February 3. It is another cold day but quite sunny. It’s been around -25℃ most of the day. The greenhouse got up to 4.7℃ today. It is -3.3℃ now at 5:37. I should start thinking about preparing the beds for seeding some spinach soon. Last spring it was almost too warm for them by late March. I’ve started some pepper and eggplant seeds in wet paper towel. They’re starting to germinate. I can’t remember if it’s a week or more ago that I started them. I have to remember to write these things down.

I was feeling tired and listless but after tapping a paragraph, I’m feeling better. I think I am working too hard on my watercolour class this week. I’m a bit sick of working on the little monk. It’s mostly finished and overworked. I’ve packed it away. I hope I can leave it packed. Sometimes I get obsessed and can’t leave things alone. I shall see what Alison have to say about it on Saturday. I tried to relax by watching Inspector Wexford. I couldn’t find a new episode so it’s not a rest for me. It’s better if I just mutter here. The tapping is unwinding me and helps me problem solve.

Everything looks better in the morning and in summer.

The two cucumber plants I’ve started in the fall are still alive. They are not exactly thriving. I should trot my butt downstairs and transplant them and give them a bit of fertilizer. Who knows. They might thrive and I can plant them in the greenhouse in March. Last year I had cucumbers and tomatoes planted March 9th. Most of them survived without supplement heat but with lots of covers. Last fall we’ve added a little electric heater for those frosty nights. Things should work out much better with less manual labour. The Black Krim tomato I started from a cutting last fall is doing well. It could use a transplant and a feed, too.

February 4. Another cold day at 31℃ this morning. It is almost 9. The greenhouse is sitting at -18.3℃. I don’t expect it to get above 0 as no sun in the forecast. I am feeling fine. My bum ankle and leg are better after I started taking a calcium/magnesium supplement. It could be coincidental or a placebo effect. Whatever the reason, I’m glad for it. Everything does look better in the morning. Sleeping through most of the night also helps . I’ve curbed my fluid intake after supper. Getting up every couple of hours was disturbing my sleep. Last night I only got up once at 5 am. Six hours of uninterrupted zzz is wonderful, even though I couldn’t get more. Sometimes you have to take what you can get.

Nothing cooking in the greenhouse yet.

I did get my cucumbers and tomato repotted yesterday. Now I wait for them to thrive. I will have to start some early tomatoes for the greenhouse. We finished all our longkeeper tomatoes in mid January. It was pretty fantastic to have fresh fried tomatoes with our eggs every morning till then. The goal now is to get some early spring tomatoes. Is May/June too ambitious? We will have to wait and see. Meanwhile I have to dig out my saved Red Alert tomato seeds and get them going. They’re supposed to take 50-55 days to mature from transplanting.



I’m sleepless again. After wrestling unsuccessfully with the mattress, I decided to give it up. So I’m here, sipping my Orange Pekoe tea, trying to tap myself into ease and sleepiness. It is about the enigma, the woman next door again. I tell myself that there is clearly something wrong with her. Yet she has enough wits about her to run a business out of her house and a talent to irritate the hell out of us.

The frustration comes from not finding a solution/resolution to the problem. It’s difficult to conduct a conversation, never mind to enter into a negotiation with someone who makes her own rules/laws. Who does not allow you a voice at all. Who talks/yells over what you have to say. Who lies. I guess she could be called a bully.

What has she done this time? It’s the same thing – her obsession that she has rights on our property. She doesn’t like how we do our yard.  She planted little spruce trees on our property next to the raised bed that she doesn’t like either. She ‘weeds’ and digs little trenches to ‘drain’ rain runoffs on our property.  Somethings are just too small, petty and too tiring to fight over. So I had been ignoring all this before. Then she doesn’t like that we use woodchip mulch because it is a fire hazard. We mulched  under our cedar trees adjacent to her driveway. Whatever we use, she would push, scrape back when we’re not aware. So we put up some low wire fencing along the trees to prevent her from doing that. We used black (dyed with vegetable oil) wood chip thinking that it’s the colour of dirt and she wouldn’t see. How can anyone object to that since it was on our property and with a fence to keep them from her driveway?

Of course she would see and object. Today I found the posts pulled almost out and the wire netting laying flat on the ground, the mulch pushed back. I took photos. I am not sure as what to do. I could report this to the police as this is clearly vandalism, mischief and destruction of property. But I’ve been dealing with this kind of stuff from her for years. She is ‘something else’ as one could put it. She clearly has a bead on me and knows what gets my goat. She is very clever in this way.

I’ve also been getting smarter about myself, how I let people push my buttons. I don’t like how bodily reactive I am. I don’t like how the blood and thoughts rush to my head and I can’t think anymore. I can only feel – the cortisol coursing through my system and the feeling of helplessness. I’m here taming my thoughts and adrenaline. This is not a bitch session nor a tell-all. I’m trying to find some peace. I’m trying to find some love and compassion for the woman next door. It must be terrible for her to be so obsessed about me, my yard and whatever. Don’t we all need love and compassion?

I want to end on a positive note with a video of Daniel Champagne. We saw him perform live at the Bassment the other evening. He’s travelling across Canada. If he comes to your town/city, do go and see him. His guitar picking and music are out of this world. I came away from it with total body relaxation. I suffer anxiety and high blood pressure. It’s hard to explain but I suffer a hundred deaths of fright getting my blood pressure check. It’s difficult to feel confident about how well controlled it is. I’m always high at the doctor’s (white coat syndrome). The last visit a couple of weeks ago, I registered a reading of 180/90. Eeeek! I’ve come down since then, desensitizing myself each day by taking it regularly. My reading after coming home from the concert was 108/79. Music is good therapy. I have to listen and attend live concerts more often. Forward, ho!



Discipline is what I don’t have. I’m disappointed with myself. Even after all this time, being aware of it, I still fall off the wagon. I succumb to what comes easiest – vegetating. I fool myself by being busy. So how can I be busy and vegetate at the same time? By definition, vegetate means: live or spend a period of time in a dull, inactive, unchallenging way. 

This is probably not a good time to talk about meaningful living. I feel dull as a mollusk in its shell though I have been in a flurry of activities moments ago. I shamed myself into sweeping the floors of Sheba’s hair and clearing my ever-cluttered dining table. I wiped it and put on a table cloth. Let’s see how long it will stay cleared. Oh yes, I lured Sheba out to the deck with a chew to brush out her shedding hair. Sometimes I wish she had alopecia.

Here I am, showing up again two days in a row. I’m trying to sprout my discipline backbone again. I’m sipping a decaf, trying to tap out my therapy session, urging myself forward. It’s still morning, a little before noon. I can feel my eyeballs wanting to roll to the back of my head. They want to close. I won’t let them. It’s really a mystery, a fascinating one the way my body and chemistry work. I will pay close attention and see if I can outwit it. Didn’t they say that I am the captain of my ship?

So far, so good. My coffee is done. I am going to see if I can do some magic on my desk now. I’ll try to let you know tomorrow if I can trick myself.


It’s no secret that I have trouble with being cheery sometimes. It feels like that most days but I know that is not true. There are people who think I AM a happy and cheerful person. Who am I to argue the point? The times that I have sought counselling, there’s always forms to fill asking about your feelings.  After I have completed such forms, I’ve always wondered, What am I doing here? Because at the end, I come to the conclusion that I’m always hopeful. When I mentioned it to the counsellor of the moment, he/she said: Well, that’s good!

The last time I sought professional help, the psychologist was impressed with me. He found me quite ‘fascinating’. It was more like myself counselling myself and he was the audience. In the end, he was not very helpful except as someone to listen to my venting. I clearly understood my problems. Solutions are hard to come by. How could I expect a stranger to solve them for me? He was no Peter Pan nor Tinker Bell. He had no magic wand or fairy dust.

Still when difficult time arise, I  want someone to give me an easy out. Checking through a list of professionals, I fired off an inquiry of cost. I was not surprised to get an answer of $120 per session. Since I am no longer working, I have no insurance. I would have to shoulder the cost myself. From past experience I decided that it would not be beneficial. It would not be a one session deal. It would be an expensive glorified “I feel sorry for myself crying my blues” party. I could talk to my family physician but he is always encouraging me to go on antidepressants. I am not a fan of them since they stirred up my lichen planus.

I’ve discovered this space is calming. It gives me breathing room. After I’ve tapped out my angst, I feel better. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I do tap out joy now and again. I find hope and inspiration and sometimes even solutions. Doing anything that interrupts my thoughts, that can give me a different slant on things can make me feel better. Even going down the stairs to the basement makes a difference – a different space, a different outlook. Everything I can do builds me up.



For Reverb14 – Day 21

IMG_1908What can I say with certainty today?  It is the shortest day with the longest night of the year.  It is winter solstice.

That was yesterday.  This morning we are still in complete darkness.  I was insistently nudged out of bed by Sheba’s wet nose.  Just as well.  I was wool weed gathering in bed, not sleeping nor tending my garden anyways.  I was having a little bit of the moody blues and the simmering of a low grade depression.

That was what I thought – until I read Anne Lamott’s post.  Then I realized I was just crazy and normal like everyone else at this time of year.  No need to talk to the therapist about it. I read another post and it gave me a little hope that there is good in the world.  I’ve been thinking about Christmas and gifting.  How can I not?  I’m not caught up with the masses and yet I am – in finding the perfect meaningful gift.  I’ve found it in the last paragraph of Anne’s post.

“Emily Dickinson said that hope causes the Good to reveal itself. So bring it on. When I bring people hope–cups of tea, poetry and art supplies–then I’m holding hope in my hands, but I can only receive it by giving it away, to you, and to me; to us. Here, have some; it’s on me. Just don’t give up before you get the miracle.”

What I know for sure today, as in all days, is that I always have hope.  I remember saying in therapy a long time ago that I am never without hope according to the questionnaire I had to fill.  I was wondering why I was there.  Did I wandered into the wrong place?

IMG_5023I am finding myself in the same place again.  What I know for sure is, it is good to have hope.  And it is good to have help, a little guidance, small nudges in the right direction when I have wandered off the path.  I am gifting myself for the coming year.  I’m preparing myself so that I will be opened to receive more of life.  I want to feel more joy and less anger.  I want more clarity to the yes(s) and no(s) I will be uttering.  I want to be saying in December 2015, It was a very good year.  I did the best I could.