Greetings from Seattle

Thursday, January 18, 2018


I couldn't go for my exercise walk today because I had a bit of a mishap yesterday.  But since we had a gap between rain storms I took my camera out into the yard instead. 

Ironically, yesterday Facebook reminded me that it was just four years ago on that day that I slipped and fell while out walking and face planted on the blacktop with a well placed piece of gravel that created a bloody lump right in the middle of my forehead. The resultant black eyes were quite dramatic, and it took months for the lump to go away. 

Well, yesterday I got an early start on my floor exercise routine, and then Tom and I went for our walk. So far, so good. At 11:15 I was ready to go work in the yard until 1:00. Boots on, snippers and bin in hand, I started on the driveway, clipping crocosmia and picking up debris. 

Then I moved on to the back yard where Tom was pruning a shrub on the wall. 
Scene of the crime.
We still had some fencing wire on the lawn as raccoon defense and I stepped over the first section but didn't realize there was another hidden in the grass. I tripped and in what seemed like slow motion, descended to the ground, body first,  and motion propelled into another face plant into the grass. My glasses went flying, but remained intact, and my face survived with only a slight bruise from one of the nose pieces. But I apparently torqued my right thigh muscles and my arthritic hip. 

Tom noticed me from his step stool when he heard the "G.. D....t" I expressed from the ground. After letting him know in no uncertain terms that it was time to pick up that damn wire, I got up with a hand up from Tom, collected my glasses, sat for a few minutes and then went back to work. However I was hobbling pretty good by the time we quit for lunch at 1:00. I had to go grocery shopping in the afternoon, so I had Tom go with me so all I had to do was push the cart.

Today I am much better, but it will be a few days before I can set an aerobic pace for 3 plus miles. I might have to work back up to that gradually. 

One of you asked about our raccoon saga. They still come back, and I checked, and we still have live Japanese Beetle grubs that they are after. We will have to wait until the first of March to start another grub eradication campaign.  I don't know what we will do about the raccoons when we try to replant grass. 

 Others of you have made comments about " gardening now?!"  Yes, here in the mild climate of the coastal Pacific Northwest there is always something to do in the garden if you can get out on dry days. There is mulch to spread, beds to dig or clear of debris, or perennials to clip, or shrubs and trees to prune. 

And there is always color and something blooming. 

 The patio pots are dressed for winter, but that geranium still not yet destroyed is a surprise. 

Yesterday we got the beds around the upper lawn clipped and cleaned out.

 We found daffodils emerging, with fat buds. 

 In the secret garden the moss carpet has come back. 
 Rain drops from last night's drenching bejewel branches. 
 We do grow moss well here. 

 Evergreen ferns ring the secret garden. 

 Big fat leaves still linger on the oak leaf hydrangea. 

 Native mahonia (Oregon Grape), sword ferns, and acuba fill in under the fir and maple trees. 
And the native red flowering current buds are teasing us and the hummingbirds as they wait to burst. 
There are more photos, but those can wait for another post. This one is quite long enough.  I have plenty of time on my hands, since I am grounded. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Middle of January

January is a month when I don't say "already", as in it's the middle of January already. January is the month that can go as fast as it wants to, usually.

However today and yesterday were so beautiful, with temps in the low 60's and blue sky, that these were days we would have liked to have linger. 

Sunday had us urban trekking. But Monday is house keeping and laundry day, and that's how we spent our morning. It was also ML King day, a day off for many, but when you are retired, every day is a day off. 

I didn't participate in any ML King commemorations, but I did read three very good editorials in the Seattle Times that spoke of the need to continue to work to achieve true equality, and given the racist nature of our president, that does seem evident. We still have far to go. 

After the work was done, I went outside to pick a new winter bouquet for the bathroom. 
 All shrubs from the yard,  there is gold splashed acuba, nandina, euonymus, shiny lunaria, fragrant sarcococca, and pink tipped sprigs of abelia, with some golden blooms of winter jasmine. 

After my leisurely lunch hour, I went for a walk in the neighborhood and the little nearby park. I had to shed my fleece vest once I worked up some body heat. I saw someone mowing their lawn, a family out washing their car, kids playing, and people walking and dogs playing in the park.
 As I was getting ready to return home I saw the clouds moving in. Tomorrow we will be back to the 40s and on and off rain. But it certainly could be worse!
 Tom didn't walk with me today because he was busy in the garden. While I was walking he got the raspberry bed spaded. He has been shopping on line to decide what type of raspberry plants to buy to replace the old plants we took out two years ago. We hope to defeat the Asian fruit flies this time around. 
He said it felt great to get back out to working in the yard. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Busy Week, Slow Down Sunday

I have continued on my mission to Reduce. I am now well down on my list, having this week crossed off cleaning out kitchen cupboards, the pantry, the china closet, coat closet, and the guest room closet. And yes, Kay, I did clean out my refrigerator. 

As for reducing me, at least I didn't gain, and worked off that fancy french toast from last Sunday. We have walked every day and I have been faithfully doing my stretching exercises daily, trying to keep arthritis at bay. 

We also went to two movies this week, The Post, and The Darkest Hour. I can highly recommend both of these movies. They are both historical, both skillfully presented, and both very well acted. I found them both to be inspirational. 

Today, Sunday, we decided to take the day off from any work projects, take our walking to a new location, and do some urban trekking. We drove into the city to the Fremont area, parked along the ship canal about a mile from the Sunday Market, and walked along the canal before checking out the market. 
 There were some interesting ducks in the canal. 

 This female Common Merganser was enjoying her bath time. 

 There were Greater Scaups.
 Dinosaurs - moved from their original location at Seattle Center, from the World Fair days. 
 Lots of bikes everywhere. You pick them up, put in your code or phone app, and ride wherever you want to go, then leave them for someone else. 
 Birds, bikes, bridges, and boats - lots going on along the canal. 
 Common Merganser males. 

 Under the Aurora Bridge.

 JP Patches and Gertrude are still doing their thing. Long gone but never forgotten from the childhood of many Seattlites. 

 The Fremont Sunday Flea Market is always funky. 
 We browsed and talked to a few vendors. We saw a new kind of food vendor, Raclette, where half wheels of cheese were being melted over burners and then scraped to top baked potatoes or salad ingredients with, warm, melty goodness. 
 And then we walked on, back along the canal to where we had parked our car. 

From here we drove west to Ballard, where the Sunday Farmers Market was in progress. But first we parked ourselves outside at the Starbucks across the street for a little coffee and chocolate. Here's our view from our sidewalk table. In case you didn't notice, it was a beautiful day, and folks were out en masse. 

 Tom went full bore caloric with a double chocolate brownie. I was content with one of the chocolate covered grahams and will save the other for another day. Such sacrifice. 

Of course I made up for the calorie economizing here. No one can resist these freshly made mini donuts, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and so hot you have to wait for them to cool down a bit. 
We sampled cheese and smoked salmon and toffee and then bought freshly made ham and brie crepes for lunch. 
Then we found a bench and just sat in the sun for a while, listening to street music and people watching before we walked back to the car.

Since returning home we have accomplished very little. I guess now I'd better send this post on its way and figure out what we're having for supper.