Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cookie shipping experiment

 I learned this year that cookies I had sent to Boise in earlier years had not arrived in such pristine condition as I had hoped. This was disappointing. I vowed to do better. Sadly, the post office took six days to get the cookies to their ultimate destination so I'm not so sanguine  but, well, I still share some photos here.

 My big breakthrough, which may or may not have been successful, was to not only layer the cookies with tissue paper but also to cushion them with mini-marshmallows. The idea was to prevent the cookies from shifting so much in transit, while also allowing them something soft to slide into if they did move. Plus, the recipient could then use the marshmallows in hot chocolate! The challenge here was to find the marshmallows at my local grocer. Should devoted readers of blahdeblahblah ever need to locate marshmallows at a Metropolitan Market, I share that they are inexplicably found near the pudding. It makes no sense to me either.

 Anyway. Scott and I made the usual suspect cookies (pillowcase cookies--aka rolled sugar cookies, fennel cookies, aggression cookies, molasses cookies--aka Army of Darkness, and mongol hordes--aka peanut blossom cookies) a week ago. I'm pretty sure I've posted plenty of cookie-making snaps before so this year I limit myself to the ingredients, the cookie cutter selection, and the baker (note cute owl apron purchased in Gearhart Labor Day weekend).

And the packaging:
Second or third layer: sugar cookies
Mongol hordes heavily cushioned
Top layer of molasses cookies, also heavily cushioned

The fully loaded box, with top tightly affixed, was then put into a sturdy box with plenty of packing paper, inflated air pocket things, and god knows what else. The cookie box within could not move a muscle, I'm certain. Then the whole lot was foolishly entrusted to the USPS that did god knows what with it for close to a week. As above, I anxiously await a report on the final results. 

[Myrna running on reserve battery power and the sound of cocktails being poured = no serious proofreading. Happy Christmas, you wonderful old blogosphere!]

UPDATE: Cookies unpacked on arrival. "Not a single broken one!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Update from the Behind-Schedule Santa Sweatshop, 2016 edition

This time of year I spend a lot of time vowing to be better next year because it's about now that I start working on the next year's calendar. The calendar I always want to give to people at Christmas. Obviously it would be sensible to start this project in, say, October at the latest. But somehow it never works out that way and I spend evenings when I'm already tired speeding through hundreds of photo files, trying to decide what I'm using. It was easier last year when I had at least decided to limit it to photos from the trip to Paris and and environs. This year I realize that I could have an entire calendar of Scott, Siobhan, and Carl pointing at things, but I don't think anyone, least of all those three, would appreciate such a calendar. And, sadly, I suspect that only I would really thrill to a dozen photos of things like the baby spiders discovered in the boxwood last summer.

Perhaps predictably, it's looking like it will probably be a lot of bird photos again. Because that's what I've got. Or spiders.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"Blahdeblah" at its most blahdeblah

It's been a somewhat stressy and anxious weekend for no reason but the main, and I don't mean Hamlet's father's recent death or his mother and uncle's o'er-hasty marriage. No, it's the ongoing news of president-elect Trump and the alarming general trend of civilization. My mood likely was not helped any by Underground Airlines, a book I bought some months back in part because I liked what the author had to say about the cover design process. (And perhaps it's about the time that you're selecting books based on what the author has to say about how covers get chosen that you should consider you've maybe been in publishing too damned long. For those tracking at home, I've just finished my 30th year, with no relief in sight.)

Anyway. The premise of the book is that Abraham Lincoln was shot in 1861, rather than 1865 and the American Civil War never happened. By the time the 21st millennium rolls around, which is when the book is set, slavery still exists in the "Hard Four" states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and "Carolina"; it seems the north and south split never happened there either. It's sort of an adventure/caper story, but it's mostly a lot of misery. The north isn't exactly thriving nor is it all that pleasant a place to be black or poor. So, maybe a little too like real life in some ways and with too many stretches and little flaws in the storyline to really be what I was after. I don't know what is up next, but I have a whole pile of options sitting not ten feet from me. Perhaps Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat or the Magda Szabo that I picked up at Elliott Bay after the Leif Whittaker reading last week. Or I could rejoin Scott in our supposed joint reading of Remembrance of Times Past; possibly some time along the Guermantes Way would settle my nerves (though that link suggests otherwise).

However. None of that is providing photos and I am all about photo content on blahdeblah. Today, unexpectedly, was sunny and clear but also cold: perfect weather for putting in the storm windows (the new screen windows slid right out--no sticking paint or fuss) and then putting up Christmas lights though, personally, I think it's a bit early for that sort of business. There's no guarantee that we'll have nice weather again next weekend, however, and with neither Figgy Pudding nor West Seattle tree lighting lifting my gloom, I thought it best to see if some time on ladders putting lights on the house would do the trick. As it happens, the one string of white icicle lights that was still working last year was only half working today so we're down to just color lights but they're pretty enough.

Dyes and damaged balls on the strikingly green front lawn
In situ
But the most exciting part of this year's outer decor is the Japanese maple tree. The paint on the glass balls we've used outside has largely been washed away by the weather, but I thought I'd try filling them with colored water since they always fill with rain anyway. We had only yellow and red food dye left (the blue, which had turned pretty green over the years, went into the moss for my Halloween costume) so that's what we used. I am always pleased to have an excuse to make use of the lab glass.

Scott captured the moon behind the tree because he's clever that way.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Out of Sheer Rage" - not the least bit political

The perfect life, the perfect lie, I realised after Christmas, is one which prevents you from doing that which you would ideally have done (painted, say, or written unpublishable poetry) but which, in fact, you have no wish to do. People need to feel that they have been thwarted by circumstances from pursuing the life which, had they led it, they would not have wanted; whereas the life they really want is precisely a compound of all those thwarting circumstances. It is a very elaborate, extremely simple procedure, arranging this web of self-deceit; contriving to convince yourself that you were prevented from doing what you wanted. Most people don't want what they want: people want to be prevented, restricted. The hamster not only loves his cage; he'd be lost without it. That's why children are so convenient: you have children when you are struggling to get by as an artist--which is actually what being an artist means--or failing to get on with your career. Then you can persuade yourself that your children prevented you from having this career that had never looked like working out. So it goes on: things are always forsaken in the name of an obligation to someone else, never as a failing, a falling short of yourself. Before you know it desire has atrophied to the degree that it can only make itself apparent by passing itself off as an obligation. After a couple of years of parenthood people become incapable of saying what they want to do in terms of what they want to do. Their preferences can only be articulated in terms of a hierarchy of obligations--even though it is by fulfilling these obligations (visiting in-laws, being forced to stay in and baby-sit) that they scale the summit of their desires. The self-evasion does not stop there: at some level they are ashamed because they realise that these desires are so paltry as barely event to merit the name of desires and so these feeble desires have to take on the guise of obligation.

--from pp. 126 - 127 of Out of Sheer Rage [Wrestling with D.H. Lawrence] by Geoff Dyer

It's been several vacation days of not-really-reading but I read this bit the other night and found it somehow relevant to some things that had been discussed earlier in my friend's kitchen. Typing it out now, a few days later, I see that it's really a very bitter attitude / perspective / view of humanity that Mr Dyer has, and I find myself wondering which of his friends had children and thus ruined their relationship with him. That notwithstanding, however, I think that he's got the root of the matter in him: much of the time people embrace their excuses [not the word I want]--those circumstances that interfered with their ideal existence--without being willing to admit that that's what they're doing. God knows I am aware of my own tendency to stack up obligations; now I have to ask myself what it is that I'm denying in doing so.

Anyway, it's an odd book, is Out of Sheer Rage, but I'm enjoying it while also wondering how it's possible that I'm reading yet another work of non-fiction. I've not been myself, that's all I can say.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The vexations of the modern world

I had a plan to get a few things accomplished this evening, I truly did, and that seemed like a sign that maybe I was emerging, if only ever so slightly, from the state I've been in for just under a week. Oh, 6:45 p.m. PST, of November 8th; how I miss your hopeful outlook. Oh, it might not have felt hopeful at the time but, comparatively speaking, it was. I was still playing with being worried about the outcome of the election; the horror had not truly dawned as yet. My first thought on waking Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday was, "Trump will be president." On Sunday I made progress: it was my third thought. But it's not been cheery in my head, even as I recognize just how privileged my head is.

 Tonight, though, I was going to log my miles for Ride in the Rain and then create this cheery little post that was to segue from politics to events in the yard. But alas. I changed my Luum password while at work a week ago and now I can't remember what that new password is and the work server seems to be taking a break so I can't change the password again so here I am, back in the pre-election land of first-world problems. How I've missed being vexed by things that don't matter a damned bit. But I'd still like to log those wretched miles.

 After devoting a few hours of Saturday afternoon to shifting the geraniums into the garage for the winter (because, despite it feeling like a "now we can swim any day in November" sort of winter, there is talk of snow in the lowlands this year. We'll just see about that.), I made the rounds to pick what remained of the roses for what I assume will be the final bouquets of the year. But then, I've thought that before. Still, this seems pretty nice for November 12th:

While I wasn't entirely surprised by the roses, what with seeing them every morning I shift Bessie out of the garage, I was startled to come across a handful of raspberries while setting out some peanuts for a persistent squirrel on Sunday.

They were not, sadly, the sweetest or most flavorful raspberries I've ever had but given that they were there at all, doing their best to suggest there is hope in this wretched world, is something, right? Oh, the more scientifically inclined might suggest that it's not a good sign that the primroses are rioting in the kitchen window box, the camellias are showing flowers, and--well--I've got these late-appearing raspberries, but I say phooey to such an attitude. Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad; raspberries in November are a gift from the gods.

Monday, November 7, 2016

There's no bunting, like snow bunting . . .

 I spent most of last week, if I have my days straight, in Banff attending the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, and it was a very good, educational, fun, and possibly even blog-worthy experience. But that's not what has motivated this evening's brief return to blahdeblahblah land. No, I am here to post a few photos from today's expedition to Discovery Park because it's in Seattle's own Discovery Park that one can find a snow bunting this week and, well, SNOW BUNTING!!! Life bird, for those who care about such things (and possibly I am such a person), but more it's such an adorable, sweet, obliging, and worryingly seemingly defenseless and unaware sort of bird. I post its photo here and just hope and hope and hope that it soon finds its way to wherever the rest of its friends are wintering and that it's not killed by a dog or a coyote or a hungry raptor.

 It was, as it happens, a lovely day for a bike ride. After biking up to the Junction we bussed to downtown and then rode along the waterfront, through SAM's sculpture park, Myrtle Edwards, and Terminal 91 into Magnolia and up the tedious incline to Discovery Park. Once at the park we studied the map to work out a route to the stairs down to the North Beach.

Possibly what we really wanted was the South Beach but, well, we just didn't know. En route we encountered a woman with binoculars who told us that yes, the snow bunting was still around, just beyond the lighthouse and then, near the lighthouse, a second woman with binoculars who gave us very specific directions to the bird itself. It truly was just off the path.

After admiring the wee creature for a good long time we retraced our steps, eventually climbing back up those 200 stairs (I counted on the return) and then rode back downtown, admiring the various sights as we went. Seattle, you may be stuck up and pretentious and not as clever as you think you are, but I adore you, with your mountains and waters and parks and birds, birds, birds.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

There's no business like house business (an instructional post about window repair. mostly)

The marigolds of October
This weekend in Seattle was, of course, all about preparing for and surviving the major storm that never happened. Oh, it rained a bit and some people lost power--including me on Harbor Island for just long enough to lose 40 minutes of unsaved work which, yes, was vexing--but the big storm never really materialized chez Aurora. This was sort of a pity since, emulating Alex, I had prepared:

Life-sustaining necessities: scones and tea and crosswords and Proust
And although the storm never materialized, we didn't let my preparations go to waste. We didn't plant tulips and instead stayed indoors having tea and scones. (I've also got Marcel nearly to Balbec.)

But all that's just by the by. This point of this post is to share last weekend's installment of This Old House of Aurora's. Earlier this month the window over the kitchen sink closed violently, causing the cute little crack that has been in the corner of the pane of glass since we first looked at the house to spawn a number of additional, potentially more troublesome cracks. We responded like the responsible owners of a 90-year-old house that we are and put some tape on the new cracks and headed to Boise for a wedding.

Scott assured me that fixing the window would be a simple matter of ten or fifteen minutes; the main thing was to get the old window up the hill to True Value so we could get the right size of replacement glass. That time estimate was before he'd actually removed the window to discover that whereas some people might feel like a bit of putty is sufficient to hold a piece of glass in place, "Ned" (as we call Aurora's imaginary son) had opted to keep the glass in place with a strip of well-affixed wood. Since getting the glass out was taking longer than planned, and since the cause of the sudden crash that started the adventure had been, presumably, the cord that held the counterweight breaking, I figured that I might as well fill my time while Scott worked on the window by removing the molding around the window so we could get at the weights.

The attentive reader will note that none of the photos that follow show me working on the molding. It turned out--and perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised--that the final piece of molding which was holding everything together wasn't a simple strip but rather a specially milled, sort of angled block of wood that was nailed in place through the wall of the neighboring cabinet. It wasn't a piece that came out without some destruction.

Fortunately, Scott is pretty imperturbable so he took it all in stride. (There are no photos of him finally breaking all the old glass out of the frame; he did that downstairs without telling me in advance.) The trip to the hardware store was successful and we came home with glass, putty, and glazier corners which Scott knew how to use. There was really a lot of me not doing much other than take photos. Maybe I'd rather be more useful, but I'm told my time will come when we get around to painting.

The ever so clever glazier point that you use to sort of hold the glass in place.
Scott applying the glazier's putty
The sash cord installation. Do note all the fascinating crap behind the wall. Some lath. Some plaster. A bit of drywall. 

There were a few casualties: Ned's screwdriver snapped under the pressure.

There's still some work to be done but the new window--with its new sash cords and re-attached weights--opens and closes like a dream.

I'm not sure what the horseman with a very fine hat I found in this morning's tea leaves might signify, but I tack it on here anyway:

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Amounting to a hill of beans

Today was a gorgeous fall day in Seattle, though maybe a little warmer than most fall days tend to be. It was perfect weather for a long bike ride or a tramp through the woods. Naturally, we didn't do any of that. No, we got around to eating breakfast at nearly noon and then, after a visit to the Farmers Market, Scott settled in to putting a coat of paint on the garage doors while I raked leaves and did some tidying in the front 40.
Flowers, grapes, tomatoes, cucumber, dried beans, and raspberries!
 But such activities are not without their rewards. I can't speak for how Scott feels about the garage door, but I suspect we'll both be glad to have an extra coat of protection on it as the cold winter moves in, assuming we get a cold winter this year. (I've seen squirrels lately; do their tails seem extra bushy? I just can't say . . . .) You would think that finding a handful of fall raspberries would be the highlight of my hunter-gathering, and I've got to admit that was mighty sweet. I was also pleased, if confused, to find that the cucumbers have decided to get serious about flowering and fruiting and that the cosmos and marigolds continue to bloom up a storm.

 This year I've been oddly slack about some day-to-day harvesting; the scarlet runner beans I planted mostly for the flowers have gone largely uncollected--though the one time we french-cut and cooked some of the green beans up they were excellent. This means that a number of pods have been left to dry out on the vine. Today I brought them in and split them open. Opening the pods was maybe a little reminiscent of opening the reeds that you can use for mason bees but, having also investigated the leafcutter bee block today to find that it contained a dozen earwigs and nary a sign of bee cocoons, I've got to say the bean pods were more rewarding. The beans are beautiful! Looking at them I could see why you'd trade a cow for a handful of  them.

Scarlet runner dried beans
There are plenty of still-green pods on the vines that I hope will obligingly dry out as these did so that we have enough to use in soup or something this winter; this recipe for stewed runner beans with tomato looks pretty tempting.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Don't judge a book by its cover: The Castle Cross The Magnet Carter

So I've just finished up The Castle Cross The Magnet Carter, a book that deserves some sort of award for worst title ever and a close runner-up in the competition for bad cover design. (I give that title to Strange and Dangerous Dreams, however, which is such a fabulous book but it never got its chance, I feel, because it has such a godawful cover.) Take a moment, do, to look past the covers on both these books and give their contents a chance. They're worth it.

Sure The Castle Cross The Magnet Carter is 800 pages long but four of those pages are blank and everything after page 789 is backmatter that you can skip. Hell, page 789 has only about 150 words on it. You can probably knock it out in a long weekend.

 Okay, maybe not. But you'll try because it's a pretty compulsive, "oh, I'll just read another two pages" sort of book. It can be pretty intense: there are three 2 -3 page sections where I had to read with my eyes averted, picking up the general nature of the action without really reading every word as it was just too awful. But what is it about, you might wonder. That's not so easy to say.

 The story is structured around two families each of which contains two brothers (one of them also has a sister but she's pretty marginal, except when the plot needs her) who live in different parts of the south: Maryland for the black family and Alabama for the white. It jumps around in time but it starts when the boys are young, during the depression and ends in 2010. Most of the action is right around 1960, with the attempts at desegregation and voter registration so really not a lot of fun for anyone. (Those people who do have a lot of fun in this book are, for the most part, really very nasty people. Did you miss the note about the three 2 - 3 page sections I had to skip?)

But it's not all misery and you could even say it ends on a hopeful note. There are some interesting results from the way the book is written and structured which may have been accidental--and signs of a not-that-capable writer--or deliberate--and indicative of a really nuanced writer. More than once I forgot which family I was reading about and I'd have to remind myself: "BJ and Randall are the poor white kids whose father works in the mine" or "Eliot and Dwight are the Maryland sons of the black Pullman porter." So maybe Kia Corthron is trying to make a point about how, at some level, they're all people with a lot of the same problems and same relationships, and that among the many tragedies is their inability to recognize their shared humanity. That seems to be the note on which she ends and it could be argued that that is what each brother recognizes in his better moments. But the story she's telling is very much about how different it is for the different races: how much hatred and misunderstanding and willingness to see the other race as completely "other" leads to horrific, awful, and tragic actions, with most of the suffering being inflicted--deliberately--by the whites. It was troubling, I tell you, the number of times that I became confused about whether I was remembering something I'd read in my book or heard on the news.

I don't really seem to be selling this, do I? The thing is, it's a good read. The characters--especially in the first few hundred pages--are engaging and interesting. The kids haven't lost a certain innocence. You feel hopeful for them because they're hopeful. That sets up the later tragedies, of course, but it's also something you can enjoy. And the bulk of the book isn't relentless misery: some of it is hopeful and some of it is educational and, well, some of it is just plain gut-wrenching. In the end, however, you want the world to be a better place. And maybe this book is a step on the road to understanding which I suspect is a essential to getting to that better place.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Gearhart: City of Bikes

An hour or more of fighting with a slow connection followed by Myrna's conviction that every site on the web was insecure has led to my forgetting entirely what it is I was going to write about here. Was it this year's grape jamly production? The Castle Cross The Magnet Carter, aka my current book which has both an absurd title and an off-putting jacket design but which I'm still finding unputdownable?

No, now I remember. I was going to post a handful of theme photos from bustling downtown Gearhart which we didn't actually discover until fairly late in our visit. The photos that follow were all taken on our last morning in town, after we'd stopped at the Pacific Way Bakery to pick up supplies for the trip home. By 11:00 Monday morning, the cases were pretty picked over but what they still had was pretty darned tasty. We sat on a nearby bench to eat (turnover for me; scone for Scott) and drink our coffee. As we sat there, I couldn't help noticing that Gearhart is a very bikey little community. How bikey? Well look:

Saturday, September 10, 2016

That birds of northern Oregon post I might write some day

Scott turns his back on Kelso. Or on being at work on a Friday afternoon.
No time like the present, I say, since obviously I'm not going to do anything but stare at a computer screen this evening. Poor Scott is stuck waiting for me to catch up to him in Swann's Way and rather than read, I'm squandering my time trying to catch up on the world of online. It feels a little like binge-watching Mad Men--I sort of feel like I should be drinking some vodka or whiskey.
 However, none of that has to do with the birds of the Oregon coast or even about the Oregon coast though there was a little rye consumption there.
One of many sets of pelicans to be seen off the shores of Northern Oregon
 We decided fairly late in the day--like the last week of August--that we should throw caution to the wind and head down to the Oregon coast for Labor Day weekend though, as a rule, I don't travel on holiday weekends and it seemed unlikely we'd be able to find any place decent to stay. But Enterprise had started up their $9.99/day weekend special so I had a look around online for lodging. We didn't want to spend most of a day getting there and another one getting back so I looked for options well north of our usual haunts. Although the quite charming spots in Seaside and/or Cannon Beach turned out not to be available at all, the nice woman at Vacasa found a condo in Gearhart that seemed like it would work, even if it didn't look all that attractive. The reality was, for a change, nicer than the online photos so while it wasn't exactly heavy on charm, it was more than serviceable and in no way nasty.
Splooshing terns
 Gearhart itself is pretty darned tiny but it has a nice little downtown with a post office and a grocery store and a bakery and cafe. There's a liquor store just off of 101, too, so if only Scott had remembered his wading sandals we would have had no reason to go anywhere else.

I'm calling these marbled godwits
 But what of the birds? Well, we went to the beach as soon as we'd unpacked despite the somewhat uncertain weather. And it did rain on us a little but not badly. How could we complain about that when we encountered a pair of what Mr Sibley would seem to identify as a pair of marbled godwits (see right). On that first day--and, in fact, seeming to want to keep company with the godwits--we also saw an extremely handsome whimbrel. And we saw the first of a great many brown pelicans. By the river that divides the Gearhart beach from the Seaside beach, we saw quite a few Caspian terns, diving quite violently into the water, presumably after fish though I don't know that we ever saw them catch anything. Maybe that's a trick they learned from the kingfisher that was on the unreachable Seaside side. It's doubtful it's something they picked up from the great blue heron, also on the far side of the river.

 On our first outing we failed to find the passage through the creek, river, and sodden environs to reach 101, but we were more successful a day later. On that second expedition, we encountered scores of plovers and sandpipers. Reading reports on the OBOL page a few days later, I found that odds are there were some other, more unusual birds in the mix but since the mud was a bit like quicksand, we didn't want to stand in any one spot for too long.
Handsome whimbrel we saw on more than one beach

On Sunday we got into the car and drove ten miles or so north to Fort Stevens State Park, a spot that I've got to say gets far too little attention in the otherwise excellent Day Hiking Oregon Coast. For one thing, the park is huge. For another, while the Peter Iredale might be termed a bit disappointing, it's only because Scott wanted to see it that we were on the proper part of the beach to see the thousands upon thousands of sooty shearwaters streaming south--and also resting in huge numbers on the water while on their migration. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed. If you want to be put into perspective, just watch a zillion birds flapping about their business out over the crashing waves of an indifferent ocean for a few minutes. After Scott pried me away--and we'd visited the remains of the Peter Iredale--we headed a bit further up the beach to start our proper beach walk along the spit and, eventually, the Columbia River.

All those tiny black specks between water and sky are birds--sooty shearwaters.
The walk was long and gorgeous, what with those crashing waves and all. And when we settled down eventually, to eat an apple and enjoy the warm sand, I discovered that while peeps will take off if you are walking, they'll just go about their peep business right in front of you if you're just sitting there for a bit. We were a bit tired by the time we got back to the condo but not so tired that I didn't insist upon attempting another quick swim. Sadly, Poseidon was particularly rough and after he stole my hairband, I figured I'd best call it a day.
I want these to be something other than nutrias, but that's probably what they are.

Talk about labels, as if Papa was a pickle bottle

So it's like this, blahdeblahblah. Rather than writing a post here either about making grape jamly today or about the excellent Labor Day minibreak to the Oregon coast on which we saw some thousands of migrating sooty shearwaters--or even just sharing a bit of Proust about clouds that struck me a few days ago, I've spent the last few hours creating not one final label for this year's jamly (featured above) but two wasted ones as well. The first one, well, it was pretty swell. In fact, here it is

I feel like it has a '60s soft rock album feel to it. But then I realized that I had selected the same Gradka photo that I'd used on this year's apricot label and, in fact, the layout was pretty damned similar too.

So I tossed the endearing Gradka image aside and went with a different, more austere Gradka, eventually landing on something like this:

I wasn't entirely sure that I liked it all that much and then Scott questioned how legible it would be so I fussed with the type a bit more until I decided that the whole thing was too disconnected and I should start over again. Eventually the label at the very top came about, and it will be this year's grape jamly label. Don't think that I don't know that I squander too much time on things that no one other than Scott and I give a second thought to. But hey! This year's raspberry label is quite fine:

Coming up some day maybe, birds, etc. of the northern Oregon coast.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Drive-by note to self

Hey, what's this? Something new and not dragonslayery from Mr Fforde?

 I don't absolutely swear that I'll never write an actual post here again, but it's beginning to feel that way.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mallard Clown Car

My attempt at a gif of the amazing clown bus of ducklings that we watched emerge from under a mother mallard last week. Unfortunately, the effect is less "How adorable!" and more "I think I'm getting seasick." Blame the motion of the canoe I was in and the fact that I was too immersed in watching in amazement to take a steady stream of photos. It was, I assure you, truly fabulous and ever so hysterical to watch.