Posts Tagged ‘crocuses’

Thursday, 2 March 2017

With the rainy windy day that had been predicted, we did not get the port spring clean up done.  I must confess that maybe if we worked between 8 and 11 AM we might have accomplished some of it

The rain increased considerably after 11 AM.  Allan went to pick up books at the library and took this photos of the early crocuses and irises at the community building in which the library is housed.  You can click on the photos in this mosaic to view them individually.

I had finished the excellent book The Shock Doctrine and was pleased at the prospect of a new batch of library books.  While I waited, I photographed a pile of old postcards (from the collection of our friend Joe Chasse) for my Grandma’s Scrapbook blog.  They will begin to appear there later this year.

A sneak peak:



My books arrived.  What excitement opening the book bag! This new assortment contains some fiction, for a change.


I settled right in with one of them.


It is poetically written and its only flaw is a plot twist that I did not much like.  The parts about Scrabble, I liked very much.  (A boodle is what I call a bingo.)




Even though I only play online now, I remember this sound:



I finished the book.  It was a much easier read than the non fiction I’ve been perusing lately.


Skooter had been helping Allan read.


Our garden club weekly dinner was postponed because of members being under the weather.

For the next two days, the actually weather won’t matter much because we have indoor political activities to attend.


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Thursday, 23 February 2017

I had complete faith, when I saw the fairly decent weather, that we could complete three more spring clean ups today.

The Red Barn

Red Barn


our good friend Rosie (Allan’s photo)



at The Red Barn Arena


the farrier and our client, Diane


Rosie loves eating hoof trimmings


Farrier’s truck (Allan’s photo)

We care for five containers and a narrow garden bed at the barn.


Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ had not made it well through winter.


removal project; now the narcissi will show up.


sad Erysimum

We unhooked the trailer in order to go next door to Diane’s garden; her driveway was too full to turn around with our full rig.


Ice on water nearby shows how cold the air still felt.

Diane’s garden

At the barn, we had learned from Diane that the new septic still has not been installed.  That means that re-doing her roadside garden won’t happen till perhaps the end of March.


Stipa gigantea, driveway entry (Allan’s photos)



The trees have been cut down along the roadside garden and the stumps will be removed.  The county mowing truck mowed down the heathers and rosemary, the only plants we left behind when we dismantled the garden last fall….probably because it no longer looked like a garden (and it is part of the roadside verge).


hydrangea, before pruning



Diane reminded me that I had spoken of pruning her old blueberries.  We removed 1/3 of the old growth, hoping to encourage better berrying.





Allan had a long walk, twice, back to the debris pile at the barn.



My dear friend Mistie, aged 10, who is doing much better than she was last fall, got a good belly rub and hugging.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We made our second spring clean up trip to KBC to cut back the ferns.


Denny, Mary, and Bella


darling Bella


view in fenced garden, east gate


crocuses and Iris reticulata




and more crocuses



clean up of the driveway garden, before




and after talking to Mary about how she wants room to plant some dwarf conifers here.


east end of pond island bed, before and after trimming ferns


the pond, before


Allan’s brave crossing


before (Allan’s photo)





after (Allan’s photo)


The pond island has many ferns, most of them awkward to reach.






by cottage eight, before and after (Allan’s photos)


near cottage one (Allan’s photos).  Those ferns probably got missed in last year’s pruning.


Allan rescued St. Francis.


the dog memorial garden for Misty, Debbie, and Raven


the first narcissi in the A Frame garden


Allan noticed them, too.








hamamelis (witch hazel) and the cottages on the ridge

I never did get to KBC over the winter to read more cottage journals.  I got too entrenched in my reading chair at home.  Maybe next winter.


by the clam cleaning shed


the last fern of the day

The temperature had dropped drastically.  We were glad to be done.


The crocuses had closed up.  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo

a dreamy garden

In the van, just before leaving, I checked my messages and saw that Our Kathleen had sent me a real estate link.  Although we are not house hunting, she knows we like to see interesting properties.

Here is the link.

“This is so much more than 4 vacant land parcels. Enter the gates and you enter a private garden like no other. 100s of plants in containers, a grove of bamboo, mature trees and beautiful one-off gazebos and garden features. All of this is anchored by a grand pavilion made from steel and found materials in the grand style of The Rural Studio and Samuel Mockbee. The site features a private well, 2 RV cleanouts, 100amp power, sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom, and 40′ steel storage container.”

I swiped these three photos, because I suppose at some time the real estate listing will go away.


amazing pavilion


a party from the past


a paradise!

I had to see, so we drove about fifty blocks north, only to find another aspect of the property’s perfection:


It has two big gated driveways and you cannot see in, at all—complete privacy.


The other gate

Allan stood on a bucket and said no one was there. He took some photos over the gate…because I was desperate to see inside and I was too sore from work to stand on a bucket.




It is glorious.




Even though there is no house in there, the description included a sleeping area, kitchen, and bathroom.  Oh, if I were even five years younger…I feel too old to uproot my Ilwaco garden.

While fantasizing about living in the 40 foot storage container, I had to firmly remind myself of the advantages of living near a bookstore, post office, library, hospital, and Salt Pub.  And yet…this one will haunt me for awhile.  It had 4000 more square feet than our property does.  I did some online snooping and found the owners are just a bit more than a decade older than us.  That increased my feeling of being too old to move.

Maybe you can buy it and invite us over.

Salt Pub

Tonight, Our Kathleen was in town for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang meeting.  Sadly, Dave and Melissa were unable to attend.


the view


Our Kathleen (Allan’s photo)


pub burger




smoked tuna melt


vanilla creme brulee

We stayed till after closing time, as I figured we would, and that is why I skipped a blogging day.  I was so tired that I forgot to erase three more jobs from the workboard until the following morning.


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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Long Beach

I had big plans to get four things crossed off the work list.  We started with the tree that has pesky rugosa roses and with the planter nearest to it.


planter yesterday

After cutting out the poky thing by the bench, I felt inspired to remove as much hesperantha and tired old ornamental grass as possible.


Allan helping with the biggest grass





Meanwhile, Allan went after the annoying patch of volunteer rugosa roses, roots and all.  (Because they are pesky and the roots run like fury, we will have to watch for returning sprouts.)




a thuggish rose



Next, we wanted to polish off the first spring clean up of Fifth Street Park.

Allan started with the hydrangea in the southeast corner.




Allan’s photos: before



I wanted the right hand one a little more upright.  Easy to fix later.

It was a busy day because of a three day weekend.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

My first project was the patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) by the restroom.





By pulling a lot of the hesperantha, and getting its annoying self out of the other plants (like Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, which Allan clipped after the above photo), we will still have plenty for next fall while having a tidier garden bed now.

I did the same to the nearby street tree garden:





In a nearby planter, I found…


a tiny painted rock


and emerging tulip foliage.

The northwest quadrant of the park also got a hesperantha going-over.






Here’s what it looks like on a good summer day. (This was in 2014.)

Allan had joined me before I finished.  We’d got caught in a torrent of rain but had an escape at hand.



inside Captain Bob’s  Chowder


looking out: clean up abandoned for half an hour


delicious fish tacos (before applying a yummy creamy tequila sauce)

As the rain intensity decreased, my Dark Sky app was accurate about it stopping in 15 minutes.  The prediction of drizzle for the following hour was, happily, inaccurate.


By the end of the rain squall, I knew we would only get two out of four planned projects done today.  The temperature had dropped and a chilly wind kicked up.  We went to the two northernmost blocks and finished the planters and street trees.


crocuses and iris reticulata (Allan’s photo)


Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’


Iris reticulata




more crocuses

In the last planter of the day, we cut back the escallonia. Why a volunteer, back in the day, planted Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’ in two of the planters is beyond me.  It would like to be at least 15 feet tall.  By chopping it hard now, I won’t have to be clipping it all summer long.


halfway done

and I did NOT see that piece of trash till I looked at this photo!  (Later: Allan says he saw it and disposed of it.)


done… The green santolina on each end also got clipped.

Before we dumped our full load of debris, I popped into NIVA green (my favourite shop).  Almost a month ago I had taken some photos for its Facebook page.  Every time I chose photos to post, I could not bear to post one of a copper clad “stump” because I wanted it for myself.  It was a bit pricey and yet it had haunted me. Would it still be there a month later?


in mid January

Yes! Twice,  people had put holds on it and then not come back to pick it up.


It is mine now!  (It’s hollow copper clad aluminium, I’m told, so probably not for outdoors.)

Just after we dumped our debris, as Allan was locking the gate of the city works yard, the rain returned.  Perfect timing.


At home, I got to erase two items but not the pond and popouts.  Maybe tomorrow, or maybe not with wind and rain predicted.


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Friday, 26 February 2016

As I had breakfast, Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) were already at work.  Melissa texted me a few photos from the Oysterville garden.


Melianthus blooming, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Narcissi and tree fern, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


anemone, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


trillium, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Viburnum carlesii, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Cornus mas by Oysterville church, photo by Melissa Van Domelen

With rain predicted, Allan and I thought we might take the day off and go shopping overseas.  But would it rain?  The mid morning felt cold, misty, grey, but not wet.

Before our journey, I took a walk around the garden.


Japanese maple all of a sudden has leafed out


Tulip kaufmanniana ‘The First’


many more bulbs emerging, including lilies


Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ about the bloom


crocuses and last year’s allium in upper right


Iris reticulata


last year’s cardoon


Pulmonaria (lungwort, spotted dog)


The first big tulip (‘Rococo’)


Euphorbia characias wulfenii and crocus


Corylopsis pauciflora and more crocus


Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’


My one heather, from Pam Fleming


Hellebore, primrose, crocus


Lamprocapnos scandens already coming up!  Was floppy so got tied onto the support.

We drove up the The Basket Case Greenhouse to have a gander at two availability lists from inland nurseries.


checking the availability list (Allan’s photo)


Greenhouse kitty being unhelpful


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

I noted that the availability lists still refer to Lamprocapnos by its more mellifluous old name, Dicentra.


Kitty and Walter where plants will be displayed in springtime.


Fred going back to the house, followed by Walter and Shadow (and the kitty, behind the fern)


Camellia across the street from the Basket Case (Cranguyma Farm)


Allan’s photo

We took the narrow and somewhat obscure Jim Street through cranberry bogs to get back to the 101 highway.


Jim Street is in the center; 101 is where the word Google is.


cranberry bogs


This is Jim Street, pretty much one way (Allan’s photo); fortunately, they were behind us.

As we came to the 101 intersection, rain began, removing any question of whether or not we were skipping a good work day out on the beach approach garden.


across 101:  The “Thank you Farmers” sign in a Starvation Alley organic cranberry bog.

For some reason, I felt no anxiety at all in either direction of the Chinook Tunnel or the 4 mile long Astoria Bridge over the Columbia.



I wish I knew who made the graphic below; it shows so well how our area fits together.


In Warrenton, by a marina, we had lunch at a small Thai Restaurant.


Allan’s photo


on the porch




art  by our table


chicken satay


pad prik king and Thai fried rice

The food was milder than I was used to for this dish.  Adding Thai hot sauce from a little pot on the table fixed that.


across the road: What a chilly day to be pressure washing marina docks


nearby: pigeons hunkered down in the cold rain

The pickings are still slim for plant buying around these parts.  I managed to get some lilies and dahlias at Costco, and some violas at Fred Meyer.


a breath of spring in my shopping cart


We were home by dusk and able to deliver some groceries to a dear friend whose spouse is in hospital.

While I typed up this entry, Smokey got into my cup of tea, as he often does.


Smokey enjoys a nice cuppa at tea time.

There are no gardening entries from my mother’s old garden diaries to correspond with today.













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Friday, 28 February 2014

The days are supposed to seem shorter as we age.  That seems to only apply to staycation days, while lately workdays have seemed very long.  This has been a good thing when I marvel at how much work we get done in a few hours, but today it was tedious when I hit the wall in late afternoon.

The day started well enough.  Here’s a not good photo of the line of crocuses that meanders through our front garden from west to east.  I don’t have many more days to manage to get the successful photo that I envision!

crocus display, purple, white, yellow and lavender

crocus display, purple, white, yellow and lavender

Our first task: to drive to the Long Beach transfer station and divest ourselves of yesterday’s debris.

Our little trailer was full indeed.

Our little trailer, by the yard waste pile, was full indeed.

blue sky over the metal pile

blue sky over the metal pile

On the way to Andersen’s RV Park to work, we stopped at The Basket Case Nursery for a visit.  Although they are not officially open yet (maybe next week!), we bought some violas for Long Beach and The Anchorage.

violas coming along...

violas coming along…

At Andersen’s, Narcissi were showing colour by Payson Hall (due to the reflected heat from the warm south wall, I suppose, as in the rest of the garden they are still just in bud).  Violas would be so nice here, if only the deer would not eat them.

Payson Hall

Payson Hall

Narcissi and California poppy volunteer seedlings

Narcissi and California poppy volunteer seedlings

Lorna loves the big showy narcissi.

Lorna loves the big showy narcissi.

The weather felt so hot (65 degrees!) that I had to put on a cotton summer shirt and was so glad I had brought it with me.

While I weeded here and there in a scattered manner focusing on where RVing guests were most likely to be on a clamming weekend …by the clam cleaning shed and along the garden on the way to the clam cleaning shed…Allan tackled the corner of the garden shed garden that we had not gotten done last November.

before and after

before and after

He removed some weed infested Siberian Iris and Bergenia that date back to before I took on the Andersen’s job (pre 2007 at least).  I had divided them once or twice along the way but have lately come to the conclusion that they don’t bloom long enough for a tourism-related garden.  I do still have some by the Fifth Street Park pond in Long Beach (and in private gardens).

Andersen’s has a new staff puppy!!   Maisie is 8 weeks old, a Schnauzer-mini-poodle mix, will get to be about 12 lbs, and is a real squirmer so that it was a challenge to get a photo.



I told her (in baby talk of course) that she is going to be my friend and she will see me every week.

In midafternoon, we headed south and stopped at The Anchorage to do a bit of weeding, plant thirteen violas, and rejoice that the staff had cut back the pampas grass.  We are thrilled to not have to do it, and the task provided some extra income for the cleaning crew.

by the entry...chopped!!

by the entry…chopped!!

and on the lawn...chopped!

and on the lawn…chopped!

by the office...yellow ranunculus (celandine)

by the office…yellow ranunculus (celandine)

Next, on to Long Beach, where we cut down an ugly resprouted tree on the big pop out garden and then did a check up on the Bolstadt Beach approach planters.

The deer had chomped the crocuses in this one.

The deer had chomped the crocuses and grape hyacinth in this one.

The very next planter had excellent crocuses.

The very next planter had excellent crocuses.

Of two planters with bright white crocus displays, this one is the memorial planter for Lisa Bonney, a beloved local woman who was killed by her estranged boyfriend out here on the beach approach in front of many witnesses.

plaque on Lisa's memorial planter

plaque on Lisa’s memorial planter

I thought at the time that I’d never be able to work the beach approach gardens again without brooding about her and about domestic violence in general.  I still think of her every time, but the flowers in the planter give comfort to me and I hope to her friends and family.


Lisa’s crocuses

The community has organized an annual beach run in her memory.

Moving on down the thirteen garden sections of the long narrow garden, I gazed with resignation and gloom upon the matts of weeds.

beach approach garden

beach approach garden

Soon I know we will have to spend a whole week of days bent over weeding this stretch…and as with every year, I will complain of my misery.

The crocuses are nice, though.  The bulbs along this whole garden have dwindled and I should plant more come fall.


beach approach crocuses

Four of the downtown planters got violas, including some blue and white ones by Home at the Beach gift shop and some purple and yellow ones in one of the planters we had almost completely cleared of vinca last fall.

a planter that is almost a blank slate...

a planter that is almost a blank slate…across from The Hungry Harbor Grille

Around the time of planting those violas, the afternoon went pear shaped for me.  A car with two friends pulled up next to me and they said hi, and I was so contorted and focused on the job I could barely turn my head to look.  My left big toe had started to hurt, and then my right calf, and then I started checking my watch to see how much more must I endure.  Another hour at least…

I admired the tulip foliage, glaucous....

I admired the tulip foliage, glaucous….

and with a pink stripe

and with a pink stripe

The planters which were redone and planted with crocus several years ago now have excellent displays.

crocuses in abundance

crocuses in abundance


We worked our way down the last two blocks, weeding, cutting back some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Santolinas that I’d skipped last time we worked through town, cutting back some Rusgosa roses that have maddeningly appeared under a street tree, and so on.  I kept “hitting the wall” but seeing more weeds, leading to much reneging on the statement of “That’s it, we are DONE.”  I was momentarily cheered when Allan showed me an intriguing note he had found in a parking spot.


high intrigue

Finally at dusk we gave in and drove home, detouring to look at the boatyard and Howerton Street gardens to see if many narcisis were in bloom yet (not).  At the south end of the boatyard, I saw a very low tide, inspiring a stop to take some photos.

looking south from the end of the boatyard

looking south from the end of the boatyard

mud beach

mud beach

water below the ladders

water below the ladders

Allan boldly went down a steep slope to the slippery rock beach and got some photo angles we’ve never seen before.

Allan’s photos:


At high tide these rocks would be covered.

At high tide these rocks would be covered.

Ilwaco Landing, a fish company

Ilwaco Landing, a fish company

south end of boatyard from below

south end of boatyard from below



Our drive home via the Howerton Way gardens revealed a few more ornamental grasses that need to be cut back.  However, we have decided to take a couple of days off (I almost wrote weeks, such wishful thinking!).  I have a feeling the knowledge of those grasses still being tall is going to bother me.

I got my shoe off to soothe my (gouty??) toe and then had to go back outside to look at a sunset that suddenly glowed with a lovely pinkness to the south.

at the end of the next door yard

at the end of the next door yard

The spring peepers frog chorus was deafening.  I took a little video with my phone and if you don’t mind going to Facebook, you might be able to watch it here.  When I get to the edge of the ditch that is called the meander line, between the bogsy wood and the port parking lots to our south, the frogs closest to me stop croaking while the ones further away keep at it.  I could see them swimming around in the almost dark puddle.


























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In Seattle

In Seattle for his father’s memorial service in late February, Allan photographed this stunning Callicarpa (beauty berry) for me.  Mine are still but small, but I still remember the time when, going from one housecleaning job to another in the Laurelhurst neighbourhood of Seattle, stopping still in amazement at the sight of one in someone’s yard.  I had no idea at the time what it was or why it was blooming in winter.

Allan did not know what it was either, but he knew I would want to see it.

A Seattle beautyberry

A Seattle beautyberry

At Home

19 February

back garden crocus run, more filled out than last year.

back garden crocus run, more filled out than last year.

You can see the neighbouring gear shed (other side of fence) has their crab pots restacked so their crabbing season must be slowing down or over.

Smokey enjoys the new water feature

Smokey enjoys the new water feature


1 March

Smokey among the Hellebores

Smokey among the Hellebores

Wherever I go in the garden, there is Smokey also.

early tulips

early tulips

on the new plant table

on the new plant table

At Work (and Around)

25 February at Discovery Heights

Upon his return, while I was obsessively working on my blog prequel, Allan did a session chopping grasses at the Discovery Heights middle garden.







 27 February: touring Oysterville

In the drizzle, we took a drive up to Oysterville to get photos for a new Discovery Coast Real Estate page.  We photographed houses and scenery, and the Huson garden, well known as a glorious new landscape at in town.  The owners have also spread narcissi through the town, and pumpkins in fall and lights at Christmas.

along the Huson fence

along the Huson fence

Huson garden hellebores

Huson garden hellebores

Huson garden, moss and pear

Huson garden, moss and pear

That night on Facebook, I was messaging with my friend Kathleen S, who does not live on the Peninsula but will soon, I hope.  She has been visiting for years and I swear she knows more about the Peninsula than I do.  She told me the last name of one of the gardeners in this Oysterville garden and I said…wait a sec…and looked up the name of a garden that I had adored as one of my favourite gardens ever in Ruston (near Tacoma).  I had toured it in 2010 with Sheila on the Hardy Plant Weekend.  I messaged Kathleen with the question:  could the Oysterville Huson be related to the Ruston Huson?  She who knows all told me it is the SAME person.  How about that?  The Ruston garden has stuck firmly in my memory since my visit there….It was truly a place of dreams.

27 February at Klipsan Beach Cottages

On the way home, we stopped to chat with the owners of the A Frame on the grounds of KBC about their five year garden plan.  In the drizzle, we did not want to actually work (although the ferns need cuting back) so all I did outdoors was take one photo of an early rhododendron.

rhodo and pond island at KBC

rhodo and pond island at KBC

1 March in Long Beach

We cleaned up Peggy’s Park, a pretty garden bed by Long Beach City Hall.

Peggy's cyclamen

Peggy’s cyclamen

Long Beach Planter at 3rd and Pacific

Long Beach Planter at 3rd and Pacific

crocuses in a Long Beach planter

crocuses in a Long Beach planter

Fifth Street Park in front of Captain Bob's Chowder

Fifth Street Park in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder

When we have time, which we sometimes do not, we like to get a delicious crab roll from Captain Bob.

3 March in Long Beach

clean up of pond garden at Bolstadt and Pacific





2 March at Jo’s garden

Allan working on a re-do

Allan working on a re-do

Jo wants the above bed all dug out except for a few roses and redone, because she fell in love with the look of our flower beds when she came to see our garden on tour last year.  We are determined to accomplish this, but time is tight.  There are still seven jobs we have not even BEEN to yet.

3 March at Andersen’s RV Park

narcissi in Payson Hall Planters

narcissi in Payson Hall Planters

and a Payson Hall frog!

and a Payson Hall frog!

Fritillaria michailovskyi in Payson Hall planter

Fritillaria michailovskyi in Payson Hall planter

The Van Engelen catalog says “Native to Turkey, it has up to five, pendant reddish-purple bells with a yellow edge on the outside and a shiny yellow interior” and adds that it blooms April/May.   Hmmm.  It’s a bit early, then.

Narcissi in Payson Hall planters

Narcissi in Payson Hall planters

Lorna of Andersen’s bought many of the great big narcissi like King Alfreds and other large cultivars.  Since I always buy mostly the little ones, it will be interesting to see how the big ones do in her west side garden….which we are about halfway through mulching with cow fiber from The Planter Box.

This center bed will be full of King Alfreds.

This center bed will be full of King Alfreds.

lovely mulch

lovely mulch

and some new Carex testacea

and some new Carex testacea

Larry and Robert’s garden

Their little garden boat is starting to show some spring bloom.

19 February

19 February

7 March

7 March

BONUS:  Judy and Tom’s garden

Just down the street from us and across the street from Larry and Robert’s, we like to watch the season unfold in our friends’ garden.

6 March, as I leaned over the fence to admire..

6 March, as I leaned over the fence to admire..

7 March, new primrose pots

7 March, new primrose pots

and a fun new whirligig

and a fun new whirligig

7 March:  Today, we cleaned up Larry and Robert’s, the boatyard, and a Howerton Street garden.   Two clients have contacted us today regarding when we will get to their gardens.   As for the seven gardens….and one Long Beach park….and the very very very long and tedious beach approach garden….that we have not even been to yet…

I can only say that we will get there when we get there.  I am trying a new policy of not fretting and losing sleep over the schedule, as that does not make things go any faster.  (I joked to one of the clients that maybe someone will do us a favour and fire us! As usual, we need two fewer jobs than what we have.)

We even…gasp! stopped for an hour today and had a coffee break with Patt and Judy at Olde Towne Café.   Life is too short, as I have learned extra hard this winter from the experience of a friend and sister gardener who has cancer, to spend it all fretting about work.  I want to slow down, but have not yet figured out how without making at least some clients sad.  Who could possibly be patient as they wait for us and look at a weedy garden?  There seems to be no solution to this other than I just have to stop worrying about it.

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