Archive for the ‘Blogetty Blog: Oysterville Daybook’ Category

In general, I don’t like to re-read my blogs…

Monday, January 23rd, 2023

A Georgia O’Keeffe Travel Box

In some ways, writing this Daybook is a bit like keeping a diary.  Not quite as chronological a record, perhaps, but occasionally I can find an entry that reminds of something that has been gone from conscious thought for years.  Take, for instance, this paragraph from a June 2o16 Daybook entry written when we were visiting our friends Susan Haynes and Bob Borson in Santa Fe.

Later we spent a few hours at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum which was featuring an exhibition of her ‘Texas Period’ paintings – done in the years before her marriage to Alfred Stieglitz and long, long before she found her ‘spiritual home’ here in New Mexico.  Part of the exhibition may have been life-changing for me – if you can have such a revelation at my advanced age.  It was seeing O’Keeffe’s “Travel Boxes” that I think will change my scrapbooking obsession forever…

Obviously, that thought went right out of my mind… forever.  The evidence is six (or more) unfinished scrapbooks and the boxes upon boxes of “stuff” to cull through in order to complete them.  I haven’t yet brought myself to simply dump the entire kit and kaboodle, but that urge is getting stronger .

But what about O’Keeffe’s “travel boxes?”  I can find dozens of pictures of them online but, so far, I can’t find any written description of them.   And perhaps I knew at the time… but now?  Not so much. How did she organize them?  Were they for sharing with others?  How could they take the place of scrapbooks?  Were they easier to store?  And would they only work for a travel experience — not for day-to-day keepsakes?

I don’t know if I am truly interested in the answers to those questions or not.  I’m actually delving deeper by the day into a new book which, if I let it, will probably gobble up all my “free time” for the next year or so.  At the rate I’m going with those scrapbooks and boxes, they’ll still be there jammed to overflowing.  And I’ll be another year beyond remembering why I kept all that “stuff.”  The only positive thought along those lines is that I’m no longer keeping new stuff.  I think the last scrapbook (if I ever get to it) will be for 2019.  But… maybe a variation on O’Keeffe’s Travel Boxes might work.

I do believe Scarlett had a point.  I’ll think about that tomorrow…

FYI — I live in the OTHER Oysterville!

Friday, May 20th, 2022

Photo by Marta LaRue

I was dismayed to learn from one of my facebook friends that this message has been on the  Music in the Gardens Tour FB page for the last few days:

Special News Flash!  A select few tickets for the Oysterville Garden Tour VIP Experience have opened up!  The very special private tour of the gardens — along with a catered and wonderful dinner in the gardens — is an incredible experience!  Proceeds go towards Music Programs in the schools and also supporting the Oysterville School.  Tickets are $1.000 each and this elegant evening is not to be missed.  As you can imagine — it will be a VIP Experience worthy of the Rock Star that you are — while supporting these community nonprofits.  If you want to join an elite group of garden lovers (and foodies) join us Friday, May 20, in Oysterville.  Please send a private message and we will answer questions and arrange for you to join us!  #vipexperience #gardentour #dinner #finedining #taxdeductible

Just Beyond The Garden Gate

OMG!  I fully expect to go up to the cemetery next week to place flowers on the graves of my ancestors and find that the ground is rockin’ and rollin’ as they toss and turn in their graves.  If there is anything that this town was NOT founded on it was elitism.  Everyone was welcome  in 1854– as opposed to the exclusivity of the Bruce Boys in Bruceport just across the bay.  RH Espy and Alonzo Clark were of one mind on that point — there would be no exclusivity or elitism here.  The Oysterville desribed on the Water Music FB page is certainly not MY Oysterville or one my forebears would recognize!

South Garden in Summer 2013

And in more recent times, or at least for the last 80 years (which is about all of my 86 that I can clearly remember) Oysterville has continued to be a welcoming place.  Friendliness, sincerity, and a willingness to help are the defining charactertistics that Oysterville residents have considered important.  How much money you have, how Very Important you are in your own eyes, or whether or not you have Rock Star characterists don’t really hold much cachet.  Foodies?   Elite group of garden lovers?  I’m not sure the people who lived and loved, worked and played here and cherished Oysterville were all that interested in those aspects of life.  I am happy that this is not MY Oysterville.  Shame on you, if it is yours!



“Dear Mommy!”

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

Front of Envelope from Charlie, July 1971

I truly love that my senior citizen son STILL begins letters to me “Dear Mommy!”  (Thank goodness, though, that they’ve never been to Mommy Dearest…)

Back of Envelope from Charlie, July 1971

After reading all of Gordon’s epistles (and saving some for subsequent blogs), I tackled the fattest packet of all — letters from Charlie beginning in in the 1970s when he was up here at Camp Sherwood Forest and I was still living in California. Many of them (and their envelopes!) were richly illustrated but it’s the history that he was unknowingly writing about that I have especially enjoyed re-reading.  Like this one:

Nov. 13, 82

Dear Mommy!
Here’s some exciting stuff for you!
The query was driving me crazy — so I did something new & exciting!  I went down to a place that has word processors — and lets you use them by the hour.  You type — and your words appear on T.V.!  Well, the deal is that you only have to type your letter once, and then type your mailing list — and the word processor does the rest — freshly typed copies for everyone — no errors, envelopes & all.  At the touch of a button you can delete, copy or move as little as one letter or as much as several paragraphs!
If you want, the can print it out to look like book copy — proportionally spaced and justified on the right — but I think that looks fussy — I wanted it to look like I had taken individual care with each letter.  Anyway — I spent a couple of days there — training on the machines is free.  I’m addicted!  Have to make a fortune & buy an IBM machine!

He “signs” the letter (which is, as are most of his epistles, printed in all caps on lined yellow notebook paper) with a drawing of himself at the IBM “word processor.”  Priceless!

I’m sending the packet on to Charlie with the thought that these letters going back as many as 50 years will be fun for him to “re-live.”  They certainly were for me!

Hear her story: Nancy Bell Anderson

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Nancy Bell Anderson

On the chance that you haven’t had time to read yesterday’s Observer, I am copying the article I wrote about the Oysterville Schoolhouse Lectures.  They start tomorrow, September 20th.  Hope to see you there!

Nancy Bell Anderson, co-founder with her daughter of the Knappton Cove Heritage Center, will begin the Fall 2018 Lecture Series at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 20 at the Oysterville Schoolhouse.  Her topic: “The Columbia River’s Ellis Island.”

Since 1980 when the U.S. Public Health Service Quarantine Station was paced on the National Register of Historic Places, Nancy and a cadre of volunteers have worked tirelessly to preserve and interpret this important Pacific Northwest site.  She will talk about the site from the time it was put up for auction in 1950, its rescue and its role in interpreting the immigration story of the lower Columbia region.

Four additional schoolhouse lectures are scheduled for alternative Thursdays:
October 4, Dr. Susan Raymond, “Hieroglyphs and Graffiti”
October 18, Andrea Patten, “Hear My Poems – My Father’s Code”
November 1, Aaron Webster, “Flint Knapping”
November 15, Dr. Madeline Kalbach, “Birds, Making Their Voices Heard”

Knappton Cove Heritage Center

This marks the tenth season of the Schoolhouse Lectures.  Organized by Diane Buttrell and sponsored by the Oysterville Community Club, the talks are open to the public and are followed by a question and answer period.

Coming Up On Wedding Season!

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

A Venerable Name

Maybe it was our shared last name.  “Almost” I should say.  Hers is with a ‘ph’ instead of a ‘v’.  For whatever reason, we had a wonderful chat on the telephone and I felt I had met a new friend – and her family!

She called about renting the church for her August wedding.  The date she had in mind was available, I penciled her in on the calendar and, under normal circumstances, that would have been that!  But, somehow, we got to talking about officiants and paperwork and whether there might be out-of-state-requirements (wouldn’t you think I’d know that, but I don’t) which led to discussion of a part-time family place in Ocean Park which led to…

“My father reads your blog every day!”

“Really?  Do we know each other?”

A Venerable Venue

“No.  But …”  And she told me the most marvelous story about the agreement she and her twin sister made with her dad a few years back.  The girls would come to the Peninsula every weekend for a year (no matter what) and, together, they would build a house.  Then, they would sell it and share the proceeds.  “It was the best experience I’ve ever had!”

During the construction process, she began a blog, specifically to tell about the building experience and “mostly for my father’s benefit.”  Apparently, it was during that time that Mr. Stephens ‘discovered’ my Oysterville Daybook blog and became a ‘fan.’

Bridal Bouquet

“You have become the center of many family discussions” the bride-to-be told me!  “We know all about you!”

Can you imagine?  I was all smiles the rest of the evening.  I want to read the house-building blog.   I want to see the house they built.  And I want to meet the family!  The wedding date is set for the day after Nyel’s birthday.  If we are home, I intend to keep an eye on the church.  Perhaps I can go chat them up when they are decorating or beginning to gather for the big event…

Or maybe they’ll come knocking at our door.  I’d like that.  It happens fairly often during the wedding season but meeting the ‘ph’ namesakes would take my scheduling duties to a whole new level!

Blogetty, Blogetty, Blogetty, Blog!

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

I feel like it’s my birthday, Christmas and an Easter Egg Hunt all wrapped into one!  A new FAAAST computer sits on my desk.  And what’s more I’ve managed to jump every registry and password hurdle without too much angst and, so far anyway, I don’t see any huge glitches on my desktop or even behind those cheerful icons.  Everything is where it should be and all is right with my world.  Let the blogging begin!!

But first a huge shout-out to Mike Challis and his amazing crew – especially Mark who, with consummate patience and good cheer, answered every stupid question I had.  And, as a veteran of 39 years in primary classrooms, I can tell you with complete assurance, there ARE stupid questions!  You’d think that an old duck such as myself, who got her first computer back in the dark ages of DOS – it was 1982, before Microsoft Word was on the market – would not feel so insecure about technology.  But… I do and I am.  Thank goodness there is help right down the road.

I wish I could rattle off all the specs – the RAM and the Gigabytes etc. –  of this little laptop.  Yes, little.  I specifically asked for one that did not have that scary looking number pad next to the keyboard.  I don’t do numbers more than I can help it and, unlike Nyel and other banking types, I can’t go tap tap tap and add up a column of figures without so much as a hiccup.  Words, yes.  Numbers, no.  So… this laptop is smaller and slimmer.  A role model.

Also, lighter weight.  Because all those software programs and other add-ons can now be downloaded and charged to your credit card with no trouble at all (YIKES!), new laptop models are apparently coming without DVD/CD players.  They are no longer needed and without them, laptops are slimmer and weigh less.  And faster than my fingers can keep up with!

So, there you have it.  Back to blogging.  Back to researching.  Back to catching up and fine-tuning a book or two.

One Day at a Time

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

It’s been one of ‘those’ weeks… Consequently, no blogging, no emailing, no response from this end to all the concerned questions from friends and fans. So, though it’s a bit out of my usual blog character – if blogs can be considered to have such an attribute – I will try to recap the past seven or eight days in some sort of staccato, shorthand fashion.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13th – To Portland for CT Scan and Dr. appt. for Nyel. Motel check-in. Tried to get head start on blog. Interrupted by a “Windows Update” at 7 p.m. after which my computer had lost the function of the space bar and the 1, 2, 3, 4 keys. Everythinglookedlikethis (and dates like 1854 came out 85 and 1881 came out 88) which was not conducive to blogging or, more importantly, to working on a Power Point presentation for the Community Historian Class scheduled for March 21st. Stewed about that for way too long – till about 2:00 and discovered…Too.time.consuming.and.unsatisfactory.

THURSDAY, MARCH 14thUp at 4:00 for early check-in at Emanuel Hospital where Nyel is scheduled for an ablation – probably a four to five hour procedure. I aborted my plan to work on my presentation in the waiting room – too tired to think well. Nyel’s procedure took nine full hours!!! Good results said doctor. Nyel groggy with sore throat and rough voice (from breathing tube) but otherwise, comfortable. I was provided a cot in his room for the night.

FRIDAY, MARCH 15th – Drove home at noon with doctor’s orders and prescriptions to fill. Called Mike’s Computers and Mark took a look at my computer remotely – Too involved for a quick fix; arranged to take computer in on Tuesday. Nyel weak but otherwise feeling “okay.”

SATURDAY, MARCH 16th – Worked all day on Power Point presentation by copying phrases in old documents, cutting and pasting them onto Power Point template, typing over the words and saving the spaces. Onerous but do-able. Errands, grocery shopping, house set-up for tomorrow’s House Concert. Nyel about the same – up and dressed, but taking it very easy.

SUNDAY, MARCH 17th – Fine-tuned (read dusted, cleaned bathroom) for House Concert and used spare moments to finish up Power Point program. Musicians, The Winterlings, arrived at 3:00 to set up. Audience (37 people) began arriving at 3:30. Concert from 4:00 to 6:00ish followed by potluck dinner. The Winterlings did not stay overnight as expected so we crashed fairly early after putting house back together. Nyel was a bit tired but said he was ‘okay,’

MONDAY, MARCH 18th – Nyel not well today – quite fatigued, short of breath, dizzy when standing, shaky when walking. Contacted doctor; adjusted meds. Betwixt and between, Nyel napped and I fine-tuned my Power Point presentation.

TUESDAY, MARCH 19th – Nyel feeling considerably better. We met friends in Astoria for a belated birthday celebration for me (we were in the hospital back on ‘the’ day, Feb. 28th). Dropped my computer off at Mike’s and learned that they had just received another computer, same make as mine that had developed the same problem on the same day after a Microsoft Windows update! Hmmm. Stopped at Heritage Museum to transfer my Power Point presentation from my thumb drive to their computer. Discussed pros and cons of repairing my computer with Mike Challis. After consultation with Nyel, decided to upgrade to a new laptop. Don’t know when it will be set up and available for pick up. ‘Rehearsed’ my script for tomorrow. Am ready… more-or-less. Nyel shaky, dizzy, but stronger.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22nd – Nyel feeling better but taking it easy. Presentation (66 slides/100+ historic photos) was exactly an hour with only one or two serious glitches – a minor miracle under the circumstances. Out to lunch with Maggie. Home to find Nyel feeling “okay” but ready for a nap.

TODAY, THURSDAY, MARCH 23rd – Nyel feeling good enough to attend Schoolhouse talk today.   Yay!!!
Figured out how to post from my blog from his computer…maybe.

Looking Backward and Forward, Mail-Wise

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Postcard of Oysterville Post Office Outside and Inside

I don’t know how old I was when I realized that the daily mail was something to look forward to.  Maybe I was five or six and my Oysterville Granny or my Boston Nana had sent a letter addressed specifically to me.  Oh, the joy of it!

It wasn’t until many years later that I learned the flip side of that anticipation: a little bit of dread, probably having to do with incoming bills.  Then along came the junk-mail years and both anticipation and dread went on more-or-less permanent hold as far as my post office box was concerned.  Just annoyance at more recycling to be done.

Betty Paxton at 100

Nowadays, my surprises from afar often come in the form of emails and often they are from people I don’t know.  In particular, messages and queries come in response to my blog and, more often than not, to a blog that I posted long ago.  I usually have to recalibrate my mental calendar a bit to remember what my newly-acquired correspondent is talking about.

Yesterday, for instance, I received an email in response to my April 16, 2016 blog, “Betty Paxton: My Role Model.”  The email was from a woman who had worked with Betty in Seattle back in the ‘70s and wanted to get in touch with her.  She expressed amazement that Betty was now 102 and confided that she, herself, was only 67 and talked about a small driftwood and seashell sculpture of a seagull that Betty had made for her long ago.  She still has it, though the tiny beak has broken off.

And, a few days before that, along came an email from someone with a familiar name who wanted to know something about a place she stayed in Long Beach when she was a little girl visitor in the 1940s.  Unfortunately, my knowledge of the Peninsula during that period is pretty much confined to Granny and Papa’s house across from the Oysterville Church – the center of my world when I, too, was a little girl visitor to this magical land of woods and bay, picnics and sand castles, friends and family.

Back In The Day

I loved being in on both these queries and hope that my responses were helpful.  In the first instance, I forwarded the email to Betty, herself.  For the other, I reached out to someone who grew up in Long Beach and would know more than I about the accommodations available in past years.  I have my mental fingers crossed that my forwarding and networking attempts will be helpful.  Meanwhile… I’m eager to see what today’s mail will bring!  You never know…


Oysterville Daybook

Friday, May 27th, 2016
The First Daybook Entry - 2010

The First Daybook Entry – 2010

I began my blog, the Oysterville Daybook on March 30, 2010.  I thought I might be able to write a daily entry for a year or two about life in this tiny hamlet on the bay.  It would interlace the past with the present, my family with the neighbors, and take a look at the greater community now and then.

My purpose was straightforward: to sell more books.  “Raise your profile,” advised my webmaster.  “Try blogging.”  I don’t think I was even very clear about what a blog was exactly.  Certainly I had no idea what I could write about.  “Write what you know,” advised my inner voice said.  (Actually, it was the voice of my eighth grade teacher Mrs. Barnes, I think.)

2,331 blogs later, I don’t know if my purpose has been accomplished.  It’s hard to quantify book sales.  But it’s the other things that have happened along the way that have kept me going –the people I’ve ‘met’ through their comments and questions; the blog fans who have come to the house to introduce themselves; the bits and pieces of history I’ve learned along the way.  The Daybook has definitely taken on a life of its own.

Apple Harvest -2015

Apple Harvest -2015

Yesterday, I began the process of culling through those several thousand blogs with another book in mind.  At the urging of my readers, I’m trying to figure out if I can “cherry pick” through all those entries and do a composite year-long Oysterville Daybook.  I’m quite sure the material is there.  Farmer Nyel and the chicken blogs alone are a no-brainer.  And there are dozens of stories and anecdotes about Oysterville past and present.  Plus the stories about people – their contributions, their idiosyncrasies and the ways in which they enrich village life.

Yes – tons of material, some of it fairly well written, too.  But, how to put it together?  What does a composite year look like?   Do I use the actual day/month that things happened but jump around year-wise– February 28 (2013) followed by February 29 (2016) and March 1 (2010)?  Or just use days and months and never mind if those are really when stuff happened – Monday, February 28; Tuesday, February 29th etc. and put the actual date at the foot of each blog.

Chicken Production - 3013

Chicken Production – 3013

And what about sequencing the events themselves? Or the dates that seem to be more ‘popular’?  January 11th for instance had great entries in 2012, 2014, and 2016.  And August 27th 2011 and 2015 are keepers. How to choose?  Or do I fake it with a disclaimer in the foreword?

So far, a composite Daybook is a logistics challenge for sure.  Maybe it will come together; maybe not.  Meanwhile, it’s a good trip down memory lane.  And, besides, the two other books that have been on my back burner were sent off to potential publishers on Wednesday.  Woot!  Woot!

It’s a test!

Monday, March 14th, 2016
Birthday Treat!

Birthday Treat!

When I said I’d be celebrating my birthday for a year, I had no idea what form the partying would take. Birdseed! That’s what! At least that’s how it has begun.

Last night I was the guest of honor at a Birthday Dinner and one of the participants surprised me with a bag of wild birdseed – “so your girls will stay home!” he announced.  (I should point out that said gift-giver is a reader of my blogs and has taken note of my comments about the current bad habits of our resident chickens.)

Thus it is that today I’ll be scattering a little birdseed out in the yard about mid-morning. I remember that Pooh Bear described his need for a little smackerel of something as “feeling eleven o’clockish.” For our chickens, though, snack time is all day long. After all, that’s what free-ranging is all about.

But lately, about morning coffee break time, they head under the fence, across the street, through the Driscoll’s yard and over to Wachsmuths’ place. Somehow, they’ve gotten wind of the fact that Carol feeds the birds each morning and, apparently, the girls feel obligated to go over and do any necessary cleanup.

Heading on Out!

Heading on Out!

I’m not completely convinced that they actually make the daily excursion with birdseed as their main focus. I suspect that they could be simply paying a neighborly social call. They like Carol and Tucker. They know them well as the folks who come to wake them up and tuck them in whenever we are away. And I think that by careful observation they have figured out where these nice chicken-sitters come from. The wild bird seed may be just a bonus.

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

We’ll see. Now that I have a supply right here at the house, will they continue to make their daily excursions? Is it one of those ‘how’re you going to keep them down on the farm,’ things? As long as Tucker and Carol don’t mind the girls coming to call, and as long as those chickens look both ways as they cross the road, it’s all good. Although we are considering one of those Chicken Crossing signs.