Thursday, June 30, 2022

Miss Cavendish Comes

I ordered three more Detective Bruno novels, completing my purchases of every book of the series to date. I love these books! I’m on my third, I started it yesterday, and as it begins, Bruno is selling his Truffles in the market of a nearby town. It’s fabulous reading, learning so much about the growth, harvesting and marketing of these gastronomic diamonds.

After walking, shopping and watering, I was about to begin mowing when I was overcome with fatigue. I came in to rest a bit with Bruno in the big chair in my living room and soon fell asleep. Every so often, I have a day in which I find myself without any energy at all, and yesterday was one of them. I felt wasted all day, even right after my nap. All I did was water everything I didn’t water on Tuesday.

Today has excitement in store for me. My adorable friend Miss Cavendish is coming to the island. We’re meeting up, taking in a plein air performance of a play, and then having lunch together before she returns to her place in Qualicum. I am very excited about seeing her! We wrote a play together that became a monster hit and toured Canada. It’s run in my theatre was a highlight of my life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Lovely Lunch; Boo Radley

Tuesday was, thank goodness, cooler. Her Highness and I went for a long walk and then I came home to work on the paper I had to write for the clinic. I’m pleased with what I’ve done. Now I wait for feedback. Then I did a massive watering of the backyard gardens. I’ve planted a lot of plants; I am very lucky that I have a seriously deep well. Poor Merrill and Leo have a shallow well, so they must buy water every few months. I knew nothing of wells when I moved here; I asked not one question about water when I bought this place. 

I went to Ali and Peter’s for lunch so that they could show me where and how to water their plants while they go for a short trip away (one week). And then I came home to water the front gardens, and then to spend the rest of the day reading. It had clouded over and felt like (welcome) rain, so I had no desire to do yard work. But I did re-stack all the wood from the felled trees because, of course, my stacking failed. I’m a weak stacker.

Lunch with Peter and Ally was very nice. There were sprinkles of rain on the roof of the gazebo where we ate. They are always fun to be with; I feel very comfortable in their company, so I speak decently well. I’ve accumulated a warm and welcoming group of people around me. They’ve only known me as symptomatic. 

I don’t know how I felt about my mother. In the end, I’m as ambivalent about her now as she was of me, then. When I was in elementary school, she became paralyzed and spent all her time in her bed. She moved into an institution after a few years at home, and by then I was glad. I had to do a lot of work at home. My father did no work around the house at all. 

One night I went to see a movie. It was To Kill a Mockingbird. There was a character named Boo Radley in the story. Boo’s one hell of an eerie figure in the film, long, long before the audience sees the man. The children are afraid of him, and yet intrigued by him as well. Especially the narrator of the book, Scout.

As I watched the film. I thought to myself: My mother is Boo Radley in our neighbourhood, all sealed up in her bedroom and never seen. And instead of the movie, I saw, in my mind’s eye, our family home from the perspective of our street. We lived on a hill, our street was below the lowest point of our lot. You looked up to our house from the street—way up. Like in a movie about a social freak. I felt justified in not liking my mother. She was adopted anyway, as she often said of me.

And then Boo Radley becomes the hero of the movie. He saves Scout and her brother from an attacker. And I thought about that. I decided that there was a soul inside my mother that did not foresee this life in bed, this destruction of a family. After that, I tried harder for the rest of the time she lived in that bed.

“Time to empty the bedpan mum?”

Today’s cloudy and mild. Her Highness and I will walk this morning, and then we’ll go into the village to get some groceries. The rest of the day will be spent reading and, perhaps, some yard work. It all depends on my mood and the weather.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Daryl McCormack: Yum! Ants: Yuck!

Okay ... this guy, Daryl McCormack, is my new imaginary boyfriend. He’s so gorgeous and so articulate, and that voice! That accent! I did eight storytelling performances for a network called The Flame. It was a Vancouver group modelled after The Moth which is the network for which Daryl did the story recorded above. We have something in common, my new boyfriend and me. I adore him.

The walk yesterday morning was lovely—so cool and refreshing. It’s so gorgeous in the mornings. 

Then it was home to continue with the wood. I have more planting and weeding to do in one bed that really needs my attention, but I much prefer working on the wood. It’s so satisfying to do work that will benefit my cozy Winter life. I’m going to have lots of cut small branches with which to start fires, and lots of big chunks of wood for those days when I want a hot fire all day. And weed whacking the front of the yard that borders the road, really dresses up the approach to Pinecone Park.

I got the stand fan from the studio and plugged it in beside my desk where I sit on my breaks and pick Tent Caterpillars off my clothes. Oh, the coolness of the breeze feels good when I come in soaking in sweat and tired. The fan is the best rejuvenator! 

By 11:30, I’d finished removing all the bucked pieces of the first tree. The pieces small enough to burn whole are stacked in the shed to dry. The pieces needing to be split, are stacked against the fence of my edible garden. Steve will pick up the splitter for me and bring it to the house. And he’ll show me how to use it. 

I also had to rake the ground. I wanted to remove all the small twigs, the broken pieces of bark, years of Fir cones and other scrub, prickles and vines so that the ground is clean and will support the growth of Salal and Oregon Grape. Once the detritus had been removed and deposited in the forest, and the first tree all gone, I took a break by the fan. Heaven!

Then it was onto the second tree. I do enjoy the work. I also enjoy quitting time when I can read without guilt, having done a good day’s work. It was 28° by 1:00. I tired quickly but I made steady progress through the early afternoon. Some of the individual pieces of wood are mighty heavy for a guy with compromised use of his arms and hands. I learned to work with feet wide apart so that logs I dropped didn’t touch me as they fall from my hands. I’m always covered in bruises because of the hear medications I take, so I didn’t want any accidents—even very minor ones.

By 2: 30 I’d finished stacking the second tree. All that remained to do was to pick up and store two wheelbarrow loads of short branches, to move the long, big branches to the stack of wood that needs to be reduced to 14” pieces with the chainsaw, and to clean up the forest floor under and around where the second tree was. I decided that all the work not involving the large, chucked wood pieces, could wait for another day.

By far the worst part of working, was the ants. They are nasty little fellows that bite me and get into my gloves and clothes. There was a nest of them in two of the pieces of bucked wood.

I quit working at 3:00. I was hot, sweaty and thoroughly burned out. It was time to read and relax.

I’ve two writing assignments to do: one is for the clinic, drafting our communications plan for the approval of the board of directors, and the other is a second short essay for STAMMA the U.K. stuttering association.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Fowl Guest

This chicken has been here for two days. She’s a gentle clucker whose

Company is welcome at Pinecone Park. I imagine she’s a neighbour’s bird.

I absolutely love her company and I hope she returns.

Yesterday, Sunday, my favourite day of the week, did not disappoint. The weather was spectacular, but too hot in the afternoon. I was out watering the most exposed gardens at 6:00 am and then Her Highness and I went to join our friends and their dogs for the morning dog walk. It was lovely in the moderate morning air (20°); everyone was in the finest of spirits. I was sticky warm when I got into the ear to come home.

Once back at P.P., I had lunch and gathered my affairs for the clinic meeting. It was a great meeting. Our committee is slowly making progress and I discovered that Dyan is going to be the next Chair of the organization, so I’ll be working closely with the boss and I’m very happy about that.

I was very glad to get back home after the meeting. I fed my guest, the chicken, and did some reading. I did not want to get tired and sweaty on my day of indulgence.

And speaking of indulgence …. At our clinic meeting, I brought up my experience with the local mental health nurse. I told Dyan and Carol how shocked and hurt I was to hear the nurse call my symptoms ‘indulgences,’ and that my complaint to my doctor fell on deaf ears. And Carol told me that several other people have had equally as disappointing experiences with her. I’m glad Dyan knows!

I left the meeting with two writing assignments: To do a first draft of an article on how to cope when one loses one’s doctor, and to prepare a short synopsis of objectives and a strategy for achieving our objectives for the clinic Communications plan.

Today, I’ll walk with Her Highness and our friends and then I’ll come home to work on the removal of the bucked trees. I’m really looking forward to doing the work after a day off. Felling the trees and now clearing out the wood has really cleaned up the front yard. And with the new Flame Maple and Lilac trees I planted, Pinecone Park is presenting much better to guests and passers-by.