Sunday, February 16, 2020


The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Akhnaten is played in cinemas yesterday. Oh how I wish I could’ve see it. Instead, I read and read and read on a dullish day in paradise.

Hannah has agreed to care for Sheba whilst I’m in Vancouver. She’ll walk her during the days and stay here overnight but it’s going to be very hard on me to leave her. I’m frighteningly close to her; we’re never apart. She’s a true life partner. (Fred and Ethel have each other. I don’t worry about them.)
Friday night I watched a program about dogs on Nova and it was really interesting. Their thesis was proving that dogs “love” us; they are not just attached to us for food and shelter. They used MRIs and a selective breeding experiment with wild foxes to prove their thesis. I loved the show. Next week they’re doing a program about cat behavior.
The buds on my Azalea are actually starting to bloom; the pink is emerging from the green bud and it’s the middle of February! Mother Nature seems confident that Winter is over and that good times are ahead.
Today has dawned clear and bright. We’re predicted to have a cool but bright five days, so it’ll be great to get outside and out of my books for a bit. But the day will begin with the large community dog walk. It’ll end—hurrah—with Sanditonand Vienna Blood.
In between, I’ll clear out more windfall from the Winter storms and clear the courtyard again—largely for an excuse to be outside. And I’ll start cleaning up my gardens, but it’s cool now that the sky is clear so I don’t last too long.
I’m impatient as we inch toward Spring.

Friday, February 14, 2020

I'm A Franzen Fiend

Sunrise this morning was spectacular. And what a surprise: Today is, I think, our fifth without rain. It’s been a wonderful break from Winter. Showers are predicted for tomorrow, but then sunshine is expected to return until Wednesday next. 
I’m terribly excited that I’ll be able to do yard work and enjoy long uplifting walks on dry land with Her Highness.
I’ve made plans for my Spring break; it’ll be a test of my recovery for sure. I’m going to Vancouver for a few days. I’m leaving here early in the morning on March 5th and coming back mid-day on the 8th. It will be brutal to be away from Sheba, I’m so overwhelmingly attached to her.
I’ve been lining up things to do to test my capacity to cope and ending my visit at the Voice Clinic with Dr. Shoja. The goal is to end my outpatient status by doing well at all the tasks I set myself. 
I’ll see some friends I haven’t see in ages, and that’ll be fun. But I’ll be spending a lot of time alone taking on tasks that have, in the past, caused me great distress. A highlight will be walking the seawall alone as I used to do almost every day for years until it became too distressing for me.
I’m almost to page two hundred of the third novel authored by Jonathan Franzen. I’ve read one right after the other. I find him to be a highly engaging writer; he has a rich vocabulary, dry humour and an astounding understanding of human motivation. His novels begin with a very simple opening scene and then we get a skillfully woven backstory of each of the characters in that scene.
I’ve read fourteen hundred pages of his writing over the past month and I could read as many more. But I’ve four new books, each by different authors, to read next. Reading is my new drug. One of my favourite books, ever, is Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese, so I’m ordering a memoire he has written called The Tennis Partner and as soon as his new novel, The Maramon Convention, comes out, I’ll be getting it too.
Reading is easy in Winter. I’ve so much time and the fire to encourage me. But come summer, my first without major yard projects do undertake, I seriously am looking forward to reading in my hammock or on my deck in sunshine and heat. Yum!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Car Tent Done!

Well … I’m pretty sure that yesterday was my first hangover. What a horrible price to pay for three glasses of bubbly! It’s never happened before and now I worry about drinking sparkling wine again. Sigh. It’s the only kind of alcohol I like.

I did it. I was hard to do alone; I really needed a second person to help me but I managed somehow. My hands were freezing (even though today is sunny), so tying the lines was hard, but now my convertible car has a modest little tent in which to live. It will lessen the wear and tear on my soft roof from the ultra-violet and infrared rays of the sun and from the rain. I’m thoroughly chuffed that the tent, that cost only $129, gives me so much peace of mind about protecting my car. It also helps to keep the pitch and pollen off the car; they also can damage my soft roof.
The local (tiny) newspaper was full of interesting news this week. First of all, there was an announcement that the only automotive shop that announced last month that it was closing up shop over a dispute with their landlord is remaining open—at least for several more months. But a longer-term solution seems likely and I’m thrilled because dealing with a shop on the big island would be a drag.
Another interesting bit of news was that the local weed dispensary at Twin Cedars Mall (that I was so delighted to discover when I moved here) was raided by the RCMP and shut down. The closure was likely triggered by an application for a legal dispensary in the village. Happily for me, I don’t use weed any more so it’s of no consequence.
Thirdly: This Saturday my friend Judith’s publishing company is cooperating with the Gabriola Agricultural Co-Op is hosting a Food Forum at our local community hall. I can hardly wit. Food and seeds will be on sale and there will be a presentation about local plans for agricultural expansion on our island.
And finally, on February 27th, BC Ferries is hosting an open house to reveal the plans for the two new ferries and terminal expansion for the ferry route between our island and the big island. Our current single vessel is to be replaced by two smaller vessels that will double the number of daily crossings.