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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Two nights of poor sleep from assorted aches and pains did not dissuade me from willingness to work in a light drizzle.  I couldn’t stand not having the Fifth Street Park roses pruned. My usual goal is to have roses all pruned between Presidents Day and March 1.  This year, the weather has not been conducive.

Fifth Street Park

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tree garden nearby with primroses

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I pruned by the restroom entrance, with fish bicycle rack…before

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working from the Wiegel Cottage side. The restroom building also looks cottagey.

This fence has a double line of fence boards, making for a dead zone of rose canes inside.  Un-gettatable.

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The drizzle stopped soon into the job and we had pleasant weather until increasingly hard rain in the last half hour.

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after….the rose is ‘Super Dorothy’

Meanwhile, Allan removed a messy patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis).  They will come back, no doubt.

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before

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after

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before and after

He then pruned the Super Dorothy roses on the south fence.

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before

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after

That white fence was erected by the hotel next door.  I predict it is going to get weedy between tall white fence and low concrete wall and that neither the hotel staff nor us will be able to get at said weeds.

I had turned my attention to weeding in the northwest quadrant of the park, where wildly invasive alliums are a problem.  For last year’s first clean up, in early 2016, Melissa and Dave had helped us.  She had gone after those alliums with much more determination to get every bulb.  I had been curious if her effort would pay off.  No, there were just as many as always.

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northwest quadrant, before

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damnable thread like alliums have fairly inconsequential flowers in summer.

Full disclosure: I may have planted a few clumps many years ago.  Sorry now, if so.

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a nice clump of ‘Ice Follies’ or some such

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after (but not done)

My former spouse had come by on his bike while I was weeding.  We’d had a good time commiserating about politics.

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I had gotten my hopes up about having time to also tidy the roses in Coulter Park…till the rain came.

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We were fairly well drenched.

While dumping debris at city works (where Allan did all the hard work), I was thrilled to see that the city now has a pile of mulch for us.  Perhaps if we have good weather tomorrow, we will do some mulching in Long Beach.

 

Ilwaco

On the way home, we scouted for pallets at a spot that sometimes has free ones.  We scored two.  Allan did all the heavy lifting.  The scavenging spot also had an unusual offering: a pile of driftwood, maybe cleaned off the shore bank at the marina.

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Got some good decorative pieces.

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We did not try for the wood in two big bins.

A block from home:

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Ocean Thunder and Ocean Lightning parked on Lake Street

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home with a good haul.  Have enough pallets now for the first bin. Need four more to make three bins.

I had planted a few lilies in Fifth Street Park and planted more at home.  The weather had gotten fine again.

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lily time

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planted with a bit of bulb food

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It has been windy.

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bogsy wood (Allan’s photo)

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work board tonight with just three pressing things

It won’t take long to re-fill the board when those last three spring clean up tasks are done.

 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Allan mailed our 26 postcards to the White House, part of a nationwide drive to express our opinions to its most well known current resident.  The cards are awfully pretty, considering that we are annoyed.

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It takes a lot to motivate me to go to a (non Star Wars) film at a theatre instead of waiting to watch a DVD in my comfy chair.  Today I ran across more articles that I wanted to read but that were full of spoilers for the movie Get Out.  This inspired me to suggest that we spend out rainy afternoon at the movies in Astoria.

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Smokey and Frosty preferred a comfy chair.

Those who know me know that going across the river is my own little horror movie.

First, the dreaded Chinook tunnel:

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the maw of the tunnel

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A good friend who is a professional Seattle Metro driver was once completely horrified when she was driving us one way through the tunnel and a big semi truck (that’s a really big lorry) went through the other way.  She said the truck driver was screaming.  I had closed my eyes.

Then, along the mighty Columbia River. On a stormier day, waves come right over those rocks at high tide.

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Glad we did not pass that school bus in the tunnel.

Then the 4.2 mile long bridge.  I wouldn’t mind the bridge so much if it were a no passing zone.

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Astoria Megler Bridge

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The south end rises so that large ships can go underneath.

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Astoria hills rise higher than the bridge.

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I don’t like the curve down.

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Not one little bit.

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Downtown Astoria has much to offer.

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Astoria Gateway Cinema

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Get Out was well worth the drive for this semi-agoraphobic.  Now I can read all sorts of interesting articles about it.

I’m also excited about this movie, coming this summer to Astoria.  I hope it has the rescue by the little ships.

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The film let out too late to have a meal and still drive home before dark, so all we did was gas up and go.

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view of the river and a jetty from the petrol pump.  Three misty lights that are higher up (left) were from a ship moored in the fog.

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bridge, returning, Washington side lost in the mist

In Googling for who played the mother in Get Out, I learned to my delight that one of my favourite non fiction books has been made into a movie.  It’s about someone who would NOT get out.

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The book

I don’t suppose it will play here.  It would get me to a theatre if it did.

 

Monday, 13 March 2017

As I write the first part of this in the mid afternoon, the rain is not as fierce as it was this morning.  In my youth…maybe five years ago…I would have leapt out to do some work.  Now, I feel less like working in the drizzle.  I added last week’s one day of work to the time sheet and was shocked to see we’ve eight rain and windy bitter cold and even snow days off.  Meanwhile, I’m embarrassed to report that Dave and Melissa bundled up in rain gear and worked through almost ALL the weather.

My excuse today: The soil is boggy and the plants are all drenched.  What a wimp!

I did take a walk in the soft rain throughout the garden.

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Skooter looked startled that I opened the front door.


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hyacinth basket


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looking south


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soggy footing


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lots of crocuses


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Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (contorted filbert)


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way too much fried egg plant reseeded in the bogsy wood


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narcissi, and monster shotweed


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Slippery ground prevented the shotweed pulling and fern clipping from starting up.

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pulmonaria (spotted dog)


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hard to even imagine when we’ll be able to have a campfire


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The swale path is a pond.


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Looking north.  Water on the center path is over the top of my boots.


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south gate

The top of the south gate represents a Chinook tribal canoe, the sort that used to ply the river when this very spot was river front, before the port parking lots and building sites were built on fill, in the early 1950s.

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I do wish this water stood all year long.

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coming round the west side


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more pulmonaria


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corydalis foliage


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crocuses

As you can see, the chop and drop method looks pretty messy.  I look forward to the future three compost bins which will be made as soon as we get six more free pallets…from somewhere.  I have decided the bins will tuck in nicely next to the greenhouse.

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They will replace the wonky tadpole pond set up…


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I love my new stop the eye fence.


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Euonymus ‘Wolong Ghost’ is seriously climbing the front of the house, which is vinyl clad.

As I had walked all around the garden, I had collected one flower from every hellebore.  I’m sorry to report that many had minuscule snails hiding inside, putting paid to the idea that a cold winter would mean fewer snails.

Here is the full collection of hellebore blossoms.

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Skooter appeared.

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The center one is last year’s birthday present from Our Kathleen.

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Because my camera has been finding it hard to capture the glory of the corylopsis in bloom, I asked Allan to photograph it.

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Corylopsis and crocus, my photo

He returned with these:

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Corylopsis pauciflora

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with some fill in flash

Smokey snoozed through all of it.

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I’d like to read for the rest of the day in this most wonderful book:

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I can already tell you I am going to be rating this book at 20 stars.  As a former housecleaner for 18 years, I find deep familiarity in the stories of doing housework for richer folk.  And as the protagonist, Mildred, talks with her best friend about race, I keep marveling in a furious way that 70 years after it was written, how very much about racism is still the same.  Read it; it is wonderful and it’s funny despite its serious topics.  Read about it here.

My reading hours are curtailed because tonight is the local Democrats meeting.  I know Mildred would want me to go.  Here are her thoughts on a meeting:

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Because we had a political meeting in Naselle this afternoon, we had decided to leave home in time to drive half an hour further and visit a museum in Skamokawa.

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driving along the Columbia River

I was not best pleased that it was a beautiful day and would have been excellent for weeding the boatyard garden.

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two wrecks?

Here is what the white remnant of a boat looked like in 1995, in the same little bay:

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For some reason, it had been deemed unsalvageable.

As we drove along, I pondered the fact that the many conifers along our roads are why our landscapes look more somber than the airier ones that Mr Tootlepedal photographs in Scotland.

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scenery heavy with evergreens

We arrived at our destination in Skamokawa: Redmen Hall, which I had read was hosting an exhibit about tugboats and steamers on the Columbia.

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The view from the parking lot

A back door offered easy access without all those stairs…and a disheartening sign.

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NOOOOOOOO

Across the highway, below, is a general store and café where we have stopped before.  I thought that, because of Skamokawa being such a small town, I might luck into a museum docent there.

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looking down on the grocery store and post office

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Redmen Hall from below

In a room right on the river, behind the store, an antiques sale was on for the day.

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antiques in a light filled room

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I used to have an apple like this till my good friend Sophie (a dog) broke it…for which she was forgiven.

I found two things to buy.  One is a present so I cannot show it!

And sure enough, when I mentioned having driven from Ilwaco to find the museum was closed, I learned that one of the docents was ill, and another one offered to open it for us.

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behind the store/café

Off the deck by the store, a boater was buzzing around.  I am sure Allan wished he was out boating, too.

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Allan’s photo

We followed the docent back up to Redmen Hall.  The hall was once a school house.  Amazingly, it used be down where the highway is.  When the road was put through, the building got moved up the hill with “steam donkeys” (not really donkeys!).

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The old school house remembered.

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Allan went straight up to the bell tower. (I did not.)

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Step on a pedal to open the shutters for the view.

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The views from the bell tower.

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river town from high above (and a boat ramp)

On the second floor, well designed historical panels go all around the walls of a big open room.

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What Skamokawa means

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interpretive panels

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the kind docent who let us in.  The way the panels are put together reminds me of my grandma’s scrapbooks.

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when the road went through

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a dance where “ladies may walk on their partners feet, and no questions will be asked”.

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another strong woman

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river pictures (Allan’s photo)

A glass case held birds provided by the Audubon Society…

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an erstwhile Mr Grumpy had fine plumage.

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the view

We dropped a contribution into the money jar and also spent a pretty penny in the well -stocked gift shop, including two books (quiet, because one is a present), a documentary called Work is Our Joy (about gillnetting), and some notecards.  If we’d had time, we could have watched Work is Our Joy right in the museum.  I will enjoy it from my comfy chair at home.  I already identify with the title.

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One of three nooks of books.

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Well represented: the books of Grays River author Robert Pyle

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Musician Doug is the spouse of our friend Beth; they live nearby but we had had no time to look them up.

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river town art

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most of our purchases

The hall is open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to four.  We recommend a visit.

We had a little over half an hour to to get back to our Indivisible meeting in Naselle.  I could not resist a side trip to the historic 1905 Grays River covered bridge.

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on the way

Tying in with our visit to Redmen Hall: author Robert Michael Pyle lives in a house with a view of the covered bridge.  I thought it would be kind of nosy to add a photo of his house, so here is the bridge.

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under the bridge (Allan’s photo)

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The river running fast and high.  (Allan’s photo)

In particularly stormy times, the river has flooded the valley.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Here we go.

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the other end

Before we turned around, I had to get a closer look at two trees beside  the parking area.

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going in for a closer look

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moss and licorice fern

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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assorted critters

Ooops.  I suddenly realized time had slipped by and we would be 25 minutes late to the meeting at Hunters Inn, Naselle.  I told myself that it was ok; we have been to almost every liberal political meeting available since November so we could be late to just one.

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part of the gathering

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postcards laid out on three booths

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One member brought this.

We discussed, shared ideas, and laid some plans for future events.

On the way home, Allan and I detoured to look at a garden we had admired when attending last month’s meeting.

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The garden in question is next door to Naselle Timberland Library. (Allan’s photo)

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lots of narcissi about to bloom (Allan’s photo)

Next door: a large garden which I intend to look at every time we have a Naselle meeting.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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pieris and the church next door

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Right across the street sits another charming house.

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I wonder if there will be sweet peas on that fence in summer. Or that could be a dog path!

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wrap around porch

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a tree with personality

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Allan’s photo

As we got close to home, I looked at the weather forecast and must admit I did begin to fret about losing what might be the only nice gardening day this week.  Remembering that we now have light till after 7 PM (yay for daylight saving time!), I resolved to get two hours work done in my own garden.

While clipping some Joe Pye weed, I gave an experimental dig at a large fuchsia.

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one of two many fuchsia magellanica

To my surprise, it shifted, so Allan helped me pull it out.

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after…Ok, he pulled, I watched and encouraged.

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project: clean up middle bed, before…

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and after

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Woe!! One of two matched asophedels has disappeared from the right hand pot.

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I will snag this asphodel from a different pot.

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Frosty

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bogsy wood swale

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Oh for more time in the garden; so much to do.

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Skooter obsessing about the frogs.

The unfortunate forecast:

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Resolved: no more daytime meetings on nice days till we have spring clean up done!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

I can tell you the library joke now, shared by Maggie Stuckey at her talk two days ago.  I found a version online:

A chicken walks into the library. It goes up to the circulation desk and says: “book, bok, bok, boook”. The librarian hands the chicken a book. The chicken tucks it under her wing and runs out. A while later, the chicken runs back in, throws the first book into the return bin and goes back to the librarian saying: “book, bok, bok, bok, boook”. Again the librarian hands over a book, and the chicken runs out. The librarian shakes her head. Within a few minutes, the chicken is back, returns the book and starts all over again: “boook, book, bok bok boook”. The librarian gives her yet a third book, but this time as the chicken is running out the door, the librarian follows. The chicken runs down the street, through the park and down to the riverbank. There, sitting on a lily pad is a big, green frog. The chicken holds up the book and shows it to the frog, saying: “Book, bok, bok, boook”. The frog blinks, and croaks: “read-it, read-it, read-it”.

Bad weather made me happy today because we had an afternoon meeting: an ACLU training session focused on supporting undocumented immigrants.

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The Long Beach welcome sign today

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both sides

On the way, we ran a couple of errands in Long Beach.  I was started to see that the planter just north of Dennis Company has been completely browsed by deer.

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The planter looked raggedy.

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every tulip nipped by deer

I am beginning to wonder if any place in Long Beach is safe for tulips.  I just hope they don’t take a liking to the tulips in the welcome sign garden.

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container outside the Adrift meeting room (Allan’s photo)

People Power ACLU meeting

Today’s ACLU  meeting was one of 2000 simultaneous watching parties across the country, with 200,000 people signed up to attend a broadcast of the actual live meeting in Florida.  We had 22 in attendance, one all the way from Westport.  We all appreciate Adrift Hotel providing the meeting room for free.

Since the election, membership in the ACLU has swelled from 400,000 to 1.2 million members (including me).

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sign in and cookies

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Resistance Training on the big screen

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discussion time afterward (A few folks had departed.)

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It saddened me to hear, again, that there have been immigration raids on at least five local families, with fathers taken away.  These are men who are known to be hardworking good folk, certainly not the stereotypical “criminal”. It is difficult and can take years to become documented, especially for folks from Mexico and Central America; it is not a matter of laziness or wanting to be “illegal”. (By the way, it is considered much kinder to refer to someone as “undocumented” rather than “illegal”.)  Many folks in the room had grandparents who were immigrants, in one case, by illegally stowing away on a ship.  Mine on my mother’s side were immigrants (and invaders)…of the Mayflower type.
If you would like to watch the presentation that we saw today, it is said to soon be available for viewing right here.

“Even when we lose we must not despair, for there is dignity in entering this battle”, said ACLU executive director Anthony Romero.

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“As DT is going about his amendments of hate, we need to live our love”, said Faiz Shakir, ACLU political director.

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Allan’s photo

We heard three other speakers as well, Louise Melling (deputy legal director), Andre Segura (an ACLU attorney), and Padma Lakshmi, a star of Top Chef,whose mother was an immigrant and who said “I want my daughter to live in a country of compassion, not fear.”

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I fell in love with audience member Daisy. (Allan’s photo)

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so soft

This is all going to lead to a whole ‘nother set of meetings, all with a productive and well informed agenda.

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the beachy view from our meeting room

at home

By the time we got home, we had an hour and a half of daylight and a cessation of rain and wind.  Some front garden clean up was suddenly possible.

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before

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Skooter inspects, 20 minutes later.

That was a favourite sit spot for Skooter.  He may have liked it better before.

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before

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after, much weeding still to do. I look forward to it.

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hellebore

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Clematis ‘Freckles’ has been blooming on west garage wall all winter.

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narcissi

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Skooter’s way in (where a bottom piece is missing)

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front path looking east

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hellebores

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the floppiest hellebore

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double white hellebore

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“black” hellebore…with mulch of last autumn’s apples

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Pieris finally sizing up and blooming (left)

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Iris histroides ‘Frank Elder’

Because it was at the same time as the ACLU training, we missed today’s postcard party.  Here are a couple of photos (by Michele) of the latest efforts.  You can stop reading now if you don’t like the postcard efforts, because they comprise the end of today’s post:

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ingredients

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Bannon is the most terrifying of all…

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Dang! I wish I’d been there.

Tomorrow (Sunday): an Indivisible meeting which we are planning to combine with a brief and, we hope, photogenic side trip to Skamokawa.

 

 

Friday, 10 March 2017

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Skooter thinks the morning light is just too bright.

We had a break from the rain.  The predicted wind did not arrive, making it even better. Work ensued.

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at home: Tulip kaufmanniana ‘The First’

While it looks like that tulip is growing in straw, it is actually in the old growth from Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

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Allan noticed and photographed the same tulips.

We went down to the port, just a block south, to finish the garden beds along Howerton Avenue.  Of course, I had high hopes, thinking we could finish there, AND the boatyard, and maybe even prune roses in Long Beach.  Not bloody likely, as it turned out; my ambitions are usually greater than reality.

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Curbside gardens run from east to west all along Howerton, on the landward side of the buildings.

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Howerton and Elizabeth, looking west, before

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after, 1.5 hours later

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Partway through that first garden bed, three ibuprofen were required.

I’m kind of old and my arthritic legs ache like fury sometime when I am working.

Allan’s photos of the east end bed, before and after:

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before

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after

He also yanked a dead lavender out of the CoHo Charters garden bed because I felt it was bringing down the tone.

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It was really most sincerely dead.

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space for something new

 

Next, I made an executive decision that we simply had to get the sword and deer ferns cut back in a pocket garden in front of the former Shorebank building.  Otherwise, they will bother me all summer long…and they do show very much from the sidewalk.

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before

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clipping

 

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A sweet 7 month old dog had jumped out a truck and came running up to me.  I held on to her till her daddy got her back.  Reminded me of my escape artist black lab, Bertie Woofter.

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Oh, how she wanted to keep running.

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The deer fern looked especially unsightly

 

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20 minutes later.  I felt so much better at this being done.

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Allan’s photo

We had done all the gardens in between the east and west end last week, so we skipped right ahead to the garden by Salt Hotel.  Allan did most of the clipping of santolinas in the river rock bed; I find that difficult to walk on nowadays.

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before

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half an hour later, almost after

Allan had dug out one tatty old blue fescue and, to fill the hole it left, he got a piece of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ from the garden to the west.  Someone called out from the upstairs window of the adjacent building, which now houses the marijuana store, “Why are you taking plants?”  We were thrilled that the folks there are watching out for the garden.  Allan thanked them for their vigilance.

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Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, about to be divided

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and in its new home

I had clipped all the sword ferns in the Salt’s containers along the sidewalk…because I could not stand not to do so.  The pub readerboard said “beef on weck”; I had to google it and found it was a roast beef dip sandwich.  Good thing I did not google it till I got home or I might have found a lunch break irresistible, and we still had much to do.

Next came the two beds at the west end.  These took much longer than I had expected.

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before, looking west

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an hour and a half later

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We saw our former next door neighbour, Killer.  It had been interesting to move in and learn our neighbour was called Killer.  It means “fish killer”.

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I divided and put some sedums and some golden oregano into the pot shop’s garden bed.

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narcissi (Allan’s photo)

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another dog on the run

In the parking lot across the street, forklifts buzzed around loading crab pots onto trucks.

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Last night, when I looked out my south window, I could see the lights from the Ilwaco Pavilion building (a view that disappears when leaves come on the salmonberries and willows at the south end of our property).  This morning, the view had changed to stacks of crab pots.

We drove to the Ilwaco Community Building just to stick some starts of santolina in a sunny bed.  It is an easy plant to start right in the ground just by poking in a short hardwood cutting.

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Ilwaco Community Building and its garden beds

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sticking cuttings

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view of shade garden from inside the building’s corridor.

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crocuses at the library entrance (Allan’s photo)

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Galanthus nivalis ‘Flora Pleno’ double snowdrop (Allan’s photo)

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narcissi (Allan’s photo)

 

We ended the day down at the boatyard, which of course we did not get near to done.

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The long, narrow garden runs along the fence by 1st Ave South.

 

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boatyard, looking south, before

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an hour later

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Euphorbia in bloom and a disheartening number of weeds and pleasing number of poppy seedlings

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so weedy

We ran into one big problem: We had created so much debris that we had to break in order to dump.  I went home at that point because it was but an hour till dark.  If I had realized that Allan had the energy to go till dark, I could have stayed at the boatyard and done more clipping while he disposed of the first load of debris.  My brain is not fully work functional yet and I did not even think of that solution, one we have used many times in the past.

I long for a good weather full work day at the boatyard.  The weeds came out like butter (smooth and easy) and it would be a pleasure to spend a day perfecting this long narrow garden.  There is still so much to do here.

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boatyard garden, looking south from the gate

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and looking north from the gate

The boatyard had a line of boats in every spot along the fence.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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The only item of collateral damage today

The cats were happy I came home early.

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Skooter and Calvin

Allan returned to the boatyard and worked till dark.

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before

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after

Rain and wind are again predicted for the weekend, which is just as well because we have political meetings during both days.  At this point, I am feeling behind on work and it would be frustrating to miss a good weather day with indoor events.

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workboard tonight, still did not get to erase first clean up

 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Our good plan for another torrentially rainy and exceedingly windy day was to attend a gardening lecture at the Ocean Park Timberland Library.

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Ocean Park Timberland Library

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I have had in my possession since it was first published a copy of Maggie’s useful book, The Bountiful Container.  I fill my garden up with so many ornamentals that I leave not much room for a kitchen garden, so my plan is always to grow more veg in containers.  Despite the best of intentions, I don’t follow through well with this.  I’m hoping to do better…one of these years.

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Maggie introducing her lecture

She told such a good joke to begin with that I simply must repeat it for my frog loving friends.  But I must wait to avoid giving a spoiler to anyone who might attend her Saturday lecture at Ilwaco Timberland Library.

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container ingredients

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audience questions (Allan’s photo)

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beginning to plant a small container

 

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demonstrating how to break up the roots

We had all put our names in a bowl, and one winner got to take the planter home.

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one lucky winner

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Maggie’s three books, some rosemary from her garden, and some handmade bookmarks for us to take

 

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Todd was there, too. It had been a standing room only crowd.

On the way home, we stocked up on one of our favourite garden tools at Dennis Company.  I can lose quite a few now without being bereft.

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Goldies: $1 each!

A stop at Long Beach City Hall to get our check inspired Allan to take some photos of the  garden.

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And a stop on the way home at the Ilwaco Timberland Library got a hellebore photo from Allan…

A and netted me a new batch of reading material.

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new books for me

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Saint Patrick’s Day reading at Ilwaco Timberland Library

Between then and dinner, I concentrated on finishing Deep South by Paul Theroux.  After a rough start, I had fallen in love with the book.

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Smokey and Calvin: unusual snuggling!

Dinner and our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang followed at Salt Pub.

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reflection in a rain and wind swept window

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Allan’s photo, heavy rain and wind obscuring the marina view

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delicious pho, and crab hush puppies in the background

Friday, we are expecting good enough weather to go to work.

PSA: An interesting birding event is coming soon at the Port of Ilwaco marina.

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