Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lazy Days of August

My daughter finished her restaurant job for the summer. She wanted to finish a couple of weeks early so she could have a little bit of summer. The restaurant hired her in May and she was successful. She liked preparing salads, appetizers and plating desserts but the commute was tiring. Also, the other chefs in the kitchen were men who mostly talked about the Seattle Mariners. As a result, she worked in silence and did not have a chance to mix with the wait persons and hosts who were more her peers. "Girl" line chefs are not that common and she felt fortunate to have landed this coveted position even if she did not like it all of the time. All in all, a positive experience in her young life. At the moment, she is in Portland visiting her favorite "boy."

Lucas has been working hard as a Seattle tour guide with Grayline. He narrates the downtown bus loop. August has brought Seattle a lot of European tourists from Germany, Italy, Ireland, and France. In addition, he has had many families from Mexico and further south from Brazil. A couple from Italy asked him yesterday if the weather was always cloudy and drizzly this time of year. He replied that usually August is sunny and warm with no rain but not at the moment. He has had several opportunities to engage in conversations in French and Spanish. People from Texas show up frequently and Lucas explains they are the most friendly. He always tells them he has been to Denton. The European tourists tend to be interested in Lucas' stories about Chief Sealth after whom Seattle is named and some of his information about native language. Of course, this is his area of expertise. He has been asked if Puget Sound ever freezes and he has also been asked if it is salt water or fresh. The questions come after he emphasizes that Puget Sound is not ever referred to as the "ocean" by locals.

My husband has been spending a lot of time getting our rickety boat ready for a fishing trip. He and Lucas are leaving tomorrow to spend the weekend in Canada fishing for Kings (Chinook salmon). I have been spending my time checking the weather and fires in Montana because when Kaley gets back from Portland, she and I are road tripping to Helena for a couple of days. If it is too hot and smokey, we may just turn around and come home after giving her Grandma a hug.

You see, it is a cozy 58 degrees here with fog and mist. I like it. No way would I trade this for the hot, dry and smokey conditions we will encounter in Montana. For dinner last night, I made hot Hungarian goulash with our paprika from Hungary. It cooked on the warm stove for two hours. I wear sweatshirts and drink coffee. By the way, good research is coming out about coffee lately. If combined with exercise, it reduces the risk of skin cancer. It also reduces the risk of liver cancer and the latest is that several cups a day reduce memory loss in old age. Go Starbucks and go Seattle!

As usual, the big problem I always have is I cannot get a good tomato or pepper in this climate. Every single stupid year I deal with this and nothing works. Up in Vancouver, they have these big green houses where they grow tomatoes. I guess I have to stick with them. But tuberous begonias??? Boy oh boy, our shady conditions are perfect for tuberous begonias. Those we can grow--

---as long as we can keep Apolo from digging them up.

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Taken this morning---pathetic tomatoes and peppers even with the glass. Drip. Drip. Drip.

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But big begonias. Too bad we can't eat them. Well, Apolo will if he has the chance.