I had an interesting thing happen last week when I went into a local thrift store (New2You) to look for pitchers to add to my ceiling collection (based on the collection hanging from the ceiling in a public house in Cornwall). I found a couple of small ones I liked and went to pay for them. The woman at the cash register asked if there was anything else I might like. I told her I had come in specifically looking for a Santa pitcher for the holidays. She turned and motioned to some framed prints on the wall behind her and said something to the effect that “We have these.”

It took a couple of seconds for me to realize the mispronunciation of “picture” as “pitcher” has become so ubiquitous the disconnect is heard even when the words are pronounced in accordance with the speaker’s intent.

Oh well …


Weather report … Rain started (again) late tuesday and didn’t end until friday.Reservoir 16 Dec 2014


The reservoir is looking better than it has in several months. But it is only a drip in the proverbial bucket.


Along with that storm, we had strong winds. They had winds in the 80 mph range north of here in Montague. That’s hurricane strength. Our strongest was  only ~30. That’s enough.

We need SNOW, and lots of it … 150% of normal at least. We did get a flurry late sunday, enough to whiten the ground for a bit. I hope that is a promise of more.

Backyard Snow                                                I’m greedy … I want MORE!


Another of my friends is dying. She had lymphoma a few years ago and got past that. But it is back … in multiple spots … and is inoperable.

This year’s harvest ended in August. I am hoping this is a single event, not the start of another harvest.

Candles burning …


Anyone else notice how the past is appearing in unexpected places?

     A “time capsule” found in New England …

          Hidden tefillin found in the Czech Republic …

               The layout of Old Sarum resurfaced in Somerset …


Yesterday was spinning at Amanda’s near Yreka. Holiday potluck at her place is a tradition for the group. An interesting thing happened … one of the “Ladies” brought a full spiral-cut ham. After it was set out, she asked the group to pay for it since it was so big a contribution. Whhaaaat! Then this morning, while making out my shopping list for the week, I discovered those hams were on a BuyOneGetOne sale.sheep

The gift I put in the exchange was 4 ounces of Merino fiber and a dragon wrapped around a bell (for a bell ringing spinner). Cindy, who raises angora rabbits, got it. I got a set of glass tchotchkes… three white sheep and one black.


The picture was taken by Leslie (front right). Spinners 2014Now on to another year of spinning and knitting. The Peacock yarn from Spinzilla awaits. I start Mikayla’s shawl after all the holiday fuss is done. In addition, I have some lovely Blue-faced Leicester fiber called “Blackberry” waiting to be spun. I’ve not spun Leicester before. No project in mind for it yet.


A friend has a friend who works at JPL and here’s a response to my question about space photos from last week … 

I put your question to a bunch of astrophysicists, and they said there were several reasons for the non-spherical shape of supernova debris. First, the stars are rotating before they explode, so the gasses tend to get thrown out radially from the axis of rotation.  Also, the rate of spin varies a lot with distance from the equator, causing different centrifugal forces on material at different latitudes.  But the wild card, according to one of them, is that they’ve seen huge waves set up in stars just before they explode, which introduces extremely non-linear forces on the material being ejected.

… and my son explained …

When we look through glass holiday ornaments we perceive the sphere as a sphere almost entirely because its smooth surface reflects light from other sources on the observer’s “side” of the sphere in a very particular way, primarily due to the relative brightness of the light source and the interaction between the surface of the sphere and the atmosphere we breathe.  What we perceive as “halos” around stars are simply those areas of truly spherical aggregations of matter which, from our point of view, contain the largest number of reflective particles aligned in a straight line between the infinite distance and our eyes or recording devices. On a piece of paper, draw a circle to represent a sphere, using a wedge-tipped felt pen.  Now take a ruler and a very sharp pencil and draw a line through the exact center of the sphere.  The fine line will intersect the felt marker line in two points: one will be invisible to you because it is, from your point of view, behind the star, while the other will be between you and the star but will be invisible to you because the vast majority of light it reflects will be aimed away from you, back at the star at the center.  Now draw two lines parallel to the first, one above and one below, which intersect the circle in such a way as to pass through the maximum possible amount of the thicker circle before re-emerging.  These lines represent areas where a spherical field of space debris becomes visible to us at great distance because the irregular surfaces of the component bodies scatter much larger proportions of the light from the central star in our direction.

Things are a bit clearer now (even though I failed Physics three times). But as I told my son, I still like the idea that we are being shown only what we are able to understand and accept.

~~~Winter Tomatoes

There are still tomatoes to go on the bruscetta for the radio club potluck this evening.

17 Dec 2014

Rain and light snow flurries this morning.


And a note on gift giving …

Not all gifts need take a physical form. Some of the greatest acts of generosity involve simple gestures of understanding or sympathy.


So “til next week …        





Yesterday was the last meeting of the Tobacco Education Council for this year.

Our local County Supervisor was there. I had invited him so he could see that we’re actually doing things, not just lunching together (although we do that too).

Meeting went well with lots of information from all the projects in the works … some useful comments and source advice (equipment, money, other helpful groups) … and good tapas from the best Mexican restaurant around. I shared hand-poured Winter Candles (A Winter Candle burned down to the socket puts joy in your heart and coins in your pocket) which were anticipated (and awaited) by some and a surprise to others. Made me feel good.

The project committee on which I serve is on hiatus until the first of next year. However, that doesn’t mean this is a quiet time of year. Spinning next tuesday and then the amateur radio potluck followed by another Family History Center session.

Oh well … as I’ve repeatedly said, better busy than bored.


Am I the only one who wonders about the perspective of space pictures from the Hubbell and other telescopes? To me, they all look as if they were staged especially for our cameras, or computer enhanced.

I think about the idea that everything emanating from a source such as a nova or a distant sun or whatever should be moving “out” equally in all directions, even toward us. So the resulting stuff should be a sphere rather than a halo, right? Then why do we see things so clearly? Why is there not gazillions of miles of haze and debris and other space stuff between us and the center of the photo?

If someone takes a picture looking into a snow storm or a sand storm or fog there is usually a haze of snow or sand or fog making for at least a slightly blurred picture. Why doesn’t that happen with space pictures? Why are there clear windows aimed at us? Is space stuff transparent?

Oh well … I enjoy space pictures anyhow.


Another round on the subject of musical phrases which show up in unusual places …

“Ding dong, the witch is dead” and Glazunov’s 9th Symphony. What an unlikely couple.

Offenbach in “Tales of Hoffmann” (He survives. What relief.) and the overture to “The Barber of Seville” by Rosini. Two egos … Hoffmann and Figaro?


Here it is two weeks after Thanksgiving and I still have not needed to go back to store-bought tomatoes. That’s a good thing. Of course, the ones remaining are small and good for only salads, salsa, or a pot of sauce.

I had thought our local grocery was moving toward more accountability in food. Then last thursday I was talking with a checker who is also my friend and she was quite down. She said the powers that be in management don’t seem to get it. Their current sales push for the holidays is heavy (HEAVY) with highly processed stuff full of who knows what. I’m learning to read the stickers in the produce section, and that’s the place I do the majority of my shopping.

Fortunately, I have stocked up and have been throwing off my Betty Crocker persona so most of the stuff in the 7-11 is healthful stuff. I’ve been making my own mixes etc. for some time now. Current project is dried herb mixtures such as Italian and Provence and poultry.  

I feel so virtuous.


Genealogy report … George is dead.

I was working on Family Search with a client last thursday and, during a learning session, I went to my part of the tree to demonstrate a technique and discovered someone named CMShaffer had put George into the tree and marked him as deceased.

Both of his sisters had also been entered as deceased. Maybe CM is so young s/he thinks anyone over 60 is already dead. George is 86. Sally is 90. Susee is 69.

I contacted CMShaffer. She turns out to be a marry-in, like me, whose husband is a third cousin to George.

I will be contacting her and sending her all of Grandfather Shaffer’s research.


Grammar Police Alert …FewerVsLess


Sunday was the 7th and, as usual, we watched “Tora Tora Tora”. What a film. Authentic languages and predominately authentic facts. We wondered this year, how Jason Robards (who had been a mere swabbie at Pearl) dealt with playing Short, and became more convinced Nomura was an honorable man who was caught in a technical snafu.

Watching each 7 December has become a tradition.

In addition, the reruns of last year’s Downton Abbey started last sunday … only three weeks more until the new season. But you know that already.


We’ve had more than five inches of rain since the first of the month and are expecting more than six inches more over the next couple of days.

10 Dec 2014

But no snow …



A Note about travel …

Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” – Charles Kuralt

(unless you take the train)



 So, ’til next week (when the Winter tree will be in place) …





One holiday down. Three to go.

Before Dinner

As I put it on the table …

After Dinner

An hour later …

Dirty Dishes

Friday morning …

Give thanks for dirty dishes.

They have a tale to tell.

While other folks go hungry

We’re eating very well.

I first heard this couplet from Jeanette Peel, wife of the pastor of the small church in Northridge to which I belonged when my youngest son was a baby. I continue to think of it every holiday.

A couple of things which have become sort of traditions occurred right on time.

We watched the classic WKRP flight of the turkeys. Oh, the humanity …       


And I got to listen to Charles Laughton tell his Chartres story once again.


It was a good day …


Still on the subject of food … a Facebook friend asked for one of my holiday leftover recipes. I posted …

@Max …
You asked for my recipe for pot pie … it’s a simple, complicated one. I’ve been thinking how to post it … so here goes …
Start by putting the leftover meat (chicken, turkey, ground beef) into a mixing bowl – how much you use depends on what you have and how many you plan to feed and what their appetites are like.
Add chopped vegetables – any kind … whatever and however much you have (either fresh from the garden or leftovers).
Add any leftover gravy you have sitting around or make a medium roux with chicken stock or bouillon and add to the meat and vegetables until the consistency seems right.
Pour the whole thing into an oven proof dish and top with a 1-2-3 pie crust (made with vodka for flakiness) and call it “Pot Pie” … or top it with leftover mashed potatoes and call it “Shepherd’s Pie”.
Then bake until the inside is bubbling and the topping has browned.
Serve with a green salad of some kind (we like avocado and orange with this) and a full glass of whatever.

How does that sound?

Pot Pie


The number of responses, and their geographical range, surprised me. I had thought it was so vague no one would take it seriously. It came out of being trained to cook by a Depression survivor, i.e. nothing is wasted.


But I was wrong about it being accepted as a recipe. One response really impressed me. It showed up on Atara’s FB page saying “Wilma Dibelka … I did it.” with this picture.Atara's Pot Pies


Blessed are the “leftover” cooks.




It is still dark outdoors at 0700 and dark again by 1630. Only 18 days until Solstice. Then we can all sing with the Beatles …

     “Here comes the Sun King …”


Are you any good with anagrams? Not me.

I am pretty good at most puzzles like rearranging squares to form a picture or quickly matching colours or finding hidden objects or crosswords … but not anagrams. I can do them. It just takes time and concentration. Then, when the word pops out, it’s slap-the-forehead time because it was so obvious. Oh well …

Here are a few for you to try.   tvicana   nmbtaees   eosprroity

I’ve been stuck on these for a few days now. When you get them, let me know.


Spent a little time on genealogy last week. A friend doesn’t know much about her background and she gave me one name. Found location and even a picture. That was fun. We’ll go farther later.


There were a couple of interesting items last week on a genealogy site I read …

One searcher found a member of her German family had been on trial at Nuremberg as a result of being a Himmler lieutenant and she is having trouble accepting the relationship. Most genealogists were telling her “If you knew about my family what I know about my family …” or variations thereof. I’ve got Loyalists as well as Patriots during the Revolution and some murderers and not a few five and six month babies (and a couple who arrived before the preacher did). I would bet every family researcher could see that poker hand and raise me at least one.

The other item was a post by a southerner who had lines full of incest (his post started out with “My Great-grandfather was also my Grandfather …”). He is having trouble building a pedigree chart (you think?).

Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh … the fun of genealogy.


Last friday the predicted rain began around 0930 and had a bit (a very little bit) of snow mixed in. Had it been all snow it would have been about 5″.Rainy Boardwalk

More soft rain on saturday, sunday, monday, and tuesday but without snow. Keep hoping.

Oh well …


There was an article on NPR last weekend about the spinners and knitters on the Shetland Islands. On the islands there are ~400,000 sheep and fewer than 60,000 people. The northern area knits fine, i.e. lace,  and the southern area does Fair Isle.

I have a connection to the Shetlands.

I heard about Shetland lace and ring shawls when I was a beginning knitter, and wanted to do that.

The Shetland Islands’ women started knitting “ring” shawls to sell to the seamen who called at the islands (that was before airports). They would pay BIG money for the shawls to take home to their women, more than for regular knitting. Ring shawls are large shawls which are done with yarn so fine that a shawl weighing five or six ounces can be six foot square and pass through a wedding ring.

That caught my imagination so over the years I learned to spin very fine and eventually was able to do similar shawls.

It was an interesting article about Urst and the other islands. The women still spin and knit, no longer because they have to … now just because it gives them pleasure.


The first of the lead-ins to the new season of Downton Abbey was on PBS last sunday (we didn’t watch past the first few minutes … too many next season spoilers). Now come four sundays of recapping last year’s season.

I am particularly fascinated by Edith and Lady Violet. However, were I living in that time, I think I’d prefer to be downstairs.


My hair is rarely a subject of conversation. Consequently, I was surprised last week when one morning George said “Your hair looks nice this morning.” Some of the front had fallen across my forehead and sort of looked like the bangs I used to wear. So I asked if he like my hair pulled back or in bangs. After some hemming and hawing he finally choose bangs. I think he had an opinion all along but was reluctant to say.

Guess what happened …Bangs


3 December 2014

It’s raining …


And here’s a reminder for us all …


“Sometimes you have to act braver than you feel,”   … Rae Tutera,


Coming up in the next week … Family History Center, the return of the MET, Tora Tora Tora, Downton Abbey, and the Tobacco Educational Council.


So … ’til next week …








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.






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.



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 …


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.




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.



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.


That time of year I guess.



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”.




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.



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.


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 …