Saturday, February 10, 2007

Another Saturday Night

You and me and rain on the roof
Caught up in a summer shower
Dryin' while it soaks the flowers
Maybe we'll be caught for hours
Waitin' out the sun

--John Sebastian

The same jonquils as seen yesterday
Taken while lying on the grass in the rain
The things I do for you people
Taken 2/10/07

Sitting at my desk in Smith River, looking out the window above the computer screen, I see the water pouring off the edge of the gutter. I suppose that means I should clean out the gutters—and probably the downspouts as well, but as the old man said to the Arkansas Traveler, “Couldn’t mend it now it’s a rainy day.”

Yesterday sure wasn’t. It was supposed to be. Something like an 80% chance of rain, but the 20% came through. I was out first thing in the morning, camera in hand, and got one picture of the half moon in the morning sky before it disappeared behind high clouds. Then I walked up to 101 and got some shots of a sky of gold over the eastern hills just before the sun itself rose. Coming back to the house, I got the picture of Gypsy I’ve been wanting for ages—the doggie in the window shot. It helps that when I had the new drapes made, I washed the windows inside and out. The folk at Eyefetch have given Gypsy good reviews for posing so well. And since I titled the picture “How much is that doggie in the window,” one of my reviewers felt obliged to tell me that the dog was NOT for sale. Which, of course, she’s not. You don’t sell your kids.

After finishing my writing yesterday, and doing the work that actually brings in the money, Joe Gartland showed up. He runs a tree service and I had called him to ask about trimming the overgrown, and over-broken, beech in the back yard. There are several limbs that have broken off much too high for me to get them down. When I called Joe, and gave him my name, he knew the house immediately. Turns out he trimmed that same tree for my mother some fifteen years ago or so. Joe walked around the house with me, telling me all the plants that would have to come down if I didn’t want the house destroyed, and finally came up with a cost of $800 to do everything that needs done—everything that is except trimming back the large rhododendron just outside my study. It is preparing to bloom and I don’t want it touched until after it shares its glory with the world. The part that bothers me most is losing the two holly bushes alongside the garage. They’re so beautiful and so large, but Joe insists they’ll ruin the siding. Dry rot or some such.

Purple Calla
Minor digital enhancements
Taken 2/9/07

Business done, I headed up to Brookings to find timers for the lights and a Rubbermaid® Compost Box like the one we have at home in Missoula. Since it was just after lunchtime, I decided to have lunch at the Smokehouse, a restaurant/gift shop/fish market on 101 just south of Brookings. I’ve driven by the Smokehouse for over thirty years and have never actually stopped there. It was time. Past time, actually. When I walked in and tried to find the seating area, or a waitress, or someone, a woman approached me and asked if I needed any help. When I told her I just wanted lunch, she replied that they no longer had a restaurant. Damn. Wouldn’t you know it. I asked how long that had been the case, and she told me since last April. Well, I couldn’t feel too badly then. I mean if they’d closed the restaurant in January, I would have been very upset with myself. So what’s Plan B? There’s the Fox’s Den in the Harbor Shopping Center, or the Bella Italia toward the northern end of Brookings. Both had been recommended, and I had tried neither. But Fox’s Den still looks more like a bar, an Irish Pub as the sign in the window states, and Bella Italia, it turns out, does not serve lunch. But right next door, actually the two share the same building, is Rancho Viejo. Now I love Mexican food, and I hadn’t tried the Rancho, so why not.

Rancho Viejo’s yellow pages ad states that it’s the most popular Mexican restaurant in the area. I couldn’t really say as this was the first time I was there, but I do know that there was a steady stream of customers entering the restaurant for lunches even later than my own. I also can state, for the record, that the Relleno Burrito I ordered was quite large, quite good, and ridiculously inexpensive. The service, however, was quite slow, and once my plate was put in front of me, my waiter disappeared for the rest of the afternoon. I overheard someone ask him if he were all alone, and he replied yes, so there was a good reason for the slow service. I’d definitely go back as both the food and the price were right, but I’d also go back planning on a nice leisurely meal.

Fred Meyers did not have any composters. “It’s not Spring yet” the fellow in the garden center told me. He also cautioned me against spending very much on plants as “Winter isn’t through with us yet.” So I looked at the table upon table upon table of roses, but didn’t buy any. I did get four more primroses and two more pansies. At $1.25 for the primroses and $1.50 for the pansies I didn’t feel I was throwing a lot of money away, and even if they don’t survive the ravages of the Winter yet to come, they sure brighten things up now. Besides, the pansies I planted last year are blooming away and the primroses I bought a couple of weeks ago have almost completely recovered from being the rodent lunch I found when I moved them from the washing machine to the back yard. Three of the four plants are back blooming and the fourth shows signs of wanting to bloom.

Same basic image as above
Major changes thanks to Photoshop Elements 4.0
Digitally enhanced 2/10/07

One other plant I picked up was a small potted purple calla lily. I was looking for a birthday present for Carl, and this was so pretty that I just couldn’t resist. Before delivering it to the soon-to-be-birthday-boy, I took several shots of the plant, one of which I submitted to Eyefetch under the title “Homage to O’Keeffe III.” Now that I’ve found primroses among O’Keeffe’s paintings, I may be forced into doing a series of O’Keeffe homages. While I won’t share the photo I submitted to Eyefetch, here are a couple of other images, one with minor enhancements through digital editing, and the second with major enhancements.

One last stop on the way home—Sears to look at vacuum cleaners. Since I first saw the Dyson machines at Linens-N-Things several years ago, I’ve wanted one. Suffice it to say that I now have one. It’s big, beautiful, RED, and boy does it do the trick. I had no idea there was so much dirt in the carpets here. I have been vacuuming all along. Family stories say that the first “toy” I requested as a small child was a vacuum cleaner. I’ve been buying them ever since—and some pretty expensive ones too. The Dyson isn’t cheap, but it’s considerably less than I’ve paid for others. If it lasts the five years of its guarantee, I’ll be happy.

It’s Saturday (another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody), and I should be out doing things. There’s a chocolate and art festival at Brookings High School. It’s Second Saturday, which means that the art galleries in Brookings are having their monthly walk around—like First Friday in Missoula. There’s a Scottish folk singer up at Pistol River, a high school dance concert in Crescent City, play performances in Gold Beach, a crab feed in Port Orford. So many choices. Or Logo is showing “bitter” movies like M. Butterfly today with the “sweet” movies like Adam and Steve tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just stay home and vacuum.

Ring Around the (Prim)Rosie
Smith River, California
Taken 2/10/07 (in the rain)

1 comment:

Carl said...

Thank you again for the lovely birthday present. Your photos of it are some of your best shots ever! Superb color, clarity and composition.
Rancho Viejo is our favorite Mexican restaurant in the area, and their fajitas-for-two are really great. You can certainly get way too much food for way too little money, but I'm not complaining.
I'm almost ready for our overdue fish tacos, as soon as I can walk again. Getting better every day...