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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:45 am
Posts: 535
Location: Ithaca, NY
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Image: Watching the back garden tour through our screen door.

Wednesday, June 1

Beastly hot this entire week, and it is now only June 1st. Joseph is still building the basement doors; he has started over at least twice that I know of. A few hosta have not survived his efforts. He has finished the carport roof, the shed, the porch roof - and a few other sundry tasks. Next, he plans to wash the upstairs outer windows and remove the painted wood frame storm windows for the summer; then to fix the kitchen faucet and re-caulk the large bathroom floor tiles, repair the basement stone steps - he claims he apprenticed with a mason a few years back, and is in possession of a special cement recipe; today he brought up an air conditioner from the basement. In short, he has become indispensable, and is my constant company - either by the noise of hammering and sawing, or by turning up in the kitchen with some request or complicated announcement.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all Joseph’s physical activity, I remain stationary at the computer searching the Internet, and have sent several stories from Visits With Angels to various magazines and websites. Along the way, I joined a forum or two on angels. Still have not found a reviewer.

Sunday, June 6

Went to Windgarth House to relax; sat on the dock, in a patch of late afternoon sun. The hills blue in the distance, the sound of the waves hypnotic and familiar. The back lawn of Windgarth a deep green after so much rain ... the iris just bits of colour at this distance, the red geraniums in the stone urn a splash of unexpected brilliance ... The birds sing so clearly and sweetly at Windgarth, I am always surprised.

Last night I wrote my publisher and told them my price for copies of Visits With Angels is so high, I can’t even place them in bookstores. Asked if they could offer me a better price.

Clipped the topiaries next door tonight, the maple and the other smaller volunteer tree. JF bought me a small blue enamel lantern that hangs from a branch, so now I can see a bit more clearly at night. Sculpted the forsythias - the garden tour is next Sunday, and I am hoping to have everything done in time. Hundreds of people will come, and Joseph has ruined the stone path with sawdust ... Will speak to him tomorrow, he will need more gravel to put between the stones. He swept the old gravel away trying to clean up the sawdust. M. keeps asking whether I am quite sure we want to keep working with him - and I must admit sometimes I have my doubts. On the other hand he is good company - and keeps at a task until it is done, and for a remarkably reasonable price. He has ripped out the new basement cover frame three times now and started over - and remains in comprehensively cheerful about it ... Wearing his old blue bandana, covered in sawdust and grime and sweat in the burning heat ... Always smiling ... Truly a Renaissance man - he knows how to do everything, or at least willing to take a wild stab at anything. Well, our chimney did not leak in this last torrential rain, after he caulked it - that is a good omen ...
Tuesday, June 7

Another scorching day, although a possible thunderstorm on the way. Spoke to Joseph about the path; he is still hammering and sawing the basement doors and frame. He gave me a big grin and a wave through the kitchen window. Will contact more magazines and websites today, put stories up, links to my site. Still looking for a reviewer, one I haven’t used in the past.

Wednesday, June 8

Another scorching hot day; I won’t be able to go outside until the middle of the night, if then. Looked out the window, the basement doors are on. No sign of Joseph. Still a gap at the bottom of the frame, but altogether a very creative design and almost done. He said he will get a few buckets of fine stone gravel and fix the path.

Have been putting stories and articles up on new websites, with links to my website. No news yet back from the publisher re the price of my copies of Visits With Angels.

Thursday, June 9

An e-mail from Diana: she still plans on coming to Ithaca in the fall to finish formatting We Meet In Dreams . Joseph finished the basement doors and happily put new gravel down between the stones; told him to buy more gravel for the path, the concrete is still showing through. The painters returned and finally finished painting the small porch.

My publisher sent me an offer for a lower price/book. E-mailed Diana. We plan to take copies to bookstores in the fall, arrange booksignings.

Saturday, June 18

The garden tour was today from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Because of the heat, JF and Lourdes guided people through the gardens. It rained early in the day and was cool enough for me to leave the back door open, so I could speak to people through the screen door. Late last night we had an impressive thunder storm and downpour, and afterwards I wrestled with some of the climbing roses out front which had fallen. Luckily the basement doors looked done - although there are some design flaws. And Joseph had come back and taken the tarp and extra shingles from the porch roof away from the main path, moved the ladder.

It was lovely to see people of all sizes and shapes walking in the back garden, each at their own distinctive and various pace.

Now to contact more websites about the new book ...

Saturday, June 18

Went outside and looked at the basement doors again: it seems that Joseph nailed some of the boards down that were supposed to be removable. So at the moment we cannot get in and out of the basement. In addition, water can still leak in from the top of the basement doors, through a rather large gap; I suggested a piece of molding there, which he reluctantly, but finally, agreed to. He will also trim the trumpet vines and reroute the winterberry away from the windows. The caulking jobs are done - I redid some of his caulk work and it looks rather good.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all this I sold three paintings at my new show. And then there is Zoya ... Just when I thought I, as a person, could not hold any more or deeper Love and Compassion - it all has deepened and augmented ...

Monday, June 20

Samantha, my aide came today; did the laundry, watered the plants in the studio, other chores. Joseph came to varnish the cellar doors but ran out of varnish. He will come back tomorrow, finish the basement doors and trim the trumpet vine.

Zoya lived with me for a year when she was - years old. No sense going through her personal history up until that point, nor since. In any case, my Zoya returned to Ithaca to be near me this last April, after twenty years or so - and within a week of her return to Ithaca was sent to the hospital, diagnosed with a terminal illness, and given only a few months to live. Since then M. and I have had an untold procession of tasks, legal, emotional, physical, medical and metaphysical in regard to Zoya. You might say she is occupying our minds and hearts in an ongoing and consuming way. The doctors last week spoke of a miraculous upswing in her physical condition, and suddenly it is perhaps possible that she will pull through this fairly intact. We will see. When I first heard the news of her illness I was filled with dread, which is never a good sign. Last night her son stayed with us, he will be here for some days ... Earlier this month her brother and sister came, her daughter - so now her entire family has been here ...

Not knowing the outcome is possibly even more wrenching than before ... And I am not allowed to use my clairvoyance, nor send more healing.

The overriding task here, for us - seems to be staying calm, and keeping our hearts open through all the ups and downs.

Tuesday, June 21

Went to see Zoya tonight at Hospicare; we go almost every night, if the day has cooled down enough. She seemed in a semi-coma and could not even open her eyes. Ken had taken her on a brief outing on Sunday - apparently it was too much for her. At home, afterwards, I went through Zoya’s big box of her life’s private papers. M. needed them sorted through, she is looking for various legal information. In an old wrinkled plastic bag, letters. Three from her children, two from her sister - and about twenty from me, in my beautiful handwriting, most often with stamps picturing Our Lady holding Her Divine Son on the envelopes. She must have saved every letter I ever wrote her.

Sometimes there are just no words for what we are feeling and thinking, they are too deep and elusive for mere words ... I once scribbled a one line poem where I called words and thoughts small fragile rafts - and that comes close to what I now feel ...


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