Great Lakes are much covered in ice. See and read about this.

And the USA is much covered in snow. See and read about this.

Sunday, Feb 2

Yesterday morning, we had a re-gifting delivery of the Panasonic blender we gave to a former student. She decided to go with an inexpensive new food processor, which was more of what she wanted. Now that we have unpacked it, cleaned it, and checked it out, we will use it to mix our frozen raspberries or blackberries with vanilla ice cream. ๐Ÿ™‚ [After it warms up and John can get more exercise.] I spent more time on the blog yesterday and we finally finished it and posted it late. This morning, we went to the hospital lab in Ellensburg, for a fasting blood draw. Got away and to the hospital just before 9:00 a.m. and were happy to see very few people around the place. I did not have to wait and mentioned that to the one person working, who said, “Well, it’s good you weren’t here when we opened at 8:00 a.m. Eight people were in line!” John guessed that some people could not go without their morning coffee and doughnut and were ready. We followed it up with a high cholesterol item for each of us ๐Ÿ™‚ for breakfast, while in town so early. We used our coupons for a good price on a sandwich biscuit (large as a hamburger bun, made fresh there every morning), with cheese, egg, and sausage. We used another coupon for two plain sausage biscuits to bring home. Here we can add eggs and cheddar cheese to make a nice meal. Then we drove home by way of Circle K where the gas is cheapest in town ($3.18/gal) and filled up my car (with John doing the work). Up a few blocks to the Court House where John deposited our votes for the school levy in the receptacle there, saving on stamps. From there to our new Grocery Outlet in town, for a sale price on 3 Red Baron Pepperoni pizzas in the same box, for $2.66 each. John always starts with such a base and adds all sorts of goodies to make it a full multi-topping pizza. We were out of cat food for the 4 ferals, and the price there is extremely lower than other stores in town. We bought some 5.5-ounce cans and 13.5-oz. ones, filling a wine case box. Once home I called and activated John’s cell phone. Now I have put a few numbers in it (but he does not want many), although I think I should take off the ones on my phone and write them into my computer or a list, in case mine is ever lost or broken. I would truly be in big trouble. I took off everything from the old “broken” battery phone of John’s so we can ship it back. I hope the new one keeps its charge longer than the last. [so far; so good]
Have responded to all the emails for today, washed a load of dishes, I am now about to begin on paperwork organization. I have all day today and tomorrow and the next, because nothing is pressing until Wednesday when I have 3 events in town, the last one with John, in the evening, at the University. While everyone is watching the Super Bowl today, we are not able. We can keep up on the KOMOnews Live Blog: Seahawks battle Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII — with feed commentary by their weatherman !! My meteorologist friend from Ellensburg, Rebekah LaBar (now in New Zealand), should be here doing that for her home team. I put that out on Facebook, and 4 friends, including Bekah from NZ told me I could keep up and participate following the live stream from Fox. I ended up watching much of the game and reading the blog too. I didn’t manage to do too much helpful work on my needs for organization, but made a few more entries into the stack awaiting my attention — such as going on line to order a current tab for the license plate of our 1994 horse trailer, we use most, recently for getting a ton of hay, or for carting home the wooden pallets from the CWU sale.

Monday, Feb 3

Crazy morning. It started snowing at 7:00 a.m. and put down 4″ of the fluffy stuff, followed by a wintry mix. John used a wide push-broom to clean the soft snow off walks and driveways. Good thing because he prevented ice from occurring beneath. This was not in the forecast. I spent time announcing obituaries of long time geographers to acquaintances I thought would be interested. The whole day was filled with busy work, but that’s why I stayed home.

Tuesday, Feb 4

Well, this morning it’s cold but we don’t have winds as everyone else in the area does (even at the airport only 5 miles south). Still, I bundled up and walked out the driveway to deposit the package in the mailbox to send back to Consumer Cellular with the phone that wouldn’t keep its charge overnight. This morning we’ve been catching up on emails and other chores. Just talked with my pharmacist. This morning has been filled with email communications with my family physician in Cle Elum. My Lipid test Sunday came out fine, so they are sticking with the smaller dosage (40mg) of Atorvastatin (generic of Lipitor).
I spent time writing a letter of recommendation for a student going to graduate school, time working on the jobs list, and time trying to recover costs for the missing front tag on John’s truck (not there when sold). Worked on getting an improperly delivered USPS insured package notification to the correct person south of us on Naneum. Worked (phone call to Ariz.) on getting a 10% off coupon for the next time we go to a store (Big 5) in Yakima. Did quite a bit of work on the music for our group. I found out how to make the chords and the lyrics in a larger font, for the people who have trouble seeing the music. And, I have started constructing the songs we will need for the changed playlist in March & April (which will include a lot of Irish tunes).

Wednesday, Feb 5

Food Bank play date went well. We had people dancing in the aisles and singing along. We have started ending the time with “Jesus Loves Me” at the request of one of the patrons. It’s amazing how many people sing along. (Apparently this is not something we should be doing in a public place, but there are no politically correct police coming into the Soup Kitchen of the Food Bank. We have done Amazing Grace usually as our last song, again at the request of a couple of the patrons.) The menu was clam chowder, mixed greens and veggie salad, and a pear dessert. SAIL class went well too. We went back to town to hear a talk by Andrew Perkins on the genesis of eskers (glacier stuff from 10,000 years ago) in British Columbia. Very interesting and well done presentation. When we got home we were treated (by John) to a bowl of his homemade chili that had cooked most of the day. It was surely yummy.

Thursday, Feb 6

I spent a lot of time on music printing but I goofed and printed some in the wrong key. My sole purpose was to make them a larger font but I started with the wrong key for what we normally use, and then I forgot to transpose the one for our clarinet player. So we ended up having her sing instead of playing that piece. I came home and corrected my goof, sending out a new image to others to print. We had 4 guitars, 1 banjo, and a clarinet and fiddle on the melody and harmony. John let me off at 1:30 at Royal Vista and went on to Super 1 for a sale of canned fruit and veggies. He got tomatoes and peaches. Skipped the corn and green beans and we have regular beans for chili. While there he picked up my medication. Pretty good. $24 for a 90-day supply. It was rather cold today. On the way home we picked up a check from a friend and I picked up another at the music playing, so now next week I have to go to the bank to cash them. Most of my afternoon was spent washing dishes, working with papers, and alternating with music preparation.

Friday, Feb 7

Slept in late after an Out of Area phone call came in at 5:45 a.m. Ticked us off, but I didn’t answer it, and of course they left no message. It had no phone number connected, just 5 digits following OUT OF AREA on the Caller ID. 011624
We realized late last night before retiring that we had gotten 3 inches of new snow after we were last out and didn’t even realize it. This morning John’s out and cleared the front area first to see what the footprints were in the snow on the concrete, inside the fenced front yard. I thought they were kitty tracks, and that’s what they turned out to be.
I have many projects to work on at home today, so am missing the AAC Groundhog Tacos potluck lunch for the 1st Friday of the month. Will also miss the George, WA community hall Bluegrass Jam session and potluck tonight. The spot is 46 miles away, and we don’t want to be on snowy or icy Interstate, down and across the Columbia River. I have accomplished a few email needs. Just sent out 5 job announcements to the group I co-moderate on Google Groups (Northwest Geography Jobs). It covers many disciplines and has a large following of 617 members (after recently cleansing the list of all bouncing emails). Jobs are listed all over the United States. I decided to ask our local phone company about the out-of-area calls. Fairpoint is a national owner of many small town (previously locally owned) phone companies. So, I called the Fairpoint folks. Nothing they can do, unless I press #57 for 3 calls, and I said, no thanks, that costs me doesn’t it? Yeah, $1.50 each time. No way on that. That process is good for serious harassment issues but otherwise it is not much help. Another phone call from an automated Subaru maintenance for our 2009 Subaru that was totally wrong, so I talked to Michelle (our regular service contact there) in Yakima, and she looked up, verified I was right, and then ceased future robot calls. Another telemarketer called this afternoon from a Seattle number, but it was supposedly for breast cancer and the caller was apparently in Tennessee. She was overbearing and thought she could get a contribution by being less than nice. I bullied back and hung up. I looked on-line and found the same number and organization, complaints with the same name, and the one before me was entered just 37 minutes before mine. By going through that effort, I probably got myself on 10 other lists. Finally, got the electronic recommendation completed for one of my former students who is applying for an Applied Economics masters degree program at Utah State University. I’ve been gone from the University since December of ’09 but such things still consume more of my time than I like. Application procedures have changed over the years. Very few places want signed paper copies of letters of recommendation for graduate schools or anything else. Also, applicants for faculty jobs must apply through human resources departments on line. What a change from when I started applying myself in 1965, and also, from all the years being in charge of graduate applications for students as well as searches for faculty positions at 5 universities throughout the U.S. Now there are on line videos and such, too. I don’t know how the affirmative action rules have kept up โ€“ and I don’t have to. When I applied for the job at CWU we lived a few hours away but I was going to visit Yakima, just 32 miles away. My wanting to drive up and visit was an issue because other interested candidates would not be visiting. Okay, onward with chores. Sunny outside, but still cold, and John is still moving snow. Sun’s gone, John came in for lunch, and now is in a recumbent position. Napping? He claims not.
Wow — I just pulled out a CD that Evelyn Heflen gave me yesterday. It is the final copy of two professionally recorded songs (in Cle Elum) that she wrote. Her backup to the vocals are her son on guitar, her on banjo, and others. On the second song, Yakima River Canyon, I’m in the backup music on my fiddle (harmony), Janet Perkins also on fiddle, and David Perkins on bass fiddle. The four of us are in the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers and Friends group that goes to nursing and retirement homes in the community.

The back and front covers to Evelyn's music recording
Click on these
images for large
.Lyrics and a photo for the music written and recorded by Nancy's friend Evelyn

Spent time on music, planning for a clothes swap (free) trying to help locate a place to hold it, and working on organization of receipts, and other such things. I figured out my schedule for upcoming events. Worked on my jobs list sends. That’s a daily effort. I’m timing myself on chores so I don’t get hung up doing only one thing for hours. Now added finding another place for the clothes exchange for one that fell through. I just sent that email off. We’ll see the response, from the local Methodist pastor. Slowly, switching to music (much is Irish) for our March/April playlist.

Saturday, Feb 8

Unfortunately, awoke to a little more snow and more scheduled tonight. I suspect we will be okay for the trip to the Grange in the Teanaway, near Cle Elum. John’s off with the dogs to feed the horses. I’m planning to work on paperwork all day, turn this blog over to John for comments, and to leave about 4:40 to get to the Grange for a Scholarship donation of $15/person for a spaghetti dinner with entertainment. He just returned from his trip out, and is staying out for another bit to finish brushing snow off the driveway that he didn’t finish yesterday. Interesting story that he met the paper delivery person about 3 hours late delivering our Wall St. Journal and the local weekend Ellensburg’s Daily Record. Normally she’s by here at 6:00 a.m., but today their delivery truck from Yakima did not make a turn in town and crashed into a couple of poles and signs. In this weather, rural paper delivery is not a job I would enjoy having.

John has been following the storms and flooding in part of England. Friday evening, he spent an hour or more looking at photos and reading about the flooding in the Moorlands and elsewhere. The dangling train rails at the collapsed stone wall at Dawlish made the news also. Two sites with photos:
1. Along the coast. In the next one, photo #7 shows one of the houses on a slight rise as they try to build an embankment around it. 2. Go forward and back from photo #7.
Flooding there looks very bad and some folks will likely never get back into the houses. John says โ€œnot that it will help,โ€ but the weather pattern is about to shift. On Monday, here on the west edge of North America (Washington State & British Columbia) the large scale pattern will transition to a very fast zonal flow. Looks like the UK will have a shift to more southerly flow and lower wind speed by this coming Wednesday into Thursday. A lot less rain by Saturday. When you are up to your kiester (or keister) in cold muddy water there is something to be said for the rain and wind stopping. The USA will warm up some also. And the dry west coast gotten and will get more rain and snow. Life is good.

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