Ado about the season

Starting with our Christmas cactus (by John)

Sunday, Dec 17

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 16: SpO2 low 84, 6 events <88% with overall avg., 92.8%. Avg. low SpO2, 90.5%. Pulse avg. 56.6, low 46. Slept 7 hrs 46 min.

I stayed busy today on the computer. I spent a lot of time last night on the blog, and John edited what I wrote, but I still had stuff to finish this morning and he had stuff to do before putting it into WordPress.
Brunch was squeezed into the schedule. John finished with Word Press input just before 2:00. While waiting, I spent about 45 minutes helping a former student by proofing her resume and letter of application for a job. Still have connections to CWU after being retired for 7 years.

Late afternoon, I put my new computer aside and got on my old laptop to look for the story about my mother’s family reunion I wrote up a very involved web page for in 2012 after attending the family reunion that year. A woman (another Susan in the Wilkins family—my mom’s side) came out of the woodwork just in time, getting to me on the old email address, account we are soon losing (and which I still have to finish sending please change announcements to).
. . . . Telling the Susan Pate story:

My name is Susan Pate.  I am trying to research my 3x Great Grandfather John Wilkins.  I stumbled upon your reunion page on the internet from several years ago and am hoping that this email address is still a good one.  My connection to John Wilkins is as follows: His daughter Susan Mariah Wilkins (my 2x Great Grandmother) her daughter Minnie Tullulah Robbins is my Great Grandmother and her daughter Susan Mariah Mines is my grandmother.  I have a cousin in Patterson, Georgia that tries to help me with research but he is ill and cannot make the trips like he use to.   I do know there is a museum in Ebenezer, Georgia that has some of the furniture he made and also some of his tools.  That was where my cousin was going to go and take pictures for me, but I do not think he can make it now. I found an article on his furniture and a bit about his history but I cannot find anything on his parents.  The article mentioned he was married to a Rebecca Lavender before he was married the Mary Catherine Gnann.  Do you have any information that would help me to find his parents?   I appreciated any info you can give me. 
 Thank you,
Susan Taylor Pate

I’m grateful she sent the email before the end of the month. We have been communicating since, from the new joint account.
Here is the changed location for the story about the family reunion in 2012 — no longer accessed at but instead at at the following URL:
Wilkins Family History

PLEASE, if you get there, and want to follow any links to web pages, you will have to substitute for any references to

You can go there and see the picture of John Wilkins, whom Susan Pate is writing about above. Also, she mentioned the museum with “Big John’s” furniture in Ebenezer, GA. In the late 1990s, we had a Wilkins’ family reunion there that I attended. I did not have a digital camera then, or one with a flash, so I do not have any pictures of the inside. Hopefully, someone in the family will go take photos, so we can get them to all of us, and to Susan (in Texas). Both Susan Sykes and I have her email address.

Now we have had supper, and I have to finish processing the pictures I took Friday at the Let It Snow! event at the senior center. I know I won’t have a lot of time in the morning.

John is shelling walnuts again. He does enough each time to make 1 pound of halves and pieces. Then they go in the freezer. Our local grocery store sells such for $10, but they are available elsewhere for ~$6/$7. We’ve eaten some and gave some unshelled ones away. He thinks we’ll have 10 bags, when he is done. He plans to make some candied walnuts.

I have been working for a lot of time on the photos to send to the AAC via Google upload. I’m up to 48 of 64, and it is taking awhile. I left some in from John’s camera, without changing to ½ size, and it is taking a little longer, probably, but I didn’t have the time to crop them all and they didn’t need it. I only cropped the ones that had extra lighted windows on the side to concentrate on the center of the photo. After this upload, I will need to share and hope I come up with a link to send to the folks involved at the AAC for them to put on Facebook in the morning. (Jessi, did. She’s an AmeriCorps staff person, from Ellensburg.) I take photos at AAC events because the staff are busy serving and honchoing the games or crafts.

Here’s the link, if you might be interested. You will see a photo of Jessi with me and with her grandma, and others, in the pictures (she has on a huge Black Snowman hat, and I have on a Merry Christmas hat I received from my 6th grade friend (who is featured below in this blog with her photograph of an Eagle). I added the antlers to go with my Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer shirt.
Snow Party, Seniors – Dec. 2017

Monday, Dec 18

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 17: SpO2 low 84, 12 events <88% with overall avg., 91.5 %. Avg. low SpO2, 88.9%. Pulse avg. 56.8, low 52. Slept 7 hrs 51 min.

I called in John’s refill to Super 1 Pharmacy Levothyroxin and was able to pick up today, along with some groceries.

I called my PCP’s office to remind the doctor’s nurse, Diane, to put in the order for some blood tests for me to have to take to the doctor in Wenatchee tomorrow. The tests requested are Ferritin, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and a TPO. She called about 10 to say the labs were sent in earlier this morning, and I called the lab to confirm and got the best time to see my favorite phlebotomist. I showed up at noon.

I went to my SAIL exercise class today at the AAC, and came home via a couple of places and the last was to drop off a large bag of WSJs we share with a business student.

Home to work on my paperwork of medical history to take to my appointment tomorrow with Dr. Lisa Stone in Wenatchee. Thankfully, our weather will be good for travel.

Nice telephone call from my friend since 1977 who just had surgery on her ACL in her knee, and who is doing well. She’s had Brittanys from us since 1977 and lived in Moscow, ID at the time, so we traveled all over the PNW to shows and field trials with our dogs.

I sent a note to the music group {KV F&F} people to check on intended attendance. I need the count, because I have to report in Thursday morning to the facility where we are playing, so that they can haul arm-less chairs to the dining area for us.

Tuesday, Dec 19

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 18 SpO2 low 82, 10 events <88% with overall avg., 91.2%. Avg. low SpO2, 89.8%. Pulse avg. 54.2, low 50. Slept 8 hrs 9 min.

Our farrier is coming to trim Myst, at 9:30. I hope he is on time and it goes rapidly, because we have to drive to Wenatchee and be there by 1:05. He called to say he would be late, and we postponed it until another day.

Called Cle Elum for a Diane to tell me the value of the Ferritin and the range. Found out that and also that the FT3 had come in since yesterday afternoon’s phone conversation. The others were sent to Quest Diagnostics in Seattle, WA for analysis. One may take 3 weeks, says Dr. Lisa Stone today in our meeting, but I have already requested all the lab results be shared with her and my PCP.

We had left home, going through Quincy, WA. That’s the low elevation route. The Quincy area has major fruit and other crops. There is a large potato processor (fries, and the like), and fruit packers. We get the large Honeycrisp at Double Diamond. In 2012 the Amway Corp. started construction of a facility to produce Nutrilite Botanical Concentrate (such as blueberry, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, oregano, peppermint and nettle). There is a long existing place that processes diatomaceous earth (locally available). Quincy’s new claim to fame, however, is that of internet data centers, known as server farms (cheap electricity).
As we approached Quincy it was cold and the sky above was dark with thick clouds less than 1,000 up. The many facilities were expressing pillars of bright white steam above the town. After Quincy the road goes down into the Columbia River canyon with steep basalt cliffs on the east side. The road has orchards on both sides.
This view is looking south. Note a stack of fruit bins on the right side, and the green of the trees. For us, the landscape was dusted with a thin coating of fresh snow that highlighted the physical features. I was particularly interested in the snow on the talus slopes, but unable to take a photograph of what I was seeing.

The Wenatchee River, from the Cascades to the west, enters the Columbia River about 15 miles north of the location of the photo. This coming together of major valleys has been a focal point of animal and human activities for centuries. We were headed toward the confluence.

And so we arrived at Confluence Health at 12:55 p.m. We were not seen until almost 2:00, but all went well. I never complain about waiting because I figure when the doctor stays with me, it is important and appreciated, and I realize someone is waiting to see her after me, so I hope they are patient & understanding too.

Our meeting.
The drive to Wenatchee to see a specialist (Endocrinologist),was a follow-up on my annual physical in Nov, and the finding by my new PCP doctor of a potential conflict with a heart med, Amiodarone, I have been taking for 7 years to prevent atrial fibrillations.  The medication is a large chemical that includes Iodine in its structure, shown in purple in the diagram. The Iodine gets cleaved from the rest and has to be processed by the thyroid.
Doctor Wood was concerned about my blood test results for the thyroid. The tests indicated an issue. The endocrinologist, Dr. Lisa Stone, looked at the test results, questioned me, and did a brief examination. The diagnosis was that I am fine, and we will just keep an eye on the blood tests in two months and then annually.
She also figures the labs on Nov 17th, were close to my sickness of 5 weeks, and likely affected the readings for T3 and T4. She also noted that the labs drawn yesterday about a month later were improved. My PCP had to request the referral, which he did, after I found from several friends and word-of-mouth that she was the preferred Endocrinologist in the area.

We were both pleased with the thoroughness and concern for my case and her detailed explanations. I captured about 10 minutes on video of her explaining my thyroid’s reaction to the Amiodarone, with a little hand-drawn diagram (below). The thin line on the left is indicating the link between the Pituitary gland up top and the Thyroid glands under my cute smile.Here is the location of the video:

Dr. Lisa Stone Diagrams What’s Going on with My Thyroid

Wednesday, Dec 20

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 19 SpO2 low 81, 9 events <88% with overall avg., 92.8 %. Avg. low SpO2, 89.7%. Pulse avg. 57.3, low 52. Slept 7 hrs 27 min.

Need to carry the unsalted cashews I got at Costco for Louaine, down to her.

Dark clouds east of us on my way home, and no camera. Got home and grabbed John’s Nikon to capture the western view from our back patio. These do not show the movement and color changes. Four photos this evening from our back patio (by Nancy). Mt. Rainier is 63.5 miles over there.

Thursday, Dec 21

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 20 SpO2 low 83, 10 events <88% with overall avg., 92.2 %. Avg. low SpO2, 89.9%. Pulse avg. 53.2, low 50. Slept 8 hrs 28 min.

Talked with Laura at Cle Elum and found out the system for communicating with my PCP is being replaced in 2018. I accessed it Tuesday night to report back to my PCP, Dr. Wood, about his referral to Dr. Stone in Wenatchee, and realized the email was keyed to our old email account; therefore, it was not posted properly to my doctor, and there is no way to change it now. I had already changed the system to my new account. So, I requested them tell his nurse my message about the meeting. Then I called Wenatchee and requested the doctor to copy me on the transcription of the notes to my PCP which she is sending him. I hope I will get it from one or the other, maybe both.

Now going through messages on old account to be sure I have all I need. 127 pages left to go. This is uncovering more lost info to recover before Dec 31. Phew.

Today, John went with me to help load all the music weight into the Pacifica Senior Living home. Here are the details:

Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends Pacifica Senior Living 12-21-17
Christmas music with 16 people, plus an audience member on a set of bells.

The last song played is Steciak’s. I have not been able to find out much about the song, but it has been attributed to Larry Ungar.

The only You Tube I can find for sound of the music is by the Little Big String Band and was just published Nov 17, 2017. Here:
Steciak’s (Live)

Today, I was sharing information on Facebook with my friend since the 6th grade. We played guitars and sung folk songs together at events in Atlanta, and we also played our violins through high school in the orchestra. She rode and jumped horses, and we both were into photography. She has surpassed me with her photography. She sent me this picture of her large wall photograph in a Physical Therapist’s office in Michigan, where she now lives. Maude Buszek’s Bald Eagle in Physical Therapy Waiting RoomI grabbed these off her Facebook site for my collage. Sorry the eagle is not better focused in my collage. Later, I will get some of her bird photos (and her permission) to share here.

Friday, Dec 22

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 21 SpO2 low 85, 4 events <88% with overall avg., 92.8%. Avg. low SpO2, 90.0%. Pulse avg. 58.3, low 51. Slept 8 hrs 6 min.

Today, I went to town for meds at the Pharmacy, stopped off for some colas for John, and drove myself across town to the eye doctor. I had the technician, Diane, compare the prescription in my new glasses to the original, and they supposedly are ground properly. However, I’m not seeing the same clarity in my right eye as in my left. I have an appointment next Friday with my normal eye doctor, Dr. Bob Davis to evaluate what might be changed in the Rx to make my eyesight more balanced.

Finally, getting more into the Christmas spirit, locally and from far away.

Our neighbors raise pigs, and I dropped John off earlier in the week when I was going to town by myself, and he took several photos, but combined two into this one. This pink flying pig they found on Ebay and have put him up in their barn adjacent to the pigs and strung lights around him. The one on the right is a live big mamma. The babies are sold to local kids for 4-H animals that are then shown at the County Fair and other sorts of events. My uncle Henry had a big pork raising operation in rural Georgia. He had hundreds. Neighbors have several. Not even close to the same scale. And, in the south, mama and babies were inside, feeding was under a roof, and there was a large adjacent area that was fenced. Anyone going closer that 100 yards had to have their boots disinfected by standing in a shallow pan.

Saturday, Dec 23

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 22 SpO2 low 84, 15 events <88% with overall avg., 91.8 %. Avg. low SpO2, 89.6%. Pulse avg. 57.5, low 50. Slept 8 hrs 13 min.

Staying in the animals and Christmas spirit, here are two Brittanys.This is 2017: Alice Benoit’s Rose Marie ^^ 2015: my Daisy in CA

Interesting Facebook post from Debby Connors, who gave me a beautiful blouse (size L) made in France I am wearing again after my weight loss and am receiving many compliments on.

This photo below is Debby’s latest endeavor, where she is taking used feed bags and turning them into shopping bags. “Passed the cat test.” I asked her what feed, because our feed bags for birds & horses are not nearly as cool.Her answer to my question above: “This is from scratch for the chickens. I’ve read that many years ago folks would use flour sacks (yes from when flour was sold in sacks) and turn them into dishcloths, aprons, even clothing, that the manufacturers got word of this and began to purposely design their flour sacks with more attractive designs for their second use.”

I told her that I’m ancient enough to remember flour sacks, and I have a tie-around I use on John to cut his hair, made by my friend from a Thorp Mill Flour Bag material (purpose made, never used as a flour bag). I need to take a photo of it for our blog, next time I cut his hair. [ John says: I’m rural enough to remember cloth flour sacks. Type the phrase – flour sack art – into a search box (use Images tag) and have a look.]

We took pictures of the quail and the deer. Just the little buck and his mom came up to beg for treats, and the little girl, stopped off to eat some horses’ hay. The deer are not interested in the leafy parts but will pick the seed-heads out when they can. Sometimes folks will harvest Oats as hay, with all the seed-heads included. That has to be enclosed or the deer will tear bales apart and make a mess.
A pair of quail got our attention:Quail inside new enclosure; still inside with Junco outside.

This was John’s creation to keep the Asian Collared doves away from the little birds’ food dish. The quail are not stopped by the 2×4 inch openings. That’s nice. They will also share with the little birds, but the doves won’t.

Some more of the quail in this morning in for sunflower seeds.Nancy’s attempt to capture deer with John’s camera.Buck in his second year. The misshapen tip of the left ear is a family thing. We first saw this in an old doe about 10 years ago.

Sunday, Dec 24

No CPAP – Oximetry for Dec 23 SpO2 low 86, 8 events <88% with overall avg., 93.1 %. Avg. low SpO2, 90.5%. Pulse avg. 57.0, low 51. Slept 8 hrs 36 min.

Two calls last night to Ethel and Pat in PA, and one this morning to Marise in GA.

We’ve been working on feeding animals, accepting baked goods from our neighbor (a raw apple cake), and the blog. I’ve sneaked in a few good wishes to folks on email.
Now John finished editing my blog draft, and I’m proofing and adding comments left out before. He now has to enter the data into WordPress, and then I have to proof that, before we can publish it. Meanwhile, he fixed us an afternoon snack of popcorn and fruitcake. All we need is a fire to curl up in front of.

Hope you week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan