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Archive for December, 2015

catbooks 2015

My cats enjoy reading time almost as much as I do.  They did not join me for every book.  If you click to embiggen the thumbnails, you will get back and forth navigation arrows.

Not included: the few books that I tried to read and put away.  If I make it all the way through, the book has something good to offer.

Goodreads provided a nifty visual record of all the books I read this past year, with the one flaw of some covers being unavailable on that site.

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The "g"s represent Angels and Dark Madonnas and Lilies, Feathers, and Frangipani by Kate Llewellyn.

The “g”s represent Angels and Dark Madonnas and Lilies, Feathers, and Frangipani by Kate Llewellyn.

The "g" represents Work of Her Own by Susan Wittig Albert.

The “g” represents Work of Her Own by Susan Wittig Albert.

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The “g” represents Gorillas, Tea, and Coffee: An African Sketchbook by Kate Llewellyn.

The "g" represents Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula by Sydney Stevens.

The “g” represents Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula by Sydney Stevens.

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The “g” represents Bottom Feeders by Jan Bono.

The "g" represents Starfish by Jan Bono.

The “g” represents Starfish by Jan Bono.

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Happy New Year, and, fate willing, we’ll be back with a daily blog when work season begins again.

 

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Sunday, 27 December 2015

I awoke (at mid morning, of course), with a sudden urge to do a profile photos of sea stars on moss for a new Facebook page that I made for Dave and Melissa’s Sea Star Gardening.  I was sure I had some glass stars, but no….just one clear star with blunted corners.  Till I acquire some stars, this is the best I could do.

temporary Sea Star page profile picture

temporary Sea Star page profile picture

Although I have the urge to take the tree down,  I decided not yet, as it makes a triangle of light with three other trees.

A tree in the cream coloured cottage and the blue house and our tree make a triangle of holiday lights.

A tree in the cream coloured cottage and the blue house and our tree make a triangle of holiday lights.

I’m eager now to dismantle Christmas, because I have a plan to put my mother’s desk, instead of the big blue table, where the tree is, for blogging with a garden view.

The afternoon was consumed by incorporating Allan’s photos into the upcoming meander line blog post, and then the beginning of this post.

I got the paperwhites down to where I could smell them.  They had grown to the top of the kitchen window.

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Last night, we watched an episode of the Ciscoe Morris gardening show in which he said that a tablespoon of vodka, added to the water when paperwhites are about five inches tall, will retard their growth so they do not get so leggy.

In the evening, we drove to the north end of the Peninsula, almost as far north as one can go, to have dinner at the home of our dear friends Melissa and Dave of Sea Star Gardening.

at the door (Allan's photo)

at the door (Allan’s photo)

Melissa's new hens had laid their first three eggs.

Melissa’s new hens, Josie and Gina, had laid their first three eggs.

The ornaments on the table tree are all fruits and veg.

The ornaments on the table tree are all fruits and veg. Dave gives Mel all the credit for decorating.

Melissa says most of her ornaments are from a company called Old World Christmas.

Melissa says most of her ornaments are from a company called Old World Christmas.

On Saturday, when she and Dave got home from an overnight Christmas trip to Portland, they found their naughty cats had done this:

Melissa's photo. Fortunately, the cats did not get the little tree and its fragile ornaments pulled off the table.

Melissa’s photo. Fortunately, the cats did not get the little tree and its fragile ornaments pulled off the table.

She's been collecting these ornaments for many years.

Melissa has been collecting Old World ornaments for many years.

I love the window between the dining room and the living room.

I love the window between the dining room and the living room.

We dined at the table next to the tree, on tortellini soup and cornbread and a cranberry cake dessert.

We dined at the table next to the tree, on tortellini soup and cornbread and a cranberry cake dessert.

A scintillating conversation about Star Wars had us too distracted to remember to take photos of the beautiful soup and the cranberry crumble with a butter and sugar sauce (a traditional holiday dessert of Mel’s family).

a tree hung with exquisite ornaments

a tree hung with exquisite ornaments

Speaking of naughty cats, here are two of the three:

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high atop a shelf

another hiding under a bed (Allan's photo)

another hiding under a bed (Allan’s photo)

Santa still loves them, naughty or nice.

Santa still loves them, naughty or nice.

crabby salt shakers (Allan's photo)

crabby salt shakers (Allan’s photo)

After our dinner, we watched the brief film George Lucas in Love (a treasure!), followed by Mel and Dave’s offering (lent to them with high praise by Mel’s  sons), Mad Max: Fury Road.  It was certainly exhilerating.

unusual use for a garden tool??

unusual use for a garden tool??

We went home and calmed down with a midnight viewing of the cooking show, Chopped.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Allan's photo: a beautiful but cold day

Allan’s photo: a beautiful but cold day

It has been raining for days. (Allan's photo)

It has been raining for days. (Allan’s photo)

Last night, we made plans to see The Force Awakens again on Monday night (second time for Melissa and Dave, third time for us) as it may leave our small town theatre after December 31.  (Turns out it will remain till the 7th.) My Star Wars fandom has not figured large in this gardening blog; trust me, it is there.

Todd and his son (visiting from college) have finally seen the film, and since he and Dave and Mel are working together on that Oysterville garden today, they might have time for more discussion while planting plants.

In the afternoon, Mary from Klipsan Beach Cottages came to deliver presents, and brought our good friend Bella.

Mary and Bella

Mary and Bella

Frosty (who grew up with two medium sized dogs) was intrigued.

Frosty (who grew up with two medium sized dogs) was intrigued.

Bella had a good time exploring in the fenced garden.

Bella had a good time exploring in the fenced garden.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I enjoyed the walk around the garden as well.

me and Mary

me and Mary

a hellebore about to pop

a hellebore about to pop

contorted filbert

contorted filbert

Mary is smelling a tiny bouquet of winter blooming honeysuckle—Lonicera fragrantissima.

Mary is smelling a tiny bouquet of winter blooming honeysuckle—Lonicera fragrantissima.

some lichen? for Mr Tootlepedal

some lichen? for Mr Tootlepedal

our sweet Bella

our sweet Bella

Mary's Christmas packaging, beautiful as always

Mary’s Christmas packaging, beautiful as always

from Mary and Denny, some candlesticks and wine

from Mary and Denny, candles and holder and wine

And then…. 

once more, with feelings

Heading to The Pickled Fish at Adrift Hotel, which is open till 10

The Pickled Fish

Talking about Star Wars and sipping tasty strong drinks got in the way of remembering to photograph the delicious pizza. As Melissa and I were planning next week’s viewing of Star Wars, Allan said in a bemused tone, “Haven’t we seen it enough?”   The young server’s response to the ensuing discussion (when asked for his opinion) was that there are never too many times to see it. (He had chosen the number 42 for the back of his “Team Pickled” t shirt and was pleased when I said “the answer to life, the universe and everything”.)  Not long ago, he had told a table of diners, “Let me know if I can answer any questions.”  When one woman asked “What is the meaning of life?” He turned and showed her the back of his t shirt: 42.  And she did not understand.

Perhaps we can count on Allan to take an interesting excursion of some sort before the end of the week, while I (finally!) read books.  If not, the last post of the year will be All About Books.  This blog will rear its head in January if we have good weather gardening days, Allan excursions, or really good books….oh, and I want to take some photos of my grandmother’s old scrapbooks and photo albums.  I also may realize some plans to make posts on our other blog, which I may re-post over here for your reading convenience.

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 25 December 2015

Christmas day

my Christmas village

my Christmas village

Allan had made the most charming package out of a cardboard box, to hold an oversized present.

Allan was inspired by painted cardboard packages that his dad used to make.

Allan was inspired by painted cardboard packages that his dad used to make.

inside, a Flexzilla hose! the kind we found in use at the Ilwaco boatyard last summer.

inside, a Flexzilla hose! the kind we found in use at the Ilwaco boatyard last summer.

I got all weepy when I opened a package and found a copy of Hucklebones, a book I had loved as a child and later sold in a desperate to make money yard sale in 1979 (to pay the mortgage on my house that month!):

onions!

onions!

in which a clumsy, awkward horse wishes to learn to dance

in which a clumsy, awkward horse wishes to learn to dance

prize for best wrapping goes to Queen La De Da!

prize for best wrapping goes to Queen La De Da!

She, Don, and Joe Nisbett understand my obsession with Star Wars!

She, Don, and Joe Nisbett understand my obsession with Star Wars!

I gave Allan two fern books.

I gave Allan two fern books.

I learned something new right away.

I learned something new right away, that horsetails are true ferns!

He found me two blasts from the musical past: Napalm Beach and Joey.

He found me two blasts from the musical past: Napalm Beach and Joey.

From Montana Mary, among other things: a book called Two Gardeners, letters between two of my favourite garden writers.

From Montana Mary, among other things: a book called Two Gardeners, letters between two of my favourite garden writers. (Katharine S White and Elizabeth Lawrence)

one of my gifts from J9, from the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens. (Flora Gardener is a non de plume of mine.)

one of my gifts from J9, from the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens. (Flora Gardener is a non de plume of mine.)

Our Kathleen came over in the afternoon to share a gift exchange: To her, perhaps my favourite book of all time, The Bachelor Brothers Bed and Breakfast, and from her, Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa (for me) and Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie .

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And then, while she checked her Facebook and so on, I worked for three hours on a post about the meander line, which will publish in early January on our other blog.

In the evening, Allan and I went out under the full moon…

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

to meet J9 for her first and our second viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Our little local theatre.

Our little local theatre, in Long Beach.

A gift from Dave and Melissa (it was actually an admit two, written on the back) got us in.

A gift from Dave and Melissa (it was actually an admit two, written on the back) got us in.

A third viewing will take place before the end of the year.

A third viewing will take place before the end of the year.

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I slept in luxury under my soft new Hello Kitty blanket, a Christmas present from Jan Bono.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Todd arrived bearing gifts….

rejoicing in a gift of bulbs!

rejoicing in a gift of bulbs!

from Brent and Becky's bulbs: Tulip 'Leo'!

from Brent and Becky’s bulbs: Tulip ‘Leo’!

Tulip 'Leo'...I only have a few of these...love them.

Tulip ‘Leo’…love them.

Tulip 'Leo'

Tulip ‘Leo’

As tulips do, my little patch of Leo had petered out, so I am thrilled to have it again.

Leo went right into the ground after Todd’s departure and the rest of the day was a reading day.

While I read, Allan took a walk to get some more photos to complete the meander line sequence, which I had found lacking in narrative flow once I’d had my photos from 2012 (from an album on the Our Ilwaco Facebook page) uploaded.  (I’ve been meaning to do that blog post for quite some time.)

He chanced to meet the owner of the green gear shed to the southwest of us and found out that the Rocky B and the Tradition are the boats associated with the shed.  That inspired his walk to the docks to find the boats.

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Crabbing season begins January 4th, which means the boats will be setting pots on January 1st. Ann Saari says “I hope the seas lay down by then.”  She adds, “I think they can start to set pot about 8 a.m. on the 1st. There will be some busy boats for a few days.”

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lots of debris from recent storms

lots of debris from recent storms

The crab pots stacked in the port parking lots are a popular subject for photographers.

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Each crab pot is marked with a tag.

Each crab pot is marked with a tag.

sometimes with a phone number (here removed by us)

sometimes with a phone number (here removed by us)

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We think that each boat has its own marking tape colours, as well.

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More gifts appeared on the porch from Garden Tour Nancy, including:

She knows I'm unimpressed with a certain popular cat detective series.

She knows I’m unimpressed with a certain popular cat detective series.

This gift from Nancy to Allan should be most helpful for next year's apple harvest.

This gift from Nancy to Allan should be most helpful for next year’s apple harvest.

Saturday was a non computer day, with reading on into the late evening.

the evening at home, and a viewing of the movie The Final Girls

the evening at home, and a viewing of the movie The Final Girls

bedtime (about 2:30 AM these days)

bedtime (about 2:30 AM these days)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s our volunteer project at the Ilwaco Post Office through the year in 2015.  The only catastrophe was when a fellow fell into it and broke the yellow and the dark maroon Asiatic lilies.  So far, this little garden is not plagued by deer, and since we planted many tulips in it this fall, we hope that happy state of affairs continues in 2016.

Plants featured in this garden: tulips, narcissi, lilies, California poppies, Gaura ‘So White’, cosmos, Linaria purpurea (toadflax), ornamental grasses, annuals sunflowers, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen, Salvia viridis (painted sage), Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’, penstemon, Papaver rhoeas, and more.

All photos are embiggenable.

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a slideshow of the garden along the center front path through the year

I am still debating whether or not to turn this path to gravel.  And yet the grass is so soft underfoot, even during the two months that it turns tan rather than green.

The best thing that happened to the front garden in 2015 is when Allan implemented Pam Fleming’s idea of extending the arbour along the driveway.

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In the center bed of our back garden, I planted a river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’, inspired by a Hardy Plant Study Weekend lecture by Adrian Bloom.  Have a look here at an image of his river of Rozanne.  Here is my Rozanne River from various angles in 2015.  We had an unusually dry summer; in other summers, this lawn stays green always.

If I could plan it all again, I would make the bed bigger so that it could curve more.  Or make it curve out from the bogsy wood.  And yet I do like the big lawn area in the back for campfires.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

brunch at Debbie’s

Our Debbie H, she to whom we give extra plants for the Master Gardener’s plant sale, invited me to a holiday brunch centered around gardening, with Garden Tour Nancy, Garden Tour Darlene, Debbie and I and my very good friend Ralph.

Fatsia japonica in bloom

Fatsia japonica in bloom

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Debbie's Christmas tree featured birds!

Debbie’s Christmas tree featured birds!

This fluffy one could be a flying bird of the day.

This fluffy one could be a Flying Bird of the Day.

another potential FBofD

another potential FBofD

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Debbie and her holiday luncheon table

Debbie and her holiday luncheon table

I was completely smitten with this.

I was completely smitten with this.

We all agreed this arrangement could be on the cover of Martha Stewart magazine.

We all agreed this arrangement could be on the cover of Martha Stewart magazine.

I love looking at all of Debbie’s decorative arrangements.

"I'm a child at heart", says Debbie.

“I’m a child at heart”, says Debbie.

Ralph

the bay view

the bay view on a day of intense rain

a photo pillow of my good friend Ralph

a photo pillow of my good friend Ralph

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Debbie had made a scrumptious broccoli and feta and phyllo leaf pie:

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and a salad with a balsamic dressing....

and a salad with a balsamic dressing….

and a creamy no bake cheesecake with those good dark chocolate wafers at the base.

and a creamy no bake cheesecake with those good dark chocolate wafers at the base.

Ralph, Debbie, Nancy, Darlene, me

Ralph, Debbie, Nancy, Darlene, me, photo by Debbie’s spouse, Dave (who built the house)

The four of us kept each other well regaled with stories during our meal.

My very good friend Ralph did not find our conversation scintillating.

My very good friend Ralph did not find our conversation scintillating.

a well framed view to the woods

a well framed view to the woods

Thank you, Debbie, for a wonderful afternoon.

Hungry Harbor Grille

In the early evening, we met Dave and Melissa at the Hungry Harbour Grille for dinner and our annual perusal of the Hungry Harbor holiday village.

Next door: Marsh's Free Museum

Next door: Marsh’s Free Museum

The Hungry Harbor

The Hungry Harbor

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

dinner

dinner

I took a film of the village; the handheld quality is somewhat annoying, I’m sure, but it gets across the idea of how big the display is (bigger than ever this year!)  The train has been running but was not running tonight.

As always, I wished I could study each building in every detail.  I find it overwhelming, and some are so far back that one needs binoculars.  That is not a complaint.  (Our old friend Pilgrim Pat introduced us to this village and she always brought binoculars.)

The sheer size is impressive, and the owners rotate the buildings so over the years one gets a good look at all.  I like to imagine which one I would live in.

The village, like Ilwaco, is built beside a marina with steep hills in the background.  Some of the businesses have been given names like the ones of our seaside towns (Dennis Hardware, Sid’s Grocery, etc).

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Sea Harbor Ferry

Harbor Ferry

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One of our two lighthouses. (The other is Cape Disappointment Light House.)

One of our two lighthouses. (The other is Cape Disappointment Light House.)

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the ghost ship

the ghost ship

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crab or perhaps lobster pots

crab or perhaps lobster pots

Bay Boat Works

Bay Boat Works

Jessie's Fish Market

Jessie’s Fish Market

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Many of the buildings have window vignettes which could take hours of perusal.

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The Lobster Hut

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Whale Point Bed and Breakfast

I'll have this greenhouse, please.

I’ll have this greenhouse, please.

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The Hungry Harbor

The Hungry Harbor

Sid's Grocery

Sid’s Grocery

The Neptune, where we saw Star Wars yesterday

The Neptune, where we saw Star Wars this week

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Dennis Hardware

Dennis Co Hardware

This could be repainted as Pacific Art and Office.

This could be repainted as Pacific Art and Office.

I quite like the house with the towers.

I quite like the house with the towers, behind Artistic Bouquets.

And yet somehow, this top floor apartment with rooftop garden is always the one that appeals to me most.

And yet somehow, this top floor apartment with balcony and rooftop garden is always the one that appeals to me most.

a canned ham trailer (Allan's photo)

a canned ham trailer (Allan’s photo)

City Park

City Park

Outside: the real Holiday Village of Long Beach, with wet cold rain rather than snow. (Allan's photo)

Outside: the real Holiday Village of Long Beach, with wet cold rain rather than snow. (Allan’s photo)

Almost all of the village buildings are by Department 56.  Thanks to the Hungry Harbor for putting on this extravaganza year after year.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

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Mary and Smokey

Mary and Smokey

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Allan made blackberry pie.

Allan made blackberry pie.

Thursday, 25 December 2015

I’d divide this post in two, except I have a thing against posting Christmas eve photos on December 26th, so please bear with one more day.  In January, the blog will be on a partial hiatus and you will be able to rest. 😉

Although I did not get up in time, Allan made it down to the port to see the King Tide, 9.4 feet, and brought us back these photos:

an almost flying bird for Mr Tootlepedal

an almost flying bird for Mr Tootlepedal

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I am sure that Allan wished he had got his boat out.

I am sure that Allan wished he had got his boat out.

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He barely fit under the bridge.

He barely fit under the bridge.

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He could not fit under this bridge at all.

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Jessie’s fish processing plant

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almost up to the asphalt

almost up to the asphalt

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There is much excitement because the crab season is finally set for January 4, weeks later than usual.

There is much excitement because the crab season is finally set for January 4, weeks later than usual.

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Boats are loaded with pots because the crabbers can set pots three days before the season opening and pull them on the first day.  “No New Year’s Eve for the crabbers”, says local fisherman’s spouse, Ann Saari.

 

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Allan found a few California poppies still blooming in our boatyard garden.

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and some calendula

and some calendula

Then….Christmas Eve Dickens dinner at the Depot Restaurant with J9 and Kathleen.  We saw Lisa and Buzz leaving; I had not realized she still had time to faithfully read the blog, and she’d gotten a spoiler about her Christmas present.  I’ve been more careful about not revealing Star Wars spoilers (even though I have much to say on that topic).

J9: we had Christmas crackers, and, therefore, crowns.

J9: we had Christmas crackers, and, therefore, crowns.

Our Kathleen with in a charactistic pose (with the hand gesture)

Our Kathleen with in a characteristic pose (with the hand gesture); reading riddles from the Christmas cracker

Kathleen and J9 requested "end pieces" of the roast, with brussel sprouts and Yorkshire pud.

Kathleen and J9 requested “end pieces” of the roast, with brussel sprouts and Yorkshire pud.

Allan had the delicious fish special.

Allan had the delicious fish special.

a creamy apple ice cream concoction

a creamy apple ice cream concoction

and eggnog cheesecake!

and eggnog cheesecake!

at the counter (Allan's photo)

at the counter (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow, we will see Star Wars again with J9, perhaps have a visit at home with Our Kathleen, and then some reading time just might begin again….

Smokey also hopes for me to spend a quiet month at home.

Smokey also hopes for me to spend a quiet month at home.

(Smokey and Mary both)

(Smokey and Mary both)

 

 

 

 

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