Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Rest Day; Good News

Tuesday was a painful day. I decided to live through the day without Ibuprofen and it was painful. I could only slide my left leg forward, I couldn’t life it and place it like a normal person. And it hurt like hell—so bad, on the x-ray table, I had a little seizure from the pain of the technician moving my leg.

But what a beautiful place Chemainus is! I loved it, it is so quaint and gentle, right on the water. The medical centre was easy to find (and full of old people like me). I didn’t have to wait long and everyone was lovely. I hurried back to the ferry terminal and arrived in time to almost drive right onto the ferry. Sheba and I were both thrilled to get home. We both went directly to the bed for a nap.

When I got up, I had an email from Kris Gabbott. She is a delightful friend. I just adore her. I asked her for help in talking to BC Tel. I wanted to see if I could get their help in having a pre-recorded message play on my land line, when I answer it, advising people to be patient as I have so much difficulty speaking on the phone.

BC Tel has yet to respond, but Kris also wrote to her cousin who works at GF Strong, the rehabilitation centre and their response has been amazing. She and I have been hearing from Kristin, a speech language therapist, and Laura, an occupational therapist and we’re now arranging for some Zoom calls so that I can be assessed. Also, they have sent me a link to CAYA (Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults). They have a long waiting list, but they may be able to help me better deal with the phone.

It’s been 7 years since my speech failed and this is the closest that I’ve ever come to practical assistance.

And more good news. I can move my left leg today. I am so relieved, but I’m not na├»ve either. I know I’m going to have issues with this leg forever.

Today has been slow. Two days of urban excitement start tomorrow, so today is a day of rest.

(No photos today. And no more posts until Saturday or Sunday.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

To Chemainus

Monday became cloudy early in the morning and the overcast skies disappointed me because I wanted Pinecone Park to shine in the sunlight for Leslie’s visit. But by the time I had to drive to pick her up at the ferry terminal, the sun was out, and we were two friends very happy to be together having a lunch together in my back yard. 

It was hard to sleep due to the pain in my hip. I chose not to take an Ibuprofen because I don’t think it’s a good thing to be on the Ibuprofen diet. So, I will hobble around in pain today. I’m off to Chemainus for my bone density test. 

This hip issue is going to have a severe impact on how I do things around Pinecone Park.
















Monday, May 29, 2023

Tent Caterpillar Infestation!

Our island is experiencing and infestation of Tent caterpillars. It’s truly an infestation. They are everywhere. You cannot walk a trail without killing several of them with every step. Three times a day I go out and flick them off my Apple trees. 

They are born in webs that form in the trees. The trees look like they are covered in balls of cotton candy—but it’s grey-brown cotton. The caterpillars mature inside the web and then burst forth, just bazillions of them, and they rain down on me as I walk. There are tons of them everywhere, but they don’t last long. They die or become butterflies very quickly. 

Saturday was unbelievable. I did relatively nothing because my left hip/leg is killing me. I have new rules: have Ibuprofen as soon as I wake up, and lead with the right. I dare not step down with my left foot because the leg will give way and it hurts like a hammer on my nerve. Life is going to get much more expensive if this doesn’t get better. I’ll be having to pay for wood services to get the splitting and stacking done. 

In cub scouts, we got patches for diverse experiences that we’d sew onto the sleeve of our uniform. I still think of a patch for all my life achievements. Today, I earned a patch: it’s a triangular patch, silver with blue tread, and the print along the top of the wide side of the triangle says, “welcome.” And underneath it is embroidered a walker.

In the afternoon, I went over to Jay’s. He gave me some starter Virginia Creeper plants. It’s a fast-growing ivy-like plant that I plan to put along the wall of my house that faces the setting sun.

Sunday began with Ibuprofen and then I was out flicking Tent caterpillars off my Apple trees. I can hardly wait for this infestation to disappear.

Her Highness and I went for a lovely morning walk and then I started shlepping wood from the back of the lot into the woodshed. This task will end this year’s wood. I’ll have enough wood I figure, for next Winter, and I was happy, as I began, to be ending the wood stacking for another year. But man-oh-man it is tiring. I’d stack a bit, then heave myself into the jungle of branches and split wood so that I could throw the wood from the back closer to the shed.

Did you pick up on that word, ‘throw.’ I may have ruined my shoulder forever with that move. Some pieces were mighty heavy, so I took a break every half hour. It was heavy, hard work, but at least I was able to work in the shade by starting quite early in the morning. On breaks, I practiced my monologue for Friday’s performance in Victoria.

I was surprised at how much I could do in half an hour. Each session was the same: stack the wood I’d thrown close to the shed, and then go to into the jungle of bucked tree trunks and broken branches to throw more split wood close to the shed. Then I’d take a break and come into the house panting like a racehorse.

I worked without angst, knowing that I had tomorrow to work on it as well. Tuesday is a day off when I go to Chemainus to have a bone density test. And Wednesday is for drenching my beds so that they survive until Saturday when I return from Victoria. 

By 1:30, my body was saying ‘no more!’ I stopped and had a rest, but I decided to finish the job completely, and with one more cycle, and the biggest pieces, I was done. It’s over for another years. All my wood is stacked. Then it was time for a spa before our afternoon walk together. And Sunday was done. It was time for the couch, then dinner and a movie.

Leslie is coming this way today. I’m not sure what that means, but we’ll get together somewhere, here or on the big island. It’s exciting for me; I love Leslie. She held my hand to help me through a challenge way, way back (late 70s), and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s a sister for me.

Today is, yet again, brilliantly sunny, but it’s not hot. It’s perfect weather, and it’s been this way since April 26th. There’s no end in sight, either. I’d love a day of good heavy rain. It’d be good for my hip and my gardens.















Sunday, May 28, 2023

Pinecone Park

After the sun went down last night, I went out and took these photos. I find it easier to see details in the flat light of pre-dusk. Have a tour of Pinecone Park (sort of), and remember there was no fence, no soil, tons of garbage strewn about, and only one plant. Everything you see is my work except the Salal around the bast of most of my trees.

When I exit my backdoor I cross my crappy deck (look at it!) There's
a big bushy Clematis on my right. This is what I call my courtyard.
On the right, is the shed, home of wood, chopping station and tools.
Across the way is my studio, soon to be re-purposed.

Now I'm on the other side of the deck, on the other side of the 8-man
hottub. The table's on the former fire pit, the barbecue is on a walkway
to the table. That's my Cherry tree beside the table.

This garden delights me. It's my blue garden, that isn't ALL blue. It
amazes me because I've managed to grow this garden on top of the
fibrous matt of Fir tree roots beneath it that eagerly soak up water.

Once everywhere there was lovely lawn. It just won't come back the
next year. I've tried, I've tried, and given up. We are now going natural
in Picecone Park and filling the landscape with plantings to that you
don't notice the crappy lawns.

This is my boardwalk—famous in my own mind. I got crates on the big
island and took them apart to get the individual pieces of wood. I treated 
them all with preservative, but some have gone. Still, it works. I have it 
for the wheelbarrow to the Forest Gate were I have a 15-mter wide strip
across my lot for all the crap I remove from the gardens and lawns after
everyWinter. This path may change to gravel next year.

This little garden has really come along this year with the
addition of soil and plants. This garden is beside the forest
gate and once was a native little garden of Campion, but
they died, so I did plantings.

I have big ceramic planters scattered around, I've included
photos of three of them; eight are not shown.


To think that once grass get here. My heart pounds. To my right is
what I call my orchard. (It's a joke.) This is what I call the Tree Garden
because it's under 5 of them.


This garden is slowly maturing. It still appears sparse, but over the past 4
years, it's beginning to look good. I have to say that this is a favourite 
garden because it has overcome challenges—growing on Fir roots
and getting hours of very hot midday sun.

So ... this is 'the orchard..' I call it that only because I thought I'd
have more trees here, but even though its's the sunniest part of my
fenced garden, it's not enough. But they always have little apples.


That's the shed in the back. And that potted big-leafed 
plant is a gift from a neighbour. 

I love this because I made the lifting with Pinecone Park on it, and 
I planted Ivy. I love the I've because it makes the place look old.


Oregano—lots of Oregano, Rosemary, Chives, Basil,
lettuce, Fennel and Dill. This is one of four raised
beds in my Edible garden. The other beds have Blueberries
(2 beds) and Raspberries (one bed).

New Dwarf Lilac (left), behind it unseen is the new little Italian
Plumb tree., Flame Maple behind the lounge chair, Apple to it's right, 
and my majestic Paulownia (4 years old).

This is Deer-Proof Garden. It's in the front yard where no one goes.

The Flame Maple went in last year. It is growing just
wonderfully this year. The Rhododendron in the back
is the only plant that was here when I came.

This is a north-facing wall. I hated the exposed concrete, I found
a plant to grown there and it's slowly providing a far more appealing
look for the front of my home. That's my bedroom window. It looks
out on the front yard and the Deer-Proof garden.

This is my baby lettuce that's heat sensitive.

This Thyme self-seeded here and the patch gets bigger every year.
It's right where I go every time I go out. I love it.

The sound of gently trickling water creates an unbeatable 
soundtrack for the backyard—that and birdsong. And the
bees and birds love it for drinking and washing. 

Petasites Japonicus, Elwin, a nice neighbour, gave it to me.

Digitalis self-seeded in the cracks of the courtyard.

Way in the back ... the hammock.