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Posts Tagged ‘Seaside Knitters’

We have a guest photo from Terri of Markham Farm.

Here is her solution for the elk herd which have been bothering her garden.  She finds that these driftwood pieces from the beach are a good deterrent and are letting new plant growth sprout up between them.

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Skooter staying out of the weather

I checked on the greenhouse.

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The day was much too cold, under 40 degrees F, for any gardening.

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I noticed again that Skooter, who could not resist following me, is losing fur, and resolved to take him to the vet early next year.

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bald patches!

Allan made a trip to the library and brought me back a few more books.

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the library garden today

I had started this book last night, and cold weather let me stay indoors to finish it today:

I was interested to learn about a good guy, Martin Eakes, who did “sub prime lending” at a small profit, back before unscrupulous sub prime lenders targeted the poor for huge profits.

Two of many stories of predatory loans:

People who earn $15000 or $20000 a year live in a constant state of financial turmoil.  They’re constantly behind on their bills, put off all but the most essential of purchases, learn to do without.”  Here at the beach, where many jobs are minimum wage service jobs, and where I recently saw a one bedroom small apartment going for over $1000 a month (not unusual), any emergency can throw a low-wage earner’s life into disarray.  In my life here, I remember hard times in the 1990s: the winter of the broken down van, the winter of the broken sewer pipe, the springtime of the broken down truck, and, in 2005, the summer of the leaky roof!

Below: This was shocking to me, about pay day loans and the low wages of military personnel.  I had no idea their wages were this low.  I suppose it must include housing and food…but still…

Something I read this week, and I think it was a  passage in Broke USA, proposed the idea of people working for each other, charging equivalent wages.  That is something I have pondered a lot as I have worked for folks who make $80 to $100 an hour, and yet who would never offer me their services at the wage I was charging.  That is one of the two reasons I STOPPED working for individuals and decided to focus on resorts and town gardens.  The other reason is that by doing public gardens in towns and resorts that tend to be affordable tourist destinations for working class folks, I am helping to create beauty for the many instead of the few.

We still had Things to Do other than my much desired staycation hibernating.  We almost forgot today’s thing.  Fortunately, I remembered in the afternoon the city council meeting that would include the swearing in of our new mayor and three new (or almost new) council members whose enthusiasm will be a great benefit for our town.

Outgoing council members (retiring, not voted out) were given plaques, made by the high school, of appreciation for their years of service.

Retiring council members David Jensen and Vinessa Karnofski.

I remember years (and one name change) ago when Vinessa won as a write in candidate.  Allan made a home made sign for our yard.

Tonight, Mayor Mike gave a farewell speech, as, at age 75 today, he also has chosen to retire.  He got choked up because he loves this town, and I got teary eyed, as well.

Mike, mayor for eight years, giving his farewell speech.

He then swore in the new council members.  In the audience foreground, below, are two of the family members of Missy, to the right in the council line up.  Her spouse and one of her daughters are in the Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department.

Below: The center new council person is Jared, our neighbour one door east and co owner of Starvation Alley organic cranberry farm.

Allan’s photo

New council member Matt was absent; he had been appointed to fill a vacancy and had won the official elected seat this November. Fred, left, has been on the council for a number of years and is the last of the previous council, because council member Gary ran for mayor and was sworn in tonight, leaving one vacant seat for an appointee.

Mike swears in new mayor Gary Forner.

We look forward to seeing who the new appointee will be.  My intention is to start attending meetings to be supportive of this new crew, at least during off season although possibly not in our busiest work months.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The weather, just slightly damp and not windy, allowed me to finish clipping the hellebore leaves in the back garden. Old hellebore leaves are always bad and should be removed.

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before

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after

Some hellebores are already budded.

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dwarf variegated pieris

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mahonia in bloom

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viburnum berries

The bogsy woods trees were full of twittering birds.

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Despite many weeds calling to me to get pulled, the ground was so cold that my hands could not take weeding, so I went in to read.  The afternoon at home became disrupted when Calvin’s cough, which had returned a day ago, became so bad that he was gasping for breath.  A sudden emergency trip to the vet ensued.

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Miserable Calvin, who will be age 13 this coming spring, was breathing with difficulty.

A mad chase around the house ensued when he caught wind of the cat carrier being brought in.  I almost thought we were going to have to call to cancel the emergency appointment, and then we got him stuffed into the box.

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in the exam room

Dr. Raela, who has seen so much of us and our cats this winter, gave him an X ray and pronounced his lungs “hazy”, possibly with asthma.  He got a shot, and will go back on Friday for a follow up.

On the way home, a stop at the library netted a book that made me happy: the new Seaside Knitters mystery.

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Ahhhhhh….

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Meanwhile, Skooter helped Allan read a Swallows and Amazons book.

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Allan’s photo

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Sunday, 21 June 2015

at home

Smokey

Smokey

I find it so sweet that Smokey now sits on the chair closest to my new table while I have breakfast; he sat next to the other table when I would dine there.

I could not get going outside today despite big plans. I had so little energy for gardening that I wrote two blog posts instead, feeling a nagging guilt the whole time because the weather was warm and not terribly windy.  I attribute some of the lack of energy to having heard this morning that Long Beach won’t hire an intern to weed the beach approach. I don’t get it as they have to pay someone to do it, right? So it seems like the remaining ten sections are again hanging over my head like the axe of doom. Or…it just won’t get done. Other than that, I suppose we all need a rest sometimes and I had to take one.  Fortunately, it was the longest day of the year and so even though I did not begin to garden till 4:30, I still had time to put in a good four plus hours.

I ate the Pink Poppy Bakery Swedish Traveling Cake, which I'd forgotten about yesterday, for energy.

I ate the Pink Poppy Bakery Swedish Traveling Cake, which I’d forgotten about yesterday, for energy.

Allan had already helped me enormously by setting up a sprinkler to water the front garden.

front garden lilies

front garden lilies

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pale yellow lilies in bud

pale yellow lilies in bud

Scrophularia variegata (figwort) and a variegated Hellebore

Scrophularia variegata (figwort) and a variegated Hellebore

Lily 'Landini'

Lily ‘Landini’

Lily 'Landini'

Lily ‘Landini’

I had been excited after a rain shower late last week to find the new water bin full…until Allan pointed out it also collected roof water from when we run the oscillating sprinkler.  (Our house is short).

I should have dipped water out before today's sprinkler session.

I should have dipped water out before today’s sprinkler session.

In the back garden, I found two frogs, not Pacific tree frogs but a larger kind (leopard frogs?) hanging out under a piece of driftwood in one of the water boxes.

frogs

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I could also see some small tadpoles swimming around, the ones Allan had rescued last weekend.  They are elusive and dive down when observed.

Allan had mowed the lawn earlier in the day.  I watered with the four back garden sprinklers, weeded the former Danger Tree bed and added whatever mulch I had around (not enough!), and then I partially trimmed out the sides of the salmonberry tunnel back in the bogsy woods…

before...forgot to take an after.  And the results were just middling because of lack of energy.

before…forgot to take an after. And the results were just middling because of lack of energy.

Japanese iris by the woodpile at the tunnel entrance

Japanese iris by the woodpile at the tunnel entrance

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I had company in the garden.

I had company in the garden.

Allan went to water the Ilwaco Community Building.  I observed that he does not mind going to work for a bit on a day off, whereas to me, having to work even a bit makes it completely not count as a day off.

Allan's photo: flooding the sad horsetail-y soil at the community building.

Allan’s photo: flooding the sad horsetail-y soil at the community building.

Allan's photo: Brodiaea at the community building.

Allan’s photo: Brodiaea at the community building.

When he returned, he built a campfire.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Later in the evening, I got the impulse to completely get rid of that old tricycle piece at the lower right, above; it has slowly disintegrated, and makes it impossible to expand the garden into that area.  It’s gone now.

Near the fire circle:  two beloved plants, Sambucus laciniata from Joy Creek Nursery and Rose 'Radway Sunrise' from Cistus.

Near the fire circle: two beloved plants, Sambucus laciniata from Joy Creek Nursery and Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’ from Cistus.

Walking to and from the house to collect campfire food and drink, I noticed that the vine that Nancy gave me, from Annie’s Annuals, is blooming.  I have completely forgotten its name even though it is a vine I have wanted to grow, so I hope someone can help me ID it.

exciting!

exciting!  Sorry did not get a long shot of the plant.

Paul's Himalayan Musk rose is still blooming over the big west arbour.

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose is still blooming over the big west arbour.

Then, we settled in for our campfire.

view of the Danger Tree bed I had weeded earlier today.  I want to build the bed up higher now that the tree is just a snag.

view of the Danger Tree bed I had weeded earlier today. I want to build the bed up higher now that the tree is just a snag.

to my left: the bed that I expanded recently.  Quite satisfying to see those ladies in waiting planted.

to my left: the bed that I expanded recently. Quite satisfying to see those ladies in waiting planted.

fire

At last, a fire, and no wind.  We had hoped for this last night when Kathleen was available to join us.  It has been a couple of windy weeks waiting for a campfire evening.  Tonight was summer solstice, and even though I knew it was the longest light evening of the year, I totally forgot that we should howl and …recite poetry… and other solstice rituals.  We just quietly sat and toasted sausages and had a hard apple cider with lime each.

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lots of wood waiting for future campfires

lots of wood waiting for future campfires

above: trees with no roaring wind; what a delight

above: trees with no roaring wind; what a delight

Monday, 22 June 2015

My plan was to title this post “A lazy day and a busy one” or something like that, as I had expected to do a lot of weeding and pruning at home on Monday (while waiting for the plumber).  And then….because the next six days will be tremendously busy…I completely skived off and read the brand new book in a series that I love: The Seaside Knitters.  How could I resist?  It had come from the library, and if I did not read it today I would only have time for small bits of reading later in the week.  That is no way to read a mystery.

ahhhhh.....

ahhhhh…..

Mary immediately saw that it was going to be a good day for her, as well.

Mary immediately saw that it was going to be a good day for her, as well.

She made a good book rest.

She made a good book rest.

I love this series so much that I wrote a special blog post about it, and when I have time I have some new descriptive details about the fictional town of Sea Harbor to add to that post.  Despite an unusual number of murders, the town is idyllic, and even more so is the friendship among the women who comprise the core characters.  It is possible to find friends like that, and rare, and they should be treasured.  (I can guarantee that none of them would tolerate mean girl shenanigans any more than they tolerate unsolved murders.)

During that time, the plumber came and Allan dealt with the whole interlude so that I got to just keep reading.  He was being much more productive than me and had painted some posts and an old door for an upcoming project.

Allan's photo: He also scraped and repainted an old door that is one of the deer fence gates.

Allan’s photo: He also scraped and repainted an old door that is one of the deer fence gates.

I did not rush through my book despite my usual feelings of garden guilt, so I was not outside until after five.  (A sunny but not too hot day reading indoors is not as purely pleasurable as a winter day….)  In the following three hours, I managed to accomplish some weeding, some watering (including watering can applications from the full rain barrel), picked some strawberries and blueberries, and tied about twenty more tall bamboo stakes to the fence wherever I thought the deer might be jumping over.

bamboo stakes ready to go

bamboo stakes ready to go

evening light

evening light

reseeded Nigella (love in a mist)

under the rose arbor

deep blue nigella

deep blue nigella (love in a mist) reseeded from last year

looking south over the water boxes

looking south over the water boxes

a pretty annual given to me by Teresa from The Planter Box

a pretty yellow annual given to me by Teresa from The Planter Box

tall bamboo stakes in place

more tall bamboo stakes in place

looking south

looking south

looking southwest

looking southwest

Cosmos 'Antiquity'

Cosmos ‘Antiquity’

This daylily is a keeper.

This daylily is a keeper.

This evening I pulled a lot of bindweed off the backside of this area: East side of bogsy woods.

This evening I pulled a lot of bindweed off the backside of this area: East side of bogsy woods.

Salvia 'Hot Lips' came back from last year.

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ came back from last year.

Cyperus in the water boxes

Cyperus ‘King Tut’ in the water boxes

While I had a couple of productive hours in the garden, Allan went out to water the Ilwaco planters and street trees, so again it was not a true day off for him.  I find that a shame.  I think it bothers me more than it bothers him to see him have to go to work instead of having a real two day weekend.

We finished the day with the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line.  In one scene, June Carter uses the phrase “a hitch in your giddyup”, which is sort of cosmic because I just heard and adopted “hitch in your getalong” last week.

Tomorrow:  the north end jobs come early this week.  I am hoping, oh so fervently hoping, that the Long Beach planters will hold out till Wednesday and will not need watering tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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November-December 2014

I read my way through the entire Seaside Knitters mystery series during the first month of staycation, and I wish to share my infatuation (and perhaps obsession) with the fictional town of Sea Harbor, Massachussets.  I think I can guarantee that there are no spoilers here about the plots.

Death by Cashmere came into my life either when I picked it up on a “free” bookshelf at a local business…or perhaps my friend Montana Mary had gifted it to me.  One day in September, I was out of library books so chose it from my at-home to-read shelf. I was surprised at how pleasantly written it is, as I often find the cozy mystery “theme” series tend to be sort of hack-ish.  (I am not a fan of The Cat Who, the bed and breakfast series, etc).  While I wouldn’t equate the writing with Ruth Rendell or PD James (who write the sort of darker psychological suspense that is usually my mystery choice), I enjoyed the author’s imaginary world so much that I would like to live in it. When I finished Death by Cashmere, I gifted it to the owners of the local knitting shop (Purly Shell at the Port), not realizing that I would grow to love the series so much that I wish I had kept it.

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On November 21, I shared some entries that reminded me of the Ilwaco Saturday Market.

The summer market at the pier was one of Nell’s and Birdie’s favorite Saturday things to do.  It wasn’t just the smell of the fruits and vegetables piled high on the market stands.  It was the people watching, greeting neighbors, the music and kites flying and icy containers of clams, lobsters, and oysters being sold by local fisherman.  It was Peggy Garner’s stand, filled with freshly picked blueberry, rhubarb, and cherry pies, and Frank and Lucy Staff’s Mason jars of fresh homemade salsa—pineapple and raspberry and spicy tomato.  And it was even the incongruous appearance of Joe Quigley, who appeared every summer in the seaside town and hawked his Chicago dogs, piled high with onions and mustard and pickles, from a tiny booth right beside the pier.”

Saturday Market

Ilwaco Saturday Market

From Angora Alibi:  “The summer farmer’s market was set up near the Ocean’s Edge, on the great green expanse of grass that ran from the parking lot down to the water’s edge. It was already crowded, with people pulling out their cloth bags and filling them with early summer produce—lettuce and spinach and arugula, slender stalks of asparagus, carrots, and baby corn.”

(For more about farmers markets in an inland setting, check out Montana Mary’s Yummy Montana blog.)

Patterns in the Sand offered some lovely descriptions of beachy landscapes.

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Fishtail Gallery

the view from Annabelle’s restaurant:

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A Fatal Fleece offered a further explanation of how the town fits together:

boats

Further description from Angora Alibi:

town

From Murder in Merino:  “The little Ridge Road neighborhood was part of a fishing community. Not the fleet captains but the crew. They couldn’t afford widow’s walks on their homes, so they built homes up on that hill, where they could look out to sea, waiting for the boats to come in.”

I noticed immediately how many restaurants the small town supported.

Annabelle’s Sweet Petunia Restaurant:

annabelles

petunia

Harry’s deli:

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a teashop or two:

tea

The Edge, the Gull, and more:

restaurants

Harbor Road

Polly’s Tea Shoppe:

“Polly Farrell’s Tea Shoppe was on Canary Cove Road, two doors down from Rebecca Early’s lampwork bead gallery.  …A large stone teacup held the door open and allowed a light breeze to circulate air in the small space.  Polly stood behind the counter, her smile as broad as her round face, waving them in.  The tiny shop held but four tables, and today only one was taken.”

polly

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I made note of the eateries: The Artist’s Palate (clever name!), The Ocean’s Edge (known for its Cucumber Fizz cocktail), Sweet Petunia (the real name of Annabelle’s), Polly’s Tea Shoppe, Coffee (the coffee shop’s eponymous name), The Gull Tavern, Harry’s Deli, and more…and then a character enters a scene bearing a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee! That does imply a city more the size of  Newport, Oregon instead of a small town like Long Beach or Ilwaco.

The Artist’s Palate is open long hours:  “At noon, it would be filled with people craving burgers, and at night it rocked, with area bands performing and the wall of beer bottles meeting everyone’s taste.  But in the morning hours, the owner didn’t mind if people just came and sat, watching the fog burn off the harbor.  Sit, gossip, work on laptops.”   (And drink coffee and eat homemade granola.)

In Murder in Merino, I found a further restaurant description.  I was amused to see a Scooper’s Ice Cream, such a classic name that we have one in Long Beach, Washington.

“The line outside Scooper’s Ice Cream Parlor stretched down Harbor Road toward the Gull and the Ocean’s Edge.”

Sea Harbor’s proximity to Gloucester may explain why so many restaurants can thrive in its setting. It’s closer to some big cities than we are here; it’s almost a three hour drive from Portland, Oregon, to Ilwaco, and three and a half hours from Seattle.

Cape Ann, Maine

Cape Ann, Maine

I found a mention of Gloucester being driving distance along the coast, and in The Moonspinners, the author’s acknowledgements explain more about how Sea Harbor is situated on Cape Ann.  The closeness to larger cities explained why so many Sea Harbor restaurants could thrive.

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author’s note

From Murder in Merino:  “The Fractured Fish [local band] has a gig over at The Dog Bar in Gloucester.  I’m hoping that Captain Joey guy will mention us on Good Morning, Gloucester.  Everyone on Cape Ann is reading that blog of his.  It’d be great PR for the band.

Not until the 7th book, Angora Alibi, did I came across a passage that made it clear to me how close Sea Harbor is to Boston.  “It was the view that took [Izzy’s] breath away.  In one direction, the skyline of Boston was a hazy landscape, and closer in, the long winding shoreline, like a serpent’s tail—Paley’s Cove, the artists’ colony, Anya Angeline Park.  Nell walked over the the edge and looked to the right, out over the beach….”

This map shows the area between Boston and Rockport; Sea Harbor would be somewhere along that coastline.

This map shows the area between Boston and Rockport; Sea Harbor must be somewhere along that coastline.  Probably near the town of Winthrop?

Sometimes it’s good to be able to get away from a small town.  In my real life, a drive from Ilwaco to Astoria, Oregon, might provide the same experience as a drive to Rockport.  From A Fatal Fleece:

rockport

rockport2

rockport3

Rockport sounds a lot like Astoria.

Rockport

Rockport

Rockport

Back to reading the books in order:

The second book arrived on Novemeber 23rd...

The second book had arrived on November 23rd…

patterns

and heralded the opening of another restaurant:

and heralded the opening of yet another restaurant.

The third book is set around Christmastime.

holidayyarn

It perfectly captured what it is like to live in a seaside tourist town in winter (although we do not have much in the way of the frost and snow).

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Sea Harbor has its own Christmas village tradition.

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It sounds charmingly similar to Ilwaco’s Crab Pot Christmas Tree evening.

I waited impatiently for more of the books to come from the library.

books

At last, four more!

On December 2, I read The Wedding Shawl.

On December 2, I read The Wedding Shawl.

Nell’s back garden is evocatively described during the preparations for a wedding:

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I stopped reading in order to Google yellow hydrangeas and found they apparently only exist when dyed.

Of course, the wedding food is lovingly described.

food

The friends in Sea Harbor eat well.  “You can almost smell the ocean and taste the food,” says a blurb by Gumshoe.

Like me, Cass does not cook.

recipes

I collect recipes and give them to Allan in hope.

Other characters cook lavishly and share the results in a happy round of regular potlucks.

food

from A Holiday Yarn

from A Holiday Yarn

from A Holiday Yarn

from A Holiday Yarn

from A Holiday Yarn

from  Murder in Merino

from Murder in Merino

The continuing habit of small town gossip is often addressed.  The most flagrant collector of gossip is Mary, a likable character who writes a news column for the local paper.  I can guarantee that I would try to say nothing within her hearing that I wouldn’t want to see in the paper.  Here she is on the local restaurant deck:

Mary reached back and pulled over a chair from her own table—her unofficial reserved seat.  Everyone knew the table beneath the leafy maple tree to be hers, the place she occupied nearly every morning in decent weather.  Her computer on her lap, she sat there and composed her ‘About Town’ column for the Sea Harbor Gazette, the contents of which were sometimes gleaned from the conversations spinning around her on the crowded patio.”

Nell held back a smile, as if anything Mary Pisano said would stay confidential.  She was as well-intentioned as anyone on earth, but to Mary, secrets were meant to be printed in her column.

Nell and Birdie both looked at the younger woman, keeping their opinions to themselves.  Experience had taught them how easily one’s words could make it into Mary Pisano’s chatty column.

From Murder in Merino:  “A dearth of gossip was not much of a challenge for Mary—she’d dig something up or applaud someone’s good deeds or expound on a favourite cause or pet peeve. The column would be written no matter how little news was circulating around the seaside town—and it would be read by nearly everyone in town.

Our local paper doesn’t have a column like that, thank goodness!

How small town gossip works (from A Fatal Fleece):

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That’s what I don’t like about small town life:  The way people’s business gets repeated, word for possibly inaccurate word, from one ear to the next, with the careful analysis of appearance and behavior.  From A Fatal Fleece: “It was clear that the news was already rolling down Harbor Road.  A tidal wave.  News like this would take a nanosecond to travel through town.”

Usually, the gossip by the knitting group is kind hearted and never sinks into the realm of dissecting the appearance of others.  (That could partly be because of a small quibble that I have with the series:  Almost everyone, especially the women, is described with some variation of being traditionally attractive.  I recall the words “tanned” being used a lot, and everyone seems to be fit or spry.)  This passage from Murder in Merino is a bit of an exception and reveals how tough it is to be an incomer in a small town:

P1130165

When I used to get out more and joined in the incessant gossip-fests at a local café, I tried (in hindsight, not as successfully as I’d like) to stick with what people had posted on Facebook, figuring that those tidbits were deeply interesting and were things the people actually wanted to share.  (There’s nothing that puts one off gossip as quickly as finding out that one’s ownself is the subject of a mean batch of it.)

My best gossip story is that one day, I stood in the foyer of a Seaview restaurant and commented to a friend about a noisy helicopter tour that was bothering residents from Ilwaco to Long Beach.  Within one day, I heard back about it from a local gardening client, who had heard what I had said from his friend in New York City.  Someone in the restaurant had emailed the New York person, who had called the gardening client.  Fortunately, all of them agreed with my point of view about the noise.

Gossip drives the mystery plots in all the Seaside Knitter books, and at least in a mystery, it serves a purpose other than just nosiness and schadenfreude:  the inevitable catching of the perpetrator of the latest murder.

Speaking of murder, the question of the sheer number of murders in Sea Harbor is never discussed.  The theme that weaves through the books is how much the knitting friends want to solve the latest one so that they can get back to a peaceful life.  In A Holiday Yarn, they want to solve the mystery so that Christmas is not spoiled; in The Wedding Shawl, they must find the perpetrator before the wedding day, and in A Fatal Fleece, they long for “what the whole town wanted: a return to the slow, easy summer that they had waited nine long months to enjoy.”  From Murder in Merino: “Three weeks to find a murderer.  I refuse to have the Endicott anniversary party clouded by a murderer on the loose.

On December 3rd, I went on with the next book.

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I was pleased that the books now contained a character list at the beginning.  Because I have a hard time remembering names, I’d been keeping my own notes.  All the ensuing books have a list, a few pages long, at the beginning.

cast

A Fatal Fleece‘s plot begins in a way that reminded me of some long ago happenings when I first moved to Ilwaco, when a “crazy” old woman was removed from her rundown house that stood on the main road down to the port.  You can also see that the layout of the town is further described, giving me more material with which to visualize the setting.

finnegan

A new community garden figures large in A Fatal Fleece, along with the gripping plotline about the old man.

garden

I’m reminded of a community meeting that I attended in about 1995, when some locals were trying to shut down a Chinook-area RV Park where the trailers were poor and rundown.  The people there really could not afford to improve their old trailers, and I was firmly on the side of “there’s no law against ugly” although I would tried to phrase it in a less judgmental way.

meetng

Despite the gossip and the upscale element that wants to force residents to conform, the heart of the town is kind.  This paragraph reminded me of how, as a vacationer, I fell in love with the Long Beach Peninsula and soon left my city life behind:

magic

The community garden becomes a running theme in the following books.  Here, the shop cat in the knitting shop is included in the description of a garden themed window display:

gardenOn December 9th, holiday festivities let up enough so that I got to read the last two books of the series.

alibi

Angora Alibi has the best ever idea for an artists’ colony baby shower:

“In the center [of the room] stood a nearly life-sized wooden giraffe.  …Today, it was surrounded by colorful books in all sizes and shapes.  And along the walls, on the arms of chairs, and in open spaces between the guests were paper-maché figures, painted in brilliant colors, representing characters from the books:  Ferdinand the Bull, the Cat in the Hat, Paddington Bear, and Winnie the Pooh. 

She looked over at a group of wild things, grinning in all their glory, with Max in the center.  ‘The Canary Cove artists have been busy.’

Her hands went to her mouth.  Tears stung her eyes.  The giraffe was an heirloom, she knew, a cherished one, and the sentiment behind the gift was enormous.  Not only would her baby have a giraffe to look over him or her, but a parade of her favorite childhood friends to keep him from ever being alone during a lonely night.  She’d be going home with a whole library of books and treasures, all from people who loved this new baby even before she arrived.”

The setting of the baby shower is in a gallery home and the garden beyond.  “It was tucked away in the middle of wild roses and sea grass, nearly hidden from view except for the low garden lights along the pathway.  Tiny sea urchins and mermaids, carved from wood or fired in an oven, were hidden in the grasses or hanging from small magnolia trees along the curved pathways.”

 

merino

My cats loved these long reading days.

My cats loved these long reading days.

an autumn storm

an autumn storm

I so look forward to the next book.  They seem to come out once a year, often in May. For those of you who actually knit, each book comes with a knitting pattern (and I seem to recall that there are recipes at the back of the books, as well).

 

 

Author Sally Goldenbaum would like you to know about kascare.  You will often find her characters knitting chemo caps for cancer patients or squares for Kascare.

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