Tuesday, April 28, 2009

suspended animation

Watched seeds take longer to sprout, and the ones that have, seem not to move. We need a hiatus from them to appreciate their workings. If the climate would just warm up a bit, we'd see some real growth.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Putting in the peas

Not brangin' in the sheaves yet, but maybe down the line; cool sunny day, perfect for nestling pea shoots into the soil. Things are behind, it's been too cold and wet, so we procrastinators have been saved for a bit.
Nice gym session with a couple of wonderful friends, although they were both a bit handicapped by previous day's activities of yard work for one and open water swimming practice for the other, who is training for a "sprint" or shorter form of a triathalon. She's a cancer survivor, and that's what this event is all about, a celebration of survival.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chilly nights, hot beans

Took our beloved kid out for a New Mexican dinner; cool night, spicy food, and the best ritas in town. We walked up to the place, which makes it somewhat less guilt-ridden. Pleasant time had by all.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Once more, with tomatoes

After our session at the climbing gym, my good friend handed over a huge tomato plant she'd gotten for me; I didn't notice until I got home that it was a variety which grows best in places where there is a longer season, including warmer nights. Not sure why they are even sold around these parts, but I guess people always hope they can get those beefsteak tomatoes of yesteryear. Guess we'll try to meet the challenge. Maybe we need a little fleece wrapper for the poor thing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Maintaining the big mo

On our walks, the nonegenarian and I have our best conversations; something about getting the blood moving around the body. Perfect spring days seem to be the best motivators, and you never know what will arise for discussion. She muses often about why she's still here, and I push the existential angles in reply. What good can it do to dwell on age, when it's inarguable. A stand of fine tulips can distract.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earthy day

In my walkabout erranding, I passed a small garden store. They had some tempting baby vegetable starts, such as Black Russian heirloom tomatoes and dwarf snow peas. Impossible to pass up, so I schlepped them home. Ran into a climbing friend's friend, who was walking his dog with his grown son, both humans eating ice cream cones, which they let the dog lick as well. I was astounded by their indifference to hygiene, but the dog was ecstatic.
The day grew nicer as the afternoon wound down. There was a frightening bit of time at one end of University Avenue when I had to pass a big group of street kids who were fixing to rumble. Two big lunks were howling at one another, and a big lunkette was screaming at another about how nobody wanted to see her fucking G-string, so she should just pay attention and leave. Ah, spring.
Spring brings wild caught Columbia River king salmon, for two weeks only, so I splurged on a little chunk of it. It might not pass our way again for a while, if the runs aren't protected.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trying to keep endurance

We plug away at our climbing sessions, trying to maintain strength against a day when we might really use it on honest to gosh rocks. As it's acting like late winter outside, the prospect seems dim and far away. There are about six to eight new routes up in the gym, all named Stimson Bullitt.
Pynchon's Against the Day continues, rolling along into stranger and stranger territories. At times I think he's trying too hard to be mysterious, and the resulting writing seems just murky and weird; and yet I roll along.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunny fields

That's what we got out there; also some baby raspberry canes, given to us by a dear friend and neighbor. More spuds are showing above ground, and the spinach sprouts are burgeoning. Our dear nonegenarian was so psyched by the weather she wanted mutiple walks, including her trip to the hair salon. We drove around again, looking at all the trees bursting forth with blossoms ranging from white to deep rose. We'll get slammed back to cold and dirzzzle tomorrow, but today we play.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The goods

Finally descended upon us, like an atmospheric total body massage; I braved it and put the basil plant we've been babying in the kitchen since late last summer into the warming soil. Coming outside late morning from an indoor climbing session was amazingly pleasant, and we had plenty of outdoor time later on on our walks. The nonegenarian climbed her mountain of a driveway a couple of times, and felt her usual sense of well-being.
Another nearly nonegenarian we were acquainted with from the local climbing community died over the weekend, reportedly sitting in a chair in his home, looking out at the Olympic Mountains. His name was Charles Stimson Bullitt, but we knew him as 'Stim". A friend and I often saw him working out at the climbing gym, sometimes by himself, clambering high up the walls and sometimes flying off them, with no ill effects. I read once that one of the prides of his life was when Nixon put him on his enemies' list, owing to Stim's being against the Vietnam War, and having some political clout. He was amazingly fit for a person his age, physically and mentally, a rare combination in the later decades. He was ever a witty gentleman, and my friend and I shared some belays with him at the gym. One of his children said there were three Latin words carved into their front door, which they looked at every time they went out: "Virtus et Veritas" - Courage and Truth. Would that more people lived by those words.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Clearing out the mists

They never really did, just receded to higher altitude. We hope for better sun tomorrow. Pasta primavera-ish dinner, with some grilled chicken added; the asparagus is amazing right now. We aren't growing it, but can get plenty of good stuff from the markets.
Still wending my way along in that big Pynchon novel; sometimes he's irritating, at others, frightening, and still other times, quite vivid and good. It's too big for me to have grasped its structure yet.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weekend's beginning

Things show up which needed to be done. Who needs a list? We live in a virtual to do jar. Baby spinach was observed to be sprouting, weeds were pulled, beets were sown, dead moss was scraped from steps, exercising got done. We had a dinner guest, then whisked off to the theater to see a ninety minute dramatization of Crime and Punishement. That sounds a bit absurd, considering the tomeiness of Dostoevsky, but it was very good. Out of all the material in that novel, the adapters gleaned the heart of the matter, or at least one that resounded. I found myself internally nodding in agreement with Raskolnikov's opinions of humans.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Gone by noon; we are to experience an actual spring weekend, it seems. People are out on cafe patios as if it were really warm enough. Puget Sounders are strange desperate ducks. When the flowers tentatively peep out, folks go berserk.
Time to make a batch of bread dough.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

time to sow

Got some baby kale plants and tiny chard starts settled into the garden; beloved son likes these vegetables, so he's satisfied with their planting. Out and about on errands, I happened to walk along part of the nearby lake. A woman cheerfully bouncing along had a unique hat upon her head: It was a home made Nemo the clownfish, constructed of very bright fleece material, complete with a huge set of ruby red lips. She drew many amazed looks from passersby. When I got done with some shopping, I cam back to the lakeside path. More than a dozen turtles were parked on the dead trunks sticking up from the water around the north end of the lake. Nemo Hat Lady was nearby, bobbing around, feeding pigeons.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Not much to observe yesterday; the day improved a bit, the sun appeared, then went down without warming us up much. Watching BBC News, we were shocked to learn how many high end professionals were out of work in the UK. The whole country is suffering, not just their hod carriers. Perhaps it seems worse than this country, since it's smaller and more concentrated in population. There are terrible trends here, too, but it seems as if it has to snowball for a while before becoming as noticeable.

Monday, April 13, 2009

not going to mention it

That we can see our breath outside today, that we had to go back to winter clothing; sheesh. A late-breaking climbing workout with a friend and her college freshman daughter perked me up. Maybe a vegetarian pizza will cheer us all up.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Peeps ahoy

They're the only holiday-related purchase it's hard to resist. So many holidays, so many forms of marshmellow goo; not my notion of a goody, but some people do appreciate them. It's a lightweight treat. Evidently they blow up dramatically in a microwave, too. I like to see what creative uses people put them to in dioramas and tableaux. I saw a cute one depicting that dumbass Idaho Repub - Larry Craig? - who was caught in the airport bathroom soliciting sex from the stall next door. The Seven Deadly Sins would be a fun challenge.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Second best

Another pleasant gym session, wth my partythrowing friend, her current squeeze, and her permanent boyfriend; the latter has a male partner, so this is a siblinglike relationship. We had fun roaming around the not so crowded place, finding a few new routes here and there.
Beloved spouse made it home safely from the kayaking session, and we cooked up the nice big prawns that were supposedly wild caught. I do hope the store was being honest, but the crustaceans tasted fine.
We are stuck with a backsliding climate for the next few days.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Putting around

Slow day, other than getting our nonegenarian's Easter do done, and driving around looking at the gorgeous flowering trees framed against gray skies.
Off for a particularly nice bite of sushi with the beloved spouse; we managed to arrive between waves of diners, and didn't suffer much. Seared tuna, roasted garlic and their special sauces was especially noteworthy.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wetting down the seeds

Drizzles and showers make for spinach and flowers. They cleared away to dramatic skies the rest of the day, as I pursued my walking errands routine. There has been a fruitless, thus far, search for throw pillow covers, which are hard to find. Don't make me make them...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Nice one

Caught up with my friend who was Down South last week, visiting old friends and family. She said the azaleas and dogwoods were busted open in profusion, and they had swell weather and even a couple of thunderstorms; sounds like summer. We had a training session in our good old climbing gym, and listened to a few tales of outdoor adventures. Perhaps we may actually get out on one sometime.
The grass fields got lowered, and a few dead branches pruned. A cool wind blew clouds around, signaling that we will pay for the last several days of loveliness.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Learning a new euphemism

It isn't a tooth extraction, it's a "root retrieval." That's what we learned at the oral surgeon's joint. Somehow it made us chuckle, and brightened up what could have been a dismal experience. Our dear nonegenarian must face it, however, eventually, whatever one calls it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Our luck continues

Swell springy day, with walks and workouts for some of us; got a nice visit with my oldest climbing buddy as we tried as many of the kids' competition routes at the gym as we could. Fun evening with beloved spouse, as we watched the NCAA final game simultaneously with the Mariners' first game. I'm not much of a sports fan, but it was pleasant to sip a Mai Tai and learn a few things about current teams. We did start out rooting for Michigan State, but alas, they fell like little twigs beneath the NC giants.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

We'd nearly forgotten...

What it felt like to be warm outside the house, sans a furnace; no coats, shorter pants, tee shirts and cheerful demeanors abounded. You can hear the grass surging upwards.
Pleasant fundraising event the other night, and one of our tablemates bid on an enormous coconut cake, which she shared with the rest of us. Most delicious thing I've tasted in a long time, and perfect for breakfast.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Dare we put out those tiny plants?

Supposed to freeze over night, so probably not; we'll let the ground warm up a bit before setting anything out.
Down to our cotton jackets; Swell walking atmosphere.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Surprise fun

Got a call from a climbing buddy with whom I have been in intermittent contact. She has old friends she usually trains with, and I am kind of on her B list, but I enjoy the times we manage to get together. Since our usual gym was in the throes of preparing for a kids' competition, we hied ourselves over to its competitor. It's usually pretty quiet early in the day, but there was a big group of blind and vision-impaired adults doing some climbing, which was interesting. Lots of very loud cheering and encouragement and advice from the watching crowd, kind of like bats doing echolocation, we thought. They appeared to be having a wonderful time.
The day sort of cleared up, and it may actually be nice over the weekend; and beloved spouse will be home.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Much to do under the pouring icy cold rain, so I'm cheating and taking a car. Perhaps walking will be possible later.
Getting some traction in Pynchon's Against the Day; good thing, as it's about 1100 pages long. Geeze. Besides the description of Rome rising and falling, why does anyone need to write such a huge tome? Long ago, in Cervantes's time, they wrote at length, too, but it was topnotch material...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Misery squared

It snowed all morning, although it didn't stick. It was so cold, relatively speaking, that when the cat dashed outside as usual after breakfast, he ran around to the back of the house and started yelling up at my window. I heard him when I opened the front door, where it would have made more sense for him to be calling. He ran in, shaking off snow and water, and leaped onto my lap to warm his cold wet paws.
We managed indoor hiking until after lunch, when we had to air ourselves out; coldest March on record, starting what might be the coldest April.