Friday, May 31, 2019

Sandwell Beach

I did nothing all day Thursday, except enjoy myself. I did not feel like working. Instead, Sheba and I went to Sandwell Park (and beach). It was my first visit of the year to that beach and it felt lovely to be back on its expansive shore. The tide was too far in for all the exploring I wanted to do; still, it was lovely to sit in the shade for a while to just relax in such a setting. (See below.) We had the entire beach to ourselves.
I did, however, steal a small Ocean Spray plant. It grows wild everywhere here and I want one for the back of the Fern Garden (that I don’t seem to be able to get started on). I’ve been looking for one on my walks for days.
After the dog walk this morning, I’ll do some yard work today (I think). I’m going to try to be diligent.
I’m watching a terrific program on Amazon Prime. It’s called Good Omens.  It’s written by Neil Gaiman and is terribly clever. It stars Michael Sheen and the absolutely incredible David Tennant. I was laughing out loud often at Mr. Tennant; he’s a performing genius, I think.
It’s spectacularly produced and has some geniuses in the supporting cast—Miranda Richardson and Daniel Mays. And funny! Oh my God!
I’m going back to the big island tomorrow with Sheba. We’re going to meet Jane and Dana for a dog walk on the Qualicum beach and then we’ll have lunch together on the patio of a beach restaurant we enjoyed together last year. And on the way home, I’ll go back to Walmart for more cheap soil.
Soil on the mainland was, on average, $20 per cubic yard. Here its $110 delivered; it’s $76 delivered, if I buy six cubic yards (but that’s a lot of soil). So I buy it in transportable bags. The nursery here sells bags for $9; the hardware and garden store has some for $7. At Walmart, they are $3.
If I get all my soil form Walmart, mix it with soil stolen from next door and add some peat moss, I can probably landscape the unfinished part of my backyard—roughly, inexpensively and good enough for me.

Sandwell Beach and park are the closest public amenity to my house. It's
a walkable distance but I usually take my car for a 5-minute drive.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Finally ...

I listen to CBC radio. When they do the weather report after the news, they do so for the entire province—in sections. And the word that dominates each sections prognostication now, is “smoke.” It’s wildfire season.
I accomplished a lot yesterday. I attacked house and garden work with almost manic fervor. I was the Energizer Bunny all day—except during the mid-day. I’ve developed a habit of noon siestas—being neither mad, a dog nor English—and I work like mad in the cool morning, mid-afternoon and evening hours. I end, of course, with a spa.
I’ve a couple of things to transplant today, but the real job today will be starting on the “wild” half of the backyard. I’m really excited about finally getting started.
Aretha Franklin was awarded a special certificate by the Pulitzer Award organization. It was presented at an awards luncheon this past Tuesday and Jennifer Hudson was invited to sing a tribute song, Amazing Grace, but her flight was cancelled. So she took a bus. You can see her performance on YouTube here. It made me weep at the loss of Aretha and at the majesty of her soulful performance. 
She arrived five minutes before her performance—you can see one of her earpieces dangling on her left shoulder. 
Her incredible talent is stupefying! And watch how she moves. There’s not a drop of diva in her; she makes it about the song. And I delighted in watching her backup singers. There’s such tightness in their performance. It’s absolutely perfect. 
You can see it here
Here are some photos of this morning’s walk.
Look at the growth! We've had a luscious Spring.
The grass is half-a-meter high.
The Ferns are vital, vertical and strong.

Wild Blackberries grow everywhere. Not the Himalaya
Blackberries that are all over Vancouver.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Excellent Eye

My eye is healing excellently. I could read the smallest print on the eye chart with it at Dr. Yearsley’s office! 
He asked me about the other eye. I initially said No to corrective surgery because it’s not that bad, but I’m reconsidering. I go back in six weeks and I will, if allowed, sign up to replace my other lens.   
We were back home by 12:30 and I was beat. I did precious little work around P.P. I had a nap, read, had a spa, ate and went to bed early. Life is dull, divinely so.
Today past as every one of the next ten days will: I did as I pleased with the time left after dog walking and watering. I did a run to GIRO with recyclables as part of an effort to bring order to the shed, and d id some transplanting and grocery shopping. (I can’t start a new project until all is in order everywhere else.)
And my new long-handled clipping shears arrived so I can do edging without ruining my back. I love all the errands I do because they all make my place look so lovely. My new Paulownia is visibly larger already. It’s so satisfying to be able to actually see growth (as I do in almost everything right now).
Tonight I’ll bake and tomorrow I plan to start work on the Fern Garden.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Highs and Lows

Yesterday’s high was discovering the berries growing abundantly in my garden. It seems like I just planted them a few days ago. I didn’t even see any blossoms.  
Yesterday’s low was the enormity of the task I face in trying to bring order to the raw east side of my backyard with no budget. It was cleared when this house was built and then left to the weeds. It’s also the part of the yard that Sheba uses to poop and it has to continue to serve that purpose.
Rather than get started yesterday, I weeded the cracks between the paving stones in the courtyard and collected all Sheba’s souvenirs. Call the chiropractor! Then I mowed the lawns and trimmed edges that looked dreadful and my yard is looking as good as this single senior can keep it.

Above is a photo of the area outside my house where I want to make a Fern garden. You can see the few large Ferns that are already there. The second photo with the arrows shows you how many tiny Ferns there are in the jungle of weeds where I want to make the garden.  
I won’t be doing any gardening this morning, though. I go back to Dr. Yearsley in Nanaimo to have my eye checked. I’m certain he’ll be as thrilled as I am with the outcome. I’ve been diligent with the application of my medications and wearing my patch at night. My information sheet says this will be my penultimate appointment. In seven more weeks, my vision will be assessed. The only problem now, is my “old” eye.
But come the afternoon, I’ll likely get onto yard work. 
My Beans (R) and Peas (L) with berries at the ends
Pine Berries (L) and Garlic (R).
Spinach. (I'm learning.)

Monday, May 27, 2019

A Day to Relax

My souvenir photo! I still cannot believe I’m typing and reading on my computer without glasses! Inconceiveable!
The goal for Sunday was to exhaust Her Highness so that she’d be lost to sleep whilst I partied in the evening with Patsy, Fran and Sue.
Early in the day I sought my box of spa chemicals. To know what to do, I use test strips with tiny print on them that I can read!  Now my other eye is a source of disappointment. butI concentrate my view through my perfect eye and function fine without glasses.
After a long lovely walk with H.H. in the morning, I came home and pondered the long list of things to do in the yard and the gardens. But instead of attacking the work, I pulled up a lounging chair and had a nap in the sunshine—it’s my preferred position for smelling the roses. (The hammock is in the shade and more ideal in the heat of summer.)
I also planted eight Sweet Boxwood runners into pots. I dipped them in rooting hormone; I really hope they root. Imagine: Free plants (I hope)! I find it rather thrilling that I can propagate plants! What an excellent way to fill a large yard with absolutely divine fragrance and colour.
Mid-afternoon H.H. and I went for a walk on the trail off our street and then we went to Drumbeg because it was just so, so beautiful. I loved the day. I’m always so focused on work around here, but yesterday, taken fully for enjoyment over three walks, was one to remember. I’ll be doing more of that this summer!
The evening was really lovely. Patsy and I went to Sue and Fran’s B&B for drinks seaside before going to The Surf for dinner. It was really fun to be out-and-about with friends and totally unconcerned about Her Highness who, I’m sure, slept the entire time I was away.
I’m going on the dog walk this morning and this afternoon Sue and Fran are coming over with their dogs for a play date in my fenced backyard. It’s predicted to reach almost thirty degrees today!
These are photos from our walk along North Road Trail.

Sunday, May 26, 2019


At three o’clock yesterday afternoon, the sun came out after a long, dull, wet day. It felt wonderful to shed my clothes, slide into the warm water of the spa and use my crystal clear new vision to take in the gorgeous panorama of Pinecone Park. 
The swelling in my eye was down and its pupil was much smaller. And… praise Jesus, I type and read on my screen without glasses now!The new lens eye is far, FAR clearer than the one in my other eye. Now I have one supremely good eye and one weak one again.
A welcome outcome of the damp day was that I fetched and burned the rest of the detritus from the delivery of wood (that I’m going to complain about to the vendor.)  
I went to bed at seven and I slept for eleven hours! I’d been thoroughly exhausted all day and just gave up. I suspect the past week with Annabel, Sue and Fran here and then the surgery wore Chris.2 out.
Today is brilliant and it’s predicted to remain so for the foreseeable future. The gardening will resume in earnest. My Sweet Boxwood has sent up a zillion shoots that I will try to transplant today to other places in the yard. I love them; they bloom in February and have a sweet, sweet smell.
It’s a stunning morning and I’ve no need to water anything, so the day is ours to enjoy. I’ll enjoy a spa and then walk Her Highness. She’ll run free-range as I work on the gardens. Tonight I’m going to Sue’s and Fran’s place for drinks and then to dinner at The Surf.