Posts Tagged ‘Bolstad beach approach garden’

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

at home, an allium about to doff its cap

J’s garden

We weeded and watered.

Allan used his new blower to remove the rhododendron leaves from river rock, something otherwise difficult to do.

Allan’s photo

Ilwaco Fire Station

We checked up on our three month old volunteer garden.  I wish it would fill in faster.

Mike’s garden

More weeding.

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Alan worked on the woodsy back garden area, which we have neglected due to lack of time.  His photos:


Long Beach

We collected another bucket brigade of Soil Energy mulch from our pile at City Works and mulched one of the 13 sections out on the beach approach.

rugosa roses


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

single rugosa rose…

and doubles (Allan’s photos)

After coveting (again) the stone troughs of the Oysterville garden, I had cast my eye covetously on these old concrete thingies at city works that were removed when the water meter system in town was changed to something more modern.

Allan’s photo

Shelburne Hotel

Today we had time to give the garden some thorough attention.  I have realized while working here that it is the only place where I get the same sense of peace, kind of a floaty feeling, that I get in my own garden.  Not quite as much peace, because I cannot check on it every day, but almost as much.

a Shelburne frog (Allan’s photo)

A blog reader named Tina came up to me and introduced herself.  I always find that surprising and pleasing.

looking south from the north end

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’, beloved of bees

Allan’s photo

callas with fallen rhododendron flowers (Allan’s photo)

the old rhododendron (Allan’s photo)

looking north from the entryway

In back, the totem pole garden

front garden, from the sidewalk as one approaches from the south

Port of Ilwaco

Because we did not have to water, we were able to work along a good long stretch of the curbside gardens just weeding.

east end of Howerton Ave

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

CoHo Charters

Allan weeded the Coho lava rocks.

passersby (Allan’s photos)


They were on their way to the store about ten blocks away.

Ilwaco Pavilion

The cry of outrage disturbing the evening peace of Ilwaco was me upon seeing that someone had stolen all the flowering stems off of one of the eryngiums in the newly planted area.

finger blight

Those plants were moved from the south side garden of the port office, which now looks like this:

Time Enough Books is doing a good job with their little planters this year.

More curbside Eryngium photos by Allan:

It was a ten hour day.

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Friday, 4 May 2018

Ilwaco Fire Station garden

Before work, we stopped by the Ilwaco Fire Station where councilwoman Missy “Lucy Dagger” had dug up most of the remaining L shaped area of weedy grass in our volunteer garden area.  We bucketed up the piled up sod and hauled it off to make it easier for her.

I had a Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ to bung in there.

more to come!

The Depot Restaurant

The garden got a tiny bit of deadheading and some container watering.

Long Beach

We deadheaded the welcome sign, where the tulips are, unfortunately, almost over, and yet it is too early to pull them all and plant annuals.

Next on the list was The Big PopOut, a raised garden on Ocean Beach Boulevard


after (Allan’s photos)

I wish I had not planted rugosa roses in this bed.  More variety would be fun.  And I did not choose the so called dwarf pampas grass.

a white armeria finding room for itself in the wall

We missed the proper time to sheer the pampas all the way back. The roses will hide its skirts. (Allan’s photos)

We went on to touch up the garden at city hall, a block north.  It had held up well since our recent work there.

City Hall east side (Allan’s photo)

Geranium macrorrhizum (Allan’s photo) The leaves have the fragrance of pine.

new growth on hostas

Allan’s photos

Allan’s photo

This little park was planted by Gene and Peggy Miles.

We weeded the disheartening amount of scrimmy little horsetail in Fifth Street Park’s west side.  I was pleased that Allan found new growth on a Sambucus ‘Black Lace’ that someone had broken off to the ground over the winter.

SW corner, before Allan weeded it…

and after (Hesperantha is a running problem here)

A few sweet peas are up….wish them luck against snails.

reseeded Cerinthe major purpurascens

The blue flowers are camassia.

I feel that the soil in the bed above has gotten quite poor.  Soil Energy is not enough.  I think I must add some bagged manure.  I could get horse manure for free, but it introduces the dreaded pasture grass.

We groomed the planters out on the Boldstad beach approach…

Looking east from the west end of the approach garden.

Oh, my…the big stands of wild beach lupines in the garden are covered in grey aphids.

This is a problem that I am leaving completely to nature.

one lady bug on aphid duty

another stand of lupines coated with aphids, and a couple of lady bugs.

The mugo pines in the long, dry garden look pitiful.

We will do more mulching out here when another pile of mulch is provided.

would love to fill in low areas with Soil Energy mulch

rugosa rose, lupine, and Juniper conferta spilling out

Allan found a rock.

…and then we tidied planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach.

Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’ (Allan’s photo)

on Sid Snyder Drive

For our almost last thing, we tidied the currently quite drab garden at the World Kite Museum.

Allan’s photo

The pots look good.

those wonderful Bright Gem tulips

We accomplished the pruning job that I had noticed yesterday.



The south parking lot berm got the tiniest of touch ups.

At home, because I was a blog post ahead, I was able to sit down and watch some Gardeners’ World episodes before dinner…and at bedtime.

Monty likes agastaches!

Here is a alpine garden idea from 2015 GW visit to Slack Top Nursery.  I would like to replicate it.  My ground level scree garden has too much horsetail to be good.  I would have to use synthetic stone, though (“cottage stone”, I suppose).


Have I shared the link to this video tour of Craigieburn garden?  Enjoy for the first or second time.

 I am looking ahead to Annuals Planting Time starting in about a week.

However, we will now take at least three days off.  We are still slightly poorly from our cold, and my garden is a disaster.  We’ll attend the Saturday Children’s Parade in Ilwaco but not the big Sunday parade in Long Beach.  Tomorrow’s post: The Children’s Parade, shared from our Ilwaco blog.

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Friday, 30 March 2018

With more good weather predicted, I had high hopes for finishing the beach approach today.  And yet, drizzle greeted us as we left home.  My assorted weather apps denied the rain and suggested the day would stay cloudy but clear, with little wind.

We began with a little bit of deadheading at The Depot Restaurant garden:

Depot deadheading

Depot lilies emerging

We then planted some monarda and some Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ at the Shelburne Hotel, where I grieved mightily over this sight:

The dreaded aegepodium popping up in the sidewalk garden, where it did not used to be nine years ago when the garden was consistently under my command.

an unfurling fern at the Shelburne

Long Beach

We drove out to the beach approach and contemplated this weather…

…and I decided it would be best to finish mulching Fifth Street Park and hope that the drizzle stopped.  It was ironic that the most weatherbeaten garden of any that we do, the west end of the beach approach, was our goal for today.

soil scooping

mulching in Fifth Street Park

Allan’s photo

I cut down the tattered Melianthus major on the other side of the park.  The beds still need weeding but at least there are some narcissi:

Finally, despite a continued light drizzle and some wind gusts that almost made me decide to go home and read (till Allan said the gusts might blow the rain away), we returned to the beach approach.

Two sections to go till the red buoy.

Allan’s befores of the twelfth of thirteen sections:

I got to meet and pet a darling pug.

and this sweet wiggly girl.

We found a rock:

By 3:30, we had section twelve almost done but for the clean up of rose cuttings and sand along the road and sidewalk edges.

Allan’s afters of section twelve:

The drizzle had ended partway through that section and  I did so hope that we could do the last section by 7 PM.  Section thirteen is the longest one of all.

starting section thirteen, 3:45 PM

And then, when we had barely got started on it….

We tried for a bit to keep going but it got too cold and muddy and messy.

There are many roses right along the edge to pull out with the pick.  At least tomorrow the weather is supposed to be good, and we will start with higher energy.

We are SO CLOSE.

This much remains.

after we gave up. (Allan’s photo)

Dark Sky, which is usually accurate, had been wrong for much of the day.

Just one section to go!

Tonight, I finally felt that I had the energy to follow through with offering some rugosa starts to some local gardeners who wanted them.  We had saved some rooted pieces today, and tomorrow  we will be stripping more from along the edge, so I put out the word that the gardeners could come get some tomorrow afternoon.  I also have issued dire warnings about what eager colonizers these roses are and to not plant them where they will escape into the dunes.

I was relieved the person from yesterday did not return. I had some good advice from friends: To write down answers to the person’s repeated questions and give the person a list of answers on paper was one of my favourites.  And to do what I should have done yesterday, to leave for ten minutes and then come back.  Will do if it happens again.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

I found on my front porch some cool plants from Todd, from Far Reaches Farm, some I had ordered and two that were a birthday present.  (More on the plants in a future post.)

Before we left home, our neighbour, Rudder, said hello.

Allan’s photo

Long Beach

We started our workday weeding the Veterans Field garden beds because we are pretty sure there will be an Easter egg hunt on the lawn this weekend.

corner garden, before

anemone in the garden (Allan’s photo)

tiny little grasses


You probably cannot tell much difference.  Lots of little weed grasses were removed and the ‘Jackman’s Blue’ rue got a trim.

Then we returned to the Bolstad beach approach.

This photo shows what the garden looked like back in 2004 when we could grow more delicate things.  Theft and too much walking upon made us switch to almost all rugosa roses.  It really is a darn shame, despite the roses being beautiful in their own way.  The deer had, oddly, not discovered this garden yet in 2004 and were leaving tulips alone.


This spring, wee are working east to west, and the red buoy is our goal.

This far to go at the beginning of today’s work…

We began the day with four more sections to do, with the hope of polishing off two of them today.

We also began with the usual annoyance of finding holes where plants (either Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ or narcissi clumps or clumps of red poppies that I’d brought from home) had been stolen.

I think narcissi from this hole, because the sedums are still there.

Thievin’ varmints.

First section of today, before (Allan’s photos):

That’s Juniperus conferta, which grows well in sand.


I met some cute dogs today (Allan’s photos):

The darling corgi sat on my feet to get petted.

A person stopped to talk.  I am going to use “they/their” pronouns to tell this singular story and make the person less identifiable.  Person said they had been a horticulturist and wanted to know if we were hiring.  I said no, we don’t want the paperwork of hiring, but that some other gardening businesses might be, and named a few, and suggested going to the nurseries and asking. They asked what kind of mulch could be added to sand and I suggested Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply.  They picked up a rooted piece of rugosa rose, and I said they could have it.  “I will start it in water,” they said, even when I pointed out it was already rooted.  After asking three times about mulch and twice more about being hired, they walked off, and Allan said “[They] would have failed the interview” (with us) because we find it hard to cope with a steady stream of talking whilst working.

Below, narcissi and muscari at the edge of the lawn, from assorted weed dumpings (Allan’s photos):

Narcissus ‘Golden Bells’ (yellow hoop petticoats, one of my favourites)

Horses clop-clopping by.

some species tulips not found by the deer

We began the second section of the day.  Before (Allan’s photos):

Just as I was thinking that it looked like we would get through the rest of the section with no interruptions, pleasant or otherwise, the person for whom I am using they/their pronouns returned, offering us two cans of pop.  I declined with thanks, especially after they had mentioned being poor, but they looked so disappointed that Allan took the sodas to the van with many thank yous.  The person was speaking in an altered way and said “I’m talking different because I am exhausted,”  And then the questions began: Where to get mulch? How much to use? How often did we work out on the approach? Where to get mulch? Were we hiring?  Why weren’t we hiring? How much mulch should one add to sand? Were we hiring?  Where did we live? Were we going to plant anything? Could the person plant wildflower seeds out here? I said no, because a lot of wildflower mixes might contain nixious weeds.  (Years ago, a cheap wildflower mix introduced orange hawkweed, on the forbidden list here, and it took me a couple of years to get rid of it.)  Were we hiring? Did we need help? Where did we live? Did we live here? Allan answered very vaguely. Then, If we didn’t live HERE, did we live in Oregon?  (I was tempted to say yes.)  Just how much mulch should be added to sand?

We had already answered each question thrice.  I was flummoxed.  There was no sense of vagueness or dementia to the questions, just an increasing feeling of aggression.  Allan commented a few times that it was a nice day to go for a WALK.

Before long, I just stopped answering.  I was tired and sore and my hands hurt in that way that gives extra pain when you bang into something like rose thorns.  Allan answered sometimes but in few words.  Then one word.  The person kept saying “I am not watching you.”  I had my back to them.  Allan would look up and every time, he was being closely watched.

I was getting desperate after fifteen minutes of this, so I finally straightened up and turned around and said that I was sorry, but I had to focus on work, as we had to get this done, and I was feeling too tired to make words and simply could not carry on a conversation.

Then: How much mulch? Could the person plant wildflower seeds? Where did we live? Were we hiring? How often were we out here?  (Allan lied, “Just once a year,” hoping to discourage a repeat performance.  That led to many repeated questions about why we only weeded it once a year!)

I straightened up again and turned around and said “I really need to focus on this job and you are distracting me and slowing me down.  I have got to get this done today!” (meaning the second section).

But…were we hiring? How much mulch? Wildflower seeds? Where do we live?

By now we were not answering or engaging at all.  I turned again and asked the person to please stop standing so close and watching us and please stop asking questions because we had to work.

But…Mulch? Wildflowers? Hiring? An an additional “I am going to city hall and tell them I am going to plant wildflowers.”

I turned again and said (with my head exploding inside), “This is like you walking into my office when I’m working at my desk and you talking and talking while I am trying to get stuff done.”

“No,” said the person, “You are in MY office because I live here.”  I thought they had an inarguable position, what with freedom of speech and all, although I later thought that the OFFICE belongs to the person who is working or trying to work.

I thought about leaving but I wanted so much to reach my daily goal.  Finally I said to Allan, “Could you please use the blower behind me because there is too much debris on the sidewalk.”  I whispered to him, “On the loudest setting!”  With the blower on, the person backed up thirty feet…and then returned with more questions and FINALLY with the pronouncement that they were going to give an “invocation”, something about blessings and family.  And then finally the person walked away (not to city hall, I watched).

Then I felt the rest of the day feeling like an old meanie.  What would you have done?

It had most definitely slowed us down.  We would have had time to get started on a third section.  I am just glad we did finish the second one.


This is how far we have come from the arch in the first spring weeding.

And now we have only two sections to go:

At home, I erased two more sections from the work board.

Two to go!

Salt Pub

In the evening, we met Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) at Salt for our garden club (the North Beach Garden Gang) dinner.

We brought some flowers from home.

Of course, I told them my story of being pestered for an hour or more, and Melissa said she was glad she doesn’t do public gardens!

the view from our table

scrumptious brussel sprouts appetizer

my delicious tuna melt (with salad subbed for fries)

Allan’s polenta cake was so tasty.  (I had a bite.)

Dave’s Cubano sandwich; he said it was excellent.

Melissa’s clam chowder

At the end of the day, Allan put the mason bee tube into the new bee house.  It might be too soon…or not…I am just afraid they will hatch out in the bag and expire.


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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

a calendula by our driveway (Allan’s photo)

Fritillaria meleagris (Allan’s photo)

Shelburne Hotel

I had a few plant starts ( cyclamens from MaryBeth and Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ from Klipsan Beach Cottages) to plant in the Shelburne front garden.  It had been on my mind to get back there and see how the garden is doing.  I wish it would “do” faster.  I miss having lots of spring bulbs in it.  Next year!  I took some narcissi from my garden  and left them by the kitchen sink, hoping someone could find it useful.

Outside, the only especially maddening weed I found was the dratted Aegopodium, which is thick at the south end and, unfortunately, popping up elsewhere as well.

a horde horrendous little aegepodium leaves at the south end (among the scilla)

in the center of the garden….nooooo!

looking north

looking south

I was most pleased when one of my most admired local gardeners came round the corner for lunch in the pub and said that the garden HAD gone to weeds but was now looking much better.  He had brought two little friends with him.

One had hopped into the garden and was gently removed.

I am feeling so eager for the plants to start to show.


and March 11. Some progress.

I planted my baby Sansuisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ with Allan’s protective teepee.  I found that mine at home is finally leafing out so I could put my new one in here.

Long Beach, Bolstad Beach Approach

We returned to the all consuming task of weeding the beach approach, after doing a small bit of deadheading downtown.

in a downtown planter (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Before driving to the approach, we dumped Sunday’s debris and gathered some mulch.

our low tech method

on the approach garden (Allan’s photo)

mulch added to a couple of sections

We began weeding where we had left off.  The red buoy is at the end of the gardens.

six sections to go

Befores and afters (mostly Allan’s photos):

We finished one section in two and a half hours and started the next.

second section, before

I enjoy the parade of delightful dogs all day.

Our neighbour Jared strolled by with his good dogs:

Rudder and Yarrow

Below, see those holes in the weeds? That is where I had planted some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, of which I have plenty, to try to fill in with something free.  Every one has been stolen and I am so exasperated.  And furious. This is why, other than shrubs and roses, the gardens look so empty.  This is why we can’t have nice things.

I also find much evidence of the theft by digging of narcissi bulbs.  Below, evidence that was discarded on the ground after some fool took the bulb and no foliage, apparently.  Or someone just pulled the plant apart for fun.  Deer do not do this to narcissi.

I placed it on the post for your examination.

I am just going to encourage more wild beach lupine.  I can’t have anything fancier here.

Sometimes I think about writing a letter to the editor or speaking at Long Beach city council.  Then I think that would just alert people to where to find good plants for free.

willows, by where we dump weeds

When I got this far in the second section, I did not think I would make it to the planter.  Allan put a cookie on the rock to keep me going.  I was not amused, so he placed it where I could reach it. Three ibuprofens later, I did make it to the end.

The afters, (all by Allan), section one:

section two:

Now we have this far to go to the buoy:

at home

In picking narcissi for the Shelburne this morning, I had noticed that a depressing number were tattered by snails, so I had to find enough evening energy to totter around the garden tossing out some Sluggo pellets.

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’, cat memorial garden

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’

center bed (with loads of shotweed)

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’!

gunnera and rain puddles

I must divide this Japanese iris soon!

bogsy wood after rain

Oh dear, I may have coppiced my golden leycesterias and my smokebush too hard and too soon:

looks ominous

akebia by the driveway

Four beach approach sections to go and then I MUST get the rest of the sweet peas planted.

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Sunday, 25 March 2018

I am sometimes amazed at how wildly weather can differ from day to day.  After yesterday’s cold rain almost made me weep, today ignored the weather forecast and became a lovely spring day.  Instead of reading as planned, we went out to continue with the beach approach weeding.

before, looking west. The red buoy is our goal.

The rest of the photos are Allan’s today.


Occasionally, we find narcissi and crocuses in the long grass where we dump weeds.  (All rose clippings go to city works).

Mary and Denny of Klipsan Beach Cottages  delivered birthday presents for me and our cheque.

Mary and me

A gentleman came by and as we talked gardening, I learned that he is the one who does the garden at the Astoria Senior Center, a job that requires being tied in on a rope.  I was ever so pleased to meet him.  He’s a gardening hero of mine.

Here, from last summer, are a couple of photos of his senior center garden.

hero worship

He is 12 years older than me.  I should perhaps stop complaining about how hard it is to weed the beach approach.

In grumpy news of the day, I was annoyed that so many narcissi had been picked.

fuming over picked stems

Someone mentioned trying to visualize the flowerjacker really enjoying and needing a stolen bouquet.  That does not work for me.  I want the flowers there for everyone, and I feel that EVERYONE who walks by there deserves to see ALL of them.  (Not to mention that bulb planting in November is not the easiest of gardening tasks.)


To think that I resolved that this year, I would not let finger blight annoy me so much.

Afters of our first section of today:

We went on to the next section; the first one today had only taken two and a half hours instead of three.  We had now come to one of the worst sections.  The eastern half of it is full of swampy rush and sedge.  I can only think it was a boggy spot originally.  There is no getting rid of the rush, whose long ropy roots are all entwined with the roses.


in battle


We made it all the way to the next planter and thus got two sections done today.

Now we have this far to go to the buoy.

Six sections left to go!  I was so excited that I made a list of the week’s work, each day having a small project to begin with and then a section of the beach approach.  We could get it done by April 1st, I thought, and then I will be free to do work that I enjoy more.  And then….I looked at the weather.

NOOO!  Last I’d looked, the whole week was supposed to be nice.  Oh, how very much I wanted to get this project done by the end of March.

Six sections left to go!

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The worst insomnia kept me awake till 5 AM, partly from a cat fight outside, partly being cold but too sleepy to put on another blanket.  It would not matter, I thought, because the forecast of rain would let me sleep till afternoon if I needed to do so for at least six hours of sleep.

From seven to eleven, I had dreams that it was raining, and every time I felt such joy and relief, mixed with other dreams that the day was sunny and clear, but I’d realize I was dreaming and would be so relieved that the sun was just a dream, until finally I woke after five hours of fitful sleep and found that there really was no rain.  My dream of another two-book day flew away.  All my weather apps insisted that we could go to work, so we did, an hour later than usual.  (Allan was disappointed, as well, because he’d wanted to go shopping across the river.)

at home, near the driveway

The second best thing to a reading day would be an at home weeding day.  I had had many long thoughts last Saturday about what it would be like to be retired and just read and putter in the garden.  Putting aside the question of money, it would be easier to imagine a contented retirement if I knew someone better would be taking over all our public gardens.  I can’t bear to think of the gardens going to ruin, but where is our successor?

Long Beach, Bolstad beach approach 

I figured we could beat the 5 PM rain easily, as each section of the beach approach takes about three hours mininum.  Today’s section, with fewer roses but a solid blanket of winter weeds, took three and a half long, painful, tedious, slogging hours (not counting debris dumping afterward).

before, looking east

and looking west (yesterday’s photo when we left off)


The sheet of weeds peeled off fairly easily.

Trimming a big old santolina, Allan found a birds nest.

I found a fasciated rugosa rose stem.

Round about the time I found that curly rose stem, I looked ahead and had the crazy thought that we could get part of the next section done, as well.  I often have overly optimistic thoughts like that. Didn’t happen.

Partway through the day, the manager of the Akari Bungalows (a half block east of the arch) walked up and gave us a tip, by which I mean cash (phrased kindly as “I want to buy you dinner”), not advice.  After a long friendly argument with a would-be tipper last year, who finally stuck his $20 into a rose bush and walked away, I decided to not say no.  This job is sort of beyond the call of duty, especially remembering the year when I told the city we were too old and could not do the beach approach clean up anymore…and ended up doing it in June because there was no one else who would tackle this.  (We’ve occasionally tried hiring helpers for this task, but they don’t last more than a few hours and don’t do a good enough job.)



Rain began as we were finishing the last three feet.  Two folks paused their vehicles to chat; I kept my head down, desperately weeding, trying to be pleasant and also trying to beat the pouring rain that I could feel was about to begin.


Now we have this far to go before the buoy:

We do work with a cone out in the road for protection.  We find that the bigger the truck, the less likely it is to slow down.

We beat the hard rain (except for dumping debris).

If the rain had held off for just half an hour, we’d have gathered buckets to mulch yesterday’s and today’s battered, sandy sections of approach garden.

pussy willows by our parking spot

On the way to and from work, I saw narcissi needing deadheading at the welcome sign, a couple of planters, and city hall.  No time for that now.  Nor have I found the energy to pick a bouquet of pussy willows from my own willow trees.  Now the buds have opened up. Too late again.

Allan went into the grocery store across from Sid’s for milk and tea.  I had planned to check on the Shelburne garden during that time.  Not today.

Shelburne in cold rain.

Tomorrow, although it might be rainy, is a day to visit our accountant rather than a reading day. Because of needing to make the hour round trip north, we also hope to plant some sweet peas at Klipsan Beach Cottages.

eight more sections

Eight more sections means 24+ hours of work before we can fully get back to work that we enjoy.  I wish that meant just three days; I can’t manage a full day on this hard task anymore without seizing up, so it probably means eight more partial days mixed in with other tasks.

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