Siege Diaries 5/30/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: Is my hard work for the right end?

I do not tend to work hard at things that are not for the right end. If it’s drudgery I need to get through, I do just enough to do it well enough. Of course, the Stoics have in mind here improving one’s mind and doing the right thing from a philosophical and ethical standpoint as well. Here is where I try to always carve time out of my day for activities like this one, where I get a chance to write and think and plan. And it’s planning that often gives me that time on the next day, and the day following.

I don’t always succeed, of course. Sometimes I have to work hard at activities that I might deem as worthless because, in the end, they’re part of my job, and not doing them would be bad. But my non-working hours? I mostly control those (except on days when the internet goes down, or something else goes awry that is more critical). I don’t necessarily have to like everything that’s for the right end, but if it needs to be done, I’ll make sure to put the time in and give it my best effort.

I would be remiss, especially remembering where we were just one year ago with BLM, to not mention the discovery of a mass grave of 215 children buried on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops. Will this be the start of leverage for real change in the way that settlers approach the tough work of real reconciliation? This is one area where I think the current Canadian government has good intentions (mostly) but not enough action or real follow-through (plus actively opposing some measures that might begin to address some specific situations). Meaning well isn’t enough to actually make a dent on deep-seated racism.


As I’ve been mentioning in passing, I’ve been working on a project to transform our front yard from a space dominated by a scraggly, weed-prone lawn to a rock garden with attractive plantings. The plan is now officially in motion, after a fact-finding trip this morning to Home Depot and Terra. After drafting out my design on graph paper and understanding the requirements, I had some questions to answer and some research to do. First, off to Home Depot to look at some edging stone in person to make some final decisions; I was also checking out their plants for potential good deals (but didn’t find what I wanted).

I’m glad I waited, because, then, going out to Terra, I found precisely what I was looking for–a Nootka false cypress, which has a lovely drooping aspect to it and does fairly well in our clay soils, as well as the low-spreading juniper for the area by the foot of the driveway. Terra delivers for $25, and I’ve had my phone here by me waiting for a call–but Dave just returned from his walk to find they’d already been dropped off.

The next step was to go to Home Depot online to order the rest of it. 1 cubic yard of river stone, landscaping barrier fabric, the edging stones, several bags of garden soil, and mulch. All of that should be arriving starting on Tuesday. I’ll look into taking a vacation day once it’s all here to get things positioned. The biggest effort is probably going to be the hole for the tree, but I’ve found some good tips which should help with that.

The other excitement? Real progress on the Pallas’ cat. With the facial detailing pretty much complete, I got a lot of the body completed while I played my two RPGs.

It’s been a very busy day, so I may or may not practice my Russian tonight. We’ll see. I’ll probably at least go back and review.