Well … as you know by now, the blog didn’t get posted yesterday. I came down with a belly problem monday evening and spent all day tuesday and wednesday mostly on my back. When called upon, George does a more than passable imitation of a nurse.

I still have a few not-so-goods left, but I’m ready to post today, even if it is later than usual.

~~~

17 April 2014                                                    This morning is sunny …

Mikayla's Tree                                       And Mikayla’s tree has come into bloom.

~~~

There was a lunar eclipse monday night. I got up at 2330 in spite of not feeling my best. It was not a Bad Moon Rising, but a Blood Moon high.

When I got outdoors, the Moon was nearly three-quarters dark already. I had  my camera and sat down in the car, with the door open, to watch. It was quite a show, although my camera is incapable of catching scenes like that. As the Moon gradually went dark, more and more stars became visible. Even a faint star very near the Moon at 5 o’clock suddenly appeared. And after a bit, I could see the Milky Way. I think the reddish light I was seeing a bit further from the Moon at one o’clock may have been Mars.

I wasn’t able to stay for the entire show. The Moon was still bloody when I came back in to bed. But just before I came, in a meteor flashed across the view with a lingering, glowing trail.

The sky puts on great shows and provides fuel for the imagination.

~~~

I have been spending time on the Coit-Hall family connection in Maine at the end of the 18th century. There have been some interesting items, but so far no real breakthrough.

Quilt Photo3I did receive a copy of a photograph of that quilt I was telling you about last week. Cousin Roberta sent it and this copy is readable. I was surprised to find my father on it. He is bottom center … white embroidery on dark red.

 

The quilt is dated 1902 and Daddy was born 11 September 1902. So the quilt was “finished” after that.

 

 

Guess I won’t need to make a trip south after all.

~~~

There was a report on NPR last week about “essential” tremors. It contained a lot of information I already knew, and was a boost in that others are beginning to recognize that those of us with an essential tremor (which I have told you is not at all “essential”) are not faking … or in denial that we have Parkinson’s.

It seems there is no treatment, other than experimental brain stimulation implantation, but someone has finally zeroed in on its implications for the lives of those of us with it. Mine seems to have targeted my hands, particularly my left. I may be facing a time when I can no longer knit. I think I will still be able to spin, so I will turn the knitting over to others.

The report said that alcohol, in small doses, may relieve symptoms for short periods of time. The drawback is that alcohol, like a lot of medications, becomes less effective over time so the amount needed increases. Does that mean those with essential tremors wind up as alcoholics? Interesting …

~~~

Our DeerOur deer are back in the area next to the house. Should be another few weeks until delivery time. Stay tuned.

~~~

Arlo Guthrie was in Redding a bit ago. For weeks preceding that appearance, we were listening to advertisements over our local NPR station which featured bits of “Alice’s Restaurant” and “City of New Orleans”. Those bits triggered thoughts from long ago when I thought being a “celebrity” was a goal to be desired.

I still see Arlo as young, dark-haired, bare-chested (except for a tie), wearing a bowler … although he is now a grey-haired grandfather.

Thanks to the ads, I listened to him sing the first bars of those songs over and over and over and … and thought ‘What kind of life is that. Repeating yourself over and over and over and …?’  It must be at the very least boring, and maybe even enough to make you hate the songs you are required to repeat ad infinitum. I wonder what Mr. Guthrie would say were I able to ask him about that.

I no longer envy celebrities.

~~~

We made a trip to Yreka last thursday, leaving early in the morning. As we were going north through the Shasta Valley I noticed the rising sun just lightly touching the fields of lava rocks. It outlined the rocks, making them leap out in abstract designs. I can’t really describe the picture. You’d have to see it.

Another eyegrabber was the big whatevers which do the irrigating in the alfalfa fields up there. They look like enormous caterpillars creeping slowly across the fields. And when the water is flowing, there are rainbows everywhere.

Coming south through the valley on the way home, with the Mountain ahead, is a view that once left me with the understanding that if there is a heaven I hope it is like where I live right now.

~~~

I noticed a new look to some foodie magazines in the stores last week. There were several with titles like “Start from Scratch” and “Cook Fresh”. It made me think it’s time to go through my recipe collections and if a recipe says “1 can” or “1 package” or “1 box” or anything indicating a pre-prepared ingredient, out it will go since with the advent of GMOs and all kinds of additives, who knows what you might be putting into your meal. No more canned cream soup sauces … seasoned roux instead.

Actually, I’ve been doing this for some time now. I gave up boxed cake mixes, and that was difficult. But the from-scratch cakes have been mostly pretty good.

And using what is locally in season or at hand is rewarding. Makes you feel so very virtuous. I will never be able to do without commercial stuff completely, but maybe things will change as there is more pressure for GOOD food and we will no longer be so worried.  

Just do what I can where I am with what I have. Right?

~~~

Still thinking about food …

Every time we have to go to Yreka for a blood draw for George (which means no food after midnight), we go to Poor George’s following the draw. It is a very small family restaurant on Oberlin just off South Main in south Yreka. If it seats more than thirty packed, I’d be surprised. It opens at 0830 and closes at 1330. There are no ads on the side of the freeway, or in tourist handouts, so unless you know about it ahead of time you will miss it.

Poor George's

It started as an A&W Root Beer Drive-In many years ago. The looks of the place are being done over, but the food stays the same. Homestyle food cooked fresh.

Last week I had the country-fried steak breakfast.

If you ever drop in, tell Shirley “Hi”.

~~~

I decided to read the Tamara Pierce book first. It is called “The Will of the Empress” and is a continuation of a series she did for young readers. I began reading her because I always read books for the grandchildren before I send them.

Pierce’s stories are escapist fantasy with hidden civic and ethical lessons. Good fun. This one contains a glass dragon named Chime which had been created accidentally by a fire mage.

Next up ??? … the first of the Roth books to be followed by “The Red Queen” about Margaret Beaufort and the rise (however temporary) of the Tudors.

~~~

The chickens were moved out to the summer digs saturday night. It took them a few hours to get into helping me prep the garden area for planting, but once they got the idea … bugs beware.

The rooster had become rather aggressive with George, requiring George to wear heavy boots when entering the chicken house, but when I went out into the garden he just moved over between me and the hens. He didn’t try to attack me at all. Do roosters know the difference between human males and females?

I’m picking asparagus and rhubarb already. Salads and pie.

Bare MountainThe Mountain, however, is short of snowpack. This will be a problem come warm-hot weather. Fortunately, we have a good well with no one above us.

~~~

Last night was the radio club meeting. I was able to make it to the meeting because George was driving. I didn’t have to exert any effort to be there. I sat at the table and ran the meeting. And George brought me home (and put me to bed) as soon as the meeting ended.

I hadn’t wanted to miss the meeting because I didn’t want them to fall back into “chat” mode.

This meeting shared a lot of information and lasted a mere forty minutes. I received a couple of compliments after the meeting. I guess they aren’t sorry to have a “mother” in charge.

~~~

And that’s all for this week …

 

 

 

 

 

Computer Update …

It took an entire day and a total of five programs to get my main computer clear. I am now back in business on the machine to which I have become accustomed.

George decided it was probably a good idea to do his machine as well. We are now clean old computer folks.

 I did the same to my laptop.  It didn’t take as much time and effort since I use it almost exclusively for genealogy when I am at the Family History Center and so it isn’t as exposed.

I shouldn’t have to bother either of my sons with computer problems for at least a week or so.

~~~

One evening last week, George and I watched “Quartet”, the film directed by Dustin Hoffman in 2012. What triggered the initial interest was Maggie Smith, but what a pleasant surprise. A sensitive film … just lovely. A lot of the cast are retired musical stars and the then-and-now photos during the closing credits are well worth watching.

When the movie was over, I felt as if I needed to somehow tell Mr. Hoffman “Thank you.” And George complimented me on picking a good NetFlix. We give it a full five stars.

Next up ???      ”Nebraska”.

~~~

So far, this year isn’t much of an improvement over last. I had been having a few not-so-good days when out of the blue … kaloo kalay.

I had decided to get back to genealogy a bit (to divert my mind) and so set my sights on the Coits of Maine. I decided to start with a review of the information I already have in order to decide which way to continue and came across a paragraph in a Register for Moses Coit Hall prepared by cousin Roberta. On page 9, I found a reference to a crazy quilt done by my great-grandmother, Anna Elizabeth Cumpton Hall, in 1902 which is actually a family record, i.e. it records her marriage and the births of her children. The note said that back in the 90s another cousin (Jean) had been in contact with someone who bought the quilt and was looking for information.Cumpton, Anna Elizabeth Quilt 01

So I wrote to Jean to ask if she had any additional information and CHOCOLATE !!!    She had pictures … plus a possible lead back to the current owner.

One disappointment is that the pictures lack clarity. Photographer son says they look like scans of photos.  I think I can pick out my Grandmother Tyler’s square, but I’m not sure. So Jean is going to check to see if she has the owner’s name somewhere. She thinks he lives in Hollywood. If so, I will attempt to contact the owner and plan a trip down to take some good pictures.

What a Blessing …

This year may turn out okay after all.

~~~

Recently, the daily “word of the day” has been words I’ve known and used for a long time … until last friday. Then came a doozie.

omphaloskepsis (om-fuh-loh-SKEP-sis) noun; from the Greek … contemplation of one’s navel as part of a mystical exercise.

I’ll need to remember that one. Never know when you could cram it into a conversation, right?

~~~

We made a trip to Oregon yesterday. Weather was quite nice.

Nowadays, a trip to Oregon is an all day affair. We save up chores so we make only one trip and that means we lay out a circular route with planned stops all along the way.

Yesterday we started with a BiMart stop and ended with the battery store.

I had taken along a book since some of the stops were George stuff, like looking at a log splitter at Lowe’s.

Next to last stop was the day-old Franz bread store. My day was almost ruined when I walked up to the door and a sign said “No animal food today. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

One of the reasons we went north was to get a pick-up load of stuff for the chickens. We scatter old bread in their run. It adds bulk (after all, it is mostly grains) and encourages scratching. It was as if we had made the run north for nothing. That wasn’t actually true. It just felt that way.

So we went on in to see if there was any usable outlet stuff for the freezer such as the apple-cinnamon bread I use for French toast.

The nice ladies explained that the number of people coming in to buy cartloads of animal food had increased a lot and now there are several times a week when they don’t have the cartfuls they used to have. Maybe the continuing recession and cutbacks in government food help?

At any rate, I noticed a woman just standing around and watched. In a bit, one of the clerks came out pushing a full cart. I asked it there was another available and she seemed a bit offput but said she’s see if she could find enough two day old stuff to make another. I told her we came north about every three months to get chicken food and she went to work. As a result, we came home with two cartfuls and eight freebies, including the French toast makings, some onion bagels, and a couple of loaves of sourdough. Day-old into the freezer is fine.

Next trip north will probably be in July. Maybe Tyler will be here. That would be fun.

~~~

Another stop had been CostCo. I always look at their book tables and this time I came home with a boxed set of the Victoria Roth books. I had heard about them on an NPR report about young adult fiction and a movie based on the first of Roth’s trilogy. I had decided they might be worth a read.

I’ll let you know.

~~~

The last stop was at the battery store to replace four of the batteries in our power system. The clerk was laughing when he went to take the old trade-ins out of the back and said “These are only eleven years old. How come you’re bring them in?”

I have no idea what the normal life of a battery is, but I’d be willing to bet it is less than eleven years.

~~~

County property taxes are due again. We made a stop in Yreka on our way north and I went into the Courthouse to pay in person.

Just inside the main doors of the Courthouse there used to be a display of gold nuggets found in the County during the gold days. I remember marveling at the spread the first time I saw them. They had been in a case built with river stones and very thick glass, and some of the nuggets were huge.

They are no longer there. What remains is the stone base and plywood where the display used to be. Somehow a couple of men had been able to get into the Courthouse after hours and break into the case. They say, at today’s prices, it was two or three million dollars worth of pure gold … gone.

They’ve caught one of the men responsible, but they will never get the gold back.

Oh well …

~~~

Just finished reading a Steve Berry novel, one of the authors I read for just fun. In addition to being fun, it was an adventure in English history. The name of the book is “the King’s Deception”. It is about the first Elizabeth as well as a fairly current spy story. Lots of information about places like the Knight’s Temple in London, Hampton Court, and Blackfriar’s, plus things to think about such as the legitimacy of the land grants which created Northern Ireland.

So much for “just fun” …

Decided to try again for “just fun” with a young person’s novel by Tamara Pierce. Haven’t decided whether to read the Pierce first, or start with the first of the Roth books. Aahhhhhhhhhhhh … riches.

~~~

And finally, the weather …

Springlike … shirtsleeve weather in Medford with an awesome sky on the way home.

Homecoming Sky

New growth everywhere …

Tyler Violets                                                         Tyler violets,

Plum Tree                                                             plum tree,

Maple Tree                                                            maple tree,

Oregon Grape                                                              Oregon grape,

Front Walk                                                    daffodils … Nice.

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catastrophic Computer Crash ! ! !

This week’s blog entry is coming to you courtesy of a real jerry-rigged Rube Goldberg creation which I won’t even try to explain.

Last monday my computer security system had a meltdown.

It started sunday when my younger son, who maintains the web domain I use for my email and this web page, sent me (tried to send me) a video of his younger son deep in snow from the latest storm to hit upstate New York. The video didn’t come through. I responded to the email, but not the video. A query came back asking did the video come through. I responded “no”, but in the meantime my son, who works nights, had gone to bed. Shortly after than. I received an email which appeared to be from him with a “fax” attachment. Thinking it was the video, I opened it.

WRONG !!!

What I got instead of the video was the “PWS:win32/xBot.gen!GO” virus … a virulent, password stealing trojan horse.

I am not computer savvy enough to explain all that happened, but immediately my security system kicked in and as soon as I power up it flags a problem and tells me to reboot. I thought I was doing something wrong, so it took me three tries at rebooting, running a scan, and deleting the problem (or so I thought) before I gave up and called my  younger son.This seemed to be directly connected to the family domain managed by the younger son, so he’s the one I called.

I am fortunate that both sons are computer wise and can guide me through my problems.

Monday afternoon we spent over an hour trying to clear the intruder. He established it wasn’t in the mail any longer (I had deleted the “fax” mail when I realized I wasn’t able to open it), and so just wiping the virus via the security program didn’t work. It had embedded (or whatever the computer lingo is) in the operating system on my computer, so we spent time in dos (or someplace else I didn’t recognize and for which I have no name) trying to locate it … and that was a genuine vaudeville routine.

Because every time I booted up the security system would fire off, warn me of the “severe” danger, and cutoff the net connection, we weren’t able to allow him to take control of my machine directly. So he was working through the situation on his computer back in New York state trying to duplicate what I was seeing. We were connected by phone. I was listening here in California trying to copy his actions by following his verbal instructions. When I had to enter long strings of whatever, we used the phonetic alphabet used by amateur radio operators, i.e. alpha, bravo, charlie, etc., except when he forgot and dropped into police phonetics. Talk about a “Who’s on first …” routine (which reminds me … have you seen the redo of that routine using the names of some of the new oriental ballplayers? Ho’s on first, Wye’s on second, Ideno’s on third  …).

Finally he had to call the effort quits since it was time for him to shower and get to work.

Fortunately, my older son had given me his hand-me-down portable and I was able to do some things online, but not as much as I would have liked. For some reason, that computer won’t recognize my password on Outlook Express and go get my dibelka.us email. But that is a problem which will be solved another day.

Tuesday Mark called as soon as he woke up and had a bite to eat. He had spent some time tracking down a possible repair which led him to a person in Spain, where this virus or whatever is doing a lot of disruption. That person has created what we are hoping is a cure. He emailed the directions to George who printed them out and also put the entire thing on a memory stick. But it all got here too late for me to tackle yesterday. The blog will go up via the previously mentioned contraption and then I’ll go back to that problem. Stay tuned.

~~~

On another topic ripe for vaudeville identification …

We had made a run to Yreka to get some medication on saturday and the Mountain looked better, but not great.Mountain 29 March 2014 When she gets light, fluffy snow with a north wind the snow gets blown off the Mountain over into McCloud so she looks sparse on her north face.

Then on monday the “best” snowstorm of the past season hit. I made a quick trip to Weed to take advantage of the weekly specials at the grocery store and by the time I got home here’s what I saw …Driveway Entrance, 1100 31 March 2014

Daffodils at the drive entrance …

Driveway, 1100 31 March 2014

the drive toward the house …

Afternoon 31 March 2014the view out front …Frontdoor Bulbs in Snow, Afternoon 31 March 2014

and the bulbs I showed you last week, now in snow.

Lilac in snow, Evening 31 March 2014

By evening, the lilac was festooned …

Birch & Maple in Snow, Evening 31 March 2014

and the birch and maple trees were also festive.

The total was 6.5″ bringing our “season” total to 10.5″. Pretty puny !!!

Before the recent rain-snow tease which hit the day before April Fool’s Day with an additional bit on 1 April (when it looked as of we were in a snow globe most of the day), the weather had been definitely feeling like spring. I had been out in the courtyard several times, working until my body said “Time to go in”. So far I’ve cleared the area between the pond and the slab and planted Tyler violets, a red lily, a slew of lily-of-the-valley, some thyme, and a bit of meadowsweet. I began clearing out “winter” trash and burning it in the wood stove out there. I was also removing stones from an area that was once a site for the glider and piling them to be used to finish the labyrinth.

I started some leftover cabbage seeds in the solarium, thinking they wouldn’t be harmed by late cold snaps and I could get them in the ground early. They are up large enough to transplant into larger pots already. The fig tree which winters in the house has leafed out and is setting fruit. The winter holiday cactus is still blooming. As soon as I can see dirt again, I’ll put some onion sets in the ground. I also need to start some leftover peas for transplant later.

The first of the hummers is back.Exif_JPEG_422 A week or so ago I put out feeders and there is at least one of the red-heads accessing the food, even in the snow. This year I will put out more feeders to see if that will allow more birds to settle here. I am hoping the bully won’t be able to monitor a larger number of feeders. He had no trouble with just three or four. Maybe eight or ten will do the trick.

Another sign of season change is the red hue appearing on the maple tree and the reddish cast to the birch buds which was covered temporarily with snow. In addition, the apricot has gone past bloom and the plum is coming into bloom under snow.

Spring is welcome in spite of the fact that we had no real winter … until April Fool!

~~~

There was an article on the radio last week about unusual names. It was an interview with a man whose daughter was named “E”. The rational was that with just an initial she would be able to choose her own name when she got older, but she didn’t … said she was used to E.

I had an encounter with a similar unusual name situation at the Family History Center last time I was there. One of the researchers we were helping found the following in their pedigree … Onion, Firstson, Tryagain, and Viasex.

I feel a bit dull. All I have found in my lines, so far, are Hopestill and Azuba along with then common names like Prudence, Temperance, Concurrence, Mercy, Patience, and all the Biblical names.

~~~

Current reading has been another Cahill history book, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”. It is about the world starting a century before Jesus and ending in 100 CE. The information about cultures and happenings and people has been enlightening and sometimes surprising.

Judaism was not a single belief system, but fractured across the spectrum much like Christianity today, with fundamentalists (rules rule) at one extreme and name-onlys (holidays only) at the other. Cahill charges Paul’s teachings have been warped by others intent on their own agendas. And there is that thought and other information on which I will have to spend ponder time.

He is interesting, but I am a bit disappointed. I don’t really know why. Maybe I had been led to expect more … more readability, less bias … don’t know, at least not yet.

~~~

Spent one of the rainy mornings last week baking. One result was a quick pineapple cake similar to one my mother used to make. The other was little bite-sized chocolate cookies. The cake is sweet and gooey. The cookies were a surprising flop. I didn’t think you could go wrong with chocolate, but these were almost tasteless. So I made a batch of tapioca to support them. Oh well …

~~~

I think I’ve told you I am a staph carrier. Fortunately I am not contagious and have meds readily available to control an eruption. I had an outbreak last week.

I had broken the skin on my left forearm while helping reposition the solar panels, and that was enough to trigger the itch, redness, and swelling. I was able to start my meds quickly (that was the run to Yreka on saturday), but the ITCH until the meds kicked in was maddening. At least, this time it wasn’t my face.

~~~

“Call the Midwife” is back so I’ll be doing some sunday evening television watching again.

~~~

I recently heard an interview on Morning Edition with Bette Midler occasioned by the re-release of her book ” A View from Abroad”. One thing she said hit home. She was talking about a song she used to sing (written by Janis Ian). The lyrics are about old folks. Midler said she is realizing that now she is one of the old folks, and also realizing there are a lot of people she misses.

I can sympathize. My list of those folks is expanding much too rapidly.

~~~

I apologize for any and all errors and mess-ups this week. Check back for the latest on weird weather and l’affaire computer at Cold Comfort Farm.

… ’til next week …  Onward …

 

 

Spring Equinox 2014Went out last thursday morning to get a picture of the Equinox sunrise. Time was 0743 PDT. Temperature was 28°, but no wind. There was light frost on the meadow grass. A woodpecker was laying down a beat. Bracing … and even exciting.

Sunday I used the outdoor, solar dryer.

Yesterday the next wave of rain began.

26 March 2014

 

 

 

This morning it is snowing …

 

 

~~~

About the meeting last wednesday of the Mt Shasta Amateur Radio Club …

It went well.

Before the meeting was called to order, I warned them they may have bought a pig in a poke since they had no idea what kind of “chair” I might be, that I had been told a member requested a tighter meeting, and that we would be working from an agenda developed by the Secretary-Recorder and me. There was no obvious negative reaction. One member even said “Good”.  I don’t know if it was the same member who requested a tighter meeting or not.

At any rate, I called the meeting to order at 1903, was able to follow the agenda with a minimum of straying and got all the business covered (including a technical sharing time during which a new “toy” was shared as well as reports of radio contacts made with the President of the ARRL, the Marianna Islands, New Amsterdam near Antarctica, and with the new station at McMurdo Sound … none of which makes much sense to non-hams). We then received announcements and adjourned at 1957. Everyone seemed pleased including when I set out the plate of cookies I brought with me in case I needed to distract or placate a disgruntled group.

I guess this set-up will go well.

The first public service event for this summer, the Castle Crags bike event (the Altitude Adjustment), has begun planning meetings. The ride will occur on Summer Solstice … 21 June.

Last thursday we received a request for communication assistance for a couple of events in McCloud. The radio club had restricted participation to six events a summer. I’ll put the new request on the agenda and see that the situation is presented to the members next month for discussion and a decision.

It would appear our reputation is spreading.

~~~

Spring Salad

Before the weather changed, I copied a spring salad which had been posted on Facebook by a young friend who is a food junkie (and gets paid to write about it).

Ham, chicken, feta, blanched green beans, chopped egg, cucumber, chopped chives, mixed greens, with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper, and a touch of Dijon.

Served with hot, fresh bread, it was a great combination.      Taste of Spring.

~~~

Tyler, our middle grandchild, turned 17 last monday. We will celebrate (i.e. share a cheesecake) when he is here next July.

Younger son Mark will be 44 in a few days. He will be here in August. I’ll bake his lemon pie then.

How time flies. I have no trouble at all remembering both Mark and Tyler as infants asleep on my chest. Oh well …

A niece was born on Mark’s 3rd birthday and a friend’s son on his 10th. A cousin in Idaho (the one who made that fantastic 3D quilt a year or so ago) had a birthday last friday. Busy birthday time. Happy Happy Birthday to all.

~~~

A couple of weeks ago, I watched (but not the entire show) the Grand Opening of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. Typical Vegas. Seems, for them, the performing arts don’t include classical stuff.

The “dance” sequence (other than the gypsy lines) was a ballet offshoot done to Sinatra recordings (the Smuin Ballet does it better).

The only classical artist was Joshua Bell … and the audience applauded at a spot in the middle of his performance which was actually just a pause in the score.

Broadway and Vegas ruled.

But then, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan doesn’t do much pop stuff. So I guess it comes out even.

Since I will probably never attend a presentation in either, it doesn’t really matter.

Oh well …

~~~

The last couple of radio opera presentations have had a few things in common. Both have titles which are character names beginning with “W”. Neither is among the “well-known”s. Both are tragedies. Neither are particularly easy to follow. I chalk it up to “learning opportunities”.

However, I do enjoy listening to Thomas Hampson (any 6’4″ baritone is okay with me).

Next saturday will be “La Sonnambula” … adventures of a sleepwalker.

Our middle grandchild was a sleepwalker. When he was here summers we hung strings of little bells in the doorway of his room. That way, if he headed out in the middle of the night, the bells would alert us and prevent accidents. It looked like a bead curtain. I kind of liked the way it looked and even sounded. But then I like wind chimes too.

Some of the bell strands are still there, draped over to one side.

~~~

Next week, chicks will be arriving at the pellet mill-feed store up in Grenada (folks around here pronounce it gra nay’ dah rather than gra nah’ da). We’re off the hook this year. We won’t be getting any chicks. 

Hens are good layers for two years. We renewed the flock last year, so it will be 2015 before we do the chicks-in-the-solarium again.

We got a rooster in last year’s batch (actually, we got two but one of them wound up in the soup pot last sunday). Since the sex of the chicks is a probable rather than a guarantee, maybe we’ll start from scratch next time (i.e. with eggs rather than chicks), particularly if we have a broody hen.

Currently we have five hens and a magnificent black rooster. Watching him strut and crow is a real blast. He controls his harem with iron spurs and is the last one into the house each evening.

We get anywhere from two to five eggs a day … more than the two of us can use. In late fall I freeze some (cracked two or three to a plastic container) just in case we run short when it gets snowy and COLD. Sometimes production drops off at times like that (the hens go into molt) and thawed eggs bake or scramble just fine.

Our son in Sacramento paid $5 for 18 eggs last week. Another of the things which remind me how rich we are.

And that thought led to musing on the difference between “rich” and “wealthy”. In an on-line dictionary I found:

rich (adjective) … having great possessions; abundantly supplied with resources or means … abounding in natural resources.

wealthy  (adjective) … having a great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, or things which have monetary value.

With that in mind, I think it is proper to describe us as “rich” rather than
“wealthy”.
     

~~~

One night last week, I went downstairs after dark and flipped on the dining room light. Immediately, there was noise outside the dining room windows. I could hear something against the wall and something on the window screen. Because it was dark out and light in, I couldn’t see anything out there. I turned off the light and got my flashlight, but by the time I shined the light out, it was too late.

One of my first thoughts was “bear”. They didn’t get much sleep this “winter” and so may be a bit pushy similar to the one who harvested our plums last autumn. I started to go out to check, but stopped immediately thinking “That’s not such a good idea”.

Then again, it might have been some of the barn cats in the apricot prunings George had stacked near the back of the house to dry for kindling.

When I went out the next morning there was no sign of bears, so it must have been the cats.

Things that go bump in the night …

~~~

Spring Cone Drop

 

 

On a walk last week, before the rain, I noticed the wind had caused a cone drop. Another of the things I get to see …

 

~~~

I recently went to a net page, found on a Facebook post, which claims to analyze the way you write and compare it to known writers. According to it, I write like Margaret Atwood. 

Not too shabby …

Now all I need do is get up the courage to approach an agent or publisher.

~~~

And finally, a cleaned up repost of the cartoon from last week …Shade with snake

 

 

On that note, ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

Deer Herd 1                                    The deer herd never left here this past “winter”.

~~~

Remember me telling you about the anomalies of this land? Well, I found a descriptive phrase for such land … stray sod. It indicates a place which has the ability to transport the unwary into other worlds; to make the ordinary uncanny.

So when you come to visit … remember, you have been warned.

~~~

In spite of a light rain friday morning, I was able to get some potatoes (the coloured ones) and the blue corn into the ground. When we moved here, I was told to never put anything into the ground until the snow was gone off Black Butte. That had occurred every year between the middle of May and the first week in June. This year … the only snow on Black Butte melted within a couple of days and that was back in February. We shall see …

 

Things are beginning to bloom.Cot Blossoms George was out pruning the apricot tree yesterday while I was at the handspinning meeting. I’m not a fan of pink (neither the colour nor the singer), but every year apricot blossoms make me smile.

 

And the first bulbs are blooming.Spring Blooms

The surroundings are thyme and lavender. You can see just a spot of blue lavender (is that an oxymoron?) in the very center of the picture if you look closely.

Later today, or tomorrow morning, I’ll be putting some new lily bulbs onto the ground … deep red lilies.

~~~

This was handspinning week. We met in the community room of a retirement development where one of the members lives. It was quite a big room (there were over twenty spinners there, about two thirds of them with wheels, and it wasn’t crowded). Only drawback was that, since it is a retirement community, I guess they didn’t anticipate the sound level of so many women comparing handwork and family events. There was an entire month about which to talk.

I didn’t take Mathilda with me this month. I need to get busy knitting and crocheting vests and shawls, i.e. using up the stash of yarn I have put aside in boxes. I really shouldn’t spin any more until I get that collection thinned out some.

Anyone want some lace weight triple-ply?

~~~

I’ve been listening to news reports about the Crimea, as have most folks. Some of the parallels with what was then Czechoslovakia (in the 30s) are really scary.

Are we watching the beginning of WW III ? Nostradamus said the ‘bear’ would be involved.

Or are we seeing a repeat of the Mexico-Texas-US conflict of the middle of the 19th century?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFUTHcjiZGo

~~~

Hard learned lesson last monday.

I can’t recall if I told you I had been asked to create a tri-fold brochure for a group with whom I volunteer. Well … as they were doing up the print order, someone noticed that the folds were off. I had carefully used fold guides when doing the inside part of the brochure, but had not done so with the front. Then it got transferred to PDF … and here’s where I did the BIG GOOF thing. I deleted my MSPub work files.

After another try (or two or three as the territory issue worked itself out) involving switching back and forth between MSPub and PDF, the brochure went to the printer. It will be used in the Community Resources Centers, the First5 program of parenting classes, some adult education classes, and in physicians offices. Good for me …

And lesson learned … from now on, I will always keep my working files until things are REALLY really done. Now, how do I tell when that done point is reached? Oh well …

~~~

Yesterday  I received a note from a cousin in Florida. He said one of my comments last week caught his attention … but I’ll let him tell the story.

“… one of your comments (about the snow depth “Never satisfied. Oh well … be grateful for what we do have.”) brought back fond memories … When I was in the Army, during the Korean War, we had been up for 72 hours without any sleep and had a three hour break before we had to move out again. The platoon Sgt. told everyone to catch some sleep. I griped to him and his comment to me was “In the heat of the desert the shade of a toothpick is welcome”. I still to this day continue using that expression when somebody is complaining they would like more. When my daughter was in high school she was asked to write a short paper about famous quotes. She chose to write about this one and used me as the originator. Several years ago the political cartoonist for the local paper came up with the attached picture. I wrote him a letter and told him the story about the shade of a toothpick. I was dumbfounded when I received the original drawing in the mail.”Shade with snake

 

Thanks for the story, Don.

 

And an apology in re the quality of the cartoon copy. I will master Photoshop some day.

 

 

~~~

Don’s comment reminded me that George did a tour in Korea. Does the US Navy still pay swabbies with $2 bills?

~~~

Radio club meeting tonight. My first meeting as president. Have already had a difference of opinion with the club’s recorder. I hope the compromise works. Stay tuned …

 

And so ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

We’re back on summer time. Oh well …

~~~

I thought I’d try to share some of the interesting things I see …

Ice Pot

 

Just before the last rain, I set a pot outside. It got cold that night. The next morning, you could see trees reflected on the ice;

 

after the heavy rain, the pattern in the driveway reminded me of the patterns you can see on the bottom of stream beds;Drivceway Ripples

 

Cinnamon Bread

 

 

I baked cinnamon bread last week (it smelled great, looked okay, and toasted quite nicely);

 

and last night, as I was getting ready to do dishes, I noticed this running man in the sink.Running Man

~~~

Last wednesday the wind was so strong that trees with a diameter of a couple of feet were swaying. Fortunately, the ones near the house are older and thicker.

And rain was so hard and heavy you could hear it inside this strongly built house which usually damps outside sound.

~~~

Sunday evening was a full evening of television. “Foyle’s War” followed by a replay of the last episode of this season’s “Downton Abbey” followed by the remastered film of the McCartney-Wings “Rockshow” tour in 1976. Thoroughly enjoyable. A reminder of the Paul-Linda love story … Lady Madonna, Silly Love Song, Maybe I’m Amazed …

And then, as I was on my way to bed, the house did a rock and roll bit itself. A 6.9 roller earthquake off the coast southwest of Eureka. No noise or sharp jolts, at least not here. Just a roller. Lasted about ten seconds. Only the second earthquake I’ve felt since we moved here. I used to feel them regularly when we lived down south. This one startled me. Guess I’m out of practice.

~~~

I was speaking about cemetery pictures last week and that led me to this story.

The cemetery north of Weed is called “Winema”. It was named for a Modoc woman who had been involved in the Lava Beds War. I find it interesting that a “white” cemetery is named for a Native American (the “coloured” cemetery is in a completely different part of town), but that is beside the point here and possibly another story for another time.

About eighteen months ago, two women took it upon themselves to catalog the graves in the Winema cemetery. It had been done a few years ago, and published, by two local sisters who are genealogists. But the new women decided it needed to be redone. They also decided to take over photographing all the graves (a lot of which had already been done by Mary and Wanda). It became quite a “territorial” issue and the two original workers, after a short interaction, just backed off.

Then the new women found some very old papers concerning family ownership of some spaces in the cemetery. One such space was where the husband of one of the original catalogers is (was) buried. The family listed on the recently found papers had not had any interaction with the cemetery (or the local area) for several generations, and the cemetery management had sold the plot in good faith.

One of the new women took up the information as a project and ultimately found descendants of the original owners. I am told there were different surnames and those folks were unaware they had ancestors in this area. However, with encouragement, the descendants demanded the “interloper” be dug up and moved.

That “interloper” had been an amateur radio friend. He is now in the new section and his wife is recovering from the process.

And there are current outstanding requests for photos at Winema.

~~~

It is, once again, Purim. I found these instructions for the holiday on a website I visit …

One of the features of this holiday is the requirement to fulfill three mitzvot: 1) Matanot L’evyonim – giving gifts or money to at least two poor people (anonymously);  2) Mishloach Manot – the “sending of portions,” giving at least two ready-to-eat foods to a minimum of one person (one should send via a messenger); and 3) Seudah, a festive meal. During the meal the command is to drink wine until you don’t know the difference between “Blessed is Mordechai” (the GOOD guy) and “Cursed is Haman” (the BAD guy). This is best fulfilled by drinking a little and taking a nap – one doesn’t know the difference between them while sleeping! One should NOT drink to excess. The mitzvah is about connecting to the Almighty – and sloppy drunks are lousy at spirituality.

The first two are good ideas any time of year. Sort of “what goes out, comes back” thinking. And the third is a clever way to adjust implementation of the commandment to drink.

I’ll be making prune Hamentaschen, but I have no one for whom to fill my pockets with toys or at whom to twirl a grakker. Oh well …

~~~

Back to genealogy …

I told you about the “challenges” the last time I did my session at the Family History Center. Well, last thursday, just before I started to get ready to go for the next session, I got a call from one of the people who had asked if I’d be back. She wanted to know if I’d be there so she could get help straightening out her boxes of information. She was the one trying to sort out the greatx???grandmother with two given names and two surnames.

We spent three+ hours sorting out the box of “stuff” she had with her, and she says there is another box. At least we made a start, and she got the idea of separating “look into this further” from “proof” from “irrelevant to the current project but important” from “this is useless”.

We’ll tackle the second box in two weeks (my next session at the FHC). Once sorted, we can get down to solving the problem.

~~~

Last week’s opera was an olio of composers (mostly Handle) with an English libretto based on Shakespeare. Thumper’s mama advised “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

~~~

The quarterly meeting of the Tobacco Advisory Board was last tuesday. Some interesting things have been happening.

The Native American Casino in Redding, Win River, has gone completely tobacco -free. That means no chew as well as no cigarettes or cigars. They are having a “Celebration” day after tomorrow now that the complete makeover to rid themselves of tobacco residue is done.

Some time ago, the Siskiyou Speedway in Yreka had asked our partnership in going tobacco-free. We provided posters, information fliers, and some other stuff. They are now the first motor speedway in California to be completely tobacco-free … maybe the first in the country.  

One of our high schools is involved in a nicotine study being conducted by the University of California San Francisco.

We have been asked to create a tri-fold brochure of information in re third-hand smoke (based on the PowerPoint we did last autumn) to be included in packs prepared for new parents by the “First 5″ people.

County high school English students are participating in the creation of Public Service messages aimed at their peers concerning e-cigarettes. The winners will be used on local television and in the local movie theatre.

And, in addition, the lunch was excellent.

~~~

I was finally able to get a picture of the Mountain.

Morning Clouds - 11 March 2014 As I was on my out yesterday, she looked good behind a few clouds. She would look great were the snow double or triple the current depth. Never satisfied. Oh well … be grateful for what we do have.

Mountain from North 11 March 2014

                 Then on  the way home, I was able to get a picture without clouds.

~~~

Finally, were you aware that Americans spend $9,000,000 per hour on beer? I’ll drink to that.

 

 

On that note … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

A STRONG gust of wind woke me at 0227 this morning. My first thought was something huge had hit the east side of the house. It frightened me. Then I felt worried because it seems it wouldn’t have frightened me before. Now in my 80s, am I more fearful?

Second thought was remembering the time the bear came in the front door. Had we secured the front door? Sometimes the latch doesn’t seat.

Then I realized it was just a gust of wind (turns out it was nearly 40mph), part of the system announcing the next wave of rain.

It was 0330 before I got back to sleep.

Last week’s rain (and light snow dusting) lasted until tuesday morning … and it is now raining again.

5 March 2014 The precipitation total for the week just past was 5.02″. The creek below the barn is stronger, and the Shasta River is about half of normal. There is even visible water in the reservoir.

Eddys' Snow                         There is some snow on the Eddys to the southwest.

Mountain - 3 March 2014            The clouds have remained low and we are unable to see the Mountain.

However, we have been Blessed. Our rain didn’t “run off” as it did in southern California where nearly 95% ran down storm drains into the ocean.

It is very early in the year, but it will soon be time to be out in the garden. There are budding potatoes and bulbs to plant, and seeds (blue corn and wild flowers) to sow.

I wonder where our winter went.   No … I really don’t.    I know it went east.

Oh well … Make the most of your Blessings.

~~~

I haven’t mentioned the saturday opera for a couple of weeks. I had to make a bit of an adjustment in re Richard Strauss … he is not pidgeonholeable (a neologism?).

I am unable to appreciate (and sometimes even unable to listen to) “Electra” and “Die Frau …” as well as some others. BUT I appreciate and even enjoy “Till Eulenspiegel …” and  ”Salome”  and  ”… Rosenkavalier”  and  ”… Zarathustra”  and  ”Ariadne …”  and “Arabella”  and a slew of other works.

So I guess I am a partial appreciator of Strauss in the same way I am a partial appreciator of Bernstein (I don’t understand the Requiem Mass, but love “Fancy Free”).

A lesson in not lumping things together or making sweeping pronouncements?

This past week the opera was “Prince Igor” (as my opera appreciator cousins already know) by Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Glazunov. I’ve enjoyed the Polovtsian March and Dances ever since they were adapted to Broadway in “Kismet” … Baubles, Bangles, and Beads. I learned that in addition to writing lovely music, not only was Borodin a medical scientist responsible for the ground work which led to the development of several medications but an ardent feminist as well. One can only wonder what was left undone by his death at such a young age?

Next week will be a mish-mash. Report to follow.

~~~

Did I ever tell you about the optical illusions on this land? There are several which keep life interesting.

For instance …

When you look toward where you want to go, the path to take is obvious. But when you get there and look back to where you started, the path is never the same. Leads to serendipitous discovery.Creek Uphill

 

We have a stream which runs uphill before it goes under the driveway.

 

The cardinal directions change as you drive down the road toward pavement,  i.e. east moves counterclockwise (widdershins).

And here’s one for you. (Please ignore the colours. It was raining and I’m not learned enough in PhotoShop to make it right.)

tone-2                             Is the stone in the drive after it turns to the left?

Stone-1                    or is it in the part of the drive coming directly off the road?  ?

~~~

I finished reading (re-reading) the last book of the Rama series last thursday. Arthur C. Clarke (and Gentry Lee) got so much prediction correct. In addition, the philosophical insights on parenting and human behavior are well worth reading … and rereading. Try it.

Current reading is a book by Thomas Cahill … “How the Irish Saved Civilization”. Interesting information about a plethora of subjects from saints to Celtic culture. Next on the reading list is something light by either Berry or Rollins, followed by “Desire of the Everlasting Hills ” (also by Cahill).

Saw another book listed in the front of the Irish book titled “Jesus’ Little Instruction Book”. Got to get that one.

~~~

Noteworthy …Cactus

the white “Christmas” cactus I got from a neighbor, which has bloomed dependably in November and December each year, is in a second bloom …Spring Bulbs

 

and the daffodils are showing.

 

                                         ~~~

Had an interesting thing happen a few days ago. In the past I had gone to local cemeteries taking pictures of graves and headstones which had been requested by family historians through a genealogical site named “Find a Grave”. I always enjoyed the trips since they were history as well as good scenery. On one trip I came across a cluster of children’s graves. When I checked further I found there had been a measles epidemic during which nearly a fifth of the local children died … five in just one family.

Then, about a year ago, I stopped going out on these excursions when others appeared to be setting up “territories”. There was no way I wanted to get involved in disputes over who had the right to take pictures where so I just drew back and stopped responding to requests.

Then, out of the blue, I got an email asking why it had been so long since I last posted any pictures.

I went to the Find a Grave net site to check the cemeteries where I have gone in the past and found that, out of eight “territories”, only two of the claimants are keeping up with requests … friend Dan at the Mt Shasta Memorial Park and Mrs. Jones down in Dunsmuir. There are a total of nearly twenty unanswered requests in this area which haven’t been “claimed”, some dating back before the end of last year. Guess that means that as soon as weather permits, I’ll have a day out. Photos should be good with new growth following the rain.

~~~

Elaine Stritch is 89. And she’s still here. Don’t count old broads out.

~~~

Just one more thing …

That used to be the thing our middle grandchild would say when a phone conversation was slowing down … “Just one more thing, Nuna.”      I miss those conversations.

Oh well …

 Just one more thing … don’t forget the time change next weekend.

 

  

And so ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently saw this on the net (without source). I wish I’d written something like it …

“Two children grew in her body.  Their names she can recall only with a lot of effort.  But when I ask her how it felt to be pregnant,

“She touches her tummy and starts to smile.

“Even when the mind can’t keep up, the body of a mother always remembers.”

~~~

More Olympics notes …

Did you see the trousers worn by the Norwegian curlers? Great attitude. May start a new fashion.

And speaking of attitude … a team composed of mostly spoiled brats seems to have taken the silver in women’s hockey.

Who is surprised about the controversy over judging in figure skating? Objective sport evaluation vs. subjective theatre appreciation? Scott Hamilton seemed to think the decision was a good one.

George is really into the Olympics this year so I’m passively exposed and my opinionated thinking is being activated.

          BTW … here’s another comment on sledding courtesy of Calvin and Hobbes.Sleds

~~~

Last week, at the meeting of the amateur radio club, I (possibly) made a mistake. When they asked if I would take the position of President, I didn’t say “No thank you” fast enough (or they held the vote too rapidly). Can anyone say “railroad”?

~~~

Have started doing my volunteer shifts at the Family History Center again. Last thursday was a busy, interesting four hours. I seem to have gained a name as the “detective”.

As I’ve said before, I really appreciate my partner Marty because she is so knowledgeable about the Mormon genealogy site that I don’t have to be concerned with that. I can concentrate on the “Where do I look next?” or “Who can I contact to ask …?” or “What should I be asking or what should I be looking for?”

The challenges this time were the continued effort to get the lost city of Mott declared off-limits to treasure hunters; an effort to learn the disposition of a 19th century court case; a missing link in a line which vacillates between younger sons (commoners) and elder sons (English peers … shades of Downton Abbey and the different surnames involved – Crawley? Grantham?); and figuring out exactly who an 18th century wife was so the rest of that tree can be constructed (she currently has two given names and two surnames).

We made progress on all of them, but no full solutions yet. There were promises made by searchers to be there when I return.

Next shift … 6 March. Keeps the little grey cells in shape.

~~~

Back to amateur radio … the first event for this year is beginning to take shape. George will be ramrod for the Castle Crags bike event again, so we will begin attending meetings soon (they are usually lunch meetings, so I go along).

At the radio club meeting last week, it was decided to put together a Mobile
Emergency Kit to be available for the use by the SAG wagon radio folks during the summer events. Sometimes, in our mountains, contact can be iffy with lower power. The new kit will have a higher power output, which should solve that problem. The plan is to put a radio, power supplies, fans (radios get hot when in use), and various note-taking supplies into a portable cooler (because it is the right size and cheap). The finished kit will cost about $500, but add to our ability to respond in case of a real emergency. It will also enhance the standing of the amateur radio folks in the community. Two bangs for our bucks.

~~~

Another new word …

sciamachy      \ sahy-AM-uh-kee \  , noun

an act or instance of fighting a shadow or an imaginary enemy.

   i.e. shadow boxing … but the pronunciation got me.

~~~

One shopping day last week I was able to get two pounds of fresh, green, California grown jalapeño peppers for practically nothing. Tied some into a riata to dry (they have already begun to change colour), chopped and froze some for seasoning, sliced and added some to onion pickle juice for salads, chopped and mixed some with onion and other peppers (coloured bells) to add to fried potatoes or scrambled eggs. Any other ideas? I’ve got three jalapeños left.

Was also able to get some California Central Valley strawberries. They’re VERY early this year. Some berries went into jello (George loves jello … I love strawberries), some got sliced to top cereal or waffles, some got smushed for smoothies, and I ate more than one (you know the routine … one for the pot and one for me).

On the way home I went by Keith’s meats and picked up some free range, grass-fed Prather beef. We are now set for two taco meals, a batch of pecadillo, hamburgers, fresh pasta sauce, beef breakfast sausage, and possibly a meat loaf or some meatballs.

It was a good shopping day.

Then yesterday we went to Yreka to see if I could find some specific type of seasoning (Adobo Goya and Sazon Knorr) as well as to get feed and straw at the pellet mill. I had not been able to find the spices at the local stores and decided to try Raley’s. Didn’t find them there either. Got some substitutes and found recipes on the net for homemade.

Adventures await …

~~~

Do you ever pay attention to the music clips between reports on NPR’s Morning Edition (if you listen to NPR at all)?

Last saturday there was a report about the Girl Scout who set up her cookie sale table outside a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco. It was followed by a clip of guitar music which was great … three guitars playing blues riffs from the 70s. Reminded me of the music from “The Trip”.

I tried to find out what it was but couldn’t find the playlist. Finally contacted a young friend who hosts Morning Edition on an NPR station down south. He was able to track it down for me. Turned out it was “Captain Soul” by the Byrds. Like jazz riffs? Look for it on YouTube.

~~~

Another NPR reference … I heard a report about an in-your-face sax player who is dying of stage four colorectal cancer. It wasn’t his pending death or reports of his music that caught my ear. It was his statement about his feelings which did it.

“…the physical death doesn’t scare me, … What devastates me the most is the loss of what future joys and discovers (sic) might have happened if I didn’t die …”.

That is the attitude I called “future nostalgia” in a short story I wrote some time ago. I first felt it when the tv series “Northern Exposure” aired their final episode. I could hear Chris-in-the-morning saying “Good Night, Cicely.” and I felt sad because Cicely would go on but I wouldn’t know what happened. It is the way I feel when I think about my own death … there will be so many things occurring that I will miss.

Nostalgia for what is to come. That makes me sad. Not the dying, but the loss of the future … and that is more than enough downer for now.

Onward …

~~~

Weather report …

27 February 2013

                                                     Last year at this time …

This year we seem to be back in the high-pressure-off-Crescent-City pattern so most of the “weather” is splitting and going north or south (or both). Last monday I hung out laundry in the solar dryer area. Earliest I’ve ever done that.

However, this morning is a pleasant surprise … it’s raining. It is a good thing we went north to get the straw yesterday.

Rain on the window

 

The view out the front windows toward the barn is interesting …Wet Walk

the front walk is reflective …

 

and the picture this morning caught some of the yellow which goes along with rain.

26 February 2014

Rain is nice, but we still need snow pack (never satisfied?). Latest estimate I’ve heard says there is a 1:1,000 chance of returning to “normal”. Oh well …

~~~

The wheel continues to turn … it is now light enough in the morning to make the bed without turning on the light. And it is only forty-four weeks until the next Downton Abbey episodes.

 

 

So ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had gotten some precip worth counting last week. Wednesday it soaked the ground and raised the level in the creek a bit. More fell on thursday, friday, and saturday. The total, so far, is 2.85″.Sunday, monday, and tuesday were clear. 

19 February 2014

We finally had some snow. When I looked out this morning, there is about half an inch out there. We’re supposed to get more today and tomorrow.

the Mountain 16 February 2014The snow level, however, stayed mostly at or above the 6,000′ level. We need snowpack down to about 2,500′ to 3,000′.Snowflake Happiness

 

Please continue to think snow …

~~~

Now it’s time to brag a little. Our older grandson plays piano. George says it’s an inherited trait from the Kurzenknabe side. They were all composers and musicians of some ilk or another.

Tyler plays both piano and violin. He recently posted a couple of videos of his piano work … “Jesu, Joy of man’s Desiring” and the Pacobel “Canon” … by ear … without written music. Neither is perfect … yet … but so much better than most folks could do. We are delighted.

If you are on Facebook, you can see the videos on my timeline.

~~~

I have no idea what most of you read … if you read much at all … romance, biography, history, science fiction, classics, whatever.  As you probably know by now, I read !!!

I’ve been reading the Rama books by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee. I just started the final book in the series, “Rama Revisited”. These books are an amazing take on what was, at the time they were written, the future. And it wasn’t an optimistic take. Scary … lessons not learned.

Also saw a post on Facebook comparing Star Trek future technology with current stuff (Kirk’s handheld transponder with the cell phone, Picard’s 8×11 note recorder with the iPad, the Enterprise’s wall -sized conference communicator with similar technology today, and the small, beside-the-eye computer with today’s computer glasses … those descriptions aren’t technical, but then neither am I).

Harking all the way back to Jules Verne … if you want prediction, read science fiction.

~~~

Last week’s opera was “Die Frau Onhe Schatten”  by Richard Strauss.

It taught me one thing …  I am not a Strauss opera fan.

~~~

I went spinning yesterday. I used to meet with this group regularly, then other activities got in the way. A couple of members had recently asked me to come back, and it sounded like a good idea. So …

Lots of life to catch up on and new members to meet. Of the 19 people there, I knew only 8. 

February Spinners

Now I am looking forward to next August when they (we?) have the dye session. One member, who lives up north in Cram Gulch, promised to help me learn how to dye with the local weed which gives a lovely blue similar to wode. I’ll need to spin some pure white and have it ready to add colour.

~~~

George and I spent part of last sunday evening (when we weren’t at Downton Abbey … btw, there is only one episode left this season) and most of monday evening watching the Olympics … mainly the sleds and skating. I have no idea why I watch sleds, especially skeleton. Those people are nuts. I once went down the steepest slope at the local ski park on a toboggan.

Yes, it was exciting.

No, I wouldn’t do it again.

Watching the ice dancing triggered opinions I’ve held for some time (yes, I am an opinionated old woman). Skating won’t truly be a sport until all competitors are wearing similar outfits and skating the same routine. After all, skiers don’t choose outfits for eye appeal (if they do, it isn’t working) and are not allowed to put together their own, individual routes down the mountain. Mogul skiers (or whatever they are called) do choose their own actions down the established course, but I’m not convinced that’s sport either. More like circus. If they are winter athletes, then trapeze “artists” and other Cirque Soliel folks are summer athletes.

Back to skating … as much as I enjoy watching Davis and White, I saw other skaters do some of the moves as well as (maybe even better in one case) than they did. And across the board perfects ???    As sport, highly unlikely.    As theatre, okay.

And another thought … remember when ice dance was dance, not acrobatics which used to be the purview of pairs skating? … and the time Torville and Dean were disqualified for an over-the-shoulder lift? … and how pairs skating is touted as ballet-on-ice?  So, if ballet-on-ice is a winter sport, why isn’t ballet-on-stage a summer sport?

Moi???   Opinionated?   Maybe just old. After all, I remember when male singles skaters wore jackets and ties.

~~~

Recently saw a quote from one of my favorite poets …

 

We are here on earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea.

- W.H. Auden

 

 On that note … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

Last week was a difficult one for me in spite of the visit from John and his friend, Michael.

I can’t imagine what it would have been without that highlight.

Mark and Mikayla will be here come summer. Wish Tyler could come too. Still, it is something to anticipate.

~~~

And things did look up thursday morning.

Late wednesday evening, a package from my nephew Larry had arrived. It was a portrait of my father taken when he joined the Navy in 1917. He was 15 years old.1917

I opened the package thursday morning. What a treasure. Thank you, Larry.

~~~

I have returned to doing shifts at the local Family History Center again. I took December and January off anticipating a real winter.

My partner, Marty, and I work well together. She is expert at the LDS genealogy web site. I’m a family history detective with ideas on how to break through brickwalls (except, of course, my own … Cuthbert).

6 February 2014

 

 

My first day back, it rained, sort of …7 February 2014

 

followed by snow, sort of …

 

We had two “customers”. One is trying to establish the right to keep “treasure hunters” out of an area between Mt Shasta and Dunsmuir which had been a roaring town around the turn of the 20th century, including a graveyard. It is now the site of a small airport (Mott … which had been the name of the town also). There have been people out there with metal detectors, so we are trying to prove burials. That will protect the family graves.

The other was chasing a brickwall in her husband’s family in Oklahoma.

We made a wee bit of headway with both. It was a good day … including the precip.

~~~

The opera on saturday was “Rusalka” with the screamer (as she once called herself) Fleming, singing the nymph. Disney’s “Little Mermaid” was based on the same “fairy tale” although mermaids and water nymphs aren’t the same creatures.

As I’ve said before, if you are unfamiliar with the “Song to the Moon”, in my opinion you’re deprived. It is so lovely …

~~~

We’ve had some rain. I am grateful for the precipitation which soaked in more than it ran off.Eddys 6 February 2014

 

There is some snow on the Eddys, and the Mountain looks better than it has for quite some time.8 February 2014

However, I am still praying for heavy snowpack.

~~~

This is a week for birthdays. Yesterday – brother-in-law Don; 15th – super teacher Mr. Edgar; 16th – BFF Nora Mae; 17th – Grandmother Gertrude Shaffer; and 18th – longtime friend Elizabeth. I am fortunate to have had them in my life.

Blessed Natal Days to all those souls.

~~~

Last week I got involved in a thing called  “MealTrain”. Remember when someone had to keep a list of who would provide meals, and when, for friends or family who needed help? Well, someone has done it online and it is so much easier. You can check to see when help is needed and make sure you aren’t duplicating meals. If you ever need to organize something like that … check their site.

~~~

I’ve begun reading the third of the Rama books, “the Garden of Rama”. I thought I’d read it before (it was first published in September 1991- keep that in mind), but I’m not recognizing anything. Plus there are parts that set me back on my heels.

It was written by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee, two futurists.

I refer you to Chapter 1 of the section called “Epothalamin”. In the copy I have, on page 277, it says( modified merely to compact and leave out the scifi setting):

 “Since most of our scientists believe that our unusual weather the last [few] months is a result of unduly high levels of carbon dioxide and smoke particles in the atmosphere, … government[s] have made specific proposals to deal with these issues. All our recommendations have been rejected …”

“And why? Our proposals … [were] called a ‘restriction on personal freedom’. Our carefully detailed recommendation … that the loss of plant cover resulting from developments … could be offset, was voted down as well. The reason? The opposition argued that [we] cannot afford the task and, in addition, {it} would result in painfully stringent electricity conservation measures [and the loss of jobs ... copier's note].”

“…, it is ridiculous for us to bury our heads in the sand and hope these environmental problems will go away. Each time that we postpone taking positive action means greater hardships … in the future. … What colossal hubris! …”

Sound familiar? Remember, this was written before 1991. And there is no such thing as climate change, right?

I now step down off the soapbox.

~~~

Recently, on Facebook, I asked how Key Lime Pie was made before sweetened condensed canned milk. One response said it wasn’t … but very quickly there were other answers.

One of the women in the spinning group initiated the request for information. Next spinning day is the 18th. I have the following referrals for her …

I plan to give the suggestions a try.

~~~

 12 February 2014

                  Wind today … rain predicted for later … no mention of snow.

 

So … ’til next week …