Monday, November 27, 2023

Busy Days


Saturday was another gorgeous day! Stacey and I walked our dogs together, starting at 7:30 in the dawn of morning.  So, the day was long. I did not do any yard work. Instead, I went shopping and came home to make some chowder. It’s acceptable, but not great, and then, at noon, I napped. Oh, how I love napping when I am tired. Ethel was on my lap; I was beyond contented.

I read in the afternoon, took Her Highness to the park to play fetch, and kept the fire reasonably high throughout the day. I was made for retirement, but not a moment of life prior to the onset of my condition, betrayed that capacity that I now value so highly. I was a workaholic and for much of my adult life I was also a marijuana addict. Now I have some marijuana in capsules periodically, and reading on the chaise is my preferred state. It's been a big turnaround. 

Stacy is off to Mexico. Kevin is off to Panama and Costa Rica. Bruce is going to Italy in the Spring and he’s just returned from TO and NYC. Eoin, François and Jay all just returned from Japan. Yesterday morning, after I got up and fed the family, jet Her Highness out and lit the fire, I went back to bed—not to sleep, just to rest in my favourite place on earth. Traveling is easy to resist. Travelling—not being in your destination(s), taking public transportation has become something to endure. It was once thrilling and very easy and enjoyable to do.

I loved travelling. Taking trips was my ultimate pleasure. And I have done just about all of it alone. Friends came to visit when I was in France, India and Africa because I went to these places for extended stays. They became favourite memories, but I’ve had enough adventures to satisfy me. Now, living in Pinecone Park with three (animal) children on, an island in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island and the most moderate climate in our country, I am thrilled to have my bed on infinite pleasures to go to at the end of every day. 

PS: Whenever I am in my bed, I am never ever alone.

I’ve loved animals my entire life. Ignored by the Tyrells, I found comfort in our pets—especially, Alec. My first love. It is such a story! He was born across the street from us, and given to their next door neighbour. Our huge dining room windows looked directly at the exposed yard of those neighbours, and I watched that poor cat scratch and the windows, asking to get inside, for years. I ached for Alec being left outdoors.

But outdoors was a big part of my world. When I was at home, I was alone in a room, but was a free-range child. It suited them, so I was almost always outside or at my friends, the Downeys, whenever I wasn’t sleeping or at school. I’d visit Alec often. And then, those neighbours moved to California, and they gave Alec to me. And we bonded, me and my first and deep, deep love. And adopted, like me. No parents (custodians), no siblings, and then Alec. When I met Alec, I knew how empty were my feelings for the Tyrells.

He's been present my whole life. When I look at Fred, also male, I consider him loved to Alec level. That is my term for a true and deep bond. And I have that, three times over, with my three lovelies. They anchor me here, as does the garden in Summer, to the park, to my bed.


Sunday was cool and overcast. There was neither sunshine nor rain. We began our day with the big community dog walk and I enjoyed myself because I spent much of my time walking with Lars, a fellow I met on the walk two weeks ago. He’s a warm and friendly fellow, a forester, and his partner, Mary, is also a lovely person. However, I have only really talked with Lars as Mary always leaves pretty quickly to join her soccer team practice.

I came home to a phone out of order. It took forever to fix it, and to fix it I had to move the fridge out of its home and into the kitchen so I could access the phone jack where it emerges from withing the framing of the house interior walls. And the floor where the fridge had been, was just disgusting. So, a thorough cleaning of the floor was in order.

Then I got to making the desserts I wanted to bake to take to Ali and Pete’s where I was invited for dinner. I decided to make pastries like I’d seen and loved in Italy. To make them involves making puff pastry (which akin to turning coal into diamonds). And to make the cones, I discovered something genius. I wrapped strips of puff pastry around a sugar cone that I covered with tin foil. 

I coated the raw dough with egg wash and a good sprinkling of powdered sugar. I let them cool once they were baked (standing up for even baking!) and then filled them with whipping cream and I sprinkled chopped up caramelized pecans on the top. Then, I lay them on their side and drizzled strings of melted chocolate over them, and I was pleased with them. They looked just like the pastries I’d seen in Florence.

Pete and Ali were impressed with my dessert, and we all liked eating them. Then we watched Waiting for Guffman, a favourite movie from years ago. And I was home by 9:00, and I did something I’ve never done before. I lit the fire, closed the damper quite a bit, loaded some wood onto the hearth and went to bed. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I added one more piece of wood to the fire and went back to bed. When I got up this morning, the house was toasty warm and there was wood to add to the fire.

Today, I rest. I’m pooped from socializing on the weekend, and the baking. I’ll be walking with my friends and then reading on the chaise. No yard work, no baking, nada; it’s a day of rest, because on Wednesday I go back to Nanaimo and the eye clinic.

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