"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Last night at the Lodge, sleep was interrupted by the mad howling of what some folks in these parts call coy dogs, aka coyotes. It was a squealing, screaming pack somewhere in our back woods, not too far out. It's an eeries sound and one we've practically never heard here, definitely once, possibly twice, in 16 1/2 years.

Ruth and Jewel (mostly Jewel) responded instantly, with mad howling and yowling and shrieking of their own. We were under attack by alien canids, and they were ready to protect us.

Unfortunately, one of the coyotes seemed to have got separated from its pack, and ended up in the woodland on the side of our bedroom where the window is. It was yelling to its family to come find it--that's how I interpreted the persistent sharp barking. Jewel was screaming back, warning it that danger dogs inside the house were ready for a fight.

It was funny and frustrating all at once. I climbed down from bed and cradled Jewel in my arms, trying to calm her. She curled up against me, a quivering warm mass of doggy dudgeon. Ruth let out one of her spectacular yowls every now and then...which sound suspiciously like a coyote howl. Are we harbouring the enemy in our midst?

Eventually equilibrium--and blessed silence--were restored.

Up early this morning for a big day, the installation of new granite countertops and kitchen sink, and the receiving of various painting professionals to give estimates on the next phase of work. It was a noisy day of chaps cutting and polishing stone, shifting ppliances out of the way and back, hoovering up stone dust, answering my questions. They were wonderful and efficient workers, and finished before I thought they would.

Our new kitchen work surfaces are now in place, shiny and beautiful. The final plumbing work on sink unit will be done first thing tomorrow. I've gained a most welcome and advantageous additional 14 inches of counter in the course of this home improvement. Mind you, certain areas are still a shambles, and we haven't any running water in the kitchen, meaning the washing up will be done in the guest bath. The admirable results are well worth the temporary disruption and upheaval.

Quite coincidentally and unintentionally, we picked out the exactly same granite my mother has in her kitchen! When I told her the colour/pattern, she said, "Same as mine!" It looks lovely in her house as well.

I would be hovering in the kitchen, admiring the changes and holding up paint chips to determine the perfect colour for the surrounding walls. But last night's lack of sleep is having its way with me, and I'm inclined to have a nap instead!

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