SMOKE Days of August

I do not yet have the Google Photos from the Aloha going away party for Jessi from the AAC (our senior center). I also have a few videos to share, but I’m not yet through processing them. They will have to be in next week’s blog, except for one that I’m the lead in our doing as what I will remember about Jessi forever.

Monday, Aug 13

Nothing got written down today until a day late. Hmmm, how’s my memory?

I spent a bunch of time finalizing music plans for two days this week. John watered plants and fed the horses. He’s doing a rescheduled WTA Tuesday, so had to get lunch and drinks ready. Squash need lots of water these hot sunny days. Plums are getting ripe.

I left for town for SAIL exercise class and to return the package of wrongly bought items from Amazon, at the USPS.

When I arrived home, John had done 4 more peaches, but we had a bunch on the bottom layer of the box, to complete. Didn’t finish those until late.

Tuesday, Aug 14

I started by getting up too early 5:00 a.m., feeding the cats hard food, and watching John get ready to leave before 6:00 a.m. for Surprise Lake, north off Hwy 2.
His one photo of the day is here:Blueberries and John’s Orange Hard Hat
Last Friday a “group” cancelled after the crew cached tools over a mile up the trail. A late scheduling garnered a half-dozen folks to work Tuesday and then bring the tools out. A Thursday trip is at a different place.

He will be calling me from Leavenworth on his trip home, probably about 4:30 p.m. Then he is a little over an hour away from home there.

I intended to go back to sleep, after John left, after I fed the cats their canned food, but it did not work that way. I got on the computer and took care of some planned correspondence with others about several venues, and I didn’t stop.

Finally, I got too hungry to rest, so I made some brunch. Then worked on dishes, and more computer correspondence. Now at 2:13, I’m going to take a nap. Temp on front porch is 82.5°, 86° at airport at 1:53 with 2.5 mi visibility. Smoke.

I lay down at 2:22; John called at 3:57. I slept most of that time.

It’s hot here. Was 88 where he was just turning onto Hwy 97, north of here.

John gave a rough approximation for the work crew’s far-point today on the trail as 2.6 miles. It is another 2 miles to the first alpine lake – he won’t ever see it. Day trips max-out at about 2 miles. WTA has other (overnight) trips to go deeper into the wilderness.

Wednesday, Aug 15

Called in John’s Levothyroxin refill request and I picked it up while in town today.

I printed copies of It is No Secret to sing as a tribute to Bill Bolman who was a volunteer at the food bank, and also a fan club member of our music group, at the food bank and at Briarwood, where he resided. This coming Saturday is our scheduled visit there (3rd week of the month), and we will sing and play there as well. That actually turned into a much more of a tribute memorial, which you will experience if you look at Saturday’s post.

Right before my leaving, we contacted by phone, Consolidated Communication to report our problems with losing our DSL (sometimes three times a day). The tech support (in Tennessee) listened and decided to call for a technician to come to our house. We gave him the phone number, and expected the tech to call before showing up. He did not call, but John was here, and the technician supposedly fixed it. I came home while he was still here, but leaving. John told him if he had come tomorrow, neither one of us would have been here. Our land line was clearly on the work order and we were told he would call first. It’s nice to have it back working again, and I hope it continues. (It did not, so I guess something else is wrong.)
I worked on several projects before leaving at 10:55.

One thing I did this morning was to change from wearing my FitBit to a watch to wear in the shower, because the FitBit is only supposed to be splashed, not to experience running water. I was rushing to leave, and neglected to change back to my FitBit, so the specifics of my exercising today, steps, aerobic time, were not recorded.

After music at the food bank, I went by the hospital for my monthly required INR & potassium blood draw. I called ahead to the AAC to let them know I was coming but would be late, and why. Turns out I wasn’t that late arriving. When I was called with my test results (INR 2.1 and K 4.5), I asked about when John’s test was scheduled in Sept after 2 months of increasing the dosage to 88mcg. Cody looked it up for me and I put it on the planning calendar in the kitchen.

Thursday, Aug 16

John left at 5:40 a.m. to stop off in Ellensburg for gasoline on his way to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at Stevens Pass. Starting elevation is 4,085 feet.

I slept in, needing the rest very much.

I think I’m packed to take utensils, plates, napkins, & cups to the Audubon picnic. We’re carrying 3 bottles of White Heron wine.

Today is my day to play music at Pacifica Senior Living.

John will be home at 4:15 p.m.; he called from Leavenworth.

Call from Deschelle at Yakima Heart Center about setting up an appointment with my cardiologist for a 6-month checkup. No blood draws are requested, but they haven’t received my INR / Potassium draws since April. So, I have to arrange for that to be sent down.

Here is a neat video of our musical string band group playing a gospel song, before our regular Aug/Sept program of 22 songs:

“Just A Little Talk with Jesus”, KV F&F, 8-16-18

I came home from playing music at Pacifica, and John called from the Lauderdale junction. Big surprise because I thought he would be very late and we would be late arriving at the Audubon summer picnic, but in fact, we got there ahead of many people.
I had packed our utensils, places, cups, napkins and forks to take along with our 3 bottles of White Heron wine as our “food offering. They always have too much food. John picked them out last night and they were refrigerated then: Roussanne, Malbec, and Rose’ of Syrah. We brought home a smidgeon of the Roussanne, a little of the Rose’, and more of the Malbec. A lot of folks drank beer.

We filled our tummies with grilled hamburgers and all the fixings, several salads, and great desserts.Karen Johnson with her meal, and my favorite, the dessert tableJohn filling a plate and the wine.Gia, Gary, and his mom, Helen Cummisk, my AAC friend Our hostess, Gloria and others
We enjoyed our evening having good conversations with many people.

Friday, Aug 17

John left early for his WTA work trip on trail at the PCT near Stevens Pass. He did not want to do 2 days in a row but he is trying to get a few extra in this month.

Contacted AAA for my annual payment that bounced. It was likely on the scammed card, VISA (Costco) in my name.

Today I was really swamped. Gone today at Senior Center volunteering time as photographer for going away party for AmeriCorps gal (local with horses); home to more demands on my time getting organized for us to go play music at the Kick-off Rodeo Breakfast (Pearl St. across from the Rotary Pavilion we’re on the stage at 8:00 a.m.).

After the end of passing around the mic to people to share their memories, I took the mic and described my memories of a song (“I Feel Good”) she used to show us her technique of Good Punches to the music. We decided that a number of people from our SAIL class were there and we would demo to the group. Here are the results. I handed my camera to Katrina to take a video.

Aug 17, 2018 AAC at Jessi Broderius’ Aloha Going Away Party

My SAIL class “punch exercise” demo to song, “I Feel Good”

Saturday, Aug 18

I was awake first and flipped the alarm off set for 6:00 a.m. I got stuff ready to leave for town to play music at the kickoff Rodeo breakfast. John went with me to help carry things and also took his camera..

We had the stage crowded with all who would fit (we were likely over fire code for exiting). We did not have room for all our group. Thirteen included today were (left to right, Manord, Marilyn, Maury, Kevin, Gerald, Dean, Evie, Charlie, Nancy, Joanie, Rita, Sharon, Amy) in the photo below.Only photo John took where all baker’s dozen of us are showing.

Evie (the standing violinist in the middle) brought her friend Gene who sat out in the street, at a table (very noisy, with Evie’s camera on a tripod, and took video of our playing). She then edited out all the interruptions and created 38 minutes of our songs.

Here is that creation, which has a lot of competition for our sound to the audience eating pancakes and sausage and visiting. The cooks used small chocolate chips instead of blueberries on the pancakes. The cost was $5 for $1.25 meal. It was a fundraiser, but we skipped it and went home. Musicians could eat free.
Note, you’ll have to pull the viewer back to the start to view from the beginning. The video comes up at 24 minutes into the music.

Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends, Kick-off Rodeo Breakfast, 8-18-18, at 8:00 a.m.

I will create a link to all the photos John took.
(it will have to wait till next week’s blog) — LINK to John’s photos at 2018 Kick-off Rodeo Breakfast

In the afternoon, we went to Briarwood. We had the most players we have ever had today – 13 of us, plus Haley, who dances and yodels with us.

I have decided to put this video in about the way we started our time at Briarwood.

Tribute Memorial to Bill Bolman

Good thing I stayed up tonight. At 32 minutes to go, the DSL shut down. I restarted the router, and it picked back up when the DSL returned. Phew. Now with 28 minutes left, I can click done and go to bed and not worry that I lost several hours of upload.

I needed to work some more on the blog anyhow. I made through until after midnight, so I did not have to let my laptop run on its own. Once I restarted the router, thank goodness it returned to sending to YouTube and I didn’t lose the 2.5-hour upload. (It was on my higher resolution camera (Nikon), and only was for 10.26 minutes of video, because I do not have the ability to have the software to change the upload time to be more efficient.) The time is significantly lower on my very old Exilim camera to transfer files. The “Just a Little Talk with Jesus” on Thursday, was on that old camera. I need to send that to people who were there at Pacifica.

Sunday, Aug 12

We have peaches to finish; we never did.

Plums to pick and distribute. John picked a bunch probably close to 25 pounds this afternoon. I contacted two neighbors and packed up some for each, and one carried the share to the other, to save me the trip. Tomorrow, I’m taking a bunch to Briarwood, and to the Senior Center.

The haze returned yesterday afternoon and remains this morning. Last night at 6:00 p.m. it was down to 1.75 mi visibility at the airport, and yesterday’s high was 90°. Today at 7:00 a.m., the visibility is 3 miles and the temp is 55°.

John plans to move hay from the pole barn to the horse trailer down in the middle of the pasture. Yesterday he moved a few bales to the roofed place next to the corral nearer the house. Temp on front porch at 11:00 is 72. Airport is 70, visibility 3 miles, and no wind.

John came in and fixed a nice brunch. I continued working on projects that were created by my activities the end of this week.

For some unknown reason, my computer stopped with a black screen, and it was still plugged in, so I know not the reason. I turned it back on, and it came up without anything saved. I wish I knew what caused that.

Also this afternoon our DSL has been off and on several times, but it was on when this stoppage occurred. I have no clue. I do know I must finish this blog and process other data waiting for my attention, before tomorrow morning.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Animals and activity here and away

First, we’ll catch up with information that didn’t get posted last week..
Back from Friday, Aug. 3, here are two links to the camera work I did that day.

Link to many photos, AAC_8-3-18, A Fair to Remember

Link to 3 short videos, AAC_8-3-18, A Fair to Remember
Below left: one of 3 spotted fawns we have regularly around our house this year. This is just over the fence in our front yard of the house.Bambi, then with Czar on crossover and Woody too. The cats pay attention to the deer, but don’t get involved.

Monday, Aug 6

I’m still working on photos from Aug 3 AAC event. Above you have access to the results of all photography in two links, but here is my favorite video, which occurred outside the building at a petting “zoo,” at the event, A Fair to Remember. Emily with Peep (2 yr. Leghorn) & the back of her shirt

Emily introduces Peep during the Buckles & Belts 4H showing outside the AAC

John went with me to town for my 1:30 – 2:30 SAIL class, with the prime reason to use the senior center’s Wi-Fi access to activate our new cell phone. Plus, we have access to the staff there who own and understand Smart Phones. We cannot do it from home because of only a local in-house Wi-Fi, and no cell reception. A huge disappointment of the new phones, because the company “suggested” we might.

We took our voting ballots to drop by the courthouse, and John picked and carried in some yellow squash for the EBRG seniors. Someone else brought in zucchini so many folks took both. Once class was done, the director Katrina helped us initiate our “Smart” phone. We went through the startup settings and then called our service provider to activate, but we only activated one phone (John’s). Apparently, on the way into registering it, we ended up putting all our Gmail account contacts (e-mail) and not the ability to enter contacts with their telephone numbers.

I called Consumer Cellular on our landline this evening for help, but it was slow coming. The representative did not know how, and was going to check to find out how to delete my contacts list from John’s phone (our joint Gmail account), and then get phone numbers. She never returned the call, and they closed before we had an answer, so I will call tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, Aug 7

I started by contacting Consumer Cellular to see if someone would help us reset (delete e-mail contacts). We managed to find someone who knew the answer, which we did not have last night. Today, we had to make a trip to a Target store in Yakima to get help from a fellow in Electronics there who will eventually be able to transfer all the contact phone numbers from my Flip phone to the Smart Phone, when I decide to activate it (after I learn how to use John’s for things I need). We bought the same exact type of phone, but mine is gold and his is black.
His soft cover is red and mine is gray. Both of us received our tempered glass cover to protect from scratching and breaking. The first ones we ordered were delivered but did not fit our phones. We can return those, sadly for a cost of $6.00 shipping. We package them up and send by way of the USPS. We also bought the wrong cover for my phone, so we can return it at the same time. John has already re-ordered the correct parts, and they were delivered later this week.
By the end of the week, we have succeeded in learning the things he mostly wants to know for immediate use, namely call from the car and take photos. Also, important and not something a lot of folks do (apparently), is he wants to download photos to his computer. He often enhances photos via color manipulation, change size and resolution, add text, lines, arrows, and overlays.
We needed to know how to add contacts, and he only really cares about having a few people on for his needs. Most important was to have our home phone (landline) for Nancy; second was Nancy’s cell phone #, and third was his (our) sister Peggy. There are to be a few more, including several of WTA contacts.

Our main reason for going to Target today, was to buy a micro SD (Secure Digital) card for storage of photos, and to have it installed in the SIM card slot. I took my laptop computer and the transfer cable along to test putting photos on the new storage card, and then transferring them from the phone to my laptop. Once we got home, we tried the technique on his computer, but we had forgotten the steps. (I watched the “agent” do it, but we did not write down the actual steps, and it is not well explained (or to find) on the web.
I remembered, however, what we wanted to do, and a day later, John found the “button” to change the smart phone from charging the battery, that is the default when plugged into the computer. Once charging is stopped the computer’s File Explorer will recognize the SD storage and find the photo files for retrieval. Now we are 2 or 3 or 4 steps up the learning curve.

I’m keeping my flip phone for now until we figure out the things needed. John has learned enough for all he needs to use it for. He now has the 3 numbers mentioned above, plus on Saturday, we added his 100-yr old cousin, Ethel, but we did not manage to connect with her while in town, because we called during her nap time.

We didn’t arrive home until 4:30 p.m. and I needed to go to Evie’s house in Kittitas, WA and be there by 6:30 p.m. with folding chair, music for me and 2 other players, violin, stand, & pencil.

We had a productive practice session, learning and agreeing on intro lead-ins to establish the correct beat of the song, so we can get the proper “count in” for the song and all start at the right note. I did not get home until 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug 8

We took off at 8:25 a.m. for the sometimes monthly meeting of the Emeritus Geography group (retired geographers). We warmed and carried along the food treat, which was a raw apple cake (glazed) that my neighbor made for us from his mom’s special recipe. John cut it into small brownie size pieces, and I packed plastic forks, napkins, plates, to set up once there. The Activities Director at Hearthstone (where we meet) set up coffee, tea, and ice water for us. One of our members (Lillian) lives there and brought her Irish Cream creamer to add to the coffee. We had 9 people show up. We started at 9:00 and a few of us stayed until almost 11:00.

I also took my camera to record information for reporting to those not there. I have only one conversation to share that occurred by Dee Eberhart talking about a T. E. Lawrence book, of which he has finished reading all 700 pages. His presentation was well worth hearing and I’m happy I had my camera there.
Dee Eberhart on T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926)

Then we had some reports on good things and sad things. The saddest was the loss of a colleague’s son, to a cancerous brain tumor, at only 55. One of our own told us the story at the meeting. Then I gave a report from our current chair who planned to come to our meeting, but had another called at the last minute by the Dean’s office. I also gave a report from another member about her planned trip to Tuscany, Italy. We will meet again in a month.

John and I drove separately because he left for home, and I stayed in town to go to two other events – music at the Food Bank lunch and SAIL exercise class in the afternoon.
I went from that meeting to the Food Bank Lunch and played music for the audience for a half hour. Then we get to eat. Everyone enjoys our presence, and they do a good job singing along and provide applause to keep us happy.
From there I went to the senior center for my SAIL exercise class.
Once home, there are chores.

Thurs, Aug 9

John left a little after 6:00 a.m. for a WTA work party at Surprise Lake south off Hwy 2. I stayed up, even though I was operating on only 4-5 hrs. sleep.

I washed dishes. He tried the camera phone.Left is a dead tree outlined by a white sky (thin clouds and smoke). The crew did lots of brushing and drainage cleaning.
Middle and right photos shows a log (flattened top) bridge crossing. This is a natural fallen tree with a big root clump on the near end. Enough roots have been cut and a ramp of rocks built.
On the east side of Surprise Creek, Dan cuts back the brush – including blueberries, but mostly other things.

I am working on videos from the Aug 3 party at the AAC, and now I have to add one from the Aug 8 morning meeting.

I put my pills in the distribution box for a week, ordered Metoprolol and Entresto, and halved the remaining Entresto pills.

I called in a count of 9 (for armless chairs) to Roberta (the Activities Director for Meadows Place), where we play music today. We actually had 11 there (but two stand).

The weather is scheduled to be very hot. Five miles from us, the airport reported 107°F. However, there is evidence that when it hits about 95° it loses contact with reality. A concerned person (not us) has asked the National Weather Service to investigate. At home we got to about 97°.

I talked with Reece at Critter Care. The first available appt. is Monday, Aug 27, and we will take Annie in early – to be back for our farrier David to do Myst’s foot trim at 10:00 a.m. We’ll then get Annie in the afternoon when she comes out of the effects of anesthesia. They will evaluate her need for Phenobarbital, anesthetize, do blood work, trim nails, shave, and call when she is ready to be picked up. I will have to leave both phone numbers to be sure I’m not already on the road to SAIL exercise class.

Talked to John Bowen. The Hultquist Award is distributed at the start of every quarter, Fall/Win/Spr, at $333. For 2018 awards, they will be distributed for both students, Caleb Valko and Mallory Tripplet through all 3 quarters.

This morning on Facebook, my friend, Joanie Taylor forwarded me a video, which included a geographically incredible journey along the U.S./Mexico border, viewing the potential “Wall” being proposed for building along the border. This report shows the topography confronting the goal.

Knowing many of our readers do not have Facebook accessibility, I searched, found, and created this link:

2,000-mile Border Journey

For brunch: sausage, 2 eggs, 1-½ piece toast with jam.

I finally got out with all my load of weight for the Meadows Place, and put off my musical stuff at the door, found a parking space, and went inside to help set up the chairs.

We had a good turnout, but problems with hearing each other for the intros especially after our bass guitar player’s sound died. It was a disaster for trying to hear the lead in, which went so well Tuesday night in the practice session, so we could and all start on the same beat and keep it throughout the song. The audience didn’t care that we were practicing and restarting when things went awry. They appreciate us when we are there, regardless of the sound. They also love watching Haley bounce around the room, dance to Irish Washerwoman, and yodel with us.

I came on home and John called about 4:30 p.m. from Leavenworth, but he still planned to stop at a fruit stand, and then would be out of range for his phone. I was exhausted from short sleep, so I lay down and went to sleep. I was still sleeping when he came in the front door. I guess I needed it.

He brought 16 beautiful peaches (he’d bought 10# for $12.) He also bought some excellent corn-on-the-cob. Not from up there, though. It is from over east, near Quincy where White Heron Winery is. I think I already mentioned that, somewhere in the blog, maybe later.

Friday, Aug 10

From the Yakima Herald report: This photo is along Rim Rock Lake on White Pass, showing smoke from the Miriam Fire.

The Cougar Creek Fire near Chelan and the Gilbert-Crescent Mountain Fire near Winthrop are producing smoke in the region.
There are other fires in the region, but none near us – at the moment. John has read that 84% of wildfires are related to humans. Not arson, but humans and human actions.

An air quality alert has been extended until 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. “A windy and cooler weekend is likely in Eastern Washington, reducing smoke accumulation in most areas but also worsening fire spread,” the interagency Washington Smoke Information blog said.

I watched an awesome video of Jennifer Lipton’s son, Miles (only about 6 yrs old, singing and strumming his dad’s ukulele to his original song, “Steam Train Through the Woodland Forest” – It is an epic saga of a steam train. November 2017. I’m sorry, I cannot give you the Facebook link, because unless you are her FB friend, you won’t have permission to view it.

Saturday, Aug 11

John went to open the gate, with Anne along. Some things needed water out that way, especially the “new” rose bushes.
He also brought around the Chevy “farm” truck to drive about 7.7 mi. round-trip to pick up five plastic 55-gallon containers, a couple with 10″ of dirt, and weeds. What? Cannot imagine how that got in them through the two little holes in the top. I drove behind John to be sure he didn’t break down and have no way home. The truck is 38 years old.
At home we switched to a car for a trip to town.
We went in John’s car, first to Safeway for colas, but the price was up on 2-liter bottles to 99₵ each. They have been 10 cents (and even 20) lower. We went on to Super 1 Pharmacy for my two prescriptions, and checked the cola prices there, and found they were $1.28. Then back north to the Farmers’ Market for peaches from Royal City and for corn from Wapato (south of Yakima). We got 24# of peaches for $35 and 6 ears of corn for $3.00.

Sunday, Aug 12

John started earlier than I, but he then went out and got a hose fixed to fill buckets and barrels, and to water veggies. Now we are ready to process peaches, and get around to brunch. We have processed and frozen one layer of the large box we bought, and eaten brunch (eggs, sausage, a peach, and I had toast with apricot preserves).

I have called and notified Dee Eberhart about follow-ons to the Emeriti meeting.
We still have peaches to finish.Here is my photo coming home late up Naneum of the red sun sunset because of the haze from smoke in our valley.

Our ending was just filmed tonight before dark. It’s a video of 3 yr old twins with new Bambi, sharing Mt. Ash branches.

3 yr old twins with new Bambi, still spotted, sharing Mt. Ash branches, 8-12-18

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

This Week’s No so Nasty News

Item #0: the Weather
Our high temperature on Thursday was 100°F. Tomorrow, Saturday, the high is expected to be 76°F. That’s good news.

Item #1: New phones
My new phone has now replaced the old one.
It works in the car and takes pictures.
Being of Android/Google linage, it prods me to do things to enhance their bottom line. It also has a mess of an introduction every time it is turned on. I’m at the beginning of the learning curve.
However, our provider is Consumer Cellular and they buy tower space from ATT. We do not have a connection in the house and barely outside. Booster kits are available, but cost more than the phone.

Item #2: Good things to eat
My chance of getting to Australia is slim to none. However, you might.
If you do, look for the confections of a company called Darrel Lea. At one time the company sold only out of its own 60 stores. That business plan started to fail and now they are in 3,000 outlets. Ice cream will be available, such as Rocklea Road, peppermint nougat and peanut brittle. So, a nice story from OZ.
Darrel Lea

Item #3: Man rescued
A man in Germany called police. Why?
You have seen this story – right?
Saved from a tiny squirrel

The link has photos of the actually chaser, but not the chasee. I could not find a nicely presented story. The one linked to is okay, but could be better. I wanted to see a picture of the chase.

Item #4: Stargazers – heads up
There is to be a multitude of meteors this weekend.
One story is here: Kat Kelly says

Really, that’s her name. Here is a video: H.R. Macmillan Space Centre Astronomer Kat Kelly

Kat K. urges folks to go to a dark place, take a blanket, and your favorite beverage, and several people to talk to. There are lots of breaks in the action.
{Actually, she did not quite say that, but close.}

If you are not going to watch, there are nice photos here, with some tips on how to take such photos.
Tips from NASA

Item #5: Be more active

Just about everyone needs to turn the TV off, turn you cell phone off, and close the refrigerator door.
If you want to get some exercise, folks in Western Canada can introduce you to Axe throwing.

Ales Soloducha

You can travel to “Lumberjax Axe Throwing” in downtown Regina and Winnipeg. Or you can find a place closer to your home.
Try Philadelphia, PA.

From the City of Brotherly Love

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

Galore and more

We recently got the “report” from a WTA trip of 7/19 to Mica Peak. {There was fire on the return, so late.}
John went over past Spokane for a WTA work party, driving his Ford truck and carrying his commercial Stihl brusher with a metal blade. He left that over there for crews to use during subsequent workdays.

John was not in any of the photos of the crew because he with two others were downhill about 3-4 miles working on brushing the road. Others were working on a new trail, toward the summit. This one photo grabbed my attention. It is a Trapdoor spider on a person’s glove.

I have never known of them, but here is an interesting video describing their behavior.

Trapdoor Spiders Are Masters Of Surprise

Sunday, July 29 (addition)

Another late entry. John went to the South Puyallup River Trail at Mt. Rainier. This is a short trail that connects the old Westside Road (now no vehicles except NPS) that connects with the Wonderland Trail. After the drive over, National Park trucks and drivers carried the crew to the trail over the otherwise closed road.Top: John gives the morning tool safety talk and demo. Workers sitting on an interestingly crafted bicycle stand for bikers to leave their bikes to hike to a view. Bottom: the crew at lunch.
The South Puyallup River has been carving up the trail, so WTA is currently doing some re-routing to higher elevations. New trail begins with streamers tied to trees through the forest. Below.
Note red letters: A = small tree; B = old log; C = another small tree; and higher is D = larger tree.
Only a half dozen folks have walked along this route.
On the right side “After” photo, note trees A & C have been cut; Log “B” has been slid downhill; small brush along the corridor has been removed; and tree “D” is more visible.
It is a start.On a nearby hillside the work is a bit further along. Below.
The “Before” image is actually near the end of 2 days of cutting new trail. It is rough, narrow, and has a steep shoulder on the uphill side. That steep shoulder is ‘leaned back’ in the “After” photo, the trail is smoother, and wider. This is very passable and safe, but not finished. Some roots and larger trees have to go or they will soon fall and rip up the trail. A Park saw crew can now go in and cut larger things with a chain saw. More work will follow.

Monday, July 30

Morning of another hot day when temperatures are supposed to climb to 103°.

John left to take his car, Jessica, Crosstrek 2016, to the dealer for a pre-paid regular oil change / lube / and check over. (They ended up finding his car was out of alignment because he had hit a deep pothole pretty hard on the Rainier trip. It took them longer to get that done than the scheduled items, and he was charged (not included in the prepaid service).

He went to Costco while there, and is taking an evaluation of a Smart Phone (Motorola Moto G4 Plus to ask Mat if my 2014 Forester will support it with its Bluetooth). They claim it will.

It’s expected to be a very hot day.

Ordered John’s Hydrochlorothaizide and Lisinopril. Whoopie, the cost (insurance co-pay) for 90 will only be ~$7.54 for each and there’s no need to have it rewritten for more tablets. Last was only for 30, I prefer getting 90 at a time. It is supposed to be in our records at the doctor’s office, but somehow, last time, 30 slipped through.

I canceled going to SAIL today, because of the high temperatures.

Tried on my clown suit from Marcia Hedrick, and it will work for Friday’s, A Fair to Remember.

Okay, I called Mat Bland & Subaru to get a message to John that he left his phone at home, and I wanted him to get Friskies cat food at Costco today.

Check the A/C and measure the glasses for ordering my new grey clip-ons. They should be shipped Monday and to me within the week.

Wrote note to KV F&F for this week and sent Julie’s pictures.
A/C just turned on to 76° in the house
at 12:59, out front the temperature is 97.7°; airport it is 98°.
1:59, 97.6° here; at the airport it is 101°
2:59, 97.5° at the airport it is 102°
3:59, 96.6° at the airport it is 102°
4:59, 95.4° at the airport it is 102°
9:00, 80.0° on our front porch still

At 2:00 p.m., I ordered two Smart Phones (G4) from Consumer Cellular and talked Stephanie down $10.00 on my purchase, because I have complained for 3 yrs about no reception on my cell phones at home (flip phones, G3 technology), but supposedly the new phones have a higher technology but work off the same towers, and we will have reception (we’ll see). I got $5.00 credit on my current July invoice for service, lowering it to $33.92. When next month’s statement comes, I am to call Consumer Cellular and request my $5 credit adjustment for August.

For Internet access on the Smart Phones, we will need 1 Gb $10/mo or 3 Gb for $20/mo; Normal $20 for unlimited minutes and $10 for John’s + $10 for 1Gb data; $40 billed monthly, plus taxes, after our Smart phones are activated.
I changed the password on my Computer Cellular account when I ordered two new Smart Phones. Question now is, when the Smart Phones are activated, will our charges increase for usage of phone, accessing the web, or texting. I found out the answer. Because we already have an unlimited minutes account for $20/mo., it continues, and John’s on it also continues on his phone for $10/mo. The only extra is for data and I chose 1 Gb for $10/mo. Both our Smart Phones will use off the same account. So, our price after taxes are added is $39.80, and that will go up by $10 probably with another 8.0% added.

I checked briefly on Facebook and found this link, which was sent to me by a few local friends:

Video of the day… I-90 Cle Elum River Fire

For those without Facebook: check this video taken from a car headed east on I-90, that started when a pickup truck caught fire, and instead of leaving the truck on the roadway, the driver pulled over to the dry grass and the fire rapidly moved south into the trees. The pickup was destroyed.

Original Video of the closure of I-90 at MP 81 for the Cle Elum River Fire

Jump ahead to Saturday, Aug 4, when another car fire stayed in the right lane, on the pavement, and closed westbound lanes of I-90 at MP 67, near Easton, but the driver did not pull off onto the grass along the side of the road. The WSP and Fire Crew responded and handled the issue.

Tuesday, July 31

I realized the link for the Nick Zentner video from last week I sent was replaced by another, so I re-sent the corrected version.

Calling for 103° temps again today; got to 104° at the airport. It was very hot when I was in town today.

I went for my haircut, and took a pair of jeans to Celia for her to use on making carrying bags, which she sells. She made one for me with extra-long straps to have to carry my audience music to play on Thursdays. Also, I took her a 20# box of 5 different onions John has grown. She and Bobby eat a lot of onions, and she always appreciates them.

I went to Bi*Mart (for Friskies) but skipped going to the senior center for Jazzercise at 2:00. Last week was too much. I guess I pushed myself too hard, trying to keep up with the leader. Next week the time switches to 11:00 a.m. for the month of August and I don’t think that is going to work for me.

Wednesday, Aug 1

Food bank soup kitchen music, with SAIL exercise afterwards.
Picked up John’s prescriptions.

Thurs, Aug 2

I started a little earlier for town today, because I had to deliver a 5-gallon bucket of Dahlias to the AAC for tomorrow’s event. I left it for them and went back afterwards to retrieve the bucket. They had made a nice arrangement, which I’ll take a photo of tomorrow when I’m in for the event.

I dropped by Bi-Mart on my way from AAC to Rehab and got 2 more cans of Friskies Pate to enter my receipt for prizes. Done!

I played music today at the Rehab, and the winds were blowing for my whole trip in and back home. I was blown around walking from my car at several stops. On the way home, winds were rocking my car as I drove north. No wonder – winds gusted to 47 mph during that hour.

Our phones and protectors arrived today. We found out Sunday the tempered glass protectors do not fit our phones, so we have to return them ($6.00 postage) and will be returned $14.51 on an E card (whatever that is). Their advertising was not clear on the original purchase. We realized we also bought the wrong case for my phone, so John added the case to the return request. Then he purchased the correct stuff.

Friday, Aug 3

Today, my father would have been 120.
John is going to the West Fork of the Foss River, northwest from here for a WTA work party, leaving about 6:30. Four people on the crew canceled at the last minute last night. He says a couple of others not on the list showed.

Here is a view from that trail with two photos received from Nate (the crew leader). More pix are expected from others on the trip.Left: The outlet from Heart Lake on the West Foss River Trail; part of the trail on 8/5, with the crew from WTA Fireside members – more than small $$ donations. John and another are not yet to the bridge. An assistant crew leader always walks ‘sweep’ or ‘drag’.

Before I left home, I received a call from my optometrist, saying my glasses lenses arrived and I need to come by to have them put into my frames today. I said, oh my, I know on Friday you close at 1:00 and I am going to still be at the Senior Center. But, depending on how long it takes, and if you don’t mind my coming in a clown costume, I’ll come by on my way there. They didn’t mind and he said it would only take 5 minutes. It worked!

I was on my way to an event – A Fair to Remember at the AAC, as a requested volunteer photographer. We have lunch before and fun before, during, and afterward. I dressed in a clown costume loaned to me by a fellow member there. We did have cooler weather than earlier in the week, but my carrot top wig was made from rug wool and was extremely hot, even inside in the a/c, but I survived.

Lunch included: corn dogs, kettle corn, veggies with dip, and cotton candy. I took my own salad (with apple, cherry tomatoes, smoked turkey, and iceberg lettuce, just in case I couldn’t eat the veggies or salad. I ended up bringing home 2 corn dogs, and 2 bags of Kettle popcorn. I did not eat a corn dog there or have any popcorn. The balloon sculpture maker in Ellensburg (Hugh Wilder) made a bag of “things” and donated them to our AAC for today’s event. I brought a flower home to John to thank him for the large vase of Dahlias he grew, cut, and gave me to take in yesterday for the staff (our neighbor, Gabriella Bacon, a volunteer at the AAC arranged them). She did a beautiful job. Photos included below.

All other AAC events are canceled all day for this big one. We will have games to play and tickets to enter. Outside, 4H kids and parents are bringing farm animals for us to enjoy. We got to visit with a miniature horse named Bravo, a goat, a sheep, a white leghorn 2-year old chicken named Peep, two different rabbits (one pretty white one with red eyes), and a little doggie.

Photos are below, and I will add the links to Google Photos/Videos in next week’s blog.There I am in the clown suit holding the vase of Dahlias. Ellensburg 2018 Rodeo Queen, Erin, Rodeo Clown, Nancy, & Rodeo Princess, Mikaila, with us all holding balloon sculptures made and donated by Hugh Wilder, from Ellensburg.

One of the games on the arcade was balloon dart throwing. I enjoyed it the most, watching others, and participating. Here I am below, and next blog, you’ll have a chance to see several others, including happy 4H kids. Other games were spinning a wheel, ring toss, lawn darts, dropping pennies into jars in a tank, and awards for canning or growing fresh vegetables. The tour of the animals was a delightful part of the day. Clown Nancy, Ready, Aim, Fire! I hit one out of 3.

Saturday, Aug 4

This morning I have been working on the plans for our music group to have a practice session.

After breakfast, John went out to water veggies and trees.

We are meeting folks at 1:30 p.m. for lunch at The Palace.

John had a BBQ something or other slices of beef with a ton of French fries and I had a Hawaiian burger, with a half a plate of salad.

We had a nice visit with a couple seriously considering a move from Tonasket, several hours north – to Ellensburg. We visited about a number of topics. John and I left to fill my gasoline tank, to go to the grocery, and then by Bi-Mart to get a new watchband for him. It broke yesterday while he was sawing limbs overhanging the trail.

John stopped for peaches on his way home. He bought them south of Leavenworth, near the intersection where Blewett Pass road takes off. He also got 6 ears of corn (3/$1.00), and we had one last night that was the best we’ve had this year.

Sunday, Aug 5

We cleaned, cut, and froze peaches this morning.

I called in our RSVP to the local Audubon picnic for Aug 16.

Did so many things today, I don’t remember them all, but we stayed busy the entire day, and are continuing tonight.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

2 for the price of 1

I’m starting with things left out of last week’s blog: our trip to Moses Lake (Wed), John’s trip home with the wildfire blocking west and eastbound I-90 from Vantage to Kittitas (Thurs).

We went over Wednesday, July 18 to Moses Lake to visit with my violin teacher, Roberta (Bobbie) Pearce, from Nampa, ID, who taught the class I was in, in Kittitas, for 22 years, and then I took another year at the WOTFA Summer Workshop, when it was moved to Moses Lake. I only did it that one year, because the weather all week was way too hot for me. Her daughter, Katrina, came too, as she is teaching the Hot Shots class (Advanced young fiddlers), at the workshop. We also had a gift (along with dinner), that I got from an Ellensburg resident, and gave to Bobbie for her collection of porcelain dolls. This one was newer, from the 1990s, but she is a pretty little thing. She sat on the side of our table and watched us eat. We also got to enjoy the sunset over the lake.Top- John, Katrina, Bobbie, Nancy; Below- Doll & Lake Sunset

On John’s way east early in the morning following our dinner at Michael’s on the Lake, he drove again by the town on his way past Spokane to Mika Peak for a Work Party, carrying his new Stihl brusher in the back of his canopied truck. His trip home was another delay of over an hour, by the closure of I-90 in both directions because of a grass/brush fire started near the highway.

I mentioned that in last week’s blog, but didn’t included any of the pictures I had found or that John took on the last long leg of his trip.
First, a map of the 3 fires in our area, influencing John’s trip home. Boylston was the one I saw the smoke plumes from, on my way home about 3:30 p.m. from Ellensburg.Left from I-90 Ryegrass Rest stop; Rt., Boylston fire from Yakima.

I’ve combined 4 of the images John got on his camera from the east side of the Vantage Bridge on I-90. Top row: Plane heading back for a refill of retardant at an airport in Moses Lake, from rest area looking toward Vantage and smoke from the fires on Yakima Training Center lands.
Bottom row: Line of traffic westbound waiting for 50 cars coming in from the old Vantage Hwy bypass I-90 to get onto the entrance going east. Then 50 cars were let through the west exit of the bridge at Vantage onto the old Vantage highway.

Monday, July 23

Morning of another hot day when temperatures are supposed to climb to 96°. They got to 98° between 3 & 4:00 p.m.

I sent this to all the AAC folks: Links to both photos & Videos:

Link to 70 Photos, 7/13/18 AAC, Nicole Jones Going Away Party

Link to 5 Videos, 7/13/18 AAC for Nicole Jones Going Away Party
Click on each video to start and view; they will repeat so click on it to stop it and go to the next video (to the right is a forward arrow) to click on.

I worked on various projects this morning, and I made it to my SAIL class by 1:20 p.m. I carried in a vase of Yellow Star and Tahitian Sunrise dahlias that John raised and picked. Everyone loved them. You saw them still growing in photos in last week’s blog.

Afterwards, I made it for my INR blood draw check, and got the results when home, of 2.7 (good) so don’t have to check again until a month. Potassium was 4.5, also fine.

John did a lot of watering today, and also came in to fix a casserole for supper. He had cooked rice in the outside garage in a steamer earlier in the day, and cut up ham, onions, mushrooms, and put in the rice and mushroom soup. Picked some of our yellow summer squash, and fried it for supper. Then he fixed a piece of his lemon/blueberry cake with strawberries and ice cream for dessert.

Tuesday, July 17

We are setting up a regular service of inspections, oil change & lube for Monday a.m. next week, for John’s Crosstrek.

Today, I went first to town to drop off at Airport Storage a bunch of Wall St. Journals and magazines for a business student. Then by the Food Bank bread room for bread for a seeing-impaired gal and her child who need bread and she cannot drive. Also got a roasted garlic bread loaf for a neighbor. From there to the Family Eye Clinic to discuss my non-darkening progressive darkening glasses. Today, about 1:05, I reached the optometrist for checking eyeglasses for sunshine. It turns out they lighten up when one is inside the car driving.

Yet, I found this on line: As light conditions change, the lenses adjust quickly to provide the appropriate level of tint. They block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, providing convenient protection from UV radiation. However, Transitions® XTRActive® lenses react to visible light so they do moderately darken behind the windshield.

Made it to Bi-Mart and missed the winning number by 213; closest I have been in a long while. I got my number when I moved to town in 1988. I got back to the Senior Center by 1:30 in time for Jazzercise by 2:00.

Came home after, and washed dishes plus did a lot of emailing for various projects.

Wednesday, July 25

Food bank soup kitchen music, but did not go to SAIL today, because of going by the optometrist about my new glasses… and the need to come back to town tonight early for Nick Zentner’s geology presentation at the Library.
John fixed some of his Ailsa Craig onions (named after an island in the Firth of Clyde west of Scotland), for dinner and hushpuppies tonight. They are a mild onion, big & white.

I showed one photo of our garden’s Ailsa Craig last blog, but here are some close-ups from the web. One very large one – we have never had one larger than a softball, but we have had a 2 pound onion.The top right is our onion patch, in our old garden, and the other 3 are from the web.

I helped John load empty wine boxes into his car to take over tomorrow for the bottling. Cameron was in need of boxes to store his wine. These are mostly white boxes, John emptied from our White Heron ones or we got from Grocery Outlet. Last week, I went in once and brought home three.

We went tonight to Nick Zentner’s talk at Hal Holmes (the auditorium adjacent to the Ellensburg Library. Below is my video, with the link to it, but it was not completed until Thursday midday.

Nick Zentner, 7-25-18, Ginkgo Petrified Forest

Over 50 species are found petrified at the site, including sweetgum, redwood, Douglas fir, walnut, spruce, elm, maple, horse chestnut, cottonwood, magnolia, madrone, sassafras, yew, witch hazel, – – and ginkgo.
Nick reports that, despite the name, most of trees are not Ginkgos, no one is sure where they came from, or how they got there. There seems to be a large mysterious lake involved. It will be a neat story if it ever gets figured out.

Thurs, July 26

John left at 7:40 a.m. to be at White Heron by 9:00 a.m. this morning for bottling Late Harvest Roussanne. He brought home 3 bottles (in tall skinny bottles), which hold ½ of a regular bottle of wine. Regular bottles of wine are 750 milliliters.
[A fifth of booze, or wine, was equal to one-fifth of a gallon. Even though people colloquially refer to liquor bottles as “fifths,” since 1980, they have actually been 750 milliliters or 25.36 ounces, which is slightly less than exactly one-fifth of a gallon.]
John brought home 3 of those also, 1 white and 2 reds.

I worked on Nick’s new upload, to redo completely what I tried to upload last night (and through the night), which failed. I did not complete sending it to YouTube until 11:50 a.m., and I had to leave soon after that for afternoon music. It was a crazy day.

After playing at Hearthstone (where we had a fun and interesting time), I went by my optometrist to ask a question. It was a successful visit. He is going to send a request in to change my glasses (no additional cost), and trying for a darker color.

We got the new music into packets and stapled.

Friday, July 27

I talked to Jim (optometrist) this morning, after visiting with him yesterday afternoon. I asked him if he could raise the gradient region so I don’t have to tilt my neck so much to get the effect. This was already in his thoughts, and the order goes out this morning to produce new glasses with the new Amber color. I tried hard to use the first attempt with my music, but could not get happy with them.. I’m sure this adjustment will help me.

Saturday, July 28

John harvested Ailsa Craig and Redwing onions. The Redwings are smaller and more pungent, but have the storage potential of 8 to 10 months. A few are shown to the upper left of the Craigs, that may only last a month or two in storage.
There are 3 more types to harvest: Copra (white-long keepers), Ringmaster (sweet, mild, 4 months), and Sterling** (mildly pungent, 6 months).
**For Sterling they use a cute kid in the picture.Now we are getting ready to dress and leave for a 70th birthday party, near the Teanaway River 20 miles west of us. Sharon (her birthday bash) plays the bass guitar with our group. She and husband, Jack have a place suitable for horses on this side of the Cascades, but usually reside on the wet side – going back and forth at least once a week. We planned to eat at 4:30, with our group playing at 5:30, but it didn’t happen that way. We played first at five and went for an hour, not eating until the end.

John drove separately because he has to leave the house tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m., for Mt. Rainier WTA work time and needs to get ready to go. He left the party before we played and went to EBRG for gasoline.

I had my camera along, but didn’t give it to anyone in the audience. Tonight, I received 5 photos of our group, Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends, from the wife of a member of our group, Julie Gibb. Hubby Kevin is our banjo player, in the photo below, sitting behind me in a blue shirt. I have on a straw hat. The birthday girl is Sharon Jenson, to my left in the white blouse, playing a bass guitar. The photos of other musical groups below were taken by our flute, fiddler, washboard, penny whistle player, along with her daughter Haley, who is our mascot and yodeled the last song with us.Top: Sharon’s solo with flute, Sharon with another group
Bottom: Hubby Jack presents Sharon a BD cake to make one wish with Barb looking on, and Haley stands at the Teanaway River which flows by their property. Haley (5 yrs old) enjoyed swimming there and finding caddisflies. She loves insects.

Sunday, July 29

John left very early (4:20 a.m.) for the South Puyallup River Trail on the southwest side of Mt. Rainier. Several years ago a major rainfall trashed a section of this short trail. WTA volunteers will spend (Fri, Sat & Sun) until October doing a reroute of the damaged sections. They worked in shade at 4,000 feet, so the hot weather was not a big issue. He got back at 7 PM.

Today is Arlane Nesmith’s birthday, and I just called her, sang Happy Birthday, and wished her well.
Worked on the blog and a bunch of chores all day.

Now 98.6° on front porch at 2:30 p.m.
It was “down” to 95.5° at 4:13 p.m
Almost 6:00 p.m. down to 91.1°.
High at the airport in Ellensburg today was 101.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Travels Away from the Naneum Fan

Friday, July 13 Ira Spring

We only received these photos this week, and you have heard in last week’s blog that John was working there while I was here. So, Saturday is missing because you already have heard about that, when the blog was published last Saturday.

Ira Spring was a photographer and Harvey Manning a writer. Together they published hiking guides. The sign on the bridge says “The Spring Family Trail Fund.” He died the year I did my first work with WTA – 2003.The crew at Ira Spring Memorial Trail

Sunday, July 15

Started awful at 3:00 a.m. with both of us awakened by a cat fight outside the bedroom window. John was scheduled to get up in an hour to leave by 4:30 and was so wide awake he stayed up. I was going to go back to bed, and thought he should too, but he said he wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep. We both stayed up. It took him longer than expected to load the cherries he was taking along today (picked, cleaned, and dried yesterday), but also he packed boxes of cans of cherries to send home (needing cleaned before eating), with crew and staff members. In a cooler, he had in a large container of cooled cherries (all Rainier) to share at lunch & snack times with the WTA crew working at Mt. Rainier on the Wonderland trail today.

About 3:30 a.m. he asked if I could fix my small handheld camera for him to take for pictures. Unfortunately, I needed a bunch of time to clean off space and charge the battery. I have two batteries, so I could plug one in to recharge completely (and it did before he left), and use the one in it to free up the storage. He probably will only take 4 photos, but the process needed to be done and ended up allowing me to find some missing email addresses I had stored in the case, many moons ago. Mt. Rainier, Wonderland Trail, a slice of an old Douglas Fir that began growing in 1293; so says the center tag. Other tags, towards the outer rings point to rings added during historical events.John carrying a split Cedar rail for project stairs. Work crew poses.

Of all things, two of the cats came to the front door for vittles. It was nice and cool, so they were happy to be served. We continued working and John took off at 4:28 a.m., just as the other cat arrived to be fed. I stayed up working on the computer until 5:30 a.m. and then tried to go back to sleep. I don’t think I succeed until after 6:00 a.m. but I did then sleep until almost 9:00 a.m. I was expecting my neighbor to come to pick enough pie cherries for one pie, between 9:00 & 10:00. He called at 9:25 to say I did not need to come out to help. The tree was in the shade. That was actually a relief, because I wasn’t yet in the best of shape.

Cherry picking was done at 9:48 and I saw him driving away. He called after leaving to say they are red but really not ripe yet, so he will return when they are riper. He saw the little “bambi” and she is still very spotted, but mom was not in sight (probably in the bushes watching her little one). See below, I got some photos tonight of the little fawn, with her mom. I really don’t know “her” gender.

Now 11:20 and I have finally started feeling better after being sickly at 9:20. I just enjoyed a large bowl of All Bran covered with peaches. The temperature on our front porch is up to 90° but tomorrow is going to be over 100°. Maybe today. Right now at the airport @ 11:53, it’s 89°, with no wind to cool things.

We managed to cool down the house last night with all the windows open, and just now it was still 71° in the interior hallway where our thermostat is. I have the a/c set to turn on at 76°, so I will listen and see how late that is.

I do need to make time to finish loading dirty dishes and do that run. I may take a nap this afternoon after I finish processing the pictures for 7/13 and 2 more videos. Also need to send out the first call for players (count for up to 12 chairs) from Pacifica Senior Living, where we will be this Thursday.

At 1:50 p.m., it 92.5° front porch, 76° in hallway, and a/c came on at 2:55. I’m grateful for that. I am not a hot weather person.

I finished working on the videos from Friday the 13th at the Senior Center for the going away party for Nicole. They were taken on my Nikon which is not how I normally take videos because it is too high resolution, but John had my Exilim camera with him at the Ira Spring trail work. See tomorrow for the Google link.

I went out and took some pictures of the little fawn with spots and mom, when John got home at 7:15 p.m. and said they were in the orchard. The ditch is just 30 feet away but drinking out of a bucket is, apparently, a better deal. Interesting interactions displayed here.

I thought I heard a mouse so John set two mouse traps and he caught one at 10:25 p.m. I heard it snap down. A quick end to that story. No more have appeared. He set more than one trap.

Monday, July 16

Morning of a day when temperatures are supposed to climb to 101°. John has picked cherries, raspberries, fed, watered, and otherwise worked outside. Now he is back again in the shade of a tree (still hot) picking cherries off branches with our neighbor, Ken Swedberg. Ken got some sweet cherries last week (taking branches away in his truck to pick at home, and today is back for pie cherries. John’s picking Rainiers and gave away some branches with Rainiers for Ken to take home. It was too hot to continue in the orchard (even in the shade). Here’s a photo story of the start of their cherry picking, when I went out to greet.Family Swedberg’s Barn, Ken coming to pick Pie Cherries from branches John cut from the tree. This is one of the trees planted by the first folks to build a house on our property. The house was built in 1981; trees planted then or a year or so later.Picking station in shade on Gorilla cart, John’s picking box (with Rainiers in front). He’s trimming branches for Ken; caterpillar found on branch.

Here’s the beginning video of the process:

John’s Setup for Ken’s Picking Pie Cherries, 7-16-18

It was too hot for me, so I returned to the house.

I’ve been spending the morning finalizing 70 photos from last Friday’s AAC event, “Go for the Gold,” honoring Nicole Jones, one of our AmeriCorps staff members for the last 10½ months. I’m now uploading to Google Photos, and still have more videos to do. I ended with a total of 5 videos on a separate link. This one Google Photo link takes you to all videos and allows you to view them by clicking on the image.

Taken during the going-away party for Nicole Jones.
Click on each to start and view; they will repeat so click on it to stop it and go to the next video (to the right is a forward arrow) to click on.


More stuff from the Nicole Jones day.


John came in and fixed our brunch while I got ready to go. I made it to my SAIL class by 1:20 p.m.
I came on home afterwards. When I left the temperature was 97°, but north a couple miles it was 100° yet went down on my way (uphill) home. When I parked my car my car at home (we are at 2240’), it was reading 93°. Elevation in Ellensburg at the south end of campus, on University Way is 1500’.

We had a salad for dinner, and John fried us some yellow summer squash. I fed the cats. We’ll have strawberries, and John’s lemon/blueberry cake tonight, and hit the hay (at least for me), earlier than last night.

Tuesday, July 17
Staying home today to finish projects needing attention and to be cool on the second hottest day of the year.

Early morning, I walked out to take a photo of the Dahlia bed in the sun. It was a bit windy, and difficult to take still photos, but here you go.John got new Dahlia bulbs this year. I don’t know their names. We don’t think they are as big or pretty as in previous years.

It’s 83.5°on the front porch and 10:00 a.m. and John is still outside doing chores. He just put the canopy back on his truck. That’s a tough job, but needs it on to carry over his Brusher over to the WTA trip this week on Thursday, to Mica Peak.

I made some long distance phone calls on the landline, because my cell phone has no reception in the house. Michael’s on the Lake reservation for the Sunroom (inside) for four at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 7/18.

I washed John’s WTA clothes for Thursday. Now he will be all spiffy to get all dirty again.

Wednesday, July 18

Food bank soup kitchen music, and SAIL today.
I contacted the Wall Street Journal about our missing papers over the past 2 weeks. It was fixed in two days.

Thurs, July 19

John left at 4:38 a.m. for Mika Peak east of Spokane in his Ford Truck with canopy with his new Stihl brusher for a WTA work party. Gas powered equipment isn’t happy in a closed car.

I slept in.
Early morning, I was on and off the phone with the pharmacy and our PCP provider’s office about a fouled up prescription for John and for me. I believe it is fixed now, or will be for me to pick up the meds today while in town for music at Pacifica.

I worked on music for Aug & Sept for our group which will be needed soon, (some today). I packed up my music and went to play at Pacifica Senior Living. We had a nice turnout of people and audience and all had a good time.

I had some errands in town before leaving and was a little late getting home, but on my way, I saw two plumes of smoke east of town. I kept driving to higher points to see where it was, called a few people in the Badger Pocket area to see if they knew, but couldn’t reach anyone.

Got home and found that I-90 was closed both directions between MP 136 (Vantage) – MP 115 (Kittitas)

I followed the fire reports all afternoon after first seeing the plumes of smoke at 3:30 from town. This is a nice view of a helicopter in western Washington … scooping 300 gallons (we think that is a bucket full) from the river to put on a brush fire.

Note from Caitlin LaBar this morning:

This was going on right behind my apartment complex an hour ago, they were dipping out of the Coweeman River to dump on the nearby brush fire about a mile south of me. Haven’t heard the helicopters in a while so am assuming they got it under control. It was amazing to watch up close. (not my video, I only got one fuzzy picture)

from southwest WA Helicopter filling bucket for brush fire

I did have a small bowl of popcorn when I got home that I brought from Pacifica.

I also had a phone call just after 5:00 from our doctor’s office about John’s thyroid medication. They are going to raise the dosage to 88 mcg from 50, and recheck in 2 months. I had gone by for my own med today and hoped for his, but it was not in yet, so I got 3 pills from the pharmacy to tide him over. Now they cannot take them back, but the Dr.’s office has sent down the refill prescription orders for the new dosage, and it will be there tomorrow for us.

Also tomorrow we must go get our new eyeglasses. I called this morning, asking what happened. They had told us they would have them in about 10 days, and would call us. That was July 3rd and now it is the 19th. Their phone message only said, “We received your phone message and your glasses are here. If you have any questions, please call before 5:00. Jeez. So in the morning I will have to call to see what the Friday hours are.
John called at 5:35 from Ritzville, and planned to stop for a hamburger on his way home, and I figure it will take him 2 hours to get here, if he eats on the road, which I expect he will.

Had a call from our neighbor Ken at 6:47 that he was on his way down with 2 pieces of cherry pie for us, made from the pie cherries he picked 2 days ago. We had told him thanks but not to make a whole pie for us, that two pieces would be sufficient. They are huge pieces and probably almost a half a pie!

John called from the overlook opposite Vantage at 7:00 and now at 7:30 called from trying to get on the bridge to come home. There are 40-50 cars in front of him going about 2 mph., and he thinks he sees traffic coming from the west headed east down the hill. Nothing has yet made it to the DOT alert updates, since they closed both lanes between Kittitas (Exit 115) and Vantage (Exit 136). He was going to try to take a photo. He said planes are skimming water from the Columbia River.

He did stop in Ritzville for a Carl’s Jr, special meal. I had eaten the rest of my salad from last night. Had the rest at noon before leaving for music.

Annie went out to wait for John in the front yard over an hour ago, and just came to the front door and asked in. So, he must have been delayed by the traffic around the 2-lane old Vantage Hwy, with all eastbound and westbound traffic routed to there. It will be a long trip home.
He didn’t make it until 8:45 p.m.

Friday, July 20

Crazy morning. After sleeping in until 8:00 a.m., we were busy with things and then had to be at the optometrist’s office before 1:00 closing. We made it and experienced a lot of traffic on the way in, because they were re-routing the traffic eastbound off at Ellensburg rather than Kittitas to come down University Way and directly on to the Old Vantage Hwy to bypass the fire which closed both lanes of traffic until 7:00 a.m. when westbound was opened, but they kept the eastbound closed. The only way around was one old state route.

From there we went to Super 1 for John’s prescription, and I spent the rest of the day trying to get used to my new glasses. Considering the extremely high price, I’m not sure I like them. I don’t believe the sunglass change is dark enough for me, so I may well wear my old ones (just for far vision) for driving in the sun. The close-up is change for the bifocals without a line and it is not in the correct range for my head position. I’ll have to learn to adjust. If I rapidly turn my head to the right, I seem to get a weird parallax reaction. I might have to watch carefully when I go across uneven ground or down stairs. I realize there is some adjustment always necessary.

I tried keeping them on to take chicken breast off the bones tonight, and it wasn’t working well at all, with the positioning of my head for clarity of close-up vision. I took a break and went over with my glasses on to see what writing on my laptop computer in my lap in my chair, but it was not clear. So I took them off to finish the remainder of my salad making and will not use with my computer. I hope I can read my music tomorrow, but if not, I’ll just take them off. (I could read it better without the glasses.) I haven’t had glasses on at all for anything but driving. We know full well, we will use these as long as we can and next time go back to Costco for our glasses. This was a huge mistake, and it was all my fault for wanting to use our insurance, and Kaiser Permanente doesn’t honor Costco as a recommended provider. It will be worth it to us financially, to go there without an insurance rebate ($150 / pair of glasses every 2 years), because the cost for John’s will be $613 LESS. That’s insane. Mine I cannot compare because I didn’t have a comparable set of glasses to what I got at Costco.

We took a garden walk tonight, and I took some photos. The original reason was walking to the old red barn to view the beds the twin deer have burrowed out beside a stack of wood against the side of the barn. From there back to check out the tomatoes, in our newer garden, where the deer are entering to eat the green plants of the new raised strawberry beds John built this year. We look at the squash as well, and realized the butternut will never make it. We have had a few summer squash, but we have been neglecting them, and some are too old. We haven’t tried to give them away as we did a few years ago. From there we went for an onion, in the original garden. Czar followed us on all our travels, so he is in a couple of my photos. Yellow summer squash (new), but Butternut will not make hard fruit for winter keeping. Too cool. The onions arrived from Texas early – they expected heavy rain, so dug and shipped them before John could plant them. They have done well, though, and we harvested one for supper (Onion Rings) and then we had the rest for lunch Sunday in an omelet.Czar in strawberry raised bed just planted this year, and (right) an older strawberry patch. The fence is not high enough to keep deer out of the newer berry garden. He set up a simple scarecrow Saturday afternoon, and there was no additional damage. John went out Sunday evening to put a wire covering over them (half-tunnel), so they are not totally destroyed.

Saturday, July 21

Morning stuff. I worked on music for our group for Aug/Sept. John fixed a breakfast for us.

I had to sort through a bunch of Rainier and Bing cherries to make some good ones to take to Briarwood today for the buffet table after we play. John helped by lying them out to dry after I washed them, and then I packed them to carry.

We don’t have a lot of players able to come today, but we have a great group of singers there who always carry the load. Then they feed us a feast. Those were my initial thoughts and expectations as I left today, but the reality was that we had a good group of players, audience, and a wonderful time. Two people came that I did not expect. I just remembered one thing I forgot to do today – ask if anyone had a birthday in July. We usually sing happy birthday once for the whole month. Next month I’ll have to ask for two months, July & August.

We probably played for 20 minutes prior to starting at 2:00 with the “booklet” of 23 songs. Using it as a jam session and playing songs in the practice section of our book or just following along with songs Charlie comes up with. He’s a walking, playing, singing music encyclopedia with his 12-string guitar.

John stayed home to do yard chores that have been waiting for attention. Some recent ones I know of include, mowing and bagging as much cheat grass as possible in the backyard. And, watering onions and other things around such as fruit trees (pear, plum, cherry); bushes such as blackberries and raspberries; larger trees – pine, spruce, Carpathian walnuts; flowers – tulips, gladioli, dahlias, roses, sunflowers, and all things in the garden need water. We don’t have a lot of garden stuff that will produce well, I’m afraid. Strawberries are done. We have gotten some yellow summer squash, but the butternut will not likely make it this year. Last night we had a low of 41. Cabbage might grow.

On my way home, I stopped by the place on the Kittitas Hwy, west of Ferguson Rd, to take a photo of a piece of Petrified Wood, I had seen the week before, when I went to a garage sale there. It was in the rock garden of a home where the parents had passed and the kids were clearing out the house and out buildings to sell the farm. I pulled into the shade (crabapple tree), beside the rock garden and asked if I could park there. When I got out, I checked out the rock garden and noticed the beautiful piece of petrified wood. I ask one of the family about it, and she said, it is a long story. I asked her to share, because I love the history of our area. Turns out this chunk was obtained by her grandfather during the construction of I-82. I had heard about such finds, and jokingly from Jack Powell how people would “stupidly roll the rocks into the back of a pickup”, collapsing the suspension (did it flatten all the tires)?
Somehow, the grandfather got it over to the farm. (That part of the story was not passed down). I said, “Well I hope you have a way of keeping it before you sell the place.” So, she continued with her story. Her brother-in-law has a backhoe and her sister lives near Dusty’s, and they are moving it to her place. The interesting thing is today, when I stopped, I especially stopped because I saw a woman walking at the front and so I turned in, introduced myself, and asked if I might take a photograph, as I had heard the story recently at the garage sale. Turns out this person (Ann) was the sister who will be the new home for the “rock.” I was talking originally to Kathy. I do not know their last name. I did buy John an old Stanley measuring tape at the sale.

Here is the piece of petrified wood:This is the view from the south, and this from the east.

Sunday, July 22

After working for several hours outside this morning, John came in and constructed the nicest lunch we have had in a long time. I guess you’d call it a quiche, without the crust. Does that make it an omelet? It had 8 eggs, ham, cheese, asparagus (ours), mushrooms, onions (ours), and red peppers. Served with red potato homemade hash browns.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Annette, Linda, Nancy, Beth, Nicole

Friday, Saturday, July 6-7 Annette Lake

John went to two WTA work parties over the weekend, both at Annette Lake with crew leader LeeAnne, but we didn’t have pictures until later in the week, so here are a few.

First was a project John headed: Ardeth preps trail, removing roots. Side-log, peeled and placed, and partly done with adding rock base, then covered with soil. Done.

Another two projects John was involved with are below. The second one in the 4th photo, he was only advising on about a drainage question.The first 3 photos are of the same project with leader, Darrel;
Rocks are brought and placed, then the tread is placed.
4th is a different project by Clare.

Sunday, July 8

Blog out at 9:44 p.m. PST – you already heard about the rest of the day in last week’s blog.

Monday, July 9

We got to Dr. Cardon’s office at 11:07 a.m. for toenail clipping and were seen at 11:15, both of us out of there (surprisingly) by 11:37, even with visiting about WTA trail backcountry week longs. I also talked with him about my index toe on my right foot. It is in the early stages of becoming a trigger toe, so he described the surgery and suggested it needed to be done sooner than later because it would only get worse and harder to manage. It will be covered by insurance and can be done here in his one visit / week to Ellensburg in the office, and I will be able to walk on it right after, just be careful. He explained what is done in the operation and it is done with a local. I will wait until fall for that, and our next visit is in October (3 months away), so he can evaluate it then and we can schedule the surgery.

We went to Safeway for a few things including the special Monday fried chicken and some other coupon savings on drinks for John and me, PowerAdeZero.

I went to SAIL at 1:30 p.m. and took along the Rubbermaid container to return to Roberta. She gave me a pan of oatmeal rolls in it.

Tuesday, July 10

We went by and picked up bag of clothes from Joanie’s front porch on our way in Ellensburg to stop for my regular blood draw at the hospital before driving to Costco, primarily for two purchases at over half price of the drugs less than in Ellensburg pharmacies. That pricing part is very strange to me, and we pay cash without having to use our insurance. Also, we receive a 2% cash rebate once a year from our membership at Costco for any purchases in the store (including pharmacy and eyeglasses).
We ate our lunch there too and filled John’s car with gasoline (at $3.19/gal, lower than EBRG’s.

Between noon & 1:30 I was to call Dee Eberhart to wish him a happy 94th birthday! We needed a quieter place in the store, so found it near the pharmacy after turning in a prescription I had requested be sent down by our doctor’s office in Cle Elum this morning for John. We had no refills, and didn’t realize it until the last minute. Normally they require 3 days to process a refill, but I called the triage nurse and she ran it through because we were on our way to Costco today.

On the way home, we stopped across the street at the WinCo store, and picked up four boxes of 100% All Bran Buds for only $3.68/box. The price in town here at Safeway is $5.49, and all stores do not carry the “buds”, but only the other squiggly cereal pieces. John likes the buds because they can be used as a snack as well. I moistened mine with Almond “milk” beverage, a non-dairy product for my coffee. I also use Raisin bran flakes with my cereal, and we have with peaches or bananas (if any in the house), and I even had strawberries, recently. Getting all the fiber is good for our digestive systems.

Wednesday, July 11

Food bank soup kitchen music, and skipping SAIL to get ready to go back to town to a 6:00 p.m. dinner date with Linda and Bill Weir at The Palace. It’s a local long-time restaurant that offers a free dinner (Chicken Fettuccine or a Chicken Fried Angus Steak choice), on one’s birthday or one for a couple on their anniversary. We get that price during the month it falls, so we were a day early for our anniversary celebration. John always has the steak (normally $15.76), and I have my favorite, Cobb Salad made only with Iceberg lettuce at my request, which is described on their menu as: The king of salads. crisp greens topped with bacon, turkey, blue cheese crumbles, avocado slices, egg, and tomato. It is definitely the best Cobb salad I have ever had.
Here are some photos of our celebration dinner tonight:Bill & Linda with John & Nancy at our table (with John’s eyes closed); right is just us with his eyes open.

The left picture above shows the raised booth we were in, and the window in the middle behind, shows an opening to another room for dining. The significance of that is that at the table next to John sat a mutual friend, who is a crew leader with WTA, and also a granddaughter of friends in town that go back to the year I moved to Ellensburg. She is Beth Macinko, and her grandparents are Mary Ann and George Macinko. I lived in the Macinko’s house the first year I was here alone before John moved over to Ellensburg from our home in Troy, ID. They were gone on sabbatical and needed a house sitter and someone to take care of their cat. I had the use of their house for the whole year. George has since died, but his wife Mary Ann is still in Ellensburg, and we had just talked to her that afternoon, asking a question about the owner of the land east of their house that has about 20 horses grazing on it. We were trying to figure out the owner, and she told us.

Our conversations could be heard through that open window, and late in our dinner, we were discussing some brusher work John is planning to do in the Spokane area with his new brusher. Beth heard the “brusher” discussion, and came around to say hello. She had been at WTA Crew Leader collage recently where they were instructed in its use. Our meals: Nancy’s Cobb salad; John’s Chicken-fried Steak.

We had taken a box of cherries to the Weirs, but they walked to the restaurant from their home, so we delivered the box of cherries back to the house and left it on the stairs.

Thurs, July 12 ° ° ° ° Happy 49th Anniversary to us

John started his day picking raspberries (about 3 pounds). Most went to the freezer. I cannot eat them because the seeds annoy me – sticking in my teeth.

Then he finished picking cherries from branches he sawed out of one of our trees yesterday. I caught them and pulled them out of the way. The second one downed was too heavy for me to lift and carry. He cut down about 4 and then came down and picked from the grounded branches.

I packed up my music and went to play at The Meadows. We had a nice turnout and played beautiful music.

Friday, July 13

John left for again at 6:40 a.m. this morning for Ira Springs Trail. It was warm by noon, but in the shade. He did a lot of brushing work today, and got home at 4:30. His first call was at 4:13 and I had only been home for a few minutes.

I slept in this morning after he left for almost another 2 hrs. I had several chores to do before leaving, and knew I needed to be at the senior center close to 11:00 a.m. I’m the volunteer designated photographer for special events, because the staff is busy setting up and serving food.

Before I left home, I needed to do a few things John would appreciate being done before he arrived home. These included interesting and unrelated things, such as finishing loading the dirty dishes and starting the dishwasher. I also had to frost a large cake he made last night, on our anniversary – a lemon cake filled with blueberries I bought frozen. I used a white frosting.

I also had to respond to a few things on the computer, and to plug in my camera to recharge the battery. I was up first at 5:30 a.m. and took care of that. Then I had to pack Rainier cherries to take along for me and some to share with the people at my table, because I knew I could not eat the mixed green salad. The senior center party was a going away party for Nicole Jones, who has working there as an AmeriCorps member for the past 10 months.

Finally, I made it to my car and drove in. Except for one long rural block (at 35 mph) and one double curve slow down to 30 mph, my trip in is at 50 mph and mostly a gentle down slope drive.

I made it a few minutes later than desired but still managed to get one parking spot away from my desired one, under the trees in shade. Mine was in shade later but not when I pulled in. I needed to be in view from the front door of the center, so I could go to the door at 12:15 to open the hatch-back of my Subaru, to allow a woman to put emptied cattle food and dog food bags in the back of my car. She accomplished that, and closed it.

The first entry is the video introduction Katrina Douglas (Director of the AAC) gave (after a phone rang and messed up the beginning of her presentation). This is most of it, minus 15 seconds:

Nicole Jones’ Going Away Party Celebrating her Last Day

Here are a couple of collages of the day for my memories:Judy admires memory photography book that Jessi Broderious, the other AmeriCorps representative this past year, created for Nicole; a page with two of me with her, and the bottom one on Valentine’s Day, has me between Nicole and Jessi; on the right, two appreciative statements, which were made. Marilyn & Curtis Rost like her Sense of Humor, and I thank her for her Funny Faces (facial expressions) and her Tech Helps (with my camera resetting date and time and teaching me how to make links to high resolution photos to send with one link (via Google Photos), to get the pictures I take at events back to a lot of folks in an easy manner.Ada and Nicole; and Nancy with Nicole fooling around at the end.

I called Nicole over to get in the picture with Ada, who is the mom of one of my students back in the 1990s, Michael Buchanan. The last photo was taken at the end of the day with as many people as we could get to stand in front of the Olympic Gold Sign with Nicole for her memories of today’s party. There were over 50 people there to celebrate and honor her. The other thing I did not record was all the comments (into a portable microphone) telling stories about what we would remember about Nicole’s entry into our lives. Included were some very funny stories, some of which Nicole didn’t even remember but many she did and enjoyed.

Almost everyone had their photo taken with Nicole in the position above, flexing muscles. Many of them were on the camera belonging to the AAC, but I have several on my camera to add to the others I took before our lunch, and during the microphone storytelling time. Those will be published on Facebook (on the Ellensburg Adult Activity page), and also I will send to the emails of the 42 AAC members for which I have addresses.

I continued the afternoon at the center, and then before our SAIL exercise class was to start, I went into the computer room to check a couple of my email accounts, and to send a note on Facebook to the gal who delivered the feed bags. I had tried to call her from the parking lot to tell her which door I parked near, but the number I normally reach her on was answered as if I was a FAX machine, with a high-pitched tone. She figured it out, when I went out before 12:15 and opening the hatch on the back of my car and she put them inside and closed the door.

After SAIL exercise class, I went to Super 1 for Chapstick, smoked turkey breast, and a head of Iceberg lettuce.

I worked a lot tonight on photos from the party today at the senior center.

I’m so far behind. Just sent out 7 jobs to my Google Groups NW Geography Jobs list and still went to bed late.

Saturday, July 15

John’s picking cherries while the temps are lower, but they are rising…up to 74 by 9:00 a.m. It got much hotter as the day progressed. John picked a bunch of Rainier cherries to take to tomorrow’s WTA trail work party with Hannah (crew leader) at Longmire, Mt. Rainier. John will be leaving quite early in the morning, no later than 4:30 a.m.

We are publishing this tonight.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Summer Things

Saturday, June 30

One photo from a maintenance at Snoqualmie Lake Trail. About 6 folks worked on this project, finishing it just in time to leave at 2:30.This trail is built on a logging road from another era. Apparently there was a drainage culvert at this spot. We found a collapsing curve, but never did find how the water was supposed to be getting through. Oh well! A ton of rock now holds the trail in place. For how long is the question.

Sunday, July 1

Blog out at 9:24 p.m. PST – would have been sooner but for a crash of LibreOffice. Not nice.

Monday, July 2

I need to send a lot of information to the music group in preparation for new music this Thursday and for all play dates the rest of July.

I actually washed a load of dishes this morning first thing and helped feed the cats, and I set up our need to go in, here in town, for our eyeglasses fitting tomorrow. John’s is quite in need of redoing his badly scratched lenses from trail work.

Called Consolidated Communications and have been waiting for an agent, forever, to tell them my Discover Card does not expire until July of 2021 and they were wrong in stopping my June 19th auto pay that created so much trauma in my life with the expected disconnection of our land line we have had since 1989.

I thought it was all finally completed and corrected after 2 hours and a lot of frustration, which raised my BP significantly. I spoke with 3 different customer reps at the telephone company, and one at Discover card. I didn’t know until Thursday, that nothing was resolved and my bill was still not paid. The only thing that was accomplished was recreating my auto-pay set up on the same card I have used for years. I was sure they were going to credit my payments due for June and July, but that was not done.

Our farrier was here this morning. John assisted, holding Myst, for her foot trim. Then he came in and fixed a great brunch. I’m continuing working on the music for Thursday.

I lost so much time that I cancelled going to SAIL today (my only reason for going to town), to continue with the most urgent plans for the music group to have before Thursday in time to have their music books in order. Currently, we only agree on the first 13 songs, from playing our patriotic music last week, both Thursday and Friday. I have to create PDF files for the rest of the music and email them for those who can, to print out to bring Thursday.

Tuesday, July 3

I called the grocery and reserved two pies set aside by Penny. She gets there at 5:30 a.m. and I said it would likely be after 11:00 a.m. before we could arrive.

We went to see Jim about our glasses at the Family Eye Clinic, 707 N. Pearl Suite B, where we had to fill out two pages of medical information, for their records, and show our insurance cards. This was an expensive stop: $1,391 for a two pair of glasses. One for John $832 and one for me $559. Mine didn’t have the cost of frames because they used my old ones. Last time we went to Costco – much cheaper, but I was trying to support the local office of a friend. Also, the insurance covers some here ($150), but not at Costco. Still, we think we’ll go back to Costco, considering John’s total 1 year ago at Costco was $219.98. Even adding $150 makes a total cost of $369.98 to us for his. The extra $462.02 is certainly not worth it in our opinion. And, buying them at Costco gives us 2% cash back via our Premium membership. Decision made.

On the way to Super 1 we went to the AAC and picked up a clown suit for a future event there, on Aug 3.
Once to the grocery store, we loaded up on Lemon meringue pies ($4.00 off each), and got a Southern Pecan pie, two smoked turkey breasts, a few Navel oranges, some ground beef, and some ground “homemade” sausage their meat department makes. It’s very good and at a better price that Jimmy Dean or any other.

I stopped by and checked numbers at Bi-Mart, but didn’t win anything. While in the shade in the parking lot, I called Costco Pharmacy to set up my prescription pickup down there for Allopurinol, for next Tuesday. The price is right there!
On home to continue with chores.

Wednesday, July 4 . . . HAPPY 4th of July

John’s watered onions, mowed lawns and weeds in the pasture, and taken the dog and cats for a walk, fed the horses, put up the flag, and cooked lunch.

I have washed a load of dishes, handled computer chores, and sorted music audience copies. Now I have to print out 3 copies of add-ons for the rest of July for #14 to 23, which changed from last year’s play list – to match that of 2016, of which I had 20 audience copies I can use. I have to get John’s help to change the front page and the back page on those 20 copies, by un-stapling, my changing, and his re-stapling.

I’ve been finishing the printouts of music for Charlie & Gerald, Maury & Marilyn, and me (of the last songs for July). Just need to sort, punch 3 holes, and then finish assembling the audience copies.

We had a long night with rifle shots occurring at 7:34 p.m. and fireworks being detonated until midnight during a county-wide ban. We had to turn up the volume on our computer and radio to keep the noise level high enough to block the sounds that were bothering Annie. We watched two anniversary programs of Johnny Carson, for his 11th and 25th and enjoyed them both.

Thurs, July 5

Rehab – today with new July music. Only 8 people showed to play, but we had probably the most involved group we have ever had there. Half or more of the residents were singing, enjoying, and applauding. Honestly, I have never heard but one person in the audience exclaim, “Yee haw,” or make a big deal about our being there, until today. Believe me, three of us have been going there for over 28 years, and this was a first. (NANCY remember to—organize the playlist with the page count on the audience copy for when 2 songs are on one page, example, [5] with “In the Good ole Summer Time” and “Home on the Range”; [7] with “Red River Valley” and “There’s a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere”; and [8] “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You Are My Sunshine.”

Crazy dang day with problems continuing from Consolidated Communications (a phone call saying our balance was due and our phone would be disconnected if we did not pay). I could not reach them because they are in the Central Time Zone and it was too late. Then Office Depot sent an email that a payment on a contract had failed because of the credit card used. That was a yet different credit card from Discover, being an American Express Simply Cash card (I used because it gives a 5% cash back on all Office store purchases). Turns out they used the wrong one. I couldn’t contact anyone until the next morning.

Friday, July 6

John left at 6:45 a.m. and I stayed up to keep the male cats separated, because they were grouching at one another outside the front door. I let Rascal in and fed them both, one inside and one outside (Czar).

I have been trying to reinstate “cookies” on my lost computer so I can access my bank accounts and other web sites. Got that cookie back for at 7:25 a.m. today. It took more time than I would have preferred, including having to have a security code only available by telephoning my land line. This was a problem once when I went to the bank in town and their computer didn’t recognize my username and password, because I was not on my own machine with its cookies. Another business I just reset this week allowed me to receive the security code by email – I wish this bank would allow such an alternative, because it would have been possible when away from my home computer and in person in my bank! There was no one home so no one could give me the 6-digit code to punch in.

Between chores, I washed a load of dishes.

Closed windows around the house at 11:10, when the temps were up outside and it was still 73° in the house

I have some financial things to resolve that started last Friday, and now another two items surfaced yesterday, July 5. Did I say, this is really a PITA?

First, I must straighten out the Discover card mess that almost made us lose our telephone land line when the supposed auto pay was returned as an expired card. IT WAS NOT! and I’m a week into days of trying to correct it. The Discover card never expired and doesn’t until July of 2021. I still don’t know how that happened and apparently neither Consolidated Communications (CC) or Discover card folks did either. I did find out that Discover had approved the June purchase, but CC never put the charge through. CC stands by their old reason that the card was refused because it had expired.

On Tuesday, July 2, I had stayed home trying to sort out the Consolidated Communication’s fiasco. Thought I had, but then found out yesterday (July 5), it was still $174.01 in arrears, and they were going to disconnect.
Finally, this afternoon, I reached them again, and used a different credit card to pay the June / July total to keep the phone connected.

Another new problem occurred yesterday with a payment on an American Express card for a tech support feature at Office Depot of $15.00, but it was not processed either.

I didn’t start this chore until 12:30 p.m., and I need to eat lunch after it’s solved. I know which card it was supposed to be processed on: my own American Express Simply Cash card (ending in 3006). John has one too, but the last 4 digits are different (2016). Neither of those was on this billing and only today did I realize that was billed on 7-4-18 (which makes sense because this is a recurring monthly charge for tech support started 6-4-18.) The charge was made on a card ending in 5200.

My old one was 5200 and it died and was replaced, so I need to inform Office Depot they are using the wrong card. Phew. It’s now 1:22 p.m. on 7-6-18

I got on line and logged in with my username and my password to check the activity on the account.

Before I proceeded, I had to eat something. At 2:10 p.m., I fixed some tuna fish salad for lunch, because I have no sausage to go with my eggs. (Turns out I did have sausage, but it was in the butter dish place in the frig door), unknown until John arrived home. I hard-cooked the eggs so I could cut them up in my salad. I added a half a banana and some Cheez-its and ate.

Finally, I contacted a toll free number and ended up in Michigan with Cynthia who solved the last of my financial problems, when I reached her at tech support at 2:29, after talking to the payment center first, and then finally getting to the correct department, and requesting #3 option, for billing. That person was Cynthia and she was nearing the end of her day. Thankfully, she stayed with me until it was solved.
She was able to enter my correct card and showed me on the system where I could verify it had been changed. Our task was finalized at 2:51 p.m.! so right before her leaving time of 5:00 p.m. (CST).

While hopping around on my office depot account, I realized I had no credit for any rewards. On this phone call to Cynthia, I also resolved this. I will get 5% off from Office Depot and I also now know how to reach my rewards by month. I’m not issued a certificate until I reach $3. I’m under now, so that explains the reason my total cash back was zero.

A/C didn’t come on until 2:14, so cooling at night with open windows worked.

This is a very sad drone view of a recent fire south of us—the Clemen’s Mountain/Conrad Ranches Fire.

Facebook link: Clemen’s Mountain/Conrad Ranches fire

We have had a number of fires nearby this week, closing I-90 between Vantage and Ellensburg, and routing people around through the old Vantage Hwy, which suffered a fire itself a week ago. Then yesterday there was a wildfire near a Bible Camp east of Blewett Pass (20 miles north). Then we had two fires this week in the Yakima Canyon that closed SR 821 from MP 0 to 24. Yet sadly people still shot off fireworks on the 4th, during a county-wide ban in effect.

End of the day. John made it home by 4:30 p.m. and went to feed the horses and to give Annie a run around the pasture, with Czar and Woody joining them for the trip.

I compiled the two collages below after John alerted me to a contest going on to pick the coolest parking garages in the world. One in Seattle is in the set and its location is next to the Smith Tower which many in the Wilkins family hold near and dear to their hearts because my grandfather was a carpenter working on the Smith Tower before it opened. My ties to Seattle go back to him and my mom who was born there in 1914. I always look on the Seattle Skyline for the Smith Tower.And the rest of the story, explaining the name it’s called:Sinking ship – name of the parking garage near Smith Tower

Saturday, July 7

John left for Annette Lake again at 6:45 a.m. this morning. I went back to bed. I was totally exhausted at the end of yesterday, with no nap, and I still had to run something for our bass player to have me send to our music group with plans and an invitation to her 70th BD party.

As you all heard in yesterday’s blog report, I was up from 6:00 a.m. to after midnight, being stressed all day with life (financial) challenges.

Today, I got up at 5:30 a.m., put hard food out for the outside cats, then for the inside/outside one, and lay back down, only to have John’s alarm go off at 5:45 a.m. He left at 6:45 and I stayed in bed. Our electricity bounced off about 8:35 and while I heard it turn off several appliances and John’s computer that beep, I kept sleeping. I didn’t get up until 9:30 a.m. I know I needed the rest. I was slow getting going and haven’t even reset the clocks.

Now the temperature is 76.6° on the front porch and 71° in the interior hallway. We managed to cool it to 70° overnight by opening windows around the house, early in the evening.

I need to fix my brunch and send off the invitation to the 70th birthday party to our music group members. That was a long process. I sent my last email off at noon, and went to the kitchen to prepare my brunch. I was getting too hungry. That also was a long process, which included a longer time for resetting the clock on the oven. It is much more difficult and time-consuming than resetting the microwave’s clock. I started heating my sausage patty, gathering eggs (only from the garage frig), getting my hazelnut bread in the toaster, finding my Rainier cherries to wash, getting my half banana ready, and sorting out the cheddar cheese chunks from leftovers with smoked turkey cubes from last night’s salad. I managed to reset the microwave at 12:15 p.m. and then it took me ½ hour to assemble my creation for brunch, which took me almost 20 minutes to enjoy eating. Here is a photograph of my plate:Nancy’s Brunch. The tongs of the fork point at the piece of smoked turkey captured with the cheese. The apricot jam was made by my neighbor and the strawberry preserves by my friend.

By 1:15 I was ready to get on with finishing the BD invitation to send for Sharon’s 70th party at their home-away ranch in Cle Elum. They are from Seattle. I need to proof it once again, to be sure everything is all right.

I sent it off at 2:28 p.m. today and tried to include this collage with Sharon Jensen in it, gray hair/red dress at the right of all photos below, with her base guitar, but for some unknown reason it would not load. I sent it to her individually. Top 2 photos were during and prior to our playing and bottom photo was setup time when Dean was helping me distribute audience copies to the tables for everyone.

I’m now playing catch up, and then need to tackle the Panasonic phone system for landline. (I never managed that.)

John got back at 4:20 p.m. today.

We have my work cut out. We will be home tomorrow and need to install our phones. The old Panasonic hand carry ones are close to their funeral. I wore 3 down completely on batteries yesterday while trying to contact people around the world to solve my financial problems.

Instead, we spent the day Sunday on other chores needing done (such as John’s overdue haircut).

Sunday, July 8

We started on projects, and John ended up outside watering onions, and other yard chores.

I fixed up two postal delivery mail pieces to go to our mailbox for pickup tomorrow.

Continued with a few things, and then came back to work on the blog draft to give to John later.
He came in and fixed a nice brunch, omelet (tomato, cheese, smoked turkey), cooked a ham slice to eat along with it, and made English Muffin Bread toast.

Then I was free to give John his long awaited haircut we haven’t had time to do. Finally, we completed that about 2:35 Sunday, starting with our old Oster dog clippers, and then switching to our new gift of a Remington clippers with the ability to capture the cut hair to dispose in the compost bag. That process gave John one of the best haircuts I’ve given him in 50 years. Now we will have to keep it cut more often now that I have the hang of the new clippers. They were gifted to me by my friend Gerald Gordon, who plays guitar in our music group. He used them to cut his own hair, but no longer can raise his shoulder up enough to do it himself and has been going to a barber.

John has been going in and out moving hoses, watering trees around the orchard out front, and others in the back yard (plum trees).

Intro to Sonja Willitts, my long-time friend from Moscow, ID when we first met her in 1977, selling her a Brittany from our first breeding in Troy, ID. We have been friends since, and she has continued having Brittanys out of our lines all these years. Just about the time we moved to WA from ID (1989), she moved to NV, where she met Kevin, to live happily ever after. Sonja Willitts, with Kevin Willitts, and her Brittany, Tug (our dog Daisy’s brother) went on this hike yesterday. Her comments on Facebook: “We live 45 minutes’ drive from THIS! Spectacular views, brilliant wild flowers hidden on trails with far flung vistas. Beware! Flower overload!! Our 6-mile hike today from Woods Lake to Winnemucca Lake to Round Top Lake and then back to Woods Lake.” She printed that and attached 24 awesome photos, which I have cropped into 5 collages, for your viewing pleasure, ending with one more to make a photo for every mile of their hike. Brittany Tug and Kevin with Happy Tug on the hikeWinnemucca Lake ^^ Log across WL outlet ^^ Beautiful Stream

The last collages are of many flowers they viewed on their hike: some need identified, as we will attempt, but a couple we are unaware of and several we recognize.Columbine & what’s blue behind, unknown strange one in middle, Penstamen & purple daisy Another purple unknown, Shooting Stars, and yellow unknown

Ending the hiking tour for armchair geographers with this final shot with 2 more unknown flowers. You’ve seen the unknown yellow ones previously, above. Any ideas?

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

with Patriotic Theme

Saturday, June 23

We didn’t have this photo for last week’s blog, when you learned that John went to volunteer trail work at Granite Mountain Trail.
The first part of the trail is in forest and parts are rutted. It is a hikers-only trail, so we can do things that are not allowed on bike and horse trails. One thing is to install steps with “fill”, in the up-trail side.
Rocks or logs can be used for the step. On this small section of trail we needed 4 steps, and two of them would work with logs and two others with heavy flat rocks. If we can’t dig into the sides of the trail, logs won’t work.
Some trees will deteriorate rapidly, say 5 to 7 years. Others will last 25 or 30 years. Near our site was a Yellow Cedar that had been pushed over a few years before to nearly horizontal, but was very straight, with a base diameter of about 10 inches.
We trimmed limbs off part and stripped off the bark. This is easy in spring, almost impossible in fall. Bark allows water and insects to better damage the wood, so we take it off. It smells wonderful, and some say like raw potatoes. Maybe, but to me it smells like fresh Yellow Cedar.
In the photo (near to far), Mike, Mela, and Bill are peeling bark from about 12 feet of tree, for two steps.

A bit more information is found here: About peeling bark from Cedar

From experience, I can tell you that when the task is short, this can be fun. On the afternoon of the 3rd day, it just seems like work. {John}

Sunday, June 24

We were late getting the blog out by associated problems with computer, WordPress, and me. {Nancy}

Monday, June 25
I sent out the call for patriotic music this week on Thurs. & Fri. at an assisted living home and at the pre-July 4th event at the senior center. Planning is very involved for the audiences at both places, and a chair count is needed, plus directions for details.

Last Friday, I drove by Airport Storage during a high windy time to where I dropped off our already read Wall Street Journals for a CWU business student (who works there). A bag with office supplies (that had my sunglasses case in it) fell out of the back door of my car and things, including receipts starting blowing away into the sage and gravel. I picked up the heaviest items (boxes of file folders and hanging folders) and then chased the other store receipts down the block. The shopping bag itself was slammed up against a short bush. The receipts blew about 50’ down to a cross fence and stopped there. I didn’t miss the eyeglass case until I got home and took off my prescription sunglasses. So I called that gal and asked when she went to pick up her papers, to please look in the gravel close to their paper boxes and spot where I parked. She said she would, but she missed seeing it. HAPPILY, it was there today, not too far from where the car was stopped. It’s triangularly shaped and light, and had been rained on and pushed through the sand and gravel getting dirty, but was only 3 feet from the pavement, and easily seen in the gravel because I knew where to look. So I got it, and later cleaned it up to reuse. The lens cloth inside was not hurt and the dirt cleaned right off. I’m happy to have it back, because it is a Costco special carrier that folds up for pockets, which if I had done, I wouldn’t have lost it.

I called Safeway about Coumadin, but they needed a refill update from the doctor, so it is forthcoming.
On my way to SAIL exercise, I finally managed to get to the bank with my PATR checks from the local Co-op that are reported to the Internal Revenue Service and have to be added to the form for 2018. I’m not sure it’s worth the effort for a < $10 savings / year from purchases. With the new tax forms we may not have to do this. Another thing to check on.

Tuesday, June 26
Today I had to get to Dollar Tree between 1:00 – 1:30 and over to AAC to the last meeting of our “Just Dance” class. I was going to the $ store to pick up two helium-filled balloons and a weighted holder to give to our AmeriCorps teacher, Nicole, at the AAC, to thank her for her contributions this year.
A good number of folks showed up for the last class, and I got one of the other volunteer staff members to take our picture with Nicole holding her balloons. She was appreciative. We were appreciative for her 2 months of teaching us a bunch of special dances, in the last program of the year called, “Just Dance.” We had been through many dance teaching programs she assisted with – from Ballroom, Line, and Swing to this finale. Katrina (AAC Director), Jackie, Nancy, Victoria, Nicole, Connie, Bev, and Chuck. The heart shaped balloon says “You’re So Special” and the other one said, “It’s Your Day.”

We reviewed about 8 different dances we’d learned and I danced every dance. I was very tired at the end of the hour.
I went by Bi-Mart to check numbers and buy more Granny Goose potato chips, at a very good sale price ($2.99, for a huge bag).
I called Cle Elum to change my prescription for Coumadin refill to allow 180 pills at one time. I’m on it for life, and the price is cheaper.

Wednesday, June 27

This was a full day, and it’s only going to get worse tomorrow and Friday. Started by finalizing those plans for music for the next 2 days. Our group, I’m organizer for, the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends, is performing music (Pre-4th of July with patriotic and USA songs, and also our May/June fare tomorrow at Hearthstone, an assisted living home. Friday (more below) is a presentation over lunch at the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center (AAC), our local senior center.

The first thing of the morning was contacting all the music group for each day, with different instructions, as different people are coming both days with a few overlapping.

Then I made (with John’s help cutting chicken cubes) my salad to take for lunch today at the Food Bank Soup Kitchen. He also helped me carry my load of stuff to the car. I got a parking space near the front door, and even had two fellows offer to carry my instrument and bags. I followed behind with my pillow. Chairs there are shaped strangely, and it helps one’s back to have a pillow for support.

Activity today started with music at the FISH Food Bank, followed by SAIL exercise at the AAC. I was still tired and achy from yesterday’s hour of dancing at the AAC. But, I limped through.

I now need to organize and sort out the music for tomorrow (all the audience copies). Not surprisingly, residents are often having a cup of coffee or possibly finishing a meal late, and our music copies end up with food stains. I took white paper and used Scotch “magic” tape (not easily seen) to tape little pieces of paper over the stains. Using white-out would have taken more time and been expensive. That chore took me over an hour to process ~59 copies. Many were fine, but some had five pages needing cleaned up. Only two pages (seriously wet and crinkled) had to be replaced with a newly printed copy. Sadly, we will use these copies in the presence of coffee and cookies on Thursday, and a full lunch meal on Friday, so before next Thursday, I will have to restore a few more copies on twenty of the full copies (with all the songs for July in them). The majority to be used Friday only have the first 13 songs, so that cleanup can wait.

Thurs, June 28

The first thing to start off my crazy day was a change in the plans for tomorrow by the AAC. Our location within the building has been changed, so all my prior instructions had to be rewritten, and given out today to those who would be playing tomorrow. I got a sheet written, printed, and packed for the trip. Last minute changes are not appreciated to deal with when a dozen people are involved. Hearthstone – today, and I will have John’s help loading all the music stuff inside. His bottling wine trip was canceled – – until next Thursday (?).

John timed the playing for tomorrow, at about 26 minutes. He also helped me give out the first song sheets of only 13 songs, then retrieved them at the end, and replaced with others for May/June playing that we finished with.

While the switch was occurring, Evie moved to the Grand Piano, to accompany the group on a song we have started doing at places with a piano accessible. Of the 5 places we visit monthly, three assisted living homes get to enjoy a jazzy version of “Just a Little Talk with Jesus”. Some day, I need to record that.

After we switched music, we continued and invited Haley (5 yrs old) to join us for two songs that she sings along with us: Hey! Good Lookin’! (sings most of the verses and all the chorus). Ends with T for Texas (singing parts of verses, but entertains us all with her yodeling abilities throughout). Occasionally, mom Amy needs to promise ice cream to get her to stand in front, lower the music stand, so everyone can see her. She’s as fun to watch as to listen to, because of her enthusiasm and expressions. Below are pix of her popsicle reward today, and a glimpse this week at her first red/white/blue outfit she wore. Note the complete dressed-up to the toenails Miss Haley with her reward after she got home. I also had on my flag hat, pants, and jacket, but left my sequined flag vest for tomorrow’s performance.
Before coming home, there were various chores around town.

Friday, June 29

We left at 10:35 a.m. and got there about 11:00, in time to get a parking space in the lot and help with set up, putting out music for the 67 people expected today, minus all the players, who already have our music.

This was an event, ahead of time celebration for the 4th of July, because the AAC doesn’t want to compete with all the other activities the elders have to choose from. Also, the staff is free to do other things too with the center closed for the 4th.

We came straight home because in the rush to leave and take everything, John didn’t pick up his wallet, and he was driving because we were going to fill his gas tank. I had not taken my wallet so I didn’t have my credit cards. So, no gas and no shopping.

However, I was rather worn out, so just came home, worked on processing the video from today, and on the pictures John took, starting with the outdoor grilling of hamburgers and hot dogs, and also people inside, and of our group, Kittitas Valley Fiddlers and Friends performing from about 11:35 for an hour. We played instrumental music while lunch was being served, and did 14 other songs after everyone had been served. The audience had the music lyrics and there was good singing by the attendees. We played patriotic and USA songs. At the end we stood and saluted the flag, and everyone sang (acapella) no instruments – only the lead off 5 notes or so, Evie played, so we were all on the same key.

Here is the video’s location. AAC: 4th July celebration

If you read the description on the video, you can see the best place to start is actually 3 minutes, 13 seconds (3:13) on the tape. Each song sung has the best starting point listed if you want only to watch a few songs (e.g., “Red River Valley” begins at 22:00, “There’s a Star-Spangled Banner Flying Somewhere” begins at 24:50, with “Take me Out to the Ball Game” starting at 29:38, and the ending is the National Anthem, 30:55.

I cropped the best parts of the photos and will send to everyone I have emails for at the Senior Center, to all the musicians, and to the staff. Below is the link to the photos of the day:

Google Photos link to AAC event 6-29-18

Meanwhile, here is Haley in her second patriotic dress of the week that she wore to the AAC event.

Amy & Haley, Haley swirling, Haley & Connie after AAC 4th July Celebration

This afternoon, John picked a gallon Ice Cream bucket full of sweet red cherries to take tomorrow to the crew for after-work treats, with cookies and drinks provided by WTA. He had me clean them and pull out any bad ones (nibbled on by birds), and get rid of the chaff. He picks them nicely with their stems intact so they stay fresh longer. After I had a very large Pyrex circular bowl full, he put them out on paper towels to dry for packing in a bucket, which will be inside a box to which he can add bottles of ice.

Saturday, June 30

John was out of here at 5:40 a.m. for his WTA work trip to Snoqualmie Lake Trail. He first will stop off nearby from the trail where he lost a new garden knife in its sheath from placing it back in his backpack, but apparently missing the entry. It was nowhere to be found in his things in the car. It’s a $36 knife, which helped peel the bark from a downed cedar tree to saw into 6’ sections for use as stairs on the trail renovation (see above for last week’s Granite Mtn. trip). He will have about a 10-minute walk to the spot off the trail, where he had his stuff. Hopefully, no one has found it and taken it. Unfortunately, his trip was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, John found another replacement for less cost. I think I will suggest he put his name inside in case it is lost again and a good soul finds it and returns it (at least to the WTA in Seattle).

I got up long enough to feed 3 cats who were patiently waiting for their morning vittles.

Then I picked up the dry food when they were done because the Magpies come in and eat it, while making incredible noises arguing over it.

Then, I was still very tired so I went back to bed and slept in. I needed it after the past week that wore me out.

Here is a great post by Anthony Watts this morning on Facebook. Facebook is the only link I have to this..

Southern Granny Ain’t Never Missed the Weather Forecast

I got busy working on chores for the blog this morning and it’s finally time to stop for brunch at 12:30 p.m. I didn’t finish until 1:30 because I took out time to make it special and to take photos of the parts I put together. I decided to have eggs (but had to track some down in the outside garage refrigerator, sausage patty, already cooked that I had to warm, make my eggs over easy with grated cheese atop, slice my gifted oatmeal rolls (story below), and toasted two of them, adding strawberry preserves (also gifted). Then I added some of our Rainier cherries (not quite ripe enough yet, but still beautiful and tasty).

Here is the plate: Double Roll slices with strawberry preserves, both made by Roberta Buum, eggs, cut up sausage, and Rainier cherries from our tree.

The “rolls-preserves” story is that last week John picked strawberries, I sorted through and culled bad ones out for us to clean, cut, and sugar for desserts, and took 4+ pounds to Roberta Buum in my SAIL exercise class last week for her to make strawberry “jam” for her family (grandchildren and children) for Christmas presents. She made it over last weekend, and this Monday, brought me a jar of the delicacy along with a Rubbermaid container full of her homemade oatmeal rolls. Today, I put the jar in with the remaining rolls for my photo take. The close-up is one piece of two rolls I sliced, toasted, and covered with preserves for my brunch. Homemade strawberry preserves and oatmeal rolls

I continued working on details about the video I’ve already listed above in Friday’s description. Roberta was also there to enjoy.

Czar (cat) and Annie (dog) kept me entertained. Czar spent most of the day sleeping on the ledge above the cats’ ladder to the hard pellets, which also covers the bowl of their special treat, Friskies Party Mix. The next set of photos is of Czar, with a second set of the two of them, cat and dog, side by side. Czar’s favorite spot on front porch with access to the hard food bowl, right outside the den window, by John’s computer. Different positions and then a querying look bottom right, “Why do you care?”

Later in the afternoon, he was back there, but Annie wanted out. She went out and lay in the gravel past the Mtn. Ash tree to watch the quail. Czar joined her and they both watched:^^^^^^ Companions: Cat, Czar and Brittany, Annie

Still later, I put Annie out front to wait for John’s arrival. In the shade in front of the shed where John parks his car was the 3 yr. old buck, with antlers still in velvet. He often rests in that sheltered spot during late afternoons.

I took these photos from inside the front door. The black stripe is a pole support on our front porch. Right is zoomed in when he turned his head and is not in sharp focus.

John called as he was pulling out of the Truck Stop near Edgewick, on the way home, from his trail work, near North Bend. They started getting rained on at the end of the work day. He got back to dryside Ellensburg for gasoline, and called me, so I could give him the best place to buy. He got his gasoline for $3.23/gal, and went by Grocery Outlet on the way home, buying some huge strawberries for a good price that we can clean and sugar for our freezer. Our garden supply has dwindled to almost nothing. He also bought me a head of Iceberg lettuce, and some other stuff, and he carried away two empty chardonnay type (fat) wine boxes with the insides intact to share with a friend who will use them for storage of wine bottles. Then he came home to feed horses and give Annie her expected run around the pasture with Czar joining them for the journey.

Sunday, July 1

We started with morning computer chores, feeding the cats, and now he’s out for morning walk with Annie, moving hoses, and all the things he has to manage, with the wind still whipping until 10:00 p.m. tonight. High gust today has been 43 mph.

He’s returning for us to clean and cut ½ the strawberries he bought yesterday, and then will fix brunch, and after eating, we’ll do the rest of the strawberries later after John works on editing the blog and transferring it to WordPress and I put the pictures with the text on our shared jump drive.
I have to finish sending the photos taken Friday to a share link on Google Photos to add to this blog and send to the AAC members I have email addresses for, and the staff (for posting on Facebook on the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center’s page).

My next chore is to get the entire July music together to send to the music group for them to be ready for performing the additional songs to the first 13 we did last week, to round it out to 25 songs, last ones are instrumental; we do if there is time.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Summer Begins

Journeys, Presentations, & Exercise

Saturday, Jun 16

Here is a bit of the Dingford Creek Trail work that John assisted on with an explanation by him:John advising a rock moving project.

At this place, the Dingford trail was a foot deep into the forest floor. Water could not get out, so we cut through the edge and began opening a drain. Ten feet from the trail, a large rock {about 400 pounds} blocked the intended path of the flow. Because the rock needed to be moved, and was of a blockish shape with a flat top, we decided to use it as a step in the trail. This took two lifts of about 20 feet each.
These photos don’t show the spot where the drain leaves the trail. That’s behind and to the left of the camera. Photo A (left) has the drain marked by orange dots – on the left. Photo A also shows 8 folks getting ready to lift. John, having explained what & how, stands down-trail from the action.
Poles have been placed through the straps of a fabric carrying-net (“a rock net”). One of the crew tied a strap (see where the red arrow points) across the top of the rock. This strap is also seen in Photo B.
The crew is from the local Google office with coordinator Brittany (lower right corner in A) designated as the “caller.” When everyone is in place she will ask “Is anyone not ready?” With no responses heard, she will say “Lift on 3.” Safety instruction have been previously given – such as “Don’t lift on 2.”
These folks spend their days looking at computer screens. Google encourages volunteer work and there are many opportunities in the Puget Sound region. These folks chose a physically hard one.

Monday, Jun 18

We published the blog at 10:30 p.m. after a lot of effort last night.

I need to send music plans out for the first count for this Thursday at Pacifica and NEXT Friday June 29 at the AAC (Senior Center Patriotic music and USA songs prior to July 4 that we do every year and have for decades).

John had managed yesterday afternoon to put on the tiny spare tire so he could go to town and the tire shop (but likely will get new tires). He combined trips and dropped me off at my SAIL exercise class.
I went in for my class, and he came back almost at the end of class to pick me up. He’d been to Les Schwab first, and he spent a bunch of money (> $ 800) on new tires for his Crosstrek. Old ones have been on for 35,000 miles, and probably were low quality at the start. So happy the new ones will last 70,000 miles. The flat tire had a piece of metal wedged in so badly it would not hold air at all. Picture below.
He had to change to the small ‘temporary’ spare tire to drive 12 miles to town. So very lucky that didn’t happen to him 15 miles at a trail head back in the wilderness. The service tech at the tire shop (Les Schwab) nor John recognized what the piece of metal was from. He drove to near North Bend yesterday and noticed the warning light come on about 4 miles from home.
Here is a photo of the culprit John took for me to show you all. It looks rather like a curved part of an Exacto knife, but I think they are straight bladed. Any ideas where this piece of metal might have originated?
Mysterious tire flattener
After he got the new tires, he went by Washington Tractor and spent more money on his Stihl chainsaw, getting a new filter, a chain, and spark plug. This was after working to help remove a tree at our neighbor’s the day before, needing to sharpen his chain saw, and remembering he had ordered a new air filter about a month ago, assuming the parts department would call him when it arrived.

He came back and retrieved me from SAIL exercise class, and we went together to Super 1 where I started in the pharmacy, picking up two prescriptions for John and one for me.
Coumadin/Warfarin cost me $26.78 For 90#, which is more expensive than at Safeway, but I goofed and didn’t order my refill from the correct place. It’s only $15.58 through GoodRx, and there I don’t even have to go through my insurance co-pay. I have now written all over the bottle so I don’t make that mistake again. Cost me $11.20 more. Too much going on in my life when I realized I had run out.
John mowed a lot of grass tonight and he picked over 2 lbs. of strawberries, which we cleaned and sugared and ate some for dessert.
We were gone from the house over 3 hrs. today.

Tuesday, Jun 19

Only thing on tap is going by Bi-Mart to check numbers (we won nothing but I found out the numbers are ONLY for this store not for the region). I went to dance class at the senior center, with only 2 others and our teacher and danced all the dances. It was a review of several of the many dances we have learned during the past couple of months. We only have one more class, next Tuesday. Then the dance day changes to Board Games (not a lot of exercise except for the mind, I guess). Today, we reviewed the Achy/Breaky Line Dance, the Bunny Hop, the Hokey Pokey, the Macarena, and the Chicken (& Duck) Dance. We got our exercise.

John left about 4:30 for the other side of the valley to volunteer with a couple of friends on clearing noxious weeds from the trails on Manastash Ridge. WTAer Bill Weir came, and about 7 others. They succeeded and found a little critter, which Jack Powell photographed… and posted on Facebook’s communication regarding the Ridge Trails with this quote: “Thanks to the hard working volunteers who help pull Knapweed along the eastern Manastash Ridge Trails this evening. While working up there I saw the first horned toads of the year on the Teachers Trail. Horned toad along Manastash Ridge trail, SW of EBRG.

John didn’t make it home until after 9:00 p.m.
Below, I will give a synopsis of the information I found out on this picture I took today: Ellensburg, WA west side of S. Pine St up from Mt. View Rd

I sent a question out to a few friends I thought might know what this grass plant was, and hit pay dirt. On my way home I had called John and told him I thought it was something that had Tom in the name. One of the names it is known by is Tritoma, but the one most people have heard is – Red Hot Poker, which it truly looks like.
John found the site that Caitlin offered, where this is written: Kniphofia uvaria is commonly known as a Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily, or sometimes a Tritoma.
Replies in order received: Thanks, Caitlin LaBar, Terri Towner, Megan Walsh-Ferrier, Suzy West, Bruce Seivertson, and Janis Reimers. If you want more details, I can send them, or you can visit the web.
It can be “invasive” if not handled properly. Interestingly, and ironically, John was across the valley working on trails to remove noxious weeds (mostly Knapweed).

Wednesday, Jun 20

I fixed my salad to take today, with John’s great help of cubing smoked turkey and cutting little pieces of Honeycrisp apple. I added the iceberg lettuce and Blue Cheese dressing, and packed Cheez-its for croutons, plus I took a stainless steel fork so I didn’t have to eat with a flimsy plastic one.

Today, Evelyn is back with music for our Food Bank Soup Kitchen play date. Afterwards I am off for SAIL exercise class.

Once home, I continued on projects relating to my computer and other paper work related to bringing back special software onto this computer. I still need to get my WIFI and Epson printer connected with a new driver. (Later I succeeded with that chore, but Sunday my Epson Scan failed after working for two scans.

Meanwhile, I was quite tired, so I lay down for a short power nap, but at 5:10, phone rang with a telemarketer, and I then settled down. I awoke at 7:20 p.m., and thought it was morning. I was totally confused, but rested.

When I got back to the real world, we ate a late supper.


Up too early, but lay back down for another hour, as did John. Guess we needed the rest.

John fixed us brunch this morning.

Pacifica for music. We have a dozen people expected. Only 11 adults showed, but to finish the dozen was our little 5 yr. old who sings two songs with us – Hey Good Lookin’ and yodels with T for Texas. The audience loves her so much, and she is not bashful at all. She also dances (as you have seen in previous blogs), to Irish Washerwoman.

The next picture was posted on Facebook by her mom, and my comment (on Facebook) is beneath the picture.Haley in front of Jerrol’s with cup of Root Beer Float Ice Cream

My comment later on Facebook when her mom posted the pix:

I stopped by Jerrol’s on my way home – an Ellensburg store (Office supply and books) that was celebrating its 71st birthday today, and giving every person a large scoop of Winegar’s ice cream (another local business connected by a pass-through door). I brought home two containers for us. It was a soft serve. While there I used my $10 coupon for purchase with no strings attached, and bought a box of 100 new file folders, for which I had to pay only 80₵. Not bad. I am gearing up to put all my receipts in order in my filing cabinets. Tomorrow I shall return for a box of hanging folders to separate the months. I still have an anniversary coupon discount on any purchase of 19.47% (the year they started).

Maybe I will designate a filing cabinet to house some of my music for the group that I have to create and carry around every year, including audience copies of the lyrics.

I continue working on file structure for the computer problems. Just moved all my music files for SongWriter 2012 over this morning, but sadly they now all have the same creation date.

We fixed a nice salad for supper and I had enough left over to make mine to take to the AAC tomorrow for the event. They are serving English Muffin pizza with salad, but I cannot usually eat their salads because of all the dark greens. So, I take my own Iceberg lettuce doctored up with Honeycrisp apple and smoked turkey cubes and my favorite dressing.

John picked over 4# strawberries tonight to give to a gal in my SAIL class. She makes strawberry jam for all her grandchildren and families for Christmas. She will share some with us. He picked all and I culled a small bucket of the ones with bad parts. We now have wonderful cut strawberries sugared to have with cereal, meals, and desserts for the next couple of days.

Friday, Jun 22

This morning I finished testing my Epson Scanner. I was too tired last night after spending a bunch of time trying to download the software for the printer drivers, and then installing it. I was hung up on the registration process, until this morning, when I got it registered properly. I knew the print was working last night because I got a Test Print sheet printed. Then, this morning I got the Epson Scan to work, and made the following jpg to show my elation.John has since cleaned the printer heads. The Magenta print was sloppy – better now.

I headed out for the AAC for an event with lunch (where I first took photos and of the 4th of July decorations around the room they had put up yesterday.) I also took pictures of the folks in attendance for the talk today.

This was a presentation over lunch at the AAC (Ellensburg Adult Activity Center), otherwise known as our senior center. This seminar was titled: Health Futures Forum on Wildfires and Air Quality concerns for citizens.Nicole, Kasey, and Darren before the talk

I videotaped the presentation. Here are the videos and details:

Nicole’s Intro to the Day’s Presentation at the AAC

Wildfire and Air Quality Health Information

Presented jointly by Darren Higashiyama, Deputy Sheriff (Operations Commander) in Emergency Management for Kittitas County with Kasey Knutson, Health Promotion Supervisor from Kittitas County Public Health Department. Their topic was Wildfires & Air-Quality Preparedness at today’s Healthy Futures Forum.

Darren is going to share with me the PowerPoint Display, because I didn’t have my tripod and it was pretty dark in the room for my very old video camera.

After the presentation they handed out copies of the three things: a chart of the Air Quality Index shown on the web and in the PowerPoint presentation. The other two I’m not picturing here, but one was a page describing Wildfire Smoke & Your Health and the other was an Emergency Preparedness Guide, a 44-page manual. This is a State publication and gets updates and tweaks each year.
Here is the Google Photo link for today’s pictures of people there for the presentation:
Click on this Link to see all pictures taken today at AAC on Google Photos

I took my own salad and it was a good thing as they had two pieces of pizza, cooked on an English Muffin (Pepperoni/olive or chicken) with a mixed dark green salad. Everyone in the audience ate as I filmed the presentation and I ate afterwards.

I stayed for the SAIL exercise class and we had a good turnout. I requested that Katrina take a photo of the people there for class today. A couple more people arrived after the photo.Elaine, Judy, Teacher-Jessi (AmeriCorps), Ann, Joyce, Shirley, Murl, Sandy, Isabel, Madge, Nancy

After SAIL exercise I gave the bucket of strawberries (from an iced cooler) to Roberta, and then drove by Super 1 Pharmacy to pick up my Vicodin for emergency needs with pain in my severely arthritic shoulder, when I dance for an hour, or play fiddle music for over an hour.

From there I went by Grocery Outlet to get a head of lettuce for our salads (we used ours last night and in my salad I took today)—while there I checked the price of a Key Lime pie, and found a lower price than elsewhere in town, $5.99. That is the best pie to have with strawberries. It’s perfect for Christmas as well, with the red & green color contrast. We freeze our strawberries and have them through the year. Lots of bad ones this year, so fewer to freeze.

After that shopping, I pulled across University Way and went to Jerrol’s for the rest of my shopping needs left over from yesterday. I decided with the decent discount, I could buy a box of 25 regular hanging folders and 2 boxes of 25 legal size hanging folders. My entire order received a $7.98 discount. Nice.

On home by way of a place south of the airport, where we share our Wall Street Journals with a business student. She very much appreciates it, and I subscribe with a great educational discount, that got even better this year. I have used it for teaching for years, and continue by sharing with my colleagues. Much, but not all is the same as on the web.

We had a sausage patty and chili for supper, and now I’m uploading the movies I took today to YouTube. The pictures are on my computer now too, and I need to get them processed and moved to Google photos, so I can share with all the AAC members, and staff, who puts them on the Ellensburg Adult Activity Facebook site.

Saturday, Jun 23

We were up early to feed cats and bless John’s heart, he took time to put a roast into the Crockpot to cook.

John left at 6:30 a.m. for the WTA work party at Granite Peak Trail to get there early because of limited parking.

I was going to sleep in, but only managed an hour because of taking a diuretic early, and because we left the hard food out and the Magpies noisily came in to rob them and woke me.

I did wash a load of several days of dishes, and resume working on computer chores.

Fixed late brunch and enjoyed it a lot. It was heated leftover sausage patty, ham & cheese plus omelet, with piece of toast with Apricot jam made by my neighbor, and a bowl of a banana with our strawberries.

Now for shoes and a walk with the dog. I think I was gone for more than 45 minutes. The wind was blowing and it was cold, but I had on a sweatshirt and walked all the way to the irrigation ditch before I could get a connection to go through to Peggy our sister in Parma, OH. The winds were blowing so the 75° felt colder, making me stand in the sun. We had a nice 32 min. visit. She was as frustrated and tired as I from all the things that have happened to her. Earlier, as we did this week, she had a flat tire and replaced all 4 tires. Today, I got her after she found her kitchen floor covered with water and had just spent too much time and energy, fixing the leak under the counter, and then drying up all the things that got flooded. We compared notes and I thanked her for sharing her woes to me and listening to my complaints of the week. She said a great quote, “Sharing them makes them only half as bad.”

On my way back to the house, I turned around and saw our Rainier Cherry tree, which John had mentioned was getting redder cherries. I decided to take a movie to share with you. The winds have earlier caused many young cherries to fall out of the tree, so we were worried that this year would be much slimmer than last. The buck is getting better antlers this year. A fenced in Syringa.

Cherries in the wind

John called at 3:30 and was 80 minutes away. I set my alarm for 4:45 to let Annie out front. John walked in before I let her out! Guess he made better time than expected.

Still at our place, is an example of a part of the wildlife around:
Introducing Buck, 3 yrs + old, on the Naneum Fan

And more views in the wind close to the road with cottonwoods rustling to the left and pines around, as well as Blue Lupine.

Winds & Syringa (Mock Orange) on the Naneum Fan

Change in location to Magnificent Mt. Rainier:

I just found a most moving experience, which I was able to share with my Facebook friends, but am unable to share with others of you who read our blog but do not have access to Facebook. This is one of the major benefits to my staying on FB.

The Musical Mountaineers at Mt. Rainier
This is part of Anastasia Allison (violinist)’s version of their experience, with her description.

Last week, after a whirlwind trip to California for “The Musical Mountaineers,” we headed to Mt. Rainier with Nikki Frumkin (a mountain artist), and Mitch Pittman (a wilderness videographer).

We wanted to find a sunset, but what we found was something more – we found ourselves in the shadow of Mt. Rainier that night – each of us showing up for a beautiful moment to create something that was so much more than notes or watercolors or film… and as if the mountain could sense the creation that was taking place in her midst, she joined the hymn and painted the sky with her own melon-colored hues.

These moments in life, you can create them. You can take your heart and show it to the world and make the most beautiful things. You can be who you are, and have that be enough. You can change the world with a simple hymn or a swipe of the brush or a beautiful film. You can watch a sunset, with tears streaming down your face, and realize that the whole world is the most beautiful melody that you will ever find.

Videographer: Mitch Pittman (and a quick note: this video was shot ENTIRELY in ONE SHOT, because Mitch is a genius)
Watercolor Artist: Nikki Frumkin
Music: The Musical Mountaineers (Anastasia Allison and Rose Freeman)

I featured a story about these two musicians in this blog awhile back when they gave a concert on the Manastash Ridge (south side of our Kittitas Valley). This above is of Mt. Rainier, and was shot all at one shooting. The videographer is as talented as the musicians and the artist seen in this beautiful rendition.

Sunday, Jun 24

We ate breakfast of leftovers, and John is out to spray while the winds have subsided, but sadly that the temperature is rising.
He sprayed 6 gallons before coming inside. While he was out, I washed a load of clothes, and stacked some dishes for washing later, but I went back to finishing my part of the blog. I’m still working on uploading one last video, and then I’ll be ready for John when he awakes from an afternoon nap. He sprayed another 4 gallons.

When he came back in from the yard, he was holding a large Juice Can full of strawberries we’ll have to clean and sugar for tonight and tomorrow. I will be able to do that while he works on editing the blog and puts it into WordPress.

This video below arrived in email this morning from Nick Zentner along with the dates for the planned field trips starting in the fall, and for his downtown lectures, which will be in a new location this year – the auditorium of the now renovated Morgan Middle School. I’ll have to take a photo for future use of the newly planted trees and bushes around the parking lot at the west entrance to the school. I drove by on Ruby St. last week and wished I had my camera with me. They have done a nice landscaping project and the old building’s face is quite beautiful. It has been covered and out of view the whole time I have been in town, with an annex, which was demolished to concentrate on the main school restoration.

For old times’ sake, here is the building as it originated in 1929 as Ellensburg Junior High. Old building now renovated as Morgan Middle School, EllensburgNick Zentner – Sharing Geology

Here’s an interesting 18-minute visit with Nick Zentner reminiscing about his 30 years of sharing Geology with his students and with the community (around the world).

Nick Zentner – Sharing Geology

This was filmed in Yakima, WA (to our south) as a Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) presentation. You can learn more about the organization from their website:

Considering all, we both had another busy week.

Hope yours was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan