22 February …


Well … the meeting of the radio club went as expected … I am President for another year, and now my daughter is to be the Secretary as soon as they get relocated to this area.  Nepotism???


A week or so ago I saw pictures of a mama panda playing with her cub.  They were rolling and tugging at each other and appeared to be having a great time.  It was the kind of a scene you wish your kids could see when you take them to the zoo.

The baby would grab the mama’s leg.  Then the mama would roll the baby over and step away.  Then the baby would run off and the mama would run after and roll the baby over. Then the baby would climb on the mama’s back and appear to nuzzle her neck. 

It was fun to watch … until the baby did something that either made no sense to me (not being a mama panda) or that I just didn’t see, because the mama sat down hard, reached out and pushed the baby into the moat surrounding their enclosure as if to say “That’s enough for now.”

I wonder what it was that ended that romp.


In my kitchen there are several tools which were inherited from my maternal grandmother.  I use at least one of them daily.

And on the net I often see pictures of old things asking “Do you know what this is?”

DSCF4352Sooooo … do you know what this is?DSCF4351







John and Michael, who now reside in Dunsmuir, have noted the four seasons in that town starting with what the rest of the world calls Spring.  They are Fishing, Tourist, Hunting, and Locals Only.

Sounds right …


Weather has been weird as it has been all along this season.  Morning snowWe’ve had snow overnight several times with the snow being gone by the end of the day.  We are now in another below-freezing spell.  But we do have firewood with the prospect of more soon.  And the 7-11 is still stocked to overflowing.

Twenty-six days ’til Equinox.


Every time you hold a child, walk or talk with someone, see a sunrise or sunset, feel a breeze or sprinkle of rain, smell a flower, hear the wind in the trees — you should be living your life thankfully.


So … ’til next week …



15 February …


Tonight is the radio club meeting.  Report next week …

Yesterday was our first trip “out” since the first of the year.  I replenished my supply of flour and butter. 

It was a good day, with one exception.  It had been seven weeks since we saw the retinologist rather than the regular four and there had been a bit of regression in George’s AMD, i.e. an increase in fluid under his retina.  We will be on a strict four week schedule from now on so things should improve.

Weather was good and all we needed to get done got done.

Today we go to Yreka after firewood and the rest of the grocery list.  I also have to pay the second installment of property taxes.  In the past, tax payments were due on 10 December and 10 April.  This tax year the dates were moved to 1 November and 1 February.  Next year (this year?) I will try to pay the entire bill in November.


A bit ago, I got a really surprising contact from a woman in Portland, Oregon.  She said she had an aunt whose maiden name had been Wilma Dibelka.  Wow !  Floored me.  I had been told my name, which I inherited from my aunt, was a female form of my grandfather’s name (he was Charles William called Will) and I had known only two Wilmas, my aunt and I, until I went to college where I met a Wilma and then here to Mt Shasta where I worked with another Wilma for twenty years.

The woman in Portland said her aunt had been a Czech and gave me her married name.  My first thought was this might be a lead-in to Dibelka research in the old country so, of course, I started looking. I still have a long way to go with this search, but I have already found a Wilma Diabelko, born in Czechoslovakia in 1923, who applied for a US Social Security number in 1941.  War refugee? 

This is going to be fun.


Does anyone remember high jumps before the Fosbury flop?  I remember the first time I saw a flop and that there was a way to get over the bar before, but I couldn’t recall exactly what it looked like.  Then I found this picture from the Olympics …Fosbury

But my point in bringing up this obscure item is that last week I learned the flop first saw light in Medford just a few miles up the road.  It is a technique which shifted the jumper’s center of gravity to a spot below his body (even below the bar) allowing a higher jump.

Dick Fosbury failed to clear 5′ to qualify for a meet while in high school because he couldn’t master the then favored technique in order to get his 6’4″ over the bar.  So he (and his coachs at Medford High School and the University of Oregon) fine-tuned the back-first style and won a gold medal in the 1968 Olympics at 7′ 4 1/4″.

The name came from an article in the Medford Mail -Tribune in which the reporter said he looked like a fish flopping in a boat.

What triggered this trip into useless trivia?  Last week Dick Fosbury was in Medford at a sports fundraising event and caught my attention on a tv news report because he stood head and shoulders (almost head and torso) over the young man reporting the event.

And now you too are an owner of this trivia.


The roads out here on Hammond Ranch are in pretty sad condition.  Rain 9 Feb 2017The road subsurface is supersaturated with rain and snow-melt runoff.  As a result the road surface has been breaking down creating rather large mud holes. 

Sugar Pine Road is essentially impassable at one point.  Wreckers have been coming out routinely to pull vehicles out of the mud.  Maybe it wasn’t as much of a problem as we thought that our driveway and the immediately adjacent road weren’t passable.

In forty years of residence out here we have never seen this much road damage.  However, that isn’t so surprising since for the majority of that time the road was used by comparatively few families.  Now there are, at a minimum, close to a hundred families in which at least one member needs to go out and in every day.  No wonder the roads break down.

Weather has been iffy …10 February 2017 melt one day,

11 February 2017 then a light snow,

15 February 2017then more melt.

AC and Fluffy



AC and Fluffy were on the boardwalk this morning.



But spring is on the way …Here Comes Spring

All-in-all, Milne had it right when he wrote … 

”It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.

“So it is.”

“And freezing.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”


So … ’til next week …

8 February …


Spent last thursday morning watching “Groundhog Day”.

Deja vu …



Remember last week I told you about the book with geezers and the only thing I could remember was the author had three names?  Well, I found it.




Last friday we watched “Live From Lincoln Center” on PBS.  It was the 50th annual “Mostly Mozart” and was notable for a couple of reasons;

The men in the orchestra were all dressed like the conductor …black trousers with black, long-sleeved shirts open at the neck, i.e. no ties.  It looked good.  It would have looked nicer had the women foregone the lace and glitter in order to blend.   One female violinist was wearing a black pants suit and looked good. 

IMHO, when you are part of a unit, try to blend.  Individuality has its place, but not in this sort of a situation.  I will admit, the way the orchestra looked didn’t do any harm to the way they sounded even though it was a bit distracting (I noticed it, didn’t I?).

Another eye-opener was that the audience really knew the score(s).  There were no inappropriate “bravo”s and the applause was in appropriate places, i.e. not interrupting the flow..  Wow … audience critic here.

Lincoln Center is one big plus to living in New York City.


Last monday Queen Elizabeth II marked 65 years as Queen. 

I remember when her father took the throne in the mid-30s.  I can still see the picture in Life magazine of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

I’ve been around a loooooong time.


Another note in re “Live at Lincoln Center” last week … the solo pianist was Richard Goode. His technique was good (no pun intended) and I enjoyed listening to his work with the Piano Concerto No. 12 …  but I was captivated by his resemblance to an actor who played supporting roles during the 40s named SZ Sakall (called “Cuddles”). 

Deja vu all over again.


Weather has been changing.  Temperatures have finally gotten above freezing and we’re getting rain.  George has been able to clear the water out of the oil in the backhoe, and to free the pick-up from where it had been high-centered.

See the car 6 Feb 2017There has been significant melt.  Remember the last picture of the Toyota?  The snow in the backyard is down to about a foot.

The heavy snow has done some damage in the courtyard, but that will be repaired by summer.

8 Feb 2017

And here’s the view toward the barn this morning.

Just a bit over five weeks until Equinox.


The first-year hens have been providing six or seven eggs a day.  At one point I had five dozen in the fridge.  I’ve been giving them to John and the neighbors and am currently down to three dozen in the fridge Eggswith another dozen in the ceramic hen awaiting use and several in a basket waiting for an empty carton.  I’ve been baking bread puddings and lemon custards and making waffles and sourdough pancakes and hard-boiling for salad garnish and sandwich spreads. 

I have also been concentrating on clearing out the freezers so we can defrost and clean.  I had concentrated last year on stocking up so we could survive with good food through any situation such as being snowed in.  Now it is time to clear out and start over.

Last week we had turkey-veggie pasties, topped-with-everything (including extra mozzarella) pizza, turkey and dumplings, beef-chili beans with rice, bacon-cheese topped twice baked potatoes, pasta-e-fagiol (all with good side dishes, salads, and sweet-and-sours), and several types of breakfast breads such as muffins and scones.  Too bad we don’t eat very well. 

We will reach the bottom of the freezers by summer and then, once they are defrosted and cleaned, I can start restocking.


L Wrist 4 Feb 2017 (2)



My favorite local tv ad (Father and Sons Jewelry) now features Bob as Bluebeard.



Something to remember …


Do unto others … as though you were the others.


So … ’til next week …

1 February ..,.


February already ???

29 Jan 2017

Here’s what the Mountain looks like from Dale Creek Road (photo taken by John on a trip to check our road conditions).


This winter, which is a lot like the winters when we first moved here nearly 40 years ago, has been a bit of a challenge. We always seem to have a crisis the first of any year.  This year the main problem is the water heater. It stopped working.                               

We use a flash heater, i.e. one that does not use a holding tank but which heats the water as it flows across a heating element.  Ours works on propane.

I first learned of this type of heater in a book I read when I was in high school.  The book was about two young American girls on holiday in Europe written by a woman who I remember only in that she had three names.  She said that these heaters were used widely in hotels and hostels on the continent in those days and were called “geezers”.  You put in a coin and got hot water.

My next encounter with them was many years later when we visited a friend on Cole Street in San Francisco.  His apartment had one and I found it fascinating.

Then when we moved here, energy became an issue since we would be making our own.  This type of heater uses energy only when in operation.  One ad highlighted the idea you could run the water unrestricted and not run out of hot water.  We have done that more than once when family is here.  Shower after shower after shower and still hot water.

But this year I’ve been heating water for dishes on the wood stove and it has been several days since either George or I have had a shower.  Don’t come visit. 

George was able to locate a new flash heater on the net and it was delivered last monday.  We are now awaiting an adaptor and when it arrives … paradise.

I’ll let you know when we are clean and it is safe to visit.


Reading ???  Still working my way through the Holmes stories.  Giggled at “The Blue Carbuncle”.

And going back and forth to and from Elizabethan  England.

And now rereading “Cabala” written by Thornton Wilder in the 1920S.  Wow.


February Reading Woman


This month’s  Reading Woman is taken from an oil on canvas by Edmund Charles Tarbell titled “Girl Reading” which was painted in 1909.  Rather stark, but calm don’t you agree?



A change in weather seems to be coming.  We are scheduled for rain and warmer temperatures for at least the next week.  That would be good for us.  It would make opening the plug in the road easier.  But enough warmth and rain to do that could be a problem for all those downstream. 

However, we need to get out (it’s been a full month now and I’ve had to reschedule George’s eye appointment twice) so I’m affirming rain.

Here are some comparisons …29 Jan 2017 north window

29 January – out the north window …

30 Jan 2017 out front 1

30 January – out the front door …

30 Jan 2017 Out front 2

30 January – the birches …

1 Feb 2017 to the barn1 February – out the front door toward the barn …



AC waiting for me to bring in firewood …


High last night was 39° and the snow depth in the backyard is down to 42 inches.


Last week I received a note from a cousin’s friend who is an amateur radio operator.  My license is as a tech operator which means I’m not very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of radio.  So arranging a QSO will take some interaction with those in the club who hold general or extra licenses.  This will be instructive and could be fun.


For the coming month …


Do what you feel in your heart to be right … you’ll be criticized anyhow.

– Eleanor Roosevelt


So … ’til next week …

25 January …


Well … our driveway and road have been closed since the first of the year.

Yesterday was to have been our day in Medford.  Snow on the flat measures more than 50 inches.  Since the last blog, we had a solid week of storm after storm.

Oh well …


I’ve been rereading the Holmes stories as they originally appeared in the Strand (in addition to the second in the fantasy trilogy I told you about last week).  If you consider yourself a Holmes fan and have not read the originals, I advise you do so.  I’m finding out (as I re-read) that movie and television projects have left out a whole lot of what was written by Conan Doyle.  I guess I missed all of that when I first read them because I was young and so didn’t understand.  And there was a time gap between my reading and the movie versions so I didn’t notice the omissions.

Another fun thing about this reading is tracing the use of parts of the stories in the current Masterpiece series.  Sort  of a mix-and-match.  One “fer instance” is the use of the sign of the four.  Curious?  Go find it.

As for the other book, it is set in Elizabethan England and I’ve always found that time captivating.  So much mystery.  So  much romance.  So much violence. 

Who did actually write the plays attributed to Shakespeare?

Was Elizabeth the First actually transgender?

So many questions.


Weather has been an adventure.  It has been years since we’ve seen a winter like this.  Our snow-moving equipment has limits.  Evidently so does that of the neighbors.  Last thursday the road (where it was still open) got blocked by equipment belonging to a neighbor down road when it broke down in a position barring the road and precluding calling for a tow.  There are lots of new owners in the area who have never seen a winter like this, did not prepare assuming they would be able to get in and out regardless, need to get out because they have fulltime jobs, and are verging on panic.  Those folks have called for professional road equipment coming to open the roads (at $100/hour)  … starting today.  Makes me wonder who will be paying.

So here is a collection of pictures of the winter of ’17 …

Doghouse 3

Doghouse outside back door with AC’s tracks …

Front 4

Front 5Depth outside front door … 

Gate 2

Gate into the backyard courtyard …


View out the north windows …

North Window 1Satellite Dish 2

Depth of snow at the satellite dish …

To the barn

Route to the barn …

Woodshed Roof 1

Snow on the woodshed roof …

Courtyard 1

View of the courtyard …

Vehicle 1

Can you see the car? …

East Window


Out the east window …

And so it goes.  Fifty-four days ’til Spring Equinox.


Due to winter conditions, there isn’t much to write about, so … as a thought for the past week, one of my cousins offers this for times when you are stressed …

Breathe in. Breathe out.  Feel your roots in the Earth.  Feel your branches in the sky.  You are cradled by Earth, embraced by Sky.  You are a mirror by which the Universe knows itself.  Walk in Beauty.  You are the Beloved.  Earth has seen many changes.  Beauty will endure.

So … ’til next week …

18 January …


This evening was to have been radio club meeting. I cancelled it due to weather.  There are big, frozen berms in front of the clubhouse where the city plowed the streets.  The parking spaces are full of snow.  And getting home would have been a challenge for George and me.  I think I’ll suggest that the January meeting be cancelled every year.  Give us all a holiday.

Officers are usually elected at the January meeting.  This year we did it via the net. I was asked to stay as Presiding Officer so I’ll be planning the holiday potluck next December.


Opera to the fore … again …

Last week we watched the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s premier production of a brand new opera called “Belle Canto, the Opera”.  What a few hours.  It was not BEL CANTO and there was nothing that left you with something to hum. 

But the composer, lyricist, and singers created something that drew us in and left us thinking. 

Great Performances: Bel Canto from Chicago Lyric OperaThe story was based on an actual event in Peru some years ago and dealt with people in crisis with little hope of escape.  And the fact that it was written in eight or nine languages was mind-blowing (I could identify only 6 of the languages … interesting … maybe Incan was one).  The explanation was that there were that many “native”  languages among the singers.  That left me wondering if the libretto had been translated en toto into each of the languages so the singer was able to really understand what the others were singing (saying) when they sang in a “foreign” language.

Another surprise was that in spite of a long-standing aversion to contratenors, I was captivated by the contratenor who sang about learning who he was by spending time listening to the trees.  The music line matched the lyrics and the atmosphere was gentle.  The lead soprano’s character was captivated.  So was I.

Lyric Opera of Chicago World Premier  Bel Canto © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015

I will most likely never watch it again, but I’m glad I watched last friday.


I just finished reading a novel by an author new to me (the first of a trilogy … does anyone write just a single novel anymore?).  It was a pleasant surprise. 

I love words and when someone can surprise me wih an idea wrapped in words … loverly.

This author did it.  Here are three examples …

“an acute outbreak of testosterone poisoning”

“the sustenance school of crisis management”

“turn to me with all your heart … do not refuse me because I am dark and shadowed or because my substance is hidden … watch for me, see me, and if you find me I will give you the morning star”

Am now awaiting volumes two and three.


As I looked out one of the east facing windows early one morning last week I realized that a full moon in winter makes me feel blessed.  Regardless of the weather, it is eye candy. 

With fresh snow it reminds me of “The Night Before Christmas”.  You know … “The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow …”

When there is ice, it’s like being in a room full of crystals. 

Rain? The echo of moonlight makes the sheets of rain shimmer. 

And under any condition, there are shadows … lovely shadows.


Weather …

Snow pack in the mountains is 125% – 150% of normal (depending on the information source).  That speaks well for the water situation in this part of California.  Here in the High Meadow the rain did not wash away the snow, and the low temperatures at night have keep us well supplied with ice.

The road is closed below the driveway entrance and has been for several days.  Cars can get all the way to Elderberry, but the plug on our hill is about 4′ (average) deep, goes all the way across he road, and extends about ten feet down the hill.  John was able to bring in the mail and some shopping on monday.  He brought it as far in the car as the drift allowed and hiked it over the drift.  George brought it the rest of the way to the house on a sled.  It looks like we will be cancelling the trip to the retinologist in Medford scheduled for next tuesday and rescheduling.

18 Jan 2017 Front Window


Last night a new storm moved in and this morning there is less than an inch of new snow but we are being buffeted by high winds. 

That makes windows interesting since they get a scattering of snow which impacts the view between us and the outdoors.

18 Jan 2017 Front DoorSeems like old times.


Finally, on the subject of words, last thursday I got this from a cousin … thank you, Jean.

The other day, a not so elderly (60) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy & he looked at her quizzically & said what the heck is a Jalopy?

OMG (new phrase!) – he had never heard of the word jalopy!!

She knew she was old, but not that old. Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this & chuckle –
About a month ago, I flashed on some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a Broken record” and “Hung out to dry.”
Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right – Heavens to Betsy!

Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley and a regular guy could never accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill.

Not for all the tea in China!
Back in the olden days, life used to be swell but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A, of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes & pedal pushers.

Oh, my aching back.

Kilroy was here but he isn’t anymore.
We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap and before we can say, Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! or This is a fine kettle of fish! we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished from our tongues, our pens and our keyboards with scarcely a notice.
Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink and they’re gone. Where have all those phrases gone?
Pshaw,The milkman did it,  Hey! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain, Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any Wooden nickels, & Heavens to Murgatroyd!
It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff!

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeful times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age.

We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist, there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory.

It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging.
See ya later, alligator!

To which I respond … After while, crocodile.


And so ’til next week …

11 January …


2017 started with a wild ride.  Medford had more snow than it’s had in nearly 100 years.  We were snowed in the afternoon of the 3rd and stayed that way until the 7th, and then it was a sure thing “out” but not so sure “in”.

I-5 was closed between Ashland and Redding for nearly 24 hours and a whole lot of schools were closed for many days (so far 6) due to icy roads.  More than 12,000 homes, mainly in Oregon, were without power for varying amounts of time.  The longest out was 6 days. 

We’re still good.  This has been a “bad” storm for some areas around us, but in the 40 years we’ve been here, we’ve seen worse. 

A bit of rain on the 8th, then snow began again on the 9th.

Currently weather is due to be snow followed by rain followed by snow followed by freezing … we have no place to go and choose to not chance the road.  Here are some pictures of the roller coaster ride …

7-jan-20177 January …

8-jan-20178 January …

9-jan-20179 January …

10-jan-201710 January …

11-jan-201711 January …

John and his partner are getting quite an initiation to Siskiyou County weather.  This is quite similar to when we first moved here.


There have been some fantastic views with this storm, but my photographic ability and equipment has not been up to catching them for sharing. 

One morning the trees and bushes still had a layer of snow topped with a layer of ice and then the sun came out … another time there were powder snow lumps in the trees and when the branches dropped the heavy lumps the air was full of powder in which the sun created rainbows … and, as happens in weather like this, the sun on snow in the meadow creates a field full of sparkling, coloured gems.

I do wish I could share.


As usual, we had a New Year’s Eve problem.  This year it was the 38+years old flash water heater.  I’m not technically savvy enough to know detais, but there may be a way to steal a part from the heater in the barn to replace the part in the kitchen.  Or we may end up having to get a new unit.

Oh well … such is the start of a new year.



Since life is currently limited by weather, there isn’t much to report. 

I’d say “sorry”, but I enjoy winter.

And the Holiday cactus is doing its best to brighten the days.


So …

”What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

― A.A. Milne


…’til next week …


4 January …


Well … did you hit the ground running on day one of 2017?


Seems a cousin and I tried to outdo each other in hitting the ground at the end of last year.  He won since he had to spend time in hospital. 

As for me … hand is completely back to normal (knitting a lace vest), face is once more acceptable (still residual bags under the eyes but they are no longer RED), and knee continues to improve. 

Why do I need to tell you all this? 

Because when you get a chance to play the invalid … milk it.


Recently, I had an interesting cogitation spell.  I was listening to the 40s channel on Sirius when I heard “The DipsyDoodle”.  Remember it?  “… things come out in reverse”.

It made me think of Yoda and the way he phrased his sentences.


It was suggested a bit ago that if AC had not already been named, he should be called Pyewacket.  Maybe …

But “AC” leaves so much room for conjecture.











Ascendant   …   Cat.

… shall I go on … although I admit the Pyewacket heritage probably applies …woodpile-ac


especially when he insists on choosing firewood for me.



2-january-2017Weather has continued rather predictably for this time of year.  It has been COLD with sporadic snow. (Picture was taken through a window … that’s the reflection of a lamp you see)

to-the-east-3-january-2017Last evening there was nearly 20″ of light, dry, fluffy snow in the backyard.

4-jaunary-2017This morning I-5 is closed from Ashland in the north all the way to Redding in the south.  Of course we’re snowed in … but the woodshed and the 7-11 are full.

front-bell-4-january-2017John is getting a taste of old-fashioned winter in Siskiyou County.


For the past two years I have kept a jar on the counter behind my place at the table into which each evening I put (as I remember to) a note on which I write something that gave me pleasure during the day.  Then at the start of the New Year I give thanks for the pleasure and start a new jar.

This year the jar starts with a note about the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert and the new “Sherlock”.  What a mixed pleasure.

However, I do wish whomever it was who thought adding a narrator and information about Viennese royalty adds to a musical concert would rethink their priorities.

Kvetch Kvetch Kvetch …




Each year I get a calendar for myself called  “The Reading Woman”.  Here’s the picture I choose to share for January.  It is from a  painting titled “Studying” done in 1898 by Arkady Rylov, a Russian symbolist painter.

It is much to my taste.


More snow pictures (for comparisons) …comparisons


Now … something to remember all the days to come …


Today there’s a stranger somewhere who really needs your smile . . . perhaps on the street, in the elevator, in line at the store . . .

You may never formally meet or even speak and there’s no way of knowing for certain who that stranger is.

So please don’t take a chance and miss the opportunity. I promise your day will be better, and someone else’s will change in a powerful and extraordinary way.
… by Benjamin M Williamson


Sounds like a good way to start the year.  Can you see me smiling?  I send you Blessings …


So … ’til next week …



28 December …


For those of you who celebrate Christmas … I hope your day was spectacular.  John and our neighbor Eric were here for dinner.

For those of you celebrating Hannukah … may light and blessings be yours.

For those of you three days into Kwanzaa … may your example spread the attributes necessary for a good world and may good food and fun be yours.

And to all of us awaiting a New Year … Mazel Tov.


For this house … what a ride.

Mark and family are still in New York state, and that distance is not one I would choose.  It will be rectified by this time next year.

Last wednesday, when we got home from the radio club party (at which I drank only sparkling cider), as I was going down to the back door I took a header and wound up in a most ungraceful position …

Fortunately John was at the house, so I had two rescuers. 

My injuries were an abraded right knee with a bone bruise which made bending that knee rather difficult for several days, a hit to the little finger side of my left hand which resulted in a bit of swelling and some bruising to my pinkie and ring finger areas (which made knitting and spinning out of the question for a day or so),face-2

and an abraded forehead with a couple of impressive goose eggs as well as bilateral shiners complete with king-sized red bags under both eyes.

I’m not sure how I managed to injure my right knee, my left hand, and my forehead with just one fall. John says it is a good thing I bounced rather than broke so maybe I did bounce.

I am so grateful for the care given me by both George and John.

23-dec-2016On Christmas Day, John arrived not feeling well.  He had stomach pain and bilateral lower abdominal pain.  He had shoveled snow out of his new driveway the day before, had no nausea or fever, and no obvious point pain, so we concluded it was muscles not used to shoveling snow.  But pre-dawn on the 26th, he was in Emergency being prepped for an immediate appendectomy.  All went well and he will be out of hospital today or tomorrow.

During dinner on Christmas Day, George experienced a food block at the entrance to his stomach and was unable to move it in either direction.  It took until 0200 the 26th for it to break loose.  Neither of us got much sleep that night.

And, because of the COLD weather, there is a break in one of the water lines in the hydro-electric system out in the meadow which means we are temporarily on electricity use restriction.  As soon as things thaw, it will be repaired.

George is once again able to eat and drink without problems.

John is repaired and soon will be at home recovering.

And my face no longer resembles a Hallowe’en mask, although I still have slight shiners.

2017 will be better …

I still believe in miracles …

I do, I do, I do …


msarc-2016The holiday party at the radio club went well.  Thirteen people were there (including two wives who are not in this club picture).

The food was spectacular.

The conversations were entertaining.

And the “Who the Devil is THAT?” game was a much bigger hit than I had expected.  The remarks and sharing and laughs were well worth the time spent getting it ready. 

Not a single member identified everyone.  The most identified out of the fifteen photos was six and that was by one of the wives who is not a club member. The prizes of stemmed glasses with sparkling cider and mugs with cocoa mix went to three members, each of whom got five correct. 

Next year (if I am still responsible for planning the potluck) we will play RADIO bingo and the prizes will be rice bag bed warmers.


AC and Fluffy have taken up cohabitation in the old dog house which allows them to look in the back door to watch happenings in the kitchen and dining area.  Because of my allergy, they are not allowed in the house and I have to wash my hands thoroughly (the ABC song hummed through twice while soaping) when I come back in after petting.

Fluffy has taken to caressing one ankle while AC rubs the other.  She allows me limited petting permission (only if AC is there to protect her).  And they now share food without any growling or hissing.


24-december-2016We had snow last friday …

28-dec-2016 which is still with us …

and on Christmas Eve a car with its rear off the road at the base of our first hill nearly closed High Meadow Road.  It was a young city couple who had rented a small house up the road from us for the weekend (a couple of the “new” owners on Hammond  Ranch have their places listed on AirBnB). 

On his way here, John rescued them.  We didn’t hear from them later and the car was no longer blocking the road on sunday, so we think all went well.


P.S.  At the time I fell last week I was carrying a bag containing a pint of IPA given me by one of the radio folks and the remainder of a bottle of Cabernet which no one else would take home … and neither bottle broke !!!


Ready to start the New Year?  Maybe Ray Bradbury said it best …

 “Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.”

So … ’til next year …


 21 December …


Tonight is the radio club’s annual holiday potluck. 

For entertainment, I am having them play “Who the Devil is That?”.  I gathered pictures of members taken when they were between ten and twenty for identification.  There will be red herrings.  There are only three women in the club.  That would be too easy, so there are extra female pictures.  Here is my array.  Can you choose me?wilma

Report on food and fun will be shared next week.


Weather has been doing its chaos thing … rain, snow, wind, sun, freeze.  In depth report when the dust of the season clears.


Here in the northern hemisphere, tomorrow is the Winter Solstice often called Yule … the longest night preceding the return of the Sun to the north.  I saw this picture on the Yosemite page and loved it … so am sharing it.

yosemiteBlessed Solstice … celebrate the Return of the Sun.


We are late this year with just about everything … late

including uppping the tree. 


That is the reason (but not the excuse) for this short blog.  So through the tension …



Remember …


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Life may not be the party we hoped it would be, but since we’re here we might as well dance.


… ’til next week … BREATHE !