Sunday, September 26, 2021

Greetings from Pike's Place

We have had another nice full day with kids and pets, so once again I will post the chronology in photos with very short captions and talk more about it when I post more pictures later on!

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We had breakfast with Adam and Katherine, then drove into Seattle to meet Daniel and Cahaya at the Seattle Art Museum, which has this exhibit about Monet, painters at Etretat, and how Monet's paintings there transformed his career 
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Here is the family in front of John Grade's Middle Fork, looking like a Western Hemlock tree... 
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...and in the porcelain room, which had lovely examples from all over 
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From there we walked to Pike's Place Market for lunch 
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There were lots of people inside, so we ate sandwiches and soup from the Alaskan Sourdough Bakery outside Miners Landing... 
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...where we had great views of the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57... 
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...and inside I got to pose for very tasteful photos with figures from Seattle history like this one 
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We went back to Adam and Katherine's house to walk Pepper and Theo, with whom we saw many bunnies, though we were so full from lunch that instead of bringing in food from a restaurant, we went to Safeway and had assorted sandwiches and burgers
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And Theo was extremely helpful with food preparation and table supervision 
Our Saturday has just ended, insanely enough, with an owl attack. The wild suburbs!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Greetings from Redmond

Here is my lovely Friday very quickly in photos! 


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We got up and walked Pepper with Adam while Katherine worked


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We picked up Blazing Bagels


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Daniel, Cahaya, and Theodore arrived


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We took the dogs to Marymoor Off-leash Dog Park 



Theo took took the "off-leash" part very seriously and went swimming in the forbidden section until another dog helped us chase him out


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Pepper was much less enthralled with the water and fine with being on the leash 


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Theo had to be washed off when we got back, which he was much less enthralled about 


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We hung out and ate some pistachios, then took the dogs to Grass Lawn Park 


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This huge, lovely public park is an easy walk from Adam and Katherine's house 


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We saw Mount Rainier out the window both when we were driving to Marymoor and when Daniel drove us in his car to pick up butternut squash enchiladas from Cactus for dinner 

And we watched this week's What If...? since Adam and Katherine had not seen it, and now humans and dogs are all falling asleep!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Greetings from Seattle

We are here, after a very easy flight that arrived an hour early only to get everyone stuck on the plane because someone drove over the sensor for the pneumatic door (I was reading Great Circle on the recommendation of a friend, parts of which I love and parts of which I don't love at all): 

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And it is delightful though Pepper may not think so. More tomorrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Poem for Thursday and South Mountain Creamery

By John Montague

for Elizabeth

Poetry is a weapon, and should be used,
though not in the crudity of violence.
It is a prayer before an unknown altar,
a spell to bless the silence.

There is a music beyond all this,
beyond all forms of grievance,
where anger lays its muzzle down
into the lap of silence.

Or some butterfly script,
fathomed only by the other,
as supple fingers draw
a silent message from the tangible.


The giant evil heater is out of my house, and even though the readings of the drywall were not bone dry, I cannot bring myself to regret that there is not a 90-decibel vacuum cleaner scream day and night shrieking my ears. I'm sure my neighbors can't either. I spent the day trying to catch up on things I couldn't concentrate on with the blasters blasting, but I am hopelessly behind. I did, at least, get to watch the season premiere of The Masked Singer, though I'll have to miss the second part tomorrow. 

And I saw the What If...? in which Thor and Loki aren't raised as brothers yet become so by choice -- "my brother from another mother" is what Tom and Chris always call each other in interviews! In which Frigga gets to have a life apart from her kids and husband (still the worst father). In which Darcy of the Birthplace of the Snuggie dates Howard the Duck and has a crush on Captain Marvel and her cat. "Not the hair!" So nice to get a fun episode, at least until the scary cross-multiverse end. 

Anyway, it was a huge delight to see Chris Hemsworth playing a Thor we've only seen before in a Saturday Night Live skit and a massive pleasure to see Tiny Thunder and Popsicle Stick be the brothers in arms they always should have been. "I only boom in private!" Before I forget, here are some of cows and calves we met at South Mountain Creamery a few weekends ago: 

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Poem for Wednesday and Annmarie Garden Art

By Adrienne Rich

You show me the poems of some woman
my age, or younger
translated from your language

Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow
enough to let me know
she’s a woman of my time


with Love, our subject:
we’ve trained it like ivy to our walls
baked it like bread in our ovens
worn it like lead on our ankles
watched it through binoculars as if
it were a helicopter
bringing food to our famine
or the satellite
of a hostile power

I begin to see that woman
doing things: stirring rice
ironing a skirt
typing a manuscript till dawn

trying to make a call
from a phonebook

the phone rings unanswered
in a man’s bedroom
she hears him telling someone else
never mind. she’ll get tired
hears him telling her story to her sister

who becomes her enemy
and will in her own time
light her own way to sorrow

ignorant of the fact this way of grief
is shared, unnecessary
and political


My brain is still clanging from hours of fire alarm vacuum cleaner screaming heater noise -- I took decibel readings with an app on my phone and it was over 90 on the couch, over 80 upstairs -- so I spent most of the day down the basement sorting and packing up books, which required asking myself difficult questions like "Am I ever going to reread all nine of these biographies of Amelia Earhart?" and "Do people in academia still read Toril Moi or are we now allowed to talk about feminist goals without having to use the words 'epistemological' and 'reification'?" (All of the books by Lacan, Derrida, Adorno, et al have already been donated because hell no I am not opening those ever again.) 

We took a walk in the late afternoon, ate leftover Indian food from Bombay Bistro for dinner, and turned off the dehumidifier and heater at 7 p.m. because our neighbors told us they kept them up the night before (through a brick wall) and they have two children under six who need to sleep. So I was able to watch Voyager's pretty terrible Ferengi episode "False Profits" with my Tuesday night group, which was nice and relaxing though my ears were still ringing. Then we watched the BLM episode of Supergirl and the dead cat episode of Sex Education, which was so gratuitously vile that I nearly stopped watching the entire show. Here is some of the art in the woods at Annmarie Gardens: 

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Poem for Tuesday and Artsfest Nautical Crafts

Noisy Noisy
By Jack Prelutsky

It's noisy, noisy overhead,
the birds are winging south,
and every bird is opening
a noisy, noisy mouth.

They fill the air with loud complaint,
they honk and quack and squawk—
they do not feel like flying,
but it's much too far to walk.


So I was wrong when I said things were not that bad -- I assumed when Roto-Rooter left the dehumidifier but not the giant heat machines yesterday that it was because they had concluded we didn't need them, and believed the first guy who said they wouldn't need to cut up our drywall. Someone else was supposed to come out today, originally between 4-6 p.m., after which we planned to have dinner with my parents, but when he changed the time to 7, we had my parents come to us for dinner instead, and he didn't actually arrive till 8:30, at which point he drilled holes in the drywall and set up a heater so loud it sounds like someone's vacuuming through a fire drill, all while advising us that if this task isn't done within 48 hours of a leak, mold will form and destroy the insides of the house (and it would have been within 48 hours if they'd been on time!). 

Anyway, I am hiding in younger son's room, where we originally brought 20-year-old Cinnamon because her the couch she prefers is right next to the devices making all the noise and the bathroom with her litterbox requires her to run a gautlet of cables and machines, but she was restless and seemed confused even though we showed her we had brought water and the litterbox to the upstairs bathroom, so we took her back downstairs and the fact that she fell asleep leads us to believe that she's about as deaf as we suspected. The other cats are hiding elsewhere in the house. A lot of my activities today involved sorting books, so I was in the basement, and tomorrow I will do the same since it's the quietest part of the house -- it's not like I can hear myself think, let alone watch TV. Here are photos of some lovely nautical crafts from Annmarie Garden Artsfest: 

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Monday, September 20, 2021

Greetings from Right Here

Our plan for Sunday had been to go to Mount Vernon to the annual Colonial Market & Fair, with its crafters and performers and military reenactors. But instead we had to stay home and wait for Roto-Rooter -- first someone who came out in the morning to analyze the situation and coordinate with our homeowners' insurance, then someone who arrived around lunchtime to install fans and dehumidifiers to distress the cats I mean dry out the drywall, and finally a plumber who did an inspection in the late afternoon and gave us good news: he did not need to make any additional holes in the ceiling, just to replace the toilet intake hose and seal something that got knocked out, probably when the new tub was installed though I don't know how we can prove that since it took a week to start leaking. 

 So we did some sorting and organizing of stuff, I caught a bunch of shiny Oshawott for Pokemon Community Day, we caught some of the Seattle-Tennessee game, we ordered Indian food for dinner because an article in The Washington Post made me crave it, then we watched the Emmy Awards around a Google Meet call with my kids and parents (clearly I need to finish watching both Ted Lasso and Mare of Easttown, though I'm sorry WandaVision didn't win more rewards -- I didn't love this season of The Crown, it would have been fine with me if it had lost a bunch of those categories. The awards show ended just in time for us to see the end of the Ravens-Chiefs game, which, to our delight, Baltimore managed to win! Here is our day in excessively captioned photos: 


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We had three visits from the plumbing, drying-out, and insurance-reporting divisions of Roto-Rooter. 


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They involved a big dehumidifier making lots of noise right outside the bathroom with Cinnamon's litterbox. 



In fact, the last time we had such a dehumidifier on this floor of the house, in 2007, Daisy was a kitten and had just moved in while Cinnamon was the age Katniss and Effie are now. 


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They're necessary because although the leak has stopped, there's still water pooled in the ceiling under our master bathroom. 



So the high points of my day included catching Oshawott and evolving Samurott... 


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...eating Indian food delivered from Bombay Bistro... 


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 ...and Google Meeting with the kids and their pets... 


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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Greetings from Calvert

I had a super nice day for almost all of Saturday. Paul and I drove to Annmarie Gardens in Solomons, met Cheryl at the entrance for Artsfest, looked at lots of gorgeous crafts plus permanent sculpture installations, listened to local musicians, ate picnic lunch we brought with us, drove to nearby Flag Ponds Nature Park, put on bathing suits, walked through the woods to the Chesapeake Bay, swam, saw fish, seagulls, crab, and skink, walked back to the parking lot, drove to Burger King for Impossible Whoppers for dinner. 

Then we got in the car to travel home over bridges, beneath a brief rain shower and huge rainbow, around the Mormon Temple at sunset, and arrived here to feed the cats, put on the new season of Sex Education...and suddenly a hole opened up in our ceiling right near the front door and water started pouring through, underneath the bathroom where we just had the tub and all its plumbing replaced. Plumbers can't come until tomorrow so meanwhile we have water shut off in that bathroom and I am trying to remember the good parts of the day: 

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