Last wednesday, we spent a couple of hours at the Mt Shasta Museum.


The Smithsonian exhibit titled “Journey Stories” is there until the end of the month. It was time well spent. The basic story is that since time long past, Americans (and the original explorers) have been travelers on journeys, and this is illustrated by stories using written accounts, pictures, and recordings. If the exhibition comes to a museum near you, don’t miss it.

In addition, local journey stories were collected by the MS Museum volunteers and were posted all around the exhibit area. Some of the stories dealt with surnames which are well-known in this area … Sullivan, McCloud, Sisson, Hammond, Bridwell, Foulk. The local stories will stay on display indefinitely. We plan to go back to really look at those later … maybe when the family is here this summer … and will share at that time.Museum Model Layout


Other permanent displays include a model railroad layout …Shasta Daylight Poster

       some old posters …Diaper Washer


reminders of washing my firstborn’s diapers …


replicas of a depot office …

Cab View and of a train cab which faces a screen showing a ride from below Dunsmuir through Cantara Loop and Mt Shasta to the Black Butte station. 


We’ll be going back to see what we didn’t have time for this time.


Mountain 9 April2015Last thursday morning was one of the days when we have to skip breakfast so George’s fasting lab work can be done.

Snow on Black Butte There was snow on Black Butte. Not much, but more than we’ve seen in a couple of years.

After our npo morning, we go to Poor George’s for omelets or big, juicy hamburgers. This may be the last time for the pleasure which, in the past, we anticipated with each blood draw.

As usual, we got into a conversation with one of the waitresses. For the last year, Poor George’s has been undergoing renovation and it is still unfinished.  It turns out renovation was stopped because they will be moving. They recently bought the old Denny’s just off I-5 at the central Yreka offramp.

It makes me a bit sad. I wonder if it means the end of the Poor George’s we’ve known and enjoyed for so many years … the spot where field and ranch hands went for breakfast on their way to work, where the old vets met for morning coffee, where hospital night staff stopped to unwind on their way home, where you could get fresh homemade pie for breakfast.

They were in a building which started life as an A&W Root Beer Drive-in. I remember stopping there for root beer floats after seeing the first of the Star Wars movies. In those days the only place to see a movie in Siskiyou County was in Yreka. There was a theatre in Dunsmuir and one in Weed (both of which were closed), but none in Mt Shasta. Now the one is Weed is still closed, the one in Yreka has closed, the one in Dunsmuir occasionally shows old time films, and the only place to see a movie in Siskiyou County is at a multiplex in Mt Shasta in the old Thrifty Drugstore building.

Plans for Poor George’s are to increase the hours. Now they open at 0800 and close at 1330. After the move they will go 24-7 so they will need additional cooks, and their cooking was one of the things that made them special. At the new site there is a motel right behind them, a minimart in the gas station across the street, and another restaurant right opposite them. I fear it will be an entirely new atmosphere both outdoors and in.

We’ll be going there again in November (the next time for scheduled lab work). That may be our last time.

Oh well …

The other big change in the food sector in Yreka is that the McDonald’s which had been at the south Yreka I-5 offramp ever since I can remember has been demolished. That was most likely a result of overgrowth since there was a Taco Bell, a Carl’s Jr., a Burger King, two Subways (one in the WalMart), a soup-‘n-sandwich shop, and a Starbucks all together there.


NPR recently added a money report to Morning Edition. We’re not that interested in the subject. What has me interested is trying to figure out why they chose the Hill Street Blues theme (from the old tv show) for their music. Subliminal warnings? …

Be safe out there.


Constance - 1908


Two days ago was the 107th anniversary of my Mama’s birth. She’s been gone since 1979, but I still talk with her.   

And yes … I inherited the ears.



The Tobacco Education Council meeting yesterday was interesting. Getting a new operating procedure working is a bit more complicated than you would think, mainly with finances.

Three items came up … how to assure each project has equal access to funds; how to know what has been spent and how much is left; and how to make sure we spend all we were given this year so we can get at least the same amount next year.

Results were good. No one felt accused of inappropriate behavior (since no one had any guidelines) and everyone seemed to understand the need for new operating procedures as we are becoming more active. Now all project plans and proposed expenditures will need to be presented to the entire Council for approval. It may slow things down a bit, but it will keep everyone informed and communication will improve as we get practice.

First event for the year will be this coming friday titled “Lunch and Learn”. Attendees will be fed, but will have to sit through three hours of presentations. I’ll be doing “Thirdhand Smoke” and am about eighth on the schedule. I always get a dry dry mouth when I do this, so I’ll make sure I have water available.


Occasionally George and (more occasionally) I watch Telemundo on the telly. We can get it for free with our big dish. We aren’t Spanish speakers, but with the sound down we can put together our own story lines.

One afternoon last week, while warming up the set for the news, we found ourselves watching an animated feature. What caught my eye initially was that the gecko hero was wearing a shirt just like the one a friend brought back from Hawai’i.Rango

We learned the name of the film was “Rango”. From what we saw it was a mishmash of plot lines and scenes from a collection of movies, mostly westerns, from Clint Eastwood’s Italian potboilers to the newest “Lone Ranger” (the Johnny Depp one) and a wide range of in-betweens. Thinking the verbal jokes are probably as much fun as the visuals, we decided it might be good to watch it in English. I looked it up on NetFlix and discovered Johnny Depp did the gecko hero’s voice.

It is now on our queue. 


We have a new batch of kittens in the barn. We can hear them. We won’t see them for a few weeks but odds are they will add to the black panther clutch.


We’ve been having trouble with our ISP. They allow us a set amount of download bandwidth. If we go over 80% of that amount, they begin to slow us down. And woe-be-to-us if we go much higher. Then we begin to get pages of program language before we get any usable contact with the net.

So … I am asking any of you who email me, please send only personal notes … no forwards … please … until we get this under control. Emails with big picture loads seem to be a real problem.

This got me to thinking about the issue currently before the PUC. Doesn’t the pay-for-speed question apply to personal users as well as corporations?


Morning 13 April 2015Monday we awoke to a skiff of snow.

What a spring  … blasted fruit blossoms, golden catkins on the birch, slowly opening maple buds, signs of stress in the evergreens all along the roads, occasional white in the meadow,  plants in the solarium and under milk bottle hothouses, … not-quite-enough snow pack on the Mountain …Mountain 9 April 2015 but She looks better than She has for several months.


And here’s the latest from the Gaiman I’ve been reading …


“{Leaders} come and {leaders} go. Armies arrive and are absorbed or return home again, leaving behind them only damaged buildings, widows, and bastard children.”




So, ’til next week …






Big surprise last week was the discovery of so many ways to spell Dibelka. I had been operating on the idea that our family name, difficult as it is, was set in stone.   


Here are a few of the variations I’ve found: Diabelko, Dyabelko, Dabelko, Djebelko, Dubelko … they are all from the Czech-Slovak area (i.e. Bohemia) and so far I’ve found them in New York state and Pennsylvania in addition to the Dibelka clutch in Omaha.



I even found a picture of one of the Pennsylvania Diabelkos with his wife Ella which blew me away. He resembles George’s dad (with a slightly fuller face). But the big surprise is that his wife looks like George’s mother (whose family was from Pennsylvania) … at least to me.


Can you guess what line of research I’ll be spending time on for the next few Family History sessions?


We’ve been having night frosts. The second comforter is back on the bed. The rosemary and spearmint I put out last week are surviving, but it is fortunate I didn’t plant the potatoes. They are still developing shoots … slowly. Maybe in a week or two?

I may try peas soon, with the milk bottle covers.

7 April 2015 - Front Door 1

BUT, sunday brought another big surprise …we had snow …

Toward the Barnmonday we had snow … Icy Feeder


monday morning there was ice in the hummer feeders …

monday evening, as I went out to put the ladies to bed, the wind in the tree tops sounded like waves surging and breaking on a beach when a storm is brewing (NICE!) …

yesterday we woke to this …Snowy Birches

Last evening it looked like this …

Deer 7 April 2015

I feel a bit sorry for the Cold Comfort deer herd. There was plenty of fresh green just a few days ago. (There are three deer in this picture. Can you find them?)

8 April 2015And this morning this is what we see …

Deer in  Backyard



Now the herd is ankle deep in snow.



The total, as of this morning, is ~18″. That must mean it is good on Mt Eddy and the Mountain.

Too bad this isn’t November rather than April. Oh well …


Last week I made a batch of fudge … with pecans. It was a big batch. As I put a plate of pieces on the table I thought “Get thee into the closet, Temptation.”

One big problem   …   I failed to close and lock the closet door.


Sunday evenings are getting busy due to PBS.

The midwives are back for a few weeks, and are as good as ever. Last week’s clutch of love stories was really well done.

I’m not a Selfridge fan, so that hour is time to shower.

And last week we were introduced to Thomas Cromwell in “Wolf Hall”. I was a bit disappointed. The costuming and visuals were right on. However, the history was a bit off and the story flow was jerky and incomplete. The BBC series about Elizabeth Woodville who married Edward IV was done so much better. But then that series was based on a well-written book.

Why Hilary Mantel is a Dame of the British Empire and Philippa Gregory isn’t is a mystery to me. Connections? Better press? Bribery? Pity?


We’re off later today to visit the Smithsonian exhibit “Journey Stories”  in town at the Mt Shasta Museum. It is a traveling exhibit. Only six museums in California were lucky enough to get it! 

There are some other new displays to which we look forward as well  – “Mt. Shasta Journey Stories” and “Railroading ‘Round the Mountain.” 

Watch for pictures.


A couple of days ago, an actor named James Best died. He was known for a tv show I never watched. But his death caught my eye because many years ago I met him while he was in my home area (with Tony Curtis, Richard Long, Audie Murphy, Brian Donlevy and others I don’t recall) shooting a movie called “Kansas Raiders” about the border war between Kansas and Missouri during Civil War times. It was a B movie which disappeared quickly.

But it was a time which left some longterm memories.

Brian Donlevy was soooo short there was a grip assigned to follow him around with a step stool so he could get on and off the horse.

My friend had recently had a baby and she brought her with us to the set, in a buggy (we were working with the house and food crew). One day, while we were working, the baby began crying (poopy diapers) and when Gerry and I got to her we found Tony Curtis changing the diaper.

The not-quite-stars spent evenings at the Lodge near town where there was food, drink, and music. Gerry lived right across the road so, of course, we went over. One night I was dancing with Richard Long. He noticed the mole on my right shoulder and said something like “I suppose you expect me to kiss that mole.” I now think it may have been an invitation to a one-nighter, but I was so young and naive I just said “No”, finished the dance, and went on with the evening.

But the thing I remember most often is the young James Best. He was a gentleman! And he was a poet. We shared a few beers and discussed writing. He was pretty good. I wonder why he didn’t do more with the poetry.


Several folks around me are in a grieving process. I thought this might help …


There is no right way to grieve, and you have to let people grieve in the way that they can. One of the things that happens to everyone who is grief-stricken is there comes a time when everyone else just wants you to get over it, but of course you don’t get over it. You get stronger;  … ; you endure; you change; but you don’t get over it. You carry it with you.         Edward Hirsch


And a note from the Rebbe …

Try an Experiment ?

Read out loud the following sentence: opportunityisnowhere.

Did you read it as “opportunity is nowhere”

or as “opportunity is now here”?

Probably 90% of life is one’s attitude — how one looks at life.




So … ’til next week …











The adventure a week ago with power (or the lack thereof) reminded me of the evening we moved into our first house/home in Pomona. We had a months old baby and all his stuff, a crib, a mattress on the floor, a card table, two folding chairs, and hot dogs.


Time at the genealogy center last week was very quiet … until a quarter to 1500 (closing time). At that time, just as we were beginning to organize belongings in order to close, a man tentatively came around the corner into our area. He was carrying a clipboard full of papers and immediately started apologizing for intruding.

It took us a full five minutes to get him to stop apologizing and tell us what he was interested in learning. Marty got on one computer and I rebooted another and we started searching. By then there was only 10 minutes left and the church is sticky about timing.

All we were able to do in that short time was begin to show him what was available. So … we sent him out the door with wide eyes, a hint of possibilities, and a list of the Family History Center hours.

I wonder if we hit it too hard and he was so overwhelmed he won’t come back.

Oh well …


Younger son Mark’s birthday was monday, as was his cousin Lisa’s. She was born when he was three. They are now both in their 40s.

All together now “Where does the time go?”

It turned out to be a day for culinary strangeness. Results at both homes was a bit different than expected … a pie more soufflé than meringue and a bundt cake with great frosting which ate like a brick. Still, both celebrations were successes.

May they have many more … successes, not culinary challenges.


My young cousin Jeffrey (I’ve told you about him before … his great-grandmother was my cousin) is talking about coming to visit this summer. He has two little boys now. That visit will be fun. Just turn them all lose and let them explore.


Seed Starts

In spite of the lingering threat of frosts, I’ve done some seed starts out in the solarium.

Last monday I transplanted a rosemary to its space beside the garden gate and a spearmint to a spot beside the backdoor. I’m using gallon milk bottles without bottoms as covers.

Temperature this morning was 28°.

There are some signs of Spring around …

Firs full of cones (and windshields full of pollen) …Fir Cones



Birch trees’ catkins



and buds …Birch 2






Maple buds …



and deer with really mangy coats …

Mangy Coat





Yesterday I had to go to Yreka for a Tobacco Education meeting and decided to go by Carol’s sheep farm to pick up some fiber and meet the new crop of lambs. (Picture by a spinning friend, Leslie)


This year’s lambs are heavily slanted toward males and single births … only two sets of twins in the entire flock. Carol and I wondered if that has anything to do with the change in winters around here.

Then, as I was getting ready to leave, a pair of folks on horseback stopped at the gate. Carol and I went over to talk and I heard what sounded like round-up calls. I looked up the road (a narrow, country road) and there they were … a full herd being moved to spring pastures. They filled the road from shoulder to shoulder and back as far as I could see.

Had I not been quick and gotten back on the road and away, I would have missed my meeting in Yreka since there would have been no way to get around or past all those cows.

And wouldn’t you know .. I didn’t have my camera with me.


Mountain 30 March 2015The Mountain is looking nice. Not as white as we’d like (the snow pack is only 11.5% of normal), but any snow is welcome.

Mt Eddy




However, Mt Eddy behind us is looking almost as mangy as the deer …




1 April 2015                  and the view out the front door is sparkling with the frost.


And so, ’til next week …









Those of you who know me, or have been with the blog for awhile, know that signals EXCITEMENT  in our family.

It seems that every year at New Year’s we have a power disaster of some kind, always fixable by George and his electrical knowledge. It didn’t happen this year … until last night.

George was in bed and I was doing a last check of email when everything went dark. I had already taken off my pants, knickers, and socks since I was only a few steps from bed (if that picture frightens you, I apologize).

George had printed out directions for me to follow on what to do when this happens and posted it in the pump house. It wasn’t too cold out and it wouldn’t take long for me to get the power back, so out I went.

When I got to the pump house I did the first thing on the list and my flashlight went out. I stumbled back to the house (fortunately there was a sliver of a moon … that, and having walked this land for almost 40 years, got me back into the house) where I got another flashlight. I did not stop to put on pants etc. since the procedure is simple and quick.

I looked at the second direction and aaaaaaaauuuuuggghh … something was drastically wrong.

Back into the house, woke George, told him what I’d found, and we both got fully dressed to make a trip out into the meadow to check on the hydro intake … he to do whatever needed to be done, me to hold lamps, flashlights, etc.

On our way out we discovered the recent rains had done a real job on a section of road up above us. Fortunately we have 4WD and made it through the mud ruts with only a slight delay.

Thought we might receive a visit from the sheriff. It was near midnight and no one visits around here at that time of night, so it was possible a neighbor somewhere along the road would report invaders. Fortunately, everyone must have been asleep.

At the hydro intake we found the screens were clogged with debris which had washed down from the mountainside above us. He cleaned that out and we headed home.

I went into the house and George went to the pump house to finish off the do list. BUT the hydro wasn’t generating any power at all.

We made the decision to spent the rest of the night in the dark and tackle the problem this morning.

This is the first time we’ve been in bed past 0530 in years. It wasn’t light until about 0700 and breakfast was at 0745.

The hydro still isn’t producing (George is out there working on it right now), but he started the small generator so I could get this online.

See what I mean?  CHOCOLATE !!!


Now back to more mundane things …

The amateur radio club meeting last week was interesting.

The member who is the “Treasurer”, and has been ever since anyone can remember, reports the account balance at meetings (when he is there) … but without details in re deposits or payouts … and not at all (even by phone or email) when he is not at a meeting which is at least 50% of the time.

This year the club has voted a lot of spending for roof repair and new, updated equipment. Several members voiced concern that we are spending more than we have.

Now it is my job, as President, to get this situation under control … and to do so without offending the longtime member.


We had a great overnight with John and his spouse. They left early (too early for me to let him go … but mothers are like that). They are looking to relocate from Sacramento to someplace more rural between here and there.

One problem … I forgot to give him the dozen eggs we talked about. Found them about 2100 the day they left. Oh well …


Was back in Oregon last monday. Three good results … I got a BIG bag of sugar at the restaurant outlet so I’m set for marmalade and just plain baking until summer, the last of the tears on the edge of George’s right retina was laser tacked into place, and we don’t have to go back to the retinologist until 23 April.

I was getting pretty tired of eating at Sizzler (in  spite of the facts that George likes it, it has a great salad bar, and the price is right).


Yesterday, our older grandson turned eighteen. Where does the time go?

When he was born (the first child born in Groveland in a hundred years) there were white violets blooming all around the house where he was born.Tyler Violets


I was there for his birth and brought home a start of those violets. I’ve given away starts to several friends and we have them all over Cold Comfort. We call them “Tyler Violets.” I look forward to them every year.



Plum Blossoms



The plum blossoms really began their show last week.




If you’ve been reading this blog for any time, you know I am hooked on hearing musical phrases in different compositions, and in reading variations of the basic 40+ story lines, etc.

Well, the TED Radio Hour last sunday was all about that phenomenon. They called the collection of ideas “What is Original?” subtitled “Everything is a Remix”. It was a discussion of borrowing, copying, and sampling and when does it cross the line between flattery and thievery. An interesting hour … ideas ripe for more thought.


And that’s it for this week … no power time for corrections. Sorry.


                        Are we having fun yet?







As we left for our latest trip to Oregon last week, I saw something I don’t remember ever seeing before …a thick bank of fog surrounding the reservoir. In the past, I’ve seen fog on the water and some whisps along the road. This was THICK. Caught us by surprise. The sun had been shining at home, but as we went around the corner near the south dam we drove into a blanket. Fog 2 Visibility dropped to a few yards.

Fog 1


Even a section of Old Stage Road (the county road through here) was in the blanket. Interesting …


Appointment with the retinologist went well … even better than I had expected (in spite of the need for another laser session).

That evening, after an injection, George told me he was seeing letters better. He had been having some trouble with a line of letters … the letters in the center were either gone or blurry. But after the most recent injection, he could see them all. And it was still good the next morning.

The not so good thing was the discovery of “thin” spots around the edges of the retina in his left eye. They are most likely precursors of tears similar to those in his right eye and will need laser tacking sometime in the future.


Pear Blossoms


The apricot and plum trees have been putting on quite a show. And still no frost, so maybe it will be a good stone fruit year.Fig Tree

The fig is doing beautifully. It will be moved outdoors as soon as we can depend on the weather.


Still no blossoms on the apple … but those will come.Ostara Bouquet


And in the house, we celebrate the equinox with fake flowers interspersed with fake eggs.


More rain … without any snow. Here at Cold Comfort we won’t be hit by the drought for garden or house use. Only for power. George has increased our solar set-up, so when the creek goes down, the solar kicks in.


Today marks 149 years since the birth of my paternal grandmother in frontier Iowa.Belle - pre-Wedding


She was a beauty when she was young.Belle - ca 1950 2


By the time I knew her (she was 64 when I was born), she was soft like a nice pillow and smelled of the kitchen.

Her lemon pie recipe is the one we still use.Belle's Candle


Today I lit a candle to say thank you, Grandma.



I found the following on the blog page of the Rebbe I read. Interesting take on gossip and secrets. Sort of similar to the “And it harm none …” rule.

“The Talmud teaches that a person has no right to repeat what someone tells him unless that person gives him explicit permission to do so.

“If someone tells you private information about his business or any personal matter, you are forbidden to disclose it to others. Even if the speaker did not request that the matter remain secret, you are not allowed to repeat it.

“However, if that person related information concerning himself in the presence of three or more people and did not request secrecy, you are permitted to relate it to others. We can assume that he does not mind if the information will be known.

“If, however, someone tells you about his wrongdoings in the presence of three, you are nevertheless forbidden to spread that information to belittle him.”


The reservoir is fuller than I remember seeing it for several years. That speaks well for the farmers in the Shasta Valley who depend on that water for their fields.


The panthers are back waiting for George in the morning … one is noticeably pregnant. We’ll have to watch for the new batch of kittens. Ah, Spring.18 March 2015


And that’s it for this week. Amateur radio club this evening. John arrives tomorrow for a visit. The opera this weekend is “Manon”. We see the retinologist again next monday. And our older grandson turns 18 on tuesday.


                                                         So … ’til next week …








Last sunday was the first sunday since 2014 without a trip to Downton Abbey.

Can you tell we’re addicted? Oh well …

However, just learned the Midwives will be back the end of this month.


Climate change ???


Any questions?


Family History Center last week was calm.

Some time ago I had directed a researcher (whose grandfather had run away to join the circus) to the Circus Museum and Library in Baraboo, Wisconsin. I think she may have waited too long to check it out. I was going through some old reference lists and a news article came up stating the Baraboo facility was probably closing. Seems not very many people are interested in circuses any longer. The article noted that at a recent performance there were only ten people in the audience … six single women and two married (?) couples … all senior citizens.

Too bad. I hope they donate their papers etc. to a library someplace. As a family historian, I’d hate to see all that information lost.




Spring daffodils have made their first appearance, as have the narcissi (is that a proper plural?). George smelled them as he went out the front door yesterday.




George spent a couple of days last week doing the pruning on the fruit trees. He is topping them so we can reach the fruit. Both the apricot and plum trees are looking quite nice.Outdoor Blossoms






Table BlossomsI brought some branches indoors to pretty up the table.







Apple blossoms will come later.

Depending on weather, we may have another good fruit year.


(… following underlining mine)

Bill Moyers said … “Over the past decade, states have slashed workers’ comp benefits, denying injured workers the help they need and shifting the costs of accidents to taxpayers.”

Then an OSHA report included the following findings:

Employers pay only 21 percent of the costs of workplace injuries through workers’ compensation. Families end up bearing 50 percent of the costs and taxpayers pay 16 percent when workers are forced to resort to food stamps or Social Security Disability.

With employers not bearing the full costs, which OSHA characterizes as a subsidy, the incentive to provide a safe workplace is undermined.

Fewer than 40 percent of eligible injured workers apply for workers’ compensation benefits [often due to fear of losing employment].

I know what I think about this (reference my previous rant about nurses’ injuries). But while workers drop into poverty and tax payers are hit with more bills, corporation profits continue to rise so everything is okay, right?


One of the genealogy pages I visit has gotten deep into cemetery research … mapping and photographing old cemeteries. That is a project I enjoyed in the past.

A few years ago, a friend and I worked in some of the small cemeteries in this county. Then I was backed off by a couple of researchers who seemed offended that anyone else was edging into their territory.

Just last week, spurred by the rise in interest on the net, I checked the Siskiyou County cemetery web site and discovered they were looking for volunteers to work in some of the cemeteries my friend and I had done and then been chased away. Now I need to locate my files of pictures from those cemeteries and see that they get posted. That should keep me out of trouble for a while.

Gazelle Cemetery - with arrow

I think Gazelle should be the first one that gets my attention. I will look for what I have and set a completion goal for next fall. Something to which I can look forward.


Purim just passed and there is less than a month to Passover. Busy time of year.

A Rebbe I read said Jewish holidays can be described as “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.”

Seders ahead. Good eating.


I am still wading through county rules, restrictions, and regulations in re accessibility of funds already dedicated to specific uses. I meet with a department head later this morning in order to make a stab at learning. I wonder if she understands any of this any more than I do, or if she just follows practices handed down from previous directors.

I will try to remember  “…everything that happens in your life is for a positive purpose. Some you will recognize, some you won’t. Frequently repeat, ‘This, too, is for the good.’ Every life situation has been sent to you as a test and challenge to help you grow. ”


Remember my rant about time change ???

Time Change


                                  Onward !!!


                                                             ‘Til next week …








A prime example of cause and effect occurred last week.

On wednesday, George took off the snow tires (yes, we’d continued to hope way past  the time indicated by logic).

By thursday evening our season total was not quite 2″.

It is too late in the season for it to do much good …Snow 2


it melted rapidly …

Snow 1

but any precipitation is welcome.


I suppose the lesson is to not put snow tires on at all next year. Just plan to stay home.

That would work for me.


First session of two weeks in a row at the Family History Center was last thursday. I was told about a new feature of the Mormons’ Family Search site. If you have started a tree on that site (which is open to anyone as part of the LDS’ World Tree project), the students at BYU have put together a program through which you are able to locate all kinds of connections (mostly Mormon, of course).

Some connections you might find interesting are to Mayflower immigrants, or U.S. Presidents, or Famous Americans, or European Royalty (seems every time a genealogist mentions his/her hobby someone asks about finding a link to royalty) or Historical Native Americans.

The program is called “Relative Finder” and is accessed through For specific directions and help, visit your local Family History Center.


It’s been a while since I mentioned the earthquakes in southern California. I’ve been watching. Just not talking about it.Earthquakes

The entire state has been rockin’ n rollin’… with mostly 3 pointers. But last week the area down by the Salton Sea took off again. I doubt I’ll live long enough to see it, but I’m still sure there will eventually be a connection between the Salton Sea and the Gulf of California.


This coming sunday we once again undergo a time change. I don’t like it any better this time than I have in the past. 

So next week it will again be dark when I get up. Oh well …


I’ve been involved in a project involving County money. The Board of Supervisors granted our group $3,000 for our outreach. The problem which has arisen is that, since we are not a “recognized” county group (in spite of the facts that we work with and for the County, report to the County, and operate under the aegis of the County) our money was put into the account of the County Department of Health. It seems the only way we can get any of it to use is to apply to the head of that department and hope for her approval.

The committee I’m working with wants money for a computer, separate monitor, printer, and camera in order to use a facial morphing program. Less than $1,000. The equipment would then be available to all others in the Council for their programs. But the department head thinks we should just borrow pieces here and there from other county departments. She is not even a member of our Council.



I went to Yreka last monday. The view of the Mountain was lovely …

Mountain  -   2 March 2015                                                    … clad in clouds.

Coming home along Old 99 was interesting. 

Mountain, Clouds, and Pond

(the water to the right is a pond which has been dry for years. With the rains, it is full again. At one time there was a water dragon sculpture in that pond. I’ve missed it. I wonder if the owner still has it?)


Downton Abbey is over for the year … as all fans are aware. Some interesting happenings.

It will be a long wait until Season 6 … Will Mary finally connect with someone? Will Carson and Hughes really marry? Will Edith relocate to London with Marigold? Will age finally catch up with the Dowager? If so, what will Isobel do? What further disaster awaits the Bates duo? How soon will Rose have a baby, and will her father-in-law be pleased? What will the fashions look like?

So many things to contemplate while we wait.


I couldn’t resist some bulbs at CostCo and the local grocery store. I wasn’t able to get them set out yet, but did get them into planting mix in the solarium.

Iris Patch


Some of the chores awaiting spring are clearing out the dead stalks of iris and preparing planting beds in the garden.Fig 4 March


And the fig … aaahhhhh, the                                                                                      fig.

Maple Buds


In addition to fig leaves (seems there is something slightly naughty about that), the maple is showing signs of spring.


Once it gets here, warm weather will see me busier than I’ve been for several months. We’ve had no winter, but not outdoor weather either.

4 March 2015

I am anticipating dirty hands and nails …


Another session at the Family History Center tomorrow. Then we’re home until the following thursday. Probably a good thing since the right front constant velocity joint on the Toyota is complaining a bit. The replacement part arrives tomorrow and repairs will be done so we’ll be ready for the next long trip to Oregon.


So …

                ’til next week …







Lead off this week …Capture 2


If  you saw this banner on the blog in the past …

ignore it. We have no idea where the “ad” came from or why, and are working to make sure it is gone and stays gone.

Interesting that someone thought we would be interested in klonopin or cialis and post links which go no where.


Oh well …


Another weird happening last week was the apparent presence of borrowers, or possibly ghosts, in the house … specifically in computers. Three times I have turned off my computer only to have it turn back on later.

Once I turned it off after a final check of email and went to bed. I woke up around 2330 realizing there was a light shining when there should be no light. I got out of bed and found my computer blazing away.

A couple of days later, I turned off the computer after working on the minutes for the amateur radio club meeting and went downstairs. Within a hour, it had turned back on.

Sunday evening, just before Downton Abbey … it happened again.

And yesterday, George’s computer got involved.

It will no longer surprise me when it happens.


Health Report (in response to queries) …

George’s ear is fine. The surface scab over the area which had been frozen (to remove the keritosis) dropped off and the skin under it is clear.

George's Eye


George’s eyes are an ongoing concern. We saw the retinologist again last monday. George wound up with another black eye from the lidocaine injection preceding the laser treatment on the 17th. But the sight in his right eye has improved a bit. Next appointment will be 12 March.


And me ??? No further cardiac or gastric symptoms. Arthritis still an on-and-off event. Middle finger on my left hand is taking on more and more of an angle. I can still spin and knit and what can you expect at my age?

Thanks for asking. How are you?


While in Oregon, we shopped at the restaurant supply store. I get some items in the large economy size …Gallon Jugs

                                  sauerkraut, pickle relish, and rooster sauce.


From personal experience, I know that nurses are not always neat and clean, seated at a desk smiling. Most of them work hard … at hard tasks.

How many people are routinely asked to lift or move people weighing up to three times their own weight … on and off bedpans, toilets, x-ray tables, and operating tables … into and out of wheel chairs, gurneys, and beds … ?

I once had to deal with a woman who was so big it took meat hooks to lift her abdominal apron off her legs. She weighed more than 500 pounds. We had to take her, in her bed, down to the basement and use the freight scale in order to weigh her.

No wonder back and leg injuries are high on the list of troubles nurses have.

And now some hospitals are saying those are not work related injuries ???


We have new tenants … a pair of owls.

George discovered one first in trees to the northwest of the house. Then I heard it off to the southwest the following evening.

The next evening, as I went out to collect eggs and tuck in the ladies, I heard it off to the northeast of the barn … except there were two of them. Really interesting. Two voices in two registers … one soprano-tenor and one mezzo-baritone. They even sing two different riffs.

Maybe they will nest here and we will eventually get to see them. In the meantime, we will enjoy the sounds.


I  have decided to go back to wearing aprons.

I used to wear them all the time. When I was a 50s/60s housewife I had solid colour dresses with four or five patterned aprons in the same colour. That way I could wear the same dress most of the week and a different apron every day so I always looked fresh.

Over the years, here on the farm, I stopped wearing dresses and so the aprons went by the wayside as well.

Last week, while baking cookies, I found myself dusting off my hands on the sides of my pants and thought “That’s what aprons are for.”

I dug out some aprons which I had packed away, rather than given away, and started wearing them while doing kitchen work. Felt kind of good. Back to basics.

I may even get back to wearing dresses when working in the house with pants saved for garden work. That might mean I’ll need to start sewing again.


One day last week, there was a report on NPR about Iran and its bi-polar attitude toward the outer world … “Death to America” vs “We welcome you. Come visit.”

In the background of the interview, which was taking place in an outdoor tea room, was a guitar duo playing “Hotel California” (the Eagles’ hit). George and I were both laughing as we recalled the lyrics …

Last thing I remember,

I was running for the door.

I had to find the passage back

To the place I was before.

“Relax,” said the night man,

“We are programmed to receive.

You can check out any time you like,

But you just can never leave.”


A friend recently shared a photo of the Mountain taken from a plane by her relative, Maytal Abramson.

It is so lovely, I decided to share it with you …

Air View


It has been reported there are at least six people in the world who look exactly like you. There is a nine percent chance you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.

Many years ago, when I was working as a bookkeeper-teller for the Bank of America in Manhattan Beach, I got to work one monday morning to be asked why I has snubbed a fellow employee the saturday night before. He was at the local movie theatre and swore I was too. Not …

But a bit ago, George and I found this photo of a Brit taken about 1945 …Jocelyn Hemming1949


Compare it with me at about the same time.Prom 1946






And another time I saw this pic …


Compare it with my Daddy.Daddy 1946



It looked like my Dad, but was actually a Frenchman.

Weird …


It has gotten cold … down in the teens at night. I know that’s not COLD cold like they are having back east, and there is no moisture in it so no hope of snow. It just delays any outdoor work for three or four hours each morning.

25 February 2015

It is putting a kibosh on garden starts.

No snow … so we should be able to start the garden early. Then cold … so we have to wait.

The straw cover over the onion starts seems to be doing its job. The fruit trees aren’t yet coming into bloom. Potatoes are cut and drying, getting ready to plant. I need to get some straw bales. The fig tree is leafing out. And I will start seeds indoors in a week or so.

The rising sun has moved south of Black Butte and there is sun in the meadow by 0700. It is still light out after 1800.  Seems like a faster than normal change. Probably just due to my aging perception.


A truism to end the week …


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



So, ’til next week …







After the excitement of last week, this turned out to be a fairly quiet week … in spite of friday the thirteenth.




The white holiday cactus has decided to bloom again. It adds a bit of glory to an otherwise not-so-good winter.



We picked the last indoor tomato the first of the year. Did I already tell you that? The plant is still doing well, just no further tomato sets. If it continues to hang on, I’ll            re-replant it outdoors and maybe get a really early tomato set.

I recently found a post about growing herbs indoors in mason jars. Wouldn’t that be interesting.


Yesterday was the delayed trip to Oregon. It was a REALLY full day.

We left early …Dawn 17 Feb 2015

First stop was in Grants Pass for power system battery replacements. Two of the current array were dying of old age. And there is no sales tax in Oregon. (Seems I’ve said that before, but it came into mind as I typed … so …).

In addition to no tax, the owner gave George $5 off each battery because we had driven up from Weed. The distance cost about $10 in addition gasoline but each battery cost $30-40 less than in Medford. So (there’s that word again), that was about a $130 savings … and the drive along the Rogue was beautiful.

Grants Pass fog There was fog along the river highway,

Mt McLaughlin and an interesting view of Mt McLaughlin,

RR Bridge and of the arched bridge at the city of Rogue River …

Then back down to Medford (why do we always indicate south as down … probably northern hemisphere egocentric maps, right?). We made a couple of shopping stops (one at the restaurant supply store where I buy Rooster Sauce by the gallon), got gasoline at CostCo, and had dinner at the Sizzler.

We were a bit early for our appointment at the retinologist’s office. That’s when the fun began. It was about 1500.

As he checked for the efficacy of the previous laser treatment, the doctor discovered four other small tears around the retina edges (which he described as being at 12:30, 5:30. 9:15, and 4), one with a fluid leak (the one at 9:30). That meant another laser treatment. No problem, right? Wrong.

George was fourth in line. Three other patients also needed additional small repairs.

I asked the doctor what was happening and he said sometimes when a bad (i.e. medium or larger) tear is repaired, other smaller tears become visible. It was nothing to worry us.

We asked if there was a solitaire game on the computer on the desk so we could play while we waited. Rinkoff said sometimes he wished there was.

By the time George was prepped and in the correct room (after the three before him were finished), it was a bit after 1800. It was a long day for the staff as well. Some of the office help had left already. We teased about the doctor and staff missing dinner and he said they were having food delivered (but that was tongue in cheek).

We made the follow-up appointment and were out the door on our way home by 1830. It was already dark.

We were in the house and ready for bed by 2030, and due back for a further check-up next monday … this time in the morning.

Isn’t it interesting how life shakes things up to hold our attention?


I spent some time last weekend rearranging the 7-11 and discovered there are only 13 jars of Ruby’s left. Guess that means I’ll be doing at least three batches this coming year.

I’ll plant a dozen Amish Plum tomato plants in anticipation. Amish plums do better here than the Roma paste plums.


My mind seems to be doing a lot of daydreaming … wandering.

There was a news item last week which announced the Mayor of London was renouncing his American citizenship (he was born in New York to British parents) so he could run for Prime Minister. Made me think about the brouhaha over where Obama was born.

To become an American President, you must be born in the United States. Evidently all you need to become a Prime Minister in the United Kingdom is be a citizen.

That led me to wonder what would happen if the Speaker of the US House of Representatives was a naturalized citizen born outside the US and both the President and the Vice President were unable, for whatever reason(s), to perform their duties. I guess we’d have to hope the Secretary of State was native born.

Amazing where your mind can take you if you just let it go.


The onions are in, but we are scheduled to have below freezing temps for several nights. I’ll go out later today to add several inches of mulch over them.




The fig is sending out buds. A young friend in LA posted a picture of his fig buds … with leaves already. Oh well …



This morning a reporter on NPR described a countryside as resembling the covers on an unmade bed. Wow …

We don’t often get poetry with a news report.

Thank you, Steve Innskeep.


18 Feb 2015                                            Morning sun is coming earlier …


And finally, a thought for the week … 

We overlook so much happiness

because it costs nothing.


So … ’til next week …










Blog this week is late due to a full running creek loaded with debris which is causing a bit of a problem with power. But the solar panels have kicked in and so …


Last thursday we left home at 0440 and arrived at the Sacramento VA Medical Facility at 0945.




We left before dawn.First Light



It was overcast of the way south.



Sunrise (near Shasta Buttes) was interesting,Moonset


as was the Moonset.


There was a lot to see,Rice Fields


but the only good (?) picture I got was of the rice fields.


We got lost in the city only once and recovered in less than ten minutes. And because we arrived at the VA facility a bit early, John was not waiting for us, but arrived very shortly. We found a parking place and the correct building easily.New Cap

George was wearing his new cap so folks would know we really belonged there.

George checked in early and was with the doctor early as well.

The dark, raised spot on his ear was what the doctor called a “horn”. He took it off (slowly and carefully) and smiled. The diagnosis was “not a sarcoma … merely an enlarged keritosis … senile keritosis with an ego problem”. He froze the underlying area so it shouldn’t reappear and we were out of there in less than fifteen minutes. Our experiences with the VA have all been exemplary (except for the lack of a dermatologist in the far north which made the trip to Sacramento a necessity) … but that had a good side since we got to spend the day with John.

However, the speed of care presented a problem. It was all done just a bit after ten. We had thought it would be a BIG production and our only plans for the rest of the day were for dinner between noon and one. 

John said Spring was official in Sacramento since the plum trees had burst into bloom just a day or two previously.Plum Blooms

Museum Logo


John is a docent at the California Railroad Museum, so guess where we spent the next two and a half hours.


Some of the things we saw were …Cross Rails


the method used to get trains across tracks at a right angle …

Cab Forward


the cab forward John loves …




                                                             the round table …


Santa Fe



the lovely color and pattern of the Santa Fe logo …


Doll Houses

boxes in the refrigerator car which reminded me that my Daddy once worked in an orange box factory and that orange crates were my first doll houses …


Art 1


some rail spike sculptures …





and as close as I’ll probably ever get to a selfie.


Our visit ended with getting gifts for the younger grandson at the Museum Shop (got to get him indoctrinated into railroad mania while he’s still young). One gift was a wooden train whistle. I got the one-tone whistle, not the four. His parents will forgive us.

Only distraction was my right hip. I was a gimp most of the day. It was unusual. I usually get around quite well. Guess the combination of not taking my pain pills and sitting for a four hour drive did it. Things were back to normal friday morning.

Dinner at the Perko’s just a block from the museum was good. Drawback? There were no vegetables with my French dip (so I ate a big helping friday).

Then John got us back onto I-5, waved as he peeled off to go home, and I walked in the backdoor at 1758.

Long day … up at 0315 … bed at 1954.


We didn’t make the planned trip to Oregon last monday. Life got in the way.

I’d been having trouble with what felt like gastric reflux … to the point that it was disrupting my sleep. So, after two full days of discomfort (and remembering both my parents died of heart disease as well as that women tend to ignore reflux symptoms which might be cardiac), we cancelled the Oregon day and went to the Emergency facility instead.

Diagnoses. after several hours of testing (and a doctor who insisted on calling me “Sweetie”), was … NOT cardiac. It was a great relief although it left me feeling a bit foolish and embarrassed in spite of a nurse who asked “What took you so long to come in?”. I was told my heart is in remarkable condition for my age.

As a result of the gastric diagnosis, I won’t be eating anything after 1630 or 1700 in the evening, I may start with a prescription, and was advised to raise the head of the bed (which I may or may not do since I sleep on my stomach).


Because we spent monday taking care of me, we missed George’s appointment with the retinologist for the follow-up to the laser treatment. As a result, our trip to Oregon will be next tuesday. That means I’ll miss spinning this month. Oh well …


Rain report …

So far this month we’ve had a bit over 11″. If you’ve been following this blog, you know  my next sentence will be …

11 February 2015

              Here’s the  backyard with bountiful grass instead of the desired snow.


My brother (in-law) Don, died last saturday. His remaining children and a grandchild were there with Sally (George’s sister).

Hospice is a blessing.


Short blog this week …


Thought for the week …

Realize that everything that happens in your life is for a positive purpose. Some you will recognize, some you won’t. Frustrated? Just repeat    “This too is for the good.”



So, ’til next week …