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Animal Self

Getting into the moment is much simpler when you are actively doing something. The most recent example of that was my first swim today.

The luxuriousness of the water brought out a hunger to swim. I completely disregarded lengths, styles and time. I was just swimming. It felt good to be free to float and kick and pull with my arms. It was so satisfying and little else is these days. But I digress.

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Pool Open in April

Before the cover came off.

I just had the first swim, in my own pool, since I closed it for the winter. We had a rare hot day for April and I brought the pool up to swimming temperature.

My work day ended at the same moment that a thunderous storm front appeared in the west. I could spare no time. I would miss my swim if it started to thunder.

My pool was struck by lightening the very first summer I had installed. It was so close to the installation date, I was not charged for the repair, but I digress.

Fortunately, I long ago realized a calculation. It was not the amount I spent on the pool, most of those were fixed costs, it was the division of that by the number of swims.

If a week of swims, cost an extra $10.00 to pay for gas, that is only $2.00 a swim. So it’s open in April. I want to divide the larger costs, those of owning a pool over a larger number of weeks.

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Toad in the Pool

Last summer, Penelope, a lime green frog, spent most of the summer in my pool. After catching her in the net and throwing her over the fence a few times I discovered it was, at best, a temporary solution.

Penelope in my pool.

Penelope in my pool.

Having her brush up against me while I swam was disgusting and it freaked me out a bit so I encouraged her, by causing waves with my hands, to go towards the steps. After doing that a couple of times she would head for the stairs when I was in the pool and sit there until I got out. This worked for both of us.

Penelope has not reappeared this summer. I now have a toad. We went through the same preliminary step. I saw him when I turned the filter on and proceeded to scoop him up with the net and toss him over the fence. When I returned a little while later to go for a swim he was happily enjoying the warm water.

Knowing my lack of success with Penelope, I decided to confront him head on. I stood about three feet away from him in the shallow end. He knew I was there. We looked at each other and I started to speak. He purposefully swam towards me and crawled up on my forearm. He looked me right in the eyes and held my gaze until I lowered my arm into the water and he was forced to swim.

Very strange.

I swam and he sat on the stairs for most of it. Having him sit on my arm made me realize that it was not as disgusting as it had felt when Penelope brushed up against me. He seemed to know that I wouldn’t hurt him. Peculiar experience, I must admit.

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Pool is Open

I swam the other night and I felt powerful and strong. It is a thrill for me that I don’t get any other way and I know I’ve been missing it. I’ll have to extend my Movati membership longer next year. Despite the high chlorine there.

Anyway, the pool is warm, the evening will be cool, I have the light on in the pool. It is supposed to be lights but I don’t want to exaggerate. Only one is working. After dinner, possibly at sunset, I think I’ll go for a swim. Now when should I have the wine?IMG_6739

I went to sit down and write and Sophie started barking. We just came in from a walk and some time on the balcony and I thought she’d give me a break. She has learned how to politely enter my bedroom, from the balcony, ahead of me. That is how I want her to do it. I need to stay back to shut the door.

I was so pleased, I said to her, “You’re a Good Dog! Sadie!” Which somehow detracts from the authenticity of the compliment. Safe to say I never bonded with her. I think the turning point was early, last Friday when I was exhausted and there had been men in the house. I wanted a nap. I hauled her up onto my bed. Let’s just say there is no way she could ever get up on her own.

She stood and looked out my balcony, barking, whining and running back and forth as people passed. Then there was that big gob of saliva. I had to get a cloth and wash her face, I did not want that shit on my duvet cover. Yuck. But I digress.

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$3.00 Chicken

My little chicken is coming along quite nicely, thank-you very much. The deep fryer is on the deck, heating up and the mushrooms are being warmed. I just need to get them to the butter melting temperature so enhance their flavour. The potatoes are still in water. I’ll bring the basket in on a plate and transfer them into the basket to let them drain before taking them out to the deep fryer.

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Obviously enough for four meals, but I wanted to show how big the chicken is.

Ok, so I’m a little focused on food right now. I have a great meal, almost ready and my stomach’s been growling, so there is no reason to wait any longer, except its not done. Perhaps, I’ll have a smoke in anticipation of the meal. Sounds elegant.

I have five minutes. The timer is set. I’m blanching the fries. It is all about the “doneness”, when you get to that ideal colour on the outside, you want to have it cooked through perfectly. The only way to achieve it is to fry them for five minutes and let them rest out of the deep frier until about 10 minutes before you want to serve the meal. Then the oil is hot and you can plop them back in. Hot, for when the chicken is ready. The mushrooms can be kept at that temperature for a very long time. The more moisture they lose, the higher the overall fat concentration and that can be nice until they burn.

In all of this, I want to express my gratitude to the universe for bringing Sophie into my life, just when I needed her. She saved me from getting another dog and she was just in the brink of time.

My pools back. I finally got it cleaned and warm. it has been open, and I’ve been swimming, but it is warm and clean now. Much more luxurious. I can’t wait for my pool to open and to me the extra thrill of that first swim negates the fact that the water is 70 degrees and it is not clear.

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