Posts Tagged ‘our garden’

Saturday, 21 April 2018

I actually do think that weeding, in my own garden, among plants that I like and  therefore enjoy a close look at, is fun.  Sort of. I don’t mind it, if I have time to keep up with it.  I started in on the west front garden (between our driveway and our neighbour’s driveway) while awaiting my social engagement.

MaryBeth came by with a gift of a generous clump of her Kerria japonica (with pompon-like flowers), and we walked into my back garden and I got her a clump of my single-flowered Kerra japonica.  She also brought me a book written by the husband of Margaret Drabble, one of my favourite authors.

Allan will enjoy it, too: “Michael Holroyd confronts an army of automobiles in this charming book. Weaving together memoir and historical anecdote, he traces his relationship with cars through a lifetime of biography.”

Soon after, Our Kathleen arrived for our lunch date at the Shelburne Pub.  She had picked up some violas for me and helped me, by un-potting them, while I bunged them into the edge of the front garden (for edible flower garnish).

Shelburne front garden, looking north

and south

This may have been Kathleen’s first time dining in the pub, at least in its new incarnation.  We had good food and a good long talk; it has been awhile since our schedules coordinated.  I look forward to her living here full time after retirement.

I am working my way through all the non-oyster items on the menu, so this time I tried the crispy, crunchy, and satisfying fried chicken sandwich, an unusual idea that I have never seen anywhere else.  The “Fisherman’s potato salad” has smoked herring in it, also innovative and delicious.

Kathleen had the pub burger.

Followed by bread pudding:

A musician played mellifluous guitar in the living room.  We were there at the quiet hour before the early dinner crowd.

I put some money in his hat.

Back at home, I finished my weeding project:

before (from a couple of days ago)

this evening

The back garden at 7 PM:

two cats


window box detail

In the window boxes, the redtwig dogwood twigs that I put in for winter interest have rooted and will go into the garden when I change the boxes to annuals. The tulip is ‘Princess Irene’.

It would have been a good day for boating had Allan not been still recuperating from his cold.

Because the chill wind prevented weeding till dusk, I had time to finish In the Eye of the Garden by Mirabel Osler.  After watching the harrowing film, Detroit, I returned to peaceful garden reading at bedtime with Osler’s A Breath from Elsewhere.

Guest photos:

I thought you would enjoy these photos from a neighbour’s walk in Beards Hollow, a woodsy trail to the beach about a mile west of us.

photo by Missy Lucy Dagger Bageant

photo by Missy Lucy Dagger Bageant

Beards Hollow, via google

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Saturday, 14 April 2018

Looking out the front window, I noticed that the goldy-bronze Japanese maple, which I planted for eventual privacy, tones well with the cottage across the street.

Allan picked up some books from the library and did some deadheading there:

Ilwaco Community Building

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa (probably) ‘Peppermint Stick’

at home

In the early evening, Allan went on a splashabout in the back garden.

I wish that white bucket was not sitting there. Fire water bucket. I keep forgetting to move it.

in the bogsy wood

looking north from the Bogsy Wood

Bogsy Wood bridge

Bogsy Wood swale

the seasonal pond at the Meander Line

looking north

fairy door

at the north edge of the Bogsy Wood

lawn under water

In the evening, we watched the documentary Kedi, about the cats of Istanbul.  It was glorious.  You can watch it right here.

Skooter, lower right

To protect our telly, we had to put Skooter into the laundry room.  The soundtrack of meowing cats had him all in a tizzy. He never gets worked up by the meowing on the show My Cat From Hell.

After the film, I studied the first couple of chapters of this book, a gift from Lorna, former owner of Andersen’s RV Park, a longtime past job of ours..

I have looked at all the lovely photos before, but this time I am seriously studying it as I am not all that successful at intensive cutting gardens.  I am wanting a small one around the edges of the back garden of the Shelburne Hotel and would like to do better with cutting flowers at home because I am taking bouquets there on a regular basis.

A sweet story of how the author got started:

I don’t often pick bouquets for myself but I do like to make them for other people. I learned useful items already, such as succession seeding for annual flowers up till July 15th.  And planting them extra close together for cutting flowers.

After midnight, I looked to see how much rain had fallen on Saturday: 4.36 inches! And 8.55 since this storm began.

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But first, here are some extra photos from Thursday that did not make it into the blog.

the unusual sight of a newt crossing the lawn (usually we find them in hidden places)

Some photos of the bouquet that Allan took to the Shelburne:

Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’ provides the foliage.

inside the pink tulip

Friday, 6 April 2018

Frosty at the bedroom door (Allan’s photo)

Instead of rain ahead of the storm, we got a perfectly calm windless day.  Allan went on a non- boating outing (tomorrow’s post) while I stayed home and planted almost all of my ladies in waiting.

view from the front porch

When I emerged into the late morning sunshine, I found a most unusual guest low down in an old apple tree by the front porch.

Usually, the flock of doves hang out way up on the power lines.  (I’ve thought of them as pigeons till Montana Mary said this looks like a dove.) Not long after, I heard a distinctive cry and looked up to see one male and two female bald eagles circling overhead.  The pigeon, and some of its mates, had been hiding low down in the trees.  I started to worry about how Skooter goes up on our white, flat roof and took some time to research whether the eagles might snatch him.  Audubon says that would be most unlikely.  “No, no and Google it”, Audubon says to the question of whether an eagle would take an adult cat.  But when Googling, youtube videos say otherwise.  (I did not, could not watch.)  I talked to Allan about putting some loose wire mesh around the arbour posts that we know Skooter uses to access the roof, but he probably has another way.  One site pointed out, not too meanly, that for an eagle to take a cat would reverse the usual cat-bird situation.  I looked at Skooter and said, “You do eat birds.”  I wish I could warn him in words he could understand.  (If he is kept indoors, he sprays angrily on the door and elsewhere while glaring at us.)

I put that worry out of my mind (leaving it in Allan’s, perhaps) so that I could concentrate on planting.  Perhaps because planting is not my favourite gardening activity, I moved slowly and mopily through the day, thinking how much I miss seeing Calvin sitting on the cat door ledge watching the world go by.

I dumped the gauge of this week’s rain because I needed it.

a lily coming up inside an old stalk (winter clean up neglect)

I love the backdrop of stacked crab pots.  It will not last long, because surely the gear shed folks will tarp the pots to protect them from weather all summer long.

Skooter kept me company throughout the garden.  I will keep on missing my Smoky’s constant garden companionship and his enjoyment of campfire evenings.

I realized that if the wind stayed away, we could have a campfire tonight.

The tiny cupped narcissi are my favourites.

(By the way, Allan bought me a better camera from ebay, a pocket sized Lumix (yes, trying Lumix again despite many “system error zoom” fails in the past) with a Leica lens.  It arrived today but with a dead battery and no charger, so we can’t use it till a newly ordered charger arrives.)

What I planted:

My first mission was to plant four roses that have been languishing in small pots.  I had been thrilled to find Ghislaine de Feligonde there, and had ordered three other kinds of roses just because.

Ghislane de Feligonde and Rosa palustris in my old garden

Rose ‘Ghislaine de Feligonde’ in my old garden; my transplant of it here died last year.

The other three roses are Old Blush, which gives a at least one flower most every month, Golden Wings, because I like yellow roses, and Félicité et Perpétue, which I used to grow in Seattle and in my year at the Sou’wester Lodge.

Rose ‘Felicite and Perpetue’ by cabin 9, east side, at the Sou’wester

As I sit writing this the next day, I think I planted Felicite in the wrong place.  It had to get out of the pot.  I must ponder a better place for it to climb than just over a big fuchsia in the west back bed.  I will move it to the fence on the east side…as soon as the storm is over.

I played musical chairs, moving the sad and probably dying Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’ to the back garden (insane to have any hope, but at the last minute I could not bear to throw it out), replacing it with Pittosporum ‘Wrinkled Blue’, and trading around with a small epilobium and a small callistemon and a small Japanese maple whose name completely escapes me at the moment.

This one, at Westport Winery last August

The rest of the the plants:

Far Reaches Farm, east bed, south end

Now that I have found out that the height is six feet, I am rethinking this spot.

From Far Reaches Farm. Now at the south end of west bed.

Ajuga incisa ‘Bikun’

From Select Seeds, now in a pot in the greenhouse, Sempervivum ‘Gold Nugget’

Also planted, but not photogenic or rare, an Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ and a Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’.  I had already planted the ever so pink leaved Eupatorium ‘Capri’, a birthday present from Todd, which is supposed to be shorter than ‘Pink Frost’.  The only plant of mine that I did not plant was my other Todd present, because it needs a special place and I want to protect it from the battering storm.

I might try to talk Allan into adding this to his garden, where we can see it from the porch.  His garden is better maintained and plants don’t get lost in it.

With the plants in the ground (even though two may be moved again), I had a couple of hours for weeding, a task I enjoy so much more than planting.

center bed, yesterday

this evening

I wish I had four more nice days at home to weed.

Allan had returned in the early evening and set about making a fire.  I remembered one more plant, an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost, and I ended the planting session badly by slicing a lily bulb (of course, one I had recently planted only one of) right in half.

Eryngium in, lily collateral damage, stuck the damaged bulb back in anyway.  So much weeding to do!

I swear I will not buy a whole bunch more plants (except for cosmos and nicotiana) this year so that I can….oh…wait…I have another order coming from Digging Dog.

Near the fire circle, I had finally remembered to divide a Japanese iris today:

It takes two to make a thing go right.

It takes two to make it outta sight.

The area below used to be the campfire wood pile along the edge.  Allan and I had a bit of an argy bargy when I said I was going to move the wood pile in order to make this a garden.  I won that round.

It makes a good view from the campfire.

I do wish the ground was not thick with meianthemum (the heart shaped ground cover).

mahonia (Allan’s photo)

bogsy wood alder catkins

campfire supper

Allan’s photo

Post script:

At midnight, after an evening that had continued windless, the rain finally arrived.  The wind did not kick up till after 2 A.M. and I slept through the supposed storm, waking to learn that the wind had only reached a mere 44 mph.  But as I began to write this blog post on Saturday morning, I learned that the storm had gotten distracted along the way and is now due to arrive later on Saturday.

Update regarding the new LUMIX: a charger arrived. Upon testing, the refurbished camera immediately zoomed in and out and said “turn camera off and then on again” so back it goes.

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An article for fans of our new favourite show, Detectorists:

‘Roman haul’ turns out to be TV show Detectorists prop

A guest photo from Steve of The Bayside Garden, featuring a hellebore:

Hellebore ‘Snow Fever’, photo by Steve McCormick

And here, especially for Steve, is his favourite cat, Skooter.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

I looked out my window and saw a visitor back in the bogsy woods.  Allan got some photos.

a Big Bird

I had decided that tomorrow would be the first work day of 2018.  Today, good weather allowed me to get to the bottom of one of my compost bins, in preparation for bringing home more clean debris from work.  (By clean, I mean no invasive weeds and no diseased foliage.)

Skooter helped.

glorious sifted compost

I got to the bottom of bin three.

Allan’s photo

added fresh newspaper to keep weeds from coming through

I shifted enough debris from bin two to keep the newspaper layer in place.

Today’s other project was to coppice two golden Leycesteria (‘Golden Lanterns’ and ‘Jealousy’) and a smokebush.

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ before

and after

Behind the bench: Leycesteria ‘Jealousy’ and the cotinus, before the chop


I had not liked the twisty shape that the cotinus had.  Chopping it down will give it a new chance and should result in showier foliage. (Allan chopped that one for me, because I was getting tired.) I wanted all fresh green stems on the leycesteria.

I walked around admiring a few plants.

Hellebore ‘Appleblossom’, with a sneaky mollusk that I did not see till I looked at the photo.

Hamamelis (witch hazel) in the front garden

and a very red Hamamelis in the back garden (from Dave and Melissa, with a tag too faded to read)

Iris unguicularis ‘Mary Bernard’

Todd gave me that Iris, and has provided a guest photo all the way from Hawaii, where he has been visiting his twin sister.

photo by Todd Wiegardt

Meanwhile, Allan had run errands and had taken some photos of a certain garden that I have been asked to take on again.  Here is a hint:

The photos told me a lot of my cool plants are gone, and someone has planted calla lilies all over the place, to my horror (because they take over and are SO hard to remove).

It all depends on whether I will be given free rein and a plant budget…I KNOW that I like the person I’d be working for.

While picking up some library books, Allan got some photos of the Ilwaco Community Building garden.

the tiered garden

Crocus tommasinianus

tommies with Oregon grape

The ramp railing post has been broken out again.  Allan informed the city works crew.

I hope (and dread, and am excited by) that we will start work tomorrow.  Allan heard a drip under the house and we called our friend and plumber, Don Anderson, and for awhile wondered if we WOULD be able to work tomorrow, having given him such short notice of our new problem.  He called and will come at ten in the morning, so if all goes well, staycation is over.

I made out the spring clean up work list:

The right hand column is the at home list that did not get done because of shingles and weather.

Just for the most bookish:

I have been working on a new project, adding to my Goodreads (for posterity, I suppose) my lists of books read from my old notebook.  As I get each year done, I will add a bonus post, just for myself and for the avid readers among you.  My reading habits have changed drastically over the years.  So tonight will be the first of those posts, of books read in 1982.  I am going to be writing over twenty of these posts (!!) and am going to do sort of a strange thing, which is set them to publish all on the same day (eventually, as I write them), so that I can find them all together.  Just because I got three done already, there will be three tonight.






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During the last part of January, I was obsessed with the 1975 UK flashback blog and worked on it for hours every day till it was done—except for one nice weather day, when I had to garden at home.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

I made it out to the greenhouse to water.  Otherwise, I was completely preoccupied in writing my UK trip blog.

snowdrops in one of the new windowboxes on the shed

Friday, 26 January 2018

One day of fine weather let me get out into the garden.  Allan took some photos.

I had intended only to mess about with my compost bins for a bit, and then realized I had five shrubs to plant and replant.  First, out came a Rosa ‘Mutabilis’ which went from the front garden to the back.  Into its place went a Grevillea ‘Victoria’ that Steve of the Bayside Garden had kindly procured for me.  Allan planted the new shrub while I started to dig up my Rosa pteracantha.  Then he helped with that! The second rose also went into the back garden, and (again with Allan’s help) a Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’ went where the rose had been.  Poor Tasman had very little root ball because this is its third move.  Now it is in the perfect place to help block some bright security lights, and I do hope it survives.  Finally, the gift from Steve of a Grevillea rosmarinifolia went over by the driveway.  I think the spot I found for it is not perfect; I hope it will not end up being moved around three times.

trying to get Rosa pteracantha out  (Allan helped)

Grevillea ‘Victoria’ in

Tasman Ruffles in

Allan helped me move some Geranium ‘Rozanne’ around to make room for the rose.

Skooter helps me make a new spot for the rose.

Rosa pteracantha in

Later, I will prune this rose because it is on the new growth that the thorns glow the most red.  It will be superbly back lit in this spot.

I decided I must also cut down the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  Allan helped again.

Skooter helps, but not as helpfully as Allan.

Ooops. Stuck again.

clipped Autumn Joy

Finally, I got to the original plan, some compost sifting.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

snoozy times for the cats while I blogged about the UK

Skooter helped me blog.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

A dear friend, Shaz, who I have not seen in person for years dropped by, with her new spouse (they live near Portland).  She brought me flowers.

Shaz meets Skooter

They were only able to visit for an hour, having driven up from Cannon Beach mainly to track me down. (They were staying at a place where I’ve stayed in Cannon Beach, the Sea Sprite, in the same unit that Carol and I once stayed in.)

Years ago, I had a wonderful time creating a garden with Shaz, back when she lived on the bay.

Shaz’ garden way back when

Sharon’s beautiful bird bath.

In 1998, Robert and Sharon and I created this garden around Sharon’s house where once had been just three scraggly rosebushes.

..and we made a rock wall garden along the bayside of her lot.

Wonderful memories were relived in our conversation today.

I had finished the UK blogs, which were set to publish daily for another 12 days.  Finally, I was able to devote my day to a book.  I had heard of it from author Leslie Buck, who wrote the brilliant gardening memoir Cutting Back.

I had not heard before of Mary Delaney, who as an old woman began to make glorious flower collage art out of bits of paper. Her flowers will amaze you.  Have a look here. And I do think some of you will want to read The Paper Garden. Poet and biographer Molly Peacock weaves her own story in with the life of Mary Delaney.  I treasure this part about grandma art:

On whether to keep or discard those sentimental things:

On looking for role models, I agree that I have found several who are already gone…

When Mrs. Delaney remarried happily in midlife, she created with her husband a garden in Ireland.

I agree with Mrs. Delaney on gardening being the best thing to spend money on.  We had something else in common:

“She stayed up late and got up late. ‘We live magnificently, and at the same time without ceremony.  Our hours for eating are ten, three, and ten again.'”  That is an ideal schedule for me.  The first meal might be too early for staycation, though, when I find myself awake at four AM and having breakfast at noon.  It will be hard to readjust to work time, which IS ten, three, and ten for meals.

Molly Peacock writes of seeing art in the everyday.  I would like to emulate this man:

It is more likely that Allan would create the quotidian art on the grocery store belt, whereas I would make the jumble.

In a Dublin pub, Molly Peacock is advised, “Don’t take another picture of people!…Photograph the dishes on this table! It’s pictures of people’s everyday lives that we need!”

Inspiration: At age 59, Mrs. Delaney “thought of herself as old, although we now know she was just at the end of the second third of her life.”

Here is Mrs. Delaney as an old woman.  She looks so familiar to me.  I wept to finish the book on February 1st, because I did not want to let her go.

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In real time, we interrupt the narrative flow to wish those of you who celebrate Christmas a happy day.  The blog still running five days behind is keeping it from going on winter hiatus.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

I had a late start because of getting a solid eight hours of sleep for the first time in awhile.  By noon, the weather looked to be a windless 45 degrees and I decided I would do some weeding.

the rain gauge from last night

Skooter on the roof

Frosty was watching Skooter from below the arbour.

Frosty went up to the cat door platform and they exchanged looks.

This is part of Skooter’s route to and from the roof:

I clipped some catmint in the front garden.  That must have released some scent; all of a sudden both Skooter and Frosty converged upon it.

I thought to myself that I had made a mistake in leaving the much less sunny front yard for weeding now.  I’d be warmer if I had done the front garden during the milder days and saved the sunny south side for chilly days.

so much warmer back here where I already weeded

In Allan’s garden, a tall mahonia catches the sun.

In the front garden, east side, the big libertia is all of a sudden on the move.  I will dig up these smaller ones and take them to the droughty gardens at the port.  I might also remove the rather tatty large one and replace with a smaller one or replant somewhere in the back garden.

In different areas, I have four large swathes of epimedium that should be sheared back so the early flowers show.  Googling tells me I can and maybe should wait till February.

pieris backed with epimedium

OH, I see something that might interest Mr. Tootlepedal.

I don’t know much about such things, but that must be a lichen or a fungus…Maybe a lichen IS a fungus.  I am uninformed.  With a hardy fuchsia for good measure.

I was glad to be in the front garden when Seaside gardener Pam drove by, on her way to the port with her mom, Harriet. They stopped for a brief visit.

Pam and Harriet

After they left, I began weeding the shady part of the garden.  It wasn’t as hard as I had thought it would be.  My hands stopped hurting from the cold and I made great progress.

shady front garden, before

The bed to the right was a solid groundcover mass of baby dwarf fireweeds that peeled off in sheets.

Billardia longiflora

Billardia longiflora berries

As the sun set, I could feel the ground starting to freeze and the weeding became slightly more difficult.

after, with hands to cold to pick up the last of the debris

I went indoors at dusk. After hearing the sounds of raking, I looked out the front window. I do think that Allan had raked this path.

I was able to erase the front middle and east beds from the work list, especially since I downgraded the heading from “good weeding” to just weeding.  Now I can think about whether or not I am going to get a big pile of mulch.  (The problem with said big pile is that it will block the garage.)

Skooter had worn himself out with his roof escapades and/or a catmint high.  (Catmint, Nepeta, is not the same as catNIP.  It doesn’t make cats as high as catnip does for some, but they still enjoy it in a mild way.)


I got a most pleasing Christmas card from Jo and Bob, who you might remember as former clients of ours till they moved away last year.  I loved seeing their new house, on a lake.

Longtime blog followers may like to see this.

And I got teary-eyed over this photo of my good friend Coco.  I miss all three of them!

lovable Coco!

Tonight: The treat of the season finale of Survivor and some more Black Cat Bookshop mystery.

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Monday, 18 December 2017

At the Ilwaco Post Office, Allan delivered our card:

inside, Allan’s sketch

He saw a cute dog waiting outside:

The postal staff told him that this is the busiest day of the year.  In our small town, we have to get our mail at the post office (no home delivery).  I remember in Seattle that the busy holidays would have lines out the door.

busiest day

We all have to go there for our mail. They should get more than two cards!

When the rain stopped in the early afternoon, I went outside with the intention of raking some of last year’s debris out of the garden and chopping it into the compost bins.

We’d had this much rain.

After deposting a wheelbarrow load of debris into a compost bin, I was inspired to dig up an ornamental grass that was now languishing in the west bed too close to Leycesteria ‘Jealousy’.

I gave that up for a moment and decided to move a pink and white old rose that had become lost and invisible in the middle of the bed.

This particular old rose, maybe Rosa ‘Mundi’ used to live at the Wiegardt Gallery, a former job of ours (that is now handled by Todd, brother of artist Eric Wiegardt).  I removed the rose from the gallery for two reasons.  First, the deer discovered that garden so every year the rose got eaten to a nub.  Second, I planted it when the building was pink, and the rose color did not go with the latest gallery color, a pale sort of pea green.

Back when the gallery was pink and blue:

In 2007 or so, the gallery became a sort of faint purplish colour (not lavender) that still worked with the pink theme.

In 2009, it became a pale green and most of the pink theme did not look right anymore.

So the sad deer-chomped rose came home to live with me.

Now it has been moved to a spot where some gold Helenium and gold foliage shrubs are no doubt going to clash with the pink and white flowers.  I can pick the roses for bouquets if the combination is too painful.  This placement will enable me to watch the rose for rampant blackspot and to decide if it is worth keeping.

new home for a rose (where the soil is most ruched up)

Allan walked out the back door just when I was heading into the garage for the heavy pick to get out the big grass.  Lucky me, unlucky Allan.  He agreed to help me by hoiking out the grass and digging out two clumps of boring orange daylily and one big clump of grass infested shasta daisies.

An extra tall Boltonia asteroides went into the middle of the bed. The grass went toward the north edge of the garden, in the hole the boltonia came out of,  to balance another white and green variegated grass. A bit of shasta daisy went where the daylily came out, and Allan helped me do a better job of standing up the columnar apple I had transplanted into the west garden bed not long ago.



It was a tremendously satisfying work session and solved several problems that had been bothering me all summer.

After dark, which comes at 4:30 now, I read the shortest book of my reading year:

At 31 pages, this darling book is to be a gift for Dave and Melissa (who I am sure don’t read this blog, so don’t spill the beans).  They have a nice flock of chickens.  I read Lovgreen’s book in the 1970s and have always remembered its charm.

I have requested her memoir, As Far As I Can Remember, via interlibrary loan.

In 1982, I visited a friend who was renting a small house on Bainbridge Island.  Imagine my amazement and thrill when it turned out to be Minnie’s old house.  How I wish I had taken pictures of the house and landscape… Those were the days when film was precious and blogging was a thing of the far future.

All I have to show of that day is this photo of me and my significant other, Bryan, sitting in Minnie’s house.


Today, in the evening, Allan wrapped all the presents.  He does a good, neat job.  My wrapped presents come out like bundles.  Some friends found this endearing, or so they said; this year, only Montana Mary got the bundled style of wrapping.

I can now show you how perfectly the little truck I got at NIVA green goes with a Christmas card from The Card Lady.

Tomorrow, much excitement awaits because we will go to see the new Star Wars movie with Dave and Melissa.

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