Sunday, May 22, 2022

Water Trial

Her Highness and I went for an uplifting morning walk, and then I came home to get back to work on the yard and gardens. But when I got home, I had a headache that made me want to nap a bit before exerting myself. I’ve been getting headaches every day for a while, and I hate them. At least they’re not migraines.

I planted most of the plants that I had on pots and then went to water them. No water. I thought something was wrong. There’s a tank in my water room that is empty and I’m sure that it should be full, but I don’t know how to fix things. It’s a complicated system, my water supply system, and I need help to do things. I sent Kevin an email because he’s a clever fellow who’s been helpful with my system in the past. But I think he and Shelly are away for the weekend.

That problem aside, things are looking fine at Pinecone Park. Now I can relax. The demanding post-Winter clean-up is done. I still have gardens to weed and tidy, but all that’s left to do is work I love doing—the details, where God lives.

Early in the evening, I was on the couch and about to eat dinner when Kevin arrived to look at my water situation. Why one tank is empty is a problem we didn’t solve; that solution will come later. But as for not getting any water from the outdoor tap I rely on for watering the gardens, we fixed that one. All it took was leaving the tap open even though no water was coming out. After leaving it on for about 30 seconds, out came water.

Poor Fred and Ethel are both mildly sick. They both have the cold that Sheba had a week ago. They are sneezing and wheezing, and I feel very badly for them. I shower them with gentle affection, I pamper and spoil them, sort of trying to bribe them into healing. I’m sure they’ll recover okay, just as Sheba did. I just hope that it’s soon.

Today has dawned a beauty! It’s not nearly as cold this morning as it was yesterday, and it’s bright, bright, bright. It’s supposed to reach 20° this afternoon. 

I got up early and went right to work, washing the patio deck, cleaning the barbeque, and cleaning up inside so that Pinecone Park looks good for when Steve and Dan come over tonight for pizza and games. Soon, I’ll join the big community dog walk and then I’ll come home to do some more planting and to make our dessert for tonight.

Saturday, May 21, 2022


Friday dawned, as predicted, brilliantly bright and clear. There’s no rain at all in the forecast. I may have to consider watering the gardens soon.

We began our day walking with our friends, and then I went to the clinic for kidney tests. My doctor is worried about my kidneys; I’m not, thank goodness. And then I got back to work on the yard. It’s more joyous now because everything is looking so much better around Pinecone Park.

I had to clean up the half of my deck that I never use, and I discovered part of it is rotting. Sigh. Another thing for my list of problems needing attention, along with my generator that puked out oil, my leaking water filter, and my empty water pressure drum. So many things to be done.

The nicest part of the morning was having the gate open between Merrill’s and Leo’s and my place. Their dog and Sheba had two yards to explore and play in, and I met some of Leo’s family who are visiting. It’s so nice to hear the squeals of delight from Issa and her four-year old cousin playing in the yard. Leo and Merrill have their half-acre to landscape, just as I once did. It’s lovely to see the improvements they make to their yard, and to share in their joy of life in our fine little neighbourhood.

Thursday’s Nature Moment was finding a geode. Yesterday’s magic was an exquisite and intimate minute with a Hummingbird. I was cleaning the fountain and had my head bent over the top of it very near to where the water emerges from the spout to fall into the top collector layer when the beautiful little Hummer arrived. It came to bath in the spout. I froze and it landed and began fluffing itself in the flow of the water a mere seven inches from my eyes. It was truly magical for me to be so close, and to create no fear.

I did no planting. All I did was rake more detritus up and schlep it into the forest. Four more wheelbarrows full. It took forever to clean the deck. I had to scrape it all and that took a lot of time. Today, I’ll plant and tomorrow I will schlep again. The last of my schlepping will be to stack the wood from the felled trees Jay and I took down a while ago.

I quit at 3:30 and went into the village to pick up my prescription and then, to exercise Her Highness at Rollo Park before coming home to soak in the spa, have dinner and sink into bed early (8:30!) so I’ll be super charged for today’s work in the gardens.

I think Gardenias are my favourite
flower. Their fragrance!!!

Friday, May 20, 2022

A Look Around

 My neighbours, Barbara, Kelly and their son, Stuart, have sold their lot—and their trailer. They’ll be leaving at the end of July. They are lovely people, and their dog is a dream, so it’s sad that they are leaving.

Alison and Peter came by just before 9:00 am yesterday morning. I drove them to the ferry terminal, and we talked about the storm—everyone has been talking about it. Once I dropped them off, Her Highness, looking resplendent in her now do by the way, and I went for our morning walk. It was chilly. I was up at 5:00 and it was 4°. But the afternoons are lovely and mild, and the rest of the week is predicted to be sunny and warm.

When I got home, I started cleaning up the yard. I had just finished raking and mowing all the lawns early yesterday, but now I’ve to start all over again. There are branches, twigs, and cones everywhere. I picked up five wheelbarrows full of crap in the morning. I’m rather desperate to get to work on the gardens, but it’s more waiting on that front until I finish with the lawns. 

I worked all day. It was a lovely day—toasty warm when in the sunshine, but cool in the shade and with the wind. I enjoyed seeing things cleaned up; Pinecone Park looks much nicer now. When I look out my windows, I see a clear deck and courtyard. Plus, I raked everything off the driveway and that really makes the place look tidier.

Bonus! I was eternally bending today, picking up all the material I’d raked into piles. As I worked, I pulled the odd weed in a garden. I was picking up cones and the layer of needles on the top of the soil when I noticed something. I saw true sparkling. I found a teeny-weeny geode. It’s looks like black jade or obsidian. It could be obsidian; geodes are of volcanic in origin. But there’s no hollow core on this the one I found yesterday. There’s just a thick line of glittering crystals in its centre. It’s like looking at a finely faceted diamond line. It’s beautiful. It will have pride of place at Pinecone Park.

I just get so tired, so quickly now. When I think of how hard and how long I worked on the landscaping, it amazes me. I don’t know what’s changed, but I sure feel different. I am beat after a few hours of working and, even with breaks, I was done by 3:30. I chilled for a bit, took Her Highness for an afternoon sojourn, got into the spa, and then made dinner before hitting the couch for the night.

But before I ate, I went outside and took the photos below. In the photos, it looks like I have lawn, even here, if you go out on the courtyard, it looks like lawn. But there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of bald spots and a bazillion weeds. So, I’m adding shrubs each year where there’s sufficient sunshine for them. Remember, when you look at these photos, there was absolutely nothing here when I moved in. Not even soil.

It was years and years of built-up needles on top of the land, with weeds and vines rooted in the needle mass. And there was left over garbage, construction material, and a bad burn scar. I’ve noted the few growing things that I inherited in the footnotes to the photos. The Climbing Hydrangea on the trellis has really thrived.

This is the courtyard. The Ivy has really done well to help give
the fountain an aged look.

Looking into the eastern part of the backyard.

This is the western part. Merrill's and Leo's house in the next
yard. The Friendship Gate connects us.

This is the front yard. The Paulownia Tree is just  budding but
it soon should be putting on a grand display. The Rhodo was
here when I moved in.

Herb garden (front), 2 rows of Blueberry. Raspberry row.

This is the entrance to the backyard. I planted
the Ivy growing up the wall of the shed.

Garden between the trees; and below. You can see how spotty
the lawn is in this photo.

This is the Fern garden. The big clump in the middle was here,
all the smaller ones are my plantings found on the property.

The Ferns were here when I moved in. As was that huge bush
leaning over the fence. It's Ocean Spray, a magnificently rich
fragrance fills our forest when it blooms.

The plant's I've yet to put into the gardens today.

The deck where it all happens baby!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

No Power

It was 12° as we left for the dog groomer’s place at Twin Beaches. And sunshine is predicted until Monday, so I’m soon going to have most all the yard work done that was on my urgent list. I will be very happy to see everything looking more or less pretty good. The lawns are not in good shape, but I’m over that and still yard proud.

It was great to take Sheba to the cleaners. When she gets her hair cut, she looks and smells so, so good, I love cuddling with her and I particularly love bedtime when we go to sleep in sublime proximity. She’ll be looking nice still when I go to Vancouver at the end of the month.

It was almost noon when she was done, and we were back home. We arrived to find a home without power. I did some yard work and kept coming in to see if the power was back on. At 3:00 I called Dana to ask him to check out the Hydro website and learned from him that it was a big area without power, but no reason for the outage was given, and even by 4:30, there was still no crew assigned to our problem. And that meant no resolution for many more hours.

Given that information, I started up the generator and plugged in my fridge so that no food went bad and cleaned the barbeque so I could use it to cook dinner. There was not television for me last night. Instead, I started reading Hamnet and I absolutely love it.

At 5:00 the forest started falling out of the sky and as branches and cones landed on the roof, making sudden and loud noises. I hate it when it is windy. My yard is filling up again with forest fall. Dwight called at 5:30 and he checked the Hydro website for me: Still no team assigned to fix it, and no estimated time of repair. Dwight said there were outages all over the coast, so that explains the delay.

At 6:00, I had to turn off the generator. Oil had gushed out of it, and I was scared to use it any longer. I’ll have to get the mechanic I know to come to check it out before I use it again. But soon after cleaning up the spilled oil, Dana called to tell me that finally, crews were attending to our outage. At 7:15, the power came back on. Then it went off again. But soon afterwards, it came on again and stayed on. What a day!