FLYDAY, THE 13TH

It’s Friday, Chinese AirForce Day, as someone once called it. I took the bait and asked why. He said, It’s F-l-y-day. Would you call that a racial slur? Anyways, I chuckled like a good agreeable Chinese woman. I wasn’t offended, honest. I’m a little sleep deprived. I couldn’t sleep past 3 this morning. I hate it when that happens. And it does occasionally, especially when the weather shifts. I whine about the weather alot. Not only it disrupts my sleep but also my moods.

There’s alot I could whine about but I’m too tired. My edginess have worn off and I’m pretty mellow. My AM Energizer class certainly helped. My serotonin level was further elevated by lunch with the “YWCA” girls, our first in 2 years at the Parktown. We had a good time but we do miss the buffet which is no more. So many changes in 2 years. The diningroom was mostly empty except for us. It was a good and bad thing at the same time.

I am just poking along here, keeping up with my routines. I have just finished reading Naomi Judd’s book, River of Time and watched Ashley Judd speaking to Diane Sawyer about her mother’s suicide by a firearm. So sad! I have to be careful that I don’t dwell on all this too much. I am not emotionally fragile but vulnerable. Having experienced depression myself, I admire and have great respect for Naomi and her two daughters. Life is hard and messy and their lives certainly were. Wyona described it perfectly when she said they literally went from the shit house to the White House. What a journey and what an adjustment. Now they have more to adjust to. River of Time is a worthwhile read.

I am happy to say that I have a handle on my moods. Knock on wood. I have worked very hard every day to maintain good mental health. I have read countless books on the subject. I’ve put what I’ve learned to practice. One of those was getting Sheba. She took me out of the house and out of my bad moods. I got a heavy dose of nature and exercise. We went out rain, snow or sunshine. We were more regular than the mailman. Now she’s gone but she’s prepared me well. She certainly had earned her keep. I love her forever – then and now.

SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS

Day 16 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The sky is grey and snow is coming down. I’ve forgotten how grey and dreary November can be. The snow is welcome. It will brighten up the landscape. I am remembering another scene – of snow falling on the cedars. They were really spruce trees but they’re close enough. The phrase had caught and stuck in my head after seeing the movie. The cedars/spruce are gone. I’m missing them today. It’s nostalgia for those trees and what has past.

The trees are gone and Sheba also. I’m remembering and missing her today. She loved nosing and messing around and under the spruce trees winter or summer. She didn’t mind the snow or cold. We were out almost every day in all kinds of weather. We were as regular and dependable as the mailman.

The snow is still falling but not on the cedars. It is a good day for tapping out the memories. It is a good day for eating spicy pumpkin chili, drinking hot chocolate and curling up with a good book. Maybe later I can coax myself downstairs and finish shortening my new snow pants. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for cross-country skiing.

LOVE HAS NO EXPIRY DATE

Morning has broken like the first morning again. Sunshine coming through the clouds as I sit here tapping out the words. I hope they will flow smoothly. I was sitting thus yesterday when we got a surprise visit from a friend and his dog. I was a little confused at first. With his mask on, he looked exactly like the guy. He was coming up the deck stairs. I was face to face with him through the window. He held up his coffee from Robin’s Doughnuts and I wondered why he went out and bought me a coffee. And how did he get out without me noticing. All this must have flashed across my face. He pulled down his mask. That’s when I noticed Mabel, the dog.

Ir was a beautiful sunny morning. The guys had a good visit outside. I got to play with Mabel. She’s friendly and energetic, alot like Sheba. She was better behaved though, not running off. Perhaps it was because she had a better trainer/owner. We had a little walk down the back alley, Mabel sniffing and smelling everything. I was surprised by how familiar and comforting it felt. I was surprised by the softening and opening of my heart, by the joy that rushed in. In 9 days it will be a year since Sheba’s departed this earthly world. Love has no expiry date. It was good to experience it again – unconditional love.

I’m misty eyed by the memories and feelings. They’re happy, soft and loving ones. They’re thoughts to nourish and sustain one through the not so easy days. Sheba and I had 14 years of loving, adventures and learning together. I couldn’t ask for more. I believe in the words from Tennyson:

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS

March 18th, 2021. I woke at 6 am to 0℃ outside and 4℃ in the greenhouse. Funny how the temperatures dip around 8 to -1℃ and 3.4℃ before going up again. Now they are 2℃ and 5.4℃. I’m still being a weatherman. I find if I don’t record things, they are easily forgotten. I should really do a gardening journal. Maybe soon. Famous last words, eh?

I’ve done a bit of sewing this morning. A little will do me. I find that if I make a start on something, even a teeny one, I have more success of completing it. I do get overwhelmed with the big of everthing. Breaking the big into bits and pieces work. I’ve got most of my flowers seeded yesterday. I had laid out the seed packs the day before. Sometimes I just can’t get to things. Appointments, dates with friends and fatigue interfere. They are important but it is also important to return to the task at hand.

I finally threw out the last of Sheba’s kibbles yesterday. It was still sitting in the pail in the kitchen. It’s 10 months since my fur baby went to dog heaven. Time to let some of this stuff go but I can’t help tearing and choking up a bit. It’s the memories, lost and the realization you can’t hold on forever. Our lives are finite. It is the natural order of things.We each will have our turn. We learn, accept and let go. I had 14 wonderful years with her.

A lot of the snow is gone. The little monk sits exposed in sunshine. He’s been watching over the herb spiral all through the winter. He has done a good job. Most of the herbs have survived – the rosemary, thymes, moss, oregano and chocolate mint. I must also do my duty, walk my walk and live my best life.

WINTER WONDERLAND/SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW

It’s another day, another Log Cabin square, another ski, and now another post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I thought I would show off our winter wonderland. I do love our winters. Most of these photos were taken at the Sutherland Dog Park. Sheba loved running on the frozen South Saskatchewan in the winter. We encountered a red fox here on Christmas eve in 2009. I had thought it was a dog as it streaked past us towards the river. No person followed after and it never came back. That was when I realized it must have been a fox.

I am missing my puppy girl now and again and for always. That is how it is with love. But I know she is happy somewhere over the rainbow. I know she will visit me again.

THE LONELIEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR

It is New Year’s Eve. It’s the first Christmas and New Year without Sheba. My eyes mist and my throat tightens. It is the way of nature. There’s birth, life and then death. A cycle complete but not an ending. I like to think that Sheba came to me in the guise of a fox the other evening while skiing in the park. I went or fell down two little hills. A little fox came and stayed with me till I was on my feet again. I thought it was a cat at first. I called ‘here kitty’. It came within a certain distance, crouched down and watched me all the while. I felt we were part of each other, breathing in and out. A miracle of connecting. Perhaps it was Sheba coming to check on me. I remember her favourite cuddly was her little fox with a squeaker in the head and tail.

Happy New Year has come and gone. Not as much fuss as other years but it was still marked with an explosion of fireworks at midnight. I did not feel I missed much. Most of my new year’s eves have been pretty quiet affairs. Sometimes it can be the loneliest night of the year for many people. I know that I’ve often felt a misfit and a failure on many of these evenings. One year my then husband and I attended a New Year’s Eve party at his boss’s house. There was a pot of chili on the stove, people here and there. We all wore party hats and had whistles streamers. At midnight we dutifully blew our whistles but none of us seemed at all pumped. It was the saddest party of all times. It still left an impression on me after all these years.

I’m well past my prime and finally I’m okay being left out of the hoopla. What I mean is I’ve never been a party girl but never been brave enough to admit it. It’s a natural thing to want to fit in, be part of the crowd. I wonder if we are all like that – putting up a front. So for the first time, I don’t have to make up a cover story for New Year’s Eve. I did nothing. So there is a silver lining to every cloud, even Covid-19. I probably wouldn’t have taken up skiing either if it didn’t happened. I would have missed out on our moonlight skis. I would have missed the fox/Sheba encounter. I wouldn’t have had this pause to think, to question the many aspects of life, of relationships, of my past thinking /behaviour, of where to next and how to get there.

YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE

You Light Up My Life

I am so porous to the prevailing moods around me. It is not an advantage. I am one of those people who can feel your pain. It is not a good thing. I’m feeling a little under the weather, mood wise. It is, of course, a very cloudy day. If not for the snow, my world would be very dark. Therefore, I do love the white stuff. It lights up my life.

The Covid-19 numbers in Saskatchewan today are 4 deaths and 235 new cases. I am still tracking the numbers. I should stop but it is better to be informed. It is depressing and difficult to understand why we aren’t all compliant with what we need to do. Why are some so defiant about wearing masks and having large gatherings? Why do some still believe it’s not real? I guess the answers are blown in the wind. I best get on with what I can do and not sink deeper into the rabbit hole.

Talking about rabbits, I met up with one on my walk. It was all white except for the tips of his ears. I’m sure if Sheba was still here, she’ll be lunging and straining on her leash. I have her to thank for my daily walks. It’s hard to give them up after 14 years. My body knows when it is time to get up and get walking. Sheba is with me in spirit. We go down the streets and alleys as before. And it is all good – for my body and spirit. Being out in nature, even if it’s in the city, is something good I can do for myself.

Gardening is another good thing I can do. I know it is almost December but spring in the greenhouse won’t be that far away. I’m excited to get seeds ordered,organized and started. We had the greenhouse built in record time. It’s hard waiting. Here’s the guy’s video of its construction to take me out of here. The greenhouse is a very good thing.

DAY 21 UBC – THE EVOLUTION OF THINGS

The Evolution of Things

Here I am again, at the end of the day, trying to find a few words, thoughts worthy of a post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. There’s a few things I could talk about that could raise some controversy. They could generate interest, heat and possibly more traffic to this site. But that has never been my goal for writing. I don’t have a business, product or service to sell. I write for the beauty of the word. I write as a form of therapy. I write in the hope I can help another having similar experiences, interests and problems. So I won’t talk about the elections, Canadian or American. And I won’t talk about whether we should or shouldn’t celebrate Halloween.

I had a good start to the day, sleeping in to almost 8:45 am. My first reaction was, Oh God! I have to cancel my exercise class. Then I thought, How stupid. I don’t have to be there till 9:30. I even have time for breakfast. I was really glad that I showed up because exercise is the best medicine. It cleared my brain fog after retirement. A couple of weeks after I started the AM Energizer class at the YWCA, I felt so much better. I was so excited, I talked about it alot. I talked about it so much, the guy decided he wanted to go, too. I am sure it’s the reason why we are as healthy and active as we are.

It certainly helped resetting my mood and circadian rhythm. I am sure they are interrelated. I know I have my days, but overall I have a pretty grip on life. I am optimissic and happy even in this Covid time. That is not saying I haven’t had my difficult days – seeing my mother through her shingles and losing Sheba. They occurred during the pandemic but not because of it. I cannot really say I suffered. I was still able to move about freely. I was still able to take my mother to her medical appointments. I was still taking Sheba to the dog park and let her run. The pandemic made it a little harder going to the medical appointments. It made it not possible to be with her at the moment of Sheba’s passing. But the vetinary people were kind. They brought her out so that we could say goodbye.

Those two experiences were life changing and helpful for me. I would say that this pandemic is life changing and could be helpful for all of us. We have to be open to change. And when it is forced upon us, we should be grateful that there is in time for us to make the changes. We don’t have to cry and lament about what we have lost. We could look at what we could gain. I’m speaking from a very safe space. I am retired. I haven’t lost employment or income. I don’t have children or other dependents. I do feel very grateful and privileged. I am in this very moment very happy. It’s a light bulb moment for me.

DAY 10 UBC – DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE

Dedicated to the One I Love

It’s Saturday, the day my fur baby left for doggy heaven. We miss her but life goes on as the saying goes. It is true. It does. For everything that happens, the world still spins on its axis as it rotates around the sun. And we are all going along with it. Saturday is still my favourite day even though she is no longer here with me physically. My memories of her are warm and sweet.

I will have none of the bitter sweet stuff. I am careful of my thoughts and what I feed my brain. Loss and the end of things can be/are painful but it is the natural order of things. There is a beginning, middle and an ending to all living things. The challenge lies within our finiteness. We don’t have forever. Time is precious like water. I don’t want it to drain/waste away. This is one of those AHA moments I’ve encountered in this Ultimate Blog Challenge.

I’m learning when to turn off the tap. There’s no point in bashing my head against the wall on things I can’t change. I’ve only hurt myself. It is insanity to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. Things are not complicated but we make it so. I am having fun and learning as well in this round of the Challenge. Sometimes it is challenging, trying finding the time to write every day and read others and comment as well. But I also find it motivating. I just do the best I can. We are all different. I admire those who does it so well. I try to return visits when I can.

As you can see, I AM finding my way around this new WordPress thing. In the end it turns out the same. I was stuck on the classic version. I hung on with tooth and nail – till they took it away. I was forced into changing. The change is good for my brain’s neuroplasticity. I was hanging onto Sheba hard, too. I couldn’t hang on forever. I have my sweet memories without the bitter part. She was the most pretty and happy girl. I love her.

IRKS AND QUIRKS

September 18/20

There are so many things that are irking me right now. I suppose it can be a good thing. I’m restless, on the move instead of a drowsy potato on the couch. What is irking me, you ask. First of all, lack of REM sleep. The neighbour has installed a very bright and glaring lightbulb outside on her garage. It’s on 24 hours a day. The trouble is at night. The light seeps through our bedroom venetians which are installed between the panes. The reflection is quite bright. Though I can get to sleep, I can’t stay asleep. I wake frequently through the night. Last night we had to cover the windows with a light blanket and towel. They are still tacked up. Who wants to do that every night? Now I have to turn the light on in the bedroom during the day.

The thing to do would be to talk to her. Be proactive. Be direct. Her renter already told us he had no luck. She considers the light is her security system even though he tried to tell her it is a signal there is no one at home. I’ve had no past successes in negotiating with female neighbours. I will have to send the guy over. Maybe he has some charm. Solution number 2 would be to install a curtain rod to hang some dark drapes. But I love my non dust collecting in-between venetians and being able to see the beautiful wood frames. I’m trying not to rush into solving this. So blankets, towels and drapes for now.

I’m unsettled enough today that I’ve already got soup in the Instant Pot by 8:30 am. I’ve got a couple of rooms vacuumed and sorted out some tomatoes. Yes, there’s a bee in my bonnet that I’m trying to soothe.

September 19/20

It is Saturday, Sheba’s day. I’ve had a couple of restless, more energy kind of days. Now I’m just listless and drab. There’s no Sheba around to keep me on track. I have to do it all on my own power. I did go over to talk to the neighbour to talk about her high voltage ‘night light’. Alas/hooray she was not home, gone for the week. I wrote her a nice could-we-solve-this-problem note and taped it to her door. Thank goodness her renter had sense to turn out the light in the meantime. A week of no sleep and being pissed off would do me in.

Now I’m just pecking on my keyboard. It is soothing and calming. It’s like a pacemaker for my brain. I should come here more often. How many times have I said it now? Why don’t I just do it? It’s one of those mystery questions with no answer. I will carry on the best I can. I am not behind. I am not deficient. I am what I am. A little Dr. Seus here. I do so like Green Eggs and Ham even though I am not Sam-I-Am.

September 20/20

It’s Sunday morning coming down. I’m not as morose as Kris Kristofferson. It helps that I didn’t smoke my brain out last night. I didn’t have a beer for breakfast either. I’m trying not to give in to the season of my moods. I’m concentrating on the moment of now. So…I have a pot of yellow roma tomatoes stewing on the stove. They’re smelling super tangy. It’s a waker upper. Just what I need. I am not languishing on the couch with my book of crossword puzzles waiting for things to change.

 

This morning a memory came up on Facebook from a year ago. It was of our visit to Mount Carmel with Sheba last August. Sheba was running down the hill. She looked so vibrant and alive. It brought tears to my eyes. She had walked the Stations of the Cross with Rod.

It is almost lunch. The tomatoes have stewed enough. So have I. I have not languished the morning away. I am not unhappy. Just a little misty and nostalgic. I am paying attention to the moment and what is important. I am problem solving. I am making space. I am making peace.