Sunday, March 10
Left, below, is March 10, with cold fog in the Valley. We left for Seattle in the middle of the night and the temperature down there was about 2°F.
We were in the sunshine much of the day, and the Kittitas Valley lower elevations were covered in fog, and all the trees we saw the next morning on our way to Seattle, were covered in frozen fog and iced all over. Even the cattails in the side ditches were sparkling. Now a week later on St. Patrick’s Day we are in bright sunshine with beautiful blue skies, and outside our temperature is ~ 40°. At the airport 5 miles south, it is 37°. By 3:00 p.m. today, at the airport it reached 50°. Spring has arrived with a foot of snow still on our place.
Monday, March 11
For today, we are at the long-awaited trip to Seattle to consult with the shoulder surgeon, Dr. Rick Matsen III, about the potential of solving my severely arthritic shoulder with a complete shoulder replacement. Recall that I fell a few weeks ago, and could barely function. We are approaching this with a lot of concern about the ramifications on me with all my related heart issues that might throw a monkey wrench into the process.
Years ago, my original cardiologist – Dr. Kim, warned that it was a life threatening operation, that I should not consider, because of the general anesthesia required. We were hopeful that medical technology had moved ahead and perhaps it would now be possible, under the guiding medical eyes of the best surgeon team, with MDs, cardiologists, and anesthesiologists from the best hospital in the west (UW). I was referred there by my now-retired Primary Care Physician, who had Dr. Matsen replace his shoulder 2 years ago, successfully.
The two doctors consulting with us allowed me to videotape all the information and comparison of my shoulder x-rays from 2016 to the present in January after the fall, and the 3 x-rays taken Monday morning at UW. (They are advanced in their radiology capture!). John and I got to see views of my shoulder, on an x-ray taken with me lying down, viewed from under the ball and socket to see an unusual (but telling and educational) view of the actual proximity and relationship of the ball in socket.Left normal view of my left shoulder, showing bone-on-bone with ball in socket, bone spurs, and bone cysts, & my ICD that looks like a mean man starring out from inside my body. The image on the right was taken from underneath the shoulder, providing a totally different perspective to view the misalignment.
The surgeon, Dr. Rick, was incredibly concerned and honest, telling us about his personal life. He said he was 75, the same age as I, and has been married for 52 years (we have been married for 50 years, this year). His wife has an unusable right (dominant hand) shoulder problem she will live the rest of her life with, but without a complete shoulder replacement. His recommendation for me was with my heart issues, the same life-threatening issues still exist for me as I had been warned about in 2016 by another surgeon from Yakima. He was pleased how much I had stretched and exercised to recover almost the range of motion I was experiencing prior to the Jan 24 fall, and asked if I was coping well? Was there great pain? (No.) Could I live with it? Of course, my response was a definite yes.
Since 2016, I have learned to make adjustments and I am able to participate in fiddling, sometimes 3-4 times weekly, in assisted living homes, FISH food bank lunch, and retirement homes, providing music; I also participate in exercise classes at the Senior Center (SAIL, Silver Sneakers, Jazzercise, and Dancing there), just by altering certain of the over-the-shoulder moves. Our music group (Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends) also visits the Senior Center for special days, with patriotic music (July 4 celebration and Veteran’s Day).
Our consultation meeting lasted from 7:00 a.m. until after 10:00 and involved two medical doctors and a technician (including the radiology technician at the start of my day). They are thorough and it was a great experience. Young Dr. Matt did initial things, much like physical therapy, noting what I could do, or not do. Elder Dr. Rick continued with questions, explanations, and advice. They agreed the shoulder was in bad shape. That they could replace it. And, that they advised against doing so.
After obtaining a CD with the x-ray imagery taken today of my left shoulder, and watching the fish swim in the waiting room aquarium, we proceeded to the kiosk to pay our $12.00 parking fee for the underground parking on Roosevelt Way, and continued our day by heading toward Seattle’s waterfront.
The office had several tanks of fish. Several were of a half-round type. See this one. Back in the early 1980s, John suggested to the owners of the mall in Moscow, Idaho that they get something such as these. They are a great attraction. These at the medical facility get cleaned every week. Very nice. We wonder now whether or not other buildings at UW have similar things?
From the parking garage, we drove south on old streets of Seattle, through Capitol Hill (disputed source of name thereof), en-route to Pike Place Market.
First, a few photos of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle.Street scene Capitol Hill Seattle – Boxwood sculptured
We stopped because it was a beautiful structure and the Seattle Tower can be seen from the back parking lot of the church. We didn’t know until later that Cameron’s mom’s ashes are enterred in this church. She was a minister.
We had a fun trip down the hilly streets to the piers and market. We saw familiar places as REI Co-Op where we have shopped.
Trip down Stewart to the bay, hilly terrain and fun views First views of the Pike Place Market:
We took a right here and were lucky to find a free parking space.
Passed other lots where the cost was $5.00 for a half hour!
We walked in by a bunch of vendors and I snapped photos.Woodworker’s crafts appealed to me.
Lots of fancy flowers. Who buys them? Why?
Maybe helps to cover the smell of the fresh seafood?
Lots of fish selling going on.. have to put in two:
I’d rather go gather my own Morels. No price listed, and no one to ask. The dates looked good, but expensive as everything else.
We spent a couple of hours in and out of the 5th floor Northwest Tastings shop, overlooking Elliot Bay, with a view of cruise ships, ferries, tugboats, the snow-capped Olympics, and even the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Did not see a big ocean-going container ship.
We were there with the owner, Cameron Fries (Vigneron & Vintner) of White Heron Cellars & Mariposa Vineyard (west of Quincy, WA), where John volunteers wine grapevine pruning and occasional bottling. We enjoy their winery events throughout the year as well.Made it to:
Northwest Tastings in Pike Place Market
A 2 minute video. Watch for the huge timber behind Cam’s head.
After we had an interesting (not the best in my book) Pike Place BBQ lunch, Cameron gave us a tour of the market, which we had already seen some of the crafts and farm tables going through to get to his shop. We learned the history of the market (started in 1907) utilizing very large timbers to build the structure. Big trees were plentiful and cheap, back then.
We met other vendors he has gotten to know there, and got an excellent behind the scenes view. We walked all over, and my Fitbit recorded almost 2 miles for the day. A young lady in need of mental help came by. We even saw the original Starbuck’s on the street in front of the market. We left and drove home, not arriving until about 3:00 p.m.
Ending this day with a prize winning photo from our friend, EvieMae Schuetz, winner of the Old Farmer’s Almanac Weekly Cover Competition for her sunset tonight, of the Stuarts.Sunset in the Kittitas Valley over the Stuarts, by Evie Schuetz.
Tuesday, March 12
I dropped my effort – it got increasingly complicated – about helping with getting Meals on Wheels for taking food to a person who had back surgery and cannot drive for 6 weeks. I arranged for volunteers to pick up the meals and deliver them to his rural house, and also had people willing to travel to another facility to pick up frozen dinners for the weekend and other meals through the day, other than the hot meals made at the FISH food bank for Senior Nutrition, Mondays – Thursdays. In order to set it up, the person in need had to be interviewed in his home and examined at his house to determine his eligibility, making the request himself. Originally, it was meant as a good wish and nice gesture by his friends to help out, but we knew he would not want to participate in the qualification process, because he felt he had enough food on hand and did not want to bother anyone.
We also stopped by my Pharmacy with a prescription for my Amoxicillin, to pick it up later in the day, so I would have it for my Wednesday dental visit for teeth cleaning and full mouth x-rays
I had to go to the hospital lab today to have a recheck on my INR and potassium midday. That was accomplished.
John and I stopped by the Bi-Mart store to check our numbers for prizes, and look for the place to pick up WA license tabs for our plates, on the south side of town (rather than the courthouse). By going there for pickup, the $5.00 fee goes to our county funds, whereas, if we go to the courthouse, the $5.00 goes to pay for Ferry Funding on the west side. We’d rather the money stay in our Kittitas County.
Before we left town, we went to Fred Meyer and took advantage of their special sale for Gatorade G Zero (means zero calories) and if buying 10, we get the price of 77₵/32 oz. bottle.
While there we ran into several people we knew, so it was a useful stop to catch up on news.
Wednesday, March 13
I started at dentist at 11:00 for my teeth cleaning and full mouth x-rays. Here is the evidence I succeeded in making the appointment: The one on the lower left shows the socket for the recently extracted tooth (#30) in potential of infecting my bloodstream with bacteria to eat on my Mitral valve (porcine) replacement.
Then after scheduling 3 dental appointments for the future, I drove to the FISH food bank and participated (late) in singing with the group—Irish songs and others.
Stayed and had lunch with the bunch until 1:30. I probably didn’t get home until a little after 2:00, and did some computer work, and then was sitting in my recliner going to sleep, so I turned off my computer and lay down. I got a phone call at 3:30 talked for a few minutes and went back to sleep until 6:25! Guess I needed it.
Thursday, Mar 14
John left at 11:30 to drive to White Heron to prune wine grapevines from 1:00 – 4:00.
Today, I went to help with music at Meadows Place. We had a great turnout and a good audience, with lots of thank yous and compliments at the end.
Friday, Mar 15
John left at 11:30 to drive to White Heron to prune wine grapevines from 1:00 – 4:00.
I left earlier today to get gasoline before going to the AAC for St. Paddy’s Day party.
Then I was off for the Senior Center, and a great day of entertainment and reconnecting with friends, as I have been away from there for a long time with all my recent health issues.
I have missed exercise, Silver Sneakers, and dancing classes in my time away, and have not been to any weekly events since the end of January. For lunch they served corn beef, cabbage, and carrots, and a banana pudding for dessert.
What great news on the Ides of March!
Needed to figure how to print (after numbered) the last 7 songs for March/April audience music copies. I need to print a few copies back to back to add to old copies from 2016 & 2017. John helped me finish this project.
I took a bunch of pictures of the folks there, and have some photos of myself as well. Maybe I’ll just include it here and send you the link to the others next week.
Nancy in her wearing of the green.
My musician friends, Barb Riley, Roberta Clark, and Tim Henebry (with Celtic music group, Prairie Spring), played music for us for an hour.
Barb (Violin), Roberta (on Bodhrán and also Autoharp), and Tim (on Guitar & Cittern). Cittern is the instrument in the photo standing at the end.
Saturday, Mar 16
I went to Briarwood for our 3rd Saturday fun of the month.
We retrieved my old mandolin case from the back room covered with > 15 years of dust, and I’m slowing vacuuming it to take to a player to see if he wants to buy it for his friend. Mine is a Fender. I cannot play it, except for picking individual notes (it’s strings are tuned the same as a violin), but my left hand cannot get the range of motion to do chords on it, and I took a week long course at the WA Old Time Fiddlers Summer Workshop years ago, only to realize I was unable to play it. It’s a nice mandolin. Because paper-proof of our Car Insurance was ended today, March 16th, I spent time putting all the updated paperwork in envelopes. Now we need to get those to the glove compartments of all our vehicles. It felt good to have that behind me. I took my own with me today to drive to town, and John put his in his Crosstrek, but the pickup trucks will have to wait until later. We have those near the door, ready to go out.
I also had a canvas shopping bag with a 4” seam missing, so I asked Rita (our singer), if she would be able to sew it up on her machine. She told me to bring it today, and she would be happy to. Not only did she take it and sew up the hole, she brought me another lovely handmade (by Rita) shopping bag that is lined. It’s lovely and would have been just the ticket for carrying my medical paperwork over to Seattle, this past Monday.
John’s onion starts arrived today in the mail, from south Texas near the Mexico border, Carrizo Springs, TX, a little ahead of time to plant, but that’s the breaks. Happened last year as well.
Thanks to the ladies at Briarwood, headed by Lee, Jo Ellen, with helpers Connie, Kathy, and Deirdre for putting on a fine dinner after music. No picture here of Lee’s homemade Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Veggies (carrots, celery, mushrooms), and large chunks of white meat of chicken. It was scrumptiously good, as was everything. Betty’s great corn flake cookies and Lee’s Shamrock sugar cookies added a special touch, but the birthday cake not shown cut in these pictures was a highlight. Chocolate cake two-layered, with the yummiest cream-cheese frosting you have ever had. Everyone enjoyed it.
Dessert table on left, and sandwich and salads on right.
Sun, March 17 Happy St. Patrick’s Day
I slept in until 8:30 a.m. and John has now been out to feed the horses, and I have been working on the blog. He’s headed out to move snow, to make a place to plant the onions starts. We have had a foot or so of snow on the ground. All of February and to Wednesday of this week, none of it went away. Over the last 3 days the snow has gotten softer and sagged some. Still there. Still freezing at night. With snow off the onion beds, and the brown surface, maybe he can plant by next weekend.
I’m continuing with my chores. Off to the kitchen to load a couple of sinks full of soaking dishes, into the washer. Now enjoying a cup of coffee after taking some more morning pills and my BP.
More things happened all afternoon, but I quit taking notes.
Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan