Medical and weather events

Monday, Jan 9

For Jan 8 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.59. Events: 2 CSR, 4 H, 8 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 44 min with (max = 21 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 71 spurious at start, actual low, 87, on the graphic chart, 3 events <88% with avg., 91.5%. Pulse avg. 55.0, low 50.

We called David H. last night to cancel Myst’s hoof trimming because of the cold and snow. Need to reschedule when the weather is better.

What a great New Year’s Gift! Our neighbor, Allen Aronica, appeared in our driveway with this tractor and blade and made 4-5 swipes to clean out a lot of snow. We always appreciate his help, but this timing was perfect so we can get out to go to the cardiologist tomorrow. This is the second time this winter he has plowed our 300′ driveway and the area near our parked cars. Later this week he made a third run, and plowed out three, or more) other neighbors. John cleans up a bit (1%) after Allen does the 99%.
On the left he has backed up to my blue Forester (John has provided a 4 ft. space for Allen to set the blade into). Check out the video below of his third swipe.John Deere Green in the Drive

I also talked with our leader of the retired geographers and we canceled tomorrow morning’s meeting. I sent emails but then called people in case they did not see their email. This was part weather related and part some folks not able to come.

I think I have corrected all the music for Thursday.

Tuesday, Jan 10

For Jan 9 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.42. Events: 3 H, 9 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 13 min with mask leakage at start. Oximetry: SpO2 low 54 spurious, actual low, 84, was off CPAP; 25 events <88% with avg., 91.3%. Pulse avg. 57.8, low 50.

I rewrote my blood pressure readings for the previous week for Kim’s (heart doc) requested history.

Talked with our Northwestern Mutual representative at the main office in Spokane, because our old rep and friend retired in Idaho. We want to have her send us annual reports at the first of the year, as we were used to receiving.

We were scheduled to leave about Noon to get 50 miles to Costco and lunch before arriving at the Yakima Heart Center (YHC) for a 2:40 check-in.

At 10:27, John was still out doing chores, in the snow, and I received a call from the YHC scheduler, asking if I could arrive earlier because of a cancellation of a 12:40 p.m. appt because of snow. I still had to shower, but I told her we were over an hour away and we would do our best to make it. We did. I drove both ways. It snowed nicely until we were almost there. We got in the examination room before noon, and the nurse gave me an ECG, took my vitals, and other info. My blood pressure was okay (130/80), considering I had driven through some bad patches of snow on the Interstate, and found a main thoroughfare (16th Avenue) closed that we had to detour around in Yakima without the benefit of any detour signs. It is not a nice even grid system in that part of town. John read later there was a water line break.

My doctor arrived about 1:00 and we started through all his concerns by reviewing my Pulmonary Function Test (PFT), my labs, and my fasting lab in Nov. Not all reports had arrived to my file, but I had copies of several (the PFT and the fasting one from my primary care physician). We were interrupted for about 25 minutes, while he had to consult with a PA about a patient that needed his observation and diagnosis, and several more issues. We continued when he returned, and he examined me. Everything was fine. He has been concerned about the medications I’m on for my heart’s health. The reason for the PFT test is to measure my lung diffusion ratio, and mine could use some improvement. We have decided that I should have the test at an interval less than a year as it has been. I felt the last one in December ’16 was too close to my getting over a cough that lasted 4 weeks and kept me home to get well. He agreed and I will be having another test in April. I am on Amiodarone therapy, which can scar my lungs, but I have successfully been on it since 2010, and I am not a good candidate for the replacement drug.

We also discussed the heart medication I have been on for a couple of years, Telemisartan (generic) for Micardis. He has been following the literature on a new drug, Entresto, which is a combination of two drugs, Sacubitril (24 mg) and Valsartan (26 mg). [That’s actually half-n-half, going by the number of molecules.] Dr. Kim is convinced that while it is an expensive drug, he recommends it for me because it will make me feel better now for my activities (not that I have any complaints), and it will prolong my life. How can one say no to that statement? The frustration is, I am being taken off a heart medication that was previously thought to be superior for my case, and we were slowly increasing the dosage to reach the amount shown in cases to prolong life. That medication (mentioned above) was very expensive and my insurance was not covering it sufficiently. I could get it less expensively at a different pharmacy by paying cash and not going through my insurance company (Group Health). The other frustration was that I did not know of this possibility of change, and I had just last week bought 135 tablets of the Micardis. Oh, well. My Dr. said, “Just keep it, in case your body will not tolerate this new one.” I have to watch out for a blood pressure over 140 (systolic) and not less than 100. I need to be aware of my potassium level, and if I experience shortness of breath or flu-like symptoms, I am to go to the ER. Well, that is a bit scary. I am to leave off the Micardis for 2 days, and start taking the Entresto Thursday morning. The cardiologist’s nurse gave me a week’s supply.

We had another interruption while visiting with the doctor. He was paged from the hospital’s Critical Care unit about one of his patients there. He managed that with us in the room. It was a fascinating dialogue. He returned to dictating our discussion of the day, and answering my questions. He is always very patient with all our discussions and John and I both are involved. I always receive a copy of his comments, mailed to me by the transcriptionist.

He finally called in the nurse to go over the new medication with us, and said his adieus, but not before saying he wants me to come back in a month to see how I’m doing on the new drug. I looked at my watch and realized he was with us (including the interruptions) for 2 hours. That is a record. Previously, he has spent normally an hour every visit, and at the most I think we were with him previously was for 1.5 hrs.

When we left, we still had to go to Costco, and we never had eaten lunch. John had packed along two large chocolate chip/nut cookies, a Snickers bar, and Pepsis, so we nibbled on the way home. The snow started hard while we were in with the doctor. Our car was covered when we went out. I drove for the return trip too. First stop was Costco to fill my car, and it was $2.49/gal., which is 9¢/gal cheaper than Ellensburg. Then we went inside and bought over $200 worth of long-term products and some groceries. The ‘Tax’ software was the biggest single item.

I returned a $9 pair of slippers (good) and we forgot a $9 pizza (bad) that got put on the bottom rack under the basket. We came upon slowing traffic and could see it stopped way out in front. I managed to get to the off ramp for the downtown exit and we went around (whatever it was) via city streets and back to I-82 at the Selah Gap. We thought we might have to drive through Selah to enter the freeway farther north, but we were able to re-enter where Hwy 12 comes in from the west. The trip home was complicated by snow blowing across the road making some icy spots. I slowed down considerably. We were getting snow/icy rain all the way home for the last 25 miles. Finally, we made it safely home at 6:00 p.m. in the dark. A couple of cats were waiting to be fed, and our dog was happy to greet us. The horses had been preemptively fed – hay left for them in several places so John only had to unload some of the items from the car.

My cell phone stopped working today. It will not hold a charge, and when it is charged, it will not dial a number, even where I am close to a tower. The Consumer Cellular folks think it is the SIM card, and I think it is the battery.

Wednesday, Jan 11

For Jan 10 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.35. Events: 2 H, 9 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 47 min with (max = 20 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 % low on a 54 spurious start; actual low, 84, avg. low was 89.1, 25 events <88% with overall avg., 91.3%. Pulse avg. 57.8, low 50.

Today was another cold day. I picked up Gloria and her sister and we went to the Food Bank to sing and eat, and on to the SAIL exercise class at the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center. We stopped at Grocery Outlet on the way home, and they got some stuff they needed. Gloria brought me some of her homemade peanut butter cookies.

John checked the web and gave me some links to the Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation site about my new medication. The company is in Boston, MA, so getting through to the Eastern Time Zone could not happen until tomorrow. Meanwhile, I studied their website and found some programs I am interested in, and for which I will apply. One is a free 30-day supply (one time only) of the new medication. Second is an application for a cash rebate on the price for a month’s supply (60 tablets), when paid for through my insurance. It costs me $10 to use the system to apply $100 off the price. In order to qualify for both I have to download and fill out an Enrollment Form for the ENTRESTO Central Patient Support Program. To speed up the process, I could FAX it to Boston. I cannot FAX, so I filled in the form, printed it, along with both sides of my Group Health insurance card, and took it to my pharmacist on Thursday afternoon to send in with the prescription.

We do not yet know the cost to me, but the normal cost ranges from $400 to $500 per month. I hope to know by Tuesday with a telephone call from Boston, MA.

I am happy John found this support. The folks at the Yakima Heart Center were not aware of it, so I sent all the details via email to my cardiologist’s nurse so that they can give that information to anyone else put on the drug. There is one other opportunity for help with the cost of the drug for people in financial need. We do not qualify for that, but it is nice the company provides the option.

I did not have time today to worry about the cell phone problems.

Thursday, Jan 12

For Jan 11 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.34. Events: 2 CSR, 2 H, 13 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 51 min with (max = 16 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 87, 5 events <88% with avg., 91.3%. Pulse avg. 56.5, low 51.

This morning, I dealt with the drug cost reduction request and my cell phone.

I called the pharmaceutical company in Boston and learned that they had received my application this morning that was FAXed yesterday afternoon. At least the process has begun, and they will call me Tuesday with the determination of in network pharmacy vs. out of network pharmacy costs to me.

I also called Oregon about my cell phone problems. We went through several “shocks” to the system but it failed to kick in. They suggested I move to a place in Ellensburg and they would try again. I carried it and John’s cell phone with me to check this afternoon after we finish our music.

Before I change the SIM card in my phone I have to record all the numbers in my cell phone onto hard copy. I have started that process, but have many to go. I have over 500 numbers in my phone! Thankfully, it will keep a charge long enough for me to work on the number retrieval.

We play at the Meadows today, and John is coming along with me to buy groceries and animal feed while I am inside playing music. I handed out the new music for Jan/Feb. We had a turnout of 10 with two new players, one on the harmonica and the other on guitar. We only had two fiddlers there today. The rest of the group was playing guitars. One of our guitar players will be gone for at least 3 weeks for knee surgery.

I attempted calling the cell phone place, and it did not work. The alternative was to go to a Target store to buy a new SIM card. The closest Target store is 50 miles away. She then asked if we had a Sears store. They will reimburse me for the changed SIM card cost ($10). We went by our small local Sears on the way home, and I bought one, but as of yet, I have not been able to put it in my phone, because the new one will not fit. She said they would send me a new one (but if I cannot make the Sears one get into the slot, I will not get a credit). The other one coming is free, in the mail. I plan to continue recording numbers, try to fit the Sears one in the phone, and if it does not fit into my old flip phone, I will wait for the new one to arrive in the mail after Monday’s holiday.

Friday, Jan 13

For Jan 12 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.12. Events: 1 H, 12 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 20 min with (max = 12 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 89, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.1%. Pulse avg. 59.2, low 52. This was a good night, probably the best in months.

Our temperature was -7°F here last night and it was -12 at the airport (located 5 miles down valley).Our full moon has been lovely, and this morning’s sunrise skies were beautiful with pastel colors, but I did not get my picture of the moon before it went behind the trees, so I will show you, but you best get the wonderful views from the Seattle area.
People in Seattle have cameras

Here are my shots this morning, only of the sunrise:Left is our backyard view where the moon is setting behind the trees, and right is out the front door.
See tomorrow’s blog below for the full moon a day later.

John just came in and said the water to the horse trough was not functioning. It is almost full, but he took some water out to add, and the heater is still keeping the water in it from freezing. The heater has to stay submerged. I guess that is what many hours of “minus” temperatures causes. But more below.

I called and found that my paperwork to Novartis had made it, but they will not have a decision until next Tuesday or Wednesday about the cost of my prescription using my insurance.

I called the Cardiopulmonary Services at KVH Hospital to check on an appointment for me in April. I need to have a work order sent to them by my cardiologist. I wrote an email to my cardiologist’s nurse requesting she do that.

We stayed home today.

Saturday, Jan 14

For Jan 12 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.50. Events: 1 CSR, 4 H, 19 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 2 min with (max = 22 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 44 spurious, actual low, 89, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.6%. Pulse avg. 56.4, low 50.

These were my views of the morning’s slightly less than full moon viewed out the back patio door, where I missed photographing it the past couple of days.Compare to the link given above for yesterday from KOMONEWS (in Seattle) of the beautiful full moon.

Travel to town was scheduled – despite the cold. It was only 4° when we got to Ellensburg. It was warmer at our elevation.

The first visit was to a friend from my past and present, Trinity Turner. I have known her mother for 25 years (through fiddling). She is now a student at CWU (in the Geography Dept.), and when classes do not conflict, she plays fiddle with our group visiting nursing homes. Small world. She was giving this desk away on the Free Box site on Facebook, and I asked John if he could use it for his computer and our moved router. He figured he could, so I asked for it, and she was happy to give to a friend. It had been given to her. We got the measurements and John figured we could fit it into the back of my Subaru with the back seats pushed down. It is 56.5″ high, about 3′ wide, and about 17″ deep.It is still in the back of my car, along with 80 pounds of Black Oil Sunflower seeds in 20# bags that were on sale (through the end of January) at Ace Hardware. Buy one at $15.99 and get one free. John has now removed the sunflower seeds.
Maybe on Monday, the cart.

I picked up my one med (cheaper, $5.00) at Super 1 Pharmacy. I wish all my pills were that price. This is for 3 months of Spironolact, one pill daily.

Today we bought a heat tape for our horse trough pipe and the temps went up enough that John got a pencil trickle, left it open, went to feed the horses, and when he returned, the pencil-thin stream had rid the stand-pipe of the ice and it was in full gush. He has wrapped the pipe with a plastic tarp, then mounded wood chips and snow to keep the minus air off. Later he will install the heat tape in proper fashion. We are, in fact, a bit warmer now but a major change will not occur until Tuesday.

We also picked up a package for a gal in town who lives near us, delivered it, and in return she is giving me a sheet I can spread over my recliner. The flannel sheet I have had has worn threadbare, with holes in the part over the right arm of the chair. I cannot pick up the sheet until next week when I drive by her house from town on my way home.

Sunday, Jan 15

For Jan 14 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.96. Events: 1 CSR, 8 H, 19 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 21 min with (max = 21 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 82 spurious at start, actual low, 87, the 1 event <88% with overall avg., 92.6%. Pulse avg. 58.1, low 52.

We just spent a lovely 20 minutes on the phone with John’s cousin Ethel and her daughter Pat in Brookville, PA. Ethel is 98, still living by herself, but goes for Sunday lunch to her daughter’s, when the weather is not too icy for walking. They had temperatures in the thirties today and not much snow. We are at 18.5° now with a little snow occurring.

John made Crockpot candy (Chocolate, Almond Bark, and dry roasted peanuts) today. The ingredients were left from many months ago – and it was time for them to be used.

Late afternoon, we had a call from Jeri Conklin reporting on our co-owned dog, Daisy, in CA. She and her husband were returning from a Vizsla field trial, where her new trainer had run her in an Open Limited Gun Dog stake. Jeri was able to ride along on one of her trainer’s horses.

Here is the story in her own words when she sent the pictures below (and more) on Facebook:
Today was one of those days when you get to go out and see your child who has been at a trainers for three weeks! Daisy ran in the OLGD this morning at the Vizsla trial – and it was so good to see her so happy! She was confident on her point and the flush was above and beyond as she stood still as a rock. She and Scott have come a long way in a short time and I can only think their relationship will get better and better. The old Daisy was gone and the Daisy Bug that I knew was in there came out in full bloom today. Perhaps her time away from the field made all the difference, she was definitely “hungry” to be out there again and that was very evident. She didn’t place, but she had a gorgeous forward run, sharp/clean bird work – couldn’t ask for more. Thank you Scott for a great job, well done. Here are a few pictures to share with Nancy B. Hultquist and others.
My choice of photos Jeri took today. First, our Happy DAYSeee gal has returned: (the sparkle is back in her eyes at the end of the run today).Now for a peek at today’s action in California at the Vizsla field trial for Cedaridge Kip’s Camelot Shay Tre’ JH (call name Daisy), co-owned by Nancy with Jeri Conklin in Lancaster, CA. The timing for the trial was good. CA is getting hit with rain and/or snow in great amounts, but today was between storms. Friend Sonja with horses and dogs, in South Lake Tahoe, is up to her keister in snow. The Tahoe area has power outages and washed out roads. At the line, wetting down and ready for the breakaway.Daisy on point, with judge’s boot blocking her face. Holding and turning to watch the flush, made her head visible.
{John says: The judge rode in too close to a dog on point. Unless that’s a camera effect.}Scott Azevedo wetting her down after the find before finishing the stake, and on the right, in the “spa” at the end of her run. Look at the water droplets in each photo.

Thank you Jeri for such wonderful coverage of such a happy day in the field. Placements will return. She is back with us. Thanks for all your hard work bringing back her spirit.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

2017 starts cold and white

Monday, Jan 2

For Jan 1 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.00. Events: 1 CSR, 0 H, 19 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 55 min with (max = 14 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 83 spurious, actual low, 87, is all I see on the graphic chart, 2 events <88% with avg., 91.8%. Pulse avg. 55.4, low 47.

We finally published last week’s blog late afternoon. It had too much in it, but I did not have time to make a web page for the Raclette this year, and put it all in the blog instead.

Before noon, I requested information from the music group about who could print their own or how many I had to Xerox copy. Now I know about how many to run, but need to make a list and number the order of songs on my master.

Whoopee! Tonight about 7:00 p.m., I found my heavy-duty masks (graded N-95) for wearing when John is adding wood to the stove and leaking actual smoke into the room. The masks were safely put in my back bathroom medicine cabinet, but I did not remember for 3 days into this year.

Tuesday, Jan 3

For Jan 2 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.24. Events: 1 H, 7 RERA. Time on 4 hrs 15 min with (max = 16 L/min). Oximetry: Battery ran out after 55 minutes.

I figured out the numbers of pages to set up, and the cost of the copies. Some folks want it printed differently, so I have to make several different runs and a smaller run for additions of the new music to the audience copies. I carried the master, instructions, a ream of paper, and the money for printing. I went by for a blood draw at the hospital, needed for the appt with my cardiologist next Tuesday. By the time I got home, our nurse had called and given John my INR reading (2.3, within desired range).

After that, I participated in Jazzercise, and we had two new people join our class of four. They are a couple. We have never had any men in this class. We have men in the SAIL exercise class.

From there, because Tuesday is check-# day, I was off to Bi-Mart and then back home to assemble music pages, so I can deliver two copies tomorrow.

Wednesday, Jan 4 Happy Birthday to John !!!

For Jan 3 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 1.56. Events: 7 H, 9 RERA. Time on 4 hrs 29 min with (max = 16 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low spurious 56 while taking off mask, 15 events <88% with avg. 91.3%. 6 with CPAP on; 9 without CPAP, and have lower values of Sp02; Pulse avg. 56.1, low 47.

Below is the graphic evidence that the CPAP helps control my SpO2 (percentage of saturated oxygen going to my organs while I sleep). It still goes below 88% when on the machine, but more so when off. I went to the food bank today, but skipped SAIL exercise class today to run errands so I could get back in time for a much-needed haircut. I stopped by for some sunflower seeds at Ace Hardware that John wanted (on a good sale – buy one bag, get one free). The fellow before me had just bought the last 4 bags, so they will have more in this Friday, will reserve 4 bags for me, and call us. (That did not occur; we went by Friday to no avail because while they had been shipped in, they’d not yet taken them from the back storage area). I went by our car mechanic (Seth Motors now run by the grandson, Justin Seth) also to pick up 2017 calendars for John (his request), and while there he gave me two baseball hats for us and another carrying bag with their name on the side. [When first in EBRG and still giving blood, John met Grandfather Seth – a volunteer providing a steady hand and a glass of orange juice.] I also went by Super 1 for some sale items, and on the way home, I went by Bi-Mart for more of the reduced price canned cat food. All this rushing around, was caused by wanting to make it back home to leave my violin inside in the warmth, and bring in the groceries, so that I could head over a mile to get my haircut at 3:00 p.m. That happened, and I had a nice visit with Celia and Bobby Winingham and viewed their local contingent of backyard deer.

They had a couple of bucks and about 15 deer they were giving “cob” {corn/oats/barley} to, and while I don’t have a photo of them, here is the biggest buck at their place. He is back from previous years. Where’s my dinner (1-4-17) _______ Same buck in 2016 (pix by Celia)

Thursday, Jan 5

For Jan 4 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.66. Events: 1 CSR, 5 H, 11 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 37 min with (max = 22 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 88, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.0%. Pulse avg. 56.2, low 49.

Frustration plus – music problems, sickness at Rehab caused cancellation of our playing activities. Sorry for the folks there. Okay for me as I had changes to make in the last page of The M.T.A. and things to work on with telephone calls to two insurance providers, and my dental providers. We had a misunderstanding of the dental costs, and I already had filled my allowed expenses for 2016 with the implant surgery, so I will have to cover the entire cost of my teeth cleaning in December. Normally every cleaning and X-rays are entirely covered. I’m unhappy about that, but I blame myself for not checking with the dental insurance company. All my coverage went to the two implants (at another dentist’s office).

At 5:00 p.m., the real problem started. I downloaded something from earlier in the day. When I went to answer and compiled an email to send, I found I had no Internet connection. John did. I had him go back and “re-set” and then neither of us had a connection. We fiddled with it and could not make it work again. We now assume the modem failed. The person in town who helped last time works from 8:00 to 5:00. We called the national 24/7 line, but we had already tried all the things we knew he would ask. He could not help us, but had us remove a filter and splitter on the cord line from the wall-outlet to the modem. It did not help. Saddest part of this is our Wireless within the house is not responding without the DSL entry. That means I cannot print from my printer, which means I cannot get an output of the music I need to get to my friend to help me assess the changes. I could have printed and met her in town with it. We are now hoping that John can carry the modem in tomorrow morning, find out it has died, and get another to bring home to plug in.

The rest of the evening, we worked on projects off the computer, and the last thing we did was to put together a casserole of Yukon gold potatoes, similarly thin slices of Acorn squash, grated sharp cheddar cheese, a sauce from a mixture of sour cream, milk, butter, and spices, topped with Parmesan cheese. We will cook in the morning and take to a New Year’s party at the Adult Activity Center.

Ending the day on a happy note — two of our Brittanys in Wisconsin wished their mom a happy birthday and we heard about it on Facebook, after we finally got “connected” to the wired world again. That still a day away.The two on the right are “our” Cedaridge pups, Molly & Tobie. I drove them at 8 wks of age to Spokane and Anna’s hubby Paul flew in from Wisconsin to meet me. He carried them back together in a carrier in the passenger part of the plane. So cool. These are not the first dogs they had from us, but sadly, they will be the last because we are no longer breeding Brittanys, since the last litter in 2010.

Friday, Jan 6

For Jan 5 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.40 Events: 2 H, 3 PP, 12 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 1 min with (max = 19 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 59 spurious, actual was 79 probably also because of on/off switch, 16 events <88% with avg., 91.4%. Pulse avg. 53.6, low 43, probably spurious because my defibrillator keeps my pulse at 50.

It’s a.m. and we are back on Internet from moving the router to the front of house.

Last night it quit and a long call to tech support did not fix it. John moved the router of the telephone cable (DSL) to a different place in the house, but it still did not work. Both the old and new places have a splitter so a line could be connected to a phone and another to the Internet modem.

This morning he pulled the splitter out and plugged the line directly into the wall outlet from the outside phone line. Bingo! In less than 5 seconds, we had the Internet back.
John continues: The second line is now unplugged – and it is the one that connects Nancy’s automated caller to the heart center that monitors her defibrillator and heart function. That’s a once a day call between 2 and 3 in the AM. Thus, fixing that line to a different location is my big problem for the day. Did I mention it is nippy cold here? Nancy here: John rerouted the telephone lines and all my monitors are back – with a long line taped along the wall, around a corner to a hallway, and hanging on “stuff” to the far wall of the (so called) living room. So why did it quit? Some questions do not have answers.

We left for the AAC (Ellensburg senior center)’s New Year’s Party potluck with our two pans of Irish scalloped potatoes, we named Leprechaun Gold. We described the content above. The theme of the party was New Year’s Traditions around the World.

Small review. More pictures will be available on the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center’s Facebook page, where all of mine will be displayed with staff photos. I try to cover the people participating in events while the staff are serving us or conducting games. The young women in two of the pictures are Megan Willwerth and Lauren Healey, working for 10 months as AmeriCorps employees here at the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center. The left photo shows them starting the buffet so they can go serve Black-eyed Pea Soup to the people at the tables. After lunch, they conducted a New Year’s Trivia game for 3 teams (tables) at the party. The questions were in three categories: Facts about New Years, New Year’s Traditions, and 2016 Pop Culture. The last being a topic that we become farther away with each new movie or TV show.Left is the smaller pan of potatoes we took. Middle shows the larger one in front of the woman in the photo. Right shows part of John’s plate, our shared pie, my plate, and my bowl of soup (black-eyed peas with veggies, bacon, and sour cream). Left is Katrina Douglas, Director of the center; right are her parents Dudley & Sharon Kell, whom we met at our table. They have only been in Ellensburg since June, and we told them about the Dudley Bridge over the Yakima River west of EBRG.Left is a photo of a collection of dolls from around the world that belongs to Marion, an AAC member who brought them to display because of the international theme. Right is a photo op of John and me with props, but his sign said 2017, and he didn’t hold it high enough to be seen behind my little New Year’s Hat (also provided by the AAC). The 17 of 2017 is behind my hat. We enjoyed ourselves at the party.

On our way home, we stopped by Super 1 for groceries and I had a nice visit with a friend (Bonnie Clement) I haven’t seen in two years. She was a daily visitor, while I was in the Rehab for 7 weeks in 2010. She would bring her little dog. While we talked, John shopped. Ending the day with a beautiful sunset, shows snow, of which we got at least 2 more inches the next day, and it is still snowing Sunday, as we finalize this treatise. The plan is for 2″ more tonight and then flurries through Wednesday. West of us, in the Cascades, there will be more snow and strong winds. I-90 is open but a mess (Sunday at 3). We need to go south, on I-82, Tuesday about Noon.

Saturday, Jan 7

For Jan 6 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.92. Events: 1 CSR, 8 H, 12 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 40 min with major mask leakage. Oximetry: SpO2 spurious low 78, actual low was 89, 3 events <88% with avg., 92.0%. Pulse avg. 55.0, low 50.

I have been working on this text, on dishes, and fixing the Chorus of the Kingston trio’s song, The M.T.A. It has given us a terrible time trying to replicate the musical score of the song to match the notes and the way the Trio sang it. No one has successfully reproduced a score with notes, chords, and lyrics that matches the original. Musicnotes sells a version on line but it is not correct either. I believe we now have a good rendition, thanks to Evie’s help. If anyone wishes me to send them a pdf of the two pages of the music, please let me know. Just promise not to give it to someone who will charge others for it.

John has been good about letting me know when wildlife is around. Here are pictures of California Quail in the feeder.Left I took from the kitchen window, and then John told me the sun was on them from the bedroom window. The right photo is taken through a dirty window. That’s the next window to clean. Quail live by having a hair-trigger flight plan so I can’t step outside or open a window. Another problem is that all my photos in the blog are low resolution.

About 1:10 p.m., John called my attention to the beautiful Rooster pheasant in our front yard. I got my camera to record him walking around. Glad he came before the heavy snow. John noted the beginning of the snow so brought in wood and kindling to have us well stocked through tomorrow. The wood stove has been going since mid-day December 31. The air is a bit “dry” and we’ve been talking about (procrastinating) fixing that.Pheasant in front yard. Middle picture-see Mt. Ash berry in his mouth, and the right one shows his foot is banded. Check out the Pheasant in the front yard, 1-7-17 video below.

Ringneck Rooster Under the Seed Tree

This is the explanation on line with the video: “Here is our sole pheasant back again for almost 2 minutes in our front yard (on video) – he was there many more minutes. John called me to see him. He has come onto the porch right by our front door for water and to check-out the hard cat food. Here is he nibbling scratch fallen from the bird feeder (see context of feeder in the Mt. Ash tree at 1:51), and you’ll see him going over to eat gravel by the front of our house, under the eaves. Sorry for the bad views from 51 seconds to 1.01 min. I don’t have an easy way of editing out that part of the footage.” Enjoy.

John fixed dinner. He bought a turkey hindquarter (2X) and cooked 1 with onions and mushrooms. He added the remainder of our potatoes we brought back from the party, slices of pineapple, and rounds of Butternut squash. This was such a lovely colorful dinner, I must share a photograph. The color of the onions is preserved in a slow oven. Pineapple is on the left between the squash and our potato creation.

Sunday, Jan 8

For Jan 7 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.99. Events: 1 CA, 7 H, 22 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 7 min with (max = 22 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 82 (spurious), actual low 84, avg. low <88%, 89.7, 11 events <88%, with overall avg., 91.5%. Pulse avg. 54.3, low 49.

Our resident pheasant is back, and snow has covered everything, but he’s digging and finding something. It’s fun to watch him. We are scheduled to have snow all week. I’m not happy about having to travel in the snow to Yakima on Tuesday this week to visit with my cardiologist.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Old and New memories

I will start with a Joyful picture of musical trees that I left out of Christmas Day’s report last week. The image is quite appropriate for me (music and tree removal around our home) this year. It came from a friend of >50 years, Bob Wittick (Michigan), whom we met in Iowa in the late sixties in graduate school. The Cardinal doesn’t make it out to the northwest but we remember them from our “home” states of GA & PA.Monday, Dec 26

For Dec 25 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.59. Events: 5 H, 2 PP, 16 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 25 min with (max = 23 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 86 spurious, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.7%. Pulse avg. 53.5, low 50.

I contacted the members of our music group, because on the 5th Thursday this month, we do not go any place for music. It is a holiday for us, now that there are only 4 assisted-living homes in Ellensburg.
Worked on bills a little and worked a lot on music that Evie went through for me. We are getting it improved slowly.

Tuesday, Dec 27

For Dec 26 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.26. Events: 2 H, 24 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 45 min with (max = 14 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 84 seems spurious, 2 events of 87 <88% with avg., 91.9%. Pulse avg. 54.6, low 50.

I planned to go to Jazzercise today, and John went along to go to Bi-Mart for some goodies, and to fill his gasoline tank for our trips later this week.

We checked the bread room on the way, and they invited us to take excess food. I explained we were not registered for food dispersal and they said, No problem – we put this on Facebook for the community to come. We have too much and do not want to see it go to waste. There were vegetables, lettuce, potatoes, onions, squash, tomatoes, and apples. John took a bag of quite small apples (not much bigger than a golf ball) for the deer, but left behind 3 bins of people-sized apples.

I am still working on music with huge help from our new violinist in the group, who is quite the musician, with formal training that most of us lack.

Wednesday, Dec 28

For Dec 27 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.11. Events: 1 CA, 0 H, 3 PP, 20 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 46 min with (max = 14 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 88, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.4%. Pulse avg. 54.6, low 50.

I picked up Gloria, and we went to the food bank, sang and ate, and to the hospital for me to have a blood draw to check my INR. By the time I got home, Cody had called and told John it was well in range at 2.3).

Today was a good day at the Food bank for obtaining stuff that was still in excess. Gloria and I were each given 5 lbs. of Russet Norkotah potatoes; the day before John and I got a small box of Yukon Golds. North Dakota State University developed this Norkotah brand and Russet describes the skin color – brown. These were grown in Idaho.

I came home to more news from my friend, Jeri Conklin, in Lancaster, CA, the co-owner of our Brittany, Daisy (call name). Her official name is Cedaridge Kip’s Camelot Shay Tre’ JH. She has field placements (including an excellent placement, second, in the Western Futurity when 2 years old) and show placements. She was going north in California to be evaluated by a trainer there in Los Banos. She passed her test. Her spirit had been diminished during training to retrieve, and she would not do so, and she was no longer standing high on her pointing. Jeri has been working with her and her desire has returned. She has not been pushing the retrieve, however, because that is no longer required in Gun Dog events in Brittany trials. (I find that difficult to believe, after judging gun dog events at Brittany field trials.)

I am sharing that background before showing you the pictures from today in the field of Daisy and Jeri, taken by her hubby, Kurt. This collage is busy, but if you look from left to right across the top and bottom, you’ll see the story unfolding. Top left shows Daisy waiting her turn to run. Middle top shows a Jumbo White Coturnix Quail flushing that she probably thought was a dickey bird. She chased, jumped, grabbed, and retrieved to hand to Jeri. Normally, one would not praise “not stopping to flush”, but in this case, knowing she had previously quit retrieving, made it all okay. Her spirit has returned.

The next collages are her finds of Chukar and handling all the situations just fine. She pointed nicely with head held high, watched intently the search and flush, and held.

Daisy on point and Jeri launching the Chukar. Daisy held for the flush.Daisy on second point and Jeri searching for the Chukar. She had to go around the tree to launch the bird, and Daisy held and watched.

Third Chukar find. Jeri searched and finally found it and flushed. Far right, Daisy marks the bird, but stays put. Good girl.

All and all a successful trip, so they left her with the trainer.

Thursday, Dec 29

For Dec 28 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.17. Events: x CSR, 1 H, 14 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 54 min with (max = 15 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 89, 0 events <88% with avg., 91.4%. Pulse avg. 53.8, low 50.

John had to feed the animals and put wood (for the fire) in the back of the car to take to the Raclette. I fixed the food we took (cherry tomatoes and two desserts). Only one of the desserts was eaten, as there were very many desserts brought as potluck sides this year. One year we had no bread. Next year I’ll bet the desserts are sparse.

We made it to the White Heron fire-pit at noon. John and 2 others unloaded the firewood and then John moved the car out of the way for new arrivals.

A few photos are below in this blog, but if you want a larger introduction to what goes on at a Raclette, check the link following to a web page I made in 2014, which also has trips back to 2013 and 2012. There is a link even farther back with references to past visits with our class, (Wine: A Geographical Appreciation) to the vineyard and winery. We taught it from 1998 to 2008, and White Heron Cellars and the Mariposa Vineyard were always a field trip. For a couple of years before they opened the current winery, Cameron Fries brought wine and educated our students in the classroom in Ellensburg, at CWU. What great memories we have had with his family through the years!

White Heron Raclette Write-up 2014 and before

The winter view of the vineyard is different from what most people see. The Mariposa vineyard surrounds their home and winery (not seen), White Heron Cellars. Foreground vines belong to Jones of Washington and likely is their smallest vineyard. Jones is a major family corporation and this little plot has a storied background.

The pruners prune grapevines for about 5 weeks in the spring. Cameron & Phyllis Fries, owners of the property, vineyard, and winery, hold this event for the pruners and their families. They host this Raclette annually – sometimes the end of December, or in January of the new year.

Pruners for 2016 are in the collage below: Left to right: Erik, John, Phil, Mark, Tom, Bill, & Cameron

Wives of the pruners:Behind Linda (Bill) and Audrey (Phil), on the left is the wood, some of which John contributed this year. Nancy (John)-Phyllis (Cameron)-Lynne (Tom)-Margaret (Mark)
I am wearing a sweater from Iceland, I purchased in Denmark, in the summer of 1965 while on a Geography Field Trip for 9 weeks in Europe. Over the years the sweater had some holes from moth damage, and Lynne repaired (knitted) them for me. She also fixed a hole in the hat I’m wearing, and knitted me some gaiters I wore, but they’re not seen in this photo. Phyllis told her she probably had the colors of yarn in her collection, so the first day of the spring pruning, I am sending my sweater over with John for Lynne to do her special work. The year 1965 is special because that is the year I began in Cincinnati, OH in graduate school and met John there. The field trip was at the end of my undergraduate degree, and it was led by my first geography professor, Sanford Bederman and his wife, Jolayne. It was because of Sandy that I attended the University of Cincinnati, so I credit him with starting my geography career and making it possible for my life with John.

The winery dog is named Altesse, which is a white French grape found primarily in the Savoy wine region of France. Their previous dog, present in 2015, was named Roussanne, another fine white grape (and our Brittany, Annie, is registered as Cedaridge Vintage Roussanne). Roussanne is a white grape grown in the Rhône wine region in France.

Here is a photo of the vineyard animals:Altesse-2016 Roussanne-2015 Chickens protected by dog.
We watched Altesse chase away a hawk from the chickens during our visit this year. Phyllis & Cameron take eggs to west side to weekend farmer’s markets in three different locations, where they go primarily to sell their wine.

Now for the food fest in the Raclette manner:Bonfire (some vine cuttings are required) and side dishesPotatoes (some purple) and sausage steaming over wine and vine cuttings. Tops stay on the iron skillet roasters.

Here is the setup of the Raclette cheese (square this year):The cheese comes from the Puget Sound or left side of the State, because the proper cheese can’t be found locally. Cameron creates the bed of coals for cooking beneath the cheese, which is skewered on a 3-pronged pole mounted device to move it over the fire to melt – and then to swivel away during “scrapping” or the “racletting.”This plate shows a purple potato, some slaw, and a sausage with the cheese coming and being scraped down onto Bill’s plate.Three more plates served, with John on the right.

You have to watch fast the following (only video I took this year) to see the way it happens. This is only 9 seconds and it is a very small serving.

Racletting video 2016

Besides eating, we had fun visiting:My parting shot of the view from our Raclette site, over the vineyard and down toward Crescent Bar and West Bar. The right shows folks visiting and saying goodbyes around the roaring fire.

On our way home, we viewed a nice sunset with a jet’s contrail, and were able to see the I-90 bridge over the Columbia River – about 35 miles from home.It was a fun day. We were gone 7 hours and got home just at dark.

Last year (2015), our blog covered the Raclette

Above is last year’s blog entry on the annual White Heron Raclette; I was not very into it because I was still recovering from going in the ditch on our way home from the surgery to implant my new defibrillator (Dec 18 was the surgery, but this trip Dec 29 was for the checkup of the new one). I took more pictures at the Raclette in 2015, but never put a report together for 2015.
I decided to put this for 2016 in the blog as well and not make a separate web page for it.

Friday, Dec 30

For Dec 29 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.33. Events: 2 H, 11 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 7 min with (max = 7 L/min). Oximetry: I hit the button and reset my oximeter before downloading the data. So, we’ll wait for another day.

Quail in New Feeder in Mt. Ash Tree

We are going to visit the LaBar family this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Rebekah returned for Christmas with her boyfriend, Vincent, and sister, Caitlin, came over from Longview. John and Robin LaBar live about a little over 13 miles from us (not the way the crow flies). We had a nice visit and Caitlin made a great cinnamon/ sugar frosted orange peel cake, served with hot chocolate. Caitlin also brought her 2nd draft of a monumental creation on Butterflies of the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, in which she has plates of photographs she has taken at museums (Burke in WA and another in OR) and of her own specimens. She has created a unique classification schema of identification with photos of various types of Fritillary butterflies, using topside and underneath (not the technical terms) of the wings. I cannot begin to describe the incredible contents of this masterpiece, and I look forward to getting a copy of the final publication. We will work on getting our living room set up with a coffee table so we can properly display her book.

I had her pose with her book. John helped me lighten the only one taken without a flash that came out well. Below is a photo of Bekah and Vincent. Vincent is from Taiwan and lives in Sydney, Australia. Bekah has been a meteorologist in Wellington, New Zealand, but her company is moving her to their Sydney office. They did not have a lot of time in the states, and with many people and places to visit, so we were very grateful they shared some time with us. And, a big thanks to John and Robin for giving us packages of some very lean ground beef (best we’ve ever had) from their herd. We have cooked one package, and had a meal of hamburgers one night and then nachos the next. I took photos I will send them, but will not put any more in this week’s blog.

Saturday, Dec 31

For Dec 30 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.51. Events: 4 H, 1 PP, 15 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 51 min with (max = 23 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 86, 2 events <88% with avg., 91.8%. Pulse avg. 54.4, low 50.

Sunny and chilly. 17° upon awakening.
John found a story on the BBC this morning and we followed the links, watched this amazing little girl, an accomplished musician, at 11 years old. She has written an opera, Cinderella, which is being performed (with her playing in it as well), in Vienna.

Young musician

We searched and found many more videos of her back in time. Here’s just one.

Alma Deutscher at Henley Festival

John changed the newest filter on our furnace, after two months (too long). It was filthy.

I needed to go to town and arranged to meet Ann & Keith for the delivery of a water bottle. Here is a collage of her offer on line and my photo of thanks once home with it. I have taken off the BPA-free sign; I meant to show that. I will use the insulated carrier to keep it cold to take to my exercise classes. Thanks, Ann. Hers was a response to my request on line (Free Givers, Kittitas County) for a liquid container after breaking a large glass accidentally while washing the kitchen window so we could photograph visitors to the new bird feeder. She met me in town to deliver my gift.Left are her pictures she shared on Facebook to see if I wanted it. It was new and she was not going to use it. The right pictures my insulated carrier I will use for it. I photographed it when I got home, in front of the woodshed outside our back patio door.

While I went to town to meet them, I also took advantage of coupons, get some hard cat food for all the cats (to save us a trip to Yakima to Costco), and to get a good price on soft drinks for John at two different stores. When I got home, I found that John had cleaned out around our wood stove and started a fire. We had piled too much stuff around it and on top of it since last winter. It is 74° in here (the den), and 72° in the hallway. Wow. Now we are ready for minus temperatures predicted next week.

Wood Stove – 2016 in action (short video)

Sunday, Jan 1 Happy New Year !

For Dec 31 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.71. Events: 5 H, 6 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 1 min with small mask leakage. Oximetry: SpO2 low 87, spurious 76 at start that messes up the avg., 4 events <88% with avg., 91.3%. Pulse avg. 56.3, low 50.

Early morning Happy New Year’s e-card (Neujahrskarte in German) wishing us well (alles gate fur).Lovely card from our friends in Salzburg, Austria, we met in Idaho at the University in the 1970s. Heinz Slupetsky with his family, wife and two girls, has kept up with us all these years.

Normal feeding activity outside and inside. I started the morning working on the last phase of fixing the song Fraulein, with the tremendous help of Evie, our fiddle player. She is talented at being able to transcribe music from a video, and then I can enter it into our group’s repertoire, via the software, SongWriter. Now, I’m set to print the master and get it Xeroxed next week for our first use for Jan/Feb play dates – this one Thursday being at the Rehab where I spent 7 weeks in 2010 (Jan-Feb) to learn how to use all my muscles again and walk. It’s nostalgic to go back to play there now. My first roommate there is back again and not doing very well. She still remembers John and me, but the dementia is taking over her life. I still remind her she is my sunshine, for telling me I would recover and be on my feet again. She was my inspiration there and wonderful she was my roommate. Her name is Mae.

I tried to finish this blog to publish Sunday, but I had too much to finish. John put out a placeholder for the blog, titled Over the Mountain …

Now we will get it published Monday, January 2, 2017.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Over the mountain …

and through the snow

Cold is coming to you and to me. Ha.Ha. John

It has been a busy week and Nancy is still playing with all the photos and video she took. So we’ll get a full blog up Monday.
We’ll be spending a lot of time in the house. The weather professionals say it is now (10 pm) 30°F and headed down. High tomorrow is near 17. That’s the good news. We will likely see zero mid-week and will not see 30 again before next Monday, the 9th. If then.

We brought some wood in and have the wood stove going, so we are cozy.
Hope you are too.

John & Nancy
Still on the Naneum Fan

Christmas week, 2016

Monday, Dec 19

For Dec 18 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.41. Events: 1 CSR, 3 H, 7 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 17 min with (max = 21 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 88, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.4%. Pulse avg. 57.0, low 49.

First, we were scheduled for our toenail trims at the foot doctor, at 10:30. We were not even taken into the office until after 11:00 and still had to wait for the doctor to appear. He had a sidekick (Mary, his shadow today), who is a Physician’s Assistant, being exposed to different people’s needs and cases. Maybe that was the cause and responsible for the delay. We explained our issues with our feet.

After that was done, we went to Rite Aid for to prevent Annie’s (dog) seizures. The 180 tablets will last us half a year. She takes one a day, and at this price, we are saving half price over getting it from our own pharmacy. It is still $24/mo. Next time I need it refilled, I will call around for the best price. It is variable in pricing and costly enough to warrant checking at different pharmacies. It is the least expensive anti-seizure medication at around $5 USD a year in the developing world. So why is it so expensive in the USA? John’s guess is that we are subsidizing the poor in another part of the world. I picked up my Amoxicillin today too to be ready for upcoming dental work.

We went to Grocery Outlet for canned cat food to get our $20 worth of groceries with a $5.00 off coupon. Unfortunately, they had no Friskies cat food — only kind we use. The others are only 3 ounces at the same price, instead of 5.5 oz. Luckily, they had pork loin roast on sale for $1.79/#, so we got that with our ice cream, salsa, and sour cream to up the tally (which was almost $30 by the time we checked out) to meet the coupon. Food adds up quickly, as those with larger families are well aware.

We went by the feed store and bought some Country Critters feed for the deer. When we got home, John started with the three normally around, and the little buck we pictured here a few weeks ago was also back in the front yard. We do not know if he found the deer block and apples John put out up the driveway. Mamma and her twins must have decided to come to the front door to tell us John had not given them enough. First, he gave them a deer block. Here he has made pictures for me to use in a collage to answer questions you might have. The deer block he hammered on a little to show the contents better. Claims to be 10% protein. The smallest doe (fawn) has figured out nibbling on it.She prefers this cob mixture. It’s easier to eat, and higher in protein.

The quail also found it, so John bought them some “scratch” and has built a feeding station in the Mt. Ash tree. Se below on Christmas day. I hope that the deer cannot reach that.Here’s the scratch and here are the quail Christmas morning next to the deer block finding the scratch. Now he has a place in the backyard for them, but they haven’t found it yet.

Tuesday, Dec 20

For Dec 19 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.71. Events: 5 H, 15 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 0 min with (max = 19 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 81 spurious, 10 events <88% with avg., 91.5%. Pulse avg. 56.4, low 50.

Warm temperatures and winds!

I spent a ton of time working on music for Jan/Feb – today, I finished Cotton Jenny by Gordon Lightfoot. Neat song.

I went to Jazzercise and we had quite a little workout. My shoulder was hurting when I played fiddle at the Food Bank – Noon meal for those that need it. And, they thank us for our music by feeding us.

We went to dinner at the Weirs, our new friends in town. John met Bill through WTA and we met his wife Linda a month or so later, and have been out to restaurants to eat. This time was dinner at their home. It started with cheese, crackers, and Sauvignon Blanc wine, then beef stroganoff, salad, bread, and huckleberry chocolate brownies with two kinds of special ice cream. Nice evening.

I’m sorry I have not made a review of the year in the Best of the Blog as I have done in the past. I hope I have time to before next year – but right now I have to complete all the music for the next 2 months of playing with the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers and Friends. Our last performance this month is Thursday at an assisted living home, for all Christmas music. I have to have the next set of music finished by Jan 3 with copies to give to the players on the 5th. I’m adding new stuff to some of our old. Songs such as Gordon Lightfoot’s Cotton Jenny (mentioned above), Patsy Cline’s, I Fall to Pieces, Kingston Trio’s The M.T. A., and Jimmie Rogers, T for Texas. I need to do one other new one: Your Cheating Heart.

Wednesday, Dec 21

For Dec 20 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 1.44. Events: 9 H, 3 PP, 8 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 15 min with (max = 18 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 75 spurious at turn off time, 1 true low event, 87 <88% with avg., 93.1%. Pulse avg. 53.0, low 50.

In the USA, most media and others call this the 1st day of winter. Elsewhere other dates are used, such as in November or the 1st of December. It is better called the December Solstice, the date that the Noon Sun is lowest in the sky. Whatever it is called, the best thought is that the daylight stops getting shorter and begins to lengthen. Maybe by John’s birthday that will become noticeable. In 2017, perihelion (when Earth is closest to the Sun) is also on his birthday (1/4). He claims he will be 38.

Today I picked up Gloria, and we went first to the food bank for music and food, and then to SAIL for exercise. We were both not too wanting of exercise. She had on boots that were not good for class. My shoulder was very painful from playing music, and I didn’t feel at all up to exercise class. We made a couple of stops on the way home, for her to get some gifts for a grandson, and go to the bank. She gave us 2 dozen cookies she made this morning. Nice peanut butter cookies. I wish I was closer to John’s sister to share; it’s her favorite but not John’s. So I ate several and froze the rest in smaller packages.

We were invited to a Solstice party tonight, but neither one of us felt like going. Folks bring music instruments to play “solstice music” but not “Christmas” music. I know a lot of the latter and not much of the former. Had I gone, I was going to take, “On the Sunny Side of the Street” music. We went to bed a little earlier than usual.

Thursday, Dec 22

For Dec 21 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.28. Events: 2 H, 2 PP, 18 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 13 min with (max = 23 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 87, 2 events <88% with avg., 92.3%. Pulse avg. 53.1, low 47.

I worked on music for Jan/Feb most of the morning. John took care of chores. He decided to go with me and help me by taking the Forester to the gas station. We were playing music at Hearthstone. It was our last time to do Christmas songs, and we had a good appreciative and participatory crowd. Some of my music disappeared, sadly. I was already operating on low numbers of copies, so probably next year I’ll have to rerun a set. These old folks get up and take the packet with them. I wonder what they do with it?

I also gathered some bar soap leftover from visiting hotels and motels for conferences in my past and put in two little containers of hand lotion. This is explained below.

One of the residents (Helen), and I do not know her last name, gave me a bell wreath:I loaned it to a resident to hold and play with our songs, because I have both hands occupied with the violin, and I could not attach it to my foot. I need to find out her last name so I can write her a sweet thank you note, and send her a thank you picture.

Speaking of pictures – today after we were done playing, a gal I mentioned yesterday arrived at the place we were playing to deliver the wallet she was giving me for John. It is a nice Genuine Leather simple wallet to replace his long used and worn out wallet.Hers she donated to John. It is new. It has many slots for cards and things. I think one will work well for his picture ID (Driver’s License). (John says: Washington politicians fuss about silly things and ignore their duties. Our WA drivers licenses are soon to be obsolete with regard to national security; called REAL ID. WA residents won’t be able to get on an airplane or visit a US Gov’t Office, such as Social Security. They have known of this for 10 years.)

My picture on the Free Givers Kittitas County site, which elicited her gift, is below. This is the same site that brought us the sweatpants John used to go to and from the hospital and lounge around the house for 3 days after his surgery.I wonder if John remembers where he got this (he doesn’t). I know he never used the coin purse, so the one given to us by Lindsey is perfect.

She works nights at the Homeless shelter, so I took her some bars of soap, mouthwash, and lotion to share with the people. I’m going to go through our socks and gloves and fix up another bag of goodies to deliver. The homeless are housed each night of the week in a different church in town.

Friday, Dec 23

For Dec 22 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.36. Events: 1 CSR, 3 H, 21 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 21 min with some leakage. Oximetry: SpO2 low 85, 16 events <88% with avg., 91.5%. Pulse avg. 55.8, low 51.

Started the morning with music. The M.T.A is first, mixed in with scanning. Been fighting with both all morning. It should not be this difficult. Of course, there are tons of verses, so that adds to the problem, and they are printed only (at the bottom of the page and not beneath the notes), so I have to listen to a video of the Kingston Trio to see where to put the words on the score. I also have had to change the notes in the music book printed copy to fit with the way they actually sang it that so many of us remember. I think I will leave Worried Man for a future playlist! It goes on for many more verses than this song.

John took care of outside chores, and while we thought we would awake to silver frost (frozen fog), instead, it snowed about an inch overnight. John put out “scratch” for the quail, but the deer found it before the birds.

Mid-morning John fixed us a nice brunch: eggs, link sausage, hash browns, toast, and an orange. Now he is resting.

I have been dealing with bills and music. I give up. I’m done with The M.T.A., although it is not perfect. Two of the verses do not line up with the notation of the music score. I mentioned to a friend in the group and he sent me access to one page where the words were with the notes. It is now much better.

Saturday, Dec 24

For Dec 23 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 1.00. Events: 8 H, 1 PP, 11 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 0 min with (max = 18 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 88, 0 events <88% with avg., 91.6%. Pulse avg. 53.8, low 50.

We worked on outside and inside chores. I decided I needed to send a greeting to a few people. I used the wrong set and a bunch bounced, but a lot made it through and we have received responses.

We’ve got clear sky so it will be cold tonight and no snow for Christmas Day. We’ve got 8 inches or so on the ground. A bit more is expected Monday evening.

John put up the feeder in the Mt. Ash tree today, and I got these pictures Christmas morning.The broad view shows the placement in the limbs of the tree, and the shots on the right are two Juncos enjoying the scratch. Generally the name Dark-Eyed Junco is given to these birds but there are color-pattern differences.
Juncos, general

The very distinct dark (almost black) head is common here and to the south of us. So the name is Oregon Junco in these parts.
“Regional Differences” are described near the bottom of this page:
Color patterns and more

Sunday, Dec 25 . . . . MERRY CHRISTMAS . . . .

For Dec 24 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.26. Events: 2 H, 1 PP, 15 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 42 min with (max = 23 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 89, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.3%. Pulse avg. 53.3, low 50.

We wish you a great tasting pie:John made the pecan pies from his mom’s recipe. My hat is from my friend since the 6th grade when we met. Her name was Nancy also, and we went around Atlanta as a duet playing our guitars and singing, when we were in high school. We both played violin in the high school orchestra.

We went about 11 miles SE to Fox Road for the Orcutt’s Family Christmas dinner. We had much food and many people. Food was ham, London broil, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato/pecan casserole, many salads, and many desserts (including wonderful fudge of several varieties; the blonde was great and certainly all the chocolates, with & without nuts, and also with marshmallows).

Below (left) are father and mother (holding a bloom from our Cactus we clipped just before leaving), and on the right daughter Suzy with hubby Bob. We can’t keep all the others straight so won’t include them. We met a relative of this family within a month of moving here, and he was at the dinner today. The longest distance traveled award goes to a granddaughter who is a US Air Force pilot stationed in northern Germany.On the way home we drove to the Brickmill Road display of Christmas lights we saw several nights ago. Below is a collage of part of what we saw.The top left is the entrance and at the end of the driveway is a sign pointing up the drive for more lights. We took this as an invitation and drove farther toward the house. The top right picture was near the entrance, and the bottom panorama is south of the house, where we turned around. It was a striking presentation.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Snow, food, fun, folly

Monday, Dec 12

For Dec 11 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 1.67. Events: 1 CSR, 14 H, 4 PP, 14 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 24 min with major leakage. Oximetry: SpO2 low 85, 9 events <88% with avg., 90.8%. Pulse avg. 56.1, low 50. I sent an announcement to our music group for this Thursday and Saturday. Put my meds for the week into the pill case and added my name on my computer carrier case.pill-caseI delivered the computer to Monica’s office in Geography for getting Microsoft Office Suite software put on and went by the bread room for some sweets that I planned to take to the Retired Geographers’ meeting Tuesday morning.

I was on my way to the hospital to have my Pulmonary Function Test, at at 2:00 p.m. I have to have it done every year because of Amiodarone, a med I take to help control atrial fibrillation (a-fib). It can have a reaction with people’s lungs and scarring them. I have been fortunate since 2010 in not having the potential interaction but most importantly, also not having any atrial fibs. I have it assessed each year and trust that it will continue to work for me. I do not want to have to switch to the alternative medication that is a lot more trouble to get the dosage right, and requires a 3-night stay in the hospital. I prefer to stay away from such encounters. I have an appointment coming up with Dr. Kim, my cardiologist, where he will review the findings and make decisions. I will be concerned until I hear his comments January 3, 2017.

The rest of the evening we worked on photos of our FireWise & Fuel Reduction work around our place the last 2 weeks of November, so we could add to the discussion at the geography meeting in the morning. We made two pages of before, after shots, and in progress work at our place, and printed four copies for people to share around the table.

Here are a few collages of the scenes described, before and after:1-collage-follyf-w-b-aLeft (taken from the very right side of the other) goes back to October behind the shed; over the “Jay’s folly” depression – camera at a utility pole. Note all the green-yellowish vegetation. Right photo taken Nov 30 is from the opposite direction, showing the reduction of brush and trees (fuel). The center of the depression is 75 feet from the back (wood siding) of our house. 2-collage-hultquistfw-bef-aftFor these two, note the utility pole (at corner of shed). The slightly brownish brush in the center (left photo) is Elderberry with a brush pile in front of it. The “after” photo on the right has had enough material removed that the big trunk of a Ponderosa Pine is now visible. It is on the neighbor’s property. The stumps of the Aspen trees have been left long so leverage can be gotten if we want to remove them. These are likely clones and all part of one large organism. For context, see Pando
3-collage-right-bef-aft-left-follyLeft photo is the entrance to the north side of the folly before, and the right photo is the last day’s clearing on the left (south) side, directly behind our house. All the limbs and trunks under 8 inches diameter went through the chipper. What a time saver that is. They also piled logs for John to use later for firewood.

Finally, the sun just came out December 17, 2016 when we are finalizing this blog, and I got this collage from our back patio over the scene seen in parts above. [John says: In my spare time I should look for a merge to panorama program].

4-collage-hultquist-12-17-16backyardYou can see the two Ponderosas that are in both photos, and the one on the right centers on the “folly” hole, which had filled with brush. Some of that (very entangled) is still there, waiting for John to pull it out and get into a brush pile they can come back in the spring to put through the chipper. The FireWise crew had promised an upper-County landowner to do a small job before they quit for winter. Plan is for John to use the truck and a chain to get the stuff out to a better place.

Tuesday, Dec 13

For Dec 12 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.25. Events: 2 H, 11 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 3 min with (max = 20 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 88, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.5%. Pulse avg. 56.9, low 51.

2nd Tuesday each month is gathering day of the old folks from the Geography Department and often some visitors, less old.5-retiredgeographers12-13-16Left to right: Dee Eberhart, Jo & Ken Hammond, George Macinko, Diane & Jim Huckabay, John behind, Urban Eberhart, John Bowen, Sterling Quinn, James & Lillian Brooks, Rose Shriner.

We were gathered for our monthly meeting of the Emeritus Geographers and friends. Rose Shriner was our speaker I invited to our meeting. She is a graduate (2009) of our department and now is the GIS Analyst & head of the FireWise & Fuel Reduction Program at the Kittitas County Conservation District. We had worked with her to get our FireWise work started the end of November. John Bowen is the chair of Geography and brought Sterling Quinn, our most recent Geography professor who just arrived this year, and is who teaching GIS courses and Maps & Cartography, and also will teach Latin America next year with more GIS courses. All his courses (except Latin America), I taught while there over the many years.

I was in charge of refreshments for the meeting. As players for the Food Bank’s Soup Kitchen, we are encouraged to come get things from the bread room. That is from where I got the huge several-layered Christmas chocolate cake with mint and white frosting. It was a mess cutting up, but I took our colorful glass platter for presentation. Then I went around as the server.

Funny story. I collected the bow tie and ribbons on top of the cake, and, thinking they were plastic (because they were unable to be cut), so I carried them home to clean up to give to my friend who bakes desserts for friends and relatives. When I soaked them, they dissolved. Molded sugar does that, plastic not so much. What the folks did not eat we gave to the neighbors. John isn’t fond of mint and neither of us like so much thick frosting – unless it is good chocolate! 6-collage-dessertgoodiesfor12-13-16Jazzercise was today at 2:00 p.m. at the senior center. It was quite a workout today, and we all felt it the next day. I felt before then by having to play fiddle tonight, when I went back to Hearthstone for Christmas music. That was with “The Connections.” Because of all the different keys changes that thankfully I can do (by ear) because I know the songs, I was the only other instrument besides the piano. There we saw a bunch of our followers who love the music. As a kid in elementary school, I learned the descant on several songs, and so with the four singers, I played it on 4 songs: “Oh, Come All You Faithful,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “It Came upon a Midnight Clear,” and “Silent Night.”

Wednesday, Dec 14

For Dec 13 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.65. Events: 1 OA, 1 PP, 4 H, 21 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 42 min with (max = 17 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 I think a spurious low 82 when I moved, I think the true low was 85; 9 events <88% with avg., 90.6%. Pulse avg. 57.0, low 53.

John drove himself to his own 10:15 check-in with Dr. Paul Schmitt, in Cle Elum, taking both blood pressure instruments with our created book of BP numbers, and his ECG/EKG from before his surgery. Dr. Paul suggests, at this time, not changing the dosage from the 30mg Lisinopril. He reviewed the ECG and said it was fine. They made an appointment to recheck 5/1 so they can dance around the Maypole, just before Paul officially retires.

I stayed home to get ready to leave for music at the Food Bank. Gloria drove herself because she needed to go to a hair appointment at 1:00 p.m. for an hour, and I needed to go to SAIL class, from 1:30 to 2:30.

For the photo that follows, before SAIL class, I set up this scenario. I fooled these gals who thought I was just going to take their picture with the donated Christmas gifts (I got FREE from a person in town, picked up, and donated to the senior center). Instead, I took the video, and later sent them some stills, so they could send back home. These are AmeriCorps staff at our senior center, Ellensburg Adult Activity Center; one is from NJ and the other from PA. Each teaches an exercise class in SAIL. Megan teaches the morning class, and Lauren teaches the afternoon class I attend. SAIL is offered M-W-F. 7-aac-megan-lauren-1Megan Willwerth is on the left and Lauren Healey is on the right.

Rocking & Jagging Christmas with Megan & Lauren at AAC

I participated in SAIL and on the way home, I stopped by Hospice Friends to thank Janel for the lovely porcelain ornament and picked up a case of Ensure. I intended to get my Telmisartan from the Safeway pharmacy, but I was traveling without my pocketbook and did not have my credit card with me. Oops.

Thursday, Dec 15

For Dec 14 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.32. Events: 2 H, 3 PP, 8 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 15 min with (max = 13 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 84, 6 events <88% with avg., 90.9%. Pulse avg. 56.7, low 51.

I worked more on Jingle-Bell Rock and could not get it onto 1 page, but changed the key to G, and put on 2 pages. I have a couple of notes that need changed but that only affected the flute and violins, so we corrected it and they played nicely. The chords were fine for the rest of the string band. I will set up my master correctly before I store for future use, or before sending a pdf to anyone.

We had a huge group (lucky 13) playing at Pacifica Senior Living/ Brookdale/ Dry Creek today. We used all 12 Coca-Cola chairs and others too. Our group included Fiddlers (Nancy, Evie, Laina, & Laura); guitars (Gerald, Charlie, Manord, Maury, Roberta); mandolin (Tim); tambourine (Anne); flute (Amy) playing first fiddle melody and daughter, Haley (3.5 yrs old), dancing; and singer, Rita. In addition, we had many bells and noise-making shakers in the audience keeping time. Haley carries a stick with bells and keeps time perfectly to the music. I need to capture her in a video. We only have one more chance this year. I don’t know if I can pull it off or not.

I went by Safeway to pick up Telemisartan (135 tablets), for $98. That covers 3 months of pills for me for the most expensive medication I take for my heart. Next expensive pill I have to arrange for is Phenobarbital, for our dog, Annie. We give her a half a pill a day.

I was rather worn out and my shoulder was aching from all the music and exercise this week: Tuesday (both), Wed (both), and today (no exercise except for carrying heavy weight into the place from the end of a snow-covered parking lot). At least I have a day’s rest until we play music again Saturday afternoon.

Friday, Dec 16

For Dec 15 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.13. Events: 1 H, 12 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 25 min with (max = 14 L/min). Oximetry: (only recorded 4 hrs, battery died). SpO2 low 88, 0 events <88% with avg., 91.8%. Pulse avg. 59.1, low 53.

We both were on the phone talking with Peggy in Ohio for 48 minutes !! We solved all the big problems of the world. Now we have to solve all the little ones.

John did all outside chores, and I helped with a few inside, feeding kitties, cleaning dishes, but the biggest thing I did was not intentional. I tried using the microwave egg cooker I got as a white elephant gift (and you have seen previously in the blog, 12/2), but I failed spectacularly – and blew up three eggs and 2 cups of water. An incredible mess in a small space. I started the cleaning, and John finished, reaching to the back and ceiling of the microwave. We will have to research more on-line about such devices. This one came with no instructions.

The rest of the day was spent taking care of paying bills, music things, taking a photo of John and the deer walking up to feed them their deer block and some apples. It was late in the day when they appeared at the front gate. Maybe earlier, they were down the street eating from a neighbor’s front yard.8-twinfawsfollowingjohnapplesdeerblock
10 second video of John and the deer

In the short video, you see the 3 resident deer, mom and two fawns (doe & buck) who come in every morning and evening for a handout. Now that we are out of Mt. Ash berries and will be running out of apples, John is starting them on a deer block, of which we bought two.
He is bringing it in every night to preserve from an onslaught of 15+ deer in the neighborhood.

The morning feed was late until they showed up at the front gate. John went and carried the deer block in the Gorilla Cart™ and the cut apples in a plastic bucket. First, the twins followed him and then mamma joined.

Saturday, Dec 17

For Dec 16 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.78. Events: 1 CSR, 6 H, 17 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 43 min with small leakage. Oximetry: SpO2 low 87, 3 events <88% with avg., 91.4%. Pulse avg. 55.4, low 50.

We did our morning chores in the house and yard.

I left about 1:00 to drive to Briarwood for our music appearance and a good crowd of people to sing Christmas songs.

We normally end with several in the group singing and playing the song, A’ Soalin’, accompanied and led by Manord Rucker.
Song meaning

The audience also has the words and joins in with the group. I haven’t videotaped us playing but here is a version by the group who made it famous – and significantly, it was recorded in the year John and I met in Cincinnati, OH.

Peter, Paul and Mary – A Soalin’ (live in France, 1965)
We did today as well, but were followed by Evie Schuetz and Manord doing a duet of another special Christmas song —

Christmas in the Trenches
(when the fighting stopped)9-eviemanordbegin-2zoomYou may wish to hear it on You tube with photographs of the time in WWI – 1915.

Song & Photos

Maybe you’d like to follow the story of the song here:

About the song

And, for other places on the web, check for the history; just search on Christmas in the Trenches.

The people at Briarwood treat us to mid-afternoon dinner at the end of our performance. Today was no different. We had hot split pea soup, cornbread muffins, several salads, two types of sandwiches, and a large amount of cookies and a tray of Christmas cookies brought by our flute player, Amy, whose daughter is our sweet dancing mascot – photos 10-collage12-17-16briarwoodHaley on the front row of the audience and the beginnings of our table of food. Haley’s mom, Amy is at the end of the table with the red shirt with white Christmas tree. We also had cheese cake and raspberry sherbet punch.

Sunday, Dec 18

For Dec 17 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 1.42. Events: 1 CSR, 10 H, 1 PP, 11 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 2 min with major leakage). Oximetry: SpO2 low 86, 2 events <88% with avg., 92.0%. Pulse avg. 56.0, low 48.

Most of the day spent on blog, feeding, showing the deer block to the youngsters, doing dishes, and email chores.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

A bit of snow

Monday, Dec 5

For Dec 4 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.58. Events: 1 CSR, 4 H, 11 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 53 min with (max = 19 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low 88, 0 events <88% with avg., 92.0%. Pulse avg. 54.6, low 49.

This was a day of rest. We had about 3″ of snow. It was still very cold. After I helped John feed the horses, we were in the house all day recovering from his surgery, doing nothing but taking his blood pressure, eating, and feeding the cats. I took care of various email chores, such as sending announcements to the NW Geography Jobs list I manage and sending a request for count of people coming to play music, so we can have enough no-arm chairs for our musicians. The assisted-living facilities prefer having arms on the chairs for their residents. Makes sense.

Actually, much of my day was frustratingly spent trying to register my new computer, set up the extra 2 yr-warranty to 4 (free from CITI & Costco), and get registered through the Dell site. I had a lot of difficulty starting the process that was not completed until the next day. Also eligible for Costco Concierge Services, but have to qualify and be recognized on the system.

Most of my day was completing (started over the weekend) getting the pictures cropped for the Friday party and sent off to the folks at the “Ellensburg Adult Activity Center” to post on their Facebook site. If you have a Facebook account, consider going there to that entire name above to see the photos; most are mine. Usually the staff members are too busy until the end to take photos.

Tuesday, Dec 6

For Nov 28 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.25. Events: 2 H, 13 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 4 min with (max = 11 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low of 86 (note CPAP was on entire time), 2 events < 88% with avg., 91.0%. Pulse avg. 60.5, low 50.

I dropped by the food bank bread room to pick up some white buns for a gal who does not drive, and dropped them off and picked up 3 Christmas things from her to donate to the senior center. I was headed there for our Jazzercise class. The staff at the AAC appreciated the gifts: one was a dancing Mick Jagger doll playing Christmas music, the other a stuffed Snoopy with a Christmas scarf, and finally a red and green candy bowl with a happy face on the side. They now reside on the counter. I should have taken my camera to record. Maybe this week.

I had extra time, so I also went by CWU to get my two-year Emeritus parking sticker. This is #004 and expires 12-31-18. The color for this changed from dark green to hot pink. I still had a few minutes so I delivered the Tree of Life (Christmas) porcelain ornament, mentioned in last week’s blog, to Carole.

On the way home, I stopped by Bi-Mart to get sale items and to check my number. I took advantage of canned stewed tomatoes (with NO SALT) on sale 2/$1.00, and bought a couple of packages of marked down briefs for John. They were below the Costco price (and what we had bought previously at Bi-Mart)! While there, I bought another Fisherman’s Friend refill of cough drops.

By the time I got home, John had already done the evening horse chores, and so I carried in the stuff and fixed food for the cats.

The next hour was spent on the phone with the COSTCO Concierge Services about the extended warranty to 4 years from the 2 years it came with. Buying it with the CITI Costco card was supposed to invoke the additional one. I have now copied all the information on their web page so if 3 years from now something happens, I can show that it is covered under the extended warranty. I was unable to get them to send me a validation of their “offer.” Seems we are just supposed to trust them.

I found out the official name of the dancing group who entertained us last Friday, and I wrote up in the blog, with videos of the children dancing to Hawaiian Christmas songs. They are the Na Pua Nani Dancers — who do Polynesian dancing.

Wednesday, Dec 7

For Dec 6 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.80. Events: 1 CSR, 5 H, 16 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 13 min with (max = 12 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low of 88, 0 events < 88% with avg., 92.0%. Pulse avg. 54.7, low 49.

I did not take Gloria along with me today, because of my dental appointment following so closely on my SAIL class, but, on my way to town, I did stop by with a package of rolls to check on her. Then I went on to the food bank and played Christmas music. We ate and I went to SAIL exercise at the senior center. On the way, I picked up free baby bottles to deliver to a person closer to our home. She had done the same for me a year ago for some gifts from across town from the free givers group.

Once at the AAC, I asked one of the AmeriCorps people to set an alarm on her computer for 1:45 so I could take my antibiotic for my appointment to clean my teeth. This was to occur at a new dentist with a new hygienist, but someone John and I knew at our bank 11 years ago. Now she has had 3 children and worked in this career for 9 years. Her name is Tracy. It was very nice to be treated by someone from our past. The office is quite well furnished – the X-ray was digital and easier on me than older models. The chair was actually comfortable and had a nice neck positioned pillow better than any I have ever experienced. The coolest thing was the chair had a back massager. At my request, I will be switched to a 4-month schedule for periodontal care, rather than 6 months. I met the new dentist who will fix up my implants with a gold crown on each.
A husband and wife team runs the business. My dentist will be Margie Sullivan (pronounced Margi). I met her today and feel very comfortable having her do my dental work. [John wonders if our previous dentist – seemed a bit young to be retiring – bailed out rather than spend lots of money to modernize. We never heard anything so maybe he ran away with … Na.]

The funniest thing about today was I was going to a new building. I went in the wrong door on the east side (another dental office), and said my name and that I was there for Tracy for teeth cleaning. They looked at me strangely, called in a Tracy (hygienist), who did not look at all familiar to me, and said they didn’t have me on the schedule. Then they mentioned the name of their dentist, and it was not Sullivan. They were on the west side of the building. Funny that two hygienists would have the same name, in two different offices (and did not previously know it until I came in). I was carrying my violin because it was too cold to leave it in the car. Do you suppose they talked when I left? I then found the correct office, just next door, about 20′ down the walkway.

I made some appointments for Jan 2017. First is for an impression for the crowns over the implants. The second is for my next hygienist appointment in April. Now to get our wall calendar hung and filled in. I also had a call this week for a Jan 3 appointment with my cardiologist, Dr. Kim, in Yakima.

Thursday, Dec 8

For Dec 7 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 1.31. Events: 1 CA, 5 PP, 10 H, 9 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 24 min with (significant leakage occurred). Oximetry: SpO2 one to 84, 11 events < 88% with avg., 91.2%. Pulse avg. 56.7, low 50. CPAP didn’t seem to be controlling the Sp02 tonight. Weird. I screwed up and left the oximeter on (but off my finger) for a long time, until after 6:00 p.m. tonight, until I noticed it.

Paid bills and started dishes, which John finished! while I was gallivanting around town. (Thanks.)

I was scheduled at Meadows Place to play music and set up at 1:30. We had a bunch of people there today, almost making it difficult to stay together on the beat. We had several sets of bells and made a lot of noise with our Christmas songs – Silver Bells, Jingle Bells, and we had a person using sticks to sound like a horse. We had a good audience turnout and huge bunch of us. Let’s see if I can give a roll-count. We had 5 guitars, Minerva, Maury, Manord, Gerald, Charlie, Roberta; 1 mandolin, Tim, 5 violins, Laura, Laina, Candace, Evie, me; 1 flute, Amy, and a singer, Rita.1-collagenancyhaley12-8-16Here I am with Haley on the piano bench, just before we started. I made it into a collage, with the left photo being out of focus, but showing both the little derby hats with holly and deer antlers. Haley gave me the green one to match her red one, two weeks ago, and now checks to be sure I have it for our weekly sessions. In the first, we have both hats on but in the second, you can see she is tipping her hat and waving. I was sitting in the middle of our musical group to be the “conductor” and to coordinate the songs in the audience booklets.

I went by the bread room and got bread for 2 neighbors and for a girl in town. As I got to her place, it started snowing.

I went by Complete Computer Services to pay my yearly bill for using the unlimited email account,, to maintain the email address we have had since 1995. Not bad, $60 + tax and an additional $21 + tax for a wireless mouse with a battery that lasts 8 months, for my new laptop. I used my CITI bank card and gave them the details to use to automatically charge to my card next Dec. to save me a trip in. They already do that on our charges yearly in October for our domain name, we use for the blog and for web pages.

Snow was coming down rather well by the time I arrived home, so much so, I turned on my lights to be seen, and slowed down considerably.

Look what I was sent today. John is an avid user and admirer of Google Street View, and I use it all the time too. He has found street views on trails at Mt. Rainier and on narrow streets in the rural English countryside. So, I knew he would love this link to sheep being used to make street views in the Faroe Islands. The title is:

Faroe Islands fit cameras to sheep to create Google Street View.

Get off my back you silly camera

I skipped the Dean’s party tonight, because of all the snow, darkness, and I was tired from my day’s activities. Plus, I no longer know the Dean of the College of the Sciences. The one who took care of all my dealings in the several years before, during, and after I retired has retired himself. However, their party is always one of the best food fests in town, and I’m sure that was the case this year.

Friday, Dec 9

For Dec 8 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.38. Events: 2 H, 6 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 15 min with (max = 22 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 to low 85, 5 events < 88% with avg., 91.8%. Pulse avg. 60.1, low 53.

After doing morning chores, we got ready to go visit John’s surgeon about his surgery a week ago.

We started by fueling the Forester with gasoline at a great (2016) price: $2.259/gal. We went by Bi-Mart for sale items, more of the canned stewed tomatoes with no salt added, and for big potato dip chips; by Super 1 for pears (88¢/lb.**) – wow! – and some sliced ham; Safeway for 2 liter colas and to order some heart meds for me to pick up next week.

**Why lb for pounds?

We checked in to Dr. Harris office to have a follow up on John’s surgery. Everything was fine and we had a nice visit. We learned about “the healing ridge” because John asked about the lump under the incision. It would have been nice to learn that in advance, but it was never mentioned. At home, John searched the web for “Healing Ridge” and found this most interesting site.

About that healing ridge

This link is worth a visit. The doctor (blogger) is Sid Schwab, who is a general surgeon in Everett, WA, age ~ 72. The links therein get technical although the second one (the word ‘like’) has a very colorful chart of the approximate times of the different phases of wound healing. It starts at time=0 and goes to 2 years. Who knew?

After we left his office, we had not had lunch, so we took two “free” cards to Westside Pizza for a piece of pizza each. I picked a multiple topping one for John and Hawaiian for me. I should have asked for the pepperoni because it was generously covered, and the Hawaiian piece I received was not. It only had one small piece of cut-up Canadian bacon and several small pieces of 1/2″ by 3/4″ pineapple. I was not impressed. We brought them home and heated for a late lunch.

It was snowing hard for the trip home, so I drove slowly and with my lights on, to be sure we were seen. The intersections were icy and my Subaru went into action as traction shifted from tire to tire. Young folks may grow up with this and not really notice it but old folks (or at least us) find it startling. This is true, also, for the anti-lock braking system (ABS) – claimed to be good for us. We’d rather “pump” the brakes as we learned in our teens and not have it done for us.

Saturday, Dec 10

For Dec 9 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.21. Events: 1 CSR, 1 H, 6 RERA. Time on 4 hrs 46 min with significant mask leakage. Oximetry: SpO2 low at 85, 6 events < 88% with avg., 91.2%. Pulse avg. 61.0, low 54.

John started sooner than I did, fed the horses, and push-broomed the front walkway and a path up the driveway, where he got the paper and cleaned off the mailbox, but forgot to get the mail delivered after dark last night. While there, he visited with a neighbor who cross-country skied around the 4-½ miles block, saw him, and stopped for a visit. When he came back in, he realized he had not picked up the mail, so I used that opportunity to put a special birthday card I designed for the father of our friend, Michelle Sievertson, in a large manila envelope with a conventional birthday card wrapped around it. His 90th birthday falls on Christmas day. Michelle and hubby Bruce are in Eureka, CA and her father lives in a facility in a nearby town.

John came back in and worked on the computer awhile, and then cooked us brunch of fried egg, ham, and warmed a piece of cinnamon-brown sugar cake.

At some point, our wonderful neighbor, Allen Aronica, appeared with a big farm tractor with snowplow. John grabbed a Costco Fruitcake, coat, hat, and gloves, and got out just as Allen was about to make a 2nd pass out the drive. We don’t have a lot of snow, but Allen wanted to scrape it off before we packed it down. John was especially thankful. An inch or so of light snow with a push broom was doable but he did not want to start with a shovel. At just 8 days, his “healing ridge” is still very young and not wanting a workout. So, a special thanks this year, Allen.

John went back out later to brush off the driveway, and then drove his Subaru over the big tire tread marks from the tractor. 2-collagepushbroomallensshovelwork3deerLeft photo, John’s early morning push-brooming efforts. Right shows him cleaning a little from the newly scrapped driveway, and the deer keeping track of the activities.

While he was push brooming the drive, the 3 deer came for a visit to the front yard. They watched the Starlings take the rest of their (too high for the deer) Mt. Ash berries. We think the birds possibly knocked some off that the deer this afternoon were finding. About two o’clock the 3 resident deer entered the front yard. 3-collage-3-deer-at-2-00-pmThen about 3:30, when John was back in the house, a little buck with 3 points on one side and 2 on the other, visited. We have been leaving the gate open, but they are able to jump the 4′ fence. It is just an unnecessary danger with snow and buckets there.4-collagelittlebucklate12-10-16Likely a 2 or 3 year-old. He showed up this week and is sometimes traveling with the regulars.

Tonight’s supper was fried cauliflower, some leftover chicken casserole, baked apples, and fried potatoes (left over baked). For dessert, we enjoyed Key Lime pie with strawberries on top. Makes it colorful and quite festive for the season.

Sunday, Dec 11

For Dec 10 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 1.24. Events: 1 CSR, 9 H, 15 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 17 min with (max = 22 L/min). At 2:15 a.m., I awoke sneezing; took off mask for 3 min. to quit. Oximetry: SpO2 low to 86, 11 events < 88% (significant that the whole night was ON the CPAP), & with an overall avg., 90.8%. Pulse avg. 54.6, low 50.

Worked on blog.

No more snow; occasional sun, and now at 11:20, it’s snowing a little. We do not really need that. Now at 12:10, the sun is shining with no snow falling. Weather certainly changes rapidly.

After taking care of outside chores, John put a chunk of beef in a Crockpot. In searching for the onions, he found the missing onions in a bottom drawer of the refrigerator that he rarely uses, but now two recently bought ones are missing in action. Also, he found the missing baking potatoes. I must have unpacked the groceries and put them there.
Just now for a snack we had pieces of a large Bartlett pear.

Now, I have to go to work getting my new laptop packaged up with necessary attachments to go to CWU tomorrow for putting on the Microsoft Office Suite. As a retired faculty member who still assists students, I am offered this perk (better than a gold watch). I’ll also take other stuff along, such as my wireless mouse, a 4 USB extension, and a CD/DVD external reader.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Surgery a Success; “Fire-wise”ing Finished till Spring

Monday, Nov 28

For Nov 27 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.35. Events: 1 CSR, 2 H, 14 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 48 min with (max = 19 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 spurious one to 77, 3 events <88% with avg., 91.3%. Pulse avg. 56.6, low 47.

Today started at 6:30 expecting the work crew to be here to start at 7:30. They did not arrive until 9:30 a.m. John got a lot of work in before they arrived, and I left about 11:00 a.m. for my dental surgeon’s office in Yakima, an hour away. I was going for a stability test to see if the implants were ready to support a gold crown. They were.
1-collage-x-raysurfaceviewimplants11-28-16Left photo is the X-ray of the two implants. The one on the right is smaller because of the room in my mouth. Each will eventually be covered with a gold crown. Right photo is the view inside my mouth. Both were taken at the 11-28-16 appointment, and shipped to me via encrypted email. Much amazing technology.

I will not get them done until next year, and then I think my insurance limits me to one per year. Therefore, this will be a long process. I will be happy to be able to chew on both sides of my mouth. The work of the dental surgeon is over, and my regular dentist in Ellensburg will set the crowns in place. Actually, the regular since 1988 dentist retired so this will be the new regular dentist.

I hope to get my teeth cleaned yet this year, if they can work me in.

I did not get out until 12:48, and then was hungry, so stopped at Burger King. It was not that great; I should have gone to Costco’s deli. At BK, I had elongated chicken nuggets and fries. I brought most of it home. John had the remaining fries with dinner, and we put the chicken in with our leftover chicken strips for eating later.

On to Costco, where I filled up my car still at $2.299 / gallon. I noted on my way back through town that the lowest price now in EBRG is $2.429; saving me about $1.70.
Then I went in and started by getting Claude Finch (Costco’s computer technician salesman) to help me learn a little more about the computer laptop I wanted, answer some of my questions, and to help set up the way to buy it. I carried the paperwork to the cashier, and they processed it, took my money, and had a person deliver it in person to me, after she checked my paid receipt.

I suppose this is the place to describe what I bought. With all that is happening this week, I will not get around to linking to our home network and can’t really use it until that is done.

For my interested technical friends, here is what I bought:

Dell I5378, 5000 Series 2 in 1.
13.3″ Inspiron Laptop 13
Intel core I7-7500 U
Storage: 256 GB SS drive, Battery 42 Hr, 3 cell
Wireless 802.11 ac + Bluetooth.
4 Dual band 2.485 GH2
Weight 3.44 lbs.

The price when I looked at the in-store model last Tuesday (Nov 22) was $849.99. I brought all the information home, to look on line to see what was available and find out about the unit. John helped me with that chore.
Surprisingly, a new flyer for Costco arrived with the price for this computer starting Nov. 28, the day I have to be at the dental surgeon’s office in Yakima. The price is marked down $150 and I had already decided I wanted to buy it.

Here is a photo of the laptop and its keyboard.
2-collage-laptopkeyboardIt has an SD card slot on the right side (out of sight here), and 3 USB ports (one 2.0 and two 3.0), plus some others.

While there, I also bought myself two sets of socks (3 pr. in one packet; 4 in another) both on sale (one of them called lounging [for good reason] socks are very soft and look nice, but have “ribs” in them), so using them to walk or exercise in are not fun. The other pairs will work out all right, after I cut the elastic in the band. I also bought us two more Kirkland fruitcakes and a ~ 8# Pork Loin Roast for $8.00 off. Limit was one (at the price / lb., of $1.99).

Then off for Ellensburg. My first stop … I didn’t find the person there. Second stop I skipped until tomorrow (Super 1). Third stop was at Wood’s Ace Hardware to pick up the case of filters, mentioned last week. On home, getting here just before dark.

I had enough light to see that John filled the new hay shed. He accomplished a lot today, and I haven’t had a chance to see it all.

I finished sending the music out and have had two replies thus far; also printed copies for 4 people. We had to put in a new black printer ink cartridge and it was our last, so we ordered a couple from Amazon. Later in the week, I had to print 3 more copies for members of the group.

I need to decide on a Bluetooth or wireless mouse (and anything else I might need for my new laptop). That did not get done.

Tuesday, Nov 29

For Nov 28 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.66. Events: 1 CSR, 4 H, 11 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 4 min with (max = 13 L/min). Oximetry: No report. I neglected to start the oximeter properly.

John took an extra 10 mg BP pill (Lisinopril) this morning, and it had a good effect on his next morning BP. We need to ask our primary care provider if he shouldn’t move up to 30mg/day. Others we know are taking more than that. The first dosage (5mg) didn’t work for John.

We had breakfast, and I washed dishes. The chipping crew arrived at 8:00 and left after an hour, talked to John, and didn’t tell him they were leaving or if they’d be back, but they drove off.

Two of the guys returned later and we found out what happened. One had a job interview at our local Fire Department.

I worked on References and the last pages of the thesis and wrote Terri and Kathleen that I am done; the thesis needs to be uploaded by 5:00 today, and I will not be around.

I left at 1:00 for town. I made 4 stops today before coming home. The major reason for going was for Jazzercise; four of us were there with our leader. Also, I had to buy more canned cat food, the last day it was marked down. I then went by Bi-Mart to get strawberry preserves on sale and to check numbers.

John had to add a chicken wire guard to the new hay shed because the horses found they could stand on tiptoes, reach over and around a post, and pull the top bale off.

It was getting darker on the way home. Once here, I got a fast tour of the yard and all the guys and John had done. I took a few more photos.

We cleaned up a lot of things tonight, and started on John’s washing his body with Dyna-Hex 4 before the operation. The plan is to get of all the free-riding little critters. I continued taking his BP and it was lower tonight with the additional pill taken this morning.

Wednesday, Nov 30

For Nov 29 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.56. Events: 2 H, 12 RERA. Time on 3 hrs 34 min with (max = 10 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low of 77 with CPAP off, 46 events < 88% with avg., 90.3%. Pulse avg. 56.9, low 50. This demonstrates the need of using the CPAP to keep Sp02 above 88%, but without showing you more graphs, the results on Friday's numbers are totally different and make one wonder. 3-spo2-reviewchart_11-29-16-on-offcpapIn addition, this is the report from SleepyHead with CPAP merged with the Oximetry.
4-sleepyheadchartnov29-16If I compared to Friday this week, we’d get totally different graphical results while the CPAP was off. Very strange indeed.

Today, we were joined by a singer from our Thursday group, to pick up the Christmas music and stay to sing with us at Food Bank. It was a good session, and we had the audience participating on several of the songs, notably Jingle Bells and White Christmas. She will be back to join us the rest of the December weeks.

I have needed to get the Serial Number from the back of computer and today I succeeded in getting it and also the DELL service tag #. Both are now stored for future reference.

I still need to do the Costco Concierge paperwork and call CITI about an extension of the warranty for an additional 2 years.

A neighbor told me his cost for DSL via the phone company was lower than mine. I called our provider (Fairpoint Communications) and talked to Sadie. She cannot lower my rate. I need to call back in 4 months and see if there is a retention rate reduction. This has happened before, and they never lower it. I wonder if I’ll ever hit it by accident. I guess I could call every month for the heck of it.

Thursday, Dec 1

For Nov 30 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.44. Events: 2 H, 9 RERA. Time on 4 hrs 35 min with (max = 11 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 low to 86 spurious with removing oximeter at 3:30 a.m., 0 events < 88% with avg., 91.1%. Pulse avg. 55.9, low 50.

I was up at 3:00 a.m. to turn on the oil-filled electric heater in our bathroom with a shower in the back of a cold house. John planned to get up at 4:30, take another DYNA-HEX 4 soap wash and shower, to be at the local hospital for a 6:30 a.m. check-in at the front desk. We made the trip around to the Outpatient Division, where I spent many hours back in 2009 and 2010, with daily IVs for bacteria in my blood (twice for 9 weeks each). Many of the staff still know me from then. Two of them were helpers for John’s prep. They involved me (I don’t know if this is usual or not, or why the staff didn’t do it), but the curtain was closed and I was given a diagram and 6 soap pads (VERY COLD) that I had to use on John’s neck, upper body, arms to fingers, back, buttocks, legs to toes, and then the groin area. Once that was done, we had to put on his hospital socks (XL, but too tight) and his gown, tied in the back. I was to notify them when completed.

The surgical nurse (Sue) came in and introduced herself, and Kristi, Lin, and Jamie were there for various reasons, such as setting up the IV and hooking John up to the automatic BP and other vital signs machine that displays beside the bed. Then Randy, the anesthesiologist, came in to set up John’s sedation.
5-collagebeforesurgerynurseanesthesiologistSue on left, Randy in middle, getting John ready to go to surgery.

Randy asked John a few questions, and then John had a form to sign (which he did, but says his comment will be that he should have been given a copy of the form before, when he had time to read it). He has no idea what he signed. John was ready to be wheeled to the operating room at 8:00 a.m. I left to attend to my own affairs before returning to the outpatient lobby. They had my cell phone to alert me, but I figured it would be a little after 9:00. We would not know until the surgery was over whether he would have to go to a different room for recovery, or be wheeled back to the same room we started in, and where we left his clothes and glasses.

Meanwhile, I went back by the lab to be sure my favorite phlebotomist, Kim, would be there to draw my blood for an INR. Unfortunately, I had not signed in at the front desk at 6:30 when John did, and there were no people around. I had to wait through three people, to have my paperwork completed, so I could be admitted to the lab. This was after I went to the cafeteria, and enjoyed a breakfast (scrambled eggs with cheese, two pieces of bacon, and a pancake). I had taken my computer, so after I ate, I checked my email. I didn’t stay long because I needed to get back to the Lab for my blood draw. The wait was not too long, and that freed me up to return just a few steps to where I needed to be. They were ready for me very soon. John had not required going to the recovery room.

I sat for a few minutes in a recliner in Outpatient Services before Kristi came to get me. I was able to get John’s glasses for him and hear a little about what he remembered and how he was feeling. His sedation must have started very quickly, because he did not remember leaving the room, where I saw him rolled out. He remembered nothing about anything during the operation. Lin (nurse) showed me the patch dressing over the wound, and went over some information with us, while we waited for Dr. Harris to return to speak to us.
6-collagedr-kennethharrisaftersurgeryvisitDr. Harris came in and John asked him how big the piece of mesh was. He held up his hands to show (and you can hear the conversation in the video below).

Dr. Ken Harris Talks to Us

After he left, we finished more of the departing paperwork, and this time I had to sign that I had read and understood.
7-collage-aftersurgery-vitalsscreennurseclosingstepsThe collage above shows the vitals screen as John was coming out from under the aesthetic, and his blood pressure was lowered significantly. Screen shows 42 for pulse and that, too, is a few beats low. Occasionally it is 44 but usually up towards 50. On the right, nurse Lin, is talking with him and removing some of the things so we can leave.

Below is a before and after.
8-collage-before-afterjohnsurgery12-1-16John in the waiting room at 6:30 a.m. before admission to Surgical Outpatient services (they abbreviate, SOP, which I find strange). On the right, he still has his intravenous hookup on his left hand, but Lin removed it. We were ready for the trip home.

I helped him get dressed, and then I left to bring the car to the front door, and Lin wheeled him out in a wheelchair (normal protocol).

We came home and John began resting. He never really had any bad pain as predicted. We were both very tired.

I had to leave at 1:00 p.m. because I was expected to stop by the pharmacy for his pain meds and other OTC things, and I needed to get to the Rehab with music for December for our Fiddlers & Friends group with setup at 1:45, play from 2:00 to 3:00, and then home. I finally laid down for an hour nap and slept almost 3 hrs. It had been a long day.

Friday, Dec 2

For Dec 1 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.38. Events: 3 H, 11 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 52 min with (max = 16 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 spurious one to 82 that happened while removing CPAP, 0 events < 88% with avg., 91.6%. Pulse avg. 56.7, low 48.

We were greeted by a fiery morning sky at sunrise.
9-collage-fierymorningsunrise-12-2-16Then early morning, 8:40 a.m., 4 of the crew arrived for their last day of fire-wise work.
10-collageearlyarrivalfrontbackcrewof4-lastdayWe decided later to go feed the male outside cat, and put out hay for the horses, down farther in the pasture. That done, John went to get the mail and paper, which came after dark last night. As we were coming back, two of the crew came out in the chipper rig (as seen above) through the orchard, to take one fellow back to town so that he could leave for the Puget Sound area before Snoqualmie Pass got messy. Two workers stayed. The fellow returned about 10:40, and I took a video of the trip around the house I had missed earlier.

Fire-wise Crew west of house

They were kind enough to close the backyard gates so John (or I in this case) didn’t have to lift them. They were going to chip a couple of short stacks of brush along the driveway before leaving. It was getting late for me to leave for my Christmas party, and I wouldn’t have been able to get by them. Just before I was to leave two of the fellows came down to the front yard, and John and I talked with them and thanked them for all they had accomplished. If the program is funded in 2017 we should get a crew for at least one more day. They will go to the Upper County area next week for a day or two and that will finish this season. November weather was good to them, and us. They left and so did I, to get to the senior center for the Christmas party lunch and fun.

I had fixed croutons from buttered English Muffin bread toast, this morning, with the idea it would go nicely with the main course — soups. From John’s chili-making stash, I took two cans each of red beans and black beans for the F.I.S.H Food Bank food donation collection. For my “white elephant gift” I took 3 Christmas potholders (2 matching), and a little figurine statue of Santa Claus holding a World Globe. All were carried in a bright Santa Claus themed gift bag.

My largest contribution to the party, besides enjoying the food, was to be the recording photographer for the AAC’s Facebook page (it is at Ellensburg Adult Activity Center). Check it out if you have a Facebook account. On that Facebook page, the staff publishes many photos taken at each event. What was very special was seeing our little friend Haley (our mascot for the music group) dancing. You will be able to enjoy viewing a few videos below.

Here’s Haley: Watch some of the videos farther down to see her in action, with other children — she’s 3.5 yrs old, Ewan (little drummer boy) is 5, and his sister, Isla is 3. The first is the daughter of our flute player, Amy Davison, and the other two belong to Maren McCosh, who actually was the AAC SAIL teacher when I joined the class in 2010.
11-haleydavisoninsilentnightcostume Haley

Our meal today was a choice of two soups: Meatloaf-vegetable or Taco soup. I picked the meatloaf-vegetable particularly because of the thickness and the large blob of mashed potatoes in the middle. They also served us each a large plate of goodies (crackers, ham, & cheese, mixed green salad, fruit salad, Jello & celery), and they brought a platter of desserts to the table. The people who attended the potluck party donated most of the food. Katrina offered and Erica fixed a plate of desserts to send home to John and were happy to hear he survived yesterday’s surgery.

I will show a couple of photos I took or was in and then add a few videos of our entertainment, by Polynesian Dancers for Christmas songs.
12-collage-nancyaac-startfinishHere I am showing my costume at the start and on my way out the door, I posed with my white elephant gift (a microwave egg cooker).

I took photos of the crowd, most of those will likely be on the Facebook page for the senior center. Ate lunch, and then photographed and videotaped the performance.

Here are some links you may enjoy following:

Maren McCosh Introduces Haley 3.5, Ewan 5, & Isla 3

Haley, Ewan, & Isla Dancing Tahitian @ AAC 12-2-16

Haley, Ewan, & Isla Perform Silent Night Hawaiian Style

Little Drummer Boy (Ewan) with other dancers

Here’s a cute final collage with the children and Santa Claus:
13-collage-santakidsaac-withho-ho-hoFirst shot and the on the right, they are all saying HO HO HO !

On my way home, I went by Hospice Friends to wish Janel a Merry Christmas and request 6 Ensure drinks. John is supposed to drink lots of liquids for healing, and these are nutritious drinks. [He bought a couple gallons of orange juice with pulp, so I will have to drink the Ensure.]

While I was there, she gave me my thank you receipt for a donation we gave for the Tree of Life program (Christmas tree), which will be lighted tonight, in honor of those community members who have passed over the rainbow bridge. I received one porcelain Christmas ornament I am going to give to Carole Pritchett for her own tree. Our picks were two folks we knew well, Robert Pritchett (from our music group, Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends), and Peg Robotham (from our Kittitas Valley Trail Riders club) that we were in for many years. We went on many trail rides with Peg. Our horses liked each other and paired well together. Peg actually was one of the original founders of the Hospice Friends organization, and a grandson was my student at CWU.

Here are the parts of the Pritchett memorial, including the porcelain version and a paper one to hang on the Tree of Life. Tonight is the ceremony, but I’m not going.
14-collage-pritchetttreeoflove2016Paper one on left, gift box in middle (our name spelled wrongly), and porcelain ornament on right.

While I was gone today, John took photos of the Fire-wise work. Just after he finished, Lance Downing from the Kittitas Conservation District came to see the work completed by the chipping and falling crew. So, John got more walking, showing Lance around so Lance could also photo document it. We will send our photos taken over the past 2 weeks. Maybe they can find a use for them.

At some point today, when I was home, John took two Percoset and had a reaction. Here is his story he told his sister Peggy and me:

Percocet (acetaminophen – Oxycodone side effects)

About pain:
When Nancy had open-heart surgery the medical staff were sure she would have a good deal of pain afterwards. They gave her a big heart shaped pillow to hold, especially when she coughed. Lo, she had very little pain (except from the chest drains, and once the stitches were removed, that pain stopped).

This week, the medical staff at Kittitas Valley outpatient surgery thought I would have pain after the doctor cut open my left side to insert a mesh to repair a tear in my plumbing. Lo, I had very little pain.

In anticipation of my pain, I was given a prescription for Percocet. This pill is mostly acetaminophen (325 mg) with 5 mg of Oxycodone. The directions say to start with 1 or 2 and then more after 4 to 6 hours. I took 2.

Forty minutes later, I experienced most of the “non-serious adverse reactions” listed on the micro-font printed, double-sided, 40,000-word compendium, folded and mutilated into a ¾-inch square and ½-inch thick, and glued to the top of the bottle.
I was still reading this micro-massive document when I began to experience mild nausea, near vomiting, upset stomach, and dizziness. I did not notice blurred vision, and I did not have dry mouth. The text says some or all these effects are more common if one is ambulatory – a technical term for walking around or capable of walking around. Of course getting to the bathroom sink (just in case) did require being ambulatory.

After a couple of minutes of looking at the sink, I returned to a chair in the den, sat down, and stretched out. Being no longer ambulatory, I was soon feeling better. About ½ hour later I was in good shape, more or less just as I had been before taking the 2 little bluish-green (aqua) [Hex: #00FFFF; needed for web pages to get this color] pills – that I really did not need.

Interestingly, Nancy can take these things without any of the “non-serious adverse reactions” that I experienced. Go figure.

John decided he was not going to take any more Percoset, took some Naproxen Sodium, and will continue with it and Acetaminophen (one tablet).

Not too long after I got home, John cut up some apples that we took to the 3 deer (mom and twin fawns). Then we walked to 2 different hay bale sources, and put several flakes in several places (feeders and on the ground). It is good to have the horses moving rather than standing in one place.

We skipped the Christmas Party in Dean Hall at CWU, put on by the Anthropology and Geography departments. We found out the next morning Morris Uebelacker was there, and we were very disappointed we chose not to go. John is still recovering but able to walk and eat, so we could have. We missed another in 2009 when I was in ICU in Yakima Regional. The first one I attended was in 1988. Oh, well, we’ll be there next year, hopefully, though the folks I know and worked with are dwindling. John knows just a few.

John felt up to fixing Nachos for supper tonight, and we enjoyed them.

Saturday, Dec 3

For Dec 2 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.83. Events: 1 CSR, 5 H, 14 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 3 min with (max = 17 L/min).
Oximetry: SpO2 minimum was 86 (2) & 2@87; those were the 4 events < 88% with overall avg., 91.8%. Pulse avg. 53.9, low 50.

15-3-deer-in-for-breakfastWe started at sunrise with 3 residents waiting to have their morning treat. John obliged and threw them a bucket full of cuttings. Mountain Ash trees are pretty but the limbs break easily and outgrow their strength. In past years birds have gotten most of the fruit but John wanted the tree trimmed back, and did so before his visit to the hospital. They would eat more than they get. Now they are resting under the walnut trees, so we had to circumvent them and go out the back door with Annie to throw hay into the feeders and over the fence for the horses.

Now we are resting before going to town for the Super 1 juice sale and inexpensive eggs (68 cents/dozen) and a good deal on cheddar cheese [raincheck on the last]. It was only a 5-hr sale, with some good prices on a few things we normally use. Early afternoon, John started a low-oven roast of the pork loin I bought Monday. It cooked from about 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. It was my-sort of tender – enough to take a serving with a fork; no knife needed to “shred” it. We had a baked potato with the cauliflower, mushrooms, and onions, also in the roasting pan. I cut up a large Bartlett pear that we halved. Great dinner.
Today, otherwise, was a stay at home day. I’m processing the photos I took at yesterday’s party.
We went out to feed the horses, and came back to feed the cats. It was a long walk for me because I went a different route from John, who had to send the horses by Annie and me. We did not expect them to follow us down into the pasture after feeding them in the corral where their water tank is. There’s still water in the irrigation ditch, so they are drinking from there.

After feeding in the other spot, Annie and I went back to fix food for the cats, and John went to pull garden hoses into the pole barn for storage over winter. He had drained them but they had not been put away.
Okay. I took care of 3 outside and 1 inside/outside cat. We never got our mail tonight. It is now delivered after dark. Morning will work.

Sunday, Dec 4

For Dec 3 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.40 Events: 3 H, 15 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 33 min with (max = 11 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 artifact to 79 right at start, 0 events < 88% with avg., 92.1%. Pulse avg. 57.6, low 49. 16-doe-youngbuckyoungdoewatchjohnHere we are waiting for John to bring the branches of berries. Mom is in the rear (dark spot on left cheek), and the buck twin is in the middle, little doe in front. It has been good to watch them grow from little babies with white spots.

Mt. Ash tree berry limbs thrown to the deer

This morning was chilly. I hope it does not snow tonight, but it might. We fed the horses and John got yesterday’s mail.

Back from morning chores. About 9:50 a.m., John laid on the bed and I removed the fat gauze pad and the surgical dressing (except for the Steri Strips holding the incision. Those come off on their own later.)

Blog creation will take up a bunch of our time today. We decided to pass on the Community Christmas Party we normally attend at the Swauk-Teanaway Grange east of Cle Elum. They serve turkey, dressing, potatoes, and people bring side dishes. It is a nice feast. We will go next year with our “ugly” Christmas sweater and my Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer sweatshirt. People at the senior center asked me where it was this year (because you can see in the photos above, I wore a different one). Now I have to dig it out, and wear to other events at the AAC in December (and elsewhere in EBRG).
We’ll end with a story of the Liberty Bell and the company that originally made it. John found a note in the paper and more on line, was fascinated, and we decided to share.

The photo of the Liberty Bell is by J. Fusco for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC).
liberty-bellA company that has made large bells since 1570 made one (ordered in 1751) for the Pennsylvania State House. This was 36+ years before the Constitutional Convention and Ratification, 1787–1789, and the United States of America. A news story this week claims the Whitechapel Bell Foundry that made the Liberty Bell is going out of business.
Not so fast!
That bell cracked and local Philadelphia workers melted down that bell and cast a new one. After nearly 90 years of use, that bell cracked. A repair was tried in 1846 but was not successful. The weighty object became a symbol rather than a bell – made in the USA.

Should you care to know what the sound was, go here:
The Bell as Ben Franklin Heard It

Cold weather coming and snow (lots in the mountains), not much here.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

at Home Alone …

… Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, Nov 21

For Nov 20 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.84. Events: 5 H, 7 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 55 min with (max = 15 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 spurious one to 82, I only see 3 of 87 on the graph, 6 events < 88% with avg., 91.1%. Pulse avg. 60.1, low 53.

Chipping crew guys are sick with “the flu” and not coming to chip and saw until next Monday, and plan to work for the rest of that week. John can assist them M-W, but not after that.

At 1:00 p.m. I called Audra Levine-Fuller at her cell #, and arranged to meet her at her business, Maximus Gym on 5th & Main, about receiving a new pair of sweatpants, freely given, that I requested on line (Free Givers of Kittitas County) for John’s operation (as suggested in the preliminary planning in the surgeon’s office last Friday). To pick them up, I climbed two stories of very steep stairs to get up to the gym that resides in an old building downtown. I went too fast and had to sit down and rest once at the top. I measured my pulse at 80 (very high for me). Guess I’m still not in shape from being sick a month and not exercising. I must get in good shape by Dec 12 for my Pulmonary Function Test (PFT).

On my way there, I had stopped off at a gal’s house to exchange an over-the-door hanger for 5 hangers for a package of cases she was giving me. One was a pencil case, but I have converted it to be a connector case for my car for things that operate via the cigarette lighter, now a power outlet receptacle. One is a power supply I think might work for my computer; the other is a charger for my cell phone (and oximeter). I found those during my search for the BP cuff.
I also stopped by the F.I.S.H. bread room and got some stuff for us, for my friend Gloria, who sings with our group Wednesdays (except this week, a holiday), and for my neighbor. Also, I loaded up on Mrs. Smith’s Blue Premium pies for only $2.99 each, a great price at Grocery Outlet. I got Apple, Very Berry, Pumpkin, and Cherry. This is just easier. We should be making our own but seem so busy. John is the pie (& bread) maker and he is setting things up outside so chores are easier and I can help more. He is having a bit of surgery on Dec. 1, and will be very restricted for a few days, and less so for 6 weeks.

Tuesday, Nov 22

For Nov 21 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.70. Events: 1 CA, 5 H, 2 PP, 12 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 32 min with (max = 17 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 minimum to 86, 2 below 88%, with avg., 92.1%. Avg. Pulse 57.2, low 50.

Started at 9:00 a.m., leaving for our local hospital to go to pre-opt care. John was scheduled for his first ever ECG (or EKG following German language) and to schedule the necessary things for Dec 1 surgery. Nurse Bonnie gave him a special soap to start using Tuesday (in the shower only; bathtubs not allowed), and we set up the times and signed the paperwork required. She also was going to call our PCP to suggest upping his BP medication from 5mg to 10mg. For the surgery to happen, he must not exceed 140 for the Systolic reading, and he cannot be sick, or have any rashes or open wounds. He was also given a MRSA nose swab to be sure he was clear of that. MRSA is the acronym for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. When a person is admitted to a hospital or to a nursing home, they are always tested for it.

Off to Costco. Wow, price of gasoline was unbelievable. $2.52 is the lowest in Ellensburg, and it was $2.29 in Union Gap, at the Costco station. There were so many people in the warehouse, however, that it was almost impossible to move around. We bought a ton of things and then went to Home Depot to spend a gift card, but sadly they did not have either thing we needed (filters – one for a humidifier; one for our furnace). We have made two other trips there to spend our gift card from last year, but been unsuccessful. The first search was for a push broom with strong bristles. Failed. The second was for wood paneling at a decent price. Also failed. Perhaps the third time will be a charm.

We came home via Ellensburg, to Bi-Mart to check our number, and to buy John some plain underpants not available at Costco. They did have fancy ones.

We didn’t arrive home until almost dark. All three cats were waiting patiently, ready to eat. The horses were looking for us, and two deer came to the front yard to check to see if we had something for them, as we were unloading the car. It took awhile to unload $370 worth of supplies. We honestly do not have to return to Costco for heavy items before January; that being part of the plan.

Wednesday, Nov 23

For Nov 22 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.29. Events: 2 H, 13 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 52 min with (max = 11 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 minimum to 85, 5 events <88% with avg., 92.1%. Pulse 58.1, low 49.

John spent a bunch of time filling the old ’80 Chevy farm truck with garbage to take to the transfer station, which is open today, thankfully. We called to check. He’ll also get some gasoline because that truck doesn’t leave the property very often. On his way home, he will stop at Mary Johnson’s on Look Road. She is giving away apples. Earlier she asked to be paid but now is free season. The ground is covered with “falls” but there are still more on the trees. Some are small – just right for deer. When John arrived Mary was cleaning under a Horse Chestnut (Buckeye) tree. Nice tree with toxic fruit. He stopped, visited, and brought home 3 wine boxes filled with apples, about 75 pounds. She invited him back. He will likely take a ladder over if he goes, because he picked all he could reach from the ground. Actually, he has enough to do around here before next week and before the snow, so he probably won’t go back.

We had an invitation to the Orcutt’s Family Thanksgiving dinner where we always are included, but both of us cannot afford to be exposed to a lot of people and any germs right now, before John’s surgery next Thursday, and my upcoming Pulmonary Function Test, required to be sure my lungs are not being scarred by the use of the medication, Amiodarone, to control my atrial fibrillation. It has been fine since 2010 and I want it to remain so.

I have been taking care of things in the house and kitchen and trying to get through a search for our cuff blood pressure measurer. I have more places to search, but I suspect it is right here in the den, and will likely be in the very lastly searched box at the bottom of the stack.

I made several calls and found what I needed for the furnace at Woods Ace Hardware in town. This is an odd ball size furnace filter we are going to have to change monthly. It is a size 1 x 20 x 24, and you saw the beginning of the search described yesterday in Yakima and Ellensburg. Ted at the store will order a case (12) and give us a 10% discount, on their individual price of $4.99. The only other place I have found in town sells them for $8.00 each. Others we saw with one dimension an inch (25 rather than 24) different, cost $14. That would get pretty pricey for a year’s need.

I also looked at the Costco flyer starting this Monday, and found they have a computer marked down $150 – the exact laptop I used and evaluated Tuesday when we were there, and decided I might like to consider getting it, after examining information on the web from other sources. The advantage of buying from Costco is monetary and service related. The two-year warranty is doubled, if we use our CITI bank Costco card to pay for it. Anything we buy in Costco with the card, also provides a 2% cash rebate. We will not have to pay shipping. It’s an all-around win situation. I very much need a new computer – before the one I have dies. It is a bit flaky, and I have already replaced its battery and the keyboard.

Thursday, Nov 24 Happy Thanksgiving

For Nov 23 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.13. Events: 1 H, 19 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 41 min with (max = 12 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 spurious minimum to 81 at start, avg. < 88% was 87, with only one hit at 87, overall avg., 92.4%. Pulse 60.7, low 53.

Our friends, Barbara & Paul at Paradisos del Sol Winery in Zillah, sent this live turkey wish from Blue Marvin with his harem at their “farm.” Next year they will have turkeys for sale; now they are just loving these.

0-bluemarvinparadisos-del-sol-winery-tg-greeting-liveAt my request, John started the day by examining the web for information about the Dell Inspiron I was considering. He found it for a higher price, but he found excellent ratings. So I plan to get one when I’m in Yakima to have my Stability Test on my dental implants, this coming Monday. John cannot go along because he has to stay to work with the chipping / sawing crew for the Fire-Wise work.

Today is a stay-at-home Thanksgiving because we cannot be exposed to a crowd of people with little germ carriers running all about.

John is moving our wood shed off the patio to the place where the Nanking Cherries and sod was removed from between the heat pump and the patio. You saw the start of that in last week’s blog. See current photos below on Friday, this week. In this case, the rocks went back while the dirt went elsewhere.

I’m searching for the blood pressure cuff and cleaning up paperwork of months’ piled up in our den. Also, I’m doing a little fix-up work on the Christmas music that begins Dec 1, after receiving feedback from of our new members on chords in 11 of our 21 proposed songs.

Eureka! I found it – in the last box I looked (as predicted). We started using it to record the BPs and they have remained in the upper 130s and 140s.

Friday, Nov 25

For Nov 24 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.13. Events: 10 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 44 min with (max = 11 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 one spurious blip to 66 (assume moving finger), with avg., 91.7%. Pulse 58.9, low 50.

We are contributing desserts to our neighbors’ Thanksgiving dinner today, but I’m only delivering, and then coming home. I will have to take a peek at the newest great grandchild, Kainoa (3 months old), and not touch or hug anyone. He is cute with an infectious smile, but I did not take my camera along, so the next day I asked his mom, Jessie, for photos. She obliged, so here are pictures of the happy baby (and mom).
1-collage-kainoaaholeleiKainoa Aholelei with mom Jessie (Swedberg), and other smiles captured. The one on the far right was on Thanksgiving Day 2016, and that is my memory of his smile. Kai’s dad is Rick, who is Hawaiian.

John is splitting more wood for the wood shed today.
2-collage-stagesofwoodshedmakingThis set of photos represents the stages of development and filling of the wood shed. (Look back to previous weeks to see where it was previously, with the base for the platform now dug out, and the big rock and Nanking Cherry trees removed). It is filled with about a 1/2 cord of wood, and 3 buckets of kindling. More is stored farther away from the house, if needed. Mostly we use the heat-pump, but wood is the emergency fuel. When real cold the wood stove is a great addition – except for the mess.

We received two plates of leftovers delivered by son Ken on his way home. They included turkey, ham, dressing, and mashed potatoes with a little brown gravy. The family ate all the Zucchini/nut/pineapple bread, but they returned two pieces of apple pie. There were other desserts there, namely a pumpkin pie (usually more appropriate for Thanksgiving). Ken, also brought us a container of his outside-the-bird dressing without sausage, but with celery. John made a gravy with Almond Breeze, mushrooms, sour cream, cheddar cheese, flour, and spices. He said it would be the best gravy I ever tasted – and it was very good. We had it two nights with supper starting Saturday night.

For supper tonight, we had half of each of the plates and the apple pie. We saved some for tomorrow’s supper.

I finished the corrections on the December music, but I have to make copies and instructions to share.

Saturday, Nov 26

For Nov 25 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.89. Events: 7 H, 12 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 51 min with (max = 18 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 spurious minimum to 79, with avg., 92.2%. Pulse 55.4, low 50.

Morning started with John’s BP readings. It’s lowering some, whoopie. Should be down in time for surgery.

I was wrong last night. I am not done with the music for December. I started going through the instructions for the group to send them pdf files, or correct on the old Xeroxed copies for 3, but found a problem with something I missed on Frosty the Snowman. Now that is corrected, and I’m able to continue.

Early I had a request from the gal whose thesis I have been reviewing to print a few pages from a pdf file and make measurements of the left and right margins and the same for the positioning of the Arabic and Roman numerals in the document. It took me an hour to do the work, take photo close ups, and get back to her. Her printer is not working and she has to send this revied document to her committee chair Monday.

Then I managed to load the dishwasher and cleaned the frying pans for John to come in and make a ham, cheese, mushroom omelet for brunch, from the leftovers of dinner yesterday. We already ate supper off them and have more tonight to finish, of turkey, potatoes, and dressing.

Brunch was made from the ham.
3-collage-beforeafterhammushrmcheeseomeletI took a before picture and with salsa and sour cream added on the right, so one can see the beautiful ham/cheese/mushroom omelet creation (well, 1/4 of it). That’s Rosemary & Olive Oil bread toasted and orange slices.

Here’s a plate of tonight’s leftovers beneath John’s awesome gravy appropriately beside a photo of our Thanksgiving Cactus blooming right on schedule.
4-collage-turkeyleftoversgravy-ourthanksgivingcactusAfter I finish the music, I shall work on the blog. I’m still struggling with the music, now all copies are made and I’m numbering them to send to the person who helped find all the changes, just to be sure it is ready to go.

After moving gravel and chips to the walkway, John did more outside work until dark; we fed all 4 cats, and he took off for the pharmacy and for Bi-Mart. Both close at 6:00 p.m. He’s getting his new/higher dosage of 10mg Lisinopril, some cough drops, and some Almond Roca for me. It seems to be their “loss-leader” this week.

While at Super 1, he got canned cat food on sale and brought home quite a few cans, also a Pecan Pie, a head of cauliflower, onions, and baking potatoes.

On another subject, for 21 years Bobbie Pearce taught Intermediate & Advanced Violin classes at the summer workshop for the WA Old Time Fiddlers. I was in all of her classes from the very first one in Kittitas, WA until the last in Moses Lake, WA. She may come back again in the future. This next story is about her daughter, whom both John and I know (and have written about previously in our blog).

You can reach the whole article at :
Idaho Press highlights Katrina

Her daughter, Katrina Nicolayeff, has been re-invited to play 20 fiddle tunes at the Washington DC Lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree. Note, that is not a mirror image; she plays her violin left-handed, but with the strings in the same position as all fiddlers, G, D, A, E.

Katrina Nicolayeff, along with her two students Macy Keller and Makaela Shippy, will ply next month during two separate ceremonies: The Forest Chief’s Reception and the Congressional Reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden.
“I was asked to get some of my students who have placed the highest,” Nicolayeff told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “Macy and Makaela have both placed in the top ten at nationals, so I just chose a couple of students who have done well.”
The current national grand champion fiddler, Nicolayeff is no stranger to big events and playing in front of a crowd. The Nampa native is a six-time national fiddler champion and three-time world champion, a title that earned her the honor of playing three times at the Grand Ole Opry. She also performed at the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

Sunday, Nov 27

For Nov 26 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.50. Events: 4 H, 2 PP, 12 RERA. Time on 7 hrs 59 min 41 sec with (max = 22 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 spurious minimum to 81, avg. low % was 89.3 with overall avg., 91.9%. Pulse 56.3, low 50.

Excitement with taking John’s a.m. BP and seeing a large antlered buck in the front yard. The only potentially sad news is John heard a rifle shot this afternoon from our neighbor’s and we think hunting season is open. We don’t object to hunting, but we have already lost two beautiful bucks, who need to be around to contribute to the gene pool. Maybe they already have.
6-collage-earlyam_buckAfter that, with two outside cats fed, we had our morning toast, and then started working on computer chores. John has now left the house in the nice sunny day, temperature 45°. He’ll be back for brunch later to finish the omelet. He’s not back yet, but the sunny day turned cloudy and gray around noon. Turns out John never made it back so we’ll have the omelet tomorrow morning. Instead, he worked building another hay shed, in the pathway to a gate from the corral.

I squeezed in checking two thesis chapters that arrived last night while I slept. They are coming through better than last night with properly situated page numbers. And now, at noon, I just went through three revised ones.

I took data off my machines earlier today than usual, so tonight won’t be so hectic trying to get to bed. I do have to put the supply of meds in my weekly container.

Using all previously used material, except for a dozen nails, and poles from our Popular Trees, John is building a shed.
7-collage-deerstartinprogresshayshedFar left above are the twin fawns and mom, who have been watching John’s construction. On the right is later, when the hay shed is taking shape and the gate is still open for John’s access. The purpose of this is to have covered hay close to the house and easy to get to. The horses can feed on the other side of the fence. John will put a ton of hay here and we’ll be able to feed with ease. John isn’t to do anything very strenuous as of Dec.1.
8-collage-lemonoldhayshednewlychippedgravelwalkwayfrompatioHere is another early morning photo of the older hay shed out back where Lemon hangs out. That’s his morning and evening pose, awaiting food to be carried out and put on the baled straw (not seen here, beneath him). There is a ½ cord of firewood in this shed, also. It’s where I took his evening meal tonight, while John was still finishing up the chores before dark. While walking to feed him, I found the finished graveled and chipped walkway from the patio, so I combined these photos. The gravel is recycled concrete, with much to come next year as we want a no-burn area around the whole house.

John is adding mushrooms and grilled chicken strips to the heated dressing and gravy for our supper tonight. That will finish our leftovers from the neighbors.

After dinner I plan to read another two final chapters of the thesis. Only one to go and references, and maybe a run through the Table of Contents and List of Figures.

Cascades are getting snow. High passes are closed. Ski slopes are opening. The one below is 50 miles from us, but getting there takes about 3 hours drive time.

Crystal Mountain webcams

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Serious cold in Siberia, but

….. here – not yet.

Sunday, Nov 13

For Nov 12 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.83. Events: 4 H, 5 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 28 min with (max = 13 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 one blip to low 81, 24 below 88 (all off CPAP) with avg., 91.1%. Total time almost 9 hrs.

John used his patio-door carrier creation to move a couple of large rocks without lifting into the truck. Using a ¾ inch piece of plywood as a ramp worked like a charm. The wheels are heavy duty plastic from a kiddy-car acquired many years ago at a yard sale.
1-johnwithhomemadecarrierJohn with the re-purposed carrier. This rock went from back to front and will be part of a landscaping wall.

The next collage will be explained below it.
2-collagebigrockgloveplace-of-originLeft shows the rock with John’s work glove alongside for scale. The right photo is of a bed between the patio and our TRANE heat pump. The space used to house 3-4 Nanking cherry trees which were pretty and provided small red fruits for birds. Rascal-cat would occasionally get to the roof of the house via these trees.
The area will be covered with gravel and a small firewood shelter that now sits on the patio. The photo shows dirt and rocks being removed – the rocks will go back and then gravel on top. The dirt will follow the big rock to the front.

While we are on yard things, I will use this space to update you on our Veterans’ Day walk around the place 2 days ago, which I didn’t have room for in last week’s blog.

We started our walk with John showing me the bulbs & tubers for 3 plants he is digging up, separating, and saving two of out of the cold ground for winter protection.

First, the separation of the Iris we got from our friend, Celia.
3-11-11-16-johnseparatedirisbulbtubersThis is a handful of Iris John showed me and then separated and replanted. After a few years the rhizomes, just below or on the soil surface, fill in so much they become like a very thick heavy carpet. Large sections can be lifted or peeled up. Behind him on the hill are the gladioli corms that he will protect in the garage over winter, and you can see below (right) the dahlia tubers.
4-collagegladiolidahliasLeft are the glads with many pea-sized youngsters, and right is a dahlia. A couple of years ago John did not dig up the dahlias – two types and both pretty. This year only one of the 2 types was nice. John is trying to save that one, and will also find a few new ones. We hope this year will be more successful. Many of our friends and others at celebrations where we shared, enjoyed both this year, presented in beautiful bouquets. It replaced the normal garden veggies we were light on in 2016. But, we made up for some things when the cherries came and later we picked Honeycrisp and Gala apples across the valley at our friends’ orchard.

We traveled around the property for stories of John’s changes I had not seen for over a month. Here is a short version in two collages.
5-collage1-walk11-11-16Out around the Iris garden to see new fencing for the horses. Then on the right is the new entrance to the pole barn, where John has made room for both trucks under cover in front of the hay. Below, the left photo (#1) shows poles and gate in the fence he set up temporarily last year – and never completed.
6-collage2-walk11-11-16Number 2, middle, is a large dead tree leaning toward the camera. On the upper left of the tree is a broken part where a limb came off – now cut into firewood rounds but not yet split. These old Cottonwoods and Poplars drop lots of dead wood and then other things grow up through (rose bushes and Hawthorns, for example) such that the tangle is impenetrable.
Photo #3, top right, shows a fence that was in that area that has been uncovered and a thin pole hung along the top wire. All the dead stuff, vines and small plants have been removed on both sides. About 8 years ago a small deer died in this spot. John assumes it got caught, but that is not certain. Regardless, the passage is now easier and visually clearer. The bottom right is a view of our neighbor’s awesome red maple tree, about 100 feet from our fence line. We hope to get cuttings next spring but will also try seeds. We invited ourselves over to do that but haven’t gone yet.

I returned to reviewing the thesis, for tomorrow’s defense. I expect to awake to a completed PowerPoint for the defense to review in the morning.

Monday, Nov 14

For Nov 13 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.00. Events: 0 H, 1 PP, 9 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 46 min with (max = 16 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 minimum to 88, with avg., 91.4%.

I awoke at 5:30 a.m., and checked my computer. At 2:00 a.m., my student sent a humongous slide show of 160 slides. There is no way she could show those in 35-40 minutes. I made suggestions of where to cut and went back to bed.

I awoke a couple hours later and received a “shortened” version, but it still had 160 slides. She had plans to flip to certain slides by number.

This time I made a new slide show for her with 71 slides of which the last 4 could be eliminated. I put it on a jump drive and planned to get there early, give it to her before her presentation, and go through it with her.
I called and paid our invoiced bill at Brad & Burke for their heat-pump “tune-up” mentioned last week. It is the Trane Heat Pump, which provides electric heat in the winter months and a/c in the summer. We were charged for 2 hours of time, mostly cleaning plus a paper filter (20x24x1) for an empty slot we did not know was there. We hope to find a carton of those someplace. John cleaned the two electrostatic filters – washed one at a time in the in the top of the dishwasher.

I went by Bi-Mart to get a large desktop calendar for 2017 that we hang annually on the kitchen wall to keep us aware of all our activities. While there, I picked up more of two kinds of cough drops.

I also took time this morning to put in all my meds into a daily case for morning and evening. For those running low, I called in for refills.

Okay, the defense is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and I left to get there with plenty of time to share my version of her PowerPoint.

I was going through it with her when her main adviser (aka Committe Chair) approached and said her planned PowerPoint was too long. I told her what I had done, and the chair suggested she use the smaller version. She had it on her computer, but she chose not to use it. At 45 minutes, she was cut off and changed to answering questions from the audience. She had made it through 80 slides by flipping the last 10 one after another with no comments for most. The introduction was adequate to demonstrate the research time spent. The question/answer part went well, and then the audience was dismissed for the committee’s interrogation. The results were successful, but now the pressure is on to get the large word document in shape within two weeks. For a 250+ paged thesis, this will be a challenge.

From there, eight of us went to late lunch/early dinner at El Caporal at 3:00 – 4:20 p.m. It was a nice celebration and I brought home part of my meal for the next day.

Tuesday, Nov 15

For Nov 14 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.13. Events: 1 H, 1 PP, 18 RERA. Time on 8 hrs 6 min with (max = 10 L/min). Good night. Oximetry: SpO2 minimum 88, with avg., 92.1%, avg. pulse 58.5, low 52.

We both went together to our second part of the annual physical today with Dr. Paul Schmitt. It poured rain just before we left, but no more for a good trip up. I drove to Cle Elum and we arrived at 9:15 a.m.
We did a good visit together. First, we went over my blood test results, and he checked me. All is well. John was next, and Dr. Schmitt had planned last week to evaluate John’s inguinal hernia. Luckily, it was “out” so there was something to actually touch and manipulate, where in two previous visits with P. A.s, it could not be “seen.” Our doctor explained what he thought it was and that he would start a referral process that day to have Dr. Harris get him on the docket as soon as possible. First, we have to have him review it. That happened sooner than expected (see Friday below). Dr. Schmitt also noted that John’s blood pressure has increased over the past few years, and he wanted him to start on a low dose of Lisinopril. We made an appointment for John to see him again in a month, after taking the medication and monitoring BP.

I have driven my Subaru Forester for 3 years, and never had a problem with opening the door, but today, I pulled it too hard, hit my head; John was already in the passenger seat and heard the thump. It put a large knot on my head and was hurting, so John drove us home.
I changed clothes and went back to town for Jazzercise, although having gone without exercise for several weeks and with the bruised bump on my head, I only participated in half the routines.

I drove by the Conoco station south of the freeway for these pictured below.
7-nancysnewshoesgivenbyanndraperThis hardly used set of Merrill shoes were gifted from a friend (Ann Draper) in our old “Buy Nothing Ellensburg” (BNE) Facebook group. She was the one who donated the lovely Native American poster (1989) I gave to my Yakama band friend, Allen Aronica, and you saw written up here back in July with our picture of my presenting it to him, alongside a photo of him in his native Head Dress. The old BNE group subdivided into 3 groups, and now I am away from most of my old friends, who now belong to the North and South Ellensburg groups. Many have switched to a new group, Free Givers of Kittitas County, and that is where these shoes came from. I will now put my efforts into that group.

John was doing his normal surfing and came up with this I am sharing with you. Check this Super Moon Rising from Dr. Roy Spencer in Huntsville, AL. Roy is known for temperature readings of the atmosphere using satellites. He likes to do time-lapse videos. A couple of years ago he did “frost flowers.” Frost Flowers

Here is Mr. Moon: Super Moon Rising

Wednesday, Nov 16

For Nov 15 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.00. Events: 0 H, 11 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 27 min with (max = 8 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 one blip to spurious low 71, with no events below 88 and avg., 92.0%. Two blips predictably caused by changing oximeter to a different finger. Avg. pulse (bpm) 60.2, low 50. My defibrillator is set to increase it when it hits 50.

The 2016 Thanks to the WTA Volunteers; 2 minutes.

Some of the WTA folks and things they do

Now we received our picture from that WTA Appreciation Dinner, Nov 4, where Evonne Ellis took our picture.


Thursday, Nov 17

For Nov 16 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.31. Events: 2 H, 11 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 33 min with (max = 13 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 one blip to low 87, 1 event below 88 with avg., 92.4%. Pulse 61.5, low 56.

I think I will start today with something from John regarding his newly acquired mediation (his only prescription-needed pill). All he usually takes is OTC Acetaminophen and Naproxen sodium.

John says: I’ve been doing a bit of reading trying to figure out why my primary care physician wants me to ingest something akin to snake venom. It helps to start with this word: angiotensin

This is a complicated chemical in the body and the 2 parts of the name are:
angio ← meaning vessel or arteries and veins that carry blood
tensin ← meaning tension or tightening
So this thing causes a tightening of blood vessels and raises blood pressure.

See if you can make it through this (no fair if you are a trained medical person):
Angiotensin is a peptide hormone that causes vasoconstriction and a subsequent increase in blood pressure.
Angiotensin I is converted to angiotensin II (AII) through removal of two C-terminal residues by the enzyme angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), primarily through ACE within the lung.
Bradykinin is an inflammatory mediator. It is a peptide that causes blood vessels to dilate (enlarge), and therefore causes blood pressure to fall.

In 1970, using bradykinin potentiating factor (BPF) provided by Sergio Ferreira, Ng and Vane found the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II was inhibited during its passage through the pulmonary circulation. BPF was later found to be a peptide in the venom of a lancehead viper (Bothrops jararaca).
This lovely snake is found in southeast South America to the right of the aqua-colored line in the map below. The photo of the Jararaca is by Felipe Süssekind:
Original and more here
range-map-and-photo-of-jararacaSo, the “Jararaca” injects venom into a mammal and the blood pressure drops and the animal dies, but not before a number of other nasty things happen, including but not limited to “immediate burning pain, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sweating, headache, massive swelling of the bitten extremity, …” – it is a long list.

Okay, chemists have altered the concoction so it is supposed to do only one thing in a very controlled way.
Let’s hope. John

Nancy is back now:

My music group friends all met at Pacifica Senior Living @ Ellensburg, and they had the chairs set up and tables moved. We had a good audience and a good play set. I had to hit the road soon to get home to take care of some things before we took off for the Audubon Society local chapter meeting. The topic was about 2 trips (2013 and 2016) on rafts down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The speaker is a WA Fish & Wildlife person. One was a private 3-week trip on the river. One was a scientific data gathering trip shocking fish at night and other catch methods, and going through rapids in darkness. It was fascinating. We had called ahead and stopped after the program to pick up our dinner, a 3-meat pizza from Dominoes.

Friday, Nov 18

For Nov 17 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.00. Events: 10 RERA. Time on 6 hrs 35 min with (max = 12 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 one blip to low 86, with avg., 92.0%. Pulse 59.9, low 53.

I received a surprise call from the scheduler for the surgeon our PCP set up on Tuesday for John’s visit to the internal surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Harris, for fixing his hernia. The earliest was today, which I first refused, and put off until later, because I knew John had to continue with the chipping crew explained below. However, he came in for his camera, and heard what had happened and said he would be free earlier than expected because the crew had to leave at 1:00 to return the chipper to Cle Elum for maintenance. I immediately called back, and we were able to get an appointment this afternoon!

John began the 8:30 a.m. meeting with the Chipper Crew of four and Lance, the supervisor from the Kittitas County Conservation District (KCCD), for discussing the work on our property. John signed a contract (at no cost to us) for all the preliminary brushing and other work completed by John and others (bulldozing a new access drive to our house where a large fire-fighting rig can access and turn around). Today, with Monday, Tuesday next week, will consist of this year’s fire-wise cleanup efforts on our property. Today was chipping brush piles John has created over the past several years of clearing, and adding adjacent brush or thinning trees, where appropriate. We keep the fallen timber. All the chips will be redistributed on our property; hence, the photo below shows the crew at work, blowing chips into the back of our old Chevy farm truck to be moved and deposited around our place. The first pile created will be near the newer garden so John can make pathways through it.
10-chipping-brush-into-chevy-pickup-nov-2016The two people on the left are pulling brush from one of the piles near our driveway entrance and the middle fellow is putting the pieces into the shredder. The fellow on the right has a chainsaw (a Stihl, similar to John’s) and he is taking out chokecherries.

I drove by and said thank you as I left for my couple of hours in town. I had met them earlier when they arrived, but I did not take the trip around the property because I had previously done that (and it is written in our blog) a month ago with two folks, Lance and Rose, from the KCCD.

My first stop was at the hospital because the temperature was 33°, and I could not leave my violin in the car for over an hour. I am loaning my 3/4 size violin (I started with in the 4th grade), to the daughter of my drawer-of-blood (phlebotomist) friend I have known for 7 years. Her daughter’s teacher told her she would have to get a smaller violin than the full size one she had, which belonged to her grandfather. She claimed it would cause the little girl to acquire carpal tunnel syndrome. When I heard that, I offered mine.
Our scholarship luncheon this time met at the CWU Alumni office on Main St. across from my bank. I thought I might have to park in the bank’s parking lot, but I found a space on the street.

After lunch (pizza, pasta salad, and green salad) and some little sweets, I went by Hospice Friends for some supplies and to give a donation for the Tree of Life, which accepts donations in memory of others who have passed. [Someone was soliciting for the Food Bank at Grocery Outlet and John bought them large boxes of pancake/biscuit mix. Then we went by the Food Bank and picked up a loaf of date-expired Rosemary/Olive bread.] At Hospice Friends, the donations go toward the benefit of those in town still needing medical services, supplies, medical equipment, in home care, and grief counseling. Also with advanced notice, Hospice Friends provide rides as far as Yakima, to doctor visits for those without transportation. Needs are met for any person regardless of age and insurance.

On my way home, I went by Grocery Outlet to grab some canned dog food and salsa we forgot to get yesterday. Well, John had gotten some salsa but it was a bit too spicy so we’ll mix the two.

I returned home to get John so we could be at the surgeon’s office, Dr. Kenneth Harris, by 2:40 to sign in and collect information and vitals for a 3:00 p.m. appointment.

John and I went by Super 1 for a few things on our way home. We were both tired from awaking so early to be ready for the chipping crew, so we quit the trail a little sooner than normally.

Saturday, Nov 19

For Nov 18 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.00. Events: 14 RERA. Time on 5 hrs 6 min with (max = 9 L/min). Oximetry: SpO2 two blips to low 87, with avg., 91.7%. Pulse 60.3, low 54.

Our Kittitas Valley Fiddlers and Friends, 8 of us, played, sang, and ate with an appreciative audience at Briarwood Commons Retirement center today. I invited our neighbor with her mom, who is considering moving into Briarwood. I thought that would be an excellent introduction to many of the active participants living there, who feed us every 3rd Saturday of the month. Next time will be Christmas music. Our meal today was little pigs cooked in a barbeque sauce, three different salads (potato, macaroni, and fruit). Some other stuff such as chips (Fritos & potato). Then a table of desserts.

Before we started, two of our guitar players sang through the song, Cotton Jenny, written by Gordon Lightfoot, in 1971, and sung by others through the years.

This link is a live performance in 1979 by Gordon Lightfoot, who is from Canada. He performed at the University of Iowa while we were there (? about 1971).

Cotton Jenny

I brought the music home to put into my SongWriter software for us to add to our repertoire.

I put in my meds into the week’s container for the a.m. and p.m. dispersal. That’s the only way to go when you’re on as many as I am.

Sunday, Nov 20

For Nov 19 CPAP. Reported figures. AHI= 0.46. Events: 1 H, 1 OA, 4 RERA. Time on 4 hrs 22 min with (max = 10 L/min). I kept my oximeter on for the rest of the night. Oximetry: SpO2 many events, 31, below 88%, for 12 minutes between 5:30 a.m. -6, and a few between 7:30-8. Once to low 80, with overall avg., 90.7%. Pulse 61.9, low 50.

We both slept in (after I got up and turned off the CPAP at 4:00 a.m.). It did not freeze overnight.

We had early morning visitors in our front yard – the doe and her twins. We can now see the nubs on the larger twin, we had figured was a buck. They were coming to clean up the mountain ash berries John cut and had not yet picked up the single berries. He takes a few branches out to them, starting with the lower ones. Now he will not have to worry with cleaning anything up but the leaves, inside our fence.
11-doetwinscat11-20-16The trio walked in the front gate and the twin doe (right) came up to see the cat (Lemon), who now is leaving the scene. Mama doe is in the middle, and the buck fawn is to the left. You can see John’s ladder and the Mountain Ash tree. After the fruit freezes the birds will eat it, but they won’t take it now.

Next, a collage close-up of the fawns at work:
12-collagetwinfawnsbuckdoeLeft, note the coloration of his nubs for antlers to come, and the doe fawn on the right demos the cleanup with a few berries showing beside her left foot, between her legs in front, and behind her right foot. Before the three left, they cleaned up all the berries, leaving only the leaves for John to sweep up.

We fed two cats and now John is out to feed the horses and take the dog for her morning walk. I need to get to work on the blog.

It is overcast but he may be able to accomplish something before it rains (a slim chance). The third feral cat arrived and had her morning vittles. Our inside/outside cat ate at 4:00 a.m. and went back to bed where he remains.

Actually, it is now 12:30 and the sun is out, and John returned to make an omelet for brunch. I am making good progress on the blog to hand over to John (probably not until dark because he needs to be working while light is available). At least tomorrow’s forecast is for sunny weather for the continuation of the fire-wise work. John flagged a few trees and flowering shrubs to be left.

The weather stayed okay for John all day so he didn’t come in until near dark – still that is early now. We managed to feed 2 of the ferals, and another came in and cleaned up the plates. We’re calling her Sally, but we don’t know where she originates, nor if she is girl or a guy. She has located the hard food feeder at our front door, but also will eat from the leftovers in the bowls of canned food for the two girls, Woody and Sue. Lemon eats around back. Tonight we missed picking up the girls’ leftovers, and apparently Sally scooped them clean.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan