Friday, January 27, 2023

I Got Down In The Dirt! and Other Stuff


Grocery store flowers
On Wednesday afternoon while Tom was doing more work outside I geared up with my old baggy sweat pants, knee pads. garden tool belt, my outdoor walking stick and my five gallon bucket for getting up and down and went outside to work on cleaning up this bed.
Eventually Tom came to help me finish, but it felt great to be outside and contribute. Tom has things looking very spiffy.

I got a sweet little Blue tooth speaker for Christmas. It plays my iTunes music which I have on my phone. 

I was trying to recharge it and it kept flashing red. I finally called JBL tech support. With advice from the tech I tried out the cord and plug I was using. Turns out the transformer plug plugged into the outlet was no good. I found another one. Problem solved. I do love it when fixes are simple!

We found Dungeness crab on sale at the grocery store this morning. We ended up buying more than we needed - Don't leave husband unattended in the store. Irene loves crab but Jill and Isaac don't. We have invited Irene over to eat crab with us this evening. Yum!

And now, more pretty grocery store flowers. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

More Signs of Spring


We are a month into Winter, a month past Solstice. Things are happening in the garden, and I am noticing the almost hour of more daylight each day now. 

Snow Drops and Witch Hazel aren't really spring flowers; they are winter blooms, but any blooms are signs of spring to me. 

The Snow Drops will take their time opening and be a tease right outside my window. They will be joined soon by the blooms of hardy winter Cyclamen.

Nearby the tiny blooms of the Sarcococca are fragrant and overhead the Witch Hazel is blooming.

The blooms are sparse because the shrub doesn't get enough sun, but these plants in my winter garden are all visible from my windows.

Tom is back outside as I type. It's cloudy and gray today but the last two days he had sunshine as he worked to clean out beds. Today he's cutting back the clematis vines and the hydrangeas. The yard waste bins that were emptied by the truck yesterday will soon be filled up again. It's winter pruning time. 

Everything is looking so tidy. I love it.
This is the kind of work I have always done, crawling around on the ground, up close and personal with what's emerging new from the dirt even as we clean up the old. I miss it.

Maybe next year. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

An Event Anniversary

 I became aware while scrolling through Facebook that this is the anniversary of an important event in my life. Six years ago Tom and I took part in the Women's March in Seattle. 

I looked back in my blog archive to reread my post of that day, January 22, 2017.

Much has changed since that day, but far too much hasn't. Rereading my list of reasons why I marched has brought tears to my eyes but also reenergized me. 

I encourage you to click on the link and reread my list too. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023


 As you are most likely aware, I take lots of photos.

Like the new flowers on my kitchen table. 

I take them mostly for my blog, but then I tend to keep them. With my iPhone they are downloaded automatically to my iCloud photo storage and my computer. I organize then into files. 

Alas, with so many photos stored on my phone, I was cleaning up a year or so ago before I realized that the phone storage is connected to the computer storage is all connected to the iCloud, and it you remove photos from one device, you remove them from all. I found empty files where I had so carefully "saved" photos.

For the last week I have been editing my photo files and then saving them to an external hard drive, where we saved photos in the past. Now I have cleaned most photos off my phone and have learned, I hope, how to plug in my phone to the computer and save the newest photos on my actual computer drive, not just the iCloud. I am in the process of setting up new files there. 

I have yet to decide if I will still automatically connect to the iCloud. I think I can do both and it is very convenient, but I won't use that for permanent storage. 

I can also go back in my blog archive and right click and recapture photos there that I lost on the cloud, as long as I keep paying my Google storage. 

Today the weather is REALLY nasty, currently 35 degrees and raining, after snow showers earlier. 

It's good to have projects on a day like today. I think maybe we'll light up the fireplace again this evening. It's time to work on being cozy. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Rainy Day

 Rain and 42 degrees is the worst. It's dark and drear. But after our trip to Costco this morning, I don't have to go anywhere or pay much attention to the outside.

It wasn't rainy yesterday when I took these photos of the Winter Jasmine. 

Yesterday I went through all of my Christmas cards and re-read most of the letters. I have a few email notes to send in response  today.

Walking at Costco hurt today, but I still came home and did my 30 minute workout on the stationary bike. 

I have been scheduling appointments in preparation for my hip surgery in March. There are pre-ops and post-ops and PCP exams and lab tests to schedule. I have one more to schedule with my podiatrist.  I wish it were all sooner. 

Tom has been prodded (by me) to get into the attic and start dealing with some things stored up there. He brought down two tubs of books and has been sorting through them. They are OLD! Most are family treasures, some are just collected, some are somewhat valuable, some are not. 

Probably not valuable, but maybe a keepsake for someone in the family, as it belonged to Tom's mother, Bernice.

This Through the Looking Glass is an 1893 edition and has some value. The illustrations are quite interesting!

When he gets through sorting, Tom will contact family members about specific books, and seek out a book dealer for advice on others. He has a good rainy day project. 

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Sunny Day

 That title has me singing:

Sunny day, Sweepin' the clouds away.

Thank you Sesame Street.

I was thinking that the 49ers might be wishing they were playing the Seahawks in Seattle, but then I checked the weather in San Francisco and it looks like they mostly lucked out. Most of the latest atmospheric river has gone south of them again.

We have had moderate rain the last two days. Nothing serious. And it's warm-ish, temps in the low to mid 50's.

Today for my exercise I spent 40 minutes walking around the yard, finding signs of spring, and checking up on Tom, who is cutting the old leaves off of the budding hellebores. 

Found him, coffee cup in hand. :-)

Have coffee, will work. 

I look at the clean up that needs to be done, and it makes me unhappy that I can't do it. Maybe next year. 

The winter Jasmine are finally starting to bloom, buds ready to burst. 

The Sarcococca bush under the window is in bloom, wafting its vanilla scent into the sun warmed air. I pick sprigs of it to add to the green bouquet to bring the scent inside. 

Primroses are budding up to renew the blooms that were embattled by the hard frost and snow we had before Christmas. 

I found euonymus seed pods almost ready to break open and show off their wonderful pink and orange colors. Such beauty in the little things.

Like these tiny mushrooms in the mossy lawn. 
It will be a while before we shed winter, but there are signs of promise waiting to be found. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Another Storm, Another Cleanup

 While we were watching rainbows on Whidbey Island Monday afternoon, another wind storm ripped through south Seattle and scattered tree debris all over the homestead. 

Tuesday morning, after our Zoom visit,  we were on clean up duty, me with a rake and Tom with the yard waste bins. We got the long driveway raked and cleaned up and then Tom did the bending necessary to pick up the lawn area while I got my work out on the stationary bike. 

It was a dry, partly sunny, almost balmy day. With daylight lasting a bit longer now, I was outside again about 4:00 to pick a bouquet of greens for the powder room. 

On Wednesday, after my bike work out, I was again outside. I helped a bit with ladders as Tom got the Christmas lights off the house, and supervised him on the roof, using the blower to clean off the debris and fir needles. 

While I caught him, he stopped and caught me. I'm not sure what this decrepit old woman could do if he fell off the roof, but I was ready to call 911. I did question him thoroughly about how he was feeling and about his balance. As you can see, it was another balmy day and the roof was dry. 

Once the roof was cleaned off, I was in charge of blower duty on the ground while Tom put stuff away.

All cleaned up. Tom got the lawn mowed/vacuumed too. 

It was all looking spiffy as we left Wednesday evening to join Jill, Isaac and Irene at a local restaurant to celebrate Isaac's 20th birthday, belatedly. We had lots of good food and did some catching up.

Now, today, the rain has returned, but not that atmospheric river that was predicted. They are still dealing with that up and down the Pacific Coast though. We lucked out. 

Jill and Isaac will be over this evening to help get all of the tubs and boxes of Christmas stuff put back into the attic. Then we will be officially DONE!