Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Pleasant Evening

Another lovely Camino walk on Beautiful Beacon Hill!  We took a different route this time, through Jefferson Park and its newly opened playground.  And that playground was a spectacular kiddies’ delight.  I remember the playground closest to my house in my playground days, and it had swings, teeter-totters, and a giant sandbox.  I thought it was pretty spectacular at the time, but I had no idea of the possibilities.  This park had swings, of course, but so much more. 

Besides playfields for organized games, lawn bowling, and tennis courts, there was lots of green for running about.   But whoa! There were modern innovations that were unheard of in my day.  A water feature (non-functional for the time) with water slides, and a rather amazing contraption with which one could swoop from here to there, just like Tarzan high in the trees.  And someone had arrived on an envy-making bicycle!  Too cool!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Golden Day

Here is another picture of little Marigold.  You can see why her former owners named her "Goldie."  It's those beautiful golden eyes.  I have reports that she is a happy feline in her new home, springing about like a proper curious kitten.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Marigold Hanele

Another library disaster!  Almost every book I had on order came at once!  Now I have fourteen books checked out, and they are all things I have wanted and waited to read!   Aaaargh!  Why does this always happen!  Well, I thought, I had better get to it.  My plan for the weekend was to do nothing but read and knit.  Some of my books were audio which I would knit to, and others were actual paper and print, so I planned to alternate.  “Cecilia,” the book I was reading before this disaster, would have to be put on hold, as so often happens when I am reading a book of my own and then a tide of library books roars in.  Ahhhh, but my weekend was going to be soothing.  I would go out my front gate only to go to church, and to take Margaret on her walkies.  At the end of the weekend, I would meet Martha to watch her granddaughter in the Chinatown Parade.  Perfect!  
Then Saturday morning, -- emergency! Rebecca’s poor kitty, Maria, had gone to the Rainbow Bridge during the week, and after a brief – very brief – period of mourning, Becca needed to get a new kitty immediately. So off my whole little family (Rebecca, Rachael, and Rachael’s friend Tommy, and I) went to the Seattle Humane Society to select a new feline daughter for Rebecca.  There was a fuzzy grey one named Pooky that Rebecca fell in love with.  Unfortunately, Pooky was a youngster – too young to be left alone for Rebecca’s twelve hour work day.  Thus, she could be adopted only if Rebecca got her a little feline sibling to keep her company during the long days at home alone.  Becca only wanted one kitty and that kitty was Pooky.  An impasse! So Becca cried for a while, and was too sad to look at other kitty options.  We gloomily left, stopping on the way home for the consolation of ice cream.  By the time I arrived home, I was ready for a nap.  Then, after my nap, as I prepared to spend my evening finally reading and knitting  another phone call!  Becca had decided to get Pooky and her brother.  We needed to hurry to the Humane Society right then! It would close soon and the opportunity would be lost.  Rush, rush! We arrived ten minutes before closing time, but were told that it was too late to start an adoption process.  Pooky and her brother were still there however, and we could come back first thing in the morning.  So immediately after church, the troops gathered at my house and off we went.  Becca had a cup of tea waiting, but in the hurry, I forgot to drink it.  She also fixed me a cup to bring along, but Rachael drank it.  So tealess, I drove us back to the Humane Society for another go at getting a kitty.  Pooky was gone.  Becca bore it well this time, and found two other possibilities.  She could not decide between Stash,  a huge kitty-man - a big black fellow with a white nose, and a dainty tabby-girl named Goldie.  As we dithered and debated, a woman to whom all of us had taken an instant dislike was showing an ominous interest in Goldie.  Then the woman announced that she was getting “this one.”  She would tame it despite the obvious fact that Goldie too, had joined our family in its distaste for the her. That decided Becca.  She immediately abandoned Stash, and put in for Goldie, beating the unpleasant woman to the punch.  The adoption completed, we triumphantly took little Marigold Hanele to her new home where she is now adjusting well, and is queen of her domain. 

By the time I got home, I was not quite tealess, as I had stopped to have a cuppa with Becca and Marigold, but that tea, like Marigold, had been dainty and barely counted.  So I was desperate for a hearty cup of builder’s tea.  After I greedily wolfed down my tea, I realized I was and  too knackered to go to the parade. I knitted an inch of sock, read less than ten pages of my book, and shuffled off to sunny Bedfordshire, my weekend totally not having gone according to plan.  But it was a pleasant one nonetheless, and I’m glad that Becca and Marigold have found one another. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Many Faceted Day

Poor Maria, Rebecca’s cat, is very ill.  At the crack of dawn, we took her in for a procedure, thinking that we would wait until it was done and then take Maria home to nurse her.  However, it turned out that Maria needed to be there all day, so we had time to kill.  We went grocery shopping, came home, put our groceries away, and pondered what to do next.  Well, yarn shopping is always fun, and as I was just winding up a pair of socks for Becca, and need always to have a pair going, it was the logical option.  There is one yarn shop we like that is far off the beaten track, and as we had lots of time, we “went there and did that.”  Then we checked out the Greenwood library, checking out some books as well – too many for me to ever read in the time allotted. Quite a few hours still remained until it was time to fetch Maria, so we decided to do some Camino walking in nearby Carkeek park.  The park layout, with many trails, was a little confusing, but we found a map, with trails differentiated according to difficulty.  The map was pretty undecipherable, and we decided that the park needed a new cartographer.

Rebecca, who has always been the Sacajawea of the family, was undeterred, and led the way. She scorned the easy trails, as they would present no challenge.  I personally did not see why a challenge was necessary, but Rebecca was in charge. We made our way to the beach with no challenges, other than a high – very, very high- walkway over the railroad tracks.

Note the terrifically high trestle crossing over the train. Sickening!

 If, going across it, you looked down through the grating, you could see the train tracks miles below. This was, of course, no problem for Rebecca, but it caused some anxiety for acrophobic me. 

It was low tide, so the beach was full of interesting things. 

 There were also some “unmaintained” trails on the map, and these appealed to Becca. Deeper and deeper into the woods we went.  “Are you sure this is even a trail?” I frequently asked.  “Of course it is. Look at that,” she said, pointing to a few inches wide path snaking through the undergrowth.  There were numerous challenges.  We had to scale cliffs, make our way across the creek, using fallen logs as a bridges, and slip under other tree trunks crossing the path.

  It started to rain.  I was having visions of one of us (most likely me,) falling and breaking a leg.  How would the rescuers ever find us! Finally, she said, astonished, “The path seems to have ended!”  We turned back, one of us quite relieved. 

Despite my whining, I had a very fun time. We saw wonderful flora,

And interesting fauna. 

When we got back the vet’s however, we got sad news about Maria. Our poor kitty is now on palliative care. Her procedure made her more comfortable, but it is only temporary.  The vet was very kind, and gave us hugs and Kleenexes. Becca took Maria home to make her last few days comfy and happy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day with Samos

Samos and I had planned to have lunch and then take a big walk or a rowboat ride.  Unfortunately, my poor back, mentioned in the previous post, was still a bit ailing, and I was afraid to do anything that might make it worse.  I don’t have backaches very often, but when I do, the most helpful thing is doing nothing.  Nothing at all except reading my book and sipping comforting drinks – usually copious cups of tea.  So we had lunch and went on a little walk instead of a big one – this time, through the Rose Garden by the zoo.  It had been several years since I had been there, and I had quite forgotten how lovely it is. 

I particularly liked the funny topiary trees.  You can see one in the top of this picture. They reminded me of the landscape in fairy books I had when I was wee. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Painful Day

On Thursday, Becca wanted to go to IKEA.  As usual, I wanted only one or two IKEA things – two actually – scoops for flour, sugar, and the like, and a sieve for sifting powdered sugar.  Also as usual, I bought many things I absolutely didn’t need, with Becca encouraging me all the way.  She, the one who initiated the trip, showed great restraint, and mostly bought just what she came for. I bought my sieve, but there were no scoops.  So everything else you see in the basket was some unnecessary frivolous thing that I didn’t need.  Then we went to the nursery looking for Shasta daisies.  I had previously unsuccessfully looked at two posher plant stores, and then decided that perhaps Shasta daisies are a flower appealing to hoi polloi, and so went to the, in this case, more aptly named Lowes.  There we found some lovely ones, as well as some exquisitely scented mint. 

Planting the mint was no problem.  But the daisies – another matter altogether.  They required that holes be dug.  Big holes.  My gardening assistant, always about when I don’t need him, and never when I do, was, naturally, nowhere to be found.  So I had to dig my own holes.  The ground where I wanted the daisies was hard.  Very hard.  I struggled.  I sweated.  I conquered.  But at what price?  It was a Pyrrhic victory.  Later that evening, I could barely walk.  All day Saturday, I lay about and read a book (or two.) I had lots of plans for Sunday, and they all involved walking.  I couldn’t even go to church.  I finally had to go out for provisions, and took the car – a thing I seldom do, and had vowed not to do during our Camino pilgrimage.  Today, I am feeling much better.  Some time ago, just before an opera performance Rebecca gave me some magical powders that cure all aches and pains. I had had a backache for days, and was whining about how difficult it would be to sit through the opera, when she brought out a little bindle of powder. I was a teensie bit skeptical, but she assured me that it would be okay.  The bindle looked suspicious, but it was all legitimate.   Apparently, these powders are more popular in the South, and she had gotten some from a southerner nurse friend at her job.  It was astonishing!  Not only did my back feel better immediately, but it kept feeling better.  Until Friday, that is.  Now, the powders are probably eating a hole in my stomach, but they are certainly making me feel a more mobile.  I plan to be totally well tomorrow.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Heroic Day

As I lay abed, happily ensconced with my book, I sensed a horrible fluttering right by my ear.  Ugh! Out of my peripheral vision, I vaguely saw something dark brown and ugly.  And BIG.  And flapping! Double Ugh!  Then, a grey streak flew across me, and everything on my bedside table went clattering to the floor. (Except, fortunately, the lamp.) The battle was on! The moth was gigantic, but valiant Tobias was up to it.  Leaping over me several times,  scrabbling up my headboard, and down again amongst my pillows, he finally emerged with a victorious smirk, his mouth dripping moth dust.  Blech!  He left a little moth dust in my bed, but that was better than a whole moth. My noble kitty!

The next day, I found another similar object of disgust in my kitchen.  I got Tobias up from his nap and pointed the brute out.  Tobias was once again up to the task. He stared at it menacingly for a moment or two, and then  pounced.  He proudly strode about the room with a moth moustache, but after a few turns, he dropped the still living creature to the floor and toyed with it – letting it move about and then pouncing again.  Finally, I was moved to pity for the repulsive thing, picked it up and sent it to a watery grave down the toilet.  Why should I feel guilty putting a moth down the toilet, and not guilty setting Tobias on it – a much more lengthy and unpleasant death?  The human mind is a mystery. 

When the moth suddenly disappeared, Tobias was naturally surprised and upset!  He went about the kitchen, chirping in that way that cats on the prowl do, desperately looking for his prey.  To console him, I got out his spider – his favorite toy – and he played with it happily for two minutes until he lost it. I had to crawl about and retrieve it from under the stove, and this time he was more careful and managed to keep it until he finally got bored. 

It's tiring being heroic.

 New word:  Mottephobia.  You can guess what that means.  

Moth pornography.

Happy Fourth of July

And Happy Post-Third of July from Seattle Camino on Beautiful Beacon Hill