Public Hearing Set for Propane Terminal

Hayden Shoreline (2004). Photograph by Lyn Topinka.
Hayden Shoreline (2004). Photograph by Lyn Topinka.

Here is an update on Pembina Pipeline Corporation’s controversial proposal to build a propane terminal on land zoned for conservation across from West Hayden Island in North Portland.

Portland’s City Council will not vote on the proposal tomorrow, April 30th.  Instead, councilors have scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, June 10th.  Short of vocal widespread opposition, the Council plans to turn its back on Portland’s pristine land-use guarantee for the property, thereby establishing Portland’s Terminal 6.

The proposal calls for 1½-mile-long trains to deliver an average of 1.6 million gallons a day where the highly volatile fracking-derived fuel from Alberta’s tar sands would be stored in refrigerated tanks holding a capacity of 34 million gallons.  Huge tankers would then transport massive amounts of the propane down the Columbia River into the Pacific Ocean and on to Asia.

Let’s make something crystal clear: None of this propane is designated to go into gas tanks of cars, trucks or buses in America.  The propane is for export only, designated for plastics manufactured in Asia.  Ostensibly, these are the same plastics found in consumer-handy containers eventually dumped in landfills.  If this area’s reputation is now green, hypocrisy will become Portland’s newfound legacy.

In my previous post, I gave the impression that Multnomah Friends (Quakers) opposes the zoning change.  It is true that members of the Peace & Social Concerns Committee unequivocably oppose it, but Meeting Clerk Andy Cross cautions, “The question of the propane terminal has not come before the Meeting for Worship for Business.”

He adds, “Often, for issues that are short-term and need rapid response, it does not make sense to season the concern through the Meeting.  It can be a time-consuming process that often does not make a big difference on short-term issues.”

Now that a public hearing will occur June 10th, it’s possible that Quakers will take a position.  Certainly, an unchallenged announcement asking attendees to lobby City Councilors immediately after their Meeting for Worship suggested a position was taken already.  A clarification will appear if and when one is offered.

Finally, here is my own opinion.  It’s hard to believe such an environmentally unfriendly proposal could be proffered by Portland’s Mayor Charlie Hales unless the wheels of passage were already greased.  In an earlier post headlined, “A Plan to Nationalize Oregon’s Waterways,” I warned this plan will limit residents’ use of its most visible natural resource.  After all, with concerns about terrorists worldwide, how could Homeland Security allow pleasure craft to navigate the Columbia River unregulated?

I don’t believe Pembina’s proposal would have been bandied about as some sort of trial balloon.  Such an idea must have the backing of our State Department with some sort of shaking of hands between the U.S. and China.

Some kind of tarnish to Portland’s environmental record must be regarded in Washington as a casualty of economic growth.  Climate change be damned; the exploitation of fossil fuels is continuing.  Nothing can stop this pipeline proposal, short of a minor miracle, from going forward.

Why the millennial generation is not swarming about in sheer opposition to further befouling our environment makes me want to throw up my hands and shout, “Hands up, don’t shoot!”  But then again, maybe we’ve become too cynical to care any longer.


Quakers in Portland

The Multnomah Quaker Meetinghouse adheres to an "open door" policy.
The Multnomah Quaker Meetinghouse adheres to an “open door” policy.

Yes, Virginia, there are real Quakers in Portland.

After I chronicled a strange admonition from the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Washington County (UUCCWC) minister about wearing jeans to its place of worship, goodwill toward this photojournalist flew out the window.  At a subsequent rehearsal, the church’s choir director chimed in that she didn’t believe my account was true, which I interpreted as a challenge to my penchant for accuracy or, worse yet, journalistic ethics.

So the day after Alice endured her stroke, I deemed it opportune to end my participation in UUCCWC.  I could not abide being increasingly disparaged for frankness and truthfulness, so I used the timing of my wife’s ailment and recovery to split and “git.”

One comment on my criticism of UU’s Rev. Christine Riley was offered by a prominent Buckingham Quaker who wondered why I had not sought out the Quakers.  At first glance, I had thought an evangelical church in Hillsboro was my only alternative.  But I used the month of March to do further research, which revealed a possible bona fide Quaker meeting – the Multnomah Friends Meeting – in southeast Portland on Stark Street.

Man, oh man, am I glad I did.  At last Sunday’s meeting for worship, April 19th, attended by more than 60 friends, I was treated like a long-lost son. The reception I received and the extended hands of friendship were unreal!  But was it an illusion?  I had to bring Alice, and get her usual candid opinion.

Surprisingly, my life partner was receptive to accompany me this morning, 4/26.  There is no singing of hymns like in Buckingham, Pa., but 60 friends were in attendance.  (Meetings for worship are so popular that another Sunday meeting is held earlier.)  Alice’s opinion now appears to be as embraceable as mine.  And guess what Portland Quakers are up to?  Lobbying the Portland City Council to vote against the proposed propane terminal, that’s what!

I was inspired to stand and speak today, because the EXIT signs to be used in case of emergency there are not red like other public places. They are green! After all, does it make sense to GO toward a sign colored red? That’s not natural! Multnomah Friends exhibit their zeal for simplicity.

I’m sure there will be more to chronicle eventually about Multnomah Friends, but I couldn’t help ending this post without reciting verbatim their call for civic action. Here ’tis:


“Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission has recommended a zoning change to accommodate a new fossil fuel terminal on the Columbia [River]. This is one of dozens of projects that want to push oil, coal and gas exports through our region.

“It’s our local piece of the fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground worldwide.  Ten Multnomah Friends turned out for hearings on the Pembina propane terminal, and now we need your help with the next step:  Please call City Councilors ASAP, say you are a person of faith and ask them to say ‘no’ to Pembina.

“Nick Fish (503-823-3589) and Steve Novick (503-823-4682) are moderate /undecided council members who most need to hear from us.”

The Quakers’ call for action is an opportunity for real-world citizens to express themselves responsibly and fulfill their civic duty. If you agree with Multnomah Quakers’ point of view and want to participate, click this link for background and talking points.

This is better than just standing around and bitching, right?

Portland City Council to Vote on Propane Terminal

Members of Portland Rising Tide drop banner in Portland City Hall
Members of Portland Rising Tide drop banner in Portland City Hall

As regular visitors to this website know, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, with roots in the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, currently has a proposal being actively considered to construct a propane terminal in the heart of Portland, Oregon, currently reputed to be one of the greenest cities in the U.S.

Propane is manufactured primarily through fracking.  Yesterday, it was announced that the injection of waste water underground, a prime ingredient of the fracking process, earned Oklahoma the dubious distinction of being the most earthquake-prone state in all the United States, ahead of California.

Portland mayor Charlie Hales is actively endorsing Pembina’s plan, which passed muster by the region’s Planning & Sustainability Commission on March 17th.  The next hurdle for Pembina is a resolution scheduled for consideration before Portland’s City Commission on April 30th.

In recognition of Earth Day 2015, which was nationally observed on Wednesday, we’ve decided to carry verbatim the following press release that was disseminated by Portland Rising Tide on April 15th:

Portland is continually winning awards for environmental stewardship and has been recognized by President Obama on climate action, yet our city has become a central hub for a fossil fuel industry that threatens our city with the label of “climate hypocrite.” Here in Portland we have dozens of companies who are heavily involved in coal mining, fracking, and tar sands as a main source of profits.

These companies frequently donate to City Council, including Steve Novick who has accepted money from Greenbrier/Gunderson, one of the largest constructors of oil railcars and coal barges in the US, and in turn advocated for coal exports to China.  Dan Saltzman and Charlie Hales have also accepted tens of thousands from the fossil fuel industry, on top of working for CH2M Hill and HDR Inc, respectively.  Both companies have an extensive portfolio of fossil fuel projects – including pipelines, refineries, and export terminals –and this City Council has a history of giving both companies contracts for municipal projects.

With the recent approval of a zoning amendment by the Planning & Sustainability Commission, Portland Rising Tide encourages City Hall to reject the Pembina propane terminal when it comes to a vote before City Council.  We need to be scaling back our fossil fuel infrastructure immediately, not promoting more catastrophic climate change from propane shipped by explosive 1.5 mile trains through Portland every other day.  This zoning code amendment would also open the floodgates for more dangerous and climate change-causing fossil fuel terminals, often with little to no public process.

This project and all other fossil fuel companies play a large role in environmental injustice that disproportionately affects poor communities and communities of color who live in the blast zones and polluted neighborhoods, as well as indigenous communities near the source of fracking and tar sands where the propane is sourced.  “Growing up in poverty, you kind of get first-hand knowledge of the effects of environmental harms. We all share stories of bad fish, building materials, lead, and air quality.  Blacks are often aware that these things are making us sick, though we don’t always have access to the tools needed to protect our communities from policy that allow these pollutants,” says Teressa Raidford, lead organizer of Don’t Shoot PDX.  Environmental injustice only adds to the issues of an unlivable minimum wage, gentrification, and police violence that affects communities of color in Portland.

This project is also an injustice to future generations and violates the City’s trustee duties to protect our climate, air, and water for future generations.  Adrielle Fuller, a 23-year old single mother in Cully, says, “My five-year-old daughter and I can hear the trains from our house.  It’s a constant reminder that her future isn’t safe until the trains stop.”

City council is tentatively voting on the Pembina zoning code amendment on April 30th.  Portland Rising Tide and the Climate Action Coalition will be mobilizing the community to come out in opposition to new fossil fuel infrastructure in Portland.  Our city is rapidly being turned over to the hands of wealthy business interests and Portland is rising up against it.

Aphasia: Fractured Brain Communication

Alice and I descended move than 100 steps to reach Lincoln City's shore.  We easily climbed back up.
Alice and I descended more than 100 steps to reach Lincoln City’s shore where her camera shutter whirred away. We easily climbed back up.

I’m learning a lot about aphasia, including an impromptu metaphor from yesterday’s visit to Lincoln City that frames a cautionary tale.

Aphasia can be compared to a fracture, similar to a broken bone.  Aphasia is a frequent injury resulting from a stroke, and the fracture occurs somewhere in the brain between one’s thoughts and its communication, whether it be via speech or in writing.

A person who suffers from aphasia is not a vegetable.  At the Aphasia Network workshop Alice and I attended, two couples – one member of whom is a survivor; the other a caretaker – participated in a panel discussion.  We witnessed how alive each survivor was, and indirectly learned how easy it can be to underestimate survivors’ mental faculties.

Like Alice, a survivor can be overwhelmingly brilliant, but people in the outside world sometimes mistakenly view these individuals to have lost the ability to make rational decisions, viz a viz total brain stupidity.  A frequently held bias by family members, often they might usurp an aphasia sufferer’s God-given right to make decisions for herself (or himself, as the case may be).

Alice gave birth to five children, and many have fallen out of touch with their mother.  One particular daughter, who presently shall remain unnamed, fears for Alice’s safety, especially after a post of how Alice drove alone to express a burning need to remain independent.

When Alice returned, she showed off her prize from shopping at Target, and I was summarily impressed.  There is no question how controlling I can become, and there should be no doubt how much an alpha female Alice can be.  That conflict between the two of us serves as a loving battleground.

Yesterday, this daughter’s fear for her mother’s safety and security metamorphosed into a demand for a date- and time-stamped photo showing Alice alive and well.  The photo under the headline is not so camera-labeled, because it’s meant to entertain readers of this website/blog.

It's easy to see why Alice wielded her camera.  The shore at Lincoln City is a shutterbug's delight.
It’s easy to see why Alice wielded her camera. The shore at Lincoln City is a shutterbug’s delight.

Nevertheless, if Alice’s daughter wants to verify my life partner’s wellbeing, all she need do is call the Blackfish Café in Lincoln City, Oregon, where yesterday, 4/20/15, on a brilliant sun-filled afternoon we celebrated the date with a palate-pleasing lunch of fish and chips (for me, with a beer) and a Philly cheesesteak (for Alice, with a glass of pinot noir).  We are easy to identify, since Alice’s longtime height of 6’3″ turns her into a standout woman.

While we were in Lincoln City, I learned about a sad event that occurred there almost 80 years ago, and a memorial statue and plaque serve as this cautionary tale for anyone who wishes to defy Alice’s inner desires.

Joe. the memorialized sea lion, seems to approve of Alice's camera work.
Joe. the memorialized sea lion, seems to approve of Alice’s camera work.

In March 1936, a battle-scarred male sea lion came on shore in the little Oregon beach town of Nelscott (where the memorial is erected), and the animal was discovered by resident Dave Dewey.  He named the sea lion Joe, and although Dewey created a fenced-in area for him, Joe soon began exploring other homes in the neighborhood.

This so delighted the townsfolk that they soon discovered that Joe enjoyed being bathed with a garden hose and having his back rubbed with a broom.  The novelty of a wild sea creature’s loving relationship with these residents made the front pages of Portland’s Oregonian newspaper, and soon up to 5,000 curiosity seekers visited the anomaly.

Residents of a nearby town became jealous and complained to a local game warden.  Dutifully, he loaded Joe in a truck, took him back to the ocean and forced Joe to swim away.

Years later, the body of a dead sea lion matching Joe’s wounds (a blind eye and a deep scar on his neck and shoulder) was found in the nearby Sea Lion Caves.  Joe, the Sea Lion of Nelscott, was eventually donated by Suzanne Griffith Allen to the town of Lincoln City, the subsequent name given to the combined five towns that incorporated Joe’s adopted seaside oasis.

The memorial to Joe was erected on August 1, 2014, a fitting reminder what happens when man contradicts a wild creature’s desires.  Indeed, Alice has become my wild creature, and I am pledged to speak for her whenever she cannot.

The idea of writing about Alice’s recovery from aphasia on this website is her idea, not mine.  The decision to move to Oregon from Pennsylvania was her idea, too.

Please honor her wishes as I try to do each day.  It hurts me when others mistake our mutual good intentions.


Lincoln City's clifftop homes appear safe above  the shore's tsunami zone.
Lincoln City’s clifftop homes appear safe above the shore’s tsunami zone.

Alice Takes a Drive

I managed to snap this pic before Alice drove off.
I managed to snap this pic before Alice drove off.

/UPDATE/ — An hour and a half after she left, Alice returned, safe and sound.  Well, not too sound.  She’s pissed at me, but I’ll accept that as suitable criticism.  Thanks for your concern!/

Maybe it’s me.  Perhaps I’m too controlling.  But now that Alice left our apartment to drive all alone, just to prove she can do it, I’m a nervous wreck.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think she is in danger.  All doctors’ visits to date cleared her from taking occupational therapy.  On the surface, Alice is back to her self-confident self, albeit with substantial speech communication difficulties.  We’re both confident her recovery will be complete, even if it takes longer than anticipated.

But this?

Earlier this afternoon (remember we’re on Pacific Time), Alice expressed impatience and feelings of boredom.  She said she wanted to drive, but I objected.  “No doctor cleared you to drive, Alice,” I said.  I then read her the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon’s (RIO) “activity after discharge” recommendation: “Do not drive.”

She didn’t want to hear it.  Two hours ago, I monitored her driving skill (or lack of same) while I sat on the passenger side.  On three successive occasions before making a turn, she failed to anticipate the correct turning lane until reaching the intersection.

But Alice is not easily dissuaded by my critique.  She said I was making her nervous!  So half an hour ago, she left in our Ford Escape in her usual bullheaded manner to visit a department store.

I hope Betsy watches out for her.

As I said earlier, perhaps I’m too controlling.  Because I’m on edge, I’ll update this website when she returns, and at that time I hope to appear foolish.

No matter how much I hate being wrong, it will be easy to spread good news as soon as she walks through our door.

After all, that’s my Alice!

Google Finds My Phone

find your phone-lr

Will cellphone wonders never cease?

A constant problem for cellphone users – losing track of one’s phone – was quietly resolved by Google yesterday (April 15) when its phone finder feature was unveiled.

You know the problem, right?  You remove your cellphone from a shirt or pants pocket for one reason or another, and forget to put it back.  The absence of the phone doesn’t become apparent until you get home and need to make a call.  Where is it?  Could someone have stolen it?

Frantically, you run up to your husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, sibling, parent, whoever, and excitedly blurt out, “Did you see my phone?,” only to see a blank look across that person’s face.  You retrace your steps for the last few hours to no avail, realizing how much of your life could be exposed to, egad, a stranger?

Well, Google has finally come to the rescue for Android users.  On your PC or notebook, all you need do is type into its Google search bar, “find my phone,” and voila, your quandary is solved!

The GPS in your cellphone will reveal its location – usually within 100 feet.  Of course, if the phone is somewhere close, the breakthrough doesn’t reveal its specific location.  But if you left the phone at your hairdresser or supermarket, or even inside a car, you’re no longer in the dark.

One further pulse-lowering solution: No longer do you have to ask a loved one to dial a phone for you, which may be a heart-thumping problem if you’re all alone!

CNET reports Google can now ring your phone at maximum volume!  No longer does forgetfulness matter, under any condition.

One caveat, though: You must have identical email accounts synchronized on your Android and desktop/notebook computer.  Then you can set up the new feature.

Apple users already have the feature, and a similar one, Android Device Manager, was made available earlier.  But at long last, Android users of cellphones – and tablets too – can find their mobile devices without having to download a new app.

A simple setup procedure takes only a couple of minutes.  And it works fine!

To set it up yourself, check out the CNET webpage.  Just click on the link here, and kiss your memory foibles goodbye!

A brilliant mind is a terrible thing to waste when you can’t find your phone.  Let Google do it!

Alice Is Steadily Making Progress

From left to right, Pacific University student therapists Tim Lundgren and Kamran Lehman, survivor Alice McCormick and novice caretaker Mason Loika.
From left to right, Pacific University student therapists Tim Lundgren and Kamran Lehman, survivor Alice McCormick and novice caretaker Mason Loika.

My partner, Alice McCormick, is making substantial progress following the Aphasia Network’s second annual Spring Workshop last weekend.  Suzanne Gardner, inspirational force behind Aphasia Network, and Lisa Bodry, director of programs, oversaw the network’s second annual workshop attended by more than 60 people who filled a study room in Pacific University’s Berklund Hall at Forest Grove.

Tim Lundgren and Kamran Lehman, two graduate speech pathology students who are well on target for master’s degrees, gave four hours of their expertise to Alice and me.  (Each survivor and his or her caregiver received more than empathy; each participant received hands-on attention from other budding speech pathologists.)

Alice began our unique four-man session by regaling us with shaky pronunciations so comical that anyone within earshot couldn’t help guffawing at her side-splitting bastardizations.  Portland’s professional basketball team became known as the “Trailer Blazers,” and her attempt to say “word” came out as “turd.”  Alice wasn’t embarrassed either; her tendency to laugh at herself reveals an ability to transcend frustration that led the four of us into a productive lighthearted session.

Lundgren and Lehman showed ways to break through communication gaps while Alice transforms thoughts into intelligible conversation.  One useful tip given was to locate a target picture (or flashcard) that identifies the relevant topic.  Then one should narrow the subject down as to whether it relates to a larger group, some kind of use, an action, an association, a particular location or if it relates to one property of the topic.

Through the process of elimination, roadblocks caused by stumbling can be overcome, our guides explained, as long as a recovering person and caregiver take their time.  In other words, get plenty of oxygen.

A good part of the four hours spent with Lundgren and Lehman explored numerous cellphone or tablet applications as useful restorative therapy for users with aphasia.  Many of the apps, however, seemed unnecessarily expensive or limited to iPhones or iPads.  Alice and I have Android phones; fortunately, Alice discovered “Talkpath Therapy” by Lingraphica, and she is using it daily ever since.  (We hear is helpful, also.)

During a sandwich-laden lunch break at the workshop, two couples affected by aphasia participated in a panel discussion, revealing how they have coped after a stroke or suffered brain damage.  Attendees learned a loss of self-identity can lead to depression and that depression can be manifested without words.

A number of speech-therapy notables attended the workshop, among them Dr. John White, program director and professor of Pacific University’s School of Occupational Therapy; Aphasia Network vice president Lynn Fox; speech pathologist Christine Chambers, who works with the Veterans Administration; and University of Washington representative Diane Kendall, who recruited Alice and me to participate in a research study with the University in cooperation with Portland State.

Alice revels in the splendor of Oregon's Oswald West State Park.
Alice revels in the splendor of Oregon’s Oswald West State Park.

Our future in communicating is improving, and we have nowhere to go but up.  And if you’re wondering about Alice’s disposition, a trip we made to the Coast two days before the workshop reveals the splendor she experienced from a surfer-populated cove at Oswald West State Park south of Cannon Beach.  Being enraptured by the Pacific Ocean at this scenic treasure brought Alice to tears, the kind an artist loves to shed.


Aphasia Workshop Set for Saturday, April 11


Talk about a stroke of luck.  The Aphasia Network’s second annual Spring Workshop happens Saturday, April 11, less than 20 miles away from Hillsboro, Oregon.

The five-hour program of workshops makes sense for Alice and me.  A cursory look at Saturday’s agenda reveals caregivers will be enlightened with survivors’ points of view and vice versa.  The Living With Aphasia workshop is promulgated to survivors of stroke or brain injury.  Often family members get the impression survivors become brain damaged when they are not.

Speech aphasia impacts a person’s ability to take what’s inside his or her brain matter and emit it as intended from vocal chords.  The result: garbled language.

The organization’s workshops appear vital to expedite communication between a survivor and caregiver, or in my case a partner.  Suzanne Gardner, an event organizer, explained that survivors sit on one side, while their caregivers are positioned on the other.  A valuable partner, Pacific University of Oregon, takes part in the proceedings.

Registration begins at 9:30 am, followed by an orientation at 10 o’clock.  One half hour later, two options are offered.  The first option focuses on communication tools and strategies where enrollees are given one-on-one tools for smart phones and/or tablets.  It doesn’t matter what technology to which enrollees are subscribed: Apps for Android and Apple phones are covered.

The other option is more oriented toward occupational therapy, centering on leisure and daily living activity tools.  Survivors and caregivers are similarly segregated as other enrollees, which reinforces the different perspective caregivers share than their respective survivors.

Box lunches – either turkey or vegetarian – are supplied at 11:40, but time is limited.  A panel discussion is scheduled to take place while enrollees munch away.  Then back for another workshop at 1 o’clock, until the event wraps up at 2:30.

The Living With Aphasia second annual workshop takes place at Pacific University’s Berglund Hall at 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116.  Interest in the workshop seems to be piquing, so Gardner has offered to expedite late registrations by calling 503-577-1282.  Registration cost is $15 per person, $30 for two.

Directions to the Pacific University campus and more information is available at The Aphasia Network’s website.  Just click this link.

Alice and I hope to meet new friends and learn how they are overcoming inherent difficulties and frustrations in the new world in which we now live.  While we’re there, a lot of folks are going to witness how Alice’s ability to laugh at herself is enabling her to speak all over again!

PDX’s Extinct Carpet Named Grand Marshal

Portland Airport's old carpet is being removed amid unseemly hoopla.
Portland Airport’s old carpet is being removed amid unseemly hoopla.

In case you haven’t heard, local dignitaries lately touted the star power of Portland Airport’s hideously funky aquamarine carpet, exalting it as grand marshal of its May 30 Starlight Parade.  The 1980s cross-hatched geometric monstrosity was chosen, apparently to proclaim how weird Portland can be, but probably so sections can be sold at outrageous prices.

There’s no need for officials to try so hard; the weirdness that abounds this town speaks for itself.

In the meantime, we’ll leave it to the local canine population to show its distaste for PDX’s old carpet.  Portland dog lovers better keep their animals firmly leashed, though, because two TSA security officers have been assigned to protect the carpet on parade day.  Perhaps the airport’s gendarmes won’t use deadly force whenever wayward animals piddle upon Portland’s pitiful celebrity rug.

After all, how can you enforce human gentility if Fido celebrates Portland’s weirdness in the animal kingdom’s time-honored custom?

Hail, Hail, Alice’s Recovery Continues

The ice from our impromptu hailstorm gathers underneath a tree.
The ice from our impromptu hailstorm gathers underneath a tree.

A mid-morning event in our area of Hillsboro caught me by surprise, as a passing shower pelted apartment windows with the telltale sound of mild percussion.  Peering outside, I invited Alice to share my gaze, because our Bermuda grass lawn was being whitened by nickel-sized hail.

No lightning or thunder accompanied the gray clouds, so the hailstorm, although predicted by weather forecasters the day before, was unexpected.  Fortunately, the falling hail was not big enough to damage the automobiles parked outside, including the Ford Escape we call Betsy.

Ordinarily, such a distraction would not be newsworthy, except it preceded a phone call from Kaiser Permanente’s anticoagulation nurse.  For the second week in a row, Alice’s clotting level measured in the ideal range, denoting the warfarin medication is working as hoped.

Having one’s blood drawn frequently becomes old quickly, so I will take the weather anomaly as a portent of good news.  Why?  Because if Alice’s clotting level continues to stay at this level, soon her blood work will be done monthly, or even every six weeks.