People take photos

Monday, Nov 18

Beginning with two sunrise photos from my photographer friends in the Kittitas Valley, Lise and Evie.Barn Raising by Lise McGowan
This is a reconstruction in process of their barn destroyed by high winds that collapsed the barn onto their pickup totaling it, and flew a large piece of the roof into the window of their 2-story house. No animals or people were injured, thankfully.

Railroad house in Kittitas, WA by Evie Schuetz

Evie says: “That railroad house is right at the end of my street. There’s no story to it, it’s just been the neighborhood beacon as long as I’ve been alive. Pete said it was the water filling station for steam engines, but I don’t know how he would know that.”
[John guesses: this is a building that held a small wind-mill as shown in the (left) photo below. The bottom of the tank holding water need not be but a little bit higher than the storage tank on the train. Because water is heavy, the structure holding water (waiting for a train) has to be strong. Both tank holding structures have large “legs” that are vertical. The structures holding the blades to catch the wind (& pump water) are angled out as they come down. These have to deal with vibrations, but not a lot of weight.]

[Evie’s photo looks at the west end of the two buildings – the door faces north. The tracks would have been to the right, about 40 feet from the center. Sufficient room for a tank.]Called Bi-Mart, talked to Jordan, about GoodSense Artificial Tears problem, and will take mine in tomorrow to demo. Hopefully, he will take my warning today, for Megan (the buyer, who had already left the store), to remove them from the shelf.

Tuesday, Nov 19

I started at the Community Clothing Center to take by a donation of underclothes from friend that were too large for me; while there, I checked for some work shirts and stuff for John, and found several things for him (which I haven’t yet had time to show him), and two pair of socks and a knitted bucket hat for me made of St. Patrick’s Day colors. The neatest thing that happened was a chance meeting with the two women from Montana who are over to help Glenn sort out the craft things for weaving (looms, etc.) and knitting yarn from Anne’s estate to return to her friends in Montana. I thanked them and told them I would see them later at the house.

As I was coming out of the ECCC, I got a phone call from friend who wanted to deliver a document to me, so I told him where I would be in a few minutes (and he met me there—at the Liberty Theater annex). I was going there to eat a lunch (Homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies, pears, and a piece of cake) before going by the AAC for a few shopping bags, and to take the rural electric utility’s magazine, RURALITE, to Gabe with stories of the history or their family’s Leather Shop (Don Bacon’s) on Thomas Road. They were the crafters of John’s western saddle, a beautiful piece of artwork he used for many years.

I went from there by Bi-Mart with eye drops, Artificial Tears, needed for the dry eye problem I have. I demoed the problem I was having opening the tops, and Megan realized that the company (GoodSense) had changed the top to a child safety lock opening one that kids could not open (so, it worked for me, this kid couldn’t open it). She showed me the trick, of squeezing the bottom of the cap to release it (still not easy), but she also showed me that the one I had from a previous bottle, could be exchanged. I will keep that and change it with each new bottle.

While there, I also bought a desktop calendar for 30% off and we will hang it on the wall in our kitchen to keep track of our scheduled appointments.

And, I checked our membership numbers. Ours matched the last digit, so I brought home a package of snacks (Almonds & Blueberries with sea salt). It will last until next spring’s trail work, unless we eat it first. From there I went to Fred Meyer. They and Safeway go crazy with special offerings on certain days but only if you buy a bunch – blah blah blah. With enough “points” you get some cents off a gallon of gas at their 2-blocks-away station. We don’t buy much at either store, but both are convenient, so sometimes we go.

When I got home, I called Rhonda (the manager) at Dollar Tree to see if she could order the mesh bags (3 zippered mesh bags in one bag). I can return the two I have not opened, when I find the receipt). Meanwhile, she will check to order the smaller ones I need (3 to a bag), and when they come in, she will call me. She has my number and home Ph.# home.

I sent Peggy Beals the information about Glenn, his email, and his address, and I sent his phone # for texting. I can’t text on my flip phone, so I did not have it, but I asked him on email. She is in charge of the Methodist Church’s Community Clothing Center, where Anne volunteered time, and all her clothes were being taken there.

Finally, this week we found that our attempt to use the bill pay system working directly from our checking account, worked when the check was cashed. Then the money is deducted and an image of the check is produced for our records on our monthly statement. Nice to have for charitable donations claimed on our tax form, and we don’t have to buy checks. I have run out of checks on one of my accounts that has a significant balance, so this was a way around it, a service offered by the bank. I guess we pay for it by them having some of our money in the checking account (with no interest). Currently, there is no direct cost having them do this.

Wednesday, Nov 20

A piece of Ellensburg’s History of downtown businesses.

Evie Schuetz alongside the sign displayed in the Kittitas County Historical Museum’s newly finished (almost) display of business history. This photo taken by Sadie Thayer, Museum Director. You have seen many special photos in this of Kittitas Valley scenes Evie has captured, and now you get to see her in the photo above.

This is the old Button Jewelers neon sign from a business that was in her family for many years, and she grew up from a little kid in her play area there, and working there later (see her memories inset below). The business closed the end of the year 2005; all family members always returned to work during the Christmas season.

The story of the business appeared in our local newspaper, the Daily Record (see link below).
The above photo preserves Ellensburg’s history through signs that have been restored and now able to be visited at the museum. The museum provides a treasure trove of artifacts from the region.

Check out their website, KCHM.ORG, and go in for an educational tour any time to view their displays. If you want to see them before the end of the year, the best time to mark on your calendar is Dec 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 for an open house, with refreshments. The special collections will be on display.

John and I are members of the museum. Recently, we donated a sign (metal, not neon) we were given. The sign was for a machine shop a mile from EBRG; and maybe the staff can find out more. I plan to take a photo of it when I’m there at the open house.

Here’s my introduction of some history I found on the web:

“End of an era: Button Jewelers closing at year’s end” by Paul Schmidt, Oct 12, 2005

1950s the store on the NW corner of 4th and Pine. Note the parking meters and traffic light. Today they’re gone.
Today, it houses Central Party & Costumes, owned by Eva Frink.

I am also friends with Eva and so this whole story interests me. I have been discussing the store with Evie and asked her for her memories of growing up there, of which she had shared pieces, previously. I think her story is worth repeating, so I asked for more and received these details 11/24/19 to include. I find this a fascinating piece of our local history.
Evie’s memories of Button Jewelers inset below:

As far as memories go…  My earliest memories are of putting together a rabbit puzzle in the giant playpen that mom had created for me out of the diamond cases.  She always arranged the cases in a way that would suit as a makeshift cage for me because I refused to be left with a babysitter.  I was well behaved, so I would sit in my playpen and do the same rabbit puzzle over and over all day long while she worked alongside me.  I didn’t like the puzzle much, but I thought the pink box it came in was exquisite.  I had other toys, obviously, but I spent most of my time with that puzzle. 

Once I started school, I was only down there on weekends, afternoons, or holidays.  I loved the holidays most because the store was always busy and everyone that came in seemed unusually happy.  At Christmas all the family members were there working, even the ones that were usually away at college.  We all got to wrap a lot of presents.  I was relegated to the bow making machine because making bows was considered a little kid’s job, but we all fast became excellent gift wrappers.  Aunt Gaye wasn’t having anything go out that was less than perfect.  She is a wonderful Aunt and I’m glad she taught us to be attentive to details.  That has served me well in life.

As I got older, I started working at the store, selling jewelry, engraving everything under the sun (a task I loathed–way too much pressure), cleaning (Lord, there was a lot of crystal to dust and silver to polish…), creating displays in the windows and throughout the store, and changing watch batteries and watch bands.  I preferred working in the repair department with my dad because it was tedious work that could be done in solitude – much the same as the rabbit puzzle from my early years.  Both Dad and I valued silence, so we worked well together. 

Lunchtime was also a family favorite.  Dad and I would get whatever sounded good that day, and we’d enjoy it in the repair department when business was slow.  The Destroyer from the old Sub Shop that used to be behind the Liberty theater…  What I wouldn’t give for another one of those!  When I moved back to town after having Little Peter, I started working at the store again, and the cycle repeated.  Only this time, during lunch, Dad would hold my little guy and feed him french dip sandwiches at the shipping counter.  Too many good memories to list…  Although I should mention the afternoon crossword puzzle we all worked on together once the paper had been delivered.  After that was complete, one of us was sent off to the ice cream shop down the block to bring back waffle cones for the crew.  Dad always had their licorice ice cream.  I alternated between that and blue bubblegum.  Delish!  In hindsight, we didn’t work all that hard.  Mom and I would go shopping downtown on our 15-minute breaks that more often than not lasted at least an hour.  We’d be shopping for decorations at Wood’s Hardware to use for the store windows etc., so was it really a break or was it work?  I learned how to justify things from my mom.  She was a riot, and confidently unapologetic.  Working with the family is where my best memories were created.  We were all so blessed to have the store and the opportunity to be together for so many years.
The downtown was so different back then and there’s a lot about it that I miss. The warm popcorn that Sprouse-Reitz always had at the front of their store. The chocolates and Coffee Nips that kept Ostrander’s high on my list of favorite places. Getting cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes at Carlisle’s, or a new pair of shoes at Mundy’s. Helping my dad freshen up his wardrobe with new clothes from Moser’s – a lot of dress shirts and ties, the occasional suit. Finding just the right top at JC Penney’s for a special date at The Liberty Theater. Ah… the 80s and 90s. Unforgettable.

In his Not So Nasty News (just prior) John explained we are reviewing a draft manuscript of 123 pages.
John read 50 pages of the manuscript the first evening we had it. By Sunday evening he has read the whole manuscript and is on his second time through with pencil. I have the digital version to use and need to get started.

Thursday, Nov 21

Our Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends played music at Pacifica Senior Living. Players/singers were Manord, Kevin, Charlie, Nancy, Dean, Amy, Charlotte, Sharon, Minerva, Lou, & Sandy, and our mascot Haley (she’s in the 1st grade) was able to be there because it was a ½ day at school because of parent-teacher consultation day.After our music, Haley was showing her crocheting project to an appreciative resident.

Part of my emailing our group for planning chair count set up today included sending a photo of the card received from the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center thanking us for providing the music at the pre-Veterans’ Day celebration. The top part is the front and back of the card; the bottom is the inside of the card. This I preferred to passing the card around and also gave me the opportunity to email to everyone in the group.

After playing, I went by Burger King for supper to bring home, because we had to be back in Hal Holmes center by 6:30 to set up for the Kittitas Audubon monthly meeting were I was going to videotape my former student giving tonight’s lecture. Helen Lau is a Botanist with the USFS office in Cle Elum, WA and her specialty is Fungal Ecology. The lecture tonight was about Fungi.

Here was the write up in our monthly newsletter:
November Hooter of Kittitas Audubon

If you want to get to all the Hooters for this and previous years back to 2005, go here:
Kittitas Audubon Hooter: Current & Back Issues

From the Hooter: 7:00pm • November 21st • General Program

There’s a Fungus Among Us!

What lurks beneath us on earth’s carpet? Can I safely eat that? What purpose does that organism serve?
Helen Lau will introduce the audience to the secret life of fungi and discuss some of their ecological functions. She will share images of some of our most common local fungi and common edible fungi as well as their look-a-likes.
Helen Lau is a botanist for the USFS on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. She manages the rare botanical species (plants, lichens, bryophytes and fungi), native plant restoration and invasive plant program on the Cle Elum Ranger District.

Helen’s research interests are in fungi biodiversity and she received an undergraduate degree at Evergreen State College and her master’s degree on mycorrhizae ecology in the Biological Sciences Department at Central Washington University.

Tonight’s presentation:
Top Setup of dried fungi, computer, and visiting with John; bottom are the audience observers of all the books, prints, and specimens Helen brought.

The main talk is the next link:

Helen Lau, USFS Botanist: Intro to Mushrooms & Fungal Ecology

Helen & Judy during Questions and Answers, see video below.

Questions and answers at the end

Friday, Nov 22

We checked in at Cle Elum for our wellness visit and Kaylene, our nurse, invited us back for height and weight measurements. First we had to remove our shoes. She measured Nancy’s height at 5’4”. Boy did that make me happy! It was less last year by an inch, and now I’m still shorter than before when I was almost 5’ 7”. Weighed in at 137.9#. Wellness agenda appointment includes blood pressure, SpO2, pulse (with an oximeter), giving memory tests and telling time on a clock with hands, the patient has to draw from scratch (to show 11:10). Go over medications list, need for prescriptions, and several other subjects.

That’s followed by a visit with our PCP, Chelsea Newman. She reviewed expected test we need to schedule (such as for me, a mammogram, a bone density test, the need for the new 2-shot Shingles vaccine, a review of the vaccines we have had (such as a Flu vaccine, and in my case the blood test for Potassium in January 2020. I just recently had blood draws and tests performed for a Nov 5 appointment with my cardiologist, so I do not need to schedule any blood draws, but John will have to make time to go by the hospital lab here for his tests (the paperwork for the orders has already been sent into the system).

I don’t remember the other things we discussed. Some have to wait for the Chronic appointment which we have in 2 weeks, because our follow-up was supposed to be on Friday after Thanksgiving, but the office will be closed then, so we were scheduled for the following week.

We stopped at Cle Elum Bakery for 2 Apple Fritters for me and a Bear Claw for John. I ate one on the way home, and he had ½ his bear claw. This picture was the next morning, when I had my 2nd. Their bakery goods are excellent, but very pricey. Each item bought was $2. For special occasions such as today, returning from a successful visit to the doctor for both of us, we splurged. Also, we had to be out so early for our appointment check in that there wasn’t time for fixing a good breakfast. This tided us over until getting home for lunch.

Top is from the carry-out bag; bottom my Apple Fritter

After a small brunch for me, I was off to the hospital for my Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) [showing improvement on all from last year’s]. I have already mentioned that previously in the blog, when my original appointment was canceled, and rescheduled for today. I have to have this PFT annually to be sure I’m okay and free of side effects (lung scarring) of the Amiodarone medication.

Our supper was beef stew, baked potato, sliced huge plum. The plum was purple on the outside with a no-color inside, and about the size of a baseball.

Saturday, Nov 23

John’s going to be driving the truck to town this morning to buy 4 more bags of Senior Equine for Myst, also Rolled Corn for her needs, and we are pleased she is gaining weight nicely no longer seeing any ribs. He also will be getting another bag of Black-oil sunflower seeds for the birds. While in town with the truck, he’ll fill the tank at a reduced price/gallon with rewards we have accumulated from Fred Meyer (we normally do not have enough purchases there to get fuel rewards, but for November, we currently have 200 points and we are entitled to 20₵/gal reduction, which translates today to $2.879/gal. He also went by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription for Amiodarone.

I called the Pharmacy and we’re on a waiting list for both John and me for the new double (better and more expensive!) Shingles shots [Shingrix] at Super 1. Chelsea recommended that yesterday for our attention. The double dose is given 2 months apart. Need to call Kaiser to see if it’s covered and what the copay is. We heard they are expensive; perhaps $300.

I cleaned and cut clusters of red grapes to take with Grandma rolls & Whole wheat rolls to an early Thanksgiving family dinner at our neighbors, the Swedbergs, scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

John’s out to feed Myst and do morning things and the temperature just went above freezing at 9:30 a.m. At least the sun is out and the skies are beautifully blue.

I talked to my neighbor and found out our early thanksgiving dinner is not beginning until 2:00 p.m. (actually 3) today. That will mean John will have to eat and not stay around visiting because of early darkness, and needing to feed Myst her evening special feed.

Our early thanksgiving dinner was an amazing array of food. We had smoked and non-smoked turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed and scalloped potatoes, salad with all sorts of things in it, two kinds of greens, cut apples, cherry tomatoes, pieces of yams, cranberries, sweet potatoes with marshmallows atop, sparkling wine, special orange juice, rolls, red grapes, olives, cherry pie & pumpkin pie, with kids, dogs, adults.

Sunday, Nov 24

I made an early morning call to my friend Janet Perkins in Winlock, WA to have her wish her hubby David a happy birthday.

John was busy today, getting ready for cold weather expected late this week. He cut a tree off one of the paths through our “swamp”, worked on the front gate, repackaged the horse feed into liftable portions and got it out of the truck. He will load horse poo to take to the vineyard now that the truck is empty. He finished with cutting most of the water diversion off. A few years ago he did not do this and a very cold spell prevented getting it closed. The neighbor’s driveway and ours, and parts of the pasture, flooded, froze and made life miserable. That same cold spell managed to freeze the frost-free faucet for the horse trough. [That’s now enclosed and covered with a heat tape.]

We had a late brunch: eggs, sausage links, home fries, and English Muffin toasting bread for me with Apricot jam.

I continued working on the blog and on emails, plus planning for the next two day’s work load. We decided against going to Costco tomorrow, putting it off until Tuesday because the weather will be warmer tomorrow with less of a chance of snow. We are not expecting snow here. It is just that Monday will be a better day to get a few more things done outside.

Dinner tonight was smoked turkey (from yesterday) – John had a leg and I had breast meat. With it we had butternut squash with marshmallows atop, broiled. Also had some commercial lasagna from the freezer.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan