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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

After two days of reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities (with poor concentration and lots of clicking onto news sites), Allan and I left home in the evening to have a birthday dinner for Dave’s birthday.

It was faintly adventurous because of 70 mph winds at Cape Disappointment, 63 mph in Ilwaco, and a bit less in Long Beach by the Adrift Hotel.

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Adrift Hotel; [pickled fish] restaurant is upstairs.

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Allan’s photo

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While the evening started quietly, the room soon filled up.

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Allan’s photo.  [pickled fish] has exceptionally good pizza.

Our garden gang was not in full attendance.  Todd is in on a working vacation in a warmer clime.

Our gifts to Dave were the practical sort: chemical toe warmers for comfort at work and some cans of Fort George Vortex IPA for unwinding after work.

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Allan walked his winter day route to the post office and library, and considered the Black Lake trail system.

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Due to continuing blustery wind, he reconsidered going on the tree-lined trails.  He says, “Mr. Tootlepedal would at least have brought back some photos of fungus,” but Allan didn’t.

In the evening, we attended a full house lecture at Salt Pub, given by our friend Debbie Teashon of Rainy Side Gardeners fame.  Based on her book, Gardening for the Homebrewer, her talk addressed how to grow the herbs and flowers that can be used to flavour beer, wine, and liqueurs.

Debbie does a “hero pose” before each of her talks.  She says it works to give confidence and strength.

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Our Debbie, shoulders back, hands on hips.

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full house at Salt Pub

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Allan’s photo

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Debbie at work

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Debbie has been a professional photographer for decades.

Debbie’s next speaking engagement, Toasting Your Health, From the Garden to Your Glass,  will be on one of the big stages at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle at 5:45 PM on Thursday, February 23.

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You can glean recipes and how-tos from her book, which is available locally at Time Enough Books:

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A tasty smoked tuna melt sandwich went down a treat while I listened to the lecture and admired Debbie’s gardening slide show.

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at Salt Pub

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a well-received talk (Allan’s photo)

Thursday, 18 January 2016

We joined Debbie for a three hour catch up session over lunch at Salt Pub.  Debbie had already been for a walk with her dog after a restful sleep at Salt Hotel.

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Salt Hotel

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the Port reflected in Salt Pub mirrors

 

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my view

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Bloody Mary (Allan’s photo)

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Pho at Salt Pub

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and broccoli cheese soup

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Allan’s photo

 I spent the afternoon spiffying up my signs as best I could.

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front

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back

Allan had acquired some clear shelf paper to cover them with.  We have had torrents of rain all week (over four inches in just one day) and more is predicted for the weekend.

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working on the one sign I had left to do…turned out to be a rough draft.

For the back of this one:

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I finally came up with this one (below).  I wish I were a better letterer, as I lack patience.  I should have added that Asian women make about the same as white women; that was in the original and was changed because I wanted fewer words.  I couldn’t find up to date statistics for Native American workers.  I chose the word Latinx rather than Latina and Latino  or Hispanic, because my reading tells me it is a word of choice for Millennials, and they will inherit this country.  And so I continue muddling along toward racial justice, assuredly getting some things wrong along the way.

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Here is an image that strongly spoke to me today.

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I prepared for Friday’s social media theme of changing one’s profile photo to one of the Obamas by choosing a photo of them on a train and altering it in Prisma.  The original is in this photo essay.  A comfort on this day was Barack Obama’s promise to emerge after a restful break and continue to be “with us”.

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I chose for a Facebook cover photo an inspirational image  of Barack and Michelle in Michelle’s White House garden.  This is the garden that the execrable Ann Coulter tweeted should be turned into a “putting green” and that Rush Limbaugh contemptuously said made him “gag”.

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Is this beautiful garden going to be bulldozed? Or will Melania or Ivanka get their hands dirty in the soil?  I’m curious to see.

Friday, 20 January 2017

I was unable to sleep till after 4:30 AM because of a sense of doom….and then I had a dream of finding beer cans and cigarette butts in the far corners of my own garden.  In my nightmare, Allan found a leather collar, human sized with iron crosses and the word FURY on it, outside our door.  We called the police. The police chief told us the collar was part of the attire of a dangerous local white neo-Nazi gang and that we should keep our doors locked and guard our garden gates because the leader of the group was clearly prowling up to our front porch.  I woke to the news that a former KKK leader had expressed pleasure about our country’s new president.

Although I barely had time in the morning to glance at the news, I found two moments of amusement: Photos showed an enormous difference in the crowds at DT’s inauguration compared to the first inauguration of President Obama, and there was a spike in Google searches for the meaning of the word “carnage” after DT used it in his dark and dystopian speech.

Allan and I met for lunch (breakfast for us) with a group of liberals at El Compadre Restaurant.

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El Compadre in north Long Beach

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inside El Compadre

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hummingbird chair

The group included local artists, Democrat leaders, and our own Mayor Mike.

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second from left, a regular blog reader, Judy, whom we met in person at last.

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Our very good friend, artist  Joe Chasse.

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a margarita for the drowning of sorrow

Everyone at the table had energy and ideas, and much comfort and inspiration was found there. (We forgot to sing protest songs.) We are FIRED UP and READY TO GO.  Although I must admit that I am still hoping to get ten, just ten, non-peopling days IN A ROW at the end of our staycation, starting Monday.  Wish me luck!  I have not gotten to the bottom of my stack of winter reading yet.

On the way home, while Allan popped into Dennis Company for more sign protecting clear shelf paper, I pulled old foliage out of one planter…

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…and then we clipped back the Melianthus major and a few other perennials in Fifth Street Park.

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Fifth Street Park before a bit of clipping.

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We picked up the trash but will wait till February to cut the sedums and pull the wild garlic.

Coming up:

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Saturday, 14 January 2017

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On another cold and icy day, we headed out. with a stop at the post office three blocks east.

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I decided the gaura MUST be trimmed.  We just had time.

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Our destination was mid-Peninsula to one of my favourite gardens.

Of course, I took a self guided garden tour as soon as we arrived.

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a netting of old nasturtiums

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a side view of the Imperial Chicken Palace

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around the other side of the house

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some of the girls

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The round table was one made for the glorious Pink Poppy wedding in summer 2014.

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for fungus lovers

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old swingset beanpole

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viewing platform

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The painting party was taking place in the garage.

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Young Luna had been booted out for getting in the way.

And so I joined the painting party, where Allan was already at work.

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sad this is blurry…you get the idea. Stoopid camera.

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Allan’s photo

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The mom of a rabble rousing millennial

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and a millennial’s dad (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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mine


mine…but I can only carry one  

Still trying to decide on a slogan for the other side of the above…”Tax The Rich, We Don’t Want to Have to Eat Them” or the more placid “Bridges Not Walls.”
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Allan’s (both sides)

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my favourite sign of all

On the way home, we took some photos at NIVA green for the shop’s Facebook page.

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proprietor Heather Ramsay

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one of Heather’s lamps

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a piece by our good friend Joe Chasse!

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by Joe Chasse.  The mouth moves and the plaque says “I just came in for a sandwich.”

Now…two days of reading can ensue before a busy six days begins.

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I started this last night.  It was oft referred to in Modernity Britain by David Kynaston.

Reminder about Wednesday’s lecture, at 6:30 PM (get there early!). It is sure to be good—Debbie has been a speaker on the main stage at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

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“There’s no feeling quite like cooking with home-grown carrots or grabbing a fresh handful of cilantro from your own yard. Well, unless you’re growing fruits, vegetables, or grains for brewing that is. Debbie Teashon is a freelance garden writer, author, and award-winning photographer from Kitsap Peninsula, WA. Articles and photographs of Teashon’s work have appeared in magazines such as Fine Gardening, West Sound Home and Garden, Master Gardeners, and The Oregonian among others. She has gardened most of her adult life and written about it for over two decades.

Join Teashon as she discusses her latest book, Gardening for the Homebrewer, as it brings an introduction to the wide variety of plants that you can use for fermentations or infusions. In her experience as a gardener, she writes to help explain if your yard is a perfect site for barley or whether it’s better suited to a fragrant collection of herbs. Teashon spends her time gardening, taking classes or researching plants for articles and the online plant database she maintains on Rainy Side Gardeners (www.rainyside.com), a website to help gardeners in the Pacific Northwest.”

Friday 6 January 2017

Allan’s daily winter routine is a walk to the post office and library.  Today he went a bit further to walk by Black Lake.  All photos in this blog post are his unless otherwise indicated.

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icy cold with cracked corn scattered on the ice for the birds.

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dive!

 

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Bright sun near the high school gave little warmth.

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Skooter went out.  Skyler did not.  (Skyler’s photo)

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Smokey at home (Skyler’s photo)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

While reading, I heard some flapping behind me and found a bird in the house.  A cat had brought it in unharmed.  (Two of the cats, Smokey and Skooter, have slipped their BirdsBeSafe collars.  I am hoping to find the collars in the garden.)

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captive in a paper bag before release

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free again with a brush pile to hide in

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Icy has been the going temperature for days.

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ice on Black Lake

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This is unusual here.

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Powdered snow blowing, ice, a clear spot on Black Lake

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careful testing of ice under mom’s supervision

Allan and J9 went to an evening basketball game at the local high school. Ilwaco was hosting South Bend.

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The tall lad is Jenna and Don’s son, Joe. He had just scored a basket.

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the high school band

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and the cheerleaders

Ilwaco won!

Meanwhile at home: an excellent book.

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Some of the passages about the Depression brought tears to my eyes.  (Skyler’s photos)

This brought home to me how much our work as gardeners differs from office workers:

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This reminded me of how homeless women even now have  more danger than homeless men:

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from A Square Meal by Ziegelman and Coe

This reminded me of my grandmother having to go on food stamps at age 76 and being questioned about whether her old, well kept winter coat was too expensive. She would have bought it second hand.

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My grandmother was so frugal that even in her 70s, she still made her own soap:

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Grandma making soap from bacon fat and lye

This is when I broke down and wept:

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Journalist Oscar Ameringer: “The last thing I saw on the night I left Seattle was numbers of women searching for scraps of food in the refuse piles of the principal market of that city.”

“The campfires of the homeless are seen along every railroad track …. [A] woman was hugging a dead chicken under a ragged coat. When I asked her where she had procured the fowl, first she told me she had found it dead in the road and then added in grim humor, “They promised me a chicken in the pot and now I got mine.”

In the south white people received flour for free but black people had to work on road repair projects before being given flour, meanwhile being undernourished and ill from hunger.

Riots over bread: American Federation of Labor said if starvation continued “the doors of revolution are going to be thrown wide open.”

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When President Roosevelt started the distribution of surplus commodities:

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Thrift gardens:

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gardening to survive

While people were still starving…

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Sunday, 8 January 2017

I actually left the house to have brunch with Dave, Melissa, and Our Kathleen at Salt Pub, still thinking about the luxury of having plenty to eat.

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the lobby (Skyler’s photo)

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I was pleased to see old Eryngiums of mine in a vase on the hotel check in desk.

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our view

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garden gang

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Bloody Mary (Skyler’s photo)

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delicious breakfast spuds (Skyler’s photo)

At the end of brunch, I learned that a friend had died after a summer and autumn-long illness.  We had tears.  Allan left the table to wipe his away.

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We’ve lost the darling Steve Pollock, restaurateur of great day café in Surfside.  Heartbreaking. A photo from happy times at the café.

A few more marina photos after brunch:

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crabber ready to go; the season has been delayed because of price haggling

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Allan and Melissa

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The crab pot tree is still up devoid its ornaments

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Skooter helping to process photos.

Monday, 9 January 2017

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Skooter still abed

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Smokey snoozing on the desk where I used to blog daily

I read a short book:

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In the evening, we went to a well attended local Democrat meeting.  The dire political situation is making me leave the house during staycation, and political discussion online (mostly about intersectional feminism) is keeping me somewhat away from my book reading. The meeting was so inspirational that I almost, but not quite, joined a committee. That day will probably come soon.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Isn’t that our cat next door?

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photographic proof that I was outdoors (taken by Allan from his desk)

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(Skyler’s photo)

The temperature was still extremely cold (by which I mean about 28F).  I set foot outside only long enough to take two Skooter photos.

While reading an interesting book called The Social Organism, I learned about a google app called Deep Dreams.  I set them the second Skooter photo and they turned it into this.

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Google Deep Dreams

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Wednesday, 11 January 2016

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a marvelous new book begun (Skyler’s photo)

I kept thinking of our late friend Steve, and his wife of 39 years, Shelly.  He was only 59.

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Steve and Shelly helping with the trick or treating, Oct. 2015

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the pumpkin he made for that Halloween

After a day of alternating between political discourse online (with more or less like-minded women; I don’t go online to argue with the right wing) and WWII book reading, we had dinner with Dave and Mel at the Depot Restaurant.

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‘Twas burger night, Here’s a pre-deconstructed burger. 

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our garden gang at The Depot

Friday, 13 January 2017

We are coming up on a week  with a considerable amount of social life: a garden lecture, a birthday, and more.  In my mom’s old desk, I found these markers, still well-inked, ready for tomorrow.

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books 2016

For the bookish, an overview of what I read in 2016, with a few comments.  Thanks to Goodreads for the neat organization.

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Above: The title you can hardly read, top left, is My Mistake by Daniel Menaker, about being an editor at the New Yorker.   (Another good old book about the New Yorker, from years ago, is called Here at the New Yorker.)

Elinor Lipman was not as good as I had hoped, but good enough that I read all her novels over the winter.

A fat book of delightful cat cartoons and stories from the New Yorker had been lent to me by Steve and John.

A Seaside Knitters mystery, Trimmed with Murder, transported me happily to the fictional town of Sea Harbor.

One of Us is long and harrowing and worthwhile.

Gay Seattle brought back memories of my 1970s, and filled me in on previous decades.

Get it While You Can is by Nick Jaina, who sometimes performs locally at the Sou’wester Lodge.  His prose writing pleased me as much as his song writing—very much.

I have recommended Body Of Truth almost incessantly all year long.

Two great gardening books in the above patch: Oudolf: Hummelo and The New Shade Garden.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was useless to me.

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The Road to Little Dribbling was perfection.

Gardening for the Home Brewer by my friend Debbie Teashon (with Wendy Tweaten) has a much nicer cover than that.  AND Debbie is giving a talk about it THIS Wednesday night (January 18th) at Salt Pub in Ilwaco.  I interrupt this book post for this announcement:salt.jpg

In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution, brought back so many memories for me of feminism in the 1970s.  Little did I know I would be reliving a lot of it by the end of 2016.

I liked Lorrie Moore well enough to read three books by her close together.

The film Star Wars: The Force Awakens started a brief reading theme.  My heart was broken at the end of Dec. 2016 when Carrie Fisher died.

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Above: I adored the Elizabeth Howard Cazalet Chronicles series.  I was lost in that world for days.

Our Kathleen got Crucial Conversations for free at work. I got some useful ideas from it. I wish I could say it solved all my communication problems.

Loving Eleanor ties in well with WWII books I read later in the year.

Being Mortal, PushOut, A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles – excellent.

Future Crimes began a spree of reading about internet woes.

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Above: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck was more my style.

Do You Believe in Magic?, about the science (or lack of it) of alternative medicine, is another book I have recommended frequently since reading it.

Felicia Day…not the best of the books about the social internet.  Allan had checked it out because she had something vaguely to do with Joss Whedon (Buffy).

All gardening books by Dan Pearson were superb.

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I was on a kick of reading books about internet bullying.  Lindy West’s books had a good chapter on that.  Above, you’ll also see Hate Crimes in Cyberspace and This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things on that topic.

To Helvetica and Back was an enjoyable cozy mystery, not as good as the always reliably good Susan Wittig Albert, here represented by Blood Orange.

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Lower left title is So Rich So Poor, one of several books I read about class inequity.  Another is, of course, White Trash. (Further back is $2 a Day.)

Chop Suey was a not quite as good a read as I wanted about Chinese Restaurants.  Lab Girl was one of the best of my year. Girl on the Train had me in suspense, and I always love Laura Lippman’s mysteries.

I do not recommend the Farmer’s Market mystery series by Paige Shelton, even though I liked two other cozies by her earlier in the year.  I think she might be writing too many series too fast!

I read Nella Last’s War before Nella Last’s Peace.  Both are so wonderful, and I love her.   The books are in reverse order in these photos, and so Jambusters came first in my reading.  Before that came the telly show Home Fires, based on Jambusters, and Jambusters mentioned Nella Last, and so my “civilian live in WWII Britain” reading spree began.

Stranger in the House (about men coming home from WWII) and When the Children Came Home continued my WWII reading.

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Above, more of my beloved Nella Last, and Murder at Lambswool Farm, the new Seaside Knitters mystery (a series about which I wrote a whole blog post in the past).  An Agatha Raisin cozy, Pushing up Daisies, was fun and endearing even though I usually find the series not well written.

Liane Moriarty is a psychological suspense genius.

The gripping YA novel, Goodnight Mr. Tom, continued my WWII reading about evacuated children.  The move adaptation was disappointingly off-plot, as was Housewife 49, made from Nella Last’s War and absolutely terribly different from the book.

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I do not recommend A Thousand Naked Strangers; the flippant attitude toward patients of the author paramedic made me put the book down halfway through.

How We Lived Then, about civilan life in WWII Britain, had me completely absorved, and through that book, I learned about my favourite books of the year, Austerity Britain (here represented by the cover of A World to Build; each of the three huge David Kynaston volumes contains two books), Family Britain, and Modernity Britain.

New Yorker’s British correspondent Mollie Panter-Downs was oft quoted in the Kyanston histories, and above is her book of WWII short stories, Good Evening Mrs. Craven. January started with London War Notes by Mollie Panter-Downs, now another favourite.  I wish her peacetime columns would be made into a book.

More political reading: I had checked out What’s the Matter with Kansas, whose liberal (my kind of) author did not like Bobos in Paradise much…which I had coincidentally checked out at the same time.  (I found Bobos—bourgeois bohemians—very funny.)

If you want more details, including the number of stars from 1-5 that I gave each book, here they are again.  As you can see, I am pretty good about picking out books that I will like.

 

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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Allan’s day out

As it’s been below freezing lately the walkabout to the post office has been chilly.

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Lake Street’s puddles are frozen and crunchy.

Ilwaco’s original fire station is moving forward in its restoration. The workers were momentarily getting warm somewhere else.

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I noticed that there is a coarsely woven green backing being applied behind the cedar siding that will allow it to dry better after our rains.

Between regular winter chores, the highlight of the day was going to be a free matinee presentation of Humphrey Bogart’s 1943 movie, Sahara. The two screen local Neptune Theater presents a classic film weekly for free which leaves more money in hand to support them by purchasing extra munchies.

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I’d never seen this film before. I was impressed by the international cast and the view from inside a tank as the battle for an oasis unfolded.


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Here the Brit and the Yankee with their tank face thirsty soldiers.

With a few hours left of a sunny afternoon, I paid a visit to the northern terminus of the Discovery Trail, which follows the route of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

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The puddles were still frozen.


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Beach houses visible across the frozen dunes.


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Here stands a replica of Clark’s tree with his inscription.


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WILLIAM CLARK. NOVEMBER 19, 1805. BY LAND FROM THE U. STATES

From there it was just a short walk over a dune to the beach.

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From here it is a 7.5-mile walk to the North Head lighthouse visible on the point.

On the way home I noticed a pair of swans crossing Ilwaco’s Black Lake.

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Ice is already forming this side of the dock.

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Hopefully finding warm bedding on shore to spend the night.

Melissa and David (Sea Star Gardening) had a beach excursion later in the day.

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Melissa’s photo

Skyler had an unadventurous day.

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From today’s reading:

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The Restaurant Opportunities Center has excellent ideas, beginning with this:

In the late evening, we watched Hunger GamesCatching Fire, a fantasy film that seemed apropos for our perilous times.

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Thursday, 5 January 2017

The next day, Black Lake was mostly frozen over. The swans were still here in the afternoon. Now they can stand on the ice when not feeding.

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In her continued attempt to not leave the house, Skyler started another book:

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We wish we had the next Hunger Games movie to watch.  It should be on its way from the library soon.

Oops

We had a glitch and published a post before it was ready. It will reappear soon! 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Posted from my phone, which explains any odd formatting. 

Today was Allan’s 64th birthday!

Skooter’s favorite daytime sleep spot is in the hallway.

Better yet was Allan’s new birthday book, Atlas Obscura, which had to be sat upon


After a day of reading, we attended the monthly Living Liberally in Pacific County meeting at Adrift Hotel. Productive  ideas were formulated and discussed. I’ve been reading voraciously online about white feminism vs intersectional feminism…one of the issues of concern as liberals resist the new and bigoted ruling party about to come to power. I look forward to participating in anti racism workshops being organized by a group member. 

At the Living Liberally meeting

Following the meeting, Dave and Melissa joined us at the [pickled fish] restaurant upstairs. A scrumptious Thai Brussels sprouts appetizer went down too fast to be photographed.

Two fennel sausage pizzas and Dave

 

One birthday wish

An excellent guitarist


Having recently read the book Forked about the restaurant industry, I was pleased that beginning on this day,  [pickled fish] restaurant had abolished tipping, a practice historically rooted in slavery. It is now factoring in a service charge that guarantees all the restaurant workers a living wage. Hotelier Tiffany Turner, one of the organizers of the Living Liberally group, is to be commended for leading the way locally.

Forked: We recommend it.

Two excerpts from Forked:


And
Allan’s birthday get together was so small because we did not know when the meeting would end, so we could not easily organize a larger party. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

I had to leave my cozy  home and my book for a dentist appointment (an easy one). Afterward, back in my sanctuary, I took a quick garden walk. 

A winter Joseph’s Coat rose

Hellebore

Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’ and a successfully transplanted conifer

Hebe in Allan’s garden

Hellebore  foliage needs cutting back. It was too cold for gardening. 

Time to cut back old foliage


I barely entered the back yard. The gale warning flags flew over the port office and the icy wind discouraged me. 




Cold!

Nevertheless, I did feel the first stirring of desire to garden since Winterval began. That’s encouraging. 

I like the new shop-the-eye fencing.

Frosty would enjoy a gardening day.

I now hope for four non-peopling days in a row. (Allan has his own quiet pursuits.) My goal is to read all of these:

Later, one down. I learned about Elizabeth David in the David Kynaston British history series. 


Because I don’t enjoy cooking, I skipped reading the recipes. Any friend  is welcome to try them out on me. Her food essays are gorgeous. 



I’d like to read this one soon:


Next, Behind the Kitchden Door by Saru Jayaraman, the author of Forked.