Time for the January Thaw

If you have never heard of the “January Thaw” you can either look it up on the Internet, or note the forecast high in Pittsburgh, PA for Monday, Jan. 22 is 62°F. It was 31 degrees cooler on Friday – just below freezing.

Monday, Jan 15

No CPAP – Oximetry for Jan 7: SpO2 low 86, 2 events <88% with overall avg., 93.5%. Avg. low SpO2, 90.9%. Pulse avg. 53.0, low 50. Slept 7 hrs 6 min.

We uncovered a bunch of magazines with pictures of people (looking for different cultures) for a teacher’s pre-preschool children’s classroom (2-3 yr olds). We’ll drop them off tomorrow when we are in town running errands. {John says, I remember zero from when I was 2, and near zero from 3. I think the big learning experience was how to spit.}

I received an early morning medical message from the Yakima Memorial Physician’s Portal telling me to login for an important message. Figuring it was a response about my change in cardiologists, I tried to gain access. I spent an hour trying to access the system, because I had my username, but not my password.
Once I finally got on, it was unnecessary information about washing hands to keep away flu bug germs, and other obvious things. I requested to be off that part of the portal information, and only to receive notifications for important appointments or decisions.

I received a SCAM call about my computer sending messages, and Microsoft “tech support” would help. I hung up, and looked up the number and found that it was a Fake call – mine came from John Regehr (showed on Caller ID) from number 587-775-0448. I normally do not answer when the caller ID displays a number or name I do not recognize. However, I was awaiting a phone call from the Yakima Memorial Physician’s Portal staff at that time, so I just picked up the phone without looking at the caller ID and answered, “Hello there.” There was a slight delay, robot call, which should have alerted me it was not the Yakima office person I just talked with at Memorial Hospital. First, the caller asked a question which required a YES answer, but I know not to do that, so I said no.

I’m invited to a baby shower this coming Saturday. I received a request on email from the hostess asking me to bring a photo of me as a baby, preferably one under 6 months of age. I have no idea where my baby book is packed away, and is probably in stuff moved back from my mother’s apartment in 1977 to Idaho, some still packed in boxes never opened and stored in our garage here. Most of the furniture made it into this house, but it is too small for all, so some is still out there. It was a moving van full that ended up in our basement in Troy, ID.

However, in 2011, I went to my high school 50th reunion, and remembered that I made a web page of my grade school days to add a photograph one of my high school buddies brought to the reunion, to show those of us she’d known in the Cherub Choir when we were photographed. Our ages were 2.5 – 5. We found five from our high school graduating class, and I identified them, in addition to all the others we knew. Here is the photo. See if you can find me.I was likely 3-4 yrs old in this picture, of the Cherub Choir at First Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA (downtown). Ages were from 2.5 to 5 yrs. Interestingly, all 5 people who were graduated from the same high school (North Fulton High) are in the same row, of the five rows. One of the 5 brought the photo for us to see. When I got home I asked her to scan and send to me, so I could put in the write-up web page I was making on our 50th high school reunion. That’s the last one I will make it to. I have stopped flying.

Many moons ago John bought a large can of peaches, in case the bridge went out, or something. He looked at the label and August of this year was its best-by date. Still he decide to open and start using them. Late this evening, he made a peach cobbler, actually he filled two aluminum pans we get pasta meals in at Costco. Base of the cobbler was a lemon cake, with cinnamon on top. He cut one into pieces and froze them. The other we ate – it was very good.

That afternoon, I went to SAIL exercise class for a good workout.

Tuesday, Jan 16

No CPAP – Oximetry for Jan 15: SpO2 low 84, 7 events <88% with overall avg., 91.6%. Avg. low SpO2, 89.4 %. Pulse avg. 55.7, low 51. Slept 8 hrs 3 min.

I talked directly to the County Auditor this morning (I know him), and found that the fee I mentioned last week is not out of line. His office has to charge $73 for the first page and something for each additional page to ‘reconvey’ [we never had it so why the “re”?] the deed into our name from the lien put on by the bank 30 yrs ago. He also told me to contact the Treasurer’s Office the end of February to set up the property tax bill coming to us in April and October. So ends one monthly payment, after 30 years. Another follows.

I spent time on phone with arranging to pay for our long term care policy. However, it is going to work and they are sending me the paperwork to allow them to have it taken out of our checking account, automatically. That will be a lot of time saved on doing it by phone (going through a robot with security questions and non-responsiveness of the system), and will circumvent writing a check and mailing it. This company is losing money on this aspect of insurance, but it is gaining on the issue. Some other companies are out of business. This one is teaming up with a company from China that wants to introduce the business there. Thus there is an infusion of capital that should carry our provider through these tough years.

I had to spend a bunch of time with online banking to re-enable my account. I have been on wait forever. Stayed there, but finally got help and now am back on board. It allowed me to check my bank balance to be sure nothing would bounce of the withdrawals I made on-line today. Somehow my account I have easily checked regularly was disabled by the system from incorrect passwords submitted.

We plan to leave our house about 12:30 to make it to all the stops in town. The first stop was near the airport to leave a package of our already read Wall St. Journals, for the business student. We run this errand about 3 times a month. Repurpose them for her education — what’s not to like. We delivered bread to a visually impaired woman who cannot drive to the Food Bank bread room. She gave me a large flower vase (I donated to the senior center so that we and others can take in flowers and they’ll have receptacles for them), and a blouse with zebra stripes I may wear to a special event there that is wildlife safari-related, or something zoo-like. This week is an event about “under the sea”. The center keeps coming up with interesting topics for events.

We stopped at the bank, but the person I intended to talk with was still busy with another person, so we left and returned. Went by Safeway to get our refund of $ improperly charged for items we bought last week. (I had called it in, and had the ad and receipt.) Their receipts are so confusing, it makes it difficult to check and I wonder how many times no one looks, and they keep the money. This is the 3rd time it has happened to us, on sale items, and on different products. We don’t frequent that store often, mainly for marked down items. We picked up a few things while there, and went by to drop off the magazines with people pictures before returning to the bank about our house mortgage payoff.

Once at the bank, we sat again for a few minutes waiting for the person to finish with another customer. I was approached by a woman who asked if I was Nancy. She is the new manager of this local branch, and had heard my story from her employee with whom I had made our original appointment. She invited us to her desk so that she could take care of the transaction. There is no one there now that worked there when we started. One early clerk has become, 20 years later, our dental hygienist. So Jamie, the manager, is our new contact at our bank.

That was a good experience. She processed the paperwork, and obtained a Certified Check for the ending amount necessary to finalize the mortgage. I signed the papers (one signature was all right). She made copies for us, and I requested an envelope, so I could put it in, and asked that she put in their mail to the Umpqua office in Spokane, where the mortgage stuff resides. She said they did not have a courier service, and it would just go by the U. S. postal service. So, I asked for a stamp to have her put in their outgoing mail tomorrow. She obliged, we said thanks, and left.

Our next trip was by my dental office to pick up the special fluoride treatment toothpaste (prescription required). It’s called Prevident 5000. It cost $15. I asked for a receipt for potential future reimbursement by my medical insurance (Kaiser Permanente), but to have them pay for it, I first have to make an appointment regarding a new prescription, to visit my PCP, and if he finds it medically necessary, he can send the referral for it to Kaiser that will cover it through the dental office in the future. A teeth cleaning in 2009 is what began my experience with endocarditis and a 1st visit with cardiologist Kim, and then on to my heart valve replacement. Therefore, the fewer times I have to go in for dental work, the better are my odds of safety. I believe I can make a good argument for the medical need in my case history. I bought this container, and plan to use it for the next 4 months until my next cleaning, to see if an obvious improvement has occurred. Then I will make my appointment with my PCP for a visit. He is in Cle Elum, so the visit is time-consuming to us and snowfall makes it worse for travel. Perhaps I should get the appointment now for better weather to have the process begun, in April.

We went by Bi-Mart to check our number, but did not win anything. On the way home, we stopped at Knudson’s to spend $11 in coupons, including $6 from my trip to the Ladies Night Out promotion back in December, where I obtained $5 for a gift donation to the Community Christmas Gift program, and a $ for my purchase of nails for John, while I was there. I came out ahead with a nice pink Knudson’s shopping bag. Five $ of the coupon was sent to John for his birthday! We bought an additional $16 worth of common nails in sizes we did not have.

Wednesday, Jan 17

No CPAP – Oximetry for Jan 16: SpO2 low 86, 1 events <88% with overall avg., 93.0%. Avg. low SpO2, 91.0%. Pulse avg. 53.2, low 49. Slept 8 hrs 14 min.

I got my salad ready to go to town for music at the food bank soup kitchen. While there, I learned of a way to hard-cook eggs, so I have to find our muffin baking pan to give it a try. Folks write “hard boil” but that’s now what you do to them. You bake them until they are hard. Perhaps I should have tried before printing the recipe below, but I’ll try it at the lower temp & minutes with only a couple of eggs.

“Hard boil” eggs easily and the shells come off easier too
(from Peggy Coble and recommended by Kevin)

Preheat oven to 350°.
Put eggs in muffin pan.
In oven for ½ hour.
Remove to ice water.
(I checked on the Pinterest site and they say 325° for 25 min.)

This picture is cool and came over Facebook to my account there. It’s from Audra Levine-Fuller who is my friend and professional nutritionist helper that volunteered for my weight loss (& inches) advice and weigh-ins/measurings. She also gave John the sweatpants he needed a couple years ago for his operation (to have loose fitting clothes, requested by the surgeon). Her dad died and her family inherited Penny. She posted this of them doing cardio together. I thought this was a neat photo I would share. It looks as if her dad is also using a smart phone.

After the Food Bank music and meal, I went to my SAIL exercise class. There I recorded 23 minutes of cardio exercise minutes on my FitBit. For this day, I walked 2.02 miles and burned 1,860 calories.

From there, I rushed home to drop off my violin and drove a mile over to my neighbor for a much needed haircut. I had cancelled the last one the end of December because it conflicted with the only available appointment with the Endocrinologist in Wenatchee.

Thursday, Jan 18

No CPAP – Oximetry for Jan 17: SpO2 low 84, 8 events <88% with overall avg., 91.1%. Avg. low SpO2, 89.6%. Pulse avg. 53.2, low 50. Slept 8 hrs 28 min.

I managed to do a load of dishes before leaving for music at Pacifica. The weather was nice, so John stayed home to work outside. We needed all 12 chairs, but they have done away with the Coca-Cola room and put all the stuff in storage with the chairs. They replaced them with very short and extremely uncomfortable metal chairs with no cushioning. I’m going to have to add carrying a pillow in with my violin, music for me and two other players, and for the audience.

Went to Audubon meeting for a talk on Forest Health from a WA Fish & Game forester. Animals are the main concern of this agency, not trees, so it was interesting to hear their “take” on the issues. We have been in some of the areas on horses, and John has hiked some.

I took 2 duck prints (borders suitable for framing) I got from the senior center’s free/discard table and my guess is they were sent to someone that gave a donation to Ducks Unlimited. John thought it might make a nice gift to give to one of the volunteers. So, we gave them to the President. She thought it was a super idea.

We picked up Burger King meals on our way home, and got enough food for two days for the both of us, for the price of one. One was a complete meal that was free, so we just bought two additional sandwiches (different type, crispy chicken) at a half price special.

Friday, Jan 19

No CPAP – Oximetry for Jan 18: SpO2 low 86, 2 events <88% with overall avg., 92.8%. Avg. low SpO2, 89.8%. Pulse avg. 55.8, low 51. Slept 7 hrs 55 min.

Awakened at 8:00 a.m. by a phone call from the hospital about a message I left on voice mail during working hours yesterday. I think no one was taught as I, by my mom, not to call anyone before 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. I can understand robot calls (which we got earlier this week), but not personal ones. Maybe I’m showing my Southern Upbringing, or my age.

We are scheduled to go at 5:00 to The Palace Café, where they have John’s birthday card notification at the desk front. We met our friends Linda and Bill Weir there, had a leisurely dinner and visit (hadn’t seen them in several months), and then we left for the CWU campus. We made it to CWU by check-in time, met our neighbors (to whom we had printed and previously given free tickets required to get in), and we checked in together (the tickets were all in my name at the desk at the entry).

We were there to attend Nick Zentner’s premiere showing of the Second Series of videos titled, Nick on the Rocks at the Student Union Recreation Center Theater, which has a capacity of 324. They offered free admission, but one had to print out their tickets or reserve them to be picked up that evening. First showing of these is on two local PBS stations but they are not exclusively there.

If you follow this link: Nick Premiere — you’ll see the animation that precedes each video, and the list of the PBS episodes in the “Nick on the Rocks” for Season II, and also the opportunity we had to reserve & print the tickets.
Link below, but first . . .
I got an “unsafe error” once for this, so just shut it down. Yesterday, I was able to access it fine, but I need to shut down my Chrome and restart to see if that will eliminate the problem.
Just beware, that might happen to you. I’m not willing to shut down until I preserve all the stuff I have on my Google Chrome.

Here is a link which will take you to the videos described above:
Nick on KCTS9
John was able to reach it today without any issues.
Regardless, you have all the content for them below in my videography from the evening, in addition to the comments from the audience that night. Nick Zentner (Geological Sciences) introduced the episodes and hosted a dialogue after each with comments and questions from the audience.

If you are on the PBS site, (they are supposedly available on YouTube as well, but I have not checked), go separately to each one. They all have the same intro, but each tells a different story. At the Premiere, a few of them had the intro removed (for time). The order is also different on their site than it was during the CWU Premiere.Photo from the Premiere evening at CWU, Nick Zentner

Videos – below are mine from the Premiere evening in Ellensburg. I tried for the most part to record the Q&A and comments at the end of each episode on each video, along with Nick’s introduction to the next video.

1-Intro to the Evening & PBS: Lake Chelan — Battle of the Ice Sheets (with Chris Mattinson)
Tongues of ice dig trenches

2-The Seattle Fault (with Sandi Doughton)
The Seattle Fault, discovered in the 1990s, runs directly beneath downtown and out to Bainbridge Island.
Look out Seattle

3-Chasing Ancient Rivers (with Steve Reidel)
The Columbia River had many different paths throughout its history, as did other major rivers in the state (particularly, the Yakima and Salmon Rivers).
Really old rivers; older than the hills

4-Ancient Cascade Volcanoes (with Daryl Gusey)
Ancient volcanoes have been identified where Mt. Rainier-like volcanoes once stood, but now are eroded and gone caused by glacial action.
Long gone volcanoes

5-Bridge of the Gods [Bonneville Landslide] (with Jim O’Connor)
When did a mountain in WA state split and slide to Oregon in the Columbia River Gorge? Why, and will it happen again?
Jim O’Connor is a research Geologist with the US Geological Survey based in Portland, with the Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center.
Bridge of the Gods landslide

6-Columns of Basalt Lava
Spectacular rock columns are on display throughout the deserts of Eastern Washington. How do these stone pillars form? How old are they?
Basalt columns

Saturday, Jan 20

No CPAP – Oximetry for Jan 19: SpO2 low 83, 4 events <88% with overall avg., 92.6%. Avg. low SpO2, 90.3%. Pulse avg. 53.1, low 49. Slept 7 hrs 40 min.

I attended a morning (10:30) baby shower, and it was fun. We started with a counter-top of fruit (grapes, cut oranges), caramel popcorn, poppy seed muffins, the best pear cobbler, and hot beverages. Then we played a game with the photographs people brought of themselves at a much younger age. I picked one in a cute bunny suit, with big eyes. I knew 3 others there, and ironically, the cute pink bunny was my friend Amy. I matched her correctly. The next part was Laina’s unwrapping the gifts. That was a learning experience, because there are so many more baby things on the market than were available when I was babysitting years ago. A friend there with a 4 year old, said many were new to her as well. The picture of me I took to the shower was snipped from the photo above of the Cherub Choir.
So, did you find me in the photo above?

From there I stayed in town, because John wrapped my violin in two coats to slow any temperature change while I went to the party. We weren’t expected to play music at Briarwood until 1:30. I had an hour to kill, so I ran errands, and filled my car with gasoline. Our local price is just under $3. This was the nicest day for the next week, so I’m truly glad I did. I spent a bunch of time in my car reading the manual and trying to reset the clock on my dash. Problem occurred a few days ago, when we came home in the dark, and apparently, I turned on the inside light and did not turn it off. John found the dead battery and recharged before we had to use the car. When the battery dies, all the settings go with it. I still have not figured how to do it.

At Briarwood, we had 10 people show up to provide music, and a full house (audience). They always feed us, and yesterday on the menu was potato soup, hot apple cider, cornbread, oyster crackers, Jell-O with fruit salad, chicken salad sandwiches, which I didn’t have because of the large size of the bun. I made up for it by having one whole piece of dessert and ½ of another. I brought half of the apple cobbler home to John, and a full piece of the other that I had had one of. I don’t know what it is called, but it had a crust, with strawberries, bananas, pineapple, whipped cream, and chocolate sauced dribbled on it. I told John it could be called a Sundae Cake, but it didn’t have any ice cream with it (as in an ice cream sundae). CHANGE THAT THOUGHT… rename the actual name: Banana Split Cake. I found recipes on line and this was the closest pix yet not exactly the same. Rather than pudding, ours had Cool Whip, over the graham cracker crust, and no cherries or nuts on top. It is a no bake cake.The left looks as if it is pudding on the bottom layer, but ours looked more like the one on the right, without the nuts and cherry, but instead, the fresh fruit throughout (+ crushed pineapple).

By the time I got home, I had been away from home for 7 hours, so I was bushed.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan