Late with blog

I, that means John, spent the day at Mount Rainier on a trail at just over 7,000 feet. It was cool, sunny, dusty, and involved rocks and digging. Long rides in morning and afternoon with Bill (of EBRG) driving. We were both tired and Bill needed a nap. He pulled over at the top of Chinook Pass and we both “slept” for 8 minutes.

It is now 9:10 pm and the blog by Nancy is incomplete.

It might get done about Noon Monday.
Cheers

multitudinous doings

fiddle player cartoon

Nancy and her music friends played at the breakfast for the opening day of the County Fair and the somewhat related rodeo. They started early when the temp was about 65 and might have finished before warmth came, but the organization of the multitudinous doings did not go well.
They were done about the time the temp got to 80.
Late in the afternoon the airport reported 98.

This and more will be on the web Sunday night late or Monday A.M.

Best to all from

Nancy & John
still on the Naneum Fan

Dog Days of Summer

Some say we have just finished the “Dog Days of Summer.” The 40 days, beginning July 3 and ending August 11 coincide with the heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius.
dog-star-constellation

For the ancient Egyptians, Sirius appeared just before the Nile’s flooding season, so they used the star as an indicator of the flood. Because its rising also coincided with a time of extreme heat, the connection with hot, sultry weather was made for all time.

That August 11 date seems a bit out of wack this year. Maybe Egypt was different way back when.
Anyway, we’ve got hot, the south has floods, the east is sultry, and Nancy doesn’t have the blog done.

I’ll be gone Sunday and may get her work into Word Press in the evening. I’ll be working on WA’s Talapus Lake Trail just over the crest of Snoqualmie Pass. Here on the Naneum Fan the high today was 99° and they claim only 89° Sunday. Our work on the trail will start at about 65° and end at about 75°. I can be useful during that range of temperature but above 80 I don’t do much outside.

So, here’s to the end of the Dog Days of Summer. Cheers! Next?

We’ll be a day late, again

dead pine tree
Nancy’s working on her literary creation and I’m about to go to bed.

On the way to work in the forest this morning the sky was full of sun, blue sky clouds and rain. I passed through (5 minutes travel time) heavy rain just before reaching our meeting point. But there the ground was dry. We did not get rained on, the sky was alternately clear and cloudy, and no wind. [Later – learned the wind at home was gusting and blowing leaves out of trees.]

We were hiking out about 3:30.
A little wind was noticeable. One of the crew (Paul) stopped just in front of me and said “What’s that sound?”
“You mean that knocking sound?” Yes he said.
We were stopped under a very tall and very dead tree. It was swaying in the slight breeze and, about 80 feet up, hitting another tree. Up high the movement was several feet. Sway – knock. Sway – knock.

I touched Paul on his back, and said “Let’s walk.” We did.

Just another active day in the forest.

Sleep well.

John
*false photo snipped from the web

Rain, Water, and Cherries

Monday, June 13

For June 12 CPAP. Reported figures. Time on 5 hrs 6 min with AHI=2.94. Events: 1 CSR, 15 H, 4 RERA. No major mask leaks (max= 19 L/min). Oximetry: okay for the night.

Another crazy day. We left early for Yakima to the Subaru dealer for my scheduled oil and lube, at 10:00 a.m. It was completed, and we went for lunch and to Costco for gasoline and shopping. I drove away in a beautiful washed car. As of Saturday morning, the end of the week, it became a muddy splashed mess.

At 4:30, I left again for town to go to a jam session planned by the retirement community at Briarwood Commons (apartments) where we are entertained for a late lunch, and we entertain with music on the 3rd Saturday of the month. I carried along some music for the audience in case they wanted to choose something. We had 2 guitars, 2 mandolins, and a fiddle there. It was fun, but my shoulder was sore, particularly after playing for almost two hrs. They treated us to finger food at the end.

Tuesday, June 14

For June 13 CPAP. Reported figures. Time on 6 hrs 16 min with AHI=0.80. Events: 1 CSR, 5 H, 13 RERA. No major mask leaks (max= 16 L/min). Oximetry: all right all night long.

I went to the Emeritus Geographers meeting by myself today, and did not take any cookies because Carla Kaatz called me and said she would bring packages of biscotti. I came home and had a bite to eat for lunch, returning to town for two appointments.

I went to Kittitas via No 81 road to pick up more girl baby clothes.

I got to Jazzercise in time and tried keeping up. Only two of us showed (one person her first time). Of the normal group, two folks were gone – because one had a hurt leg and the other was gone to Montana.

My PT manipulation by a new therapist (to me), named Deanna, gave me 45 minutes of manipulation, after a 10-minute moist heat application. I was hurting by the time I left the workout, because I also had to demonstrate some of my own exercises I do at home and to learn two new ones.

That evening I went back again to where I was this morning (Hearthstone), and played and sang religious music with 4 members of The Connections. I was truly out of it by the time I got home (tired and in pain).

Wednesday, June 15

For June 14 CPAP. Reported figures. Time on 4 hrs 26 min with AHI=6.10. Events: 8 CSR, 26 H, 5 RERA. No major mask leaks (max= 18 L/min). Oximetry: just fine all through the night, even though the AHI was very high.

I drove by Kittitas (again), this time to pick up a baby car seat, for an upcoming baby shower:
1-babyCarSeat From there I went to the Food Bank, then by the Courthouse to drop off egg cartons and a seed packet, then to SAIL exercise class, after which I went and Xeroxed this next month’s music — including 13 patriotic songs and on to 22 songs for the assisted living home visits starting tomorrow, and going through the end of July.

Thursday, June 16

For June 15 CPAP. Reported figures. Time on 6 hrs 32 min with AHI=1.07. Events: 1 CSR, 7 H, 13 RERA. No major mask leaks (max= 9 L/min). Oximetry: good all night long.

John took me to town and let me off to set up for music at Dry Creek, play and he went on to get gasoline in his car for the first of his 3 days at Icicle Creek for WTA trail maintenance this weekend.

Link: images from Icicle Creek, WA

We grabbed a large pizza special with three meats, brought it home, added cheese and mushrooms, and had a piece for dinner. John took a piece for each of the 3 days he was at Icicle Creek and froze it, so he could carry it up for his lunch. John picked and I sorted strawberries – needed for me to deliver on Friday.

Friday, June 17

For June 16 CPAP. Reported figures. Time on 6 hrs 15 min with AHI=0.96. Events: 1 CSR, 6 H, 15 RERA. No major mask leaks (max= 17 L/min). Oximetry: fine all night long.

John left at 6:35 a.m. for Jack Creek WTA work party.
Google Earth coordinates:
47.603766, -120.918719

Zoom in to see the trail and Creek (the bridge left and down from marker is built to carry horses/mules. A WTA volunteer took a photo of John on the bridge but we don’t have it yet).

I fed the two orange cats but did not see Woody. I ran Lemon out of the front yard after I saw him spray the cable table, and I fed him around back, where he normally eats (and we prefer).

I am leaving at 10:27 for Briarwood with strawberries for Lee Kiesel to add layers to her trifle, planned for Saturday afternoon there, where we play music, and they feed us a late lunch.

I got home and took photos of the creek behind our house, out of flood stage. 2-AfterFloodingEastNaneumCreekBehindHouse The left photo above is looking downstream from the end of our path, and is the place Annie stepped into the creek in flood stage back in April that we reported on in mid-April’s blog. I called her and she managed to grab onto the roots, behind the curved tree above (left), and John leaned over the fence and grabbed her collar. I was standing right behind that tree videoing the area flooded to the right. You’ll have to look back to April for that story and those pictures and videos. The right photo above is also to the right of the left picture, looking upstream, of the fallen dead tree. The top was carried downstream (on East Naneum), and a lot of debris was thrown up on the Bar 14 road over the bridge rails during the flooding runoff. Those photos and videos are also in the blog in April.

Downstream Up Path To Cat’s Mow Beside our House 6/17/16

East Naneum Creek 6-17-16 after flood

Naneum East behind our house where Annie climbed out April

I didn’t talk to Karen Barrows, 9 miles from Ellensburg until 4:00, and John called at 4:15, so we will just go in together and he can get gas before we come home. We’ll pick her up at Motel 6 and take her to Perkins for dinner. Ended up buying dinner, and the two gals paid the tip (generous). Meal was $54 for four of us, and the tip left was $15, by our friends, Karen & Sheri (from Redding, CA with her Brittanys). I had a $35 gift card I used for us, received from the Brooks as a thanks for providing cookies to the retired geographers meetings monthly, for the last two years.

Now we got home and will have our strawberries on ice cream for dessert.

Saturday, June 18

For June 17 CPAP. Reported figures. Time on 6 hrs 56 min with AHI=0.14. Events: 0 CSR, 1 H, 20 RERA. No major mask leaks (max= 15 L/min). Oximetry: Excellent all night.

What a day! Started out very early wishing John good-bye and marveling at the rain all night long and all morning, still raining when I left for town. I was concerned that my friends from Oregon had not brought their raingear. I loaded a large canvas bag with 3 rain jackets and 2 large bath towels. On my way to town, I stopped off 5 miles from home to drive through the rain on a bumpy road with big puddles for another a mile and a half. Luckily, I found their rig and my friend Karen was sitting in her truck. She had a good jacket on but jeans that were getting wet. She had not brought rain pants, and I do not even know where mine are packed away. We haven’t field trialed since the 1980s, so they have never made it out of the packing from Idaho to WA. John does use the rain jacket for trail work, but not the rain pants.

Much of the morning I worked on getting the notes, chords, and lyrics for 5 verses into the key of G for our group to have to play at Briarwood for a lady who gave it to us at the Jam last week. The name of the song is The Frozen Logger. She wanted Gerald to sing it because she remembers him and her family singing it at the Grange when she was younger. Only a few of us were there today – Amy (flute), me (fiddle), Charlie (12-string guitar), and Gerald (6-string guitar). Anne was late joining us from her trip back from Spokane, and just joined us for singing and for a late lunch.
The group had a great spread for us, and a good number of people there to sing along. They served chicken salad sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and two fruit salads. For dessert, we had Lee’s famous Trifle with John’s strawberries in 3 layers. She also made her white chocolate chip-pecan cookies and butter cookies. She packed cookies and fixed a bowl of the trifle for me to bring home to John.

From there I came home and finished packing the baby clothes for the baby shower we were invited to tonight. It was a potluck and cookout of skewered veggies, chicken, and one person brought Salmon as her offering. Numerous other dishes filled the table and counters. We were late getting there because I waited to go until John made it home. We got there just before 7:00 p.m. They were just finishing opening the gifts, and so she went through many of the three bags and large blue plastic container I had filled up. A collage below shows a few things – things out of sight are mostly clothes, blankets, and burping or changing pads.

Here is a photo of the stuff we carted into their house:
3-MeganGiveawayBabyGirlBNEE The invitation indicated receipt of gently-used baby clothing and “stuff” was welcomed. I asked on the Buy Nothing list and received all this (and more), which is going to another person for her boy expected in September.

I fed the cats twice tonight, because they missed being fed in the morning because of the rain.

I picked up a gift for me from Jen Lipton at the baby shower, from our student from Nepal, Utsab Bhattarai. We have been writing him letters of recommendation for a Ph.D. program in Australia, and he and his family just made the trip from Nepal to their new home for his graduate study.

Below is a collage of the gifts. It shows a nice jacket, The North Face Gore-Tex rain jacket with hood, a beautiful small purse-like canvas bag, and a neat key chain with a Kukri knife from Nepal. I will have to be careful to share the jacket with John on trail maintenance trips that require working all day in the rain. He needed this yesterday where it rained most of the day, and a couple weeks ago, when it rained on them at the White River Trail at Mt. Rainier. 4-CollageGiftsFromUtsabBhattarai2016

Sunday, June 19

For June 18 CPAP. Reported figures. Time on 5 hrs 4 min with AHI=1.18. Events: 0 CSR, 6 H, 3 RERA. No major mask leaks (max= 20 L/min). All hypopnea were in the period 1:57 a.m. to 2:18. The 3 RERA (restriction in breathing causing arousal) were in the hour between 3:15 and 4:15. Oximetry: its battery ran out, so it didn’t register pulse and SpO2 but for just over 3 hours.

Early morning sighting of twin fawns. Missed getting the two together, but they were very cute romping with mom across our backyard. John and I both got a nice view. I grabbed my camera, but only got single pictures of one of the little “guys.” Very cool. We had seen vultures flying and were concerned a coyote or cougar had killed the first little fawn we saw last week. You have seen one photo previously, and another more recent one from this week was in the placeholder to notify you this would be late arriving. Nice to see the “twins” today.

Heard from Karen Barrows that because of her bad experience yesterday at an overbooked (entries) hunt test in Ellensburg, that she was leaving this morning for home, with her three Brittanys. Her friend, Sheri Saul, from Redding, CA, stayed with her dogs, but was still running them until 7:00 last night. They had 55 dogs to run today, and it didn’t look promising. Perhaps the organizers need lessons in organizing.

Today, Jim and Kevan Ferrier with Kevan’s wife, Megan Walsh, and Kevan’s mom Jamie came over to fall a couple of trees, check out another, and load their truck with dried firewood. We had a couple of piles of larger pieces with twisted parts and knots that John cannot split easily – and doesn’t need to. Jim has a powered splitter so that works out well.

While here they “dropped” two dead cottonwoods. I only taped on one fall on video. 5-RoseEndOfDrivewayWithCottonwoods This collage has a rose that is blooming now, we got from our neighbor, and it is planted at the end of the driveway near the road and entrance to the cottonwood trees and stacks of wood. In the right photo, are several dead trees. They only fell two today.

Cottonwood Dead Tree 1 down 6-19-16
6-OurIrrigationDitchWaterfallNearEndOfDriveway
Our diversion ditch on our property, 6-19-16 We have a personal interest in the local stream because of the watering (garden, natural and introduced trees & shrubs, pasture) we do, likewise for neighbors for miles. We are in a much “greener” area because of irrigation.

A broader perspective is that the canyon to our north is disgorging tons of rock, sand, and silt. We remove a lot of sand and silt from the water that makes it to our ditches. The stream beds are filling with rocks – up to the size of a football. Where the water flows under a road and swells up and over the bridge (bringing woody debris), county road crews try to keep the flow going. Long term, the water wants to go elsewhere and eventually will. There is one instance of this near us that has not caused a problem. There may be others. Just a local reminder of how dynamic Earth is: … Volcano in the news

Monday , June 20

Monday morning, our day of publishing the blog late, June 20, 2016 started well.

We saw the two fawns. I’ve been calling them twins, but we are wondering now, as the original sighting last week or so in the blog was the doe with the black spot on her face, and we only saw one fawn then. However, the past two days we have seen two spotted fawns. This second video below appears to show one of the fawns being larger than the other, but the clarity of the video without adjacency in the “frame,” does not allow proper judgment. Bottom line – we do not know, but they are cute and traveling together now with only one doe.

Twin Fawns First Sighting 6-20-16

Returning Twin Fawns Opposite Direction 6-20-16

Mom Follows Looking for Two Fawns

John went out and brought me 4 cherries of two different kind and they are almost ready to harvest and eat. This video below I took earlier in the week, about 3 days ago. Rainier Cherries

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

We’re working on it

Doe&OneOfFawnTwins-2 Hi all,

The photo at the top is from the back door. There are likely many things that pass by out there and occasionally we get a picture.

This has been a busy week on the Naneum Fan. Nancy has had trouble keeping up with writing things down. Or is that – writing things up? Actually, she writes things sidewise or sideways, same difference.

I had previously scheduled 3 days in one of the State’s special places to work on a trail. Still with the long daylight I can get home at 5:30ish and do the usual things here, such as feeding the horses and letting the dog exercise.

I picked a pound of strawberries before dark and after supper we had some on ice cream. Now I’m going to bed. (John writing, and I’m not far behind.)

Monday is considered the first day of summer from an astronomical viewpoint 6:34 p.m. EDT or 3:34 here on the left coast. The Full Moon rises on the same day as the Summer Solstice, an event which hasn’t occurred for nearly 70 years.

All the best,
Nancy & John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Here’s Why

. . . the next full post will be Sunday evening.

This is the week of the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association workshop that is being held in Moses Lake.

Fiddle on an outline of WA State

The town is east of us and from here the trip involves going over a ridge (Rye Grass) and then down to the Columbia River and back up the steep canyon, all on Interstate 90. Nancy went over for Mon. thru Wed. and then came home and did the regular Thursday music gig. We are going back this Friday morning.
Nancy will practice with and then play in the afternoon presentations of the Workshop classes. This will be with the instructor she has known for over 20 years while the workshop was held in the town of Kittitas and just a few miles from us. With luck we will get home between 5 and 6 o’clock.
On Saturday Nancy is scheduled to play music in EBRG and John is to go west to help on a hiking trail just this side of Snoqualmie Pass.

It will take some work for Nancy to get the week’s activities into digital form and then we’ll team-up to get it properly into WordPress. Expect the posting to be mid-day Sunday.

———–
Meanwhile, our State is experiencing serious fires that have put a lot of smoke in the air, caused evacuations including an entire small town, and contributed to a major pile-up [now cleared] of cars (14?) and big rigs (9?) on the interstate that we will take (if it is reopened) this morning. The alternative is the very old cross-state 2-lane highway. The WA-DOT has not posted an update since 6:47 last night. The main problem yesterday was smoke, blowing dust and ashes from the fire (started at a rest stop by a large motor home that burned). We need to leave home by about 8:30 AM or so to get to Moses Lake for the practice session at 11. Time now is 5 minutes to 7. Things to do, including getting Nancy up and in motion.

Cheers,
Nancy and John
on the Naneum Fan

Check-up and more

Visit the previous Solstice post.

Sunday, Dec 15
The good news on my horse is that our neighbor who has helped us bury two previous horses, came down with his backhoe to help put Frosty in his resting place on our property. It was accomplished on a very windy, but sunny day. Winds were gusting to 53mph. This Christmas cactus was blooming nicely for the day, and the clouds resembled the activity trails of a herd of heavenly horses running to great Frosty. One of his buddies (Scotch) preceded him there, and others of ours probably heard of his arrival. About the clouds, see here and here.

blooms on a Christmas cactus backlit from a sunny window
Mistreated but it doesn’t
seem to care a whit
Altocumulus clouds -- lines of whispy white clouds; also called mackerel sky or buttermilk
What is going on up there?

Monday, Dec 16
Took a lot of time today to finalize all the medical paperwork to take along tomorrow to my Cardiologist’s appointment in Yakima. It is just a routine 6-month visit, but has much stuff to take along with me. They want a complete list of medications (and even want the containers), but I have managed over time to just take a detailed list. They accept it.
In addition, I have been recording my blood pressure daily (as requested from the doc last time). Last night my recorder stopped working, but I have enough data to satisfy the doctor that I do not have high blood pressure. I also have tried to coordinate the lab reports and talk to the hospital and my family physician’s office to figure WHY the system will not work correctly on sharing my lab reports requested from one doctor with another in the same system as the hospital lab where I go. I am not allowed to ask them to FAX results to both doctors. What happened to the need to benefit the patient?
The other thing accomplished today was a find of a white board about 2′ x 3′ that a preschool teacher requested on the new list I’m on for “freebies” — Buy Nothing Kittitas County. (It is a closed group through Facebook). I have gotten a few nice things, and given some nice things away too. It beats dealing with E-Bay or bulletin boards, or God forbid, having a garage sale. I’m meeting her Wednesday to deliver the goods. Amazingly (to Nancy), John found it this morning in the shed. Nicest way to depart with stuff is to find someone needing and wanting something for which you no longer have a use.
John tended to the rough and rocky ground from the horse burial. Many rocks moved off to another use and the place covered with straw and manure from near the horse feeding spots.

Tuesday, Dec 17
Started out getting things ready for leaving for the trip to Yakima. John worked outside and the temperature gradually went above freezing. We had a small lunch and hit the road, a little after 1:00 p.m. On to Yakima (I drove). First, to Costco for gasoline, at $3.159/gallon. That’s a lot better than Ellensburg’s $3.269. From there to shopping. I mentioned above that Sunday night my blood pressure measuring unit quit working. We purchased it from Costco a couple of years ago, and never expected a replacement, but took it in, to see if they could get a replacement part. The sleeve no longer expanded to record the pressure, and made sounds like it was leaking. They checked to see that we had bought it there, and then refunded us the cost we paid. We both were in a state of flabbergast, and never expected anything like that. I forgot to ask when the purchase date was, but it was in their system. They refunded us $42.26. We went to the pharmacy and bought a new nicer one for less. Also, we picked up a few more things for us and the animals. I took a powered shopping cart on the way in, but after we came back from the service desk, I passed a woman with crutches, waiting for one. I was coming from the exit side, so as I went by her, she said, are you returning that? I said, no, I’m just beginning, but I think you need it more than I do, so please take it. My good deed for the day, and I got a good exercise walking all over the store.
From there we went to Big 5 Sporting Goods store where we had a $5 coupon. John found some boots just as he likes, on sale, and asked about something to glue down the front rubber piece of the sole across the toe that is coming off those at home. The sales clerk suggested a tube of glue just for leather & rubber. So, he got it a tube of black Shoegoo. From there to the Yakima Heart Center. I was to check in early for a 4:00 p.m. appointment. Surprisingly, I was called in at 4:03. The nurse assistant took my vitals, and then gave me an EKG. We thought the doctor would be in soon, but he was much longer than expected, getting there just before 5:00. He always spends a lot of time with us, and he went through all the labs and past information from the last time we saw him in June. Nothing was wrong with any of my tests, except my magnesium is a little low, so he told me to start adding a supplement of it to my meds, daily. My cholesterol (total is low) was “excellent'” in his words — but he explained my HDL/LDL (ratio) is a bit off because the “bad” C. is quite low while the good C. has not lowered concomitantly. He was very happy with that, and won’t change anything. Several months ago my regular Doc in Cle Elum noticed this and sent a memo with a link to a study about too low isn’t good either. John did some reading and we-all have decided to watch this for any changes or other (maybe related) issues. My blood work was good. In 3 months, I’m going to go through a special test which measures the volume of my newly-shaped heart better than a normal Echocardiogram. So about late March I’ll get that done – reluctantly, because I have to lay on a table with an arm up behind my head for about 10 to 15 minutes (I think). That’s not fun. By the time our consultation was over it was near 6:30 and we and Dr. Kim were the only ones left in the office. He had to find the main switch for the front doors so they would unlock and open without setting off alarms.

Wednesday, Dec 18
Similar to other midweek’s doings. Off to the Food Bank Soup Kitchen to play Christmas carols today. I wore my special Merry Christmas hat. They fed us pizza (homemade there), a large mixed green salad, and some dessert I skipped. Went by the pharmacy for one of my pills, and by Bi-Mart for some Magnesium as prescribed yesterday, by my doctor. Home to try to tackle a number of routine things.

Thursday, Dec 19
Today, most of the morning was spent copying Christmas music and adding legible chords for two new (occasional) members of our music group — guitar players. One is 92! And you would never have guessed his age. Amazing, and quite good on the guitar as well. I hope I’m half as good as he is by the time I’m 75! We had many interested and involved residents, singing along on the Christmas songs, and jingling their bells we gave them.
From there, I came home to deal with many emails that have been waiting and to work on a WTA page to get to people for comments. I hope to put the links in an end of year newsletter. It is not written yet. So many cards and letters are coming, and I will have to print out what I end up putting in the newsletter to send to our friends who do not have an Internet connection. I promise you it will not be as large as the greetings for 2012, which did not make it out until St. Patrick’s Day this year! I also put in a bunch of time sending out jobs for my jobs list I have ignored for the past few days.

Friday, Dec 20
We got up early this morning to make the two pecan pies to take to the scholarship luncheon potluck at CWU. Friends at the same parties (doesn’t happen often) may get tired of our over the top regalia. This was a change today with the hats added.

Nancy and John in Christmas decorated sweaters
An odd couple of pies.

My hat was given to me by my friend since the 6th grade, Nancy “J.” John is wearing my old sweater when I was larger. There was an interesting assortment of food, and ours was the only dessert. After lunch we went by for my INR blood draw and visited in our Christmas clothing with a nurse who hadn’t seen me in 3 years, when I was going in for regular IVs after the bacteria in my blood (after the heart valve transplant). Her name is Nancy, and she was so thrilled to see me and gave me a huge hug, and John too, saying how great I looked. Yes, quite an improvement since the last time I saw her. I have gone back, sometimes with Chocolate Chip cookies to say hello to the nurses in the Outpatient part of the hospital, but she hasn’t been there when I have been in. We need to do that again.
It has been snowing lightly, and can just stay that way, or stop anytime. About 3:00 this afternoon, the sun came out for a very short time! Nothing on tap except catching up until tomorrow. Then, the wind started blowing, gusting to 38mph before slowing. Oops — there it comes again. Chili tonight and pecan pie for dessert, because we did not eat a piece at the luncheon today, preferring to have a real fork or spoon (not plastic), and a glob of ice cream on top. Everyone else was happy to eat or take a piece with them. We still brought a little over 1/2 of one pie home, so that was nice.
Tonight, I also put some final changes on another WTA workday trip, with some final shots of the projects added into two previous days’ documentation.
Check out here, cut and paste if necessary:

http://ellensburg.com/nancyh/WTA-TigerMtnOct20-13.html

Saturday, Dec 21

This morning with John, we worked on a rewrite of the web page on the Park Pointe development in Issaquah. The WTA crew leaders have not yet reviewed it, but you can find it at
http://ellensburg.com/nancyh/WTA-ParkPointeTrailCombined.html

I am actually still making corrections and additions.
Late this afternoon and evening, we will be dressing in our Christmas garb again and going to an open house. I think we will take a plate of cut up Honeycrisp apples to go with all the sweet stuff likely to be there. Speaking of sweet stuff, we have a funny mistake to report with our Pecan Pies yesterday. Neither of us had a piece until last night. I mentioned to John that it looked flatter and smaller than usual. It didn’t make sense because we always add an extra egg and have sometimes made a tiny 3 inch extra pie. Still, I noticed and mentioned to John that the pies seemed thinner and showed more crust. This morning, John started our conversations with a question — “Do you remember adding white sugar to the mixture?” Nope, we left it out completely, two+ cups. That would have built up the filling more. Apologies to those at the luncheon. We were both working on ingredients and talked about the different amounts of sugar suggested by the two recipes we have. Proper execution did not follow the communication. 🙂 Regardless, it was still pretty as ever and tasted like Pecan pie. We are not the only folks to have problems in the kitchen.
For today’s in-town visit, we arrived near the beginning (just after 4:00 pm), and had such a good time we stayed longer than originally planned. Lots of good food and fellowship. Main dish was a large Crock pot of Taco Soup, with many toppings. Supplementary food included some fried bread with black beans and corn, red & green grapes, deviled eggs, asparagus, peppers & olives, cookies, and candies, and several other little sweet and non-sweet things.
Neat to meet more people from town, some of whom we know and some new faces. Still, this was mostly an elderly crowd and we’re not old. Right?

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Winter Solstice

Hi,
We were invited out to share food with folks Nancy met at the Senior Center (aka the Adult Activities Center) in EBRG. That was from 4 until 8 and it is now 8:45. We will work on the blog this evening and post later or Sunday morning.
We are just north of the 47th degree of Latitude and our daylight hours are stuck on 8 hours and 31 minutes. The few seconds of additional daylight will click us up to 8 hours and 32 minutes toward the end of the coming week. Progress. Hope you celebrate these longer daylight seconds.
Stonehenge is about 280 miles north of our Latitude.

Stonehenge at the December Solstice
One of the ‘no people’ winter images on the web

Connections

Sunday, Dec 8
Morning pealing and cutting Golden Health Squash into little pieces to mix with cinnamon, sugar, our walnuts, and a touch of cloves to take to the community dinner at the Grange 45 minutes away. Lots of food. We ate enough not to need dinner (at least I won’t). Turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, many salads, several breads/rolls, and many veggies, salads, & desserts. The Community Choir entertained us and they were very good. Then some cute little girls in costumes danced for us (starting with 3-5 yr olds, then 7-10, and then kindergarten. Nice jobs by all.

Monday, Dec 9
Began with taking my blood pressure for my week prior to going to Cardiologist next Monday. Then a bunch of work honchoing the lab work information between two doctor’s offices, via their respective nurses. Then John came in and requested my appearance with camera outside. He wanted me to record our latest home-on-the-farm rural living experience. You’ll see more about this later, because now I haven’t had time to go through the photos and movies, but we have determined it is a yellow jacket nest. Luckily, we didn’t have to run for our lives, but John had to remove wide pieces of old lumber covering the wall studs. Rare stuff, that. The nest was between 2 studs and over 3′ tall. Nothing much was in the combs ’cause these folks don’t make honey and don’t over-winter in cold climes. We’ll get to this next week – maybe. Nothing else exciting today: I worked some on music, including Santa Claus is Coming to Town. (John says we don’t live in a town and so never get Christmas presents.) We do get lots of Christmas cards from all over with connections to our past, and phone calls too. Nice keeping connected. We are not going to get our web page greetings out by the end of the year but will be sending a cute card with wishes (from the Jacquie Lawson site). Keep your eyes out for that coming to a computer near you.

Tuesday, Dec 10
This morning we went to town to get to the hospital lab for a fasting draw for me at 8:45, then off for a Monster biscuit from Carl’s JR, and on to the Copper Kettle for a 9:30 to 11:00 meeting with the Geography Emeritus Profs. From there to Super One and Bi-Mart. John was looking for some very small (8 inches) extension cords, but they had none, so he will order from Amazon. (He did and they arrived Friday). While there I found a camera case for half price ($5), for my new Nikon. It’s too big for my pocket with its case, so now this case has a strap for around my neck and room for the camera and charger. Tonight I go back to town to play and sing Christmas music with The Connections at an assisted living home, Hearthstone Cottages. Came home to a great dinner by John – baked tender chicken and pineapple chunks, baked apples with the rest of the squash and walnuts dish. Finished All I Want for Christmas and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Will check out with my banjo buddy tomorrow at the Food Bank Soup Kitchen. Stayed up until midnight – too long a day.

Wednesday, Dec 11
Didn’t have much time to get ready for leaving for town, but I did manage to re-home and deliver some pans, a bread and a large muffin one. On to the Food Bank Soup Kitchen, where many people were loading up on food for the holidays. We played all Christmas songs and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Some new people came in and got excited about the music. One fellow introduced himself and says he will be back next Wed, because he really enjoyed the music. Our old faithfuls were there too. For lunch, we had spaghetti-like noodles, with gravy and fresh (cooked) mushrooms, and then some meatballs that seemed to be better and larger than normal, not in a tomato sauce. Salad with mostly stuff I’m not supposed to eat (spinach, cranberries), but also apples and nuts so I filled up on those. For dessert, we had sugar cookies with Christmas decorations. A young man named Greg, 13, was taking videos. He is home-schooled and just decided to document the organization and operation because he wanted to learn about it. The staff plans to put it on their web page (the F.I.S.H.) page. He took some video of us, but who knows how it will come out.
John made some interesting progress today that he has recorded in part below, after pulling some cut aspens across a ditch and getting the truck jammed. I cannot explain how something got wedged on the old truck under the rear axle assembly. He worked with a jack and sledge hammer (to drive a battering ram) and somehow released it so he could drive again. Here’s his explanation:

drawing of a rear axle assembly to suggest where the log got caught
Log was under the front of this

A view from the rear; log was in front
While crossing a dry irrigation ditch:
I think what happened was that the left front tire tipped up an odd shaped log (about 4 feet long with a broken end) about 14 inches in diameter for most of its length. That piece ended up under the truck and as the left rear tire settled into the ditch (where the log should have been – the log for the right side was still in place) the log wedged under the drive train and caught on the housing exactly where the universal joint (U-joint) [think that is the term for this connection]. Gentle pressure on the gas pedal had no effect. Had I been 50 miles from home I might have tried a bit more power but the truck is a 1980 and I don’t want it to fail. I tried jacking the axle but the uneven ground and the scissor jack (the one most easily at hand) made this difficult – I got less than an inch before the resistance grew too much and I would have had to get better equipment.
Therefore, I got a 10 ft. piece of Aspen trunk (for a ram), a sledgehammer, and two little rollers (branches) about a foot long. I put the two rollers in place and put the ram on top with one end on the log. I used the sledge as one would use a Croquet mallet, on the other end of the log. Several good whacks and the log went forward. I pulled it out. Took the jack out. Put it, the sledge, and the wood blocks I’d used into the back of the PU. Started up and drove off with no problems.
A complication was that had I tried to go backwards more than 3 inches the left rear tire was going to settle into the ditch (assuming it might have gone backwards had I applied enough power). The only nearby log big enough to fill the ditch was caught under the truck. I did not have another that size and would have had to come up with a work-around had I wanted to try forcing the PU backward. As mentioned above, I don’t want to “force” this old truck because if it breaks, it’s toast. Even with the delay, I finished pulling the last of the 70+ tree trunks up to a spot where I want to cut them into usable pieces. (Why she wanted this in her blog is a mystery!)

Thursday, Dec 12
Today, about four of my friends have birthdays. I spent a lot of time on music – more than I really wanted. I gathered much together, and took along some things to take to people in town. I found a home for a 1/4 size violin (given to me), and that had been the plan all along. It will be used for a 6 yr old boy, who has two younger siblings who might follow. I also carried in a heavy-duty jacket that is a little tight on John, I don’t really like it, and the buttons are hard to get in place (that is, buttoned). It has a new home. John cuts and moves a little brush each afternoon and added rocks to the agenda today.

Friday, Dec 13
Morning filled with chores on the computer and off. My goodness, it’s a heat wave outside – up to 46. John has decent weather to move the rest of the large Elderberry bush he cut down. We decided to attend a party of the College of the Sciences where I taught. We visited with a few of the folks we’ve known and a newish “development” hire – her purpose is to raise funds from outside the State system. We are of interest to her because I give some money to students for scholarship awards and it passes across her desk. She tells an interesting story (skiing in Canada, a bone crushing accident, medic-flight to Seattle, convinced her she wanted to be a doctor, and many steps later, settled into this development thing. Found her niche too, we think. I’m still involved peripherally with a few other things at CWU; although I’m no longer being paid. Interesting. I must be nuts. Anyway, John keeps telling folks at CWU they need a demographer. (There is currently a rapid increase in the over-65 population and that’s costing the State lots of money.) Related is this link about where, and from what, people die. Maps are from the very western part of King County. It came to me from a list serve I’m on, the Central Puget Sound GIS Users’ Group.

Saturday, Dec 14
Frosty, my horse, died overnight, and we do not know the cause. He has not been sick but was no longer young, perhaps 24-25. Below is his picture. He was a Fox-trotter. We bought him when he was about 14 and that would have been about 2004 or 2005. His history is interesting. As a young horse (we don’t know his age then), he was part of the cast of the 1997 Kevin Costner movie, “The Postman,” (horse parts shot in Central Oregon). The producers wanted only black horses in a couple of scenes so they spray-painted them. He obviously would have needed a lot of spraying to become black. Until the day he died, he did not like spray bottles used around him. We had to wipe his face with a rag with fly repellent sprayed in it.

% horses as white clouds on a blue sky and the horse Frosty (some white on a black coat, thus the name)
I’ve looked at clouds that way

Above is a lovely sympathy wish from a friend back in Indiana; Frosty is on the right. Of course, I will miss him, but my real regret is I was not able ride him one last time after I recovered from my heart surgeries.
Further interestingly, is information in the Yakima Herald about a woman from Ellensburg who is a competitive jumper– Nannette Bews. This was published this Sept. For many years, the Bews were mainly trail riders — and movie stars, of a sort. They appeared as extras, on their horses, in the movie mentioned above. The most memorable part of the movie for the couple was dyeing Ed’s horse black for the filming. Since all the horses had to be the same color, dye was airlifted from New York to accommodate the scores of animals. “Dyeing a horse is a real experience, I’ll tell you,” Nan recalls. At the time of the movie a young EBRG veterinarian learned about the movie (she is from OR) and went down to watch the filming. Costner was having an issue with the person already there caring for animals and our-sometimes-vet, Thea, soon found herself drafted. She had nothing there to work with and many horses so she told him what she needed and the flew it all in. When that filming was over they gave her all the remaining medicine and equipment. Small world, right? We know someone who knows Kevin Costner and he worked with Frosty!
I went and played music at Briarwood, and we had a huge turnout- as well as a good batch of players (Mandolin, Autoharp, Clarinet, Viola, Fiddle, Timbrel, and two guitars). They fed us a feast – baked flaky crust around a filling of chicken, cheese, carrots, and broccoli. On the table were cheeses, meats, crackers, and cute little Christmas gelatin creations shaped as trees, bells, Santa; a wonderful green Jello & whipped cream salad, and Swedish meatballs with pineapple chunks. Then a table full of desserts – with cookies, Aplets & Cotlets, homemade peanut brittle, excellent chocolate fudge, and a roll of red velvet cake with cream cheese layer.
One of our players was in the hospital from an infection near his pacemaker – apparently having whacked it while working with firewood. We know he went to Yakima Regional last night, and they took it out and put him on antibiotics. They will install a replacement on the other side of his body. We heard from Helga (his wife) tonight that he was up and walking, and will be having the operation on Monday. (His original heart surgery–multiple bypass stuff) was done by the same Doc that worked on my heart.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Via Facebook (see there are a few advantages) from a CWU student we knew early in our arrival at CWU:
Announcing….drum roll please….Dr. Teresa Ryan.

I successfully passed a 3-hours long oral examination for my PhD dissertation, Territorial jurisdiction: the cultural and economic significance of eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) in the north-central coast region of British Columbia.

This from a previous post:
Awesome! Thank you so much Nancy.

You are all with me all the time. You are part of my journey and I am so blessed for it.

Cheers,

‘Smhayetsk
Teresa Ryan

ps. we (as in House, Tribe) had another feast (others refer to these as ‘potlatch’) this past winter in Prince Rupert and moved lineage names; and the one placed on me is ‘Smhayetsk, it means ‘real copper’ and coincides with a river named in our territory tributary to the Skeena River.