Monday, May 30, 2016

Rocks and the Road: Scenes from a Wargamer's Marriage

There has been precious little painting these last few weeks. A second language course at work has kept me busy, and when I’m not doing French homework I have been helping Madame Padre with a significant garden project.   

Since January it has been a joy to see Mdme P slowly bounce back from the chemotherapy she finished just before Christmas.   Her hair has been slowly returning, and while it’s not growing as quickly as she would like, she looks like a salt and pepper version of Audrey Hepburn in A Star is Born, which works for me.   Since January she has had two blood tests, both of which were very encouraging as they suggested that the chemo had worked and the cancer was pretty much suppressed.   I can tell she’s feeling better, as her energy levels are returning and she has big plans for gardening.   

Among the plans was a new garden for our front yard.  I was first thinking we would dig a little bit out of the lawn  and pop in a shrub or two, but no, Madame has been plotting on graph paper for some months and had a proper geometric garden bed in mind.  Since I have to be away from home for three weeks starting yesterday, that meant I was digging like crazy to do the heavy lifting for her before I had to go, as there are plants on order that need homes.   Here is what we got done, two long sections about 18’ each, and a shorter section of about 10’ connecting them.  Notice our crappy lawn, which needs a lot of TLC.

There is still topsoil to add, and a second row of bricks to bring the walls up to two bricks all around, but Madame chased me away on Sunday, assuring me that she could move and lay the remaining bricks, one or two at a time.  It will be good therapy for me, she said, in a tone that brooked no debate.  I look forward to returning around June 20 to see the garden with the plants she has selected.  Dirt to Mdme P is like a clean canvas to an artist.

All these bricks got me thinking that I could reenact a pretty large-scale siege of Gondor on the front lawn.   I suggested that idea to Madame Padre and she rolled her eyes.   Go, she said.  I left.

I have taken some painting projects with me, and hope to get some hobby time in over the next few weeks.  We shall see.    

This week I am at the annual retreat of the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service in Cornwall, Ontario.  There are some younger padres here who are ardent geeks and gamers.  Tonight they introduced me to a card game called Codenames, which I found quite clever.  Played between teams of two, it’s a word association game that is great fun, sort of a verbal equivalent of Pictionary, where a one word clue will hopefully inspire your partner to identify word patterns in the cards displayed on the table.  Highly recommended.

Blessings,

MP+

25 comments:

  1. Good to hear Mrs Padre is doing so well, and that you get some well-needed exercise helping her. We will of course be expecting regular updates on the flower front.

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  2. Great to hear of the progress on all fronts - splendid news.

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  3. I think the Gondor concept hss possibilities, or at least the Deeping Wall,

    May good health return to uour eife for years to come.

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  4. Glad to hear things are looking up for your bride. Good start on the garden.

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  5. Glad things are going well! My wife has also regulated me to the gardening honey-dos. Between chores, work, PT, and the kid's sports; I guess no hobby time till the frost comes back! ;)

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  6. An appropriate hymn-Rock of ages cleft for me?
    I look forward to hearing/seeing more of the project.
    Enjoy your retreat.
    Alan

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  7. Glad to hear Mrs P doing well. Will pray on. Keep the home fires burning...or should that be...keep the home projects going?

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  8. Great to hear of Mme Padres progress. Good work on the prep/grunt work on the new beds.

    Good luck drinking the young Padres under the table at your retreat.
    Cheers, PD

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  9. Good to hear Mrs Padre is doing well!

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  10. Delighted to hear Mrs. Padre is recuperating well. Mrs. Kinch was muttering approval at the sight of such a canvass. Yet again the Petersons are proving a bad influence.

    I can only salute your efforts with la belle langue from afar. Has the Canadian military not quite grasped the reality that most people can be trusted to understand English if only it be spoken loudly and slowly enough.

    It's an approach that's certainly worked for me.

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    1. To quote the Duke of Wellington from Blackadder 3, it all comes down to shouting. Shout, shout, and shout some more.
      I don't think any military in history, not even the Austro-Hungarian army, has spent as much money and time on language training than the Canadian Armed Forces has, and with shockingly mixed results.

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  11. Excellent news all round Mike. Happy healthy Madame Padre means a happy healthy garden it seems.

    Good luck with the French. My own limited secondary school level (What I can remember in any case) helped me loads with all the Spanish speaking here in California.

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  12. I'm glad to hear of the Mme's progress back to better health.

    However, if she resembles Audrey H in 'A Star is Born" there is something seriously wrong... I sincerely hopes she resembles the Divine Ms H rather that Dear Old Judy G.

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    1. You are quite right, Edwin, I meant to say Judy Garland in A Star is Born, though I have always found Ms H's short hairstyles to be most fetching.

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  13. Good news on Mrs Padre.
    Give her my regards.

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  14. Delighted to hear that Mme P is back in action, and your 1:1 terrain project is coming along nicely. FYI, your crappy lawn is a lot better than my crappy lawn.

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  15. Great news to hear the Madame is feeling better and prognosis is looking up.
    Nice start to the garden too.

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  16. Great news to hear the Madame is feeling better and prognosis is looking up.
    Nice start to the garden too.

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  17. Thank you all for your kind words. It is indeed a joy to see D9er getting back to her old self. I chatted with her tonight and learned that row two of the rocks had been set and the topsoil all added. She starts planting tomorrow.

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  18. Good news to heard indeed Michael. I look forward to seeing the shrubs in place and the battle for Gondor taking place atop its battlements :)

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  19. Glad to hear Mrs Padre is recovering well! All the best to you both.

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  20. Wonderful news about Mrs P! I'm truely and honestly delighted to hear that she's getting better. My thoughts and prayers are still with you.

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  21. Good to her she is doing well. As for the stone work, I have too much experience with those Blegium blocks and thought the same about adding miniatures. Best wishes to the Mrs P

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