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