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Sunday, 17 December 2017

The cats and I had a rainy reading day.

Whose Names are Unknown by Sonora Babb could have (and in my opinion, should have) been published around the same time as The Grapes of Wrath.  It was rejected (after initial enthusiasm) because publishers felt that one book on the topic of migrant farmworkers was enough.  I am glad that Ms. Babb did live to finally see the book published decades later.  She wrote from experience of her life on a farm in the Oklahoma panhandle…

…and what she saw after the Depression and the Dust Bowl drove many residents to California.

I found the story to be more real than Grapes of Wrath because the Oklahoma years were personally lived by Sonora Babb.  Her writing about poverty came from experience.  Here is one of my favourite passages:

That reminded me so much of my favourite song of all time, This World by Malvina Reynolds:

Baby, I ain’t afraid to die,
It’s just that I hate to say good-bye to this world,
This world, this world.

This old world is mean and cruel,
But still I love it like a fool, this world,
This world, this world.

I’d rather go to the corner store
Than sing hosannah on that golden shore,
I’d rather live on Parker Street
Than fly around where the angels meet.

Oh, this old world is all I know,
It’s dust to dust when I have to go from this world,
This world, this world.

Somebody else will take my place,
Some other hands, some other face,
Some other eyes will look around
And find the things I’ve never found.

Don’t weep for me when I am gone,
Just keep this old world rolling on, this world,
This world, this world.

Back to Sonora Babb, here is a passage that captures the reality of being poor and watching the ways of the moneyed folk:

An old woman, facing foreclosure, gives the bank a piece of her mind.  Why hasn’t the world moved beyond this?  It is still happening today.

….

In California, the farmworkers’ children were sneered at in school and called “Okies”.

Poverty, cotton picking, fruit picking, broken strikes for a decent wage, and another glimpse into the contrast between the poor and the privileged:

It is a great book and a quick read, being much much shorter than Grapes of Wrath.  I intend to read (through interlibrary loan) Babb’s memoir of life on the Great Plains, An Owl on Every Post.

I had time for another book, and Calvin joined me for this one.I found this excerpt the most interesting:

I must admit that I skimmed some of the stories of losing jobs that did not grab my interest, probably because staycation reading days have been few and I have a large stack of books waiting for more rainy days.  Tomorrow is supposed to be dry-ish in parts, so I have a feeling I will be back out into the garden.

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Friday, 15 December 2017

When we’d learned there was to be a rally against ICE deportations in the afternoon, interfering with my at-home goals, I had decided that we should try to polish off some of the leftover work beforehand.

We began at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, planting about six good sized starts of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in empty spaces along the two block long garden.

boatyard garden looking south

planting

The last of the old cosmos got pulled, and I am calling this garden done for 2017.

crab pot tree at the end of the garden (Allan’s photo)

In Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park, I planted two clumps of the solidago (a short and well behaved clumping goldenrod) while Allan snipped a few stray brown stems from nearby planters.

Fifth Street Park

Narcissi already blooming in Fifth Street Park

We cruised up to the Anchorage Cottages, thinking we could finally clip back the chrysanthemums and agyranthemums.  Our summery weather had them still blooming, so we did not even get out of the van, just turned around and left.

At The Red Barn Arena, we planted a couple of pieces of the goldenrod and pulled out one dead erysimum.

a wee bit of weeding

Midge in her fine coat.

Next door at Diane’s garden, the remaining annuals still looked too lush to pull.  I left a note suggesting she just cut back anything in those pots that looks tatty later.  I can’t keep going back to check on them every week; that is not cost effective for either of us.

the annuals that will not die

I look forward to many bulbs in this raised septic garden.

We now had an hour and a half left before the rally, with no more work to do.  This called for a stop at NIVA green.

In NIVA green, with Heather’s assistant, Wes, and Heather Ramsay herself

a peek through the doorway into the magic workshop (Allan’s photo)

Heather had put out some new lamps:

I fell hard for this double decker nightlight and got it for myself, even though buying presents for myself was not on the agenda.

This red truck is going to go beautifully with a “Card Lady’ card of a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back.

After NIVA, we spent 40 minutes relaxing at Abbracci Coffee Bar.  I am quite annoyed that the bright summer-like sun blurred out my focus on the Christmas tree in their window.  Trust me, it was such a pretty sight.  Let’s say it is like a water colour.

an elegant pattern on my latte

Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery is retiring her business to become a personal chef for an artists’ retreat.   Abbracci will be the only local place to get her baked goods, like this delicately flavoured Swedish Traveling Cake.  Elixir Coffee up in South Bend will also have her treats.

Abbracci art (Allan’s photo)

In Abbracci, I had such a helpful conversation with owners Tony and Bernardo and one of their patrons. I was asked (not in these exact words) about the severe clean up of the narrow garden to the south of their building: Would the plants come back? I had dug up lots of volunteer blue scabiosa and other perennials in an attempt to start over. I told them that I try to rein in my “messy gardening style” and was thinking of a much tidier planting there. Turns out all three of them love the wild and tangly style. It made the happy to hear that I could so easily make that garden bed messy again.

Finally, it was time for the rally.  This time, the organizer had decided to split the event between Long Beach and Ocean Park.  I had kvetched about it making the groups too small, and indeed, the rally began with only three of us.  For new readers, here is the background again:

“[Long Beach Peninsula Resident] Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech.

The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

Today, when we first arrived, we thought there was no one else, and we waited in our van for a bit.  Then we saw one lone figure arrive; it was Ann, who had also been waiting in her vehicle.

Allan’s photo

We settled into our rallying as the wind picked up and the rain arrived.  Allan took all the rally photos but one.  My hands were so cold that I didn’t even think of getting out the camera.

Only once were we heckled with a “WOOO Trump!” from a young fellow driving a foreign made car; the rest of the interaction from passing vehicles was all waves and honks and thumbs up.

Everyne at the Ocean Park rally point bailed out when the rain came.  I was not about to stop for rain; I know darn well that Rosas himself worked on the bay in all sorts of weather.

MaryBeth saw my one real-time photo on Facebook and came to join us.  Four felt much more effective to me than three.

The rain finally stopped and out came a rainbow behind us.

Our good friend Susie was just at that moment returning from an out of town trip, too late to join us..

our Susie

We endured till 4:15 PM.

Allan and I could see a glorious pink sky and so we drove to the west end of Sid Snyder drive for a better look.

looking west

Allan’s photo, to the south

We nabbed a few Christmas lights photos on the way home.

Ilwaco City Hall

Ocean Beach Hospital, Ilwaco (Allan’s photo)

Ocean Beach Hospital (Allan’s photo)

Crab pots on First Avenue

We had a mere 45 minutes turn around time at home.  I was able to erase Diane’s garden and the Red Barn from the work board.  The other jobs are simply going to have to wait until we have a hard frost for their final check up…if we have such a thing this winter.

We soon left again for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner at OleBob’s Café at the Port.

on the way: The Crab Pot Tree

The four us us (Tangly Cottage Gardening and Sea Star Gardening) were joined this week by our good friend Ed of Strange Landscaping.

In the entry hallway: Pins show where visitors have come from.

a local sea captain

This week’s specials:

a beef empanada

the view

south window reflection shows the inside, the outdoor dining deck, and the Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co Christmas star

Dave, Ed, Allan, Melissa, with Lynn and Chef Laura in the background

Paella was another special of the night.

Allan’s fresh caught rockfish with Laura’s chimichurri sauce and a “perfectly done” baked potato

flan for dessert

We stayed till after closing, when I was so happy to sit with Laura’s dog, Pancho.

I so much want a nice little dog.  Pancho is such a good boy.

I suddenly felt ever so exhausted.  Yet tomorrow is another busy, not at-home day.

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Friday, 8 December 2017

at home

We stayed up till 2 AM finishing season one of Stranger Things, and since I did not get to sleep till four, my idea of getting back to the compost project early did not come to fruition.

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Noon! Allan is on the job, with the two new pallets that he got last night.

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1:15: The new Bin One. Getting it installed involved shifting a heap of compost.

It took me an hour to shift most of bin two into bin one.  Now that bin one is installed, the job entailed shifting compost sideways to make room for bin two.  I longed to get the project done, but since we had a rally to attend a half an hour away at three thirty, I figured we’d be lucky to get two bins done.

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1:40 PM: Bin One is full

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Allan helps.

When the space for Bin Two was close to the bottom, it was possible to skoot the compost around in order to install the back and second side.

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Two PM, with Bin Two installed. A long throw from Bin Three.

We were also moving the bins forward so that they would now be accessible from behind.

3 PM: Three bins installed!

We now have a walkway between bins and greenhouse.

We had pushed hard to get that far before having to leave for the rally.  I wanted so much to stay home and finish the fourth bin!  I sternly told myself that there is no composting for people languishing in the detention center.

Ocean Park: Rally for “Rosas”

“Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech. Please join us!”

Background:

The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

We arrived to find folks on both sides of the street by Okie’s Market, mostly on the other side of the street because we don’t want it to appear that we blame the local markets for the fact that ICE uses them to catch Hispanic people who are shopping for groceries.

Another group had settled in three blocks east on the main intersection.  Eventually, we walked down there to join them.  As we walked, a man came out of one of the shops and said “Thank you so much.  I would love to join, but I don’t want to be targeted.”

by the new medical clinic and pharmacy

on the right, newly elected Long Beach city councilman Isa Cline.

Allan’s sign:

I suggested he put something warm and fuzzy on the other side:

We had enough people to be on three of the four corners of the intersection.

by Doc’s Tavern

Someone who walked by the sign holders by Doc’s said something about people being illegal, and then went into Doc’s.  A few minutes later, she came out and said, “You are right!”  Something in there had changed her mind.

A woman paused her car to say she had just moved to Ocean Park and was pleased to see us, as she had no idea there were protests here.  I want to meet her.  None of us got her contact information.

I was heckled by a driver with a scowly face, something about “illegals” and “securing our borders” and “they should get legal.”  “It takes years and costs thousands of dollars,” I replied, but he had driven on.  That was the only heckling that I noticed.  Mostly, we got some honks and thumbs up.

Lee Hogan Knott, local teacher at Sea School Cooperative and yoga instructor at Earthlight Yoga, joined us with her children.

Lee’s photo

Lee’s photo

m

Some black and white photos by Stephanie:

Two counter protestors showed up after sunset, just as we were ten minutes away from departure.

The counter-protest duo paraded back and forth on the other side of the street with their yuge Trump banner.

The rally ended at dusk, when it was too dark to easily read signage.  Some ralliers went to a nearby pizza place.  Allan and I had other plans.  Since my goal is to not get out much during staycation, we combined the rally with our annual visit to the Hungry Harbor Grille to see their lovely holiday village.

Hungry Harbor Grille

Every year, Hungry Harbor sets up an ever larger and more elaborate village.

It is a coastal village with boats and lighthouses.

Allan’s photo

Jessie’s Fish Market is one of many buildings personalized for our area.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

second from left, back: I dream of living in the top floor flat with a roof garden.

It’s odd that the flat with roof garden is my dream instead of a house with towers and room for a garden….

…or a farm with animals.

You could spend hours looking at the details. Some people bring binoculars.

tree house and train tunnel (Allan’s photo)

Our burgers and onion rings were perfect comfort food.

Allan’s photo

the best dinner seating in the house

Tomorrow: Barring calamity, I WILL finish the compost project!

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

This morning, Allan found Skooter sleeping in the bathroom sink.

Anchorage Cottages

We began the work day with our weekly visit to Anchorage Cottages.

greeted by my good friend Mitzu.

Allan gave the viburnum in the center courtyard a flat top.

Allan’s photo

center courtyard

SorryNotSorry, daisy snobs; I decided to put in two clumps of shasta daisies on either side of Crocosmia in this messy little bed.  To be done later this fall.

window boxes from inside (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I think the verticality is important, and yet we hear that the Salvia is making the windows harder to open and close.

Office courtyard with Beth on the phone taking care of business.

office courtyard sweet peas

Long Beach

While driving the main street on the way to the Anchorage, we had been pleased to see the planters had not been sat upon too terribly much during Rod Run.  This was especially good because we read later that the drivers downtown had gotten rather rowdy at times.  Excerpts from an article in the Chinook Observer:

The event resulted in one police chase and one rollover wreck, and some police officers said the atmosphere seemed a bit rowdier this year. But aside from those incidents, the Rod Run was safe and successful, authorities said.

And: “As they pulled through the intersection of Pacific and Bolstad at sunset, one Jeep-driver peeled out, and jerked backwards, slamming on his brakes just as he was about to hit his buddy’s Jeep. On each pass through downtown, they revved their engines, surging forward and screeching to a stop again and again. Some observers cheered, others looked seriously annoyed.

And “Early in the evening, a visiting officer from Castle Rock noticed a man in a black truck talking on his cell phone as he drove through downtown. When he signaled the man to pull over, “The guy dropped the cell phone, turned and took off. He went to Ocean Beach Boulevard,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Brad Moon said. “The driver was headed north, accelerating to the point where he lost control of the vehicle.” Near Bolstad Avenue, the man crashed into a white SUV and jumped the curb, nearly hitting a woman in a wheelchair.

Officers from several agencies arrested him at gunpoint. Tests later revealed the man had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26, well over the legal limit of 0.08, Moon said.”

Memories of when the event used to be on Labor Day Weekend: “Fifteen years ago…. State Patrol would send as many as 40 troopers to help out, and they’d arrest 40 to 60 drunks over the weekend. For the last few years, they’ve arrested four to six people drunk drivers each year. This year, there were three DUIs….”

chairs left over from Rod Run (Allan’s photo)

Our new method of discouraging sitting by leaving as much foliage as possible, tatty or not, hanging over the edge, seems to have worked.  Today, it was satisfying to tidy the planters up.

lots of candy wrappers from candy tossed from cars (Allan’s photo)

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop, before

and after

I took the wheelbarrow all through town and filled it to the brim twice.  With tourist season officially over, I had room on the sidewalk to maneuver my wheelbarrow through town. Allan watered the trees and  three blocks worth of planters, more than usual for him on Tree Watering Day, because all my clipping slowed me down.

The classic Long Beach frying pan photo

Fifth Street Park and Captain Bob’s Chowder

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ was abuzz with insects. Some looked sort of unfriendly.

Our friends Captain Bob and Cathy had left their café to go on a celebratory vacation.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was the plant that created the most wheelbarrow debris.

Third Street Park planter, before

and after (not exactly gorgeous. I know.)

I thought Allan had gotten way ahead of me and was pleased to see him still behind me, under the Elks sign, working on the two north blocks.

looking north at Bolstad and Pacific; Allan in yellow vest under the Elks sign.

He caught up and passed me, going south, within a block, which is when I asked him to also water the planters on the southernmost block.

by Cottage Bakery, somewhat sat upon but not bad at all

My lovely Othonna cheirifolia was unscathed.

While watering a street tree, Allan found part of a cigar, which he put into his debris bucket, of course.

A man emerged from a restaurant and mournfully said, “You got my cigar wet!”  Allan fished it out of the bucket and said, “It isn’t clean,” and the man took it and and walked off with it in his mouth.

a tree garden that did get very much stood upon (Allan’s photo).  This is also the one that needs to be bucket watered because the faucet does not work.

Allan’s photo

more candy wrappers (Allan’s photo)

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and bidens (Allan’s photo)

in the Heron Pond (Allan’s photo)

While I was watering and clipping the carousel planter, a man stopped close to me and asked, “If I give you my address, will you come do my garden?”  We hear this a lot; I gave my usual jolly reply of, “After I do MY garden!”  Then he said he would pay $35 an hour, and I said, “That is tempting; we don’t make that here. Where do you live?”  “Longview,” he replied, “and my gardener makes $35 an hour, and sometimes $42 depending on what sort of gardening she is doing.”  I said that the big city does pay better.  He then asked, “What are you having for dinner?”  “I don’t know,” said I, “I don’t do the cooking.”  At that point, he tried to hand me $20, saying, “This is to get yourself something good for dinner.”  I demurred and told him he should to give it to someone who truly needed it.  He insisted, I refused, he graciously accepted my refusal and walked on.  As he walked away, I called out “You are a very nice guy!”

I later thought that I could have said I would take it to add to my contribution for the October rent for one of the families whose wage earner has been taken away by ICE (immigration enforcement, which is targeting hardworking undocumented long time community members here).  That probably would have involved more words than I could have managed to muster while watering.  See the end of this blog post for some facts about undocumented immigrants.

I continued walking south till Allan and I met up on the last block.

one of the better street tree pocket gardens, watered once a week

I had forgotten to put a bandaid on my little toe, which began to scream two blocks before I was done, leading to my removing my special shoe insert, followed by a sigh of relief from my little toe and a screech of protest from my sore heel.

Ilwaco

When we got home, Allan went back out to water the Ilwaco street trees and planters, while I sat and read the news.  He had made me a fine cup of Builder’s Tea.

Builders

That gave me the strength to rise again and empty the work trailer of the two wheelbarrow loads of good non weedy clippings, a good addition to my compost bins.  I did not muster the energy to hobble back to the bogsy woods and haul out yesterday’s pile of cut salmonberry trunks and branches.




Thus ends today’s blog post.  Read on, if you like, for some information about immigrants, a subject that is much on my mind because of the way that beloved local people are being taken by ICE.

Here, from the Stories from this week’s installment of the Stories from the Heart series by Sydney Stevens, are some facts about immigration.  How does it connect with us? A bit of our gardening income right now is going to help these local families deal with the sudden crackdown instigated by the new national administration.

A Fact-Checker Speaks (by Sydney Stevens)

Falsehood # 1: They don’t pay taxes

Undocumented immigrants do, indeed, pay taxes. Like everyone else in the United States, they pay sales taxes. They also pay property taxes — even if they rent. As a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) points out, “the best evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of undocumented immigrant households currently file income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), and many who do not file income tax returns still have taxes deducted from their paychecks.”

Currently, in Washington State, undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $316,624,000 in state and local taxes.

Falsehood #2: They don’t pay into Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), unauthorized immigrants — who are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits — have paid an eye-popping $100 billion into the fund over the past decade.

“They are paying an estimated $15 billion a year into Social Security with no intention of ever collecting benefits,” according to Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the SSA. “Without the estimated 3.1 million undocumented immigrants paying into the system, Social Security would have entered persistent shortfall of tax revenue to cover payouts starting in 2009,” he said. “As the baby boom generation ages and retires, immigrant workers are key to shoring up Social Security and counteracting the effects of the decline in U.S.-born workers paying into the system.” (An article in the Atlantic explains more about this, including “We estimate that earnings by unauthorized immigrants result in a net positive effect on Social Security financial status generally, and that this effect contributed roughly $12 billion to the cash flow of the program for 2010″.)

Falsehood #3: They drain the system.

Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law, even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.

A Congressional Budget Office report on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 concluded that a path to legalization for immigrants would increase federal revenues by $48 billion. Such a plan would see $23 billion in increased costs from the use of public services, but ultimately, it would produce a surplus of $25 billion for government coffers, CBO said

Falsehood #4: They take American jobs.

Removing the approximately 8 million unauthorized workers in the United States would not automatically create 8 million job openings for unemployed Americans, said Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies, in his 2011 testimony before the House Judiciary Sub-committee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

The reason, is two-fold. For one, removing millions of undocumented workers from the economy would also remove millions of entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers. The economy would actually lose jobs. Second, native-born workers and immigrant workers tend to possess different skills that often complement one another.

According to Griswold, immigrants, regardless of status, fill the growing gap between expanding low-skilled jobs and the shrinking pool of native-born Americans who are willing to take such jobs. By facilitating the growth of such sectors as retail, agriculture, landscaping, restaurants, and hotels, low-skilled immigrants have enabled those sectors to expand, attract investment, and create middle-class jobs in management, design and engineering, bookkeeping, marketing and other areas that employ U.S. citizens.

Falsehood #5: It’s just a matter of following the law.

Under current immigration laws, there are very few options for legal immigration, the costs are increasingly prohibitive and the wait for any kind of status can be long and frustrating. According to the State Department, that imaginary “immigration line” is already 4.4 million people long and depending on the type of visa sought and the country of origin, the wait can be years to decades long. In some countries, such as the Philippines and Mexico, people have been waiting over 20 years for approval of a family-sponsored visa.

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Monday, 29 May 2017

Just as I was having my, um, breakfast (more like a very late brunch), I found a text from J9 asking if she could bring a friend to see the garden, someone who would not need “a tour”.  Because I had two friends coming at four, I said we would have to be mowing (Allan) and planting (me) during said visit because I still did not have my three days of modest garden goals completed.  Thus, there is not photo to record J9 and her friend walking through the garden.  Neither Allan nor I had organized having a camera in a pocket till after the lawn was mowed and the last of the at home annuals…the painted sage…were in the ground.

Allan tore off to water the Ilwaco planters in order to be home before Yudy and John arrived.

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watering the Ilwaco post office garden

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What is that weed? (lower right)..plus my Eryngium x Zabelli ‘Neptune’s Gold’

4 PM:  Yudy and John arrived as planned.  We had met when their small, artistic garden was on the Edible Garden tour and then recently reconnected through Indivisible and the political postcard parties.

I showed them some plants I had dug up to share with a local new gardener.

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John was taken with the soft, tall, native fern and we gave him this one that had volunteered under the water boxes bench.

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I think Allan took this photo to show the nicely mown lawn and the weeded boat garden.

I love the way the elephant garlic looks like tall grasses next to the boat.

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Yudy noticed the bright thorns on Rosa ptercantha (which also has its small white roses now).

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Smokey keeping just in front of Yudy.

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John heads into the bogsy woods.

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Skooter on the bridge.

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buttercups looking rather charming

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Maybe there is nothing wrong with a haze of yellow buttercups in the right place.

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This viburnum got everyone’s attention.

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Smokey keeping tabs on us.

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John and Yudy’s dog, Lily, had to wait; she would have chased the cats.  (Allan’s photo)

After an excellent walkabout and plans for a campfire later in the summer (with a promise of Yudy’s ukelele!), I got back to my garden tasks.

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I was disappointed in myself that I had not finished weeding this smallish area….

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even though it did look better than on Saturday.

I went on with the planting of sunflower and some assorted mustard seeds.

While planting sunflower seeds in the middle of the west bed, I found a tragedy.  My Ghislane de Feligonde rose is dying.

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one big stem all wilty and the other all dried up: WHYYYY?

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the big old trunk…It was an own-root rose. Maybe there is still a piece in my old garden that I could take cuttings from.

I love this rose, and have had it for years, after the man who ran an antique rose nursery near Snohomish said to me “Buy this one.”  I moved it from Seattle to the Sou’wester to Shakti Cove to my house behind the boatyard to hear and it was doing well.  It had gotten pushed around by a vigorous Fuchsia magellanica and I had removed the fuchsia to give it more space.  It looked fine last time I saw it.  (And later, googling proved that this rose seems to be not for sale anywhere in this country that I could find.)

As the mustard seeds went into the  garden between us and Devery’s driveway, a car pulled up in front of her house and someone called out, “Your garden is amazing!”  Because the woman looked so friendly and had opened her car door partway, I replied, “You’re welcome to come on a tour!”  Four people tumbled out of the car and what ensued was one of the most delightful walkabouts I have ever experienced.

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meeting Frosty

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All they saw was the good and they noticed pretty much everything special to me, all on their own.  Except for one hidden fairy door; I pulled aside fern fronds to reveal it.

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The view looking north to the house was commented on with enthusiasm, as was the fire circle.

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Frosty, and later Smokey and Skooter, all got pets. (Allan’s photo)

One of the women stopped and read aloud the writing on the house walls.  It is so rare for someone to do that, I can only remember one other time.

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As I gaze upon the garden, my heart grows peaceful, still. From its colour comes my being, from its spirit comes my will. -Ryan Gainey

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The garden flew round with the angel,
The angel flew round with the clouds,
And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round
And the clouds flew round with the clouds.

…That things go round and again go round has rather a magical sound.  -Wallace Stevens

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The old lamp with shells in it got noticed.

They even admired my bamboo poles that have lost so much of their colorful paint over the winter.

As they departed, and because I had found out that one couple at least comes to the peninsula often, I asked them to re-introduce themselves if they see us working in Long Beach, because both Allan and I have face blindness.  One of the women said she totally understood that and will talk to someone thinking, “I know I like you, but who are you?” and I said, “Yes, I have such a warm feeling about you even though I cannot remember who you are!”

It was just grand.

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my cool heather from Pam Fleming (Allan’s photo)

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Chickadee-dee-dee (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow: Back to work.

PSA: The darling house three doors down from us is for sale.  It has a small yard, which might be good for someone who wants a small garden, and a partial view of the port.

reading 

For those who like book reports, I read a book (and this short one took me over a week because it is planting time):

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Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, 1994:

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Ursula Le Guin:

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Rebecca Solnit.  I love her, and she must be a gardener.

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 1 May 2017

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WHAAAAT?

I was taken aback by completely unexpected cold rain and 20 mph wind.  No!  What happened to our five nice weekdays? Ok, maybe the beach approach garden won’t get done before the Sunday parade.  After all, the parade takes place downtown, not the beach approach.

I decided that I would enjoy a reading day, as did Allan.  I returned to my wonderful birthday present book; Allan had discovered and acquired it for me from the UK.

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Smokey loves a reading day.

I was pleased to finish the very funny homage to Bill Bryson’s Notes From a Small Island, in which author Ben Aitken retraces Bill’s route 20 years later.  While much of the book is humorous, I also appreciated Aitken’s occasional serious comments on class.

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An amusing passage:

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In Lincoln:

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More much appreciated (by me) musings on class:

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Later, in the north:

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I gave the book five out of five stars and I highly recommend it.  There were just a few moments when Aitken suggested Bryson did something that made me think, surely not.  When I cross referenced my copy of Notes from a Small Island, I was right, and now I intend to re-read Bryson’s book while Aitken’s is still fresh in my memory.

I still had plenty of time to read a rather short book that I had somehow missed by one of my favourite authors.

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An interesting digression that had little to do with the plot:

And after that, I had time to start (but not finish) a third book, another birthday present from Allan.

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I have some reservations about this book, particularly my thought that if you are going to travel from Lands End to John O’ Groats starting off in just your skivvies, begging along the way for clothes, bikes, food, and lodging, it will go a lot better if you are young white men.  These two chaps are the sort who insist on making it quite clear that they really don’t want to share a double bed.  And it does not seem to occur to them to examine why their journey is not especially dangerous.  My feeling when I read Dear Bill Bryson is that I’d love to be friends with the author.  These two…maybe not. However, I am very much enjoying the descriptions of England and I wouldn’t mind another rainy day to finish the book…if it were not for the fact that we are behind on work. (Edited to add…I am almost done with the Free Country book and have enjoyed the travelogue but am AWFULLY tired of being constantly reminded that the two young men are not gay.  They need to grow up!)

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

As predicted, we had a rainy and windy day.  I felt a little restless about it.  Views as I paced from window to window:

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kitchen


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north front


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north front


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east front


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Allan’s study, east


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Allan’s study, east


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Skooter does not like to go outside in the rain.


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south

I pondered how if I got my whole south window replaced, I could take photos out of the non screened side.

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This and one of the front windows is “blown”.

I find it very hard to spend money on things like this.

Just going out on the front porch to take this photo made my hands cold:

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Allan did take a few photos on his way between house and shed:

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and at the post office:

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hesperantha blooming now instead of waiting till fall


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one broken lily sprout

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Fortunately, I had a big book to read with over 300 pages to go.

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No Logo

I finished it by nine o clock, and then watched Deadliest Catch and felt wimpy for not being willing to work in the rain.

I felt blessed that we live in a relatively advertising-free environment.  Here at the “lost corner” of Washington State, we have only two chain restaurants (a rather gaudy McD’s and a low key Subway that blends in), and even though two of our three bigger grocery stores are franchises (IGA and, I think a Thriftway), they are still referred to by their old names (Sid’s and Okie’s).  While we do have billboards advertising local businesses, all but two extra large ones (between Black Lake and Seaview) are gentle on the eye compared to most billboards, and just advertise local motels and resorts.  This makes the Long Beach Peninsula a more restful place to live if, like me, you want to get away from advertising, brand names, and glitz.

Post script for those who are interested: No Logo by Naomi Klein

The book was excellent, even though somewhat outdated (published in 2000).

Some particularly interesting points:

How a certain McD restaurant went after any restaurant with McD in its name:

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This reminds me of the local story of how Starbucks went after an Astoria coffee shop named SamBuck’s.  The owner’s name was Samantha Bucks!  (She had done a logo that was sort of a take off on the SB logo.)  Read more about that case here.

A mention of community gardening:

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A whole chapter about the Reclaim the Streets movement had this interesting story.

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Of course, they lost…

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Re child labor, the National Labor Committee, and director Charles Kernaghan:

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About how sweatshops and child labor get so much more attention when attached to a brand name (Nike, for example):

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More about the Zapatistas (Klein also wrote about them in The Shock Doctrine).  I just very much like what Marcos had to say:

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Note to those who care: From what I had read recently, some of the Romany people consider “the g-word” to be a racial slur and would prefer that we use the word Romany.  If you care about that sort of thing, as I do, here is some beginning reading about it.  Google will give you much more.  I’d rather err on the side of politeness so have given up “the g word”. 

Tomorrow more rain is predicted, and I have a book of light reading lined up for a change.

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