This time of the day is lowest of energy for me. My eyes and body are droopy with sleep. It didn’t help I was low on sleep last night. I like it to blame it on the weather. It seems I am sensitive and affected by any change in the barometer. Rather than laying in bed, tossing and turning, I my put restless energy into my art project and did 3 pen drawings. I will watercolour some other time. Then I took a little helper to lull me into dreamland. You can say I’m a little hung over but not severely handicapped. I’m a little sapped but relaxed.

I’m still on top of the game. This post is the last item of today’s ‘must do’ list. I might even have time for a bit of recreational reading later. I’ve decided it’s stupid to fuss about my Tax Return for a whole month. I have my documents gathered. It will only take part of a day to get into a knot over it. I will leave it for the last week of April. So on with the month. I will make good use of the days.

The days are not warming up quick. It’s good in a way. I’m not warming up fast either. I can take my time with my seeding. I feel as slow as molasses in winter. My dining room table is still littered with seeds and my art clutter. There is no fire so I shalt sweat it. I can still find everything. Everything in its time. I will develop a system by the end of the challenge. Isn’t that what I said, too, the last time? No worries. In the meantime, I have 3 bitter melon seeds soaking and the lunch dishes done. I do still have a pan with a burnt bottom soaking with vinegar sitting on the stove. It will take a bit more time yet.

This is not exactly an inspiring post for a challenge. I’m not feeling inspired but tired. But I am putting my best foot forward. I am not complaining. I’m putting down the last sentence and period. Maybe someone else can inspire me today.


It is day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I better seize the momentum of this newness to get going. I was going to reward myself after writing this post, but I failed the delayed gratification test. I already had my bowl of frozen maple walnut yogurt. It’s hot and I’m sweaty from freezing peas, doing the lunch dishes and watering part of the garden with the grey water. It’s a bit of a chore but well worth my effort. I didn’t realize how much grey water we let go down the drain until I started collecting it. I collect mostly just from washing lunch dishes. It can get labour intensive. I don’t have enough energy and stamina to do more. I have to be prudent with my resources.

Morning seem to be my most energetic self this summer. I try not to squander it away by being slothful and grumpy. I got myself off to an early start by booking an 8 am swim. Life is easier with commitments. Without, I am lost and adrift in the sea of freedom. Today I am rewarded with the pool all to myself. My grumpiness and frown are smoothed away in the water of the pool. There’s no worry of being too slow and having my toes grabbed from behind. I luxuriated in the peace and aloneness of just me and the life guard.

I love these mornings when I can get off to a good start. I can have them every day. It’s really up to me to make it happen. I had time to reflect on how as I swam up and down the lengths of the pool. I can choose to do the things I love, think the thoughts that build me up, spend time with positive people and those who are truly friends. I do have choices and control of many things that affect my well being. Now that I am more cognizant I can do better. I know I am not as grumpy as I used to be. I must be heading in the right direction.

The time after my morning swim is also perfect for heading to our community garden to weed, harvest and water. I am cooled and relaxed, ready to withstand the summer heat. And mornings are generally a bit cooler. It is wonderful to see all the greens of our efforts in the bright summer sun. It is not work but therapy for a gardener’s soul. Since it is a community garden I am happy and honoured to help another gardener water her plot. To be of service to another also adds to my well being. In return she has given me seedlings and apple sauce. Relationships is about reciprocity. Here are some of our happy plots.


I have become sodden with the summer heat. I can’t remember when I have shown up here. I no longer feel familiar with the word. The only thing I can do these days is water the greenhouse and gardens and watch Poirot on YouTube. I believe I am addicted to the peculiar little detective. I had to force myself away to come to the keyboard. Thinking and creating is so hard to do. I gave up on the index-card-a-day challenge after 40 days. It’s over tomorrow. I’m short 21 days. That doesn’t mean I have to give up. I can still finish it on my own time schedule. Do I have it in me?

It’s been a tough summer. It’s been a tough year. It’s a tough time all around. Nothing is like it used to be. Hasn’t it always been that way? We’re more aware now because Covid-19 changed everything. We have to change our ways of living on this planet. Yes, change is exhausting and I am exhausted but grateful at the same time. No, I can’t cry, Woe is me! because we are all in this together. I’m learning to suck it up, bolster myself and move forward as best as I can.

I have signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge of writing a post a day for the month of August. A commitment is a good prod in the right direction. I do take these challenges seriously. Here’s hoping I have enough stick-with-it to show up here every day this month. If I don’t have the words, I can do show and tell on what and how things are showing up in the greenhouse and garden. My goal for this challenge is showing up each day. It is a given that content and presentation are still very important to me. I will strive to do my best but it is not a do or die.


No two days and mornings are the same. I’m not the same any two days. I want to be full of vim and vinegar every day. I want to bounce out of bed every morning with joie de vivre. It’s not that I got out on the wrong side this morning. Not at all. I felt quite alright but then felt stuck after breakfast. I was very annoyed but somehow there was no flow. I felt the stagnancy and meaningless of things. Is it a by product of Covid-19? I’m tired of all the related news of numbers, cases, deaths, vaccines, anti-maskers, conspiracy theories. Round and round in endless circles.

Forgive me. I am just ranting, letting off steam. My brain got into a glitch. It got a little derailed. I was thinking too much. Nothing and everything changes at the same time. I wonder why that is. Enough thinking already. When there is no flow, I have to work to create it. Instead of sinking into despondency, I can make a gratitude list. Instead of thinking of what I don’t have, I can think of what I have. I can make a list of what I have done instead of feeling lazy and useless. I can fill my bucket with happy thoughts and moments. I can change my thoughts, therefore my feelings.

I can make it simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a practice of pushing forward and onward for this 4th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Today I am grateful for:

  • a sunny warmer day
  • I had a good night’s sleep
  • that I am healthy
  • I have a nice home
  • I have a greenhouse
  • I have food on the table

This is what I have done today:

  • clean and dusted everything in the bedroom
  • did a load of laundry
  • made lunch and wash the dishes
  • transplanted kohlrabi seedlings into bigger pots
  • seeded a tray of peas
  • Water all the plants in the greenhouse and beds
  • read a few pages in With God in Russia
  • did my exercise routine with hula hoop
  • writing this post


A beautiful morning for the first of May and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’ve been writing for it for quite a few years now but the first day is always an exciting time. It’s a chance to begin anew and to do better. Though my goal is to post every day, there might be days when it won’t happen. I will give it my best. I’ve set other goals for the month also. They have to do with giving myself more time to savour and enjoy. I’ve been running on empty on that account. There’s goal setting and setting goals. I’ve been on the to ‘accomplish’ these days. I seldom just do nothing. There’s that gadget I’m attached to. It’s like an appendage – the smartphone.

It does not allow me much rest time. They, whoever they are, are very smart at getting me and otheres addicted. I want to get free of this. I am sure that it adds to my forgetfulness and inattentiveness. I no longer feel like I need to remember anything. I can google for anything, right? Yes, I do google alot, but I’m finding that my memory muscle as well as my attention muscle are shot. It’s hard for me to retain anything. I do worry about Alzheimer’s. It’s a reason for me to be proactive now to detach myself a little from the phone and Iternet. Moderation in everything is the best advice.

I’m hoping that my writing every day here will help. I shall have to set aside this time to sit, rest and think about my words. They can open doors to many new and adventurous things. When I am busy doing, doing and doing, I have no opportunity to stand back and assesse. Am I enjoying what I am doing? Does it add to my life? What purpose does it serve? If I stop, what would happen? Enough questions to think about. It is early evening by now. I have been busy doing and doing all afternoon. It was enjoyable and needed doing. That I can tell you.


It’s Day 5 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Today I am going to focus on how I can do anything and everything better by giving some thoughts to organizing. Nothing is too insignificant to consider. And some things are too big to ignore. They are like the elephant in the room that no one mentions. I am sick and tire of feeling overwhelmed. That’s a plus for me. I do reach a saturation point of enough is enough. I see what is happening. Opportunity is not looking for me. I have to look, find its door and knock loudly on it.

So here I am, changing my routine a little. I am sitting at my keyboard in the morning sunshine. I am sipping my cuppa and tapping my little blogging heart away. I have all the makings of lunch prepped and ready. I’ve fed Oscar, my sourdough starter for the bread process this afternoon. The kitchen floor’s vacuumed whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. I’m making good use of time normally thoughtlessly wasted.

I did scrolled away a good amount of it upon getting up with my first cup of tea. My excuse was that I was just ‘easing into my day’. It didn’t do anything to help me have a positive outlook to know that racisim is well and alive in our city. Though I have chosen to live my life without it colouring my world, I have felt the sting of it in this Covid times. Things and people’s attitude appeared more crystal clear. Thinking and trying to understand all of this is a waste of my time and energy. It belongs to the file of the anti maskers, conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump supporters. I best move along to better things.

I, now, do have a better vision and understanding of myself. I fuss too much on things and people I cannot change. It is not that I have a grandiose impression of myself, but maybe I do. I do have this propencity for telling/expecting how people should behave. I am limited by my tunnel vision. I have only be able to see/feel from my side of the fence. It’s a waker upper. I’ve lived a limited sheltered life. I feel as if I haven’t been out in the world. It is still better to wake up late than never. I have to remember to save my advice and time for myself.

I am going to shake up the way I do things a bit. I know that they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Sheba taught me that you could. She was the best dog/teacher ever. I miss her but she is in a good place. She visited me in the guise of a fox on our moonlight ski in December. She was probably worried about my safety, taking up cross country skiing in my old age. It is never too late to change and/or to pursue something new. I am not pretty on skis and will never get to the Olympics. But I have made great progress – for me. I now can put my skis without a huge struggle. I know how to get up from falling. I can now fall without banging my head. I am starting to have a sense of the glide.

It’s almost 11 weeks since I’ve taken up the sport. Sometimes I am very disappointed with my progress when the guy whizzes by me effortlessly. He can do 3 rounds around the park to my one. I am quite happy when I am not comparing myself to others. I was ecstatic making it down a gentle slope without falling. I just have to think of the small victories and I feel pumped again. That’s the trick, I think to sticking with something. I have to spend the hours and make changes on how you do things to improve. Otherwise, I will be like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day , waking up to the same morning every day.


It’s day 4 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. 24 more days to go. I’m counting the days already. It shows that I’m not a planner. I haven’t laid out all the steps. I am a wing-it kind of a girl. I feel overwhelmed every day. You think that would prompt me to change. I hate change but it’s not too late to do it. Like the saying goes, it’s never too late until it’s over. I’ve always been a late bloomer.

I was 8 years old when I came to Canada. I had to start school all over from grade 1. I already had my grade 2 in Hong Kong but I didn’t know any English. The teacher had me stay in at recess to get me started. Her name was Miss Woodall. She had chin length reddish hair which she wore in a page boy. I remember she favoured wearing sweater sets and dirdle skirts. I think that was the style of the day. She used a picture book to teach me English words. I had trouble pronoucing words like roof and detour.

I did catch up one grade, taking grade 2 and 3 the next year. They thought I was smart and had a talent for drawing. When I graduated from high school, I was encouraged to go to university instead of secretarial school. I majored in fine arts and literature. I dropped out after 2 years and went to secretarial school. I worked as a steno for a few years, got bored and went into nursing. Through all my working years I talked about my big dream of being an artist. I had some great art teachers. I basked in the light of being in their classes. Meanwhile I did nothing else to realize my dreams.

I can understand the psychology of it now. It is much safer to talk about it. I can’t fail something I didn’t work on. But after many decades, I realized it was ridiculous to keep up that stupid chatter. In 2016 I finally stopped talking about it. I started making a little art each day for the100dayproject. And the rest is history. And I’m learning from my own history that it is never too late to change or to start something. The clock is ticking for all of us. I do not need it to overwhelm me. I will/can continue to block and blog away for another day.


By Hook or By Clip

I think for sure I’ve lost my glow on this 22nd day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I felt bright and chirpy enough this morning. I felt as shiny as a new penny. My sourdough had risen to double itself overnight. It looked soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom. I was so pleased. I stretched and folded it 8 times and dusted it all with cornstartch. Then I put it in my largest long casserole, covered it and stuck it in the fridge to chill. 4 hours later, I took it out, cut the dough into sections and baked them on my pizza pan. They turned out superb. We had them with our soup for lunch.

In between making soup and sourdough buns, I worked on my blackout curtains. I took apart 3 seams, made the necessary adjustments and sew them back up again. They look pretty darn good, except…heavy big sigh. They still don’t pulled back easily. They’re of heavy material and do not slide readily, bunching up. At the end of the day when I spent so much time and effort, I really like to bunch them up and toss them. It’s my tired self talking. I’m feeling cranky. I hear more snow is coming. Maybe I can blame it on the change in atmospheric pressure.

It is late again. I want to finish this conversation already, have a shower and watch Grey’s Anatomy. There’s the call of peanut butter chocolate ice cream, too. Oh, I have thought of an easy fix for my curtains. Curtain rod rings with clips. Goodnight. Be back tomorrow. I will finish this challenge by hook or crook.


This Daily Thing

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.


What if I Just Sit

The bread is in the oven. They will be done in 30 minutes. I have a bit of a breather. Even when you think you got it together, it’s still an all day affair. There’s just no way around it . I’ve been doing this same recipe for almost 9 years. I know it by heart and the knead of it. I’ve learned to give myself over to this bake bread day. I do savour the breaks in the process.

Usually I like to sit and sip my tea and scroll or read. This morning none of that was appealing. I thought why don’t I just sit. Why don’t I? It was easier said than done. I think my brain has been slowly eroded and reprogrammed by all our technology. It felt peculiar to just sit and stare into space. I felt my impatient self talking. Now what? I can’t just sit. I felt my brain doing a scan. I don’t want to read anything. I don’t want to scroll on my iPhone. What is it that I want to do?

My head is talking to itself. I have only 30 minutes before I have to tend to the dough. Think fast. What can I do? My Jesus cross stitch flashed through my mind. But how much can I do? Now I have less than 30 minutes. Then I hear my mother’s voice talking about a bucket filling with one drop at a time. So I translated that into a stitch at a time. I dug out my Jesus kit. Once upon a few years ago, I said I would have it done by Christmas. I can make it this Christmas. I have two and a half months. It’s never too late until it is.

I get about 8 cross stitches done and my timer went off. I was just getting back into the hang of it. But I had to tend to the dough. I didn’t quite hop up right away. It was a bright sunny morning and the sunroom was warm and such a delight. I didn’t tarry long but when I walked into the kitchen, I was greeted by an over eager and over festive dough. Eeeek!

I haven’t sat much after that till now. But it’s all water under the bridge. The loaves are baked and cooling their heels on my new racks. All the clean up is done. Why don’t I just sit for a little bit longer, eh? I feel a bit done.