an evening in June

Some random observations on light and the weather: Yesterday afternoon, mare's tails clouds streaked the sky, often a sign of changing weather. Today, I came home to laundry blown across the garden. It's still light outside right now, and getting close to bedtime. Outside the window I can see the wind still pushing the tree branches around. We brought the rabbits into the garden today; it was such a delight watching them explore, and entirely worth the effort of wrangling them into harnesses. I've been incredibly lucky in the past few weeks- while I've been working overtime, Jer has gotten into the habit of cooking dinner. The best part (aside from being fed) is that he's discovered he likes cooking. This week, though my schedule has gone back to normal, he's kept cooking, leaving me more time to clean and putter.

There were fledgling crows in the courtyard at my work in the beginning of June, first one and then two, sitting tucked away in the ornamental currant bushes by the library. Their parents kept an eye on them from the metal twirls of a statue and the high beams, cawing at people who got too close, and occasionally swooping in to scare off some unsuspecting wanderer or deliver morsels of food. They stuck around for about a week and then were gone, testing flight on city streets or in the park.

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silver lining

Hi there! The sun has just come out here. This morning was almost dark, so thick were the clouds. Seven is doing okay. We're giving her pain medication and she seeks out her food-sludge and kale pesto on her own now. I've had the great fortune of being able to stay home with the rabbits these past few days, which has meant a lot of time on the sunset-striped blanket on the living room floor, monitoring and supervising and doing art. Not being able to clean the house or rearrange the kitchen (Zephyr would find something to destroy/remake- my yoga mat has been on her list of interesting objects for sampling) has been a surprisingly wonderful opportunity to sketch and paint and cut and glue and generally revel in a world of imagination and colour.

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in appreciation of kale and my fianceé

I was sitting crumpled in front of Seven yesterday evening in the rabbit pen when it hit me that she might not be eating or pooping. Rabbits have sensitive digestive tracts that need frequent input of long fibres (like hay) to keep things moving, and things need to keep moving or their good gut bacteria turns to bad bacteria, a toxic and potentially deadly situation. It's called GI stasis and is feared amongst rabbit people, but usually a good supply of hay will prevent it. The way Seven's teeth are currently, she can't eat hay, or much else from the looks of things. She keeps picking up hay like she really wants to eat it, holds it for a second and puts it back down. She grated at a carrot for a while last night but ignored dandelion greens and spinach, then she huddled up making chewing motions without anything in her mouth. Internet research on trusted rabbit sites confirmed symptoms we were seeing. Jer got to work making a slurry of rabbit pellets and water. As I said at the time, if I had any doubt in my mind about marrying this man, watching him feed our rabbit with a syringe erased it. I teared up a little. She turned out to be really hungry and lapped up a fair bit of slurry, then perked up significantly. Thus began the kitchen experiments. More slurries were made, employing various techniques and achieving various viscosities. The hay slurry was sadly a fail, as was grass. Somewhere in my reading I came across kale. Aha! A fine, fibrous green with decent moisture content (we also need to keep her hydrated). Jer, already established as savior of rabbits, ventured out to the late-night grocery store for an armload of kale. To quote his description of the experience: << Misunderstandings at the grocery store. I put down three heads of kale and nothing else. Clerk says "Eating healthy?". "Nah, It's rabbit food' says I. "I know right" says the clerk.>> To our enormous relief, Seven is still able to eat kale, and ridiculous quantities were consumed. At some point after midnight I fell asleep on the floor with the rabbits nestled in front of me. We set alarms throughout the night and got up to coax some water and food into her. At four am she was still eating kale, and at six she had a little more. Adding to his repertoire as top-notch caregiver, Jer also learned to give a bunny tummy massage. Mid-morning, the worries began again as she repeatedly refused water, kale and slurry. Just moments ago, Jer got her eating more slurry. Once she starts, she seems to realize that she'd like to eat more, and went on to eat swiss chard too. Yay! We just have to keep this up, I guess, until she can eat normally again unless our vet gives us another approach. Good news is that the dentist will see her on Wednesday. We're crossing our fingers that we'll have the funds for it. We have a decent amount saved, but specialist sounds expensive. So, with all of the above, today is kind of a strange day. It's beautifully sunny outside. The wind is blowing down the chimney making our living room smell like lapsang souchong. The rabbits and I are sunning on a blanket and we're just taking it easy. We'll get through.

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This evening we wrote down our fears on little slips of paper, and possible solutions on the reverse, then took turns reading and responding before giving them over to smoke and ash in our fire. Tonight in rabbitland, Seven is going through my purse and snacking on bits of crumbs from this morning's toast. Zephyr alternates between cuddling up for nose rubs and adventuring onto the couch.

My right hand is all seized and sore from scooping hundreds of cookies yesterday. Only three more days of working as a baker making sugary cookies and then I'll be selling delicious wholesome, toothsome, locally milled and lovingly cultured breads and pastries much closer to home!


the rain

If all I ask for in a day is that it be better than the day before then today has been a full on success. We went for a walk on a beach in Deep Cove, all fragments of white shells, and grey sand with blue mussels, and smooth black basalt semi-coated in grippy ivory barnacles and brown bladderwrack. The ocean was clear and inviting looking; I am so eager for summer swims. Along the shoreline, towering Douglas-fir and arbutus, blue skies above and warm sun on our backs. Clams squirted as we walked, a waterfront fountain display that has never failed to amuse me. Also, yesterday was pretty terrible. In a way it was quite fitting that my post last night disappeared. I had spent all night and the next morning preparing for and worrying about a job interview. The interview itself was not enjoyable, but in some ways easier than expected - or at least it all went a lot faster than I was anticipating. Shaken from the interview and slightly baffled at being asked to answer math equations that no person in an office workplace in this century would not have access to a calculator for, I frustratingly completely misunderstood the wording on the multiple choice questions and though I wrote the correct answers beside the questions, didn't end up circling anything because nothing matched up right. Back at home, my favorite new sundresses appeared oddly tiny when I hung them up to dry. I tried one on out of a dreadful curiosity; I am now converted to the act of reading garment labels before casually tossing them into the laundry. I then sat for some time diligently stretching out the fabric and blocking it over my knees, all of which had zero effect on the now butt-length dresses. Until- a tearing sound that caused me to fling the dress aside. I now had tiny dresses, one with a long rip across the skirt.

The rain came overnight, its soft patter emanating through our old windows. Outside, our garden bed turned to mud and the cherry blossoms looked wasted and heavy. Some cold, rainy days are cozy inside, and others great for invigorating outdoor adventures. Some are just cold and rainy.

Later in the evening, with my face pressed between the couch cushion and Jer's arm, I listened to sirens wailing through the city streets and thought: at least we're safe. We're here and we're safe and these really are small problems, almost nothing at all of importance. And I am so lucky to be with such a supportive man.

As part of our cheer-up campaign (ongoing throughout the day- it worked until the next thing went wrong) we did an impromptu pastry tour, hitting up Fry's, Fol Épi and Crust for buttery goodness. We stocked up on seeds for our garden and even replaced the favorite dresses.

Seven loves her strawberry medicine. She follows Jer when she smells it and laps it up happily. Zephyr is very jealous. She has been nipping me and charging around and sulking in the kitchen. We're going to try to get her some placebo strawberry paste so she feels special too.

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