Dessert, dog, dust, and wind

Saturday, Apr 5

Finished the blog and posted this morning. This evening, at the Grange, we had more musicians than stage space. We had 6 guitars, a banjo, 3 fiddles, a viola, a clarinet, and a bass fiddle. We were told the hour of music provided through their dinner went over well. The first picture below was taken when only a few of us were there, warming up on Westphalia Waltz.
Nancy in the center of practice at the Grange Hall
The next photo was taken later when we all were there playing, but one guitarist is hidden. He is in the above picture on the right, where our clarinet player is hidden.
Nancy and others playing tunes at the Grange Hall -fiddles, banjo, bass, and more
John could not get positioned such that all of us showed in one image, considering the cramped conditions. However, a professional photographer with a TV camera recorded the whole event and came up on stage on the last 2 songs to get close-ups. It is supposed to appear on EC-TV (Ellensburg Community TV), and I hope to be able to share a link in the future to the show, accessible on line. It was only Thursday this week that the photographer (Ray Moyer) went into the station to edit the footage, and I am to call back next week to find the location on the web. Stay tuned.

Sunday, Apr 6

Day spent on organization and entering data into Turbo Tax (TT). Still much to do, with mileages for medical and volunteering, which I’m first putting into an Excel spreadsheet so that I can have it calculate sorted totals by type/location, for entering into TT.

Monday, Apr 7

Worked all morning on entering information into Turbo Tax. Went to my foot doctor for nail care (he says the nail is growing out that indicates the Laser surgery is working). I’m scheduled for another laser treatment June 24. This today was to cut nails and grind off the heavy nail more like the consistency of an antler or livestock horn. Tonight I drove back to play early for The Connections (mostly-musical prayer service at care homes). Normally we play on Tuesday night, but because tomorrow is the Volunteer banquet, we rescheduled and went a day ahead.

Tuesday, Apr 8

Early morning trip to Copper Kettle for a meeting of the Emeriti Professors of Geography at CWU. We had a guest join us, John Bowen, the Interim Chair of Geography. Much of the rest of my day was spent on recordkeeping. However, at 5:30 we needed to be at the Fairgrounds for the Volunteer Appreciation dinner. It was nice, but we chose to be near the end of the buffet line, and much of the food was gone. Just before we got to the serving table the ground beef for taco-style salad ran out, along with hard-boiled egg pieces. That was supposed to be the core of the meal. We made do with what was left and had a couple of desserts. The gal in charge of the dessert table is our friend and gave John an almost full red velvet cake to bring home, see . . . (okay, this image is from the web, but it did look about like this—actually a lot better, deeper red and thicker layers of both cake, frosting and filling).
white icing on red (choc) velvet cake
…with a cool cream-filled cupcake in the place of the missing piece. If you look at the photo below, you’ll see it, the big white one, on the back side (left) of the table beyond the cake on the pedestal. Some of the others were quite fancy and there was an abundance and variety so the simple looking one did not get much attention. Worked for us!
a long table with 20+ great desserts -- cakes, cheesecake, plus
I won a door prize, which is a $10 gift card for use at restaurants I seldom frequent, but might someday get near one (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steak House, and some others I have never heard of — the joys of living in a relatively unpopulated part of the USA — all owned by Darden Restaurants. (Check below).
Icons of the 6 Darden resturants from Red Lobster to Seasons fresh grill
Most of the day was fruitlessly spent on problems with totals in columns &/or rows formulae put into an Excel spreadsheet for taxes. Thought I had it fixed with John’s help but right before bedtime, it started messing up again.
Great photos taken tonight at the dinner of 6 people wearing Carol Hancock’s donated fingerless knitted gloves. This one is appropriate for the theme of the night (Treasure Island), with all hands down :-). Thanks, John for humoring me with all the recent photo-shoot requests.
Nancy and 5 others wearing knitted fingerless gloves of many colors
Back row, l. to r.: Evelyn Heflen, Megan Kasper, Charlie Firkins
Front row, Ellen Fischer, Joanie Taylor, Nancy Hultquist

Wednesday, Apr 9

Early up and working with my laptop computer (in my recliner). Our dogs announced a person in the driveway. It was my neighbor with eggs for us and a friend. I gave her the $ and 3 egg cartons, and some of our frozen berries (rasp & black), as thanks for our dozen. She explained the HUGE strangely shaped egg in ours. I have to remember to show John.
Food Bank/SAIL today and I took Youth Depends to the Food Bank to donate (they don’t fit my neighbor). They were happy to get the 3 packages, and I have 2 more packages to deliver next week. We had our newest guitar player there with us again this week. He is a usual patron of the Soup Kitchen. Our singer was there too. He is a volunteer server and dishwasher for the Food Bank. We have 4 musicians to squeeze into the path in front of the wall refrigerators, where we have removed 3 chairs on the end table.

Thursday Apr 10

Morning came too soon, John left at 7:30, and for me it was filled with morning chores, sharing tasks between washing dishes, cleaning counters, and alternating time with data input to Excel spreadsheets, for tax purposes. If I would just do this the first of every month, as paying bills, my life would be simplified for putting into the Turbo Tax form. When will I ever learn? Please -this year is the plan. I left the house before John got back from his last day of pruning wine vines. A few days ago the vines began “weeping” (the grower’s term) when cut (John calls it leaking) while this site calls it “bleeding” and seems to make a much-ado fuss about it. Today was playing at the Rehab, where I spent 7 weeks in 2010. We had a good bunch of musicians and an appreciative audience. Many of the staff (nurses and physical therapists) stopped by to enjoy. Our usual resident Helen got up and waltzed around with her walker. She sings the words as she dances. Another resident, we call thumps up Ted, cheers us on throughout the time. We had a clarinet, violin, bass fiddle, banjo, and 5 guitars. Cool, that our new bass fiddler, Megan, works there as a Speech Pathologist, in Physical Therapy. I’m going back to work now on the computer. Took a short break to arrange for John to meet our neighbor to loan him the removable part (stinger) of a trailer hitch. He’ll need to take the ball off to connect to a fertilizer spreader. This is an off-road type of hookup.
a pull-type spreader for dry fertilizer; holds several hundred pounds
Been working hard on accounting matters, but took off to eat a dinner (earlier than normal).

Friday, Apr 11

I spent a bunch of time dealing with our Fairpoint provider for DSL with modem problems and need to reset our security code, and had to reboot my computer. Finally, 45 minutes later, we have Internet connections on all computers. Jeez. We were on for 2 hrs this morning, but it just quit for unknown reasons. I worked off line on tax stuff and decided I would report it because it was still down. Hence, the loss of time, but now it is fixed.
John has to work in the wind again today, but is going out now to dig up some raspberry plants to share with our neighbor. Two weeks later than this should have been done, but things happen. I’m continuing on paperwork. I did get an early morning call from my banker with the $ amount taken out of our mortgage payment last year for Hazard Insurance. It was not reported on the normal end of year 1099 or whatever form it used to come on with the Mortgage Interest paid. At $992, that’s a significant tax deduction so I’m glad I checked.
I wrote the descriptive paragraph below (starting “On Sunday”) before we changed our minds and drove over this afternoon instead. We were gone for ~5.5 hrs. Just got home at 7:00 p.m. We stopped in Moses Lake for lunch. The purpose was to meet my new co-owned Brittany puppy from CA. In the photo below, you can see she loves to visit and hold hands/paws. Also, you can see some of the scabland topography behind us (basalt columns and a small overhang-cave — used for shelter, food storage, by native peoples, and is a habitat for snakes, and other critters. Also visible in the photo are other dogs relaxing on their stake-out chains. The horses are used by those running dogs, scouts to find dogs, judges, and a field trial martial. Those there just to watch are members of the “gallery” and they can ride horses also — in most trials.
orange and white Brittany with Nancy and another lady at field trial grounds
Peggy Doiron is on the left, Daisy (Tre’) in the middle, and me.
I left the following paragraph of explanation in below, but first will tell you about today’s visit. Turns out, I found out just before noon the trainers would be tied up all day Sunday, running dogs in several stakes. They are running 24 dogs over the weekend. Therefore, we wouldn’t have gotten to visit at all. The worst part of the trip over and once there was the wind, dust devils (one crossed the road just behind us on the freeway), and wind (oh, yes, I said that, and the blowing dirt, ha ha). My eyes got filled with scratchy dust and were still bothering me all night. We took a couple of pictures with Daisy (Tre’) after meeting her and visiting a bit. She’s a sweetie. There are no pictures at our first meeting where she propped her front paws in my hand and let me pet her. John took some photos, and then we stood by her and shared field trial stories with Peggy. Daisy went to sleep on the stake out chain.
Here’s the descriptive paragraph …
On Sunday, we were planning to go to Goose Butte, 17 miles NE of Ritzville, WA, a trip of ~133 miles, a little over 2 hrs away. Most of the trip is on Interstate but the last few miles are on rough rural roads. We were in the middle of the channeled “scablands” but a section not scoured by the big floods. These higher areas are still covered by wind blown and deposited silt (called loess) and used as dry land wheat farms. It was not hot, but wind and dust reminded us of the days when we did this and would come home covered in the loess.
The Whid Isle Brittany club field trial is held this weekend at the site. I wanted to go over and meet my new puppy co-owned with Jeri Conklin from CA. This is the closest she will be for awhile, so I really needed to meet her. She resides in southern CA. She’ll be a year old this Sunday. We’ve written about her field awards here in the blog over the past month or so. This weekend, she runs in a Derby event on Sunday around 5:00. Derby is for dogs, age 6 months to 2 years, and bird contact is required. I wanted to meet her and her professional handlers she’s traveling and training with, Paul & Peggy Doiron. She runs again on Wednesday next week in the Inland Empire Brittany Club trial (the club for which we were among several founding members in the Spokane, WA area, back in 1974). Wednesday, I’m unavailable to go over.
On the way home at 70 mph +30 mph winds, things started to levitate out of the bed of a pickup truck in front of us. One piece, a cardboard box about the size for a large microwave oven, floated out and danced in the wind. John started to move to the left and the box did the same. Behind us there was a car coming in the left lane and a tractor-trailer in the right lane with us now straddling the center line. The box settled to the pavement and, being larger than the space under the Forester, clattered along and out the back. No harm done. And yes, WA does have a law regarding traveling with unsecured loads – much ignored.
We got home in time for John to run the dogs, and for me to fix cat food for the outside cats. They met him at the barn, while he was feeding the horses, to tell him he was late with their supper. They are pretty spoiled for wild cats. Then John fixed a loaded with goodies pizza. I went back to work on taxes.
Today we were contacted again by a neighbor, whose family had come to help with fence repair. They needed to borrow our tools: a carpenter’s crow bar, fence post driver, and rock bars. Luckily, one of the guys is a strapping young man able to handle the heavy post pounder.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan