Book lovers, rejoice!

Have you been to the Goodwill in West Olympia? Their book section looks like a mini bookstore! The books are organized by type and there’s a bestsellers section. There are many well-known and new titles to choose from. There are even chairs for leisurely browsing. The staff member working in the section was making book recommendations and offered assistance. It really had such a great vibe. Prices vary but good deals abound.

They also carry DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes and vinyl.

Overall the store is well organized and clean and they sell a lot of new items in addition to the second-hand finds. I saw lots of colorful vases and fun decorative items. I almost left the store with a pair of carved palm tree lamps. (I was good!) If you have stayed away from thrift stores in the past, this one might change your mind.

Location: 400 Cooper Point Rd SW, Olympia, WA 98502, (360) 956-0669
Hours: 9 am-9 am, Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm on Sun.

Donating and buying used is a great way to reuse, reduce, recycle. Stay green and happy reading!

Love,
Oly


It rained today and it made me happy. My 100 or so plants needed the rain. I want them to have their best chance. A little blustery–boo–but it’s no nor’easter! We have low 50s. A reason to be grateful.

Free books for everyone!

I have almost always loved books. I have to admit that there was a time after graduate school that I wanted nothing to do with books. And lately, I find that fiction does not hold my attention but I continue to be grateful for the wide variety of books available.

When I was a kid, a bookmobile came to our neighborhood and I went there with my dog Clifford. Clifford the Big Red Dog was one of the first books that I learned to read and it followed that my first dog would be named after my literary hero. The librarian, also having an appreciation for my dog and his literary namesake, let him curl up at her feet while I checked out as many books as I could carry. Every kid — and every adult — should have access to a library, but sadly, not all do.

After moving to Olympia, I decided to become a regular at the library and now I almost always have books checked out. I used to buy all my books but the library lets me try before I buy and keeps me from being overrun by books.

Which brings me to my own library. My better half bought me a Little Free Library and this weekend the post went in the ground and the Library went up. I filled it with books and a guest book and it’s officially up and running.

If you are new to these little libraries, the Little Free Library movement brings tiny libraries to neighborhoods and public spaces around the globe. I am a proponent of contributing to the commons and Little Free Libraries serve as quaint and quirky guideposts on the streets of life. LFLs encourage sharing and community. Take a book or leave a book is the most common format although some LFL stewards have their own take. Some are in urban spaces and some are even far more remote than mine. I would not be surprised if some of my neighbors think I have lost it putting a little library up on our gravel road. I feel like I put up a new bird feeder and I am waiting for the birds to find it! But the cool thing about caring for the commons is that it doesn’t matter how big or well-traveled your part of the commons is. It still counts.

So my Little Free Library is up and waiting for its first visitor. Will it be a Lady and the Tramp fan? Someone looking for a copy of Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People? Someone just discovering the magical world of Harry Potter? Or someone drawn to the vampires and witches of L.J. Smith’s Night World series? Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Little Women? Or Anne Lamott’s standard for aspiring and/or struggling writers, Bird by Bird.

It will be fun to see what happens.

Keep reading!

Love,
Oly



Today’s weather was a mix of sun and clouds and rain. It didn’t keep me from working in the yard–I had all of those plant sale plants to get in the ground!

Share your garden

Gardener’s Supply, an online gardening supply company based in Vermont, has launched a Garden to Give initiative to encourage gardeners to grow food for local food banks by planting Giving Gardens.They teamed up with High Mowing Organic Seeds to provide seeds to 500 gardeners to plant a Giving Garden. If you are anything like me, you probably have seeds and produce to share. 

Intrigued, I wanted to see if our local Thurston County Food Bank accepts garden-grown produce and was excited to see that they do! Check out the Grower’s Guide for instructions on how to participate and what crops are needed. As of the date of this post, these were the top needed items:

  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Hardy greens (kale, collards, etc)
  • Onions (all kinds)
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Pears
  • Peppers
  • Plums
  • Radishes
  • Rutabagas
  • Tomatoes

The food bank also has a gleaning volunteer program that organizes work parties to harvest surplus produce from local farms. Gleaning refers to harvesting leftover or sometimes unused food crops.

Keep growing and share your gardening love.

Love,
Oly


Today’s weather: It was a beautiful sunny day today in the South Sound with highs in the low 50s. I did a lot of yard work today, doing cleanup, digging holes and planting my native plants from the TCD Native Plant Sale.


Special shoutout to my mom today: Happy Birthday!

The Evergreen State

The winter rainy gloom that the Seattle area seems to be known for is a thing, I am sorry to say. The upside is that unlike other places I have lived that look dead during the winter, Washington truly is the evergreen state. Even in the winter, there is green everywhere that you look.

This got me thinking about the state tree. I thought for sure it would be the Douglas Fir. Nope, that’s Oregon’s state tree. Washington’s state tree is the Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). The Western Hemlock is an evergreen conifer that grows in the Western U.S. close to the Pacific coast. It can be a long-lived tree reaching heights well over 200 feet. It’s a shade tolerant tree that can grow in the canopy of other trees, like the Douglas Fir, but it eventually overtakes them.

Hug a tree!

Love,
Oly

 

Go Native

It’s that time! The Thurston Conservation District native plant sale is Saturday, March 3! There will be vendor booths and activities for kids. And the Master Gardeners will be there!

The 2018 sale will be held 10 am to 3 pm at the Thurston Conservation District offices located at 2918 Ferguson St SW Tumwater, 98512.

The sale will also feature a few workshops:

  • 11 am: Gardening With Mushrooms –  Fungi Perfecti, Loni Jean Ronnebaum
    This presentation will feature information on low tech mushroom cultivation for home and garden, people, and the planet.
  • Noon: Best Practices for a Healthy LawnThurston CD, Nicole Warren
    Gear up for summer lawn parties! Are you frustrated by weeds and moss in your lawn? Come learn about appropriate fertilizer application, protecting water quality, and tips for a beautiful lawn.
  • 1 pm: MycoremediationFungi Perfecti, Tristan Woodsmith
    A brief overview of our research on the use of fungi for filtration of water (mycofiltration), the breakdown of toxic wastes (mycoremediation), empowering ecoforestry strategies (mycoforestry) and helping to influence and control pest insect populations (mycopesticides). Tristan will also discuss our current bee research with WSU.
  • 2 pm: Soil Testing for a Productive GardenThurston CD, Nicole Warren
    Is your garden not producing as much as you want it to? Seems lackluster? Are you amending your soils without testing them? Come learn why your soil’s nutrients affect plant growth, what you can and can’t change, and how to make those changes. Details of Thurston CD’s soil testing program will be shared as well.

The annual sale allows gardeners to pre-order plants so watch for that annually in January. I preordered a bunch of plants and picked them up today. Guess what I will be doing this weekend!

One of my goals in my yard is to remove invasive plants, like the Himalayan Blackberry, and focus on planting native plants.

Because I have a wooded yard with lots of plant material, I decided to order some marker flags from Amazon to mark the location of the new plants so it will be easier to keep an eye on them and enlist my better half’s help in watering them if needed.  There’s always some mortality when planting bare root plants and plugs so go easy on yourself if you decide to buy plants this way. The TCD provides good planting and care instructions. It feels like a little more work — with more uncertainty — but it can be easier to establish plants this way because they are growing in place.

You had me at “plant sale.” <3

Keep growing!

Love,
Oly

Brown Derby Antiques

We visited Brown Derby Antiques over the weekend. Located on Capitol Blvd., just off Interstate 5. It’s one of the 29 establishments in the Antique Vintage Association of Olympia Shopping Guide and Map that I mentioned in another post

Location: 4800 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater, Washington 98501-121, 360-701-9009
Hours: 10  am – 6 pm, Monday-Saturday and 10 am – 4 pm Sundays and by appointment.

This place is jam-packed with all kinds of goodies. If you like vintage kitchen things, this is the place for you! There is a giant coffee tin that I am still thinking about! They are also super friendly and helpful.

Happy treasure hunting!

Love,
Oly


Today’s weather: Oh, man, it snowed today. Not very much but it was sobering to someone sitting on a stack of garden seeds waiting for spring. Plus, really cold. Woke up to temps in the 20s and it didn’t warm much. <sigh>

Law Enforcement Memorial

State of Washington Law Enforcement MemorialWe visited the Law Enforcement Memorial on the Washington State Capitol Campus.

The inscription says, “Their duty was to serve. Our duty is to remember.”

The monument has the names of law enforcement officers who lost their lives the line of duty in Washington. Sadly, 275 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1854 when Washington was still a territory.  The memorial is in a tranquil spot overlooking Capitol Lake and the Puget Sound with a view of the Olympic Mountains.

You can learn more by visiting the Behind the Badge site.

 

Capitol Lake

Love,
Oly


Today’s weather: Cold and rainy in the morning but warming up to the upper 40s.

A copy of a copy can be a beautiful thing

One of my favorite Michael Keaton movies is Multiplicity. In it, the main character Doug decided that he needs more bandwidth and finds a doctor that will clone him. Unsatisfied with one clone he adds a second. But then his clones get in on it and make a copy of a copy. Things start to go really awry at this point.

But I digress.

It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the Tivoli Fountain on the Olympia Capitol Campus is that times two. It’s based on the Tivoli Fountain in Copenhagen, Denmark which itself is a replica of a fountain at Villa d’Este, near Rome. The original fountain is the work of Pirro Ligorio, a 16th-century architect.

The fountain in Copenhagen was built by Fritz Meyer of Copenhagen. Peter Schmidt, then president of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation saw the fountain during his visit to Copenhagen in 1949 and believed that the Capitol campus needed a similar feature. The foundation, Schmidt and Meyer all had a hand in bringing the fountain project to fruition. I am always impressed by the sheer force of will that can bring a project together.

The fountain was rededicated in 2017 after extensive repairs. You can learn more about the fountain and other public art and memorials on this Department of Enterprise Services website.

Love,
Oly


Today’s weather: About 45°F mid-day. Looks like rain and — eek — snow is coming our way this weekend. We enjoyed this dry-ish spell while it lasted. A warm front would be welcome. 😉

So much fabric, so little time

I think I made my first quilt on a whim, many moons ago. I was somehow roped into teaching a quilt-in-a-day class to fill in for an ailing instructor. I was an experienced sewist but not a quilter at that point. I guess it never occurred to me to say no! So I learned to make a pieced quilt (the quilting knowledge came much later). I have probably made at least 20 quilts since then. Most of them are my own design but I decided to make seasonal quilts and I got this Pixel Heart in a Pixel Heart design by Daydreams of Quilts on Craftsy.

I liked the computer design aspect of the pixel heart. I push pixels around all day, after all. I wanted to have a scrappy look so I went through my stash. I actually had quite a few blues and reds after stocking up for another quilt project. (I used blues instead of blacks for the inner heart – the symbolism felt better for me.) This was a great pattern: good directions and easy-to-follow with a full-color grid that I referred to often during the piecing stage!

But I needed the whites and beiges for the background. So I went to Joann fabrics to see what I could find. I found some great white on white and white on beige fabrics, along with a black on white arrow fabrics that look like Cupid’s weapon of choice. Sing along with me and Sam Cooke.

Spray n BondI also needed to replace my spray adhesive. I bought the Spray n Bond basting adhesive. It was virtually odorless, easy to use and I had no issues with overspray like I have in the past. This is one of the best things to happen to quilting, IMO. You can attach the pieced top, batting and backing with easy to use spray glue. It’s temporary and washes out. I remember all of the safety pins I used to sandwich and hold quilt layers in the past. Once you have been stuck by 100 safety pins, spray adhesive seems like a wild dream come true. I also needed some batting. I use Warm and Natural batting because I like how it shrinks into a soft old fashioned looking quilt after quilting and washing.

Location: Joann is located in Target Place Plaza next to the Target in Olympia, 2725 Harrison Ave Nw Ste 500, Olympia, WA 98502, 360-754-0500
Hours: 9 am – 9 pm, Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 7 pm on Sunday. (It’s always a good idea to verify the hours, especially around holidays.)

Joann has an app and/or you can sign up for their mailing list to receive sale notices and coupons. Pro tip: Always use coupons!

Keep it scrappy!

Love,
Oly


Today’s weather: Cold in the morning but warming up to low 40s. Wondering if we can be done with winter now.

Winged Victory Monument

One of the many things to see on the Washington Capitol Grounds is Winged Victory. Created by artist Alonzo Victor Lewis (1886 – 1946), Winged Victory honors veterans of World War I. It was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1938.

The impressive Winged Victory Monument depicts the goddess Nike, also known as Victory, hovering protectively over four figures, a sailor, a soldier, a marine, and a Red Cross nurse. More than 21,000 U.S. Army nurses and nearly 1,500 U.S. Navy nurses served in military hospitals in the United States and overseas during the war. There were 116,516 U.S. deaths during World War I.

There are four inscriptions on the monument:

  • East facing side: “To the memory of the citizens of the State of Washington who lost their lives in the service of the United States during the World War 1917–1918”
  • North facing side: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend”
  • West facing side: “Their sacrifice was to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world”
  • South facing side: “They fought to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy”

Winged Victory
Winged Victory in 1938 [Photo from the Washington State Digital Archives]
Public art has the remarkable ability to present a multilayered story adding historical and cultural dimensions to the public spaces that we use every day. You can read more about the importance of public art in this monograph.

Lewis was a painter before he became a sculptor and he created a fair bit of controversy by painting the prizefighter Jack Dempsey. You can read more about Lewis here and here.

If you have ever wondered how monuments are cared for over time, the Washington Department of Enterprise Services provides a fair amount of detail about the upkeep of this monument and other monuments and public art pieces on their website.

Love,
Oly


Today’s weather: cold again today. Woke up to temps in the high 20s today. Proof that you can’t be lulled by random 50 degree days in February. Winter is not done with us yet!