I just counted. The first post I wrote was in July of 2014. I’d meant this blog to act as a record of our project here on the farm. Like a diary, or journal, if I had ever been disposed to write a diary, or journal. Which I hadn’t. Simply not that much of interest happened often enough to be worth dedicating a notebook to such an undertaking.

Then when I started this, I discovered that I was doing it more to entertain an imaginary audience, and looked for funny, silly things to record. Of course, I do like to write, and this was an opportunity to exercise my imagination. Except for the photos, which haven’t been photo-shopped (no idea how to photo-shop something anyway), there’s always been an imaginative overlay to the reporting. In other words, don’t exactly trust me. Got it?

Here I am again after a two-month layover. Mid February already. So, what’s been going on? Lots of what I’d imagine real farmers would consider winter work. Pruning the orchard. Building raised beds for the garden. Deadheading all the landscape stuff.

And in our case, trying to accommodate artifacts from the condo in storage or down here in Corvallis. Errors were made by the moving company, and we found some large artwork that was meant to be in storage unloaded into our shed. Right.

I had observed out loud one day that, for Larry, a job to be done announces itself as something he, himself, must do. A wonderful quality, but here in our dotage, not always practical. Case in point, what to do with several large paintings that had erroneously arrived here, all wrapped in camouflage cardboard and thick paper. Me: “We can’t hang those here ourselves. It would take scaffolding, several muscular assistants, certain skills we don’t have. We’ll have to hire someone.”

Hahaha. We got an estimate. $2,000 for the job, plus mileage from Portland. Okay, stop. Think. No, we can’t hang the Lee Kelly oil, but everything else?

We can do this. Here’s how that looked:

I need to tell you that the mirror came in pieces, so the thing had to be reassembled, which involved tiny pieces and tiny screws and lots of colorful language. But it looks lovely here and we can find better uses for two thousand dollars. Right?

Another major project we’ve initiated is the discovery of the right place to stay overnight when in Portland. Which it seems we certainly are and will be going forward. So. A hotel. Which? We’ve tried four, now, and find each not quite right. First, a modern, simple, bare minimum room at the Convoy. Next, Larry stayed at the Fairmount to attend a meeting, and he did approve of that one, but it’s not in the right neighborhood.

How about the Marriott down at Waterfront? Right spot. We could ride the streetcar from there to everywhere (thanks now, to Vik, who secured Hop cards for us and is instructing us in the usage of the system). But the hotel? Nope. Made for giant people, and when I can’t sit to read a book on the chair or sofa without my legs extending straight out like a six-year old, nope. The bathroom door wouldn’t close, the entry door wouldn’t open. Yeah, nope.

On to last weekend. First, we had to go north for dentist appointments which, on arrival, we learned, were correctly scheduled for some time in April. WTF? We both had the Feb. date on our calendars, but, again, mistakes were made. Okay, on to our next hotel, the Hampton Inn right in the Pearl District. It’s nice, it’s fine. But we are learning that a hotel room with but one chair is just not comfortable when we have hours to spend there. Even when I can sit in said chair like a normal person.

So, we’re 0 for 4. And, btw, when the TV in the hotel offers Netflix, but you must sign in with your own personal account, and you have not brought your user name and password for Netflix with you, you’re screwed. Why doesn’t the hotel just provide the damn thing? Oh well.

Now, to change the atmosphere, here’s a photo I took last week on my early morning walk down the road:

Magic. Or at least I think so. Oh, and this was on the way back up the road. Just so you’ll know.

I haven’t told you about the bluegrass jam we’ve found down at the Philomath Grange. Every second Wednesday, from 7 until it’s over. Larry and I have been taking lessons from a guy in Corvallis, guitar for Larry, banjo for me, and this is an opportunity to participate in the music with other folks.

It’s a mixed bag for sure. The first time, we didn’t take our instruments, just sat in the back of the circle and listened. Fun! Feeling braver, we did take the instruments next time, and joined in at the “beginners circle.” Again, this was fun, though terrifying. The thing is, you have to play totally by ear. No music stands. Someone calls a tune and you just try to plunk along with. All fine. It’s definitely best when the person calling the tune chooses something recognizable as bluegrass, not, like, some Rihanna tune from, what, Barbados, by which I mean no disrespect, but where are the chord changes? Yes, that does happen. Anyway.

In preparation, Larry and I have acquired books entitled Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus, Guitar for same. Surprisingly, they seem pretty helpful. When’s the next Second Wednesday? Just looked. March 8. Not that much time.

We’ve been trying to arrange a trip to California to see Peter and Allison’s place in Palm Desert, but all the arrows are pointing down. First, I’m having a little eye problem, perhaps detached retina, which means I’m not to fly just now. So, we can drive? Except we’ve just heard that it will be raining all week on the days we meant to be there. Okay, we give up. We’ll go to sunny California when it’s, you know, sunny?

And, speaking of Netflix, we’ve been struggling here at the farm as well. First, my new computer, which doesn’t speak English as I understand it, and the family TV, which plays well enough although the sound comes and goes. We called on a geek, advertising in the local co-op, who came and was brilliant in taming my computer, but had no luck with the TV. We are therefore, going to Eugene this afternoon in search of not only a replacement TV, but a person to come and install the thing. Too much to ask for? I’ll let you know next time.

One thought on “NUMBER SEVENTY-ONE”

  1. Lovely photo….and good to hear about you two participating in the jam sessions. Doubt if I showed up and suggested Buddy Holly’s Rave On I would be well received! Perhaps Larry could bring the guitar book over … I’m not an ignoramus but…. Doing vutrtualky no music…no one to play or record with. So am buying a book on iPhone Photography for Idiots…good solo hobby!

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