Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Greetings from Redmond

I got to spend Presidents' Day with Adam and Haley, so it was a lovely day! They came over for eggs, sausages, and waffles, since they had brought us maple syrup and maple fudge from New England, which we had with brunch. Then we walked Pepper out on the dock, where we saw one of the eagles, and walked to the beach at Idylwood, where we saw another of the eagles, plus lots of ducks and geese. When we got back, we looked at old photos and spoiled pets. 

Haley had never been to Kitanda, so we went there for dinner and I got to have acai and Brazilian cheese bread again. Then they headed back to Adam's apartment, and we came home to watch this week's Masters of the Air, which was very sad and stressful. Now we're watching the end of the first season of Pearson, which isn't realistic but is well acted and I'm sorry they didn't make additional seasons...as long as Gina Torres is back on the Suits revival. 

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Monday, February 19, 2024

Greetings from Carkeek

I have had a strange, sad Sunday, although the forecast rain only produced the faintest drizzle. I learned that someone I have known my entire life had died suddenly, not someone I have been close with for several years, but I have lots of warm childhood memories of her plus many gatherings with our families over several decades. She was a bit older than me but still too young to die, and now her grandchildren will never know her. 

So I had that terrible news in mind when Paul and I went to Carkeek Park, which we haven't visited in a couple of years. The nearby creek is known as a place locally to see snowdrops blooming, and indeed we did, as well as elaborate beaver dams and half-gnawed trees. The beach is on the other side of the train tracks, and we saw a seal from the bridge, little crabs and snails on the beach, and wigeons and mergansers in the Sound.

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I saw enough of the People's Choice Awards to enjoy Jeremy Renner hugging Tom Hiddleston, who survived Taylor Swift jokes, then we watched An American In Austen on the Hallmark Channel, which is like a kindler, gentler Lost In Austen and while I missed some of the bite, I liked the ending much better and really felt like it treated the women better since it wasn't obsessed with trying to keep the modern character centered.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Greetings from Brightwater

Saturday was another gorgeous day, so after a fairly quiet morning and a bagel, we went to the Brightwater treatment plant to see if anything was blooming there. The education center garden didn't have much, but there were flowering trees in the woods and ducks and geese in the water, plus a bunny in the brush! Since we were already in Woodinville, we stopped at World Market there and got a bunch of food and half-price Valentine treats.

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We've watched through the third episode of Pearson, which is one of the reasons we thought it was worth getting Peacock for a month (as the internet warned, the subtitles don't work, and I hate paying for commercials, but the show is good). Now it's nearly midnight and we are just back from getting Adam and his girlfriend Haley from the airport -- after several weeks in Alaska and Maine, he is back on this coast for a week or so!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Greetings from the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Paul only had to work half a day on Friday, so I did a bunch of chores in the morning, then we went to Kitanda in Redmond Town Center for lunch -- we'd thought about going there for Valentine's Day, but after taking a walk, I was chilly and not in the mood for an acai bowl, whereas today I really wanted one. We stopped to pick up Blazing Bagels, then went to the Bellevue Botanical Garden to see what was blooming this early -- crocuses, daffodils, reticulated irises, winter daphne, witch hazel, apricot blossoms! 

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We had fabulous Meati carne asada for dinner, then we decided to pay for a month of Peacock so we could watch Oppenheimer tonight and Pearson in the next couple of weeks. I tried everything the internet suggested and still can't get the subtitles to work, but the movie is excellent: brilliant cast, great pacing, good balance of physics, philosophy, and politics...underwritten women's roles, but what else is new in Big Men Biopics? It's stressful and powerful in all the best ways, and RDJ deserves all his awards.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Poem for Thursday and Ferrel McWhirter Animals

Here and There 
By Juan Felipe Herrera 

I sit and meditate—my dog licks her paws
on the red-brown sofa
so many things somehow
it all is reduced to numbers letters figures
without faces or names only jagged lines
across the miles half-shadows
going into shadow-shadow then destruction             the infinite light

here and there                cannot be overcome   
it is the first drop of ink


I had a quiet Thursday until evening, doing a bunch of computer work and organizing. Our neighbors stopped by to deny that they were the ones who sent us a valentine from our cats -- there were really no other suspects, since it was hand delivered outside the door! In the afternoon, we took a walk to the beach and out on the dock to see the eagles, who were in our area of the lake. 

My Thursday night chat group met minus one person, but we had a nice long conversation. Then Paul and I had leftover Indian food and pizza before we caught up on Quantum Leap, which I think has its season finale already next week. Here are some of the animals who live at the farm at Ferrel McWhirter Park, which has horse stables and a barnyard as well as hiking trails:

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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Poem for Wednesday and February 14

Grizabella, The Glamour Cat 
By T.S. Eliot 

Remark the cat who hesitates towards you
In the light of the door which opens on her like a grin
You see the border of her coat is torn and stained with sand
And you see the corner of her eye twists like a crooked pin.

She haunted many a low resort
Near the grimy road of Tottenham Court;
She flitted about the No Man's Land
From The Rising Sun to The Friend at Hand.
And the postman sighed, as he scratched his head,
You'd really had thought she'd ought to be dead,
And who would ever suppose that that
Was Grizabella, the Glamour Cat?


I had a low-key but nice Valentine's Day starting with over two hours chatting with my high school friends, then lunch, a couple of hours of work, and the first half of Black Widow with Kristen. Then we took a walk to the beach, where I tried to do an Enamorous raid, but there weren't enough Pokemon Go players for us to win. We were thinking about going to Kitanda for dinner but it was so cold that we came home for soup instead! 

We watched the end of Derry Girls, which I'm very sad is over and may actually rewatch from the beginning in a few months -- the music alone would make it worthwhile. Now we're watching Cats, which we settled on after not being able to decide what we were in the mood to watch (I love this movie and I don't care what anyone says, I'm always in the mood for it). Here are some of my Valentine presents and cards from Paul and Cheryl:

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Poem for Tuesday and Early Valentines

Love Is Enough 
By William Morris 

Love is enough: though the world be a-waning,
And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
Though the skies be too dark for dim eyes to discover
The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,
Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,
And this day draw a veil over all deeds passed over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter:
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.


I spent a lot of Tuesday writing to relatives in Australia and Sweden -- I have photos now of ancestors whose names I didn't know a week ago! And yes, I know how boring ancestry is to everyone not in the direct line and many people who are, so I will stop talking about it! But I don't have a lot else to report besides chores and gorgeous weather, which is also usually of interest only to people in proximity of it, though we saw the pair of eagles all over the neighborhood and the cormorants, geese, and ducks enjoying it as well. 

My Voyager group watched "Tsunkatse" which was so much worse than I remembered, despite The Rock being in it (as The Rock, not Dwayne Johnson) and Jeffrey Combs as well, and now, after gumbo for Mardi Gras, we're continuing to binge Derry Girls, which is awesome and has my favorite TV soundtrack of all time, even more than Pushing Daisies. Here we are decorating cupcakes in our neighborhood clubhouse for Valentine's Day (they also had a Lunar New Year party), and various other Valentine gifts and preparation:

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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Poem for Monday and Marymoor Park

From 'Derry' 
By Colette Bryce 

I was born between the Creggan and the Bogside
to the sounds of crowds and smashing glass,
by the river Foyle with its suicides and rip tides.
I thought that city was nothing less

than the whole and rain-domed universe.
A teacher’s daughter, I was one of nine
faces afloat in the looking-glass
fixed in the hall, but which was mine?

I wasn’t ever sure.
We walked to school, linked hand in hand
in twos and threes like paper dolls.
I slowly grew to understand

the way the grey Cathedral cast
its shadow on our learning, cool,
as sunlight crept from east to west.
The adult world had tumbled into hell

from where it wouldn’t find its way
for thirty years. The local priest
played Elvis tunes and made us pray
for starving children, and for peace,

and lastly for ‘The King’. At mass we’d chant
hypnotically, Hail Holy Queen,
mother of mercy; sing to Saint
Columba of his Small oak grove, O Derry mine. 


My Monday involved a lot of chores, though also a lot of ancestry research and correspondence with overseas relatives I didn't know I had three days ago, so that was a delight. I also managed to break the elastic on my Taylor Swift Super Bowl friendship bracelet, so I had to restring it before I put it in with the concert and movie bracelets. 

We started watching Derry Girls, which is hilarious and touching, centered on friends at a Catholic school and their families with the Troubles always in the background. The performances and the music are fantastic. Here are some photos Paul took yesterday of spring coming to Marymoor Park; I was holding my phone to chat with Adam.