Saturday, December 2, 2023

Tiling Done

This is the stove foundation that I've been working on. The foundation under the
stove is the original foundation, my work involved doubling it's size, adding a
second  half (right). I can't believe that I was able to do this work.

It was wet, wet, wet on Friday. Sheba and I did not do our morning walk. Instead, I went to work in the studio in advance of Pete’s arrival to help me tile the new foundation for the woodstove. 

I lit a fire to warm up a building that is never heated so that we could work in comfort. And then I moved things around to give me a place to put mortar on the tiles and to put them into place, and Pete a place to cut them. I mixed some mortar and got the grout ready for mixing once the tiling was done. It was a day of nasty weather, but I enjoyed working with Pete in cozy warmth and a nice dry space.

I’m feeling SO much better now that the living room fireplace is fixed, and all the eye appointments are done, and I’ve done all the work that I was required to do to make the studio fireplace to code. I feel free—free of onerous responsibilities and free to stay at home. Home is the only place I feel wonderful, and I only feel wonderful when all the chores needing to be done, are done. As each day goes by, and I get more used to being who I am since the onset of the second coming.

Pete arrived at half eleven, and we got to work. First, he had to fix the tile cutter because it didn’t work. It had been sitting idle for over a decade. Pete did the tile cutting on his machine, and I cemented the cut tiles into place. Plus, I made and served him lunch. We got started with the work at 12:30 and finished at 3:00. I am thrilled to have the new foundation for the stove in the studio almost finished. All I need to do is grout the gaps once the cement has dried.

Although it was easy work, and pleasant work being with Pete, I was, of course, fried by the time we were finished. But there was cleaning up to do, so I did that and then I slid into the spa for some relaxation before making dinner and settling onto the chaise for the evening.

I invited Kris, Steve and Nancy for dinner on Monday night, so I’ll be busy baking this weekend and prepping sauces and dressings for the meal.

My friends see my seizures and hear my speech, and they know I have a diagnosis, but I’m not sure many of them would know what it is. The word I push is neurological, but that’s just part of it. I asked Dr. Shoja last time, if I had PTSD and FND, or did my FND diagnosis trump PTSD?

First, she told me that I had C-PTSD and not PTSD. The “c” stands for Complex. They two conditions are separate listings in the official medical bible. C-PTSD is due to long-term exposure to abuse or neglect; PTSD is short-term exposure to trauma. I also have FND, and I understand that it is a consequence of having C-PTSD. And this is a particularly nasty combination of disorders because the neurological condition has me over-react to stimuli, and C-PTSD fills my life with triggers, hence the seizures. It felt good to have a nice concise review of my diagnosis.

What no one knows about, except Dr. Shoja, and is neither seen nor heard, are the storms in my head and body. I now have chronic pain across the top of my shoulders, across my upper back and in my neck. It’s from speaking. I must force the speech out of me, so I tense up all over my torso, and my arms flail, my head moves a lot, back and forth, side to side, and I often grimace—all from the effort it takes to speak. Speech has become very, very physical, and it tires me out.

I seek out Dr. Shoja when the internal stuff gets out of hand, as it has since mid-October. Life has become intense since the second coming. I wanted to decompress with her help as a prophylactic move in advance of having a guest for ten days. As much as I love him, I must monitor my stimulation. I am at par with wonderful Davey; I know I can ask him for rests from talking each day; he is completely understanding of my needs and vulnerabilities. 

Today I have few obligations. I can have a soft day, and I’ve awakened to mostly clear skies. It’s going to be a nice day. I’ve got to shop for supplies for Monday night’s dinner, and I may do some work on finishing the stove foundation in the studio. I’ve the caulking of the cracks with mortar to do.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Blue Flames

This killed me.

Thursday was overcast, but there was still no rain. It didn’t arrive until last night and it came in buckets. We needed the rain, so I welcomed it. I sleep soundly when I can hear rain pounding down on my metal roof. I love it.

I walked Her Highness before going into the village where, to my amazement, I found something close enough to what I wanted in the Home and Garden store. I got a wreath of fake Fir boughs that is illuminated with tiny lights that are battery operated. And that’s what I wanted, some lights that were powered by a battery so that I could decorate my fireplace where there is no outlet for a plug.

I’m now done with holiday decorating, except for a large candle that I want for my coffee table. I have five Poinsettias to scatter around, and some tapered candles, but I want a nice big one for the coffee table and I’ll be set for partying with Paula and David. Plus, I did something brilliant.

I’d picked up some paraffin in the store and so in the afternoon, I melted some and I took my dried Norfolk Pine cones and I rolled them in the paraffin and then sprinkled them with copper sulphate powder. One the paraffin dried, I wrapped each one in a piece of ribbon with a tiny bow and put them in a bowl by the fire. This morning, I tried one and it worked perfectly—the flames were a gorgeous shade of blue. I’m going to use these cones when I have guests.

In the evening I watched Genius, a pretty great film (even though it had Nicole Kidman in it). I love Jude Law, Colin Firth and Laura Linney. It’s based on the book by Scott Berg about Scribner editor Max Perkins, and it focuses on his relationship with revered writer Thomas Wolfe. I loved the film. Colin Firth can do no wrong.

Today is, of course, wet. I’ll walk Sheba during a break in the rain, and then I’ll be coming back to work with Pete on tiling the new firebox foundation I built in the studio. At 2:00 a woman is coming to take my grape vines up and take them home to her place where she gets far more sun than Id o. My poor vines need a new home.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Buffy Again; Hell in Nanaimo

 I believe it’s because I emerged into consciousness with no backstory that I’m so emotionally involved in the Buffy Sainte-Marie story. This is some text from a recent news item on CNN:

Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Collective is calling on the Junos Awards Committee to rescind her (Buffy’s) 2018 honour for Indigenous album of the year.

“We understand that traditional adoption comes with great responsibilities, it does not provide anyone permission to falsely claim Indigenous origin identity,” the collective said in a statement. “Being adopted into an Indigenous family and community does not authorize anyone to speak on behalf of all our people.”

The Indigenous Women’s Collective also condemned Sainte-Marie for what they called her appropriation of the trauma that many Indigenous people have experienced.

A 2022 report by M├ętis lawyer Jean Teillet for the University of Saskatchewan suggests that tens of thousands of people in Canada are pretending to be Indigenous, and that the number is growing.

TallBear* said she hopes that the CBC’s investigation into Sainte-Marie and similar cases in recent years will prompt institutions to more thoroughly vet claims of Indigeneity, rather than taking people at their word.

“Now what we really need to do is at universities, different professional organizations, go beyond self-identification. You can’t just check a box. You have to provide some sort of testimony or documentary proof that you have citizenship in or kinship relations with a First Nation or a tribe,” she said.

·       Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta.

Wednesday was brutal. I left here at 8:30 am to walk Sheba before lining up for the 9:20 ferry. It was dismally dark, damp and cool. Once on the big island, I went to Budget Glass to buy my second piece of ceramic glass for five hundred bucks. Fixing my fireplace has cost me a thousand dollars, but now, I’m confident, it is fixed and will last. Plus, I have a template to keep should the glass break again. 

Then we went to Wallmart for more pet supplies before heading back into the city to first walk Sheba again, and then to meet Bev for lunch at a new restaurant I had discovered online called Melange. I was not confident that Bev would be there or that the restaurant would be open. Plus, it was a bitch to find parking. I was stressed to the max as I hurried to the place. But it was open, and she was there.

Lunch together was wonderful. The restaurant is lovely, slightly hip, and quiet. Quiet is essential for me if I am going to be able to talk. We had a great time; we loved our server, and the food was wonderful. Then I was off to the eye doctor. My appointment was for 2:35. I saw him at 3:50 and I was stressed to the max from the waiting. Sheba had been alone in the car too much by then.

Finally, it was over, we made a bee line to the ferry and just missed one, so we went for a walk and caught the next one, getting home at 5:15. It has been a long day. I had to feed all the pets and then I put the glass into the door. It was an excellent fit, and so then I built a roarer of a fire to heat my cold house. 

In the evening, I wrote my essay for Dr. Shoja, whom I see on Monday via Zoom. I’m really pleased with what I have written, but I have time to refine it before our appointment.

Today will be spent enjoying every second of being home and not having to do anything but what I want. I absolutely crashed last night when I got home. It was classic me. I get myself through all that I need to do, and then I go to pieces once all the demands are met. I felt like I was going to explode last night. I wanted to sell this place and move to where I don’t need wood for heat, a generator, a splitter and where a strata council handles all repairs. I felt completely overwhelmed by life last night. So, today is about rest and relaxation. I’ll also attend to little things around the house needing doing.

But most of all: R&R!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Broken Glass

Well…I’m terribly impressed with myself because I hauled my butt outside and split wood for an hour yesterday afternoon. It was cool and overcast, but there was no rain again all day, and it wasn’t bad, doing the work, at all. But it hurts my back bending over to place the wood on the splitter and holding it there as it is split.

I can. However, sustain doing it for an hour and in my hour yesterday, I split enough wood to take me to David’s visit, and when he’s here, I hope to get his help in splitting more wood. It’s an entirely different thing, going outside my comfort zone when I have company to help me. But I’m really chuffed I got as much done as I did.

Also, I got the bed out of the car, tidied the car, and installed the extra seats I need for when Paula and David are here. That, too, is work outside my comfort zone. Yesterday was a productive day, and once I was done, I took Her Highness walking before grabbing my book and hitting the chaise for a recovery read.

In the evening, I was pooped. I went to bed and 9:00 and slept soundly until 5:00 this morning, when I got up to face a busy day in Nanaimo meeting my friend Bev for lunch, dealing with the glass door of the fireplace insert, and getting supplies for David and Paula’s visit in the big box stores.

That meant removing the glass from the door and it wouldn’t budge. I sprayed WD40 all around the edges and tried again and I broke the glass. However, it didn’t shatter, so I was able to use the broken pieces to make a new smaller template. Sigh. The glass I broke was less than two weeks old and it cost five hundred bucks! Damn.

But I reckon this new template will sustain the expansion and contraction of the frame of the metal door. I’m hoping for a case of second time lucky.