Saturday, May 10
Work on cleaning and the blog. This picture came in the email from a former graduate resource management student (Native American), now working in Alaska. I thought this was some shrimp, and one would fill me up, not more than two would be required. This is taken near Whittier, Alaska. Click for large view.
Sunday, May 11 Happy Mother’s Day
My favorite card wish comes from the son of one of our students while at the University of Idaho. She now lives with her family in Illinois, but has kept in touch over the years. She went into the Geography profession so over the years I have seen her at our national meetings. Here’s what her son wrote to her on Facebook with a picture of the two of them. I love it:
Happy Mother’s Day to this amazing lady! She has opened my family’s doors to anyone in need and has taught me the most valuable life lesson: You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friends nose. I love you, mum.
This morning we tackled large boxes on the front porch from garage-sale purchases in past years. Haven’t been to one this year and only a few last. Therefore, we decided to move stuff to keep the bees and wasps from settling in. We found two blankets and all sorts of surprises. Two tops (a blouse and a vest) were too small for me, so I will take them to a friend Tuesday morning. I sorted out other stuff to share with other folks. I picked out paperback books to take to the Adult Activity Center for the free table.
I found a large beach towel I shall give to a favorite family with 3 kids. Also cleaning up last year, I found another beach type towel, which I have to retrieve from the sink in my washroom (where I last saw it–probably put there to wash. It MIGHT be a combo robe towel carrier. I haven’t looked at it in a couple of years. John wanted to spray weeds, but the threat of storm clouds changed his mind, so he has moved to the garden and is weeding in the strawberry patch. It is bright and sunny now with only a gray cloud still to the west; so maybe it will rain. (It didn’t, but one never knows for sure.)
I switched from chore to chore all day. Spent time on the phone calling a few relatives and friends to wish them a Happy Mothers’ Day. Worked on music and two other academic projects. Cleaned dishes and a load of clothes.
Monday, May 12
I have been busy with report compilation about the Geography Dept to present to Emeriti Faculty tomorrow morning. Also printed out an obituary to share, and directions to two end-of-year Geography Department events. Have been sharing time between eating lunch, music chores, washing dishes, and talking to our Internet provider about the problems with our router. I spent about 1/2 hr (plus 10 minutes wait time for a technical support person). Finally, he managed to take me through the system on my computer to reboot the router, and we hope that corrects the situation. (Several days later, it seems to be working all right.)
Tuesday, May 13
Started at 9:30 at the Copper Kettle for meeting with the Emeritus Geography Faculty group. I gave a report on the current department with figures about some recent happenings that I thought were misunderstood. My attempt was to be positive toward the Department and rumors that were flying. I think it was successful. I also took along an invitation to the end of the year party out in the country for getting people there with good directions, pictures, and printed out in color. Afterwards, we went around town on several errands to four different stops. Got home and had a bite of lunch. Now am busy playing catch up on email, but with my legs propped up. Tonight I have to go back to play music at Hearthstone. Did so and dropped by Bi-Mart for some Magnesium on sale. John fixed ground beef burgers with mushrooms and Havarti on Sesame seed rolls.
Wednesday, May 14
Today, is music at Noon at the Food Bank, then lunch there. Afterwards I went by a friend’s house to pick up some music related things and delivered clothes and another item from my clean-up findings. I spent an hour and a half working on the Dept. of Labor evaluation of the job title, Geographer. It is a tough thing to answer and respond to, because they are not clear in their instructions, once one starts evaluating the items. A person has to mark whether the decsription is relevant or not (to a job with the title, geographer), indicate the importance and the frequency of this item. I’m having trouble figuring out each item, because each one would be different for a distinct specialty of a geographer’s job – (whether a cartographer, planner, resource manager, or GIS analyst, and the list goes on). I finally wrote a letter with my dilemma in answering the questionnaire. Worked off and on all afternoon sending job announcements and mixing with other chores, cleaning, and sorting. I forget what time it was, but John came in and asked me to walk [there was not an exercise class to go to today] up the driveway with him and the dogs to get the mail and paper. From there we went down through a few trees – some are Cottonwoods and their white fluff is well dispersed in the air and nearly covering the ground in spots not too windy. We went to our south fence line (300 yards) at the far end of our pasture, so he could check on the irrigation water he has been directing around for the neighbors. Tonight was a dinner of leftovers with newly picked asparagus and a “nuked” Yukon Gold potato. Before heading to bed, I wrote a long statement to the people in North Carolina about my problems with filling in the answers on the first questionnaire.
Thursday, May 15
Started with a bunch of email needs. I received an answer about the questionnaire. I’m supposed to answer it relative to my job. I still don’t understand how this will be helpful to them. The items all cover things I taught, but the specialties will vary for one person taking a job as a planner, researcher, GIS analyst, or technician with Expedia or Google. Then I decided to tackle the Sleep Apnea questionnaire. I read it completely yesterday afternoon, but need to start working through it. Actually, I spent awhile scanning the 11-paged questionnaire before I fill in the blanks.
We had only one fiddle, one viola, and five guitars there today at Dry Creek. People had conflicts with doctor appointments, professional meetings, and another had to attend a funeral. We had a low turnout of residents, but our old faithful followers were there. One of them is in a wheel chair with oxygen, but he loves the songs we play, and often has a request, or sings along. This day his song was Blues, Stay Away from Me. He almost sang a solo on the first verse, the first time through. Everyone totally enjoyed it. He gave our viola player a kiss on the hand as she left. She had to meet me at my car to get her old violin I had picked up at my stop yesterday. In addition, I gave her one of the things I found in the stuff on the front porch, a camouflage lunch box, insulated, for her husband (Retired Air Force), who does search and rescue training for the locals. Then I was off for my INR reading (3.2), to Super 1, for carrots to add to Ebony’s Senior Equine, to Bi-Mart for eye ointment for me, on sale $1 off the grocery store price. Tonight John made a simple yeast bread. He started that, then cobbled together a pizza and while it cooked and was eaten, the yeast did their bit. It’s been awhile and we had to search for the pans. They had made their way to the back of a cabinet (the corner type) beside the dishwasher. The baking smells so good. It will not be cooled enough to have a piece before bedtime. Besides, we just had pizza.
Friday, May 16
Here we are to Friday already. Where does the time fly?
Our weather report today is windy – so what’s new. The last two hours have kept John inside. We had 44 mph gusts, sustained at 35 mph, the next hour WENT DOWN (ha ha) to 29 mph sustained, and 41 mph gusts.
We had to leave the house at 1:00 p.m. to get to our eye appointments about 12 miles away. We passed all the tests with flying colors, and got home a little after 3:00 pm. We both had Optomap exams to see the back of our eye – and my left eye has had a little film on it, removable in the office with a laser, but until I decide my vision is impaired enough, we will wait another year to evaluate. That’s one of the drawbacks of an intraocular lens replacement which I had in 1997. Considering how well I see without glasses (with both eyes I have 20/20 vision), there’s no reason to be concerned. The right eye is now better than my left, which is slightly blurry (from that film mentioned above). The only funny thing to me is that I grew up (even with glasses on), with my left eye being the better one. So, because I could see targets (birds or clay pigeons) better from my left eye sighting, I learned to shoot my over/under 20-gauge shotgun, left handed. My eye pressure was good – 13 in each eye, so glaucoma is not a problem. The only thing wrong with my eyes is they are dry. That can be caused from environment, from medications I’m on, or from age. I know how to handle that, with artificial tears, or with a gel ointment. On our way home we saw a low “cloud” over the whole eastern part of our valley. This looked like wind-blown silt from the fields and roadsides plus maybe some white smoke from burning out weeds in ditches or a field. A bit late in the season for burning, though, so maybe something else. Also, not a good day with the high winds to burn anything anywhere.
John laid down for a needed nap to justify not going out and having to work in the wind. I spent a lot of time on the phone with Group Health and finally got an answer that satisfied me about a mailed receipt called an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that came today, saying I owed a balance for a 2/25 visit (one for 15 minutes to wave a wand over the memory chip in my ICD), a visit that happens once every 3 months. It requires a long trip to Yakima and usually cannot occur in conjunction with any other appointment at the center, e.g., with my Cardiologist (but I only see him every 6 months). They seemed to charge me twice for the same test: one at $96.00 and one at $40, but it came on two different pages from two different providers. The problem was supposedly the first one was the original charge and then the second was the indication of a payment by Medicare (of only $7.12), and the 3rd is in progress. Supposedly, that has processed, and GH paid the remainder, leaving me to owe nothing. I don’t even think I want to know why so many pages to different providers, and the diagnosis doesn’t match with what I think it should. It says I was evaluated for an “abnormally fast heart rate.” I do not have that. My heart rate has been consistently in the 50s and mostly 60s for several years. I haven’t had an abnormally high heart rate since 2010 !! [John thinks all of these things are reported as numerical codes and either the code was off or the code used years ago – March of 2010 – is still in the system.] While on the phone with the Group Health rep, I logged on to GH’s computer with her looking at my personal account, and she showed me how to determine that I owed no payment. Supposedly in tomorrow’s or Monday’s mail (next week?) I will receive the EOB for the additional payment from GH for the 2/25/14’s visit. My complaint is why don’t they wait until all the reimbursements are determined before sending me a form that says the patient is responsible for $46.03 and another saying for the exact same treatment that my total responsibility is $30.04. It makes absolutely no sense to me, and she could not explain it to my satisfaction either, except to convince me I owed nothing more. We’ll see if this is the end of it. All these things contribute to the rising cost of health care but do nothing for one’s health. John’s in the kitchen with a multi-ingredient tomato sauce burbling on the stove – the pasta looks like little finned barrels – radiatori.
That’s what is for dinner tonight. If the wind doesn’t take a few trees down and knock the power out! The gusts have dropped from 44 to 37 mph. Dinner is almost ready and the lights are still on.
Saturday, May 17
On the morning pasture trip with the dogs, John noticed Breeze – youngest of the horses – has an eye problem. He hasn’t been in a horse trailer since spring of 2010 and wasn’t going to load today. The vet, Dan Charlton, on duty at the clinic is a neighbor (1/4 mile north on Naneum, then ½ mile east on Charlton Road) – family has been there since settlement so they named the road after the family. Regular Saturday hours are over at Noon so Dan stopped by to “operate” on Breeze. There was a stye (blocked oil gland) back and up inside the eye lid. Usually such things are on the margin of the lid and easily seen. This was much less noticeable and so grew quite large before the bulge was obvious (to John) and caused some wetness to show on the hair below the eye. Breeze, with sedation, was an easy patient and now (a couple of hours later) thinks he would like out of the holding pen and into the pasture with his buddies.
The vet finished just before I need to go play music at Briarwood. Today I am leaving at 1:00 to pick up my neighbor (she knows a few of the residents there), and then we will stay for snacks that will fill us up just before dinner time. I usually am not hungry on such days until 9 or 10 PM. Nancy got back after 4:00, and is proofing this blog. I’m writing now, now, to tell you what we had for our tummies. We had a salad bar, with a huge offering. A large scoop of chicken salad on a tomato nestled in a large lettuce leaf, an apple/almond/cranberry/lettuce dish, a potato salad, a lettuce mixture with mandarin oranges, a 3-bean salad, a nice coleslaw, and exceptionally nice garlic buttered bread. The drink of the day was iced fruit drink made by the daughter of a resident, and frozen, except for the addition of a large bottle of Sprite. It had orange, banana, and pineapple juice as the main base. It was very refreshing. Finally, for dessert was chocolate cake with cream white frosting and a large cinnamon roll type cake, with cream cheese frosting. It was all tasty. We sat with the residents and had a nice visit. We had a small turn-out of players – a fiddle, viola, bass fiddle, and one guitar. But the audience was large – probably 18 folks.
I took pictures today (while a bit windy) of our purple blooming Lilac and white blooming Crabapple. They are near one another – Apple to the right of the Lilac in the first picture below. Left and behind the Lilac are some Carpathian walnut trees.
Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan