Tuesday 16 July 2024

Rain rain rain

The past week has been amazing for rain in our area. Torrential downpours, thunder and lightning that feels extremely close, and then mini pauses between storms to give us a chance to recuperate before the next onslaught. They're saying 125 mm have fallen just today. We keep having to drain water from our 20 x 40' pool because it's threatening to overflow. We've dug four long trenches from the house, across the lawn to the street, to channel pooling water away from the foundations. The yard looks like a war zone now, but it beats having the basement flood. We will have to hire someone to come with heavy equipment and grade the yard away from the house. It has sunk over the years around the foundations. Thankful to have Son #1 here to help with the digging!

His friend sent a video yesterday -- he was riding the bus in Oakville, and the water on the road was so deep, it was washing into the bus and across the floor. Another friend said lightning hit his apartment building, and his wife had to go pick up his kid from daycare early because their roof collapsed. Whew!

My garden is also revealing its low spots where water is pooling 8 inches deep. The raspberries are looking moldy. But nothing seems to be flattened or drowned. I really think we're going to reach a point where all vegetable growing has to be done under cover, in climate-controlled structures that can catch the water and distribute it at a reasonable pace. The weather is too unpredictable, and nothing can handle such a deluge on a regular basis. And I'm pretty sure this is just the first of many storms.

Friday 5 July 2024

Funny dog

Brio is almost twelve now, still acting like a puppy other than a little hesitancy when it comes to jumping on the couch or going down stairs. He is my constant companion, not liking to let me out of his sight for a moment, so it wasn't unusual, as I was cooking today, that he was with me in the kitchen. He's always under foot, so I've learned to sort of ignore him.

I was grating cheese when I became aware that Brio was sitting at my feet staring up at me very pointedly. He has been taught to sit when asking for a treat, not jumping up or trying to climb my leg, and cheese is his favourite thing on the planet, so I knew what he was asking. I continued to work, so he scootched a couple of inches closer and sat again, quite emphatically. Thump. Just in case I missed the point the first time. So of course I had to reward him for asking so politely. 

He has a new habit now, too. I let him sleep on the foot of the bed at night, and usually he wakes me by tiptoeing up and staring at me, silently, laser-like, an inch from my face until I wake up from sheer telepathy. But lately he has been creeping up and pressing himself against my back, stretched out like a hot water bottle, and then every couple of minutes he'll bump me with his hip, like he's a hockey player checking an opponent into the wall. If I don't respond, he'll bump me again. He does this every few minutes until I give up and get out of bed. At which point he leaps from the bed, shaking to rattle the tags on his collar like a tambourine. She's up! Let's go!

Who says animals can't talk?

Wednesday 3 July 2024

Breaking Together by Jem Bendell and lessons to take away

I have been reading Jem Bendell's book Breaking Together, and -- without going into it too deeply -- it's about the collapse going on of society and life as we know it. This is due to a few factors, including our consumer and progress-driven mentality and climate change. We're feeling the effects of panicking elites who don't want any challenge to their power or way of life. We've been pushed into polarization and competition, and it has caused us -- ever expanding, ever grasping -- to destroy our earth and much of the life on it, including human life.

As you can imagine, there are some difficult truths pointed out in the book. I took 3 1/2 pages (in tiny writing) of notes, because he gives suggestions too, not just scary facts. These aren't solutions or answers, they're just ways we can respond. We may not be able to change things, but we can change how we show up, how we treat others, how we reclaim our own power. One thing that stood out to me is how my desire for a farm (and a bunker. And food storage. But yeah, mostly the farm) is an ego-centric response. What I need to do is be more open-hearted and community-minded, seeking small, local ways to replace the crumbling systems we currently depend on.

Anyway, there is a lot in the book about people's emotional response to all of the stuff that's happening, and in particular how today's youth are feeling. As I was reading the final paragraph of the book, two of my sons came home from a jaunt together, and they came into the room where I was sitting, plopped down, and chatted for a bit. I told them a little bit about what I was reading and some of the lessons I was absorbing from it. And I told them what Bendell had said about today's youth and the emotional struggle all of this is causing them. I told my sons that I was here if they ever needed to talk to me about any of this, and to let me know if they experienced any depression... and they both burst out laughing and said they'd been depressed for years, all their generation is. What could I do about it? As one son said, "I'm depressed! Fist bump. Good talk!" So I said I meant acutely depressed, which he hammed up, being cutely depressed. We ended up having a great laugh about it, actually, which is, in fact, a healthy thing, and really the only possible response. As they say, sometimes you have to laugh in order not to cry. Then they went downstairs to paint Warhammer, and I can still hear them down there laughing and talking animatedly. And I'm left sitting here with my notes and a whole lot in my head...

They're right. I can't solve anything. We can't guarantee any outcomes, or even hope for certain things in the future. I can't give them solutions, or even comfort, really. The earth is in a tough predicament, and it's going to get tougher. All we can do is acknowledge reality and then do our best to do the right thing, not because it will fix things but because it's right. We need to live open-heartedly and try to be creative and compassionate, no matter what happens next.

Thursday 20 June 2024

Meanwhile, upstairs...

This is going on above me. Floor being sanded three times and sealed three times to bring it back to its original natural colour. Will look amazing!

Writing Madly

I got word that my next manuscript has been accepted and is coming out in January 2026. This one is a non-fiction about making your life reflect your values. I've got some re-organizing and rewriting to do, so I've come up to the church we're renovating (we call it the cottage, which brings to mind a charming lakeside retreat with a woodstove, but don't let the term fool you. It's a full-on construction zone with boxelder bugs hatching out) to focus for a couple of weeks. Days spent at work, evenings spent musing and writing and muttering to myself and pacing and anxiety-eating and going for walks to visit the goats up the street and watching Hallmark movies and baking and more writing. It's my process.

Saturday 15 June 2024

You know you didn't get enough sleep when...

 You know you didn't get enough sleep when you turn on the dishwasher before going to bed, and the dishes are still hot when you go to have breakfast the next morning. Lukewarm Raisin Bran. Yum.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

The Garden is In...and Drowning

This week I finished planting the last of the seeds and seedlings. I've taken a new approach, using dry cooking beans (plants) as a sort of mulch. I'm leaving some of the lesser weeds to cover bare spots of soil. I've diversified, planting several different varieties of things, and I've interspersed them instead of "mono-cropping" each raised bed. I've also added a lot more flowers than I usually do. We'll see what happens, and I'll add photos as the season advances.

Yesterday we got torrential rain, and I was worried everything would be flattened. It's still drizzling this morning, but I'll tiptoe out when the sun is up and survey the damage. Hopefully everything survived. Won't have to water for a while, at any rate!