Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Rob Day

Holy Jesus, Mary and Joseph: The remarkable fluency I enjoyed yesterday is gone. It’ll be back. If I’m to not care about having a stutter, I can’t care too much about getting my speech back either. I knew it wouldn’t last. But I do take it as a very positive sign.
Darrell did not turn up today. He won’t be back until next week but the miracle man stopped the leak. He’s going to Cedar line the interior at my request.
I found some trellis pieces in the renovation detritus and built a little fence for the loft edge to keep the cats from climbing the wall. I did it and now it encourages them to use the stairs for access/egress to the loft. Ethel uses the stairs; Fred doesn’t. I used my new skill saw and thrilled myself by finishing with all my fingers.
Fred has discovered that he can turn on the floor lamp in the living room. I’d wake up, see it on, and turn it off only to wake later and see it alight again. So I left it on to see if he would turn if off. Nope.
I made Rob a pie. He’s not a fan of sweets so I left it kind of tart. His plane could not land — wouldn’t you know it. The airline will fly him to Nanaimo and drive him to the Gabriola ferry terminal. He’ll be a foot passenger on the 3:45 ferry I hope and pray, and I’ll pick him up. I’m so excited.
Off I go to get him…

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


My flight home companions were a mother and
son from County Cork in Ireland.

When I got home from Vancouver I was gobsmacked by Darrell’s work yet again. The finishing of the soffits and exterior are beau-ti-ful! It looks so handsome in its Cedar suit. I gushed about Darrell’s work in an email to Elaine. If he finished the inside in the same way — all Cedary, I’m going to melt. And I think he is but he hasn’t started on the interior because he prioritized putting up a temporary handrail for me to use for access and egress to the tub.
Think about all the horror stories about contractors you’ve heard. It’s a horror trope. Darrell is the antithesis of horror. I feel like I must have been a saint in a former life to be so rewarded by his talent, dependability and affordability. He’s a man of honour in a world and time that seems, every day, to find new routes to dishonor.
The other absolutely remarkable thing about today was Me. I woke up with a sense of well being I haven’t felt for two years. I felt my healthiness as powerfully as I felt the internal disorder that drove me to the hospital two years ago. So I did what I can do to self-evaluate: I spoke out loud and I as fluent. I was completely fluent like I haven’t been for years.
It’s lasted all day. There have been hiccups of course, but I felt and spoke radiant all day including with Dr. Shoja. It was my second-to-last appointment. She’s sending a letter to my new GP about my condition and giving me a letter for my dentist and others with whom I regularly interact to warn them about my seizures.
I am legally and ethically able to drive. That had been worrying me. She has full confidence in my ability to manage in my car.
I spoke really well with her and with everyone all day. It’s now almost 6:00 pm and I am still fluent — even speaking aloud alone which has been the hardest thing in the world for me to do for the past two years.
I wish I could communicate how I feel about speaking without muscle pain or shame. I ate an entire chocolate-coated marshmallow bar to celebrate. I feel lighter. I feel blessed. I cried sometimes to hear myself speaking without a stutter — not loudly or anything. Tears would just roll down my cheeks I was so, so happy.
I surprise gift today was Dr. Shoja saying she would miss me. It was light and sincere and I deeply appreciated her first and only broaching of professional protocol.
It’s a month until I go back for the final goodbye.
When I got home, I loved the thrill of seeing the exterior finish of the porch. Soon my relationship with him will be ending too. I’m going to go to his house one day, after his work here is done, and speak from my heart as sincerely as I can how grateful I am for his work, his gifts and his integrity. And I’m going to give him cash. I think I’m going to give him five hundred bucks. 
Tomorrow Rob, my favourite stimulus, arrives. And I’m fluent just in time to welcome him to Pinecone Park & Spa.

To Vancouver!

Yesterday began overcast and cold. Darrell came and put the green tin roofing on the porch; besides its practical value it ties the porch into the house beautifully. While he did that, I put another coat of varnish on my worktable in the studio.
By 10:00 am it had cleared. The sky and my mood soared. Sheba and all her hair love the cool air and the warm sun. She now prefers to chill outside — especially when Darrell is here for her to watch.
With the roof on, Darrell started on the mesh that encloses the porch. I think it’s beautiful because of the way it captures the light. And it’s not too dark in the house; I’m relieved about that.
Today he puts the Cedar exterior up. There’s a leak I have to show him, too. And how great is he? He brought me a great ladder that’s incredibly stable to use to finish my Pinecone Park & Spa sign.
I love the porch. All connotations of porches are good (both porches and verandahs); they are symbols of summer, time moving slowly, warmth, comfort and visitors.
I dearly hope the weather forecast for Friday and the weekend is correct. They are predicting warm temperatures and sunshine — and that would mean I could finish the sign, get more Alder from the forest for the fence panels.
I haven’t felt like a schoolgirl in a long time but anticipating Roberto’s visit has me tizzyish. I’ve such a crush on him. We’ve been friends for ten years and (on his initiative) we are intimate. A man who can see beyond HIV, stuttering and seizures is a treasure.
He leaves Thursday, the first day of March — a great month because both Daylight Saving Time and Spring begin. Hallelujah.
Now I’m off to Vancouver for breakfast with Bruce, a walk and talk with Cathy, a chocolate refill, essential dried frozen pet food and my penultimate appointment with Dr. Shoja. I love coming home when Darrell is working because it’s exciting to see what he has done while I was away.
The idea of Paula and I bricking in my courtyard is really settling with me. I am very keen to do it— but with wide-ish spaces between the bricks so I can plant Creeping Thyme in some places and fill the cracks with sand in others (where I drive).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Busy Sunday

Sunday was a busy day. I put two coats of Varathane on my studio table and I’ll do two more today.
I washed my bedding including my pillows! Washing pillows is another thing I’ve never done before (like washing a wool blanket on Saturday); I’ve always bought new pillows in the past. I am a domestic goddess.
I got the Alder onto the side of the shed as part of my life ring home logo. I like the look but I’m not taking a photo until I do some more pinecones; I may do more pinecones after I go to the dental hygenist for a cleaning.
I cuddled a lot with Sheba yesterday because she smells so good after her bath (with Lavender soap) on Saturday. I hope to get her spaying arranged today, poor girl.
I moved the shelf in my kitchen on which I hang my pots and pans from one wall to another. It was a fair bit of work to ensure it’s safe (it’s heavy) but it was well worth the effort because now it is super easy to get to my garbage and recycling containers and it’s a lot easier to see what’s where.
I also changed the configuration of my dining room table. It now runs lengthwise across the room instead of down its length. Now there’s a nice arrival area where double doors lead to my new porch.  
I talked to my unemployed friend, Paula. She’s going to call me in a week, after she comes back from Mexico. I talked to her about hiring her to build my courtyard patio with me. I call her Project Paula because she can’t stay still. I’m certain we’d enjoy the process of working together while we’re visiting and she’s super keen.
I had a drawer full of lovely mixed cards and envelopes that I bought over the years from at VAG gift shop. Yesterday I sorted them and wrapped each bundle in elastic bands; now I’m going to start sending a hand-written letter to people more often (and less email).
I waited for dusk to have my hot tub and turned the disco lights on. When Rob is here, I think he’ll love the tub. He loves heat and I love seeing him naked. Okay, I’m shallow. I know that. A domestic goddess needs some inspiration/reward.
The wind was cool on my face, I had some of my favourite “go to Uranus” music on, the Christmas light on my shed cast a lovely warm light (they’re all white) and the trees were majestic and dart against the sky that slowly darkened; the moon looking like a huge stage light.
I’m back, “out of prison” again. I could speak on the phone this morning.
I’m used to “bad” things causing me to have a seizure. But yesterday I was watching Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ice dance to a Gord Downey song. She is flawlessly beautiful and he is the handsomest man ever born. Plus it was their competitive swan song and Gord is gone. It was so emotional I had to stop watching. I could feel myself slipping into a seizure.
Darrell is back today. He’s putting the roof on the porch. It could get finished this week. Tomorrow I go Vancouver to see Dr. S. and then Rob comes Wednesday.