Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sunny Day Overload

From the It Never Rains, It Pours department this news: It’s Halloween (and I have to get stuff in case some gremlins turn up), Peter and Ally are staying here for three nights, Darrell comes this morning to work on the fence, Annie comes to do the roofs, the WETT inspector comes to inspect my chimney and my puppy arrives today.
I made not one of these decisions. I just accepted every request that all these activities happen today.
And me? I go to Vancouver today to see Dr. Shoja whom I have not seen September 26th (after nineteen months of weekly meetings) and to pass my keys to realtor Dwayne because the sale of my condo closes today.
I’ll be very happy when this day is behind me.
Monday was another spectacularly sunny and warm day. By nine am I was gardening.
At 10:30 I went to pick up my new curtains at the post office and after picking them up I drove all the way around the island. The South Road is lovely. It has such beautiful southern exposure and you pass farms and I find farm landscape incredibly soothing. And I was able to check out where I catch my plane this morning to go to Vancouver.
I had lunch, did more gardening, hung my new curtains and did some tidying up before Peter and Ally arrived. The curtains make my place cozier for winter and I like the addition of colour (green) to the house.
Mid-afternoon I had sudden insight into an alternate fencing strategy that I think is much better. I hope to discuss it with Darrell this morning before I leave.  
Waiting for Peter and Ally to arrive last night I had candles lit, my favourite jazz playlist playing, champagne in the cooler and with the new curtains up it looked mighty good in here — at least to my taste. I’m so proud and happy I got some bulbs in and a garden started for me to enjoy come Springtime.
Just before seven I heard a car horn and I ran to the front door.
Ally was adopted, like me, and I think that may be why I am so drawn to her. That, plus she is a particularly warm and wonderful woman. We had such a wonderful hug and, frankly, I hugged her a lot. There are not many people whom I feel comfortable touching, but she is one of them. (They are all women, by the way.)
I had a seizure, we drank champagne and then we went out to the Fireside restaurant for dinner.  Was really hungry and we all liked our food. I’ve now eaten in every eatery on the island except the golf club.
It was right to bed when we got home. I need to be strong to get through today.

New plantings look so lame but in a couple of years I hope
to have a colourful backyard. These are some shots of the
work Paula and I did this weekend. 
This is a side of my yard. My trees are the little coloured
specs under the massive Firs... but in a few years they will
bring glorious colour to my yard.
You know what you can barely see here? Two apple trees.
I planted some tubs outside my outbuildings.
This is the garden I made Monday. It's at the entrance to
my place. It's heather and lavender because deer may not
eat it and there are fifty Narcissus bulbs in it too.

The new curtains up. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pool Table Gone!

The house felt terribly empty all day without Leon. I kept thinking: This is the calm before the storm for soon we’ll be four bonding and housebreaking together through winter.
Last night, I was content by the fire with The Durrells in Corfu never unaware of the absence of Leon on my chest. I’d keep looking around for him and wanting to call him to come sit on my lap. I feel like I’ve lost my twin.
The pool table is gone. Jay and Kelly did a skookum job of removing it yesterday and now the building is ready for renovation (once the fence is finished).
Last night I went to bed trying to think of names for the kittens that are coming. I thought of name pairs and rejected every one: I hated Romeo and Juliet, for example, and Orpheus and Eurydice, Sonny and Cher and every combo I could think of.
Then, Sunday morning Jay, Kelly, Paula and I had breakfast together at Robert’s and while we were talking Kelly said Ying and Yang and I thought they were excellent names for my cats. This morning, I’m not so sure.
The planting progresses: Now when I look out my office windows I see my imprint in the new trees, the fence and planters. It makes me feel overpoweringly happy. When the sunlight hit the deep purples and reds of the leaves on my new trees, it was like I’d been painting with leaves.
There is colour in the yard now. The pots outside my outbuildings add something beautiful and they move me because their part of my home — my home! And I’ve started the garden at my front entrance. It’s really the base of two trees.  Today I’ll bury fifty Narcissus bulbs and some lavender in it— neither of which deer like according to the nursery.
A nice barbeque and blueberry pie felt deserved after the day of work in the garden.
The weather right now is ideal and Peter and Allyson arrive at dinnertime. I haven’t seen Ally, a dear friend, for eight years. They moved to Dubai and the Qatar. Now they live in Ontario. Dinner tonight will be a blast.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Big Plant

I rose yesterday morning to a flood of tears.  
I lit the fire and tidied up while Paula slept in.
At 9:00 Paula was up. I made her breakfast and then Darrell arrived to pour concrete into his new fence postholes. And Kelly arrived at 9:30 for a really lovely visit. Then Kelly and Darrell left and Paula and I went into the village and bought a whack of lavender, seven trees, a couple of outdoor gardenia (that are quite hardy) and some scented azaleas to plant in my yard.
Then we had lunch at The Kitchen. It was delicious and fun and Paula got to see some of our village. And when we came home, we started planting trees after which we enjoyed a lovely hot tub together. Paula was like me: Uninterested. But when she saw how much I enjoyed it, in she got. We had a late dinner in our jammies and watched Grand Design shows.
At one point, I opened the front door and found a basket from Patsy who read about Leon’s passing. It had delicious soup, scones and an apple for us to share. I love it here.
Another good thing happened too: Out of the blue I got an email saying a WETT inspector was coming to inspect my fireplace. I may be on my way to having home insurance. What a struggle it’s been.
On impulse and overcome with sadness about Leon, I wrote to a cat breeder in Comox about the availability of kittens. He’s just had a litter and so I’ve requested one female and one male, one dark and one light; they arrive until Christmastime. Plants and animals: That’s why I moved here.
Finally, we turned in after a great day. By 10:30 my speech was shot. I hadn’t spent all day with someone for ages and my tongue was a knot. I said goodnight to Paula and went into my room and cried my eyes out.
This morning, Paul and I are meeting Jay and Kelly for breakfast at Robert’s — another first for me. Then Kelly and her brother Jay come to deconstruct the pool table, Paula goes home and I keep working on planting around the yard.
This morning I got up and going without a massive cry but my God I miss him.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Yesterday was the worst day since Steve left me in 1994.
Last night I needed a pill to fall asleep. All I could do was cry. Same thing this morning until Paula got up. Leon used to be at my side every night at bedtime and every morning. I fell asleep and woke with him every single day.
When I forget, I’m fine. When I remember, I despair. Snap. And I’m a wreck. You think each successive pet is your best, but Leon took sociability to a deeply profound and moving level. Euthanizing him was the right thing to do; the vet knew it, I knew it. Still….
Friday day began with me signing transfer papers for my condo. Then I stopped at the nursery and I have two Vine Maples, two Apple trees, three large outdoor planters, five Heather plants and fifty Narcissus bulbs to be delivered with the topsoil. And when I got back, Darrell already had some of the fence posts up!
Darrell is a real find. I love paying someone with such diligent and ethical standards. Soon panels were added to the posts and concrete was going into the postholes. It’s going up fast, my new fence.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the fence. I need it for Sheba but I worried about losing the “wide open spaces” feeling I love about my place. And I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about having a fence made of the standard pre-fab fence panels you see everywhere. But I like it. It’s wood; that’s all that matters. I was giddy. I did not know what was coming.
At around eleven I wrote to the kennel to put off getting Sheba until Wednesday. I wanted to avoid bringing chaos into Leon’s tranquil last days.  Then Leon started crying in a way I knew was the end. From then on, everything was about him.
When I found some kitty litter on my seat when I came home, I absolutely lost it. It had fallen off his paws earlier in the afternoon — I saw a final note.  I wanted to wail but I’m not a wailer. I could barely even write this paragraph.
I caught the 6:30 ferry to Nanaimo to meet Paula at the Duke Point terminal. I found her easily and we raced back and caught a ferry at nine back here to Paradise.
Thank God Paula’s here this weekend — and Kelly’s coming for breakfast.
THANK YOU!! To my friends expressing their condolences. It honours my buddy without whom my sudden transition into having severe PTSD would have been a train wreck. His love has been my best therapy: Leon and Dr. S. My team.