Tuesday, May 31, 2011


In my last blog I identified a cow parsnip as angels lace and I appreciated the correction.
 A showy plant that grows very well in this cool, wet area. A Western Garden book would help, but its huge in a small motor home where space is at a premium.
Yesterday, we curled in with our books. Into reading John Lescroart legal thrillers. Took a swim before dinner and it felt good. The pool has a unique design, two shallow ends and the deep part in the middle.  Today is also moving day.

I read a lot. Sometimes junk, sometimes serious stuff. And, I thought the following essay by Will Moore had some interesting things to say. He is a political junkie and a member of the World Affairs Counsel.

Humans are a predatory species. We got to the top of the food chain on  this planet by preying on everything else. We prey on  animals, fish, on mollusks, and the other predators in the seas. Humans don't eat a lot of insects, we prey on them for honey, silk and certain beetles whose shells we use for dyes. We prey upon many more killing millions and millions of tons of insects in the process of agricultural competition with them. All those millions of  tons of insects are the food supply for birds, fish and other species, so we're preying indirectly on those species as well.
 We prey on everything including other humans.  We no longer kill and eat other people, but we prey upon their products, their labor, their lands and their resources.  Humans  preying on other people is the source of all the wars that are going on.
In the old days raiding distant lands and "lesser" peoples seemed like a good idea. It was profitable. The world has changed. The idea that we have a God given right to raid and cheat "others" and plunder the earth is an idea that has outlived its time like cannibalism and slavery have gone with their times.
Wall Street is now the top predator on this planet and the working man is the prey of  Wall Street imperialism for their mental resources, their labor and the products of their labor.
A lot of anti-liberal, anti-socialist, anti-communist small government advocates think that socialism is evil and capitalism is good. They seem to think that the government is the enemy of the people and Wall Street is our friend. That isn't true. We're the prey species in the  unholy marriage of Washington and Wall Street.
 There is no such thing as a power vacuum. If you take a bone away from a  dog some other dog will take the bone. If you take power from one force in a power struggle, the power struggle doesn't end. Some other power will immediately fill that power vacuum. We're going to have a government whether we want one or not. If we don't have the government we have, we will have something else. We will have a warlord, a dictator, a military junta, a panel of judges, a Pope, or something else. That  something else will be Wall Street. We will have a corporate plutocracy, a corporatocracy (which is where we are going). If Washington takes a penny from us in taxes, everybody knows about it;  it's a visible tax. But we actually get something for that tax penny - roads, clean air, fresh milk, mail delivery, police protection, paramedics who  will rush to your house when you have a heart attack, and many other services that we all take for granted. There can be such a thing as enough taxes. There can never be such a thing as enough profit. The corporatocracy is trying to diminish, defund, demolish, dismantle and disenfranchise the government we have with no clear idea as to what is going to replace it. The government we have is legally limited as to how predatory it can be and it has a constitutional mandate to serve the "general welfare" of "We the people." Those who are trying to dis-empower the government that we have are merely handing more power over to Wall Street capitalism. They are granting an unrestricted license to the primary predator on the planet to prey upon  "We the people" with no legal limits and with no mandate to serve the "general welfare." Yeah, taxes are high, but government for profit will be ever more onerous. Perhaps we can agree that there can be no real freedom for debt slaves, and  that the greatest threat to us all is the unholy marriage of two powerful predators, government and capitalism and that we should work to dissolve that marriage.

Food for thought.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Overlooking Beards Hollow, a place where William Clark explored  very close to where we are parked. This area must have impressed him as it does me. It’s a northern rain forest. We hiked down to the landing and took pictures up and back.

Spring is evident, though its been cold and wet, even for this area.

Cottonwood seeding, blowing about, covering sections of water like snow flakes.

People here enjoy riding horses and cars on the beach. They are wide, long and easily assessable.

The surf is tinged with a dirty brown from an oil spill. But the air was clean and invigorating.

Rock here is definitely a souvenir of  old volcanic activity.

Harp rock, was named for its shape. Easy to climb about and explore. Lewis and Clark named obvious rocks so they could have reference points to give others and help their own navigation in new territory.

Volcanic Harp rock  plays host to numerous small plants,vines, and trees.

Ferns unfurling resemble plants from the age of dinosaurs.

Without my Western Garden  Book,  with some consultation on the walk with others, we decided this huge leaved plant is angels lace. A new leaf and blossom extrude from the same sheath at the same time.

I spotted this little snake trying to get some sun on a dead tree.

The area we hiked through is also a wetlands. At one time, it was covered by ocean. In this pond full of giant water lilies, a lightweight  bird, didn’t even dent its floating perch.
This plant reminded me of edible greens. We returned home for lunch, refreshed and hungry.

We visited this beach in 2008 without the awful residue of oil. Hopefully we can return someday to find it clean again.
I took 37 pictures if you’d like to see them visit my link:https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/2011530BeardSPt#

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Long Beach, Washington claims to be the longest beach in the world. Looking at Chile, one has to wonder, but who cares?

One thing about this beach, as far as you can see in either direction, the only “development”  is this dual set of condos, nice!

It was sweater and jacket weather, yet some brave souls got  right in and played in  the water.

The Chamber of Commerce hires a horse and wagon to haul people from sale to sale since most places hosting a sale lack ample  parking.

At this place cell phone chargers and cell phones?  There must have been 300 of them. Two brand new phones in boxes for $5 each. We looked but they aren’t old enough for us. We want to buy an older type phone that has an external port to plug in an amplifier, just to have a spare. Invaluable for our needs on the road.

This woman told me she caught a fish 5 feet 1 inch long. It happened 20 years ago, but she can still thrill to her one great catch.

Long Beach has a number of nicely painted murals around town. This sign gave me a chuckle.

A portion of the rest of the mural.

Cranberries, another local industry, working hard in this mural.

Town was full of people having fun. Renting tricycles and quadricycles  that hold the whole family of four plus a baby, and pedaling around town. There are amusement rides and pee wee golf; shopping, good eats, frisbee and kite flying on the beach. We curled in during the cold morning and  finished books we were reading.  Decent weather lured us back to town and we weren’t disappointed. Didn’t find that cast iron pan, but it was fun looking. Found a 50 cent video and took it home to watch after dinner.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


It's the weather. It can make or break your garage sale. Washingtonians take rain in stride. The sale was smaller than advertised, it rained off and on all day, with more of the same scheduled for today, the last day. Many of the vendors had their goods in tents, or inside of their garages. Some suffered with sodden goods half covered by tarps. Everyone was cheerful. The numbers and letters above, beautifully handcrafted, would look great at my place for only a buck twenty-five each. Smaller versions were fifty cents, not that I wanted to haul it around in a motor home until I return, though.
Normally, I avoid garage sales because I already own a garage full of "stuff" I don't need.  We were looking for a cast iron omelette pan since I'm determined to give up those coated pans that make cooking so easy but release horrible chemicals into your food. Sometimes I think, I'm already ancient, so what?  These sales tease me to look for eccentric, fascinating, unheard of, items I've never encountered before. Make my day, I say. I've seen beautiful decoys, hand crafted. Collectors love them. This cheap rubber flyer can cleverly fool a duck. Cheating, unsportsmanlike.  I felt the same way about decoys when I was just a little girl and hated it when my dad hunted birds. The feeling is still there.
 Ahh, something beautiful and indigenous to the area. Small cranberry vine woven baskets with oyster shell, apple wood and sand dollar bottoms. Hard work; beautiful; worth the $15 I paid for one. A  reasonable fit in the Motor Home. .
Nobody uses old doilies any more. This woman was loading them onto a curtain rod for a valance over her kitchen window. A great recycler.
This vendor had hundreds of scarves at fifty cents, a dollar, larger ones for two and three bucks. She demonstrated package wrapping with them. A clever idea, beautiful, and cheaper than wrapping paper.
This guy, it turned out, wasn't selling old buoys. He just collects them as a yard decoration.  Hey,whatever floats your boat!
I enjoyed poking around town for a couple of hours dodging raindrops. Didn't find a cast iron omelette pan. Next time!

Friday, May 27, 2011


We’ve moved from Vancouver to the Long Beach peninsula where they have a 28 mile long “garage sale.”  Everyone sets out their wares along the road for the world at large. Must be a fun affair for the sellers. I can imagine  the barbeques and tailgate parties as neighbor greets neighbor, and everyone kind of looks over the offers. And, I can imagine the fun junk to be found here. But, darn, the weather has not been cooperative.  Maybe I could use a flash trip to Los Angeles  next month where political comedy is planned. I’ll tell you about it.
Public Citizen has earned a reputation as the countervailing force to corporate power in America.  It seems like everyone I know complains about the power corporations have exerted over our political process. Public Citizen does some heavy lifting on our behalf, which is why I support them. But hear yea, hear yea!
On June 12, Public Citizen will be traveling far outside the Beltway to Los Angeles, where their favorite progressive comedians are getting together to celebrate Public Citizen’s 40th anniversary:
Stand Up For Main Street: An All-Star Comedy Benefit for Public Citizen
This star-studded event is being organized by Public Citizen board member and Hollywood comedy writer Steve Skrovan to raise awareness of and support for our work.
I wanted to make sure you knew about this event, one of several around the country in which creative and influential people are rallying behind Public Citizen.
I’m hoping to help  get the word out about Stand Up for Main Street by blogging this event to intelligent people who care, (the readers of my blog, of course.)
And if you’ll be in Los Angeles on June 12 — or if you have friends and family there — click here to get your tickets!
They have a dynamite lineup of comedians, including:
  • Bill Burr (“Chapelle’s Show”)
  • Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
  • Dom Irrera (“The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson”)
  • Andy Kindler (“The Late Show with David Letterman”)
  • Paula Poundstone (NPR’s “Wait wait … Don’t tell me!”)
  • Hal Sparks (“Queer as Folk”)
  • Roy Zimmerman (satirical songwriter)
  • And more!
All proceeds from Stand Up for Main Street benefit Public Citizen
Hey, sounds like fun. Hope they record it so if you can’t make it you get to see some of it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Baskets have amazing functional qualities. At one time I collected them and hung them all over my kitchen.  I've kept some useable baskets that I cherish, but for the most part they were decorative.  American Indians made them strong and serviceable.  And, while they were at it, they decorated them.

Walnut shell dice filled with pitch and abalone shell were tossed on the game tray above. The game depended on whether the shell landed with rounded side up or down.

Large burden baskets were capable of carrying heavy loads like firewood, pine cones or corn cobs.
A hat to keep the sun out of your eyes is simply an upside down basket.

If the weave was tight enough, the basket could hold water. It swelled and kept the water in and the owner cool on a hot day. Woven mats kept your seat on a stone softer; kept your food from touching the blanket used for a "table" cloth.

And the baby carrier had a built-in cap to keep the sun off  the baby's head and out of its eyes. Basket weaving was a woman's job for the most part. I'm in awe of how clever these resourceful people were. If you'd like to see the other pictures I took of the basket collection at Maryhill, click the link below:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yesterday, I spent most of the day with Damiann Kegney, a friend of my son’s. Damiann showed me  condos for sale, since she is also a real estate agent for Century 21. I like Washington and Oregon, Portland in particular. Vancouver is close to Portland’s good restaurants and theatre, art, etc.  Our  travel adventure, but also a bit of business thrown in.  Wouldn’t it be nice to spend summers in the Northwest where its cool and Winter in Murphys?  We had a great lunch and lots of laughter, in any case.
Dipping back once again, on our way to Vancouver, we stopped at the Washington side of the Bonneville dam and watched their fish  count through  murkey windows

Interesting statistics in their educational program about salmon make me appreciate every bite of salmon I eat. Salmon decline was first noticed officially in 1983.  Fish and Game conservatively estimate 12 million salmon spawned up this River system 200 years ago. The three rivers that flow to sea in this area are  dammed in 15 places. Current salmon spawn is less than one million. It wasn’t only the dams. Cattle trample eggs, fish habitat is altered, sewage, chemical fertilizers, mechanical fishing equipment, stream side habitat erosion causes silt.  All contribute to fish decline. It costs millions to try to save the salmon.
On a cheerier note, not at all related to salmon, is the chess collection I saw at Maryhill. I have a link to 30 pictures if you’d like to look at them.  https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/MHCHESS#

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Yesterday, we left Stephenson, WA and drove to Vancouver.  I spent two hours at the Maryhill Museum and thought I'd display some of their ceramics and glassware. The collection is not massive. They also have a crafts collection. The beaded vase above is the only item that "spoke" to me from the collection which had a mix of furnishings, jewelry and other objects.

One case contained a collection of antique glassware like the vase above. Some beautiful stuff worth a trip out if its your favorite "thing." I have a friend who collects antique glass and its lovely, delicate, highly prized stuff.
Ceramics are among my favorite things. The collection here isn't extensive and I may have snapped a picture of  every pot and bowl they had. What's nice is they are all originals.
A sculpin fish teapot was my favorite.
My friend Donna Voorhees makes similar lidded bowls and I own one. I use it for one thing, to make bread pudding. Somehow, the bread pudding, my own recipe, turns out best when baked in this type of  bowl.
I own a yellow bowl, not as pretty as this plate. Yellow is one of my favorite colors and not all that common with ceramicists. Mine I use for pasta dishes with a cream base and a sprig of bright green garnish.
 This piece has a lot of character and appears to be Adam and Eve enjoying the fruits of their table.
Glass work I know nothing about except that it takes a special type of furnace to work with it. The results are beautiful. The Maryhill collection was quite conservative. I've seen spectacular fused glass in galleries all over the U.S. that appeal to me.  The vase, (below) was wonderfully iridescent, fused, my favorite from the collection and I'd like to take it home.

 The next couple days, I will be visiting with Damiann Kegney, a friend of my son's.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Who would have thought a Stonehenge was located in Washington? Samuel Hill, the man who promoted and built the wonderful Highway 30, also built this replica of Stonehenge. Remember to keep the Sams straight. Samuel Lancaster was the architect and designer, it was his dream and vision for the many looped highway through the Columbia Gorge. It was his builder, Samuel Hill who performed the task. Hill was a pacifist Quaker; he saw Stonehenge in England where it was thought, at the time, to be a place of pagan ritual and human sacrifice. He remarked,"...the flower of humanity is still being sacrificed on the field of battle." He thereupon chose to build a replica of the "sacrificial altar" as a memorial to the soldiers from Klickitat County, WA. who died in WWI.
 It sits atop a windy hillside two miles from where he built a home, Maryhill, named for his daughter. Placed with beautiful views of the Columbia River, he owned over 5,000 acres for a Quaker agricultural colony he started. He never lived in the house and instead made it into a museum at the prodding of a famous actress/dancer  friend of his, Loie Fuller who is well represented at this fabulous museum. Wikipedia has a load of information about this dynamic man at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hill
While the museum is slightly remote, it attracts a great following and support.  Permanent collections and temporary exhibits, a yearly high tea with a hat and accessories auction, educational lectures, workshops and exhibits make this a must see for any art lover.  It is undergoing expansion because Maryhill is bursting at the seams.

One room is devoted to the furnishings of the Royal Palace of Romania. Queen Marie was a special friend of his and she helped found the museum and came for the grand opening. A replica of her crown is here, pictures and other grand treasures as well.

So perfect was this bronze sculpture of a young man that Rodin was accused of plastering the body of the live model. He was eventually exonerated.  One Eve sculpture, Rodin complained that he couldn’t get the stomach right, he kept having to change it every time the model posed. It turned out she was pregnant.

There is much here, glass…


a sculpture garden,

a huge collection of Indian artifacts of astounding quality. Beadwork,

exquisite basketry.

It was so thorough, I believe every western Indian tribe was represented in this huge collection.  But for me, the real stars of Maryhill are those unusual things you see nowhere else.

Theatre La Mode, a collection of miniature French designer mannequins is staged against wire backdrops of famous Paris icons.

This display is from 1946 and the art and craft of building them is no longer done.
he faces are made of wax and hair is made from real hair, string and other fibers.
A second collection, chess pieces and boards, was unusual. It’s common to find a chess or game board in a painting or a set belonging to some famous person. Here are multiple sets of unusual variety.

An unusual contemporary set of pieces unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

If chess is your game, don’t miss a collection such as this one with over 30 different sets.  I took way too many pictures. I’ll organize them in segments for later blogs.  Maryhill-such a find!