Christmas parties galore

Monday, Dec 10

Another Sunday night we were up late getting the blog published at 11:17 p.m. Too many videos taking time, but I figured the end was worth it, for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

Today’s schedule changed abruptly at 9:00 a.m. with a call from Katrina at the AAC, cancelling the Silver Sneakers class today at 11:00 a.m. because the instructor was ill.

I had planned several stops in town for errands, but will postpone those until tomorrow when I must go in for a mammogram.

Tuesday, Dec 11

Our package expected yesterday from Amazon to be delivered by our carrier was not. Because of the overload of Amazon deliveries by the post office, they have had to hire additional help just for packages. Our package was not delivered until 8:20 p.m. (long after the gate was shut) and the driver did not know we were expecting it in our mailbox and it would have fit, (we get it every 5 weeks), and there was no notice put in the box either. We learned of it on line from an email. I told the Post Mistress I would come by to pick it up.
I did not know I would have to stand for 22 minutes in one line and not be allowed to pick it up at the first door before the counters. I was not happy about that at all. At least my package was there from my early morning call. A lady in front of me had the same thing happen, but her package was not in the building that they could find. I wish I’d had my camera. It’s no wonder they couldn’t find hers. Boxes were piled to the ceiling behind the counters (3 agents).

This was the email we received. I wonder if we had left the gate open if they would have driven it in to our house.

Hi John and Nancy,
Sorry we missed you. USPS tried to deliver your package today but didn’t want to leave it unattended. 
Please look for a notice of attempted delivery or contact USPS for the next steps:

(again, there was no notice in the mailbox)

I went by Super 1 for my Entresto prescription pick up and received two for John that we had not ordered. No clue why, but I just paid for them (both 90-day refills), and wondered why. Our recent exam might have triggered this, but why? They have never done automatic refills on either of us in the past.

I went back to the hospital today for a 12:45 check-in for a 1:00 mammogram. While there I picked up a CD with both images for two chest x-rays done on me in Feb & March. I will hear back in a couple of weeks about the mammogram results. I actually heard in Saturday’s mail that it was fine and negative is good.

Checked by Bi-Mart, but did not win anything for our membership number.

Went to Rite Aid for a special BOGO (“Buy One, Get One” free) item on 200#, Nature Bounty 500 mg tablets Magnesium jar for $12.99. Unfortunately, they only had 3 bottles, and am not allowed to pay in advance, but can give me a rain check on more. So, they rang up one at half price, and I will receive a call to come back for the other at ½ price. I wonder if I can buy a couple more bottles at that time with the BOGO applied.

Wednesday, Dec 12

I left earlier than usual today, and it was a good thing because the roads were icy all the way to town, and most of the time I did not exceed 20 mph. Got there and found a parking space, before 11:30, when a friend was coming by to retrieve 2 boxes of quite old Christmas cards with a bowling theme. These were bought on sale, maybe 15 years ago. Our bowling lanes are now closed, and all bowlers have to go to Yakima or elsewhere to bowl. Our friends are excellent bowlers. I should have made a copy of the card (we had 2 boxes of 20 each to share). It was Santa Claus rolling a ball toward the tenpins. Ten-pin bowling has experience a decline since 1990. I was a bowler through our stay in Idaho, but got away from it when I moved to WA. The lanes in Moscow, ID closed after we left, and my friend and a bowler on my team got the wall plaque that designated me as having the highest women’s series (676) in sanctioned league bowling for the lifetime of those lanes. I grew up across the street in Atlanta, GA from the Broadview Shopping Mall on Piedmont Rd, and started working there before I had a the necessary (then) social security card, so they paid me in merchandise: bowling shirts, bowling ball, bags, etc. That lasted several years. I got all my bowling free.

We started a little earlier today than usual and played longer, with much audience participation. I didn’t have many people at the start to use my camera to video, but then we did get a few captures.

A Holly Jolly Christmas at FISH Food Bank Dec 12, 2018

Silver Bells

Jingle Bells

Go Tell it on the Mountain

Joy to the World

After that musical activity and eating my lunch at the Food Bank, I drove to the AAC for my SAIL exercise class.

After class, I asked Meagen to take this photo. Carolyn is in our class, and you will see her again on Friday, at the Christmas party. Nancy and Carolyn after SAIL exercise class.

Been working on music for tomorrow most of the evening with breaks to keep the inside male cats separated, and spent some time cleaning up in the kitchen. Also worked on email necessities.

Also fiddled with some other Christmas clothing tops given to me.

Thursday, Dec 13

Meadows Place Assisted Living was our venue today. I need to finish getting the audience copies packed. I found out last night one of my colored copies went out with a person. Dang, that puts us down to 12 copies. I may start with the newer version of which I only have 12 copies.

Sad news from a former friend who now is in Wisconsin, but who have owned Brittanys from us for years. Molly Friesen, 12 years, died after fighting congestive heart failure for 9 months. This picture by their Christmas tree is lovely; Molly is regally gorgeous. She was a sister to Tobie, and I drove them to the Spokane Airport to meet Paul. They were little puppies so they were allowed to ride on the plane in front of his seat (in a carry-on container); to a new home in Wisconsin.

Friday, Dec 14

Call from Confluence Health for (December 18) Tuesday, 11:05 appointment with Dr. Lisa Stone, in Wenatchee. A different building but only a mile less than before (~75).

This morning I got ready to go to the AAC for the 2018 Christmas Party; always a fun time. Here’s the overview of the day, from the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center (AAC), our local senior center.I needed to wrap a gift for exchange. I had a Christmas coffee cup in a little gift box and John had made a bunch of Candied Carpathian walnuts from those he grew last year. I added 8 ounces in a Ziploc bag into the package. My gift ended up going to a friend, so that was nice. Here she is unwrapping and checking to see what she got. Karen, opening my gift and Santa admiring Believe in Santa mug.

But, I’m ahead of the story.

I dressed in pajamas for the contest at this year’s Christmas Party. The theme was a Charlie Brown (Snoopy) Christmas.
My principal reason for going was to be the main photographer while the staff put on the lunch, games, competition, and gift exchange for us.

I was not in on the plans for the musical entertainment. I saw a group coming in the front door and got a photo, not the best, but Roxanne got a better one I think on the AAC’s camera. I’m taking my flash drive along and will trade them the photos I got in exchange for the ones they took.

I talked to a couple of the gals from the Ellensburg High School (EHS) choir and found out what they planned to do, so I positioned myself over near the edge (in hindsight, I probably should have gotten on the other side, where the piano did not override some of the individual voices on duets). However, I did have a good perspective of the group, the soloists, and the audience.

Below are my captures of their program. Excuse the glitches in the videography, as I do not have an easy way to edit.

We received a great performance from the Bella Voce (Italian for Beautiful Voices) choir of young women, singing for us at the beginning of our Christmas party. The conductor is Gay Ott, and the program consisted of 10 songs, as follows: I have entered the YouTube link for each song in the program. It took me an hour to upload each couple minutes of song segment, because I was using my largest resolution camera that I normally only use for still photos.

Choir: A Festive Noel

1- A Festive Noel, Ellensburg High School Bella Voce Choir

Choir: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

2- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, EHS Bella Voce Choir

Lydia & Olivia: White Christmas

3 -White Christmas

Brea, Maggie, Emma: O Come Emmanuel

4- O Come Emmanuel !

Lydia, Shaedyn: When Christmas Comes to Town

5- When Christmas Comes to Town

Taylor, Kenya: Sisters

6- Sisters

Kaela, Lauren: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

7- Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Lydia, Chloe, Lili, Olivia: Mary, Did You Know

8- Mary, Did You Know

Choir: Christmastime is Here

9- Christmastime is Here

Choir: Mr. Santa

10- Mr. Santa

Thanks & Invitation to EHS Christmas Concerts: 12-17 & 18

11- Invitation to the EHS Choirs’ Christmas Program

Back to the party, after we enjoyed a great lunch with the singers. We were served ham, scalloped potatoes, steamed veggies, and a peppermint brownie, plus eggnog if wanted.
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggnog#Etymology_and_origins ]

Then we went on with the gift exchange and the pajamas competition.
I received a gift of a Christmas towel and a package of candy. John will eat the candy, ’cause I’m not a fan of Raspberries. I guess I will use the towel. Here is a photo of the contents of the long narrow gift bag, which I guess was meant for a whiskey or wine bottle? Raspberry & Dark chocolate Chips on white “thins” & the snowflake towel.

Part of the event was optionally dressing in pajamas for an event to compete for the best. I wore my jammies, participated, and was awarded a 2nd place. The top was given to me from a gal named Mita, in Kittitas. I was very happy with the first place winner, Jacquie Davis, being someone I have known since CWU times. The 3rd place person was Carolyn (you saw her yesterday with me in our SAIL exercise class).

Here are pix not well in focus, but they do show the placements. Top three: Jacquie, Nancy, Carolyn-winner Jacquie w/antlers gift

Afterwards, we were invited to pose with Santa Claus for photos. This has been a yearly tradition for some years now; I’m sure he is happy I lost some weight.

Saturday, Dec 15

Today is our play date at Briarwood Commons Retirement center.

They always fix us a fantastic food spread, but this Christmas Smorgasbord overwhelmed all past efforts:Menu: Potato salad, veggie plate/dip, deviled eggs, sausage & cheeses, crackers, cherry whipped cream salad, mandarin orange Jell-O, Crockpot (1) Smokies in BBQ sauce, (2) Swedish meatballs. Huge Dessert table. Thanks to leaders, Lee & Jo Ellen, but all the donators, Betty, Connie, Marilyn. Beverages included hot Apple Cider, Raspberry & something iced, and water.

Thanks to all the players and singers for entertaining: Marilyn, Maury, Kevin, Gerald, Dean (Pat), Nancy, Amy (Haley), Tim, and Sandy. Especially a big thanks to all our wonderful audience of singers.Nancy & Haley in a musical Christmas vest she will grow into. Photo on my camera by Amy Davison.

I was given the vest by Anne Engels in my search for Christmas tops, but it is way too small. So I decided to give it to our little mascot for her future use. These photos were taken after we, the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers and Friends, played Christmas music at our usual 3rd Saturday gig at Briarwood Commons, and ate before going home.

Sunday, Dec 16

It’s been a week since we found Rascal with a hurt back leg. We don’t see the problem, so it is likely a muscle pull from climbing. He is back with us now and able to jump to his favorite spots for his sleeping and eating. The other good thing is that the two inside male cats are co-existing. Rascal still seems a bit put-out that there is a new cat in the house. Outside, Sue is becoming increasing friendly. Woody – no.

John’s been out to shovel a little snow that fell last night, feed the horses, and I have fed all the cats.

I’m slowly working on unloading the dishwasher, and John fixed us a treat for brunch – an egg, sausage, served with a blueberry pancake with our strawberries. I worked on the blog and other things this afternoon, sending videos from Friday to YouTube.

John kept the Sunflower seeds topped off for the birds. In the afternoon, with quail there, a small hawk came, and all flew off. We don’t know if the encounter was successful for the hawk, or not. Horses are fed. He’ll be editing my work soon.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news Dec 14

Item #1: A big tree story
Not many trees get as tall as this one. Story: Centurion
Eucalyptus regnans Link is a flowering evergreen and a hardwood tree.The one pictured is the tallest one alive, although one that had died and fallen was much taller.
It looks healthy, so I will report back every 10 years until it falls.

.
.
.
.
.
.

Item #2: Where not to build a house

Just about everyone has heard of the white cliffs of dover. Some folks have actually seen these bright white cliffs of marine chalk. [ Link ].
Along the same coast, but 40 miles west, is a related exposure of white cliff, but less high. Being between the cliff and the Strait of Dover is hard to pass up.
Rock cliffs do have the unfortunate character of breaking into chunks and falling. A person could get hurt.
Not this time
Homeless is better than dead, so that’s the good news.

Item #3: Can you smell chlorine?
Say you have an old town with lots of old pipes. How do you find the leaks?
We’ve been associating with bird dogs for a long time. Brother Kenny got one when I was still in high school. Nancy and I have seen all sorts of birddogs in action. Obviously if you need something sniffed out, you need a dog. Here is the story of a Springer Spaniel that helps find water leaks.
the nose knows

Item #4: another tree story

Bosco Verticale

Use Google Earth or something similar and search: Bosco Verticale

Well, again, I’d like to keep track of this operation every few years to see how things work out. Can you think of anything that could go wrong? There is the adage: Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. {While Murphy is out of town.}

Item #5: Seems a bit too large

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

New, renew, medical, & music

Monday, Dec 3

Last night we were up late finishing the blog and John’s putting it into WordPress. I finally published it at 11:40 p.m.

I had a bunch of things to do today in town, starting with a new exercise class named Silver Sneakers given at the AAC (our senior center). It started at 11:00 a.m. and went to noon, conducted by Roxanne Laush (one of the AmeriCorps staff). It was my first time being there, because I found out about it too late.

On to pick up Chapstick at Scott Rollins State Farm office. To school to Parking folks for my Emeritus sticker replacement that expires Dec 31, 2018, but they don’t have them to issue until December 17, 2018. So, another trip to campus is in store.

I left there to go to Disabilities Services for a temporary parking permit (with my CWU parking for Faculty & staff) in Hogue Technology building. After a circuitous horseshoe route through the building, because I entered from the wrong door, I found out they no longer do that service from their office. First person said I had to go through the state. I questioned further and another woman (Kendall), came out of a back office and told me the person to see on campus (at opposite end), in Mitchell Hall (Human Resources), because I was eligible as retired faculty/staff.

I had a long search for a parking space, > 2 blocks away. I found the right person, he filled in the paperwork, with my information, and I am ready to go in either car, mine or John’s Subaru. The previous year we were only approved for mine. What was extra nice was he was able to find my faculty ID card # on his computer database, and I did not have to return with it. It was in an old wallet at home. I have not had to use it at all since retiring…not even to check out books from the library. But it is a picture ID. I told him I would fail the recognition test because I was so sick in early 2010, when I had to have it made, for some reason. I should go back and request a retake.

First a photo of the Christmas lights display put up at the Frink house by the man mentioned below, fighting for his life and needing prayers.Ken & Eva Frink’s house in Ellensburg. Photo cropped from one posted on Facebook. I mentioned seeing them in a recent blog, at the end of an overcast day, but not yet dark.

Today, I came home to a couple of messages on Facebook of interest. My friend whose husband is on life support in Swedish in Seattle sent a photo of a card the middle school 6th grade sent to her husband. They know him through his driving their camping supplies for summer camp for all the children. It’s an original hand drawn card.His wife also posted this video below of his cardiologist giving a good medical heart story explanation.

Ken Frink’s Swedish Hospital Cardiologist Doctor

We are all being educated during this sad story, and praying for the best. He should be ready to come off life support this week, and they can assess what the next steps are to save his life and repair his heart. They are even considering a possible transplant because of a hole in the lower chamber of his heart.

I just learned of a former student currently in the hospital with his transplant problems. He’s been operating fine with a transplant since 2012, but now has some serious complications. He’s in our prayers too.

Tuesday, Dec 4

I tried to set up delivery and pick up of empty livestock feed bags through the AAC today. We failed to make connections as planned. Told her to be there before 2:00, and I didn’t go until after 2:00, but nothing was there. End of week, still nothing.

I went for my blood draw INR & K and called Cle Elum to notify Cody or Lacey I’d be back home later for the report. Lacey called with the figures and I said, “Well, the potassium is higher than usual (normally in the 4 range”). She agreed and will ask Dr. Wood. The INR=2.8 was good.

I took my paper lab reports, printed from their portal, to the hospital’s front desk to see why the ones provided at the doctor’s office appear differently – much nicer and 2 rather than 4 pages. I found out it is not under my control or theirs either. It’s best to request it there and not from the portal, except for checking that things have made it through the system.
So, when I’m there next week, for a mammogram, I will request the report.

I did check with the cardiopulmonary office to see if they received the referral from Dr. Wood, and found out it was not provided and is a whole “nuther” story, I’ll deal with later.

Check for printing the results of chest x-ray radiology interpretation. I also stopped by to talk to Vanessa about printing the results of a chest X-ray for John when he goes back later this month. She gave me the paperwork for him to fill out after it is done, and she will mail a CD with the images to our home. He only needs to fill in the information and sign the form to take with him when he goes for the 2nd X-ray in Cle Elum, and they will send the okay to Ellensburg.

Wednesday, Dec 5

Food bank today. I wore the Christmas top from Methodist Church Ellensburg Clothing Center rack, today. Picture below. Many compliments today at Food Bank, and then by different people at AAC SAIL (exercise) class. People really liked it. Left w/o flash, Nancy & Bob (singer) with FISH Lunch Bunch

Below, the video music was recorded on my old video camera, which now has developed an unfocused image on the left side of the lens. Bob is on the far left and out of focus below on these videos because there was nothing to his left to have him in focus on the image. I guess I will have to use my newer camera and just live with the longer upload time for more than a two-minute recording. Some of the songs with bells are worth recording. We don’t have this much participation in the assisted living homes.

A Holly Jolly Christmas

Go Tell It On the Mountain

On my way home, I drove north on Naneum Road and saw the beautiful skies, clouds, and agricultural landscapes. Wind towers add, or subtract, from the view. I thought the white towers backed by the dark blue-gray cloud was neat. Because I had my camera along, I pulled off the road and took some photos. This is my favorite.Viewing east with Whiskey Dick mountain on the right, blue & white Tarp-It tarps over haystacks, fields in front, barns, with lovely winter clouds looking down on Earth in the Kittitas Valley.

From there I came home and have been working on music for tomorrow at the Rehab. Phone call from Gerald at 3:30, after being in Rehab today and finding the floor being torn up and replaced, and no one was allowed on it. He had to get permission to walk out over it to get out of the building. I called and talked to the man in charge, to see if we would be able to access the West dining room tomorrow to play. He claimed it would be completed before he left tonight. He was watching them work on it, and we should come and they’d be ready for us. He asked for the count of chairs but expect to know more tonight, and tomorrow morning for the final call I always make. It was finished in time for us to play.

Thursday, Dec 6

This morning was down to the last minute getting music together for this afternoon. I had to finish running a new version of A Holly Jolly Christmas to replace a copy that was impossible to read because of the small size of the font. I even enlarged it to fit the page, and that did not help. So I entered it into the SongWriter 2012 software, but had some issues. I figured out a way around it this morning, but still had several music books to replace some things in. I needed to add the Chipmunk Song in a different key – G instead of C. I needed to copy and replace the old Holly Jolly with the new, and change the punched 3 holes to the opposite side. I had 12 copies to produce and sort in. I also had 2 other songs to replace for 4 other people. It was a puzzle to work out, but we succeeded, and still were able to start before 2:00.

I carried my camera and got Charlotte to take a photo of 3 of us in our Christmas garb. I try to wear a different shirt each play day in December. Every group I’m in is playing all December Christmas and Winter songs, and we have bells along for ringing. We used to give noise makers to the residents, but we are not doing that this year, except for a few bell sets.

At the Rehab, we had a responsive audience and a bunch of compliments. We had lots of players there today, 11 plus Jeanne who joins in her wheel chair. We had Laura, Minerva, Charlotte, Amy, Sharon, Nancy, Dean, Gerald, Maury, Marilyn, and Manord.

Several residents were there I did not expect, and some I did. I did not realize my friend from the AAC was there. His name is Pat. I found out he fell and broke his leg. He hopes to be back home in a week. He also hears us every Wednesday during lunch at the FISH food bank, where he comes for the Senior Nutrition program. Arlane, another person from my past (horses) was there. She normally resides at Pacifica but is temporarily there recovering. She loves our music. (I need to check the lyrics to Frosty the Snowman). I think they are wrong in the colored pages book. Luckily that one is on a white page so won’t be as hard to replace. I only have 13 copies of those left.

Another woman (named Ray), stopped me on my way out to tell me she very much loves it when we are there, and that today was very special. I invited her and also Pat over to Meadows Place next door, this coming Thursday.

After playing, Charlotte was kind enough to take a photo of 3 of us, Me (violin), Sharon (bass guitar), and Amy (flute, penny whistle, violin, mini washboard).Nancy, Sharon (all the way from Seattle), Amy (Haley’s mom)

From there I went north to deliver some stuff to Amy’s front porch, and then back to Super 1 with my camera, to take a photo of Elf Haley, Amy, and another elf, Kayla, who were operating a booth to collect $ for KXLE million penny drive to fund Christmas baskets to many families in town. You learned about that program in last week’s blog. They were there from 3:30 to 5:00 today.

Here is the photo I had a friend, Cory, take (we greeted as we both entered the store at the same time). Cory took this (I sneaked in between), & I took this of Haley. Left is Amy, elf Haley, Nancy, elf Kayla, and Haley again on the floor.

Later tonight I found this photo on Facebook. I had gone in a different door and missed it. I cropped the photo just to this. The photo on the table is from 2017 and was different from this year’s elf sweater & hat. This photo was taken by Christine Reynolds who has given her permission to use here.

I came home to more chores and dishes. The local paper had an ad for a CWU music event, the Gothard Sisters, from the wet side of the Cascades. We went 4 years ago. So, I got on line and bought our tickets for tomorrow night. Being of an advanced age, we got the ‘senior’ discount.
Press release of the 3 sisters—Greta, Solana, & Willow

We went and had a great time. They are quite talented and very entertaining. They tell a few stories, include some laughable routines, and pitch their CDs (see below).

I think this was written last year on their website as an interview, so perhaps add a year to each of the ages: 25-year-old Greta Gothard, Willow, who is 22, and Solana, 16. All three play the violin. Solana is the lead singer, Willow plays the Bodran (pronounced bow-ran), which is a traditional Irish drum, as well as the mandolin. Greta plays the guitar. Willow and Greta also serve as backup singers and all play several instruments.

Friday, Dec 7

I need to call KVH in Cle Elum to talk to the person who called me Dec 5 at 1:03 and did not leave a message. Later, that same day, I received the call from KVC hospital Cardio-pulmonary that Dr. Wood would not approve a referral for me for 2019, > 11/13.

This phone call was regarding having a BMP today scheduled for the Potassium value 5.3 to recheck high value last blood draw. It is still high, and so is the creatinine and glucose, so Dr. Wise will pass along to Dr. Wood to review Monday, and get back to me. I got the report from the portal, and it is the same. He needs to tell me what he wants to do about it. I wonder what causes a rise in (K) Potassium [Phosphorus → P]. I’m not eating lots of bananas, nor taking a supplement with Potassium. Potatoes? Not more than usual. Soy milk? Likely not enough therein.

I rushed to drink lots of water for my blood draw, and went to the KVH lab in Ellensburg.

While in town, I picked up Sharon’s guitar stand.John had taken the left photo at the Veterans’ Day at the AAC, and the other I used from the web to describe to the activities director at Rehab to search for it (folded up) and where to look in the West dining room.

She found it and I went by and picked it up on my way by to the hospital lab for the blood draw.

I wore another new Christmas vest, and posed with my fave phlebotomist Kim at the hospital lab, after she drew my blood sample. We always exchange hugs.Nancy’s Hug by Kim, taken by Christy, another favorite.

I got in home to eat supper before going back in for the concert.

I took a few videos and will share below. NOTE: they are “Unlisted” so one must have the link to see them. They are not public on YouTube. At intermission, my friend from CWU Scholarship Luncheons for many years, Christine, went out to the table with their CDs. She came back with a package of all 7 of their CDs, including their newest released one, Midnight Sun. They were giving significant discounts tonight to the concert goers. The concert hall was packed.

The package was 30% off retail price (listed on their web site). Christine (as we) had been previously to their concert but she did not have any of their CDs. When I saw them, I decided I would get me our Christmas present. We both enjoy their music and presentation.
Below are the videos I took on my Nikon camera, of my favorite parts of the performance.

See my comments about the song on the description of each YouTube. Watch some to see our home-grown Washington talent.

SHORT Introduction to the 3 Gothard Sisters

Let It Snow!
Irish Dancing
Drum duet – Solana and Willow
The Hat Song You can’t play without the hat.
The group’s Origin Story They all trained in classical music. The Edmonds Farmers Market – 5 hour days – had them branching into some popular tunes. This music begins with Carol of the Bells.

The next is an example of their newly written songs’ material, in the genre of Contemporary Celtic music. We heard more through the program, particularly in the second part after intermission.

Hummingbird
Midnight Sun

And some Christmas songs:

I Saw 3 Ships Come Sailing In Meaningful to me from my past.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

3-min start story time song: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

There were more I did not capture when my battery ran out on the last one above.

Saturday, Dec 8

Slept in until 9:00. I was beat.

We had thought about going shopping in Yakima, but never settled on a day or time. This morning we decided to go. I drove because my car needed more gas than John’s. It was snowing this morning, at our home, but stopped after a very light flurry. We had clear roads with clouds. Supposed to be sunny, but never saw much sunshine.

First stop was WinCo primarily for 100% All Bran Buds, and while there, John found a good deal on Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, limit 4, at only 68 ₵/box. And even better find was Shasta Cola 2-liter size, limit 6, for 48 ₵ each. That’s a very low price.
Next: Costco gasoline station. Price was right, at $2.89/gal. In Ellensburg, the lowest price is $3.05.

Costco. As expected it was as busy as Atlanta’s airport with cancelled flights. We found most of what we went for. Found Merlot Cheese and dog biscuits for Louaine and her dog, found things we wanted including two fruitcakes, moist flushable wipes, and a box of small portion Cordon Bleu {on sale}. These are raw/frozen and need to be baked in a real oven. We’ve never tried these. John doesn’t make such complicated recipes at home. We’ll report later.

We came home and being cloudy it was already getting dark at 3:00 p.m. I had my lights on all the way from Yakima. So many people drive without lights, it is dangerous.

Started running a few songs from the Gothard Sisters concert. The best were taken on my Nikon camera, which takes a lot of bandwidth, so getting 4 minutes of recording uploaded requires 1.5 hours upload time. You can follow a few of my favorites on yesterday evening’s write-up. I uploaded my first longest one while we were away on our trip to Yakima (103 mi. round-trip).

Sunday, Dec 9

Awoke to no more snow, but found Rascal under the chair, and limping with a hurt back left leg. No clue how it was injured. He does go over a 6 foot fence via several ways – maybe a muscle pull as we don’t see an injury. He’s now on the bed, refused to eat. John put him out for pottying, but he returned and put himself to bed on the top bunk in a back corner bedroom.

Czar has been in the house most of the day; Woody & Sue have been fed. Sue sometimes acts like she will come in the front door. Now that Czar does so with her right there beside him, she may decide it is an okay thing to do.
Finished unloading the dishwasher, while still uploading videos. We had brunch midday. John did shovel less than an inch of snow (?) off the back patio slab and the front concrete slab in front. The horses always need food and their water replenished (when the ditch flow is frozen). Beyond such chores not much warrants going out in nasty weather on a Sunday.

John saved the making of soup for such a day.
We just finished a bowl of lentil/beef soup (+rice, tomatoes, lima beans), with Jarlsberg cheese and Honeycrisp apple slices. We need to package and freeze some of the soup; 8 or 10 servings.

Started snowing big flakes at 2:15 p.m.; now ½ hr later, still snowing but smaller flakes, and at 7:00 p.m., same. We have at least 2”. At 10 pm: it is done or nearly so.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news Dec 7th

Item #1: A penny’s worth of fries

Six at a time

So he thinks a serving of fries is just 6. There’s a solution for that.
There is one sort of hidden in this batch. Note the penny for scale.
Works for me.

Item #2: Color of the year
Parrot barf or Living Coral – – You decide.
Code# 16-1546

Search using ‘Living Coral’ and you can find many hits on the Pantone Color Institute’s Color Of The Year For 2019.

Many years ago a building visible from the downhill run into Lewiston, Idaho was given a new coat of paint. No one was quite sure what name the color had, but most agreed it wasn’t pretty. A fellow we knew that wrote for the paper decided the color was that of Parrot barf. He proceeded to make an issue of it in an opinion column.
At that time we did not know anyone that had a parrot and we had not seen one’s barf. I recall the building’s color was a bit more orange or orange/brown. Nevertheless, this new color called “Living Coral” brought about an old memory.

You will see a lot of “Living Coral” things in 2019, and you will be urged to buy them. Be prepared.

Item #3: See the coyote
Note the lack of vegetation. The uneven white stripes across the structure are erosion control mats – straw in rolls of
biodegradable jute netting. They will become part of the landscape in a year or so.

Coyote in a 9 second video:
Your gas tax money at work

More on the crossing;

From 6 weeks ago
Here is an artistic image of what this crossing will look like after 20+ years, when the trees have grown.

Central Washington researchers and students were involved with this project. Some of those students were in Nancy’s classes in the last few quarters she taught. I’ve seen the construction progress because I have to go that way for many of the Washington Trails trips.

Item #4: The Oak Ridge Boys
Traveling with suits

These 4 are no longer boys but we have liked their songs, as did the recently deceased President Bush.
They were in Spokane when the funeral was held. They went to Texas to sing “Amazing Grace” .

Item #5: Be careful what you pray for

Snoqualmie Pass ski resort held a “Pray for Snow” party amid grim snowpack forecast

That can’t mean good news: I’m off to buy a new shovel.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Medical, Clothing, + More

Sunday, Nov 25

John found our horses Jazz and Breeze in our neighbor’s pasture, and while he found some fence to tie up, he didn’t really find an obvious exit place. (A week later, they are still in our pasture.)

I worked early to finish the blog as I was getting ready to leave for a few hours to stay with my 95 yr old neighbor to be sure he didn’t fall. His son was going to go to Yakima with a friend to a movie. Those plans changed at 10:51 a.m. when he called to tell me a neighbor at the head of the Naneum Canyon was free and would come down for the afternoon. I was grateful, because I would not have had access to the Internet from 1:30 until 6:30.

Here was one of the things I was able to accomplish, this link to my third Thanksgiving dinner:

Swedberg Family on Saturday Thanksgiving with 15 pictures.

Monday, Nov 26

I will be working today getting ready for visiting the Doctor for the Diagnostic part of our Annual Physical and to discuss the results of the lab tests and chest X-rays we had taken last week.

I was busy all day, and did not go to town to go to the SAIL exercise class at 1:30 p.m. at the AAC.
I was on the phone with doctors and assistants. I’m still far behind on many things.

Tuesday, Nov 27

Today was our one-week follow-up to last Tuesday’s visit for the annual physical. John drove his Subaru, because it was very low on gasoline, and the best price in the area is in Cle Elum. We paid $2.96 (credit card price) / gal and the cash price was $2.86. Cheapest in Ellensburg was $3.15. Tonight John’s sister Peggy called to report in on her weekend with family, and the amazing price she paid when she got back to Ohio: $2.19/gal.

We went the Interstate going and back Hwy 10 by the river returning. On our way up we had a little rain and saw both ends of a large rainbow. We could not see Mt. Stuart, because of the cloud cover. These two pictures are the ends of the rainbow that stretched a long distance across the Kittitas Valley.

We got there on time for checking in according to our records, but they were different from the computer’s. We had been scheduled for both annual visits long ago and the dates were on our desktop calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. We made it there last week and returned this week, only to find out, even though we were going in together, they had separated our times and this week I was scheduled at 10:00 a.m. They finally decided to take us both in at the time we were expecting, that had been written up in John’s name. I checked in, and then questioned the receptionist I know well (she’s my neighbor!), about what could have happened? We had not received the pre-mailed paperwork for our first one last week, and we did not receive a call reminder on the phone as normal. The Nov 20 appointment went all right. For today, however, we again had received no reminder call, and it didn’t go all right. Finally, she tracked it to the reason. They had texted the message to our landline. Our landline is a landline and not a cell phone and does not understand or accept or notify us of a call or a text from anyone. It will take voicemail messages. We have filled the paperwork at all our hospital connections and pharmacy not to text us. We do not get cell reception at home, even if we could receive texts.

Supposedly, Priscilla has fixed it to be a phone call only to our landline. Because we get no cell reception at home, we only give our cell phone to a nurse if we are to be away from home and they need to reach us. We have answered the questions on their interview form NOT TO USE OUR CELL PHONES for home communication. Perhaps this will be corrected now. The fact of a change in the medical records system providers has affected us and many others quite negatively.

From there we were seen by our doctor. He went over our lab tests and the report from a radiologist on chest x-rays. Who or where that was done is a mystery. We did not get to view them. He just told us what the report said. Mine were fine and showed nothing that indicated a hiatal hernia – it wasn’t mentioned. John’s had a fuzzyness in an area which could be related to a previous infection and scaring or could be a “fold” in the lung from not inflating fully while holding his breath for the x-ray machine. [John says no.] Our doctor recommended waiting a month and coming back the end of December for a re-take. We made that appointment for Dec 24, and have put it on our wall calendar. It’s for a 1:00 check-in for a 1:15 appt. He will go first to the lab / radiology for his x-ray and then it will be available for Dr. Wood and the appointment at 1:15 p.m. John and I will both get to see that description and ask questions. Our regular physician and my cardiologist are very good about having us both present for medical discussions.

Comparison of my Thyroid tests today, from last week and from last April. I was concerned that the last test both times was different between the dates, and therefore in my estimation, not comparable: Triiodothyronine, Free LC = 2.1 (note was N1, in April, with a different range, [2.0-4.4] from the Nov. 20 test. The Nov test for the same, was titled Triiodothyronine, T3 LC = 60 (note was N2, in Nov, with a range, [70-180]. While different, the low value was apparent in each. My doctor would rather see the TSH closer to 1.0; but the conversation ended with a recommendation to go back to the Endocrinologist (Dr. Lisa Stone) in Wenatchee who had reviewed my case last November. She had told me to follow up with the April draw and gave me the lab orders for it to be done here in Ellensburg. Those results were better, as expected, and made me happy. She suggested adding the same tests to the annual exam. I did not need a new referral, because she had told me I could schedule an appointment anytime I felt the need. So, I came home and have an appointment on Tuesday, Dec 18. I also called Medical Records and had them FAX these Thyroid lab from both dates to her in advance of my visit. Luckily, that’s something I can do without going through a medical professional.

We didn’t have too much more to discuss with Dr. Wood.
We’d got Crispy Chicken sandwiches for the drive home. Then bought gasoline on the way out of town.

We came home through Ellensburg and got a few things, plus checked my number and we won a package of Festival Coconut Cookie Rolls, which John and I decided was mostly air and not worth paying $1.67 for 3.5 ounces. 25¢ would be plenty. Considering it was a free gift, we tried a few before heading up the Naneum Fan.

Wednesday, Nov 28

I left in the fog and rain on my way to the Food Bank. I stopped off first near the airport to leave Wall St. Journals for a business student. From there to pick up some Box Top coupons for schoolto give to our little friend, Haley, for a possible prize, in getting her school some money for supplies. Another woman donated one box top, and I ended up with 32 with an unexpired date (required).
Here’s the story on that: From Amy about delivery of box tops..
Haley said Mrs. H was surprised with how many she brought in. She now will be entered in 5 times for a chance to win $10 to next week’s book fair. They accept box tops all year. But then occasionally do a bigger incentive to get them in.Their school also hands out “eagle bucks” for good behavior, being respectful, etc. They put their names on them then in a bucket. At the end of the month they draw names force winner. Haley won in Sept. She chose a popsicle at lunch as a reward. Today she and a little boy won. This time she picked a Christmas book with Clifford the Big Red Dog.

From there I drove to the Food Bank and lucked out getting a spot close to the door, plus some help carrying my load inside.
We played and sang Christmas music today and everyone there was happy, singing along, and applauding.

When it was over I went to my SAIL exercise class at the AAC, and heard from several people there how much they enjoyed the music (many AAC members are there for M-Th Senior Nutrition), and supported by the government (the program started as money from the tobacco companies, oddly enough).
I also took a bag of non-perishable groceries to the senior center to put in the Christmas Basket donation box. The Christmas Basket program is an excellent program for our region, upper and lower Kittitas County.

Here’s a local Christmas story: Haley, the Penny Elf
Last year’s Penny Elf, Haley – is on this year’s collection canisters – these below are from Super 1 Pharmacy and in an unclear container. I went by grocery outlet later this week, and theirs had her picture, but were clear, and you could see bills and more than just pennies. Haley ————– This year’s canister with her last year’s pix.

Follow the next link to see this year’s report.

Haley the Penny Elf

From SAIL at the AAC, I came home by way of a lady I met a couple weeks ago, and she introduced me to her chickens and ducks (all named). She gave me a dozen eggs. I gave her a pot of hens and chickens. Today I got one more dozen, but the girls have slowed laying, and she will be keeping all for Christmas baking. I left her 2 egg cartons and picked up one more box top for Haley. I enjoyed the family’s Christmas yard decorations (large balloon figures of the nativity scene, Santa and reindeer on the roof, Frosty the Snowman and others in the yard. Lighted candy canes. Quite a lovely show. It was not quite dark yet, but showed up well on the overcast day. I wish I had had my camera.

Thursday, Nov 29

Today is our normal Bye Day from playing at Assisted Living homes, but one of our musicians, Maury Martin, had invited the group to his house in Cle Elum for a jam session. Weather is the only problem with driving toward the Cascades. It has currently stopped raining in Ellensburg, and the fog is not as thick as yesterday, but it is overcast. We may have a little sun in the afternoon, if the NOAA forecast is correct:.

Made my appointment with Dr. Lisa Stone in Wenatchee for Dec 18, 11:05 a.m. and talked with Jackie in Medical Records, KVH, to FAX the Thyroid test results from April and from November up today to them.

Worked on the dish loading, ran the washer, had sausage, eggs, and toast for lunch, checked the intros for the December music, and packed printed playlists to hand out.

I left for Maury’s jam session getting there in 40 minutes via Taylor Rd from Hwy 10. We only had Maury & Marilyn (their place), Sharon, Charlotte, Gerald and me. No one else could come, because of sickness, or other conflicts. I thought we’d just planned on jamming, but they had their Christmas tree up, and their Christmas music (for December playlist) ready, and had planned to use it. I was unaware of the plans, so I had not included Gerald & Charlie’s music book for December, and only had my own along for Sharon to copy the intros I put into my book last year. After we finished with the Christmas songs we did San Antonio Rose and one other, but then Maury got out the mic and Marilyn sang Kentucky Waltz. Then Charlotte picked out San Antonio Rose and we played it, but then we switched to gospel songs and another couple of non-gospel, but suddenly Sharon and I realized it was 3:30, and we needed to leave for our trip home. One parting song at Marilyn’s request: Amazing Grace.

I went home through Ellensburg and called ahead for Burger King to throw in 2 Crispy Chickens to make sandwiches for our dinner. ’cause we are leaving again. I wanted them to be cooked fresh, and not leftover from lunch under a heat lamp. They had told me previously it took them 6 minutes to cook them, so I allowed for that. I stopped at Super 1 to get a photo of the collection canister for Christmas Baskets that was in the Super 1 Pharmacy. Amy had not seen anything but the label and not any on a container. Now you have seen it above in this blog.

John had fixed cheesy-potatoes and a drink to have with what I brought. We’re leaving now for two meetings at CWU.

First stop was to the student activities building (SURC) “pit” where Bob Carson was signing and selling his authored books by Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc., Sandpoint, ID. Most recent is The Blues, on the Blue Mountains. He has an apparently nice one on Yellowstone, but with much information on the Clark Fork Valley, which in its own right would be suitable for a National Park without others so close by.

Second location was Science II building on campus to get a front row seat for videotaping. Had a little problem with the people in front of me tonight on the floor, but occasionally obstructing the screen. I try to get there by 6:30, and was a little earlier tonight. The talk starts at 7:00. Nick’s Intro to IAF Local Chapter Meeting, 11-29-18

Nick Zentner’s Introduction to Bob Carson, Speaker

Bob Carson: Half a Century of Exploring the Olympic Peninsula

Bob Carson Fields Questions

Friday, Nov 30

Again I went to the SURC for noon Scholarship luncheon. It is arts & crafts time (called Ware Fair), a frenzied selling event, so was happy I have an Emeritus Parking sticker. We’re having Pulled Pork, coleslaw, Ruth’s cheesecake with her own raspberry topping, and mixed fruit drinks.

Then on to the last day the clothing part of the Kittitas Neighborhood Pantry is open until spring. I’m going to take a bag of clothing there to leave, and check for some jeans for some folks who are disabled and unable to drive to Kittitas. They did not want the clothes, so I will take them tomorrow to the Ellensburg Community Clothing Center at the United Methodist Church. Unless people are unaware, unwilling, or can’t motor, there is no reason to go un-clothed or hungry in the County.

I went by an apt. in Kittitas to pick up a Christmas top from a gal (given to me from the free request Facebook site). I took her our last pot of Hens & chicks from this year, and missed getting the shirt until the next day. Her daughter picked it up on their trip to take her mom to Yakima, thinking it needed to go with them.

Saturday, Dec 1

I managed a find and replace and changed all my Novembers to December on the FitBit daily results. And also on my form for scheduling the KV F&F attendance(s) every month. My newest version of Word has changed the method of Find & Replace. Weird.

I went to the Methodist Church’s Ellensburg Community Clothing Center for Christmas tops, after LaRaine Crook told me on The Free Box site I could find a lot of Christmas clothing there. They are only open from 9:00 to Noon on Saturdays and same on Tuesdays. My friend Anne was there volunteering, and brought me two bottles of Bleu Cheese dressing she got a Costco for me while there on Friday. I took her a flowered thank you card with $10. I got there a little after 10:30 by the time I found the place.
I now have 4 tops featuring Christmas. One is a plain red vest I can wear over a lighter Christmas shirt, a nice green jacket type thing, with holly & berries and Santa Claus, twice, making a list and checking it twice. And two others. I’ll try to take a photo next week, or have my photo taken in them when I go to gigs this December. We have at least two every week, and 3 on the 3rd week in Dec.

I took my laptop to Burger King for a sandwich, and took along my thermos with PowerAde Zero in it. I got myself a booth, to eat and check my email.

Left there and went to Bi-Mart for a 2019 Desktop calendar, we put on our wall, because every year about this time, they have a 30% off sale on calendars. It only cost me $4.19. Good deal.

I made another stop on the north side of town, and came back by Grocery Outlet to check out their Christmas Clothing. They had one nice Winter Wonderland sweatshirt I liked, but not at the $14.95 price. So, I left it hanging. But I bought a jazzy pair of lounging pants with HO HO HO and a green and red pattern which will work well with a couple of things I have. They were $8. I have a cool red baseball hat with a Santa hat on top, which says, Merry Christmas. It was given to me by my friend since 6th grade, Maude. I wear it much of the month of December.

It was getting close to 1:00 p.m. so I made my way to The Tav but there were no parking spots on the street. I went around a long 2 block square and parked on Main Street, close to 4th Street figuring I could turn down and find Suzy West’s car to transfer the Fuji apples she brought me they shared from a fruit-packing house in the lower valley. Just as I got my car parked, she called and I said, I’m right around the corner. Took a while to get across the street at the light.
I joined them and met three ladies I hadn’t previously known and one I’ve known since the late 90s at CWU. We had a nice visit. She was parked a block away, so I drove there and found a space right next to her car. Handy for transferring. Then we parted and said goodbyes and carried hellos to our respective husbands.

I then went by the Ellensburg Library and initiated my library card. Until recently we were unable to have a card, by living in the county out of the city limits, but they’ve changed those rules now, and I can use it to check out books or use their computers when we are in town for a meeting in the building, early.

From there to Briarwood. Talked to Lee Kiesel about our date upcoming for our group to visit, play Christmas music, and eat a Christmas buffet she is planning.

I carried by two pair of slacks to a woman there who gave me another Christmas sweatshirt. This one is red with penguins skiing down a hill. I left there and went back for the long-sleeved Xmas tee shirt given to me by the gal in Kittitas where I missed it yesterday.

Sunday, Dec 2

Today is the free Christmas Community Dinner being put on by the Swauk-Teanaway Grange. We are staying home and fixing our own: fresh farm eggs, well cooked bacon, and home fries. There are more turkey and mashed potato meals in a 2-week time span than I can handle. None on Christmas Day, however. We have a frozen turkey breast to fix, if we remember to take it out in time.

Just heard from a newly made friend (via FB) that her husband had a massive heart attack and was air-lifted to Seattle to Swedish. He’s currently in an induced coma after his systems shut down. Been there, done that, and John totally understands what she’s going through.
She called me after I wrote her a note on Facebook and we talked for 20 minutes. The hospital sent her home to her own bed as well as her 3 children (in their 20s) and suggested they would have him on life support for at least a week, and they should come home and try to get some rest.

Washed dishes again today, and finally am doing a load of clothes. There is a huge blanket (probably queen size) included so I only put a limited amount of other stuff in.

Wow, just got tagged two minutes ago (just after 6:00 p.m. tonight) on Facebook from Jeri Conklin in CA about her two dogs running in the field. I don’t always see FB announcements unless I’m tagged. I co-own Daisy with her. I’m glad she found Xena and got back safely. Here’s her post: *That’s Daisy in the Christmas Card.

So it looks like Xena’s Senior Hunter legs 3 & 4 will wait until our February double/double hunt test to finish – after some remedial work on giving mom the finger and blinking an honor today. Everything else was absolutely perfect! Her scores all weekend were 10s and 9s! This morning her and her bracemate came up on a walking bird. She almost stopped to point but the GSP kept on going and put it up and the chase was on 🙂 So we know what we need to do in the next two months.

Daisy did her second MH test today and like yesterday – all 10s and 9s until she retrieved the bird to “almost” my hand and about a foot in front of me :-)Today was all 10s and 9s and “almost” to hand and about a foot behind me. So we are getting close and will work on it. If that is all I have to fix, we are okay. All the judges both days complimented both dogs and tried really hard to pass them.

So it was a great weekend, very long and cold and even though I was left out on the desert searching for Xena on Saturday night – that is a long story, but suffice to say – neither club, gunners, judges or those involved will ever leave another person out on the desert floor miles from camp with 10 minutes to go until it was pitch black, looking for her dog:-) I have survived war, cancer, jumping from perfectly good airplanes and death, but having my dog lost on the desert at night with no one coming out to help me or pick me up once I found her miles from camp and no light to walk back in – that might have been one of those moments that made all the difference in survival. Her tracker kept losing the signal and we are out by Edwards AFB, so who knows what they are scrambling. It was my scariest moment(s) so far.

And finally: Czar (male feral cat, neutered) has moved himself into the house and comes and goes, as does Annie (dog) and Rascal. They pass each other warily, and so far do fine.

We had an inch of snow mid-week. Night temps will be about 17 for a few days, but it is clear. Those two things are related. We are not expecting big changes through all of this week. That’s as far as NOAA wants to project publicly. There are indications the last 3 weeks of the year will be cool and snowy. We’ll see.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news Nov 30

Item #1: Wind and fir trees

QUILCENE, WA, just west of Seattle, had rain and wind. This storm tapped into tropical moisture, bringing as much as 3-7 inches of rain to the Olympic Mountains and North Cascades. Usually trees fall on electric lines and/or houses.
Buick lost the battle With a gallery of 12 photos.
One image shows the tree broke and the upper part is near the back end of the car. Maybe the moving car carried the other section forward.
Taller trees are more susceptible to the “lever” action whereby the force of the wind at the top gets carried to the roots. Firs concentrate their foliage on the top of the tree sticking up and out above other trees, so catch the wind and act as even larger levers. They are shallow rooted.
Note the lack of branches in any of the photos. One shows where the roots (or lack of) came out of the ground. This tree appears to have a larger diameter trunk than its nearby mates, so likely did stick up above them – into the wind.

Item #2: To leak and groan
The photo of the church has nothing to do with this story.

How are your pipes?

Adelaide’s pipes, all 3,209 of them, were sent to England for repair of the leaking and groaning. Each pipe was washed, re-leathered and tuned individually by ear.
I hope I never have to be re-leathered.

Item #3: briefs & rabbits
Nancy was looking at an ad from a local store that had underwear on sale. Did we need any?
Just then a story from Hobart, Tasmania (TAS) was one of the headlines on my computer screen.

Hobart’s Risdon Prison, report

Hobart faces Antarctica across 1,700 miles of cold ocean. One has to traverse Storm Bay first, but it is often cool, rainy, and windy in the region.
The main prison in TAS is located near the small community of Risdon Vale. It has a good environment for rabbits but, apparently, not for underwear.
“Only two pairs … this appears inadequate and, as a minimum, standard clothing issue should be at least four pairs …”
Also, there is this: “rabbits appear to be in plague proportions and are present in numbers sufficient to be noticed at all times of the day …”

An easy solution to these problems is shown here:
What’s not to like?

Item #4: And not a moment too soon

a ban of mandatory high heels
The changes will take effect Jan. 1, 2019; in the Province of Alberta.
This seems to be a big issue in the U.K. and Canada but don’t know that it has been in the USA.
When we were at the University of Idaho a new dean was hired. Likely he had never traveled west of Michigan, his then place of employment. During his early days at UI he wanted the folks in Mining, Geology, and Geography to wear dress shoes, instead of western (cowboy) boots.
That did not work well. After this was announced, folks that had not worn western boots began wearing them. A bunch of miscreants, we were.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Thanksgiving All Week

Monday, Nov 19

Staying home today to prepare medical records and questions for taking to annual physical in Cle Elum tomorrow for John and me both. Accomplished and packed to go.

Tuesday, Nov 20

I drove my car to Cle Elum and we filled with gas after our long doctor’s appointments. We used our credit card for $3.06 / gal, 10 cents / gal higher than the cash price, but we get a 4% return for a cash rebate once a year from Costco/Citi card, so it’s perky to use the card and it saved us more / gal than buying at the cash price ($2.96 in Cle Elum). We were there, not Yakima, where the Costco price was $2.99 (and we’d have gotten a 4% return there). The Ellensburg price was even higher.

We left (12:20) for the Annual Wellness Visit, as Medicare calls it. at. I drove and we went via I-90, with no problems. There is a little snow visible on Mt. Stuart (9,415 feet), but in the next few days we are expecting it have a whiter top to last through winter. We arrived in time for our check-in, and had to fill in a bunch of paperwork. We both weighed in and started on our questions & answers.

The Wellness Visit seems to be designed to cut Medicare’s costs by discouraging tests that were often done in a “annual physical exam.” If, during the 1st visit, something suggests a medical issue, then going back a week later for that seems to fit this description: “Preventive vs. Diagnostic .

A service is considered preventive if you have no prior symptoms of the disease. In some cases, Medicare only covers preventive care services if you have certain risk factors. On the other hand, diagnostic services tend to address symptoms or conditions that you already have. The classification of services as preventive versus diagnosis is important because it affects what you owe for them. You typically need to pay a copay, coinsurance, and/or deductible for diagnostic services.

I don’t remember the order of the things done but the basics were vitals: blood pressure, temp, pulse, and an SpO2 reading. Checking medicines, asking if refills are needed, and a list of questions that included some we already had filled in on the sheets given at the start. Most of those are about smoking, alcohol intake, last exams (eyes, dental), immunizations, and questions about your outlook on life (I interpret as seeking to find depressed folks or serious threats to society, or possibly ones with cognition / memory / behavioral problems. As usual, John and I were turned off by the form’s “marking” placement, and presentation of options.

John objects to the phrase about “using alcohol.” Reader’s Digest has a post titled “12 Ways to Use Rubbing Alcohol” and that one doesn’t mention paint removal. The other form of alcohol, the one of the medical question, is considered by many to be an acceptable “food” that one drinks or adds during food preparation.

At least they had filled in our correct address, phone numbers, insurance details, new card numbers, but missing were any data from the old system (such as year of retirement, or year of starting coverage). Those had 2018 dates.

Here is a good information source of what to expect, and it explains much of the stuff behind several of my comments above.

Screening Tools for Medicare Wellness Annual Visit

This document includes the following table, which shows the 3 words possible to give at the start of the clock routine drawing, which will need to be recalled later in the “interview” (administered by the nurse).This year my words were those in Version 2. John’s were Version 4. She gave his first, and I put my fingers in my ears, because last year, mine were spoken first, with John listening, so he remembered one of my words and only 2 of his. This year she wrote my words down on a piece of paper to show me. We both remembered all three this year. Next year, I’m going to study this table before going for my test. Last year we were both surprised by the “draw a clock with specified time”, and I goofed on mine. Not this year. (Interesting thing to me was they did not change the actual time, which is published in the screening tests above, and was exactly the same as used last year (one would think…). They may need a new test soon, because many folks rarely see this type of clock. Most are digital.

Our time with the doctor was quite useful. We discussed all the things we wanted (except for one thing). I wanted him to review my chest X-rays from Feb 20 & Mar 20, this year which were interpreted by another medical person (P.A.) in this facility, because our usual doctor was not available. He had correctly determined I had Pneumonia, but on the second follow-up X-ray, a month later, he mentioned he saw a hiatal hernia (HH). John was not with me and I was unable to see what he was seeing on the X-ray. I wanted a second interpretation from my PCP, but the X-rays were part of the “old” record computerized databank reporting system and no longer available in the new. I have experienced none of the symptoms of a HH. We’ll just start from scratch and now have a chest X-ray each annual visit, or not, as the Doctor wants.

We both had ours today, after blood draws. Next week we will get the evaluations of the X-rays displayed to us and go over the blood test results (which I have already downloaded and printed from our hospital medical records reports). If I want, I can also go to the hospital and request CDs of our X-rays. It’s a free service. I need to find mine from February & March this year, which I received before the medical records were lost in the transfer to the new medical records system. Actually, ‘lost’ isn’t the correct term. A new records provider did not want the old material transferred to their new (clean) system. The local clinic can re-enter items as desired, but not use automated digital transfers. Or something like that.

We also talked about other issues, of refills, and concerns. As well, I was scheduled for yearly mammograms (rather than every 2 years) and for another colonoscopy. My last one was in 2010. John has another year to go before his next one. Our doctor is recommending 5 yrs especially if we have had polyps, because they can be precancerous. If a person doesn’t have polyps, they can go 10 years between. I am sure that recommended time span has changed in recent years. In previous colonoscopies I have always had a couple of polyps, but my timing had been 10 years until this year. Hopefully, I will have none and can return to the every 10 years check, as my Doctor just did.

John’s concern is red blood cells (RBCs), or rather lack thereof. His RBCs stick together.

Link to Rouleaux.

[picture how the coils of a Slinky seem to be connected; pull on one coil and the ones on either side move also]. This is not a new thing; he just wants an update and more information.

Wednesday, Nov 21

I play music at Hearthstone today; need to be there by 1:20.

This morning, I saw an announcement for a free pickup bed liner base, and sent John off to get it. It is for a Ford but might fit in our old Chev ’80 PU. If not, and if we cannot think of another use, we can pass it on. The new free liner given to us today.

Today, he’s taking the trash to the Transfer station (aka dump) using the Ford PU with the canopy. He managed to get rid of more than 500 pounds of stuff and paid just under $20 to dispose of it. Snow was falling on his way back. That trip will provide some space in all our freezers.

I left at 12:45 for Hearthstone to play music. We had a good player turnout. 12 people, plus our little yodeler singer, Haley. Had a fairly good audience, of the regulars, but some were missing probably because they were already on their way to their family Thanksgiving celebrations. A few of our players had similar travel issues.

The older ladies I was going to take are not feeling up to going, but two of them came to hear the music. We started early playing December winter songs and a couple of Thanksgiving songs. Evie played the piano, I the violin, and all the others played chords. Then at 1:55 we began one more song (Mission in the Air), as the whole group has music for it, with Evie staying on the piano. Then she moved back behind the group to play violin.

The audience consisted of residents and they were served coffee and gingerbread cookies with a white frosting. Family members came along from the musician group, and sang along as well. They were there to leave directly and go to the Community Thanksgiving Dinner which followed at 3:20 at the old Armory building near the Fairgrounds. Part of the story is here: Link: costly transition from Armory to County use Don’t miss watching the video, and near the end you’ll see the big meeting room which many of us have used since it was finished.

I was surprised at how many of our group went to dinner; we sat at the same table. In addition, my new found Persian friends, were there, two tables away, whom I saw as I was leaving. I sat down and visited with them on my way out the door. The young gal you have seen in last week’s blog because she videotaped our Veterans’ Day performance on Nov. 9. At that time, I had not known of or met her husband and his mom, or they would have been invited too. However, I did invite them via email earlier this week, and they came. They converse among themselves in Farsi, but speak English well. The younger two speak without any noticeable accent. We had a nice visit and I didn’t get home until dark. John had already fed the animals. I will likely see the family next Wednesday at the Food Bank. I will know them much better having met them today and visited.

In informing the people invited today, I had sent a copy of the flyer advertising the event and knew about the free taxi rides being offered by a community member, Steve, who owns the business. When I went out the door, he was there, so I stopped and thanked him. I came home and wrote the following note to the Facebook site for Community Connect Kittitas County. It has been well received with 68 likes, 17 loves, comments, and several shares. I hope the message gets back to Steve.

A big thank you to Steve at K.C. Cabs, 509-312-9315, who provided FREE rides to/from the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, at the Armory – from 3:15 to 6:45 p.m.
On my way out the building to my own car, I saw him sitting in his taxi. I knocked on his window, he rolled it down, and I thanked him for providing the service. That is an exceptional gift. The dinner was also free to the community and put on by the City of Ellensburg and FISH, with the help of many local volunteers. Thanks to all involved.

I knew many of the people eating and the volunteers serving. The staff and volunteers of the Senior Center are part of the City of Ellensburg, so right in the middle of the activity. I even got involved with delivering “dressing” for the turkey dinner from Hearthstone whose cooks made it, to the Armory. John and I also donated 6 turkeys to the event. Commercially approved kitchens around the city cooked the food as a donation too.

We had a tiny few flakes of snow today, but friends and relatives back east had snow in inches. This collage below comes from my friend Elise in New Jersey, of autumn leaves (and even ferns) with 8” of snow covering the ground. New Jersey: fall colors on 8” snow, by Elise Schlosser

Thursday, Nov 22 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

We awoke at 6:30 to our cat Czar wanting fed. He has learned to come in the swinging door (in a window, via a ramp) and sleep overnight quietly in the living room under a chair and stay away from Rascal, also an in&out neutered male.

He meows and comes from the living room when he’s ready to be fed (outside on the front porch, or a bowl of Party Mix underneath his chair in the living room). Note: He can go out on his own, but would have to go around the house to a heated water bowl.

Now it’s after 9:00 a.m.; all 4 cats have been fed and John just left to feed the horses. There was snow on the pass, early a.m., now bare and dry, but no snow here. May rain this afternoon.

John returned and made a cookie sheet of candied Carpathian walnuts to take today as our contribution. With sugar and butter added, a pound of dry walnuts becomes a pound & a half of fancy food. He used walnuts he harvested from our several trees.Candied Carpathian Walnuts

I found a nice Christmas tin to carry them in, and so our friends, Suzy and Bob West, who invited us to their family Thanksgiving dinner can have some there and take some home, we will give them a Ziploc bag of their own to be sure they get some. They were the only “family” allowed in to the ICU at Yakima Regional Hospital to see me when I was so sick starting on the day after Thanksgiving in 2009. No one else was allowed to visit besides them and John for 55 days. A couple of my students sneaked in the first day before the nurses found out I was being visited.

Family was allowed in, but none are nearby, so the hospital approved Suzy and Bob West to be “family.” Suzy worked at the close-by college and came almost every day on her lunch hour (they live west of Yakima past Wiley City). Bob is closer to my age but was my student who was graduated in 1997 from Geography. Suzy’s family I have known since the early 1990s when I first met her parents coming to dance Friday afternoons at the Senior Center, and our group played music for them. I worked my class schedule on Thursdays and Fridays around going to play my fiddle with the group at assisted living homes and at the Ellensburg Senior Center.

There were 12 kids in Suzy’s family. Bob is into music and CDs, and fixed me up (allowed by the hospital) to have a CD player and music while there. They introduced me to the Mannheim Steamroller group, especially their Christmas Album because I was there from Thanksgiving through December and into January a week.

Here is a link to one of the CDs he gave me. The group is still performing in 2018. This album below is one I have that plays for 34 minutes.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

On a related musical note, here is an amazing Thanksgiving wish from the two musical mountaineers who hike with their ‘piano’ (keyboard, weighing 45#) and violin to heights to share their music.

Here is today’s entry on Thanksgiving.Find at this link (only for people with Facebook accounts):

The Musical Mountaineers: Anastasia & Rose

It’s worth it to make an account with a fake name or in your dog or cat’s name, so you can get access if you don’t want your own name displayed there.

With this video was posted poetry to go with a beautiful violinist (Anastasia), playing for her piano player/ice skating friend (Rose) to dance across the Alpine pond.At 3:15, we are leaving our home and driving SW about 20 miles to the Orcutt family’s Thanksgiving Dinner, with many people expected to be there to greet and dine. The festivities begin at 4:00 p.m. The home is a large open style log type with internal dividers in the common area.

I failed to get a photo of Suzy and Bob West. So many folks, good conversations, and a ton of food. I did not even capture pictures of all the counters of food. Missing is stuff around the kitchen counters: stuffed mushrooms, dressing, Suzy West’s yam casserole with brown sugar & pecans, mashed white potatoes, gravy, platters of turkey, numerous baked veggies such as green bean casserole and corn. Rolls and butter. Punch, cooled bottles water, and other beverage delicacies.Matriarch Burniece, Jennifer, John, Kristy and grandson Clayton.Some of the salad bar, with a view of my plate on the right. Top center of my plate is Suzy’s awesome sweet potato casserole with pecans.Parts of the dessert table. Left is a trifle (which sadly I did not get to taste). It was all gone by the time I got there. I’ll be sure next year to take a taste as an appetizer. John’s candied Carpathian walnuts are in the can beside it. The other picture has the edge of one of several pies, gum drops, lemon bars (also I missed out on), and another type of fudge.

We got home a little before 9:00 p.m. Rained on us going but not returning. We did drive slowly in a few places through thick fog, but home safely with four cats ready to eat.

Friday, Nov 23

I went to the Kittitas Neighborhood Pantry and to take clothing to the clothing bank, but had no way to contact them, so I drove over and back 21 miles to Kittitas to read the sign on the door they were not open the day after Thanksgiving. I had a small garbage bag full of clothes to donate, which I’ll just take back next week, the last day it’s open until spring.

Saturday, Nov 24
We are invited to the Swedbergs for a late Thanksgiving dinner, which will be my third this week. Dale Swedberg, Aalin, Luken, Kathy, Erica, red Xmas dress & hat Kathy made for her granddaughter.Nancy, roasted turkey, Erica, Adam, Julie, smoked turkey, John
No photos of all of the meal but finished with desserts, chocolate pear cake, pumpkin pie, rhubarb cake, and chocolate muffins. We shared a few of our candied walnuts with the folks and gave what was left to Ken. Laura gave away as much of the two turkeys as anyone wanted. I took a good amount of the smoked one, and Ken was kind enough to carve it for me into a large Ziploc bag. I use that in my Wednesday salads, each week, or in sandwiches or salads with John. We will make good use of it.
We left in time to get home just before dark to feed the outside animals.

Sunday, Nov 25

I slept in this morning, after watching Czar spend the night on Annie’s bed (blanket and comforter on the floor in the den). I let him out the front door at daybreak and moved his hard food on his “ledge.” He and Rascal are getting along better inside the house, almost ignoring each other. Rascal will hiss as he walks toward him, but Czar just quietly moves by, on his way to the water bowl in the kitchen.

I was supposed to go over to Swedberg’s to sit with the great grandfather (Bob Swedberg), so his son, Ken, can get some recreation time in Yakima with his friend at a movie. No one in the family was available to help, so I told him I would. Meanwhile, this morning, he called to say a friend Beth up the road close to the Naneum Canyon would come for the entire time and I did not need to. I was relieved, especially after John came in to tell me that our horses found a way out of the fence on the south end and were at two of our neighbors’ places. He has retrieved them and now is on his way to fix the fence.

I’m continuing to work on things in the house, and no longer charging the battery and packing up my laptop to take to the neighbor’s where I would not have had access to the Internet. Also means I can finish inside house chores needed completed and get my brunch.

We are getting this published early today and will be able to get into bed at a decent hour for a change.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news Nov 23rd

Item #1: Cats

Comic by Georgia Dunn — Breaking Cat NewsHave you ever offerd a cat “space” goo?
We’ve not been big fans, but the medical folks, in the past, suggested Cranberries and blood thiners interact.
The Cranberry folks beg to differ. HERE
That is from a few years ago. So, if you like space goo, and you are taking Coumadin, ask trusted medical pros about it.
If you do not like cranberry products, it saves you the trouble. And that’s the good news.

However, never allow animals (dogs, esp) to have sugarless chewing gum or anything else made with Xylitol. If you suspect a dog has eaten such, get to your veterinarian, pronto.

Item #2: Also cats
Some signs that you might have cat DNA.

Item #3: Another cat

You need to know about Brexit.
Item #4: For you ‘cats’ that wonder about government efficiencyOnly a couple more inches and water will run in.

Item #5: Life is good
By now you know about ‘killer’ Romaine. It is hard to say how salad lovers are taking this. For the rest of us there is chocolate, wine, Scotch, cake, and pie.Well, Thanksgiving is over but there are lots of leftovers, and more holidays.

Before signing off:
Washington is getting snow in the mountains. Not good for cross-state travel – I-90 is closed because of accidents. Chinook Pass is closed until spring. Stevens Summit has snow, and travel restrictions.
Irrigators are watching with glee.

Also, no one was seriously injured when a bus (1 of 6) carrying Washington’s Husky Marching Band went off the road – about an hour east of Ellensburg, on the way to Pullman. Still, the band did not get to play at the big football game – The Apple Cup.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Birds, food, music

I promised in last week’s blog on Friday to send a link to photos taken that day, at the AAC Veterans’ Day early celebration.

AAC Veterans’ Day early celebration, Nov. 9, 2018

I will wait until next week to send more video links of our music. Those are still not all processed. We now have through 15, and I left off at 3. Below, you’ll see the corrections to #2 and #3, which were labeled incorrectly with wrong links.

Go back to Nov 9th for corrected 2nd and 3rd links
Now for the current week:

Sunday, Nov 11 Colorful blueberry-pecan Pancakes & Egg made to look like a flower.

Photo of our holiday brunch, above a photo of some of the Quail having their own lunch of Black Oil Sunflower seeds. They are on a 5 foot high “table” just out from our kitchen window.

One can see the brush pile at the end of the driveway, a good hiding place for the quail.

Monday, Nov 12

I went to SAIL exercise class today and by a gal’s “farm” to take some egg cartons and drop off a pot of Hens and Chicks. She introduced me to her hens, only 5 months old who are all named and friendly, and gave me a dozen small eggs.

Tuesday, Nov 13

I had a call at 8:30 a.m. from Lacey at Cle Elum that my referral had been sent. I called at 9:20 to report that to the KVC hospital Cardiopulmonary unit where I have to take my Pulmonary Function Test, and they worked me in today. It took awhile to get it processed, because of protocol and referral complications electronically, but thanks to Vanessa here at the hospital and Lacey at the other end working together, it was accomplished and she called me to tell me I could come in today at 2:30. I did, and had Jim Allen (man in charge of the department) for my technician. He’s been in this part of the medical profession for over 30 years.

On my way to check in, I checked my numbers at Bi-Mart, dropped off a donation check for six turkeys at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, to Katrina, the director of the Ellensburg AAC (Senior Center), one of the major groups putting on the annual celebration for our town. Several of us will go directly from playing music at Hearthstone, Wednesday, next week, to participate in the dinner, starting at 3:30.

Then I went to the hospital and home by one more stop, not getting home until almost 4:00.

I continued working on finishing up the Google Photo link to all the photos taken last Friday, Nov. 9 at the AAC.

We have eaten, I have showered, and now am uploading the photos.

But I have to get to bed soon, because we must leave by 8:30 a.m. for our first meeting in town tomorrow at 9:00.

Wednesday, Nov 14

Today was a long day. Started early to be ready to be out for town in two separate cars. Because of the icy rain we left about 8:20 and drove a little slower than usual. We needed to be there in time to set the table and be ready to roll.

I had started assembling my lunch salad with John’s help last night cubing smoked turkey breast and an apple, and I put the lettuce into a bowl, but waited until this morning to add Blue Cheese dressing and mixed it all up. I neglected to put in my bag of Cheez-its for my croutons, so went without.

Our first meeting was at Hearthstone, with a bunch of retired Geography professors and I invited two guests who I knew would be interested in the main topic of discussion. They are sisters who are residents there: Gloria Swanson and Shirley Strong. Geographers and sidekicks who came included Ken Hammond (Jo), Dee Eberhart (daughter Cory), Jim Huckabay (Diane), Lillian Brooks – now a resident there, and John and me. The management (Laurie) provided coffee and tea bags, and I retrieved hot water and Hot Chocolate mix from the adjacent room. Lillian brought her nice creamer in a bottle, not powder.

I brought some crispy cookies (probably harder than they should have been, so I won’t choose them again). Guess we should have made Chocolate Chip cookies, or brownies, or something different. I had pretty plates with balloons on them and napkins with colored balloons to cheer people.

From there I intended to go to the Food Bank, but it was 11:10, and I saw as I was 4 blocks from Hearthstone, that my tire pressure warning light was on, so I called John and told him I was going to Les Schwab to have them checked. He said he would meet me there. They found all four tires were each 5 lbs. low. Supposed to be 29 in the front and 30 in the back. They added air pressure and off I went (I knew the warning light would take a few blocks to turn off, and it did).

John left me and went by the hardware store for a special deal on a few bags of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. Even our small birds like them, but John also got some other seeds for them.

Once I got to the Food Bank, I had to park a small walk from the building where I usually park, but I did stop and leave my violin and bags of stuff inside the building and then went back to move my car. As I was entering the building it started raining again. It rained hard while we were inside. But, thankfully, it stopped by the time I left.

From there on to the AAC for SAIL exercise. I used the facilities to check my email and got all checked in for class. We went the entire hour, and I came home.

John was receiving hay and helping unload bales when I got here. He got 90 bales today, and will get more tomorrow.

I worked on some music I needed to fix for the audience tomorrow, and continued working on computer needs. Also washed a load of dishes. I guess I’m going to have to do a load of clothes soon.

Tomorrow is another full day. I have to play music at Pacifica, and meet John in town (I don’t have time to carry my violin home), to be back by 4:00 for a lecture by two geographer friends, Elaine Glenn and Sterling Quinn (on Israel and Brasilia trips they took this summer), given for Geography Awareness Week. Then we’ll go by BK for a couple of Crispy Chicken sandwiches and fries, on our way to the Kittitas Audubon monthly meeting. I’m going to video the speaker so I need to be there early. Helps to be there by 6:30 to assure a front row seat.

Thursday, Nov 15

We ended up having the largest number of players ever, come to Pacifica today, fifteen.

We had 90 more bales of hay delivered at 11:00 a.m. today. I left before 1:00 for town.

John drove in to meet me at 3:30 at Grocery Outlet because I have the parking sticker to park behind Dean Hall on campus; otherwise, it costs $5.00 to park. We are attending a lecture by Elaine Glenn and Sterling Quinn on Israel and Brasilia at 4:00 p.m.

This was a family affair. Elaine Glenn presented first on Israel and Palestine with her husband there for support.

Elaine Glenn_Israel & Palestine

Sterling Quinn presented next on Brasilia with three of his children on the front row.

Sterling Quinn_Brasilia, A History & a Visit

With a team ending, Quinn & Glenn, fielded questions for discussion.

Sterling and Elaine respond as a Geographic Team

From there, we moved my car down to the Ellensburg Library, to leave it while John and I went in his for our supper. I had wrapped my violin in two coats to help it make it through the long cold stay in the car. I should have just brought it inside to the last stop, especially because that went so long from 3:10 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

We made it back to the Kittitas Audubon meeting way early, so I went into the library and used their computers. I learned that having a library card is now free. Previously for 20+ years, one was not available to us, because we are not in the city limits, even though our mailing address is Ellensburg, WA. Nice to know that’s no longer the case. I wonder if that also applies to the City Swimming Pool entry. We still cannot vote in City Council or other city elections, but we do pay taxes to the schools because, while in town, the districts are not the same as the EBRG boundary.

Our next meeting was the Kittitas Audubon Chapter’s General meeting with the normal stuff (passing around dead birds), and various announcements, and finally, a presentation by Joe Buchanan on a study of Short-eared Owls in the Western states.

They are seen widely, but not much is known about how many there are, nor if the numbers are up, down, or steady.Photos from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: All About Birds

Joe Buchanan, Volunteer Survey Short-eared Owls in U.S. Western Region

Ending Commentary

Friday, Nov 16

I don’t know what happened to the time today, but it evaporated.
I did spend time with paying bills, and working on email, and calling a couple of people, considered going to town, but decided I had too much to finish at home than to take several hours away. I was able to get some paperwork ready for next week’s medical visit (annual physical), and to arrange a note to our paper deliverer and make a comment to the regional manager of circulation for the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, I got the cost for the hay we were buying and I had to write a check today because this, the 3rd delivery with 95 bales, is the last for this year. Previously, in the past 2 days, we had 90 bales, and then yesterday, 95. John had to help unload it because Mario could not get a helper. I wrote the check, and we should be good through next October. After helping with the hay, John stayed out to get some things ready for winter – arriving this coming Wed or Thur, as rain or ice. He intends to cover the strawberries with mulched leaves, by Monday.

I left cat food out tonight, and a raccoon just visited. John heard it crunching next to the window he sits near, thought it was our cat, Czar, but looked out and saw a black nose, and then shooed her/him off. The blinds were down so the raccoon didn’t see him sitting there by the window. It was only 8:30 p.m., but mostly we have all the food brought in by then. Need to improve our timing.

Saturday, Nov 17

I was up early to feed the cat and went back to bed and slept in. I should have put my computer on sending up a video, taken Thursday, which is going to take much of the day. I still have more to send. The one going now is on my Nikon camera, which is much higher resolution, and requires much more bandwidth. I prefer using my old camera, Exilim, which goes up faster. Still it is not as fast as people using their Smartphones on a T mobile carrier.

I must get ready and go to Briarwood today. We expect to have 10 players, a big bunch!

John fixed a nice brunch: Raisin/sunflower bread toast, over easy eggs, sausage patty, and canned peaches.

I went to Briarwood, and was surprised by the large last minute turnout. We had 12 folks present: Roberta, Tim, Charlotte, Amy, Dean, Nancy, Charlie, Gerald, Kevin, Marilyn, Maury, and Haley. We had a nice large audience as well, and they fed us well. We had a great hot soup (two bean types & ground beef), with a roll & butter or saltine crackers. A table full of desserts (cookies – several varieties: peanut butter, corn flakes sugar, frosted sugar cookies with green & orange frosting in the shape of a pumpkin), some other crispy cookies (almond, caramel, gingerbread), Raspberry Jell-O with cut grapes and apples, a pumpkin cake, cheesecake with cherry pie topping and whipped cream on top, if wanted. I think that’s all.

Here is Lee Kiesel, our awesome organizer, taking the tops off the delicacies to be served. Out of sight is the hot apple cider and the hot soup, rolls, butter, and saltines over on the counter and another table. It was quite the spread, and I needed no supper tonight. Our harmonica & singer, Dean is standing behind. She is planning for December 15, a Christmas Buffet. That will be something special.

I don’t know all the things John did today in my absence, but one of them involves our old Pace Arrow motorhome, which no longer runs. He made wood boxes to fit over the busted vents in the roof, and is considering creating an entrance through the side front window to allow the feral cats (Woody especially, and maybe her mom Sue, and also Czar) access to inside from the weather and to have food, water, and a closed space above freezing.

I did bring home some cookies to share from Briarwood today. We’ll have them for dessert and go to bed. I stayed up until late to finish sending a video from Thursday afternoon to YouTube. I still have two 10-minute ones to send up, but thankfully from a different camera, so it should not take over 2 hours. This went until midnight.

Sunday, Nov 18

Nothing on the schedule today except finish the blog and get to the record-keeping. In order to complete the blog, I had to upload two more videos to YouTube, and that took much of the morning, slowly down the response time of our computers.

We did sneak in a brunch with eggs, sausage, toast, and pears.

I do need to go over my paperwork (labs, PFT test, questions about refill directions). I have my meds printed out as a table because I don’t wish to package all of them in their little bottles, as requested. Get Dr. Wood to write me a referral for a PFT this time next year, now. I just had one this week. Talk to him about increasing the dosage to 10 mg hydrocodone + 325 Acetaminophen. Ask for an interpretation of Hiatal Hernia in my Chest x-rays in March 2018, after the first for Pneumonia, by Rob Merkel, and more follow-up on Thyroid tests annually from a medication I’m on (and the reason for the Pulmonary Fctn test.

Our sister Peggy called from Ohio and we had a nice conversation for 45 min., but both our phones were almost out of battery, when we hung up. When her phone call originally came, John was walking out the door with the dog, but luckily he heard the ring and came back. The dog stayed out on her own, for most of the time. We covered many topics of conversation about her life and about upcoming plans for the weekend after Thanksgiving with some of their older brother Ken’s family.

I did complete the send for organization for 3 upcoming days of our music group events and I telephoned the ones without an email connection.

Now John’s fixing supper, and I’m finalizing the blog for him to edit and get into WordPress. I found 2 errors in last week’s blog on Nov. 9, which I noted above at the very beginning of this blog. If you followed the 2nd and 3rd videos for patriotic things, they were not correctly notated. That all has now been fixed.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news Nov 16 2018

Item #1: Weather
While we are having freezing temperature at night, the daily high has mostly gotten above 40° F. We do not have snow – unlike lots of other places in this wide land. So far, that’s good. However, mountain snow is desired because it is the region’s storage facility for electrical energy and water for crops.
The only thing in our forecast of interest is an “air stagnation advisory”, meaning bad news for those with breathing problems, and those who invested in wind farms.During Sat through Tuesday, wind power – green line in this chart was near zero. Early evening of the 14th wind at Ellensburg hit 18 mph, than dropped to 3, had another small burst and is again at zilch. In this chart, “Fuel” means gas, sawmill and paper plant materials, and some methane from landfills. This is fairly steady but does go down and up with activities at these facilities. The nuclear plant is southeast of us about 70 miles and has been a steady electricity producer since December 1984.
The good news is the “hydro” power way off the top of the chart.
When the wind picks up – maybe Thanksgiving Day – and the blades begin to turn, the output from the dams will be dialed lower.
This region-wide process is called “balancing” and the chart I’ve used updates every 5 minutes. The Bonneville Power Administration in Portland has this responsibility.

Item #2:Hay
Over the last three days our friendly broker has brought 15.9 tons of baled hay. It is now stacked in our shed, and will feed the horses through all of next summer. We used to bring hay home in a stock trailer and pickup – about 3 tons. When I was a kid in PA, bales weighed about 65 pounds. Now they weigh about 110 pounds. I did help unload this week. As the horse herd grew, getting hay started to seem like real work. We no longer have to make that effort. And that’s good news.

Item #3: Chihuahua vs Chair

From the text:
She was in the back of the truck and as we just about got to the vet, we hit the gutter and all of a sudden the dog’s head popped up and her eyes were open and signs looked very good at that stage.”

This story is from Australia, so maybe gutter is a slang term meaning something other than running off the road and bouncing around in a ditch. Don’t know.
Anyway, you can have a go at it. Here

Item #4: Twins
There is an animal called a Red Panda, being neither red nor a panda. They do have a ruddy coat color and they do eat bamboo. Close enough.
The zoo in Seattle (Woodland Park) had a female named Hazel. In June along came Sisters Zeya (ZAY-uh) and Ila (EE-la).
Story and video here. Link
Last week visitors had a chance to view them. They have been in a controlled environment.

Item #5: Roy Clark died this week
Roy was 85 and hasn’t been in good health. A few years ago he still performed, surrounded by other great musicians. They had a fun time together and fans seem to love the shows – even knowing they were not seeing him at the top of his game. When that really might have been, I don’t know, but here is a sample.
This is a performance when he was 31, more than a half century ago.
Roy Clark

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.