Friday, July 31, 2020


I was up early to do errands before taking off for the ferry and drive to Victoria. It was a beauty of a day and Sheba was clearly feeling much, much better. I could see it in every aspect of her behavior.

The same was true for me. I walked up a hill yesterday and felt like a marathoner. The loss of weight has made a huge difference to my comfortable mobility. I walked up the hill breathing normally through my nose! In the past, with Eoin, I’d been panting.

Once off the ferry, we drove right through to Victoria and stopped at Oak Bay High School where Sheba could romp on the fields. When I got to Todd and Jessica’s, I went for a beach walk in the incredible heat with Todd, and then the whole mob (eleven of us) went to Smugglers’ Cove, a small beautiful beach that Jess and Todd frequent.

I stayed ‘til three and then left and hit a massive traffic jam on the highway back where construction was underway, and when I got to the ferry terminal, the line up went way up the street to the docks and I thought I’d be there for a two-sailing wait.

But I only had to wait fifty minutes even though they’ve abandoned the priority loading of residents. Poor Sheba could barely stand, she was so tired. And we were all glad to get home—the cats came running to greet us. The gardens survived the hot day.

Today is a mixture of blue sky and clouds. It’s cooler and will likely stay this way all day. The heat wave is over. There may be showers on Sunday.

Today’s agenda: A community dog walk and then I’ll carry on tilling the land where the fruit trees go. I’ll enjoy my day. I loved my adventure yesterday. I loved driving with the air conditioner and cruise control on and seeing spectacular views along the way. And, of course, I was thrilled to be with so many Humphries! They are family to me.

But it’s very good to be back home.

I’m very happy to include the photos, below, from yesterday. My iPhone is toast for now. (I’m not sure how I’m going to solve that problem yet.) So, I took my iPad and used it as my camera. And when I got home, I found a cable that works to enable me to download my photos. 

Todd and Shara.

Our view.

Chris & Frani. Chris built the pubic theatre I designed for
North Vancouver in the mid 1970s.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

To Victoria

My weed whacker arrived. When I went to pick it up at the hardware store, I could barely speak to the clerk. I definitely find living a little more challenging without a therapist to talk to, but I love being “off leash” and have no plans to change it. When I am with friends—being with them is the only aspect of living that matters—I am ninety percent symptom free! 

When I got home, I tried to charge the battery of the whacker, but it would not work. An alarm comes on that says the battery is defective. Of course it is! I’ll have to pursue this once I’m back from Victoria.

I called my friends Chris and Frani to chat and discovered that they are in Victoria, so today I’m going to drive down to see them. Their daughter and two children-in-law and all their grandchildren will be there. (Their son is working.) I love the entire family and known the kids their whole lives; it’ll be a great, great visit. 

I’ll have a beautiful drive going there and returning. Sheba and I will have some nice walks on our way there and back. Only catching the ferry home will likely be a challenge.

Last night I drenched all the gardens; they’ll get through their day today okay without me. I’m catching the seven-thirty ferry.

Tomorrow, there’s a chance of showers and on Sunday, rain is predicted. I hope the weather office is correct. We could do with some rain. After tomorrow, it’s predicted to be cooler and semi-cloudy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Eighteen! Go figure!

Tuesday began with some tidying before Bev and John’s visit. Then I took Her Highness for our morning meander. Her foot seems much better. She walked well yesterday and even went for long periods without her sock showing no interest at all in licking her paw. It’s a huge relief. 

And it’s a good thing, because Bev phoned at ten-thirty proposing that we meet at The Surf for lunch at eleven-forty-five, and so I took her for a long walk to tire her out. That way, she slept while I was gone.

We had a great lunch! As we ate, thin high clouds filled the sky and it cooled off. After lunch we all came back here, but they left quickly to catch the ferry back to Nanaimo and I took Her Highness to the park before coming home for a spa and a gentle quiet evening watching TV.

Then I got back to work on tilling the land around the fruit trees while I awaited my guests. I’m doing in that area what I did all over my backyard last year, so I’ve developed an efficient technique.

I feel almost “high” about this work I am doing. There’ll be no more wondering what to do and fretting about how unsightly it is. I’m a little OCD inclined, so it grated on me to see the unfinished land beside the area I’d worked so hard to beautify.

My iPhone has broken. No more camera. Oh wait … I have an iPad but it’s so much chunkier to carry. So, pooey!

I was stunned this morning: I weighed myself and I weighed 194.3. I’ve lost eighteen pounds! I cannot believe it and I’m thrilled. I thought the weight loss would slow down, but it hasn’t. I’ve lost three pounds a week since I decided to lose weight on June 16.

Today, it’s back to work around the fruit trees. I may get it finished. I’ll see. I’m tempted to keep going and do the last area as well as the fruit tree area because I enjoy having a project—especially one with no deadline.

There are always birds in my fountain. Often, when I go in the shed, there’s a bird in there, too. I keep shed the doors open to help the wood dry; that’s how they get in. I have birds in my berry bed, too; I’ve pretty much resolved to do away with the nets and let nature take its course. 

They perch in and on my fences and trees, they love to forage in the soil I reveal as I till, and they are fascinated with the water gushing out of the hose when I water—especially the Hummingbirds. There are birds everywhere this year. They are wonderful company and a constant source of interest and joy. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sixteen Down

Working on Monday was rather brutal for this old man! I kept coming inside for a cold drink and to sit in front of the fan every forty minutes or so. But very satisfactory progress was made. I’d say I’m about sixty to sixty-five percent done, and once I’ve cleared the land, I’ll add lots of peat and soil and seed it in the Fall.

That will leave one last section to do—the area where I wanted to put a pond. I’ll do there, what I’ve just done to the fruit tree area this year. Then my yard will be completely landscaped, and I think it’ll be really lovely next year.

My completed boardwalk invites you deep into my yard, and if you take it, you arrive at the large garden under the trees and the fruit trees. But the land there looked horrific; it hosted weeds that would go to seed and sprout nasties in my lawn. I’m not a fanatic. I don’t care that much about weeds, but why help more grow?

I did three sessions and by then it was thirty-two degrees and so I quit. I have lots of time before I seed in the Fall. But it looks lovely and I’m very glad I undertook this job. It’s going to make my backyard look much tidier with lawn and dotted with Lavender and bordered by natural shrubs and Hydrangeas. 

I’ve still a couple of more days of work ahead, with this project. In this heat, progress is slow. 

Sheba and I are still doing short walks, which we did yesterday. I had a spa, once the sun was behind some trees and I made a tart that I froze for Dianne’s visit next month.

This morning I weighed myself. I weigh exactly one hundred and ninety-six pounds. I’ve now lost sixteen and a half pounds and I’m thrilled. I feel better, I move better, and I’m committed to losing another sixteen.

Today, my friend Bev, who lives in Nanaimo, is coming for visit with her man, John. We may go to the Surf for lunch.

And finally: I’m seeing progress in Sheba’s recovery. And thank God!