Friday, February 23, 2018

Good News (except for Arthur Black)

It’s snowing yet again and it ain’t no gentle snowfall. But this is the end of it. I worry there’ll be another power failure; I’m not at all keen on another generator experience.
I cried over the passing of Arthur Black yesterday. What a wonderful generous happy man he was. He was perfection in hosting; he identified, clarified and enlightened without dominating. He seemed egoless; we listeners always seemed more important when he was on the air — the polar opposite of the scum sucking bottom dweller called Dumb Cherry.
And on the topic of effective hosts, overexposed to Olympic hyperbole I decided to watch my second episode of Joanna Lumley’s Japan. The program doesn’t go too deeply into anything; it’s more a platform for Ms. Lumley’s voluminous expressed and silent wit. She’s completely won me over with her warmth, respect and humour. I’m hooked.
Friends ask, “What are you working on?” I tell them about my pinecone decorating (the fence, the life ring, the porch ceiling) and that my ladies are back and that soon I will be working on them. But I doubt I will.
I’ve decided I want to create a brick or paving stone courtyard in the area in my yard bounded by the shed, studio and the deck of my house. I drive on it a lot and I cross it constantly to go to the studio and the woodshed, so I think some kind of solid surface with wide spaces between for Creeping Thyme would be lovely.
I’m going to consult with a local landscaper and/or Darrell about it.
My two new DVD players arrived. I hooked one up in my house and started watching Top of the Lake. I’m thrilled because I can buy the few films I really want to see (Call Me By Your Name; God’s Own County) instead of waiting forever for them to appear on pay TV or Netflix.
Today I’m going to hook up the other one in the studio. I love listening to TV whilst working in the studio. I have to go into the village for some high-definition cables and I’ll look for more oil burners. I’m filling my house with them for future power failures. They are so much better than candles.
I’ve always been a fan of Sally Field. When I saw her in Soapdish she took on Goddess status (not to mention Norma Rae and several other roles). She took on an even more respected dimension in my heart when the US Human Rights Campaign (US) gave her an award for her advocacy on LGBTQ issues. (You can seeher speech here; her son introduces her.)
Well this week she Tweeted hoping to reach Adam Rippn, the flagrantly gay US figure skater, on behalf of her son who is smitten with Adam. Mr. Rippon, who also impresses me, Tweeted back that they will meet.
I want to hug Sally Field for maybe half an hour. I just love her.

Thursday, February 22, 2018



The breathtaking majesty of Mother Nature continues to overwhelm me because brilliant glorious sunshine is back. The birds are doing their aerial acrobatics, the light reflecting off the snow laden branches is making the day shine and waves of ice crystals are blowing through the air reflecting the light and making sparkles.
It snowed most of the day, Wednesday. I kept busy … took it easy. After the seizure Tuesday, I wanted rest. John wrote, bless him, to tell me that he’s collected more giant pinecones for me. And Peggy came at four to install the Lifeline machine and train me in its use. Later Judy called me and we tested the machine. It even works from the studio.
I am closer to Fred, Ethel and Sheba every day — especially F&E because they were so distant initially. They are all excellent roommates; they are always making me smile, sometimes laugh out loud and always making me feel love.
Doug called and we’ve made arrangements for four more cords of wood. Once here, I’ll request three more and be set. I’ll have seven cords going into next winter; I intend never to stack wood in winter. Next Spring/Summer I’ll get five or six more cords, always staying ahead of the game.
My quarterly Suttering Foundation magazine arrived. Every one makes me cry — an okay kind of crying. When I read about how other stutterers feel about their speech it can easily make me cry — I’m sad because I have the same feelings but happy, at the same time, to have a community who understands me.
My neighbour Paula T., who helped me get rid of my ridiculously over-the-top front door, introduced me to three of her eight siblings: James, Robert and Monica. James and Monica had come to Gabriola to for a month in Paula’s cabin so I called James last night to invite them over but they’d left, defeated by frozen pipes. We had a great talk, however, and we’ll get together next time he is here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


I love art and artists for beauty but sometimes for fun.

It’s minus five f’ing degrees and it may snow today. When I went outside for some wood the birds started screaming; they were practically landing on me as I filled their feeders.
I got the feeders before I moved here knowing what I wanted to do. It’s one of the best things about living here, watching these wonderful birds. I keep the feeders full all the time and spend considerable time every day just watching them, delighted by all I see.
I never thought of Robins as big; they were certainly larger than sparrows but they were not even close to “large.” The Thrushes in Vancouver were the same size. Well here, the Thrushes look like they come from Chernobyl; they are massive. So are the Towhees. I mean, they’re not Raven size, but they are much bigger than their urban cousins.
And Woody, the massive Pileated Woodpecker I see here all the time (or more than one) is as big as a raccoon.
I’m further down the slope. First it was hot tubbing. Then came sweat pants. Well … yesterday when I went to get undressed in preparation for an afternoon hot tub, I looked in the mirror and realized I’d talked with Darrell and Karen at the vet’s unshaven, with my t-shirt on inside out and in my sweat pants. How quickly and far we fall.
But I’m talking like an Olympic announcer this morning. Perhaps the seizure yesterday has gotten all stress out of me.
This morning, while it was dark, I mustered knowledge gained in junior high school electricity classes and replaced quite a few light on/off switches with dimmers. Now I have a range of interior light at night — from very dim to bright. (C-PTSD makes you sensitive to light. When I was first diagnosed I wore two pairs of sunglasses.)
Still mustering, I decided to tackle the hum that irritates me in my speakers. I remember learning that plugging your speakers into a dedicated circuit reduces interference. However, after finding an extension cord, moving furniture, breathing dust and cussing Sheba who thought all the wires were toys, I failed to solve the problem.  
Juliet asked what makes me so busy. I answered with a familiar answer: Being confined to my room until my mother was put away. But I realize there’s another answer: OCD. It’s not interfering with my life; in fact it’s a huge asset.
As I move around Pinecone Park, I am constantly taking notes: I should do this or this needs to be done. I note and remember things that must be done — it’s kind of like OCD is my bitch Goddess that must be obeyed. Then there are the things that could be done; when I first note them, they are optional but when all the “musts” are done they, too, must be done.
I’m very close to having all musts and maybes done at Pinecone Park. Doing the dimmers and fixing the speaker buzz took two things off my Must list; then I cleaned out the fridge. All that’s left is to decorate my porch when Darrell is finished.
Then it’s on to creative work: My ladies, the fence decoration and I want to put the large pinecones around my title life ring and on the ceiling of the porch.
“It,” some interior drive, never stops and I feel blessed for that, Juliet. When drive happens in a creative person, there are endless possibilities. When I was four and we moved to a new home, I saw our garage for the first time but I saw, not a garage, but a theatre with a wooden door. In the same way, I see my new fence with 30 or 40 panels and a sketchbook — same with my new porch roof.