lobster boats, polaroids & healing

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Polaroid daffodils from Tuesday - a summer day in April

As many of you may know Polaroid film became defunct beginning in 2008. I just happen (luckily) to have a stash in my fridge (3 film paks of 10 shots each) and a few shots left in the film pak that's currently in my camera. I've decided to only use the remaining film for flowers - for this kind of film seems wasted on far away vistas, landscapes or views without a vibrant punch of colour.

This early morning the sounds outside our open windows are the roar of lobster boats racing out of our little harbour and into the Strait. The season starts tomorrow and today they'll set their pots/traps. I listen always to a Prince Edward Island CBC radio station and today they're broadcasting from the docks, all the talk is lobster talk. It's a big deal, huge crowds gather to wave the boats (36 from their shores) out and into the open ocean for this beginning of another lobster fishing season. Here in our little village, 50 paces from our front door is the park that runs along the harbours edge and early this morning a small crowd would have also gathered (we weren't up early enough to join them although I always mean to). People sit in their cars along the park or at picnic tables under the trees that are just beginning to bud, watching the dozen or so fisherman from this harbour and their boats ceremoniously trailing out into the Strait. It really feels like the unofficial beginning of summer it's the day that marks the end of our sleepy little winter village and the start of a bustling, busy, summer destination village. A Cape Cod of the North we are. I saw a Land Rover at the grocery store the other day another sure sign that the season has begun.

Winnie's coming along great. Her Mama on the other hand, well, she's much slower to heal. Scar tissue. She's been having a hard time dealing with this serious knee injury- sleepless nights, Worry & Fret have been hangin' around for days then sure enough the rest of the motley crew arrives - Ache and Sadness - they all loaf around here eating pizza pops and playing video games too loudly. Mama becomes distracted and can't concentrate. And she dreams of someone to look after her.

Although yesterday was a bit better. I slept a bit longer and sounder, I noticed Miss D in the afternoon used her bad leg to give under her chin a good scratch and it didn't seem to hurt her and last night when we walked down to the edge of the park she was beginning, tentatively, to put a little weight on that foot.

I watched the movie 21 grams last night - in my top 10 fav movies. Sean Penn and Naomi Watts are amazing in it. One of those movies that makes you feel - so intensely. Also by the same director/writer/cinematographer is Babel - also in my top 10 - visually stunning, heart breaking characters and plots that force you to participate in them.

off to the races

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

cheery yellow & cream daffodils from our gardens

It's nearly 7am. My nights have been restless and my sleep sporadic. I tried last night sneaking upstairs to sleep in my own bed for a few hours only to almost instantly hear the jangling of Winnie's collar and tags and she got up off her bed and positioned herself on the floor as close to the barricaded stairs as possible. So back down I came. For those of you who've been visiting Black Street for awhile you know my girl Miss D has some issues. She's a nervous, quite dependent shelter girl who now and forever will suffer the effects of a very bad first year of life. We don't think that she was necessarily physically abused but she was starved and ignored and she learned to be very wary of people and life in general from a very early age. She's an anxious dog and I can tell that she's become more anxious since injuring her back leg Sunday.

She often has a worried, apprehensive expression on her face - I remind myself that that is her personality but these last few days while caring for her and her serious leg injury that expression is pulling at my heart constantly. What's she thinking ? Is she uncomfortable ? I wonder. She's always been a very picky eater - some concoction I've made for her might be a big hit Monday and Tuesday and suddenly become completely unappealing to her by Wednesday. The medication she's on now must be given with food - another added stress - dreaming up things that she'll like (other than cat food) and making sure that she eats so that I can squirt her daily dose of liquid Metacam in her mouth.

This morning, we've been outside for a stroll and sniff around our yard & garden, she's taken care of both businesses (you dog lovers know that this is a tres important observation and detail - being sure all systems continue to be a go) she's had a bite of cat food and a poached chicken breast followed by her squirt of medicine ... so it would seem this early morning ... that we're off to the races.

on the mend

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

daphne - the first blossoms in our garden each spring

My girl Winnie Dixon does indeed have a ruptured ACL (it makes me feel queasy when I think about it), our vet was able to discern this with a simple manual examination. Now the mending begins. I'm still sleepy this morning and up a bit later than usual. Sometime through the night Miss D decided that she'd leave her giant conjoined dog bed(s) on the living room floor and join Mama up on the sofa. Sigh. The things we do 'cause we love them so much. I slept the rest of the night with my knees up around my chest so that Winnie could have lots of room to stretch out.

We came home from the vet with a bottle of Metacam an anti-inflammatory/pain medicine, instructions to just go easy and the OK to continue our twice daily jaunts (although they'll be much shorter initially). Exercise is important for a dog on the mend, both physically and mentally. And I do know Missy D gets a lot O' stimulation from her twice daily intense olfactory investigations. She had this very same injury, in the summer of '06, and it did take months but gradually, gradually she regained complete use of her right hind leg and, other than the thickness (to the touch) of her knee joint, you'd never know today that she had an injury.

It is amazing how quickly dogs adapt. She's scooting around already quite well on her three good legs. I must try today to make up time since the last two days were a complete and total write off as far as my productivity goes. I'm off to the lands of bubbles & scent and then out we'll go for our little walk along the harbour's edge.
I love her so.

And Hey ! Thanks for all the love, hugs and well wishes sent Winnie Dixon's way.
and thanks to MLou for talking me down (or least trying to) from that ugly and frightening place I so love to climb to.


Monday, April 27, 2009

my girl Winnie Dixon

Winnies' no better this morning and the more I hunt and research online the more I am beginning to think that it is a left hind ACL injury - a torn or ruptured ligament at the knee. The ligament that attaches the shin bone to the thigh bone. An injury that's very common in dogs (and football players) and one she's already been through on her other hind leg (4 or 5 years ago). The first torn cruciate ligament has healed wonderfully over time (without surgery), no limping or affected gait and the only lasting sign she has today is a thick (calcification) knee cap and an increased likelihood of arthritis in her right back leg.

I've found out (through my research) that it's very common for dogs who've torn the ligament on one side to eventually tear the other side. It is an injury that does happen suddenly and the most telling sign is that the dog will not bear any weight on that foot. The knee has become wobbly and unstable and the dog is not necessarily in much pain, or any pain at all but as you can imagine it doesn't feel right to place weight on a wobbly knee.

Sigh. I had maybe two hours sleep last night and that was with the help of a 2am Ativan (a drug that definitely helps you to fall sleep) only to wake three hours later to the sputtering of my timer set coffee machine feeling as if I'd been asleep for 10 mins. It's a drug that relaxes you but it drastically condenses time - in my experience. I had a million things I needed to do yesterday and I didn't do a one. I'm feeling a little less freaked out about Miss D's injury but times like this I feel as if my emotional life hangs precariously by the thinnest of threads ... and it wouldn't take much to finally snap that thread. As if I can't handle one more thing. My coping vessel is already filled to the brim.

I'm off to the lands of bubbles and scent. Lavender & orange. I've blocked the landing to the stairs to the second floor with chairs because if not Missy D will try to climb them - she really likes to hang near her Mama. She's curled up comfy on the sofa and I must try today to make up time for yesterday's failings. I'll call the vet's office past 9am.

What I'd really like to do is to go outside and lie down in the grass with my girl, stare up at the blue sky and completely forget about the world.

The first big ship of the season is gliding by my studio window on a harbour of glass. The humming of the engine and the familiar clanging as they drop anchor.

update We have an appointment (Miss D and I) this afternoon 2:15 with our favourite vet Diane in the nearest next town a 40 min drive away. Fingers crossed.

DS Sunday No.4

Sunday, April 26, 2009

build a better burger

The theme for this week's Dim Sum Sunday over at the Karmic Kitchen is Burgers

From the bottom up
new great idea the thin bun buttered & toasted
slather of Dijon mustard
homemade sweet fruit chili relish
Vidalia onion slices
sliced of fresh tomato
dill pickle slices
grilled beef burger, salt, pepper, lea & perrins sauce and steak spice
smoked Gouda cheese
bacon strips
sauteed mushrooms

ya know I'm just not that much of a burger girl anymore ... it looks so much better than it tastes ... I shoulda made a veggie burger. sigh.

Back to Missy D's bedside for some pm nursing. She's happy, she's sweet as can be, she's eating (burgers and hot dogs and flat orange pop - kidding - about the flat orange pop) but she still won't put any weight at all on that foot. That darn foot/leg/hip ??? She's had an epsom salt foot bath and Mama is thinkin' of having and Ativan & ginger cocktail. I am so tres neurotic when it comes to les Gang. Fingers crossed and prayers are said.

forget me not

the most perfect tiny pale blue flower

When I look at them ... I am reminded how astounding nature is. Our garden is filled with forget me nots - not yet in blossom but soon, very soon.

Miss D has hurt her back leg. She awoke this morning fine, bounded down the stairs and outside into her vast fenced in dog yard with her normal enthusiasm (to take care of a little business) and came back into the house not able to put any weight on her left back leg. Of course Mama totally freaked (as is her nature) and immediately began going through her doggie 911 check list. Was she bleeding, had she cut her paw ? was it a thorn ? a burr ? was her hip dislocated ? her knee ? I palpitated her entire limb gently while scrutinizing her every facial expression, is she in pain ? are any areas of her leg or foot warm ? I check her gums, are they pale ? is she bleeding internally ? (she's limping, I remind Mama !) is she still hungry ? could I tempt her with some cat food ? Thankfully all nos and a resounding yes to the cat food. Oh Thank God ! OK ... try and calm down Susan. She turned 10 in January. Please Missy D, live to be a very old dog.

So I sit here this morning a little later than usual at my lap top (hence more archival photographs) in our dining room. Winnie's one of those dogs who will insist on following me wherever I might go and I don't want her to try and climb the stairs. I've been able only to race upstairs for minutes at a time to retrieve a few things and even by then she's hobbled up onto the landing at the bottom of the stairs. I'll forgo the bubbles & scent this morning, I'll rearrange my Sunday schedule a bit and I'll hang with her today, keep an eye on her. I did give her an ASA tablet (325g- she weighs about 65lbs) and she's now sleeping soundly on her living room bed. I'm thinking and hoping that it's just a bad sprain.

A fantastic dog first aid kit list every dog lover should either print or bookmark.

O & F

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oliver and the Forsythia

Sunshine, warm temperatures, no wind, the first lobster boats of the season float on a harbour as still as glass, big plans (always), Home Hardware, dirt, seeds, pots and more pots, trellises and peony cages constructed from branches, Bleet (my out in the garden companion and helper), CBC radio, ice tea with lemon and an old white wicker chair perched on our porch. Lulu's chair. Saturday ... Sunday.

an open heart

Friday, April 24, 2009

Best Breed

A little longer & curlier fur, maybe a cowboy hat with a red bandanna and I
might wonder if it wasn't our boy Jake ridin' that bicycle, our Mr. Howdy Doody -
What's Ya
Doin' ? dog. Sigh.

Gorgeous paintings and drawings all from AimeƩ Sicuro - purchase prints at her etsy shop Weather Girl and she too, has a blog.

An open heart sets sail

An open heart sets sail ... what a great title and such a beautiful image.
An open heart, ready & willing to set sail, destination - a new teeny, tiny life.
Hotel room sized - s'il vous plait & merci.

It's Friday which means absolutely nothing special - to us. Sunday, Friday, Tuesday they're all kinda the same. However a tres bright spot on the near horizon - we are in for several days of freakishly warm weather avec sunshine and boy do we deserve it. I heard last night the temperature will rise to +30 in parts not far from here by Sunday - that's summer weather. So I'm gearin' up for a weekend of raking, and wheeling, and dragging and poking and prodding and general cleaning up outside in our vast queendom ... some basking in bright sunshine, some lolling in warm breezes, a glass or several of ice tea with lemon wedges and I'm hopin' several long walks, way out, along sandbars at lowest tide with my girl Miss D.

Happy weekend to all.

Welcome spring

Two sided truth

rocket man

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ernst Haeckel - such beauty. The first time these incredible illustrations
were brought to my attention was while visiting Willow Manor one day.
I ordered this book yesterday.

When I was in high school I was a huge Elton John fan, my girlfriends and I owned every single album. We knew all the words to every song and we would sing them out loud together. My favourite album was and still is Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboys with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road a very close second.

Delightful silliness and a fantastic song - via Serendipity Factory

I bet ya know the words ... turn up the volume and lets all sing along

Rocket Man Lip Dub from Underground Planet on Vimeo.

more cures

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Winnie Dixon on the beach yesterday afternoon

Wide open spaces, blue sky and sunshine, not yet green pastures, red clay cliffs, sandbars and basking seals, perfect conversation and an hour long hike with my girl Missy D, a good friend (Sue of the POG*) and her little bulldog Miss Molly.

More cures.

I walked up to the post office early yesterday morning to mail a card and Sue and I had a lovely visit and chat - our little post office is very quiet at that time of day. We made a new plan while I was there to walk every noon that the weather is good, on her lunch hour at this gorgeous place - her family's property and farmland. These are photos from our first walk. Sigh

The mild weather has finally arrived. It's grey, tres windy and raining lightly this early morning. I'm plugging away at la list. Have been spending lots of time this week working on rustling up a few new customers and dreaming and scheming ways to grow & build that darn CE**. The forecast for the end of this week and weekend is for Summer - suddenly. +22 temperatures Wow ! With that in mind I must work diligently the next three days so that I'll be free to spend the weekend hacking away at our big jungle and dragging downed tree limbs around the yard.
Can't wait.

I'm realizing that the colours of our landscapes do look terribly dull and muted. That's just what spring looks like here and Hey ! I forgot Happy Earth Day !

POG* Post Office Girls
CE** Creative Empire


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a big red boy, his favourite sticks and a well loved stretch of Nova Scotia beach

Jake - sigh. We sure do miss you Noodle.
Was poking around in the archives again and came across this perfect photo.

The phone rings. I hesitate before answering. ugh, I think. It takes too much energy to talk to people. Let the machine get it.

A dinner engagement looms, a week away. I plot and scheme, even if part of me wants to go. What to do? Feign an illness? Claim unexpected house guests? How can I get out of this?

Another solitary evening stretches ahead, no social plans. I waver on the prospect, relief mixed with a vague sense of oppression. Can I bear another night of seclusion? Should I call a friend, make a plan? Four times out of five - four nights out of five - the voice of isolation wins: easier to stay in. Lonely, perhaps, but safer, much safer.

We tend to think of isolation as a product of geography and circumstance. The lonely widow, husband gone and children grown: she is isolated. But isolation can also be, and often is, a state of mind, a need for retreat that dictates choices. I fall into it the way you fall into an abyss: a dark, involuntary tumble that gathers momentum., becomes nearly impossible to arrest. I choose to be alone and then, when I've made that choice 10, 15 or 20 times in a row, I find I have no other choice.

from Time Alone - Navigating the line between solitude and isolation
Caroline Knapp - The Merry Recluse (a life in essays)

It does sneak up on you. It was never an intention of mine. How did this happen ? and Can I turn it around ? I wonder often to myself (and to MLou - she's the only one I truly let into this isolated life along with me). It's why I have to move, and it's why I need a new life ... I can't continue on this way.

new plan No. 612

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mr. Calico Love enjoying a big patch of Sunday afternoon sunshine

Warning - sleep inducingly boring post. Sigh. Oh no ! she's planning out loud again

Well this morning, this new beginning of a brand new week, this new Monday morning my plan is to begin planning my next new plan. Which would be plan No. 612. Humour me please.

Being self employed and working from home everything & all activities can and do begin to blend together. Saturday and Sunday don't seem much different than the days through the week (with the exception of my optional scheduled Sunday afternoon goof off nap/read time). My work life, my home life and my yard and garden life can and do all become one big distracting thing. Overwhelming at times, focus and attention draining almost always. I might be working away at the TTD* and go downstairs to make a pot of tea and not return to my desk for ages because I've become diverted, sidetracked by some unimportant and non urgent thing (like dishes, or a load of laundry). Sadly what happens with a life like mine is - it can seem like you're never ever really working while at the same time feeling like you're always working.

I have a new great long list of must do, fairly major let's sell this old brick house reno projects that have to be done (by me) - and soon. Also that CE** is not going to build itself, I need to continually excel at and grow my day job and those darn 7 invisible mute valets are no help at all. So ... in my ongoing efforts to devise some kind of schedule that will help me to accomplish this multitude of things that I must accomplish and all while working with my unique personality (wink) and fluctuating energy levels (super dynamo in the mornings, near slug like in the evenings) I have devised this newest of plans. Plan No. 612.

I will
begin today treating time spent at the TTD (9-5) like a real office job. I will attempt to pretend that the scary boss lady is hovering always nearby keeping track of my performance and time. Sadly I must say a fond farewell to the ongoing and constant lure of the www. The absolute worst distraction and time waster is - the net. Blogland, animal shelter land, cooking sites ... If you could see the history of my trolling the web on any given day - you'd be shocked. I am shocked. So ... a tres severe internet embargo is a MUST.

All this with the hopes of beginning (this week) a 4 day work week here at the teak topped desk. Leaving three days (and even more to the point) three mornings that I can work on this old brick house and my yard and garden. Plus June 27th there is a village wide yard sale and honestly I'd like to get rid of practically everything I currently own and make a fresh start in my new teeny, tiny life. Off I go.

Are ya still here ? if so have a Happy Monday

TTD* teak topped desk
CE* Creative empire

the cure

Sunday, April 19, 2009

MLou, L & Missy J

I'm so tired this early morning and Oh my I had such A Day yesterday. A day to cure all that ails you (or me anyway), a day that proves to me that friendship, a little shopping, a wee road trip, bright healing sunshine, warm spring weather, big hiking exercise and some spectacular Nova Scotia scenery will blow away any and all blues. Will mend sore and aching shoulders, will make lingering worried headaches disappear. Will make you sleep like a baby and wake feeling optimistic and bright. A day like yesterday reminds me that I'm quite sure I don't need an antidepressant - I just need a life.

I have isolated myself from the world. I work from home and have for the last 8 years. I was reclusive and shy to begin with but I've crossed over from occasional feelings of loneliness to down right isolation and that is the biggest reason for my sadness, the sadness that never really ever goes away. I'm afraid I may have fooled you all. I'm sure you don't really see that side of me because here in the land of Blog I am Madam Extroverted - somehow it always feels safe here to let her out. I said to MLou yesterday it's why I love blogging so much because I don't have to live in a world with people - it is a lovely reasonable facsimile and a totally perfect world for the chronically self conscious.

I'm realizing when my days are filled up with companionship (I dare say that's No.1 and of course it must be the right kind of companionship 'cause not any old companionship will do), endless activity, exercise, a bit of fresh air and sunshine, lots of love and some good food - at the end of the day I'm far too tired, satisfied and content to feel bored, lonely or sad. I know I can't have days like yesterday every single day. But I'm sure going try and figure out a way to have them way more often. 'Cause... it sure is the cure for what ails me.

Merci MLou, L & Jigs

The Merry Recluse
by Caroline Knapp (another favourite writer and kindred spirit)