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