Birds and snow

Monday, Feb 17

Morning start, a beautiful view of the Stuart Range from the I-82 rest area on Manastash Ridge.This lovely photo was taken this morning by Evie Schuetz

Up early to leave after >5” new blowing snow to meet my friend Glenn at Briarwood to go to Yakima. Our mission for the trip was to return expensive items his mom bought and never used, from Costco and Lowe’s. We had a very busy and tiring day, but accomplished a ton. Returned $500 worth of stuff total of both places. Cash at Costco was nice; gift card at Lowe’s was better than nothing (first reaction by employee because of having no receipts). I asked to speak to the store manager to explain the situation.

I was up too late last night finishing up the blog. Our return trip on I-82 this afternoon gave us the view Evie photographed, but with different lighting.

Before meeting Glenn, I tried to arrange with my dentist for an upcoming appointment and an interpretation of the dental insurance paperwork I received about what the dental insurance planned to contribute to on the two new front teeth crowns. It made very little sense to me. Office did not return my call. Surprised they would be taking off President’s Day. (They called me the next day; just very busy in the office.)
I was so tired when I returned that I only took care of a few things, and had to lie down for a nap. The nap went to almost 3 hours.

John stayed home and moved snow off where he doesn’t want slush or wet/soft spots in the driveway. And he continued cleaning out the “stuff.”

He went to bed early; I didn’t get there as soon as planned. I did finish the details for records and sent to my friend Glenn, and stored in my folder for him. I still owe him some comments about our conversations on the trip down and back.

Did accomplish washing a dishwasher load tonight.

Tuesday, Feb 18

Top photo is another by Evie Schuetz of Guye Peak on Snoqualmie Pass. The bottom one is a “street view” panorama 360° from the top of Guye Peak, viewable in Google Earth Pro (free software everyone should have on their computer).

To get the bottom view around:

Guye Peak Photosphere via Google Earth

Michael Gunn explained this to me about those views (as above):

“There’s a few Photosphere views around there and everywhere else. Just hover the Street View man over the area and look for the dots. Those are Photospheres.”

I put out more offers of free stuff, and delivered dog feeding pans. Delivered 6 yellow plastic cups and 2 tumblers to another person who provided smaller sized clothes to me in 2017 when I lost weight.

Checked our numbers at Bi-Mart, won nothing but met a woman who arrived in town the same year as I (1988) and has a number starting with 184 as I do. Checked on 4 step stools with wooden tops, but they were no longer available in the store. So sad. We should have bought one when we saw it a couple weeks ago.
Do more ads for free give-aways. I did the Cuisinart pans on the Buy Nothing East Ellensburg site and have a taker.
Delivered the bicycle helmet to the gal today south of Helena, and visited with her and her neighbor Mike (a geology student atCWU back in 1990, who worked with Bentley, and knows Nick Zentner.) It’s really quite a small world.

Wednesday, Feb 19

Today, I was busy in the morning, and left for the food bank music about 10:45. Beautiful sunny (but very cold) day today. Not windy, thankfully. John stayed home sort and move stuff out of the house. Much of that is labeled “dump.” He was just finishing eating a late lunch when I arrived home. He’s out working again, but will be coming in soon to get ready to drive to town for a hiking trail meeting. We’ll go pick up some Burger King specials for our supper, and eat before the meeting starts. I’m not videotaping anything tonight. The meeting is about the
Manastash Ridge Trails involving community members and two State Agencies. John, as a volunteer, worked 4 days last spring. WTA will oversee 6 days this year. John does not get involved with the planning, but this was an informational meeting. We saw many long-time friends there. Trail work will be at the end of April and first week in May. We left home at 5:40 p.m., went by BK for a Whopper for John and a Crispy chicken for me, took our Pepsi, and went early for a front row seat.

We didn’t get home until 9:20 p.m. to 2 outside hungry cats, and two cats and a dog inside the house, needing out. Tried to catch up on a few emails, and set up the plans for chair count for playing music tomorrow at an assisted living home, Pacifica Senior Living.

I missed seeing a message from a newly made Facebook friend this year, Sid Peterson until Saturday, when I was checking messages for another reason, and found this:

From Wednesday, 10:42 p.m., on messenger through Facebook, for private messages:

Nancy, I saw your post about your old softball glove and would love to have it. I collect old gloves baseball and softball. My cousin who is a sports camera man for KOMO 4 in Seattle is teaching me how to refurbish and recondition old gloves. He is the camera guy for Eric’s little hero’s. (Love that show). If you haven’t found a home for the glove I would love it. Cheers

Continuing with the story I had not heard of the “show” Eric’s little hero’s, so I looked it up on the web and found this tear-jerker. I have to go back and look at the others, now that I’ve been made aware of them.

Eric’s little hero’s story: The Truck Driver’s Friend

I was unable to reach Sid Peterson for Eric Johnson’s actual KOMO video link so I don’t have to go through Facebook for those of my blog readers who do not have a Facebook account.

Here’s the photo of my old softball glove from grade school days through high school competitions.Nancy’s glove used mostly for being a pitcher (fast ball); I’ve now found a fantastic home for it where I can keep track of its restoration and story.

Thursday, Feb 20

Today was our normal day to play at an assisted-living home, 3rd week is the old Dry Creek facility, now Pacifica Senior Living. We had a large turnout (Gerald, Nancy, Manord, Kevin, Sharon, Charlotte, Dean, Minerva, Marilyn & Maury, Evie, Amy, and a very fun and appreciative audience.

On my way home from playing music at Pacifica, I delivered a gift to the front porch of her house, a friend who had surgery out of town almost two hours, and was returning later. Also, I picked up a dozen eggs and two magnetic clips to close dog & cat food bags of kibbles. Day before, I had delivered some old quality stainless steel dog feeding pans and larger watering pans for my friend’s dogs, from our stash in the 1970s when we ran a dog boarding kennel in Troy, ID.

I got ready to go to the Audubon meeting tonight with my cameras and tripod.
I had previously called in a pick-up for 6:00 p.m. from Burger King for their special Mix & Match special (Whopper for John & Crispy Chicken for me (total=$6.50), and we had it for supper while waiting for the room to be unlocked to set up my videotaping filming process of Jan Demorest and Steve Moore’s trip to South Africa, presented to the Kittitas Audubon Society’s monthly meeting.

Kittitas Audubon Society

From the Hooter Newsletter: February, 2020

I took the immediately following photos and descriptive text below directly from the newsletter but added some more below.Plant Safari: Finding Unusual Plants and Birds in South Africa
Presenters: Jan Demorest and Steve Moore

South Africa is an excellent destination for fans of natural variety. Most people go on a safari to see and photograph the large mammals that make Africa famous. The natural wonders don’t end with the animal life, as green and snowy mountains, vast plateaus, lonely beaches, and scorching deserts contain habitats for unusual and colorful birds and a large variety of strange plant life. This region is where familiar house and garden plants such as geraniums, aloes, jade plants, and African daisies grow wild.

At the Cape of Good Hope, the Mediterranean climate has fostered the growth of one of the most biodiverse plant communities of the world – thousands of species found nowhere else. Traveling northward from the Cape, the land becomes arid and a habitat for a large variety of succulent plants, those with leaves, stems, or roots that can store water through a hot summer, reminiscent of the cacti of our deserts. But these succulents are unrelated to our cacti, with aloes replacing our agaves, Euphorbias and tree-aloes recalling our Organ Pipes and Joshua trees, and spiny geraniums echoing the chollas of our southwestern deserts. Close to the ground, tiny stone-like succulents endure the desert heat to bloom early each spring and carpet the landscape with a show of flower color; these are the ice plants, most of which are endemic to South Africa.

In September 2018 – springtime in the southern hemisphere – Jan Demorest and Steve Moore of Ellensburg joined a “plant safari” of a dozen folks to explore the western part of the country by van, from the Cape to the Orange River. Our leader and organizer was a botanist from Argentina living in Florida. We spent two weeks focused on the unusual plants, frequently on hands and knees on the ground, but since we’re birders too, often went off chasing colorful birds with camera in hand.

For variety and a complete contrast, we spent an additional week in the eastern part of the country, but hardly staying at a quiet resort town in lush subtropical coastal forest. This trip was partly to see the iconic animals. We visited two game parks and boated with hippos, but also found a colorful variety of birds even among the trees in the town. In summing our experience, we could say we saw a world of detail in two small areas of the country but hardly began to know the place.

You’ll see from the videos below, about the various aspects of their trip to South Africa to view mostly plants (succulents), dessert flowers, etc., but they threw in some birding, hiking, and animal preserves plus a visit to the Diamond coast as well.KAS President, Judy Hallisey introduced Jan and Steve below:

Introduction of Speakers

Next is their presentation:

Jan Demorest & Steve Moore: Desert Plant Safari to South Africa

Followed by a short Question & Answer session, but they’d been responding throughout the evening:

Short Q&A (Questions and answers)

Friday, Feb 21

Dropped off a bunch of stuff to a friend’s porch in Ellensburg: world atlases, a box of frames in box, and an old world globe.

I went to our senior center for a Forget-Me-Not Bingo event, with lunch. Students from the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement (CLCE), sponsored it with help from the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center combined as a lunch event. Lunch started at 11:30, and consisted of a choice of 3 types of chili: meat, vegetarian, and chicken, all on a base of cornbread. Toppings of cheese, sour cream, chips, and for our sweet tooth needs, a bowl of chocolate candies. I took my camera and collected photos of the event (see below in link). I put them into a shared album, so I hope their photographer, Rollie, will be able to add some photos, or send them to me to add if he cannot.

You’ll get a nice introduction by looking at the still photos in the link below:

AAC-Forget Me Not Bingo, 2-21-20 hosted by CWU CLCE students

I left there and went to Kittitas to deliver several items. I gave 3 Rubbermaid leftover cups to Vicki, and John has since found another matching one while cleaning out our old pickup camper. I went by another friend’s house with a special red insulated cooler. Closer to home I left a large box and two large bags of packing peanuts for a neighbor, a couple miles away who grows lavender. {John says: The natural number line doesn’t extend far enough to count all the things needing a home.}

When I got home John showed me the insides of a chest of drawers that got severe mouse damage. Found one small photo of my father, and some of his cuff links and tie clasp, in addition to two Mercury dimes.

Now taking photos off my camera from the AAC.

Saturday, Feb 22

It is calving season in the Kittitas Valley. Bald Eagles know this and show up in advance of the birthing. They go to the big pines on the mountains to spend the night and come down in the morning to inspect the ranches. Somehow they share information about which herd has started with the new-borns. Their interest is the afterbirth/placenta. For a few days we did not see any. Then Evie Schuetz found them in the Reecer Creek drainage, 5 miles to our west.
Top an adult; bottom a juvenile. (I have never seen this age coloring plumage before.) Photographed by Evie Schuetz.

Interesting morning with John in Ellensburg. We drove my car to fill up with gasoline (nearing empty). We delivered 2 Cuisinart pans this morning to Abby and Karolina (Kittitas Hwy) where I got my “colorful” Nike bedroom shoes last year. They will take other baking items for the kitchen “. . . such as casserole dishes or baking dishes would be great.”

On to Mid-State Co-Op for Sr. Equine Grain and Rolled Barley. On out Dolorway to the gas stations at the other I-90 exit near the roundabout. There’s a new PILOT station there with quite a complex including Arby’s and Cinnabon. We pulled in for our first visit and filled up for $2.58/gal, a lot less than anyone else in town. I hope that is not a come-on trend, and their prices will remain lower, even after established. It does look as if it will be a benefit to our Ellensburg economy, especially adding 50 new jobs to our community. Having some of the amenities provided for travelers, 48 truck parking spaces, overnight truck parking for times when the pass is closed, drivers’ lounge & game room, public laundry machines, and 5 showers (even providing towels & soap freely to anyone needing a shower). Maybe this is a place for me to donate my rubber flip flops for shower takers.

John loaded 3 (of many) bags of aluminum cans from our old camper. These had been put in white plastic garbage bags years ago, that plastic has morphed into confetti – generating additional work. The camper was last used in 1994. There is an old truck canopy in that area, over odd pieces of wood. Everything is to be moved, and a gravel driveway created. More on that in March.

John took a large sombrero to the big stack under the hay shed. He now has brought it into the house for taking to its new owner next Wednesday, along with 2 other things, and another person will be coming by for some glass canisters. John says: {Staying sane by knowing I will never see these things again.}

We had steamed rice, chicken in wine sauce, mushrooms and onions for a nice supper. I like Lima beans so we heated a can of those. We are about ready to have chocolate cake for dessert just ~ 9:15 pm and go to bed earlier than usual. John will go now, and I’ll try for one more hour, but might not make it.

Sunday, Feb 23

John said no more sunrises, but here is a unique one:Denmark Pond on Fairview Rd. photo by Evie Schuetz

Nephew Eric called and left a message with a question about his dad’s place of birth. Richard was the second son, and 11 years older than John. We know some of these things, have much of it written and filed (somewhere), but it is easier to call cousin Ethel.

We did call Ethel at Pat’s (Sunday dinner time) and had a nice long conversation. Ethel was there at the beginning, being 102 this spring. Richard was born in the place her parents were living at the time – there was a doctor in the town. We gave Eric’s phone number to Pat and they can try a call when Ethel is rested.

We had a bit of snow this morning. Very large flakes, did not obscure the weeds before it quit. By afternoon it was gone. Our weather folks think there might be a foot of snow at Snoqualmie Pass by Monday Noon. At 10 tonight the DOT camera shows lots of snow already, but it is open with restrictions.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Ending with snow

Monday, Feb 10

I stayed up very late last night, but John was up early taking care of things and then worked inside on sorting until it warmed up in the garage. Continuing to take photos of stuff to pass along to others. He came in about 1:30 for lunch. We’re hard at it again. Nice sunny day outside.

He will take a break to go to town and I will go along to fill both cars with gasoline at Fred Meyer where we will get fuel points to lower the per gallon cost by 30₵. That will be about 4:00 p.m.
I have my alarm to get dressed set at 3:30 p.m.

Fred Meyer gas cost us $2.50/gallon. Not bad filling both cars for $67, and they were close to empty; mine emptier than John’s but still down from our trips over the weekend in his Crosstrek. We had a nice visit at the pumps with Mike and Sarah Sandman about his grandparents Bob & Karen Oppie. Bob’s restarted on chemotherapy for his cancer and feeling some better. Sarah is a local EMT and Mike is also, but in Yakima. John quizzed Sarah about the new fire station. He has noticed 3 unidentified “things” on the east side of the building. Heat exchangers Sarah says, but the setup was designed from the Puget Sound (warmer) area, and there are issues.

John fixed boiled shrimp for supper, I had cocktail sauce on mine, and the rest of the cornbread filled with corn (buttered with maple syrup)—John had honey, and we both had leftovers from yesterday’s Raclette, broiled pineapple slices (with cinnamon and brown sugar).

We finished up the blog from last week tonight, but it’s yet to be published. John’s putting it into WordPress now and I will need to correct the spacing and check the videos to be sure the links are correct. Then off to sleep for the night.

Tomorrow, John will be continuing work on cleaning out the garage and I will go to town for an AAC meeting Senior Advisory Commission meeting at 1:00 p.m. and to have an INR blood draw, plus check our numbers at Bi-Mart for prizes. Then come home and tackle the dishes, chores, and other sending pictures of giveaway items. We are trying to get rid of a few items as we go. Much dump-bound and much of the rest we don’t need, don’t use, and never will.

I did put out the call for both music days this week, wanting to know who plans to come Thursday and Saturday.

Published Memories, 2nd Week Feb blog at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday, Feb 11
Photo-shopped creation of The Bull of Ellensburg, the Kittitas Valley, and Mt. Rainier in the night sky – – by Evie.

Here’s an article from the Daily Record News about the bull statue:
The Bull

Wicked wind today. Some places would have given this a name. Just before 10:00 a.m. gusting to 49 mph and it got worse when I was out and about in town, getting blown away (during the hour of the 51 mph gusts). It was difficult opening the car doors and worse walking from the car into buildings and back out into the parking lots. During that time, I visited the Senior Center, the hospital, Bi-Mart, and another place near the airport (probably the worst of the afternoon). When I was at Bi-Mart, the cashiers in front of the exit door were wearing winter coats because the door was acting as a wind tunnel. On my way in my car was buffeted to an extent not seen for 3 days. (Joke) Similarly, on the way home headed north, with winds coming from the West.

Interesting statistics below from KELN; airport to our SW. 12 hours of our day was windy.Went to AAC for 1– 2:00 meeting (longer than usual, but we missed last month because of sickness of 4 members, donated brown bags, flower arrangement, and antique ping pong balls.
Drank water during meeting, preparing for blood draw afterward. Went for INR blood draw, and it only took ½ hour or so.

I went by Bi-Mart with raincheck for neighbor Louaine and also to check numbers. Got her stuff and delivered to her shop.

John, starting with a low-priced Red Baron, fixed us a loaded pizza for supper.

I’ve been packing stuff for tomorrow morning, and need to hit the hay much earlier tonight than usual. We both are very tired after all the activity today. Tomorrow, John expects will be a better work day without the wind that was going on today. We are free of snow until Thursday. He has moved some furniture today. All the drawers in chests of drawers have to be emptied before moving. Same with glass-doored kitchen cabinets. I haven’t looked to see what else is out there. He is carrying some boxes from the living room, that too is filled mostly with old class/teaching things.

Wednesday, Feb 12

Morning sunrise at Ryegrass Summit, overlooking our valley.Sunrise from Ryegrass Rest Area I-90, photographed by Cindi Ackerlund.

We are 100 miles from SeaTac airport and the condensation trials (contrails) are from planes going in or out.

I have to get ready to leave by 8:20 a.m., for Hearthstone, with macaroons, plates, paper towels for place settings for 10 people (7 came). That bag is packed and ready to go; take inside with my violin to get it out of the cold. All went fine and we had a great meeting with Ken & Jo Hammond, Lillian Brooks, Carla Kaatz, Jim Huckabay, Michael Pease {current Geography Head}, and me. Crystal at Hearthstone provided the coffee and tea.
Packed clothes and music books to take to Evelyn and Karen, at Food Bank, and my red bag with the Senior Nutrition card, pills, water, and nutrition drink, to accompany my goulash serving (small amount). Visited after music, and left about 1:00 p.m. for home.

I needed to call the Help desk to learn how to access email to forward something I sent to myself, from my CWU account, via CWU-Outlook, and new message, to a person on the cwu.edu site. My email from outside was being blocked (for unknown reasons). I never did hear from the woman, even after supposedly reaching her proper email account, from my direct cwu.edu account.

Pat Jenkins (bulldozer & backhoe; excavating) just showed up at the door and John is showing him the work we need completed to accompany the construction on remodeling the room we’re making from the old attached 2-car garage). Pat lives about 3 miles from us.

I talked to the WIRED people and found we will get the paper magazine until Oct 2020, paid for, and I removed the automatic renewal. The woman agent sent 3 notices to our joint email, NancyJohnHultquist@gmail.com and they never appeared. She was in Iowa. I’m to call back if it doesn’t appear and neither has. I’ll do that Monday morning before leaving for Costco and Lowe’s with Glenn. The March edition just came.

I put my medications in the organizer box for the week ahead.
Entered 2-12 for entrees sweepstakes at www.krogerfeedback.com . It’s the Fred Meyer sweepstakes for one of gift cards and a 50pt fuel bonus.
Was sick tonight after eating what seemed to be a great supper. No explanation.

Thursday, Feb 13

Started with sleeping in a little and then loading the dishwasher to capacity. Too tired (and sick with an upset stomach) last night to finish.

Called in the count for Meadows, and sent photos to Amy of things I’m bringing to her.
We did fine today at Meadows with these people playing: Gerald, Nancy, Charlotte, Manord, Dean, Minerva, Marilyn (on bass uke), Maury, Kevin, Evie, Amy, & Sandy.

Sent the videos to Nick Zentner / IAF site. Got it off at 10:38 p.m.

Friday, 2 14 Happy Valentine’s Day

Singing Hills Barbershop Chorus showed up after all the festivities were mostly over, but we had a good audience to enjoy their songs. I am friends with the guy in the top middle below (a Physics prof at CWU), Andy Piacsek. When they arrived he saw me and presented me with a single beautiful red rose. I thanked him, and later gave it to Katrina Douglas, the director of our Senior Center. She also received a nice card and a box of chocolates, which she shared.

This photo was in the Daily Record on 2/12/20, so I grabbed it from there (for the top), and put my own from Valentine’s Day at the AAC below. Top photo was taken by the Daily Record for a story in our local newspaper on 2-12, and bottom I cropped from their singing at the AAC (our senior center); the Singing Hills Barbershop Chorus.

A couple of my favorite songs via videos and photos I took are below.

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

If the Good Lord’s Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

Here’s a Link to a bunch of photos I took at the Valentine’s Day lunch and party today.

LINK to AAC Photos:

Still Photos AAC 2-14-20

Funny, Sue brought us a dead mouse today – brought it up to the window ledge and put it into her food bowl. I had John come take it away while I “thanked” her.

Another mouse in the house brought in by Rascal cat through doggie door, but he left with it and took it back outside after growling at me when I tried to get it from him. It was dead. John had to clean up a few spots.

Saturday, Feb 15

Evie’s two morning sunrises on top; Sid’s on bottom:Top photos: The colorful sky is as awesome as are the electrical lines bringing Columbia River power generation through our Kittitas Valley’s Paradise: Evie’s are taken on the “John Wayne” Trail.” Photographed by Evie Schuetz. Bottom capture by Sid Peterson. The trail in now officially called the “Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail.” That will take about 40 years to be accepted.

My first chore of the morning was finishing loading a sink full of soaking dirty dishes into the dishwasher and cleaning. John was out feeding the horses and exercising the cats and dogs. Now he’s back in cutting the pork in our last night’s supper. Four bags of chili and 2 bags with just finely cut pork, now in need of a plan.

On my way to Briarwood, I went down Naneum Road and stopped to take photos of the Kid’s Pond and Sign for Evie. Used her photo last week taken there of the Snow Moon.

Our group is going to Briarwood today to share music, and eating with the group. I took a large Black Forest Cream Cake shared with Briarwood by the Kittitas Pantry. After the music, they served us goulash, rolls & butter, tossed salad, & desserts. We’ll have ~ 9 players providing the music, and the audience sings along with us as a wonderful chorus. We love going there once a month; these folks are our age, but generally in good health. Thanks to Manord, Maury, Marilyn, Gerald, Charlie, Dean, Nancy, Amy, and Sandy. Haley stayed partying at the birthday party, when Amy left to come play music with us.

Photos of the food:Main table, Goulash, large tossed salad with many components several dressings, wonderful rolls with lots of butter, & pretty Valentine napkins and tablecloths. Middle was dessert table with cake cut (missing a Vanilla pudding cake), cookies, two kinds of chocolate chips, peanut butter, blueberry muffins, and oatmeal raisin. The big cake (being cut on the right) was the one donated from Kittitas.

Sunday, Feb 16

Diuretic day for Nancy with blog writing; John hauling boxes of junk from the living room to the garage to sort for a couple hours after brunch of scrambled eggs and ham with toast, and canned peach slices. Getting late and we both are hungry – going to be ~ 1:15 p.m. to eat.

John switched to the living room today, and is sorting in the garage. I took a few photos and tried to identify things to offer.

I found a home for the new bicycle helmet with a retired woman, and will deliver it to her apartment Tuesday, when I’m in the vicinity.

I decided to include video clips and photos from last week’s Raclette; knowing I have included such before in past years. You will feel as if you are there trying to escape the smoke-filled windy bursts.

The still photos are altogether at the end in one link, and you probably should view them before watching the videos to see some of the details of what’s included. I chose not to mix them in with the appropriate video.

Videos: These are mostly very short, but interesting.

People and Wine Arriving

Margaret Describes Tony’s Special Chocolate (Chocolonely)

Around the Bonfire

Altesse Greets Erik

Tom Making Bed of Coals

Cameron Seating Raclette Cheese on Rack

Creating the Raclette Experience, 2-9-2020

Cameron Scrapes Cheese onto Margaret’s Plate

Link to Photos:

Raclette Photos

Supper tonight: John is having a toasted ham & cheese sandwich, and I’m having a Marie Callender frozen TV dinner with chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn. John gets some of that too.

From the weather folks: Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
About 7:30 we started to see flakes of snow. At 9:00 there are close to 5 inches. The NWS is off by a factor of 10, and it is still snowing.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Memories

Monday, Feb 3

Starting this morning at 8:15 having been up first at 5:15, again at 6:15, after a late night’s start to sleep. Have a nice sunny day, but need to get ready to go to a 1:30 p.m. meeting. The purpose: meeting with Jim Huckabay, writer and colleague (geographer) we have known since 1993, who is the author of a book about another colleague who was hired at CWU the same year as Nancy, 1988. [Jim has a small publishing business.]

John and I offered to proofread the draft manuscript of an 8-chapter book he has worked on for 4 years transcribing notes from audio interviews.

The story: A small girl opened the street side door of a car and jumped out. Our ex-colleague, in order to not slam into her on his bike, tipped the bike and slammed into the pavement. This about ripped his ear off, and he was warned about possible brain injury. Such did not appear right away, but stress a few years later caused him to start having seizures. He went from a distinguished teaching career, through a long and difficult time just coping, but now does so but in an extremely different persona.

The editor/publisher, Jim, doesn’t have a deadline for the book, and could be that there is never one. But we offered our thoughts and corrections.

From there we had to make a trip to the CO-OP for grain for our senior horses.

We were 4 hours away from home this afternoon with all our stops. We bought some groceries, and then went to the CO-OP to get Senior Equine grain and rolled corn. On home for John to feed the horses before dark.

I started playing catch-up on email that came today, with 3 folks reporting in their schedules for coming to the February meetings of the Fiddlers & Friends music group. Need a response from a lot more members to be able to plan for the number of chairs required for this Thursday (and hopefully for more dates through February).
Now my next challenge is to “advertise some off my giveaway items to the “freely given Facebook lists.”

Tuesday, Feb 4 day my Dad died, 1958

Grave marker in historic Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA, photo by my childhood friend, Dorothy Wright Smith

My father died when I was only 14. He influenced so many wonderful traits in my life—particularly music, because he was a musician and also in those few years taught me how to fish, shoot skeet, throw a baseball & football, play Mumbley-peg & other knife-throwing games (probably not allowed these days), work on cars (back when you could), and many other talents. He was my traveling buddy. Also, I inherited his brown eyes.

Video of playing Mumbley peg with another cool Daniel Boone story added

Beautiful sunrise photograph in Kittitas by Evie Schuetz

We live 10 miles NW of the town’s water tank; I awoke early enough to see the sunrise, but from our perspective the composition is only the bottom fire-like lower layer interrupted by tree branches and our hay barn top. Combining below with Sid Peterson’s morning sunrise.My sunrise Naneum Fan; Sid Peterson’s via Visual Delights site.

I remade my appointment at KVH Imaging with Donna for Bone Density and for Mammogram, way out in March. We ate brunch here. Froze English Muffin bread from Super 1.

We left for town and Bi-Mart: check #s, get cat food, Fishermen’s Friends, & Artificial Tears. In town for 5 chores (one a blood draw at the hospital, routine every month for my blood thinner; that stop took more time than any other, because of a wait even to be checked in the hospital, after 8 folks), and then had to wait at the lab for 4-5 to go ahead of me. Other chores needing done just took a lot of driving around town and less time doing them. John was driving, and I went in a few places, such as Bi-Mart, (for my supplies & to check numbers), with John to pick up cat and dog food, and look for a step type stool to get to high cabinets in our washroom), to Fred Meyer for checking out meat on sale, buy John’s cola drinks and check their price on a step stool–$20 more than Bi-Mart and much worse in construction, by the Gym to have John climb two very steep flights of stairs to pick up scarves I’d loaned to a friend who had a scar on her neck she wanted to cover-up until it healed, and finally by the bread room to check for my favorite, from Super 1, English Muffin Bread (for my toast). We left late thinking we would be getting to the hospital lab at a good time, 1:30, but not so. We didn’t get home until 4:30.

Still snowing. Got several emails sent out. Getting to bed late, almost midnight.

Wednesday, Feb 5

Put meds in their little plastic tray – a once a week chore.
Took Acetaminophen, at 6:00 a.m., let animals out and went back to bed until 8:30 a.m. Set alarms.

Hopefully will get a call from Insurance company with vehicles. Came too late in the morning and they never called back.
Get ready to go with Red bag and nutrition drink to Food bank. Go to Food Bank Music, leaving at 10:50 a.m. Pack meds. Take containers to Lori.

Thursday, Feb 6

9:30 a.m. appointment with Margie the Dentist for chipped front tooth. Unfortunately, the piece she adhered back on that came off, only stayed a couple of hours, and I lost it again while eating a blueberry pancake for brunch.

X-ray front teeth & photos of tooth, smile chipped & fixed.Chip fixed did not last much over an hour. Both teeth had crowns for 40 years (lost in a rafting rapids trip in Idaho) and both need replaced. We await the insurance company decision.

The dentist will not try again to replace the chip, but will wait until 3 weeks when the insurance report comes back about whether they will cover having both crowns replaced. X-rays and pictures of my teeth were taken and submitted. If the insurance covers ½ the cost, these two will be crowned (prepped and seated) within March. Dental insurance will pay $1,000 of the $2000 charge. I will pay the other $1000. The original teeth got crowns in 1978, after I was at the front of a WWII rubber landing craft on rapids on the last stretch of the Lower Salmon River, a tributary to the north-flowing Snake River, 50 miles south of Lewiston, Idaho. I hit a metal bar that was across the front.

I went to the Rehab for music leaving at 12:50. We had an excellent turnout. Kevin, Gerald, Charlie, Jeanne in her wheelchair, me, Dean, Amy, Sharon, Charlotte, Minerva, Reta (Jeanne’s sister), and Sandy.

On the way home, I dropped off about 6 empty egg cartons to Eva Frink’s house, with her daughter Shannon. Eva is in Orlando, with her son for him to attend a conference.

I had a call from the dentist right before 5:00 p.m. setting up my appointments in March.

For supper, John fixed meat loaf (his homemade) and Honeycrisp apple cubes cooked.

Off to Geology lecture in a rainstorm.

Nick’s intro to EBRG Chapter IAF Activities & of Karl’s to speaker

Joel Gombiner, Mysteries of the Moses Coulee

Joel is a graduate student at the UW, and this is his Ph.D. dissertation research:

Questions & Answers ~ Moses Coulee by Joel Gombiner

Supper. Casserole with chicken breast filet pieces, in green beans with mushroom soup and white onion, with “crisp fried onions” baked on top, served with baked (heated) cubes of Honeycrisp apples as a side, with Cheez-it crackers.

Annie out at 11:35 to pee, Czar, and fed Sue out front. Rascal is in the chair behind John’s computer chair. I’m going to be ASAP, dead tired.

Saturday, Feb 8

Snow Moon setting 7 a.m. Puget Sound, by Sharon Jenson

I went to Lou and Velma Fournier’s wedding, 11:00 a.m., St. Andrew’s Church, with a gift of wo bottles of White Heron wine from us and the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends group, with which he sings tenor.

They are an older couple, both of whom lost their spouses to death. They had a long Catholic wedding followed by a very nice reception downtown at Gard Vintners. Amazing amount of finger food: Boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce, veggies with dip, 3 meats (ham, roast beef, and turkey slices), 3 cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, maybe Havarti), sandwich wraps (I skipped), and a large piece of Costco wedding cake with pink roses on white frosting. Took 4 hours from my day. John stayed home to pack stuff from the garage. Some stuff definitely going to the landfill. Much still to be looked at, so off to the barn.

Loaded & ran dishwasher, and now have some counter space. Went to bed, late.

Sunday, Feb 9

The first snow moon shot of this morning was by EvieMae Schuetz:

This above is taken at the Naneum Pond by Evie Schuetz.

Photos by Cindi Ackerlund at Ryegrass summit starting 5 a.m.
Setting snow moon above, sunrises below

This one by Evie Schuetz and this one by Peggy Coble.

John fixed baked/broiled pineapple with cinnamon & brown sugar to take to the Raclette.

We went and had a wonderful day. 7 hours away, so the blog has been delayed. John put out a delayed announcement.

Made it back by 5:30, and just in time before dark for John to get grain and hay to the horses.

Visiting around Raclette bonfire White Heron’s Mariposa Vineyard

Description on the video above stored on YouTube: This is a 24-minute glance at the conversations ensuing after we had enjoyed eating the food prepared and brought in by the pruners and their families. Along with wine, Phyllis & Cameron provided an authentic Raclette cheese round. Often these are squarish.

Some of the other videos are much shorter, but will be there later for your pleasure if you want to see the raclette (means scraping) at work (using a knife to put the melted cheese over potatoes or other). They are not in this week’s blog. We also had a number of side dishes to add to our plates. We consumed a lot of food. A typical pruner’s lunch was melted cheese over potatoes, using the wood just clipped from the vines.

Ours is an extravagant reenactment.

A few more photos will be in a link to come later, as well as a few short videos.
Here’s the sunset when we got home late this afternoon. We watched it in living pastels with nice views all the way home, but had my camera out of reach in the back of my car, and we were rushing home to feed horses before dark.

Pastels in tonight’s sunset from the Naneum Fan

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Begin cleanup

John thinks we should consider this week as the start of fixing up the place. He has been in the garage looking, sorting, and moving things around. There have been some interesting finds.
Fix and remodel will begin this month.

{Photos this week start and end with Mt. Rainier views.}
Monday, Jan 27 This lovely sunrise was taken by Cheryl White, in Puyallup, WA, with permission given to publish.
Cheryl is my friend, Lee Kiesel’s, daughter. I saw it on Lee’s Facebook site. I asked her if she would ask Cheryl if I could use it on our blog, and gave her a link to the blog to show Cheryl.

Today was a full day. We started at 9:00 with a visit from contractor, Jared, about our plans for remodeling our house. He was here for a couple hours. We were able to exchange ideas on plans and timings. There are many things to be done to make the first thing happen, to convert our 2-car attached garage to a livable room in our house, with garage-doors removed, new walls, insulation all around, and above a repaired ceiling. Right now the whole space needs to be cleaned out so the fallen ceiling can be repaired.

We also had to go to town for several reasons. First stop was to deliver a dryer insert for drying shoes, gloves, or hats in an electric dryer. We have no desire to do only that, but prefer to wash our shoes or gloves, and put them out in the sun to dry. In cleaning out the garage of stuff that’s been there and unopened since we moved here in 1989, we found this white plastic thing we had no clue where it came from or what it was used for. I put a request on Facebook sites, and found out what it was meant to do. Then found a person that wanted it. {saved from the dump}This is part of the story of the dryer to explain its insertion into the dryer, sent to us by a reader when she saw the two photos on the right we posted to ask what it was. It would also fit in our dryer with a big rectangular door.

The person that wanted it lives close to another person for whom I had some stuff also found yesterday while cleaning up and we did not need (carrying bags). I took photos to show her, and because she wanted them, we dropped them off on her porch.On to our next stop to pick up Duct Tape we’d loaned out for a short piece they needed to repair something, and while there picked up some very large boxes which had been collapsed and they were giving away. John will use them for holding cans (standard food type, and aluminum) for a trip to a recycling facility.

On from there to Super 1 Pharmacy to get our first of two Zoster shots of the new (& better) Shingles vaccine. We will be called back in 2 months for the 2nd. It’s not hurting now, but is supposed to hurt for the next 3 days. We’ll see how my violin playing goes on Wednesday. (It hurt).

From there to the Senior Center to have John sign the paperwork (liability reasons?). I could not sign for him when I paid our yearly dues last week. We visited a little and then drove by Cohoe Rd (about 9 mi from home) to pick up Jessica (John’s Crosstrek) which was parked there by Evelyn when she picked up the license plate and tabs from the courthouse for her new (old Subaru) purchase. She’s had John’s Subaru for driving around in the snow from S. Cle Elum for about 3 weeks, while she searched for another used car to replace the one that cannot be repaired. She had to go to Grandview (100 miles from her) to find one, but got it for the right price. It had been used as a loaner car by a dealer, and was old, but not with that many miles, and one would assume had always been kept up on its work.

Finally, we got home just as it was beginning to sprinkle, and before dark so John could grain the horses. It started raining harder while he was out there, and got harder through the evening until about 6:30 when it changed to snow. That snow lasted awhile, but quickly changed back to rain, so John had already set up the buckets under the roof line.

I came home to catch up on emails, but mostly to craft a note to a lot of people who follow Nick Zentner. Friday night at the SURC Theater at CWU, I videotaped an hour, 13 min. of the Nick on the Rocks, 6 episodes for this year (the 4th), of the series that streams from a PBS station in Seattle, KCTS-9. I had one video on a tripod focused on the screen throughout the evening, and I took separate videos of the Q&A after the 1st five. I combined them to send to my list of followers of Nick Zentner, and finally got that sent out tonight. Already had a couple of commenters with thanks for my efforts.

Now off to bed. John beat me to bed, but now I’m going – 11:23.
My shoulder from the shingles shot is just beginning to hurt. Great, hope I can fall asleep first, and not lie there in pain. It only really hurts when you lean on it, or touch it, except mine is red and inflamed around it. Does not itch. Also, one of the side effects is a headache. Normally, Acetaminophen cures that but not this one. It doesn’t touch it.

Tuesday, Jan 28

Did not have a good rested sleep all night, because of various interruptions, from cats and dogs wanting outside (without the doggie door open), and for good reason, with John’s finding raccoon tracks in the snow. Now it is raining again this morning.

Glad I don’t have to go to town for anything today.
I have requested a friend, Connie Bright, who is in town anyway to lead a Line Dancing class at the senior center today, to check our numbers when she goes after her class to check her own at Bi-Mart. If we should win a gift, she’ll call me and tell me what it is (and if it is worth driving to town, John or I will make the trip).

I contacted the CWU help desk for computer help asking about access to VPN campus network to update my Word off campus (it’s a CWU copy on my laptop, needing activated). I have to do this at the beginning of every new year. A VPN (Virtual Private Network), allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. Just by accessing and opening a MS Office Suite application (such as Word, ExCel, or PowerPoint) it activates the license for a year.

Today, we had two scammer calls from my own HOME 925-3304 Caller ID, and I am not dialing myself. The first call left no message, second one at 1:50 p.m. on 1/28 Tuesday, left this message: xxxxx — the first part was not recorded in the message left, which starts: “However, we will be disconnecting your license within 48 hrs. as your IP address has been compromised from several countries. So, we need to change your IP Address and license key. So, please press 1 to get connected to the technician.”

No clue, and certainly no intention to press 1. But I searched for some of the words on line, and found reports with almost the same words and that people were getting calls from themselves (on the Caller ID), this has been going on for a couple of years, starting in the UK. I did not leave any comments anywhere. John is getting a pop-up scam when he visits a certain site on the internet – always the same place. He closes and goes again, but the 2nd (immediate) attempt doesn’t trigger the pop-up. The next day will be a repeat.

I’m still hurting (my Shingles shot arm and my head aches, even after 2 acetaminophen). I hope it’s better by tomorrow when I have to play the fiddle and also go to a dental appointment for a filling.

The most common side effects of either shingles vaccine are redness, pain, tenderness, swelling and itching at the injection site, and headaches.

I stayed up for my shower and John went to bed very early. In the mirror, when I was toweling off after my shower, I saw my sore arm from the shingles shot lower down from where the Band-Aid was put, and a red spot (probably from the needle) surrounded by red-inflamed skin. I hope it’s not infected somehow. (it was not) John is less troubled, but his arm near the spot does hurt.

Now I’m finishing up a few things, and heading to bed.
Never put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and never completed a lot of chores I started today.
Went to bed at 11:30.

Wednesday, Jan 29 Happy BD Peggy!

I called and talked to my pharmacist friend Tuesday; her name. We discussed reactions to the Shingles shot. Our experiences are not out of the ordinary.

Made my nutrition drink and set up my red bag. Don’t forget to pack the drink and my pills. Took my Acetaminophen as I walked out the door.

Need to go by Celia’s for a haircut, after I’m done at the dentist’s office. Call her when I leave the bread room. Then I’m only 8 miles away.

Need to look at the digital version of yesterday’s Daily Record for the healing power of music front page story.
I got home after 3:30, and John showed me a lot of what he uncovered in the garage today, and we went outside and inside for a few photos so I can display and get rid of stuff on the free sites. Most things are being stored in a covered shed, so we will do more of the giving away when he is not in a rush. Too, photos will be easier when the weather is nicer.

John came in after sorting and moving things. He had almost filled the truck with trashed things for the dump (transfer station). He napped for a good little while.
While he was napping, I sent him 2 photos of some pictures of a quite old Stanley wood router we were considering buying [did not] from friend Glenn Engels, in the tools of his father, stored at his mom’s house.

We called Peggy our sister tonight to wish her a Happy Birthday and had a nice hour-long conversation. We had not yet had supper, so John fixed us spaghetti sauce on ‘shells’ [Allegra brand] pasta, imported from Mexico. The package leads with “Shells – No. 22.” Is that just a number meaning nothing, or do they sell dozens of different shapes?
I filled in the Fred Meyer sweepstakes for one of gift cards and a grand prize. For filling it in you can get a 50 fuel pt bonus every 7 days.

Thursday, Jan 30

Still need to send note for February’s music schedule to KV F&F.

I sent the note to KV F&F about the Bye Day today, never play music on a 5th Thursday at an assisted-living home.

We froze 6 loaves of English Muffin Bread we got $1 off each on a raincheck. Still have 4 more to pick up by Feb 8, and while we are in town, we should take clothes and accessories by the Ellensburg Clothing Center.

I still need to contact the Geog Faculty members about the jobs list entry application change. It has not made it to the web site for CWU Geography Department yet. Needs changed from a PDF to the required Word document. That has been done.

I’ve been soaking and packing dishes in the dishwasher this morning, and taking photos of the things John’s finding in our garage, which we don’t want. I’m slowly working on those “ads” and then will have to coordinate getting the items to their new owners and out of our sight forever. That distribution is at my convenience, having the person meet me in Ellensburg or Kittitas when I will be available there. Alternative is to pick up at our house.

John continues carting things for further sorting to the hay shed from the garage. It’s slowly beginning to improve, but it’s wearing John out with all the sorting and work. He just found a box of magazines we have no clue why we kept. They should have been recycled long ago.

Today about 3:30 p.m. we will leave to drive to campus for a special program followed by refreshments (a buffet, which will substitute for our supper). The lecture is by a retired faculty member, Rosco Tolman, who came to CWU Foreign Languages department in 1970 to teach Spanish. The title today is, “Winter Travelogue – Way of Saint James, Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage route in France and Spain.

We are eating a late brunch at 2:00 p.m.

We left for the lecture at 3:30 p.m. After it was over, we had refreshments: some sort of cream puff pastry – don’t know what was inside, meatballs in red sauce with grated Parmesan (I guess) cheese, crackers and 3 kinds of cheese cubes – I only had cheddar & Swiss, and we shared a small cup of Hogue’s Chardonnay and another of Cabernet Sauvignon. I did not like the ice water with cucumbers cut up inside. (I’m not a cucumber fan).

We need to call Kit Hultquist to wish her a happy birthday on our trip to town. In the car, the call goes through the audio system and speakers. Works great for 2 of us talking and listening.

Friday, Jan 31

Interesting video from the Kittitas Visual Delights Facebook site, for your pleasure of the morning sunrise today: (Sorry those of you without a Facebook presence who won’t be able to enjoy this moving skyscape sunrise).

I captured a photo at the start of the blue skies (top) and the ending sunrise (bottom) below for you without access to enjoy.Started with a blue sky morning with pretty clouds! Ended with the sunrise. Video captured by Amanda Ross from Ellensburg,WA.

Morning Sunrise Video 1-31-20 Ellensburg, WA

I filled out a thank you note, with a check for our WSJ deliverer, Mya, attached to a bag with rubber bands, plastic bags, and a thank you card for her, and John put it in our WSJ paper tube (delivery container under our mailbox).

We were invited to the Huckabays for Elk Roast dinner tomorrow (Saturday) at 5:30 p.m. their house. I was lucky to be standing on the back 40 to make a call to my neighbor’s long distance cell phone (no charge on the cell, but 15₵/minute on the landline, and received the message that I had a voicemail waiting. I would never have gotten it otherwise because of its being turned off while at home (with no cell reception here). I can access my voicemail on it through my land line, and I suppose I should start doing that on a regular basis, just in case.

Transferred several photos of garage found items (back 30+ years) to give away and put into the BUY NOTHING Folder into the Garage Giveaway Things folder. I still need to crop and snip for smaller size to put in the photos for storage to use on FB or in the blog. I succeeded in getting them off my camera before leaving but have not cropped and snipped them yet.
We went to the Palace tonight with Dale & Kathy Swedberg, who showed up at our front gate a little before 5:30 p.m., and drove us to town. We had a very nice visit. John had time to grain the horses before leaving. We got the dog and cats out to potty before we left, so we could close the doggie door to prevent the raccoon from entering our den for dog food. What we had to eat will be discussed tomorrow with our leftovers described for our lunch, Saturday.

When John left to feed horses, I got dressed. Never finished the dishes. I need to do that.

Saturday, Feb 1

We finally ate a late lunch (after 2:00 p.m.) with leftovers we shared of a tuna melt sandwich (nice and large), sweet potato fries (also a huge helping left), and a very small piece of carrot cake. There was plenty for both of us to have for lunch today, and last night for dinner, John also had a free birthday coupon for his meal, a country-fried steak with brown gravy, green bean & carrots, baked potato with chives and butter. Friends along with us split a Halibut steak (4 pieces) basket, with regular potato fries, a garden salad, and a piece of carrot cake.

I did complete loading the dishwasher and washing all the build-up over the past few days. We were down to no coffee cups this morning, and had to hand wash 2 to use for morning coffee.

Our neighbor from a mile away on Thomas Rd, just drove over to pick up a small box of onions that are beginning to announce spring is on the way. John culls any that show outward signs of change – softening & sprouting. There are more than we have time to cook and freeze, so, we’re sharing with two friends.

We were invited to Diane and Jim Huckabay’s home for an Elk Roast dinner tonight. We carried along 3 bottles of White Heron wine: Roussanne, Rose’ of Syrah, and Red (Bordeaux blend). For dinner we had the roast, green beans (from their garden) & almonds, baked potato, mixed salad, and a peach cobbler made with their homegrown peaches served with Vanilla bean ice cream, and coffee, if wanted. Lovely meal and visit.

Sunday, Feb 2

Morning sunshine on newly snowed-on Mt. Rainier; 73 miles distant.
This photo was taken this morning by Cindi Ackerman, from Ryegrass Summit, east of us on I-90 (at the rest stop). She’s given me permission to publish any of her pictures.

I slept in this morning till after 9:00 after the original ups and down interruptions from cats and dog, and work keeping me from going to bed until midnight.

Too cold to work in the garage so John is cleaning out the wash room high shelves over the sink and clothes washer, totally high and inaccessible packed with containers and cans of things that are very dated by the use by date. He needs the space to move food from the shelves in the garage to be able to proceed with cleaning out the room for remodeling. He’s finding the most unusual things. Just found a large cut glass vase for long-stemmed flowers that is covered with >10 years dust accumulation. He’s uncovered brand new ceramic containers from our past that have never been used, and we will be able to clean and repackage to give as gifts. The variety of things we’re finding is mind-boggling and frustrating how we ever allowed it to happen.

Just finished brunch (eggs, sausage, English muffin toast with apricot preserves) at 12:50 p.m. Back to work for John going through stuff in the garage, and bringing me things to photograph that I can give away on the free sites, or give as gifts to friends. He’s back in the garage now that the temperature has gone up outside and the sun is shining; I’m mainly working on finishing the blog.

John just brought in a couple of photos of me as a baby, my mom and I, our wedding, and I have to go through the box he’s brought into the warmth of the kitchen. Many of the photos are framed. Some I absolutely have no recollection of.

I just spent an hour sorting, looking at, and writing a note on the top of the sturdy apple box, I’m packing into, with protection for the glass framed ones. Not all are framed, some are smaller and in envelopes or in albums, such as our wedding photos. Others are of me as a baby, as a youngster growing up as an only child, of my high school graduation photo, of John’s and my trips various places before and after we were married, color and black and white, of the Wilkins Family (grandmother, grand aunts, aunts & uncles, of my mom’s History Study Club’s 30th anniversary, of some of my cousin’s children as babies, and of the Eiseman-Brannen cemetery plots and headstones where my father is buried in Oakland cemetery in Atlanta, GA. Some of the photos I remember seeing; some I do not, so I was not the one who packed this when in Atlanta. I also thought I went down to pack my mom’s belongings in 1977, but the date on the papers used for wrapping is 1979, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Going through all this stuff now for the first time since then is eye-opening. It’s been packed for 40 years!
Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Rain shadow

Monday, Jan 20

Cancelled my bone density and mammogram appointments for tomorrow. Need to call back and talk with Donna when I’m better to reschedule and request Rose for my mammogram technician.

Need to update calendar, file 2019 receipts. I don’t know what else happened today, except I was probably alternating medicines every 4 hours to control mucus reliever for getting rid of fluid in my lungs as phlegm and cough suppression tablets. I learned how to set computer alarms to alert me when it was time to take them, and every 6 hrs. my Acetaminophen.

Tuesday, Jan 21

In the cloudy overcast weather, we left before lunch, having decided to go to Costco this afternoon for some specials. We only had to drive up over Manastash Ridge on I-82 to get out of the clouds and into bright sunshine and blue skies. It was a great trip the whole way there and back to the Kittitas Valley. First, to their gasoline station (best price in the region), where we get 4% additional off gasoline purchases (anywhere) using our CITI Bank Visa (Costco) card. We had decided to go to Costco to get their good price on TurboTax Premier, which was only good until 1/26 on this flyer, and to pick up a few other things on special sale there: instant coffee and Kleenex, both over $4 off the regular price. From there back through Ellensburg, where we had a bunch of stops.

First stop, Bi-Mart to check our numbers. Didn’t win anything. On to pick up my medications at Super 1 Pharmacy, and over to Fred Meyer pharmacy to pick up meds for Annie (our Brittany). She’s on a pain pill related to Ibuprofen. It’s fairly expensive but I get 120 at a time, and she takes a ½ pill twice daily. It seems to help her arthritis. I also get a 50 pt fuel-point reward for the $58 purchase. However, today I got an additional 100 points because my phone number (alternate ID was not entered), and I was apologized to for the mistake, by being given the extra award. Luckily, I checked it before leaving the store. Now I can fill out an evaluation form for my feedback to the Kroger company and gain another 50 points. That will give me (right now) 206, with 50 to come, to apply toward the price of gas at their station. For every 100 points you get 10 ₵/gal off their price, so right now I would get it for $2.69/gal. Today at Costco I was well below any station in Ellensburg, and paid $2.74. I can use this through the first week of February. Consider my car is the only one we are driving right now, I should have to fill it again before I lose these points.

From there we went to Mid-State Coop for Senior Equine grain for the 4 horses. We filled up with an extra free bag you get after purchasing 10 bags.

From there I called about a man who wears the 54” waist pants. His mom was at the local community health office waiting for her sister to pick her up and give her a ride home (no car). She said she could contact her son and have him meet me downstairs. I knew the Apt.#. The son wasn’t there to meet me, so I climbed up the very steep set of stairs, and I left them with his father, and told him I needed to know if they didn’t fit him. I have another large person waiting to see if they work for the first one. My Fit Bit recognize my effort today by giving me 1 staircase reading on the dial.

On the way home, we dropped by the bread room and got one loaf of Rosemary Olive bread. As musicians for the Wednesday Food bank lunch we are allowed 3 loaves or packages, Mon-Thurs. I mainly go for English Muffin Bread (EMB), yet they rarely get it.
From there on home, just in time for John to grain the horses before dark.

Costco had a box of 12 single-pizzas. We tried them for supper; wasn’t the best pizza we’ve had. The crust was tough, but we’ll cook differently as we go through the remaining ones. Probably not a repeat buy.

Now we are having a treat of Dark Chocolate morsels with mixed nuts, in a little bowl.

One day this week, John made some Crockpot Chocolate Candy.
Is it ever good !!

Getting ready to hit the hay.

Wednesday, Jan 22

Planning to go to the Food Bank lunch today. Make my nutrition drink and set up my red bag. Don’t forget to pack the drink and my pills. Take my diuretic at my last stop today.

I left at 10:50 a.m. and immediately got into light rain and saw a fog bank ahead. It continued raining on me all day, and never changed to snow as predicted. I did not have on my raincoat with a hood. I did have a winter coat in the car, but the top is not waterproof. The jacket coat is.

Got there by 11:20 and helped set up the chairs. The staff at the church where we eat in their annex and play our music for the audiences, moved the table we used for putting our instrument cases on, and bags for distributing music items for the group. We had a fine turnout of singers, Bob, Peggy, Reta, Richard, harmonica Dean, drummer Richard, banjo Evelyn, & violin Nancy. We played for 40 minutes, and then took everything down (music stands & chairs), and ate. I had my nutrition drink along, and also had some spaghetti. Visited afterwards until after 1:00 p.m.

I went by the AAC to pay our yearly dues and pick up box of music lyrics books most in 3-ring binders, someone donated to them and Katrina asked if we wanted. I need to transfer those to Evelyn, and keep one copy for me. I hope they are all the same. Some look smaller than others. I went into the computer room and checked email for messages, visited some more with a member outside my car, and got to say thanks to Katrina as she came back at 2:00 from a meeting. It was still raining. I dropped off some duct tape and black electrician tape for the Landons to use what they needed, and will go pick up the rest, one of these days when I’m by their house. From there I went a few blocks north to a gal for whom I collect Christmas cards, to give her about 14 I had picked up at the AAC at the Christmas party. She was grateful and walked out in her raincoat to the car to get them.

On by the bread room to give a message to a musical friend who volunteers in food distribution about the timing of a performance this Friday of a Ukulele group his friend may wish to attend. I did not have her name or email, and he was not working today (so when I got home, I emailed him the details and email contact for Evelyn Heflen who played her banjo today at the Food Bank. She also plays Ukulele with the Ukulele group. I sent it to him to send to her. He got back to me with the name and that he would give her the emails for contact.

We had meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and carrots for supper. We’ll have a piece of chocolate cake for dessert.
Did the dishes. Done after 10 tonight.

Good friends since we were babies, Dorothy Wright Smith, and I are mourning the death of her husband Bill today after a fall a week ago, where he hit his head and was injured beyond the ability for surgery to save his life. He was existing on a respirator, with family around. He could no longer communicate. John and I have sent our sympathies, and I will publish a link to his obituary when I locate it. The funeral is next week on 1/29.

Thursday, Jan 23

Culligan man came at 9:30 a.m. and stayed about an hour to change the under-the-sink filters (once a year I think) for our filtered water system.

Contacted Glenn, Katie, and Amy about my timing tomorrow.
Need to contact Karen Roth about dropping off 3 glass frames, tomorrow at her Briarwood apt. I succeeded.

I’ve an upcoming photo thing. Charge my batteries in video camera for tomorrow, and be sure I have enough room to record. Also, need to get my Panasonic camera set up, cleaned off, and charged, as well as my Nikon.

Renewed my MedicAlert account for 3 yrs, at $42.49/year until 1/20/2023. Need to update my medical records. Just recently updated my emergency contacts.

We ate supper of leftovers and will have dessert from the freezer.

Friday, Jan 24

Today was my first day, not to be needing my bronchitis medications. Four weeks exactly since I started with this chest congestion and cough. I made all my connections for stops, town, starting by leaving home for town at 10:25. I made it to my first stop early, and dropped the 3 glass frames by Karen Roth’s house along with some underpants she can wear that currently swallow me. Next stop was only 100’ away to behind Glenn Engels carport space at Briarwood, where he was going to meet me at 11:00 a.m. to give me a borrowed music stand I’d loaned his mom. It was still lost in her things and he found it in the house in two different locations (it’s a metal fold-up stand, with a bottom and a music rack that fits on top of the bottom). I sent pictures of the stand, and he found the two parts. So, now I have that back.

From there I drove around to the office area of their clubhouse, where we play music on the 3rd Saturdays of the month. Purpose is to visit Katie Patterson there during their crafters meeting to watch her repair (her offer), the crocheting black thread on the sleeve of my Christmas sweater I got (already damaged) from the clothing bank to dress up in Christmas clothing when playing music the month of December. When January got here, Katie told me to bring the sweater and she’d fix it. It was a tedious process, but she did it while I watched today, and I took it away. She also could not fix the holes in John’s Christmas sweater, because she is not a knitter. I will find a knitter friend I should see within the month to give it to her, to see if she can repair it. She has done things (such as wool winter hats) for me in the past.

I stayed and visited with everyone at the crafters until 11:45, when I left for the north end of campus to arrive by 11:50, at Michaelson Hall. I have an Emeritus parking sticker so I can park in the staff/faculty lots, across the street. That trip was to the 4th Friday group of Ruth Harrington’s Scholarship Fund lunch. Today was hot chicken tacos and with cheese, guacamole, and salsa. I cannot recall ever having a chicken taco before. Also there was a salad I did not eat (dark greens), and a dessert plate, from which I bought mine home to John. It looks like a piece of fudge. I had to leave early to be at my next stop by 12:30.

I drove back south again to Meadows Place to go to an Aloha Party, where my friends were playing a Ukulele concert to go along with the Hula Dancers (two, including Carol Cummings I know from the Senior Center). She’s amazing. She is 80 yrs old and teaches children the grass skirt dances, and she also has taught ballroom dancing to adults at the Senior Center. The two ladies, alternating with the Ukulele group entertained for over an hour. I was given a piece of pie by a lady at my table, because she didn’t want it. And, I had a glass of water there. Alternately watching the uke group play (and sing) while the two ladies were changing dresses and outfits for different performances. I didn’t have my camera along to video tape any of the dances, or the ukulele group playing. I did offer to take their photograph on Evelyn Heflen’s smart phone. I expected her to send me a copy of that. I hope some in their group also took a photo of the dancers all decked out (no one did). I truly wish I had a video of the dancers doing a dance with maracas, bamboo stick, gourds and holding two smooth dark granite-looking rocks, in each hand, clicking them together. I would like to know how they manage to get that sound. It was a fantastic performance. I sat at a table with residents whom I know from Ellensburg. We had a nice visit, sitting right in front of the Ukulele Group, photo below.

Joey, friend Evelyn, J’aime, Betty, & friend Candace

Tonight we are leaving for Nick Zentner’s 4th Season Premier of his Nick on the Rocks series. I will videotape it again this year and also tape the discussions following each with questions from the audience and answers from Nick, and sometimes others on the team (Chris Smart & Linda Schactler).

John had to go to town to Les Schwab and bought a $200.33 battery for his Ford truck, because it was not keeping its charge and is 6 yrs old. From there to the dump (transfer station), and it cost him $47 because of the weight. Prices on products and services keep going up. We guess it’s because the hourly wages keep increasing. A lot of the weight was old manuscripts and heavy paper boxes filled with outdated books. Much of this is old university stuff, mine or of others. We are making an effort to clean out the garage first to have a contractor come in and repair the roof (ceiling), put in insulation in the attic above, remodel it into a usable room. Remove the garage doors that never have worked well. But it is full of junk which needs thrown away. In 30 years there has only been one car in it; a friend’s old antique car.

Slow going in and out to the Nick on the Rocks, with the frozen fog. I was driving blindly with low beam lights and defroster on. Took us 24 minutes each trip to drive in and back only 9 miles!

We got there early to get our good seats for filming and should have gone to the bathroom before going in or taken a break during one of the 5-minute episodes I was filming because I could have seen it later on my video. So we ended being there from 6:50 to 9:00.

We shall have dessert (chocolate cake) with ice cream.

Saturday, Jan 25

Get to working on my camera charge and removal videos and send to You Tube. YouTube’s currently processing my first, the longest, 1 hr. 14 min.

Nick introducing the evening’s premiere showing of 6 episodes of Nick on the Rocks, a PBS series on a Seattle station, KTCS-9.

NICK on the ROCKS –January 24, 2020

The next videos (questions and answers after each segment) were videoed on different cameras, to follow Nick around the room. Unfortunately, they did not turn up the lights on the audience, so my camera did not have much light to work with. My apologies for that.

Q&A Smith Rock Caldera

Q&A Saddle Mountains Buried in Ash

Q&A Teanaway Tropics

Q&A Scraping Together Mt. Olympus

Q&A Ape Cave

There will be no link to Q&A on the last episode, MT. ST. HELENS CRATER, because the evening ended at the end of the Helicopter views of the volcano.

I’m alternating chores with dish washing and sending videos to the web, via YouTube.

Sunday, Jan 26

About the rain, and the “rain shadow” title for this week. Our winds and rain usually come from the west, and so have to cross the Cascade Mountains. They are high enough (3 to 5 thousand feet just west of us) to force most of the moisture out, so we are drier, or in the rain shadow.

Washington also has the Olympic Mountains and there the elevation goes to almost 8,000 feet. The map below shows rainfall during this past Wed/Thur, with air moving from the southwest to the northeast.

Underlined by a red line, Seattle is low on the right edge. Up from Seattle there are a bunch of low rainfall totals (0.01 to 0.15). The lower left red underline is 9.45. That’s inches in 48 hours (ending 7 PM Thursday). That’s the total precipitation for Ellensburg for an average year. Nine to nothing sounds more like a score of a bad baseball game. Okay back to our mundane life.

Up at 3:30 a.m. with dog wanting out to potty. We are still keeping the “doggy-kitty door” closed most of the time. No more raccoons if we can control it.

Back to bed until 4:30 when cats wanted out.

Then set an alarm for taking my Acetaminophen at 5:30 a.m., and back to sleep again. Wake up for pills, and back to bed until 9:00 a.m. I was tired.

Finally, got all Friday night videos uploaded to YouTube at 12:40 pm. Now need to process those and finish the blog and fix myself brunch. 1:38 brunch.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Sunrises to snowflakes

Monday, Jan 13

Sunrise photos: Local photographers captured these views of the morning sunrise. We can only see the sky partially through our “hedge” of trees. Sandy Meier took the first one top left from her backyard (on Wilson Cr. Road). Next is by Vicki Lennox, from her perspective in Badger Pocket. Bottom is by Sid Peterson, who lives east of the intersection of the Kittitas Hwy & No 6 Rd (south extension of Wilson Cr. Rd.), looking toward Badger Pocket; permission by all granted to publish in our blog.

In seeking permission from Sid, I found out more information about a photography site I had just joined on Facebook, “Kittitas County Visual Delights,” where I found his photo posted. I would like to inform all my Kittitas County photographer friends about this excellent site, and to encourage your joining it. It meets the year-old age next month, and they are planning a special request to publish photographs of our county. Get on it now, so you can see the great assortment of photographs and get involved to share the beauty in our county.

Our main chore this morning was to get up early and be ready to leave at 9:00 a.m. for Dr. ‘Foot’ Cardon’s office and to the hospital for a blood draw to check my INR & potassium; INR=2.8 & K=4.6 (both within range).

Because of my bronchitis and inability to be in a dental chair with current chest congestion and coughing, I cancelled my dental appointment for a filling tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. It’s now rescheduled for 1/29 at 1:00 Wednesday, so I will have to leave the Food Bank lunch (music) in time to get down a couple of blocks, and remember to take my Amoxicillin at noon.

Checked my times on my imaging appointment on Jan 21, as they came in by phone conflicting with what I had on my calendar. Corrected ones are: check in 1:15 for 1:30 bone density test; stay for 2:15 mammogram.

I took an afternoon nap from 2:30 to 3:35 p.m.; much needed.
Supper was Beef Stew and Cheesy biscuits.

Tuesday, Jan 14

We are surely happy that our oldest cat, Sue, came back after 2 weeks’ (?) away. We wonder if she was trapped somewhere. She was very hungry and thirsty, but came walking down the driveway from Swedbergs, where she was born. She failed to show up here about the day ol’man Swedberg died. There were family and strangers around. John wonders if someone tried to catch her (or what?) and she headed for ‘the woods’.
Her daily ritual had been to go back there after eating, and come back mornings for breakfast and stay around for dinner. Now, however, she is not returning over there. She’s staying with daughter Woody in the old Pace Arrow. Woody was born under a brush pile by our driveway, and as far as we know, has never been across or even up to the county road.
Here are the two of them:Sue and Woody on the chain link crossover John built for the cats to access their food and water (heated in winter) on our front porch. Unfortunately, raccoons will also use it. So at night, we bring in the food.

I had decided not to go to the AAC Senior Advisory Commission meeting today and stay home to recover. Then they officially canceled it by phone, because 4 people were sick and unable to meet (not enough for a quorum). Connie will check my Bi-Mart numbers. I’ll wait to get my Metoprolol from Super 1 (don’t need it until next week anyway. My weekly-meds box is all filled for the rest of the week and over the weekend through Tuesday. I set alarms for meds I have to take the rest of the day and to remind me to take my BP.

Weather here is sunny; however, the pass is not looking great, but both lanes are open. About 97% of Washington State has snow on the ground. In the mountains there is more than 10 feet. We decided not to count snowflakes, but here’s the photo for the week (and forever):Snowflake creation by Evie Schuetz

Goodness, words cannot describe the beauty of this exceptional image: but these come to mind – Spectacular, Extraordinary, and a Brilliant use of Photoshop to adjust multiple images from a 4.5x magnification lens taken time-lapse. Remarkably, this was Evie’s first attempt to do so. She can only get better. It looks fine to me.

See below on Friday, where she found a better way to photograph individual snowflakes, and not have to use Photoshop.

We had the rest of our beef stew tonight and a small hamburger with Havarti cheese, followed by a piece of cookie dough pie.
John beat me to bed, but now I’m on my way.

Wednesday, Jan 15

Cancelled playing at Food Bank lunch today. Still need to recover more. They had a good turnout, so that’s nice.

We had brunch: eggs, summer sausage, and 3-cheese bread toast – yet my favorite is still English Muffin Bread toast with friend Ken’s homemade Apricot Jam.

John’s done all the chores, except afternoon horse feeding. It’s snowing now and Woody just came in for her evening meal.

I finished the package of plastic bags, rubber bands, and note to Mya, our WSJ delivery person. It’s ready to go in the paper shoot when it’s not snowing. The paper is printed west of the Cascades so when the Pass is closed we do not get a paper.

Update on my friend in Moxee, WA, Terri Towner, who had corrective hip surgery in Seattle today. It went well and they will be driving back across the pass tomorrow; thankfully, didn’t come back on the day the pass was closed in both directions because of snow. She cannot bear any weight on it for two weeks. That will be tough.

Thursday, Jan 16

I slept in after a rough night, and took my mucus relief pill early with the full glass of water. It’s still working late morning. So, that’s good.

I had a call from the Daily Record about fixing my access to the digital edition, but I asked Tony to stay on the line while I tried. It did not work. Turns out when they reset it, it went back to an email in their account that quit working in 2017, nancyh@ellensburg dot com. It is not the email I have been getting the Daily Record news and email announcements from. I had changed it back then, but they did not update their records on the login code. They do not know what caused my online account to no longer recognize me as a subscriber. So, we’re now waiting for a phone call that they have changed it to the one I have been using for 3 years (successfully) to reach the digital edition by logging in with the new email. So weird.

All sorts of things happening this morning on the web. I had responses from people I was dealing with yesterday, and they came through. I had phone calls and emails to 10:00 a.m. about 3 people canceling coming today to music at Pacifica.

I have had my brunch, and will be leaving for our music soon.
The sun is shining here, but the pass is still covered with snow.
I’ll go play my violin at Pacifica, but won’t sing and start my coughing. Dean will call the songs and number for the audience to follow in their copies.
I finished dressing while John brushed snow off the path to my car.

Update on my friend from southern California, Jeri Conklin’s surgery today. This is from Kurt, her husband, “She’s currently recovering in the ICU. Surgery took much longer than planned, but everything turned out fine. I saw the surgeon and he removed 40 cm of small bowel, the Appendix and a small portion of the colon. Surgeon said the “mass” was such that he was surprised that she was functioning at all and there was no doubt to the degree of pain she was experiencing. He said this should have been done months ago! She’s got 5-7 more days to recover. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and prayers.”

Supper: Leftover casserole, with new apple cobbler type of side with main meal, French fries, and cookie dough cake for dessert.
We both are quite tired.

Friday, Jan 17

New individual snowflake magnification captures by Evie Schuetz:Evie managed to capture these with her 4.5x super macro lens before they melted. She explains: These flakes I caught on a clear plastic filter which was parallel to the camera, so I was able to take them in one shot rather than stacking a bunch together in Photoshop. Next time, I’ll use a piece of glass from a photo frame. The plastic isn’t cold enough, and the flakes melt too fast even at 17 degrees. Also, I had issues with microscopic imperfections in the plastic, so live and learn.

A commenter on her personal FB site, where first published, offered this historical video link to our distant past! Please view the whole 8-1/2 minutes; it’s well worth your time to see the first photographs ever taken of a single snowflake. Sorry for the TWO ads you have to wade through before you can skip them and see the real video.

“The Snowflake Man”: Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931)

You will appreciate following this link below, as well, for the science behind the formation of snowflakes, also provided by a commenter on Evie’s post.

How Do Snowflakes Form

Also been dealing with a friend in Seattle who wanted to drop off her car for the weekend while going on a trip to Winthrop, carpooling with a friend. We got things arranged but the forecast for the Pass caused a change in plans.

The Daily Record news finally got my access to my digital edition working again.

Supper was topped with John’s homemade spaghetti sauce, and a very simple baked apple crisp (no cream, whipped cream, or ice cream) to make the meal healthy.

Saturday, Jan 18

I need to go to Briarwood for music today. Only expecting 7 players, but at 11:52 a.m. learned to expect 2 more.

I worked on a load for the dishwasher, and drank my nutrition drink to supplement with what they feed us after we play.

I took the large-sized jeans to have to give to a large person after I saw him and was convinced they would fit him. The mom planned to bring him to our music, but arrived late, (I never saw them) and they left because we were eating. She speaks Spanish and must not have understood my complete directions. I told her I could do it after we quit playing and were eating, but she must not have understood. We’ll have to meet at a future date.

While at Briarwood, I dropped off a quilt denim patches and other material pieces with a crafter who lives in Briarwood. She’s planning to make a quilt. These were donated on the free site, but this woman cannot drive.

This morning I took a photo of the lamp to send to my friend Amy for her daughter’s bedroom table, so I would know whether to pack the box in the car to take for her to transfer to her car after we finished eating. She was interested.John found this in our garage in a box, never used that was in my mom’s stuff from Atlanta, GA sent to Idaho in a moving van in 1977, when she was moving out of her apartment into a smaller unit. There are things we have never opened. The bigger furniture has been part of our household forever.

Another thing he found was my old tenor guitar (4 strings) I remember getting in high school for $4 at a pawn shop. Mother’s sister helped me packed the stuff, so she must have packed it. I had no clue I still owned that. Figured my mom had sold it in a yard sale, as she did a bunch of my stuff. I should have gotten a picture of that before it was repacked. We couldn’t tell the make of the guitar, and I didn’t look inside, just on the top of the neck. If something was written there at one time, it is no longer visible.

John thinks it is time to clean out the garage, fix the problems, and re-purpose the space. This will be an adventure, and costly.

Lise McGowan’s cat, Duchess (above) looks like a twin sister to our Woody. She posted hers perched on a fence (in a larger photo I cropped) to show the similarity of our long-haired cat, a mackerel tabby.

Sunday, Jan 19

Sadly, just when I was feeling less chest congestion and overall better, I awoke all congested and not feeling so well. I improved as the day progressed.

On to another day of medications, with my computer alarms set to remind me to take them at the appropriate intervals. The chest congestion pill is every 4 hours and the acetaminophen is every 6. It’s time to be over this.

We are just ready to eat supper of a piece of lean pork (crockpot, tomatoes, finished in a hot oven with BBQ sauce), carrot casserole with roasted marshmallows on top, and a bowl of peach slices. 8 hours in the crock pot seemed to make the meat tender enough for me, but it wasn’t as tasty are grilled ribs.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Jessica goes vacationing

Jessica is our bright blue Subaru Crosstrek

Sunday, Jan 5

We last left you with Sunday, Jan 5’s medical report on Nancy: (bottom line) Because I had very high blood pressure that morning, I went to Urgent Care, a new street-side facility, to be evaluated for a viral infection. I knew that a virus could cause higher blood pressures. I knew a local nursing home had one wing closed down for Norovirus infection. The local Urgent Care in EBRG is not associated with the local

KVH hospital. I only found that out, on the visit there. They gave me a “flu” test (swabs of my nose), which ruled out my having the flu. We have had our flu shots. The diagnosis was definitely bronchitis, and they had the facility to do chest X-rays. I looked at the X-rays with the technician and only saw a normal looking chest X-ray for me. I’ve seen many of mine in the past, because I always request a CD from the hospital with the X-rays. I’ve seen it when I had pneumonia and when I did not. The medical professional examining me was an ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner). She was very thorough.

She reviewed the X-ray and reported there was a questionable image in the lower right lobe. And I told her, I am aware of that, and it is always there, as scar tissue from previous infections. I previously have had pneumonia and I knew I did not feel the same way at all. She said she didn’t have access to a previous X-ray to compare this to, and without it, “Pneumonia cannot be ruled out.” Because they are not part of the KVH system, she cannot access my previous medical records in any way (all my X-rays are in the Kittitas Valley Healthcare). So, as a precaution she put me on two medications for Pneumonia: Augmentin (Amoxicillin [875 mg] & Clavulanic acid [125 mg]), and Doxycycline Monohydrate 100 mg.

Before I left Urgent Care, I requested a CD with my two chest X-rays on it, to compare with my previous ones in the system in Cle Elum (which is part of the KVH network). I get all my lab blood tests drawn at the hospital in Ellensburg. Good reason for not going to the Urgent Care in Ellensburg. The Urgent Care in Cle Elum would have been the one to go to because they would have access to previous records (chest X-rays with and without pneumonia). Live and learn.
[I also use a battery powered wrist cuff for BP, and that might be an issue, so I planned to take it with me tomorrow to the PCP’s office to compare with the results of their cuff.]

Monday, Jan 6

John got up before me but I slept in until just after 8:30 a.m., and called Cle Elum for an appointment. My PCP was not in the office today. I requested Andy Thomas who is the only MD on the staff and in charge of all the PA-Cs and ARNPs. My normal PCP is a PA-C (physician assistant-certified). We have not seen Dr. Thomas prior to this (and John is not along, because he was in the dentist have a crown seated). I drove myself to the clinic.
I took my med not requiring food this morning, at 6:30 a.m., next one is due 5 hrs. later with food. (Taking those medications was cancelled at today’s doctor visit). I no longer need them after today’s diagnosis.

I went to Cle Elum for a 10:30 appt. After the normal interview with the nurse as to why I was there, she took my vitals, and I asked to check my wrist BP monitor to see how it compared. As expected it was different (and higher) by 21 “points”. This discrepancy is noted on many sites on the web. I spent 2 hours there, and came out with good news that reversed the need received and the recommended medications bought at Fred Meyer pharmacy after being started yesterday at the Urgent Care facility in Ellensburg.

I had two new chest X-rays and a thorough examination of my lungs. Plus, he looked back at a good one of my chest X-rays, and found it looked the same as today’s. His decision was I do not have pneumonia and now I’m on the correct medication for suppressing the cough and getting rid of the mucus in my lungs by thinning the texture of the phlegm. The two new meds are better than the Tussin CF I was on, which has one major ingredient that will increase blood pressure. The only good one in the mix is Guaifenesin, which he put me on as a tablet, not syrup. The worst for causing high blood pressure is Dextromethorphan. That part in the cough syrup causes enhanced blood pressure.
Once at the PCP’s office with the local MD in charge, Dr. Andy Thomas, I went to the lab for a blood test to determine my INR, which was already high (3.9) – supposed to be between 2 & 3, and mine usually is. It can be raised within 1.5 hrs. after taking, and especially with this one pill having 875 mg of Amoxicillin. I know that antibiotics increase my INR calculation.

I met the MD and he listened to my story, symptoms, and concerns. I gave him the CD and he with others tried 4 different computers and could not display the image (or see it) at all. He examined my breathing, congestion, and heard and saw the results of my productive cough. He evaluated my lungs considerably with a stethoscope. He felt comfortable with my not having pneumonia, but I knew we had to get the current status by X-ray into the KVH system, so we agreed to retake them.
A different radiologist sent his interpretation back to the doctor, who sent it on to me with his (the MD’s) comments (received Friday (1/10) of the week I went in on Monday). The report is reassuring (lots of medical terms we don’t relate to):

My MD’s comments:
I have reviewed the results from your recent studies.
The radiologist did not see any sign of pneumonia and reports that the thickening of the lung (described as infiltrate here) is less prominent than the previous study – not sure if that means it is resolving or that is just a “camera trick” of the x-ray photograph we took this time. Either way that seems like good news!

XR Chest 2 View 01/06/20 11:57:09
Previous comparison 02/28/2019 INDICATION: Persistent cough and SOB (shortness of breath) w/o other illness symptoms
FINDINGS: There is marked cardiomegaly (enlarged heart). Patient has a single lead pacemaker (it’s actually an ICD) with tip in the right ventricle. The wire is intact. Patient’s had previous cardiac surgery. The lung fields are moderately expanded with evidence of mitral valve revision (I have a porcine replacement of this valve). There are patchy increased densities in the right lower lung field distribution with lesser prominence that on the previous exam. This is consistent with atelectasis (blockage of the air passages can be by mucus) and some minor infiltrate (thickening). There is some blunting of the left costophrenic angle (places where the diaphragm [phrenic] meets the ribs [costo]) on today’s exam suggesting possible mild pleural effusion (fluid around lung).

My harrowing trip to Cle Elum was in a raging snowstorm. I decided to take I-90 figuring they would have it plowed and not the state highway #10. I looked at the DOT cameras and knew I was leaving in rain but there was snow at all the major traffic cameras from Indian John Hill through and past Cle Elum, where I exited. It was snowing hard in Cle Elum. It was a trip into blowing large snowflakes making visibility tough. The most interesting thing was the large semi-trucks slowing to 40 mph. I was happy for that slow down. While in the clinic for 2 hrs., it stopped snowing and started raining. Rained on me all the way home. I came via Hwy 10, which was fine traveling.

Tuesday, Jan 7

I want to add some photos from Leavenworth which my friend Evie Schuetz took on Sunday, January 5. I would have enjoyed that a lot more than where I was that day.
She and her family visited because the Christmas lights are still up on all the buildings until Valentine’s Day! She took many photos that she posted on her Facebook site, which you can get to if you have a Facebook (FB) account by looking up her place on Facebook. Her FB name is EvieMae Schuetz.
I chose only my favorite few to share with you. We have never been there to see the lights, but we have been to Leavenworth many times for different reasons. 2020 Christmas lights, Leavenworth, WA by Evie Schuetz

I hope you are able to look at all her pictures—exceptional photographs, as I know you will agree. I suppose there is still time for you to go in person to view them. You’ll see a link in John’s Not So Nasty News to the town’s web-cams; now with snow. In case you cannot find it, or don’t have a Facebook account here it is:
Weather webcams in Leavenworth show Xmas Lights
Still, the best entire set is on Evie’s Facebook page.

We stayed home today. I did computer chores and household things, and cared for myself. Also dealt with medical questions with the Cle Elum clinic, and with planning for upcoming geology lectures. Had to work on setting up playing music on Thursday, and calling two people to cancel tomorrow’s Food Bank music. I shuffled cats and dog in and out. And, set up a meeting tomorrow in Cle Elum to loan John’s Crosstrek for a couple weeks to a friend whose old Subaru totally broke down and needs to be replaced. She’s working on that, but needs a car that is all-wheel drive and her husband doesn’t have one.

John investigated our neighbor’s mail and papers. She leaves for long periods and her mailbox fills up, but the paper box is worse. On top of that our rural carrier often puts her mail in our mailbox (they are adjacent, as are our paper boxes for the local newspaper). Yesterday’s mail of hers ended up in our box, five pieces. So he collected that, and put in a blue bag, and put all in a green bag already in her carport. Also took all the newspapers. Then almost at dark when he had gone out to grain the horses, I had an email from our hay provider, that he was bringing our last two tons of hay. I yelled out to John so he was aware of it and could open the gates, and turn lights on.

Continued with normal things and are getting to bed later than desired.

Wednesday, Jan 8

Canceled two normal doings for the second Wednesday of the month: Retired geographers meeting at Hearthstone, and playing music at the Food Bank Wednesday lunch.
Good thing, John had to go to Stewart Subaru today to have his car’s 6,000 mile tune up, oil change, and service, and while there he made a run to Costco. I stayed home taking care of things here, and getting ready to leave for South Cle Elum.

John called at 11:30 from leaving Costco for the Subaru place, and probably is a couple hours from home. Will check in from Selah Gap – out of the urban streets – on his way so we have a better grasp on timing. He got a sandwich at Costco, so I can eat something here for lunch.

We went to S. Cle Elum to deliver John’s Crosstrek. A short term loan. Our banjo player is Evelyn Heflen. Her Subaru’s engine is totally ruined. She will use the Crosstrek for transportation to get to work and community activities, and to find a car. It was a nice day for the 30-mile trip. No snow and good roads. We were back by 4:00 in time for John to grain the horses before dark. Thinking of that need, we skipped our invite to tea with Evelyn.

The weather then changed. This is Sunday’s view of the snow from her front door. Taken Sunday, 1-12-20 at Evelyn’s in S. Cle Elum, WA

Thursday, Jan 9

Getting ready to go play music at Meadows Place, and just got all the audience copies sorted out and ready to add to my music bag.

A neighbor, up the road, called to say there was no wood under our “Free Wood” sign – and did we have any. John’s loading her pickup with enough to last to February.

We just found out another neighbor age 97, died overnight. Not unexpected, and I’ve been in touch with the family.

I also contacted the Yakima Herald Circulation department, to find out if our WSJ carrier had changed. I was unable to get in touch with the phone number she left for us. I thought maybe she had moved on, but not. The phone number they had for her is the same I had, but it just beep beep beeps and doesn’t ring. I need to write a note to her and put in the paper tube to find out her new phone number. She’d given us this other one when introducing herself as our new carrier (back in March). Might as well connect the note to a bunch of plastic bags, along with some rubber bands she can use on days when it is raining. I also need her last name to write a check for the end of the year, thanking her for her delivery service. She’s always punctual, 6 days/week, early a.m. Now is the time the pass can be closed and occasionally the papers don’t make it from the west side.

I took my morning meds and tablet for relieving and releasing mucus in my lungs. It is still working and I hope I’m done with it before I go to play music, but will carry along a box of Kleenex.

Yesterday, John bought Danish pastry at Costco, and we each had one – he brought 4 each of cherry and cream cheese.

I am dressed and my alarm set to take my pills and get prepared to leave.

John went with me, to help me carry in all the music bag weight, and my violin, and carried along a copy of a book to sit in an adjacent room to read, about the chemical elements and the history of completing the periodic table. Today, he read fascinating things about Radium, and shared some things on the way home.

We had a great player turnout, and a good time entertaining the residents. People there were: Sandy, Nancy, Manord, Evie, Kevin, Gerald, Tim, Roberta, Charlotte, and Minerva.

After helping with chair setup and take down, we left for Bi-Mart, which had set a very good price on their 40# bag of black-oil sunflower seed, the birds favorite. It was $5.00 less than the lowest price we can find it in EBRG. While there, I got another box of Fisherman’s Friend cough drops. Actually, I picked up two, one a new one I had not seen before, honey-lemon, and didn’t know until I got to the cashier it was sugar-free. I definitely do NOT like their other sugar-free one I have previously tried. So John returned it to the shelf, and I should have had him bring me one of my old standby menthol original flavor ones. It’s okay, I still have some at home.

We stopped at Super 1 grocery store for their large (occasional) Thursday sale. We eat lots of eggs, which were on sale for 68₵/dozen [limit 2] ($1.10 off normal price); so each of us bought two dozen. I also love their English Muffin Toasting bread, which has increased dramatically in price since we moved to town. Moved here in 1988, when it sold for 88₵/loaf. They had it on sale today for $1.98/loaf (normally a $ more). Unfortunately, the shelves were empty after 3:15 p.m. when we arrived. So, I asked for a raincheck at checkout and received it at the lower price.

Final stop, Fred Meyer, which had my PowerAdeZero for only 58 cents/bottle if you bought 8 bottles. Navel oranges were 20 cents less /lb. than at Super 1. Got just 3 of those.

Friday, Jan 10

I never received a Mid-State Coop bill and normally I pay it right away. I last paid Nov 6, and nothing in early Dec. Yesterday’s postal mail brought the account bill, and it had an interest payment attached. So that’s why I looked it up.

Called this morning, apologized to Kim, and we figure the bill was delivered wrongly to our neighbor’s mailbox, or not at all. Guess we’ll have to start checking daily (take along a flashlight because mail often comes after dark). Mail story, above on Tuesday.

Main reason I’m home today is to take a tablet of Guaifenesin every 4 hours (only took one yesterday because I couldn’t drink that much water while going to town and playing music.

Guaifenesin belongs to a class of drugs known as expectorants. It works by thinning and loosening mucus in the airways, clearing congestion, and making breathing easier. I certainly need that.

John fixed a really good baked chicken dinner.

And, he finished his Not So Nasty News after losing the Internet connection numerous times.

Earlier today, he fixed my broken Medic Alert bracelet and saved me a bunch of money, and I didn’t want to get something other than what I have, a black band with purple staff and white notes, so it’s quite musical. They no longer carry the design style in their inventory.

Saturday, Jan 11

I reached my neighbor absent neighbor to tell her about the mailbox issue, and to find out when she plans to come east.

Right now is not a good time to be traveling the pass. Pass keeps closing with multiple spinouts, ice, eastbound, and westbound lanes. Stevens Pass has fallen trees (unscheduled) and avalanche control (scheduled). That is the road to get from Puget Sound region to Leavenworth, shown above. Plenty of traffic but not an Interstate Highway.

Doing the dishes.

I copied the dates off the plastic on the new year’s calendar, and now I have to enter all the stuff we know on the paper. Guess it will get done Sunday.

John’s cooking brunch – bacon with a pancake (blue with blueberries), also included pecans, and had with peaches and maple syrup.

Security alert from our online banking system that our account login ID is disabled since 12:33 today. I received a phone number to call to ID myself with a bunch of security questions and I had to give my social security #. I asked what caused that decision, and she said someone tried 6 times to get into my account. Whether malicious or some lost soul with a similar name – we don’t know. I had to wait 15 minutes to speak to an agent, but she did ask us to change our login code to something that was not our name, birthday, or any identifier someone might figure out. So, I made it through and we changed it.

I logged on with the new Login ID and it worked, so I’m back in business with no idea who was messing with my account. That took a half hour of my time.

Sunday, Jan 12

After 10:00 a.m., I called (509) Urgent Care and requested a copy be emailed to me of the radiologist’s report on my Chest X-ray taken last Sunday at my appointment, Jan 5, there.

Called and left a detailed message at 10:20 a.m. 1/12/20.

Ashley responded quickly 10:38 a.m., and then called me to tell me she’d sent the radiology report from last Sunday to our email account password protected… and gave me the password to use.

We talked and I asked her for a report also of the transcription from the “physician” at Urgent Care, in addition to the radiologist’s report. She added that to document and sent it to me with the same security code to reach, download, and open.

I did not have a decent night’s sleep with the chest congestion, so I got up at 6:30 a.m., put one of the cats out, took my Acetaminophen and went back to bed for almost 3 hours. I still wasn’t feeling great, but I am expelling mucus. Need to take one of the mucus releaser pills and drink all the associated required water. Okay, I took Mucus Reliever 400 mg and am drinking my large glass of water at 10:30 a.m. It’s already working 10 minutes later. Rascal’s now in my lap, does not like my coughing, so I hope it keeps expelling quietly without having to cough to get it. So far, so good.

Take next pill at 2:30; set my computer alarm. Just learned a few days ago how to set alarms to remind me of the timing on my computer (when I’m on). I can name each one to indicate what is to do and when.

John’s been out pushing snow, of which there is very little. Still, that keeps the places drier and mud free.

1:00 p.m. just started snowing hard with big flakes, while John naps. Stopped and sun came out, but wind is supposed to start blowing hard. John’s in the backyard removing a bird-feed structure. It was too close to the patio door – glass with sky reflections – and little birdies were knocking their heads. Out front the feeding is farther from the doors and windows.

I spent a bunch of time on-line donating to the APCG (Association of Pacific Coast Geographers). My retired dues are $15, but I always donate to 3 other scholarship funds. It’s a recognized non-profit organization (for tax purposes).

I finally finished loading the dishwasher to its capacity, and for the next hour it will swish and swash.

I worked on the blog, and set up the heater for the back bathroom shower to get cleaned up for an early Monday morning visit to the foot doctor who comes up from Yakima on Mondays. It’s a 9:30 appointment for both of us to go in together.

Tonight’s dinner was the rest of the chicken soup with large cheesy biscuits John makes that are better than any in town (including those at the Yellow Church Café, renowned for theirs). We have a large piece of John’s Chocolate birthday cake (that has been frozen) for dessert.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

First week of the New Year

Sparkler wish, created, photographed, & crafted by Evie Schuetz
We thought this display should come at the top even though this week’s post starts in 2019.

And how about this photo from last Saturday? This scene is from the backyard of our geologist friend wintering in The Foothills, Yuma, Arizona.
The Crescent Moon and Venus, Yuma, AZ by Jack Powell

Monday, Dec 30

Our farrier came to trim Myst this morning. That went well.
John reported that the pile of free firewood disappeared. He had added some to round the stack you saw in last week’s blog.

We had a busy afternoon with many stops. Started at Elmview to pick up two loaves of bread: Sourdough and a Three Cheese Semolina. On to our bank for some counter checks and cash, to tide us over until our new order of checks arrives in the mail. From there we went for horse feed and sunflower seeds for the birds. On to Hospice friends, with a donation check to get in before the end of 2019. They provide a wonderful community service, and we knew one of the founders, Peg Rowbotham and loved horseback riding the trails with her. While there, I picked up a case of Ensure. On to Super 1 for some groceries.

We got home barely before dark in time for John to grain all the horses, I fed the cats, and another cat arrived later when John came back from the feeding horses.

I’ve also been trying to determine who will be able to come to the Thursday meeting for music. I have decided I cannot go because of sickness, but I have found a helper, Amy, to be my liaison for me to leave my black music bag. She and daughter Haley will take it in for me on Thursday. Some of the players do not have the ability to print 24 songs served to them by me on email. Barb Riley will fill in as violinist for me, and also because others cannot be there because of sickness.

The next entry has been on the Internet for a while now, John had seen it, but I hadn’t. It was sent by a long-time friend, who just retired and has time to surf the web. I’ll share here in case there are others of you who have missed it. Since it was originally published, commenters have shown that the whale was originally trained in Norway to fetch things.

“The video is of a South African crew, onboard the Gemini Craft, that enjoyed the company of a Beluga whale while sailing near the North Pole and played a game of fetch with the sea creature. An extraordinary moment caught on camera.”

Report on a previously trained Beluga whale

Tuesday, Dec 31

Today I was on my own to run errands. First, I went for gasoline and got all my December credits used, receiving 10 cents off every gallon (price lowered to $2.79.). Then, by Bi-Mart but we did not win any prizes.

I wrote the retired geographers’ group about possibly having no January meeting scheduled for the 2nd Wednesday of the month. I received a unanimous consent to cancel our next week’s meeting.
Contacted the music group again.
More dishes to do and the chore continues.

The rain has been a lot and we thought might dampen the fireworks, but they’re still at it. At least there’s no danger of fire. Speaking of fires, the stories from Australia are saddening and terrifying. Rebekah Lo, my former student is a meteorologist in Australia, there with her husband who is a computer guru. She sent these photographs of pyroclastic clouds from the fires below, with this comment: made 1/3/20.
“From our flight from Melbourne to Sydney just now. These are pyrocumulus, clouds and dry thunderstorms formed from heat from strong fires. Incredible and frightening.”

I found on line a short, but instructive, video of their creation process taken July 29, 2018 during the Cranton Fire, located near Idyllwild and Mountain Center, CA:

Time Lapse of Pyrocumulus Cloud Formation

Good news from our old Geography professor at the University of Cincinnati, who lives in Kiama, Australia that the fires are close but not affecting them except with all the smoke and ash. They still have road access to Sydney for supplies and are not endangered in their home.
[Because of all the fire news from OZ, John has learned about an interesting plant found only there. Next Friday’s post by John will have it.]
I was very tired when I got home after running my chores around town and finally laid down at 5:00 p.m. and slept for 1.5 hours.

Bang & Boom! Our neighbors started early tonight, with closer ones just starting their booms. Hope it doesn’t scare our horses (through the trees) in the pasture behind their backyard.

It slowed down some, and then at 12:03 a.m. we had a display of crackling lights through fireworks way into the sky over the woods behind us – very large ones of various colors.
Seattle usually lights the sky above the Space Tower but winds above a threshold set by the Fire Marshal shut that down.

Wednesday, Jan 1 Happy New Year!

John’s Grandmother, when quite young, came from Béal an Átha Móir, meaning “mouth of the big ford” – The small Irish town Ballinamore in County Leitrim, Ireland.
He did not know her, but likes the connection and reads a little about the old culture. Thus, to all – –

May the Good Lord take a liking to you — but, not too soon.
May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door
May your pockets be heavy,
Your heart be light,
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night,
Like the warmth of the sun,
And the light of the day,
may the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way.

Bad night last night. People starting shooting off fireworks during the rain, early, but continued with a lot around 11:00 p.m., slacked off, but came back at midnight and pretty much over before 12:15 a.m.

Sadly, I was awakened at 2:55 and had trouble returning to sleep until 4:30, when I had to take care of the cats inside wanting out. Finally, with John’s help we got them back in, and I went back to bed, sleeping in until 8:30 almost. Not doing as well as I would like yet, but maybe getting some better.
We just went through an hour of hard blowing rain, and harder blowing winds, supposed to be up to 41 mph today. Sun has returned, and John is finally going out at 11:00 a.m. to feed the horses.
We need to start 2020 January calendar (large desktop one, that hangs on our kitchen wall to keep track of our activities).

John replaced the free firewood at the end of our drive. This isn’t the best of wood for the purpose. We noticed the large stores sell ¾ of a cubic food for about $4. The Gorilla Cart supposedly holds 6 cu. ft., but we don’t wrap it in plastic.

Thursday, Jan 2

We got the canvas heavy duty carrier bag of music paraphernalia to Amy. We waved to her and from there we went to Xerox audience copies. Now I have 25 copies. Residents keep taking them away, so we have to be more diligent with watching and telling them to leave them behind for the next group.
While at CWU, we met with Jen Lipton, taking her several magazines—camels for her son, and some map history magazines for her. We had a nice historical maps 2020 calendar that she hung in the Geography department workroom, so lots of people will see it. While there, we also went downstairs to the receptacle for recycling various batteries. Too bad I forgot my batteries replaced in computer laptops of the past. Now I know where it is on the first floor so I can go back with more.

Friday, Jan 3

Crazy morning that started too soon with a before 7:00 a.m. phone call I could have done without. Through the day, I had 3 scammer calls.
I spent a lot of time on the phone trying to correct account issues on a credit card. I continued taking Tussin DM Cough Suppressant and Expectorant that does seem to encourage getting rid of the phlegm. John read the label and says this isn’t a good idea – for me.

I left a message for Mike at Habitat for Humanity shop and found out later in the afternoon he’d retired.

I needed to leave a message for someone on messenger, which is accessible through Facebook, so got on for a minute and this photo essay came up on my timeline. So, I’ll share.
I have known David Covert most of the time I have been in Ellensburg (since 1988).HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL THE FOUR SEASONS by David Covert.

Go to W David Covert on his Facebook account to see all the photos in their entirety. His photography is excellent.

I was headed to Kittitas today to do some errands. It was a fascinating trip from our house at 2240’ higher in the Kittitas Valley, where it was sunny and 40°. As I rounded the curves in the Naneum and proceeded SE, I viewed the fog bank in the lower valley. I called John to alert him, and he checked the I-90 and I-82 cameras. See them below in his Friday column, Not So Nasty News. I drove east on Thomas Rd, just down from our house on Naneum, turned south onto Fairview and ran into the fog near a friend’s house up from the old Grange on the corner of Brickmill Rd. That’s where our local rural fire station is; 5 miles from our home. From there the fog became severe, and I turned on my headlights and slowed down. I only had 10 miles total to go, and the last few miles were like a winter wonderland with frozen fog grasping the weeds and the evergreens people have planted in the shrub-steppe environment. When I arrived at my intended destination, the temperature was down to 30°. Yes, cold air drains downhill (but wow, a decrease of 10° in 640’ elevation change). On my trip home, I actually didn’t come out of the fog until just south of Thomas Rd.!

Saturday, Jan 4 Happy Birthday, John!

John’s already received his birthday cake and had a piece yesterday. It’s chocolate frosted chocolate cake. Also I gave him his present early, when he was online Amazon ordering some stuff for us. I needed a carrier for my new 5 Terabyte external drive. While he was there he ordered King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
I was alarmed and had to give him his present early because I had bought a book of that title for him for a birthday present. Turns out a number of similar books have been written by different authors. First compiled in 1485 by a bloke in jail, named Thomas Malory. Thankfully, he was ready to order a different author from the one I bought him. My only choice was to give him the present to open. He is happy to have both, to go with his first copy of one of the series, by author Howard Pyle, who does great illustrations too, under the Dover Press label.

It was snowing for a few minutes this morning, but now the sun is out and the wind has slowed down. It was blowing hard again last night and throwing things around making noise.

At 10:00 a.m. John’s out to do morning feeding and pick up the newspaper. A few days ago after the high winds he had to re-hang the paper holder under our mail box that got blown on the ground. Everything was fine this morning.

The rest of the day was filled with mostly staying in the house working on projects, except for John’s getting the newspaper and picking up a couple magazines from the mailbox, plus normal feeding chores of the horses.

I continued with various projects (mostly on the computer), but also tackled the dishes so now we have a clean set to use for the next couple days. I’m finishing up the blog maybe a little earlier than usual on Sunday.

I was off and on Facebook (FB) today for various reasons, the most recent is developing an acquaintance with a newly found friend through a site I recently joined, named ‘UKC Photographers’ (Upper County Photographers)—We are in Kittitas County, hence the KC. I’m happy they let me in because I truly enjoy the activity on the site. I don’t reside in the “upper county” but we spend a lot of time up there, and even more in the past when we were riding the trails there long before the Suncadia development invaded the space. We still go to the Cle Elum Clinic for our doctor and medical needs. I learned of this FB site while visiting the Swauk-Teanaway Grange, for the community Christmas dinner we attend every year, and on Sundays for 2 years we went on Sundays for a Bluegrass jam session there. We support many activities at the Grange, including their scholarships given to high school graduates in Kittitas County, who are planning on going to college. It’s open to all high school students in the county.

At the Community Christmas dinner is where I met Ginger Stogdell, who is one of the founding members of the site, and she invited me to join the FB group. We shared our email addresses at the Christmas party, and then exchanged the photographs we took that night.

All this above is by introduction to another member (Katie Kallio) who this week submitted these photos below. I commented on them and asked about the content. My first comment was asking the location of the photograph and from where it was taken, and also if I was seeing what I thought in the lower part, near the middle, of a white building. I thought it looked very much like the Swauk-Teanaway Grange. I was correct, as Katie responded to me on line. We started a conversation privately, and realized we had at least two friends in common (FB friends are listed by name, if mutual, when a person accesses a specific FB account.) We kept visiting much of the day. I cannot wait to meet her in person. She gave me permission to post any of her photos in our weekly blog. So, here’s the first!“What a Difference a Day Makes”—by Katie Kallio

We did have an interesting supper tonight. John fixed small pieces of cut up chicken breast, and I combined mine with 1/3 of the leftover Top Ramen with added vegetables and tonight I added many little piece cut from the pieces John fried. In addition, we had some small cut slices of spicy Baguette bread, that had been doctored up. I no longer have the name on the package because I repackaged them and put a few into a sandwich bag in the frig and divided the rest between two plastic bags that went to the freezer. They work for salads or soups.

Nice ½ hour talk with sister, Peggy, wishing John a Happy birthday and reminiscing about the way their family handled birthday parties. Not all we talked about, but that was at the end of the conversation. The beginning was to wish John a Happy Birthday, which she’d already done with a mailed birthday card and a couple of emails. We have been so busy today, we haven’t responded to anyone who sent a card, but we are thankful!

Sunday, Jan 5

I’m checking with a fairly new EBRG medical facility – Urgent Care, near where we play music some Saturdays. They open at 10:00 on Sunday. I’m wanting to see if they can check for a virus. My BP is way high.

On the way into EBRG I can stop at Warren’s place to pick up my Black Bag of music and we picked it up on our way by their house to urgent care.

Went to Urgent Care; and was diagnosed as “pneumonia cannot be ruled out” or maybe “bronchitis” and started on two medications to curtail it, but they didn’t have access to the previous X-ray from KVH-Cle Elum to compare. I’m going to go see my PCP tomorrow afternoon if they can work me in, for her opinion. Regardless, I need to have an INR before starting on high dosage of antibiotics and to deliver today’s chest X-ray on a CD for comparison to what’s in their system. I went today to urgent care, because I had very high blood pressure and they took me off the Tussin, (which had never increased it in the past). Gave me a “flu” test (swabs of my nose), and a chest X-ray. It took 3 hours out of our day, without truly knowing the answer. At least by the time I got there my BP was down to 132/70, which is still high, but nothing like it was in the early morning. And flu was ruled out (we have had our flu shots). [I use a battery powered wrist cuff for BP, and that might be an issue.]

We made it home at dusk – still some color in the things about, and John was able to care for the horses without having to use lights, and we have eaten a little. I took my first pill when home and will take the other before bedtime. There is heavy snow in the Cascades but not on this side yet. That’s the forecast, too, for all this coming week.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Christmas Week in the West

Monday, Dec 23

Started planning for the play-date at Hearthstone. It got better populated by players as the week progressed.

While cleaning in the garage, John found a bag with 4 long dresses of very large sizes. No clue where they came from, how they got there, or why. I have taken photos and will post on the free sites to get rid of them. I never wore long dresses at any weight. These are sizes 18, 20, 20, and 24.

We are having prime rib roast at the party we go to Christmas day at 4:00 p.m. Going to another before 2:00 just to visit friends (and their family) for an hour starting before their buffet potluck Christmas dinner. They will call us from Manastash Ridge as they are coming into the valley from west of Yakima, and we’ll drive over SE of our house ~11 miles. We’ll come back to feed our horses, and get down to our other Christmas dinner invite with our neighbor ½ mile away.

Today’s mail arrived from Sadie Thayer, with the paperwork for a deed for us to sign to give an old sign to the Kittitas County Historical Museum. This is their proof of what was given, who by, and a description. They already have it in their possession, but are finalizing the paperwork and also finishing the historical research on this local business (the sign dates back to 1917). Their description: It’s a metal sign with hand-painted design stating “1 mile to Ellensburg”, two motorcycles stopped on a dirt road waiting for a third, with trees lining the path and houses on the right side only, Harley-Davidson, and the advertisement for Mitchell’s Machine Shop, – Dealer -, and David L. Tittsworth. The sign measures 27-inches in width by 46 13/16-inches in height.”

This is not yet a good representative picture, because it has not been installed as planned in the museum on a wall with the documentation attached somehow, but when it is, we’ll go get a better straight-on photo and share the rest of the history of this place with you. We printed the paperwork, signed it, scanned it, and sent back to Sadie.

Tuesday, Dec 24

Started dishes, emptied dishwasher and refilled.
Trying to plan for Thursday’s music, and will be delivering the pair of very large jeans (I hope) after the music. That did not happen, but will in the future. If not, I have a backup person who is interested and wears the large size.

We talked to Kit, in CA, (John’s brother’s wife). She called us. Sounds as if she is doing well, and will turn 89 next year end of January.

I worked up a Christmas card to send. I’ll email out from our joint account. Been working on it off and on all afternoon and evening.

I started sending out Christmas wishes tonight via email, with a copy of the video of music we published in last week’s blog of our Thursday concert at an assisted living home, Meadows Place. This week I’m publishing the same music with different people but with the addition of antique sleigh bells. That performance was at another assisted living home, Prestige Senior Living at Hearthstone.

With the Christmas wish music video, I attached a photo of us on our 50th anniversary of July 12, 1969. We had no celebration this year, but we went to an event at the local senior center, with our newly acquired camera we gave ourselves for our gift, and had our photo taken with a gift we received from our cousins in Pennsylvania, Ethel, Pat, & Ken. I’ll repost it here:John & Nancy on July 12, 2019 at our local senior center
One of my former graduate students, a Native American, replied to my send, with a beautiful Christmas card: We talked with our sister Peggy tonight (in Ohio) after she returned from going to midnight mass at 10:00 p.m.! We found that timing interesting.

Tonight, our friend Evie Schuetz crafted gingerbread houses with her family; this one is Evie’s creation:Evie Schuetz’s Gingerbread House
The whole family participates in these creations every Christmas eve.

Wednesday, Dec 25

We hope everyone received a Christmas Wish on email from us. If you did not, please let Nancy know. It started with It is described above in yesterday’s write-up, and was in last week’s blog on Thursday.

We made an earlier call to Pennsylvania to talk with John’s 101 yr. old cousin, Ethel, who was visiting her daughter, Pat, for Christmas. It is Pat’s birthday today (they celebrated hers last weekend). Today is a green Christmas for them, with temperatures in the 50s; we are 20° lower. We have snow on the ground but it is not snowing.

John just sent me this email this morning, with the subject line, “Commas.” On this day, many, many moons ago Adam said to Eve: “It’s Christmas Eve”.

We are getting ready to celebrate two Christmas dinners, after our early morning getting up, and having breakfast.
We need to go to the first before 2:00 p.m. to visit (did not eat) at the Orcutt’s family farm, meeting a few of the family there. Suzy West is one of the many children of the Orcutts, both of whom have passed over the rainbow bridge. I knew them before meeting the rest of the family. They came to dance at the senior center on Fridays, where I played with a few others for the old time dance music starting in 1990.

Bob & Suzy will call us from Manastash Ridge and we will meet them at Jen’s house on Fox Road, about 11 miles SE of our house. Bob was my student in 1997, in Geography, and he was married to Suzy. So our connection to the family has continued. We joined them for Christmas dinner every year and for other family celebrations. We will visit an hour and come home to feed the horses while there is still daylight, and we can shut the doggie door (window) and keep the raccoon out of the den.

We are invited for prime rib dinner at our neighbor, Joanie Lee, down Naneum Road (a mile, round trip), 4:00 p.m. Boy what a huge amount of really good food. I’ll see if I can remember it all: started with a table full of hors d’oeuvres (including more than crackers, cheese, meat, seafood, and dips). John and I drank Pepsi. With the prime rib (au jus, if you wanted), they served twice baked potatoes, with cheese, green bean casserole, green salad, water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, deviled eggs, rolls, and a baked ham. 3 different pies for dessert: apple, pumpkin, huckleberry/raspberry with ice cream.

Thursday, Dec 26

Playing at Hearthstone today, the same music that was in our Christmas card we sent out starting yesterday via email, except we added sleigh bells, so you may wish to check the link below for the added wintertime historical effect.

I visited Bi-Mart for Christmas candy, and on by for a short visit with neighbor Ken, who’s temporarily at the rehab.

Posted to UKC Photographers one of silver frost on barbed wire and on chain link fence – one each. Had nice comments on the photos. You have already seen them in the photo collection Dec 17 published as a link in the blog.
Today, another UKC Photographer member posted a wonderful photo of one of my favorite things in the skyscape, a sun dog:Photo by Scott Seymour, with his permission to print

I went early to Hearthstone to set up the chairs, and to and set up video for filming the December music including sleigh bells, we played our last time this year, minus our last song, A’Soalin’.
Thanks so much to Reta Hutchinson for bringing her grandfather’s sleigh bells that date back to the early 1900s. We had quite a crowd, even with so many missing players and audience members. Having Barb Riley join us was absolutely wonderful. We had an appreciative audience, and probably the best cake dessert many of us have eaten. It was a piece sized ~2″ x 2″ of two rich chocolate layers (almost the consistency of a brownie, with a white filing, and a peppermint type frosting. We stood around at the end visiting, eating, and talking about it.

NOTE on this video below, you might want to pull the start to 4:20 minutes in to get to the December music with sleigh bells.

Music with Sleigh Bells, 12-26-19

One more after Christmas creation by my photographer friend, of whom I have shared her photos in the blog on many occasions, Evie Schuetz, taken the day after Christmas before taking down all her Christmas decorations:Evie’s kitchen counter, tree, & decorations through a crystal ball lens. What a wondrous creation! Her photographic captures never cease to amaze me. Photo by Evie Schuetz, Kittitas, WA

Friday, Dec 27

We woke to an inch of fresh fluffy snow.

Seems checks are still needed. Knowing they were very high priced, I called Umpqua Bank, to ask the price of checks ordering through them. It would be 80 checks for $55, even higher than the last time I asked, and when I decided to stop using them. But, there are times one needs to write a check, so I needed to get some ordered. The recommendation from the banker was, “Go through Costco, if you have a membership there. Costco uses the same check printing company.”

Here is the meat of this story that took more than 1-1/2 hours of my time today, spaced out over the day, starting at 10:00 a.m. on the phone with my local bank (twice) and with a call to the Harland Clarke® Check Printing company in New Braunfels, TX, Costco’s exclusive provider of checks and forms, also twice. The first call was supposed to result in a returned call from the company, but it never came. I got on line again to their website and followed the instructions to order checks based on my Premium membership through Costco, which is supposed to save me 50% on charges. The percentage savings is much more than that. I haven’t calculated, but need to figure the difference of going through my bank or going through the same company using my Costco membership number.

Here is the most important part of this story. Get online through Costco to order checks and see the information you need to input, but do NOT order through there. Do it in person via the phone number below. You need to figure out such things as these: the Item # of the check style you choose, the lines of information you want printed on the checks, and the decisions about single or duplicate (I recommend duplicates for filing purposes later). Go ahead and type it into the web order form to see the actual spacing on the check: Bank routing #, your checking account #, what you want written on the top of the check (allowed two lines for names), then address, and I added one phone number (our landline) because it’s the only one with reception, e.g., I put our Phone number on the last line after the address.

Below is the toll-free phone number to give your check printing order in person to a live person (and in my case the amount was a few cents less than on the web). I could have my computer in my lap and receive the shipping notice and the confirmation report through my email account, and make changes, if needed. There was one change on my shipping label (which had been written correctly on the checks).
(Toll free) -> 1-(855) 556-5283, for ordering checks with a live person in TX

(Some of the information is repeated here, but this is a good summary): Here are my results: We have a premium membership with Costco, which allowed us to get two boxes of checks (total 382) for $14.44 (plain blue, my choice). My bank (Umpqua) wants $55 from the same company for only 80 checks, so they actually recommend to their customers to go through Costco for their checks, if they have a membership. However, do NOT go through the Internet to complete the order, but ONLY to know what information they will need (see above).

On an unrelated item: coffee in the Costco warehouse January brochure – Nescafe’s Taster’s Choice House Bend Coffee for 14 oz. bottle. I called Costco and found the price is $13.99, that’s $4.20 off starting after the first of the year. I buy a TurboTax package there, also. We will be going that way soon because the little blue Subaru is due for service.

Outside: John finally cut up a tree limb that had fallen in September.With some older pieces, also, he carried a heaping Gorilla Cart load of firewood to put at the end of our driveway with a FREE WOOD sign. After someone takes that he has another load ready to go.

I’ve been working on music for Jan/Feb, and on several other needs for cleaning stacks of materials, clothing, dishes, file folders, emails, dealing with problems with getting new checks purchased. Sending Jacquie Lawson cards and fixing up problems.

Saturday, Dec 28

Started with an early rising to let in cats at 4:30 a.m. who had gone out at 1:10 a.m. but did not return, and couldn’t because of the doggie “window” door being closed to keep out the raccoon. Back to sleep until 8:00 a.m. and John stayed up; I slept another hour because I had stayed up until midnight last night.

I realized when going for my first medicine of the day, that my medicine dispenser for the week was empty. The first pills I put in for mornings are for Entresto which is taken twice daily as 1 -1/2 pills. We need to break the pill in half, which John is able to do by hand and not use a pill splitter. He does a few of my pills I cannot get done at the pharmacy, and split me enough for a couple weeks. He also broke my Magnesium pills for the evening when only a half is taken, but whole is in the morning. I have one more med to use my pill splitter on for the rest of a bottle that now has been lowered in dosage.

So, I began other things on the computer. One was searching for the ID of a hawk my friends saw in the south part of our valley. We seldom see hawks, except for Red-Tailed ones. I talked to her Thursday, and suggested checking the Cornell Ornithology site. Their identification web site is exceptional, especially the chance to compare like species and to see maps of their location for breeding and non-breeding areas.

While searching, I somehow adjusted the brightness down on my screen so had to go into settings to make the change to where I could see what I was typing. I searched the web and found this advice; “Windows 10: Select Start, choose Settings, and then select System > Display. Under Brightness and color, move the Change brightness slider to adjust the brightness.”
I don’t know what I did to lose it, but I have it back now.

John’s now out feeding the horses. Our temperature is above freezing, but there is no sun yet. I spent time emptying the dishwasher and soaking dirty dishes to pack into the washer. Time spent on email, and switching soon, back to this blog. It may be shorter this week than usual, which will please John. His nasty news put out Friday contains a lot of information, particularly about the construction (repairing) process in our attached garage (which not used for cars).

John just returned from feeding to get his camera for a photo of the free wood sign and wood at the driveway entrance. Will be interesting to see how fast it disappears.Lunch: scrambled eggs combo (with ham, onions, red peppers, & cheese) with toast for brunch, when I uncovered some of his pants full of hay pieces that needed shook out, before washing. When he stepped outside the back door, he saw a nicely antlered buck, so grabbed his camera and got a couple photos before the guy jumped the fence. I got to see him too straight on, but we have no photos that way. He looks young and we cannot really tell if he has 4 points on both sides or not, but suspect he does. We have not had any large bucks around here this year, as in the past.Continuing with my chores. I’m alternating with them and writing the draft of the blog. We are not going anywhere today.

I finished putting my medicines in the container for this next week. Also managed to order refills from the new Kaiser Permanente Mail Order Pharmacy. My most expensive medication is Entresto but through them I get a 90-day supply for the price of two months ($80). Also ordered 90 days of Spironolactone for only $10 total.

I added cell & land line phone numbers to my cell phone for Katie at Briarwood. She is going to help repair our Christmas sweaters during their crafters workshop on Fridays from 10 to noon. I need to go to the senior center this coming Friday (1-3), for a party, so I will combine trips with lunch and games (including a game of Jeopardy).

Searching for some information, I found this old link to my past in the 1950s and 1960s. It was in the 2011 web page sent for annual greetings, which we have quit doing, with our weekly blog’s existence. Look below and see me playing a Ukulele in a Brownie band, singing at 3 yrs old in the Cherub Choir, and some other unique things back to high school days (as reminisced with classmates at our 50th High School Reunion in 2011).

Nancy’s past, Garden Hills Elementary & North Fulton High School, Atlanta, GA

I succeeded tonight in sending the November KAS (Bird) meeting report on Fungus among us, out to the Kittitas Audubon Society mailing list. Also sent the photos from the Dec 20 AAC Christmas Party to a list of folks I know as members of the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center (our senior center).

Sunday, Dec 29

We’re not sure what today will bring, but we are staying home.
Completed dishes, finished blog draft, setup the announcement for playing KVF&F schedule, trying to get a look at all January dates, but this Thursday is most important. Need to setup going to Geography tomorrow with ream of paper, etc., and master of Jan-Feb music with the additional couple of changes I need to print out and add to the end. Better get going on that chore.

John went to the swamp with his gorilla cart to bring up some previously cut firewood. He just returned and has fed horses and quail – if they come.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Christmas Season underway

Monday, Dec 16 This beautiful Wintry Scene creation was done by Evie Schuetz.

Here is her explanation of the creation (starting from a photo of her favorite tree in the Kittitas High School Parking Lot):

I enjoyed making this one quite a bit. I took the photo of the tree a few days ago when we got all that nice new snow, and then I mashed it up with a photo I took last winter of the Columbia river. Kinda fun looking at the Columbia River bank running through the school parking lot…

I started this morning before John for a change. I was up feeding an outside cat (Woody, which is a little late for her normal arrival) and letting an inside cat (Czar) out. Right about 6:30, I could see a pretty purple and blue pastel sunrise through the trees. Later, when I got up to stay, the fog had rolled in and nothing was visible.

I began my detective work today talking with my PCP’s office referral coordinator, Susan, about an imaging referral for my Mammogram to the local hospital. I called to question the date on mine Dec 11, 2019 that was not in the time frame for Medicare to pay for it (supposed to be at least one day and a year after for the next image).

She had sent electronically saying on the paperwork, “is due for Mammo after 12-11-19.”

It was scheduled wrongly by an Imaging department’s scheduler and caught by my technician, Rose, on December 11, 2019, when I went in for my appointed time.

I called the hospital, and asked Donna, the main scheduler, how many others work there, because she knew she had not scheduled my appointment. She answered three. I asked her to notify the others when scheduling, because it should not have happened when the paperwork came from my PCP’s office with the correct date I’d had it last year. She is going to bring it up in a meeting (they have one every morning) to be sure the date is scheduled for one day AFTER the previous year’s mammogram. I asked her to thank Rose (the technician) and to put my next planned (Jan 21) a request for her to be the technician to do my mammogram. I guess as John says, it’s the patient’s responsibility to follow up on all this. I had Donna check the referral records, and the previous year’s date WAS written in the box at the bottom of the referral. In my opinion, it should not be my responsibility to check on such things. It should be flagged in the computer system, when they make the appointment. They have complete medical records there in their system, and I have always had it done there.

I have been working on photos for 3 links I put in the blog without proper completion. I started with the AAC Christmas decorations, and finished those (58 photos). If you didn’t get the links, I’ll put them here in this blog, but they have been corrected in last week’s blog. Here’s the first:

Christmas at AAC 2019 photos by Nancy

The second was at the Community Christmas Dinner at the Grange in Cle Elum

Swauk-Teanaway Grange Christmas, 12-8-19 pix by Nancy

I have now finished the third, my trip to Kittitas to deliver the jump drive with the videos on it to Evie Schuetz to put on her YouTube site. That was a success.
I took photos on my way there and back, now in this blog.

Below is one link to Google Photos for 30 photos I stored:

Trip to Kittitas 12-14-19

Tuesday, Dec 17

I got up and turned on a bathroom heater, showered and am eating cheesy biscuit made last night by John, and I’m about ready to go for haircut at 11:30 a.m. to Celia’s, around our rural block.

I had a morning call from Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy mail order. My Rx for Metoprolol is in and on profile, so having just filled it, I will call when it runs out in 3 mos.

John got a last minute dental appointment for consideration of a root canal today at 2:00 p.m. in Yakima with Eric Fillmore (where he has been before in 2011).

On my way to and from town, I took photos of the hoar frost (or silver frost).
Here are some captures on the Naneum Fan:Frost on Naneum Road and at our entrance

Silver frost on barbed wire and on chain link fence on our place

Below is one link to Google Photos for 17 photos I stored:

Silver Frost on Naneum Fan, 12-17-19

After my haircut and late lunch I did errands in town. I didn’t get home until after dark, which is NOT good with a raccoon that checks in regularly and I had left the doggie door window open for the two cats and dog. Luckily, nothing happened, in my absence.

John called and reached me still in town, via my cell phone. He was just leaving the dental office at 4:15 p.m. with his new root canal, and was heading to Costco to buy my request of Fruitcakes and also he got two jars of Nescafe coffee. They quit selling the one we preferred (Folgers Instant Coffee). He got home about 6:00 p.m. Maybe we won’t have to visit Yakima again in 2019.

I’m finally able to sit down after immersing dirty dishes to soak in hot soapy water before putting in the dishwasher first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, Dec 18

We had 5 singers using sleigh bells brought by Reta from her grandfather’s collection, a harmonica player (Dean), me on the violin, singing and announcing, and a drummer (on a cardboard box). I had copies of the music for the audience and several joined in. On songs they knew, others added their voices. Many compliments at the end, and we played a total of 18 songs in about 44 minutes.

NANCY at beginning, in front of their tree.Came home to much work; and was ready to go to town for a party at the Kittitas County Historical Museum, but just before 4:30, when it was already dark and John went up to get the mail and close the gates, our hay delivery truck came down the driveway with 2 tons of hay. A floodlight on a nearby shed shines onto the place where the hay is unloaded.

I was feeling tired so I canceled our trip to town. Talked with Sadie the director, and she’s going to meet with us later about a sign we donated to the museum. I need to get a photograph of it. She has been doing research and found out some very interesting information about the sign, an original painting on metal.

She will be typing the documentation and give us a copy of it. They are going to give us paperwork for a tax deduction consistent with other signs of businesses in their collection. Some of the neon business signs are worth money in 5 digits. Amazingly, she said ours was in the 4 digits category, and another one was in a collection of an Ellensburg family that was sold to the Red Horse Dinner but that one (in 4 digits) was not nearly in as good a condition as ours. This is all surprising to us because we have never made this type of donation. Maybe we can get rid of more stuff.

Supper: Frozen lasagna, with added summer sausage and Havarti cheese, plus cheddar, a cubed baked Honeycrisp apple in cinnamon & brown sugar.

Thursday, Dec 19

Did a bunch of stuff before leaving, had a small brunch, dressed in more Christmas clothes, and took off for town a few minutes early; good thing, ran into snow down the road 3 miles. It was snowing harder as I went south.

I went into Pacifica at 1:15 to unload music and violin at the door, and then parked my car. It was beginning to snow big snowflakes and coming down fast. I returned to the building, met up with another player, and we went into the dining room. Terri was setting up our chairs.

Maury and Marilyn were already there. We have a bunch of things to be done for setup. Everyone was there in plenty of time, but we were short on any audience members, so at 2:45, I went out to find Terri to request her knocking on doors to invite people down. She had already asked two aides to do that, but I told her no one was there yet, and we were ready to start. We visited a bit more, and then started our program at 10 minutes to 2:00 p.m. More people started arriving but we had plenty of audience music copies.

Before the day was over, Terri returned with a bag of presents for those expected to be there today. Here’s 2 photos of the gift:Activities director Terri had left the room by the time we ended, so I distributed the gifts she’d brought.

We went out to find our cars adorned in 4” of snow. I did not have a broom or brush so had to get creative to be able to see out of the windows to drive home (and give my friend Sandy a ride home). She used her cane handle and I used my gloves and my small blade for removing ice and snow on the windows, and top of the doors and car. Still a lot of snow came inside the car.

Roads home were white and treacherous. Some road sections were unplowed.

Friday, Dec 20

We moved a bit faster this morning in anticipation of going to the Christmas party at the senior center (Ellensburg Adult Activity Center). We got there just after 11:00 p.m. and found a place by the back door, and I took some photos of people and decorations while waiting for our South Lake Tahoe friends.

I have left room for one link to all photos I took today at the party, but for now, here is John with Sonja, his plate of food, and his Merry Christmas sweater. The food is turkey casserole w/ veggies and mixed green salad. We think the turkey is left from Thanksgiving (frozen).Sonja and John shortly after they arrived, earlier, John eating.

Kevin and Sonja at AAC; Nancy at home after because we forgot to take one together with them.

Kevin is a serious bike rider, Sonja is a horses and dogs person. Good thing he is a veterinarian.
When the program started, the four of us went to the empty computer room.

Our friends (Sonja & Kevin Willitts from S. Lake Tahoe) stopped on their way east from Issaquah (15 mi. east of Seattle), where they spent the night with friends, had breakfast, just a couple hours before they got to us. They called from about 15 minutes away (according to her smart iPhone).
We were served lunch about 11:30: John had finished eating when they arrived, but I was busy taking photos and taking bites of lunch.

There was a gift exchange (we took two gifts, but John didn’t participate). I left them visiting, stayed through the gift exchange, to take a few pictures, and then I rejoined them. The gift I won was a platter of cookies, which I took to share at the Briarwood party on Saturday. Also, at the AAC while they were there, was an Ugly Sweater contest and a friend won it. I had taken a photo of her earlier in the day. Once the program was over, there were photos with Santa. This was the first year since 2010 that I did not have my photo taken, sitting on Santa’s knee, with Mrs. Claus present. She wasn’t there with him today.

Here is Jacquie (left) who won the ugly sweater contest with friend Erin.

Below is one link to Google Photos for 53 photos I stored:

AAC Christmas Party, 12-20-19

On our way home, we stopped to deliver a gift to my friend, Vicki Lennox, and this is our Christmas photo.I guess you’re going to get tired of seeing me in this outfit. I cannot find my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Sweatshirt, an alternate thing I often wear.

Saturday, Dec 21

Busy morning getting ready to leave.
Went to Briarwood and we had a good turnout of players and audience.Dessert table and what was on the back of the table for us to have with coffee or ice water. From silly face, crossed eyes to crossed feet with a smirk; right smiling (on her way in) with her bowl of peppermint candies and candy canes for the residents (who love her).

I also presented some gifts to Haley and her mom, Amy after we played music:Haley with her “I Believe in Santa” cup and Amy with matching cup to her sweater with unicorn and rainbow. Note, Haley took the photo on the right.

Supper: Turkey breast, gravy, baked Honeycrisp apple cubes. We lost a butternut squash casserole with pecans and marshmallows. That in a Corning Ware dish missed the oven rack and crashed into the floor. The not yet browned marshmallows were easier to clean up than had they been crisp and gooey inside. So sad. We had a small piece of red velvet cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Sunday, Dec 22

This was sent to me on Facebook, by my friend Amy Davison. For those of you with Facebook access, you will appreciate this link:

Ice Tsunami in Dudinka, Russia

The town is along a river that flows north, via the Yenisei Gulf ( Yeniseyskiy Zaliv), into the Kara Sea – Arctic Ocean.

John fixed us a nice lunch: chunks of turkey breast and pieces of button mushroom with Havarti cheese melted on it; side French fries.

John’s got an unanticipated project. The garage ceiling failed, again, with plasterboard falling onto the garage door rails. He will report on this and the fix next Friday.

Because the garage is used as a place to store “stuff” – we’ve never used it as a place to park our cars – he has been moving things around and out. A space 12 ft. by 6 ft. has to be cleared so he can work from a stepladder.
This is forcing us to sort through and get rid of some things. Once he finds something we don’t need, I’ll take photos and pass them along via the Free Facebook distribution sites.

Supper: Creamy four cheese Rice-a-Roni w/ turkey breast chunks, butternut squash w/roasted marshmallows, baked Honeycrisp apple cubes. The turkey breast weighed over 4 pounds. Some will have to be packaged as frozen dinners.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan