Posts Tagged ‘beach’

While the rain has been happily absent for the past week,  I’ve spent most of my time at the machine, both sewing, and un-sewing.

The sewing was to put together a bunch of goods for a ‘trunk show’ that I participated in at the local coffee roasters.  It was a small group pf ‘artists’ consisting of two women who made jewelry, one newfound friend (who is an amazing baker)  along with a photographer, and a painter. And me. I brought the wine bottle candles, several handbags, headbands, make-up bags, and grocery/tote bags.  It was all day both Saturday and Sunday, and I ended up doing okay. Well, none of the grocery bags sold, but several of the other things did, and the shop owner elected to keep a few things there to sell as well.    The un-sewing was/ is a boatload of alterations that have been stacking up, and a couple of ‘urgent’ things for two new clients.  One of them was this prom dress ( from the picture I can understand why she ordered it – but it looked Nothing like the photo; it was just a limp and cheap poly silky with bad embroidery and beading) It needed a bit more modesty, and I converted it to a halter as well. Quickly. The prom here is tonight, and I’m hoping the girl, who was very sweet, has a good time.  A couple more days, and I will be completely caught up and ready to take on the next round of things that are coming up this week.

The weather has been so beautiful and it finally feels like spring. There was a four day clam dig, which ended today. This morning a friend and I went down to the beach to participate in the quarterly beach cleanup, then stayed to dig clams. It was so balmy out that we were without jackets  – what a treat. And, we got our limit in about fifteen minutes. A far cry from the last time a couple weeks ago when we wandered around for nearly two hours and barely got our limit of 15 between the two of us.( That time it was the first non-raining day for three weeks, and the clams had buried themselves well and deep.)  Yesterday Richard and I went and dug and it was pretty good too – I got a giant one and took it to a local restaurant to enter in their Clam Derby. Here’s a shot of the ‘big one’ which weighed in at 183 grams on my scale:

This is what a typical clam looks like on the scale:

And I took this one just because it made me think of my dad – I don’t fish, but here is part of the catch nonetheless 

Looks like chowder tonight. Poor Richard has had plenty to clean the last couple days. Lucky for him the season is nearly ended. We have a freezer full of them. If only I could walk down to the beach and get crab. There would be none in the freezer, but I would be a happy woman.

Doing a bit of research on clams I found this article which told me that what I dug up was nothing. Damn! Yeah, well, they can keep their monsters.  😉

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week one

 We’ve had a pretty good first week with Richard. Today is the first day of school, and the bus picked him up not quite at our door, but the end of the street. And it wasn’t raining. I’m anxious to see how it went. 
There’s been a lot of getting used to how things work for him in our house. And, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a teenager around. He seems to be a good kid, just lacking in social skills mostly. He and grandpa have been working on things in the shop; he couldn’t wait to cut down some bottles for the candle making. With each one he came an showed me how nicely they turned out. Cute. 

Ethan and Sarah gave us Ticket to Ride for Christmas and we’ve played it nearly every night. It’s both challenging and fun for all of us ( though I think I’ve only won once. Unlike Scrabble, at which I usually do really good at for some odd reason.). Now of course, there’s murmuring about getting one of the other versions. 

Saturday was the big beach cleanup here. We had a beautiful sunny day, and there were lots of folks doing their part picking up bits of trash. The Richards drove down with shovels to dig out the remainder of the big box
  that floated in last year. Someone broke up most of it months ago, but the bottom and all of the wire and rebar was still there, buried by the sand. With the winter storms, it had become re – exposed, and was a big hazard. So, they drove down, dug it loose around the edges, then a tow truck came and picked it up and drug it away. 

Now that Richard is in school, I have my days back. I want to get a bunch of sewing started / done.
The list is growing, and I have a ton of ideas of things to put up on etsy. I got a few of the little kimonos listed on there over the past couple days; my plan is to list a few things each day, which should drive traffic to the shop.
I’m torn between making a variety of things – from decorative, to useful, to wearable or trying to hone in on one type of thing. But what? How do I know what may or may not sell unless I have a variety. Richard says to put some of everything out there and see what moves, which will guide me to the thing to focus on. Seems like, since I feel so scattered with it all.  

But for right now the sun is out, and I feel like I should attack the filthy windows. I know in a day or so they’ll look awful again, but……

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done! (almost)

So, the fence project is finally nearing the end. The weather was perfect today ( finally ) and we did everything but complete the last two gates. This will be wonderful once we’re done – to be able to let Sunny out from anywhere and not have to hook her up on the zip line will be heaven. Of course some of the neighbors think we’re nuts ( they could be right ). Yesterday we had a goofy guy ask us why we were fencing " is all of that for the dog???" I sort of want to start a rumour that we’re getting a couple of horses just to drive a couple of them crazy. Anyway – he suggested that we could use ‘liquid fence’ aka deer repellent aka wolf pee in a bottle to help keep the unwanted beauties ( deer) from grazing our plants and flowers. No, thanks.
I’m leaving in the morning to go to Seattle for the weekend, Richard will stay home and build the gates. And wait for the arrival of the Richards, as they’re supposed to be here on Sunday or Monday. I’ll finish up the quilt at Mom’s, see the boys, and bring home my new ( old ) coffee table that I had Mom pick up for me that I found on craigslist. I’m excited. Here is the asked-for shot of the new ( old ) sofa: She’s in pretty good shape (given that she’s about as old as I am). But, she smells worse, and I’ll need to do some spring re-tying. (the light spots in the pic are just sunlight )If anyone has suggestions for the smell other than fabreeze ( I’ve used two applications so far )- please share.  I swear it didn’t smell at all in the shop – I even sniffed it all over, but out of that environment, well….. It is getting better with leaving the doors open during the day.

We’ve had a few really low tides this week – in the minus 2 region. I took these pics the other day:     Pretty cool to see how the contour of the beach looks without any water on it.  It was really, really out there. But still no people.

The evening before the low tide there was a huge racket coming from a bunch of crows – they were in the tree down the street. It was a little spooky seeing them all hanging out in the tree hollering.  And when we walked by in the morning on the way to the beach there was one dead one – do they indeed murder? Is that why they call it a murder of crows? ewww. Glad they weren’t in my tree. Though, maybe my neighbor went a little nuts over the racket – who knows.

So a week from now it will be the big fourth of July here – with a zillion fireworks on the beach. Richard has been working on the old jeep in the hopes of going for a fireworks lit beach drive next Saturday night. Here’s hoping he gets it finished.  

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some days

things are just good. Some days I don’t fret about life, and just go about doing things I need to do. I took a leap and washed the windows of the past two weeks mist and the huge accumulation of pollen. ( usually this results in rain inside of 24 hours  – so we’ll see ). I spent the rest of the day cutting fabric into fat quarters, a tedious job for sure.
Richard worked outside, as the weather was pleasantly warm – somewhere in the upper sixties. Somewhere in there he felt inspired to make this:  sort of sculpture from some of the few rocks that are here.

When he had called it quits for the day we grabbed something to drink and took a walk to the beach. It still amazes me that there’s no one there a lot of the time. Sunny got to run, a lot. There were few birds on shore, but then – the pelicans started to go by. The first group numbered around 75 or so. They are  beautiful to watch soaring just above the water. Then I spotted another group coming our way – this one was three times larger.  They were more spread out, and some would sort of circle in an area. Sunny attemted to chase the few low flying ones and got only wet. 🙂  I left this message: though the only ones who’ll see it are looking at it now.

Flowers are blooming everywhere – the poppies are coming back strong  and the peony that mom gave me ( from my grandma’s ) is blooming  – it will go in the ground for next year.  The tomatoes, herb pot,  and hanging baskets are doing well ( fertilizing really works! )        The rhodendrons are blooming all over – including the once-sorry one outside of my sewing room window (thanks again to fertilizer) in a pretty ultra-pale pink. I will need to move a few things that I planted last year – I’m still deciding where they might do better.

Some days are really good.

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Home. again.

Making the trip to California was a wonderful reminder of why we moved. Driving through San Diego, we were both taken at just how brown everything looked. And where we stayed, in Alpine, almost no one has a lawn. Lots of reddish brown dirt, rock gardens, and not many people have much in the way of landscaping , as water is getting scarcer and a lot more expensive. Of course I saw our old house, as I visited with my neighbor one afternoon. They planted lots of stuff along the fence, which has died, and things looked generally neglected. The property values have plummeted, and I can’t express just how grateful we are to have sold when we did. There are houses all around that neighborhood with asking prices $150-$225K less than what we sold for. Wow. 
I got to visit with some friends, and just relax for a few days. A friend took me to the airport on Monday afternoon, and because I don’t fly very often, I was struck by the ‘people dynamics’ there: lots of people trying to make no eye contact; everyone working on whatever electronic thing they had to keep them busy; most people who were talking with someone were complaining about something. When did going on vacation (or anywhere ) become such a chore?I did see one really happy gentleman – he brought a huge boquet of roses and lillies onto the plane – I wondered who he was going to meet – he was quiet and smiling the whole time. From the plane I could see a couple of the fires still burning in northern California. I sure hope the picture there changes for the better before ‘fire season’ gets underway.

Darn, it feels good to be finally home. Not that I was gone so long, but its so nice. And, its especially good that the weather is swell.  I dorve home from Seattle on Wednesday, with the last two hours of the trip in a serious downpour. It cleared up yesterday morning and is beautiful out. 
I think Sunny misses my Mom ( where she stayed for a week ), but she was sooo happy to have a good run on the beach. I took this a while ago, but it gives a sense of a good day here. 
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I’m hoping that I can figure out – or maybe someone can clue me in as to how to put a video in here. 

Yesterday I went to pick blueberries at a farm ( where they also have cranberries ) but came away only with enough to put in pancakes. Because we’ve had such a cool summer, the crop is a month behind schedule. We’ll go next week, and should have better luck. I did go across the river and went to  the new Home Depot in Warrenton. We now have a humminbird feeder as well as a thistle feeder for the finches. Hopefully no squirrels will try to spoil the party.  
Today I will venture into tourist land to go to    http://www.kitefestival.com/index-wsikf.html    
There is a lot of catching up to do around here. We need to get serious about a fence, as the deer have obviously put our house on their feeding rounds. They like tomatoes, and are doing a great job of keeping them about a foot tall.

Richard comes home from Bonneville in a few days – not exactly sure when. The quiet is nice, but we miss him.


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I’ve been somewhat struck by where I live lately. And grateful. ( yes, even in spite of the rain. ) I’ve wanted to live by water as far back as I can remember. I thought when I moved to California that of course that would be my opportunity to be near the beach; but I was too naive and way too poor to be anywhere near the water. So we lived where it was more affordable, twenty some miles inland.   Not only am I now near the beach, I can hear it most all of the time. Some nights I wake up at 3 a.m. and it’s so quiet that I wonder where the ocean has gone. I guess maybe the wind is moving the sound in another direction – not sure, but it now seems odd when I don’t hear it.  With the weather gradually improving, we  – well Sunny and I, at least – are walking more. When we hit the beach the other day, it was nearly an hour before we saw any sign of people – truly an amazing thing after so long in So Cal, where the beaches are busy all year; in summer they are packed. And no dogs allowed, except for a couple of small areas. I took this shot:
  I also took some video of Sunny having a good run at the little ‘peeps’ ,but I don’t know how to upload it.
One of the other things that I really like here is the sheer variety of houses in the area. We all know what the huge, picture perfect new homes look like. I’m talking about the quirky ones that you’d never see in a typical residential area. Like this:  Richard calls it the ‘tippy house’. The little structure in front of it is a matching well pump house.  I’m sure its a vacation cabin, as I’ve never seen anyone there; it makes me wonder what their house in the city looks like. And just up the street from us is this one:      which looks like it came out of a cartoon – I see two eyes and a mouth there.  And a few blocks away is an old A-frame cabin that someone is doing a serious makeover on,  complete with the addition of two-story dormers. I like it, as so many old A-frame cabins have been forgotten or torn down to make room for the ‘big, beautiful house’.  And at least around here, it looks like any interesting shade of green is a color of  choice when repainting. We’ll be painting this year, and as of now I’m thinking our blue house will turn a bright red.

I went last week to quilt a small lap sized quilt on the machine that I took the lesson on, and it went pretty well. Today I went back to Astoria to do the quilt that will be for the bed in the guest room. It went way faster than I had imagined ( there was a different person running the shop today –  a positive ) and I was out of there in just under three hours!  Now there is just the binding left to do.  When its done I’ll put pictures up.

We got a lot of the plants into the ground yesterday, in the area along side the driveway and in view of my sewing room.  Now, if there was grass growing, and a swing……………….

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so long…..

It’s about time to say good-bye to the beach. Too soon. It alway takes me a few days to unwind and settle in – which at this point is about when we have to go. 
What a wonderful last day though.  Currently I am sitting on the deck in the 72 degree sunshine ( thanks Justin for the router – it is working perfectly! ) . A little breezy, but beautiful. We spent some time at the beach earlier this afternoon, and I only wish I could post the video of Sunny attacking the huge kite. 
Yesterday I made the trip to Seaside, about 45 miles south of here. It  didn’t take nearly as long as I thought to get there. I had lunch with Kirsten, and got to see Olivia for just a moment ( eighth – graders running around thinking they’te all grown up — so cute ) Tuesday she (Olivia ) is leaving for a ten day trip to Costa Rica for a Spanish immersion trip. How exciting – and how nerve wracking for her folks. 
From there I went into Astoria to find a fabric shop ( not for me – for a gift ), and on the way I detoured to the Column. And climbed it, since I was there. Here is a couple of pics that I took:   from the bottom,    and  from the top: 
that is the nearly four mile bridge that spans the Columbia there, with the ocean just beyond. Stopped to buy some crab for salads on the way back, and all in all it was a great day. 
Damn, I can’t wait to move. Or, be all moved in.

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This morning I went to the dentist. Absolutely my worst thing ever to have to do. So, I took some prescribed Valium – one last night and one an hour before the appointment as the dentist had instructed me to do. This is only for the first half of a deep cleaning. I did pretty good, I think, only crying twice, during the shots in the beginning. When I was done, I was totally exhausted, and my heart was racing. The whole time I kept telling myself to relax, but to no avail. Next week is the second half. ugh.   I can thank a childhood dentist for this absurd fear; he slapped me across the face on more than one occasion, and told me he would give me a spanking if I fussed again. And if I told there would be trouble! I can remember after the slap, sitting there petrified with tears running down my face while I swear he was extra brutal. Seems like I was around seven when this all happened. What makes people such assholes? I cannot imagine that happening today.
Anyway, after this morning I feel wiped out. 

On to better stuff. Thought I’d share a few pics from the trip. I’ll lead off with one of my Big Tree pics ( this one from the park):
    view from the lighthouse across the river:
said lighthouse:    the Richards’ in the fort:
the clamming aftermath:    we stopped for lunch at the Corral – “Home of the Tsunami Burger” where they have a really funny album of those who have ordered one of these group size burgers –  the album is my favorite thing about the place:    
A couple of pics of my crab shell compositions – they are molting I think ,and shells are littering the beach-  so I collected a bag full and had some fun:
      So, there’s proof that we had a couple of beautiful days. This really made the trip nice for the last two days there. 
One last note to anyone who plans to visit the beach house, there is now an alarm system in place. If you want to go for the weekend, call me and I’ll give you the rundown on disarming it while you’re there. Simple.

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Tree Love

I have been overcome on this trip by what I can only describe as Big Tree Love. ( it kind of has something to do with a painting idea that I have ).So I’ve been taking lots of pictures of large trees, to get the ‘right’ image.

The last couple of days have been wonderful – yesterday, and today it is absolutely clear outside. We went to Cape Dissapointment ( formerly known as Fort Canby – I hate it when entities feel the need to change a name of a place ) and had a great hike up to the north head lighthouse, then back down and around to the Lewis & Clark interpretive center.( We didn’t go in because we arrived a couple minutes before closing). It was breathtakingly clear out, and no wind at all, unlike the last time when Richard and I were there and it was storming with 25ft. ocean swells. 
This morning we will head down to the beach to observe the morning razor clam dig. I don’t know how to clean them, and not sure what we’d do with them as we’re leaving tomorrow, so for now its better to watch. The dig for this weekend is for morning low tides only, which this morning will be at 10:38. With the weather so good, and a high of 57 it should be packed down there. (nearly as warm here as in Santee today!) There will be a huge influx tomorrow here so  I’m happy that we will be going the opposite direction as the mad clammers.

Sunny is adapting well, learning quickly to find a sunny spot to lay in, and that the world is hers when we go to the beach  (except for today when she will need to be leashed up there with so many people there).

I’ve tried to upload a few pictures, but I need to spend the time to do some editing/ file size reduction first, I guess.

This is always the worst day here, as I regret all of the things that we didn’t do, and dread the long drive home tomorrow.  

I am having email woes with my regular cox account, so if anyone wants to contact me that way it is at : (mylastname)@gmail.com . This will be what I will switch everything over to soon anyway.

Time for pancakes, then its off to the beach!

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