Monday, April 30, 2018

New Trellis Done Already

This shot shows how small it is.
I've planted two kinds of seedless grapes.
The front yard is the sunset place.
This is the view from an office window.

The Trellis Ascends

This is the salmon Darrell brought me. He arrived at my
place around noon; he’d caught the 22-lb. fish that morning

It was sweet, very moist and delicious!.

It’s Monday morning and it feels like winter is back but this week is predicted to be pretty good weather. 
Darrell arrived and was underway by 8:00 am. He’ll be here all week I think, and Paula K. wrote to say she’s keen to visit this week. I’m happy because she was my first visitor here and she’ll see lots of changes. Plus, James is coming to stay in Paula T.’s cabin this week so I’ll see him as well.
Meanwhile … I am progressing through the edit of scene three and enjoying it. I’d like to try to finish it by tomorrow so I can send it to some friends to read while I play with Paula. 
I am very proud of the dresses and their stories. I am very confident of their success. But I feel no such confidence or pride in the script. There’s a story, there’s tension and there’s a happy ending but I have no idea if it will work as a play. The time feels right for feedback.
Sheba’s backbone is almost exactly at my knees. She’s hairy and heavy and we’re in deep love — so much so that she thinks she’s a lap dog. Last night she squirmed up onto my lap as I sat in my big easy chair. This morning I wrote to her breeders to express my pride and joy in her and to thank them sincerely for providing me with such a faithful loving friend.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

No Trellis: Rain!

Saturday morning started rough: Sheba wouldn’t stand or walk. I was freaked out but then I smelled something. I’ll spare you the details; I am now a Master Rear End Barber. 
Lesson Learned: Get a longhaired dog; you’ll become familiar with its anus. People say “holy shit” and “holy crap.” Why? What’s holy about stool? 
Lesson Learned: Get a longhaired dog; add rubber gloves to your emergency kit.
And speaking of lessons learned… I may have finally become a responsible water drinker. I count the glasses I drink per day. I’d not been drinking enough. 
And …
Lesson Learned (by singer Susan Boyle’s team): Choose Twitter handles carefully. She recently hosted a party to celebrate the released of her new album and her team tweeted out this hashtag:  #SUSANALBUMPARTY Is it because I’m gay I see anal bum party?
Lesson Learned (by the Cheltenham Literary Festival team): Its 2017 festival announcement hashtag was: #CLITFEST How does that happen? Does the literary festival have no editors?
I went into the village for some food when it started to rain. It wasn’t heavy rain, but it was rain and I was glad for it. I loved the smell of the air. I was warm and it felt so healthy. I was thrilled for my garden.
Darrell cancelled; I was very happy to have the day alone and very happy with the rain. It was an extremely low energy day.
The day had one dreadful moment. Dr. Majic told me to do back stretches and so I contacted a physio to get some instruction because I did not want to do exercises incorrectly, but he’s not back from vacation yet.
I made the right decision. I really made the right decision because yesterday when my back was hurting, I decided to do a little stretch. I had been slumping so I decided to force my butt backwards. I did the stretch and held it and I must have cut off blood to my brain because I started to faint.
I reached for my alarm but didn’t push the button. I kept holding on, hoping I would stay conscious. It lasted seconds that felt like an hour and afterwards I had a sever fright hangover. No more stretching until I get instruction.
DR wrote to tell me the birds have disappeared around her place as well and someone told her that it’s because they are nesting. When I think about it, birds probably prefer to feed their nestlings and fledglings insects. 
After a week alone, I feel great again. I’ve learned a fair bit of late about myself, and about living with my condition and guests. Malcolm Gladwell’s “ten thousand hours” theory is well known; I’ve now lived 17,500 hours with “exquisite” stress. (I still cannot believe that medical term!) 
As I head into my final renovations and the finest weather of my first year here, I’m thankfully wiser. And once they are done I start just gently living here — living life “in the slow lane,” not taking on major projects. Just looking after this house that feels so big, my pets and welcoming guests.  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Trellis Starts Today

It feels like old times: It’s gloomy and Darrell is coming to work. He’s building the trellis and adding a planter box to its base before he starts on the courtyard. I lit the fire to compensate for the dark clouds worsened by the absence of my flock of avian buddies. Their loss hurts like a break-up. At least one or two come by once in a while for the suet.
Dr. Majic called. I saw his name on the call display, so I answered saying: “Hi Dr. Majic. I’ll eat less sugar.” 
“I beg your pardon?”
“Aren’t you calling to tell me my blood sugar levels are too high?”
“Just a sec. I’ll check your numbers.”
“You mean it wasn’t because of that, you called?”
“You’re right, your numbers are high.”
“I thought they would be. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself since I started stuttering and having seizures so I’ve been eating a lot of sweets. I’m a baker.”
He told me to cut back and I will, and then he said: “Actually, I was calling because they did a routine STD screen on your last blood test and you tested positive for Syphilis.”
“Oh my God,” I said, “An immaculate infection.” He reallylaughed.
I told him I’d been celibate longer than a celebrity marriage. 
I also had to tell him I was sexually assaulted in France in 1974 and in the medical treatment that ensued, it turned out I’d gotten the disease from the creep who assaulted me. I had to got treatment. 
I had to account for my absence from work and classes at the university where I worked with my best friend, Marie-Claude. That’s where, why and how I came out as gay: I told M-C and she explained to those who needed to know that I was ill.
Friday morning, I woke in a warm fresh-smelling house. It felt like I was living and sleeping in the woods. I’d no heat on, no fire, all the screened windows ajar and the double doors of my dining room wide open so that the screened porch feels like part of the house. It reached 23° in the afternoon. The scent of the forest was calming and inspiring. And to experience all this in total quiet was such a privilege.
The morning had begun with a furrowed brow. No cats. They are alwayswaiting to be fed but not yesterday. I panicked until I found them in a corner of the porch, out of sight, where they’d trapped a mouse.
I worked on the back yard all morning. I feel really good about all the yard work I’ve done — particularly pruning dead branches off the natural growth. After two days of conscientious work the place is looking pretty good.  
The fountain was a brilliant idea. I can hear the water as I work — even in the front yard.  It was inexpensive; it looks great (to me) and adds a lot of ambience to the yard. 
One bucket list thing I will never do is walk through England with a dog. Instead, I am in heaven walking on Gabriola with Sheba. She is a fabulous dog. She runs to me and sits when cars come by and she’s even learned to fetch and bring the ball and drop it for me — sometimes. Her hair is a bitch to keep clean of detritus; that’s our only challenge.
When twigs get caught in her hair, she hates it. She comes to me and cowers and she lets me lift her legs up to remove whatever is bothering her. In the next few weeks, the groomer and I will decide whether or not to shear her. I like her the way she is but one cut each Spring might be a good plan.
Regardless of what she looks like, she is such a magnificent soul mate.