Vol. 14, No. 4



HPCC: All the Dirt, Unwelcome Visitors, and a Party!
Schilling Road Fire Station Update
An Extra Hand When You Need One
Amanda’s Hints and Tips
Recipe: Curried Spinach Dip
Forest Workshop Coming in Early February
The Art of Paper Snowflakes
Poem: Christmas Merriment
An Eye for Winter’s Beauty
Cell Phone Tips for Power Outages
FireLines: High Prairie Road Hazards
FireLines: New County-Wide Radio System
High Prairie Wildlife Sightings
Recipe: Cherry Citrus Spritzer
Treasures of Music #4
Chocolate Avocado Mousse

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All the Dirt, Unwelcome Visitors, and a Party!

Mike Richards, HPCC President

If you’ve been by the High Prairie Community Center recently, you may have noticed the activity on the west side of the building or perhaps you saw the three monster piles of topsoil present in the parking lot the week of November 2nd.

The High Prairie Community Council is making an effort to improve the grounds and make events at the community center even more convenient for community and guest events. Earlier this year, the council approved a budget that included funds to make improvements to the building. Our hopes are that these improvements will make a usable, more inviting area for the annual Firehouse Sale next Spring, as well as other events year-round.

dirt1If you attended this year’s Firehouse Sale, you probably remember the seating area for the food concessions was located in the gravel area of the parking lot. If all goes well, the newly-leveled area will contain several picnic tables, as well as some awnings to provide cover from the elements. We think this will provide a much nicer arrangement for those customers, as well as free up some space along the parking lot for large or heavy sale items.

dirt2We all owe Fred Henchell a great deal of gratitude for spearheading this effort, arranging the delivery of the topsoil, the work to spread it out, and the final step of laying down grass seed. If you see him around, be sure to give him a warm ‘thank you!’ I know he appreciates it!

If you would like to see more photos that were taken during the work, please go to the HPCC website at www.highprairiecommunitycouncil. wordpress.com and look for the photo gallery.

Another issue that we have been working on at the center is controlling our uninvited guests, “peromyscus leucopus” or common field mice. These critters gained access to the building and have been making a mess of things. A friend of Philip Haner was kind enough to install a door sweep along the west entrance door to hopefully keep the little buggers out. We’ve been checking regularly and have not seen any further intrusions.

I hope you came and enjoyed our Christmas Dinner event on December 6. HPCC provided a festive sit-down dinner for everyone in the community. The turkey or roast beef dinner was followed by music, a dessert auction, and the arrival of Santa on a fire truck. It was great to connect with so many High Prairie neighbors. Again, go to the HPCC website at www.highprairiecommunitycouncil. wordpress.com for pictures of the event.

That’s about it for now. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming council meetings. We’re arranging speakers for each meeting and keeping the business part brief. Don’t forget board meetings two Mondays prior to each regular meeting. They are open to the public, and we would like to see you and hear what you have to say!

Schilling Road Fire Station Update

Philip Haner, Fire Commissioner/Captain, High Prairie Fire District

Though it’s been quiet, the High Prairie Fire District has been making progress on the new Schilling Road Fire Station project. The Commissioners’ plan is to have a fire station on the Schilling Road property by the end of 2015.

First of all, since our last update (in the June 2014 High Prairian), we received approval by the county and state to remove the old structure on the Schilling Road property. A test for the presence of asbestos had to be done to get the final demolition permit. Last week, on December 13, the building was burned as a “Burn to Learn” exercise for our firefighters.

The loan application for the new fire station is in the process of being resubmitted. The original application was only good for one year and it took longer than that to get the final application submitted. Unfortunately, the levy increase that went into effect last year was not as much as we had expected, with the lower assessed property values in our area. The resulting decrease in the property taxes is causing us to rework the budget for the building to get the final costs for the loan application. We hope to have the final loan package submitted in January 2015.

Overall, the progress of the Schilling Road Fire Station is good. We have a good plan to work from. Our budget will be finalized by the end of December. The loan paperwork is nearly complete and should be submitted in January or February 2015. After loan approval, work will be put out for bid and if all goes as planned, we will have a fire station on Schilling Road by the end of the 2015.

As a side note, you might have noticed that the county did not collect the increased property tax levy this year that was approved in the special election in February 2013. This was an oversight by the county that will be corrected in 2015. The Fire Commissioners decided not to ask the County to collect the additional 2014 levy since those taxes were for the Schilling Road Fire Station and we did not incur any charges for the project in 2014.

If you have any questions, please attend the Fire Commissioners Meeting every 3rd Tuesday of the month, 7 pm at the Community Center.


On December 13, firefighters from High Prairie and Lyle held a “Burn to Learn” exercise at the site of the Schilling Road fire station. The vacant house that stood on the property was burned to teach firefighters structural fire behavior. The house is fully involved in the photo above and almost entirely consumed in the photo on the right.

An Extra Hand When You Need One

Audrey Bentz

Need a reliable person to care for your home or property while relocating/vacationing? I would like to recommend Gwen Richards, who lives in the Underwood area, and is known as a competent woman in her 50’s who does this for many Gorge dwellers. For a responsible, honest, and dependable caretaker, you can reach Gwen Richards at 509-493-4572.

Amanda’s Hints and Tips

Amanda Richards

Make your own toothpaste!

Mix together:

1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup baking soda
packet of stevia (or 1/2 tsp)
15 drops peppermint essential oil or extract

Use sparingly. In the summer the coconut oil will melt, so you can keep it in the fridge, but it’s not necessary.

Recipe: Curried Spinach Dip

Found in the Winter 2015 AICR Newsletter

1 (9-oz.) microwavable package of baby spinach leaves (uncooked)
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach (thawed, drained and squeezed dry)
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tsp. Curry powder, according to taste
1 tsp. Ground cumin, according to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In medium bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, yogurt and garlic thoroughly with fork. Stir in curry and cumin, combining well (Or place in food processor and blend until spinach is pureed and mixture is smooth.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to container and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Bring dip to room temperature before serving. Makes about 2 cups.

Forest Workshop Coming in Early February

Gwen Berry

All of High Prairie and surrounding communities are invited to a free mid-winter forest workshop at the High Prairie Community Center on Saturday, February 7. Dan Lennon, of the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources, has organized an entertaining and informational half-day session covering how landowners can reduce wildfire risk, improve forest health, and enhance wildlife habitat. There will also be information on programs available for communities to develop emergency plans in the event of natural disasters such as wildfire, and on DNR’s cost-sharing programs to assist landowners with their forest improvements.

Why hold a workshop in winter? According to Mr. Lennon, winter is the very best time to take action on forest problems. If you wait until insect pests become active in the spring, all your trimming and clearing will become a smorgasbord for the bugs and encourage further infestation. If you wait for the fair days of summer and fall, fire danger makes forest work risky.

Most of us are aware of the increasing damage being done to our forests by invasive insects. The many dead pine trees throughout our Gorge area, killed by the invasive Fivespined Ips (Ips paraconfusus) in just the last couple of years, testify to the vulnerability of our forested areas.

Mr. Lennon works out of Goldendale, and for the past ten years has worked with homeowners and landowners to improve forest health and reduce wildfire threat. He will be a familiar face to many High Prairians, since on previous occasions he has made presentations on the FireWise program and how to make our homes defensible in case of wildfire. His most recent work is organizing community meetings/workshops like the one being held on High Prairie in February.

Don’t miss this opportunity to find out how you can protect your trees, make your property safer from fire, and at the same time encourage a mutually beneficial relationship with wildlife. Learn what you need to know at DNR’s Forest Workshop on Saturday, February 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, at the High Prairie Community Center (701 Struck Road), just off Centerville Highway. Bring a sack lunch. Snacks and a cooler of water and sports drinks will be provided.

For more information, email Dan Lennon at DANIEL.LENNON@dnr.wa.gov.


Trees along Centerville Highway that were attacked by the Fivespinned Ips. Photo: Fred Henchell

The Art of Paper Snowflakes

Gwen Berry

1 snowflakeWinter is really here, and one of the sure signs (along with arctic temperatures and, oh yeah, all that ice and snow) is the sudden appearance of handmade paper snowflakes gracing windows, walls and refrigerators. These longtime favorites are simple to make and appeal to all ages. Kids love the moment when carefully folded and snipped paper is unfurled and an amazing, lacy snowflake appears—and it’s no less delightful for grownups.

Creative papercrafters have taken handmade snowflakes to another level with elaborate, artistic renditions that leave you shaking your head in admiration. Just type “paper snowflakes” into Google Images and you’ll find no end of inspiration! Simple or fancy, though, the snowflakes are all made basically the same way.

Things you will need:

Paper – a flattened coffee filter, or a circle or square of lightweight paper
Scissors – it’s best if they’re sharp (with a fine point, if you no longer run with scissors)
Pencil – for drawing a design (optional)

2 snowflakeFolding the paper:

When I was a kid, we didn’t care that our snowflakes had two more points than a real snowflake; but it seems nowadays authenticity is valued more highly and 6-pointed paper snowflakes are the way to go. This complicates things slightly, since after folding the paper in half twice (figures 1–3) you now have to fold it in exactly equal thirds (fig. 4). The more careful your folds, the more symmetrical your snowflake will be.

You can use the full-size pattern at the bottom of this article to mark your paper for equal thirds. Put the point of your twice-folded circle or square at the center of the pattern, line up one edge with the pattern’s diagonal fold line, then use the pattern’s 1/3 fold lines to mark the outside edge of your paper. Now fold your paper from its point to each of the two marks on the outside edge—one third forward and one third back to minimize bulk at the folds (fig. 4). If you started with a square, cut the outside end straight across (fig. 5).

3 snowflake-ideasCreating a design:

You can skip this step and do all your cutting free-hand, as we always did as kids. Or you can trace the pattern on this page and cut a snowflake from that. But for more intricate designs or for recognizable shapes like animals, snowmen or trees, success is more likely if you draw it first on one triangle of your folded paper (fig. 6). The only rule is to make sure that some parts of your design go all the way from one fold to the other. It’s helpful if you color in the parts you’ll be discarding.

Cutting out the design:

Here’s where sharp blades on your scissors will pay off. Carefully cut out around the shapes that you want to remain. Unfold your snowflake carefully, so you don’t tear any of the delicate details. Wowwee! How cool is that? Flatten it with an iron or under a book, and Voilà! Your masterpiece is ready to hang!

Click the image to enlarge, then right-click to save image to your computer. Print the image and fold and cut, as instructed above.

Click the image to enlarge, then right-click to save image to your computer. Print the image and fold and cut, as instructed above.

Poem: Christmas Merriment

by Connie Gildersleeve
[from http://www.poetrysoup.com/]

Snowflakes falling, falling all night
My pine tree adorned, now illuminating under snow
I brush and brush off, unveiling Christmas twinkling lights
Giving the white ground a colorful glow
An appearance of a Hallmark card, I must say
My children gather around the tree in merriment
Then one by one they form fluffy snowballs
Laughing mischievously they begin to throw them at me
Well you can guess what happens next
Yep, before I was done they are covered in white
Red faced and cold we all go indoors for the night
In front of the fireplace tired, beginning to warm
We look at each other and start to grin
Deep belly-laughs replace the grins
You can’t have enough of a good thing

An Eye for Winter’s Beauty

Photos: Peg Caliendo

(click images for enlarged view)

left: Winter View, Hartland Road Looking North
center left: Icy Stairway
right right: Mt. Hood, Snow from Hartland Road
right: Spotted Towhee & Frost Covered Weed

Cell Phone Tips for Power Outages

Gwen Berry

Winter storms sometimes bring power outages, and it’s hard to predict how long you might be without power. It’s important to be able to stay in contact with the outside world while waiting for power to come back on. During an emergency your cell phone may be the best way to communicate. Here are some tips on how to make your cell phone last longer if the power is out for a few days.

    • If they’re predicting a storm, fully charge your laptop, and save that charge for your phone. You can plug your phone into your laptop’s USB port to charge it.
    • Keep your cell phone battery topped up as long as you do have power.
    • When the power goes out, turn off all the radios on your phone that you’re not using: WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. Put the phone in “Airplane mode” or turn it off entirely if you aren’t using it and aren’t anticipating incoming calls or texts.
    • Turn down the brightness on your screen.
    • Turn off all “push” notifications on your phone (such as email notifications).
    • Restart your phone to stop any unnecessary apps that may be running.
    • Send text messages instead of making phone calls, or notify a lot of people at once with a single message to social media like Facebook or Twitter. These methods use much less of the battery’s charge than cell calls.
    • Other ways to recharge your cell phone—with a cell phone car charger; with a battery operated emergency cell phone charger, or with the USB port on a solar or hand cranked portable radio.

Note: As you know, your cordless home phone won’t work when the power’s out; but if you keep an old-fashioned phone with a cord on hand for emergencies, you’ll still be able to use your land line and minimize the drain on your cell battery. The phone line has its own power source.


Jake Jakobosky

High Prairie Road Hazards

Your High Prairie firefighters are concerned about your safety. You may already know that we do more than fight fires. We and our Lyle counterparts are often the first to arrive at local car accidents and medical emergencies.

We really dislike responding to an emergency page and finding one of our friends or neighbors in trouble. We do like meeting our neighbors, but we prefer seeing them at community functions instead of upside down in the ditch. So here are some reminders about local roads.

I’m sure you have noticed by now how icy our roads have been lately. It should be pointed out that certain sections of Centerville Highway are more treacherous than others. Folks driving uphill out of Lyle often find the curves in the first two miles are bare and dry, which lulls a person into thinking the whole highway is fine. However, soon after the curve at Indian Point they enter some sections where the road is straighter, but shaded. The gradual curves encourage a little too much speed, and they can suddenly find their vehicle spinning out of control on black ice. There are many similar situations on all High Prairie roads and the ice gets worse at higher elevations.

In addition to the ice and curves, we all need to be more aware of the narrow nature of our roads and the lack of shoulder space. Along many areas of our highway there are only inches between the white line and the soft shoulder. Distraction can lead to getting a wheel on the soft shoulder, which will often cause loss of control and can lead to serious accidents.

And don’t forget that other major High Prairie hazard, the deer. It’s often said by old-timers here that, “There are those that have hit a deer and those that soon will!” The best tactic when you see a deer in the road is to hit the brakes and horn. If it’s dark, flash your headlights to break their stare. Don’t try to dodge a deer, as you may lose control and they’re likely to run into your path anyway when they do react to your presence. Deer are often most active and hardest to see at dusk, so slow down and be prepared to use your brakes, horn and lights.

New County-Wide Radio System

To be in compliance with a Federal FCC narrow-band mandate, Klickitat County Commissioners funded a new simulcast radio system to better meet the needs for emergency responder safety and community health and welfare. This new system has been in service for several months now and has enhanced radio communication service throughout the county.

This simulcast system can simultaneously broadcast clear radio traffic through numerous repeater sites from one end of the county to the other. There are four simulcast dispatch channels for paging, law enforcement, fire/medical, and county roads. There are three operating (ops) channels that specifically serve west, central, and east county areas and a fourth ops channel that is county-wide.

The addition of some standardized tactical (tac) frequencies will also enable better communication on multi-agency incidents. On arriving at the scene, units can switch to one of the tac channels for car-to-car communication and operational management of the emergency. The Klickitat County Emergency Services radio system is now comparable to that of most of the rest of the nation.

High Prairie Wildlife Sightings

Alex Bertulis got this photo of a bobcat with a motion camera set up in the culvert at the start of Mott Road. They also got pics of raccoons and several kinds of birds

Alex Bertulis got this photo of a bobcat with a motion
camera set up in the culvert at the start of Mott Road. They
also got pics of raccoons and several kinds of birds

Doug Taylor, who spotted this buck eating apples in his yard, noted, “Looks like something has been messing with his antlers.”

Doug Taylor, who spotted this buck eating apples in his
yard, noted, “Looks like something has been messing with
his antlers.”

Recipe: Cherry Citrus Spritzer

Found in the Fall 2014 AICR Newsletter

1 bag (16 oz) frozen pitted cherries, thawed
2 cups orange juice
2 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Fresh lime juice
2 cups club soda 4 thini orange slices

In blender, puree cherries. In large pitcher, use long-handled wooden spoon to stir together cherries with juices. Place ice in 4 tall glasses. Pour citrus mixture over ice and add 1/2 cup club soda to each serving. Stir and garnish each glass with an orange slice and swizzle stick. Makes 4 servings.

Treasures of Music #4

John & Pat Parr

This is the last of a 4-part series on Treasures of Music, exploring our truly American, old-time music. For Pat and myself, it has been our pleasure to share a variety of old tunes with the High Prairie and Lyle communities. reasures of Music” articles you can find them online at www.highprairie.us/high-prairian/.

clemThis lovely music swirls around our feet every day! Let these ancient American troubadours come into your life and lighten the load.

1. JAMES CLEM – A personal friend of ours from Portland, Oregon, he has professionally kept the old country blues alive for many people. Here are two examples of his fine talent. Songs: “Mama, ‘Tain’t Long Fo’ Day” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM1zLilTTN8 and “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWuvXCu9PuQ

2. CALEB KLAUDER & REEB WILLMS – Two other great street musicians from Portland, Oregon, singing some stellar gospel tunes. Songs: “Whispering Forest” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iezFgZyjes4 and On a Hill Alone and Grey” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LZ- 0kNW_uDA

3. CLIFF CARLISLE with a great 1940’s old gospel tune. Song: “When the Evening Sun Goes Down” https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=zqTSZ_AaiAU

4. NEIL HARPE & GERRY CLARKE doing a nice instrumental guitar duet. Song: “Mississippi Blues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g- JfIs0NJIcI

5. STAN ROGERS – A Canadian from Nova Scotia who died helping people out of a crashed DC-9 sings this beautiful old song: “ The Field Behind the Plow” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juTKHYi_Urg

6. CRIS STAPLETON – Listen to this powerful voice. Song: “Amanda” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3JatEPwbrM

7. JIM RINGER – Vintage folk singer sings a classic. Song: “Open Door at Home” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWziwd-H2YI

8. MARY McCASLIN & JIM RINGER team up with these two songs: “The Bramble and the Rose” https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=LqBY9m0s9uQ and “Stages of My Life” https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=tcmgYnyi3W0

9. THE SHREVEPORT HOME WRECKERS – A favorite of mine, an old 1930’s blues tune. Song: “Fence Breakin’ Blues” https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=En-dnSwsluA

10. CHARLIE MONROE – Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe’s brother. Song: “Sugar Cane Mama” https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aaqU1ULcDBs

11. BIG BILL BROONZY sings this timeless old classic. Song: “John Henry” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRBm_YNnf34

12. We cannot leave the Rock & Rollers out of this musical loop. Here they are: MARK KNOPFLER – Song: Rock ‘n Roll Ruby” https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=vYzkJmBV3mo

ARTHUR SMITH – Song: “Guitar Boogie” https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=1lQ9VbO-m-I

THE RAT ROD JUNK YARD BLUES (very haunting slide guitar!) — Song: “Bottleneck” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz3cfTFKyI0

13. PHARIS & JASON ROMERO – A Canadian team from Horsefly, British Columbia. Song: “Train 143” https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5oOnwg-Xdns

14. Pat and I will leave you with a couple of wintertime songs by the great JOHN PRINE – a songwriter of immense proportions! Songs: “Christmas in Prison” (contains mild swearing) https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=i0yIurWtdig and “Silent Night All Day Long” https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD9yTAFLaSM


Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Found in the February 2014 “Ruralite” magazine
Courtesy of Alexandra Sechler at www.creativesimplelife.com

Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats—which can lower bad cholesterol—and contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. Reap the health benefit of this versatile fruit while treating yourself to chocolate mousse.

3 medium ripe avocados
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk (optional for thinner consistency)

Halve avocados. Remove pits and scoop pulp into a food processor. Add cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and salt. Blend until fully incorporated. Add milk to desired consistency. Chill and serve. Makes 4 to 8 servings.