Archive for February, 2011
It’s been a long winter–it’s almost March and we still have 6 inches of snow on the ground. In addition to the birds and the ducks we’ve been feeding three raccoons that stop by every evening around 9:30 or so. It’s not a good thing to do, I know, but I suspect they aren’t finding much to eat with the weather we’ve had. So they will get an apple and some nuts until the snow melts. I think this little coon paw print in the snow is beautiful.
The Northwest Flower and Garden Show offered a good escape from the persistent late-winter weather. The showcase garden exhibits are always stupendous and this year was as good as ever. We didn’t come away with any extravagant ideas for our own yard but we did take photos of a few plants we will be trying if spring ever gets here.
Amidst a snow squall, Marenakos Rock Center delivered the hearthstone and rock for our new fireplace.
In spite of the threat of a winter storm we headed into Seattle to see the Chieftains perform with the Seattle Symphony. This was the third time I’ve seen the famous Irish band and what a wonderful performance it was. What’s better than world-class musicians playing great tunes accompanied by a symphony (Seattle Symphony), pipers (Keith Highlanders Pipe Band), a chorus (Northwest Boychoir), a traditional Scottish singer (Alyth McCormack) and beautiful fair-skinned lasses (especially the incomparable Cara Butler) tapping out an array of Celtic dances?
- Chieftains along with added artists to appear with Seattle Symphony (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
I’ve played about six rounds of golf so far this year but given the poor weather and dicey course conditions, I’ve treated them as practice. For the first time since about October of last year I seemed to find a steady swing and had a good day of ball-striking. I managed four pars over the first six holes, just missing birdies on three of them. My failure to keep up putting practice over the winter has been apparent as I two-putted from inside 10 feet four times and settled for an 88.
The transformation of our family room is underway. Today we had the old fireplace demolished and a new high-efficiency, gas fireplace installed. We’re left with the roughed-in unit until the stone work happens in about a week.
Looking at the U.S. weather over the past week or so I remember why I’m happy to be out here in the far west coast. The wind chill in Iowa City, where I lived in 1972-77, is going to be -25 tonight with something like 17 inches of snow on the ground since last week. I loved Iowa but I recall there were some cruel stretches of winter. By contrast, we’re in the middle of the same winter here in North Bend and it looks like we’ll see 45 degrees tomorrow and I’ll likely head to the golf course.
As usual, golf is off to a slow start. I typically get in just 3-4 rounds in the first six weeks of the year and that’s where I am in early 2011. I played Chambers Bay on January 25th, a brutal test for the first time out in some six weeks. The long respite produced the expected result: a 106. Persistent rain kept me in for another week until I got in three rounds this past Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday at Mt . Si. In freezing conditions and very inconsistent play I settled for 94, 90 and 94. This is, unfortunately, typical of my early rounds each of the past two years where I didn’t break 90 until April and March. I expect to do better this year.