Start the season

Monday, Dec 2

We started early this morning, John before me, with him feeding and taking care of the horses. I started by unloading the dishwasher, and reloading it. I had things to complete on email associated with this week’s activities and planning for them and am still in the process. At least the planning for the music for the month of December has been sent. Now I await responses from the group, so I can arrange for the correct number of chairs to be set up for our arrival, Thursday at 1:30 p.m. This effort is much like herding cats, but is necessary.

Now John is out and the sun is shining, with the temperature finally above freezing, at 33.8° just before noon. He had to repair (soften the handle) on the push broom, and now is out pushing snow off the porch and driveway.
Below I caught photos of the new “lined” shirt (Merry Christmas, John!) when he was on the porch fixing the handle, and then doing a little push-brooming with Annie tagging along as his companion. John fixing handle, and then using it with Annie following.

He’s out of sight now, so I assume he’s down in the pasture loading manure into the pickup truck. He figured yesterday he had about 1/3 filled. After it is loaded he will have to fix a time to go to the vineyard.

I’m working on my report from the wellness visit with our PCP Chelsea Newman, to take to our appointment tomorrow morning.
John will be in later to make a list of his medications, such as I have, and we have to remember to have her write a prescription to refill two of his.

Email message just before Noon from our sister, Peggy, in Parma, OH, that her cataract surgery went well. We had forgotten to put her date on our calendar, so emailed her a note back, and then I queued up a Jacquie Lawson thinking of you card to send, with an autumn flower/fruit arrangement: Consisting of flowers, berries, leaves, pine cones, wheat, fruits (pomegranates), and one opened at the end of the animation to display reddish purple seeds. To my knowledge I have never eaten a pomegranate, nor tried to de-seed one). I wonder what use people make of them? This was part of the card which got me off on this track.I guessed the fruit that started in the animated card, whole, was a pomegranate, after seeing this at the end. I honestly didn’t know. So I looked them up and found this video:

The BEST Way to Open & Eat a Pomegranate

After watching that, I knew I had never held one before, and certainly never eaten the seeds. I now wonder what they taste like. Every day provides a new learning experience. Isn’t that cool?

John got back to the house at 12:30, having loaded only a little more manure into the pickup. We were both hungry, so he fixed some brunch: Leftover “stew” from freezer, warmed in iron skillet. The contents are: Chicken, carrots, lima beans, potatoes (home fries), onions, and red peppers. I had fewer of the potatoes with mine and two different pieces of toast (English Muffin bread & 3-cheese Semolina).

John went back outside while the sun is shining and the temperature is still above freezing.
I need to set up things to take tomorrow on our way back through Ellensburg to a young woman for her and her daughter, and get the stuff into the car we will be driving, probably John’s Crosstrek. We loaded some bins for organizing the 3 yr. old’s toys, and added some Christmas cards I had to others I’d picked up for her from a friend south of Ellensburg. This gal is visually impaired and cannot drive, so I (and others in town) try to pick up stuff and get it to her.

I wrote Katrina (senior center) about a suggested addition to the Agenda for the 10th Dec Senior Advisory Commission meeting.
I am finishing sorting the cleaned clothes, loading the dishwasher, and working on the schedule for our music group for this Thursday (and for the other 4 days we play in December).

Supper: Split Green Pea soup (given to us in a can), with John’s additions of crinkled sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and sausage link pieces. He made some awesome cheesy biscuits to accompany the soup.
Resting before taking my shower.

Tuesday, Dec 3

Sunrise by Lise McGowan, described by her on Facebook as “Rise and shine” say our pasture friends!!! 20°F and holding. Beautiful blessed morning to start the day!

We got up early to get to our Cle Elum PCP by check-in at 9:45, leaving our house at 9:00. John had to feed the horses and start his car to warm it up for the trip. Most of our trip was fine, but the last few miles were in dense fog. We got there in time and checked in. We didn’t have too much paperwork, and I went around to the lab to give a urine sample.

My doctor’s nurse was waiting outside the bathroom door and took me to be weighed and go through my vitals. That didn’t take long and she helped me with the gown for my examination.
My doctor came in and we went over a few things, reviewed my paperwork and the PFT report I brought. She looked on her computer and it had been sent to my file there, so that was nice. She ordered my refills for the year, and then gave me a thorough going over including different things I’d never had done before, and some I had.

Once done, I went back to the waiting room to wait for John. We were out and drove to the S. Cle Elum post office to mail a large envelope to friends on the west side we’d been with the Saturday before for an early family Thanksgiving (our neighbors across the road, the Swedberg’s). We wanted to visit our friend at the P.O. because it’s been awhile since we saw the family. I wanted to tell him how much we enjoyed viewing on Facebook their recent trip to Cooper Lake to cut their Christmas tree with their young son, Miles. I was a teaching colleague with his mom, Jen Lipton, at CWU Geography.Miles ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Stefan, Postmaster ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Miles & Jen

From there we went to the Cle Elum Bakery for more treats for lunch and later. Got two plates of day old bakery goods, Bearclaws and Danish pastries, and fresh, 2 Apple Fritters for me.
We called sister Peggy for her report of the follow-up to her eye surgery this morning. Talked all the way to Ellensburg. All is well.

Once in town, we stopped at several places: grocery shopping, checking numbers at Bi-Mart and buying cough drops, and then went by the Dollar Tree to return two purchases that wouldn’t work for my needs, after opening one and realizing it was the wrong item. On to climb stairs to the Maximus Gym for my Probiotic that will last 4 months. My FitBit gave me 3 flights of stairs credit for the two steeply stepped parts of the staircase I climbed.

From there by a gal’s house to deliver two plastic bins for organizing her daughter’s toys, a bunch of new Christmas cards, and on to the community bread room for some rolls. We are given the opportunity to get day old bread for volunteering music on Wednesdays at the FISH food bank. The rolls are for a Sunday dinner.

Wednesday, Dec 4

Called Genworth Financial, and we are set for our Long Term Care Payment increase in premium March 2, 2020. Talked to a gal in the Philippines, where it is currently 1:14 a.m. [Genworth was hatched by General Electric Capital in 2004.]

Finally got the chair count completed and sent off to request 10 chairs tomorrow for our playing at the Rehab. Now I have to organize the December music to use for 3 players and for the audiences. I managed to locate all of it this afternoon, at the end of our hallway, where I keep music to use through the year, and John was kind to bring in my music carrier with the stuff from October & November in it, so I can replace with December’s.

Finally, I think I have all the music together for tomorrow… for 3 players and audience. (too much paper used, but 20 copies).

Thursday, Dec 5

After an unintelligible email from Kaiser Permanente (KP) mail order pharmacy about an upcoming delivery, I called to verify what had been sent. I found out it was my 2.5 mg tablets of Coumadin (Warfarin). My prescription refills had been sent Tuesday from the PCP’s office visit, to the KP pharmacy for both strengths I take weekly. However, the 5 mg tablets refill should have been sent to Safeway pharmacy in Ellensburg, where they will halve the pills for me (and save lots of money on the purchase). KP will not provide that service.

Played December (winter and Christmas) music at the Rehab for a large audience. Those there: Gerald, Jeanne in wheelchair, Dean, Nancy, Amy, Sharon, Charlotte, Amy, Sandy. The group, with Dean’s leadership, crafted a beautiful Christmas card from the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends. I’m honored and appreciative. It’s worth displaying, so meaningful. I’ve put the front of the card at the top, and here is the rest.

On the way home, I picked up fast-food sandwiches (Johns fixing fries), my meds, signed a card at AAC, went by the bread room, and then came home and finished packing cameras and stuff for the IAF meeting at CWU. We ate supper, and I drove us in to campus, because of the special CWU parking sticker on my car. We enjoyed a good lecture, and got home a little after 9:00 p.m. It’s now after 11:00, and John has gone to bed. I’m following as soon as I shut down my computer. I did manage to take all the photos and videos off my cameras.

Tonight for the local chapter of the Ice-Age Floods Institute, we had an exciting lecture by Marli Miller, Senior Instructor II, in the Dept. of Earth Sciences, Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR, about two books she’s written on the geology of both states.

First, an Introduction video by Nick Zentner to the evening:

Nick Zentner Intro to Marli Miller

Video’s title slide–presentation at Ice Age Floods Institute, Dec 5

Marli Miller: Assembling the Northwest–A Roadside View of Oregon & Washington Geology

During Marli’s presentation she shared a fascinating comment of the Ice Age Floods height as being higher than the Vista House on the Columbia River.

Following the lecture, Marli orchestrated an engaging discussion session with our audience’s insightful questions.

The video link follows with the content:

Marli Miller: Questions & Answers Discussion

Top – during the Q&A discussion; lower – her incredible web site of hundreds of her photographs of geology around Earth, and her generosity in making them accessible to anyone (with credits to her). Definitely check out this educational site.

With its spectacular mountain ranges, lush valleys and tumbling rivers, the Northwest landscape attracts nature lovers and travelers from around the world. But the rain-soaked coast ranges, snow-covered volcanoes and expansive high desert didn’t appear overnight. They formed through a variety of geologic processes over millions of years.

Geologist and Photographer Marli Miller will outline the geology of Oregon and Washington as seen along our federal and state highways.

Beginning with our plate tectonic setting, she will describe the process of continental growth that forms the underlying but diverse ‘basement’ of the region. The basement is readily apparent in the Coast Range, North Cascades, Okanogan, Klamath, and Blue Mountains. Following that, a photographic “roadtrip” along I-84 and Washington State Highway 14 in the Columbia River Gorge will illustrate many of the younger features that make our landscape so unique.

Miller is the author of Roadside Geology of Oregon, 2nd Edition, and most recently, Roadside Geology of Washington, 2nd Edition, which she wrote with UW’s Darrel Cowan, her major Ph.D. adviser.

She is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon.

Copies of her books will available at the event.

Tonight after I was in bed, I heard a loud bump at our front door and had to take time to run off a raccoon that jumped up on the feeding ledge at our front door. Woody had come back for a night snack and we forgot to bring it in when she left. Those raccoon critters are NOT welcome around our home.

Friday, Dec 6

Early morning call from Linda Lundy, with a surprise gift from our musical past. I need to get back in touch with her and arrange a time to go over for a visit and receive it. More when that happens.

John’s leaving to arrive at White Heron Cellars’ Mariposa Vineyard with a pick-up truck load of horse manure for the vines. There is a section high on the slope where deer will come and eat the pomace (left over skins and seeds) that Cameron can use closer to the winery and house. Deer are not fond of horse poo so it will add organic material, and not get eaten.

Cameron sent a photo of the load of manure unloaded. The rear of the truck was completely full, and we have lots more. This was the second load of 1st Class Tennessee Walking Horse manure.

Cameron was kind enough to send me back 3 bottles of wine–Rose’ of Syrah and Roussanne).

I took a box of magazines from our place to Kittitas to give to a gal who is making Dream and Vision Boards (by working with people to cut meaningful words to their dreams or vision and pictures to display on the poster board. She was thrilled with the variety of the magazines we gave her.

Kayleen called about pharmacies at 1:44. I was bringing in groceries and heard the phone ring, so got it. I need to check the Good Rx price at Safeway for levothyroxine and at Super 1. Let her know if going to Safeway is preferred. Or to change to Super 1. Ending decision, change to Fred Meyer Pharmacy, it’s cheaper yet. Now I have to check the others at Safeway to see if they are also cheaper at Fred Meyer or at Kaiser Permanente mail order. This difference in cost is mind boggling and unnecessary. We wish all the medical expenses stuff was a lot simpler.

John got home a little after 2:30. He’d stopped for donuts for the trip home, and also got us a box of Honeycrisp apples. Big babies! (only nine in the box).. if smaller, they pack 12 in.

I had a long talk with Terri Towner and caught up on her health, and told her I would send her some materials about my losing weight in a healthy way, which was not dieting.

Saturday, Dec 7

I slept in incredibly long this morning, because I was quite late getting to bed with cat-related issues, and was up before dawn with cat-related activities. Woody gets up early.

I started by continuing with getting things into the dishwasher, but still need to finish that chore. And, then went to work on the blog, mainly working on the follow-ups to the photos and videos from Thursday night’s presentation. I have a lot of email things to catch up on that will have to wait until later.

We were late eating brunch at just before 2:00 p.m. (consisting of an egg with English Muffin toasting bread slices with Apricot Jam for me, sausage, & home fries). Now at almost 3:00 p.m., he’s taking off for town to buy horse feed at the Co-Op, drop off something for a friend,get some cat food from Bi-Mart, go by Super 1 for some eggs for us and some Sweet’N Low sugar substitute (bulk) for me.

John made it home at 4:05, and is out feeding the horses in the fast approaching cold and darkness.

This just arrived from my Brittany family in Lancaster, CA where Daisy (our co-owned Brittany) I have mentioned before resides.

This was published on Facebook this afternoon, with the following description by Jeri Conklin.

Congratulations to Emily Montoya of Team Stephen Cabral and to GCH Camelot’s Coppers Rollin Four Dice JH on their BOB and Sporting Group 3rd placement today under breed and group judge, Mr. Terry Stacy, over a nice ring of specials.

Jeez, a raccoon was in our house at 6:30 p.m.! It came in through the doggie door, and left that way. In the middle of the night, I guess he was in last night, and I walked down the hall to go to the bathroom, and heard the doggie door close, but when I got to where Annie normally sleeps she was there, asleep. The cats do not make a loud noise when they come through the door, but this was loud. I now know it must have been the raccoon. We have the window closed, but unsure what we will do for nights, other than close the window and let the animals use our doors (patio and front). During daylight we think we can have the animal in-out setup function as they need.

I forgot to put in this link to a Christmas In Kittitas celebration that occurred tonight.

Here is a link to my friend Evie Schuetz’s photos taken that evening. Only 15 but very nice. Kittitas, WA is the town we almost moved to in 1989. We had a house picked out, but the deal fell through. I have enjoyed being only 10 miles away, especially when the WOTFA (Washington Old Time Fiddler’s Association) had summer workshop camp there for 22 years. I was able to live at home and drive over for daily classes for a week, and participate in night events.

The town has all sorts of celebrations, and we only recently heard of this one (a day late).

Christmas in Kittitas, Dec 7, ’19 – Photos by EvieMae Schuetz

Sunday, Dec 8

This is a Grange community dinner day. I did not sleep in this morning. I cleaned up two platters and put my name on them. Packed rolls in 4 plastic bags. We loaded non-perishable goods in a box to donate for the food baskets in Upper County. We came up with 15 items; mostly cans. It was heavy and filled a box that had dog bones packed in it.

I sent a call for chair count out this morning for this Thursday’s playing at the Meadows Place. We may have a good turn-out.

Got ready to go to the Grange and left at 11:30. The valley closer to the Yakima River and I-90 [800 feet lower than our place] was hidden by a low cloud of fog. We were in full sun and the top of the cloud was brilliantly white. We took a back road detour and did not have to get into it.

We took a bunch of Whole Wheat rolls (24) and Multi-Grain rolls (24) to be our side offering for the Community Christmas Dinner at the Swauk-Teanaway Grange, on Ballard Hill, in Cle Elum. We go every year. John wears my old Merry Christmas sweater, and I had on a Cardinal vest today that is very Christmassy with a white blouse and dark green pants. You’ll see some photos in the collection we took today. We sat across the table with old-time friends from Thorp, Ellen & Roger Fischer.

The Grange furnished the turkey (they cooked one full turkey and 7 turkey breasts), mashed potatoes (they pared 90 lbs.). I wonder how many people were there. I asked and Bev got back to me their best estimate was 150. I estimated >100 and the servers ate after others had left.

Coming home we saw the fog bank again, still in the Kittitas Valley, but we had been above it in the sun all day.
View from 2,500 feet on Highway 97, looking south.

Wind Turbines Hwy 97 Fog Bank Kittitas Valley

And we came back through the fog for a little part of our return trip. We were soon out of the fog and then could see a new blinking STOP sign a mile ahead. It is at the ‘T’ where Hungry Junction meets Look Road. It, and several others around, are powered by the Sun. You will see a video of it now, short but sweet. We are approaching a solar-driven stop sign with lights around the edge. It really shows up nicely in the dark, from way away.

Special Solar-Lighted Stop Sign

I hope to have some photos to show tonight, from today’s Christmas dinner, but they may not get finished until tomorrow morning. So, if there is not anything here, check back tomorrow.

LINK TO COME to photos of the Swauk Teanaway Community Christmas Dinner.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of teasers: our garb & meals.Nancy’s meal and John’s meal. {We need to work on the in-door color settings for this camera.}

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan