Ides of March, and not much happened

Saturday, Mar 15

Beware the Ides of March! (click for info)

Well, the morning started, after sleeping in a little, with me working on finishing the blog to get to John to embellish, add photos, text, and links to the web references. I put it on a little USB drive and took it to him in the back computer room. I had some high resolution pictures on that and the portable drive saves a bit of hassle in getting them into the files where he wants them, then working with them doing some cropping and color adjustments. I’m grateful for the time he spends each week with getting this tome out. We do hope some of you enjoy following us. His theory is only 3 people read it, and I keep telling him I know of at least 8 🙂
Anyway, I left a little after 1:00 p.m. for Briarwood Commons (retirement community). They had a great turn out, and we had 4 guitars, tambourine, fiddle, and clarinet. Our 17 songs, with 8 Irish, and 9 others we used our lyrics with the audience for the first time. It went quite well. At the end, we played a few more not in the book. But, they were sing-along type songs everyone knew. At the end of our performance I met a new-found friend from the Buy Nothing Ellensburg list, who gave me a couple of things — all for others. One bag had a framed picture of All Things Bright and Beautiful in a musical score, matted in an 8 x 10 frame with lasered cutouts of birds, butterflies, and a snail with purple showing through the “holes” cut in the matting. Pretty neat. I brought it home, had John help me get it out of the frame so I could scan and have the lyrics and notes. Now it is back behind glass in its nice frame. I will deliver it to a woman in Kittitas next week who wants to hang it in her house. Also, I picked up a bag of cords to drop off to a person in Kittitas only a mile or so from my first drop-off. Finally, on the way home, I stopped at my neighbors to leave a package of the adult diapers given to me by the same woman today that brought me the other stuff. We want her to open one package and try them on to see if they fit. If so, in my car are two more boxes of the plastic-wrapped packages. If they don’t fit, I will return them to the woman to give to someone else. She still has many more … so if these work there are more, freely given. So, after that little jump forward in time – back to Briarwood and food! I went back in the building to join everyone for the meal they prepared for us. So nice. We had BBQ’d pork ribs (tender – an increasingly important characteristic as one ages, I think), and 3 fruit salads, a broccoli salad, salmon dip and crackers, deviled eggs, tuna fish sandwiches and corned beef sandwiches (which I passed on because my cardiologists keeps after me to stay away from salt). In old Anglo-Saxon terms the word for granule or pellet came out as corn and applied to local food grains, as well as, to very coarse salt, and only later to the Mesoamerican food called maize. That term being introduced to the Spanish by the natives of the Caribbean Islands via their Taino language. The terminology seems a bit confusing, unless your ancient history is of the A++ league.
Dessert was one cake and 3 different kinds of cookies. My one cookie is a favorite with macadamia nuts. I left there for gasoline, and the price is very high. Cheapest in town was $3.499/gal., but when I got there, their electronic card machines were down, and they could only sell by cash. I called John to see what the price was at the 7/11 in town (check and it was $3.519. Considering if I use my AmEx card, I get a 4% rebate — it’s a no brainer. I save 14¢/gal by using my card. So I went and put in 12.3 gallons, saving $1.72, but most importantly, I didn’t have to use cash, and probably wouldn’t’ have been carrying $43.45 anyway. I seldom have much cash with me. Of course, the most important point is I won’t be running out of gas. Once home, I had to review and correct the blog John had worked on. I did and posted it. After all I ate late afternoon, I did not need to eat dinner with John. He’s used to that when I go to the Briarwood Commons play date.

Sunday, Mar 16
I accessed and need to find someone to travel before May 31, 2014 on our exchange. Right now, there’s a trade-up special (get a better unit than ours is rated) for many resorts, and I don’t know how long that will last. Just found out Monday — has to be scheduled before March 21. That’s not far away. (As you read this, it is over. – actually, this morning, 3/21) a new message arrived that it has been extended to 3/23. If anyone is interested in traveling to any worldwide location by Aug. 24, 2014, call me fast. We have to book it by the 23rd (tomorrow). We went to town and filled John’s car with gas at the Circle K where they got their credit card problem fixed. He only needed 10.3 gallons, but that’s still a savings of 14¢/gal. The price over in Quincy is 5¢ higher. When John drives I can use the cell phone and bother folks with chatter, which I did. Those minutes never get used, because we have no good reception from home. I try to make up for it while on the road (with John driving) or in town. My phone does not support blue tooth technology, even though my car does.

Monday, Mar 17

St. Patrick’s Day
Have you noticed that all these “days” have become the focus of rancor (rancidness) rather than a day to enjoy. Still, everyone has something to be thankful for. Consider:

An Irishman’s car is weaving all over the road.
The police finally get him to stop.
Says the cop to the driver,
“So, where have ya been?”
“Why, I’ve been to the pub of course,”
“Well,” says the cop, “it looks like you’ve had quite
a few pints this evening.”
“I did all right,” the man says.
“Did you know,” says the cop, “that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of your car?”
“Oh, thank heavens,” sighs the man.
“For awhile there, I thought I’d gone deaf.”

Somewhat fitting that John is pruning wine grapes to assure a quality harvest this coming fall. I got a call about our scholarship luncheon being moved up to this Friday because next week is spring break. ALREADY! Not teaching, I no longer keep up with such dates. Had my haircut and a great visit with the couple afterwards looking at a rebuilt 1943 (my age) Jeep they are restoring. It was fascinating. Figured out the deal with RCI and now have to get in touch with friends who might use one or more. Would be awesome for them to find one with a trading value of four so I would still have trading power points left for others to use. Found out more things I can get for my neighbor. I can get a case of Ensure food supplement free from Hospice Friends. Worked more on our April 5 music playlist. I’m trying hard to pick only things I don’t have to enter into my computer software, because I do not have time right now. Wind blew more today, about blew me away as I was leaving from my haircut. I should have worn a wool hat, but sadly did not.
Okay–time to hit the hay.

Tuesday, Mar 18

I had to be at the hospital for Pulmonary Lung Test at 10:00 they were running late and got me in after 10:15. Finished the test and got my call to Jen Lipton (a CWU geographer), and we met at the Golden Dragon for the lunch buffet and a run down on her life, since many months ago when I saw her. On to Kittitas to deliver some things I got from people to deliver to others in the Buy Nothing (facebook group) – one of the most positive things on FB, which I do not have time to spend reading. (If you want me to see something, please send me an email) – that I read every day. On home for a few chores, none of which I was supposed to do, and back to town for music. Went by way of Super 1, and grabbed a dozen nice large frosted (day old) donuts, rolls, and fritters for only $3.98. Normal price for a dozen is now $6.98. Then I received a quite long, long distance call from a friend in Arizona about trading for one of our RCI timeshare vacations. Finally, we ate dinner about 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Mar 19

Well, here’s a rundown. Picked up and paid for eggs from my neighbor, to take to my banjo buddy. On to town to pick her up at work, because her (older) car was in the shop getting its axle fixed. She gave me a bunch of egg cartons for the two people we know raising chickens. We drove to the Food bank. She didn’t have the student she tutors (an early childhood accidental head injury) along with her, so we had a nice relaxing time, sang many songs with a lot of enjoyment and participation by the patrons. Two people have birthdays this week, so we sang happy birthday (to Betty and Linda). We have one person who has requested our singing It Is No Secret (What God Can Do). Evelyn found the music and had to pay for it, but now we have it. Today, we played it for him, and then Amazing Grace. He came up afterwards and thanked us. MANY people sang along on Amazing Grace. Of course, in a public place as that is, we would not be politically correct and are not supposed to do anything religious. None of us cares about such rules, and there is no PC police who frequents the place. What is quite cool is one of the patrons, a year ago, stopped me at the grocery store, and requested we play Amazing Grace for him. We do every time. More recently, a person requested “Jesus Loves Me.” We have done that a couple time for him too. Today, the food was very southern, or Oklahoman. We had ham & bean soup, corn bread, honey butter, a green salad, and peaches, apricots, and a gingerbread cookie for dessert. I got some Depends pads from the food bank (don’t ask) for my neighbor. Then, I stopped at Hospice Friends for Wipes & Ensure, returned with Evelyn to our SAIL class and then took her back to work. From there, off to Dean Hall to deliver some Aramco Worlds (magazines) and dropped off egg cartons at another friend with chickens. Spring is the laying season and everyone needs cartons. While in Idaho, we had chickens and one of these special lighting features, listed in this chicken link.

Thursday, Mar 20

We were awakened at 5:20 a.m. by an accidental phone call from a music friend who was trying to reach his daughter to get help with his wife (rapidly showing signs of age). Then I worried about her (and him) and could not get back to sleep. He called again before 7:00 to apologize but to let me know they got her settled all right and she was sleeping. Pain pills are great at certain times. John was outside when the second phone call came, because he believed he saw a raccoon, coming out of our cats’ loft. He went out to knock the snow off his car, (we got an inch last night), and to go check for footprints. He saw one Raccoon track. So, he added dry food to the inside cathouse, and tonight when he feeds in the loft, he will remove the dry food from there. We haven’t seen a raccoon in these parts in 15 years. I had breakfast with John before he took off for grapevine pruning. It took me almost a half hour to create my renewal on line for the Association of American Geographers. I have been a member (next year) for 50 years, and will get life membership free starting after I pay for this year (which I just did). Then a half hour spent on sending out new announcements to the jobs list. While more to do waits, I must switch tasks so that everything shows a little progress. I made it to Dry Creek today for music. We had a good turnout. I came home, had a little to eat, and we turned around and went back to Ellensburg, to the building adjacent to the city library, for a talk on Shrub-Steppe environment (plants and animals). It was interesting and nicely done, by Mike Livingston, South-Central Regional Director, Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. Our location here on the Naneum Fan puts us in the zone (ecotone; transition area between two biomes) between Shrub-Steppe and Ponderosa Pine Forest.

Friday, Mar 21

Today was my CWU Scholarship luncheon at noon. We had a nice turnout, and were treated to a large chicken Caesar salad, with all sorts of stuff to add to it, and Grandma rolls (with butter). For dessert, a piece of Boston Crème Cake. On to SAIL class, where I helped with two people who are in need of someone to stand for support on both sides. They both have walkers, and I was in charge of moving their chairs back and forth to be out of the way of their feet, and to push the chair back for them to sit when done with the standing up ones. It wasn’t so long ago that I was in worse shape – except I was then getting better and, week by week, could notice the improvement. Unfortunately, these two will not get better and away from the need for a walker, but happily, they are still able to get out and about and participate in activities. Hope Source is a bus service available (Monday – Friday) to come to a person’s house, load them with their wheelchair or walker, and deliver them to a destination (grocery store, Food Bank, Adult Activity Center, doctor, etc.). They need a two-day notice to plan routes, but it works very well. Went by Super 1 pharmacy for two of my meds I needed refilled, and by two people’s houses to pick up and deliver stuff. I stopped at my neighbor with the chickens, to drop off some egg cartons. John pruned plum trees and raspberries, and some of the berry plants are to get dug out and given to the lady that cuts my hair — our neighbor 1/2 mile away (mentioned above on Monday).

Saturday, Mar 22

At dawn it was 24 degrees but now, at 11:45, we are up to 45. Wow. The night sky was clear but now there is a thin veil of clouds moving from the Vancouver Island area towards us. Still the sun is quite bright. Only the high North Cascade mountains are expected to get some showers from this. Suits me. Not a lot on our schedule today, but looking forward to a sunny day.

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