Wednesday, June 30, 2021


It’s over!

I awoke in the middle of the night to turn off one fan and to put a light blanket over me, and this morning, when I got up, I put on my sweatshirt and sweatpants. It’s a wonderfully comfortable 17° instead of the 27° mornings of the past several days. And there’s a slight cooling breeze. Oh what a relief.

Fred was howling this morning and he and Ethel were racing around the house like they usually do. For the past few days, they’ve been flat on the deck, uninterested in moving or talking. And Sheba was up early and interested in eating right away. Even my plants look happy: no more droopy leaves.

It’s over and I feel great again.

Yesterday wasn’t as horrid as Monday was. Monday, the 42° day, was torture. “I’ve just got to get through today:” that’s what I kept saying to myself yesterday morning as I undertook to soak all the gardens. By 8:30 it was already 30° and I dreaded the coming heat. But it never came—at least not like it did on Monday. By 1:00 it was only 33° and it felt almost cool compared to Monday. There was a slight breeze to help me feel cool.

Merrill and Leo came for Leo’s birthday lunch in the studio, and they loved being so comfortable in the cool studio air. When they left, we marvelled at how comfortable it felt to be outdoors, compared to Monday; I knew that Sheba and I’d be back to sleeping in our regular bed last night. And … it was comfortable being in the house. 

This morning, Her Highness and I will go for our morning walk with our friends Judith and her dog, Quatro; it’ll be our first walk in four days. Sheba’s refused to walk in the heat, and I was very happy with her decision. After the walk, I’m going to go shopping in the village. I know everyone’s going to be in great spirits.

Yesterday, the B.C. government announced the lowest daily Covid-19 infection count in a long, long time. Only twenty-nine new cases! What great news! However, the government also announced that they’re blaming the heat wave for sixty-five sudden deaths. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Killer 42°

Thank God I rebuilt my studio. Sheba and I stayed in it all day yesterday and she came back to normal. I read almost an entire book and never produced not one drop of sweat … I wore the same shirt all day. All the stores are closing. I have to water my plants in pots three times a day.

Today is going to be more of the same, but a tad cooler. At 5:00 yesterday, it was 42° here … in the shade! I pray today will be easier on us; I’ll again pass my day in the studio, and Merrill and Leo are joining me in there for lunch to celebrate Leo’s birthday. How lucky am I to have these neighbours? I feel extremely comfortable with them and very, very fond of them, and little Issa and their dog. We love that the fence is down. We talk every day, and we are very keen about our future with our friendship gate.

Our weather was the lead story on PBS’ BBC news broadcast yesterday. One more day: today. Tomorrow, the predicted high is 29°; that’s still hot, but it’s a long way from 40°! Lytton, BC, up the #1 highway from Vancouver, reached 48° yesterday! It’s ridiculous.

Today, finally, I get the new battery I need for my car, and I’ll be mobile again and able to go to the beaches. The car has sat idle in my driveway for the past few days, hooked up to a trickle charger. I’ve not used it. So today is a big day! I get to go shopping! Other than that, I’ll be watering my gardens a lot today.

I never want to experience this kind of heat again. Thank God, I moved here and I did not spend this heat wave in a concrete tower in downtown Vancouver. I feel for my poor pets. They've all shown signs of utter surrender. One more day.

Monday, June 28, 2021

HOT HOT HOT!!! 40°

Sheba does not want to rise on these hot mornings. She is uncharacteristically lethargic. She wouldn’t go outside or for a walk. All she did all day was lie on the bed, and she wouldn’t eat or drink. When She finally did drink, she threw up. At 5:00 it was 40° and I was miserable too—not in the mood for entertaining, but Paula arrived right on time for dinner, and we had a nice visit on the deck.

Three—count ‘em‑three giant Pileated Woodpeckers came to my feeder yesterday afternoon. I took it personally and felt highly honoured. It was a mother who gorged herself on my suet, and then fed her two children. They ate, they drank and then off they went.

It was 40° late yesterday afternoon. Today is expected to be even hotter. Honestly, I am dreading the day. I’m going to spend most of it in the studio which stays cooler, but this morning I have to take my car to the automotive shop for a new battery first. The studio is saving my sanity and Sheba loves its cool floor. Tomorrow will be hot as well, but come Wednesday, it’s predicted to stay in the mid-twenties, and that’s much more tolerable.

Hoorah! Sheba drank water this morning and ate her food. I am so, so relieved. She is profoundly important to me. I’m going to keep her with me in the studio today and tomorrow while I read. It’ll be a relief to her if we isolate there. And we’re going to sleep in the studio tonight; I think that’ll save us. 

The big accomplishment of yesterday was getting the old decrepit part of the fence down. Kevin took all the wood and helped me put up a temporary wire fence to keep Deer out of my yard. Leo and I are going to try to install the new fence once the pre-fabricated sections are in stock at the local lumber yard.

I’ve been trying to get to Vancouver to see my friends, John and Bunny, but the ferry line ups and delays are making me re-think that plan. Judith, with whom I dog walk three days a week, had to go to Nanaimo for her shot and it took nine hours return. Right now, three sailing waits for the ferry are normal. 

Getting off the island is easier if one is prepared to take the 5:45 am ferry. But getting back is a brutally long and hot wait. And it’s similar with the ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay. It’s very, very busy—and expensive—so I may wait a while to go to the big smoke. When the US and inter-provincial travel open at the end of July, there may not be the tourist frenzy around our islands in the Salish Sea. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Fence Coming Down

I wore my “Mute” shirt and had a pad and pen at the ready for the garage sale yesterday. Altogether, six households were involved. I was grateful to be able to be with Shelly and Kevin who volunteered to speak for me. I hope to unload some large items (my deck heater, an electric oil heater and my mini freezer) so I loaded them and everything else into my van and then discovered that my car wouldn’t start. Damn! Thankfully, Kevin came over with his truck, so we transferred everything into it, and I went and got set up in his and Shelly’s driveway.

I didn’t sell much. Shelly did. She had lots of cheap useless items and lots of old bedding, and her stuff went, I think, very well. She bought my sewing machine, two shoulder bags I had, and some fine marijuana that I bought before I quit last December. I sold two outdoor light fixtures I’d removed from here, one mannikin and my mini freezer. And Shelly is going to post photos of my overhead deck heater, and an electric oil heater on the Gabriola marketplace forum on the community Facebook page. Ultimately, they may sell, too.

At 11:30, I bailed on the sale and came home and went to bed. The heat is really tiring me.When I awoke, I went to Kevin’s and loaded everything back into my van—it started because I used my trickly charger to re-charge the battery. Thank God it wasn’t something else. It was 1:00 and 35° and I had absolutely no energy for working in the yard. I did manage to unload the crap in the van, but once done, I was back inside lying under the fans. 

At 3:30, it was 39°! I got the hose, put it into the hot tub and turned it on full. I used the other hose to siphon off some of the hot water and sucked the dead bees and Fir needles out of the tub. I then got into the spa and sat in the warm water and put the hose over my head. I got the temperature down four degrees; I’m going to do it again today, and make my hot tub a place to cool down in Summer.

It’s just extremely hot. At least it’s a dry heat. Afterwards, I sat in the house in front of a fan. I went for a little stroll in the garden, because Kevin is coming over to help me take down the old fence between my place and Merrill’s and Leo’s. I’m going to build to build a small deck where the gate will go with some of the wood, and Kevin wants all the rest. I like and trust Kevin and Shelly; they’ve become true friends.

The car battery is, I reckon, dead. So, I cancelled the booking I had for my second vaccination on Tuesday in Nanaimo and booked one here at the Gabriola clinic on July 5th. I was worried that the battery could not be replaced, and the wiring checked (for rodent damage) as well, in time to go to Nanaimo on Tuesday. The local shop is always busy. But for now: No car.

The heat is smothering. It may reach 40° today and Monday. For me, it’s just not at all pleasant. For Kevin, it’s heaven.