21 September …

Last wednesday George and I went to a seminar to learn about creating a trust so when we die all the fuss of probate will be avoided. I went with a skeptical attitude expecting it would be a buy-it-now push, but also expecting to learn something about trusts. Both expectations were met.

It was a buy-it-now affair ($300 off if you buy now), but the fast-talking salesman didn’t object to being interrupted by questions (even seemingly antagonistic ones) and his responses were clear and understandable. My take-away objection was the insertion of political opinion into the spiel and I mentioned that to the contact person when we talked earlier this week.

Yes … we did buy at the seminar at a cost $600 below the local attorneys’ prices. The creation of the trust is in process.

Then at the Family History Center thursday, I heard a horror story about a trust created by a local attorney which contained additions by the husband about which the wife knew nothing, that the actual trust was never filed, and that the attorney is now billing her for consultations about the problems.

But on the pro side, an old friend (from when we first moved onto Hammond Ranch) had dealt with the company with whom we are dealing, and her experience has been good. So we feel we did okay.

Stay tuned …


Volunteer time at the Family History Center is becoming an iffy proposition.  My time was cancelled the first of the month due to the smoky air.  Then yesterday, the Sister I expected was ill and another showed up whose daughter was visiting and with whom she wished to go shopping. When there had been no takers for genealogy by 1230, we closed shop since I am not allowed to be there alone. I worry a little about what if someone plans to get there at 1300 or so.  Maybe we should ask those interested to call and tell us they plan on coming and when. However, I’m not on that committee. Oh well …

Next scheduled day … 6 October … right in the middle of Spinzilla.


21-sept-2016Seasonal report … the year is moving rapidly toward full Autumn and onward toward Winter.  Completely dark by 2000.  And not really light until after 0730.

Weather has been clear and moderate.




There are signs of Autumn both indoors (hummer feeders and drying chilies) …







and outdoors (dried grasses).



The Gap fire down river is under control.  No new ones.


The trip to Medford last monday was a busy one.  The list of things to get done looked daunting.  But it all got done (with one exception) and we were home a bit after 1600.  Weather was nice and there was very little traffic.

Not much new at the retinologist.  George’s right eye AMD is under control and we may be dropping back to every five weeks rather than every four.

We’re on a fish and chips meal trip.  We had gone to McGrath’s Fish House in Medford last month and went there again yesterday.  They post what seafood is fresh each day and its source.  Our fish and chips monday was wild caught cod from Washington state.  Next month we will be in Medford on a tuesday and plan to try the fish and chips at the Wharf in downtown Medford.

Comparison shopping …


Next to last radio event for 2016 will be the Biketoberfest in McCloud next saturday, 24 September. It was originally held in October.  Now that it is in September maybe it should be renamed Biketemberfest … but I’m not on that committee.

George and I will be manning our regular stations.

Other news for the radio club is that three members took on the job of sprucing up the exterior of the building.clubhouse-before It had been in deplorable shape. 

clubhouse-afterNow it looks soooooo good.

New eaves and roof. Obstructive trees taken down and antennas improved. Now a spruced up exterior.  Maybe the next step is to do something about the windows and interior.  We shall see.


I just finished reading “The Cursed Child”, the 8th of the Harry Potter stories … and I’d been having a hard time with it.  However, I think I figured out why.

There were two Wilmas reading.

Wilma #1 is the Potter fan who wants to know what is happening.

Wilma #2 is the Wilma who has been involved with live theatre, mainly in the role of audience, for over 70 years.

Wilma #2 keeps getting in the way of Wilma #1.

Just one “for instance” … there is a scene in which the boys disappear under an invisibility cloak and the headmistress of Hogwarts is unable to see them (of course), but is able to see things move as the boys move.

Wilma #1 can see this in her mind’s eye, but Wilma #2 says “How can you do that on stage? A black cloak, like Bunraku, and expect the audience to play along? Maybe.”

Wilma #1 moved into the lead telling Wilma #2 that she is not on that committee so sit back and enjoy the ride.

It would have made a very good novel.


Received a story (told by a lecturer) from our younger son which struck a sympathetic note.  After all, Mt Shasta is dormant, not extinct.

How about an Iceland story?
I was speaking recently in Iceland when suddenly the fire alarm goes off. And it isn’t one of those digital pulse ones, it’s an old school metal on metal clangy one that makes your head hurt. It’s so loud that I have to stop talking. Which is when I notice something interesting – no one is moving. They’re just sitting there calmly smiling at me. Which I take to mean, “no big deal, it will probably go off in a second.” But it doesn’t, the alarm just keeps ringing. We’ve been sitting this way for a bit when two people appear in the back of the venue, open the double doors to the parking lot, and start gesturing to us to come outside because there’s a fire. They actually say that – “There’s a fire. Get out!”
The audience? They slowly start standing up and gathering their things while they’re chatting casually with each other as they eventually make their way out of the venue. As I leave the room I smell smoke, which the others can smell, but it doesn’t speed them up at all. We all stand outside in the sun talking and then we’re told that the fire has been taken care of and we can go inside. So we file back in and when we’re all assembled I can’t stop laughing and I say, “Who are you people that you can be told there’s a fire in the building you’re currently in and you aren’t even remotely phased?”
Immediately a woman in the audience says, “What do you expect from people who live on a volcano?”


I had told you the reservoir is low.  Well, here’s how low.mill-1


That’s it for this week.  Tyler and Tiffany will arrive this evening. There will be a cheesecake on the table.


Lesson for us all:

Sometimes an email or phone call isn’t enough. Actually go see people.


So … ’til next week …


14 September …


The water level in the reservoir is dropping.  You can once again see the stone pilings of the old Durney Mill.  Chances are the reservoir will be down to the small spring-fed puddle by the end of the month.


Fire/weather report … the Gap fire to the north is coming under control.  There was a touch of smoke last sunday evening, but the wind has been with us.

A new fire broke out in Ft Jones but was under control rapidly.

We are under an almost constant red flag watch, but so far all is well.

~~~daddy-and-incle-edgar-abt-1905Last sunday was the 114th anniversary of my Daddy’s birth.  That is Daddy on the left with his brother, Edgar.  Daddy was about 4 when this picture was taken.  He was the youngest in the family and is still very present in my life.


Getting lost is an adventure which is being denied to the younger generations due to MapQuest and Google Maps and GPS and APRS etc. etc. etc.

George and I have gotten lost more than once during our travels.  One adventure that comes to mind was the time we were moving to Milwaukee because of George’s work.  We were passing through Joplin, Missouri and had an empty evening.  I had seem a tourist flier advertising the “Joplin Ghost Light” (also called the Hornet Spooklight, Hollis Light and Joplin Spook Light) and we ecided to go see if we could find it.

One story about the light is that it traces back to some boys lost during the Trail of Tears.  At any rate, it is said to be seen in the mountains between Missouri and Oklahoma.

We set out after dinner, following the map in the brochure, into an area we had never been in and of which we had no knowledge.

We found ourselves on narrow backroads (some gravel) with few or no signs of people.  We met no cars.

Eventually we came across a sign of people … a barn just off the road on the left.  But there was no one visible from whom we could ask directions.

We pulled a bit further down the road and a house up on the side of a hill to the right came into sight.  There was a light visible (of course it was after dark) and we decided to stop and ask directions to either the ghost light or back to Joplin.

Our oldest child was with us.  He was just fiveThe movie “Psycho” had recently been released. He had been with us at the drive-in when we saw “Psycho”, but I had made him lie down in the back seat and go to sleep.  “Deliverance” was still in the future.

After a short discussion, it was decided it would be best if were the one to go up the steps and walkway to ask for directions while George stayed in the car with John to keep the engine running … just in case we had to leave in a hurry.  Logical, right?

Well … I was not attacked by any deranged householders, we never did see the light, and we did get back to Joplin and then on to Milwaukee.

And that was just one of our “getting lost” adventures.


In this part of Siskiyou County there are two railroad lines.  The main one is Union Pacific which bought out Southern Pacific and which runs freight through the canyon north and south.  That line is also the one used by Amtrak.

The other is CORP … the California Oregon Pacific line which runs from Weed, through the Shasta Valley into southern Oregon.

There is lots of traffic on the UP line.  I hear trains and train whistles often.

CORP however, is a much smaller operation so it is rare to see trains in operation.  But last friday we were on our way north on old 99 when about halfway between Gazelle and Grenada we came upon an engine headed north with four flatcars of plywood, a box car, and a tanker car (contents of both unknown).

I was so surprised I almost forgot to wave to the engineer as we passed, but I did wave and received a short “toot” in return.

I do love trains … even diesels.


Last sunday I received a surprise phone call.  Ginger Mattos had been Mark’s third grade teacher.  She and I had met occasionally over the years, but did not maintain contact.  So when I heard her on the phone, it sort of startled me.

It turned out she had been trying to call a friend and had used a card on which was written my name and phone number.  But my name had been crossed out and the name of her friend written above.  Ginger had no memory of or reason for how that had happened.

We chatted for a few minutes during which I learned she had a fall a year ago resulting in a head injury which put her in the hospital for several days and now she is not allowed to drive, leaving her essentially housebound.  Ginger was calling her friend to ask when she would be coming next to take her to the store. 

Ginger invited me to stop by for a visit some time (I go past her place on my way into and back from Mt Shasta) and I said I would.

There is a connection between Ginger and me.  We share a birthday date.  The year Mark was in Ginger’s class he had money for just one pair of earrings and wanted to give gifts to both of us … so I got one earring and Ginger got the other.  I don’t think of her often.  The one time I for sure remember her is when I go to put on a pair of earrings and see that single bird earring,  I wonder if she still has hers.  Maybe I’ll stop by and ask.

But I am wondering at the coincidence of the alteration of that phone card

 … if it was a coincidence.   


I’ve signed up for Spinzilla again.  This year it is the first week in October.  I’ve ordered some fiber and will look for some more.  No way do I want to run out.

Reports to follow.


Autumn truly is in the air.plumThe yellow plum in the courtyard has changed ...

red-mapleAnd the first signs of red are on the maple.maple


And thinking back to getting lost … someone once said


A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.


So … ’til next week …


7 September …


Trip to the new doctor last wednesday began with a noticeable scent in the airWednesday 1 and the mountains to the southwest blue-grey behind a haze.

As we went out Dale Creek past the reservoir we had trouble seeing the Mountain.Wednesday 2 If we hadn’t known where She is, we would have missed Her.

Wednesday 3The depth of the smoke picked up as we went north.

Wednesday 4 By the time we got to Yreka, the haze had become a pall and it was difficult to see across the road.

Wednesday 5It wasn’t much better by the time we headed home.

This morning is much clearer although the Gap fire is still out of control.  Depends on the direction of the wind.


Aside from the smoke situation, my appointment with the new doc was interesting to say the least.  When he came in I said hello and that I didn’t need care, I was there to meet him.  His reply was that I had just deleted the first five minutes of his presentation.

I tried to be as open and honest about my situation as possible. We often don’t realize what we are not sharing. But I did the best I could and I think I answered his questions truthfully.

The outcome was that although he honors Dr. Kolpacoff, he wants to make his own assessment of my staph situation the next time it occurs, and white-coat-anxiety aside he wants to check on my blood pressure.  He said he would give me a one time script for the staph antibiotic I’ve been using, but not the prednisone. He wants me to start the antibiotic as soon as I recognize the symptoms next time and get in to see him asap.  I told him that cellulitis leaves me a blubbering mess and asked what trouble I would have getting an emergency appointment and he said he always leaves time in his schedule for just such events. We shall see. If I’m lucky, my body has decided to not do that thing any longer and I will never have to test the front office’s protective issues.

It was a normal appointment.  However, I still miss the days of going in, being met by a single front desk person (often the doc’s wife since there were very few female docs back then and office’s were often in the doctor’s home), having vitals checked by a back office person (often the same person as the front office person and even sometimes the doc himself),  and then talking with the doc.

And if for some reason you couldn’t make it to the office, the doc came to you.

Nowadays the front office consists of a receptionist, a transcriber of the required medical history information sheets, a telephone person, an insurance person, an appointment maker, and in some cases a door keeper even before you get to the front desk.

Once past that area, there is the information reviewer, the vitals taker who may or may not be the one to show you to the “exam” room, and once in the exam room, the reviewer of all that went before who is often the transcriber who stays in the room and notes every action and word. Then, during the “exam”, techs of various kinds and the keeper of the medical records may be involved.

Last wednesday I saw seven different people in addition to the doctor and that was without any diagnostic procedures being done.

It’s similar to the contrast between the Emergency “Room” when I first went to work and the Emergency “Department” now. 

Back in the “old” days, I was the only person in the “room” … receptionist, clerk, phone person, vitals taker, transcriptionist, etc. as well as the RN doing triage, initial care, collector of specimens, and implementer of any orders from the doctor. And after office hours or on weekends (I worked weekend nights), the RN had to call a general practice doc (at his home) if he was needed for orders or to actually come to the hospital.

Now that “department” has all the separate people noted earlier as well as in-house techs, an extra RN or LVN, and a 24-hour specialty doc.

Oh well …

End of rant-like observation.


My scheduled session at the Family History Center last thursday was cancelled due to the smoke. The amount of smoke was less (the wind had shifted a bit) but the Sister with whom I was scheduled to work has asthma and couldn’t go outdoors.

LDS Church rules don’t allow anyone to work alone, so I had the day free.


Seasons are changing.Daddy's Rose


I’ve picked the last of Daddy’s green roses.




Herbs and peppers are hung to dry and hummer feeders taken in.



AC no longer “herds” the ladies but sits with me and waits for them to herd themselves into the house in the evening.

I have begun the process of weaning him away from the chickens and introducing him to the barn cats. Not easy. He has never lived with cats, at least not since he was abandoned.

But there was an encouraging development last monday.  I’d begun giving him his breakfast at the barn door and monday morning I saw him with one of the barn cats. AC left him (or her) to come to me, but there had been no antagonism.

Things are as they are …


I had been getting antsy about firewood.  George said he couldn’t skid the logs for cutting into rounds without the tractor … and it was being recalcitrant. Thursday he got it running (carburetor) and so will skid in the next day or so.  Then into rounds and then (after a week or so) splitting followed by stacking.  We may stay warm this winter after all. 

Next year I’ll start getting antsy earlier and we may be ready earlier. 

Yea … right.

Oh well …


Picked up Mountain View Organic tomatoes on monday. I’ve been using their tomatoes for Ruby’s soup and sauce for several years.TomatoesThey give me the field runs (not so pretty) at a very good price.



They have been choppedIn the pot and stewed.  Soon, our winter 7-11 will be stocked with soup and sauces

Jelly & Grats

in addition to the Cold Comfort grape jelly. 


(That’s my “gratitude” jar beside the jelly)



The High Holy Days are coming and I recently saw a list of questions to ask yourself in preparation.  Three of them hit me as useful even if you aren’t Jewish.


What are my three most significant achievements?

What are the three biggest mistakes I’ve made?

What project or goal, if left undone, will I most regret?­­­­­­­­­


I’m working on my answers.

So … ’til next week …



30 August …

 Earlier this year, the doctor who has been our primary care giver for many years dropped his private practice and became the local VA doc.  I’ve told you that before.

However, because of that, my first appointment with a new care giver is early tomorrow morning. That is the reason this is being posted on tuesday.


New York family left about 1700 friday evening.  They will be moving west sometime in the next three years.  Mark wants Paul to go to school in Mt Shasta.

As I was straightening up I realized the house was soooooo empty and quiet.  I get the same feeling when John leaves after a couple of days.  This was a bit more intense.

But I slept well that night in spite of the empty quiet.


Here are a couple of pictures taken while my younger grandson and I were spending time together.Nuna and Paul

Time is precious when you become a grandmother this late in life.  I’ll be lucky to see him graduate high school. 

At least I can create memories.


My computer has been giving me trouble for a few weeks.  Booting up was taking longer and longer.  One day last week it took over two hours to reach usable condition.

Mark did as much as he could under the circumstances since he had holiday expectations (he worked with the local Masonic Lodge serving a dinner for all the local Law Enforcement head men on thursday, had an evening with a high school friend, and  friday was packing day for the return home) and he did not have the correct tools available. I was able to make a full backup of my information with the exception of back emails. 

To address my problem,  Mark and John got together and John arrived saturday evening with parts and tools to do the repairs. 

I’m computer challenged, so I can’t tell you what happened or how it was fixed with the exception that there was an extra hard drive in the tower (of which I had been unaware and which wasn’t obvious until the side was taken off) which seems to have suddenly begun confusing the start up operations.

At any rate, I am once again able to use the computer as I have been accustomed to doing.

A hearty thank you to both my sons.


Gene Wilder died last weekend. A friend posted a short video from one of his movies in which he leans out of a train door and blows a kiss.  I teared up.  Mercy journey, Mr. Wilder and thank you.




AC is one smart cat.  He has learned the sound of the front door closing so when I go out to feed him, he meets me half way.

I have learned something as well. 

When he meets me he is not sure which way I am going so he sticks close to my feet making the chance of a stumble or stepping on him pretty good.  So I picked him up to carry him part way until he is on known ground.  I picked him up by putting my hand around his torso just behind his front legs.  He fought and twisted.  Then it dawned on me that is the way a predator would grab him.  A mother cat carries kittens by the nap of the neck.  So the next time I pinched the skin on the back of his neck to carry him … and he curled up and started to purr … loudly.

Interesting …


While he was here, Mark smoked several racks of ribs.  But I already told you that.


My point is that we enjoyed bacon and one great meal before they left, there are several meals waiting in the 7-11 freezers,  and my kitchen still has a lovely aroma.



We once again have two functioning vehicles.

George (and Mark) got the Toyota running again.  They were able to get the replacement axle in place by pounding on it with a rubber mallet and it drives well.  The brakes still need a bit of tuning (we won’t be using it regularly until that is done), the front seats will either have new covers or be replaced, and it needs to be thoroughly vacuumed. 


It’s fire season. Humidity today was 14% and there was wind.

Four fires …

Grade fireThe first was two miles north of Yreka in the Hawkinsville area. It got big, took out some buildings, and was too far north to offer any danger to Cold Comfort Farm.

Gap FireOne is down river between Seiad and Hayfork which is too far north and west of us to be a worry. But it is the big one. Nine thousand acres so far.

Another was over the mountains to the west in Scott Valley near Moffat Creek … closer but also no danger since the wind has never come at us from that direction.

And one, which could have been a problem, was to the south near the Mt Shasta Resort and Lake Siskiyou. Winds from that direction and the lack of “developed” land between there and here put us on alert.  But the Forest Service, CalFire, and local volunteer groups hit it hard and fast and it was controlled in less than four hours.


Last night the wind shifted and this morning we had smoke from the Gap fire down river.


The cycle of the year is becoming very noticeable.  It is still dark at 0600 and the sun is gone by 1830.  It seems just a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t go out to close in the chickens (and feed AC) until a few minutes before 2100. Friday evening I went out at 2000 and the chickens were already in. Tonight I went out at 2000 and it was almost too dark to do without a flashlight. Tomorrow I go out at 1950.

It won’t be long before we are back in the time of year when it is still dark at 0800 and is again dark by 1530 . I will soon have to move AC’s living quarters near or in the barn in anticipation of bad weather … probably when the hens move back to the winter house, i.e. in with the pullets (who are due to start laying in about two weeks).


And finally … I found this some time ago and now seems like a good time to share. 


Don’t miss the boat
Build on high ground
For safety’s sake, travel in pairs
Stay below deck during the storm
Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat
Don’t listen to critics – do what has to be done
Plan ahead – it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark

Stay fit – when you’re 600 years old, you might be asked to do something REALLY big.

So … ’til next week …


24 August …


Family has been here for nearly two weeks. Busy times. 

At the radio club meeting last week, we all went, even the young one who knows how to use his parents’ radios as a “third party”.

Interestingly, he sounds older and more mature on the radio than he does otherwise.

Thursday we all went to Sacramento. Mark (the younger son) had an interview so he dropped the rest of us off at the Railroad Museum. He was interviewing for work since he plans to relocate back here within a year or so.




At the museum, George and I took it easy, but Kamille was on the go full time keeping an eye on Paul. DSCN0770Four-year-olds love trains.

Mark was back in time to share lunch and an afternoon session in the museum. Then we headed north.

DSCN0775We were able to meet John (the older son) and his partner, Michael, at a great restaurant in Marysville for dinner.  It was a comfortable meal what with sharing stories and laughs … and some of the best Chinese food I’ve had in a long time. If you like Chinese, real Chinese, and are in the Marysville area … go to the20160818 181355 8 copy

The area is a bit rundown, but the food, the atmosphere, and the service are excellent.

We got home late.  The chickens were all in and on the roosts, but AC was alert and waiting for his evening meal.


Friday was a quiet day.  Everyone was pooped and the weather was still hot.

Saturday was a different story.  DSCN0849


We made tamales.  


We did make our monthly trip to the retinologist on monday. Weather was warm, but not as hot as it had been.

George and I had decided fish and chips sounded good so we went to McGrath’s Fish House for dinner.DSCN0998

(Why are people obsessed with posting pictures of meals and food?)

While we were in Medford, we went by the restaurant supply store and got thirty pounds of ribs which Mark spent yesterday smoking. He will finish them up today and we will feast on smoked bar-b-que ribs friday. In addition, there will be ribs to share with neighbors at dinners and meals for George and I all winter. The freezers in the 7-11 are stuffed and the kitchen smells delicious.


I forgot to tell you that at the radio meeting we decided that if there aren’t more participants at the Run for the Arts than there were last year, we are going to decline to spend time with that event.  Last year our operators outnumbered the runners in the half marathon, and the 5k goes through town where there is little chance of getting lost. We’ll know about that event as soon a they have their planning meeting.

We will be doing the other two events … the Biketoberfest in McCloud and the Headwaters marathon. Then we will be done for this year.


I just saw an article about the solar eclipse next August.  The radio club had done an event a couple of years ago when we were in the path of a solar eclipse.  So we will be discussing the possibility of doing another.  And this coming one is to be closer to full when seen from this area.  That is something to anticipate.


Only two more days with the family.  They leave friday evening. Of course I am looking forward to when they relocate and we will see them at least once a month.

Having both sons and their families near has always been a dream.   


DSCN0604The Mountain is looking a bit ragged, but still beautiful.


Read  the following sentence out loud     


Did you read it as “opportunity is nowhere”

or as “opportunity is now here”    ???


So … ’til next week …





17 August …


The New York crew arrived just before midnight last saturday. Everyone went right to bed.

Mexican Fiesta Sundays are a tradition with the NY family. So we are doing it here as well. The day after they arrived we did huevos rancheros for breakfast.FiestaThen chicken tacos, California cheese and chorizo enchiladas, tomatillo ensalada, Oaxaca black beans and lime dessert with whipped topping. The rest of the day and evening they were on their own looking for leftovers.

I’m already planning next sunday’s menu. I can only hope it will be cooler. Last sunday was the hottest day we’ve had this year.

The heat isn’t bothering the New York folks too much. They had been having heat … but with humidity. At least here the heat is dry.

Paul and AC


Monday was a further recovery day.


Paul went out to meet AC.


Tuesday was still pretty warm (read hot), so it too was a quiet day.

Tonight is the radio club meeting.  Since all four adults are hams (AB6UE, AB2LI, KD6WZC, and KD2JLY), we’ll be going to the meeting after spending some time in the city park. Maybe it will be cooler there.


I recently made contact with another distant genealogical cousin. My grandmother was her great-grandfather’s sister … so her grandmother was my father’s cousin. I keep finding these folks whose great-grandparents were my cousins or some such.  Talk about feeling old …

But it is fun to make connections.


Didn’t think I’d be watching the Olympics … but I had been a swimmer when I was young and the possibilities caught me. I’m glad I got to see some of those races.

And from there I got caught by the gymnasts.

A cousin is a tract aficinado so then I found myself there. We’ve been watching on NBC. All that time spent and I’m not really a “sports” person.

Oh well …




The hummers are here is full force.  So far, I’ve been able to get a picture of only two at a time even though there are times when seven or eight are active overhead.



Last year, when he was here, Paul got really involved with the clock at the foot of the stairs.  It has always been a favorite with his siblings. It chimes every fifteen minutes.  George and I don’t hear it unless we are listening for it.  But for the first couple of days he is here, Paul hears it every fifteen minutes. 

On the Stairs


Sometimes he sits on the bottom step … waiting.




Had a bit of a problem with the water system tuesday. The pump stopped pumping.  Gave me a bit of a scare.  At the moment we are without an extra pump.  That will be remedied SOON so we don’t get caught.

The problem, rather than being a bad pump, was a single connection.  George got it fixed quickly.

Then, a couple of hours later, it happened again. Again fixed easily and quickly.

Third time it happened, I was getting a bit concerned (again) and also a bit upset that the fixes weren’t lasting.  But that time it got really fixed.  I don’t know electricity and its ins and outs, but I am told wires got scraped, re-twisted, and sealed. All has been well ever since.

I still don’t know why it came undone repeatedly. Oh well …


Today will be a busy day, so I’m getting this done early. The sun isn’t really up yet.17 August 2016

And that’s it for now …


Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”      –Friedrich Nietzsche



So …’til next week …




10 August …


Found this and thought it was a good fit … particularly today …

“Welcome to my blog. Straight jackets are to the left.  Meds are to the right.  And keep your hands off my crayons.”


Now … let’s see who or what I can blame.

The initial indicating the day on the supplement box isn’t readable.

The calendar is so cluttered I couldn’t see the blog reminder.

George didn’t remind me.

BakingI was focused on making breakfast bread and baking cookies.

I need to get the shopping list ready so there is food in the house for the company arriving this weekend.

The sun is coming up later.

They were playing the Pastoral on Sirius.

The sand cranes in the meadow were flying and calling.

That’s all I can think of right now. Just don’t blame me …

Onward !!!


The radio event last saturday was worth the time.

Tech SwapGeorge was able to transfer ownership of three pieces of equipment to others who will enjoy it,

Conversationand I enjoyed the conversations (those which weren’t too technical) and the people. 

The food was good and plentiful … two salads (one Israeli and one tortellini), cocktail sized pigs in blankets, cheese spinach pastry rolls, chips and dips, bar-b-que beef, and garlic bread). 

We gained two new hams to help work on events.

The weather was just right.

A good day.

But there may be trouble ahead for the club. It turns out three events, for which we have in the past done communications, have scheduled their events one right after another … the last two saturdays in September and the first saturday in October.

There would seem to be an interesting discussion ahead at the next club meeting and some hard decisions to be made.


The plans for the New York family visit morphed suddenly. They will be flying and renting a car rather than driving. Time restrictions caused the change. It works for us because we’ll have them here for a full two weeks rather than fewer days because they would sightsee had they driven.  Nice.

They will arrive the 13th.


Between the 1st and the 7th I was able to be at home all day just once.  I’ve got to plan better.

And plans for next friday changed as well.  We won’t be going to the fair this year. Other obligations have gotten in the way. I am looking forward to hearing what happens at the TEC booth. Getting the County to give the TEC working money was my “baby” and watching where that program is going is a bit possessive.

In addition, I will sort of miss the Indian tacos the Karuk make. Maybe I will try to do some fry bread outdoors and make our own while the New Yorkers are here.


I found some lovely material at WalMart last week and am in the process of making a couple of new tablecloths if I can remember how to seam the material to fit my table. It takes a bit more concentration than the last time I did this.  The “essential” tremor makes it less settled.  But they are turning out well.


10 August 2016Weather has been a bit cooler (or rather a “tad” cooler as our new tv weather person says), but they tell us it will top out over 100° again in a few days. Got to get as much baking as possible done as soon as possible.


… and finally …


If you never admit that you are wrong, you are saying that you are no smarter now than you used to be.


So … It was my memory glitch that made this week’s blog late. Sorry.


… ’til next week …

4 August …


Last friday I received a Jury summons. I reported for the jury cattle call tuesday after noon. The temperature was in the 90s but it was cool in the courthouse.  There were about 75 of us in that group.  There had been a similar group in the morning. We sat through the explanations (civil vs criminal cases, duties of jurors, duties of lawyers and the judge, etc.) and the beginnings of questioning. At 1630 we were sent home and told to be back in the courtroom at 0900 wednesday. That’s why there was no blog yesterday.

Wednesday was all day in the jury selection process.  It is a boring affair, but you need to pay attention all the time because you might be called next and knowing what has been asked and said could be very useful. It was 1625 when they finally had their twelve jurors and three alternates.

I did have some interesting conversations during the day and a half.

One with a man who works for the railroad as a radio repeater repairman and who obviously has Graves disease (his eye balls seemed to be completely out in front of his bone structure).  He was a joker, making jokes about everything and everyone. As we left the courtroom, he wanted a fist bump.

Another was a woman who currently works as a back office nurse (RN) for a doctor I know and who said she remembered me from her shift as a student in the Emergency Department about 20 years ago.  She was in the first upgrade class at COS of nurses moving from Licensed Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse. She had some interesting things to say about the nursing instructors at that time.  She was excused from the call because her absence left the office with no back office coverage.

There was a woman who is the manager of a bank in Etna and who desperately wanted to be chosen for the jury because she had been unable to take a vacation and would like the time “off”.

There was a scruffy-looking man who was hoping to be called to questioning because he is involved in a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office and another against one of the Superior Court judges and would have liked the chance to sound-off.

And there was a young man who was so far out (hair braided in random direction, not re-done recently corn rows, with acne, but driving an obviously expensive sports car) from whom people were moving away as far as possible. I sat down next to him after lunch yesterday and asked him a question about my emergency cell phone.  He was soft-spoken, polite, and seemed pleased to have been asked.  If I’d thought of it yesterday, I’d have asked for a ride in his impressive wheels.

And there was a man who when called to questioning opened his identification with “I wouldn’t believe anything a Sheriff or other law enforcement officer said.”  He’d been in the jury pool with me two years ago and said the exact same thing.

The case was a criminal one. The defendant is charged with imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, and assault with a threat to kill. The weapons involved are claimed to have been a long knife, a fireplace poker, and a piece of fire wood. Might have been interesting, but this is a busy time of year so I’m not sorry I wasn’t chosen.

And that’s the explanation of why this week’s blog is a day late.

A cousin noted that in her county they take you off the list of possible jurors when you turn seventy. Oh well … not in this county.

It has been years since George got a summons.  I get one every other year. We haven’t been able to come to any logical reason why.


It has been HOT !!!

4 August 2016

This morning the sun through the trees is bright, but it will be a cooler day.

It has been over 100° here in the past, and I didn’t enjoy it then either. I realize this is not the only place dealing with this situation.  However, it is the place where I am.

Sleeping without any cover at all helps.  I was still sweating most of the nights until last night.

As a result of having my nose frost-bitten and having had a heat stroke (not at the same time … one in Mt Shasta thirty-some years ago and the other years earlier in Gila Bend, Arizona), my comfort zone is between 55° and 80-85°.

So I try to get an early start on each day during summer weather, “cook” as little as possible, and just veg.

In addition, the days are noticeably shorter in just the month since solstice. I can count on the ladies and the pullets being in by 2030 instead of closer to 2100, and I let them out a bit after 0700. Equinox is about 60 days away.


Canning report … in spite of the heat …

5 pints of Royal Ann cherries with thyme …  6 half pints of corn relish …  11 pints of apricot jam …  8 pints of peach jam …  2 pints of peach-melba jam …  and 2 quart bags of frozen peach pie/cobbler fixin’s

Winter is going to be delicious.


The Siskiyou Golden (County) Fair will be next week.  Mark and at least part of his crew from New York will most likely be here. I had agreed to work the Tobacco Education Council booth for four hours on friday.  I am no longer on the Board, but they needed volunteers to help with the facial morphing booth.

I will tell you about the fair and the TEC experience in a couple of weeks..


We started this week with a Castle Crags bicycle event follow-up meeting last monday.

Good event. 

Good follow-up meeting.

They really appreciate us.

They noted that they cleared $17,000 this year even with the bad weather and resulting low registration. That’ll buy a lot of books for kids and fund a good scholarship and who knows what else.



AC 4 August 2016


Cat report …

AC, the little black cat, is always hungry (or at least always wants to eat when I go out), always has a round tummy, and isn’t growing as much as I think he should.



This morning I need to do some shopping.  There is to be a radio club swap meet and potluck on saturday.  The swap meet will be George’s event.  I’ll take a big salad and some fresh challah and just sit around and watch (or take a book and read).


Found an interesting Bible quote last week when I was researching Abigail, one of David’s wives. It made me thing of this election.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.             Philippians 2:3-4


So … ’til next week …


27 July …

 John - July 2016



Well … my oldest child has turned sixty.


George and I made our monthly trip north while John was here. He drove.  It was interesting and welcome having a chauffeur. Weather was getting hot, so we didn’t dally and were home and napping by 1500.  A thoroughly good day for us.

When the “boys” were at home, they each got to choose dinner for their birthday.  John’s choice this year (as it had often been) was for ribs cooked my style, potato salad the way his father makes it, and Grandma Tyler’s lemon pie. I added warmed baguette with butter, roasted corn on the cob, and chunked tomato on romaine. It was good and we were all so busy eating and talking there are no pictures.  Oops …

27 July 2016He and Michael H. left this morning about 0800. It is supposed to be HOT everywhere today and they wanted to get home to Marysville asap.


This trip, John brought peaches and cherries and apricots and corn with him. I’ll be making jam and canning and freezing the rest of this week

This edition of the blog may be a bit short because I need to get at all that before the house gets too warm.

I’ll let you know how it turns out..


At the radio club meeting last week, some decisions were made (1. any decision to work an event more than 30 travel miles from Mt Shasta will be an individual choice, and 2. the club will purchase good quality orange communication vests with reflective stripes identifying the wearer as a member of the Mt Shasta Amateur Radio Club). In addition, plans were set for the upcoming potluck and swap meet. A short and not really exciting meeting.

Those are good.


A couple of things about recent events has made me think about perceptions. I have realized that in addition to seeing friends as they are, I also see them as they were.  That may be because in the mirror I see myself as I am while at the same time, in my mind’s eye, I see myself as I was in my prime.

Although it pains them, my children will always, in one way, be children to me because they come with so many great memories.


The pullets are getting big.  Only another six weeks or so and they will be laying.

This morning, AC displayed a new trick.  He knows he doesn’t eat in the morning until the ladies are taken care of and are out in their yard, eating.  So when I open the coop door to let the ladies out, AC oversees.  This morning the rock came out and instantly went to foraging.  But the red stepped out the door and just stopped. Right away, AC reached out and slapped her on the leg as if to say “Get with the program. I’m hungry.”



He is still not too big and watching him is a hoot.


Today, when I went out, he was nearly as far toward the house as the pullet house.  He is exploring more and further afield.  I give it about three weeks until he joins the panthers out front in the morning.


One morning last week, George greeted me as I came downstairs with “Good morning to you …” and I was instantly five-years-old again starting the day in kindergarten with a teacher we called Miss Sunshine and we were all singing …

        “Good morning to you.

        “Good morning to you.

        “We’re all in our places with sunshiny faces.

        “So this is the way we welcome each day.”

Memory of the past is still good.  Isn’t that a sign of getting old?


I did another session at the Family History Center last week. The only client was a woman whose father (with the interesting given name of Ostap) didn’t talk about his youth but who, she had learned, became an orphan during WW II and came of age in United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Camps in Germany before coming to the US in 1950.

I didn’t do much specific research for her, but I had a blast tracking down leads for her to follow on her own.

An interesting aside is that the surnames on both sides hinted at Jewish origin, but the client reacted forcefully to that idea at first.  By the time we had to close the center, she was seemingly ready to track down that aspect for possible leads. I think the turning point came when we started imagining what had happened when (according to a conversation her father had, just days before he died, with her older brother) Ostap came home from school one day to an empty house and neighbors, whom he had know all his life, telling him no one had lived there for several months.

It is an intriguing tale and I sort of wish I had time and permission to get involved.  However, I don’t have the time and we do research only when specifically asked.

Oh well … maybe she’ll come back to the Center and I’ll learn a bit more.

The writer in me says that with a bit of imaginative guessing it might make a good book.


Have you ever read Kurt Vonnegut? He is well worth your time.

” … for heaven’s sake … Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

… Kurt Vonnegut,


So … ’til next week …

20 July …


We are not having a large family of deer in the yards this year compared to years past.  I’ve seen only six or seven at one time.  We used to regularly see a couple dozen grazing together.  I can only guess it is due to weather change since we don’t have more predators in the area.

Doe and Fawn


This year there is only one doe who regularly visits with her fawn.


Last thursday she was in the backyard and I got a surprise. She was joined by a forked horn male.  My guess is they are siblings.

It will be interesting watching them this summer.


Side thought following the visit last week with Merna … 

We got onto the subject of books (wonder how that happened). In comparing what we had read recently and were currently reading we found we both included histories and mysteries in our lists.

I guess it is true that genealogists are genealogists partly because they are mystery fans. We love tracking down lost ancestors and revealing family skeletons … then putting what we find into a historical context pleases us.

Mysteries and histories …


Smoke Tree


The smoke tree is in full bloom.  I remember when my close friend Elaine and I bought a pair.  I wonder hoe hers is doing since she moved and then died.



Things hit a bump with AC.

Sunday evening he wasn’t interested in helping round-up the Ladies and didn’t want to eat. Monday morning he wasn’t watching for me and still wasn’t interested in eating. He was subdued and seemed to want only to sit in the sun and be stroked. I began to worry that he was ill. He was still purring however.

Monday evening, back to normal … waiting for me, running to meet me, demanding the hens get in their house, and racing to his feeding area.

All is well.


An acquaintance had a bumper crop of red onions this year (he is at 3,700′ instead of 4,200′ like we are) and offered the extras to neighbors.  I went over monday morning and came home with some of the most gorgeous red onions I’ve seen (and they were really fresh – I watched them pulled from the earth).



Sliced OnionsI spent the entire morning tuesday slicing …

Onion topsand chopping greens …

Chopped Onionsand prepping for freezer packets and relish and pickles (are your eyes watering yet?).

I ended with 7 packs of chopped onion for sauces and stews, 2 packs of sliced green tops for broth-making, the equivalent of 2 pints of red onion relish for use with winter meats, and who knows how many pints of pickled red onions (I’ll be doing the pickling later this morning) plus the fresh slices I am using on salads.

I’m a bit tired of red onions right now but know they will be good later in the year when they cost too much and are probably not available locally.

(Sorry for the bad focus)


John arrives next sunday and will be here until thursday … celebrating his birthday. Will report next week.


Weather continues to confound … cool and damp one day, warmer but still damp the next.

20 July 2016Today is clear, drier, and a bit warmer.  The Shasta daisies are still blooming.  I got their start from friends who are now gone so when I see them I am reminded of Mary and Carmen Mazzei.  Her father was a bootlegger during prohibition and Carmen drank his red wine out of a pint jar and called us “Cousin” (seemingly an honorific used by local Italians). We were able to hear Carmen for years after he died because Mary left his message on her telephone answering machine.

They were good folks.


This is for anyone who has ever, under any circumstances, sung “We Shall Overcome” ..



Finally, as a pundit said … 

Headlines may grab attention but you have to dig deeper to discover the whole story. Once newly found information has settled into your psyche, you’ll be able to move forward on more certain ground


So … ’til next week …