Archive for Oct, 2017

Monday, 16 October 2017

Allan goes boating on the Wallicut River

The traditional route north to Grays Harbor and the Puget Sound from the Columbia River didn’t involve heading up the Pacific coast. Instead, at the mouth of the Columbia River, one of three portage routes to Willapa Bay were used. The most popular was the western route up through Ilwaco to Black Lake and then up the Tarlett Slough. It is still discernable as it goes up east of Sandridge Road. The eastern route was up the Chinook River. It isn’t easy to explore presently as the Bear River that flows into the Willapa is closed to the public. A small group of us tried it once but didn’t get very far north. My yellow highlights show the three routes.

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A 1964 Historical Map of the S.W. Washington Coast drawn up by Maureen Mulvey.

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This book has an entire chapter discussing the portage routes.

Today I paddled up the middle route which starts at the Wallicut River. My intention was to get close to the Wallicut Farm on Highway 101.

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I launched at the lower star hoping to get close to where the river crosses Hwy. 101.

Earlier this year I stopped to check out a launch and see if the bridge was real or just covered a gated culvert. This view shows a small bay NW of the bridge.


The old KOA campground, now called the Wallicut River RV & Campground Resort, was closed today. I would have gladly paid a small parking fee for the extra security and a chance to share some extra pictures of their campsites, but couldn’t today.

There isn’t really access to the river elsewhere, just tall growths of blackberry and salmonberry. I picked the spot on the northwest corner of the bridge that has a pullout for parking. The pullout on the south side of 101 was occupied by an idling car and driver staring ahead, for a long time. I’d choose the south side next time and here’s why.

The plan was to just push the boat through to the little bay, but, it got stuck.

After cutting away some blackberry I pulled it through.

Here is why this launch site is a fail. The bay is just beyond the brush. The main river is flowing under the bridge at the upper right, (beyond the brush).

My short trip across this tiny lake attracted the local herd.

I didn’t expect an audience.

I beached, pulled the boat up and over to the bridge.

Cows, and now a snake.

Finally, the river.

A concealed cow watched me head upstream

The alders had small bunches of berries.

The first of several logs that I pulled the boat over.

There are a couple of houses up here but it’s mostly pasture.

For hundreds of years, this was an important portage route north to the Willapa Bay and beyond. When modern roads are blocked by trees they get removed. I imagine the Chinooks did the same. If this was something I had to solve back in the day, I think I would have burned them at low tide or recruited the public works division of the tribe to pull them aside.

With two major tree falls ahead, I turned around after 0.6 miles.

Still, a good day to be out on the water.

Back past the cattle.

This one hadn’t been photographed yet.

Under the bridge towards the Columbia River.

Vandalia, a suburb of Ilwaco, was on the left.

Ahead, three dark tunnels with the sound of dripping water inside.

The culvert was large enough to paddle through but I thought I should climb over to make sure I wouldn’t go over a small falls.

I took a flash picture of the black tunnel to study later

This was the best beach but very steep and gorsey.

I was now 0.5 miles downstream from where I launched.

NOT a culvert to paddle into.


For orientation, here’s a familiar view from the west end of Stringtown Road, at this bridge, to Hwy 101.

Entering the river at this bridge is discouraged by a lack of parking, no path, and a NO TRESPASSING sign. From here down, it’s pretty much private property to the Columbia River.

To get to the lower Wallicut River, the choices are: drag a boat up and over, enter from the Columbia River, or, buy this two-unit house on the river, as one of my boating friends encouraged.

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Only $175,000+ and lots of room for boats.

I returned upstream and stopped at the Wallicut River RV & Campground Resort. The campgrounds are large and well manicured. Not so long ago the whole thing was for sale for less than $400,000.

I was curious if the sign was a “BEWARE OF….” so I put myself in further danger and climbed up the bank to look.

It is soft boat launch from the campground

I paddled back to where I started.

This time I exited on the SW of the bridge.

Another steep bank of blackberry.

Later I drove upstream. As it coursed along the far side of this pasture I saw this sign.

From Douglas Allen’s book, Shoalwater Willapa, on page 129 he had a short history on why the upper Wallicut River is not navigatable.


The Wallicut River is much smaller and less navigatable than it used to be. A very short trip today but it’s one more river explored, with many to go.


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Saturday, 14 October 2017

After attending the Cranberrian Fair, I got straight to my gardening mission.  Well.  Maybe I sat and read the news and Facebook for half an hour first.

Because Devery next door had told me she’d found frost on her vehicle this morning, I decided it was high time to get the tomatoes out of the greenhouse and put the tender plants in.

Before: Even though the tomatoes look sad, they are still producing.

There are still tadpoles in a tray by the greenhouse where I stacked the empty pots.  I swear the tadpoles motto is “I’ll never grow up, not me!”

Why won’t they become frogs?

A greenhouse review:

The lemon cucumbers were yummy but too hard to peel. Won’t grow them again.

Black Krim tomato: Only got two and did not much like them. Too mild and mealy.

Chocolate Cherry was my favourite.

Pineapple was tasty and prolific, unusual here for a larger tomato. Will grow this one again.

Better Boy gave me just a few red ones.

I also liked the usual Sweet 100 and a small yellow pear tomato, cherry sized.

I kept ruining a big spider’s day.

Frosty stayed near me while I worked.

after…and oh! my back hurt by the time this was done.  I had Allan move the last two pots for me; I simply could not.

The spider went up onto the door frame in despair.

I was glad I noticed and gently moved it out before shutting the door tight for the night!

Todd had visited to pick up some pieces of aruncus (goatsbeard) and brought two more of his dad’s special zucchinis.  He and his father, Dobby, have now given away 2050 zukes.  I normally do not like zukes, but these are a special variety with no peel and have a much better flavour.

While cleaning up around the front of the greenhouse, I found some rocks that had been displaced by the compost bins.  I loaded them up for tomorrow’s project.

last harvest, including one of the thin skinned zukes from Todd

In the evening, we went out to the Sou’wester for an event that irresistibly intrigued me.

Vintage trailers at the Sou’wester

vintage trailers with windows aglow

Allan’s photo

the Sou’wester sunporch shop (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

in the lodge living room. The picture on the wall is always out of focus, and I do not understand it.

The host, Libby Werbel of Portland Museum Of Modern Art, introduced the event with a good speech about how we were all sad these days. “This is a sad time; we encourage you to be sad with us.”  A fellow named Michael Hurley who had inspired the event was unable to be there. The DJ, Eric Isaacson of Mississippi Records, played the first of the five sad songs: Is That All There Is? by Peggy Lee.  He said he had listened to it over and over when he was ten.

The first singer was skilled and mellifluous.

Allan’s photo

Even though her music was good, I did not find most of the songs to be as sad as I had expected.  Mostly the theme was lost love, whereas I think my sadness is much more wide ranging as I have become older.

One song memorably stood out, about driving the Oregon coast highway and imagining going over the steep side into the ocean.

The second recorded song played by Eric Isaacson,  Reaping What I Sow,  did live up to what I thought a sad song should be.  I can’t find it now because I can’t remember who performed it.

His third choice of sad song, This Bitter Earth, was from a film called Killer of Sheep. You can see it in the film right here.

A man read a story, which he accurately said was scary rather than sad.  Its title, French Exit, refers to leaving a party without saying goodbye.

Allan’s photo

After the story,  I succumbed to feeling old (usually the crowd is mixed in age; tonight, I swear I was the old old lady) and so tired, and uncomfortable because I was sitting alone in a crowd, and yet not sad enough, except for being sad about being old and tired. I longed to be home.  Allan (who had been standing at the back) agreed to leave, so unfortunately, I don’t know what the last two saddest songs were.  We made a French exit. Somehow I had expected MORE cathartic sadness and did not get what I was seeking, which is no fault of the event.

At home, we had a dinner including our own harvest.  I love what Allan did with the pineapple tomato and the cherry tomato.  The cucumber (a straight cucumber, not the lemon cucumber) was too bitter to eat.  Google tells me that the plant may not have gotten watered often enough, or might have been too hot (perhaps from growing it in the greenhouse instead of outside).

We are watching the final season of Girls, a show that I love for a number of reasons, and I’m sad to have it end.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

I had spent the earlier part of the afternoon reinforcing the undersides of the fence all the way round so that my neighbor dog, Royal, can play zoomies along the garden paths.  He is an escape artist, nicknamed Houdini at the animal shelter from which he came.

places where he could slip under the fence patched with rubble

more escape routes patched with bricks, rocks and pottery

I had been wishing for a park bench for my new clearing in the bogsy woods.  Perhaps, thought I, I might buy one, and yet normal park benches are too long for the new space.  When I had looked out my window this (late) morning, I had seen this:

morning view

little park bench!

I had walked by that little bench on West Willows Loop so many times.  Someone had given it to us, broken and full sized, and Allan had refurbished it into a short park bench.

I dragged it inch by inch back to the bogsy woods spot.

Two days ago, when we had laid some sod bits on the lawn to raise a low area, Allan had tried out our old rusty roller and found out it no longer works.  He had the brilliant notion to cut the handles off and turn it upright for a plant stand.

Friday night: Allan grinds off the old handles.

new area, to be refined more tomorrow

I went back to patching the fence.  The most difficult part was the east side between us and the gear shed, where access is difficult. I shoved in some boards from our side and, where the shrubbery was too thick, rocks and cement chunks from the gear shed side.

Allan had spent his afternoon putting up our Halloween lights, a mission complicated by the usual problems of finding strings that did not work.  Lights that were marked purple on the package disappointingly turned out to be red.  My only way to cope with that was to remember that blooooooood red is a colour for Halloween.  (Halloween gore is the part I don’t like.) And red will also work for Christmas.

lights with the berries of Billardia longiflora (Allan’s photo)

The billardia berries, in full shade, are amazing this year.

As Allan finished, I got his help for the last ten feet of fence patching with cement chunks.  The sun was setting and I was beat.

With the great fence accomplishment done, I craved our last package of spicy sausages and built a fire.  This may be the year’s final dinner campfire.  We have enough wood saved for one more fire on Halloween eve, if the weather permits.  Tony and Scott are inviting people to our house for the Ilwaco trick or treat extravaganza and Tony thinks they would enjoy a fire.

campfire dinner

Monday, 16 October 2017

In the afternoon, Allan decided to go out on a quick boating trip (tomorrow’s post).  When he moved the van out of the garage, he found two zucchinis that Todd had put on the windshield on Saturday.  I had forgotten to fetch them in.  This means that those zukes rode ten blocks last night to and from the local market for milk without Allan noticing them.  I found that hilarious.

Today’s mission was to clear out the third compost bin and acquire some rough mulch for the bogsy woods, to back up some of the under fence rubble patches.


I would have to pile the first and second bin high.

40 minutes later

one wheelbarrow load rough mulch

bins piled high, wish we had placed them further to the side and fit in four!

rubble edge in SE corner of garden

Future mulch will make it harder for escape artist Royal to move the rubble.

added more driftwood to west end of bogsy swale

Planting of some new ladies in waiting followed.

Barberry ‘Pow Wow’

transplanted some shady plants (hardy begonias, something lost-taggii from Todd, and a painted fern) into the new sit spot area.

I love this bench and the old roller as a table!

Should I paint the bench, and if so, purple, or blue, or ??  Or every slat a different colour, or??

That might have to wait till spring.  It was hellish hard to move so can’t get it back to a dry space for painting.

Arum italicum in Allan’s garden, will move some to woods

Other plants I can divide out for woods: epimidiums and pulmonarias.  I want to take some of those to a shade bed in neighbour Mary’s garden, too.

I ended my gardening day with a frenzy of weeding (finally!), totally filling up the big wheelie bin.  The weeding is still far from being the “good weeding” that has been on my home work list since early summer.

looking southeast into the autumnal garden

Kniphofia ‘Earliest of All’ is over; I somehow missed its pre-final stages.

How very much I love Sanguisorba ‘Korean Snow’.

I found a Halloween spot, for dead flower bouquets, for MaryBeth’s twin black urns.

Allan, back from his boat trip, hung some more Halloween lights in the last of daylight.

evening sentinal Skooter (Allan’s photo)

These two lazy old men had spent the day indoors.

The only sad thing today was Devery and I did not have a chance to test Royal out playing zoomies inside the fence.  We were afraid to try it in the evening because if he found a way out, chasing him in the dusk would be hard.

our front porch (Allan’s photo)

spider lights over the gate (Allan’s photo)

purple and the red that was supposed to be purple (Allan’s photo)

The J’s were down for the weekend and got their lights up, too.

One punkin is burned out.

Tomorrow is predicted to bring rain, and Wednesday more rain.  Not sure when we will be able to work.  The plan for tomorrow is to get the garage all set up for bulbs which are incoming this very week.







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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Today was the annual Cranberrian Fair at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, three blocks west of us.  I went for two reasons: To get some photos for Discover Ilwaco and to see if my favourite card lady was there again. Although Allan did not attend this year’s fair, I got a ride with him while he picked up the mail.

Allan deadheading cosmos with pocket knife scissors in our volunteer garden at the post office.

Halloween decor next to the post office.

Before I entered the museum, a passerby asked me if I was the person who wrote the Tangly Cottage Blog.  Yes…..  Her name is Peggy, and she reads not only our blog but the Tootlepedal blog, as well.  She and her spouse, Bud, were about to go to the cranberry fair.  When I learned that she is from Bonney Lake, I suggested to her that she must also read a gardening blog from her own neighbourhood and that I would give her the link.  Here it is, Peggy: The Bonney Lassie blog.

Peggy must know that visitors are blog fodder. 😉  Allan appreciated hearing that she enjoys the boating posts.

Cranberrian Fair

The “Bog Bus” (Long Beach Trolley decorated with art by Don Nisbett) was taking passengers to the Cranberry Museum and Cranberry Research Farm.  I had Things to Do at home so did not take that ride.  Here is my bog bus tour from a previous year.

fresh bagged cranberries for sale

I was so glad that the Card Lady was there.  I spent a quantity of money on her wonderful handmade cards that should last a whole year.  I can’t show them here because some of you will be getting them.

a big sale for an art card genius

Karen Brownlee offered an ongoing pottery wheel demonstration.

Karen’s wares; the cranberry plates (top shelf) are my favourites.

mosaic by Karen Brownlee

Lorrie Haight’s blank books

weavers and spinners

Rose Power spinning

Jan Bono and her books. I recommend her cozy mystery series set on the Long Beach Peninsula.  So far available: Star Fish and Bottom Feeders, at Jan  Bono Books.

I was thrilled to see a rug hooking group.  My grandma hooked rugs, and so did I for awhile.

I would love to join the group, but, like most events around here, it meets during the day.  Maybe if I can someday partially retire….

In the courtyard, Lone Wolf Forge was blacksmithing.  He has one of those signs that I like.

Lone Wolf Forge

The Nahcotta railroad car was open for viewing, as it is only a couple of times a year.  I always take the opportunity to go inside.

If I could go back in time and do one thing, it would be to ride on the Clamshell Railroad from Ilwaco to Nahcotta.

inside the railroad car

It has all the modcons.

I was pleased to see the streets parked up for a few blocks and a big crowd at the fair.  I think it was the best attendance of any CranFair, making it a boon for our beloved museum.

For the first time this year, the port galleries and shops had joined the event with a Cranberry Art Walk.  Despite being eager to get home, I strolled down toward the Don Nisbett Gallery and had a serendipitous find along the way.

Kola Boat House

I walked down Myrtle Avenue and into the port parking lot.  Hearing a voice, I turned back to look at the Kola boat house, an old structure in which boats were built including the lovely Aallotar.

Here is what the old boathouse has looked like for a long time.

And here is what I saw today:

Local fisherman and firefighter John Grocott has been fixing it up as time allows and has added those handsome new doors and plans to add the same to the other half of the building. He let me see the inside for the first time today.

inside the east half of the building

and the west half

In the west building, bowpicker boats were built.  Scratched marks on the floor remain that were a guide for the boat builders.

bowpicker building guides

In Astoria, you can buy delicious fish and chips from a bowpicker boat on land.

I continued my walk to the port.

…passing crab pots prepared for the upcoming season.

Looking back at the Kola boat house (named after the Kola brothers), I admired how the gleaming metal doors draw the eye.  Maybe someday it can be a boat building place again, or maybe a museum.

Just look how beautiful.

Port of Ilwaco

At the Don Nisbett Gallery,  Jenna gave me a glass of her mulled wine and a cranberry kuchen.

a good crowd for Don and Jenna

Jenna (Queen La De Da) and Don

I got a sneak peek of the poster for December’s big event.

I popped ever so quickly into Time Enough Books to see their cranberry book display.

in Time Enough Books, a reader by the fireplace

The day, which had started out chilly, was warming up.

One last stop into the ArtPort Gallery to see Bruce Peterson’s new show.  He was about to give a talk on The Art of Seeing…but I had gardening things to do.

Bruce Peterson

On the way home, I got a look at the newly cleared Meander Line, which will soon fill with autumn and winter rain water.







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Friday, 13 October 2017

At long last, we were going to replace the roadside garden at Diane’s.

At the post office, Allan found some decorating going on.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We went to Basket Case first to buy baled mulch.  Peninsula Landscape Supply has gone to its winter hours of Tues-Thurs-Sat only.  Besides, sometimes applying bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner goes faster by far than offloading bulk mulch, so labor time saved makes up for the more expensive (and better) product.

My good friends Penny and Buddy came to greet me.

I love Buddy so much! (Penny, too.)

Roxanne was sorting seeds.  (Allan’s photo)

Roxanne had recently been to see the marvellous Janet Jackson and told us that Michael Jackson had appeared as a hologram while she performed one of his songs.  Oh, I would love to have seen that.

fairy gardens for sale

a subtly color-echoing container

Allan loaded up seven bales of Gardner and Bloome, the last of the pallet, wet and heavy.  He lifts the things I can no longer lift because my leg would give out.  It worries me that he had to do that. 

Roxanne said a new delivery would come today.  As we were about to leave, the delivery truck rolled up full of nice dry comparatively lightweight bales.  If only we had had one of our slow to start mornings, we could have gotten dry bales.  Roxanne and Darrell do have a plan to add some sort of cover to the soil amendments storage area, among the many improvements they have made to the structures at the nursery.

Diane’s garden

Here is a reminder of what the garden looked like before it had to be removed for the new septic installation.

Diane’s roadside garden August 2016

Diane’s streetside garden  May 2016 (Allan’s photo)

California poppies in Diane’s roadside garden, July 2015.

Diane’s roadside garden August 2013

The trees are gone now and the garden area is more level.  I think the new version will be better.

today, before (Allan’s photo)

Our first mission was to remove the hard-to-maintain strip of sod outside the fence.  The fence was originally going to be built at the edge of the new lawn, and then got moved inboard because of reasons.

before (Allan’s photo)

The half moon edger line had to be cut on the inside, to avoid grass growing up right under the fence.

Peeling the sod off in two strips.  There’s nowhere to run to get away from traffic now!

Diane comes out to chat.

The full length with one strip done (Allan’s photo). It was quite tiring.

The bales were so wet they made puddles in the trailer. SO heavy. Poor Allan.

Allan wheelbarrowed the nice pieces of sod to the back yard, because Diane can pass them on to someone who is putting in a new lawn.

Allan’s photo

We took the scrappy little weird shaped pieces home.

adding the mulch

Local author Lorrie Haight stops to ask for a plant ID in the driveway corner garden. (Cosmos)

Allan raking mulch

That is our local trash collector waving at us.

A further connection: Diane retired last year as the owner of Peninsula Sanitation.

inside view after adding back the river rock edge (they were in a pile in the corner garden)   Allan’s photo

after (Allan’s photo)

I put in one new Euphorbia ‘Blue Glacier’ and divisions of one of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that was saved from the previous incarnation of this garden.

all done for now

Diane’s roadside garden as it looked one year ago.  I like the new look much better; those were not especially attractive trees.

Allan weeded the raised septic bed in the back yard while I deadheaded containers and give Diane’s sweet old dog, Misty, a belly rub.  We put some old bricks all around the top edge of the raised bed.  Too tired to take photos of any of that.

At home, we patched a low piece of lawn with the scrappy sod bits.

patch job

I am curious to see, with the lawn patched, how much rain water will stand in this newly cleared area next to the lawn.

We had a short spell of relaxation (collapse) before going to our North Beach Garden Gang dinner at

Salt Pub

Salt Hotel

I had my favourite drink, the vodka Sea Cucumber, while admiring the names of the wines.

our view

jerk spiced clam fritters

Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) pronounced her clam chowder to be excellent.

dinner salad

my favourite smoked tuna sandwich

On the way home, we drove by Lucy Dagger’s house one block east to admire her Halloween decorations.

Missy “Lucy Dagger’s” house

We now have a very welcome four day weekend, the last planned long weekend for awhile as Bulb Time begins with the arrival of my order next Wednesday.  (Yikes.)  Getting our Halloween lights put up is one of Allan’s priorities.  After a busy Saturday, my big plan is gardening at home.








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Thursday, 12 October 2017

We had had much rain overnight.  It was supposed to continue all day, and I settled in for a pleasant early afternoon of catching up on writing this blog.  Mark and Brian of the most excellent north Ocean Park garden stopped by to get some Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ starts.

We toured the garden, of course.

After they left, I realized the sun was out and that we must go to work.

our house

reflected garden

across the street: J Crew house with new paint job.

on the way to work: more water

Port of Ilwaco

With a couple of work hours available before a dentist appointment, we opted to clean up two more sections of the Howerton Avenue gardens.

westernmost beds, before




Long Beach

Dentistry followed (just cleaning, which I sort of enjoy).  Allan dropped me off and went to work in the city hall garden.

before pulling city hall crocosmia


He got caught in a heavy rain squall which I did not even hear from the dentist chair.

After my appointment, I called him and walked for a few blocks till he arrived to fetch me.

“Seabattical”, 1890 house on the corner of Sid Snyder Drive

Captain’s Cottage, 1905

reflected blue cottage

We still had some work time and decided to keep on with the crocosmia pulling in a planter on Sid Snyder Drive.

The crocosmia was planted by a volunteer years ago.

after (rather dull)

Allan pulled crocosmia from one of the little pop outs on Ocean Beach Boulevard.

Allan’s photos: before (with a rainbow)

No after, because a drenching rain began (and soon ended).

As we drove by city hall to admire Allan’s work, I realized we might have time to dig out the  aruncus (goat’s beard) that has gotten too big for its britches on the northeast corner of the building.  It was not easy.

I tried with the shovel to no avail.

Our strong shovel was not enough; Allan employed the pick.

I felt bad that it turned out to be such a hard task, at the cold windy end of the work day.  We dumped our debris at city works (saving good rooted pieces of the plant) and returned with some mulch.

adding Soil Energy scraped up from the flat dregs of the city works mulch pile

After, with some divisions of pulmonaria, and after hosing the mud off the sidewalk.

We were not able to get every root, so I hope aruncus is not a plant that returns from every little piece.  Constant vigilance will be in order.  I will plant a nice piece of it by the pond in Fifth Street Park.  The plant originally came from the road by my old house, rescued when the road was about to be widened.

looking west from city hall

The sun set as we worked.

That was exhausting, especially for Allan, on what we thought would be a rainy day off.




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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The forecast had been for bad weather on this Wednesday.  Instead, we seemed to have had most of the rain overnight.

Wheelbarrow by the compost bins was empty at dark last night.

passionflowers in our back garden

The Depot Restaurant

north side of dining deck

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

Long Beach

deadheading the welcome sign

For the rest of our Long Beach session, my goal was simply to deadhead and tidy the planters.  Because of iffy weather, we parked on each block instead of walking the route.

Below: The rugosa roses that we fight in this street tree garden always win, and they look grand right now.  Across the street is the office of NW Insurance and Financial, where we had our Medicare meeting yesterday.

The sky to the north looked ominous.  I hoped the wind from the west would not bring rain.

murky sky to the east behind a dream house of mine (close to all Long Beach activities)

sky to the northwest

Then the rain came.  We hoped to take shelter at Abbracci Coffee Bar till we remembered they are closed Wednesdays in winter.  We waited out the squall in our van.

In twenty minutes, the weather was fine again.

Before the rain, we had pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from under a street tree.  After, Allan pulled it out of the planter by Wind World Kites while I checked on three blocks worth of planters.

before (Allan’s photo)

Allan pulling crocosmia.

after (Allan’s photo)

after; I clipped a lavender way back for better traffic sightlines.

The proprietor of Wind World Kites likes the crocosmia, which is why this is the only planter than still has a substantial amount.

After all the wind and rain, peace reigned for the rest of the day.

Veterans Field

Anchorage Cottages

greetings from our good friend Mitzu (Allan’s photo)

center courtyard

I had been concerned about the rain delay and getting work done in time for a social engagement.  After some pruning and tidying at The Anchorage, I felt we were nicely back on schedule.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent an hour and a bit deadheading and clipping back some plants as we whittle our way into fall clean up.

black currants under the tetrapanax

Tetrapanax flower bud

Allan in the garden

He cut back more of the big rugosa rose.

birdbath view

pink Symphoricarpos (snow berry)

dinner with Judy and Larry

One good thing for us that has come out of this year’s local liberal politics has been getting to know Judy and Larry.  We went to their north Ocean Park home for a “simple supper”.

Judy contends with deer and raccoons in her garden.

a deep blue tradescantia in a wheelbarrow, moving from one part of the garden to another

rust flowers on the west wall

handsome front porch containers; cannas are from The Basket Case

pond in the back garden

neat little fountain

Amaryllis Belladonna

a work-in-progress sit spot with wisteria

After our garden stroll, we went indoors; it was too chilly to have a little fire in the chiminea.

I asked to see Judy’s art; our artist friend Michele Naquaiya had told us about it.

First, Judy showed us two pieces by Michele.

Scratchboard painting by Michele Naquaiya

Scratchboard painting by Michele Naquaiya

a kitty corner

Judy had taken a class from Michele in the Zentangle technique.

one of Judy’s Zentangles. I liked them all very much.

I finally got to meet Judy’s cats, brothers, one bold (Elwood) and one shy (Jake).


We dined on a delicious chili soup with bread and talked for three hours.

This morning, when I had opened my front door, I had found an apple pie from darling Tony and Scott, made from apples from our tree.  We took it along to dinner and that was our dessert.

Tony and Scott’s Dutch apple pie.

On the way home, we detoured to see the Halloween decor at the Long Beach home of Cathy and Bob (Captain Bob’s Chowder folks).


When we got to our driveway, Allan said “Why did Todd only leave one?”

I was confused.  I had put out four Lonicera fragrantissima plants for Todd to pick up.  Why would he have left one?  Then I saw it.

One zucchini by the garage door.

Later in the week, I learned from Todd that he and his father have given away 2050 zukes this year.

Before we settled down to watch the Rachel Maddow show, I lined up and admired the bookmarks Judy had given us.

Even though I may not be much of a social animal, these times with special friends are precious.








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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Allan found a critter before we left for work:

We had a meeting scheduled for 1 PM and somehow got a late start. I wanted a yard of Soil Energy so we took the risk that 45 minutes was enough time to get to Peninsula Landcape Supply and back.

We were thrilled to see a great big new pile of mulch had arrived.

plenty for all

loading up

On the way south, we made a three minute stop at the Planter Box, looking for orange violas that I had seen the last week.  Someone else had snapped them up, as I should have done.

Allan’s photo

Pumpkins were in. (Allan’s photo)

We got to our appointment with Shelly Pollock at NW Insurance and Financial in Long Beach with five minutes to spare.

in Shelly’s waiting room; to the right is the enjoyable local mystery series by Jan Bono.

It looks like Allan has a new business partner. That’s Shelly’s dog, Bella.

Shelly guided through Medicare choices.  Allan will be elevated to the safety of good health care on January 1st.  We were sadly surprised with how much Medicare costs (cheap compared to full price insurance, of course, and with no dreaded deductible that keeps even insured people from going to the doctor).  Nor does him being on Medicare cut my solo insurance cost in half.  Phooey.  I asked what would happen to someone who, with minimal social security, ends up too poor to pay the Medicare fees.  When does one then qualify for Medicaid, I wondered.  Apparently only if one makes under $12,000 a year Social Security…so if one is living on a not luxurious 14K a year, Medicare would take a painful slice out of that.  The image of sitting at the curb in a cardboard box came to mind.  It does not look like retirement will be in the cards for us, after all.  Good thing we like what we do; I hope we can keep doing it.

I was awash with relief that this fall, Shelly will be able to help me sort my way through the complicated and rather scary application for individual insurance.  The affordable ACA plan with which I have been blessed is in jeopardy right now because of the whims of the Trump administration; I just hope to be able to afford insurance for two and a half more years.

After the appointment, we checked on the planters on Sid Snyder Drive…

Too many wild beach strawberries in this one, we agreed.

…and spent the rest of the day mulching, first finishing up the end of the Ilwaco Boatyard garden.

Allan’s photo

All the way to the end of the boatyard garden with mulch!

sweeping up

Next, we mulched four of the garden beds (two large, two small) on Howerton Avenue, with an interruption that took us by surprise.

a heavy squall

Allan’s photo

Port Office gardens tidied and mulched

I clipped several santolinas.  An art event will take place on the weekend, so I wanted the gardens to look refreshed.

Time Enough Books/Purly Shell garden clipped and mulched

Looking north across the port parking lot, we could see Melissa finishing up the Norwood hedge.

in the boat storage yard by the parking lots

We had divided the cost of mulch so as to keep some for our own garden.  At home, we finished unloading and wheelbarrowed the soil back to the newly cleared bogsy woods area.

First, I got to see my good friend Royal setting out with Devery for his evening walk.

This much rain in the wheelbarrow from today.




Mulching the port got erased from the work board.

I have a month and a half to get a good weeding done at home before year’s end! It has been on the board since late spring.




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