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

Short daylight; reversal soon

Monday, Dec 9

Prices of our medications at different pharmacies: I called Kaiser Permanente (KP) pharmacy and asked prices on all John’s prescriptions. Then I compared to GoodRx prices for his from Fred Meyer, versus KP’s and Safeway, where they had been sent by our PCP.

All for both of us is a 90-day supply. (Lacey changed all these on the records for us on Dec 11, 2019).

Need to change to Fred Meyer for Tamsulosin 0.4mg ($13.91) – but, will wait for the evaluation of a change in dosage before filing this one. John’s now on an interlude with this one.

Changed to KP MailOrder for Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg ($10), and already received our first mail order.

Changed to Fred Meyer for Levothyroxine 88mcg ($20.13) and Lisinopril 30 mg ($11.96), and picked it up late this week.

Changed Nancy’s Metoprolol to KP. It will save me $20/yr below the cost at Super 1.

Call from Cle Elum, Paige in referrals, to Dr. Roux, NW Orthopedics, (EBRG), for appointment for my left shoulder. I think it was for a shot of cortisone? although I think he told me that would not cure my situation. Well, they are to call me about scheduling an appointment. The call came through from Yakima, and the scheduler said she would have to schedule me with Dr. Wong, because Dr. Roux did not want to be involved. I know he is mainly doing knees now, not shoulders, but I also know he told me shots would not help my condition, and he gave me a very complete analysis of the X-rays and my left shoulder condition. He said it was bone on bone, bone spurs, and bone cysts, and showed us on the X-ray. He also said I was not a candidate for a complete shoulder replacement, because of the chance of death from the operation. I can only have operations with a local. So I declined the requested referral and did not make an appointment.

Midday, I received an email on one of my accounts from a GIS person in Spokane, WA, Tim Leach. It came from the Central Puget Sound GIS User Group list, and is from the Spokesman-Review Newspaper there. We lived in Idaho for 15 years, and the closest big city was Spokane, so we were quite familiar with the paper and subscribed to it.

Check the link below for an interesting article, and that is preceded with a very old map of the world:A copy image of a more than 500-year-old map that was the first to use the name “America.” It also was the first to depict a separate Western Hemisphere and a separate Pacific Ocean. (Associated Press)

How do people name continents or places on Earth?

Supper: soup, fish, and a strange Café Steamers® Beef Merlot (Tender Beef Strips [not tender and not strips, but chunks] with Russet Potatoes & a Vegetable Medley [tough carrots and green beans] in Rich Merlot Wine Sauce). I got on sale at Fred Meyer. It was awful. The wine sauce was cooked in a plastic bowl beneath the other stuff, which was steamed through holes in the plastic container placed over the sauce. Literally, the weirdest frozen dinner either of us have ever experienced, and do not wish to again in our lifetime. I hope I didn’t buy two of them. It was a purchase of 5 different dinners (mix & match) to get $1 off each dinner.

Tuesday, Dec 10

We pulled out the roll of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip cookie dough, needing a snack for tomorrow morning’s meeting. When that thawed, I formed and cooked them on parchment paper.

I fixed a bag of undergarments with 3 new packages of nylon knee highs, to take to the Ellensburg Community Clothing Center to arrive about a little before 11:00 a.m. to look for a Christmas Sweater for John (did not find one), and other Christmas tops for me. I found more for me than he did, so he helped me carry it. I got two very nice Christmas sweaters, two Christmas tops, a pair of Christmas gloves, a cool pair of (I think) pajama bottoms, black with red/white candy canes, which I probably will wear with my not so ugly Christmas sweater and top to the party Dec 20 at the AAC (Senior Center).

We then went for lunch at the Food Bank Senior Nutrition dinner (had beef stew, bowl of fruit, rolls, and piece of frosted chocolate cake), with juice. The chunks of beef were tough, so we took most home and will re-cook another day. I went to Safeway for my meds which were not properly halved yet (so we had to return later), and then on to the hospital for a blood draw, which they screwed up by not drawing enough blood for analyzing it and will have to redraw in the morning (on a day that’s an even fuller day than today).

We had several stops to make today. Packed my pills and red bag to go to Food Bank and AAC, because the red bag has my entry swipe to the AAC. They keep track of attendance daily.

We went by Bi-mart with coupons and to check numbers. We found some thermal socks for me, and I don’t remember what else we got we went for. Not all the coupons were pertinent to our needs. Oh, we got some clothes and dishwashing liquid on sale. John found a flannel blue shirt on sale, but it did not show that price at the register. Meghan came up front to fix that glitch.

Wednesday, Dec 11

Today was the busiest day of the week – starting at Hearthstone at 8:45 a.m., with set up for the retired geographer’s meeting, on to the hospital for the redraw and then over to Imaging for a mammogram, which didn’t occur (see below), to Liberty Theater to play music for the Food Bank Lunch, take my antibiotics at the end of playing so I can be at the dentist at 1:00 for teeth cleaning (hour) followed by two teeth cracked needing repaired.

What a day this was! Started with both of us driving separately to Hearthstone, leaving after 4” of snow, on unplowed roads at 8:25 a.m. 2 miles from our house we had a wide load coming toward us taking up most of the narrow rood (Naneum). I move over as far as possible and it barely went by. Rather scary. We made it to town with only one slick spot on a right turn onto the Kittitas highway, from the north. I unloaded my stuff, and went back to park my car on the street.

We had several people make it in through the snow: Ken, Carla, Lillian (who lives there), Mary Ann, and the two of us. We set up the tables and put our Santa Claus platter full of chocolate chip cookies out, with little plates. Hearthstone provided the hot chocolate, coffee, and hot water. The cookies recipe was requested by a couple of ladies there, and for your information, they were made from a roll of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip cookie dough.

Lillian’s Family and her painting on the right

Top Lil holds her family members photo

Lillian Brooks tells her Family Reunion Story

Lillian Brooks continues her Christmas story

Mary Ann

Mary Ann Macinko’s Thanksgiving Story

I left at 10:20 for my trip to the hospital; having difficulty finding a parking spot (had to drive over the snow packed in the last available spot on a corner. Then I had to leave the spot and back in, because I couldn’t get out into the snowbank, but could next to a truck (which was parked too close). I walked around the back of the car, to pick up my violin, and not leave it in the cold car. Good thing, because our side mirrors were too close, so I couldn’t have gotten by the front of my car and the truck. From the back, there was a sidewalk I could use to get back to the front entrance of the hospital.

Checked in for two appointments: the repeat blood draw and a mammogram. They took me right in for the blood draw, and had to go through 3 vials before realizing the problem was the vials somehow shutting off the blood flow too soon. It is a problem that sometimes happens when they are roughly handled in the shipping process. Finally, my phlebotomist, Paige, told me the problem and got around it by using a different method of filling a different vial. Also, she said that the problem yesterday was the same; not enough blood was drawn for the test. That was not the first story I received by phone when asked to return for another draw. She was going to get rid of the box of vials before others had to suffer as I did.

Walked across the hall to Imaging for my mammogram, which they had scheduled. Luckily, Rose, my technician, knew enough to look at the last date I had one, and it was the same day, Dec 11, 2018. My test should not have been scheduled until one day later than last year’s. She showed me the Medicare form I was going to have to sign to have the test paid for. #3 on the form was the ability to say I refused to take the test and would reschedule. Otherwise, it would have cost me $400. I thanked her profusely and I will be writing an evaluation thanking her for her attention to detail. I’ll also suggest they arrange for all schedulers to have access to the date of the last one so that won’t happen in the future to anyone else. An alert by the system should be presented at the time of scheduling by the computer.

From there I made it to the Food Bank earlier than originally planned, so I was there in time to help with setup. We had a good turnout: 5 singers: Richard, Reta, Peggy, Robert, Bob and instrumentalists: Dean, Evelyn, Richard, & Nancy. We are still doing Christmas music. Soon as we were done, I had to take my Amoxicillin in preparation for my 2 hours of dental work.

For lunch, I had bought my protein drink (Ensure & Yogurt), and I went to the buffet line, but only took a bowl of fruit in yogurt, and a piece of spice cake with chocolate chips and a dab of chocolate frosting.

I left and made it to the dentist in time, and took my violin in with me. My cleaning started on time and it was successful. I was moved to another chair for my dentist to examine two teeth #10 and #7, which had been chipped. She decided that today we would do #7, to put in a composite filling. But, we’ll wait for the other until January. I bought a container of Prevident prescription fluoride toothpaste ($15), which lasts a long time, even using it every night. Checked out and tentatively made appointments for my next two visits: the January one, and the next cleaning, in April. I need to get them on the 2020 calendar.

From there, I went by with my camera and stopped at the AAC to use their computers for a quick glance at email in case anything important had come in. My main reason was to take photos of all the Christmas decorations around the senior center. They have done a beautiful job. I took a lot of photos I’m going to put in a Google photo album to share with one link. Here are two:Ellensburg Adult Activity Center (Senior Center)

Christmas at AAC 2019 photos by Nancy

From there off to Elmview for a glance at the bread room. Today I found some spicy baguette slices and a loaf of 3 cheese Semolina bread. John gave me an ultimatum of no more bread. No room in the freezers. However, if I find English Muffin Toasting Bread loaf, I will get it and separate into small packages and stick in small spaces in the freezers. He can take out a couple of ice packages (2 liter bottles).

For supper, we had pizza, compliments of the AAC, with roasted salmon from Costco. Fruitcake for dessert.
Got my photos and videos off the camera. I sent off the chair count for tomorrow at Meadows. We only had one last minute change.

Thursday, Dec 12
Cold Moon in Roslyn, WA 12-12-19 by Jennifer Lipton

This is a fantastic capture which she took when she arrived home safely from dangerously slippery surfaces on I-90 with multiple car spin-outs. I plan to use this photo to invite Jen into a Facebook photography group I just joined. It is UKC Photographers. You folks saw Jen in our last week’s blog taking their son on the search for a Christmas tree.

John stayed home today and push-broomed snow to clear driveways and area around our hay barn to get a load of hay delivered tomorrow. We tried to get it before the snow fell and requested it a month ago, but that didn’t happen.

I spent the morning on medical appointment planning, and getting the videos and photographs taken yesterday into shape. Still a lot of upload time required.

I left before 1:00 p.m. for town (in the fog), to get there for setup and took along my new camera to see if Evie could help me adjust the white balance because inside photos had too much orange. She succeeded and I took some photos, and set up my tripod to take a video of our performance. We had a good audience who enjoyed the music very much. They always are happy to see us each month on the 2nd Thurs.

This was particularly a great day because many of the players were dressed in their Christmas clothes.

Evie Schuetz & Nancy HultquistKittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends: Manord, Evie, Gerald, Charlie, Dean, Nancy, Sharon, Amy, Charlotte, Sandy at Meadows Place, December 12, 2019

Here is the 51-minute video, of a longer musical performance:

Fiddlers & Friends at Meadows Place

I want to start this description with a humongous thanks to EvieMae Schuetz for taking my two very large video files recorded of us and using her talents and equipment to edit them and put together as a smooth flowing presentation and then upload to her YouTube site to send me the link to share with my friends. I am totally unable to do this with this camera because of the resolution, and my Internet speed would not allow me to ever upload the video to YouTube. We all owe Evie an amazing thanks and a big hug.

I’m looking into the possibility of getting this Internet speed at my house, but no one is open to inquire until Monday. I also do not have the software she has for editing, so I need to determine if that is a possibility for me to add to my computer.

This afternoon after music at Meadows Place, I gave my friend Sandy a ride home, but had to drop by two pharmacies for meds for me and for John, and grab another item from Fred Meyer while in the pharmacy, which Sandy was able to help me get, because she has some and knew where they were in the store. She went for it as I was waiting in line at the Pharmacy. I was not successful at the Pharmacy because I left the GoodRx coupons home on the counter. It will save me over $20 to get them and go back tomorrow. Turned out to save me $42! This difference in pricing is just wrong, but I’ll play the game and find the pharmacy with the best price.

Tonight I’ve been working more on emails, and more planning for things to be completed for the retired geographers and for the music group.

Friday, Dec 13

We do not know when the hay delivery will occur. I need to drive to town midday. We’ll see how that goes. It happened while I was away, and two tons were delivered to our hay barn. Good, because we would have run out on Monday.

My photo for the day came from a brief trip to Meadows to deliver some donated cakes from the Kittitas Pantry, and to share the contact for a woman from Kittitas, who wants to take her grandchildren to visit residents without family members. The activity director and caregiver present were thrilled at the prospect and pleased to accept the Christmas cakes.

As I was leaving Meadows, I saw a photo opportunity, and had my camera along, so I took it. Look below on Saturday to see where I published it.

From there, with my GoodRx coupons, I went to Fred Meyer Pharmacy for John’s medications. I saved $42. That was certainly worth the second trip to town.

Also, the purchase generated a bunch of fuel points, so I used them to fill my tank that was only ½ down, but the price with fuel points was 30 cents off each gallon, making the charge/gal only $2.69. Worth the trip to town. As I walked in the front door of Fred Meyer, a Salvation Army “ringer” was at the donation pot with his banjo, singing Christmas songs. I stopped and joined him singing, “Deck the Halls.” His photo was in the paper tonight, from the day before:A singing musician surely beats ringing a bell in a closed room at the store’s entrance.

I still need to read postal mail from the past two days. Finally, did. Thanks for all the beautiful Christmas cards. We are not getting any mailed out this year, and haven’t even thought about a wrap-up of this year’s activities for the blog. We’ll probably come up with a short one to have on our weekly blog, around Christmas.

I called Discover card after receiving a strange email. All is well, we have a new card since a fraudulent return was refunded 9-15-19, and all changes are made. If I get another email message about my old 3137 number, I have a “fraud report” email to forward it to at Discover, if I get another. Scams are on the upturn, especially this time of year. Now I need to be sure there are no auto-pays using that number. I’m looking at every transaction on the statement when it arrives each month.

Supper: Broccoli-Cauliflower-Havarti cheese in mushroom soup, with a little piece of John’s homemade meatloaf and a half of a Cordon Bleu on the side.

Saturday, Dec 14

Another sleep-in morning for me after a late night, and early 5:45 awakening by companion cat, Czar. Because of the errant raccoon, we have to close our doggie/kitty door at darkness. He went out the front door but did not wish to go farther, so after sitting awhile, I invited him back in, sat down and petted his head and under his chin (which he dearly loves), and he went back to bed on his blankie. So, I went back to bed too.

I’ve been nibbling on things, and need to dress and take a thumb drive over to my friend Evie Schuetz in Kittitas to help me get some overly large videos taken Thursday of our music up to YouTube. My transfer rate is too low to process, and she has a very good setup for transferring at high speed through Charter. She has offered to do them for me. I need to check on their offering and if it is even available in our location. Last time we checked, nothing except DSL was available, and it is not fast enough. Our local land-line company is now called Consolidated Communications.

John is out. A once-a-year thing is to cut live poplar trees and take two 3 foot sections to the raclette. The green wood resists catching fire when we dump glowing coals between the pieces. This provides the semi-controlled heat for melting an overhanging block of cheese. He got back in time for me to make the trip to Kittitas, and I took along my camera just in case I saw something worth photographing. Our Kittitas Valley was filled with fog again, and Kittitas itself was fog ridden. As I left, I drove back through areas of fog that weren’t there on my trip down. I’ll put some of my photos of that trip in a link below.Top: Fog in the valley, bottom a lone Bald Eagle

Follow this link to get to 30 photos of my round trip to Kittitas, WA:

Trip to Kittitas 12-14-19

I put my two videos from Thursday on a Thumb drive and drove them to Evie in Kittitas, to put on her porch for her to find when she got back home. I gave her accolades up on Thursday, when we performed it and I posted it.

I’d better finish the dishes after finding a bird photo to share with the photographers’ FB site: UKC Photographers. I found it and shared it, with this comment:

Birds on a Bush photo follow-up to Scott Seymour’s “A Gathering of Goslings” photograph: This I captured yesterday while visiting Meadows Place, an assisted living home in Ellensburg. I thought this was a great commentary pictured. {John says, birds can’t read.}Birds on a Bush, near the entry to Meadows Place.

John brought a bucket with ice water into the kitchen and we soon had water on the rug and composite flooring. A make-work project.

We had a piece of chocolate cake before hitting the hay. It had a lot of frosting so we left off the ice cream.
John managed to get to bed before I did.

Sunday, Dec 15

A week late on getting the photos from the Grange Christmas dinner, but here it is:

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

Near the start, I met a photographer from Roslyn, Ginger Stogdell, and she told me of the UKC Photographers group on Facebook. She invited me to join, when she saw me taking photographs.

Busy all day with projects, still have to finish blog draft and get all the photos handled, blog text first. During the sunniest part of the afternoon John cut a little firewood that he will place up at the end of the driveway, with an “exotic” wood/free sign. Someone takes it within 3 days.

I just emailed the Emeriti group the stuff from last Wednesday’s meeting. I also called and had a nice phone conversation with my friend Morris Uebelacker. His birthday was yesterday.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Start the season

Monday, Dec 2

We started early this morning, John before me, with him feeding and taking care of the horses. I started by unloading the dishwasher, and reloading it. I had things to complete on email associated with this week’s activities and planning for them and am still in the process. At least the planning for the music for the month of December has been sent. Now I await responses from the group, so I can arrange for the correct number of chairs to be set up for our arrival, Thursday at 1:30 p.m. This effort is much like herding cats, but is necessary.

Now John is out and the sun is shining, with the temperature finally above freezing, at 33.8° just before noon. He had to repair (soften the handle) on the push broom, and now is out pushing snow off the porch and driveway.
Below I caught photos of the new “lined” shirt (Merry Christmas, John!) when he was on the porch fixing the handle, and then doing a little push-brooming with Annie tagging along as his companion. John fixing handle, and then using it with Annie following.

He’s out of sight now, so I assume he’s down in the pasture loading manure into the pickup truck. He figured yesterday he had about 1/3 filled. After it is loaded he will have to fix a time to go to the vineyard.

I’m working on my report from the wellness visit with our PCP Chelsea Newman, to take to our appointment tomorrow morning.
John will be in later to make a list of his medications, such as I have, and we have to remember to have her write a prescription to refill two of his.

Email message just before Noon from our sister, Peggy, in Parma, OH, that her cataract surgery went well. We had forgotten to put her date on our calendar, so emailed her a note back, and then I queued up a Jacquie Lawson thinking of you card to send, with an autumn flower/fruit arrangement: Consisting of flowers, berries, leaves, pine cones, wheat, fruits (pomegranates), and one opened at the end of the animation to display reddish purple seeds. To my knowledge I have never eaten a pomegranate, nor tried to de-seed one). I wonder what use people make of them? This was part of the card which got me off on this track.I guessed the fruit that started in the animated card, whole, was a pomegranate, after seeing this at the end. I honestly didn’t know. So I looked them up and found this video:

The BEST Way to Open & Eat a Pomegranate

After watching that, I knew I had never held one before, and certainly never eaten the seeds. I now wonder what they taste like. Every day provides a new learning experience. Isn’t that cool?

John got back to the house at 12:30, having loaded only a little more manure into the pickup. We were both hungry, so he fixed some brunch: Leftover “stew” from freezer, warmed in iron skillet. The contents are: Chicken, carrots, lima beans, potatoes (home fries), onions, and red peppers. I had fewer of the potatoes with mine and two different pieces of toast (English Muffin bread & 3-cheese Semolina).

John went back outside while the sun is shining and the temperature is still above freezing.
I need to set up things to take tomorrow on our way back through Ellensburg to a young woman for her and her daughter, and get the stuff into the car we will be driving, probably John’s Crosstrek. We loaded some bins for organizing the 3 yr. old’s toys, and added some Christmas cards I had to others I’d picked up for her from a friend south of Ellensburg. This gal is visually impaired and cannot drive, so I (and others in town) try to pick up stuff and get it to her.

I wrote Katrina (senior center) about a suggested addition to the Agenda for the 10th Dec Senior Advisory Commission meeting.
I am finishing sorting the cleaned clothes, loading the dishwasher, and working on the schedule for our music group for this Thursday (and for the other 4 days we play in December).

Supper: Split Green Pea soup (given to us in a can), with John’s additions of crinkled sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and sausage link pieces. He made some awesome cheesy biscuits to accompany the soup.
Resting before taking my shower.

Tuesday, Dec 3

Sunrise by Lise McGowan, described by her on Facebook as “Rise and shine” say our pasture friends!!! 20°F and holding. Beautiful blessed morning to start the day!

We got up early to get to our Cle Elum PCP by check-in at 9:45, leaving our house at 9:00. John had to feed the horses and start his car to warm it up for the trip. Most of our trip was fine, but the last few miles were in dense fog. We got there in time and checked in. We didn’t have too much paperwork, and I went around to the lab to give a urine sample.

My doctor’s nurse was waiting outside the bathroom door and took me to be weighed and go through my vitals. That didn’t take long and she helped me with the gown for my examination.
My doctor came in and we went over a few things, reviewed my paperwork and the PFT report I brought. She looked on her computer and it had been sent to my file there, so that was nice. She ordered my refills for the year, and then gave me a thorough going over including different things I’d never had done before, and some I had.

Once done, I went back to the waiting room to wait for John. We were out and drove to the S. Cle Elum post office to mail a large envelope to friends on the west side we’d been with the Saturday before for an early family Thanksgiving (our neighbors across the road, the Swedberg’s). We wanted to visit our friend at the P.O. because it’s been awhile since we saw the family. I wanted to tell him how much we enjoyed viewing on Facebook their recent trip to Cooper Lake to cut their Christmas tree with their young son, Miles. I was a teaching colleague with his mom, Jen Lipton, at CWU Geography.Miles ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Stefan, Postmaster ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Miles & Jen

From there we went to the Cle Elum Bakery for more treats for lunch and later. Got two plates of day old bakery goods, Bearclaws and Danish pastries, and fresh, 2 Apple Fritters for me.
We called sister Peggy for her report of the follow-up to her eye surgery this morning. Talked all the way to Ellensburg. All is well.

Once in town, we stopped at several places: grocery shopping, checking numbers at Bi-Mart and buying cough drops, and then went by the Dollar Tree to return two purchases that wouldn’t work for my needs, after opening one and realizing it was the wrong item. On to climb stairs to the Maximus Gym for my Probiotic that will last 4 months. My FitBit gave me 3 flights of stairs credit for the two steeply stepped parts of the staircase I climbed.

From there by a gal’s house to deliver two plastic bins for organizing her daughter’s toys, a bunch of new Christmas cards, and on to the community bread room for some rolls. We are given the opportunity to get day old bread for volunteering music on Wednesdays at the FISH food bank. The rolls are for a Sunday dinner.

Wednesday, Dec 4

Called Genworth Financial, and we are set for our Long Term Care Payment increase in premium March 2, 2020. Talked to a gal in the Philippines, where it is currently 1:14 a.m. [Genworth was hatched by General Electric Capital in 2004.]

Finally got the chair count completed and sent off to request 10 chairs tomorrow for our playing at the Rehab. Now I have to organize the December music to use for 3 players and for the audiences. I managed to locate all of it this afternoon, at the end of our hallway, where I keep music to use through the year, and John was kind to bring in my music carrier with the stuff from October & November in it, so I can replace with December’s.

Finally, I think I have all the music together for tomorrow… for 3 players and audience. (too much paper used, but 20 copies).

Thursday, Dec 5

After an unintelligible email from Kaiser Permanente (KP) mail order pharmacy about an upcoming delivery, I called to verify what had been sent. I found out it was my 2.5 mg tablets of Coumadin (Warfarin). My prescription refills had been sent Tuesday from the PCP’s office visit, to the KP pharmacy for both strengths I take weekly. However, the 5 mg tablets refill should have been sent to Safeway pharmacy in Ellensburg, where they will halve the pills for me (and save lots of money on the purchase). KP will not provide that service.

Played December (winter and Christmas) music at the Rehab for a large audience. Those there: Gerald, Jeanne in wheelchair, Dean, Nancy, Amy, Sharon, Charlotte, Amy, Sandy. The group, with Dean’s leadership, crafted a beautiful Christmas card from the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends. I’m honored and appreciative. It’s worth displaying, so meaningful. I’ve put the front of the card at the top, and here is the rest.

On the way home, I picked up fast-food sandwiches (Johns fixing fries), my meds, signed a card at AAC, went by the bread room, and then came home and finished packing cameras and stuff for the IAF meeting at CWU. We ate supper, and I drove us in to campus, because of the special CWU parking sticker on my car. We enjoyed a good lecture, and got home a little after 9:00 p.m. It’s now after 11:00, and John has gone to bed. I’m following as soon as I shut down my computer. I did manage to take all the photos and videos off my cameras.

Tonight for the local chapter of the Ice-Age Floods Institute, we had an exciting lecture by Marli Miller, Senior Instructor II, in the Dept. of Earth Sciences, Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR, about two books she’s written on the geology of both states.

First, an Introduction video by Nick Zentner to the evening:

Nick Zentner Intro to Marli Miller

Video’s title slide–presentation at Ice Age Floods Institute, Dec 5

Marli Miller: Assembling the Northwest–A Roadside View of Oregon & Washington Geology

During Marli’s presentation she shared a fascinating comment of the Ice Age Floods height as being higher than the Vista House on the Columbia River.

Following the lecture, Marli orchestrated an engaging discussion session with our audience’s insightful questions.

The video link follows with the content:

Marli Miller: Questions & Answers Discussion

Top – during the Q&A discussion; lower – her incredible web site of hundreds of her photographs of geology around Earth, and her generosity in making them accessible to anyone (with credits to her). Definitely check out this educational site.

With its spectacular mountain ranges, lush valleys and tumbling rivers, the Northwest landscape attracts nature lovers and travelers from around the world. But the rain-soaked coast ranges, snow-covered volcanoes and expansive high desert didn’t appear overnight. They formed through a variety of geologic processes over millions of years.

Geologist and Photographer Marli Miller will outline the geology of Oregon and Washington as seen along our federal and state highways.

Beginning with our plate tectonic setting, she will describe the process of continental growth that forms the underlying but diverse ‘basement’ of the region. The basement is readily apparent in the Coast Range, North Cascades, Okanogan, Klamath, and Blue Mountains. Following that, a photographic “roadtrip” along I-84 and Washington State Highway 14 in the Columbia River Gorge will illustrate many of the younger features that make our landscape so unique.

Miller is the author of Roadside Geology of Oregon, 2nd Edition, and most recently, Roadside Geology of Washington, 2nd Edition, which she wrote with UW’s Darrel Cowan, her major Ph.D. adviser.

She is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon.

Copies of her books will available at the event.

Tonight after I was in bed, I heard a loud bump at our front door and had to take time to run off a raccoon that jumped up on the feeding ledge at our front door. Woody had come back for a night snack and we forgot to bring it in when she left. Those raccoon critters are NOT welcome around our home.

Friday, Dec 6

Early morning call from Linda Lundy, with a surprise gift from our musical past. I need to get back in touch with her and arrange a time to go over for a visit and receive it. More when that happens.

John’s leaving to arrive at White Heron Cellars’ Mariposa Vineyard with a pick-up truck load of horse manure for the vines. There is a section high on the slope where deer will come and eat the pomace (left over skins and seeds) that Cameron can use closer to the winery and house. Deer are not fond of horse poo so it will add organic material, and not get eaten.

Cameron sent a photo of the load of manure unloaded. The rear of the truck was completely full, and we have lots more. This was the second load of 1st Class Tennessee Walking Horse manure.

Cameron was kind enough to send me back 3 bottles of wine–Rose’ of Syrah and Roussanne).

I took a box of magazines from our place to Kittitas to give to a gal who is making Dream and Vision Boards (by working with people to cut meaningful words to their dreams or vision and pictures to display on the poster board. She was thrilled with the variety of the magazines we gave her.

Kayleen called about pharmacies at 1:44. I was bringing in groceries and heard the phone ring, so got it. I need to check the Good Rx price at Safeway for levothyroxine and at Super 1. Let her know if going to Safeway is preferred. Or to change to Super 1. Ending decision, change to Fred Meyer Pharmacy, it’s cheaper yet. Now I have to check the others at Safeway to see if they are also cheaper at Fred Meyer or at Kaiser Permanente mail order. This difference in cost is mind boggling and unnecessary. We wish all the medical expenses stuff was a lot simpler.

John got home a little after 2:30. He’d stopped for donuts for the trip home, and also got us a box of Honeycrisp apples. Big babies! (only nine in the box).. if smaller, they pack 12 in.

I had a long talk with Terri Towner and caught up on her health, and told her I would send her some materials about my losing weight in a healthy way, which was not dieting.

Saturday, Dec 7

I slept in incredibly long this morning, because I was quite late getting to bed with cat-related issues, and was up before dawn with cat-related activities. Woody gets up early.

I started by continuing with getting things into the dishwasher, but still need to finish that chore. And, then went to work on the blog, mainly working on the follow-ups to the photos and videos from Thursday night’s presentation. I have a lot of email things to catch up on that will have to wait until later.

We were late eating brunch at just before 2:00 p.m. (consisting of an egg with English Muffin toasting bread slices with Apricot Jam for me, sausage, & home fries). Now at almost 3:00 p.m., he’s taking off for town to buy horse feed at the Co-Op, drop off something for a friend,get some cat food from Bi-Mart, go by Super 1 for some eggs for us and some Sweet’N Low sugar substitute (bulk) for me.

John made it home at 4:05, and is out feeding the horses in the fast approaching cold and darkness.

This just arrived from my Brittany family in Lancaster, CA where Daisy (our co-owned Brittany) I have mentioned before resides.

This was published on Facebook this afternoon, with the following description by Jeri Conklin.

Congratulations to Emily Montoya of Team Stephen Cabral and to GCH Camelot’s Coppers Rollin Four Dice JH on their BOB and Sporting Group 3rd placement today under breed and group judge, Mr. Terry Stacy, over a nice ring of specials.

Jeez, a raccoon was in our house at 6:30 p.m.! It came in through the doggie door, and left that way. In the middle of the night, I guess he was in last night, and I walked down the hall to go to the bathroom, and heard the doggie door close, but when I got to where Annie normally sleeps she was there, asleep. The cats do not make a loud noise when they come through the door, but this was loud. I now know it must have been the raccoon. We have the window closed, but unsure what we will do for nights, other than close the window and let the animals use our doors (patio and front). During daylight we think we can have the animal in-out setup function as they need.

I forgot to put in this link to a Christmas In Kittitas celebration that occurred tonight.

Here is a link to my friend Evie Schuetz’s photos taken that evening. Only 15 but very nice. Kittitas, WA is the town we almost moved to in 1989. We had a house picked out, but the deal fell through. I have enjoyed being only 10 miles away, especially when the WOTFA (Washington Old Time Fiddler’s Association) had summer workshop camp there for 22 years. I was able to live at home and drive over for daily classes for a week, and participate in night events.

The town has all sorts of celebrations, and we only recently heard of this one (a day late).

Christmas in Kittitas, Dec 7, ’19 – Photos by EvieMae Schuetz

Sunday, Dec 8

This is a Grange community dinner day. I did not sleep in this morning. I cleaned up two platters and put my name on them. Packed rolls in 4 plastic bags. We loaded non-perishable goods in a box to donate for the food baskets in Upper County. We came up with 15 items; mostly cans. It was heavy and filled a box that had dog bones packed in it.

I sent a call for chair count out this morning for this Thursday’s playing at the Meadows Place. We may have a good turn-out.

Got ready to go to the Grange and left at 11:30. The valley closer to the Yakima River and I-90 [800 feet lower than our place] was hidden by a low cloud of fog. We were in full sun and the top of the cloud was brilliantly white. We took a back road detour and did not have to get into it.

We took a bunch of Whole Wheat rolls (24) and Multi-Grain rolls (24) to be our side offering for the Community Christmas Dinner at the Swauk-Teanaway Grange, on Ballard Hill, in Cle Elum. We go every year. John wears my old Merry Christmas sweater, and I had on a Cardinal vest today that is very Christmassy with a white blouse and dark green pants. You’ll see some photos in the collection we took today. We sat across the table with old-time friends from Thorp, Ellen & Roger Fischer.

The Grange furnished the turkey (they cooked one full turkey and 7 turkey breasts), mashed potatoes (they pared 90 lbs.). I wonder how many people were there. I asked and Bev got back to me their best estimate was 150. I estimated >100 and the servers ate after others had left.

Coming home we saw the fog bank again, still in the Kittitas Valley, but we had been above it in the sun all day.
View from 2,500 feet on Highway 97, looking south.

Wind Turbines Hwy 97 Fog Bank Kittitas Valley

And we came back through the fog for a little part of our return trip. We were soon out of the fog and then could see a new blinking STOP sign a mile ahead. It is at the ‘T’ where Hungry Junction meets Look Road. It, and several others around, are powered by the Sun. You will see a video of it now, short but sweet. We are approaching a solar-driven stop sign with lights around the edge. It really shows up nicely in the dark, from way away.

Special Solar-Lighted Stop Sign

I hope to have some photos to show tonight, from today’s Christmas dinner, but they may not get finished until tomorrow morning. So, if there is not anything here, check back tomorrow.

LINK TO COME to photos of the Swauk Teanaway Community Christmas Dinner.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of teasers: our garb & meals.Nancy’s meal and John’s meal. {We need to work on the in-door color settings for this camera.}

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

week of giving thanks

Monday, Nov 25

John made corrections to blog on spelling of Evie Schuetz’s name. Remember U before E as in my friend, M. Uebelacker.
Unloaded dishwasher and loaded it again. Constant chore at our home. John’s the cook; I’m the bottle washer.

Sent out count for KVF&Fs last night. Follow-up today. Charlotte, Evie, Charlie, Dean, Sandy, & me are coming Wednesday.

Called Hospital Imaging Dept. to follow up on Susan’s call from Cle Elum that Chelsea’s referral was sent for my Mammogram and Bone Density Scan to KV hospital. Dates determined today were: Dec 11 – Mammogram, Wed. 10:30 check in, 10:45 supposedly takes 15 minutes, because I have to be at Food Bank for music at 11:15 a.m. I have an okay from Evelyn, if I’m running late. Then I must take my Amoxicillin at noon (while we are still playing), and be at the Dentist at 1:00 p.m. for a cleaning, but staying afterward for 2 teeth to be looked at that are cracked off. I checked with Tiffany that my antibiotic will last long enough for the 2 hours of work.
The Bone Density scan has to wait until January, and that’s scheduled on the new 2020 calendar for Jan 21.

I arranged clothes to take to the Discovery Shop tomorrow and John put a box of 10 cartons of shoes, some with more than 2 pair/box, in the back of our car for the first stop in Yakima.

John is out raking horse manure into piles for eventual use in the Mariposa Vineyard where he prunes wine grapevines. While outside, he plans to go drill some holes into a posts at the front gate entrance he’s been working on. Below is the start of this: Left setting new pole at Rd.; right; the new gate has red, white, and blue stiffeners to alert drivers, or the wayward cow, that it is there. Left at the end of drive; right the set-off of new gate allows trucks with trailers to get completely off of Naneum before encountering a gate. The 2 vertical posts (right image) were set 15 years ago with this in mind. Procrastination?!
The horizontal logs were placed the year after the logging truck tipped over – Feb. 16, 2015. They are about 40 feet long.

Talked with Mario about hay delivery. I have sent him the explanation of bill pay and the check will be delivered to his postal box a week after we have the delivery and know the cost for the 15 tons he’s bringing us. I have shared the setup of his company, High Valley Hay, on the bill pay system.

Supper: Smoked turkey, Cheez-its, butternut squash with toasted marshmallows top, and PowerAde. Dessert cherry pie with our pie cherries made by Ken Swedberg, and a small point of a chocolate cake piece. John shared some of the cherry pie too.

Tuesday, Nov 26

Today, we left at 8:45 for the Discovery Shop and Costco.
American Cancer Society Discovery Shops
EBRG does not have a Discovery Shop. The Yakima one is just 5 blocks from the main corner, and seems to have lots of visitors. John talked to one of the workers, and looked at the awards, plaques, and all the goods. They had sold a lot of Halloween and Thanksgiving things and were finishing putting out Christmas goods. The room for all the glass and plastic stuff (example in photo; from web) is separate from the clothing. There was a shirt that said something like “I’m saving Santa a stop. I’ve been very naughty.”

So that was our first stop. We dropped off a bag of clothes and accessories, picked up some blank donor receipts for future bags to get down there. Found out some more information, including they do not want any underclothes, except for excellent condition bras, no panties out of the package, but they would take camisoles. While there, we delivered a large box with women’s shoes in 10 boxes.

We bought $404.69 worth at Costco; that’s a record, I believe. And, as we were leaving, we had lunch there for $9.87, so total charged, $414.56 on our VISA Costco card will reward us 2% rewards in February ($8.29). Our lunch was a large piece of combo pizza, hot dog & Pepsi, and a Turkey Provolone Sandwich, most of which we brought home to add to other meals. While there we had dessert—a frozen Yogurt sundae, with a very large amount of strawberries swirled in. By the time we got home, it was finished.
Well, what an assortment of gifts for ourselves. John got a nice padded shirt jacket in a 2XL size. It was the only XX-large one of all the ones on the shelf (we both liked the Blue Plaid better, but all the other colors were available only in S, M, and L. No XL, except that one, in a green / gray color plaid. My chosen gift was an external disk storage drive of 5 TB for $30 off. My smaller one has been going on the fritz, and I need to back up everything on it, and the stuff currently on my computer, in addition to another smaller external drive. 5 TB should handle the need, with space left over for continuing. Also received $3.00 off on packages of AAA and AA batteries of which we seem to go through many.
Besides all sorts of food (many different kinds of seafood), we got a fruitcake only one because I thought we had another in the freezer, but John says we don’t. Once home we had a nice big piece. I wish I had bought two, although the space in our freezer is dwindling. We’re not planning to go back before next year, so will lose out on getting another this year.
Took care of the dog’s needs and our paper needs (towels & TP), plus some $3 off containers of Multi-Vitamins. I try hard to get our OTC meds when they are significantly marked down on price. To us the place was very busy, but we found an “end” lane that was not aligned with the main aisles so we saved time by not waiting in a long line. Luckily, we went through the pharmacy/pills section and that led to the (hidden) end lane.

We came back through EBRG to fill my car with gasoline from Fred Meyer and to check our Bi-Mart numbers. We didn’t win anything today, and only got 3₵/gal reduction in the gasoline. I thought we were entitled to a lot more. Oh well, live and learn. At least last week, John received 20₵/gal. off when he filled his truck.

Wednesday, Nov 27

We awoke to several inches of snow and by the time I left it was 4”, blowing and drifting.
I got some photos of the quail and John’s Crosstrek still covered with snow. He had put sunflower seeds out for the birds. Little birds will come and go all day, quail morning and evening. The invaders – European Collared Doves – have to be chased away except from a cage-like affair that they can’t fit into.These images show undisturbed snow on the car, and what we call the ‘cable table’ with the lower part covered with snow. Wind blew that in there. We call that part the veranda, and the cats like to lay there.

John push-broomed a lot of snow, fed the horses, and went to town for a fasting blood draw. The plows were scraping the road, and putting grit at the intersections, and we didn’t have any trouble except watching for slick spots along the way. Ellensburg did not have nearly as much snow. North of us Blewett Pass (4,100 ft.) had 14” and was closed for a couple hours because of spin-outs and collisions. The I-90 road from Ellensburg to Vantage was closed as well because of ice and blowing snow.

John brought me stuff from the back seat of my car from the Discovery Shop, I brought back home from yesterday’s visit they did not want. I need to summarize and change the content of the donation slips itemization. Still awaits being done.

I finished loading and running the dishwasher in the morning. Called Gloria, her sister Shirli, and Clare about coming today to the Garden Room to hear our music. I put music together for Charlie’s and my books and for Lou and Sandy’s. I wrote a note to the Emeriti group about meeting there on December 11 (2nd Wednesday).
Needed to get to Hearthstone before 1:30 to meet Glenn; I did and gave him his two loaves of bread from Costco. I went by Pam Brown’s house on the way from Hearthstone with Gloria on our way to the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and picked up a gifted Xmas serving platter.

Gloria’s and my trip to the Armory was rewarded by a good meal: lots of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, not so much gravy as I would have preferred, mixed vegetables of carrots, peas, green beans, and corn, a large roll w/ butter, and cranberries (which I love but cannot have with one of my medications. Dessert: pumpkin pie. We had nice visits with people at our table, and with folks walking by that knew Gloria from church, or from the SAIL class at the Senior Center. She enjoyed the trip very much.

Today while I was gone for music at Hearthstone, and then with my friend Gloria, to the Community Thanksgiving Dinner (CTD), John stayed home to work on projects. One of the most important projects he did was to remove and install lift supports on the truck’s canopy that keep the back window propped up, while loading or unloading the bed of the pickup. See the picture on the left below for those. On the right is of a gift I picked up after our music at Hearthstone, on my way to the CTD with Gloria. I had donated money to cover purchasing 10 turkeys for the dinner, so I thought I ought to eat. I know each year they plan food for 300 people, and this year they baked 34 turkeys for the event.

Through the weekend, this is free for a download of the music arrangement.
Christian Howe – Jazz Violin Solo Arrangement, Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I think the video will remain, but the free arrangement seems to be a limited time thing. I learned of this in an early morning email, but didn’t open it until this evening.

I’ll never have the ability with my range of motion in my left shoulder (with severe arthritis and bone-on-bone, spurs, & cysts) to ever play this, but he sent this video, and a free download of the score for the piece, and a special “Black Friday gifts” worth over $125 which I will download for review. It’s a set of lessons which will last for 30 days, and I will try to make time to go through them.
John and I went to his last concert here at the CWU Music Building in Ellensburg, and I went to a free afternoon workshop for community members and music students to learn various techniques for playing stringed instruments. He’s a great person and teacher. I don’t remember how long I have known him, but I follow him regularly and am on his email notification list for his planned concerts and teaching opportunities.

Thursday, Nov 28 Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Day – – But we have snow.
If you did not get a Happy Thanksgiving Card from us, below is a link to take you there. I did not mail to everyone in my Jacquie Lawson animated card database. So, if you didn’t see it, please visit here to see the reason the card is so personal to us:

Happy Thanksgiving Card 2019 from Hultquists

I slept in this morning until almost 9:00 a.m. I’m sure I needed it. John went out to feed Myst and the horses, and gave the others some of the pellets and corn Myst has been getting to increase her weight. They were delighted to be included. It has been quite cold.

I called my friend Gloria’s sister, Shirli, to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. They were having a magnificent Thanksgiving dinner today at Hearthstone: turkey and all sorts of side dishes, plus a choice of two desserts (pumpkin and pecan pie).
This morning was my diuretic pill day and I finished putting in the rest of my meds for this week’s mornings. Glad we stayed home.
It’s very cold here, 9° one morning, but days are low 20s, no sun, but no snow. We’ll be home for the next 5 days, so should be able to catch up a little on all the many projects.

We are giving thanks, however, for all the blessings in our lives.

I sent a few cards out (Happy Thanksgiving) and got some interesting responses: This from Donna Bates, in Condon, OR: “A very snowy thanksgiving here. About 10 inches but with the wind that came with it, we have waist high drifts. Had 18 people for dinner and 19 that couldn’t come!”
(John said we were fortunate that the storm was mostly south of us.)

Our friend, Jeri Conklin, sent a photo of her Brittanys playing in the snow in Lancaster, CA; 50 miles north of Los Angeles.Before the snow was over they received 2 more inches. Left to right, liver & white–Xena, orange & white—Daisy, my co-owned dog, registered as “Cedaridge Kip’s Camelot Shay Tre’ JH SH”, O&W Stormy, in front of Kurt Conklin standing, then O&W Chip, and L&W Ginny (Daisy’s mom). The letters at the end of the name stand for Junior Hunter (JH) and Senior Hunter (SH), awarded in Hunt Tests, different from field trials. She will be working on her Master Hunter title next year, with Jeri Conklin as her handler.

Long conversation tonight with a friend about her three recent surgeries, starting this September. Amazing what some folks are having to go through.

Friday, Nov 29

I called our medical insurance provider, Kaiser Permanente, and found out recommended shingles shots SHINGRIX (2 boosters 2 months apart) will be covered on our policy under the preventative care portion of our plan. That will save us several hundred $ and is good news (I checked the price and best estimate is $151/shot, but it varies widely according to the source.).

Brunch: Large blueberry/pecan pancake, with maple syrup, eggs, and sausage patties.
John worked outside a little, but it was only after the temperature went up to slightly over freezing. If it is windy he will wear a full coverall. Zip-up legs allows getting this off without removing boots.
Afternoon snack: piece of fruitcake from Costco.
Supper: Soup, Cordon Bleu, home fries, and buttered Parmesan topped toast. Dessert, brownie with dried tart cherries & nuts.

Saturday, Nov 30

Elise of NJ called. Lasted 45 minutes after we got rid of the echo; we had a lot of catching-up to do.
Carla Kaatz (wife of deceased colleague) called during my long distance call, and it just rings without allowing a message to be left. I called the number after my conversation ended, and her cell phone is now in my landline, and I need to put in my cell. Previously, I did not have it; only her landline.

Sunny and cold, still under freezing (30.2°) at 2:00 p.m. John left to go shovel manure into the back of his pickup truck where he placed a large tarp into the bed yesterday. He needs to fill it to take over to the Mariposa Vineyard at White Heron Cellars. He did that last year, and Cameron has spread the last of the pile, 11/11/19. He hopes to have better weather with no wind (which last year was intense) for the delivery.From the Naneum Fan, Tennessee Walker manure nourishes White Heron’s Mariposa vineyard.

Before he left he shoveled the snow off the concrete slab in front of our garage, which is part of the front yard where we feed cats and birds. During icy weather we carefully step through to the front gate and our vehicles and, if necessary, John spreads salt.

I’m working on projects: dishwasher loading & running, and about to start on the reference procedure for a student who started with me in 2005, has a job, but wants to become a substitute teacher on his days off. His oldest child is in the school, and he has been volunteering for two years.
Letters of reference as in the past are no longer used in many places. I have to go through a computer to fill in the information for his recommendation that goes to a folder on their computer.
I’ve only done the first step, and now must proceed with the rest. OK, I’m starting this procedure @ 3:41 p.m. & I lost my connection at 4:51; so glad I had snipped backups every so often through the process. I had to start completely over and re-enter all the responses. What a PITA! I finally finished, submitted, and logged out at 5:55 p.m.

Also, I’m editing a long message John wrote to our best man, Bill, in Cincinnati. He sent a link to an article about teaching large numbers of students and how times have changed. This is about a professor (from Australia) with 500 people in his class. In case you’re interested, here is a link below to the original article, which is so different from the teaching John and I experienced doing through the years.

High Tech for Higher Ed: An Australian engineering professor revamps student learning with teams

Sunday, Dec 1

It was snowing slightly this morning at 6:00, when I first awoke and put out food for Woody, but through the morning the rate of snow has varied – never a lot. John has fed the horses, and all the cats have been in for their morning vittles. The temps are warmer than they have been, so he intends to go out after lunch. Plans include cutting some brush and a small tree, moving snow, and getting more horse poo into the truck.

This morning we were taking care of filing our survey for the first Wellness visit to the PCP on Nov 22, and we are getting ready for the Tuesday follow-up Chronic visit this coming Tuesday, Dec. 3.
I also am following up on the correspondence started in previous days with friends around the world.

Brunch today: CheeseWurst sausage links, eggs, toast, & home fries.

I’m finishing up a few projects needing done yesterday, and then going to finish my part of the blog, so we can finish it before midnight.
I do have another list of things needing done – planning events next week.

I contacted Terri Towner about her health issues and her hubby Kevin’s right wrist/hand in a cast. They both have appointments with specialists this week, Tuesday & Wednesday. She’ll get back to my landline line with the results. We had an informative conversation this afternoon. They are down in Moxee, WA, east of Yakima.

Another afternoon snack: piece of fruitcake.
We’re planning leftovers for supper.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

People take photos

Monday, Nov 18

Beginning with two sunrise photos from my photographer friends in the Kittitas Valley, Lise and Evie.Barn Raising by Lise McGowan
This is a reconstruction in process of their barn destroyed by high winds that collapsed the barn onto their pickup totaling it, and flew a large piece of the roof into the window of their 2-story house. No animals or people were injured, thankfully.

Railroad house in Kittitas, WA by Evie Schuetz

Evie says: “That railroad house is right at the end of my street. There’s no story to it, it’s just been the neighborhood beacon as long as I’ve been alive. Pete said it was the water filling station for steam engines, but I don’t know how he would know that.”
[John guesses: this is a building that held a small wind-mill as shown in the (left) photo below. The bottom of the tank holding water need not be but a little bit higher than the storage tank on the train. Because water is heavy, the structure holding water (waiting for a train) has to be strong. Both tank holding structures have large “legs” that are vertical. The structures holding the blades to catch the wind (& pump water) are angled out as they come down. These have to deal with vibrations, but not a lot of weight.]

[Evie’s photo looks at the west end of the two buildings – the door faces north. The tracks would have been to the right, about 40 feet from the center. Sufficient room for a tank.]Called Bi-Mart, talked to Jordan, about GoodSense Artificial Tears problem, and will take mine in tomorrow to demo. Hopefully, he will take my warning today, for Megan (the buyer, who had already left the store), to remove them from the shelf.

Tuesday, Nov 19

I started at the Community Clothing Center to take by a donation of underclothes from friend that were too large for me; while there, I checked for some work shirts and stuff for John, and found several things for him (which I haven’t yet had time to show him), and two pair of socks and a knitted bucket hat for me made of St. Patrick’s Day colors. The neatest thing that happened was a chance meeting with the two women from Montana who are over to help Glenn sort out the craft things for weaving (looms, etc.) and knitting yarn from Anne’s estate to return to her friends in Montana. I thanked them and told them I would see them later at the house.

As I was coming out of the ECCC, I got a phone call from friend who wanted to deliver a document to me, so I told him where I would be in a few minutes (and he met me there—at the Liberty Theater annex). I was going there to eat a lunch (Homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies, pears, and a piece of cake) before going by the AAC for a few shopping bags, and to take the rural electric utility’s magazine, RURALITE, to Gabe with stories of the history or their family’s Leather Shop (Don Bacon’s) on Thomas Road. They were the crafters of John’s western saddle, a beautiful piece of artwork he used for many years.

I went from there by Bi-Mart with eye drops, Artificial Tears, needed for the dry eye problem I have. I demoed the problem I was having opening the tops, and Megan realized that the company (GoodSense) had changed the top to a child safety lock opening one that kids could not open (so, it worked for me, this kid couldn’t open it). She showed me the trick, of squeezing the bottom of the cap to release it (still not easy), but she also showed me that the one I had from a previous bottle, could be exchanged. I will keep that and change it with each new bottle.

While there, I also bought a desktop calendar for 30% off and we will hang it on the wall in our kitchen to keep track of our scheduled appointments.

And, I checked our membership numbers. Ours matched the last digit, so I brought home a package of snacks (Almonds & Blueberries with sea salt). It will last until next spring’s trail work, unless we eat it first. From there I went to Fred Meyer. They and Safeway go crazy with special offerings on certain days but only if you buy a bunch – blah blah blah. With enough “points” you get some cents off a gallon of gas at their 2-blocks-away station. We don’t buy much at either store, but both are convenient, so sometimes we go.

When I got home, I called Rhonda (the manager) at Dollar Tree to see if she could order the mesh bags (3 zippered mesh bags in one bag). I can return the two I have not opened, when I find the receipt). Meanwhile, she will check to order the smaller ones I need (3 to a bag), and when they come in, she will call me. She has my number and home Ph.# home.

I sent Peggy Beals the information about Glenn, his email, and his address, and I sent his phone # for texting. I can’t text on my flip phone, so I did not have it, but I asked him on email. She is in charge of the Methodist Church’s Community Clothing Center, where Anne volunteered time, and all her clothes were being taken there.

Finally, this week we found that our attempt to use the bill pay system working directly from our checking account, worked when the check was cashed. Then the money is deducted and an image of the check is produced for our records on our monthly statement. Nice to have for charitable donations claimed on our tax form, and we don’t have to buy checks. I have run out of checks on one of my accounts that has a significant balance, so this was a way around it, a service offered by the bank. I guess we pay for it by them having some of our money in the checking account (with no interest). Currently, there is no direct cost having them do this.

Wednesday, Nov 20

A piece of Ellensburg’s History of downtown businesses.

Evie Schuetz alongside the sign displayed in the Kittitas County Historical Museum’s newly finished (almost) display of business history. This photo taken by Sadie Thayer, Museum Director. You have seen many special photos in this of Kittitas Valley scenes Evie has captured, and now you get to see her in the photo above.

This is the old Button Jewelers neon sign from a business that was in her family for many years, and she grew up from a little kid in her play area there, and working there later (see her memories inset below). The business closed the end of the year 2005; all family members always returned to work during the Christmas season.

The story of the business appeared in our local newspaper, the Daily Record (see link below).
The above photo preserves Ellensburg’s history through signs that have been restored and now able to be visited at the museum. The museum provides a treasure trove of artifacts from the region.

Check out their website, KCHM.ORG, and go in for an educational tour any time to view their displays. If you want to see them before the end of the year, the best time to mark on your calendar is Dec 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 for an open house, with refreshments. The special collections will be on display.

John and I are members of the museum. Recently, we donated a sign (metal, not neon) we were given. The sign was for a machine shop a mile from EBRG; and maybe the staff can find out more. I plan to take a photo of it when I’m there at the open house.

Here’s my introduction of some history I found on the web:

“End of an era: Button Jewelers closing at year’s end” by Paul Schmidt, Oct 12, 2005

1950s the store on the NW corner of 4th and Pine. Note the parking meters and traffic light. Today they’re gone.
Today, it houses Central Party & Costumes, owned by Eva Frink.

I am also friends with Eva and so this whole story interests me. I have been discussing the store with Evie and asked her for her memories of growing up there, of which she had shared pieces, previously. I think her story is worth repeating, so I asked for more and received these details 11/24/19 to include. I find this a fascinating piece of our local history.
Evie’s memories of Button Jewelers inset below:

As far as memories go…  My earliest memories are of putting together a rabbit puzzle in the giant playpen that mom had created for me out of the diamond cases.  She always arranged the cases in a way that would suit as a makeshift cage for me because I refused to be left with a babysitter.  I was well behaved, so I would sit in my playpen and do the same rabbit puzzle over and over all day long while she worked alongside me.  I didn’t like the puzzle much, but I thought the pink box it came in was exquisite.  I had other toys, obviously, but I spent most of my time with that puzzle. 

Once I started school, I was only down there on weekends, afternoons, or holidays.  I loved the holidays most because the store was always busy and everyone that came in seemed unusually happy.  At Christmas all the family members were there working, even the ones that were usually away at college.  We all got to wrap a lot of presents.  I was relegated to the bow making machine because making bows was considered a little kid’s job, but we all fast became excellent gift wrappers.  Aunt Gaye wasn’t having anything go out that was less than perfect.  She is a wonderful Aunt and I’m glad she taught us to be attentive to details.  That has served me well in life.

As I got older, I started working at the store, selling jewelry, engraving everything under the sun (a task I loathed–way too much pressure), cleaning (Lord, there was a lot of crystal to dust and silver to polish…), creating displays in the windows and throughout the store, and changing watch batteries and watch bands.  I preferred working in the repair department with my dad because it was tedious work that could be done in solitude – much the same as the rabbit puzzle from my early years.  Both Dad and I valued silence, so we worked well together. 

Lunchtime was also a family favorite.  Dad and I would get whatever sounded good that day, and we’d enjoy it in the repair department when business was slow.  The Destroyer from the old Sub Shop that used to be behind the Liberty theater…  What I wouldn’t give for another one of those!  When I moved back to town after having Little Peter, I started working at the store again, and the cycle repeated.  Only this time, during lunch, Dad would hold my little guy and feed him french dip sandwiches at the shipping counter.  Too many good memories to list…  Although I should mention the afternoon crossword puzzle we all worked on together once the paper had been delivered.  After that was complete, one of us was sent off to the ice cream shop down the block to bring back waffle cones for the crew.  Dad always had their licorice ice cream.  I alternated between that and blue bubblegum.  Delish!  In hindsight, we didn’t work all that hard.  Mom and I would go shopping downtown on our 15-minute breaks that more often than not lasted at least an hour.  We’d be shopping for decorations at Wood’s Hardware to use for the store windows etc., so was it really a break or was it work?  I learned how to justify things from my mom.  She was a riot, and confidently unapologetic.  Working with the family is where my best memories were created.  We were all so blessed to have the store and the opportunity to be together for so many years.
 
The downtown was so different back then and there’s a lot about it that I miss. The warm popcorn that Sprouse-Reitz always had at the front of their store. The chocolates and Coffee Nips that kept Ostrander’s high on my list of favorite places. Getting cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes at Carlisle’s, or a new pair of shoes at Mundy’s. Helping my dad freshen up his wardrobe with new clothes from Moser’s – a lot of dress shirts and ties, the occasional suit. Finding just the right top at JC Penney’s for a special date at The Liberty Theater. Ah… the 80s and 90s. Unforgettable.

In his Not So Nasty News (just prior) John explained we are reviewing a draft manuscript of 123 pages.
John read 50 pages of the manuscript the first evening we had it. By Sunday evening he has read the whole manuscript and is on his second time through with pencil. I have the digital version to use and need to get started.

Thursday, Nov 21

Our Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends played music at Pacifica Senior Living. Players/singers were Manord, Kevin, Charlie, Nancy, Dean, Amy, Charlotte, Sharon, Minerva, Lou, & Sandy, and our mascot Haley (she’s in the 1st grade) was able to be there because it was a ½ day at school because of parent-teacher consultation day.After our music, Haley was showing her crocheting project to an appreciative resident.

Part of my emailing our group for planning chair count set up today included sending a photo of the card received from the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center thanking us for providing the music at the pre-Veterans’ Day celebration. The top part is the front and back of the card; the bottom is the inside of the card. This I preferred to passing the card around and also gave me the opportunity to email to everyone in the group.

After playing, I went by Burger King for supper to bring home, because we had to be back in Hal Holmes center by 6:30 to set up for the Kittitas Audubon monthly meeting were I was going to videotape my former student giving tonight’s lecture. Helen Lau is a Botanist with the USFS office in Cle Elum, WA and her specialty is Fungal Ecology. The lecture tonight was about Fungi.

Here was the write up in our monthly newsletter:
November Hooter of Kittitas Audubon

If you want to get to all the Hooters for this and previous years back to 2005, go here:
Kittitas Audubon Hooter: Current & Back Issues

From the Hooter: 7:00pm • November 21st • General Program

There’s a Fungus Among Us!

What lurks beneath us on earth’s carpet? Can I safely eat that? What purpose does that organism serve?
Helen Lau will introduce the audience to the secret life of fungi and discuss some of their ecological functions. She will share images of some of our most common local fungi and common edible fungi as well as their look-a-likes.
Helen Lau is a botanist for the USFS on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. She manages the rare botanical species (plants, lichens, bryophytes and fungi), native plant restoration and invasive plant program on the Cle Elum Ranger District.

Helen’s research interests are in fungi biodiversity and she received an undergraduate degree at Evergreen State College and her master’s degree on mycorrhizae ecology in the Biological Sciences Department at Central Washington University.

Tonight’s presentation:
Top Setup of dried fungi, computer, and visiting with John; bottom are the audience observers of all the books, prints, and specimens Helen brought.

The main talk is the next link:

Helen Lau, USFS Botanist: Intro to Mushrooms & Fungal Ecology

Helen & Judy during Questions and Answers, see video below.

Questions and answers at the end

Friday, Nov 22

We checked in at Cle Elum for our wellness visit and Kaylene, our nurse, invited us back for height and weight measurements. First we had to remove our shoes. She measured Nancy’s height at 5’4”. Boy did that make me happy! It was less last year by an inch, and now I’m still shorter than before when I was almost 5’ 7”. Weighed in at 137.9#. Wellness agenda appointment includes blood pressure, SpO2, pulse (with an oximeter), giving memory tests and telling time on a clock with hands, the patient has to draw from scratch (to show 11:10). Go over medications list, need for prescriptions, and several other subjects.

That’s followed by a visit with our PCP, Chelsea Newman. She reviewed expected test we need to schedule (such as for me, a mammogram, a bone density test, the need for the new 2-shot Shingles vaccine, a review of the vaccines we have had (such as a Flu vaccine, and in my case the blood test for Potassium in January 2020. I just recently had blood draws and tests performed for a Nov 5 appointment with my cardiologist, so I do not need to schedule any blood draws, but John will have to make time to go by the hospital lab here for his tests (the paperwork for the orders has already been sent into the system).

I don’t remember the other things we discussed. Some have to wait for the Chronic appointment which we have in 2 weeks, because our follow-up was supposed to be on Friday after Thanksgiving, but the office will be closed then, so we were scheduled for the following week.

We stopped at Cle Elum Bakery for 2 Apple Fritters for me and a Bear Claw for John. I ate one on the way home, and he had ½ his bear claw. This picture was the next morning, when I had my 2nd. Their bakery goods are excellent, but very pricey. Each item bought was $2. For special occasions such as today, returning from a successful visit to the doctor for both of us, we splurged. Also, we had to be out so early for our appointment check in that there wasn’t time for fixing a good breakfast. This tided us over until getting home for lunch.

Top is from the carry-out bag; bottom my Apple Fritter

After a small brunch for me, I was off to the hospital for my Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) [showing improvement on all from last year’s]. I have already mentioned that previously in the blog, when my original appointment was canceled, and rescheduled for today. I have to have this PFT annually to be sure I’m okay and free of side effects (lung scarring) of the Amiodarone medication.

Our supper was beef stew, baked potato, sliced huge plum. The plum was purple on the outside with a no-color inside, and about the size of a baseball.

Saturday, Nov 23

John’s going to be driving the truck to town this morning to buy 4 more bags of Senior Equine for Myst, also Rolled Corn for her needs, and we are pleased she is gaining weight nicely no longer seeing any ribs. He also will be getting another bag of Black-oil sunflower seeds for the birds. While in town with the truck, he’ll fill the tank at a reduced price/gallon with rewards we have accumulated from Fred Meyer (we normally do not have enough purchases there to get fuel rewards, but for November, we currently have 200 points and we are entitled to 20₵/gal reduction, which translates today to $2.879/gal. He also went by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription for Amiodarone.

I called the Pharmacy and we’re on a waiting list for both John and me for the new double (better and more expensive!) Shingles shots [Shingrix] at Super 1. Chelsea recommended that yesterday for our attention. The double dose is given 2 months apart. Need to call Kaiser to see if it’s covered and what the copay is. We heard they are expensive; perhaps $300.

I cleaned and cut clusters of red grapes to take with Grandma rolls & Whole wheat rolls to an early Thanksgiving family dinner at our neighbors, the Swedbergs, scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

John’s out to feed Myst and do morning things and the temperature just went above freezing at 9:30 a.m. At least the sun is out and the skies are beautifully blue.

I talked to my neighbor and found out our early thanksgiving dinner is not beginning until 2:00 p.m. (actually 3) today. That will mean John will have to eat and not stay around visiting because of early darkness, and needing to feed Myst her evening special feed.

Our early thanksgiving dinner was an amazing array of food. We had smoked and non-smoked turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed and scalloped potatoes, salad with all sorts of things in it, two kinds of greens, cut apples, cherry tomatoes, pieces of yams, cranberries, sweet potatoes with marshmallows atop, sparkling wine, special orange juice, rolls, red grapes, olives, cherry pie & pumpkin pie, with kids, dogs, adults.

Sunday, Nov 24

I made an early morning call to my friend Janet Perkins in Winlock, WA to have her wish her hubby David a happy birthday.

John was busy today, getting ready for cold weather expected late this week. He cut a tree off one of the paths through our “swamp”, worked on the front gate, repackaged the horse feed into liftable portions and got it out of the truck. He will load horse poo to take to the vineyard now that the truck is empty. He finished with cutting most of the water diversion off. A few years ago he did not do this and a very cold spell prevented getting it closed. The neighbor’s driveway and ours, and parts of the pasture, flooded, froze and made life miserable. That same cold spell managed to freeze the frost-free faucet for the horse trough. [That’s now enclosed and covered with a heat tape.]

We had a late brunch: eggs, sausage links, home fries, and English Muffin toasting bread for me with Apricot jam.

I continued working on the blog and on emails, plus planning for the next two day’s work load. We decided against going to Costco tomorrow, putting it off until Tuesday because the weather will be warmer tomorrow with less of a chance of snow. We are not expecting snow here. It is just that Monday will be a better day to get a few more things done outside.

Dinner tonight was smoked turkey (from yesterday) – John had a leg and I had breast meat. With it we had butternut squash with marshmallows atop, broiled. Also had some commercial lasagna from the freezer.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Pictures worth a 1000 words

First catching up with patriotic photos from Friday’s AAC with adding the photos to John’s of the Senior center celebration to include photos taken by the staff at the center. They are attached at the end of the 45 photos in this link below:

AAC early Veterans’ Day Celebration photos

Monday, Nov 11 Happy Veterans’ Day

The sunrise was lovely this morning, as viewed from the south side of our valley.

Sunrise from the viewpoint I-82, by EvieMae Scheutz
And another, The Mt. Stuart range overlooking our valley by Evie Scheutz

Below are photographs of the flags I saw flying this morning on my trip down Naneum Rd to Ellensburg. Because I had no camera with me, I called John and asked him to please go take some photos. We have admired them before on Flag Day and July 4th and never gotten a photo. He drove his Crosstrek down, and this is what he got. It was a good thing, because I didn’t come back by until it was almost dark. Also, interesting that the address on the mailbox out front, does not belong to the house in the photo, but to the house down the driveway that John’s car is parked in, in the first overall photo. Top: East side of Naneum road, looking north.
Lower: Looking out over Naneum toward the SW and Manastash Ridge. The display has USA flags on either side with the POW*MIA flag in the center. Wind and position did not allow for a photo, so we took an image from the web.

Thanks to the owners for displaying these several times a year. The place is about 5 miles south of us, on our main route to town. We and the nearest neighbor each had a single flag flying.

My first stop in Ellensburg was at the AAC with my flash drive and to pick up the package of minutes, agenda, etc. for a meeting there tomorrow and the left-behind copies of patriotic audience music from the event there, Friday, 11/8.
I was at Glenn’s to pick him up at 11:00 a.m., getting there a few minutes early and visited with neighbors I know, with their dogs.

Glenn came out and we loaded my car with two huge boxes and a smaller longer box bound for Yakima for returns of unopened merchandise his mom had purchased before her death. We have one larger box yet to take which will fit in my car, but not along with the other three we took today. We were successful in our endeavors.

After returning the boxes, and with help from Glenn’s Smart Phone’s GPS, we went to the American Cancer Society’s thrift store, called the Discovery Shop, at 513 W Yakima Ave, Ph#: 575-1236 open @ 9:30-4:30, to donate a bag of clothing, find out the details for bringing more, and the kinds of items they would accept. I believe I mentioned previously in the blog that this store exists in larger towns, is a registered non-profit, with all the proceeds from items sold in the thrift store going toward cancer research and other needed programs in town. The clothes and accessories that do not sell in the Shop are given to the Mission in Yakima.

I returned my friend home, and went next door to Hearthstone (assisted living home) seeking my friend on her 94th birthday. She was not in her room to answer her phone, and doesn’t have a cell phone. So I searched to find Gloria Swanson in the very large building, even traveling to the front (I’d gone in the rear closer to her room) to the Chandelier room and the (now only) dining room used for the entire facility. She is still a fast walker, and wanders all over the place for her exercise. I finally located her in her sister Shirli’s room, visiting with their niece by phone. I had a birthday card to give her in person, along with several hugs before I left. We had a nice visit and then we walked downstairs to the Garden Room, for a social celebrating Veterans there in residence, and their families. Gloria’s husband Paul was a veteran. That I knew, so I encouraged her to go to that social and I went with her and her sister. My car was parked right outside.

Once out of there, I went back to the AAC (Senior Center) to pick up my flash drive with the photos from Friday. They had not yet had time to remove mine John took, or to add the ones they took on their camera. Now I have all theirs to crop and add to my collection that was in last week’s blog. I have done that now, and placed a link at the top of this page.

Tuesday, Nov 12

Round and round we go, still with problems on the Umpqua Bank account’s Bill Pay system. It took all day for them to sort it out, and now we are back on track, supposedly, but I won’t really know until the check is deposited and reflected on my account.

I got my red bag ready to take to Food Bank senior lunch and the AAC meeting. Both places have something in my red bag in a wallet I have to use. Food Bank has a dinner pass to click into the system for counting attendance; AAC has another code for registering when I check into there.

I left the house about 10:50 a.m. and had to undo the front gate at the end of the driveway. My meeting at the AAC wasn’t until 1:00 p.m., so I stopped off at the Dollar Tree for some essentials.

I stopped off at the Food Bank for the Senior Nutrition lunch on my way to the AAC. They served Shepard’s Pie, very good and more than I could eat, a cup of applesauce, and great dessert.

At the end of our AAC meeting, we were given a shopping bag gotten on a grant for a special Fall-Prevention Program given by the AAC AmeriCorps staff at the Farmers Market), but the bags did not arrive in time for it. I took some for the Fiddlers & Friends who played at the Veterans’ Day thing and are not AAC members.

I went by Bi-Mart, to check numbers (didn’t win), but got some Artificial Tears and some more Alcon ointment for dry eyes at night. Oddly enough, later this week (Sunday a.m. I needed to open a new bottle of artificial tears, and did (using one of the 4 new ones), but it was from a lot that has a top that won’t come off. I tried two, and gave up to take them and the other two I bought back for a refund and alert to get them off the shelf.
I had one from a previous purchase, so I used it, and oddly it had a clear top, so at least I will be able to tell Megan the Bi-Mart employee who manages that aisle how to find the bad ones with the WHITE tops. The box can be opened without disturbing the container to see the color of the top screw cap. So, this Tuesday I’ll take them by, and Monday, I will call to warn them of the problem.

Wednesday, Nov 13

The massive amount of clothing I got several weeks ago is in black garbage bags in the “crew-seat” of the Ford truck. John split the over stuffed original bags into two, so now there are 8 or 9. Some stuff is in a shed. I got one bag and sorted through to list stuff for taking to Discovery Shop. Karen will take this one. I made a copy of the content list for her to carry along.
Busy day. I went to the Food Bank. Then took my red bag & new blue one to show AAC members. Put a carry along bag with Jeans & pants for Sandy in the Music Books box delivered today.

Picked up Christmas cards and small containers from Ann Draper for Stephanie & Sophie. When close to their house next week, I’ll deliver those.

Thursday, Nov 14

Went to Meadows Place for music by the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends. We had a good turnout of 10 and a good responsive and appreciative audience.

Friday, Nov 15

This morning we went for free railroad ties 11 miles away south on Tjossem Rd.Thanks to Cayla for giving us some of these. Previous owner had them on/in the ground. Many are in poor shape but still have a useful end-of-life period. Cayla and John loaded and I advised. There are 15, with 3 shorter than the standard 8 ft. 6 inches. Other folks were coming to get half-length ones (for flower boxes?), so we only made the one trip. The smaller ones had originally been used for a staircase on the property.

On the way home, we drove by a house in Ellensburg to pick up a free toaster replacement for our broken one. I asked for it on a free site and received this – a very nice 2-slice model. Supper was baked chicken, mashed potatoes, apples, and chicken gravy with mushrooms—another John specialty. Nice end to a day when we had little for brunch.

Saturday, Nov 16

Tired from a long day yesterday, and late bedtime (midnight), I slept in till almost 9:00 this morning.
John’s been up a lot longer and is now taking off to feed Myst. Weather is good so he will work until 11, then we’ll have brunch.

Briarwood today. 8 players came and we had a good audience turnout as well. Great meal they served us at the end: White bean with ham soup by JoEllen, salads – two Jell-O ones (red and orange), Caesar, and Macaroni, plus a table of desserts (with great cookies by Lee), and spiced hot cider, by Lee.

Must get jobs sent out to the jobs list. Did get the Earth Science Weekly send out from the jobsnancy account because the nancyb.hultquist account is too filled and won’t send to a lot of people. Another chore.

Sunday, Nov 17

I only answer telephone calls if I know the number on the caller ID, but now that is no longer dependable. They can now ghost numbers from our personal cell phones. I got a call on my landline yesterday that was from MY cell phone which was not even on because of no reception here. I did not answer and no message was left. I warned John that when I’m away, not to answer a HOME 925-3304 number, because it was ghosted from my cell phone, or his. Scammers are getting more invasive.

Today I did in-house chores, and John bounced from project to project outside, alternating from more physical stuff to lighter duty things. He says we’ll soon have a new stopgap/makeshift gate out near the road. This will be easier for me to open, when he forgets to. There will also be a much longer stretch between the closed gate and the road.

At noon there was “calm” and shortly after there were gusts in the mid-20s. Between 6 & 7 o’clock there was a gust of 38 mph. John found a task away from trees. However, horses dislike windy conditions (movement and sounds come from all directions). They get skittish. Late afternoon is a special feeding for Myst, but she did not want to move into the wind, and the others horses didn’t help with their erratic dancing around. They all went to a spot in the lee of trees. Myst has has a couple hundred dollars of pelleted food and rolled corn, and it hasn’t gotten seriously cold here. She has gained weight. Looks much healthier than 10 weeks ago. That reminds me that I have to call our hay broker, Mario, and set up a hay delivery.

Tonight was left overs with added flake-made mashed potatoes and veggies. The baked chicken was from yesterday, also.
Tomorrow about 10 AM we expect light rain, worsening by evening, and mostly gone by dawn Tuesday. The rest of the week will be clear and cool. We have medical appointments Tues, Thur, and Friday. At 37° our Subarus chirp a “freezing road surface” warning. Funny thing is, if you are not looking at the little screen at the right moment – you miss it. Maybe a “next” car will have a better system.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan