High Prairie Community Council
Burn Ban Extended Until October 15
Water, Water, How Much Water?
Enjoy Fall Mindfulness Walks
New Azure Standard Drop Coming To Lyle
Community Center Turns Five
Workshop Leads To Better Meetings
Bambi Growing Up On Stacker Butte
High Prairie Dairy-Working Class
Notes From Cougar Creek Fire
Fire Lines: Fire Departments Thank Residents
Your Fire Districts Need You
Fire Hall Project Moves Forward Despite Setback
Amanda’s Hints & Tips: Apple Cider Vinegar
De-Stressing Tips From Harvard Medical School
Zucchini Bake – Microwave
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President Mike Richards
The hot, hot days of summer are beginning to give way to the cooler days of fall. It must be time for the High Prairie Community Council to update everyone on Council accomplishments and upcoming events!
In late August, your HPCC executive board met in a special meeting to discuss two items: the community council budget, and the calendar of events for the upcoming year.
The community council, thanks to a huge effort on the part of treasurer Fred Henchell, put together a spending budget that does several things for the community center. For example, the budget includes funds for building maintenance for which the council is responsible. This includes ongoing expenses such as cleaning the building, utilities, maintaining liability insurance and purchasing miscellaneous supplies related to building operation.
One of the larger expenses which we contemplated at the special meeting is that of replacing some of the kitchen equipment. In particular, the council would like to replace the current dishwasher (which is technically a dish sanitizer and not capable of performing a bulk wash on used dishes). Since these units generally cost six thousand dollars or more, we chose a more responsible layaway plan where we will set aside half the cost this year, and half next year.
This would be a great improvement, especially for those hardy souls who stick around after big events and help clean up.
We also set aside some funds for the upcoming social gatherings and, of course, the Lyle Christmas food basket donation.
Some of the upcoming events include a “Ladies Tea” and a possible potluck dinner. (More about those events to follow.) But the next big annual event is the Christmas Dinner. (Don’t laugh, it will be here sooner than any of us think…)
This year’s event will be held on Saturday, December 5. We hope to see all of you there. There will be more information and details coming out shortly.
Another item the council tackled recently was to repaint the women’s bathroom. Ladies in the community are familiar with the bright pink “Pepto-Bismol” color that the bathroom was painted. We’ve had several uncomplimentary comments on the color over the past few years and decided to have it redone for a nominal cost. Thanks to Jennifer Wykstra for performing the work.
If you haven’t heard, the community council recently purchased two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). These units, used in case of a heart attack, are real lifesavers! One was purchased and donated to Fire District 14 to be kept on one of the fire trucks. Another identical unit is now stored on the back wall of the community center in case a health emergency strikes a community or private event. Both directly benefit High Prairie residents.
We have some interesting guest speakers “on deck” for upcoming meetings. Check your email inbox for Barb’s meeting announcements and agenda updates, and come on out to one of our meetings. The next one is September 24 at 7 p.m.
BURN BAN EXTENDED UNTIL OCTOBER 15
High Prairie Fire Chief Tim Darland wants everyone to know that the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners has extended the 2015 burn ban from September 30 until October 15, 2015, due to extreme fire hazards and lack of sufficient precipitation throughout the county. This means no open fires of any kind or size as long the burn ban is active.
WATER, WATER, HOW MUCH WATER?
This hot, dry summer has brought even more awareness of the possibility of limited water resources on High Prairie. Of special interest was a meeting in late June, where the company hired by Klickitat County to monitor our wells and do water studies of the area, Aspect Consulting, gave some preliminary insights into the disappearance of water from wells in the Knight/Dillacort area. The presentation covered the geology of the High Prairie area and the data the company has so far from wells it’s been monitoring for a few years. You can read their entire report—complete with tables, charts, maps and more—on the Klickitat County website:
ENJOY FALL MINDFULNESS WALKS
This Fall, High Prairie’s Steven Woolpert is offering two “Earth Walks with Mindfulness…for Health & Spirit” as an opportunity for us to experience the value of mindful walking. Hiking schedule dates are September 23 and October 7 at 10 a.m., meeting at the Lyle Trailhead of the Klickitat Trail.
Steven has lived in the High Prairie/Lyle community for 14 years and worked in Goldendale with Comprehensive Mental Health for 11 years until last year when he retired from his full-time position. A professional counselor for over 40 years, licensed in both Oregon & Washington, he addresses the range of mental health, substance abuse, marriage/family, and stress/health issues now called Behavioral Health. He recently graduated from the Integrative Health & Lifestyle Program (IHeLp) through the University of Arizona and currently works part-time as a Behavioral Health Consultant in Maupin, Oregon, at the primary care clinic.
Walking & hiking are Steven’s favorite outdoor activities with many health benefits and he wants to share what he has learned through the years. Steven’s thoughts about walking for health and walking mindfully are included below.
Steven will also be one of the facilitators of a Fall retreat entitled, “The Colors of Health—a Weekend Guide to Self Care for Body, Mind, Spirit,” to take place the weekend of October 9–11, 2015, in Lyle, WA. If you have questions about any of these events, please contact Steven at Stevenwoolpert@gmail.com (or Kelly Blanchard about the retreat, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Walking for Health, Walking Mindfully
One of the easiest and most helpful forms of physical exercise is walking. It’s good for the heart & circulation, muscles & bones, and clearing the mind. The quote from Hippocrates says it best: “Walking is man’s best medicine.”
There are many ways to walk—often based on what the purpose is: to get from point A to B, time to share with a friend, exploring a park, old fashioned ‘need to stretch my legs’, and of course simple exercising. What has developed in recent years is a renewal of an ancient practice of ‘walking meditation’ or ‘mindful walking.’ Thich Nhat Hanh the Buddhist teacher and Jon Kabat-Zinn, PHD instructor of mindfulness based stress reduction particularly have written about it and guided many people in discovering how to practice it and bring into their lives. It potentially is a part of personal self care and healthy lifestyle that improves both physical & mental health. Especially for Thich Nhat Hanh, doing mindful walking in nature brings the beauty and healing power of the natural world into mind, body, spirit. This is echoed by Northwest writer Carolyn Kortge, who wrote Healing Walks for Hard Times from her own experience with cancer & walking, to assist those recovering from cancer and others dealing with depression or anxiety/trauma to make positive changes.
As a cancer survivor myself who utilized walking as a vital part of my recovery, I have also learned more by adding & practicing elements of mindfulness & walking meditation from the above-mentioned teachers. I am including walking as an important tool/activity in my work as a professional counselor as it has been proven to be very effective for improving depression & mood overall.
NEW AZURE STANDARD DROP COMING TO LYLE
How would you like it if you could call or go online anytime, order all kinds of natural/organic foods and earth-friendlier products (many that you might have trouble finding locally), at prices that are usually better than the grocery store, and have it all delivered nearby at regular intervals?
We’re talking about Azure Standard, a company out of Dufur that delivers all over the country. They have canned goods, dairy products, fresh produce, natural health and beauty products, animal feed, heirloom seeds, and just about anything else you might need. With winter coming, Azure is a great place to buy some bulk items for your disaster prep kit too!
This is the way it works: Azure delivers along established routes to “drops” that have been set up by local groups of people. Customers enter their orders online or by calling Azure, then pick up their orders at the scheduled time at the drop location.
A new drop location has just been set up in Lyle and it’s wide open to new participants. We’ll be getting deliveries every 8 weeks to start with, beginning in October. If we want a more frequent drop we can change to every 4 weeks as long as we are meeting a combined minimum of $550 per drop.
Our drop will probably be on Azure’s GW4 route which delivers to Lyle on Fridays around 2:30 or 3:30 p.m. We’ll know more in a couple of weeks. You do have to meet the truck when it arrives, or have a friend meet it in your place, or your order is returned to Azure. If you’d like to participate but can’t make the drop time, contact our coordinator, Fern Johnson, who will help you find other arrangements.
Azure makes it so easy to shop! Orders are placed directly with Azure Standard, either by phone or online. Just head over to www.AzureStandard.com, set up an account with them, and start filling your cart. You can keep adding items until you’re ready to place your order, up to a cutoff time a few days before delivery. There’s a $5 service fee if your order is under the $50 minimum.
When you place your order, select “truck” as your delivery method and enter our drop number: D798457. You can also call Josie at Azure and she will set things up for you (971-200-8351, ext. 165). Once you have set up the Lyle drop location as your delivery method, you will get a reminder from Fern when the next order is due.
To let Fern know you’re interested or to find out more, contact her at 509-637-5465 or email@example.com.
COMMUNITY CENTER TURNS FIVE
Where does the time go? Five years ago we had a brand new community center, never been used; and even though there was still work to do to finish the kitchen, HPCC held one heck of a nice Grand Opening party to celebrate. October 10 will be the 5-year anniversary of the big day. The walls were decorated with beautiful handmade quilts, the “High Prairie Singers” performed music specially written for the occasion, there was lots of good food, and the Community Center and Fire Hall were dedicated that day. (You can see the day’s program at http://www.highprairie.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/HPCCOpenHouse.pdf.) Lots of people came to explore the new building for the first time.
Now, five years down the road, we sort of take the community center for granted; but it’s the result of hard work by many volunteers and the dedicated perseverance of several years’ HPCC boards of directors who have kept it going and figured out how to make it work. High Prairie has an amazing number of able and generous people working for the community’s good! Thank you doesn’t really say enough.
WORKSHOP LEADS TO BETTER MEETINGS
High Prairian Peg Caliendo wants to make sure the busy, connected people of High Prairie know about a seminar that will help them learn how to make meetings work better and produce better results.
In Peg’s words, “The training will provide skill development for those who facilitate meetings, lead volunteers and guide community based projects or work in partnership with other organizations. [It] directly relates to people involved in working with the High Prairie Community, i.e. board members, committee leaders and volunteer coordinators. It also applies to those who are working in partnership with the schools, parents, county government, DNR, fire departments, etc., regarding working on issues, projects and programs that affect the community.”
This material would also benefit many other kinds of organizations, including churches, clubs, businesses, political organizations, etc.—anywhere people are meeting to try and get something done.
The workshop, called “Meeting & Process Facilitation,” will be held at the Hood River Indian Creek Campus of Columbia Gorge Community College, from 9 a.m. to noon on three Friday mornings: October 23, November 20, and December 11, 2015. For more information, call 541-506-6011. View a workshop flier at: http://www.highprairie.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/MeetingWorkshop.pdf.
“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.”
Photo: Peg Caliendo
BAMBI GROWING UP ON STACKER BUTTE
When High Prairie becomes lush and green, wobbly-legged fawns appear in the woods and glades. They are a delight to watch, as they first tentatively and then exuberantly explore their world. This spring we watched life unfold for several fawns. Our bird bath was a common gathering place, especially during this long, dry summer. The does came for long drinks of water and the fawns frolicked, showing little interest in drinking, preferring to nurse instead.
On a mid-July day as the late afternoon sun lit the clearing, I watched a fawn browsing alone. I searched for the doe, yet I didn’t see her anywhere nearby. After many minutes browsing, the fawn cautiously approached the bird bath, barely tall enough to reach the water. She took a long drink before slipping into the nearby copse of trees. At near-dark this fawn ran out of the woods onto the driveway looking frantically around, down the long hill, along the edges of the woods, and then darted into the darkness, still alone.
About a week before seeing the fawn at the birdbath, we drove past a dead doe lying along Centerville Highway. I wondered if this doe had left a fawn behind. Over the next few days we observed two does and four fawns on the prairie below the house. Three of the fawns nursed and their mothers nuzzled and groomed them. The fourth fawn would run over to a doe and try to get close to nurse or nuzzle, and the doe would chase the fawn away.
I dubbed this motherless fawn, “The Orphan.” She seemed to live primarily on the hill behind our house. On hot afternoons I would often see just her ears, sticking a few inches above the grass, flicking and twitching as she rested. Then when it became cooler, she would begin to browse and wander toward the bird bath to quench her thirst.
Over the subsequent weeks we identified which fawns belonged to which does and sometimes heard the deer communicating: the does would grunt or snort and the fawns would mew, sounding much like a kitten. When the fawns became a little older they would spend hours in each others’ company browsing, exploring and cavorting.
A scrape on The Orphan’s nose has left a white spot slow to fill in with fur, and this makes her easy to identify. Another fawn with reddish fur is called “Rusty”, whose mother “Lamey” has a limp. The matriarch of the herd, “The Mean Doe” earned this moniker because she will chase off the lower status deer, especially The Orphan, at the birdbath or while browsing.
Unlike the story of Bambi, no “Prince of the Woods” father has appeared to raise this orphaned fawn. On occasion, I put out some vegetable scraps to help this underdog in her survival. Observing, researching and photographing our “neighborhood” deer has been the highlight of the summer. I hope The Orphan survives the winter and that I can recognize her next spring.
HIGH PRAIRIE DAIRY-WORKING CLASS
The class was held at the High Prairie Community Center on Sunday, July 12, with ten residents and friends in attendance. Amanda demonstrated how to make mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, mascarpone cheese, sour cream and buttermilk. She used fresh cow and goat’s milk. Not only did she let us sample the products, but she gave out booklets with all of her recipes to try at home. She gave helpful suggestions as she demonstrated and told us where she purchases some of the ingredients —olivenation.com for whole vanilla beans; cheesemaking.com for other supplies. She mentioned Home Cheese Making, by Ricki Carroll, as a great source of information. You may also follow Amanda’s blog at www.HighPrairieHomestead.blogspot.com.
The proceeds from the class was $155.00, which brings the total for the 2015 Silent Auction to $6046.00, after expenses—the best Silent Auction since it was added to the Firehouse Sale in 2008.
THANK YOU, Amanda!
NOTES FROM COUGAR CREEK FIRE
The largest “local area” fire that High Prairie Fire Department has participated in so far this season is the Cougar Creek Fire, located just north of Glenwood, Washington. Within roughly the first week the fire grew to over 23,000 acres, and continued to grow over the next week or so to over 50,000 acres, or roughly 80 square miles. Contributing to the fire growth were difficult terrain, very dry conditions, weather, beetle kill, and previous burn damage in some areas.
Although the fire was situated in Yakima County, it was close enough to Glenwood to draw on Klickitat County fire units—including Glenwood, Appleton, and Rural 7—as well as DNR during the initial attack. Although High Prairie was not part of the initial attack, we were soon asked for an engine to remain on standby with crew available, for possible structure protection of homes north of Ladiges Road. We remained in this alert status for about two weeks in case the fire could not be contained on the southern flank, which would have threatened structures in that location. As it turned out those folks were placed on Level 1 evacuation notice, but the fire was held back and we were not required for that duty.
High Prairie also took a more active role early on, with Fire District Lt. Will Conley serving as a Task Force Leader for about 9 days. During this time he commanded a unit of firefighters and experienced aggressive, fast-moving fire behavior. Snag trees, resulting from the effects of burning and/or previous conditions, remained one of the primary hazards to firefighters. Dangerous because they can fall without warning, they can also roll downhill after falling and start fires along the way, possibly below firefighters.
About two weeks into the fire, High Prairie was requested to supply a water tender, to which we complied with our newest tender, #1425. Capt. Phillip Haner and Firefighter Dave Thom took the tender and spent four days on the fire supplying water to brush trucks and, on two occasions, attacking fire directly. They stayed in the fire camp at the Incident Command Post at Glenwood High School.
During deployment, we observed very active fire behavior, including several spot fires and line slop-over events. These events required aggressive use of helicopter attacks, including two National Guard Blackhawks, as well as aggressive use of bulldozers and firefighting crews to stop these events before they could expand beyond control. Although these fires accounted for many additional acres, they were controlled and only contributed to minor increases in the overall fire size.
In addition to being able to contribute to the control of this major fire, High Prairie Fire District will net about $3,600 from DNR for the use of the apparatus on this fire. With the fire currently at 97% contained, the firefighting efforts are now mostly focused on improving fire lines and doing mop-up (eliminating potential sources of re-ignition around the edges of the fire).
Although cooler weather and humidity increases have helped firefighting efforts more recently, there are still many days that the grasses will dry quickly enough to ignite readily and support significant fire activity. The heavier fuels (trees, snags, logs, large branches, etc.) will remain dry, as they do not quickly respond to weather changes, and thus will be susceptible to fire that can easily start in lighter fuels. We are also observing the oak canopy drying significantly.
We encourage everyone to continue to be extremely careful in use of power tools and vehicles of any type being used in fields or woodlands or off of improved roads. Carrying water, a fire extinguisher, and a shovel may allow you to prevent a fire start from becoming a major event.
FIRE DEPARTMENTS THANK RESIDENTS
The High Prairie and Lyle volunteer firefighters thank area residents for their efforts at fire prevention and for staying aware and reporting possible fires and smoke. As a result, the few blazes we’ve had have been small, despite the extreme fire danger resulting from drought, low humidity and extended periods of high winds.
However, we are not out of the woods yet. As I write this, a red-flag warning is in effect county-wide, due to the continued dry and very windy conditions. Just because we have cooler, cloudy weather and a little light rain doesn’t mean we can’t have a serious fire like the one that just roared through the Wishram area. Please, everyone, remain vigilant and do not use mowers, chain saws, welders, grinders, and other spark-emitting devices. Be aware that a vehicle with a hot muffler parked in tall grass can easily start a fire. Above all, wait for the burn ban to be lifted by the county before torching any brush piles. The house you save may be your own.
This summer’s many fires and heightened fire danger have made it clear how important it is to have strong local fire crews to get the jump on fires right away. Fire District volunteers drop everything to respond when a fire call comes, and their quick response has helped keep many small fires from becoming large and destructive. Our community would be a lot riskier place to live without these well-trained and equipped crews. But to stay strong and effective, they need more volunteers willing to help stop fires, respond to accidents or help out in medical emergencies.
Fall is a good time to join your local Fire District. You could be trained, equipped, and ready to take part in fighting wildland fires by next summer. Local departments can always use new people, men or women. Retirees are especially valuable to departments as they are often available during the day when other volunteers are at work. We have plenty of apparatus; now we need more volunteers to man that equipment. People interested in being medical responders are in especially short supply.
For more information, drop in to your local fire hall on drill night or call your fire chief.
High Prairie— Drill nights are 7 pm on the 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at the High Prairie Fire Hall, 701 Struck Road. HP Fire Chief is Tim Darland: 509-365-5509
Lyle FD— Fire drills on 1st and 3rd Thursday nights, Medical drills on 2nd Thursdays, at 514 Washington in Lyle. Lyle Fire Chief is Dave McCune: 509-365-2500 or cell 509-637-4687
And now a shout-out from Becki Vital, secretary for both High Prairie and Lyle Fire Districts, who lives in Appleton: “HEY, APPLETON!!! The Appleton FD desperately needs more volunteers, too. Email Roxie Hooper at firstname.lastname@example.org for info.”
FIRE HALL PROJECT MOVES FORWARD DESPITE SETBACK
The Schilling Road Fire Hall project recently suffered a disappointing setback, when the specs for the building were put out for bid and NO bids were received. Seeking feedback on why this happened, the Fire Commissioners turned to a local contractor. His answer: the specs weren’t specific enough. Without precise descriptions of what was desired, builders had no way to bid the job.
The Commissioners promptly hired the contractor as a consultant and set about improving the specs. The new and improved specs were then approved at the Fire Commissioners’ meeting on September 15. The updated specs will be put out for bid before the end of September. Once bids are in, the building must be ordered and the financing finalized before construction can begin.
This setback may limit how much of the building process can happen before winter sets in, but the Commissioners are going ahead with construction of a second culvert access to the property, which has already been approved by the County.
AMANDA’S HINTS & TIPS
Fall is here and so are a plethora of apples. Did you know that you can easily make your own apple cider vinegar? ACV has a vast array of health benefits, from lowering blood sugar to removing warts, especially if it contains the ‘mother’. The “mother” is a glob that floats in your jar consisting of strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance. Did you know that most of the ‘apple cider vinegar’ on store shelves are distilled white vinegar with apple cider flavoring? These products do not give you the same health benefits of real ACV. If you have a cider press, just save some of your apple scraps, or if you’re baking a pie for your favorite neighbor, save the skins and cores. Making vinegar involves making hard cider, then letting it turn into vinegar. Anyone who has let a bottle of wine go too long knows all too well how to make vinegar!
How to make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Recipe adapted from The Healthy Home Economist
Makes about a gallon
Gallon glass jar
Rubber band large enough to fit mouth of glass jar
Organic apple cores and peels (about 10 apples), or 5 cubed apples
Room temperature filtered water
1 cup raw, organic honey or 1 cup organic cane sugar
Wash apples prior to using.
Put the cores, peels or cubed apples into the gallon glass jar.
Fill at least 1/2 of the jar, if it’s lower than 1/2, add more scraps or cubed apples.
Fill jar with room temperature filtered water, leaving a couple inches of headspace, but completely covering apples.
Stir in the honey or cane sugar until completely dissolved.
Cover mouth of jar with cheesecloth, secure with rubber band.
Leave on your counter for 1 week, gently stirring it daily. You will begin to smell the fermentation process and see bubbles forming.
When the apple scraps no longer float and instead sink to the bottom, you have created ‘hard cider’, the first part needed to make vinegar.
Strain out the apple scraps and decant the cider into either a clean gallon glass jar, or smaller jars.
Cover jar(s) with cheesecloth, again securing with a rubber band.
Leave these jars on your counter for another 3–4 weeks to allow the alcohol to transform into acetic acid. The mother will form on the top.
Taste the vinegar after 4 weeks, if it’s not strong enough for you, let it sit a little longer. Too strong? Add some water.
If it tastes ok, strain it again into new jars and store in clean mason jars out of direct sunlight.
To use, strain the mother out.
Keeps indefinitely if kept out of direct sunlight, just strain out the mother and add more water to taste.
DE-STRESSING TIPS FROM HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
Provided by Audrey Bentz
Constant stress can have real physical effects on the body. It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, and appetite problems—and yes, even heart disease. Doctors don’t know exactly how chronic stress affects the heart. Most likely, stress triggers inflammation, a known instigator of heart disease. It’s also true that when stressed, people often eat unhealthy food and don’t have the energy or time to exercise. Stress can also lead us into other heart-damaging behaviors, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Breaking the connection requires both learning to deal with stress and managing unhealthy habits. These five simple tips can help you do just that.
1. Stay positive. Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.
2. Meditate. This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Meditation’s close relatives, yoga and prayer, can also relax the mind and body.
3. Exercise. Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only melts away stress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
4. Unplug. It’s impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere Cut the cord. Avoid emails and TV news. Take time each day— even if it’s for just 10 or 15 minutes—to escape from the world.
5. Find ways to take the edge off your stress. Simple things, like a warm bath, listening to music, or spending time on a favorite hobby, can give you a much-needed break from the stressors in your life.
6. And may I add YOGA?! Jennifer Wykstra leads many of us every Wednesday from 6–7 p.m. She covers all the above and lets us feel challenged but GREAT! —Audrey
ZUCCHINI BAKE – MICROWAVE
from the Ruralite Casseroles cookbook
Roberta and Wade Cockeram have been trying out zucchini recipes this summer to use up all the zukes their garden produced. Roberta said this one “was one of the best and most delicious that we tried.”
1-1/2 lb zucchini, cut and cubed
3 Tbs. margarine
1 C. grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. Accent
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 3-oz. can French Fried onions, crumbled
Put zucchini and margarine in 1-1/2 quart casserole and cover. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir in cheese, Accent, salt, pepper and eggs. Top with French Fried onion. Cook in microwave 5 minutes. Rotate and cook another 5 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Delicious!