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

Ides of March, and not much happened

Saturday, Mar 15

Beware the Ides of March! (click for info)

Well, the morning started, after sleeping in a little, with me working on finishing the blog to get to John to embellish, add photos, text, and links to the web references. I put it on a little USB drive and took it to him in the back computer room. I had some high resolution pictures on that and the portable drive saves a bit of hassle in getting them into the files where he wants them, then working with them doing some cropping and color adjustments. I’m grateful for the time he spends each week with getting this tome out. We do hope some of you enjoy following us. His theory is only 3 people read it, and I keep telling him I know of at least 8 🙂
Anyway, I left a little after 1:00 p.m. for Briarwood Commons (retirement community). They had a great turn out, and we had 4 guitars, tambourine, fiddle, and clarinet. Our 17 songs, with 8 Irish, and 9 others we used our lyrics with the audience for the first time. It went quite well. At the end, we played a few more not in the book. But, they were sing-along type songs everyone knew. At the end of our performance I met a new-found friend from the Buy Nothing Ellensburg list, who gave me a couple of things — all for others. One bag had a framed picture of All Things Bright and Beautiful in a musical score, matted in an 8 x 10 frame with lasered cutouts of birds, butterflies, and a snail with purple showing through the “holes” cut in the matting. Pretty neat. I brought it home, had John help me get it out of the frame so I could scan and have the lyrics and notes. Now it is back behind glass in its nice frame. I will deliver it to a woman in Kittitas next week who wants to hang it in her house. Also, I picked up a bag of cords to drop off to a person in Kittitas only a mile or so from my first drop-off. Finally, on the way home, I stopped at my neighbors to leave a package of the adult diapers given to me by the same woman today that brought me the other stuff. We want her to open one package and try them on to see if they fit. If so, in my car are two more boxes of the plastic-wrapped packages. If they don’t fit, I will return them to the woman to give to someone else. She still has many more … so if these work there are more, freely given. So, after that little jump forward in time – back to Briarwood and food! I went back in the building to join everyone for the meal they prepared for us. So nice. We had BBQ’d pork ribs (tender – an increasingly important characteristic as one ages, I think), and 3 fruit salads, a broccoli salad, salmon dip and crackers, deviled eggs, tuna fish sandwiches and corned beef sandwiches (which I passed on because my cardiologists keeps after me to stay away from salt). In old Anglo-Saxon terms the word for granule or pellet came out as corn and applied to local food grains, as well as, to very coarse salt, and only later to the Mesoamerican food called maize. That term being introduced to the Spanish by the natives of the Caribbean Islands via their Taino language. The terminology seems a bit confusing, unless your ancient history is of the A++ league.
Dessert was one cake and 3 different kinds of cookies. My one cookie is a favorite with macadamia nuts. I left there for gasoline, and the price is very high. Cheapest in town was $3.499/gal., but when I got there, their electronic card machines were down, and they could only sell by cash. I called John to see what the price was at the 7/11 in town (check and it was $3.519. Considering if I use my AmEx card, I get a 4% rebate — it’s a no brainer. I save 14¢/gal by using my card. So I went and put in 12.3 gallons, saving $1.72, but most importantly, I didn’t have to use cash, and probably wouldn’t’ have been carrying $43.45 anyway. I seldom have much cash with me. Of course, the most important point is I won’t be running out of gas. Once home, I had to review and correct the blog John had worked on. I did and posted it. After all I ate late afternoon, I did not need to eat dinner with John. He’s used to that when I go to the Briarwood Commons play date.

Sunday, Mar 16
I accessed and need to find someone to travel before May 31, 2014 on our exchange. Right now, there’s a trade-up special (get a better unit than ours is rated) for many resorts, and I don’t know how long that will last. Just found out Monday — has to be scheduled before March 21. That’s not far away. (As you read this, it is over. – actually, this morning, 3/21) a new message arrived that it has been extended to 3/23. If anyone is interested in traveling to any worldwide location by Aug. 24, 2014, call me fast. We have to book it by the 23rd (tomorrow). We went to town and filled John’s car with gas at the Circle K where they got their credit card problem fixed. He only needed 10.3 gallons, but that’s still a savings of 14¢/gal. The price over in Quincy is 5¢ higher. When John drives I can use the cell phone and bother folks with chatter, which I did. Those minutes never get used, because we have no good reception from home. I try to make up for it while on the road (with John driving) or in town. My phone does not support blue tooth technology, even though my car does.

Monday, Mar 17

St. Patrick’s Day
Have you noticed that all these “days” have become the focus of rancor (rancidness) rather than a day to enjoy. Still, everyone has something to be thankful for. Consider:

An Irishman’s car is weaving all over the road.
The police finally get him to stop.
Says the cop to the driver,
“So, where have ya been?”
“Why, I’ve been to the pub of course,”
“Well,” says the cop, “it looks like you’ve had quite
a few pints this evening.”
“I did all right,” the man says.
“Did you know,” says the cop, “that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of your car?”
“Oh, thank heavens,” sighs the man.
“For awhile there, I thought I’d gone deaf.”

Somewhat fitting that John is pruning wine grapes to assure a quality harvest this coming fall. I got a call about our scholarship luncheon being moved up to this Friday because next week is spring break. ALREADY! Not teaching, I no longer keep up with such dates. Had my haircut and a great visit with the couple afterwards looking at a rebuilt 1943 (my age) Jeep they are restoring. It was fascinating. Figured out the deal with RCI and now have to get in touch with friends who might use one or more. Would be awesome for them to find one with a trading value of four so I would still have trading power points left for others to use. Found out more things I can get for my neighbor. I can get a case of Ensure food supplement free from Hospice Friends. Worked more on our April 5 music playlist. I’m trying hard to pick only things I don’t have to enter into my computer software, because I do not have time right now. Wind blew more today, about blew me away as I was leaving from my haircut. I should have worn a wool hat, but sadly did not.
Okay–time to hit the hay.

Tuesday, Mar 18

I had to be at the hospital for Pulmonary Lung Test at 10:00 they were running late and got me in after 10:15. Finished the test and got my call to Jen Lipton (a CWU geographer), and we met at the Golden Dragon for the lunch buffet and a run down on her life, since many months ago when I saw her. On to Kittitas to deliver some things I got from people to deliver to others in the Buy Nothing (facebook group) – one of the most positive things on FB, which I do not have time to spend reading. (If you want me to see something, please send me an email) – that I read every day. On home for a few chores, none of which I was supposed to do, and back to town for music. Went by way of Super 1, and grabbed a dozen nice large frosted (day old) donuts, rolls, and fritters for only $3.98. Normal price for a dozen is now $6.98. Then I received a quite long, long distance call from a friend in Arizona about trading for one of our RCI timeshare vacations. Finally, we ate dinner about 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Mar 19

Well, here’s a rundown. Picked up and paid for eggs from my neighbor, to take to my banjo buddy. On to town to pick her up at work, because her (older) car was in the shop getting its axle fixed. She gave me a bunch of egg cartons for the two people we know raising chickens. We drove to the Food bank. She didn’t have the student she tutors (an early childhood accidental head injury) along with her, so we had a nice relaxing time, sang many songs with a lot of enjoyment and participation by the patrons. Two people have birthdays this week, so we sang happy birthday (to Betty and Linda). We have one person who has requested our singing It Is No Secret (What God Can Do). Evelyn found the music and had to pay for it, but now we have it. Today, we played it for him, and then Amazing Grace. He came up afterwards and thanked us. MANY people sang along on Amazing Grace. Of course, in a public place as that is, we would not be politically correct and are not supposed to do anything religious. None of us cares about such rules, and there is no PC police who frequents the place. What is quite cool is one of the patrons, a year ago, stopped me at the grocery store, and requested we play Amazing Grace for him. We do every time. More recently, a person requested “Jesus Loves Me.” We have done that a couple time for him too. Today, the food was very southern, or Oklahoman. We had ham & bean soup, corn bread, honey butter, a green salad, and peaches, apricots, and a gingerbread cookie for dessert. I got some Depends pads from the food bank (don’t ask) for my neighbor. Then, I stopped at Hospice Friends for Wipes & Ensure, returned with Evelyn to our SAIL class and then took her back to work. From there, off to Dean Hall to deliver some Aramco Worlds (magazines) and dropped off egg cartons at another friend with chickens. Spring is the laying season and everyone needs cartons. While in Idaho, we had chickens and one of these special lighting features, listed in this chicken link.

Thursday, Mar 20

We were awakened at 5:20 a.m. by an accidental phone call from a music friend who was trying to reach his daughter to get help with his wife (rapidly showing signs of age). Then I worried about her (and him) and could not get back to sleep. He called again before 7:00 to apologize but to let me know they got her settled all right and she was sleeping. Pain pills are great at certain times. John was outside when the second phone call came, because he believed he saw a raccoon, coming out of our cats’ loft. He went out to knock the snow off his car, (we got an inch last night), and to go check for footprints. He saw one Raccoon track. So, he added dry food to the inside cathouse, and tonight when he feeds in the loft, he will remove the dry food from there. We haven’t seen a raccoon in these parts in 15 years. I had breakfast with John before he took off for grapevine pruning. It took me almost a half hour to create my renewal on line for the Association of American Geographers. I have been a member (next year) for 50 years, and will get life membership free starting after I pay for this year (which I just did). Then a half hour spent on sending out new announcements to the jobs list. While more to do waits, I must switch tasks so that everything shows a little progress. I made it to Dry Creek today for music. We had a good turnout. I came home, had a little to eat, and we turned around and went back to Ellensburg, to the building adjacent to the city library, for a talk on Shrub-Steppe environment (plants and animals). It was interesting and nicely done, by Mike Livingston, South-Central Regional Director, Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. Our location here on the Naneum Fan puts us in the zone (ecotone; transition area between two biomes) between Shrub-Steppe and Ponderosa Pine Forest.

Friday, Mar 21

Today was my CWU Scholarship luncheon at noon. We had a nice turnout, and were treated to a large chicken Caesar salad, with all sorts of stuff to add to it, and Grandma rolls (with butter). For dessert, a piece of Boston Crème Cake. On to SAIL class, where I helped with two people who are in need of someone to stand for support on both sides. They both have walkers, and I was in charge of moving their chairs back and forth to be out of the way of their feet, and to push the chair back for them to sit when done with the standing up ones. It wasn’t so long ago that I was in worse shape – except I was then getting better and, week by week, could notice the improvement. Unfortunately, these two will not get better and away from the need for a walker, but happily, they are still able to get out and about and participate in activities. Hope Source is a bus service available (Monday – Friday) to come to a person’s house, load them with their wheelchair or walker, and deliver them to a destination (grocery store, Food Bank, Adult Activity Center, doctor, etc.). They need a two-day notice to plan routes, but it works very well. Went by Super 1 pharmacy for two of my meds I needed refilled, and by two people’s houses to pick up and deliver stuff. I stopped at my neighbor with the chickens, to drop off some egg cartons. John pruned plum trees and raspberries, and some of the berry plants are to get dug out and given to the lady that cuts my hair — our neighbor 1/2 mile away (mentioned above on Monday).

Saturday, Mar 22

At dawn it was 24 degrees but now, at 11:45, we are up to 45. Wow. The night sky was clear but now there is a thin veil of clouds moving from the Vancouver Island area towards us. Still the sun is quite bright. Only the high North Cascade mountains are expected to get some showers from this. Suits me. Not a lot on our schedule today, but looking forward to a sunny day.

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

At 800 feet – Spring

At the vineyard the elevation is 800 to 1100 feet and it feels like spring. Here at home (elevation 2,200 feet) it still feels a bit winter-like. But during daylight hours in Ohio, check this webcam looking across part of Lake Erie toward Cleveland. No ice! It is not all gone from the lake, yet. Here’s an ice/fish story.
For us the March Equinox (spring) arrives on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM PDT. Pay attention and see if you can tell.

Saturday, Mar 8

Much or our day was spent on things needing done, as this blog, which we accomplished again on the back room computer because John’s hip/leg is more comfortable in that chair than on the bar stool at the counter with the newer one. After I did the final reading and posting, I continued with chores I had been doing all morning. Then, I took off to deliver a birthday package (for tomorrow) to my neighbor. It’s her 88th birthday, and I don’t want to visit with the risk of giving her something. I met her husband returning from the mail box, and gave him the goodies (he’s 91). It’s a bag with a little package of our home made chocolate candy and a nice card.
John told me he’d uncovered a box on the front porch that had others piled on, and he thought I should go through it. These are boxes that made it from the shed to the garage or in this case the front porch for my sorting. It took me until mid-day today to get to it, but what I found was really pretty cool. It was mostly old notes (even back to my days as a student, (one high school Health Science report with incredible hand draw diagrams of systems and organs in the body)! I made an A+ and was proud of it, I guess, to keep it all these years. I created it May 9, 1957, so I was 13 then and probably in the 8th grade. I must scan a few of the drawings just for posterity. I only wish I had actually memorized and learned what I was drawing. Then I would have known all the parts of my pulmonary system when doctors were talking around me and, mostly, I hadn’t a clue. Here they are, even one with an “Excellent” rating. I wonder how that 1957 text book would compare with a modern version? Click each for a full size view.

Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- pulmonary circulation
Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- Vertebral column
Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- Head and neck
Colored drawing by Nancy in spring 1957 -- Ear and inner parts

In the same box with the drawings were notes from the first Geography class I ever took (never had one in high school), but I took this one in college that changed my entire life. The date was 1962. I also found in the box two professional publications of my first Geography teacher, Dr. Sanford H. Bederman, who is still alive and well in Atlanta, GA. I visited him and his wife, Jolayne, when I was down in Atlanta, GA in 2011 for my 50th high school Reunion. They have a beautiful library in their home. I wrote him and asked if he wanted the 1966 and 1967 publications I’d found, that he sent me, about his Subsistence and Plantation Agriculture Research in West Cameroons that occurred while I was in my Geography masters program in Cincinnati. We regularly exchanged correspondence (the old blue aerogram letters) while he and his wife were there. He was the reason I went to graduate school in Geography, right up the road from where he grew up, in Lexington, KY. He is excited about having the copies for his library. (See tomorrow’s entry for the interesting reply from Sandy.)

Here’s a report on the Grange funds raising extravaganza. We started our evening by buying raffle tickets (6 for $5). We had looked through the silent auction tables and found a few things we would be interested in winning for ourselves, and put a ticket in the baskets associated with each. Several of these were nice enough to consider giving them as gifts for upcoming weddings and such. We failed to win anything. Dinner was supposed to start being served at 6:00 p.m. but I don’t think we got started until 6:30. It didn’t help that the caterer arrived with the food 20 minutes after their requested time. We did not have crepes as John predicted. We had roast beef, potatoes, chicken with a great sauce, rice, and southwest veggies (green beans long, red peppers, normal carrots, and I guess the yellow things were yellow carrots. Very tasty, but not something I have ever had. Along with that described was a nice salad and a piece of carrot cake. One could have iced water or coffee with the meal. If John had had his normal Pepsi, it would have been from the bar at a cost and with an expected tip. He skipped. We stayed for the auction (well done but a bit loud) so we would be there for the LED 32″ TV raffle prize for all people who bought a dinner ticket. We didn’t win. The auction involved a lot of nice things and brought in a fair amount of money. I didn’t have a pen so couldn’t keep track of the income. There was only one item we might have bid on (a load of gravel delivered in Ellensburg), but it went for 4 times the retail cost. After all it is a fundraiser for the Grange, so to be expected. I drove us home in the rain, and we made it safely. It had not rained as much here as in Cle Elum and on the way up and back. All the animals were fine and happy to see us, and Meghan (the oldest) was ready for her special soft-food dinner.

Sunday, Mar 9

Heard back from my first geography professor that he wants the materials I found. Well, it sounds better coming from him:
You bring back old, old memories. Yes, please send the packet on .. Rhoads Murphy [I remembered and mentioned the author of our textbook] died only recently. Would you believe, Jerry Davis remains my best friend from GSU. Jolayne and I have dinner with him and his wife, Alice, often. I will pass on your compliment about use of maps [in his History 112 class I took]. He and Alice teach courses at Senior University which Jolayne and I savor. She is a Vanderbilt Ph.d. trained nuclearphysicist, whose son is a tenured professor of political science at GSU. She has a granddaughter who is a freshman at Princeton. She is really a neat lady.
Now, however, that needs a little background. Here’s what I wrote him that accounts for the notes about his friends, the Davis family. Here is what I wrote to Sandy about the find: Found notes from my very first college class in Geography from you. They are excellent, and I figure the date must have been 1962. You started my life and career in Geography, in that class, so they are very special. However, I have already taken the material I learned from you and passed it to my students through the years. If you can think of any reason to add it to a portion of biographical data in your library, I will be honored. In the back are some map exercises from Gerald Davis for History 112. I remember being shocked that he was including map exercises in his classes. I don’t think any history profs I know ever have.
For the record, while we are on “history,” he and his wife, Jolayne, chaperoned and taught us for a 9-week trip in the summer of 1965 on a Geography Field Trip to Europe (after a spring quarter class in the Geography of Europe). We visited 17 countries (as I recall), and had 19 boys and 4 girls along on the trip. It was an experience of a lifetime.
Each student researched an approved geographic topic before going, took pictures while there, and gave a report at the site. My research was on Karst topography of Yugoslavia, and I gave my running account as we drove through current-day Slovenia and Croatia down to the Adriatic coast to Rijeka and back around the Istrian peninsula. I stood in the front of the bus, talking and pointing out sinkholes (my first time to see) and the Dolomitic Alps. We would stop occasionally for me to take photos for my final report. Once in Rijeka, I went with a hotel worker in his rowboat out on the coast and looked back at the small beach, and took photos of the limestone outcroppings on the hill (source of the beach sand). It’s a lovely picture I don’t have access to right now in digital format to share. I recall how much I enjoyed the view from above the city so I looked for one on the web. Mine is from higher up than that shown in this photo. I spent 3¢ for a 45 minute bus ride to get up there. Wonder what that would cost today?
During the 9 weeks of our trip, I took over 30 rolls of 35 mm Kodachrome film on a point and shoot Kodak camera I bought before going on the trip. I used slides from that trip for many classes throughout my teaching lifetime. People today will not have the thrill of changing film while on a creaking bus careening down a mountain road. The intricacies of sprockets and cogs will soon be a lost talent.
Here is a photo from the 1965 newspaper that carried a story of our trip. Click on this please. And the ones below.
Nancy and friends from the Europe trip taken in Atlanta
The caption said — Members of Georgia State College Class who studied geography at the scene
Richard Askue Jr., Patsy Hilley, Nancy Brannen, Anne Murphy, and Dr. Sanford Bederman — we are all so cute, even Sandy!
Next you can see Sandy and me at their house in 2011.
Sandy (Prof) and Nancy (student) 45 years and going
Next picture, left to right, has Elaine Murphy, me, Jolayne Bederman, and Anne Murphy (who was along on the trip to Europe). She just sent me an email today, that she and Richard leave London tomorrow morning for home. They spent a lot of time in Ireland. I helped teach Jolayne to drive – ain’t that cool!
Sandy's wife Jolayne and 3 of the students; Nancy center; with sisters Elaine and Anne
Okay, back to today – a day filled with small things. Trying to finish getting my ducks in a row. Sometimes I feel it is a hopeless task, yet we got in a good conversation with John’s sister in Ohio, and I got a large box of stuff emptied. Tonight at 7:00 pm, as expected and automatic, my computer system backed up all the files added or changed since last week. It only took 25 minutes. That’s cool too.

Last week I was asked by my friend, Dr. Miriam Hill in Alabama to provide one of my own photographs to show an example of the Channeled Scablands of Washington. I found three, and she chose one of Dry Falls. I had to write a letter certifying I had taken the photo and giving the company the right to use it. The photograph will be published in Pearson’s Physical Geography Dynamic Study Modules that will be available for their three or four physical geography textbooks. It is in Question 21 of Lesson 17a. So I’ve been told. If the issue is new to you, look here for all you need to know about eastern Washington’s Channeled Scablands.

Monday, Mar 10

Up again early because of coughing, but at 7:30, said goodbye to John (he went wine grapevine pruning), and I laid back down to try for some rest after an interrupted night’s sleep. At 8:30 a.m. sharp came a call waking me up, from UNAVAILABLE in the area code 212 (NYC). I didn’t have that area code memorized, but heard the message they started leaving on our machine and picked up the phone. I normally would not have answered it if I had seen the caller ID, but when I heard the reason, I picked up. It was Yvonna from the WSJ who was calling to say they had received the documentation letter from CWU that okayed me to obtain special educational rates for the next two years and that she would file the letter for the future. Yet, they also want me to call in March of 2016, just in case they have a better rate for me than the one that comes on my renewal notice. So I gave her our AMEX card number for billing $199.99 and thanked her. Whoopee. Now I can continue through the chores of the day in a happy mood. Made me happy enough to wash a load of dishes.
Reported the incorrect doctor’s requested appointment for John at Dr. Schmitt’s for an annual physical, and verified we already had an appointment scheduled for Sept 16, 2014. That’s a bit of a mystery but it is fixed, so no harm done. I left message for Krista (a neighbor), delivered the berries & egg cartons, and picked up 2 dozen eggs this afternoon, traded for frozen raspberries. Temp went on up to 52 and is now headed back down. The winds almost reached the same figure but stopped at 47 mph. All day the wind blew. I had a hard time keeping the mail together trying to get it out of the box and keep it close to my body so it didn’t end up in the ditch.
John arrived home with donuts !! Yesterday’s bake but just what I wanted and $5 per 12, and a nice selection. Sent out the invitations to our music group for the April 8, Volunteer Recognition Dinner. Managed to pay a lot of bills, on line, saving the cost of check, envelope, and postage. The year I went to Europe, 1965, a first class letter cost 5¢ . Now it is nearly 10 times as much.

Tuesday, Mar 11

Started out saying bye-bye and have a nice day and safe trip to John, who left a little after 7:30. Before leaving, he must feed the horses. I slept maybe another 1/2 hour and then got dressed to leave for town. I first drove by Carl’s Jr and picked up on a coupon deal for sausage biscuits. I got enough for several meals. On to the Copper Kettle for our monthly meeting of the Emeriti Geography professors. This morning we had George Macinko, Dee Eberhart, Jim Huckabay, Ken Hammond, Jim Brooks, and me. Lillian Brooks joined us for the last hour. We met from 9:30 to 11:00. Off to the bank I went to cash a check, and transfer some money. Then by to pick up free produce (old but not moldy) from a gal NW of town, to bring to our neighbor for her pigs (the one with the chickens). On to pick up Thyroid medicine for my old female Brittany, Shay. Home to deliver the pig food, and talk to the men from the utility company trimming the trees hanging over the lines but anchored inside our fence by the road. They wouldn’t take off more than they planned, which John would have preferred. There are 3 or 4 trees that could still hit the wires if cut at the base, so they will have to come back in 6 to 8 years and trim them again.
Trimming trees with a basket or boom truck
They are extended out from the road over the fence with a bucket/boom truck and would have to operate from inside the fence to do more. Still, it is better than it was. Once John arrived home he took the dogs for their afternoon exercise, and then we had a late lunch. We took two of the sausage biscuits, scrambled two eggs, added cheddar cheese, heated the sausage with it, and toasted the biscuits. All in all it was a nice filling sandwich. This afternoon since arriving home, while he took a short nap, I paid and checked on bills, in various formats (on line website for one membership, phone call about our February utility bill that was WAY low ($30), so I figured the new meter reading option from afar went astray. I reported it, and they will check on it, but I think the accountant was only interested in telling me the $18.00 charge for the “Facility” has always been on my bill. I explained that I thought (at first) perhaps that was the main reason for the charge, but while talking to her, I saw the watts usage, was on the bill for the month, but very low (144). Last month for January’s usage, our bill was $282, and the amount used was over 2700. February a year ago the usage was also at 2700. So, I told the woman she should have someone check the system, because my bill was too low. Her comment, “So you want to pay more?” Well, yes, if I will be charged for it in the future, when they figure out my meter is not working. I asked her to please request them to check our meter or put in a new one. . She said, “Oh, I can request a work order, but it was just replaced, with a new one.” RIGHT, but hello.. what part of this don’t you understand? Your smart meter isn’t very smart. So we’ll see what happens.
Next bill pay session was supposed to be easier through my bank, but I have only used it once. I got on to see if I could create a new account to pay my doctor’s bill in Yakima, and while there I found the image of the first bill pay I did 2/24, that was not noted on my statement. I was not going to use the system until they told me how to get an image of the bank-mailed check. Well, they never got back to me, after I asked last week, but today I found it. Then I called the bank, to find out about the “memo” lower left part of the check and whether I could put something in there. The first person (the assistant manager) didn’t know, so got a teller to help me. She got on, but she couldn’t find the way either. That’s when I found it, while waiting, and continuing with my set up. She had answered one question for me and I fixed it, and went to the PAY part. Once there, the amount, date, AND MEMO CONTENTS can be added. Her option before she was ready to admit defeat and hang up, was to have me come into the bank and be shown. I think not. I told her it made better sense to go through it with me with me on my computer. I didn’t bother saying I didn’t want to drive 12 miles, haul my laptop, and take the time on a day (tomorrow) when I have 4 stops. Technology is supposed to make life easier.

Wednesday, Mar 12

Much today. John left again early, and at 9:00 a.m. the PUD maintenance technician was at my door to check on the “new meter” and low reading. He found the meter still had the same number as was read on March 3. He replaced the meter. He said they wouldn’t likely charge me, and I guess that makes sense because how would they know how many watts we used? It must have stopped working soon after the last reading because it only accumulated 144 watts used. Normally we are around 2700 for February. I think they owe me a big thank you for finding it this soon (and reporting it). I pay attention to our bills, and even though that is on an automatic credit card withdrawal, I still recognized the paper statement discrepancy with historical records. I explained that above, so I will end this discussion, except to say he managed to make the exchange without the house power being interrupted – saving us resetting clocks and such. I went to the Food Bank for music. We had an appreciative and interactive crowd. Three of us entertained today. On the menu was baked chicken, Shepherd’s pie, green mixed salad with pears and nuts and cranberries, and a great apple cobbler for dessert. I ate a lot. Received 2 loaves of English Muffin bread, a small loaf of some Artisan bread we haven’t tried yet, and a large farm bread. They encourage us to take bread because they cannot refrigerate it, and it molds quickly. We freeze it at home. That and lunch are a nice payment for our volunteer service. On to SAIL, where we had 26 in class. Highest EVER in the 4 years I have attended. While there I picked up a pair of fingerless knitted gloves made special by the knitter who donates her time. These are red and will be worn by a player in the Leavenworth (WA) Band, out in the elements. They will match their red scarves as well as warm the hands and arms, but leave the fingers free for playing the instruments. I dropped off some blank world maps and of Western Europe to my friend in Geography. Also, I had an historical atlas for her, and a few other map things. She came downstairs to save me time. I needed to drive home, and eat something to take a large dose of antibiotics an hour ahead of my dental work, and then back to town by 4:10 for my appointment for my broken tooth. The nicest thing was I got my tooth fixed for free. It was a filling that didn’t adhere and stay in from my last visit, so there was no charge. I waited around almost an hour for someone to meet me to take two bags of clothes, blankets, and food. Saved me a drive south of town toward the canyon, but would have been nice if they’d gotten there closer to the planned meeting time, instead of 45 minutes late. At least I had something along to read. I couldn’t use my phone to call people because I had to be ready to direct them in to where I was waiting, if they didn’t manage to follow the directions I gave them with street names and an address. Met them at my dentist’s office. It is easy to find, but it is on a one way street, so access is weird. It’s close to Safeway, but not when driving from there to the dentist’s office .

Thursday, Mar 13

This morning filled with music preparation and calling Hospice Friends and the Food Bank for my neighbor trying to help my neighbor obtain medical materials needed. Left before John arrived home. I made it by school, delivered egg cartons to two different people, got some mail in the system, and delivered the materials I picked up at Hospice Friends. While there, I saw a familiar face in an adjacent office and spoke to her, saying, “I know you but remind me where from.” Turns out it was Anna, who used to work at the Cle Elum Clinic where John and I go to our family physician. She knew me through the bad parts of my health, back in 2009 – 10. She was so happy to see how well I’m doing, and came out from behind her desk and counter to give me a hug.

Friday, Mar 14

Been up since 6:15, so will need an afternoon nap. Mostly working on scanning and making copies and organizing messes in this room and updating tax records. I did put in time working on the blog for this week. Scanned music from a friend in Cle Elum, now playing guitar with our group, so I could return his originals tomorrow. Yikes the winds were high today. John almost got blown off the road on his trip home. The airport recorded 59 mph gusts, and sustained over 40. We finally both crashed during the afternoon and slept for 1.5 hours. I mentioned the Artisan bread picked up Wednesday, and mid-day, I had two pieces with my tuna fish salad. By the time John got home I was complaining about the bread and asked him what spice it might have been that I was reacting too. It totally screwed up my system. Tomorrow morning I got the answer.

Saturday, Mar 15

This morning John made his toast from the Artisan bread, which I was never going to have any of again. He found the reason. It was not a spice but filled with many small sections (cloves?) of Garlic. [Why is it called a clove when it doesn’t look like Clove?] I know my system does not like garlic, so I stay away from it. I did not realize the taste in the toast involved chunks, not just juice or whatever. Never again will that bread make it into our house! We will go play music for the Briarwood bunch today and have a meal with them. I will pick up some stuff from Teresa Keith, on the Buy Nothing Ellensburg group. Will deliver some more Depends type packages donated freely to my neighbor. Every package I bring her is saving her (or her son who bought the last batch) about $15. That makes me feel good. Okay, finally, John went out to repair a fence that was falling, and I told him I would be through with this by the time he got back in the house. I have been finishing the first draft, which he then edits and adds photos to the Word Press system for posting. It’s a major time effort, but it gives us a good record of stuff to check back to, if needed.

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