Posts Tagged ‘Ilwaco Fire Station’

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Anyone who read yesterday’s post script knows that today turned out to be a sad day with the loss of our thirteen year old cat, Calvin.

This morning, Calvin seemed fine.  I made an appointment for him to get his asthma shot in the mid afternoon just to prevent him having an attack over the weekend. I felt I was being a good cat mom to get it taken care of today instead of later in the week.

Meanwhile, Allan noted this view from our garden:

crab pots being stacked next door

The work side of the day:

I had been thinking for a few years about imperializing adopting a spot at the corner of the fire house and turning it into a little garden instead of weedy mini-lawn.  Once upon a time, it had been a garden, evidenced by the remains of a Siberian iris.  Various things got in my way: First, the onset of having a bad knee, and then having just too much work to find time, and then the news that someone else was going to adopt it (but that did not come to fruition due to busy life of the other potential volunteer).  Finally, this was the time to bring the idea into being.  Our town, like the towns of Long Beach and Ocean Park, have volunteer fire fighters.  A wee garden bed with an orange and red and yellow theme seemed like a good way to give something back.

11:30 AM

The garden bed is L shaped but we only did the square, not the narrow bed.  It might be where people step if they park where we parked today.  I might decide to dig it up the L and plant something there later on.  It is a troublesome mess of sod and dandelions right now.  (I know, dandelions are so good for bees, but these are string trimmed to the ground.)

First, the half moon edger.

Next, the ho-mi and the double tool. (Allan’s photo)

The mayor, also a volunteer firefighter, stopped by.  We learned from him that the old sprinkler system does not work any longer and is turned off (too many leaks) but that the firefighters do sometimes water the garden areas.

12:30 PM

At this point in the project, all our buckets were full of weeds and sod and so Allan went to dump them while I went home (two blocks away) to dig a few plants for the new garden.

the first gathering of sod and dandelions

Before going inside, I admired a few flowers.

Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’

I forgot to smell that yellow muscari to see if it lives up to its name.

Muscari latifolium ‘Grape Ice’

window box with Tulipa sylvestris

In the house, I found Calvin in a sudden and shocking state of respiratory distress (he had seemed fine just one hour before), and we rushed him to the vet as soon as Allan returned.

While he was taken into the inner sanctum for treatment, we were advised to check back in a couple of hours. We went back to work, because that’s what we do, with the phone close at hand.

An hour later, after a phone call from the vet, we were back to the clinic because Calvin was failing fast, and, as I wrote yesterday, we made the decision to let him go because he was suffering so.  We will have him cremated, and so we just had an empty crate to bring home.

We then went back to work….because that is what we do.  The first thing I did was walk next door from the vet clinic to the Depot Restaurant and deadhead a few narcissi.

Tulip at the Depot

We went home for a short while so that I could dig up some plants for the fire station project….

the empty cat box ūüė¶ (Allan’s photo)

…and then returned to the station to plant them.

4:30 PM

Allan’s photo

Ilwaco fire station and new garden

What I planted, quickly gleaned at home: Miscanthus variegatus, Helianthus ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’, and some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (one place where they will be quite perfect!), Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ (just because I had a clump ready to go, might not leave it here because the color will sort of clash, don’t you think?), lambs ears, Solidago ‘Fireworks’, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’, an eryngium (plain old blue), some bachelor button seeds, some red annual poppy transplants, some Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, some stuck-in cuttings of santolina that will probably “take”.

The whole time I was thinking if only I had taken Cal to the emergency vet when he was coughing on Saturday–or taken him yesterday even though it seemed he was better–he might still be alive. I felt I had been too focused on work (because that is what I do).

While Allan dumped the second load of weeds, I moved to our other volunteer garden at the post office.  There, we encountered the boatyard manager who was able to assure us that the digging for the boatyard project will likely cross the garden at some point but will not require much more in-garden digging than that.

The post office garden has been looking messy with the annoyance of wild garlic and some low weedy grass and some shot weed.  As I was contemplating the disapproval of tidy gardeners, a postal patron said “Your flowers are so wonderful; I have lots of photos of this garden.”



Ipheion uniflorum

Bellevalia pycnantha (Muscari paradoxum); the bells are olive green inside.

muscari (Allan’s photo)

a painted rock in the post office planter (Allan’s photos)

At home, I picked a bouquet to take tomorrow morning over to the J’s for a guest who is there.  Here it is in a not very elegant kitchen sink photo.

It had been a sad day, so not much joy was taken at erasing two more projects from the work board.

We are expecting several rainy days. Usually, I’d be relishing the prospect of reading days. But now I think it would be preferable to have the distraction of work. On the other hand, the joy of work is sapped right now because it had removed my focus from where it should have been, on Calvin’s every breath.

I have gotten reassurance from many friends who’ve had similar experiences. We all wish our cats had been able to tell us exactly how they felt. “I’m still feeling a bit under the weather even though I played with my toys and ate my dinner.” “Ok, let’s get you to the vet right away.”

Frosty was a comfort while I wrote yesterday’s postscript about Calvin.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Last weekend, while gardening at home, I realized that I have suddenly shifted into gardening mode and no longer even think with longing of a reading day off (because I’d rather get my garden weeded). ¬†Today, suddenly it¬†seemed a reading day had arrived.

wind graph on WindAlert, with driving sideways rain

wind graph on WindAlert, with driving sideways rain

The local airport forecast showed the wind dropping in the afternoon, and the several other weather apps that we check said that the sun would appear at 4 PM.

Ilwaco airport wind forecast

Ilwaco airport wind forecast

So I settled down to read, but restlessly, with an eye on the weather.

Tony Hillerman's daughter is doing a good job at carrying on his mystery series.

Tony Hillerman’s daughter is doing a good job at carrying on his mystery series.

The rain did stop, as predicted, at just before 4 PM, and we were off.  Allan took the opportunity to get another photo of the dogwood outside our kitchen window, with the flower of the wild cucumber vine.


Allan’s photo: Marah, wild cucumber vine, in dogwood.

I suppose we should get the cucumber vine out of there, as it has a massive root, leading to its also being known as “manroot” and “man underground”.


Our very first project was to re-do the Ilwaco street planter that finally got moved back to the fire station. ¬†It had been tucked up against a caf√© where it did not show. ¬†The fire station planter had been moved instead of the caf√© one, after I’d promised the fire chief it would NOT be moved, so some musical planters was played by the city crew.

Allan's photo: before.

Allan’s photo: before: too many bulbs, and has catmint, which we are removing from the planters because it looks bad for awhile after its first flowering.

planter after

Allan’s photo: after, with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and diascia and violas and one little piece of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’


I broke up the rest of the Autumn Joy and ran it down the west side of the fire station in a narrow bed that had lots of empty (weedy) spaces.

after.  (We did not forget that extra bag of potting soil.)

after. (We did not forget that extra bag of potting soil.)

Since we were working just across the street from Nellie’s house, I wondered if I would catch her attention. ¬†Sure enough, her husband came over and I went in to speak with her and she does indeed want us to do a spring clean up on her garden. ¬†We will be happy to, although I had to tell her it might not be for over a week as we have a lot of prep to do before the May 2 and 3 city parades AND the Rhodie tour. ¬†(Klipsan Beach Cottages is one of the tour gardens.)

Nelie's historic house

Nelie’s historic house

In case you’ve forgotten that the Rhodie tour tour is coming up soon:


Long Beach

Next, we had to deadhead all the planters and street tree gardens along the main highway in Long Beach.  I was mighty glad for the good evening weather, as I had noticed lots of dead narcissi flowers when driving home the previous evening.  I took some photos while we worked.  I did not need the green wheelie cart this time as we parked several times and worked fairly close to the van instead of walking the whole route.

lavender already in full bloom

lavender already in full bloom ¬†(This is one of the few planters where we’ve allowed Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ to stay)

The first Geranium 'Rozanne' flower this year...very early

The first Geranium ‘Rozanne’ flower this year…very early

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Tulip 'Florette' is a real do-er this year.

Tulip ‘Florette’ is a real do-er this year.

Asphodeline by Fifth Street Park

Asphodeline by Fifth Street Park

Gunnera in Fifth Street Park, already with a huge seedpod

Gunnera in Fifth Street Park, already with huge flowers

Darmera peltata and Gunnera.  Note to self: remember that Gunnera likes fertilizer.  Dan Hinkley said

Darmera peltata and Gunnera. Note to self: remember that Gunnera likes fertilizer. Dan Hinkley said “Feed the brute!”

Dutch iris in Fifth Street Park (north side)

Dutch iris in Fifth Street Park (north side)

another note to self:  Get this Carex OUT of the planter by the carousel!!!

another note to self: Get this Carex OUT of the planter by the carousel!!!

across from NIVA green: Tulip 'Green Wave'

across from NIVA green: Tulip ‘Green Wave’

on the NIVA green side: more Tulip 'Green Wave'

on the NIVA green side: more Tulip ‘Green Wave’

by the Elks lodge: a columbine left over from volunteer days

by the Elks lodge: a columbine left over from volunteer days

It was on this block, across the street, that a man walking his dog said, “Now that’s a good looking planter” about the boring one with two escallonias and creeping sedums (also leftover from volunteer days). ¬†Then he said, “The planters on the beach approach are FULL¬†of grass.” ¬†I said, “That’s impossible; we weeded them last Friday.” ¬†He said “Nope, they are FULL of grass and it looks terrible” and walked on. ¬†He’d gotten about ten feet when my last nerve snapped and I said, “REALLY?” ¬†He turned and I repeated that they were weeded last week, then said, “Do you mean the raised planters or do you mean the garden at ground level?” ¬†“The ground,” said he. “The roses looked so good last year but now it is all grassy and the roses look beat up and need to be trimmed.” ¬†I looked at him all goggle-eyed and said (in a calm enough tone that Allan, just up the block, though we were having a jolly chat), “I have no idea what to do about that. ¬†We do the whole town of Long beach, and Ilwaco, and about ten resorts [that’s easier to say quickly than enumerating private gardens, resorts, and businesses] and we do not have TIME to weed the beach approach till later in the year so I really have no idea what can be done about it unless the city finds more weeders.” ¬†“I wasn’t complaining,” said the man, walking on a faster clip. ¬†I refrained from another “REALLY????” ¬†As he departed, I remembered that I had seen his dog tied up for awhile in front of the Long Beach Tavern and wondered if beer had anything to do with his desire to inform me that the beach approach is not up to his standards. ¬†(I could also have pointed out that those roses do not bloom till at least May AND that last year we did not get the darn garden, which takes about SIX DAYS to weed, done until sometime in July!!!

Fortunately, by this time we were almost done and I was able to go soothe my shattered nerves at…

The Cove Restaurant

in the foyer of The Cove

in the foyer of The Cove

We sat at the bar at about 7:30 PM and I was so lucky to get one of the last two servings of ahi tuna. ¬†With no hard cider on tap, I had a Vortex beer from Astoria’s Fort George Brewery and Allan had a Guinness.

Strawberry salad...and Carmen at work

Strawberry salad…and Carmen at work

delicious food at the pass

delicious food at the pass

ahi tuna

ahi tuna

The tiny peppers to the left, above, were sweet and smoky and Chef Jason Lancaster told us they are Peruvian peppers.

Allan tried a new sandwich.  I had a bite (two!) of the pineapple slaw.  Delicious.



Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Finally, at home, I had to take a dusk photo of the cutest little tiny cup narcissi on the garage wall.


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