Tuesday, June 18, 2024

My Dear David

 Monday was a decent day. Bright and sunny in the morning, cloudy through mid-day, and then sunny again from 2:00 onward. After our walk in the morning with our friends, I got busy raking the yard. We’ve had a lot of wind lately, and so there was a ton of forest fall scattered through the yard, and there was a lot of dog poop to pick up ahead of today’s little tea with Kris and Nancy.

I should have been baking, but one can’t do everything one would like to do, so I chose to see what I could purchase at Nester’s to serve instead. While Ron walked Sheba, I went into the village and got some cookies and some small mousse desserts. Once she was back, we spent the remainder of the day in the gardens. I pulled, cut and tidied while Her Highness played with Sosa from next door.

The evening was short because I was beat. I went to bed at 9:00!

When I awoke this morning, it was spitting rain and it had clearly been raining in the night. I was disappointed that Kris and Nancy, when they come for tea this afternoon, might be visiting with me indoors. I’d planned on being in the garden in full sunshine. The weather report says it may become sunny later in the day. My fingers are crossed.

Above: David, my surrogate nephew, first came to Vancouver when he was 19. This photo was taken then. He was thrilled, he later told me, to meet Steve and I and to see two men living their lives together. We became roll models for him for a while, and I was the first person to whom he came out I am very proud of that, and I’m also proud of how close we have remained. He’s now in his mid 50s.

Monday, June 17, 2024

To Nanoose Bay


As Her Highness and I walked a favourite trail, our spectacular morning became overcast, and it started to rain. It’s been very Spring-like of late with the weather changing dramatically often throughout the day. When we got home, I was disinclined to work in the rain so reclining on the chaise was in order—at least for a while.

I ordered a back brace from Amazon. So many things that I do hurt my back—weed whacking, wood chopping, wood stacking, using the wheelbarrow, etc.—I decided to buy one of those weightlifter type belts to support my back when I am doing yard work. 

In the afternoon, I picked up Ali and Peter at the ferry terminal, to drive them home. It feels good to help a neighbour.

Last night, I went out for a walkabout with Sheba. She ran to the fence gate because Sosa was there, wagging his tail. I opened the gate and the two of them played themselves into exhaustion. I took about 20 minutes. Colleen was working on her backyard, so the dogs have almost an acre to play on together. I feel good that I can provide so much safe room for Sheba to play in. And it felt good having a chat with Colleen.

It was 13° last night when I was talking with Colleen. That’s mighty chilly for this time of year. But it’s better than high temperatures for getting things done.

I reckon these new blue pills make me kind of sludgy. I feel kind of thick. Perhaps, lethargic. No surprise there, from what I’ve seen in movies and on television. Time will tell if it yields some measurable and positive benefit in management of my symptoms.


The day dawned cool and cloudy, but the weather did not diminish my enthusiasm for the adventure of going to Nanoose Bay to visit Dianne. I packed a lunch for Her Highness and my book and glasses, and we headed off on an early morning ferry. 

On the way to Di’s place, I picked up some groceries for our lunch and to bring home. I arrived there just past 10:30 am and we got a warm welcome from Jane and Dianne. We got down to gossip until it was time for lunch, and then, after lunch, Jane left for home and Dianne, Sheba and I went for a beach walk.

I left Di at 3:30 so as to catch a ferry before 5:00 when the schedule drastically slows down, and I made it. Not only that, the dull and dark day had turned beautiful and bright. The cats were mad for food, as was Her Highness, so I quickly got them all fed before getting my dinner ready and then plopping down on the couch to watch the Tonys.

Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! The Tony Awards. They are pure opium to me, and last night’s show was a tremendous one. I was weeping many times: when Danya Tamar won for best direction of a musical; when seeing the choreography of Illinoise; Daniel Radcliff winning best supporting actor in a musical, hearing Daniel Radcliff’s speech, seeing Jonathan Groff crying with joy for Daniel, his costar; seeing Jonathan Groff win best actor in a musical; watching and listening to Jonathan’s speech; and seeing Daneil Radcliffe react to Jonathan’s tribute to him from the stage; Merrily We Roll Alongwining best revival (and that stars Daniel and Jonathan).


Today is a glorious day. We’ll be walking with our friends and then I’ll be sprucing up the garden in advance of Kris and Nancy’s visit tomorrow for tea/wine in the garden.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

A Goodbye Letter

By the time we were ready to go to meet our friends to walk, there was lots of blue sky overhead. We were happy not to be walking in rain and I was looking forward to getting more yard work done when I got home. However, when I got home, it had turned dark, and it felt like rain. I brought the laundry in and lit a small fire to help heat the house and dry my clothes. Ron came at 1:00 to walk Her Highness, and shortly after he left, it began to rain. I was pruning, so I kept at it, got wet, and then the sun was back.

I continue to feel better. I credit my conversation with Dr. Shoja, but it is both of us who make me feel better. I write to her often between meetings, and that copy becomes the course of each meeting. I do a lot of thinking and writing between every meeting. I have earned my improvement. It also could be this new drug that I am on. I had 2 naps yesterday because I felt absolutely beat. When I read about the drug, I was happy to be on it, even if it makes me weary. I have lots of time.

I’m looking forward to Sunday and visiting Dianne. The only time I go to the big island, is to go to the hospital (pacemaker clinic) or the eye clinic. Sunday I am going just for fun. It would be nice were it a beautiful sunny day, but it is likely to be cloudy. Still, it’s an adventure made possible by the presence of a dear and trusted friend.

Ten days ago, when things were dark within, home was feeling like a prison. But no more. And I value the work I do. It gives me something to do; it keeps me busy outside where I love to be when it is sunny. What a difference 10 days can make. I feel content again. That’s the best that I can do and it’s a very comfortable feeling for my broken brain.

I wrote a goodbye letter to my dearest of young friends, Todd and Jessica. I was pleased with the letter. The dominant theme concerns how much I love them and why. I also say that I will never stop loving them. But it’s just weird because of Jess’ mother dumping me in a mean way. My relationship with Todd and Jess is suffering collateral damage. I wanted to write the letter as much for me. 

I hope it puts the whole family/relationship comfortably in the past. Writing the letter was part of my effort to settle my mind in hopes of improving my speech. I had a seizure the night the boys were here for dinner. A fairly long and difficult one. I don’t expect them to stop, but by quitting fitness and the Sunday dog walk, I will have far fewer of them.

Kris and Nancy are coming for tea/wine/goodies on Tuesday. They’re coming to see the garden, and I’m excited about having them over for snacks and drinks in the garden. Today has dawned bright and sunny, although rain and lightning are predicted. I shall putter around the gardens to tidy things up as best I can so that on Tuesday, Pinecone Park is looking at its best. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

A Lovely Late Afternoon Walk

Wednesday was a lovely soft day that was bright and sunny, but not at all hot. At its hottest, it was 17°, but that is perfect weather for napping in the sunshine. We walked with our friends in the morning, and I did weed whacking in the afternoon. I quit working at 3:00 for a soak, then I dressed and took Her Highness to Drumbeg for a walk before we went to Nancy’s for dinner.

Drumbeg was beautiful. There was only one car there, but we never saw the people. We had the entire park to ourselves. And what a gorgeous early evening it was! At Nancy’s, we ate outside, which was lovely, but I was dreadfully poor at speaking. I was terribly frustrated and unhappy, but Kris and Nancy were insistent that it didn’t matter. They are blessed. It started getting cool at 8:30. We lasted until 9:00 and then Sheba and I rolled home to go to bed early.

Thursday was as stunning a day as Tuesday was. Her Highness would not walk in the morning, so we went directly to the village for grocery supplies, and then I came home to water the back garden. It takes forever to do, but I’m at peace with it because it’s like feeding pets. As I watered, I saw lots of pruning that needs to be done, so that will be next on my list.

In the afternoon, she would walk, probably because we went to a trail she loves. And then I came home to water the front and edible gardens. I’m relieved to have all my floral pals well soaked. There’s a chance we’ll have showers to today; I hope that we do. And rain is predicted for tomorrow and clouds for Sunday (the day I go to Nanoose to visit with Dianne). So, no more watering for me until Tuesday or Wednesday.

I called my friend, Beth, to tell her that her Facebook account had been duplicated by a scammer who’d asked me to friend him/her. I cannot comprehend the kind of person who plots to steal from others. But although it was hard to speak with her, it was lovely to see her and have a chat. 

The comics in newspapers never interested me. I thought they were all pretty stupid. But I must have read some of them because I remember that Dick Tracey, who was a cop or a private investigator, had a phone, or perhaps even a video phone, on his wrist. How stupid, I thought, that’ll never happen.

I feel terribly lucky to have waited to fall apart in old age. Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, etc., allow me to use a phone. I cannot functionally speak on my land line. I need to see someone to enable speech, so every time I use one of these services, I am aware of how grateful I am for them. E-mail as well, is a Godsend for me. It is for everyone, but for someone who can’t speak, it’s a miracle.

I went to bed feeling good about life again. I always feel better after seeing Dr. S. I’m happy to understand why I can speak to strangers and its so much harder with friends. She says that the more I like someone, the more my brain goes on alert, anticipating betrayal/abandonment. And she figures the incident involving Chris and Frani—particularly Frani—has made my symptoms worse. Somehow, it feels easier to live with when there’s a rational explanation for the behavior.

Besides all that which is in my head, I’m also happy to be back at work in the yard every day. Everything looks so much tidier when I am done. There’s lots more to be done, and so I’ll be at it again today and Saturday. (Sunday, I go to Nanoose Bay to visit Dianne.) Having watered everything, I feel in control, on top of things, and that feels really good in my broken brain.

Whoa, it rained during the night and this morning we have thick clouds overhead. I’m rather thrilled because I so thoroughly watered yesterday, this rain will ensure that the weed cover gets a good soak, and my gardens will be good for several days. Showers are predicted for tomorrow, as well! The sun won’t be back until Monday. Regardless of the wetness, I may be able to do some pruning today, otherwise I’ll be reading.

Here are some photos from yesterday afternoon’s walk:

we began on a little used trail that we like.
The path is narrow.

Her Highness is dwarfed by the Ferns.

The first meadow; from here on, the trail is wider.

Sadly, you cannot easily see that this part of the trail is filled
with tall Digitalis plants that are grand. Perhaps you can see
them if you click on the image to enlarge it.


I could never return to city life, not after living with trails
like this right at the end of my street.

In this area, the understory is almost entirely Ferns.

The other side of the trail: More Ferns!

These gorgeous little flowers are everywhere.

The second meadow.

It's Daisy time. The forest is full of them.

The third meadow.

The Alders are beautiful in this part of the forest.