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Archive for November, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

images

Today was Shop Small Saturday, and since I wanted to stay very local (and needed to “cover” the event for Discover Ilwaco), we stuck to the Port of Ilwaco.  I was very well chuffed to have friends Kathleen and J9 come by to join us.  On the way down, I found it terribly difficult not to pull some small weeds from a Howerton Way garden.  With Kathleen’s encouragement, I managed to walk on past them.

J9, Kathleen, and I amble along Waterfront Way (Allan's photo)

J9, Kathleen, and I amble along Waterfront Way (Allan’s photos)

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a crisp sunny day, such a contrast from yesterday

We walked by Time Enough Books.

We walked by Time Enough Books.

And OleBob's.  We would return to both later on.

And OleBob’s. We would return to both later on.

Regular readers will be glad to know that after a week off work, I did not need my cane to make it to the port and back.  In fact, I was not even hobbling!

 

entering this year's Ilwaco Christmas Market venue, the former space of Queen La De Da (who moved her shop downtown)

entering this year’s Ilwaco Christmas Market venue, the former space of Queen La De Da (who moved her shop downtown)

The market will be richer in vendors starting next week.  There was a big craft fair, maybe more than one, in Seaside and maybe Astoria today so crafters were spread a bit thin, we think.  NEXT week Pink Poppy Bakery will be there…but Kathleen will be back in her Olympia home and will miss that delight till she returns in two weeks.

In the Saturday Christmas Market:

It occurs to me I need to look at jewelry and compliment it; I tend to ignore it as I don't wear much (except for the very cool jewelry of Debbie Haugsten).

It occurs to me I need to look at jewelry and compliment it; I tend to ignore it as I don’t wear it much. .(The exception is that I always notice the very cool jewelry of Debbie Haugsten; I wish she had a booth at this market.)

An artist in wood....

An artist in wood….

had made a beautiful boat.

had made a beautiful boat.

The miniature charts were actual antiques.

The miniature charts were actually old, he told us.

boat detail

boat detail

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

In the interest of supporting the market, Allan bought an oyster shell ornament.

In the interest of supporting the market, Allan bought an oyster shell ornament.

wreaths

wreaths

signs

signs

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

When I saw market manager Bruce Peterson carrying a wooden star down the street, I realized he must be planning to put the topper on the crab pot Christmas tree.  I left the market and tailed him for a photo opportunity.

approaching the tree at the west end of Howerton Way

approaching the tree at the west end of Howerton Way

tree

Peter and Bruce place the star

Peter and Bruce place the star

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"Does it look straight to you?"

“Does it look straight to you?”

Betsy Millard, director of Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Betsy Millard, director of Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

helpers

helpers

zip-tying the lights and greenery

zip-tying the lights and greenery

On the way back, I simply had to stop at the westernmost Howerton Way garden and break the dead stems off of a Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’.  I had meant to bring my clippers.  Kathleen reminded me that I was on staycation but I could not be dissuaded.  After that excitement, we reunited with Allan and J9 and all went into Time Enough Books for awhile.  Before entering, Allan saw co owner Peter putting up some lights.

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Peter making sure the lights reach down to the Purly Shell yarn shop

In the bookstore, my good friend Scout waited to greet new customers.

scout

scout

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Allan's photo; shop dog Scout

Allan’s photo; shop dog Scout

We sat by the fire (Allan's photo)

We sat by the fire (Allan’s photo) and I hope added some ambience.

Allan's photo: lots of patrons for Shop Small Saturday

Allan’s photo: lots of patrons for Shop Small Saturday

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

J9, an avid reader, browsing the shelves

J9, an avid reader, browsing the shelves

J9 left us to run assorted errands and head home to her new kittens.  Kathleen and I made a stop into Purly Shell Fiber Arts, right next door to the bookstore.

Purly Shell Christmas tree

Purly Shell Christmas tree

yarn displayed on nautical nets

yarn displayed on nautical nets

in Purly Shell

in Purly Shell (Allan’s photo)

purly2

I tried to start a conversation about the cozy mystery series The Seaside Knitters and how I was loving it so much that it made me want to learn to knit.  This was a missed opportunity as I could at that moment have been easily convinced to take a knitting class.  Allan commented how much our cats would enjoy the yarn.

It does look like a pleasant pastime.

It does look like a pleasant pastime.

Allan departed to work on a home project: getting some Christmas lights hung.  Kathleen and I were starting to feel peckish.  Before lunch, however, we wanted to visit Artist Don Nisbett.

Don in his shop

Don in his shop

cards

cards

tiles

tiles

glasses

glasses

and a marina view...

and a marina view…

We each bought some Christmas cards, and Don signed them for us.

cards by Don

cards by Don

While we were there, a fisherman came in asking for a good place to eat at the port.  Don suggested OleBob’s.  Then the fisherman told us that the boat he’d been on last night was almost the first casualty of the crabbing season.

a fisherman's tale

a fisherman’s tale

The boat called The Hornet had sprung a leak at sea during last night’s windy weather.  The Coast Guard was called.  In choppy seas, some of the expensive crab pots were lost, and crewmate Big John went overboard.  Thankfully, he got back to the side of the boat almost immediately and was saved.  Within just thirty seconds, his legs had gone numb from the cold.  You can see a short Coast Guard video of the rescue here.

Soon Kathleen and I went down the way to OleBob’s ourselves and were pleased to see the fisherman and the owner of the boat ordering a big set of meals for the whole crew.  The boat’s owner told us the leak would be fixed soon and they would go back out.

crab fishermen at OleBob's

crab fishermen at OleBob’s

We waiting peaceably at a corner table while the big order was cooked.

We waiting peaceably at a corner table while the big order was cooked.

views from OleBob's...

views from OleBob’s…

olebobs2

Kathleen had fish and chips (left) and I had crab cakes (right):

I took a bite of the tasty garlic bread before I remembered to take a photo.

I took a bite of the tasty garlic bread before I remembered to take a photo.

On the way out, we had a look at the two maps where visitors to OleBob’s stick a pin to mark how far they have traveled for a tasty crab cake.

map of the USA

map of the USA

map of the world

map of the world

At home, we found Allan still working on the lights in the quite chilly air.  He kept at it till sunset and took some photos from the roof.

He kept at it till sunset...(Allan's photo)

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The Jessie’s star, right

 

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lights partially installed; more icicle lights to come

one string of lights on the back of the house

Kathleen left for her beach cabin in time to get home before the roads  iced up.  As I write this in the late evening, it’s 29 degrees outside and I am looking forward to six days of reading.  Only one more work task remains: the billing for November, and then I can turn to books for several days before next Saturday’s lighting of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree calls us out again.

Sunday30 November 2014

 It took all tedious day to do the billing.  Now that it is done, I REALLY feel like I am on staycation!

The last gardening news for November:

Allan got the darling little cyclamens from Kathleen planted.

Allan got the darling little cyclamens from Kathleen planted.

The wheelbarrow got a tune up in Allan's shop, and the gardening tools got unloaded from the van.

The wheelbarrow got a tune up in Allan’s shop, and the gardening tools got unloaded from the van.

I am sorry to say we already have a call from a client who needs some help with a bulb transplanting project, so a few tools will have to go back in so we can come to her rescue.  (There are always a few job-related tasks that come up to interfere with pure staycation.)

a bouquet of chrysanthemums from Long Beach still in bloom by the window

a bouquet of chrysanthemums from Long Beach still in bloom by the window

Fatsia 'Spiders Web' is still holding up well.

Fatsia ‘Spiders Web’ is still holding up well.

The front garden is pretty well crispy.

The front garden is pretty well crispy.

We have but one small tomato left of the last handful that I brought in before the cold night.

We have but one small tomato left of the last handful that I brought in before the cold night.

And the cats are well settled in for the winter.  For much of the rest of staycation, at least any cold and/or rainy days, I hope to be joining them on this chair:

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cats1

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Friday, 28 November 2014

As planned, we left the house at about 10:30 AM for the Peninsula Arts Association Studio Tour.

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All up and down the peninsula!

All up and down the peninsula!

We knew we would not be able to see all 17 of the venues, so we skipped the shops in Long Beach and a few places where we had been before. (The event continued Saturday for those who could devote two days to fitting in every single stop; we had other plans for Saturday.)

Marsh Pottery

I was curious to see a pottery studio in the Sahalee neighbourhood on the hill west of Ilwaco.

When we got there, the weather was like this...and a worker was on the roof of a new house being built across the road!

When we got there, the weather was like this…and a worker was on the roof of a new house being built across the road!

The hill houses overlook the Columbia River.

The hill houses overlook the Columbia River.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo; Every stop had various snacks on offer.

Allan’s photo: Every stop had various snacks on offer.

Potter Linda Marsh and art patrons

Potter Linda Marsh and art patrons

inside

Allan's photo; the roofer had taken shelter

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: The roofer had taken shelter.

Allan’s photo: The roofer had taken shelter.

Hobbit Shop

We tried to go to Karen Brownlee’s studio next but shot by her driveway, went into the next driveway thinking it was hers, and decided to keep on going north and catch her on the way home. (All day became suspenseful; would we get back to Karen’s on time?)

We swung back over to Pacific Avenue (the ocean side) and into a mysterious driveway. This is what I had been hoping for: to visit places down secret little roads.

down a long one lane driveway

down a long one lane driveway

At the end, a place of delight just as I had hoped for!

At the end, a place of delight just as I had hoped!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo, the crow in the peak of the roof

Allan’s photo, the crow in the peak of the roof

on the side of the shop, ingredients!

on the side of the shop, ingredients!

the door to the hobbit shop

the door to the hobbit shop

inside

inside

Allan's photo; One wall had all sorts of tools and one had art.

Allan’s photo; One wall had all sorts of tools and one had art. (Allan bought the wooden box on lower right.)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo, with his little box front and center

art

woodcarver Jim Unwin

woodcarver Jim Unwin

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

building tools

building tools

Jim's wife, reflected in a carved mirror

Jim’s wife, Annie, reflected in a carved mirror

I asked Annie if Jim recycled wooden pallets, since I had seen the old pallets leaned up against the side of the shop. She showed me a pallet table (for only $40!)…

table

table

And she told me that the chairs we had noticed outside were made of pallets…

Allan's photo: pallet chairs

Allan’s photo: pallet chairs

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Annie took us out the side door and showed us the fence that Jim is building out of deconstructed pallets.

fence of free pallets deconstructed into slats of varying size.

fence of free pallets deconstructed into slats of varying size.

back inside the shop

back inside the shop

Jim at work.

Jim at work.

I fell in love with a birdhouse; Jim said it was not one he had made. He had gotten it up in Tokeland at a craft fair for $20. Make me an offer, he said, and I acquired the charming birdhouse for $20!

not for the outdoors or for real birds

not for the outdoors or for real birds

card

Getting to see this hidden-away woodshop was one of the highlights of the tour for me.

As we left, the weather was still like this.

As we left, the weather was still like this.

Carol Couch Watercolors

Kathleen had told us we must be sure to visit Carol’s studio and home. Oh my, she was so right!

couch

Carol’s sign was the easiest one to see!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

shed/greenhouse

shed/greenhouse

studio at front of house

studio at front of house

The house that stood here before was a manufactured home. One stormy day three trees fell on it. Rather than replace it with another manufactured, Carol decided to design a house that would be a place to grow old in, with wheelchair width doors and all on one level. It is gorgeous.

an open floor plan

an open floor plan

doors to an enormous deck

doors to an enormous deck

shed door viewed from the deck

shed door viewed from the deck

fresh air outdoor room

fresh air outdoor room

looking in from the deck door

looking in from the deck doors

snacks on the kitchen table

snacks on the kitchen table

Carol introduced us to her friend and chef, Eddie, who had done much of the design work on the house and who was cooking up delectable empinadas.

Eddie cooking empinadas

Eddie busy cooking empinadas

with two sauces, so good!

with two sauces, so good!

We loved the art and bought two prints and some cards and a mirror framed in beach glass.

We loved the art and bought two prints and some cards and a mirror framed in beach glass.

Allan's photo of Carol and me and the wonderful light in the studio.

Allan’s photo of Carol and me and the wonderful light in the studio.

Allan's photo: beach glass mirrors made by Carol and her daughter.

Allan’s photo: beach glass mirrors made by Carol and her daughter.

As we left, Carol invited us to come visit in summertime.  We will.

As we left, Carol invited us to come visit in summertime. We look forward to that.

Note, bottom right below, the Depot Tavern. That was the previous incarnation of The Depot Restaurant, now our favourite place to dine and one of our gardening spots.

some of our art haul from Carol's studio

some of our art haul from Carol’s studio

Naquaiya’s Studio

On a quiet side street in Ocean Park, we found the cutest little house. If we’d ever been up that street before, I would have noticed it.

600 square foot cottage

600 square foot cottage

Next door is a barn housing the art of several artists, including owner Michele Naquaiya.

Just inside, jams and jellies represent the culinary arts.

Just inside, jams and jellies represent the culinary arts.

an array of cards by the artists

an array of cards by the artists

paper decorations

paper decorations

lower right, broken plates about to be repurposed as mosaics

lower right, broken plates about to be repurposed as mosaics

Some of the card art that we acquired from this studio...

Some of the card art that we acquired from this studio…

As we left, I noticed the mosaic shutters on the house.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The next day, Kathleen told me that she got a tour of the house later that day. I was jealous! She told me that artist Michele had done much of the building and had learned a lot about power tools in the process. The house was only recently completed. Michele had told me that all the wood trim was hand cut and she made all the mosaics.

Allan's photo shows the horse mosaic by the front door.

Allan’s photo shows the horse mosaic by the front door. Another will join it.

Allan's photo: a garden in the making

Allan’s photo: a garden in the making

roadside greenery across the street (cotoneaster, evergreen huckleberry, salal)

roadside greenery across the street (cotoneaster, evergreen huckleberry, salal)

intermission

We saw some cute little Ocean Park cottages on our way to the next studio.

with lavender shutters

with lavender shutters

detail: Robin's Nest

detail: Robin’s Nest

and blue shutters

and blue shutters

tiny cottage next to blue shutter cottage

tiny cottage next to blue shutter cottage

green and red

green and red

across the street from the next studio; I like this better than a big fancy house.

across the street from the next studio; I like this better than a big fancy house.

Bette Lu’s Holiday Studio

bette

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one; would it be just Christmas decorations?

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I was pleased to discover a tiny studio full of excellent art. Artist Bette Lu Krause said she just calls it the holiday studio because of the time of year that she opens for this event; most of the time, she sells through local galleries.

cupcakes and hot cocoa

cupcakes and hot cocoa

Who should walk in the door but our dear friend Kathleen! shown here with the artist.

Who should walk in the door but our dear friend Kathleen! shown here with the artist.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; This was the only studio where we crossed paths with Kathleen.

Bette Lu herself

Bette Lu herself

Her art is evocative of nature, fog, trees, and the sea.

art1

art

"contemplating clams" and trees in fog

“contemplating clams” and trees in fog

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

glass

view out the back window

view out the back window

We came away with cards: the back yard Buddha in springtime and the best Christmas card I've ever seen.

We came away with cards: the back yard Buddha in springtime and the best Christmas card I’ve ever seen.

On an impulse, even though I was concerned about time left before 4 PM, we decided to make the rather long drive up to north Surfside to a studio we’d visited on a previous tour.

On the way....(Allan's photo)

On the way….(Allan’s photo)

Don Perry Metal Art

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Don’s studio is in a garage up a steep driveway.

garden art on the way up (Allan's photo)

garden art on the way up (Allan’s photo)

more garden art (Allan's photo)

more garden art (Allan’s photo); I was smitten by the starry sphere

garage

Don Perry (Allan's photo)

Don Perry (Allan’s photo)

We both tried to get photos when his metal tool was actually shooting blue sparks. It occurred to me later that neither of us are at all assertive in getting people to pose for photos. In one sense, this means you can count on the blog photos being true to life; nevertheless, it would have been so easy to ask him to just shoot off some sparks for a great photo.

in the workshop:  Allan's photo

in the workshop: Allan’s photo

perry

I decided I could not live without that starry sphere. It was a long day’s wages in price. I learned years ago from the book Your Money or Your Life how to value things I want to buy. You deduct your overhead expenses from your hourly wage, figure out how many hours you would have to work for said thing, and then decide if it was worth it. The starry sphere was most definitely worth a day of my time.

Don Perry brought it down from the garden....

Don Perry brought it down from the garden….

...and he kindly carried the heavy object down to our van.

…and he kindly carried the heavy object down to our van.

He warned us it is assembled under tension so never undo it. I promised we would not dissect the garden art.

intermission

Surfside is a windswept neighbourhood on a base of sand.

A lot of the gardens look like this.

A lot of the gardens look like this.

a planting of ornamental grass in glowing autumnal colours, even in the rain (Allan's photo)

a planting of ornamental grass in glowing autumnal colours, even in the rain (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan noticed this viewing deck next to a low slung home.

Allan noticed the viewing deck next to a low slung home.

In Ocean Park, we made a quick drive to the beach approach restrooms. Across the street, I noticed the unusual sight of the very popular Full Circle Café without cars and trucks parked all along the front.

Full Circle Café and Tapestry Rose yarn shop

Full Circle Café and Tapestry Rose yarn shop

Allan noticed the weathervane atop the café!

Allan noticed the weathervane atop the café.

Allan nipped across the street to get a photo of a driftwood fence with beach grass and salal.

He nipped across the street to get a photo of a driftwood fence with beach grass and salal.

Bay Avenue Gallery

We next visited the Bay Avenue Gallery especially to see the latest creations by our friend Joe Chasse.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

inside

inside

Lisa, who runs the edible garden tour and often volunteers at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, was cashiering for the event.

All of Joe’s recent “canned ham trailer” pieces from his Dangerous Toys collection had been sold. They HOP off the shelves. You can see some photos at his blog, here. Other interesting pieces remained:

joe

joe

joe

ginger

joe

joe

joe

We also found a display of the little pottery houses by Jan Richardson. We miss seeing her around since she has moved away from the Peninsula. You can see her former Peninsula home and garden here.

jan

home

dog houses

dog houses

dream house

dream house

A display of Karen Brownlee’s pottery reminded me we must hurry as I did want to see her studio.

Karen Brownlee pottery

Karen Brownlee pottery

Lisa told us we must go next door to the workshop as more art was on display there.

the workshop and classroom space

the workshop and classroom space

a new sign for the front

a new sign for the front

I was smitten with a flattish piece with a poppy seedpod design. It turned out to be a second, a platter that the artist thought had failed, and the price was therefore low.

It came home with me.

It came home with me.

Back into the gallery we went to pay for it.

Back into the gallery we went to pay for it.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Beach Home Old and New

We reluctantly, because of time running short, skipped the Weir Gallery as we think it is open more often than the “occasional shop”, Beach Home Old and New.

It's housed in "The Barn On Bay".  (Allan's photo)

It’s housed in “The Barn On Bay”. (Allan’s photo)

beach

inside, our friend Debbie Haugsten's jewelry

inside, our friend Debbie Haugsten’s jewelry

necklace

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to the right, in background, is Debbie herself.

to the right, in background, is Debbie herself.

The large space abounds in all sorts of just the kind of thing I like.

inside

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cats

basket

bonnie

jars

fire

Allan could not resist, and bought a fairy furniture gate and door.

Allan could not resist, and bought a fairy furniture gate and door.

I could not resist five little houses for $2 each.  Here they are on my bookshelf a day later.

I could not resist five little houses for $2 each. Here they are on my bookshelf a day later.

Wiegardt Gallery

Of course, we had to stop at the Wiegardt Gallery to have a staycation look at the garden (no weeding allowed!) and to say hello to Eric.

Miscanthus variegatus behind the gallery (Allan's photo)

Miscanthus variegatus behind the gallery (Allan’s photo)

Allan checked on the tiny bun of dianthus....

Allan checked on the tiny bun of dianthus….

and found a Knautia still blooming.

and found a Knautia still blooming.

Miscanthus

Miscanthus

front walkway

front walkway

autumnal lawn beds

autumnal lawn beds

all tidy by the front door

all tidy by the front door

montbretia...ready to be pulled...but it's staycation!

montbretia…ready to be pulled…but it’s staycation!

east front corner of the house...a shrub in bloom.

east front corner of the house…a shrub in bloom. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 a winter blooming camellia??

a winter blooming camellia??

inside

inside

inside2

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

alliums and grasses

alliums and grasses, displayed by gallery manager Christl

Eric himself

Eric himself

A young art patron reached out to touch a photo and his mother, as would any good mother, admonished him not to touch.

boy

Eric, a renowned art teacher as well as a renowned artist, said that it was okay for the boy to touch the painting. In fact, said Eric, there was a painting with even more texture. He got it down from the wall so the boy could examine the layering of paint.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

paint

paint

an inspiration

an inspiration

With just a little over a forty five minutes left, we departed to try to make it to Karen’s studio. On the way, we drove right by another studio tour sign and realized we had forgotten…

Epinoia Studio

…so we turned around in the driveway of Peninsula Landscape Supply and went back. Who did we find in the driveway, giving a consultation about some running bamboo, but our good friend Ed Strange!

inside Epinoia Studio

inside Epinoia Studio

I wish I had inquired as to whether the flower flags were for sale.

I wish I had inquired as to whether the flower flags were for sale.

ep2

a large space for creating

Allan and the artist

Allan and the artist

me 'n the Edster

me ‘n the Edster; we’re trying to solve a conundrum about the game Words with Friends

 

I'm showing him, in our van, the awesome sphere with stars.

I’m showing him, in our van, the awesome sphere with stars.

Karen Brownlee Studio

We had to take our leave of Ed and rush down to the Brownlee pottery studio. This time, we knew that we should turn in at the driveway with mosaic posts. No photo ensued as the driveway was long and the tour was due to end in about fifteen minutes.

Karen was busy at her potter's wheel

Karen was busy at her potter’s wheel

karen2

You may recall the annual charity event, Empty Bowls, and that Karen is the driving force behind it.

Karen’s work is both beautiful and practical.

pie birds

pie birds

salt

pottery flowers; I could use a whole bouquet of these in my garden, I just realized!

pottery flowers; I could use a whole bouquet of these in my garden, I just realized!

assorted fruit

assorted fruit

Karen offered some garlic made this way for a snack, with bread....delicious.

Karen offered some garlic made this way for a snack, with bread….delicious.

an interesting poster on the wall

an interesting poster on the wall

This mirror was my last purchase of the day.

This cranberry pattern mirror was my last purchase of the day.

at home

We left Karen’s at 4:00 on the dot and came home to lay out our acquisitions and dote on them.

our art haul

our art haul at home

To make the end of the day even more satisfying, I saw from my window that Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company had lit their holiday star for the first time this year.

south window view

south window view

Even better, I knew I had one more pleasant social and artistic occasion the following day and then I might have six days of reading time.

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

We decided to not to go the always delicious Ilwaco community Thanksgiving dinner because 1) I am sort of hibernating and 2) we like to eat later than noon to 4 PM (even though early dining is a Thanksgiving tradition for many) and 3) our friend Kathleen had proposed the delightful idea of going to a potluck at the Sou’wester Lodge, where we would mingle with a different crowd.  Therefore, I got to sit and read for the afternoon.

 I asked Allan if he would mind driving down to the Port to get some photos of the Aleutian Ballad, a crabbing boat that was once a part of the Deadliest Catch telly show and was rumoured to be in town dropping off crab pots for the local fleet.  Always interested in a photo assignment, he came back with all these photos.  Our fleet is, we hear, going to drop their pots tomorrow, and when crab season opens on December 1, they will motor out to retrieve all the crabs who’ve wandered into the pots.

Port of Ilwaco

Allan apologizes that the photos are grey.  Twas a grey and rainy and windy day.

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Evening Star ready to go crabbing.

all poised to set their pots

all poised to set their pots

Three boats lined up, loaded up with pots.

Three boats lined up, loaded up with pots.

looks like the whole fleet is loaded and ready

looks like the whole fleet is loaded and ready

on the docks

on the docks

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The Aleutian Ballad;  It now gives Bering Sea tours.

The Aleutian Ballad; It now gives Bering Sea tours.

he Aleutian Ballad;  It now gives Bering Sea tours.

he Aleutian Ballad; It now gives Bering Sea tours.

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Storm flags (gale warning) flying over the port.

Storm flags (gale warning) flying over the port.

Aleutian Ballad from the lighthouse loop road

Aleutian Ballad from the lighthouse loop road

Allan would like you to see that the rain began in earnest!

Allan would like you to see that the rain began in earnest!

looking east over the harbour

looking east over the harbour

crab pots stacked at Ilwaco Landing

crab pots stacked at Ilwaco Landing

Our local fleet uses round pots, much smaller than the big square or rectangular ones used by the Bering Sea crabbing fleet.

Sou’wester Thanksgiving

At six o clock, we met Kathleen at the Sou’wester Lodge for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner.  Allan had made two pumpkin pies; Kathleen brought a modern sweet potato dish (olive oil instead of a brown sugar glaze).

As we approached the lodge, I took a photo that turned out blurry, so here’s one from our last evening visit.

Sou'wester Lodge by night

Sou’wester Lodge by night

a warm glow from one of the four cabins

a warm glow from one of the four cabins

In the living room, a fire was burning.

In the living room, a fire was burning.

A selection of appetizers were on offer.

A selection of appetizers were on offer.

On the drinks table, I found a bottle of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley.  Just a splash is perfect in tonic water.

On the drinks table, I found a bottle of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley. Just a splash is perfect in tonic water.

corner of the room that, when I lived at the Sou'wester in '93, was the bedroom of the previous owners.

corner of the room that, when I lived at the Sou’wester in ’93, was the bedroom of the previous owners.

on the sun porch

on the sun porch

an honour system shop on the sunporch

an honour system shop on the sun porch

sun porch shop

sun porch shop

We repaired down below the lodge to the pavilion, where tables were set up for dinner.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; the potluck table was lavish with food.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; that’s Sou’wester owner Thandi, right, and her mom, who Thandi said cooked for three days!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo, Kathleen and I at the end of the line

Allan’s photo, Kathleen and I at the end of the line

Allan's photo of the board groaning with food.

Allan’s photo of the board groaning with food.

Allan's photo; we all raise a glass to the Sou'wester, for a photo

Allan’s photo; we all raise a glass to the Sou’wester, for a photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

dinner1

dinner2

Allan's photo; after dinner, all the leftovers got carried back to the lodge immediately, because of bears.

Allan’s photo; After dinner, all the leftovers got carried back to the lodge immediately, because of bears.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Back in the lodge living room after dinner. I took a few more photos and was glad to be back at the Sou’wester as a guest.

coffee

trailer

Vintage trailers figure large here as decor and as lodging.

 

trailer2

trailer decor on living room shelves

 

In the kitchen, a large crew washed dishes, so many helpers we could not squeeze in.  There were so many dishes, some had to be left to dry before the second round of washing.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo; I took a photo into the living room as we left.

Allan’s photo; I took a photo into the living room as we left.

looking from the sun porch into the living room

looking from the sun porch into the living room

As we departed, Kathleen (right) stayed to visit some more.

As we departed, Kathleen (right, with white hair) stayed to visit some more.

As we walked back to the van, I looked up at the carriage house.  In ’93, Robert and I lived on the top floor after he had added a bathroom, a kitchen sink and stove and the dormer with the oval window.

carriage house after dark

carriage house after dark

Back then, the wind whistled through the eaves, the roof leaked, and the second dormer had not been built.  The conditions were one of the reasons we left.  I’m happy to show that new owner Thandi takes good care of her staff.  The glowing room in the lower right corner is the old laundry room where I laboured with one washer and dryer.  Now they have several.

Before the carriage house, we lived in the Spartan trailer with the rounded front, second from the end.

Before the carriage house, we lived in the Spartan trailer with the rounded front, second from the far end, for almost five months.

another look at a cozy cabin

another look at a cozy cabin

It did my heart good to visit with the new(ish) owner, Thandi.  I would recommend this place to any friend who likes to stay somewhere with an alternative “vibe”.  It is second in my heart only to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.  I wonder if it has room journals?

love

This was the perfect place to be on Thanksgiving and I am grateful that Kathleen had the idea to go.

Do watch this wonderful music video filmed at the Sou’wester; the music is good, the video is skillful, and I recognize so many of the interiors.  The male protagonist of the story is cleaning the trailers and the lodge…just as I used to do.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

While I’ve had my nose in one book after another, Allan saved the blogging day by a boating excursion on….

Loomis Lake

loomis

Loomis Lake

Loomis Lake

The state park access was closed for the season.  Fortunately, having our friend J9 residing in Tides West just a block from a little lakeside park made it possible to launch from there as a guest.

loomispark

Tides West community park, lower right

Allan:  I felt it was a better day for the birds and the bird-watching residents before I intruded. There were over a dozen swans when I first arrived. I quietly walked to the waters edge with my camera but they had moved to the other side of the lake and were gone before I dragged the boat through the shoreside weeds.

IMG_1863

elusive swans

He came prepared with his ‘wellies’ to drag the boat out through the weeds.

He came prepared with his ‘wellies’ to drag the boat out through the weeds.

a weedy shoreline

a weedy shoreline

The Tides West community plans to continue clean up of this lake, as evidenced by meetings listed on their website.

a flock of geese leaving as I drifted downwind toward them.

a flock of geese leaving as I drifted downwind toward them.

IMG_1878

In typical staycation fashion, Allan did not get out of the house till mid afternoon, so it was a short boating excursion.   Afterward, he stopped by J9’s house to help her put up her storm windows and got to see her rambuctius new kittens, Jake and Louie, in action.

Kitten Intermission

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IMG_1888

IMG_1884

On the way home in the dark, he got us all some photos of the Christmas lights in…

Long Beach

IMG_1891

Long Beach City Hall

IMG_1890

lights along Pacific, north of Bolstadt

IMG_1893

Bolstadt beach approach

IMG_1898

window of our favourite shop, NIVA green

IMG_1899

window of our favourite shop, NIVA green

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window of our favourite shop, NIVA green

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Have a look: the yellow chrysanthemum is STILL blooming.

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another lovely shop

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Fifth Street Park

IMG_1908

Fifth Street Park

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Fifth Street Park

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Pacific Avenue (Highway 103)

Holiday lights on Pacific in Long Beach

Fifth Street Park

and Ilwaco…

Ilwaco community building and Ilwaco Timberland library

Ilwaco community building and Ilwaco Timberland library

Ilwaco City Hall

Ilwaco City Hall

crab pot decorations on street lights

crab pot decorations on street lights

Thanks, Allan, for keeping the blog going for one more day!

On Thanksgiving we will be attending an interesting potluck at the Sou’wester Lodge (thanks to the suggestion of Kathleen)…and on Friday an art studio tour all over the Peninsula.  Saturday is the first day of the Saturday Christmas Market at the Port, which I need to photograph for the Discover Ilwaco FB page..  Even though I am mentally in hibernation mode, all of these may provide enough blog fodder to keep the blog going daily through the end November even though staycation arrived early this year.

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Allan made a shopping trip to the two grocery stores in Ocean Park and his side trip to the Nahcotta Boat Basin provided just the tiniest bit of blog fodder for today.  I had me nose stuck in a book.  I’m exploring the fictional town of Sea Harbor, Massachussets, and will share something about that in the future.

Port of Peninsula
Serving the Oyster and the Crab Industries, a Gillnet fleet and Recreational Users.

The arrow is Nahcotta.  (And Flora is my Google moniker.)

The arrow is Nahcotta. (And Flora is my Google moniker.)

The arrow shows Nahcotta, on the Willapa Bay side of the Long Beach Peninsula.

The arrow shows Nahcotta, on the Willapa Bay side of the Long Beach Peninsula.

Port of Peninsula, Nahcotta

Port of Peninsula, Nahcotta

Located in the middle of the Long Beach Peninsula at Nahcotta on Willapa Bay, the Port has about 90 leased slips. A Brow Hoist Boat Sling is available for lifting boats (30′ and under) into and out of Willapa Bay. Construction of a Public Boat Launch Ramp was completed in 2003. Power and water are available, as well as a boat sewage pumpout station, the only one located on Willapa Bay.

Birders might be interested in this link to the Great Washington State Birding Trail.

Allan’s photos:

PB230007

boat ramp

boat ramp

PB230006

PB230004

PB230002

I’ll add here a couple of my photos of the Port of Peninsula:

Port of Nahcotta

Port of Peninsula, probably 1999 or so

nahcotta

view of Port of Peninsula from the south, 2014

And there is an unexpected blog post for today, thanks to Allan’s desire to look for another place to put his kayak into the water.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

I woke up early to the sound of stormy weather and the happy thought: Today I can spend all day reading And the Dark Sacred Night…at last!..and then fell back into a sound sleep. Both Allan and I slept shockingly late. I clocked an exhausted ten hours and did not even wake for a dramatic thunderstorm around 7 AM (unless that is what woke me for a brief and happy book thought).

When we finally arose, the sky was blue in all directions. Ironically, at 1 AM the night before Allan had asked if we were going to go do Marilyn’a garden if the weather looked good today. I had said no, because she lives a half an hour away and I did not want to fall for a weather “sucker hole”, get all the way there on a day that predicted to be rainy and then have the rain dump on us and make it a wasted trip.

However….the weather app promised a perfect window of opportunity to get the job done….

photo

So off we went after quick bowls of cold cereal for breakfast. We skipped making coffee and went through the Great Escape espresso drivethrough instead.

view from Great Escape coffee window.  I have issues with pampas grass.  However, these look pretty fine right now.

view from Great Escape coffee window. I have issues with pampas grass. However, these look pretty fine right now.

Marilyn’s Garden

At Marilyn’s, we had two projects to accomplish. Allan’s was to clear a better path around the east side of the house. He did an impressive job.

before

before

after

after

after2

after

Allan's audience on the roof next door.

Allan’s audience on the roof next door.

My project was to pull some patches of montbretia, cut back some flopped ornamental grasses so they would not smother other plants, weed some little plants out of the gravel path, and pull some weedy creeping charlie.

before

before, front driveway

after

after

before, near back porch

before, near back porch

after

after

Creeping Charlie is a fun weed to hate, as it comes up with ease in satisfying large sheets. There’s always a bit that lurks in the center of a perennial and then emerges and covers the ground again. Some folks might even like it (even though the leaves are stinky) and plant it on purpose. I have found that I do not much like anything that is called a groundcover as most plants described as such turn out to be invasive pests.

all nicey nice again

all nicey nice again

Charlie still lurks in the background; more will be pulled in spring when we cut down all the stems of perennials. In this garden, we leave the backdrop of tall perennials standing over the winter as shelter for birds (and deer!).

My good friend Goldie came outside for awhile.

goldie

looking for (and getting) some pets

looking for (and getting) some pets

This patch of montbretia (which I really wish was not there at all) got pulled.

This patch of montbretia (which I really wish was not there at all) got pulled.

looking south: path weeded

looking south: path weeded. Fig tree on left had lots of figs, most unripened.

south2

Maddeningly, I had forgotten to bring the little bits of golden boxleaf honeysuckle that I meant to plant at the south end of the path. I was able to get some layered rooted starts from the Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ that is already there to extend its run. The starts I have in a bucket at home will just have to go somewhere along my fence instead.

looking northwest from back porch

looking northwest from back porch

Allan had finished his side project in time to also tackle the drainage swale in back where we have commingled Siberian iris, ornamental grass, and daylilies.

before

before

after

after

same area, after, from the corner of the house

same area, after, from the corner of the house

That is a very hard area to do as all the irises are difficult to shear.

Goodbye to Marllyn's for 2014!

Goodbye to Marllyn’s for 2014!

To our own amazement, we got out of Marilyn’s with a full load of debris in time to dump it at Peninsula Landscape Supply’s mulch pile.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

at Peninsula Landscape Supply

at Peninsula Landscape Supply

I walked around taking some photos for their Facebook page while Allan dumped.

trees

bamboo

When I went to join him I decided to just leave him to finish and take some more photos instead.

Allan at the back of a long slog of mud.

Allan at the back of a long slog of mud.

He was probably glad I had not been in the van as I would have been freaking out about maybe getting stuck in the mud.

more pics of the very cool large river rock on offer

more pics of the very cool large river rock on offer

and angular rocks

and angular rocks

I was ever so relieved to look back and see the van coming around from behind the mulch piles.

not stuck after all

not stuck after all

Woody debris gets ground and composted down into mulch.

Woody debris gets ground and composted down into mulch.

We took the buckets of creeping charlie home as we did not want to inflict it upon the pile of mulch making ingredients.

Depot Restaurant

On the way home, I suggested a check on the windowboxes at the Depot Restaurant. Of course, the annuals are still refusing to die.

box

endless osteospermum

I did see that we needed to cut down the Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ and a completely blackened pineapple sage.

before

before

after

after

42nd Street Café

I’d been cogitating about the prospect of yet another celebratory dinner. I knew the 42nd Street opened early, but how early? We went four blocks up the road to find out and learned that we had only ten minutes to wait till opening time.

Something had been bothering me every time we drove by there: the dang blang lady’s mantle near the entrance. Restaurateur Blaine Walker recently had knee surgery and I decided we could trim up the area as a get well present.

before

before

after

after

Even though we have bowed out of the occasional job of weeding the river rock...

Even though we have bowed out of the occasional job of weeding the river rock, Allan could not resist pulling some big clumps of weedy grass along the front edge.

Sunset over the 42nd Street Café

Sunset over the 42nd Street Café

And now, to celebrate the official start of staycation…

We were almost the first to arrive.

We were almost the first to arrive.

marionberry lemonade and a Vesper (A modern Version of James Bond’s Martini) Broker’s Gin, Tito’s Vodka, Cocchi Americano and a lemon twist…shaken, not stirred.

marionberry lemonade and a Vesper (A modern Version of James Bond’s Martini) Broker’s Gin, Tito’s Vodka, Cocchi Americano and a lemon twist…shaken, not stirred.

The restaurant soon began to fill.

The restaurant soon began to fill.

bread with their famous corn relish

bread with their famous corn relish

flatbread pizza appetizer; today's flavour was New Orleans style

flatbread pizza appetizer; today’s flavour was New Orleans style

I opted for comfort food:  Rich & Real Beef Strogonoff Pan-seared sirloin strips, wild mushrooms and caramelized onions tossed with egg noodles, sour cream and garnished with poppy seeds.

I opted for comfort food: Rich & Real Beef Strogonoff

It is beyond compare, especially compared to the hamburger helper stroganoff that was a staple of my childhood.

It is beyond compare, especially compared to the hamburger helper stroganoff that was a staple of my childhood. Not my grandmother’s cooking; hers would have been real.

Allan opted for the crab and cheese ravioli. It did not appeal to me as much from the description; I think because last year, in another restaurant, I had crab in a chile relleno and did not like the combination.

our two dishes

our two dishes

The crab and cheese ravioli

The crab and cheese ravioli

However! that lemon and caper sauce was one of the most delicious sauces that I have ever tasted. We are going to have to return so that I can have a dish of it all to myself. Allan might like to have a dish of it all to HIMself.

My spoon kept sneaking past the breadbasket to get another taste of that lemon sauce.

My spoon kept sneaking past the breadbasket to get another taste of that lemon sauce.

Our wonderfully warm and kind server, Betty, said “That sauce is so good you could put it on a flip flop and it would be delicious.”

The café filling with diners

The café filling with diners

In the corner, a diner got one of the thrilling birthday sparklers that are a feature of the café.

In the corner, a diner got one of the thrilling birthday sparklers that are a feature of the café.

desserts

We shared a chocolate rum truffle cheesecake that lived up to its description.

rum

Allan had a chocolate linzer coffee and I had the house made spiced butternut squash liqueur.

Allan had a chocolate linzer coffee and I had the house made spiced butternut squash liqueur.

Now that was a meal worthy of staycation celebration.

leaving the 42nd Street

leaving the 42nd Street

home

At home, the work board is now empty except for two teeny tiny clipping jobs and some projects for 2015:

the windowbox annuals and chrysanthemums that refuse to die are all that is left.

The windowbox annuals and chrysanthemums that refuse to die are all that is left.

Each of those last check ups will take only five minutes each!

I broke out last March’s birthday present from Lisa. I’ve been saving it for staycation evenings.

whiskey

This all seems to imply that with kahlua in my morning coffee and Laphroaig at night, staycation is a boozy affair. Actually, I don’t know how people get much done with a couple of drinks in them as it took me over an hour to stop feeling like it was naptime after tonight’s dinner.

It’s time now to watch this week’s episode of Grimm. Certain friends of mine think it is high time I stopped blogging and joined them in the comfy chair. (Speaking of stopping blogging, there may be a staycation blog slowdown coming up soonish.)

photo

Smokey, Mary, Frosty

My staycation plan is to read, read, read (and I must work in my own garden on some good weather days. And take trash picking walks around town). First, I’ll read And the Dark Sacred Night, the third in a loosely connected trilogy by Julia Glass. I have started it and was worried that I saw no familiar characters. I peeked ahead and was relieved to see my beloved Fenno and Walter will make an appearance. [Later: I was halfway through the book when I realized with a thrill that one of the original characters appears in the very first scene, using his full name rather than a nickname.]

I have a huge stack of library books on order, including the rest of the Seaside Knitters mystery series, and would like to reread some books from my own library, especially Margaret Drabble.

I also intend to catch up on my favourite blogs. I have some midsummer posts to read on the Tootlepedal and The Miserable Gardener blogs, and I have about three years worth to read at Moosey’s Country Garden. I intend to read the archives of Oysterville Daybook, Bonney Lassie, Rhone Street Gardens, and The Outlaw Gardener…among others. One of the drawbacks of writing a “daybook” myself is that it is so time consuming in the evenings that I fall behind on the much better blogs of other gardeners.

A two month staycation is clearly not going to be long enough.

 

 

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Even though we woke to much rain and wind, I did not feel like we were on staycation as we still have one more job to do.

front window view

north window view

east window view

east window view

south window view

south window view

From the south window, I can see the wind warning flags just past the port office. Today, they said gale warning.

flags

telephoto

telephoto

This was backed up by the head of Pacific County Emergency Management:

photo 1

water plants below south window

water plants below south window

For the cats, staycation is just an ordinary day, other than the fact that they seem to be extra happy when I am home all day.

Smokey

Smokey

Mary

Mary

I had a good selection of books checked out of the library. They had been waiting so long for me to have rainy reading days that I had had to renew most of them.

mostly cozy mysteries except for the Damien Echols autobiography

mostly cozy mysteries except for the Damien Echols autobiography

I sort of accidentally ended up with a preponderance of cozy mysteries. When making my first set of winter reading orders from the library, I realized I had fallen behind on the China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert. The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Wednesday Sisters had been recommended in a book I recently read about friendship. Damien Echols got in there because we recently watched the third Paradise Lost documentary, and I have The Perks of Being a Wallflower, having recently enjoyed the movie. I don’t knit, and yet I am reading a mystery series called The Seaside Knitters, mainly because it is well written and takes place in a small seaside town. So even though I long to read And the Dark Sacred Night next, I had to read Patterns in the Sand, book two of Seaside Knitters today as it was actually overdue and accruing a 15 cents a day fine.

Allan made a delicious breakfast with an omelette containing olive tapenade. I broke out the kahlua for staycation mornings coffee. Just a splash, not enough to interfere with reading.

breakfast

with one of my favourite condiments, Patak lime pickle, on the side

 

I felt restless because of having one more job to do before the official start of staycation and found it hard to settle down to read my book. When I finally did so, the wind was still roaring outside.

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I now had only four hours to read the book before we had to go out for the evening. Fortunately, it was a short and satisfying read.

Patterns in the Sand by Sally Goldenbaum

photo

I like its descriptions of seaside town life that remind me of our lives here at the SW Washington coast.

Reminds me of Ilwaco Saturday Market:

reminds me of Ilwaco Saturday Market

Some lovely descriptions of beachy landscapes:

photo 1

garden

The sweetness of the knitters gathering to make chemo caps:

caps

One of those pencil corrector type of reader had gotten to the book before me. I do have to admit she is correct, in that the fiber is spun rather than woven. I do find such corrections jarring even when they are right.

knowitall

My only caveat about the small town setting is that there are so very many restaurants that I begin to wonder if it is actually a town more the size of Newport, Oregon. There’s Annabelle’s…

annabelles

and Harry Garazzo’s deli:

deli

And a teashop or two:

tea

So many successful restaurants and bars.

restaurants

I made note of them: The Artist’s Palate (clever name!), The Ocean’s Edge, Sweet Petunia (the real name of Annabelle’s), Coffee (the coffee shop’s eponymous name), The Gull Tavern, Harry’s Deli, and more…and then a character enters a scene bearing a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee! That does imply a city like Newport more than a small town like Long Beach or Ilwaco.

The fictional town of Sea Harbor is supposed to be on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, near Gloucester, which may explain why so many restaurants can thrive in its setting. It’s closer to some big cities than we are here.

Cape Ann, Massachusetts

Cape Ann

I’m looking forward to the third and more books in the series.

Meanwhile, Allan sorted and flattened the paper bags that had been used for sorting bulbs and got them all into a box for storage till next year.

good bags and discarded torn bags

good bags and discarded torn paper bags and mesh plastic bulbs bags

While sorting, he commented: “You’re getting better. I’m not spotting any more mistakes [typos] in the blog or any more bulbs left behind in your bulb bags.” During his last bag sorting session, he’d found five small, stray, tiny bulbs (each from a different bag) that ended up at the Ilwaco Post Office. I am sorry for whoever missed out on them and should have gotten them.

Bulb time is OVER as Allan takes the box out to the shed for storage!

Bulb time is OVER as Allan takes the box out to the shed for storage!

I just managed to finish my book by 5:30, when it was time to go to Chinook for an evening event:

Shakespeare Revolution in Chinook

Join actors Laura Montes and Joe Wegner for a public performance at the Chinook Events Center!

Part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s School Visit Program, the actors will present their touring Shakespeare and literature programs in an event entitled “Shakespeare Revolutions.”

Chinook Event Center

Chinook Event Center

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The Chinook Event Center (in the town of Chinook just a few miles east of us, upriver) was all kitted out for the event.

castle decor

castle decor

The Depot Restaurant served up “Bard Bones” and potatoes.

Chef Michael of the Depot

Chef Michael of the Depot

chef

Nancy Gorshe of the Depot serving wine and cider.  No mead!

Nancy Gorshe of the Depot serving wine and cider. No mead!

Allan's photo, as I acquire some cider

Allan’s photo, as I acquire some cider

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a "bard bone"

a “bard bone”

I opted for just lots of potatoes with scrumptious horseradish sauce.

I opted for just lots of potatoes with scrumptious horseradish sauce.

Ilwaco High School Jazz Band performed for an hour before the show.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

jazz

guarded by knights in armour

guarded by knights in armour

jazz

jazz

I suffered from some disappointment before the show when I learned that our friends who were to join us had to cancel because one of them is still under the weather. It was much more of a disappointment to her, as she is the one who had encouraged us to attend the event. I felt bad for her. It was a comfort to find Seaview Patti and another gardener, Debbie of Ocean Park, to schmooze with at the back of the room. I was thrilled to learn that Patti has decided not to sell her glorious home and garden and move to Portland after all. Madeline and Jacob of Pink Poppy Bakery, Jared and Jessika, our Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm neighbours, and many other familiar faces filled the room.

Jared and Jessika of Starvation Alley Organic Cranberry Farm!

Jared and Jessika of Starvation Alley Organic Cranberry Farm!

(As I write this blog entry, I am drinking some delicious Starvation Alley Cranberry juice and tonic water.)

From the upstairs balcony, Allan caught me texting event updates to my dear friend who was convalescing at home.

From the upstairs balcony, Allan caught me texting event updates to my dear friend who was convalescing at home.

The theatre performance was so delightful that I hesitate to say so, as I know my absent friend will read this and be more sorry she could not attend.

Shakespeare Program: “They Say It’s Your Birthday”

In celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, the actors will perform selections from some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, including but not limited to:

Much Ado About Nothing | selections from various scenes: Beatrice, Benedick
As You Like It | Act III, scene v: Phoebe, Silvius
The Winter’s Tale | Act II, scene iii: Paulina, Leontes
Twelfth Night | Act II, scene iv: Viola, Orsino
Macbeth | Act V, scene viii: Macbeth, Macduff

The selections were performed in a modern style, couched in the idea that two young people were throwing a birthday party for Will’s 450th birthday. They had invited characters from the plays without considering that many of them would have squabbles with each other.

the actors

the actors

very modern with cell phones and texts from the party guests

very modern with cell phones and texts from the party guests

I would love to have gotten a photo of the well choreographed sword fight. I thought I probably was not supposed to be taking photos and that, no matter how discreetly I did so, it might be bothersome to other audience members.

a publicity photo from the promotional material

a publicity photo from the promotional material

As part of the event, on Thursday and Friday, the actors coached Ilwaco and Naselle high school students in scenes from various plays, including “Much Ado About Nothing,” “As You Like It” and “Macbeth.”

The Shakespeare performance was followed by a timely play about immigration.

“American Night High! The Ballad of an Immigrant Student Dreaming in the USA” is the story of a young Mexican immigrant dreaming, the night before her citizenship exam, of becoming a United States citizen. Throughout the dream we meet famous figures from United States history such as Meriwether Lewis, Teddy Roosevelt, Betsy Ross, Sacagawea, Jackie Robinson and Woody Guthrie.

This 35-minute play is inspired by “American Night, the Ballad of Juan Jose” by Richard Montoya and Culture Clash. The play premiered at the Festival in 2010 and was commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of American Revolutions: United States History Cycle, a 10-year program commissioning up to 37 new plays sprung from moments of change in United States history. The Los Angeles based theatre troupe, Culture Clash, is known for irreverent portrayals of historical and political figures and social satire through sketch comedy.

“American Night High!” is fast-paced and funny. Charged with the history of this great country, it doesn’t shy away from a discussion of immigration issues and the various views held by Democrats, Republicans and the Tea Party Movement. As it navigates these political waters, it never loses sight of the potential of America and the beauty of its complicated history. As one character says, “America ain’t nothing if not a nation built by hard working sons and daughters from far off yonder shores. Every single one of us in this room now is a descendant of immigrants or slaves… Unless’n you’re like my good friend, Sacagawea.”

I was pleased at the subject matter and, of course, the liberal viewpoint of the play, and even though parts of it were hilarious, the more tender parts brought a tear to me jaded old eye. I also enjoyed the hissing from the audience against the right wing tea partier. It’s good to be reminded that we live in a liberal (“blue”) county even though we are at the edge of world.

Allan's photo of the actors receiving flowers after the play.

Allan’s photo of the actors receiving flowers after the play.

When I am at home of an evening, it can be difficult to pry me out, and I miss many an event because I’m too firmly ensconced with cats and books and computer. So I am grateful for the encouragement of a friend that got us out the door to attend this excellent show. I only wish my friend Carol from Seattle could have joined us; she stayed with me in the Shakespeare Room at Sylvia Beach Hotel in September, and every year she takes a trip to Ashland for the Shakespeare Festival.

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