At 800 feet – Spring

At the vineyard the elevation is 800 to 1100 feet and it feels like spring. Here at home (elevation 2,200 feet) it still feels a bit winter-like. But during daylight hours in Ohio, check this webcam looking across part of Lake Erie toward Cleveland. No ice! It is not all gone from the lake, yet. Here’s an ice/fish story.
For us the March Equinox (spring) arrives on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM PDT. Pay attention and see if you can tell.

Saturday, Mar 8

Much or our day was spent on things needing done, as this blog, which we accomplished again on the back room computer because John’s hip/leg is more comfortable in that chair than on the bar stool at the counter with the newer one. After I did the final reading and posting, I continued with chores I had been doing all morning. Then, I took off to deliver a birthday package (for tomorrow) to my neighbor. It’s her 88th birthday, and I don’t want to visit with the risk of giving her something. I met her husband returning from the mail box, and gave him the goodies (he’s 91). It’s a bag with a little package of our home made chocolate candy and a nice card.
John told me he’d uncovered a box on the front porch that had others piled on, and he thought I should go through it. These are boxes that made it from the shed to the garage or in this case the front porch for my sorting. It took me until mid-day today to get to it, but what I found was really pretty cool. It was mostly old notes (even back to my days as a student, (one high school Health Science report with incredible hand draw diagrams of systems and organs in the body)! I made an A+ and was proud of it, I guess, to keep it all these years. I created it May 9, 1957, so I was 13 then and probably in the 8th grade. I must scan a few of the drawings just for posterity. I only wish I had actually memorized and learned what I was drawing. Then I would have known all the parts of my pulmonary system when doctors were talking around me and, mostly, I hadn’t a clue. Here they are, even one with an “Excellent” rating. I wonder how that 1957 text book would compare with a modern version? Click each for a full size view.

Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- pulmonary circulation
Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- Vertebral column
Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- Head and neck
Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- Ear and inner parts

In the same box with the drawings were notes from the first Geography class I ever took (never had one in high school), but I took this one in college that changed my entire life. The date was 1962. I also found in the box two professional publications of my first Geography teacher, Dr. Sanford H. Bederman, who is still alive and well in Atlanta, GA. I visited him and his wife, Jolayne, when I was down in Atlanta, GA in 2011 for my 50th high school Reunion. They have a beautiful library in their home. I wrote him and asked if he wanted the 1966 and 1967 publications I’d found, that he sent me, about his Subsistence and Plantation Agriculture Research in West Cameroons that occurred while I was in my Geography masters program in Cincinnati. We regularly exchanged correspondence (the old blue aerogram letters) while he and his wife were there. He was the reason I went to graduate school in Geography, right up the road from where he grew up, in Lexington, KY. He is excited about having the copies for his library. (See tomorrow’s entry for the interesting reply from Sandy.)

Here’s a report on the Grange funds raising extravaganza. We started our evening by buying raffle tickets (6 for $5). We had looked through the silent auction tables and found a few things we would be interested in winning for ourselves, and put a ticket in the baskets associated with each. Several of these were nice enough to consider giving them as gifts for upcoming weddings and such. We failed to win anything. Dinner was supposed to start being served at 6:00 p.m. but I don’t think we got started until 6:30. It didn’t help that the caterer arrived with the food 20 minutes after their requested time. We did not have crepes as John predicted. We had roast beef, potatoes, chicken with a great sauce, rice, and southwest veggies (green beans long, red peppers, normal carrots, and I guess the yellow things were yellow carrots. Very tasty, but not something I have ever had. Along with that described was a nice salad and a piece of carrot cake. One could have iced water or coffee with the meal. If John had had his normal Pepsi, it would have been from the bar at a cost and with an expected tip. He skipped. We stayed for the auction (well done but a bit loud) so we would be there for the LED 32″ TV raffle prize for all people who bought a dinner ticket. We didn’t win. The auction involved a lot of nice things and brought in a fair amount of money. I didn’t have a pen so couldn’t keep track of the income. There was only one item we might have bid on (a load of gravel delivered in Ellensburg), but it went for 4 times the retail cost. After all it is a fundraiser for the Grange, so to be expected. I drove us home in the rain, and we made it safely. It had not rained as much here as in Cle Elum and on the way up and back. All the animals were fine and happy to see us, and Meghan (the oldest) was ready for her special soft-food dinner.

Sunday, Mar 9

Heard back from my first geography professor that he wants the materials I found. Well, it sounds better coming from him:
You bring back old, old memories. Yes, please send the packet on .. Rhoads Murphy [I remembered and mentioned the author of our textbook] died only recently. Would you believe, Jerry Davis remains my best friend from GSU. Jolayne and I have dinner with him and his wife, Alice, often. I will pass on your compliment about use of maps [in his History 112 class I took]. He and Alice teach courses at Senior University which Jolayne and I savor. She is a Vanderbilt Ph.d. trained nuclearphysicist, whose son is a tenured professor of political science at GSU. She has a granddaughter who is a freshman at Princeton. She is really a neat lady.
Now, however, that needs a little background. Here’s what I wrote him that accounts for the notes about his friends, the Davis family. Here is what I wrote to Sandy about the find: Found notes from my very first college class in Geography from you. They are excellent, and I figure the date must have been 1962. You started my life and career in Geography, in that class, so they are very special. However, I have already taken the material I learned from you and passed it to my students through the years. If you can think of any reason to add it to a portion of biographical data in your library, I will be honored. In the back are some map exercises from Gerald Davis for History 112. I remember being shocked that he was including map exercises in his classes. I don’t think any history profs I know ever have.
For the record, while we are on “history,” he and his wife, Jolayne, chaperoned and taught us for a 9-week trip in the summer of 1965 on a Geography Field Trip to Europe (after a spring quarter class in the Geography of Europe). We visited 17 countries (as I recall), and had 19 boys and 4 girls along on the trip. It was an experience of a lifetime.
Each student researched an approved geographic topic before going, took pictures while there, and gave a report at the site. My research was on Karst topography of Yugoslavia, and I gave my running account as we drove through current-day Slovenia and Croatia down to the Adriatic coast to Rijeka and back around the Istrian peninsula. I stood in the front of the bus, talking and pointing out sinkholes (my first time to see) and the Dolomitic Alps. We would stop occasionally for me to take photos for my final report. Once in Rijeka, I went with a hotel worker in his rowboat out on the coast and looked back at the small beach, and took photos of the limestone outcroppings on the hill (source of the beach sand). It’s a lovely picture I don’t have access to right now in digital format to share. I recall how much I enjoyed the view from above the city so I looked for one on the web. Mine is from higher up than that shown in this photo. I spent 3¢ for a 45 minute bus ride to get up there. Wonder what that would cost today?
During the 9 weeks of our trip, I took over 30 rolls of 35 mm Kodachrome film on a point and shoot Kodak camera I bought before going on the trip. I used slides from that trip for many classes throughout my teaching lifetime. People today will not have the thrill of changing film while on a creaking bus careening down a mountain road. The intricacies of sprockets and cogs will soon be a lost talent.
Here is a photo from the 1965 newspaper that carried a story of our trip. Click on this please. And the ones below.
Nancy and friends from the Europe trip taken in Atlanta
The caption said — Members of Georgia State College Class who studied geography at the scene
Richard Askue Jr., Patsy Hilley, Nancy Brannen, Anne Murphy, and Dr. Sanford Bederman — we are all so cute, even Sandy!
Next you can see Sandy and me at their house in 2011.
Sandy (Prof) and Nancy (student) 45 years and going
Next picture, left to right, has Elaine Murphy, me, Jolayne Bederman, and Anne Murphy (who was along on the trip to Europe). She just sent me an email today, that she and Richard leave London tomorrow morning for home. They spent a lot of time in Ireland. I helped teach Jolayne to drive – ain’t that cool!
Sandy's wife Jolayne and 3 of the students; Nancy center; with sisters Elaine and Anne
Okay, back to today – a day filled with small things. Trying to finish getting my ducks in a row. Sometimes I feel it is a hopeless task, yet we got in a good conversation with John’s sister in Ohio, and I got a large box of stuff emptied. Tonight at 7:00 pm, as expected and automatic, my computer system backed up all the files added or changed since last week. It only took 25 minutes. That’s cool too.

Last week I was asked by my friend, Dr. Miriam Hill in Alabama to provide one of my own photographs to show an example of the Channeled Scablands of Washington. I found three, and she chose one of Dry Falls. I had to write a letter certifying I had taken the photo and giving the company the right to use it. The photograph will be published in Pearson’s Physical Geography Dynamic Study Modules that will be available for their three or four physical geography textbooks. It is in Question 21 of Lesson 17a. So I’ve been told. If the issue is new to you, look here for all you need to know about eastern Washington’s Channeled Scablands.

Monday, Mar 10

Up again early because of coughing, but at 7:30, said goodbye to John (he went wine grapevine pruning), and I laid back down to try for some rest after an interrupted night’s sleep. At 8:30 a.m. sharp came a call waking me up, from UNAVAILABLE in the area code 212 (NYC). I didn’t have that area code memorized, but heard the message they started leaving on our machine and picked up the phone. I normally would not have answered it if I had seen the caller ID, but when I heard the reason, I picked up. It was Yvonna from the WSJ who was calling to say they had received the documentation letter from CWU that okayed me to obtain special educational rates for the next two years and that she would file the letter for the future. Yet, they also want me to call in March of 2016, just in case they have a better rate for me than the one that comes on my renewal notice. So I gave her our AMEX card number for billing $199.99 and thanked her. Whoopee. Now I can continue through the chores of the day in a happy mood. Made me happy enough to wash a load of dishes.
Reported the incorrect doctor’s requested appointment for John at Dr. Schmitt’s for an annual physical, and verified we already had an appointment scheduled for Sept 16, 2014. That’s a bit of a mystery but it is fixed, so no harm done. I left message for Krista (a neighbor), delivered the berries & egg cartons, and picked up 2 dozen eggs this afternoon, traded for frozen raspberries. Temp went on up to 52 and is now headed back down. The winds almost reached the same figure but stopped at 47 mph. All day the wind blew. I had a hard time keeping the mail together trying to get it out of the box and keep it close to my body so it didn’t end up in the ditch.
John arrived home with donuts !! Yesterday’s bake but just what I wanted and $5 per 12, and a nice selection. Sent out the invitations to our music group for the April 8, Volunteer Recognition Dinner. Managed to pay a lot of bills, on line, saving the cost of check, envelope, and postage. The year I went to Europe, 1965, a first class letter cost 5¢ . Now it is nearly 10 times as much.

Tuesday, Mar 11

Started out saying bye-bye and have a nice day and safe trip to John, who left a little after 7:30. Before leaving, he must feed the horses. I slept maybe another 1/2 hour and then got dressed to leave for town. I first drove by Carl’s Jr and picked up on a coupon deal for sausage biscuits. I got enough for several meals. On to the Copper Kettle for our monthly meeting of the Emeriti Geography professors. This morning we had George Macinko, Dee Eberhart, Jim Huckabay, Ken Hammond, Jim Brooks, and me. Lillian Brooks joined us for the last hour. We met from 9:30 to 11:00. Off to the bank I went to cash a check, and transfer some money. Then by to pick up free produce (old but not moldy) from a gal NW of town, to bring to our neighbor for her pigs (the one with the chickens). On to pick up Thyroid medicine for my old female Brittany, Shay. Home to deliver the pig food, and talk to the men from the utility company trimming the trees hanging over the lines but anchored inside our fence by the road. They wouldn’t take off more than they planned, which John would have preferred. There are 3 or 4 trees that could still hit the wires if cut at the base, so they will have to come back in 6 to 8 years and trim them again.
Trimming trees with a basket or boom truck
They are extended out from the road over the fence with a bucket/boom truck and would have to operate from inside the fence to do more. Still, it is better than it was. Once John arrived home he took the dogs for their afternoon exercise, and then we had a late lunch. We took two of the sausage biscuits, scrambled two eggs, added cheddar cheese, heated the sausage with it, and toasted the biscuits. All in all it was a nice filling sandwich. This afternoon since arriving home, while he took a short nap, I paid and checked on bills, in various formats (on line website for one membership, phone call about our February utility bill that was WAY low ($30), so I figured the new meter reading option from afar went astray. I reported it, and they will check on it, but I think the accountant was only interested in telling me the $18.00 charge for the “Facility” has always been on my bill. I explained that I thought (at first) perhaps that was the main reason for the charge, but while talking to her, I saw the watts usage, was on the bill for the month, but very low (144). Last month for January’s usage, our bill was $282, and the amount used was over 2700. February a year ago the usage was also at 2700. So, I told the woman she should have someone check the system, because my bill was too low. Her comment, “So you want to pay more?” Well, yes, if I will be charged for it in the future, when they figure out my meter is not working. I asked her to please request them to check our meter or put in a new one. . She said, “Oh, I can request a work order, but it was just replaced, with a new one.” RIGHT, but hello.. what part of this don’t you understand? Your smart meter isn’t very smart. So we’ll see what happens.
Next bill pay session was supposed to be easier through my bank, but I have only used it once. I got on to see if I could create a new account to pay my doctor’s bill in Yakima, and while there I found the image of the first bill pay I did 2/24, that was not noted on my statement. I was not going to use the system until they told me how to get an image of the bank-mailed check. Well, they never got back to me, after I asked last week, but today I found it. Then I called the bank, to find out about the “memo” lower left part of the check and whether I could put something in there. The first person (the assistant manager) didn’t know, so got a teller to help me. She got on, but she couldn’t find the way either. That’s when I found it, while waiting, and continuing with my set up. She had answered one question for me and I fixed it, and went to the PAY part. Once there, the amount, date, AND MEMO CONTENTS can be added. Her option before she was ready to admit defeat and hang up, was to have me come into the bank and be shown. I think not. I told her it made better sense to go through it with me with me on my computer. I didn’t bother saying I didn’t want to drive 12 miles, haul my laptop, and take the time on a day (tomorrow) when I have 4 stops. Technology is supposed to make life easier.

Wednesday, Mar 12

Much today. John left again early, and at 9:00 a.m. the PUD maintenance technician was at my door to check on the “new meter” and low reading. He found the meter still had the same number as was read on March 3. He replaced the meter. He said they wouldn’t likely charge me, and I guess that makes sense because how would they know how many watts we used? It must have stopped working soon after the last reading because it only accumulated 144 watts used. Normally we are around 2700 for February. I think they owe me a big thank you for finding it this soon (and reporting it). I pay attention to our bills, and even though that is on an automatic credit card withdrawal, I still recognized the paper statement discrepancy with historical records. I explained that above, so I will end this discussion, except to say he managed to make the exchange without the house power being interrupted – saving us resetting clocks and such. I went to the Food Bank for music. We had an appreciative and interactive crowd. Three of us entertained today. On the menu was baked chicken, Shepherd’s pie, green mixed salad with pears and nuts and cranberries, and a great apple cobbler for dessert. I ate a lot. Received 2 loaves of English Muffin bread, a small loaf of some Artisan bread we haven’t tried yet, and a large farm bread. They encourage us to take bread because they cannot refrigerate it, and it molds quickly. We freeze it at home. That and lunch are a nice payment for our volunteer service. On to SAIL, where we had 26 in class. Highest EVER in the 4 years I have attended. While there I picked up a pair of fingerless knitted gloves made special by the knitter who donates her time. These are red and will be worn by a player in the Leavenworth (WA) Band, out in the elements. They will match their red scarves as well as warm the hands and arms, but leave the fingers free for playing the instruments. I dropped off some blank world maps and of Western Europe to my friend in Geography. Also, I had an historical atlas for her, and a few other map things. She came downstairs to save me time. I needed to drive home, and eat something to take a large dose of antibiotics an hour ahead of my dental work, and then back to town by 4:10 for my appointment for my broken tooth. The nicest thing was I got my tooth fixed for free. It was a filling that didn’t adhere and stay in from my last visit, so there was no charge. I waited around almost an hour for someone to meet me to take two bags of clothes, blankets, and food. Saved me a drive south of town toward the canyon, but would have been nice if they’d gotten there closer to the planned meeting time, instead of 45 minutes late. At least I had something along to read. I couldn’t use my phone to call people because I had to be ready to direct them in to where I was waiting, if they didn’t manage to follow the directions I gave them with street names and an address. Met them at my dentist’s office. It is easy to find, but it is on a one way street, so access is weird. It’s close to Safeway, but not when driving from there to the dentist’s office .

Thursday, Mar 13

This morning filled with music preparation and calling Hospice Friends and the Food Bank for my neighbor trying to help my neighbor obtain medical materials needed. Left before John arrived home. I made it by school, delivered egg cartons to two different people, got some mail in the system, and delivered the materials I picked up at Hospice Friends. While there, I saw a familiar face in an adjacent office and spoke to her, saying, “I know you but remind me where from.” Turns out it was Anna, who used to work at the Cle Elum Clinic where John and I go to our family physician. She knew me through the bad parts of my health, back in 2009 – 10. She was so happy to see how well I’m doing, and came out from behind her desk and counter to give me a hug.

Friday, Mar 14

Been up since 6:15, so will need an afternoon nap. Mostly working on scanning and making copies and organizing messes in this room and updating tax records. I did put in time working on the blog for this week. Scanned music from a friend in Cle Elum, now playing guitar with our group, so I could return his originals tomorrow. Yikes the winds were high today. John almost got blown off the road on his trip home. The airport recorded 59 mph gusts, and sustained over 40. We finally both crashed during the afternoon and slept for 1.5 hours. I mentioned the Artisan bread picked up Wednesday, and mid-day, I had two pieces with my tuna fish salad. By the time John got home I was complaining about the bread and asked him what spice it might have been that I was reacting too. It totally screwed up my system. Tomorrow morning I got the answer.

Saturday, Mar 15

This morning John made his toast from the Artisan bread, which I was never going to have any of again. He found the reason. It was not a spice but filled with many small sections (cloves?) of Garlic. [Why is it called a clove when it doesn’t look like Clove?] I know my system does not like garlic, so I stay away from it. I did not realize the taste in the toast involved chunks, not just juice or whatever. Never again will that bread make it into our house! We will go play music for the Briarwood bunch today and have a meal with them. I will pick up some stuff from Teresa Keith, on the Buy Nothing Ellensburg group. Will deliver some more Depends type packages donated freely to my neighbor. Every package I bring her is saving her (or her son who bought the last batch) about $15. That makes me feel good. Okay, finally, John went out to repair a fence that was falling, and I told him I would be through with this by the time he got back in the house. I have been finishing the first draft, which he then edits and adds photos to the Word Press system for posting. It’s a major time effort, but it gives us a good record of stuff to check back to, if needed.

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