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