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I don’t know about you, but this dark at 4:30 p.m. business is getting on my nerves. I’m just marking the days until the light hours switch direction. I did manage a walk yesterday–which has been something of a challenge with the new pooch. Chiquita is learning that we don’t move forward when she pulls. But it makes for exceedingly slow and short walks. Then of course, all bets are off if we come across another critter. Baby steps.

Yesterday Bill walked with me, providing an opportunity to look around and smell the camellias.

The “old” section of Concordia University on Holman Street.

Funny side note, I grew up on the corner of NE Mallory and Holman streets–just about a mile down the road.

My mom, Josephine, sitting on porch of our Mallory house. It’s a big Arts & Crafts house, but seemed small with the 8 people.


Put this many people in a house, and it’s bound to feel small. This photo taken at my Grandparents’. I’m on the left.


My Grandparents’ house on Stockton Street in PDX.

So, anyway.

I was vaguely aware of Concordia U when I was a kid, but it was always a surprise when we came upon it. I was impressed at how well my dad knew his way around town–glad that he could always get us home when I had no idea where we were. Now we live steps away from Concordia.

And that concludes the tangential part of the program. Back to plants, sorta.

Camellias dot the campus landscape for a welcome winter sight.

It’s the time of year when I always wonder why I don’t have a single camellia. That really needs to change, don’t you think?

Boston Ivy? Such terrific bark. Who knew that was under there.

Loads of great conifers. I think every year about this time I say I’m going to study up on conifers. But there’s so much to learn. Not to mention, I’m easily distracted. I don’t think it’s entirely my fault–all those interesting blog posts and all that good information out there. Plus, it’s not like it’s all custom designed for my study habits.

Atlas Cedar? I really need to learn more about conifers.

We came across this new fella. I like it.

What’s this one?


A closer look–if not entirely in focus.

I like trees with open canopies, and that goes for conifers. I know at least that much.

Open canopy Pine of some sort.

Here’s a closer view of the needles–in case you’re inclined to name that species.

Long needles are the best, don’t you think?

It was our longest walk with Chickie yet. We’re tying to find the balance between training and allowing her to explore her new world and not be a complete scaredy cat. We suspect she was a backyard dog in Oklahoma where she lived before. She’s smart, and eager to learn. We have “sit!” down pat. But she’s a budding teenager, so a tad oppositional while also enjoying peak strength.


When encountering a yellow lab for the second time, Chiquita was less reactive. Progress.

The photos above and below are from the newer side of the Concordia University. It’s a pretty campus, and they have good plants. The maintenance crews putter around on bicycles to tend the gardens.

Concordia University Library

Rumor has it that as Concordia neighbors, we’re welcome to use the library, but have we checked that out? Nooooo. One of these days.

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll forgive my whining over dark weather. Things could be so much worse than long evenings, snug inside with a toasty fire. I’m getting a little more reading done, and trying to curb my appetite for political news. But come on. Enough already.

Chiquita and Mister looking for the light.

How about you? Any tips on surviving the not-so-much gardening season? We always love hearing from you.