Thursday 30 December 2021

Best and worst of 2021

The week between Christmas and New Year is the strangest week of the year. Nobody knows what day it is, but that's okay - time has lost all meaning. Normal meal times have been suspended in favour of grazing through all the leftovers, which may mean a cold turkey leg for breakfast and Christmas cookies for dinner one day, and a pizza and dill chips for dinner at 4 in the afternoon another. It's fine though, because it's the  week of the year where expectations are zero and anything goes

Thursday 16 December 2021

Before and after

You call in to work, saying that you won't come in today because you're too afraid to drive on exceedingly dangerous snowy and icy roads. 
Their response? "It's your responsibility to get to your place of work on time. You chose it, knowing all the possible risks associated with it. It's your problem, not ours. You won't get paid."

You drive into work on exceedingly dangerous snowy and icy roads. You get into an accident. 
Their response? "You poor thing! Why did you come in today? You should have stayed home!"


Sunday 5 December 2021

"You're too sensitive"

Without warning I started to cry during the Santa parade and had to leave. 
Tears were pricking my eyes when I saw the "Welcome back Health Care Team" sign in front of the hospital. 
I had to take some deep breaths when I read the simple words "Welcome back" taped to the door of WalMart so I wouldn't start bawling like a loser right in front of WalMart. 

Wednesday 1 December 2021

The joys and woes of being a rural x-ray technologist

The fog is thick and dense. It's still dark outside, and with the impenetrable fog I can see nothing but a white wall surrounding me. Visibility? What visibility? I'm crawling at a speed of less than 50km/h, hoping the fog will clear at some point. Even though I've left two hours early, I may be late if I have to drive the entire 108 kilometers at this snail's pace. 

Tuesday 16 November 2021

That time the road disappeared

I drive carefully on the deserted road, my windshield wipers working furiously, barely keeping up. I haven't seen rain that fierce since I moved away from the wet coast 5 years ago, and I didn't miss it. Yet here we are, and it's terrifying. I keep an eye on the raging river on my right side, shocked by how much it has swelled in just a few hours. 


Thursday 11 November 2021

Sitting with pain

Two days ago I had a major mental breakdown. I had therapy in the morning, and I almost cancelled, because life is really good right now and I am so happy and content, it seemed unnecessary. But I didn't cancel, and halfway through something came up.

Sunday 24 October 2021

Breaking out of the boxes I put myself in

Last week I bought myself an anti-aging eye cream. It promises 5-in-1 actions against the dreaded aging process: it supposedly combats dark circles, crow's feet, bags, puffiness, and crepey lids (which I first read as creepy lids, and was quite intrigued by: you never know what the diet- and beauty-industry comes up with next, and I thought they had moved on to creepy lids. Not yet, but it's only a matter of time).

Monday 11 October 2021

Giving thanks

It's Thanksgiving in Canada today, and as I'm sitting here on my desk, I see fresh snow on the top of the surrounding mountains, and foggy, wet fall magic everywhere. 

Monday 4 October 2021


The first time I saw the devastation the Lytton Creek fire had wreaked along my route to work, I cried. Large patches of the formerly beautiful forest stretching along the road had burnt down, leaving dark, skinny sticks behind. The ground was scorched, blackened and bare. I saw burnt-out shells of cars, piles of ashes in place of the buildings that used to be there, and hills that looked like they had put on their widow's weeds, black replacing the green.

Tuesday 21 September 2021

After the storm

It will be three weeks tomorrow since I wrote my last post, and much has changed since then. August was a horrible month for me, the worst one in my memory, and I've needed those last few weeks to recover. Good news first: I have! I've been feeling more at peace, rested and re-charged than I did all summer. Breaks work! Who knew. 

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Thanks for spitting in our face

Today, all healthcare workers got slapped in the face. Hard. And we will be hurting from it for quite a while.
Gone are the days where the public cheered for frontline workers, taped hearts into their windows and bought us coffee. Remember those days? Back in the spring of 2020, when all of us were willing to do whatever it takes to get safely through the danger and come out on the other side - healthy, safe, and most important of all, united? Not anymore, my friend. 

Now we're being spat at by people because we politely ask them to put on a mask - and suffer a heart attack as extra bonus. We're that stressed out.   
Critically ill patients may not get a hospital bed because they're all being taken by people who are sicker - with Covid. (Incidentally, the percentage of unvaccinated patients in Toronto hospitals is 98.7%. A coincidence, I'm sure.) 


Saturday 28 August 2021

The agony and the ecstasy

Yesterday I cried on my way to work. There was no particular reason - the tears simply started flowing because I was so tired, and I was driving past the charred remains of the burnt-down woods, and I had seen a dead fawn in the ditch, hit by a car. 
I thought I had pulled myself together when I arrived at work, smiling at my co-workers and patients, talking to the guy on the phone who had fixed my machine, even making a joke and laughing. 


Sunday 22 August 2021

Living under constant threat

The call comes at 11:39 on Sunday morning. "The smoke is getting really bad here and it's extremely windy. You better come home and pack our important stuff."
I've been expecting and dreading this call since June 30. Ever since Lytton burnt down during the worst heat wave in history, we've all been wondering if we would be next. Is it our turn now?


Monday 2 August 2021

How to live a joyful life in scary times

The smoke is hanging thick in the air, giving the world a sepia-tinted appearance like it's one of those old, yellowed photographs from decades ago. The sun is obscured by smoke, transforming it into a red orb in the sky. Everything smells strongly of campfire, a smell I used to love. Will I ever enjoy the smell again without being reminded of this time? I don't know.


Monday 19 July 2021

New passion

This summer is turning out to be the most contrary summer of my life. It's in equal measures terrifying, amazing, uncertain, and incredible. 

Monday 12 July 2021

Heat wave

You've probably heard of the devastating fire that destroyed the small town of Lytton, BC, during the insane heat wave we had during the last week of June. Lytton, known as the "hot spot of Canada", recorded a record-breaking 49.6 degrees Celsius on June 29, one day before the catastrophic fire that destroyed 90% of the town.  

Monday 5 July 2021

Talking to inanimate objects

On my weekends away from home I've noticed some peculiar behaviour on my part. You see, I've been surrounded by dogs pretty much my entire life, and I talk to them. As it turns out, I apparently talk to them quite a lot, because when I don't have a dog close by to share my every thought with, I turn to whatever else is handy.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Hello from summer!

Hi friends!

I'm in the middle of a season of *being* instead of doing, which is what I'm always striving for, so I'm ecstatic! What that means is that this blog is taking a backseat, because I'm not in a creating mood. 
However, I'm still taking pictures (I doubt that will ever stop), life is going on, and I wanted to share some of those photos and the surrounding events in this space. 
I hope your summer is happy as well!

Sunday 13 June 2021

Less doing, more being

I had a list, again. A list where I wrote with big, scrawling letters VACATION GOALS on the top, before listing everything I wanted to *achieve* during my highly anticipated time off. 
Another fucking to-do list, made for a time I had specifically set aside to get the break I've been looking forward to with an urge bordering on desperation. Ironic, isn't it?

Thursday 3 June 2021

I'm a feeder of hummingbirds

I'm lost right now. Confused. The thing I love to do the most - writing - I can't do. I have difficulty focusing on what used to be so important to me. 
I'm not creative. I want to be, and I have ideas, but I can't gather the motivation to actually follow through. 

What does it mean? Does it even mean anything? Maybe it means nothing? Maybe we just go through dry spells and it's totally normal? Maybe I'm just tired and exhausted? Maybe we should all just give ourselves way more breaks, way many more times?? (Bad English, but necessary to drive the point home.)

Sunday 16 May 2021

A really good day

I'm reporting live from my desk at dusk, listening to the Walk Off The Earth playlist, after I had a VERY GOOD DAY. The news don't like to report good stuff, because apparently it doesn't sell as well as bad news. Well, screw that, I'm gonna report about my good day! Not in a braggy way though, because humble-bragging is the WORST.

Saturday 8 May 2021

The power of walking tall

The other day I x-rayed an elderly gentleman. I briefly glanced at his name when I called him in, and then asked him his birthday, as is our protocol. "February 3, 1927." I double-checked the requisition to confirm before his words fully sank in. I looked up at him, surprised. 
"Wow, really?" I blurted out before I could help it. "You look decades younger!" 

Monday 26 April 2021

Don't settle

On my way home from work today I pass a large pasture with several hundreds head of cattle. I've been watching the herd grow over the last several weeks, even seeing a calf born one morning as I was driving by, so mesmerized I almost ended up in the ditch. 

A cowboy is riding amongst them, herding a stray calf, his dog following close by. Another cowboy is several hundred feet behind them in an easy trot, surveying the herd. 

Sunday 25 April 2021

40 things every woman over 40 should have

1. A history. You've made a few mistakes, got knocked down a few times, yet here you are, wiser and stronger than before! 

2. A sense of yourself. You are on your way of knowing exactly who you are. 

3. A few grey hairs, wrinkles, scars and bumps. They tell the story of a life well lived. 

4. A bank account in your own name. It's yours and nobody else's. 

5. A plan for retirement. You are paying into a pension plan, because you know that life is long and you won't work forever. Don't rely on someone else to take care of you; make sure you can fend for yourself.

6. A go-to recipe that's a crowd pleaser.

7. An exercise routine you love. Healthy body=healthy mind.

8. A quiet place you can go to when you need to think or hide from the world for a while. 

9. Spare sheets and a spare toothbrush in case unexpected visitors drop in and stay the night. 

10. A drawing from a child - it doesn't need to be your own child

11. Self-respect. Don't let anybody treat you poorly or with disrespect - that includes yourself.

12. Someone you love with all your heart. 

13. Forgiveness for your parents' mistakes. They did the best they could at the time. 

14. The ability to cut your own hair. Giving yourself a trim is easier than you think and will tide you over if you can't (or don't want to) go to the salon.  

15. A hobby you love. Something you do just for fun, not for money.  

16. Something or someone who makes you smile every day. (DOGS.)

17. A dream that's big and wild and that scares you. 

18. Enjoyment of solitude. Love your own company; nobody will spend more time with you than yourself. 

19. An outfit that makes you feel like you can conquer the world.

20. A favourite book that you read over and over again. 

21.  A piece of furniture/dishes/glassware/ you love that you bought with your own money. 

22. Your personal style. Fashion is fun, but style is personal and unique.

23. Someone you can call in the middle of the night if you need to talk or cry. 

24. A few heartbreaks. If you haven't had your heart broken at least once or twice, you haven't lived fully. 

25. A former boyfriend you still think fondly of, and one who makes you glad you moved on. 

26. The courage to try things you've never done before. 

27. Fearlessness in interior decorating!

28. An accomplishment that's all yours. Something that has nothing to do with your partner or kids or friends, but that you did all by yourself. 

29. A few juicy stories. You wanna be able to sit in your rocking chair in 30 years and have a few wild, embarrassing, crazy stories to tell. If you don't have any yet, start making them!

30. Tried-and-true tools in your beauty routine. For me they are: a foot file to turn my hooves into soft feet, a daily moisturizing routine, and a relaxed attitude about cellulite, lumps and bumps. They are normal

31. Peace with your body. Stop the war and embrace what you have. 

32.  An outrageous pair of shoes. 

33. A comeback for rude/insensitive comments. Something that puts them in their place without you getting defensive. 

34. People you look up to. 

35. Regular dental and health check-ups.

36. An appreciation for interesting, quirky and unusual things, places and people.

37. A to-do list that never gets checked off completely. 

38. The ability to say NO without explaining yourself. 

39. A handmade gift from someone who's special.

40. Photos preserving your memories. 


Sunday 11 April 2021

Taming my inner monkey

Do you ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something? That it keeps sending you signs, and all you have to do is listen to them and open up?

That's been happening to me lately. 

Wednesday 7 April 2021

How to keep going when you feel like quitting

Last weekend was ridiculous. A paint project I thought I would be able to complete in an afternoon ended up taking four days, much swearing, some tears, and multiple trips to the paint store where the employees started to look at me with pity and concern. They keep a file on your paint choices if you want, and my file had not one or two, but five colours added to it over the weekend. They must have thought that I lost my mind. To top it all off, at some point there was some literal shit on those doomed walls - a story that will make sense to you in a minute, I promise.  
However, despite feeling like quitting every day, I persevered, and in the end there were two stories of success!


Sunday 28 March 2021

8 years of blogging

March 17 marked my 8-year anniversary of blogging. Crazy, right?! Aside from reading and walking, this is my longest hobby. I always said that I would keep on writing this little blog as long as it gives me joy, and it still does. I get a sense of accomplishment every time I hit 'publish', and I love looking back on old posts. 

Sunday 21 March 2021

Easy polka dot wall DIY

This morning when I woke up and opened my eyes, a huge grin spread over my face. Why? Because I saw my happy polka dot wall I made yesterday!

Thursday 18 March 2021

How to live a happy life with depression

I still remember the first time. I was 18, had a boyfriend whom I loved and who loved me, a group of friends that I hung out with every weekend, enough money from my two after-school jobs to buy all the clothes my heart desired, and a waist so small that even my intensely critical teenage eye couldn't find much fault with.

Saturday 13 March 2021

Ranch life is the best life

I've always been curious about other people's lives. When I walk in the dark I love nothing more than peeking into lit windows, getting a glimpse at the occupants and imaging their lives. I make up elaborate stories in my head about their relationships, jobs, dreams, dramas and triumphs. It's so interesting!

Monday 8 March 2021

Fully rested, at last

"You're back to being the woman I know and love," he told me yesterday. 
We were sitting in the kitchen, and I was still. I wasn't tidying, cleaning, sorting, cooking, making a list, or even petting a dog. I was simply sitting there, sipping my wine, and being fully present. 
"It's been a while since I've seen you so relaxed," he said, clinking his glass to mine. "I'm glad you're back."

So am I. 

Friday 26 February 2021

Dreaming of spring-cleaning

Too often I forget that I'm the mistress of my own life, and do stupid things like working all the time because I was taught that this is what I'm supposed to do. Just because my parents/society/the establishment (whatever that may be) have banged that into my head since I was little, doesn't mean I have to listen to it. 
So, next week I'm taking a week off! I have no commitments, no scheduled shifts, and I decided to say no to any work and yes to everything my little heart desires. To say I am majorly stoked about next week is a gross understatement - I am positively giddy with excitement!

Friday 19 February 2021

I thought I had Covid-19

I wake up in the middle of the night from my nausea. I feel so sick that I think I may have to throw up, so I stagger into the bathroom and kneel down in front of the toilet. My entire body is shaking, and I can feel every inch of it. Normally we are not aware of our body; it's just there, unnoticed, doing its job quietly without disturbing us. But now I feel the coldness of my feet, the shaking of my legs, and a soreness in my upper body that clings to me like a wet blanket. It's awful. After a couple of minutes I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to throw up, so I heave myself off the floor, take a Gravol and a Tylenol, and stumble back to bed. My aching body makes sleep impossible, and as I try unsuccessfully to get comfortable, a terrible thought strikes me: I x-rayed a patient with Covid three days ago. Did I get Covid?


Sunday 14 February 2021

10 things I'm loving right now

Happy Sunday and happy Valentine's day! Personally, I'm not a fan of V-day, because I think it creates a lot of pressure in relationships and makes people who are single feel bad, but if you love it, ignore me. Celebrating love is definitely a good thing, and something we all need more of! Also, how cute is that swan photo? I got it from Pixabay, the free website where I get all my photos that are not taken by me. Everybody can upload photos to the site, and if it's approved it's free to download and use without having to credit the photographer. I have a page there as well, with more than 40,000 downloads! Which reminds me, I have to dust off my camera and start taking DSLR photos again. I haven't in over a year, yikes!

Thursday 4 February 2021

The heaviness of being a witness to the worst news

They called me in for a patient who was short of breath. That's one of the most common reasons we take chest x-rays - they happen every day. 
On the way from the emergency department to my x-ray room she apologized for me having to come in. On weekends, we don't have scheduled shifts at the hospital; we are on call for emergencies. About 10% of the patients apologize for having us called in, and I always find it very endearing. After all, that's the purpose of us being on call, and it's not like we are doing it for free, which is what I usually tell them, and what earns me a relieved laugh. 

Sunday 31 January 2021

1,001 times I've been wrong

(and counting)

I'm wearing joggers now. And I swore to myself that I never would. I was sure that I would skip the athleisure trend, convinced that I'd found my style and would stick to it forever: casual boho-inspired cowgirl, lots of denim, boots,  and pretty dresses (if you can't picture it, click here for some visuals). 

Thursday 21 January 2021

8 weeks in puppy heaven

This post is aaaaall about puppies! If you're into that, continue reading, if not - what's wrong with you?
We are nearing the end of our time with the puppies, and to preserve it I'm going to share a ton of photos and videos here. 

Saturday 16 January 2021

Our 16th wedding anniversary: Ron and Hermione edition

Last Sunday was our 16th wedding anniversary. In the week leading up to it we were in a state of married bliss. Everything was pink cotton-candy skies, puppies and rainbows, so when I started thinking about what I wanted to write about our marriage and the love we share, it was tooth-achingly sweet and annoying. I was sure to mention how I had driven 600 km to pick up a tiny bird for him the week before, and was fully prepared to drag out a few classics like the time he'd followed me to Wales to win me back. *yawn*

Sunday 3 January 2021

How mindfulness set me free

When I moved to Canada in January 2003, I came with only one suitcase. I left almost all my worldly possessions back in Germany to start over in a new country with a new man. It was the classic fresh start, one I had been dreaming about for years. The previous 18 months had been the worst ones of my life, and I couldn't wait to start life over. New place, new life, right? 

Friday 1 January 2021

Best and worst of 2020

Happy New Year! It's the first day of a brand-new year, but before I look ahead, I like to look back at the previous 12 months. For all our sanity's sake, I'm not going to use the C-word in this post. It's hard enough living with it, no need to make it worse by excessively talking about it. Here are some of the good and not-so-good things that happened:
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