Weather is warm … about normal. But we’ve got lots of haze what with the fires all around.Smoke Haze 19 August 2014


When we can see the mountains, as well as the Mountain, they are draped in a blue veil.


the Mountain 19 August 2014Then afternoons the clouds move in and everything goes a bit dark.

We are on power rationing. The haze and clouds reduce the solar some. The creek flow is very low, and to add to that some summer folks on property upstream put a dam across the creek to make play area for the kids. George discovered it yesterday and took some pictures to notify the water master since those folks aren’t here most of the time and don’t have any water rights. I hope it is settled quietly by the water master and we aren’t personally involved. There are already enough fights over water rights in Siskiyou County. However, if the drought doesn’t break … there will be more.


We’re still in a severe drought. One day last week there was a cloudburst just before sunset that dropped a bit more than an inch in a very short time.

It made interesting patterns on any downslope,Beside the barn





Barn Lake



and created a small lake in front of the barn which left an interesting design.

But it didn’t last. And what moisture fell was either instantly absorbed or, more likely, ran off. No long lasting good.

                                  Welcome none the less.


In addition, drought has decimated the Dwight Hammond Agricultural Reservoir (which some folks insist is a recreational lake).For Mikayla Dec 2012

This how it is supposed to look (except for the snow, but that will be welcome too)…

Reservoir Level 19 August 2014

This is how it looks now.

Reservoir Meadow

                 Meadow grass is beginning to grow where there used to be water.


Events in the garden are all over the place. The corn (what there is of it) is tasseling and there are a few small ears on the stalks. I’m collecting green beans and small cucumbers. The second planting of peas seems to have taken. New plants are about two inches high ready to vine. That’s okay since the cooler weather won’t faze them and we’ll have autumn peas.


Last monday George went to see the ophthalmologist for his two-year post cataract surgery check up and was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration in his right eye.

It seems wet is worse than dry in that it develops more rapidly, but is better than dry in that if caught early there is a treatment. Catch is that there can be NO delay and the appointment with the retinologist in Medford is monday.

Prayers and crossed fingers gratefully accepted.


And now to why there have been no blogs for the last two weeks …

It is now the 20th of August. I got home from a cruise the 12th.

Alaska Sign                                                 Mark took me to Alaska.

When I first agreed to go, I thought I would be able to go ashore in Ketchikan to visit with a cousin. Then shortly before departure, that port stop was cancelled. So instead of visiting with Gretchen, I went whale watching out of Auke BayOur balcony

At the glacier 2



and saw the growlers and glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord


and shopped in Skaguay (yes, that’s the way they spell it there)RavenFrog

where I found spinning fiber made in Sitka by Raven Frog Fibers

RavenFrog Fiber


(which is called “Dark Winter Night” and which is spinning up beautifully)Our Cabin

and spent a lot of time just enjoying our balcony and my son’s company.

It certainly was a laid-back time for me. No meals about which to worry. No beds or dishes to be done. In fact, no requirements I do anything I didn’t want to do. I could eat breakfast and lunch whenever I wanted and whatever I wanted. Our dinner reservations were at 1730 and that worked fine (the head waiter was Czech and our table waiter was Hungarian).

I had taken along three books (none of which got read) and a knitting project to which was added two entire rows.

There is a lot to tell. It will probably be popping up a bit every week for some time to come.

Oh well …


Now … to quote Groucho Marx … again …


“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”


 So …

             ’til next week …








Still dry around here.

Last week there was a heavy rain just across the northern border that caused street flooding in Ashland, but not much here. We’ve heard thunder and had maybe half a dozen big rain drops. The latest thunder was just yesterday evening, to the west over Scott Valley. That’s been it so far.

Hope springs eternal …


Preplanning and follow-up meetings for the summer’s radio events are happening with predictable regularity. On the plus side … we’ve been doing this so long there are templates for assignments and instructions. Next sunday will be the Summit Century Bicycle Event which includes climbs up four of the peaks in this area … Parks Creek on the Pacific Crest Trail, Mumbo Basin in back of Castle Crags, Castle Lake (my station), and the old ski bowl in avalanche gulch on Mt Shasta. Mark and Mikayla (both of whom have amateur licenses … AB2LI and KE2VQD) will be here and both will be working with us.

That will make three events done and leave three to go.


The radio shack is getting repair and reroofing. The edges of the rafters had rotted over the years (the “shack” has been without repair of any kind since the 50s). Members were able to get supplies and roofing work donated, so member responsibility was minimal.

Amateur Radio Clubhouse



The meeting place is now secure from above for the next few years.




August is turning out to be another busy month. If things go as they have in the past, in just a few days it will be September.

Still, any time I begin to feel pressured I think about the alternative … sitting, slumped, staring at my feet wondering if anyone ever wonders if I’m still around.

In addition, books are even sweeter when you have to steal reading time.


Genealogy has naturally taken a back seat lately even though I have continued to do my volunteer time at the Family History Center. Still, the latest surprise was an unexpected contact from a researcher interested in the Bruten (Brewton, Bruton, Browtun, Brutown, Brutan, … but you get the idea) family. My maternal grandfather’s maternal grandmother (did you follow that?) was a Bruten. By using and expanding on that researcher’s work, I found a couple of wills from the early 1800s which list slaves by name. The will makers’ family were landowners in the Spartanburg area of South Carolina. So if you know any genealogists interested in slave history, aim them at the Brutons in South Carolina around 1810-20.

Another interesting side finding was the source of an family name. My direct ancestor was named Enoch (not my great-great-grandmother … her father). It is an unusual name but was quite prevalent in the Bruten family (and may still be).

In the tracking, I found the source … a grandmother named Rebecca Enoch/Enochsdotter, daughter of John Enoch/Enochs/Enochsson, son of Enoch Enochsson. This is the first sign of Scandinavian history I’ve found.

I’ll get back to that line later.


During the session of HOT weather, the tomatoes did well and the corn put on a spurt. Then we had a few days of cooler temps and things slowed a bit. In fact, the corn got stuck at a bit more than knee-high. I was feeling a bit down. Then on a trip into town I checked out some of the gardens along the way and found that their corn isn’t any higher than ours. Not a good growing year in spite of the temps in the 90s and 100s.


We haven’t been seeing the does and fawns as much lately. Due to the drought, they may be feeding a bit further up Mt Eddy. And the sand cranes have left the meadow.

The reservoir is dryer than I have ever seen it. The water is scummy. There is green growth around the edges of what water there is. The level is below the intakes which normally carry the irrigation water north into the Shasta Valley. And there is no water for fire fighting. In the past, helicopters have dipped into the reservoir for water drops and water tenders have filled there. Not this year …

The edgy feelings in re possible fire are still nagging. I made backups of all my genealogy stuff and stashed it away. So if we get burned out, remind someone that all that work is on a separate hard drive in the grey fire safe at the foot of the stairs.

~~~30 July 2014

Mornings are cool. The heat doesn’t hit until about 0930.


There will be no blog next week. I will be away from the 5th through the 12th. Mikayla will be here with George. She has been working as a cook (on a street wagon and in a sports bar). That should make for some new and interesting meals.

I will miss the county fair this year. George plans to take Mikayla, probably on free-admission-for-seniors day. The grandchildren used to be here every summer, so Mikayla’s been going to the Golden Fair since she was about 5. She used to like the cattle barn. Who knows what she’ll want to see this year.

Speaking of the cattle barn … that reminded me that years ago, when we were new to the area and the fair, there was a woman who raised Jersey cattle and showed them at the fair. Each year she would take up the entire southwest quarter of the dairy cattle barn. Usually at least two of her cows would be on the verge of calving which made it exciting trying to guess the best time to visit the cattle barn to maybe get in on the birth. She slept in the show barn with her cows rather than in a travel trailer like the other exhibitors.

I was told by a former 4-H member that once, when she herself was very pregnant, the Jersey lady was sleeping in her barn with an ill animal when she went into labor and delivered. So when later she yelled at her kid “Were you born in a barn?”, the kid could answer “Yea. Remember?”


I’ll tell you about my adventure when I get back.



So … until the 13th …






Tomorrow is the anniversary of my firstborn’s arrival.

It was a hot July day … a wonderful day.

Happy Happy Happy Birthday Son !!!


“What drought ?” … That was the reply of a visitor from down south when asked to conserve water while visiting. Further response was, “There’s no drought. Water is still coming out of the tap.”

We did have hints of rain last week … just enough to remind us what rain feels and smells like.

And the tourist flatboats on the Rogue are carrying fewer passengers so the boats will ride higher as water level in the river diminishes.

… What drought ???

Just because Oregon and Washington are both on fire …


George began skidding the downed trees. He was able to get several lengths out into the meadow to dry before the tractor just stopped working. It will be a few days before he gets the tractor running again, and he will be taking a few days off anyhow. He had a small accident last weekend and is using a cane.

Things are improving (with the help of Watkins liniment, pain relievers, and the cane), so by later this week he will probably be able to cut the trees into skidding size lengths to allow them to start drying where they are.


We’ve lost one of the laying hens. She was in the yard last friday with the rest of them about 1530. When I went out to close them in for the night about 2030, I failed to make a head count when I locked the door for the night.

Saturday morning we went out to feed and she wasn’t there. We haven’t found any feather traces yet.

Oh well …


My renewed Passport has arrived in spite of all the problems. I told you I had to have the photo taken a second time, didn’t I? Someone didn’t like the first one. They wanted one facing the camera square on, looking straight into the lens, with no hint of a smile. Guess the clerk was someone who wants all female pictures to be as ugly as possible in order to give someone the chance to tell the woman “That picture doesn’t do you justice.” … “You’ve much prettier (better-looking, attractive, younger, etc.) than that.” … etc.

Whatever … it’s done now. I can travel legally until I’m in my mid-90s.


I recently finished reading a book (historical novel) about Matilda, called Matti or Maud, granddaughter of William the Conqueror and daughter of Henry I of England. That was a turbulent era.

Not too bad a read … but with some controversial ideas.

Maud was the one involved in the civil war with King Stephen during the early 1100s.

According to the novel, Maud had an affair with Stephen before Henry I died (Henry had named Maud his heir to be crowned “King” of England and Normandy, but his nephew Stephen de Blois took the throne) and Maud’s first son (who became Henry II) was not the child of her husband (Geoffrey of Anjou), but of Stephen. And that is why the civil war between Stephen and Maud ended with Stephen skipping his nominal heirs (sons by his wife) to name Maud’s son Henry the next King of England.

It is sort of like the theory that Elizabeth I was actually a royal bastard’s transgender child who had been substituted when the real Princess died suddenly (for more information, Google “The Bisley Boy Legend“).

The idea that Henry was doubly the great-grandson of William the Conqueror is intriguing … but then maybe interesting only to history buffs. Oh well …

Next read? Another foray into the world of Jasper Fforde.


I’ve been having trouble with phone service. Did you know that new regulations have created phone service in three parts? I didn’t … until the mess began and my son explained it all to me.

It seems there is local service, which is a very limited area right around your number. For us that area includes Weed, Mt Shasta, and Dunsmuir and possibly McCloud.

Next comes local which is not included with your number, i.e. for which you pay extra. For us that includes cell phones, Yreka, and who knows how much else.

The final section is everything else.

Because of my misunderstanding when transferring our long distance service, I am still without the mid-range service.

Aaahhhh for the good old days when local was your area code and long distance was everything else. My son will soon have it all sorted out and I will be back to “normal”.


Isn’t it interesting when you consider the low 80s as cool temperatures? We are having a break from high 90s and triple digits. I had to put on an extra shirt yesterday evening. It is due to go back up to the high 90s tomorrow or the next day and be back over 100 next weekend.

23 July 2014 Sky

                                Pale sun, clouds, and wind this morning.

I hope weather change is treating you a bit better.


Another few days this summer are now booked. Nephew Eric will be here in August. The current schedule for the next two months includes radio event meetings (planning and follow-up), actual radio events, visitors, a trip with Mark, and Family History Center shifts plus all the regular stuff.

Keeping busy keeps you young, right?


Finally a word quiz received from a cousin … hint: think outside the eye.




1. What did Noah build?
2. What is an article that serves ice cream?
3. What does a bloodhound do when chasing a woman?
4. What word expresses the loss of a parrot?
5. What is an appropriate title for a knight named Koll?
6. What is a sunburned man?
7. What is a tall coffee pot perking?
8. What does one do when it rains?
9. What does a boy on the lake do when his motor won’t run?
10. What do you call a person who writes for an inn?
11. What did the captain say when the boat was bombed?
12. What does a little acorn say when he grows up?
13. What do you do with yarn and needles?
14. Can George Washington turn into a state?
15. What does one do to trees that are in the way?




So … how’d you do?


‘Til next week …








This coming saturday, our younger son Mark will be formally accepted into ministry. He studied and worked hard, and has much to offer. Congratulations, son !!!


We had rain last friday morning. It smelled nice. It wet the walks and pavement. It was enough to drip off the roof. It lasted about half an hour. So much for rain.


Had a situation last week which combined “chocolate” and disappointment.

We have a local group of taiko drummers. The teachers are recognized as “Masters”.

I’m a fan of taiko (remember my affinity for drummers) and I recently learned that George has come to appreciate taiko (maybe his diminished hearing played a part in that in the past he complained taiko was too loud). Each year Shasta Taiko does a professional show in late summer. It is so professional that taiko Masters from all around the globe come to perform … and the tickets are too expensive for us.

This year, in my role as President of the radio club, I spoke with Jeanne Mercer (one of the local Masters … the other is Russell Baba) who asked if the radio club would be interested in doing security.

Chocolate … maybe we would be able to attend the show.

But it turned out what they were looking for was a group to handle traffic and parking, so …

Disappointment … I had to tell them we do health and welfare security, not law enforcement. Guess we won’t be going to the show. Oh well …


Grok made it onto as the Word of the Day last week.

Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” was published in 1961. Acceptance took only 53 years.


I recently received news (from his daughter) that an old neighbor (old in that we were neighbors in Pomona back in the late 50s) had been able to make the WWII Vets Pilgrimage to the memorials in DC last April. That must have been quite an experience.

Ray Here’s the picture his daughter sent (sorry it isn’t clearer but it’s a copy of a copy of a newspaper photo).

Glad you had a good time, Ray.

George is eligible for that trip having had Naval service during both WWII and Korea, but I doubt he will ever take it. After all, as he says, … if he gets further from home than Redding south or Medford north, he gets a roaring  nose bleed.


The leaning tree fell monday morning … just not where George had intended. That tree had been so warped by fate (bad fire scar and wind twisting because of the scar-weakened side), it is a wonder it hadn’t come down on its own earlier and didn’t do more damage than it did when it finally came down. No damage to George (I haven’t seen him move that fast in a bit) or his equipment, and only minor damage to the sugar maple.

That twisted tree had been a worry for some time. I was afraid if we got a strong wind from just the right direction, who knows where it would have landed … both chicken houses were in reach. Now there will be wood drying for 2015-16 and that fret spot is gone.


Then yesterday he dropped another, this one near the downside of the barn.


In spite of the drought, some of the plants are still doing their best to stay “normal”.Granny Smith Apples

The Granny Smith apple tree bonks me in the head every time I go out to the courtyard …Smoke Tree


The smoke tree is lovely …

Lily and Green Rose


Daddy’s Green Rose (and shared-space lily) are showing off …




The Campion is lighting up the courtyard …

Doe with Twins

                                 And the doe with twins is a regular in the backyard.



The moon was still up this morning …Morning Moon


looking lovely, as usual …16 Juy 2014                  and the morning view out front isn’t much different than it has been.


Another loss this week … that makes eight in less than six months.


You think that their

Dying is the worst

Thing that could happen.

                                                       Then they stay dead                                                             Donald Hall


But last tuesday brought an unexpected blessing.

We recently placed a big (for us) order for one of the items to get us through next winter. It is to arrive next tuesday. Yesterday I got a call from the truck driver telling me that he knows us, he knows how we live, he knows the things we do, and he likes us … so for the same price we will receive about 50% more than we ordered.

Next move … watch for a way to pay it forward.



Chin up, smile, share hugs … ’til next week …







Sorry my time is off and I’m late.

Recently a cousin posted a picture that said something about when you’re stressed, just repeat aloud  ”Not my Circus. Not my Monkey.”   Problem is that lately it’s been not only my circus, but my monkey too.

Oh well …


Tyler July 2014


The week with Tyler was a real blessing. Children always grow up so rapidly and grandchildren even more so. Maybe that’s because we are older when they come along and our time is passing faster anyhow.

His trip out west was an adventure in frustration. He was flying United. This trip was not an endorsement for them.

His arrival in Chicago was on time but the plane was held on the tarmac for over half an hour waiting for a gate. He ran through the terminal, but United had given his seat to a stand-by even though he arrived before the boarding gate closed, so he missed his connection. I wonder if the same would have happened to an adult?

He finally got to San Francisco but the next plane north was the next day at noon. They did not offer him meals or lodging.which meant more than twelve hours in the airport. Again, I wonder of that would have happened to an adult. As a result, his uncle in Sacramento went after him and brought him up to us.

Then the weather turned HOT … over 100° every day … so we mostly just vegged.

He had wanted to visit the local horse rescue sanctuary (he works on a rescue farm in New York), but they had been very busy doing promotion stuff at the Mt Shasta 4th and were working hard to get things back to normal. He did get a promise of an interview when he comes west after he graduates high school, so the result of that contact was bad news and good news.

His trip home went without incident.

Anyhow … at 17 he is maturing (and may have a career as a car hijacker … he can drive a stick shift).


Gathering CrowdLast friday had been the second of our summer radio events … the Mt Shasta 4th of July. People began gathering before 0630.

There was someone new doing the ramrodding for the radio club (not new to the club, but new to leading the club’s involvement in an event).

Add to that a complete turnover in city Chamber of Commerce personnel (the supposed arrangers). But miracle of miracles, it all ended well. The only heat-related incident (in spite of the 100+ temps) was me. I once had a set-to with heat exhaustion and so am sensitive to high temps over any extended time. I had to leave my post and go sit in the car between the end of the walk-run and the awarding of prizes. I did my duty, but with a break in the middle.

My station was Mt Shasta Boulevard half a block north of the stage area, in the middle of the street between a small park (Parker Plaza) and the Vet’s Club (a local drinking spot) to monitor the runners and walkers as they returned from the 2-mile run and the walk, and to spot winners in the crowd during the raffle awards. In the past (BRCI – Before Radio Club Involvement) names would be called, the winner might be too far away from the stage to get there in the 15 second time allowance to claim the prize, and a second name would be called. Now if radio people spot a winner, they let net control (on the stage) know “I’ve got a winner” and there are fewer disappointed folks.

First station is important to the smooth operation of the event. Second station is important to winners. For this I get a free t-shirt, free fresh fruit all morning, all the water I can drink, and a sense of importance.

George’s stations were a bit unplanned. His first was where the railroad crosses Lake street at the beginning of all three events and the end of the 5-mile race. Folks have been known to catch toes in the tracks and stumble-fall or get the small wheels of baby prams or walkers caught or have the wheels of wheelchairs wedge in, so a health-and-welfare reporter is essential there. His second was down Mt Shasta Boulevard about half a mile where the parade formation occurs. People down there could never make it to the stage to claim a prize.

Dr. Jim Parker, who was the founder of the MS 4th, was there … for the last time as it turned out. Two years ago he was diagnosed with a particularly virulent form of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and it was a surprise he’d lasted this long. Friday he did the 2-mile walk (with assistance) wearing bib number “1″, was available for schmoozing,Parker                                     and served as Grand Master for the parade.

He went, with his son, to the fireworks that night, and saturday the family had a big party. Jim died in his sleep early sunday morning.

What a way to go.


We got back to Cold Comfort about 1330 to Hebrew National hotdogs, George’s potato salad, corn-on-the-cob, and watermelon. We now have an entire month until the next event                          … maybe.


Last wednesday we began monitoring the CalFire dispatch frequency. The county had been put on “Red Alert” tuesday night. There have already been more fires in California since the first of the year than the state experienced all of last year.

Local total so far is only three small side-of-the-road grass fires which were easily and quickly extinguished.

Our water tank is full, the foam stuff for the house is easily available, and the safezone is mowed and watered. I don’t know what more we can do.


Our water situation, and therefore our power, is a bit precarious. The water level in the Shasta River feeder (which is our power creek) is way down. George has buffered with sand bags so that every bit of water which comes down the course goes through the turbine. Still, we have to be careful with power usage until the sun hits the solar panels.

And of course, there had to be an additional problem rear its head. Something has happened with the big propane tank. The gauge shows it is empty and there should be about 90 gallons there. As soon as the air clears, George will get on it and all will be well again. In the meantime I use the microwave and the wood stove to cook (and we eat salads), and we take cold showers (which are welcome because of the temps anyhow).


Skewed Tree


This morning, George was out sizing up a tree to be felled for firewood. It is leaning a bit much and needs to be taken down (the trees to the right are vertical). A young (50s) neighbor will come over in a day or so to help and then there are two more trees George is eyeing.





The young buck and one of the yearling does have taken to spending the hot part of the day between a stand of little trees and the house.

They spook if you come up on them suddenly, but otherwise they just watch you and nod.



If you have integrity, nothing else matters.
If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
– Senator Alan Simpson

Too bad the hooligans in Government have forgotten …



So, ’til next week …








Last friday I watched the Met’s production of “La Bohème” on PBS. The stage settings were really inventive.. e.g. the garret wasn’t at stage level. It was atop roofs. It made me wonder if it could be seen from every seat, but it really worked on television.

And the topper (I’d heard the original performance on NPR in April) was that the soprano stepped in at the last minute to sing Mimi when the scheduled singer became ill. The replacement had sung Cio-Cio San just the night before and then sang Mimi at the saturday matinee. She had a very busy morning of rehearsal, costume fittings, and walkthroughs,but at least she didn’t have to change composer style. Still … what a memory feat. She’s one of the new sopranos. I’ll be watching her.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “Rusalka” was the opera last saturday on NPR. It wasn’t the Screamer singing the lead. It wasn’t bad, in spite of the picture in my head left over from a clip on Classic Arts Showcase in which the soprano singing the lead last week sang something with lyrics which say “I am a Spanish girl. I live in Spain. I speak Spanish. I was born in Spain. I am Spanish. etc. etc. etc”. Those inane lyrics sort of got in the way of accepting her as a Czech water sprite. Oh well …

And comparisons between “Rusalka” and “Little Mermaid” are inescapable.


I serve on a county service group and have found myself in a controversy over how the County Administrator filled a direction from the County Board of Supervisors. He was advised to “find the funds” for a project, with the inference that the money was to come from the County General Fund. Instead, the office of the Administrator searched out a group who operates on grant money to provide the money.

That seems to me to be an usurpation of intent.

It also delayed the implementation of the project by two months.

In addition, I was offended by the inference I was too stupid to locate grant money myself. My intent had been to bring to public attention a bad decision about the disposition of funds. The money was a means to an end.

But I am unable to complain about it aloud because there is another item before the Board of Supervisors which could be adversely affected by someone (me) making waves. It comes down to choosing which fight is currently more important.

My inner voice, which is saying “This isn’t right”, is upset. But the Council of which I am a member is in line to receive money for another project on which I am working. Any wave-making could interfere with the larger settlement ($3-5,000 as opposed to $700) … so, after a meeting with my Supervisor, I will bite my tongue. However, I will keep a copy of my notes just in case (as in election or re-selection of the Administrator later) … my Supervisor knows and apparently approves of that.


We had some rain last week. It was light (almost not there at all) on wednesday. There had then been 1.5 inches overnight. Thursday what rain fell was very light. Last night there were clouds and a threat of lightning, thunder, and rain but all that was a no-show.

I would prefer snowpack, but we’ll take anything we get and be grateful.


The main problems in the garden this year seem to be birds, both black and jays, and ground squirrels … and feral barn cats who think the freshly turned soil is a big litter box.

A lot of the seeds have been recycled before they could sprout. I am currently restarting seeds, this time indoors. I’ll be late, but better late …

George set a trap and so far the take is two Stellar Jays and two squirrels (the second squirrel broke its neck trying to escape). We’ll see if the trapping helps the situation.

This is the first year the problem has been this bad. I’m making notes for next year. I’ll start preparation earlier regardless of weather. And I’ll start seeds indoors. In the past, the difference in cost between plants and seeds made a difference. No longer …

The old weather signs and old farmers’ tales no longer seem to be working.

Oh well …


Genealogy … I had a few minutes free last friday afternoon and decided to print out the pages for a notebook in re the 19th century Lawhorn women in my line who aren’t direct ancestors. I had started researching them when looking for information about my Nana’s half-sister and found a wealth of interesting information (including a cousin listed as a prisoner on Alcatraz in 1910) and a couple of interesting living “cousins”.

I didn’t want all that information lost and so put together a “notebook” of information.

All that is backstory. The point of this post is that I fancied up the notebook pages with colour and my printer refused to print yellow. George refilled the colour cartridge and I was able to print about 30 pages. Then the yellow ceased printing again. Couldn’t have run out of ink. It had just been filled. If it is a defective cartridge, why are red and blue printing correctly? Why only yellow? What can this printer have against green?

Aaggggghhhhhhhhhhh …


Remember me carrying on about composers stealing music lines from other composers? Well … along the lines of “Great minds …” check out last week’s TED Hour.


FawnsWe saw a pair of the fawns for the first time yesterday. (Sorry for the blur … it was a difficult shot and one of the fawns was rambunctious. I had only one chance for a picture.)

We knew they were around someplace since the does were sleeker and their udders were full. But they hadn’t yet brought the babies out of hiding.

That evening, another doe had her single with her. And still later there was a doe in the backyard, just under the dining room window, who seemed to still be pregnant and evidently in labor. We’ll see what the final count is.


Tyler arrives just before midnight tonight. Visits from grandchildren are such blessings. Only one thing wrong … he won’t be staying nearly long enough. But summer school calls … and there is always next year.


2 July 2014Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly.

 Live While You Are Alive.




And that’s it ’til next week …









Over last weekend we had a visitor, Julie Small whose grandfather was my cousin.

Julie is a gem. Getting involved in family history has introduced me to so many interesting people.

Her visit gave me a chance to show off our beautiful area once again. And she fit into the world of CCF just fine. I can only hope she enjoyed her stay.


Weather turned warmer last thursday. It will now require more concentration and memory to keep things watered.

Some of the towns (cities?) around us are beginning to have water problems. I heard Montague expects to be out of water by August. And there was an article in the paper about water levels in some Siskiyou city wells. The lakes are low, even the ones high in the mountains.

But we are okay. Our well feeds off the runoff from Mt Eddy just to the southwest of us, and we are almost first in line tapping that aquifer. There are only two fulltime wells above us.

The creek which feeds the hydro plant may lose out some with the drought this summer, but the solar panels will pick up the slack there.


“I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

“Then someone at my side says: ‘There, she is gone!’

“ ‘Gone where?’

” Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.

“Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

“Just at the moment when someone at my side says: ‘There, she is gone!’, there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: ‘Here she comes!’

“And that is dying.”      quote Henry Van Dyke

Another death … the above was posted by two of her family members.

Rest well Joan, dear Niece.


Bike event went off as planned. The day before the event, I took Julie on a tour of the route so that she would know where to find George and me during the day.

Then saturday morning, George and I were up and out early. This year I was stationed at the first of the rest stations, and George was at Railroad Park (the last station – but he doubled as Net Control).

T-shirtsVolunteers at my station were dressed in those funky           t-shirts which have lush female bodies in skimpy beach clothes printed on them (they didn’t use the ones with bikinis because their sponsor was the Sisters of Mercy and they thought the nuns wouldn’t like bikinies).

They yelled “Welcome to our beach” at the riders as they arrived.  The area was decorated with plastic palm trees and beach balls and water toys and oversized marguerita glasses. They are already planning next year … circus theme … clowns and acrobats and animal trainers and ???  I think I’ll see if I can find some calliope music. Of course, I may be at a different station next year.

Oh well …

Last year (the first year for the event) there had been some problems with the after-event food (not enough, not as promised, not very good, etc.). This year the only provider was Casa Ramos (one of George and my favorite restaurants, as you probably know). They served LARGE burritos (bean, beef, or chicken) with chopped greens, tomatoes, salsa, chips, and a wonderful sauce. I hope Casa Ramos becomes a permanent part of the event.

And I overheard one of the planners talking about including a free beer with the meal next year.      You rock, Michelle.

SO … that is one event down and five (or possibly six) to go.

Next up … Mt Shasta’s 4th of July.

The 2014 Mount Shasta 4th of July t-shirt was designed as a special tribute to Dr. Jim Parker.2014-tshirt-photo The design was inspired by the iconic image of Dr. Parker running down Mount Shasta Blvd. leading the crowd with up-raised arms.  The silhouette of Dr. Parker was superimposed over an image of wind-blown dandelions against the backdrop of Mount Shasta. 
Dr. Parker was founder of the Mount Shasta 4th of July Run/Walk in 1980 and served as race director for the next 33 years until stepping down in 2012 due to health issues. 


A bit ago, there was a report on a news program about the impact of the tv series “Grimm” on the city of Portland. The report tickled my curiosity about the series (remember, I’m a fantasy fan), so I ordered the first disc from NetFlix.

George is not a reader of much of anything which is probably why he gets his news from the television (I used to read the LATimes every day when we lived down there but gave that up when we moved here because the paper was always at least four days old). Since he is not a reader, fantasy has been unknown to George.

Yup … you got it. Guess who is now the bigger fan of “Grimm”. The brain-teasing relaxation of fantasy has a convert. Just don’t tell him I leaked his secret.


Last week twin tornadoes hit the small town of Pilger in Nebraska. The name caught my eye so I checked it out on Google Earth. That was quite interesting.

It is (was?) a square town. That area is farm land and is laid out in sections. Evidently one area (a square mile?) was designated as “town”. I’ve never seen such a straight-edged town. I wonder if they will rebuild.

Another interesting aside was that very nearby was a town named “Wisner”. When we first moved to Mt Shasta we lived in a teeny house on Wisner Road not too far from the Wisner family.  Old Mr. Wisner had been one of the first neighbors to call on me. He brought me flowers. An old fashioned gentleman.


 Remember a bit ago when I told you about the very young repairman from AAA who didn’t know how to jumpstart my old car? Well … a similar thing happened in Seattle recently when some young men tried to hijack a woman’s car but were unable to do so because none of them knew how to drive a stick shift.

Advantages of being a geezer ???


25 June 2014It’s been quite warm lately and this morning the catalpa is coming into bloom.

Lovely …




So … ’til next week …








The next summer visitor arrives this afternoon … Julie Small.



Her grandfather was my cousin. His name was Marvin and I remember that when I was quite young (he was 16 years older than I), he had played the piano and sung “Winter Wonderland” to me …White Hat


and that another time when he visited us he let me wear his white hat (Navy issue – he was in the submarine service).

I anticipate a nice visit.


George had to drive up to Central Point, Oregon today to pick up a piece for repair of one of his heavy equipment tools. He left angry.

He had paid nearly $200.00 for delivery as per instructions which said the piece would be delivered via FedEx. Since FedEx delivers to us we expected it here. Wrong.

And to make matters worse, the warehouse in Central Point is open for pick ups from 0700 to 0900 in the morning or from 1800 to 2000 in the evening only. That meant George needed to either leave before dawn or not get home until nearly sundown.

He bought over the net. Letters and evaluations will be written.


Last week I got caught up in those what? who? where? quizzes on Facebook. Turns out I was the geek in high school, am a traditional witch who ought to be a writer, and should be living in the world of Dr. Who.

Oh well …


This has been a garden week.  I got some volunteer chamomile transplanted for later harvest, garlic chives reset, and lemon balm and hyssop seeded. In addition, the new blueberry plants are rooting well.

It has also been a week of harvesting herbs. Some herbs are a bit early this year. That must be weather patterns. I have oregano and comfrey hanging to dry and mullein leaves scattered to dry and lavender hanging and yarrow and allheal making tincture and apple mint and spearmint hanging for tea and am watching the cleaver (I found a new patch). No sign of blooms on what few St. John’s wort plants there are. They will be late this year.

I spotted a couple of good chickory plants. I’ll watch them for roots next fall and set some aside for “coffee” if we have a hard winter. A hard winter … what an idea … I hope I hope I hope …

Speaking of winter … cold nights came back just after I got the tomato and pepper plants out into the garden. That figures. Fortunately, I save old sheets and was able to provide some cover.

The catalpa still hasn’t bloomed but is showing buds.

The fruit on both the apricot and the plum took a hit with cold nights. There is still fruit, just not as much as I had hoped. And we need to get the bird netting out over the peach tree. It is away from the house and so the birds are more aggressive. I’ve hung some flutterers around. Maybe they will help until we can get netting up and over.  And I’ll see if I can locate the owl scarecrows.


Fire watch in our area is HIGH. NO barnyard burning allowed. CalFire has cancelled all fire permits. That means the slash piles will be really big for Hallowe’en bonfires this autumn.


Genealogy … Back in March of 2010, I wrote to the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies to ask for information about applying for “Forgotten Settlers” information. Several of my forbearers settled in Kansas very early. I had not heard anything in reply until just a couple of days ago. Now I have information and a link to another genealogical cousin.

Maybe four years plus for a response is par for Kansas. Who knows?


At one time I was a member of an investing group which was doing pretty well. Then I began looking into the ethics of the companies we owned such as the company who fired a manager because he put a bulletin board in his establishment, where employees and customers could see it, on which he posted a positive thought each day. It was not authorized company policy so the manager was out the door in spite of loud support from employees and customers. 

Or the company which had a history of firing employees when they worked their way up to the top salary range and hiring in replacement employees at base wage. I could find no complaints about the performances of the discharged employees. In fact, most of them had exemplary job reviews. Because the company headquarters were in an “at will” state, and there was no union protection, there was no recourse under age harassment laws (even though most of the involved people were over 55).

Or the company which fired an employee who called a failure in safety procedures to the attention of management. I couldn’t find information in re any correction to the procedures.

And those are only a few of the companies in which we held stock.

I finally decided I could not be part of that culture and took my money out. I look at market results following the recent recession and how the value of the NYSE has risen more than $7,000 from its low (I can’t recall the percentage, but it’s big) while, at the same time, more and more people fall below the poverty level … and I think how “rich” I’d be had I stayed in the investment club. Then I think of the ethical cost of that wealth and am content with my situation.


Tonight is the monthly meeting of the radio club. Things are falling into place nicely. First radio event will be next saturday … high class bike event in Mt Shasta. I will be manning (?) the first rest stop on the route and then (after lunch) filling in wherever needed until the day is over. Free dinner (for volunteers) this year is Casa Ramos … good food.Castle Crags Logo


And the shirts are pretty classy.



Next up in the radio calendar … Mt Shasta’s 4th with its parade in reverse.




A neighbor was told he had to move out of the house he had been renting and so had to empty out the freezer. As a result, I inherited a whole lot of partially thawed tomatoes. I spent yesterday (off and on all day) canning.


Several years ago (about five I think, when she was last here), my friend Elaine brought me two starts of rose campion from over on the Klamath River. It is simple and lovely and has seeded itself over a rather large area. I have been giving away starts. It is truly a sweet addition to any arid garden, even if you do have to “weed” some to prevent it taking over completely.


Our hummingbird colony is growing. Adding feeders seems to have done the trick. And putting some near the house and some out under the pergazebollis was a good idea as well. Spreads the area the “boss” has to monitor.

A couple of mornings ago we saw a new hummer outside the dining room windows. It is the smallest we’ve seen. Most of them are the size of the first two joints on my middle finger. The “boss” is a bit bigger. But this new one isn’t much bigger than the two joints of my little finger.

Very young female? New hatch? Who knows. But it does seem to be a bold one.


Speaking of ideas … remember me putting beer bottles in the ground in the garden last year to deter the burrowers? Well … it didn’t really work. It may be that we don’t get enough air flow across that area to make them “sing”. So I am now busy taking them out as I ready the beds for use … that makes extras work because I have to wash them before the Opportunity Center will take them for recycling.

This year I will go back to castor pellets. That worked in the past. If I can find some castor beans, I’ll grow a plant and try to make my own deterrent.


And finally …

Nietzche said, “A man can deal with any what, as long as he has a good enough why.”

Reminds me of my Nana’s saying that we are never given a load heavier than we can carry.

Dissimilar minds with similar thoughts.

And there is no such thing as human impacted climate change …


18 June 2014Weather prediction is for things to warm up …


And that’s it for this week. So … ’til next wednesday …








 11 June …


John’s visit didn’t last nearly long enough (at least not for me). But I was able to see him and collect a few hugs and that’s a blessing.  

One big flaw in this visit occured when John and his partner Michael tried to go up to the old ski bowl to do some picture taking. The highway was closed at Bunny Flats. It has always been that the road remained closed above there until the winter snow was clear. Well … this winter there was very little snow overall, and there is none at all left on the road, but goldarnit the rules say the road is closed until 1 July (or some such date), so the road is closed.

Oh well …


We had the first FIRE of the season in our general area last sunday. It was a grass fire near the mill in Weed. It covered more than ten acres before they got it under control. I would guess all the coming summer will be high fire watch time.



We had another appointment for George with the VA. This time the appointment was at 0730 with a request to arrive 15 minutes early. That meant we left home at 0615. But we have no complaints. We’ve never been on a wait list for an appointment. Just call and be scheduled. Great VA service in this impoverished county. (Sorry the picture is too blue. I’m having printer colour adjustment challenges.)

The diagnosis was he’s doing okay for an 86-year-old. Then a couple of days ago, his right sacroiliac joint began to act up. Next visit will be in October … VA gives him semi-annual checkups. We may call for a check of the joint earlier. I have no doubt we will be seen quickly.

The trip north confirmed that the sun is now rising far north of the Mountain. Equinox in two weeks.


Mountain in JuneThe Mountain (while still beautiful) is looking pretty bare for this time of year.


Weather has turned WARM, at least for here … in the high 80s. We had been sleeping under only a sheet until last night. Day had been warm, but it got down to the low 40s during the night and, with doors and windows left open overnight, we needed to pull up a comforter.


Just about the time you think you’ve gotten things under control … life happens. I recently lost a very close friend (as you are all aware, probably more aware than you would choose). One of my cousins has had the same experience. Her experience triggered some of my memories and now we are both dealing with the “Last Man Standing” syndrome.

Philosophically, we should be learning. Maybe we are. It will just take a bit of time to grok the lesson.

Hang in there, Roxie … and everyone stay well.


Life in general goes on. Did I remember to tell you that they made the first alfalfa cut in Shasta Valley last week? If you have never been in an area when they do a cut, you’ve missed one of the great olfactory experiences of life. Nose candy …

The first cut this year is a good one. Lots of heavy rows waiting to be baled, and no rain in the forecast to spoil the first harvest.


My face broke out again last week. That’s why I collected only hugs while John was here … mouth area was swollen and a bit weepy. I’m back on the meds that make me photophobic. That means that, as I go out to work in the garden, I need to stay in the shade or cover up as much as possible. Gardening in a long sleeved shirt is not my favorite, but oh well … kvetch … kvetch …kvetch !!!

I was, however, able to get a start in this year’s garden by going out to work very early while most of the garden was still in shade. Tomato plants are in. Let’s hope nights warm up a bit or I may have to put bonnets over them for a time.


I received an interesting invitation in the mail last monday.

Several years ago I had volunteered to serve on the County Grand Jury, but was rejected. I was not even considered. I was told the Judge who was reviewing the applications saw my name and crumpled the application into the waste basket. He was a friend of the people with whom George and I were in conflict concerning the newly formed volunteer fire department here on Hammond Ranch … but that’s a story for another time.

This invitation appears to be a result of my jury duty a couple of weeks ago. I received the letter from the Judge on that case requesting that I consider applying for a position on the upcoming Grand Jury. She included an application. Surprised me.

I read the application and have decided Grand Jury duty is no longer feasible for me since it requires about 20 hours a week from 30 June 2014 to 1 July 2015 and pays only $15.00 a day. That is a bit more per hour than I’d make at Burger King or WalMart, but I just don’t have the time. As I’ve often said, I seem to be working more now that I’m no longer working than I did when I was working regularly.

Oh well … but under other circumstances, it might have been interesting.


I had heard about the film “Cowboys and Aliens” … Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Reviews weren’t all that good. But I took a chance and got it from NetFlix. What a romp!

Turns out it was based on graphic novels which must be a lot like the old pulp scifi-fantasy comic books. One goof … the Colonel’s son was not only unsympathetic but unnecessary … at least in my opinion.

I am now considering checking out “Game of Thrones” on NetFlix. “Maleficent” is already on the list.

Okay … I’m a fantasy freak. What can I say?


Summer radio events continue to coalesce. George and I went down the canyon to check out reception at one of the new rest and water stops for the first bike event of the year. It is to be south of Dunsmuir at a place called “Railroad Park”.

RR Park RR Park is a collection of old railroad cars and cabooses which have been turned into bedrooms and a restaurant … Come to dinner and spend the night. If you are ever in this area and plan to do that, call and we’ll meet you for dinner.

The bike event will provide publicity for RR Park as well as the general area … and the park gets good radio reception. During the radio test we had a contact from a ham in Stockton.


On the way back home, we stopped at the Pizza Factory in Dunsmuir (“We toss ‘em. They’re awesome.”) for calzone and beer. We used to make that an annual special meal during Railroad Days in Dunsmuir, but there will be no Railroad Days this year. Something about not being able to get display engines and cars up here from the RR Museum in Portola. So instead it will be “Heritage Days” next weekend. We chose to do our calzone feed last monday. We may do it again in October after the “Run for the Arts”. Dunsmuir’s Pizza Factory food really is awesome, and the visit was fun. Turns out George is friends (via a model railroad club) with a cousin of the owner’s wife. Chat time.

The Pizza Factory chain is running a “Don’t be a bully” program so all the staff were wearing t-shirts with that slogan. Sorry, no pic. I’d left my camera in the car.


11 June 2014This morning is clear and chilly. This is a different view … down the drive toward the barn.

Finally … How do you feel about commas? 

                               Nut screws washer and bolts



So … ’til next week …