Fresh taste of Washington

Did you have a map with symbols to alert you to a thing that would remind you of that area? Georgia had cotton or peanuts. Iowa – hogs. Pennsylvania had the Liberty Bell. Washington State had a fir tree. Kittitas County (center) has 15. John found this ‘very busy’ map while looking for 2019 information about the State’s agricultural harvest. Looks to be a great year.

Meanwhile, our yellow plums need picked and the red with yellow blush type are not far behind. We started with 5 types, now 4, and they ripen about 2 weeks apart.Our side yard, photographed today (8-25-19)

I meant to include photos-while-hiking. John hiked the Denny Creek Trail and took an early morning image of Keekwulee Falls {Chinook word meaning “to fall down”}. At Melakwa Lake {“mosquito”} John met Jay Schram, a WTA Orange Hat with whom he frequently works. So right side photo is of John by Jay at the 4,500 ft. alpine lake. There’s a link below to the Google photos of John’s hike Aug 13 last week, as promised. There are ~40 photos.

John’s August 13th hike from the Denny Creek Trail to Melakwa Lake

Please view the link above before moving on to view the next link, which has some of the photos from the WTA work parties on Aug 16-18th at Denny Creek, taken mostly by the crew leader (Blue Hat) LeeAnne Jensen, with a few others from Assistant Crew Leader [ACL] (Orange Hat) John Swiggert. The Green Hats are volunteers, some on their first day of trail work. John H. is an ACL but wasn’t taking any photos.

Below is the link to John’s Friday column in this blog, “Not So Nasty News, Aug 23rd,” with story about 3 WTA work days, which we couldn’t report last week because no pictures had yet arrived.
John provided a description of a project tackled on the trail. Numerous folks cut brush on all 3 days, but we’ll skip photos. The trail starts in an area where logging took place a hundred years ago. His explanation starts with that and links to a video (newer) and many photographs (historic). After all that, he gets to the trail repair project.

Refer to John’s, Not So Nasty News – August 23rd

Something else from last week:

Kittitas Audubon Annual Potluck Thursday, 8/15, 5:00 – 7:00. Here John is visiting with Kristin Ashley also her sidekicks, behind them, Teri Anderson from Audubon (Seattle), and Emma Lemert, helping Kristin with promotion of the Shrub-Steppe Celebration, Sept 14, at the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center.

Photos at Aug 15 Meeting KAS Annual Picnic

If anyone else took photos that night you would like to share with others in the KAS, this link is shareable, so you can upload your photos. Or, you can send to me and I will add them.

Sunday, August 18

John went again (3rd day in a row) to Denny Creek WTA trail work crew, leaving at 6:53 a.m. I slept in until 9:00 a.m.

My goals today were to finish washing dishes, spend a couple hours finishing the blog, and put receipts into the TurboTax software.

I didn’t get very far, and it’s almost time for brunch. Several interruptions included an email from Bob & Suzy West that Suzy’s mom, Burniece Orcutt died yesterday at 2:30 p.m. I’m glad we got to visit our last time playing music at the Rehab center, 3 weeks ago. She wasn’t feeling well then but came down at my request, to listen to the music. She and her husband Lee (deceased now), I met at the Senior Center in the early 1990s, when our group went on Friday afternoons to play music for the ballroom dancing group of seniors. Interesting, because it wasn’t until the late 1990s that I met Bob West as my student at CWU. He is married to one of the Orcutt clan, Suzy.
Suzy is one of 12 children. They adopted us into their family for all major holiday events or any celebrations at their house in a rural area north of Kittitas, WA on Fox Rd. We were also invited to other family members’ houses for special things.

Today, I learned of errors in Jacquie Lawson database & received emails from there (the United Kingdom) this morning. While fixing one, I found another item from our Idaho past, about Jack Hemingway’s death, and took time to research that (story below).

I had sent an anniversary card to friends from long ago, who now have moved to Boise, ID and are teaching there, Dawn (Tjemsland) & Victor Estrella. Dawn was my CWU student long ago, and we have worked on projects together about San Leandro, CA, where she checked out my remotely sensed imagery on the ground and took photographs for me. They used to live in the Bay Area, and when I went to an AAG (American Association of Geographers) conference there one year, I stayed in their house, and road the BART metropolitan rail system to get back and forth. They occasionally come to Ellensburg for a visit, and when they do, they time it to stop for lunch (our treat), on a Thursday, and we borrow an Accordion for Victor to join us at our assisted-living home that week. It’s always fun to have him play with our group.

I got on Facebook to see what they were doing for their anniversary and found they were in Hailey, ID and the Sun Valley, ID area celebrating. They posted photos with this lead in: “Road our bikes from Ernest Hemingway memorial in Sun Valley to downtown Hailey.”

This is a great example of a Rails to Trails project to conserve the scenic beauty of the forest and rivers, building walking & biking trails on old railroad right-of-ways. The Big Wood River was important in the Hemingway family’s lives near Ketchum, ID. Below are on a few photos taken on their bicycle ride. Top photos show the river crossing; bottom photos show the eulogy at the base of the Memorial, beside a nearby stream.

The Memorial Statue was created in 1966, by Jack, for the family. This quote was a 1939 eulogy Ernest Hemingway wrote for a friend killed in a hunting mishap: “Best of all he loved the fall, the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods, leaves floating on the trout streams and above the hills, the high blue windless skies; Now he will be part of them forever.”Memorial with Ernest’s sculptured bust atop monument;
photos by Melissa W, and Kristi (obtained on-line)

This research reminded me of our connection to the Hemingway family. We once sold a Brittany pup from our house in Troy, ID to Jack Hemingway. I’m not sure how he originally found out we were Brittany breeders, but it may have been while John was managing a bookstore at the Moscow Mall (in Moscow, ID), where we had been teaching at the Univ. of Idaho since 1974. They used ½ of our position to hire a new Assistant Dean and department head in the Geography Department there. It was John’s choice to have them keep me on half time teaching, and for him to step out and get another job (hence, being the manager of a bookstore). There, he invited book authors in for signing parties, to autograph their books, sell books, and gave the opportunity for fans to meet the authors. John invited Jack to come to the Idaho panhandle.
{The book was: Misadventures of a Fly Fisherman: My Life with and without Papa } They must have talked hunting dogs while he was there.

He loved his Brittany from us, and kept in excellent touch about all his antics and hunting trips, plus they visited us every time he was in the region. One thing he taught his dog was to go down the long driveway at his house in south-central Idaho, and retrieve the morning paper to his hand. It was delivered (thrown out) at the end of the driveway.

I knew that Jack was older than us, but not that he had died, until while searching for his name I found his obituary with this information: John (Jack) Hadley Nicanor Hemingway, angler and conservationist, born October 10, 1923; died December 1, 2000. He died with complications from open heart surgery in New York City.

The year we met would have been in the mid 1980s.

Gave Annie her ½ pill Rimadyl at 1:00 p.m. Fixed brunch finally finishing late at 1:45.

Change of topic to our temperature examinations. Morning sun causes the house front to warm.

At 10:53 a.m., house is 70° & outside is 77.5°; at KELN is 75°.

At 11:53 a.m., house is 70° & outside is 79.9°; at KELN is 78°.

I missed any more temp reportings. We are keeping track of this because a climatologist at UW Atmospheric Sciences Department is in contact with us about the Ellensburg airport (KELN) weather station reports. Many weather reporting sites are at airports and look like this:The temperature sensors will “read high” at times and need attention (fans replaced?). Our airport (KELN) is 175 miles from the Pendleton office of the NWS. They don’t appear to be in a hurry to come north to check on this.

You may see a similar set of instruments at your favorite airport. Image below shows where to look at Atlanta’s Hartsfield:At 2:53 p.m., house is 76° & outside is 83.1°; at KELN is 86°.

At 4:20 p.m. at airport 86 via Hungry Junction Road in John’s car. KELN was 87° at 3:53.

Now here at 4:23 outside is 83.5° and the a/c in house is at 77°.

John got home at 5:00 p.m., pretty tired. They were 1.5 miles in from the trailhead. A lot of rocks and dirt got moved. You may have already looked at his report, which I noted at the beginning of this blog, but if not, … go for it. His report explains, with photos.
a click here will take you there

He put a pizza in the oven for us with our cherry tomatoes, grated pineapple, ham, and whatever was on the pizza to begin with. He probably added onion as well – we have many.

We didn’t have any dessert, but worked on finishing up the blog, and got it published at 11:00 p.m.

Monday, August 19

I called Jennifer at The Law Office, about onions delivery by John today. Done – John delivered in the bucket she had brought us large apricots earlier.
Much work on projects the rest of the day.

Tuesday, August 20

I worked all day on taxes, sorting and filing. John would have done all his normal chores.
Our friends checked our Bi-Mart numbers and we won nothing, but they won a 44-ounce bag of Trail Mix. John would have loved that gift!

Wednesday, August 21

I needed to know my costs for Medic Alert database, for the bracelet I wear 24/7 for my medical details (allergies, and contact to my medical records), if ever needed by an EMT. It took me a large amount of time on the phone, trying to find out the simple thing I called for. So much security for no apparent reason. I did not have details and needed them.
It costs me $119.99 for 3 years ($40/yr), next to need renewal is 3/20/2020. Finally found out I was getting it in 2013 for one year (higher price), but in 2014 switched to 3 yrs, and renewed last in 2017 for 3 yrs, hence the ending and time for the next renewal is March, 2020.
My password had expired (for unknown reasons). Juanita finally changed the password back to what it should be. No one knows why it expired because I used it last year. I now know my username is my ID number (which is engraved on my metal part of the bracelet. My password is now set to what it was (which both John I will know without doubt or looking anywhere). When my life calms down and I submit my TurboTax form, I will get on to update my medical record.

I just figured out my timing for FISH music today. Arrive by 11:35. Leave home at 11:00 – load the 2 bags of containers, violin, red bag with ID and drink. Hope my head stops aching.
It did and the day went perfectly. I drove my car to the food place at the back of the Liberty Theater, John went with me, and helped unload. He then drove my car to other necessary stops to deliver and pick up stuff, coming back to pick me up after 12:30 p.m.

We had unloaded two bags of bottles for C.M. Bechard, and a bag holding a plastic container with 64 ounces of cherry tomatoes John had picked, 7 brown lunch bags to pack them in to give away, my Ensure/Yogurt drink, violin, and red bag with my entry card for Senior Nutrition (a federal program the Food Bank gets money from to fix the community free lunches (Mon -Thur). They had finally set up the computer screen to accept our FISH ID number for our time playing music (counts our time there volunteering), but I forgot my number to enter; my time was recorded by Lindsay. I need to remember to take that next week. It’s been 8 months since we had to check in that way when we were at the FISH Food Bank behind Mercer Creek Church. I couldn’t pull it from my memory bank, but I have it written down, and will use the proper screen login next week. It stores the time entered and the time of checkout, name, and reason (playing music on Wednesdays).

I am completely in charge next week because Evelyn Heflen is going away for next week to Lake Tahoe on a volunteer work “mission” for the Sierra Club. I don’t know all the details, but it’s a nice vacation opportunity for her and mutual friend, Karen Johnson, to experience. I suggested some memories I have of my visits there, and encouraged them to do the scenic drive around the lake, stopping at all the view points and interpretative centers from the hills above to the wetlands below. They have one day off for their own pursuits.

Back to today’s happenings. I was the first to arrive, and found that Robert (from the audience), had already set up our chairs. He then went down and brought down the metal music stand and then retrieved the cart filled with our music and folding music stands. Evelyn brought in the rest of the books, in a separate wheeled container, which she is going to leave for the rest of the group to use, next week. When I got the carrier that belongs to me, I found that in the past 3 weeks while I was away, after having my foot injured, someone had unraveled the tie for tightening the top of the carrier bag. It was completely out of the holder around the top of the bag, and had been thrown into the bottom of the bag. I couldn’t thread it back in, but when Ken & Joanie arrived, I showed Ken (Mr. Fix-It) the problem. He worked on it quite a while, but succeeded fixing it better than when I bought it at a yard sale several years ago. It is from Hawaii. It’s a cloth bag with top, zippered pocket in the rear, and comfortable large handle to pull it behind (on wheels). We store it at the other end of the building in a closet off the main social room (near the Kitchen and place for hanging folding chairs).

I called the eye doctor after finding that tax medical deductions for eyes, are covered when itemizing medical deductions on income tax. I have been unaware of this, because somewhere on the web I read it was only for out-of-pocket costs not covered by insurance for dental needs and medical (services, medications). However, very recently, while inputting information into TurboTax computer software, I found it does allow and ask for all things associated with the costs for eye care, including glasses, exams, surgery, etc. Once home today, I called Valley Vision, and talked with Gillian to see if she had access to past records for us. She is mailing all our summaries by year to me going out in Thursday morning’s mail. I should have it by Friday or Saturday at the latest. (It arrived in Saturday’s mail).

Our temperatures today have mostly been cool (clouded over) in the 70s. Very nice. One high at the airport was 81, but their sensors have been reading high for days; on hot windless days mostly.

Thursday, August 22

Started the morning with several calls for yearly tax records from Sullivan Dental (received), Yakima Heart Center (no out of pocket; all covered by insurance), Darrell Tew Oral Surgery (received – paid over $2000), Canyon View Physical Therapy (all covered by insurance), Cascade Foot & Ankle (received totals; tallying totals now), KVH Cle Elum Clinic (all covered by insurance), Orthopedics Northwest (is postal mailing them); only charge was for CD of Shoulder X-ray, $16. Rest was covered by insurance.

Today was the play date for the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends. We had a small player turn-out, but a noble one, at Hearthstone, and everyone in the audience very much appreciated our being there. We had guitars, Charlotte, Sharon, Manord, & Gerald, Harmonica, Dean, Fiddlers, Nancy & Joanie, and Tim on his Cittern, a special type of Mandolin. We enjoyed having a large audience, with lots of singers.

Friday, August 23

We both worked on projects all day.

At 7:11 p.m. we heard 3 or 4 gunshots tonight from across the creek. We have no clue. {Skunks? Coyotes? Cougars?}

Saturday, August 24

I slept in until 8:00 a.m.

I worked some on dishes and many other chores, but I intended to work all day on taxes (haven’t really gotten there until almost 3:00).

John and critters went out for morning chores. Until 12:45 today, it was clouded over and relatively cool.
Temperature data from KELN today was:
11:53 a.m. 74° w/ NW Wind 23 / Gusts 33
12:53 p.m. 77° w/ WNW Wind 23 / Gusts 32; home 74.8°
1:53 p.m. 78° w/ W Wind 26 / Gusts 35; home 75.4°

I wrote the Sept 8th at Meadows BBQ on the calendar (Sunday, 1:00-3:00). Sharon’s group of three is playing music. It’s being held outside in the parking lot. Be sure to take my comfortable padded chair for finding shade in the parking lot under a tree. I’ll get there early for the best spot for me and my car.

We had brunch of eggs, sausage, cantaloupe, and English Muffin bread toast (my favorite).
Back to taxes. I got my new Microsoft Suite Excel spreadsheet working for calculating a column (or row) of totals. I had not tried any of the new version which has changed from the old 2003 version I once had on my computer. That was a milestone.

We continued working much of the evening. Had a nice supper of a loaded salad. Mine included Iceberg lettuce, smoked turkey cubes, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, pistachios, small red grapes, blue cheese dressing, with Cheez-its for croutons.

Sunday, August 25

Check on Sirius XM soon.

Find out if Medical Insurance Premiums are deductible as an expense. If Long Term Care is, they should be, and I have that data on my monthly bank statements!! YES!! The $400 something dollars we pay Kaiser Permanente is our out of pocket cost, paid out of our checking account withdrawal monthly.
Also, all medical mileage can be deducted, which I knew.

Backed up (at John’s great suggestion), my current TurboTax form on a separate flash drive to store away from the house. I am also backing it up on my external hard drive always connected to my laptop.

John fixed a nice supper tonight; fried onions with fried breast of chicken, red grapes, tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli.

He went to bed early to get up and go tomorrow a.m. on a hike.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan