Monday, Oct 22 We decided it was going to be a nasty rainy day, so we’d go to Yakima. We made a couple/4 stops on our trip. It snowed on Manastash Ridge while we were in Yakima, and as we went across the valley and uphill home, it snowed a lot on us. We got home to 4 inches (at least of snow here) and it is still falling. Normally, we do not get snow until Halloween or the day after.
We had a fruitful shopping day. We went first to Big 5 Sporting Goods on Nob Hill Blvd. for boots (better/different selection than EBRG), and found a nice new pair for $45 (normally $70 at other retail outlets – so they claim). And then we went by the new Penney’s store (now called JCP, kind of like KFC, ha ha), and I bought myself a pair of Skechers® with a good inner sole for my foot problems, for $45. I have worn nothing but Brooks Addiction for 15 or more years, (recommended by foot doctors for plantar fasciitis), but the price is up to $120 (plus added 8% tax), the last time I bought them in 2010. So, this was a good day. We even got gasoline for $3.74/gallon. And, we picked up 2 pepperoni pizzas on sale for $3/off (linked to the apple/pear picking plans), got some pecans for the pies John has to make for the Christmas potluck Scholarship luncheon (he is expected to each year, since he started in 1988). Also some chocolate chips (coupon $2.25 off 4.5# bag), so we can make cookies to thank our computer guys and mechanics. (This is also a tradition). We got a large package of red seedless grapes, dog & cat food, and some other stuff we needed. Even got some AA batteries for the friend we’ll see tomorrow to pick their free apples. Our total bill was 12¢ shy of $220.00; amazing how things add up. Oh, I forgot the bratwursts (probably not good for us, but much enjoyed), and a couple of packages of their very large muffins, filled with blueberries. Returning to the timeline of the shopping trip and then home, John is back in from moving snow off the walks and patio and feeding all the animals. It is still snowing, more like a misting rain now. Sadly, got a phone call tonight that my (music group) friend died (cancer). He’s better off, to be out of pain, but it is still tough, particularly for his wife of 57 years. He’s been very much a large part of my musical life for two decades. Years ago I went in to local sewing goods store and violin music was coming from the back room. The store was his wife’s. I likely would have met him in some other way but probably in a public venue, so this simple homey connection helped our friendship develop. I will miss him. He played in every group I played with, sometimes 3 times/week, and more days at Christmas time.
Tuesday, Oct 23 John worked on outside chores much of the morning after running the dogs and feeding the horses, and it is no longer snowing, but is ‘winter’-cold. He had to move some hay from the barn to a horse trailer that is closer to the horses’ feeding stations and easier to feed from. Also, he took some time to clean out some of the groceries still in the car from yesterday to add some empty boxes for the apples. We are leaving after 3:15 for the other side of the valley where they only had a dusting of snow — John to pick apples and me to visit, and then we will eat dinner there. We are taking from our COSTCO trip – pizzas, grapes, and crystal light. They will add their onions, tomatoes, and peppers to the two large pepperoni pizzas. We have 6 to feed and a year old (who loved the pizza). Two are growing teenagers. Conversation included many topics, such as the son’s overlapping baseball and football seasons, daughter’s painting class using this guy’s methods
she is doing a painting that will soon look something like this one:
The one she is doing eluded John’s searching. Actually, here is a link to a photo with my holding it — her mom took this when we went to pick her up from painting class. Moss, grass, leaves, and highlights are to be added.
We played with baby Michael and discussed apples and irrigation. The sad thing about the apples is that a hail storm destroyed (for commercial purposes) almost all of the fruit along the hillside (numerous growers, hundreds of acres). See this:
Only fruit low on the tree and on the opposite side from the direction of the storm is worth picking, maybe a dozen or so per tree loaded with apples. Should look like this:
But, instead, most look like these:
Really bad: http://www.apsnet.org/publications/imageresources/PublishingImages/2004-05/IW000040.jpg
If the apples have only dents (previous view bottom and top left) they might be usable for juice. The center hit in the above view cracked the skin and the resulting decay – dark brown/black – prevents this apple’s use. Harvesting a crop with any such apples is too much of a problem as, after picking, an inspection might discover a few like this and the entire shipment would be discarded – picking and transport costs just adding to the loss. So, only the few pickers like John (with owner Urban’s help) manage to salvage a few of the apples – about 150 pounds in our case – 2 types of pears, plus Romes, Honeycrisp, and Jonagolds. Oh, and a few of the heirloom variety Winter Banana:
Wednesday, Oct 24 Well, today everything changed from what was originally planned. First, it started out snowing early and we hadn’t even realized we might get it. It went on till about 10:00 am. Then it melted the rest of the day. The sun came out once, but mostly was cloudy all day and chilly. John moved panels to protect the contents of the new metal pole building from the horses – also prevent damage from rubbing and pooping in it. He has moved over 100 gallons of water (siphoned) from rain/snowmelt catch barrels from off the roof of the house, front and side. Rain water has the need pH for blueberry plants but it is a bit late in the season. But one of the intersection gutters (valley gutter) dumps water right at the front door, like this:
Folks that design houses must live in apartments. Note the different orientation of the garage/roof in each of these:
Imagine a foot of snow on each sliding and melting into a pile on the ground. That one place would have a frozen mess right in front of the garage door — as does ours – while the second one would have the garage accessible but the front door would be a wet and snowy mess. Yes, the fancy house has “rain” gutters – so called because they are not too helpful with snow and ice, and unless heated, have a tendency to be ripped off by those added weights. Oh well – we should move to a warmer place.
I worked on notifying friends about the upcoming funeral and copied the obituary published in this afternoon’s paper. I got it out long before it was on the newsstands, so that was neat. Had a few responses and had to respond. Then at the last minute I was rushing from a fast breakfast to get dressed to leave for town to play music at the Food Bank. I walked out onto the front porch and was standing there waiting for John to push the snow off the windshield, doors, and windows, when the phone rang. I decided to go back in and catch it, hoping it wasn’t a political call, which we have gotten 2 and 3 of some days. It was my banjo buddy I was to meet at noon, saying she had rolled her car and totaled it coming to EBRG from S. Cle Elum and wouldn’t be able to play today. Luckily, she was not hurt. But, I turned around and decided not to go to town. I had plenty of chores needing done, and tomorrow we both are going to town for several things.
Thursday, Oct 25. I got a Noon haircut from my neighbor around the rural block. Left at 1:25 for the afternoon in town with John. While I was playing music, he went and bought groceries, picked up his eye ointment, bought some things on sale, saving $16.00, stuff we would buy anyway, so it truly was a saving. John picked me up and we drove a block up the street for me to have blood taken for an INR check. Then to the bank, and on our way to the next stop, friends from Yakima came up behind us at a stop light, honked, and pulled us over to talk. We met his daughter and her husband who were here from Virginia till Saturday. Hope they don’t run into problems flying back into the influence of the hurricane, Sandy.
Of all things we visited outside our cars in the Jack in the Box parking lot. What a chance meeting. Small world. Then on to the library, where all the metal inside my body set off the alarms, and scared me, so I asked to be escorted out through a different exit, at the back loading dock. Thank God it did not set my ICD off to shock me. Then off to pick up the bags of onions. Dinner of leftovers tonight, but I added a full tomato for myself, from our garden. Boy, it was excellent. (Oh, John also cut a bunch of the lower limbs from the Mt. Ash tree to keep the deer from jumping over the 4′ fence to come eat them. We don’t want a deer getting hung up in the fence but they are welcome to the berries. Also, he had to pull out and cut our gorgeous grape vine leaves, which froze badly overnight. The lilac plant still has green leaves. Go figure.
Friday, Oct 26 Finally, the man down the road and over some, who owns a bulldozer for hire, arrived in our driveway to check out our needs. He had a tree fall on his house, so our project is put off over a week from now. I hope it doesn’t snow to stick before it gets done. The snow we had earlier in the week is mostly gone.
Noon today was a scholarship luncheon in Bouillon Hall, the old building where I had a nice office on the second floor with a wonderful view, and much space, for over 10 years. We had 3 different soups, and I sampled them all. First was an Italian Toscana soup (made with onions, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and whipping cream); second, a corn chowder with potatoes; third, a taco soup, with red kidney beans, ground beef and a chili-like base. Whole wheat rolls and butter, and a green salad with cherry tomatoes. If that wasn’t enough, our hostesses had two wonderful homemade pies. The most unusual was layered with caramelized nuts, pumpkin, cream cheese cake, and a yummy crust. Best pie I have had recently, but she also had a yummy apple pie with a Dutch apple crumbly topping. From there, on my way out of the building I grabbed two heavy- duty boxes, flattened but very usable, in which to recycle paper. Then off to SAIL class, carrying a box of apples to the Adult Activity Center to share with my class, and also, I took along 10 pounds of onions to share with an older couple, both members of our class plus a smaller box of apples for them. Of all things, I then had to drop by where we played music Thursday, in order to pick up a Tambourine our oldest member (83) left behind. I retrieved it. Then in the afternoon, late, after 5:00 we picked up a large pizza, had it cut into 16 pieces, and took it to our friends house a block away, where John stayed while they went to the viewing of my friend who died. I had some pizza with John and a few of the family, before they left for the funeral home, and I left for a retirement home, to play and sing gospel music from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00. They had a birthday cake afterwards, and I stayed for a piece. Then left about 7:20 and drove back by the funeral home, and made a stop to visit with the family. I gave one of the sons a ride back to the house, went inside for a short visit and to pick up John to drive home. Tomorrow will be a much longer day.
Saturday, Oct 27 More rain. We had to leave before noon today to get to town in time for the family to get to the church and set up things before the funeral. I stayed in their house with John for a little bit and then donned my raincoat and drove about a block to Jack in the Box to get our lunch. John wanted a full one with a drink, cheeseburger, and fries, and I got a small hamburger and shared his fries. We only visited for a short while and I left to go to the funeral, to meet another friend there. It was a beautiful service with 4 immediate family members giving Eulogies, a trio of musician friends (Flute, Cello, & Harp), playing Ashokan Farewell.
That was a meaningful song for the deceased and his family, and they were playing from his handwritten music score for the piece. All musicians in the valley are used to his crafted music, with notes and chords, and transposed versions for a trumpet or Bb clarinet. We will now permanently include that song in our group playings in his honor.
The audience sang two hymns, and the bishop said a few words. It was special for me because the bishop is also our eye doctor. After the service, the family left for the cemetery. It was raining the whole day, but thankfully, the rain stopped for the trip to the cemetery, the burial service, and the trip back to the church. Then it started pouring again and it is still raining, at 9:30 tonight. John was staying in the house to watch out for it while I participated in the funeral. I did not go to the cemetery, but went back and visited with John for an hour, and returned to the church for a dinner. I got there 1/2 hour before the group who went to the cemetery, but was able to sit and visit with friends. Once everyone got there we had a ham dinner, with rolls, salad, rice and potato casseroles, and desserts. I should have picked up two pieces of ham my first time through, but didn’t, because when I went back through the line after everyone was seated and many were done eating, there was little food remaining. I was going to take a plate back to John. However, the only thing left on the table was salad (which he doesn’t really like), and one rice casserole. Nothing else.. oh.. yes, pumpkin bread (he doesn’t like), and one tiny piece of chocolate cake. So, that’s what I brought him (plus my left over roll parts and the edge I cut off my piece of ham). Good thing he had some stroganoff he made yesterday to come home to. He also had to feed the horses and feral cats in the dark and in the rain. We didn’t get home until 8:00 p.m.
I turned this over to him late to tweak and to post. It might not make it out until Sunday.
Hope your week was a good one.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan