25 November …

While we were in Oregon yesterday, about 4″ of snow fell here at Cold Comfort.  We’re into three-comforter nights.

Home 25 Nov 2014

Kaloo Kalay !!!


This has been a difficult month … occasionally it has been a task to find something for which to be grateful … a task but not impossible.

I am overwhelmingly grateful for life, family, friends, food, shelter, warmth, hope, snow, and a slew of small things like bacon and books and morning sun and stars and season changes and the smell of soft rain and snow and …

I have a gratitude jar and seeing it reminds me how blessed I am.


Last week, at the Family History Center was interesting … but don’t tell the LDS folks. 

Some time ago we were told church rules forbid men and women working together unless they are a married couple, and that no non-member was to have access to the church without the presence of a member (i.e. not have a key).  Two hard and fast requirements.

But necessity rules.

Last thursday the “Sister” with whom I usually work was in Texas for the wedding of a grandchild. Harry Hall from Dunsmuir and I worked the shift.  We are both married, but not to each other, and neither of us belong to the LDS Church. But we were there, doing our bit.  Oh well …

It was an uneventful session, so no harm done.  Just don’t tell.


I am currently reading the first of the mystery novels by JKRowling.  The beginning three chapters were difficult.  I’m a story person and those chapters seemed to be focused on how a place looked. 

There is another mystery novelist who spends paragraph after paragraph on how the characters are dressed.  I’ve learned to selectively scan those paragraphs for clues and get on with the story.  Once I made the connection in re style, reading “the Cuckoo’s Calling” got easier. 

I will wait on an evaluation until I’m further into the novel. 


With winter holding off for such a long time, we had been seeing abnormal amounts of road kill of all sizes (I’m not sure what a “normal” amount is, but this has been abnormal).  As a result, the crow population has grown and hawks are everywhere.

Road Kill



It also made me think of a book I received from a cousin years ago.




The amateur radio club has begun planning its holiday potluck.  So far the “guest” list is approaching twenty.  The club house main room is not very big … about 20’x20′ and there are cabinets and shelving on two walls.

I doubt we will need the heater and it will probably be a good thing we are all friends.


As you know, we made a trip to Medford for another eye injection yesterday.  Rain and snow had been predicted for monday night.  It hadn’t really begun by the time we left home, but we had allowed extra time to get over Siskiyou Pass.

Snow Fog

On the Oregon side of the  pass we ran into fog …

Approaching the Summit

and snow.

Coming home 

Appoaching home 24 Nov 2015

this  awaited us …

Appointment results were much the same as always … the injections are maintaining the condition of George’s eye, but there is no real cure.  

Next appointment … 22 December with the caveat that if weather interferes, we can call and have priority for rescheduling depending on our ability to travel.


I was able to find a nice turkey for a dollar a pound in spite of the scare over bird flu decimating flocks.  It is a well-rounded, 13 pound hen.

Turkeys had been on sale last week ($9 for a 10 to 14 pounder), but that was only with a $25 purchase, so this hen was a good deal.  We are counting on finding another for Christmas. 

I already have ham for New Year’s.

The turkey went into the brine this morning.  The bread for stuffing is torn and ready to season.Cranberry Sauce 

I made the cranberry sauces last weekend (while listening to “Candide”). 

And this year we decided I should make pimento stuffing for the celery instead of buying it.  It turned out pretty good thanks to the pimento stuffed olives John brought us from the Olive Pit.

Our young (55) neighbor, who is a home health care nurse, may be here depending on the condition of his patients.  At the very least, he’ll share some leftovers.


A few weeks ago I discussed the question of what each of us wants on their grave marker. Interestingly, I didn’t get any replies.

I’ve given it a bit of thought, and although there will be no grave for me which will allow marking, if there were I would like it to say something along the lines of …
She was not perfect, but she loved and she tried.


Rainbow Fiber

Latest spinning was this “Rainbow” fiber from a wool producer in New Zealand.  Not sure (yet) what I will do with it.  Maybe a Rainbow Shawl. 




Last saturday morning, as I sat at the computer, I noticed that the sun was hitting the west wall in front of me.  That made me think about the sun shifting from north to south and back again. 

The windows out of which I look while at the computer are on the south side of the house.  It is only during a few weeks in mid-winter the sun comes in through them.  And in mid-summer, sunshine comes in the north windows in the dining room.

The ladies are up on the roost by 1645 nowadays.

25 Nov 2015  -  1

Winter Solstice is nearly here.  Aaahhhhh, the Holly and the Ivy.


Overall, I find Anne Frank may have had it right …


Caring and love come from sharing with others and discovering our common humanity.


Anne Frank


Were you aware the Frank family had been among the Jews seeking asylum early during Hitler’s reign who were refused entry into the US? 


Interesting, no???



So … ’til next week …








18 November …

Second week in a row the blog has been impacted by medical appointments. 

Sorry …

Maybe I should switch the post day to a weekend.  Offices aren’t open on weekends.


Medical appointment last wednesday was for George’s annual cardiac checkup. 

PreDawnWe had to leave home before dawn …

Exam results were that all is as well as we can expect at our age.

George’s caffeine intake was cut off 24 hours before the appointment and he wasn’t allowed to eat for the 12 hours preceding it … I don’t eat when he can’t eat … by the time we got out of the office, we were really hungry. 

It was Veterans’ Day and some restaurants were offering free meals to vets … so we went to Applebee’s.  He had a big plateful of double crusty shrimp with slaw and fries.  I had a surprisingly good plate of fish and chips (except that the chips were actually fresh crisps) with slaw.

The place was packed with some folks waiting outside … weather was pleasant.

Parties with a vet were seated before others without.  And if we heard “Thank you for your service” once, it must have been at least twenty or thirty times.  Young people without a vet in their group were going out of their way to greet the vets.  There were a lot of “old fogies” there (we saw two other WW II vets) so we were right in tune.

Had we not been in Redding for the medical appointment, we probably would not have gone out … even for a free meal … too many people.  But it worked out okay.


Weather has turned winter. I’ve had to break the ice on the ladies’ water for the last few mornings.

Sunday Snow

And sunday morning it began to snow …

It seems like it has been ages since I was able to sit in my rocker by the wood stove, spin, sip my cuppa, and watch it snow.  Bliss …

16 Nov 2015

Monday morning was lovely …

Thanks to everyone who has been thinking snow. Keep up the good work.


Last Apple


You have all heard of the “Last Rose of Summer” … well, last week, before the snow and during the rain, I found the last apple of summer.  I don’t know how I missed it, but a worm and some birds obviously found it.


Lately I’ve been waking up with a feeling of disconnect, as if the world is going past me and I no longer have a reason.  I would guess that more “old” folks feel that way than are willing to admit it.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to do.  There is a lot to do and I’m busy and content.  Just that there is so much about the world to which I no longer relate or even understand. 

People buried in cell phones while the world goes past is one. 

Jingoistic patriotism is another (a recent post pointed out that it has been more than seventy years since we fought a war which was actually about “defending freedom” rather than supporting a political “friend” or defending corporate rights or taking revenge or … choose your own reason).

Corporate profit running the world regardless of who is harmed or how is another.

Things are changing … kvetch … kvetch … kvetch.


The latest change to set us back on our heels is a radical change in our medical provider situation.  Our GP is closing his practice as of 31 December.  He has referred us to a Medical Group which we will be checking out at a future open house.  This effects (and affects) me more than George, since our MD will continue as the VA doc.  My  choice appears to be between a female MD, a male MD, a male FNP, and an Egyptian trained male MD.

But the big blow for George (and me as well) is that the VA FNP he has come to respect and appreciate (dare I say love) will also be gone.  She has family in South Dakota so I guess she’ll be transferring there. 

One plus is that his retinologist is young, new to the area (and seems to be liking southwestern Oregon), and George likes him.  Another is that his cardiologist shows no signs of slowing.

Solution for me is to stay well.





Yesterday there was a leftover in the backyard …





And finally … my thoughts are filled with the events of the past week.

My Nana was zeroed in on Armageddon.  She was years early, but it is looking more and more as if humankind is determined to destroy the Earth and in the process destroy itself. 

Word about the destruction of rain forests in South America and Indonesia all in the name of profit …

Ethnic, cultural, racial, or religious tribalism causing the killing of each other to “protect” ourselves leading to constant fear of the “other” …

The rise of unthinking fundamentalism …

Even hate behavior within tribes if someone dare disagree or in some way deviate from the “norm” … 

… all leading to what would appear to be the beginning of the third World War, a war which holds the potential to actually be the war to end all wars since there might be nothing and no one left.

What happened to “unto one of the least of these”, and “those with whom discussion is not possible should be passed by in peace” and “you shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you” ???

I realize these thoughts are negatively simplistic. 

I realize the kneejerk reaction is to blame the “other”. 

I realize I live a simple, protected life in that I am not part of a large metropolitan area or of an active tribe.

I am unsettled and concerned about the “seventh generation”.


And so … ’til next week …






10 November …


I’m a day early this week because our next medical appointment was changed from monday to wednesday at 0830 in Redding.  We will be leaving the house at 0615 tomorrow.


Weather has definitely turned.


The tree in the courtyard which was given to me when Michael died is glorious …

Eddys' First Snow

and there is snow on the Eddys …

Green Rose


however, Daddy’s green rose is still in bloom …


(These pictures are from last weekend)





Rake in the Fog

Then this morning is foggy …

George's Panthers foggy … 

Trees in Fogfoggy …


Many years ago (actually more than 70) my BFF was Nora Mae Smith.  She was an artist.  She loved jewelry.  She introduced me to George (but that’s beside the point of this memory).

I don’t recall the art teacher’s name (I posed for the figure drawing class and dated the teacher’s son … once … however, those are stories for another time), but at one time she taught the students how to use metal for jewelry.  Don’t ask for details. Nora was the artist, not me.

I clearly remember a pair of earrings Nora made.  She rolled a piece of metal around a very small elongated piece of a second metal.  They hung from a wire for pierced ears.  I loved them. I have no idea whatever happened to them.

Nora's Lily



Imagine my surprise when I saw this for sale on the net. 


I guess good ideas, like good musical phrases, never occur just once.


My post about “Do” vs. “Don’t” elicited responses indicating others have the same type of questions.

The initial reason for the post was that I was pondering the question because of the upsurge in some quarters of sometimes rather hateful anti-Islamic rhetoric and other “anti-” positions … anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-law enforcement, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-you pick it.  It seemed that society is becoming increasingly “us vs. them” with us and them being defined quite narrowly.

The secondary reason was to see if others have ever pondered the subject and what conclusions they formulated.

For instance … because the Islamic version of the “Golden Rule” is one of the Do versions and extremists want to be brought into the fold of what they perceive as truth and ultimately arrive in paradise, what does that do to our perception of their actions?  Is it possible at least some of them think they are doing others a favor?  Maybe if it were a Don’t, there would be fewer beheadings. 

Maybe …

And another for instance … someone I have known for a long time and know to be a good man began posting rather hate-filled items on Facebook against Muslims and Arabs as stereotyped, undifferentiated units.  I know he is a proponent of one of the “Do” groups and I was having trouble aligning the “do it if you want it done to you” with the teaching to honor, love, and not judge others.

That made me realize I was judging.

Some of the responses point out that I am being judged. 

Maybe that is inherent in being human.  We can’t help making judgments.  Nor can we avoid being upset by, hurt by, or resentful of what we perceive as the judgments of others.

That line of thought led to thoughts of how often what is intended is not what is perceived. 

There was a post on Facebook about an experiment in which six photographers were asked to do portraits of a man.  Before each photographer was introduced to the man, each was given a backstory about the man.  No two of the stories were the same and none were true.  When the resulting portraits were lined up side by side it was the same man, dressed in the same clothes, yet the pictures could have been of six different men. 

Being a philosopher may be one of the most difficult of occupations. Even thinking about it is difficult.   I am not a philosopher, but I realize I will be thinking about this for some time to come.


Downton Abbey will begin their recap of season five on PBS next sunday.  George and I plan to watch season 4 via Netflix to be ready for the season 5 recap leading into the final season which begins in January.  That gives us less than a week.  Binge time … followed by three months of sundays in Yorkshire and London.


Recently, when sorting a pile of papers, I came across a photograph which I knew was taken somewhere around here, but was unable to place.Kay's Photo 1

On the back was written “Mark and I took a walk on Sat   Mt Shasta ’85”  I recognized the handwriting of my sister-in-law who died nearly three years ago.  Back in the days of the photo she would come to Cold Comfort to stay for a couple of weeks every year.  Yet, even with that hint I wasn’t able to place the view.

Then, for some unknown reason, I rotated the photoKay's Photo 2

and instantly knew where it had been taken … in spite of the changes which have occurred in the thirty intervening years.

Point of view, perception, is everything.


I had avoided the mystery novels by JKRowling writing as Robert Galbraith.  I’m not real sure why but it probably had something to do with Harry Potter.  In addition, I have a “stable” of mystery writers on whom I can depend for a good light read.

Then, last week, I heard an interview with Rowling on NPR in which she said she used the AKA precisely so the mysteries wouldn’t be compared to Harry.  So, feeling a bit “caught”, I asked for the first of the books at the library.  It had to be ordered for me and is waiting now.

Since ordering it I’ve been told that in the opinion of someone whose opinions I value, Rowling is a great story teller but only a mediocre writer.

I will pick up the book later this week and I’ll let you know what I find.

In the meantime I am reading a James Patterson and a history of the Tudors.


I had a nice surprise last week.  I have a white holiday cactus which was given to me as a cutting years ago.  Each year since it has been a nice contrast to the fuchsia one.

Last week I watered it on thursday.  It looked healthy but nothing special caught my eye.

Holiday Cactus 


Then saturday …





I have read about small, for free libraries which are popping up in neighborhoods.  Someone revamps an old phone booth, or builds a box to hold books which someone has read and is ready to pass along to other readers.

I would welcome something like that here … maybe out at the mail boxes on the paved road.  It would need to be weatherproof and not too small. 

I am not a carpenter, so I will have to wait to see if the idea catches someone who is.

In the meantime, I donate books to the local library. 


Please … everyone continue to affirm lots of deep, wet snow on all the Sierra Nevadas.  Thank you.


So, ’til next week …

If you help someone and expect something, anything, in return … you’re doing business, not a random act of kindness.





4 November …


Last sunday, on her Facebook line, a young friend wrote the following … 

November begins with “no”, but feels like a thousand yeses. It’s the pause in the cold, sycamore leaves crunching underfoot. It’s the possibility of days spent curled under blankets with hot cocoa, watching the rain. It’s the calm after a summer of going, going, gone. It’s when I get to be my best introvert while, oddly, cooking some of the biggest celebration meals of the year. I was born here. I love here. Because it can be anything.  

Couldn’t have said it any better (except I’m a May baby).


We’ve been having rain on and off … usually light but occasionally hard enough to get through the pine needles.  It is nice and we are grateful.

Golden Birch



The birch has become a golden candle, especially in the morning sun …



Plum & Apricot

and the plum and apricot in the courtyard are lovely (those lines lower right are the solar dryer).

Eddys' First Snow

There was snow on the Eddys monday morning which glimmered as the first sun hit it …

Mountain 3

and snow on the Mountain …

Mountain 4


which was heart filling … (pictures courtesy of a walk Michael took)

However …

       we are still affirming snow !  Snow !!  SNOW !!!  SNOW !!!!


I Recently met a friend in a local store (as you often do when you live in a small town).   I used to work with her (we are both retired now), and we are both into genealogy.  She is also a bird watcher and she had a story to tell. 

Their family shares a vacation house on the mid-Oregon coast in Yachats, and they had been up there a couple of weeks ago closing the house for the winter when she spotted a bird in the yard which she had never seen before.  She immediately got out her bird book and identified the bird.  It seemed to belong further south so it was a real prize for her sighting book (or whatever birders call their list of the birds they’ve seen).

She then called a friend to brag and the friend called the top birder in Oregon who put out the word and within a day my friend was over run with people wanting to add the bird to their lists as well.  People came from as far away as Kansas!

She said the street in front of the house was packed full of cars for several days.  She had to keep track of the bird so she could tell people where to look … “around that side”, “under the bush by the garage”, “behind those rocks”.  Otherwise they were tramping all over the yard.

We were laughing together by the time she finished her story.  Other shoppers may have wondered at our behavior, but a laugh is always good.  And she finished by saying she was relieved when the bird decided to move on.


On the subject of birds …

When I went out friday evening to put the ladies to bed, it was dark dark and there were only two hens in the house.  I made a tour, by flashlight, of the chicken area and found a whole lot of feathers and the remains of one of the rock hens.  No sign of the other red hen.  It was too dark to do much investigating in spite of how detectives on tv use only their flashlights all the time and are able to make fantastic evidence collections that way.

Saturday morning, when I went out to feed the ladies, there was no talking as there usually is and when I opened the door the two of them were reluctant to come out. So I spread their food and made a check of the yard. It would appear, from the condition of the remains, the predator was one of the dogs allowed to run loose around here, although that is illegal ( after all … we’re in the country and laws don’t apply, right?)

The two remaining hens finally came out of the house but stuck close to me until I turned to leave and they went under the potting table.  As I opened the gate, I heard talking outside the fence. There was the other red coming down the drive … talking softly. Evidently she went over the fence as the attack was occurring and spent the night in a tree.

The chicken yard has two parts. The inner part is surrounded by a 6′ high fence. The outer fence is only 4′.  So for the rest of their time out there (until they move back near the house for the winter) they will be limited to the inner sanctum.

Three ladies. Hooray …


And continuing with birds …Woodpecker

Tuesday evening, John came in to tell us there was a red-headed woodpecker working on the apple tree in the courtyard.  It was so intent and unconcerned that we could get what seemed much closer than usual to take pictures.

There are now three perfect rings of pecker holes in that branch meaning there are a lot fewer of whatever the bird was after.

Nature at work.


I seem to have forgotten to tell you the details of the “Rules” at Poor George’s.  There is a plaque on the wall which admonishes …

Give thanks for your meal  Sit up straight  No elbows on the table  Napkins belong in your lap  Use your utensils, not your fingers  Don’t play with your food  Eat all your vegetables  Chew with your mouth closed  Don’t talk with food in your mouth  Use your indoor voice  Say Please and Thank You  Excuse yourself if you burp or need to leave the table  Clear your dishes 

That last one reminded me of the time the family went out to dinner and, as we finished, the boys got up to carry their plates to the kitchen.


I love words !!!



There was a request on one of the genealogy sites I frequent asking that we each write what we would expect to see on our grave marker.  There were some interesting ones about family history or war records or charitable things done or religious activities or philosophy or …

I plan to be cremated and have my ashes scattered on this land that I have lived on and loved for going on forty years already, so there will be no grave marker.  Maybe something can be etched on one of the big stones on this land.  I have the words in mind …

You tell me yours and I’ll post mine in a week or two.


It is cold this morning … below 32° at breakfast time.  It warmed a bit by the time John and Michael left.

This trip was nice, as are they all.  John checked my computer completely while he was here.  I am now good to go for the winter.

I cherish the times I get to touch, see, and hear my children.

I am blessed.


The thought for the week …


Adventures are all very well in their place, but there is a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.

Neil Gaiman


So, ’til next week …





28 October …


The chill of autumn has set in … as has the dark of the year.  According to the ancient Celts (Keltoi as some call them), the end of the year is coming.  What we call Hallowe’en or All Hallows Eve, they called Samhain (pronounced sow’ wen … which in Gaelic, the language of the Celts, means “Summer’s End”) and celebrated it as the end of the harvest and so the end of the year.  These peoples divided the year into halves … light and dark.  This makes sense if you live above the Tropic of Cancer (as they did and as I do).

I never understood the Robert Louis Stevenson poem (In winter I get up by night and dress by golden candle light. In summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.) until I moved north.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but each autumn I understand anew.  

So the growing season is ended … why not the “year” … and we enter the dark half of the year which will end with the bonfires of May Day (Beltane) and the start of the new growing season.

Of course, south of the Tropic of Capricorn those two holidays are reversed.

Another find … the words “ghost” and “guest” have the same origin.  They both derive from the Germanic “geist” which meant the benevolent spirit of a deceased ancestor invited to attend a special event.

Isn’t research interesting?  Thank you, Mr. Edgar.


The meeting of the radio club last week was productive. We received kudos from all the events we worked last summer (only six this year) and t-shirts from five of them.  Everyone in the club has a well stocked t-shirt drawer. 

There will now be a six month hiatus during which we won’t be planning or doing  anything like those events.

We will, however, be planning the holiday dinner.  I have no idea what I’ll take.  I guess I’ll wait and see what is needed.  We have members who are gluten sensitive, diabetic, vegetarian, and some with allergies.  So it looks as if some accommodation is needed.  I recently came across a pumpkin dessert recipe which was touted as diabetic friendly.  And a cousin who has gotten into proper food with a vengeance posted a month long menu plan with recipes which should contain some gems.  I’ll get to learn new recipes. 


The ladies are now up on the roost about 1800. 

Last night I watched a program about the history of vampires on PBS and so didn’t go out to close the ladies in until after 1900.  It was REALLY dark with no moon (although it is full) because of rain clouds and noisy wind.  Of course … as I headed back into the house with the eggs, the wind knocked a dead limb out of a tree behind me.

Boo …



I am now spinning, knitting, and crocheting for pleasure rather than for total yardage.  Current fiber is the lavender which didn’t get used during Spinzilla.  No rush … just relaxation and meditation.


Had a couple of medical appointments this week …

Monday was another fasting blood draw followed by George’s semi-annual check up with the VA.  I had taken orange juice along for George since we didn’t have a chance to eat between appointments.   We went back to Poor George’s for brunch.  Thought to give it a second chance in their new place.

This time we had juicy burgers ordered with fries.  After all, it was nearly 1030. Well … the cook was alone, the place was busy, he couldn’t find the fries so would we take hash browns instead?  I said okay.  George opted for potato salad.  The hash browns were greasy and not quite cooked through.  The potato salad was heavy on the mayo.  But the burgers were good and I got extra pickles.

Our next time for this situation (fasting blood draw) won’t be until April (semi-annual VA check up).  We’ll make the decision about another chance for Poor George’s then.

Then tuesday we were off to Medford to see the retinologist.  Appointment was at 0945, so for the second day in a row we fed animals and left before dawn.

Monday Morning

We didn’t see any sign of dawn until we were nearly in Oregon.

Eye results were good.  George’s right eye (the one with wet degeneration) is seeing more clearly.

George really likes the new eye doctor.  He is very young (I doubt he is much more than 28 or 30) and just off his specialty training.  He is as unsure of himself as we all were at that age, but his technique with patients (at least with this patient) and with actual treatment is good.  I feel he is a little obsessed with infection, but that could be a good thing.

He’s been in Oregon (from DC) just three months.  I asked how he was liking Oregon.  He stopped what he was doing, turned to me and smiled as he told me his family was liking it a lot.  He then added “Thank you for asking.”

And there was another interaction which pleased me.  Last visit, George’s blood pressure was high (it’s back to nearly normal now) and there were fluid spots noted in his right retina.  I asked if the increased blood pressure could have anything to do with the new fluid bubbles.  The doctor said he had not heard of any research about that.  I said something to the effect that maybe he’d have a subject for a paper.  The scheduled treatment was finished and that was that. 

This appointment he had George’s blood pressure checked and told us there was no research indication of blood pressure having any relationship to fluid bubbles in rather than under the retina, but that his limit for treatment was 180 systolic.  That told me he had heard me and done some homework.  Clever young man. 

The fluid bubbles had diminished this visit.  And, as I said, George really likes him.


I failed to tell you our younger son is getting married next saturday.  That’s right … Hallowe’en.  Everyone, including the congregation at his new pastorate, will be in costume for the ceremony and the reception will be sort of a “Trick or Treat” affair.Dibelkas 1  

The parents of the groom will be present as a portrait on the main table.


George says Mark made a wise decision.  He’ll never forget his anniversary.

Will you be dressing up for Hallowe’en?


So … give every one you meet next saturday a BIG smile, enjoy the ghosts and ghoulies, and don’t eat too much candy.


‘Til next week …





21 October …


Well … we have now moved up a year on the marriage longevity list. The only couple in the last four generations in either of our families to have been married longer than us are George’s maternal grandparents, George and Gertrude Shaffer. They lasted 67 years until Grandmother’s death in 1954.

For celebration this year we did absolutely nothing. We’ve been traveling so much lately, staying quiet at home was nice.  

Oh well … four years to go and we’ll tie Grandfather and Grandmother.


Do vs Don’t … you knew you hadn’t heard the last of it.

My son, the police lieutenant, wrote … In policing, we do not train via negative example.  When training, we demonstrate the right way to do something and then have the recruit display that s/he can do it correctly.  Failure to carry out correct action is routed to remedial training and a failure to respond to training is washed out.  At no time is negative example used because a police officer is expected to make a split second judgment … and s/he does not have the time to rule out actions, only to respond correctly and definitively.

Of course, that got me thinking … and the first thought was that his example is a clear demonstration of the “Because that’s what I was taught” reasoning. That is valid when the teaching is valid.  I’d been thinking about ethical/moral decisions in regard to actions, not possible harmful (don’t touch the woodstove) or life threatening situations (don’t try to pet that BIG cat). 

Further thought on the general question led to … if you do what you think is right, but society in general sees your thinking as flawed or immoral or just plain wrong, then what?  However, if you refrain from doing something because you wouldn’t want it done to you even if the intent of the other is positive, is that better?

Seems I’ll be dealing with this question for some time to come. 

Stay tuned.


I did another day at the Family History Center last week.  It was a quiet day.  I had failed to take my genealogy thumb drive with me, so I made notes the old way … by hand.

There was one interesting event there.  A gentleman came in asking for help and told us he was confused because he was named James Brown (!) and there was at least one James Brown in every generation back to the early 1800s.

When I got over the covert giggles (the man was tall, nearly bald, and very white), we went to work.

Never a dull moment.


The time at the FHC led to another possible involvement … a return to the DAR.

Some years ago I had joined the Daughters of the American Revolution in order to make scholarships available to my grandchildren.  The member who served (and still serves … ?) as Registrar raised road blocks.  I was not the only one facing this situation, but I’m a pushy broad and she finally had to admit me but by then the rules in regard to scholarships had changed.

I then found out she was only one of an old guard who resisted any change.  Every time I would suggest something it was deemed out of order because I was not an officer or committee member.

Another member and I talked one day and I found she was as dissatisfied with situation as I was, so we contacted the State chapter to ask for help.  They responded, but did not really mean to do anything so I made my membership inactive and stopped going to meetings.

The woman with whom I share days at the FHC is a DAR member. She told me the old guard is gone (cancer, stroke, etc.) except for the Registrar and meeting attendance is anemic.  She asked me to come back and help restore the chapter since their choices now are to dissolve, merge with another chapter, or somehow rebuild.

I went to their meeting yesterday and am still undecided regarding what I will do.  I think the chapter can be a positive scene if it can get past that one member.  Oh well …



We’ve been having short bursts of soft rain for several days.  Monday night, when I went out to put the ladies in, it was dark so I was carrying a flashlight and moisture on the ground was sparkling … ice.  I went out the next morning to gather the last of the Granny Smith apples.


For sometime I’ve been watching for heroes without capes … common folks who step up under unexpected circumstances and do the “right” thing.  When I came across a report of such a person, I’d post it on my Facebook timeline (look, I’m speaking social network-ese).

In conversations with FB friends I decided to build a special place to share what I was finding.  Of course, I didn’t have a clue as to how to do that.  I blundered on and set up a page which was not what I wanted or intended.

Fortunately, I have two sons who are computer wise and got some help. 

John helped me set up the site I wanted.  If you are on Facebook, look for the Capeless Heroes site.


And on the subject of heroes …

On my way home from the DAR meeting, I had a tire problem on the side of I-5 at the south Yreka on ramp.  It was a bit scary.  Those big rigs raise quite a suction wind as they roar past.

I needed to call George and had started to walk down the ramp to get to a phone when a car pulled in back of my car.  She was young, well-groomed, and on her way home to Davis from a visit with a friend in Seattle.  She let me use her smart phone to call George who then left to come take care of me and the car. 

Her name was Katey and she offered to take me into town to have coffee and  wait, or said she would stay with me until George arrived.  I declined both offers since I wanted to stay with the car and it was going to be an hour before George could get to me.  I didn’t get her full name or address (I was a bit shook), but Katey is a real capeless hero.

And about half an hour after Katey went on her way, reluctantly, a second capeless hero appeared.  I was parked on the side of the freeway headed south.  He had been headed north and made a u-turn through the center area (which is technically illegal) to come check on me.  He was not a typical hero … scruffy beard, dirty work clothes, long braid down his back, and tattoos … but said he’d want someone to help his mother if she needed it and so came to help me.

We determined help was on the way and I was okay alone waiting, so he made another center u-turn and was on his way.

Two heroes in one day … wow.

Shortly after George arrived, a CHP officer drove up and was there to help George do the tire thing.

So we made it home and all is under control.


Yesterday (a very busy day) we were treated to a view of snow on the Mountain …

20 October 2015

not much, just a dusting.  But most everyone around here is grateful and hoping.


So, ’til next week …


Great adventures begin each time you open the door …





14 October …


Spinzilla 2015   5966 yds


Spinzilla is done for this year and I didn’t do quite as well as last year … 5,866 yards.  That is about 200 yards short of last year.  Oh well … there is always next year and I learned a couple of lessons which will help me improve next year regardless of any obstacles life produces.



Following the blood draw last week, we searched out Poor George’s at their new location just off I-5 at the central Yreka off-ramp.  It was an approach-avoidance situation.

Poor George'sThe personnel was the same.  They told us the cook was the same.  We saw some recognizable faces at the counter.  There were a good number of locals judging by their clothes. 

But …

The decor had changed considerably.  In the past it was downhome, local, farm house wood walls with mis-matched kitchen chairs and plain white ceramic mugs.  It is now white plaster walls with sterile booths and lighter weight mugs for coffee which now costs $2.00.  Coffee used to be included with the meal.

If it actually is the same cook, he has changed his style.  Previously, the hash browns were fried in butter.  This time they were fried in some oil so heavy that George’s stomach situation flared up and he wasn’t able to eat his breakfast.  I was able to eat mine (we brought his home in a box), but my omelet was also oily and sat heavy in my mid nearly all day.

We haven’t decided whether we will give it a second try (we’re due back in Yreka for another fasting blood draw the end of this month), or if we’ll look for some other place.

I’m sure they are making more money now.  Too bad if profit has again spoiled something.

Oh well …

~~~Run Morning

Saturday was the last of the radio events for this year.  The pool from which to recruit volunteers was diminished  … surgeries and cancer treatments and depression and change in residence and new jobs and new relationships and …

The club managed to do our thing and collect kudos in spite of all that. 

The event people talked of dropping the half-marathon and going with only the 5K run next year. When I said something to the effect that they probably won’t need us for that, the response was that having us around gave them all (the planners, sponsors, and participants) a real sense of security.  So who knows what we’ll be facing next year.  I spent some time drawing up plans for that contingency.  We’ll be ready whatever.

Next on the radio club agenda?  A winter holiday potluck dinner.

Wood Sorting


But now the chore is preparations for winter.  

Woodshed Inside


Last week, on our way home from the blood draw (we’ll learn the results in a week or so when we see the NP again), I saw something I’d not seen before.  In south Yreka, to the west just off I-5, there is a community garden … a small one granted, but it is one.  And where there is one there are most likely others.  Congratulations Yreka.


If you aren’t interested in philosophical musings, I suggest you skip the following.

I recently saw a list of all the versions, in various religious practices, of what westerners call the “Golden Rule”.  Some are written in a positive vein, i.e. DO … some are put negatively, i.e. DON’T …

That difference got me to thinking about how the rule is interpreted and practiced, and which presentation is inherently more moral.

Thinking back to raising children, I can’t recall which got the desired result more often … do or don’t.  I tend to think don’t requires more thought before action.  You are asked to understand what you do, or don’t do, and be ready to defend your decision.  With do all you need is say “That’s what I was taught.”

I have a feeling this will pop up in my thoughts over the next days and months.  You will hear more …


I’ve been following the political machinations … sort of … and have come to a couple of decisions.

  1. The election process, i.e. running for office, lasts too long.

Two years of campaigning?  Ridiculous.  If you are a working stiff, forget it.  There is no way you can take off two years to run for office.  So, by default, those who govern come from the upper, wealthy classes.  What does that say about “representative” government?  Look at the personal wealth of nearly all the current candidates.  Anyone in your tax bracket?  So how can they really understand you and your situation and do a valid job of representing you?

… and 2.  What the candidate actually believes about any issue is important ONLY in a primary.  When making that choice, it is important the voter, in order to make an informed choice, know where the candidate stands on the issues in which the voter is interested.   Once a party candidate is chosen, their personal opinions should no longer be important since they will be elected, or not, as a representative of their constituents and should vote, when required, in accord with the preferences of those constituents, not exclusively their own beliefs.  Chances are the two will mesh most of the time, because the majority elected them and they most likely agree on most things.  But when the representative disagrees with the majority of their constituents, their vote should reflect the people … not themselves.  For this reason, to me Saunders’ defense of his votes on gun issues rings hollow at this stage of the process.  I know he voted in line with the opinion of the majority of voters in his state while in Congress.  Right now, I’d like to know what he personally thinks.

You will probably hear more about this subject as well.  After all, we have more than a year to go.  Oh well …


Morning Sky

Clouds this morning so no overall dawn light. 

14 Oct 2015


But I do have an interesting and true quote from a cook …


“Learn something new every day or you’re cheating yourself.”

Emeril Lagasse


So … ’til next week …





7 October …


 A few things caught my attention on our trip to Medford last week, but the blog was already so lengthy I left them until this week for comment. 

The alfalfa fields to the north have had their last cutting for this year and were full of 5-wire bales. The air was full of the scent.  George and the boys used to buck 3-wire bales when we were keeping cattle.  I’m not sure men can buck the 5-wire ones.  They are really big and may actually need loaders.

Emigrant Lake southeast of Ashland is nearly dry.  No gasping fish so far, but no longer deep enough for boats.  Oregon is sharing California’s drought.

There are police cars in Medford which have big letters on the fenders saying “Volunteer”.  They patrol parking lots and who knows where else.

When George checked out his purchase at Harbor Freight, a snip of a chick (about 15 by George’s estimate) said “Thank you, Hon.”  What ever happened to “Sir” and “Ma’am”?

There used to be someone who, during the year, built big piles of slash along old 99 south of Yreka for twice-a-year bonfires … May Day and Hallowe’en.  It’s been about three years without them.  I hope wherever that celebrant is, things are well.


I was surprised by the Davis version of her meeting with the Pope when it was first reported.  It was made to sound as if the Pope sought the meeting and thereby endorsed everything she is doing and saying.

According to the Vatican, that isn’t quite the way the meeting occurred nor the intent of the Pope.

I wondered if the Bible had anything to say about fact spinning and son John found this passage …

Proverbs 6:16-19: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

(Underlining mine)


Spinzilla is under weigh.  My fiber was all drafted.   Matilda had been oiled and rebalanced. The new bobbins were ready and the old ones double checked.  I’m on my way to the 6,500 yard minimum I need to spin in order to better my total from last year.Spinzilla  Here’s the results so far …

I’m a bit disappointed. Life seems to be getting in my way this year.  Still, I may have found the routine.  If I spin for about forty-five minutes and then go do something else (toilet break, get a cuppa, make the bed, fix a meal, etc.) for fifteen minutes I seem to get something accomplished.  I’ll post my total along with my team’s total next week.  Maybe some pictures as well.

Spinners in Belgium, Norway, Germany, Spain and Sweden, along with Australia and New Zealand are in groups this year. I was a bit surprised there are none from the UK.


I am back on the volunteer list at the Family History Center for the first and third thursdays each month.  My first session back was last thursday.  Not much has changed.  Some new, more comfortable computer desk chairs were about it.

As soon as Spinzilla is done, and the home winter lock-down accomplished, genealogy here I come … again.  Found an obit (or rather son Mark did) of a Dibelka I need to fit onto the tree.  Also rediscovered a Bradford conundrum back in olde Connecticut which will be fun unraveling.


We have all heard “See a penny, pick it up. All the day you’ll have good luck.”  I still do that.  One day I found two in a WalMart parking area.

To that you can add “When you find a feather pure, your hair or cap it can adorn. Air borne luck will come to you before the next day’s glowing morn.”

For some time now I’ve been known to put feathers in my hair.  Maybe that’s why I’m on my way to 90.


Mornings were getting chilly for a few days, but we seem to be moving into another warm spell.


The autumn colours outside the front door are a wonderful greeting in the mornings.  It’s a real 3-dimensional blessing.  Sort of like the old stereopticon photos with the yellow catalpa to the right, the light yellow and pale green birch to the left, and the RED maple shining through.


We’re off to Yreka this morning … that’s why this is posted early.  It is time for one of George’s fasting blood draws.  That means we then go out to breakfast … probably at Poor George’s, if we can find it.  We were told they were moving down to the center of town, but I have yet to see any sign of them there.  I’ll take the camera with us and post pictures next week if we succeed in finding them.


And that’s about all for now.

But here’s a great word to remember …

ABRACADABRA, which means in Aramaic: I CREATE WHAT I SPEAK.


So … ’til next week …





30 September …



Still well up on the list of things I’m thinking about this week are the Pope’s visit to the US …the Popethe Count




and Dimitri opening the season at the Met as the Count in “Trovatore”.




Well … the event in McCloud went as well as could be expected  … in spite of the failure of one member to engage until just hours before the event, even though he was supposed to be in charge, leaving the club to go it without him. On friday he suddenly surfaced with plans.  I was angry. 

His behavior left the club in limbo (and with egg all over its face) as well as putting George on the spot because the event sponsors contacted him for information and planning when Larry failed to respond to any and all contact efforts.

For the first time in a long time I came home from one of these events exhausted by down.  The radio frequency hadn’t been checked and so communication was poor.  That meant those of us in the field were a tad short of information.  Then the net control went home before all the riders had returned to the finish line.

I will have a couple of things to say at the follow-up.

Kvetch Kvetch Kvetch …

One side note … In spite of protests that we get only what other volunteers get, they gave us food chits to be used at any of several places in town.  George and I had planned to stop at Casa Ramos on the way home, but free is free and we went to Floyd’s Frosty to have not just big but juicy Juicy hamburgers, fries, and an IPA.


I went out into the pasture sunday evening to see the Blessed Moon.

MoonriseWhen I first saw her beside Black Butte I wasn’t sure it was the Moon.  I thought it might be a small cloud.  There was still sun on the Mountain and the small spot of something I was seeing didn’t seem to have a definite shape.  Can you see it?

It took a few seconds, maybe even a minute, to accept that what I was seeing was the Moon in almost full dark. 

As she moved higher and a bit away from the Butte, her shape became more clear.  George joined me and we shared the moments.  I could hear a train, an owl, and some coyotes as sound track for the show.

I had my camera with me and tried to take some pictures, but I’m afraid it wasn’t up to the task (as you see in the photo above).  There are so many good pictures available so it was no big deal.

As she passed full eclipse, and a light spot began to show, it became apparent there had been a moon-watch party up the road.  I had heard voices when I first went out, and had seen what looked like a flashlight.  But as I started toward the house, cars began coming down the road.  I counted seven before I got to the house.

I’ll be only 103 next time the Moon puts on this kind of a show.  I wonder where I will be to watch …


Latest “Father and SON Jewelry” ad has grandpa singing and dancing in the rain, ala Gene Kelly, on the sidewalk in front of the store and being accused by the girls of being a romantic when he suggests that a diamond might be a good way to express love. He grins and glows in response as he says “YUP”.  Fun …


I’m currently caught between joy over events involving the County Tobacco Education Council and holding a pity party.

The project I’ve worked at for so many years (i.e. getting the County Board of Supervisors to let go of some of the Tobacco Settlement monies for use by the TEC, and then implementing some of the ideas once the money was made available) is bearing fruit.  Last year, before I resigned due to family needs, we were allowed $3,000 which was used to hold educational seminars for teachers, nurses, counselors, and others in places from which the word could spread as well as to introduce a computer facial morphing program (which ages faces with and without tobacco use) to events attended by teens.  Both were successful and done on the cheap. Not all of the money was used.

A fairly new member of the Council, who took over as Presiding Officer when I resigned, took a proposal to the Board of Supervisors the middle of last month asking for another year’s funding.  The BofS was impressed enough with what had been accomplished this year they gave the Tobacco Education Council $5,000 for the next fiscal year.

That’s the joy part.

The pity part comes in with the news that one of the nationally funded groups serving Siskiyou County wants to do an article in it’s national magazine highlighting my successor and his accomplishments … interviews and photos and the whole nine yards.

That has happened before when I’ve worked on a project or created something and someone else gets lauded so I sort of expected it.  Still, in spite of personal glory not having been an impetus and feeling real pride over my work’s success, …

Poor Me.


Remember I mentioned a man called Little Bear a couple of blogs ago?  He is a puzzle.

His anglo name is Al Bartow.  He says his father was a blue eyed, blond white man but he looks native American.  He claims membership in two tribes and a blood line in a third.  He talks electronics and other engineering with knowledgeable ease and recites prayers in Karuk and Bear tribal languages fluently.  He leads spiritual treks on the Mountain but goes above Panther Meadow which most of the natives I know consider a no-no.  He makes prayer rattles and talking sticks of deer horns and asks hundreds of dollars for them.  He claims he has “sponsors” who give him millions and, when he can’t spent it all, tell him to give it away … $700,00 last year.

He is either one very unique individual with strange and unique support sources, or one top class charlatan.

I hope I get a chance to talk with him again.


Did anyone else notice the voice coming out of Putin’s mouth at his speech to the United Nations last week?  Someone in the translation assignment department has a real sense of humor. I giggled as I watched Putin expounding in a soft female voice.


Our every-five-weeks visit to the retinologist was yesterday.  George is a bit down over having to go to the doctor every few weeks forever and over the fuzz in his right eye since the last injection.  He had thought a short series of shots and all would be over and done.  He is now getting concerned about the grant which is funding the injections running out.

It is turning out as I had thought … the rest of our life will be arranged around medical appointments. There will be four next month.

Good aspects are that he likes the new doctor, and we get to hit Sizzler’s all-you-can-eat salad bar as well as CostCo and Harbor Freight on these trips to Medford.

And this time we made a stop at WebSters as well to get the rest of the needed fiber for Spinzilla.Spinzilla Drafted  

Here’s what I will be spinning … fiber names are Silver, Wisteria, Blustery Day, and Blueberry Cream. Next week I’ll show you how I’m doing.



The maple continues to add red …

Bare Mountain

and the Mountain NEEDS snow.  

I doubt the glaciers will be replenished and she will get back to her full beauty in my lifetime.  Maybe by time for the next superMoon eclipse?


Here’s an affirmation for the week to come …


“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”

Robert Fulghum


                                ‘Til next week …






23 September …

We’ve reached autumnal equinox.Equinox Start

As I awaited the arrival of the Sun King this morning, I could hear the train, a woodpecker, some meadow birds, the creek, the clacker on the ram pump, a breeze in the tops of the trees, my own heart …2015 Equinox 12015 Equinox 22015 Equinox 32015 Equinox 42015 Equinox 6 (1)2015 Equinox 7 I was blessed.SunKing on the Meadow

I now let the ladies out about 0730 and close them in about 1900. Dusk is getting shorter as well. Time for morning and evening wood fires is nearing; time to put an extra comforter on the bed, and wash the covers for the rice bag bed warmers, if I want to leave the window open a bit longer; time to find the lap robe I use for my knees when I’m at the computer; time to make sure sweaters and vests are fresh and ready; time to break out the soup recipes (have one new to me made with butternut squash, onions, apples, and fresh sage) …


John was here for 2 days. He helped a lot. There are now handrails along the lower barn stairs and beside the stairs outside the back door. I resisted the need, but finally had to admit that my balance is not what it used to be. When walking over uneven ground, on stairs, a slope, or over ice I need to watch my feet. Oh well …

It always pleases my heart when he visits.


There came soft rains …

They began a week ago tuesday, but weren’t enough to mention until after I posted the blog last week … and they were done by the next morning. We’re grateful for whatever we get while continuing to hope and pray for more … and for a snowy winter!

Ever since the rain, the ground has been wet and, as the temps dropped, it seemed colder.

Now it is warming up again.


Have you ever noticed that when the air is heavy with moisture, planes (especially choppers) sound soooooo much louder? My hearing is still good enough that although this house is pretty tight, I can hear heavy equipment on the road and planes overhead and sometimes even the trains. But when the humidity is up, choppers sound as if they are trying to land on the roof …

whomp whomp whomp.


We are Sherlock Holmes fans … beginning with the books (for me), Basil Rathbone movies, Jeremy Brett (the high point), and the black mop-head Cumberbatch.

That said … I found getting Watson married in the Sherlock episode based on “The Sign of Four” (although probably logical) seemed more a stretch to give Sherlock an opportunity to say the “sign of three” than it was a real plot play.

But then the marriage did have a plot part in “His Last Vow”.

It will be interesting to see what is done with it next season.


Last week downtown, I met the organic farmer from whom, in the past, I got my tomatoes (for Ruby’s and sauce). Last year he had not sold from his field as in the past, but had gone commercial selling only to the local health food store.

When we met, he asked if I still did soup and when I said yes, asked if I had a source for tomatoes this year.

I refrained from asking what happened to the commercial effort, and told him “no”. As a result, I got 48 pounds of field-run fruit (are tomatoes fruit or vegetable?) at a reduced priceRuby's #s 1 & 2 and made two big batches of Ruby’s, froze some for fresh sauce later, did a couple of jars of stewed, and George ate several yummy tomato-mayo sandwiches plus salads.

The farmer’s wife was there too and gave me a card with phone numbers for both of them. I don’t anticipate any trouble getting bulk tomatoes next year.


The next to last of this year’s radio events will be saturday. This one is over on the east side of the Mountain in McCloud.

It has raised a bit of a problem for me and for the club. The operator who is supposed to be the liaison between the club and the event folks seems to have disappeared. He has been at only a couple of meetings since the first of the year. He and I have been friends for a long time and I can think of a few reasons for his behavior, but it is leaving the rest of us in limbo.

At the club meeting last week, it was decided that any member who wants to work the event will just show up at last year’s meeting place and, if there is still no plan, treat the situation as if it were an emergency and use the day for practice.

I’ll report on the result next week.


Last week, Eric (our young neighbor) brought us more wood for winter. Another neighbor up on Red Fir Loop is clearing out an area near his house and can’t use all the rounds. We have almost enough wood for the coming season.

George still doesn’t get the idea that you drop trees one year and let them weather until the next year before you cut and split them. City boy. But maybe it will dawn.


An interesting thing happened in the Dollar Tree last week. The Christmas stuff is already out (to quote Stan Freberg … “Angels, we have heard on high, tell us to go out and buy”), but there are smaller sections for Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en also in the store.

I was in the Hallowe’en section starting the collection for Paul Michael’s first Hallowe’en “advent” box. For years, when his siblings were younger, I put together a box every year. In it I would put small tchotchkes based on Hallowe’en, each tagged with a date, into a box. Since the number thirteen is associated with the holiday, I usually had thirteen items so the routine would begin on the 18th with some safety item such as glow sticks or flashing necklaces for the 31st. The box would always include at least one book.

Those kids are grown now. However, Paul Michael is three … a good age to start.

I was collecting little stuff like small pumpkin baskets and cake decorations and stickers and lapel buttons and card games and decorated straws and skull drinking glasses and door signs and ghost banners and … but you get the idea.

There was a woman standing next to me who seemed to be watching me (I was looking at gloves which said “BOO” in glow-in-the-dark letters). She finally asked what I was doing. I’m not sure what triggered the question other than that I had my hands full of stuff, but I jumped on it and told her all about the Hallowe’en advent box. She said it was a great idea and asked for more details. We chatted for a few minutes and then the encounter was done.

I wonder if she will actually start doing it?

In the meantime, Paul Michael’s box is in preparation


Mornings have had a nip even when the days are warm. After all, it’s Mabon (an old name for the Autumnal Equinox) …

                so ’til next week …

                                keep your noses warm.