Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Shock and Awe

Monday night, after my whirlwind day in Vancouver I was ecstatic to get home — especially to see Sheba, Fred and Ethel. But I was exhausted; I went to bet at seven pm. I woke up early, therefore, and the day got off to a rough start.
First of all, the fire was frozen cold and the whole house was shivering. Fred and Ethel were huddled in front of the wood stove that was as cold as it is black. And I had to deal with a migraine before I could light the fire. Sigh.
But as the heat started extending to the chaise, Ethel started purring and then my bad feeling evaporated. I rode out the migraine and noticed my message light blinking on the phone.
Good news: The message was from Jason who is up for fixing my cistern and well. Finally, the ultimate essential repair off the long list developed by the various inspectors whom I’ve hired will be done. The other good news, of course, is that I get to snack on Oyama fennel saucisson sec (I bought six) and Francois Prelus Venezuelan chocolate (I bought fourteen bars and ordered eighteen more for when I go back to Vancouver).
Dr. S. and I had quite a session yesterday. I asked about therapy via Skype but it’s not permitted, so I told her the cost of my travel and so we decided I’ll see her twice a month from now on. It will cost me five grand a year and I’ve no problem with that. (I’ve bought into the frequent flyer program Sea Air offers.)
There were two other practical outcomes from our discussion as well.
  •  It’s not enough for me to tell people I can’t speak. Dr. Shoja helped me realize it’s equally important for me to let people know (somehow) that I am not intellectually compromised and that I can hear. If I do that, people will stop talking to me like a child or an idiot.
  • I may never travel again. I also may never go to another concert or any other mass gathering. Being with more than three people and being away from my home brings on seizures so I have a choice: Mind numbing drugs or acceptance of a home-based life. I choose door number two.
  • I have the option of seeing Dr. S. indefinitely. We both accept now that my symptoms may never diminish. (Hence my migraine this morning; that’s been a rather bitter pill to swallow).
With the cistern repair and therapy protocols for Dr. S. and transportation in place, I feel finally settled and that I can start “just living” here. The sunroom and studio renovation projects are choices, not essentials. They bring me joy, not anxiety. And I actually will travel, but only to places I can go in my car with Sheba.
Fred and Ethel are curled up together in front of the fire now and the cabin has warmed up. They are from a completely different planet than Leon who behaved almost exactly as Sheba does. I love F & E. I love looking at them, watching them play and how they behave at feeding time. I love them completely: I love their differences in personality and everything about them.
Sheba, no question, is my best friend like Leon was. She is so adoring and cuddly and she loves being with me as much as I love being with her.
I love learning their language. I love learning about them, how to interact with them and how to “read” them and determine their needs. I love that I gave Sheba a teeny piece of toast once and she now is right there as soon as she hears the toaster pop. And then, once Fred got a taste of a crumb, both he and Sheba join me for toast every morning. We have a tradition.
I got a fabulous Audubon app on my iPhone thanks to Bruce. Here’re some of the things I can do with it:
  •  I can identify my location in a Find Birds with eBird section to see the most recent species observations in my area.
  • Under Explore Birds, the Advanced Search option helps me identify a completely unknown bird. I identify my location and month, fill in whatever other details I can about size, shape, color, habitat, etc. and the app will present me with a list of possible birds that match my description. Is that fabulous or what?
  • And this is incredible: It provides recordings to let me hear the regional and individual variations of bird vocalizations.
Seeing the Peregrine Falcon has ignited my passion and interest in birds. Last night the Ravens were back and the call of one was lower than I have ever heard and it made me certain it was a particularly huge one. I have never been to a Raven habitat before. There are no Crows here because of the Ravens and the calls are haunting like the call of a Loon.

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