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Posts Tagged ‘Depot Dickens dinner’

What have we done this year for the holidays?  Not much.  I did not decorate one little bit, because I did not want to give up reading and gardening time to put up a tree and then take it down again.

Oh, but wait.  I did put out one piece of Christmas decoration, something I have had since 1977:

We have had enough seasonal festivity to make this Season’s Greetings post.  (Soon, I will catch up on the reading and gardening news for December.)

Saturday, 15 December 2018

We had our holiday dinner at the Depot Restaurant early with Our Kathleen, because her schedule would not permit her to join us on Christmas eve.  Our repast was so delicious that I must show you. Even though some people make fun of pictures of dinner, I know for a fact that some of you like that sort of thing.

bubbly, cheesy, flavourful French onion soup

the winter’s best wilted spinach salad

delicately prepared fish for Allan, with a lemony sauce

Kathleen chose the Thai calamari appetizer for her entree.

My favourite winter menu dish, the Cingiale Brasato

flan

sorbet duo

tiramisu

The Depot tree, decorated in a foodie theme, and in the window box, African daisies are still blooming

We decided to forgo our traditional Christmas crackers and exchanged presents without opening them.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

My own personal mission was to not leave my property.  However, we could not miss our holiday tradition of enjoying the Christmas Village display at the Hungry Harbor Grille in Long Beach.

a Christmas crab pot in our post office garden

On the way, we picked up more books from the library, where we found a Christmas carol gathering.

Allan’s photo

We drove to the end of the Bolstad beach approach to see how far up the massive, storm driven tide had come. Quite, far, with driftwood all the way to the picnic shelters.  Allan acquired a bundle of kelp for compost bins, stuffing it into the back of the van.

a feast day for some gulls

in the planter outside, flowers still blooming in our unusually mild winter

even bigger than usual

I imagine myself in the idyllic scene, where the snow is not slippery and where everyone likes each other.

Each building is so detailed, one could spend hours looking in the windows.  Pilgrim Pat, who first took us to see this village, used to take binoculars so that she could see the details of the far away buildings.

Below, I like the triangular building.  It reminds me of Seattle.  Behind it, by the window, it the apartment building with a roof garden which is my choice of where to live, on the top floor and with the garden as part of my domain.

Why I choose that instead of a house can only be explained by my fond memories of the year when I lived in the Gables apartments in Seattle.

The Gables would fit right into the village.  My apartment was on the second floor off the central courtyard.

Allan went outside the restaurant and, through the window, got two side views of my apartment building.

Looks like we somehow got our heavy cement curved bench up to the roof garden!

I now might rather choose to live in the new little float house:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo; it is rather exciting that the TARDIS is there.

Allan’s photo

The village harbour has a multitude of lighthouses.

Allan’s photo

the ghost ship

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley,
Ding, ding, ding went the bell…as the trolley zoomed by the fish market…

…and the Long Beach Tavern.

The Clamshell Railroad was running, too.

As darkness fell, the carnival lights came on.

one of several lodgings to stay when you visit

If you would like to watch a video that shows the trains and the trolley, click here.  It is rather noisy from other diners; just imagine that you are sitting in a popular café with a view of the village.

We dined on the pasta special and a Reuben sandwich.

Night had come by the time we left the village.

the lights of Long Beach

Allan photographed the Shelburne Hotel on our way home (with our van whiffing of salty kelp):

And he walked to the next block to get a photo of the Christmas lights at Lucy Dagger’s house:

a piratical Christmas

In the evening, I read a book about another village where (despite an alarming number of murders) life is cozy and friends are friends for life.

After that excursion, I did not have to leave the property for five blissful days. Every day is a holiday of reading, gardening, puttering, and projects.  Skooter sleeps in even later than we do….

Monday, 24 December 2018

We had the pleasure of a visit from Mary and Denny, formerly of Klipsan Beach Cottage and now easing into their retirement in their new home in nearby Naselle.  After so many years of being constantly on call at the cottage resort, Mary says she is going to have to figure out what she likes to do in all her free time.  Mary and Denny were on their way to a late afternoon Christmas Eve dinner at the Depot, and our own Dickens Christmas Eve dinner came later at 7:30 PM.

The Depot Restaurant

Dickens dinner

The glory of Yorkshire pudding

Allan tried a new menu item of spice meat balls and hummus.

Window boxes still flowering

Egg nog flan

View from our table

On the tree




We opened our presents late in the evening and now, for us, the celebration is done and we will return to gardening, puttering, reading, and projects—one of which is to catch up with a few blog posts before going on another short blogging hiatus.

 

 

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I celebrated four days at home, mostly reading with some puttering thrown in.  Allan made it out to take some photos of the very high tides:

Sunday, 21 December 2014

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9.2 “King tide” has the marinas ramped laid out straight.

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double triangle flag calls for another gale

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We did not have any fierce rain or wind during the three “king tide” days so he did not get to see the water all the way over the Jessie’s dock.

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the bench at the south end of the boat yard

In the boatyard garden, Allan found some narcissi bulbs atop the soil, and planted them.  I hope they were just missed during planting time and not dug up by critters….  If missed, though, one would think I’d have seen them before now while walking by.

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Only a few stray bulbs were evident.

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The garden had been blown and broken by the wind.

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bulb mystery

Monday, 22 December 2014

Allan took another set of 9.2 king tide photos:

the edge of the marina (the lawn where Saturday Market booths are set up in summer)

the edge of the marina (the lawn where Saturday Market booths are set up in summer)

The storm was over for part of the day; then more rain arrived.

The storm was over for part of the day; then more rain arrived.

Allan totally fooled me when he sent me this one upside down.

Allan totally fooled me when he sent me this one upside down.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

I believe that Tuesday was the day when Allan emailed me an article about the top phone apps of the year, inspiring me to acquire Waterlogue.  While I had intended to read for four days straight, I instead spent a whole lot of time altering photos with its one click instant joy.

Painted in Waterlogue

crab boats in fog, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

bringing in the catch

Painted in Waterlogue

Don Nisbett Art Gallery in snow, Dec 2009, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

Waterlogued Jessie’s, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

King tide with blue sky, Allan’s photo

water

Meanwhile, a Christmas package had arrived from Montana Mary.  She advised, via email, that I open the box as some items were perishable.

goodies

delectable little pie cookies from Mary

delectable little pie cookies from Mary

At dusk, Allan noticed an interesting, rain inspired fungus on our gate.  I’ll get a better photo in brighter daylight:

dusk

Many Christmas cards had begun to accrue on our kitchen shelves.  Here are some of our favourites of this year.

A star from Gwyneth in Texas, next to a Christmas horse from Montana Mary.  I love that beautiful horse.

A star from Gwyneth in Texas, next to a Christmas horse from Montana Mary. I love that beautiful horse.

The star card opened up into a burst of beauty:

star2

star3

a fuzzy critter from Minnesota Marilyn, whom I met many years ago at Mediawestcon, a midwest science fiction convention.

a fuzzy critter from Minnesota Marilyn, whom I met many years ago at Mediawestcon, a midwest science fiction convention.

From Maggie and Susan, Seattleites whom I also met via the SF convention rounds.

From Maggie and Susan, Seattleites whom I also met via the SF convention rounds.

from Allan's friend Joyce, a manager from way back when he worked as an assembler of bikes and toys at Fred Meyers all around the NW.

from Allan’s friend Joyce, a manager from way back when he worked as an assembler of bikes and toys at Fred Meyers all around the NW.

and from our local friends Artist Don Nisbett and Queen La De Da

and from our local friends Artist Don Nisbett and Queen La De Da

I’m pleased to have about twenty friends who still send cards the old fashioned way.

this year's card display (with the year round clothes-pinned card display above)

this year’s card display (with the year round clothes-pinned card display above)

During the evenings, we were watching the final and not very holiday-ish season of True Blood.  No Christmas movies were part of our viewing fare this year.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Around midday, Garden Tour Nancy’s husband, Phil, appeared with a bag of Christmas gifts.  He knocked so quietly that I did not hear but I caught him at his Santa rounds when I heard the front gate click as he was leaving.

Phil,  playing Santa

Phil, playing Santa

The next day, Nancy informed me that Phil liked our sun porch decorations (which are many).  At this time of year, the best is our wreath, made by Jenna (Queen La De Da).

wreath

Nancy texted me that I should open the perishable part of the present.  I was delighted to find eggs from her flock.

Waterlogue: eggs from the girls

Waterlogue: eggs from the girls

All day, torrential rain fell, which made me happy as it saved me from the urge to weed.

north window view

north window view

We would open presents in the evening.  As soon as staycation begins, our night owl tendencies completely take over so we pretty much do not have mornings at all.

the tree

the tree

prez

The cards and the sight of presents under the tree was a warm reminder of true friends old and new.

Allan and I began the gift extravaganza by opening our Christmas crackers. and putting on our paper crowns.  You can read all about Christmas crackers here, where I learned that the wearing of hats at parties “dates back to the Roman Saturnalia”.

Allan, having already opened his, demonstrates the pulling apart of the Christmas cracker.

Allan, having already opened his, demonstrates the pulling apart of the Christmas cracker.

I had done an ace job of camouflaging Allan’s present’s distinctive flat, hard shape by enclosing it in two pillows.  He was mystified and thought it must be something like a puffy down jacket.

It was large and soft.

It was large and soft.

prez

"The pillows aren't part of the present, are they?" he said.

“The pillows aren’t part of the present, are they?” he said.

I had commissioned a painting by our friend, local painter Don Nisbett, of Allan in his kayak.

I had commissioned a painting by our friend, local painter Don Nisbett, of Allan in his kayak.

I’d sent Don photos of the boat from the boat manufacturer website, and photos that Allan had taken on one of his river boating trips.  Here are the photos he had for reference:

boat

river

and the painting that he came up with:

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IMG_7225

IMG_7227

 We went on then to the rest of the prezzies.

some of the books that came from Allan to me, and from Garden Tour Nancy and from Kathleen.

some of the books that came from Allan to me, and from Garden Tour Nancy and from Kathleen.

I was happily carried back to childhood memories when the best Christmas presents were the books piled under the tree (usually horse stories back then!)  In the lower right, above, you can see a hint of a bag of comfy white socks, which is something I always ask Allan for.  He also surprised me with a new pair of SAS shoes as a year of constant wear had worn a small hole in mine.

My friend Montana Mary knows me well after almost fifty years of friendship.

My friend Montana Mary knows me well after almost fifty years of friendship.

a beautiful book from Kathleen, along with Robert Pyle's Wintergreen for Allan.

a beautiful book from Kathleen, along with Robert Pyle’s Wintergreen for Allan.

books and preserves from Garden Tour Nancy

books and preserves from Garden Tour Nancy

and you can guess whose card had a chicken theme!

and you can guess whose card had a chicken theme!

garden tool ornaments from Don and Jenna

garden tool ornaments from Don and Jenna

flowered kitchen bottles from Lisa and Buzz

flowered kitchen bottles from Lisa and Buzz

We got warm down vests from KBC Mary and Denny and a wealth of chocolates, cocoa, tea, and other treats mixed in with all the assorted presents.  (We’d already been snacking all week on a crackers and cheese gift from Allan’s Seattle-based brother and a selection of “Joy Cups”, organic peanut butter cup style candies from his aunt and uncle.)

Allan made a Christmas eve dinner with savoury chicken, mashed garden potatoes, salad and veg and jellied cranberry sauce from a can (the best kind, in my opinion!)

dinner

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Before I was even awake, Allan set off on an excursion to satisfy his curiosity about what the big pile of dredge spoils on the south side of marina actually looks like close up.

Here's what the pile looked like from the south end of Elizabeth Avenue in Sept. 2012

Here’s what the pile looked like from the south end of Elizabeth Avenue in Sept. 2012

the dredge working to keep the channel open

the dredge working to keep the channel open, taken in November

from our local paper, showing how the dredge places the mud

from our local paper, showing how the dredge places the mud

looking back toward the marina from atop the dredge pile

looking back toward the marina from atop the dredge pile

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Nothing beautiful can be done with this as dredgings keep getting added to it over the years.

Nothing beautiful can be done with this as dredging spoils keep getting added to it over the years.

west2

panorama made in camera

He noticed that the house on Yellow Bluff on the east end of town is getting disconcertingly close to the edge; I have heard that it has lost part of its lawn slowly over years of winter storms.  At low tide, you can walk a rocky beach along the base of the bluff.

DSC00245_2

This telephoto may show the house looking closer to the edge than it actually is. What a view!

It was a muddy rather than a white Christmas morning for Allan.

When he got home, I was in the middle of my coffee and a light breakfast.  We would be having an early Christmas dinner at the Depot.

I had a look at the windblown and weedy front garden…

garden

and was saved from a couple of hours of gardening by several squalls of drenching rain.

I wanted to get a better photo of the fungus on the front arbour:

There's a reason why I call my Canon camera "Spot".

There’s a reason why I call my Canon camera “Spot”.

mushrooms

Allan's photo, taken with "Spot"

Allan’s photo, taken with “Spot”

and given the Waterlogue treatment

and given the Waterlogue treatment

I was surprised when the photos revealed the fungus to be a trio of upside down mushrooms.  It has been wet around here.

During the day, a local friend took a photo of the beach version of a white Christmas:

photo by Wendy Murry of Avery cavorting in sea foam

guest photo by Wendy Murry of Avery cavorting in sea foam on Christmas day

We met J9 at the Depot for the traditional Christmas Dickens dinner (which is usually held on Christmas eve).  I was glad it had been changed to Christmas day this year, because last night J9 was doing a show on KMUN radio in Astoria.  She is a woman of many hats:  occupational therapy, restaurant service, party helper, and community radio programmer.

The Depot Restaurant

The Depot Restaurant

the Depot culinary-themed tree

the Depot culinary-themed tree

view from our table with Server of the Year Don gliding swiftly

view from our table with Server of the Year Don gliding swiftly

wreath hung on the original door to the train depot

wreath hung on the original door to the train depot

diners at the bar

diners at the bar

We pulled three Christmas crackers and put on our gold paper crowns.

We pulled three Christmas crackers and put on our gold paper crowns.

Each Christmas cracker has a little gift inside along with the crown and a riddle.  Because the crackers were part of J9’s Christmas present, it was particularly cosmic that one gift was a wine stopper with a star on top, as she collects moon and star motifs.  Even more cosmically, another tiny gift was a small heart necklace which fit perfectly with her Christmas gift.

J9 opening her present

J9 opening her present

On a bedside table during last fall’s Cannon Beach Cottage Tour, I’d seen a little picture book called Heart Stones and knew that it would be perfect for J9.  Her daddy collected stones with heart shapes, and when she gardened with me for a few months, she would often find them and say “There’s a daddy rock.”  Now whenever I find a daddy rock, I snag it for her.

the book, and a daddy rock we recently found, and a heart pendant.

We had ordered her the book, and added a daddy rock we recently found; the heart pendant was the perfect addition.

She and I ordered the Dickens dinner: beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts with bacon. J9 asked for an end piece and got enough to make tonight’s dinner, and tomorrow’s and the next day’s.

food

J9’s dinner(s)

Allan chose the filet mignon.

Allan chose the filet mignon.

Allan and I had delicate eggnog flan for dessert.

Allan and I had delicate eggnog flan for dessert.

and J9 had blackberry bread pudding, which cried out to be "painted in Waterlogue"

and J9 had blackberry bread pudding, which cried out to be “painted in Waterlogue”

As we departed, I examined the window box annuals which will not die and which are now joined by emerging bulb foliage.

Depot windowbox from inside

Depot window box from inside

We drove home through light rain past one especially well lit house in mostly dark Seaview.

only one half of the house, the other half being washed out by a bright security light

only one half of the house, the other half being washed out by a bright security light

We’ve bowed out (at least semi-gracefully, we hope) of a big party tomorrow evening in order to recuperate from our holiday extravaganza.

Today on Facebook, I read a Christmas greeting that says it all to me, from Beth in the upriver town of Skamakowa:

Wishing everyone a looong weekend of peace or noise; family, friends, or solitude; religious and/or cultural celebrations, or none at all; abundant, good food and whatever else brings you joy.

Be patient with the Stupid.
Be careful on the roads.
Be gentle with people who have to work while the rest of us relax.

Happy (awkwardMashUpOfHolidayNames) everyone!

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