I am trying to just read, and read, and read on staycation this year. December, however, is not the most read-alicious month as there are so many colourful events going on here on the Long Beach Peninsula. I think January will be more the solid reading month.
Sunday, 7 December 2014
I so much wanted to spend the day reading, but the warm and sunny weather required me to spend the day weeding and clipping instead.
before and after in the back garden
Allan went boating on Black Lake with his friend Chris in beautiful, summer-like weather.
Allan: “A portion of a used boat collector’s garage. Two boats visible with assorted sails. The source of my last summer’s fun green/white sailboat at the Black Lake Yacht Club” (which consisted of Chris and Allan and two small boats).
Chris decided not to take this boat.
through the windshield: driving to the Black Lake dock
Launching at the dock. The red boat is Allan’s.
Chris trying out Allan’s boat under sail
After that photo, the day went pear-shaped as Allan, while trying out Chris’s boat, went partway into the water, drowning a camera and his old iPhone. The result was that we hurried across the river on…
Monday, 8 December
…to buy a new iPhone 6 for me while Allan upgraded to my iPhone 4S. He generously offered me the new phone as I use it more. I was not thrilled to go across the bridge because of the weather forecast:
No photos were taken as it was a rush around to three stores to find the phone in stock and because, until I got my lovely new phone in hand, I was disgruntled to lose a quiet reading day to phone and grocery shopping We encountered a friend over there who told us her husband had made her feel guilty for over two weeks for dropping her phone in the water, so I guess Allan got off easy with just two hours of kvetching.
We barely got back before the first storm of the week hit, and went to dinner with Marla, who had decided to spend a couple more days here. (She and I were both afraid that if we took the elevator to [pickled fish] restaurant, the power would go out in the 50 mph wind and we’d be stuck, and I am too decrepit to easily go down three flights of stairs. We both loved that we had both thought of the most horribilizing possibility and happily went off to a first floor restaurant, Castaways, downtown.)
Castaways: We had the dining room to ourselves while a minor windstorm raged outside.
our Marla and my margarita
The “loaded” baked potato soup was quite good.
I ordered a Caesar wrap and got a Caesar salad; it was tasty.
Allan’s burger met with his approval.
We walked Marla back to her hotel around the corner and could barely stay on our feet in the wind. On the way back, we got some photos of a beautiful Ilwaco window:
Griffin Gallery window on First Avenue
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
At last I had a reading day on Tuesday. (Eventually I will write an entry about staycation reading.) On Wednesday, the entire Peninsula began hunkering down because the forecast called for 90 mph winds, and reputable meteorologists warned us that the Peninsula would take the brunt of a hurricane force storm. Based on my memories of the 2007 storm, I expected to perhaps be out of power for a couple of days. We had our lantern batteries and plenty of books. I decided to sacrifice some reading time to decorating our first ever artificial Christmas tree while we still had electricity.
more dire warnings
The tree: next year, I want to add more multicoloured lights.
Just like last year, I had pondered skipping the tree ritual, and am glad I did not. I am particularly enjoying not having to remember to water it every day and expect to find in the future that having an artificial tree on hand will make the decision to decorate it very easy..
The tree comes complete with berries, pine cones, and frosted tips.
the peach ornament that dates back to my grandma’s childhood
Nancy from the Basket Case sent me a message asking us to join them for burger night at the Depot. Who could resist? Thus Wednesday became a tree decorating, Depot dining, Survivor watching non-reading day.
At the Depot on Wednesday nights, one checks off the ingredients desired on one’s burger.
a happy time with Basket Case Fred & Nancy
Thursday, 11 December 2014
The local museum closed for the day and the public schools also closed so that children would not be traveling home in the wind, which was expected to arrive at 2 PM and blow till 10 PM. At one o’ clock, we drove to the port to get photos of the unusual sight of the hurricane-force warning flags flying over the Port Office.
We had not had the chance to see both these ominous flags together before.
photo courtesy Nisbett Gallery; Don was prepared for the storm.
We visited with Don for awhile and marveled that there was still very little wind….
peaceful view from inside the gallery door
And then came a heavy rainstorm, and then a rainbow.
rainbow over the gear shed
When the wind finally began to roar at about 3 PM, we had a five hour storm. The gusts were just over 80 mph at the Coast Guard station not far from us. Delightfully for us, we never did lose power as it seemed the storm chose to hit much harder on the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, where thousands had to do without electricity for the night.
The next day we checked around for damage and the only thing we found was one roof tile in neighbour Mary’s driveway!
the extent of our neighbourhood storm debris
Some were disappointed with the lack of excitement from the storm. I was relieved because the excitement is all very well until a tree falls on someone’s house or car, which did indeed happen tragically in the city of Portland, Oregon.
Friday, 12 December 2014
I continued to crave days of just reading, of which I had only one in a seven day stretch. Instead, errands beckoned, beginning with picking up the last check of the season at Long Beach City Hall.
City Hall was decorated with extra care this year.
Long Beach City Hall Christmas tree
hellebore in the city hall garden
and another city hall hellebore
We clipped the last two chrysanthemums in the city planters, at last.
still showing colour but it had to go!
While Allan shopped for some paint for a project, I dropped off a monetary donation at Shoeboxes of Joy.
Inside the Long Beach Depot
Shoeboxes are packed and wrapped with gifts for the impoverished or lonely elderly.
On the way home, we picked up considerable storm-blown trash in the boatyard and portside gardens. Back home again, I saw in our wheelbarrows the story of how much rain had fallen in Thursday’s storm.
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Because I needed some photos of the Saturday Christmas Market for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page, and because we had afternoon and dinner plans, Saturday would not be a perfect reading day. You see, the perfect reading day involves nothing BUT reading, a hard thing to achieve in the season of holiday events and good times with friends.
I walked to the market while Allan worked on a project.
blue skies over the port
and Blue Eyes in the water
walking past Time Enough Books…
I popped in for a little Christmas shopping.
holiday decorations in the bookstore
Next, a bit more shopping was accomplished at the Saturday Christmas market.
painted sand dollar ornaments by Lisa Gillespie
Lisa’s decorated hats
I indulged myself in not one, not two, but three of these charming and inexpensive hats to fancify my gardening attire next summer.
my new hats, a mere $12 each
I very much like the felt pillows and ornaments by another of the vendors.
In the next room, beachy signs
I made myself unpopular with one vendor by announcing in a moderate tone that one sign, a carved out image of a gun with the slogan “We don’t call 911″ (which would be 999 in the UK) was a shock to my happy and peaceable holiday market mood. I’ll spare you a photo of the ugly shooting sentiment. After that I thought I had better just go home…not without a few iced Christmas cookies from Pink Poppy Bakery.
Pink Poppy Bakery
On the way home, I shook off the disappointment of the gun-threatening sign with the sight of the cheerful garden boat on the north side of Time Enough Books.
outside Time Enough Books and Purly Shell
At home, Mary had made herself comfortable without a reading lap to sleep on.
While I did not really want to be indoors on such a sunny day, the garden took second place to an afternoon concert by the Astoria Tuba Quartet. It’s a yearly tradition to attend this event with my friend J9. (Allan stayed home and worked on his project.) The quartet emerges to the audience chant of “TuBA, tuBA, tuBA, tuBA!”
left to right: two euphoniums and an F tuba and a double B flat tuba
one of the euphoniums
The audience claps for the whipcrack sound in the sleighride song. (Lovely weather for a sleighride together with you.)
It’s J9’s tradition to have her Christmas card include the tuba players.
It was a most enjoyable time even though it did not include my very favourite Christmas song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, a song that I love because of its emphasis on the simplicity of “little”.
On our walk back to my house, J9 and I admired a lighted arch.
I ended my social time with J9 who went off to to company of her two new kittens and was met at our house by Kathleen, with whom I solved a few of the world’s problems before we all trooped out to dinner at the Depot. We were joined by Patti, owner of the most beautiful garden in Seaview.
Kathleen, me, Patti, Allan
Patti and I had the seafood special with fish, clams, sausage, prawns.
Kathleen had Udon Prawns, which I had intended to have till I saw the seafood special. ” Peanut, Coconut, Tomato and Yam Spicy Broth with Prawns and Udon Noodles Topped with Chopped Green Beans and Cilantro “
Allan’s choice: Cinghiale Brasato: “House made Potato Gnocchi sautéed in a Ragout of Braised Wild Boar, Tomatoes, Red Wine and Seasonings topped with shaved Parmesan Cheese”
enjoying a delicious dinner
Patti about to delve into dessert.
a perfect flan
while the rest of us each had chocolate Guinness cake
at the end of the bar, the Depot culinary theme Christmas tree
We’d had a delightful evening and I was so glad I had thought of taking Patti to dinner to thank her for the several times she has invited us over for one of her great home cooked meals.
flashback to Patti’s Christmas tree when she’d had us over for dinner on December 5th.
It would be another day before a couple of reading days would come along, as next up is the Peninsula Bed and Breakfast tour on Sunday.