‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

From Friday Dec 14, which didn’t make it into last week’s blog.Top left is on the special recognition board this December at the AAC honoring the Volunteer of the month. In that photo David (a Veteran himself) is the MC interviewing Ed at the Veterans’ Day program 2018. David Douglas (married to Katrina the Director of the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center [our senior center], has been our Santa Claus at Christmas parties for as many years as I can remember. In this photo above on the bottom, Sandra Zech, Vice Chair representing the Adult Activity Center Senior Advisory Commission, nominates the two of them as providing a wonderful experience for all the members of the center, and Connie Bright, looks on from the right to add another commission member to the thanks, and Pat Carney was talking from the audience (another commissioner) but with a broken leg.

That happened at the end of David’s message about his mom, where he was leaving as Santa to visit her at her home on her birthday today. She was unable to come to the annual Christmas party as usual.Santa Douglas about his Mom (Inspirational video)

On the left, are Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus in 2017 with Nancy and Connie, and right this year, 2018 because Katrina was needed to work in the kitchen, she did not don her Mrs. Santa Claus identity.

The AAC did a nice job of making individual Christmas cards from mine and their photos with members taken with Santa, printed and put into a Christmas Card magnetic frame for one’s refrigerator door. A cute idea appreciated by many.

Monday, Dec 17

Sunday night we published at 10:17 p.m., but I stayed up late working on things needing completed before today.

I got out the schedule for Pacifica today to KV F&F, and have received good feedback from those able (or unable) to be there.

Our farrier, David Hazlett, arrived at 10:00, so I had his check ready and we spoke on my way out the driveway. The fog was terrible, and even though my car was parked under a shed, the back wall is open, and the windshield had frozen ice, blocking my view. I had the defroster on, but David went to his truck and got a large scraper and cleaned it off. I was grateful. I had to drive 20 mph to town because of the limited visibility even through a clean windshield.

I was on my way to Silver Sneakers class today at 11:00 a.m. at the AAC. It was a challenging class and we all got a good workout.

I picked up feed bags from back room, delivered last Friday during the Christmas party, and brought some chocolate frosted chocolate cookies home to John. We have been enjoying them as an afternoon treat (after heating them). Eaten with John’s candied walnuts is a real treat.

I took my flash drive with photos I took at the party Friday to share with the AAC for their records and entries on their Facebook site. While there, I got a few of those taken on the AAC camera. I will combine those in the future and move to a Google Photos link I can share with all the members I have emails for, and also for those who could not come to the celebration. I will eventually put the link in this blog, when it is completed.

While in town, I picked up my CWU Emeritus parking sticker replacement that expires Dec 31, 2018. This was the only retirement gift I received from CWU after 22 years of service. Luckily, John’s Crosstrek is in the system and connected to it as well, so we can drive either car to campus for lectures.

Yakima Heart Center Nurse Colleen called at 4:00 p.m. She is trying to get me in next week to see Dr. Kim before the end of the year. This week is pretty full. We didn’t get in until Jan 8th (Tuesday) at 11:30, but that will work just fine; too much happening the last week of the year.

Late last night, I put in an order for a friend for a package from Amazon, and it will be delivered Friday, this week.

We are going tonight to a Christmas concert by the Ellensburg High School Choruses. I learned of this last Friday from the conductor of the Bella Voce Choir who came to our AAC Christmas party to sing, and you have been given in last week’s blog video links to all their songs that I made. The last one was an invitation to the concert tonight at Morgan Performing Arts Center.

The concert tonight was free to the community, entitled A Winter Holiday Celebration, and presented by the Director of the Choral Department, Gay Ott, with Sara Pope, Accompanist, and Kara Hunnicutt, Orchestra Director, along with 6 choirs: Jazz Choir, In Vox Choir, Bella Voce Choir, Chamber Choir, the Combined EHS Choirs, and ending with the Combined 9-12 Choirs & Community Members, for the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. I have sung that all my life, as well as the song, O Holy Night, which we began with, while the orchestra set up. The orchestra has 12 violins, 4 violas, 5 cellos, and 4 bass fiddles.

I joined the combined choirs on stage. John took the following photo from the audience. Choir members all had on blue robes; others are audience members. Combined Choirs Ellensburg High School & Audience – Hallelujah Chorus

This was filmed by Todd Weber. He recorded the whole event, individually, for each choir.

If you are interested, here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singing the Hallelujah Chorus with an Orchestra. It’s a lovely and magnificent production.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir – the Hallelujah Chorus

Tuesday, Dec 18

Started early with rain all night keeping us from sleeping soundly, and awaking to thick fog for our trip to see my Endocrinologist in Wenatchee, Dr. Lisa Stone. Check-in time 11:05. We were a few minutes late, weather related. But the sun came out for the majority of our trip after we came down from Ryegrass and crossed the Columbia River at Vantage. The office is 26 miles north of us, but we had to drive 80 miles to get there.

While we saw both ends of a rainbow (a good sign), my pictures are not worth printing. So, I will make a collage of some of the views we had, mostly of columnar basalt and the Columbia River.Top photo is the Rock Island Dam on the Columbia River. Bottom photo shows the basalt cliffs and Talus slopes.Top photo shows incredible angles of columnar basalt. The lower photo has a high-density orchard, basalt cliffs, and one of the patches of fog/clouds hanging around the Valley.
It was a fruitful visit (pun intended).

Video-1 of Dr. Stone’s explanation of my Thyroid blood tests

Video-2 of Dr. Stone’s explanation of my Thyroid blood tests

My doctor’s explanation of how she broke her wrist hanging Christmas lights

My favorite images of the day at the new office on the edge of the hospital complex. Tongue Depressor trees – with entrance/exit caution sign I love.

From that meeting we took a drive through the hospital complex and made our way across the river to Costco for lunch and a few items. We had a good trip home, as the fog in our valley had lifted.

I was late yesterday sending out the note for music at Pacifica on Thursday, but as of Tuesday afternoon, I have 12 people planning to be there. That’s the fastest return I have had in history. Makes my job so much easier for planning the number of chairs to request.

Wednesday, Dec 19

Worked on things this morning, including making my salad to take for my lunch. Thanks to John for cutting me the generous amount of smoked turkey and a Honeycrisp apple to add to my bowl. We played about 40 minutes of music and provided bells for the audience to ring. I left a little early to get there in time to set up music stands and chairs.

They enjoyed themselves too. You can hear one song below, complete with singing accompaniment from Lyndsey, our photographer, who took a short break from her check-in duties. You probably heard her last week singing as well. I know how difficult it is to videotape songs a person knows, having been there myself behind the camera. It’s difficult not to sing along. With her good voice, it only adds to the scene.

Here was today’s song recorded. I think we did it last week as well, but different people are in this rendition and you get a view of the audience too, many of whom had bells at the Senior Nutrition table upfront on the other side of the building from us.

Silver Bells 12-19-18 at FISH Food Bank Lunch

Here’s a few lunch bunch musicians + Nancy & Mrs. Peggy Claus

After that excitement at the Food Bank, and retrieving my bells from the players and audience, I drove to the AAC for my SAIL exercise class.

Nancy before SAIL and with Carolyn after SAIL exercise class. I’m wearing a sweater given to me by my friend, Anne Engels.

I returned home to a beautiful sunset up Naneum Road:Order above coming up from Rader Rd on Naneum, viewing the sunset, is top down 2-1-3 in the collage.Once home, I saw our view from the patio toward Mt. Rainier.

Checked out completion of John’s roof over the back patio door. This replaces a previous, lower, Rube Goldberg standalone thing; both meant to protect the new sliding glass doors. The entire back of the house needs to be refurbished, and covered with fire resistant fiber-cement siding.

Thursday, Dec 20

John left at 7:40 a.m. for bottling at White Heron. He’ll call at noon, and be coming home, but I will be gone before he arrives to play music at Pacifica.

This morning I got a phone call from Mike at Habitat Store that he could not locate a chuck-key to put drill bits in John’s drill (he lost it somewhere in the yard, garage, or barn on a building project).

I called at Valley Vision this morning about a credit received for John in the mail yesterday, which happened now with a follow-up from July for John Hultquist $163.47 credit to Visa account from an incorrect decision by Kaiser Permanente in June, that John had not met his deductible and we had to pay for his bill. I told them at the time that his deductible was paid up, but they said it wasn’t and we owed the money. So I had no choice but to pay. This Dec 15, Kaiser sent a refund to the eye doctor’s clinic and they credited our account.

Christy looked into it this morning, when I questioned it and said it was just sent and that sometimes payments come in as much as a year later, from Kaiser (and before that, Group Health). That seems very strange to me, but I’m happy to have the credit be applied to our account. Yet, it truly is a weird accounting practice.

I also had a payment for our Distinguished Service Geography Scholarship come through without the proper receipt, so have been checking on that. Thus far, no one has responded to my requests by phone or email. Guess they took off for Christmas break, entirely. Accounting and paying bills is a full-time job and I still have to get ready to go for music at Pacifica today.

Another Kristy in my life today (customer rep at Knudson’s), for the missing part of John’s drill. When he calls at noon, I need to find out where the drill is stored so I can pick up the right tool this afternoon. Prices are from $3 to $9.99. I picked up the most expensive but John says he thinks it is not the right one (I got the one for a 5/8” drill). I’ll take the drill in to find the correct fit. Turns out it was the cheapest one, for a 3/8” drill.

Set up gifting a glass butter dish to a person on the Buy Nothing East Ellensburg/Kittitas Facebook site. Turns out I’ll deliver it tomorrow, and she plans to give me a package of her homemade peanut brittle. I believe that’s called a win-win situation.

We had 12 folks show up at PACIFICA, today: Nancy, Charlie, Evie, Amy, Anne, Charlotte, Manord, Maury & Marilyn, Laura, Dean, Renee (cello). We were accompanied by a huge, involved, and appreciative audience.

I thought I was starting with a full battery, but it only recorded for 38 minutes and stopped.

Music only through Holly Jolly Christmas; 7 songs left

I’ll try to get the whole program our last time this year, this Thursday at Hearthstone. I wish I knew where my tripod got misplaced. I own two of them, and when I need one, have no clue where they are hidden. Story of my life.

Friday, Dec 21

First order of the day, a delivery of 14.83 tons of gravel by Dale Charlton, local kid grown up. The street north of us is named for his family. He claims to be the Mayor of Dog Town, a low part of Ellensburg, considered less than attractive by the pretentious folks of the city.John and Annie visiting with Dale about our neighborhood and the neighbors.

I began in Kittitas, delivering the gift to the lady who wanted the butter dish I offered, in exchange for the best story about a recent recollection or find of something important from their past.Here I delivered a gift bag with the butter dish and some of John’s Candied Carpathian Walnuts to Cheryle, who was wearing a blouse like her mom’s favorite work blouse she found at a thrift store that matched it, after her mom’s disintegrated with age. That was the story she told me that cinched the transfer. She was thrilled it was exactly what she wanted. I’m happy it has a good home. In return thanks, she gave me 2 packages of Peanut Brittle, a wonderful memory from my distant past. We had a nice visit, and I met her two cats and daughter.

On my way to Ellensburg I stopped at the hardware place to exchange the Chuck Key – 3/8″ drill size. John made a list for other things – nails, and fasteners, including a 10′ roll of metal hanger strap.

Saturday, Dec 22

Staying home today to work on projects inside and outside. We needed to catch up on sleep, with poor John keeping himself (and me) awake much of the night coughing. Finally, this morning I had him take a dose of Tussin DM, much to his regret. I hope he will continue, because I think the first dose helped.

My chores have been cleaning up email, working on the blog, and unloading and reloading the dishwasher. He has gotten the paper, fed the horses, and birds. I fed the cats and maintained peace in the family between the two inside / outside male (fixed) cats, who are leery of one another.

I need to check the gasoline prices at the Cle Elum station where the prices have been much less. We will be going to the doctor Monday, there, for John’s follow-up chest X-ray from Nov 20. That one seemed a bit “cloudy” and likely showed lung irritation he is now experiencing. I hope he doesn’t have Pneumonia as I did earlier this year. He will have the X-ray and then we’ll see his doctor for an interpretation at 1:15 p.m. Christmas eve. We must remember to take the paperwork which will be returned to Vanessa at the KVH hospital where she will put the two X-rays on a CD and send to us in the mail, so we can compare them, and try to understand what the techs and doctors sees.

I need to work on the blog, and after it is finished, I need to organize the photos and videos from the recent AAC activities to send to the members whose email addresses I have. Many of them are pictured in them, and several who had conflicts will get to see what they missed.

Snowing now, and we may have over an inch in the morning (we didn’t get but about an inch, but there was still enough that John used a push broom to clear places.

Cats are all fed and bedded down.

Czar our newest cat found his way in the house through the doggie door, and has taken over Annie’s blanket and quilt bed on the den floor. Quite the well-adjusted cat from a year ago.

Sunday, Dec 23

Jennifer Lipton (Geographer at CWU) is a good friend. This is her 6-yr old son, Miles. The ukulele is his dad’s (Stefan).
She put this on Facebook months ago; I could see it but not share—she shared this link for my Christmas present. It’s really worth watching. This kid is talented.

Miles, 6 yrs old, composed and sings an original spontaneous ballad about an old tremendous steam train moving through the woodland forest. (Don’t miss clicking on Miles, 6 yrs old to hear his song.)

Jen Lipton’s son, Miles, rode the Shay #7 Steam Train through the Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains near the Town of Felton, California

I’m planning to take Miles a Christmas Gift tomorrow of a cup and bowl from Thomas the Train. I have had it for him for some time, and we are going to the doctor in Cle Elum, which is only 5 miles up the road to their house in Roslyn, so we can drop it off.

John fixed us a tasty brunch today of blueberry-pecan pancakes, with peaches atop, and sausage on the side.

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