19 October …


george-wilma-wedding-cakeBy  this evening, George and I will have been married for sixty-four years.


I was told, last week, that the URL I’ve been putting in the blog email notice doesn’t act like a link.  Oops …

I thought it did.  So I started looking and I think I’ve cleared up the problem.  From now on the URL should also be a link. 

Let me know.


I didn’t give any explanation for the drop in spinning output for this year’s Spinzilla when I wrote last week’s blog.  I felt that had I done so, it would have sounded like whining.

However, I now wish to claim reasons, but not excuses. 

The weather was changing last week with rain on the incoming so the arthritis in my right thumb was fired up.  I have some cannabis salve which works fairly well, but I didn’t know if it would stain fiber so didn’t use it.

Then with only two days left, I got bitten on the pad of my right index finger.  That’s the finger (and thumb) with which I control the amount of fiber going into the twist.

I began using the arthritis salve as soon as spinning time was up, and homemade healing salve treated the bite.  I am finishing up my fiber stash and will have fun learning to gradient dye the yarn.

As a result of circumstances … I consider myself a winner … even if I am a whiner.


The blessings from John’s visit were many. 

He and George spent wednesday bringing in firewood.  His brother also made arrangements for the delivery of two cords of firewood next week.  I am feeling very loved and secure.

Two not so good incidents … while loading wood into the back of the mule for transportation to the house, John discovered a ground bees’ nest and was stung a couple of times.  Aloe and a soda paste to the rescue.  George misstepped and lost his balance once and wound up with a sensitive area over his left kidney.  Massage with arnica, chamomile, and yarrow helped.


And I had another flare-up of the facial thing.  It had been over a year since the last incident.

It began saturday and was in full bloom by monday morning.  I saw a Family Nurse Practitioner in Dunsmuir monday around noon.  He took my word for what had happened in the past and wrote me a script based on that.

By tuesday noon things were under control.

But his new eyes had an interesting take on cause and diagnosis.  We will be following up on that.


The first of the late Autumn storms arrived after dark thursday evening.  On the NOAA radar map you could see about four of them lined up to the west.

Totals so far are:

Thursday … 2.27″

Friday … 0.22″

Saturday … 2.33″

Sunday … 0.84″

Monday … 0.30″

18-oct-2016Total … 5.93″ and snow on the Mountain.



Here’s what it looked like last evening, through the backyard trees.



While John was here, we got a pullet surprise …

surprisefirst eggs.



And a thought for the week …


“Success is when you look back at your life and the  memories make you smile.”


So … ’til next week …



12 October …


Well … my Spinzilla total was 5,221 yards or 2.97 miles.production 


Last year I did 5,866 yards or 3.33 miles. That’s about a third of a mile less.  


I am still spinning “cobweb” according to the gauge in Meg Swanson’s lace book.gauge  





I do enjoy spinning and now my stash is reloaded.


AC has finally begun to grow.  For a long time I thought maybe he had been runted by being abandoned, but he is developing into a lovely cat. 

He has become friends with the rest of the cats at Cold Comfort.  In fact, he and the furry black panther seems to have developed a play partnership.  It’s fun to watch AC jump her and then the two of them roll and run.

He now waits for me at the front door.  He must be very aware of light levels because, at this time of year, dusk and dawn times are fluid and that’s when I go out to close in the hens and feed him

If only I weren’t so allergic to cat dander, he’d be a house companion.




And the pullets will start laying soon.



John arrived yesterday.  Heart-lifting …

I was getting a bit worried about heat for the winter.  Since neither George nor I are as young as we once were, getting wood cut and stacked is no longer an easy chore.  But John will be helping today, and he and Mark have arranged for some already cut and split to be delivered.  Blessed sons.

Rain is due to begin this evening so whatever is to be accomplished outdoors has to be done today.  This series of storms is predicted to be a doozy. We shall see.


Random thoughts early in the morning …

I think I have used the words “graveyard” and “cemetery” interchangeably.  Then a bit ago I learned they aren’t the same.  It seems graveyards are cemeteries, but not all cemeteries are graveyards.

Churches are the difference.  If the burial place is in church property near a church it is a graveyard.  Any place the dead are buried, entombed, or inurned is a cemetery.

Around here there are commercial cemeteries, historical cemeteries, municipal cemeteries, private family cemeteries, … but none connected directly with a church like ones back east and in Europe.  Hence … no graveyards in Siskiyou County.

Don’t ask how I got on this subject.


Another word thing came up just this morning.

I have always thought a “maze” and a “labyrinth” were two different forms … that a labyrinth was a single path in the form of a spiral and a maze was a walking puzzle with side paths and dead ends.  But according to www. dictionary.com, and my 1947 5th Edition of Websters, the words are interchangeable.

Learn something new every day …




One dinner last week, we opened the next to last bottle of wine given to us by our brother-in-law Don from his Oak Leaf Winery … some Concord from 1991.

Don died in February of last year, but he is still with us.  I contunie using some dried rosemary he gave me.


Another thing taking up mind time … negative verbs in English.

Is it better “not to do” something or “to not do” something?

But enough with word play already …


Autumn colours continue to please.

wisteria-and-smokethe wisteria and the smoke tree …

crabappleTyler‘s crabapple …

plumthe plum tree …

mapleand, as always, the maple …

I really enjoy this season.


As was said by Emily Bronte …

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

Fluttering from the autumn tree.



So … ’til next week …

5 October …


I am right in the middle of Spinzilla …

Spinzilla started the night after the radio event.  So last week went something like this:

Wednesday … wasted day as reported last week.

Thursday and Friday … chore catch-up and made sure everything was ready for saturday.

Saturday … radio event from 0830 to 1730 (report elsewhere).

Sunday … prepped Matilda for our spinning marathon and made sure easy meals were ready.  Had rain and snow.

Monday … spin.

Tuesday … spin.

Today … post the blog, then back to spinning.


Last friday evening we watched Great Performances (the Vienna Philharmonic Summer Concert) on PBS.  The program was all French music and didn’t last nearly long enough.

One thing which caught my attention, as have other televised European concerts in the past, was the size of the audience. 

Thousands …

In the US those numbers are possible only for rock or other pop concerts, and most of the “sold out” is due to scalpers. 

Oh well  …

My impressionable years were in the 40s when the music available was swing and classics.  How fortunate I was.


The Headwaters event this year was held in hell … after hell had frozen over.  I don’t recall being that cold and shivering for that long, at least not in the last twenty or thirty years.  I had layered, but not enough.  My hands were sooooo cold it was difficult to write the communication notes.  I plan to get some of those warmers you put in your pocket just in case next year gives the same.




And watching the runners in shorts and no sleeves … brrr.


The caterers served lasagna which was very tasty (with forks but no knives … fortunately, George carries a pocket knife), a fresh fresh green mixed salad, and COLD drinks.  It was 34° when we left home and 28° at the event base with a wind coming off the lake.  Next year I take a thermos of HOT something and add my black bear pelt coat to the layers (along with the pocket hand warmers) … unless the thermometer registers degrees vastly warmer. 

As for the communications, all went well.  We had enough operators although one told us at the last minute he had to leave at 1000.  A ham from Quail Valley filled in.

We had a total of 156 runners in 3 venues … 10k, 30k, and the Ultra Marathon of 50k (about 30 miles … a marathon is 26.219 miles) all over dirt trails more fit for goats and deer.  Nary a foot of pavement. 

The only physical disaster was one runner who was wearing brand new shoes.  Her feet looked like raw steak by the time she got back.  Hardy souls …

At the end of the event they were minus one runner, but because of our communication records we could tell the event directors where he was within 2-3 miles.  And we got a call sunday night because the sponsors didn’t have times for another runner.  Radio communication logs showed that runner #102 didn’t show up for the event so there was nothing to report or about which to fret.  Many points (and thanks) to amateur radio records

… my only comment in re our radio commitments is … Well, that’s done for this year.


Overall, weather has been beautiful.crabappleThe cherry tree, the crabapple, the red maple, the catalpa, the birches are all dressed for Autumn.  Eye candy …

seedsThere were soft winds and the evergreens shared seeds in abundance.  New forests to come …

snow-viewThen (as reported earlier) on sunday we had the first snow of the season.


I recently heard a report about rage incidents on airplanes and was reminded of a study done at McGill University back in the 70s.  A “paradise” was provided for four male and four female rats/mice.  They reproduced at rat rate (lots and lots of offspring) and in less than two years the milieu went from paradise to chaos. 

One evaluation comment was “… this behavior is shared by both mice and humans, can we escape [this] fate?”

This seems like an explanation in re increased anxiety, depression, and violence in the world today.  How long before human reproduction overcrowds available space on this planet to the point where it meets the same fate?  I know one woman whose descendants number over 200 in just four generations.

If you’re interested, a synopsis of the study can be found at  


In a similar study the conclusion was ” In humans, overcrowding appears to result in a decline in task performance and deterioration in social behaviour. … Studies of humans have suggested that social behaviour is adversely affected by higher population density. Altruistic behaviour tends to decline as crowding increases. Latane and Darley (1968) carried out a series of studies that demonstrate this. “.

Questions ???


Remember me talking about the Salton Sea and the Gulf of California trying to unite?  Well … 


… and it is still shaking down there.


Observation … when George was in college on the GI bill, we got $75 a month living allowance.  It is now $1,000 a month.


Ahead are three more days spent spinning and a day tabulating the result.  Then Spinzilla will be done for this year.  John will arrive next tuesday.

Onward …

Remember …

coloursThe best things in life are not things.


L’shana Tova … Happy New Year to ALL my friends wishing them a year full of health, light, and love. 


‘Til next week …


29 September …


This is being posted a day late because we left about 0145 wednesday morning to get to the Medford airport in time to put the kids on the plane for home.  I took a less-than-an-hour nap and spent the rest of tuesday-wednesday night visiting with the kids, so when George and I got back to Cold Comfort yesterday morning a bit after 0630 … I fed AC, let the hens and the pullets out, came back to the house and went to sleep.

It was essentially a lost day.

I am no longer able to stay up all night and function anywhere near normal the next day.

Oh well …


Short note in re the debate last monday … it made it a lot easier to decide for whom to vote.


The grandson and his intended t-thad a bit if a problem getting here … but they finally arrived last thursday morning. breakdownThey had been driving … with a stop in Ft Collins, Colorado to visit a friend. 

Just north of Salt Lake City their car gave up the ghost.  I’m not a vehicle expert so I can’t give details, but the upshot was that it needed a completely new engine.  It was not a new car (they’re young and just getting started so most stuff is second hand as it usually is at that age). 

After consulting with his Dad, it was decided that Tyler and Tiffany would pack up as much of the stuff from the car as they could carry and fly the rest of the way.  All the stuff remaining in the car, and the car itself were then donated to a charity.  Tax write-off time.

George and I drove up to Medford to get them and we got an extra couple of days with them, so it wasn’t all bad.

sunset-22-sept-2016There had been a sprinkling of powder snow on the Mountain tuesday. so she was lovely for their first sunset here.

George and I had committed for a radio event on saturday and the kids went with us.airport-station 


My station was much the same as usual … 





and the view of the eastside of the Mountain from George’s station was lovely.



We all did the tourist thing on monday.  Before dinner (at the local excellent Mexican restaurant), we drove up the Mountain to Bunny Flats.  hikersThe kids took a hike while George and I enjoyed the sun and air.

Then, while we were in town, Tyler wanted to show the town (all two blocks of it) to Tiffany.  George and I don’t do the walking thing so much any more.  While they went sightseeing and shopped, we went to the city park, found a place under a big oak, and napped. It was lovely.nap-site

The rest of the time was just being together at Cold Comfort with Tyler showing off the land where he spent summers for so many years.




While they were here, they got engaged. 



Other than that, things were mostly pretty laid back. 


28-sept-2016The maple has really coloured up for the season.  Temperatures are due to get cooler.  Days are shorter.  We were able to see all but one of the family this year.  Life is good.


The High Holy Days begin next sunday.

A person had to deliver a very important message to a man in a synagogue on Rosh Hashana.  The usher wouldn’t let him in because he didn’t have a ticket.  “No ticket, no entrance!”  “Please,” begs the man, “I promise … I won’t pray!”

Time to reflect on the past, correct our mistakes, plan for the future, and pray for a healthy and sweet year.

Blessings …


spinzilla-stash-2016My stash for Spinzilla is ready to start spinning.  I’m concentrating on white this year so I will have yarn to experiment with dyeing.

I’ll do better with blog timing next week.  I gar-on-tee.  

Only scheduled event between now and then is the Headwaters Ultra Marathon next saturday.


So … ’til next week …


21 September …

Last wednesday George and I went to a seminar to learn about creating a trust so when we die all the fuss of probate will be avoided. I went with a skeptical attitude expecting it would be a buy-it-now push, but also expecting to learn something about trusts. Both expectations were met.

It was a buy-it-now affair ($300 off if you buy now), but the fast-talking salesman didn’t object to being interrupted by questions (even seemingly antagonistic ones) and his responses were clear and understandable. My take-away objection was the insertion of political opinion into the spiel and I mentioned that to the contact person when we talked earlier this week.

Yes … we did buy at the seminar at a cost $600 below the local attorneys’ prices. The creation of the trust is in process.

Then at the Family History Center thursday, I heard a horror story about a trust created by a local attorney which contained additions by the husband about which the wife knew nothing, that the actual trust was never filed, and that the attorney is now billing her for consultations about the problems.

But on the pro side, an old friend (from when we first moved onto Hammond Ranch) had dealt with the company with whom we are dealing, and her experience has been good. So we feel we did okay.

Stay tuned …


Volunteer time at the Family History Center is becoming an iffy proposition.  My time was cancelled the first of the month due to the smoky air.  Then yesterday, the Sister I expected was ill and another showed up whose daughter was visiting and with whom she wished to go shopping. When there had been no takers for genealogy by 1230, we closed shop since I am not allowed to be there alone. I worry a little about what if someone plans to get there at 1300 or so.  Maybe we should ask those interested to call and tell us they plan on coming and when. However, I’m not on that committee. Oh well …

Next scheduled day … 6 October … right in the middle of Spinzilla.


21-sept-2016Seasonal report … the year is moving rapidly toward full Autumn and onward toward Winter.  Completely dark by 2000.  And not really light until after 0730.

Weather has been clear and moderate.




There are signs of Autumn both indoors (hummer feeders and drying chilies) …







and outdoors (dried grasses).



The Gap fire down river is under control.  No new ones.


The trip to Medford last monday was a busy one.  The list of things to get done looked daunting.  But it all got done (with one exception) and we were home a bit after 1600.  Weather was nice and there was very little traffic.

Not much new at the retinologist.  George’s right eye AMD is under control and we may be dropping back to every five weeks rather than every four.

We’re on a fish and chips meal trip.  We had gone to McGrath’s Fish House in Medford last month and went there again yesterday.  They post what seafood is fresh each day and its source.  Our fish and chips monday was wild caught cod from Washington state.  Next month we will be in Medford on a tuesday and plan to try the fish and chips at the Wharf in downtown Medford.

Comparison shopping …


Next to last radio event for 2016 will be the Biketoberfest in McCloud next saturday, 24 September. It was originally held in October.  Now that it is in September maybe it should be renamed Biketemberfest … but I’m not on that committee.

George and I will be manning our regular stations.

Other news for the radio club is that three members took on the job of sprucing up the exterior of the building.clubhouse-before It had been in deplorable shape. 

clubhouse-afterNow it looks soooooo good.

New eaves and roof. Obstructive trees taken down and antennas improved. Now a spruced up exterior.  Maybe the next step is to do something about the windows and interior.  We shall see.


I just finished reading “The Cursed Child”, the 8th of the Harry Potter stories … and I’d been having a hard time with it.  However, I think I figured out why.

There were two Wilmas reading.

Wilma #1 is the Potter fan who wants to know what is happening.

Wilma #2 is the Wilma who has been involved with live theatre, mainly in the role of audience, for over 70 years.

Wilma #2 keeps getting in the way of Wilma #1.

Just one “for instance” … there is a scene in which the boys disappear under an invisibility cloak and the headmistress of Hogwarts is unable to see them (of course), but is able to see things move as the boys move.

Wilma #1 can see this in her mind’s eye, but Wilma #2 says “How can you do that on stage? A black cloak, like Bunraku, and expect the audience to play along? Maybe.”

Wilma #1 moved into the lead telling Wilma #2 that she is not on that committee so sit back and enjoy the ride.

It would have made a very good novel.


Received a story (told by a lecturer) from our younger son which struck a sympathetic note.  After all, Mt Shasta is dormant, not extinct.

How about an Iceland story?
I was speaking recently in Iceland when suddenly the fire alarm goes off. And it isn’t one of those digital pulse ones, it’s an old school metal on metal clangy one that makes your head hurt. It’s so loud that I have to stop talking. Which is when I notice something interesting – no one is moving. They’re just sitting there calmly smiling at me. Which I take to mean, “no big deal, it will probably go off in a second.” But it doesn’t, the alarm just keeps ringing. We’ve been sitting this way for a bit when two people appear in the back of the venue, open the double doors to the parking lot, and start gesturing to us to come outside because there’s a fire. They actually say that – “There’s a fire. Get out!”
The audience? They slowly start standing up and gathering their things while they’re chatting casually with each other as they eventually make their way out of the venue. As I leave the room I smell smoke, which the others can smell, but it doesn’t speed them up at all. We all stand outside in the sun talking and then we’re told that the fire has been taken care of and we can go inside. So we file back in and when we’re all assembled I can’t stop laughing and I say, “Who are you people that you can be told there’s a fire in the building you’re currently in and you aren’t even remotely phased?”
Immediately a woman in the audience says, “What do you expect from people who live on a volcano?”


I had told you the reservoir is low.  Well, here’s how low.mill-1


That’s it for this week.  Tyler and Tiffany will arrive this evening. There will be a cheesecake on the table.


Lesson for us all:

Sometimes an email or phone call isn’t enough. Actually go see people.


So … ’til next week …


14 September …


The water level in the reservoir is dropping.  You can once again see the stone pilings of the old Durney Mill.  Chances are the reservoir will be down to the small spring-fed puddle by the end of the month.


Fire/weather report … the Gap fire to the north is coming under control.  There was a touch of smoke last sunday evening, but the wind has been with us.

A new fire broke out in Ft Jones but was under control rapidly.

We are under an almost constant red flag watch, but so far all is well.

~~~daddy-and-incle-edgar-abt-1905Last sunday was the 114th anniversary of my Daddy’s birth.  That is Daddy on the left with his brother, Edgar.  Daddy was about 4 when this picture was taken.  He was the youngest in the family and is still very present in my life.


Getting lost is an adventure which is being denied to the younger generations due to MapQuest and Google Maps and GPS and APRS etc. etc. etc.

George and I have gotten lost more than once during our travels.  One adventure that comes to mind was the time we were moving to Milwaukee because of George’s work.  We were passing through Joplin, Missouri and had an empty evening.  I had seem a tourist flier advertising the “Joplin Ghost Light” (also called the Hornet Spooklight, Hollis Light and Joplin Spook Light) and we ecided to go see if we could find it.

One story about the light is that it traces back to some boys lost during the Trail of Tears.  At any rate, it is said to be seen in the mountains between Missouri and Oklahoma.

We set out after dinner, following the map in the brochure, into an area we had never been in and of which we had no knowledge.

We found ourselves on narrow backroads (some gravel) with few or no signs of people.  We met no cars.

Eventually we came across a sign of people … a barn just off the road on the left.  But there was no one visible from whom we could ask directions.

We pulled a bit further down the road and a house up on the side of a hill to the right came into sight.  There was a light visible (of course it was after dark) and we decided to stop and ask directions to either the ghost light or back to Joplin.

Our oldest child was with us.  He was just fiveThe movie “Psycho” had recently been released. He had been with us at the drive-in when we saw “Psycho”, but I had made him lie down in the back seat and go to sleep.  “Deliverance” was still in the future.

After a short discussion, it was decided it would be best if were the one to go up the steps and walkway to ask for directions while George stayed in the car with John to keep the engine running … just in case we had to leave in a hurry.  Logical, right?

Well … I was not attacked by any deranged householders, we never did see the light, and we did get back to Joplin and then on to Milwaukee.

And that was just one of our “getting lost” adventures.


In this part of Siskiyou County there are two railroad lines.  The main one is Union Pacific which bought out Southern Pacific and which runs freight through the canyon north and south.  That line is also the one used by Amtrak.

The other is CORP … the California Oregon Pacific line which runs from Weed, through the Shasta Valley into southern Oregon.

There is lots of traffic on the UP line.  I hear trains and train whistles often.

CORP however, is a much smaller operation so it is rare to see trains in operation.  But last friday we were on our way north on old 99 when about halfway between Gazelle and Grenada we came upon an engine headed north with four flatcars of plywood, a box car, and a tanker car (contents of both unknown).

I was so surprised I almost forgot to wave to the engineer as we passed, but I did wave and received a short “toot” in return.

I do love trains … even diesels.


Last sunday I received a surprise phone call.  Ginger Mattos had been Mark’s third grade teacher.  She and I had met occasionally over the years, but did not maintain contact.  So when I heard her on the phone, it sort of startled me.

It turned out she had been trying to call a friend and had used a card on which was written my name and phone number.  But my name had been crossed out and the name of her friend written above.  Ginger had no memory of or reason for how that had happened.

We chatted for a few minutes during which I learned she had a fall a year ago resulting in a head injury which put her in the hospital for several days and now she is not allowed to drive, leaving her essentially housebound.  Ginger was calling her friend to ask when she would be coming next to take her to the store. 

Ginger invited me to stop by for a visit some time (I go past her place on my way into and back from Mt Shasta) and I said I would.

There is a connection between Ginger and me.  We share a birthday date.  The year Mark was in Ginger’s class he had money for just one pair of earrings and wanted to give gifts to both of us … so I got one earring and Ginger got the other.  I don’t think of her often.  The one time I for sure remember her is when I go to put on a pair of earrings and see that single bird earring,  I wonder if she still has hers.  Maybe I’ll stop by and ask.

But I am wondering at the coincidence of the alteration of that phone card

 … if it was a coincidence.   


I’ve signed up for Spinzilla again.  This year it is the first week in October.  I’ve ordered some fiber and will look for some more.  No way do I want to run out.

Reports to follow.


Autumn truly is in the air.plumThe yellow plum in the courtyard has changed ...

red-mapleAnd the first signs of red are on the maple.maple


And thinking back to getting lost … someone once said


A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.


So … ’til next week …


7 September …


Trip to the new doctor last wednesday began with a noticeable scent in the airWednesday 1 and the mountains to the southwest blue-grey behind a haze.

As we went out Dale Creek past the reservoir we had trouble seeing the Mountain.Wednesday 2 If we hadn’t known where She is, we would have missed Her.

Wednesday 3The depth of the smoke picked up as we went north.

Wednesday 4 By the time we got to Yreka, the haze had become a pall and it was difficult to see across the road.

Wednesday 5It wasn’t much better by the time we headed home.

This morning is much clearer although the Gap fire is still out of control.  Depends on the direction of the wind.


Aside from the smoke situation, my appointment with the new doc was interesting to say the least.  When he came in I said hello and that I didn’t need care, I was there to meet him.  His reply was that I had just deleted the first five minutes of his presentation.

I tried to be as open and honest about my situation as possible. We often don’t realize what we are not sharing. But I did the best I could and I think I answered his questions truthfully.

The outcome was that although he honors Dr. Kolpacoff, he wants to make his own assessment of my staph situation the next time it occurs, and white-coat-anxiety aside he wants to check on my blood pressure.  He said he would give me a one time script for the staph antibiotic I’ve been using, but not the prednisone. He wants me to start the antibiotic as soon as I recognize the symptoms next time and get in to see him asap.  I told him that cellulitis leaves me a blubbering mess and asked what trouble I would have getting an emergency appointment and he said he always leaves time in his schedule for just such events. We shall see. If I’m lucky, my body has decided to not do that thing any longer and I will never have to test the front office’s protective issues.

It was a normal appointment.  However, I still miss the days of going in, being met by a single front desk person (often the doc’s wife since there were very few female docs back then and office’s were often in the doctor’s home), having vitals checked by a back office person (often the same person as the front office person and even sometimes the doc himself),  and then talking with the doc.

And if for some reason you couldn’t make it to the office, the doc came to you.

Nowadays the front office consists of a receptionist, a transcriber of the required medical history information sheets, a telephone person, an insurance person, an appointment maker, and in some cases a door keeper even before you get to the front desk.

Once past that area, there is the information reviewer, the vitals taker who may or may not be the one to show you to the “exam” room, and once in the exam room, the reviewer of all that went before who is often the transcriber who stays in the room and notes every action and word. Then, during the “exam”, techs of various kinds and the keeper of the medical records may be involved.

Last wednesday I saw seven different people in addition to the doctor and that was without any diagnostic procedures being done.

It’s similar to the contrast between the Emergency “Room” when I first went to work and the Emergency “Department” now. 

Back in the “old” days, I was the only person in the “room” … receptionist, clerk, phone person, vitals taker, transcriptionist, etc. as well as the RN doing triage, initial care, collector of specimens, and implementer of any orders from the doctor. And after office hours or on weekends (I worked weekend nights), the RN had to call a general practice doc (at his home) if he was needed for orders or to actually come to the hospital.

Now that “department” has all the separate people noted earlier as well as in-house techs, an extra RN or LVN, and a 24-hour specialty doc.

Oh well …

End of rant-like observation.


My scheduled session at the Family History Center last thursday was cancelled due to the smoke. The amount of smoke was less (the wind had shifted a bit) but the Sister with whom I was scheduled to work has asthma and couldn’t go outdoors.

LDS Church rules don’t allow anyone to work alone, so I had the day free.


Seasons are changing.Daddy's Rose


I’ve picked the last of Daddy’s green roses.




Herbs and peppers are hung to dry and hummer feeders taken in.



AC no longer “herds” the ladies but sits with me and waits for them to herd themselves into the house in the evening.

I have begun the process of weaning him away from the chickens and introducing him to the barn cats. Not easy. He has never lived with cats, at least not since he was abandoned.

But there was an encouraging development last monday.  I’d begun giving him his breakfast at the barn door and monday morning I saw him with one of the barn cats. AC left him (or her) to come to me, but there had been no antagonism.

Things are as they are …


I had been getting antsy about firewood.  George said he couldn’t skid the logs for cutting into rounds without the tractor … and it was being recalcitrant. Thursday he got it running (carburetor) and so will skid in the next day or so.  Then into rounds and then (after a week or so) splitting followed by stacking.  We may stay warm this winter after all. 

Next year I’ll start getting antsy earlier and we may be ready earlier. 

Yea … right.

Oh well …


Picked up Mountain View Organic tomatoes on monday. I’ve been using their tomatoes for Ruby’s soup and sauce for several years.TomatoesThey give me the field runs (not so pretty) at a very good price.



They have been choppedIn the pot and stewed.  Soon, our winter 7-11 will be stocked with soup and sauces

Jelly & Grats

in addition to the Cold Comfort grape jelly. 


(That’s my “gratitude” jar beside the jelly)



The High Holy Days are coming and I recently saw a list of questions to ask yourself in preparation.  Three of them hit me as useful even if you aren’t Jewish.


What are my three most significant achievements?

What are the three biggest mistakes I’ve made?

What project or goal, if left undone, will I most regret?­­­­­­­­­


I’m working on my answers.

So … ’til next week …



30 August …

 Earlier this year, the doctor who has been our primary care giver for many years dropped his private practice and became the local VA doc.  I’ve told you that before.

However, because of that, my first appointment with a new care giver is early tomorrow morning. That is the reason this is being posted on tuesday.


New York family left about 1700 friday evening.  They will be moving west sometime in the next three years.  Mark wants Paul to go to school in Mt Shasta.

As I was straightening up I realized the house was soooooo empty and quiet.  I get the same feeling when John leaves after a couple of days.  This was a bit more intense.

But I slept well that night in spite of the empty quiet.


Here are a couple of pictures taken while my younger grandson and I were spending time together.Nuna and Paul

Time is precious when you become a grandmother this late in life.  I’ll be lucky to see him graduate high school. 

At least I can create memories.


My computer has been giving me trouble for a few weeks.  Booting up was taking longer and longer.  One day last week it took over two hours to reach usable condition.

Mark did as much as he could under the circumstances since he had holiday expectations (he worked with the local Masonic Lodge serving a dinner for all the local Law Enforcement head men on thursday, had an evening with a high school friend, and  friday was packing day for the return home) and he did not have the correct tools available. I was able to make a full backup of my information with the exception of back emails. 

To address my problem,  Mark and John got together and John arrived saturday evening with parts and tools to do the repairs. 

I’m computer challenged, so I can’t tell you what happened or how it was fixed with the exception that there was an extra hard drive in the tower (of which I had been unaware and which wasn’t obvious until the side was taken off) which seems to have suddenly begun confusing the start up operations.

At any rate, I am once again able to use the computer as I have been accustomed to doing.

A hearty thank you to both my sons.


Gene Wilder died last weekend. A friend posted a short video from one of his movies in which he leans out of a train door and blows a kiss.  I teared up.  Mercy journey, Mr. Wilder and thank you.




AC is one smart cat.  He has learned the sound of the front door closing so when I go out to feed him, he meets me half way.

I have learned something as well. 

When he meets me he is not sure which way I am going so he sticks close to my feet making the chance of a stumble or stepping on him pretty good.  So I picked him up to carry him part way until he is on known ground.  I picked him up by putting my hand around his torso just behind his front legs.  He fought and twisted.  Then it dawned on me that is the way a predator would grab him.  A mother cat carries kittens by the nap of the neck.  So the next time I pinched the skin on the back of his neck to carry him … and he curled up and started to purr … loudly.

Interesting …


While he was here, Mark smoked several racks of ribs.  But I already told you that.


My point is that we enjoyed bacon and one great meal before they left, there are several meals waiting in the 7-11 freezers,  and my kitchen still has a lovely aroma.



We once again have two functioning vehicles.

George (and Mark) got the Toyota running again.  They were able to get the replacement axle in place by pounding on it with a rubber mallet and it drives well.  The brakes still need a bit of tuning (we won’t be using it regularly until that is done), the front seats will either have new covers or be replaced, and it needs to be thoroughly vacuumed. 


It’s fire season. Humidity today was 14% and there was wind.

Four fires …

Grade fireThe first was two miles north of Yreka in the Hawkinsville area. It got big, took out some buildings, and was too far north to offer any danger to Cold Comfort Farm.

Gap FireOne is down river between Seiad and Hayfork which is too far north and west of us to be a worry. But it is the big one. Nine thousand acres so far.

Another was over the mountains to the west in Scott Valley near Moffat Creek … closer but also no danger since the wind has never come at us from that direction.

And one, which could have been a problem, was to the south near the Mt Shasta Resort and Lake Siskiyou. Winds from that direction and the lack of “developed” land between there and here put us on alert.  But the Forest Service, CalFire, and local volunteer groups hit it hard and fast and it was controlled in less than four hours.


Last night the wind shifted and this morning we had smoke from the Gap fire down river.


The cycle of the year is becoming very noticeable.  It is still dark at 0600 and the sun is gone by 1830.  It seems just a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t go out to close in the chickens (and feed AC) until a few minutes before 2100. Friday evening I went out at 2000 and the chickens were already in. Tonight I went out at 2000 and it was almost too dark to do without a flashlight. Tomorrow I go out at 1950.

It won’t be long before we are back in the time of year when it is still dark at 0800 and is again dark by 1530 . I will soon have to move AC’s living quarters near or in the barn in anticipation of bad weather … probably when the hens move back to the winter house, i.e. in with the pullets (who are due to start laying in about two weeks).


And finally … I found this some time ago and now seems like a good time to share. 


Don’t miss the boat
Build on high ground
For safety’s sake, travel in pairs
Stay below deck during the storm
Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat
Don’t listen to critics – do what has to be done
Plan ahead – it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark

Stay fit – when you’re 600 years old, you might be asked to do something REALLY big.

So … ’til next week …


24 August …


Family has been here for nearly two weeks. Busy times. 

At the radio club meeting last week, we all went, even the young one who knows how to use his parents’ radios as a “third party”.

Interestingly, he sounds older and more mature on the radio than he does otherwise.

Thursday we all went to Sacramento. Mark (the younger son) had an interview so he dropped the rest of us off at the Railroad Museum. He was interviewing for work since he plans to relocate back here within a year or so.




At the museum, George and I took it easy, but Kamille was on the go full time keeping an eye on Paul. DSCN0770Four-year-olds love trains.

Mark was back in time to share lunch and an afternoon session in the museum. Then we headed north.

DSCN0775We were able to meet John (the older son) and his partner, Michael, at a great restaurant in Marysville for dinner.  It was a comfortable meal what with sharing stories and laughs … and some of the best Chinese food I’ve had in a long time. If you like Chinese, real Chinese, and are in the Marysville area … go to the20160818 181355 8 copy

The area is a bit rundown, but the food, the atmosphere, and the service are excellent.

We got home late.  The chickens were all in and on the roosts, but AC was alert and waiting for his evening meal.


Friday was a quiet day.  Everyone was pooped and the weather was still hot.

Saturday was a different story.  DSCN0849


We made tamales.  


We did make our monthly trip to the retinologist on monday. Weather was warm, but not as hot as it had been.

George and I had decided fish and chips sounded good so we went to McGrath’s Fish House for dinner.DSCN0998

(Why are people obsessed with posting pictures of meals and food?)

While we were in Medford, we went by the restaurant supply store and got thirty pounds of ribs which Mark spent yesterday smoking. He will finish them up today and we will feast on smoked bar-b-que ribs friday. In addition, there will be ribs to share with neighbors at dinners and meals for George and I all winter. The freezers in the 7-11 are stuffed and the kitchen smells delicious.


I forgot to tell you that at the radio meeting we decided that if there aren’t more participants at the Run for the Arts than there were last year, we are going to decline to spend time with that event.  Last year our operators outnumbered the runners in the half marathon, and the 5k goes through town where there is little chance of getting lost. We’ll know about that event as soon a they have their planning meeting.

We will be doing the other two events … the Biketoberfest in McCloud and the Headwaters marathon. Then we will be done for this year.


I just saw an article about the solar eclipse next August.  The radio club had done an event a couple of years ago when we were in the path of a solar eclipse.  So we will be discussing the possibility of doing another.  And this coming one is to be closer to full when seen from this area.  That is something to anticipate.


Only two more days with the family.  They leave friday evening. Of course I am looking forward to when they relocate and we will see them at least once a month.

Having both sons and their families near has always been a dream.   


DSCN0604The Mountain is looking a bit ragged, but still beautiful.


Read  the following sentence out loud     


Did you read it as “opportunity is nowhere”

or as “opportunity is now here”    ???


So … ’til next week …





17 August …


The New York crew arrived just before midnight last saturday. Everyone went right to bed.

Mexican Fiesta Sundays are a tradition with the NY family. So we are doing it here as well. The day after they arrived we did huevos rancheros for breakfast.FiestaThen chicken tacos, California cheese and chorizo enchiladas, tomatillo ensalada, Oaxaca black beans and lime dessert with whipped topping. The rest of the day and evening they were on their own looking for leftovers.

I’m already planning next sunday’s menu. I can only hope it will be cooler. Last sunday was the hottest day we’ve had this year.

The heat isn’t bothering the New York folks too much. They had been having heat … but with humidity. At least here the heat is dry.

Paul and AC


Monday was a further recovery day.


Paul went out to meet AC.


Tuesday was still pretty warm (read hot), so it too was a quiet day.

Tonight is the radio club meeting.  Since all four adults are hams (AB6UE, AB2LI, KD6WZC, and KD2JLY), we’ll be going to the meeting after spending some time in the city park. Maybe it will be cooler there.


I recently made contact with another distant genealogical cousin. My grandmother was her great-grandfather’s sister … so her grandmother was my father’s cousin. I keep finding these folks whose great-grandparents were my cousins or some such.  Talk about feeling old …

But it is fun to make connections.


Didn’t think I’d be watching the Olympics … but I had been a swimmer when I was young and the possibilities caught me. I’m glad I got to see some of those races.

And from there I got caught by the gymnasts.

A cousin is a tract aficinado so then I found myself there. We’ve been watching on NBC. All that time spent and I’m not really a “sports” person.

Oh well …




The hummers are here is full force.  So far, I’ve been able to get a picture of only two at a time even though there are times when seven or eight are active overhead.



Last year, when he was here, Paul got really involved with the clock at the foot of the stairs.  It has always been a favorite with his siblings. It chimes every fifteen minutes.  George and I don’t hear it unless we are listening for it.  But for the first couple of days he is here, Paul hears it every fifteen minutes. 

On the Stairs


Sometimes he sits on the bottom step … waiting.




Had a bit of a problem with the water system tuesday. The pump stopped pumping.  Gave me a bit of a scare.  At the moment we are without an extra pump.  That will be remedied SOON so we don’t get caught.

The problem, rather than being a bad pump, was a single connection.  George got it fixed quickly.

Then, a couple of hours later, it happened again. Again fixed easily and quickly.

Third time it happened, I was getting a bit concerned (again) and also a bit upset that the fixes weren’t lasting.  But that time it got really fixed.  I don’t know electricity and its ins and outs, but I am told wires got scraped, re-twisted, and sealed. All has been well ever since.

I still don’t know why it came undone repeatedly. Oh well …


Today will be a busy day, so I’m getting this done early. The sun isn’t really up yet.17 August 2016

And that’s it for now …


Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”      –Friedrich Nietzsche



So …’til next week …