Posts Tagged ‘Ilwaco’

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Ilwaco Post Office

Our volunteer garden at the post office is one of two jobs we like to do on a Sunday when the building is closed.


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Thursday, 8 August 2019

Maybe because we had Tuesday off, I did not feel as desperate to get done with today and get on to our weekend.  All went smoothly from start to finish.

Depot Restaurant

We gave the whole garden a good watering to supplement the sprinklers.

I had a brainstorm that we could mark the two areas that need sprinkler heads with bamboo and string.  Will do that next week.

Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold, Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Nasturtium ‘Moonlight’
SE corner of dining deck

inside the dining deck

Summer privacy has been achieved with the big ornamental grasses except for one spot where diners would be able to see cars in the parking lot:

The hops leaves in deep dining deck shade did not get sooty mold this year (so far):

Long Beach

We deadheaded and weeded the welcome sign.  It has soaker hoses so no watering necessary.

We separated downtown and each watered half of the planters and the six stand alone bucket-watered pots.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’
cute auto paint job

Last year I said I was going to remove this big, woody old Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ after Rod Run (the last big tourist weekend of the season—just four more weeks to go till the season is over!).  This year I really, really mean it.

I reminisced to myself about the beginning of the volunteer planter program, over 20 years ago.

On the recommendation of Ed Hume, who had a beach house here at the time, each planter got a dwarf blue rhododendron planted on the outside of the light post. Only three of the little rhodies survived and can still be seen in the wind-protected planters by the Elks, Scoopers, and Carnival Gifts.

Each planter had a great big heather planted on either side of the lamp post.  I was horrified (having decided to adopt four planters) because they were short, in the middle, took up a lot of room, bloomed only in winter, and were SO boring.  Fortunately, all the heathers died within a couple of years, or volunteers yanked them out.

All of the planters were downtown then, with none on the beach approaches.  The city decided to plant street trees in place of every other planter because people complained that all the lamp posts made the town look like a runway, so about twenty planters got moved to the approaches. I remember moving some of the heathers to the new beach approach garden, where only one survived.

At the stoplight, World’s End Pub has opened.

I saw this in a shop window and wanted it ever so much, but the shop was closed.  I went back the following Monday and the magnet was gone.

Because I had not seen the film, I thought the cat was, well, just any cat, and that the magnet meant that an orange cat (like our Skooter) was a marvel.  Allan had not seen this magnet.  When he went to the library on Saturday, he happened to pick up the Captain Marvel movie from the “You Got Lucky” shelf of popular films (instead of being number 200 on the hold list).  NOW I understand what the photo means.  I wonder if Marvel fans are naming their orange cats Goose…or Flerken.  (The movie was quite enjoyable, especially Goose.)

The next photo shows the difference in size between the flowers of Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ (smaller and pale yellow).

ratibidia (Allan’s photo)
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo. glads left over from volunteer days

We found a change in the police station rugosa rose garden.

That must have been painful to install.

Allan checked on our new plants at Fifth Street Park.

much better!

After the downtown planters, we watered the Sid Snyder beach approach planters. Trail ride horses were just heading out for the beach.

gazania in westernmost Sid Snyder planter (Allan’s photos)

We had time to check on the kite museum garden.  It’s not bad but having the museum closed on Wednesday and Thursday seems disappointing to tourists and difficult for the plants, which have to go two days without being watered (not our job!).

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and ornamental oregano
The fabulous and tender oregano came through the winter!


I hose watered and weeded at the boatyard while Allan bucket watered the street trees and planters.  (His day was therefore harder than mine.)

The euphorbia that fasciated last year looks like it is doing it again, even though I finally cut off last year’s cool stalk and took it home.

Last year, end of summer:


While watering inside the fence, I saw a pulled up and clipped elephant garlic.

Last time that happened, some garden fans drove by and stopped to compliment the garden, so I gave them the cloves and blossom of a vandalized plant.  They happened by again tonight, and showed me that they still have the garlic flower in their vehicle, so I gave them tonight’s vandalized bulbs.  Made me feel good about it.

Deer had not read the do not pick (or eat?) sign.

Some of the lilies had escaped being nibbled.

I love the paint job on the little boat:

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

The Ko Ko is back in the boatyard after an unpleasant mishap.  See this brilliant time lapse video by Aaron Webster.

In nature news, I learned on BBC’s Springwatch how the lack of long grass meadows is contributing to insect decline.  I am sure many people my age remember how a car windshield would be smeared with bugs after a drive in the country in the 60s.  Does that happen to your windshield now? I think not. But even if the windshield phenomenon is still speculative, when you see a meadow like this, let go to long grass…

…please do not agitate for it to be mowed and made tidy.

Allan’s photos while watering:

Look up above the light.

mysterious sunflowers in a planter

We finished our work day by watering our volunteer gardens at the post office and fire station….

…and were home by 7 PM to begin a three day weekend.

Just before bedtime, I had Frosty on my lap, with Jazmine on a chair and Skooter on the table and no growling or hissing.

Let peace reign.

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Saturday, 16 March 2019

The annual Peninsula Quilt Guild show at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco had over 100 quilts this year.

As always, my favourites are the ones with floral and garden and nature themes.

Here they are.

Flowers by Maureen Bittner

My Machine Quilting Sampler by Judy Kraft

Dream Big by Claudia Menzia

Gloria by Toni Tweedle Healy

Fall Pumpkins by Joe Ann Reidesel

Hummingbird Wreath Banner by Joe Ann Reidesel

I liked this one because it reminded me of teatime.

Vintage Farm Girl by Kathy Averett

Wonky Pentagon by Beth Tripp

…featuring ornamental cabbages.

Fabric Frolic by Maureen Bittner

…with floral details

Flowers on Silk by Toni Tweedle Healy

This one was almost my favourite mini; I love the languid petals:

Sunflower by Janet Darcher

left: Quatro Color by Claudia Menza

Grandma’s News! by Becky Olson Evans

My grandmother made several quilts with flowers like these:

Grandma’s News! by Becky Olson Evans

A Year in the Garden by Becky Olson Evans

Nature themed quilts:

Wings Over Willapa by Toni Tweedle Healy (an amazing quilter of all styles!)

Under the Sea by Toni Tweedle Healy

Dancing with Dragonflies by Joanie Chapel

Autumn at Sunset Beach by Joanie Chapel

Got crabs? by Beth Tripp

Pelicans by Judy Kraft

Puffins by Beth Tripp

We got to pick our favourites for best mini, small, medium, and large quilt.

My pick for medium was Grandma’s House.

Grandma’s House by Toni Tweedle Healy

My first thought was that, though impressive, it was so impractical…and then I read the description and got tears in my eyes.

Looking at the details, I did think of my grandma’s house, so of course it had to be my favourite because I had a wonderful grandma whom I still miss daily.

Grandma’s sewing machine

She loved cats….

…and her little house.

My favourite small quilt (and my favourite in the whole show) was Goofy Garden by Toni Tweedle Healy, and here it is with its creator.

photo courtesy Peninsula Quilt Guild

Native Plants by Joe Ann Reidesel came just barely after Goofy Garden (only because I love the garden theme with seeds and hose and secateurs), so I am including it here as what would have been a tie had that been allowed:

Native Plants by Joe Ann Reidesel

California poppies

skunk cabbage and trillium

My favourite mini quilt just barely edged out the sunflower.

Shooting Star by Maureen Bittner.

Wildflower Album by Becky Olson Evans was my favourite large quilt.

Finally, here are three more glorious quilts that we must include even though they are not at all on the gardening and nature theme.

La Dio de Los Muertos by Diane Duprez

The Lewiston Express by the inimitable Toni Tweedle Healy

Sorenson Work Wall Hanging by Judy Kraft

I am putting photos of most of the rest of the quilts on the Our Ilwaco blog, so avid quilters might want to have a look over there.

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We begin with two guest photos by Steve McCormick of the Bayside Garden, probably taken on February 4.


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

I stayed in all day watching Gardeners’ World on youtube, a treasure trove of old episodes from 1991, when Geoff Hamilton was the amiable host. Allan took a walkabout when he got the mail.

A small snowperson at Thandi’s house:

Remnants of a snow angel:

A new garden on Spruce Street! Deer stroll throughout our town so the boxes are probably to keep them out.

His walkabout continued in our garden:

Ice gauges

He had company.

….And an audience.

I wondered if the snow would melt enough for us to install our pond. The liner was scheduled to arrive on Thursday. With more cold weather predicted, we might have a frustrating wait. Meanwhile, I was perfectly happy immersing myself in British gardens.

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Just before showtime, Jodie and Doug from the J’s house across the street came so we could see their costumes.

a flapper and Burt Reynolds of Smoky and the Bandit (Allan’s photo)

And a hummingbird got a last sip from the fuchsia display.  I was hoping that humans would notice the many hardy fuchsia flowers I had added to the entryway and grotto.  The hummingbirds had been all over them since yesterday.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony arrives (Allan’s photo)

and Scott (Allan’s photo)

Scott bearing treats (Allan’s photo); Wendi came to say she would have to miss the trick or treating but she brought me the prettiest little china cat and a bag of candy for the kids.


tiki torches in the front fenced garden

the tuteur ghost

Scott, Tony, and the driveway spooky corridor

In the house, I had blocked off the entry to my private lair with a last minute brilliant idea.

physocarpus and fuchsia branches in the hallway and a strategically placed bookshelf

book: Beyond This Point Are Monsters by the brilliant psychological suspense writer Margaret Millar

Scott had made Halloween cookies.  The spider bodies are halved malted milk balls.

so clever

Tony made an assortment of exquisitely flavorful and varied roll ups, and later J9 arrived with hummus and chips, and Heather of Niva green brought good ham, cheese, and crackers, so we were able to keep our strength up for the onslaught.

Allan’s photo

Before more guests arrived, Skooter was snoozing on his favourite cupboard at the entrance to the kitchen.

He loves this space where he barely fits.

He stayed there all evening, getting pets and smooches from every cat lover in attendance.  Frosty had been in my room, and was still there at the end; I wondered later if he had been trapped behind the hallway shrubbery.  (He could still have gone out the south cat door.)

Rootin’ Tootin’ Rudy was also in attendance.

(Next time, I must find something to hide the milk crates; they are bringing down the tone, although I doubt anyone noticed but me.)

Allan and Rudy and Scott (Tony’s photo)

Someone thought Allan’s costume was that of a wizard.  No, a garden gnome.

Hallow-evening began with the first trick or treaters, not very many, arriving before five o clock.

the first to arrive (Tony’s photo)

A handler backing out the cow (Allan’s photo)

I realized later that the costumes this year were often so huge that they would not have fit down the usual route, the narrow front sidewalk entry.

A steady flow of trick or treaters arrived soon after the cow.

I went on a walkabout before dark, and Allan took a long walkabout, much further than mine, after dark.  (That will be our next post, shared from our Ilwaco blog.)

Todd and Karen Brownlee had arrived while I was gone and toured the garden.  I was sorry to have missed this tour.

Allan’s photo

When I returned, I was so sore from four days of plant-iferous decorating that I was happy to take a chair and just watch.  The new garage set up worked well.  At least twelve chairs, lined up on each side, were filled with grown ups who had a good view of the costumes.

Unicorn Teresa of The Planter Box arrives.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony’s photo

Tony, Scott, Del, Wendy (Tony’s photo)

Heather of NIVA green and our Tony (Tony’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony’s photo

Tony took videos, as well.  Here is one taken just as he and Scott arrived. Later, three videos show how crowded the trick or treat scene gets, here, here, and here.


Joe Chasse and friend arrive (Allan’s photo)

Cathy and Captain Bob come to check our our decor before they returned to greet the Long Beach trick or treaters (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Seaview Sara and Matt arrive (Allan’s photo)


Amy (left) from the Port Office (Tony’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Planter Box Teresa appears as a unicorn (Allan’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Allan’s photo

Lorilyn and her fella arrive; she had a box of sand dollars to hand out as extra treats (Tony’s photo)

Judy and Larry from Ocean Park came; sadly, Donna and Jan and Michele and Devery were missing, and missed, because of bad colds and a family obligation.

Erin of Cranguyma Farms came with her eleven year old son Diego, who passed out the treats for the rest of the evening.

Erin as La Catrina (Erin’s photo)

After this large dinosaur left, we got Diego to sit in the very first chair because having a dinosaur all the way into the mid-grotto made it too crowded. (Tony’s photo)

This critter barely fit under the garage door and would never have fit through our front entry arches and gate. (Tony’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Kelli, a local teacher and avid reader, came with her very good dog Gromit, here shown with Diego.

As darkness fell, it was kinda magical.

Jessika, Jared, and Willa from right next door

Our guests loved the feeling of being enclosed in a sparkling and slightly haunted woodland.  (They also liked our ready-to-go protest signs.)

I loved my two treasure chests complete with spooky books, and got rather bossy when the grownups moved forward and blocked them from view; I insisted everyone stay back so the kids could see the treasures on either side of the entrance.  Many of the small children stopped and looked very carefully at each object along the way.

Scott and Tony had carved five elaborate jack o lanterns.

Tony’s photo

a momentary lull

Ocean Park Sarah and Seaview Sara & Matt, with one of Sarah’s little dogs

When we first began handing out treats in 2010, we were surprised that people of all ages come around.  There is not much else to do in our small town on Halloween for anyone underage, and we welcome all.  The older ones have some of the best costumes.

I wish Allan had been back from his walkabout when Napoleon Dynamite showed up.

I said, “Oh, that’s my husband’s favourite movie!” and Napoleon said, “Finally, someone who gets it!”

When Allan returned, I learned he had had his photo taken with another garden gnome.

He had also allegedly had his photo taken with a lovely mermaid at Queen La De Da’s; I haven’t seen the evidence yet.

We loved having dogs at the party!

Scott, Sarah, and pups (Mabel now has Rudy’s hat.)

Here is a costume I would wear if I could find a basket big enough:

an inspired planter outfit

Our friend the unicorn (Teresa of The Planter Box), left, was keeping the tally for most of the evening.

We all told Wonder Woman that we are counting on her to save the world.

a steampunk gentleman

Dorothy and a fairy

Cute dog alert!

Thandi of the Sou’wester, little Celestine, and an intellectual friend

Tony’s photo

Cella and the tally sheet

Tony’s photo

Tony’s photo

close observation of details

checking everything out—I love this kid!

I like to think that children of memory-forming age will have memories of our Halloween display, maybe for a lifetime.

Allan’s photo

Diego (Allan’s photo)

Jules and Felix from Salt Hotel

Tony’s photo

Here they come to save the day.

Our Tweetybird

One young man sorrowfully said to us, “I have some bad news for you—your bird has died.”

treasure chest

Finally, there were no more trick or treaters and no laughter and screams in the distance to let us know more might come.  All but one of our guests left. J9 and I finally had time for a visit.


tiki torches still aglow as Allan took down the cats and bats orange window film (Allan’s photo)

J9 stayed behind for a considerable time to help us bring in garden ornaments from the driveway, de-cobwebbify the entryway (cobwebs look so tawdry the next morning) and remove the treasure chests and enough decorative branches to be able to get the garage door shut.  (She has a party help business called Have Tux, Will Travel, and knows just how to efficiently and carefully dismantle decorations.)

Skooter had had a very good evening with everyone who came into the kitchen giving him love.

The tally was a little messy, especially the part where I was trying to keep count.  It added up to 601.  The Beards Hollow Pirates house, one block east, counted 589 so I think about 600 is a safe bet.

Things to remember for next year:

Hang the Halloween wreath on the garage doorway frame so it shows better. Don’t forget to remove the hook before the end of evening garage door closing.

Get some fabric with leaves (flat bed sheets with patterns?) for the back wall and other areas.  Or even just grey or green.Ross Dress for Less across the river has sheets at a reasonable price. Maybe camouflage the inside of the garage door where it forms the ceiling.  Maybe not because of some of the very tall costumes could get caught up in any fabric or cobwebs.  

If one of our guests brings a cardboard box of treats in, make them put their stuff in a basket so there is not a boring cardboard box in the photo later. (I am bossy.)  It is all in the details.

Cover the milk crates!   I also did not like that the outdoor buckets were not covered, but they did not show after dark.

Get a couple of pieces of cool driftwood to put on either side of the garage entrance once the door is opened on Halloween day.  Or some kind of faux wood curved entrance that doesn’t take up too much room.  More driftwood or branches entry effect could be added right outside the garage door, stuck through or tied to the arbor.  Not too big for giant costumes to enter through.

This is an event we look forward to all year.  Just 12 months till the next time!









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We have four days off to prepare for Halloween.  We should go to Diane’s garden one of those days, but as I begin this post on Sunday night, I have so much left to do and am so tired that I don’t think we will make it.  Then right after Halloween, Allan is selling his boating book at a holiday bazaar, with only part of Thursday to work before he has to help set up.  Therefore, I guess that we are having an almost mini vacation.

You still have time to go see Allan at his table today or tomorrow (November 2&3) at the holiday bazaar at the Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church, 5000 N Place in Seaview.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

All weekend long, from the midmorning moment when I read the news of the synagogue murders in Pittsburgh, it felt peculiar and trivial to be preparing for Halloween.  And yet I did.

Frosty in the morning

I woke up early with the feeling of much to do.  I do not know how we used to pull together the Halloween corridor of spooky plants in just two days.  The weather forecast is for rain, so I had decided we would have the trick or treating in the garage; if we can’t be outside, the front porch is way too small for the number of folks coming to the party that Tony and Scott are hosting here.

Yesterday I had a delightful brainstorm of turning the garage into a haunted forest grotto…with plant material in buckets of water so the buckets won’t tip over…and lining the driveway with plant-y stuff stuck into big pots with potting soil in them to hold the branches and stems steady.

I did not think of the potting soil idea till today so Allan went off to buy some (and pumpkin pie makings).  On the way, he delivered a bouquet to Jenna, who is having a ghost event at Salt tonight.


supposed to be a little spooky

ghostly duo at Salt

I also asked Allan to get me some autumn leaves because I have an idea.

He got them at Black Lake.

I started to set up buckets and fill them with water.  I put some plant stuff in the pots on one side, and in pots and buckets outside when Allan filled them with soil.  I was afraid the water would get stinky in four days and yet I could not wait…

I like the garden to be wild and tall in the winter.  Since I began decorating for Halloween with plant stuff, I have to clip more tall perennials down than I would like.


Those lilies will be part of the decor.


Allan hung tarps to mask our garden supplies.  Have had these posts for years; finally decided to paint them Halloween colors and do…something with them.

just a start

Allan inherited a box of Halloween decorations from his mom.  These two figures are the biggest.  Making a treasure chest.

Another chest to fill, but with what? I decided on some fishing floats because I don’t have enough Halloweeny stuff (or any treasures).

starting to fill the pots outside

Next door, Jared and Jessika have one big ghost.  That is easier than my obsession with my Corridor of Spooky plants.

ghost and Rudder (Allan’s photo)

I went inside in the late afternoon with three hours to spare to finish my four part Smoky memorial blog.  I had to finish 2016, and then do 2017.  In the process, I deleted almost 13,500 extraneous photos from my iPhoto.  Blog fodder photos are not all keepers, and I wish I had the discipline to delete the narrative flow photos daily.

We had promised to go to Jenna’s evening event.  At the very last minute, I uploaded some late October Smoky photos, in tears at the end of his life; I still had more to add from September and October of that year.  I could hardly bear to leave my computer.

Salt Pub, Ghost Adventures

We were later than we should have been and had to sit in back, even though it was 45 minutes till the pre-show started.  Our Jenna had appeared as a historic figure in the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures series in a four parter set locally, called Graveyard of the Pacific.  Her episode took place at the North Head Lighthouse a couple of miles from home.  You can read all about it here.

Jenna as MC

Ghost stories preceded the show.  The first one was told by a woman in a cat costume about being visited by the ghost of a beloved cat.  I was in tears again.

kitty ghost story  (Allan’s photo)

and another ghost story (Allan’s photo)

Jenna has her own ghost stories to tell.

Heather from NIVA green

Heather’s was a true tale about crows and was my favourite story other than the kitty.  She put out some artificial crows as a last minute Halloween decoration and rushed to buy some candy.  When she returned, her roof and trees were full of 300 crows, come to check out the “new” ones.

Jenna’s spouse, Don, had a ghostly tale of the house where they live.

During the show, we were offered the chance to play a bingo game based on the television stylings of Ghost Adventures.

Our Jenna on telly

Let me just say that Jenna and the other local actors were the best part…You can watch the show right here on youtube (while it lasts).  Jenna brought a quiet gravitas to the role of a woman who by accident or on purpose went over the edge of cliff into the sea.

My mind wandered out the window when she was not on the screen.

I could watch in a television reflection floating over the marina.

At home after ten, I had to sit down and finish putting my photos in the 2017 Smoky story.  I still have Allan’s to add tomorrow.










































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Friday, 7 September 2018

Every year we photograph the Slow Drag for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  We posted 360 photos in this year’s Slow Drag album, because everyone who had a vehicle entered would surely be pleased to see a photo of it in the race.  Here I am just sharing our favourites, some with glimpses of the curbside gardens along Howerton Avenue.

Rule one is driver must be 18 or older. Rule 2 is brake lights must be in working order.  This is checked at each heat.

We walked down separately from home.  Allan got to pet a beautiful dog.

Allan’s photos

Allan’s photo

My favourite, Travis driving the Who Bus. He has won twice before, but not this time.

This driver is a friend of Travis and each year he is such a cheerful presence.

santolinas and, oh yes, vehicles

roped off agastaches (Allan’s photo)

We roped off our best garden.

The debut of the Joy Train from Astoria. Love it!

The Glam Tram, also from Astoria, a former mini bus from the Los Angeles Zoo

ready to race (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

bubble machine (Allan’s photo)

petunia basket from Basket Case Greenhouse

Our Jenna, right, the event organizer, and her friend Susan.

The Church Ladies

pink bug, won the prize for most fun entry

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

vehicle with 2 dogs (black one is lying down)

Char, our favourite realtor, was one of the sponsors.

Allan’s photo

One of my annual favourites, little bug with luggage rack and a bubble machine

Glam Tram (Allan’s photo)

Sad to see the Glam Tram go; its battery died. (Allan’s photo)

Church Ladies lining up to race

finish line

Crocosmia, parsley, and santolina in our droughtiest curbside garden (and a vehicle)

lining up behind Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and santolina

Travis and son

winner of the “So Ugly It’s Cute” award

that bug again


and Allan’s artsy photo

cute doggies (Allan’s photo)

This lavender sacrificed its shapeliness to the sound equipment. (Allan’s photo)  It did revive.

Salt Hotel ready to drag

our neighbour Jessika rides along

Between heats, the vehicles drive down Waterfront Way (usually pedestrian only).

half a bug

By Time Enough Books

Allan’s photo

The direction of the race was reversed this year, with the result that the vehicles were not traveling slowly down Waterfront Way, because they could now line up two by two on Howerton and they drove much faster down the waterfront to get there.  So it was harder to get my customary photo of a red vehicle and the red Jessie’s building.

as close as I got to my usual photo

Allan managed to get this photo of rust with rust.

Waterfront Way (Allan’s photo)

Awww, the pink bug is out. (Allan’s photo)

Howerton Ave, the race source (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

respectful feet (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Well, mostly respectful (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

This little red MG was in the race to honor the driver’s father, Chuck, who had died unexpectedly in the November after the 2015 race.  He would have been proud of his family; the MG came in third.

winning an early heat

one of my favourites, and last year’s winner, at the finish line

The finish line is a fire hose filled with sand.


the classic door flapping method of trying to slow down

Salt Pub driver gets a meal at the finish line.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ seedheads and a silver car

winning another heat

“rat rod” hood decor (Allan’s photo)

A light rain began.

Church Ladies (Allan’s photo)

hoping to get over the hump

checking out the competition

after the rain, here comes the little red MG

rainbow and amazing evening sunshine

Rusty bug is finally out.

Can’t get the rear tires over.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo; the Who Bus, my favourite, got eliminated.

Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, on the race course:

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and lavender (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

And back to the race, which is coming to its final rounds.

one of the final heats (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Chevy van wins a heat, so big it reflects the entire Salt Hotel. “I LOVE this van,” says the driver.

The agony of defeat…but they got third place.

bravely onward, don’t look back

the final heat

and the van is declared the winner

Second place with their basket of prizes.

Artist Don Nisbett at his t shirt booth, with helpers (Allan’s photo)

Rusty bug got “so ugly its cute” award. (Allan’s photo)

Pink bug got “Most fun”. (Allan’s photo)

Third place

third, second and first (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Third place winner, in honor of his dad, Chuck Schussman..

Here is his dad’s last Slow Drag in 2015. Chuck is on the left, I believe.

Our Jenna, in sunglasses, and some of her helpers (Allan’s photo)

After the vehicles and crowd left, we took down our plant protecting poles and tape and then admired the sunset at the marina.

sunset over the bogsy woods



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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Allan and MaryBeth sail on Black Lake

To confirm I was pretty caught up on projects, I thought I should use the day to take a boat out. To make it more leisurely, I would go out on Black Lake just a mile away. But, to put some challenge into it, I invited MaryBeth, the person who sold me one of her little kayaks, one so little that it fits inside the van with room to spare. She has conquered the tippy little kayaks but had never sailed.

(Below): Here is the Black Lake Yacht Club. Don’t let the pine needles and the grass piled about fool you, nor the fact that the two white boats haven’t budged all summer. It could be a happening place! I’m appreciative that I don’t have to drag my 150-pound green boat from home.

A small retirement community.

The first item is to clean out the needles and reinstall the plugs.

The sail is only half the size of what the boat was designed for.  It makes it very stable and not too overly thrilling. The winds only reached 11.5 mph which led to a relaxing day.

A free boat several years ago, it just needed a winter’s worth of hole patching, painting, new wood…($); but it works now. I’m now the owner of a graceful boat that was saved.  

I set up the red sailboat so that I could later abandon MaryBeth to her own adventures in either boat.

First we had to row out to clear water and then south to find some ripples.

Being cranberry harvest time, the lake was down about a foot.  The McPhail cranberry farm at the north end of the lake pumps water into the cranberry bog in order to float the berries for harvesting.

MaryBeth took the controls and we drifted downwind to the southeastern tip.  There was someone fishing off every dock but Marybeth carefully avoided all their lines.

Letting out the boom.

We saw a lot of these today, who were maybe attracted to the colorful sail (and each other).

This type of sailboat can head any direction except 45 degrees left or right of a headwind. Depending on the trees, hills, and weather,  the wind speed and direction changed a lot.

We paid attention to the wind vane. Here we are angling 45 degrees into the wind.

The black streamers indicate we’re heading into the wind and about to drift backward.

We did a lot of curlicues today. When tacking upwind, and changing from one direction 90 degrees to another heading, sometimes the boat just stops. It won’t complete the turn, it drifts and won’t steer. Swinging the rudder back and forth like a Venetian gondolier sometimes moves the boat just enough, as often you’re close to shore. There’s an official nautical name somewhere but the curlicue can get you going again. The wind pushes the sail, the boat speeds up, the rudder starts working again. The boat can complete the turn and you’re off again on another tack.

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A little extra distance but hey, this isn’t a race.

The breeze was light and we successfully tacked nearly all the way back to the north end.

The captain’s eyes are on everything

With the wind nearly gone I started rowing. Soon I heard voices and looked over my shoulder. We were all up in this fisherman’s business. Afterwards, we beached, folded up the sail and continued by oar.

We’re the only two boats on the lake and who do I bother?

A bird fishing, minding its own business, was near the northern shore. My telephoto got a few shots of this snowy egret before my splashing oars caused it to fly off.

patient and quiet

I did not get good photos of the snowy egret. However, a local wildlife photographer recently captured these beautiful images of the Black Lake egrets and has kindly allowed us to share them here.

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

We rowed back through the lily pads to shore. After we failed to wrestle the boat up the bank, MaryBeth came up with the idea to use the trailer hitch to help. It only snapped one rope but we succeeded in pulling it out. Next time I’ll bring a winch. 

Solo sail, eh? Next time. She can do it now or rent a sailboat on her own. An intriguing rental place is on Seattle’s Lake Washington. It rents the smaller affordable dinghies and kayaks which I hope to visit someday (Sail Sand Point). Portland has a sailing club and school for the bigger (way over 150  lbs.) sailboats at the Island Sailing Club.

This was plenty fun and totally relaxing for both of us.

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The stats

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Saturday, 1 July 2017

We took advantage of much of what our town had to offer today.  Earlier in the week, while weeding the port gardens to get them spiffing for today’s events, I had had that feeling of being smitten with love for this little town.  The first Saturday in July is always special here, with probably the biggest Saturday market of the year followed by a fireworks extravaganza at the port in the evening.

Ilwaco Saturday Market

Knowing that the Pink Poppy Bakery booth would be at the market today is part of what drew us down there.  (Baker Maddy is pregnant and therefore not doing every week of market this summer.)


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ in one of our port gardens (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


The lines were long at the food booths.



plants for sale


at one of the plant booths


the cutest booth of all


port office garden


tied as a result of recent windstorm


Purly Shell Fiber Arts spinning demonstration


Frilly lamps at Suzy Q’s Magical Glass


Salt Hotel and Pub



booths with a view


Charter fishing


fresh produce


Northwest Naturals


Northwest Naturals


another garden booth


Blue Coast Farm


another booth featuring plants.


Pink Poppy: I acquired two slices of the marble chocolate cake, second from left.

As I walked home, I sadly contemplated the really bad pruning in the Lost Garden.




Why do inexperienced pruners feel they just have to hack at shrubs and trees?


I paused next door to pet Old Man Rudder.

At home, I fortified myself with a slice of Maddy’s pound cake in order to accomplish an afternoon gardening  project.  But that’s all there is about gardening in this post.  We’re going to jump straight to 8 PM and the evening’s events.

Fireworks at the Port of Ilwaco

The evening’s festivities started with a special bonus: a performance of renowned Astoria band Holiday Friends in the courtyard at Salt Hotel.



Holiday Friends.  They were good.


I was pleased to see books at the table next to me.


Allan’s photo, featuring our curbside garden


appreciative audience


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Salt Pub’s kitchen pass shows that the restaurant was busy.


I popped into Time Enough Books…


…to say hi to owner Karla and to store mascot Scout.


in Time Enough Books


port office garden


Don Nisbett Art Gallery


Our dear friends Jenna and Don

Darling Jenna made both me and Allan delicious tacos, saving us from standing in line at the popular food booths that had stayed on after Saturday market.


Thank you, Jenna!


classic fairway treat


a growing crowd as dusk settles in


Smoked Salmon Chowder (Allan’s photo)


This chowder is delicious (Allan’s photo)


good accessorizing

Allan walked out on the docks and gleaned some lovely photos of evening at the marina.





Aallotar, built in 1926 or 7



I found my favourite spot for taking fireworks photos, one of the bridges to the docks.


view of the marina

High tide made the reflections especially good this year.





Allan, more agile and adventurous and unlikely to fall off the dock in the dark, ranged from the port office deck to the docks to get his photos.





after racing down the stairs from the deck (which was not open to the public) on the way to the docks











the grand finale

After the fireworks comes the traffic jam…


traffic backed with personal fireworks up on the hill

We are among the lucky ones because we only have to walk three blocks to get home.

Tomorrow: back to the usual subject with our gardening weekend.

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I’m still playing catchup with some two day posts while I try to get to only five days behind instead of fifteen.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

lilies in our volunteer garden at the post office

lilies in our volunteer garden at the post office

I planted the three little gazanias.

I planted the three little gazanias.

Rudbeckia that Our Kathleen donated last year.

Rudbeckia that Our Kathleen donated last year.

I asked Allan to photograph the Basket Case hanging baskets across the street in front of the museum (because they were on his side of the van).

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Mike’s Garden

I had big plans to prune (or rather…have Allan prune) some of the climbing rose out of Mayor Mike’s beach pine today.  We ran out of time, though, because a couple of other jobs had suddenly joined the schedule.

NEXT week...I hope...we will thin out the rambling rose.

NEXT week…I hope…we will thin out the rambling rose.

I had big plans to get Long Beach AND Ilwaco and the Port of Ilwaco gardens done today and have Friday through Monday off.  My first thought upon waking had been “Tomorrow off!”.  Two things happened to change that when I checked my email and Facebook.  1.  I found out about an art show that would take place in Coulter Park…which was a mess.  2. I found out for sure that the sale of Jo’s house had fallen through, and because we like Jo and Bob so much, I offered to keep working there after all, deadheading and grooming once a week while it is for sale…including going there today to check on the watering.

The Depot Restaurant

While we were doing our weekly watering and deadheading, a group of garden admirers came by to chat.  The daughter was studying zoo horticulture (including what not to feed to the animals), which made for an interesting and informative conversation on all sides.  The dierama (angel’s fishing rod) was a big hit.



north side of dining deck

north side of dining deck

lilies and helenium

lilies and helenium

more lilies

more lilies

lots of deadheads on the cosmos now (Allan's photo)

lots of deadheads on the cosmos now (Allan’s photos)

after deadheading

after deadheading

looking south

looking south

the front with barrels and window boxes by Nancy Aust of The Basket Case

the front with barrels and window boxes by Nancy Aust of The Basket Case

Long Beach

the weekly grooming of the welcome sign

the weekly grooming of the welcome sign

Cosmos 'Happy Ring' reseeded from last year

Cosmos ‘Happy Ring’ reseeded from last year

one weird flower on the echibeckia

one weird flower on the echibeckia

both sides

both sides

and the back

and the back

I decided we had better check on the kite museum garden.

It is doing well this year!

It is doing well this year!

Gift shop manager Patty has been keeping it watered and deadheading the cosmos, thus the prolific blooms.

Gift shop manager Patty has been keeping it watered and deadheading the cosmos, thus the prolific blooms.

Jo’s Garden

Here we were again at Jo’s garden, making it look fresh and nice for the realtor who would meet with Jo and Bob tomorrow.

after deadheading some spent gladiolas

after deadheading some spent gladiolas

I hope a gardener buys this place.

I hope a gardener buys this place.

the center courtyard

the center courtyard

Here is the real estate listing for this dream house and garden.

back to Long Beach

We started in Long Beach town again by working together to groom the City Hall and Veterans Field gardens.

poor li'l Crimson Pygmy barberry got smashed.

poor li’l Crimson Pygmy barberry had gotten smashed.

It used to look nice like the others.

It used to look nice like this one.

Someone had left a rock in the flag pavilion, we think in memory of a loved one. (Allan's photo)

Someone had left a rock in the flag pavilion, we think in memory of a loved one. (Allan’s photo)

Then Allan and I parted ways.  While I watered all the planters, Allan tackled Coulter Park.  It had not been done for awhile, and Friday and Saturday (July 22-23), the Peninsula Art Association would be having an art sale in the old train depot building there.  It took Allan three or four hours to undo the tangles of bindweed and salmonberry which is creeping under the fence from the north.  I’ve gotten so fed up with the situation, and especially with clipping salmonberry out from the canes of a row of thorny roses, that I’ve somewhat given up.  Fortunately, Allan is made of sterner stuff.

before and after

before and after

the horror of bindweed

the horror of bindweed





the painful rose nightmare...rose and salmonberry roots intermingled, with plenty of thorns on both.

the painful rose nightmare…rose and salmonberry roots intermingled, with plenty of thorns on both, topped with bindweed and birdsfoot trefoil


after (the salmonberry roots are still all entwined with the roses; you can see salmonberry taller than the fence, behind)

looks nice for the art show patrons

looks nice for the art show patrons.  A monster salmonberry looms on the other side.

Meanwhile, I watered planters and did a bit of deadheading in Fifth Street Park.

Sanguisorba in Fifth Street Park

Sanguisorba in Fifth Street Park

white tigridia

white tigridia

I collect snails from the planters and, because I don’t like to kill them, I deposit them in a couple of empty lots along my route.  There was an odd moment, when I saw this one trying to leave the bucket, that I felt for one second like it was my pet, like a dog or a cat.

a strange moment indeed

a strange moment indeed

sweet pea success in one of the planters (with a tower that holds a business name sign)

sweet pea success in one of the planters (with a tower that holds a business name sign)

edging carpet of golden thyme

edging carpet of golden thyme

pizazz in miniature

pizazz in miniature



agastache and parsley

agastache and parsley

Fun Rides

Fun Rides

Not only do I like the new paint job on Fun Rides, but the new owners are playing much better carousel music.  Instead of the same carny tune over and over, I’ve heard carnivalized versions of YMCA, Heart of Glass, and several more pop/disco songs that make me happy.

Allan got done with Coulter Park in time to water four of the planters.

a stunning cosmos (Allan's photo)

a stunning cosmos…like ‘Seashells’ but fluffier.   (Allan’s photo)

We quite simply could not get to Ilwaco, sadly, so our Friday off slipped through our fingers.  I did not feel we could have gotten done even had we worked a ten hour day.  For awhile, I felt rather glum, then reminded myself that an all Ilwaco day is not such a hard thing.

Friday, 22 July 2016

I wanted to stay home with my Smokey.

I wanted to stay home with my Smokey.

post office garden

post office garden

Port of Ilwaco

Because some rain had fallen overnight, I deluded myself into thinking we wouldn’t have to water.  I was wrong.  We realized immediately upon arrival at the boatyard that the garden had not been moistened enough by the light rain.  I weeded while Allan watered.

a boat going out

a boat going out

I overheard the boat owners saying it was going to be windy this weekend.  I hoped that just meant out on the water.  One said to a friend that the boat was “so smooth you could do brain surgery while crossing the bar.”

looks like bad invasive purple loosestrife has blown in from somewhere, down where I can't get at it.

looks like bad invasive purple loosestrife has blown in from somewhere, down where I can’t get at it.

about 1/5 of the boatyard garden, looking south

about 1/5 of the boatyard garden, looking south

sweet pea success

sweet pea success

I then hoped we would not have to water the Howerton Ave. curbside gardens.  So wrong.  We ended up watering almost all of them.

a little bird in the garden at Time Enough Books

a little bird in the garden at Time Enough Books

watering the most parched west end garden bed

watering the most parched west end garden bed

Gaura 'Whirling Butterfly' (Allan's photo)

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfly’ (Allan’s photo)

Eryngium (sea holly) (Allan's photo)

Eryngium (sea holly) (Allan’s photo)

grateful plants (Allan's photo)

grateful plants (Allan’s photo)

snaking hoses a long way from the dock (Allan's photo)

snaking hoses a long way from the dock (Allan’s photo)

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' is fading to tan (Allan's photo)

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ is fading to tan (Allan’s photo)

Pokemon go players (Allan's photo)

Pokemon Go players (Allan’s photo)

still clear water today

still clear water today

a different and prettier bindweed on the bank of the marina

a different and prettier bindweed on the bank of the marina

Memorial plaques are set into the lawn at the marina. (Allan's photo)

Memorial plaques are set into the lawn at the marina. (Allan’s photo)


Allan found the obituary of the father of the family, whose plaque is on the right.  Let’s take a moment to remember these local fishing folk.  We are always aware here that the commercial fisherfolk are a brave and hardy clan.

A light mist for about ten minutes was not enough to let us stop watering.  The water is still not on at the former Wade Gallery garden bed (which we had planted up all nice for the previous owners) so we are still bucket watering it (or rather, Allan is).

before the bucket watering, which is never enough: Even the Eryngium is suffering from lack of water.

before the bucket watering, which is never enough: Even the Eryngium is suffering from lack of water.

Penstemon longing for a good dose of hose water.

Penstemon longing for a good dose of hose water.  So frustrating.

I walked the whole length of Howerton weeding the beds.

the "drive over garden"

the “drive over garden” shows the difference when we can reach a garden with hose water.

blue catananche at the east end

blue catananche at the east end

Both Allan and I had noticed that 'Sapphire Blue' is going tan.

Both Allan and I had noticed that ‘Sapphire Blue’ is going tan.

Allan finished the workday by watering the Ilwaco street trees and planters with the water trailer while I went home and watered our own garden.  Then, our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang.  (It had been delayed one day because of a Melissa excursion to Portland on Thursday.)  We had time on the way to visit the last half an hour of the PAA art show and chat with our friend Bayside Debbie.

Debbie and her really cool jewelry

Debbie and her really cool jewelry

The Cove Restaurant

sedums in Sondra's garden outside (Allan's photo)

sedums in Sondra’s garden outside (Allan’s photo)

caesar salad (Allan's photo)

caesar salad (Allan’s photo)

ahi tuna

ahi tuna

prime rib (a Friday night offering) for Dave and Mel (Allan's photo)

prime rib (a Friday night offering) for Dave and Mel (Allan’s photo)

and a very chocolatey dessert (Allan's photo)

and a very chocolatey dessert (Allan’s photo)

lemon mascarpone cheesecake, and our dear server Lynn treated us to our desserts.

lemon mascarpone cheesecake, and our dear server Lynn treated us to our desserts.

At last we had come to our three day rather than four day weekend, with plans for boating, gardening, and some time touring one of our favourite local gardens with friends.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

July 21: 10:30-5:00! COOLER  Picked berries, barely enough for one breakfast.  I planned to mulch and cage the tomatoes but ended up weeding, deadheading, and watering the flower beds in upper driveway and tam area.  I pulled gobs of the perennial geranium plants that are everywhere.  Did some weeding in front “ditch” but didn’t get done so I quit working at 5:00.

July 22:  Store and errands day.  Paid electric bill, Tim’s, Payless and Stock Market.  Which is being redone by new owners (QFC) so it’s very difficult finding items.

1998 (age 74):

July 21:  I put out all my quart mayo jars to recycle.  I’ll keep all the pints.  I can use mayo pints for tomatoes.  I called Foremost Insurance Co.  They will send an agent to check damage in bathroom floor—in 3 or 4 days.  [She was getting her home ready to sell so she could move to Long Beach.]

July 22:  TOO HOT  90 degrees.  The agent called at 9:00 AM.  She will come tomorrow at 1:00.  I worked all day going over my house plants.  I repotted several, threw some out, and put the plants back in the Floralight.  I picked berries at 5:30 still hot—not many because of the heat.  I watered from 7:00 to 9:00—then showered and quit for the day.


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