Boy’s Toys, or . . .

Garden Gadgets,
Or Nancy’s title . . .
It’s expensive to maintain rural property

Sunday, Apr 8

We published last week’s blog tonight at 11:30 p.m.

Monday, Apr 9

John left for pruning at the Mariposa Vineyard at 7:45 a.m. With average traffic conditions this gives him a 5 minute cushion. Last year because of a highway repair-related detour he need an extra 5 to 10 minutes.

I’m taking care of things about the tiller with Janie and about the Swing Dancing tomorrow at the AAC.

I filled in the IRS 2017 Extension #4868 form today. Now I need to get the stuff that goes with it, a return postcard, a payment check, and take it to the USPS for the certified mailing w/tracking number.

Fixed myself a brunch of bran cereals, banana, and peaches, and I went to SAIL exercise at the AAC.

We think we got the tiller fixed. Recall it would run for about a minute and shut off. Supposedly the oil was low, so it seems obvious that someone screwed up on the setup. Local? We don’t know, but we know it didn’t come from GA with a full tank of gasoline. John had looked at that, but the ‘dip-stick’ is white plastic and the oil, being new, was hard to see. It had oil, but must be quite sensitive to the proper amount in a small engine. Maybe add some blue food color to the oil!

Then there is the mystery of the bolts. One fell out. One did not have a nut. These had very ‘fine’ threads and the dealer, with thousands of bolts and nuts, did not have a matching nut. John’s guess is this was a Honda assembly plant problem – not local. These two bolts are what holds the front wheel mounting-arm to the machine (used in pushing the unit to the garden site).The mounting-arm (appx.=blue in diagram) fits back into a housing under the motor. The wheel is folded up during tilling, and down – as shown – for travel.

Local assembly was required only for the handles, not that wheel. That’s not a good sign, but folks here now know to check.

John showed the sales rep her original notes on the quoted price.  She did not quibble, and gave us $150 refund.
Also, they didn’t charge for anything done today, except for our gasoline costs getting there, and tomorrow he has to go pick up the riding mower they are restoring, unless it is raining. 

Tuesday, Apr 10

After feeding the cats, John left for pruning at the Mariposa Vineyard. I slept in, and had 3 different telemarketer phone calls before 9:00 a.m. I wish I knew how to block them.

Our “new” landline and Internet DSL provider is Consolidated Communication; acquired Fairpoint in July 2017. I submitted a question to come back to our joint email about if one could block incoming certain telephone numbers. They have never answered.

I called the Costco Pharmacy in Union Gap/Yakima to be sure we were set for picking up John’s refill of Tamsulosin and mine of Atorvastatin (both 90 tablets, 3 months worth). We agreed to do it this Friday afternoon. (There is a 10-day shelf limit from when it is filled.)

I stayed home today, working on projects needing attention that have been ignored while I was sick and not feeling up to doing anything but getting well. I made much progress working on things today. Unfortunately, I sadly have much more left to do. I need to take more days off like this.I showed John my problem with the fluoride treatment I have to do on my teeth, last thing before going to bed. It was prescribed by my dentist, requires a prescription, and they sell it there at a lower price ($15) than at any pharmacy. It’s Prevident 5000 toothpaste gel in a 3.4 ounce container.
I have been having difficulty getting the small amount of gel out of the container (which is hard plastic and needs to be pushed on the sides). My hands were not up to the job. John looked at it, and suggested storing it on my bathroom counter, upside down, so all the gel would move “down” to the lid dispenser. That procedure worked fast (so this evening I barely had to squeeze it to get the small amount required on the brush head). Then I must brush for 2 minutes, spitting out during the process (no swallowing allowed). Now I just leave it sitting on its head, rather than the base. Nowhere in the instructions is this suggested, and the dental assistant was also not aware of it. John’s mom, Peg (Marguerite), claimed she raised smart kids. Not exactly how she expressed it, but more politely.

Wednesday, Apr 11

John left for pruning – last row of vines is in sight. He will come home, get the truck, and pick up the riding lawnmower this afternoon.

I was going to call Colgate, to ask about getting a different container of paste, but I called Cheryl, the receptionist, instead and told her John’s finding, so I will just continue buying it from them at the lower price.

I received a call from Mary at Confluence Health (for Dr. Lisa Stone, the endocrinologist who examined my medical issues and suspected thyroid issues last fall) about my recent Thyroid lab tests (just last week). All are fine, and I will follow up in November with my PCP but if I ever want to see her again, I am just to call and request a visit. That beats all the rigmarole of getting a referral through my PCP. She is mailing me my lab results because I was unable to request them to go to my PCP (at the same hospital through which he is registered and uses). I now will have to have them sent to him and to my cardiologist from medical records (at the local hospital where the lab draw was made). This is a glitch in their new computer scheduling system. No longer can they be given to another doctor. That’s not right. We get smarter professionals and dumber systems.

I went to the Food Bank Soup Kitchen for playing music, and took my own crafted salad for lunch. Afterwards, I went on to afternoon SAIL exercise at the AAC with Evelyn leading.

I sent this and a bunch of links to many of our Native American acquaintances and friends. It was in our local newspaper.

Links I sent about Russell Jim are below:

An excellent coverage is in the Yakima Herald at the funeral.  Be sure to watch the ending video, with Dana Miller (my former student) leading off.

Yakama Elder service

The obituary
Russell Jim – Obituary

One more article with a meaningful description.
Russell Jim – Burial Description

Thursday, Apr 12

It rained all night and now is blowing hard.

John left for pruning. Janie, Washington Tractor, is in today and tomorrow expecting John. With the riding mower fixed, we are getting a 15 gallon pull-behind sprayer. This has a 5 foot wide spraying boom and a hose for spot spraying. Weeds are a serious issue on the Naneum Fan.

Called in the count to Meadows Place; we’ll be using almost all of their chairs, but will not need to use the piano bench.

I completed work on Form 4868 Income Tax Extension and sent the check with the form from the USPS certified, after playing music and visiting the AAC to turn in a survey about the use there.

I finished several more chores before leaving after 1:00 for music. Passed John on Naneum Rd on his way home!

John brought 2 bottles of Trinidad Red wine home, which we have to try with dinner this weekend. The “red” in the name is for two reasons. Obviously it is a red wine. Also, while most of the vineyard is yellowish sand (left in the backwater of a gigantic Ice Age flood), this section is the lowest. It is rocky and has a fine red silt among the basalt rocks. Most of this area has no posts or trellis, so plants grow like a small bush. Most pruning is done while kneeling.

The wine is a multi-blend of grapes, and the year he made this was 2014. Cameron only made a small amount, perhaps one barrel with the first year of production, then 5 barrels last year. The vines are young, but this coming year’s harvest will be much larger. Regardless, it is very special. I looked at the back of the bottle to find out the numerous varietals represented in the blend. I was so intrigued by the information on the label, that we shall reproduce it here. We hope it is readable on your screen. Perhaps we won’t have a taste this weekend. We’ll have to wait for the right ambiance and meal ingredients.

John went to pick up the riding lawnmower and the pull-behind sprayer. He’d showed me the sprayer yesterday. They are still in the back of the truck in our hay shed, awaiting John’s planting of the strawberries. Pruning finished at 5 minutes to Noon today. This completed the work, so he will be home a lot more during the day. It’s been a long time pruning, with starting in February this year.

Friday, Apr 13

We were on the way to Yakima, leaving after 12:30 p.m., and dropped a printed copy of the WTA information for trail worker volunteers and upcoming events to Janie at WA Tractor.

We went first by Big Five on Nob Hill with my shoes and receipt from last September. Problem was that my right ankle bone was being severely irritated by the height of the heel piece on my shoestring tied shoes. I checked out models other than Dr. Scholl’s and came away with two new pairs I got today. I turned in a brand new pair of Dr. Scholl’s (black), identical to the old pair from Sept, 2017 for a refund of my purchase price applied to the two new pairs. I got a new pair of walking shoes black with laces, men’s 7.5, brand is Rugged Exposure, and a pair of lighter running shoes black, with good support; brand, Asics Jolt. They gave me the last sale price charged and deducted the refund, leaving me owing $12.96 for the exchange. I feel very satisfied.
John has been buying boots at Big Five for trail work. Along with shovels, picks, Pulaskis, and other tools, boots are one of the most important, as they get used tool-like, and show it.

I also wore my tan walking shoes with 2 Velcro connectors each, and asked about the unraveling that was occurring on the Velcro fasteners, and other seams on the leather shoes. They no longer carry them, and had them only in black. I like having the lighter color, so I kept them. And, they fit me well. Interestingly, they are also the Rugged Exposure brand.

From there we went to Costco. First, stop was for gasoline ($2.899/gal, 10¢ cheaper than EBRG). Once inside the warehouse, I detoured and went to the pharmacy to pick up and pay for John’s prescription and also one for me. I was expecting a reduction in total price from other pharmacies, but his was even better, lower by $6.53 (on the GoodRX price). John proceeded around the store to get stuff we needed and I met up with him later at the meat department. We decided to get a special deli meatloaf dinner with gold Yukon potatoes, to have for supper when we finally got home. John had bought some fresh mushrooms while there, and enhanced our dinner with them, fried.

We arrived for our appointment at Subaru Service for fixing my Bluetooth to allow me to call again on my cell phone (hands free). Until recently, it has worked fine for the entire time I have had the car, and with this particular phone (flip Doro) for almost 2 years. First, when we checked in at 3:30, they had a ton of people needing serviced, but I had carried along my computer, so I went to the waiting room and worked on a few emails. John went to visit with our car guy, Mat in the Hat.

The service happenings become a very involved story, which I’ll try to simplify for this posting. The first thing to determine was if the service was covered on my extended warranty. Yes, it would be, and with no deductible. That was a good sign.
The rest of the visit is not as great. Supposedly, 2014 Foresters only support two phone types over Bluetooth, and these are: LG, Nexus 5X (H790) and Huawei, Nexus 6P (H1511). These are both Smart Phones.

NO ONE at the dealership knows why I have successfully used it previously. The only alternative the service department had was, “You’ll have to change cell phone provider or buy a new “approved” phone through them.” Neither solution is satisfactory to me.

I complained to our sales rep, “Mat in the Hat,” who has sold us 4 vehicles there, 3 Subaru cars over the years and our Ford truck. He decided to get in my car and try his hand at it. He figured out a work-around, by using the voice recognition feature, which I detest, but I can do. The real drawback is I will have to reset the settings every time I turn off the engine. However, for road travel, it is better than nothing at all. I either need a new car – John’s is 2 years newer and works – or a new phone. That’s John, the sales rep, and the service person speaking. I’m perfectly happy with my car, and just spent a ton of money on its 30,000 mile service. Plus, it is paid for!

Saturday, Apr 15

I called Ruth Harrington, about plans for getting the pecan pie to her by April 29th for the ice cream/pie social appreciation to all members of Scholarship luncheon groups, past and present. I have been a member of the 4th Friday group since 1988. I found out she wants me just to bring the pie early (1:45) to Lombard Hall, and in a pan I can leave. I also told her John would not be coming (because he anticipates being on a WTA trip that day). She was disappointed because he has been a supporter since the first. When he was still in Idaho, and I was in Ellensburg, teaching my first year before he moved over with the rest of the family, he made his mom’s pecan pies to share at scholarship luncheons, when I was the hostess, or at the Christmas potluck. She knows all about his volunteer work for WTA on trail maintenance and understands his commitment.

John took me on a tour of his newly created strawberry beds in the newer garden you saw being tilled last week. He finished leveling and supporting them today, and tomorrow, assuming no or light rain, he will have a chance to plant.Part of the fence has been taken down and internal partitions, stakes and so on have been cleaned out. Then this little area was tilled. Photos above and below (left) show the part that will need a fence, several of the beds, filled with the newly tilled material – silt, sand, leaves, horse apples, pine needles, and more. The wood for construction came from a friend (the 2 x 4s); they were her porch – the crosspieces are slats from pallets. Our house and shed are in the background. John is leveling the boxes, and filling with soil and more sand. Tomatoes and squash will also be in this garden that gets full sun, but it is still too cold for those. After I took these photos, he sprayed the weeds there.

I came inside to work on dishes and clothes washing, and John came in before noon to fix brunch. I also continued working on the blog and on music duties for the upcoming May & June play list for our weekly dates.

Meanwhile I was sending off the collared doves and red-winged blackbirds who steal food from the quail, but mostly from the finches, juncos, and other smaller birds.

John came in to tell me the skunk was back, and he had to repair more of the front fence to keep him out. He folds chicken wire on the ground outside the fence about 2’ and secures it up outside the 4” woven wire fence. Now he has returned to the strawberry beds construction.

Sunday, Apr 8

I was awakened too early, before light, with batteries warning beeping in another room on an inside outside digital temperature gauge. Finally, figured out and took it outside, where it still was bothering me. While up, I looked out the kitchen window and saw the horses in part of the yard where we did not want them overnight. John went and moved them back into the pasture, and secured the gate. I tried going back to sleep, but it didn’t work. I will have to have an afternoon nap for sure.

Now John has just returned and will be fixing brunch, before returning to plant strawberries.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan