The next day was our 23rd wedding anniversary. We slept in and planned our day more carefully.

We were more mindful during our walk to the shuttle and spotted some of the places where we screwed up — like the street with the “No outlet” sign that did have an outlet for our purposes. Back at the park, we watched a couple of bands and then hopped on the shuttle and got off in town. There we had a big, delicious, and fortifying meal to get us through the rest of the day.

There was a chalkboard in the restroom and someone had written two names and that they were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. Underneath someone was celebrating their first. I added us to the list.

As we waited for the shuttle to take us back, a black Corvette cruised by cranking bluegrass.

A punk rock busker sang his heart out across the street. Bob went over to BS with him and make a donation. Later wished he’d asked his name. He decided it would be Cheese-Bong.

Back at the festival, we got to see Jeff Tweedy! Hannah will never forgive me for not mentioning him in the first post.

He was fantastic and hilarious. When he got on stage he told us it was his birthday (52!)(Also: our wedding anniversary is the same day as Jeff Tweedy’s birthday!) and he joked that he was full of cantaloupe.

Later I found an explanation in this tweet. If you don’t want to click — a local farmstand put up a sign asking Jeff Tweedy to stop for a free cantaloupe. The pictures are cute.

We finished at 9pm on the second day and took the shuttle back and didn’t get turned around once finding our place.

Here’s a deer that wandered into the yard while we were drinking our morning tea before we left.

Random festival observation: Artists still call them records.

Another observation and casual conversation I had with more than one person: people were nice and well behaved. I didn’t see any wasted people staggering around making trouble. Also completely age diverse crowd: kids, young people, moms and dads, olds.

On the way home there was a car pulled to the side of the highway. In the distance you could see a guy walking with a gas can. He was a big guy with lots of red hair and a giant beard. As we drove by someone stopped to give him a ride.

It was a fun weekend. I could be convinced to return to this festival.

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FESTIVAL!! Day 1.5

For certain events there were problems keeping with the schedule. We waited for 45 minutes to see Lindy West and then found out that they hadn’t even started the event scheduled before her.

This ended up okay because when we gave up we were able to see John C. Reilly.

For our last event of the night, we went to the Officer and A Gentleman reading which was great. At the end the cast and audience did “Up Where We Belong” karaoke. I would have been bummed if “Up Where We Belong” didn’t fit in there somehow.

By the time it finished it was 12:45 am. Event organizers said the shuttles would continue until everything ended but we didn’t want to risk a walk back to the shuttle stop if that wasn’t true. The schedule said shuttles ended at midnight.

We were somewhat prepared for this and knew it was about a 1/2 hour walk to our room.

That might be true but it’s a half hour walk for people who know where they are going. The light situation ranged from dim to dark to completely dark and we got turned around several times. Bob’s phone battery was long dead. When we were close but still not sure where we were going, my phone decided that using the flashlight and GPS at the same time was hard and it wasn’t doing a good enough job so it shut itself off. 

Now we had two dead phones and had to try to find this place in the dark in the middle of the night with only a vague notion where we were going.

We stumbled back and forth and finally made it back to the room at 2am.

Bob said it was 25 years ago we went to Lollapalooza together — our first festival. I said: and today is our last!

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Port Townsend is exceptionally beautiful but also, it smells like bad cabbage and farting goats.

Just as we turned into town we saw a big deer and a baby deer. My notes say to show a photo. I did not take a photo of this.

Bob booked an airbnb–this was part of how he tricked me, it was a good rate and he wanted to grab it while he could–Do it! I said, happily pliable with anesthesia.

It was a room in someone’s house and it was perfect. We took a quick nap and took off for the day, heading for the shuttle stop.

The venue was Fort Worden Historical State Park and parking was limited so the organizers worked out parking lots with shuttles. Our room was about a half hour walk from Fort Worden and a short walk from a shuttle stop. Remember this piece of information for later.

As we walked down the hill we saw a shuttle and ran and waved to catch it. We were the first ones on the bus. The bus drove a long route and many happy people with backpacks and sunhats boarded. Already we were having fun.

This is our shuttle driver cosplaying my dad. Like the way he uses his phone while he drives the bus?

This music festival was exactly like the other ones I’ve done: the fun parts were super fun, but the not fun parts were terrible. I’m not really music festival material. Maybe if I did drugs? I think you have to be able to just relax and go with whatever is happening. I can’t get over the desire for things to follow a schedule and proceed in an orderly fashion.

Fun parts: Everywhere you look around Port Townsend is beautiful. The weather was sunny but mild. People were super friendly. I didn’t know much about the music so enjoyed it in the moment and it was a wide variety and really fun.

This is my new favorite: Black Belt Eagle Scout — I have waited my entire life to see an indigenous woman lead a band like this.

We also saw John C. Reilly, the actor, who has a band that does bluegrass/classic country/folk songs and he was AMAZING. He is so funny and genuine and charming. He seems like someone you could be friends with.

We loved Orville Peck., Giants in the Trees and Cafe Tacvba We liked everything we saw but I can’t remember them all. Here’s a link to the complete lineup: Thing NW.

Welcome to The Thing festival.

Officer and A Gentleman was filmed in this town and there was a late night reading of the script with some local actor/podcast type people plus John C Reilly as the Lou Gossett Jr. character. That big building behind the stage is the blimp hangar where they big beatdown scene took place.

So now for the not fun parts: everything else. There were organizational problems and long lines for everything. The food was expensive and not very good. There weren’t enough vendors so the ones there were working like crazy, running out of stuff, and completely harried. There was a very long, special line to buy booze tickets and you had to pay for booze with the tickets. There was no work around. The schedule fell apart for some of our events and communication was poo.

This would bite us in the boodini, later.

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Box of Sweaters

The purpose of this photo is to show you how tall that one sunflower is. I think it’s still growing. A couple more inches and it will be taller than the shed. I know the garden looks like a disaster here. I’ve cleaned up part of it.

This morning I got up early, ready to tackle all the odds and ends of life including a bunch of things that I have been putting off forever.

One of the things I have been putting off forever is a warning box for this website, telling me I had to update something. I clicked around looking for the directions and then clicked some more and then when I updated it, it announced that [I broke my email.]

This is a huge over-simplification because I don’t want you to pass out from boredom while you read this.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t really put off fixing my email for later so I spent the morning swearing and pulling my hair out and thinking about cocktails.

It works now but the whole thing created new problems that I need help before I can fix. Or maybe I will live without.

As we were preparing to go off for our day of festival-ing Bob pondered over which sweater to bring. “What is that?” I asked. “That’s my box of sweaters I keep in the car,” he told me. “These are important sweaters,” he added.

I’m going to break this story up into a few posts.

Last week we had our main summer adventure.

When I was recovering from my endoscopy and still high on anesthesia, Bob tricked me into agreeing to go to a music festival out of town.

It might seem strange to some people that we would run off to a music festival right after we lost Priscilla but Bob was determined and the festival was in the town where Priscilla grew up, so there was a connection. Off we went.

We got up early Saturday morning for our drive north.

Like this map? We thought it was helpful, too.

It was a beautiful morning. Right before we got to Kalama a whole bunch of motorcycles whizzed by. They weren’t big bikes – more like sporty bikes. They zoomed by one by one like bumblebees.

By 9:30 we were already at Potlatch State Park.

This is a terrible picture of a beautiful place.

Back in the car, Bob started talking about music and said something about Harry Chapin and how dramatic his songs are. I immediately burst into my most dramatic rendition of Without You which turns out, is not Harry Chapin, it’s Harry Nilsson. Harry Chapin is the Cats in the Cradle guy. I said I thought that was Cat Stevens. Cat Stevens is the Wild World guy. I did correctly know that Jim Croce is the Time in a Bottle guy.

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Farewell Priscilla Feb 4 1928 – Aug 22 2019

Here’s young Priscilla instilling a love of reading in the older son, Bob.

We lost my wonderful mother-in-law Priscilla just over a week ago. It wasn’t completely unexpected yet seemed to happen so fast.

She was a wife, mother, school teacher, mystery reader, music lover, photographer’s assistant, fabulous comfort food cook, sneaky sense of humor, zoo docent and lover of animals, great with kids and had an endlessly generous heart.

She raised two terrific sons who doted on her to the very end. It’s going to be weird without her.

Here she is, zoo volunteer.

I have a box of her recipes that I hope to go through and cook and then post some of the classics. My husband will love this project.

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Everything All At Once

These are lemon cucumbers.

There are a lot of major things going on that need to be put here but as per my entire life, everything is happening at the same time and I can’t get to it right now. I am hoping over the holiday weekend I can catch up.

Meanwhile, lemon cucumbers are one of my favorite garden treats and I have intermittent success growing them. The last time I was successful I planted an entire package of seeds and ended up with about 6 good plants.

This year I planted a bunch of seeds two different times and I had two sad little stems that never did anything. Late into the season I was walking into the grocery store and passed the clearance plant rack and there was a lemon cucumber. After a brief hesitation, I put it in my cart.

I planted it and fertilized it and was thrilled to see it take off.

Do these look like lemon cucumbers to you?

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It’s That Time Again

This is my healthy tomato plant, loaded with tomatoes. It’s so loaded I have it the tomato cage staked.

Another of the special features of the rental house next door is a walnut tree growing out of the side of the house. I don’t think this is a good idea but since the owners live in another country and nobody else cares what happens to that house, the tree remains and gets bigger all the time.

Right now it is full of walnuts and squirrels. That’s what I am listening to right now — squirrels romping around the tree and walnuts hitting the ground.

The house next door has been reasonable lately until this weekend when they woke me up at least three times on Friday night and once last night so I’m thinking unkind thoughts about them again.

Remember that time I found a shriveled red potato in the back of the potato drawer? I ran out into the rain with a trowel and shoved it in the dirt. This weekend I decided to dig up one of my many, many potato hills and all of these came out of one spot. That’s four pounds of potatoes. Potato salad coming to our supper table soon.

I canned applesauce yesterday with colleague but somehow in this world where we can have everything on all our devices — even things we don’t want — all the time and anywhere, I can’t pull up a photo of our 12 pints on this computer. It’s a beautiful pink color and very delicious. We each got 6 pints plus a giant bowl to eat this week.

Last weekend we went with Geena to the Clark County Fair which was super fun and I have photos but somehow I look like Great Aunt Eunice who never washes her hair and enjoys collecting bits of string so I’m not going to share those with you. We watched the dueling dogs that jump off this dock and race across a pool — the jumps are amazing. We looked at sheep and goats and bunnies and chickens. We listened to the fiddling championships. We ate fried Nutella, onion rings, fish tacos, peach milkshakes, and had a beer before we shook shook shook our booties with KC and the Sunshine band. An epic fun day.

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Clarionwest Beg-A-Thon Week #6 Wrap-Up

The workshop is finished. Everyone goes home today probably heartbroken, happy, and exhausted. I think I slept twelve hours the first two nights I got home. I’d already taken six weeks off work but they let me take Monday, too, because I needed it.

Check out Percy making some figs. Don’t think he has the juice to finish the job this summer but maybe we’ll get a few next summer.

In the interest of complete honesty: I failed at my meager write-a-thon goals. I’m still fiddling with my story idea and thinking I just need one more weekend to get it worked out which looking at history, there’s a good chance this story is doomed. But I can’t bring myself to trunk it yet. I never even looked at the kayak story which needs a little light tweaking and it’s ready to go out the door.

However, I also busted ass to get that last self-published book done in May so I could enjoy summer things and I am doing that. I’ve read almost 20 books since then and I’ve done lots of family things and made lots of pies. I’ve watched shows and a bunch of soccer matches and have a better garden than usual.

After this month I’m going to ramp back up.

A couple of pumpkins out front plus one blue hubbard squash.

If you forgot and think it’s too late. It’s not. You can donate anytime. All donations are welcome.

Donation Links:

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks to everyone who supported me and the workshop. We raised over $16K. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4 Report

Bad Kissingen salt graduation tower

I did do writing and writing related activities but I failed at my goal to finish my first draft this week. I won’t even make excuses.

I am unlikely to finish a first draft next week either as I’ve got family coming into town.

This week my goal is to keep doing writing related stuff when I can and otherwise not worrying about it. There’s a whole big world out there.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week Week #3 Report

I didn’t make huge progress on my goal this week. I changed the characters around a little and there’s some rearranging and new bits that need to be done. I didn’t get far.

Meanwhile, a couple of new romance related tidbits have come up that have taken my attention. I’m not going to elaborate at the moment but there maybe be more information coming. I’m not writing another romance, but instead of being 99% certain, the meter has moved to 75% certain.

But I’m relaxing and enjoying summer still so I’m not making decisions right now.

Things I did more successfully this week:

Picked, prepared, and ate bush beans and peas. We have so, so, so many.

Watched soccer: Sunday we had the Women’s World Cup Final and the Timbers played NYCFC. The US Men played Mexico in the Gold Cup Final and normally I would have watched it but I ran out of steam by then.

I finished Stranger Things 3 last night. I love this series.

The only goal for this week is to finish a first draft of my story even if it’s a really ugly draft.

As of yesterday the write-a-thon had 165 participating writers and had raised over $10,000. Thanks to everyone!

There’s still lots of time to donate. All donations are welcome.

Donation Links:

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks for supporting nerd writers.

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