Nature’s landscapes are beautiful

Starting off this week with the Harvest Moon.Harvest Moon over Kittitas Valley by Lise McGowan. (Mt. Rainier)

Monday, Oct 14

Today’s display is another Sandhill Crane photo from my friend, (see last week’s pair fly over):Nice take-off, Sandhill Crane from a lake in a local park in Michigan, captured by Maude Buzcek, my friend since 6th grade.

We are scheduled to be at the foot doctor in Ellensburg at 8:30 a.m. for a scheduled toenail cut. We picked the early time so we wouldn’t have to wait a long while. Hope it’s is worth the effort. It only took 15 minutes, once the doctor arrived, but we were accepted as we walked in, and placed in a very cold room.

Once home I received a call from Yakima Heart Center’s, Medical Assistant, Kim that Dr. Krueger wants labs drawn prior to my Nov. 5 appointment. They’ll be in the mail. All scheduled for 10/29, with my other standing order, so one blood draw will satisfy all.

On the phone with Vanguard getting help on Date acquired, form 1099-B on the Turbotax form. It’s missing on my form. Turns out it was because the dates acquired were split in several places, and impossible to divide. I just used the skip over and accept anyway, without.

I delivered messages about the passing of my friend to the people in the community who were involved with her, after receiving the okay from her son. I called Brad & Burke with my credit card # to pay my invoice for the recent winterizing checkup. The receipt is being mailed to add to my records.

Crazy busy with tax form and getting help from John. He is not good at writing down the volunteer trips, although they go on the hard drive as he schedules them. Log book in the car is another matter. He says, next week he will explain the term “log” as used in this sense.

Tuesday, Oct 15

Here is a beautiful way to start your day, with this autumn leaves photo of a lake in our town. I love the water’s reflection.A winning photo of Carey Lake by my friend, Evie Schuetz.

I’m staying home all day to work on taxes, so I need something beautiful to view.

Got through to Brandy at Umpqua bank and she’s ordered what I need for Mortgage Interest that was not properly sent on a 1098 Form. It should have come by Wednesday, but it didn’t. Maybe Thursday. Still wasn’t back by Friday, but they checked another source in their bank records, and found the information I needed.

Also, I contacted Vanguard, and know how to digitally transfer funds from our checking account to investments portfolio, securely, at no cost. I need to show the procedure to John. We have been too busy to sit down and go through it.

I’m working on taxes, but took a break to follow a noise outside and saw John mowing, or actually going or coming to where he did now. He came in & fixed us a brunch: Ham, eggs, and a blueberry-pecan pancake.

I soaked and loaded dishes. Dishes we dirty and dishes we clean. Continuing process.

Called Gerald Gordon and remembered to wish him a happy 70th anniversary. Quite an accomplishment.

Supper tonight was roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, with corn-on-the-cob.

Wednesday, Oct 16

Speaking of Big Horn Sheep – This will put a smile on your face to see the smile on this face. A beautiful animal “captured” by Tony Bynum

My day started too early, and I never got a nap this afternoon.

Wrote ladies at ECCC about clothing removal & my friend. Haven’t heard back yet. Have contacted another church group, and I hope this may work out.

I fixed a protein drink for lunch and got ready for Food Bank music.

Afterward, I went for my INR at KVH. The INR was 2.4. I shall go for recheck in 2 weeks, when I can combine with the labs for my Nov 5th visit with my Cardiologist.

I was having trouble with my TurboTax Premier software, being unable to get the tax form to insert correctly in the step-by-step procedure. I finally got through to an agent who was very helpful. The first 15 minutes of frustration had to be spent with a robot spelling out our long email account, and be understood. I was speaking clearly and slowly. God, I hate those front end answering machines when the end is a person I could have started with originally.

I’m very tired of tax preparation. I realize now I should be picking a day every month for putting receipts into an Excel spreadsheet so the tallying is easy by keeping every month up-to-date, throughout the year.

Supper was leftover roast beef, potatoes, gravy, and adding asparagus+cheese, and pears.

It’s raining again (and has most of the day).

I worked a lot on mileage for medical and volunteer service tonight. Need to add John’s WTA mileage, and that will push it up higher on our volunteer service donations. Mine is mostly music, occasionally 3 days/week, on the 3rd week of the month.

Thursday, Oct 17

All normal morning inside and outside activities.

I’m going to Pacifica this afternoon for music, and this evening, we’re going to the Kittitas Audubon meeting to hear a talk on Habitat Restoration, by Scott Niccolai. I’ll film it.

I picked up 2 crispy chicken sandwiches from Burger King on the way home for our early supper.

For the KAS Meeting, I took my dues and camera with tripod. We got there early to set up.

The meeting was late starting as the expected talk was preceded by a half-hour club meeting.Scott Niccolai-KAS, 10-17-19, Habitat Restoration

The presentation was Habitat Restoration by Scott Niccolai, who has been a Habitat Biologist with the Yakama Nations for 28 years, spoke about the Kittitas Valley/Yakima River watershed. He has had projects most recently in the Teanaway, the Yakima, and other smaller streams. The emphasis will be on fisheries, but he’ll have lots of other information (and pictures) on birds and wildlife to share as well. After all, we are all interconnected! Scott is a Central Washington University graduate, with a Masters in Environmental Management from Evergreen State.

Scott Niccolai-KAS, 10-17-19, Discussion

Ending this with reminders of our wealth of knowledge acquired this evening:The Swift Story (you’ll have to view the video to learn of), and the connection to our town.
A few riparian restoration issues (left), with Gloria Baldi greeting Kenneth Hammond. Ken was a professor when Scott was in college here.

Friday, Oct 18

We spent the day working on taxes, mostly on mileage for medical-related services and for WTA volunteer activities.

We had a brunch of ham & scrambled eggs with cheese, toast.

John completed his normal outside activities. I worked inside on mine.

Supper was left over (from the freezer) pizza. Dessert will be cookie dough frozen pie, (now thawed).

Saturday, Oct 19

This morning, I’m uploading a video to YouTube from Thursday night. That ruins the web connection for other activities, so John worked outside packing his truck with garbage bags to take to the transfer station (aka the dump). He paid $22 to dispose of 400#. Also went by Knudson’s to buy some concrete blocks for his loading dock he’s building – for uses to be determined. Maybe load the big lawn mower for travel. Otherwise, the volume behind the front will be a depository for busted concrete and some of our over abundance of rocks. As well, he bought more Senior Equine pellets and some crushed corn, Black Oil Sunflower seeds, and a 50# salt block with Selenium {a necessary trace element; toxic in excess}.

I went to Briarwood to play music and we were served a fantastic food fare: Lee made chicken soup with carrots, celery, huge pieces of white chicken, with noodles; salads (fruit salad, orange Jell-O chiffon, and a green pea and ham salad. Jo Ellen gathered the items on the dessert table, contributing several kinds of cookies she made (ginger, peanut butter, sugar, and someone else made chocolate chip, another made little white fancy pinwheel sugar cookies with orange and black sprinkles (for Halloween)—the whole room was decorated for the last day of the month, and Lee added some homemade pumpkin bread and banana bread to the dessert table.

On my way home, I went by Fred Meyer for a special 3-day sale on Red Baron (Supreme) pizza, Jimmy Dean (Regular) sausage rolls, and Progresso Chicken & Wild Rice soup. I bought the limit of 5 each of the pizza and the sausage for $1.99 each, and got the soup for 99₵/can by buying 8 (otherwise, $1.49/can). Our survival pantry is good for a major earthquake or snowstorm. I also bought a gallon of vanilla ice cream because we are almost out. It rained on me coming and going all the way home, where it had not yet rained, but did later!

Been working some on job announcements after ignoring that process need for 2 days.

Sunday, Oct 20

John drove to the Kittitas Highway to load 6 wood pallets, being given away. Not that we need them. Projects?Search images for wood pallet projects and see multi-possibilities.

Returned to fix us a brunch of a blueberry/pecan pancake, peaches, maple syrup, and shaved (thinly sliced) ham, from a rugby ball-shaped mass inside a plastic package. How do they do that?

Now he’s out picking up Annie-poo and cutting back raspberries; and the rain has resumed.

We thought Izzy might be stopping by for the bucket of pine cones today, but that is looking less likely at mid-afternoon.

Supper crafted by John was a chicken & veggie casserole with elbow macaroni, mushroom soup, and French’s-like crispy fried onions. Dessert after the cookie dough pie is eaten, will be a fruitcake from Christmas past John found while cleaning out the chest freezer.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News OCT 18th

Item #1: it’s in the mail
Today’s mail brought a voter’s pamphlet (what’s going on) and the printed ballot for Washington’s ‘vote by mail’ proceedings.
Years ago we went to a polling place, stood in line for about 3 minutes, saw a few neighbors, filled in a ballot, and went home.
Now we get to do this at home, beginning about 3 weeks prior to the vote day.
We can drop our completed ballot in a box near the County’s courthouse. While this is about 12 miles away, we go past about 3 times per week. Thus, no big deal.
There are not exciting issues this year, in our State. Every few years we get to vote on keeping “stealth” taxes off of the car registration fee. This is one of those years.

Anyway, our voting is an easy process. There is almost no fuss compared to some other states. Some day all states will do it this way.

Item #2: Land on the move

A word common now in the news is unprecedented , such as this:
Major Southern California fault line eyed after study shows unprecedented movement. See:
Garlock Fault

The first line of the article is:
A major southern California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 temblor started to move for the first time in 500 years following a series of earthquakes in the Mojave Desert over the summer, . . .

It has moved before, so perhaps “unprecedented” is not the correct word. The Collins Dictionary defines unprecedented as “never having happened before.”
For synonyms, among others, it gives: exceptional, unusual, and ground-breaking.
My choice would be ground-breaking.
Think about it!

Item #3: colors

Winning photo of East Lake Ainslie, Nova Scotia, submitted by Verna MacMillan. See here Hope they don’t mind. Contest now closed.

My home town of Clarion PA calls itself the Autumn Leaf Capital of the world. The 2019 festival (over now) was the 66th annual. I was there for the 1st.
Now it is a 9 day affair, internationally recognized, and sponsored by Allegheny Toyota. Don’t know when Toyota got involved. This seems to be a car sales place in Franklin, a town 27 miles west of (and nothing to do with) Clarion.
Search using images for “autumn colors leaves clarion_county” and you can view many colorful pictures – some from the area.
The ones with the tall brick building, with clock, are of Clarion. We lived about 4 blocks (1/3rd of a mile) from that building – the Court House. Our school was another 3rd of a mile away.
Google Earth will show where Clarion is, with the River to the east and north. The green area is mixed forest, hardwoods and conifers, and very pretty in autumn.

Item #4: You may ask, how did I get here?

{a reference to a song titled “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads}

on the banks of the Derwent River at Howden, south of Hobart, Tasmania
Only the first part of the link is about this photo.

The driver was a woman in her nineties. She, and the next guy are very lucky people.

Item #5: Too fast – 131 mph
charged with driving under the influence, driving with an open container of alcohol, reckless driving, speeding, fleeing and eluding …

he went airborne

I hope it was his car, and not stolen. I suspect neither car or driver will be on the roads any time soon.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Fall on the Fan

Monday, Oct 7

I was in the house for the most part, but did take a trip up to the end of the driveway, with my camera, to record John’s latest landscaping project to plant a new tulip garden around a pine tree. He will have to encircle with a fence, however, because deer love to eat tulips.

He’s having to dig through bunches of rocks of various sizes because of our location on an alluvial fan. I took photos of the process and will only put a couple here, but will store the whole tour in one link on Google Photos to share with you. John put a photo in last week’s blog to show you the pretty peach color they will be.

Above left to right: Spot at the end of the driveway, tulip bed to be around the middle tree. Rocks are removed and sifted, with dirt retained and added to mixture with sand and manure to use as the soil. The mixture is growing to the left, in the left-most photo. Our truck load of sand is slowly diminishing as projects like this, or the garden, need a gritty addition. As for leaves, pine needles, and horse manure – we have a limitless supply. The rocks go for other projects.

Our feral cats and dog come along as companions. You’ll see their photos in the set below.

I encourage you to take the Google Photos tour of the northeast edge of our property, below. Be sure to have the Info set and look at each photo with the information to the right of the photograph. Click on the link below to be transported to the photos:

Google Photos Tour of Rock’nPonderosa

We went to town and picked up a package from a friend, and then went on to Super 1 pharmacy to our favorite pharmacist for a flu shot for each of us. That went well and while there, we also picked up a prescription for me.

On to the bank to deposit 3 checks. Two were refunds from the doctor because they had billed both of us for work because our deductible was not yet paid. I knew it had been, but they wanted it, so I wrote the check. We were refunded over $50. Crazy! The other was a tax refund check, which paid for my time and effort itemizing all my medical deductions to get more money off than taking the standard deduction allows.

From there to Safeway for another prescription for John (through GoodRx), and to get some Progresso soup on sale at a good price, 99₵/can if we purchased 8. We like one type more than any other, so that’s all we got. Wild rice with chicken & veggies. Then we always add something more to it, such as mushrooms.

Tuesday, Oct 8

I first went to the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center (Senior Center) for a Senior Advisory Commission meeting.

When it was over, I went to the hospital lab for a recheck on my INR for my blood thinner. It was lower than expected so we will be rechecking it again next Tuesday.

Checked our numbers at Bi-Mart and we won nothing. I went by Safeway for my $3.00 refund.

John stayed home to meet a technician from Brad & Burke to winterize our Heat Pump. He opened the unit and found the connection to the power supply with a serious issue. Connections are made using a plastic wire-nut – red, yellow, and orange, in the photo. The photo is from the web. John didn’t think to take a photo.

In this photo, only the red wire-nut is still intact. A connection once covered by the orange nut got hot and burned that connection. That damaged the yellow one, also. Although not this far along, our main power wire was close to burning through its connection to the heat-pump. Off went the circuit breaker; repairs needed but the service tech is not an electrician so for the next 24 hours our house had to be heated in another way. John immediately set up a couple of oil-filled electric heaters of the style shown here. These kept the house warm, not toasty, overnight.

When I got home I set about making contact with our electrician friend Jennifer, but had to call her sister first.

I worked on some surplus clothes. They are in a bag to take to Karen tomorrow for the Cancer Thrift Store.

The leather jacket is in a bag to take to WTA event at 6:00 at Iron Horse Brewery. We have another solution to get the coat back to Seattle’s main WTA office to our friend Kara there.

WTA staff from Seattle decided against coming across the snow-covered pass, and Beth Macinko stepped in, coming down from Leavenworth to lead the proceedings and introduce our two speakers Oct 8, in Ellensburg, WA:

• Michelle Capp, Cle Elum District Ranger for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
• Ethan Lockwood, Public Engagement Coordinator for the
Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

Michelle Capp with Ethan Lockwood-9 min. of his talk

Below is a link to the still photos taken that evening, by Beth Macinko and me:
Google Photos WTA Meeting, Iron Horse Brewery, 10-8-19

Ethan and Michelle shared their in-depth knowledge of recreation in the Upper Yakima Basin – a region that stretches from the Stuart Range to the North, the Yakama Reservation to the South, the Cascade Crest to the West, and the communities of Yakima and Ellensburg to the East. This landscape corresponds with the eastern portions of Kittitas & Yakima Counties.

We were invited to the meeting at the Iron Horse Brewery & Pub, to eat, raise a glass with friends and chat about the places where we all love to play outside. Our feedback will help shape the future of sustainable recreation in the entire Upper Yakima Basin.
Another two such planning meetings are scheduled for Nov 1 and 2 in Ellensburg and Cle Elum.

Wednesday, Oct 9

We were awakened this morning by 4 raccoons climbing and making noises out front. Oops! We forgot to bring a bowl of cat food in last night. John thinks this was a mama with offspring. We had not seen any since last year.

Good we were awakened, because we had to leave for Hearthstone at 8:20 for a retired geographers meeting. I had to stay in town, and John had to get home before 11:30 to meet Jennifer to have her fix the electrical connection.
We left with utensils, plates, for Jo’s homemade apple cake. I took my violin in out of the cold, to take for music at Food Bank.

John started with feeding pressed pellets, flaked corn, and apples to Myst. She appears to be gaining weight. They are all getting hay.

When I got home, I checked my computer and found this photo posted by my friend since 6th grade, “Nancy J” (Maude Buscek). She changed her name later in life, from Nancy to Maude. I knew her as Nancy Johnson and I was “Nancy B” (Nancy Brannen). We sang around town at events as a pair, using guitars.

Sand hill Cranes in Michigan in a local park, by Maude Buszek

There is a migration south through Washington, centered near Othello, an hour east of us. The 23rd annual festival will be next March, with 35,000 cranes expected. This sunset was tonight in the Kittitas Valley by Lise McGowan.

Thursday, Oct 10

John stayed home hoping to get a couple of projects completed before snow falls. Freezing temperatures have already occurred, but most days have been nice.

Brunch was created by John: a blueberry/pecan pancake, one egg over easy, and thin ham.

I arranged for the chairs for this afternoon’s music at Meadows Place, and was surprised that 4 more people showed up than originally planned. We had enough chairs and space to accommodate them. Had expected 8, and ended up with a dozen. It went well, and the audience was happy to add voices to the music.

Supper was different for each of us. John had pork steak, fries, and peaches, I had a pre-frozen dinner, Roasted Turkey, potatoes, dressing, gravy, green beans & carrots; and peaches.

I spent time on computer projects, and email. We are going to bed early.

Friday, Oct 11

We are staying home today, except for my taking one short trip a little over an hour, to go fill my gas tank. Price of gas is very high now. I drove to Exxon, and found it for $3.15/gal. I also went by the feed store to buy more Senior Equine for Myst. John’s feeding about 10#/day.

Came home and found things to do I wasn’t planning on. Heard about the unexpected death of a friend. Her son doesn’t hear well so we communicate via e-mail. He was a student at CWU, and from that we met her, then living in Montana. She moved here, but was traveling (NYC) when she died. That’s all we know, now.

I added some photos from Tuesday night taken by Beth Macinko to the photos I had put out on Google Photos.

With the power outages in CA, we wondered how friends in Eureka were coping. We spent 48 minutes with Michelle & Bruce Seivertson. They had just one day with no grid power, but had a generator. Mostly we just caught up with visiting.

Saturday, Oct 12

We had our lunch: blueberry pecan pancake (BPP) and peaches for me; BPP and the remainder of the pork steak for John. A couple of years ago one of the grocery stores had a sale on 3 pound bags of frozen blueberries. They should have been used by now, so we are catching up with that.

The event of the day: a 2-year old’s birthday and Family Reunion of folks we have known since 1975. We’re invited. Natalie and her family, Mike, Nora, Natalie, and Sarah
Sarah and Mike Sandman are the parents, living 6 miles from us. Mike’s mother (Christina) thinks we first met her when she was 14.

The party started mid-afternoon with us getting home a little before 8:00 p.m. This was their oldest girl, Natalie’s 2nd birthday party. Younger sister is Eleanor (Nora), 6 months.

The party included supper with several kinds of pizza and salads, dips, chips, and with cake and cherry ice cream for dessert. At the dinner table, with John, Bob & Karen Oppie (great grandparents), Nancy reminiscing about our entry into the family in 1975 through field trials and Brittanys.

Opening gifts Saturday @ party & Sunday AM Natalie with Ponies

Our gift (a set of colorful plastic ponies) for Natalie had 3 bows on it with a nice card with pink on it in a pink envelope. We carried it in a gift bag with a horse on each side, which Natalie noticed as we arrived. All is reminiscent of our meeting the great grandparents of the little girl in 1975 field trialing our Brittanys (with horses). We have been part of the family since then; gone to most of the Oppies’s children’s weddings, and to many family celebration parties near Issaquah and Maple Valley. This was a combined family party with kids and adults, from as far away as Redmond, OR, for two great grandparents.

Myst did not get her extra Senior Equine grain and apples tonight because it was dark when we got home.

I managed to get dental deductions added to a tax form tonight via an Excel spreadsheet.

Sunday, Oct 13

Up early when awakened by the rain at 4:30 a.m., and back to bed.

John, Annie, and Czar have been out to feed Myst, get the mail from yesterday.

John returned Annie & Czar and then finished mowing part of the backyard that is fenced. I stayed in to take care of bill paying, organizing the mail, and other needs with the computer system.

I spent a bunch of time getting our Chase VISA account for Amazon.com fixed to get monthly statements for the medical records needed for taxes. Now tomorrow I have to call the phone number for Chase to see if I can request changing the pharmacy bills to be recognized as medical prescription payments and not as groceries. Reason is because Chase provides a 2% rebate, but only if it says Pharmacy, which my actual receipt does, but that is not reflected on the account.
This month’s statement had $119.06 for three different pharmacies – Kaiser Permanente Mail Order Pharmacy (filed under Health & Wellness (need to check to see if the discount was applied), Super 1 and Safeway (filed under groceries). If all are considered as they should be, this payment would be decreased by $ 2.38.

Well, on Sunday afternoon, I called Customer service and got through to an agent who clarified I was getting the 2% from Kaiser Permanente but only 1% from the Grocery Stores (Safeway and Super 1 Pharmacies) because of the set up the merchants have with Chase. I’ll call both managers of the grocery stores to see if they can separate the Pharmacy from the Grocery store, but my guess is it won’t happen. I’ll continue to use my Amazon.com Prime card to pay for all my medications.
At least I will have them all on the same account listing.

I received photos taken yesterday at the birthday party, and downloaded them to put in the blog above. Thanks to Jeff Sandman (father of Mike) for sending them to me this morning.

I’ve been working on finishing the blog, and organizing other things, loading dishes, and washing them so we have stuff to eat from and with.

I’m also processing the photos I took on Monday of John making a new tulip garden, by moving a lot of rocks from our Naneum Alluvial Fan! You’ve had a chance to see that story through Google Photos above, and if you missed it, go back up for a tour.

Next thing is to put in all my medications for the week – a normal Sunday chore.

We had our brunch and are back at work. John came in and fixed a can of Progresso Soup with chicken wild rice & veggies, adding a bunch of mixed vegetables from a frozen package. In addition, on the side, we had chicken nuggets and French fries. That will tide us over until supper.

Wind gusted to 30 mph today, and with recent freezing, leaves and walnuts are falling. We have two Black Walnuts along the driveway, so John cleans those off before they get smashed under the car tires. This was a low-yield year, so it isn’t going to be a big issue – just a nuisance.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News Oct 12


Item #1: Baby Pine cones

Above: Small 1 year old cones surround the new vegetative growth in the center – this young growth is called a candle and will become stem and needles.
Ponderosa pines have a difficult environment. Precipitation comes as rain and snow in the low-sun season, with dry summers.
Right: the cones look hard and woody but inside they are green; same with the “candle”, but my camera and the sun conspired to get that washed out.
As a fire prevention measure “firewise” folks suggest keeping the area under trees vegetatively sparse, and to cut branches off up to 20 feet above the ground. The bark is thick and resists burning and withstands low-intensity surface fires.
Yes, I’ve been trimming pines and cleaning up the limbs.

Item #2: Plastic antlers

A Pennsylvania bakery created a wedding cake resembling a life-size deer.
So what sort of cake was it?
What happened to the front hoofs?

Further, I don’t like that sort of hard icing. Vanilla-mocha buttercream it is not.

Further, I don’t like that sort of hard icing. Vanilla-mocha buttercream it is not. See: This looks nice.
I have a birthday in 84 days. Hint.

Item #3:

One ship:
Recall the old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words.
This is helpful because it allows us to derive the unit of human beauty.
It is written of oh so beautiful Helen of Troy that she had “a face that launched a thousand ships”.
From which we get the “Millihelen”.
Beauty sufficient to launch one ship.

I enjoy scientific puns, such as:
I think that angry flask completely over-reacted.
I like to hear chemistry puns, periodically.
Make like a proton and stay positive.

. . . or . . .
There are lots of chemistry puns, but many won’t get a good reaction.

Item #4: Beer

This is from Salt Lake City.. . . the semitrailer veered and fell from a street and into the church’s car parking zone after it was hit by a pickup truck that ran a crimson gentle . . .

crimson gentle
Say what? Well, it is a good day when I learn something new.
Do you have “Gentle” technology where you live?
Defeating Crimson Gentle Digital camera Tickets

Item #5: What to wear?

When you leave the house in the morning, take appropriate footwear.

From the weather center:
Denver goes from 83 to 19 degrees in just 18 hours

Will there be cold and snow.
You might want to take a jacket.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Late getting things done

I planned on looking at news stories while supper was cooking.
Then we got busy.
Then wondered how friends in Eureka CA were.
That’s one of the places where the electricity was shut off.
The conversation took almost an hour.
They were better than many others; had a working
generator, food, and wine. Heat and cooking with gas,
so no serious issues for them.

I do have a couple of things of the “not so nasty” type,
but will not post anything tonight.

Best to all,
John.

Winter postponed

In last week’s blog, I promised a link to the photos and leftover videos of Allen Aronica’s Fundraiser. I have them below. But first, another interesting statement from Amy Davison, the baker of the Native American Cake I pictured in the blog that drew everyone’s attention at the fundraiser. It was made to include in the dessert auction to help add funds to the fundraiser.

These were our questions: How did she make the “beads” on the cake, how did she produced the feathers of the head piece, and how long did the design creation take. She answered, “I used pastry bags with tiny tips to squeeze out each bead onto the cake. The feathers were a butter cream flavored fondant that I pressed into a mold, chilled, popped out, and then brushed with liquid food color. I baked the cake in the afternoon, but then decorated it in the evening. I would say maybe 5 hours total? Maybe a bit longer as I wasn’t hurrying through and had to mix all the colors.” Folks reading this now will have to look back to last week’s blog, Stories & Photos to see the photos of the cake; near the end of that post.

Go to Sept 29, here:

Stories and photos

Below are two short videos from the dessert auction, not in last week’s report:

Pan of Kahlua Fudge

Surprise Cake $21 Donated for Dessert to Dinner Goers

The next link is to a few photos I took that evening as stills, mostly of the silent auction (selected items), a few of the crowd, and the dinner buffet. The other videos were published in last week’s blog on 9/29 (link above)

This photo is of the buffet line at the Spaghetti Dinner held at the Fundraiser.The next link takes you to still photos taken that evening.

Link to Still Photos at the Allen Aronica Fundraiser

Monday, Sept 30

I started my week, by going to the hospital lab for a blood draw check on my high INR last week. It went from INR=4.4 last Tuesday, after changed dosage, to today, when it was back in a decent range, INR=2.7.

Normally, I’m a little lower. Will check it again next Tuesday, 10/8, before my 1:00 meeting at the AAC.

While in town, we went by the Co-op and bought 2 more bags of Senior Equine for Myst and a large bag of Black Oil Sunflower seeds. On our way to the lab, we stopped at Burger King for the special on crispy chicken sandwiches, cooked fresh. On for the blood draw, and then, we went to the parking lot of Grocery Outlet to try to “pair” John’s new DORO 7050 cell phone with the Bluetooth on his car.

This was a busy Monday and I stayed in the car waiting on the phone connection for over 15 minutes to talk to an agent from Consumer Cellular. John went on in to buy the intended groceries, plus added some more. He got the needed gallon of ice cream and Griddle syrup (aka liquid sugar) for pancakes, plus added a frozen package of lasagna and two nice-looking ears of corn (which turned out to be overly ripened).

He got back just in time to be there for the phone pairing. We had to do it in town while close to a cell tower, because at our house, we do not get reception on our cell phones. It took a long wait and at least 3 times through the process to pair them. I was talking on my cell phone and John and I both were following the instructions with him on his phone and me using the screen on the car. We finally succeeded after the agent went and got a phone just like John’s and followed along with us on his end.

We thought we had it paired, finally, so we headed off for a neighbor’s.
On the way home, we found that we cannot download the phone numbers from the phone, and all calls must be done from the phone itself and not through the screen on the Bluetooth. That’s not a good thing. However, I am able to call and reach John through the Bluetooth when he is driving.
There is a number pad on the car screen on which finger touch will take a number. Then it can be called. Afterward that number appears in contacts. There is no name identifier, but at the moment John has just our home phone there. More to do.

We will likely have to go to our friend at Subaru in Yakima to figure how to make it work as he needs it to, so he can dial through the screen on his dash, just pressing two buttons. Or, the next time we are together in town (this coming Monday), we’ll try again going through Consumer Cellular, now that we have the phone paired. Perhaps they can tell us a different way to update the phone book. It should not be this difficult (especially for a flip phone).

Once home I checked emails and the phone messages.

I sent a planning document to the music group for this Thursday at the Rehab, and most importantly to notify them we will be doing the patriotic music at the senior center for the Nov 8 celebration before Nov 11, Veterans’ Day. We do this every year, and have since the 1990s. We have a number of veterans in our music group; all military branches are recognized each year and asked to come to the front of the room to be introduced, interviewed, and honored.

Need to contact someone about Chris (Dr. Krueger’s nurse). I thought I had his email, but now cannot find it. I need to search through the stuff by my phone (copper wire one needed for the defibrillator monitor) on chair-side table.

Supper: lasagna, tomatoes, fried yellow squash, onions, mushrooms, dessert: chocolate cake with almond buttercream icing.

Tuesday, Oct 1

John went to Bi-Mart to check numbers, and to Fred Meyer for drink needs and get 10% of purchases today, Senior discount, 1st Tuesday of month. (It’s only on Kroger brand – store brands and not on other commercial brands. So John got it on his colas, but not on my PoweradeZero, a Coca-Cola Co. product.)

I worked on taxes and clothes for tomorrow Food bank (cancer clothes donation) and some clothes for others who attend the food bank bunch.

Tomorrow I will give a bag of clothes to a friend to take to American Cancer Society’s Yakima Discovery Shop (Thrift Store). More about that in a future blog.

I’m publishing the following with permission from Allen Aronica.

Ida Nason (Allen Aronica’s mother)Allen Aronica’s mother posted by granddaughter, Sia Aronica.

This video is a story told by Ida Nason, and well worth viewing:

Everything Change: Recollections of Ida Nason, an American Indian Elder

This film was made in 1986, 6 years before she died.

I want to add another video to this story, which is of a special person in my life too, Morris Uebelacker (see below for this connection).

This video I found that Allen published previously through Facebook, so only someone with a Facebook account can view it: (I’m not sure where Morris is speaking or when it occurred, and I telephoned Allen to see if he knew and he did not.)
I contacted Emily Washines on Facebook messenger, and she just returned the answer:
It was this summer 2019 at Hanford Journey, co-sponsored by Yakama Nation & Columbia Riverkeeper. Partial funding via the Dept. of Ecology. Emily was sitting next to Morris in the audience, and someone noted his presence, and they called him up to speak (all impromptu)! Wonderful job storytelling in his inimitable manner of speaking.

Emily Washines filmed this below. What a classic moment!

Morris Uebelacker – Importance of the Columbia River

Morris met with Ida Nason, visiting her many times before her death. She lived to be 103. The funeral was in 1992 at the Naneum home place with burial in the family cemetery, in the traditional way.

My connection to Morris goes to the time after he was hired at CWU in the Geography Department (in 1988) to be a professor. I was hired the same year, and we shared a phone for the first year we were here. We had separate offices, however, in the Old Science building, Lind Hall. We also shared many of the same students.

Wednesday, Oct 2

John started with feeding Myst: feed pellets, flaked corn, and 2 apples. The other 3 are not getting supplements, so while Myst is eating John spread hay around for them. Then Myst gets turned back into the area with the others. There is no grass this time of year, although with the recent rain, a little is showing.

I worked on things to carry with me today, making a protein drink in case nothing was on the buffet I could eat. Had bags to get to the car of clothing for 3 different destinations. Also had a garbage bag of plastic bottles to deliver to a fellow who uses them for art-work organization, and meets me Wednesdays at the Food Bank Soup Kitchen. We also had a nice conversation after the music, while I ate.
I had a small serving of spaghetti today, a little salad, half of the top of a buttered roll, and brought home a minuscule piece of brownie cake for John and me to share tonight.

I did not make my normal salad to take today, because when I opened the bowl, with iceberg lettuce, it was past the edible stage.

Crazy busy morning, after sleeping in. I left at 10:50 a.m. for FISH food bank music at the annex of the Calvary Baptist Church at Liberty (the now gone Liberty Theater – 1938 to Aug. ’09).

Nice visit with 4 people over and after lunch, but came on home.

Need to write a letter to the editor about thumbs up on the change on county rural roads in approach to stop signs. This summer a deep rippled surface about 10’ long with 3 such squares taking up the right lane of traffic before a stop sign. This week county crews were out “softening” them. Squares were spaced about 25’ apart. They were carved out of the existing pavement and severely bounced the car to warn of the stop ahead. There already are signs notifying drivers of a STOP sign. Something much gentler might have been okay. People, including we, have been going into the left lane to avoid the ripple-dips.

Transverse rumble strips

What it encouraged drivers to do, was drive around them in the opposite direction of traffic and risk running into cars coming the other way. John and I have complained (to each other) about this since their installation this summer. The rumble strips are not present at all stop sign approaches in the county, but seem to be limited to the more rural areas, yet not consistently on all of them either. The only three we have had to contend with are on Brickmill Rd as it approaches Fairview Rd., on Naneum approaching Brickmill, and on Wilson Creek Rd., approaching Alford Rd.

This morning, on my trip in, I went from home on Naneum, then Thomas to Wilson Creek, to Alford, but before Alford had to slow to one lane to pass a county road crew rolling down the height of the rumble strips. I almost got out of my car to hug the workers, observing.

Thursday, Oct 3

Off for music at Rehab this afternoon; after which I went by Fred Meyer for PoweradeZero for 58₵ each after just paying 89₵ cents Tuesday. The sale started Wednesday.

After loading up, I called Burger King and asked them to throw in two crispy chicken pieces so they would be freshly cooked when I arrived, (6 minutes after they’re in the grease). Drove on down, paid for them, visited some, with a new cashier trainee, and a long-time cashier there training her, packed up and left for home.

John met me to carry in my violin and I fixed my sandwich. We ate them while they were hot, and then worked on a few things until we left for CWU and the lecture tonight. I took all my cameras to record the proceedings. We got our front row seats, and I put one camera on a tripod and had the others on the counter in front to use.

. . . . .Tonight off to IAF
7:00 pm.  CWU’s Discovery Hall room 103  
Free and open to all.
____________________________
EVENING LECTURE: 
Revealing the Geology and Natural Hazards of Washington with Lidar

Daniel Coe, Washington Geological SurveyNick and Dan setting up – title slide of his lecture

My videos are below: (be sure to pull the viewer back to the beginning of the video)

Geology & Natural Hazards of WA via Lidar

Daniel Coe: Questions & Answers about Lidar

Friday, Oct 4

We stayed home today.
I unloaded and reloaded a full load of dishes. I uploaded videos from last night, which took a large part of the day. Our DSL bandwidth isn’t great enough for John to get downloads when I am sending the videos to the web. His breaks from outside things are shorter, because he can’t catch up on the news. Sunny days are good, rain-wind-cold, not so good.

Saturday, Oct 5

John took care of outside morning chores, and I joined him to sort out nice pine cones for a person to use to scent for Christmas projects. Fred Meyer has small bags of such for sale, but John did not see a price. When she might come is unknown, but we have a 5-gallon bucket full of Ponderosa cones. Seems this was a very good year for our trees – John has picked up hundreds.

Supper was out of the freezer: two kinds of pasta dishes (Swedish meatballs and noodles in gravy; Chicken Parmigiana with a slice of Havarti melted on top), carrots for me and carrots & broccoli for John, with PoweradeZero for me & cola for John.

Sunday, Oct 6

I put in all my medications for the week, and called in two for refills from Kaiser Permanente Mail Order. Surprised to find them there on a Sunday. Must call in the rest tomorrow after 9:00 a.m. in town.

John, Annie (dog), and Czar (cat) left for morning chores.

I’m working on computer and filing chores, and ready to load some software, once I connect an external CD drive. I just finished my list of things to do in town tomorrow with John.

John fixed us a lunch of a grilled sandwich with Havarti cheese slice and smoked turkey, which we ate with potato chips.

John has been digging dirt and rocks from around a young Pine tree up the drive from the house.

Dirt, sand, and horse doo will fill the area, then recently purchased Tulips will circle the tree. These are “peach” color. The spot is across the drive from a prior planting of fancy Daffodils and Tulips. Anticipate spring.

Last week, when Montana had a big snowfall, we nearly got snow too. This past week has been typically fall. The coming week will be cool to cold for us, but it is unlikely to produce snow here. The mountains of WA, ID, and NE Oregon, however, have snow in the forecast. Stevens Pass, 4,000 feet and 50 miles NW of us, may get 6 inches. Last week’s snow there has melted at pass level.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News Oct 4, 2019

Item #1: Snow blanket

The photo I’m using tonight was taken from Phyllis and Cameron’s Mariposa Vineyard on September 30, 2019. Cameron says he was at approximately 900 feet (1000′ ?) elevation. [Need to measure that.]

View is looking west toward the ridges south of the Mission Ridge ski area. The snow line appears to be near 1,000 feet, also.
We live to the southwest of this view line, 25 miles away, at an elevation of 2,240 feet. From our driveway at Naneum Road, we can look north and see the west side of the ridges, to an elevation of 4,000 feet. On our side, the snow line was close to 3,100 feet.

Why the difference in the elevation of the snow line?

Cameron, years ago, noticed the area north toward Wenatchee and that to the east toward Quincy seemed to get more snow than did places farther east, toward Moses Lake. When he was preparing the proposal to have the area designated as a “wine region” – technically an American Viticultural Area (AVA) – he was pointed to a report on “cold air damming’.
It seems the ridges, with Mission Peak at 6,876 ft., are sufficiently high that cold air coming from the northeast flows into the Columbia River Valley and rides up against the ridge. The air can flow south, down the Valley (water level is 613 ft. north of Rock Island Dam and 575 feet south of the dam). The cold air has only a relatively narrow path to escape, and so it piles up against the hills.
The push from the northeast causes more air to rise up, with cooling and precipitation following. In the current case the precipitation fell as snow.

The air mass did, finally, push over the ridges and bring snow to our north. However, having gone up to well over 5,000 feet, the cold air could descend as it approached the Naneum Fan. Cooling stopped as the air came down into the Kittitas Valley. Snow did not reach us.
The snowline, from the end of our driveway, was about 2.5 miles away.
Incidentally, that is very close to the outer perimeter of the Snag Canyon Fire of August, 2014. We watched the fire, along with many others, from the wide area where our driveway meets Naneum Road. The snow did not attract a crowd.

I help prune grapes in the early part of the year – we started in snow this year, 2019. I help with bottling as needed at the White Heron Cellars.
White Heron now has a presence at Pike’s Place Market. Here is a link:
Northwest Tastings

Item #2: Another odd event

We have another temperature related incident occurring on the same day. At the end of the article there is a reference to a warm area of water in the Pacific Ocean called the blob. This could be the path the turtle took to get to the cold water, or maybe it just wanted a taste of the famous food of the region.
You may not have heard of Port Alberni, B. C., but maybe you have heard of or even tasted a Nanaimo Bar, named after the town of Nanaimo. The two towns are located about 40 miles apart on Vancouver Island. This story comes from the part of the world not know for tropical sea turtles.
An Olive Ridley sea turtle, nicknamed ‘Berni Stranders,’ was found ‘cold-stunned’ in Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island’s longest inlet. Rehabilitation is underway.

Berni Stranders

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Stories and photos

I’m beginning this week with a peachy keen photo by my friend, EvieMae Schuetz, her close-up of a delightful ladybug, named Daphne, now residing on her dahlias, checking out peach fuzz on their tree.Meet Daphne inspecting peach in Kittitas, by EvieMae Scheutz

Followed by another few photos from another friend I have known almost since I arrived in Ellensburg at Lind Hall (David Covert)-another extraordinary photographer. He took these pictures of Canada Geese Migration at Carie Lake at Irene Rinehart park in Ellensburg (posted 9/20). I made a collage from parts of the photo at the top over two below to share the whole experience. Canada Geese Migration Stopover Carie Lake by David Covert

Monday, Sept 23

Finally published the blog late tonight at 11:10 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept 24

We were busy this morning continuing to get back on track.
We went to town for my standing order INR blood draw, and things went downhill from there on that score. Reading was way high. Reason unknown.

After that we went to Bi-Mart where John went in to check our numbers and buy a few things, and left me making phone calls, to arrange for medical appointments (I got a date to see my Cardiologist in Ellensburg Nov 5), and found out the location, plus went by the medical complex to find out the suite number and location on the second floor of a building I already know. Their information only was the address (100 Jackson St, and its being on the second floor). I will report back to Deschelle tomorrow (she’s a scheduler in Yakima, as she had no directions or idea at all. My doctor is only scheduled in Ellensburg one day/month (the first Tuesday of the month).

My research revealed this information: the building has just been purchased by the KVH (Kittitas Valley Healthcare), and is named, thusly: Kittitas Valley Healthcare Medical Arts Center. The office is on the 2nd floor (there is an elevator across from the front entrance on the north side of the building), and to the right of the elevator is a bulletin board type menu with all the offices found in the building (currently under reconstruction and renovation). The opposite side upstairs used to be the DSHS office (the WA State Department of Social and Health Services). It has moved completely away to past the China Inn on University Way. Certainly, is no longer close to the downtown of EBRG. Similar location (and Statewide?) in Yakima, so perhaps saving money for taxpayers.

We filled up John’s gas tank on the Crosstrek. Drove by to check out what I thought was the new location of the FISH Food Bank bread room, out by the airport, only to find out they are doing away with that, and keeping all the bread only in the food distribution area. As volunteers for music, etc., we were encouraged to use the bread room for our family’s needs, and I used to share things with others (such as a young woman and her daughter), who is visually impaired and cannot drive. That link died out. Likely those on the “needs” list will now get more than they can consume – it will spoil and get thrown out. {John says he was starting to make bread at home just before the Food Bank started passing off the extra to community members. He will start up again, and not have to inspect for mold.}

I sent a late call for music attendance Thursday, with the Oct/Nov PDFs attached.

Supper tonight was spaghetti (wheat as thin string or twine; click on this link, sapago. The sauce was a concoction (by John) of canned tomatoes, & tomato sauce with two cheeses, ground beef, and various taste enhancers. Fried yellow summer squash accompanied. It was excellent! Missed the red wine, but that last INR reading is unexplained, so did not go there.

Wednesday, Sept 25

I left at 10:45 a.m. for the FISH Food Bank music, which had fewer instruments than last week, but all the singers. Our audience was smaller than last week, but still very much involved with singing and applause, and comments afterwards. I got a kick out of our doing, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Everyone in the place was singing and counting, ONE-TWO-THREE strikes you’re out, …. Even the servers were keeping time to the music and singing along, because everyone had been served by the time we got to that song.

We started early and ended early, by a ½ hour, so I was able to leave soon after playing and packing up the music, chairs, and stands. I had a date at the Yakima Heart Center with Angie for an echocardiogram. Her daughter plays violin so we always chat about that. I ran into construction and a slowed-way-down 3-4 miles of the first section of I-82 by a closed repaving lane, and an extremely narrow lane to pass slowly on the left. The side had very close markers to make you stay in the lane. It was close for me, and I wonder how the big trucks managed. That was a stressful experience and time sink.

I made good time on the rest of the trip, but was surprised to get to the Redmond Bridge down by Selah, and find the left lane of the bridge being repaved in the direction I was headed. We all went on down the hill, and passed two police cars checking speeds. Everyone around me was still in a lower speed mode from slowing down on the bridge. I made it to my cut-off to get over to 16th Avenue for the rest of my trip to Tieton and the Yakima Memorial Hospital complex, near where the Yakima Heart Center and several other medical offices are located. They are now part of Virginia Mason (Seattle based hospital). I was actually heading to the Imaging side of the heart center. But, fortunately, both sides can check you in to either the cardiologists or the imaging technicians. It’s a nice entry set up that proceeds rapidly.

I was there and checked in before my appointment time of 2:00 p.m. after finding a shady spot at the very far end of the parking lot. Shade is difficult to find there, and I had my violin in the back of the car. I wrapped it up in a coat to protect it more, but the shade stayed for the hour+ I was inside the building.

My echocardiogram was the best I have ever had. Angie tried it in more of a sitting position, rather than laying me on my left side (which is my bad shoulder side with no range of motion). We talked throughout the test (it does not bother her at all). All was completed in good order, I redressed, and said my goodbyes.

From there I went by the scheduler with 3 copies of my printed instructions for them to have to tell patients how to find the office in Ellensburg. They were very grateful. They certainly had minimal information until I provided it. I knew it was needed when I had called yesterday from town to ask what building I was scheduled in for my upcoming appointment in Ellensburg (that story is mentioned above), and found out they knew very little.

I need to work on the jobs-list, but mostly on taxes, when I stay home long enough. That did not happen today. I promised John tonight I would cut down on the length of these blogs.

Thursday, Sept 26 From Allen: Morning Sunrise in Naneum bringing a weather change. Heater is kicking on.

Thanks, Allen Aronica, for taking and posting that. We have noticed the same cold and heater needs. Glad to see your perspective on morning sunrises. It’s amazing your view from your ranch, only a mile up the road, which we do not have from our place on the Naneum Fan, because of the hill on Swedberg’s place. The hill ends, but our view from our house in the easterly direction is blocked by trees. Send more sunrises, please, in the future, and tag me on future sunrise sends, via Facebook.

I paid Myst’s bill from the vet for checking her out: $174.48 and they are mailing me the receipt of the VISA payment. Vet Dan (a neighbor) didn’t find anything wrong. John gave her some worm medicine. Dan thinks she may have slowed down on her eating so that the other horses get her share. For the time-being, she is getting supplements while separated from the others.

I called and talked with Kelly at Brad & Burke about winterizing our Heat Pump. We are scheduled for Darren to come out on October 8. We’ve got 3 other things to do that day.

Check this-published Sept 26 afternoon. Allen Aronica sent it to his Facebook account:

Snow Moves into Cascades, as ‘Arctic Express’ arrives in Western Washington

Going to a presentation tonight. Prior to – we picked up several garbage bags full of clothing from a friend to redistribute some if we can, the rest to clothing banks in Ellensburg. She can’t go at the times they receive donations.

We attended the first in the lecture presentation series this year of the Kittitas County Historical Museum. It was by a once TV Weather forecaster for KIRO-5 News, Feliks Banel, entitled, “Storm Warning: Historic Weather in the Evergreen State. It was very interesting. The discussion went back to the mid-1800s; quite fascinating.

After the talk, we went to Safeway to get John’s medications through GoodRX there. Saved over $6 on two meds for him, paying a total of $25.70, without having to apply our insurance co-pay. The niceness of that is that paying with a CHASE Visa credit card we received a 2% cashback reward on our prescription medications. Our normal pharmacy (Super 1) does not provide that payback because the pharmacy receipt says Super 1 Groceries and the Chase bank card only applies the discount to a Pharmacy. Even though the Pharmacy is in the Safeway store, the receipt lists the Pharmacy separately, so the reward applies. I am not sure if that is the same case at the Fred Meyer Pharmacy or not. That remains to be seen. Everything in EBRG is close together, so multiple stops is not an issue.

Below is our presentation at an assisted living facility, earlier this afternoon:

Music at Hearthstone, 6 of Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends

Friday, Sept 27

Morning sunrise in the Kittitas Valley from the other side of the valley, in Badger Pocket, comes this photograph from my newest friend, Vicki Lennox, from Kittitas, WA.From 2015:This day 9/27 in 2015 –“Super Moon”-“Lunar Eclipse”, Kittitas Valley, WA by Lise McGowan

At the time she noted in introducing her photograph, “It was a grand view of the “super Lunar Eclipse” tonight. Watched it with Tanner (her dog) from the back of our barn to stay out of the wind. Scout and Dakota (horses) were curious as to what all the excitement was about. Not that this wasn’t enough to be in awe of…an extra treat was watching a long tail meteor pass by. We were blessed this evening to experience such a rare occasion.”
We are blessed she makes an effort to get out at unusual hours to capture the many skyscapes she photographs and then freely shares with her friends. This is one of the upsides of Facebook communication.

I attended a scholarship luncheon today in Bouillon Hall (where my office was from 1997 to 2008), and drove by Gallery One to pick up Amy Davison to take her, because I have an Emeritus parking permit and it saves me $6 to park on campus, anytime, anywhere! (Better than a gold watch for a retirement gift). I also still have library privileges. Surprisingly, we were first to arrive and had lunch of White Chicken Chili (with a roll, if wanted; I passed on the roll, but took a veggie turkey wrap, and desserts of Apple Crisp and Frosted Pumpkin (I guess) cookies. Amy and I signed up for the 3rd Friday of March 2020 to be the hostesses, (the end of spring break week at CWU), and we requested the large conference room we were in for lunch today. I took my check donation for the year ($60). The program started and still maintained by Ruth Harrington (in its 45th year) crossed the $1 million donation total last year. I have been in this group since 1988, and not missed a year (only a few Fridays when I was unable to attend). The donations go to students who are single parents, for help with their finances.

Today, we learned from Christine Tufts (one of our 4th Friday luncheon members) about her brother, Luke Tufts, a “volunteer” archaeologist at the Burke Museum, who teamed with his friend, Jason Love, working to free the 2,500# T Rex dinosaur skull in Montana. They extracted from the matrix holding it, gently tied it onto a flatbed pickup truck, and brought it to Seattle, WA. It is being reassembled with the rest of the body at the Burke Museum. I think she said it was only the second one found intact. I have yet to listen to all the videos myself. I have watched excerpts and I encourage you to take the time to study them.
If you google “Tufts Love T Rex” you will gain access to several videos. I had not heard of this previously.

When I got home, I finished processing the video of our music from yesterday, and began trying to respond to a volume of emails. It’s been an afternoon chore, never making time to extract the clothing from John’s car and getting it to mine. It will be time-consuming to take the contents of each bag, which are too heavy for me to lift, and separate into smaller garbage bags I can handle. They are full of a lady’s (grandmother) clothing who died and left all her clothing and shoes behind for the family to handle. Now I have it – and tons of my stuff that needs donated. I have had an offer from Sandy Meier to help, and use her house. I’m going to try to find people who can wear things before going the donation route. There is also a big bag of hangers! I’m not free to think about this until November, however. Too much on my agenda. But the Crosstrek is completely full – until Monday. Then what? (moving to my Forester)

Today on Facebook (which I seldom get to for a more than a few items a day), this appeared from my friend (and former student), Tony Bynum in Montana. People are being warned.

Historic Snowstorm: Up to 50” in Montana’s Mountains

Here are a couple of stills I took off the web that appeared with the story above, which will give you a video (and written) report of weather forecasters explaining the problem expected.

Tonight for supper, John fixed chicken thighs, French fried potatoes (baked in the oven), I cut myself a tomato, and we will have a walnut-brownie (he made this afternoon) for dessert.

Saturday, Sept 28

John took care of outside morning chores.
I unloaded and reloaded a full load of dishes.
We had our brunch: eggs, toast, tomatoes, and bacon.
I’ve been handling plans for the month of October for our music group, because we start a new month next Thursday.

Also, I’ve been communicating with a fellow (Jason) from Kittitas,
WA who wants to come take away some already downed cottonwood from our land. Some has been cut into rounds, needing to be split, and others are still logs of fallen (or felled by John) trees.
About 11:00 John watched the blue skies NE turn to storm clouds, and we had a deluge of rainfall. He came in and looked at the radar imagery on line and found a huge storm cell circulating counterclockwise bringing the rain from Quincy (to our NE).
The fellow planned to go to the Taneum Canyon (west of EBRG) to cut and load firewood, but only got ½ cord before rain interrupted, and so he drove home, and planned to come over to our place in the afternoon, when it cleared up.
It did, and we met him at the end of our driveway and showed him stacks of cut cottonwood, a pickup full of pieces John loaded this morning, which he could take away. With the old 4×4 pickup, John pulled several logs over to make accessible for Jason. He has a friend or two and a pickup with a trailer. Today he only had a mini-van. John showed him a couple of other stacks he could take. I walked around with them, and I have a feeling this will be a connection, as a source of wood for his family for a while.

This afternoon we had a snack of brownies.

Tonight we had fried cauliflower with a covering of pancake mix, cheese, and egg, along with homemade beef stew, and chicken nuggets.

We are going to bed early because we cannot stay awake.

Sunday, Sept 29

We need to finish making our Pecan pies to donate to the dessert auction for the fundraiser dinner at the American Legion. The event is being handled by Allen Aronica’s 1966 high school classmates. We’ve know Allen since we moved to the Naneum Fan in 1989. He is the one severely burned in a gasoline flashfire that burned >28% of his body. He spent 20 days in Harborview in the burn trauma center, with several skin grafting surgeries. He is back home on the ranch but has to stay away from people to prevent secondary infections. His wound bandages must be change several times a day and he still has to travel to Seattle for doctors visits. His first time back over was last week, and they were pleased at his progress. A lot of his friends and relatives have been praying for him, and the family feels the power, and thanks everyone for their concern.

The fundraiser is from 3:00 to 6:00 with $10 each for the meal, a dessert (live) auction, and a “silent” auction for donated items. We have to arrive a bit early to deliver the Pecan pies. They’re made using a recipe John’s mom wrote many years ago. It is very much like some others he has found. She (with her kid’s help) had been making such things from memory; as did all her many sisters.

Videos captured by Nancy:
First is a recap on the accident and a health update, which also includes at the end, about 2 minutes of the dessert auction, by Jeff Whitman:

Nephew Arnold Cleveland

Next: One of our music players made a special cake using the image of Allen (above) in Yakama Nation native dress. She delivered it early and went on to a different event.

Here is the auction:

Amy Davison’s Native American Cake

And finally, what will someone give for a pie?

Pecan pie bids

Next week I’ll include a couple of photos from the event.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News Sept 28th

Item #1: Snow I think the photo is by Joel Moreno of KOMO News – Seattle.
Stevens Pass, WA

We are at an elevation of 2,240 feet and 54 miles SE of the Pass. At this time – Sat. Noon – we are along the edge of the airflow bringing the coldest and wettest air to the region. That is off to our east, in western Montana, with the coldest air now still north of Edmonton, Alberta.
We may, or may be not, have 5 inches of snow by Monday morning. Then it will melt rapidly.
I’m hoping for a nice October so I can do the things I put off while hiking in the Cascades.

Item #2: Nothing is “tougher”

Toughness is actually a technical term meaning a combination of strength (resists being pulled apart) and ductility (deforms without rupture). Spider silk is tough and the silk of a Darwin’s bark spider is twice as strong as any other. The orb-shaped web usually begins as a single strand called a bridge line, it is the toughest and has been seen 80 feet in length.With clothing, the term “silk” is used but that word is most often associated with the material taken from the cocoons of the larvae of the Mulberry silkworm; that is, a moth. [Bombyx mori – if you care to look.]
Now there is a jacket [ Moon Parka ] ready for Christmas sales made from silk from bacteria. My guess – I can’t afford one.

Moon Parka 1

Moon Parka 2

Item #3: Cute

A photographer had an idea. Worked out well.

Follow this link, if you haven’t seen the sequence.
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Item #4: I hope he was dressed!

Rescuers say the man somehow survived despite only carrying a pocket knife.

Rescue

In various ways the items in the photo below are called hiker essentials. Don’t hit the trail without them.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Fast pace – – cool and wet

Monday, Sept 16

Worked all day playing catch up and finally published the blog late tonight at 10:28 p.m.
John mowed the backyard grass, shooed a deer over the fence that came over to eat raspberry plants. I wish I had gotten a video of her clearing the 6’ fence.

Tuesday, Sept 17

I need to get out a late call for music attendance to the KV Fiddlers & Friends, for organizing our chair counts for this Thursday (Pacifica Senior Living) and Saturday (Briarwood Commons Retirement Apts.), where they feed us afterwards.

John and I are going to Joanie’s and Ken’s for tuna melts a little before noon, to take the English Muffin bread for their creation with Ken’s awesome recipe. This is an annual invite which we very much enjoy. Normally, it falls on my birthday, but they were out camping this year on 9/1. We shared a few of John’s garden veggies with them today. One of the onions previously given them was used in the tuna mixture.

While in town, we checked our Bi-Mart numbers and did not win, but John also was going to look for a rain jacket for his trail work upcoming. His “Frogg Togg” light rain jacket has gotten misplaced (pant’s whereabouts is known) and he’s scheduled for ACL duty on the wet side of the Cascades in the next few weeks, having already experienced one very wet experience last Sunday. He scored on a 25% off clearing sale and got a nice rain jacket for $25. Then he didn’t have to wear it on the trail work day. The rain was not sufficient to require its use as he has a lined jacket that he has sprayed with “Camp Dry–silicone base” spray.

I stayed in the car in the shade and made a few phone calls to members of our music group (long distance had I called from home; better free on cell phone), to help with planning the count to be at the two events this week.

Wednesday, Sept 18

I worked a little on the jobs-list after being off for over a week. Posted 4 jobs this morning, but have more to do. I have some personal work to do with recent additions to our list (telling them about other opportunities according to their academic and personal interests).

I drove myself to town for music at the FISH food bank, where we played for ½ hour, and we had a lot of folks singing and participating. Singers: Robert, Peggy, Reta, Bob, Richard, Dean (Harmonica), Evelyn (Banjo), Richard drums (drum sticks on cardboard box), Nancy (violin), Joanie (violin), and Rob (Guitar). Our audience was the largest in quite a while, and full of people singing, dancing, and applauding us. That’s always rewarding.

Afterward we are fed – the main dishes being donated from the Ellensburg Pasta Company. Today I did not take my own salad, but had a piece of chicken breast with Fettuccini (only a little because I’m not that fond of pasta), a ½ roll buttered, plums, and dessert (apple cake). I gave my dessert away to a friend. I did not have the mixed green salad because it had greens in it I’m not allowed to have, being on the blood thinner Coumadin. (That’s why I usually take my own Iceberg lettuce salad). For a beverage, I had pink lemonade. I was also able to enjoy a good lunch conversation with a friend from CWU, and others in our music group. I also took tops to several people, and am continuing to sort and keep fashionable clothing for Karen Johnson to take to the Cancer Gift Store in Yakima (for people to buy there; to fund Cancer Research).

I stopped at the bread room on the way home and got two loaves of 3-cheese bread, sliced, for me and a long loaf of sour dough bread for John. FISH will be moving from the area behind the Mercer Creek Church to the new Elmview site out at the Airport, north of town. Luckily, the free bus has extended service out there for Ellensburg residents.

The Senior Nutrition lunch program and lunch for non-seniors will continue Monday through Thursday at the Liberty Theater annex (downtown). It’s being provided on a memorandum of understanding with the Calvary Baptist Church, to use the kitchen and dining room for up to 2 years until the kitchen and facilities are constructed out at Elmview. We are all being spoiled on having china plates, stainless steel utensils, to eat from, and plastic glasses for cool drinks, instead of paper plates, cups, and plastic.

I continued my sorting clothes for the LDS swap sale drop off tomorrow afternoon after music at Pacifica. I am accumulating a lot of donations from several people. It is all free, no limit, and no need to donate to receive. I have published the flyer below.

Not sure how many hours I spent sorting but it was quite a few, and the wonderful thing is I now will have the room back in my car that has been taken by garbage bags full of clothing waiting to be sorted (given by several people). Now it will all be gone, after I drop off at the LDS church on Radio Hill (Brick Rd). All will go to people in the community and all leftovers will go to the Church of Christ clothing giveaway and other free distribution clothing centers, such as Apoyo. I have one more stack to check in the back room, and then I will be done. Currently, I have 6 bags for John to load in my car before he leaves for bottling Mariposa Red. The crew has another 500-gallons to process, bottle, and label. They will break at noon for lunch. John’s contributing sliced salami and cherry tomatoes; pretty much the end of our crop this year.

I marked Sept 29 on our calendar for the Fundraiser Dinner at the Legion to help defray some of the medical costs of Allen Aronica (a veteran of the Vietnam war) to help cover his stay for 20 days in Harborview for repairing serious burns from a gasoline flash fire. He is back home at his Naneum Ranch after several sessions of skin grafting, learning physical therapy to prepare for the healing process to work better keeping the new skin stretched, and for the staff to teach his wife Gerri Miller to prepare the wound bandage dressings, which have to be changed a couple times daily. They will need to return for periodic burn recovery checkups at Harborview hospital in Seattle. Today (Monday, 9/23) was the first visit back for a check-up. I know because I went up the road to put plums on the front porch and saw his relatives around back, so I went over, met them (Arnold & Gail), visited a little, and then left. They have been caring for the house and animals while Allen and Gerri are away.

Some of the plums have now fallen and we are expecting strong gusts (Mon. to 22 mph and Tues. to 36).John picked all that were still on the tree, and gathered the rest – sorting out the bad ones. He wants to dry those without apparent damage.

Tonight John fixed a dinner with a seasoned all-day long slowly cooked beef roast, served with deep-fried onion rings in beer batter, prepared in a cast-iron pot, corn-on-the-cob, and a baked potato with cheese and butter.

Thursday, Sept 19

John left for bottling at White Heron Cellars early to be there by 9:00 start and won’t return until late, just before we have to leave for the KAS meeting.
Here are a few photos taken during the bottling process, taken by Audrey, one of the workers.Pike Place Red Wine for Seattle NW Tasting Room; White Heron John, Phil, Erik – Cameron, John, Garrett, Mark, Rory. Photos by Audrey Seaberg, also on the bottling line.

John loaded 6 garbage bags of clothing to my car for me to drop off at a LDS church clothes swap, this weekend. The leftovers will be given to other community free clothing banks at the end. I’m dropping them off today after playing music at Pacifica.I went to Pacifica today and back home, stopping at my neighbor’s Joanie, 4 houses down Naneum to pick up bags from in front of the gate at her house left for me. (Note: this is neighbor Joanie; the other Joanie is a music group member.)

I called the lady planning the Legion fundraiser for Allen Aronica and introduced myself. Her name is Penny. She was in the high school class of ’66 with Allen. They would love to have 2 Pecan pies donated. We can write a check to Allen Aronica directly for our monetary donation. We are marked down (RSVP) for 2 dinner reservations.

Packed another bag to take to LDS church, use the entrance on the other side of the church from the (unrelated) cemetery. They’ll have 20 people to help me unload.

I walked by a hanger on the door to our guest bedroom and knocked everything on the floor; only starting to replace. I should recycle some of those on hangers on the doors around the room. I’ll probably knock off the one entering my bathroom too. All our closet space is taken. Yeah, that’s the next thing to purge.

We attended the Kittitas Audubon Meeting tonight, and I videoed the presentation by two women resource scientists employed by Puget Sound Energy (PSE), at the Wild Horse Wind & Solar facility. Bios below.

Jennifer Diaz & Haley Olson—on right are maintaining bluebird houses.

Our presenters Jennifer Diaz, Senior Wind Resource Advisor (other job title, Environmental & Communications Manager) and Haley Olson, Senior Resource Scientist, shared the stage, discussing, PSE & Avian Conservation—Our Electrical Grid and Birds.  

Video of their presentation:

Click on the link and pull the start backwards to left, from 30 to zero, to the beginning to view a whole hour and 14 minutes with questions & answers inserted in the video.

Wild Horse Wind Facility – Wildlife Conservation

History: PSE initiated its official Avian Protection Program company wide in 2000, in response to collaborative talks with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but had taken avian conservation actions starting as early as 1979 with relocation of osprey nests. Program Biologists strive to reduce the interactions of birds with PSE’s electrical equipment throughout PSE’s service area to improve reliability and protect birds from electrocution and collisions with power lines. This is accomplished through partnerships with State and Federal Wildlife Agencies and Wildlife Rehabilitators, proactive efforts to make PSE’s system avian-safe, best management practices to minimize the effects of construction and vegetation management on nesting birds and habitat, and training throughout the company to educate employees about the importance of protecting avian species. We will learn more about the Avian Protection program, its successes and future challenges, from Haley Olson, the Senior Resource Scientist who is responsible for implementing it.

Jennifer Diaz, Sr. Wind Resource Advisor, is responsible for managing all aspects of the environment and natural resources across 10,000 acres of rangeland and shrub-steppe habitat at the Wild Horse wind farm, and will share details about wildlife conservation there. When constructing the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) voluntarily added a conservation easement to safeguard 7,000 acres of shrub-steppe habitat and in partnership with the Trust for Public Lands and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), PSE also preserved 18,000 acres of undeveloped open space, helping to maintain enough wild lands to support elk, mule deer, bobcats, badgers, hawks, sage-grouse, and now wolves!

Rocky Mountain Elk & Mule Deer

Wolves present on the landscape – Two wolves named, the Naneum Pack, had 2 pups born this year. The far right photo was taken through binoculars.

Top photo…The most number of Avian deaths occur nationwide caused by windows. The visitor center’s windows were causing a problem being on both sides of the building, as the birds thought they could fly through. They treated the windows to keep the birds away, yet people can still see through the window with human eyes. Birds are deferred by what they see.
Bottom is the study of the corridor existing between two leks of Sage Grouse: here (red arrow), and south on the Yakima Training Grounds.

Top photo shows the removal of noxious cheatgrass, completed by PSE, with a before and after example 12 years apart on the same piece of road up to the visitor’s center. Bottom photo shows the cactus rescue project conducted to remove the barrel cactus during the construction of the wind turbines, to a safe growing area, and replanting them after construction was completed. The snake habitat was enhanced around the visitor’s center, as seen on the walkway entrance from the parking lot to the building.

This paragraph is my assessment of the offerings inside the visitor’s center. That building houses a wonderful resource of exhibits, books, and educational projects & displays, completed by local students from Ellensburg, and enhanced by PSE with guidebooks and comfy chairs to sit and read. Beautiful atlases and picture books of shrub steppe vegetation, wildflowers, and birds are shelved for use there. Tours occur twice daily and on special occasions. It’s a tremendous community resource.

Friday, Sept 20

John left for WTA trail work at the Commonwealth Basin PCT at 7:45 a.m. (the Pacific Crest Trail, going north from Snoqualmie Pass; this is called WA – PCT Section J)

I’m staying home today to take care of things, except I will in run the several bags of dried baby, teen, and adult clothes to town to the LDS church donated from Joanie Lee, and another two bags of adult clothes from me. Joanie had cleared them out of her house (because floors were being replaced while she was out of town for a week), and she put in the back of her truck in plastic garbage bags. Unfortunately, we had a rainstorm and all the bags had wet clothing. I told Joanie I would dry them out – and I did.

Saturday, Sept 21

John left at 6:45 a.m. for his WTA work party on the PCT. He got home after 4:30 p.m. but had to stop in Ellensburg for a bag of horse feed for Myst.

On my drive to town, I passed Allen Aronica and Gerri coming back from town. I had read this morning on YOU’RE PROBABLY FROM ELLENSBURG… Facebook site, that he had gone to his first-time-back meeting of the morning coffee klatch since his incident. He was so happy. Here was his morning comment:

It has been a good morning so far. Wound care was a little later because that was because I was visiting with some of the coffee crew I haven’t seen since the accident and neighbors. Always good to see everyone. It’s a Good Day.

I made it to the clothes swap at noon at the LDS church on Radio hill for a walk-around search for a couple of long-sleeved shirts for John (I found several nice ones in new condition), absolutely no clothing for me, and I searched for 3 nice white blouses I knew would fit Amy (that were in one of the 12 bags I had donated). I found them, plus a black one, and carried them by her house before going to fill my car with gasoline, on my way to Briarwood for music.

She will be at Briarwood but cannot make it to the morning swap because of being at Paint Ellensburg with her baked & decorated cake. I will donate another bag to the swap. I’ll see Amy and Haley at our play-date at Briarwood, and the ladies will be feeding us two kinds of soups: Tortellini with cabbage by Lee & Bean soup by Jo Ellen. They also plan to have a dessert table. I’m taking in a large container of red seedless grapes all washed, a package of fruit bars, and a box of Hazelnut individual creamers for their coffee. Bean soup & Tortellini soup with rolls, and a dessert table.

Here is the lemon & lavender cake Amy made for the Gallery One Fundraiser today for a dessert auction. This cake won a $225 bid donation to the Gallery in Paint Ellensburg. Pretty neat and beautiful piece of artwork! And she still managed to come play with us at Briarwood, and bring Haley along, who danced to Irish Washerwoman and sang T for Texas with us at the end, especially leading the group in the yodeling part. I wish I had her on video doing both.

Before dark, John did a few outside things, and I brought in 4 pairs of shoes I was drying in the sun, before they get rained on tomorrow. He’s likely to experience another muddy wet day on the WTA work party as last Sunday.

We had a supper tonight of our tomatoes, bowl of soup with smoked turkey added, and some asparagus John grew – cooked with cheese.

Sunday, Sept 22

John goes out on the trail again today – a storm is moving from south to north across western WA. If it mostly stays there, the crew might luck out and get damp rather than wet. And that is what happened. John only went a total of just over 2 miles. LeeAnne (crew leader) went up higher with sub-crews. She goes up and down keeping an eye on things and passing out treats – like small candies, nuts, and fruit leather. They think she did 7 miles today (John = 2), and yesterday she did 9, John did 3.

From Caitlin LaBar: Success!!! A lovely lady emerged this morning! It is one of the Hemileuca hera (Hera buckmoth) I reared this year, those caterpillars that took forever and resulted in me driving all over the place to get sagebrush. Some populations have a two-year life cycle, overwintering as eggs and pupae, but some will complete the cycle in a year. This late into September I had all but written them off as going to overwinter as pupae, but maybe a few will emerge and the rest will overwinter.

Monday, Sept 23

Still here on the first day of fall, having not yet published our weekly blog. This beautiful photo awaited me today, taken early this morning by my photographer friend in the valley.

Another magnificent picture by Lise McGowan, capturing the lovely landscape view from the Kittitas Valley dominated by Mt. Rainier {about 65 miles}, with enough snow at Paradise for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding.

John started his day picking plums, and I delivered a few pounds up the Naneum Fan to the Allen Aronica household.

I returned home to a great brunch provided by John. All I had to do was crisp the bacon, sit down, and enjoy – a blueberry/pecan pancake topped with peaches, with a side of coffee.

I’ve been responding to emails, and now switched back to finishing my draft of the blog, late going out this week, again.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan