Another week gone … year almost 5/6ths over. Oh well …


We are being blessed with a series of soft rains … the kind which lave foliage, scrub and scent the air, and usually soak into an eagerly thirsty earth (my-oh-my, I’ve gone poetically gaga).

Looking out the upper solarium windows, when the rain is washing down, makes the trees out front look as thought seen through one of those artistic filters in PhotoShop or on one of the new cell phones.

Rainy Window

Nature is quite an artist.

A current prediction is for first snow at our altitude on the 7th of November. I remember snow … white … soft …

Last sunday morning we had 32° at dawn.


I am already looking at the calendar for next summer. Between amateur radio events and the County Tobacco Education Council … FULL … from spring equinox until autumn equinox. Add garden, spinning, genealogy, and daily chores … who will have time to be bored.

If you plan to visit, ask for a calendar so you can plan the event(s) in which you would like to be involved.


I had an interesting thing happen last week.

Last thursday I was in Yreka and went shopping at the Grocery Outlet. Of course, there was musak playing. As I turned from the fresh produce area to the baking area, Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” came on. Instant recognition … it was connected with something pleasant … but WHAT?

It kept playing in my head the rest of the day. Fortunately, it let me sleep. Then all day friday it kept popping up. Sadly pleasant nostalgia without memory of where or why.

Saturday, all day, same thing. Finally just before bed I went on Facebook to see if anyone had an answer or something which would trigger my memory. Still hearing it …

                         If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me   Time after time

If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting   Time after time

No helpful response …             then all of a sudden a mind picture and there it was …

“Strictly Ballroom”

Lovely movie … now I’ve put it on the Netflix list and we’ll watch it again.

Revelation came with an interesting aside … the song my older son remembers from that movie is “Love is in the Air”.




Found a picture of me and my friend Pat at the spinning session last week. I hadn’t taken Matilda out in the wet, so I was knitting.



Hallowe’en is only two days away … favorite holiday. When the older grandchildren were little, I used to send a “countdown” box with surprises for each of the 13 days leading up to Hallowe’en (Samhain). Now with our newest grandchild, who is still a bit young for an entire box, I am beginning to collect for future boxes. Will probably wait until he’s four.

Maybe not.


Time change will come next saturday … again (lately many things in my life are “again”). It will be easier to feed the animals in the morning, but it will be dark by 1630. I do so wish the powers that be would choose one time frame and stick with it. Which they choose makes me no never mind … just choose and stay there. I’ll adjust.

Here’s 0700 today …

29 Oct 2014


Short blog this week. Been busy with the TEC project and with getting the garden ready for winter. Spent time yesterday on the phone learning about the fair over in Tulelake and time folding and protecting the tomato cages from snow load (how’s that for positive thinking?).


So … ’til next week …








Weather is a puzzle. The predicted rain for last friday failed to materialize. And the saturday morning temperature at the Run for the Arts, while a bit on the nippy side, was a whole lot warmer than last year.

The Run went off with a minimum of fuss for us radio folks. However, there were some overall problems. One such was that the planners changed the routes without notifying the communicators, so we were pointing people in the wrong direction. In addition, the coloured arrows marking the routes weren’t synced with the ID numbers the runners were wearing, i.e. those wearing yellow numbers were to follow the white arrows, etc.

There were fewer than 40 participants, only 11 of whom did the half-marathon. The others did the 5K run-walk. Not good. The event had to have lost money. The husband of the lead organizer spent some time talking with me. He was upset about the amount of time his wife had given to the event with so little return.

I’ll update my notes and planning to be ready for next year … but I won’t be surprised if we are back down to only six events next summer.

Oh well …


Anniversary number sixty-two came and went. “Celebration” was calzone and amber bock at the Pizza Factory in Dunsmuir (where they toss ‘em) after the radio event on saturday.

Anniversary 2014

Sunday (the actual anniversary day) we smooched and agreed to do the same next year.

I spent sunday morning in the kitchen … cooking down a broth of chicken bones and giblets plus leftover vegetables for monday’s soup, stewing apples and baking turnovers, making chopped liver for snacks, cleaning the freezer above the fridge, boiling eggs for Sunshine Eggs this morning, and getting a country-fried steak dinner on the table.


Spinning Oct 2014Was at another of the monthly spinning sessions yesterday.

It was at Donna’s on Harry Cash Road out near Sheep Rock.Donna

She always provides over-the-top desserts. This time it was apricots x two … on cheesecake and as a layer in sinful cookie bars.Apricots x 2




It was nice to be greeted with hugs after an absence of several months. I didn’t take Matilda since it had been raining and she doesn’t go out much when it is chilly and/or humid. Instead I took the infinity cowl I’m knitting using the “Totem Spirit” yarn.

One interesting conversation was about the young woman dying with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to take advantage of their Death-with-Dignity law. Since the youngest spinner in the group is in her 40s, the majority agreed with the young woman in the news. One member says she warned her family that moving into Oregon meant shifting only about 50 miles north. Another said that she and three “girl friends” are a group to assure each other their final wishes will be followed. They call themselves POFPDH … pillow over face push down hard.

Even the spinner who identifies as a STRONG Christian was nodding her head.



Maple ColourSoft rain, with some wind, began again on monday morning just as it was getting light. Clear and windy on tuesday. Ready for more rain today. Wind has already started.


Garden production is over. There is still work to be done out there, such as shredding the corn stalks, but I turned the lady chickens in to do their bug clean-up thing on saturday. I’ll finish out there when the rain lets up and the ground dries a bit.

In addition, I need to clean out the winter hen house and spread fresh straw so it will be ready to move the ladies back. I’d like a newer, mobile house for them … but we’re too old to take on a new building project. We will just continue to move the ladies back and forth with the seasons.


Red Maple


The maple tree is aglow … it happens every year and is beautiful every year.


As I was coming home yesterday I was enjoying the scenery and thought it was a blessing that the eye-joy continues after all these years. I wonder if you folks out there tire of my pictures of essentially the same view over and over.

I don’t.


Obligations off the farm are slowing down. One more this week. And only one next week.

The winter reading stack has three books in it. That has to be improved. But the new Anne Rice will be on shelves next week. That will add to the stack. And the continuing series about the Mormons in the 19th century will be added.

I’m reading those Mormon “novels” because they were offered to me by one of the “Saint” friends with whom I work at the local Family History Center. The rule in the Center is that politics and religion are not to be discussed there … but when there are no outside searchers (clients?), we occasionally violate the rule and discuss both. Both Laura and Marty seem interested in explaining their beliefs to me (both are converts … one from Methodism and the other from Roman Catholicism), but neither preaches or proselytizes. Makes for some entertaining conversations.

We also talk food and putting-by. They add my putting-by purchase requests to theirs so I get the group prices. There will be salmon sides in the next week or so. Those are for free.

And we trade recipes a lot.

Some days we don’t get a lot of genealogy done.


Speaking about genealogy … a Tyler cousin emailed me last week offering to give me (and another cousin) all of his mother’s “stuff”. Wow … treasure. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get it home. He says it is heavy and would cost a lot to pack and send.

A solution will appear.


And a thought to end this week …

Whenever you feel darkness, develop the habit of repeating, “Let there be light.” Just by repeating these words over and over you will begin to feel the light of the universe penetrating your heart and soul. Even if your personal situation remains as it is, with the light you will have the power to deal with any situation from a position of strength.



So, ’til next week …







The rain started about 1845 yesterday, just as I was going out to put the ladies to bed. Total this morning is 1.02″. That will keep the creek running for a while.


The results of George’s semi-annual at the VA were all positive … he is great for his age and he positively has incipient osteoarthritis in his knees. Next visit will be in April.

Coming home was an adventure. The wind from the south had been fierce all afternoon so the crosswind buffeting our old, boxy Toyota made for interesting jiggles.


Spinzilla is over. I’m in shocked disbelief.


I managed 6,194.1 yards (a bit over 3 miles) even being gone part of three days.

That isn’t really as impressive as it looks at first glance. The new rules this year allowed us to count plying as spinning, so a 3-ply counted as 4 times the length of the skein. That means I actually spun 4,610.1 yards.

Oh well …

Will know the total for my team by next wednesday.

I made an interesting discovery just before the end of the spinning time which made a big difference, It required that I refigure all my yardage. All these years I have thought my Niddy-Noddy gave me skeins one and a half yards in circumference. Friday night I measured it and learned the skeins are actually one and two-thirds yards long. If I have a skein of 100 wraps, that’s 600 inches … nearly an extra 17 yards.

Didn’t finish all the fiber I had drafted. I think my stash box is possessed.

Draft Box


I had tucked all the drafted fiber into it. Then as I spun, I’d take out a pile and reclose the box. When I went back to get the next pile, the box would be full. Kept happening over and over. It’s still full.

Oh well …


I have a scarf, a pair of socks, and possibly a wimple to finish for winter holiday gifts. Then I can start on the Spinzilla shawl.


George’s trip to the retinologist last friday went well. The pictures showed the fluid build-up behind his retina had decreased close to three-fourths in size. He had been saying there was little or no difference in his sight. It may be he was preparing himself for the worst scenario. Or it may have been his innate pessimism. Either way, he is seeing better. The vision tests went from 20/60 to 20/40. Next needle-in-the-eye is 13 November.


Last friday was a FULL day. It started with a blood draw getting ready for the trip to the cardiologist the first part of November, but without breakfast at Poor George’s … they changed their opening time from 0630 to 0800, so we were too early. Next time we will adjust our time schedule.

We ate at Grandma’s House instead and it was not a good start to the day. I ordered the ortega-bacon omelet. If there was bacon in there I never found it, and the pepper was canned and mushy. It cost a dollar less that Poor George’s, but they should have paid me to eat it. Grandma’s is right off I-5, so I guess they count on tourists and consequently don’t care. Neither do I since we won’t be going there again.

Stops in Oregon concluded with WebSters. Dona (the owner) gave each Spinzilla spinner a free eight ounce bump of fiber. I got New Zealand natural coloured Romney. She also gave us 10% off any purchases during Spinzilla week. So after making an effort to clear out my fiber stash, it is now bigger than ever. We better have an old-fashioned winter so I’ll have lots of spinning time.

And speaking of an old fashioned winter … it really has made the turn to Autumn.

Maple Colour The trees have put on quite a show this year with fruit and seeds, and the deer (who stayed here all winter last year) have already left. Does that mean  ???


Sat MorningThe sky was red last saturday on our way to the next to last of the radio events for this year.

The organizers in charge had sort of dropped the ball. We didn’t get our operating instructions until late friday.Flying Field Sign



I wound up at a rest stop near the model airplane flying area and George was down on McCloud Lake near the boat ramp.

I thought our time would be 0730 to about 1130. Instead it was from 0900 to 1230. We had only 33 riders on our part of the ride. That left a good amount of time to watch the remote controlled planes.

Mountain from Station

 One plus of the day was the different view of the Mountain. We were south-southeast instead of our usual west-northwest.

Big event of the day was when three bicyclists got lost on one leg of the ride where it was impossible for a SAG wagon to go. When the riders finally showed up, one (who had registered under a fake name) had a bloody nose and was thereafter referred to as the “battered” rider. I still don’t know what happened.

As with any first time event, there are things I will do differently if we do this event again, such as take a chair (and some knitting). I think I need to get used to taking a chair … regardless.

The last of the events will be next saturday and I’m the one in charge. First instructions will go out this afternoon, be repeated at the club meeting this evening, and a reminder will go out friday evening.

Then we will be done for 2014.

Come next May, we get to start all over.


I am on a committee to develop use for a facial morphing program in conjunction with the County Tobacco Education Council. Maggie, the school nurse for most of the high schools in the county, is also on the committee (as is the director of the local Y).

Maggie has a facial aging program for the computer, similar to those used by police to see what missing children would look like after they’ve been gone for a long time, which she has never used. It was to be part of her drug avoidance program. We will use it for tobacco education instead.

Plans are just beginning to develop, but we will most likely set up tables or booths at county affairs and offer a “Look into the Future”.


Yesterday was my chosen sister’s natal anniversary (just a fancy way to say it was her birthday). She is a blessing.


As I was spinning last week, I was listening to music on the local public radio station … mostly classical. It started me thinking about how I was introduced to classical music. It was during the war (WW II).

Most of the men, composers and musicians included, were in the service. Movies were uplifting and optimistic. And the movie music, both background and that which was part of the storyline, was mostly classical … Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Schuman, Haydn, and on and on and on …

I can’t help but muse that kids today who hear not much other than hip hop and rap are missing something.


And to end this session …


Forgive those who made you cry.

Do it now.

You might not get a second chance.



… ’til next week …






Well … we are into Spinzilla.Fiber


I’m working with some of the Raven
Frog fiber from Sitka and Skagway. So far so good.Plyed




I am spinning “cobweb” and plying into a nice yarn which should make a lovely shawl.



Other spinners have posted pictures of their output daily. They seem to be doing way more than I am. I wonder if they are taking nourishment like the bicyclists do with a bottle on their back which has a tube they hold in their mouth and suck. And are they wearing a motorman’s friend?

But that’s okay. I’m enjoying my time with Matilda and feeling pretty good about my output. I can almost “see” the shawl toward which I am working.


Last sunday, a friend had an informal party at his house for local candidates to do a meet-and-greet. In addition, his band played (Larry plays a mean mouth organ and has played with some of the best groups in New Orleans).

George, who normally avoids groups of more than six people, went with me and it would seem a good time was had by all.

One unusual thing happened however. I went up to a man I’ve known for years (he was a physical therapist with the hospital when I worked there) and we were chatting when his wife came up to join us. He turned to her and said something like “You remember …” and hesitated. I said my name and his wife and I both acknowledged we knew one another. No problem.

Later, Neal (the PT) approached George and me and asked if he could ask us something about aging. He asked if we had any trouble remembering names. I told him it was no problem for me since, when I worked Emergency, I had trained myself to forget names. George’s answer was sort of he didn’t have trouble but then he doesn’t have too many to remember. Neal looked a bit troubled but I didn’t think anything more about it until monday morning when it dawned on me that not remembering my name had upset him.

I’ll be seeing him again before too long. We’ll see what happens.


Story left over from the holiday with Mark …

We were on our way home, waiting in SeaTac for a flight, when we noticed a small Asian woman who seemed anxious. She would sit, then get up and read the board over the desk, then sit, and fidget, then start all over again.

After a bit, Mark got up, took out his “phone” and approached her. He did something with the phone and showed it to her. She looked up at him, surprised, and nodded. Soon, the phone was speaking Chinese (I don’t know whether it was Mandarin or Cantonese … maybe generic … ) and she was smiling and talking to the phone.

Seems he had a translation app on his phone and he would speak into it, then it would translate into Chinese and talk to the woman. She would talk back to the phone and it would translate and then speak to Mark. There was a bit of trouble with idioms at first (the phone was VERY literal), but that got cleared up quickly.

It was intriguing to watch. Several others in the waiting area put down reading material and stopped conversations to watch.

The story was that she was on her way from China to visit her son in Idaho, didn’t speak English, and was afraid she’s miss her flight or get on the wrong plane. But as a result of the three-way conversation, Mark took her to a desk attendant, explained the situation, and assured the lady she would be taken care of by the attendant.

Just before time for us to go, the Lady reached for the phone, talked to it, turned it toward Mark and me, and it said “You have a good heart, and you got it from her” as she nodded and smiled at Mark and then at me.

Our flight left before hers, but as we boarded I looked back. The lady (her surname was Lin) made a slight bow and smiled.

I know the word isn’t Chinese … but Namaste.


I had a bit of trouble with the Toyota. Coming home from the store I felt a wobble in the steering. I told George and he checked it without feeling much of anything.

The next trip out I felt it again. Then George felt it and thought the constant velocity joint might be going.

Last thursday, before George had a chance to check it, I needed to go into Mt Shasta for the Family History Center and it not only wobbled but began to make a noise. I was a bit scared and prayed “Just get me home.” I knew George was monitoring me on the radio, and so I kept going … slowly.

When I got home I practically yelled “Check that out. I’m scared.”   Occasionally I overreact.







Here’s what he found on the front left wheel.


It is now light enough at 0730 to feed the animals although it is another half hour before the sun reaches us. And dark enough by 1900 to close in the chickens although the sun set at only 1845.

Maple Colour


The maple is showing red.


The pergazebollis grapes are losing leaves.

Dogwood Colour




The dogwoods are colouring.




The fall calving has begun. The hay barns are filled. We’ve had an occasional morning fire in the wood stove. Soup or stew has begun to sound good for dinner.

Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh … Autumn.


A bit ago I got caught in a situation which seemed to revolve around the phrase “unconditional love”. I’ve been thinking about that and have not yet come up with a positive definition. I keep coming back to people in an abusive relationship who fail to leave even when they are being severely abused. Is that unconditional love, i.e. love in spite of?

In contemplating this conundrum I remembered the advice to medical practitioners … first do no harm.

Anyone got any thoughts on any of this?



“There are things known and there are things unknown, 
and in between are the doors of perception.”
― Aldous Huxley



So, ’til next week …










… from Rabbi Kalman …

“Yom Kippur begins Friday evening, October 3rd. The story is told of a house painter who deeply regretted stealing from his clients by diluting the paint, but charging full price. He poured out his heart on Yom Kippur hoping for Divine direction. A voice comes from Heaven and decrees,   ‘Repaint, repaint … and thin no more!’ ”

In addition, my niece posted a great greeting. It was R2D2 and C3PO, one with a shofar and the other with apples and honey, wishing us all a year as sweet as honey. Thank you, Lisa.


Sorry this is a bit late this week. We had to be in Yreka for George’s VA lab work this morning. We were at the clinic at 0730. That meant we left Cold Comfort a bit after 0600 and had breakfast, after his blood draw, at Poor George’s. This month we get to do that twice more. George has another blood draw the 10th and then his semi-annual VA appointment  the 15th, so Poor George’s will be on our menu again.

Mountaun from 99

This is the view of the Mountain on the way home with the morning sun glinting …

Mountain from Dale Creek

And this is what we saw from the gravel road almost home.


We’ve been getting some rain.

Last wednesday-thursday the total was 3.46″. There had been snow on the Mountain and Black Butte for the first time in ages (a glimpse of the Mountain to the left, and Black Butte is the scribble to the right),

Snowy MountainReservoir Mud Puddle



and even a small puddle of wet in the reservoir (Can you see it? Look for reflection.)



But, being ever the optimist, I don’t think it will last. It would take a minimum of three years of winters like we used to have (i.e. snowbound from mid-December to at least February, maybe even ’til the end of March) to restore the water pack.

Along with the rain and drizzle, we are moving into the chilly months. Low 30s friday morning. Morning warm-up fires are in order. One day last week, as I started down the stairs, I smelled smoke. It took me a couple of seconds to adjust to winter mode, when the wood stove adds aroma to the house, and not look around for a fire.


It’s true that “the days grow short when you reach September”. It is dark by 1930 and doesn’t get light until after 0700. The lady hens are snugged in by 1915 (unless I get involved with something and have to go out with a flashlight later). We’ve entered the time of year when we think three or four times before we commit to going someplace evenings. The radio club is still a must, but we skipped the water rights meeting last week … dark and rain.

Last dandelion



Fewer than 60 days to Hallowe’en and there was a dandelion in the front yard. What’s with that?




A friend who graduated high school with me 67 years ago is moving to Oregon from our hometown area in southern California. One of her daughters lives in Eugene and the other will soon be moving north.

She will settle in Eugene, where the Black Sheep Gathering is held each June. The BSG is a big thing with spinners and knitters. With Diane in Eugene, I may get a chance to go again without worrying about motel costs (always frugal) and have a chance to visit her.

… please, no comments about “black sheep”.

I haven’t seen her in several years. Our class is getting a bit thin. Guess we have to expect that. We were a fairly small class and I’d guess we’re down by about two-thirds. I wonder how many of us will be around for a possible reunion in three years.


Previously, I’ve complained to you about all the deaths the first part of this year. I know people die all the time, but I have no connection with them so their deaths don’t hit me. This year there have been connections with far too many of them.

There hadn’t been another since the middle of August and I thought we might be done for this year. No …

Just heard the husband of a friend I’ve known for over 60 years died last week. Death of a mate has to be close in trauma to the death of a child.

The death of relationships is not easy either. I guess it’s all just part of growing old.


I’ve told you before that I work with a County council. Well, yesterday I spent over two hours listening to discussions of the upcoming county budget. I was sitting with the County Assessor (whom I’ve known since he was one of the folks who come into the field to assess property, etc.). I asked him if he had to sit through these things often, and he nodded yes.     I think they don’t pay him enough.

I was there because our council had asked for some money for possible projects this coming year. The result was mixed. The Board granted the request, but for only about a third of what we asked, and they gave it to a County Department which is supposed to be doing what we want to be doing. That Department already gets a hefty budget (from state as well as county) and the result is 95% of those funds go to administrative costs and only 5% to projects. We wanted our own money so we could change those stats.

Our Council essentially lost that battle. We shall see who wins the war.

But there were light moments a midst the boredom. The current Sheriff of Siskiyou County is an egotistic a– (i.e he goes everywhere in full gear … bulletproof vest down to his hips, side arm, billy club, cuffs, etc.). I don’t remember either of the two preceding Sheriffs wearing full regalia except at official functions. During discussion of his part of the budget, the Sheriff kept speaking about losing deputies in the field, and even some of the girls in the offices, if he wasn’t given more money. One Supervisor (female) reminded him the Sheriff’s Department is only one of the departments in the County which needs funding and was not that special or any higher on the priority list than several other departments, and another Supervisor (male) noted he was sure the “ladies”, not the “girls”, in the department did an excellent job.

I wonder if Lopey caught what was thrown.


George is hooked on “Grimm”, not that I’m not enjoying it too. But then, I’m a fantasy fan.

The evening the power was back up to normal due to the rain, he didn’t want to stop at watching just one episode (NetFlix you know), but went for a second … and then a third. By then it was past his normal bedtime.

He never was much for fairy tales, but he gets off on the fact that most of the Wesen (meaning, loosely, “the people” – sound familiar?) are named in German, probably since the original inspiration was the tales of the Brothers Grimm, and seem to be stream-of-consciousness stuff (i.e. gobbledy gook).

In addition, we enjoy picking at some of the staging … such as the heroine leaving the lamps in her house (which is a Craftsman – there seem to be a lot of those in Portland) lit at all times. EVERY lamp in every room in the house is on whenever she goes in the front door, including the kitchen and toilets.

Oh well …


I really dislike it when the reminder that I have it sooooo good comes by way of not-good for friends and family.

I will attempt to hold positive thoughts and wishes for us all, and keep the prayer candle burning.


‘Til next week …








The Boles fire in Weed was OUT by thursday morning. Crews were still going through the fire area looking for hot spots, but it was declared contained. A local posted a rather comprehensive photo essay which shows what an erratic, rapid, destructive fire the Boles was.

 It helped with containment there was some rain. We had a scoootch less than half-an-inch here. We’re expecting more today. Wind is already up and the misting has begun.Approaching Storm

The Happy Camp complex is still burning, but not causing people damage … just forest and wildlife. Big differences between a fire mostly in a city setting and one in the wild. Different types of destruction.

Then there was a really interesting event last weekend. There has been little or no snow visible on the Mountain for longer than I care to note, but a glacier on the McCloud side of the Mountain let go and caused flooding over a couple of roads.Flood

What next ???


September has been busy (and eventful). October is going to be equally busy. Spinzilla starts the month, George has his second eye treatment and his semi-annual VA appointment with an extra appointment for a blood draw, we have a wedding anniversary, and the radio club has two events … plus my regular stuff like Family History Center days and last minute putting-by and some meetings. 

Better busy than bored.


Interesting note about the deciduous trees in front of the house … the catalpa is the last to leaf out each spring, but it is also the first to begin to change colour and drop leaves in the fall. Tall … graceful … beautiful in bloom … short lived.

We are beginning to see colour change in the maple and birches and dogwoods, but not to the same extent or as early.

24 Sept 2014

This was this morning. A gust of wind caught me. I decided to print the pic anyhow. That yellow/green is the catalpa.Last Summer Flower


And there is one summer flower remaining … chicory.



All the research in re Mars and how it got the way it is now reminds me that YEARS ago it seemed to me that Venus is the way the Earth was and Mars is the way she will be. Scientists are trying to figure out what destroyed the atmosphere on Mars while we continue to destroy the atmosphere here.

Seems to me to be sort of a no-brainer …


While we are in Oregon next month, I have to go to the restaurant supply store and get a gallon jug of rooster sauce (Siracha) to make sure we get through the next year. I did have a good crop of jalapeños this year (and some Thai peppers as well) for drying, but a big jar of rooster sauce is required.


Ruby's x 2



Tomato report … 28 pints of Ruby Hoop’s Tomato Soup, 7 packs of frozen tomatoes with onion for “fresh” pasta sauce during the winter, a pot of pasta sauce simmering for dinner today, and jars of sautéed tomatoes, zucchini, onion, and garlic for quick casseroles or soup. Not too shabby.



I missed out on Dye Day with the Siskiyou Handspinners. Too much going on in my life. I continue to hope I can learn how to “handpaint” roving. A spinning friend, Janell, is an expert. She spins, dyes, knits, and sells. So I’ll mark the calendar for next year’s session and cross my fingers.

I’ve been working on some of the Alaska roving with a shawl in mind. The roving is handpainted in teal, salmon red, white/yellow, and ash/charcoal which the artist called “Totem Spirit”. After plying, it seems a bit more cluttered that I had hoped. I think I’d like larger (longer?) stretches of colour so the patches of colour when knit will be more pronounced. Learning to do it myself will prove that thought one way or another. In the meantime, we shall see how this looks when knit.

For the next few days, in addition to the regular Autumn chores, I will be working on getting bobbins emptied and ready for Spinzilla . While sorting fiber, yarn, and bobbins I found a bobbin with some very fine Merino single still on it. I plied it (Navajo style, 3-ply). The bobbin rattled loudly for the entire plying time. I marked it and we’ll see if it does the same next time, or was just objecting to something this time. If it rattles again, out it will go. I need to increase my supply of lace bobbins anyhow.


It is time to celebrate the squash harvest …

and to celebrate the shift from Mother to Crone …

and to honor the Orisha Obatala, the Enforcer of Justice …

and High Holy Days have begun.

May we each be led to adjustments as needed.  L’Shana Tovah !!!


So ’til next week …







Devastation 2014Big news this week … FIRE …

It’s been a hectic week. But we’re okay.

Thanks to all who called or emailed.

Wind is still from the south.

Here is a link to pictures …

And here’s a map …

Fire Map

Fires are still popping up regularly. New one near Grant’s Pass. The Happy Camp complex seems to be coming under control. A new one near Sacramento, and there is still one near Yosemite.

But then fires aren’t the only problems. The home of a contact on the Big Island of Hawai’i is in the path of the new lava flow from Kilauea and a friend of our older son, also in the path, has started farming out belongings due to evacuation “suggestions”.

It would seem a tv program which dealt with only climate change news would have enough “news” for at least a full hour every day. Fires … tornadoes … hurricanes … volcanoes … floods … droughts …you name it.


But on with life …

Next amateur radio event will be the 11th of October. That will be the one in McCloud (unless it gets cancelled by fire as have three other events this year). It will be the day after George’s second eye treatment, but it won’t involve any lifting so all will be well.

The last of this year’s obligations will be the following saturday. I attended the first of the planning meetings for that event yesterday. Our involvement is being upped, so there will be a bit of planning to do.


Thinking of radio led to thinking about television … twice last week, people we know were on the tv news.

The first was Larry Masterman. I met him when I was working emergency and he was a first responder with the local ambulance company. Later he became a San Francisco paramedic. In 1982 he was moonlighting as the medic for movie crews in the SF area. His wife was due to deliver their second child while a movie was filming and he asked me to substitute for him with a crew out on Alcatraz. That’s why my kids can claim “Mom spent two weeks on (in) Alcatraz.”

Larry is now the headman for the Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Program across the border in Oregon. He did a two minute bit on the local news about fire and earthquake preparation by individuals and families.

One degree of separation.

Second was Nancy Hood. She lost her home to the Happy Camp fire complex.   The following was on the web page about the centennial of the USFS Lake Mountain lookout … Nancy Hood, the person who staffs the Lake Mountain Lookout, holds records for longevity.  She has worked 54 consecutive seasons as a fire lookout (on several different towers) on the KlamathNational Forest.  She has spent the last 20 at LakeMountain.  Ms. Hood’s length of service as a fire lookout on one Forest is believed to be the longest in the history of the US Forest Service.

We met her when we were “manning” the Paradise Craggy lookout for CalFire. Nancy is staying on the job in her fire lookout and sheltering with friends. She says it was better for her (a single woman) to lose her house than if it were some neighbors who are families with small children. She plans to rebuild.

One degree of separation.


More about the cruise with Mark … We spent a day in Juneau. It was raining.

My only contact in that town was passing through on the way to Auke Bay to take a whale watching trip. We waited for the bus in the building at the base of the tram which takes people UP to the top of the mountains hemming in the town. That looked interesting, but we were already booked and I knew I would rather go see whales.

Aboard the whale watch boat, we met a woman from Yreka. The college student “naturalist” was quite knowledgeable. We saw whales and harbor seals and interesting scenery and lots of other tourists.

I did enjoy that excursion. I like being out on the water. Guess it has something to do with Daddy having been a deep water sailor. And sharing with Mark was good.

On the bus to the tour boat, I overheard a man talking about going “on mission”. Since I work with members of the Church of Latter Day Saints at the genealogy center, I recognized the language. I mentioned I had friends who were on mission to Peru and we chatted for a minute or two.

Then on the way back the man who spoke of “mission” came over to talk with me. We chatted for a sentence or two, then he asked if I was LDS. I explained my connection and we had a comfortable chat about genealogy and his intention to go on mission when he retires from selling insurance in Utah. We also talked about Skagway. He said it might be a nice place to live, but there wasn’t much of a market for retirement insurance there. It was a comfortable interaction.

Going through town on the way back, we were able to see the mansion of the Alaskan Governor. It is a large, white house  with columns across the front part of the way up the mountain. It looks a bit like a southern plantation house. I made a quip about being able to see Russia from the Governor’s window. One of the folks in the bus got upset … “She never said that!”

I apologized (it actually was a Tina Fey line from SNL) but added that it was a funny bit.

After the boat trip, Mark went shopping and sightseeing through town, but I went back to the boat to nap.

Skagway and Juneau were the only two times I went ashore. I had planned to visit with Gretchen in Ketchikan, but that port had been cancelled. I came to the conclusion that I really liked being aboard ship and traveling, but the plethora of things to do aboard ship (which could be done just about anywhere) were not for me … with the exception of a couple of the evening theatre shows. What I really enjoyed was the time to sit on the balcony and watch …

Thank you, Mark.


Apples, chokecherries, blackberries, grapes, Oregon grapes, gooseberries, rugosa rose hips, even hot peppers … are all outdoing themselves. Were I still feeding a family (rather than two old people) and had the energy I had twenty years ago, I’d have a pantry full to overflowing. As is, I’ve got peppers and rose hips drying and enough pergazebollis grape jelly to last a few years. By next week I will have a winter’s supply of Ruby’s tomato soup and some pasta sauce.


Recently came across another incident leading to the thought that Richard Rogers was not so much a composer as an adapter-arranger. “We open in Venice” from “Kiss Me. Kate” is a variation on a theme from a Haydn symphony.


Finally …

I don’t remember where I heard or saw this, but it sounds like good advice.


Just because you’ve been given a cactus doesn’t mean you have to sit on it.



So ’til next week …







Fire report …

Last week at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting, the head honcho at CalFire in this area said they would be in big trouble if the Happy Camp complex managed to jump the river (the Klamath). Well … yup. The next day it jumped the river.

It’s been burning since 11 August and as of friday last had burned over 80 square miles on the California side of the border and has cost more than $50 million. Now that’s one humongous fire.

Yesterday I woke up to a smelly blanket of smoke. I couldn’t clear my throat and I sounded like Tallulah Bankhead (anyone remember Tallulah?). We had been unable to see the Super Moon due to the change in wind direction. We knew the Moon was there, but all we could see was diffused light. And then on the way home from Yreka, this was the view of the Mountain. Smoke on the way home

When I got home, I couldn’t see the Mountain at all.

In addition, there had been a fire last week along I-5 north of Redding last week which closed the freeway for several hours.


Last spring we got eight chicks to replenish our flock. Of those eight , we are now down to four. One refused to stay in the yard (she flew over the fence even after we clipped a wing and something, probably a dog or coyote, took her out), one committed suicide by trying to go through the fence and getting her head caught in the mesh, we butchered one rooster since one rooster to a flock is enough, and the remaining rooster turned into the attack rooster from hell (he clawed George’s hand, tore a hole in my pants leg, and pulled feathers out of the hens’ backs) and so he went the way of the pot.

We had wanted to brood our own replacements this coming spring, but we’ll be getting them from the feed mill in Grenada again.


Sitting in my rocker, spinning, I have observed a phenomenon which may go a ways toward explaining folk tales.

There are large trees (firs and pines) and some shorter bushes (lilac and gooseberry) outside the window through which I glance while spinning. The trees were absolutely still. Not a needle was stirring. Not even trembles from birds or squirrels.

But the bushes were an entirely different matter. They were whipping around as if a gale were blowing.

I have no explanation … but I can understand tales of haunts and wendigos.


More thoughts on things I’ve seen over and over and now understand a bit better.

For years I have been able to look out my bedroom window as I wake and see stars … and an occasional planet. But no longer. We have lived here long enough that the trees outside the window have grown so tall they nearly obscure the sky. I saw a planet this morning and it was a pleasant surprise. I have been missing the stars.

It has occurred to me that as much as I enjoy coloured photos (much like how I love spinning colourful fiber), well-done black and white photosShadows 2



(like those my older son has been doing)








somehow grab me in a way coloured ones don’t. A realization this morning (again as I gazed out the bedroom window about 0500) as I found myself fascinated by the scene created by the shadows cast by the full Moon on the evergreens. I can’t explain it, but it really was a great way to start the morning.

~~~10 Sept 2014

This morning, this is the view out the front door …


And finally, in homage to Joan Rivers …

“You know why I feel older? I went to buy sexy underwear and they automatically gift wrapped it.”

And so ’til next week …







Last wednesday the sky was clear most of the day. Then at dusk the wind shifted and we couldn’t see the mountain just to the southwest of us … not very far away … just the other side of the meadow.

Thursday morning there was an evacuation order in the Happy Camp area with evacuee sites at the Karuk Tribal Senior Nutrition Center and in the Winema building at the fairgrounds in Yreka. That complex has burned close to 70,000 acres so far and the USFS is beginning to think about erosion control.

After Eric left, I washed the sheets to get the room ready for the next visitor … and had to rewash them. I had hung them out on the lines in the backyard and they absorbed so much smoke odor … well, I couldn’t put them on the bed.

Friday the smoke was so bad the house smelled of burnt popcorn and the street lights in Ft. Jones came on during the day.

Blood Orange Sun

Saturday we awoke to a blood orange coloured sun and visibility of less than half-a-mile.

Solar Ashes

George had to wash the solar panels to get the ash off. And before noon I got a call from the Dunsmuir Rotary telling me the TinMan Triathlon had been cancelled. The water level in the lake is so low it wouldn’t support the swimming part of the event, and the smoke was so bad it could be considered a health threat.

Then, wouldn’t you know it, sunday morning there was a lot less smoke. Sky wasn’t really clear, but you could see further than the top of the meadow.

Meadow View

That didn’t change the water level in Lake Siskiyou however.


Monday afternoon the wind shifted , coming from the east, and the sky cleared. I actually saw the moon when I went out to close in the chickens.

The Siskiyou Summit bicycle event has also been cancelled. Part of its route is through Callahan and Etna close to the July complex.

This morning evacuation along Hwy 96 in the Happy Camp area was called again.

Rain had been predicted for next week, but no go. The prediction changed yesterday. We’re back under a high.

Ain’t we got fun? Oh well …


The drought has really hit the fauna in the area. There are still two does bringing their fawns to the yard, but they’re not looking good. The fawns are doing okay, but you can count the does’ ribs.

“Chumming” wild animals is illegal in California, and that includes deer. The rational is that chumming the deer (and other small wild things) with grain and other food stuff is chumming the predators as well (such as cougars and bears). But it is getting harder and harder to see those mothers and not put out something for them.


Skagway? Skaguay? Seems everyone other than the folks who live there prefer the first spelling. But the bookmark which came with a purchase I made there says the second is the accurate spelling. The name of the town comes from a Tlingit word (skagua) which means “windy place”. There is a nearly constant north wind coming through White Pass, so some folks translate skagua as “not a good place to live”. The switch to w in place of u is attributed to the US Postal Service.

It is an interesting town which doubles its live-in population during the tourist season with folks who come to work there during the time the waterway is open to the big boats. The woman driving our bus up White Pass into Canada spends winters in Monterey, California. Waterfall


On that excursion we saw the waterfall which provides the entire city of Skaguay with electricity.


Then the doubled population swells by a factor of 4 or 5 each time a cruise boat docks. One fact in re these statistics is that last year’s graduating class from the town high school was two boys and two girls, none of whom intend to stay in Skaguay.

The single grocery store receives supplies on monday, so everyone shops on tuesday or drives over to Dawson in Canada to shop for their entire neighborhood. We were told the meat in the local grocery is always green and the produce brown.

Russian Dome


The town is about 5 blocks long with wooden sidewalks (although the roads are now blacktop). Ravens rule the streets. Ninety-plus percent of the shops sell jewelry (even the onion domed hotel). In fact, one shop had a shill out front loudly announcing they didn’t sell jewelry.


A shop near the building which started as a polishing school for “good” girls and wound up a community building (it lasted two years as a school … not enough students) is where I got the lovely fiber I am currently spinning and plan to knit into a dance shawl. And a big tourist item is a mesaluna which they call a “ulu knife”.

Skaguay is the only town on that thin strip of Alaska accessible by car, truck, or train. You can drive there all the way from the lower 48 through British Columbia and the Yukon. To get to the others (Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, etc.) you need a boat.

End of travel lesson.


The situation in re monies from the Tobacco Settlement came up again before the County Board of Supervisors on tuesday. Our Education Council had been advocating for some of the funds which, in the past, had been added to the County General Fund and used for everything other than tobacco education which had been listed as intent in the settlement agreement. It was being used for non-related salaries, buildings, etc.

A presentation to the Board of Supervisors by a local physician (a member of our council) had gotten media coverage and some people began referring to the situation a “misappropriation” of funds. The Council presented, via the physician and a couple of RNs, a plan for fund use which included middle school programs, media productions (mainly by interested high school students), participation in pre-natal and parenting classes, cessation classes through the local Community Resource Centers, and outreach to physicians and clinics in the county. We figured the cost of our plan would be $9,600.00 (not much when you know the County was receiving close to $500,000.00 a year).

The County Administrator was not on board with the plan. However, learning from my experience with funding the brochures, this time we specified the money be provided from settlement funds.

The Board gives every sign of being in favor of the funding. One member even went so far as to say he thought this was only the first year, and that this funding should become a part of the yearly budget.

Next hurdles will be 1) getting the money without it going through the County Department of Health which uses the monies from California Props 99 and 10 in the ratio of 90% overhead and only 10% actual service and education, and 2) making sure the County Administrator isn’t able to screw up the show.

The first comes under the heading of  recognizing that doing something the way it has always been done will result in things happening the way they have always happened. And the second will just require constant, close watching.

We go back for the County Budget hearing on the 16th.


Reading has been sporadic lately, and mostly easy schlock (haven’t gotten to the history yet). But it is interesting that occasionally you find a gem amid the dime-novel stuff. I found this in the current paperback …schlock


Totem Spirit 1


I’ve been spinning regularly (it is one of the occupations which doesn’t require electricity) getting yarn ready for not only the shawl, but some holiday gifts as well.Totem Spirit 3


I will soon begin drafting fiber getting ready for Spinzilla the first of October. I plan to have at least a pound ready by 6 October.


Sand Cranes 2014


There are still sand cranes in the meadow.



Front Sept 2014                     And the house still looks fairly normal in spite of everything.


The story is told of a class of students who were requested to write their list for the modern day “Seven Wonders of the World.”  Many of the students included: 1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids 2. Taj Mahal 3. Petra 4. The Panama Canal 5. EmpireStateBuilding 6. Machu Picchu 7. The Great Wall of China 8. Chichen Itza (a Mayan pyramid) 9. Roman Coliseum.

One girl was slow to turn in her list. When queried by the teacher, she replied, “There are so many it was hard to decide — but I think the “Seven Wonders of the World” are: 1. to see 2. to hear 3. to touch 4. to taste 5. to feel 6. to laugh and 7. to love.”


On that note … ’til next week …







It has been a busy week.

Last saturday was the fourth of this year’s radio events … the Headwaters UltraMarathon/Trail Runs.

This event tracks the folks through each station so locating anyone within a mile or two is fairly easy. Tracking is really important in this event since there is no way to use SAG wagons. It is all foot trails.

Tracking in most marathons, such as the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco or the Boston Marathon or many others, isn’t necessary since they run through civilized areas. But the Headwaters is through beautiful, but fairly wild, back country. In spite of the route and because of intensive tracking, it may be safer for participants here.

Last year I had been at the first station where both the 50K runners and the 10Kers go through. It was rather hectic, but didn’t last too long. Fortunately I had a helper who called out runner numbers for me.

The route of the 10K was changed this year so it didn’t overlap the 50K while those runners were on the course.

There were about 100 participants this year. I worked as recorder in tandem with net control, responsible for keeping the overall records. It was a bit stressful due to the responsibility, but well worth it. No one got lost and the final runner was never out of our “sight”.

Four radio service events down … two (or possibly three) to go.


Sunday we spent the day visiting with a nephew. Eric is the older of George’s sister Sally’s sons. We last saw him a couple of years ago, so it was a nice (but too short) visit.

He arrived saturday night and spent sunday discussing the Dibelka family involvement in WW I with George.James C Dibelka #1a - shopped George’s Dad had been a Lieutenant with the 33rd Division of the 129th Infantry (an Illinois unit). I don’t have Pop’s military records since they were lost in a fire, but I do have a history of his division so we have a pretty good idea of what he did in the Great War and plenty of reasons why he came home changed.

George had heard a couple of stories, which I had not heard until he shared with Eric, such as the one about the officer responsible for calling the artillery targets during one of the offenses. As the shelling continued, the shots kept landing closer and closer to the allied lines. When the shells started landing much much too close to the trenches, someone shot the artillery officer. The shooting was never called to question or explained, but the general agreement was that he must have been an enemy supporter or a spy.


Next report in re the cruise is the time in Tracy Arm Fjord … what a trip.

The adventure began with “crossing the bar” between the bay and the fjord. The water there is less than 80 or 90 feet deep. The ship slowed to a crawl and a pilot came on board. As it turns out, the ship draws less than 30 feet so things weren’t as iffy as it seemed.

NorwayThe fjord is much like the Norwegian fjords, at least I assume it is since it resembled the pictures I’ve seen. I expected to see small villages or farms in some of the swales with cattle grazing.




And the water courses were captivating. I kept thinking about what George could do with that kind of flow and fall.


At the inland end, the fjord divides into a north and a south branch with a glacier at the end of each. Our ship went down the south branch.

A lot of people on the ship had paid about $200 each to take smaller boats closer to the glacier face. But the waterway was so open the big ship was able to get quite close with plenty of room to turn around (and that’s an experience what with backing and pushing the stern in one direction or the other in order to swing the ship around).Tracy Glacier


The comedians on board had a ball with the small boat goers at the evening shows . They had some choice bits about folks who paid big money to get about 200′ closer to the glacier than those of us who stayed on board.



The area near the glacier was filled with what are called “growlers”. Those are small icebergs which make a sound like a growl when they scrape along the side of the ship.

There are no big mammals in the fjord waters, but we did see some seals.

And seeing the process of reforestation along the fjord sides was interesting. As a glacier retreats the first vegetation to develop are lichen, then small bushes appear, and finally the evergreen forests. All of that was easily seen as we traversed the fjord.

Next week … the Skaguay report.


On to the eye report … monday morning we spent almost two hours going through a series of tests of George’s eyes … having pictures taken and exams done. He has macular degeneration in both eyes, but the right one is the dangerous one … so far.

During one exam, the doctor asked if he had been a premmie. I don’t know what the connection is. I’ll either research it on line, or ask the doctor when we see him next.

The upshot, after all the tests, photos, and exams, was that his right eye will most likely respond to the new treatment (the doctor said he was “extremely assured”). It is not a cure, rather it is a delaying action giving George a few more years of sight. So the last couple of minutes (even seconds) were spent having the doctor put a needle in his eye and injecting the “healing glue”.

There have been no bad side effects. George seems to have a high pain tolerance and is having minimal irritation.

There will be a series of treatments. Our next appointment is 10/10 at 10. How’s that for a “one-armed” result?


Last week there was a discussion at the radio club concerning how meetings should be conducted … informal vs. Robert’s Rules.

I had told them, when they nominated me as President, that Robert’s was the only way I know to conduct a meeting. Then last month I received some emails with statements contrary to that “style”, criticizing the agenda and stating all the members really wanted an informal meeting.

That sort of hit me. If true, I needed to resign and let someone else take over.

So before calling the meeting to order, I asked the members which style they really wanted. There was very little discussion. The “vote” was unanimous. I am still President.

It had been a win-win situation since if they chose “structured”, I stayed as President … and if not, I had more time for spinning etc.


Speaking of spinning … I finished spinning the Sitka RavenFrog fiber and have it almost completely 3-plied. It is beautiful and will make a great shawl.

The rest of the fiber I net-ordered from Skagway (Skaguay – more about that next week) arrived monday.

And on monday I stopped by Webster’s on the way home from the retinologist and got eight ounces of fiber to spin for Spinzilla in October. It is BlueFaced Leister and silk. I’ve never spun Leister before, but Chris (from Webster’s) assures me it’s a dream … and the little bit I fingerspun at the shop supports that. I’ll get it all drafted and ready to spin before Spinzilla begins so I can spin spin spin without interruption.


The fires around us are still resisting being controlled. We’ve been having smoke haze most days. In fact, it was so bad the end of last week that one of our radio folks had to cancel her participation in the Headwaters event because of her lung situation.

The worst is when the wind is from the west. The fires out by Happy Camp are the nastiest.


There was a serendipitous event as a result of the cruise. I was unpacking my suitcase to clean it and repack the travel essentials when I found a tintype of my grandfather which I had been given the last time I used the suitcase. That had been the trip to visit my mother’s cousin in Alameda over a year ago. The tintype had gotten lodged in one of the pockets and as I cleaned … there it was.G'pa Curtzwiler 1900



In it, Grandpa Curtzwiler is about 20-years-old with his hat at a very jaunty angle.



I had forgotten it, so finding it was a blessing.


Just finished reading a Nevada Barr mystery. She sets her stories in National Parks. This one was in Big Bend on the Rio Grande.

I knew where she was going by about page 40, but the fun was in watching how she dealt with the tale in order to reach the end. No real surprises, but a fun, easy read.

Next? A return to history.


 ”Some days fly by, others seem to take forever,  but each day is special.”  



Mine have been flying by. Hope you are enjoying yours.


So … ’til next week …