Monday, Oct 7
I was in the house for the most part, but did take a trip up to the end of the driveway, with my camera, to record John’s latest landscaping project to plant a new tulip garden around a pine tree. He will have to encircle with a fence, however, because deer love to eat tulips.
He’s having to dig through bunches of rocks of various sizes because of our location on an alluvial fan. I took photos of the process and will only put a couple here, but will store the whole tour in one link on Google Photos to share with you. John put a photo in last week’s blog to show you the pretty peach color they will be.
Above left to right: Spot at the end of the driveway, tulip bed to be around the middle tree. Rocks are removed and sifted, with dirt retained and added to mixture with sand and manure to use as the soil. The mixture is growing to the left, in the left-most photo. Our truck load of sand is slowly diminishing as projects like this, or the garden, need a gritty addition. As for leaves, pine needles, and horse manure – we have a limitless supply. The rocks go for other projects.
Our feral cats and dog come along as companions. You’ll see their photos in the set below.
I encourage you to take the Google Photos tour of the northeast edge of our property, below. Be sure to have the Info set and look at each photo with the information to the right of the photograph. Click on the link below to be transported to the photos:
We went to town and picked up a package from a friend, and then went on to Super 1 pharmacy to our favorite pharmacist for a flu shot for each of us. That went well and while there, we also picked up a prescription for me.
On to the bank to deposit 3 checks. Two were refunds from the doctor because they had billed both of us for work because our deductible was not yet paid. I knew it had been, but they wanted it, so I wrote the check. We were refunded over $50. Crazy! The other was a tax refund check, which paid for my time and effort itemizing all my medical deductions to get more money off than taking the standard deduction allows.
From there to Safeway for another prescription for John (through GoodRx), and to get some Progresso soup on sale at a good price, 99₵/can if we purchased 8. We like one type more than any other, so that’s all we got. Wild rice with chicken & veggies. Then we always add something more to it, such as mushrooms.
Tuesday, Oct 8
I first went to the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center (Senior Center) for a Senior Advisory Commission meeting.
When it was over, I went to the hospital lab for a recheck on my INR for my blood thinner. It was lower than expected so we will be rechecking it again next Tuesday.
Checked our numbers at Bi-Mart and we won nothing. I went by Safeway for my $3.00 refund.
John stayed home to meet a technician from Brad & Burke to winterize our Heat Pump. He opened the unit and found the connection to the power supply with a serious issue. Connections are made using a plastic wire-nut – red, yellow, and orange, in the photo. The photo is from the web. John didn’t think to take a photo.
In this photo, only the red wire-nut is still intact. A connection once covered by the orange nut got hot and burned that connection. That damaged the yellow one, also. Although not this far along, our main power wire was close to burning through its connection to the heat-pump. Off went the circuit breaker; repairs needed but the service tech is not an electrician so for the next 24 hours our house had to be heated in another way. John immediately set up a couple of oil-filled electric heaters of the style shown here. These kept the house warm, not toasty, overnight.
When I got home I set about making contact with our electrician friend Jennifer, but had to call her sister first.
I worked on some surplus clothes. They are in a bag to take to Karen tomorrow for the Cancer Thrift Store.
The leather jacket is in a bag to take to WTA event at 6:00 at Iron Horse Brewery. We have another solution to get the coat back to Seattle’s main WTA office to our friend Kara there.
WTA staff from Seattle decided against coming across the snow-covered pass, and Beth Macinko stepped in, coming down from Leavenworth to lead the proceedings and introduce our two speakers Oct 8, in Ellensburg, WA:
• Michelle Capp, Cle Elum District Ranger for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
• Ethan Lockwood, Public Engagement Coordinator for the
Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Below is a link to the still photos taken that evening, by Beth Macinko and me:
Google Photos WTA Meeting, Iron Horse Brewery, 10-8-19
Ethan and Michelle shared their in-depth knowledge of recreation in the Upper Yakima Basin – a region that stretches from the Stuart Range to the North, the Yakama Reservation to the South, the Cascade Crest to the West, and the communities of Yakima and Ellensburg to the East. This landscape corresponds with the eastern portions of Kittitas & Yakima Counties.
We were invited to the meeting at the Iron Horse Brewery & Pub, to eat, raise a glass with friends and chat about the places where we all love to play outside. Our feedback will help shape the future of sustainable recreation in the entire Upper Yakima Basin.
Another two such planning meetings are scheduled for Nov 1 and 2 in Ellensburg and Cle Elum.
Wednesday, Oct 9
We were awakened this morning by 4 raccoons climbing and making noises out front. Oops! We forgot to bring a bowl of cat food in last night. John thinks this was a mama with offspring. We had not seen any since last year.
Good we were awakened, because we had to leave for Hearthstone at 8:20 for a retired geographers meeting. I had to stay in town, and John had to get home before 11:30 to meet Jennifer to have her fix the electrical connection.
We left with utensils, plates, for Jo’s homemade apple cake. I took my violin in out of the cold, to take for music at Food Bank.
John started with feeding pressed pellets, flaked corn, and apples to Myst. She appears to be gaining weight. They are all getting hay.
When I got home, I checked my computer and found this photo posted by my friend since 6th grade, “Nancy J” (Maude Buscek). She changed her name later in life, from Nancy to Maude. I knew her as Nancy Johnson and I was “Nancy B” (Nancy Brannen). We sang around town at events as a pair, using guitars.
Sand hill Cranes in Michigan in a local park, by Maude Buszek
There is a migration south through Washington, centered near Othello, an hour east of us. The 23rd annual festival will be next March, with 35,000 cranes expected. This sunset was tonight in the Kittitas Valley by Lise McGowan.
Thursday, Oct 10
John stayed home hoping to get a couple of projects completed before snow falls. Freezing temperatures have already occurred, but most days have been nice.
Brunch was created by John: a blueberry/pecan pancake, one egg over easy, and thin ham.
I arranged for the chairs for this afternoon’s music at Meadows Place, and was surprised that 4 more people showed up than originally planned. We had enough chairs and space to accommodate them. Had expected 8, and ended up with a dozen. It went well, and the audience was happy to add voices to the music.
Supper was different for each of us. John had pork steak, fries, and peaches, I had a pre-frozen dinner, Roasted Turkey, potatoes, dressing, gravy, green beans & carrots; and peaches.
I spent time on computer projects, and email. We are going to bed early.
Friday, Oct 11
We are staying home today, except for my taking one short trip a little over an hour, to go fill my gas tank. Price of gas is very high now. I drove to Exxon, and found it for $3.15/gal. I also went by the feed store to buy more Senior Equine for Myst. John’s feeding about 10#/day.
Came home and found things to do I wasn’t planning on. Heard about the unexpected death of a friend. Her son doesn’t hear well so we communicate via e-mail. He was a student at CWU, and from that we met her, then living in Montana. She moved here, but was traveling (NYC) when she died. That’s all we know, now.
I added some photos from Tuesday night taken by Beth Macinko to the photos I had put out on Google Photos.
With the power outages in CA, we wondered how friends in Eureka were coping. We spent 48 minutes with Michelle & Bruce Seivertson. They had just one day with no grid power, but had a generator. Mostly we just caught up with visiting.
Saturday, Oct 12
We had our lunch: blueberry pecan pancake (BPP) and peaches for me; BPP and the remainder of the pork steak for John. A couple of years ago one of the grocery stores had a sale on 3 pound bags of frozen blueberries. They should have been used by now, so we are catching up with that.
The event of the day: a 2-year old’s birthday and Family Reunion of folks we have known since 1975. We’re invited. Natalie and her family, Mike, Nora, Natalie, and Sarah
Sarah and Mike Sandman are the parents, living 6 miles from us. Mike’s mother (Christina) thinks we first met her when she was 14.
The party started mid-afternoon with us getting home a little before 8:00 p.m. This was their oldest girl, Natalie’s 2nd birthday party. Younger sister is Eleanor (Nora), 6 months.
The party included supper with several kinds of pizza and salads, dips, chips, and with cake and cherry ice cream for dessert. At the dinner table, with John, Bob & Karen Oppie (great grandparents), Nancy reminiscing about our entry into the family in 1975 through field trials and Brittanys.
Opening gifts Saturday @ party & Sunday AM Natalie with Ponies
Our gift (a set of colorful plastic ponies) for Natalie had 3 bows on it with a nice card with pink on it in a pink envelope. We carried it in a gift bag with a horse on each side, which Natalie noticed as we arrived. All is reminiscent of our meeting the great grandparents of the little girl in 1975 field trialing our Brittanys (with horses). We have been part of the family since then; gone to most of the Oppies’s children’s weddings, and to many family celebration parties near Issaquah and Maple Valley. This was a combined family party with kids and adults, from as far away as Redmond, OR, for two great grandparents.
Myst did not get her extra Senior Equine grain and apples tonight because it was dark when we got home.
I managed to get dental deductions added to a tax form tonight via an Excel spreadsheet.
Sunday, Oct 13
Up early when awakened by the rain at 4:30 a.m., and back to bed.
John, Annie, and Czar have been out to feed Myst, get the mail from yesterday.
John returned Annie & Czar and then finished mowing part of the backyard that is fenced. I stayed in to take care of bill paying, organizing the mail, and other needs with the computer system.
I spent a bunch of time getting our Chase VISA account for Amazon.com fixed to get monthly statements for the medical records needed for taxes. Now tomorrow I have to call the phone number for Chase to see if I can request changing the pharmacy bills to be recognized as medical prescription payments and not as groceries. Reason is because Chase provides a 2% rebate, but only if it says Pharmacy, which my actual receipt does, but that is not reflected on the account.
This month’s statement had $119.06 for three different pharmacies – Kaiser Permanente Mail Order Pharmacy (filed under Health & Wellness (need to check to see if the discount was applied), Super 1 and Safeway (filed under groceries). If all are considered as they should be, this payment would be decreased by $ 2.38.
Well, on Sunday afternoon, I called Customer service and got through to an agent who clarified I was getting the 2% from Kaiser Permanente but only 1% from the Grocery Stores (Safeway and Super 1 Pharmacies) because of the set up the merchants have with Chase. I’ll call both managers of the grocery stores to see if they can separate the Pharmacy from the Grocery store, but my guess is it won’t happen. I’ll continue to use my Amazon.com Prime card to pay for all my medications.
At least I will have them all on the same account listing.
I received photos taken yesterday at the birthday party, and downloaded them to put in the blog above. Thanks to Jeff Sandman (father of Mike) for sending them to me this morning.
I’ve been working on finishing the blog, and organizing other things, loading dishes, and washing them so we have stuff to eat from and with.
I’m also processing the photos I took on Monday of John making a new tulip garden, by moving a lot of rocks from our Naneum Alluvial Fan! You’ve had a chance to see that story through Google Photos above, and if you missed it, go back up for a tour.
Next thing is to put in all my medications for the week – a normal Sunday chore.
We had our brunch and are back at work. John came in and fixed a can of Progresso Soup with chicken wild rice & veggies, adding a bunch of mixed vegetables from a frozen package. In addition, on the side, we had chicken nuggets and French fries. That will tide us over until supper.
Wind gusted to 30 mph today, and with recent freezing, leaves and walnuts are falling. We have two Black Walnuts along the driveway, so John cleans those off before they get smashed under the car tires. This was a low-yield year, so it isn’t going to be a big issue – just a nuisance.
Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan