16 August …


Word came just after I posted the blog last week that Paul Michael had been accepted into the Mt Shasta school system.  Cold Comfort is in the Butteville district, but it is a weird gerrymandered district which requires passing through the Weed school district to get to from here.  But that doesn’t matter.  Michael and Mark both went to MS schools and now so will Paul.  First day of school will be next tuesday.

Next item for solving … where does the school bus stop?


Weather took a turn for the worse last Wednesday afternoon.  A low pressure area settled over the area between us and the coast and all of a sudden we could have been in upstate New York.  The temperature wasn’t quite as hot, but the humidity was brutal for an area which is used to 20 or 30%.

Then an inversion layer set in and the air has been filled with smoke ever since. 

Last Monday, on my way to Yreka, I could barely see Goose Nest and Herd’s Peak.  Usually they are prominent on the northern skyline.

And at dawn and dusk, when the sun is low, the air turns brownish-red.


The family (but without John and Mike) went to the county fair last Friday.  We arrived early and headed for the animal barns. 

We watched a couple of the beef cattle judgings …

Then watched some of the chainsaw carvers …

Stopped by the wild animal zoo …

Ate curly fries …

Rode the Dizzy Dinosaurs …

I took a lot of pictures and had planned to overwhelm you with them … but something happened and my pictures of the cattle judging and the wood carving and the food and the carnival rides and all that jazz just disappeared.  Oh well … you will just have to use your memory and imagination.

We ended the day at the “Captain Jack Spareribs” show where I got to join the Captain for some of his magic stuff (this was the one photo that remained … go figure … and note the feather in my hair).

George figured out how he did his magic, but I just had fun.Altogether a good day.

Mark and Kamille went back Saturday night for the rodeo where the highlight of the evening was the performance by a toddler, obviously in the midst of potty training, who showed he had learned well the lesson about pulling down your pants before taking aim.


One of our new chores (not an unpleasant one) is baby-sitting (although Paul is no longer a baby) when Mark and Kamille want to or have to be gone.  I get to read the bedtime stories when that chore falls in the evening.

And another perq is being included in “family” for the “Back-To-School” potluck picnic.  That is this evening before the radio club meeting. 

Pictures and notes next week.


We’ve been picking the long, armenian (?) cucumbers every day for a week now.  Last week I tried a couple of jars of refrigerator pickles with mixed success.  They tasted good after 48 hours, but were strong on the vinegar.  Next batch I will use the brine recipe I have with which I pickle red onions. 

John brought me some regular cukes a few days ago with which I will try some dill recipes.

There is gooseberry juice waiting to make jelly and we are keeping our eyes on choke cherry and elderberry bushes.

The 7-11 will be well-stocked for winter.


A thought to end the week …



So … ‘til next week …



9 August …


The heat finally broke last weekend.  In fact, Sunday morning I had to pull up the comforter.  It had dropped to 60°.  Isn’t it interesting how 60° feels cool now, but feels warm come December.  



This picture is just to remind me …


We plan on going to the county fair next friday.  I hope it stays cooler.


This past weekend was the radio club’s one-night fund raiser … a security watch at the State of Jefferson Brewfest down in Dunsmuir.  George and Mark did the final shift from 0400 to 0800 sunday morning.

Evidently it was a quiet night since there were no calls for the sheriff or an ambulance.  Only event was around 0230 when two drunks decided they wanted to get up on the stage and do a show.  They were talked out of the idea so there was no danger to them or to any of the equipment.

Next event will be the re-instated TinMan triathlon the first Sunday in September.  It’s been two years since we did that one because it had been cancelled due to low water levels in Lake Siskiyou.  Hard to hold an event in which the first leg is swimming when there is no water.

Oh well …


Sometime ago both John and I saw articles about the re-discovery of an old style corn called “glass” corn (so named because the kernels are brilliant, translucent colours) and both wanted to try raising some.



We planted a handful of seeds in the upper courtyard (along with a single pumpkin plant),


and now have a good stand with both tassels and silk showing. 

That is exciting.  Just two ears would be fantastic.  Even one would be a blessing.

Stay tuned.


In addition, the grapes are nearing jelly-making size.


Last Saturday Mark and Kamille rebuilt the boardwalk leading to the front door.  The boardwalk had been in place for nearly forty years and had rotted out in one place.

Watching them work was a trip down memory lane …  remembering when it was first put in.  It was done the same time we were putting the floor in the solarium.  In those days I could help with the building just as Kamille was doing last weekend.

Instead I cleared out a hoard of Tupperware I’ve had since the 50s.  Back in those days I was the expected housewife in a neat dress and apron (but without the string of pearls) keeping a Tupperware kitchen.  Over the years, as my family size and  kitchen changed, the Tupperware fell into disuse. 

So last saturday I cleaned (it had gotten dusty), sorted (some of it I will start using again), and got the remainder ready to go to the New2You shop in Mt Shasta.

There is another area to clear, but it can wait a few days.


We finally saw a fawn.  Usually, by this time of year we have seen several small ones.  This one still had its spots, but was almost big enough to be past nursing.

The nearest neighbors have a “puppy” which is rather rambunctious.  I think that may be the reason we are seeing fewer deer in the back yard this year.

Oh well …



Just remember (and remind me) …

Omni fine initium novum.

So … ‘til next week …


2 August …



It has been a series of hot … Hotter … HOTTEST days of the year.  We have had a string of days over 100°.  This picture was taken at 1700 last Monday out John’s office window in Dunsmuir.

The garden is loving it. 


The ears on the corn are rounding out.  There is squash for breads and salads. 



We’ve picked three tomatoes. 



The red onions are doing well.



And last Monday we discovered the first cucumber.

But these days get to me and I spend a lot of time in front of a fan. 

Oh well …

It has been so hot that if I fill a glass of water from the well, which is near 35° or at most 40°, and let it sit on the table so I can use it to take more supplements later … by the time I need it next it is warmer than body temperature. Haven’t yet tried to fry an egg on a hot stone but there are plenty of available stones.

In a few months I’ll probably be telling you of days close to freezing with snow depth measured in feet rather than inches.

Kvetch … Kvetch … Kvetch.


I will be having surgery (nothing dangerous, no emergency) later this season.  This is a heads up because I might miss a week or so with the blog.  If and when that happens, it will most likely be followed by lengthy tales of what happened when.

Be prepared.


In the face of all the heat, here’s the cool reading woman for the month. 



Grace Iesend in Howth Bay”, date unk, painted by Major Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen.



It is such a soft, lovely image, I wanted to know more about the painter.  I learned he is better known for his paintings of World War I.



What a contrast.


I was in Yreka last Monday for the annual eye exam.  The cataract in my right eye is a bit worse.  The doctor wants to see me again in six months.  I’ll bet he’ll want me to have the surgery. 

I’ll decide in six months.


I am feeling blessed that we have made it this far through the summer with only a small grass fire close.  There are a couple of large fires in this area (far northern California and southwest Oregon), but none very near.

Of course, there are still a couple of months to go in this year’s fire season.  It is a concern, but not too great a one since we have the foam for the house, a fire-safe area mowed, and 5,000 gallons of water stored in readiness.


Last Sunday Mark and family went to Chico (he was filling in as pastor for a friend) and we were all impressed by Paul’s clothing sense.  He was wearing blue tartan shorts, a yellow tartan shirt, and a red and black tie. 

He certainly can’t be faulted for obsequence to fashion.


Today I was to go after the third load of horse manure but cancelled due to the heat.  The two loads have made a nice pile so far and I will add more when the weather cools a bit. 

Eighty-seven years old and knee deep in —-.  Who’d a thought it …


Just a reminder that grief doesn’t always require a death …

Fate will break your heart … and break your heart … and break your heart … over and over again until it stays open.

— Sufi proverb


So ..,. ‘til next week …


26 July …



There is no special reason to open this week’s blog with this except that it is an amazing picture, taken by son John, of the beautiful area in which we live.


Well, the radio club decided they/we will do the security watch for the Dunsmuir Rotary at their Brewfest the night of 5-6 August.  There will be six members involved in this fund-raiser on three shifts between 9 in the evening and 8 the following morning.

The donation of $350 will help the club’s bottom line, but I was unable to promote passes for the beer tasting.  Instead we get            t-shirts.

Oh well …

Next event will be the TinMan triathlon the first Sunday in September.


The garden continues to do well.  Paul often goes out with me to do the watering and weeding, and yesterday he learned how to choose ripe vegetables and how to pick them with as little damage as possible.

The other garden chore he has learned this past week is how to shovel horse manure.  We make a good team.  Last week it took two sessions to move the load.  This week we did it all in one day.  Start them young.

In the process, he learned the difference between a stone and a horse t—   even thought they resemble each other.  I’m not real sure what his mother thinks of that accomplishment, but Paul was pretty excited over his new knowledge and learning the value of poo.

We are building a big manure pile so that next year we will have fertilizer waiting when it comes time to get the garden ready to plant.


Weather has been pretty warm this past week. There are several fires in northern California, but we have a full 5,000 gallon water tank and knowledge of firefighting, so we are better prepared than most.

In fact, both Mark and Kamille are considering joining the local volunteer fire company.  Mark has talked about upgrading his drivers’ license so he can handle the water tender.  That is a vital piece of equipment in this area. 

George was a member of this group when it was first formed a long time ago. 

What goes around, comes around.


Last week’s Medford trip was uneventful.  The scenery has changed with the season and the weather, but is still captivating.

One thing which caught my eye is the spot where last winter’s rain brought down a slice of the hillside along I-5.


John’s birthday wasn’t much this summer.  The entire family is so busy, what with the resettling, but there was a surprise waiting for him in the courtyard under the pergazebollis.

Maybe we can have an all-family birthday party later when the press of chores gets lighter.  I haven’t done a Forrest Gump cake in a long time.


John’s partner, Michael, will be home tomorrow.  We have missed him a lot and will be glad to see him safely home.


It has been a chaotic and not completely comfortable week … but all things pass and we anticipate better times.


The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.

So … ‘til next week …

19 July …


Well, the deal about the Brewfest was they want us to do an eleven hour security watch gig in return for a donation to the club and free admission to the fest.

I’ll be presenting the deal to the club at the meeting this evening.


Weather continues to be warm.  We are thankful for the fact that the humidity is low, although that isn’t really good for fire hazard.  The local CDF has responded to more than 150 fires this week, mostly grass fires and none too damaging … so far.

                                  Of course, the garden is doing very well.


A controversy has risen over the identification of some roads on Hammond Ranch.  All the roads here are privately owned and maintained,  BUT Google has been directing travelers over them to access points not part of Hammond Ranch.

A local has taken on the job of getting Google to change its posting, but there is not (so far) a consensus on which roads to change.

Roads have always been a sore spot here.  Newcomers assume that since they own property on the Ranch, they have access to ALL Ranch roads to use however they please.  The original plot maps showed the roads as access to driveways which would preclude their general use. 

So far, those of us who bought here as rural country property are losing to the transplanted city folks moving here and wanting it to change.  Some people just up High Meadow from us are mansion building and so far they have had at least three or four loads of sod trucked in.

Oh well …


Last Monday George and Mark dropped one of the tall pines near the barn.  It will be firewood.  But in the process of dropping it, an interesting thing happened.  The wedge on the drop side had been cut and the opposite side was being levered to break the hinge.  At the last minute a wind came up, the tree twisted, and dropped 180° away from the planned area.  We have never heard of this phenomena.

If you know about dropping trees, you can look closely and see the way the cuts were made, where the fall intent was, and how the tree twisted and fell in the wrong direction.

They are good lumbermen and no one was hurt.  Only problem is the limbing and moving of the trunk since it fell across the fenceline and is partially on the neighbors’ property.

Not exactly the way it had been planned.


The resettling of Mark and family is going slowly, but that is not unexpected.  George and I did it nearly 41 years ago and it wasn’t any easier then.  However, things are beginning to settle.

Today my morning begins as soon as this is posted.  I am due at a neighbor’s to pick up a load of horse manure for the garden.


As I know from many situations such as knitting and/or trying a new recipe …


“All beginnings are difficult.”


So … ‘til next week …



12 July …


We’ve been having hot weather … even for this time of year.  It was over 100° in Medford a couple of days, and that’s hot.  Highest here at Cold Comfort was 98°.

The corn is loving it.  Some is over six feet tall …

… so much for “A good crop requires knee high by the 4th of July.”


Resettling the families is going about as expected … i.e. not as smoothly as would be liked, but smoother than it might have.

Mark and family are settling in. George and I are adjusting.

Paul is actively exploring.


The other morning, as I was on my way out to water in the garden, the birch trees caught my eye.  The sun was hitting them just so and they really looked like silver birch. 


Another piece of eye magick.

And next year’s pine cones are becoming very visible.  The ground is covered with this year’s cones which have dropped the seeds for next year’s new trees.  These cones will be next year’s seed cones and the tree starts in 2019. 

And the cycle continues.


The radio club just received a request for help with the Dunsmuir “State of Jefferson Brewfest” in August.  George, Mark, and I will be attending a meeting this evening to discuss the needs and possibilities.

The events in which the club participates keep changing.  But a BREWfest?  I wonder what they want us to do … judge the brew taste contest? 

One can dream, can’t one?


Pictures from the 4th didn’t get posted last week … so …here’s a look at part of the crowd courtesy of the local paper. 

The city nearly doubles in size every 4th.


With an eye to personal, national, and worldwide events …


Hope means to keep going, thinking,    ‘We can do this.’


So … ‘til next week …




5 July …


To start the reading this month …


“At the Window”, 1881 by Hans Heyerdahl



Well … the Mt Shasta 4th of July festivities are over for another year.  

I was asked about  “security watches”.  It is really rather simple.  

For the holiday, vendors rent space on the main cross streets but do not spend the night in their booths/tents.  So we patrol, wearing official looking orange vests.  It deters trouble makers and earns a donation for the radio club.  We have backup from the local police and those in charge of the vendors.  Foot intensive, but not dangerous.

Kamille and I did the first shift (the night of the 1st-2nd from 2100 to 0230) and Mark and George did the final shift (the morning of the 4th from 0230 to 0800).

The shift Kamille and I did was interesting. 

The collection of drinkers on the sidewalk in front of the Vets’ Club (one of only three bars in town and the only one actually IN town) was noticeably smaller than in years past, even though it was a Saturday night, and there was no one gathering in the back alley.  The new owners seem to have added a muscled “bouncer” stationed at the door and the back door must be off limits now.

One vendor who had a great collection of crystals, both polished and uncut, was rather edgy.  He was afraid he had been scoped out during the day for a hit after dark.  Then he left the back of his tent open.  Oh well … we just went past his place more often.

A woman tried driving down the street blocked off for vendors trying to find a way to the hospital (probably using a GPS guide which didn’t know the street was full of tents).  She was a bit panicked by the man beside her who had an obviously dislocated shoulder.  They got to Kamille first and she called the PD who showed up in force (no pun intended) and they were set on their way to the Emergency Department quickly.

The PD officer (alone on duty after midnight) stopped by to chat and told us there had been a death in the city but he didn’t yet know where or cause.  He also told us to keep an eye out for a charming young lady on a bicycle who was a dumpster diver and a suspect in a series of small thefts.

A vendor who serves pulled pork sandwiches (for $12 each) had a man in their set-up all night minding the smoker.  The aroma caused inadvertent drooling on each security pass.

We had several interesting conversations with transients and drunks (sometimes both at once).

The weather was nice (70° with a slight breeze) and the first 4.5 hours went rather rapidly.  Things began to drag about 0130, as the bar was closing, so it was nice when our relief showed up and we could head for home.

Overall I must have walked close to 5 miles (5 miles in 5.5 hours … not bad for nearly 90).  Kamille probably did more.

George and Mark’s shift was most likely the quietest of all.  Most of the vendor tents had been taken down in preparation for the run/walk, and those participants started arriving early.

The radio club’s participation in the run/walk the morning of the 4th went very well in spite of a lack of planning.  Of course, as George reminded me, it was a great exercise in emergency radio coverage exactly because it wasn’t thoroughly planned. 

And during the raffle announcements, we paid our way by being alert for winners in the crowds not able to be close to the stage area. We found about half of the winners (and that’s probably confusing since you weren’t there).

Two 2017 events down.  Three to go.


The garden continues to enjoy the hot weather.  My watering time each morning has become more important. And the catalpa has come into bloom…

as have the Shasta daisies.


Last Sunday I was listening to the Moth radio hour and heard a story, told by a war journalist, which ended with a line something to the effect that in war the truth is you will lose a brother.

It reminded me that I was a charter member back in the 70s of a group called Another Mother for Peace whose motto was

 I am still another mother for peace.

And these thoughts led to a quote from the tv show “MASH” (spoken by Alan Alda in his role as Hawkeye Pierce) …

“There are only two rules in war … Rule #1 is that young men die.  Rule #2 is that you can’t change rule #1.”

The only change since that show is that now we’d have to say        “… young people” rather than “… young men.”


Another week starts.  Just remember …

 “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”                                         –  Voltaire

 So … ‘til next week …


30 June …


They arrived … 

… and this is one reason for the delay in posting the blog …



28 June …


This has not been a particularly good week for this extended family.

It has been very hot for all of us.  Both John and I react badly to temps over 90° or so.  And after a bout with near heat exhaustion, Paul may join our group.

Coming cross country to relocate in Siskiyou County, Mark and family hit record heat on I-40 (the old Route 66) at the Texas-New Mexico border where they had trouble with the trailer containing all their worldly goods.  Fortunately there is Dibelka family in Amarillo (George’s niece Janet and her family), so at least they weren’t completely alone and Janet’s son Gary was a great help.

There is always something good if you look for it …



The corn, squash,





and tomatoes are loving this weather.




Mark, Kamille, and Paul will get here (just not as soon as planned) after meeting family with whom they would never have come into contact otherwise.

John and I can pour water over our heads and pretend we’re kids playing in the sprinkler.

George isn’t subject to heat problems.

And there will be corn and tomatoes !!!


John gifted me with one of the original Inspector Morse novels by Colin Dexter which he found in a little “Take one, Leave one” library.  It was an old paperback with yellowed pages.  But it was a fun read.

Dexter starts each chapter with a summary of the story in that chapter, i.e. In which Morse is advised by a woman he would never meet in private life and the first corpse is found. or In which the investigation leads to Soho and we are given a glimpse into the sexual underside of London.

I’m told it is an old style.  I found it fun reading because I’d never run across it before.

Another fun thing was the revelation of some of Morse’s background.  At least it was interesting to me since I am an Inspector (Endeavour) Morse fan.

In addition to those treats, Dexter introduced me to some brand new words.  As least new to me, and you know how I love words.  One that caught me was “adumbrate” … defined as producing a faint image or resemblance; to outline or sketch; to foreshadow or prefigure; to darken or conceal partially; to overshadow.

What’s not to love about a word like that?  The challenge now will be to find a place in a conversation in which to use it.


Last Friday was our monthly trip to Medford.  The temperature reached 100°.  Because of the temperature, there wasn’t much to see this trip.  A lot of the green is gone, replaced by yellows and browns.

Fortunately we didn’t have much to do and so were able to head home early. 

And John’s car has air conditioning.




One of the current eye treats is the new growth tops in the tall pines.  When lit by early morning sun, they shine almost like candles.



Last Saturday was a treat day.  Cousins from southern California (Idyllwild to be exact) stopped to see us.

One of their stories has been added to my genealogy story collection …

On one of their trips, they had stopped by the cemetery where my parents are buried.  They went in to the office to inquire for location and when they asked where the Tyler graves were, the older man at the desk looked hard at Larry and then said “Yup, you look like a Tyler.”

It’s true.  Larry looks like both his grandfather and my Dad who were brothers.  Both Larry’s mother and I were and are identifiable as Tylers also.

What was interesting, as an aside, is that there is still someone who remembers Daddy who died nearly 50 years ago.


Another family story …

A few years ago, through genealogical research, I was able to locate the family of my maternal grandmother’s half-sister. I went down to San Luis Obispo to meet them and in the process formed a bond with one of them … a second cousin once removed named Roxana (for non-genealogists … her great-grandmother was my grandmother’s sister so we share an x-times great-grandfather).

Through that friendship, I’ve learned a lot about cooking in an area I’d never approached … low carb. Roxie had been overweight and through her change in eating patterns she lost about 100 pounds. 

With the thought there might be others of you out there who could use a noodge …  Roxie has become a low carb maven and has some sites where she shares what she has learned.

Aunt Rocky’s Recipes posted on Tasty Kitchen:

Aunt Rocky’s Pinterest Account (boards for my recipes and many boards related to low carb diet, menus, recipes from various bloggers):

Aunt Rocky’s Facebook Group (sharing low carb recipes, cooking tips, product reviews, etc.)

I’m not on a low carb diet, but some of the recipes are delicious for any diet.  Try ‘em.




The wild azaleas have come in to bloom …



and the intrepid moth chaser continues his patrol in the garden.


The coming week promises to be busy, chaotic, and a bit unsettling.  Life changes as big as this move, however welcome, are rarely smooth and easy.

So here is advice to close out the week …   


You basically have to keep moving forward as does a shark. There is no choice.


… ‘til next week …


21 June …


The Castle Crags bicycle event last Saturday started before dawn. 

The Moon was still out.

It was quite different that it had been.  There were far fewer riders.  There were only three rest stops.  The SAG wagons didn’t seem to know what was their role or where they should be.  We had to use different repeaters and there were mixups about frequencies and tones.

Although I was assigned a different station, I wound up working with the same volunteer group. 

                                  This year they were Girl Scouts.

My station was in Hoy Park in the Lake Shastina subdivision.  It was very green which was a change from the rather wild gravel roads, tall pines and firs, and the forest undergrowth of Mumbo.  That was nice since the day was a bit warm. 

After the station closed we returned to the City Park for dinner which consisted of comped IPA, delicious grilled chicken, hot bread, a mixed green salad, and the choice of two pasta salads.  Not a bad way to spend a day. 

We left home at 0530 and got back at 1815.  No tv, even for news.  Just basic unpacking, collect eggs, and off to bed.

Next event will be the Mt Shasta 4th.


Some time ago, during a “parlor” game, the question was “If you could have any other person’s job, either male or female, whose would it be?”

I don’t recall what I said at the time, but I do find myself thinking about the question occasionally and here are my answers (one for each sex) as of today.

Jeffrey Brown of PBS … because he gets to go so many really interesting places and talk with so many really interesting people in all walks of life and such a diversity of professions about such a broad range of subjects.  It would seem each day is an adventure.

And Meryl Streep … because in her profession she is allowed to be so many vastly different people, and in her personal life she seems so loved and content.  I get the impression she enjoys each day to its fullest.

Those are my choices.  How about you?


A few days ago, on baking day (does anyone remember the embroidered dish towels with day-chore indications … i.e. monday wash, tuesday iron, wednesday bake, etc.), along with a fresh batch of cookies …I baked a challah using my friend Faye Levy’s recipe (from one of her early cookbooks).  It came out great as always, and we had the fresh-out-of-the-oven bread plus a couple of “French” toast breakfasts, and ended with an apple-blueberry-challah bread pudding.

I run a “Depression” kitchen and the challah is a good example.  We eat a lot of “garbage” (i.e. leftover) soups, stews, pilafs, casseroles, etc.  Some items get recycled a couple of times.  And when it reaches the end of the road, it goes out to the chickens to come back in as eggs.

I know some folks will see this as a bit repugnant, but they didn’t grow up when every penny and bean counted (although we seem to be reaching that point once more).  And when either George or I see a doctor they comment on the quality of our diet.

It was a very good pudding.


One evening last week, George and I watched “The Pianist”, a Roman Polanski film.  I don’t recall what triggered me to put it in the NetFlix queue (do you put something “in” or “on” a queue?), and I didn’t know it was a Polanski film until I saw a note on the news about the charges which have kept him out of this country for so many years.

All that aside, it is an unsettling film.  It is set in Warsaw between 1939 and 2002, based on an autobiography.  The music is very good (I don’t know if the actor is actually a pianist, but if not he learned hand positions well) and the thought-provoking aspect of the film make it well worth watching.   

We rated it 5 stars.


The peonies are in bloom.  I plan  to add more over the next few years since they are deerproof.


And now it’s time for a thought to end the week …


“If one person calls you a donkey, ignore him; if two people call you a donkey, buy a saddle!”


So … ‘til week …



14 June …


 Soft rains last week made for a nice picture taken by John one day on his way out to Cold Comfort (which is in the area where the rainbow ends on the left) …

and there was a very interesting view out the window one morning.  There was bright sun at the house and the trees just across the drive, but anything past the trees, i.e. the meadow and beyond, was black black.  Just minutes later the close trees were greyed off, the meadow was ablaze with sun, and the mountains past the meadow were still black black.  Shortly all was back to sun and black.

Cloud patterns are great.


Last Monday, I went for a clinic appointment to have the MediCare physical exam.  It was interesting. 

It’s the first full exam I’ve had since I quit working.  They checked the normal stuff … ecg – no abnormality;  breathing – well within normal;  reflexes – no problem;  blood pressure etc. – nothing out of the ordinary.  In fact, the doctor said I’m in good shape for a 67-year-old, so that’s really good for an 87-year-old.

The interesting part came when they began examining my mental situation.  I was asked questions like “What year is it?”, “Where are you?”, and asked to repeat a list of words.  It was the same kind of test the doctors running the VITAL study do over the phone, although shorter.

The final item was for me to write a full sentence.  I wrote “My husband and I will have calzone for dinner today.”  That resulted in a couple of attention grabbers.  The examiner couldn’t read what I had written because it was in cursive … and George had thought to himself as I was writing … “We are having calzone for dinner.”

So now that’s done for this year.


While reviewing last week’s blog, I discovered another interesting thing about the “Women who Read …” book.

The name of the author is not on the cover of the book.  Instead the name of the woman who wrote the Foreword is featured. 

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …


George recently came across this painting …

That made me think about the role of fathers and wonder why I’d never seen a painting or other depiction of Joseph and the child without Mary.  It seems there are a lot of them out there.  To check them out, search


I was gobsmacked by the plethora (that’s a great word) and variety of depictions and really surprised I’d never seen one before. 

So far I’ve not been able to choose a favorite.

Happy Fathers’ Day …


It is an interesting Spring for the evergreens.  The ground is full of evergreen cones.

On one of my recent trips out I became aware of the large number of small trees along the road … pines and firs three to five feet tall.  That speaks well for a nice local forest in another twenty or so years.  George and I won’t see it, but our children and grandchildren will.

And the trees which result from this year’s crop of seeds will be a forest in forty, fifty, or sixty years.  I wonder if they will be allowed to become a forest, or if men (mankind) will have continued to expand to the detriment of nature. 

Maybe I’m not too sorry I won’t be here to see it.


The Castle Crags Bicycle Event will be different this year.  The wet winter has left the high areas still under snow.  Last year there had been traces of snow at Mumbo (my regular station), but it wasn’t enough to stop the bicycles.  This year access to Mumbo is closed from both directions by between three and four miles of snow which obscures the road … in some places the snow appeared to be about three feet deep.  As a result, the entire south route is closed.  The routes to be used go no where near the Crags. 

Oh well …

I will be working a station near Shastina, in Hoy Park, and George will again be doing net control.


We skipped RailRoad Days in Dunsmuir last weekend.  The mainstays which we enjoy didn’t seem to be part of the fun this year.  No speeder clubs were scheduled to be there, and the UP line isn’t as open to allowing others to use their tracks as SP used to be so there was no rolling stock to explore.  Add bad weather to that and the trip wasn’t worth the effort.

It might be that interest in trains is dropping off except for the old timers (like those of us who go ga-ga over steam) and die hards. 

Maybe things will be different next year.


Two thoughts to end this week …

When you want to feel rich, count the things you have that money can’t buy.

and …

When you say something (or someone) is beautiful, it (or they) are.


So … ’til next week …