On to the First Full Week of March

We realize we are still behind, but this will at least bring us up to the current time frame, and I shall slowly update the previous weeks you have missed in our life.

I’m actually going to start this week with a photographic tour by EvieMae Scheutz (an integral part of our Fiddle Club weekly in Ellensburg). As well as being an accomplished musician on many instruments, she is a photographer extraordinaire. You have seen her work published previously in our blog, with permission, as with this link. These are her own entries into the game (that last from 4 days to 3 weeks), including participants photographing our beautiful world. The voting is done by the competing photographers. (On each photo, the left number is the number of votes; the right one is the number of views.) I find this really interesting.

Evie (Queen Bear) Photography

Before I decided to put this link to all Evie’s competition photos, I was going to put in these, so will go ahead and add here.Evie’s Icicle Drop, left; Macro from the web of Ant pushing drop

Comparison of Evie’s Icicle Art with our backyard ones showing snow roof roll beyond.Evie’s beauty beside our beast. Our longest is just left of center red line.

Monday, March 4

Pretty danged cold this morning. Airport said it was zero. We were 6.2° on front porch sensor which is a little warmer because of the adjacency of our house.

John took off by way of Ellensburg to buy some black oil sunflower seeds for the birds, and onto White Heron to prune from 1:00 to 4:00. After it warms, they will be doing 9-12, as in prior years.

I did some paperwork through the bank to pick up tomorrow and take to the courthouse to arrange for payment automatic withdrawal from our bank account for our property taxes every ½ year. It used to be done for us through escrow from our mortgage payments, and then we happily transferred the chore for paying taxes and insurance to our own checking account auto pay withdrawal. Apparently, it was too late last year to have time to make it work. This paperwork had to be in by March 15, but now we are set for the future.

Got a message from SunRidge Oral Dentistry that they sent the paperwork to Hospice Friends for the Ensure. That will save me $35. We have been members and contributors for many years since I came out of my 2009 experience and donated my large 4-wheel walker to the organization, along with a gate belt, and some other stuff.

Last week, John bought gasoline in Quincy for $2.49/gal. Not bad. But, today they raised it while he was pruning. Guess the whole region is up 5-6 cents/gal. He got home about 5:20, and went to feed horses. We talked twice on the phone while he was coming home.
His Motorola Phone works nicely from the Crosstrek.

I fed sunflower seeds to the front and back birds and they were happy. All the little birds and the quail are depending on us during this cold snow-covered winter. Michelle Kristine’s Sunset Teanaway Forest, March 4, 2019
{30 miles northwest of us}

Tuesday, March 5

I took my shower in the morning, while John was still in the house.

I needed to arrive for my blood draw before 12:15 p.m..

The redraw today was because of the elevated reading of the Potassium test last Friday, way above my normal. It came in at 5.6. I knew right away that was way high because monthly I have that blood test with my normal INR readings. I knew it usually is 4.2 or 4.5 max.

On Friday afternoon, my PCP Chelsea explained the elevated item measured could have occurred by the method used for the blood draw. It was done in Cle Elum. Normally, the one we usually do monthly is by a standing order, for Potassium and for the INR, and I do that at the local hospital.
Chelsea scheduled me for a retake today and to talk with my favorite phlebotomist at the hospital lab in Ellensburg, to be aware of this and to be careful of the drawing procedure.

I know exactly what was used at Cle Elum to draw my blood, and it was totally different from anything ever done in Ellensburg. Instead of a small butterfly needle with a syringe, she used a large one with a container, then left it in the vein, and pushed the two vials in separately to fill. She finally took the needle out, and put the gauze on my arm. I held onto it. I told her I needed Coban and she obliged and then ‘taped’ it.

Chelsea said: the method of handling blood can damage red blood cells and then they leak, and therefore the values for blood chemistry (such as Potassium) are wrong. The terminology is called hemolyzed. Much is written on the web about the phenomena and many phlebotomists and nurses are aware of the potential problem occurring. Obviously, my PCP was on top of it. I ended up being educated in the process, and I now have decided against having blood drawn in Cle Elum again. They do not have the facilities to do the analysis on the sample and have to use a courier to pick it up (handle it and not disturb or shake it too much), and deliver to the lab in Ellensburg. The prime time to centrifuge the sample after the draw is 1 hr, 50 min. or less. Otherwise, that too can affect the results. From now on, I will drive by the hospital lab on my way home to have the blood drawn, and give Cle Elum a call to check in an hour for the results on the computer. I can check the portal myself too from home .

Included Friday morning were two chest x-rays. We stayed around Friday for Chelsea to view them and compare to the ones done on me in Nov, 2018 at my annual physical. There was no change.

Also needed to meet Jeannie in Vanessa’s office to sign and pick up my CD order for the two chest x-rays from Imaging at the hospital. I need it to take to the consultation next Monday with the shoulder surgeon in Seattle.

Went by Bi-Mart to check numbers (no wins) and buy some Friskies Cat Gravy food, Tussin CM (for my congestion), Fisherman Friend’s for cough, and 2 bags of songbird seed (I paid for and they no longer had any outside in their container).

Went by Midstate Coop for 2 more bags of buggy Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for $9.99 each.

Went by Umpqua Bank and got 4 copies of our joint checking account checks (free). I voided one and attached to the form to go to the Courthouse (County Treasurer’s office to turn it in for setting up automatic withdrawal from our bank checking account to pay our property taxes each ½ year).

Wednesday, March 6

Today is National Stay Home with you Dog and Drink Wine Day!!!
I should have had John do that to celebrate and stop his cough, which is driving me insane. He says it is more of a tickle at the top back – a web image points to “oropharynx’, middle throat behind mouth. Whatever. It goes away in 3 days.

Called people who haven’t responded about not going tomorrow to Rehab (canceled because of flu outbreak). Everyone emailed or called to confirm their knowledge.

Sorry, you’ll need a Facebook account to view the following video.

I long to be able to do this, again:

Silver Sneakers: 5 Exercises for Healthy Shoulders

Meanwhile, I want my shoulder to improve so I can rejoin my Silver Sneakers class and SAIL exercise class at the AAC (Senior Center).

Snowing hard started 12:30 p.m. and is still going on. John just went out to feed (and shovel more), and said whoever prayed for snow got their wish, and he wished they hadn’t. In five hours we received 5” of the fluff. I don’t know how much total we have had by 5:30 p.m.

Peggy from Parma called and we talked 40 minutes while soup simmered. Nice conversation. Now we can eat. Late for her in the Eastern Time Zone, and she is way south of us, too.
In the West, Mount Shasta is near her Latitude.

Thursday, Mar 7

John stayed home today from pruning at White Heron because of the lousy weather forecast. He was able to drive me around town, for which I was most appreciative. If/when my shoulder is repaired, he will be doing even more such things and full time for awhile.

Today our Kittitas Fiddlers & Friends music at Rehab was canceled because of a flu outbreak in house. I will use the time to go back for a recheck on my INR. The high value [5.9] Tuesday is over the top.

Results: the INR reduced to [4.3] which is still too high. So, my Coumadin dosage was decreased for the next 4 nights to
no tablet, no tablet, ½ tablet, and ½ tablet. I’m scheduled to go back next Tuesday for another retake.

We went by Bi-Mart: for cough drops for John. There are 3 or 4 “brands”, several package counts, half-dozen flavors, and at least 2 Menthol dosages. The store brand “GoodSense Honey Lemon” was the best deal, better than the on sale famous Swiss Ricola. The Audubon songbird seed is not yet in.

Went this afternoon to Celia’s for a haircut (much needed). John need a haircut but claims he can wait until my shoulder is fixed and well.

Friday, Mar 8

I stayed home working on a number of projects, starting in the morning with a talk that went unfinished last night with the medical professionals in Cle Elum, who needed to report and evaluate my blood test results mid-day.

I wanted to get to my medical records for Monday’s trip to Seattle, but never made it to them.

John went to prune from 1 to 4 at White Heron, and had beautiful sunny & warm weather. A few places had 8″ of snow, so they will miss some of the ground hugging suckers. The fastest pruner, Tom, will go visit young granddaughters for two weeks near the end of this month, and the work will get further behind. It has been way to cold for 6 weeks to get work done outside. Massive acres of fruit trees in the region remain untrimmed.

Terri Towner sent me scans of all the material she got when she was over for her consultation with Dr. Matsen. It’s very useful while I’m filling in my paperwork, and considering my questions for the surgery team. I understand from Terri they will have a lot of questions

Saturday, Mar 9

Spent time working on various computer and medical records (getting ready for the trip to Seattle Monday a.m.). I still have a ton of things to do today, on the actual 11 page questionnaire.
I will fill in my one copy for John to proof and if it is okay, then I’ll copy that for my files.

Only just today we got an automated call saying my appointment was 7:00 a.m. not 7:15 a.m., as we originally thought.

We went by the Methodist Church Community Clothing bank just before 11:00 a.m., and found it closed, in honor of a woman who died and had been involved in this community service for years. Her celebration of life was held at the church at 11:00 a.m. We were going in to look for winter skull caps and scarves for us and hopefully find some Irish colors/emblem (in shirts or jackets) for celebrating our Irish music this month at the assisted living homes. I received quite a bit of neat stuff at Christmas, so I’m hopeful there will be some Irish paraphernalia there.

We went around the corner and up main for gasoline for my rig. The place was full, with one pump broken, so we drove on up past the other 7/11 in town. The price there was $2.649/gal, so we went on over to the bread room, supposedly open between 10:00 and 1:00 today, and it was locked shut. No clue what happened there.

We left there and went back by the most eastern gasoline station, where earlier, we had seen the price posted as $2.619/gal. Thankfully, it had not change in the time it took us to move around town.

Over in Seattle, if all goes well, we plan to visit Cameron at Pike Place Market [ Wikipedia Link ], where he has a sales room, called Northwest Tasting, with his wine and some other local central WA products such as Smoked meat from Cle Elum.
About all that one sees nationally of this is young men throwing 20 pound Salmon from the viewing front to the wrapping tables behind. However, it is a large area with several levels and many vendors. The link above has a long-long explanation and many photos. Be sure to look at them, if this is a new thing to you. You need to be an avid historian to read the text.

Saturday, Mar 9

Wintertime Teanaway River by Scott Seymour, March 9, 2019
This photo was taken right near our friends, Sharon & Jack’s home in Cle Elum, WA. Currently, they are in Seattle.

Sun, March 10

Great way to end this week with a video (made almost exactly a year ago) about the kind of stuff I loved teaching in Geography, through GIS and other classes, presented here by a good friend Joseph Kerski, who says: “A good map helps you to ask a better question.”

It’s worth 10 minutes of your time watching at full screen view:

Whys of Where | Joseph Kerski |TEDxVail

John used the old 4WD Chev PU and moved 7 bales of hay to 2 places under cover near where he feeds the horses. He also used the rig to drive a couple of figure eights around the pasture, to give him and Annie some paths to follow on their morning and afternoon walks. The snow is still cold and fluffy, but the ground is hard. That will start to change mid-week, as spring arrives.

I stayed inside working on a few house projects, but mostly dividing time between the blog creation, and on my paperwork collection for the consultation tomorrow morning.

We plan to go to bed by 9:00 p.m. tonight to be ready to leave early morning. John has already planned all the routes and made a Google Earth map street view for us to use to find the places we need to go. Cameron made sure he had an alternative route planned, just in case I-5 got shut.

I’m hesitant to take a nap, because once I hit the hay I want to sleep until I wake up ready to dress and leave. I have been setting out my planned wardrobe. Along with maps, John is putting his “travel” box in order, with drinks and food.

Now mostly all that is left is a night shower and finishing up all the paperwork required, and being sure I have packed all my medical insurance cards, my photo ID, my credit card, my filled in questionnaire, and my CDs of prior x-rays (Chest and Shoulder).

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan