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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

We were able to start work today because Don of Peninsula Plumbing got our leak fixed in quick time.  It had been caused by the way the new washing machine had been hooked up. That was careless of the washing machine deliverers and hooker uppers.

As always, we began the work year in:

Long Beach, Fifth Street Park

The very minute that I got out of the van, my back went SPROING.  I took two Doan’s Back Pills and stood against the nearest building to straighten up fully; fortunately, I was not out for the count.

NW quadrant, before, with a guy eating lunch and the first cute dog of the work year.

I mostly did the SW section, although Allan cut the big grass and helped out toward the end.

4.5 hours later

before

after

I very much want to get the hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) kept to just one area instead of running all through the garden.  It has gone rampant because of our mild winter and was tedious and frustrating to (try to) eliminate from the main part of the border, which is also infested with wild garlic.  Will this be the year I finally get it under control again?

Deer have been visiting this garden.

deer poop on the garden cut-through sidewalk

A woman came and chatted as I worked about how she can now only garden in window boxes, after fifty years of gardening.  I suggested she get someone to bring her a picnic table and bench and then plant up a tabletop landscape.  I recommended this book:

She liked the idea.

She told me for awhile about how the healing power of the earth was coming up through the soil to fix my knee and how a certain pink stone which I could purchase right next door at Marsh’s Free Museum would solve my physical problems.  I finally expressed my skepticism.

Meanwhile, Allan was working on the SW quadrant.

before

during

after (Allan’s photos)

This small corner area in the SW quadrant is so damp that I do let the hesperantha reign freely there, except that I like to thin it hard in springtime.

before, Allan’s photo

The problem with so much hesperantha needing pulling and the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ needing clipping is that two precious clumps of camassia got clipped, too.

after, with me brooding over the camassias.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

With every intention of working, Allan hooked up the trailer.  I put the kibosh on work when I went outside and felt the cold and dreary drizzle.

As I sat reading, a knock at the door produced a member of the Ilwaco city crew.  He had come to tell us about his upcoming repair job on the ramp railing at the community building, and that he would have to move a clump of bulbs.  I wish all workers were as thoughtful!  As it happened, Allan and I were going there that day, Allan to the library and me to sort out my shingles hospital bill, so we told him we would move the clump of bulbs.

He had left a stake to show us where. (Allan’s photo)

iris reticulata and crocuses at the community building

I did get the bill sorted, in that the hospital will re-bill it with my insurance card, and I learned it had been over-billed, so it will now “only” cost me $200 (instead of $450) for a brusque 15 minute urgent care shingles visit and a lab test.

in the lobby of the hospital

With that done, I could enjoy an afternoon and evening of finishing a book, one which I had been reading in the late evenings for two nights before.

Not long ago, I read Kitty Burns Florey’s book about sentence diagramming and more, Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog.  In it, I had learned of the diaries of Dawn Powell, a novelist of the 1930s-60s.

Today I immersed myself and finished to the end.

Here are just a few favourite bits of Dawn Powell from my happy return to the staycation mode.

About her nervousness and phobias:

This passage about the death of her darling cat had me in tears over my Smoky; her experience was so much like mine, except that we did not let Smoky die at home.

She did get another cat, because years later she writes while traveling of “a feeling of homesickness for my cat.

Here is a valuable thought, if you have ever wondered WHY in the world you had been friends with someone who turned out to be just mean:

“I wonder again how we could ever have been friends, although friends are like food—one’s palate and capacity and preference changes with education, travel, ulcers, and better opportunities for choosing.”

About censorship of books, which spoke to me because of my parents forbidding me, as a teenager, to be allowed to read books from the adult section of the LIBRARY (!!):

On solitude, in which she longs for five hours of it a day:

Decades later, she had upped it to eight to twelve hours a day.  I get the same craving.  Fortunately, Allan and I rub along pretty quietly together at home.  During staycation, I crave not just twelve hours but two weeks (dare I confess to wanting even more) of solitude from everyone but Allan.

I think one of my happiest winters was one of complete solitude, on my own in my cold little house behind the boatyard, reading in front of the single source of heat, a glowing space heater.

Dawn Powell wrote diary entries for many years about ideas for a book that never came to fruition, about a world where cats were in charge and humans were the pets:

Years later, still thinking about “Yow”:

She was ahead of her time for the second wave of feminism; this was written in 1952:

On aging:

She died in 1965, not even making to 70.  I felt bereft when I came to the end of the diaries.  I still have novels of hers, and a biography to read.

Having dipped back into one bookish day, I was told by the weather forecast that we would be back to work tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

I caight up by writing the three latest blog posts. I begin this one with a poem that blog reader Lavinia of Salmon Brook Farms recommended.  It is from a book called A Visit to William Blake’s Inn:

The King of Cats Sends a Postcard to His Wife

by Nancy Willard

Keep your whiskers crisp and clean.
Do not let the mice grow lean.
Do not let yourself grow fat
like a common kitchen cat.Have you set the kittens free?
Do they sometimes ask for me?
Is our catnip growing tall?
Did you patch the garden wall?

Clouds are gentle walls that hide
gardens on the other side.
Tell the tabby cats I take
all my meals with William Blake,

lunch at noon and tea at four,
served in splendor on the shore
at the tinkling of a bell.
Tell them I am sleeping well.

Tell them I have come so far,
brought by Blake’s celestial car,
buffeted by wind and rain,
I may not get home again.

Take this message to my friends.
Say the King of Catnip sends
to the cat who winds his clocks
a thousand sunsets in a box,

to the cat who brings the ice
the shadows of a dozen mice
(serve them with assorted dips
and eat them like potato chips),

and to the cat who guards his door
a net for catching stars, and more
(if with patience he abide):
catnip from the other side.

Of course, the poem reminded my of Smoky, and I found it most comforting to think of “catnip on the other side”.
Calvin enjoyed cereal milk this morning.
I am going to call tomorrow for a veterinary appointment for him.  He is almost 13 and has a nagging little cough, which I hope is just a hairball thing.  He is a compulsive groomer who has sometimes groomed himself into bare patches.  Since he and Smoky had become best friends, he had been grooming Smoky instead.  Now he is back to licking his ownself.

Snoozy Calvin

Frosty chose to nap near my living room desk, on the floor, even though there are four comfy chairs nearby.

Skooter helped me blog.

The wind gusted at 45 mph, as predicted.  We need a dry-ish, calm-ish Sunday or Monday for mulching the Ilwaco Community Building garden while the library is closed.

In the evening, I settled in to read a little book sent me by an imaginary bookish friend–that is, someone I know online but have never met. It came with this card:

The wee book was published in 1925.

What an affirming message to read today.

This illustration spoke to me of my grandmother (who would have treasured a little book like this):

In her Scrapbooks, she had several photos of stone edged ponds much like that one.

And she had pasted in an illustration with a similar path.

A pretty postcard that was in the book:

I’m feeling especially fortunate in my friends lately.

I finished Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Here are four favourite passages.

On someone who converses by asking questions:

On being a beloved person:

On why not to finish a boat:

A perfect river:

Now on to Of Mice and Men.

Sweet Thursday is a sequel to Cannery Row, but I need a little break from that setting.

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Monday, 13 November 2017

Even though the storm lived up to its advance reputation, it did us no harm.  The lights flickered but did not go out.  It was perfect reading weather, except for missing a certain cat cuddled under my chin.  The remaining three cats are nice, and they like me, but they do not dote on me.

There was some excitement to watch on the local Facebook feed:

The wind speeds were dramatic.

The 89 mph was up at Radar Ridge, a high hill south of the Astoria Bridge.

From the Chinook Observer, late Tuesday:

Overnight wind gusts Tuesday-Wednesday:
Megler Mountain: 76 mph
Naselle Radar Ridge: 70 mph
Cape Disappointment: 60 mph  [that’s just across the Ilwaco marina from us]
Sustained wind speeds around 50 mph at times

Skooter watching the weather

Meanwhile, I read.

This history of the Dust Bowl enlightened me in a gripping can’t put it down way about the harshness of the drought and sky blackening, lung choking dust storms of the 1930s.  I’d learned a bit about it in school, where the idea that contour plowing could heal the land impressed me.  But I had no idea till now how bad the dust had been.

How beautiful the land once was:

The advice of using dust to mulch!!

“The best side is up”:

“We Americans have been the greatest destroyers of land…”

“You are filled with dirt.”

Static electricity from the dust storms made barbed wire fences spark and burned kitchen gardens.

This book will stick with me.  Because I love diaries, I was especially pleased with diary excerpts of a farmer, Dan Hartwell, that were woven into the story.

A man of poetic thought in a dying land:

Mr. Hartwell just plain broke my heart.  The diary just ends, with no idea of what became of him.

I had read the book straight through with nary a pause.  I have ordered a documentary movie that includes Bam White, one of the people whose story figures large in it: The Plow that Broke the Plains.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

When I woke up, I looked out the south window and the skyline had changed.  What was that big grey thing? My view had never included a big grey….building?  I was disconcerted.

When I figured it out, I asked Allan to have a look. “Is that the river?” he asked, mystified for a moment also, until he also realized….”It’s a truck!”

It moved and my normal view returned.

It would have been a pretty exciting day if the river had suddenly returned to right outside our back gate.

The full gale flag still flew at the port, and another wind front battered the house.  Good, another reading day.

Calvin now waits for cereal milk.

I read another book straight through without a pause.  I had just acquired my own copy of the best book about the loss of of a pet, one that I had read twice before when my extra good cats Orson, and later Dumbles, had died.

reading with Smoky’s brother, Frosty

I thought that this time, I wouldn’t cry my way through the book. But I did, in a cathartic way.  Virginia Ironside had collected poetry and essays along with the most heartfelt stories that were written in to her in her job as a British “Agony Aunt’ (like Dear Abby).

And this:

And the inscription on a pet’s gravestone: “Here lies love.”

Orson sunning himself on the sidewalk, round 1991

Dumbles, 1999-2011

Smokey

I was pleased to find that Virginia Ironside has a Facebook page, along with several new books that I immediately ordered through interlibrary loan.  I’ve read her basic letters to an agony aunt book and one called “No, I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club“, about “aging disgracefully”, so I know I like her style.

Meanwhile, I had been inspired by The Worst Hard Time to finally read The Grapes of Wrath.  I had tried it last night, and just flicking through it made me think it was going to be a ponderous read.  Today, within seven pages I was mesmerized.  How had I missed this?  Allan has all of Steinbeck, a gift from his Grandma, Beulah Fones, who lived in Steinbeck country.  The only one I have read is The Red Pony, forced to in school and did not like it.  I have some catching up to do.

Allan’s Grandma Beulah

I read through half the book and finally had to sleep. I just needed a good rainy Wednesday to finish it.  That was not to be as the weather permitted work on the next day, and so I am still worried about the Joads, who just made it (well, some of them) across the desert into California.  I do not think their dreams are going to come true.

The moment I fell in love with The Grapes of Wrath, page 7, when young Tom Joad hitches a ride:

The refugees, trying to decide which possessions can go with them to California:

human kindness:

If I see someone traveling with a vehicle overloaded with possessions, and I have seen some vehicles that remind me of the Joads (because we know about the Joads even if we haven’t read the book), my immediate response is compassion and help, not turning away and contempt.  I fear for them and am going to get back to my reading the very minute I get this post scheduled.

(Allan has been busy working on a project involving his boating blog posts.  More on this later.)

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Seattle Times (my home town paper) published an article about ICE on the Long Beach Peninsula.  Not only is it informative about the hardships of local immigrants, it is also beautifully captures the flavor of life here on this somewhat isolated sand spit.  Read about us here.

And recently, while Googling something, I came across a most enticing event about my beloved Nella Last.  If only I could go!  (Even if I could, it is sold out.  And I haven’t renewed my passport.) Tea With Nella Last would be such a joy.  So would a winter spent in the Mass Observation archive, something I could not even dream of when my dear cat Smoky was alive, because I would not have left him.  That reminds me of a favourite book that I intend to re-read this winter, Waiting for My Cats to Die by Stacy Horn.

The rain and wind kept me in today, although our friends Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) showed their usual impressive fortitude by working anyway at The Oysterville Garden.  They described sitting in their truck looking at the storm and then forging into it like entering a hurricane.  I would picture it as diving into an agitating washing machine, set on cold water.

Skooter by the front door

On the front porch, I found a package of cookies from Scott and Tony.  Amazing will power resulted in there being four left by the end of the day.

Tomatoes are ripening on the windowsill.  The model VW bus, a gift from Allan, represents one I used to have.

The cats all tucked themselves into naps, separately.

Skooter on a bed

Frosty on Allan’s chair

Calvin on my chair

I sat at my living room desk and worked on a long blog post about visiting Steve and John’s garden the day before.

Davidia ‘Lady Sunshine’ through a rainy window

rain and wind view from my desk

To my left, two cats.

To the right of my old Macbook, that empty spot where Smoky used to lie while I blogged.

The sky eventually brightened, but the cold wind continued.

Allan spent some time sanding an old table, once my grandmother’s, whose veneer top had chipped.  It will return to being a plant table when the paint dries.

In the evening, I finally finished a book in which I’ve been reading a few pages a day for weeks.  Margaret Drabble is a favourite author of mine.  I’d like to have read her latest book in a day, but it had coincided with bulb time and then with Smoky’s illness and death.

The book’s theme is aging and death, told in a quiet and undramatic way.

on heaven:

It must be this painting.

Spencer, Stanley; The Resurrection, Cookham; Tate; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-resurrection-cookham-201964

With this label, from the Tate Gallery:

Spencer believed that the divine rested in all creation. He saw his home village of Cookham as a paradise in which everything was invested with mystical significance. The local churchyard here becomes the setting for the resurrection of the dead. Christ is enthroned in the church porch, cradling three babies, with God the Father standing behind. Spencer himself appears near the centre, naked, leaning against a grave stone; his fiancée Hilda lies sleeping in a bed of ivy. At the top left, risen souls are transported to Heaven in the pleasure steamers that then ploughed the Thames.

Gallery label, September 2016

I learned a new word, “eschatology”.

The “downward step” of aging:

To add to my winter reading list, Margaret Drabble’s inspirations:

Margaret Drabble’s books are always over my head, due to my lack of education.  She inspires me to look things up, and learn.  One of her brief mentions was of the “varicolored but disturbing” Kitaj Tapestry.

An ideal staycation’s reading might be to read through all of her books again, from the beginning.  I own them all through The Radiant Way.  I remember my favourites being The Waterfall and The Needle’s Eye. If I could resist getting a pile of new books from the library, that re-reading might be accomplished.

I set my Goodreads goal too high this year: 90 books.  It seemed so doable till recently.  I am only up to 68 books read this year.  Perhaps if staycation starts by Thanksgiving….

I have had many thoughts of how much I will miss my Smoky during staycation.  He so loved those long reading days on my lap.  Perhaps, though, his brother Frosty will appreciate being the top lap cat this winter.  There was some sibling rivalry, and Smoky always won because he was just a quieter and more restful lap sitter.

While finishing The Dark Flood Rises, with Frosty on my lap, I had admired his silver tipped fur.

His blue eyes must come from a Siamese ancestor, as does his loud voice.

In the evening, I started a short and heartbreakingly gorgeous memoir, It’s Not Yet Dark.  I expected to be able to finish it the next day because of another forecast of rain.

…about a man with ALS, also now a well reviewed film

An allegory about his diagnosis:

Update: A five star book. It is not about despair. I think of my friend Lily who died of ALS in 2005. The lilies in the Long Beach parks are planted in memory of her. And I think of Vernie, the wife of a friend, a strong and beautiful gardener taken by ALS, who I wish I had known. I am planting some good asters in her memory.

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Monday, 6 November 2017

Frosty looking cute in the morning

Even though my neurotic cat Frosty (the late Smoky’s brother) still wants to sleep in the garage rather than have to spend the night indoors, I won’t let him.  It is cold out there.  He wakes me up at 6 AM yowling to go out, so I then open the south cat door for him.  So far the other two cats have not figured out this happens.  Frosty seems to go out and then come back in soon after, because I find him asleep in my room when I wake up again.

Long Beach

We happened to nab a parking spot right next to a street tree that needed its batch of Lysimachia punctata cut back for winter.

before and after (Allan’s photos)

We found a reversible rock.

not sure what it means

The Anchorage Cottages

We left Long Beach to work at the Anchorage first, mainly because I did not know how long we would be there, and the rest of the time could then be devoted to Long Beach.

Arbutus and Melianthus major in the center courtyard

arbutus flowers (to be followed by strawberry like fruit, thus the common name strawberry tree)

I love arbutus so much, why do I not have one in my yard?

I’ve been meaning for ages for us to dead-wood the arbutus. No time for that today.

I did a nice under-pruning and lowering from the top of the big Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ in the corner; wish I had a before picture.

just an after

Allan pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from the narrow bed under the blue sign, and on either side of it he planted some starts of shasta daisies.  I know folks who would turn up their noses at that.  I think the daisies will look spiffing with the white window trim.

before and after (Allan’s photos)

I put some redtwig dogwood twigs in the window boxes, just because it is something I like to do.

Long Beach

I planted a whole pot of cloves of elephant garlic on the west side of city hall.  The very few that were there this past summer were a hit with the city hall staff, who called it  “The Horton Hears a Who plant.”  It was so disappointing when someone picked off all the round flowers that I said I was going to plant so many that surely some flowers would be left next year.

planted them on the upper tier

after planting and clean up of the long narrow tiered beds that were planted originally by Gene and Peggy Miles, when Gene was city administrator (Allan’s photo)

lots of clean up accomplished on the north side, too

I do not clean up my gardens this way.  I leave a lot more plants standing into late winter.  In public gardens, most passersby would not understand that and would just see it as messy.

We turned next to pulling Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ at the front of Coulter Park (Allan) and tidying up a planter across the street (me).

Coulter Park, before and after (Allan’s photo)

Allan also photographed the planter project.

before

After work, we returned a couple of forgotten Halloween party items to Scott and Tony’s townhouse in north Long Beach, along with a tall houseplant that needed a place with tall windows.

painted rocks that Scott and Tony’s friends leave in their little entry courtyard

Port of Ilwaco

We did a security check on the business of a friend who will be out of town for two more days post surgery and then had a look at the garden at the port office.  It needs some trimming.  We were almost out of daylight, so it will not get done today.

Allan’s photo

Almost sunset at the marina:

home

I feel sad when I come home to Calvin sleeping alone, in the chair where for the past couple of months he spent the day sleeping with his new best friend, Smoky.  I wish he would bond with Frosty.  He must miss Smoky as much as I do.

Calvin wakes up.

Two nights ago, when I was petting Calvin, I realized I had already lost the hand memory of how much softer Smoky was than any other cat.  Calvin feels soft to me now.  I clipped a tiny bit of Smoky’s fur, before his final visit to the vet.  It felt intrusive to clip very much. It is just enough soft fur, in a little wooden box, to touch with one fingertip.  I can’t bear to go there. But I don’t want to forget that softness.  My hand aches to pet him again.

Smoky and Calvin on October 7th

Calvin and Smoky on October 19th

October 26th

Frosty and Smoky, mid October.  Note the subtle patterns on Smoky’s oh so soft fur.

Smoky was nice to all cats, humans, and nice dogs.

Frosty and Calvin will share my lap, but without affection and with the occasional squabble.

Frosty and Calvin a couple of nights ago

detente but no affection

I occupied my mind with a re-write the work board, dividing the fall clean up list into before and after the first heavy frost, for the purpose of giving me more tasks to erase.  Erasure gives me satisfaction at day’s end.

I then got to erase City Hall and Anchorage.

Below, at 2:45 AM (technically the next day):

Frosty, the odd kitty, has a new favourite place now that he is not sleeping in the garage: right in the middle of the open space in the bedroom.

Why not a comfy chair?

As I write this two days later, he is sleeping in that exact same peculiar spot.

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I was so tired while writing that I called yesterday’s post “Friday” instead of Thursday. In real time, here is a PSA:

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Friday, 5 May 2017

The predicted rain storm and thirty mile an hour winds did not arrive!

I was so hoping we could accomplish a whole lot of garden tidying pre-Sunday’s parade so that we would not have to go back to Long Beach on a crowded Saturday afternoon.  (We will be attending the Saturday parade in Ilwaco, but not the Sunday one in Long Beach.)

Others in our household had no particular worries:

on the porch


Smokey and Skooter


Skooter is not to be walked on.

Peace was soon restored.

later

Ilwaco

Before leaving our block, we did two tiny garden tasks: mowing at the J’s and weeding round the Norwood garden.

We spent a little while weeding our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.  The garden is still looking rather dull.  While we weeded, an old man said “Why don’t you plant something I like so that I’ll have something good to look at?”  While I chuckled weakly, here is a hint: Gardeners  prefer to not be teased while they are working.

dullsville garden at the moment

Depot Restaurant

Just some quick deadheading…

north side of deck


Tulips ‘Night Rider’ (left) and ‘Virichic’ (right)


Tulip ‘Flaming Spring Green’


Tulip ‘Green Wave’

Long Beach

When we got to the welcome sign and I opened the back of the van, I was momentarily appalled to see a flat of bidens sitting there, that had not been unloaded last night.  I then decided to just plant the darn things, since the welcome sign was their destination.  I would usually wait for annuals planting till the magic date of Mother’s Day (which is next Sunday).

low yellow bidens along the front edge

The tulips on the back side had gone over, every one.

all moldy and unattractive


too much rain! (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Too bad that boring moment between spring bulbs and annuals happened this weekend.

Here’s how the whole welcome sign would look if we didn’t control the horsetail:

the east end, around the faucet….


cheatin’ weedin’ with string trimmer (Allan’s photos)

The Red Barn 

Part of the weekend’s events will include a “cowboy breakfast” at the Peninsula Saddle Club.  Figuring that the patrons might spill over to the Red Barn Arena next door, we detoured to make sure the little garden there looked ok.

after some weeding (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s garden

I was eager to talk to Diane about garden plans, while deadheading her narcissi.

Misty, as you can tell, is getting older. Diane and I discuss….


The roadside garden will return as soon as a fence is built. (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

Allan and I finished the north parking lot berm at last.

North “berm”

 I had high hopes that the second one would also be done today.  I even had a fantasy that Allan would have time to do the string trimming that is the way we handle the less planted middle berm.  I left Allan to it….

south berm

Allan’s photos:

cleaning up along the edge

…while I went to groom four blocks of tree garden and planters.

lots of Baby Moon narcissi still blooming for parade day


‘New Baby’ is white and yellow.  (really)


fringed tulips still blooming


escallonias that would like to be eight feet tall (left over from someone’s volunteer planting)


crocus foliage

I used to tidy up foliage like that before parade day.  Now I leave it, on the theory that it is good for the bulbs…and that the fuller the planter is, the less likely to be sat or stood upon.

Primulas have been blooming for weeks.


thrilled that Fifth Street Park, west side, did not need weeding


Fury: Out of 20 of these late blooming tulips in two adjacent planters, all but 7 had been stolen.

I called Allan to see how he was doing…and due to the plethora of weeds, the south berm was still not done.  We had to abort that mission so that he could de-horsetail by the Heron Pond while I tidied the north two blocks of trees and planters.

more late blooming narcissi on the northernmost block


These tulips might hang on for Sunday.

As I weeded the tree garden outside Dennis Company, a friend and business owner stopped by to tell me of her anger at a politician who had just said that “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”  (Really? It took me less than one minute to remember two people I knew who had died of exactly that.)

As I deadheaded tulips in a planter five minutes later, a friend and valued community member walked by and told me how she and her family are seriously exploring a move to Canada.  I felt sad to hear it but I certainly understand.

Meanwhile, Allan’s project:

before


Someone had deposited painted rocks at the edge of the waterfall (without falling in).


“love” rock and some leftover easter egg decor


after


sidewalk edge, before


after

We still had the east side of Fifth Street Park to check up on with some light weeding.

DSC02942.jpg

Darmera peltata leaves…


DSC02943.jpg

and flowers (Allan’s photos)


7 PM shadows

Just last year, I would have been able to push till 8:00 PM to try to finish the berms.  Now, I find that I just cannot.  We drove by to look…and found a stack of lost buckets!  Allan said he thought he was running inexplicably short on buckets.  This is a sign of how tired we both are.

He had been too tired to remember where the buckets had gone to…. They had been just sitting by the north berm.

Nobody’s parade day is going to get ruined by some weeds in the parking lot beds and so…we are not going to finish the berms till next week.

workboard tonight

Planting Time is starting to show up on the work board.

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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

I woke to puddles.  The good amount of rain had changed up our week by making it unnecessary to water the Long Beach and Ilwaco planters.  I was a little discombulated about what to do, then decided the world would not be too rocked if we did the north end jobs on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.  My dithering got us off to a late start.  Just before we left the house, I suggested we take a cat carrier in case Marilyn’s cat, Skooter, would be available.  Our plan is to adopt him so he can have a home with a garden to enjoy. (You’ll find his name spelled two ways for awhile till I get used to the K.)

On the way we tested the container soil in both LB and Ilwaco and found it nice and wet.

We reversed the polarity of the neutron flow and went from south to north, doing only some of the jobs in case we ended up with a cat in the late afternoon and would need to bring him straight home.

The Anchorage

We were greeted by our good friend Mitzu.

We were greeted by our good friend Mitzu.

Mitzu

Mitzu

the center courtyard

the center courtyard

Melianthus major

Melianthus major

I spent a long time weeding in a rather drab little bed that didn’t feel worth a photo.  Maybe next week, if I mulch it, it will be worthy.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

the lawn bed with Shasta daisies that did not need much deadheading

the lawn bed with Shasta daisies that did not need much deadheading

inside the fenced garden with Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'

inside the fenced garden with Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’

looking northwest toward the sit spot

looking northwest toward the sit spot

the birdbath view

the birdbath view

pink feathery sanguisorba just past its prime

pink feathery sanguisorba just past its prime

many hues of hydrangea

many hues of hydrangea

Allan worked on the woodland swale.

Allan's photos, before...

Allan’s photos, before…

and after

and after

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' flopping, before....

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ flopping, before….

and after

and after

our good friend Bella

our good friend Bella

As we left KBC after an hour of weeding and deadheading, I got a message from Nancy saying that she was at Marilyn’s house and would have Skooter ready for us to take.

Marilyn’s Garden

With dear Marilyn having passed away, her house will soon be listed for sale. A home has been found for the most affectionate of Marilyn’s two cats, Coral.  Because the home has children, it would not be suitable for Skooter, who liked “affection on his own terms” and probably would not relish being toted around by kind hearted and loving little girls.  This photo of him with Marilyn’s daughter Susan shows that he does like affection, within reason.

Susan and Scooter

Susan and Scooter (Allan’s photo)

We did a quick weeding session before loading Skooter into the cat carrier (accomplished by Susan and Allan with one escape attempt when the door did not close correctly).

so poignant to see Marilyn's begonias

so poignant to see Marilyn’s begonias

looking north

looking north

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' and Helenium 'Feuersiegel'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Helenium ‘Feuersiegel’

Phygelius

Phygelius

By next year, another gardener (I hope!) will be keeping the phygelius within bounds, or it will be all over the place.

from the back porch; I must clip noxious bronze fennel before it goes to seed.

from the back porch; I must clip noxious bronze fennel (left) before it goes to seed.

looking north; I will miss recording these weekly views.

looking north; I will miss recording these weekly views.

There were some tears when we were ready to take Skooter; Nancy is happy he is going with someone he knows, and sad to see him go.  Her own cat would simply not accept a new addition to the household.  He did not yowl the whole way to Ilwaco as some cats might have.

at home

Here he is at home, not ready to come out of the box yet.

Here he is at home, not ready to come out of the carrier box yet.

Because getting him was a last minute arrangement (instead of having Nancy bring him on Thursday), Allan got busy and hammered a board over the cat door that leads out from the second bathroom.  That will be his sanctuary room till he is ready to meet the other cats and go outside.  Wire mesh was installed at the bottom of my study door that has a cat “tunnel” at the base.  When Scooter comes out into that room, he will be able to look but not engage with the other cats yet.  (Two days later, with separation still in place, I got a suggestion of covering that view for now until the hissing stops.  So far, all the hissing is on Scooter’s part.)

Scooter's eye view tonight of the cat tunnel covered with screen.

Scooter’s eye view tonight of the cat tunnel covered with screen.  (Allan’s photo)

He has toys, litter, food, water, and his three platform cat tower.  I felt sad when I found him half an hour later hiding in the very back of the bathroom closet.  Poor fellow.  If only we could talk about it, person to person.  (Sometimes that doesn’t work with people, though.)  Because various articles advised leaving a cat alone to explore its new sanctuary, I felt ok about keeping our dinner engagement.

Our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang was on a different night this week because of the schedule of Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening), so with Skooter all situated in his hidey hole, we met them at the nearby

Salt Hotel Pub

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the view from our table

the view from our table

A Sea Cucumber sounded perfect...

A Sea Cucumber sounded perfect…

and so it was, especially the chili salt rim.

and so it was, especially the chili salt rim.

I had been craving the delicious tuna melt...

I had been craving the delicious tuna melt…

and the potato leek soup.

and the potato leek soup.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

nachos for Dave, Melissa, and Allan

Nachos were the choice for Dave, Melissa, and Allan

The downstairs social room is where folks who cannot climb the stairs can dine. That will be me this December if I get my knee done.

The downstairs social room is where folks who cannot climb the stairs can dine. That will be me this December if I get my knee done.

The owners, Jules and Laila, also operate Skookum Surf lessons and rentals from the hotel.

The owners, Jules and Laila, also operate Skookum Surf lessons and rentals from the hotel.

Back at home, I was relieved to find Skooter out of his hidey hole and ensconced on his cat tower.

IMG_5972

I was even more relieved that he did not meow all night and keep us awake.  I had been anxious about losing sleep.  I look forward to the transition being over, the cats accepting each other (I do so fervently hope), and life being placid again. I had not realized till the process began how much anxiety it would cause me to introduce a new cat to our comfortable ménage.

The only entry for this date in my mother’s garden diaries is one word, for August 9, 1997:  HOT.

 

 

 

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