Upon opening my site, I learn that I’m running on an outdated PHT program, or similar, and wouldn’t I like to update? NOOOO! Please don’t make me! I’ll proceed on the hope that the machine won’t reach out and cancel me in the fashion so popular of late. So, until such time, here we go:

David and Caroline arrived safely for a visit, upon completion of physical exams mandated by their application for limited entry into the promised land of New Zealand. Said application requires quite a bit of input from Larry, proving that a long-ago transfer of certain assets to our kids was indeed legitimate. Like, “were you a robot? Prove it! What is your favorite pet’s middle name, and did your mother ever live in Tallahassee Florida?”

While we’re always happy to see our family, we’re not too proud to put them to work. See Jenny and family splitting wood on earlier post. David is tall and strong, and finally we have someone who can get those canvasses hung in the entry hall.

My needlepoint project for the last couple of years — those of you familiar with the creation story will be alarmed that we’ve hung the canvasses in the incorrect order. We know. This is to balance the size of the frames, so not necessary to write a letter to the editor.

Caroline proved her worth when she was able to decode the free-standing wall-mounted heat/ac appliance in “my office” aka “the room over the garage.” Been freezing up there of late, so her clever manipulation of digital devices was life-changing for us.

Off to Seattle to see Jenny and Tom, to have a look at the new house. It’s going to be gorgeous!

The first photo is obvious, the second is the garden wall in the back yard. Not sure that the Ederers are as enchanted as am I with the cosy, private nature of the fence, but their garden will have no lawn, and looks like the perfect urban retreat.

We had dinner at a sweet little Madison Park Italian restaurant and caught up with stories featuring Alli, busy cooking and posting gorgeous recipes, and Will, dealing with sleeping porch issues in the Beta house on the U Dub campus.

In Portland, the infuriating problems with the condo keep multiplying. First, the necessity of replacing the air conditioning unit above the laundry room launched us into the great throng of citizens affected by the dreaded Supply Chain Affair. Several months in, we finally received the parts, and worker bees would be able to dismantle the entire room for installation. But wait. They cannot get into the condo. Nope. Neither can we. The fobs and codes do not work any longer. Somehow, the building owner thinks its okay to lock us out of our home. I’ll spare you the narrative, but we are still waiting. We do finally have, dear reader, a single fob to get us up the elevator, and a single fob to let us into the garage, but must await the pleasure of the building manager to receive the extras that we need.

Back at the farm, what happened to the guy from Applied Ecology who was supposed to meet with us and make plans? The one who simply didn’t come on the arranged day two weeks ago? He came yesterday, bringing apologies and an apparently sincere promise to help. This is an organization which will assist owners with habitat restoration. He says he’ll bring an associate, who’s an arborist, to walk the property, assess what changes we can make to attract native plants and animals (to include soil microorganisms). Sounds good! Basically, we just want a comprehensive plan for the savanna, the riparian forest, the wetland, the oak copse — all with differing eco requirements.

The leaves have fallen, the spent vines and stalks in the garden have been piled behind the fence, the huge bounty of grapes are quietly falling to the ground to be harvested by honey bees and, alas, yellow-jackets. We’ve moved the tender perennials to the greenhouse, turned off the automatic watering system. We’ve heard the first flocks of geese flying past, and built the first fires in the fireplace.

We attended the first concert of the Oregon symphony held in Salem. It feels lovely to be hearing live music again, and yet . . . masks. Martha will arrive in the morning, and we’ll go to Eugene for the first ballet of the season. Masks. Again. Yes, this may be the future, forever, and we will adjust, but some of the magic is dimmed. It just is.

For me, the time of Covid has also been the time of Books, and I’m currently reading one that’s so complex and wonderful that I’m happy for all 575 pages. Even though, a BOTM club volume, it’s hard-back, and thus heavy. Only a problem because I like to stretch out on the sofa and read while lying down. No, I know you always sit up straight and have good lighting, and I’m proud of you. Oh, yeah. The book is The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles. I’ll loan you my copy if you’d like. I’m already on p. 497.

Lunch time, and we’re out of bread. Larry has changed the leaking shower, paid the taxes, cleaned the chicken coop, but can’t deliver more of his awesome bread for sandwiches. Hmm. Must troll the refrige for leftovers. See you next time!