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Archive for the ‘narcissi’ Category

at home (Allan’s photo)

We began the day by driving by and photographing, but not helping, a volunteer clean up effort in downtown Ilwaco.  You can read about it on our Ilwaco blog, here.

Before our Long Beach tasks, we watered the garden at

The Shelburne Hotel.

We have newly planted areas there that need monitoring.

I took a bouquet for the hotel lobby:

The back yard is turning into an open patio space.  I was excited to see the long narrow area in the middle, thinking maybe it could be a place to grow edible flowers….

…but no; it will be a bocce ball court.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

after watering

I turned to take a photo of the building…

…and realized that a rhododendron branch was blocking the sign.

So we fixed it.

 

And then, on to

Long Beach

to tidy up all the downtown planters and street tree gardens for Sunday’s annual parade.

Silverstream tulips

I immediately realized that I was cold, in the wind, and had neglected to bring warmer clothes.

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’

I clearly must plant more Tulip batalinii: They are short, sturdy, and bloom late enough for the parade.

sparaxis

sparaxis and cerinthe

I was disappointed that not every planter had Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’.  I plant more every year, but did not replant in every planter this time.  I guess they peter out after awhile, probably from too much watering in summer.

As I walked along, I photographed every planter for a reference post, something I started to do last fall.  That will be the next blog post, and I will be able to refer back to it to see which planters are especially dull right now.  Sadly, the parade always falls on the first weekend in May at an awkward time between peak spring bulb season and mid-May flowers.

I am worried about Allium christophii surviving parade day.

So vulnerable. I must have been mad to plant them.

As soon as this veronica completes its brief bloom time, it is coming out. I mean it this time.

a difficult and wet, rooty, weedy bed in Fifth Street Park

We had encountered Parks Manager Mike and talked to him about somehow re-doing the above bed.  It is a problem.

Mike and me

He warned me that a crew member, having mulched a shrubby park, had then dumped bark on one of “my” flower beds.  It will not happen again.  Mike knew I would not like it, even though he probably does not know that our business slogan is “Just say no to barkscapes.”  Especially RED barkscapes.

red bark. Ouch!

This is where the bark ran out! (Allan’s photo)

We moved the bark from the half-done spot back to the shrubby side of the park.

Allan’s photo

bark around hydrangeas, etc, with gunnera and Darmera peltata

Allan found masses of bindweed to pull in the corner:

tree garden outside Abbracci Coffee Bar

a rain spotted Tulip ‘Cummins’

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ did not quite make it to parade day. (Allan’s photo)

I have agastaches for the empty centers of the planters.  I am holding off on planting them to prevent parade day damage and to avoid having to start watering before the end of next week.

Oh for more Baby Moon!

another good, late doer: Tulip linifolia. I think. (Allan’s photo)

The sparaxis flowers look good, but the foliage on them is not attractive this year; it browned off early.

Soon, while planting annuals, we will chop all the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ by half to make it tighter.

The sedums were all serving as snail homes.

Just half of the snails I got from one clump of sedum.

The snails went into the trailer with the debris to be rehomed in the debris pile at City Works.

What have we here? Someone did this. Why?

We also accomplished the tidying and weeding of the Veterans Field gardens:

And then got back to the last two blocks of planters.

by NIVA green, another late narcissi; I need to figure out which one it is.

another great late bloomer, tall

Tulip ‘China Town’

At the very end, by the bus stop in Coulter Park, I saw a problem that needs fixing.  Tomorrow!  I had been cold and miserable throughout the Long Beach portion of the day.

sidewalk blockage, must fix, but too cold now!

a snail escaping from the trailer. I let it go.

We had a load of debris to dump, along with all the rest of the snails.

I treat the big tulips as annuals and discard them.  They do not come back as well the second year, and Long Beach needs a good, fresh show every year.

Feeling chilled and exhausted, we then repaired to

The Shelburne Pub

for a good warming hot toddy and meal.

….ah….

delicious chopped salad

the astonishingly delectable black garlic fried rice

I took some photos of the Shelburne as we left, trying to capture its evening magic.

Blue flowers show up strongly at dusk.

the pub deck

 

Here is the hotel website; you just might like to dine or to stay there sometime.

At home, I was intensely relieved to relax and watch a show of Gardeners’ World before our regular telly.

ahhhh….

Nigel!

garden touring!

The garden tour segment of this episode was stunning and theatrical.  You can watch it here.

Later, at bedtime, I watched another episode with another glorious garden tour…here.

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Monday, 9 April 2018

Oh, fer-cryin-out-loud!:

in our back garden

The work board as it is now:

Muscari paradoxum at the post office

As we were about to leave Ilwaco, we were flagged down by local antique shop owner and artist Wendi (Wendi’s Attic) who gave me these two kitties “for the two you’ve lost,” she said.

Thank you, Wendi.

The cats are especially perfect because Calvin loved to play with his “pinball” toy.

On Saturday, I had gotten a sympathy card from our beloved vet, Dr. Raela, that helped me to know I made the right choice for Calvin, which is something the vet cannot say while you are trying to make The Decision.

We began work with a brief visit to

The Shelburne Hotel

to scope out the spot where we are planning to put a fig tree.

I took a small bouquet for the hotel; the background is Sid’s grocery store.

I leave the flowers by this sink for the innkeepers to find.

poking around in the front garden

looking north

golden Lamprocampnos

Late last night, I started to re-read The Bad Tempered Gardener by Anne Wareham.  It is so delightful and funny and cantankerous.  She likes ground covers and planted “vareigated ground elder” on purpose.  Meanwhile, I am fretting as it pops up at the Shelburne:

along with other weedy pests

Later, I emailed back and forth with hotel owner Tiffany and arranged that we will be the ones to dig up the west side of the back garden in order to turn it into a herb and flower garden:

next Shelburne project (soon!)

in the mysterious shady corner which we will also fix up soon

Long Beach

We planted two starts of Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ from home into the parking lot “berms”.  It does not matter here that they are infested with the Bad Aster.

The rest of the work day was getting buckets of mulch from  city works and getting a little over halfway through mulching the 18 street trees and weeding and topping up any planters that need care.

Soil Energy mulch

We will just have enough mulch in the pile to finish out this task, so I have asked the city crew for another pile, when they have time.

Deer did not eat the tulips planted by the Coastal Inn:

Tree and planter photos of the day:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Camassia, Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

FINALLY out with a boring fern that has been bugging me for years (Allan’s photo)

somewhat battered

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’

wheelbarrow hitch hiker

The planter below is going to be the one for a re-do this spring, as soon as the golden veronica blooms.  It is a once bloomer and has filled up way too much space.  This year I will be smart and hold some plants back for a new look along the curved edge later on.

The temperature was a muggy 65 degrees, a bit too hot for my comfort.

Resident killdeer at city works when we went for our second load of mulch:

Abbracci Coffee Bar tree

Here is a lovely instagram photo from Abbracci.

instagram from Abbracci

I planted 100 of a tulip called Silverstream which comes in various tones of pink to orange, with feathering.

by Hungry Harbor Grille

An employee of the Carnival Gift Shop told Allan he loves this planter (below, a shrubby one left over from volunteer days):

Even though it was hard to stop with an hour and a half of daylight left, we did our civic duty to be informed, by attending the city council meeting.  Two council members were absent on a trip with the high school band.

Allan’s photo

From the corridor of the Ilwaco Community Building:

and from the entryway as we departed

 

 

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Friday, 16 March 2018

On the way out of Ilwaco, we dropped off and picked up books at the library.  Now I have an even bigger pile of books to read, which is problematical at this time of year.

Ilwaco Community Building

Community building garden with Ocean Beach Hospital and a salal I want to get rid of this year.

Supposing we do manage to dig out that tatty salal, what should we put in that triangular corner instead?  I am thinking.  The sidewalk is narrow and peculiarly designed there.

We began with a quick visit to the Basket Case Greenhouse, to give Roxanne some seeds to try growing for me.  If she succeeds, she will have some Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’ for sale eventually!

Two seedy characters (Roxanne and me)

Right now, the Basket Case has the excellent Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.

The leaves of Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ eventually revert to green. So it’s worth refreshing with a new plant every couple of years.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Our first work destination was the acquisition of some Soil Energy mulch.

When we drove in, I had a brief wave of anxiety because the bins looked empty and I had not called to confirm that Soil Energy was in stock.

When we pulled up closer, I was relieved to see enough for us.

The fish of Peninsula Landscape Supply

The Depot Restaurant…

…was our mulching destination.

Before: I wanted to improve this tight and rooty bed and to plant a start of Tetrapanax.  Chef Michael wants tall things in here.  I tried to transplant a start of Tetrapanax last year to no avail.

Allan’s photo, south side of dining deck

after

We used the remainder of the mulch on the north side of the dining deck.

filling in along the edge

Allan’s photo

We were making good time, so we went to the city works yard in…

Long Beach

….and filled all our buckets from the city pile of Soil Energy, enough to mulch the arc garden at the Veterans Field flag pavilion.

Driving to city works, I had seen two sets of narcissi that needed deadheading, the first by the Coastal Inn and Suites.  We took care of that and noticed that the inn now has a tulip bed.

Very nice; we hope the deer don’t eat them.

Allan’s photo

Next, we deadheaded the tree garden in front of Abbracci Coffee Bar.

Allan’s photo

Feeling weary after the usual night of semi-insomnia (and dreams when asleep about the film Ethel and Ernest, now one of my favourite films of all time), I had a craving for coffee and a Pink Poppy Bakery treat.  Just as we finished deadheading, the closed sign went up in the door of the coffee bar.  Dang it! It was already three thirty.

I guess it was just as well, because it gave us time to get more done; we went through the Great Escape Coffee Drive Through instead.

The Shelburne Hotel

Our visit to the Shelburne garden was a quick one, just long enough to plant some Eryngium and Dierama seedlings and a bit of variegated saxifrage.

The epimedium whose leaves (some of them) I cut back in the rain a couple of weeks ago is blooming.  The flowers would not show if the leaves were all still there.

Remember the hellebore whose flower got broken off to many cries of woe (and blame)?  It made a new flower.

Allan’s vindicating photo

I made a fun photo of the Shelburne with the Popsicolor app last night:

Popsicolor: Double Mint, Natural Focus, Top to Bottom Gradient, Inked: India Ink, Enhanced

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We tackled the last of the targeted (by us) clumps of the Pennisetum macrourum, where we had run out of time yesterday.

Allan’s photo, before…the horror

I went over the last area he had dug and picked over yesterday, and had not had time to finish.  There were so many deep roots, I despaired of winning.  But humans WILL WIN this battle.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo: But what lurks beneath?

Yesterday:

looking north (the steam is from a boat engine that just got put in the water)

Today:

We had a look in the boatyard:

Right above the High Hope, to the left of the Starwest, is the spruce tree in the lower part of our old garden.

At home, Allan decided he had time to mow our lawn, and I unloaded and piled roots of the pennisetum for future wheelie bin disposal (it’s full now) until I ran out of steam, and then erased “mulch Depot” from the work board.

Skooter was sleeping on my go bag again.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 17th, is my birthday—not a big important one, just age 63, but worth a day off and (I hope) some garden accomplishments at home.

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

After a rainy Tuesday of working on my blog posts about reading, I had woken up today thinking about the Shelburne garden and how much better recent photos of it would look if it had spring flowering bulbs, especially my favourite kinds of narcissi.  Next year!  I thought about digging some up from my own garden to put there.  But I am too selfish with my own flowers for that.  I can barely pick bouquets sometimes.

I hope that next spring, the Shelburne garden will look more like mine (and the gardens of our other clients) does right now (by which I mean my flowers, not my weeds):

When we got our mail, I briefly pondered weeding the wild garlic out of the post office garden so that it would look better for people attending this weekend’s quilt show at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum across the street. No, not yet; I decided that we might finish the boatyard garden and return to the post office at the end of the day.  Allan was rightly skeptical.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

looking south from the north end

We still do not know if some of this garden is going to be dug up for a water project.  It needed cleaning up either way.  We carefully did not disturb the orange and red spray paint marks, already almost washed away by rain.

Allan’s photo, Pennisetum macrourum, before

and after removing it

Pennisetum macrourum is described on some garden sites as being slowly spreading, and that is the impression I had for years, until suddenly a couple of years ago it decided to run.  I no longer wanted any of it at the north end of the boatyard garden, where I had transplanted a clump before it showed its true nature.  I used to think it might be a grass I had brought down with me from my Seattle friend Pat’s garden.  If that were true, I would have had it in all my other gardens over the years, because it is quite beautiful.  Now I think it was introduced to the boatyard during the years between when I started it as a volunteer and then it got torn up for an electrical project, and when I came back to work on it as a paid job.  During that time, a nice old man provided the port with some pampas grass, which they planted along the narrow strip and which eventually covered half the sidewalk.  The pennisetum may have also been donated at that time.  It is misbehaving now.

Here is what it looks like in bloom:

Pennisetum macrourum, (which as you can see is going a bit too strong), Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

Pennisetum macrourum at the boatyard

We were not very far along today before this happened.

 

With the rain pelting down and a 20 mile an hour wind kicking up, we drove home to put the pennisetum roots in our garbage can and, I assumed, to give up on work for the day.  Even Allan’s mentioning The Deadliest Catch TV show…

…did not inspire me to want to work in the rain and wind.

In the rain, we (well, Allan) did one more thing on the way home, deadheading these narcissi in front of Azure Salon.

Allan’s photo

Ten minutes later, we had this:

looking west from our driveway

…so we went back to work.

trimming well behaved grasses (Allan’s photos)

We also sheared many santolinas (Allan’s photos)

Sheared santolinas will stay rounded instead of falling open.

We crossed over the boatyard gate, meaning we were more than halfway done in distance.  Allan trimmed another pennisetum that can stay because we don’t want to be digging around the light pole:

He trimmed another….and I decided the tatty old lavender had to go.

before

later, before he hoiked the lavender out

I then decided that whole darn pennisetum had to go, a job for tomorrow.  I do not want this many of them!

Pennisetum nightmare

 

This was more than we would be able to deal with today.

It did not rain again until 4 PM:

And even then it did not last and we were able to keep weeding, trimming, and digging until the temperature dropped to discomfort in the early evening.

Allan’s photo

At home, I was thrilled to finally finish my last blog post about thirty five years of reading, from 1982 to 2016!

Even though I was not able to erase any gardening tasks from the work board, I did erase from the at home rainy day tasks “Goodreads”, which was the reading blog project.

All the indoor jobs were supposed to be done in winter, till shingles put an end to my staycation energy.

 

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Sunday, 11 February 2018

We decided to work on the downtown Long Beach planters and street trees.  I had big ideas that we would also get to the Anchorage Cottages garden and then get rugosa roses cut down in the beach approach garden by the arch.

As I began with the southernmost planters, Robert (wasband and former co-gardener) bicycled up and we had an interesting chat, reminiscing about our friend Lily who died some years ago of ALS.

Robert

My mission was to trim back any Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ still standing and to clip santolina hard so it will make a nice round ball instead of getting rangy.

before

after; this planter has too much of a boring little hardy geranium but is not one I plant to re-do.

crocuses in a planter

crocuses and an iris reticulata

santolinas, before

an after from across the street, because I forgot…

before

after

Would be huge escallonias that we cut back hard by the pet shop last fall are leafing out:

anemone

After clipping and tidying in eight planters and three trees, I re-joined Allan who had been working on a difficult tree garden that whole time.

before, with an unfortunate batch of rugosa roses

Those roses reseeded into there, and I thought, years ago, how cute, and let one or two stems bloom.  Oh, what a mistake…and yet it does look pretty when blooming in summer.

after; unfortunately, the roses will come back.

after; will this be the year we prevail?

I notice every time I come to a clump of narcissi and find flower stalks picked.  (Deer are not the culprits here, although they might be with tulips.)

Why not leave ALL the flowers for all the people to enjoy?

It was not a pleasant weather day, with wind that became increasingly strong and cold.

not feeling comfortable

Another street tree job by Allan:

before

after (the stems are a hardy fuchsia)

In another tree, we worked on eliminated all but two corners of Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’; I planted too much of it way back when I had a low budget, and it was free (for good reason).

before

after

sidewalk display at The Wooden Horse gift shop

In the last two blocks, the wind was much colder and stronger.  We were determined to finish.

We cut back these chrysanthemums, with foliage undamaged because of our mild winter.

Allan cut down the other two escallonias that are crowded into a planter.

before

after

I came along behind him and trimmed those green santolinas hard.

At home, I was able to erase the Long Beach downtown planters from the work board, and added the Pop Outs (little gardens on Ocean Beach Boulevard).

There may be a reader who is wondering when Kite Museum will appear on the work board.  It finally got added on Feb. 14th!

It took hours after work to finally feel warm again.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Calvin was sunbathing on the bed, showing how much brown is in a black cat’s fur.

A blue blanket showed off Frosty’s pretty blue eyes.

Speaking of snoozing and blue blankets, here is a guest photo of Todd’s dog, Ansel.

The J’s garden

We had an accounting appointment in the middle of the day, so we started at J’s garden across the street from our house, a job we could easily leave and come back to later.

While Allan was fetching the lawn mower for the tiny lawn in the J’s back yard, Ed and Jackson Strange (Strange Landscaping) stopped by on their way to a much bigger mowing job.  Ed was on his way to mow around a garden we created and used to care for by the pale green house at the far right of this photo:

Jackson and Ed

After some schmoozing with Ed and some smooching for Jackson (not Ed, who is the one on the right), we all got back to work.

At J’s, I got locked into the back garden behind the new gate.  Allan had a bit of a hard time getting the latch open.  From now on we will be sure to prop it with a heavy bucket while we are working back there.  It led to some excitement about getting to our new accountant on time (our former one, in Ilwaco, has retired.)  We were only two minutes late, thank goodness, because we did want to make a good first impression.  Because her office is almost to Surfside, we took the opportunity to drive further north and east and tour The Oysterville Garden, which will be tomorrow’s post.

We did not get back to J’s till an hour before dusk, so the befores and afters, taken by Allan, have a different light:

before

after

before

after

before: shotweed

before

after, with sword ferns trimmed

sword fern fronds to go across the street to our compost bins

just after sunset

Long Beach

Prior to returning to J’s, we went to the Sid Snyder beach approach to tidy the planters there, AND did the spring clean up on the tiny flower garden at the World Kite Museum.  We had a look at a few of the street tree and planter narcissi downtown.

I love narcissi with reflexed petals and long trumpets.

My favourites are the ones with tiny cups.

I like them all (except for the split cup ones, which look messy to me); they are my favourite flower.

also plenty of crocuses

Allan’s photo

On the beach approach, we clipped santolinas so that they will remain in a silver mound.  Allan’s photos:

before

after

the westernmost planter, before

The gazanias came through the winter.

after

At the World Kite Museum, Patty came out to chat.

not much going on in this garden yet

As of midsummer, the hebes that were on the right (above) are gone, and I wonder if that will make this little bed less rooty, or it the roots were all from escallonia on the left (above, and on the right below) creeping in for better nourishment.

At home, after finishing J’s, we were able to erase two tasks from the work list, so I tightened up the spring clean up section.

reading

Over the last month, despite being preoccupied with blogging about reading from years before, I did manage to read three books.  I already mentioned this one:

And I may have mentioned this one which, of the three, if you only have time for one, is a must read for white Americans.  I say white Americans because I don’t think black Americans should have to re-traumatize over this horrible history. The book smashes the myth that Rosa Parks was just a quiet lady with sore feet; she was a firebrand!  This is the most historically groundbreaking book I have read in a long time.

This evening, I finished the third book.  It is essential reading:

I  now have a new stack of library books, all pretty much light reading, and during work season that is sometimes all I have a mind for.

I am quite concerned that I have so many books out of the library right now!

The black book to the right is an autobiography by Nina Bawden.  79 Squares is a re-read inspired by my book posts.  The Bookstore Mouse was recommended by Roxanne, who co-owns the Basket Case Greenhouse.

Dawn Powell (upper left) might have to go back till next winter; I have renewed her three times.  I have already started Ian Whitcomb’s novel, Lotusland (lower right).  The Private I is edited by Molly Peacock, who wrote the wonderful The Paper Garden that I recently read.

When will I find the time, especially since I am still obsessed with the blog posts about old reading and still have five years of books to do!?

AND the books poured in that I ordered while writing the book posts.

These are not all re-reads, some were new to me books that I found while adding books to my Goodreads list of books I’ve read.  The rarest came all the way from the UK and is called Nonie; it is a biography of Lenora Mattingly Weber, who wrote the middle-American midcentury Beany Malone series.

Please bring on some rainy days.

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Monday, 22 January 2018

I had begun an enormous book, set from the 1920s through WWII. The protagonist, Joshua Bland, an insecure, sarcastic, depressed, self-absorbed, lonely, unhappy man cannot be described as sympathetic. I cared for him.


As usual, my own self-absorbed qualities meant that Joshua’s experiences brought up some memories of my own. Here are my favourite passages out of 558 pages and a few of the thoughts and memories that the book inspired.

About his dog, Ab, and animals:


…….

 Joshua’s small town childhood home, while much bigger, reminds me of living in a Seattle house and later a tiny Ilwaco house with all but one room blocked off to save heat.


I used to think, “I could be living outside,” and never thought of a cave.

As is true for many lucky readers, a good librarian was one of Joshua’s mentors.


Two teachers, of whom his mother disapproved:



I was fortunate to have a warm and wonderful second grade teacher, Miss Ruth Gregory. Already in at least her late fifties if not older, Ruth Gregory lived in a small University District apartment with Miss Larson. Because my cousin George was gay and lived with his partner Bob, my family never displayed prejudice against obviously gay couples. My mother and grandmother and I would go into the apartment building door with the green awning to visit my beloved teacher, for several years after elementary school.


Years later, a friend lived in that same building with that same view to the south. I wondered if by some chance she might even have lived in the same apartment.

A  passage describing a depression era farm foreclosure made me wonder, why can’t people behave so generously and kindly in modern day foreclosures?



My focus on reading is not as powerful as it was before distractions of online news and social media, so I did not quite make it halfway through the book by Monday evening telly time. (We are watching an old British show called Fresh Fields.  I did not like it at first and then it grew on me .)

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

We had slept through a tsunami watch associated with a 7+ Alaskan earthquake. While some friends were up till 4 Am waiting to see if it would turn into an actual warning, others drove inland, and others prepared for possible evacuation of the critters in the animal shelter. I went to sleep at two, as usual, with my phone turned off and unaware of all the stress. I was inspired today to refresh the contents of my go bag, also known as a bug out bag, and to put it close to hand at the foot of my bed. It is also suggested that we have a pair of sturdy shoes by our beds with socks already tucked into them.

When I moved here 25 years ago, potential tsunamis were not much spoken off, research had not yet shown the danger, and tsunami evacuation signs did not dot our roadsides. If they had, I might not have moved here,  might not have become a jobbing gardener, and…a different path would have awaited me in Seattle. (My little Seattle house is now worth about $600k, so I’d very likely be wealthier in assets but perhaps poorer in job satisfaction.)

The weather was stormy, with 60 mph wind gusts at nearby Cape Disappointment.


The cats had no interest in going outside.




Here I will throw in a decorating tip: Hooks and a string and some tiny wooden clothes pins make for postcard display. The ones by my bed all represent sleep and dreams.

The cards in the kitchen represent cats, gardening, and tea time.



The card to the left, below, is titled Noodle Takes a Nap. In the eighties, I named a grey cat after that card.


Allan’s Medicare card arrived, well over two months since he carefully applied for it. (My insurance card finally came at the end of last week, good news which I forgot to relay in this blog.)

I continued with my book, managing to focus better by putting my internet devices out of reach.

As often happens when I read a book about someone with social difficulties, I found words that spoke to me. Advice from a college teacher and mentor:


I was reminded, below, of some of the bad behavior I see on social media:


The author grew up in a small town and well knows the power of small town gossip.  I once said a thing, not even a bad thing, in the foyer of a local pub in Seaview.  By the next day, the thing had been repeated by a pub patron, via email, to a client of mine who lived part time in New York, and was repeated back to me by a friend who lived in Long Beach.  In the fictional small town, in the 1930s, gossip was as fast moving as it is today.


I once, so long ago, was part of a small social group in which I indulged in gossip about one particular (now former) citizen who had caused pain and irritation to most of us. I got uncomfortable when the group became exclusive of others besides that one person. And I soon learned that expressing that discomfort was a quick route to being one of the shunned. It was a powerful and life changing lesson in more than just the speed of gossip.

I’ve had many thoughts about the power of gossip over the years. Here is a good book I read about it in the 80s.


I thought then, and still do, that there is a big difference between what I called sweet gossip (kindly topics) and malicious gossip.  And there’s this:

Back to A Gay and Melancholy Sound. While I do not feel that “They”, meaning me, is (are?) out to destroy my own happiness (well, not since my 30s), the following passage perfectly describes hypochondria. (And Joshua did not even have Dr Google to scare him.)


Advice from the college professor and mentor about the delicious meal of happiness:

By now, the story has moved on to WWII. Here is we could strive to be like, if it’s not too late:



I am not sure I know anyone like that. Anger (often justifiable) disqualifies most people.   I will have to think on it.

A footnote:


On a trivial note, I smiled in recognition at Joshua’s inability to tell his left hand from his right and his failure at good package wrapping.  Allan wraps our packages now. I have indeed had one rejected by the postmaster.



And on another trivial note…Oh, how carefully I learned, when attending the symphony on a grade school field trip, to not clap in the wrong place.  It still makes me anxious.


Skooter continued to avoid the bad weather.

In the evening, we watched This is Us, a now favourite show that I had avoided because it looked too tear-jerking to me. Its scenes of a house fire, combined with the Alaska earthquake and local social media freaking out about the “ring of fire”, made me decide that I had to finish my book before sleeping, in case disaster overtook us by morning.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

So I read into the night, finishing at 3:30 AM and thereupon letting out an involuntary sob so loud that it woke the cats.

In email today came some photos from The Anchorage Cottages.

Could these be reseeded sweet peas?  They look more like Cerinthe to me except for the tips. (I have decided on cerinthe.)


I replied with a request that Beth clip off the two ugly hellebore leaves, below, so that I don’t feel compelled to make the trip up there to do so:

A sweet small cupped narcissus:

The weather continues to be good reading time, and will probably be that way for at least another week. I still have shingles…not as painful now…so rest is good.  None of the big garden projects, and especially not the mulching with eight yards of Soil Energy, will happen this winter. I need to be philosophical and relaxed about that.


We had a new washing machine delivered today.  Our old one broke down hours after last week’s delivery of a new refrigerator. I am feeling as though we should start economizing because of all our recent expenses (appliances, vet bills).  What I am really hoping is that we get back an old garden that I love, thus making a bit more money, having maybe six hours a week less free time, and not having to economize on our main non gardening indulgence, our garden club restaurant meals.

Speaking of which, tonight we had our first North Beach Garden Gang dinner this year. We chose burger night at The Depot Restaurant.



Talking about gardening with Dave and Melissa felt a lot like getting back to normal.

Next: I have every intention of getting out of my comfy chair and over to my desk to write those retrospective blog posts.

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