Lettuce in December

I have to admit that I’m still struggling to rise above – to write, to appease myself of so many things. I have to be satisfied with just getting an earlier start. I’ve been negligent of late. It’s making me angry with myself. I feel the ferocity of its bite. I know it is not healthy for me. I’m feeling and acknowledging it and letting it go its angry way. Its energy is at least useful in giving me a start. I should read Pema Chodron’s Don’t Bite the Hook.

I know I am obsessive sometimes. It is good and bad. The bad part is when it makes you think about something or someone, or doing something, too much or all the time. I have gotten fixated about a few things/people in my life time. It’s such a time waster. I need to work on this. There’s lots of suggestions online to get started. Did I tell you I’m obsessed with self improvement? Well, there’s the good and bad in it, too. Balance is the key.

A little fury helped get the dishes done and the bathroom floor washed. Golly, why is it so hard sometimes? It is a puzzle I don’t try to solve anymore. Blame it on the weather. Blame it on barometer pressures changes. It works for me. It was cold this morning, -26 degrees Celsius at 0600 according to Environment Canada. No wonder everything was stiff and frigid in the greenhouse – the geranium, kalanchoe, aloe vera and onions. It was -12 degrees C at 8:49 am. By 10:30 it had risen to 0 degrees C. At 2:30 pm, with the sun on the roof, the temperature rose to 20 degrees. At 5 pm the sun has set. The temperature had already dropped to 2 degrees C.

It seems impossible now to have fresh home grown lettuce in December. If I had the greens well established in the greenhouse, I am sure they would have survived into December. I guess I have to be satisfied that the greenhouse is all closed in before the snow. So much for this obsession. I haven’t given up though. I was looking at the sun shining on the bougainvillea and the herbs in the sunroom. There’s no reason why I couldn’t add a few pots of greens in the mix. I might have to move things around. It’s good incentive to clean and clear. Some obsessions are wonderful. They give you reasons to bounce out of bed, get dressed and go out in the cold to check the temperature.



I am here again, though somewhat reluctantly. I am like a well/river gone dry. I have little water/words to give. My flow is gone and I am stuttering along, scraping the bottom for dregs of wisdom/experience. I show up once in awhile to stir the pot, aggitate the scene a little to see what will come alive. I hope I still have some sparks left. I’m still taking my Omega 3’s, 1,000 mg. three times a day. Sheba is, too. We old gals need our fish oils to keep our brains and hips lubricated and working. Life can be a hard grind. I see it Sheba’s stiff and slow rise each morning.

I can’t hold back our advancing years and hips, no matter how much and hard I try. But I can slow it down a bit. We might not be as agile as in our youth. We can no longer jump and leap as well, but we can at least try to stay strong and land on our feet.  It has been and still is an interesting and fulfilling ride. We still love and do many things. There have been times though that have been tough, painful and boring. What goes up must also come down. That is nature and the law. Would we want it any other way?

So I sigh a lot, bitch a little and carry on the best I can. I still love words, the tap, tap, tap of my fingers on the keyboard and seeing the letters march across my computer screen. I am thrilled when I get a lightbulb moment, tickled by a clever phrase that pops into my head. And when I find that photo that brings everything together, I am beyond words. In other words, I am elated. The struggle is worth the effort.




I think I need to try a little harder to keep my things and myself together. It’s all very well to say ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ and ‘It’s all small stuff.’ Even though that is true, all the small stuff add up and you end up with a BIG pile. I have a wee bit more energy today but it’s still a HUGE struggle for me. I am really feeling autumn’s shadow looming over me this year.

But not to despair. I am doing well though it doesn’t feel like it. I still get up, dress up and show up every day for my life if not here. Sometimes I like to take a breather, relax and not work so hard keeping myself together. It’s okay to fall apart. I can put back the parts together again. It doesn’t have to be put back the same way.

Both our vinyl patio chairs chose to break and collapse on the same day. I already have these 2 pieces of wicker but they weren’t being sat on. So why not bring them out? They look like they belong. Things falling apart in this case was a good thing. It made me look for alternatives in furnishings. Instead of going out to buy more of the same, I made use of things I already had.

So I’m struggling. So big fat deal. I will have to fake it till I make it. They tell me make believe is magic. I’ll pretend I have my very own fairy godmother who will look out for me. Who’s to say I don’t already have an angel sitting on my shoulder? I’ve come thus far on my journey. No big bad wolf have gotten me. I haven’t fallen down any deep dark hole that I couldn’t have climbed out of.


I took a sabbatical and almost lost my way back to this space. I’ve gotten rusty with my words. You will have to forgive my starts, stops and stutters. The good news is my ‘bad feelings’ have passed and I do have much more energy. I surprised myself at how I got things done yesterday. I filled all 6 of our raised vegetable beds with water. I watered the garden. The tomatoes and beans were drunk with happiness. I picked beans and raspberries. Then I cleaned and prep the beans, freezing 2 bags and fermenting 2 jars. Amazing! When I feel the flow, I move with it because it might not happen again for a long time.

I am content in this moment. That’s all I ask. I will take it moment by moment. I will try to keep my mind here. Often I make myself unhappy escaping into the past or jumping into the future. That’s making believe, too and that’s not the good kind. They are bad stories that can destroy my soul. I will stick to Tinker Bell and fairy dust.



I did not get much sleep last night after all. But then I was not completely sleepless either. Sheba continued to be restless through the night, pacing, whimpering, and wanting in and out of the house. I talked and stroked her in between, trying to lengthen each period of calm. I remained relax, acting confident, assuring her everything was ok. I listened to Tara Brach’s podcast on my iPhone. It was an appropriate topic – The Path of Spiritual Surrender. But I can’t tell you the gist of it this morning. My mind is completely blank. It’s something I would hope for through meditation. So it’s not all bad.

Remaining calm and acting normal helped Sheba and myself as well. There had been flashes of lightning in the early part of the night but no thunder. The house was hot so most of the windows were opened. I was drifting off to sleep when the storm broke. It was furious, the wind and rain, thunder and lightning. The doors to the bathroom and bedroom slammed shut. Sheba came scampering to me, quivering. After closing the windows, we settled back in bed. I could hear her panting on her cushion. It was after 3:30 am. She felt the storm before it came.

We are none the worse for the night. We got up at our usual time, though probably not as spry. The garden got a good soaking. The raised beds are a bit soggy with the excessive water dripping from the drains. The rain barrels got refilled. The lettuce and carrots got a little flattened, but they’ve recovered. Already it is hot with the sun shining brightly. If not for the puddles of water and the dirt and debris from the fast and hard driving rain, you would not suspect there had been a thunder storm.

We’ve have had our morning constitutional walk. Now I am enjoying another cuppa in my outdoor space before it gets too hot. Sheba is catching up on her sleep. There’s a hum of a lawnmower and the whoosh of traffic. Above them, the birds are serenading me. It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. I have no wants but the present moment.

I’ve been reading a little bit of Pema Chondron’s writings every day. Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change contains wisdom I need. The wisdom soaks in, little by little every day. Understanding is the key to change. When I finally ‘get it’, it is illuminating. No wonder they call it a ‘lightbulb moment’. Understanding can and has eased my anguish over many things. I am more at peace with myself and the world. That is not to say I GOT IT and that is the end of the story.

No, I’m still struggling. The struggle never ends. When it does, I think that’s when life is over. I’m struggling still, but I am kinder to myself. I cut myself some slack. I try not to take ownership of everything, good or bad. I am not that powerful. I am not God. I’m more awake, more engaged, more interested, more eager. I am committed in living a meaningful, in the moment life. I will keep on brainstorming and learning in this, my own creative space.




Starting anything is such a difficult thing, whether it is writing a post or creating a blog. I’ve been at it for awhile now, starting in 2005 when the Internet was quite new to me. I was introduced to the concept of ‘blog’ by my friend Tom. I struggled and struggled before Lilypad was born. It was little photo stories of my family and heritage. Then I added a few more photo blogs to the site on Blogger. I found Blogger difficult to manoeuver and switched to WordPress in 2012.

So here I am in this space, in the late afternoon, tapping away on the keyboard. I hope I can get into the mood of the words. Though my goal at the beginning was for a thousand words daily, I haven’t achieved it even once. That is not to say, I won’t ever, but it is unlikely. Sometimes we have to modify our goals. I would do well to work for Hallmark Cards. I’m good at index card paintings and writing snippets. But today I am not quite so good at that either.

I’ve had many such days but I still try to show up. I tap on a key. A letter shows up, then a word and somehow a sentence march across my screen. I build a post by one painful sentence at a time. They add up to one paragraph after another. Sometimes a blockade is broken open by an inspiration. Sometimes I struggle to the end. I am struggling today. I am surprised. It is only day 3 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

There is no point in fighting and grappling for words when there is none. Some days are like that. It is time to close shop as they say.


January 8, 2019  6:00 pm

I’m late again but better late than never. It makes it more difficult to put words onto the page. I will have to do some rescheduling. It shouldn’t be hard. It’s not as if I have a job. The whole day is my own. I have to learn to make better use of it. It’s not that I’m idle. Not at all. Today I was wishing for that, some idle time to sit, sip tea and read some trashy romance novel.

Perhaps I need to schedule it into my day. I’m too much into seriousness, accomplishing and bettering myself. It’s a bit of a struggle sometimes. I’m tired and achy. I pushed through it all. Otherwise I would be idling, still tired and achy. At least I’ve paid the bills on time. And I did have fun making a video of Sheba. Now I have a little collection of them on my own YouTube channel. I just can’t help myself. I have to accomplish. It’s not a bad thing.

It’s cold and windy again. It required much fortitude to go for our walk. The sun helped. It gave me the false impression of a warmer temperature. On with the hat, scarf and long wool coat. I remembered my fleece lined boots as well. Helps to keep all body parts covered. We survived. I did not let Sheba dawdle. It was not a day for video clips. Just a quick snapshot to prove that we were out and about.

8:17 pm

I am having to struggle to get through this blog and this day. My hair is standing on end. Tomorrow is an exercise day. I best bring this to a close and head for the shower. Good night.



It is 1:18 pm. Sheba and I are having a mini session of sitting, get down and staying. It’s what we do in the afternoon. Obedience training for her, patience training for me. She is momentarily distracted by the guy leaving for his workshop. There is some excited barks and prancing around. We refocus. Now she’s on her bed licking per paws . A quiet interlude. We will go to the park for her reward later.

It’s a beautiful sunny and warm day. A lot of the snow have melted. I should be jubilant. Instead, I am in an undetermined mood -somewhat despondent, somewhat mellow yellow. No, I’m not under the influence of drugs. Maybe languid is a better word. Energized is not my frequent state. It is no wonder that nothing seems to matter to me. To care takes a lot of energy, energy that I don’t have.

But in order to live and thrive in this world, one has to give a shit somehow. I know what happens when you don’t. You fall through the ‘cracks’. I imagine they are the same cracks that lets the light in in Leonard Cohen’s song, Anthem. All the same, I rather stay out of them. I’m experimenting on how to manage the energy that I do have.


I took time and Sheba out in the middle of this post. We went to the dog park and had us some time. Some days you just have to make that effort. Some days are made for sniffing snow and to look up at the blue of the sky. Sheba found a few furry bums to sniff, too. All the better. She did get into a scrap or two but it was all good. No blood was shed. We came home tired and hungry but also refreshed. So it was double the pleasure to sit with my tea, toast and jam while Sheba devoured her kibbles.

Now it is evening. I’m sitting with my wine, trying to tap the end to my mumblings. Perhaps the wine isn’t helping my thinking or writing. What I can say is morning is the best time for an energy burst. I indulge myself with reading in my tea time before breakfast. I’m still engrossed in Last Night in Twisted River. I love it. There’s lots on cooking in it since it is about a cook and his son. After breakfast I try to do the hard stuff – those chores of keeping house and lives in order. If I leave those for later, it doesn’t happen.

You must know by now that after lunch, my energy leaves town and me with it. Afternoon is the time I sit to tap even though I feel like napping. It’s working out. I’m succeeding and stretching for more. I’m learning to adapt my activities to my energy and time of day. It is a struggle but if I don’t struggle and stretch, I would end up being a puddle on the floor. I’m struggling now and will struggle to review and edit this – practicing to be patient.





THE BEAT GOES ON – Day 177-188 in a year of…

Day 177- 188, January 30, 2017 @5:10 pm

I have really let time slipped away on me. I am still purposeful and mindful of making changes. What is most important to me is being flexible and not having a rigid mindset, unable to see another’s point of view. I thought doing something different every day would be a good way to go. I have fallen behind somewhat and slipped back into my comfort zone of not doing. It is not a bad thing. That’s a human thing – to slip. The thing is to come back and resume.

I have been struggling to stay on track in January. It hasn’t gotten the best of me but I have been tested. I’m struggling now, wanting to retire to my recliner with my tea and close my eyes. But I can be pesky. I continue to tap and tap. I hope the rhythm can give me the push I need to go the distance to the finish line.

I’m struggling but I’m not slouching. I get up, dress up. I haven’t shown up here for awhile but I’m still stepping, lifting, tabataing, swimming – doing the aerobics for my heart.  For my soul, I’m doing the online class Paint Your Heart and Soul 2017 and an art history class on the university campus. Life is a little busy. I’m a little tire. I need to get use to doing a little more, complaining a little less. But the beat goes on. I want to sing a better tune tomorrow.


THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD – Day 33 in a year of…

Day 33, August 24, 2016 @5:56

I’m really struggling at the moment to keep my eyes open and my fingers moving on the keyboard.  All day I’ve had to work at it to keep going – even in our morning step aerobics class! I feel myself lagging in so many moments.  I would then step it up, pump my arms more getting my oxygen to my brain.  I picture my goal – slim and trim, no double chin, no bulging tummy.  I huff and puff and  the childhood story of the little engine that could came to mind.


IMG_7379Oh, I do love a challenge.  The little engine that could, that’s me!  It keeps me going, moving.  It gives me purpose.  I stand up, walk around.  I’m a little more alert.  I tap, tap, a word comes, an idea comes.  Finally a sentence.  I get up, put the kettle on for a cup of tea.  A picture and another idea and sentence comes.  I build little by little. Knit, purl, kit, purl – row upon a row.  Almost half a back.  You can see the lacy panel now. By Christmas a sweater I will have.

I can see that having a goal, a plan, a challenge can move me to do great things.  What is great is personal, of course.  What I know for sure is I’m doing great.  What are you doing?

Till tomorrow.