Playing Again – & Spring

Lise McGowan’s elk photographs at Oak Creek feeding station, 3/17/19, on St. Patrick’s Day. Thank you, Lise, for providing the photos and permission to publish.This is a few miles west of Yakima and usually noted as being near Naches WA – 5 miles west, actually. If you use Google Earth and go to this location:
46.7399, -120.9147 –
Then back out until you can see both highways #410 & #12. The green areas to the left are the valleys and mountains of the Cascades. In winter, elk come from there, down that valley to where it meets the highway (#12) to White Pass. Years ago there was an offer to adopt an elk – buy hay for the season – for $90. We don’t know what it is now.

Hay is thrown from trucks

While we are on St. Patrick’s Day, shift back to Friday, March 15, and add this link to get to the photos taken by me and the AAC camera crew at the event. Mine are numbered and theirs start with AAC.

St. Patrick’s Day Party at AAC-3/15/19

Monday, March 18

Last night we managed to publish the blog at midnight.
This morning, I slept in until after 9:00 a.m. after staying up until 1:00 a.m.

John has left for White Heron to prune wine grapevines, and I’m leaving soon for the hospital for a blood draw to check my INR after all the antibiotics last week and the change in dosage of Coumadin trying to compensate. I have a few other chores in town, and then will return to tackle more. Need to get things done that have been ignored for over a month.

Not leaving until almost 1:00 p.m. for my blood draw to recheck my INR, so I can be there when my favorite phlebotomist returns from lunch.

Got a call from Lacey, the Triage nurse, at 4:00 with the results from today. INR = 2.1, Potassium = 4.6.

I’ll have it rechecked Monday, 3/25. History on the K= (3/7 4.4; 3/12 4.8; 3/18 4.6) Coumadin dosage will be full pills every day but Wed & Sat nights with ½ pill. It will be nice to get back to the old grind without the influence of antibiotics on the value of the INR and all associated concerns with medications.

I went to several places in town. First, I hit the food bank bread room and got a windfall (I love English Muffin bread for toast and they almost never have it), maybe once in 4 months. It costs $3.00/loaf so I have stopped buying it. I met a guy there in the parking lot. I was all dressed in my St. Patrick’s Day green outfit (you’ll see in the blog) and he wanted to talk. I invited him to come back this Wednesday, bring his wife, and sit in front of us and sing along and then stay and have lunch with us, but he did not show.

On my way there, I stopped to pick up a free bottle of Apricot Preserves (commercially made) from a family I know in town who doesn’t eat much jam. She’d advertised it on The Free Box. I prefer the homemade apricot preserves from my neighbor, Ken. This almost tastes acidic. Weird, just not the same at all.

Now that the season is advancing, pruning will start at 9 am; but today they start at 1 pm. John won’t be home until 5:30 p.m. and I need to wash more dishes, but right now I need to rest.

I stopped by the Dollar Tree to see if they had any St. Patrick’s Day stuff left over and marked down, because our music for two months has an Irish tilt/lilt. I found some Shamrock necklaces with blinking green lights, marked down to 50 cents, so bought 6. Two didn’t work, when I got home to undo the wrapping, so I carried them back later, and traded for a box of toothpaste (it had to be a non-food item that I exchanged for). I thought not everyone would wear them, but it turned out I had more than four gals happy and willing to wear them. You’ll see the picture later of 4 of us on Thursday at Pacifica.

Then I went by the Pharmacy for John’s and my refills for meds and home by way of one more store which had ordered nothing for St. Patrick’s Day – interesting how marketing works. I talked to the buyer at Super 1 this morning by phone, and found out she only bought napkins and paper plates. RiteAid had nothing. Christmas they were loaded with several aisles of stuff. However, all stores, including the $ store are setting up big time for Easter.

There are not a lot of “Irish” in the State. They came, but shed their identification as Irish as they achieved prosperity. They “looked upon past traditions, wounds, and memories of the ‘Old Sod’ as irrelevant and, at best as “remote.” Their mobility and transformation from Irish immigrants to Washingtonians has been through.

Irish in Washington — The Early Years (1840s to 1890)

Still, quite a few – if you ask – will have an Irish ancestor, as does John.

Washed another load of dishes, and started going through the Friday AAC photos I took.

John fixed a neat supper of chicken breast meat, wild rice, and peaches.

Tuesday, March 19

John’s out doing morning feeding chores and such.

I’m trying to finish cropping the photos from last Friday at the AAC to take by the Senior Center on a Jump drive to share.

Finished and now need to fix and eat my brunch. Then off to town to check numbers at Bi-Mart, and visit other places.

I had a late brunch, and am sticking around until later when I will start at the food bank with a free fruit and veggie giveaway, and then on to the AAC after 2:30 to exchange photos, and home by way of Bi-Mart.

Missions accomplished. From the fruit and veggie give, I brought home apples, onions, a few oranges, and some baking potatoes.

Wednesday, March 20

This morning was a sad day of mourning for the tragic shooting in our community of Kittitas, WA, last night, 3/19/19. Sheriff’s Deputy, Ryan Thompson died, and Benito Chavez, Kittitas Police Officer, is recovering in Harborview (regional trauma hospital in Seattle) from a shot in the leg shattering his femur. The Deputy Ryan, was trying to make a stop of a “road rage” call, and that ended several miles later on a blocked street in Kittitas. Because the driver of the car was killed, no one seems to know why this happened. We suspect a report will have more in a week or two.

Below is Lise McGowan’s tribute to the occasion linking to the setting super moon. Mt. Rainier is on the left.
John left at 7:40 a.m. for White Heron; back at 1:30.

I’m taking my Fiddle to the Food Bank to see in a gentler place whether I can manage playing it. It took me forever to tune it, and that may be my problem playing today, keeping in tune after all these days. Otherwise, it seems like I can hold and play it all right. I managed to play for 40 minutes, but my fingers need some calluses (having not played since Jan 24)! Here’s a photo to prove I was there today.Nancy at FISH Food Bank Soup Kitchen Lunch. It was a trial run for tomorrow. I decided I would make it tomorrow, but probably not for the whole hour.

I went by the senior center to meet Roxanne, we’re exchanging photos – from my USB jump drive and to get ones from their AAC camera. I still need to collect them and send to the members of the AAC for which I have emails. I have not done that in over 2 months. You have seen the way I sent them above in this blog after the Elk Story on 3/17/19.

Sent out the call to KV F&F for tomorrow’s chair count and added the invitation to the 2019 Volunteer Recognition dinner, on April 9th (a dinner celebration for community volunteers as we are with our music group). Need to RSVP by 4/2. It’s from 5-7:00 PM at the Ellensburg Presbyterian Church on E 3rd, across from the EBRG HS. We can invite our family.

Tonight, John fixed baked chicken for supper with cornbread with creamed corn. I had mine with maple syrup. Nice after only a liquid lunch at the food bank (because it was easier to carry).

Tonight our friend Evie Schuetz was out photographing the super moon, and look what she captured for the exposure! Photo by Evie Schuetz, March 20, 2019 in Kittitas, WA ~10:30pm

Thursday, Mar 21 First full day Spring

Spring came to the Naneum just before 3 PM yesterday, so today is the first full day.

Around 7:00 a.m., our friend from Kittitas, Evie, photographer extraordinaire, was walking along the John Wayne Trail {now re-named, but no one can remember to what} where she took the following photographs. The location is the part of the road where the Trail crosses the Kittitas Hwy. The willow tree is ~200’ from the Kittitas Hwy on the trail, in a fellow’s backyard.
These are some of my favorites of her morning photo trek, and she has given me permission to post any of her photographs.From John Wayne Trail, near Kittitas, WA by Evie Schuetz, 3/21
I love the sky’s purple hues over Manastash Ridge, and the rich vibrant colors in the valley floor of the early morning sun.

My favorites of hers of the willow tree are here: Willow tree: Prior to sunrise, and “sunrise” by Evie.
I love these and find the sunrise one almost eerie, but lovely.

On this first full day of spring, Evie captured a local sign that spring has sprung with the arrival of the Red-winged Blackbirds:I love the “heart” on the side of the talkative one. Photo by Evie.

John left for White Heron at 7:40 a.m. We both viewed a nice full moon setting and a pretty sunrise this morning, through the trees, from our northerly end of the valley.

I counted my pieces of clothing for delivering today before 1:00 p.m. to the Foursquare Church clothing drive, which is planned for March 30th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

It took me almost an hour this morning, but I finally filled in the requested digital survey from the University of WA (Seattle consultation with Matthew A. Napierala MD – and Frederick Matsen MD) on 3/11/19. Part of my time spent was capturing my answers on the whole thing with the Windows 10 snipping tool, so John could see what I answered, and I had a record as well.

I also made arrangements with our car insurance (Safeco) to pay the majority of the bill at Johnson’s Glass to replace the broken windshield on John’s Crosstrek this coming Thursday, when they need it all day. Our deductible is $100 and the cost will be over $500 total. My next chore is to change our payment schedule from monthly credit card to a one-year charge for the rest of this year as a payment from our banking account (that won’t cost but a $2 service fee (maybe), and we will have a discount as well (next year) for paying the bill all at once.

Afternoon fun with music by the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends at Pacifica. We had a good turnout: Charlie, Evie, Nancy, Amy, Tim, Roberta, Minerva, Charlotte, Sharon, Marilyn, Maury, Anne. We had a good audience who joined in and enjoyed it.

Here I am at Pacifica, in my birthday present from Joanie Taylor last year (the Irish shirt), with my shamrock put on incorrectly and not turned on in either photo. I showed the others how to turn them on and then didn’t do my own.

Next the gals willing to wear the shamrocks, but later I gave mine to Evie who was standing playing the flute and it could be seen much better; plus, she loves shamrocks and anything Irish. Sorry I do not have her photo here. We took these early on before she arrived on the scene.Here we have Charlotte, Sharon, Amy, and Nancy

I took Lemon Cookies for the residents, after checking with Terri the activities director to see if it was okay for them to have sugar.
I had help carrying in my stuff and in taking it out as well, for which I was very appreciative.

At the end, Evie and I met at the back of Amy’s car and sorted through clothes Amy was clearing out. I received a nice dark White Stag jacket (L), and some other tops. I told them about the Clothing Share at the Foursquare Church next door. People take in 12 items for each person in their family, and then receive a number on an entry, to allow them entrance to come back March 30th evening from 6:00 to 8:00 and pick out that number (or fewer) of things others have donated. I need to get rid of things, not bring in more, but I have a deposit place for anything I need to move out, and have been using it (The Methodist Church Community Clothing Bank).

Friday, Mar 22

Check out Evie Schuetz’s morning sunrise – with awesomely spectacular colors, she described as “absolutely unbelievable.”John took off for White Heron this morning after feeding the livestock and birds, taking his companion dog and cat along, and doing stuff around the house.

I slept in for some much needed rest. I’ll be arranging for some plans tomorrow to visit our neighbors for a birthday party, and thinking about the celebration in PA of John’s cousin Ethel Reynolds, special birthday! Her 101st! Family members are visiting her both days this weekend in her apartment in Brookville, PA (John’s birth place, but a short stay).

Brunch. Chicken Soup with rice, wild rice and veggies (lima beans, and carrots). Wild rice: We don’t know what it is, but it is not rice and we don’t know where it comes from. Looks a lot like mouse poop.

This afternoon has been full of doing things that have been put aside in the past couple of weeks.

Next is to arrange for some GoodRx (less expensive medications through the local Safeway Pharmacy). Normally we prefer to use Super 1 Pharmacy, but occasionally the price difference is worth the bother. That is the case for Atorvastatin and Coumadin.

Saturday, March 23

I slept in a little longer than I should have, but had a rough night with weird dreams awaking me, and totally unexplained.

I was able to call two pharmacies with questions about refills on medications I will have to arrange for changes to, this coming Monday, when my doctor’s office is open.
I checked with my normal pharmacy and refilled two of John’s medications he will be running out of the end of next week.

Then I called another pharmacy (Safeway) where I can buy (without insurance) some meds at a lower cost. I can even make it lower by buying a higher dose (of a pill) which we can ½ and get twice as much for the same amount of money. This is through . If you are on a lot of medications, it is definitely worth checking out. You’ll be quite surprised.

These were my concerns:
I’m taking only 40 mg or Atorvastatin, once a day. I asked if they had any 80 mg available in stock, and they did. I spoke with Dan, the pharmacist.

I will need to check with my PCP to have a refill rewritten for the 80 (because we intend to ½ it to get the 40 mg required / day). It’s cheaper to buy the 80 mg for 90 days. Here’s the price difference: For 40 mg, 90#, it costs $19.24. For 80 mg, 90#, it costs $20.74, but I get 180# after halving the pills. We have a pill splitter. Or, some are scored and can just be done by hand (e.g., the next one, Coumadin).
I will need also to check with my PCP to request a refill on my Coumadin for getting 5 mg that I can snap in half for the daily dose of 2.5. I suppose I can keep some of the 2.5 when I have to lower them to 1.25 mg, down the road, in case spitting further would not be possible. Some of my other pills are quartered into very small pieces. Luckily, my normal pharmacy will do that for us. Safeway will not.

We went first to the Methodist Church Community Clothing Center arriving about 10:00 a.m. I wore my green shirts to show them what I took away to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and use at Assisted living homes through March & April, when we are playing Irish and Celtic music. They were happy to see how their clothes got used. The residents at all the places we visit, including the FISH Food Bank lunch bunch, love it when we dress up. I really got a lot of Christmas stuff from the clothing bank back in December. We also donate a lot of clothes to the center. Today, we carried in a nice spring jacket to share which I liked, but had shoulder pads that were sewn inside the lining and I couldn’t just cut them out easily as in a blouse. It made me look like a full back football player.

Today I returned an REI winter coat to the bank that John found there a couple of weeks ago, which I had not tried on at the time, because I thought it was my size (marked WL). I interpreted that as Women’s Large; but it did not fit, and we looked it up on line to find that WL stands for Waist Length (strange marking). They were happy to have it returned, and allowed me to look for an exchange. I didn’t really need another jacket, so I traded for a blue/green small plaid shirt that I wore to the birthday party.

We went to Super 1 grocery for ice cream on sale, a dozen eggs (88₵), and navel oranges 68₵/pound, some Italian sausage, and some large cans of mushroom soup. We are frustrated with the lowering of the size of a can of soup to 10.5 oz. It seems a lot smaller than years ago, but can’t find a source of such things. Many other package things are smaller. How far will they go? Remember the “Where’s the beef?” commercial.

Lunch at Swedberg’s home was scheduled at 1:00 p.m. We took a couple of bags of Delicious apples for the family to share when they left for home, and ice cream for the cake. We took Butter Pecan, and kept a container for ourselves.

The lunch was a birthday party for the grandfather’s 96th. Grand and great grandkids and families from around the state brought food, kids, and dogs.
We were late eating, after 2:15, but enjoyed all the food: meatloaf with tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, beef noodle & corn casserole, big strawberries, cantaloupe, ice box rolls, salad, and chocolate fudge cake for dessert with two kinds of ice cream.

Today is John’s cousin Ethel’s 101st birthday. We had a nice afternoon (early evening for her) telephone call. She is amazing and planning for her 105th with family visitors who came to her apartment today with food. The church sent an orange cake with orange frosting to her. It was left over from an event at the church yesterday where 100 were expected and only 50 showed, so it was appreciated as a 101st birthday cake for Ethel. I never heard what was on the rest of their menu for lunch.

Ethel has advanced macular degeneration and doesn’t see much, but she still gets around without a walker, rides the elevator down, but walks back up 17 steps to her apartment. She believes her long life is helped by keeping moving**. Her daughter, Pat, washes her clothes, but Ethel still takes her own shower. What a trouper! She also is still able to write messages on birthday cards she sends to us, with the help of daughter Pat.

**Clint Eastwood says “Don’t let the old man in.” And a country musician friend created a song for Clint’s new {‘The Mule’} movie:
Toby Keith
We both were tired at the end of the day, came home, and took naps. Mine was longer than John’s, lasting 2 hours! I guess I needed it.

He had a bite of last night’s casserole, but I skipped it. I ate a lot this afternoon. We will have a piece of turtle pie and hit the hay.

Before I do, I’m going to copy a link to a video on The Time Out Saloon’s Facebook page, of the folks in Kittitas welcoming Benito Chavez [Kittitas Police Officer shot in the leg by the Shooter (illegal alien) who killed our Sheriff’s Deputy, Ryan Thompson this week in Kittitas, WA].

I realize those of you without Facebook will not be able to view this moving tribute of support.Night view of The Time Out Saloon, 101 Main St., Kittitas, WA, by Evie Schuetz backed by the super moon, 2019.

Benito Chavez Arrives Home in Law Enforcement Caravan

Sunday, March 24

Just when I thought the views of our valley were on hold, comes one posted this morning, but actually taken on Friday, 3/22, just after sunrise. On Friday, I published her spectacular sunrise photo. Some of the same purple hues are noticeable in this photo below as were noted in the Friday post.

This morning and all night before, the rains fell, so no sunshine today in the valley, or tomorrow, when we have to drive to Yakima, via Ellensburg.

From Evie Schuetz, another beautiful capture and composure:The Clerf farm with Kittitas, WA water tower, backed by Manastash Ridge and gorgeous morning clouds, but the lower right under the shed, tells the significant part our valley plays in the World Global Economy through our Valley Hay Farmers. The colorful red and yellow farm implement is a Harobed, used to pick up and stack bales of hay from the hay fields around our valley. The machine was developed and named after the inventor’s daughter. Spelling it backwards gives her name: Deborah!

Here’s a video of the history of the Harobed, invented by Gordon Grey in the late 1990s, in Lancaster, CA. This video shows the stacking occurring in the field, but most of us have seen the process happen in barns around Kittitas County. I have taken hundreds of photos and videos over my time in the valley, after being enthralled with it and teaching about it in my Economic Geography class at CWU since the 1990s.

Harobed Clearing a Field of Hay Bales

I’ve been working much of the day on the blog (my portion), and took some time this morning to run a load of dirty dishes. More still await attention.

John opened our 2-year-ago purchase of Panasonic telephones, which we have put off installing until the others finally crashed on us yesterday trying to talk with cousin Ethel. We had to use the speaker phone on mine and stand close together to have our conversations heard. John now has all five phones charging for 7 hrs. Maybe tomorrow, after we return from Yakima, we can set them up.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan