Sunday, July 27, 2008

a big pot of red geraniums on our front porch

The last few early mornings I've been going downstairs and flipping the coffee switch on at 4:15 (eek) I know this isn't good ... and that I'm treading dangerously near the beginning stages of becoming one of those odd & eccentric middle aged women. Who am I kidding ? You know the one who's anti-social, keeps to herself, lives with a house full of cats, the path to her front door is so overgrown with wildflowers that you need a machete to maneuver up it, and the lights in her house are lit when the rest of her little village is still asleep in darkness. The drag is, it's yet another vicious circle, the earlier I get up the earlier in the evenings I begin to feel sleepy and then without fail - Ping ! Wide awake every morning at 3:35 or so. I manage to convince myself to stay in bed, some deep breathing, some prone meditation perhaps, surely if I just relax I'll fall backwards into sleep. Then we factor in the Bleetness, the big, fat, black velvet, chiclet cat who must be let out under stealth of darkness to roam with the raccoons and who will pick at my mattress with his claws and chirp and stomp around my bedroom until exasperated, and oh look at that - the clock beside the bed says 4:15, I get up ... 4:15's not so bad. Flip the coffee on, let the Nessie out, feed the other starving beasts and here I sit once again - this morning with a photographic study, taken yesterday, of red geraniums in a big patch of sunlight.

I am cleaning out my garden shed today - home of La Beast Rouge. Please note the absence of the words try, plan to, should, hope to. I am cleaning out my garden shed today. Tomorrow is one of those big or weird things garbage pick up days and I unfortunately have quite a few of those big and weird things that need to be gone and this is my chance to have them magically be taken away by the garbage fairies in their big noisy trucks. A few old windows from when this old house still had wooden framed windows, 4 car tires from my old little Mazda 323, an old rusted filing cabinet, a billion of those little garden centre multi plant pots, and god knows what else I may find, .... etc. Thank goodness that I am a friend of the insects because my shed is home to a variety of the creepy crawly kind that I'm likely to disturb with all my frantic pitching & sweeping. Cleaning out the garden shed was on last summer's list of summer to-do's, along with barbecuing sausages and swimming in the ocean a minimum of three times.

The shed. The one and only task on les agenda for today. Great Sunday CBC radio, my portable radio with a long extension cord wound out into the back garden, a fresh big pitcher of ice tea with lemon ... who knows I might even mow the other half of my lawn.


  1. Did you realize that you are subconsciously training yourself to wake up that early?
    You have trained the cat to wake you early; you are training the animals to expect food at 3am.
    First, you must not go to bed early no matter how tired you are, maybe take an evening walk with Winnie, go sit in the park, talk to your neighbours do anything but go to bed.
    A more reasonable bedtime is; let’s say 10pm.
    Get rid of the magazines etc in the bedroom they belong in your hall/library. I trust you don’t have a TV in your bedroom….You need to train yourself that the bed is not for lounging. Your bed can no longer be your nest, as you call it, find another spot for that a favourite chair, any place that is not in the bedroom.
    At 10pm - once in bed you can read for ½ hour before lights out, if needed.
    Before you fall asleep repeat the time you want to wake up several time, let’s say 6am.
    If you awake during the night do not get up, do not turn on the light on, do not read, and do not turn the radio on. If you cannot get back to sleep after a ½ hour get up go get a drink of water, milk, NO coffee, let the cat out. Go back to bed.
    DO NOT TAKE COFFEE into the bedroom.
    At 6 am when you get up for the day, feed the pets; drink your coffee in the kitchen, or on the porch anywhere but the bedroom.
    This re-training process may take a few days to work because you have screwed up your internal clock and it needs to be re-set.

    Lovely photos as always.

    BTW, do you have a Freecycle Group up there?
    It is a good way to get rid of stuff.

  2. Hmmmm...try Moon River or counting fish.

    Have fun with the shed today! :)

  3. Oh my goodness Paula that sounds like a whole lotta work, would require intense discipline and not a whole lotta of fun. No lounging dans le nest ? No coffee in the bedroom avec the new issue of Vogue or Domino ? - yikes girl what are you asking of me ?!? I'm beginning to feel sleepy just reading your comment, in fact I'm exhausted. Please, say it ain't so ??

    That said I do agree that I am quickly heading down a very slippery slope. So I do thank you for your suggested regime. Wink.

  4. I am currently on the opposite schedule from you. I get my second wind, creatively speaking, around midnight. So, if I'm not tucked up in bed before then, I can easily keep going till two or after. Which, in turn, means sleeping later than I'd like. Edward and Apple are late sleepers, which contributes to this situation a bit. I'll be better in winter.

    If you took those geranium photos today, it looks like you have a crystal clear one to enjoy!

  5. "becoming one of those odd & eccentric middle aged women. "

    -Susan, I'm afraid you wonderfully got there a long time ago!

    I can't ever imagine waking up so early. Staying up late however, is altogether different!

  6. I wish I could get up so early! Well maybe not SO early, but earlier than I often do.

    Here's an idea - keep getting up earlier and earlier and eventually, in a week or so, you will be getting up at 6 or 7am!

    I thought about doing this, going to bed later and later (which would be easier for me) until eventually I am going to bed at 9pm and getting up at 6am. This would of course require a few 'days' of living in total darkness which might not be that cool.

  7. I can almost smell those geraniums! You must be pleased with your camera and lens choice, because those results are beautiful.Red geraniums remind me of Europe, Germany in particular,these chirpy flowers planted in beautiful window boxes.Often here though in neglected dry Australian gardens there is nothing but a few tough straggly old geraniums, which is why my husband doesn't like them.They reek of lack of imaginatioin to him, and yet in Europe you couldn't say this, and your photos shout otherwise.About the sleep thing, a neighbour and I would often see each other's lights on at 3 or 4 a.m. She and I would have the conversations that are happening here, and laugh about it. It "just is" - a bit annoying, but funny too.I would stay in bed and put ear beads in and listen to the radio. You get the breaking news at that hour in the morning, and some fascinating journalists interviews from around the world.

  8. I love your idea Pherenike ! I could just alter the waking time by 30 mins each day and repeat this cycle - for variety's sake. I honestly don't mind. I like getting up - it's my favourite time of the day. I'm always energetic, a kind of invincible at that hour of the day and invincible is always good. I like the darkness and the quiet ... and the birds (and those darn cats) are always up with me. Smile. Oh look it's 7:30 pm - nearly my bed time. Wink.

  9. Good evening, Susan. I enjoyed reading your blogs and catching up tonight. I have missed reading them each day since last Wednesday. You especially made me smile when you talked about the "garbage fairies". =)

    Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers. I'm really hoping I'll get the results of my surgery tomorrow. This waiting is killing me and not helping my sick body!


  10. I am the total opposite of you... up late because there is no point in being in bed for hours and hours..tossing and turning and trying to get comfy. If I wait til after midnight... it is a bit easier. .but still takes between half an hour to 2 hours to fall asleep. Even if I force myself to get up at about 7:00a.m. when I don't sleep til 2 or 3:00a.m...I can't go to bed any earlier...still toss and turn. Sometimes I still have good energy throughout the day..sometimes I feel a bit draggy about 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. .... but mostly I live on about 4 or 5 hours sleep .... I can't see the harm in sleeping pills..but my doctor seems dead set against them.... who cares about being addicted to a bit of sleep> ? Not me... how I would love to zonk for about 5 hours straight for one night a week.....


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