Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Don Nisbett’

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Because I wanted the Astoria Pride Parade to stand alone, I’ve split this day into three parts.

After the parade, Allan and I wanted to stay in Astoria to attend at least a few moments of an early evening art event.  We dined at the Blue Scorcher Café.  Next door, at the Fort George Brewery, I admired the garden.

DSC00280

Blue Scorcher Café

Fort George Brewery deck and garden (Allan’s photo)


Blue Scorcher

Blue Scorcher

DSC00284

DSC00282

I saw what I wanted and got the last piece, after the folks in front of us placed their order.


on our table

on our table


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


ginger tea cake

ginger tea cake


and fajita style taco

and fajita style taco

When we had finished our meal, we saw locally famous wild food forager Veronica Williams, the “mushroom queen“, enter the café, so when she had taken a seat, we joined her.

Veronica's meal

Veronica’s meal


Veronica Williams

Veronica Williams

Veronica, age 85, had been gathering wild berries this very morning….6-7 weeks after a hip replacement.  She was instrumental in popularizing the delicious wild foraged sea beans among the local restaurateurs after being taught about them by a local Native American woman from whom she had bought some baskets.

Veronica is a font of wisdom about wild foods.

Veronica is a font of wisdom about wild foods.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


in the Blue Scorcher Café

in the Blue Scorcher Café


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

After our meal, we did a bit of shopping at the nearby Astoria Co-op.  If we lived in Astoria, we’d be members and shop there frequently.  It reminds me of Puget Consumers Co-op in Seattle, before it got big.

borrowed from the Co-op Facebook page

borrowed from the Astoria Co-op Facebook page


the garden outside

the garden outside


the wall garden at the Astoria Co-op

the wall garden at the Astoria Co-op

I could not resist buying a very few plants, mostly because of their names.

DSC00301

got one even though I don't like zukes!

got one even though I don’t like zukes!


could not resist

could not resist

If you bring a grocery bag, the co-op gives you a bean, and when you donate it to one of three charities in a jar outside, a nickel per bean gets donated to the charity of your choice.  We picked the North Coast Food Web.

DSC00307

Allan helped another shopper donate a bean.

Allan helped another shopper donate a bean.

As we walked back to our van, I saw a room I would like to write in:

Can you see the tower room?

Can you see the tower room?


a plaque by the sidewalk

a plaque by the sidewalk

We had managed to linger till almost five in order to go to the art event, so we strolled back downtown.

trolley art in a window

trolley art in a window


more planter admiration and more reflection on how these are not very sittable because of the narrow edge.

more planter admiration and more reflection on how these are not very sittable because of the narrow edge.


Old Town Framing Company

Old Town Framing Company


Old Town Framing Company was featuring art by our dear friend, Ilwaco's Don Nisbett.

Old Town Framing Company was featuring art by our dear friend, Ilwaco’s Don Nisbett.


me and our Jenna (Don's spouse, Queen LaDeDa)

me and our Jenna (Don’s spouse, Queen LaDeDa) and Don’s rainbow art on a t shirt

Don had created the rainbow fish art especially for Astoria Pride weekend.

Don and Jenna

Don and Jenna


Don, Dulcye Taylor (art gallery owner) and Jenna

Don, Dulcye Taylor (art gallery owner) and Jenna


Don Nisbett and rainbow fish for Astoria Pride

Don Nisbett and rainbow fish for Astoria Pride


people taking pictures of each other

people taking pictures of each other


Jenna and Don

Jenna and Don

We did not take in the rest of the Art Walk galleries as I was simply tired.  Even though it had been hard to leave my garden this morning and spend the day “overseas”, I felt awfully glad that I had.

At home, even Calvin and Frosty had a rare moment of unity.

I post this blurry 1 AM photo just to prove it can happen.

I post this blurry 1 AM photo just to prove it can happen.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

June 11: Another day of puttering.  Picked strawberries in a misty rain—got another 8 Sealameal bags for the freezer.  Sorted the various boxes I brought up from the garage sale.

The Jazz lost—MJ 3 pointer with seconds left in the game.

1997 (age 74):

June 11:  11:00 to 4:45  Another good day’s work.  I worked in the shop dumping the trays of planted seeds that didn’t germinate—most of them were old seeds.  Then I started on plants on patio—mainly so I can get the saw horses to move the tomatoes out of greenhouse.  I put several dianthus in large bowl.  Planted some other plants in tam area.  After dinner I planted more seeds until 9:00.

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 27 September 2015

While I puttered in the garden at home, Allan did about three hours of weeding at the Ilwaco Community Building garden.

entry garden, before and after

entry garden, before and after (minus a haze of tiny weeds)

cyclamen in the entry garden

cyclamen in the entry garden

Afterward, he picked up some alpine strawberries for Our Kathleen, from a garden where we used to weed on School Hill.  We had given it up when it became difficult for me to work on the steep slope.  Now it is in the care of Flowering Hedge Design with occasional help from Sea Star Gardening (our dear friends Melissa and Dave).  Allan knew I would be pleased to see Ann’s garden (in photographs) so well mulched and weeded.

The neighbour cats were at play.

The neighbour cats were at play.

a well cared for garden

a well cared for garden

three bags of alpine strawberries, one for Kathleen.

three bags of alpine strawberries, one for Kathleen.

Meanwhile, I’d been weeding and transplanting astilbes from dry areas to damper areas, and removing a large bronze fennel.

The spiders are enjoying the new arbour.

The spiders are enjoying the new arbour.

Here's the view WITH the fennel on Sept. 7th.

Here’s the view WITH the fennel on Sept. 7th.

and today with it gone.

and today with it gone.

Maybe I have opened up the view in a way that will make walking down the west side path more enticing.

I spent most of the afternoon fretting about the weather, checking various wind forecasts.  We had plans for an evening campfire with Dave and Melissa and yet the wind was gusting at 20 mph.  When Allan got home, he agreed it was too windy and we canceled the campfire dinner.

Imagine the trees whipping back and forth.

Imagine the trees whipping back and forth.

I went indoors to read, continuing my plan to not boot up the computer till the end of the long weekend…except for the irresistable peeks onto Facebook from my phone.  I already felt disgruntled when the wind died completely at dusk, and to make matters worse when I did go online from my phone, I found that there had been a “supermoon eclipse”.  My newsfeed was full of photos of a big red moon.  What a maddening result of (mostly) staying off the internet for a couple of days.  I had been quite in the dark about the big event (and Allan had an inkling, but forgot).  Now wouldn’t it have been nice to have had that campfire and been surprised by a big red moon (even though we would not have seen the eclipse from our tree-surrounded fire circle)?  I finished my book and ended the day in a grumpy mood with a viewing of an episode of the never-cheering Fear the Walking Dead.

Monday, 28 September 2015

I simply had to shake off the “I missed the eclipse!” malaise.  Allan had plans for a boating excursion.  Beforehand, we went to NIVA green to acquire a couple of birthday presents for two friends.  (This meant I have to leave my property not once but twice on the long weekend!)

Heather’s shop, our favourite, had a collection of old postcards, some with writing on the back, and I got one for myself that I found especially touching.

the postcard

the postcard

and the back of the postcard, with the story of a dream

and the back of the postcard, with the story of a dream

She writes to her mother and sisters: “I dreamed about all of you last night.  Thought I was there and you and I had arranged about a table you found in the attic.  I didn’t want you to put it there (ha ha).” I wish I could decipher the part where she writes “…I don’t have anything from you..”  Something about the postcard made me feel all verklempt, not in a bad way, just in the way of savoring human contact in the same way that I feel when I read room journals at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

I bought myself another little present, too...

I bought myself another little present, too…I won’t wear these spider earrings around Melissa!

After driving me back home, Allan went off boating (next post) and I gardened.  I was outraged to find that the deer had been inside the new arbour eating my new Joseph’s Coat rose.

much nibbled foliage!

much nibbled foliage!

I knew they COULD easily jump the front fence…and yet had hoped they would be creatures of habit (the habit of walking through the area where the new arbour now blocks them) and not go to that extreme.  Now more deer proofing would be necessary.  I have enough deer in my gardens at work; I want to keep them out at home.

We can run wires between these two posts.

We can run wires between this post and the new arbour to the west..

We can put a post in the corner and run more wires.

We can put a post in the east corner and run more wires.

But what can we do about the short gate??

But what can we do about the short gate??

While pondering that, I took some photos of a shrub that I cannot identify.  Nor could Todd.

an angular evergreen shrub

an angular evergreen shrub

It has white and grey berries.

It has white and grey berries.  (That’s a melianthus leaf intruding.)

I am going to post this on the Plant Idents group.

I am going to post this on the Plant Idents group.

A mere ten minutes later, Ian Barclay writes:  “Hymenanthera angustifolia, aka Melicytus angustifolius”.  Thank you!

In the afternoon, Debbie and her dog Ralph came over to get some divisions of plants for the Master Gardener fall plant sale.  I gave her some large Fuchsia magellanica pieces from one that keeps coming back in the wrong place in my garden (a bed that went from shade to sun when we cut down a big old rhododendron to get a view of Cape Disappointment’s hills).

Debbie and Ralph wheeling the fuchsia.

Debbie and Ralph wheeling the fuchsia.

I did not have my camera at hand till the end of the visit, so you will have to take my word that Ralph greatly enjoyed the garden.

my good friend Ralph

my good friend Ralph

After loading up the fuchsia, some sanguisorbas, some pink turtlehead, some astilbes, and plenty of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Debbie and I had a good visit leaning up against the front fence.

Later, I even sat down for awhile on the patio.

Later, I even sat down for awhile on the patio.

Ironically, after the cancellation of yesterday’s campfire due to the wind that maddeningly died down at dusk, today gave us perfect weather.  When Allan returned from boating we decided to go ahead and have a fire on our own and have another one next weekend with Dave, Melissa and Our Kathleen (weather permitting).

sunset sky

sunset sky to the west

and to the southwest over the port

and to the southwest over the port and Cape Disappointment

a nice fire

a nice fire

gathering kindling (Allan's photo)

gathering kindling (Allan’s photo)

Smokey got his own chair.

Smokey got his own chair.

We got our full moonrise over the east side of the garden.

We got our full moonrise over the east side of the garden.

Allan's photo: The moon at the end of Lake Street had a pink hue.

Allan’s photo: The moon at the end of Lake Street had a pink hue.  “Pink, pink, pink, pink moon.”

Allan's photo, one block east.

Allan’s photo, one block east.

Allan's photo, Lake Street moon

Allan’s photo, Lake Street moon

Allan's photo: moon over the work trailer!

Allan’s photo: moon over the work trailer!

and roasted our ears of corn in foil with butter, salt and pepper.

We roasted our ears of corn in foil with butter, salt and pepper.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Just for fun, I had posted some fire photos on Facebook and tagged Ilwaco artist Don Nisbett who had commented a few weeks ago that he’d like to smoke a cigar by our camp fire.  To our delight, he arrived as the fire was dying down, and proceeded to puff a fragrant cigar (and I do mean that it smelled good).  We had plenty of wood and built the fire up again.

Don by the fire

Don by the fire

Don and Allan

Don and Allan

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

moon over the gearshed

moon over the gearshed

campfire and moon

campfire and moon

We sat around talking for almost three hours and it more than made up for having missed the moon and fire the previous evening.

Before leaving, Don showed Allan the details in the Nisbett tiles that we have in our kitchen, depicting the Port of Ilwaco.

Before leaving, Don showed Allan the details in the Nisbett tiles that we have in our kitchen, depicting the Port of Ilwaco.

Next:  Allan’s Monday paddle of the Surfside canals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

December 2014

Allan’s first staycation project, which I thought some of you might enjoy seeing, began in December when I bought a toaster oven and then realized we had no good place to put it.  We searched local anitque stores to no avail for the perfect piece of kitchen furniture before we realized we had one right at home in the winter-messy plant storage area outside.

Testing: Yes, the microwave and oven both fit.

December 1:  Testing: Yes, the microwave and oven both fit.

December 4: It's in Allan's shop

December 4: It’s in Allan’s shop with a new top made from fence top trimmings we saved from a friend’s burn pile.

tiling the top to make it more toaster oven safe; tiles left over from my Seattle house

tiling the top to make it more toaster oven safe; tiles left over from my Seattle house

all done and drying

all done and drying

by mid December, in the kitchen with a tiled and wider top

by mid December, in the kitchen with a tiled and wider top

January 2015

The bigger project took place in January when we were not as distracted by holiday events.  I had had a sudden brainstorm about the silly little buffet shelf or whatchamacallit that wrapped around the counter behind the stove.  It might have been a nice place to have breakfast with a view of the garden, but in the darkest part of the house with no view at all it had just become a clutter depository.

January 2nd, the old wraparound shelf with massive clutter

January 2nd, the old wraparound shelf with massive clutter

The most useful part of the underneath was a space for our shoe driers.

The most useful part of the underneath was a space for our shoe driers.

I moved my shoe and boot clutter into my own closet and repurposed the white shelf, painted green, as a table by my living room chair.  It has sentimental value to me, as it was made by my old friend Montana Mary‘s mother.

the end of the curve-around shelf

the end of the curve-around shelf

Allan supported the shelf with various things while he got ready to tear it out.

ready to go

ready to go, supported by buckets and bits of wood

On January 2nd, out it goes.

On January 2nd, out it goes.

gone

gone

and in go some pre-made cupboards.

and in go some pre-made cupboards.

DSC00333

For a few days, it stayed like this as he was working on the top out in his shed.

For a few days, it stayed like this as he was working on the top out in his shed.

pieces clamped together in the shed

pieces clamped together in the shed to add a veneer to the sides. The shorter cupboards also had to be made taller.

staining the doors

staining the doors

back in the kitchen, raising the smaller cupboards to be even

back in the kitchen, raising the smaller cupboards to be even

installing the new plywood top

installing the new plywood top

laying out the tile

with the drawers and doors installed, laying out the tile

I had enough blue tile left over from my Seattle house to do the top of the new cupboards and the top of the microwave table.  I’d had that box of tile down here since 1992, and I knew it would come in handy some day.

The end cupboards would not get to have doors as they ended up being the space for the shoe driers and cat food box.

grouting

grouting and laying in decorative tiles

We had a tile (second from left) of Astoria from a Sunday Market artist, and Allan went to the Don Nisbett Art Gallery for four more art tiles, including a triptych of the Port of Ilwaco.

grouting

grouting

done1

done2

With the counter done and everything put away in new drawers and behind cupboard doors, it all looks so nice and tidy, and I intend to keep it that way.

IMG_8064

Wednesday, 14 January, 2015

With the project done, Allan rewarded himself with a sail on Black Lake.  Those of you who made it this far can join the reward via his photos.

Black Lake Yacht Club

Black Lake Yacht Club

dock

waterbird with the cheap little pocket cam

waterbird with the cheap little pocket cam

Houses overlook the lake on one side only.

Houses overlook the lake on the west side only.

DSC00402_4

the north end of the lake

the north end of the lake

DSC00421_3

DSC00436_3

west side

west side

Most of rest of Allan’s non recreational staycation time would be spent doing paperwork for taxes, not the sort of project that leads to the satisfaction of seeing nice new cupboards in the kitchen.  It already feels like staycation is going to end too soon.  (By my age, my mother had already been retired for five years.  We are not there yet.)

Read Full Post »

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

DSC00199

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

DSC00200

double triangle flag calls for another gale

DSC00203

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.

DSC00211

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.

DSC00213

Only a few stray bulbs were evident.

DSC00214

The garden had been blown and broken by the wind.

DSC00212

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:

IMG_7204

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

DSC00238

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!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ee1/11835863/files/2014/12/img_7262.jpg

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 19 December 2013

High on our agenda for holiday rituals is the annual visit to the Hungry Harbor Grille and their holiday village.

last week's early peek

last week’s early peek

After dark on Thursday, Allan and I went (as we often do) to Mexican dinner tonight there (every Thursday in winter) and spend a good long while perusing every little building.  I think Allan heard there are 117 now!  Many of them are painted with the names of local businesses.

list

Queen La De Da's ship

Queen La De Da’s ship

Jessie's Ilwaco Fish Co

Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co

Jessie's

Jessie’s

Neptune Theatre

Neptune Theatre (Long Beach)

The real Chen's, in Long Beach, is not this pretty but the food is good.

The real Chen’s, in Long Beach, is not this pretty but the food is good.

Sid's Groceries (Seaview)

Sid’s Grocery (Seaview)

Dairy-Aire delivered milk up till they retired about a year ago.

Dairy-Aire delivered milk up till they retired about a year ago.

Dennis Company (Long Beach)

Dennis Company (Long Beach)

Cottage Bakery (Long Beach)

Cottage Bakery (Long Beach)

Hungry Harbor

Hungry Harbor…and a knitting shop that could be Tapestry Rose.

knit

knit

It could be the Purly Shell knitting shop, which is soon to open (in real life) at the Port of Ilwaco.

our local newspaper

Our local newspaper is represented by a newstand.

one of our several realtors

one of our several realtors

beloved local artist Don Nisbett (Ilwaco)

beloved local artist Don Nisbett (Ilwaco)

Oman and Son Hardware (Long Beach)

Oman and Son Hardware (Long Beach)

I can mentally lose myself in the streets of the village, and sometimes at this time of year when falling asleep I will imagine living there.

Let’s just walk around, starting at the harbour.  The only time I like walking in snow is when it is all fluffy and non slippery, having just fallen.  Clearly, the village is gently coated in just that kind of snow.

light

lighthouse

santa

I hear the barking of the seals.

I hear the barking of the seals.

I do love walking along the harbour and looking at the boats.

Whale Watching Tour Boat

Whale Watching Tour Boat

whale

Harbor Ferry

Harbor Ferry

ferry

ferry

ferry

Bessie

Bessie

boat

the haunted shipwreck

the haunted shipwreck

another lighthouse

another lighthouse

How did we get a haunted shipwreck with so many lighthouses?

How did we get a haunted shipwreck with so many lighthouses?

Whale Point Lighthouse B&B...

Whale Point Lighthouse B&B…

...and guests

…and guests

North Head Lighthouse (Ilwaco)

North Head Lighthouse (Ilwaco)

Bay Boatworks

Bay Boat Works

The wind is cold down on the harbour so let’s walk up into town.

overview

train

Uh oh, our little scenic train has derailed (and no one can reach in far enough to right it!)

The Clamshell Railroad depot

The Clamshell Railroad depot

The Clamshell Railroad seems to be living up to its reputation as the “Irregular, Ramblin’ and Never-get-there Railroad”.

also near the train station, The Nottingham Hotel is convenient for stranded travelers.

also near the train station, The Nottingham Hotel is convenient for stranded travelers.

Fortunately, we can cover the whole village on foot.  There are very few cars on the peaceful streets.  As you will see, the village has many places we could stop for dinner.

The Lobster Hut Restaurant

The Lobster Hut Restaurant

Whale Tale Pub and Inn

Whale Tale Pub and Inn

pub

pub

Whale Tale

specials

whales

Brew House

Brew House

The Hungry Harbor

The Hungry Harbor, of course!

tables

Plogmann's Tavern

Plogmann’s Tavern

I always wonder if someone misspelled “Ploughman’s” Tavern.  This is my village watering hole.  It is idyllically like The Rover’s Return on Coronation Street.

We can see our friends in there waiting for us.

We can see our friends in there waiting for us.

friends

Earlier, we would have begun our day at the coffee shop (Olde Towne, of course).

My daily hangout.

My daily hangout.

I like a coffee shop that is open in evening...Have not had one of those since leaving Seattle.

I like a coffee shop that is open in evening…Have not had one of those since leaving Seattle.

nearby, a purveyor of fine chocolates

nearby, a purveyor of fine chocolates

I wonder if Allan decided to open a garage?

I wonder if Allan decided to open a garage?

In my dream village, I have a bookish niece to treat with books and toys.

In my dream village, I have a bookish niece to treat with books and toys.

toys

toys

You would think that I’d choose one of the houses, with grounds, for my dream place to live in the village.  Instead, the place that calls to me the most every year is the top floor of this apartment building:

my village home

my village home; I have the top floor and the roof garden!

side view of my building

side view of my building

coffee

The coffee shop is conveniently located near my apartment building, which reminds me of The Gables on Capitol Hill in Seattle, where I had a beautiful old one bedroom apartment in 1975.  (The best apartment was the old ballroom, with skylights, on the fourth floor._

on the second floor, with many big windows running all the way down the center courtyard...

on the second floor, with many big windows running all the way down the center courtyard…

I left here only because I wanted a house with a garden.

I left here only because I wanted to try out communal living.  Bad decision!

But…back to the village.  I wouldn’t say no to this house (below); its stonework reminds me of the previous Tangly Cottage when we lived over behind the boatyard.

my other house in the village!

my other house in the village!

or perhaps this one!

or perhaps this one!

I'd have this in my garden.

I’d have this in my garden.

my greenhouse

my greenhouse

Here's the village version of The Basket Case Nursery.

Here’s the village version of The Basket Case Greenhouse (but open year round)

flowers

I still would have the same job taking care of parks and gardens.

I still would have the same job taking care of parks and gardens.

Windmill Park

Windmill Park

This would be one of my gardening jobs.

This would be one of my gardening jobs.

Let’s stroll through the covered bridges and explore more of the village streets.

Let's walk through the covered bridge and look at some more houses.

bridges

bridge

still walking along...

still walking along…

The Post Office

The Post Office

housecats

two

Towers abound in the village.

I love the house with the towers, but even in the dreamy village it is out of my price range.

I love the house with the towers, but even in the dreamy village it is out of my price range.

a pretty house with a tower

a pretty house with a tower

Business are mixed with residences throughout most of the village.

pets

I can guarantee the pet shop sells pet supplies, not animals.

I can guarantee the pet shop sells pet supplies, not animals.

Precious Pet Store

Precious Pet Store

The owner of the pet store lives by the shop with her dog(s) and cat(s).

Precious Pet Store residence window.

the school

the school

The Fire Station

The Fire Station

firestation

The Bank

The Bank

Christmas tree sales

Christmas tree sales

garbage

Village Square Library

Village Square Library

a grand house

a grand house

house

apartment building

apartment building

Oh….look…THIS is my perfect little dream house, luring me to move out of the roof garden apartment that I have loved up until now; the gate is even open to welcome us.

my house

my house

nearby, a treehouse

nearby, a treehouse

We’re at the base of the hill now.

hill

It’s lovely to have a farm within walking distance.

barn

pigs

At the top of one hill is the dairy where Dairy-Aire gets milk and cheese.

dairy

farm

coop

Chicken Coop Produce

information about hiking trails up in the hills

information about hiking trails up in the hills

winter camping, fly fishing tours

winter camping, fly fishing tours

and a Sauna to warm up in?

and a Sauna to warm up in?

Church Hill

Church Hill

and the Creator

and the Creator

I’ve emerged from the dream of walking through the village, but I can return there in my mind anytime I want to, and, happily, I live in a village that is in many ways similar.  

Most of the village buildings are from Department 56.

The Hungry Harbor Grille is in downtown Long Beach, Washington at 313 Pacific Highway South.  Every year, the holiday village appears right after Thanksgiving weekend.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday July 17th

Ah, the view from my window with no time to walk out into the garden except to water the tomatoes in the greenhouse…

screened window view

screened window view

I started the day in a saddish mood because my friends Sheila and Harold had been going to come stay at Andersen’s RV Park for five nights so that Sheila could attend the garden tour. A friend of theirs was ill and needed their help (because they are the best kind of caring neighbours) so she thought she would not be able to attend after all. I had a brainstorm that maybe Sheila could come on her own for two nights; she agreed it was doable and Harold could check up on their dear neighbour, and I was able to find her a room in a motel just a couple of blocks from my house. Joy! (We are all getting older and less inclined to crash on a friend’s living room floor or couch.)

Our first mission was to drive half an hour or so north to Marilyn’s garden in Surfside and mow her lawn. This is normally not our job but we wanted to make sure it got done in time and also by mowing it ourselves we could be assured the lawn mower would not spray grass all into the garden beds at the last minute before the tour. That often happens and would be a traumatic surprise to find on tour day.

mowing a tiny lawn with a small electric mower

Allan mowing a tiny lawn with a small electric mower

By doing the lawn ourselves, we also could make a nice arced pattern, not that it would last till the weekend. I started out mowing lawns on the Peninsula and enjoyed making attractive patterns.

one sad Dianthus

one sad Dianthus

The very last of the plants affected by the Round Up fiasco got pulled out. It never did recover and I had left it as long as I could. It pulled my eye right to its sad condition. Maybe I can revive it at home. I replaced it with a fresh new Dianthus that I had with my which had been intended for Andersen’s RV Park.

We deadheaded the Cosmos to make sure they had as many beautiful blossoms as possible on tour day.

Cosmos

Cosmos

Then we weeded and deadheaded at the Wiegardt Gallery…

Wiegardt Gallery, looking south from the parking lot

Wiegardt Gallery, looking south from the parking lot

and Klipsan Beach Cottages, where Riley wanted to be in the picture.

Riley and the driveway garden

Riley and the driveway garden

in the fenced garden

in the fenced garden

an eccentric elephant garlic

an eccentric elephant garlic

sit spot, with the Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' FINALLY big enough to see behind the bench.

sit spot, with the Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ FINALLY big enough to see behind the bench.

Next, Andersen’s RV Park. With Sheila not staying there after all, we did not spend as much time as we might have otherwise (imagining her checking out every single garden bed!), and that turned out to be a very good thing.

a different view of the picket fence garden (looking north from center gate)

a different view of the picket fence garden (looking north from inside center gate)

picket fence garden, looking south from inside center gate

picket fence garden, looking south from inside center gate

lilies and alliums in the picket fence garden

lilies and alliums in the picket fence garden

west side garden

west side garden

Poppies in the west side garden

Poppies in the west side garden

After six, we headed down to Long Beach where, as we drove south through town, I noticed with a feeling of doom that a painted sage looked wilted in one of the northernmost planters. The further into town we got, the more I noticed subtle signs of distress in the planters and I realized that we absolutely had to water them even though we still had a bit of essential watering to do in Ilwaco, as well. It would have worked to wait till the next morning (although they would be a bit more distressed by then) but I had scheduled a Peninsula Cash Mob event for The Planter Box garden center and we would have to be there by eleven fifteen to take photos for the Facebook page. By noon, the planters would really have their tongues hanging out…so we started watering at six thirty PM, soaking each planter thoroughly and spraying down the foliage as well.

distress at the base of the Salvia viridis!

distress at the base of the Salvia viridis!

At the top, most of the planters still looked good…

looking happy across from Home at the Beach

looking happy across from Home at the Beach

but by looking down into the plants, I could see that they were thirsty.

inside

inside

My plant to water Tuesday and Thursday is the one I should have stuck to. By waiting till Wednesday, we would have to water again on Friday. This filled me with woe because I wanted to be done early on Friday to visit with Kathleen and Debbie who both were arriving from points north for Saturday’s garden tour. As I watered and brooded, a nice woman came up to me with a sweet little dog who wanted to say hi. Petting the pooch cheered me up some. When we finished watering at 8:15, I was also perked up by the sight of three cannas showing up well in the park by the Fifth Street public restrooms, an effect I had been trying to achieve.

three Canna pretoria

three Canna pretoria

In Ilwaco, we had to water the garden boat by Time Enough Books…and just in time as it was also looking a little wilted. Oh dear, focusing so much on the three tour gardens had created some neglect in other gardens. I thought we would have to water the gardens by Queen La De Da’s gallery and by the port office as well, when who should I see out watering but artist Don Nisbett, whose gallery is by the port office. What a relief! He and Jenna have been regularly watering those and the Queen La De Da gardens.

Don said he would water the La De Da garden as well. I walked down to check for any sort of plant crisis because there would be an art night at the port on Thursday (the first one since 2010 that I would not have time to attend). The wind really whips this garden bed and it is looking bare at the east end. In the fall, I will do my best to remedy that. Now is not a good planting time for gardens that need tough things.

needs more!!

needs more!!

As dusk drew in I walked back to where Don was watering by the port and Allan was watering at Time Enough Books. Don thought it would be very funny if I took a photo like this:

nisbett

I told him my blog is much more genteel than that, so I took this photo instead:

as the sun sets

as the sun sets

Read Full Post »

Belly Dance sign

Belly Dance sign

Twice in August I visited the lavender farm just over the hill to the east of the town of Ilwaco.  The first was a fairy tale tea party whose story is told in this album on the Olde Towne Trading Post page. The second occasion was in the evening of the Beach Belly Dance Festival, an annual event.

Booths selling colourful clothing and belly dance jewelry and coin belts were set up all around the lower level of the farm and a stage and dancers wandered through the grounds  or lounged on Persian carpets and pillows between performances.

magic carpets

magic carpets

dancers

dancers

between performances

between performances

the stage

the stage

We had missed most of the performances; Jenna had to run her shop during the day and I had attended the edible garden tour…but we were in time for a lovely fairy dance.  The fairy women pulled Jenna’s husband Don and local guitarist Randy Brown (who had played music for our own garden tour) onto the stage and enchanted them.

fairy dance

fairy dance

enchantment

enchantment

fairy dance

fairy dance

Between sets, Randy Brown and Friend performed.

Between sets, Randy Brown and Friend performed.

dancers' art class

dancers’ art class

Jenna’s spouse, artist Don Nisbett, gave a class in caricature drawing after the fairy dance, using as his model Janine, a very French lady from Long Beach who always dresses in elegant Parisian fashion.

Don and Janine

Don and Janine

In the outdoor kitchen, the big woodfired oven was in play making delicious pizzas to order…all included in the moderate entry fee to the festival.

pizza chef

pizza chef

pizza

pizza

the stove oven chimney

the stove oven chimney

stone oven chimney

stone oven chimney

As dusk fell, a troupe of drummers and fire eaters arrived.  The crowd gathered around the driveway to keep the flames away from the garden, white picket fences, and booths!

drummers

drummers

fire eater

fire eater

cloud of fire

cloud of fire

wheel of fire

wheel of fire

fountain of fire

fountain of fire

breath of fire

breath of fire

You can bet that I have every intention of attending this amazing festival in 2013!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »