18 April …

 

Last week, just after I posted the blog, I stepped out the front door to take some additional pictures and was greeted by the sound of Canada geese.

They’re back.

The sound of a wedge                                                                                                             Of geese overhead                                                                                                            Once heard, never forgotten.

~~~

Mark, Mike, Tyler, and Tiffany got “home” late last monday .  They had to come through a blizzard which shut down highways in western Nebraska, but they made it through.

I don’t know how late it was when they got here because I went to bed my regular time.  But they were all here (except Mike who went home to Dunsmuir) when I got up tuesday morning.

Now for a few days of adjusting to the expanded family.

~~~

This evening is radio club.  We’ll be starting the planning for the summer events.  It will be my first year without George and that will be interesting.

~~~

My left eye surgery is tomorrow morning. I started the eye drops yesterday.

~~~

Next saturday George will have been gone five months.

Last thursday was the last of the scheduled grief group meetings, but we have come to trust each other and will be getting together for support once (or more) a month. 

I have felt a bit weird about sharing this large life change with you all, but decided that the pundits who claim there is a correct way to grieve are so wrong that I’d share my experiences.  When it is your turn, know there is no “correct” or “right” or “appropriate” way … only your way and if you need help, ask for it.

 

 

I saw this on Facebook and shared it with the group.  I thought it might be helpful for some of you as well.

 

~~~

A week or so past I signed “good morning” to Paul when he came downstairs for breakfast.  I had taken courses in ASL some time ago and was rusty, but he thought it was great fun.  Now we practice together nearly every morning and some afternoons. 

We are developing a “code”, I am relearning, and he is learning and doing muscle training all at the same time.

~~~

Weather is having a go’round.                                           Last wednesday we had snow. 

Thursday morning the sun was ever so bright. Saturday the outdoor temperature reached 42º (I promised Paul no more hot oatmeal breakfasts this spring and summer once the morning temps reach 50º).  Sunday the rain and snow was back but melted by late afternoon.  Monday we awoke to a scattering of fresh snow and had snow showers on and off all day, mostly “corn” snow (the hard small pellets that resemble tapioca) and hoar frost (rime) all over the place.

As a result of the climate change, the climate divide between the “dry” west and the “wet” east on the continental US has moved 140 miles east.

~~~

And finally, here’s some advice for this week …

 

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

 

So … ‘til next week …

 

11 April …

 

Weather is moderating.  Monday the temperature was up near 70º.  Yesterday we had a rather good rain between 0800 and 1100 and then, when the sun came out …

I saw the first red on the maple tree. 

 

 

There are narcissus

 

 

 

and daffodils several places on the land …

 

 

 

and the first of the peonies is showing.

 

 

 

~~~

Last week was Spring Break.  Paul was home all week. 

Kamille is doing so much better. 

Mark left early last monday to go back to New York and help Tyler and Tiffany relocate to Mt Shasta.  

I had the second check of my eye on Thursday.  My right eye has gone from 20/60 to 20/20+ meaning I was able to read two of the five letters on the 20/20 chart. 

I got to spend some time in Yreka and was back in the south county in time for my grief group.  I had missed the meeting of the group the week before so it was helpful to get back this week.

~~~

On Friday we all went to Medford.  It was an interesting trip. 

We started in rain …

just north of Yreka we could see fog ahead …

and at the summit …

The main reason for the trip was my old leg bones.  They are having some trouble getting into position so I can trim my toenails, so I went to a podiatrist to have it done.  It made me feel awkward asking a “doctor” to cut my toenails.  Haven’t yet decided if I’ll do it again.

Mark and Kamille did some shopping while I was at the podiatrist’s, then we all went to dinner at Red Robin.  Did you know you get “endless” fries, fruit, and drinks with a meal there?

I did some shopping at CostCo (only three books).  It was at the new store and I got lost a couple of times … again. 

We were home in time for the ritual bedtime story.

The family may again start making an Oregon trip once a month or every six weeks.  It makes a long but satisfying day and the shopping prices are right.

~~~

Life at Cold Comfort is changing … rather drastically.

Not too long ago it was George and Wilma. 

Soon it will be Mark (my younger son), Kamille (his wife), Paul (his younger son), Tyler (his older son), Tiffany (Tyler’s partner), John (my older son), Mike (John’s partner), and me. 

So far, the last of the clan, Mikayla (Mark’s daughter), has not made the move west.  She will be visiting this coming summer, so who knows what the future holds.

This litany is because a couple of readers have contacted me saying they don’t recognize some of the folks about whom I am writing.

Hope this clears it up a little.

~~~

And life continues … 

This is the time to allow. Let things go. Be at peace with your transformation. Something greater and better is on the way.

So … ‘til next week …

 

 

4 April …

Sorry I am a bit late.  It has been an interesting week.

My first cataract surgery was last Thursday.  I was somewhat anxious.  However, that was just the least of the concerns for the next few days.

Daughter Kamille had been in pain (mid-right torso) for quite some time.  First diagnosis … ovarian cysts.  Wrong.  Second diagnosis …irritable bowel syndrome.  Wrong.  Third diagnosis … gall stones.  Correct.  Come  back for further work-up in two weeks.  Wrong.  Trip to Emergency late Wednesday afternoon … pictures taken … referred to surgeon (it was after office hours) … left message with surgeon requesting an appointment.

Thursday morning Mark took me to Ashland for the eye surgery.  All went well and we were on our way home by 1300.

When we got home about 1430, Kamille was waiting for us.  She was due at the hospital at 1500.  The surgeon had seen the pictures and scheduled her for surgery at 1700.  So Mark loaded her in the truck (we drive three trucks at this farm) and off they went.  Paul and I settled in (me with a pirate patch) to take care of each other and wait for word.

We finally gave up waiting and went to bed at regular time for a school night.

(Picture not for the squeamish … yes, those are gall stones))

As it turned out, Kamille’s surgery went okay but her recovery didn’t.  Her post-op pain was not controlled and they were sedating her heavily.  As a result, her oxygen saturation had dropped to 80 on room air (normal is 95+ or -), so she was admitted.  Mark didn’t get home until after midnight.

Friday Mark was due to drive school bus for Weed on the morning run, a field trip, and the afternoon runs and so was up at 0430.  He had planned to take Paul with him on the morning run and then take him to school. 

I had a post-op appointment with the eye surgeon in Yreka at 1050, but I took over with Paul.  We got to school early so I had a tour of the school and met several of his classmates (more about that another time).  I stopped in to see Kamille to let her know all was well with Paul (if it had been me, I would have been worrying about my son).  Then I went home to change for my appointment and took off for Yreka.

Mark was keeping track of what was happening with Kamille via phone.

I got home from Yreka just in time to do a quick shopping stop and meet Paul’s bus (it was a minimum day at school).  We had fish sticks, roasted asparagus, green salad, and malted moo ice cream for our dinner and shortly thereafter welcomed Kamille home.  She was still having a lot of pain, and went almost immediately to bed.

Saturday morning everyone slept in.

Mark had gotten a full night’s sleep.  Kamille’s pain was easing.  Paul was being a great help and being very protective of his mom.  And my eye was doing as expected.

My left eye will be done the 19th but without all the extras … we hope.

~~~

Weather is getting warmer.  The only patches of snow left (and they are small patches) are in well-shaded spots in higher elevations.

~~~

 This month, in honor of the coming of Spring, the painting I have chosen is called “Garden with Butterflies” and was painted in 1890 … just at the beginning of Van Gogh’s descent.

I can see the onset of his ability to see motion, sometimes at the expense of overall perception.

What do you think?

~~~ 

Paul lost his first baby tooth last saturday … the left lower central incisor. 

He was playing out in the meadow and accidentally dropped the tooth into the creek while washing the blood out of his mouth.  He came to tell me and said he was sad.  I said maybe there was a chance the water fairy would talk with the tooth fairy and everything would be okay, so he wrote a note to the water fairy saying he was sad because he lost the tooth and asking that they talk together.  He then put the note in an empty Tylenol bottle and put it in the creek where he had lost the tooth.

Sunday morning there was a quarter on his clock radio.  I guess the fairies were able to talk together.

~~~

As you all know, last Sunday was Easter.  NBC did a presentation of “JesusChrist SuperStar” updated from the 70s.  The staging reminded me a lot of the original production of “Hair” with everyone, including musicians, on stage. 

The music is heavy.  The casting was heavy.  The lesson is heavy.  There were too many commercials.  But for me, it was time well spent.

~~~

That was about enough excitement for the week … so …

Everything is going to be okay. Even when you feel unsure or confused, still believe that eventually everything will make sense.

‘til next week …

 

28 March …

 

Well … tomorrow is the big day … eye surgery.

Kamille has been helping me with eye drops. 

I guess I am as ready as I ever will be.

~~~

This is Easter week as well as Passover.  The children have been busy with church events and Monday we all went to a Episcopalian Seder.

The event was a bit interesting.  The “hostess” was a woman named Sarah who claims to be more Jewish than Christian.  My friend Atara used to serve in that role, but she is literally  …           “Next year in Jerusalem (Israel)”.

Highlight of the evening was when Paul (as the youngest participant) searched for and found the afikomen and then twice refused with a resounding “NO” when asked to give it to the host.  The third time he was asked he answered “Yes” and was greeted with full approval.  He had been coached by his mother and learned his role well.

What I found lacking were explanations of the meanings of items on the Passover plate.  I think not too many of the folks there realized their significance in spite of the information in the Haggadah.

And there was no dancing.  Oh well …

~~~

Last week the members of the radio club made a couple of big decisions. 

It was decided that with our increase in activities, other than socializing and using clubhouse equipment, we really need insurance.  The task of arranging it fell to me and I managed to do it with only two mistakes.  The first was easily correctable.  I had inadvertently added a coverage that raised the cost 50% but all I needed to do was back up and take it out.  The second required a bit more correcting.  I had listed my address instead of the clubhouse address and didn’t realize the error until the policy was issued.  It took just one email to correct that one … now it’s done and all is in order.

It was the first time I had done this task and it was done on line with a minimum of guidance from the insurance contact person.  Some instructions on the ARRL web site could be a bit clearer. I guess ARRL expected that anyone doing it actually knew what they were doing. Oh well …

The other big decision was to join the science festival as presenters spreading the word about the science used in amateur radio (math and physics) and its usefulness in many situations.  That makes a total of six commitments for the coming summer … the science festival, the 4th of July, and four sponsored events.  Events are scheduled from the middle of May through the end of September.

As an aside … a cousin has given me a recipe for a caramel-pecan pound cake which I think I will make for the next meeting.  It sounds like it will be a great success.  I need to get some of the ingredients next time I’m shopping and give it a try. 

The recipe is here …http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/special-dietary-needs/aunt-rockye28099s-caramel-pecan-pound-cake/

~~~

Winter is apparently not done with us yet.  Last week we had snow three days in a row for about a foot over all.  Temperatures are rising however, so Spring can’t be too far away.

~~~

And to finish, a note of advice …

You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Don’t judge yourself or be hard on yourself about how long something is taking. Just be thankful that you made it this far.

 So … ‘til next week …

 21 March …

 

Another week … four months …

~~~

Tonight is the radio club meeting. 

We have been asked to present an “instructive” booth about amateur radio and its uses at a science festival in May.  Sounds like a good idea to me.  Maybe include some of the better students from the middle school radio class in the presentation (not all hams are old fogies).

We’ll see what the members think and I’ll report back next week.

~~~

The weather we’ve been having is the kind we used to expect in late December and through January.  Here it is, equinox and we’d been getting snow steadily.  The next snowfall is due to start tomorrow evening.

It had been snowing all day last thursday when I had to go into town for my therapy group. I was hesitant, as I have been about a lot of things since George died. But I pulled up my big girl panties and went.

The reward was worth it (even through the drifts and ruts … the road is in terrible condition with all the traffic nowadays).

The scenery was like a picture book wonderland.

 

 

Reminded me big time of why we chose this place to live.

 

 

~~~

The St Patrick’s Day dinner was a great success for the lodge fundraiser. Paul and I didn’t go.  Mark and Kamille were working (cook and server), and Paul had a bad cough (a large room with lots of diners is no place for a kid with a juicy cough). Mark brought dinners (and leftovers) home for us so we were able to share in the corn beef and colcannon. 

Truth be told … I am a bit weary of cabbage.

~~~

Have I told you I am taking a psychotropic?  I saw the doctor for my pre-surgery physical on the 5th and I was crying when he came in … so we discussed widow’s depression and he put me on a low dose.

I saw him for follow-up last Monday and discovered I am in the 1% of people who experience side effects … tremor (as if my “essential” tremor wasn’t enough) and hot flashes.  Fun.  But I decided to stay on the medication for another month or so. 

I’m sure I won’t be done grieving by then, but I won’t still be depressed.  At least I hope not.

~~~

A while ago I came across a television series on the NetFlix list called “Designated Survivor”.  I thought it was a scifi apocalypse show and ordered it (as you most likely know by now, I’m a longtime scifi aficionado).

Turns out it is a DC show about what happens when the capitol is blown up during a State of the Union speech and the “designated survivor” become President.  It is a pretty good show and the family has been watching.  It seems to have everything …          under-rated man makes good, extra smart wife, DNA problems, conspiracy theories, alt-righters, ethnic inclusions, and … and …

It isn’t Aaron Sorkin (“West Wing”) but it promulgates an entirely different perception of the “Designated Survivor”.  If you are intrigued by insider views and by mysteries, try it and let me know what you think.

~~~

 

This morning it is raining so the snow is gone for now. 

 

Regardless, the fig tree in the solarium thinks it is Spring.

 

 In closing, here’s the advice for this week …

 

Once a day give someone a full smile (even if only yourself in a mirror).

 

So … ‘til next week …

14 March …

 

Rain …leading to snow.

Maybe the last for this winter.

~~~

My life is settling into a dull routine, but I am not yet ready to shake things up.  Up in the morning, start the fire, make the breakfast, check the email, make my bed, and ??? 

Just for a change (and because I have trouble getting my feet into position to cut my toenails nowadays), I called to make an appointment for a pedicure.  Would you believe that in this open range, cattle county the local pedicurist is booked into the second week of April?

Oh well …

~~~

Mark’s lodge is holding a St. Patrick’s Day dinner (fundraiser for the women’s group) next Saturday.  He will be cooking the corned beef.  And I won’t have to make dinner that day. 

I’m not a corned beef fan, but I’ll eat it and be glad.

~~~

Have you any idea how many people are awake and already (or still) at work at 0500?  I used to work the graveyard shift in the Emergency Department, but even then I was unaware of how many others are working at that hour.

In our house, the scanner monitoring emergency radio (medical, fire, CalTrans, etc.) is always on.  Most of the time when I go downstairs in the morning, there is something going on somewhere in our part of the county … a 76-year-old who is unresponsive and having trouble breathing; a barn fire with possible grassland spread; an erratic big rig on I-5; a broken-down snow plow; black ice on the freeway; a cow in the road; a 17-year-old trapped in an overturned vehicle; a berm blocking a garage door; a 54-year-old who fell from his horse and is now having chest pain; etc. … so there are police, highway patrol, firefighters, emergency department staff, ambulance personnel, dispatchers, road maintenance folks, and a lot of others awake and working.  Sort of awesome.

Of course, it is still winter with all that entails.  It will be interesting to see what other seasons are like.

~~~

There are seven people in the grief group, including the facilitator.  And that’s all I can tell you.

~~~

Finally, a line from the book I just finished reading …

“… she was increasingly able to enjoy her memories without being overtaken by the sense of loss.”

Maybe … soon …

 

So … ‘til next week.

 

7 March …

 

Another week …

The next round of this winter’s snow began a little after 0900 last Wednesday … very light snow … but by thursday morning we had a full six inches here at Cold Comfort. 

It was deeper both to the south and the north and the local schools were closed.

Because it was a heavy, wet snow the plows were having trouble moving it.

By Friday morning we’d had another four to eight inches, but it was light and fluffy so the roads weren’t a problem.  My home job was to keep the front walk and the area between the back door and the wood shed passable, and to tend the fire.

 

 

Sunday morning there were icicles more than a yard long hanging off the roof on the north side of the house.

 

~~~

The water heater situation has been resolved as has the tractor concern … with the exception of lights. 

Mark made a trip to Medford and got all he needed to get the tractor in working condition so he would be able to clear the drive and road of snow.

George had been able to wait until after morning light, but Mark has to plow in the very early morning.  Trying to drive, hold a flashlight, and plow correctly is a challenge, so getting running lights on the tractor is a high-priority project for next summer. 

~~~

I have joined a grief therapy group.  It was to hold its first meeting last Thursday.  Snow day.  So the sessions have been set back a week.  First meeting will be tomorrow.

I am not handling this part of my life as well as I would like.

~~~

The Van Gogh for this month caught my eye because it seems to have been done during the very early stage of his later “seeing” which incorporated air movement as part of perception.  This was painted in 1890 and the lines are beginning to move.  Not as much as in the night picture we all know, but some movement.  What do you think? 

It is titled “Houses and Figure”.  

~~~

I failed to report the adventure Paul and I had a week ago.  A typical Dibelka adventure.

Paul was supposed to come home on the bus and his Mom was to meet him at the stop and bring him the rest of the way.

About a quarter past three, I was curious to see where Kamille was and came up to check her APRS on the computer.  Instead, there was an email from her saying she had been asked to work late so would I please go get Paul.

The bus is due at Paul’s stop some time between 1535 and 1550.  It normally takes me between twenty-five and thirty minutes to get to the stop in clear weather.  There was snow on the dirt roads and it had been a long time since I drove in snow (George and I usually just holed up when there was snow on the roads).  I did my best (praying all the way that I wouldn’t have any trouble driving and that the bus would be a bit late).

I arrived at the stop at 1540 realizing that, if the bus had been there, I had no idea of the route it would take back to the school so trying to intercept it would not be possible.  I decided to wait until 1600 before I panicked.

The bus arrived at 1553 and I heaved a sigh of relief.

Paul and I got buckled in and settled and I turned the ignition … NOTHING!

No electricity into the truck at all.  No way to start the truck.  No way to radio Mark or Kamille, or to hear them if they tried to call me. 

Many, many cars went past without slowing at all. 

So Paul and I sat.  We read (which is part of his kindergarten homework).  We drew and coloured.  We told each other stories.  We tried to think of words which begin with the letter X (try it).

Finally, after nearly an hour and a half, someone stopped.  It was a longtime friend who lives on Hammond Ranch.  But he didn’t have any jumper cables with him.

Kamille wasn’t off work yet.  Mark had not gotten home from work yet … so neither of them was aware that Paul and I were missing.

My friend called a mutual friend to see if he had jumper cables.  He did (I thought George had a set in the truck, but I couldn’t find them) and then the first friend left us to go to the mutual friend’s house to get the cables.

When he got back to us, he hooked the cables up, discovered the clamp on the battery’s positive pole was loose, attached the cables (which tightened the clamp), and told me to start the truck.  It started right off.

I was told to tell Mark about the loose connection and sent on my way home.

We arrived home without further incident. 

Mark had just gotten home.  Kamille was on her way home.  I told Mark about the connection and set to work preparing dinner while Paul explained his homework.

Did I forget to tell you the temperature was hovering around freezing?

A typical Dibelka adventure.

~~~

 And here’s the thought for this week …

I was asked “Why do you always take the hard road?”

I replied “Why do you assume I see more than one road?”

 

So … ‘til next week …

 

28 February …

 

The year is revolving.  Soon it will be Spring.  Already it is light enough in the morning for the family to leave for work and school without flashlights or porch lights.

Evenings are staying light until almost 1800.

Temperatures, however, are a different story.  It is still staying in the high 20s and very low 30s.  We’ve been having snow showers almost daily … showers until sunday night.  We woke up monday to between four and six inches of new, fluffy snow (Photoshop not working … pictures next week).

~~~

Yesterday I had an appointment to have my eye measured for the surgery.  Surgery will be the end of March.

~~~

We had a breakdown in the water system one day last week.  Pressure in the tank out in the pump house dropped to zero.  Kamille was trying to do laundry and I had dishes to do.

For a bit, everything was either not working or working incorrectly.  Poor Mark …

Then we began listing … and the list started with “where all does the water go?”  Barn … chicken house … main house.  Ah ha !!!

Turned out one of the pipes at the chicken house had sprung a leak.  Quick fix.  Back in business.

Another crisis solved at Cold Comfort Farm.

But that was followed by the MAJOR crisis of winter 2017-18.

In the past, the New Year’s Crisis has occurred on the first of January (Welcome to the New Year).  The one I remember most vividly is when the well pump went out.  George and I had to haul 120 feet of pipe up out of the well, take off the old pump, put on the new pump, and reset the pipe and get it working … all while it was snowing.  Can’t remember the year, but it was not more than 10 years ago.  We have a replacement available.  I just hope the next time it goes (the old one had been in place about 30 years), it goes in better weather.

But back to this year’s crisis.

Last week we had a situation when the water to the hot water heater (a flash heater) had frozen and then thawed with no problem.  Yesterday was a different situation.  Something in there broke and I got home from the eye doc appointment to about half an inch of water on the floor in the kitchen/clothes washer area.

We got it cleaned up (the ShopVac George had bought cleaned up water … thanks George) and the drip was rerouted out of the house by dinnertime.

Mark and Kamille went to town right away and came home with a new water heater.  It was in place by bedtime.

This morning Mark is on his way to a plumbing supply store in Medford to get the parts he needs to get the house’s hot water supply working.

He will also be getting the parts he needs to repair the tractor with the snow plow so he will be ready to open the drive and the road between our drive and next road down.  We are expecting snow Snow SNOW tonight and for the next three days.

Taking care of Cold Comfort Farm can be a fulltime job in the winter.

~~~

While going through another set of shelves in the process of sorting and clearing, I found a book I don’t remember seeing before.  “Labyrinth” by a Brit, published in 2005.

It is a story about an archaeologist and is set in the  current time and at the time of the Crusade against the Cathars.

I’ve been interested in the Languedoc for some time, so I’m enjoying the reading.

About halfway through the book, I discovered underlining (which is something I do in my own books).  Seems I’ve read this book before and it was time for me to reread it for the information/wisdom it contains. 

~~~

I am still trying to learn my place in the new “family”.  Nothing is settled. 

Onward …

~~~

Finally …

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

 So … ‘til next week …

21 February …

 

It’s been a quiet week …

Last wednesday, Paul and I were babysitting each other in the early evening.  It had been a chilly day.  Then, when it was time to go out to close the chicken house, it began to snow … corn snow … the kind that falls in tiny hard drops like beads.

 

We went out in it to do our chore and both came in with snow in our hair.

 

Then on sunday we again had snow.

January and February have always been the winteriest of the months here on Cold Comfort.  This February seems to be holding true.  Temperatures have been hovering around freezing.

Monday the well pump failed to work correctly.  Mark thought there might be a problem with a relay, but it turned out to be a bit of ice in the works which melted as the day warmed.  That event resolved easily. There is now a blanket around the pump area.

Tuesday morning there was no water in the hot water lines.  Again, the weather was the problem.  Evidently the water line into the flash heater froze.  It was flowing again by noon.  The entire system will be replumbed this coming summer.

~~~

Radio club meeting is this evening.  What to do with or about the summer events will be the big discussion as will the class at the local middle school.  Report to follow.

~~~

Also last Wednesday … I received two gifts. 

As I was putting my groceries in the truck, a clerk came out to me and handed me a red rose. She said a man had come up to her and asked her to give it to me because my husband was not with me this Valentine’s Day. She either didn’t know who he was or wouldn’t tell me.


It made me cry.

And when I was having trouble getting the gas cap off so I could fill the tank in the pickup, the man at the next pump came over and opened it for me saying “You just need a little more strength.”

Two gifts …

~~~

Some time ago, George and I had taken classes in Tai Chi from a neighbor who has since died.  We kept practicing for a time, but gradually stopped.

Lately I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea to start again.

I found my book on Chi Qong and did my first session thursday morning (it is supposed to be done before you eat).  I was too ambitious.  The directions were to do the knee and shoulder warm-up by doing the rotations thirty times.  I should have stopped between ten and fifteen that first time.  Left knee complained as did the entire body during the standing time.

~~~

Today marks three months and here’s a reminder for us all …

Express appreciation, and be frequent in your praise.

 

So … ‘til next week …

14 February …

 

This could have been a very bad day had George and I been into mushy holidays.  As is, it is centered on cards for those in Paul’s class and the Fat Tuesday dinner at the church which the family attended.

The dinner was last night and reminded me of the Jewish practice of clearing the house of leavening before a special holiday.  The idea of Fat Tuesday is to make sure none of the forbidden foods are within reach during the Lenten days to come.

Fat Tuesday = fat, sweet pancakes.  It was the first time that church had done a pancake dinner.  Mark took the makings for gluten free cakes and they were the hit of the evening.  Seems a lot of folks knew nothing about gf food.

Mark has ideas about adding to the fun of that meal … zydeco music, colours, etc.  It will be interesting to see what it looks like next year.

~~~

The monthly trip to Medford was cancelled.  The scheduled day was yesterday.  I was already booked for pancake dinner at the church and John is doing jury duty.

~~~

The weather had been unseasonably warm … in the mid to high 50s.  Then it dropped a few degrees and we had about an inch of snow over the weekend.  Not enough to really count.

Of course, none of that was as severe a seasonal change as they are having further east and to the north.  When the jet stream is to the south of us, something is very different.

On Tuesday, it was noted in the LA Times … “Up in Northern California most of the region has never recorded such a dry winter. The snowpack in the Sierras is anemic. This storm will help a bit. But it’s too little too late, unless there’s a March miracle.”

Here is what we have …~~~

Still working at rearranging the house.  Guess that will never end.  But I have my spinning/knitting corner and that’s comforting.

~~~

Days are getting noticeably longer.  In a week or two, it will be light when Paul leaves for school.  He already has over an hour of daylight when he gets home around 4. 

It is still dark before bedtime however.

Only four months until dusk at 2300.

~~~

We’ve been watching the Olympics as often as possible.  Mark found a way for us to watch the skating without hearing the commentary (although I do like Johnny Weir).  I enjoy seeing the skaters and hearing the music without the judgments. 

Mark enjoys the cross-country skiing and the speed skating and the sled events.  Kamille is a skating fan.  And Paul can ignore any of it.

~~~

Sometimes during this time of forced change, nothing seems right … no matter what …

so …

 If you cannot find a good companion with whom to walk, walk alone.  (That way no one sees your tears or hears your yowls)

 ‘til next week …