Good Morning Ted and Jody:
For the past couple of days, I have been moving too fast. This morning I awakened with the 59th Street Bridge Song going through my head “Slow down you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. . .” Unfortunately, I am not strolling along kicking cobble stones and feeling groovy. However, I suppose in my own weird way I am having fun.
For three days in a row, Mother Nature has put on a lovely color show; and, I got to watch. When I arrive at my vantage point, a boat ramp facing east, I can be greeted with a dramatic view such as three days ago, a subtle fog filtered one like last week or something a bit drab that turns into a sailor’s warning like yesterday morning (but not a true warning, for it turned out to be a lovely fall day). Usually the peak of color is about 15 to 20 minutes prior to the “official” sunrise. This shot was taken 6 minutes’ prior. As a side note, I was able to hold the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in a vertical format for taking the panorama which give the finished image more height relative to the width of the panorama. Most cameras only allow one to shoot in camera panoramas while holding the camera horizontally. The flexibility is much appreciated and does nice work The shot you see is what the camera took without any post shooting intervention from me. (Yes, the camera in the shot is video recording the dawn.)
From the boat ramp, I went into Kelso to pick up Frank so he could help me finish up getting the area ready for the shed coming in the middle of next week. Frank was running late, so I went to the supermarket which was having a sale on Roma Tomatoes, Granny Smith and Jonagold apples; I bought a bunch of each for drying. The Roma’s are nearing the end of their first drying cycle as I pen this to you. I use to passes with the dehydrator with tomatoes since I want them bone dry for powdering. After the first cycle I put then all into an airtight container to let any remaining moisture equalize (dissipate to all). Then another short drying cycle insures they are all bone dry. Finally, I Ninja them. The apples only get dehydrated to produce what I think of as fruit sticks—a cross between leathery and a bit dryer. I store them in small batches in Food Saver bags for carrying as emergency sugar infusions (OK, candy).
After picking up the flora to process, I circled back to where I was to pick up Frank. Still no Frank. So to make the best of the situation I trundled off several hundred yards to have breakfast at McDonalds. Now this is not my regular McDonalds. Every morning that I go to my regular McDonalds (when I have or make up an excuse [some would use the word “reason” but “excuse” is more accurate for my behavior] to go into Longview in the morning), a Chaplin who is part of the Sherriff’s Department’s Chaplaincy (not publicly funded, I might add) is either there or arrives shortly after I do. I was surprised that he showed up at this McDonalds yesterday. He and I have what one might call a nodding acquaintance. So, I commented to him “I see you and I have the same job.” He replied, “What’s that?” I told him “McDonalds restaurant inspector.” (My other choice was “Board of Visitors.”) He laughed and wished he got paid for it or owned stock in the company. I confessed to owning stock and thanked him for his patronage. We shook hands. His name is Bruce. About then Frank showed up.
After breakfast and a stop at the Castle Rock Post Office to mail an international envelope with a custom’s declaration (they have changed forms. I am still using the old form as it fits regular sized envelopes. I have wondered how long they will let me keep using them. It is safer to hand this sort of thing across the counter rather than sticking the envelope in a slot. Somehow, a cancellation with a hand cancel makes it all legitimate) we got home.
Frank went about clearing primarily Mongolian and Cut Leaf blackberry invaders and I cut up tomatoes. He obviously needed gloves more than I did. After putting the tomatoes on the dehydrator to dry, I processed some six stamp orders that came in from eBay lots. Business is picking up. But then, stamp collectors seem to become more active as the days get shorter. Were it not for the invention of electric lights, they would probably sleep instead of collecting stamps—I would. It took longer to fill the orders as my printer refused to print the packing slips claiming it was out of ink (with the price of ink the most expensive liquid that one can buy [as if there is a choice], I like to be sure the cartridge is out before I swap it out). Now actually changing ink cartridges is not difficult and does not take long. However, looking for every possible way to avoid it such as turning everything off and back on, pulling the cartridges and putting them back, and committing the printer’s soul to the depths of Hates, does take time. Finally, I gave in to the printer’s childish tantrum and gave it new cartridges.
Having exhausted all excuses for not working outside, I went out and tackled the dry brush pile that I had started to accumulate a year ago to burn to provide ashes for the blueberries and other flora I have contained in pots—sounds strange to feed the vegetation ashes, but I understand it is a fertilizer unless provide din too much quantity. So, I turned on my “brush to fertilizer machine” and produced ashes. I collect the ashes in a galvanized bucket with a lid and have now, after reducing the year’s accumulation of brush, about 2 ½ gallons—yes, I got it all burned. That is more than enough ashes for my potted plants.
By the time I finished being a fire hazard, Frank had repelled the hoard of invading blackberry bushes (a particularly aggressive and hostile tribe when you have Mongolian and Cut Leaf blackberries united). So, I took him back to his vehicle.
Nancy was in Longview for a sewing class all day, so I called her and we had a late afternoon soda—much like stopping at the Soda Fountain back in the ‘50s after school.
The sky is filled with stars. That often bodes well for a light show. So with luck we will make it 4 days in a row. I get to sleep in Saturday as there is rain in the forecast.
Warmest regards, Ed