Monday, August 31, 2015

The Avalon

After no rain since June the heavens have opened up for the day. A much needed relief as so much of Oregon and Washington have been devastated by fire. The rain did hold off enough for an afternoon trip to Clatskanie, MeMa's home town. From 1951 to 1971 MeMa's parents owned and operated the "Avalon Theatre" and in a town with only one traffic light that was pretty much the hot spot of the town. One could take a break between movies and go have a bite at Humps Restaurant which is still in operation today.

After the Avalon closed several developers purchased over the years but none were successful and the old building soon became an eyesore.

 A few years ago the City purchased the old building and turned it into the Clatskanie Cultural Center and reopened the old theater as the Birkenfeld Theater........ when big money is donated that is who you name it after. As a thank you for folks that donated they held a special opening night event. 

As a young girl MeMa spent many nights working in the ticket booth or selling candy and popcorn.

Her mother Lela used to patrol the seats with her flashlight in hand and any trouble maker would receive a bonk on the back of the head.
MeMa sitting in her seat

In memory of her parents and an important time of her life, not to be forgotten.

 "Dale & Lela Johnson Avalon Theatre"

Along with the theatre the upstairs houses City Hall, judges chambers and the old ballroom has been completely renovated with a kitchen and bathrooms added for local events.

Clean-up On Aisle 2

Next weekend MeMa and I are hosting our annual staff party for my office, a nice low-key evening of dining and conversation in the garden. With a lot of work the gardens are looking great and especially the hardy banana which were topping out at about twelve feet. Did I say were? We had rain for the first time since June and with the rain we got wind, lots of wind. The next day the gardens and pathways were covered in debris from the Redwood and the poor banana looked as though someone had braided its leaves.

Hardy Banana as it looked before the wind.
I had no choice but to cut most of the leaves out while trying to sort through the mess.
I was quite surprised to find a flower had formed for the first time. Must have been the mild winter and long hot summer.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Patient Gardener

When it comes to container gardening the patient side of me usually doesn't show, I want instant gratification so I cram the largest plants and lots of them to give me a look that I had envisioned.
This large stoneware pot that I gleaned from work when they did some office redesign work brought the patient gardener out in me. I was walking through the garden and stopped in front of this corner of the garden that was empty and immediately thought of this big container that was sitting in the driveway. After it was manhandled to the back garden, filled with potting soil, I plopped the bronze statue (selfie) that our son Ian did of himself depicting one of those educational periods of his life. Then it was off to the nursery for a canna, a six pack of burgundy delight coleus and two potato vines, one green the other purple. All very small and very unlike this gardener but I sat back and envisioned the future.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Work Van"

A short time ago I posted this shot of my work van being hauled off to the auction yard, poor old thing died in its sleep....truly.....I went out the next morning to go too work and it wasn't breathing.  I loved that van, we were a good team.  MeMa tolerated us both.
While we were in Disneyland a  few weeks ago I received a call from my father...........

"Hi....this is your Dad." ( He still hasn't figured out the whole caller ID thing)

"Yes...I see are you?"

"Wonderful!"  ( he is always wonderful) " I just bought a new car"..............?..........

"That's nice.........Good for you Dad! What did you do with the Saturn? Did you use it for a trade in?"

"No....I took it to DMV and got new plates for it and all the paperwork done and I left both sets of keys on your kitchen's yours now."

My new "work van", 2009 Saturn

 He may be generous to a fault but at 82 my father has not changed one bit, still looking after his kids.
Love you lot's Pop's

Friday, August 14, 2015

No Place Like Home

Our trip to Disneyland was wonderful partly because the weather was so perfect and when we came back home to the heat I had a busy week at the office. Home and office are air conditioned so the extreme temperatures did not bother me. MeMa's time off is drawing short so we decided that we would spend a week at the cabin. So we packed up dogs, canaries, food and clothing for a week of relaxing in the woods.
The first few days were fine and we were able to get busy on the list MeMa had made up.......
            1. Move and re-stack firewood
            2. Clean out bedding cabinet
            3. Wash windows
            4. Clean gutters and roof
The heavy winter rains washed the ground out from under the firewood stack that was kept in the front parking area.
We moved that pile to the back of the trailer and under the overhanging roof for protection from the weather and for easier accessibility. Now, old bald guys who are sent out in inclement weather for more firewood only have to tip toe across the deck, grab a log or two and back to the comfort of the fire without nary a drop of nastiness on ones bald head. The pile on the left is coming home to Menagerie Manor as they are too long for the cabin stove but perfect for our fireplace.
And just look at all that extra parking

Cleaning gutters was easier than cleaning the roof because I could stand on a stepladder and reach everything. The roof was harder and required MeMa's expert climbing skills while I stood on the deck and cheered her on. Pretty good for a 61 year ......what are we telling folks dear? I forget.....
By mid week the temperature started climbing to 107 degrees and at nine pm it was 91 in the cabin and no breeze to speak of. All I could think of was the air conditioning back at home so we packed what we would need, closed up the cabin and headed back to Portland.