Backyard Excitement at The Orange Door: Cat Version

Antares was very interested in being on the catio, and after squinting a bit, I saw what was capturing his interest.

There was a black cat sitting on the fence.

And a calico cat sitting on the porch roof.

Sentinel also wanted to have a look, but from inside.

As with most cat encounters this one ended with the cats wandering off. But it was fun to have four cats in sight.

The ripple, the wave that carried me home

I was glad I caught Christina Anderson’s play about a hometown swimming pool and how it defined one family’s activism.

Lauren Steele was excellent as Janice, the daughter of two parents who grew up swimming in a segregated pool. I enjoyed the efforts of Young Ambitious Black Woman (Chavez Ravine), who was trying to get Janice back to town for the opening of a new pool named after her father.

The present day plot included Janice’s mother (Lauren Steele) and Aunt Gayle (Chavez Ravine again) and was interspersed with scenes from the past with Janice’s father Edwin (Don Kenneth Mason for my performance), mother, aunt and young Janice.

I enjoyed the complex feelings Janice had about swimming and seeing how pool access shaped different generations of her family. And I adored the set that transformed again and again making different kinds of rooms and pools, ultimately ending with this gorgeous looking set.

Should you find yourself with the option to see this play, I highly recommend it. If you are a swimmer, there’s even more motivation to go.

Hocus Pocus at Grand Lodge

Thanks to Laurie driving, Kelly and I journeyed out to Grand Lodge to see Hocus Pocus. You can see how very warm it was for early October.

For all of us, it was the first time we had seen this classic Halloween film. We concluded that we were just the wrong age when it was released (out of college, finishing college, starting college) and because we did not have small children in the 90s and early 2000s, we missed it being played ad nauseum when they were growing up.

While I thought the continued humor about the status of the main male lead’s virginity was odd, it was an amusing movie, made more so by a few children who were very excited to be frightened by the film, dramatically shrieking at the somewhat scary parts. Also, the moon was very pretty, though as usual looks nothing like it did in real life.

Afterward we wandered the halls of Grand Lodge while Kelly looked for the secret room and secret passage.

Dry Gardening Tomatoes: A Report

I purchased four tomato starts with the intention of trying out dry gardening. That means planting the tomatoes early and then giving them minimal water through the growing season. Reports I’ve read say that such tomatoes tend to have the best flavor.

I will say that this is a partial report on a not-fully-carried-out experiment. I didn’t get the tomatoes in the ground as early as I should have. They spent their first seven weeks in pots that I think doomed two of the plants to failure. It was a cold and wet spring and I just couldn’t motivate to get those plants in the ground. If they had spent five of their first seven weeks in the ground, I think they would have gotten off to a better start (two plants) or survived (two plants).

I only watered them once. I had blue 5-gallon buckets with holes in the bottom and intended to give them some water weekly, but that did not come to pass. Once it stopped being cold, it was a fairly warm summer—though we did not have days with 110+ degree heat like we did in 2021.

One thing I liked about the dry gardening the tomato plants didn’t put out any of the extraneous foliage they do when they are well watered. The plant sent out enough growth to support the making of tomatoes. It did not send out any more.

I got the most cherry tomatoes, but it was a fairly paltry number, cherry tomato-wise. Perhaps 20. And they were very staggered. I had two or three at a time, max. They did taste good though.

The Brandywines were the full-size tomatoes that survived. I tend to stay away from Brandywines as I think their growing season is too long for our summers. But we had a very long summer, so soon after I took this photo, I harvested the two tomatoes that grew. They were indeed delicious.

This little guy never got going. I think he was root bound. The other one died a few weeks after I planted it.

Overall, I think this might be a good method if you are growing your starts from seed and have a lot of land. Tomatoes that are dry gardened need to be spaced six feet apart. With a packet of cherry tomatoes and a packet of regular size tomatoes, you could easily end up with 10 starts of each for not very much of a cash investment. If you planted 20 tomato plants over a very large space, the yield would be much higher, and you wouldn’t have to pay for watering.

Also, when you don’t water, the weeding is much less complicated. That was a big plus.

If I’m up to gardening in the spring, I might repeat this experiment in 2023.

WinCo Grocery Carts Now Plastic

The old steel rattle of the standard WinCo shopping cart has been replaced by a quieter plastic model.

There’s still a little bit of metal, but the vast majority of the cart is made of a nonrenewable material we haven’t yet figured out how to dispose of properly.

I’m betting they cost a fraction of what the previous carts did. It’s a win for WinCo’s finances and probably a loss for the environment.

Hello to New Couch!

The new couch has arrived! It’s a bit more burgundy than I remembered, but it’s also super comfortable and was better than free.

How was it better than free? My friend Julie had us out to her beach house in Pacific City. Her and her husband Graham gave us a tour of the gorgeous beach house they have been building for the past eight years, they fed us lunch, and we had a walk on the beach. We hauled the couch up the stairs (which was fun for me) and we put it on top of their car. Then Graham strapped the couch to their car’s roof and they drove it to our house where we carried it inside.

We got a great day at the beach and a new couch. Better than free!

I need to do some shuffling of things. That blue chair isn’t going to stay there permanently. But it works okay for now.

Goodbye to Ektorp Couch

Matt’s mom Linda bought us this couch in 2007 and it’s been showing its age for some years now. The cushions are shot and the covers don’t come off anymore so I can’t wash them, and I’m ready for a new couch. Happily, my friend has one to give me. Now just to get rid of the current couch.

I put it on NextDoor and eventually on the Buy Nothing group. Even at the cool price of free, I worried that it wasn’t going to move. But it did! A woman came by to grab it for her kids’ room and I helped her load it into her minivan.

While we wait for the weekend when we will help get the couch, I moved the chairs over so we had something to sit in while we watch TV.