The Bounty is Upon Us

I was in a long line at the store and the guy next to me sighed and said, “June was a long month.”

I said, “For me it went by fast. Usually July is a long month. Then it’s August and then it’s Christmas.”

He sighed again. “That sounds about right.”

Meanwhile, the raspberry situation is out of control. We have been eating them for breakfast although Bob was mixing them with all the usual fruit. I said, “I don’t want to keep wasting my time with apples, I just want berries.”

I made jam and I made a tart. Actually, 2 tarts but the 2nd one has all the berries.

They are slowing down but the blueberries are coming in and the marionberries. Marionberries are super prickly so they are not super fun to pick. I want to ask the women at the farmer’s market who sell giant trays of berries if they feel like they toughen up after while. It seems like the first time I pick I am covered with scratches but now I dig around the middle of the patch and I feel it but my skin is fine.

We have company this week and I expect to make a berry pie or cobbler to keep ahead the deluge.

These are from heirloom seeds that my sister-in-law gave me from Fort Vancouver.

This is 2 weeks ago. I ended up leaving the peas on a little long so I didn’t get those sweet early peas. When I did finally harvest we had a ton of those, too. We are in the process of eating a big bowl and I blanched some and stuck in the freezer.

I’ve also dug some potatoes and we’ve had lots of lettuce. I’m keeping an eye on the bush beans next.

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Deer are Jerks

Here is a giant deer helping itself to my peas.

Honestly, it can have the peas if it leaves the trees alone.

I didn’t even notice the deer had been out there at first. There no turds and I didn’t notice giant divots everywhere from their delicate yet lethal cloven hooves.

Then when I saw the clips, I thought: well, at least they got the memo about not turding all over the place.

But later when I was watering I found turds all around the dahlias.

I am not honored to be the safe place for the deer to poop.

Here are two of them fully enjoying my new plum tree! I can’t even watch the whole video. This was very upsetting. They chewed on the nectaplum, too and a little bit on the apple tree including knocking one of the 7 apples I have left after their apple blossom massacre.

What can you do! Nature! I have “learn about deer fencing” still on my list but it just seems like a pain in the butt. We have to move it to mow and do yard work. Or maybe there’s a way I can just protect the trees? The people at the garden store are incredibly nice so I will ask them but also this is one of the things on my list that I never seem to be in the mood to deal with. Watching the deer ruin the trees is the price I pay.

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Early Morning Scramble Before Going to Bed for the Day

These two are hilariously always active. Sometimes twenty or thirty clips a night. They either barely move or else they sprint across the yard.

I woke up around midnight one night and I was in the kitchen for a drink of water and I saw the motion light go on. They look much bigger in person.

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Before and After

The ads that show up on social media make me so mad: especially when they are things that I actually can use. I guess in this case it was an influencer.

She had a little bit different set up but the gist was using this yellow sticky paper to attract little insects in the house.

I have a couple of plants on the window sill that have little flies and I haven’t had any luck getting rid of them.

Then I saw her video and hopped, skipped, and jumped over to Fred Meyer where I found these little yellow sticky strips and you fold them and fasten into a little plastic stick and put in the plant, and look! They really work! This was about a week’s worth. I’m bringing them to the office, too.

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Cursive

Recently I was talking with some people about young people no longer learning cursive writing. I don’t know if it’s everywhere or just some places. I have no strong feelings about it. They don’t need it. Make it optional.

I’m much less concerned about the loss of cursive than I am about the loss of capitalization and punctuation. But then: old lady shakes fist at clouds. The world moves on.

I wanted to look at my writing over the years so I pulled out my notebooks. The above isn’t the complete set.

I’m wondering what to do with all of these. I hate to throw them away. There’s no reason to keep them. No one is going to want to look at them. Just today looking for cursive samples — there are all kinds of notes inserted and little doodles. I’ll have to think about it.

Look at this adorable cursive for my “creative writing” assignment in seventh grade! (1977).

I really struggled to find writing samples that I could take a picture of. I wrote lots and lots and lots of weepy, angsty, damp-eyed teen garbage that even now, I am too embarrassed to show.

This is from a trip in 2002. There is a lot of 90s writing in the notebooks but see above. I had a lot of feelings that I never got tired writing about.

This is from the Hawaii trip we took at the end of last year. I don’t really write cursive anymore. It’s more of a hybrid of cursive and printing but more heavily on the printing. Every once in a while I try to slow down and write true cursive. It doesn’t come naturally at all.

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Quick Garden Update

I’m pretty excited about what’s going on in the garden except the part where the deer ate all the apple and pear blossoms. Well, not all of them. There are 4 apples and 6 pears. I counted. I took The fig tree is also not as impressive as I would have hoped by now, but still good.

Look at these blueberries! This plant only had about 6 last year. The branches are bending under all the berries. There’s an equally loaded plant on the other side of the yard. Plus a third plant that always has a lot of little ones.

This is the general garden looking pretty good. Lots of potatoes. Some greens. Peas and bush beans. Pumpkins. Sunflowers.

Also the raspberry patch is super loaded. It’s going to be good.

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Home Grown Tomatoes

Sorry for the terrible photos. I kept forgetting and and when I’m doing this my hands are dirty and I have gloves. I have to take off the gloves and grab the camera. And I did a super half-assed job of it.

Please contact a manager for a full refund.

I have put 5 tomatoes in and all of them came from seeds I saved and made the starts on my windowsill.

They get really tall and skinny. I used to try to plant them like this and had a lot of fails.

Then I discovered this one trick! If I was good at social media I could make a movie of my face very confidently telling you about this like I invented it.

But I’m not and I didn’t. Someone on Reddit described it.

I take almost all the leaves off and dig a trough. The long stem goes in the trough and just the last little bit is above the dirt.

Ta da! I have had great success with this method.

I planted one in the backyard and the next day it looked comically wilted. But a few days later it perked up. It still looks a bit scraggily but I think it will make it.

I had another smaller plant I put in the backyard.

I came out the next day to check on it and it was nothing but slug trails and dirt. The entire plant was gone. Dang slugs!

I don’t keep track of what I start but I think they are all smaller sized tomatoes. It’s been awhile since I had a huge crop of tomatoes. I intend to put a couple of raised beds in a corner I am currently rehabbing and think that will help. But not ready yet.

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I’ll Be There For You

I just finished rewatching the entire series of Friends. 236 episodes. I never watched more than 1 a day and sometimes would go a week or longer without watching an episode so it took at least a couple of years.

May 6 was the 20 year anniversary since the airing of the series finale.

I’ve seen a few episodes here and there since then but I never did a re-watch from beginning to end. The show holds up for me. I think Season 5 is the best — every episode is a classic.

For individual episodes: the one with Phoebe’s “my eyes! my eyes!”, the one with Monica and Ross’s routine, and the one with “PIVOT!” are my favorite.

At work, if we’re ever in a meeting and someone uses pivot, my colleague and I will spend the rest of the day exclaiming “PIVOT!” with Ross intonation and die laughing every time.

We lost Matthew Perry during my rewatch. I had already decided to skip his memoir but I ended up getting the audiobook- which he reads. It wasn’t sad in the moment because while he was reading it to me, he was there. But the end was super sad because he was so optimistic about his future. I should rephrase this because the memoir itself is really sad. This guy had troubles from a young age and I think getting so much fame and money so early on top of that made things tough for him.

After all that I re-watched the reunion show which was aired in 2021 so the audience is sparse and many are wearing masks. The reunion show was so enjoyable and well done. I could watch the cast reacting to their own bloopers all day. The other night I dreamed I was watching Friends with Matt LeBlanc. He was very nice and we were both laughing hysterically.

I wish I had some clever concluding thoughts but as always, this has been sitting half-written for two days and if I don’t finish now, I don’t know when I can get back to it. I will say this, the show was whatever the opposite of a perfect storm would be: the creators, writers and cast were fabulous and came together perfectly. There is no other show like it.

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May 5 is MMIP Awareness Day!

[Well, POOP: As per every single time, I was trying to write a post before dinner. Dinner was ready. Bob was waiting. I hurried to finish this and … Didn’t hit the publish button. Too late now. Story will be available this summer.]

Tomorrow is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day.

Apex Magazine bought a story of mine called “Loss Prevention” that has a MMIP theme. The official publication isn’t until July but they will be running it on their Patreon tomorrow for free.

The story on Patreon on May 5 here.

More info:

Indigenous people, particularly women and young girls, are disproportionately affected by violence. A growing movement led by Native communities and advocates seeks justice for our lost people. May 5 is designated “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day” to memorialize these lost individuals and raise awareness of the tragedy.

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The Tale of the Sad Fruit Orchard

I have a fuzzy trail cam clip but I don’t have the energy to fix it up to post right this second.

The deer returned.

I saw their hoof-prints and turd-piles so I knew they had been through.

I looked over the apple and pear trees and initially thought they looked okay. Just a few nibbles. But after I saw the clips I took a closer look and realized that the fruit buds are gone. There are maybe 2 apple and a few pear left. They didn’t damage the new trees because they are too new and have nothing on them except tiny leaf buds.

Also, there is one new blueberry out in the front of the house that is missing all the buds.

The bird feeders are down. There is no intentional food for them out there. I’m super bummed. It seems like the solution is deer fencing but I’m not sure how that is going to work in our yard. I don’t want to turn it into an obstacle course.

I just want a happy place where fruit trees and wildlife can live together in peace but I will get the fruit.

This is from the Orleans trip. This is Summer wading through a giant puddle.

Mom wanted me to drive through this puddle.

I told her no, I have a city car. It doesn’t go through lakes of mud.

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