Syttende Mai the third

G'day all!

It amazes me to think I've now seen three Syttende Mai (Norwegian constitution/national day) parades.  This is my third Spring in Seattle and I have to say I am still appreciating them.  It is even better now that I can ever so slowly dig up some dirt and plant things.

One part of the parade in Ballard.

It is slow work digging up the grass - it has been around for quite some time and is very resistant to being dug up.  Sometimes the spade will only bite in about a centimetre and then nope, no further.... The good news is that my back isn't giving out, so all the work on developing core strength must be working!

Tricksy not-our-cat

Gardens around where I now live in Seattle remind me of gardens in Melbourne when I was a kid.  We never worried about water then - there was plenty of water!  It rained consistently.  We grew rhododendrons and azaleas and wisteria and lilacs and roses and clematis and various delicate woodlandy type plants and they all did well.  Then we had a twelve year drought - it did rain but we only got about 300-400mm (12-16 inches) of rain a year instead of over 600mm (24").  This made a huge difference to the sorts of plants that would happily grow.  It changed how we gardened.  I'm sorta glad Mum isn't around to see it - she loved her old fashioned plants.  Doesn't mean that there aren't other worthy plants, nor that various of the oldies won't grow (eg roses are tough as old boots and have outlasted many "drought tolerant" plants in the yard at home).

Clematis.  Pretty.

We've had some fantastic weather recently.  It's been lovely and warm, maybe a bit too hot for this time of the year (27C for three or four days in a row!).  It hasn't rained for well over a week and I'm having to use the hose on plants because I want them to grow rather than shrivelling up.   I had to go and buy a hose and an attachment and now I get a shower whenever I use it because the fittings aren't playing nicely.  Stupid screw on fittings - get with the program, US, and get nice click on/off fittings.  They make things sooo much easier!

Last weekend DH got me up on the roof of the garage, helping with gluing the rubber down.  I have issues with vertigo when I'm on a rooftop or anywhere high, particularly if there are no hand rails around it.

Sunsprite, not just joey, in our yard
So he got me up on the roof on Friday as a bit of a test run and every time I stood up, I decided that some weird cross between crawling and a zombie stagger was better.  It is pretty pathetic really but it is just the way I am.  I've never been good with heights.

I did manage to walk around
but not when I had the short roller...

On Sunday, it was quite warm and sunny and I put a sunhat on before going up on the roof.  The hat flops down a bit and voila!  I could walk around!  I had blinkers/blinders on and it made a huge difference.  You would think being able to see less would make it worse but it made it better!

I'm still hoping that the garage will be pretty much done by the end of May.  I hoped this in January, February, March, and April... but it is getting much closer now.  There's still plenty to be done, like pulling a wiring permit, but it is starting to look better.  I've also got to get quotes for getting rid of the old wood and shingles and plasterboard and crap - it is covering half the back yard.  Plus we have a trench that we can't cover over until the electrical inspection is done.  Our yard has more hazards in it than anywhere I've ever lived.

Lovely rose.  We need lots of pretty
flowers to get rid of the distasteful
things happening at home....

My government continues to politicise this animal.  I never really cared about politics before but now I am mobilised.  I dunno what game Abbott and (what a shame Costello is gone - what a team they would've been, Abbott and Costello, pair of clowns....) Hockey are playing but they have managed to piss off pretty much everyone I know.  They say they have the mandate to rip the guts out of our rather socialist healthcare and welfare systems and boy are they doing it!   The idea of someone under 30 only being able to access the dole for six months at a time after a six month waiting period (and remember the dole is well below the poverty line) - like how could someone live like that?  Plenty of 25 year olds have kids and some even have managed to get mortgages.  It would finanically ruin anyone.  They can't live on nothing, so as a number of people have said, presumably Messrs Abbott and Hockey expect to build a heap more jails and are expecting to get a lot more single parents on sole parent pensions.  Things like a $7 fee to see a doctor doesn't sound like much but when you don't have any income at all or have a very low income or have a number of kids and not a whole lot of money, it will stop people seeing a doctor. 

The irises are stunning this year

We can only hope that the budget is blocked at the Senate level - Labor, the Greens and Clive Palmer's party say they won't support the budget and some part of those groups need to to get it through.  If they block supply, the government is threatening a double dissolution, which means we go back to the polls.  And dang if there won't be a fight then!

So sculptural and perfect

To distract me from wanting to shake some sense into the PM and treasurer of Oz, I am knitting madly on baby stuff for my SiL's baby on the way.  She is quite short, or fun size, and she is rounding out quite nicely apparently.  I guess people now think not only is she still about 15 but they also will be shocked by her pregnancy.  I have some really cool stuff on the way for the sprog anyway :-)

The poppies are starting, yay!

What else is happening?  I've got itchy feet - I want to go see stuff now that the weather is good.  Highway 20 is open, and it is over six months since we've gone up that road - we went three times in less than a month after discovering it late last year.  I've had a rotten cold - it seemed to be the sort of cold that hits for a day or two and then clears off, like all the colds I've had since chemo, but this one decided to hammer me.  It was really odd - my nose didn't run much, my body felt quite good, reasonable amounts of energy but I had absolutely no brain.  I'd just sit at the computer, trying to do work, and stare at it.  La la lalalalalala... oh yeah, work.  Lalalala!   I think I played a lot of 2048 cos that didn't need brain, it just needs lots of left/right/down arrows.  I also managed to trim the laurel hedges.  And then the coughing started.  I've managed to survive so far even with the breathing weirdness.  Thank heavens it's not been as bad for me as for DH.  He is still coughing quite a lot.

The rhodos and azaleas have
been completely stunning

Oh and I made another quilt.  It is basted and awaiting quilting, which is awaiting me cleaning off the table, which is awaiting a day when I feel fit and don't want to get into the garden, which at this point in time might be a while.  I'm quite fixated on the garden at the moment.  I've finished some knitting that had been hanging around since last year but it needs to be blocked and photographed, as does my progress on some other knitting.

There is always plenty to do!



  1. I feel as though I've walked through a garden and taken time to smell the bloomy blooms thanks to your photos. The clematis colours are so beautiful they don't look real. I sypathise your hose dramas, We have a tap that doesn't fit any fittings, It feels like I'm doing a slapstick comedy routine when I try to water the garden. Crazy politics just makes me shake my head.


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