Posts Tagged ‘[pickled fish] restaurant’

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

We were glad to being the day quite late in the morning.

Allan’s photo, too early!

By the time we started work, we had a calm, not windy, and not too cold day to begin the spring clean up of the Howerton Avenue curbside gardens and the port office garden.

across from the port office

the little dog who lives on the Rum Runner

Iris reticulata ‘Eye Catcher’ in the port office garden

Howerton by Port Office, before (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan hurt his ho-mi.


after trimming lavenders (Allan’s photo)

The “drive over garden”:


and after, with santolina trimmed

I got Allan to tackle this mugo pine, which is too big and I think will be removed this year.


before (Allan’s photos)

and after

Some new signage at the Ilwaco pavilion:

The bed by the pavilion, from which we had had some large shrubs removed last fall, had responded with lots of little weeds.  It’s tedious to weed big bare areas that don’t have cool plants filled in yet.



I am 99% percent sure that the two stumps of wax myrtle will revive and can then be kept low.

I got to meet the owner of this truck, which I’ve admired parked in Long Beach.  She says it has been officially tested to be sturdy and roadworthy.

We planted some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in the CoHo Charters lava rock bed.

Allan’s photo

I am going to get some white heathers, just three (or one!) to match up with the white heathers at the other end.  I had told CoHo Charters’ Captain Butch that I just could no longer stand the boredom of weeding plain lava rock.  So I have permission to make it more interesting.

Finally, we tidied up the bed by the old Wade Gallery, which is soon going to be occupied by David Jensen’s architecture firm.

before (Allan’s photos)

and after

Allan got some photos of a view in a city employees area at the east end of the port.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

We planted a few starts of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ at the boatyard garden.

Allan’s photo

We’ll be back to this garden before long to trim the santolinas.

Allan’s photo

The weather turned unpromising. Shortly after starting work on Howerton, we sat out a squall.

Soon, though, we were back at it.  Allan took all the rest of the gardening photos today.

I stood up fast and my back went so painfully SPROING that I had to go stand against a wall for awhile to straighten up.  I had run out of Ethos 2:1 tincture a couple of days ago.

weeding a curbside garden



We clipped grasses and santolinas and did considerable weeding down by the new Skywater art gallery and the Freedom (marijuana) Market.  I shopped, too, and bought myself some more Ethos 2:1 in hope of fending off more back pain.  I talked to the Freedom Market manager about how last year, little plant starts I put in their shop garden got stolen.  This year, they have better security cameras and so I have tried again.

In the curbside gardens:

unseasonal daisies

That reminds me of how I made a composite photo last year of nassella (the grass, above) mingling with my hair.

tidied up


the sidewalk walk-through


A cold wind made the end of the workday uncomfortable.  We prevailed.  Allan weeded the Salt Hotel curbside garden and I noticed a project there for tomorrow.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Despite a cold wind, again, I was determined to finish Howerton today.  (Allan took all but two of today’s photos.)

We went back to Salt with some clumps of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, my go-to when I need some free plants to fill in.

Out came tatty old blue fescue, to be replaced with the sedums.

I could not help but clip some sword ferns in the Salt containers.

adding some sedums down by the Freedom Market

We did more weeding in the two westernmost beds (Freedom Market, Skywater), and I trimmed some more santolinas at Time Enough Books.

snow drops!

We had one half of the old Shorebank garden left to weed.  I had been gathering some of my good Eryngiums and salvias that were struggling last year in dry areas, and we put them into the Shorebank area that WE water.

Finally, all we had left was the easternmost garden bed.

I was too cold and busy to even walk across the parking lot and look at the marina.

view from the garden





I had suddenly decided that all the old nassella had to go, making this area a much bigger job than I had planned.



At home, Devery’s cat, Jazmine, watched Allan unhook the trailer.

Over the past three days, we have brought home so much compostable material that two compost bins have gotten filled to the brim.

North Beach Garden Gang meeting and dinner

We are getting back on schedule now with our regular meetings with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening).  It is satisfying and comforting to catch up with each other’s garden projects.

Tonight: [pickled fish] in Long Beach

hot and spicy brussell sprouts appetizer

cabbage and apple salad


in the foyer

The [pickled fish] is in Adrift Hotel. The owners of Adrift, Inn at Discovery Coast, and Ashore Hotel in Seaside are taking on the Shelburne Hotel. We are meeting with them tomorrow about the Shelburne garden, which I cared for between about 1996? and 2009?

Next day:

The work board shows some exciting news. Unfortunately, we are due for light snow, wind, and 20 degree weather (at night) through Monday. I’ll focus on my book lists postings and then:

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Pouring rain kept me indoors during the day.  I had started a book the night before and had time to finish it before going out.

I was pleased to find books that are in my own library:

Also Borrowed Time by Paul Monette, A Wrinkle in Time, The Once and Future King, The Warmth of Other Suns, The Art of EatingHarriet the Spy (which appears in the favourites of two of the contributors).  I am pleased that, even though it was not her favourite, Piper Kerman of Orange is the New Black mentioned Harriet the Spy.

I have many Fay Weldon books on a shelf, so my favourite story was this one by Gina Barreca:


I now have a big new list of books and authors to read.  Some are the recommendations of the contributors and some are the books of the contributors themselves:

author Emma Straub

A Gay and Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller*

The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon

A Tale for the Time Being  by Ruth Ozeki

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

My Antonia by Willa Cather (two more examples, like Steinbeck, of me being late to the classics)

author Elizabeth McCracken

Underground by Hikara Murakami

The Diary of Alice James

Sharp Objects, Dark Places (by Gillian Flynn, one of the contributors)

Mr Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin*

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (one of my favourites and one of the contributors)*

And a blog to check out: Reader of Depressing Books

(*already ordered from the library. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is another life-changing book that is already in my pile of library books to read.)

………….So what is the book that changed your life?  The one that first came to my mind is Small Changes by Marge Piercy, for reasons that are too personal to go into right here and now, other than that it enabled me to leave a lousy relationship with a young man.  I have not read it since about 1975 when I was 20, and, since I own it, I might re-read it to see if I still like the writing.  I know I like the message about feminism.  My old copy is all marked up so it will be easy to relive which were my favourite passages.

I realized later that another book that changed my life over a decade later was The Year in Bloom by Ann Lovejoy, a collection of her newspaper columns about gardening.  The columns inspired me to attend a lecture by her at Seattle Tilth in 1988 and that experience changed my life into being almost all about gardening.

In the late afternoon, we met Dave and Melissa for the Star Wars movie. Despite or because of being a huge fan of the original trilogy and of The Force Awakens, I had lost my eagerness for this installment after Carrie Fisher died.  The film proved to be excellent even though I felt so sad to see her and to think of her being gone and to wonder what the next film’s storyline would have been had she still been with us.

Afterward, the four of us repaired to [the pickled fish] restaurant for pizzas….

and cranberry margaritas (featuring Starvation Alley cranberries, of course)

,,,and tasty, spicy brussel sprouts.

I started another Black Cat Bookshop mystery and am hoping that tomorrow is a rainy day.

Meanwhile, in real time, Merry Christmas Eve!  Christmas eve this year will also be my 25 year anniversary of moving to the Long Beach Peninsula.







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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

After a morning of rain and wind, as predicted, we had a brief break in the weather.  Allan decided to mow the thin, tall lawn over at Mary N’s house.  Even though we aren’t really a mowing business, we have taken on a couple of such jobs on our own block.

Meanwhile, the light on our garden suddenly became gorgeous.


Allan’s garden, from the front porch


My hardy begonia (from Windcliff) has spread thoroughly in this box.


the back garden


I love the splash of white Miscanthus.


We’d had this much rain since yesterday.

Suddenly, the sky darkened and hail pelted down.


Skooter was taken aback.




I felt bad for Allan, mowing two doors down.

Allan’s photos at his mowing job nearby:


We had just taken this on.  It won’t be allowed to get this long again.




It took two passes, at a high and then medium setting.


the storm! from undercover



Those barberries are for the chop sooner than you might think.

Meanwhile, I had decided to be practical and propose that we pick up some plants today instead of immersing myself in a good book from the library…


Allan agreed with my productive plan, so off we went to

The Planter Box.


a hardy begonia which I think I must acquire



You may recall that a couple of days ago, I was touting the great gardening tool called the Zen Digger, Ho Mi, Korean Hand Plow, and E-Z Digger.  Planter Box has it.


Allan’s photo


Teresa totals up (Allan’s photo)

On the way home, after buying a pin for his boat rudder at Dennis Company, Allan took a photo of a beautiful scene in Coulter Park.  The loss of that pin on our recent Black Lake rally day had turned his sailing afternoon into a rowing afternoon.


the old Clamshell Railroad depot at Coulter Park


We drove by the Ilwaco boatyard garden.  I was thrilled to see that the horsetail had not made a big comeback, so weeding was not urgent.


boatyard visual check up (without getting out of the van)



At home, I sorted plants in the garage.


Allan was inspired to go back to Mary’s garden to begin the removal of three mean barberries.


Barberries make weeding the quackgrass in this bed just miserable.


welding gloves



Now just the stumps remain to be dealt with.  Hydrangeas are the goal.

One of the main inspirations for this big chop is that this week, we had room in our wheelie bin for the debris.


wheelbie bin full of mean stuff

[pickled fish] restaurant

In the evening, we joined Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) for a special weekly garden meeting to celebrate Melissa’s birthday.

I was impressed and kind of jealous of the planters as we entered the Adrift Hotel.  They are stuffed full of cool plants, some of which are hard to find for purchase around here.


Adrift Hotel (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


This one made me especially jealous; I think that is Ribes brocklebankii.


good use of a Phormium.  Phormiums don’t make me jealous, though.


more common, still interesting

They have the budget to switch out their planters frequently.  Our local nurseries are good, and yet there is not the audience for cool collectors’ plants to support that sort of plant availability here.  I’ve noticed when ultra cool plants appear at our local shops, they often just sit until I buy them.


drinks menu at the [pickled fish]; I had the starvation alley ginger cosmo.


Melissa and Dave arrive (Allan’s photo)


birthday girl (Allan’s photo)


cranberry lemonade (Allan’s photo)


ginger cosmo (Allan’s photo)


The memory of this scrumptuous Moroccan chick pea stew makes my mouth water.


Allan’s clam chowder


Melissa’s starter salad


a place for tasty pizzas: margherita


fennel sausage pizza


the view


skillet cookie dessert

For Melissa’s birthday:


a birthday card by Don Nisbett

And a t shirt made from Don’s Crabby Gardener design:


The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett (T shirt was personalized with an M on the seed packet)

And this excellent gardening book:


I think we may be the only gardeners on the peninsula who actually do genuine hellstrip, curbside gardens (at the Port, and the beach approach).  However, the book is excellent in suggesting ideas and plants for droughty areas, and the photos are a treat.

We are now due for several days of dry weather.  Let the planting begin, while the soil is still damp!

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Monday, 6 March 2017

I woke to sunshine and thought we could work…until I took a look out the window.


view out the south cat door

Never mind.


Skooter, staying in.  (Allan’s photo)

Allan took some snowy garden photos:









I see a black spotty hellebore leaf that should be removed.













When he went to the post office and dropped off three books at the library, he took more photos of the community building garden’s crocuses.



Meanwhile, I was reading.

IMG_0352.JPGIt was difficult to leave the book for an early evening meeting of the Living Liberally Pacific County group.  I had only heard of Swallows and Amazons in the past year and was recently reminded of it by a mention on the Tootlepedal blog. 


At Adrift Hotel in Long Beach


Folks barbecuing nearby in icy wind.


determined to wrest all enjoyment from their vacation


into the meeting room we go

After another productive political meeting, Allan and I repaired upstairs to the [pickled fish] restaurant.

I’d been wanting to try absinthe for some time, because I’m a fan of artemisias in the garden.  It is made from Artemisia absinthium, which you can read about here. [pickled fish] serves it “in the traditional way”, involved a decanter, a spigot, and the melting of a sugar cube.




absinthe: licorice, sweet, strong


delicious fennel sausage pizza

Upon departure, I was especially struck by the beauty of the planters in the foyer.  Perhaps the absinthe enhanced my appreciation.






some artemisia (but not absinthium)

Swallows and Amazons

During the day and into the night I read Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.  How did I miss this 1930 classic as a child, especially since I had then sought out British children’s book authors (like Edith Nesbit and C.S. Lewis)?  As I read today, I occasionally felt verklempt about being old.

A few favourite bits from this delightful adventure of children camping on an island in the Lake District:






Oh, to have a mother as open to her children having adventures:




I have learned that the book is the first of a series.  I will be reading more of them.


public service announcement

Maggie Stuckey, author of one of my favourite kitchen gardening books, The Bountiful Container, is going to be speaking at all four Timberland libraries on the subject of vegetable gardening in containers.  While I would most like to attend the talk at our local Ilwaco branch, it conflicts with an ACLU training session, so we will go to the Ocean Park one.  Allan took this photo at the library today.



Thursday at Ocean Park, Saturday at Ilwaco

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My mission for the last 9 days of staycation was to read and to non-people as much as possible.  A long and deep book called Evicted took three days to finish (partly because of being distracted by reading the maddening daily news).   After Evicted (poverty, misery and heartbreak eloquently described), I had thought I might try a bit of light reading, so I had picked out a Blind Date book from the library.


When I unwrapped it, it turned out to be an Agatha Raisin mystery, which of course I had already read!  So I contented myself with a re-read from my own library, Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden, about WWII refugee children, and then back to more serious reading.


Carrie’s War, as wonderful as I’d remembered from years ago

Several days worth of reading….


Saturday, 4 February 2017

A brief quest for a birthday present took us to Time Enough Books at the Port.


Time Enough Books


Scout being exceptionally cute

Monday, 6 February 2017

Allan used pallets to fix an outdoor plant table that had collapsed….


Allan’s photo, after

….I read, and we did have to go out and “people” at a local political meeting in the evening.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

I started a monstrously huge book.  After all my winter reading about civilian life in WWII Britain, I felt the need to see how the war all fit together.


The pages were a delight to look upon even though the contents were grim.


Well done, Smithsonian.


Well done, indeed.


and inspiring

Meanwhile, Allan …and on this rainy afternoon, even I…had been helping a good friend of ours move in next door.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Two photos that Allan took on one of the moving trips (from Ilwaco to Long Beach and back again):


Iris reticulata and crocuses in a Long Beach planter


We have been having a great deal of rain.

Ann and her friend Alex arrived from Portland for a quick stop…I was lending Ann my mother’s three tiered Floralight for seed growing.


Ann and Alex, both of whom work at the great Cistus Nursery

With floods threatening local roads, they hightailed it back to Portland before dark.

The Floralight in olden days when me mum grew African violets:


In the evening, Allan and I met Melissa and Dave for our garden club meeting at [pickled fish] restuarant, joined by a former client, K.L., whose garden Dave and Mel have taken on.  Allan and I had  worked weekly on her “Sea Garden” during the summer and autumn of 2008. Now Dave and Mel are bringing it back to its former beauty.

At the [pickled fish]:


wood for the pizza ovens


We had delicious pizzas.


perfect creme brulee


lemon pudding

As we departed, the entryway planters got admired by five gardeners all at once.



Friday, 10 February 2017

Even though I had not been managing to effectively non-people, I got another fifty or so pages read in the WWII book, a book so large that Smokey had to push in for lap space.



more strong women

Skooter hangs around with Allan as much as possible.


Skooter (Allan’s photo)

On a trip to the library, Allan saw more signs of winter’s end.


Iris reticulata at Ilwaco Community Building


cyclamen, provided by Our Kathleen

In the rain, someone was photographing the heather.


K.L. (whose primary home is in island country rather than here) had stayed for another day and we all had dinner again, this time at Salt Pub.


Allan’s photo


from the south side (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


the view


spinach salad (Allan’s photo)


delicious Pad Thai


Allan’s photo

I would have but one more true Winterval reading day on Saturday, followed by a social Sunday, and then….work.  I did not feel I had succeeded very well in non peopling for the last week.  It is a highly elusive retreat when the good company of good friends beckons.



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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

After two days of reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities (with poor concentration and lots of clicking onto news sites), Allan and I left home in the evening to have a birthday dinner for Dave’s birthday.

It was faintly adventurous because of 70 mph winds at Cape Disappointment, 63 mph in Ilwaco, and a bit less in Long Beach by the Adrift Hotel.


Adrift Hotel; [pickled fish] restaurant is upstairs.


Allan’s photo


While the evening started quietly, the room soon filled up.



Allan’s photo.  [pickled fish] has exceptionally good pizza.

Our garden gang was not in full attendance.  Todd is in on a working vacation in a warmer clime.

Our gifts to Dave were the practical sort: chemical toe warmers for comfort at work and some cans of Fort George Vortex IPA for unwinding after work.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Allan walked his winter day route to the post office and library, and considered the Black Lake trail system.


Due to continuing blustery wind, he reconsidered going on the tree-lined trails.  He says, “Mr. Tootlepedal would at least have brought back some photos of fungus,” but Allan didn’t.

In the evening, we attended a full house lecture at Salt Pub, given by our friend Debbie Teashon of Rainy Side Gardeners fame.  Based on her book, Gardening for the Homebrewer, her talk addressed how to grow the herbs and flowers that can be used to flavour beer, wine, and liqueurs.

Debbie does a “hero pose” before each of her talks.  She says it works to give confidence and strength.


Our Debbie, shoulders back, hands on hips.


full house at Salt Pub


Allan’s photo



Debbie at work


Debbie has been a professional photographer for decades.

Debbie’s next speaking engagement, Toasting Your Health, From the Garden to Your Glass,  will be on one of the big stages at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle at 5:45 PM on Thursday, February 23.


You can glean recipes and how-tos from her book, which is available locally at Time Enough Books:


A tasty smoked tuna melt sandwich went down a treat while I listened to the lecture and admired Debbie’s gardening slide show.


at Salt Pub


a well-received talk (Allan’s photo)

Thursday, 10 January 2016

We joined Debbie for a three hour catch up session over lunch at Salt Pub.  Debbie had already been for a walk with her dog after a restful sleep at Salt Hotel.


Salt Hotel


the Port reflected in Salt Pub mirrors



my view


Bloody Mary (Allan’s photo)


Pho at Salt Pub


and broccoli cheese soup


Allan’s photo

 I spent the afternoon spiffying up my signs as best I could.






Allan had acquired some clear shelf paper to cover them with.  We have had torrents of rain all week (over four inches in just one day) and more is predicted for the weekend.


working on the one sign I had left to do…turned out to be a rough draft.

For the back of this one:


I finally came up with this one (below).  I wish I were a better letterer, as I lack patience.  I should have added that Asian women make about the same as white women; that was in the original and was changed because I wanted fewer words.  I couldn’t find up to date statistics for Native American workers.  I chose the word Latinx rather than Latina and Latino  or Hispanic, because my reading tells me it is a word of choice for Millennials, and they will inherit this country.  And so I continue muddling along toward racial justice, assuredly getting some things wrong along the way.


Here is an image that strongly spoke to me today.


I prepared for Friday’s social media theme of changing one’s profile photo to one of the Obamas by choosing a photo of them on a train and altering it in Prisma.  The original is in this photo essay.  A comfort on this day was Barack Obama’s promise to emerge after a restful break and continue to be “with us”.


I chose for a Facebook cover photo an inspirational image  of Barack and Michelle in Michelle’s White House garden.  This is the garden that the execrable Ann Coulter tweeted should be turned into a “putting green” and that Rush Limbaugh contemptuously said made him “gag”.


Is this beautiful garden going to be bulldozed? Or will Melania or Ivanka get their hands dirty in the soil?  I’m curious to see.

Friday, 20 January 2017

I was unable to sleep till after 4:30 AM because of a sense of doom….and then I had a dream of finding beer cans and cigarette butts in the far corners of my own garden.  In my nightmare, Allan found a leather collar, human sized with iron crosses and the word FURY on it, outside our door.  We called the police. The police chief told us the collar was part of the attire of a dangerous local white neo-Nazi gang and that we should keep our doors locked and guard our garden gates because the leader of the group was clearly prowling up to our front porch.  I woke to the news that a former KKK leader had expressed pleasure about our country’s new president.

Although I barely had time in the morning to glance at the news, I found two moments of amusement: Photos showed an enormous difference in the crowds at DT’s inauguration compared to the first inauguration of President Obama, and there was a spike in Google searches for the meaning of the word “carnage” after DT used it in his dark and dystopian speech.

Allan and I met for lunch (breakfast for us) with a group of liberals at El Compadre Restaurant.




El Compadre in north Long Beach


inside El Compadre


hummingbird chair

The group included local artists, Democrat leaders, and our own Mayor Mike.



second from left, a regular blog reader, Judy, whom we met in person at last.


Our very good friend, artist  Joe Chasse.


a margarita for the drowning of sorrow

Everyone at the table had energy and ideas, and much comfort and inspiration was found there. (We forgot to sing protest songs.) We are FIRED UP and READY TO GO.  Although I must admit that I am still hoping to get ten, just ten, non-peopling days IN A ROW at the end of our staycation, starting Monday.  Wish me luck!  I have not gotten to the bottom of my stack of winter reading yet.

On the way home, while Allan popped into Dennis Company for more sign protecting clear shelf paper, I pulled old foliage out of one planter…


…and then we clipped back the Melianthus major and a few other perennials in Fifth Street Park.


Fifth Street Park before a bit of clipping.



We picked up the trash but will wait till February to cut the sedums and pull the wild garlic.

Coming up:



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Monday, 2 January 2017

Posted from my phone, which explains any odd formatting. 

Today was Allan’s 64th birthday!

Skooter’s favorite daytime sleep spot is in the hallway.

Better yet was Allan’s new birthday book, Atlas Obscura, which had to be sat upon

After a day of reading, we attended the monthly Living Liberally in Pacific County meeting at Adrift Hotel. Productive  ideas were formulated and discussed. I’ve been reading voraciously online about white feminism vs intersectional feminism…one of the issues of concern as liberals resist the new and bigoted ruling party about to come to power. I look forward to participating in anti racism workshops being organized by a group member. 

At the Living Liberally meeting

Following the meeting, Dave and Melissa joined us at the [pickled fish] restaurant upstairs. A scrumptious Thai Brussels sprouts appetizer went down too fast to be photographed.

Two fennel sausage pizzas and Dave


One birthday wish

An excellent guitarist

Having recently read the book Forked about the restaurant industry, I was pleased that beginning on this day,  [pickled fish] restaurant had abolished tipping, a practice historically rooted in slavery. It is now factoring in a service charge that guarantees all the restaurant workers a living wage. Hotelier Tiffany Turner, one of the organizers of the Living Liberally group, is to be commended for leading the way locally.

Forked: We recommend it.

Two excerpts from Forked:

Allan’s birthday get together was so small because we did not know when the meeting would end, so we could not easily organize a larger party. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

I had to leave my cozy  home and my book for a dentist appointment (an easy one). Afterward, back in my sanctuary, I took a quick garden walk. 

A winter Joseph’s Coat rose


Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’ and a successfully transplanted conifer

Hebe in Allan’s garden

Hellebore  foliage needs cutting back. It was too cold for gardening. 

Time to cut back old foliage

I barely entered the back yard. The gale warning flags flew over the port office and the icy wind discouraged me. 


Nevertheless, I did feel the first stirring of desire to garden since Winterval began. That’s encouraging. 

I like the new shop-the-eye fencing.

Frosty would enjoy a gardening day.

I now hope for four non-peopling days in a row. (Allan has his own quiet pursuits.) My goal is to read all of these:

Later, one down. I learned about Elizabeth David in the David Kynaston British history series. 

Because I don’t enjoy cooking, I skipped reading the recipes. Any friend  is welcome to try them out on me. Her food essays are gorgeous. 

I’d like to read this one soon:

Next, Behind the Kitchden Door by Saru Jayaraman, the author of Forked. 

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Monday, 21 November 2016

I began a new book.


I do love a good agony aunt.  (Miss Manners is a particular favourite.) Ms. Havrilesky had many gems of advice to offer.  While many letters to her are by people in their late 20s and 30s, some address the mysteries of aging as well.

I did not know this when I was 25-32, and I wish I had (but hardly anyone does):


This would have helped me just two years ago:


This would have helped me even more two years ago:


My reading was interrupted to go to an evening meeting of local liberals.  The agenda:

1. What the F*** just happened?

2. What’s next?

3. How can we get involved in the local political system and encourage others to as well

4. What are the looming challenges facing our local community under a Trump administration and how do we prepare?

5. Individual thoughts and ideas moving forward

Adrift Hotel

Adrift Hotel (Allan’s photo)

Adrift Hotel in Long Beach was the meeting location.

Adrift Hotel in Long Beach was the meeting location.

Over 50 people attended, a thrilling turn out for a dark windy rainy night in a small beach town.  The organizers had expected a much smaller number of people.  They had a most clever idea: We brainstormed in small groups and wrote down on sticky notes ideas on different set topics, and the notes were then organized onto boards and will be made into a document later.

such a clever plan

such a clever plan for note taking

You may see a lot of older folk in the photo, yet we were all encouraged that a goodly array of younger folk attended, as well.  Some excellent ideas are about to flower from this and I will share more as they blossom.

We repaired upstairs to the [pickled fish] restaurant for dinner (one of the few places in town that is open till 10 PM).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the pickled fish

the [pickled fish]

cranberry margarita

cranberry margarita

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The pizzas are superb.

The pizzas are superb.

art in the ladies' room

art in the ladies’ room

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

back to this

back to this

Finally, I thought I might have time to read, in its entirety, the latest Seaside Knitters book.  I’d been saving it for a stretch of uninterrupted time.


Unfortunately, there is no book that can keep my attention off of compulsively reading the news on my iPhone.  I even try putting it in the other room—and then end up going to get it.  So I didn’t finish the delightful book after all before it was time for dinner and some telly.  My big plan was to finish the book on Wednesday. Even though some bulbs were due to arrive, bad weather was predicted.


1995 (age 71):

Nov 21:  Raked leaves from Tam area, east ditch, and upper driveway.

Nov 22:  Raked leaves.  If I had the nerve and the energy, I would ask Wilsons for the leaves in front of their lot.

1997 (age 73):

Nov 21:  Either I didn’t do anything these past 3 days or I just didn’t write it down. ?

1998 (age 74):

Nov 21:  I had enough tomatoes ripe but as undecided how to fix them (no space in freezer) so I canned them (in mayo jars) 5 pints.  I took all the canned apples to the shop.  I brought pint jars from the garage.  I brought enough wood in for tomorrow and picked up another two pails of apples.  Luckily the rain stopped long enough to do these chores.

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The outings were Allan’s, with one exception.  I’m at home, reading.

Monday, 4 January 2016

During a Long Beach errand, Allan photographed part of our Fifth Street Park garden.


early narcissi

early narcissus

dried flowers on Sedum 'Autumn Joy' would look wonderful in snow.

dried flowers on Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ would look wonderful in snow.

One of his missions was to go into Marsh’s Free Museum and get a couple of sea stars for a photo project.  (His real errand was to Dennis Company hardware to get a part to fix the kitchen sink.)

He found this regarding the Deadliest Catch.

He found this regarding the Deadliest Catch show. Same model boat, different stickers. The ‘Time Bandit’s’ skull mismatched onto a ‘Kodiak’ hull may become collectible.

and Sea Stars

Big Sea Stars. He brought home some smaller ones better scaled to my garden toy props .

On the way home, he accomplished a bit of work at the Ilwaco Community Building garden: cutting some dead wood out of the redtwig dogwoods.



after, so much brighter and better

after, so much brighter and better

The next morning, I used the sea stars to make a new profile picture for Dave and Melissa’s Sea Star Gardening page.  (If you are a Facebooker, please give their page a like and make me and them happy.)


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

I had seen an event in the paper, at the Columbia Pacific Maritime Museum in Astoria, that was perfect for Allan to attend:


“On Tuesday, Jan. 5, historian, author, illustrator and kayak-builder Harvey Golden will present “History and Evolution of the Kayak.” Golden will trace the development of the kayak from primitive inland craft to vessels capable of navigating and hunting in the fiercest arctic marine conditions.”

outside the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

outside the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Allan, who just turned 63, noticed that the audience was mostly made up of men about his own age.

Allan, who just turned 63, noticed that the audience was mostly made up of men about his own age.

After the lecture, he took the opportunity to drive to Hammond at the mouth of the Columbia River to enjoy some scenery.

He found a boat launch that he might try sometime.

He found a boat launch that he might try sometime on the Lewis & Clark river.

He observed some elk from inside our van.

He observed some elk from inside our van at Fort Stevens.


and some bird life

He found almost all the pigeons in Warrenton

Glad our local pigeon flock seems to only number about ten!

Glad our local pigeon flock seems to only number about ten!

water's edge in Hammond, Oregon

Soon they took off over the Warrenton boatyard to mob someone else


The Skipanon River flows through Warrenton and is another place to explore later.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

daytime at home

daytime at home

I'd like to have time to re-read some books from my own collection...and yet have so many books out from the library, and new books I've bought, and staycation is slipping away so quickly...

I’d like to have time to re-read some books from my own collection…and yet have so many books out from the library, and new books I’ve bought, and staycation is slipping away so quickly…

This excellent, small print tome took two days to read and brought back many memories of the mid 70s.

This excellent, small print tome took two days to read and brought back many memories of my life on Seattle’s Capitol Hill in the late 70s.

And then, in the evening, for the fourth time (and Dave and Melissa’s third time):


last time before The Force Awakens leaves our small town theatre.

After the film, we had pizza at the Pickled Fish, the only place that suits our fancy for a late evening meal.  (Most restaurants that we like are closed by 9.)

Melissa and Dave and pizza

Melissa and Dave and pizza

The margherita pizza was especially delicious.

The margherita pizza was especially delicious.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

On a bright and warmish day, when I felt somewhat guilty for not gardening, Fred from The Basket Case brought me two Lonicera fragrantissima and we had a visit for awhile.

Fred and two choice plants

Fred and two choice plants, my shadow in sunshine

Allan replaced a rotten fence post between us and the Starvation Alley house.  It turned out to be difficult because of the old post being cemented in.

He dug way down.

He dug way down.

had to get the old chunk out.

had to get the old chunk out.



new post sunk in deeply

new post sunk in deeply

finished at dark, and then discovered another post that needs the same treatment....

finished at dark, and then discovered another post that needs the same treatment….

I tried to read the well reviewed and, I could tell, well written Manual for Cleaning Women, and just could not.  From the title story, I did glean two quotations that (having cleaned houses in Seattle from 1978-1992), I quite liked:



So instead, I read another excellent non-fiction book:

published in 2015. I fervently recommend it.

published in 2015. I fervently recommend it.


Friday, 8 January 2016

Last night and tonight I read our friend Debbie's book.

Last night and tonight I read our friend Debbie’s book.

I have no intention of actually brewing…too much like cooking!  The book’s witty prose was a good and informative read anyway.  I’d like to try cucumber or hot pepper beer, or have cider made from Foxwhelp apples.

I started reading The Art of Gardening and was gleaning all sorts of ideas:


Then Allan returned from the library with a new Seaside Knitters mystery and that completely absorbed my later afternoon and evening.


I’m desperately trying to get day after day at home for JUST reading, and yet excellent company does interfere with my mission.  Our next post will be on our other blog as we spend a Saturday afternoon at the port with our friend and sister garden blogger, Ann Amato-Zorich.  I’ll reblog it over here for your reading convenience.


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Sunday, 14 December 2014

We continued our B&B tour at the Boreas Inn where we take care of the gardens and whose owners, Susie and Bill, are treasured friends of ours.  Let me remind you that the inn is for sale, so as you peruse the photos you might ponder whether this might be the perfect dream for you.  You would have your own house, the one to the left; the inn is set back to the right.  You would be able to walk to the beach on your own path over the rolling dunes.  We would turn the gardens over to you or would recommend some wonderful local gardeners to take over…because, like Bill and Susie, we are trying to cut back.  You’d be doing us a good turn if you buy the inn because then our dear friends could move to Ilwaco and be our nearby neighbours!

approaching the Boreas

approaching the Boreas

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Boreas, god of the north wind

Boreas, god of the north wind

We get the north wind in summer, and mostly south and west wind (and occasionally a cold wind from the east) in the winter.

beautiful job on the windowbox, Susie!

beautiful job on the windowbox, Susie!  (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The stairs to the innkeepers' house are to the left.

The stairs to the innkeepers’ house are to the left.

flower lights on the porch

flower lights on the porch

entrance to the inn

entrance to the inn



The Boreas gets consistently rave reviews from all the weary travelers who check in here.

The Boreas gets consistently rave reviews from all the weary travelers who check in here.

entering the inn.  To the right are the stairs to the second floor guest rooms.  To the left is the kitchen and dining room.

entering the inn. To the right are the stairs to the second floor guest rooms. To the left is the kitchen and dining room.

When you enter the inn, you walk past the kitchen and dining area and into the first of two living room spaces, passing a sideboard loaded with an assortment of tea and coffee always available for guests.

a lavish assortment of beverages

a lavish assortment of beverages

Susie and Bill laid out a wonderful spread of treats for the open house.  (The breakfasts they serve their guests are renowned, and the Boreas always places near the top of the annual KING 5 best of the northwest contest, which says a lot for a place that is so far from the urban centers.)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Every year, Bill and Susie harvest a “chanukah bush” from the dunes, and on Thanksgiving weekend a group of longtime guests comes to stay and participate in an inn decorating extravaganza.


the Boreas Inn Chanukah bush

the inner living room; to the right is the door to the Garden Suite

the inner living room; to the right is the door to the Garden Suite

the fireplace in the cozy first living room

the fireplace in the cozy first living room

in the first living room; the Garden Suite is to the right.

in the first living room; the Garden Suite is to the right.

While we wandered around taking pictures (and eating snacks), J9 had already settled herself in the beautiful, light filled sun room.


The piano belonged to Susie's father.

The piano belonged to Susie’s father.


Windows on north, west, and south sides make for great storm watching.

Windows on north, west, and south sides make for great storm watching.


looking east toward the dining room and kitchen

looking east toward the dining room and kitchen

Susie's jade plant.  To the right, outside, you can see the hot tub enclosure.

Susie’s jade plant. To the right, outside, you can see the hot tub enclosure.

living room view.  We could see the crests of the ocean waves and an occasional crabbing boat or cargo ship on the horizon.

living room view. We could see the crests of the ocean waves and an occasional crabbing boat or cargo ship on the horizon.

Let’s take a tour of the five guest rooms.  My favourite is the Garden Suite on the north side of the downstairs.

The Garden Suite



garden suite

Allan’s photo


garden suite

Allan’s photo

The Garden Suite's west doors open to a small deck.

The Garden Suite’s west doors open to a small deck.



Allan’s photo


I love the lighthouse shower curtain in the Garden Suite bathroom.

I love the lighthouse shower curtain in the Garden Suite bathroom.  Each guest gets a selection of bath luxuries.

Dunes Suite

The Dunes Suite is on the ground floor with west and south facing windows.


Dunes Suite with a door to a west facing deck


wall mural with North Head Lighthouse

wall mural with North Head Lighthouse


Dunes Suite bathroom

Dunes Suite bathroom

Now let’s go up the stairs to the three second floor guest rooms, all of which have en suite bathrooms.


upstairs landing. Pacifica is to the right and Stargazer is to the left.


The Pacifica

The Pacifica guest room is in the northwest corner of the upstairs.


Allan’s photo

Pacifica view

Pacifica view

The Pacifica view (slightly telephoto)

The Pacifica view (slightly telephoto)

Allan's telephoto of a cargo ship passing by

Allan’s telephoto of a cargo ship passing by

Pacifica....Allan's photo

Pacifica….Allan’s photo

a cosy desk in the corner

a cosy desk in the corner


The ocean view Stargazer is the room at the southwest corner of the upstairs.


Allan’s photo



The Hideaway

The Hideaway, on the east end of the upstairs, is my favourite because even though it does not have an ocean view, it’s delightfully quiet and secluded.

down a narrow passage to the Hideaway

down a narrow passage to the Hideaway  (Allan’s photo)

The Hideaway daybed

The Hideaway daybed


Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


The Hideaway has a tiny balcony on the north side.

The Hideaway has a tiny balcony on the north side. (Allan’s photo)

Each room has room journals.  Even though I doubt the guests write angsty private thoughts like they do at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.  I do want to find time to read them this winter.

room journal in the Hideaway

room journal in the Hideaway

leaving the Hideaway

leaving the Hideaway

We went back downstairs and spent the next couple of hours just schmoozing with J9, Susie, Bill, and with Jim and Chi.  The latter two own Serious Pizza at the Cape Disappointment State Park and are planning to soon open a gourmet sandwich shop in downtown Ilwaco.  We’re thrilled as we rarely make the drive down to the park to get their most excellent pizza.

Susie, Chi, and Jim

Susie, Chi, and Jim

our J9

our J9 (Allan’s photo)

Innkeeper Bill and J9

Innkeeper Bill and J9  (Allan’s photo)

We stayed so long that the outdoor holiday lights were on when we left….


….and we then drove about ten blocks to join Susie, Bill, Jim and Chi at the

 [pickled fish] restaurant

entering [pickled fish]

entering [pickled fish]

looking back at the bar from our table

looking back at the bar from our table

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo…fennel and sausage pizza, burgers, and for Susie some delicious trout

fennel and sausage pizza

fennel and sausage pizza


Chi, Jim, Bill, Susie, me, Allan’s photo

Now I would return to staycation reading for two days till the next holiday event.

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