Friday, April 20, 2018

Hallelujah; Summer!

Hallelujah: Look at that forecast!
Yesterday was glorious. Darryl came by in the morning to talk about the rest of the work to be done. He’s hired a neighbour of mine to help him with the concrete tiles; he plans to start the week after next. I’m totally excited. It’s going to look fabulous.  
And … the trellis is a go. We have a plan for it that will enable me to grow grapes and he’s also going to build me a trough beside my deck wherein I can grow raspberries. Hooray! I’m also going to grow some marijuana; he’s going to give me some plants.
The second porch is a no-go. Instead he will build a screen door into the front door frame. That’s an ideal solution for me. It’s cheap, easy and gives me cross-ventilation.
Just after noon I went to Elly’s to garden with Sheba. On my way I realized I don’t warn her my speech. I hadn’t noticed until today that I’d stopped forewarning people and I think that is a sign of progress/acceptance. 
After Happy Hour in the spa with lemon squares, I went to the penultimate puppy training class.
My truth is this: I’d rather not do more volunteer gardening (but I will) and I’m glad the puppy classes are ending — I’m just so impossibly happy here at Pinecone Park & Spa, I never want to leave. And with summer temperatures coming, I’m going to see wonderful growth in my garden.
Larry and Allan arrive early this afternoon. We have lots of fun when we’re together, so this visit should go well. They have a car with which to explore without me, and real estate to view so our time together might be mostly Happy Hour and after.
I’m going to the nursery today to consider getting two large flowering trees, hoping they can be delivered and that the boys I can help me to move and plant them. I’m full of enthusiasm and relief that I have confirmation from Darryl about the trellis, screen door, porch interior and courtyard. 
That will bring an end renovations and I’m gardened out so soon work will begin on the woodshed. It’s going to be a long-lasting, ugly, noisy, dirty job. I’ve tons of stuff left by the previous owners to get rid of and then all my construction detritus to deal with as well. 
But first it’s time to enjoy Allan and Larry’s visit and after that, the final go-through of scene three of Defiant Dressbefore contacting the Arts Club for a reading.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Springtime @ Pinecone Park & Spa

It’s going to be another beauty day and I have no jobs I have todo. At 1:30 I am going over to Elly Hallam’s place to do some volunteer gardening. It’s my first time going to her place and being a volunteer gardener. Elly and David are encouraging me to bring Sheba; we’ll see how that goes. When I come back, I hope to do some work on the fence if I’m not too tired. I want to finish that and then also finish the spa sign. 
Tonight I go to dog training classes.
Allan and Larry are coming tomorrow now, not today. Hours after they arrive they are leaving with a realtor to look at properties on the island. Then they’ll be back for Happy Hour and dinner. It would change my world enormously for the better if they moved here. 
I have to keep the studio warm or my paper will dampen and warp. I’ve been leaving the one large electric heater on all day and night and it’s expensive. It also keeps the place too hot so yesterday I turned it off and installed an electric oil heater on a timer; it comes on for two hours and then goes off for two hours. It’s maintaining a satisfactory temperature and will save me a lot of cash.
And today, although it’s hard, I’m not lighting a fire. It’s the first morning in six-and-a-half months of living here I haven’t started my day at the hearth. I’ll light one late this afternoon; the Happy Hour fire will be my new routine. I’ll enjoy it through dinner and my evening using far less wood every day.
(Addendum: I burned some cardboard to cheat a little. It was going to recycling, but I hot a short hot shot of heat to help wean me from the morning fires.)
Yesterday a local person said I was lucky to be an early riser. She said in a month, I’m going to want to do all my shopping first thing once “the tourists come.” Yesterday a car race passed me even though I was going along fine: “Tourist.” 
Praise the Lord: Yesterday I tried something new. I took my single bag of Styrofoam, put my $3 sticker on it and put it out with the garbage and it was taken. In two weeks, I am going to try the same thing with one of the six bags of rat urine infested insulation. It they take, I’ll be giddy. Over time I will get rid of a lot of stuff I don’t want via the garbage collection every two weeks.
I also have a mountain of wood to saw into burnable sizes. It’s left over from the renovation. I’m sorting stuff for GIRO — metals, old paints and solvents left by the previous owner — and I may hire a local garbage hauler to take away the plastics and lumber I can’t burn.
I have OCD focused on tidiness. It “doesn’t interfere with my life;” when it comes to my creative work, I value my OCD. So Dr. S. and I agree it’s fine; it’s a function of my C-PTSD she says. She posits that the lack of control around me turned me into someone who has to control myspace. 
It’s OCD that “forces” me to deal with all the construction detritus but I am going to enjoy the methodical sorting and slow removal. I feel that in ridding Pinecone Park & Spaof all its unnecessaries, I honour this wonderful place.
Note Ethel crushed contentedly under Sheba's butt.
This is  my main door. My office is right inside and my
office is open to the kitchen behind me. The pots are full
of scented plants.
This is taken from the barbeque looking at my outdoor
eating area beside the ugly spa.
To the east of the spa is the siesta area.
This is "the glade." It's wild natural foliage but I put
rich topsoil over the surface and added some plants
for colour.
Thi is the entrance to my porch and dining room area.
Inside, double doors stay open all the time when it's
warm but the cats can't get out to slaughter my wild birds.
The fountain is over the septic field. It's sound is truly
a wonderful thing to hear in the silence here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I Love “My” Island

Look at that tree trunk. I think salt may do this.
Lichen covers  a dead tree.

I had a great, great day Tuesday! I worked like it might never be sunny again but today is going to be sunny too. In fact, there are several sunny days ahead and true Spring-like temperatures (16°). My garden will love the sunshine and profit from the fertilizing I will do today.
Cleaning the algae off and digging the Fir needles/dirt/pollen out from between the deck planks to prevent wood rot was a time-consuming job yesterday. I also raked the yard, cleaned up under the ferns where there was years of built-up rotting fronds and planted everything still in containers.
I also took Sheba for a walk in Drumbeg(see the photos above). On the way, I turned a corner and saw absolutely nothing out of the ordinary — there was just the road ahead of me with trees on either side. But the way the light came through the trees made the scene glorious — and radiantly so.
I passionately loved a movie I saw called Hear My Song. In it the protagonist has to drive to England to fetch an Irish tenor and on his way, he sleeps in his car. As he goes to sleep one night, the screen fades to black and then we see the sunlight on his face at sunrise. We see him open his eyes and move to get out of the car and there’s a cut to a very long, very slow pan of the Irish landscape and I wept when I saw it, it was so beautiful.
I loved that scene because the director got me to feel what the protagonist was feeling: Total love of the land. This is a patriotic Irish film. He takes in the view to remember the purpose and importance of his mission as he leaves for enemy territory. It’s a stunning scene and that’s how I felt on the road here. I love “my” island deeply.
Happy Hour involved the spa and lemon squares.
My croquet set came; it’s incredibly official looking. It’s bright and colorful and I love it. I’ve set some mallets and flags up in my living room so people know I have the game. My jigsaw puzzle and new shoes also arrived.
Today I get back to work on the fence. And I am going to try setting up my solar powered garden lamps to add some glitz to my garden. I have three of them.

This is an abandoned church in Montreal.
I want to live in it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Beautiful, Beautiful Sunshine!

Oh my God! Clear skies! Beth said it would clear up the minute she left! I was out with the Woodpeckers and the sunrise to wash everythingoutside — all my furniture, the car, broad-leafed plants, the barbeque and the cover for the spa. Every surface is yellow with pollen.
I’m finished planting for a while. Now comes pruning and fertilizing and tending to details. Last week I raked a thin layer of soil over a part of my front yard where the land was mostly pebbles and already the tiny plants and mosses are taking hold. In a couple of months I’ll have a nice green carpet where once there was nothing.
It felt empty atPinecone Parkafter Beth left yesterday.  
It’s too bad that she was here during such shitty weather but it was nice for me to have company during the monsoons. She and I watched movies and TV shows at night and I watched them through to the end. Today, I’m back to being unable to sit still. I wonder why I can watch TV with company but not without. 
I baked yesterday. I made lemon bars — my own recipe. I made a pastry base and baked it and then I added a layer of a paste made of coconut, brown sugar, walnuts,eggs, a touch of flour and some chopped up lemons from a jar someone gave me. I baked it again and then topped it with a layer of butter icing. It’s really good!
When I woke this morning the kitchen was a shitstorm of catnip. Ethel clearly found my stash and had herself a party last night. Fred has no interest in catnip.
No Defiant Dress today. I’ve a zillion errands to do before Allan and Larry arrive. 
I got on my knees mid-morning? To pray? No. Because I met someone arractive? No. I got down to go over my deck with a metal brush in order to get rid of the soup of slimy algae mixed with pollen. My deck and spa cover is now pristine.
Now I’m off to the village, then back for lunch, then to Drumbegwith Sheba and then into the spa for Happy Hour.