Not so nasty news January 8th

Not much to report this week, except I had a birthday.

Picked this photo off the web; no idea who it is or if he got cake.
I made a “spice” cake from a box — well past its best by date.
It doesn’t taste like much of anything, but what is a spice cake supposed to taste like?

Today we made a trip to the Kittitas Food Pantry. The lady we have been taking food to for a year or more was apprechitive.
We missed both times last week. The lady at the Pantry gave me a single layer chocolate cake. Something to look forward to this weekend.

The weather is cool, damp and overcast — has been and continues.

Maybe your week was more exciting. Hope so.
John

End of Year 2020

Monday, Dec 21

Up at 6:30, then back to sleep without doing much.

Been working on emails and Jacquie Lawson Cards. After my issue with the Potassium spike in my bloodstream John looked at the Ensure® package and saw that it has a high K content. I requested the following this morning:
Ellensburg The Free Box:My, neighbor, Teri Swedberg, a mile up the road replied back that hubby Ron would drive it down to deliver to our house. Our gate was closed & he left it beside the drive, where John found it the next a.m. We have run it & appreciate the gift.

The total number of robocaller connections for Dec 21=3.

Tuesday, Dec 22

Tuesdays are the days I have to begin with a special pill to swallow with a glass of water, before I can have any food or coffee added to my system. It’s also our day to go to town for shopping and other errands, a blood draw, and now that is going to increase to every two weeks for the next 2 months. I’m going to be poked a lot.
Late afternoon check in call from Gerald; he’s fine.
The total number of robocaller connections: Dec 22=2.

Wednesday, Dec 23

I talked to Nurse Lacey about the things that happened yesterday. Test showed the K level going down. She and (PA) “doc” Chelsea confer and want to keep testing, as mentioned above.
Lacey listened (patiently) while I related my doings. I sat down before supper in my recliner to change my recliner chair’s seat cushion to a smaller level to help raise my height of my feet above my heart. The recliner doesn’t do that, so I tried a pillow and some foam pads. One pad is an egg-carton type on one side and solid on other. I was falling asleep often at the computer laptop from the chair earlier.

So the ramifications of this were that I fell asleep in my chair holding the pillow in the pillowcase. John saw me there, and did nothing when it was time for me to get up and go to supper. I never got out of the chair for supper. I missed any meal. He told me at some point I needed to wake and get up to go to bed. I acknowledged his comment, but did not. I awoke, still sitting in the chair with the pillow & pillow case in my lap, uncompleted. I finally, finished it, reconstructed my pillows, and covers, turned up the heater in the house, and went back to sleep (with my feet up). I awoke a time or two during the night to go ‘pee’, and went back to recliner bed, (next to my ICD reader for 2:00 a.m. every morning.
I woke again at 4:50 a.m. and took my 2 Acetaminophen tabs, pee’d, and lay back down until got up at daylight.
That was a long (very interrupted) sleeping situation last night again.
Now I have to take my morning pills, I had not yet taken with my meal. Took them, but have a question. 2:23 pm.

Still having swelling in my legs and feet. Yesterday when putting on my leather walking shoes to go for the blood draws, I had trouble tying the shoestrings to close & had to do with a small “bow” tie on top, with thin socks. Do I want to alternate Furosemide days yet? Or go back to daily until this swelling is gone? The doctor decided against that.

I have adjusted to putting a pillow on the end of my recliner because just putting the swelled legs down on the recliner HURTS them way too much. The pillow is difficult to manipulate from the table to my right, but I can manage the pillow while using my laptop not to have the severe pain pressure without the pillow. There is still some pain from the swelling in the legs on the pillow.

{A COSTCO book arrived with an ad for the sort of chair that might work – gets feet higher. John tried to find it on the company’s web site, and found nothing. Odd.]

However, Chelsea needs to know I still am having slight instability, most recently at the Medical Arts blood lab yesterday where the better K test was performed. I’ve still some, difficulty moving around the house, some painful muscle movements today, changed from the leather shoes today and now using an open non-lased shoe for walking.

John went out to move some logs but skipped that, and rebuilt a fence near the pasture. Now shorter, better, and looks less hillbilly-like.

Tonight is the first of putting softening drops in John’s ears — to be cleaned out next Wednesday at the Cle Elum Clinic. We are using a form of Carbamide Peroxide that is supposed to add Oxygen to the wax (Cerumen from Latin), and cause it to soften. Some studies have fund little evidence of prior treatment being effective. A few years ago the nurse used hot water in a large syringe – think turkey baster.

Late, but I finally sent Thank-Yous to the folks whose photos I used last time. I must do a better job this week!

I filled in all my medications in my case for the entire week.

Supper: Cornbread with maple syrup; Progresso Soup with chicken, extra cooked chicken breast meat added, carrots, tomatoes, and wild rice, plus Cheez*its crackers for me. For dessert, we each had a piece of heated Apple Pie with Winegar’s special homemade ice cream from Ellensburg, flavor: Kookie Kayla – a Vanilla base with Peanut butter, sea salt cookie and fudge swirl, piled beside it. Kayla is part of the Winegar clan, and clerks at the ice cream counter, thusly explained “her flavor” to me as I shopped for quarts of it.

Number of robocaller connections for Dec 23=1.

Thursday, Dec 24

The Senior Center folks sent a new Zoom link, prior to GAME Day at AAC noon. However, I missed it today. Not enough time.
John will go to White Heron next Tuesday, not today as originally planned in last week’s blog, with a pickup load of horse manure for the Mariposa Vineyard vines. The delay is because the Seattle caretakers of Panic2020 closures, quarantine, and mis-information decided Pike Place Market could open some of the shops, with restrictions. So Cameron is going there to make some sales: Northwest Tastings
Today: 5:25: message to Lacey at portal at KVH medical in Cle Elum . . . long quote . . .
“I have had the going to sleep problem since the Potassium spiked, and then continued after it spiked back down, and just confirmed with John that is correct. Today was another sleeping day, when he saw me sitting in my recliner, feet on pillow on raised base of chair, laptop in lap, cell phone turned on in my lap, and computer and I was asleep for 1/2 hour. I was asleep again, when you called the last time to tell me to check the account for the 11:05 notice, that I never saw because I was expecting a telephone call to tell me around 10:00 that River had proceeded in telling you how to get a me to through getting a message back to your email domain, which we still cannot do, because you do not have one in the system.
Yes, this whole process is confusing, and not what I expected. But, I can deal with it this way. Just will not have any contact with anyone there over the weekend, by email.
Thanks for all you have done with what you have access to with the portal and teaching me how to use it for messaging. It’s timing me out now. I’ll sign off. Nancy” …end quote
On another front, regarding the blender: . . . long quote
“I’m sorry, I never got back to respond to this, because when I went to the lab for the blood draw I had such a problematic result that we have been going back and forth to the lab and the doctor and the portal to pass information about my medication condition for which I needed the blender. The condition: extremely high spike of my potassium in my blood for (still this afternoon) unknown reasons. We’re keeping attention to effects over the weekend. I confused the issue by using the words that were “translated” that the blender was broken into pieces. That was not the case. They were only separated, but we had not yet reassembled them & finally did just now, assemble, turn on, and it works fine, even has a smoothie button. We’ve been consumed by the other concerns for the reason as late as 5:30 p.m. today, talking to my doctor in Cle Elum. Thank you for the gift, and thank for the delivery. Now if someone will just fix my medical condition, that would be a nice Christmas present.” . . . end quote

Supper: Chicken thigh roasted, baked apples, potatoes & with gravy.
Fun 53-minute phone call late (for her) with sister Peggy in Parma, OH, about much fun history in the family while they lived in Clarion, PA. She’s beginning to get snow, and may be snowed out of getting her driveway tomorrow, possibly by a foot. She’s supposed to go to church at 9:30 a.m. – does have a snow blower.

The total number of robocaller connections for Dec 24=0.

Friday, Nov Dec 25

First, early morning sunrise from the Kittitas Valley looking across to Badger Pocket, photographed early by Sid Peterson. Badger Pocket (or The Pocket) is a farming and ranch area to the southeast of EBRG. It is shaped like an arrowhead pointing in that direction and runs up to the Army’s Yakima Training Center.
The lower photo is by Cindi Crawford Ackerman from the Thorp Highway, to our southwest.

Tree Bottles, and Merry Christmas wish !Area Code 273 is Mexico, can you read words under the number behind the tree? Another possible Area Code is 473 is New Zealand. Not sure where this is located, but it’s neat.
Interesting cultural cuisine.

Left, sent from friend Kathy William-DeVries in Queensland, Australia is a photo of the traditional seafood lunch (contents: Prawns, oysters, smoked salmon and Moreton Bay Bugs.

Our Christmas dinner on the right was Broiled Salmon Fillet, a potato pancake, baked apples & pears. Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream for dessert.

Photo by Christopher Cyrus Peterson at Bar 14 Ranch, 12-25-20
Location is 1.25 miles south of us on Naneum Fan, but another of the distributaries, yet right on the premises of Bar 14 Ranch.

Saturday, Dec 26

Cannot stay awake.
Warm coffee, and go pee, be sure I took diuretic (I did).
We both slept in this morning, John a little longer than I because I had a more interrupted sleep last night caused by a dream/nightmare.
I was waiting to take my pill at the normal time 11:05. My increase potassium in my bloodstream was responsible. It had been putting me to sleep all day, as I sat at my computer trying to work. I had the dream I was talking with a Doctor friend in Kittitas, WA, and she was suggesting I do it now. I dreamed I did, but I did not; instead I fell asleep in my chair, without my legs up on pillows, or blankets on, and no neck pillow on. The dog walked in at 12:13 and awoke me. Then I got up and went to bed, and put my computer away.
Brunch: John has gone out for a half hour to push-broom snow , feed birds, and horses. For lunch he’s going to make a grilled cheese sandwich for me, with a glass of Strawberry-Lemonade PowerAde. Left-overs for him: broiled Salmon from last night in some Progresso soup and heated up, with Corn Chips.
For an afternoon snack, John made some fudge brownies & added roasted walnuts.
Supper: There is some Broiled Salmon Fillet left for my supper tonight to have along with baked apples, and John added a half of a heated baked potato we cut and put Bleu Cheese dressing on.

The total number of robocaller connections for Dec 26=0.

Sunday, Dec 27

We’ve gotten a little snow this week – 5 inches maybe.Photo by David Standish – Sunrise 12-27-20 from Bowers Road
This is looking SE from where the road crosses an irrigation canal.

Slept in. Potassium or something still bothering me. Tuesday, I’m being re-tested for two different things. I hope I can make it as I have to drive myself. Previously mentioned is John’s manure delivery trip.
Last fall, I would have been involved in a Nick from Home Lecture and operating at full capacity.

One of the mid-morning tasks I had to do this morning was send a PDF file to all in the study group. I’m trying to get a way for members to enlarge images (pdf and jpgs) to get an enlarged font, making the words readable. I think this was successful, but it was also time-consuming. I’ve since sending, many thank you notes, so I must be functioning OK to some degree.

Everything quit working on my laptop, so I finally had to completely restart the computer. At least it fixed it but required a lot of rebuilding things I’m still doing.

Brunch: Strawberries and maple syrup on blueberry pancake, with bacon, my beverage was strawberry-lemonade PowerAde.

Afternoon filled with many inside and outside chores, and I worked almost solely on the blog creation to get posted late tonight.

Supper: Baked Chicken leg/thigh, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and cinnamon with brown sugar on baked pears/apples.

The total number of robocaller connections for Dec 27=0.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Mother’s Day Delay

We expect Nancy’s words of wisdom will get edited and posted sometime Monday evening — Pacific Time.
Workers will be arriving early here on the Fan, and I have to have the gate open at 7 A.M.
Sweet dreams.
John

Too many things to do – –

Nancy has been extra busy this weekend. Today was a delayed raclette [cheese, potatoes, …, and wine] at the fire pit above the vineyard where I, John, would be starting pruning this coming week. Because I am still cleaning out the garage in preparation of the remodeling, I will be staying home.
I likely won’t get Nancy’s ramblings posted until Monday evening.
Best to all.
John

Not so Nasty News SEPT 20th


Item #1: In the back yard

LinkI guess they did not ask, but you are not supposed to bury your friends in your back yard.

Item #2: birds fly This past week we have seen hundreds of birds sitting on the utility wires along Naneum Road; not flying. Off by himself was a banded Kingfisher.
Anyway, I found some information on the synchronized flights that are beginning to be understood. Modern technology has been helpful.

Murmurations – example

Beginning to figure it out

Item #3: Dog’s noses – thick woods We have always liked a good dog story. K-9 unit is about a year old. The lost kid, just 3.

Deputy Bloodhound

Item #4: Crash time Despite popular ideas, Seattle and the Puget Sound region does not receive lots of rain in a short period of time. When it does happen, drivers make a mess of the situation.

Rain, highways, cars, crash

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

Snow Lake Trail – One

Trailhead step replacement
First photo below:
No one seems to know when, but wood and rock steps were constructed to connect the parking area to an existing trail.
Farther down the valley the trail had been destroyed by snow/rock falls.
The wood used for the original steps was sourced on-site (nearby), and was not particularly large or robust. This was sort of a fix it with what you got thing.
These steps may have been here for 50 years. Each year thousands of people use this trail, and as the population of the region grows, so does the foot traffic. (John doesn’t think it is a good trail for little kids and dogs. He is vastly outnumbered in this regard.)Someone estimated there are 500 feet of these old steps and gravel platforms.
The next image is a blow-up of the lower left corner of the first step.The wood pieces overlap and are held together with large nails (spikes). The oval shows an end that is nearly gone, with the nail in its original position. The two red stars indicate other nails in the structure. There are hundreds of nails.
Inside the wood pieces, the volume is filled with rock chunks, and then finished with smaller pieces – gravel. That is, tons of stone.

To replace these requires removing all the wood, getting the nails out, removing all the rock and gravel, and digging trenches for new wood.
The photo shows larger wood with half-lap construction. The log is cut to length and the half-cut at the end was done with a folding saw; brand Silky Katanaboy. For this project the cut is farther from the end, to match the size of the piece it will be fit to. A hammer and chisel are used to remove the unwanted part.
When a box is in place, it has to be filled with rock and then topped with gravel, or other appropriate tread material. The US Forest Service is providing the wood, rock, and gravel – to the trailhead.
As the steps are built all of the trips get longer. Rock and gravel are toted in 5 gallon buckets, about half full, weighing about 40 pounds each.
The crew completes 3 or 4 steps each day, depending on the length and thus volume of the platform created. The longer the platform, the greater the digging and removing of the old, and the more carrying of things up the hill.

Not so nasty news MAY 17

Item #1: ImagesTop photo: Flames spread across grasslands beneath a nesting Oriental white stork
video

Item #2: What happened to Motel 6?

Founded in 1962, the original cost was $6 per night.
Expedia charged a man almost $6,200 for a 1-night stay at a Holiday Inn.
This took too long to fix!

Item #3: Female Heavies

Toss the caber

If you have a daughter and she is looking for a sport to become involved with, this is something to consider. The clothing makes a fashion statement. What’s not to like?
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Item #4: What are friends for?
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I had decided not to use this image from San Francisco, and then a news story from Portland appeared.

The yellow toolbox
A man admitted he packed dog poop and a vehicle airbag in the toolbox in order to get revenge on a former friend.
For the record, this fellow sounds like are real scumbag.

Item #5: 87 photos

We have shown a few of our flowers. Over on the west side is a place called the Skagit Valley
{ “SKA-jit” (short “A”) } where they specialize in tulips and other such things.
People like to go and take photos.
Here is a link to more than you will want to see: Link

At the top right, there is a “thumbnails” button. Click there for a speedy look.

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

Sunday Night Update, the 17th

We are still not getting Nancy’s reports written. She is concentrating on Monday AM, when we have to be in the dentist’s office at 7:15, and it is an hour’s drive. Roads and weather seem okay.
She is still coordinating with the music group and they played Saturday afternoon. Then the host facility provided food.
We postponed going to Seattle to the shoulder replacement meeting. That’s good because Wed.’s weather looks like cold and snow. The cold weather forecast ends on the 26th. Our newly scheduled trip is to be Monday, March 11, early morning.
There is lots of time, so expect her to elaborate.

The ice photo is from our back door. Icicles form when the weather is near freezing. If it is too cold the snow doesn’t melt. If it is too warm, the melted snow just drips off. The icicles grow longer with each hour we are in the Goldilocks zone. Running to days now.

Our family is from the area in western Pennsylvania made famous by the Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.
Cousins live closest to the site, so this second picture is for them:

And that, for today, is the latest from the Naneum Fan.
John

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

Not so nasty news October 5th

Item #1: Full length run to the end zone

Coupeville is a small community, on an island in Puget Sound. In a straight line it is 40 miles north of Seattle, and 130 miles from us on the Naneum Fan. Of course we could not get there in a straight line. MapQuest suggest a ferry ride to shorten the distance to 157 miles and 3 ½ hours. Round trip fare for 2 and a car is $18.30. Alternatively, we could drive an extra 75 miles and go over Washington’s famous Deception Pass Bridge.
Link: two, two-lane bridges

But never mind all that, we’re not going.
The action in Coupeville is over for the year. The football game was between the local “Wolves” and the “Knights” of Kings High School from down near Seattle (actually, Shoreline). Despite the spectacular run of the Wolves’ Sean Toomey-Stout, shown in the link below, the Knights won 20 to 14.

Link to deer/football story
In case you missed it, it wasn’t Sean that made the full length of the field, and then some.

Item #2:Does your Lady have an M?

In summer of 1974 we moved to Idaho and soon learned of “The White Pine Drive”; now called the White Pine Scenic Loop. There is a slightly more northern section called White Pine Scenic Byway.
As the winter’s snow melted in spring of 1975 off we went.
We were headed to see a 600 year old White Pine [ It died in 1998 ]. See the last photo on that page.

Snow was still on the ground, but stumps of long dead trees were about and the sunlight warmed those and they and the ground nearby were snow free. Covering some of these were thousands of Ladybird Beetles. There are many such photos on the web.
So, this headline caught my attention:
Harlequin ladybirds swarm into homes after hot summer.
This story is from England and about the Asian type of beetle. I then learned that the first established population in the USA was observed in the wild near New Orleans, Louisiana, in about 1988. So not the ones we found in 1975.
The natives we observed are called Hippodamia convergens and Convergent Lady Beetles in local talk. See: Lady Beetle
Compare the drawing on the page to the one at the beginning of this section. The common native Lady Beetle does not have an ‘M’.
It is a good day when I learn something new!

Item #3: Pretty, noisy, & they kill snakes

We need to go aways for this story.
Uluru , a large red sandstone formation (also called Ayers Rock), is sacred to the aboriginal people of central Australia. Saying one came from Uluru sounds odd today. However, many years ago there was unstructured and unmonitored tourism, including motels. This was having detrimental effects on the environment. Non-native activities and folks were moved to a new place, Yulara, about 9 miles to the northwest.Regardless, Uluru is part of this story and it is almost 300 miles from the watering hole of Warburton.
Questions to ask: Where was the man before he was in Uluru?
Where did his passengers come from?
How did he travel (many years ago) across a desert with a pair of Pea Fowl in this vehicle? Not my idea of a good time.
Story here: Peacocks in AU desert

Item #4: end of garden

Local gardens experienced a frost this week that finished the season. We had Butternut squash that had a bit of cold 2 weeks ago but more than half of the leaves were still intact. Tuesday evening/Wed-morning the garden likely got down to 27°F. Our outside temperature reading is from under the front overhang. There it went to 30°F.
I was gone both Tues. & Wed. and only got to the garden late afternoon on Wednesday. Only a couple of the squash showed damage. I brought them all up to the house in a cart. The two largest weighed 17 pounds. Many were in the 5-8 pound range. Nancy’s report from last week had a photo.
My guesstimate is a total of about 200 pounds. We carried 5 (about 30 pounds) to the Kittitas Pantry and they urged us to take some things. Most we refused, but a few things we had not seen before went into a box. Macadamia nut-infused water, called “milkadamia” [say what?] was new, and then we saw (not new) a nice section of a multi-layered chocolate cake. They gave us that too. We had to wait our turn with the regular clients, so I helped carry boxes and bags to a few cars, and open the door for others. All in all, a very interesting experience. Recommended.
Back to the Butternuts – we still need to give away a hundred or so pounds. I baked a 5 pounder tonight – now need to bag and freeze what we did not eat.
I hope we don’t overdose on squash.

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