Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Cistern

Kitty porn shot of the day. Fred, on top, is the glue of the
family. We all love him. He sleeps all day with Ethel and
in the night with Sheba.
This is where Mary and Joseph slept and where Jesus was
whelped — well you'd think so by those gorgeous rays of
sunshine wouldn't you? That's my studio yesterday morning.
This is the grove of trees where I find so many fallen that
I recover to use on my fence project. I took this shot yesterday
morning. I'll return today for more.

I go to bed rather excited and I wake up the same way. I find the work on the studio very stimulating as is just living here. Yes, I’m fed up with dog excrement and urine — fed up! But I love the donor and I love her constant companionship.
It’s odd, however, having breakfast at 4:00 am. Lunch should be around nine and dinner at 3:00 or 4:00 pm (I go to bed at nine/nine-thirty now.) But I don’t do that. I wait to have lunch between noon and two. I snack at 4:00 and I have a light dinner around eight. It’s kind of like living on farm hours.
And it can be pointless. On Monday I took Sheba out with me when I went to get wood and I saw her pee. Normally what happens after she pees is that I take her in, feed her and then we go outside again so that she can poop. So we came back in and while I was getting her breakfast ready she went over by the front door and pooped on the floor. 

Thank God I have wood floors and incense.
So: The cistern.
In 1972 my finger was caught in a slamming car door. It was in Dubrovnik where it was sewn up at a local hospital. More work was done on it in Athens but I arrived home with an index finger that wouldn’t bend.
During the ensuing winter I became thoroughly disenchanted with my permanently stiff finger. It was impossible to open doors with turn or shallow handles and it was always freezing cold. Eventually I felt I had no choice: I went to my GP to ask him if I could have it amputated. (It wasn’t. I had plastic surgery and it works well now.)
Approaching the cistern reminded me of the day I went to see my GP: My body moved forward to what I knew I had to do as my mind and soul recoiled in horror. I was terrified the water level would be low and that I’d have to start all over again getting tradespersons here to understand why now — and why again. 
So when dawn broke yesterday I went out and got the ladder. I climbed to the top of the cistern and prepared myself: There was the issue of the level, of course.  But there was also the smell. I hate smelling how foul my water is before it’s filtered. But like I said: It’s like living on a farm here where bad smells are part of life.
I braced for a slightly low level because I’d done some dishes and two loads of laundry. What I wanted to see was a water level much higher than it was when Rod came to replace the switch. I unscrewed the lid….
 It was full to the top! I was so relieved. But damn, there’s no pie with which to celebrate.
I can flush the toilets now whenever I want. I can shave in the shower — at least in winter. It remains to be seen what happens in summer and early Fall, but by then I’ll have a monitoring system in place. Yesterday morning’s shower was delicious. It was a lovely long worry-free experience.
I took the racks out of the oven and put as many pinecones on them as I could so that air gets underneath them and they dry better and quicker. And I turned the ceiling fan on high that’s above them.
By ten, after Sheba’s second dump in the house, I was ready to go for a walk to throw her body in the ocean. I want to habituate her to walking, I wanted to see if I could find more branches to use on my work on the fence (I did) and I wanted to escape the fragrance of eau de merde. When we got home, she did it again!
Google search: Cauterizing your pet’s anus.
I cleaned up in the studio for Darrell. Now I’ve got lots of great kindling. Then I headed into the village to pick up my solar garden lights and to arrange to have Ethel’s stiches removed. I wanted to bake a pie before Happy Hour but my racks are under pinecones so I bought one while I was in the village because … well, you know… the cistern!
Darrell got some fabulous cork panels for the south wall of the studio. They are half an inch thick; they won’t crumble from use as my planning and idea board.
He got the cement board up where the wood stove will go and the walls and ceiling planking will be finished today. I doubt it’ll be finished by Christmas. The flooring, all the trim and my shelves have to be done before I move in. But Darrell is so close to done that I ordered the TV console and TV I want to put in there. I want to watch my DVDs while I work. The sofa and the coffee table are here; now only the rug and work chairs are in transit.
There’s no sunlight in my studio and that’s a great thing when you work with paper full of fugitive pigment. It won’t be a place to relax in the afternoon sunshine; it’ll be an awesome place to work though.
At the end of the day I went out to the studio and just sat down in it. It’s an inspiring space; it was easy to imagine what it’ll be like to work in there: No phone, no Internet, warm and spacious — I’m really excited about it.
And speaking about being thrilled … I love working with pinecones. When I went to bed last night I loaded up the wood stove with pitchy wood so that the fire raged into the night and gave off lots of heat until so the cones would dry. I think I’m going to start on the first panel today because it’s supposed to be sunny both today and tomorrow.
I got some bleach yesterday to see what happens when I bleach a cone. And I’m going to set up drying racks in the shed this summer so that I can do lots of fence panels.
Paula is coming to spend Thursday and Friday here. She loves to help me with projects so I’m going to get her to help me move the sofa into the studio. It’s going to be brutal. It’s really heavy because it’s a sofa bed. And I think we’ll go to the nursery to see if they have any interesting trees so we can plant some more in the grove we started last time she was here.

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