out of the shade

This afternoon, still somewhat dazed from not enough sleep and stepping out of the shade-dark bakery and yesterday's grey drizzle into a dazzling blue-skied sunny spring day, I lingered in the street for a moment before starting the car. A moment was long enough to watch a miniature tornado of white-pink cherry petals spin down the street like an invisible whirling dervish delighting in the wayward blossoms. I start as a counter girl at -my favorite- our local bakery this week. I don't remember ever being so excited about a job before. It feels right.

I feel tonight's dinner deserves a mention: local happy eggs fried in organic butter, salt and pepper, a perfectly ripe avocado sliced haphazardly, a slosh of lemon juice, sprinkling of hemp hearts, generous grating of grana padano and handful of spring greens. Last night the man made pancakes with carob, cinnamon, ginger and raisins.

Today's porch-rail observations/ramblings: There's a crow in the closest spruce tree making rattle-croaks, like a glossy black wind-up clock counting up its own enjoyment. Soft wingbeats to my side announced a bird passing by, hedgebound. I turned to look and saw cherry petals glitter like snowflakes in the chiaroscuro edge of the shadow of a house. The clouds are a mottling, almost mackerel sky but too puffed and sprawling. Cirrocumulus castellanos, perhaps. The narcissus nod, thin green stems bending as six-petalled white stars and orange crowns bob. A moth that looks like it unfolded itself out of narcissus petals drags across the sky above the low garden.

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Of course the clouds were doing something different by the time I photographed them. Michette loves the sunshine.

under soft pewter feathers

Last night I awoke at four-thirty, confused by the glow outside the curtains. Through the windows came the steady sounds of much water arriving quickly on our roof and in our yard. Though I've been enjoying all the sunny weather we've had lately, I've also been somewhat suspicious of it. Too much fair weather and the land will be thirsty come July. This relentless, torrential rain is most welcome. I'm seated between our orange, crackling fireplace and the sodden gray scene out the window, our aged cat on my lap.  Miss Heidi Pudding Pie has gotten very elderly this winter. Once rotund, she now feels tiny and bony with old-cat fur. She spends most of her days on the couch (no change here) and we've been sitting there often, as she appears on a lap within seconds of its arrival and clings fast. A wrap baby carrier has been in our conversations lately so we could keep her with us while tending to areas of life afield from the couch. There is a quiet restfulness to rainy days like these. Certainly, coworkers were discussing napping and books, warm beverages and home. The rain is quieting but not quiet, calming but not still. The sheets of droplets flickering before the trees and the wet patter are continuous. Inside, the fire softly rumbles, causing us to occasionally mistake it for thunder, in a cozy way.

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Friday was another gull day, in a sense. We met "Gulliver" at Witty's Lagoon and brought him to the SPCA's Wild Arc, luckily not too far away. What happened is this: we brought a picnic down to the beach and had just settled against some bleached driftwood logs, bare toes in warm sand (and sand fleas hopping happily about- weird but harmless), when we saw a dog running at the gulls on a sandbar. One gull stayed put. We watched it flap awkwardly then hunker down. The confused dog sniffed at it then backed off. Strengthened by an excellent chocolate almond croissant, Jer went to see if it was okay. I half expected to see him get attacked by a seagull but moments later he was walking towards me, gently holding a juvenile gull in front of him. The bird sat quietly, surprisingly calm (or as we later learned, weak), watching us with big lash-fringed dark eyes, broken wing held slightly askew. Jer had called Wild Arc before even checking the bird out, so we had a plan. He carried Gulliver all the way out of the park, across the marshy area, through the forest and up past the waterfall where white fawn lilies were blooming. Gulliver took it all in quietly, even the concerned and curious strangers and the dark trees. In the car, I sat with Gulliver on my lap, tucked under a cloth, his/her form light and warm under soft pewter feathers. At the center, Gulliver was whisked away to be cared for. We didn't take his/her case number so we won't know how it went, but hopefully this sweet little gull is back out on the beach soon. Ironically, just the evening before, a bad day for Jer was accentuated by a gull (we think) dropping the kind of gift gulls are best at down the back of his blue shirt. This resulted in jokingly cursing gulls that evening with friends, but it's nice to see that he doesn't hold a grudge. I think we both like gulls better since having met Gulliver.  Outside our window now, the seagulls are holding court in the soggy field and flying around like it's not even raining.

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Here is what I started to write yesterday. I wrote a long post this evening as a continuation but the site crashed and it is completely gone. What's that, afternoon coffee? Yes, I think I will... I do like having a day off that's mine and mine alone. The possibilities! Not to mention nobody hearing me grumbling about the housework.

Today the sky is bright grey, if such a colour can exist. The sun behind soupy clouds is responsible for this. I would prefer rain to this indecisive and melancholic sky. In the mountains, tiny snowflakes might be drifting down. Cherry tree petals are scattered on the sidewalks. The songbirds seem quite pleased by this change in the weather; they flit musically between branches, shrubs and soil. Daffodils are coming in fast now, a cheery yellow row in the yard.

I brought home a bucket (probably about 5 kg) of dark chocolate ganache from work yesterday! It was rejected for being grainy but the flavour is still nice. Now I need to use it for something. Banana muffins iced with ganache are first on the list.

I've been finding tiny ants in the house. Sugar ants, I call them, though I don't know if that's accurate. The first one I appreciated for its antness. I greeted it, escorted it outdoors and thought about ants. The other ones haven't been so welcome. Yesterday I found an ant on my computer and another on the kitchen island. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of the log cabin I lived in last summer did a great job of deterring ants so I think it's time to try that here.

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more than enough

On Sunday night when I opened the front door of our house to let the cat outside, a brown caterpillar rolled across the threshold. It seemed symbolic of transformation and beauty unfolding; I carefully scooped it up and put it in a plant outside. At night in the morning when I go out to the car I have to thwart the frost that sets up home on the windshield. I think I must be traveling right around the frost point because it re-ices determinedly for the first few minutes. Later in the day, our mild coastal spring takes over and you'd never know that it gets wintery in the wee hours.

Today I spent the afternoon with one of my best friends in the world. We basked in the park amidst daffodils and crocuses and Garry oak trees, windswept pines and grasses on a hill overlooking the ocean. Because it is Victoria, resplendent peacocks and peahens stalked around with the mallards, and every direction I looked, squirrels of various colours were racing up and down trees. Five (five!!) herons were lazily perching in a flat-topped pine and as I approached the park several lifted off to flap slow circles around the pond.

I've been thinking lately about my purpose in life. Some people -okay, a lot- are helping others as health care professionals, teachers etc. I feel like what I can contribute is creativity. I think, done well, that can be more than enough.

Yesterday I rearranged all our furniture. Every once in a while I get the urge to change everything and it certainly does freshen the place up.

Seven the bunny is taking strawberry-flavored medicine for her ear infection. She's much easier to medicate than a cat. (Though J does the administering, thankfully.) She still tumbles and goes in circles but since it's only the second day we're very hopeful that it will help. The medicine is sticky and her fuzzy little chin works hard afterwards to clear her mouth. Zephyr, her robust and adventurous sister-bunny has discovered the couch. She hopped up right next to Pudding-cat, at which point I gently intervened. The cats are getting more tolerant, but we don't want to push them, and Pudding does feel strongly about the couch.