Greetings from Seattle

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Two-Day Jobs

Tom works quite vigorously most days out in the yard. In the last few weeks he has rebuilt the raised bed garden boxes, and dug out and refreshed the rock pathways between them.

All of this took many days of work. You see that he has the hoop houses covered now. All of his bonsai are now under cover. 

That led him to his next job.
This bonsai bench is under-planted with black mondo grass and gold Angelina sedum, but it is being overtaken with sweet woodruff and the color combination is no longer defined.

So it was time to dig it all out and start over. 
 He dug out a huge amount of plant material, re-set the bench, and the had to sort through all of the mats of roots to separate the mondo grass, the sedum, and the woodruff and grass. Then he cut off some big nursery pots, sunk them into the ground and planted the mondo grass in them to prevent it from running. 
 Salvaged sedum starts were them planted around the mondo grass clumps. Tom spent two days on this job. It should look great by the middle of next summer. 
Then he potted up all of the extra mondo grass starts. Maybe we should use them to replant the lawn where the shade has turned it to moss? Hmmm. Would that work? 

Meanwhile, I have, out of necessity, had to limit my "vigorous" garden activity, but I can still get down on my knees and crawl around. I took on the island bed in the lower yard.
 Over two days I clipped and weeded the bed.
 Then I raked up leaves in the secret garden and used them to mulch the bed.

 I re-cut and cleaned up the edges. We haven't had a frost yet so our hydrangeas are still giving us color. 

I'll be back out here to finish the clean up once all of the leaves have finally fallen. 

Tom is back outside again today, doing little jobs here and there. I'm inside. My every day starts with my PT exercises. Monday we did housework. Yesterday I was outside. Today I am resting my back and went grocery shopping. I spent enough to get a free turkey!  It will go into the freezer for Christmas. We are traveling to my sister's for Thanksgiving.

After I post this blog, I'll study my next little sewing project. I am creating table runners and table toppers as indoor projects to keep me busy. I finished one last week while Tom was working outside. 

I wish I could work as hard outside as I used to, but I'm having to adjust to reality. Sometimes reality bites. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Holding History in Your Hands

One hundred years ago today the Armistice was signed, ending World War I.

A hundred years ago it wasn't WWI, it was just The World War, the war to end all wars, and it was finally over.

Tom's grandfather, Bill Anderson, was born in 1882, and lived most of his life in Tacoma, Washington, where for most of his adult life we worked as a railroad engineer out of the Tacoma round house. Grandpa Bill and Grandma Mary were fortunate to live their whole married life in one house, and they saved things. Grandpa Bill saved newspapers of historical significance. 

Knowing that the 100th anniversary of the Armistice was coming up, Tom started digging in our attic. He saves things too.

There were three editions of the Tacoma newspaper on November 11, 1918, a night edition, a six o'clock edition, and an EXTRA!, all announcing the end of the Great War. 
These newspapers are 100 years old today.
We will be sharing these treasures with our grandchildren today, learning and remembering. 

We will be contemplating what it means to be a veteran, to have served our country for the cause of freedom.

We will also lament that it was not the war to end all wars. That is yet to be found.

We will hold history in our hands.

Friday, November 9, 2018

All Done

If you are a frequent reader of my blog posts, you know that Tom and I are soccer fans, and that we are avid supporters of our Seattle Sounders.

The Major League Soccer season (MLS) begins in early March, when we often go to the stadium in the cold and the dark. We feel blessed when it is not raining.

 In summer we enjoy warm day games and daylight evening matches. 

We usually go early, riding the light rail into Pioneer Square Station, where we join up with the March to the Match, always enjoying the camaraderie of fellow supporters in our beautiful city. 
We enjoy the pageantry of the opening of each match and participate in the singing of the National Anthem. 
We cheer the Emerald City Supporters when they deploy their tifo displays. 

This season Tom and I traveled to Vancouver BC, where our Sounders won the Cascadia Cup, a trophy that goes to the top PNW team, Vancouver, Seattle, or Portland. 

This season we also said farewell to our world class veteran, Clint Dempsey, perhaps the greatest of all US soccer players. Even the great ones wear out. 

Our team struggled this season until July, and then came from the bottom of the table to win 14 out of 16 matches to qualify second in the western division for the MLS Cup Playoffs. 

We met our greatest rival, the Portland Timbers, in the semi-final round, an away and a home match. Last night we played the home match. 

It was cold but clear, and many of us gathered in Occidental Park for the march to the match. The crowd was buzzing with enthusiasm. 
Tom and I ate a late dinner of Ivar's chowder and a shared order of fish and chips out on the third level concourse. The hot chowder warmed us in the chilly air. Overhead helicopters were hovering, monitoring the Mueller Protection March. Yes, Seattle is an activist city. 
The stadium filled slowly as fans fought traffic on a Thursday night, but fill it did, with nearly 40,000 of us there to cheer our Sounders on. The atmosphere was electric. 
It was a fury of a match, with all of us spectators on the edges of our seats or standing in tense attention, willing the ball to go into the net. The teams played to a tie, and went into overtime, where the score was tied again. Then it went to a shoot out.

That's where the Sounders came up short. At 11:00 at night, it was all suddenly over. The Portland fans went home elated, and the Sounders fans were disappointed. 

But not too disappointed. In the last two years we had been to the championship both years, winning the MLS Cup one of those years.  It can be someone else's turn. 

This was a crazy season, and an even crazier final. There were disappointing losses and elating wins. There were player injuries and recoveries and come backs and new additions and fond farewells. There were even very few rainy matches. 

When all is said and done, soccer is a game. It is a form of entertainment. We were entertained, indeed. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Conglomeration

I scavenger hunted another bouquet from the garden this week. 

 It's a conglomeration of seeds and berries and fresh and spent flowers. There are spent hydrangeas and the last of the fresh zinnias, purple beauty berries and orange cotoneaster. There are sprigs of Abelia and sprays of a landscape grass I don't remember the name of. There are bits and pieces of a few more things too. 

A conglomeration: a number of different things, parts, or items that are grouped together. 

Our nation is kind of like that, a conglomeration of different ages and histories, origins and races and ethnicities,  lifestyles and economic conditions and educational backgrounds. We have diverse political ideals, but hopefully we share some values. So many differences, yet we are grouped together as one nation. 

Yesterday we voted. It appears that the reds got redder and the blues got bluer. I wish I could feel satisfaction over some of the outcomes. I am happy that we will now have some checks and balances in Washington DC. My blue state got bluer too. But the divisions seem to just get more bitter. 

This morning the president was back on TV berating journalists and spouting falsities, sharpening the knives that divide us.  He says he will work with the new House leadership, except not if they start investigations. But there is so much to investigate. How will we move forward? 

Conglomerations can make a pretty arrangement. It's not so hard with plants.
With nations it's a lot harder.

I guess we just keep trying. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Glowing, Then Going

We had some windy and rainy days lately. I've enjoyed our fall foliage from inside the house, through our windows.

From the dining room.

The kitchen

The living room
 And the family room
 Where in it's last flush of color, the Full Moon Maple spreads an orange glow. 
Upstairs, I watched the changes from my tree top viewing windows.

 From the outside
Venturing outside on a dry, almost sunny day, I caught the full red glow of the trees in the back yard. 

But the passing days and the wind and the rain take their toll. 
 The carpet below grows as the cloud above thins. 

Alas, the glow is going fast.