Sunday, March 12, 2017

Most evil of days but a cushiony life

It is, of course, the most evil day of the year, the day on which an hour has been cruelly stolen from us as we slept. My plan, I have told anyone who will listen, is to pretend it hasn’t happened and skip the hour between 4:00 and 5:00 on Monday afternoon instead. I’m pretty sure that the majority of my fellow Americans would be much happier to see that hour go, than to lose an hour of precious sleep. I just need to put the initiative paperwork together, once I’m a little better rested.

(With apologies to those who object to pictures of meals in the internet)
Yesterday, however, I was more ambitious and while sitting at the new bistro table for breakfast (crepes filled with Glendale Shepherd cheese and Mme Gradka's apricot jam) I gave some thought to cushions for the chairs. This led to my pulling out the pile of fabric that I tend to buy on impulse, cutting a pattern out of newspaper, and just being all sorts of March girl. I was particularly pleased about using some of the upholstery cloth purchased on last year’s West Seattle Yard Sale Day. It was also nice to have some justification for not throwing out old pillows as I was able to repurpose the filling of one of those for cushioning. Possibly most pleasing of all was finding  a spool of color-match minty-green thread in my mother's collection of thread. I’m not saying that the resulting cushions are perfectly round, nor do I claim that they’re exactly identical in size, but Mr Bear pronounces the effect both easy and fine. 

Today I’ve planted potatoes and started some peas. It’s like I pretend that some day winter will end.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

O'er-hasty posting (but pretty!)

Oh blahdeblahblah you old neglected thing, what can I say? There's no excuse for my treatment of you and yet, I hope to buy you off with a lovely bouquet with a hint of backstory.

The backstory is that Scott and I had a car today so we could pick up the chairs I'd purchased at the flower and garden show and also buy and shift a wheelbarrow home from True Value. (We may not own a sawsall yet, at least we now have a wheelbarrow. Okay, it needs to be assembled yet but still. And all.) Naturally since we had a car we went to the grocery store and there I somewhat pointedly, and very rudely since he had just purchased twenty tulips for me at the farmers market, called Scott's attention to some elegant flower arrangements they had in the case. "For future reference," I may have said.

Then we finished our errands and returned the car and eventually made our way back home for what remained of the afternoon. I remembered I'd left some blackberry vine in the alley during yesterday's fence project (oh! the exciting tales I could share if only I had more time and ambition) so I shifted the yard waste container to the back and one thing led to another as I spent some time ripping out buttercup and admiring thumbprints at the suet all the while my clever little brain working in its own mysterious ways. After moving the now quite heavy yard waste container to the front, I fetched the clippers and a basket and wandered about snipping what caught my eye and then I came inside, filled a vase with marbles and rock and set to work.

 The result, I must say, is easily as elegant and fine as those $42 items at Metropolitan Market. And, of course is all organic and locally sourced.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Good times are coming

Incoming wigeon!
It's always possible I'll never really write a blog post again; that I'll just rely on too many photos to maintain some sort of existence online. "Rely a bit too heavily, on alcohol and irony" comes into my head, probably because I'm a bit ill and because Scott and I saw not one but two John K Samson shows last week, both with identical set lists, meaning I heard Aside twice, not that I'm complaining, mind you. He played the original Virtute song and Utilities and that one about hating Winnipeg, as well as some fine pieces off the newer albums, my favorite one there being Vampire Alberta Blues which, truly, I cannot recommend enough. Go ahead and click that link; I'll wait.

Reifel landscape
 Rather than uploading some bird photos immediately I may go ahead and say something about the religious experience that is a JKS show. The Tractor, in Ballard, is where he (and his bassist, keyboardist, and drummer) played in Seattle. It's an intimate little spot so it's not entirely surprising that it was pretty damned packed. An amusing thing I noticed there, and in Canada as well, is that no one in the audience notices that The Man Himself is on stage, fussing with mikes and cables and the like until he actually officially comes on stage and starts to sing. And then it's what I imagine a church service might be like. Seriously, I was getting a beer at the Tractor bar before the first song started and working my way through the crowd to get back to Scott during the first song was like crashing through the pews. It was during the second song, however, that the call and refrain started:

JKS: Now that the last month's rent is scheming with the damage deposit,
Take this moment to decide 

JKS and the women behind us: Sun in an empty room
JKS:If we meant it, if we tried 
JKS, the women behind us, and a few others: Sun in an empty room
JKS: Or felt around for far too much
JKS, the women behind us and everyone else in the place: Sun in an empty room
JKS: From things that accidentally touched

The oddest thing wasn't that this happened both in the small Tractor and the 900-capacity Commodore Ballroom in BC but rather that it didn't bother me in the least. I may not have been joining in but it felt entirely appropriate.

Shy saw-whet owl
 But maybe the above just illustrates why I should concentrate on photos for a bit. The day after the Commodore show we got up, far too early, to find more than a few millimeters of snow on the streets. That did not stop us, however, from getting into a Canadian Zipcar (really pretty indistinguishable from a US Zipcar) and setting out in search of the Riefel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.Which took far longer than it should have done but we persevered and succeeded in the end. (Useful tip: Highway 99a is not the same as Highway 99.)
 Reifel, I've got say, is weird. I don't question that it's great for the migratory birds,  but the residents are far too tame for my taste; we all but had to chase them away from us--in fact, the ducks do come chasing after you if you stand still for too long. Oh, I have two new birds for my life list, including the long longed-for saw-whet owl, but they don't feel entirely honorable. Not that the saw-whet was easy to see; it's only thanks to a stranger who pointed the two of them out that we saw them at all, but still. And all. Photos then.
The other new bird: sandhill crane in the snowy landscape
Ms Mallard in the snow
Wet but not unhappy spotted towhee
Male wood duck looking as bright as male wood ducks always do
You'd be cranky if your feet were all icy too: fox sparrow
PS. My landscapes are always crooked. I should work on that.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Seattle Womxn's March in Photos

It was a pretty nice day in Seattle today so 130,000 friends and I went for a little walk. I took photos of some of the signs that caught my eye.