New, renew, medical, & music

Monday, Dec 3

Last night we were up late finishing the blog and John’s putting it into WordPress. I finally published it at 11:40 p.m.

I had a bunch of things to do today in town, starting with a new exercise class named Silver Sneakers given at the AAC (our senior center). It started at 11:00 a.m. and went to noon, conducted by Roxanne Laush (one of the AmeriCorps staff). It was my first time being there, because I found out about it too late.

On to pick up Chapstick at Scott Rollins State Farm office. To school to Parking folks for my Emeritus sticker replacement that expires Dec 31, 2018, but they don’t have them to issue until December 17, 2018. So, another trip to campus is in store.

I left there to go to Disabilities Services for a temporary parking permit (with my CWU parking for Faculty & staff) in Hogue Technology building. After a circuitous horseshoe route through the building, because I entered from the wrong door, I found out they no longer do that service from their office. First person said I had to go through the state. I questioned further and another woman (Kendall), came out of a back office and told me the person to see on campus (at opposite end), in Mitchell Hall (Human Resources), because I was eligible as retired faculty/staff.

I had a long search for a parking space, > 2 blocks away. I found the right person, he filled in the paperwork, with my information, and I am ready to go in either car, mine or John’s Subaru. The previous year we were only approved for mine. What was extra nice was he was able to find my faculty ID card # on his computer database, and I did not have to return with it. It was in an old wallet at home. I have not had to use it at all since retiring…not even to check out books from the library. But it is a picture ID. I told him I would fail the recognition test because I was so sick in early 2010, when I had to have it made, for some reason. I should go back and request a retake.

First a photo of the Christmas lights display put up at the Frink house by the man mentioned below, fighting for his life and needing prayers.Ken & Eva Frink’s house in Ellensburg. Photo cropped from one posted on Facebook. I mentioned seeing them in a recent blog, at the end of an overcast day, but not yet dark.

Today, I came home to a couple of messages on Facebook of interest. My friend whose husband is on life support in Swedish in Seattle sent a photo of a card the middle school 6th grade sent to her husband. They know him through his driving their camping supplies for summer camp for all the children. It’s an original hand drawn card.His wife also posted this video below of his cardiologist giving a good medical heart story explanation.

Ken Frink’s Swedish Hospital Cardiologist Doctor

We are all being educated during this sad story, and praying for the best. He should be ready to come off life support this week, and they can assess what the next steps are to save his life and repair his heart. They are even considering a possible transplant because of a hole in the lower chamber of his heart.

I just learned of a former student currently in the hospital with his transplant problems. He’s been operating fine with a transplant since 2012, but now has some serious complications. He’s in our prayers too.

Tuesday, Dec 4

I tried to set up delivery and pick up of empty livestock feed bags through the AAC today. We failed to make connections as planned. Told her to be there before 2:00, and I didn’t go until after 2:00, but nothing was there. End of week, still nothing.

I went for my blood draw INR & K and called Cle Elum to notify Cody or Lacey I’d be back home later for the report. Lacey called with the figures and I said, “Well, the potassium is higher than usual (normally in the 4 range”). She agreed and will ask Dr. Wood. The INR=2.8 was good.

I took my paper lab reports, printed from their portal, to the hospital’s front desk to see why the ones provided at the doctor’s office appear differently – much nicer and 2 rather than 4 pages. I found out it is not under my control or theirs either. It’s best to request it there and not from the portal, except for checking that things have made it through the system.
So, when I’m there next week, for a mammogram, I will request the report.

I did check with the cardiopulmonary office to see if they received the referral from Dr. Wood, and found out it was not provided and is a whole “nuther” story, I’ll deal with later.

Check for printing the results of chest x-ray radiology interpretation. I also stopped by to talk to Vanessa about printing the results of a chest X-ray for John when he goes back later this month. She gave me the paperwork for him to fill out after it is done, and she will mail a CD with the images to our home. He only needs to fill in the information and sign the form to take with him when he goes for the 2nd X-ray in Cle Elum, and they will send the okay to Ellensburg.

Wednesday, Dec 5

Food bank today. I wore the Christmas top from Methodist Church Ellensburg Clothing Center rack, today. Picture below. Many compliments today at Food Bank, and then by different people at AAC SAIL (exercise) class. People really liked it. Left w/o flash, Nancy & Bob (singer) with FISH Lunch Bunch

Below, the video music was recorded on my old video camera, which now has developed an unfocused image on the left side of the lens. Bob is on the far left and out of focus below on these videos because there was nothing to his left to have him in focus on the image. I guess I will have to use my newer camera and just live with the longer upload time for more than a two-minute recording. Some of the songs with bells are worth recording. We don’t have this much participation in the assisted living homes.

A Holly Jolly Christmas

Go Tell It On the Mountain

On my way home, I drove north on Naneum Road and saw the beautiful skies, clouds, and agricultural landscapes. Wind towers add, or subtract, from the view. I thought the white towers backed by the dark blue-gray cloud was neat. Because I had my camera along, I pulled off the road and took some photos. This is my favorite.Viewing east with Whiskey Dick mountain on the right, blue & white Tarp-It tarps over haystacks, fields in front, barns, with lovely winter clouds looking down on Earth in the Kittitas Valley.

From there I came home and have been working on music for tomorrow at the Rehab. Phone call from Gerald at 3:30, after being in Rehab today and finding the floor being torn up and replaced, and no one was allowed on it. He had to get permission to walk out over it to get out of the building. I called and talked to the man in charge, to see if we would be able to access the West dining room tomorrow to play. He claimed it would be completed before he left tonight. He was watching them work on it, and we should come and they’d be ready for us. He asked for the count of chairs but expect to know more tonight, and tomorrow morning for the final call I always make. It was finished in time for us to play.

Thursday, Dec 6

This morning was down to the last minute getting music together for this afternoon. I had to finish running a new version of A Holly Jolly Christmas to replace a copy that was impossible to read because of the small size of the font. I even enlarged it to fit the page, and that did not help. So I entered it into the SongWriter 2012 software, but had some issues. I figured out a way around it this morning, but still had several music books to replace some things in. I needed to add the Chipmunk Song in a different key – G instead of C. I needed to copy and replace the old Holly Jolly with the new, and change the punched 3 holes to the opposite side. I had 12 copies to produce and sort in. I also had 2 other songs to replace for 4 other people. It was a puzzle to work out, but we succeeded, and still were able to start before 2:00.

I carried my camera and got Charlotte to take a photo of 3 of us in our Christmas garb. I try to wear a different shirt each play day in December. Every group I’m in is playing all December Christmas and Winter songs, and we have bells along for ringing. We used to give noise makers to the residents, but we are not doing that this year, except for a few bell sets.

At the Rehab, we had a responsive audience and a bunch of compliments. We had lots of players there today, 11 plus Jeanne who joins in her wheel chair. We had Laura, Minerva, Charlotte, Amy, Sharon, Nancy, Dean, Gerald, Maury, Marilyn, and Manord.

Several residents were there I did not expect, and some I did. I did not realize my friend from the AAC was there. His name is Pat. I found out he fell and broke his leg. He hopes to be back home in a week. He also hears us every Wednesday during lunch at the FISH food bank, where he comes for the Senior Nutrition program. Arlane, another person from my past (horses) was there. She normally resides at Pacifica but is temporarily there recovering. She loves our music. (I need to check the lyrics to Frosty the Snowman). I think they are wrong in the colored pages book. Luckily that one is on a white page so won’t be as hard to replace. I only have 13 copies of those left.

Another woman (named Ray), stopped me on my way out to tell me she very much loves it when we are there, and that today was very special. I invited her and also Pat over to Meadows Place next door, this coming Thursday.

After playing, Charlotte was kind enough to take a photo of 3 of us, Me (violin), Sharon (bass guitar), and Amy (flute, penny whistle, violin, mini washboard).Nancy, Sharon (all the way from Seattle), Amy (Haley’s mom)

From there I went north to deliver some stuff to Amy’s front porch, and then back to Super 1 with my camera, to take a photo of Elf Haley, Amy, and another elf, Kayla, who were operating a booth to collect $ for KXLE million penny drive to fund Christmas baskets to many families in town. You learned about that program in last week’s blog. They were there from 3:30 to 5:00 today.

Here is the photo I had a friend, Cory, take (we greeted as we both entered the store at the same time). Cory took this (I sneaked in between), & I took this of Haley. Left is Amy, elf Haley, Nancy, elf Kayla, and Haley again on the floor.

Later tonight I found this photo on Facebook. I had gone in a different door and missed it. I cropped the photo just to this. The photo on the table is from 2017 and was different from this year’s elf sweater & hat. This photo was taken by Christine Reynolds who has given her permission to use here.

I came home to more chores and dishes. The local paper had an ad for a CWU music event, the Gothard Sisters, from the wet side of the Cascades. We went 4 years ago. So, I got on line and bought our tickets for tomorrow night. Being of an advanced age, we got the ‘senior’ discount.
Press release of the 3 sisters—Greta, Solana, & Willow

We went and had a great time. They are quite talented and very entertaining. They tell a few stories, include some laughable routines, and pitch their CDs (see below).

I think this was written last year on their website as an interview, so perhaps add a year to each of the ages: 25-year-old Greta Gothard, Willow, who is 22, and Solana, 16. All three play the violin. Solana is the lead singer, Willow plays the Bodran (pronounced bow-ran), which is a traditional Irish drum, as well as the mandolin. Greta plays the guitar. Willow and Greta also serve as backup singers and all play several instruments.

Friday, Dec 7

I need to call KVH in Cle Elum to talk to the person who called me Dec 5 at 1:03 and did not leave a message. Later, that same day, I received the call from KVC hospital Cardio-pulmonary that Dr. Wood would not approve a referral for me for 2019, > 11/13.

This phone call was regarding having a BMP today scheduled for the Potassium value 5.3 to recheck high value last blood draw. It is still high, and so is the creatinine and glucose, so Dr. Wise will pass along to Dr. Wood to review Monday, and get back to me. I got the report from the portal, and it is the same. He needs to tell me what he wants to do about it. I wonder what causes a rise in (K) Potassium [Phosphorus → P]. I’m not eating lots of bananas, nor taking a supplement with Potassium. Potatoes? Not more than usual. Soy milk? Likely not enough therein.

I rushed to drink lots of water for my blood draw, and went to the KVH lab in Ellensburg.

While in town, I picked up Sharon’s guitar stand.John had taken the left photo at the Veterans’ Day at the AAC, and the other I used from the web to describe to the activities director at Rehab to search for it (folded up) and where to look in the West dining room.

She found it and I went by and picked it up on my way by to the hospital lab for the blood draw.

I wore another new Christmas vest, and posed with my fave phlebotomist Kim at the hospital lab, after she drew my blood sample. We always exchange hugs.Nancy’s Hug by Kim, taken by Christy, another favorite.

I got in home to eat supper before going back in for the concert.

I took a few videos and will share below. NOTE: they are “Unlisted” so one must have the link to see them. They are not public on YouTube. At intermission, my friend from CWU Scholarship Luncheons for many years, Christine, went out to the table with their CDs. She came back with a package of all 7 of their CDs, including their newest released one, Midnight Sun. They were giving significant discounts tonight to the concert goers. The concert hall was packed.

The package was 30% off retail price (listed on their web site). Christine (as we) had been previously to their concert but she did not have any of their CDs. When I saw them, I decided I would get me our Christmas present. We both enjoy their music and presentation.
Below are the videos I took on my Nikon camera, of my favorite parts of the performance.

See my comments about the song on the description of each YouTube. Watch some to see our home-grown Washington talent.

SHORT Introduction to the 3 Gothard Sisters

Let It Snow!
Irish Dancing
Drum duet – Solana and Willow
The Hat Song You can’t play without the hat.
The group’s Origin Story They all trained in classical music. The Edmonds Farmers Market – 5 hour days – had them branching into some popular tunes. This music begins with Carol of the Bells.

The next is an example of their newly written songs’ material, in the genre of Contemporary Celtic music. We heard more through the program, particularly in the second part after intermission.

Midnight Sun

And some Christmas songs:

I Saw 3 Ships Come Sailing In Meaningful to me from my past.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

3-min start story time song: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

There were more I did not capture when my battery ran out on the last one above.

Saturday, Dec 8

Slept in until 9:00. I was beat.

We had thought about going shopping in Yakima, but never settled on a day or time. This morning we decided to go. I drove because my car needed more gas than John’s. It was snowing this morning, at our home, but stopped after a very light flurry. We had clear roads with clouds. Supposed to be sunny, but never saw much sunshine.

First stop was WinCo primarily for 100% All Bran Buds, and while there, John found a good deal on Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, limit 4, at only 68 ₵/box. And even better find was Shasta Cola 2-liter size, limit 6, for 48 ₵ each. That’s a very low price.
Next: Costco gasoline station. Price was right, at $2.89/gal. In Ellensburg, the lowest price is $3.05.

Costco. As expected it was as busy as Atlanta’s airport with cancelled flights. We found most of what we went for. Found Merlot Cheese and dog biscuits for Louaine and her dog, found things we wanted including two fruitcakes, moist flushable wipes, and a box of small portion Cordon Bleu {on sale}. These are raw/frozen and need to be baked in a real oven. We’ve never tried these. John doesn’t make such complicated recipes at home. We’ll report later.

We came home and being cloudy it was already getting dark at 3:00 p.m. I had my lights on all the way from Yakima. So many people drive without lights, it is dangerous.

Started running a few songs from the Gothard Sisters concert. The best were taken on my Nikon camera, which takes a lot of bandwidth, so getting 4 minutes of recording uploaded requires 1.5 hours upload time. You can follow a few of my favorites on yesterday evening’s write-up. I uploaded my first longest one while we were away on our trip to Yakima (103 mi. round-trip).

Sunday, Dec 9

Awoke to no more snow, but found Rascal under the chair, and limping with a hurt back left leg. No clue how it was injured. He does go over a 6 foot fence via several ways – maybe a muscle pull as we don’t see an injury. He’s now on the bed, refused to eat. John put him out for pottying, but he returned and put himself to bed on the top bunk in a back corner bedroom.

Czar has been in the house most of the day; Woody & Sue have been fed. Sue sometimes acts like she will come in the front door. Now that Czar does so with her right there beside him, she may decide it is an okay thing to do.
Finished unloading the dishwasher, while still uploading videos. We had brunch midday. John did shovel less than an inch of snow (?) off the back patio slab and the front concrete slab in front. The horses always need food and their water replenished (when the ditch flow is frozen). Beyond such chores not much warrants going out in nasty weather on a Sunday.

John saved the making of soup for such a day.
We just finished a bowl of lentil/beef soup (+rice, tomatoes, lima beans), with Jarlsberg cheese and Honeycrisp apple slices. We need to package and freeze some of the soup; 8 or 10 servings.

Started snowing big flakes at 2:15 p.m.; now ½ hr later, still snowing but smaller flakes, and at 7:00 p.m., same. We have at least 2”. At 10 pm: it is done or nearly so.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan