Floods of a Different Kind

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Lucy on the concrete slab of our condo    ~courtesy Cathryn Blum

Several weeks ago, one of our house-sitters texted to let us know that after showering on the third floor, water from the second floor toilet had overflowed on to the floor. The water extended out of the powder room into the pantry, the kitchen and the dining room. Water was also dripping through to the first floor through a sprinkler cutout in the ceiling. The good news: it was clear water, not waste water. Many towels and a day later, the plumber snaked the pipes, and everything seemed back to normal. Our insurance company set us up with a remediation company to assess damage and dry the space to avoid mold and more permanent damage. With the problem apparently solved, the house-sitter continued her stay with only a bit of inconvenience.

Less than a week later, another house-sitter took a shower in the master bath on the third floor and came down to find the second floor flooded once again! The plumber returned, this time with a camera scope, and after clearing the drain line, discovered a broken pipe under our first floor bathroom. Significantly, the broken pipe was made of a plastic and not to code for a high rise condominium. Thank you developers. The remediation company, which had yet to pull up the wood flooring, or set their fans and driers, got to work. With plastic sheets closing off the stairs in both directions and fans and dehumidifiers running 24×7, the place was uninhabitable. The cats – whom we can only assume to be unhappy with the sequence of events – were confined to the third floor.

Several days later, because somehow there’s truth to bad things coming in threes, the first floor bathtub filled with three inches of dark, smelly waste water. Given that the problem was caused by illicit construction practices, the building management and the condominium insurance were on the front lines of diagnosis, remediation and repair. They expect repairs, which will involve cutting through the 18-inch reinforced concrete slab of our first floor bathroom, to take 2-3 weeks. With no working drain lines, the condo will be unlivable for some time.

We have navigated the situation by phone, text and email, and seem to have done fairly well so far. Our house-sitters have been extraordinary and wonderful, and fortunately for all, have other housing options for the time they had been planning to stay in our home. We are now mostly concerned about getting someone in to feed, water and love the cats.

We are nearing the end of our planned time here at God’s Pocket. I’ve been a bit restless and unsteady with the return of our hosts and diving guests. Both David and I have been helping out here and there – I try to snag washing the dishes, David worked the dive boat yesterday. But it is no longer “our” place to care-take, and I am uncomfortable being here in a status somewhere between unpaid guest and volunteer staff while the owners and the chef are working long days.

So, David and I have been talking about our future plans, as well as what awaits us in San Francisco. We have decided to leave March 7 when our hosts go to Port Hardy to pick up the BBC documentary film crew. We believe we will still take our time returning to San Francisco, stopping in Vancouver, Whidbey Island, Seattle, and several places in Oregon. I expect to find it unsettling and difficult to adopt a leisurely stance when my instincts are to rush back to San Francisco, notwithstanding being unable to stay in our home.

It is a beautiful day here in God’s Pocket as I write this. We had waves of heavy rain come through yesterday afternoon and night, but for the moment, the sky is clear and the air is crisp. I just saw an eagle swirl in the sky over the bay. There’s a gentle sound of lapping waves as the tide begins to come in. I repeat to myself that this is all good practice for me: to accept and look beyond what can’t be changed, like the floods at home, and to notice and be grateful for the good and the beauty in this moment, here.

Love,
Susan

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On The Surface

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frosted nudibranch  ~courtesy flicker.com

With the return of divers to God’s Pocket, I started thinking about getting in the water myself. I was pretty sure I was unlikely to dive on this particular visit, but Bill, one of the co-owners and our host, encouraged us to bring our equipment so we’d have the option.

The idea of diving up here, in a neoprene wetsuit rather than a dry suit no less, takes me time to warm to. I have been here for a week of diving at least five times over the years, and yet still experience a degree of anxiety about getting in the water. First, it is cold, very cold. Second, there are often currents, occasionally strong ones, both horizontal and vertical, that can steal one’s sense of control underwater. Third, we are often diving sheer walls and the light doesn’t penetrate to depth; it is like diving at night.

I have had transcendent dives and experienced the joy of floating in a kaleidoscope of life and color. I have seen remarkable creatures and immense beauty. I have had frightening and challenging dives, when my equipment and I weren’t in agreement, when it was dark and cold and the currents were strong, and all I could think of was when I could get back on the boat.

Over the years, I’ve made some peace with my ambivalence. I pay attention to how I feel and choose which dive sites I want to experience. The Nakwakto Rapids which flow around Tremble Island, and nourish the extraordinary and beautiful large red-lipped goose barnacles at about 30-40 feet, is a good example. The small island sits at the confluence of three extraordinary ocean currents, noted in the Guinness Book of Records as the strongest in the world. Once under water, you swim against the current in one direction, trying to enjoy the barnacles, and then turn around a point and are swept forward by another current at your back. The dive often culminates by being both pushed forward and pulled up to the surface in water swirling like a washing machine. Beautiful. Exhilarating. Extreme. Once was enough for me.

Bill has a general rule for divers and non-divers alike: always come on the boat. Even if you don’t dive, you will see and experience beauty. When we come in September, we often see humpback whales and bald eagles, and Dall’s porpoises will occasionally draft off the bow of the speeding boat on the way home. You don’t know what you might miss: the rare sighting of an orca pod or a raft of otter in the distance. Being on the surface can be as remarkable as a dive.

Yesterday, I decided to dive in the bay in front of God’s Pocket. It is 20-30 feet deep at high tide so light and tank time wouldn’t be limited. There are wonders to be seen right below the dock here: crabs and shrimp, sea anemones, soft corals, shrimp, sponges, scallops, nudibranchs (colorful creatures that are part of the sea slug, or gastropoda, class), kelp, jellyfish and starfish, to name a bunch. I wrestled into my wetsuit (which was more snug than usual as a result of my year-end weight gain), met David on the dock, and got ready to go. After managing a small series of missteps, my regulator started to free flow. I sat on the dock, fully outfitted for a dive, trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey while David tried to repair it several different ways. I felt discouraged and demoralized by how complicated it was getting ready, by the tighter-than-usual wetsuit, by my helplessness at addressing my technical and equipment challenges. And then the regulator blew out completely under the pressure from the air in the tank.

The broken regulator put the question of my diving on this visit to rest. Determined not to waste my efforts at getting suited up and wanting to rise above my disappointment with the whole situation, I decided to snorkel. I wouldn’t get as close to some things near the bottom, but I had a great view to life on the rocky outcrops as I kicked around. I was delighted to see a frosted nudibranch, which bears a striking resemblance to the Sydney Opera House (see picture at top). I spent some time looking at the array of tiny life growing on the ropes and chains that keep the docks in place: miniscule and colorful shrimp, purple and green kelp, baby scallops, all visited by small tubesnout fish.

Sometimes, you can’t or shouldn’t go deep. Being on the surface, with eyes open and attention focused, can be full of wonder and more than enough.

With love,
Susan

Ebb and Flood and Slack Tides

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Waldorf the Wolf Eel, photographed by Tiare Boyes

The ebb and flood of the tides are the pulse of God’s Pocket. Daily dive locations are selected and scheduled around the tides moving through deep channels. Between the ebb and flood tides is the slack tide: a window of time when the currents are balancing themselves and changing direction. The slack tide is the perfect time for divers; otherwise a tailing current can whip divers past a deep wall of color, or challenge them to stay in the same place with a head-on current.

The winter months are the ebb tide of the year at God’s Pocket: no guests and only one or two caretakers from November through March. And then the flood: up to 12 guests a week plus staff every day from April to the end of October. Before the ebb and flood is the slack: time to close up the resort for the winter or prepare it for the forthcoming season.

David and I have been alone here for five weeks. We’ve enjoyed being together just the two of us and having the place to ourselves: the quiet, the adventures, the expanse within the short days, and the many birds. Blue, our resident great blue heron, comes and goes, and scatters to a tree or distant rock if we walk too close to his perch. Two black crows, Sweetie and Russell, come to the sliding glass door every day or so for treats: apple cores, sliced grapes, and oats. Seagulls, mergansers and cormorants spat for spots on the breakwater logs, and eagles grace the sky overhead several times a day.

This year the season will begin early, tomorrow in fact, with the arrival of a documentary film crew from PBS New Zealand. They will be followed by another crew from the BBC. And so, for the past two weeks, the population of our little outpost has been growing, into the slack tide. Bill, one of the owners, arrived on February 12 to begin opening the cabins and getting ready for divers. That meant turning on the water and the heat to the cabins, and getting the boat ready by re-attaching the lift that brings divers out of the water to deck level. We eagerly anticipated Bill’s good company. We enjoyed our days helping him with his work, problem-solving unexpected technical obstacles, and chatting through the evening over repeated small pours of bourbon or scotch.

We went to Port Hardy on February 17 to meet Annie, co-owner of the resort and Bill’s spouse, two dive scouts, Tiare and Colten, and the chef, Gem; four more people and a carload full of provisions to the island. Since their arrival, Tiare and Colten have been diving three or four times a day, looking for octopodes (the official plural of octopus) and wolf eels in advance of the film crews. When the film crew gets here, they’ll want to shoot footage of underwater creatures without needing to find them first. Gem has reorganized and overhauled the kitchen, and made it a comfortable, efficient space for making her magic with food.

It didn’t surprise me that I felt a bit overwhelmed that first night by the energy of the group as we ate and talked and told stories. I’d been here with only David for company, and now seven tired but excited people were energetically getting to know each other. We had gone from ebb to flood without a slack time! I escaped to our cabin after dinner, just as a large catamaran made its way into the bay. I learned later what I missed: the catamaran was helmed by Ian McAllister, the director of PacificWild.org and an amazing photographer (see my post Canis Lupus) and his guest, a very good friend of Bill and Annie’s, Paul Nicklen. Paul is a renown National Geographic photographer and environmentalist (http://www.paulnicklen.com/). I regret that I missed meeting them.

God’s Pocket draws remarkable people to its shores, owners, staff and guests alike. Tiare, 26, is a commercial halibut fisherwoman on her father’s boat in season. Energetic and positive, she speaks as passionately about protecting the fisheries with sound science and good management as she does about the special bond among the longline halibut fishing crew she works with. She is an expert diver, and says every dive is a good one as long as everyone comes up safely. Colten, 24, is also both a commercial halibut fisherman in season (on a different boat) and an expert diver. When not in or on the water, he is an actor, writer, and now film producer. With his reddish curly hair and goatee, he looks like one of the three musketeers; I have nicknamed him D’Artagnan. Gem is an artist and writer, and chef. She is a bit mysterious, joyful with an easy laugh; she brings a calm and generous spirit to the group. A few days ago, she read us her beautiful self-published poem and showed us the illustrations, selected from her mother’s collection of daily drawings

In our short time together, our group has enjoyed meals, late afternoon yoga before dinner, and several versions of Pride and Prejudice on DVD after dinner. We have had energetic conversations about diving, the environment, group dynamics, food, and personal histories as we get to know each other.

Importantly, over the last two days, we have converted the main house from a cozy living room back into a large dining room. The couch and arm chairs are now in the clubhouse, the official ‘hangout’ space for guests during the season, as is the TV. During the slack time between the ebb of the season and the flood, we have prepared the resort for guests. The population of the island will swell to eleven by tomorrow evening, and the flood will begin.

Love,
Susan

Get regular updates via email from DancingOnTheWayHome by clicking the “follow” button (on your tablet or pc screen – the mobile screens somehow don’t show it!). And thanks for reading! Follow me on Instagram (dancingonthewayhome), where I post whatever catches my eye, in addition to a shot of our “front yard” every day at 5pm. Leave a comment or send me an email at DancingOnTheWayHome AT gmail dot com; I’d love to hear from you.

No Longer An Option

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“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” ~attributed to Goethe

Before leaving San Francisco in early January, I did some decluttering. I wanted to create space so that whatever new idea or vision came forward, it had a clean surface on which to land. In one of the boxes I was sorting, full of paper scraps with quotes, I found a greeting card I bought in the mid-80s. The card shows a drawing of a young woman outfitted for camping and climbing, wooden staff in hand. She looks out wide-eyed at us with one step forward up the incline; there’s a mountain goat at the top of the card. Scripted in the cloud above her head is “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it,” a version of the quote (above) attributed to Goethe.

I understood why I had that card in my possession all these years: it reminded me of the many times I have pondered next steps in my life, and realized that some small inkling of self-belief called me to move forward, to begin. That inkling has often defied articulation but has been no less real to me. Occasionally, one of my decisions would seem particularly bold: the less I knew exactly what was ahead, the bolder I considered the move. What is boldness if not defined in part by the uncertainty, the not knowing? I consider leaving my employer after 28 years both inevitable and bold. There could be more to do, more leadership to bring to bear there, but it would be the same world I’ve already known. My bold move is to see what other worlds there might be for me to discover.

I’ve done this before. At 25, I left a perfectly good “first real job” after a terrific three-year experience as a recruiter at a small liberal arts college in upstate New York . I knew that the job, and the place, wasn’t my future, so I moved to San Francisco. I didn’t have a job, but I did have a friend from college to room with. In my mind, bold became foolish as I flailed while figuring out what I wanted to do. I did the next thing, and then the next, exploring work, making enough to pay my rent. One thing led to another, as doing the next thing often does, including a successful career in a remarkable organization.

In the weeks since I’ve been gone from work and my employer, I’ve gotten word about a number of changes, some necessitated by my departure and some unexpected. A colleague got a big new role, and his impending departure has already created a ripple effect of change and opportunity. I found myself viscerally remembering all too well what that dynamic would be like: the discussions about the news, the potential options for reorganizing or filling new positions, the news breaking, and for staff, both the uncertainty and the excitement about what might come next. I know that if I were still there, I’d have been in it, been a part of the conversations about the architecture of change. I felt a twinge, not entirely unexpected but not exactly welcome: I felt I was missing out.

I woke up last night after a dream populated by former colleagues, the fabric and tension of the dream reminiscent of the complexities of my work days. In that half-awake state, I remembered another greeting card I had kept for years: a young gal with her stuff tied in up a scarf and to a stick over her shoulder turning on to a fork in the path marked by a sign “Your Life.” The other fork said “No Longer an Option.” The truth is that I am on the path of my life and there is much that is no longer an option. (After I turned 30, I occasionally remarked that it was now “too late to be a child prodigy.” That’s still no longer an option.)

I am here in God’s Pocket, so named because it has provided safe harbor for boats from storms. I am fully awake to this experience, yet I can still feel what my work would be like if I were there. And while it is no longer an option, it is still alive to me, informing my view forward. The excitement of the draw toward discovery is sometimes tinged with small shards of loss and regret. So I will, sometimes boldly, do the next thing. And the next. And one thing will lead to another.

Love,
Susan

Get regular updates via email from DancingOnTheWayHome by clicking the “follow” button (on your tablet or pc screen – the mobile screens somehow don’t show it!). And thanks for reading! Follow me on Instagram (dancingonthewayhome), where I post whatever catches my eye, in addition to a shot of our “front yard” every day at 5pm. Leave a comment or send me an email at DancingOnTheWayHome AT gmail dot com; I’d love to hear from you.

The Homesteaders

Hurst Island 1926 - Kask family v2

About half way down the trail towards Duck Bay from the main house at God’s Pocket is a large cistern of fresh water. The cistern is fed by a steady creek that flows down from Meeson Cone, the highest point on the island. Not far from the cistern are parts of an old fence and planks from a structure, probably a cabin. The picture above, from around 1926, shows what we believe is that cabin, along with the homesteading family, William and Julia Kask and their five children. The older man, a Mr. Louis T, along with his wife who is behind the camera, lived near Harlequin Bay and grew garlic, which they sold to the steamships that plied these waters and islands through the late 30s. (From left to right: Mr. Louis T (garlic farmer); William Kask, Julia Kask, children: Rose, Evelyn, Willie, Annie and James Kask.)

In the late-1800s, the Canadian Government established a homesteading law based on the one in the U.S. The law was intended to invite people to move west and to settle and improve the land. It was intended to create a farming economy in the plains, but it also had an effect on the more western parts of Crown land. Land was free – 160 acres – if a man over 18 or a female head of household settled the land, built a residence, made the land productive, and stayed for a least three years. The homestead provisions, which were abolished in either the 30s or the 50s (the interweb offers both dates), continue to be controversial as the Canadian government never negotiated land ownership or transfer from First Nation tribes.

The intricacies of law and land transfer notwithstanding, it is a romantic notion to make one’s way in an unsettled, wild area, and to build a life in a location that is both beautiful and harsh. We hold our US pioneers and homesteaders in esteem mainly because of the strength of character it must have taken to head west, to survive, and ultimately to thrive.

The Kasks had to carve their life and shelter out the forest that surrounded them. They would have chosen a flat spot, not far from a bay or cove, and near a reliable source of drinking water. I think about them and what they faced when they arrived, and how they fared. I think especially about Julia Kask, who arrived on Hurst Island with five children in tow. In the picture, the eldest is probably around 13 years old, and the youngest looks to be about two. Five children would have been a handful under any circumstances, even with the older children to help out. It was likely difficult for Julia to find romance in the relentless challenges of homesteading.

The romantic aspect of this part of the world, and its proximity to wild, has been part of the draw for us to come here this winter, albeit with all the important comforts. We have, after all, hot and cold running water, a wood stove with a steady supply of firewood, and shelter to keep us warm and dry. We can try to imagine what it must have been like to homestead here, admire and romanticize it, and know that we are safe and warm and well fed under the stormiest of skies.

Our hosts got this picture from Sylvia, William and Julia’s granddaughter, daughter of the eldest son, James (shown far right in the picture). She pulled up to the dock in God’s Pocket with her husband one day around five years ago, on their way north to the inside passage. She had never been here before. Sylvia shared the picture, and said that her grandmother, Julia, whom she had never met, left her husband and the eldest son shortly after the picture was taken.

Julia had negotiated in secret for almost a year, and arranged for a passing steamship to stop for her and four of her children. She made her way to live in Seattle. William and James left the island not too long after, also resettling in the Seattle area. William and Julia never reconciled or saw each other again. In time, the homestead on Hurst Island returned to its origins, reclaimed by the forest.

Things Aren’t Always As They Seem

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“Hold things lightly.”   ~ Barbara Mark, PhD.

David woke me up early Tuesday morning, and proclaimed there was a window in the weather perfect for a trip in the skiff to Port Hardy. It looked very mild out: there was a bit of sun, a light breeze, and no whitecaps in Christie Pass or across it on Balaklava Island. We packed ourselves up, shopping bags, coolers and empty gas cans on board, and headed out of the cove.

As we rounded the nearest point at Duck Bay and began to head south, the motor started coughing oddly. Then it sputtered out completely. Each time the key was turned, the engine would turn over, and then sputter and die. “There’s water in the gas,” David said.

Things aren’t always as they seem.

With the uncooperative motor, we paddled and rowed to the nearest shore, not far from Duck Bay, where we knew there to be a trail back to the house. I would stay with the skiff while David took an empty gas canister back to the dock for a fresh refill. We’d swap out the gas and continue with our plan to get to Pt. Hardy.

Hold things lightly.

We found a spot deep enough for the skiff on all sides, a spot that looked calm and relatively safe, and tied a rope very loosely to a rocky outcrop. David jumped out, scrambled up the rocks, dropped his life vest, and ran into the woods.

Things aren’t always as they seem.

The tide started coming in. The configuration of the rocks caused the water to surge forward, pulling the skiff toward and onto the rocks, and then abruptly pulling it back and away. I pulled the gaff from the bottom of the skiff and tried to steady myself and the boat against the rocks and the erratic pull of the waves by holding the side hook on the rock. Naturally, a stream of worries clouded my thinking: What if I lose the grip on the rock? What if one side of the skiff gets stuck on the rocks, and I tip over? Or if a wave hits the skiff so hard that the rocks punch a hole in the side? Could the tide rise so fast that it sweeps David’s life vest into the waves? What if David slips on the trail to or from the house and gets knocked out?

Hold things lightly.

I found that a loose grip on the gaff combined with a relaxed posture with bent knees, and the universal lesson of relaxing into the motion of the waves, kept me and the skiff both near the rocks, but not on them. I took deep breaths, and mindfully watched my train of worries go by without believing them to be true. David came back in 20 or so minutes. We emptied the gas from the tank and then refilled it, and listened as the motor turned over and died, repeatedly.

Things aren’t always as they seem.

We rowed and paddled the half mile back to the dock. Turns out that neither the gas nor the motor had water in it. David had added gasoline to the tank intended for the chainsaw (there’s oil mixed in), and it kept the fancy Honda outboard from running properly, or at all. Later that evening, after the motor was working again and David said we’d try again in the morning, I asked him why he was so committed to the trip to Port Hardy. “We’re almost out of treats, and besides,” he said, finally uttering the truth, “it is a big adventure I want to have.”

Hold things lightly.

As we prepared to head out on Wednesday morning, we noted conflicting wind and wave reports, so we called our host, Bill, in Vancouver. We learned that looking out over our “front yard” and even into Christie Pass toward Balaklava Island wasn’t ever half the picture about what to expect. The wind and wave reports were underscoring bad weather we couldn’t see but would encounter as we neared Port Hardy.

Things aren’t always as they seem.

He strongly discouraged our adventure.

Hold things lightly.

Later that evening, which was mild and clear, and the sky overhead was filled with stars, we wandered down the dock to get a few things we’d left in the skiff. Looking off the dock into the water with a headlamp, I saw the distinct shape of a flounder on the bottom. This was an exciting find, and David went to get his fishing rod and lure. A few minutes later, after he had waved the rubber squid at the end of his line near the fish, we laughed. The flounder was actually a patch of seaweed, deceptively configured into the unique shape of a flounder.

Things are not always as they seem, hold them lightly.

Love,

Susan

Get regular updates via email from DancingOnTheWayHome by clicking the “follow” button (on your tablet or pc screen – the mobile screens somehow don’t show it!). And thanks for reading! Follow me on Instagram (dancingonthewayhome), where I post whatever catches my eye, in addition to a shot of our “front yard” every day at 5pm. Leave a comment or send me an email at DancingOnTheWayHome AT gmail dot com; I’d love to hear from you.

My Husband, Three Frozen Chickens, and an Ax

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The most common question I heard when people learned that I’d be on an island for at least a month with only my husband for company and without regular access to stores was “What will you do for food?” The second most common question was “Aren’t you worried it’ll be like ‘The Shining’?” (See notes below if you aren’t familiar.)

By this coming Wednesday, we will have been on island four weeks. We did our best – short of outlining a specific meal plan for each week – to estimate how much food, and which kinds, we’d want and need. Other than spices, of which there is a wide and plentiful variety here, we needed to consider everything we’d need in the kitchen. We almost forgot vinegar, so ended up with two bottles. We focused on proteins and ingredients to anchor our evening meals. We also hoped we’d be able to enjoy our own catch of fresh crab and rockfish. I suggested we bring a whole chicken per week, which would yield at least 2-3 meals off the bone, and then soup. (We wanted to bring four, but Costco only sold them in three-packs, hence the three in the title.)

We are almost at the end of our fresh green vegetables. The organic broccoli, bought in 1.5 pound bags at the Costco down island nearly a month ago, has fared the best, and has proven to be the most versatile in our cooking. We still have one very large and unopened bag of green leaf veggies, although the contents aren’t looking as enthusiastic as they used to. We have plenty of eggs, lemons, red beets, cabbage, and rice, and have frozen left-overs from five or six particularly successful and bountiful meals. Clearly, we will not starve. Nonetheless, we are anxious about running a low on essentials: apples (one a day for me!), almonds, peanut M&Ms, and bourbon.

Weather permitting – we think Monday or Tuesday will bring a break between storms, and offer us calm(er) seas, mild wind and temperatures – we will take the skiff in to Port Hardy to resupply a bit. We’ll also refill the gasoline canisters that fuel our adventures in the skiff. It is about an hour commute in each direction.

As for “The Shining…” If our cooking adventures together are any indication, we’re not yet at risk for the crazies. We chat early in the day about what we might want for dinner, and exchange ideas about flavors and preparation. We share meal prep duties; I do the dishes, which creates all kinds of good will. Last night, we enjoyed a very fresh, very large Dungeness crab (from our pots in Harlequin Bay) in an Asian-fusion coconut milk and vegetable sauce over rice. We researched how to kill the crab ‘humanely’ and expressed our gratitude before devouring him. Earlier in the week, we enjoyed three meals derived from a large pork loin: Cuban-style black beans and rice with pork, Chinese-style sauteed pork and green beans, and pulled pork tacos with coleslaw (remember: plenty of cabbage!). This afternoon, we’ll make a lemon cake to satisfy a sweet need and to deter scurvy. Tonight we’ll roast the second of those three chickens.

All that said, for those of you still worried about the isolation and the crazies: there is, in fact, an ax just outside the door…

Love,
Susan

“The Shining”, a movie based on a Stephen King novel: Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife (Shelly Duval) and son to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long and isolated nights. During their stay, strange things occur when Jack’s son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called “The Shining” and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer’s block and the demons of the hotel haunting him, Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse. Jack tries to kill his wife with an ax. (From IMDB)

Get regular updates via email by following DancingOnTheWayHome. Click the “follow” button (on your tablet or pc screen – the mobile screens somehow don’t show it!). And thanks for reading! Follow me on Instagram (dancingonthewayhome), where I post whatever catches my eye, in addition to a shot of our “front yard” every day at 5pm. Leave a comment or send me an email at DancingOnTheWayHome AT gmail dot com; I’d love to hear from you.