23 May


May 23,  2020

Day 63

The weather forecast calls for six days of rain starting tomorrow so today I collected two shovels, four new large pavers and a few smaller, older ones, some bricks, two bags of setting sand, two levels, a brick layer’s trowel, a pry bar and a rake, and proceeded to make a walkway that would allow us to approach the steps to the forest porch without slipping in the slick yellow clay that is the foundation of the forest floor. It took about four hours with a break for lunch around three in the afternoon. Levelling the path base took the most physical work because our garden used to be the lower part of the drive the original developers put in twenty years ago. They used a type of rock infused fill that resists traditional shovelling and the pry bar came in handy for levering up recalcitrant rocks about the size and shape of clenched fists. Once I had what seemed like a level area I confirmed this with the levels, then spread a bag of bedding sand and raked it smooth.




The large pavers followed, two abreast, checked and tamped until they were solid and as perfect as they were going to be, given the temporary nature of the walkway. (It’s going to be removed sometime before spring, but that’s another story.)




The smaller pavers were easier to lay, still using the same method, and then the bricks went down until I ran out of them. Another bag of bedding sand was spread on top and swept into all the joints. I’m hoping the rain will compact the sand deep into each joint and lock everything together. This may involve a little work in the rain tomorrow to add more sand but that’s not an issue as I have to go that way to get to the shop.




I finished just as the sun set and then used the last light to reroute the water supply hose to the washing machine so that it runs under the shipping container instead of on the garden grass. The new arrangement looked so clean I decided to hide the hose as best I could all the way to the faucet some eighty feet away at the back of the house. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Now the hose is tucked away and hidden for the most part and having done so I cannot help but think there is no better way to bring back the drought. For now though, and until it is needed elsewhere, the hose stays where it is.


Tools put away, workshop closed up for the night, I went inside to have dinner and check today’s numbers…


Zero New cases. Zero Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to confirmed and probable cases remains unchanged from yesterday because there are 7 Zeroes on the board. No change in anything, which is a good thing. The more the merrier.


All day as I worked there was a huge wood pigeon sitting and feeding in a tree just on the other side of the windbreak to the left of the forest porch. In the morning Valerie and I sat for a few minutes in the sun and listened to a Tui high in the branches singing his wild discordant song. Just before lunch Mr. Lonely, a single quail we’ve seen here for four years, came and waited patiently while I spread some seed for him. After lunch three more showed up a received the same treatment. Their count today was a fraction of their usual numbers and I wonder whether the coming days of rain will keep them away. The chaffinches and sparrows kept a vigil in the grove and thundered into the air by the dozens every time I banged a rock with the shovel or scraped the rake on the growing path of pavers. One by two they return unnoticed to perch in the ponga and scan the steps for any new seed, then take flight again and again as I progressed*.

As I type these last sentences for today’s entry, the rain begins to fall outside, tapping lightly on the roof, slowly building. Soon it will be drumming steadily, running off the roof, into the gutters and downspouts, filling our water tank and our dreams.




Screen Shot 2020-05-16 at 9.47.38 AM





*Speaking of progress, here’s a handy link for you all to help you gauge yours. Enjoy.


12 Responses to “Progress”

  1. rochellewisoff May 23, 2020 at 2:50 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    You really have a gift for landscaping and building. Fun to watch the progress (unless you’re a quail) of your growing home (or growing hime?) As I write, painters are outside the window changing the colour of this place.
    All those zeroes certainly give cause for grins. I can’t say that for Missouri. Ah Webb City, A day I remember with great fondness. Thank you for the daily portion of love and more love.

    Shalom and hugs to you and your sweet lady,


    PS What are “Wood Peigens?” Tag. You’re it.

    • dmmacilroy May 23, 2020 at 10:26 pm #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Thanks for the heads up re my typing/spelling skills…and the love. Speaking of which, in return for yours, would you like me to edit ‘I and i’? Sounds very reggae but I thought you might like it adjusted.

      Tag, you’re it.



  2. rochellewisoff May 23, 2020 at 10:35 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    By all means edit please. The I’s have it. An I for an i. Next time I’ll try to make my comments with my eyes or i’s open. Pobody’s nerfect, Thank you, my friend. The love is always yours.


  3. sustainabilitea May 24, 2020 at 12:05 am #

    I have a photo of me in Webb City. 🙂 Good memories. Love seeing all those zeros and the progress you made. Enjoy the rain (which we certainly won’t be seeing) and the snugness of your home and blessed company.


    • rochellewisoff May 24, 2020 at 12:52 am #

      I have that picture, too, Janet. It was a great day with friends. ❤

    • dmmacilroy May 24, 2020 at 2:09 am #

      Hi Janet,

      I have that picture, too, because I took it, because of the water tower. Not sure how you got in it, but I’m glad you did. I’m wondering where you guys get your emoji’s from or do they change after I type a colon and a right parenthesis?:) Let me know.

      Zeroes are good.



      • sustainabilitea May 24, 2020 at 2:15 am #

        As I recall, you had me in that picture because of Webb in Webb City. 🥳. Emojis. Some I get from my iPad or phone, but colon, dash, right parentheses might make a smiley face but yours is just a colon and a parenthesis. :-). See if it did.

      • sustainabilitea May 24, 2020 at 2:16 am #

        Nope, it didn’t. I guess I just get them from my devices.

      • dmmacilroy May 24, 2020 at 2:18 pm #

        Hi Janet,

        I know exactly why you were in my picture, silly. I smile every time I look at it.

        Thanks for the emoji lesson.



      • sustainabilitea May 24, 2020 at 2:31 pm #


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