Summary for this week

Here is a picture of Sue (mother) and Woody (daughter) that I used in January of 2020:
Some of their story is on that page. Sue died this Wednesday, age unknown. Years ago, I captured them and had both neutered. After the garage conversion, I brought them inside (fall of 2020). Her coat had started to mat, causing me to think she wasn’t very well insulated. I had been able to pick her up for several years, but not Woody. Now Woody is able to be touched, but still not willing to become a friend. I’m working on that.

Washington does all elections by mail. I filled my ballot out on Sunday and dropped it in the box at the Court House on Monday.
Then I took a large tin of fancy cookies (from Costco) to the CPA’s office and thanked them (esp. Jessica) because the last of my tax refunds came a few days ago. After being behind 3 years, I am now current with the IRS.
I filled the truck with gas and visited five retail stores.
Tuesday was routine, but Wednesday I manage to run the gas out of the riding mower and only 100 feet from its winter resting place. I used the truck to pull it the rest of the way home. I’ll take the battery out and bring it into the pantry. I need to use the chainsaw a couple more times and then run it until the gas is gone.
I met a newish neighbor, living ¼ mile north of here. I met her horses first.
The context is that a local rancher moved cattle from the hills north of us to his pastures here on the Naneum Fan. A case of “transhumance” . . .

. . . a seasonal movement of livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. When the cattle, dogs, and riders came past the two mares, they decided to follow, but detoured at my driveway. I tried to cajole them to follow me without much luck, but the owner was walking the road. I called to her and the two of us, with a pail of grain, returned them home.
There has been snow over the western U. S. and while it has melted at the lower elevations, including here at 2,200 feet, the elevations above 4,000 feet still have snow. That can be seen here:

Thursday evening, I check my boxes of onions and found two that were spoiled. Out they went, but this makes we wonder what happens in commercial operations if one goes bad and touches another, and another? From what I read, a temperature between 40 and 50 degrees makes them last longer, but I can only store at about 68°F. Oh well, I can handle a few spoiled ones.

The post following this one has house remodel photos.

Keeping track on the Naneum Fan

Sunday morning (here) the March equinox (8:33 am PDT) will occur about the time the temperature gets above freezing. Precisely speaking, there is more daylight than nighttime on the day of the equinox, an additional eight or so minutes of daylight at mid-temperate latitudes. Did you learn otherwise in school?

Equal day and night on the equinox?

We pruned vines on Thursday and Friday. Next day will be Tuesday. If I go in the morning there is a lot of traffic headed west from the Quincy area toward Wenatchee, the largest population in the area. That is just before 9 am. If we prune in the afternoon, I’m on that stretch of highway at 12:45 and the traffic is less. When heading back at 4 pm there is still less traffic. This is good because I have to make a turn across the center line. We all have learned when to go a certain way, and not another, depending on how difficult the turns are, or other aspects of traffic congestion. These things have evolved over 20 years as population and commercial activity have grown.
I think I also notice signs for more accidents on I-90. More guardrails are damaged, and other signs of accidents. This week there is a black/burned spot that is new.
That’s my scientific analysis!

Wednesday I took some scrap to Yakima to check out the place and what they do and do not want. This was a trial, so I only took a little of the metals we’ve removed from the remodel. They paid me $3.60, but I learned what I wanted to know.
The Wests (Suzy and Bob) and I went for a late breakfast, and then to Costco. I now have a sufficient stockpile of paper towels and “tp” to last me through the next panic.

When I got an iPhone last year, and talked to others, I decided to get a belt pouch (holster) for it. I found an appropriate item on Amazon, as shown in this image.
It came with 2 types of clips, neither worked well. It had a slot for a belt to go through. That worked well.
This week I noticed my belt had caused the fabric to wear. Only 3 threads were still holding the loop together.
I wrote a review on the Amazon site. It was not glowing.
Then I called the leather shop – 550 yards southwest of me. By road I have to go 2,300 yards – 1.3 miles. The main business is making saddles and chaps. The deceased father made a saddle for me 22 years ago. The son is not idle so my leather phone holster won’t be made until mid-April. Likely it will last longer than the phone or me.

Goings on, on
The Naneum Fan



That’s right.
Nothing of note happened this week.
The temperature hovered around 26°F.
No new snow; old snow is still here.
No sunshine. OK, a little.
Quail still like sunflower seeds.
No one came; no one left.

from the Naneum Fan

Thanksgiving Week

Sunday morning when the ground was hard and the snow crunchy, I loaded my last 7 bales of straw. I think these may have been acquired about 20 years ago. Kathy and Francisco took some the last time they were over. I wanted to get everything out so I can split and stack firewood in that shed. I built this (8’ x 12’) 3-sided shed for a young horse we got, called Teak, about 25 years ago. The horse had no liking for it, so over the years many different things have been stored there. I’ll use it this winter; next year I’ll take it down and re-purpose the materials. It is in the way of Sun’s rays, and I’m planning a sundial.

Monday I headed west with the load, stopped at a COSTCO in Covington, and headed on to Tacoma. I crossed the Puyallup River and entered a road construction equivalent of the Gordian Knot. I had conferred with Kathy, maps, and images so I would get through the tangled mess. Once there, I felt like Gordias driving into town on an ox-cart into a mess of several knots all so tightly entangled there was no clear way through. At the moment of decision I had about a third of a second to steer right – – I went left. It took me a half-hour to correct this and my second mistake.
I did see fields of un-harvested pumpkins (smaller ones). Here is a web photo from one of the farms I passed.

Their corn maze is here: 47.215748, -122.350302
Double R Farms – Tacoma, WA

This is 1.5 miles from where I wanted to be, but one can’t take the straight route because of water hazards, and I broke only 2 or 3 traffic laws to reduce the time to get to my destination.
We had a great Kathy prepared lunch, unloaded the straw, said hello to horse Jazz and other animals, and headed back to the Naneum Fan. One of the sons set up the map/driving ‘app’ and I had voice directions back to I-5. [I should soon have a Bluetooth connection in the truck; then the voice will come through the speakers – louder.]

Tuesday I went to “The Law House” and signed documents, went out to the vision center to pay a bill, and stopped at a place called Fast Lane Signs to talk to Rose and Pam. I’ll soon have a decorated truck, or more specifically a canopy. I’m thinking of 3 images of perforated vinyl (that is, see-through). Below shows the idea; but not this photo. The canopy has 2 22” x 24” side windows and the large back one.

Wednesday I mostly rested. I did take some limbs off the downed (firewood) trees, and marked most in 15 inch lengths. I’ll finish the marking Thursday morning and then go off for a meal at Suzy (Orcutt) West’s family homestead – 7 miles southeast. I got home about 4:30, just at near dark. Menu was turkey and ham and all the regular Thanksgiving things. About 30 people with food for 60.
My contribution came from COSTCO – – namely a 2.2 pound box of Baklava made in Dubai, UAI. Interestingly, photos on the web, some from earlier dates, show sprinkles of Pistachios over all the pieces in the box. I took the photo below because I did not find a web photo to match.
The round dark pieces look like little bird’s nests with several honey coated pistachios therein. On this box these are called Bilbo nest pistachio baklava.
I could not determine the origin of this name, although it might come from the town in Spain, Bilbao (Bilboa). There is way too much of “Bilbo Baggins” of The Hobbit fame on the web for me to figure this out.

Friday: Phyllis and Cameron came with food. We spent a couple of hours at the table, and an hour sorting things in the big shed. Most is destined for the landfill. Saturday was mist and cool. I went to EBRG, made three retail stops and filled the truck’s gas tank.
At home I loaded a small CWU dorm desk {1 of 4 I bought at surplus for $2 each}. I’ll take it to Dylan Fries (son #2) when I go next over there. Sunday for dinner, I think; but still must confirm with Phyllis.

That’s either the end of Thanksgiving week or the beginning of the end of November.

From the Naneum Fan

No title week

I’m having a computer problem with respect to about 20% of sites not responding to my connection requests.
This is happening with my email account, the local road reports, my mutual fund company, and many more. The weather report comes up, as does the National Hurricane site, but the wildfire site out of Boise does not.
I don’t see a pattern. I’ve tried a couple of fixes suggested by others on the internet. Those have not worked, but I haven’t done more harm- yet!

Some work got done on the house this week, and I continued with rocks and dirt projects. Dirt and organic matter now fill the area in front of the entrance sign. I have daffodil bulbs and will bury them per the directions.

Foot care was on Tuesday. Eye exam on Wednesday. Workers loaded a large Sideboard Cabinet, or dining room storage piece of furniture — not sure what to call it. I took that when I went to bottle wine on Thursday. We did about 500 gallons (4 hours) of Roussanne, a “white” grape the produces a pale golden wine.
Friday I had the workers — Jessee and Wille — re-do the window and animal door. I did not like the bottom edge low down, that is, at deck level. They were able to raise it 5 1/2 inches. The narrow window above it reaches to the top of the wall, so it can’t go higher unless a shorter window is used. Not going to do that. This was all extra effort just to please me. Now caulking and paint have to be redone — next week.

I’ve got a couple of chores to do outside, so that’s it for today.

From the Naneum Fan

Early October

One of my outdoor temperature sensors went to 32.5° Friday morning. I didn’t check the other, but they have been nearly the same until afternoon when their locations show a slight difference. The airport reported 39°.

Thursday my truck was fitted with its new Leer canopy. I’m shopping for a large vinyl decal (horses ?) for the tailgate and maybe smaller images for the side windows of the canopy. Alternatively, maybe a nice mountain panorama.

Todd worked on the electric this week. The south side power is back and the front room has ceiling lights. There is outside wiring and lights to do, but the temperature morning and evening is now too cold to make much use of the deck, but next summer it will be a nice place to sit and contemplate the cosmos.

Jesse and Willy finished the siding and framing, and, on Thursday caulked all the edges and abutments of the planks. Friday they covered all the windows and such with plastic. Walter came Saturday morning and sprayed primer and then blue paint. As that dried, he painted all the finishing “smart board” around windows, doors, and corners. All this framing is now bright white, while the siding is a blue-gray.
Interestingly, the new blue seems to be blue-er than that painted last year. If the new blue doesn’t cure to match the old-blue, then there is another 24 feet of wall to paint. The five of us here today noticed this. Walter’s wife came out to visit. She had painted the original, and noticed the difference without getting out of her fancy red Outback.
The other two were Kathy and Francisco from west of the Cascade Crest.
Getting here (for them) was delayed because of Highway 18. Why this wasn’t part of the Interstate System many years ago is a mystery. Use Google Earth, or similar, and search for WA-18. They brought the large gray trailer and we filled it with hay, plus more hay and old straw in the bed of the truck. There were a few other things loaded, and we visited over lunch.
Their return trip was easier, and it is more downhill, being 2,000 feet lower. Snoqualmie Pass is about 1,000 feet higher than here at the house. This side, only three small sections to the Pass are steep. the rest is very gradual.

Back on July 28th I found a dead deer (large, adult, male) in the pasture beside the hay shed. I moved it out of the way, and under trees. Today we walked over and found the remains – a few of the larger bones were there, and a faint lingering aroma. At the time of death, the antlers were still “in velvet”. Today they were nowhere to be seen.

I have filled the trench in the front with small rounded basalt rocks. This is the sump for water coming off the front of the house; or rather half of the house. The other part will drain into the area where the walnut trees are. This draining sort of works now, so I haven’t done anything there this year.

The rocks for the sump have mostly come from a planned flower and plant space just east of the house. There are two fir trees there, and I’ve lowered the base level around them by 18 inches. Dirt is going back in, along with pine kitty litter and other organic material. One landscape project feeds into another.

I expect the outside of the house to be essentially finished early next week. The inside work, likely, will wait for further deterioration of the weather.

I’ve contracted for a sundial that will be placed about 20 feet to the south of the new deck. It will be placed on a nearly white granite stone piller (18 inches square), itself about 3 feet high. In the image here the side-to-side dimension will be about 3 feet, and made of iron. [Disregard the green disk.] More at another time. This type is called an Equatorial Ring Dial. The numbered part is aligned with Earth’s Equator.

From the Naneum Fan

Missed her 78th

Nancy would have been 78 on September 1st. Spare her a fond moment.

Monday, shortly after Noon, I had a sneezing episode. I don’t recall doing anything that would have caused this, such as eating or inhaling something. It is dry and there is dust, and smoke occasionally, but I couldn’t make a connection.
Phyllis was planning to come Tuesday about 10:30 so in the interest of extreme caution – ’cause I might have the Δ covid virus – we changed the timing to Friday.
The sneezing went away after a few hours, but sniffles lasted until Tuesday afternoon. That’s it – end of story.
I stayed home, and Phyllis and Cameron came on Friday. I had pulled about 2 dozen boxes – packed many years ago – from the big shed. Phyllis opened those and called me to look at some of the stuff. For example, there were several sets of drinking glasses. A set from Atlanta had designs from there, such as Stone Mountain. The box indicated it was from our wedding day, but not that it was a wedding gift. No clue. There was a large old suitcase with drawings from a 3-to-5 year old Nancy. Phyllis offered to look through the collection to see if there was a Rembrandt or an authentic version of “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. Maybe a $5 bill. Cameron and I loaded things in his pickup — filing cabinets and furniture.

During the week I worked on rocks, dirt, wood-chopping, watering plants, and wood pallet disassembly (fire wood also). Many pallets came from CWU surplus – 65 or 70 at 50¢ each. Some are only good for kindling. Some composite ones are trash, but one bids on a “lot” and you have to take the entire stack.

Our local fire (Schneider Springs) produces smoke and slowly expands but not toward occupied land. The early part of the week was clear here. Friday and Saturday – smoke.

Unfortunately, for EBRG and the County this is Fair and Rodeo time with multiple outdoor entertainments, displays and booths. Scheduled activities end Monday night. Take down and clean up will be Tuesday. The smoke and haze are supposed to last the entire time.

Long time friends live in South Lake Tahoe, CA. A large fire started to their southwest and rapidly expanded. It was threatening the town but now appears to have passed by – with luck and lots of hard work by fire fighters with 523 fire engines, 84 water tenders, 27 helicopters, 62 hand crews and 95 dozers.
The image below shows the closeness to the town of the fire.

The Airport is on the lower right. The small white lines are residential streets. The green area has had the fire go through from right to left and is still hot. The brown area is very active burn and the bright red line on the lower left is active advance. Near the center of the image, the light brown (odd shape) blob is the landfill (aka dump). From the small blue star to the fire perimeter is about 0.8 miles. Several bulldozer lines were carved along the hillside. One is just a quarter-mile [440 yards] south of the house of friends. They have been gone for a week. Yikes. Home soon, I hope.

Sending good thoughts.
From the Naneum Fan

How do you vote?

Washington State has a mail-out & return voting system. There are a couple of ways to return the ballot (or get one). Yesterday both the information pamphlet and the ballot arrived. For most elections the information arrives a week before the ballot.
Living on the Naneum Fan means I don’t get to vote for the city of Ellensburg’s offices.

So for this primary I get to vote for just a single office. At least I don’t have to drive and stand in a line to do this. I’ll drop my vote into a box in front of the County Courthouse next week.
Why do I mention this?
Other places in the USA seem not to have mastered voting. Washingtonians read and watch the news and wonder what the …. are those people doing?
There is coordination between the State and Federal agencies to keep the roll of voters current. For example, if someone goes to another state and asks the Post Office to forward mail, then the PO notifies the State and there is a check to see if this is a temporary move (say snow-birding in Arizona) or a permanent exodus.
Only one info pamphlet and one ballot arrived this year. Deaths are reported to Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who scratched Nancy’s name from the roll. See the 4th paragraph here:

The birds go for cherries as soon as they turn red. The yellow/red ones are not taken as soon, and then mostly the ones exposed. Those hanging under leaves are often left. I could get about 15 pounds, but so far have only picked 2 pounds. I just cut branches off and save the best fruit. I also cut small branches from all the cherry trees. The pie cherry tree has an abundance. There is also one apple tree. The deer eat all I cut – – fruit and leaves.
They then bed down for rest and naps.
Thursday morning I cut a pickup load of brush from behind the house and shed. This I took over and put in with the goats owned by one of the workers for the remodel. A short trip of about a mile.

Left photo is through a bedroom window. Right photo is from the newly converted room from the garage. The house has an ‘L’ Shape.

Early morning and near sunset I have been finishing the demolishing of the camper, plus other cleanup, getting ready for a dumpster. A 20 cubic yard one is on order for next Friday. And I keep watering trees and plants of various sorts.

None of this is very exciting.

From the Naneum Fan


I put The Flag out at the end of driveway.
At 9:10 I can still see, but it is time to bring it down. At the time the declaration was made public there was not a “United States”. That didn’t come for many years.
It took until June 21, 1788 for the finalizing of the effort. No one much cares so July 4th, 1776 it is.

I began early with a hair cut on Saturday morning. This is the first time in about 53 years I sat in an actual barber chair in a commercial place. Yesterday I went by a recommended place – the parking places (about 10) were full. This morning I stopped by and was 8th in line with their 4 or 5 chairs full. I was turned off by that and the ambiance (none). There was no reservation allowed – just wait.
Two blocks away is The Barber Chop, with 3 chairs, only two in use.
They have a web-based reservation, so I got signed up for a chair in ½ hour. That allowed me to tackle two errands, and I got back with 5 minutes to spare.
My barber, Arielle (Ari), had to deal with a mass of overgrown hair. We talked this through as she worked. My hair resembled a combination of Albert Einstein’s and Bernie Sanders’, so it was time. She earned her pay and a tip, and we were both pleased with the result. I promised I’d be back before it got long again.

The license plates for the truck arrived today, with a listing of all the fees (costs) totaling $189.00.

But wait, there’s more.
It appears the seller has to contact the State. The plates and title get mailed back. Then the plates and title are re-mailed to me at a cost of $4.80. Next year cost should be a lot less as there are first time items listed.

From the Naneum Fan

Cleaning up and throwing out

Monday brought a 30 cubic yard dumpster to my yard.
Tuesday brought help.
I lost track of all that was going on. Tuesday night I wrote the following and sent the message to the folks that were here:
– – – – –
We’re gonna need a bigger dumpster

Nearing 11:00 o’clock and I am about to cash my chips and head for bed.

My computer acts like there is a parasitic Leprechaun stealing cycles when I type or use the mouse. Useful work is difficult. Then, for awhile all is well. Stuff happens.

Anyway — WOW!
I am stunned by the amount of work that was done today. The dumpster is almost full – 30 cubic yards – despite playing with Minnow, fixing an old stock trailer, trips to EBRG (did you notice nearly everyone was mask-less?), good food, fine wine, and great company. And before y’all arrived electrician Todd spent about 3 hours in the living room cutting holes in the ceiling, installing light canisters, and then cleaning up most of his mess (a fine white dust).
Had I managed to get the old camper totally demolished the dumpster could have been filled with the remaining debris from that ancient structure.
Did I mention I ended up with extra food and 2 cast iron pans?
Within an hour of folks leaving the two inside/outside cats showed up. They must have been watching, and waiting.

Know that I am indebted to each of you.
– – – – – –

Note the trips (s) to EBRG. The old stock trailer was jacked up and the wheels removed. The Les Schwab Center replaced the tires, and then the activity was reversed. Meanwhile, others of us went to the Department of Licensing (DOL) and finalized the truck and car sales. The young members of the Dieguez family continued carting stuff to the dumpster, and Cameron loaded and covered a pickup load for transitioning stuff to new homes in Grant County.
I started to dismantle an old camper for a pickup bed. I soon found one does not dismantle such things. Rather they need to be demolished. I hope to finish this, and get the remains in the dumpster by Sunday evening.
I worked on various outside chores about 2 hours this morning, until Phyllis and Cameron came for a second load. When they left about 10:00, I had had enough of the wind and moved inside. Gusts of over 40 mph makes being outside unpleasant.
Before dark, I went back out for an hour and busted up more of the camper.
Wednesday was mostly an inside day, but Thursday I did the weekly run to town – 6 stops, including at the Ford dealer to show my “new” truck to my contact there. He reset the time – Alaska to WA – and showed me a few other things. While there I scheduled an oil change & service.
I’d promised one of the remodel crew that he could buy the old Chevy truck. He has a birthday this week and his significant other agreed to pay for it. {I didn’t ask.} They came late Friday afternoon, and now the truck is gone. I still have to go with him next week and sign papers at the DOL.
He has to pay sales tax, and we have to report the mileage on the date of sale. And I sign over all my rights to the vehicle.
The unused garden has been growing nasty weeds, so I attacked those. I sprayed a week ago, so about half were already dead. Nearer the house I’m slowly working on a ditch and dry-well. Now this is simply digging rocks and dirt out to make a hollow volume where water can drain. Eventually it will be covered with a small-rock landscape, somewhat like that shown here.
I change jobs frequently because I’ve learned long effort using the same muscles is not friendly for old muscles and bones.

From the Naneum Fan