Thursday, March 30, 2017

Whirlwind Wednesday

About a month ago we learned that one of our favorite authors, J.A. Jance, would be appearing at a library in Olympia in the evening for a book signing and talk. It just so happened to be the same day as our anniversary, so we decided to make a day of it. Olympia is about 60 miles south of where we live in South Seattle. 

We went on line and found some nurseries that we had not ever been to in the Olympia area. However, our first stop was a Cabela's, a sporting goods mega-store on the way. We had decided that since our shellfish licence was expiring at the end of March, and a beach on the central Washington coast would be open for razor clam digging on Thursday, we needed to go clam digging. We had only gone with my sister and brother-in-law before and used their equipment, but they couldn't go, so we had to buy our own clam guns. 
Happy Anniversary to us!. No, we don't do big gifts for anniversaries. But clam digging was for Thursday. This post is for Wednesday. 

It was another rainy day, of course. We followed our GPS to the first stop, The Barn Nursery.
 The graphics on these fancy fertilizer bags were good enough for framing. 
 Colorful seed racks.

 The man who made these chair planters had just unloaded them. We talked to him a bit. He used wood he finds on river banks near the coast. 
 The several attached barns were filled with layers of treasures waiting for just the right buyer. We weren't that buyer, but we had fun looking. 

 In one room we saw this big burlap "tree". 

 They actually had plants too! But the fierce wind was blowing the rain sideways, so we only ventured into the greenhouse. 

 Tom bought a "Spotty Dotty" May apple.
At the next stop we had no idea what to expect, but this organic garden shop was on Black Lake and we had never been to that lake, so off we went to Black Lake Organic.  It turned out to be an outfit that sells specialty organic fertilizers and other remedies for plant problems. We bought a jug of something magic to spray on fruit trees and roses and everything else. We'll see if it was worth it.
 And we found Black Lake, right across the road. 
 Somewhere in here, I guess before Black Lake, we found a Subway sandwich shop for lunch, our usual choice for road lunches. Our next stop was Olympia Bark and Garden. This is a very large nursery and landscaping supply company.  

It had just been raining very hard, and these bloomed out pussy willows had water plastered pollen. 

How about a pottery pony perch. 
Can you grasp that?
I love heucheras, and this is the best supply I have ever seen in one nursery. 
Lovely hellebore blooms. 

Do you wanna iguana? 
Pretty camellias. 

So many colorful shrubs!

What's lurking in the hothouse jungle? 

Done with our nursery list, we spent a little time browsing antique shops in Old Olympia. 

Then it was time for dinner. We drove out to North Point, surrounded by the waters of southern Puget Sound. 
 We had dinner at Anthony's Hearth fire Grill.
 We watched the squalls gather over the water.

 And maybe a chance of clearing!
 And then we went to hear J.A. Jance. She writes murder mysteries, but her talks are more like watching a comedy routine. She was very entertaining.
We didn't stay for the book signing since we still had a hour's drive back home. Besides we don't own any of her "books". We do own everything she has ever written in our cloud library. Tom reads on his Samsung tablet and I read on my Kindle. You can't sign those. 

It was a very full, and a very good day. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


These two kids are off on an adventure today, celebrating 48 years together in marriage. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Satisfying Sunday

We were going to get up and eat a quick breakfast Sunday morning before the rains came, but the rain beat us to it. So at 9:00 we started the morning over. We took our showers, Tom read the paper, and his phone, and I did my exercises. Then at 11:00 we drove to Ballard to meet Jake at his place and take him out for brunch.

Jake started a new job last week, again as a surveyor, and so far he has crawled through 5.5 foot soon-to-be waste water pipes as part of the Bright Water Project, and this week he is up in the wilds on the Skagit River,  surveying dams belonging to the City of Seattle. Yesterday he posted these photos of Gorge Dam.

We tried out a new-to-us place in Greenwood for brunch and I had the most wonderful challah bread french toast! Of course I am trying to lose weight, so I only ate half of it and brought the rest home. 

We had a good time catching up with Jake and eating. Then we took him back to his place and decided, since we needed to walk off our big meal, and it was only raining lightly, that we would spend some time at the Ballard Farmer's market, held every Sunday year round. 

I used my iPhone 5 for photos, but they aren't too bad. I concentrated mostly on pretty for you, my dear readers, since spring seems to be coming so reluctantly for many of us. 

 My favorite mini-doughnut maker was busy, with a long line of customers awaiting hot, fresh doughnuts.  We passed, but the aroma was very enticing. 
 Pretty potatoes
 And pies
 and pottery

 Not pretty, but fresh and organic.
 Tasting local cheese is always fun for us. 

 Princes Irene tulips! Tulips are not in bloom here yet, so these must have come from the huge greenhouses in the Skagit Valley, where right now the daffodil fields are in bloom. 

 Behind the pretty, the working side of the flower business. 

 Cultivated "wild" mushrooms. 
Tom bought one of the mushroom pockets, below, made with mushrooms from the vendor above. He had it as part of his dinner later, and said it was very good. 
 There was also food cooked on site. 

 Nan being cooked 
We were now right next to Bergen Place, and this cherry tree was in full, beautiful bloom. 
 Bergen, Norway is sister city to Seattle, and Ballard is the Scandinavian capital of Seattle. 

We got back home about 3:00. I did my 10 miles on the stationary bike, my go-to exercise when it's raining, played with photos and finally read the paper. 

I did not cook dinner. Tom ate my left over french toast and his mushroom pocket. 

Between Friday breakfast and Sunday brunch, we ate out four times over the weekend. It was a struggle, but I managed to not gain even a tenth of a pound. Yay, me. 

Eating is more fun that dieting.