In STUCKVILLE and CLUTTERVILLE

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

November 10. It’s strange how easily I’m sidetracked into scrolling and reading trash about aging movie stars. Who are these people writing these stories and what is their agenda in hijacking my and others’ attention? It’s difficult enough dealing my own aging journey – fading memory, hair loss, wrinkles, crickety joints.

November 16. Absent almost a week. I’m still not immuned to scrolling, having just read about the life of Brooke Astor. It is rather fascinating though of what use to me, I have no idea. I seem to have these stuck inescapeable moments of uselessness. Rather than trying to fight them, I might as well ride them out as best as I can. They must serve some purpose somehow. Drat, now I’m caught up in a post about Lisa Marie Preseley.

November 17. Still in Stuckville and Clutterville. My inner world is reflected in my outer world. I shall not fret so much upon everything. It’s a difficult thing to do. The news is full of how much our world is over run by the flu, our healthcare system overwhelmed and lack of medicine on the shelves. This morning I got one of those bothersome phone calls. The voice was ominous, full of dire and threatening if I didn’t know any better. I didn’t press #1 to find a solution. Who are these people preying on the fears of people? How can we discern real information from fake ones?

I shall not try to do any deep thinking or problem solving. My brain is unreliable presently. It is best that I just deal with the bare necessary items essential to having an ok day. Having a set routine is good. I like to play Wordle in the morning with my tea. The exercise is good for warming up my brain. I’m still doing my c.a.r.s. exercises waiting for the kettle to boil to make tea. The reason the habit sticks is because it works and I feel the benefits every day. I can get out of bed every morning without collapsing, feeling fairly limber. I can go for daily walks without pain in my left ankle. So not all is lost. I can still do some good stuff.

I made yogurt this morning and cleaned up right after. I’m finally making some progress with this post. It’s a far cry from showing up every day like I wanted to. But I am showing up when I can. I made an order to Lee Valley. I was late in getting the pie plates on sale. That will teach me to dally instead of acting on it when the sale was announced. I felt the pain at first but it disappeared after I finalized the order. It is just a number. The pie plates will last my life time.

MEMORY LANE AND OTHER TRIPS

August 18 and 18th day the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am aiming to improve a little each day by showing up every day and a little earlier. This summer when it isn’t hot, it is cold. I woke up to 10℃ whereas only a couple of days ago, it was 21℃. I have no control over it. I best adapt as all living species have to. It is a good day to cuddle up to the keyboard. Yesterday I travelled down memory lane and Winnipeg in 1967. I will travel again today down the same highway but maybe to a different year and destination.

As with all trips, it will take time to gather my thoughts, memories and photos. I will have to search through my mental bags, find and sort out my stories. My day has taken me to other directions. Those trips will have to be saved for another day. Instead I will talk about the trip I took today. It is out to Sheba’s old haunt in Furdale, the dog park out by the river. She and I had many happy days there in our younger years. It brought back so many memories and feelings. If it had not been for her, I would not have discovered it or wanted to venture there.

It is August 19 and day 19 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Yesterday got completely away from me. I’m still trying to finish this post. So yesterday the guy and I went out to Furdale. It felt strange to go without a dog. This time we went with ice cream pails. We were hunting for chokecherries to make wine. It did not take long to find them. They were plentiful and we went back today for more. I think we got enough chokecherries to make a batch of wine, some syrup and some to give to our friend who introduced the idea to us.

I hope to show up again tomorrow. I will try my best. There’s a lot of chokecherries to clean and freeze. I’m tackling a bit at a time. I have 2 cookie sheets of chokecherries frozen but there’s alot more to be done.

NOT ANY TIME SOON

September 12/20

It’s another Saturday morning. My Sheba is on my mind, good memories of our time together. My arm is still aching down to my hand from my shingles vaccine earlier in the week. This reminds me of my mother’s experience with shingles. It also started on a Saturday. It was a very, very bad time. Hence, my vaccine. She was very vocal in urging all of us to get it. Thankfully she’s recovered with minimal damage.

Not all Saturdays are equal. I still love Saturdays. It used to be my weekly swim morning before Covid. I’ve adjusted to Tuesdays and Thursdays now. Double the pleasure. I did cancel out twice this week. Apps are so wonderful in many ways. I just push the CANCEL button to unbook my time. No questions asked. It would have been wonderful if there was such an app for work. You wouldn’t have to worry about not sounding sick enough phoning in sick.

Saturday mornings used to be cleaning chore time when I was a kid. We used to live in this small rented house behind our cafe in Maidstone. It belonged to the town doctor. The kitchen floor was worn through in spots. I can still see it in my mind’s eye after all these years. It made for difficult washing.

Sept. 13/20

It’s Sunday and I’m stuck. I have lots to do but can’t seem to find a way to start. Have you ever been here? I was like that yesterday, too. I couldn’t even finish yesterday’s entry. I’ve left it hanging and dangling. Will have to backtrack. What I did do was tackle things that I could start on -like cleaning behind the fridge and stove and cleaning the toilet. I did a load of laudry and picked a pail of tomatoes. So it was not a lost day.

I will have to do the same today. Start where I can. I will sort the tomatoes.

September 17/20

My energy is one with autumn. It is the season for slowing down. I certainly have! I’m resigned to it. I go to bed each evening with new resolves of doing better, doing more. I wake up each morning not wanting to and not knowing how to. There’s nothing to do but do the best I am able to. I will move if there is something urgent. That is how we are built. If there is an emergency, we will bust ass.

In the meantime, I’m putting one foot in front of the other. It’s not as if I am just parked on my butt all day. It just feels so. Feelings can be false. I’ve stuck to my exercise regime – swim Tuesday and Thursday. I did not push the CANCEL button. AND I went to the AM Energizer aerobics class on Wednesday. Hurray for me! My lunch dishes are done. I’ve rinsed off my swim suit and gear from this morning. I’m showing up here, tapping as best as I can. What I really want to do is to fall asleep and wake up energized. I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon.

But onward ho!

 

SHINE THE LIGHT

I’m a little out of love with everything. I’ feeling a bit of a bad attitude creeping in. Let me talk about it. Let me tap it out. I hate to bring negativity to this space but I can’t feel sublime all the time. Feeling the ‘blues’ is part of normal life. It is for me. It offers a rest, a change of pace. I must be veering off my path a bit. It’s telling me I need to make an adjustment, a correction, a change in attitude. It is okay to rant a bit and exercise my lungs if nothing else. Who knows what good it could bring.

The thing that bug me yesterday was I spent an hour and a half at the doctor’s office for 10 minutes with the doctor. What else bugged me was my appointment was for 2:40. I showed up 10 minutes early as instructed. I waited and waited. A young woman walks in at 3:00 and says she has a 3:30 appointment with the same doctor. She was shown in right off – before me and another older woman. When I approached the receptionist about it, all she said was that I will be next. Wouldn’t that piss you off?

I didn’t complain to the doctor about it. He’s innocent. It is the office girls who rule the roost. I got my business taken care of and it was good. It was good that I didn’t get a parking ticket either. I had parked in a hurry and wasn’t sure that I was legal. Do you know how far you’re suppose to park from a fire hydrant? I googled when I got home. In Saskatoon, your vehicle should be at least 1 meter (3.28 feet) from the centre of the hydrant. In which case, I think I was legal.

We’re having a national election on October 21. The campaigns are nothing like the Americans, but still…There’s alot of rudeness and attacking all around during last night’s national debate. They do not set a fine example for young people. Mentors they are not. Difficult to feel hearten and have confidence in our leaders in this political climate. Talking about climate, I’m sick of all the attack on young Greta Thunberg by old and middle aged men. What is their agenda?

Then, yesterday was summer like – 20 degrees Celsius. Warm enough for shorts. This morning it snowed. The temperature was as high as 12 degrees Celsius. It is now 1 degree with a promise of -6. It was none too warm walking Sheba. I was thankful for my YWCA toque which I received for doing the 5K Shine the Light walk. Besides being warm, it would come in handy if it’s too dark to pick up her poop. Shine the light!

Eh! I think I got most the uglies out of me. I feel I don’t have it in me to show up every day for the Ultimate Blog Challenge this time around. I will do the best I can, show up when I can and shine when I can.

PASSION UNABATED

So here I am, in the late of the evening. I’ve wined and dined. I haven’t come up with the secret to eternal wisdom nor happiness. Needless to say, it has been a tough day, a day of clouds and cool temperatures for July. But I did the best I could. Despite the clouds, my yard and garden glowed in the early morning light. It cheered me, standing on the top step. The path led straight to the garage door. Lao Tzu and the Chinese maiden are standing on duty on each side. I’m waiting for Sheba to finish her morning business. My passion for a well lived life remains unabated.

Nothing was really wrong except for my chemistry. My mood is like the weather. The good, bad and ugly played hide and seek with each other. I let them be, but stepped in as a referee when needed. It was tough and painful at times, almost bringing tears to my eyes. But I got through the tough stretch. The bills were paid and recorded. I thought I would leave sorting and filing for another day. I rewarded my efforts with a hot chocolate and a few pages of my crime novel, Moon Music. Faye Kellerman is my new favourite mystery writer. I find mystery/crime novels soothing and calming because they engage me.

Engagement is the key for me on difficult days. I tell myself, I can, I can. I can change my thoughts and how I speak to myself. I can make lunch. I can make a rhubarb crisp. I can do my art projects. And so I did. The rhubarb crisp wasn’t quite up to par. That was because I decided to make it in a smaller pan with same amount of rhubarb. But after I popped it back into the oven for another 20 minutes, it was okay. My indexcard collage and watercolour turned out superb – in my opinion. I experimented with pureeing steamed lettuce for freezing. I put the puree into an ice cube tray. After they are frozen, I will pop them out and store in a freezer bag. I might be going overboard in preserving veggies, but I hate waste. And we have lots of lettuce. I will see how they will work out in soups and chili.

After that being done, there’s the dog to walk. It’s a pleasure after we get going. A sniff here, a sniff there. I like admiring other people’s yards, their efforts. I am sure they struggle, too. We are all trying. We all have our passions. We are all the same. We are connected by our humanity. Thus I feel comforted in my own struggles along with them .

THIS TIME TOGETHER

These days are really hard to weather. Two days ago, it was minus 30 something Celsius. Sheba and I were shivering with long johns and scarves on our walk. Today it is +6C. Sun shining, snow melting, puddles of water everywhere. Why am I not dancing for joy? If it was that easy, I would dance. I would kick up my heels and do a jig. The reality is I feel like hell. My shoulders feel heavy, weighed down like a linebacker. I am not loaded down with shoulder pads, just the weight of the universe. My legs feels like cement pillars. I can’t run anywhere. Where would I go anyways? I couldn’t even muster any power to go to aerobics today. Hell with it, was my attitude. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I am sure there are others feeling the same.

I know myself fairly well. I’ve always been aware of my bodily discomforts with change of weather/temperature. I know it. I should not doubt of my own reality and poo poo it and feeling guilty. If I don’t believe myself, who will? So I shall just buckle up my own self, Buttercup and deal with it. It is why I have created this very space – to inhale, exhale, to console myelf. Who else would believe when I talk about gremlins and evils, that they exist, that I feel them?

I am heavy with fatigue. My head thick as can be. My neck sore and stiff. My eyes ache in their recesses. But I am working out my kinks and quirks. I am unravelling my knots. I am not at all happy with how receptive my wiring is. It’s not as if I can pull a plug or take out a fuse. If I could, I would. I should work for the CIA. They would pay well. But all I can do to mute their signals is tap here and paint there. Both processes soothe and smooth me. I get some satisfaction in the end. It’s not paying well, though, not monetarily. However, I’m being paid well in that some have told me they find my blog helpful. That is a very big compliment. Imagine how good it made me feel on a bad day to read this post. Thank you, Des! And I am getting recognition for my art work within my Instagram world. I am quite happy with my progress in that direction. I’m still improving, too.

I’ve tapped away that lump in my throat. My shoulders feel looser, my heart lighter. Nothing is wrong. Do not worry, dear readers. It is my way of problem solving. I sound in dire straits and all but I am not. I have had people inquiring and offering me hlep and shelter in the past. I sounded that bad. But I am not there. We writers and artists tend to be melodramatic. We feel things deeply – pain, joy and all the doldrums. That’s how I am. Tomorrow I might still be in this space. Or I might wake up and feel the tightness gone. I will know. But in the meantime, I’m still doing, tapping, painting, giving Sheba shit. We did it all today – the walk, the dishes, ate those chocolate chip blocks. I probably should not make any more. Might not make it through the door by February. I could make some pretzels instead.

January/life is f***ing hard. I didn’t say the whole word though I’ve done that often when I was still working. Nurses are bad for cussing – out of earshot, of course. Somehow it always made me feel better. It’s like a big exhale. Whoosh! There, all that bad stuff is gone. I can make a fresh start now. What I’ve learned now is not to use any other pronoun other than I, me and myself. No you did this to me or it’s their fault. There’s to be no blame. It’s a hard lesson. I take full responsibility for my life. It’s all about me. I will forget now and then, being human. Remind me if you catch me. I would thank you for it – I think.

Since I am such a weather vane, it would be helpful to learn how it can affect the body. It might prepare them and spare me some hardships.  My curiosity now led me to google what happens when the temperature goes from -30 C to +6 C. All that comes up are lots about global warming. Take a look.  It’s here.

I feel that our lives are already never the same again. I know that our existance is greatly threaten. Tomorrow might be just another 10 years and no more. I like to spend this time well. I like to do my best as best as I can. I’m tired now. I like to sign off like Miss Carol Burnett.

 

CHALLENGED – Day 63 – 65 in a year of…

Day 63 – 65, September 25, 2016 @4:57 pm

Challenges are difficult amid fatigue and pain.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m lazy.  Am I using it as a excuse.  Other times, I wonder if I have fibromyalagia and/or chronic fatigue.  Or is it from my sinus anomoly? Does it matter what it is called or if it is diagnosed?  It is all the same symptons.  It adds up to feeling fatigued, pained and generally lousy.  I’ve had bouts of these since early adulthood.  I’ve survived and learned to cope.

It has improved. Maybe I’m living healthier.  I’m certainly getting more sleep and exercise.  I have a dog.  I do yoga, qigong and meditation off and on.  I guess everything counts.  Still, there are days when – I want to throw myself img_0896into bed with fatigue.  The pain is the gnawing kind through the whole body and I feel heavy as lead.  These are the tough days when it is hard even to think of walking the dog.  I’m thinking I’m making my life harder by having one.  What was I thinking?  And a Lab/Border Collie at that!

Well, I have a dog.  She demands to be walked every day.  I put a collar and leash on her and running shoes on me. Off we go, one foot in front of the other at a slow steady pace.  I don’t feel any more pain.  I don’t feel any less pain.  Another walk.  Another day.  It’s the same coming to this space except some days I haven’t shown up.  But I am here today, covering for 3 days.

img_2546I have to admit this challenge is harder than my 100 days of art.  The more difficult part is the analyzing of how my ‘different’ made a difference and finding the words.  Some days it takes more energy than I have.  So I have chosen to write when I can instead of giving up altogether.  I will chug along to day 365. That’s how life is lived – as best as we can to the end.

 

A SECOND CUP OF TEA

IMG_2952When grey paints the sky and the dry winds blow, my energy and spirit sag.  I’m like limp noodle, dragging and sighing through the day.  I’m grateful to have friends like a second cup of tea and my Roomba to help me through those times.  A second cup gives me a little extra time and space to breathe and find my start button.  Some days are like that and I do the best I can.  I know there is no hurry, no rush.  Life starts right here in the moment.  There is no other place to go to and nothing else to do.

 

IMG_2213The start button is pushed.  I can hear the Roomba whirling around in the kitchen, picking up bread crumbs, dog hair and what-alls. Robots are wonderful. They never sag if you keep them charged.  They are not perfect, however, and they can fail. Hopefully those are the times I am charged and can take over.

The skies are greyer and raindrops are falling.  I hope it pours.  The earth is thirsty.  So am I.  A third cup of tea is needed.

BOXES AND DRAWERS FULL OF DREAD

IMG_0706

I wish I could understand the chemistry underlying inertia and procrastination.  Why is it that we delay and delay in doing.  Why is it so hard to move?  Have you ever experience this phenomenon?  I confess I experience it on a regular basis.  To move, even just to blink requires supreme effort.  Is there a psychological reason for this malady?  What am I dreading that I am so frozen in action?

******

It’s a day later.  I am finally able to move on from yesterday.  I am going to starting to stare at the monster head on.  There is nothing to dread.  The dread comes from evading, delaying, procrastinating.  I have shoe boxes and drawers full of dread – unopened and un- dealt with ‘issues’.  I have shoved them in there and closed the door.  They are out of sight, but not out of mind.  They wiggle and niggle at me when I am sleeping.  They interrupt my dreams.  They crop up time and time again to haunt and taunt me.

I am now taking the time to know and understand them.  What are they all about?  Can I put them to rest forever and ever?  If not, how we can live with each other in peace?  There’s no quick fixes, I know.  There’s no going back to the very beginning.  I have to start right here and in this moment.  Have I told you the story of a this friend when we were in nursing school?

She was from a very small town.  Saskatoon was a big city and it was new to her.  We were crossing the street.  Halfway across, the DON’T WALK sign came on.  She turned back and tried again.  Halfway across, the DON’T WALK sign came on again.  She realized that she won’t ever get across if she kept going back.  She kept on going and got across.

I haven’t been as smart as she was.  I haven’t learned my lesson as quickly.  I keep on going back to square one each time.  And each time I reach the snag point, I would retreat.  I have been very much like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.  I keep waking up to the same old, same old in my own way.

I would like to say, NO MORE! and mean it this time, but I know that I’m a human being with many frailties.  I mean everything I say at the time but when the tough gets going, my resolve sags and then I lose heart.  I’m not justifying but sometimes it’s better to give it a rest.  Things come up.  Life happens.  It is not always wise to be inflexible no matter what. Sometimes I have to give up to continue.  I give myself a grace period – to rest, recoup my strength and resolve, to clear my vision and mark my progress.

I am doing the best I can.  My boxes and drawers are getting less and less – ever so slowly.

 

 

 

THE BEST I CAN

It’s all very well to espouse truisms when you are in elation, floating on a cloud.  But when you have your feet firmly planted or mired in the mud of life, then it is another thing.  I’m talking about this asinine statement, “You can’t control what others do.  You can only control what you do.”

Try to control yourself in the heat of the moment, or should I say, the heat of days, weeks or even months.  Not so easy, in the face of what the other person does.  It is damn hard when you have no control over what he will do.

Life is hard, as M. Scott Peck said in The Road Less Travelled.  And so, I put my head down, breathe to gather up muster and put one foot in front of the other.  I see myself at least.  Recognition can be a start.  Now, I just have to take a few more breaths and another step.  I am doing the best I can.