Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Poem for Monday and Snoqualmie Bear

Furry Bear 
By A.A. Milne 

If I were a bear,
And a big bear too,
I shouldn't much care
If it froze or snew;
I shouldn't much mind
If it snowed or friz--
I'd be all fur-lined
With a coat like his!

For I'd have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
And brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
I'd have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws.
And brown fur mittens on my big brown paws.
With a big brown furry-down up to my head,
I'd sleep all the winter in a big fur bed.

-------- 

I was having a good Monday until half an hour ago when my phone fell out of my pocket as I was carrying recycling down the steps and crashed on the concrete walkway below -- the screen is shattered and the back is cracked, so it is pretty unusable, and I'm going to Oregon this weekend and it would have been really nice to have a working phone with a decent camera. I got a lovely late anniversary gift, an egg chair swing, which is set up on the deck, which is now free of mud dauber wasps, which were building nests at the top until the maintenance company for our apartment complex knocked them down. 

Adam and Haley have arrived in New England and he got yet another day of birthday celebrations with her family. Meanwhile, we had gorgeous weather, high 60s and breezy, so I found excuses to walk to the mailbox and office. We saw ducks and otters in the evening after eagles and geese in the afternoon when we walked on the dock. In between, we watched most of the Deadpool red carpet premiere interviews, then most of the Mariners-Angels game, which started well but ended badly for Seattle. Here are photos I keep meaning to post of the bear we saw from the chair lift and Summit at Snoqualmie: 

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Monday, July 22, 2024

Greetings from Fremont

Sunday dawned overcast with some spitting rain, but that did not stop us from picking up Adam and Haley to go to Constellation Park, where the tide was extremely low, making it a great morning for tidepool viewing. After seeing many sea stars, anemones, snails, crabs, chitons, sea cucumbers, and other beach life -- even a bunny on the way to the shore -- we went to Cactus for brunch, then walked to the other side of Alki Point to the Alki Art Fair, where we looked at paintings and crafts before heading back to Adam's apartment to walk Pepper. 

It was probably our last time walking Pepper in Seattle, as we spent the afternoon preparing to take Adam, Haley, and Pepper to the airport to fly to New England to move her things to Ohio, while his things will ship in a couple of weeks. While they packed, I caught Tynamo for Pokemon Community Day and read the awesome Kamala Harris memes, which was the best way to process Biden dropping out of the race. We had cake belatedly for Adam's birthday, gave him a few presents, took some perishables, and got home from dropping them off at SeaTac around 10 p.m. 

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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Poem for Saturday and Larsen Lake Farm

Blueberries 
By James Lasdun 

I’m talking to you old man.
Listen to me as you step inside this garden
to fill a breakfast bowl with blueberries
ripened on the bushes I’m planting now,
twenty years back from where you’re standing.
It’s strictly a long-term project—first year
pull off the blossoms before they open,
second year let them flower, watch the bees
bobbing in every bonnet,
but don’t touch the fruit till year three,
and then only sample a handful or two...
Old man I’m doing this for you!
You know what they say about blueberries:
blood-cleansing, mood-lifting memory-boosters;
every bush a little fountain of youth
sparkling with flavonoids, anthocyanin...
I’ve spent all summer clearing brush
sawing locust poles for the frames,
digging in mounds of pine needles, bales of peat moss—
I thought I’d do it while I still could.
You can do something for me in turn:
think about the things an old man should;
things I’ve shied away from, last things.
Care about them only don't care too
(you’ll know better than I do what I mean
or what I couldn’t say, but meant).
Reconcile, forgive, repent,
but don’t go soft on me; keep the faith,
our infidels’ implicit vow:
“not the hereafter but the here and now...”
Weigh your heart against the feather of truth
as the Egyptians did, and purge its sin,
but for your own sake, not your soul’s.
And since the only certain
eternity’s the one that stretches backward,
look for it here inside this garden:
Blueray, Bluecrop, Bluetta, Hardy Blue;
little fat droplets of transubstantiate sky,
each in its yeast-misted wineskin, chilled in dew.
This was your labor, these are the fruits thereof.
Fill up your bowl old man and bring them in.

-------- 

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and it also happened to be Adam's birthday, though Paul and I didn't see him because he had plans all day with friends. Instead we did some shopping and went to pick blueberries at Larsen Lake Farm, where the lake overlook was closed because some kids managed to set it on fire on the Fourth of July, but we still got to see families of ducks, lots of flowers, and thousands of blueberries (we picked about four pounds).

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We got home in time for nearly all of the Orioles game, which was great, and the Mariners game, which was fine until the seventh inning when they went down 3-2 and things only got worse from there. Now we're watching My Spy: The Eternal City, which like the first My Spy gets kudos for its female characters but its tone is wildly uneven -- too violent and crude for kids, too much teen drama for grownups. Hoping the girls save the day!

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Greetings from Redmond

Another quick post, as we were out most of the evening seeing Six at the Redmond Academy of Theatre Arts, which mostly teaches classes and runs camps for young people. The first time I saw Six, I told Paul I thought it could be done well by a group of high school students who could sing and dance, and this production proved that -- some were stronger singers than others but they could all follow choreography and the two who really needed to be able to act beyond comic timing were very good.

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It was otherwise a quiet Friday, chores in the morning when Effie would permit laundry to be folded (she likes to sleep in full baskets), a walk after noon to Idylwood Beach where the Redmond police department were handing out popsicles -- "Pops With Cops" -- to the people enjoying the weather. We ate leftovers for dinner and now we're watching the end of Young Woman and the Sea, which like many sports movies is formulaic but well-acted (lots of Brits doing lots of accents) and filmed.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Lyrics for Thursday and Melissa Etheridge Concert

Don’t You Need 
By Melissa Etheridge 

I had a dream late last night
The water was running low
And my fields were on fire, burning my sky
My body was moving slow
And when I awoke I tasted the sweat 
Of desire on my mouth
And I realized my heart had abducted my mind
And they were last seen headed south
Now I can't sleep I'm so wired
And I find myself screaming out

Don't you need? Don't you want?
Can't you taste it when you're alone?
Don't you cry? Don't you feel?
Sometimes I wonder if you are real
Don't you bleed, don't you need

There's no quenching the thirst, there's no relief
For the hungry at heart
And as far as you're concerned I'm just a thief
Entertaining in the dark
But it's you that holds the cards
Now that the joker is wild

Don't you need? Don't you want?
Can't you taste it when you're alone?
Don't you cry? Don't you feel?
Sometimes I wonder if you are real
Don't you bleed, don't you need

Don't you want to lay it down
And feel your skin against the ground?
Don't you want to ride the storm
And then sleep inside the calm?
Don't you want to get that high?
Don't you want to be satisfied?
Well if you don't want it from me
Don't you need?

I had a dream late last night
The water was running low
And my fields were on fire, burning my sky
How was I to know
That I burn every night in my dreams
And only morning can set me free

-------- 

My Thursday major events mostly took place on the phone and on Skype. We're having to reconsider the kind and amount of help Paul's mother needs in assisted living, which required consultation with both the facility where they live and with his brothers, and I have a friend who's going through some personal stuff, so I was trying to figure out whether I could help her out. It was quite warm, but we walked to the beach, where the water is finally warmer and the sand is lovely, and I talked to most of my Thursday chat group. 

We watched the season finale of The Boys, which I had read that the producers were uneasy about given current events, and without any spoilers, let's just say that I never know whether to laugh or cry when that show accurately predicts or reflects the shitshow that is American corporate politics and media. Now we're watching The World's Greatest Fair, a special on the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, which I know less about than 1893. Here are some more photos of Melissa Etheridge, Jewel, Lee Oscar, and the Marymoor concert grounds:

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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Greetings from Marymoor

Extreme quickie, just back from fabulous Jewel and Melissa Etheridge concert at Marymoor with Paul and Chris (we went over early, walked by the river, ate veggie burgers and gnocchi tots from Bread and Circuses food truck), after an otherwise lovely Wednesday during which I also chatted with high school friends in the morning and watched the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with Kristen. A few pics, more tomorrow! 

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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Poem for Tuesday and Crystal Mountain Views

May Perpetual Light Shine 
By Patricia Spears Jones 

We have encountered storms
Perfect in their drench and wreck

Each of us bears an ornament of grief
A ring, a notebook, a ticket torn, scar
It is how humans know their kind—

What is known as love, what can become 
the heart’s food stored away for some future
Famine

Love remains a jewel in the hand, guarded
Shared fragments of earth & air   drift & despair.

We ponder what patterns matter other than moons and tides:
musical beats—rumba or waltz or cha cha cha
cosmic waves like batons furiously twirling
colors proclaiming sparkle of darkness
as those we love begin to delight
in the stars embracing 

-------- 

Tuesday was another hot day, but I was able to spend it mostly in the shade -- first at home doing chores in the morning, then meeting younger son for lunch at Kitanda (acai and Brazilian bread) between his eye doctor appointment and mine, and then at the ophthalmologist who gave me the good news that the surgery I had a couple of months ago to avoid glaucoma appears to have been successful. 

I talked to my Trek group and we watched the All-Star Game (yay AL) around the season finale that better not be the series finale of The Acolyte, which I really enjoyed but which did not answer all its questions. Now we're watching Armageddon, which I got in the mood for from accidentally catching the end on AMC. Peaks we saw from the summit of Crystal Mountain, including Rainier, Adams, Baker, and St. Helens:

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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Poem for Monday and County Fair Races

Lessons Learned On A Farm 
By Donal Mahoney 

America has two kinds
of migrants, those with money
and those with hope,
a farmer's wife told me the day
I stopped to buy some eggs.
She was surprised I had driven
all the way out from the city.
Not many strangers do.

She knew the suburb I lived in,
one of those small inner-ring suburbs,
she called it, one of the old ones between
the city and the new suburbs farther out,
the ones that have better schools,
a nicer life, more opportunity.
She had a married son rearing
a family in one of the new suburbs.
He used to live where I do, she said,
but took his wife and kids and moved.

I said many of my neighbors
had moved out there too and
claim I should join them but
I'm partial to old brownstones,
cobbled streets and alleys.
I played ball in an alley as a child
and I still miss the fun.
I guess I'm not practical.

She said she hoped I'd take no insult
but asked if I didn't realize those
who leave the old suburbs
think of them as Death Valley?
And those who escape the city
and move to the old suburbs
think they've gone to paradise.
Did I get her point, she asked?
I said I certainly did.

Some city folks, I mentioned,
had moved to my block
and they really take care
of their house and property.
It can be embarrassing, I said.

Moving on to another cow,
she paused to say that if
I liked urban life, that's fine
but even if the old suburbs are
half way to heaven for the migrants
moving in, they're close to hell for
the migrants moving out.
Did I get her drift, she asked?
How could I miss it, I said?

She said that out in the country,
farmers have a saying that
might apply to folks like me.
To each his own is what they say.
Finished now with her milking,
she kissed her cow, and headed for
the hen house to get my eggs.

-------- 

We had a quiet Monday after our eventful weekend, mostly involving things like work and laundry, though it was less hot out, so we walked to the beach to see the waves as well as along the dock to enjoy the weather. I also dyed my hair for the first time in nearly a year, having been told both that I won't achieve salt-and-pepper gray without dye anyway and that it's very hard to color gray into previously colored hair; I was trying for light golden brown, ended up very reddish brown, so now I'm told I need purple shampoo to get the orange to fade. 

I chatted online with Daniel, who's currently on a road trip with his fiancee and her parents to her sister's wedding; they took five dogs with them, as they each have dogs who really can't be left with strangers, and rented a camper to take turns driving for several days! I had a quiet evening watching the Home Run Derby, which unfortunately Gunnar Henderson didn't win but I'm happy for Teoscar Hern├índez, and now we're watching Crimson Peak, which was on a big sale on Vudu and Tom Hiddleston is so pretty. Animal races at the King County Fair: 

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