25 May …

 18 May 2016 PM

The summer season for the Radio Club got a boost last wednesday.  We had visitors from the Shasta-Tehama ARES group to tell us about their events and ask for help. 

As a result, George and I went down to Anderson last saturday to help with a bike event.  We were both assigned to ride along in SAG wagons, probably because we don’t know the area and it was safest to put us with others who did.

There were five ride routes from 28 to 126 miles.  They had a SAG wagon on each of the routes.  George got assigned to one of the shorter routes.  I got put on board the wagon tracking those on the longest ride.  We left the starting point about 0830.  Riders were already on the route.  We got back to the park after 1600 and there were still five riders out.  But we knew where they were and could have gone out after them if they didn’t show up in a reasonable amount of time.

The driver with whom I was riding was the President of the club sponsoring the rides.  He had been a transplant from Oakland back in the 80s, but since the move, he had become a historian in re the Redding area.  I saw a lot of great landscapes and heard a lot of stories about what I saw.

Saturday Clouds  At one point the clouds were magnificent in their threat.  However, it was a great ride in spite of the weather.

We left home about 0515 to get to the start of the rides by 0700 when we were expected.  There was fog in the canyon.  Not down on the roadway so driving was restricted, but along and among the mountains and cuts.  It resembled drawings from Japan or China.JapanMesmerizing.   This was the best I could do, in order to share the view, from a moving vehicle.  

It was misting most of the way south, but just past Mountain Gate we ran into a cloud burst.  The water was coming down so hard the wipers, even on high, were unable to keep the windshield clear.  But it didn’t last.

Then during the day there was occasional mist until we got to the lunch stop. While we were there the sky opened, including hail.  Fortunately, every rider with whom we came in contact had planned for the possibility of cold and wet.  No problems with hypothermia.

Rest Stop

 

One Rest Stop was interesting. 

It turned out the “Open” sign didn’t mean us.

 

Up in the mountains (I don’t know what range it is, but it is west of the Cascades and the highest point we reached was about 3,000′) there are HUGE ranches and estates.  One in the Ash Creek area, which has to be thousands of acres, is surrounded by a hand-build stone fence which appears to be 4 feet high and 4 feet wide.  It is built entirely with lava stones culled from the fields and everyone I met during the day asked what I thought of the “Stone Wall”?. You can see it clearly on Google World.  Just enter “Ash Creek Road, Anderson, CA” and look for it along the road.  Sorry I didn’t get a picture.

Another ranch, a bit higher, was also huge (just more like hundreds of acres rather than thousands).  It was surrounded by what looked like a Moorish fortification and named Bear Run Ranch, but I didn’t get any pictures there either.  Oh well …

There were Old Old houses (probably original homesteads) and ramshackle trailers mixed in with the new houses and estates.  Altogether a fascinating ride.

Oh yes … and there was odor in several places which spoke of pot farms of rather impressive size.

When I got back to the park, I had a good dinner of slaw, green salad, beans and bacon, hot bread, and grilled tri-tip with an Arnold Palmer and an ice cream sandwich.  There was plenty of food since they had planned for 125 riders and wound up with only 85.  That was a surprise since the events we usually work would consider 85 participants a failure.  Oh well … do your job, Wilma, and shut up.  Remember, you aren’t on that committee.

Hams

I met several interesting and friendly folks.  As usual, I was the only female ham.  George said I did well and that others were impressed that not only am I female, but I knew what I was doing.  High praise in spite of the one time I forgot and slipped back into Emergency lingo and said “10-4” which is an amateur radio no-no. 

As it was coming out of my mouth, I thought “Did I just say that?”   George says if that ever happens again, just follow it with “… good buddy” and laugh.

We got home at 1930.  A gift on the way out to Cold Comfort was a view of this year’s crop of geese on the reservoir.Geese

It was a long day.  We spent sunday quietly restoring energy levels and ate leftover meatloaf for dinner.

~~~

Our own local bicycle and run events are beginnings as well.  The final (?) planning meeting for the Castle Crags Bicycle Event was last thursday.  That event is scheduled for 18 June.

This year they added another rest stop and a fifth SAG wagon, both of which will require additional radio operators.  I will repeat my station at Mumbo Crest where I am done about noon, but I may have to double on a late shift at the new station in Grenada or possibly as Net Control relief.  George will be on one of the SAG wagons.  We will be busy all day whatever happens.

The post-ride meal this year promises to be interesting.  They are using a new caterer who does wood smoke bar-b-que pork.

~~~

Tuesday was our monthly trip to Medford.  It was overcast but we hit only slight showers.  There was a great view of the Mountain on the way north.  We could see 24 May2016Whaleback …     the Mountain …    Black Butte …    and the Eddys.

And remember the outhouses I told you about?OuthousesThey’re still there … out in the middle of nowhere. 

~~

19 May 2016 - Weed Fire

A new fire started in Weed last thursday afternoon around 1530 close to where the BIG one burned through two years ago. 

 

20 May 2016There was rain and snow on friday which helped bring it under control without much damage other than to a dry area close to the old dump.  No residences involved.

Our younger son in New York gets CalFire Twitter tweaks (or whatever they are called) concerning events in this area and so usually knows about fires before we do.  Twice now we’ve learned about fires in the Weed area when he called to see how close they were to us and if we were okay.

~~~

And in closing, this adventure for friends we’ve know for a long time …

http://www.sfchronicle.com/outdoors/article/A-tale-of-sudden-danger-on-Mt-Shasta-7939246.php?t=d7df452fc8

Life keeps presenting us with problems.  By deciding that they are gifts, we become beneficiaries.

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

18 May …

 

John arrived last wednesday bearing presents …

Candle

 

home poured candles, handmade soap (actually made by Michael), chili bread-and-butter pickles, Siracha ketchup, stones … You’d have thought it was a holiday or something (like Mother’s Day and or a birthday).

 

~~~

Weather is holding in the guess-what-comes-next mode.  We’ve had showers and wind and sun and fog and …

Hide and Seek

on my way into town last monday, the mountain was playing hide-and-seek.

~~~

John got the straw bale section of the garden started.  Now, for the next week, I need to water twice a day.  Then it will be ready to plant.  We will be doing squash that way this year.  Seemed like a good choice for a first experiment.

I am in the process of getting another bed ready for potatoes.  The starts are cut and hardening-off.

However, weather is still teasing.  It will be in the 80s today, but down into the 60s tomorrow.

~~~

It is a really purple spring this year.  In the past, the season had been yellow and purple, but this year the yellow came early and is nearly done.

Lilacs

 

 

 

The purple is giving us lilacs …

 

 

Iris

 

 

and iris …

 

 

 

Shooting Stars

and shooting stars.  (Photos courtesy of son John)

~~~

Did I tell you the schedule for bicycle and running events this summer has been whittled down?  The TinMan Triathlon is no more and the Summit Century is now gone as well.

When we first started doing the amateur radio health-and-welfare thing there were only two events.  Two years ago, we did seven.  This year there will be five. 

Of course, as we get older, fewer events will be no problem.

Planning for the Castle Crags event is well under-weigh. I do the Mumbo rest stop for that event and the folks manning that stop always dress-up.  One year they were beach bikini bimbos. Another bikers.  I wonder what it will be this year?

With extra volunteer time available, I added a commitment to work with the County Tobacco Education Council at the County Golden Fair one day this coming August.  They have a facial morphing program which shows the changes to the face of a tobacco user as they age.  It seems to intrigue youngsters.  I’ll be the adult-in-charge for four hours on 12 August.  Mark and family will be here, so George will be occupied.

~~~

The Met season is over.  Next up on saturday mornings is the Lyric of Chicago.

I noted a couple of days ago that the music world seems to have discovered Czech composers in addition to Dvorak and Smetana. Interesting.  I wonder how big a part Renee Fleming’s success with the “Hymn to the Moon” from “Rusulka” had to do with that.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that Netrebko seems to be past her beautiful-young-thing era.  She won’t be opening the Met season this coming autumn. 

Dimitri (remember Dimitri?) hasn’t been heard in a while.  Too bad.  The throat situation seems to be taking one of the best baritones around.

But Placidisimo is now doing baritone roles (coming up … “Johnny Schiechi” with the LA Opera), so not all is lost.

~~~

18 May 2016Sun this morning with the panthers on guard.

Waiting

I used the solar dryer yesterday.  Will do it again this morning.

~~~

Saw this a few days ago.  It seems quite appropriate this election season.

 

“Knowledge not applied is just information.”
-Nathan Curtis, inmate, Anamosa State Penitentiary.

 

And so … ’til next week …

11 May …

 

 

Good morning …

11 May 2016

~~~

Seems I did a no-no last week in not being more descriptive about a long-time friendship.   

“Wow! You make that visitor from (when you worked at) the New Mexico Insane Asylum 62 years ago sound like a long term lunatic you will have underfoot when you are on duty July 4th!!!  I’ll have to wear a sign that says ‘I wasn’t a patient, I WORKED with Wilma. ‘ ”

True, but I still like the ambiguity … who was the patient and who the attendant? 

Actually, we were part of an American Friends Service Committee group of young people spending the summer working as attendants.  That’s Liz in the middle row second from the left.

New Mexico 1954

George (center back row) was the “old man” of the group at 26.  I was 24 (that’s me in the front row second from right).  All the other were aged between 18 and 21.

My … how time flies.

~~~

Last week at the Family History Center was busy.

I have definitely proven that my forte is research, not use of the on-line Family Search World Tree.

A young Sister from Portland was here to help us learn how to use the Family Search program now that it is open to all.  As she explained it, it all seemed so easy … a no-brainer. 

Well, I guess I am a “no brainer”.  I’ll work at it.  Maybe I’ll get better.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to use RootsMagic as my main file and leave explaining the use of Family Search to the other volunteers.

The laugh of the session was when a researcher found a cousin whose given name was “Onion”.  I wonder what that new mother was thinking?

~~~

Still on the subject of genealogy … I spent time during the last rain finishing the notebook of information about my paternal grandmother, Anna Etta “Belle” Hall Tyler – 1866 to 1952.

That was an interesting few days.  I thought I knew my Grandma.  But as I organized what information I had, and added to it what had become available since I last collected, my picture of her expanded.

She had been 64 when I was born (same age as I was when my first grandchild was born), so I never knew her as “young” 

Now that I know the challenges she faced, I love her more than ever.  I had always seen her as strong, but now I know she was STRONG.

Next project … Grandpa, Laben Jehiel “Elmer” Tyler.

Want to know your grandparents better?  Genealogy …

~~~

We went after chicks (and straw for the garden) last monday.  The Mountain is looking beautiful …9 May 2016

Chicks

 

and the chicks are settling in.

 

~~~

Lilacs

 

Lilacs are in almost full bloom.  I’ll be drying blossoms for potpourri.

IrisHowever, the iris are still reluctant.

~~~

I picked fresh asparagus and rhubarb yesterday.  The asparagus went into my salad (George doesn’t eat asparagus unless forced and I like it so …).  

The rhubarb went into an Eaglesmere Rhubarb-Nut Bread.  It is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law’s aunt sooooooo many years ago.  Still smells and tastes great.Rhubarb Bread

~~~

John is due to arrive this afternoon.  We had tentatively planned to start preparing the ground for planting.  However … rain began last wednesday with gully-washers (and flood warnings) on wednesday, thursday, and saturday.

It might be time for Plan B. 

We are rethinking straw bale gardening.  Seems the use of herbicides on straw and hay fields may have down-the-line results on garden plants, not only directly by the use of contaminated straw, but through manure contamination via feed given to manure producing animals.

Life does get complicated.

There was a report on NPR about the idea of a Secretary of the Future.  Sweden has one.  Her job is to evaluate the impact of whatever is happening on the coming generations. 

Indigenous peoples knew the value of this a long time ago with their appreciation of the phrase (translated to English) “To the Seventh Generation”. 

But then, maybe it’s too late for us already.  News report last week noted that five islands in the Solomons have already been lost to rising sea levels.  And the food situation is getting scary.

~~~

Finally, in re all the hooha over trans use of toilets … 

 

“The path to the dark side fear is. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

4 May …

 

Weather is still playing a guessing game.  The end of last week was on the cool side with even a dip below freezing one morning.

Julie arrived for a two day visit late saturday and the weather turned nice for her time here.

Lilacs

The lilacs came into bloom, there is fruit set on the plum, the Michael iris are blooming (but not the new ones yet)… and today it is raining.  I’ll be making a pot of chicken noodle soup for dinner.

~~~

The trip to Medford last week was an interesting ride.  Because those trips are to the eye doc, we switch driving responsibilities after the appointment.  That means I get to do the rubbernecking on the way north, but not on the way home.

Last week some observations were …

There was a light snow and rime on the meadow and trees as we drove out to Old Stage Road  …  There is a very good calf crop this spring … There were two porta-potties setting on a rise in the middle of a field north of Yreka with no indication of why … The dogwood, locust, madrone, and catalpa trees down lower in elevation than Cold Comfort Farm are in bloom … The oaks are blush red with buds … The sides of the freeway are dusted with lupine bloom … and Emigrant Lake is fuller than it has been in quite some time.

At one spot in Shasta Valley I saw a cowboy on horseback out with his herd.  I also saw a rather large coyote crossing the road away from him.
We don’t often see coyotes near the road nor in daylight.  Wish I had gotten a photo.  Oh well …

It was a nice drive.

~~~

The first of the 4th of July planning meetings was interesting in that there were fewer people in attendance but they seemed to be more involved than in the past.  The radio club will be doing security duty friday, saturday, and sunday nights and then working the walk-run and the awards on the 4th as usual.  A woman I first met sixty-two years ago while at the New Mexico State Insane Asylum will be visiting and so she will be with me on the 4th.  That should be fun.

~~~

Plans for this year’s garden are underweigh.  We will be doing two straw bales to grow the squash.  It is sort of an experiment.  John and I had read about straw bale gardening and both thought it sounded like a go.  We shall see.

The rest of the garden will be as usual … manure and mulch.  I have leads on both straw bales and horse manure. 

John will be here next week and we’ll get started.

~~~

As I said before, Julie (whose grandfather was my cousin Marvin) came for a visit.  We hadn’t seen her in a couple of years so it was good to see her again.

Julie & George

 

She was able to be here for two full days, but we just visited.  No tourist stuff this time.

She left yesterday morning and the house seemed a bit empty as it always does when company leaves.

 

~~~

Julie’s visit triggered a cooking adventure.  She is gluten sensitive and I had a whole lot of bread planned for meals.  But I switched to potatoes and rice and found a gluten-free cake mix left from when Kamille was here and so we had a chocolate cake (which was more like a cake-brownie … heavier than a regular chocolate cake) and I mixed amaranth flour with rice flour and a teeny bit of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour to make a blueberry buckle for breakfast one morning.  It smelled great and tasted good too.  It was a bit more like a crumble than a buckle, but satisfying.

Although both George and I are gluten tolerant, I guess I will learn some fundamentals to gluten-free cooking and baking.

~~~

The eye exam and treatment went as usual, and George’s semi-annual physical (the first since our Doc switched to VA) went well.  Next eye appointment is on the 24th.

~~~

I read an interesting thought in the Rebbe’s column this week.  Sort of ties in with the idea that what you put out is what you get.

 

“If you train yourself to respond to people who ask you how you are with ‘Quite well’ or some other positive thought, then many times a day you will focus on what you have to be thankful for and you will also hopefully bring joy to others by your uplifting example. If you say, ‘Can’t Complain’ you have fulfilled your social obligation of answering what is generally a social formality question of ‘How are you?’ — but you bring no joy to yourself or anyone else.”

 

So … ’til next week …

 

27 April …

 

Last sunday a man I first saw when his mother brought him home from the hospital after his birth on the 4th of July in 1958 died.  We lived next door.  My oldest son was not quite two.

Six years later, we moved in order to be closer to my husband’s work.  We saw the neighboring family a couple of times after the move, but we lost touch as many families do when one moves.

I never completely forgot the family, but made no move to maintain contact.

Then about eight years ago, out of the blue, we heard a voice deliver some news on Morning Edition on our local NPR station and end with “This is Steve Julian … KPCC”.  George and I looked at each other and said “Is that Little Stevie?”

It was and the tie was reestablished.  He was then an adult and we became friends.

Last Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer.

Five months later he is gone.Steve

For me, he will always be the man with whom we shared a meal last September and who hugged and kissed me as he left … always tall, gentle, and smiling.

~~~

Things are warming up for the radio club.  We’ve been asked to share events with the Shasta Tehama ARES group.  Some of their people will be at our next meeting.  And we have been invited to participate in a couple of their events next month … a bicycle event and a rodeo parade.  George and I may volunteer (or just go down) to see how they work their events.

The first thing on our club’s calendar this year is a two session training class to help folks get licensed.  Those will also be next month.

Then things will get busy in June.  There has already been an initial planning meeting for the Castle Crags Bicycle Event and the first of the meetings for the Mt Shasta 4th of July will be this afternoon.

~~~

We’ve also been involved in medical stuff. 

Last week we went to an open house at the Fairchild Medical Group to see if I can select a new care giver.  I told you the doctor I’ve been seeing for years (seeing seldom, I don’t go to the doctor much, but I was part of his practice) closed his practice to become the VA provider.  That made me a “Kolpacoff refugee”.

The open house narrowed my choice to two … a FNP and an internal medicine MD.  There had been other providers there, but real contact didn’t happen.  I’ve never been to one of these events before.  It was strange.  The providers were just standing around and people would go up to talk with them.  Sort of like a dog show (here I am, come see me) … or a buffet table (something from table one or a serving from table two).

The FNP was pleasant and seemed to know her business.  George had really valued his FNP at the VA and mentioned her name.  “Mo” (maybe the use of a nickname is what threw me off a bit) knew Denise and seemed to admire her.  Mo said she had been an ED RN, does geriatric medicine, would not require any tests or treatments to which I did not agree, but did not have a non-emergency appointment available until mid-autumn.

The MD is just finishing his internship up in Portland and will not start private practice until September.  He said he expects to combine internal medicine with family practice and treat all ages (just not pediatrics or ob – but since I am not a child or likely to get pregnant that doesn’t matter).  I told him I am a staph carrier and don’t usually need a doc unless the staph flares up into cellulitis.  His response was that since he would know that, I’d not have any trouble getting seen right away.

Initially, I had expected to choose a female nurse practitioner.  However, the connection with the male MD seemed easier. I had revealed my past as an Emergency RN to both of them.  I wonder if that made a difference?

I guess I’ll wait until I have a real need and see which one will work me into their practice soonest … unless I decide earlier … oh well …

~~~

I have renewed my driving license.  As usual, I had a panic attack based on test anxiety but got 100% on the written test.  I had to take the written test because the computer couldn’t recognize my thumb print although I had just registered it as I signed in.

One thing I will probably need to do before the license expires again in five years is to have something done with my eyes. I passed the eye test okay, but I am noticing I need more light, in order to read clearly, than in the past.  Fifteen years ago I was told I had incipient cataracts which would need attention by the time I was seventy-five.  I reached that more than ten years ago, so it is probably nearing time to do a recheck.

But for now … I’m okay.

~~~

We had a stretch of almost-summer weather.  Then last week, wet spring returned.  In fact, on friday , sunday, and monday there was light snow in the heavy rain.

The maple tree has lost its red blush and is donning summer green. 

OR grape (2)

Everything is in bloom including the apple tree (those are clothes on the solar dryer to the left in the background).  

That is everything with the exception of the catalpa tree.  It is always later than any of the others.

It looks as if there will be a good Oregon grape harvest this year …OR grape (1)

Spring Tonic

 

and the spring tonic makin’s are appearing in the backyard and meadow.

 

 

However, with the rain the garden area is still on hold.

~~~

Swirl

I tried another of the cast-iron strawberry recipes. 

It baked without a problem.  It looked quite nice and tasted okay.

 

We decided cinnamon rolls with bowls of fresh berries would suit us better.

~~~

And yesterday was another of the monthly trips to see the retinologist for George’s macular degeneration.

26 April 2016There was a slight haze in the air.  The Mountain looked lovely, as normal, and there was nothing new with George’s eyes.

~~~

Since Steve’s death, little notes have been making surprise appearances …

“No matter how long a loved one is with you, it is never long enough.”                         — Roy Orbison’s son

“May I try to tell you again where your only comfort lies?  It is not in forgetting the happy past.  People bring us well-meant but miserable consolation when they tell what time will do to help our grief.  We do not want to lose our grief, because our grief is bound up with our love and we could not cease to mourn without being robbed of our affections.”     — Unknown

“What have I learned …?  In short, the importance of our reminding each other repeatedly to be kind.”       — John Deacon

“Do you love and appreciate someone?  Have you told them why?  Don’t let them live in ignorance anymore.”     — Felicia Friesema

… maybe they are reminders that we need to tell those we love and cherish how valuable they are and to do it now while we have the chance.

 

 So … ’til next week …

20 April …

 

Big event last week was John’s visit.  Main reason for the visit this time was to get a look at what is needed to get this year’s garden underweigh and to get his scanner working correctly so he can eavesdrop on the trains running through Marysville.  The visit was greeted with rain and snow.

However, the weather cleared and the results of the visit were …

I enjoyed seeing, touching, and hearing my son.

Jam

The family now has 12 pints of strawberry jam, 5 pints of strawberry preserves, and 4 pints of strawberry syrup to see us all through the coming year.

 

My printer is functioning correctly once again.

George was able to get the scanner programmed and John can now track the trains while waiting for a photo shot.

The fruit trees got their initial pruning.  They will be tracked the rest of the year to guide future pruning.

Initial planning for the garden is in place (I have some chores I need to get done in the next week or two).

I found a couple of “repair” gifts after John left.

16 April 2016

He got a lovely shot of the Mountain.

I am Blessed.

~~~

Stove 2The picture of the new stove was a surprise.  The stainless is so polished the side of the stove disappeared because of the reflection.  Oh well …

 

More experimenting with the new oven resulted in several good things.  I found a magazine of recipes using cast iron cookware, so I tried the buttermilk biscuits baked in a cast iron skillet.  Wow …

I’ve been doing breakfast biscuits for many, many years but never had any as light and flaky as those last thursday morning.  In the magazine there was a hint about folding the dough over before cutting (the way you fold puff pastry but without the layers of butter).  I don’t know how much of the success was due to the dough folding and how much was due to baking in the skillet, but whatever the reason, those were really flaky biscuits.

I’ll do it again.

Then I did scones, also in cast iron, but the pan I used was too big.  The scones didn’t rise, they baked like crackers.  Tasted okay, but next time I will use a smaller pan.

~~~

Stars Across the MeadowThe Shooting Stars out in the meadow are coming into display.

In spots they look like a carpet …Meadow Stars

Stars and Garlic

 

 

and they share space with wild garlic.

 

~~~

I spent yesterday at the Family History Center for a training session.  I am now more comfortable with helping “clients” use the Church’s Family Search program.

Those of you who use RootsMagic for maintaining  your family pedigree … did you know you can connect straight to the LDS site so that any new information posted on Family Search can be shared to your records?     Yup …

Tools … File Options … Web Hints … Family Search Web Hints … fill in your info and wahla, you’re connected to a helpful source.

I’ll be attending another class tomorrow and possibly another on saturday.  If I learn any other good stuff, I’ll share.

~~~

Radio club meeting this evening.  Lots on the agenda as we start into the summer season.

Still no solid news about the Summit Century but new equipment and club house repair need to be discussed.

~~~

Just a side thought, but has anyone noticed that the diameter of the cardboard tube in the center of the toilet paper roll has increased?  

The roll looks the same size, but you’re getting less paper.  

Interesting.

~~~~~~

Solar Dryer

 

 

Used the solar dryer last monday for the first time this season.  I have another load to go out as soon as this is posted.

 

 

20 April 2016

Sun this morning, but a bit of a snap in the air.

First Lilacs

Lilacs are coming into bloom.  Sorry the light (and my lack of expertise) doesn’t let me show you the colour, but the buds are there.  More (hopefully better) photos next week.

 

~~~

Lesson for this week from Carl Sagan …

 

” … it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don’t question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. … anything that’s truly real can stand up to scrutiny.”

 

So … ’til next week … keep asking questions.

 

 13 April …

 

Today would have been my Mama’s birthday anniversary … the 108th.

~~~

Stove

The new range is in place and being used. 

It is taking some getting used to … the knobs on the front turn on different burners than the old range, i.e. back instead of front.  Getting it in place led to reviewing storage which resulted in cleaning and setting aside stuff to go to the New-2-You store.  A good thing.

The stovetop oven fits on this range nicely … better than it did on the old one.

The electronics will take some getting-used-to.

First out of the oven was a batch of cookies.  Today I try a strawberry cake.

Onward …

~~~

While we were in Medford last wednesday, we went to the new In-N-Out Burger place at the Rogue Valley Mall.  Our Michael had been a fan of the one in Redding and we’d heard good things from other young relatives and friends.

However … we weren’t impressed.  Not that the food was bad.  Maybe our expectations were too high.  It was good food for the price and the service was very good.  It’s just that I had my mouth set for a BJB (big, juicy burger) and didn’t get it.

In-N-Out

 

We do the BJB thing very seldom and want BIG and JUICY when we do.

 

As for In-N-Out … been there … done that.

~~~

The cherry tree is blooming.Cherry

Plum

 

 

The plum tree is in boisterous bloom.

Birch

 

 

 

The birch catkins are rampant.MapleThe maple is red-red-red.

Manzanita

 

 

Manzanita is in full flower.

 

 

But still no iris blooms and no sign of catalpa.

~~~

Record highs have been the norm in Medford.  Weather has been warm all over the area.  We’re getting close to outdoor time.

We did have  an interesting event very early (0233) saturday morning … a flash of lightning bright enough to light up the entire bedroom and wake both of us from sound sleep followed by a stupendous roll of thunder, which rattled windows, and a quick DOWNPOUR which lasted less than five minutes.  Then it was all over and we could see stars again.

Weather here is never dull.

~~~

We went to Yreka yesterday for the first of George’s three blood draws for this year.  His semi-annual physical exam will be the 27th. 

The Family Nurse Practitioner who had been his primary care provider for the last couple of years has moved on and George is back to the MD who had been our primary doc for several years.  Seems VA consolidated and the doc who backed up the FNPs is now the caregiver.  Works fine for George, but I have to find a new caregiver since mine is now the VA doc and has given up his private practice.

Oh well …

Mountain 12 April 2016It had been raining when we left in the morning.  The rain was done by the time we headed home, but the Mountain was still hiding.

ReservoirWith all the rain, the reservoir is fuller that it has been in quite some time … and the geese are loving it.

~~~

13 April 2016The front view is looking more like planting weather this morning …

Can't see me

 

 

 

and one of the panthers was playing “You can’t see me.”

 

~~~

Advice for this week …

“The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio. Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something.”   … Kurt Vonnegut,

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

6 April …

 

31 March 2016I did a Family History Center session last week … and do one again tomorrow.  I signed up for odd numbered thursdays and when a month has five thursdays, I double back on the first one in the next month.

Last week, Mr. Garcia (who is doing the history of Catholics in south Siskiyou county) was there, with bells on, as the door was unlocked.  He had made quite a bit of headway on the Catholics including contacts with Priest historians and some early pictures.  One old photo shows how Lake Street got its name.  All this discovery since he was at the Center a couple of weeks ago.

In addition, the personal family history bug has him in its clutches.  So Sal and I had quite a time with him.  His grandmother, like one of my great-grandmothers, seemed to get younger every time a census was recorded.  Genealogy reveals all kinds of interesting secrets.

I’m betting he’ll be back this week.

~~~

Eric and Julie arrived mid-afternoon last saturday and it was like no time had passed since we were all together, although it had been years since we last saw Julie. 

When I think about it, I realize how lucky I am to have the family I have, both immediate as well as extended, even if we aren’t all physically close together.  Fun and laughs started over supper with planning for the tourist thing on sunday.

Sunday the weather was glorious.  Rain had been predicted, but it held off.  Julie was able to take a walk before breakfast and our part of the world gave her a welcome.New Fir Growth 

Deer are back and the firs are setting their bright growth buds.  No lilacs yet, but lots of daffodils and narcissus. 

 

Maple Glow

 

 

And the maple is budding so there is a slight red haze.

Spring

 

 

 

Our “tourist” trip went well.  Our first stop was in the City Park where the spring from the Mountain snow comes out of the rocks. 

TouristsOn the Mountain, we were able to get as far as Bunny Flat (6,942′).  The unplowed snow was close to 10′ deep and the road above there wasn’t open. 

Ski ParkAll the lifts were in operation at the Ski Park and the telemark slope looks even steeper than it did when I came down it on a toboggan.

Lake Siskiyou

 

Then out to Box Canyon to look at Lake Siskiyou

 

Box Canyon

 

 

and over the edge to the hydro power plant.

 

Then on to Castle Lake where the lake was topped with snow.Castle Lake

Final tourist stop, before a great Mexican dinner at Casa Ramos, was the train depot and turntable in Dunsmuir.

As I said, my family is great and we fit together well.  It was a comfortable visit.   They left early monday morning to catch a plane back home.  George and I are looking forward to their next trip west.

~~~

I caused a controversy last week over enhanced photos on the net. 

My horoscope had instructed me to avoid contentious conversation.  I should have paid attention.

For quite some time now there have been posts on Facebook which I find unsettling.  They usually consist of calming advice such as “Stress … go for a walk with nature.”  Good advice … BUT … it is then accompanied by a picture of woods (or ocean or lakeside or flower garden or …) in which the colours have been supersaturated to the point that lavender is a purple which temporarily dulls your sight, the blues are all electric, the various greens are acid green, the sun rays are BRIGHT BRIGHT white shaded to orange and the reds can make your eyes bleed.

I’ve reached the point where when I get a hint such a post is next, I just hurry past.  However, last week I posted a query asking if I was the only one who felt this way.  The problem was I phrased my question sloppily and wound up setting several sets of teeth on edge.  Seems there is a way to enhance the dulling sometimes present in photographs which is used by family and friends to get across what they see.

Interestingly, I see what they are trying to present in those photos without seeing the manipulation.  In fact, I sort of wish I knew how to do that because there are times what I see is not visible in the photos I take in my effort at sharing … such as the yellow sky preceding rain. 

Oh well …

At any rate, I still continue to zip past the overdone photos (and continue to wonder at the lack of appreciation of actual nature) and enjoy the ones in which I see what I am being shown without seeing overt manipulation.

~~~

Weather has yet to settle.  There was a shower with distant lightning and thunder sunday evening.  But otherwise clear and warming.

6 April 2016This morning … (photo unretouched).

~~~

My new stove is waiting for us to come get it.  As soon as I get the blog posted, we will be on our way to Medford.

~~~

As a final thought …

I have initiated a project which means a lot to me.  I am not able, at this time, to share … BUT I request your positive thoughts for its success. 

I am trying to remember that people with courage do not slay dragons, they ride them.

Blessings and Thank You.

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 March …

 

Eric and Julie are due to arrive sometime saturday afternoon.  We have met Julie only once … when she visited us in Northridge on their honeymoon.  We are looking forward to establishing connections.

They are to be here for two days only.  Not a lot of time.  We will be doing some sightseeing.  Watch for photos.

~~~

FigI can’t recall (and don’t have time to go check) if I showed you the new growth on the fig …

 

the narcissus at the front door …Daffodills

 

and the blooms on the apricot.Apricot Buds

~~~

Clear-cutting in Oregon has become a controversy.  Those in charge of timbering want to clear cut last year’s fire areas. 

Environmentalists and native tribes say “no” since it would invite erosion and landslides and further endanger salmon spawning. 

At least the opposition is no longer being swept under the carpet.  It is being heard.  Maybe better land management will happen.

Coming home from Medford last monday, we could see clear cut areas because of the overnight snow.  They show up as large flat white areas inside forested areas.  And they are appearing in some areas of California as well.

~~~

The monday Medford trip to the retinologist started with snow.

28 March 2016

Overnight we had about 2″.Hummer Feeder 

 

 

The hummer feeders which I put out last week were decorated, and the truck needed to be cleared.Truck Monday Morning

 

 

 

However, it is spring and it was gone by the time we got home.

In the Ashland-Medford area, the plum trees are all blossoming.  Time for the Plum Blossom Festival and Run.

~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been having trouble with my oven.  I’ve had this range for quite some time and lately the oven has been taking a looooooooong time to heat (and more and more often it just doesn’t heat), the temperature is not always accurate when it does heat … and the whole process has gotten VERY frustrating.  So I began looking for a replacement. 

I remember the ranges when I was young … a small oven, a large oven, a broiler, a warming oven, four burners, maybe a pot storage drawer … a real cook’s range, and they cost about $200.

I thought I would like to have at least two ovens … one large for the holiday turkey and cookie sheets, and one small when all I want to bake is a pie or a small casserole for the two of us.

WRONG …

To get the basic range I wanted the price starts at $1,200 and goes up from there all the way to $6,000.

I’ve been thinking about the current expectations and wondering what changed.  I think it was the 60s and 70s when housewives started using prepared foods rather than cooking … just peel off the covering and put it in the microwave … just dump it into a bowl, add water, and heat … recipes began with “1 box of xxx or 1 package of xxx” … or just don’t bother with any of that, have someone pick up take-out on their way home.

What a loss. 

It appeared I would have to settle for a stove in my price range with just one big oven, four burners, and maybe a broiler.

Oh well …

But monday, while we were in Oregon for George’s monthly visit to the retinologist, we stopped by Sears to look at their ranges.  What we found was their annual sale of stoves had just begun. 

Surprise … Coincidence?  Or a gift?  Or both?

When we said we needed a new stove, the sales person said she needed a sale and we all laughed.  She showed us her range of ranges starting with the cheapest.  We looked, took her information, and told her we’d think about it and get back to her.

As we were walking out of the store we began comparing what we had seen with the two others we had been considering … advantages and prices.  Before we reached the outside door we agreed, turned around, and went back to the appliances department.

We bought a high price range for nearly 40% off which put it within our purse.  Still only one oven (with warm holding and dough rising settings, a window, a broiler, and self-cleaning), 5 burners (fast boil, simmer-slow cooker, oblong griddle, and two others), stainless at no added cost, and a three-year warranty including what they call a “lemon” clause (i.e. more than three service calls in the first year and you get an entirely new range).

We go get it next week.  I’ll be using it by the 8th.  Kaloo Kalay !!!

~~~

Tyler turned 19 last thursday.  As usual, we called to sing the birthday song to him.

30 March 2016

Today is lovely and we’ll be singing to Mark later (my younger son turns 46 today).

They never get too big or too old to be sung to.  And when family is here this summer, we’ll have birthday parties.

~~~

… following the fortuitous events of the last few days, this rings so true … 

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way.

 

So … ’til next week …

 

 

 

 

23 March …

 

Radio Club report …

16 March 2016 EveningThis was the view on the way into town that evening …

Then at the meeting we learned one of the members will be teaching a class for obtaining a tech license.  He plans on the first two saturdays in May and asked members to help.  George and I will be participating.  I’ll be talking about the importance (and fun) of public service events (surprised?). 

We still don’t know what George will be doing.

On another note, we may have only five public service events this year.  The use of bicycle events for fundraisers may be past. The TinMan Triathlon was cancelled two years ago due to smoke and the drought.  Now word is that the Mt Shasta Summit Century Bicycle Event in which riders climb four of our peaks (Parks Creek up to the Pacific Crest Trail in the Eddys, Mumbo Crest in back of Castle Crags, Castle Lake above Lake Siskiyou, and THE Mountain) may be cancelled.  It had been impacted by wildfire smoke the last two years and participation was down.  If it is indeed cancelled, that will leave our August free since I just got word that the Headwaters Run has moved from the end of August to the first of October.

The first planning meeting for the Castle Crags event was last monday so that event is still on track.  That event is sponsored by the Mt Shasta Rotary and they had a surprise for us.  They appreciate our help, especially in tracking participants and the SAG wagons, and wanted to help increase our efficiency.  They gave us enough money to create another GO Kit, i.e. a self-contained grab-it-and-go radio and location tracking kit.  The club now has three such kits available to members in case of participation in an event or, more importantly, an emergency.     WooHoo …

Even though the times in regard to bicycle events seem to be   a-changin’, the club will still have enough training chances, so we’re not worried.

~~~

I was at the Family History Center last thursday.  There were three people waiting for us when we arrived at 1100.

It turned out they are all working on the same project … a history of Catholics in south Siskiyou County.

Marty and I spent interesting time listening to the information they have so far as well as looking at some really interesting pictures of the area from as long ago as before the Civil War.  We did some brainstorming concerning where there might be more information available.

The first BIG problem we had to get them past was the one we run into a lot … “I looked and couldn’t find anything so there must not be anything to find.”

We did some encouraging, some suggesting, and even some teaching such as that asking for a “plOt” map is not the same as asking for a “plAt‘ map.  By the time they left they had three places to search further and seemed ready to do it. 

And two of them were showing interest in doing their own family history.

Marty and I were a bit proud of ourselves.

~~~

One evening last week.  George and I watched “Still Alice”. We’re both nearly 90, so chances of us developing Alzheimer’s is not great … it usually hits before this age. 

Years ago, during a discussion about death in which I cited my Nana, who lived to be within in week of 107, I decided I’d prefer to lose my memories before I became physically disabled rather than be clear thinking while trapped in an inert or unmanageable body.  Sort of like not remembering isn’t too bad as long as you don’t know that you don’t remember.

Nana spent the last several (maybe the last 5) of her years living back in 1916 when her husband was hale and hearty, she had a nice house which he had built for her, her mother and sisters lived nearby, and her daughters were 8 and 6 years old.  She no longer knew me other than as a nice grey-haired lady who came to visit.  But she was content.

“Still Alice” pointed out that ultimately Alzheimer’s may not be bad for the one with the disease, but it can be devastating for those who love them.  It is such a heartbreaker. 

At any rate, it is a well-acted film and well-done.  I was struck by the lead-in to the closing credits.  They were preceded by the film’s original title which gradually faded away.

No wonder it won awards.

For next week’s films we go back to Regency England (Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”) and to the roaring twenties (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”).

~~~

Here’s a bit of kitchen advice …

Don’t let limes sit too long before you try to slice them. 

I got a bag of Persian limes at CostCo last time we were in Medford.  I used some in salmon cooking.  I juiced some and froze the juice for summer drinks.  and I sort of forgot about the rest. 

A few days ago, I saw them and realized I needed to use them.  I decided to zest and juice them for a pie and some curd.  Things went well for the first five or so … then there was one with a more solid skin than the others. 

The peel on all the limes had gotten dry and hard, but this one was super hard. When I took it in my left hand to hold it while I sliced it, I was a bit more cautious … just not enough more cautious. 

My nice sharp chef’s knife bounced off and I now have a small nick near the nail on the long finger of my left hand … and a rather severe, uncomfortable  angled slice over the first joint of my left thumb.  It is a good thing that cut wasn’t straight on or I might have damaged a joint and/or tendon.

I managed to not bleed into the zest or juice, so if I give you any, you don’t need to worry.

George is rather awkward with bandaging but he was able to help get the thumb wound covered to stop the bleeding and push the flap down to seal.  It is healing nicely.

Lesson #1 … As when you break a small toe, you don’t realize how much you use any small digit until that digit is out of commission.

Lesson #2 … When you have a lot of limes, do something with them before their peel gets hard.

~~~

A young couple I know have been living through a normal part of existence which is one of the hardest parts of life … one which we normally need not face until we are much older than my friends.

I have not blogged about it at any length since it is not yet my journey.  However, she has been posting about their journey and I feel a need to share.

It is a heart-breaker which she is handling (and sharing) with grace and strength, so be aware that if you choose to read … you’ll need tear catchers.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/stevejulian/journal/view/id/56f1575cac7ee952689dd64e?utm_source=JEN&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=JEN+email&utm_content=visitsite

~~~

Apricot Buds

Buds are showing on the lilacs, the red maple, and the apricot.  Iris leaves are popping up in the front and back yards, and out where the driveway meets the road, but it is way too early (and chilly) for iris buds … yet. 

The ladies are beginning to lay again. 

There is no longer appreciable snow in the meadow.  Canada geese are back on the reservoir.  No sign of robins or the sand cranes … yet.

Now that there are some daffodils showing, I think it might be time to put out the first of the hummer feeders and take up the stones in the walk between the back door and the courtyard so the path can can be redone … if we get a stretch without rain or snow.

Onward …

~~~23 March 2016

This morning the air is clear and the sun bright …

~~~

I recently saw this idea on the net and knew I have to plead guilty …

I am no racist. But I am prejudiced, if not bigoted, toward and against ignorant people regardless of race, religion, political, or sexual orientation. I do not tolerate fools well.

~~~

 

So … ’til next week …