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Friday, 8 September 2017

I enjoy the Slow Drag event that takes place every September at the port, and have posted our photos in two enormous albums (The Vehicles and The Race) on the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  Here, I have a different focus: How the event relates to the port gardens.

For those who wonder what a slow drag even is, Allan photographed the rules.

The race takes place down Howerton Avenue past our curbside gardens, and, to return to the finish line, the vehicles slowly promenade down Waterfront Way.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

I can’t resist adding photos of a view vehicles that I find particularly charming.  And some dogs.

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Allan’s photo

First, I took photos of the parade of contestants down Waterfront Way.

purple!

The Church Ladies, always a favourite

The Who Bus, driven by Travis Matling, always our favourite to root for.

Someone called this bug “the condiment car” because of its colour scheme.

We love Salt Pub.

Clowns are scary. But it’s neat the way this car drives backwards.

My favourite truck

the old Shorebank building, now for sale, where we used to take care of the landscape

purple! and the condor sculpture

wings of the condor

condor reflected in purple

a passenger

my favourite bug with luggage rack

and the nice driver

port office baskets

our favourite local realtor, Char Wolters, in front of Don Nisbett gallery

Better call Char if you want to move to the beach!

a bug full of fairies

by Salt Pub, greens

The charming beach buggy driver comes every year.

It is always important to me to get red vehicles with red Jessie’s Fish Co.

People push to save on petrol and to avoid overheating.

Now we are turning the corner by Jessie’s and Englund Marine to the starting line of the race course.

The Who Bus

Travis

white, small and big

Is that our friend Don Nisbett?

Church Ladies near the starting line

 

Allan’s photo, starting line

 

starting line flagger, and our westernmost garden

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Allan’s photo

a luau in the Salt courtyard

Salt curbside garden

Allan’s photo

Allan saw our friend Scott and Tony’s dog, Rudy, seeming to indicate which car he liked best:

Allan, Dave, and Melissa

Allan’s photo

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another cute dog (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

the announcer

Onlookers behaved well in staying off most of the gardens, except for the one right by the finish line, where they parked their chairs.  However, because we are not allowed to hook up our hose and water that one, I no longer plant special plants there.

One exception to the garden respect was this person in my favourite garden bed.

When I passed again , I saw that this individual was moving all around the garden.

I couldn’t help it; I gently said, “Oh dear, I have some very precious plants in that garden bed,” and got the “Are you crazy lady?” look, followed by turning away and more shuffling around in the bed.  I walked away.  Such incidents are always futile, but I never can resist just one attempt, especially when there were plenty of other places to stand, and when this person was the only one trompling around in a garden.

Back to the race:

finish line, with a car just over the line; you can see lots of sitters and chairs in the finish line garden.

clown car trying to slow down

Travis and the Who Bus had gotten eliminated, to my sorrow.  Now I was rooting for the truck, below.  It was doing well.

another round one

Astoria clowns again

cute car tries to make it over the line

They’re out! Note folks all over the garden in the background.

another dramatic moment

Finally came the last lap, and my favourite (after the Who Bus, that is) won!

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the winners

Tomorrow: The Cannon Beach Cottage tour, one of our favourite events of the year.

 

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Before we get to our day, here’s some breaking news: A sale fell through on the wonderful garden (and home) next door to the Bayside Garden.  There must be a moneyed gardener who would love this 4.4 acre property with great gardening neighbors and with lots of room for garden expansion. Have a look at the real estate listing, here.  And tour the garden in this old post from when it was on the local garden tour.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

We could have had today off by working ten hour days for three days.  I’m learning that a day off is not always worth that pain; besides, I especially enjoy a day spent working only in our own town.

You may recall that last night, we tagged three arbutus for removal near the old Shorebank building.

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Last night: The tagged shrubs are three arbutus that want to be tree like. To keep pruned to the desired three feet tall just makes them ugly so I rebelled and stopped pruning them last year.

In the morning email, I heard that the port crew would probably be too busy to remove the shrubs.  Imagine my delight when we drove down Howerton and saw that the shrubs were gone after all!  What’s more, crew member Daryl had done the removal so skillfully, with a backhoe and ropes, that he had saved the wee huckleberry.

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We don’t even have to get soil to fill in holes!

We set to tidying the area and pruning the two wax myrtles, a shrub that, unlike the arbutus, looks just fine when pruned.  A good hose watering settled the garden nicely.

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after

The most important issue in these gardens is making safe traffic sightlines for people pulling out of driveways.

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Daryl, who did the excellent shrub removal.

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before pruning the myrtles

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and after

We were almost immediately thanked by two business people for making their view of the road better.

After tourist season, we will cut those two wax myrtles flush to the ground.  They will come back as nice, easily clipped and shaped mounds like these, in the next garden, that got that treatment last year.

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These are easily kept clipped low.

Also possibly for slated for removal is the mugo pine at the end of my favourite Howerton garden bed.  Daryl had stopped to clean the restrooms and we had complimented him on his precise and neat shrub removal.  He offered to take the pine out sometime and I said I would love that. While it may look neat and short in the photo below, that is only because of extensive and frequent pruning on my part.  I believe it was purchased as a dwarf mugo pine.  It doesn’t know that and wants to be twice this tall at least.

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my favourite Howerton bed

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Mugo pine might be feeling nervous at this point.

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Daryl examines the understructure of the pine.

By the way, all the too-big plants predate our working on these gardens.

Next, we checked up on Mayor Mike’s garden nearby and found the house had been painted exactly the colour I was hoping for.  When brown had been suggested awhile back, I’d pointed out that a pink and blue and white garden does not tone well with a brown house.

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This is perfect. The window trim will be raspberry colour. Delectable.

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overspray (Allan’s photo)

We weeded at the boatyard for about an hour in weather that suddenly felt too hot and sunny.

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pulling little scrimmy horsetail

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boatyard garden looking south

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north stretch of boatyard garden (Allan’s photo)

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late poppies (Allan’s photo)

The rest of the workday was spent watering more of the Howerton Ave curbside gardens.

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eastern end of the Howerton gardens, looking west

I left Allan and weeded my way toward my watering goals, the port office and Time Enough Books gardens.

While watering at the Loading Dock Village garden between Howerton and the water, I took in the view, as did Allan while hooking up his long hose at the dock.

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Allan’s photo

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fog rolling in, viewed from near the Loading Dock Village

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At the same moment, Coho Charter boats are still in sunshine.

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Eryngium and a spider (Allan’s photo)

When Allan and I met up at the west end after our separate watering tasks, we were both thinking of dinner at Salt Pub.

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Deadliest Catch (with the sound off) was playing on the telly on the end wall.

Soon every table was full.  Despite that, our dinner was served in good time.

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cheeseburger with salad subbed for fries

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Allan’s rockfish sandwich

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the view from our window table

At home:

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Every morning and evening, I find Calvin and Smokey together on this small chair. There are larger chairs on offer!

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Watered the container and greenhouse plants.

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a late flush of lilies

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Saturday, 29 April 2017

It was hard to get started working on my garden because of cold windy weather.

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I started with horsetail control in my pitiful scree garden

I got distracted before getting very far.

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I remembered I had some plants to put in pots, which resulted in some emptying of old pots and some various backing and forthing.

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Skooter was the only cat who came outdoors.  The others were sleeping in the house.

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Tulip ‘Honeymoon’

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stunning Vaya Con Dios

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Allan was messing about with a boat.

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a potting up accompishment (with Allan’s help)

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trying to be elegant with pots like the Oysterville garden (not quite)

Just when I was going to start planting my Nicotiana langsdorfii, a miserable cold and windy torrential rain arrived.

Allan had gone to park his boat over at the Black Lake Yacht Club in preparation for a little event planned for tomorrow.

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just fits on trailer with a hoop removed

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at Black Lake, kayak with dog on back

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Black Lake Yacht Club, largest membership ever.

I was pretty happy to sit and catch up on the Tootlepedal blog and then read more of a rather hilarious book. (More on this one when I finish it.)

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I kept looking out the window and thinking about how I had decided to nobly pick a few of my MOST special tulips to take to Salt Hotel.  And yet…the horrible weather daunted me.  Finally, I just went and did it and felt better that it was done.

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Fringed tulip ‘Cummins’ and a parrot tulip

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Salt Pub

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really miserable weather to go out in

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previous bouquet still looking fine (Allan’s photos)

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We delivered the tulips and attended a concert at Salt.

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Felix is a brand new addition to the Salt family! (Allan’s photo)

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dinner

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view

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David J was the bassist for Bauhaus, creators of a song I loved decades ago, Bela Lugosi’s Dead. 

 

I found it remarkable to hear David J from Bauhaus do an acoustic performance here in our little town.  Allan got some photos:

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Darwin Meiners, opening for David J, tours with David regularly and grew up in Astoria.

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I got all teared up when David sang the classic “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding”, and I found myself giving out a loud whoop, like olden days, when the audience cheered his statement that he would NOT say “President Trump”,  and I also found a couple of other songs to be moving, especially No New Tale to Tell and a rousing political anthem called Gentrification Blues.  From the singing along of many audience members who knew the lyrics, it was clear that we all shared his sentiments.

Our little lives get complicated
It’s a simple thing
Simple as a flower
And that’s a complicated thing

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A storm was due, with two gale flags flying at the port.  After breakfast, I thought I just might have time to turn a compost bin.

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I got this far before the rain came in earnest.


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We’d had this much rain overnight.


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a wistful look in the west gate before giving up


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No one had gone outside with me.

I did not much mind staying in because I could get back to an excellent book, one I had set aside in order to read two interlibrary loans.  I was very much taken by today’s book and intend to read more by this author.

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The premise of Solnit’s book is that most humans behave well and for the collective good after disasters, rather than descending into violence and greed.

I adored the story of the kitchens and camps set up after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

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Solnit said it is “elite panic” that causes death after disasters, like the martial law that was declared after the 1906 earthquake and that resulted in a shocking number of deaths of citizens who were shot while trying to rescue others.  The same sort of horrific law and order and elite property protection violence happened in New Orleans after Katrina.  The powers that be seem to fear the way that the citizens gathered to make soup kitchens and shelters and to care for themselves.  Heaven forfend that anarchy might ensue.

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More about elite panic:

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There is also a lack of faith that the citizens will resist panic.  In fact, Solnitz presents evidence that in an emergency, people do not generally panic.  The British proved that to be true during the Blitz even though, beforehand, the government had little faith in them:

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Charles Fritz wrote this after visiting Britain during WWII:

IMG_1529.JPGWhile Solnit writes about several different international disasters, she focuses most in depth on the ones she could get the most information about: California earthquakes, the Halifax explosion of 1917 (which I had never heard of!), 9-11, and Katrina.  The way people took care of each other and found community makes me less afraid of the always dreaded tsunami (of which we might be survivors, since we live close to a big hill).

You probably know that I have an emotional response to the story of the little ships of Dunkirk, so this 9-11 story had enough tears falling that I had to move the book out of the way.

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In another disaster story, I learned about a real life superhero, Super Barrio, who emerged after the Mexico City earthquake.

And about the Musician’s Village, a post Katrina housing project that reminds me of the Rural Studio.

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so beautiful, makes me weepy

And finally, a political concept that deeply spoke to me.

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If you like to read non-escapist literature, a day spent with A Paradise Built in Hell will give you a renewed faith in the power and good nature of the most ordinary of citizens.  It was just exactly what I needed to hear.

I finished the book just in time to go to a Salty Talk at Salt Pub…but not in time to get there early enough to get a seat. 

 I had intended to pick some flowers.  Instead, I only had time to look at the garden briefly before leaving.

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I’m not selfless enough to pick tulips out of my boat…


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or in the center bed…

I have some hidden tulips I’d have shared with Salt if I’d left enough time.

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“Ever wonder how fast crabs move? Or how fast your crab pot can fill up? Join Curtis Roegner, a NOAA Research Fishery Biologist, as he discusses his group’s work with acoustic telemetry and benthic video to track Dungeness crab migrations and movements in the Columbia River estuary.”

As it was, we could not get a table with Dave and Melissa, who had arrived just before us to find seating only at the bar. Kind owner Julez found me and Allan a little table in the back corner.

Tasty Mac and Cheese


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a full house (Allan’s photo)


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view from our table (Allan’s photo)


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Allan’s photo


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Allan’s photo


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park rangers listening to the talk


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crabby slide reflection


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swooping down on a deadhead on our way home


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tulips in the garden boat at Time Enough Books


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in the curbside garden (Allan’s photo)

We must try to get back to weeding the beach approach tomorrow.  I am inspired to brave the weather because the new season of Deadliest Catch has begun.  It helps me to work harder.

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Monday, 20 March 2017

In honor of the turning of the season, here is my favourite quotation about springtime:

“Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”  Dorothy Parker

Skooter was not enthusiastic about the drizzly, cold weather.

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head under the covers (Allan’s photo)

I picked some flowers for an event, and then Allan and I went for our tax appointment with our accountant, Jennifer, whose office is just four blocks west.

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Jennifer’s flowers

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office assistant Helen

We then delivered two bouquets of flowers to Salt Pub for our dear friend Jenna’s evening event.

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There was a new tiny little baby to see!


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flowers for Jenna (and, later, for Salt to have)

We went back home because the cold drizzle was supposed to end in half an hour.  Allan became absorbed in “do not pick” signage for the boatyard and I delved into the excellent book I’m reading.

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I am loving Mr. Theroux’s trip around the English and Welsh coast.

This reminded me of Mr. Tootlepedal:

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Along a branch railway line:

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Two most interesting sounding places:

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Chesil Bank


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Undercliff Walk at Lyme Regis

I googled up some photos of both these areas and even found videos of the Undercliff walk.

This description of tourism in seaside towns certainly reminded me of where I live (even though we love tourists here, and I well remember being one):

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Meanwhile, Allan worked on strengthening the pallets that will make the new compost bins.

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Allan’s photo

I had to leave my book and Allan his projects when the weather seemed to clear.  We drove to

The Anchorage Cottages.

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Our good friend Mitzu

The weather was actually quite miserable, damp, drizzly, with a bitter wind.  We did not last more than an hour.

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Center courtyard: not much happening except too many bluebells coming up


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narcissi


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narcissi and primroses


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hellebores, pulmonaria, and ranunculus


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trilliums


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trillium (Allan’s photo)

I cut back some hardy fuchsias, planted three lily bulbs, we did some weeding and could bear no more of the cold and headed back home.

I did not get to take photos of the Long Beach narcissi display….

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too cold and miserable to stop

After an interlude at home, we went back out to that event for which I had picked bouquets.

Ilwaco Merchants Association Spring Mixer

Oh, how I had tried to weasel out of going.  Because our dear friends Don and Jenna (Queen La De Da) are heading the group this year, Jenna did not let me escape.

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By the time everyone arrived, we had a full house at Salt Pub.


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Our Jenna (Allan’s photo)


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the view (Allan’s photo)

We discovered that Jenna had a special purpose in wanting us to attend: The merchants presented us with a community recognition of our work, both in the gardens and in taking photos for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.

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Thank you plaque by Artist Don Nisbett

Raffle prizes were drawn, hors d’oeuvres were served, drinks were downed, and the crowd was happy.

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Ponytail: Andi from the Visitors Bureau (ponytail), with Jenna and our Mayor Mike, Don Nisbett in black, and Jane from The English Nursery.

We were so touched by that nice award.  And impressed with the fun and liveliness of the event.  If only the usual Ilwaco Merchants Association meetings weren’t at 8 AM!

Tomorrow: more rain, thunderstorms….I do hope the Long Beach narcissi hold strong till I get some of them photographed and closely appreciated.

P.S. After 9 PM, I suddenly had the sniffles and wheezes. This bodes extra ill for work tomorrow. Almost everyone I know has had The Three Week Cold this winter. I thought I had escaped. Am embarking upon all my home remedies. 

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Guest photo from last midweek, from THE Oysterville Garden:

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photo by Melissa Van Domelen

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Now it feels like we have returned from spring to winter:

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early morning hail and thunder

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Having missed our garden club dinner last week, the North Beach Garden Gang met for brunch at Salt Pub.  (All but two photos today are by Allan.)

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This is the next garden awaiting our attention, west of Salt Hotel.

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It did not get awfully weedy over the winter.

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Melissa and Dave arrive

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our view

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two egg breakfast

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eggs benedict

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heuvos rancheros

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coming soon-ish.  Allan and I have tickets already.

The five of us lingered over our table for two hours, catching up on all the gardening news. It was especially pleasing to me to be greeted by another diner there, Lorna, who used to own Andersen’s RV Park and was one of our top favourite clients for the many years we gardened there.

I had just been thinking how now that we have six fewer big spring clean ups than we used to have, bad weather is not a crisis in the early spring.

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clearing but still cold and windy

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Todd, me, Melissa, Dave

In the afternoon, I simply finished a book I started last night.

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Yesterday evening, I read a short post apocalyptic novel (Thirst, by Benjamin Warner) that I only mildly enjoyed. Today’s choice was excellent; I especially appreciated that the protagonist was autistic and I could well identify with her ways of coping in the world after a comet hits our planet.  Turning from political non fiction to post apocalypse fiction hasn’t been that much of a change.  Coming up soon is Swallows and Amazons which should be much cheerier.  I haven’t even started it and I’ve already dreamt about reading it.

 

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

We had the pleasure of lunching at Salt Pub with two regular blog readers and Facebook friends, Lizanne and Gina.

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Allan’s photo

Over lunch, one topic of conversation was real estate, as I had been haunted by the idea of looking at the dreamy four-lot property up north.  Just before we ate, I arranged to do so.

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view from Salt Pub


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nachos


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pub burger

After lunch, I returned the excellent advance copy of Radium Girls to Karla at Time Enough Books…

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and after a quick stop at home to grab our postcard making kit, we joined Lizanne and Gina to prowl around the exterior of a darling house for sale in Seaview.

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Lizanne, me, Gina


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dreamy Seaview

Gina is of Snooter-Doots fame and is a favourite afar of our cats because she made their catnip Kitty Karrots.

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tiny Seaview cottage called Shoebox Inn


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We cared for the garden once a year, several years ago.

Since Allan and I were heading north to look at the enticing property for sale, we decided to join the last half hour of a post card party in progress at Naquaiya Studio in Ocean Park.

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narcissi at the art studio (Allan’s photo)

  This blog is a faithful retelling of the quotidian lives of two working class gardeners, including the non gardening bits.  Some days are focused on non gardening activities, moreso lately. 

The postcard event is an offshoot of Indivisible.  Its main focus is a mass mailing of protest postcards to Preznit DT in mid March.  It may have no effect but to strengthen our resistance, and that is enough to make it worthwhile.  And the conversation among a group of fierce old woman is satisfying.  Like Lawrence O’ Donnell, we hope for impeachment, or perhaps resignation, and that he’ll take white nationalist Steve Bannon with him when he goes home to his luxurious life as a citizen.

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The creative party had been going strong for 2 1/2 hours before we got there with impressive results.  I may have blurred out a word or two for those with the most delicate of sensibilities:

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Good job, postcard artists.

I concentrated in my brief half hour on my own little idea: To send a postcard of thanks to the Associated Press, Time Magazine, and USA today for refusing to attend a press conference in which the NY Times, CNN, and other news outfits were denied entrance. Allan made three postcards, as well.

I do hope that someone at a office desk will get some pleasure and amusement from them.

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Allan’s and mine

Our friend and artist Joe Patina had been leaving as we arrived.  He’d left behind a pile of vintage postcards which are much to lovely to go to DT.  I am in the process of photographing them to share on my Grandma’s Scrapbooks blog.

Now it was time to drive north and get a look inside the tall gates we had peered over on Friday.  That will be tomorrow’s post.

Afterwards, on the way home in the late afternoon, we saw swans on Black Lake.

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Allan’s photo

I noticed Lake Street looking colorful.

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While I blogged, Allan string trimmed the garden bed edges and gathered up and cut to firewood size the fallen branches of the winter.

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hellebore, dogwood, alder fall


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an animal path going into the south end of Nora’s garden next door.

Tomorrow: an artist’s haven for sale

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