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Posts Tagged ‘Olde Towne Trading Post Café’

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

We begin with our compost bucket switch at Olde Towne Café. I had a very quick sit down with Luanne and Bonnie.

It looks like I am actually having coffee; this sit down only lasted about three minutes!

It looks like I am actually having coffee; this sit down only lasted about three minutes!

Allan thought this spent Oriental poppy in one of Luanne's planters looked like a hat with a veil.

Allan thought this spent Oriental poppy in one of Luanne’s planters looked like a hat with a veil.

Long Beach

In Long Beach, we stopped to deadhead the cosmos in the Veteran’s Field garden….

vet

and Allan took some very nice pics of our red white and blue colour scheme (NOT red geraniums, blue lobelia, and white petunias!).

viola, alyssum, Salvia 'May Night', Geum

viola, alyssum, Salvia ‘May Night’, Geum, blue oat grass, Berberis ‘Crimson Pygmy’

violas and dianthus

violas and alyssum and dianthus

Vet Field planter with cosmos

Vet Field planter with cosmos, Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and viola

Anchorage Cottages

We did what I have been meaning to do for some time: cut down the stinky Viburnums near the office. There was no way to cut them nicely and prettily at this time of year, so we cut them RIGHT to the ground!

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages, blooming in March of 2013

today: a decisive move!

today: a decisive move!

This time I swear I will not let them get away from me and will keep them cut low. They had gotten to more than the height of the bottom of the windowboxes. In the rain, the viburnums stink terribly.

A few green sprouts soften the blow.

A few green sprouts soften the blow.

a decisive measure!

a decisive measure!

center courtyard; still did not have time to pull the scilla foliage

center courtyard; still did not have time to pull the scilla foliage

the other bed near the office with a Canadian Explorer rose, and Ceanothus and Barberry, with drifts of Geranium 'A T Johnson' allowed to take over underneath.

the other bed near the office with a Canadian Explorer rose, and Ceanothus and Barberry, with drifts of Geranium ‘A T Johnson’ allowed to take over underneath (and catmint on the edge)

Nurseries

We then had a round of shopping to get some plants for Jo.

some Cosmos and an Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' at the Planter Box

some Cosmos and an Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ at the Planter Box

a blue hyssop at The Basket Case

a blue hyssop at The Basket Case

I also bought some more trailies for the Anchorage window boxes. While I looked at a plant availability list for the next plant shipment, Allan took the viburnum debris to dump at Peninsula Landscape Supply just a few blocks up Sandridge Road.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Peninsula Landscape Supply

When he returned to the Basket Case, we saw a bald eagle way up in a snag. That’s why the tiniest poodle is not allowed to run around the yard!

his eye on the poodle

his eye on the poodle

Klipsan Beach Cottages

On up the Peninsula we drove to Klipsan Beach Cottages.

the rhodo by where we park

the rhodo by where we park

rhodo2

 

a stunning variation on pinky-whites

a stunning variation on pinky-whites

The honeysuckle that Allan pruned last week looks very fine.

The honeysuckle that Allan pruned last week looks very fine.

Mary's special plant from Far Reaches Farm

Mary’s special plant from Far Reaches Farm

Callistemon. I am envious.  It likes this warm wall.

Callistemon. I am envious. It likes this warm wall.

rainy day rose

rainy day rose

The drizzly rain meant we would not have to water the Ilwaco planters till Saturday! We therefore did not mind it at all. It will have kept the Long Beach planters wet, as well. (The planters do need watering even after rain if they have dried out, but they have not had a chance to dry out since we last watered them.)

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

I wish I'd remember to buy myself this glorious rose.

I wish I’d remember to buy myself this glorious rose.

Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave'

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

close up, another plant I wish to re-acquire for myself.  Must remember to snag a little piece!

close up, another plant I wish to re-acquire for myself. Must remember to snag a little piece!

alliums

alliums

more roses

more roses

the first tall lilies

the first tall lilies

Asiatic lilies

Asiatic lilies

The cardiocrinum bud.  Snails have gotten all the leaves; I hope the flower blooms before the snails get it, too!

The cardiocrinum bud. Snails have gotten all the leaves; I hope the flower blooms before the snails get it, too!

view from the garden to the ocean view cottages

view from the garden to the ocean view cottages

about an hour's worth of debris

about an hour’s worth of debris

through one of the gates, as we are on our way out.

through one of the gates, as we are on our way out.

Wiegardt Studio and Gallery

I had a mission in mind at the Wiegardt Gallery: to just put an edge, with the half moon edger, on the curve of the entry garden.

before

before

I found it difficult to drive the edger through parts of the lawn edge and much bad language ensued.  Just after I finally got to the end of the cutting part of the job, Eric emerged! I had thought no one was there.  Fortunately, he had been in his upstairs north facing studio and had not heard my conversation with the edger.  (Allan had had to listen as he was working along behind me pulling up the strip of sod.)

Eric said that putting an edge on the garden was like putting a frame on a painting.

after

after

the handsome old house

the handsome old house

allium assortment

allium assortment

I got more ambitious than I had planned...

I got more ambitious than I had planned…

and edged the whole front garden.

and edged the whole front garden.

Allium schubertii:  Eric thinks they look like sputniks.

Allium schubertii: Eric thinks they look like sputniks.

I held up the water gauge to show the allium's enormous size.

I held up the water gauge to show the allium’s enormous size.

The west side wall garden (below) really needs help.  I added the Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ and it is still rather dull.  Years ago, there were two Lavatera ‘Barnsley’, back when the house was pink, and before Lavateras started to not do as well here on the Peninsula.  Then there was an Escallonia at each end; I seem to recall Eric thought they were too big, so we cut them down.  It needs some way to anchor the garden to the tall building.

west side, so blah, hope Todd can figure out a solution! ;-)

west side, so blah, hope Todd can figure out a solution! 😉

The west side does have a good feature right now:  lots of Allium bulgaricum, (syn. Nectroscordum siculum).  Allan noticed all the bees going into the tubular flowers and got some photos:

bees2

bees

bees3

bees4

bees5

I simply could not pick just one, as all the bees are so fat and adorable.

I simply could not pick just one, as all the bees are so fat and adorable.

Ilwaco

We ended our workday back south in Ilwaco, checking all the Ilwaco planters to make sure the new plants are doing ok and don’t yet need watering.  (They don’t because of considerable rain.)

just south of the planter blocks, the boatyard garden

just south of the planter blocks, the boatyard garden

We assessed the planter situation and decided several more of the old Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ need to be replaced.  They get sad, old and woody after a couple years.  Oh goodie, another plant shopping session on Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

It’s a good thing I like my job, because it was mighty hard to go back to work after three days off.

Cheri’s Garden

To ease into it, we started at Cheri’s garden just a few blocks east on Lake Street.

before weeding and deadheading

before weeding and deadheading

after deadheading the rhodo

after deadheading the rhodo

The red Oriental poppies go well with the new house colour.  Fortunately, I used a lot of yellow flowers to go with the old house colour, so they should still look good, as well.  Pink does not work well with the new colour!

old

the former colour

The cats in the outdoor cat room enjoyed having some company.

cats

cat1

I really must take a photo of the whole cat room set up next time.

cat2

 

In the garden area next to the cat room (which was halved in size to make space, I was startled to see the Buddleia was cut flush to the ground.  While I have no problem with that as it is a noxious weed, it was a surprise.

a different look, and Cheri had this area well weeded.

back garden with a different look, and Cheri had this area well weeded.

In the front:  White looks very good with the new colour.

In the front: White looks very good with the new colour.

the front garden

the front garden

Cheri and Charlie's new dog proof veg beds

Cheri and Charlie’s new dog proof veg beds

While I weeded here and there throughout the garden, Allan tackled a tedious job; I did join him to finish it up.

a garden bed that had gone to the dogs and to grass

a garden bed that had gone to the dogs and to grass

done

done

Ilwaco

After Cheri’s, we planted up the last city planter by the Antique Gallery Too! on Spruce Street.  We were going to try to move it out to the sidewalk, when we realized that it may have been placed by the building owner to keep customers from driving into the wooden post.  We would be in big trouble if we moved it and someone wrecked the place as a result, so we will leave that to the city to deal with!

planter

The Antique Gallery Too! is run by our friend and garden client, Larry.

Just around the corner, we popped very briefly into Olde Towne Café to check out the antique display that had been added over the weekend.

a Jadeite collection

a Jadeite collection

I find these so aesthetically pleasing, but as I have red in my kitchen, they just would not do for me.

I find these so aesthetically pleasing, but as I have red in my kitchen, they just would not do for me.

Erin’s Garden

Up in Long Beach, we weeded the back porch garden beds at Erin’s house.

the wall garden, before

the wall garden, before. with bindweed

Allan did that garden as it required the agility to climb atop the wall.

after

after

after, from the porch

after, from the porch

I did the level chickweed area...here, after I had started.

I did the level chickweed area…here, after I had started.

after

after

The whole time I weeded, I was hoping my feline friend Felix would turn up, as he had disappeared several days before and I missed and worried about him.

Of course, I had to look at the new-this-year boat garden.  Who did I find browsing nearby?

deerone

completely unbothered by my presence

completely unbothered by my presence

the rest of the family

the rest of the family

In the garden, they had nibbled Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ and after nipping some flowers, decided to leave it alone after all.

It's not as floriferous as it could have been.

It’s not as floriferous as it could have been.

They nibbled agastache, but not penstemons, and left Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and cosmos completely alone.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

cosmos and eryngium

cosmos and eryngium

a junco for Mr Tootlepedal

a junco for Mr Tootlepedal

Alllum schubertii in the boat

Alllum schubertii in the boat

the garden boat but no visit from my friend Felix

the garden boat but no visit from my friend Felix

dreamy weathered beach houses next door

dreamy weathered beach houses next door

Then to my great joy, Erin and her son arrived at home…with Felix, who had spent the weekend at the human society in a cage after being turned in by someone.  He was annoyed by his prison experience, with a twitching tail, and surely as glad to be home as I was to see him again.

Welcome back, Felix; I am so relieved.

Welcome back, Felix; I am so relieved.

Jo’s garden

We had promised Jo a weeding session, not sure we’d have time to do it today.  Happily, we did, which will make the rest of the week easier.  (My hope is to do a four day week and then get into a pattern of having weekends off except for perhaps having to water those pesky Ilwaco planters.)

Jo's garden

Jo’s garden, the guest cottage

honeysuckle arbour

honeysuckle arbour

A hummingbird was all around this honeysuckle.

A hummingbird was all around this honeysuckle.

two pink rosebushes

two pink rosebushes

bee on rugosa rose

bee on a very fragrant rugosa rose

My friend Coco, all awiggle but a little camera shy

My friend Coco, all awiggle but a little camera shy

I can reveal now that we have been worried about Jo, who was recently outfitted with a spiffy new pacemaker and after giving us a scare is going to be able to enjoy her summer of flowers.

Jo and I assessed that the new-last-year perennial area needs something new, so we will shop for it on Wednesday.  Jo would like another Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and we must find one or two other plants as well.

It's just not full enough.

It’s just not full enough.

After a couple of hours of weeding, we moved on to…

Port of Ilwaco

…to spend an hour or so weeding on Howerton Way where we left off late last Friday evening.

On the way, we paused at the boatyard garden and saw a typical Ilwaco traffic jam.

Nola K on the Marine Travelift coming into the boatyard

Nola K on the Marine Travelift coming into the boatyard

a big boat

a big boat

nola2

and then crossing First Ave while a car waits patiently.

P1070997

off to the boat storage area

off to the boat storage area

P1080003

on the Marine Travelift

P1080007

the boatyard garden, looking south from the gate

the boatyard garden, looking south from the gate

We then weeded the Shorebank garden beds.  I had the idea for Allan to trim, with the pole pruner, the dead tops of the columnar pear trees.

trees

trees2

He got two dealt with (one being behind me as I took this photos), but will need to bring the even longer pole pruner to do the others.

When we went to the east end of the marina after an hour of weeding, who did we find but our client Cheri walking her two boxers!

Beemer

Beemer

Porsche

Porsche

They are not good for the garden. I forgive them because they sure are cute.

home

At home, I felt inspired to tackle the wild impatiens in the front garden.

before and after

before and after

Onyx from next door came to visit.

Onyx from next door came to visit.

I think that the fuzzy Verbascum is going to be interesting.  I snapped the stalk off one day, being too lazy to pull it out from next to the driveway, and it looks like it is going to have four or five flower stalks instead of one.  I did not know that would happen.

Wednesday: more plant shopping (which will result in more planting Thursday) and north end jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

very cold at about ten AM

very cold at about ten AM

very cold!

very cold!

And yet there are flowers...a ranunculus...

And yet there are flowers…a ranunculus…

and grape hyacinth...this batch bloomed early last year, also.

and grape hyacinth…this batch bloomed early last year, also.

I walked down to Olde Towne Café on this chilly mid morning because I wanted to see the rearranging that owner Luanne had done during her days “off”, Sunday and Monday.

a new chess table sit spot

a new chess table sit spot

She wants to encourage patrons to play chess.  I cannot help because I don’t know how.

all the red vintage kitchen things gathered together

all the red vintage kitchen things gathered together

A wheel instead of stained glass in the window makes for a better view.

A wheel instead of stained glass in the window makes for a better view.

treasures

After a breakfast panini, I walked briskly home and considered doing something outdoors, like perhaps edging a bit of lawn.  The sweet neighbour cat, Onyx, clearly hoped I would stay outside.

Onyx

Onyx

Onyx often visits our garden.

Onyx often visits our garden.

This cat will not scratch and bite when his belly is rubbed.

This cat will not scratch and bite when his belly is rubbed.

He got very sawdusty because of a project Allan was working on.

He got very sawdusty because of a project Allan was working on.

onyx5

When I went into the house to consider getting garden gloves and tools, I noticed the way that our cat Calvin was approaching the day.

Calvin still in bed

Calvin still in bed

And I changed my mind and sat down with a book for the rest of daylight (feeling guilty) and then into the evening (feeling relieved that daylight was over and I could stop feeling guilty about being indoors on a sunny day).  I was reading Rob Sheffield’s Love is a Mix Tape for the second time because I wanted to segue directly into its sequel.  This music writer’s memoir tells the story of the love between two young rockers and then the story of grief when Rob’s wife dies suddenly of a pulmonary embolism at age 31.  The sadness I felt during the last half of the book was intensified this time because I now follow a blog of a gardener whose wife died suddenly in a similar way.   Here are a few quotations that especially moved me, courtesy of Goodreads making them easy to find:

From Love is a Mix Tape: “It’s the same with people who say, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Even people who say this must realize that the exact opposite is true. What doesn’t kill you maims you, cripples you, leaves you weak, makes you whiny and full of yourself at the same time. The more pain, the more pompous you get. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you incredibly annoying.” 

“When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other.” 

“I had no voice to talk with because she was my whole language.” 

“I was helpless in trying to return people’s kindness, but also helpless to resist it. Kindness is a scarier force than cruelty, that’s for sure. Cruelty isn’t that hard to understand. I had no trouble comprehending why the phone company wanted to screw me over; they just wanted to steal some money, it was nothing personal. That’s the way of the world. It made me mad, but it didn’t make me feel stupid. If anything, it flattered my intelligence. Accepting all that kindness, though, made me feel stupid.

Human benevolence is totally unfair. We don’t live in a kind or generous world, yet we are kind and generous. We know the universe is out to burn us, and it gets us all the way it got Renee, but we don’t burn each other, not always. We are kind people in an unkind world, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens. How do you pretend you don’t know about it, after you see it? How do you go back to acting like you don’t need it? How do you even the score and walk off a free man? You can’t. I found myself forced to let go of all sorts of independence I thought I had, independence I had spent years trying to cultivate. That world was all gone, and now I was a supplicant, dependent on the mercy of other people’s psychic hearts.” 

If you love alternative rock music, or if you have experienced such loss of a loved one, or both, this is a beautiful and moving book, and it is often funny and endearing about the music.  I wanted to know Renee and agreed with the author that the whole world had been robbed of her; he felt that he was luckier than most because he had gotten to spend the most time with her.

I shake myself out of the pensive mood brought on by thinking about that book to tell you that Allan was working on a project, one he had been preparing for by doing this for the past couple of days:

wood

recently, in the garage

thin strips of wood all made from scrap wood from other projects

thin strips of wood all made from scrap wood from other projects

Today he began to glue them onto the ugly 1970s front door.

indoor project for a cold day

indoor project for a cold day

What can I say?  I was very lazy and photographed this with my phone from where I sat in my reading chair.  You can see the pretty green glass that Suzy Q’s Magical Glass cut for us the other day.  It replaced a hideously ugly plastic orange strip.

door

door

You can see that he stained the strips of wood in different natural colours.

That’s about all that happened!  I finished Love is a Mix Tape and moved on to Turn Around Bright Eyes, a sequel memoir by the same author.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 (part one)

Here's how the door looks now...almost done!

Here’s how the door looks now…almost done!

I have much to write about for today as we took a tourism hospitality tour; in this entry, I’m sticking to what happened at home and Olde Towne.

After the tour (which will be my next entry) we went to Olde Towne at 3:15 for a very late lunch.  Allan helped our neighbour (two blocks down) Chris hang a vintage surfboard for decoration.

board

At four o clock (closing time), Luanne put out the closed sign and declared “Now it’s a private party!” and sat with us for awhile.  A fellow who is here from Peru and who loves to surf had a good long talk with Chris on the topic.  Chris had actually been out surfing in yesterday’s cold weather.  (People wear wetsuits for winter surfing here.)

two surfin' dudes

two surfin’ dudes

This is more my kind of winter entertainment:

food

Olde Towne treats

At home, I caught up on my two favourite blogs (as I’ve been reading books more than turning on the computer), The Miserable Gardener and the Tootlepedal blog.  And now a late dinner and a couple of episodes of Treme, season three, then some late night reading.  Hey…we’re back on staycation!

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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Another staycation day began midmorning at Olde Towne Café, where I had a latte and a bagel and admired the bouquet of pussy willows that had been brought in by Cat, one of the regulars.

an early sign of spring

an early sign of spring

This willow from Long Beach is strangely early as the ones by my bogsy wood have barely begun to bud out.

During the afternoon at home, I tackled a bit more of the clean up in the back garden. Spring clean up comes early here because once we start work, I won’t have the time.

the back garden

the back garden

a very dead lavender by the patio

a very dead lavender by the patio

The weather has been particular hard on the garden this past winter, with a week of unusually cold night temperatures. This should provide me with plenty of space to add new plants…or to make more room for established ones that are already crowded.

Allan has been implementing an idea of mine: that in the space behind the garage, storage would be improved by shelves that actually fit and utilize the entire space.

an empty wall

an empty wall

lumber leans on the not very useful free shelves that used to sit there

lumber leans on the not very useful free shelves that used to sit there

Allan working on the project

Allan working on the project

resulting in a much more practical storage space

resulting in a much more practical storage space

Friday, 17 January 2014

A belated birthday to my dear old friend Roberta (since I am writing this a week later and setting back the publishing date).

Another late staycation morning begins at Olde Towne Café.

Olde Towne Café.

I went to Olde Towne for lunch rather than breakfast, as I had the desire to check out some gardens and perhaps see the sunset. After a Chai latte and a bleu cheese steak salad (my vegan friend Patt says a steak salad is an oxymoron!), I took a bit of a work stroll, resulting in a very tiny bit of work and a great deal of thinking about work.

I had brought a pair of garden clippers but no bucket; as I walked down toward the port, I clipped some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and pulled a large handful of weeds from under the street trees and offloaded the bundle in the long grass near the boatyard.

There were only a few boats in drydock because the Hoist is being repaired.

There were only a few boats in drydock because the Hoist is being repaired.

I had no intention of working on the boatyard garden during staycation. The long stretch to the north of the boatyard gate looked pretty good, as we had weeded it well before our winter break. The stretch to the south was another story.

boatyard looking south

boatyard looking south

All along the three block-or-so garden, plants that were left up for winter interest are looking tired and ready to be cut back. The southern stretch has far more weeds than I’d like to see…which was no surprise.

large area of creeping sorrel that I did not get to before staycation...

large area of creeping sorrel that I did not get to before staycation…

grass creeping in under the fence

grass creeping in under the fence

There are just a few crocus appearing!

There are just a few crocus appearing!

I am looking forward to cleaning this up in a couple of weeks.

I am looking forward to cleaning this up in a couple of weeks.

early evening light at the south end of the boatyard

early evening light at the south end of the boatyard

Turning the corner, I walked east along Howerton.

past Jessie's Ilwaco Fish Company

past Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company

gardenMy camera failed me by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle by going all blurry. I include a thumbnail of the photo here for my own reference; this garden at the west end of the street looks interesting and good and the weeding job, one of the last we did, has held up well. And there was a snowdrop!

snowdrop

Galanthus nivalis or ikarae; I confess I can’t tell the difference. Yet.

Further east, I felt a slight urge to cut back Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ behind the port office. I resisted, wanting to stay fixed in staycation mode.

port

However, I did have a mission. Last time I had taken a sunset walk, I’d been thoroughly bothered by the dead leaves on the Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ and a few other plants. I took pleasure in clipping them back and carrying an armful of clipped material over to the big wheelie bin by the dock.

before

before

after...I hope the difference shows

after…I hope the difference shows

I resisted going after the small weeds. In this garden, I saw this year’s first blooms of Iris reticulata and I hope I’m not the only one who notices this precious little set of blossoms.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

I’d hoped to time the conclusion of my small work project to the sunset, but I was early by almost half an hour and did not want to wait around in the chilly air.

an almost sunset

an almost sunset

On the way home via Pearl Street, I could see fairly high water along the meander line (a ditch dividing the town property from the port).

At Pearl and the meander line, looking east toward out bogsy wood

At Pearl and the meander line, looking east toward out bogsy wood

The tree covered with ivy is at the back of my late neighbor Nora’s property. I think I’ll get back there and clip the ivy stems sometime soon.

This wide ditch will be filled with frog songs in early spring.

I had timed the sunset walk so very wrong that I still had daylight enough to gather up some firewood into a wheelbarrow and take it down to drop over the fence at New Judy’s. I hope it is not too mossy and lichen-y to make good firewood for her. Something about gathering firewood is so satisfying; I used to gather it all up to take to my mom’s house as she was happy for any small branches to dry and use as wood stove kindling.

bogsy wood storm droppings

bogsy wood storm droppings

Right after dark, Allan and I strolled down to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, three blocks away, for the opening reception of a show called Threads to New Worlds, A Collection of Fiber Art.

The food was, as always for museum events, delicious, and Allan and I sat for a spell while I sorely neglected to take very many photos.

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Clatsop Weavers and Spinners Guild gave demonstrations during the reception.

Clatsop Weavers and Spinners Guild gave demonstrations during the reception.

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Center:  Our dear client Cheri (photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum)

Center: Our dear client Cheri (photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum)

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

The very next day would be the first volunteer beach clean up of 2014, necessitating the rising at an hour much too early for night owl staycationers. That and jury duty had been looming over my lazy head. Fortunately, every trial I might have been called for had been cancelled except for one that may (but I hope will not) happen on January 30th.

 

 

 

 

 

at the end of the reception evening

at the end of the reception evening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

What is a holiday when one is on staycation?  Today Olde Towne Café was open so I had my usual sort of vacation midmorning brunch.  All the Christmas decorations had been boxed up and a new front window display was in progress.

decorating in progress

decorating in progress

And then, I actually mustered up some gardening energy and cleaned up the geranium ‘Rozanne’ bed in the back garden.

1:09 PM

1:09 PM

3:21 PM

3:21 PM

Hoping for a good sunset, I strolled down the the port where I found the view pleasant but not spectacular.  It is difficult to predict a really great sunset!

low tide and the final showing of the Jessie's star

low tide and the final showing of the Jessie’s star

Look who came flapping and croaking in right at sunset.

Look who came flapping and croaking in right at sunset.

heron

from the east end of the port by CoHo Charters

from the east end of the port by CoHo Charters

from the middling part of Waterfront Way

from the middling part of Waterfront Way

a good sit spot for sunset watching

a good sit spot for sunset watching

by the condor statue

by the condor statue

Thursday, 2 January 2014

For Allan’s 61st birthday (and he looks all of 35), we went overseas to Astoria for the afternoon.  He’d picked a well-known restaurant with charming ambience.

a popular restaurant

a popular restaurant

in the back dining room

in the back dining room

The food, sadly, was adequate (his panini) to poor (my “Thai” pasta, with flavour that had the subtlety and complexity of a cup of white sugar syrup dumped on a bowl of pasta).  However, I did like the decor and we appreciated the photo right inside the front door:

a good-hearted restaurant

a good-hearted restaurant

On the way back to our van, we enjoyed a block’s worth of planters.

planter

planter

by Fulio's (delicious Italian restaurant), planters with greenery tucked in

by Fulio’s (delicious Italian restaurant), planters with greenery tucked in

The trailing rosemaries have held up better than mine...

The trailing rosemaries have held up better than mine…

We drove to the east end of town so that Allan could have a birthday browse (for his sailboat project) in Englund Marine.

englund

inside Englund Marine

inside Englund Marine

In order to not be fidgeting, I took a walk around the nearby area and found much of interest.

Port of Astoria

Port of Astoria

a duck hangout

a duck hangout

ducks

a boatyard

a boatyard

boatyard

a retired pilot boat

a retired boat

more boats just across the road

more boats just across the road

marine

Shoofly

boat

The motel in the background has an interesting view of old boats and a lumber (shipping) yard.

The motel in the background has an interesting view of old boats and a lumber (shipping) yard.

detail

details

detail

detail

boat

boat

boat

the obligatory rust shot

the obligatory rust shot

After all that wandering around boats, I went back two blocks to Englund Marine to find Allan just finishing his shopping (and schmoozing). We headed back into town to seek some sort of birthday dessert.  (Both of us are very bad at actually getting birthday cakes for each other.)

At The Blue Scorcher Café in Astoria, a fellow with the iconic Astoria t shirt: The Goonies.

At The Blue Scorcher Café in Astoria, a fellow with the iconic Astoria t shirt: The Goonies.

The Blue Scorcher, whose motto is “Joyful Work, Delicious Food, and Strong Community” is like a step back to an idealistic time that still lives on.  It’s a worker’s collective and offers a “Gluten Free Friday”, surely welcome to many.

"chocolate fairy cake" at The Blue Scorcher

“chocolate fairy cake” at The Blue Scorcher

We returned to the area by Englund Marine and the industrial Port of Astoria to explore a bayside path that we had noticed earlier.

Path along Youngs Bay on the Columbia River

Path, looking north, along Youngs Bay on the Columbia River

looking east

looking east with Astoria Megler bridge in background

on the river

on the river

The paved path ends before the spot where the bay and the river meet, and on the pavement we saw this:

signs1sign2

sign3

We entered the small path between Scotch broom anyway…

path

..and returned safely after discovering that it did not go very far.  To our right was a big lumber shipping yard that neither of us photographed, that turned out to be significant later in the day.

the path, returning to our parking spot to the north

the path, returning to our parking spot to the north

Soon we would cross the Youngs Bay Bridge to do some shopping at Costco.

the Youngs Bay Bridge

the Youngs Bay Bridge

In the evening after a dinner at our local Thai Restaurant (still seeking an excellent birthday meal), we sat down at home to watch the final episode of Dexter.  (Spoilers follow.   Stop now if you intend to, and have not, seen it!)

Even had we not known that the end of the last episode was filmed in Astoria, we still might have recognized that the lumber yard shown in the last few minutes of the series was the exact same one we had walked next to earlier in the day by Youngs Bay!

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The Staycation routine of Olde Towne, reading, restaurants and a bit of gardening got interrupted by another holiday event somewhat of my own making.

Thursday, 19 December and Friday, 20 December 2013

Let me throw in three photos taken in downtown Long Beach on Thursday evening that did not make it into the Holiday Village post.

decorations at Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach

decorations at Marsh’s Free Museum in Long Beach

Long Beach looking south from midtown

Long Beach looking south from midtown

and looking north in the sparkling holiday town

and looking north in the sparkling holiday town

Friday, I made the usual restful round of the post office and Olde Towne Café.

cute decoration at the Ilwaco Post Office

cute decoration at the Ilwaco Post Office

At Olde Towne, Chester showed me a beautiful birdwatching calendar by Doug Swanson that is for sale at Rusty’s Coin Shop (First Place Mall in Long Beach).  (The red bird is a Summer Tanager.)

three of twelve impressive bird photos

three of twelve impressive bird photos

Plenty of other folk were enjoying the good ambience of Olde Towne, as well, including a gathering including (left) Doug “In Doug We Trust” Knutzen of Box K Auto Repair and (right) Wendy from beachdog.com (expert local website design business) and her family.

oldetowne

Errands followed after Olde Towne.  At Long Beach City Hall, while picking up the last cheque of the year, it was pointed out to me that the cyclamen were blooming in Peggy’s memorial garden (Peggy’s Park).  For more about Peggy, see her garden on the 2013 Music in the Gardens tour.

Peggy planted these.

Peggy planted these.

We acquired more lights on our errands run at the Dennis Company store in Long Beach where, in small town fashion, we encountered Tom and Judy as well as Donna M.   Our colour choice for lights was driven by the fact that the store was out of long strings of multi coloured lights, and white would be too glaring.  Purple will work for Halloween also (a big night here in Ilwaco).  Allan could not wrap the posts because of the wire mesh trellising right behind them; I think the way he attached the lights looks just fine.

lights

Allan attached the new lighting in the pouring rain, at dusk!

Friday, 21 December 2013

I woke early (for staycation) to pleasant weather, with a feeling of mixed excitement about the cash mob event of the day mixed with frustration that I had indoor plans for the entire day during unexpected good gardening weather.

looking south...I want to clean up that center bed!

looking south…I want to clean up that center bed!

From my window, to the southwest, I could see the entrance to the Saturday Christmas Market.

next door to Time Enough Books, telephoto (the way my mind sees it)

The flag marks the market space, next door to Time Enough Books, telephoto (like my mind sees it)

The Peninsula Cash Mob, created by me and Michelle Z of The Breakers resort, encourages people to go to a certain shop at a pre-arranged time and spend between five and twenty dollars to boost the business.  Usually there is a café associated with the event.  For December, it had been Michelle’s brilliant idea to mob the Saturday Christmas Market where a few vendors from the much larger Ilwaco Saturday Market set up a festive Saturday sale during the month of December.

me, in purple, entering the market with another local

me, in purple, entering the market with another local

I became anxious immediately because the market, at 11 AM, did not look mobbed at all, so I went next door to Time Enough Books.  I always worry that a cash mob will turn out to be a flop with hardly anyone showing up.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

After a few minutes, I dared to go back into the marketplace…and it was mobbed!

inside the Christmas market

inside the Christmas market

wreaths with sand dollars

wreaths with sand dollars

Rebecca, who used to operate The Canoe Room café at the port, shows off her purchases.

Rebecca, who used to operate The Canoe Room café at the port, shows off her purchases.
Charlene and Debbie, gardeners and readers of this blog, in holiday outfits

Charlene and Debbie, gardeners and readers of this blog, in holiday outfits

and buying treats from Pink Poppy Bakery

and buying treats from Pink Poppy Bakery

Allan looks over some glass colours; the glass folks are going to cut pieces for us to replace the ugly orange plastic in our very 70s exterior doors.

Allan looks over some glass colours; the Suzie Q’s Magical Glass folks are going to cut pieces for us to replace the ugly orange plastic in our very 70s exterior doors.

Jenna (Queen LaDeDa) supporting the market.  I saw her at every booth.

Jenna (Queen LaDeDa) supporting the market. I saw her at every booth.

Jenna fell in love with a purple bag.  If I used bags of this type, I would have been some tough competition for it.

a really gorgeous bag!

a really gorgeous purple bag!

Our friend J9 is a big fan of the same style of bag and she and a friend each bought one at the market last weekend.  This vendor is at the summer market every Saturday.

I bought one of these adorable pillows two weeks ago as a present.

I bought one of these adorable pillows two weeks ago as a present.

(It’s for someone who doesn’t read this blog, so I can safely post it here!)

Harmony Soapworks from Oysterville

Harmony Soapworks

Harmony Soapworks sells their soap online as well as at local shops, and they have regular shipments of soap going to Japan!

Our gardening client Ann

Our gardening client Ann

and another client, Cheri

and another client, Cheri

Harmony Soapworks

Harmony Soapworks

Our friend Ed Strange of Strange Landscaping was at the Pink Poppy Bakery booth, and I swear he posed for this photo.

Ed!

Madeline and Ed!

Pink Poppy Bakery is run by the daughter of Pink Poppy Farm, my favourite garden on both local garden tours this past summer.  Because she had run out of her amazing lemon sugar cookies, I ordered a box to be picked up on Christmas eve at her new storefront by the Long Beach arch.

Pink Poppy Madeline and Kathy (sister of Time Enough Books' Karla) pose for the definitive cash mob shot

Pink Poppy Madeline and Kathy (sister of Time Enough Books’ Karla) pose for the definitive cash mob shot

The camera loves Madeline and her Amelie-style flair

The camera loves Madeline and her Amelie-style flair

I was smitten with a new vendor.  They’d  been at the last outdoor Saturday Market in September and plan to be there twice a month next year.

coastalwood

Everything they had to offer appealed to me!

wreaths

wreaths

signs

signs

beachy words

beachy words

beachy scrabble racks

beachy scrabble racks

At the other end of the room, Knotty and Knautical was down to just three glass bricks, having sold one to Debbie or Charlene (I think).

the Knotty and Knautical booth, also a regular at the outdoor market

the Knotty and Knautical booth, also a regular at the outdoor market

the market, pretty well mobbed

the market, pretty well mobbed

I stepped out to stroll down Waterfront Way to Jenna’s shop and had a moment when I very much wanted to be home cleaning the dead foliage off of my river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’.  I find it hard to staycation without gardening; rainy days are a blessing to me.

the view from right outside the market

the view from right outside the market

The good weather enabled a cute picture of “Queen La De Da” outside her shop.

our Jenna

our Jenna

inside the Queen La De Da's shop

inside the Queen La De Da’s shop…

Who did we find but Debbie and Charlene!

Who did we find but Debbie and Charlene!

Jenna asked if I had told her spouse, Don, about the purple purse, so I popped back down to Don’s  art gallery and informed him.  He had me watch the shop while he went on a Christmas gift mission.  (I’m 100% sure they are too busy to read this blog, so don’t tell!)

Don ALWAYS has treats for customers in his gallery.

Don almost ALWAYS has treats for customers in his gallery.

At two, Allan and I went to OleBob’s Café and met Michelle Z for lunch.  And who did we find there?

The very festive Charlene and Debbie!

The very festive Charlene and Debbie!  Those gals know how to do a cash mob!

They had their Christmas present exchange, which included the wonderful new book of collected gardening columns by the late and much missed Dulcy Mahar.  Michelle, meanwhile, gifted me with a gorgeous green and purple scarf, the knitting of which benefits the South Pacific County Humane Society.  (Bonnie Carey of “bjs pet projects” makes the scarf, and donates her profits to the no-kill shelter.)  So I thought it was appropriate to have Mary model it later on in the day.

How did Michelle know these are "my" colours? ;-)

How did Michelle know these are “my” colours? 😉

And here I am with hardly any presents even wrapped!

We visited at OleBob’s for well over an hour…

OleBob's holiday decor, and boats

OleBob’s holiday decor, and boats

…and were only a few minutes late to coffee klatch at Olde Towne!  Patt had come back to town and of course we had to gather with the group of her special Olde Towne friends.  Rain began to fall and I could finally stop thinking about gardening!

oldetowne

olde towne

At Olde Towne, Jenna, MR and Donna, Tom and Judy, and Patt

Allan ran errands instead of joining us, his main mission being to donate some extra things to the Reach Out Thrift Store in Long Beach.  Our friend Cat (very much an Olde Towne regular) was working there and asked Allan to say hi for her to the gang since she couldn’t be there with us.

Cat with a little thrift store tree she was about to decorate.

Cat with a little thrift store tree she was about to decorate.

I have to close with a little Olde Towne item that I found so charming (but was able to resist buying).

the idyllic childhood Christmas I didn't quite have!

the idyllic childhood Christmas I didn’t quite have!

Now it haunts me.  If it is still there on Tuesday, it might come home with me!

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

With our friend J9 (Jeannine) in town, she and I attended the annual ritual of Tuba Christmas at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.

a standing room only crowd

a standing room only crowd

Tubas playing Christmas carols

Tubas playing Christmas carols

tubastubas

tree

and of course, treats for intermission!  They had JUST enough.

and of course, treats for intermission! They had JUST enough.

Here is a link to a youtube video of a performance by the Astoria Tuba Quartet.

Afterward, J9 came to our house for a little while.  She may be the only person who stops by to see our tree, so here it is.

tree

J9 moved away over a year ago and now wants so very much to find a place to move back here.  She may have found a trailer to rent while she seeks work and a better living space, and if she does, expect to hear more of her in the blog! 😉

We took her to dinner at the Depot Restaurant.

depot

The Depot Christmas tree, decorated with food themed ornaments

The Depot Christmas tree, decorated with food themed ornaments

Monday, 16 December 2013

My planned day of perhaps doing some housecleaning changed when I saw that the weather had turned out mild and conducive to a bit of gardening.  First I walked five doors down to Larry and Robert’s garden on the next block and cut back some  frost damaged foliage.  It did not count as WORK because I did not charge them for it.

the garden boat, devoid of annuals now

the garden boat, devoid of annuals now

some pineapple sage got chopped.

some pineapple sage got chopped.

The white house in the background, formerly the home of Nora Saunder’s mother, has been sold, had two dormers added, and is now a cheerful blue.

I remain envious of the beauty berry that I planted in this garden...

I remain envious of the beauty berry that I planted in this garden…

tidied up

tidied up

On my short walk home the bright glow of one of Judy and Tom’s Japanese maples caught my eye.

maple aglow

maple aglow

At home, our front garden had been hit hard by last week’s frost.  I plowed in to cut anything back that did not look archetectural.

front garden before

front garden before

and after

and after

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I get so much more done on staycation on the days when my favourite coffee shop is closed!   Of course, I spent awhile at Olde Towne on Tuesday and decided to acquire one of their vintage Santas as a companion for the one I got last year.

a Santa selection at Olde Towne

a Santa selection at Olde Towne

Christmas tins at Olde Towne

Christmas tins at Olde Towne

and fishing floats

and fishing floats

We took two of the lighted houses that Allan inherited from his mom’s collection down to add to the holiday decor.

little houses next to the Olde Towne tree

little houses next to the Olde Towne table  tree

On the way home, a photo of a pretty house, one of my favourites in town, a block south on Lake, with holiday greenery.

the twin dormer house

the twin dormer house

At home, my cute Santa couple represents to me how glad I am that gay marriage became legal in this state a year ago.

Mr. and Mr. Santa

Mr. and Mr. Santa

Wednesday, 18 December, 2013

The big event of the day was trying out the delicious new steak and blue cheese salad at Olde Towne….along with some good company.

scrumptious

scrumptious

Allan joined me as we had coffee with Jamie B. and New Judy, our new neighbour three doors down.  Jamie requested no photo of herself for a change, so feast your eyes on the salad instead.

At dusk, I took a puddle and sunset walk.   The puddles were the best part of the sunset, as the clouds that promised drama mostly just turned dark grey.

puddle

puddle2

puddle

sunset

pots

Next:  a visit to the Holiday Christmas Village at the Hungry Harbor Grille

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