Starting again this week with Sunday,
This taize’ service was fewer in number of musicians. We had a piano, two violins, a viola, and a flute. Next week we are going to be without our pianist, and I hope they can find someone to step in. Our viola player will be gone for 3 weeks. We did have a good time and went downstairs for pizza, salad, and cookies. We had a nice visit with the people who attended.
Monday morning John left at 10:15 to pick apples from across the valley at a friends’ orchard. They donate to us and other trail rider club members each year. They let us pick for ourselves and we also pick for the Food Bank and the Senior Center. I have not participated in the picking, but I was at the senior center today, when 3 boxes were brought in by two members, who live down the road from us about 5 miles. They said John had picked all those apples (and more), so I got bags for the people in my exercise class and told them they were Cameo apples and where they came from. They were very happy and probably half of the class did not have access to apples and took a bag home.
John spent time sorting what he brought home and sharing with friends and neighbors. When state and national numbers are compiled China is the largest producer followed by the European Union and then the USA. Within the US about 55% of the marketed apples come from Washington State. Many tons of apples are picked by local folk and are not in the official statistics. There is an amazing amount of wasted apples that end on the ground. John brought a couple of 3 gallon buckets home for the deer and horses but because of a worm or bruise or a bird bite they don’t keep very well so there is no sense in trying to salvage very many. Last year he picked a box from a road-side tree just a mile away from home. This year the fruit trees on the north side of the valley (our side) took two hits of freezing temps during the first week of April. Our walnut trees (two types) lost all their leaves but still came back and produced a few nuts. Ours and the neighbors apples, cherries, and pears had no fruit. Ouch!
I spent much of Monday on the computer, and answering the phone, making doctor’s appointments and other things that go on in our lives. I had to straighten out some things with my medications and get an order in for refills. That is now a constant in life.
Tuesday’s trip today to Yakima Memorial was LONG. This was the day Annie and Meghan decided to take a longer trip across the creek and through the swamp on the back and west side of our house. John was pretty ticked at them, but they came back while he was changing clothes. I kept going out and yelling and whistling out the back door–but with wind gusts to 35 they probably weren’t hearing me.
It was surely nice when we saw them coming around through the front pasture… and we got on the road by 9:05. Got down there and was on time for my 10:00 a.m. check in. Then there were several emergencies in the hospital including a “code blue” ( http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=57667 ) as they were prepping me. I’m so glad John stayed with me so he wasn’t out in the waiting room worrying why I had not reappeared on time. First we waited 45 minutes for the IV Therapy person to come and put an IV in my arm. She was in ER taking care of needs there. Then we had to wait for our doctor who was to do the TEE (Transesophageal Echocardiogram) test. It was scheduled for 11:00, but he too was busy in ER, with another CODE Blue. We must have heard 5 code calls the first 1.5 hours there. The doctor didn’t make it in till after 11:30, and then had to call the Yakima Heart Center for details of my last (August) TEE test results. Eventually John was asked to leave the room and they started the procedure. There was a sonographer helping, and the doctor was poking the probe down my esophagus. Finally it was over about 12:10, and they buzzed John to come back to the room. We waited another half hour while the doctor dictated his notes and then he came back in and reported to John and me what he had found. That was really nice. The results are that no infection was found and all the insides of my heart and valves are in good shape (for the shape they’re in), including the artificial one. Great news. I hope this is the last time I have to go in the hospital. He also suggested that the anemia, the cause of which seemed so elusive, could have come from the shut-down of red blood cell production with the infection. Normal wear and tear and loss of red cells goes on but new ones are few and far between – thus a slowly developing anemia. That sounds like a good assessment and, if it is the case, will mean I don’t have to swallow a camera any time soon. I soo… looked forward to that too. Yeah, right!
Finally I could leave, but John had to park a couple of blocks away. I walked it, and got my exercise today. Then we went to Costco. There were no power chairs available, so I walked around… and got more exercise. That was good. Finally we finished and as we were leaving I saw a very good friend sitting there eating with a friend of hers I had never met, but had heard lots about. So, while John was checking out with $231 of groceries (included two bags of dog food at $25 each almost)– I talked to them and decided we would stay for lunch.. as I had not had anything since 7:00 last night. We each had a Polish Sausage (YUM), and I bought a Berry Sundae, which is a large cup (16 ounce perhaps) of soft serve vanilla poured all around wonderful strawberries. It was so yummy. I shared it with John, but I think I ate more than half of it. Thus ended Tuesday’s happenings.
It was a small exercise class turnout Wednesday and I had a little less stamina from the procedure hangovers of chemicals in my body and probes into my esophagus from the day before. However, I made it through and got home to rest up for the last night meeting of the WA Geology lecture series. It was on the Geology of the Kittitas Valley and was very interesting.
Thursday was a play-date for our Fiddlers and Friends at a retirement community called Dry Creek. Our secretary from years ago is a resident there and was on the front row singing along and enjoying our performance. She was the Geography Department secretary for 28 years! We had quite a good interaction with the audience today, and they really enjoyed having us there. We enjoy being there when we are so much appreciated by the folks attending. The room was full. Afterwards they come forward and thank us. Today there was a lovely lady who decided that she would ask the facility to offer us rooms there so they could have music any time they wanted it. I told her thanks for the offer, but my husband and 4 dogs and the horses, would not appreciate my leaving them. She said, well, you could have your dogs here, but I don’t think there is room for the horses.
Friday was a day of eating. Breakfast was not large, thank goodness, because lunch found me in with the scholarship luncheon group eating a pulled pork sandwich and salad (with all sorts of toppings), chocolate cheese cake for dessert, and for snacks, some pretzels dipped in white chocolate. Then off to exercise class, which was hard on a full stomach. We got more of a work-out than usual today. Finally home to copy some music to take to the potluck, and try my hand at transposing violin music to another key for our clarinet player. I have a 30-day usable software for testing program that is meant to do this and print out a score of sheet music. The only problem is that each note has to be entered separately, and the note’s type must be chosen (such as whole, half, quarter, etc.). Because I’m transposing to the key for the B flat Clarinet to play, I have to click in a note one whole note above the one on my music. So, if there is an A on my sheet, I have to click in a B note on the computer. I just used the program for the first time today and haven’t been through the tutorials that come with the software yet. I was using the Graphical User Interface, and winging it. There are more things I need to use, but now that I have done two lines of a song, the instructions will probably make more sense and be helpful. I hope I will learn to write music relatively fast. Certainly I will improve over what I was doing this afternoon. (John says: Am I the only one that reads the manual first?)
We ended the day with going to the potluck with the music group at the house of one of the members, and then having a jam session. We practiced some Christmas music because we will need to do that in the next several outings. While I was in town earlier, John had cooked our offering tonight, that turned out to be the only meat present. It was a pork loin roast that he cooked with cherries, and spices, such as cloves. He also cooked a large cast iron roaster with some apples with two types of cherries (cherry pie filling and some of the cherries frozen from our orchard a couple of years ago).
What food was at the potluck? Let’s see if I can remember. Beans, two types of potato salad, green salad with shrimp (guess there was another meat), purple corn chips with dip, and two types of cookies (chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip. Yummy. And drinks: water, coffee, and hot apple cider.
Saturday will be a busy evening, and because John will likely put this blog out on Saturday night, I will end it now, with a description of what will happen that evening. There is a potluck and music program at the Teanaway Grange (about 30 minutes away), and I’m driving up with the friends who hosted the potluck tonight.
The musicians playing are from Ellensburg, and often play with our group, but they have their own group, called Prairie Spring, and they do Celtic, folk, and other music as professional musicians. Tomorrow night’s performance costs $5.00 / person. I’m taking a Costco Fruit Cake for my entry to the potluck. I hope there is some left for us to enjoy.
Okay — that’s about it for the short week. I will close and send to John to put out on the blog. We hope you had a nice week, and we wish you a fine next week. We started getting some snow tonight and it likely will build over the weekend. Good thing John has finished getting his yard, pasture, and barn work done. Yesterday, he moved about a ton of hay to the interior of the barn, from the side, which he has opened up for the horses to get shelter if they wish.