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


January 16, day 16 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. A lovely sunny Sunday smiled upon us today. We had our usual Sunday morning sourdough pancakes with bacon for breakfast. I thought about taking today for a day of rest. Yesterday was quite taxing. But the morning beckoned and we headed out early to the park for a ski. I graduated over to the north park this morning. It’s more interesting with hills and valleys. I’ve worked up the courage to step on its tracks again. Like the experts say. the best thing to do after a fall is to get right back on the horse again. It’s been a year since I’ve fallen on these trails. It was time.

I am much better and faster now that I got my new skis and boots. I can boogie along pretty good, that is until I met an uphill bump. I ended up on my butt on top of my skis. Getting untangled and up took some doing but I did it. Then it was going down some slopes. They’re probably not a big deal at all, but still scary for me. I managed the first one and second one. But at the end of the second one it had an incline. I should have pushed with my poles then for some speed to get over. I didn’t. I was like deer in headlights wondering what’ll I do. The next thing I knew I was down. This time getting up was much, much harder to do. The snow was very deep. I ended up taking my skis off.

I did not give up though. I went down successfully on another slope and made another loop around the park. I fell once more at the tricky upward slope. But I got up without taking my skis off. I’m still keen though. It is another challenge for me – to get over that tricky spot without falling. It is only January. I have till March to get over it.


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!


Sunday morning. It’s cool, cloudy and snowing. It’s 1℃ outside and 8.4℃ in the greenhouse at 10:00. No promise of sun but I took some of the covers off the plants and seedlings so they can get some natural day light at least. We’re going to run some electric heat in there today for the next few days of no sunlight. The greenhouse will not have a chance of getting heated enough during the day to sustain the frosty nights. I have too many growing things and work invested in there to lose now.

I’m trying to maintain the flow. I’ve worked hard to start it. Maintenance takes less energy than having to start over. If I can get up, dress up and show up, that’s half the battle. I have to remember I am not my emotions. I have to set my intentions for the day, make a list and do it. I don’t have to like it. I just need to make it a habit. Liking can come later.

It is Sunday afternoon. No sun but the greenhouse did get up to a high of 15.9℃ at 1:30pm. Now at 3:30 it is on the decline. I’ve become a weather/temperature watcher this spring. I’m paying more attention and seeing how erratic our present day climate is. I’m also more aware of my inner climate. It’s helping me understand and manage my anxiety better. I can feel how powerful and negative my inner dialogue can be. I’m trying to change my thoughts to change my life.

Though I have many bad habits, I have established some good routines and habits these last few years. I fall off the wagon occasionally but I do climb back on. I always try and give a damn. It’s hard for me to give up. These are my main powerful medicines. They keep me afloat and flowing.

                • Getting enough sleep 
                • Being outdoors in nature
                • A daily meditation routine
                • Daily exercise routine
                • Hobbies 


It’s Sunday morning coming down again. Sundays always remind me of Kris Kristofferson’s song and days of my youth. I’ve never had those kind of mornings, not that I could remember anyways. Wait, there was a time way back in my first year of university. It was on my roommate’s birthday. We decided to celebrate everyone’s birthday. She got hold of a 26 of something and we caught the bus downtown to see the movie, The Best House in London. It really didn’t take too much to put me in a whooze. I don’t remember a thing about the movie. We had to leave as I was feeling sick. We caught the bus back to our boarding house. By then I was feeling better but my roommate had passed out. The bus driver and a guy from my history class carried her off and set her under a tree in front.

A sunnywindy and cooler morning. It was -1℃ when I got up at 6:30. It was about 6.8℃ in the greenhouse. It has warmed to 0 and 9.5℃ respectively. It is a little after 10 am. I won’t uncover things yet. I’m hoping that I haven’t overwatered my seedings yesterday. They might rot instead of sprout. That’s what happens when you watched or read too much about how to seed. I get mixed up. When things are working well enough, leave them alone.

I’ve been paying attention to my talk/tap, my gripe on my chaos and disorganization. I’ve talked about all that forever and a day but have I done anything about it? I have a bit here and there. Then I fall off the wagon and seldom get back on. I did climb back this morning. Now, I have to climb back as soon as I fall off. Failures like everything else can get addictive. I am an addictive person. I have to pay attention that I don’t get hooked. Too much of a good/bad thing is not good for me.


I think I have been waiting for this moment all my life, when the whole wide world ceases its constant striving for more stuff and power. I am centered down to what is truly essential to the survival of our body and soul. I sift through the debris of what was normal and life before the virus to find the jewels worth keeping. At long last, I don’t have to shout above the din to be heard. You have time to listen now. I only have to whisper. I am right here facing you, looking into your eyes. You cannot turn away now, to cast your eyes around to some other place, another face, some other eyes. If you do, I will leave.

Those are the words and feelings evoked by Lynn Ungar’s poem Pandemic. That’s all for this pandemic Sunday.


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, 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 Sunday afternoon. It’s windy as can be. The whirlybird on the next door neighbour’s roof is going a hundred miles an hour. My Buddhas are sitting pretty under the protection of the swaying branches spruce trees. I can see someone shovelling snow across the back alley. Back and forth he goes, pushing the shovel. I can hear the howl of the wind. I am sitting snug and relaxed in my cocoon. Soon, I will have to brave the elements with the fur baby for her walk.

I wonder why I am not a snowbird like everyone. I’m starting to feel like a rarebird, toughing it out, staying put. In the last week, all I hear is people heading south to Mexico, Florida, Cuba, Arizona, Brazil, Hawaii…..Everyone wants to escape to somewhere else. Me, I’ll head out straight into the eye of the storm with Sheba. It’s time for that walk.

I’m back from the dreaded walk. It was really not bad at all – a little breezy but not cold. The snow was crusty and crunched beneath our feet. I don’t think Sheba was crazy about it. She treaded carefully, one paw in front of the other. I’m beginning to think it will not be such a bad winter. There is no need to run, escape just for the sake of another place. No doubt there will be people running and escaping in the other direction.

Do I need to hunker down? I don’t think so. I’m pretty strong. I’m short for sure. I won’t blow over easily. I look forward to getting my mettle tested. That’s how I am. Day 27 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.



It is after lunch. Lethargy seeps into every part of me, body and mind. I want to vegetate forever and forever. If I was to allow it, the food, pots and dishes would sit there till mold grows. I wonder how I ever held down a job. The wonder of it was that I was in a high stress, 12-hour-shifts nursing profession for over 30 years. I thought I did well but looking back now, maybe not. I attended to the job but not to my life. My still-full laundry basket of laundered clothes still sits from 4 years ago when I was still working. Clearly, I haven’t missed those items. Maybe, too, I don’t want to dig into that basket of memories. BUT, I will tend to it today.

I have been missing in action here for a few days. I was tending to my body and soul. Sometimes I have to take a rest into the quiet, still my thoughts, silence my words and not let them march onto the page. Silence is golden. Some things I need to keep for myself. Otherwise, I will have nothing of my own. I will be emptied out.

It is hard to resume the conversation though. It is like the after lunch dishes. If left too long, things get stale and crusty. It would require more energy to get going. I had to get up and fetch a cuppa. My eyes were droopy. It would be so easy just to curl up and have a nap. But I’m stuttering on, letting my fingers find the rhythm and the letters. The clouds are gathering, the wind picking up. I hear a train whistle. I better not tarry. There’s Sheba to be walked – hopefully before the rains come.