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First there was this:


And then there was this:


And this:

And of course lots of time actually at the beach and in the water, but no photos of that.

And now there’s an apartment with gifts piled in the corners, waiting for homes (I either need a few apartment or some very creative storage solutions).  And thank yous to write.  And all kinds of things that have been neglected over the last few weeks and months.  And an incredible number of books that I put on hold “to read on vacation” and never got around to opening.  And a husband.

A month ago I spent at weekend at the Washington coast with the girls I lived with senior year of college – we get together at least once or twice a year, and a beach weekend is our new tradition.  I finally uploaded my photos and I’m feeling nostalgic.

The weather was surprisingly gorgeous for February – or really any time of year in the northwest.  We had a sunny day that made us squint in the picture.  We went barefoot until our toes got numb.

It was wonderful.  I can’t wait to go back.


I had Monday off work and went to the coast for the day with my mom and brother.


My sunburn is just now starting to fade and peel and not cause people to exclaim over it.  It turns out that when you sit at the reference desk at the library, patrons like to tell you that you got some sun.  And tell you how much it must hurt.  And make sure that you’re “putting something on it.”  Really?  Oh, the joys of public service.  At any rate, the beach was fantastic.


We started out in Seaside, where it was sunny and overcast and foggy all at once.   Then we drove south to Hug Point (my favorite spot), which is a bit more classic Oregon Coast, but where I left my camera in the car.  We stopped for dinner in Cannon Beach, at a place that I’ve been to twice before and never had a satisfactory experience – why can’t I remember that from one year to the next?  But not bad enough to be truly disappointing.  But what is a pub at the beach without fish and chips, I ask you?


In other news, I’ve been in my new job for a week and a half.  I’ve already placed one order of children’s fiction, and my next list is even bigger.  My to-read list is also enormous and it pains me to think of ordering all these books that I’ll never have time to read.  I’m also spending more time working with other people, and less time alone, which is a pleasant change since I like the people I work with.  And there are always entertaining questions/problems, like the patron who put his library card into the floppy drive at an internet station, and then asked why it hadn’t let him onto the computer.  Hmm.  Maybe because you were supposed to type in your card number?

North of Muir Beach – gosh, I love the coast.

It’s a lazy Wednesday morning.  I made the puffiest of puffy oven pancakes for breakfast, and instead of having coffee with a little cream, I’m having hot milk with a little coffee.  Still delicious, but in a different way – I haven’t done a very good job of drinking up my milk this week and tomorrow is my turn to drive to the farm.  So the pancake used up some and the hot milk with coffee is using up more.  Pudding might use up most of the rest.  I’ve had a little cold for a week or so, which makes delicious cold raw milk not quite as appetizing as usual.

I finally took 150+ photos off my camera and I think I’ll post them slowly – I was just reading a post at Penni Russon’s blog about having blogger’s block (I particularly liked her comments on sadness and google searches), and either I have it, too, or I’m just lazy.  Or I’m out of the habit.  Either way, I miss it.  So I’ll try to jump-start myself with photos.  And more talking about books, of course.

Here’s a photo of the trail Bronwen and I hiked on our mini-break – conveniently photographed while on a coast drive the next day.  Yes, it really does go up and up and up.  But it was lovely at the top.

I’m reading Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s The Home-Maker, which is sort of painful to read but fascinating.  And I’m convinced the characters will become much happier before too long, so the pain is more bearable.  I think it would be funnier, too, if it didn’t in some way tap into my own fears about my desire for neatness and order.  Reading about slightly OCD behaviors loses its funny when you can imagine yourself doing some of the same things.  At any rate, I might need to take a break and read another YA novel – there’s a pile waiting for me.

The hopefully-knocked-up Marrit.

This one makes the taken-in-Ireland-2001  self-portrait look hopelessly dated.

Taz again, hard at work, treeing the invisible mountain lion.

And yes, I’m ashamed to admit it, I only took pictures of Kate’s animals and not of her.

On the farm with Taz.

Pacific Ocean, somewhere south of San Francisco.

Edited to add: more photos from my trip on flickr.

I’m still reading Middlemarch, chugging along and enjoying myself as long as I’m alert enough to really pay attention.  It’s no beach book, Middlemarch, which is why I cheated on it and brought The Off-Season with me to Hug Point on Saturday.  It was all lovely lovely let’s spread our blankets in the warm sand and apply some sunscreen and munch down on a delicious picnic, running back and forth from the waves to the blanket when we needed cooling down.  Until, of course, ominous drops of rain starting falling.  Okay, it was just a mist for a while, and I thought “I can handle this” and kept on reading, but then it reached the point where I had to decide whether or not to preserve the integrity of my library book, plus the blankets were wet, plus we were all starting to look like drowned rats, plus it was raining a lot harder.  So we packed up and drove into Cannon Beach for a couple of pints.  And some fish and chips.

Anyway, The Off-Season had much the same feel of Dairy Queen, to which it is the sequel, but the plot was no copycat and the ending was not what I expected in one department, in a completely realistic and character-growth sort of way.  I totally want another sequel.   Perfect for laying on the couch and trying to read away a headache, perhaps a result of two much beach or not enough water or not eating until after church.   It was not a result of too much birthday, because that was still to come (the two much part, as the actual birthday was long past), and too much birthday will result in me running around using coffee cards and Powell’s cards and cash gifts for a new bookshelf.



I really need one.  Kitri really needs one, too, given the way books sort of spill off the one in her room.  Hopefully we won’t, between us, fill this one up and then think we need yet another.

Sunday was all barbecues and cake and ice cream and badminton and more picnic, I even have two cupcakes left, waiting patiently for me, and chocolate bar that made its way into my bag in the course of the beach trip.

Having an actual weekend off is just too exhausting.

i will!

Originally uploaded by jessmonster.

last summer, foreshadowing this summer.

February 2023

Flickr Photos