January 2006

Monthly Archive

And more rain!

Posted by on 29 Jan 2006 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

Well, it stopped for a few days, and was light when it did rain for a while. And THEN…

Well, the wind kicked up. The rain came sideways at the window early Saturday morning. There was a bit more damage to the carport, but minor this time. There is (again) flooding in many places, but our home is well up and the neighborhood seems okay. The yard in back is “squishy” — the bog in front is watery — and the windows are getting cleaned off but it’s hard to see through the droplets.

The school play was a great success. Lots of people attended from all over the county, and the kids seemed to have a great time.

I am glad things will slow down a little. At least I hope they will! I am ready to revert to “normal” again. Whatever that turns out to be…

Did I mention the RAIN?

Posted by on 20 Jan 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

We have an official new record for longest streak of days with measurable rain… in Olympia, that is. Shelton is close to setting a new record also, and since we are partway between, I guess we can lay claim to both! Seattle missed a day last week, so their record is off — though they did set a new second-longest mark.

Have finished pruning the peach and nectarine trees. Debating whether to prune back the medlar, or just let it go. I rather like the shape, and we don’t really grow it for the fruit, so it’s less important to treat it like an orchardist would. Still, I know there are a few branches that need attention, so will have to go outside and tend to that soon.

There are daffodils and crocuses and irises pushing up all over the yard. Looking forward to the show this Spring! The heathers under the little cedar by the driveway are just gorgeous, though starting to fade. The two new cedars I transplanted to the same area appear to be doing fine. One of the mums that was in there got uprooted (a dog, perhaps?) this winter, and I am not sure it will make it. We’ll see.

We’re also watching the clematis fairly closely… I don’t know whether they made it through the cold at the beginning of December. If they did, they should be fine from this point on. Having already put out slug pellets (My favorite brand is SLUGGO, toxic only to mollusks and fish) and dodged a couple mosquitos, I figure the worst of the cold is over for this season.

And inside… I did manage to get the last of the holiday ornaments put away, now I just need to figure out a better way to store the rest of the items while I go through them. Meanwhile, I do have enough room to work in the office again, and have managed to get a few small tasks accomplished.

Old News, recopied from H2G2

Posted by on 20 Jan 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

Did I mention the rain? (Last Week)
Of course, Western Washington richly deserves its reputation as a green jewel. Seattle is called the “Emerald City.” The Olympic Peninsula has the world’s last temperate rainforest. And when I compare photographs of known ancestral origins in Ireland and Scotland to the area around my chosen home…

Yep. We all share abundant moisture, and the resulting lovely green trees, lawns and rooftops!

Today we have tied the second-longest rainy streak in our area. Another 8 days and we will tie the longest. I have a feeling we’re going for a record-setting year. I envision telling my great-grandchildren of the year we set a record for the longest rainy streak; how we braved the wet roadways, dashing into the store without an umbrella (who can carry packages and an umbrella?); how we nearly ran out of popcorn because it made such a good snack for cool days; how we were safe and dry and warm when all around the state people were dodging mudslides, stacking sandbags and fixing leaky roofs. I think I’ll conveniently forget the skylight incident of the last few weeks…

Granted, it’s not -continuous- rain, but it’s days of measurable rainfall which doesn’t include the foggy days, the gray days and the days where it was wet but nothing actually fell out of the sky.

I am NOT complaining (much) though I do wish it were a little bit dryer during the daytime so I could prune the rest of the trees (too tall to get without a ladder and I don’t do ladders in the rain). I actually like sitting inside with a good book (usually about plants and gardens) and catalogs (yep, more plants) and a hot mug of cocoa (tea and coffee work too), and watch the little birds and occasional squirrel eating on the lawn.

I even rather enjoy the daily walk down the drive to the mailbox, past the no-longer-dormant garden beds, the weed-ridden perennial beds, the last-of-the-summer stalks I leave to mark other beds. I like to pause under the tall cedars and listen to the steady dripping of the water off the ends of the sheltering boughs. I like to toss the ball or a stick for one or the other dog, to splash through shallow puddles, to come in with damp hair the quickly dries in the warm house.

Yep. It’s not bad a bad life, and as long as we keep our gills moist in the summer, it’s a good location to settle in!

Signs of Life to Come (2 Weeks Ago)
Two days ago, in a lull in the weather, I stepped outside, to find buds on the fruit trees, iris sending up bright green spikes, and a calendula that still blooms amid the heathers.

Have been gradually pulling down decorations, but will leave a few up through the 6th. Moved the power cord to the strand of lights on the tree in front of the living room window, and disconnected the lights on the plants across the driveway. I decided that I really like the extra light in the evenings (especially when I come home later than I anticipated and the light by the door isn’t on). So, those lights can stay for a while.

Today, the space heater in the office keeps tripping it’s fail-safe, so I have it turned off for a while. I think I’ve just been putting it too close to my legs, and it is designed to stop when it thinks things are too warm… I am not feeling all that warm!

Yesterday, the piano got moved back the the dining room where it can be against an interior wall and not over a heating vent. The big oak desk moved into the living room. Additional boxes moved to the dining room. How can we have removed so much only to have this much still left? It’s like the dryer and the socks, only instead of losing things, they find their way into the house!

Today I put away the sewing machine which I hadn’t used in over a month and folded its table to get more space in the office. I rearranged a few other boxes and such, and have almost got the workbench ready for me to start tomorrow. I am ready to start painting and carving again.

I have also been researching medieval subjects, trying to get an handle on a persona for me when I start doing SCA things this year. I am really looking forward to this, as I look forward to the garden getting expanded and planted this Spring.

And a Soggy New Year! (2 Weeks Ago)
Rain. Rain, rain, rain.

Not that we will complain, after several years of dryer-than-normal conditions…

Still, it would be nice to be able to walk on land rather than water (frozen or otherwise) for a couple days.

Long enough to open the windows and let in some fresh (if cold) air.

Long enough to mark off this year’s garden space without sinking to our knees in muck.

Long enough to rake up a few leaves and put them over the perennial beds to keep them freer of weeds until Spring.

Long enough to clean off the rest of the roof and check for clogs in the gutters.

And then, it would be lovely to have intermittent rain until March, and sporadic rain until June, then occasional rain until August and a couple months of clear, dry weather until November when we really want to be inside anyway…

At least the office roof appears to be temporarily fixed, thanks to my paternal unit and Significant One who clambered up in yesterday’s rain and put some sealer and clear plastic over the skylight.

So, we’re not complaining. Just dreaming.

Home and Happy (2 Weeks Ago)
As the new year moves ever closer, we skiied (well, they did — I knitted) and came home safe, happy and tired. I did all the driving… It was snowing just a little as we descended the hills, but not enough to cause any problems with traction.

It was a good day for skiing, although the power was out and only one lift was working because the generator was being used for all the essentials. We had brought some food along, for the ride home, thinking we would just buy lunch there. Last time we try that! Food and drink were VERY expensive.

Tomorrow is a day to stay home, to rest and clean up, and maybe watch a movie and play some games with the kids. And the dogs. Poor critters, they are used to having me at home nearly all day every day! The last week, we have been gone for several hours each day.

Next week, it’s back to school for the children, with some new activities, and a few consistent obligations. And for me? Time to buckle down, get my workspaces clear and ready to go, and start being productive again! Vacation is nearly over…

Rain and Skiiing (2 Weeks Ago)
When it’s raining in the lowlands in winter, it’s a good bet the mountains are seeing white. And so they are!

We are about to take the kids on a great adventure to White Pass on Highway 12 in Washington. We’ll purchase EZ Ski passes, which are for beginners — they get three days with lift tickets, ski rental and instruction included, for a good price. Since they’ve never been skiing before, this seems like a good idea (guess we’ll find out).

I will not be skiing however, since I am in poor condition and feeling run-down. That’s okay! I will sit in the lodge with a knitting project, a notebook to jot down ideas in, and a book and magazines to read… I will be perfectly happy there for a few hours, which I suspect is all the Significant One and the kids will want to be on the slopes. I anticipate having some quiet conversation with my mother, as well, and drinking quantities of tea and/or coffee.

We’ll be home well before the light fades (if I have my way) and ensconced on the sofa watching old movies as the new year enters. If I can stay awake that long…

On Health [musings and a personal whine]

Posted by on 08 Jan 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Uncategorized

Some things just don’t make much sense.

Being ill is one of them. How do our bodies manage to fail us when we have been (we thought) doing pretty well. Even though the weather and holiday visiting had kept us inside much of the last few weeks, still I was feeling pretty good. Putting up the carport with the boys one day during the vacation; pruning back some of the shrubs and smaller trees; spreading back chips, rearranging the house and office. Even felt up to playing with the fuzzy critters during the daylight hours last week!

I spent this whole weekend stuck in bed, feeling miserable. Partly instigated by the gray weather I am sure, it was really triggered by gall bladder pain. Friday after lunch, through all day Saturday, I was tired and shaky. No fevers, but back pain and problems with food.

Typically, a person with gall bladder problems upchucks — or at least wants to. That’s not my symptom, but there is no relief except sleep and not eating. Typically there is pain around the gall bladder itself. My pain is referred to various other places. It’s not bad enough to need a physician’s care, but it is definitely worse than a cold, slightly better than the flu, since I am not feverish, I am alert when I am awake.

Of course, when I am ill and in pain, the last thing I want to do (or can) is exercise, but I have been doing gentle stretches, and trying to get up for longer periods as I am able.

So, the first full weekend of the new year, and I spent it indoors in bed, reading, knitting and sleeping. I suppose there are worse things, but as I improve it gets really old… And at least it has allowed the plantar fasciitis in my heels to diminish.

My resolution for the new year? To keep working on my health, to stay strong, to walk the dogs further each day,

And to make the most of every day, whether healthy or otherwise.

Happy New Year (modern western hemisphere)

Posted by on 01 Jan 2006 | Tagged as: Family Matters, Uncategorized

Stayed up late to watch some of the fireworks on TV. Always fun to see some of the celebrations. People celebrating the ancient festival of the return of the light, ready to embrace Life once again.

The dogs are happy to have us all home after a long day skiing, and we are ready to turn in so we can get a good start for the New Year, too!