Last night I went to a friend's place to play Carcassonne, I took a couple of peony flowers from my garden with me. I don't have my peonies properly propped up and I am told that the Rule of Peonies is, don't let them touch the ground, cut them and bring them indoors. I have four blooms in my living room that smell up the whole house, I can't bring any more in or I will have to say "stink up" the whole house. I love flower scents, but I find them a bit overwhelming indoors, so I am happy to leave them outdoors. But I was informed by a friend of the Peony Rule, so I am trying to conform.
My friend won the game, a first for her. It was getting boring always winning and a bit of a change to get soundly trounced. My excuse is that it was well past my usual bedtime. I like Carcassonne, and I am not usually a fan of board games. But "the board" in Carcassonne is always different, and you never really know who wins until you count up the points at the end. My friend was sure that I had won yet again until we actually counted up all our points. She left me in the dust.
Hapi and I were in the Kentville Ravine yesterday morning, she had such a great time. We ran into a young yellow lab who wanted to romp with Hapi in the brook, and then later two more labs, a yellow and a chocolate, showed up to join the fun. It was a lab fest. The four dogs, Hapi as honourary lab, ran in circles in and out of the water and around our legs. There are fish in the brook, they stayed clear of all the doglegs.
Hapi and I go "fishing" almost every evening at the goldfish pond in the nearby woods. I think the fish see Hapi better than she sees them, at least they always manage to be on the opposite side of the pond from her. She can see them if they move suddenly close to the surface, but if they move slowly or sink to the bottom she has a hard time finding them.
There are a tonne of trout in the old Wolfville reservoir, and they seem to be quite tame. I stand in an opening in the trees near the bank and when one swims by, it pauses to look at me, often swimming in closer for a better look. Is someone feeding them? I've even seen them approach Hapi, although they think better of that soon enough.
On Tuesday I went into the city with a friend to have lunch with another friend who lives there. Our City Friend is in declining health, she moved to the city for medical care and does not know many people there. She lives a rather isolated life as she has mobility issues. If not for the phone she would be very isolated indeed.
We picked her up at her apartment building and drove to an upscale Italian restaurant well beyond the budget of the two of us from the country, and way too noisy to carry on conversation. But City Friend doesn't get out much and we could hardly say No to her request. So for two hours we yelled at each other across the table. Not quite two hours, the din did die down in the last half hour or so.
It was kind of funny, both of my friends are blind and I serve as their seeing eye dog and chauffeur, but I do not know the city that well so I have to ask directions from my blind companions. They rely on their memories to tell me where to go, and sometimes their memories do not quite match up with current realities of road repair, relocated businesses, newly created one way streets, disappeared parking lots. Plus I have a disability of my own, I cannot tell left from right. Shouting Turn Right! in my ear does little more than put me into a panic.
After our leisurely bank-breaking lunch I asked City Friend if she had had enough and she said Not, I asked if there was anything else she wanted to do and she had no suggestions.
I said, Then in that case I would like to go to the Lebanese Bakery to buy some pistachio halvah, and she quickly agreed that that would be fun.
The Lebanese Bakery is truly a lot of fun, so much to look at, so many things to sample, and the staff are very friendly and funny. One young man had a smile to die for, we vied with each other to make him laugh and smile some more.
We bought pistachio halvah and chocolate halvah, grenadine molasses, pita bread, Bulgarian sheep feta, I forget what kind of olives, several different kinds of some savoury pastry (fatayer?), and a small container of tabouli. The young man with the smile gave us samples of the different fetas, in the process managed to hit his funny bone and danced around for a few minutes shaking his arm and grinning painfully.
Afterward we crossed the street (I took the arms of my two blind friends and we strode across waving white canes at the cars) to the Mexican grocery store. The lady who runs that tiny shop is the personality opposite of the Lebanese Bakery people, she sits behind the counter looking very bored and impatient with her gringo customers.
We oohed and ahhed over the many kinds of mole and salsa, I don't know if she actually rolled her eyes but I imagine that she wanted to. A few purchases there and then we crossed back to our parked car with more cane waving at the cars.
By this time rush hour was beginning so our drive back to City Friend's apartment was slow and tortuous, due to traffic and to my unfamiliarity with the city and frequent panics (Turn Right! Turn Left! No you're going the wrong way!).
We had a half hour to kill before picking Country Friend's Husband up at his place of work, so we went to the Black Market. Hardly had I parked when I heard a thump and looked up to see a young skateboarder grinning down at me. He ran into our parked car! No harm done, his board hit the tire.
He skated off and we headed into Market. It's a throwback to hippie days, incense wafting out and bright coloured intricate paint designs all over. Inside creaking old wooden floors, and tonnes and tonnes of beads and multi-coloured skirts and silver jewelry. I don't know what the music was that was playing, but it was quite pleasant. I mused about making Country Friend's Husband walk over so we could stay a little longer.
Note to self, longer visit to the Black Market next time.
Country Friend bought a freshwater pearl mala (a kind of bracelet) and I contemplated genie pants made from a recycled sari.
After picking up Husband we stopped at Costco on the way out of the city, I bought dogfood and they bought pizzas and Clif bars. We were in and out in less than half an hour, the quickest visit to Costco I've ever been on.
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