October 12th, a cool sunny and breezy day at 7℃. I’m a happy camper, snug as a bug in the sunroom. It’s toasty warm here even on a cold day if the sun is out. Cutting down the spruce trees made a lot of difference. It created an ideal south facing space for a greenhouse. We didn’t realize how much shade and cool the trees provided until they were gone. Then the yard and the sunroom warmed and it up. In the heat of summer I had to keep the sunroom blinds closed for most of the day. It was still well lit as the 2 topmost windows had no blinds.

I’m a lover of light and space. Having these spaces and the sun today, I’m feeling tres mellow. It’s what happy feels like to me. Such a good sensation. I shall relish this moment and remember what happy feels like. I don’t always have it. Happy is not about having stuff or status because my stuff and status does not fluctuate while my happiness quotient does. So what does that mean?


So..I’ve had my first dental checkup and cleaning since Covid disturbed everything. I had been waiting till things got better but things keep getting worse instead. I ended up going when the numbers of positive are at the highest. But I do have both vaccinations. Looking at the news, the number of positives today is under 400, the lowest in over a week. Though I had a few misgivings about my appointment, I am glad I kept it. The hygienist and dentist were masked and had face shields on. We are all as well protected as possible. It is good for my mental and physical health to keep up the activities of daily living. The hygienist and I had good chats about gardening. We were a good fit.

I’m finally able to have my second cup of tea of the day. I had to wait a couple of hours after fluouride varnish was painted on my teeth. I wouldn’t think it’s such a long time except when I have to wait. Oh, but the tea is so good and warming. Just what I need. I’m having a bit of irksome day. I’m trying to work on my concentration and decluttering. It’s hard when the kitchen sink plugs up and the window venetian won’t open. Then there’s those pesky fruit flies. There seems to be swarms of them around the diningroom table. I’ve set out a glass of diluted wine to leer them away from the kitchen area.

I’m trying to be patient and not fret too much about these things. It’s quite unlike me. I think I am getting a little smarter. I want to work for and not against myself. I couldn’t let things be when they aren’t working. I spent the rest of the afternoon pouring kettle after kettle of boiling water down the kitchen sink in the basement. The trouble lies in that both upstairs and downstairs kitchen sinks are on the same drainage pipe. It leads to easily cloggage if we are not careful. We had to call the plumber last year. I’m hoping we can forego that this time. The hot water is helping a little. We need to do another round of enzyme down the drain tonight and cross our fingers and toes.

That was my muttering on Tuesday. Today is Friday. I’m still working on declogging the kitchen drain. We might have to call the plumber but for now I want to give it and my patience a chance. Nothing is easy or simple. Have I said that already? It is a cool but beautiful sunny morning. I’m looking forward to visit a farm with a high tunnel greenhouse this afternoon. Meanwhile, things are still looking good in our greenhouse. The lettuce I’ve transplanted are looking quite at home. There are 6 bitter melons at various growing stages. At long last I have one viable winter melon. They have been difficult to take. I had quite a few little ones started. I have not been successful at hand pollinating them. The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are still being quite productive. My harvest basket overflowth.

And so is my kitchen drain. It is still a problem but it is slowly getting better. It is also teaching me to look at problems in a different way. Problems are also solutions in themselves – if I have patience to wait, observe then try to solve. While I was/am waiting I clear and create a little bit of space in whichever corner I happen to be in.

THE SPACE – VIKTOR FRANKL – Day 264 in the year of….

Day 364 – July 27, 2017 @1:48 pm

Here I am again, showing up once more on this second last day to my year of. It is not easier. What stays true is nothing happens and nothing said till I make my first tap – a letter, a word, a sentence, a paragraph.

My head is not quite as full and heavy today. Getting the thoughts out in print helps to clarify things for me. That’s why I tap. I’m voicing my sighs, groans and moans of aches,pains, irks and whathaveyous. A glimpse of insight sometimes follow. And I go, ‘ah, how interesting, Watson’,  followed by a slow smile.

Sometimes insight comes on its own wings. Yesterday Viktor Frankl spoke to me:

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

I think he was trying to save me time. He was pointing to the most important lesson of my year. I’ve gotten that point before. It’s just that I keep losing it over and over. THE SPACE is it. It is there for all of us. It can be a moment or two but is so powerful when recognized. It can feel like an eternity where we can do so much in just that moment.

I am so happy that Viktor whispered it. I saw it before my eyes last evening at supper. And I gave it voice. Remembering the moment now gives me peace. My forehead is smoothed of wrinkles. My head feels lighter. I am in the space.

HEAVINESS, SPACE, TIME – Day 363 in the year of…

Day 363 – July 26, 2017 @4:21 pm

Some days the heaviness weighs me down. My head is full of this and that, information, things to do, guilt, other people’s stuff, my stuff. It’s difficult to stand tall and free. I was feeling all of it this morning. What to do? It’s hard to let go of getting right to the ‘doing’. The habit is set. When did it happen? How did it happen?

With the recognition of the moment, I tried to set aside my book, my phone, my everything. It was difficult and uncomfortable to sit with just my tea and toast. But my head was heavy and weary. I tried for nothing for little moments in time. Then my toast and tea were done. I still had 3/4 hour before heading out for my exercise class. I picked up my phone. I put down my phone. I don’t need to cram my brain with more information. I got up.

My next ‘challenge’ after finishing ‘my year of’ is creating order in my home. It is really about creating order in me. No time like the present to start. I headed towards the bedroom. I dusted the dressers, bedframe, light fixture, above the doors. It did not take long. I still had time. I got the mop and damp dusted the floor. Sheba is in shedding season. The hair! The dusting and mopping were very soothing and relaxing.

I had plenty of time to get to the gym. My head felt much lighter and I had one clean and orderly room. What I learned from the experience is that I have to take time for creating space – whether it is in my head or in a room. The time is always there but I have to take it. I’ve been taking time to exercise. It’s become a good habit. I have to apply it to other areas. It’s good to take time to clear, to empty the trash in our heads as well as in our house.


A YEAR IN REVIEW – day 360 in a year of…

Day 360 – July 23, 2017 @9:19 am

IMG_4302It’s been 2 months since I’ve last sat here. I’m fighting the urge to rise and make myself another cup of tea/coffee.  It’s uncomfortable being in this space again, trying to tap, tap out the letters, words, thoughts. The space is bigger, wider. I’m a little lost, sloshing around, trying to find and touch the boundaries. I’m like the little seedlings starting out. They/I like the snugness of a small space. Our roots/limbs to feel the sides and edges. I like to think I’m more pliable though. I can s-t-r-e-t-c-h, reaching for the stars. I can grow. I have grown, haven’t I? There! Now I’ve earned that time out for that cuppa before continuing.

IMG_1969I have my cuppa decaf. Somehow I feel better having something to sip on. It’s better/healthier than a lit cigarette on an ashtray. That’s my old self – a cigarette before/while doing. That’s one way I have grown – physically healthier. I’m leaner and less mean, thanks to my three times a week aerobics class and a swim once a week. The mean part is mostly in my mind. I don’t think I’m a mean person but I always fault myself for not being kinder, for being such a grump and ranting so much. I still have those feelings sometimes. I no longer mind my inability to be ‘kinder’. I’m kinder to myself. I rant because I’m not one for status quo and don’t rock the boat. How can things improve that way? I’ll be like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, waking up to the same day, same tune on the radio every day.

I like to think I’m more conscious, being in the present moment. I like to think I’m more of a responder instead of a reactionary. That was/is my biggest goal. It has so many benefits. I’m not so angry or resentful. I sleep better. I have more creative energy but I have to tell you it is work every minute of the day. I remind myself – ok, don’t take that personally. Don’t fly off the handle. Breathe, observe and respond. It becomes easier with practice. Everything becomes easier and better with practice.

IMG_7885Practice makes for better. It’s a good place to stop. I like challenges. Everything is a challenge to me. And I grumble about the hardness of all that.  But the grumbling is me trying to find that comfort zone, that snugness, the space to breathe in and out and to start again. What I know for sure is that we have to start – again and again, discarding what doesn’t work, keeping the good stuff.



I am finding the truth about truisms.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Knowing that, I have no resolutions for the new year.  No point in adding another failure onto the New Year’s Resolutions list.  Instead, I am working through Suzannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead.  I am trying some of her magic.

The last couple of days, I had been on working on the question of what was my favourite moment, day or occasion of 2014.  It took some time before I knew the answer.  I felt knowing what nourishes me was important.   Other times, if I couldn’t find the answer at a snap of my fingers or the time to hit the ENTER key, I would have given up.  I wonder how many of you are like me.

My favourite occasion in 2014 is the time we spent in Arizona.  What I love about the desert is the silence, the sky and the open spaces where cacti and sage grew and  the desert flowers bloomed.

In the arid barrenness, the thorns and messiness of every day life fell away.  There was room to breathe.  There was space to grow and expand.  There was time.  In the desert, I let go of what was not me.  We were in a foreign land where God was the only one I knew. I surrendered, dropping my mask and defences – if only to myself.

I was free to wander through the landscape of the unknown and untried.  I did not know I could cycle up and down the hilly streets of Lake Havasu and live to tell about it.  I shifted gears, huffed and puffed, pedalling up the steep hills.  I heard the air whistled in my ears as I coasted down the other side, hanging on to the handlebars for dear life.  I felt petrified and exhilarated.

I baked bread in the desert, listened to the birds in the morning and swam in the afternoon.  The sunsets were glorious and picture book perfect.  The moon and stars looked down on me in the evening as I sat by the fire.  Peace and silence echoed all around me.  In the desert I surrendered and bloomed.  At last I felt a sense of me.



Reverb14 – Day 20

Today’s prompt comes from the phenomenal Jen Lee. Jen writes:

One thing I learned in 2014 was how to make space for joy and levity, even in the midst of challenging circumstances or sad times. 

How could you make space for joy in the year to come? How could you protect it?


I hate to say I’m coming from behind, but that is what I am doing.  I appreciate the opportunity here on Kat’s Reverb14, to reflect on my past journey and to contemplate where I want to go in the new year.  Thank you for this space to reverb.

IMG_6937I’m trying hard, maybe too hard to find my words this morning.  I have laid them aside, neglected them too long and too often lately.  They are pouting and reluctant to come out. I will have to be patient but it is not easy – not with Sheba begging for attention.  She is throwing her rubber ducky onto my lap.  Play! Play!  The squealing purple duck is driving me insane.  What was I thinking when I bought it?  There is nothing else to do except acknowledge her and squeal the rubber ducky to her delight.  Afterall, she is my joy.

A little peace and quiet is restored, but my head is dazed and abuzzed with a swarm of bees.  My words have retreated even further into the recesses of my mind.  I rise to retrieve some laundry.  It is soothing to sort and fold and put them in their rightful drawer.  If one thing doesn’t work, I can do another.  I am creating space for the words to come out later. It’s better than wasting time and moaning about my upset applecart.

IMG_1178So here I am now at my keyboard.  My words are coming out one by one.  They are not perfect. They not my best words but at least they are dressed and showing up. What more can I ask from them?  They bring me clarity and meaning.  You need both to feel joy.  How else would I know when it comes?



Reverb14 – Day 19  Prompt from Kat McNally

Sometimes I feel like an intrepid explorer through the lush, terrifying, vibrant jungle that is daily life. When I am open, I start to notice clues everywhere; clues which guide me to questions that, in turn, lead to answers. I sense the very real possibility that I am not navigating my way on my own

Recently I realised that I had been gravitating to hot pink. This realisation led me to a photo which, in turn, brought back some memories which then led me to understand something about a burden I’d been carrying for a long time. And in that discovery, I was freed.

Today, I invite you to consider: what sorts of signs and symbols have recurred for you in 2014? Think: repeating colours, shapes, people, sayings, music, images, ideas. Where could they possibly be leading you?


IMG_2062December can be a magical month, if you let it be, if you are not caught up in the ‘shoulds’ of Christmas frenzy.  I’m not saying to abandon the celebration of the birth of Christ.  I’m saying, pause and give a thought about how you really want to spend the season.  Do you have to be swept up with the crowd – in the malls and elsewhere, doing what THEY think you should do?

I’m not here to be an Ebinizer Scrooge and bah humbug Christmas.  But really a lot of the things for Christmas are commercial symbols of a religious celebration.  Think about it. The candy canes, the Poinsettas. the tree and decorations, Santa and the reindeers – what do they have to do with Jesus being born?  So why do so many of us feel compulsed to fit in with the general milieu?  And feel guilty if we don’t?

IMG_1686I try not to, though I have, through different years.  Afterall I like everyone else, want to fit in.  I still do but I am tired.  I have been for years.  Do I have to fit in at this stage in my life? Not really.  It’s time for me to stop. I’ve come to that crossroad.  I am all grown up.  I do not have to pretend, to do things just to fit in.


IMG_2920This has become my favourite sign.  When life becomes hectic and my head gets abuzz with bees, I see the STOP in my mind’s eye.  It stops and sooths me, clearing my head, mind and heart.  What I think, see and feel are not always the truth.  I can put a STOP to that steady stream of lies.  And in that STOP, that pause, there is space for truth and joy to enter.



Chocolate_Mousse-2I love the time and space when I first wake up and open my eyes in the warmth of my bed.  The winter morning is still dark and all is silent.  There is such a richness in this moment – like hot chocolate mousse.  Feel the smoothness and depth in the layers.  Mmmmmmmm!  I luxuriate in the moment.  All thoughts and feelings are suspended and I am in Nirvana for that time and space.

Eventually I do get out of bed.  I padded out to the kitchen.  I make my tea and breakfast.  I try to keep thoughts from entering my head – a clear head and mind will a wonderful day be made.  I take my poached eggs on toast and tea out to the sun room, Sheba trailing after me.  By now the sun is out and I am once again cocooned in warmth….and sunshine.  Can life get better than this?


So really I have not done a lot this day.  It is a challenge I threw out to myself – not to feel the ‘time’ and the things I MUST do.  I know that I need to show up at work tonight.  That is the contract between my employer and me, that I fulfill my contract in exchange for a salary.

Aside from the one MUST, the rest is soft and negotiable.  Too long I have been rigid in my thinking.  I have been thinking too much, too long, too uselessly…!  It is time for me to come to my senses – see with eyes wide open, feel with my skin, smell the wonders of nature, hear the music in the air.  Life, my dear, is way too short to be spent thinking.  It is better to BE.

Acknowledgement:  The chocolate mousse picture is from http://trialx.com/g/Chocolate_Mousse-2.jpg


Where am I this fine Saturday morning?  I am not behind.  It is almost 11:30.  The sun is just giving me a big burst of hello.

I was planning to be out in the dog park before lunch and stopping at London Drugs to get some pictures developed to send to Rod’s Auntie Flo.  But getting photos transferred from one gadget to another took me longer than expected.  No matter how fast and expedient our igadets are, things cannot be done with just a blink of an eye…unless Genies really exist.  Have you heard of the TV series, I Dream of Jeannie?

So I am just changing the order of my to do list.  I have this time and space before lunch.  It is mine to write, to mark my progress, to breathe, to enjoy and celebrate with the sun.  I am remembering how wonderful I felt talking to the woman from the Holy Spirit Parish Office yesterday.  It is her acceptance of my request and no trying to change my mind.  I remember my body going ahhhhh.  Have you ever felt that sense of relief and connection talking to someone unseen and unknown over the phone?

It is that kind of acceptance of who we are that we all long for.  It is for me, anyways.  Sometimes, I have this great loneliness in me that seems impossible.  I feel this great big hole that is unfillable.  Is there such a word?  Have you ever felt that way?  Those are the times when I phone people and the whole universe is out in the malls or at Walmart.  I should have been phoning God instead.

He must have heard me just now.  The sun is so bright, lighting up the whole sunroom.  And I am toasty warm.  This morning the scale says I’m 2 pounds lighter..before a breakfast of one poached egg on toast.  I am keeping a food diary to keep track of my intake, what food agrees with me and what doesn’t.  Results require effort and consciousness!

My time and space are up.  It is time to think about lunch.