Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Some Good, Some Not So Good


Asters are good, a beautiful cut flower, long lasting, in shades of pink and blue and purple, here jazzed up with bright marigolds.

Bad car service is not good. Our little red Chevy Cruise was starting funny, so Tom took it to the battery guys at Les Schaub. They said the battery was ok. So what was the problem? Tom took it to our Chevy service guys, who said the battery was bad, but then couldn't seem to contact us even though they had our cell phone and land line numbers. It sat there for most of a week before we finally got the battery changed. And by the way, "There's an oil leak." Fed up, Tom brought it home and called another Chevy dealer. They found the oil leak, bad gaskets. They had the car for more than a week - lots of labor involved in changing all of the gaskets. We "bought" the car back last Friday - $5000- and as I drove it home during rush hour traffic, I was soon in a cloud of oil smoke. No good place to turn around, I drove it the three miles home. Monday morning we had it towed back to the Chevy service where they were very apologetic, paid for the towing, and have diagnosed the problem as a bad oil cooler. It is getting fixed and we might have it back this afternoon. I'm not holding my breath.

That same Friday afternoon I participated in a brain study, and over at our KP clinic I answered a bunch of questions and drew pictures and was asked to remember things and solve things. I scored 27/30 and passed. I'm "normal". That's good. I just wish my normal was a little better. 

We have been enjoying fresh home grown tomatoes now, with many more to come on into September. With home grown basil and fresh mozzarella cheese, caprese salad is so good. I'll be having lots of tomato and cottage cheese lunches too. 

The plum tomatoes are coming on too. I'll be freezing them whole in plastic bags for soups and stews. If there are lots I'll make tomato sauce. 

Our two poblano pepper plants and producing well. Today Tom picked some of them and I roasted and diced them up to store in the freezer.
I kept the four biggest ones. I will attempt once again to make chili relleno. So good!

I am enjoying the cooler weather. We had a tiny bit of rain here overnight. We need more, but cooler is good. 

Update: Our Chevy is fixed and back home in the garage. Many apologies were offered. 
BTW, that high service cost was mostly labor and sales taxes. Gotta pay working people a living wage, and those taxes help support our schools. Almost makes it acceptable. :-/

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Garden Touring Again

 Our garden club, which is associated with the larger organization, Northwest Perennial Alliance, also meets once a month to do our own thing. Each month has a different organizer. For this month I was asked for advice, and I said, " Let's go somewhere where they water. We have enough of our own dried up gardens." And so we chose Powellswood, a private garden open to the public for a small fee. 

We had a guide, the head gardener, a young man who fairly recently was just a learner himself and didn't even know what a horticulturalist was. Now he is one. He was a fun guide.

This property has been gardened for about 30 years and has gone through many changes. We hardly recognized it from when Tom and I were there many years ago. It's in a ravine, wooded, and you would hardly know it is surrounded by the city of Federal Way. 

Get ready for a photo dump. 

Listening to our guide, surrounded by the sunny color boarder,

Transitioning to another "room".

And down to another level.

There's a pond back in there but it is now filled with vegetation. 

This is the pond, filled with boggy plants.
Transitioning again, to a shade garden. 

And then we are in the forest. 

Observation deck with views of the tamed in the foreground, the wild behind. 

Heading back to another room in the cultivated garden, and a place to sit and visit until it's time to go to lunch. 

The view from my bench where I sat under the cherry trees. 
Then back on the patio where we began, and where with better light, I couldn't resist a few more photos. The final flourish: succulents, palms, and bananas.

Then we went to lunch. There were 17 of us. The wait for our food was long but the restaurant staff managed us well. Trying to carry on conversations with that many people with my hearing loss was exhausting. I was happy to be home, but also happy to have gone, shared more beauty,  managed the walking and stairs, and connected with gardening friends.