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I had planned to not post again till after this weekend’s Crab Pot Tree festivities.  Then, this morning, I got a nice email from a friend and reader asking if I was ok because there’d been no blog post.  I realized I had better make a proper announcement that there won’t be posts every day this winter.  Maybe once or twice a week!  Or more if I manage to do a gardening project or if Allan takes a boat trip, or if I read a really good book.  My plan for this staycation/winterval is to go out as little as possible.  If I follow through, that will lead to less blog fodder.  I can’t even wrap my head around decorating for the holidays this year because it would take a day away from reading.

To go along with this announcement, here is the rest of November, to show how not much is happening (which is just how I like it).

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

view north from the living room

view north from the living room

ageing in the garden

reading for the day

reading for the day

Ruth Bancroft began her garden at age 61, just the age I am now.  Some people told her she would not live to see it mature.  (Nice friends!) In fact, she was alive and enjoying the garden at age 107 when this book was written.  She had worked in the garden until she had to resort to a walker at age 100.

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At age 107…

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I love this illustration from a favourite book of hers: When the Root Children Wake Up by Sybille Von Olfers.

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Look how beautiful the book is.  And, OH!, I did not know yuccas even had flowers like those arching yellow ones.

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I very much agree with Ruth about small plants:

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A couple of years after she began her garden, a freak cold winter killed it all.

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I am deliberately taking “bad” photos because it’s not right to swipe from the book.  I just want to share with you my inspiration that I should dismantle my scree garden around my garden boat, add more soil, and make it a bit taller, like this:

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

I continued with The Bold Dry Garden.  My reading is going slowly these days because I have to keep checking back on various news sources for unpleasant updates.  I’ve written the suggested emails, letters, made the appropriate phone calls to government officials, and other than that I feel stuck—well informed but with little I can do other than read all about it.

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Most of Ruth’s plants I could not grow. I do like the many spiky flowers in her garden, and the way she designs could be translated to any garden.

I want this grass, even if it could be but an annual here.

I want this grass, even if it could be but an annual here.

Ruth.  How I love her now.  Gardeners: Do read the book.

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Now, at last, I can begin a book that I have already renewed twice: 500 plus pages of extra small print about life in Britain during WWII.

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In the first 100 pages, here’s what especially got to me.  Some readers might recall that, if I believed in reincarnation, I would feel that I HAD lived then and there.

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Television went dark in 1939:

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The black out begins in a town rather like Ilwaco.

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This explains why you often see depictions of people clustered around one radio for an important broadcast:

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Declaration of war:

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Many eyewitness accounts showed that the famed “stiff upper lip” was not much in evidence during the first air raid warnings.

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Even though I live in a small town, on my street security lights blaze on houses and blank out the sky.

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People were fined for showing the slightest chink of light:

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People got lost in the blackout, finding themselves in the woods, or in a pond.

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I recently read two other books, one non fiction, and one a novel, about wartime evacuee children: When the Children Came Home: Stories of Wartime Evacuees by Julie Summers and the glorious Goodnight, Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian.

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an interesting fact:

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My grandmother used to invite soldiers for dinner during WWII in Seattle.  Like this:

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You can read my grandma’s guestbook entries from some of those soldiers here.

And that is just the first 100 pages.  I’d be reading more (or the news) right now, had I not needed to boot up today to do the tiresome but so necessary monthly billing.

Allan felt bad because he forgot to help hang the floats on the crab pot tree yesterday.  (He was dealing with our medical insurance issues, and his brain got consumed by bureacracy.)

crab pot tree today

crab pot tree today

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Enjoy your December, and I’ll check in when I have something to share.  Meanwhile, if you missed it, I created a whole new blog about my grandma’s story, here.

 

 

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Three of five of my mother’s garden diaries from the 90s appeared in among some papers of Allan’s in mid February, 2016.   I am so deeply thrilled to have them.  The others got somehow lost when she moved from her home to Golden Sands Assisted Living in 2009.  She possibly did not think them worth saving.  I can guarantee she would like that they are being shared here.  When these diaries began, she and my dad, Bruce, lived in their retirement home, a manufactured double wide on a 10,500 lot in Nisqually Pines near Yelm, Washington.  Because he was 8 years older, she was able to retire at age 55 in 1979.  (Bruce died in June, 1995.)  A large clearing in the back of the lot held her vegetable garden, strawberry rows, and apple trees.  My comments are in brackets.

1995 (age 71):

Nov 1:  Probate [from Dad’s death in June] completed per attorney.  Spent this afternoon digging dahlias tubers from Tam area [former juniper tam bed, now flowers, by the roadside].  Received Wayside and Spring Hill orders mostly perennials and some bulbs on Wayside order.  The shop [large two room outbuilding] was plenty warm this AM so I turned the heat off for the day.

Nov 2: 12:30-5:00 40 degrees  All afternoon planting new Wayside perennial plants in corn patch and mulched whole area with straw.  Emptied boiler for firewood [a big copper boiler next to the woodstove that she used as a planter outside in summer].  Planted pansy plants in 3 “window boxes” [window boxes not attached to the window as that is hard to do on an old double wide manufactured home].  I didn’t get back to the job of digging dahlias.  I may need to buy more straw to mulch in front.

Nov 3:  Finished digging dahlias.  Cut down lily stalks in UDFB [Upper Driveway Flower Bed] and PBB [Patio Back Bed??]  Drove around Yelm paying bills, bank, Payless, Stock Market, and Gordon’s.  Bought 16 more pansies and more perennials.

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Nov 4:  Planted Gordon’s perennials in garden.  Cut back lots of plants in WPFB [West Patio Flower Bed?] leaving a big pile to pick up for shredding if Robert can turn the machine on.  Planted more pansies in my boxes.

Nov 5 (Sunday): Day off

Nov 6: 10:30 AM-3:00  Finished planting pansies—the last 8 in the rockery in front.  Cleaned up PRFB-So.  Started raking leaves in lower driveway but the last 1/2 it was raining.  The wood is coming tomorrow so then I’ll be busy.

Nov 7: Received firewood in pouring rain ($75.00).  They insisted it was dry.  Del Lord offered a tarp—much appreciated as the tarp I planned to use was very wet.

Nov 8: I started piling new wood.  Some pieces big enough for chopping blocks.  I guess I’ll have to order split wood in future.  If Robert doesn’t have time I’ll have to hire someone to split it although Del offered to help me.  NICE MAN.  [Robert and I visited mom for 3 or 4 days each fall to do chores for her.]

Started hemming the new slacks I have had for months.  Then the shopper came [newspaper circular with ads].  Pansies and mums for 39 cents!  I dashed in and bought 4 full trays (64 plants).  I may go back for more plus some mums.

Nov 9:  1:00-4:00 I lit off the burning barrel and the guy next door parked his truck about a foot away.  Del Lord suggested he move it.  I found huge pieces of wood in my new wood.  Del said he was curious so he brought over his wedge and proceeded to chop the big pieces for about an hour.  Mary came over and helped pick up.  It’s nice to have neighbors like that.

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illustration by Marcie Hawthorne

Nov 10:  I bought “berry” wire at Yelm Hardware and 3 more metal posts for the new raspberry row. I hope Robert’s back gets better—they won’t be up there till the day before Thanksgiving.  [That must be the autumn when Robert threw his back out planting bulbs and was down for several days.] I stopped at Gordon’s=32 pansies and 18 mums.

Nov 11: I emptied the 6 wooden pots and planted bulbs and pansies on top.  At 4:30 I went into shop and tried pairing off bulbs to plant together but it was too complicated to match up colors, depth of planting and when bloom.  I cleaned the dahlias so they are ready for peat moss and then to bed for the winter.  I washed several of the terracotta pots.  I’ll put pansies in them.

Someday I should count how many pansies I bought.  I planted the 4 Philodendrons in the 2 tall pots.

Nov 13:  1:00-5:15  Finally started planting bulbs.  I filled all the remaining terracotta pots with various bulbs in layers with pansies on top.  Received Van Dyck order. [This was a bulb company that may no longer be around.]  Spent several hours checking order in.

Nov 14: Store

Nov 15: Got a perm today at 3:30 so it was dark and rainy.  I made it home ok but don’t like driving at night on these dark dark roads.  [She had only begun to drive after my dad died in June of this year.  She had gotten her license at about age 62 but had never practiced and joked that she only got the license because the instructor took pity on her after she flunked the driving test three times.]

Nov 16:  Planted tulips in patio bulb bed.  [At last! The mystery of what is “PBB” is solved!]  That job took me all afternoon.  Mary Lord sent Del over to check on me because “she didn’t see any smoke from my chimney for 2 days.

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illustration by Marcie Hawthorne

Nov 17:  1:30-6:00  Planted more tulips in PRFB.  [Patio Right Flower Bed?]  There were 25 and 50 per bag.  Planted pansies along bulkhead.  Then spent 4:30-6:00 in shop rearranging bags and bags of bulbs.

Nov 18: 1:30-3:30  Raked leaves from ditch in front including leaves on the road 1/2 way over.  Filled 3 Steel Sacks [39 gallon trash bags].  The bags are too heavy to lift into wheelbarrow so I’ll have to drag them by the “handles”.  I hope they don’t break.

Mrs. Wilson came over and chatted.  She invited me for Tday dinner but I declined.

Nov 19:  I called Skyler to find out the reason for their trip.  I thought they were coming for the chain saw and string trimmer and I suggested they wait until January.  Robert and S said they are coming to help me plant my bulbs.  I hate to have them make the trip just for bulbs.

Nov 20: 1:30-4:30  Spent some time trying to organize my garden books.  Then went outside and cut back plants in Tam and CTFB and picked up leaves and still have more in that area to pick plus all other areas.  So far I’ve got about 10 bags to shred.

Nov 21:  Raked leaves from Tam area, east ditch, and upper driveway.

Nov 22:  Raked leaves.  If I had the nerve and the energy, I would ask Wilsons for the leaves in front of their lot.

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illustration by Frank Fretz

Nov 23: Raked leaves.  I got some of the lower driveway raked.

Nov 24:  11:00 to 2:30 GOT RAINED IN  Finished raking leaves except upper driveway and I’ll get them when I plant bulbs there.  I have at least 18 bags to shred plus the straw all to be used as mulch.

R&S arrived about 5 PM.

Nov 25:   Robert and I shredded all the bags of leaves etc.  Skyler planted bulbs all over the tam area—about 6 hours.  There were several hard rains but she didn’t stop.  Robert cut down the brown stool and repaired the old one.  She made a rock pathway in tam area.  It looks kind of nice.

Nov 26:  Skyler planted more bulbs until they were all planted except for the amaryllis and dwarf lilies.  She told me I should plant some bulbs I thought had to be planted in spring. Robert repaired the mailbox, cleaned gutters, and swept the roof.

Nov 27:  NOW the garage door opener won’t work with the remote.  Also the dryer won’t start.  Oh me it’s always something!  GE service will come Wed.

Nov 29:  GE repairman worked on dryer and cleaned out washer filter (Yes, Robert, there is a filter).  Now there is a roof leak at back door (old) and front door (new),  Also the GE man said I should put something on the deck outside as he said he almost fell through.  So I put the board that I use then I do potting in the utility room.  So far in the past week the garage remote won’t open the door, the dryer quit, the washer is plugged, the porch cover leaks, the deck is rotting, what’s next?

Nov 30:  12:00-5:00 RAIN  Spent afternoon inside on houseplants.  Watering, snipping, potting, etc.  I kept wanting to go out to snip the Rhody that we cut out but each time I looked it was pouring again.

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illustration by Marcie Hawthornw

1997 (age 73):

Nov 2:  I switched phones from shop.  Skyler called Security Sat night because I didn’t answer several times she called.  It turned out to be that I couldn’t get incoming calls, although I could call out.  Evidently when I used the two 25′ lengths with the connector gizmo from Jayhawks it did something that prevented incoming calls.

Nov 3:  Sent $5000 to Skyler to buy another truck  [Thanks, mom!  Robert and I were badly struggling financially in our seasonal gardening business and had had to buy a vehicle on payments.  She said this was my inheritance from my dad’s estate.]  I called the telephone co.  She agreed that connecting the two 25′ cords did something to incoming calls but the shop phone (now in house) works ok.  I went to dr—weigh 134#—last glucose test ok—got another today.  I got my new glasses (plastic lenses).  They are so lightweight.  I must remember to use cloth to dry them NOT kleenex.

Nov 4:  Dr E said yesterday’s test ok.  Don’t take Tolazimide and see him in three months.  I worked about 3 hours planting my seedlings. I can see the end.  The Park Seed order arrived so I checked it in.  Most of them will go in the patio bed because that’s the area I want in bloom all spring through fall.

Nov 5: 11:00-5:00  I finished planting all of my seedlings.  Tomorrow I probably can get the Park order planted.  Then there are a lot of bulbs to be planted into pots and containers.  Also a lot of pruning and cleaning of the yard and garden.  And wood to be cut etc etc.  I’ve got plenty to keep me busy all winter.  Skyler got my check and will pay off the car tomorrow.  images-2.jpgNov 6: 11:30-4:00   Another good work day. I planted the Park Seed plants today!  Then I transplanted my snapdragon plants and the dianthus plants that were in various containers.  I raked up the driveway.  My next job will be to go through the flower beds and prune the plants and weed and leave the beds in good shape for the winter.  That will be a one or two day job.

Nov 7:  I did paperwork so got a late start outside.  So I only worked a couple of hours.  I planted a few tulips in the patio and UDFB [Upper Driveway Flower Bed].  I pulled scads of sweet woodruff and cut back several perennials and weeded so at least the UDFB is put to bed for the winter.  Later I’ll add some mulch.  Also stepped on Hardy Fuchsia shrub.  Damn.

Nov 8:  It was such a beautiful warm sunny day so I went out and worked in the upper part of the Tam area, cutting back, weeding etc.  I got about a third of the Tam flower bed done.

Nov 10:  Happy Birthday Marine Corps.  I worked again in the Tam area, the same work I’ve done the last two days.  On the evening news they said it will be below freezing tonight.

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My mother in the Marine Corps, WWII

Nov 11: Store day—just Payless and QFC.  Then I went out to close the water faucets.  First I had to wash scads of pots and trays piled up in sink.  By then the ground around the sink was very wet and mucky.  I got wet and dirty closing the faucet by the greenhouse.  But I took a hot shower and was ok.  There didn’t seem to be any damage from the frost that I could see.

Nov 12:  12:30-4:00  It seemed like 8 hours.  I spent all that time in the Tam area weeding, pruning, and digging up all the rocks Skyler made a path with.  I also found several more dahlia bulbs.  Some of the mums and asters are still blooming so I let them alone.  Tomorrow I want to rake up the leaves in front of Wilson’s while they are still dry.  The pile to be shredded is huge.

Nov 13:  12:00-3:00  Today I used the thing I bought some time ago that allows me to rake leaves directly into a bag.  It worked good.  I filled 10 bags full of leaves from in front of Wilsons.  It seemed like 6 or 8 hours.  I quit when I was too tired to finish.  However there will be more leaves to fall so I can finish another day.  I even wore a blister on my hand!

Nov 14:  11:00-1:00  2 hours at the dentist for crown.  I have to go back in 2 weeks.

I spent the afternoon puttering with plants in the Floralight.  I repotted some violets. and cut off bad leaves, added systemic insecticide to soil etc.  I tossed a few dead plants.  I ran out of potting soil and was too lazy to go get more from garage.

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Floralight from Lee Valley Tools.  She had the 3 tiered one.  It is now at Golden Sands Assisted Living.

Nov 17:  I spent this afternoon in the bedroom filing!—for the first time in 3 months or so.  I threw out outdated records from the files.  As usual, I didn’t finish so I piled everything in a box to finish later.  [Mom cut out a lot of gardening articles to save.]

Nov 18:  I only worked about an hour today.  I brought up a lot of firewood from the shed to the porch.  It’s hard to pile the old sizes from the trees across the street as its a jumble of odd pieces—not the nice pile most people have but it will do.

Nov 21:  Either I didn’t do anything these past 3 days or I just didn’t write it down. ?

Nov 24:  Watered some houseplants and puttered around the house and got recyclables ready for pick up.

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Illustration by Frank Fretz.  She would drive past a farm like this on her way to the stores in Yelm.

Nov 25:  Store day.  I called the power company about the huge increase in Aug and Sept power consumption.  They figured use of 10 shoplights (which I had on at the time) costs about $1.17 per day for all 10 lights which adds up to about $70.00 for the 2 month billing period.

Nov 28:  P.O., Tim’s, Payless, and Jayhawks.  Today (Friday) seemed like Monday all day.  Don called and came out to bring me about 8 Grolights and a plant heating pad and all sorts of garden equipment.  He said he’s not going to plant seeds, so he gave me a whole lot of good stuff.  I bought a vest at Jayhawks and more of those small good gloves.

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illustration by Frank Fretz

Nov 29:  I went out when sun was out to bring wood in.  I managed to get a lot in but it started to rain.  I was reading the Ilwaco newspaper last night and there was an article about Skyler and a picture of her.  The story about her was about her putting in a garden at the boat house.  [I had gotten mom a subscription to our local paper, the Chinook Observer, in an attempt to lure to to move down her so we could help her out more.  The garden in the article was the Ilwaco boatyard garden.]

1998 (age 74):

Nov 2:  11:00-3:00 WARM IN SUN, COOL IN SHADE   I was in my “go to the store” clothes when the sun came out so I quickly changed and went out.  I finished planted 703 bulbs in the various flower beds.  I keep finding dahlia bulbs in all areas.  Then I started replanting the plants that were in various containers.  I should have 925 bulbs set aside to be planted in containers but I have to get them emptied first.  Del Lord had several trees limbed.  It sure opened up his back yard.

Nov 3: Well, today was store day.  Pd telephone bill, Times, EC Bank and QFC.  I bought 6 bottles of Sprite and had 6 25c Sprite coupons.  When “James” started deducting various coupons he charged me 99 cents each for the Sprite instead of crediting 25c each.  Too late to go back today.

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Nov 4: 10:30-5:30  I picked up 2 more pails of apples and peeled and sliced them until 4:30 for only 10 pints.  I hope they seal OK.  (They all sealed).  Del Lord seems to be cutting more trees down.  Mac’s Tree Service was there today.

Nov 5:  12:00-3:00  More apples.  It was sunny so I planted more plants from the various containers.  I got rained in once so I worked in the shop cutting back the dahlias.  Then I went out and planted more until it really got rained in so I quit for the day.

Nov 6: 1:30-4:30  I didn’t get up till 10:00.  Then I had to go to QFC to get a refund on error made last Tuesday.  When I got home I decided to go out to work.  I finished planting various plants that had been in containers.  I finished all but the dianthus in large pot (I don’t know where to put them).  Some of the plants I replanted may be annuals but unsure so I planted them all.  I still have the Park Seeds plants to set out.

Nov 7: Noon-6:00  Peeled apples all afternoon, and got 10 more pints canned slices.

Next week:

  • Clean the rest of the pots and containers
  • Plant Park Seed perennials
  • Start planting container bulbs
  • Cut back all plants that have frozen

Nov 9: 10:30-4:00  Cool-no rain (2 more pails of apples)

I worked planting the Park Seed perennials.  A crew was digging ditch across the road and I thought they might do it on my side.  (I thought they were working on water lines.)  So I dug up some asters to reveal the pipe.  Then I asked and found out they were working on the tv cable.  (They cut it again.)  I used my rock rake in front of Tam area.  Then at 4:00 I got the recycle stuff together.  Then I peeled apples until 8:30 for apple sauce.  Then I had dinner and quit for the day.

Nov 10: Beautiful warm day and I spent the entire day in the kitchen canning the applesauce I cooked last night, and peeling and cooking more which I’ll can tomorrow after I buy some more lids.   I also dried 5 large onions, potatoes, and 2 cabbages.  Cabbage doesn’t dry well.  It ends up little tiny shreds.  Too much waste.  HAPPY MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY.

Mom's Marine Corps days

Mom’s Marine Corps days

Nov 11:  In all day again doing apples after going to the store for more lids.  I canned the sauce I cooked yesterday.  Picked 2 buckets of apples.  I peeled some more to be dehydrated.  Picked up more apples—there seems to be no end to them.

Nov 12:  3 pails of apples today.  Two more trays of slices.  Then I put 7 quart jars in kettle to sterilize them.  I thought I had peeled enough by 6:00 but only filled 5 jars, wasting 2 lids.  A storm is brewing so I hope the rest of the apples fall tonight.  Tomorrow I hope to start washing the dozens of baskets and containers in the shop.

Nov 13:  Noon-6:30  All that time spent peeling enough apples to fill 6 trays and an apple crisp.  It was raining most of the day so I didn’t pick up the apples under the tree.  Overnight the wind must have caused scads of apples to fall because the ground is covered.  I think most of the good apples have fallen.

Nov 14:  7 pails of apples today!  I picked up all those before it started raining.  I got the houseplants watered.  The apples in the 6 trays were almost dry.  I pared more and was then able to empty the trays and fill them up again.

Nov 15: At about 4 o’clock when I brought in some wood I was stung by a bee.  It hurt as bad as any migraine I’ve ever had.  It continued hurting terribly. I considered calling 911 or St Peters but felt silly calling about a bee sting.  I used a package of frozen veggies as an ice pack.  Then when I was going to have some toast at about 11 there was a bee on the side of the table!

Next week:

  • clean out the containers
  • turn on shop hot water tank
  • while water in on clean out the BBQ
  • start planting container bulbs
  • rake and bag the fallen leaves
  • set strawberry flats in garden and cover with leaves and Reemay

Nov 16: 12:00-4:45  I got up at 8 AM!  I turned on the shop hot water heater when I went out to get the newspaper.  At noon when I went out to work I worked in Tam area [formerly Juniper tams, now flower bed, by the road] while waiting for the mail because I didn’t want to leave the Amex check in the mailbox.  Then I started washing the various containers and baskets.  I was glad to have the warm water because the cold water made my bee stung hand hurt as bad as yesterday.  More pots and BBQ to wash tomorrow.

Nov 17:  (Slept till 11:00.)  I cleaned the BBQ grates as best I could.  The top two weren’t bad but the bottom one is very rusted.  Then I finished washing all the pots and containers.  Then I turned off the hot water heater.  Using the stepladder I was able to get all the quart jars down.  Later I ran the dishwasher to wash them all.  I picked another 4+ pails apples again.  In the evening after JAG, I started trying to organize the bulbs to be planted in containers. a Busy Day !

[This entry contains the first hint that in the evening, she had various television shows she liked to watch, usually police or law stories.  She also enjoyed reading novels; her favourites were Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, Clive Cussler, John Grisham, Danielle Steele sorts of books.]

Nov 18:  I went out intending to start planting bulbs into the various containers but ended up raking the leaves from behind the house on top of the compost pile about at least a foot of leaves deep.  There will still be pails and pails of apple peels to pile on when all the apples are gone.  I will toss soil on top and let the pile alone for the winter.  2 PAILS APPLES

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Nov 19:  11:15-4:30  RAINY  I peeled apples until 3:30 and canned 7 quarts.  Then I peeled more to make 4 trays to dry today.

Nov 20:  Again peeled apples but I miscalculated and only had enough to fill 6 quarts.  Also peeled enough for 6 more trays to dry.

Nov 21:  I had enough tomatoes ripe but as undecided how to fix them (no space in freezer) so I canned them (in mayo jars) 5 pints.  I took all the canned apples to the shop.  I brought pint jars from the garage.  I brought enough wood in for tomorrow and picked up another two pails of apples.  Luckily the rain stopped long enough to do these chores.

Nov 23: Busy day.  I was going to bring wood from behind the shop but wanted to burn the branches and stuff in the wheelbarrow so I could use the barrow for wood.  I had a heck of a time burning it because stuff in the barrow wasn’t dry.  By then it was raining hard while I kept stirring up the fire.  I brought some wood in from shed.  By then I was drenched.  I also brought in the wide mouth pints.  Recycle day.  Also washed clothes.

Nov 24:  Windy.  Errand day.  Cashed CD in at FCB which should give me enough ready cash for down payment on whatever place we see for me to live in.  [She moved to Long Beach the following June to a double wide manufactured similar in age and style to the one she lived in at Nisqually Pines. “Oh, this is NICE”,  she said when the realtor showed it to her after she had rejected several cute vintage cottages.  At the time, since she had said we should pick out something that I liked and would enjoy inheriting someday, I was sorely disappointed, so it is ironic that in 2010, the year she died, after a lifetime of living in cute vintage houses, I ended up moving into a double wide of similar age in Ilwaco.]  

Watered plants with indoor hose.  The wand popped off once and sprayed water all over my lazyboy but no harm done.  Spent $96.00 at QFC.

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Back then, there was nothing but farms between Nisqually Pines and Yelm.

Nov 25:  Rain all day.  After breakfast I started to arrange bulbs for containers.  Then at 2:00 I started peeling apples.  At 8:30 I took the 7 quarts out of the canner.  That’s almost an hour per qt.  I’ve still got 4 pails of apples on the back porch and many more on the ground.  Tomorrow I must take care of tomatoes.

Nov 26:  I canned 4 pts of tomatoes and peeled 6 trays of potatoes to dehydrate.  I picked 2 more pails of apples.  Then I brought all the pails in, dumped them in the sink, and sorted them.  I have 4 pails and a 5 gallon pail of little scabby ones which will be used last if at all.

Nov 27:  Well I intended to start planting my container bulbs but I decided to peel enough spuds for 6 trays.  By then it was raining.  So I started peeling apples—then the sun came out but by then I had made the syrup etc.  So from noon to 7:00 PM I canned another 7 qts.  I used 2 pails of apples so maybe I can see the end of the apples.  I’ve been working on apples since Sept 14th.

Nov 30:  This wasn’t my usual productive Monday.  I accomplished some things.  I peeled enough spuds for 5 trays.  That almost finished the 20# I bought last week.  Then I sliced 5 large onions to make the last tray.  I had to bring in wood.  Since I’ve seen 5 or 6 bees in the wood, I’m not bringing as much into the house.  I fill the cart and bring in what I need at a time.

firePlace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

in the garden:

Joseph's Coat rose

Joseph’s Coat rose

Joseph's Coat rose

Joseph’s Coat rose

As you can see, my bamboo poles will need repainting. Next time, I’ll try a coat of acrylic on top and see if that helps the colour last longer.

Acanthus sennii (from Xera plants)

Acanthus sennii (from Xera plants)

Hardy fuchsias are still blooming all over the garden.

Hardy fuchsias are still blooming all over the garden.

At last, I have a good strong Dichroa febrifuga.

At last, I have a good strong Dichroa febrifuga.

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant'

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

Allan had gone to Costco.  I thought I might take a puddle walk.  I got two blocks away from home before being driven back by rain.

This house around the corner is for sale again.

This house around the corner is for sale again.

We got a package in the mail from Penzey’s Spices.  Our friends highly recommend them, and we appreciate the company’s liberal political stance.

Penzey's Spices

Penzey’s Spices

Look how full the jars are!

Look how full the jars are!

I finished the book I had started the day before: Searching for Whitopia.

I recommend it.

I recommend it.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

At a little after noon, Allan went to the port to help put lights on the crab pot tree.

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crab pot tree

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Bruce Peterson

Bruce Peterson

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It may be the tallest ever this year!

It may be the tallest ever this year!

Later this week, Allan will go back to help hang the decorations.  The official tree lighting will be Saturday, Dec 3rd, at 5 PM sharp, followed by festivities at shops along the port.  We hope to see you there.

At home, in an increasingly unpleasant storm, Allan began putting up some boards, which we had acquired for free from Denny at Klipsan Beach Cottages, on the fence between us and our neighbours to the north.  We love Jared and Jessika and have discussed this project with them.  It will provide privacy for them in the area where they like to do outdoor yoga in good weather and will give me that sensation that I crave of stopping the eye at the end of a long path.

Allan had painted the boards that will go on the Jared Jessika side to match their house and little cottage.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; cottage is to the right.

Allan's photo, from our side

Allan’s photo, from our side

We had a breakdown in communication, when Allan spaced the sections far apart instead of together.  I was unclear about the shrub, which does not provide a solid enough visual barrier to skip over.  Ooops.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The shutter panels were originally not planned to go in here, which is why they are painted purple and green.  I decided they just look wrong here; these are not J&J’s colours.  So the new idea is to just use the boards to fill in the first section of wire fence, the part that is literally at the end of the path.

Panel at end of path is all that I need blocked (which is as far as the free boards will reach without the shutter panels).

Panel at end of path is all that I need blocked (which is as far as the free boards will reach without the shutter panels).

By now, not only was the wind and rain buffeting at 26 mph, but it was time to go to dinner, so the project was shelved until Monday.

We still don’t know where we are going to use the shutters.

In the garden:

The Dicentra scandens has put out a whole new spurt of growth, and flowers, after completely dying back. A new phenomenon of this warm autumn.

The Dicentra scandens has put out a whole new spurt of growth, and flowers, after completely dying back. A new phenomenon of this warm autumn.

passion flower blooming

passion flower blooming

the first narcissi

the first narcissus

The narcissus went into a bouquet that I made to take to dinner at Tony and Scott’s house in Long Beach.  I also found Jasminum nudiflorum, Lonicera fragrantissima, roses, fuchsias, Nicotiana langsdorfii, lavender, red valerian, and more.

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dinner at Tony and Scott’s house

I know I said I wasn’t going to go out much.  But how could we resist an invitation from a couple who love plants, are great cooks, are politically simpatico, and have two cute dogs?

Tony's famous night blooming cereus, east window: had loads of blooms this summer.

Tony’s famous night blooming cereus, east window: had loads of blooms this summer.

Tony has been collecting Long Beach Peninsula postcards for years.

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in the hallway

in the hallway

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Driftwood Inn. Tragically, it burned down.

Driftwood Inn. Tragically, it burned down.

the gloriously creative Driftwood Inn or Driftwood Hotel

the gloriously creative Driftwood Inn or Driftwood Hotel

A few unframed postcards:

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Beards Hollow, Ilwaco

Beards Hollow, Ilwaco

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We love reading the old postcard messages.

We love reading the old postcard messages.

I was completely thrilled to meet the dogs, Bailey and Rudy, whose photos I had so often seen on Facebook.

Rudy, Scott, Bailey

Rudy, Scott, Bailey (Allan’s photo)

Bailey

Bailey (Allan’s photo)

me and Rudy

me and Rudy

Tony is great at group selfies:

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Tony's photo of the bouquet.

Tony’s photo of the bouquet.

Homemade salsa from Tony's garden

Homemade salsa from Tony’s garden

Chef Tony

Chef Tony

deliciousness (Allan's photo)

deliciousness (Allan’s photo)

After dinner, we watched a movie.

hachi

scene from the movie (Allan's photo)

scene from the movie (Allan’s photo)

The poignant dog movie led to a flood of tears from all four of us.  We wept over our delectable dessert of apple blueberry pie a la mode. 

You can see there was much laughter too, as we bonded over dogs, food, and shared political thoughts and feelings. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Skooter and Smokey helped me with this blog post.

The plants on the windowsill are starts from Tony.

The plants on the windowsill are starts from Tony.

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Allan finished the fence section…without the shutter panels.

This exactly the "stop the eye at end of path" effect that I wanted.

This exactly the “stop the eye at end of path” effect that I wanted.

Their side: It matches the cottage.

Jared and Jessika’s side: It matches the cottage.

in the garden, with passion flower

in the garden, with passion flower

looking south

looking south

We've had many inches of rain recently.

We’ve had many inches of rain recently.

cat tails

cat tails

potted annuals still blooming

potted annuals still blooming

While I was outside, Smokey and Skooter took over the desk.

While I was outside, Smokey and Skooter took over the desk.

Now, with the exception of our weekly North Beach Garden Gang meeting, I intend to read till Crab Pot Tree evening.  Here’s what’s next:

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Ahhhhhhhh…..

Tomorrow: the entirety of my mother’s old garden diaries for November ’95, ’97, and ’98, illustrated and including non gardening entries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

During the day, I got to finish my book.

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And at four, we drove through torrential rain one half hour north to Oysterville to have Thanksgiving dinner with Melissa, Dave, and their family members at Sea Star Garden.

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”  -Cesar Chavez

approaching the house in bucketing down rain (Allan's photo)

approaching the house in bucketing down rain (Allan’s photo)

Dave and Melissa had prepared a feast.

Dave and Melissa had prepared a feast.

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gravy making

Dave and me

Dave and me

an oven full of goodness

an oven full of goodness

Both Dave and Mel are excellent cooks.

Both Dave and Mel are excellent cooks.

Anna imitates a throw rug.

Anna imitates a throw rug.

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cutting board very similar to one my grandma had

cutting board very similar to one my grandma had

the bird

the bird

I made a new very good friend: Peanut, a dog recently rescued by Melissa’s sister, Liza.

a wonderful, sweet, amazing dog

a wonderful, sweet, amazing dog named Peanut

a perfect dog (Allan's photo)

a perfect dog (Allan’s photo)

with Melissa's mum, Betty

with Melissa’s mum, Betty

buffet feast being laid out

buffet feast being laid out (lower left, squash rolls from Bailey’s Café)

Melissa was a whirl of cheffing activity

Melissa was a whirl of cheffing activity

table centerpiece

table centerpiece

pumpkin pies by Allan, pear and cranberry cake by Melissa

pumpkin pies by Allan, pear and cranberry cake by Melissa

ever hopeful Peanut

ever hopeful Peanut

one of Mel's three sons and his girlfriend

one of Mel’s three sons and his girlfriend dishing up.  All dishes but two were vegetarian.

Anna and Melissa

Anna and Melissa

dessert time (Allan's photo)

dessert time (Allan’s photo)

how we all felt after feasting

how we all felt after feasting

the end of a happy evening

the end of a happy evening with simpatico friends

It was good to have a gathering where, because of being in agreement, we did not having any of the anxieties of talking politics that plagued many families this Thanksgiving.  Melissa’s mother heaped praise upon her daughter and son in law for the delicious meal, and it was especially pleasant to meet the family members we’d heard so much about…and to have lots of time to commune with the delightful Peanut.

I was thinking again of what I read earlier this week in She Made Me Laugh, a biography of Nora Ephron:

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We are ever so thankful for having found Melissa and Dave.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Nov 24:  11:00 to 2:30 GOT RAINED IN  Finished raking leaves except upper driveway and I’ll get them when I plant bulbs there.  I have at least 18 bags to shred plus the straw all to be used as mulch.

Robert & Skyler arrived about 5 PM.

1997 (age 73):

Nov 24:  Watered some houseplants and puttered around the house and got recyclables ready for pick up.

1998 (age 74):

Nov 24:  Windy.  Errand day.  Cashed CD in at FCB which should give me enough ready cash for down payment on whatever place we see for me to live in.  [She moved to Long Beach the following June.]

Watered plants with indoor hose.  The wand popped off once and sprayed water all over my lazyboy but no harm done.  Spent $96.00 at QFC.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

I so intended to finish my Seaside Knitters mystery today. While I knew a last order of bulbs would be arriving, the weather was bad and they did not come till after noon.

And then I looked at the box, and at the weather.  And at the box.  The rain had stopped, and only two gardens awaited bulbs.  We decided to just do it, no matter how bad the weather might get.  I wanted to be DONE.

My knee had been excruciatingly sore for the previous two days, causing much anxiety over having maybe made the wrong decision in postponing surgery till Medicare (if we even have Medicare in three years).  Today, it had returned to awkward but not painful, just in time for work.  (That knee brace that I am awaiting should arrive next week. The delay is my fault for not listening to voice mail in a timely manner.)

Out on the Bolstad beach approach in Long Beach, I had only 15 mixed cyclamineus narcissi to plant and 10 species crocus.  That used up the annual Long Beach bulb budget.

beach approach garden

beach approach garden

The blocks-long narrow garden has become weedy again.  Those weeds, except where the few bulbs went in, will simply have to wait till early next spring, as will getting a load of mulch to fill up the planters, some of which are disconcertingly low.

damp but not actively rainy

damp but not actively rainy


Allan's photo: He pulled some crocosmia while I planted.

Allan’s photo: He pulled some crocosmia while I planted.


bulbs going in

bulbs going in


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo: a fairy door of mysterious origin has survived the summer.

Allan’s photo: a fairy door of mysterious origin has survived the summer.


about to tackle the crocosmia in a planter

about to tackle the crocosmia in a planter

The rest of the bulbs went to the Ilwaco Community Building, thanks to a last minute funding by the Friends of the Library.  Said funds had come too late to get a little of everything from the first huge bulb assortment.  Instead, the garden got 100 of this and 50 of that and 30 of something else, in vasty sweeps:  Iris reticulata, species crocus, cyclamineus narcissi, Brodiaea laxa coccinea, anemone blanda, Muscari latifolium, Galanthus nivalis ‘Flora Pleno’ (double snowdrop).

bulbs (Allan's photo)

bulbs (Allan’s photo)


into the nicely mulched garden (Allan's photo)

into the nicely mulched garden, with bulb food in mixed nuts jar (Allan’s photo)


Muscari along the outer curve of the tiered garden

Muscari along the outer curve of the tiered garden


library entrance

library entrance

Just as Allan planted the last of his set of bulbs, a dramatic wind and sharp, small pelting hail arrived.

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We were lucky this waited till we were almost done.

We were lucky this waited till we were almost done.

Despite the rain, Allan got some photos of the holiday lights at Ilwaco City Hall.

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I had a few bulbs for the post office and a few for home (brodiaea, muscari, snowdrops).  In the torrent, I planted at the post office, then at home, then back to the post office when I found three in my pocket that I’d forgotten, then home.  Then done! Until Allan found one narcissus rolled under the counter.  NOOOOO.  It will go into the post office tomorrow on our way to dinner.

The work board is now devoid of bulbs and projects as we await a frost before doing the final work clean up.  Our total of bulbs planted this fall now stands at 3,840.

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At home, I decided to write up the past week’s blog and to, I hope, finish my Seaside Knitters book before time for a Werner Herzog DVD and dinner.  I look forward to Herzog’s soothing voice.  It has been difficult to find happiness this month.  Here’s what Werner Herzog has to say:

I find it odd that people are striving for happiness as a primary goal in life. I find it silly. I’m interested in other things. Hope or no hope, optimism. Being part of something meaningful like striving for justice, or equal rights for all humanity. It’s a much more dignified goal than personal happiness. Who cares about that?”

for later tonight

for later tonight

Tomorrow: a Sea Star Thanksgiving


 

ginger

1995 (age 71):

Nov 23: Raked leaves.  I got some of the lower driveway raked.

1998 (age 74):

Nov 23: Busy day.  I was going to bring wood from behind the shop but wanted to burn the branches and stuff in the wheelbarrow so I could use the barrow for wood.  I had a heck of a time burning it because stuff in the barrow wasn’t dry.  By then it was raining hard while I kept stirring up the fire.  I brought some wood in from shed.  By then I was drenched.  I also brought in the wide mouth pints.  Recycle day.  Also washed clothes.

Monday, 21 November 2016

I began a new book.

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I do love a good agony aunt.  (Miss Manners is a particular favourite.) Ms. Havrilesky had many gems of advice to offer.  While many letters to her are by people in their late 20s and 30s, some address the mysteries of aging as well.

I did not know this when I was 25-32, and I wish I had (but hardly anyone does):

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This would have helped me just two years ago:

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This would have helped me even more two years ago:

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My reading was interrupted to go to an evening meeting of local liberals.  The agenda:

1. What the F*** just happened?

2. What’s next?

3. How can we get involved in the local political system and encourage others to as well

4. What are the looming challenges facing our local community under a Trump administration and how do we prepare?

5. Individual thoughts and ideas moving forward

Adrift Hotel

Adrift Hotel (Allan’s photo)


Adrift Hotel in Long Beach was the meeting location.

Adrift Hotel in Long Beach was the meeting location.

Over 50 people attended, a thrilling turn out for a dark windy rainy night in a small beach town.  The organizers had expected a much smaller number of people.  They had a most clever idea: We brainstormed in small groups and wrote down on sticky notes ideas on different set topics, and the notes were then organized onto boards and will be made into a document later.

such a clever plan

such a clever plan for note taking

You may see a lot of older folk in the photo, yet we were all encouraged that a goodly array of younger folk attended, as well.  Some excellent ideas are about to flower from this and I will share more as they blossom.

We repaired upstairs to the [pickled fish] restaurant for dinner (one of the few places in town that is open till 10 PM).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the pickled fish

the [pickled fish]

cranberry margarita

cranberry margarita


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


The pizzas are superb.

The pizzas are superb.


art in the ladies' room

art in the ladies’ room

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

back to this

back to this

Finally, I thought I might have time to read, in its entirety, the latest Seaside Knitters book.  I’d been saving it for a stretch of uninterrupted time.

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Unfortunately, there is no book that can keep my attention off of compulsively reading the news on my iPhone.  I even try putting it in the other room—and then end up going to get it.  So I didn’t finish the delightful book after all before it was time for dinner and some telly.  My big plan was to finish the book on Wednesday. Even though some bulbs were due to arrive, bad weather was predicted.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Nov 21:  Raked leaves from Tam area, east ditch, and upper driveway.

Nov 22:  Raked leaves.  If I had the nerve and the energy, I would ask Wilsons for the leaves in front of their lot.

1997 (age 73):

Nov 21:  Either I didn’t do anything these past 3 days or I just didn’t write it down. ?

1998 (age 74):

Nov 21:  I had enough tomatoes ripe but as undecided how to fix them (no space in freezer) so I canned them (in mayo jars) 5 pints.  I took all the canned apples to the shop.  I brought pint jars from the garage.  I brought enough wood in for tomorrow and picked up another two pails of apples.  Luckily the rain stopped long enough to do these chores.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Again, Allan and I went to Salt Pub, this time for brunch with Our Kathleen.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

an intensely rain and windy day

an intensely rain and windy day

our view

our view

a Bloody Mary

a Bloody Mary

and eggs Benedict

and eggs Benedict

Allan's brunch

Allan’s brunch

The sun came out! (Allan's photo)

The sun came out! (Allan’s photo)

After a long catch up (we had not seen Kathleen since before the horrendous day of Nov 8), I finally had time to sit and finish a book I’d been pecking away at all week.

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This reminds me of our good fortune in finding our “other halves”, Melissa and Dave of Sea Star Gardening:

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I think it is rare to find another coupled pair with whom one can be completely at ease.  I’ve tried before and run into the problem of one half of the couple not liking us as well as the other, or us not liking one half of a couple as well as the other!  We seem to have found the perfect match now for our weekly dinners.

Below: A description of how women have to get things done (and it is not right):

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Even though reading is going slowly because of having to keep up with the news, I had time to begin another book, this time a satisfying suspense novel set in Seattle.  Much of it made me happy in its descriptions of my former home town (age birth to 38).

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Because I grew up in both my parents’ Craftsman house and my grandma’s much smaller Craftsman cottage, I loved this:

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Cliff Mass, weather blogger, came onto the Seattle scene after I moved away.  His forecasts figure large in my storm season life down here.

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Skooter helped Allan read a book on his Kindle.

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And later Skooter was to be found napping in the dryer.

on nice warm about to be unloaded clothes (Allan's photo)

on nice warm about to be unloaded clothes (Allan’s photo)


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Nov 20: 1:30-4:30  Spent some time trying to organize my garden books.  Then went outside and cut back plants in Tam and CTFB and picked up leaves and still have more in that area to pick plus all other areas.  So far I’ve got about 10 bags to shred.

1998 (age 74):

Nov 20:  Again peeled apples but I miscalculated and only had enough to fill 6 quarts.  Also peeled enough for 6 more trays to dry.