27 April …

 

Last sunday a man I first saw when his mother brought him home from the hospital after his birth on the 4th of July in 1958 died.  We lived next door.  My oldest son was not quite two.

Six years later, we moved in order to be closer to my husband’s work.  We saw the neighboring family a couple of times after the move, but we lost touch as many families do when one moves.

I never completely forgot the family, but made no move to maintain contact.

Then about eight years ago, out of the blue, we heard a voice deliver some news on Morning Edition on our local NPR station and end with “This is Steve Julian … KPCC”.  George and I looked at each other and said “Is that Little Stevie?”

It was and the tie was reestablished.  He was then an adult and we became friends.

Last Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer.

Five months later he is gone.Steve

For me, he will always be the man with whom we shared a meal last September and who hugged and kissed me as he left … always tall, gentle, and smiling.

~~~

Things are warming up for the radio club.  We’ve been asked to share events with the Shasta Tehama ARES group.  Some of their people will be at our next meeting.  And we have been invited to participate in a couple of their events next month … a bicycle event and a rodeo parade.  George and I may volunteer (or just go down) to see how they work their events.

The first thing on our club’s calendar this year is a two session training class to help folks get licensed.  Those will also be next month.

Then things will get busy in June.  There has already been an initial planning meeting for the Castle Crags Bicycle Event and the first of the meetings for the Mt Shasta 4th of July will be this afternoon.

~~~

We’ve also been involved in medical stuff. 

Last week we went to an open house at the Fairchild Medical Group to see if I can select a new care giver.  I told you the doctor I’ve been seeing for years (seeing seldom, I don’t go to the doctor much, but I was part of his practice) closed his practice to become the VA provider.  That made me a “Kolpacoff refugee”.

The open house narrowed my choice to two … a FNP and an internal medicine MD.  There had been other providers there, but real contact didn’t happen.  I’ve never been to one of these events before.  It was strange.  The providers were just standing around and people would go up to talk with them.  Sort of like a dog show (here I am, come see me) … or a buffet table (something from table one or a serving from table two).

The FNP was pleasant and seemed to know her business.  George had really valued his FNP at the VA and mentioned her name.  “Mo” (maybe the use of a nickname is what threw me off a bit) knew Denise and seemed to admire her.  Mo said she had been an ED RN, does geriatric medicine, would not require any tests or treatments to which I did not agree, but did not have a non-emergency appointment available until mid-autumn.

The MD is just finishing his internship up in Portland and will not start private practice until September.  He said he expects to combine internal medicine with family practice and treat all ages (just not pediatrics or ob – but since I am not a child or likely to get pregnant that doesn’t matter).  I told him I am a staph carrier and don’t usually need a doc unless the staph flares up into cellulitis.  His response was that since he would know that, I’d not have any trouble getting seen right away.

Initially, I had expected to choose a female nurse practitioner.  However, the connection with the male MD seemed easier. I had revealed my past as an Emergency RN to both of them.  I wonder if that made a difference?

I guess I’ll wait until I have a real need and see which one will work me into their practice soonest … unless I decide earlier … oh well …

~~~

I have renewed my driving license.  As usual, I had a panic attack based on test anxiety but got 100% on the written test.  I had to take the written test because the computer couldn’t recognize my thumb print although I had just registered it as I signed in.

One thing I will probably need to do before the license expires again in five years is to have something done with my eyes. I passed the eye test okay, but I am noticing I need more light, in order to read clearly, than in the past.  Fifteen years ago I was told I had incipient cataracts which would need attention by the time I was seventy-five.  I reached that more than ten years ago, so it is probably nearing time to do a recheck.

But for now … I’m okay.

~~~

We had a stretch of almost-summer weather.  Then last week, wet spring returned.  In fact, on friday , sunday, and monday there was light snow in the heavy rain.

The maple tree has lost its red blush and is donning summer green. 

OR grape (2)

Everything is in bloom including the apple tree (those are clothes on the solar dryer to the left in the background).  

That is everything with the exception of the catalpa tree.  It is always later than any of the others.

It looks as if there will be a good Oregon grape harvest this year …OR grape (1)

Spring Tonic

 

and the spring tonic makin’s are appearing in the backyard and meadow.

 

 

However, with the rain the garden area is still on hold.

~~~

Swirl

I tried another of the cast-iron strawberry recipes. 

It baked without a problem.  It looked quite nice and tasted okay.

 

We decided cinnamon rolls with bowls of fresh berries would suit us better.

~~~

And yesterday was another of the monthly trips to see the retinologist for George’s macular degeneration.

26 April 2016There was a slight haze in the air.  The Mountain looked lovely, as normal, and there was nothing new with George’s eyes.

~~~

Since Steve’s death, little notes have been making surprise appearances …

“No matter how long a loved one is with you, it is never long enough.”                         — Roy Orbison’s son

“May I try to tell you again where your only comfort lies?  It is not in forgetting the happy past.  People bring us well-meant but miserable consolation when they tell what time will do to help our grief.  We do not want to lose our grief, because our grief is bound up with our love and we could not cease to mourn without being robbed of our affections.”     — Unknown

“What have I learned …?  In short, the importance of our reminding each other repeatedly to be kind.”       — John Deacon

“Do you love and appreciate someone?  Have you told them why?  Don’t let them live in ignorance anymore.”     — Felicia Friesema

… maybe they are reminders that we need to tell those we love and cherish how valuable they are and to do it now while we have the chance.

 

 So … ’til next week …

20 April …

 

Big event last week was John’s visit.  Main reason for the visit this time was to get a look at what is needed to get this year’s garden underweigh and to get his scanner working correctly so he can eavesdrop on the trains running through Marysville.  The visit was greeted with rain and snow.

However, the weather cleared and the results of the visit were …

I enjoyed seeing, touching, and hearing my son.

Jam

The family now has 12 pints of strawberry jam, 5 pints of strawberry preserves, and 4 pints of strawberry syrup to see us all through the coming year.

 

My printer is functioning correctly once again.

George was able to get the scanner programmed and John can now track the trains while waiting for a photo shot.

The fruit trees got their initial pruning.  They will be tracked the rest of the year to guide future pruning.

Initial planning for the garden is in place (I have some chores I need to get done in the next week or two).

I found a couple of “repair” gifts after John left.

16 April 2016

He got a lovely shot of the Mountain.

I am Blessed.

~~~

Stove 2The picture of the new stove was a surprise.  The stainless is so polished the side of the stove disappeared because of the reflection.  Oh well …

 

More experimenting with the new oven resulted in several good things.  I found a magazine of recipes using cast iron cookware, so I tried the buttermilk biscuits baked in a cast iron skillet.  Wow …

I’ve been doing breakfast biscuits for many, many years but never had any as light and flaky as those last thursday morning.  In the magazine there was a hint about folding the dough over before cutting (the way you fold puff pastry but without the layers of butter).  I don’t know how much of the success was due to the dough folding and how much was due to baking in the skillet, but whatever the reason, those were really flaky biscuits.

I’ll do it again.

Then I did scones, also in cast iron, but the pan I used was too big.  The scones didn’t rise, they baked like crackers.  Tasted okay, but next time I will use a smaller pan.

~~~

Stars Across the MeadowThe Shooting Stars out in the meadow are coming into display.

In spots they look like a carpet …Meadow Stars

Stars and Garlic

 

 

and they share space with wild garlic.

 

~~~

I spent yesterday at the Family History Center for a training session.  I am now more comfortable with helping “clients” use the Church’s Family Search program.

Those of you who use RootsMagic for maintaining  your family pedigree … did you know you can connect straight to the LDS site so that any new information posted on Family Search can be shared to your records?     Yup …

Tools … File Options … Web Hints … Family Search Web Hints … fill in your info and wahla, you’re connected to a helpful source.

I’ll be attending another class tomorrow and possibly another on saturday.  If I learn any other good stuff, I’ll share.

~~~

Radio club meeting this evening.  Lots on the agenda as we start into the summer season.

Still no solid news about the Summit Century but new equipment and club house repair need to be discussed.

~~~

Just a side thought, but has anyone noticed that the diameter of the cardboard tube in the center of the toilet paper roll has increased?  

The roll looks the same size, but you’re getting less paper.  

Interesting.

~~~~~~

Solar Dryer

 

 

Used the solar dryer last monday for the first time this season.  I have another load to go out as soon as this is posted.

 

 

20 April 2016

Sun this morning, but a bit of a snap in the air.

First Lilacs

Lilacs are coming into bloom.  Sorry the light (and my lack of expertise) doesn’t let me show you the colour, but the buds are there.  More (hopefully better) photos next week.

 

~~~

Lesson for this week from Carl Sagan …

 

” … it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don’t question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. … anything that’s truly real can stand up to scrutiny.”

 

So … ’til next week … keep asking questions.

 

 13 April …

 

Today would have been my Mama’s birthday anniversary … the 108th.

~~~

Stove

The new range is in place and being used. 

It is taking some getting used to … the knobs on the front turn on different burners than the old range, i.e. back instead of front.  Getting it in place led to reviewing storage which resulted in cleaning and setting aside stuff to go to the New-2-You store.  A good thing.

The stovetop oven fits on this range nicely … better than it did on the old one.

The electronics will take some getting-used-to.

First out of the oven was a batch of cookies.  Today I try a strawberry cake.

Onward …

~~~

While we were in Medford last wednesday, we went to the new In-N-Out Burger place at the Rogue Valley Mall.  Our Michael had been a fan of the one in Redding and we’d heard good things from other young relatives and friends.

However … we weren’t impressed.  Not that the food was bad.  Maybe our expectations were too high.  It was good food for the price and the service was very good.  It’s just that I had my mouth set for a BJB (big, juicy burger) and didn’t get it.

In-N-Out

 

We do the BJB thing very seldom and want BIG and JUICY when we do.

 

As for In-N-Out … been there … done that.

~~~

The cherry tree is blooming.Cherry

Plum

 

 

The plum tree is in boisterous bloom.

Birch

 

 

 

The birch catkins are rampant.MapleThe maple is red-red-red.

Manzanita

 

 

Manzanita is in full flower.

 

 

But still no iris blooms and no sign of catalpa.

~~~

Record highs have been the norm in Medford.  Weather has been warm all over the area.  We’re getting close to outdoor time.

We did have  an interesting event very early (0233) saturday morning … a flash of lightning bright enough to light up the entire bedroom and wake both of us from sound sleep followed by a stupendous roll of thunder, which rattled windows, and a quick DOWNPOUR which lasted less than five minutes.  Then it was all over and we could see stars again.

Weather here is never dull.

~~~

We went to Yreka yesterday for the first of George’s three blood draws for this year.  His semi-annual physical exam will be the 27th. 

The Family Nurse Practitioner who had been his primary care provider for the last couple of years has moved on and George is back to the MD who had been our primary doc for several years.  Seems VA consolidated and the doc who backed up the FNPs is now the caregiver.  Works fine for George, but I have to find a new caregiver since mine is now the VA doc and has given up his private practice.

Oh well …

Mountain 12 April 2016It had been raining when we left in the morning.  The rain was done by the time we headed home, but the Mountain was still hiding.

ReservoirWith all the rain, the reservoir is fuller that it has been in quite some time … and the geese are loving it.

~~~

13 April 2016The front view is looking more like planting weather this morning …

Can't see me

 

 

 

and one of the panthers was playing “You can’t see me.”

 

~~~

Advice for this week …

“The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio. Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something.”   … Kurt Vonnegut,

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

6 April …

 

31 March 2016I did a Family History Center session last week … and do one again tomorrow.  I signed up for odd numbered thursdays and when a month has five thursdays, I double back on the first one in the next month.

Last week, Mr. Garcia (who is doing the history of Catholics in south Siskiyou county) was there, with bells on, as the door was unlocked.  He had made quite a bit of headway on the Catholics including contacts with Priest historians and some early pictures.  One old photo shows how Lake Street got its name.  All this discovery since he was at the Center a couple of weeks ago.

In addition, the personal family history bug has him in its clutches.  So Sal and I had quite a time with him.  His grandmother, like one of my great-grandmothers, seemed to get younger every time a census was recorded.  Genealogy reveals all kinds of interesting secrets.

I’m betting he’ll be back this week.

~~~

Eric and Julie arrived mid-afternoon last saturday and it was like no time had passed since we were all together, although it had been years since we last saw Julie. 

When I think about it, I realize how lucky I am to have the family I have, both immediate as well as extended, even if we aren’t all physically close together.  Fun and laughs started over supper with planning for the tourist thing on sunday.

Sunday the weather was glorious.  Rain had been predicted, but it held off.  Julie was able to take a walk before breakfast and our part of the world gave her a welcome.New Fir Growth 

Deer are back and the firs are setting their bright growth buds.  No lilacs yet, but lots of daffodils and narcissus. 

 

Maple Glow

 

 

And the maple is budding so there is a slight red haze.

Spring

 

 

 

Our “tourist” trip went well.  Our first stop was in the City Park where the spring from the Mountain snow comes out of the rocks. 

TouristsOn the Mountain, we were able to get as far as Bunny Flat (6,942′).  The unplowed snow was close to 10′ deep and the road above there wasn’t open. 

Ski ParkAll the lifts were in operation at the Ski Park and the telemark slope looks even steeper than it did when I came down it on a toboggan.

Lake Siskiyou

 

Then out to Box Canyon to look at Lake Siskiyou

 

Box Canyon

 

 

and over the edge to the hydro power plant.

 

Then on to Castle Lake where the lake was topped with snow.Castle Lake

Final tourist stop, before a great Mexican dinner at Casa Ramos, was the train depot and turntable in Dunsmuir.

As I said, my family is great and we fit together well.  It was a comfortable visit.   They left early monday morning to catch a plane back home.  George and I are looking forward to their next trip west.

~~~

I caused a controversy last week over enhanced photos on the net. 

My horoscope had instructed me to avoid contentious conversation.  I should have paid attention.

For quite some time now there have been posts on Facebook which I find unsettling.  They usually consist of calming advice such as “Stress … go for a walk with nature.”  Good advice … BUT … it is then accompanied by a picture of woods (or ocean or lakeside or flower garden or …) in which the colours have been supersaturated to the point that lavender is a purple which temporarily dulls your sight, the blues are all electric, the various greens are acid green, the sun rays are BRIGHT BRIGHT white shaded to orange and the reds can make your eyes bleed.

I’ve reached the point where when I get a hint such a post is next, I just hurry past.  However, last week I posted a query asking if I was the only one who felt this way.  The problem was I phrased my question sloppily and wound up setting several sets of teeth on edge.  Seems there is a way to enhance the dulling sometimes present in photographs which is used by family and friends to get across what they see.

Interestingly, I see what they are trying to present in those photos without seeing the manipulation.  In fact, I sort of wish I knew how to do that because there are times what I see is not visible in the photos I take in my effort at sharing … such as the yellow sky preceding rain. 

Oh well …

At any rate, I still continue to zip past the overdone photos (and continue to wonder at the lack of appreciation of actual nature) and enjoy the ones in which I see what I am being shown without seeing overt manipulation.

~~~

Weather has yet to settle.  There was a shower with distant lightning and thunder sunday evening.  But otherwise clear and warming.

6 April 2016This morning … (photo unretouched).

~~~

My new stove is waiting for us to come get it.  As soon as I get the blog posted, we will be on our way to Medford.

~~~

As a final thought …

I have initiated a project which means a lot to me.  I am not able, at this time, to share … BUT I request your positive thoughts for its success. 

I am trying to remember that people with courage do not slay dragons, they ride them.

Blessings and Thank You.

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 March …

 

Eric and Julie are due to arrive sometime saturday afternoon.  We have met Julie only once … when she visited us in Northridge on their honeymoon.  We are looking forward to establishing connections.

They are to be here for two days only.  Not a lot of time.  We will be doing some sightseeing.  Watch for photos.

~~~

FigI can’t recall (and don’t have time to go check) if I showed you the new growth on the fig …

 

the narcissus at the front door …Daffodills

 

and the blooms on the apricot.Apricot Buds

~~~

Clear-cutting in Oregon has become a controversy.  Those in charge of timbering want to clear cut last year’s fire areas. 

Environmentalists and native tribes say “no” since it would invite erosion and landslides and further endanger salmon spawning. 

At least the opposition is no longer being swept under the carpet.  It is being heard.  Maybe better land management will happen.

Coming home from Medford last monday, we could see clear cut areas because of the overnight snow.  They show up as large flat white areas inside forested areas.  And they are appearing in some areas of California as well.

~~~

The monday Medford trip to the retinologist started with snow.

28 March 2016

Overnight we had about 2″.Hummer Feeder 

 

 

The hummer feeders which I put out last week were decorated, and the truck needed to be cleared.Truck Monday Morning

 

 

 

However, it is spring and it was gone by the time we got home.

In the Ashland-Medford area, the plum trees are all blossoming.  Time for the Plum Blossom Festival and Run.

~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been having trouble with my oven.  I’ve had this range for quite some time and lately the oven has been taking a looooooooong time to heat (and more and more often it just doesn’t heat), the temperature is not always accurate when it does heat … and the whole process has gotten VERY frustrating.  So I began looking for a replacement. 

I remember the ranges when I was young … a small oven, a large oven, a broiler, a warming oven, four burners, maybe a pot storage drawer … a real cook’s range, and they cost about $200.

I thought I would like to have at least two ovens … one large for the holiday turkey and cookie sheets, and one small when all I want to bake is a pie or a small casserole for the two of us.

WRONG …

To get the basic range I wanted the price starts at $1,200 and goes up from there all the way to $6,000.

I’ve been thinking about the current expectations and wondering what changed.  I think it was the 60s and 70s when housewives started using prepared foods rather than cooking … just peel off the covering and put it in the microwave … just dump it into a bowl, add water, and heat … recipes began with “1 box of xxx or 1 package of xxx” … or just don’t bother with any of that, have someone pick up take-out on their way home.

What a loss. 

It appeared I would have to settle for a stove in my price range with just one big oven, four burners, and maybe a broiler.

Oh well …

But monday, while we were in Oregon for George’s monthly visit to the retinologist, we stopped by Sears to look at their ranges.  What we found was their annual sale of stoves had just begun. 

Surprise … Coincidence?  Or a gift?  Or both?

When we said we needed a new stove, the sales person said she needed a sale and we all laughed.  She showed us her range of ranges starting with the cheapest.  We looked, took her information, and told her we’d think about it and get back to her.

As we were walking out of the store we began comparing what we had seen with the two others we had been considering … advantages and prices.  Before we reached the outside door we agreed, turned around, and went back to the appliances department.

We bought a high price range for nearly 40% off which put it within our purse.  Still only one oven (with warm holding and dough rising settings, a window, a broiler, and self-cleaning), 5 burners (fast boil, simmer-slow cooker, oblong griddle, and two others), stainless at no added cost, and a three-year warranty including what they call a “lemon” clause (i.e. more than three service calls in the first year and you get an entirely new range).

We go get it next week.  I’ll be using it by the 8th.  Kaloo Kalay !!!

~~~

Tyler turned 19 last thursday.  As usual, we called to sing the birthday song to him.

30 March 2016

Today is lovely and we’ll be singing to Mark later (my younger son turns 46 today).

They never get too big or too old to be sung to.  And when family is here this summer, we’ll have birthday parties.

~~~

… following the fortuitous events of the last few days, this rings so true … 

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way.

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

23 March …

 

Radio Club report …

16 March 2016 EveningThis was the view on the way into town that evening …

Then at the meeting we learned one of the members will be teaching a class for obtaining a tech license.  He plans on the first two saturdays in May and asked members to help.  George and I will be participating.  I’ll be talking about the importance (and fun) of public service events (surprised?). 

We still don’t know what George will be doing.

On another note, we may have only five public service events this year.  The use of bicycle events for fundraisers may be past. The TinMan Triathlon was cancelled two years ago due to smoke and the drought.  Now word is that the Mt Shasta Summit Century Bicycle Event in which riders climb four of our peaks (Parks Creek up to the Pacific Crest Trail in the Eddys, Mumbo Crest in back of Castle Crags, Castle Lake above Lake Siskiyou, and THE Mountain) may be cancelled.  It had been impacted by wildfire smoke the last two years and participation was down.  If it is indeed cancelled, that will leave our August free since I just got word that the Headwaters Run has moved from the end of August to the first of October.

The first planning meeting for the Castle Crags event was last monday so that event is still on track.  That event is sponsored by the Mt Shasta Rotary and they had a surprise for us.  They appreciate our help, especially in tracking participants and the SAG wagons, and wanted to help increase our efficiency.  They gave us enough money to create another GO Kit, i.e. a self-contained grab-it-and-go radio and location tracking kit.  The club now has three such kits available to members in case of participation in an event or, more importantly, an emergency.     WooHoo …

Even though the times in regard to bicycle events seem to be   a-changin’, the club will still have enough training chances, so we’re not worried.

~~~

I was at the Family History Center last thursday.  There were three people waiting for us when we arrived at 1100.

It turned out they are all working on the same project … a history of Catholics in south Siskiyou County.

Marty and I spent interesting time listening to the information they have so far as well as looking at some really interesting pictures of the area from as long ago as before the Civil War.  We did some brainstorming concerning where there might be more information available.

The first BIG problem we had to get them past was the one we run into a lot … “I looked and couldn’t find anything so there must not be anything to find.”

We did some encouraging, some suggesting, and even some teaching such as that asking for a “plOt” map is not the same as asking for a “plAt‘ map.  By the time they left they had three places to search further and seemed ready to do it. 

And two of them were showing interest in doing their own family history.

Marty and I were a bit proud of ourselves.

~~~

One evening last week.  George and I watched “Still Alice”. We’re both nearly 90, so chances of us developing Alzheimer’s is not great … it usually hits before this age. 

Years ago, during a discussion about death in which I cited my Nana, who lived to be within in week of 107, I decided I’d prefer to lose my memories before I became physically disabled rather than be clear thinking while trapped in an inert or unmanageable body.  Sort of like not remembering isn’t too bad as long as you don’t know that you don’t remember.

Nana spent the last several (maybe the last 5) of her years living back in 1916 when her husband was hale and hearty, she had a nice house which he had built for her, her mother and sisters lived nearby, and her daughters were 8 and 6 years old.  She no longer knew me other than as a nice grey-haired lady who came to visit.  But she was content.

“Still Alice” pointed out that ultimately Alzheimer’s may not be bad for the one with the disease, but it can be devastating for those who love them.  It is such a heartbreaker. 

At any rate, it is a well-acted film and well-done.  I was struck by the lead-in to the closing credits.  They were preceded by the film’s original title which gradually faded away.

No wonder it won awards.

For next week’s films we go back to Regency England (Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”) and to the roaring twenties (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”).

~~~

Here’s a bit of kitchen advice …

Don’t let limes sit too long before you try to slice them. 

I got a bag of Persian limes at CostCo last time we were in Medford.  I used some in salmon cooking.  I juiced some and froze the juice for summer drinks.  and I sort of forgot about the rest. 

A few days ago, I saw them and realized I needed to use them.  I decided to zest and juice them for a pie and some curd.  Things went well for the first five or so … then there was one with a more solid skin than the others. 

The peel on all the limes had gotten dry and hard, but this one was super hard. When I took it in my left hand to hold it while I sliced it, I was a bit more cautious … just not enough more cautious. 

My nice sharp chef’s knife bounced off and I now have a small nick near the nail on the long finger of my left hand … and a rather severe, uncomfortable  angled slice over the first joint of my left thumb.  It is a good thing that cut wasn’t straight on or I might have damaged a joint and/or tendon.

I managed to not bleed into the zest or juice, so if I give you any, you don’t need to worry.

George is rather awkward with bandaging but he was able to help get the thumb wound covered to stop the bleeding and push the flap down to seal.  It is healing nicely.

Lesson #1 … As when you break a small toe, you don’t realize how much you use any small digit until that digit is out of commission.

Lesson #2 … When you have a lot of limes, do something with them before their peel gets hard.

~~~

A young couple I know have been living through a normal part of existence which is one of the hardest parts of life … one which we normally need not face until we are much older than my friends.

I have not blogged about it at any length since it is not yet my journey.  However, she has been posting about their journey and I feel a need to share.

It is a heart-breaker which she is handling (and sharing) with grace and strength, so be aware that if you choose to read … you’ll need tear catchers.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/stevejulian/journal/view/id/56f1575cac7ee952689dd64e?utm_source=JEN&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=JEN+email&utm_content=visitsite

~~~

Apricot Buds

Buds are showing on the lilacs, the red maple, and the apricot.  Iris leaves are popping up in the front and back yards, and out where the driveway meets the road, but it is way too early (and chilly) for iris buds … yet. 

The ladies are beginning to lay again. 

There is no longer appreciable snow in the meadow.  Canada geese are back on the reservoir.  No sign of robins or the sand cranes … yet.

Now that there are some daffodils showing, I think it might be time to put out the first of the hummer feeders and take up the stones in the walk between the back door and the courtyard so the path can can be redone … if we get a stretch without rain or snow.

Onward …

~~~23 March 2016

This morning the air is clear and the sun bright …

~~~

I recently saw this idea on the net and knew I have to plead guilty …

I am no racist. But I am prejudiced, if not bigoted, toward and against ignorant people regardless of race, religion, political, or sexual orientation. I do not tolerate fools well.

~~~

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

16 March …

 

The plan had been for son John to be here this week.  Didn’t happen.

Original thought was to get a start on the garden.  Wrong.  Weather has been saying, forcefully, not yet!

We’ll give it a couple of weeks and reschedule.

Oh well …

In addition, mornings are dark again.  And it was still light enough last night to be outdoors without a flashlight at 1945.

~~~

George and I made a run to Yreka last week between snow and rain episodes. Instead we had some really strong winds.  Coming home while bucking the head wind was almost as if George had taken his foot off the gas we would have started moving backward.

Earlier, as we left home, something went wrong in the windshield wiper mechanism.  It was not raining at the time.  But on the way home, the rain started just as we crossed the Shasta River about seven miles from home.  That meant at least four miles on paved county road before we got onto private gravel road.  Fortunately the rain was light and we made it home with no problem. 

We have the darndest adventures.

Last time wipers failed was over 50 years ago on our way back to Milwaukee from St Sault Marie.  We were driving south through Michigan and planned to go around the lower tip of Lake Michigan and north through Chicago.  Instead we wound up taking a ferry across the lake and dining on candy bars for supper.

~~~

I had a genealogical adventure last week.  I was looking for information about an ancestor used by a relative as entree to a society (to which she left me a membership).  I did an Ancestry search and lo and behold … jackpot.  It was not the first time I’d done this search, but so much new information has been digitized in the last few years I wound up with 20 pages of information from old parish records and little known histories, and that was not all but I needed to go to bed. 

There is enough there to keep me busy for several evenings.

Tomorrow is my next day at the Family History Center.

Another chance for adventure …

~~~

As I’ve told you, George and I have been watching reruns of the old “Adam12” television shows.  They are fun, partly because I recognize so many of the locations.  One show started with the unit crossing the high bridge in Pasadena and then on to the beach front in Venice and back to ubiquitous bungalows which could have been one of a great many parts of the area including El Segundo where I used to vacation with my Nana or Long Beach where George’s sister and her family lived.

Interestingly, I doubt there are too many folks now who would recognize those sites.  A great many of them no longer exist.

And another event related to watching …  a week or so ago one of the story lines was about a recently widowed older man who opened his house to “hippies” who took advantage of him requiring police involvement (Jack Webb didn’t approve of hippies).

Then monday night, on the local news, there was a report of a house in south Medford found by Sheriffs to be full of drugs, drug paraphernalia, more than twenty young people, and one older man who had been widowed a year ago.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

~~~

Rain and snow continued for several days.9 March 2016 Snow9 March …

10 March 2016

10 March …

12 March 201612 March …

16 March 2016This morning …

Total precipitation for the week was more than 6.5″.  It will take a bit of drying out before we can even consider prepping the garden area.  In the meantime, I need to get an area ready to start seeds. Today and tomorrow are days to start seeds for above ground plants (according to the Old Farmers Almanac).  I may do some peas and have them ready to set out asap.  Maybe some salad greens as well.

Also … the first of the Spring visitors is here …Early Visitor

~~~

“If you don’t produce garbage, you don’t exist to historians to a large extent.”

Just read this on an archaeological site.  It means George and I will probably disappear from history.  We have very little garbage.  There are few kitchen scraps due to leftover use and soup makin’s and some compost.  What remains goes out to the chickens to make eggs.  Egg shells are crushed and returned to the chickens as their calcium source or used in garden paths.  Cans, glass, and plastic bottles and bags are recycled through collection bins at the grocery stores or the recycling center.  Paper is recycled as scratch paper, weed mulch, packing material, or fire starter.

In spite of these efforts, maybe we will be noted.  The “collections” around here seem to grow in spite of efforts. 

Depression era youth vs. environmental concern.

Oh well …

~~~

Politics is getting more and more annoying … as well as scary.  We are reaping the dumbing down of the country … starting with the change in education so that no one is allowed to be left behind, i.e. move them through the grades even if they can’t read past second grade level and gawdforbid they be taught to write or do basic math or study history.

Then came the move from shows like “Omnibus” on television to shows like “The Name Game” which is also a dumbing down.  Now less than a twelfth grade education, part-time or unemployment, trailer park residence, segregation  advocacy (probably out of fear), limited vocabulary, profanity acceptance, etc. has become normal.  And if you read something other than Avenger style comics, know who Shakespeare was (and possibly even quote him), know where cities are on a map, understand the War of the Roses was not a farm disagreement, recognize the Bill of Rights, etc. you are noted as a snob or a nerd or both.

SCARY !!!

~~~

Now … after that … I need a positive thought, so …

 

“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”    ~ Edward Giobbi

 

 

’til next week …

 

 

 

9 March …

 

View out the front door at 0630 this morning …9 March 2016 Snow

It was light out but the flash made it look darker.

~~~

Scott Kelly is back on Earth.  We watched the PBS program and the wonder flowed almost like it did in the old days of space.  Even had goosebumps a couple of times.

Thoughts following the show …

As much as I am space oriented, I wonder how the denizens of the ISS avoid wrecking something with all those whatevers sticking out into that one path?

How does anyone get any work done with out-the-window views like that?

Who decided the optimum pose when in a conversation is with your arms folded across your chest?

Why is the light in the “garden” red?

All that fun and they get paid in the bargain !

I am going to work on finding a way to talk with the ISS sometime this year.

And did you know that since Congress defunded our space program, one qualification for a US astronaut is that they speak Russian?

~~~

Last thursday was my first session at the Family History Center since last autumn and it was quite a ride.

I had planned to do some work on a young friend’s lines since I could access International records at the Center (his tree is a mix of Chinese, Pilipino, German, Russian Jewish, Costa Rican and Polish).  Overall, I was left about 20 minutes for my own research.

First “client” was a woman who was stuck on a relative from Alsace-Lorraine. That was fun.  But we did find a birth town and a way to get help from a genealogy group dealing with that part of Europe (Germany-France-Belgium).  She will be back (I could tell she had been bitten by the genealogy bug) so I will be able to learn more about research in that area.

Then came a woman with quite a story.  She had been born in London to an English mother and a US Navy father who disappeared a month before she was born.  She found out her father was an adoptee, had two Social Security numbers, and the National Archives have no record of his military service.  Lot of work facing  her research, but guesses led to a couple of clues with which she will be working until her next trip to see us. 

I am sure she too will be back,  Besides, she was born in London and some of the research I’m doing for that neighbor involves a part of London and I want to ask her some questions.

Not a boring day at all.

~~~

Final finale (as opposed to a season finale) of Downton Abbey was last sunday (as you know if you’ve been following the series). 

I’d been wrong about Lady Mary (I thought she would not remarry but if she did, it would be to the one with whom she shared the pigs and the mud).

Fellowes seemed to be doing well with tying up all loose ends when we lost the signal.  We’d been having snow since about 1400 and, of course, I’d been hoping it would hold off loading up the satellite dish until after Downton was finished.  No such luck.  A heavy, wet snow had begun a little before 1500 and not quite half way through the finale we lost the signal.  So we spent some time before we went to bed guessing.

Tuesday morning we watched the last forty-five minutes on the internet.

Our reactions ???  (Spoilers here if you haven’t yet seen the final finale.)

Interesting that …
Edith is now married to a peer who outranks her father while Mary is married to a second-hand car salesman.  But they are sisters.  Made me value the sister I have (in spite of our lack of blood).  Did I ever tell you about the time we were traveling together and people kept raising eyebrows when we spoke of each other as “sister”?  There is not a modicum of physical resemblance between us.  We finally broke down and said (in unison) “We are sisters but we had different …”, and here we diverged.  As I said “mothers”, she said “fathers.”  Oh, I have told you before?  Oh well … old timers’.

But back to Downton Abbey …

Thomas now has the position he schemed to obtain for many years.  Good.  I’ve had trouble believing he was as bad as Lord Fellowes would initially have had us believe.  Barrow will fill Carson’s shoes well and see the family through the next changing decade with panache.  In addition he will become “Carson” to Master George’s “Lady Mary”.

Robert and Cora will settle into the comfort George and I enjoy … that of being right together and right where they belong.

I was interested in Carson’s “palsy”.  I have that “palsy” tremor, but it is in my left hand rather than my right and so is less of a problem.  It is not Parkinson’s.  In reading Lord Fellowes’ description, it seems he is describing an Essential Tremor and he has it as well.  I would bet that neither of us see it as really “Essential”.  But Carson, with Elsie Hughes’ help, will do well and be of continuing help to Barrow.

I’ll stop here since all of you may not have acquired this addiction.

~~~

Weather has been its usual unpredictable self.

Sunday …6 March 2016

Monday …7 March 2016 2

Tuesday …8 March 2016

Today …9 March 2016

(Blur due to the air full of snow or a slight fog on the lens due to temperature change as I stepped outdoors.)

~~~

John will be here next week.  He will be helping me get the garden area ready if possible.  It may be too early.  The earth is damp and we’ve been having rain and a bit of snow rather consistently.  That is no problem since we need the moisture and can’t plant outdoors until the end of May. 

I was told, when I first moved here, that we would not be able to plant outdoors until all the snow is gone off Black Butte.  In the beginning of my gardening in this area, that adage was true.  Then we entered the warming and drying times and were able to get things out a bit after May Day since there had been little or no snow during winter and Black Butte was bare early.

We now seem to be back to the beginning.  Snow pack is above 100% of normal.   

Our nephew and his wife, Eric and Julie Eggen, will be visiting over the first weekend in April (but they will miss April’s fools Day .. . Oh well …) and friend Liz is scheduled for early July.  Our older grandson and his girl friend later in July.  Then the New York family in August.

The schedule for radio events is one in June, one in July, two in August, two in September, and one in October.

2016 is shaping up to be a good year.  Get your reservations in early.

~~~

In closing for now, an interesting thought …

 

“Education is what you have left after you forget everything you’ve learned.”

 

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

2 March …

 

It’s been a really quiet week … the blog may be short. 

No radio events (they begin in June), still not time to start outdoor work, just spinning and knitting and reading and those don’t make for too much news.

Oh well …

~~~

Still reading stories in “Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets”.  If you’re trying it, hang on until the story titled “The Adventure of the Speckled Bandana”.

The first couple of stories were lost on me.  Guess I am no longer hip (or whatever the current slang is).  And the one based on the Goon Show was a waste of time.  Monty Python I liked.  Not the Goon Show.

Also on the subject of books … recently read a review by a nephew of a book about political money … Dark money something.  I don’t anticipate an easy read, but I do plan to get a copy and read it.  Will most likely follow it with a fast moving no-brainer.

~~~

Interesting turn in genealogy a couple of days ago.

Back in 2011 I filled out an application form for recognition with the California branch of the First Families of the Pacific States.  I never received acknowledgement, that I remember or can find in my files, and just forgot it.

Then I got a call from a member of the County Genealogy Society who is compiling all the families recognized through their group.  She found my application and called to tell me how organized my information was.  That was really nice.  I try to keep good proofs, but it is difficult sometimes.

While we were talking, I told her about never receiving my “certificate” and she said she’ll see to it.  So soon the family of William Thurston Garrison, one of  my Mother’s great-grandfathers, will be on the list.

This is probably not of interest to anyone other than family researchers, but it was a validation of my research.

And I’ll buy a copy of the book.

~~~

Next sunday will be the two hour final finale for Downton Abbey.  I am sort of torn,  I have become so involved with the Crawleys (especially the Dowager) and the era that I will miss the yearly visits … most notably Violet’s one liners.

~~~

Speaking of television … our younger son told us about a Canadian mystery series titled “Murdock Mysteries”.  The stories take place in and around Toronto in the late 1800s. I’m not sure how Mark came across this series, but he lives just across the lake from Toronto so maybe he gets Canadian tv, eh?

First episode we watched had to do with Tesla.  The fourth involved Conan Doyle.

We’ve watched four so far and, while not as polished as some of the Brits’ work, they’re fun and worth the time.  The young detective works without the CSI paraphernalia of today and with Victorian manners.

~~~

Just got word that a friend from 60 years ago will be here for a too short visit the first part of July.  She was the first person to sleep in this house.  It was while we were in the first stages of building and George and I were still sleeping in the travel trailer.

I am anticipating her visit with joy.

~~~

Weather has moved toward Spring …

Rain

rain and wind a few days ago … heavy enough to form a veil over the north windows.

Iris Shoots

 

Temperatures during the day are mostly in the 50s.  Not real spring, but getting there.  First iris shoots showing.

 

This morning it is clear … with a breeze.

2 March 2016

I wish there were some way to not only share a photo, but to share the fresh smell and the sound of the wind in the tree tops.

~~~

To end this post, a note from a well-known author …Oscar Wilde

 

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

24 February …

 

Well … I’m the Presiding Officer for the radio club for another year.

~~~

Weather is still doing a guess-what-comes-next thing.  After I posted the blog last week, it began to rain (over 2″ by the time it was done) and it had begun to snow by the time we left the radio clubhouse to come home … then thursday morning the snow began in earnest. Snowfall 2

By friday morning it was winter again.19 Feb 2016

By friday afternoon the hydro intake was clogging so George took off on the “mule” to clear it.On his way

By sunday, when we went grocery shopping, the mountain was looking nice.Mountain  21 February 2016

By monday the thaw had left only about 40% of the ground covered by snow.

By tuesday morning, as we left for Medford, at home most of the snow was gone but the Mountain looked fine …Mountain   23 February 2016

and the reservoir is obviously filling.Filling Reservoir

Then this morning we were treated to really cold sun.Cold Sun

~~~

My scheduled session at the Family History Center was cancelled again.  They weren’t even open.  Who would go out to do genealogy in a snow storm?  Next scheduled session … 3 March.

~~~

Yesterday we saw the retinologist … again.  Not much improvement, but that’s a plus because at least his eyesight isn’t deteriorating.  Next appointment the end of March.

~~~

Our range’s oven is failing.  So while we were in Medford yesterday, we went by West Coast Appliances to check out a new range.  What an eye opener.  We had paid about $350 – 400 for the one I have.

I would like to have two ovens … a small one for small stuff like a pie or muffins or a single loaf of bread and a large one for turkeys or when I’m baking several things at once.  Forget it.  Lowest price we saw was $1,200+.

So no extra oven.  Maybe a small separate one like the toaster evens we used to have but large enough for a 14′ pie?  Starting price $ 599.  And this is at a discount dealer.

We shall see …

~~~

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I went on a rant about our local NPR station?  At the time all I was doing was letting off steam.  I had no idea anything could be done about it.  I just assumed we would continue listening and ranting at the begging and commercials.

However, our younger son had a solution. 

We now have Sirius radio … woohoo.  But that has presented a new problem.  When you’re standing at the buffet table, how do you decide what to put on your plate?  Met Opera? 40s-50s music?  BBC news?  NPR news?  Smooth Jazz?  Blues?  Symphonic?  TED presentations? and on … and on … and on …

We are blessed in our children.

~~~

I recently finished reading the first of the Shadowhunter books.  Fantasy in full bloom.  An easy, fun read. 

Still dabbling into the history of the Tudors.  What a fascinating time.

And I’m also reading in “Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets”.  So far it is a mixed bag, but then so far I’ve read only four of the stories. 

~~~

The “light” year is going forward.  As I get out of bed a bit after 0500 I can now see the difference between the black trees and the light blue-charcoal sky.  By the time we finish breakfast, it is light enough to see everything outdoors.  The sun is not yet up before 0630, but the change in “day” length is noticeable.

~~~

Last week I got a note from a cousin about some pictures I’d used.  He sent one of a railroad crossing with a “Yield” triangle sign right below the railroad crossed bars.  It had been taken as the car was moving and I wasn’t able to clear it up enough to post. 

Crossing

 

 

I did, however, find this crossing signs on another web site (no photographer listed so can’t give credit).

 

~~~

As a close …

Hill to Homehere’s a shot of one of my favorite sections of the road to our house.  It’s the last climb before you get to the driveway.  It pleasures me every time I drive it.  May be the trees.  May be because we’re home.  What ever …

 

And so … an interesting thought in closing …

 

Men with courage do not slay dragons, they ride them.

 

‘Til next week …