Landscape things

Sunday, May 18

Early morning alarms with horses can stop any time now. This morning early, one of our horses, Jazz, escaped we think under a temporary fenced part of our back yard [opposite side of the house from the regular pasture] where they can get to for fresh grass. After his escape he was outside the regular fence looking back at the other four that he could not get to. So he was moving along the fence — running back and forth beneath our tamaracks and walnut trees near the lilac bush that we photographed for last week’s blog. This is a narrow space between the house and the pasture. John saw Jazz go by the window of the room where the old computer is and alerted me. We opened a gate into a small pen that at that moment did not have any horses in it but does lead into the pasture. He quickly went in. He doesn’t want to be caught when he is “free” like that but will go into a round pen with the command “go home” – and then he will turn and face John and is quite nice about being handled, haltered, and so on.
I have been working on the medical questionnaire for over an hour, and still have two pages of a registration to fill in for my Tuesday afternoon appointment.
Then I need to work on the Labor Department questionnaires.
In addition, after lunch, we need to get Breeze into the corral to doctor his eye. I was able to walk up to him and hold his halter while petting all the others, but we were not able to get medicine into his eye (no surprise). We have no way of sedating him as the vet did yesterday. John took the dogs for their exercise, and now is mowing. It has been windy all day, and threatening rain. I spent awhile on the phone with a friend in Oregon, while John dug a narrow ditch to drain water around the new strawberries. We’ve commandeered a natural low spot for this garden and are slowly filling and leveling. Spring melt water and a high creek makes this area damp but this year made it wet! Where tomatoes and corn grew last summer is now soppy. The strawberries are looking great – except there are a few weeds, mostly Malva parviflora (Cheeseweed), still to be pulled.
I came back in the house to mail some stuff to my friend about potential jobs and about folk music. I mixed in some dish cleaning and fixed food for the outside (and inside) cats. All five outside ones were there tonight, and Rascal was inside while they ate.

Monday, May 19

Strange early morning call confirming my medical records for tomorrow’s computerized tomography (CT) or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan because use of amiodarone can cause lung scars. I have been on it for 4 years, and doing well. It’s for atrial fibrillations, of which I have had none. It requires a pulmonary function test annually. Learn more here.
Then John and I spent a good amount of time on the Internet, but now when I need to access it, it is down. He is out running the dogs. I received ANOTHER Out of Area call (no number shown), and I answered it to tell them to quit calling. This was for the Navajo relief group. I told them to put me on the do-not-call list, and that I was already supporting a Navajo student. The guy claimed he would put me on the do not call list–actually the call was to John “HILTqueest.”
Now the Internet is totally down, and we have been on the phone forever only to find that person cannot help us and will report to the local office, and it may be the next business day. Good grief. That’s insane. Also, my phone call from Valley Imaging (Yakima) could not get through to our home telephone this morning, but now that number is working. The Internet came back on within a half hour, after the end of our phone conversation. We suppose businesses using the Internet were right on them immediately. Dishes in washer, John has been mowing around all sides of the house, and we await a load of sand. The sand was delivered, but not before the heavy truck sunk into the track going to the round pen – past the wet garden. The truck went across, leaving tire tracks only about an inch deep and only slightly moist. Then getting turned around the front wheels started to sink. He backed up, dumped the sand and made a running start to get out. We figured it would be easier being many tons lighter, but it was still a challenge. The explanation is filed under the heading thixotropic . Note the wording used therein — deposited in the past by low-velocity streams which tend to deposit fine-grained sediment. Exactly the sort of thing that would happen on the ancient Naneum (alluvial) Fan. John will move some of this material and fill the spot with rocks and cover with gravel although it is only the high water table causing the problem.
I just checked. We received 31,320 pounds (15.66 tons) and it cost $140.16, the hauling cost was 81.43, and the tax 17.73 … totaling, $239.32. That’s just $0.0076 per pound! John says Earth probably tilted a bit from the weight change from one end of the valley to the other. Did you feel it?
Sand delivery truck backing away from soft wet spot where we thought the ground was hard and rocky.
The truck had passed over and turned completely around when the front wheels sunk – he has just backed away. The soft place is just a few feet wide and long. The rest of the area barely showed tire tracks from the truck and its load of sand.
A red cab on delivery truck of 15+ tons of sand; moving forward, sand flowing out the back on to the ground.
This much grocery store bottled water would cost you about $50,000.

Tuesday, May 20

Three appointments in Yakima — 9:30 CT scan at Valley Imaging, 11:00 for a Pulmonary Function Test that takes an hour, and a 1:30 appointment at the same location. We went to Costco before the last one. I will likely be worn out by the end of the day and not have the energy to play music at 6:30 p.m. in Ellensburg.
Well, I have quite a story to tell, but I don’t have the energy tonight. As expected, I was worn out and couldn’t make it to play music. Okay, here’s a try at reviewing 2 days later, with a nice full night’s sleep. We left the house at 8:00 a.m., making it to the first appointment a little ahead of time for a 9:40 appointment for a CT scan. Interesting they told us to park on the south side of the building, in the only parking lot for the building. The gal that told me must have no idea of directions. It was completely on the north side, and nothing was available on the south side except a garbage dumpster. I did not have to wait too long to be admitted and whisked off (with John) to another waiting room. We were quietly waiting when a friend (husband of the Geography secretary) came into the room. He does CT scheduling, and scans, so saw my name on the schedule and came down to say hello. That was a pleasant surprise. Not too many minutes and I got to a changing room and on to the examination room. I was concerned about having to hold my arm above my head for 20 minutes, and was told I could put my left arm down for the high resolution scanning of my lungs. It worked. The left arm would never have made it up and the right one was extremely sore during and afterwards. From there we could go eat something (I couldn’t eat anything 4 hours prior to the scan). We went to Jack in the Box and got two large breakfast sandwiches. Mine was free (2.99) and John’s we paid for (3.49), but considering we both ate for the price of one, was fine. It was sufficient to tide us through without lunch.
We went on to the Yakima Heart Center for my Pulmonary Function Test. Didn’t have to wait long at all, and I was pleased with the technician and the test. I will drive back the 50 miles next year to Yakima for my test rather than have it here in Ellensburg. Then we decided we had time to go to Costco before being back at the same building as the Yakima Heart Center for a 1:30 appointment. On our way there, we drove around the old residential neighborhoods, looking at the flowering bushes. The very pretty flowering trees were past their prime, yet we saw rhododendrons — the WA State Flower, roses, some azaleas, and most exciting to me, camellias. I grew up in Atlanta, with a mom who specialized in camellia bushes/trees, not for making tea, but for the beautiful blooms. She loved to make corsages for others, or me, but mostly to give away. They are pretty in a bowl of water as a centerpiece. At the time, I knew the name of all 24 plants she had around the front yard. I still have a mental map of some of them. A beautiful deep red one was Jarvis. Pink Perfection was another, and another pink variegated one was Hermes. I have been sitting here racking my brain to pull out some names, and am having no luck. I looked on line and cannot find any familiar names. I can visualize flower images but not connect with any names. I cannot believe that some of the old ones don’t still exist somewhere. I took photos with a cell phone but the quality is poor. This tree shows well enough – it does not appear to be a tree covered with a vine or moss. So what is it?
Finally, my favorite memories — Camellias. These were in front of the Centro de fe Cristiano Cuadrangular, or the Yakima Spanish Foursquare Church. This church and the entire neighborhood is on an upslope just west of the downtown area. It is the original nice neighborhood of Yakima but not old when compared to eastern US or European cities. The town did not exist prior to 1885 and this residential area is more recent.
A fuzzy image but all we have of a tree in Yakima; looks like an old snag that's vine covered; or moss covered; but seems natural; kind of like a big Saguaro cactus.

large flower bushes -- pink and red blossoms -- near steps leading into a church

My next appointment was at 1:30 with Dr. Kumar for a sleep consultation requested by my cardiologist. My prior work you have heard about preparing for this visit required filling in a 13-page questionnaire to which 99% of the answers were N/A or NO. He was very informative and obviously had reports from my doctor and knew a lot about my medical history. That’s always positive. He spoke, very generally, of some people with serious sleep issues – interesting but not anything like me. Still, he can’t tell much without an overnight sleep evaluation test so I am scheduled for it June 19. I have to be there by 8:30 p.m., and they have a room like a nice large motel room, with a hospital bed (double), TV and WIFI, with a nice bathroom and shower. They hook me up and have an observation camera for contact. They hope I will sleep for 6 hrs of evaluation, but if I need to go to the bathroom, I have to announce it so they can remove the wires. Then I’m awakened at 5:30. I think that was the schedule. I don’t have to leave until I’m ready, and can have juice and pastries for breakfast and take a shower before I leave for home. I will be able to drive myself down and back. My car will be parked under lights, and the parking lot is monitored by guards.

Wednesday, May 21

Dropped off clothes at a friend’s on my way to the Food Bank, and carried along some paperback books to put in the library at the Senior Center. One was a Zane Gray book, which they said the guys really like to read. Will play music at the food bank, eat, and go on to the activity center for SAIL exercise. Gave two of the books away to a woman I was eating with at the food bank (Word and number puzzle books). She lives in a motor home in Fred Meyer’s parking lot. I also gave her a ride back a couple blocks to it. I guess she moves around town parking places until they ask her to move. She likes to be near the library where she can work on puzzles. I don’t know what she will do when it gets really hot or cold. She has no a/c or heat. I’m often asked about volunteering music at the Food Bank and in assisted living and retirement homes. Usually, the conversation is complimentary, but occasionally someone comments they could never go into such an environment, as it would be too depressing. I have a tendency to get involved in talking with people and it’s surprising what they tell me. Saddest thing now is hearing stories from homeless people at the Food Bank, or watching residents in assisted living homes deteriorate and pass on. More than once, we have been asked to do remembrance celebrations of waltzes for a person who loved our music, or the happier is being asked to play music for a birthday party, while they are still alive.

Thursday, May 22

Started early with a phone call to the neighbor south of us, one of 3 with whom we share irrigation water (from a ditch). I had problems with my computer starting last night that supposedly blocked a malware threat involved with my .pdf-making files software. I called our local computer guru group, but they didn’t know. What was happening was that when I tried to open any other malware program to check for threats, up would pop a warning message from Spyware Terminator 2012 saying it had prevented a threat, but then it would not let me open any of the other software. We worked on several things and finally I went to play music at Hearthstone. I was the lone fiddler, with four guitars and a banjo. We had the largest turnout ever in the audience. They love us and participate very well. End of another busy day, in the afternoon, with storm clouds threatening. I continued working on cleaning dishes, and dealing with computer problems. John and Annie went out working together to build another temporary fence to allow the horses access to the grass from the house out to Naneum Road. Annie mostly hunted for shrews. John built a barricade making some use of the wood pallets acquired last year. He isolated the car parking area, front yard, and some plants. The entrance/exit of our driveway at the road can be closed and with that done the five horses have ¾ of an acre of new grass to munch – and John will then mow. They don’t do a very neat job.

Friday, May 23

Whoopee — washed a load of dishes before leaving for a scholarship luncheon, close to the CWU post office where I sent stuff off to a few former students, such as a Master’s Thesis, some maps, and a couple of Aramco Worlds to my friend teaching in Geography at CWU (it just went through intra office mail). Luncheon was in the same building but I had to leave the parking space and drive 1/2 way around the block to the other side of Facilities. We had a fantastic chicken chili — white beans, tomatoes, peppers, and cornbread, plus all sorts of toppings. I filled up after a tiny breakfast of a small piece of pastry. Oh, forgot the magnificent cheesecake with a lemon frosting type deal, and for our beverage was a large cup of pineapple, orange, and white grape juice with Sprite. From there to the hospital lab, for the routine blood draw. Late afternoon, I heard that the INR reading today was down to a respectable 2.4 (my target is 2.5) from the 3.2 last week. No clue why the difference. At least I don’t have to go again for a blood draw for another month. Also, I finally managed to give John a much-needed haircut. Now he’s willing to go in public again with me. He has spent a lot of time weeding cheeseweed from the new garden and spraying weeds and brush. He moves the horses around to different pastures throughout the day, exercises the dogs, feeds the outside cats (sometimes 5), and moves hoses and plants around. [She means the ones not yet planted – still in peat pots.] I made progress working over an hour finalizing the questionnaires on what a geographer is or does in a job with that title from the Dept. of Labor. I still have two of the five to finish. We do not have any away-from-home activities to attend this long weekend, so there is time to catch up.

Saturday, May 24

Spent some time finishing up a piece of music, Kentucky Waltz, in two keys, to decide which to put it in for the main singers’ voices. I still haven’t decided between C and D. I’m leaning toward C. I even took my fiddle out to check it out in C, but have to do it yet for D. This was a song written (notes & lyrics) in 1942 by Bill Monroe. What a talented guy. Various You Tubes exist, and I like the one with his singing with Emmy Lou Harris. John worked on weeds (mowing wild iris around the pasture). It is vegetation neither the horses or deer will eat – it can have poison but tastes bad to them so the plants can take over an area wit appropriate moisture and soil conditions. Mowing prevents the spread by seed. Some neglected fields in our area seem completely covered.

I worked for some time on the Dept. of Labor questionnaires, and now am finally ready to mail them (all 5). I guess I can spend the $40 cash they sent me. It was surely poor hourly pay for my consultation. I need to change chores. John took a quick nap after mulching hundreds of very pretty purple Iris. The winds have increased to 40 mph gusts, sustained at 32 mph. Our neighbor to the west through the trees and riparian land has been making loud noise all morning, setting up large speakers for his annual Memorial Day Weekend party, we guess. It stopped, and then started again, so the party must be in progress and they stopped to eat. The wind is so “loud” that we can barely hear it at times, but it is still audible. If there in person, my eardrums would be affected.

We are going into a cool period for a few days. Thursday we had a high of 87. For this coming Wednesday the forecast if for a high of 62. The change is being brought to us by an air mass off of the northern Pacific Ocean – now arriving as 40 mph gusts. Bummer.

Our wishes for you are for a nice long weekend in celebration of Memorial Day. We will put out our flags at the road, in and on the rock crib. We are right on a curve where people are supposed to slow down, so we get lots of comments on our flag display (even though we are not on a thoroughfare and just have local neighbors north in 3 directions within a couple of miles).

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

When a Shrimp is not a shrimp w/txt

Saturday, May 10

Work on cleaning and the blog. This picture came in the email from a former graduate resource management student (Native American), now working in Alaska. I thought this was some shrimp, and one would fill me up, not more than two would be required. This is taken near Whittier, Alaska. Click for large view.
Nancy's once student Jill holding very large (8 inches) Shrimp just taken from the water; snow capped peaks in background; dark blue rippling waters near the ship

Sunday, May 11 Happy Mother’s Day

My favorite card wish comes from the son of one of our students while at the University of Idaho. She now lives with her family in Illinois, but has kept in touch over the years. She went into the Geography profession so over the years I have seen her at our national meetings. Here’s what her son wrote to her on Facebook with a picture of the two of them. I love it:
Happy Mother’s Day to this amazing lady! She has opened my family’s doors to anyone in need and has taught me the most valuable life lesson: You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friends nose. I love you, mum.
This morning we tackled large boxes on the front porch from garage-sale purchases in past years. Haven’t been to one this year and only a few last. Therefore, we decided to move stuff to keep the bees and wasps from settling in. We found two blankets and all sorts of surprises. Two tops (a blouse and a vest) were too small for me, so I will take them to a friend Tuesday morning. I sorted out other stuff to share with other folks. I picked out paperback books to take to the Adult Activity Center for the free table.
I found a large beach towel I shall give to a favorite family with 3 kids. Also cleaning up last year, I found another beach type towel, which I have to retrieve from the sink in my washroom (where I last saw it–probably put there to wash. It MIGHT be a combo robe towel carrier. I haven’t looked at it in a couple of years. John wanted to spray weeds, but the threat of storm clouds changed his mind, so he has moved to the garden and is weeding in the strawberry patch. It is bright and sunny now with only a gray cloud still to the west; so maybe it will rain. (It didn’t, but one never knows for sure.)
I switched from chore to chore all day. Spent time on the phone calling a few relatives and friends to wish them a Happy Mothers’ Day. Worked on music and two other academic projects. Cleaned dishes and a load of clothes.

Monday, May 12

I have been busy with report compilation about the Geography Dept to present to Emeriti Faculty tomorrow morning. Also printed out an obituary to share, and directions to two end-of-year Geography Department events. Have been sharing time between eating lunch, music chores, washing dishes, and talking to our Internet provider about the problems with our router. I spent about 1/2 hr (plus 10 minutes wait time for a technical support person). Finally, he managed to take me through the system on my computer to reboot the router, and we hope that corrects the situation. (Several days later, it seems to be working all right.)

Tuesday, May 13

Started at 9:30 at the Copper Kettle for meeting with the Emeritus Geography Faculty group. I gave a report on the current department with figures about some recent happenings that I thought were misunderstood. My attempt was to be positive toward the Department and rumors that were flying. I think it was successful. I also took along an invitation to the end of the year party out in the country for getting people there with good directions, pictures, and printed out in color. Afterwards, we went around town on several errands to four different stops. Got home and had a bite of lunch. Now am busy playing catch up on email, but with my legs propped up. Tonight I have to go back to play music at Hearthstone. Did so and dropped by Bi-Mart for some Magnesium on sale. John fixed ground beef burgers with mushrooms and Havarti on Sesame seed rolls.

Wednesday, May 14

Today, is music at Noon at the Food Bank, then lunch there. Afterwards I went by a friend’s house to pick up some music related things and delivered clothes and another item from my clean-up findings. I spent an hour and a half working on the Dept. of Labor evaluation of the job title, Geographer. It is a tough thing to answer and respond to, because they are not clear in their instructions, once one starts evaluating the items. A person has to mark whether the decsription is relevant or not (to a job with the title, geographer), indicate the importance and the frequency of this item. I’m having trouble figuring out each item, because each one would be different for a distinct specialty of a geographer’s job – (whether a cartographer, planner, resource manager, or GIS analyst, and the list goes on). I finally wrote a letter with my dilemma in answering the questionnaire. Worked off and on all afternoon sending job announcements and mixing with other chores, cleaning, and sorting. I forget what time it was, but John came in and asked me to walk [there was not an exercise class to go to today] up the driveway with him and the dogs to get the mail and paper. From there we went down through a few trees – some are Cottonwoods and their white fluff is well dispersed in the air and nearly covering the ground in spots not too windy. We went to our south fence line (300 yards) at the far end of our pasture, so he could check on the irrigation water he has been directing around for the neighbors. Tonight was a dinner of leftovers with newly picked asparagus and a “nuked” Yukon Gold potato. Before heading to bed, I wrote a long statement to the people in North Carolina about my problems with filling in the answers on the first questionnaire.

Thursday, May 15

Started with a bunch of email needs. I received an answer about the questionnaire. I’m supposed to answer it relative to my job. I still don’t understand how this will be helpful to them. The items all cover things I taught, but the specialties will vary for one person taking a job as a planner, researcher, GIS analyst, or technician with Expedia or Google. Then I decided to tackle the Sleep Apnea questionnaire. I read it completely yesterday afternoon, but need to start working through it. Actually, I spent awhile scanning the 11-paged questionnaire before I fill in the blanks.
We had only one fiddle, one viola, and five guitars there today at Dry Creek. People had conflicts with doctor appointments, professional meetings, and another had to attend a funeral. We had a low turnout of residents, but our old faithful followers were there. One of them is in a wheel chair with oxygen, but he loves the songs we play, and often has a request, or sings along. This day his song was Blues, Stay Away from Me. He almost sang a solo on the first verse, the first time through. Everyone totally enjoyed it. He gave our viola player a kiss on the hand as she left. She had to meet me at my car to get her old violin I had picked up at my stop yesterday. In addition, I gave her one of the things I found in the stuff on the front porch, a camouflage lunch box, insulated, for her husband (Retired Air Force), who does search and rescue training for the locals. Then I was off for my INR reading (3.2), to Super 1, for carrots to add to Ebony’s Senior Equine, to Bi-Mart for eye ointment for me, on sale $1 off the grocery store price. Tonight John made a simple yeast bread. He started that, then cobbled together a pizza and while it cooked and was eaten, the yeast did their bit. It’s been awhile and we had to search for the pans. They had made their way to the back of a cabinet (the corner type) beside the dishwasher. The baking smells so good. It will not be cooled enough to have a piece before bedtime. Besides, we just had pizza.

Friday, May 16

Here we are to Friday already. Where does the time fly?
Our weather report today is windy – so what’s new. The last two hours have kept John inside. We had 44 mph gusts, sustained at 35 mph, the next hour WENT DOWN (ha ha) to 29 mph sustained, and 41 mph gusts.
We had to leave the house at 1:00 p.m. to get to our eye appointments about 12 miles away. We passed all the tests with flying colors, and got home a little after 3:00 pm. We both had Optomap exams to see the back of our eye – and my left eye has had a little film on it, removable in the office with a laser, but until I decide my vision is impaired enough, we will wait another year to evaluate. That’s one of the drawbacks of an intraocular lens replacement which I had in 1997. Considering how well I see without glasses (with both eyes I have 20/20 vision), there’s no reason to be concerned. The right eye is now better than my left, which is slightly blurry (from that film mentioned above). The only funny thing to me is that I grew up (even with glasses on), with my left eye being the better one. So, because I could see targets (birds or clay pigeons) better from my left eye sighting, I learned to shoot my over/under 20-gauge shotgun, left handed. My eye pressure was good – 13 in each eye, so glaucoma is not a problem. The only thing wrong with my eyes is they are dry. That can be caused from environment, from medications I’m on, or from age. I know how to handle that, with artificial tears, or with a gel ointment. On our way home we saw a low “cloud” over the whole eastern part of our valley. This looked like wind-blown silt from the fields and roadsides plus maybe some white smoke from burning out weeds in ditches or a field. A bit late in the season for burning, though, so maybe something else. Also, not a good day with the high winds to burn anything anywhere.
John laid down for a needed nap to justify not going out and having to work in the wind. I spent a lot of time on the phone with Group Health and finally got an answer that satisfied me about a mailed receipt called an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that came today, saying I owed a balance for a 2/25 visit (one for 15 minutes to wave a wand over the memory chip in my ICD), a visit that happens once every 3 months. It requires a long trip to Yakima and usually cannot occur in conjunction with any other appointment at the center, e.g., with my Cardiologist (but I only see him every 6 months). They seemed to charge me twice for the same test: one at $96.00 and one at $40, but it came on two different pages from two different providers. The problem was supposedly the first one was the original charge and then the second was the indication of a payment by Medicare (of only $7.12), and the 3rd is in progress. Supposedly, that has processed, and GH paid the remainder, leaving me to owe nothing. I don’t even think I want to know why so many pages to different providers, and the diagnosis doesn’t match with what I think it should. It says I was evaluated for an “abnormally fast heart rate.” I do not have that. My heart rate has been consistently in the 50s and mostly 60s for several years. I haven’t had an abnormally high heart rate since 2010 !! [John thinks all of these things are reported as numerical codes and either the code was off or the code used years ago – March of 2010 – is still in the system.] While on the phone with the Group Health rep, I logged on to GH’s computer with her looking at my personal account, and she showed me how to determine that I owed no payment. Supposedly in tomorrow’s or Monday’s mail (next week?) I will receive the EOB for the additional payment from GH for the 2/25/14’s visit. My complaint is why don’t they wait until all the reimbursements are determined before sending me a form that says the patient is responsible for $46.03 and another saying for the exact same treatment that my total responsibility is $30.04. It makes absolutely no sense to me, and she could not explain it to my satisfaction either, except to convince me I owed nothing more. We’ll see if this is the end of it. All these things contribute to the rising cost of health care but do nothing for one’s health. John’s in the kitchen with a multi-ingredient tomato sauce burbling on the stove – the pasta looks like little finned barrels – radiatori.
A bag of Radiatori pasta -- small barrel shapes with fins to hold lots of sauce; from Costco
That’s what is for dinner tonight. If the wind doesn’t take a few trees down and knock the power out! The gusts have dropped from 44 to 37 mph. Dinner is almost ready and the lights are still on.

Saturday, May 17

On the morning pasture trip with the dogs, John noticed Breeze – youngest of the horses – has an eye problem. He hasn’t been in a horse trailer since spring of 2010 and wasn’t going to load today. The vet, Dan Charlton, on duty at the clinic is a neighbor (1/4 mile north on Naneum, then ½ mile east on Charlton Road) – family has been there since settlement so they named the road after the family. Regular Saturday hours are over at Noon so Dan stopped by to “operate” on Breeze. There was a stye (blocked oil gland) back and up inside the eye lid. Usually such things are on the margin of the lid and easily seen. This was much less noticeable and so grew quite large before the bulge was obvious (to John) and caused some wetness to show on the hair below the eye. Breeze, with sedation, was an easy patient and now (a couple of hours later) thinks he would like out of the holding pen and into the pasture with his buddies.
The vet finished just before I need to go play music at Briarwood. Today I am leaving at 1:00 to pick up my neighbor (she knows a few of the residents there), and then we will stay for snacks that will fill us up just before dinner time. I usually am not hungry on such days until 9 or 10 PM. Nancy got back after 4:00, and is proofing this blog. I’m writing now, now, to tell you what we had for our tummies. We had a salad bar, with a huge offering. A large scoop of chicken salad on a tomato nestled in a large lettuce leaf, an apple/almond/cranberry/lettuce dish, a potato salad, a lettuce mixture with mandarin oranges, a 3-bean salad, a nice coleslaw, and exceptionally nice garlic buttered bread. The drink of the day was iced fruit drink made by the daughter of a resident, and frozen, except for the addition of a large bottle of Sprite. It had orange, banana, and pineapple juice as the main base. It was very refreshing. Finally, for dessert was chocolate cake with cream white frosting and a large cinnamon roll type cake, with cream cheese frosting. It was all tasty. We sat with the residents and had a nice visit. We had a small turn-out of players – a fiddle, viola, bass fiddle, and one guitar. But the audience was large – probably 18 folks.

I took pictures today (while a bit windy) of our purple blooming Lilac and white blooming Crabapple. They are near one another – Apple to the right of the Lilac in the first picture below. Left and behind the Lilac are some Carpathian walnut trees.
A near scene centered on a blooming purple Lilic with while Apple blooms background on the right beyond a small Pine; Walnut trees background left

White blossoms of Crab apple with Larch (Tamarack) in back at top left and Walnut leaves sticking in from left edge
This is the crabapple tree, again with Carpathian walnut tree leaves to the left and behind. Also behind are Larch (Tamarack) trees.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Bloom Time

(click for large views)
Montmorency Cherry with Bee

White blossoms of Montmorency (pie) Cherry with Bee
Montmorency (pie) Cherry with Bee

Forsythea and cherries
Apple Tree
Apple tree
Tulips & Cherries
Tulips and cherries
Golden Currant
Golden Currant
Saturday, May 3

We finally finished the blog, and John never went to town. I spent much of the day sorting stacks of newspaper, magazines, and office paper. I made progress, but not as much as desired. We had a late, but good, dinner: chicken thighs with veggies atop including Shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, carrots, red paper, green beans, broccoli, and onions. I’ve been taking my blood pressure since Tuesday, in anticipation of the visit to the cardiologist. He always wants feedback for the week prior to coming to see him. I don’t know if it is meaningful, but to me it is, that I calculated the average of my 13 readings to be 110/59 with a 61 heart rate. [John says, the Dr. wasn’t interested in the average. He focused on the high and the low readings. Much to Nancy’s dismay.] {Nancy here- that wasn’t my expectation. I didn’t like that he picked the first one (high 133) when it was when I was struggling to put on the sleeve. All the rest were much lower, down to 101, when the sleeve was set by John. The average was for the readers of the blog, because I think it is more realistic.}
I heard from Jeri Conklin that she was going to run both dogs tomorrow in a Hunt Test in hopes of getting their second “leg.” That will be awesome if it happens. I didn’t do any music today. I did sort out some books to put into packages to mail. Things such as a thesis for one of my former students, a book I borrowed from another colleague, found an article written by another friend, and I will see if she wants a copy of the periodical. Otherwise, they just get recycled with the magazines. The good non-academic stuff gets to the free table at the Senior Center or the donation shelves at the City Library — things such as Audubon, Scientific American, Natural History, National Geographic, and a multitude of things from our past that are pretty to look at.

Sunday, May 4

I heard good news from Jeri Conklin that both dogs, our Daisy and her Dice, got their second legs for the Junior Hunter test. I wonder when the next hunt test is? (Found out in CA not until fall because of the heat.) Jeri is off to Reno to take Daisy’s mom, Ginny, to Paul Doiron for breaking to wing and shot (that means staying steady after the point and watching the bird fly away, without chasing. In addition, a dog must honor another dog on point, and “stand to flush,” if a bird flies up ahead of them. At 1:12 it just started pouring rain! Yet, nothing is showing on the base reflectivity radar. However, the forecast is for 30% chance of rain. No kidding. Glad we weren’t down in the pasture as we were this morning. John took the dogs out and I joined them to walk and take some photos. Got some cool ones of apple, cherry (with a bee), and plum blossoms, Oregon grape, tulips, and horses. Rain stopped as soon as it started, and it is 1:25.
John left for town, and I stayed to clean and sort. Today I am vacuuming stacks first so I don’t inhale so much dust. It really bothered me yesterday. John went to town, got home, and pulled out some frozen ice cream to soften, and we just put it on a piece of the chocolate cake he brought home. I am happy to take a break from vacuuming dusty things that go back to 2011 in stacks that happened and just have been piled higher and deeper around the house (yes, many stacks and boxes in other rooms go back much longer). Most of the stuff is throwaway (recycle). Hardly anything is worth keeping or giving away. I have uncovered various paperbacks, dusted them, and will take with magazines to the give-away table at the senior center. Just found two wheat pennies and put them away. Also uncovered some purple pants way too big for me, folded in a bag. I probably had them separated to give to a friend, but they got buried before delivery. Now will do that.

Monday, May 5

Magazine subscriptions are a challenge. We have not renewed several subscriptions, but some of the providers have an aggravating marketing scheme. The worst is out of Norfolk, VA (Publisher’s Marketing Bureau), where our Discover magazine is the cheapest. However, they call every year with the ploy “our prices are rising, and we want to have you renew at the lower rate.” Upon questioning, I found they do not have in their system the actual ending date, and so, one has to check the address label. Some printers have moved to plastic wrap to prevent damage when mailing, so now the labels are put on the plastic cover that is removed and tossed. That’s another requirement need for keeping good records. Also, they will not adjust past records and requests. For over a year we have not renewed the Smithsonian magazine through them, (because of their higher price), but they keep bugging us about it. Our Discover magazine goes through 2016 and we have decided by then we will just cancel and no longer deal at all with that company. The place we have gotten it for years is from a professional (student teacher service) who now have changed their name to College Subscription Service, where Smithsonian is $12.00.
On to more phone calls: I spent almost an hour with IRS over a 1040 return which was submitted Jointly, but I was being tagged and sought for not submitting it singly in my name, which we haven’t done for 45 years!! (and never under Nancy B. Hultquist). I must call back June 16, 2014 to see if it has been located in their system. Thankfully, I have a post card returned to me from the IRS in Fresno, with the date they received it by mail. That should lower my blood pressure reading for today. While I waited on the phone for her to check re-cords (after I waited forever for her to help me– getting tired of the same classical music re-peating the same tune, not one of my favorites), I entered my blood pressure information and heart rate into a computer table. I have to report to my doctor tomorrow. I’m almost done, but will add today’s and print it. I did, and had John proof it. He had been very helpful since last week helping wrap the sleeve around my bare left arm. It was difficult for me to do it alone (and raised my BP trying).
More phone calls again, associated with bills– first with RCI (Pend O’Reille Shores) and it won’t get resolved until tomorrow or later this week (fixed it Wednesday). The accountant is not there on Mondays.

Tuesday, May 6

Must go to Yakima to see my Cardiologist, visit the Subaru dealer with questions about my Subaru’s Bluetooth connection to John’s cell phone, the rear seat adjustment, and while in town visit Costco (gas & groceries). We added a late lunch because we didn’t finish with the first two stops until 3:00!
The doctor’s visit was discouraging in a way, because he said my lung function test did not show good results this year (it has to be done annually because of the A-Fib medication I’m on, called Amiodarone). I requested a retake evaluation, because I almost cancelled that test in March, being at the tail end of 5-6 week coughing condition. That re-do will be back in Yakima, rather than here in Ellensburg. In addition, he wants me to have a CT scan to search for fibrous tissue (the way I understand it). The same “damage” shows on smoker’s lungs. I have never smoked. Then he started talking about another desire to put me on the substitute drug for Amiodarone, but it takes FOUR days in the hospital to adjust the dosage to the person under careful scrutiny and its possible side effects are wicked too. The upcoming tests will occur Tuesday, May 20. They scheduled both the same day, when the CT scan could occur. It is first at 9:30 a.m., followed at 11:00 by the Pulmonary Function Test. The scan occurs at Valley Imaging.
If that wasn’t enough, he wants to further investigate cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), also called biventricular pacing. My current implant has 2 wires and the other uses 3. [John has a note below.] That’s against my wishes because a side effect is puncturing the heart, requiring emergency surgery, with death a possibility. The up side is that it would lengthen my life and make me “feel better.” I do not feel bad now. However, thinking about all this is disturbing. He also requested I take a Sleep test (to be sure I don’t have sleep apnea). We don’t know what he saw in the studies that made him think it was a possibility, and we asked, but he still wants the evaluation. That requires OVERNIGHT to be hooked up to all the machines, and is also in Yakima.
John adds: During a heart attack, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to some of the heart muscle is interrupted and it dies. The scar tissue that replaces the muscle can disturb both the heart’s mechanical action (filling and emptying the chambers) and electrical signaling (which paces the heartbeat). Some of the problem is also associated with a heart that does not have the standard shape because of many years of working with valves that have not been closing properly – Nancy’s Mitral valve, for example. Electrical signals have to pass through the damaged muscle and non-standard distances and do not exactly match the timing of signals going elsewhere to other heart chambers. The first link here calls that ventricular dyssynchrony.
Harvard health link
Cleveland Clinic link

Anytime surgeons work on the human body they have to consider the benefits and the chance of problems occurring, even death. If you have had or seen the printout of an ECG (also EKG; the K from Greek kardia) you probably are not aware of all that it tells the cardiologist. Here is a site that gets to some of it nice illustrations; except there seems to be a missing arrow in one diagram.

Wednesday, May 7

Morning started with bill paying and arranging more bill paying situations; seems like 90% of my time. MedicAlert was one–a strange one. They mailed a notice saying my account was cancelled for lack of renewal. Well, I knew I had renewed it for 3 years in Feb (at a special reduced winter special rate, saving $7/yr for the next 3). I called and finally (when unable to get a phone response), got on the Chat-On-Line to question the “mistake.” Finally, some time later one of their chat reps figured out I had renewed but the person who renewed it posted to the wrong number. Phew. Now that’s fixed. Luckily, I was able to capture both sides of our conversation and save in my bill record history. MedicAlert is one of my most important medical assistance methods. It gives access to my complete medical records database that is noted on my MedicAlert bracelet with my medical allergies and my heart implants information, plus emergency contact numbers and those of all my doctors. I wear the bracelet 24/7, even into the shower.
I went to the Food Bank for music but looking like a bag-lady because I was carrying a luggage cart to give away to a patron there. (Actually, John rewrote that incorrectly. I went outside afterwards and handed it to her from my car, in the folded position). It was an extra I had picked up at a yard sale. I kept my two heaviest big-wheeled ones. I probably only need one, but one I bought new for $47, and the other I got at a yard sale long ago for $3.00. I used to drag it behind me with all my books and papers for classes, so I didn’t have to carry a heavy satchel or wear a backpack. (Hence, the bag lady applies here. ) I also used them both to carry equipment to conferences within the state when I was the Treasurer of the Association of WA Geographers.
We had a nice play date today at the Food Bank, and even had one couple up dancing two times on Waltz Across Texas (first at the back of the room, and then they moved up front where we are). It brought a round of applause from the audience, as did several of our songs today. That’s always nice for us to know we are appreciated. After our 1/2 hour of playing, we were treated to lunch: spaghetti casserole, nice Caesar salad, some veggies, and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. From there I went to Grocery Outlet hoping to find less expensive cat food (to no avail-still none was on the shelves). Then on down by my bank for some cash, and then to Les Schwab to have my tire pressure checked. Ever since it turned 7000 miles, I have had a warning light flash when starting the car, stating to check my tires. They were all 32 psi as they were supposed to be. The technician said I didn’t need to worry unless the light came on and stayed on. On then to SAIL exercise class, where I took in a couple of things to share. One was a very large tablecloth with frills on the edge, like a bedspread skirt, but large as a pool table. It was purple with flowers. I showed it to my class of 20 members, and told them I would give it freely. The first one I saw raise her hand, is an older woman I have known for 4 years since I started attending the class. Another she would love to use it and give it a good home. I also took a special book with household hints and cooking / measurement tips, to the young woman who has been our assistant this whole school year from the AmeriCorps program. She is leaving the end of July. Boy, we are all going to miss her very much. Recently, after our leader became ill, she has been leading our SAIL exercise class, she’s involved with special cooking for lunches there, and participates on trips for those who take bus trips around our state.
I came home by way of my friend who cuts my hair (since 1988). While there, I got a tour of their new (used) motor home at an incredible price, and helped push their restored 1943 (my age) military jeep off their trailer. They took it to Wenatchee for the Apple Blossom Special Parade and it quit working about half way through. I came on home and found a huge surprise John had for me. He had taken the very heavy LA-Z-BOY chair out of the back of our pickup, and stepped it down using stacks of pallets and 2” thick planks. It would have been an interesting sight to see. It was sitting in “my corner” of the den when I arrived. So cool. Now it is all hooked up and working wonderfully. What a treat. The major problem is its odor. I put a blanket with close weave over it, to mask some of the smell, but we will give it a treatment soon, when we buy some Febreeze type of odor killer.

Thursday, May 8

I had to finalize Down in the Valley and run copies for people (still missed a couple of notes for those who play notes) — chords are okay, and most of our people are playing chords only. I have a couple more changes for our clarinet player, but most of hers I ran last night (then I realized some of the corrections were not made to her copies, plus I forgot to change keys to one two sharps higher on two of hers. (There are 4 changes I need to make to the file to convert for her; doing only 3 is not a charm.) It rained today so John went along with me and went to the store while I was playing. He got all sorts of stuff on sale that we needed, plus getting some Glade instead of Febreeze for deodorizing my chair. The savings was $5.00. It should work just fine, and we only need to do the one chair. Turnout was high on guitars (5), a banjo, clarinet, viola, and me. We did all right, except on Down by the Old Mill Stream. We murdered that one, so I was intending to leave it out the rest of our play times through the end of June. Now, it’s still raining, and I’m sitting down, figuring I shall correct the music while it is still in the front of my memory.

Friday, May 9

Day home, full of chores: clean dishes and the boxes around my newly installed chair. This morning I threw in a few more music corrections. I took time this morning responding to two academic items (at CWU). So much for being retired.
John went out gathering garbage to take to the dump in the back of the old pickup where the old broken recliner is. Also, he’s waiting to talk to our neighbor about digging a hole for our oldest horse that is declining. We thought 3 days ago she wouldn’t make it through the night. Instead, she is back to walking around and eating again. She is our oldest horse and we have 2 old Brittanys, both showing age issues.
Working between several projects, some academic, some medical, some musical, some cleaning, and more sorting, tossing, bill paying, and others. I also must make time for my consulting work for the Dept of Labor. I received all the questionnaires and goodies and a phone call today from the agency who contacted me to do the evaluation (already discussed in an earlier blog). John left for the dump with a load (that cost him $20 to depart with). Today, I enhanced one of the music changes started last night. We were having problems with the timing on the song, “Down by the Old Mill Stream,” which I fixed, but the notes are too high for the 4 singers, so I changed the key from G to D. I’m sure that will work. I also sent 9 job announcements to the Google Group, NW Geography Jobs, list I manage. We are up to 632 members, with additions each week. Three of the geography profs at CWU attach my instructions and description of the list, to their syllabi. Also, many members around the US recommend friends or contacts to the list. One last week was an interesting lead, given to a job applicant during his visit to the agency for an interview for a part-time position (City of Seattle). Then tonight we had a late dinner after I had a good long talk with my friend whose wife has dementia and is in the nursing home. She’ll never be able to return home, and he is having a tough time going back home alone (after being with her for 69 years). They’re in their 80s. Growing old is no fun.

Saturday, May 10

While updating the blog, I realized I had stored the revised song from yesterday’s key change, but failed to create the different key for our clarinet player. I just changed that before I forgot. After this is posted, I still must go back and send all the changed music (in .pdf files) to the group. That should take us through the end of June, and I don’t have to worry about July/August because we will just do our July 4th playlist, which includes patriotic songs along with good old American songs.
John has gone out to exercise the dogs in another windy (35 mph gusts), but sunny morning, with temperatures up to 54 after in the forties all night. He’s back in and fixed a brunch, sausage with mushroom cheese omelet, fried potatoes, and fruit cocktail. He’d appreciate it for the wind to decrease. It has slightly during the last 2 hours. I will stay to work on the pictures to add to this blog, many of which I took last week, and only need to consider one today. Our most recent flowering plant of the week is the Western Serviceberry; the link has 3 photos, click right arrow under the picture to change them, and double click on the picture to enlarge each. They look nice by the smell is to be avoided. Along the edge of our pasture they look like this:
(click for large view)
White blossoms of Serviceberry against green leaves at the edge of our pasture.
Closeup of white Serviceberry blossoms
Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Oh, Happy Mother’s Day


Saturday, Apr 26

This morning John embellished the blog I sent him late last night and we posted it, after a few revisions. He picked our first asparagus of the year. I spent a good time looking at every page of all three music books last night, described in the last week’s blog. Maybe I didn’t completely. One is a collection of Burl Ives, the other 47 folk tunes by a banjo player, and then another folksongs book. I found several songs I really wanted to have (and remember), but didn’t have in our repertoire. I’m so excited. So I got up this morning, and before my first cup of coffee, I copied several songs from the Folksong book: Michael Row the Boat Ashore (from my part of the country where I grew up, so that makes it very special). (It’s about the island life on the Georgia Sea Islands (St. Simon and John’s Island), and the Africanisms in the speech dialects of the Gullah speakers there). I have visited those islands as a kid, and sat with some folks while they weaved baskets from the sea grass blades. I have already today put it into the software (just the lyrics and notes for now, but will transpose for the clarinet player, and then add the chords to run for the rest of the group.
(Update – I added it to the songs for the next two months, and May 1st, this week, we sang it. It was a hit with all there, especially the audience. I put the chorus at the beginning, all 4 verses beneath, with a repeat back to the top for the chorus each time between the verses.)
Now let me list the others I copied this morning: Goober Peas, Sweet Betsy from Pike, (one guitar player has requested that in the past), Down in the Valley – we have parts of it in an old hand-scribbled score, but this will be easy to put in the computer (update, we added that song this week), East Virginia, and Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill – [from the French word for a drill, tarière ??], plus one of my favorites when I taught Urban Geography and actually had a picture I took from BART in San Francisco, of the Ticky Tacky houses, Little Boxes. (Pete Seeger made famous in 1964). I attached a song track from him to my PowerPoint. I enjoyed it, but do not know if the students did, because it was much older than any of them. The original song is from Malvina Reynolds and was inspired by a trip through Daly City, CA. See this for a related story with photos. In between that day of music, I accepted an invite to a Moose (Did she say Moose?) roast dinner tomorrow night in town with two couples. We’re taking the wine. Then I washed, dried, and put up a load of clothes. For dinner we had roast pork with mushrooms to enhance the gravy, plus some melted cheddar over the asparagus.

Sunday, Apr 27

I found a copy in one of the other folk tunes book from my friend, Anne in MT, to add to our music group’s repertoire. So geographic: Roll On Columbia ! (by Woody Guthrie). I shall work on it today to add to next month’s playlist. I just looked up some history on line and found this: In 1987, it was adopted as the official folk song of the State of Washington.
I also am not sure I have ever heard the state song, “Washington my Home.” I downloaded the free sheet music from the link, and will try to play on my violin to hear the tune or actually decided to look for a You Tube version on the web. Here you go’ I found one. The Tumwater Girls choir’s version is not the way I would like to hear it sung, but the pictures of the State matched to the lyrics is a nice touch.
I did go out this morning to take some photos of the blooming new Shiro, yellow plum, tree. Here is a close-up but click to see the ants.
White blossoms of a Shiro -- yellow plum -- tree with some ants on them
Our Plum trees came from these folks.
I have been working much of the day on two songs. The songs include a rewrite (timing, etc) and an additional verse to Gotta Travel On (Done Laid Around) plus Woody Guthrie’s Roll On, Columbia, Roll On. I thought it appropriate for Washington residents (dams and hydro power bringing electricity to the region), but it turns out some of our group didn’t enjoy the memory of Woody Guthrie’s political stance. But, the chorus is catchy for all the residents and us to sing along, and I particularly like two of the verses:

Green Douglas firs where the waters cut through
Down her wild mountains and canyons she flew
Canadian Northwest to the oceans so blue
Roll on Columbia, roll on

Other great rivers add power to you
Yakima, Snake, and the Klickitat, too
Sandy Willamette and Hood River too
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

Chorus: Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

The photo captions for most of the images linked to here can be read on these old newspaper prints. Click each one if you go.
John’s been moving dirt much of the day and baked brownies that we haven’t tasted yet. We might eat one while still warm before going to the moose dinner – just in case it is tough. Our wine was a hit too, and I had a couple of small servings of both white (Roussanne) and Rose’ of Syrah. The meat was a “little” tough, but quite tasty. John has learned to cook roasts so I can break the meat apart with a fork, otherwise I chew some and give it to the dogs. We had lots to go along with it: two cauliflower dishes; one with cheddar cheese, and the other like mashed potatoes with almond flour and butter stirred in, a green salad, and asparagus. For dessert, a cherry/pineapple pie w/ ice cream.

Monday, Apr 28

This afternoon I will go to town for SAIL exercise and back by CWU Geography to copy the music packets for the community, mentioned in last week’s blog.
I started thinking about preparing for a fasting blood draw for tomorrow morning. Cannot be there until 9:15 because of eating late (not good planning).
We finished the roast pork for dinner tonight, with carrots and mushroom gravy, and croissant whole wheat rolls with John’s homemade applesauce (from Honeycrisp and Romes). His strawberries on chocolate ice cream made a great dessert. In the image here John’s 96-yr old cousin Ethel holds a couple of Honeycrisp apples. She doesn’t ~look so good~ so sometimes we send her things. See the 4th item in the list here for ~Not so Good~.
Two very large Honey Crisp apples held by John's cousin in PA
Tuesday, Apr 29

Early morning was fasting blood draw. I checked by Grocery Outlet for cat food (still out), and came right home to eat breakfast. Managed to wash a load of dishes while John watered a few trees, flowers, and garden plants. The afternoon was spent arranging for pickup of a La-Z-Boy Luxury-Lift Power Recliner Chair. The story is rather involved, but now we have a replacement for the recliner patched back together last week – it is past its use by date. The replacement seems like a real deal. Time will tell. I got it for $170 and a chair we had in our shed. The traded tan chair was a swivel, lean-back,
Old padded brown chair tilt and rotate type
rocker we picked up at a garage sale years ago and never used. The La-Z-Boy chair looks like this one I found on EBay. The picture on the left displays how one can lift themselves out of the chair’s normal position, if needed. Not pictured is the normal chair position. All this is remotely controlled.
A blue chair that rocks up, left, to get you out; or reclines way back for resting rt.
The EBay asking prices range from $455 to $825.

Wednesday, Apr 30

Off to the Food Bank, followed by SAIL. Need to get home and go through the piles of stuff in the corner of the den where my “new” chair has to reside. Got home after stopping by Grocery Outlet and they still have no cat food. I brought home some leftover lunch (drumstick – I ate the large thigh), and some veggies – not many, pineapple, and a piece of strawberry pie. I ate mine in there and brought a piece to John. Then on to SAIL, where I shared on the free table, a few things found during John’s clean-up in the shed to make way to the tan chair, including such things as: Little teddy bear, a vase, some pretty pressed or dried flowers in 3 small frames with curved glass, and some other stuff, including 3 wicker baskets for rolls or bread. I had bought a plastic container for $1 and all the stuff inside was thrown in the deal. Now that it’s empty we can fill it with sorted clothes. On home to correct several songs in our new repertoire that we found while playing today at the Food Bank. I found John in the garden and he asked me to come out to the garden to talk, before I went into the house. I figured I would get a tour as the day before, to see the flowering fruit trees, the garden stuff, and the sound of the bees pollinating the flowers. As we were talking, our neighbor came down the driveway to pick John up to go build/repair/fence around his stallion. His father opened the gate and didn’t close it and the horse is out loose in their cow pastures. I will alternate fixing the music and cleaning around my old chair to make room for the new. We have to get it placed before Saturday night, when it is scheduled to rain. Actually, John moved it into the pole building to give me more time to clean up the area.

Thursday, May 1 MAY DAY (aka Beltane)

The day is celebrated in many places as a happy time but in the USA it has become a day of protest against our capitalist culture. Seattle prepared for and got violent protesters.
I started early working on changes to music and now must print off changed copies, insert in packets, and print all for Ellen, the clarinet player. I thought I needed to do them today, but realized she needed to bring two old ones, so when I called to remind her, she reminded me they were ready to go out the door and won’t return for a week. Saved me time I did not have anyway. Our group was large, but it went pretty well with the new stuff. The audience was okay with us practicing on them. Our tambourine player is a patient there, and she joined the group. Even though she is developing Alzheimer’s she still has fantastic rhythm, and a beautiful soprano voice, and recalls the words and tunes. That is an amazing part of seeing the value of music to the residents of the places we attend each week. Our neighbor, with the loose stallion, has a bad hip and can get overheated easily so working on the fence is an episodic thing. He came by for John – yesterday, they placed 2 dozen steel T-posts and today John will drive them into the proper depth with a tool such as the one seen in this photo.
Rt.: a man demonstrates driving a fence post using a red T-post driver; left the tape with embedded wire for the fencing
The next step was to string the electric tape (wires in the fabric) and another couple from nearby came to help. The main reason for additional people is to help prompt and direct the horse into the completed enclosure. All went as planned.

Friday, May 2

Our neighbor brought John a couple of large roasts to thank us. I’ve been up since 7:00 a.m. (early for me), working on sorting and cleaning stuff. Making slow progress, but went to scan something and found out our scanner is not working. John has been downloading new drivers for our relatively new Epson printer. I surely hope this fixes it, as I still have a lot of scanning work to do for the music group, to correct errors found yesterday. Good I stayed home today. The downloading took about 1.5 hours but there were no glitches and all is now installed. We tested on both computers, and we are back in business. No clue what caused it to fail. He first tried just getting new scanning software but that did not solve the problem. The full package of updates included a “firmware” upgrade to the printer which, we think, differs from the scanning software that is resident on our computers. I did not have to change anything on my laptop, so “firmware” is the word of the day and week!
During the waiting process, John sorted and handled some of the debris (bottles, cans, boxes) accumulated in the washroom and adjacent garage. We buy canned things in units of 12 in a short cardboard box about 2 inches high and covered (or not) in plastic. These things appear to have no useful afterlife! I loaded and washed a load of dishes. Back to sorting again, while he took the dogs for a short run and turned the horses into some grass for an hour. (The time went over an hour because he forgot and took a nap) – I should have because I’m very tired. I finally called my first geography teacher to wish him a happy birthday. He’s in Atlanta, GA and about 12 years older than I am. I waited too late in the day. He and his wife must have gone out for dinner. Made some progress with the piles of stuff near my chair. I found the missing October’s tax receipts folder, along with some other interesting stuff. Yes, I should have completed this clean-up last year, or before. It’s slow going. [John claims he read that smart people learn to handle paper just once – guess we’re not smart.] I must clean out the corner for the chair so John can unload it from the truck into the house. We may need a grocery trip for various things, including the canned cat food mentioned on previous days – but actually, now outside temps are up and yellow jackets are appearing as they find such food smells as attractive as the cats do. Thusly, the outside cats may get switched entirely to dry food.
We ate late, but oh, so good – Salmon burger chunked up and stir-fried with red peppers and mushrooms, and also just fetched from the garden asparagus served under a mound of melted cheese. Then a bunch more sorting and tossing, mostly recycling, newspapers, office paper, and magazines. I am now believing this should be done every day, or at least every week – and it only took 70 years to learn it.
All 5 cats were in to the cat’s haymow tonight to eat. And peaceful it was, thankfully. No cat fights needed.

Saturday, May 3

Now it’s Saturday morning, and just when I thought I was done, I got an e-mail. Jeri Conklin wrote that our dog Daisy and Jeri’s other dog Dice, a 7-month old puppy, both received a “leg” in a licensed Hunt Test this morning. The event was put on by the Northern California Brittany Club, at Kick Back Ranch, Penn Valley, CA.
I had to get on the AKC site to find answers to my questions because I have never entered a Brittany in a hunt test. I do know three titles are available, Junior, Senior, and Master. The titles go after the dog’s name. It’s JH for Junior Hunter, and for the title, a dog must receive qualifying scores at 4 “licensed or member” tests, with scored evaluations of four different hunting abilities (see below for my condensation of the rule book).
A Junior Hunter dog is scored on these abilities (two dogs are braced together, but they are not competing with each other–only the rules). All dogs are scored from “0” to “10” on each of the following:
(1) HUNTING: A dog needs to show a keen desire to hunt, boldness & independence, and a fast, yet useful, pattern of running.
(2) BIRD FINDING ABILITY: A dog must locate and point birds in order to receive a Qualifying score dependent upon intelligence in seeking objectives, use of the wind, and the ability to find birds.
(3) POINTING: Considerations includes the intensity of its point, its ability to locate (pinpoint) birds under difficult scenting conditions and/or confusing scent patterns. A “flash” point is not recognized. Finally, a dog’s pointing score shall not be influenced by steadiness to wing and shot.
(4) TRAINABILITY: Evaluation is based on willingness to be handled, reasonable obedience to commands, and gun response. If the handler is within reasonable gun range of a bird that has been flushed after a point, a blank pistol must be fired.

Daisy got 4 nines! Highest score of day for the junior hunter test! Now the phone call. Jeri had a good morning with Daisy and Dice, who found and pointed 3 birds each and did all they were supposed to do in the process. She stood for the flush for all 3, chased on the first, but not the second and third. And here is a picture taken today in California – to WA – to the world.

Daisy the young orange and white Brittany with ribbon and owner handler Jeri with orange vest

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan


Saturday, Apr 19

This morning we finished the blog and posted it before I left for the afternoon of music in EBRG and to pick up some dog food. I have been gone for several hours playing music at Briarwood Commons (retirement community). Lots of Irish songs and others, with lyrics for the audience. They fixed us an afternoon “lupper” (between lunch and supper?). Today we had a cabbage salad (not coleslaw but sort of like it), two whipped cream type salads (one was rice with mandarins) – I almost typed mandolins. Ha ha; green Jello with fruit cocktail, and the best little half sandwiches with homemade chicken salad (made by 4 of the ladies there). For dessert, we had two homemade Bundt cakes – one was cherry and the other a lemon pound, along with the best carrot cake with cream cheese dressing and pecans you have ever tasted. Bill (the baker) knows John and sent me home with two pieces. We had many players there and a new guitarist from Cle Elum joined us. He played first with us at the potluck before our music for the square dance group at the Grange, and then with us there, and last week at Dry Creek. I guess he will be joining the group! I now only wish for more fiddles. We had only 3 (viola, violin, and bass fiddle) last Thursday and 7 guitars. Yesterday, we had fewer guitars because of Easter travels, but still had a good group, and an additional fiddler who has joined our group, this quarter only on weekends, because of CWU class conflict on Thursdays. He’s married to our new bass fiddle player.

Sunday, Apr 20 HAPPY EASTER

Up to a pretty sunshiny day (but cool). John took some sausage and biscuits out of the freezer, added cheddar cheese and egg, and we had brunch. I have been working on music, and just finished Waltz Across Texas. Now I have added a couple more and made .pdf files for them to ship off next week to people with printers. Gonna visit with friends this afternoon on their way home to Yakima. We’ll sit in chairs inside our pole building out of the wind. They are bringing us some Costco dog food to share as they feed the same stuff, and that will save us a trip down to Yakima tomorrow. They arrived a little after 4:00 p.m. and we visited outside in lawn chairs near our pole building, for 2 hours in the sun, because there was no wind, and it was chilly in the shade. Nice visit. They had been at their family’s Easter dinner. Now John is back outside working again. It’s Mockin’ Bird Hill, for me, to get into music.
No reports on our puppy, so guess she didn’t have a bird on her run. Derby dogs have to have bird contact and an established point.

Monday, Apr 21

Great start to the morning – John fixed my broken recliner this morning that was coming apart as a combination of tinker toy and erector set parts. It has been operating reluctantly for awhile and finally tilted and died. He claims the problem could have been prevented for 15¢ during original construction – but they didn’t ask his advice. I also wrote to my department head from CWU and his administrative assistant (Marilyn) to ask if I could pay for copying music (on their fancy all-function Xerox machine) for our audience at the community homes we visit weekly. I can do the work, and provide the paper, but need to pay for the machine-cycles and toner. I learned they will allow me to make copies, 20 of 9 pages, back to back, for a reasonable price. The cost is high at the local print shop, and they won’t copy music, claiming it is copyrighted. Our music group has no income and we are just trying to accommodate retirement home residents who want to sing along on the old favorites. Some of our tunes (those from before 1921) can be copied at the commercial store but then other pages would have to be shuffled into the stack by hand. That’s about as much fun as using my home printer and trying to get John to put all the pages together. Anyway, now back to alternating washing dishes, clothes, and finishing music to be copied. Meanwhile, I also returned a call to the photographer who videoed us April 5th night at the Grange. He is going to make several DVD copies for us. That is awesome. John is out planting Ponderosa pines and it is overcast and likely will rain today. It rained tonight.
I finished several pieces of music, including a medley of Five Foot Two & Yes Sir That’s My Baby, also Down By the Old Mill Stream, and I may add Do Lord (as the Spiritual I learned long ago). Probably not politically correct (PC) to use the pronunciation, Lawd for Lord, and so on. But, doing Christian music in public places is also not “in tune” with some folks, and, yet, at the food bank, we have requests for Amazing Grace, It is no Secret What God Can Do, Jesus Loves Me, How Great thou Art, and others. They especially love, In The Garden. We accommodate if we know the song. John claims that when he is in a nursing home he will not want to hear these songs. He’ll be looking for the work of Roy Orbison and Roy Clark.
This is the best Pretty Woman – if it will play for you; these don’t work well on our old computer – and features a young Bruce Springsteen on guitar – find a different version if this doesn’t work for you. And here is Roy Clark and band in Iowa City doing Orange Blossom Special.

Tuesday, Apr 22

Dealing with medical bills and how much Medicare and Group Health (supplemental) insurance will pay is really a PITA. After 3 phone calls, I found out that I had not yet reached my $147 deductible on Medicare, or my $250 on Group Health (GH), so I have to pay $46.03 out of my pocket for the hellacious 3 hours of heart tests I had to suffer through back on 2/25/14. Also, while I was on the phone, I made an appt. for the both of us to have our eye exam on May 16, same doctor, 15 minutes apart, even though the exams take longer than that. Unfortunately, John has to meet his deductibles the same way. While I have already paid all but $4 of my GH, some of Medicare, he has paid nothing, so we’ll have to cover his entire exam. At least we don’t need to have new glasses. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy John hasn’t had any doctor’s visits this year.
He is hoping for the wind to stop before going out to move the straw off the strawberry patch. It’s not supposed to calm down until six o’clock, so now he rests. Winds have been sustained over 22 up to 31mph; gusts have been over 31mph since before 8:00 a.m., up to 44mph.
Lots of work squeezed in on music too, including Heart of My Heart (written in 1926 by Ben Ryan, from an earlier version, The Story of the Rose, written in 1899, by Andrew Mack). I worked as well on sending out job announcements to the NW Geography Jobs list serve.
Cancelled out tomorrow’s music at the Food Bank because my sidekick banjo player is sick in bed with the flu (going on a week). My SAIL class was also cancelled because a number of the folks are going to Seattle to the Arboretum and to shop at Trader Joe’s (EBRG does not have one and it seems to be big deal to some of these folks). The Senior Center puts on lots of activities with a bus ride and lunch included (for a price), but I have other things than riding a bus I like to do. John and I may leave in the morning when it is cold and windy to go to Costco for the much-needed dog and cat food. We have a scheduled trip to the Cardiologist on May 6, but we need several things before then.
Just heard today from Anne Engels she gave her son 3 music books for me with chords. I think they are just to borrow, copy what I want, and return. This is good. I had trouble putting together even the old 1917 one tonight, The Darktown Strutters’ Ball. I had a couple of things to work from but not in the same key or timing. I chose to go with an older version, closer to the way I think it is supposed to be, and put in the chords from now-departed Bob’s rendition. I looked on line and some placements disagreed. I just listened to it and decided myself which way to go. I took two old copies and did a real white-out job on them to be able to add chords to the music so that I don’t have to put it into my SongWriter software. Each song from scratch takes over 2 hours, and sometimes more. If the notes and lyrics are fairly visible and I can make the chords stand out; these will suffice for now. I’m spending all my entering time rewriting Bob’s stuff and also adding a few new ones. Sometimes I have the commercial score copy from a “band” member, or oftentimes I have to kludge it from the web. People with web sites want to sell “their” sheet music that has been cobbled together just as mine is, and thus, they don’t show but a few lines of any one song. I’m getting better at sleuthing, and of course, I also have musician friends to rely on for copies of some stuff I cannot find elsewhere. Only occasionally do I have to add a few measures myself from scratch.

Wednesday, Apr 23

With both events I normally do on Wednesday cancelled, John and I decided to travel to Yakima to Costco for gasoline and dog food, and some other stuff on sale. We ended up spending $3.699 / gal of gasoline, but even with the world price of oil going down $2.00/barrel, the news hasn’t reached our state. Ellensburg’s cheapest station is up to 3.719/gal. Just last week we filled my car up at $3.489/gal. Interesting. We bought some printer paper today, costing us $3.25/ream (up considerably from the last time we bought a case), but it is heavier weight; 22 lbs.
About paper weight: Using English units we normally see weight = 20 pounds. Why? Well, because you asked – the number is based on 500 sheets of the industry-agreed on size of the type of paper being considered. Multi-purpose paper for ink-jet printers is of the Basic Size 17 in. X 22 in., and this is 4 times the size of the sheets in the packages with which we are familiar. Because the paper in these packages is only ¼ the size of the “Basic Size” it takes 4 of them to get the expected 20 pounds of paper. Thus, each 500 sheet ream of ink-jet printer paper will weigh just 5 pounds. The reams of 22# paper will weigh 5.5 pounds but still be 8.5X11 inches, and thusly, it is ever so slightly denser and the “see through” is likewise reduced. A better paper. And now you know, ‘cause John was curious.
Besides paper, that we really didn’t need, we loaded up on dog and cat food so we don’t run out again. Got some roast beef, chicken, and Jarlsberg cheese on sale; some Rosemary Olive bread that we like a lot. Some other frozen stuff – mixed vegetables for making stir-fry or stew. They no longer carry the Panko-crusted Shrimp we have bought for a long time. John found a great pot roast one cooks in a bag. He manufactured a great dinner from it for tonight, with mushrooms, red peppers (from a greenhouse in British Columbia) bought today and put into the gravy, on Yukon Gold potatoes (Wintered in temperature controlled buildings: put ‘ potato storage winter ’ in an image search and see). Nice dinner. We had a brunch (Monster Biscuit) from Carl’s Jr. on the way down and on the way home, a Very Berry Frozen Yogurt Sundae (made with a generous helping of mixed berries). It rained on the way back. I took his cell phone along on the trip so we could use it if we got separated in the huge warehouse. As we approached Yakima, I tried calling his sister on his phone. No luck. I called on my cell phone and it went right through. She suggested I call Consumer Cellular and report our malfunctioning phone. I tried it again once at Costco, and nothing, no network connection, with the battery fully charged, so I left it in the car and stayed with John around the store. Got a lot of walking in so it was probably more than I would have done in the exercise class that was cancelled. Once back on the road for home, I called our cell provider’s technical support and described the problem with his phone. The solution was for me to do some stuff, and for them to make some changes through their computer. It worked, and I was able to call Peggy using John’s cell phone, to report that she was a “savior” in suggesting my calling and that it worked!! On the way home, I made one more call, but the reception through the basalt hills and without regular cell tower coverage is lousy in that 30-mile stretch. On the way home, I experimented with the camera in his phone, and captured them later onto my computer. Click each of the photos for full size on a $15 phone.
Rain drops on car window coming into the Kittitas Valley from Yakima, with full cloud cover
Coming into the Kittitas Valley in the rain. (Remember we only get 8 to 12″ annually).

I felt as if I accomplished a lot today. Now, if his phone would just hold its charge. Started making a dent into another song by Harry Wood – A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet. Got the basic images of the score from Dave Perkins, in the key of E flat. I will change it to something easier for our group to play. Three flats is not something anyone likes.

Thursday, Apr 24

We have been joined by another cat in our cat house and cat’s hay mow. We haven’t determined the gender, but it is a large light-gray-bodied cat with some white on all 4 feet and white on his face as Rascal, but with longer hair, yet not as long as Woody’s. It maybe has some orange mixed in on the legs. Normally, that means female, but in Rascal’s case, he is a male Mackerel tabby. We watched “him” up top in the morning, and then later in the evening he was back, and ended by walking the plank into the cat house, where there is dry food, water, and a night light (blue). We have turned off the heater now, and they have access to non-frozen water all around our place.
Went to Hearthstone for music. It was a nice outing. We had a large (and appreciative) audience, including the Activities Director, Liana. When she saw the music given to the residents was complete with notes, lyrics, and chords, she got her guitar and joined in. She has a great voice too, and sang along on all the songs. She was particularly thrilled with My Grandfather’s Clock, and learning the last verse. Also, she had not had the music, and had to pick out the chords by ear. Leftovers are for dinner, and too much time spent trying to enter a song which is not working well. I may give up on it. It was “T for Texas,” and I gave up. It’s an old Jimmie Rodgers song, I will have to write the music for, because it is not available on line, even for a price.

Friday, Apr 25

For our scholarship luncheon today, I picked up my friend Mary on campus and gave her a ride. We went to Dry Creek, an assisted living center, where one of our members works. The lunch was held in the “Coca Cola Room.” You’ve heard about the chairs earlier in this blog because we use them the 3rd Thursday of each month when we play music there. We have had to carry chairs down the hall from the room to the main dining room where we provide the music, so I knew the location of the room. We were the first ones there. I took John’s cell phone (with camera) along today.
Coca Cola themed room; Chrome plated legs on tables (round tops; Coke logo in center) chairs and stools with bright red covers; floor black and white squares like a chess board
Counter in Coke themed room; tall straw holder, salt and pepper shakers, little white stuffed bear, thermomater -- all with Coca Cola icons and red and white
I should have had Mary take more than one picture of me, to get one with my eyes open – so we’ll exclude that one. Guess I can just say I’m dreaming of the days of old.

Coca Cola originated in my home town, Atlanta, GA, but the funniest part of that is my Grandfather had a drug store there (Brannen’s Drug Store), and Asa Candler wanted him to put Coca Cola in his soda fountain. My grandfather declined and said he would stay with Welch’s Grape Juice. I might have been a millionaire. After returning Mary back to campus, I stopped at Grocery Outlet for cheaper cat food but they were totally out of any, small or large cans. This chain keeps some prices low by only buying certain things when the distribution centers want to unload near the end of product cycles – or something. The frustration of finding an empty shelf is almost worth the low price when stuff is there. Then on to SAIL exercise, where they had had a free lunch for people and had shown a movie. It was still playing when I arrived. We had a good class, and the staff put out wrapped pieces of leftover egg estrata from lunch for us to take home. I brought home two pieces for us to put with our leftover end of the roast beef from which we have had 7 meals. This dish appeared to have potatoes (or rutabaga; aka Swedish turnip), cherry tomatoes, red and orange peppers, onions, cheese and eggs in a casserole type of dish, similar to a Quiche or Frittata. The name Strata comes from the layering. The best I can do is to send you to a photograph on the web, click here for this photo. Once home, I spent some more time on music entry, and on household chores. Also worked a little on the jobs list I manage. Yesterday I got a Priority mail package from the place that wants my consultation about job descriptions for a Geographer. The woman from Raleigh, NC called today, but I was gone. With the 3 hours time difference, it was too late to return her phone call by 5:00 today. I have her email, so will contact her over the weekend. Another thing I did tonight was peruse (the true meaning) the three music books from my friend in Montana. They are excellent, and have a few songs I remember from my childhood, but with all the lyrics, notes, and chords. Perfect for what I need to get music in order for our group. I have stopped work after this weekend on May/June, and we are set for July, so I can get back to work on sorting things in the house – for a final destination, known as a dump or landfill, or to share with colleagues still teaching. I have done a lot of that, and there’s more to follow.
John sprayed for weeds today, and pruned the very thorny Blackberries – they have the character of winter hardiness – called Illini Hardy and come from Illinois – the only reason for having them at all. Thornless berries as just as tasty (and a lot safer for Nancy to pick – John won’t even let me near the thorny ones).

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Our Yellow Daffodils say “Yea, Spring.”

{Click on these 2 photos for large size}
Bicolor (yellow) Daffodils about a foot tall in yard
Nanking Cherry blossoms - pink and white - against a dull blue/gray sky
The above Cherry blossoms are on Nanking Shrubs just out our back door, but . . .
The Cherry blossoms in Wash. D. C. have brightened the Nation’s Capital this week. Click and view during daylight. Or just search for photos. There are lots of visitors there, too. Try a search with –
cherry blossom Washington dc 2014

Saturday, Apr 12

Finished and posted the blog this afternoon. John brought me a nicely-cut-up into bite-size pieces of warmed leftovers from the great pizza he made last night. John is doing yard/garden work (mostly), and I’m working on the “books.”

Sunday, Apr 13

Will likely be the same regime as yesterday. Washing clothes, searching for socks for John, washing dishes, mostly tax related stuff (all those were done). I did pause for photographing a picture of one of our Brittanys who won the Chukar Classic in 1978 & 1982. The Idaho Brittany Club is collecting history, and photographs of winners. I managed to locate Carol Pochardt through LinkedIn (a professional networking site), and to get her connected to Robin Tomasi, the organizer of the history. Carol’s dog DC Bi-Mar’s Cinnabar Cindy won it in 1988. Cindy was also the dam of a litter with the sire, our DC/AFC Ramblin’ Chocolate Dandy, and I kept Cedaridge Duch’ss Dancer from that litter. She is behind our dogs as well. Also, I left a phone message for Michele Sherer in San Jose’, CA, who had many dogs from our lines, winning or placing them in the Chukar Classic. Here is a 1984 photo of Dan Richmond, FC Simons Ruff-Shod O’Dee and me with an Open All Age 1st place trophy. Click on it.
wood framed old faded photo with Nancy and Brit with handler Dan holding large trophy in straw colored grassy field
Ruffy was dark orange, not liver, as it appears in this photo of a framed photo.

I was finally ready to print the tax form, but our WI-FI (WLAN) between the printer shared by our computers in the den is not getting a strong enough signal, at least that’s the error message. John worked quite awhile and finally had to return outside to plant new berry plants…black, blue, and straw. I had just become totally ticked off when running my wrap-up on the final tax return, because it wouldn’t let me use all the deductions I have spent hours and hours recording … over the past many months. I guess we don’t qualify for the itemized deduction and must take the standard instead. Had I known that, I could have save an amazing amount of time, but now I will still likely do next year’s the same way, just in case. One never knows until it’s all entered. I’ll just get an earlier start. I didn’t think our situation was that different from previous years, but I guess I was wrong. We have itemized deductions for over 25 years. The current situation is caused by making a distribution from my tax-deferred IRA to use to build the pole building and buy 20 tons of hay. Not only is the money taxable, but it moves our income into a higher bracket for the year. So, the extra income, all taxable, affects the allowable deductions. We’ll drop back to a more normal situation for the next year. Keeping my fingers crossed for the next 10 minutes that my puppy will get her blue ribbon today on her first year’s birthday. She is supposed to run her brace at 5:00 p.m. Still no news and it is 8:07. I’m sure we won’t hear anything because any cellular towers are miles south near the interstate highway. The camp setting is in a small valley, Crab Creek valley beneath the basalt cliffs — photo in last week’s blog of our visit with “Daisy” near Ritzville, WA.
Printed out my tax return, and realized I was out of black ink in the back (backup) printer.
We may squeak through. I have one that didn’t print two bottom lines, but I can write them in by hand. I’m rather exhausted from all this effort and added stress. Think I’ll go to bed.

Monday, Apr 14

John has been doing outside work–spraying weeds, and the sprayer quit. The 2003 Ford truck battery also won’t hold a charge, so it needs to be replaced. Always something. Now he is waiting for the farrier who called with news he will be late for his “trim” appointment. John released the horses from the corral, and of course they went to the other end of the 7 acres. Don’t think anything is scheduled for me, so it will be another busy work day. I’m finalizing the tax forms to mail tomorrow, from the Kittitas P.O. where the wait is not as long as in Ellensburg. This afternoon, I received a nice email from Peggy Doiron that Daisy won a 3rd place in the Open Derby (OD) yesterday. Here it is in her words: Quick note. Daisy did a very nice job for her first time in OD. She placed 3rd. The dogs that were first and second ran bigger, but we were tickled with her. She stayed forward and busy. Had a nice little point and then on to look for more [birds]. She was our best OD yesterday.
Then a long conversation from Jeri Conklin (Daisy’s other mom), catching up on lots of things. We are both happy campers. John came back in from the horse farrier work and we had lunch. I cooked the large funny egg I mentioned in last week’s blog, for adding to my tuna
cooked and split double yolk egg to add to tuna and mayo for a lunch
{this image is full size}
salad, and then forgot to add red peppers after peeling the egg and cutting it in half. I rather figured it might be double yoked and you can see it was. It certainly made the concoction an egg/tuna salad instead tuna with egg! After lunch, John got back with the WIFI printer connection problem and we finally called our DSL provider who changed the password last week to make the system work again in order to access the Internet. We had not been able to print since then, and didn’t realize during working hours it needed another adjustment. Took awhile on the phone, but finally we again have access to the printer from both our newer computers. John has ordered ink for the back printer, and I have tested and printed a copy of our tax form to be submitted tomorrow. Guess the emergency was resolved, and a lot of stress is removed. Now to get our tax forms all in shape to ship off tomorrow.

Tuesday, Apr 15

Go to Kittitas with tax return and if John finds his wrenches, he will remove the truck battery and we’ll go buy a new one. All that happened. We were late leaving because it took him awhile – moving things and throwing odds and ends away. The tools needed are the same batch used on the dishwasher I wrote about, a socket set and a ratchet wrench. We knew they were near and only under just one or two layers of “stuff.” Eventually found under the plastic liner for the big apples purchased a few weeks ago, somewhat like this micro-thin liner in this web photo. {Click on photo for bigger but poor image.}
Very thin black plastic pre-shaped for apples tray for bottom of a box
As expected, the tools were just into the garage via the washroom door under the black plastic pre-formed tray and the thin foam top cover. With proper tools the old battery was soon ready for its non-working ride to town in the back of my Subaru. I drove to Kittitas (10 mi) to the P.O., and was the only one in line (but 4 people arrived as I finished). We drove on to Bi-Mart and succeeded in finding a replacement sprayer for the one that broke yesterday and it was on sale for $14; normally $20. While there I checked on my Magnesium tablets, and they were on sale for 30% off (through tomorrow). So, $2.79 for a normally priced, $4.00 bottle. Only one bottle was on the shelf, so I got it and asked for a rain check, which they gave me!! On to Les Schwab for the battery replacement for John’s 2003 truck. It appears that was the factory installed battery, so 10 years must be a record. John bought the top of the line of 3 possibilities — ranging from 5 to 7 years warranty. The cost was $151.15, for a 7-year guaranteed battery. Our sales tax is 8.1% but they knocked off $10 because we didn’t have them do the installation. Rather interesting now there’s a charge to install a battery but most interesting of all is the high price of batteries. On the way home we stopped for gasoline, while still talking to John’s sister, as I had called while the battery buy was going down. We talked the cell-phone battery to nothing, but had a nice long visit. Then home, chores, supper, and computer news and updates. At 11:00 p.m. we got an out of area telemarketer call. That’s really crappy. It’s also scary to receive a phone call so late at night. Makes one worry that something is wrong with a friend or relative.

Wednesday, Apr 16

Started off the morning with a call from the Research Triangle in Raleigh, NC part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to use my background in Geography for helping construct the publically accessible (free) nationwide database for jobs. More later, as I get the documents via email and postal mail. I was recommended as a resource by the NCGE (National Council for Education), of which I have been a member since 1965. A researcher called and asked me a lot of questions, about my background. The concern is to describe what a geographer does in that type of job designation. Considering my work with the jobs list and announcements since the 1990s, and being in the profession since the 1960s, I suppose I’m experienced enough, and I am willing. I don’t need more to do but will give this a try. A local apple packer has opened a controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage unit and released small Rome apples. We like Romes so when word came via a neighbor, I stopped and picked up 10 lbs for $1.99 at the fruit market at the south end of EBRG. I was down thataway intending to be at the Food bank for music and the Senior Center for SAIL exercise class. On the way home, I stopped by Royal Vista (nursing home and great dessert makers) to return the cake plate we cleaned and packed (that we’d taken from the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner the Tuesday night a week before). While there I took a sweatshirt to a woman (probably in her late 70s, who is a resident there, and who follows all our music in 3 different times I play each month. Heard while visiting her that an accordionist would be playing this afternoon, so I told the assistant to go get Jeanne Gordon and take her to the performance. Meanwhile, I walked to the other end of the building to visit with Jeanne. I got there the same time as the nurse’s aide, and thanked him for taking her, and told him she was an accordion player herself in the group I’m in, but from the 1950s. He had no idea. I went to say hello to the accordion player, and she was Karen Eslinger, with whom I have played many times. She asked me where my fiddle was; I said in the car, so she invited me to join her. That was a long haul (on my feet the entire 1.5 hours). I surely got my exercise today, but enjoyed doing music from the 1930s with her.

Thursday Apr 17

Morning is gray & dreary, with some little raindrop sprinkles. John’s out near the road planting some Ocean Spray trees. Yesterday, among other chores, he planted Dahlias in the last year’s potato patch where the soil did not need much work. If they grow he will spread them to other places where they can be seen. I spent a little time last night and this morning re-writing the music for the Tennessee Waltz without repeats and with large fonts for our group. It’s pretty nice-looking. Haven’t heard anything about how our puppy performed. She will be running on the same grounds again this weekend, and then off to Idaho. Since I wrote that, we learned she didn’t place because she didn’t like the rain and the wind, and the birds were running and not holding, for a point.
Today, I played music (largely Irish) at Dry Creek and one of the fellows on oxygen in a wheel chair is our biggest fan and has been for years. He talked to me at the beginning and at the end and gave me a smile and said something with an Irish brogue, followed by a thank you in German, so I said thank you (in German ) back. My grandmother spoke German but she only taught me a couple of words. John’s grandmother was Irish. 🙂 Neither of us knew her.
Great dinner tonight. John roasted chicken breasts he bought today, and we were astounded at the size. So large I had a lot and he had the rest of only one! He made Bisquick® biscuits (with beer) and a gravy (mushroom & onion), plus cooked cauliflower, fried in a batter. Boy, it was good. We’ll have leftovers tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.

Friday, Apr 18

Late yesterday afternoon I had a blood draw for my blood-thinning factor (INR test) but we were on the phone with a friend when the nurse tried to call. Today, at different times, both Cathys from the Cle Elum Clinic called to give me a report. That’s a strange and unexplained thing. The test report was at 2.8, so that’s about right. Last year for a time I bounced up and down on this test. Lately there is very little change and seemingly for no obvious reason. Today, John was out in the wind, but happily had sunshine part of the day. He was planning to plant Ponderosa Pine trees he got from the local Conservation District, but I think he changed jobs to work out of the wind – gusts to 39 mph. [Changed the fencing around the Blueberries and cut out some of the old thornless Blackberry canes.] I stayed busy inside.

Saturday, Apr 19

I will be going to play music and eat at Briarwood Commons this afternoon. I suspect John will post this in the morning.
So we hope you have a nice Easter Sunday.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Dessert, dog, dust, and wind

Saturday, Apr 5

Finished the blog and posted this morning. This evening, at the Grange, we had more musicians than stage space. We had 6 guitars, a banjo, 3 fiddles, a viola, a clarinet, and a bass fiddle. We were told the hour of music provided through their dinner went over well. The first picture below was taken when only a few of us were there, warming up on Westphalia Waltz.
Nancy in the center of practice at the Grange Hall
The next photo was taken later when we all were there playing, but one guitarist is hidden. He is in the above picture on the right, where our clarinet player is hidden.
Nancy and others playing tunes at the Grange Hall -fiddles, banjo, bass, and more
John could not get positioned such that all of us showed in one image, considering the cramped conditions. However, a professional photographer with a TV camera recorded the whole event and came up on stage on the last 2 songs to get close-ups. It is supposed to appear on EC-TV (Ellensburg Community TV), and I hope to be able to share a link in the future to the show, accessible on line. It was only Thursday this week that the photographer (Ray Moyer) went into the station to edit the footage, and I am to call back next week to find the location on the web. Stay tuned.

Sunday, Apr 6

Day spent on organization and entering data into Turbo Tax (TT). Still much to do, with mileages for medical and volunteering, which I’m first putting into an Excel spreadsheet so that I can have it calculate sorted totals by type/location, for entering into TT.

Monday, Apr 7

Worked all morning on entering information into Turbo Tax. Went to my foot doctor for nail care (he says the nail is growing out that indicates the Laser surgery is working). I’m scheduled for another laser treatment June 24. This today was to cut nails and grind off the heavy nail more like the consistency of an antler or livestock horn. Tonight I drove back to play early for The Connections (mostly-musical prayer service at care homes). Normally we play on Tuesday night, but because tomorrow is the Volunteer banquet, we rescheduled and went a day ahead.

Tuesday, Apr 8

Early morning trip to Copper Kettle for a meeting of the Emeriti Professors of Geography at CWU. We had a guest join us, John Bowen, the Interim Chair of Geography. Much of the rest of my day was spent on recordkeeping. However, at 5:30 we needed to be at the Fairgrounds for the Volunteer Appreciation dinner. It was nice, but we chose to be near the end of the buffet line, and much of the food was gone. Just before we got to the serving table the ground beef for taco-style salad ran out, along with hard-boiled egg pieces. That was supposed to be the core of the meal. We made do with what was left and had a couple of desserts. The gal in charge of the dessert table is our friend and gave John an almost full red velvet cake to bring home, see . . . (okay, this image is from the web, but it did look about like this—actually a lot better, deeper red and thicker layers of both cake, frosting and filling).
white icing on red (choc) velvet cake
…with a cool cream-filled cupcake in the place of the missing piece. If you look at the photo below, you’ll see it, the big white one, on the back side (left) of the table beyond the cake on the pedestal. Some of the others were quite fancy and there was an abundance and variety so the simple looking one did not get much attention. Worked for us!
a long table with 20+ great desserts -- cakes, cheesecake, plus
I won a door prize, which is a $10 gift card for use at restaurants I seldom frequent, but might someday get near one (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steak House, and some others I have never heard of — the joys of living in a relatively unpopulated part of the USA — all owned by Darden Restaurants. (Check below).
Icons of the 6 Darden resturants from Red Lobster to Seasons fresh grill
Most of the day was fruitlessly spent on problems with totals in columns &/or rows formulae put into an Excel spreadsheet for taxes. Thought I had it fixed with John’s help but right before bedtime, it started messing up again.
Great photos taken tonight at the dinner of 6 people wearing Carol Hancock’s donated fingerless knitted gloves. This one is appropriate for the theme of the night (Treasure Island), with all hands down :-). Thanks, John for humoring me with all the recent photo-shoot requests.
Nancy and 5 others wearing knitted fingerless gloves of many colors
Back row, l. to r.: Evelyn Heflen, Megan Kasper, Charlie Firkins
Front row, Ellen Fischer, Joanie Taylor, Nancy Hultquist

Wednesday, Apr 9

Early up and working with my laptop computer (in my recliner). Our dogs announced a person in the driveway. It was my neighbor with eggs for us and a friend. I gave her the $ and 3 egg cartons, and some of our frozen berries (rasp & black), as thanks for our dozen. She explained the HUGE strangely shaped egg in ours. I have to remember to show John.
Food Bank/SAIL today and I took Youth Depends to the Food Bank to donate (they don’t fit my neighbor). They were happy to get the 3 packages, and I have 2 more packages to deliver next week. We had our newest guitar player there with us again this week. He is a usual patron of the Soup Kitchen. Our singer was there too. He is a volunteer server and dishwasher for the Food Bank. We have 4 musicians to squeeze into the path in front of the wall refrigerators, where we have removed 3 chairs on the end table.

Thursday Apr 10

Morning came too soon, John left at 7:30, and for me it was filled with morning chores, sharing tasks between washing dishes, cleaning counters, and alternating time with data input to Excel spreadsheets, for tax purposes. If I would just do this the first of every month, as paying bills, my life would be simplified for putting into the Turbo Tax form. When will I ever learn? Please -this year is the plan. I left the house before John got back from his last day of pruning wine vines. A few days ago the vines began “weeping” (the grower’s term) when cut (John calls it leaking) while this site calls it “bleeding” and seems to make a much-ado fuss about it. Today was playing at the Rehab, where I spent 7 weeks in 2010. We had a good bunch of musicians and an appreciative audience. Many of the staff (nurses and physical therapists) stopped by to enjoy. Our usual resident Helen got up and waltzed around with her walker. She sings the words as she dances. Another resident, we call thumps up Ted, cheers us on throughout the time. We had a clarinet, violin, bass fiddle, banjo, and 5 guitars. Cool, that our new bass fiddler, Megan, works there as a Speech Pathologist, in Physical Therapy. I’m going back to work now on the computer. Took a short break to arrange for John to meet our neighbor to loan him the removable part (stinger) of a trailer hitch. He’ll need to take the ball off to connect to a fertilizer spreader. This is an off-road type of hookup.
a pull-type spreader for dry fertilizer; holds several hundred pounds
Been working hard on accounting matters, but took off to eat a dinner (earlier than normal).

Friday, Apr 11

I spent a bunch of time dealing with our Fairpoint provider for DSL with modem problems and need to reset our security code, and had to reboot my computer. Finally, 45 minutes later, we have Internet connections on all computers. Jeez. We were on for 2 hrs this morning, but it just quit for unknown reasons. I worked off line on tax stuff and decided I would report it because it was still down. Hence, the loss of time, but now it is fixed.
John has to work in the wind again today, but is going out now to dig up some raspberry plants to share with our neighbor. Two weeks later than this should have been done, but things happen. I’m continuing on paperwork. I did get an early morning call from my banker with the $ amount taken out of our mortgage payment last year for Hazard Insurance. It was not reported on the normal end of year 1099 or whatever form it used to come on with the Mortgage Interest paid. At $992, that’s a significant tax deduction so I’m glad I checked.
I wrote the descriptive paragraph below (starting “On Sunday”) before we changed our minds and drove over this afternoon instead. We were gone for ~5.5 hrs. Just got home at 7:00 p.m. We stopped in Moses Lake for lunch. The purpose was to meet my new co-owned Brittany puppy from CA. In the photo below, you can see she loves to visit and hold hands/paws. Also, you can see some of the scabland topography behind us (basalt columns and a small overhang-cave — used for shelter, food storage, by native peoples, and is a habitat for snakes, and other critters. Also visible in the photo are other dogs relaxing on their stake-out chains. The horses are used by those running dogs, scouts to find dogs, judges, and a field trial martial. Those there just to watch are members of the “gallery” and they can ride horses also — in most trials.
orange and white Brittany with Nancy and another lady at field trial grounds
Peggy Doiron is on the left, Daisy (Tre’) in the middle, and me.
I left the following paragraph of explanation in below, but first will tell you about today’s visit. Turns out, I found out just before noon the trainers would be tied up all day Sunday, running dogs in several stakes. They are running 24 dogs over the weekend. Therefore, we wouldn’t have gotten to visit at all. The worst part of the trip over and once there was the wind, dust devils (one crossed the road just behind us on the freeway), and wind (oh, yes, I said that, and the blowing dirt, ha ha). My eyes got filled with scratchy dust and were still bothering me all night. We took a couple of pictures with Daisy (Tre’) after meeting her and visiting a bit. She’s a sweetie. There are no pictures at our first meeting where she propped her front paws in my hand and let me pet her. John took some photos, and then we stood by her and shared field trial stories with Peggy. Daisy went to sleep on the stake out chain.
Here’s the descriptive paragraph …
On Sunday, we were planning to go to Goose Butte, 17 miles NE of Ritzville, WA, a trip of ~133 miles, a little over 2 hrs away. Most of the trip is on Interstate but the last few miles are on rough rural roads. We were in the middle of the channeled “scablands” but a section not scoured by the big floods. These higher areas are still covered by wind blown and deposited silt (called loess) and used as dry land wheat farms. It was not hot, but wind and dust reminded us of the days when we did this and would come home covered in the loess.
The Whid Isle Brittany club field trial is held this weekend at the site. I wanted to go over and meet my new puppy co-owned with Jeri Conklin from CA. This is the closest she will be for awhile, so I really needed to meet her. She resides in southern CA. She’ll be a year old this Sunday. We’ve written about her field awards here in the blog over the past month or so. This weekend, she runs in a Derby event on Sunday around 5:00. Derby is for dogs, age 6 months to 2 years, and bird contact is required. I wanted to meet her and her professional handlers she’s traveling and training with, Paul & Peggy Doiron. She runs again on Wednesday next week in the Inland Empire Brittany Club trial (the club for which we were among several founding members in the Spokane, WA area, back in 1974). Wednesday, I’m unavailable to go over.
On the way home at 70 mph +30 mph winds, things started to levitate out of the bed of a pickup truck in front of us. One piece, a cardboard box about the size for a large microwave oven, floated out and danced in the wind. John started to move to the left and the box did the same. Behind us there was a car coming in the left lane and a tractor-trailer in the right lane with us now straddling the center line. The box settled to the pavement and, being larger than the space under the Forester, clattered along and out the back. No harm done. And yes, WA does have a law regarding traveling with unsecured loads – much ignored.
We got home in time for John to run the dogs, and for me to fix cat food for the outside cats. They met him at the barn, while he was feeding the horses, to tell him he was late with their supper. They are pretty spoiled for wild cats. Then John fixed a loaded with goodies pizza. I went back to work on taxes.
Today we were contacted again by a neighbor, whose family had come to help with fence repair. They needed to borrow our tools: a carpenter’s crow bar, fence post driver, and rock bars. Luckily, one of the guys is a strapping young man able to handle the heavy post pounder.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Correction first, then the usual

We posted last week just a few hours before the State of WA dropped the estimate of the missing in the big slide. The latest report has 30 dead and 13 more missing and presumed dead. Oddly, one male was found who has not been identified. He had some gold teeth (?, crowns), but other than that there has been nothing found to help with identification. The latest news is that about 10 years ago the County Gov’t. studied the issue of buying-out all the properties in this area and decided not to. Instead a barricade of logs was placed at the bottom of the hill in hopes of preventing a slide. Yeah, right!

Saturday, Mar 29

Finished the blog and posted this afternoon. Much of the rest of the time was involved with continuing chores, and visiting with a few folks by phone. John fixed a neat dinner tonight, chicken thighs with brown rice, onions, red peppers, mushrooms, celery, and pinto beans. We got a super phone call in the evening from Jeri Conklin about our dog Tre’ who won her Amateur Puppy Walking stake for 2 points. Here is a photo of her TWO blue ribbon wins– Open Puppy with 8 starters [Paul Doiron handling] for 2 pts toward her field championship, and Amateur Puppy with 12 starters [Jeri Conklin handling] for 2 points toward her AFC (Amateur Field Championship). Click image.

Nancy's friend and co-owner of the puppy Tre' holding 2 blue ribbons at a CA field trial
Tre’ – the blue ribbon puppy

Sunday, Mar 30

We both have been working on chores inside and outside. John took a hand saw and walked up “the ditch” (1/4 mile) to remove small trees (parts thereof) that had fallen over the path to the irrigation diversion or take-out. Tonight we go to a potluck of our music group to eat and then practice for our performance next Saturday night at the Swauk Teanaway Grange, for the Anniversary Celebration of the Blue Agate Square and Round Dance Club’s dinner and dance. I managed to get a load of dishes washed in between working with records sorting.

Monday, Mar 31

Arranged for some insurance referrals from my primary doctor to another foot doctor. Always something. Most time was spent on redoing the changes to music from last night’s practice session. That was a huge slice of time. New music and new players create time sinks for me.

Tuesday, Apr 1

No fooling that I got almost 9 hours of sleep last night. John stayed home today because the pruning was postponed today and tomorrow. He’s taken off for Yakima to have his Subaru’s transmission line-leak fixed. It will take 1.5 hrs, but thankfully the replacement and the part are covered under our warranty. It took a long while, but I just sent off the new changes to the music packet we will practice this Thursday and play on Saturday at the Grange. Now to get something to eat and back to tax preparation.

Wednesday, Apr 2

Nice day. John’s going to do garden work. Four packets of tiny Onions have arrived from Texas and want planted, and more stuff is on the way. I’m taking off for the Food Bank Soup Kitchen for music and going after to SAIL exercise. At least I’m out and about, play music, get fed, help others less fortunate than me in the exercise class. And the dogs are happy to seem me when I get home!

Thursday Apr 3

John’s going back to prune. I started early with Group Health Insurance, and then some paper shuffling. Still way behind on tax prep, but I am making slow progress. More excitement when a uniformed, badged livestock inspector drove down the drive and was coming to the front door (heading toward the wrong gate). He wanted to know if I’d seen any stray cows. We think this would not happen unless some cattle are missing, as in old western rustling. Many fences in the area are 70+ years old so they are fallen over and cows are out someplace a dozen times a year. So something is special about this time. Then I spent a bunch of time trying to help a graduate student get a better price on a “hood” for graduation so she could borrow my master’s gown. Some students have plenty of money and others are broke. Some have massive debts that you and we will have to suck up along with a bunch of other failed government interventions in the economy. [John’s read that many of the auto recalls are from the little cars built on-the-cheap that the Gov’t. insists the manufacturers build and sell as sacrifices to the green-movement.] My music gig this afternoon is Royal Vista, and we have a bunch coming. Eleven were there to play, including our tambourine player Jeanne who is a resident there herself since last week. We played all the changes made Sunday night, in practice for Saturday night’s performance at the Grange. Tonight was an Ice Age Floods Institute lecture on the geology/geography of Terroir (sun, slope, soil, and more) in the Columbia Valley Winegrowing Area. It brought back many memories of our past teaching efforts.

Friday, Apr 4

Staying home to work on taxes. My right eye has been bothering me all day– scratchy and dry. Missing potluck and SAIL at Sr. Center. Well, it was a waste of time. I stayed up from early and with only 6 hrs of sleep, and I’m not doing well. Spent way too much time on emails and searching files time. Am turning off my computer, maybe taking a nap to rest my aching eyes, and then will work later on record keeping. John just called at noon and will run errands in Ellensburg on his way home. The local conservation district started distributing plants (ordered in January) today and we have 5 trees (Ponderosa) and 5 shrubs = 10 holes to dig. The shrubs are commonly called Ocean Spray but grow locally on the surrounding hills – so renamed Mountain Spray. Flowers are a light-cream color, then turn light brown with age and hang on into the winter. Going by them and brushing them with shirt or horse-flank gets a liberal sprinkling of the dry but soft petals.

Saturday, Apr 5

This is a planting garden preparation weekend for John. And the local grocery outlet store sold CA strawberries for 99¢ a pound, so we have 5 pounds of berries to do something with. We have lots of frozen black and raspberries, but I don’t like all the seeds. John eats them and we trade some with neighbors. We only have 1 or 2 small packets of strawberries still in the freezer. Hope to have a better-bigger crop this year. Tonight is Grange where our group, Kittitas Valley Fiddlers and Friends is providing music for dinner at the 39th Anniversary of the Blue Agate Square and Round Dance Club. I awoke at 4:00 a.m. with 5 hours of sleep to “finish” this to send to John to post. Am still needing rest, so off here now and back to bed for a couple hours, I hope.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Natural disasters

[John: I thought the title was about the inside of our house!]
{Nancy: ha ha, glad I have a good sense of humor too!}

Saturday, Mar 22

Horrendous news today of a massive landslide in western WA 55 miles north of Seattle, near Oso, between Arlington and Darrington, that dammed the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, and inundated a huge area taking out many homes, causing WA State’s most tragic loss of life. The toll of lost and most likely dead and buried alive may reach well over 100.
This is not the type of environment we would ever chose to live; planning and zoning codes everywhere should avert people from building in the active flood plain of a meandering river.

air plane view of a river in Iowa with meanders, flood plain, point bars, cut banks and trees along edge of the valley
Click either of these for a larger image.
Photos here (from web) are of other areas just to show the idea.

Looking across a small river with a gravel bar on the inside of a meander. Background, fall colors with trees and shrubs.
The gravel and sandy area of the bottom photo is called a “point bar” and is covered with water when runoff is significant. There is very little vegetation because of repeated deposition of sediment scoured from upstream. The multiple actions of scouring and deposition result in the river remaking the landscape. Hills (as in the current WA case) slump and provide a source of material for the rushing waters to pick up and redistribute. Be sure to click to open the second image of the map of the river’s mouth in the above link (from Turkey) and note the light green (with purple lines) of the in-filled bay over time.

The WA – Oso slump and damage has been well covered. We are jumping ahead of today with these, but here are some links:
Sliders (red bar to move left or right with triangles in the first one) show how the area looks:
From the Seattle Times. Move this red slider to the right, then left.
From OZ – the land of kangaroos. Click on the 3 images of this link for the before/after views. The 3rd photo is of the flooding upstream from the blockage from the slide. That has gone down because the water overtopped the debris and re-established a channel.
From the Cable News Folks. The “slider” (vertical white line with triangles) in this link shows a satellite view of the debris and the damming of the river with flooding upstream. Move the slider to the left. I have an online retrieval of a Wall Street Journal article that I can send anyone interested, but only subscribers can get to it, so I’ll not give the link.
Finally, here was an early write up in a news report from the UK: click on the image to get larger views, and arrows for moving forward or backwards, with text below the photo.
From the UK’s Daily Mail.
After posting the blog, we continued our daily chores. I fixed a nice egg & chicken salad for lunch. Then off to do neighborhood things. I waited until after the mail delivery before taking over a birthday card to put in the mailbox of our 91-year old neighbor whose birthday is today. Yeah, I was saving the 50 cents postage. On the way back I stopped and got our mail and our neighbor’s mail and then I went to her front door, and used my key to let myself into her house. When she is gone, I make a weekly trip to feed and water the inside/outside cat. The cat seems to eat a lot, so I think she may have visitors. 🙂 Now John has gone out in the sunshine to do some brushing, and I am staying in to do dishes, clothes, and receipt filing for recording.

Sunday, Mar 23

Today at 2:00 to 4:00 at the Methodist church in Ellensburg is a Bluegrass Jam that I’m attending. We had 11 musicians, and twice as many in the audience. It was a lot of fun. Yummy desserts included apple cake, carrot cake, gingerbread, and some cake with chocolate on it. I brought some home to share with John, having our berries on top. He heated egg rolls for dinner, served with pears. I have been working on music, plans for tomorrow and on tax receipts. I succeeded in giving John a long awaited haircut but it needs some detail work (later).

Monday, Mar 24

Up early to work and send John off. COLD ~ 29° still early and an hour later only up to freezing. I must go to town to pick up and deliver some Buy Nothing Ellensburg items at 1:00 p.m., given freely on the facebook page of that name. At the first person’s I picked up 3 blouses to share with another member (I get one of them) and a body pillow for someone else. I drove about a block, and delivered the pillow to a gal also on the list who had toe surgery and needed it for propping her leg and foot, and to pick up from her some yarn for another person. While there I shared a Med size wool vest with her. Then I went to SAIL exercise class, and assisted with a couple of people less stable using their walkers. Back home to work on things. Too much going on. I spent hours on projects and now am falling in bed early for an early rise.

Tuesday, Mar 25

Today we made an early morning trip to Yakima. After eating breakfast, we left at 7:45 a.m. to get there by 8:45 check-in for an appointment for a MUGA test (see below), followed by an echocardiogram at 11:00. MUGA was first. They start by taking a vial of blood, and then put a radioactive substance (Technetium-99) in to attach to the red blood cells; 15 minutes later, I’m poked again (with a huge needle) for injection of the mixture into my bloodstream. This is followed by over an hour of multiple still (for the patient) moving scanned photographs at a high resolution to see more about the way the heart parts are working. The first machine was like a dentist chair, but without any support for my arms, which were supposed to be over my head, yet I can only get my right arm up that high, and no support for my neck was provided. I was a wreck after that. While this is happening, one cannot talk or move–just lie still in pain (back, neck, chest muscles, and arms). Then I was done (I thought) and given peanut butter, crackers and juice. But, after eating, I was invited back for more photographs. This time I was taken to a different machine in the Nuclear Imaging section.
[Photos at this link cycle and the fellow in the white shirt and dark tie is my cardiologist, Anatole Kim. He always refers to me as Professor.]
I recognized the machine as the one used on me 4 years ago, when I last had this test. It is much bigger and I believe more efficient, and certainly more comfortable. When I have to have this test again, I shall request ONLY that machine be utilized. At the end of my experience, I asked if I could make such a request in advance, and the technician said yes. Why I was started on the “inferior” (IMHO) one, is beyond me. This larger one had a shelf for my left arm, and I was able to reach back with my right one, even though the extension was painful. I believe next time I will request both arms stay down. I was happy they folded a pillow under my neck for support, and put a pillow under my legs. This setup was incredibly better. The photography also took less time. I was wobbly and unstable when finished and had to walk down the hall to my echocardiogram planned for 11:00 am. That examination takes almost an hour. That was a much better experience, and with a caring, concerned, and cheerful technician. The coolest thing was being able to see my porcine (aka, pig) heart value and its opening and closing. I was able to view the incoming and outgoing blood on the radiograph and could see there was no leakage. Nice. The results for the echocardiogram are enhanced by the MUGA test that preceded it, for the doctor’s interpretation of several things, including my “ejection fraction.” The MUGA provides a better “read” of the 3-D shape of the heart chambers. That’s desired because each person’s heart damage is different and the equations established using normal hearts provide an approximation that will not be quite right for others. The MUGA (MUltiple Gated Acquisition) scan is useful for assessing the heart’s primary function. It provides a moving image (much like a movie) of the heart’s beating and provides information about the heart’s major pumping chambers.

Wednesday, Mar 26

What a morning. John left for pruning, and I tried working on things. Didn’t get very far, although I did complete some future appointments with various medical personnel. With an hour left before I had to leave for playing music at the Food Bank, I heated a croissant sweet roll to have with coffee. I took one bite (not even a sticky pastry) and out came my gold tooth in the back of my mouth (top). I know that tooth’s number by heart (#15). Very fast was on the phone with the office hoping I could get an afternoon appointment after my music/lunch date. They only work M-W. They only had a slight opening at 11:00 and I was not dressed yet. So, fast a phone call to my banjo buddy that I had to get the tooth fixed and might be late arriving for music, but I would be there. They managed to cement the gold tooth crown back in. I sincerely hope it stays. It’s a little fragile. If it doesn’t it will require a whole new crown. Those are not cheap, even with insurance. There are always home chores and when I got home I decided to do dishes. John had the dishwasher cleaned of dishes and re-shelved. I looked in before loading and thought I saw a can lid caught in the back of the bottom wall drain. I asked John to come look and he agreed it shouldn’t be there and was going to be a difficult extraction. He worked awhile and eventually had to remove a plastic cover (white) with a fine screen, which accounts for the apparent color of the metal lid. To do that required a tiny socket (for a ratchet type wrench) that he does not frequently use, and requires a size adapter. Time seems to fly by while looking for infrequently used tools. He claims there are more comfortable positions than crouching and stretching from the kitchen floor into the back of a dishwasher. Four screws came out, then the filter, then the metal lid, and then the accumulated crud. He finished the reinstallation, but I didn’t get around to loading the washer until the next morning. (Will report back on the success).

Thursday, Mar 27 1964 Alaska Earthquake, 50th anniversary

Up and stayed up when John left. Feeling better. At 9:00 the dogs barked; I had a visitor from the PUD. I met him out front, and he was the one that fixed our meter. He said he had a work order to turn off our electricity for lack of payment of our bill. I wonder if we had not been here (as Tuesday), if he would have done it. He said he thought something was wrong when he realized he had just seen me recently. So, I asked whose account is listed. He gave me a telephone number — not even close! When I said no, he handed me the work order. I didn’t see if it had a name on it, but it had an address 1000 meters south from ours. We are at 11041, not 10041. I happily sent him back toward town. [John: That’s the second time this year that a service-type person failed to read the large white-on-blue numbers the county installed at the street for location purposes. Go figure.] After all the excitement, I did normal morning chores and started the dishwasher with its newly cleaned drain. Worked like a charm and at the end there was NOTHING at all of even a speck of water in the bottom.
Got a lot of time put in on printing music for 4 people in our group, and delivered some today. Others are for me and for someone who will be at the Sunday potluck but wasn’t back in town yet. We had a good happy bunch in the audience and they all participated and sang along. We had 4 guitars, a banjo, fiddle, and clarinet. Went by my neighbor’s on the way home to deliver her mail and check on her cat’s food and water, because I didn’t want to be bothered tomorrow.

Friday, Mar 28

Seems all of WA is supposed to get rain today, so John did not go to the vineyard. It rained ALL day and still is, at 5:00 p.m. I think John keeps hoping it will stop before he has to go feed. One of our cattle-owning neighbors was kind enough to give us and deliver 5 pounds of ground beef (2nd installment ‘cause we didn’t have room earlier). Just been working on different projects all day. Did get a great message from Jeri Conklin tonight about our co-owned puppy, Tre’, out of her female and a dog belonging to Sonja Willitts, Kip, who was brother to our now deceased dog, Cork. Tre’ (or Daisy, as Jeri calls her), won her puppy points (2) today in a California Field Trial. In the Open events she is being handled by pro handler Paul Doiron and will be coming north on the circuit. With her win, she can now be moved to Derby stakes. She will be handled by Jeri tomorrow in the Amateur Walking Puppy. Am I excited or what? Yepper!! Picture to follow next week.  Her official AKC name is:  Cedaridge Kip’s Camelot Shay Tre’ .   A pointing dog may receive a maximum of 2 points for a win in Open Puppy.  The stake had 8 starters.   Puppies can only run until 15 months of age.  The  next stake is called Derby, and the dog has to establish a point on a bird.  Derby age goes through two years.

Saturday, Mar 29

Awoke to a Rascal’s loud announcement at 6:00 a.m. that he was back in the house, from his night out gallivanting. Later, we found the reason for all the vocalizing. He had deposited a large mouse for us in the den. It was completely whole. He seldom eats on them, but I guess the chase and catch is his idea of fun. Was foggy early morning, but now the sun has come out, and we might have a nice day.

Hope your week was fine.
Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan