JULY 12, 1969

Did you notice the date above?
From the category “believe it or not” comes the occasion of our wedding anniversary. Shocking!

We celebrated by not celebrating. The weather forecast was for 98 degrees and that is too hot for us to be out and about. It is not unusual for the forecast to be off a few degrees. Today it was off by 6. In the 4 o’clock hour the reading went to 104.

John had gone out early to pick the last of the strawberries (2 pounds) and about the same amount of raspberries. Then he started watering the plants in what we now call our Dahlia Garden (the older one has Tiger Lilies). His plan was to cut a couple of the blossoms and bring the berries and the flowers to Nancy – still sleeping.

Nancy did not cooperate and showed up in the garden to take photos of the flowers because John intended to cut them and give them to people on the next trip to town.

So, Nancy’s newish camera allows her to apply effects to photos and she experimented a bit. One result is below. She found a small green grasshopper on a Graceland Dahlia. Nancy thought the so called fisheye effect using a close-up stance produced an interesting photo.

An orange/gold flower (Dahlia) with a small green Grasshopper having breakfast
The Grasshopper and the Dahlia

We picked some cherries but as the day became hotter, first Nancy and then John headed indoors. John brought several cherry-loaded branches inside to finish. Nancy had a letter of recommendation to do (story to follow in next post) so we are behind with the blog writing. Sometime on Sunday – no way to say when.


July Celebrations

Sunday, June 29

John and I spent a lot of time finishing the blog, and finally got it posted after 1:00 p.m. He took the dogs for their morning run, and while I intended to get on with assembling all the copies of music I ran last week, to be ready for July 3, I haven’t been able to squeeze it in yet. After we posted the blog, John put a small beef chunk in the crock pot with the very last of our flat red onions from last summer.
He added a can of small whole tomatoes – more stuff to be added in a few hours. I have been doing a multitude of things with more to go. Winds got to a high last hour of 39 mph. I think John will come in to rest awhile. He’s been watering trees and both gardens, and in addition, moving the water around the pasture, from the rapidly declining flow in the irrigation ditch. I have decided to start timing myself to keep changing tasks and not spending all my time on one task, losing track and progress on others. We delivered two 2# packages of strawberries to neighbors. From one, we got a dozen fresh eggs in return. We ate snacks or in my case, leftovers, for lunch. I worried over plans to be away a week, starting July 14, and still have a lot to do to get ready. We have yet to prepare strawberries picked yesterday for the freezer. I do not know if he will pick more tonight or not, or wait until morning.

Monday, June 30

John started by picking 6 pounds (at least) of strawberries. I sorted and we delivered some to neighbors. It was a 37th wedding anniversary for one, so I put a very special pick in the center of her box – this one is cute. Click to make big.
This is quite flat and seems to be a rare trait of the Jewel variety.
Morning working on music plans, strawberries, dishes. Now to sort and combine the music I Xeroxed last Friday to use this Thursday. Funniest thing that happened today amidst John picking many pounds of strawberries was a small skunk at the other end of the row on which he was picking. They have narrow pointed heads and it stuck its nose through the chain-link fence and pushed on through. Amazing. Must be a baby or a small one. Guess we can start putting berry-waste back in the compost pile and let them eat there!

Tuesday, July 1

HAIRCUT at 1:00 p.m. and back home to sort more strawberries to take to town tomorrow; meaning now we must spend time cleaning the blemished ones (Owie-berries) we sorted out, to use for our frozen needs throughout the year. It was suggested we take a photo of one of the Cabot berries with something more exciting than a quarter. John had a 2 $ bill in his wallet, so here you are:
Strawberry in Tea Cup July2014
The container holding the berry is a 6 oz. tea cup – first use we have found for these things in many years.
As well as cleaning strawberries, I sorted some for the neighbors and we fixed my 61-key music keyboard to go to the WOTFA workshop for accompaniment use in the Hot Shots class (young very good fiddlers) – taught by my teacher’s daughter, Katrina, who is a world champion fiddler and also left handed!! If you do a web search on katrina nicolayeff , you will see her credentials and performing in different competitions. She is a very nice gal too, and has a couple kids of her own. We had to check the keyboard, clean the dust off, find the connectors, test it, then John fixed a problem with the power cord, and helped me roll two heavy-duty extension cords to accompany the instrument. It’s not in a case (we bought it used, standing in a home), so we have to wrap in a bedspread.
We are working in the a/c comfort of our home. It is 94 at the airport, and 89 on our front porch. When it cools down, we’re going to take strawberries to two appreciative neighbors. We also put up a 2-quart bowl full, in 8 oz packages.

Wednesday, July 2

Evelyn and I played music at the Food Bank’s Soup Kitchen today as a precursor for tomorrow’s performance with six other musicians at the Adult Activity Center. To go with our music, the Food Bank had a very patriotic dinner, served by servers dressed in red/white/blue, or flag type clothing. One of the volunteer cooks made a great chicken lasagna, veggies with potatoes, green salad, and a very special “flag” cake (see below). She has been a professional cook in the past, and it shows.
We had 23 people at SAIL exercise today, and while there, we found out that around 90 people are expected to be at the 4th celebration tomorrow. I took strawberries to Carole P, CJ, Joanie, & Marilyn (who gave us some eggs, in return). Joanie offered us some cherries, but we have a lot coming on our trees – their part of EBRG is about 1,000 feet lower than we are out here on the Naneum Fan, so their growing season is ahead of ours by about a week.
Before dinner, we made a Cherry-Blueberry-Pecan Kittitas Cobbler to take tomorrow to the celebration. Cleaned more strawberries tonight and froze six 8-oz packages.

Thursday, July 3

Made it to town and the AAC in time to set up, put out our dessert, and get some food before we had to perform. Food consisted of hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salads, baked beans, a variety of potluck salads, such as deviled eggs (my favorite), some Jell-O/fruit salads, green salads, and a table of desserts. Ours was a success.
Our Cherry-Blueberry-Pecan Kittitas Cobbler
[ask if you want the recipe]
From 12:15 to 12:45, our group played patriotic and American folk songs. It seemed to be a big success, with lots of compliments and comments. The audience numbered in the nineties so they had to share lyrics, as we only had 43 copies. Lots of good voices and great participation, on 13 songs, ending with the Star Spangled Banner, Acapella (except for Megan on her big bass fiddle – pictured below). Everyone in the room stood, faced the flag, and proudly sang. It was our last song. An older woman came up to me afterwards and thanked me for our tempo – on our national anthem, being cheerful, and “not like a dirge, because our country is very much alive and not dead.” I’ve never heard that comment before, nor do I know that I have ever heard it sung really slowly. Music came from an accordion, clarinet, fiddle, bass fiddle, banjo, two 6 string guitars, and one 12-string guitar. John’s doing the picture taking, so not in these.
Megan and Nancy (a selection from 1st image)
I took some strawberries to our 84-year-old guitar player, Gerald, in frozen packages for putting on his ice cream. On the way home, we stopped by the store to get sugar, lettuce, pick up my meds, some colas for John, and some chicken to grill.
There was a grass and brush fire today on Manastash Ridge between the River and I-82. It traveled rapidly and burned around the many towers but did not threaten any homes. The winds were 40 mph in the valley that day and probably higher on the ridge. Thankfully, it was contained by the next morning.
manastash-fire-2014July3-air view from south
(From KOMOnews), this aerial view is from the south. We live on the north edge where the yellow dot is. If you look carefully at the yellow dot you can see it is on the alluvial fan (triangular type land form feature), green from water in creeks coming from the hills on the north side of the valley. That’s why we refer to ourselves as being on the Naneum Fan. The distance to the fire is about 20 miles. The green curving arrow points to the Yakima River flowing south through the hills. The orange dot shows the approximate location of the person who took the 2nd photo (From Daily Record).

Friday, July 4

Enjoyed the holiday doing nothing, but John hung our flags at the end of the driveway. Guess, I should take a photo, but currently it is too hot. While there, he put up the poles so the horses could graze under the cherry trees and nearby. The tallest, Cheyenne, sampled the cherries but quickly returned to the lush grass at her feet. It has been about 4 years since the cherries graced these trees and the bird population hasn’t learned of them. A few years ago John put a systemic insecticide on the ground. This is a well known one, and the one we used — Bayer Advanced. It must still be in the soil and/or tree (or all died) and now in the leaves – there are no aphids and no ants with all the mess. Trees and cherries are beautiful, although not especially large – there are many, many, many. Almost ripe and very colorful. While the horses grazed John picked and watered strawberries. Then we sorted and cleaned a few to slice & sugar for eating. Most of my day has been on the computer, but I need to change chores and do some sorting/filing of receipts. I just sent my Independence Day wish for 2014 to my Facebook page, and – here it is for those of you who do not do Facebook.
My happy Fourth of July wish to all, especially my mother’s side of the family. My mom was born in Seattle, WA, Aug 27, 1914, the 3rd child of the Wilkins clan.
To my Wilkins relatives on Facebook: Angie Cameron Wilkins, Sara Wilkins, Wilkins Family Reunion, Cindy Wilkins Hydrick, Lauren Wilkins Beauchamp, Bob Wilkins, D’Ve Wilkins, Michael Wilkins, Remy Wilkins, Anne Redding, Celeta Arden, Kerri McGinty, Mandy Hydrick Hawver, and others who know of my connection to Seattle, through my grandfather (and for some of you, your great grandfather, John Benjamin Wilkins. Please pass this along to other family members you know (not on my list above). I don’t have many family members as my friends on Facebook. I will try sending to through email too to those for whom I have emails.
John Benjamin Wilkins worked as a carpenter in Seattle, WA on this building, and their first 3 children were born there before they returned to Hickory Hill farm outside Guyton, GA.

Note this link below is different from the link I sent to the family in email and posted on Facebook on the Fourth of July. KOMOnews removed that article for some reason. This is the closest match John could find, and it is even more interesting, as the Smith Tower is for sale.
Link to Smith Tower turns 100.
Smith Tower
Smith Tower in 1914 in postcard view above.

John and Susan Sykes (my cousin) went through the Smith Tower when they were back in Seattle, and another cousin’s daughter, Kerri McGinty, heard about it at the reunion, and toured the building while she was in Seattle later, with her husband, John. Did you notice? We have many Johns in our family.

My John went back tonight to take down the flags, and I gave him my camera, because I never made it up to the road. We have a pole (right side of photo) but no cable to the top. Our large flag is tacked to a 1×2 and hangs on that. Flag etiquette will have the stars on blue part (called “the union”) on the observer’s left. Nancy says so too – which makes it so! But John says “the wind knows” – look at the two small flags. Reverse the wind – he doesn’t think he can do that.
Then, he came back and started grilling our chicken, squash from our garden, along with fresh mushrooms from Costco.
After chicken was grilled over charcoal with apple branches providing their flavor, John grilled the veggies. The yellow squash is the first of the season from our garden. The final plate of food is above.

Thank God, our neighbors were reasonable about the fire danger and high winds, and did not set off fireworks in the tinder-dry conditions. That is a first, but maybe they were aware of the fire yesterday. Yesterday, we also had DNR helicopters with water buckets flying north over us toward Naneum Canyon, but we never heard about that fire’s location and did not see any smoke.

Saturday, July 5

We spent the morning on yard chores, house chores, sorting strawberries, and John picked some of the first nice Bing type cherries, plus a few more strawberries. After noon, we drove around our large rural block to deliver fruit to Krista, Lorene, Allen, Pat, Celia, and Louaine. We gave mostly strawberries to all, with some cherries thrown in to all but a couple of folks. One is getting cherries from their neighbor, and our other neighbors have visitors from the west side; those families are coming over tomorrow to pick from our trees. That saves John the effort. We have plenty, as long as the birds stay away.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Summer things

Berry for blog
Sunday, June 22 . . . . . . . {click photos}

Finally, got the blog out at noon today.
John’s made individual smaller packages of bacon for the freezer from a bulk package. It’s good too, and very lean. More like little pieces of ham with a slight fat edge. Then for lunch, we will have BLTs. All done. I assembled them and we very much enjoyed lunch. This afternoon is a hot one, with no wind, however, and the temperatures eventually got to 89, higher than predicted. Today, John’s going to spend his time inside the house on chores (mostly cleaning strawberries). I shall help too. Goes faster that way. He laughed and said he might need to buy another freezer for all the fruit we will have to freeze. Not a bad idea. We probably froze 15 — 8 oz. bags of strawberries today. They will be great throughout the year on ice cream, cereal, or cake. We ate a bunch, also.

Monday, June 23

Much more accomplished with strawberries for the freezer and friends. Gave some away and went to town for a blood draw for the INR test for my heart. It was fine. While there, I visited a little with a friend who had a knee replacement and will have her other, this Friday. As they say, getting old is not for sissies. (She had it and it went well, and while under, they manipulated her previous knee replacement to give her 100° bend angle from a 60°). Then to SAIL exercise class and back home. John has been weeding, picking strawberries, and watering all sorts of things. The onions like wet feet but get grumpy about all the wind.

Tuesday, June 24

Early morning call from sleep center… 11** times/hr I stopped breathing, and the lowest report on the oximeter was 79% oxygen. They want to do a second test with a mask on from the beginning. Appointment call came later in the week, so I’m set to be miserable overnight again the end of August.
**I seem to be between guideline numbers: below 5 is okay apparently but above 5 is a warning zone; above 15 and they would have put a mask on for the rest of the test. We are doing some guessing here, so will have to learn more. An acquaintance had the test done at a different place and the tech came in and fitted a mask about half way through. I did not learn what her numbers were. Another out-of-state friend had 22 and wears a mask now. Good thing that call was early, ‘cause mid-morning we were on our way to Yakima. I went to Dr. Cardon (foot and ankle type) this morning and then, on to Costco, and home to music work-up. And strawberries.

Wednesday, June 25

Today was playing at the Food Bank, where we had Italian food, with scrumptious cheesecake, on to SAIL, delivering a couple packages of strawberries (in return received a plate of a dozen homemade peanut butter cookies, then dropped by CWU to run some music on the Xerox for tomorrow, and took some more strawberries to Marilyn – the soon to be retired secretary. Home to do more chores, and work again on music for the rest of the songs for July & August. Each month we get 5-6 play dates with more on the months with a 5th Thursday.
Surprises arrived in the mail and we are hopeful this celebration reminder is leading to our next Dual Champion Brittany. The color photo was taken of her win at the Woof Stock Puppy Sweepstakes (15-18 months) show. Funny comment from Jeri Conklin, her co-owner (with me) and handler, that she should have removed the bait (snack) from her own mouth before the picture! Bait is used in the ring while showing the dog, to get their attention, lift head, and pose. When I was showing I always used my pockets, or a little container on my hip. Perhaps Jeri’s doggie treats are better tasting than mine.
A ribbon award
This is our year-old female, Cedaridge Kip’s Camelot Shay Tre’, out of our lines. The black and white photo below came out in the American Brittany Magazine, June’s issue, on p 30.
Placements at N CA
Thursday, June 26

By 11:30, I have sorted strawberries John picked this morning — two boxes to take to people in town, and another for us, we need to clean and freeze. Meanwhile, I finished fixing all the music we will need today. Now have to start on the package to take tomorrow at 2:00 to run off more copies for the next two months, adding 8 songs to the 13 we have for the July 3 (for the 4th) performance at the Senior Center.
I played until just before 3:00, drove to a friend’s place and passed off strawberries without hardly stopping, quickly came home (in the rain) to drop off my violin, pick up John, and drive 80 miles for a party that starts at 5:00 in a public market called Pybus, at a restaurant called South (at the north end of the building) serving food of various central and Latin American ethnicities. We ended up sharing an expensive and rather ordinary bland hamburger plate and an expensive burrito plate, unfortunately with meat with too much gristle. Oh well, the company was awesome. It was a going-away party for Brian Frampton (a student of mine in the 1990s, with others there from the same time period that I also had as students, and some other new friends and political folks from the City of Wenatchee, and also from Chelan County, with whom Brian has worked for several years as a planner. He is moving to Federal Way with his family. Tomorrow is his final day.
Nancy with Vivian June 2014
I am above with Vivian (Peterson) Ramsey, my student from the early 1990s at CWU. Three of the people there were my former students and 2 of those had John’s class, and another planned to come, but had to go to a City Council meeting in Wenatchee. It would have been close to a CWU Alumni reunion, as a couple more had been at CWU but not in our classes. The meeting the other friend had to attend was on Wenatchee, WA’s City Council reconsidering the prohibition of marijuana retailers following a lawsuit that was filed after the State of WA voters approved the legalization of marijuana.

Back to the party.
Above is John, me, and Brian Frampton, the man of honor, who is leaving his planner job at the City of Wenatchee, and moving to Federal Way with his wife, Megan and 7-month old baby, Keylee, because Megan has a new job with the Gates Foundation. Brian was also my student in the 1990s, as well as Amanda Taub, left in the picture below with Susan, a prosecuting attorney in Wenatchee. They are laughing and enjoying one of the many stories told that evening.
We had a fun time, especially meeting all his previous co-workers from Chelan County.

Friday, June 27

Morning, up early working with music to take to school this afternoon to run copies, at a reduced cost. John’s going along to town because I won’t be there long and he can visit with Marilyn, and wish her well, in her retirement. We took her some freshly picked strawberries for her to take home, and I logged onto the department computer outside her office so he could read news on the Internet while we were in the copy room. Afterwards, we went to Grocery Outlet in town for cat food, frozen pizza, lettuce, and ice cream. Four of the cats were outside tonight, ready for their meal. I awoke at 5:00 and got up at 6:00 to start my work. So, by the time 5:00 p.m. came around, I was ready for a nap. I napped for 1.5 hrs, and plan to be in bed a little earlier tonight than the past two. While I was sleeping, John took pictures off his camera of the new Cabot (quite large strawberries). We used a quarter for scale and I took photos on another camera. We ought to have gotten a couple usable ones.
CABOTs with quarter and others
We have a compost pile about 50 feet from the back door and over a 6 ft. fence. Not much edible is there but with all the berries and some damaged but whole ones having been tossed there during the last week – we had a visitor! Thursday, John tossed trimmings into the bin (6 wood pallets making an oval 4 feet high) and a small Skunk was as surprised as was John. It was there again this evening but John checked before getting real close and so did not add to the offerings there. Deliveries to that restaurant have ceased.

Saturday, June 28

I have been cleaning dishes, working on photos for the blog, and talking on the phone. Had a nice long call from Bonnie Clow about seeing the Field Trial report win (above) in the AB magazine, and how happy she was for us to see we had a dog again on the circuit and in the placements. She doesn’t have email, so I will have to print a few of the blogs with Tre’ (Daisy)’s story to catch her up. Bonnie is very interested because she was the owner and breeder of this pup’s grandfather, Black Butte’s Chocolate Dandy, who actually has been living with us for 7 or 8 years. She didn’t realize the connection until I told her. Tre’s grandmother is Cedaridge Legacy of Shay (now 14), and Dan is 12. Both are still with us, and also Cedaridge Vintage Roussanne, (Annie), a sister of the sire, Cedaridge Tri-tip Kip. Kip, is with Sonja Willitts, in S. Lake Tahoe, CA, with another pup from his litter, Tank, Tre’s brother. Keeping it all in the family. Sonja bought her first dog in 1977 from us, while we were in Troy, ID. That dog was out of our Dual Ch. Ramblin’ Chocolate Dandy (note the similarity in names). He’s behind this pup too. Also, behind her is our Dual Ch/Amateur FC/Canadian Ch Sirius Sashay, which explains the background for my choice of Shay Tre’ for a name. She’s the 3rd Shay in our lines.
John just brought me some more strawberries to sort, and when I got them all done, I put away three 2-pound boxed packages in the fridge. Two go to neighbors and one we’ll fix and add to those he is still picking. We’d had a snack for lunch, and I just gave myself another afternoon snack of H.K. Anderson Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets (originally from PA) with a bowl of fresh sugared strawberries. All today’s strawberries are nice but not the very large Cabots as above in the photo. Most of the ones today are medium to large Jewels. Now back working on this blog, with hopes to be done by the time John chases deer away, exercises the dogs, feeds horses and cats, and redirects a couple of hoses. Supper will be a fairly simple salad but with chicken strips fried with mushrooms and a little fajita seasoning.
While John was picking strawberries, Annie was out with him and found hip bones of a deer. She brought this to him and it was dripping wet so it came from in or near the stream. He brought and showed this to me and put it on the patio. She apparently picked it up again, dropped it on the concrete, and it broke. I tried to find the other piece to take a photo. John didn’t find it either so I took a picture of Annie with one side. It would be quite a mouthful. I wish I had a photo of the retrieve. I didn’t get to see it either, but John did. After this evening’s run, Annie came back in and retrieved the missing piece, from her hiding place in the backyard. Now we could get the recreated whole in the picture below on the blue pan.
Busy day and trying to finish the blog with all sorts of stuff still happening. It’s now suppertime (late), and John is fixing the chicken & mushrooms part of the Caesar Salad without Caesar, but with Blue Cheese dressing instead. I fixed the lettuce, tomatoes, blue cheese, and multi-grain crackers broken up as croutons. We need to make some of those as salad season is now here.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Memories, Medical tests, Music, & Miscellaneous

Sunday, June 15 Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day — all you fathers! (that’s a link after the date) Very interesting history John found.
I don’t have many pictures of my dad, because he died when I was in the 9th grade, but you can see from this young military cadet picture where I got my brown eyes. It’s a little lopsided because I took it from a scrapbook in Atlanta, GA while riding around in a relative’s car in 2011. I need a better copy. I received my musical abilities from him too. He played drums and a Cornet. His name was Thomas Harold Brannen.
Nancy's dad as a young man; head and neck; old newspaper look, brownish

I put this on my Facebook page and had 33 likes and a few messages that I’ve reproduced next.
Nancy Thompson Small: What a handsome young man! You favor him (not the man part! LOL)
Nancy B. Hultquist: Thanks, Nancy S.– True. I always was told I looked more like him until after he died and people only knew my mom and said I looked like her. I have his dimple too that doesn’t show in this photo, and his lips, small mouth-closed smile, and his height. He was over 6′. Some of my older cousins, aunts and uncles, will remember him as Uncle T. I grew up being a tomboy, ’cause he taught me to fish, cast into a small circle in a lake in Piedmont Park, crab, throw a baseball, darts, pass a football, climb trees, ladders, and get on the roof to clean pine needles out of the gutters, drive a car, help him fix everything mechanical on it, spell correctly, do math, take good photographs (even if it was a Brownie) and the list goes on for the very short time I had him molding my life. Thanks for the memories.
Sam Scripter: And what were the First and Middle names of this fine man? [I know the last.]
Nancy B. Hultquist: I thought I put that as the last sentence in the intro above: His name was Thomas Harold Brannen. His dad was Thomas Henry Brannen, a Druggist in Atlanta, GA on 4th Street, but they were both Thomas H, and my dad sometimes used a Jr. after his name, T H Brannen.
Sam Scripter: Thanks! Interesting name history.
Bruce Seivertson: Happy Days.
Lee Sechler: Nancy, I see the resemblance.
Nancy B. Hultquist: Thanks, Lee. By the time you and I started bowling together in competitions, I think my dad was gone. I do have great memories of the Junior traveling leagues we were in. I don’t remember the year Broadview Bowlerama opened (in Atlanta), but it was a lot better than the old duckpin lanes in Buckhead, where we learned (and had to set our own pins)! Most people nowadays won’t likely ever have experienced those. Do you remember my middle name is Lee?
Nancy B. Hultquist: Thanks to all my friends who LIKED this conversation — now — someone who uses Facebook more than I do, please tell me if the people who liked my original post will get the rest of the comments (I rather doubt it)…so perhaps I have to write them individually? Thanks for your advice.
Michelle Lee Wittreich: I got all of the messages, and I think everyone on your friend list who got the original message saw them too.
Nancy B. Hultquist: THANKS, Michelle. I’m sure Sam Scripter will be happy hearing from you too. I always am.
I didn’t know that about “likes”. Learn something new each day. Thanks, “teach”, to my former student at the University of Idaho, Cool.
Colleen Post: Love the history…….Love the history with you and I…. Love you!
Nancy B. Hultquist: Thanks, Colleen, and I love you as my sister (as an only child your comment once to that effect you felt like that with me-really hit home), and I will always fondly remember “mom” Marge as my wonderful roommate in the Rehab center where we both were recovering. She’s up there singing with the angels looking down on us.
Most of the day we did strawberries. John picked and I did a lot of cleaning and making ready for the freezer, and then he came in and helped more. It went faster with the two of us working. I worked on videos from the secretary’s (Geog.) retirement celebration. I did a tiny bit of music, getting ready for the 4th of July music, when we play at the Adult Activity Center for the BBQ and Happy Patriotic music on July 3. Today I worked some on America, the Beautiful. Yesterday on There’s a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere.

Monday, June 16

Today was a day for making doctors’ appointments, arranging for such, and doing more cleaning and sorting of movies and photos from Friday. We also had a long phone conversation with John’s sister Peggy in Ohio about relatives, ailments, and the weather. Such things remind John of the Bruce Springsteen song, Glory Days. We had fresh strawberries with dessert tonight. John has one type of everbearing – Quinault – with a 2nd variety just planted this year. Quinault’s have a less firm berry and a lot of small ones. Maybe, like weeds, they have become crowded in their space. We now are picking large-berry Cavendish, Jewel, and Honeoye, with the largest – Cabot – about to start. Our supplier of plants –-Indiana Berry Co. — offers a large berry collection (4 types) for 36¢ per plant. This is the first year for that patch. A different location has a patch of berries put in a few years ago. That is where the Quinaults are and these in the photo.
(click image)

    Cavendish, left; & Jewel, right.

Just picked Strawberries: on left, a bowl-shaped colander; on right a plastic 1 Lb. container
John says this year’s harvest of Strawberries is going to remind me of the Diary of a Snow Shoveler. Cousin Pat, in Pennsylvania, reported feelings of too-much too often a few winters ago.
My appointment scheduling today was with a Pulmonary Specialist to review my history and particularly my CT scan, mentioned in last week’s blog. I cannot get in until July 22, or if there is a cancellation earlier. I feel there is somewhat an urgency with this, if it is likely they will determine that I need to be taken off the medication that may be causing it.

Tuesday, June 17

Just got off the phone with another billing problem for John for our eye exam. Mine was all covered because I had reached my deductible this year, but he hadn’t, so Medicare paid $24, and Group Health paid nothing. Of the bill, $44 was charged for refraction, that is, doing the measurements to get lenses. He did not have them do that as his glasses are fine. He was charged $7.68 for an Obama Care tax, only they called it Medicare and Commercial Services. It all was readjusted, and I paid the final bill $153.15 for John’s.
Saddest thing of the day was spending from 11:05 until after 4:00 working on getting the backup of my laptop onto my new Seagate Terabyte drive, only to have it fail. Working with backup computer on new Seagate drive, and sitting on the phone waiting for the IRS to answer, supposedly within 10 minutes (after spending 5 minutes + going through telephone tabs). Been working on other email necessities. Everything takes time. Finally, with another fail, I have started backing up things by selected folder and that, in fact, is likely a good idea as I don’t need half the stuff backed up anyway.
John is out picking more strawberries. I will get to work with those. I did about a pound, but he joined me for another couple/three pounds, and then he did more after I left to play music at Royal Vista tonight. Wind was really whipping during the hour + that I was gone. Gusts to 44mph. The car rocks when it’s blowing that hard. John says the trees look angry!

Wednesday, June 18

Tomorrow evening is when I go to the overnight sleep test. Meanwhile, I have to leave about 1:00 for music, and I am only expecting 2 others to be there. It may be slim pickin’s. One guy just called from Cashmere, WA, enjoying a Bluegrass festival. Our winds are still blowing. I have been working on bills today, washing clothes to get packed for tomorrow’s event, and otherwise doing e-mail, arranging appointments, and other fun things. Never a dull moment. John cleaned the burner we accidentally coated with plastic several days ago. A white plastic food wrapper was stuck to the bottom of a cast iron skillet, and we didn’t notice until it started smoking. There were no flames but it melted nicely. I did not go for my normal Wednesday activities because my banjo buddy who goes along to the Food Bank had a conference, so I used the time to get ready for my sleep in Yakima trip.

Thursday, June 19

John will go to town with me today to the grocery store, while I play music. I leave for Yakima at about 7:15. John needed to pick up my Metoprolol meds today and some blue cheese dressing. He forgot the dressing, but I needed some of the pills to finish my week’s supply of pills, so I opened the bottle that was supposed to be a 3-month supply, and it seemed quite small, so I counted. There was only a one-month supply with 30 full size pills and 30 half-size pills. (I must take 1.5/day). I called right away and told the pharmacist, who set aside 90 more pills for me to pick up next week. Good thing I was on top of it the same day we picked it up. It might not have been as easy a week later.
We had a large audience turnout at Dry Creek Center today, and 6 players. I was surprised by two of them, not expecting them to be there. Many were missing because of being out of town, or otherwise occupied with conflicting events.
We will be eating early tonight and then I’ll head to my sleep test. John’s fixing a ham stir-fry for dinner, and I just found out I can go to Costco for gas on my way home for 11 cents/gal less than in Ellensburg, and they open at 6:00 a.m. Nice. I think I will try to start my sleep at 10:30 or a little before, and hope I can get in 7 hrs before the wake-up at 5:30. I did not get to start until after 11:00 p.m.
My trip down was not uneventful. No problem on the Interstate, but once there, I went to the 40th Avenue exit off the Naches Highway. I was going to access Tieton Drive (road the Yakima Memorial Hospital is on), from the north a few blocks, and save riding on the bumpy other access road to the south (16th Avenue). Various construction projects had the roads blocked and I had to drive around unfamiliar neighborhoods for 15 minutes looking for a way to the Hospital. At the first blockage, I was forced to turn left onto a detour not well marked. I turned south figuring it would take me back to the vicinity of where I wanted to be. Instead, I ended up on Englewood, which should be renamed Anglewood, because it took off in the wrong direction, on a diagonal. I managed to cross 40th again to the west, and stopped 2 women walkers. They guided me around and back to near Tieton, but once I got close, that access road was closed. When I finally got to cross Tieton, uphill from the hospital, it also was closed. What’s a person to do? I stopped 2 more families while trying to get there. The 2nd couple (runners) got me back toward the hospital. Once close, I crossed Tieton, now headed north, and was stymied again, when I got on another closed street heading east, and I stopped another family walking their dog, and finally got advised to go down to 26th street. That was the closest I could get to the hospital, (which is between 29th and 30th), so I went around the Road Closed sign and between orange cones, and made my way to the first hospital entrance, passed on to 30th, to the West Pavilion. I figured if a cop stopped me I would tell him to put on his flashing lights and drive me to the hospital as I was now 15 minutes late for my check-in time for overnight. I got in without further imposition. Another patient (there were 4 of us there last night), had reported to the technician the same problem, so she wasn’t surprised I was late.
My blood pressure at arrival was higher than usual, so we waited until later, and it had decreased significantly. Even surprised the tech. It was down to 104/59, from 146/76. I will review the procedure set up and occurrence tomorrow, so keep reading.

Friday, June 20
Morning came too early without enough restful sleep. I was awakened at 5:30, but not before being awakened at 1:30 and then 3:30. Thankfully, the awakening was not for installation of a CPAP mask, but for an adjustment to my head’s raised position to try to make me flatter (for better respiratory sensing). I was in an adjustable hospital bed, for head and feet. I am used to sleeping on my back in a raised position, with two pillows. So, when I was flattened out, I couldn’t get back to sleep, because I was very uncomfortable and hurting. Finally, my wish was fulfilled when my head was again raised by the technician. Apparently, they got a verification of the respiratory data they needed in the time period I was so miserable.
No CPAP mask was used in my testing. Actually, before being wired for the test (discussed below), I had to be fitted for one (with a choice of two different types). I received a nice demo of each from my technician. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a ventilation device that blows a gentle stream of air into the nose during sleep to keep the airway open. During my testing examination, I would only have one placed on my head, if my test results “qualified me” for apnea or hypopnea. They planned to awake me to put it on. Hypopnea is defined as shallow slow breathing–breathing that is usually shallow and slow—and is distinctly different from apnea in which there is no breathing. The next set-up (after my blood pressure reading), was to wire me for measuring various things they were interested in. I wish I had thought to ask the total number of electrodes hooked into me. I had a portable unit so I could get up (after being unplugged from the wall), to go to the bathroom or walk around the room.
The wiring up procedure was interesting. I had surface electrodes on my face and scalp, legs, and on my chest, and other places that send electrical signals to the measuring equipment. I was down the hall and around another hallway, from the control room. My technician had two patients and was viewing both of us all night, and our readouts (graphs, much like an EKG).
Another technician was there with 2 other patients. They had infrared cameras on us and a sensitive intercom allowed us to communicate easily.
The signals sent through the electrodes to the machine room are created by my brain and muscle activity, and recorded into a digital format. More below, but things such as eye movement, brain waves, and muscles are monitored, including the heart muscle.
At setup and before take down, I had to do a number of movements that I imagine was for checking the equipment’s receiving the digital signals. One of my electrodes had to be reseated on my head. Those were the most uncomfortable to “install” (taking alcohol and some horrible goop, which adhered to my hair long after the test was over).
The kind of movements I had to initialize were eyes, back and forth, left to right, up and down, wiggle my left foot, then my right. Inhale and hold my breath. Inhale, hold my breath, and move my stomach in and out. Grind my teeth. Snore, which I don’t do, and didn’t know how to replicate, so I was asked to clear my throat. I don’t remember any others, but there may have been. Belts were placed around my chest and abdomen to measure breathing.
An EEG (electroencephalogram) measured my brain wave activity.
An EMG (electromyogram) recorded muscle activity such as face twitches, teeth grinding, and leg movements, and to determine the presence of REM stage sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. During REM sleep, intense dreams might occur as the brain undergoes heightened activity. I had no dreams, and if I had, the technician would have awakened me and asked what I just dreamed.
An EOG (electro-oculogram) records eye movements. These movements are important in determining the different sleep stages, particularly the REM stage sleep.
An ECG (electrocardiogram) records my heart rate and rhythm.
A nasal airflow sensor records airflow.
A snore microphone records snoring activity. My tech showed me all these devices and explained what they monitored.
The last thing put on me was an oximeter on my finger to measure the amount of oxygen in my blood. I knew that well from stays in the hospital and even which finger I preferred.
I had a good cheerful and informative technician, which helped. I was even tagged with the plastic wrist ID from Yakima Memorial Hospital.
A black & white bracelet with doctors names and Memorial Hosp +Nancy's name and id numbers
I have heard horror stories about technicians other people had for their tests. Mine was very helpful, compassionate, and had been through all the tests as part of her training, learned in on-the-job experiences right there, but had to pass a state test to qualify as a somnographer. She just tells people she is a sleep technician. She’s a local kid having been raised in Selah. Yes, I interview all my caregivers when I’m in the hospital. I like to know as much about them as they are allowed to tell. I got a lot of practice 4 years ago. Below is my photo she took of me the morning after my test. I took hers too. Her name is Trudy (as you can see on the wall chart).
Nancy in white sleeping attire with a dozen wires attached to face and skull

The sleep tech holding the wires to be attached to Nancy
I should have thought to take a photo the next day to show my better clean hairdo.
Boy, what an experience. It was very tiring.
I bought gasoline before leaving town at Costco for $3.739/gal, — currently, $3.849 in Ellensburg — saving me $1.30. I got home, did a few things, and went to bed at 10:00 a.m. Slept hard until noon.
Then John fixed a great lunch, ham, fried potatoes with eggs over easy, and fresh strawberries he picked this morning. Now I have to make time to clean 4 plastic pound containers worth. A welcome-home treat because of the truly lousy breakfast given to me at the end of my test. A plastic-wrapped Danish pastry, a cup of coffee with dry creamer, orange juice (ok), and strawberry yogurt (the best part of the meal). I’m glad I had nothing else on tap today. I’ll be ready to play music tomorrow at Briarwood. I think.
I had an amazing amount of goop left in my hair from the electrodes hooked up to me. The room had a nice shower but the soap was totally lousy for cleaning. It was in a dispenser as a body soap, and difficult to get much of to spread on a washcloth to rub my head and hair. I should have taken my own shampoo. I still have two globs of goop in my hair after washing thoroughly with hot water. I couldn’t get rid of it until I was home and had John’s help with a hand held sprayer in our kitchen sink with me first scrubbing my scalp and hair with fingers of both hands using a heavy-duty cleaning shampoo.
I think it will be at least 2 weeks, before I can return to learn the results. I don’t remember being scheduled for it after my first appt (when it was made). Maybe they wait to see that you complete it first. The technician seemed to think I should have been previously scheduled. On my way home from Yakima, today, I called and left a voicemail message for the woman I had been going through, but she never returned my call. I did ask Trudy the tech, before I left the center, if she had gathered enough data so that I did not have to return for another test. She had. That was good news. Also knowing I am not a candidate for the mask makes me happy.

Saturday, June 21

Been cleaning kitchen sink and counters while John picks strawberries. I’m going to select some nice ones for a small basket and take them to the place we are playing music today. I did and also took photos off my camera for this week’s blog. We had a small lunch. We got ready to leave about 1:12 and picked up our neighbor Lorene, who went with us to the music and food at Briarwood Commons (a retirement community of apartments). They treat us once a month to a great meal, and sing along with us to all the old songs (we give them a songbook of lyrics).
For the main dish, one of the residents ordered chicken potpie soup from the Dakota Cafe’ and it was delivered to the place by them. It was quite good. All things you would expect were included: chicken, peas, carrots, and crust chunked up in a nice base. Boy was it ever good. There was a crock pot of bbq beans. Desserts included chocolate chip cookies, snicker doodles, some sort of apple pastry with a thin layered crust, and some other cake-like stuff. There were also hot rolls and butter, crackers with a neat dip, and chips. We won’t need supper. Our strawberries were a huge hit.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

1st day of summer … ?

Nancy is resting, still, from her big sleep test. So, . . .(from John):

Today is being reported as the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the “astronomical summer” as defined by the geometry of sun rays relative to the tilted Earth.
An explanation is here.
Meteorologists use a different definition of the “Summer Season” based on the months of warmest temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. Thus, summer is defined as June/July/August, making the first day of summer June 1st. This “feels” right and is the way many people and some countries view things. In the US, the summer season is perceived to start with Memorial Day. This year that was on May 26.
[Note the date of that web page – June 21, 2013. In addition to missing IRS hard drives our government seems to be missing a year!]
The diagram on the NOAA site is not meant to show the correct sizes of Sun and Earth. The image below does. Earth and Sun sizes are about right but the distance between is not correct. (Click the photo for the full size.)
Earth (size of a pin head) beside the basketball sized Sun.
For current information about what the Sun is up to you can check Space Weather .com.

When sunny Nancy gets around to finishing the weekly report, I’ll see about getting it posted. Maybe Sunday – Noonish.


Ticks, Strawberries, Doctors

Sunday, June 8

We both slept in after our long hard day yesterday, and I started working on finishing the blog, but our Internet was down again. Now it is late afternoon, and John is doing the finishing touches on publishing the blog, after text additions, editing, link creation, and picture entry. He’s set some irrigation water and done other chores both in and outside. We have been privileged this afternoon with a flock of Starlings all around the house. Noisy critters. Some other bird call (another feathered creature) is cackling out back by the creek too. No clue what it is; Magpie, maybe? Have pretty much spent the day on projects, with only the blog near completion, and late for this weekend. The temperatures and the wind velocity are up — respectively, to 81 and 36.
Rascal brought a live young Starling through the doggie door, and dropped it somewhere, I guess; I heard it cheeping, but by the time I got up, Annie was carrying it to me–I said, what have you got?, and she laid it down at my feet. Thankfully, she has a soft mouth. John picked it up and it was still breathing with eyes opened, and he put it on a rug on a cabinet on our front porch. I checked and it was still alive. I went away for a few minutes and checked again, and it had flown away.
My laptop burped and hung. Restarted, sent out one job announcement, stopped for dessert, and came back to an inoperable internet connection, again. Guess it’s time to hit the hay.

Monday, June 9

Work on projects needing attention, however, mostly off the computer because again, our Internet/DSL was intermittent this morning. Finally, I called the provider (headquarters for Internet Technical Support, in the Midwest), to report the problem (probably the 4th time this month). John had to unplug every telephone line (we have 6) in the house. Static on our lines is awful. When I received phone calls today, I had to tell people I would call them back on my cell phone, and any outgoing calls were made the same way.
Sad news from a friend in Selah, WA, about the death of her best friend’s husband (not young). It’s been a challenge. Very sad, but there was nothing two hospitals could do to save his life, first in Yakima, second in Seattle (for almost 2 weeks). They had time to get all the kids in to see their dad before he died. At least his mind was good until the end, if not the rest of his body.
Finally, late afternoon, the line connection stayed on long enough for me to write a note to the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends about this week, and about a July 3 performance for the 4th. In addition, I needed to get on to upload some of the videos from the Saturday Awards party to YouTube. I managed to get several of those uploaded too. Windy day. 41 mph gusts for 4 hours today, and 40 mph for 2 hours, in high 30s for 10 hours and high 20s for 4 hours. Breezes started just before 2:00 a.m. this morning. All this wind is helping our cherry trees with their self-thinning. Not good to see so many green cherries on the ground, however.

Tuesday, June 10

We went to Brooks’ this morning, instead of the Copper Kettle, for our normal monthly meeting of the Geography Emeritus Professors. I was asked to give a report on the Saturday Awards party. I won’t have too much to say, except I shall tell them I will email the links to the videos I took while there, and they can view the ones they wish, or not at all. One video talks about the good things that happened in the department this year. A major thing was a donation of $100,000 to the Dept., by Joseph Stoltman, a 1962 graduate of CWU Geography who went on to be a well known and respected professor and chair of his department in Michigan. He and his wife, Gillian, a Chemistry professor, made the donation. His brother Art sells real estate in town, and has just completed a sale here to Anne Engels, mother of Glenn, who many of you will remember, a geography (& English and Computer Science) major. She’s moving from Montana.

Wednesday, June 11

Food Bank Soup Kitchen and SAIL exercise. Food bank went well today and we had 4 people up dancing to Five Foot Two. It was quite enjoyable. Then we were treated to Salmon chowder with honey cornbread, along with several other dishes. Afterwards, I went two places looking for a Memory Book for the retirement party, skipping the first at $17.99 (plus tax), and later, found a journal “sketch book” with no lines to make into a book for people to write memories. I cherish mine from my retirement party, so I decided to get this.
I played telephone tag with my cardiologist’s nurse from several places in town today. She had emailed me at home, asking me to call her because she wanted to talk in person. I was a little worried because I thought it might be about my recent test results. Turns out it was, but we tagged back and forth (on my cell) several times before I finally reached her from the parking lot of my last stop before home. Fortunately, I was in the car, stopped, with a/c, and able to take notes. I listened, responded where appropriate, asked questions, and requested a copy of the report on my CT scan from which she was reading. The main concern for the original call was she did not want me to be alarmed and confused by a scheduling call from the Yakima Heart Center, about a referral to the Yakima Chest Clinic, to a specialist there about my lungs, cancelling another upcoming appointment with my cardiologist until 2 weeks after this and a follow-up meeting with another specialist (nuclear cardiologist) is completed. However, in telling me what to expect she mentioned I would be contacting an Intensivist, which I looked up and found to be a physician who specializes in the care of critically ill patients, usually in an intensive care unit (ICU).
That made an impression but not until 2 days later. One immediately disturbing part of the conversation was the error that has slipped into my medical record that is totally unfounded and untrue. It says (somewhere) that I was previously a smoker. I have corrected that statement before (as recently as May this year). I have NEVER smoked in my life. I believe I will type and deliver a statement to every doctor I go to from now on stating that fact. How does one get rid of an error in their medical history? You really can’t because it has been copied and sent to a dozen places and no one is going to go find and “white out” that spot. Out, damned spot! out, I say! [Macbeth; Act V. Scene I.] John and I both read this report and will have to spend an hour or more defining the medical term descriptions of my “condition” found (that needs to be evaluated further to see if it is scar tissue only from something previous, or a “mass” which needs to be tapped and a decision made if it is benign or not, or if it is truly a fibrous tissue resulting from the use of a drug Amiodarone I have taken for 4 years to control atrial fibrillation. Something is showing that is out of the ordinary, so I will have to go through more procedures and evaluations to determine what is producing these results, while I feel just fine and don’t feel ill. I’m trying to continue with a positive attitude, but it’s getting in the way of my already busy schedule to take off days at a time. The worst stay away from home MIGHT be a 3-day evaluation of a drug (Tikosyn©), to replace the one I was on. The drug is so touchy that I’m required to be hospitalized for 3 days for observation of my reactions to the drug, in order to determine the correct dosage for me. Reworded by me, is this explanation: To decrease the chance of getting a different type of dangerous abnormal heartbeat, TIKOSYN© treatment must be started with exceptional observation. While in the hospital, the kidney function and heart rhythm will be monitored for a minimum of 3 days. This helps the doctor to choose the right TIKOSYN© dose.)
The DSL/phone company sent a tech out and he and John started checking the phone lines inside the house. His equipment was telling him our problem was in the house. We found one line with some chew marks – a mouse? These were small but did seem to go into the wire. The tech gave us a new line and a filter for it. The filter is designed to keep anything happening on the phone/talk side from messing with the signals going to the computer. If you really want to know, here is more than you likely want:
DSL – and phone line filter So far it seems to be helping.

Thursday, June 12

‘Twas another busy day today. Our music group played at the Rehab Center. I took off the second tick in a week, this one attached to my left chest. It had not sucked any blood yet, but pulled off a little glob of skin when I removed it. The one earlier was just crawling on my neck. I don’t know where they are coming from. I have only spent a very short time walking under the trees, so they must be coming in on the dogs, and falling somehow into my clothes, yet John has seen none on the dogs. Rascal (cat) occasionally gets in my lap as I type on my laptop computer, but it doesn’t make sense for them to end up on the back of my neck or under my clothes. I suppose they could fall on the chair, make their way up the fabric to the top, and come down onto my neck, but that’s a bit implausible too. John is outside a lot and hasn’t been a host, yet. Go figure!
Rascal was gone for a long time (all afternoon yesterday, overnight, and finally came back midday today. Who knows? He talks but doesn’t communicate useful information. He ate a lot, slept a lot, and sat in my lap or next to John. I don’t know where he is now. Winds have been howling all day, since I drove to town at 1:00 pm. As much as 46 mph. Took memory book and title page into Dean Hall, for someone else to fix who has a paper cutter and glue. It had two photos I had taken of Marilyn, our retiring secretary after 17 years with Geography, and a total of 33 years at CWU.

Friday, June 13: A nice lucky, Friday the 13th

Need to finish compiling a packet of goodies from us for Marilyn for her retirement celebration. Marilyn’s party is at 3:00 to 5:30, with light refreshments and a champagne toast after 5:00 (required by the Univ., for not having alcohol served during working hours!)
More to come on that event which I captured in video and stills, but first the only one we have together with Marilyn, taken at the beginning of the party by Steve Hackenberger.
MM between Nancy and John at Marilyn retirement party
I was taking pictures so I didn’t get in any others except one with a student who won our award last Saturday but had to be at the 75th Anniversary of the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in northern WA. Her name is Bethany Oliver. I will put the YouTube video link I took of that award ceremony (for the Hultquist Distinguished Service Award), with the other person in, below her photo.
Nancy and Bethany at MM retirement party
Here’s Nancy with Bethany, and next is the YouTube link to the ceremony she missed while at the Loomis, WA ceremony. Watch the wind blow at the awards.
In response to a friend’s comment about my lung scan concern. I had a similar scare in 1967 while a graduate student in Cincinnati, working in a medical computer center, where they had a TB patient in the building and X-rayed all of us working there. They found a spot on my lung, and put me through one of the first echocardiograms, being developed there at the time. For the first time, I saw the prolapse of my Mitral Valve (the one now replaced with a porcine one). I had been warned of it by a doctor when I was 17 (it causes a heart murmur I have had all my life, since having Rheumatic Fever as a kid). The doctor was a cardiologist my mom (a Cardiac nurse) respected, and, at the time, I had no doctor, but I needed a physical exam to enter college. He realized it and explained what it was and what I might expect in the future. He recognized it and told me the things I should watch out for and be careful of doing. Today, I received a CT scan report to the doctor (copied by my cardiologist’s nurse to me at my request). I have to translate the medical terms (John did this stuff when I was in the hospital) to try to understand the diagnosis, especially before I start going to other specialists. I managed to find two of the doctors mentioned in my referral, and studied their credentials. I think I will go with the fellow who became a pulmonary specialist MD in WA (UW), in 1980, and has been practicing for 30 years, that is, if I have any say in the matter.
Spent a bunch of time transferring photos and videos from the retirement celebration today.

Saturday, June 14

We have been home all day, going since early morning. Wind has been blowing longer than that–up to 41 mph for 3 hours, and consistently blowing since yesterday at 3:30 all over 26, but largely in the high 30s or low 40s. Happy I’m not out in it today at graduation, in the open field. Would have returned home with chapped skin and lips from the wind, but still probably have received sunburn.
I have been working on pictures I took yesterday and writing the blog and researching the report and doctors (specialists) they wish to send me to in Yakima soon. I hope I can get an appt sooner than later, to find the underlying cause of this.
Strawberries: I just finished another pound package; 2 down and 3 to go. There’s bunches more to be picked but John stopped to do other things. He picked the smaller softer ever-bearing type and they need fixed the day they are picked. He did bring in 3 very large ones from a different patch. We ate them for lunch. Tomorrow he will pick several pounds of those and then water the plants. It took 110 minutes to upload the larger you-tube video from yesterday (it is 6 minutes long), but the system is still processing it a couple hours later. Wind is whipping. Just blew over the metal pooper-scooper from beside the back door, and loudly, onto the concrete patio. Rascal was resting in the sun by the patio door, and it scared us both. Later, John came in, opened a window by his computer across the room, and then took the food I had fixed out the back patio door to the outside cats. The wind tunnel was opened and blew the blinds against the phone, dumping it on the floor in pieces and disconnecting the line. I had to climb under the counter to retrieve the pieces and put the blind up, repair the phone, and get on with life. Finally, for the hour before 10:00 p.m. tonight, the wind decreased to 17 mph. Nice. John was getting pretty weary of it and said so more than once in the past couple of days.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Strawberries need picked

John will work on the blog later today, Saturday.
There are things that need doing in daylight.
We have had about 3 pounds of berries over several days but today there are several pounds ready and there is some weeding and watering required. Also, the berries need to be cleaned, sliced, and bagged for the freezer. A few other things too.

Look for the past week’s doings here Sunday morning.

Things on the highways

Sunday, June 1

Slept in again, and have been working on chores all day. It’s now late afternoon, but John is not scheduled to appear for another couple hours. He had a 2 hour drive today, and I will hear later about the workload. I turned on the a/c after seeing it made it to 86 at the airport. I do not think it’s that high in the shade of our porch but it is hot. Tried setting up my backup drive and it is not recognizing it. I don’t understand why not. I will try again, closer to the scheduled time of backing up tonight. John just called from Leavenworth and plans to be home by 6:00. He made it and we were late eating a chef salad I made. Now it is almost 9:00.
I fiddled all day and only finished a couple of things. One was a letter of recommendation for a friend since the 1990s (my student originally).
The other was my first of the month tally of our volunteer work in the county. I put in 28 hours, (not counting the music prep — just the performance, John 13.5, and I report for my 83 year old guitar buddy who doesn’t have a computer, but plays with our group, so 17 for him. I constructed a sympathy card/letter for a former student who’s mom died (she was a trick rider in her younger days, and appeared on the 1995 Ellensburg telephone directory as one [of 4] “Rodeo Grandmas”). Her name was Peggy Hunt.

Monday, June 2

Good grief, up early (5:00 a.m.) because I couldn’t get comfortable, and got a phone call at 7:24 a.m. from a neighbor about our shared water. Now it’s after lunch, and we went on a walk through the 7 acres, for John to redirect the irrigation water from the caller to a closer neighbor. (Click image for large view).
A one foot wide water irrigation ditch flowing under a wire fence
John in red shirt and blue hat drags a gray tarp through a fence line blue pipe gate

The first photo is at the low (south) end of our pasture. Naneum Creek is west of us and the diversion is ¼ mile north. The “ditch” comes in at the high point of our north fence line and makes 3 turns before heading south – then it is about 800 feet to the point in the first photo. The once “Blue Gate” (right photo) is just to the right of the current ditch but until a few years ago the trench went under the gate. John’s carrying a tarp to replace an old one. Most of the tarps sold as “dams” are bright orange plastic (100 ft. roll; cut as needed). This one (gray and white) is recycled from a hay covering business in town. Here’s my story about hay, from a couple of years ago. There is a tarped hay photo just up from the bottom. Finally, videos of the tarp dam-building process.
Movie; 1 min. 25 sec.
Just 25 sec here.
You will see that three of our Brittanys like to help John. This work is to divert water onto the field directly below us. For the past week, it has been going to the next neighbor downhill. The dogs check water depth, temperature, and decrease the clarity, but otherwise are not very useful. Interestingly, when we arrived here in 1989, the other 3 places getting water this way had manly help. One fellow left on his own, one was booted out by his wife, and the third has aged to the point of advice-giver only. A micro-statement of some of the problems facing our generation.
Back indoors, I have been dealing with email stuff for various things, some paying bills, and some notifying folks for upcoming events at CWU, primarily for Marilyn Mason’s retirement party. Marilyn has been our department secretary since 1997, but has actually worked at CWU for 33 years total. John hooked up my external backup drive disk to his computer, and his is not recognizing it either. I will take it to our computer guys to have them test it. I hope it is just a cable gone bad and not the whole shebang. If it is the disk, I hope they can retrieve all my back up files, or I suppose I will have to buy a new one and hook it up to my computer and start from scratch. This computer, however, does not have all the stuff on it that the external drive does — because it was bought previously to copy off the hard disk of a “crashed” disk on another laptop (or maybe two previous ones). An hour and a half nap helped us both this afternoon. That’s an unusual treat. When the Sun starts its dive toward the great Pacific Ocean John heads back out to attend to garden, horses, cats, and retreive the newspaper. The dogs help with all of those, just as they do with the irrigation sets.

Tuesday, June 3

Off after lunch to Yakima Heart Center with a friend. Both of us scheduled appointments the same day so I could give her a ride. It’s a 100-mile round trip. Both John’s and my cars know the route by heart (pun intended). My routine checkup was completed 5 minutes after her exam started, so I had a little wait, but I went outside the waiting room, where I could talk on my cell phone. I made a few necessary calls before she arrived, but she found me and said she has to come back tomorrow, and could I bring her down? What am I to say–no? I did say I couldn’t go until after our events I must do are over–noon music at the food bank and the exercise class. However, I said I could miss exercise if we could push the time up on the appt. She is also in the exercise class. We went back in to change the time, but the 4:00 p.m. time was the ONLY opening for a Vascular imaging test of her legs. So, we will both attend the exercise class and leave from there. That will give me an hour’s wait while she is having the test so I will go shopping at Costco. On the way back through town to let my rider off at her house north of town, I stopped and left my external hard drive for a testing evaluation. The person there was not the normal one (or 3) I normally go through, and he took it, but wrote and made me initial a work order for an evaluation diagnosis. (That costs $43). I’m not happy with that, if it occurs, but I also need to have an external working backup drive. It will be nice if it is just a cable problem. On the other hand, even if I have to buy a new one, they will charge me for it, and also the time (probably an hour), to copy the stuff from the broken one to the new one (if they can retrieve it). I have at least 3 computers’ worth on that Terabyte drive.

Wednesday, June 4

Started the morning by picking up farm eggs from neighbor at 10:00 a.m. (she already had them in 2 cartons). We trade our frozen raspberries for them. Our frozen berry collection is dwindling so we will be ready for the fresh strawberry onslaught soon. We have many blossoms and reds starting out there now. The day-neutral (everbearing) ones John planted this year seem to have had a hard time – just about half are alive. Last year’s plantings have totally filled in – weather? or plants? or what? – no clue! We hope the new ones come around. They are supposed to be firmer than the other variety day-neutral ones we now have – many of which are not worth carrying from the garden. I have to do my normal Wednesday things, but leaving earlier today for the Food Bank music to meet a man in the parking lot to transfer a large corduroy curtain/drape for a patio door, which his wife is giving to some people who live at Elmview to make craft projects they sell at the Farmers’ Market. Elmview is a private non-profit organization, started in 1965 by parents and community members concerned about people with developmental disabilities. Note, from their website. Interesting their starting year was the year John and I met for the first time in Cincinnati, OH in our first graduate program. At the Food Bank Soup Kitchen, our music goes until 12:30, and then we are fed. However, today, I could not stay to eat because nothing on the menu is allowed on my “medical” diet. It was Corned Beef and cabbage, with dark green cooked vegetables. So, after saying my adieus, I went to Burger King and used a $4 off coupon for my lunch. Came back, picked up my meds, and put in the cooler John had packed for my trip to Costco later today. Then off to exercise class, where after class we left (with the woman I took yesterday with me to the Yakima Heart Center), back down the interstate (I-82) for another test, which was supposed take an hour. We got there early, so I parked under a shade tree and made some calls to see if I could find a ride for her in the future to save on my time and expense. She had a stent put in less than a month ago. She cannot drive herself, and her daughter has to take off from work (unpaid) to take her. After several phone calls with leads from RSVP in Ellensburg, I called about transportation. She is not on Medicaid, and therefore not eligible for most public services. She cannot ride the commercial bus transportation because she needs door-to-door service, cannot walk far, and would not have a ride from the bus station in Yakima. I’m following up on one other lead in Ellensburg, because the one possible ride I found for seniors & disabled only applies in Yakima County. We are in Kittitas County. I received some information that I will follow up on from my computer — because she doesn’t own one. We made it to the Yakima Heart Center in time for her check-in time, and I went in to check on MY next appointment hoping for something before the end of August to get my test results of May and June. Luckily, I got an appointment July 1. From there I knew I had an hour for her test and left for Costco. It took the hour, but the receptionist knew I had gone and when I would return. Unfortunately, the woman I took there could not perform the treadmill stress test and so the test was incomplete, ending in 15 minutes (at 4:15). She had a long wait for me. I bought several heavy things (and got help with the lifting them into my cart and then into my car), filled my car with gas ($3.69/gal), and went back through horrible traffic only 4.5 miles to retrieve her at 5:00 p.m. At least the receptionist knew where I had gone and when I planned to return. The story doesn’t end there, however. We left to drive home, and at the ramp to get back onto I-82, cars were backed up as far as we could see, completely stopped. Along with a couple other drivers, we went across some gravel to the exit ramp to Selah, knowing it was at least on our way home. As we passed over the river, we looked down on the accident, with a fire truck stopping all northbound lanes, and many flashing state patrol lights. We continued on to and through Selah out to the Canyon Road highway, and past, to enter the freeway back to Ellensburg. Finally, we were on our way home. I needed to return her to her car at the SR Center where she left it from being at exercise together and our leaving from there. Within 5 miles of our destination, she was looking in her bag, pockets, and pocketbook, for her lone key. She couldn’t locate it. I asked if she remembered when she left, if she could have left it in the car. No, she was sure not. Well, once in town next to her car, she searched again and so did I and couldn’t find it anywhere in her things or pockets. I asked her to look in the car. Lo, the key was in the ignition, and all locked. [The car is of the GM-recall type and until fixed are not to have anything dangling from the key. Hers was due in the shop the next day.] She does not have a backup so we couldn’t call her daughter to have her go to her house to retrieve it. So, our only alternative was to call a locksmith. I have AAA coverage and thought it was covered on my policy, but I called and asked them. Told them the complete story, and that it was not my car but I was carrying her to a doctor’s appointment and back to her car. The person on the other end was most helpful, said I was covered, and she would have to put in a call for a local provider, and would get back to me (but not before asking a lot of questions about the car in question). She called back to tell us it would be an hour’s wait. Whoa–it was already after 6:30 p.m. We asked her to tell them to hurry as much as possible. We knew the name of the roadside assistance towing company who was coming to help us. Then, she called her daughter to tell her the predicament, and the daughter knew one of the owners (maybe he’s just a driver). She said she’d call and find out what was happening, and identify her mom as the one in need. The truck arrived within 10 minutes. The fellow was very understanding and nice, and had the tools allowing him rapidly to enter the window, unlock the door, and he noticed the ignition key was turned on, so he started the car, and thank goodness, the battery was not dead. She drove off and I drove home. On the way — going 50 mph on the Kittitas Hwy — I passed over a duck with her babies, but did not hit mama nor any of the brood or family?, whatever the term should be. That made up for the earlier troubles. Thus, home, finally, just before 8:00 p.m. What a day!! Luckily, the meeting I have to attend at campus, normally on Wednesday nights, is on Thursday this month.

Thursday, June 5

Today John will go to Super 1 for the special Thursday sale items while I go to Royal Vista for music. Surprisingly, we had 10 players. One is a patient there, and she was just a singer today, although she had her Tambourine her husband brought. Except for a banjo, bass fiddle, and me on fiddle, the rest were guitars. The audience was very involved and appreciative. One lady is a member of our exercise class (the banjo player and I both are members), so she came down with her walker. She had broken her hip and had hip replacement surgery. She gave us both a hug. She sang almost every song and really enjoyed our group’s hour presentation. While I was there, John took my computer laptop by to see if the disk was recognized. It was. No idea what happened. Read tomorrow to see further comments. Tonight, John and I took off for the talk on the Last Glaciation of the Puget Sound Lowland, getting there in time to grab a seat on the front row, where we could see well. It was well done, but went longer than an hour. We were late eating and getting to bed.

Friday, June 6

Wake-up call at 7:30 a.m. from Raleigh, NC group to thank me for receipt of my filled-in questionnaire. Why can’t people in business in the east recognize a 3 hr. time difference in the west? My mom always taught me never to call anyone anywhere before 9:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m. Most frustrating was the woman calling this morning’s inability to answer my questions. I wrote responses on the questionnaire about “THEIR” definition of the meaning of Geography, and my inability to respond the way I wanted. I doubt I will ever get any response to my questions, and they will just register my numbers without reading my comments. Her response to me was she didn’t get to see the questionnaire, as it was delivered directly to the computer-entry personnel. I can only learn from this, it is another huge waste of money on a government project without proper guidelines or good data gathering from a questionnaire. The effort certainly wasted a lot of my precious time. Yesterday afternoon, my backup drive failed after 2 hrs into the process, and I left it for morning. Now it’s currently running, and I hope it finishes. If it fails again, I plan to call the computer folks who charged us $43 to tell us nothing was wrong to see if they have further ideas. I have checked the space left on the drive, and it is much larger than the used space on my laptop. It failed again this morning, but we decided to get on the Internet and buy a new one. Here’s the scoop on my new drive, to arrive Tuesday, from Amazon. It’s a Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive with Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0 (Blue) STDR1000102- $59.99 with a Case Logic EHDC-101Blue Hard Shell Case for 2.5-Inch Portable Hard Drive-$11.84. Item Subtotal: $71.83; shipping is pre-paid via Amazon Prime; Total before Tax: $71.83; Estimated Tax: $5.75 minus Reward Points: -$68.58 (from Discover card use). Order Total: $9.00. Sounds good but John’s take is that $68 would have stocked the icebox with good beer. (Nancy’s comment – more than he needs!)
John went to town to fill his car so he doesn’t have to pay over $4.03/gal on Hwy 2 through the Cascades. $3.82/gal is bad enough, but he had only to drive 9 miles to get it today. And, frustrating, considering 2 days ago, I paid $3.69/gal in Yakima. We just got through creating together a special recipe John makes for supreme brownies, with extra chocolate chips, pecans, and walnuts. I will cut into smaller pieces and take in a plastic carrier to put on the table (with a top, in case of bees). The party is outside about 5 miles from our house. Another accomplishment–competed a task created by my past. I still am asked to construct letters of reference for jobs, graduate school entry, or scholarship requests for past geography students. Two needed to be done yesterday for the same person. Luckily, I had a base start from previous letters and only had to change a few words to relate to these requests. Changes in technology now allow me to circumvent the creation of a letter, signed, and mailed from the University at their expense for such letters. Much of it is done on line and they will accept an electronic version (picture of) my signature in the salutation. One gets emailed and the other I have to submit on line. What changes we have experienced in our academic lifetime! Sitting in my lap is a computer laptop that is MANY times bigger and faster than mainframe university computers John and I began working on in the 1960s. Those took up entire rooms and had to be air-conditioned with raised floors to cover all the electrical cords and connections.

Saturday, June 7

At 6:00 a.m., John leaves for the Stevens Pass, Martin Connector Trail. WTA work party (with more of the Boeing group) on National Trails Day. Party at Megan Walsh’s (Biogeographer) is today starting at 4:00. The wind is blowing hard so it might not be pleasant. Temps at 2:45 up to 79 with winds up to 25mph. I was up at 3:30 a.m. and never really got back to sleep well. John’s alarm went off at 5:10, and I got up to fix him a sandwich. Because I will be cutting the large pan of brownies into pieces today, I was able to pack him some for the road. I stayed up, but now at almost 7:00 a.m., I shall lie back down for a while. Up again, a little more rested, and my computer internet is down. That might force me to do the off-computer tasks I so much need to accomplish.
The wind is still whipping everything … outside the house. Angry trees, according to John. I’m glad we are not housed beneath large Ponderosas, as is the woman next door.
The party was great. Everyone loved our brownies. Food was fine, and John made it in time to eat. I took movies of the award ceremony. Each year we donate money for two scholarships in our name, for a deserving undergrad or graduate student in the program. It’s named the Hultquist Distinguished Service Award. They are $500 each.
Some very important email news and pictures awaited me upon coming home. My puppy Daisy (Tre’) in CA took a first place in a Puppy Class (show), at a show called Woofstock, where everyone dresses in tie-dyed and bright clothes with flowers around their heads or such. She got a 2nd place too in another class. My favorite photo is Daisy seeing a bird in an adjacent ring, on her trip around in her class (the one on the far right below). Thanks to Jeri Conklin (her co-owner) for showing her.
Show JPG
(Click image for large view).

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

A Hectic Day

Saturday evening:

We were both busy today and are now home from the Geography end-of-year party. The animals are all taken care of and it is 8:30. The full story of the week will get posted by Noonish on Sunday – unless we get blown away. Most recent gust was 38 mph.


Tree flowerings

Sunday, May 25

Slept in and got another OUT of AREA call to wake me up. I have responded to two more in the past few days and they are from different callers. Dang, I hate that. I wish there was a button to push to stop them before answering. Answering and requesting the “don’t call” category does not work. Most times I don’t answer.
Other thing for the morning was printing a legal document for a neighbor and delivering it to our mailbox (okay on Sunday). The Internet is down again, so I’m happy I retrieved it early this morning from an email. I also got a request from my student of the 1990s to write a letter of recommendation on LinkedIn, and to sign a paper for my signature to support her in an ad for another WA county for County Assessor. Been doing other clean-up paperwork and stacks, intermittently. Oh, also throwing in music things — now changed the timing on one song I have been working on. Need to check it out with my fiddle. The software doesn’t give the best rendition, and I will have to be leading the singing and beat. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get to my violin — its buried under some stuff. The case makes a nice surface on which to pile clothing as we come in the door.

Monday, May 26 Memorial Day

We started the morning with a loose horse. John cannot find the horse’s escape route, and the others with him could not either, remaining on the opposite side of the barricade so opening a gate and directing him solved that problem. John watered onions, strawberries, and blackberries; then he mowed in various places to lessen the fuel load along the edges and/or reduce weed seed production. Mostly I spent my time on the computer reviewing a legal document and creating financial paperwork. Some work on music for Kentucky Waltz. Some time washing dishes. I have done a few emails, and need to work on more. Next, I’m tackling receipts and filing or tossing. Well, instead, I did more financial planning, and sending job announcements to the jobs list — also got cat food ready for all the 5 cats. We think only 2 made it in tonight for dinner, but sometimes they come after we stop looking. The food is always gone in the morning, and the dry food is available in the “cat house” 24 hrs. Another late night’s dinner for us– chicken, veggies, and potatoes. We don’t have much for dessert, and I’m tired so may go to bed a little sooner than last night.

Tuesday, May 27

Another crazy busy day without leaving home. Thought about going to town to Bi-Mart, the bank, and the last day of the sale at Super 1. I wasn’t planning to leave, but some things in town seemed to be calling. “Nancy, do this!” Changed my mind after talking to my banker. Don’t have the time to make a special trip to town, when I can take care of all things tomorrow, when I’m there for two other things. Many chores in the house and more on the computer. Speaking of which, I have to put my Dept of Labor questionnaire in its postage paid envelope and into the mail tomorrow. I forgot today. Late afternoon, John invited me to bring my camera and go for a walk through our property. It was enjoyable although breezy and chilly. Nice little bubbling waterfall in the irrigation ditch, various colored Iris, a few shots of the garden — strawberries mostly, and the hole created last week by the heavy gravel delivery truck, with two horses viewing it after John marked it to keep them from tripping in it and falling, the ditch had a yellow flowering weed Cinquefoil. We have several types of evergreen trees but just 3 of Pines. They are flowering and here are their pictures (click each for large view):
Lodgepole Pine
Note on the Lodgepole – lower left – there is a rubbing off of the bark by a Mule Deer. The deer like the smaller diameter trees that bend so if we really want a tree in a particular spot it has to have some sort of protection.
Ponderosa Pine and wild cherry shrub
Ponderosa, with wild Western Choke Cherry in the background. On the site, scroll down to see photos – some with Butterflies.
Austrian Black PineNote: the name is a link.
We widened a spot in the pasture where the ditch flows and it makes a swimming hole for the dogs. Here is what it looks like:

This is just 25 seconds long but after I stopped and walked away the Brittanys (3 of them) went in the water. It is only a foot deep so there isn’t much swimming space. Yet. We’ll try to get a photo of some of the other things when the wind stops for awhile. The white and yellow Iris are just now budding. We have variegated white/purple, purple, purple with white petals, and blue. Too bad we cannot get them all at once.

Wednesday, May 28

Food Bank music and SAIL. What happened to the day? Once home, I mainly worked on different tasks inside the house. John was starting beef stew in a slow-cooker as I left. That cooked for 8 hours and makes the meat very tender. We went to bed later than either of us planned. Spent a lot of time replacing 2 pages in the stapled booklet of songs for the audience. John help with the un-stapling (Using a knife because I don’t have a staple remover, and then re-stapling. Happily, I brought a couple of pieces of Bundt cake from the SR Center for his (and my) reward.

Thursday, May 29

We go to Mountain View Meadows Assisted Living home, only when one of the few months in the year has a 5th Thursday. I made a few last minute copies of music to take — and made a special packet to give to Jay (elderly resident who plays honky-tonk piano and loves us). I took along Kentucky Waltz to try with the group before we started. We had a small turnout in the audience. Apparently, some people were too sick or tired to participate, one was off at the doctor (we asked for her because she’s the aunt of one of our players), and the head nurse said the facility was down on the number of residents. For musicians, we had a clarinet, me on the only fiddle, 2 banjos, and 4 guitars. Interesting – we may have to change the name of our group from Kittitas Valley Fiddlers and Friends.

I had finished my Labor Department questionnaire Monday but forgot to put it in the mailer. Finally, I got it done this morning, right before the lady from North Carolina called to check on my progress. I have a passel of things to do and take to town today, and John is going along to go by Grocery Outlet for cat food. I called and they have the 39¢ cans of fish-stuff we feed to the outside cats in the evening. Happily, our inside/outside cat has resumed eating it instead of the 50¢ cans. They all have hard food available 24/7. John dropped the mail at the EBRG PO and filled my car with gasoline, plus dropped by Bi-Mart & Super 1 and just got back as we were ready to leave. We then went to the CWU surplus sale, where I bought a staple remover for 50¢ and John put bids in on two large 44 gallon plastic barrels – that are closable. (If we get them, he will use to deliver water to trees and flowers at the end of the driveway – uphill from the ditch. The minimum bid is $5 so he bid $6.27, thinking others might stay closer to the minimum. Sometimes such things go for $10+ but John says those bidders need a barrel worse than he does. Our Internet is down again. It’s been dancing off and on too much recently. There must be a loose wire somewhere.

Friday, May 30

Still dealing with Internet problems and now this afternoon have a repairman coming to check on the situation. Apparently, it is more difficult than replacing the filter on the telephone line after it splits from that going to the modem. We have no idea what is going on at this level of shifting signals – maybe on a dark and stormy night John will investigate; or maybe not.
We just got through going through our DSL problems. Back on now, but in this dirty/dusty house, we likely will lose it again in the future and our provider (Fairpoint) no longer gives replacement modems. They now cost $60. Or, if installed, $80. We installed the last one after picking it up free in town. The technician wiggled around some of the wires in the box on the back of the garage, and went out and adjusted something at the road. It has continued to be up since he left. I hope it stays so. Dang — 9:32 and it went down again tonight. Phooey. I’m getting fed up with this. It was back on within 5 minutes; thank goodness, it has stayed on since.

Saturday, May 31

Today, I slept in, and one of my greetings on early morning mail (on Facebook) was pictures of my co-owned Brittany, Cedaridge Kip’s Camelot Shay Tre’ (call name Daisy), from Jeri Conklin in CA. She has returned home from a Russian cruise and the puppies are thrilled to have her back to fill their pool. Daisy is on the left.
John left at 7:00 a.m. for the Pratt Lake Trail for WTA to work with about 30 folks, including a small Group Health contingent. WTA tries to have an assistant crew leader for every 5 or 6 people and for some reason this weekend generated a surplus of volunteers. Next weekend will be worse as the 7th (Sat) is National Trails Day and it is being promoted by all the hiking clubs. Today’s work is west of Snoqualmie Pass – about 80 minutes from home. 3:40 p.m. and he just called and said they were just a little late finishing and he must go through town to get gasoline for tomorrow’s trip. The price of gasoline is up again – summer driving – but not crazy high as a few years ago some said it would be. So much for experts. In Europe, because of taxes, gasoline averages about $9 per gallon. That would severely damage both recreational activity in the spread-out USA and likely kill much of the volunteer work people do.
The temperature went to 81 today, so I turned on the air conditioner. I have been working on several projects, but needed to get this blog ready for him, so that when he arrives, he can put it and the pictures, and links, into Word Press. I can edit once in there and publish, but I don’t know how to do the complete starting set-up. Before he can start on it, however, he’ll need to do the chores with the horses, exercising the dogs, and feeding the cats. I can help on only the fixing cat food part. I’m sure he’s going to be very tired after his long day.
I hear him arriving — at 5:20 p.m., so will wrap this up.
John goes to the Martin Creek Connector Trail Sunday for WTA to work with 2 dozen of the Boeing Employees Alpine Society (BOEALPS). The trailhead is about as far from most WTA Puget Sound members as it is for John. It is in the mountains where the early Great Northern Pacific RR came down the west slope of the Cascades where now there is a hiking route called the Iron Goat Trail. On the left side of the site, check out the History link.
These trails have great historical context because of the western railroad’s contribution to the region. John says “and it is new trail and fun to work on.”

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan