For my garden notes next year...................END of gardening occurred yesterday, Oct 10. **there are still some tomatoes on the kitchen counter, unbelievably: The Carbon and Japanese Moromoto were the surprise beefsteak additions.....but...one MUST remember our DRY weather was at a record length....3 months of dry that won't end until tomorrow. TOMORROW? ALL forecasts say this IS the beginning of the WET season......NO day on any extended forecast does not show rain. So. I've had time to really prepare the garden for this coming rain. EVERY year for the past 15, it has taken the deer 3-4 days to kinda figure out the deer fence is DOWN and they can eat everything they want that's left.... BECAUSE of our mini drought, this year, everything was GONE the first night......at least leafy stuff....all the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillo plants that had been left.... 2nd night? All remaining anything was gone: carrot tops, branches of all the above plants....and for the first time in 15 yrs, they ate EVERY single remaining tomato (I'm SURE for the moisture inside). Yes, the deer fence came down on a warm sunny day.....a GOOD day to work outside.....it has always come down later, but in mud/rain...this was nice. Today's prep for rain involved: all tomato cages stacked stored, first firewood moved into garage, stacked, and 2 boxes of kindling now ready for the NEW woodstove installation next Tuesday, YEA!. Ran the lawnmower mostly to pick up all leaves dropped from dry weather, then fertilized everything and put down bug stuff on chosen areas where moles attack us in winter. Cousin Bruce has gone to Oregon City for a few days to spend with lifetime friend Dan and his wife.....we'll see him back here about Sunday, good, except it will be WET when he's here.....narrowing our choice of things to do. MAC, has gotten used to swimming 2-3 times a week since we have no longer hiked much ......... he really is in good shape but does show some wear in that he doesn't swim for an hour anymore....he's down to 30-45 minutes.....then he begins dawdling around and not returning stuff like he should....you can TELL when he's ready to be done...... And no pictures! VERY soon, I should be able to post something interesting with pics......can't wait for the stove to come, get the place painted, baseboards down, and think about how to live in this new(er) space. Cool. ah.
How much could possibly happen to keep me from updating this tired diary since Sep 5. Life seems to be full of "little" things that all add up. By now, I can only summarize a few items that stick out in memory: 1) The new Laminate Floors are really nice....they've been in a month, hard to believe, and yet the tasks associated with that are still undone. None of the baseboards are in because: a) Been waiting for the artist/painter Mark Golterman to get free from prior obligations.....he's going to paint the rooms with the new floors, and we're still trying to choose paint colors. Then, item "b" is described below: 2) Buck's Stove Palace.... b) We purchased an excellent wood burning stove (Hearthstone - Heritage) from a most amazing museum/business on the East side: Buck's Stove Palace. First impression was that it would be done and installed by the end of the month. Then little complications show up, of course, and the new stove hasn't even arrived in town yet. WHEN it does, someone must go "choose" one of the new arrivals since the "soapstone" exteriors vary quite a bit in tone/finish and set up in intall date...... nights are cooling...... we hope to get this done. Buck's Stove Palace stand on its own as a treasure of all old things woodstoves.... the owner lives is in his 70's, lives with his mother who's 95, and could sell a used car to anyone.... THIS place is worth a visit if you're in town. 3) We joined the Smiths on the 14th for Karen's birthday.....The Movie she wanted to see was quite a fabulous documentary clearly showing both the beauty of this planet and what's happening to its environments as humans overpopulate as fast as people can think about it... Both Awesome and frightening....and I HIGHLY recommend every human see it: SAMSARA . 4) Since Mac's misadventure down in the park, our walking down past Arnie's place has almost come to a stop.....not good since I clearly can use that daily regimen up and down the hills..... I still haven't gotten over that sudden "attack" from the dog we thought we knew so well..... Instead Mac has been getting more regular trips to the River for swimming, so HE is doing fine. 5) Speaking of the Columbia/Willamette Rivers, the 3-month period here in the NW has now reached record levels for DRY AIR.... NO 3-month period since the 1880's has been this dry. A forest fire could be started by dropping a cigarette butt....yikes. So yes, our lawn's brown. But I mention it because taking MAC to the river is interesting since the beaches are LONG / DRY, the BOAT dock in Cathedral Park is laying on pavement and almost at an end. I hate to admit it, but we DO NEED rain badly..... I ran the mower yesterday not to cut dry grass but to pick up dry dead leaves that are falling early. 6) Artist Rep Theater began its season with a premiere of Aaron Posner's play taken from 3 of Vonnegut's early short stories about lOVE: AND SO IT GOES ! WHAT a winner. This became our immediate favorite of any/all seasons we've been going there.... the most sweet production I could imagine in a small black-box local community theater..... It ends THIS weekend, and we're STILL thinking of going again. 7) The annual Vaux Swifts were busy some 30,000 strong flying into roost at the Chapman School during the month....we didn't go to that.... Instead, we were invited to join Stephen, Rolfe at the BOY'S FORT "3rd Thursday" event, a VERY nice Gallery block in Kenton neighborhood and walk from there to their friends who have a rooftop garden setting as fabulous as any I've seen anywhere.... This garden sits directly across an alley from an old Chimney now being used by about 1000 Swifts.... so we sat there with a wonderful group of people as the sun set on a warm dry clear evening entranced by this bird behavior.... in a group this small, they swirled, up, around everywhere....and in less than a minute right at dusk, ALL entered that chimney in less than a minute. Whew. Some Drama. 8) We saw Lisa Lampinelli (showing off her new thin body) at the Schnitzer Concert Hall....for her new show....it was pretty damn funny......The best parts of this new tour will probably make it to HBO or some venue in a year or so... AFterwards, we showed up late at Matt's place in St Johns for a fabulous end of the evening listening to some wonderful acoustic music with friends. VERY nice. 9) Cousin Stan and wife Mary were here the week of the 24th.....He has FINALLY began serious recovery to a level that he was administered his new "baby shots" clearly showing the Bone Marrow Transplant done a year ago is working. He only has one more Portland visit in november, and from then on, will hopefully be able to have his checkups done locally in Idaho....A relief for them both. 10) Friend David P flew up from the bay area later that week to stay and go to the "Further Concerts"....(Grateful Dead Afterlife)....at Edgefield. NO, I did not go....I'm NOT the deadhead here. 11) GARDEN LIFE! It continued amazingly well through September: 20 jars of plain ole' stewed tomatoes canned just to avoid losing the 'maters, and then the Sauce Tomatoes continued to ripen simply because of the WARM CLEAR DRY weather...Rodger did 3 batches of Ms. Bastianich's Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce w/Basil and froze the results.... I finally took whatever corn that ripened and made 2 big batches of creamed corn. Yum. JUST yesterday, i cleaned all the corn out.... ALL the slicer tomatoes are out. Basil has been used up. And yet, we're still eating lettuce out of there....it's Oct 4! What a year, but in truth, I'm finally happy that work is done. 12) Cousin Bruce arrives this evening for a few days and we're looking forward to this......There will be lots of talking, laughter, taking it easy.....a guest after my own heart. But it may be a busy fall: on the 12th, Sweeney Todd at Portland Center Stage, 19th - painting interiors, 19th or so...Wood Stove install, 18th - David Byrne in town, 21st - Artist Rep 2nd Fall play, 24th - baseboards install., 26th - A GRIMM viewing party at cousins J & Bhakti's home where the episode was filmed, 28th - a Chorus Line...... at Keller. Whew!