Archive for Dec, 2018

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Allan had jury duty.  He was able to get my book from the post office before having to arrive at court at 8:45 AM.  (He made it to the pick of 12 jurors but then was sent away after a few answers probably revealed him to be not as hard on crime as the prosecutor wanted.)

Good weather meant I had to work till late afternoon on my honeysuckle pruning project.

Skooter did not help.  I think the crisp cold air did not appeal to him.

Here is the glorious moment when the hat of tangled vines lifted off of its support:

The before from a couple of days ago:


and today:

This left an enormous mess by dusk.

I filled the trash bin and pondered how to get rid of the rest.  It would take an awfully long time to feed it into the trash week by week.  It is too tough and woody to compost.

I widened Willow Loop West by trimming escallonia, partly with The Toy, which was awfully fun.

another big mess

In the garden:

grey white berries on the hymenanthera

tiny rose hips of Paul’s Himalayan Musk

At dusk, I was ever so happy to settle in with my book, the fourth mystery by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling).

Friday, 7 December 2018

My book had to wait till dusk.  Allan and I decided that a dump run was in order.  It would take too long to process the vines through the wheelie bin and the branches through the Pencil Sharpener.

If felt very much like winter with a cold white band at the edge of the sky and a moderate but chilling wind.

It took till three o clock to get the debris loaded, included a large quantity of plain green holly from the willow wood outside the south fence.  The dump fee of $20 would be offset by saving us at least two more days of debris disposal at home.

Allan went off to dump …..

offloading a packed full trailer

…while I happily returned to my book and finished it by 1:30 AM (with a break for dinner and some telly).

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Not many photos today.  Caturday photos of Skooter and Frosty were required, of course, and since I had not downloaded my camera for a week, two phone photos would have to do.

woken from a nap

Allan built me a nice new bench for the greenhouse lean-to, almost all made of driftwood.

The lean-to will be especially useful because I had had a revelation: In 2019, I AM going to have a plant sale during the “World’s Longest [local] Garage Sale” at the end of May.  I had offered a multitude of double Shasta daisy starts to the Peninsula Gardeners group days before, had eight takers, and six days later four of the pots I had filled were still sitting waiting for the takers to pick them up.  No more of this—instead I would start planting starts to sell on that one weekend.  Our friends Ed and Mark have great success with their once a year plant sales. I spent the day potting up some Gladioulus papilio and a wealth of lambs ears that had worked their way into the center of a garden bed.

As for the evening reading, someone had recommended in a Ruth Rendell book group (online) that Belinda Bauer was a worthy successor to Ruth (sometimes my favourite author), so I began reading one of Belinda’s mysteries.  I can tell you that she is very good but that the writing is not as elegant as Ruth’s.


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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

With some colder weather in store, Allan had tried adding some plastic to the sides of the greenhouse lean to:

Allan’s photo

We found out this morning that it was so flappy and noisy in the wind that I worried it would keep our neighbours to the east awake.  Adding weights to the bottom did not help, so down it came.  The lean-to is useful enough without doors as it should keep frost off of tender plants.  Allan may add something stronger, but removable, for the coldest nights, once it gets figured out…

I began a project of cutting back honeysuckle and hops, all tangled with a lot of dead in it, on the arbors to the east of the compost bins.


I was quite enjoying the task when I happened to look at my pineapple sage and realized that the cold had surely damaged plants in the less sheltered Long Beach gardens.

pineapple sage

and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

So halfway into the afternoon, we had to switch gears and go to work.

We pulled the last of the Ilwaco cosmos…

….at the boatyard garden…

….and the Ilwaco pavilion garden.

We checked on the window boxes and barrels at the Depot Restaurant in Seaview and found that the annuals were still not ready to pull, even though I wish they were.

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ still has some yellow daisies….

and the window boxes still have some flowers.

In Long Beach, we cut down chrysanthemums and Salvia leucantha in several planters.  The city crew has had to dig in one of them, probably for electrical Christmas lights reasons.

Oh, dear.

I visited NIVA green for a bit of Christmas shopping.

beautiful new velvet bags, too soft for my lifestyle

There is one photo I cannot show because a Christmas present is front and center.

I was able to tell Heather in person that I was going to remove myself as co-administrator of the NIVA green Facebook page, because her assistant, Wes, is now doing such a great job with it.  It is much better for someone who is on the spot to do it, and my grandmother told me many times that too many cooks spoil the broth.  I have another place to share my photos: the “favourite shops” album on my own Our Long Beach Peninsula page.  For all its flaws, Facebook is a strong connector in our beach communities.

We finished Long Beach by clipping back some frost-limp perennials in Fifth Street Park, where the very last cosmos got pulled.  Allan had covered the gunnera with leaves during an errand run the day before.

Our last work stop was brief.  I finally cut the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen that was STILL blooming in front of the Shelburne.  I no longer wanted to wonder every day if it looked good or was frost blackened.

This one lonely stem had emerged unplanned.

the fig tree

pineapple sage looking better than mine

We rewarded ourselves for our staycation work day with dinner at the pub.

Our drinks:

I had never heard of a Salty Dog drink.  Delicious because I love salt and I love grapefruit juice.  Amazingly, Allan had never before had a hot buttered rum.

view from our favourite table

chopped salad with chicken and a pub burger

and our favourite desserts

My BOOK had arrived at the post office today, per an email notice, but it was closed so I would have to wait till tomorrow.  I read a short book instead, which turned out to be a moderately well written and quite interesting experience of the Hillary Clinton campaign, 2016.

As with Hillary’s memoir, What Happened, I felt by the end that Hillary would be a good and kind person to know (and a much finer president than what we have now).





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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

My breakfast audience:

Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’ has emerged again.

Allan has finished the roof of the greenhouse lean to.

Skooter’s day included a trip to the roof…

….and a sojourn in the sink.

He was a perfect round ball till he heard the camera.

Allan ran errands and covered the gunnera in Long Beach with leaves from our gunnera.



I spent the afternoon weeding.  Because of the rain forecast, I have this week to prepare to get mulch for the garden and then will have to wait for another five day dry spell to be predicted, and hope that mulch (and good health) is available during that time.

I then read an excellent memoir.  I wish I could remember if someone recommended it to me.  If so, thank you.

I adore Vivian Gornick’s honesty and now, of course, I intend to read all her books (through interlibrary loan).

Here are some of my favourite bits.

Regarding her and her closest friend, Leonard:








in which the title is explained:

I hope her next books do not take long to arrive.

Skooter being a neck cat instead of a lap cat.


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It is December 11th.  I had no intention of blogging, until suddenly needing to boot up my computer to add the new manager of Klipsan Beach Cottages to the KBC Facebook page….and de administrate myself. It felt odd and poignant to let go of a page I created and have administered and for which I have done all the photos since…2009.  I gardened there for over 20 years.  Soon we will be visiting former managers Mary and Denny in their new home.

Since I booted up, I might as write and schedule a few blog posts before I retreat back into my blogging break.  We began December with a streak of almost summer-like weather.

December 2nd is an already forgotten day…weeding? reading? weather? I have no idea…with no photos other than this one of Skooter in the very late morning:

Monday, 3 December 2018

We had had some rain.  Perhaps this photo tells us that Sunday was a reading day. My Sony camera sometimes does not open all the way, annoying if I don’t see that I need to push it open manually.  (The Lumix thoroughly plotzed with a “system error zoom”, after less than a year, as usual.)

yellow rain gauge, halfway full

The water boxes are full again.

summer-planted extra sweet pea seeds, grew into lots of foliage and an occasional soggy flower.

Helichrysum and bacopa still lush and happy

I spent most of the afternoon digging Ficaria verna (Ranunculus ficaria) from the east fire circle bed.  It runs like crazy through the garden.

Ficaria verna today

It tries to leave as many little brown root nodules behind as possible, which is why this is a battle where the human will not prevail.

At least I can slow it down.

The plain old creeping buttercup, also shown above, is much easier to remove.

In other garden news, I am working on widening the East Willow Loop path, which has become so narrow in summer that is had ceased to be part of the garden tour here.

opened up

At the end, to the left, was the encroaching ficaria patch.

center bed and Rozanne Loop path

I covered my gunnera with its own leaves to protect it from frost….

…and put a few leaves in the van to go to the gunnera in Long Beach.

Fortunately, the short daylight hours give plenty of time for reading in the late afternoon and evening.  I cannot remember who recommended that I read Radio Free Vermont.  Thank you, I loved it.

This is also how we feel on the Long Beach Peninsula:

For comparison, Ilwaco has under 1000 residents.  It might be growing, but it is growing slowly.


This is so true when moving to a small town:



I have read of town meetings elsewhere, possibly in Maine, in the memoirs of Doris Grumbach (whose books I highly recommend).

Radio Free Vermont is not all talk; it has adventure, suspense, and a ski chase, so give it a try.





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We are on a bit of a blogging break…finally got round to writing up the Crab Pot Tree!

Our Ilwaco

crabpotxmas (1)

November 2018

The crab pot tree was put into place at the beginning of November.

tree photo by Jenna Lanette Austin

nov5 5 November

Volunteers gathered on three consecutive Tuesdays to decorate it with lights and floats.  We missed the first session, when Artist Don Nisbett hung all the lights by himself. We joined the second session of decorating on November 13th.


pot a delivery from the boatyard for the crab pot snowman

nov13 13 November


v5 Della and Jim from the Coast Guard Auxiliary

cg U.S. Coast Guard National Motor Lifeboat School crab float signed by the staff and students.


volunteers volunteers: Bill, owner of OleBob’s Seafood Market and Café, Jim and Della from the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Jenna (our beloved Queen LaDeDa) and Allan of Tangly Cottage Gardening

On November 20th, the same group of volunteers zip tied the lights and hung more floats and the star.


view Allan Fritz took all the photos from on…

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Saturday, 1 December 2018

This is the day leading up to the Crab Pot Tree lighting.

In the mid morning, Allan hurried down to the Crab Pot tree to provide a mallet for anchoring an anchor.

It will be lit to commemorate a crabber who was tragically lost in an accident in Willapa Bay this past summer.

Allan then checked on his book at Time Enough Books.

There it is, lower right.

After trying and failing to get enough sleep (too much crab pot excitement brewing?), I had three hours to weed.

We had had this much rain yesterday.

We still have mild weather and some flowers in bloom.

Salvia ‘Amistad’ and S. elegans (pineapple sage)

pineapple sage

Salvia leucantha




and more fuchsias

Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’

and even an agastache, with annual sweet pea foliage

I worked on a section where creeping buttercup had swamped the base of shasta daisies.


got this far…

It was hard to tear myself away from the garden at ten to three.  I knew, though, that the temperature would start to drop in about half an hour.

Allan had been working on the greenhouse lean-to.  We hurried to put tools away and to get down to the Salt Pub to meet Our Kathleen for a late lunch.

Salt has been remodeling so that the main pub is now downstairs instead of upstairs.   Allan’s photos were taken earlier in the day.  When we got there, we were lucky to get the second to last table.

The new bar downstairs (Allan’s photo)

The old bar upstairs. This room was reserved for an event tonight. (Allan’s photo)

Downstairs window seating. (Allan’s photo)

Salt Pub

Kathleen’s brisket bowl lunch

my delicious tuna melt

Allan’s “breakfast sandwich”

We were joined a half an hour later by Ann Amato, who praised the cranberry cobbler.

Ann is catching up on the past year in her blog, which you can read right here.

Allan left us at four to help test the lights at the tree.  It would be unfortunate if they did not go on properly!  We lingered for another forty five minutes and then walked the two blocks to the crab pot tree….

…….where we hope you will join us as we share the evening on our other blog (as soon as I get around to writing it).

Allan had picked up some library books for me today.  I rather wish the weather forecast was for rain rather than a sunny and temperate week.



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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

We had had this much rain.

A fine day meant I must continue weeding.  I am trying to prepare for getting eight yards of mulch sometime this winter. In the course of weeding, I noticed a plant from Digging Dog Nursery was finally blooming.  I forget the name of the carroty thing.  I expected someone taller.

I consigned a columnar apple tree to the wheelie bin.

before i relegated it to the wheelie bin

It seemed too diseased to put through the Pencil Sharpener shredder.

that cannot be good

and its apples had been miniscule and unripe…

I scavenged more leaves for the leaf bin.

from a maple next door

The wind had caused no serious damage.

The bogsy woods were so soggy that I did not go much farther back.

gunnera leaves down

I decided that tomorrow we must check on the big gunnera in Fifth Street Park.

In the late afternoon, rain returned and I began a mystery series by Robert Galbraith, the Cormoran Strike mystery series.  Steveston Gardener of Canada had given me the first three when she visited this summer.  In looking to see the proper reading order, I found out today that they are actually by JK Rowling.

I was immediately smitten by the book and got halfway through before sleep time.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

I had to leave my book behind and go out to a medical insurance appointment.  On the way, we pulled cosmos at the Ilwaco Fire Station in a light rain.



an annual sunflower still blooming!

The rain stopped as we pulled cosmos at the boatyard garden and trimmed wind-thrashed Stipa gigantea with The Toy.

Some of the cosmos still looked too good to pull.

I thought we might get some final clean ups done in Long Beach after our appointment, but while we were at Shelly Pollock’s office getting my health insurance for 2019 set up, rain returned in earnest.  (Thank you, President Obama, for health care that I can afford.)

In the storm, we drove by Fifth Street Park to check the gunnera.  It was already cut down!

That is the first time the city crew has cut it down without waiting for us; I usually cut it only after frost has laid it flat.  We drove to city works to look for the leaves so that I could lay one over the plant to bring it through the winter.  We were told apologetically that the leaves were gone.  We will bring one from home to lay over the plant later.

All that got done was cutting down one now silly and lonely looking Salvia leucantha in Lewis and Clark Square.

before: very wet

We had parked at Veterans Field for that tiny project.  I pondered whether or not people think the still blooming Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ are just messy.  I like them even now.

backed with the city Christmas tree

Damp, but not so much as to be dripping miserably, we repaired to the Shelburne Pub for a late lunch.  (I was still thinking about my book as the day progressed.)

Shelburne Hotel

one Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ still blooming

looking north

looking south

chopped salad with fried chicken added

that blackberry-topped cheesecake

We checked the window boxes for moisture at the Depot on the way home.

And then …home where I sat right down and read for hours to finish The Cuckoo’s Calling.  I realized I could do nothing much but finish the three books, giving up all idea of blogging so that I could get them done before Crab Pot Tree and friends’ visits on Saturday.  Each book is long, but unlike the later books in the Potter series, they do not drag.  (And I did love the Harry Potter series.)  It has been a long time since I have been this smitten by a fictional book series.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

We had had this much rain since I had last left off weeding.

Annoyingly good weather meant that I had to weed rather than read for at least three hours.

Joseph’s Coat rose


a sad little conifer dug out of a dark corner where it should never have been planted (too sad to rescue)

another rescue replanted, probably still in the wrong place

Once upon a time, I bought some dwarf conifers and have never found a good way to use them.

Weeding in the front garden, I trimmed suckers off of a witch hazel.


almost after

my helper

Another thing to watch for is green branches growing from variegated shrubs…

like this pieris

In good weather, Allan had been working on the greenhouse annex, which is more complicated and harder than I had hoped.  I am sorry I asked for it and yet it will be good in summer for a dry storage area and in the winter I can put plastic on the ends and keep some plants out of the worst weather.

Skooter avoiding the rain under a test roof panel. Allan’s photo

I found that a quite large branch had come down in the bogsy wood.

Finally dusk came and I could get to my book.

With a break for dinner and some telly with Allan, I got within fifty pages of the end by the time I could no longer stay awake.  Silkworm‘s plot was much more disturbing than the first book.  The characters and settings overcame my squeamishness.

Lately Skooter has been more of a lap cat.

Friday, 30 November 2018

We had a perfectly wonderful rainy and windy day.

I finished Silkworm and read the whole of Career of Evil, book three of Cormoran Strike (even more disturbing than book two; what other horrors lurk in JK Rowling’s mind?).  I might have liked less gory detail.  However, the protagonists and the settings had me completely mesmerized.  If I did not finish it before Crab Pot Tree Saturday, I would be frustrated to have to leave the house.  Finish it I did at 1 AM, and immediately ordered the recently released fourth one because I cannot wait for the many folks ahead of me in the hold line at the library.  Now I could join the Crab Pot Tree festivities with an undistracted mind.

Allan’s photo

Speaking of books, I was asked to show the before and after of the cover of Allan’s Southwest Washington Paddle Trips book.

Here is the first version:

Allan’s book

And the more colourful version:

He will be selling it at the Sou’wester’s Handmade Artisan Bazaar on Saturday, December 15th from 10-4, 3728 J Place in Seaview.  It is also available in Ilwaco at Time Enough Books and the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and at Adelaide’s Books in Ocean Park.



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