Spring is over

Sunday, April 7

Big surprise we published the blog at 10:53 a.m., this morning. I needed to get it out to send to the speaker from Thursday night, and I also need to send some of the links to my email list for the Ice Age Floods-Nick Zentner group, because another Nick Zentner lecture will occur in 3 days.

We had a nice brunch, and I need to now finish the information to send to the CWU-Old folks (CWURA) about our volunteering in the community.

John’s now out planting flowers and arranging the bed to remove some of the tree limbs to provide more sunlight. He’s planting Hollyhocks, Day Lilies, and Phlox.

I’m still working on the CWURA stuff and throwing in some cleaning dishes to the mix. Finally got the CWURA information sent off.

Also responded to the speaker from Thursday night.

Now it’s time to think about going to bed. We had our dessert, cheesecake with peaches.

Monday, April 8

Morning pruning was canceled because of the rain, but postponed to afternoon. John left about 11:40 to be there, and got home after 5:00 p.m.
I tried Silver Sneakers today and it was way too much for my left arm; even my right arm hurt.  I told Roxanne I was not ready yet.  So sad.  I took along $10 for Anne Engels to cover her purchase for me at Costco of Litehouse Blue Cheese Dressing.

I did go afterwards to the Food Bank and they had an interesting lunch.  Turkey chunks in gravy served over steamed rice with microscopic pieces of carrots and corn.  Side of oranges cut very strangely making them totally difficult to eat.  And, a nice roll with cold butter.  Oh well, it was a free meal – not bad for the most part.

Then off for a blood draw at the hospital and it went fine.
Went by Safeway for some fried chicken (their Monday special), which we will have tonight and bought John some colas and for me some PowerAdeZero at a good price. Then by to pick up my seamed up (hole) in my pants from Rita at Briarwood.  By the gas station to fill up my empty tank.  When I drove by 7-11 this morning, on my way in, I saw the price was $3.08; I should have stopped but thought I was lacking time.  I also drove by the City Hall to pick up a coupon for John to use to go to the transfer station and dump a full pickup truck load of household waste and by a friend’s house to drop off a donation for the Kittitas Audubon local chapter 30th birthday party with a silent auction for bird art. Later in the day when I went back on my way home, the gasoline price at 7/11 had increased to $3.14 ~ not nice, so I turned around and went back downtown to Circle K and got it for $3.11.

Started raining again tonight. Wonder if the pruning will be delayed again tomorrow morning. Sue (cat) arrived at the front door for a late dinner and pet. She’s usually there very early morning, afternoon, and late evening.

Tuesday, April 9

John’s leaving for White Heron pruning at 7:40 a.m. Just home for me today.
I sent to Mark Francek at Central Michigan University, a recommendation of Mike Poland’s presentation to the IAF group last Thursday night for adding to his weekly Earth Science Web Sites send.

I sent out the three videos I took of Mike Poland’s presentation to the Ice Age Floods group of email addresses I have collected.

Continuing to update Thursday KV F&F attendance at Meadows.
Finished and send note to Roxanne and Katrina about upcoming events at the AAC.
Called Midstate Coop and paid our bill. Debbie scanned my payment receipt and emailed it to me.
Working on dishes and just filled in and printed the 4868 extension form to mail with check to the IRS before April 15th.Volunteer Recognition Dinner – table centerpiece
Note the baseball theme. Peanuts, Cracker Jack®, and the glass jar is setting on a green outfield with only part of the infield showing (lower left). John has a Philadelphia Phillies jacket (a yard sale find) and forgot to wear it. {Actually, I forgot there was any sort of a theme at all.}
We went and had a good time. Didn’t win any door prizes but did have a lot of food and handouts including: Roasted peanuts, Cracker Jack®, red licorice, coupon for free Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream cone.

We sat across from Haley, Amy, and Dustin Davison, and at the end, Haley with her dad, went to retrieve our box of Girl Scout Cookies from their trunk. That’s a follow-up story. Haley sold more cookies than anyone ever expected – 453! At $5/box, that’s over 2 grand! Now, our question is, how much of that money gets back to the Girl Scout troops. Haley has both front teeth upper left with the Girl Scout pledge; tonight she had one less but showed us the other was loose and about to leave. At the sales booth at Super 1, she was minus two front teeth, but she sold the remainder of her boxes of cookies.

I once was a girl scout in Troop 327 in Atlanta, GA. I made it to Curved Bar.
Cookies cost a tenth then of what they do now. Here is the Girl Scout pledge that I remember till this day: On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country – To help people at all times – And to live by the Girl Scout Law. (whatever that is) –  I now know because I found it on the web:  the Scout Law includes 12 challenges to be:  Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, clean, and Reverent.  So there.  Now just live up to the Scout Law.  

Wednesday, April 10

John left for pruning.

I started by going to the Emeriti meeting at Hearthstone. I packed the cake and cookies, the colorful plates, the plastic utensils, serving plates, and paper towels for the place mats. I took a box of large lemons sent from Cathedral City, CA by John Ressler to share with the retired geographers and their wives.
{Previous post has a photo of one Lemon.}Not everyone had arrived yet, but here is Ken Hammond, Dee Eberhart, Barb Eberhart, Jo Hammond, Jim Huckabay, Carla Kaatz who had to leave early to instruct a class of Tai Ji Quan. Not bad for a gal who just turned 90.This we shared with those there. The Big Bertie in the middle weighed 1 lb 3 oz.Others there, Mary Ann Macinko, Jim, and Diane Huckabay

After our fun meeting, I cleaned up the room at Hearthstone, drove to the FISH Food Bank for lunch music, ate with several people after we played and sang music for 40 minutes. I also had made my own salad to take along for lunch (because I can only have iceberg lettuce, not the dark green lettuce and spinach they put in the mixed greens salad (because of being on the blood thinner Coumadin). I carried my Blue Cheese dressing along separately so I could mix it once there. John cut me some smoked turkey and apple cubes to add. I forgot to put in the pistachios. I packed croutons (Cheez-its) that work fine.

John planned to be home by 1:30, but there was an overturned semi blocking Eastbound lanes on the Vantage Bridge. It took him at least an extra ½ hour. DOT blocked off one of the west bound lanes for emergency and police vehicles.
The two lanes headed west had to merge to one. Earlier, all lanes were closed because fuel spilled and a fire had to be put out.The image above shows a truck (near orange dot) making the turn onto the bridge approach after coming down a 1.5 mile hill.
The truck in the photos was (a) going to fast, (b) hit by a gust of wind coming across the river, or (c) had an inattentive driver. Maybe all three? The entire truck went over the center-line concrete barriers. Note orange bar. Luck was with the driver. The truck did not make it over the railing and into the river, and he had only minor injuries. You can see the truck is headed the wrong way in the eastbound lanes. No other person or vehicle was involved. The bridge was closed from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. for cleanup. John got through toward the bridge in the one lane of westbound traffic.

As soon as he helped me in with all my stuff, he left for the transfer station to get rid of a load of household garbage, using a coupon for spring cleanup, and was the offer of the City of Ellensburg. That should save us ~$18. I think he said he had 550#.

Nick Zentner’s second “downtown” lecture is tonight. We got there just after 6:00 p.m. to get our seat up front.
My videos are below. Following later is a professional edited version on YouTube that will be distributed by Nick Zentner to the email addresses he has in his system.Nick Zentner with board intro & title slide of the excellent visuals

Remember, please, that I upload these as “unlisted” on YouTube and not as “public,” so share sparingly.

Plant Fossils of the PNW (Part 1: Boards)

Plant Fossils of the PNW (Part 2: Visuals)

From Nick’s lecture last week, you will find below the professional YouTube recently posted. You can get access to all his “downtown” professionally created videos through the CWU YouTube site. Just click on subscribe. I have not previously been on there. The other thing to check out with Nick is his website, nickzentner.com which has all his stuff, back through the years, including his 2-minute geology series that sometimes exceeds that time. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Nick Zentner: April 3, 2019 Supercontinents and the PNW

This was videotaped and edited by a young man, Julian Smart. He has done a fantastic job.

Thursday, April 11

John left late for White Heron, but should make it fine.

I started my first Fossils lecture send at 8:06 a.m. and it is going up much faster than last week, thank goodness. I don’t know what the problem was last week. It should be up by 9:30 a.m.

Sent second Fossils send (Visuals) at 9:40 a.m. that should be done by 11:25, and amazingly, it was! It was recorded 10 minutes longer than the first.

I charged the battery in my mic for music and called in the count of 12 to Meadows Place Senior Living, where we played today. Charlie (12 string guitar) is coughing and cannot be there today, so I called and changed the count to 11 arm-less chairs.

Now I have to pack up stuff to take with me. Stuff for Amy & Haley, my own things. I was loaded down, so I drove to the front door and unloaded my stuff under the roof (it was starting to rain), and parked my car. A friend met me there with a denim white jacket and red blouse that no longer fit her. They fit me.

We had a good turnout of audience and happy people. They always like our being there to entertain, and visit with them afterwards. We did something different today. We went around the semi-circle and each person introduced themselves and the instrument they play. We have some interesting and different types in our group. I only have two photos from today, but will describe the others. Marilyn was first with her new instrument which is stringed as a mandolin (same as a violin), but put on a twangy banjo base; Maury introduced his dobro; Charlotte her guitar; Gerald, his guitar and how he learned to play it in his lap (like a dobro), when 12 years old, from a local “colored lady” who lived near the Dudley Bridge over the Yakima River in Thorp; Tim presented his Cittern, used in Europe in the 16th & 17th century; Dean showed his harmonica and mentioned how he didn’t have to tune his instrument; I was next with my violin, and then Joanie with hers; Amy introduced all the instruments she plays as a one woman band: Flute, penny whistle, violin, and mini washboard; Sharon on Bass Guitar, Minerva on guitar, and Anne with her tambourine.

Here are my only two photos (Left was at Meadows)4/11 Nancy with Hopf 1889 violin; Tim & Cittern (taken 3/15/19)

I went by Safeway for John’s prescription and by Super 1 for mine. After leaving music, I had to fight heavy rainfall. It has started again tonight here at home. Moscow, ID and Pullman, WA have had flooding with more rainfall happening still. I cannot reach the video because it is on Twitter, and my account was disabled for some unknown reason.

Friday, April 12

John left for White Heron for pruning, taking a few lemons to share with Cameron and the pruners.

I plan to go to the Post Office in Kittitas to send our 4868 extension request to San Francisco with a payment for the 2018 taxes. I have to find my external CD drive to load the Turbo Tax software needed to complete our tax form.

After a reminder call from an office in Yakima, I called Cameron and the pruning crew with the message John has appointment at the Foot Doctor at 9:45 a.m. this Monday, so he cannot prune. Luckily, they send a team on Mondays to Ellensburg, and that saves us a trip to Yakima.

I was on the phone with Lacey, the Triage nurse at my PCP’s office in Cle Elum about having to make an appointment with Chelsea to discuss my use of needing Hydrocodone 10 with 325 Acetaminophen. I only occasionally use a pill. It’s just for times when I will be playing violin music for over an hour and my shoulder is hurting, or when I am in a jazzercise or dancing class. I never intentionally do any over the head/above shoulder motions (because I do not have the range of motion to allow it in the left shoulder). I seldom use the “opiate” drug, so I’m not likely to become addicted. However, rules have tightened up about prescribing such drugs. I will make the appointment before my next request for a refill.

I completed a washer load of clothes; much more needs done.

This afternoon I received a call from nurse Chris, from Yakima Heart Center, because they just had received a report of ventricular tachycardia (fast heartbeat, potentially dangerous) from Feb 15 & 16, sent from my implanted cardioverter defibrillator, that I had recorded a heart rate of 176 about noon and 175 around 4:00 p.m. The device continuously monitors my heartbeat and will deliver electrical pulses to restore a normal heart rhythm, when necessary. These two occurrences did not “set off the device” to adjust the situation, and the activity wasn’t seen for 2 months because they download information only every 2 months. I have had no “shocking” activity since 2010, and do not desire to experience that again.

In trying to explain this current occurrence, I have been thinking tonight about what might have happened. It was the end of the week of the problems with my #30 tooth, infected with bacteria in the roots waiting to be extracted (happened on Feb 18th).

We are temporarily without an assigned cardiologist at the Heart Center. So, today, Dave Krueger, MD, FACC, reviewed my device records and recommended increasing my Metoprolol dosage by 25mg to 100 mg daily, and coming in for a device check in 8 weeks, and also for a meeting with a cardiologist. John and I both talked to Chris, asking questions and making comments. John and I are convinced it was a combination of things. A lot was happening and threatening my heart. We knew it was dangerous because of the likelihood of getting a re-occurrence of endocarditis with the bacteria moving through my bloodstream and into and out of my heart.
I was rather stressed at the time too, thinking the surgery should have been approved and done sooner than 10 days after the finding. The pain started excessively Feb 8, but I wasn’t seen until Feb 11th afternoon at 2:00 p.m. There the X-ray showed the infection and the dead tooth; one could also see the bacteria were eating the roots of the tooth – better than eating my replaced Porcine Mitral valve, which is the main concern of endocarditis.

Fast forward to the end of the oral surgery, Feb 18th. I was given the pieces of the tooth, crown (halved with a “saw”) to pull out each root separately, with the infected tissue attached. I do have a photograph that John took of the parts, which we have included below.

I’ll start with the X-ray from Feb 11 done in my regular dentist’s office. This never made it into our weekly blog, because I was so busy trying to get all my medical records updated from 2016, the last time I was in the dental surgeon’s office for implants. Three years after required a lot of updating to my medical records. I couldn’t get an appointment for a consultation with the team and the surgeon, until the afternoon of 2/14.

X-ray taken, 2/11 – in mouth, 2/14 – Extracted parts, 2/18/19

The left image shows a dead tooth (#30), with a stainless steel crown (we later found out is subject to “leaking,” and I should never have had it put in my mouth). Continuing with the image, note the infection pockets of tissue (dark) around the base of the roots. The ONLY solution was to extract the tooth, yet I was put on the antibiotic, Amoxicillin 500mg twice/day to tide me over until I could get in with an oral surgeon in Yakima (especially, with my related heart issues, and being subject to endocarditis which can be fatal). So there was stress in my life this week prior to the extraction surgery on 2/18/19.

The first high heart rate lasted for 13 seconds on 2/15 and I did not have any noticeable effect or knowledge. The next afternoon, 2/16 (Saturday), I don’t remember how long Chris said that lasted (we both think we heard it was 11 sec), but again neither episode was enough to trigger the device (thankfully in retrospect). Someone might have postponed the surgery, which now has been successfully completed, and I’m back to feeling all right, and having plenty of energy to do all the activities I do.

My surgery was not until 7:30 a.m., two days later in Yakima. I was given a local anesthesia for the work. It went smoothly, and we were on the way home early morning. I had to change gauze pads and keep pressure on the socket to stop the bleeding until it clotted, so that I didn’t get a dry socket.

Since we left the oral surgeon’s office, I was treating the socket every 20 minutes (in the car on the hour’s trip home), to stop the bleeding, using folded gauze pads and pressure. Once home, I was in telephone contact with the SunRidge Oral Surgeon’s Assistant, Lacey. After updating my gauze procedure since leaving there this morning, she told me to suspend the pressured treatment of gauze to the socket. It is beginning to clot, and the gauze will actually remove the clot over the sutures in the socket and keep it from healing. That was stopped at 2:00 p.m., February 18th.

The rest of that week I suffered from various side effects (never determined the cause of things I had happening). I decided I was okay by Thursday, to go play my violin at Pacifica Senior Living, while still experiencing some of the not-so-nice effects: shallow breathing (almost shortness of breath), fatigue, need to stop every 20 feet to catch my breath, unable to carry much weight, and the worst, incontinence. I first blamed it on a reaction to Percocet (of which I only took two Monday, 4 hours apart). I have never taken two Percocet pills in the same day, and I never have had any reactions to that drug previously. I did not take a 3rd pill that day of the surgery, even though it was prescribed for pain as needed every 4 hours.

Since 2009, I have preferred it to Vicodin, for pain. I remember being in the ICU and having a severe pain. The nurse said they would give me something for pain. I suggested it was not a Vicodin pain but a Percocet pain. Finally, it was determined to be caused by a blood clot in my spleen. One of my doctors (an infectious disease specialist, assured me not to worry, because the blood clot would dissolve on its own). I never asked for an explanation of that occurrence, but it did dissolve. Before she diagnosed it, a number of the medical staff were perplexed.

It took my system a while to get over the oral surgery. Those episodes shown by the device (ICD) were prior to the surgery. I doubt we will ever know the reason. I hope increasing the dosage doesn’t cause another outcome of slowing my heart rate too much. It’s normally in the 60s and will go to the fifties while sleeping. (I had an oximeter I wore during my sleep for a couple years, and I graphed the results every night). It no longer works.

Saturday, April 13

One of the things I did this morning was to pass along the latest from Mark Francek in Michigan, his weekly list of Earth Science Web Sites.

When that appeared in this week’s 12 April send to the group, my geographer friend, Joseph Kerski, sent me a video he took last November, during Geography Awareness Week, when he visited Mt. Pleasant, MI, the Geography Dept. at Central Michigan University, and Mark Francek, Professor of Geography. The video was a walk around the Geography Department’s facilities and displays.

I snipped a photo of them from his video to share here because so many of the people who read our weekly blog also receive Mark’s weekly report, and would appreciate seeing their faces. Joseph is a GIS professional, a geographer who works for ESRI, and we have known each other for years. He also had written me earlier about missing seeing me at the AAG meetings this year in Washington, DC, which attracted 8,500 members!

Joseph Kerski & Mark Francek

I have been recommending Joseph’s work for years, used his teaching notes and lab creations in one of my lower division GIS classes (GIS Concepts), which I always taught at nights so that CWU staff members could enroll. In recent years, Joseph has become a leader in Story Maps creation using ArcGIS, and I have sent his work to prior students I keep in touch with.

Check out this: (I hope you can get to the first; I’m subscribed.)

Our Earth by Joseph Kerski

also go here for:

Web and Story Maps by Joseph Kerski

It rained most of the morning but has now cleared in the afternoon and the sun is out. John did his normal outside chores, but both of us have been inside most of the day. I managed to wash another load of dishes. We had brunch and an afternoon snack.

Going to the Grange tonight for a roasted pig dinner, for the Scholarship fundraiser for the Grange for high school students from the agricultural families who have shown animals and been in 4H, but will soon be on their way to college. Also helping tonight were 3 of the recipients from last year. In addition, 4 helpers were there who are this year’s applicants for a scholarship.

My first video was preparation of the meat for our dinner. James setting up the pork for this evening’s meal

Smokey Joe’s Owner Begins the Carving

Second was opening and pulling the cooked pork out. James was giving handout tastes to people watching him carve. I missed a taste then because I was filming. Gertrude the pig was roasted for 14 hours and cared for those many hours by the family – James, wife Kimberly, daughters, Elizabeth & Kenya Jones. Cooking a whole pig is not a task for amateurs. Many first timers only get the outside few inches cooked, or serve 6 hours after the intended start time. We have never tried. We have been to a few of the amateur attempts, and learned of the issues.

Smokey Joe’s restaurant is located in S. Cle Elum at the Old Milwaukee Railroad Train Depot Station, where they serve lunch & dinner, Thursday – Sunday. They close Monday-Wednesday to cater events (in the winter). Check out their website and visit all around it. It is here: www.smokeysbarbque.com Note the spelling carefully or otherwise you will end up in Illinois at a Smokeys Barbeque equipment-selling place.

Carving and Pulling Continues

Grange President Donna Carollo’s Introduction

3 raffled pies before – 6 ready to go – homemade dinner dessert

The pies raffled off were homemade thusly: Apple Pie by Violet Burke, Strawberry-Rhubarb by Barb Hamel, New York Cheesecake by Carel Edgerly, Coffee Toffee Bourbon Pecan Pie by Liz Doyle, Mixed Berry Pie by Terry Coyne, and Cherry Pie by Claire Lucke.

Claire took a photo of the folks, including John and me, that were asked to stand and give the number of years we were educators.

Our meal consisted of the pulled pork, macaroni & cheese, collard greens and ham hocks, Coleslaw, baked beans, sandwich buns if wanted, many different BBQ sauces for the meat. Dessert was a Lemon Tart with blueberry compote (see photo above with pies).

Sunday, April 14

Sister Peggy writes from Parma, OH today that “the storm has passed. Some wind gusts but mostly lots of rain. Little town of Shelby, OH west of us had a lot of damage with trees down. Possible tornado but will know more as crews get out. Now they watch for flooding.  I am fine. Sent Pat a note to tell her. Storm is now on OH-PA line.
John found the National Weather Service warning map.
Clarion is where John’s family lived. Pat, Ken, and Ethel are 16 miles east. Red on map is the strongest part of the storm. It has now (10 PM here) moved east of the PA center one, and stretches from Maryland to New York State. Multiple hazard warnings are in effect clear over to the NYC area. That’s a lot of folks.

It is cold here, windy, and overcast. John worked outside for a couple hours, but is back in resting now, while I finish my draft of the blog.
The Cascade Passes had snow last night. Ski folks are happy even if drivers have to put up with a mess. At home, we are looking for 31°F by morning.
Spring came and went – we are back to winter.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news April 12

Item #1: Images

Item #2: Need a computer coder . . .

Call Katie.

Many will have seen the orange and black photo of the Black Hole. The linked-to ‘call Katie’ story is one of the best explanations of how this came about. The orange color has been chosen for humans to see, but the actual data is at a wave length we do not see. And it was a lot of data. Look at #3 in the article.
Many people worked to produce this photo. The key person, the one with the new bright idea, is pictured above, Katie Bouman of West Lafayette, Indiana. She developed an algorithm known as Continuous High-resolution Image Reconstruction using Patch priors {CHIRP}.Got that? Me neither.
Seems now that she was of less importance than first given credit for, although still part of the team. I’ll leave it at that, and let her and others decide.

So I think it is sort of like making a common pencil. A single person is not able to do that, but with the “bright idea” a thousand people can get it done.
Like the image of the Lemon (above) for which I take credit, others had the ideas that (now) allow me to do this. In the Black Hole story, it is just a photo. The real story is her training, skill, and imagination.

About how to make a pencil

Item #3: A stamp to be liked
If you are a stamp collector you will want to get a whole plate of these. They do not need to be licked, and they are a little less expensive (10 for $9) than the real thing.
Named after the city on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
Other places claim a similar concoction with different names.
This one appears in a 1953 cook book.

Item #4: Need a new front door?
In fact, we do. I wonder if these folks could come to the west coast and help out. Old doors on a church had begun to fall apart.
Our first house, in North Liberty IA, had a front door with a leak (somehow) into the wood panel. Relatively new, too. I had to replace a section.

Doors on the church were past the “best by” date.

Where and what: St. Dunstan’s Basilica in Charlottetown

First part of story

Second part of story

Item #5: Weather

Snow is so pretty – At Christmas time.

Summary of the April 10-12, 2019 Blizzard and Heavy Snow
Aberdeen, SD, Nat. Weather Service

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

Sky, rocks, strings

Monday, April 1 April Fool’s Day

Peggy Coble photographed these and sent out on Facebook with this quote: “God is painting with brilliant colors this morning.”Two photos merged together by Nancy. Both by Peggy Coble.

John left for White Heron Cellars and wine grape pruning in the Mariposa Vineyard this morning, will do one more day tomorrow, but not again the rest of this week. Cameron needs to be in Seattle.

I checked and cleaned out the top of my violin case so that I could meet this afternoon with Bryce Van Parys (from Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah) to obtain a new set of PreLude strings and have him install them at the CWU Music Building. They are fantastic, mellow, and warm sounding, and I have enjoyed playing with them two days this week. They have stayed in tune as well.

I took care of bill paying with our insurance company in Idaho, to save money by having our vehicle insurance come due in a lump sum and taken from our checking account. We save lots of payment charges by switching from a monthly credit card fee of $5 each, plus we will get a discount for paying all at once.

I also worked with a member of the CWU Foundation: Catherine Scarlett, Director, Compliance and Liaison to CWU Retirement Association, (cool interesting title), to get our donation for two scholarships (Hultquist Distinguished Service Award) straightened out to have enough money in the account by September payout time. We fund this via monthly credit card withdrawals to cover two awards: one for a graduate student in the Cultural and Environmental Resource Management program and one for an undergraduate in the geography program (although it can be service to geography from another major). We have the two again this year. We had to play catch up because of new “rules” of dispersal to have $1,000 available at the first part of Fall Quarter (in September) for payout and not spread out over the year by 3 quarters (fall, winter, spring). The award is made in May, 2019 at an outside ceremony, where I videotape the proceedings every year at the End-Of-Year Geography potluck.

Tuesday, April 2

Peggy’s out again for today’s morning sunrise that I’ll display with her three photographs: Captures of a beautiful sunrise by Peggy Coble, 4/2/19
At bottom-right, above the ridge line is a row of wind turbine towers.

Awoke to say goodbye to John, who left for White Heron. I wanted to lie back down for some more rest, but stayed up instead to take care of things that have been ignored the past couple months.

I called in our reservations for next Tuesday’s Volunteer Recognition Dinner at the Presbyterian Church. Then, I spent much of the day calling musicians about the volunteer recognition dinner sign-up deadline being today.

I worked on a bunch of emails. Need to do more work on paperwork. It just keeps piling up. I arranged for payment of our membership in Kittitas County Historical Museum on-line so as not to have to go by the museum and write a check.

My lack of sleep caught up with me, and I finally took a nap for about an hour around noon with two calls interrupting.

I managed to pay our Pend Oreille Shores bill on line. Boy, the yearly maintenance cost has really increased over the years. We have to get some of our friends to use up those credits we have space-banked. We are not in a position to travel ourselves with all the animals we must care for daily. We need to get rid of these weeks at the resorts, but we are just kicking this can down the road.

Late afternoon, I took care of the payments for our house insurance with Blue Ridge Insurance here in town (through Lana), and we have the payments coming out twice a year, paid by our VISA from Costco (only $2 service charge) twice a year. The alternative I’m using with the other Safeco policy on the vehicles (in Idaho) costs more here on the house, going through our checking account. Why such a difference between two adjacent states is beyond comprehension!

John and I both need to respond to more questions about our service activities in the region, in preparation for the May 21st CWURA {old folks} banquet award presentation we are receiving.

This afternoon my new battery for my Dell computer arrived in the USPS mail from Amazon. John got out a wrist-style grounding strap and a teeny screwdriver and did the replacement while I was away from home. It works wonderfully. This one is flat (3.5 x 7 x 0.3 in). Because he was using the web to find and buy the correct battery, companies are now “pushing” ads to his computer. None are the correct size and shape for my laptop, and – of course – I no longer need one. This is a glitch in their business model.

I worked tonight getting ready for the music for May & June, to check with Evie to be sure it was fine to stay with what we did for 2018. Makes my job incredibly easier providing the music scores for the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends group. We worked tonight on our biographies for the old folks award, as requested by the President of the CWU Retirement Association. Before the weekend is over, I need to finish these and get them sent. The award is for service to the community and university since retirement.

Wednesday, April 3

John is home from pruning the rest of the week. I’m going to the Food Bank for lunch music and then coming on home. I don’t think I’m quite ready yet for SAIL exercise class, with my left shoulder’s range of motion. Next Monday, however, I believe I will retry the Silver Sneakers exercise class.

Tonight we are going to one of Nick Zentner’s lectures, the first at the newly remodeled Morgan Middle School Performing Arts Center. Doors open at 6:30 for the 7:00 p.m. start. We got there and sat on the front row. Nick Zentner at Morgan – photo by Joyce Swart, and Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park photo by Perri Schelat. Colored rocks; why so?

When you listen to Nick’s lecture, you’ll understand the connection of the photos. Nick traveled from Wisconsin to the mountains of Montana as a young man for his first summer job, and the experience changed his life – – drifting into the study of geology.

Supercontinents of the PNW (Part 1: Chalk boards)

Supercontinents of the PNW (Part 2: Visuals)
Please move back to the start of the video to view. It starts 3 minutes into the video.

Thursday, April 4

While I was out running around town, my friend Evie Schuetz was hiking to Umptanum Falls to celebrate her birthday a day early. Here is her time exposure using a 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter for Long Exposure Photography:Umptanum Falls by EvieMae Schuetz, 4/4/19. 8 miles south of EBRG.

Today John was busy with onion starts and other garden things.
I went to town for music at the Rehab center and we had 11 people playing, plus our old accordion player, Jeanne Gordon, sitting in the circle in her wheelchair, as a permanent resident there. She always enjoys our music. Today, I put a shamrock necklace on her with blinking green lights.

After that I came home to make ready to leave again for town with John. We went by Burger King for their two specials for $3.00 each (John had a Whopper and I had a Crispy Chicken). I also used a coupon for a large fries combined with Chicken Fries, which we ended up sharing with friend Angela who did not have any supper, but did have a 90-mile drive to home afterward. John and I carried our own bottle of Coca-Cola to share. I brought home some of the French fries and half my sandwich because I was too busy talking to finish eating it. It was part of my lunch the next day.

We arrived at the Science II building on campus prior to 6:30 to be sure we got the seats up front we use for me to videotape the proceedings. We met a bunch of new people there and some from our past. It’s always a fun place to go, each month. It is for the Ice Age Floods Institute local chapter meeting.Nick Zentner introduces speaker Michael Poland from USGS, Cascades Volcano Observatory who also wears another hat as a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and is the scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. He has some interesting comments at the end of his Questions and Answers section after his talk.

First, the introduction to our speaker: Move your start below to 3:30 for Michael’s background info.

Nick Zentner about Michael Poland {starts @ 3:30}

Then, the presentation:

Michael Poland, Deformation of Cascade Range Volcanoes

And, finally we ended with the Questions & Answers:

Michael Poland Fields Audience Questions

Friday, April 5

I slept in till 8:15 and John was up earlier. We had rain early and then a lot more later in the afternoon.

I started uploading the talk from last night, and something is really slowing it down. It has taken too many hours. I guess the next time I do this, I’ll need to carry my laptop to the university to upload on a faster connection. I’m even using my old Exilim camera which records in a much smaller bandwidth than my Nikon.

Today John finished the onion sets just before a major downpour. The next few days will be cool and/or wet so the little plants should do well. It is late to be planting them, but it couldn’t be helped. I have been working on numerous projects today, including washing a load of dishes, so now we have some utensils and plates to use.

We had rain for a couple of hours, then it cleared.
Lise McGowan photographed another beautiful landscape mostly a “skyscape” of this evening’s sunset.Lovely photograph by Lise McGowan, of the skies after the storm.

Saturday, April 6

We awoke to rain, but if you were up earlier as our friend Peggy Coble was, you would have experienced a striking scene. Sunrise by Peggy (& God) continue.April 6 morning in the Kittitas Valley, by Peggy Coble.

I was up a little before 5:00 while it was still dark, and two of the outside cats had arrived for some food. I provided it and petted the one who would let me (Sue). Then I went back to bed.
I slept in longer than John. It rained a lot this morning, but now in the afternoon it has dried out and the sun is shining.

I managed a few things on email. One was the weekly Earth Science Web sites “reader” that comes from my Geographer friend, Mark Francek, in Michigan. He usually sends it the end of each week. I then check it out and send along to over 100 people on my forwarding list.

While following the Earth Science Weekly entry today, IRIS How Will 3 Buildings, Engineered Equally, on Different Bedrock React to an Earthquake, I found this that followed: (this is the corrected version from the one that appeared first).

Great Alaska Earthquake, 3-27-64, Mag 9.2

I have sent this to Mark for a possible future send. It is an important follow-up to the lecture we heard Thursday night by Michael Poland; details above.

I guess I should give you the link that got me to the one on the 1964 Anchorage earthquake. John and I visited Anchorage in 1987 and saw much of the aftermath (23 years after) of the earthquake and tsunami’s destruction.

How will buildings, engineered the same, but on different bedrock react to an earthquake?

During the development of western Washington there was an assumption that the area did not get strong earthquakes. Enlightenment came in 2001 with the Nisqually event of February 28. Among many other things, the State Capitol building was damaged.
Previous large quakes (1949 & 1965) happened before the rapid expansion of Seattle, but earthquake-resistance work
was not very high priority. A really big quake is in the region’s future.

Today arrived a box of large lemons from CA from John and Diana Ressler (he was the Geographer here who introduced me to the job possibility at CWU). I was hired in 1988. I saw him at a geography conference and he told me about the opening. I applied and the rest is history. I have never regretted my decision.
We sent 3 bottles of wine to them from White Heron – well, we paid shipping but the wine came from John’s pruning stash. The Ressler’s Lemon tree is returning fresh fruit northward. The largest, a Eureka, weighs 1 pound 3 ounces.

Sunday, April 7

A light mist of rain began about Midnight. At 2 AM to 5 AM there was actual rain. We have had mist+ since then. In the mountains, west of us, the snow pack is below average. Light rain adds to the water content, heavy rain melts snow and causes flooding.
John says: Our governor, Jay Inslee, who is running for President, has declared a drought emergency for our basin and two others to the north of us.
So far, the only plank in Jay’s political platform is global warming. The odd thing is that every other western state has snow pack depths above average. It seems Gaia directed the winter storm tracks to bypass Washington State just to give Jay a shouting point.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news April 5

Item #1: Images

Item #2: Onions
Weather and opportunity came together this week and I got most (nearly all) of my onions planted. We only pruned vines on Monday & Tuesday, and W/Th/F there was enough time between rain and other activities to get them in the ground.
Wednesday and Thursday’s sets got rained on last evening, and I finished today with the last bundle, “Ringmaster” {photo}.
Nancy had been down-slope and came in the drive just as sprinkles started. I ran and helped her, then ran back and pushed soil and tamped the last 40 plants into the bed. I ran for the house as a real rain started. Whew!
Pictured is a white Spanish style that keeps a long time, has a mild flavor, and is great for onion rings.

Item #3: Innovation disrupts
I pass orchards on the way to where I prune. There are many folks working.
Some are leveling fields and installing irrigation lines, posts, and trees. Others are pruning trees and vines.
Blackberries and Blue Berries are harvested with machines. That is going to come, also, to hanging tree fruit, such as apples.
The photo is from the following link. It shows a tube extending out toward a “sighted” apple. The tube has a strong vacuum, enough to break the tissue between the stem and the spur.
Future harvest

Tree shape, size, training, and other issues are being tuned via the research. In the not too distant future much fruit will be picked this way. Lower paying jobs will be replaced with higher paying jobs because someone has to build, maintain, and repair these technical things.
If you think the demise of pickers is bad news, try picking for a day or two in September sun.

Item #4: The business of bees

Another thing I learned (but not why) this week is that apple blossoms produce little a bee can use to make honey.

More than you need to know about the economics if bees.
It does get interesting. “The numbers are astonishing: 85% of the two million commercial hives in the US are moved, containing tens of billions of bees.”

I also learned about skeps, the old type of classic woven bee hives that look like a tapering stack of straw.

Modern bee keeping is better for the bees

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

Out with a whimper

Here is a gorgeous photo of Mt. Rainier from a few years back:
Mt. Rainier, Photographer, Jennifer Stone (permission granted). Taken from Paterson Road, Carbon River Heights, WA; the resolution is low because Facebook significantly changes it.

Maxine Herbert-Hill posted this the day before her birthday. When I questioned her if she had taken it, she said that it was taken by a friend of a friend. It was a gift for her birthday. She said she would ask for permission to pass it on. She agrees it is an amazing shot that she loves too.
Personally, I have seen lenticular clouds over it before, but never stacked that high, and we usually see it from the eastern side of the mountain.

Monday, March 25

We were up early and I started drinking water to make my blood draw go more smoothly.

We finally packed and left. Our trip to Ellensburg, took a Lot longer than ever to get my blood drawn, but I met lots of folks in the waiting room and gained some interesting information. One person I met and had not seen for over a year or more was Bonnie Clement. Her health has not been good since September.

We proceeded on down to Costco, filled my car with gasoline (at $2.75/gal) cheaper than Ellensburg, and it was dreary driving in the clouds, down and back. Once we arrived back in the Kittitas Valley it was truly cloudy and overcast. This is what we returned to:The right photo looks a little nicer than the left.

Amazingly as we got closer to home, some sunshine appeared. A welcome sight.

An afternoon call brought the news of my results from the blood draw this morning. My INR=2.7, so I’m staying on one Coumadin every day, except ½ on Wednesday & Saturday. My Sodium was up to 135, and Potassium was 4.7, with Chloride 98.

Today we came home to an interesting and surprising email, from Marilyn Mason (President of the CWURA [CWU Retirement Association] that the Retirement Association Board had nominated both of us for this year’s Distinguished Retiree Award. The award recognizes the contributions made to the community and university since retiring. They would like to honor us at the CWURA Annual Banquet, May 21.

Tuesday, March 26

I’ll start today with photos of pretty flowers (Azaleas) sent by my cousin from Sullivan’s Island, SC. I used to spend my summers in that house and all around the island, including fishing, and ski boarding in the inland coastal waterway. We also traveled around into south GA visiting relatives, water skiing there. Great memories of the southern flowers, and my mom had about 18 different Camellia bushes in our home’s front yard in Atlanta, GA on Piedmont Road.

John’s leaving for White Heron at 7:40 a.m. for pruning. I stayed home today trying to catch up on things, and it seems impossible after all the things that have accumulated needing attention since I was unable to do much, while feeling so crummy. John was kind enough to go through town on his way home from pruning, to check our numbers at Bi-Mart and find out we “won” with the last digit of our membership number, a large box of Idahoan Potatoes dehydrated (I guess) to make into mashed potatoes. We have had a small one before and liked them.

He also went by Super 1 Pharmacy to pick up two of his meds that were ready, and by another place in town. I was grateful.

I did talk with the Triage nurse in Cle Elum about meeting with my new PCP Chelsea, to put in refills at a higher dosage that can be split with a pill splitter. I also needed to know my return date for another INR checkup to be sure we were back on track after all the antibiotics of the past couple months. They raise it and play havoc with the numbers, requiring dosage changes to be adjusted. My next draw is April 8th, so that gives me a rest from weekly.

The two drugs involved you have heard previously in last week’s blog are Atorvastatin & Coumadin (Warfarin). Our normal Pharmacy at Super 1 has to use our insurance co-pay, but at the local Safeway Pharmacy, we can process them through GoodRx . com and get a significant discount using our credit card and paying cash price (not using the insurance co-pay). This time they even were willing to split the pills for us. (Previously, they would not.) So we had to do it. Super 1 Pharmacy has always split pills for me. I have one that needs to be split into quarters. That’s a tough one!

I spent a bunch of time today, backing up telephone numbers from our old land line phonebook list so as not to lose when we install the new Panasonics later today. In between, I washed clothes and dishes. John did a nice job yesterday of adding batteries and charging five phones for 7 hrs.

Started a load of clothes. Ended the day doing two loads.

John fixed us a nice bowl of beef vegetable soup for supper with broiled sourdough toast with butter and Parmesan cheese.

I stayed up working on emails later than I should have.

Wednesday, March 27

Photos of the day: California Poppy – Poppy fields in Lancaster, CA beautifully captured by Jeri Conklin.

John left late at 7:50 a.m. for White Heron; back at 1:30.

He helped me pack the rest of the stuff I’m taking today (except my violin and music), which I will have to add with my lunch and pills to take.

I’ll take my Fiddle and music to the Food Bank arriving between 11:00-11:20 to meet a couple for transferring things mentioned below. I took one of my drinks Ensure & Yogurt for ease in fixing lunch. I don’t enjoy having pasta (the main dish on Wednesdays).

I am taking some hygienic stuff (shampoo, deodorant soap, toothpaste, washrags), and clothes: socks, shirts & sweatshirts) to give to Lisa & Leonard Muhr to deliver around the state to Homeless Veterans through Stand Down events. Stand Downs are typically one-to-three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless Veterans, such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling. I appreciate their meeting me at the Food Bank, to save my driving to their house on Hwy 10. While they were there, they were able to eat lunch. They also were coming back in the afternoon for food distribution (they are registered for), but loaded some bread out of the bread room, while there.

I started loading dirty dishes this morning, but only made a small dent.

Got a call from Safeway Pharmacy my prescriptions are ready to be picked up, so I guess I will go by on my way home, and not wait until Thursday, when we have so many more things on the schedule. Well, I got there without my coupons printed and realized the price was not right, so I’m printing my coupons and going back tomorrow after John’s dental visit is over.

Thursday, Mar 28

Sunshine at the moment after John emptied all the buckets in the roof drip line to prepare for the rain that did not come.

We started at Johnson’s Auto Glass by taking John’s Crosstrek in for a windshield replacement after 8:30 a.m. and then on to his dental teeth cleaning appointment at 9:00 a.m., running into closed streets for the procession from the funeral home to the CWU Nicholson Pavilion Memorial for Kittitas Sheriff’s Deputy, Ryan Thompson.

I carried along my laptop computer to sit in the waiting room and work, while John had his teeth cleaned, X-rayed, and evaluated.

After that, we picked up my meds at Safeway at a reduced price, even more off than what I expected yesterday. While there we bought some colas for John and PoweradeZero for me, on sale, along with bags of Honeycrisp apples (on sale) for my neighbor who likes to have an apple / day, and particularly likes Honeycrisp.

We came home for lunch, and John fixed us a ham slice, and 2 eggs each. He had home fries, but I had English Muffin toast with apricot preserves.

We left for music in town at 12:50. Our destination was Hearthstone today. We had a nice bunch of players there with a challenge playing through the replacement of a window in a door behind us, that had been shattered (I wish I had had my camera there to take a photo or asked someone with a phone to take it). I found out it was shattered by a piece of plywood they were using above to knock of the icicles from the roof that had been threatening the glass windows on an angle above the room. The glue they were using to seal the glass pane about did us all in, making us loopy from sniffing the fumes. It was particularly troublesome for our two flute players, who have to inhale a lot of air through their noses to play. Then the hammering began, and not in time with the beat of the music we were attempting to play. We had a smaller audience than usual, but they were very attentive and appreciative. They served hot beverages to the audience and gave out cookies with chunks of chocolate or regular chocolate chip ones.

Folks playing today included: Sharon, Maury, Marilyn, Kevin, Gerald, Charlie, Evie, Nancy, Dean, and Amy.

John and I left and went to the Senior Center to use the computer room until we could pick up his car with the replaced windshield, after 4:00 p.m. We had not counted on the long service, with much Pomp & Ceremony, for the Deputy killed last week. We walked in on the ending final 45 minutes or so of the Live Streaming Memorial from CWU’s Nicholson pavilion, with 2,813 seats. They set up large screens in another room in Nicholson for those who couldn’t fit in the main room. We watched until the end on the big screen at the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center. Likely there were many other places that did the same.

There was a lot of coverage on KOMONEWS with videos appearing later on Facebook of the entire service.
You can reach a nice presentation of parts of the memorial here:

Komonews Coverage Ryan Thompson’s Memorial

If you have a Facebook account, you can get the entire Memorial at this link:

Entire Memorial Service Using A Facebook Acct

We drove by to get John’s Crosstrek, and it cost us only $100 deductible, for an almost $500 job.

Friday, Mar 29

John took off for White Heron this morning at 7:40 after feeding the livestock and birds, taking his companion dog and cat along, and doing stuff around the house.

I slept in, and realized late that I was supposed to be at a scholarship luncheon today at the SURC 3rd floor boardroom. I called Cameron’s phone and caught him and John side-by-side, so talked to both on speaker phone.

This morning I had called Safeway Pharmacy about the count of my halved pills picked up yesterday. It’s now all set with Kayla the Pharmacist. She will put my missing pills in a container and leave it hanging with only my name. Glad I asked. (I had counted them twice last night and found I had only 84 of Atorvastatin (instead of 90) and only 88 of Coumadin (Warfarin) of the 90 needed. I asked if it was possible when they halved them, if they could potentially lose some, and she said, it could happen.

A long time contact from the west side, Bryce Van Parys, is a music instrument guru (and seller of things) with Hammond Ashley Violins, and the good part, is he has a cabin northwest of us where he stays the weekend, and comes by Ellensburg visiting CWU’s musicians on his way back to Renton, WA on Mondays.

He will meet me Monday afternoon at 3:20 p.m. at the CWU Music Building to sell me two sets of 4 strings (one for the future) and help me restring one set on my violin. For me, this is a wonderful service. Thank you Bryce!

Tonight, we went to a Music Antiqua concert by the music faculty at CWU. Below was the email invitation.

Date: Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 9:42 AM
Subject: CWU Presents Musica Antiqua Series Final Concert
The CWU Department of Music will present the final free program of this year’s Musica Antiqua concert series on Friday, March 29 at 7 PM in the McIntyre Music Building Recital Hall. Directed by harpsichordist Margret Gries, the program is based on old English popular music and conveys a kind of storytelling at the most basic level. Even our title “Old England Grown New” refers in its original form as a commentary on seventeenth-century economic and political changes. In today’s world, the same story can be heard as a narrative on Brexit! {the current removal of the UK from the European Union} CWU music faculty and alumnae perform traditional instrumental settings of ballad tunes for string ensemble and soprano Jennifer Samples brings the traditional ballad repertoire to life with tales of love and loss, the fear of ghosts and the dangers of eating pudding! With variety of tunes and textures, and the insightful observations on human nature, English country ballads never seem to lose their appeal to today’s audiences.

Musica Antiqua performance at CWU Music Building Recital Hall: “Old England Grown New: Songs of Love and Country Life in Early Modern England.” Here is a list of the performers:

Jennifer Samples, soprano
Vanessa Moss, baroque violin
Maija Henderson, baroque violin
Michelle Rahn, baroque viola
John Michel, baroque cello
Margret Gries, harpsichord

Link to Baroque violin

My video captures of the evening I sent to YouTube, but I have the full set to share on a thumb drive with the group, if they are interested. John thinks he may have seen it being videotaped from the back of the recital hall. As you can see, I was right near the stage. We were close enough to see the soloist’s expressions.

If you only want to check out a couple below, I would pick the first, third, and fourth, for the overall content. I’m sorry I cannot provide the lyrics here. I was amazed at Jennifer’s ability to memorize so many songs, and deliver them with such gracefulness and interpretative meaning.

Margret Gries explains the English Ballads

The Country Lass by Jennifer Samples

Harvest Home by Jennifer Samples

When as I Glance – Baroque Instrumental Group

Saturday, March 30

Earlier than John, our friend Evie Schuetz was up to view the stars, from Olmstead Place, Historical State Park on Ferguson Road east of Ellensburg. Here was her incredible morning capture (time lapse 6 seconds), with the lights of a semi-truck on I-90 illuminating the barn (with barn quilt), and continuing to make a “lighted fence” beyond. Olmstead Park, photo 3/30/19 by EvieMae Schuetz

Below is a capture I made from the Street View of Google Earth Pro, taken in July of 2012, before the Barn Quilt was installed. I adjusted the colors to improve the red barn, but I think it actually has been painted since 2012 and looks much brighter. I need to drive by in person on my way home with my camera to get it now in the daylight.This originates from Google Earth Pro’s street view camera coverage in July of 2012.

John was up early to say good morning to the outside cats and put out their food. Then he finished his normal gathering of news and interesting things, which I kept him away from yesterday by taking him in the evening to the concert you have heard about. His “Not So Nasty News” is out now, as of this morning.

Except for tonight when I have a Clothes Swap meet to attend, I will be working on chores around the house and on the blog. Thus far I have done mostly work on my computer, which has lost the chargeability of its battery, so I have to determine what the battery is to be replaced, or whether I should just get a new computer. I truly hate setting up a new computer with all the software I need to install, so I guess we will go with a new battery. John found one on line for just under $50 for one that fits, and John will have to unscrew about 9 screws on the underside to replace it. Now if I have to leave home with it, I have to take the power supply and plug it into a wall (as I had to at the dentist office Wednesday).

I called Dee Eberhart about the planned meeting at Hearthstone of the Retired Geographers and their wives. I sent a note to the members about who can come on April 10 at 9:00 a.m. I always take something sweet to have with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, provided by the activities director at Hearthstone.

I removed the videos taken last night on my camera at the Music Antiqua performance at CWU Music Building Recital Hall. Now I need to remove them from the camera and recharge the battery that barely made it through last night. That was accomplished Sunday.
I am currently uploading a couple of my favorites to represent the night. I will not upload all to YouTube, but hope to locate some of the musicians to offer my videotapes of their performance. I was up close to the stage with a good perspective on most of the group.

After brunch and John is now outside preparing to plant onions and a few other things. The long spell of cold and snow chased the pruners out of the vineyard, and no garden work got done here; except John shoveled 8″-10″ of snow off the places he wanted to get to first. Normally, they have finished by April. They are only half done.

I took myself to an event tonight at the Ellensburg Foursquare Church. This happened because of trying to clean up old clothes that no longer fit me. This event was a Clothing Swap (just for gals), and the entrance ticket was bringing in during the previous two weeks, 12 items to be distributed freely to those participating tonight. Things that could be included were clothing and accessories, including pocketbooks, hats, shoes, jewelry, scarves, and gloves.

Tonight, I was surprised to find some things to bring away, and realize I still have many things to go through at home to donate to the Ellensburg Community Clothing Center (ECCC) at the United Methodist Church. I found a colorful winter beanie that will fit John (and Sunday morning I found it would fit me too). I even found some earmuffs for me and a pair of winter gloves. Several pairs of pants, jeans, and a lovely vest, two cardigan sweaters, some blouses, and a denim shirt. Anything I change my mind about or that doesn’t fit, I’ll pass along to the ECCC, orshare with a friend. Now I just have to hope they will do this again, but I know it was a major undertaking requiring a lot of volunteers. I participated in such an endeavor several years ago, and realize the incredible amount of work collecting, organizing, and putting on. Still, re-purposing such things is good.

Sunday, March 31

Ending the last day of March with an EvieMae Schuetz’s photo: Here are my reflections upon Evie’s photograph: Now that is nothing short of fantastic! We lived in Idaho for 15 years (starting in 1974) and took field trips to the Bunker Hill Mining Company (in Kellogg, ID), where we toured the facility with our students. The Sunshine Mine was located between Kellogg and Wallace. We even went “down” (~8,000 feet) into the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, ID. Wow, was that a trip! It got pretty hot climbing around on ladders, and walking along beside miners, and little mining cars on a small railroad track. I doubt anything like that would be possible anywhere today with OSHA regulations. So your photo brings back incredible memories, and certainly is a classic photo. Thank you, Evie!

Our day today has been inside the house (Nancy) and outside (John), first preparing ground, fixing fence, and removing mulch from strawberries. New green there, he says.
Frost this morning, but Monday – maybe not.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news March 29/30

Item #1: Images

Liberty is a fine thing.

Who is Jeff and why does he have nukes?
Jeff stands for ‘Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion File’ (JEFF).
A part of the Nuclear Energy Agency

Item #2: A first world problem

Celery prices soar

Health food celebrities started a demand for celery juice. In Vancouver B.C., the price of a box has risen from$20 to $100 or more. A new crop isn’t expected to easy this burden until August.
Maybe they could use Cauliflower (there is green Broccoflower) and Fast Green FCF (aka Green Dye #3).
Or drink beer.

Item #3: A Tree Story
Not the tree ==>
of this story

Photo shows what trail crews often have to deal with.

Tipped over tree, stands back up

In our WTA trail-crew safety talks, we mention problem trees. It seems odd, but a fallen tree can stand back up. This is an issue if we have to cut and move one from a trail. The story here is of one that came back up without being disturbed.
In this story, a boy is in the hole where the roots came from.
He lived.

Item #4:

Good or bad (?), more electric autos are in our future. Current chemistry for EVs involves Lithium.
Li found in Western Australia
From Economics 101, we learn that demand influences price, and price influences supply. Or substitution: See Celery story! Not yet for Lithium, as far as I know.
Friday morning, an all-electric Chevy Bolt went by me on I-90. It was a nice blue color, but not as nice a blue as my Crosstrek. I had a good look, because she was going only a little faster than I was. Also, the smaller gas autos, as is mine, will go about 500 miles on a full tank. On and off the street for a fill-up takes 7 minutes. For us this may be the future. For some the future is now.
Better concept for a warmer place than we now live.

Item #5: Brineura
This is a new drug, the only medicine to treat Batten disease. News to you, too?


The nasty news: Brineura costs $850,000 per person for one year’s supply.
Tom Strahan, 6, was the first Australian to receive the drug called Brineura, when his family moved to Italy so he could be part of a clinical trial. That can’t be an easy thing to do.
Isn’t science and modern medicine astounding?

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

Friday March 29

John here: I had intended to do a Nasty News tonight.
However, I was informed that we were going to CWU to hear a Musica Antiqua concert.

The good news is that the hard rain of late afternoon is over.
The sun is shining, clouds and blue sky are nice.

I’ll get up Saturday morning and see if I can find good news.


Playing Again – & Spring

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

Hay is thrown from trucks

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

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

Monday, March 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 19

John’s out doing morning feeding chores and such.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, Mar 21 First full day Spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, Mar 22

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benito Chavez Arrives Home in Law Enforcement Caravan

Sunday, March 24

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

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

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

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

Harobed Clearing a Field of Hay Bales

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

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

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so nasty news March 22

Item #1: ImagesMarch 21, 2019 looking at West Bar from the Mariposa Vineyard.
Two green dots, right at bottom, are near posts for wires; no vines shown. Orange dot on left is where the BNSF Railroad crosses over the highway between Quincy and Wenatchee. Red dots = road in cut. Beneath the string of yellow dots is the Columbia River, almost a mile away and 500 feet below the camera. The basalt cliffs are 1,000 feet high. The snow between the River and the cliff may be 20 or 30 feet deep, in (link) Giant Ripples

Item #2:Birds

While pruning vines, we see several types of things flying in or near our airspace. One of the pruners has an obsession with airplanes, so every aircraft low enough to be identified is explained to the others of us that don’t know.
Meanwhile, we see many birds, some welcome – some not – in the vineyard. We are on a south facing hillside, now sunny and warm. We have seen Harriers and Hawks, and the owner saw an Owl yesterday. Others did identify a large bird cruising (with set wings) over the edge of the planted rows.
Northern Harrier

This next link is a story of how such birds of prey are used to keep an upscale resort free of pigeons and their droppings.
Terranea Resort and a falconer’s playground

Item #3: Where’s Freddy

Lost, call 911

Police come to the rescue when Ryan calls 911 to report a lost teddy bear.
Officer Khari was trained to deal with a young boy with autism so all ended well.

But where had the teddy bear, Freddy, gone? They don’t say. Mystery.

Item #4: How very strange
Irony of Fate – The concept that the Gods are toying with humans for amusement by using irony.

Got chickenpox?

So I am not sure ‘irony’ is the correct word for a person advocating freedom of choice regarding vaccinations.
Massimiliano Fedriga, a leading anti-vaccination legislation figure and member of Italy’s far-right Northern League party has been admitted to hospital to be treated for chickenpox.
It is known this disease is often more severe in adults than in children, but having searched, I cannot find out why.

Item #5: Hey, my car is going the wrong way

This is a story of a missing auto, just east of Vancouver, B.C.
Wrong Way Bentley

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

Seattle Doctor Pike Place

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?

Video: The Aquarium in the Radiology Waiting Room

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!

Buttons Cle Elum Elk-New Home at Woodland Park Zoo

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