Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Greetings from Alki Beach

We had periods of drizzle but no additional snow on Monday, which wound up being another nice day starting with a walk around the neighborhood in Redmond with Adam, who then had to work the rest of the day. Paul and I drove to Renton to a waterfront neighborhood near the Boeing factory, which has planes on display outside, and a bird sanctuary at one end of Lake Washington. From there we drove to Alki Beach, still my favorite Seattle neighborhood, to meet Daniel for brunch at the Alki Cafe. 

After eating, we took a walk on the beach, where a man was creating twelve-foot soap bubbles with string suspended between sticks and where many gulls and a few cormorants were floating in Puget Sound. We came back to Redmond to hang out with Adam while he finished work before we headed to Panera for dinner, with both sons but neither girlfriend since both had to work late. Then we played some Sushi Go while eating the Girl Scout cookies we obtained on Sunday before Daniel headed home. 


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Monday, February 27, 2023

Greetings from Green Lake

We woke up on Sunday to snow! Not as much as originally forecast, and it did not stick around through the afternoon, which was fine because it allowed us to enjoy another beautiful day outdoors, but more than we've had in DC this entire winter. We had a quiet morning walking dogs and eating bagels, then we met Daniel at his house and went for a three-mile walk mostly on the loop trail around Green Lake with three dogs (the fourth stayed with Cahaya, who had just arrived home from Chicago). 

Daniel, Katherine, and I did some Pokemon Go event raids in the lakeside park and we saw lots of ducks, geese, cormorants, coots, and widgeons. We came back to Adam's house with the Girl Scout Cookies we bought from a troop member by the lake, ate a few of those, and relaxed for a little while before Daniel and Cahaya arrived so we could go out to dinner. We went to Kanishka for Indian food and shared excellent naan, samosas, egg curry, paneer korma, and malai kofta. Now we're too full for dessert. 

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Sunday, February 26, 2023

Greetings from Marymoor Park

Lovely day in gorgeous weather in the Seattle area, due to change dramatically overnight since we're supposed to wake up to snow and winter mix! We walked Pepper and Katherine's friend's corgi Charlie, for whom she and Adam are pet-sitting, through the neighborhood and around Grass Lawn Park, then we had breakfast and went to a neighborhood called Archstone which is right on Lake Sammamish to look around. From the dock, we could see many species of waterfowl and kayakers, and the daffodils were just starting to bloom. We visited nearby Idylwood Park, which has a little beach on the lake, before picking up Blazing Bagels for lunch. 

We all met Daniel at Marymoor park with one of Cahaya's huskies (the other doesn't always listen when she's not around, and she is in Chicago until tomorrow on business) and saw lots of wildlife there too, including dozens of nesting herons and a flock of coots. The dogs got pretty muddy, so Katherine gave Charlie a bath and wound up too tired to come to dinner near Daniel's house downtown, so we and the boys went to Ocean Thai in Green Lake for fabulous curry and noodle dishes, then went back to visit with Thandi and Theo before heading back to Adam's house. Plans for Sunday may include the aquarium but will depend on the weather! 

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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Friday, February 24, 2023

Poem for Friday and Primavera

By Esther Popel

The moon
Was an old, old woman, tonight,
Hurrying home;
Calling pitifully to her children,
The stars,
Begging them to go home with her
For she was afraid,
But they would not.
They only laughed
While she crept along
Huddling against the dark blue wall of the Night
Stooping low,
Her old black hood wrapped close about her ears,
And only the pale curve of her yellow cheek
With a tear in the hollow of it
Showing through.
And the wind laughed too,
For he was teasing the old woman,
Pelting her with snowballs,
Filling her old eyes with the flakes of them,
Making her cold.
She stumbled along, shivering,
And once she fell,
And the snow buried her;
And all her jewels
Slid from the old bag
Under her arm
And fell to earth,
And the tall trees seized them,
And hung them about their necks,
And filled their bony arms with them.
All their nakedness was covered by her jewels,
And they would not give them back to her.
The old moon-woman moaned piteously,
Hurrying home;
And the wild wind laughed at her
And her children laughed too,
And the tall trees taunted her
With their glittering plunder.


I had a lot of chores to do on Thursday and I also had to have a fasting blood draw (which had to be scheduled right before noon, since I had to move the original appointment from early next week). So I was hungry and a little woozy doing chores in the morning, though I got the really good phlebotomist, at least. Paul picked us up bagels at the Brooklyn Deli while I was in the lab, so I got a good lunch too. 

The guy fixing the basement paneling finished in the late afternoon, so we went for a walk in the park before dinner. Afterward, I chatted with my Thursday night fangirl group, then we watched another episode of The Lost Symbol, and now for some reason I have Camp Rock on -- okay, I've never seen it and yesterday I watched StarStruck so this is actually a step up. Spring is fully early in this area: 

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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Poem for Thursday and Meadowlark Animals

Go, book: go, vessel laden with the mind
By Hafez
Translated by Elizabeth Bridges

Go, book: go, vessel laden with the mind
That builded thee, go now & bear thy freight
Of man’s old messaging to all mankind.

Say first:—Such oft-told things as I relate,
Such pond’rous words strung on unperish’d thought,
Such pearly praises worn by countless queens,
Such temper’d swords wherewith heroes have fought,
Such sceptres that have ruled all earth’s demesnes,
Such broider’d robes, such antique jewelry,
Such orbs, such thrones, such treasures (say thou then)
These the rich heritage of poesy
Are as wealth’s burden is to untaught men;

Life’s costly crowns that but disaster bring,
To who is not in spirit born a king.


I spent a lot of Wednesday excavating the back of the lower shelves of my corner armoire, where I had costume jewelry mostly bought in college and grad school kept in plastic containers. I had already sorted some to give to the same freecyclers to whom I gave my last batch of sparkly jewelry from 30 years ago, so I decided to go through all the rest and though it took the entire afternoon, I have successfully sorted and given away all the earrings I haven't worn since the '90s. I also found some jewelry that used to be my grandmas, so that was a nice surprise. 

 I needed to be in the house because the basement wall panel was being repaired and Paul was on work calls. I got to talk to two of my high school friends at lunchtime, and and I got to console my cats who were extremely displeased about having a stranger making loud noises in the basement. We had a quick dinner so I could watch the end of Thor with Kristen, then we put on a couple more episodes of The Lost Symbol, which seems to be varying from the book. Here are some of the animals we saw at Meadowlark Gardens over the weekend: 








Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Poem for Wednesday and Tundra Swans

Dream of the Tundra Swan
By Joyce Sidman

Dusk fell
and the cold came creeping,
cam prickling into our hearts.
As we tucked beaks
into feathers and settled for sleep,
our wings knew.

That night, we dreamed the journey:
ice-blue sky and the yodel of flight,
the sun's pale wafer,
the crisp drink of clouds.
We dreamed ourselves so far aloft
that the earth curved beneath us
and nothing sang but
a whistling vee of light.

When we woke, we were covered with snow.
We rose in a billow of white.


Tuesday felt so much like a Monday that I forgot it was Mardi Gras until after lunch. Meanwhile I did laundry, sorted photos from the weekend, and waited for the forecast rain and hail that never arrived. So we went for a walk to see all the neighborhood flowers, picked up a freecycled candle, and had gumbo for dinner that was in the crock pot all day. 

My Voyager group watched Bliss, an episode so terrible that none of us remembered a thing about it, then Paul and I started watching The Lost Symbol, which we'd meant to watch months ago and kept forgetting about; I've forgotten many details from the book, which is probably just as well. Wild birds at Mason Neck, including swans and hawks: 








Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Greetings from Meadowlark Gardens

Paul had President's Day off, so after a morning visit from the guy who's repairing our basement paneling, we went to Meadowlark Gardens. We assumed they would have at least as much in bloom as Brookside, and we were right: there were lots of snowdrops, crocuses, lenten roses, apricot blossoms, and witch hazel, as well as some daffodils and planted pansies and violets. There were also pairs of geese and ducks, and, even though it was mostly overcast, several turtles! The conservatory mostly had succulents and cacti, though there were also many, many flowers on the bird of paradise plant. We stopped at Giant on the way home and I met Kristen online for Thor

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After dinner, we watched this week's not-my-favorite Fantasy Island, then we put on You People, which I was nervous about from the reviews. But I really enjoyed it and am rolling my eyes at some of the manufactured outrage; of course characters expressed racism and anti-Semitism in a movie about how racism and anti-Semitism work in relationships! I had expected more silly comedy and was pleased the movie knew to take itself and its cringe seriously. Sure, the ages of some of the cast members was odd, but that's almost always true of women being cast as mothers, and there were some interesting acting choices before the silly ending.