I have her to thank for my daily walks. It’s hard to give them up after 14 years. My body knows when it is time to get up and get walking. Sheba is with me in spirit. We go down the streets and alleys as before. And it is all good – for my body and spirit. Being out in nature, even if it’s in the city, is something good I can do for myself.
Gardening is another good thing I can do. I know it is almost December but spring in the greenhouse won’t be that far away. I’m excited to get seeds ordered,organized and started. We had the greenhouse built in record time. It’s hard waiting. Here’s the guy’s video of its construction to take me out of here. The greenhouse is a very good thing.
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.
Sometimes I wonder why I dabble in so many things. It keeps me going and going. Not too many idle moments do I have. But I did take 30 minutes this afternoon for a good soak in the tub. It took the chill out of my bones. The snow caught me by surprise. It was in the forecast but who pays attention, eh? Not me evidently. But I must have felt it because I worked like the dickens to get the garlic in yesterday. I felt like the Energy Bunny. Then I raked the leaves out front to mulch them and my perennial beds.
I was surprised to wake at 4:30am and unable to get back to sleep. I had lots of exercise and fresh air. I should have slept around the clock . Oh well, it was dark so it was nice to snuggle in. What a surprise to get up at 6 and find the snow. I was and wasn’t surprised really. I’ve always been a weather vane, feeling every little and big change. I’ve been trying not to use/blame the weather for all my missteps and moods. But it does make affect me. I think it’s better for me not to discount it.
I’m feeling a little chaotic. My dining table and my desk are getting cluttered again. Is that really a problem? My day has been busy. I worked on my black out curtains this morning. The half is half done. 60 inch panels requires a bit of sewing. It is also tiring. I’ve harvested my 2 beds of greens in the afternoon. They’ve been brave and weathered the cold for awhile. I can’t ask them to hang on further. So they are taken off. They’re be good in soups. I can’t waste. You can call me the No Waste Queen. Good fresh veggies will be hard to come by in a few months. I hope our Long Keep Tomatoes will last us till Christmas at least.
I feel like I’m nattering on and on about nothing. Only 11 more days to the Challenge left. Surely I can hang on till the end now. I am so close.
It is almost 4 in the afternoon. Cloudy and rainy. Not inviting weather for a walk. I shall forego it if Sheba does not kick up a fuss. She is slowing down, her right hip giving her grief at times. She is always up when I mention ‘walk’. But today might be a good day to play hooky. She had her morning walk. We’ve both earned a day off.
Conversations are much easier to start in the morning but I had bread making on the start. Somehow it is always most the day affair. The day is almost gone but I have 6 golden loaves, minus the slices we ate, bagged and in the freezer. The pans are all washed, dried and put away. I haven’t always been this organized and orderly. I’ve learned it pays to be so. I’m trying to apply that principle to everything that I do.
The snow is coming down now after the rain. It melts as it hits the ground. It’s a cool 2 degrees Celsius. I wonder at my wisdom of planting some of my tomatoes. It’s going to be -2 Celsius tonight, -4 for the next 2 nights. The nights won’t get above 0 till Wednesday. I hope they will be okay under the covers. It will be an interesting experiment. And why not? Everything is so uncertain this year. Who knows what the summer will be like. I can dare a little, stretching our growing season a little. Maybe I’ll get a bunch of early tomatoes.
I won’t try to stretch this post any longer. My mind is scattered. And I don’t have much more to say. Sheba is restless and pacing back and forth. I think she wants me to go watch TV with her.
Winter came in October this year. The snow fell. The temperature dropped. There was nothing I could do about it except sit back and enjoy all that it brings. The world is in repose. There’s no need to hurry and fuss. Nature rests and so must we.
The snow lights up the dark mornings and evenings. It covers the ground in holy whiteness. No need to wipe the dirt off Sheba’s paws. She can roll and dig in the snow to her hearts content. I feel a peace grow inside as I gaze at my surrounding architecture. Love is here. Serenity is here. I hear the words of St. Teresa of Avila.
“Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”
Lunch is over. The dishes not quite put away. I always feel overcome after lunch, unable to think or do anything. So I come here to my space with my cup of tea to muse and tap on the keyboard. I feel comforted and not so melancholy, surrounded by light from windows.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not unhappy or sad. I am not in any dire straits. I am a muse. I am by nature whimsical, sometimes melancholic. I sigh, heave my chest, sip and tap. That is how I am. I poke along at a snail’s pace. By chance I am reading a book about Patricia Highsmith who raises snails. She takes them in her purse with some lettuce to events. The book, The Crime Writer, is a novel. But Highsmith and snippets about her and her life are real.
Highsmith loved cats, and she bred about three hundred snails in her garden at home in Suffolk, England. Highsmith once attended a London cocktail party with a “gigantic handbag” that “contained a head of lettuce and a hundred snails” which she said were her “companions for the evening”. – from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Highsmith
I hope I’m not like Highsmith, though I have been called eccentric. But I am meandering, straying. Blame it on the weather. Blame it on the snow. It is only October the 5th. It is snowing and still snowing. I am prepared if not quite ready for it. I am not fighting it. It is a good day to sip tea, have a cookie or two, muse, read about snails……
What are you doing today? Is it snowing where you are?
Someone must have pushed the replay button on the remote because we are getting the same scenario as yesterday. Yes, it is snowing again. I don’t know why but Richard Harris and strains of McArthur’s Park is playing in my head.
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again, oh noooooo
I feel like that cake melting in the rain. Little inconsequential things are like torches under my skin. My icing is melting. I have to breathe to cool the flames. They are spluttering in the wind and rain. Ahhh! They are out and I am saved. I have found the recipe. Wonder Woman faces another day.