Christmas Time on the Fan

Monday, Dec 24
We took care of things at home and left a little after noon to be at Cle Elum for a chest x-ray for John before 1:00 p.m. followed by a visit with Dr. Wood. We took a form to give to the lab regarding our getting a CD with the two x-rays from Nov 20 and Dec 24.

Also, we took John’s Red Blood Cell (RBC) graphs for questions. The results of that was that he’s fine for the condition he is in. He has had a low red blood cell count (RBC) for years and thus most of the numbers coming from a Blood-draw investigation are skewed. The Doctor had Nurse Diane pull medical records from the old NextMD database. (She knows the old system, he does not.) Doctor Wood thinks the Hemoglobin (Hgb) is more indicative of health than the RBC. Hgb is just a little low, while RBCs are way out on the tail of low. Anyway, not much has changed in 10 years and John keeps pumping out new red cells as fast as he destroys them.

Lunch for us in Cle Elum was at Burger King for two crispy chicken sandwiches.

I had planned to deliver Thomas the Train items to Miles in Roslyn, but some at home were sick and his dad heads the P.O. in S. Cle Elum, so we just delivered it there and got to see some of Miles old train art work.Miles’ dad Stefan in S. Cle Elum PO w/ gift and art workHere’s Miles opening his gift Christmas eve, and my original picture of the gift when I got it in September this year.

Here’s his mom Jen’s message that she sent on Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas, Nancy and John!! Miles opened his gift from you last night and loved it! He filled the cup up with milk and put cookies in the bowl and we watched a Christmas movie!

Our drive home from Cle Elum was filled with views of snowed on evergreens.These are selected views from our trip home to Ellensburg. Probably would have been more colorful on a sunny day. If the mountains don’t get more snow there will be news reports about the irrigation season’s lack of water. Snow “water equivalent” gets measured in many places, then converted to a basin-wide report. Seems it is either too much, or too little – never just right.

Also on the way home, I called our friend in Marquette, MI, Fred Joyal, whose birthday is today, and sang happy birthday to him. We had a nice conversation until we got to a stop where we had to leave the car. Fun times and memories. We have known them since the early seventies in Iowa, where we were in grad school together. We usually see them yearly when they make the trek to Spokane, WA to visit family. Last year was the first in a while we didn’t meet for lunch.

Nothing at all happening at the AAC all this week so no SAIL.

We went by Pacifica Senior Living and I picked up our music Terri ran off for me because copies keep disappearing with the residents, and I was running short. She was kind enough to offer to make copies. We will use these next year again. It’s our music every December.

Came home to find a video coming from my friend Allie from Persia, gift for my friends the Eberharts, four of whom are front & center in this video. Allie took this at the Veterans’ Day celebration back in November.

Now I have more videos to share, as she is out of CWU on winter break, and has had time to transcribe them. This was the last and she sent several more, which I need to add to the list to send those who will be interested in all the videos she took and the photos she, John, and others took.

That’s yet to come, but this is the culminating song, acapella:

Our National Anthem, Veterans’ Day Celebration (AAC), 11-9-18

I took care of the morning cat shenanigans of Czar and Rascal, and found the back old XP computer turned on, apparently by Czar when exploring the house last night. I turned it off and replenished the water and food on top of the bunk bed for whoever decides to visit (of the two male cats). John has fed horses, shoveled around the front and back, and cleaned snow off the car and truck that are not under a roof.

Sent off the count collection for Thursday @ Hearthstone for KV F&F, sending along the Jan/Feb playlist completed to attach with reminder to look for 2018’s January – February music.Annie (Brittany) shares bed with Czar (new to being in the house).

Tuesday, Dec 25 MERRY CHRISTMAS!This lovely home belongs to our cousin Susan Wilkins Sykes & John in Tampa, FL. It was built in 1910 and restored by them. This came on the front of their Christmas card.
Susan was in our wedding party when she was 13.
Thanks to all those who sent us postal cards and also electronic ones. We have enjoyed them all but not replied to everyone.

We slept in, except for my getting up to usher the cats out different doors at 5:00 a.m. – one out the front door and the other out the back patio door. They each return through the doggie door when ready.

John started the morning with an order to Amazon for a few things for each of us (including party mix for the cats). They will be delivered in our mailbox late Thursday afternoon.

We had a nice telephone conversation with cousin Pat Berlin in Brookville, PA where they have no snow. Today is her birthday. Yesterday, we spoke to her mom Ethel (100 yrs old), and she was over at Pat’s for Christmas dinner.

This afternoon about 12:50 p.m., we drove the ¼ mile to the neighbors. We had a large clear plastic domed cake pan with two half cakes enclosed: one a Boston Cream Pie and the other a carrot cake. I think most people had a sliver of each, but we were quite full (not needing any supper tonight) because of a full table of food, including tender ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed peas, Jell-O with fruit, rolls, carrots, celery, and scalloped potatoes by Ron from his daughter Jessie’s recipe. We had 8 people around the dining room table. Beverages: Milk, Hawaiian punch, and Apple juice (we brought).Tony, Nancy, Louaine; Ken, Stacy, Bob, Nancy, John, Tony, Louaine

We left and came home to feed the awaiting animals.

Wednesday, Dec 26

Fixed my salad with John’s help to take for lunch.

I left a little early to get there in time to set up music stands and chairs. We played music at the Food Bank. I forgot to take my fork, croutons, and pills because I had them in my red bag I always carry there and on to the AAC, but today, I wasn’t going there afterwards, so didn’t pack it. I had my salad, and used their silverware, had a cup of fruit, fruit punch, and dessert. Fortunately, I had my music and my violin, voice, my tote bag of bells to hand out for people to play (including clients, servers, and players). So, it went all right. I wore a different shirt for the season’s end.

I came home because there was no SAIL exercise following today with the AAC closed and went to Celia’s for a 3:00 haircut. She has cut my hair since 1988 when I arrived in town.

Thursday, Dec 27

Changed our joint foot Dr. appointment on Jan 14 to 1:45 p.m. so I don’t have to miss the 11:00 a.m. Silver Sneakers exercise class, which didn’t exist 3 months ago when the appointment was made.

Called about a refill of Atorvastatin at Safeway. Normally at Costco, it’s too far to travel before Saturday, so I called Norman Wood’s nurse to send a prescription to Safeway in Ellensburg. We’ll pick it up today, when in town for music at Hearthstone.

John is going in with me to take care of shopping needs while I play music. I drove and he helped me load in my stuff: guitar stand for Sharon, music for 3 players and audience, violin, and camera. I needed to rearrange the chairs that were too closely spaced and put some in front of their large Christmas tree.

John went to Fred Meyer to get some PowerAde Zero (69 ₵ each) and 2-liter Pepsi colas for (88 ₵ each). Best prices in town. I do not like shopping at that store except for special prices on things we need. Walmart, Safeway, and now Winco are low on the scale for shopping experiences. Other named stores that others like are not in our area, so we have no experience at all.

Gas was $2.73/gal at Circle K. John also went shopping for Christmas markdowns. He found a gold mine at a couple of places (Bi-Mart, Goodwill). Bi-Mart had packages of chocolate kisses and large Christmas puppy tins with 3 bags of special popcorn. Those were marked at 50% off. He stopped at Goodwill, and found a set of 4 plates, saucers, and soup bowls with holly & berries around the edges, for 75% off, plus they gave him a free shopping bag to carry them away in, because they had no boxes. The total cost with tax was only $3.00. I need to go back and see if there are any Christmas tops in my size on sale.

We had a bunch of folks show up at Hearthstone, today: Nancy, Gerald, Charlie, Charlotte, Sharon, Evie, Dean, Manord, Anne, Kevin, Amy, Haley, Laura, Maury & Marilyn. We enjoyed a nice, involved and appreciative audience with a volunteer serving Key Lime pie and coffee/tea to the residents and some for us at the end. There was one piece left for John, when he returned.

The only thing about my video, which makes me want to include it, is that it starts before we start playing the December music while we are still practicing and we do Chinese Breakdown about three songs in: starts with Wedding Bells, Tennessee Waltz, and then goes to the regular program.

Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends, 12-27-18, Hearthstone

Evie’s video of the same day is much better than mine taken from the grand piano top. She was concerned about facing the outside light, but I don’t think it is that bad, and having her tripod and editing abilities makes her work much more professional.

Christmas Fiddling at Hearthstone by EvieMae Schuetz

I drove by Safeway and picked up my Atorvastatin.

Friday, Dec 28

I began the morning at 5:00 a.m. dealing with the two inside cats and then laid back down until 8:30. After a cup of coffee, I turned on my computer and removed the old external Drive and hooked up my Christmas present to me, a 4 TB external Drive WD Elements to see if I can back up everything on my computer today, almost the end of the year 2018, so I can clean it up to load my new software to catch up on my taxes, store stuff for 2019, while trying to be more discriminatory about the stuff I keep on my C drive.

I used all but 3.5 TB of space, and got all documents, pictures, desktop, backups from June 5th reset off my Dell, still have some things that have not been moved from my old Toshiba, that are tax-related. I’ll move those with a flash drive to the new external disk.

I went by Kittitas and picked up from a fence a clock/radio from Jessica. It’s replacing the one we broke recently, and it was freely given through the Buy Nothing FB site. What’s so very neat, is that she’s the one who gave me the two Thomas the Train items in September to give to my little friend Miles, you have seen and heard about above. Now, I can thank her for both! And, share his pictures near a steam engine and train, and the video of his singing from last week’s blog.

We didn’t have any shelled walnuts to make some candied walnuts to take Cheryle, her mom, whom you heard about last week. It was snowing hard when I left. On my way, I visited in front of Megan, Kevan, and Lyndie’s house on Fairview with them and Clyde, their dog. They were wishing for more snow. I need to tell them to go to Cle Elum along the Teanaway River off Lambert Road. Yesterday, while Sharon was playing music with us, Jack Jenson stayed home at their house there, near Seaton Rd, and cross-country skied all around their property for a good time.

On my way home from Kittitas, I came No. 81 Rd, and turned onto Brickmill Rd. east of Fairview. It’s confined there and the fields on either side of the road are not within spacious viewing. As I came by a barn and corral, not going the speed limit, suddenly a doe jumped a fence, onto the road, and came across in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, and luckily there was no snow or ice on the road, and she made it across safely. I can assure you it gave me a burst of high blood pressure. I slowed down until I got to where I could see both sides of the road and landscape clearly. The snow stopped for my return trip, but now at 3:30, it has started again.

I have been catching up on various chores and John is napping once I’m home to answer the phone. I just got off the phone with a gal at CWU in the Foundation about our scholarship we donate each year to two student recipients (a grad and an undergrad) for their service recognition to CWU and the broader community.

I have unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded it, but it’s not ready to start yet.

Late afternoon, 4:15 p.m., I had a call from the scheduler at the Yakima Heart Center, that she was checking to find out if my blood was normally drawn at the KVH lab (hospital) in Ellensburg, because she had a message from Dr. Antony Kim I needed to have the lab tests (BMP & Uric Acid) sometime next week, before my January 8th appointment. She was going to FAX the request to the lab. I told her I was scheduled to go in Dec 31 for my standing order. She was going to fax it “right now.” I waited about 10 minutes and called the lab to see if it had arrived. It had not, so I talked with Michael in the lab, and he said, to call in the morning between 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to see if it had made it in.

Several weeks ago, when I realized we were running out of time to prepare for my follow-up visit to Dr. Kim, I contacted the nurse (via email) of my previous cardiologist who retired, to find out the name or contact of the new doctor’s nurse so I could tell her the story, and get the recent information from my PCP and annual physical visit in November. After 9 years I had developed good communications with the 1st doctor Kim and his nurse. The new Dr. Kim and his nurse have not, and likely never will, develop a similar relationship with me. For team #1, I was a medical miracle. For the new team, I’m a patient that is functioning well.

As far as the new doctor knew, he had seen me a month or so ago, and I had been scheduled for an echocardiogram, which he was going to evaluate at a January appointment. A lot has happened since that visit with visits to other doctors and various blood tests taken, and I knew I should be due for some labs that were not ordered, as well as for some that were requested by my visit to an endocrinologist regarding medication interactions. I have those to be drawn Monday as well. I’m feeling fine, but I wanted to have all the cards on the table for him to evaluate before I walk in the door. Obviously, I’m anxious to learn about the echocardiogram. He was not expecting any problems because he thought I was doing well, but it is something that should be done on a regular basis.

This bit about watching out for yourself is essential when dealing with multiple doctors. My previous cardiologist used to applaud me for being involved in the process. I hope this one will also. John always attends all my visits as I do with him.

Saturday, Dec 29

We will not be picking up the barrels today from the house at the corner of Wilson Creek & Alford Road. She will call us when they have a chance to move them to the end of the drive and put on their flatbed truck.

I called the KVH lab at 10:15 and talked to Ephram about yesterday’s discussion with Michael about the FAX from Yakima. The good news is that the order is there. He told me to do the regular drill Monday at the lab to have my standing order fulfilled and request the FAXed orders from my cardiologist, which will be in the filing folder, not in the computer. I have to remember to have all labs sent to all three doctors.

I fetched an emailed document from my neighbor, then printed it. John was shoveling slush off the front concrete, so I handed the papers to him, to give to Kenny, heading down the driveway.

We had a nice omelet and home fried potatoes for brunch, and now John’s out cutting a fresh tree. We’ll take seasoned firewood to the White Heron Raclette next Saturday but the setup there also needs two short green logs placed a foot apart. In between these goes coals from the fire, and becomes the place of the melting of the cheese. Expect photos next week.
A side benefit of cutting a tree is that its buds, now at ground level, become browse for the deer. The entire tip is normal food for them that becomes scarce as winter putters on.

I’m working on multiple projects.

There were several things of interest in the mail. An informative envelope of pictures and explanation of members of John’s family, provided by sister Peggy, who went to a special family reunion recently. Photos mostly of the kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren of John & Peggy’s brother Ken, who died of heart and stroke problems before any of the great grandkids came along.

Also in the mail was a note from our secondary medical insurance provider for our 2019 monthly fee. Surprised me a lot to check and find out it will decrease by $16/month. Maybe I should wait a day and re-read that. Other mailings are from organizations wanting their yearly membership fees, and the normal credit card statement for another, which includes an insurance payment I have to sort out because of our change of emails last year that apparently didn’t get changed with the credit card from American Express.

Sunday, Dec 30

I moved some pix from the old external hard drive to the new, so I could finish the blog.

My morning blood pressure riser happened in the back “computer” room with an encounter between the male cats. Czar wanted access to the top bunk bed, where Rascal was resting. I found him there and yelled, but instead of coming down the way he went up, he jumped onto the desk with the old computer, and couldn’t get by the computer chair to get out of the room, so went back up toward the bed and Rascal was not happy. When I screamed, it brought John back to retrieve Czar and put him outside. My BP went to 144/79,; even that was probably down from my slow walk back to the den from the rear of our L-shaped house.

Sunny and windy here today. John, Annie, and Czar have walked around the pasture together and fed the horses, plus filled the heated horse trough.

We just fixed brunch, and I am sure no one in Kittitas County, or probably in the United States (World?) experienced the contents we did: Omelet (Roast beef, mushroom, yellow pepper, onion, eggs, and cheese), turkey sausage, and a piece of toasted English Muffin bread with apricot jam.

Things are not going right.
John took a can of sunflower seeds out back for the birds, and hit the support on the way up, dropping the whole can. In picking it up, lots of older shells got incorporated. The birds will have to sort it out.

He wanted to cut more wood. Annie is back in the house from being with him, so he planned to return her to the yard when he was ready to fire up the chainsaw. I haven’t heard it yet, but it may be because of our wind and distance he is from the house.
But, the reason I didn’t hear any noise is because he’s been unable to get the saw started. It started yesterday.

He had taken it last summer to Washington Tractor because it was difficult to start, and when it started right up, they did not examine it for problems.

He thinks it could be a too-wide spark plug gap, old fuel, or dirty fuel. If we get some nice weather (doesn’t look like it); he will work on the issue. We don’t need the wood, and he can find other ways to pass the time.

He is reading a book about very sad times. It is very depressing.
He just finished a fun one about the history of Seattle. He needs to crack the walnuts, a chore usually saved for mid-winter – and here we are.Final wish for the New 2019 Year to start this week:

Our New Year’s Wish for 2019 from John & Nancy

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan