Thursday, October 31, 2019

Just More of the Same

Above are three of my six Stellar Jay friends that have set up their home around Pinecone Park. They’re at my feeders and are here all day, every day, and make a lovely mess of things. However, an army of small birds devours the mess they make in the yard below.
I had a wonderful day on Wednesday, just doing little errands and housework. I didn’t go to Patsy’s because she had too many other things on her plate. I’ll go next Tuesday.
Today was beautiful again so I finished tidying up the backyard. It took forever but the new lawn is looking great. After lunch and I got my sewing machine going and adapted a tablecloth that was too big into one that’s the right size. It was the first time I used the machine; I’m chuffed I was able to get it going successfully. My new tablecloth looks great!
The sun stayed out all day. We’re so lucky to be having such dry and sunny weather, and there’s no end to it in sight. 
My dog-walking friends have decided that the nice people with the dog that won’t stop yapping can’t walk with us again. Regina, who organized our little group, will ask them to find another group to walk with Friday morning when they turn up. I’m relieved; I was prepared to drop out because I didn’t want to ask others to leave.
But they have two dogs and the other one is a Bouvier des Flandres puppy. She’s going to be huge! Two of my walking friends are more concerned about the Bouvier than the yapper because the Bouvier almost knocked them over. It’s not just my sensitivity to sound that’s the problem.
Sam Mendes has a war film coming out soon. It’s called 1917. I doubt I’ll watch it; war films are not my cup of tea. However, filmmaking interests me, regardless of the genre, so I found this clip about the making of the film fascinating.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Back to Life

Click to enlarge.

The photograph is composed of 15 vertical frames taken consecutively over ten minutes by Peruvian photographer Jheison Huerta. It’s a shot of the Milky Way above the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia in early April 2019 where, after it rains, the thin layer of water transforms the flat into the world’s largest mirror, some 80 miles across. 
Yesterday was a write-off, but I’m back in the land of the living (and eating). I’m taking it easy today because I’ve got lingering issues. I reckon I ate something bad but I’ve no idea what; I had no temperature or headache. I was planning on going to Nanaimo today but I want to be close to my bed.
I’ll go on the dog walk this morning, and then to Patsy’s to chop some wood for her and to leave a gift from our friend, Beth. Then I’ll go home to nap. Could a life be duller?
The birds have successfully adapted to the relocation of the feeders. I get a spectacular view of them eating now that they’re directly in front of me. And are Fred and Ethel ever happy. They spend much  more time close to me now. They sit on the windowsill, scratch on the glass and kind of hiss with anticipation as they watch 
Last night I watched a documentary about people living in the mountains of BC called This Mountain Life. Seventy-five percent of my Canadian province is mountainous. The imagery is often magnificent and the people featured (including a Nun who’s a former Olympic cross-country skier) are fascinating. It’s an original film produced by the Knowledge Network. (Link.)
Two of the people featured are a mother and daughter who walk the length of the Coastal mountain range, from Squamish to Skagway, Alaska, over a period of six months during one of the coldest winters on record. Read that sentence again! The mother was sixty  years old when she did it!
It’s awesome in every way, especially the narrative of the two women. I was struck by the gentleness and softness of their words as we watched them dealing with the challenge of the weather and terrain.
But it wasn’t just what they said; what I appreciated so much was what they didn’t say. They were never self-congratulatory; there was none of the macho bravado that men tend to provide with their adventure stories. 
Another story involves three people who were caught in an avalanche. One of them is Todd and he winds up buried in almost five meters of snow for over 20 minutes. When they find him, he is blue. But he survives and he speaks about the experience in the film. If you are afraid of death, as I am, you may get (as I did) an incredible gift from what he says about being found.
I have never experienced life as I am now…and here. Several times a day, I get a little emotional rush of appreciation for this rural island life.
I have been through at least five homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Each one is beautiful but I would never, ever,  want to live in one. For one thing, it would take years to clean the windows. But another things I don’t like is the compression with which you begin the experience of his homes.
The front doors are tiny and the entrances leading to them and from them into the foyer are so low that tall people have to duck, and so narrow that you have to walk single file from the approach to the foyer.
But then, when you arrive in the foyer, your spirit soars in response to the expanse of the space, the light from the many windows and the glory of the woodwork. And that’s exactly how I feel having moved to this large piece of land with three buildings after living in a 650 square foot condo.

From my friend Jane.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tuesday is Canceled

I awoke nauseous.  I haven't been sick to my stomach for likely twenty-plus years but this morning made up for that. What a way to start a day! I went back to bed until just now (noon); now I'm waiting to feel up to eating something. I have no appetite, so I cancelled visiting Patsy today and going to Nanaimo tomorrow.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Cool and Bright

It’s cold again; it was -1° when I got up. There’s no end in sight to these days of brilliant sunshine and cold nights. When I get up in the morning, I light a raging fire. I keep it high until all the rocks of the chimney are hot to the touch. If I do that, the thick, thick logs of my home heat up and the house stays warm all the rest of the day with just a small fire. I know how to live here now!
It’s exciting to be outdoors, even though it’s cold. I got out there as soon as I got back from the dog walk and doing some grocery shopping. I won’t bore you with the minutiae of the day, but I will mention the brilliance (from my point of view) of moving the bird feeders to atop the fence directly outside my window. I get a much  better view of my Jay family and all my avian friends now.
Now I have to wait to see if the birds find the new location. I’m certain they will.
Sheba has an obnoxious habit: She barks at “strangers.” By “strangers” I mean everyone. She settles down quickly, but when I let her free range she goes ballistic at passers by. She doesn’t threaten them. She’s not aggressive; she’s just very loud.
Last week she did it to Kevin (my secret crush) and his dog, Oso, so I went out and called her. She ignored me. I tried every verbal command I know and used a threatening tone; still she ignored me. So when I got to her, I spanked her—just once, but hard. She elped and I felt sick inside. I really regretted striking my beloved buddy for the rest of the day.
But …
Guess what: It worked! Now, when she starts to bark at people, I can go to the gate or the front door and call her and she comes to me right away. I never  want to spank her again but I’m gad I did that one time.