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