Neighbors from up the road will be here tomorrow. They’re young, without family, and seem to have adopted us as surrogate grandparents.

The cranberry sauce (both kinds) is done. The turkey will go into the brine as soon as this gets posted.Stuffing The stuffing is drying and will be finished this evening. The egg custard (to go with the cookies brought by the neighbors) will be done by noon. Mashed potatoes, salad, pickle-olive-celery plate, and vegetables will be done tomorrow.Bowl

I’ll be using a bowl I got more than 50 years ago for buying my groceries at Kroger’s. At one time I had full serving pieces and table setting for four. Now all I have left is one dinner plate and this bowl.

We anticipate a good day. 

~~~

The meeting of the radio club went well last week. Next radio event will be a winter potluck at the clubhouse the week before Christmas. The menu (so far) includes a very large half meat-half vegetarian pizza, chicken cordon blue pasta, tomato-garlic-cheese bruscetta, coleslaw, rice pilaf, and pies (plural).

~~~

There must be something in the recent weather that affects animal behavior because there has been more roadkill on the pavements this autumn than I remember from the past … uncountable squirrels and chipmunks, some quail (surprisingly, since they are usually too fast), a skunk or three, a possum, and even a three-point buck up near Hilt. No wild turkeys though.

And raptors are obvious all over the place. I saw three red-tails along one stretch of road to the north. I’m used to seeing them on fence posts as well as telephone and power poles in spring … just not so much this time of year.

Years ago a cousin gave me a roadkill cookbook. Wish I could remember where I put it.

~~~

Somehow (probably a web order), I got on the send-her-every-catalog-available list. Every time we collect the mail, the stack gets higher. I apologized to Kevin, our mailcarrier, and he said not to fret since it is catalogs and other junk mail which are currently supporting the USPS. He added that he’d bet George knew that and had signed me up as a good deed to insure he still has a job.

We’re using the catalogs for fire starters.

~~~

On my way spinning last week, I stopped at Shasta Valley Meats in Montague to get some suet (I plan to make seed cakes for the winter birds).

In the process I discovered a jewel.

This shop is run by a couple, Doug and Holly Hamlin, and does local meat processing. They go where you are to butcher and then process your animal. They also do hunting meats such as elk and venison. In addition. they make their own sausages. It is all very much like what our nephew, Norman, used to do in San Luis Obispo at his Old Country Deli. Very local and “organic” (whatever that has come to mean).

I wound up getting a couple of pounds of suet (which was rendered on the wood stove and will soon be forming blocks) and a chuck of their elk-jalapeño-cheese salami, as well as a pack of buffalo cubes for stew.

We had the salami (in chunks) with peas and butter on vegetable pasta  … tasty. We had the stew with the buffalo last monday. Very good and surprisingly tender.  

They have free range chicken, but no “organic” pork. I would have to order a full box of something to get that and I’m not sure (yet) how I could handle 50# of bone-in tenderloin, but I’m working on it. I wonder about that situation since there is a farm in Scott Valley which advertises non-whatever pork. I’ll check into that farm.

I shop for grass fed beef at the Mt Shasta Supermarket (Butte Valley’s Prather Ranch beef). I will shop for chicken, elk, and possibly buffalo at Shasta Valley Meats. Now for a source of pork …

Lesson … buy in bulk.

And speaking of buffalo … there was a report on the news about a family in Buffalo, who were caught in the series of BIG storms without adequate food for their infant or themselves. They were whining about their situation, about having to walk a mile or so over snow to get to the store. These folks live in an area with a history. What are people thinking? What happened to planning ahead? 

~~~

Have you ever tried to apply for a grant? I am in the midst of that process … and am ready (almost) to start screaming at the monitor. I’m already shaking my fist.

I fill out the “Are you eligible?” form and get a “Yes”. We are not a non-profit or educational entity, but we are a recognized county government entity.

Then I try to create an account through which we can apply for support and because I (we) have no IRS AND/OR NCES information everything comes to a halt.

I’ve been corresponding with their “Support” service, following their instructions exactly, and winding up in the same place … time after time.

Graaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh …(banging head here)

~~~

Last saturday I made flet for breakfast … or rather I made the recipe which I have done repeatedly over years and instead of flet I got fried custard. I have no idea what happened. I rechecked the recipe and it was the same one I’ve been using.

It was unusual and unexpected, but quite edible. I wonder what will happen next time I decide to serve flet.

Oh well …

~~~

Soft rain last thursday, friday, and saturday. Nice. Yellow skies. Nice smell. Sparkle on vegetation. Cozy fire. Plenty of fiber. Good books, both new and old favorites. Reason to stay indoors.

Speaking of fiber … at a steady 2 hours an evening (while watching the day’s ration of television), I finally emptied the magickal box !!!

Then, last weekend, I tried my hand at dyeing. I had two hanks of fiber and some blue dye left from who-knows-when. I had seen some fiber Janell had done which went from an intense shade to almost white and wanted to do that. I tried twice, and although the results are nice, they are not what I had in mind.Mistakes

 

Oh well … I can always try again.

 

                     ~~~

We moved the ladies to their winter quarters last evening. There was some squawking, but they settled quickly. George plans to set up a light to come on earlier than dawn and stay lit a bit after dark. We’ll see how that affects egg production.

~~~

Anyone out there do Kombucha?

I did, a long time ago, and am toying with the idea a doing so again.

Comments ???

~~~

Grammar thought … the differences between “They decided to not do something.” and “They decided not to do something.” and “They did not decide to do something.”?

Interesting that there are no longer teachers (or not enough teachers) who know the language well enough to teach students the proper way to phrase their thoughts … and no one (or not enough ones) to correct them when their meaning is confused.

~~~Snow Robe

The Mountain is looking better.

26 Nov 2014

Today, outdoor humidity is 98%. Next rain due tomorrow night.

Grateful for rain. Still desiring snow …

~~~

Final thought for the week …

 

“Do you know what ‘Paid for by…’ really means? It meant a billion dollars in the last election. Our government is filled with people who have been ‘paid for’, …”

                                                                        — Jason Alexander

 

 

 

Hope you enjoy tomorrow. And so … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough Week

 

 

 

Safely through another week.

 

 

 

~~~

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/11/14/364084008/dust-bowls-arent-just-an-interstellar-thing

Venus is what we were. Mars is what we will become.

Just a thought … but is anyone listening?

~~~

Retinologist visit was okay. Not as much improvement this time, but improvement nevertheless. We go for the next treatment on winter solstice, 22 December.

Sunrise 13 Nov

                                       Sunrise as we went north was lovely.

While we were in Medford, I did some shopping and was able to find the little one ounce packets of cream cheese for our bagels. With just the two of us, opening a large brick of cream cheese results in about a 30% waste since we don’t eat bagels for breakfast every day and the brick molds between uses. I used to be able to get the packets at CostCo, but they stopped carrying them. So I went across the street to the restaurant supply store and got a box of 100 packets. We’re set now for at least a year.

~~~

Apples … I’m in apples … and the peels are piling up around my feet …

Our Granny Smith did a good job this year and then a friend offered me Romes. Her trees were breaking under the load. I took a neighbor with me and we brought home three bags full.

My friend also gave me five full-side salmon fillets. The church sisters get the fillets from Iron Gate where they milk the eggs and sperm from the wild run salmon for the hatcheries. We’ll be eating salmon at least every third or fourth week.

~~~

Spinning this month was at a home in Montague. I’ve not spent much time in Montague and so the residential area is new to me. The house where we were spinning was near a corner with three churches, a United Methodist Church, a Baptist Church, and a Community Church. I guess folks are pretty religious in Montague.

It was a packed meeting with a lot of conversations going. One about a trip to Grant’s Pass for a fiber fair was interesting. Three spinners were there and, following the fair, went out to dinner at a rather posh restaurant. They hadn’t anticipated the “posh” part and were in their spinning clothes (ones which hide handling grease and don’t hold fiber trash easily). They almost didn’t get in without a reservation, but when they said they’d been at the fair, in they went. Must have been because the fair brings money to town.

Cioppino was on the menu and they went for it. The server showed up shortly with bibs asking if they wanted help putting on their bibs. Wha? But they agreed and the ciopinno arrived … BIG bowls with seafood still in the shell.

About halfway through the bowl, Leslie went to the restroom (that word still slows me with its inaccuracy) and looked in the mirror. Her bib and her face were advertisements for the ciopinno. And while she was gone, LindaJo popped a piece of crab out of the shell, across the table, hitting Jill in the forehead. They both said it was a good thing it wasn’t higher because the people behind them were in dressy clothes.

I think I may go with them next year.

Fiber

 

I’ve been spinning up the remainder of the fiber from Spinzilla, and I seem to finally be making headway with the magic box of fiber.

 

~~~

Had a confluence of events last week which terminated in a Chinese saying (as per a NOVA program) “Treat death like a birth.”

Interesting concept. Sort of like the admonitions that for every door which closes, another door opens … endings are actually beginnings … just  because we can’t see, doesn’t mean nothing is there …

~~~

The Tobacco Education Council project is coming along. I found a source for grant money. We may be able to get a grant for about $1,000. That would buy the Council a laptop, a portable printer, and a digital camera all of which we need for the project.

We’ll get the grant written and then things will go on hold until Spring.

~~~

Reservoir  18 Nov 2015There is water in the reservoir as a result of the recent rains. Not a lot of water, but some is better than none.

I remember when the reservoir was full in winter with water frozen deep enough to skate. Families used to go down and there would be warming fires on shore.

Oh well …

Temperatures have dropped, but not as much here as some other places. It has been down in the 20s for several nights. All outdoor growth has come to a halt and one above ground pipe spring a leak. But soon it will be time for seed catalogs and garden planning. Hope springs etc. …

~~~

Radio Club this evening. We’ll be making plans for the holiday potluck. Then genealogy on thursday.

And speaking of genealogy … did you hear Professor Gates call William Bradford a “Puritan” on the “Finding Your Roots” show last week? Boy, did that open a wasp’s nest. The understanding is that all Puritans were Pilgrims, but not all Pilgrims were Puritans. There is a rather large difference.

In my lines, G’father Bradford was a Pilgrim, but G’father Dudley was a Puritan. And during the Revolution, G’father Hughes was a Loyalist.

Isn’t genealogy fun?

~~~19 Nov 2014

Rather strong wind this morning …

~~~

And in conclusion …

Channeling Donald Rumsfeld,   ”…as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

 

Confused?  Oh well …

 

‘Til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have George’s third appointment for a needle in the eye tomorrow. The therapy seems to be working. The lines on the test grid are still slightly curved and the center is still a bit grey, but he says he is seeing much clearer.

This trip we will do most of the remaining winter shopping … CostCo, United Grocers, WinCo. So when (notice I’m affirming “when”, not “if”) the snow comes, we’re fine. The woodshed is full and the 7-11 stocked. We’re good for at least 5 months … 3 if neighbors show up. I even stocked extra toilet paper remembering the year a neighbor ran out and it was pure panic. She trekked nearly three miles through knee-deep snow to get some.

~~~

MartyLast week’s session at the Family History Center with my friend, Marty, went well. We work from 1100 to 1500, so I took an apple-pear salad for the two of us to share.

The church is making great strides in digitizing records. They recently added a slew from New Jersey and Virginia … prime hunting grounds for Cuthbert.

~~~

We are within 4 weeks of the start of the Met Opera season on NPR.

Kaloo Kalay !!!

My Met Radio Guide arrived last week. What a line-up for this season. We start with the Barber. Later, Dimitri will be singing “Un Ballo …” again. Want a taste? Go to http://www.metopera.org/opera/un-ballo-in-maschera-verdi-tickets?src=operainf and listen.

Renee, the Screamer, will be singing as well. She’s doing “Merry Widow” this year.

Another example of composers “borrowing” musical phrases happened the other day. I was listening to the prelude to Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” when all of a sudden I was listening to “Valse Triste” by Sibelius. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ls8-pk4IS4  great music and outstanding photography)

~~~

I need to clarify something in reference to colour … I said I dislike pink, and I do … for and on ME.

But I do not dislike those who wear it or use it in decor or in any other way.

I have a friend of sooooo many years who responded “I am a ‘summer’…”

Summers wear pink and pastels and I am oh sooooo fond of this friend. One memory involving her … we were in Anaheim, attending a nursing seminar, when the Berlin wall came down.

And interestingly … NPR carried an article all about pink, and its history, just a couple of days ago.

~~~

I have been rearranging the garden work area. I now have a spot for the big cans (work tools, trash, and poop tea), an area for composting (even have a pile started), and a work “table”, mostly made of pallets.

We spread chicken poop and sifted and redistributed some soil which a ground squirrel had deposited near the garden gate late last summer. Almost ready to close the area down for the winter.

There are still a few things left to do out back and a few days to get them done before the weather turns (more positive thinking).Catalpa  Seed Pods The grape and the apple tree are hanging on to their leaves. We need a COLD snap with wind. The apricot and plum are bare. The smoke tree needs pruning. There are only seed pods left on the catalpa. And the wind chimes need to come in.

There hadn’t been a hummer at the feeder for over a week, so they are all in now … clean and ready for next spring. Next task in that area is to make suet cakes for the winter birds.Solarium Tomatoes

There will be fresh tomatoes off the solarium plants for Thanksgiving.

 

 

George spent a couple of days putting a snow plow on the front of the pick-up. He plans to get the snow blower onto the tractor before the end of the month, and the snow treads onto the Toyota this afternoon since there may be ice in the passes tomorrow.Woodlot

 

There are still some hunks of fire wood to bring in from the drying area in the meadow, but they are extras. We most likely will have wood left over, even if it is a “normal” winter with closed roads and drifts up the back of the house.

~~~

I’ve spoken here about earthquakes … well, California is rockin’. The Salton Sea area continues to rattle with low level shakers. The Mammoth area is also shaking a bit. And now an area near the spot where California, Oregon, and Idaho come together has the scientists who watch the Cascadia fault excited. They say the BIG one on the Cascadia is getting closer.

Growing up in earthquake country has made me interested, but not too excited.

~~~

12 Nov 2014                                                Rain predicted for this afternoon …

 

Full week coming up … I’ll be away on thursday, monday, and tuesday.

 

So, ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last friday these were the lights awaiting callers at the home of my younger son …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE5cXzksmg8&feature=youtu.be

In nearly forty years, we have never had a “Trick-or-Treat”er here.

~~~

Tomorrow I will do a stint at the Family History Center … again. I usually work there every other week, but somehow I got scheduled for two in a row.

Last week my partner (we are required to always work in pairs) was a woman I had met a long time ago. The session went well. I learned about her roof leak and the leaks below her kitchen sink and her toilet as well as the pain in her tush. I also found another Sims in New Jersey who may be the key to learning more about Cuthbert.

We cut the session short at 1400 when we had no further clients. So I was home by 1530.

Mountain 30 Nov 2014 A good day.

Tomorrow I work with my good friend Marty. It will be another good day.

~~~

Some thoughts which triggered contemplation this last week …

Michael Dunne + Livermore + Laser + Fusion … I saw that combination on the new         “… Get to Now” show on PBS which dealt with light. Remember the combination. It may turn up in the news before too long.

The colour orange … I really like seeing that colour although I am unable to wear it. Remember years ago when women were dressing according to their “season”? I am a “Winter” which means I look best in black, white, and clear blues and reds (and that includes purples). On the other hand, browns and yellows (like greens and oranges) make me look pasty ill.

However, I do like looking at orange. The first nap blanket I crocheted for a son was orange and white check. I made sweaters for each of the boys based on orange. I put up wallpaper in the Northridge house which was predominately orange and brown. I used some of that leftover wallpaper in this house (around the washer-dryer area at the backdoor where I see it from the sink). One of my favorite tablecloths is all orange and red leaves. And the black and orange of Hallowe’en is great.

But “why”? Maybe because I like autumn so well. That’s the only answer I can think of right now.

The intensity with which I like orange is on the level of dislike I hold for pink. But I know why I dislike pink. When I was growing up as a farm tomboy in denims with dirty fingernails, girls weren’t real girls unless they were pink and fluffy.

Oh well …

~~~

We’ve had a bit more rain. Soft and steady on friday, light on saturday,

George checked rain records for Octobers going back a bit. In 2006 the total was 0.08″, 2007 8.81″, 2008 5.9″, 2009 5.06″ … then low numbers (less than an inch) until this year. The October total for 2014 was 9.88″. A very good number. Now for snow pack …

The garden is mostly closed down and the lady chickens will soon be back in the winter house. It is cleaned and ready as soon as the fresh straw is scattered.

~~~

Birch

 

If you are a reader of romance novels you know the phrase “Copper Beech” (I read Maeve Binchey a few years ago when I was in a reading group of Hammond Ranch women).

Well … I have a pair of “Golden Birch”.Plum

 

And a sparkling plum.

 

~~~

Last week I got into a discussion over the difference between pico de gallo and salsa. I applied to Facebook friends and my definition was upheld … pico de gallo is chunky.

Pico

 

Thank you Juan, John, and Felicia.

I have a recipe for chili-garlic chicken thighs and made fresh pico to go with them … along with rice, black beans, and corn. Nice meal … just not enough garlic on the chicken.

~~~

Recently had what might prove to be a breakthrough in one of my genealogical brickwalls.

A Facebook friend led me to a site called “Genealogy! Just Ask!” where you can join the group and then ask questions. So I did and then asked for any leads in re Cuthbert. As a result I have leads from a collection of which I’d never heard. It may be one of the sources the Mormons are in the process of digitizing. But whatever … there are some new names to research and look for connections.

I’ve told Merna about it, so there will be two of us checking.

Be warned, Cuthbert … we WILL find you.

~~~

One day, not too long ago, I got distracted and burned a pot of apples which I meant to stew down to sauce for pancakes. It ruined a wooden spoon (I use only cast iron or stainless steel cook ware, so the pot was not ruined).Spoon

Then I thought about the times I wish I had a slanted spoon to scrape the bottom of a pot, like with pudding, and voilá …

~~~

Last monday we saw the cardiologist for George’s annual visit. One change is that the doctor and the two of us are a bit older. Another change, as per the doctor, is that George’s heart looks to be getting younger. The scar on the back of his heart seems to be shrinking and it was easier for him to reach 85% output capacity on the treadmill.

But it was a rather strange visit. They didn’t expect us and so it took a bit longer than in the past. Seems their computer system konked out last March and they lost all their appointment information. Doctor told us it has been interesting ever since because they are never sure who or how many will be showing up each day.

Dr. Fletscher still hand writes all his notes and was emphatic about continuing to do so. Said if he had switched when they put the scheduling on the computer, all his information would now be gone. Also noted that he now has the staff doing triple and quadruple backups.

On sunday, I had given a passing thought to the fact we hadn’t gotten an appointment reminder via the phone, but had not given it any more attention.

We went to Applebee’s when we were done with the check-up. We hadn’t eaten since breakfast. The result was that due to the length of time we were at the office, we came home in the dark.

Moon

That time of year I guess.

~~~

Cactus

I noticed this morning one of the holiday cactus is coming into bloom …

 

 

here is the view this morning …

5 Nov 2014

 

And so it goes. ‘Til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another week gone … year almost 5/6ths over. Oh well …

~~~

We are being blessed with a series of soft rains … the kind which lave foliage, scrub and scent the air, and usually soak into an eagerly thirsty earth (my-oh-my, I’ve gone poetically gaga).

Looking out the upper solarium windows, when the rain is washing down, makes the trees out front look as thought seen through one of those artistic filters in PhotoShop or on one of the new cell phones.

Rainy Window

Nature is quite an artist.

A current prediction is for first snow at our altitude on the 7th of November. I remember snow … white … soft …

Last sunday morning we had 32° at dawn.

~~~

I am already looking at the calendar for next summer. Between amateur radio events and the County Tobacco Education Council … FULL … from spring equinox until autumn equinox. Add garden, spinning, genealogy, and daily chores … who will have time to be bored.

If you plan to visit, ask for a calendar so you can plan the event(s) in which you would like to be involved.

~~~

I had an interesting thing happen last week.

Last thursday I was in Yreka and went shopping at the Grocery Outlet. Of course, there was musak playing. As I turned from the fresh produce area to the baking area, Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” came on. Instant recognition … it was connected with something pleasant … but WHAT?

It kept playing in my head the rest of the day. Fortunately, it let me sleep. Then all day friday it kept popping up. Sadly pleasant nostalgia without memory of where or why.

Saturday, all day, same thing. Finally just before bed I went on Facebook to see if anyone had an answer or something which would trigger my memory. Still hearing it …

                         If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me   Time after time

If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting   Time after time

No helpful response …             then all of a sudden a mind picture and there it was …

“Strictly Ballroom”

Lovely movie … now I’ve put it on the Netflix list and we’ll watch it again.

Revelation came with an interesting aside … the song my older son remembers from that movie is “Love is in the Air”.

~~~

Knitting

 

Found a picture of me and my friend Pat at the spinning session last week. I hadn’t taken Matilda out in the wet, so I was knitting.

 

~~~

Hallowe’en is only two days away … favorite holiday. When the older grandchildren were little, I used to send a “countdown” box with surprises for each of the 13 days leading up to Hallowe’en (Samhain). Now with our newest grandchild, who is still a bit young for an entire box, I am beginning to collect for future boxes. Will probably wait until he’s four.

Maybe not.

~~~

Time change will come next saturday … again (lately many things in my life are “again”). It will be easier to feed the animals in the morning, but it will be dark by 1630. I do so wish the powers that be would choose one time frame and stick with it. Which they choose makes me no never mind … just choose and stay there. I’ll adjust.

Here’s 0700 today …

29 Oct 2014

~~~

Short blog this week. Been busy with the TEC project and with getting the garden ready for winter. Spent time yesterday on the phone learning about the fair over in Tulelake and time folding and protecting the tomato cages from snow load (how’s that for positive thinking?).

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weather is a puzzle. The predicted rain for last friday failed to materialize. And the saturday morning temperature at the Run for the Arts, while a bit on the nippy side, was a whole lot warmer than last year.

The Run went off with a minimum of fuss for us radio folks. However, there were some overall problems. One such was that the planners changed the routes without notifying the communicators, so we were pointing people in the wrong direction. In addition, the coloured arrows marking the routes weren’t synced with the ID numbers the runners were wearing, i.e. those wearing yellow numbers were to follow the white arrows, etc.

There were fewer than 40 participants, only 11 of whom did the half-marathon. The others did the 5K run-walk. Not good. The event had to have lost money. The husband of the lead organizer spent some time talking with me. He was upset about the amount of time his wife had given to the event with so little return.

I’ll update my notes and planning to be ready for next year … but I won’t be surprised if we are back down to only six events next summer.

Oh well …

~~~

Anniversary number sixty-two came and went. “Celebration” was calzone and amber bock at the Pizza Factory in Dunsmuir (where they toss ‘em) after the radio event on saturday.

Anniversary 2014

Sunday (the actual anniversary day) we smooched and agreed to do the same next year.

I spent sunday morning in the kitchen … cooking down a broth of chicken bones and giblets plus leftover vegetables for monday’s soup, stewing apples and baking turnovers, making chopped liver for snacks, cleaning the freezer above the fridge, boiling eggs for Sunshine Eggs this morning, and getting a country-fried steak dinner on the table.

~~~

Spinning Oct 2014Was at another of the monthly spinning sessions yesterday.

It was at Donna’s on Harry Cash Road out near Sheep Rock.Donna

She always provides over-the-top desserts. This time it was apricots x two … on cheesecake and as a layer in sinful cookie bars.Apricots x 2

 

 

 

It was nice to be greeted with hugs after an absence of several months. I didn’t take Matilda since it had been raining and she doesn’t go out much when it is chilly and/or humid. Instead I took the infinity cowl I’m knitting using the “Totem Spirit” yarn.

One interesting conversation was about the young woman dying with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to take advantage of their Death-with-Dignity law. Since the youngest spinner in the group is in her 40s, the majority agreed with the young woman in the news. One member says she warned her family that moving into Oregon meant shifting only about 50 miles north. Another said that she and three “girl friends” are a group to assure each other their final wishes will be followed. They call themselves POFPDH … pillow over face push down hard.

Even the spinner who identifies as a STRONG Christian was nodding her head.

Interesting.

~~~

Maple ColourSoft rain, with some wind, began again on monday morning just as it was getting light. Clear and windy on tuesday. Ready for more rain today. Wind has already started.

~~~

Garden production is over. There is still work to be done out there, such as shredding the corn stalks, but I turned the lady chickens in to do their bug clean-up thing on saturday. I’ll finish out there when the rain lets up and the ground dries a bit.

In addition, I need to clean out the winter hen house and spread fresh straw so it will be ready to move the ladies back. I’d like a newer, mobile house for them … but we’re too old to take on a new building project. We will just continue to move the ladies back and forth with the seasons.

~~~

Red Maple

 

The maple tree is aglow … it happens every year and is beautiful every year.

 

As I was coming home yesterday I was enjoying the scenery and thought it was a blessing that the eye-joy continues after all these years. I wonder if you folks out there tire of my pictures of essentially the same view over and over.

I don’t.

~~~

Obligations off the farm are slowing down. One more this week. And only one next week.

The winter reading stack has three books in it. That has to be improved. But the new Anne Rice will be on shelves next week. That will add to the stack. And the continuing series about the Mormons in the 19th century will be added.

I’m reading those Mormon “novels” because they were offered to me by one of the “Saint” friends with whom I work at the local Family History Center. The rule in the Center is that politics and religion are not to be discussed there … but when there are no outside searchers (clients?), we occasionally violate the rule and discuss both. Both Laura and Marty seem interested in explaining their beliefs to me (both are converts … one from Methodism and the other from Roman Catholicism), but neither preaches or proselytizes. Makes for some entertaining conversations.

We also talk food and putting-by. They add my putting-by purchase requests to theirs so I get the group prices. There will be salmon sides in the next week or so. Those are for free.

And we trade recipes a lot.

Some days we don’t get a lot of genealogy done.

~~~

Speaking about genealogy … a Tyler cousin emailed me last week offering to give me (and another cousin) all of his mother’s “stuff”. Wow … treasure. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get it home. He says it is heavy and would cost a lot to pack and send.

A solution will appear.

~~~

And a thought to end this week …

Whenever you feel darkness, develop the habit of repeating, “Let there be light.” Just by repeating these words over and over you will begin to feel the light of the universe penetrating your heart and soul. Even if your personal situation remains as it is, with the light you will have the power to deal with any situation from a position of strength.

 

 

So, ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rain started about 1845 yesterday, just as I was going out to put the ladies to bed. Total this morning is 1.02″. That will keep the creek running for a while.

~~~

The results of George’s semi-annual at the VA were all positive … he is great for his age and he positively has incipient osteoarthritis in his knees. Next visit will be in April.

Coming home was an adventure. The wind from the south had been fierce all afternoon so the crosswind buffeting our old, boxy Toyota made for interesting jiggles.

~~~

Spinzilla is over. I’m in shocked disbelief.

Spinzilla

I managed 6,194.1 yards (a bit over 3 miles) even being gone part of three days.

That isn’t really as impressive as it looks at first glance. The new rules this year allowed us to count plying as spinning, so a 3-ply counted as 4 times the length of the skein. That means I actually spun 4,610.1 yards.

Oh well …

Will know the total for my team by next wednesday.

I made an interesting discovery just before the end of the spinning time which made a big difference, It required that I refigure all my yardage. All these years I have thought my Niddy-Noddy gave me skeins one and a half yards in circumference. Friday night I measured it and learned the skeins are actually one and two-thirds yards long. If I have a skein of 100 wraps, that’s 600 inches … nearly an extra 17 yards.

Didn’t finish all the fiber I had drafted. I think my stash box is possessed.

Draft Box

 

I had tucked all the drafted fiber into it. Then as I spun, I’d take out a pile and reclose the box. When I went back to get the next pile, the box would be full. Kept happening over and over. It’s still full.

Oh well …

 

I have a scarf, a pair of socks, and possibly a wimple to finish for winter holiday gifts. Then I can start on the Spinzilla shawl.

~~~

George’s trip to the retinologist last friday went well. The pictures showed the fluid build-up behind his retina had decreased close to three-fourths in size. He had been saying there was little or no difference in his sight. It may be he was preparing himself for the worst scenario. Or it may have been his innate pessimism. Either way, he is seeing better. The vision tests went from 20/60 to 20/40. Next needle-in-the-eye is 13 November.

~~~

Last friday was a FULL day. It started with a blood draw getting ready for the trip to the cardiologist the first part of November, but without breakfast at Poor George’s … they changed their opening time from 0630 to 0800, so we were too early. Next time we will adjust our time schedule.

We ate at Grandma’s House instead and it was not a good start to the day. I ordered the ortega-bacon omelet. If there was bacon in there I never found it, and the pepper was canned and mushy. It cost a dollar less that Poor George’s, but they should have paid me to eat it. Grandma’s is right off I-5, so I guess they count on tourists and consequently don’t care. Neither do I since we won’t be going there again.

Stops in Oregon concluded with WebSters. Dona (the owner) gave each Spinzilla spinner a free eight ounce bump of fiber. I got New Zealand natural coloured Romney. She also gave us 10% off any purchases during Spinzilla week. So after making an effort to clear out my fiber stash, it is now bigger than ever. We better have an old-fashioned winter so I’ll have lots of spinning time.

And speaking of an old fashioned winter … it really has made the turn to Autumn.

Maple Colour The trees have put on quite a show this year with fruit and seeds, and the deer (who stayed here all winter last year) have already left. Does that mean  ???

~~~

Sat MorningThe sky was red last saturday on our way to the next to last of the radio events for this year.

The organizers in charge had sort of dropped the ball. We didn’t get our operating instructions until late friday.Flying Field Sign

 

 

I wound up at a rest stop near the model airplane flying area and George was down on McCloud Lake near the boat ramp.

I thought our time would be 0730 to about 1130. Instead it was from 0900 to 1230. We had only 33 riders on our part of the ride. That left a good amount of time to watch the remote controlled planes.

Mountain from Station

 One plus of the day was the different view of the Mountain. We were south-southeast instead of our usual west-northwest.

Big event of the day was when three bicyclists got lost on one leg of the ride where it was impossible for a SAG wagon to go. When the riders finally showed up, one (who had registered under a fake name) had a bloody nose and was thereafter referred to as the “battered” rider. I still don’t know what happened.

As with any first time event, there are things I will do differently if we do this event again, such as take a chair (and some knitting). I think I need to get used to taking a chair … regardless.

The last of the events will be next saturday and I’m the one in charge. First instructions will go out this afternoon, be repeated at the club meeting this evening, and a reminder will go out friday evening.

Then we will be done for 2014.

Come next May, we get to start all over.

~~~

I am on a committee to develop use for a facial morphing program in conjunction with the County Tobacco Education Council. Maggie, the school nurse for most of the high schools in the county, is also on the committee (as is the director of the local Y).

Maggie has a facial aging program for the computer, similar to those used by police to see what missing children would look like after they’ve been gone for a long time, which she has never used. It was to be part of her drug avoidance program. We will use it for tobacco education instead.

Plans are just beginning to develop, but we will most likely set up tables or booths at county affairs and offer a “Look into the Future”.

~~~

Yesterday was my chosen sister’s natal anniversary (just a fancy way to say it was her birthday). She is a blessing.

~~~

As I was spinning last week, I was listening to music on the local public radio station … mostly classical. It started me thinking about how I was introduced to classical music. It was during the war (WW II).

Most of the men, composers and musicians included, were in the service. Movies were uplifting and optimistic. And the movie music, both background and that which was part of the storyline, was mostly classical … Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Schuman, Haydn, and on and on and on …

I can’t help but muse that kids today who hear not much other than hip hop and rap are missing something.

~~~

And to end this session …

 

Forgive those who made you cry.

Do it now.

You might not get a second chance.

 

 

… ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

Well … we are into Spinzilla.Fiber

 

I’m working with some of the Raven
Frog fiber from Sitka and Skagway. So far so good.Plyed

 

 

 

I am spinning “cobweb” and plying into a nice yarn which should make a lovely shawl.

 

 

Other spinners have posted pictures of their output daily. They seem to be doing way more than I am. I wonder if they are taking nourishment like the bicyclists do with a bottle on their back which has a tube they hold in their mouth and suck. And are they wearing a motorman’s friend?

But that’s okay. I’m enjoying my time with Matilda and feeling pretty good about my output. I can almost “see” the shawl toward which I am working.

~~~

Last sunday, a friend had an informal party at his house for local candidates to do a meet-and-greet. In addition, his band played (Larry plays a mean mouth organ and has played with some of the best groups in New Orleans).

George, who normally avoids groups of more than six people, went with me and it would seem a good time was had by all.

One unusual thing happened however. I went up to a man I’ve known for years (he was a physical therapist with the hospital when I worked there) and we were chatting when his wife came up to join us. He turned to her and said something like “You remember …” and hesitated. I said my name and his wife and I both acknowledged we knew one another. No problem.

Later, Neal (the PT) approached George and me and asked if he could ask us something about aging. He asked if we had any trouble remembering names. I told him it was no problem for me since, when I worked Emergency, I had trained myself to forget names. George’s answer was sort of he didn’t have trouble but then he doesn’t have too many to remember. Neal looked a bit troubled but I didn’t think anything more about it until monday morning when it dawned on me that not remembering my name had upset him.

I’ll be seeing him again before too long. We’ll see what happens.

~~~

Story left over from the holiday with Mark …

We were on our way home, waiting in SeaTac for a flight, when we noticed a small Asian woman who seemed anxious. She would sit, then get up and read the board over the desk, then sit, and fidget, then start all over again.

After a bit, Mark got up, took out his “phone” and approached her. He did something with the phone and showed it to her. She looked up at him, surprised, and nodded. Soon, the phone was speaking Chinese (I don’t know whether it was Mandarin or Cantonese … maybe generic … ) and she was smiling and talking to the phone.

Seems he had a translation app on his phone and he would speak into it, then it would translate into Chinese and talk to the woman. She would talk back to the phone and it would translate and then speak to Mark. There was a bit of trouble with idioms at first (the phone was VERY literal), but that got cleared up quickly.

It was intriguing to watch. Several others in the waiting area put down reading material and stopped conversations to watch.

The story was that she was on her way from China to visit her son in Idaho, didn’t speak English, and was afraid she’s miss her flight or get on the wrong plane. But as a result of the three-way conversation, Mark took her to a desk attendant, explained the situation, and assured the lady she would be taken care of by the attendant.

Just before time for us to go, the Lady reached for the phone, talked to it, turned it toward Mark and me, and it said “You have a good heart, and you got it from her” as she nodded and smiled at Mark and then at me.

Our flight left before hers, but as we boarded I looked back. The lady (her surname was Lin) made a slight bow and smiled.

I know the word isn’t Chinese … but Namaste.

~~~

I had a bit of trouble with the Toyota. Coming home from the store I felt a wobble in the steering. I told George and he checked it without feeling much of anything.

The next trip out I felt it again. Then George felt it and thought the constant velocity joint might be going.

Last thursday, before George had a chance to check it, I needed to go into Mt Shasta for the Family History Center and it not only wobbled but began to make a noise. I was a bit scared and prayed “Just get me home.” I knew George was monitoring me on the radio, and so I kept going … slowly.

When I got home I practically yelled “Check that out. I’m scared.”   Occasionally I overreact.

 

Tire

 

 

 

 

Here’s what he found on the front left wheel.

~~~

It is now light enough at 0730 to feed the animals although it is another half hour before the sun reaches us. And dark enough by 1900 to close in the chickens although the sun set at only 1845.

Maple Colour

 

The maple is showing red.

 

The pergazebollis grapes are losing leaves.

Dogwood Colour

 

 

 

The dogwoods are colouring.

 

 

 

The fall calving has begun. The hay barns are filled. We’ve had an occasional morning fire in the wood stove. Soup or stew has begun to sound good for dinner.

Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh … Autumn.

~~~

A bit ago I got caught in a situation which seemed to revolve around the phrase “unconditional love”. I’ve been thinking about that and have not yet come up with a positive definition. I keep coming back to people in an abusive relationship who fail to leave even when they are being severely abused. Is that unconditional love, i.e. love in spite of?

In contemplating this conundrum I remembered the advice to medical practitioners … first do no harm.

Anyone got any thoughts on any of this?

~~~

 

“There are things known and there are things unknown, 
and in between are the doors of perception.”
― Aldous Huxley

 

 

So, ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… from Rabbi Kalman …

“Yom Kippur begins Friday evening, October 3rd. The story is told of a house painter who deeply regretted stealing from his clients by diluting the paint, but charging full price. He poured out his heart on Yom Kippur hoping for Divine direction. A voice comes from Heaven and decrees,   ‘Repaint, repaint … and thin no more!’ ”

In addition, my niece posted a great greeting. It was R2D2 and C3PO, one with a shofar and the other with apples and honey, wishing us all a year as sweet as honey. Thank you, Lisa.

~~~

Sorry this is a bit late this week. We had to be in Yreka for George’s VA lab work this morning. We were at the clinic at 0730. That meant we left Cold Comfort a bit after 0600 and had breakfast, after his blood draw, at Poor George’s. This month we get to do that twice more. George has another blood draw the 10th and then his semi-annual VA appointment  the 15th, so Poor George’s will be on our menu again.

Mountaun from 99

This is the view of the Mountain on the way home with the morning sun glinting …

Mountain from Dale Creek

And this is what we saw from the gravel road almost home.

 

We’ve been getting some rain.

Last wednesday-thursday the total was 3.46″. There had been snow on the Mountain and Black Butte for the first time in ages (a glimpse of the Mountain to the left, and Black Butte is the scribble to the right),

Snowy MountainReservoir Mud Puddle

 

 

and even a small puddle of wet in the reservoir (Can you see it? Look for reflection.)

 

 

But, being ever the optimist, I don’t think it will last. It would take a minimum of three years of winters like we used to have (i.e. snowbound from mid-December to at least February, maybe even ’til the end of March) to restore the water pack.

Along with the rain and drizzle, we are moving into the chilly months. Low 30s friday morning. Morning warm-up fires are in order. One day last week, as I started down the stairs, I smelled smoke. It took me a couple of seconds to adjust to winter mode, when the wood stove adds aroma to the house, and not look around for a fire.

~~~

It’s true that “the days grow short when you reach September”. It is dark by 1930 and doesn’t get light until after 0700. The lady hens are snugged in by 1915 (unless I get involved with something and have to go out with a flashlight later). We’ve entered the time of year when we think three or four times before we commit to going someplace evenings. The radio club is still a must, but we skipped the water rights meeting last week … dark and rain.

Last dandelion

 

 

Fewer than 60 days to Hallowe’en and there was a dandelion in the front yard. What’s with that?

 

 

~~~

A friend who graduated high school with me 67 years ago is moving to Oregon from our hometown area in southern California. One of her daughters lives in Eugene and the other will soon be moving north.

She will settle in Eugene, where the Black Sheep Gathering is held each June. The BSG is a big thing with spinners and knitters. With Diane in Eugene, I may get a chance to go again without worrying about motel costs (always frugal) and have a chance to visit her.

… please, no comments about “black sheep”.

I haven’t seen her in several years. Our class is getting a bit thin. Guess we have to expect that. We were a fairly small class and I’d guess we’re down by about two-thirds. I wonder how many of us will be around for a possible reunion in three years.

~~~

Previously, I’ve complained to you about all the deaths the first part of this year. I know people die all the time, but I have no connection with them so their deaths don’t hit me. This year there have been connections with far too many of them.

There hadn’t been another since the middle of August and I thought we might be done for this year. No …

Just heard the husband of a friend I’ve known for over 60 years died last week. Death of a mate has to be close in trauma to the death of a child.

The death of relationships is not easy either. I guess it’s all just part of growing old.

~~~

I’ve told you before that I work with a County council. Well, yesterday I spent over two hours listening to discussions of the upcoming county budget. I was sitting with the County Assessor (whom I’ve known since he was one of the folks who come into the field to assess property, etc.). I asked him if he had to sit through these things often, and he nodded yes.     I think they don’t pay him enough.

I was there because our council had asked for some money for possible projects this coming year. The result was mixed. The Board granted the request, but for only about a third of what we asked, and they gave it to a County Department which is supposed to be doing what we want to be doing. That Department already gets a hefty budget (from state as well as county) and the result is 95% of those funds go to administrative costs and only 5% to projects. We wanted our own money so we could change those stats.

Our Council essentially lost that battle. We shall see who wins the war.

But there were light moments a midst the boredom. The current Sheriff of Siskiyou County is an egotistic a– (i.e he goes everywhere in full gear … bulletproof vest down to his hips, side arm, billy club, cuffs, etc.). I don’t remember either of the two preceding Sheriffs wearing full regalia except at official functions. During discussion of his part of the budget, the Sheriff kept speaking about losing deputies in the field, and even some of the girls in the offices, if he wasn’t given more money. One Supervisor (female) reminded him the Sheriff’s Department is only one of the departments in the County which needs funding and was not that special or any higher on the priority list than several other departments, and another Supervisor (male) noted he was sure the “ladies”, not the “girls”, in the department did an excellent job.

I wonder if Lopey caught what was thrown.

~~~

George is hooked on “Grimm”, not that I’m not enjoying it too. But then, I’m a fantasy fan.

The evening the power was back up to normal due to the rain, he didn’t want to stop at watching just one episode (NetFlix you know), but went for a second … and then a third. By then it was past his normal bedtime.

He never was much for fairy tales, but he gets off on the fact that most of the Wesen (meaning, loosely, “the people” – sound familiar?) are named in German, probably since the original inspiration was the tales of the Brothers Grimm, and seem to be stream-of-consciousness stuff (i.e. gobbledy gook).

In addition, we enjoy picking at some of the staging … such as the heroine leaving the lamps in her house (which is a Craftsman – there seem to be a lot of those in Portland) lit at all times. EVERY lamp in every room in the house is on whenever she goes in the front door, including the kitchen and toilets.

Oh well …

~~~

I really dislike it when the reminder that I have it sooooo good comes by way of not-good for friends and family.

I will attempt to hold positive thoughts and wishes for us all, and keep the prayer candle burning.

~~~

‘Til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boles fire in Weed was OUT by thursday morning. Crews were still going through the fire area looking for hot spots, but it was declared contained. A local posted a rather comprehensive photo essay which shows what an erratic, rapid, destructive fire the Boles was.  https://plus.google.com/110890268476836491027/stories/6d05f7e7-931d-3f29-a0d5-7d5a9ffc4aaf1489c06eae7?authkey=COeJoMr79L6wFQ

 It helped with containment there was some rain. We had a scoootch less than half-an-inch here. We’re expecting more today. Wind is already up and the misting has begun.Approaching Storm

The Happy Camp complex is still burning, but not causing people damage … just forest and wildlife. Big differences between a fire mostly in a city setting and one in the wild. Different types of destruction.

Then there was a really interesting event last weekend. There has been little or no snow visible on the Mountain for longer than I care to note, but a glacier on the McCloud side of the Mountain let go and caused flooding over a couple of roads.Flood

What next ???

~~~

September has been busy (and eventful). October is going to be equally busy. Spinzilla starts the month, George has his second eye treatment and his semi-annual VA appointment with an extra appointment for a blood draw, we have a wedding anniversary, and the radio club has two events … plus my regular stuff like Family History Center days and last minute putting-by and some meetings. 

Better busy than bored.

~~~

Interesting note about the deciduous trees in front of the house … the catalpa is the last to leaf out each spring, but it is also the first to begin to change colour and drop leaves in the fall. Tall … graceful … beautiful in bloom … short lived.

We are beginning to see colour change in the maple and birches and dogwoods, but not to the same extent or as early.

24 Sept 2014

This was this morning. A gust of wind caught me. I decided to print the pic anyhow. That yellow/green is the catalpa.Last Summer Flower

 

And there is one summer flower remaining … chicory.

 

~~~

All the research in re Mars and how it got the way it is now reminds me that YEARS ago it seemed to me that Venus is the way the Earth was and Mars is the way she will be. Scientists are trying to figure out what destroyed the atmosphere on Mars while we continue to destroy the atmosphere here.

Seems to me to be sort of a no-brainer …

~~~

While we are in Oregon next month, I have to go to the restaurant supply store and get a gallon jug of rooster sauce (Siracha) to make sure we get through the next year. I did have a good crop of jalapeños this year (and some Thai peppers as well) for drying, but a big jar of rooster sauce is required.

~~~

Ruby's x 2

 

 

Tomato report … 28 pints of Ruby Hoop’s Tomato Soup, 7 packs of frozen tomatoes with onion for “fresh” pasta sauce during the winter, a pot of pasta sauce simmering for dinner today, and jars of sautéed tomatoes, zucchini, onion, and garlic for quick casseroles or soup. Not too shabby.

 

~~~

I missed out on Dye Day with the Siskiyou Handspinners. Too much going on in my life. I continue to hope I can learn how to “handpaint” roving. A spinning friend, Janell, is an expert. She spins, dyes, knits, and sells. So I’ll mark the calendar for next year’s session and cross my fingers.

I’ve been working on some of the Alaska roving with a shawl in mind. The roving is handpainted in teal, salmon red, white/yellow, and ash/charcoal which the artist called “Totem Spirit”. After plying, it seems a bit more cluttered that I had hoped. I think I’d like larger (longer?) stretches of colour so the patches of colour when knit will be more pronounced. Learning to do it myself will prove that thought one way or another. In the meantime, we shall see how this looks when knit.

For the next few days, in addition to the regular Autumn chores, I will be working on getting bobbins emptied and ready for Spinzilla . While sorting fiber, yarn, and bobbins I found a bobbin with some very fine Merino single still on it. I plied it (Navajo style, 3-ply). The bobbin rattled loudly for the entire plying time. I marked it and we’ll see if it does the same next time, or was just objecting to something this time. If it rattles again, out it will go. I need to increase my supply of lace bobbins anyhow.

~~~

It is time to celebrate the squash harvest …

and to celebrate the shift from Mother to Crone …

and to honor the Orisha Obatala, the Enforcer of Justice …

and High Holy Days have begun.

May we each be led to adjustments as needed.  L’Shana Tovah !!!

 

So ’til next week …