First, here a are a few preliminary photos by Allan.
4 December: Skooter watched Allan make dinner
later that night, atop the refrigerator
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
On a surprisingly nice day in the early afternoon, I suddenly decided that we should do some pre-frost clean up. Frost and ice were predicted for Thursday. With Allan planning to take a trip to Seattle on Friday, we would not be able to do a round of the Long Beach planters after the storm.
We checked all of the Ilwaco planters and removed the last batch of almost dead nasturtium from one.
At The Ilwaco Timberland Library, I had an exciting book to pick up.
red twig dogwood at the library entrance garden
and heather in bloom
The new head librarian had found a bag of bulbs (narcissi and alliums) in a back room at the Ocean Park library. Because they were over a year old, most of them were dried to almost powder. I had sorted out a few narcissi that still felt slightly plump. Allan planted them, and we will be interested to see if any of them grow.
Out of a large bag, maybe ten old bulbs were faintly viable.
Next: We clipped back the annuals in the Depot Restaurant window boxes. I would hate to think of them all frozen and blackened over the weekend. The window boxes do not get rain water so those plants looked pitiful and dry without our weekly visits.
window box clean up
The Depot garden, ready for winter
With cold hands, we did some clipping in the Long Beach planters of assorted plants that I knew would be unattractive after the cold snap. Perhaps the cold snap would not happen. If it did, I did not want to think of sad looking planters over the weekend.
Fifth Street Park, before
I clipped back some sad perennials in Fifth Street Park.
Allan’s photos: before (with some flowers still on Geranium ‘Rozanne’!)
The temperature dropped rapidly while we worked.
Fun rides are put away for the winter; the center pole of the carousel is capped. (Allan’s photo)
When we finished cutting back the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the northernmost planter, we dropped by the Shoeboxes of Joy volunteer HQ at Coulter Park to make a monetary donation. (We had dropped off some yummy energy bars and some cat food at a donation bin at the bank earlier in the day. Yes, they do want pet food, not for the senior humans, but for their companion animals.)
old Long Beach train depot building in Coulter Park
Shoeboxes ready to be filled.
sorting has commenced
Shoebox HQ Christmas tree
cotoneaster in Coulter Park
I tried and failed to reach Dave and Melissa to reschedule our weekly dinner for tonight, in case an icy storm prevented it tomorrow. Therefore, we had time to fulfill one of our holiday traditions: a visit to the Hungry Harbor Grille holiday village in downtown Long Beach.
Even though I have not been able to muster up any holiday spirit for decorating at home, I was able for half an hour to vicariously enter the life of this village (and we had an early dinner there. Well, not IN the village, but at a table next to it).
approaching the village
Allan’s photo: Hungry Harbor burger
Taking pictures of the village. In my mind, I am living there.
At that moment, I was photographing the top floor apartment in which I live, in the village.
I live on the top floor of that apartment building, and the roof garden is mine.
The only reason I can think of that out of all the lovely detached houses with gardens in the village I pick a top floor flat is that it reminds me of the happy year I spent living in the Gables on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.
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. This modern photo shows that someone did make a garden there sometime later.
I can only imagine that around my imaginary apartment building, I do have a garden in the village.
The harbor now has 15 lighthouses and more boats than it did last year.
a new sign, acquired this year. Altered from “Las Vegas”
The village carousel keeps going through the holidays.
These swans actually swim around the pond.
There are several bridges that Mr Tootlepedal would enjoy photographing.
I would make a few tweaks to the village before I moved in. I would make sure the folks who live there were ethnically and racially diverse and, if there were any churches at all, I’d add a synagogue, a mosque, and a Quaker meeting place. I’d make sure to install an Indian and an Ethiopian restaurant, and a sushi bar. And a skateboard park, which is something Long Beach youths sorely crave.
Fifth Street Park
Despite all this seasonal delight, I did not get inspired to decorate at home. A few years back, I wrote about the dilemma of whether or not to “tree”.
We did buy an artificial tree the next year, and it would be fairly easy to set up. Yet I think the decision this year’s decision is coming down on the side of not treeing. I don’t feel like moving my heavy desk to make a space for it and, frankly, I am not in the mood and I would rather have the time to read. I can always say that I am afraid Skooter would try to climb it; he is, after all, only three years old. The other cats are a dignified twelve years.
Thursday, 8 December 2016
We did get some snow.
from the front porch
from the east window
from the front window
I put Skooter out to see if he would like the snow. He made just a few footprints before hastily retreating.
That’s as far as he got. (Allan’s photo)
Wind kept snow from accumulating in the back garden. (Allan’s photo)
Meanwhile, at THE Oysterville garden, Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) worked until they could no longer see what to cut back.
That was all we had, and it did melt, to be followed be evening ice that only affected the riverside towns. So our garden club meeting was cancelled this week…and it turned out that Salt Pub, where we had planned to dine, closed for the evening because of the weather.
Meanwhile, in Portland, friends like Danger Garden were suffering a horrible ice storm.
Friday, 9 December 2016
Allan departed for Seattle, and I did some holiday shopping at the port.
at the marina
With nothing but silence and time, I began a 700 page book that would keep me busy for the next three days.
sequel to last week’s Austerity Britain
My very favourite passage of all, from a Mass Observation investigator:
I was especially thrilled that my most beloved diarist, Nella Last, was often quoted in this book.
As I write this on 13 December, Allan is on his way home from Seattle and volume three of the Tales of a New Jerusalem, Modernity Britain, awaits at the library. At 880 pages, it will keep me busy for a few days. I have some plans tomorrow so will wait to start it on Thursday so that I can completely immerse myself with few distractions.
Read Full Post »