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Saturday, 2 November, 2013

The predicted storm arrived around 3 AM with much bluster.  That’s only about an hour after my usual falling asleep time so I barely noticed till around 8 A.M. when loud gusts rattled a tarp in the work storage area outside my window.  I worried briefly about whether or not the power would go out and fell back asleep.

Fortunately, despite a day full of wild wind, the power did stay on for the two Ilwaco events I had been eagerly anticipating.

I had just signed up for the National Blog Posting Month on blogher.com and then realized that November 2 might be my biggest writing challenge.  Since I am running two days behind, the blog post scheduled was Halloween, which is kind of a big deal here and had generated lots of photos.   Would I fail to post on the very first day of signing onto the challenge after having missed very few days in the last several months?  No indeed.   I began my Halloween post before the first event and got about one third of the way through the photo story before heading one block down to Time Enough Books for the 1 PM book signing.

There, in the foyer, stood my dear friend (and Music in the Gardens tour organizer) Nancy Allen, frying up a batch of crab cakes.

our dear Nancy

our dear Nancy

Her spouse, Phil, had harvested the crabs that very morning off the North Jetty.

Phil, forager and gather extraordinaire

Phil, forager and gatherer extraordinaire

I heard someone comment jokingly to Nancy “They don’t like you much!” because she was relegated to the foyer.   She explained that the smell of cooking crab could not be allowed to mingle with the books in the store.

The event, a signing of the book Soup Night, by Maggie Stuckey, had drawn a good crowd.

in the bookstore

in the bookstore

Maggie Stuckey gave a brief talk about how she had found a soup night group in her Portland, Oregon neighbourhood.

I do think this photo of her is cute!

I do think this photo of her is cute!

She described seeing neighbours walking up to a house, each carrying a soup bowl and a spoon; this saves on clean up for the evening’s host.  She became inspired to write about how Soup Night groups create a sense of community.

Maggie Stuckey describing Soup Night

Maggie Stuckey describing Soup Night

Maggie researched Soup Night groups, finding them throughout the USA, and collected stories and recipes for the book.  Here in our Long Beach Peninsula area was the largest number geographically of recipe contributors.

The rest of the event was all about mingling and eating, just like a real Soup Night would be.  The soup samples were offered in bowls full, not just tiny tastes as I had expected, and two salads and the crab cakes were also part of the scrumptious fare.  Charmingly, the recipe contributors signed the books, each on the page on which their recipe appeared.

Nancy signs for her crab cakes.

Nancy signs for her crab cakes.

crab

Our friend, client, and realtor Cheri Diehl waits to get Nancy to sign.

Our friend, client, and realtor Cheri Diehl waits to get Nancy to sign.

Virginia Tackett signed the page for “Not Your Grandmother’s Green Pea Salad”.  Her name tag had the page number on which her recipe appeared, as did the tags for each of the recipe contributors.

Virginia Tackett

Virginia Tackett

signing

signing

My favourite soup was a creamed garlic and onion creation by Dennis Battles.

Dennis signs for Roasted Onion and Garlic Cream Soup

Dennis signs for Roasted Onion and Garlic Cream Soup

Local author Sydney Stevens signed for her recipe Southwestern Lentil Soup.  Delicious.  We spoke briefly about blogging when I told her I intend to read her Oysterville Daybook, about life in the small Peninsula town of Oysterville,  from the beginning to the present day this winter.  She asked me to be on the watch for any subject she might repeat herself on.  I agreed it is very hard to not repeat oneself.  For me, I am sure there is much repetition over the years as our work goes round the year in repeating cycles.

Kennette Osborn from Ocean Park was the first to sign her soup recipe (page 104), before i got the idea of photographing the signers.  Her “Surprise Beef Stew” had a wonderful twist:  It is served with cool crispy coleslaw stirred in right before eating.

I don’t want to give away that I bought two books, as someone might guess it is her Christmas present…but I did.

me and bookstore owner Karla

me and bookstore owner Karla

a warm and happy event

a warm and happy event

I hope someone in Ilwaco is inspired to start a soup night.  Preferably someone who does not live in a big fancy intimidating house (not that our town has many of those).  Oh, maybe someone on the flatlands so we could walk there!  But it would not be me;  I am not much of one for hosting inside my house as am generally too busy outside (or blogging) to make it tidy enough inside.

As we left for our next of three events, we saw a sign of the season on the OldeBob’s readerboard:

It is crab time.

It is crab time.

Over along the meader line (the variable line that divides the city from the port parking lot), a murder of crows gathered on the rough grass….

crows

and then took to the trees.

trees

We drove straight on up to Long Beach to an art show opening…

poster

where we were pleased to find Kent and Betsy Toepfer, along with Jan Richardson of Windy Meadows Pottery.  The Toepfer garden was one of my favourites on a past Music in the Gardens tour.

Jan, Allan, and the Toepfers

Jan, Allan, and the Toepfers

We had a good visit and discussed, but did not solve, some of the world’s problems.

love Betsy colourful art and Jan's little house

love Betsy’s colourful art and Jan’s little house

love the two little pigs by our friend Jean Nitzel!

love the two little pigs by our friend Jean Nitzel!

Later we learned that our neighbour (four doors down!) Judy had bought one of Jean’s “little birdie” paintings.

Back home again, we checked out how well the cosmos in the boatyard garden had held up to the wind.

Cosmos holding up very well indeed.

Cosmos holding up very well indeed.

I had another hour or so to peck away at my blog entry about Halloween, and then we were off to the 6X6 art auction at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.

6

a full house

a full house

I started the event in more of a hungry than a photographic mood, so neglected to be able to show you the tasty buffet.  Then, with loaded plate, I stood around feeling shy as most of the seats were full.  We finally pulled up an extra chair and joined Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics and local potter Karen Brownlee and her spouse, squeezing five into a table for four (at 6X6).

I attended for the amusing repartee of the auctioneers and to support the museum and also with determination to acquire another piece by Wendy Murry.  It was in the silent rather than the live auction; that could mean I would get it cheaper without the frenzy of bidding.  And yet it is fun to bid with a raised, numbered paddle, and I was sorry to not have the opportunity.

the silent auction, one of four tables

the silent auction, one of four tables

I made a low bid, and soon saw a slightly higher one, then bid again.  Then someone who I knew could far outbid me bid again.  What to do?  I wanted it very badly.  Last year I had gotten this glorious three dimensional piece by Wendy:

Sideshow by the Seashore by Wendy Murry

(that’s Wendy MURRY!)  and three years ago I got this one:

wendy

So before I could be outbid this time I decided to go for the new-this-year ‘buy it now” option.

bought it now

bought it now

Wendy's art, 2013

Wendy’s art, 2013…it is my preccciiioussss!

It is all for a great cause and I have never tired of the pleasure of owning the other two creations by Wendy.   I will economize in some other way.  Now I could relax and enjoy the live auction without having to keep crossing the room to check on my bid.  (For most of my life, I had so little disposable income that it was not until attending this event for the first time in 2010 that I even knew the difference between a live and silent auction!)

the live auction items

the live auction items

Our friend Don Nisbett’s 6×6 piece was the first in the live auction.  Bruce Peterson is the witty auctioneer and a security person protects the valuable art.

don

Crabby Before Wine by Don Nisbett

Cartwheel Kids by Normandie Hand

Cartwheel Kids by Normandie Hand; museum director Betsy Millard at right

Karla from Time Enough Books took bids on the “international phone”.  The presence of the sock monkey will become clear later.  Or maybe not.

Karla on the international phone line

Karla on the international phone line

security

security

Pepper by Renee O Connor

Pepper by Renee O’ Connor

I have bid on and miraculously won two beautiful flower tiles by Renee in previous years; the dog, while attractive, I could resist.

the poppy tile from 2011!

the poppy tile that I won in 2011!

Gray's River Road by Wally Mann

Gray’s River Road by Wally Mann

After all these beautiful small pieces had been auctioned for between $150 and $300 or so dollars each, the annual Sock Monkey picture came up on the screen.

sock monkey on a train

Night Train by Leslie Hall Lipe

All I have been able to figure out over the years is that Karla adores sock monkeys, as does her sister.  Leslie Hall Lipe does a piece of sock monkey art each year.  (This one, with the train, is actually my favourite.)  The bidding war between Karla and her sister immediately became fierce.

Night Train

Night Train

the 2012 monkey

the 2012 monkey

and the 2011 monkey

and the 2011 monkey

Karla fights for the monkey.

Karla fights for the monkey.

another bid

another bid by Karla and her monkey friend

But her sister won as the monkey art went for $750 dollars.

the crowd applauds the winner

the crowd applauds the winner

It’s just another example of the mysterious ways of the town of Ilwaco.

The silent auction continued for another half an hour.  One of my favourite pieces was two ravens by Jean Nitzel (of The Picture Attic shop in Long Beach):

ravens

It was, or they were, won by Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics.  When I saw Kelly bid on Jean’s art, I backed off and focused my attention on winning Kelly’s own piece. ( I will show it in a later post; since I was the one who acquired it, Kelly took her piece home to do a small tweak on the design that had been bothering her!  That’s the kind of connection with the artist that comes with living a few blocks apart.)   What a satisfying feeling of having supported our museum and been part of the Peninsula community all day long.   And I got home in time to finish and upload my Halloween blog post.  Sunday, rain or shine, we really must get back to work!

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Tuesday, 29 October, 2013

I awoke to white frost on the back lawn, as predicted.  All the tender plants in pots were safely in the greenhouse.  The ones that I want to save, anyway:  scented geraniums, tender salvias…

frost

frosty morning

Great, thought I, the annuals will perhaps be done in Long Beach.  I have wearied of their tired looking appearance; they have still been looking too colourful to pull as it might make shopkeepers and passersby said if I dispose of them them prematurely.

But NO!  They still look mostly wonderful.

painted sage, Agyr. 'Butterfly', nasturtium

painted sage, Agyr. ‘Butterfly’, nasturtium

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Allan cut back the Panicum ‘Heavy Metal‘ ornamental grass back in the one street tree under which it grows.  I like the name of the grass and its metallic sheen.  However, I think that to most people it probably looks weedy.

Heavy Metal grass

Heavy Metal grass

This particular tree has no working water and has to be bucket watered from a nearby planter.

The park by Marsh’s Free Museum and one of our favourite little cafés, Captain Bob’s Chowder, still looks fine.

obelisk tiles by Renee O'Connor

obelisk tiles by Renee O’Connor

The work in the frying pan park is coming along….By spring, that clam statue will spout every hour on the hour again.

park

Allan took a break from Long Beach city work and pulled Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ from the Summer House  garden while I checked the rest of the planters.  I swear I did not plant the darn hardy geranium at Summer House.  It probably had one little seedling inside another plant.

Below:  Allan stands where a rose trellis should go IF Erin (who owns this vacation rental) wants to keep the rampant climbing rose in there:

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

Then he dropped me off to tidy up the Veterans Field garden while he dumped debris.

Veterans Field garden

Veterans Field garden

still very faintly red white and blue

still very faintly red white and blue

We had an appointment at NW Financial and Insurance regarding the Affordable Care Act (which I believe will be very beneficial to us).  The main website was down again, even though it had been working all day.

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

The best thing I have read about this is:  “War is a crisis.  Poverty is a crisis.”  And then something about the computer problem being an inconvenience.  We will go back next week.  If anyone local (Southwest Washington or Northwest Oregon) needs help figuring out the Affordable Care Act paperwork, Shelly Pollock is a wonderful helper and her services are free.

We concluded our work day by pulling some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ foliage clumps and a doing a bit of weeding on the Bolstadt beach approach.

Bolstadt approach buoy

Bolstadt approach buoy

two birds

two birds

another two birds

another two birds

bird

Bolstadt beach approach garden, looking toward town

This walk is so popular with townfolk and tourists alike.  One can walk up Sid Snyder Boulevard ten blocks south, then along the boardwalk with its view of the beach and back down this street….or vice versa.

rugosa rose autumn colour

rugosa rose autumn colour

with dwarf mugo pine

with dwarf mugo pine

Something amazing happened when I pulled a weed from the easternmost Bolstadt planter….

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

The mint started to peel up just like taking up a carpet!   I was thrilled!!

before and after

before and after

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

While Allan tidied that up, I cut back a few lily stalks on the south side of city hall and observed with dismay that a purple ajuga had gone aggressively running through the whole bed.

Anyone want some purple ajuga??

Anyone want some purple ajuga??  will fix this later

Just west of city hall, reflections of sunlight fell on the sign for the upcoming new coffee shop.  I was excited to see that Pink Poppy Bakery’s logo had been added to the sign.  My ultimate loyalty still likes with Ilwaco’s Olde Towne coffee café but I will love being able to get Pink Poppy treats while working in Long Beach.

Akari Space

Akari Space

Although I could tell a great sunset was brewing, the dumping of debris had to take priority.

looking west from city hall

looking west from city hall

While at the city works yard, we could see the sunset developing.

over the water treatment plant

over the water treatment plant

With work done, we went back to Bolstadt.

Another sunset watching group had gathered on the big picnic shelter.

crows

closeup

The sunset started as a moody grey and pink one, and I thought it would continue that way.

Allan’s photos:

bird

grey

grey

grass

west of the boardwalk

buoy

my photos:

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

pink

boardwalk

boardwalk

band of colour

band of colour

Thinking it was fading, we turned to go back to town and saw the tail lights of the cars of other sunset watchers driving away….

Long Beach from the boardwalk

Long Beach from the boardwalk

One glance back and we turned to the west again as the colour suddenly intensified.

colour

bright

And then it did fade.

last

At home, I took a quick walk along Spruce and Lake Streets to check out progress in the Ilwaco flatlands Halloween preparations.

the J's house across the street

the J’s house across the street from ours

on Spruce

on Spruce

Soon would come the yearly Halloween extravaganza.

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