Not so Nasty News January 24th

Item #1: What’s your temperature?
“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” ― Mark Twain
A new normal?

Back in the 1860s folks tended to get various infections, many chronic, and died at an average age of about 38. Measurements of temperature by Carl Wunderlich appear to have a bias toward the high side. About 30 years ago it was estimated to be 98.2 °F. The new study claims 97.5°F.
Ask your medical practice what they think? Most folks still reference 98.6. Do you?

Item #2: Be glad you are not there Last Friday there was a developing blizzard of heavy snow and strong winds in Newfoundland. Photos and related links are now available. Note that the snow has mostly blown off roofs and such and piled against buildings, and closing off some doors.
photos from the Newfoundland snow

Hope they have equipment to load and remove much of this.
Maybe they will revert to historical ways – a snow roller:
Item #3: Related headline?
A guy in Florida put cold “frozen’ Iguanas in his car. Apparently he heard they were good grilled, so he planned to have them for dinner.
I’ve never seen a “frozen” Iguana, but in this photo it looks more like a nap. Those in the car warmed up and one report said they attacked the driver.
If you were resting in a tree and woke up in a moving car with a stranger, would you just think everything was normal?
Maybe you would get a bit excited and/or agitated and cause a car accident. That’s the story.

Item #4: Some things can’t be found Left is for physics nerds. Right is for those lost in “the south.”
Overyonder Lane is between Clemson and Seneca, South Carolina.
Whether or not you want to head down that road is another question.

Item #5: Waze what?

In the area where this story unfolds, New Jersey is only 40 miles across (east to west). Drivers from northern NJ and NY were headed south. Came up short.

We don’t use a mapping – car thing. Nancy’s Forester has one pre-installed. When we used it in Yakima years ago we set the destination and started off. Then we decided to make a short side trip and the “voice” came on and started with ‘error, go back’, or ‘turn around’, or ‘take the next left’.
We did not know how to re-set it on the fly, so we shut it off.
The link above goes to a story about folks heading to a New Jersey casino. They ended on a dirt road in a wildlife reserve 45 miles away.
I wonder if alcohol was involved?
If, when headed to Atlantic City, you turn onto an unpaved road consider that a clue that you are lost.
Found a review of Waze versus Google Maps, if you care: Link

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Sunrises to snowflakes

Monday, Jan 13

Sunrise photos: Local photographers captured these views of the morning sunrise. We can only see the sky partially through our “hedge” of trees. Sandy Meier took the first one top left from her backyard (on Wilson Cr. Road). Next is by Vicki Lennox, from her perspective in Badger Pocket. Bottom is by Sid Peterson, who lives east of the intersection of the Kittitas Hwy & No 6 Rd (south extension of Wilson Cr. Rd.), looking toward Badger Pocket; permission by all granted to publish in our blog.

In seeking permission from Sid, I found out more information about a photography site I had just joined on Facebook, “Kittitas County Visual Delights,” where I found his photo posted. I would like to inform all my Kittitas County photographer friends about this excellent site, and to encourage your joining it. It meets the year-old age next month, and they are planning a special request to publish photographs of our county. Get on it now, so you can see the great assortment of photographs and get involved to share the beauty in our county.

Our main chore this morning was to get up early and be ready to leave at 9:00 a.m. for Dr. ‘Foot’ Cardon’s office and to the hospital for a blood draw to check my INR & potassium; INR=2.8 & K=4.6 (both within range).

Because of my bronchitis and inability to be in a dental chair with current chest congestion and coughing, I cancelled my dental appointment for a filling tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. It’s now rescheduled for 1/29 at 1:00 Wednesday, so I will have to leave the Food Bank lunch (music) in time to get down a couple of blocks, and remember to take my Amoxicillin at noon.

Checked my times on my imaging appointment on Jan 21, as they came in by phone conflicting with what I had on my calendar. Corrected ones are: check in 1:15 for 1:30 bone density test; stay for 2:15 mammogram.

I took an afternoon nap from 2:30 to 3:35 p.m.; much needed.
Supper was Beef Stew and Cheesy biscuits.

Tuesday, Jan 14

We are surely happy that our oldest cat, Sue, came back after 2 weeks’ (?) away. We wonder if she was trapped somewhere. She was very hungry and thirsty, but came walking down the driveway from Swedbergs, where she was born. She failed to show up here about the day ol’man Swedberg died. There were family and strangers around. John wonders if someone tried to catch her (or what?) and she headed for ‘the woods’.
Her daily ritual had been to go back there after eating, and come back mornings for breakfast and stay around for dinner. Now, however, she is not returning over there. She’s staying with daughter Woody in the old Pace Arrow. Woody was born under a brush pile by our driveway, and as far as we know, has never been across or even up to the county road.
Here are the two of them:Sue and Woody on the chain link crossover John built for the cats to access their food and water (heated in winter) on our front porch. Unfortunately, raccoons will also use it. So at night, we bring in the food.

I had decided not to go to the AAC Senior Advisory Commission meeting today and stay home to recover. Then they officially canceled it by phone, because 4 people were sick and unable to meet (not enough for a quorum). Connie will check my Bi-Mart numbers. I’ll wait to get my Metoprolol from Super 1 (don’t need it until next week anyway. My weekly-meds box is all filled for the rest of the week and over the weekend through Tuesday. I set alarms for meds I have to take the rest of the day and to remind me to take my BP.

Weather here is sunny; however, the pass is not looking great, but both lanes are open. About 97% of Washington State has snow on the ground. In the mountains there is more than 10 feet. We decided not to count snowflakes, but here’s the photo for the week (and forever):Snowflake creation by Evie Schuetz

Goodness, words cannot describe the beauty of this exceptional image: but these come to mind – Spectacular, Extraordinary, and a Brilliant use of Photoshop to adjust multiple images from a 4.5x magnification lens taken time-lapse. Remarkably, this was Evie’s first attempt to do so. She can only get better. It looks fine to me.

See below on Friday, where she found a better way to photograph individual snowflakes, and not have to use Photoshop.

We had the rest of our beef stew tonight and a small hamburger with Havarti cheese, followed by a piece of cookie dough pie.
John beat me to bed, but now I’m on my way.

Wednesday, Jan 15

Cancelled playing at Food Bank lunch today. Still need to recover more. They had a good turnout, so that’s nice.

We had brunch: eggs, summer sausage, and 3-cheese bread toast – yet my favorite is still English Muffin Bread toast with friend Ken’s homemade Apricot Jam.

John’s done all the chores, except afternoon horse feeding. It’s snowing now and Woody just came in for her evening meal.

I finished the package of plastic bags, rubber bands, and note to Mya, our WSJ delivery person. It’s ready to go in the paper shoot when it’s not snowing. The paper is printed west of the Cascades so when the Pass is closed we do not get a paper.

Update on my friend in Moxee, WA, Terri Towner, who had corrective hip surgery in Seattle today. It went well and they will be driving back across the pass tomorrow; thankfully, didn’t come back on the day the pass was closed in both directions because of snow. She cannot bear any weight on it for two weeks. That will be tough.

Thursday, Jan 16

I slept in after a rough night, and took my mucus relief pill early with the full glass of water. It’s still working late morning. So, that’s good.

I had a call from the Daily Record about fixing my access to the digital edition, but I asked Tony to stay on the line while I tried. It did not work. Turns out when they reset it, it went back to an email in their account that quit working in 2017, nancyh@ellensburg dot com. It is not the email I have been getting the Daily Record news and email announcements from. I had changed it back then, but they did not update their records on the login code. They do not know what caused my online account to no longer recognize me as a subscriber. So, we’re now waiting for a phone call that they have changed it to the one I have been using for 3 years (successfully) to reach the digital edition by logging in with the new email. So weird.

All sorts of things happening this morning on the web. I had responses from people I was dealing with yesterday, and they came through. I had phone calls and emails to 10:00 a.m. about 3 people canceling coming today to music at Pacifica.

I have had my brunch, and will be leaving for our music soon.
The sun is shining here, but the pass is still covered with snow.
I’ll go play my violin at Pacifica, but won’t sing and start my coughing. Dean will call the songs and number for the audience to follow in their copies.
I finished dressing while John brushed snow off the path to my car.

Update on my friend from southern California, Jeri Conklin’s surgery today. This is from Kurt, her husband, “She’s currently recovering in the ICU. Surgery took much longer than planned, but everything turned out fine. I saw the surgeon and he removed 40 cm of small bowel, the Appendix and a small portion of the colon. Surgeon said the “mass” was such that he was surprised that she was functioning at all and there was no doubt to the degree of pain she was experiencing. He said this should have been done months ago! She’s got 5-7 more days to recover. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and prayers.”

Supper: Leftover casserole, with new apple cobbler type of side with main meal, French fries, and cookie dough cake for dessert.
We both are quite tired.

Friday, Jan 17

New individual snowflake magnification captures by Evie Schuetz:Evie managed to capture these with her 4.5x super macro lens before they melted. She explains: These flakes I caught on a clear plastic filter which was parallel to the camera, so I was able to take them in one shot rather than stacking a bunch together in Photoshop. Next time, I’ll use a piece of glass from a photo frame. The plastic isn’t cold enough, and the flakes melt too fast even at 17 degrees. Also, I had issues with microscopic imperfections in the plastic, so live and learn.

A commenter on her personal FB site, where first published, offered this historical video link to our distant past! Please view the whole 8-1/2 minutes; it’s well worth your time to see the first photographs ever taken of a single snowflake. Sorry for the TWO ads you have to wade through before you can skip them and see the real video.

“The Snowflake Man”: Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931)

You will appreciate following this link below, as well, for the science behind the formation of snowflakes, also provided by a commenter on Evie’s post.

How Do Snowflakes Form

Also been dealing with a friend in Seattle who wanted to drop off her car for the weekend while going on a trip to Winthrop, carpooling with a friend. We got things arranged but the forecast for the Pass caused a change in plans.

The Daily Record news finally got my access to my digital edition working again.

Supper was topped with John’s homemade spaghetti sauce, and a very simple baked apple crisp (no cream, whipped cream, or ice cream) to make the meal healthy.

Saturday, Jan 18

I need to go to Briarwood for music today. Only expecting 7 players, but at 11:52 a.m. learned to expect 2 more.

I worked on a load for the dishwasher, and drank my nutrition drink to supplement with what they feed us after we play.

I took the large-sized jeans to have to give to a large person after I saw him and was convinced they would fit him. The mom planned to bring him to our music, but arrived late, (I never saw them) and they left because we were eating. She speaks Spanish and must not have understood my complete directions. I told her I could do it after we quit playing and were eating, but she must not have understood. We’ll have to meet at a future date.

While at Briarwood, I dropped off a quilt denim patches and other material pieces with a crafter who lives in Briarwood. She’s planning to make a quilt. These were donated on the free site, but this woman cannot drive.

This morning I took a photo of the lamp to send to my friend Amy for her daughter’s bedroom table, so I would know whether to pack the box in the car to take for her to transfer to her car after we finished eating. She was interested.John found this in our garage in a box, never used that was in my mom’s stuff from Atlanta, GA sent to Idaho in a moving van in 1977, when she was moving out of her apartment into a smaller unit. There are things we have never opened. The bigger furniture has been part of our household forever.

Another thing he found was my old tenor guitar (4 strings) I remember getting in high school for $4 at a pawn shop. Mother’s sister helped me packed the stuff, so she must have packed it. I had no clue I still owned that. Figured my mom had sold it in a yard sale, as she did a bunch of my stuff. I should have gotten a picture of that before it was repacked. We couldn’t tell the make of the guitar, and I didn’t look inside, just on the top of the neck. If something was written there at one time, it is no longer visible.

John thinks it is time to clean out the garage, fix the problems, and re-purpose the space. This will be an adventure, and costly.

Lise McGowan’s cat, Duchess (above) looks like a twin sister to our Woody. She posted hers perched on a fence (in a larger photo I cropped) to show the similarity of our long-haired cat, a mackerel tabby.

Sunday, Jan 19

Sadly, just when I was feeling less chest congestion and overall better, I awoke all congested and not feeling so well. I improved as the day progressed.

On to another day of medications, with my computer alarms set to remind me to take them at the appropriate intervals. The chest congestion pill is every 4 hours and the acetaminophen is every 6. It’s time to be over this.

We are just ready to eat supper of a piece of lean pork (crockpot, tomatoes, finished in a hot oven with BBQ sauce), carrot casserole with roasted marshmallows on top, and a bowl of peach slices. 8 hours in the crock pot seemed to make the meat tender enough for me, but it wasn’t as tasty are grilled ribs.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News January 17th

Item #1: Got snow?

Item#4 is also about snow.
This from Monday evening.

“Bellingham Troopers handled 40 collisions between 5pm and 8pm. Helped remove 5 trees,” Tweeted Trooper Anthony Reese. “Helped multiple stranded motorists and even drove a young lady’s car 4 miles to the next exit because she was scared to drive in the snow.”
What is not said is how many times this young lady has driven in snow. Very likely this is a single digit number. Also, an inch of snow there is more likely than 5 inches.
Actually, not a lot of snow fell in Bellingham, maybe 5 inches.
Elsewhere, wet – heavy snow fell along Hwy #2 – toward Stevens Pass. There is a report here: Trees, power lines down, travelers in a world of hurt

This is from the Wash DOT, with 4 photos.
“… with no ability to go east or west …”

There is a popular ski area at Stevens Pass, thus travelers need to be on the road when it snows. So it is not unexpected for occasional issues. This one has been serious because many were stranded as trees (and power lines) came down in multiple places. This is in an area without much development, and thus support.

And on Thursday evening:
117 inches since Jan. 1

Item #2: Who knew?
Chicken in a liner in a crockpot.
Oven roasted short ribs are tasty, but there is a lot of waste for which you pay $3/pound or so. I looked for a recipe that promised the bar-b-que outcome when starting with boneless center-cut loin.
One recipe ended with “cook until tender” – not a clue there.
Others claim they get good results with a slow-cooker or crockpot. Okay, we’re dealing with 7 or 8 hours. Not a problem.

In reading a few of these, one person said “use a liner; you will thank me later.”
And my reaction was “What?”
But the internet is my friend, so I searched.
Here is the Amazon link: Slow Cooker Liners

I ordered a small box of 6 for 43¢ per liner. Arrived Thursday.
We’ll give this a try next week.

Item #3: Rain in Australia

Not a lot in most places, but still helpful.
Drought to rain. We’ve heard this story.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.

From “My Country” [1908], written at age 19 while homesick in England.

Item #4: not so nice

storm emergency

The Avalon Peninsula and nearby region is having a winter storm. Plows, fire trucks, ambulances, and all first responders are off the roads.

This is a storm in progress.

Item #5: web images this week
Someone sits around and thinks of these things. Right-brain folks?

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Jessica goes vacationing

Jessica is our bright blue Subaru Crosstrek

Sunday, Jan 5

We last left you with Sunday, Jan 5’s medical report on Nancy: (bottom line) Because I had very high blood pressure that morning, I went to Urgent Care, a new street-side facility, to be evaluated for a viral infection. I knew that a virus could cause higher blood pressures. I knew a local nursing home had one wing closed down for Norovirus infection. The local Urgent Care in EBRG is not associated with the local

KVH hospital. I only found that out, on the visit there. They gave me a “flu” test (swabs of my nose), which ruled out my having the flu. We have had our flu shots. The diagnosis was definitely bronchitis, and they had the facility to do chest X-rays. I looked at the X-rays with the technician and only saw a normal looking chest X-ray for me. I’ve seen many of mine in the past, because I always request a CD from the hospital with the X-rays. I’ve seen it when I had pneumonia and when I did not. The medical professional examining me was an ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner). She was very thorough.

She reviewed the X-ray and reported there was a questionable image in the lower right lobe. And I told her, I am aware of that, and it is always there, as scar tissue from previous infections. I previously have had pneumonia and I knew I did not feel the same way at all. She said she didn’t have access to a previous X-ray to compare this to, and without it, “Pneumonia cannot be ruled out.” Because they are not part of the KVH system, she cannot access my previous medical records in any way (all my X-rays are in the Kittitas Valley Healthcare). So, as a precaution she put me on two medications for Pneumonia: Augmentin (Amoxicillin [875 mg] & Clavulanic acid [125 mg]), and Doxycycline Monohydrate 100 mg.

Before I left Urgent Care, I requested a CD with my two chest X-rays on it, to compare with my previous ones in the system in Cle Elum (which is part of the KVH network). I get all my lab blood tests drawn at the hospital in Ellensburg. Good reason for not going to the Urgent Care in Ellensburg. The Urgent Care in Cle Elum would have been the one to go to because they would have access to previous records (chest X-rays with and without pneumonia). Live and learn.
[I also use a battery powered wrist cuff for BP, and that might be an issue, so I planned to take it with me tomorrow to the PCP’s office to compare with the results of their cuff.]

Monday, Jan 6

John got up before me but I slept in until just after 8:30 a.m., and called Cle Elum for an appointment. My PCP was not in the office today. I requested Andy Thomas who is the only MD on the staff and in charge of all the PA-Cs and ARNPs. My normal PCP is a PA-C (physician assistant-certified). We have not seen Dr. Thomas prior to this (and John is not along, because he was in the dentist have a crown seated). I drove myself to the clinic.
I took my med not requiring food this morning, at 6:30 a.m., next one is due 5 hrs. later with food. (Taking those medications was cancelled at today’s doctor visit). I no longer need them after today’s diagnosis.

I went to Cle Elum for a 10:30 appt. After the normal interview with the nurse as to why I was there, she took my vitals, and I asked to check my wrist BP monitor to see how it compared. As expected it was different (and higher) by 21 “points”. This discrepancy is noted on many sites on the web. I spent 2 hours there, and came out with good news that reversed the need received and the recommended medications bought at Fred Meyer pharmacy after being started yesterday at the Urgent Care facility in Ellensburg.

I had two new chest X-rays and a thorough examination of my lungs. Plus, he looked back at a good one of my chest X-rays, and found it looked the same as today’s. His decision was I do not have pneumonia and now I’m on the correct medication for suppressing the cough and getting rid of the mucus in my lungs by thinning the texture of the phlegm. The two new meds are better than the Tussin CF I was on, which has one major ingredient that will increase blood pressure. The only good one in the mix is Guaifenesin, which he put me on as a tablet, not syrup. The worst for causing high blood pressure is Dextromethorphan. That part in the cough syrup causes enhanced blood pressure.
Once at the PCP’s office with the local MD in charge, Dr. Andy Thomas, I went to the lab for a blood test to determine my INR, which was already high (3.9) – supposed to be between 2 & 3, and mine usually is. It can be raised within 1.5 hrs. after taking, and especially with this one pill having 875 mg of Amoxicillin. I know that antibiotics increase my INR calculation.

I met the MD and he listened to my story, symptoms, and concerns. I gave him the CD and he with others tried 4 different computers and could not display the image (or see it) at all. He examined my breathing, congestion, and heard and saw the results of my productive cough. He evaluated my lungs considerably with a stethoscope. He felt comfortable with my not having pneumonia, but I knew we had to get the current status by X-ray into the KVH system, so we agreed to retake them.
A different radiologist sent his interpretation back to the doctor, who sent it on to me with his (the MD’s) comments (received Friday (1/10) of the week I went in on Monday). The report is reassuring (lots of medical terms we don’t relate to):

My MD’s comments:
I have reviewed the results from your recent studies.
The radiologist did not see any sign of pneumonia and reports that the thickening of the lung (described as infiltrate here) is less prominent than the previous study – not sure if that means it is resolving or that is just a “camera trick” of the x-ray photograph we took this time. Either way that seems like good news!

XR Chest 2 View 01/06/20 11:57:09
Previous comparison 02/28/2019 INDICATION: Persistent cough and SOB (shortness of breath) w/o other illness symptoms
FINDINGS: There is marked cardiomegaly (enlarged heart). Patient has a single lead pacemaker (it’s actually an ICD) with tip in the right ventricle. The wire is intact. Patient’s had previous cardiac surgery. The lung fields are moderately expanded with evidence of mitral valve revision (I have a porcine replacement of this valve). There are patchy increased densities in the right lower lung field distribution with lesser prominence that on the previous exam. This is consistent with atelectasis (blockage of the air passages can be by mucus) and some minor infiltrate (thickening). There is some blunting of the left costophrenic angle (places where the diaphragm [phrenic] meets the ribs [costo]) on today’s exam suggesting possible mild pleural effusion (fluid around lung).

My harrowing trip to Cle Elum was in a raging snowstorm. I decided to take I-90 figuring they would have it plowed and not the state highway #10. I looked at the DOT cameras and knew I was leaving in rain but there was snow at all the major traffic cameras from Indian John Hill through and past Cle Elum, where I exited. It was snowing hard in Cle Elum. It was a trip into blowing large snowflakes making visibility tough. The most interesting thing was the large semi-trucks slowing to 40 mph. I was happy for that slow down. While in the clinic for 2 hrs., it stopped snowing and started raining. Rained on me all the way home. I came via Hwy 10, which was fine traveling.

Tuesday, Jan 7

I want to add some photos from Leavenworth which my friend Evie Schuetz took on Sunday, January 5. I would have enjoyed that a lot more than where I was that day.
She and her family visited because the Christmas lights are still up on all the buildings until Valentine’s Day! She took many photos that she posted on her Facebook site, which you can get to if you have a Facebook (FB) account by looking up her place on Facebook. Her FB name is EvieMae Schuetz.
I chose only my favorite few to share with you. We have never been there to see the lights, but we have been to Leavenworth many times for different reasons. 2020 Christmas lights, Leavenworth, WA by Evie Schuetz

I hope you are able to look at all her pictures—exceptional photographs, as I know you will agree. I suppose there is still time for you to go in person to view them. You’ll see a link in John’s Not So Nasty News to the town’s web-cams; now with snow. In case you cannot find it, or don’t have a Facebook account here it is:
Weather webcams in Leavenworth show Xmas Lights
Still, the best entire set is on Evie’s Facebook page.

We stayed home today. I did computer chores and household things, and cared for myself. Also dealt with medical questions with the Cle Elum clinic, and with planning for upcoming geology lectures. Had to work on setting up playing music on Thursday, and calling two people to cancel tomorrow’s Food Bank music. I shuffled cats and dog in and out. And, set up a meeting tomorrow in Cle Elum to loan John’s Crosstrek for a couple weeks to a friend whose old Subaru totally broke down and needs to be replaced. She’s working on that, but needs a car that is all-wheel drive and her husband doesn’t have one.

John investigated our neighbor’s mail and papers. She leaves for long periods and her mailbox fills up, but the paper box is worse. On top of that our rural carrier often puts her mail in our mailbox (they are adjacent, as are our paper boxes for the local newspaper). Yesterday’s mail of hers ended up in our box, five pieces. So he collected that, and put in a blue bag, and put all in a green bag already in her carport. Also took all the newspapers. Then almost at dark when he had gone out to grain the horses, I had an email from our hay provider, that he was bringing our last two tons of hay. I yelled out to John so he was aware of it and could open the gates, and turn lights on.

Continued with normal things and are getting to bed later than desired.

Wednesday, Jan 8

Canceled two normal doings for the second Wednesday of the month: Retired geographers meeting at Hearthstone, and playing music at the Food Bank Wednesday lunch.
Good thing, John had to go to Stewart Subaru today to have his car’s 6,000 mile tune up, oil change, and service, and while there he made a run to Costco. I stayed home taking care of things here, and getting ready to leave for South Cle Elum.

John called at 11:30 from leaving Costco for the Subaru place, and probably is a couple hours from home. Will check in from Selah Gap – out of the urban streets – on his way so we have a better grasp on timing. He got a sandwich at Costco, so I can eat something here for lunch.

We went to S. Cle Elum to deliver John’s Crosstrek. A short term loan. Our banjo player is Evelyn Heflen. Her Subaru’s engine is totally ruined. She will use the Crosstrek for transportation to get to work and community activities, and to find a car. It was a nice day for the 30-mile trip. No snow and good roads. We were back by 4:00 in time for John to grain the horses before dark. Thinking of that need, we skipped our invite to tea with Evelyn.

The weather then changed. This is Sunday’s view of the snow from her front door. Taken Sunday, 1-12-20 at Evelyn’s in S. Cle Elum, WA

Thursday, Jan 9

Getting ready to go play music at Meadows Place, and just got all the audience copies sorted out and ready to add to my music bag.

A neighbor, up the road, called to say there was no wood under our “Free Wood” sign – and did we have any. John’s loading her pickup with enough to last to February.

We just found out another neighbor age 97, died overnight. Not unexpected, and I’ve been in touch with the family.

I also contacted the Yakima Herald Circulation department, to find out if our WSJ carrier had changed. I was unable to get in touch with the phone number she left for us. I thought maybe she had moved on, but not. The phone number they had for her is the same I had, but it just beep beep beeps and doesn’t ring. I need to write a note to her and put in the paper tube to find out her new phone number. She’d given us this other one when introducing herself as our new carrier (back in March). Might as well connect the note to a bunch of plastic bags, along with some rubber bands she can use on days when it is raining. I also need her last name to write a check for the end of the year, thanking her for her delivery service. She’s always punctual, 6 days/week, early a.m. Now is the time the pass can be closed and occasionally the papers don’t make it from the west side.

I took my morning meds and tablet for relieving and releasing mucus in my lungs. It is still working and I hope I’m done with it before I go to play music, but will carry along a box of Kleenex.

Yesterday, John bought Danish pastry at Costco, and we each had one – he brought 4 each of cherry and cream cheese.

I am dressed and my alarm set to take my pills and get prepared to leave.

John went with me, to help me carry in all the music bag weight, and my violin, and carried along a copy of a book to sit in an adjacent room to read, about the chemical elements and the history of completing the periodic table. Today, he read fascinating things about Radium, and shared some things on the way home.

We had a great player turnout, and a good time entertaining the residents. People there were: Sandy, Nancy, Manord, Evie, Kevin, Gerald, Tim, Roberta, Charlotte, and Minerva.

After helping with chair setup and take down, we left for Bi-Mart, which had set a very good price on their 40# bag of black-oil sunflower seed, the birds favorite. It was $5.00 less than the lowest price we can find it in EBRG. While there, I got another box of Fisherman’s Friend cough drops. Actually, I picked up two, one a new one I had not seen before, honey-lemon, and didn’t know until I got to the cashier it was sugar-free. I definitely do NOT like their other sugar-free one I have previously tried. So John returned it to the shelf, and I should have had him bring me one of my old standby menthol original flavor ones. It’s okay, I still have some at home.

We stopped at Super 1 grocery store for their large (occasional) Thursday sale. We eat lots of eggs, which were on sale for 68₵/dozen [limit 2] ($1.10 off normal price); so each of us bought two dozen. I also love their English Muffin Toasting bread, which has increased dramatically in price since we moved to town. Moved here in 1988, when it sold for 88₵/loaf. They had it on sale today for $1.98/loaf (normally a $ more). Unfortunately, the shelves were empty after 3:15 p.m. when we arrived. So, I asked for a raincheck at checkout and received it at the lower price.

Final stop, Fred Meyer, which had my PowerAdeZero for only 58 cents/bottle if you bought 8 bottles. Navel oranges were 20 cents less /lb. than at Super 1. Got just 3 of those.

Friday, Jan 10

I never received a Mid-State Coop bill and normally I pay it right away. I last paid Nov 6, and nothing in early Dec. Yesterday’s postal mail brought the account bill, and it had an interest payment attached. So that’s why I looked it up.

Called this morning, apologized to Kim, and we figure the bill was delivered wrongly to our neighbor’s mailbox, or not at all. Guess we’ll have to start checking daily (take along a flashlight because mail often comes after dark). Mail story, above on Tuesday.

Main reason I’m home today is to take a tablet of Guaifenesin every 4 hours (only took one yesterday because I couldn’t drink that much water while going to town and playing music.

Guaifenesin belongs to a class of drugs known as expectorants. It works by thinning and loosening mucus in the airways, clearing congestion, and making breathing easier. I certainly need that.

John fixed a really good baked chicken dinner.

And, he finished his Not So Nasty News after losing the Internet connection numerous times.

Earlier today, he fixed my broken Medic Alert bracelet and saved me a bunch of money, and I didn’t want to get something other than what I have, a black band with purple staff and white notes, so it’s quite musical. They no longer carry the design style in their inventory.

Saturday, Jan 11

I reached my neighbor absent neighbor to tell her about the mailbox issue, and to find out when she plans to come east.

Right now is not a good time to be traveling the pass. Pass keeps closing with multiple spinouts, ice, eastbound, and westbound lanes. Stevens Pass has fallen trees (unscheduled) and avalanche control (scheduled). That is the road to get from Puget Sound region to Leavenworth, shown above. Plenty of traffic but not an Interstate Highway.

Doing the dishes.

I copied the dates off the plastic on the new year’s calendar, and now I have to enter all the stuff we know on the paper. Guess it will get done Sunday.

John’s cooking brunch – bacon with a pancake (blue with blueberries), also included pecans, and had with peaches and maple syrup.

Security alert from our online banking system that our account login ID is disabled since 12:33 today. I received a phone number to call to ID myself with a bunch of security questions and I had to give my social security #. I asked what caused that decision, and she said someone tried 6 times to get into my account. Whether malicious or some lost soul with a similar name – we don’t know. I had to wait 15 minutes to speak to an agent, but she did ask us to change our login code to something that was not our name, birthday, or any identifier someone might figure out. So, I made it through and we changed it.

I logged on with the new Login ID and it worked, so I’m back in business with no idea who was messing with my account. That took a half hour of my time.

Sunday, Jan 12

After 10:00 a.m., I called (509) Urgent Care and requested a copy be emailed to me of the radiologist’s report on my Chest X-ray taken last Sunday at my appointment, Jan 5, there.

Called and left a detailed message at 10:20 a.m. 1/12/20.

Ashley responded quickly 10:38 a.m., and then called me to tell me she’d sent the radiology report from last Sunday to our email account password protected… and gave me the password to use.

We talked and I asked her for a report also of the transcription from the “physician” at Urgent Care, in addition to the radiologist’s report. She added that to document and sent it to me with the same security code to reach, download, and open.

I did not have a decent night’s sleep with the chest congestion, so I got up at 6:30 a.m., put one of the cats out, took my Acetaminophen and went back to bed for almost 3 hours. I still wasn’t feeling great, but I am expelling mucus. Need to take one of the mucus releaser pills and drink all the associated required water. Okay, I took Mucus Reliever 400 mg and am drinking my large glass of water at 10:30 a.m. It’s already working 10 minutes later. Rascal’s now in my lap, does not like my coughing, so I hope it keeps expelling quietly without having to cough to get it. So far, so good.

Take next pill at 2:30; set my computer alarm. Just learned a few days ago how to set alarms to remind me of the timing on my computer (when I’m on). I can name each one to indicate what is to do and when.

John’s been out pushing snow, of which there is very little. Still, that keeps the places drier and mud free.

1:00 p.m. just started snowing hard with big flakes, while John naps. Stopped and sun came out, but wind is supposed to start blowing hard. John’s in the backyard removing a bird-feed structure. It was too close to the patio door – glass with sky reflections – and little birdies were knocking their heads. Out front the feeding is farther from the doors and windows.

I spent a bunch of time on-line donating to the APCG (Association of Pacific Coast Geographers). My retired dues are $15, but I always donate to 3 other scholarship funds. It’s a recognized non-profit organization (for tax purposes).

I finally finished loading the dishwasher to its capacity, and for the next hour it will swish and swash.

I worked on the blog, and set up the heater for the back bathroom shower to get cleaned up for an early Monday morning visit to the foot doctor who comes up from Yakima on Mondays. It’s a 9:30 appointment for both of us to go in together.

Tonight’s dinner was the rest of the chicken soup with large cheesy biscuits John makes that are better than any in town (including those at the Yellow Church Café, renowned for theirs). We have a large piece of John’s Chocolate birthday cake (that has been frozen) for dessert.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News January 10th

Item #1: Who’s got hay?

The last 2 tons of 14 were put in our shed this week. Like Nancy, our hay guy got a bug. He actually has a truck.

Item #2: Who’s got snow?

Newfoundland, buried

We didn’t have snow but eastern Canada did. Some claim to be “buried alive”, but the photos show they seem to be having a good time. 40 inches of snow in 2 weeks is enough to make one tired. We were in Cincinnati when 10 inches fell – in daylight, I think. That was the first large city I lived in, and I wasn’t used to a place not having snow removal equipment. Cincy often didn’t get more than a flurry.

We didn’t have snow at the beginning of the week. Now we do, but not much here. Accumulation in the higher elevations has started and closer to them is Washington’s favorite tourist town, Leavenworth – our own Bavarian village.
Check this site (scroll down) and have look. It is well lit until midnight, so have a look when it is dark; after 6 PM Pacific Time.
WebCams near Leavenworth

There are weather related traffic alerts on the WA-DOT web site.
We are staying home.

Item #3: Grass trees

Because of the fires in Australia I learned of a new plant.

This first link is to Bush Heritage Australia and in addition to text and photos, they solicit funds. Not a surprise, that.Lorikeets enjoying flower spikes at Carnarvon Reserve (Qld). Photo Wayne Lawler/EcoPix

Wikipedia claims there are 30 species. Photo above left is of one that has been cut so the inside of the trunk can be seen.

Photo below is of Grass Trees after a fire. Note the charred cans on the lower left – and the new green “grass” on the burned trees.The picture featured above is by David Ward, of grass trees at Scott River, Western Australia, taken in January 2007, following a “mild, patchy burn”. If you care for the context this is from: jennifermarohasy dot com/ 2020/01/it-has-been-hotter-fires-have-burnt-larger-areas/ – – – fix the dot thing

Item #4: A European vacation

Not. Save money. Gasoline is cheap in Texas.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

First week of the New Year

Sparkler wish, created, photographed, & crafted by Evie Schuetz
We thought this display should come at the top even though this week’s post starts in 2019.

And how about this photo from last Saturday? This scene is from the backyard of our geologist friend wintering in The Foothills, Yuma, Arizona.
The Crescent Moon and Venus, Yuma, AZ by Jack Powell

Monday, Dec 30

Our farrier came to trim Myst this morning. That went well.
John reported that the pile of free firewood disappeared. He had added some to round the stack you saw in last week’s blog.

We had a busy afternoon with many stops. Started at Elmview to pick up two loaves of bread: Sourdough and a Three Cheese Semolina. On to our bank for some counter checks and cash, to tide us over until our new order of checks arrives in the mail. From there we went for horse feed and sunflower seeds for the birds. On to Hospice friends, with a donation check to get in before the end of 2019. They provide a wonderful community service, and we knew one of the founders, Peg Rowbotham and loved horseback riding the trails with her. While there, I picked up a case of Ensure. On to Super 1 for some groceries.

We got home barely before dark in time for John to grain all the horses, I fed the cats, and another cat arrived later when John came back from the feeding horses.

I’ve also been trying to determine who will be able to come to the Thursday meeting for music. I have decided I cannot go because of sickness, but I have found a helper, Amy, to be my liaison for me to leave my black music bag. She and daughter Haley will take it in for me on Thursday. Some of the players do not have the ability to print 24 songs served to them by me on email. Barb Riley will fill in as violinist for me, and also because others cannot be there because of sickness.

The next entry has been on the Internet for a while now, John had seen it, but I hadn’t. It was sent by a long-time friend, who just retired and has time to surf the web. I’ll share here in case there are others of you who have missed it. Since it was originally published, commenters have shown that the whale was originally trained in Norway to fetch things.

“The video is of a South African crew, onboard the Gemini Craft, that enjoyed the company of a Beluga whale while sailing near the North Pole and played a game of fetch with the sea creature. An extraordinary moment caught on camera.”

Report on a previously trained Beluga whale

Tuesday, Dec 31

Today I was on my own to run errands. First, I went for gasoline and got all my December credits used, receiving 10 cents off every gallon (price lowered to $2.79.). Then, by Bi-Mart but we did not win any prizes.

I wrote the retired geographers’ group about possibly having no January meeting scheduled for the 2nd Wednesday of the month. I received a unanimous consent to cancel our next week’s meeting.
Contacted the music group again.
More dishes to do and the chore continues.

The rain has been a lot and we thought might dampen the fireworks, but they’re still at it. At least there’s no danger of fire. Speaking of fires, the stories from Australia are saddening and terrifying. Rebekah Lo, my former student is a meteorologist in Australia, there with her husband who is a computer guru. She sent these photographs of pyroclastic clouds from the fires below, with this comment: made 1/3/20.
“From our flight from Melbourne to Sydney just now. These are pyrocumulus, clouds and dry thunderstorms formed from heat from strong fires. Incredible and frightening.”

I found on line a short, but instructive, video of their creation process taken July 29, 2018 during the Cranton Fire, located near Idyllwild and Mountain Center, CA:

Time Lapse of Pyrocumulus Cloud Formation

Good news from our old Geography professor at the University of Cincinnati, who lives in Kiama, Australia that the fires are close but not affecting them except with all the smoke and ash. They still have road access to Sydney for supplies and are not endangered in their home.
[Because of all the fire news from OZ, John has learned about an interesting plant found only there. Next Friday’s post by John will have it.]
I was very tired when I got home after running my chores around town and finally laid down at 5:00 p.m. and slept for 1.5 hours.

Bang & Boom! Our neighbors started early tonight, with closer ones just starting their booms. Hope it doesn’t scare our horses (through the trees) in the pasture behind their backyard.

It slowed down some, and then at 12:03 a.m. we had a display of crackling lights through fireworks way into the sky over the woods behind us – very large ones of various colors.
Seattle usually lights the sky above the Space Tower but winds above a threshold set by the Fire Marshal shut that down.

Wednesday, Jan 1 Happy New Year!

John’s Grandmother, when quite young, came from Béal an Átha Móir, meaning “mouth of the big ford” – The small Irish town Ballinamore in County Leitrim, Ireland.
He did not know her, but likes the connection and reads a little about the old culture. Thus, to all – –

May the Good Lord take a liking to you — but, not too soon.
May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door
May your pockets be heavy,
Your heart be light,
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night,
Like the warmth of the sun,
And the light of the day,
may the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way.

Bad night last night. People starting shooting off fireworks during the rain, early, but continued with a lot around 11:00 p.m., slacked off, but came back at midnight and pretty much over before 12:15 a.m.

Sadly, I was awakened at 2:55 and had trouble returning to sleep until 4:30, when I had to take care of the cats inside wanting out. Finally, with John’s help we got them back in, and I went back to bed, sleeping in until 8:30 almost. Not doing as well as I would like yet, but maybe getting some better.
We just went through an hour of hard blowing rain, and harder blowing winds, supposed to be up to 41 mph today. Sun has returned, and John is finally going out at 11:00 a.m. to feed the horses.
We need to start 2020 January calendar (large desktop one, that hangs on our kitchen wall to keep track of our activities).

John replaced the free firewood at the end of our drive. This isn’t the best of wood for the purpose. We noticed the large stores sell ¾ of a cubic food for about $4. The Gorilla Cart supposedly holds 6 cu. ft., but we don’t wrap it in plastic.

Thursday, Jan 2

We got the canvas heavy duty carrier bag of music paraphernalia to Amy. We waved to her and from there we went to Xerox audience copies. Now I have 25 copies. Residents keep taking them away, so we have to be more diligent with watching and telling them to leave them behind for the next group.
While at CWU, we met with Jen Lipton, taking her several magazines—camels for her son, and some map history magazines for her. We had a nice historical maps 2020 calendar that she hung in the Geography department workroom, so lots of people will see it. While there, we also went downstairs to the receptacle for recycling various batteries. Too bad I forgot my batteries replaced in computer laptops of the past. Now I know where it is on the first floor so I can go back with more.

Friday, Jan 3

Crazy morning that started too soon with a before 7:00 a.m. phone call I could have done without. Through the day, I had 3 scammer calls.
I spent a lot of time on the phone trying to correct account issues on a credit card. I continued taking Tussin DM Cough Suppressant and Expectorant that does seem to encourage getting rid of the phlegm. John read the label and says this isn’t a good idea – for me.

I left a message for Mike at Habitat for Humanity shop and found out later in the afternoon he’d retired.

I needed to leave a message for someone on messenger, which is accessible through Facebook, so got on for a minute and this photo essay came up on my timeline. So, I’ll share.
I have known David Covert most of the time I have been in Ellensburg (since 1988).HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL THE FOUR SEASONS by David Covert.

Go to W David Covert on his Facebook account to see all the photos in their entirety. His photography is excellent.

I was headed to Kittitas today to do some errands. It was a fascinating trip from our house at 2240’ higher in the Kittitas Valley, where it was sunny and 40°. As I rounded the curves in the Naneum and proceeded SE, I viewed the fog bank in the lower valley. I called John to alert him, and he checked the I-90 and I-82 cameras. See them below in his Friday column, Not So Nasty News. I drove east on Thomas Rd, just down from our house on Naneum, turned south onto Fairview and ran into the fog near a friend’s house up from the old Grange on the corner of Brickmill Rd. That’s where our local rural fire station is; 5 miles from our home. From there the fog became severe, and I turned on my headlights and slowed down. I only had 10 miles total to go, and the last few miles were like a winter wonderland with frozen fog grasping the weeds and the evergreens people have planted in the shrub-steppe environment. When I arrived at my intended destination, the temperature was down to 30°. Yes, cold air drains downhill (but wow, a decrease of 10° in 640’ elevation change). On my trip home, I actually didn’t come out of the fog until just south of Thomas Rd.!

Saturday, Jan 4 Happy Birthday, John!

John’s already received his birthday cake and had a piece yesterday. It’s chocolate frosted chocolate cake. Also I gave him his present early, when he was online Amazon ordering some stuff for us. I needed a carrier for my new 5 Terabyte external drive. While he was there he ordered King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
I was alarmed and had to give him his present early because I had bought a book of that title for him for a birthday present. Turns out a number of similar books have been written by different authors. First compiled in 1485 by a bloke in jail, named Thomas Malory. Thankfully, he was ready to order a different author from the one I bought him. My only choice was to give him the present to open. He is happy to have both, to go with his first copy of one of the series, by author Howard Pyle, who does great illustrations too, under the Dover Press label.

It was snowing for a few minutes this morning, but now the sun is out and the wind has slowed down. It was blowing hard again last night and throwing things around making noise.

At 10:00 a.m. John’s out to do morning feeding and pick up the newspaper. A few days ago after the high winds he had to re-hang the paper holder under our mail box that got blown on the ground. Everything was fine this morning.

The rest of the day was filled with mostly staying in the house working on projects, except for John’s getting the newspaper and picking up a couple magazines from the mailbox, plus normal feeding chores of the horses.

I continued with various projects (mostly on the computer), but also tackled the dishes so now we have a clean set to use for the next couple days. I’m finishing up the blog maybe a little earlier than usual on Sunday.

I was off and on Facebook (FB) today for various reasons, the most recent is developing an acquaintance with a newly found friend through a site I recently joined, named ‘UKC Photographers’ (Upper County Photographers)—We are in Kittitas County, hence the KC. I’m happy they let me in because I truly enjoy the activity on the site. I don’t reside in the “upper county” but we spend a lot of time up there, and even more in the past when we were riding the trails there long before the Suncadia development invaded the space. We still go to the Cle Elum Clinic for our doctor and medical needs. I learned of this FB site while visiting the Swauk-Teanaway Grange, for the community Christmas dinner we attend every year, and on Sundays for 2 years we went on Sundays for a Bluegrass jam session there. We support many activities at the Grange, including their scholarships given to high school graduates in Kittitas County, who are planning on going to college. It’s open to all high school students in the county.

At the Community Christmas dinner is where I met Ginger Stogdell, who is one of the founding members of the site, and she invited me to join the FB group. We shared our email addresses at the Christmas party, and then exchanged the photographs we took that night.

All this above is by introduction to another member (Katie Kallio) who this week submitted these photos below. I commented on them and asked about the content. My first comment was asking the location of the photograph and from where it was taken, and also if I was seeing what I thought in the lower part, near the middle, of a white building. I thought it looked very much like the Swauk-Teanaway Grange. I was correct, as Katie responded to me on line. We started a conversation privately, and realized we had at least two friends in common (FB friends are listed by name, if mutual, when a person accesses a specific FB account.) We kept visiting much of the day. I cannot wait to meet her in person. She gave me permission to post any of her photos in our weekly blog. So, here’s the first!“What a Difference a Day Makes”—by Katie Kallio

We did have an interesting supper tonight. John fixed small pieces of cut up chicken breast, and I combined mine with 1/3 of the leftover Top Ramen with added vegetables and tonight I added many little piece cut from the pieces John fried. In addition, we had some small cut slices of spicy Baguette bread, that had been doctored up. I no longer have the name on the package because I repackaged them and put a few into a sandwich bag in the frig and divided the rest between two plastic bags that went to the freezer. They work for salads or soups.

Nice ½ hour talk with sister, Peggy, wishing John a Happy birthday and reminiscing about the way their family handled birthday parties. Not all we talked about, but that was at the end of the conversation. The beginning was to wish John a Happy Birthday, which she’d already done with a mailed birthday card and a couple of emails. We have been so busy today, we haven’t responded to anyone who sent a card, but we are thankful!

Sunday, Jan 5

I’m checking with a fairly new EBRG medical facility – Urgent Care, near where we play music some Saturdays. They open at 10:00 on Sunday. I’m wanting to see if they can check for a virus. My BP is way high.

On the way into EBRG I can stop at Warren’s place to pick up my Black Bag of music and we picked it up on our way by their house to urgent care.

Went to Urgent Care; and was diagnosed as “pneumonia cannot be ruled out” or maybe “bronchitis” and started on two medications to curtail it, but they didn’t have access to the previous X-ray from KVH-Cle Elum to compare. I’m going to go see my PCP tomorrow afternoon if they can work me in, for her opinion. Regardless, I need to have an INR before starting on high dosage of antibiotics and to deliver today’s chest X-ray on a CD for comparison to what’s in their system. I went today to urgent care, because I had very high blood pressure and they took me off the Tussin, (which had never increased it in the past). Gave me a “flu” test (swabs of my nose), and a chest X-ray. It took 3 hours out of our day, without truly knowing the answer. At least by the time I got there my BP was down to 132/70, which is still high, but nothing like it was in the early morning. And flu was ruled out (we have had our flu shots). [I use a battery powered wrist cuff for BP, and that might be an issue.]

We made it home at dusk – still some color in the things about, and John was able to care for the horses without having to use lights, and we have eaten a little. I took my first pill when home and will take the other before bedtime. There is heavy snow in the Cascades but not on this side yet. That’s the forecast, too, for all this coming week.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News Jan 3rd

Item #1: Tumbling Tumbleweed

Link to Trapped

Drivers along a highway near Richland, WA were trapped by… tumbleweed.
This location is about 100 miles south of us.
This happened Tues. evening 12/31.
The story seems to have made it around the world and back by Wednesday.
We haven’t been down that way in several years but did see masses of tumbleweed in a few places where fences managed to snag it. Often it is in a road cut that redirects wind over the place. Otherwise, I think it makes it to the Columbia River and heads to the Pacific Ocean.

Item #2: Lucked out

Nancy headed downslope today and called to say she was seeing fog in the Kittitas Valley. I checked the WA-DOT cameras and snagged views from the top (2,600 feet) of the ridge to the south and another from the interchange (1,600 feet) near the small town of Kittitas.The right side photo is about 6 miles north of the left side location; although the view on Manastash Ridge is more to the west.
Upon arriving in WA we made an offer on a house that gets that fog frequently; 2 miles south of the camera at I-90. Other folks made an offer a few hours before ours, so they are down in the fog. We lucked out.
Last night we had an inch of snow – now it is sunny with some thin high clouds.
Snow is coming starting tonight and lasting for several days. We won’t get a lot but the mountains 50-70 miles west will get up to 2 feet.

Item #3: Tiny tiny

Adults spend hundreds of hours making minutely detailed replicas; and I guess you can buy them just like other art pieces. The Wall Street Journal did an article from which I copied this image of the trailer-house. There is nothing to provide a sense of scale. It does say there is a rabbit pen (not seen here) with poppy seeds as droppings.The following 3 minute video does show him at work.
Ken Hamilton: Miniature Artist – Charleston, S.C.,

This one has a person’s hand for scale, scroll down:
It has still photos of a piece called “Charleston Facade” with dimensions 11 inches wide, 18 high, and 5 thick.

Item #4: 18 & world class Christopher Lake, near the center of Saskatchewan, is about as flat as a place can be. This young woman, Maia Schwinghammer, is one of the world’s best downhill moguls skiers.
How did that happen?
She began at age 4 skiing with a tow rope behind her uncle’s snowmobile. As young teens, a neighbor pulled his son and me on a toboggan behind a jeep. We had fun but it didn’t lead to a career.

Item #5: Lizard crossing

This kid, seven-year-old Jake Croker saw signs for kangaroo and emu. He wanted to save lizards, specifically one called “sleepy.” The name shingleback is also used, especially for T. rugosa asper, the only subspecies native to eastern Australia. This area is west of Adelaide, on the Yorke Peninsula.
These are slow moving blue-tongued skinks. Do an image search using those 3 words. Some skinks have green blood.
Maybe the name “sleepy” is because of them being slow moving.
I haven’t found an answer.
Anyway, here is the Link.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Christmas Week in the West

Monday, Dec 23

Started planning for the play-date at Hearthstone. It got better populated by players as the week progressed.

While cleaning in the garage, John found a bag with 4 long dresses of very large sizes. No clue where they came from, how they got there, or why. I have taken photos and will post on the free sites to get rid of them. I never wore long dresses at any weight. These are sizes 18, 20, 20, and 24.

We are having prime rib roast at the party we go to Christmas day at 4:00 p.m. Going to another before 2:00 just to visit friends (and their family) for an hour starting before their buffet potluck Christmas dinner. They will call us from Manastash Ridge as they are coming into the valley from west of Yakima, and we’ll drive over SE of our house ~11 miles. We’ll come back to feed our horses, and get down to our other Christmas dinner invite with our neighbor ½ mile away.

Today’s mail arrived from Sadie Thayer, with the paperwork for a deed for us to sign to give an old sign to the Kittitas County Historical Museum. This is their proof of what was given, who by, and a description. They already have it in their possession, but are finalizing the paperwork and also finishing the historical research on this local business (the sign dates back to 1917). Their description: It’s a metal sign with hand-painted design stating “1 mile to Ellensburg”, two motorcycles stopped on a dirt road waiting for a third, with trees lining the path and houses on the right side only, Harley-Davidson, and the advertisement for Mitchell’s Machine Shop, – Dealer -, and David L. Tittsworth. The sign measures 27-inches in width by 46 13/16-inches in height.”

This is not yet a good representative picture, because it has not been installed as planned in the museum on a wall with the documentation attached somehow, but when it is, we’ll go get a better straight-on photo and share the rest of the history of this place with you. We printed the paperwork, signed it, scanned it, and sent back to Sadie.

Tuesday, Dec 24

Started dishes, emptied dishwasher and refilled.
Trying to plan for Thursday’s music, and will be delivering the pair of very large jeans (I hope) after the music. That did not happen, but will in the future. If not, I have a backup person who is interested and wears the large size.

We talked to Kit, in CA, (John’s brother’s wife). She called us. Sounds as if she is doing well, and will turn 89 next year end of January.

I worked up a Christmas card to send. I’ll email out from our joint account. Been working on it off and on all afternoon and evening.

I started sending out Christmas wishes tonight via email, with a copy of the video of music we published in last week’s blog of our Thursday concert at an assisted living home, Meadows Place. This week I’m publishing the same music with different people but with the addition of antique sleigh bells. That performance was at another assisted living home, Prestige Senior Living at Hearthstone.

With the Christmas wish music video, I attached a photo of us on our 50th anniversary of July 12, 1969. We had no celebration this year, but we went to an event at the local senior center, with our newly acquired camera we gave ourselves for our gift, and had our photo taken with a gift we received from our cousins in Pennsylvania, Ethel, Pat, & Ken. I’ll repost it here:John & Nancy on July 12, 2019 at our local senior center
One of my former graduate students, a Native American, replied to my send, with a beautiful Christmas card: We talked with our sister Peggy tonight (in Ohio) after she returned from going to midnight mass at 10:00 p.m.! We found that timing interesting.

Tonight, our friend Evie Schuetz crafted gingerbread houses with her family; this one is Evie’s creation:Evie Schuetz’s Gingerbread House
The whole family participates in these creations every Christmas eve.

Wednesday, Dec 25

We hope everyone received a Christmas Wish on email from us. If you did not, please let Nancy know. It started with It is described above in yesterday’s write-up, and was in last week’s blog on Thursday.

We made an earlier call to Pennsylvania to talk with John’s 101 yr. old cousin, Ethel, who was visiting her daughter, Pat, for Christmas. It is Pat’s birthday today (they celebrated hers last weekend). Today is a green Christmas for them, with temperatures in the 50s; we are 20° lower. We have snow on the ground but it is not snowing.

John just sent me this email this morning, with the subject line, “Commas.” On this day, many, many moons ago Adam said to Eve: “It’s Christmas Eve”.

We are getting ready to celebrate two Christmas dinners, after our early morning getting up, and having breakfast.
We need to go to the first before 2:00 p.m. to visit (did not eat) at the Orcutt’s family farm, meeting a few of the family there. Suzy West is one of the many children of the Orcutts, both of whom have passed over the rainbow bridge. I knew them before meeting the rest of the family. They came to dance at the senior center on Fridays, where I played with a few others for the old time dance music starting in 1990.

Bob & Suzy will call us from Manastash Ridge and we will meet them at Jen’s house on Fox Road, about 11 miles SE of our house. Bob was my student in 1997, in Geography, and he was married to Suzy. So our connection to the family has continued. We joined them for Christmas dinner every year and for other family celebrations. We will visit an hour and come home to feed the horses while there is still daylight, and we can shut the doggie door (window) and keep the raccoon out of the den.

We are invited for prime rib dinner at our neighbor, Joanie Lee, down Naneum Road (a mile, round trip), 4:00 p.m. Boy what a huge amount of really good food. I’ll see if I can remember it all: started with a table full of hors d’oeuvres (including more than crackers, cheese, meat, seafood, and dips). John and I drank Pepsi. With the prime rib (au jus, if you wanted), they served twice baked potatoes, with cheese, green bean casserole, green salad, water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, deviled eggs, rolls, and a baked ham. 3 different pies for dessert: apple, pumpkin, huckleberry/raspberry with ice cream.

Thursday, Dec 26

Playing at Hearthstone today, the same music that was in our Christmas card we sent out starting yesterday via email, except we added sleigh bells, so you may wish to check the link below for the added wintertime historical effect.

I visited Bi-Mart for Christmas candy, and on by for a short visit with neighbor Ken, who’s temporarily at the rehab.

Posted to UKC Photographers one of silver frost on barbed wire and on chain link fence – one each. Had nice comments on the photos. You have already seen them in the photo collection Dec 17 published as a link in the blog.
Today, another UKC Photographer member posted a wonderful photo of one of my favorite things in the skyscape, a sun dog:Photo by Scott Seymour, with his permission to print

I went early to Hearthstone to set up the chairs, and to and set up video for filming the December music including sleigh bells, we played our last time this year, minus our last song, A’Soalin’.
Thanks so much to Reta Hutchinson for bringing her grandfather’s sleigh bells that date back to the early 1900s. We had quite a crowd, even with so many missing players and audience members. Having Barb Riley join us was absolutely wonderful. We had an appreciative audience, and probably the best cake dessert many of us have eaten. It was a piece sized ~2″ x 2″ of two rich chocolate layers (almost the consistency of a brownie, with a white filing, and a peppermint type frosting. We stood around at the end visiting, eating, and talking about it.

NOTE on this video below, you might want to pull the start to 4:20 minutes in to get to the December music with sleigh bells.

Music with Sleigh Bells, 12-26-19

One more after Christmas creation by my photographer friend, of whom I have shared her photos in the blog on many occasions, Evie Schuetz, taken the day after Christmas before taking down all her Christmas decorations:Evie’s kitchen counter, tree, & decorations through a crystal ball lens. What a wondrous creation! Her photographic captures never cease to amaze me. Photo by Evie Schuetz, Kittitas, WA

Friday, Dec 27

We woke to an inch of fresh fluffy snow.

Seems checks are still needed. Knowing they were very high priced, I called Umpqua Bank, to ask the price of checks ordering through them. It would be 80 checks for $55, even higher than the last time I asked, and when I decided to stop using them. But, there are times one needs to write a check, so I needed to get some ordered. The recommendation from the banker was, “Go through Costco, if you have a membership there. Costco uses the same check printing company.”

Here is the meat of this story that took more than 1-1/2 hours of my time today, spaced out over the day, starting at 10:00 a.m. on the phone with my local bank (twice) and with a call to the Harland Clarke® Check Printing company in New Braunfels, TX, Costco’s exclusive provider of checks and forms, also twice. The first call was supposed to result in a returned call from the company, but it never came. I got on line again to their website and followed the instructions to order checks based on my Premium membership through Costco, which is supposed to save me 50% on charges. The percentage savings is much more than that. I haven’t calculated, but need to figure the difference of going through my bank or going through the same company using my Costco membership number.

Here is the most important part of this story. Get online through Costco to order checks and see the information you need to input, but do NOT order through there. Do it in person via the phone number below. You need to figure out such things as these: the Item # of the check style you choose, the lines of information you want printed on the checks, and the decisions about single or duplicate (I recommend duplicates for filing purposes later). Go ahead and type it into the web order form to see the actual spacing on the check: Bank routing #, your checking account #, what you want written on the top of the check (allowed two lines for names), then address, and I added one phone number (our landline) because it’s the only one with reception, e.g., I put our Phone number on the last line after the address.

Below is the toll-free phone number to give your check printing order in person to a live person (and in my case the amount was a few cents less than on the web). I could have my computer in my lap and receive the shipping notice and the confirmation report through my email account, and make changes, if needed. There was one change on my shipping label (which had been written correctly on the checks).
(Toll free) -> 1-(855) 556-5283, for ordering checks with a live person in TX

(Some of the information is repeated here, but this is a good summary): Here are my results: We have a premium membership with Costco, which allowed us to get two boxes of checks (total 382) for $14.44 (plain blue, my choice). My bank (Umpqua) wants $55 from the same company for only 80 checks, so they actually recommend to their customers to go through Costco for their checks, if they have a membership. However, do NOT go through the Internet to complete the order, but ONLY to know what information they will need (see above).

On an unrelated item: coffee in the Costco warehouse January brochure – Nescafe’s Taster’s Choice House Bend Coffee for 14 oz. bottle. I called Costco and found the price is $13.99, that’s $4.20 off starting after the first of the year. I buy a TurboTax package there, also. We will be going that way soon because the little blue Subaru is due for service.

Outside: John finally cut up a tree limb that had fallen in September.With some older pieces, also, he carried a heaping Gorilla Cart load of firewood to put at the end of our driveway with a FREE WOOD sign. After someone takes that he has another load ready to go.

I’ve been working on music for Jan/Feb, and on several other needs for cleaning stacks of materials, clothing, dishes, file folders, emails, dealing with problems with getting new checks purchased. Sending Jacquie Lawson cards and fixing up problems.

Saturday, Dec 28

Started with an early rising to let in cats at 4:30 a.m. who had gone out at 1:10 a.m. but did not return, and couldn’t because of the doggie “window” door being closed to keep out the raccoon. Back to sleep until 8:00 a.m. and John stayed up; I slept another hour because I had stayed up until midnight last night.

I realized when going for my first medicine of the day, that my medicine dispenser for the week was empty. The first pills I put in for mornings are for Entresto which is taken twice daily as 1 -1/2 pills. We need to break the pill in half, which John is able to do by hand and not use a pill splitter. He does a few of my pills I cannot get done at the pharmacy, and split me enough for a couple weeks. He also broke my Magnesium pills for the evening when only a half is taken, but whole is in the morning. I have one more med to use my pill splitter on for the rest of a bottle that now has been lowered in dosage.

So, I began other things on the computer. One was searching for the ID of a hawk my friends saw in the south part of our valley. We seldom see hawks, except for Red-Tailed ones. I talked to her Thursday, and suggested checking the Cornell Ornithology site. Their identification web site is exceptional, especially the chance to compare like species and to see maps of their location for breeding and non-breeding areas.

While searching, I somehow adjusted the brightness down on my screen so had to go into settings to make the change to where I could see what I was typing. I searched the web and found this advice; “Windows 10: Select Start, choose Settings, and then select System > Display. Under Brightness and color, move the Change brightness slider to adjust the brightness.”
I don’t know what I did to lose it, but I have it back now.

John’s now out feeding the horses. Our temperature is above freezing, but there is no sun yet. I spent time emptying the dishwasher and soaking dirty dishes to pack into the washer. Time spent on email, and switching soon, back to this blog. It may be shorter this week than usual, which will please John. His nasty news put out Friday contains a lot of information, particularly about the construction (repairing) process in our attached garage (which not used for cars).

John just returned from feeding to get his camera for a photo of the free wood sign and wood at the driveway entrance. Will be interesting to see how fast it disappears.Lunch: scrambled eggs combo (with ham, onions, red peppers, & cheese) with toast for brunch, when I uncovered some of his pants full of hay pieces that needed shook out, before washing. When he stepped outside the back door, he saw a nicely antlered buck, so grabbed his camera and got a couple photos before the guy jumped the fence. I got to see him too straight on, but we have no photos that way. He looks young and we cannot really tell if he has 4 points on both sides or not, but suspect he does. We have not had any large bucks around here this year, as in the past.Continuing with my chores. I’m alternating with them and writing the draft of the blog. We are not going anywhere today.

I finished putting my medicines in the container for this next week. Also managed to order refills from the new Kaiser Permanente Mail Order Pharmacy. My most expensive medication is Entresto but through them I get a 90-day supply for the price of two months ($80). Also ordered 90 days of Spironolactone for only $10 total.

I added cell & land line phone numbers to my cell phone for Katie at Briarwood. She is going to help repair our Christmas sweaters during their crafters workshop on Fridays from 10 to noon. I need to go to the senior center this coming Friday (1-3), for a party, so I will combine trips with lunch and games (including a game of Jeopardy).

Searching for some information, I found this old link to my past in the 1950s and 1960s. It was in the 2011 web page sent for annual greetings, which we have quit doing, with our weekly blog’s existence. Look below and see me playing a Ukulele in a Brownie band, singing at 3 yrs old in the Cherub Choir, and some other unique things back to high school days (as reminisced with classmates at our 50th High School Reunion in 2011).

Nancy’s past, Garden Hills Elementary & North Fulton High School, Atlanta, GA

I succeeded tonight in sending the November KAS (Bird) meeting report on Fungus among us, out to the Kittitas Audubon Society mailing list. Also sent the photos from the Dec 20 AAC Christmas Party to a list of folks I know as members of the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center (our senior center).

Sunday, Dec 29

We’re not sure what today will bring, but we are staying home.
Completed dishes, finished blog draft, setup the announcement for playing KVF&F schedule, trying to get a look at all January dates, but this Thursday is most important. Need to setup going to Geography tomorrow with ream of paper, etc., and master of Jan-Feb music with the additional couple of changes I need to print out and add to the end. Better get going on that chore.

John went to the swamp with his gorilla cart to bring up some previously cut firewood. He just returned and has fed horses and quail – if they come.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News December 27

Item #1: A look at the dropped ceiling

We mentioned my project for the holidays. The garage ceiling was calling: “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Below is how it looked.The piece is 5 ft. wide and 11 ft long. It mostly stayed intact except for the right side – note blue oval. The metal rail (only one shown ) for the overhead-door, and the old box, prevented a farther drop and a more serious breaking apart of the plaster-board (aka drywall).
The current recommendation is to use (ceiling) drywall screws at the rate of one every 6 inches. Photo two, below, shows a problem.
Nails were used, with an okay length {1.5 in. through ½ inch material}. However, they are not screws and they are not 6 in. or less apart.Because thin nails tend not to hold well as the wood ages, and drywall is heavy, about 64 pounds for 10x4x half-inch piece, these can sag or fall under various circumstances.
A complicating issue is that here-&-there a nail will stay in the wood and pull through the sheet. One such is on the left side of the blue oval in the top photo. There is some plaster on it, so it looks like a white dot. All nails have to be removed before the sheet can be shoved back into its place.

Did I mention I am not fond of standing on things and reaching over my head to do stretching exercises as required here?

I used 2x4s and 2x6s to get it up and hold it there. So, for now I have stopped the flow of heat from the garage where the water tank and softener are. The original ‘build’ did not include heat or insulation in this 2-car garage. We use small oil-filled radiant heaters to keep it above freezing. The other side came down just like this years ago, and a corner in another place. Twenty years has gone by, and now the third episode.
Time for a full-fix out there. Perhaps, in the spring we will have a contractor convert the car-space to living-space. The would be a major expense. A minimum will be to replace the ceiling, garage doors, insulate thoroughly.
Looking into it now. Happy New Year!

Item #2: The bottle opener

A fancy building, the Shanghai World Financial Center, has been called the “bottle opener.”Use your imagination.

Item #3: Word play

This photo of a dumpster was posted. Is the wording a comment on the “state of being” of the thing, or a directive. Either way, it is likely an unnecessary use of paint.
Item #4: Equally cute If you had a boat with batteries, you can float along side one of these things and plug in.

Item #5: Christmas time bloomer
My photo snap for this is an “in close” view but the amazing thing is that it is Christmas time and this thing is blooming.
The Nuytsia floribunda, or ‘Aussie Christmas tree’ as it is commonly known, bursts into bright orange life each December. Well, it is summer near Perth, so having things bloom is not out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, this is out of the ordinary.
This is a giant mistletoe only be found in the south-west corner of Western Australia and is the world’s tallest parasitic tree. Do have a look.
Aussie Christmas tree

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Name after himself !
Meaning of name: Nuytsia is named in honour of Pieter Nuyts, a member of the council of the Dutch East Indies who sailed along the south and west coasts of Australia in Gulde Zeepard in 1627 and named the land Pieter Nuyts Land. Floribunda is from the Latin words floris, meaning flower, and abundus, meaning abounding in.
Aboriginal name: Mooja

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Christmas Season underway

Monday, Dec 16 This beautiful Wintry Scene creation was done by Evie Schuetz.

Here is her explanation of the creation (starting from a photo of her favorite tree in the Kittitas High School Parking Lot):

I enjoyed making this one quite a bit. I took the photo of the tree a few days ago when we got all that nice new snow, and then I mashed it up with a photo I took last winter of the Columbia river. Kinda fun looking at the Columbia River bank running through the school parking lot…

I started this morning before John for a change. I was up feeding an outside cat (Woody, which is a little late for her normal arrival) and letting an inside cat (Czar) out. Right about 6:30, I could see a pretty purple and blue pastel sunrise through the trees. Later, when I got up to stay, the fog had rolled in and nothing was visible.

I began my detective work today talking with my PCP’s office referral coordinator, Susan, about an imaging referral for my Mammogram to the local hospital. I called to question the date on mine Dec 11, 2019 that was not in the time frame for Medicare to pay for it (supposed to be at least one day and a year after for the next image).

She had sent electronically saying on the paperwork, “is due for Mammo after 12-11-19.”

It was scheduled wrongly by an Imaging department’s scheduler and caught by my technician, Rose, on December 11, 2019, when I went in for my appointed time.

I called the hospital, and asked Donna, the main scheduler, how many others work there, because she knew she had not scheduled my appointment. She answered three. I asked her to notify the others when scheduling, because it should not have happened when the paperwork came from my PCP’s office with the correct date I’d had it last year. She is going to bring it up in a meeting (they have one every morning) to be sure the date is scheduled for one day AFTER the previous year’s mammogram. I asked her to thank Rose (the technician) and to put my next planned (Jan 21) a request for her to be the technician to do my mammogram. I guess as John says, it’s the patient’s responsibility to follow up on all this. I had Donna check the referral records, and the previous year’s date WAS written in the box at the bottom of the referral. In my opinion, it should not be my responsibility to check on such things. It should be flagged in the computer system, when they make the appointment. They have complete medical records there in their system, and I have always had it done there.

I have been working on photos for 3 links I put in the blog without proper completion. I started with the AAC Christmas decorations, and finished those (58 photos). If you didn’t get the links, I’ll put them here in this blog, but they have been corrected in last week’s blog. Here’s the first:

Christmas at AAC 2019 photos by Nancy

The second was at the Community Christmas Dinner at the Grange in Cle Elum

Swauk-Teanaway Grange Christmas, 12-8-19 pix by Nancy

I have now finished the third, my trip to Kittitas to deliver the jump drive with the videos on it to Evie Schuetz to put on her YouTube site. That was a success.
I took photos on my way there and back, now in this blog.

Below is one link to Google Photos for 30 photos I stored:

Trip to Kittitas 12-14-19

Tuesday, Dec 17

I got up and turned on a bathroom heater, showered and am eating cheesy biscuit made last night by John, and I’m about ready to go for haircut at 11:30 a.m. to Celia’s, around our rural block.

I had a morning call from Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy mail order. My Rx for Metoprolol is in and on profile, so having just filled it, I will call when it runs out in 3 mos.

John got a last minute dental appointment for consideration of a root canal today at 2:00 p.m. in Yakima with Eric Fillmore (where he has been before in 2011).

On my way to and from town, I took photos of the hoar frost (or silver frost).
Here are some captures on the Naneum Fan:Frost on Naneum Road and at our entrance

Silver frost on barbed wire and on chain link fence on our place

Below is one link to Google Photos for 17 photos I stored:

Silver Frost on Naneum Fan, 12-17-19

After my haircut and late lunch I did errands in town. I didn’t get home until after dark, which is NOT good with a raccoon that checks in regularly and I had left the doggie door window open for the two cats and dog. Luckily, nothing happened, in my absence.

John called and reached me still in town, via my cell phone. He was just leaving the dental office at 4:15 p.m. with his new root canal, and was heading to Costco to buy my request of Fruitcakes and also he got two jars of Nescafe coffee. They quit selling the one we preferred (Folgers Instant Coffee). He got home about 6:00 p.m. Maybe we won’t have to visit Yakima again in 2019.

I’m finally able to sit down after immersing dirty dishes to soak in hot soapy water before putting in the dishwasher first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, Dec 18

We had 5 singers using sleigh bells brought by Reta from her grandfather’s collection, a harmonica player (Dean), me on the violin, singing and announcing, and a drummer (on a cardboard box). I had copies of the music for the audience and several joined in. On songs they knew, others added their voices. Many compliments at the end, and we played a total of 18 songs in about 44 minutes.

NANCY at beginning, in front of their tree.Came home to much work; and was ready to go to town for a party at the Kittitas County Historical Museum, but just before 4:30, when it was already dark and John went up to get the mail and close the gates, our hay delivery truck came down the driveway with 2 tons of hay. A floodlight on a nearby shed shines onto the place where the hay is unloaded.

I was feeling tired so I canceled our trip to town. Talked with Sadie the director, and she’s going to meet with us later about a sign we donated to the museum. I need to get a photograph of it. She has been doing research and found out some very interesting information about the sign, an original painting on metal.

She will be typing the documentation and give us a copy of it. They are going to give us paperwork for a tax deduction consistent with other signs of businesses in their collection. Some of the neon business signs are worth money in 5 digits. Amazingly, she said ours was in the 4 digits category, and another one was in a collection of an Ellensburg family that was sold to the Red Horse Dinner but that one (in 4 digits) was not nearly in as good a condition as ours. This is all surprising to us because we have never made this type of donation. Maybe we can get rid of more stuff.

Supper: Frozen lasagna, with added summer sausage and Havarti cheese, plus cheddar, a cubed baked Honeycrisp apple in cinnamon & brown sugar.

Thursday, Dec 19

Did a bunch of stuff before leaving, had a small brunch, dressed in more Christmas clothes, and took off for town a few minutes early; good thing, ran into snow down the road 3 miles. It was snowing harder as I went south.

I went into Pacifica at 1:15 to unload music and violin at the door, and then parked my car. It was beginning to snow big snowflakes and coming down fast. I returned to the building, met up with another player, and we went into the dining room. Terri was setting up our chairs.

Maury and Marilyn were already there. We have a bunch of things to be done for setup. Everyone was there in plenty of time, but we were short on any audience members, so at 2:45, I went out to find Terri to request her knocking on doors to invite people down. She had already asked two aides to do that, but I told her no one was there yet, and we were ready to start. We visited a bit more, and then started our program at 10 minutes to 2:00 p.m. More people started arriving but we had plenty of audience music copies.

Before the day was over, Terri returned with a bag of presents for those expected to be there today. Here’s 2 photos of the gift:Activities director Terri had left the room by the time we ended, so I distributed the gifts she’d brought.

We went out to find our cars adorned in 4” of snow. I did not have a broom or brush so had to get creative to be able to see out of the windows to drive home (and give my friend Sandy a ride home). She used her cane handle and I used my gloves and my small blade for removing ice and snow on the windows, and top of the doors and car. Still a lot of snow came inside the car.

Roads home were white and treacherous. Some road sections were unplowed.

Friday, Dec 20

We moved a bit faster this morning in anticipation of going to the Christmas party at the senior center (Ellensburg Adult Activity Center). We got there just after 11:00 p.m. and found a place by the back door, and I took some photos of people and decorations while waiting for our South Lake Tahoe friends.

I have left room for one link to all photos I took today at the party, but for now, here is John with Sonja, his plate of food, and his Merry Christmas sweater. The food is turkey casserole w/ veggies and mixed green salad. We think the turkey is left from Thanksgiving (frozen).Sonja and John shortly after they arrived, earlier, John eating.

Kevin and Sonja at AAC; Nancy at home after because we forgot to take one together with them.

Kevin is a serious bike rider, Sonja is a horses and dogs person. Good thing he is a veterinarian.
When the program started, the four of us went to the empty computer room.

Our friends (Sonja & Kevin Willitts from S. Lake Tahoe) stopped on their way east from Issaquah (15 mi. east of Seattle), where they spent the night with friends, had breakfast, just a couple hours before they got to us. They called from about 15 minutes away (according to her smart iPhone).
We were served lunch about 11:30: John had finished eating when they arrived, but I was busy taking photos and taking bites of lunch.

There was a gift exchange (we took two gifts, but John didn’t participate). I left them visiting, stayed through the gift exchange, to take a few pictures, and then I rejoined them. The gift I won was a platter of cookies, which I took to share at the Briarwood party on Saturday. Also, at the AAC while they were there, was an Ugly Sweater contest and a friend won it. I had taken a photo of her earlier in the day. Once the program was over, there were photos with Santa. This was the first year since 2010 that I did not have my photo taken, sitting on Santa’s knee, with Mrs. Claus present. She wasn’t there with him today.

Here is Jacquie (left) who won the ugly sweater contest with friend Erin.

Below is one link to Google Photos for 53 photos I stored:

AAC Christmas Party, 12-20-19

On our way home, we stopped to deliver a gift to my friend, Vicki Lennox, and this is our Christmas photo.I guess you’re going to get tired of seeing me in this outfit. I cannot find my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Sweatshirt, an alternate thing I often wear.

Saturday, Dec 21

Busy morning getting ready to leave.
Went to Briarwood and we had a good turnout of players and audience.Dessert table and what was on the back of the table for us to have with coffee or ice water. From silly face, crossed eyes to crossed feet with a smirk; right smiling (on her way in) with her bowl of peppermint candies and candy canes for the residents (who love her).

I also presented some gifts to Haley and her mom, Amy after we played music:Haley with her “I Believe in Santa” cup and Amy with matching cup to her sweater with unicorn and rainbow. Note, Haley took the photo on the right.

Supper: Turkey breast, gravy, baked Honeycrisp apple cubes. We lost a butternut squash casserole with pecans and marshmallows. That in a Corning Ware dish missed the oven rack and crashed into the floor. The not yet browned marshmallows were easier to clean up than had they been crisp and gooey inside. So sad. We had a small piece of red velvet cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Sunday, Dec 22

This was sent to me on Facebook, by my friend Amy Davison. For those of you with Facebook access, you will appreciate this link:

Ice Tsunami in Dudinka, Russia

The town is along a river that flows north, via the Yenisei Gulf ( Yeniseyskiy Zaliv), into the Kara Sea – Arctic Ocean.

John fixed us a nice lunch: chunks of turkey breast and pieces of button mushroom with Havarti cheese melted on it; side French fries.

John’s got an unanticipated project. The garage ceiling failed, again, with plasterboard falling onto the garage door rails. He will report on this and the fix next Friday.

Because the garage is used as a place to store “stuff” – we’ve never used it as a place to park our cars – he has been moving things around and out. A space 12 ft. by 6 ft. has to be cleared so he can work from a stepladder.
This is forcing us to sort through and get rid of some things. Once he finds something we don’t need, I’ll take photos and pass them along via the Free Facebook distribution sites.

Supper: Creamy four cheese Rice-a-Roni w/ turkey breast chunks, butternut squash w/roasted marshmallows, baked Honeycrisp apple cubes. The turkey breast weighed over 4 pounds. Some will have to be packaged as frozen dinners.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan