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.                         





16 September …


Another week gone … busier than I had anticipated.


We had been gifted with apples (so far enough for two pies, two coffee cakes, two apple-honey challahs, a Philly apple cake, and two batches of cinnamon-apple rolls in the freezer as well as a Pink Adobe Pie, a coffee cake, and a monster apple-honey challah – plus plenty for eating and sharing), pomegranates (eating ecstasy and jelly to come plus sharing with a Jewish friend for Rosh Hashanah ), dates (George’s eating joy), and GARLIC … so the kitchen was busy.


The monster challah was because I tried a new recipe which said to make the loaf round in a ring pan … that didn’t seem right for goy challah, so I braided it … I won’t do that again.

The start of planning for the radio club’s participation in the Dunsmuir Elementary School’s “Run for the Arts” half-marathon began with an organizational meeting last thursday. So far, things are under control. More will be solidified at the meeting this evening.

The radio club swap meet and potluck was a full day.Swap Meet

I didn’t have much to do with the swapping part, but George enjoyed it. A non-member guest was quite interesting … Little Bear. More about him later.



The potluck food was tasty and there was plenty of it … but no deviled eggs.


The conversation was engaging, even for non-technical me. And no one said anything about me being the only female there. Guess I am now officially one-of-the-boys privy even to discussions of prostate and bladder problems.

Only bad part (as with all these saturday events) was I missed hearing the San Francisco Opera’s version of “Norma”.  I’ll miss their “… Ballo …” on the 26th as well. Ah, the sacrifices I make for “health and welfare”.

Oh well … next time.



The hummers have left for the winter, but there are still flocks of geese on the lowering reservoir … stopover on their way south even if the reservoir is mostly mud.

                The sound of a wedge

                Of geese overhead

                Once heard, never forgotten.


You know you live in a less than metropolitan area when the biggest news for the last two weeks has been the opening of a burger joint. It even took precedence over the fires !?!


I’ve been reading again (surprised?). This time the news article was about a school at which all employees are working with no promise of being paid. How can this happen in a country where government is charged with educating the people?

Maybe it’s time for the people to pass laws saying no legislator or administrator, at any level,  gets paid (or gets time off) until ALL bills and obligations are paid.


My younger son had to release his companion Loki last week. The vet told him it was cancer and there was no way to extend her life, only to relieve her agony.

It is wrenching to have to perform that service, but one of the most loving acts we do.

I remember when Darby left us and so can cry with my son.


I was at the local Farmers’ Market on monday and saw an encouraging addition this year. The market management tent has a table where food support recipients can exchange card credit for chits to be used at the market. That means the credit used is being spent on good, fresh food … no chips or alcohol available at the Farmers’ Market.


A bit ago I received a couple of “cartoons” featuring Maxine. They were supposed to be funny and patriotic. I found them jingoistic (as seems to be the current fashion … “to profess patriotism loudly and excessively; bellicose chauvinism” as per the dictionary) and was unable to just ignore them.

In the first, Maxine makes a point of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with “UNDER GOD” in BIG, BLACK letters.

I preceded my response by saying it might brand me a malcontent, but …

When I was young we pledged allegiance to the country PERIOD. It didn’t become a nation “under God” until the disgraceful McCarthy era in the early 50s. One of my forefathers (Thomas Lawhorn) signed a petition in October of 1776 addressed to the then Governor of Virginia Thomas Jefferson, with which Jefferson agreed, titled the “10,000 Name Petition”. It called for full separation of church (i.e. religion) and state, an idea which was later written into the new Constitution. I will not recite the “McCarthy” words in part because I don’t know to which God I would be pledging allegiance … the intolerant McCarthy one?

In the other cartoon, Maxine said something to the effect that if you’re going to burn the flag make sure you’re wrapped in it.

I responded … The rules regarding proper flag protocol state burning is the only proper way to dispose of the flag. I’ve seen my Daddy burn a flag. He was a soul-deep, true patriot without any of the excess currently in favor. In addition, flag protocol states it is not acceptable to wear the flag. I cringe, especially at the 4th of July, when I see young women flaunting boobs and booty wrapped in stars and stripes, or babies and children drooling and smearing food on “cute” shirts made of stars and stripes, or fat bottoms sitting (and possibly farting) on shorts or pants also made of stars and stripes. Wearing the flag, possibly other than as a lapel pin or as a picture on an opinion button, is not patriotism. It is a disregard for the flag and, by inference, for the country for which the flag stands and is many times worse than burning, even when the burning is done in protest. Burning is less disrespectful than sweating on or drooling on or messing on or farting on the symbol of our country.

For these reasons I cannot agree that Maxine’s statements were “very eloquently put”, unless the aim was to point out how lack of knowledge or thought can be insulting.


Still on a political note … a poll last week showed that Trump would beat any Democrat in next year’s election.

A character diagnosis in the book I recently read cited a character as having “narcissistic personality disorder” with “pathological egotism”.

Electing Trump might well be the best thing that could happen. He would disgrace the GOP and the country almost immediately making the US the laughing stock of the world and destroying any influence we have in world affairs.

That could be good because before any improving change can occur, it most often must be preceded by collapse. A door needs to close before the new door can open.

Bring in the clowns …


Now … to quote Mort Sahl from long ago … is there anyone I haven’t yet offended?



Waiting for Rain

It rained a bit last monday. This morning we are waiting for more.

The colours of autumn are starting.VA Creeper


Virginia Creeper …Red Maple

                                         The red Maple …

We’re in the High Holy Days … “Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.”


Son John and his partner will be here next week. They will help with setting up a new printer for the computers, with some farm safety chores, and with restocking the 7-11  for the winter with goodies from the Olive Pit.

And, OF COURSE, refilling my hugs-and-kisses box.

Kaloo Kalay and Chocolate both².


To end the week …


“The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it.”              Chinese Proverb


and …


“Keep moving. It not only confuses them, it makes it hard for them to get you in their sights.”         Anonymous


So … ’til next week …




Getting last week’s blog posted was really an adventure. All the trouble had to do with something my son called a “replicating virus”.

Oh well …


Autumn is upon us in many ways … some expected, some not.

Dawn is coming later and dusk earlier (the ladies are in their house and up on the perch by 1930).

The hummers are mostly gone. I’ve left out one feeder just in case. It will come down in a week or so.

The fawns have lost their spots.

The sand cranes are still in the meadow. They were right beside the drive entrance one day last week. Such majestic birds … and so grating on the ears. However, it was just the pair. The fledglings are gone.


Follow-up with George’s back and hip has been determined. The neurologist said he didn’t see anything which caused him to” jump up out of his chair” (and that’s a quote) to order immediate surgery or intervention … and George’s VA medical provider said “Whew”.

The current regime calls for continuing the joint specific supplements, adding back stretches to his daily routine (to re-train his muscles as to how they are supposed to function), gradually lowering the back on the lounge chair in which he is currently sleeping with a goal of getting him back in a real bed, using the pain pills as needed, and a follow-up appointment in October.

We’re both still doing well for a pair closing in on 90. George says he plans on living until he is the last of the WW II vets.


Further thought in re which performer dictates style when sharing work on a piece of musical art … who decides, a singer or the conductor? a dancer or the conductor? the choreographer or the dancer or the conductor? the director or the choreographer or the dancer or the conductor?

I suppose it doesn’t really matter to anyone other than the artists involved.

However, in answer to last week’s question about soloist vs conductor … a friend of a friend gave me some answers. The friend of my friend played French horn professionally, including with one of the major symphonies in Australia, and his wife is a pianist … so he has backstory for his reply.

“… soloists and conductors usually work together on interpretation, though it is generally the orchestra and conductor’s responsibility to work within the soloist’s overall concept of the piece.  There are conductors who are famous and beloved by soloists as “accompanying conductors”, and others who are famously combative with soloists.  Of course all this varies depending on the personalities involved.  A young pianist may welcome performing with a great orchestra and conductor as a learning and developing experience, while conductors  –  even famous ones  –  usually defer almost completely to big time opera singers.  I also imagine that by now there is not a conductor in the world who would argue with Itzhak Perlman.

Men’s wear in most orchestras is usually very specifically described, often within the orchestra contract.  Women are usually asked to wear something like “appropriate black concert attire”, which these days may include dresses or pant suits.  My sense is that there are rarely conflicts about women’s wear, though I do remember a very busty cellist who was once asked to raise her necklines in order to minimize her distracting décolletage.

While many conductors consider it a point of honor to wear the same “uniform” as the orchestra, I have noticed in recent years that many young conductors wear modern variants of traditional concert attire.   For example, Yanick Nezet-Seguin, the current music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has a closet full of beautifully tailored modern formal suits but rarely wears a necktie, and when he does it’s usually a long tie rather than a bow tie.

The growing number of women conductors mostly wear what I would call feminized versions of men’s formal wear. I’m given to understand that conducting in a dress presents a number of, er, logistical challenges, it can be distracting to the audience, but you still see it from time to time.

I found his response so interesting I thought I’d share (with his permission, of course). After all, where else are you exposed to such profound trivia?

Thank you, Craig, for the response. It triggered more thoughts.

I was particularly interested in the bit about the attire of women conductors. That hit home since it didn’t take me long to switch from skirts to pants when I started work as an emergency nurse. Can you visualize a nurse on her knees up on a gurney (been there – done that) … or on her knees on the ground (done that too) … with her rear in the air administering CPR?  Just a bit distracting as well as extremely undignified, even if you have great booty.


Last week I read an essay about “dark ages”. The premise was that disdain for knowledge is the trigger for descent into a dark age; that erasing knowledge of what existed before thereby creating an absence of not only knowledge but of memory as well needs to be seen as the precursor.

A premise worth further thought …




Up in Medford, there is a business whose commercials on the local telly station always make me smile in spite of the fact I will most likely never use their services.

They have been in business for over 60 years. Their company name is “Father and Sons Jewelers”. They buy and sell jewelry and precious metals.

What catches my attention is that the patriarch of the family is just plain fun. It would be a good bet that he was probably a grandson when the business was established … BUT he had a daughter who had a daughter.

Their commercials are always interesting. At the 4th this year, Dad/Grandpa dressed in an Uncle Sam hat holding a sparkler and did a little dance to Yankee Doodle while being watched, with slight head-shaking, by two Lady Liberty statues. Last Christmas, he was a rather frayed Santa who was rejuvenated by a pair of wand waving elves.

You get the idea.

Currently Dad/Grandpa is a solemn business man assuring you that you will be treated honestly and fairly by “Father and SONS” with all transactions taking place out in the open … no backroom weighing. He stands between the girls who are watching him intently. He is so sincere it isn’t until the daughter gives him a pie in the face and he says (while wiping off the shaving cream) “This was supposed to be a dignified commercial” that you notice the girls are wearing big, black mustaches and the daughter points to her mustache saying “And this is dignified?”

I may stop in sometime when we are in Medford just to tell them how much I enjoy their commercials.


Last week’s reading included articles about racism and prejudice, both purposeful and unconscious, which got me thinking about myself.

I consider myself to be without group prejudice. I do hold prejudices against individuals based on personal interactions or publically exhibited behavior.

So it struck me as interesting when I realized I was aware of the increasing number of non-whites on the television we watch. What struck me was not any opinion concerning the change but that I notice. I found myself wishing it were so common place I didn’t notice at all.


Cooking is prominent this week … including a lesson in faith and trust.

Despair over no garden this year and the loss of the supplier of tomatoes for preserving (sauce and salsa and Ruby’s soup) led to a request put out into the universe. Ask and you will receive. Last friday a friend whose garden (up in Oregon) did well this year called to say she is unable to handle her tomato crop, would I please take them so they don’t go to waste.


Fel & Steve 8 Sept 2015


Friends stopped by yesterday … ribs, sauté green beans, green salad, fresh hot bread, watermelon, or ice cream with central valley peaches/Happy Camp blackberries and cookies




Radio club swap meet and potluck coming up this weekend … green salad, tamale pie, and brownies. Others are bringing beef something, pizzas, pilaf, pie and who knows what else. I hope someone brings deviled eggs.


Recently finished reading a book from the NPR list … “In a Dark, Dark Wood” … a Gothic style mystery. I grok Gothic … lots of build-up and atmosphere. This book had an interesting non-ending. It’s worth an hour or two.


A thought on Random Acts of Kindness, Ripples, and the Butterfly
Effect …

Rabbi Nachum Braverman writes, “On Rosh Hashana we make an accounting of our year and we pray repeatedly for life. How do we justify another year of life? What did we do with the last year? Has it been a time of growth, of insight and of caring for others? Did we make use of our time, or did we squander it? Has it truly been a year of life, or merely one of mindless activity? This is the time for evaluation and rededication.”

L’Shana Tovah and Aleichem Shalom …


Last wednesday, clouds began to build over the Eddys …

2 September 2015

and the Mountain welcomed the rain last friday evening … drops large enough to bang on the chimney topper.

Pre-dawn 9 September 2015

Weather this morning is clear … but no sunrise yet.


… and your “ponder” for the week …


Dancing is dreaming with your feet.


I’m sure I was a dancer in a previous incarnation. I can feel the movements while watching … just can’t do it this time around.


So … ’til next week …



I am still trying to get used to the new computer and internet stuff. My son is helping me, but I’m afraid I’m not a fast learner where computers are involved.

Oh well …


Last saturday we had a very short burst of precipitation. It feels a bit presumptuous to call it rain since there wasn’t enough to wet the ground under the big trees. The bulk of the “storm” front went to the north … Portland and Seattle had a good go. Regardless, it did clear the air and things smelled nice.

It broke the spell of dry and overly warm.

There have been some interesting side results of the weather. Several years ago, back when our springs and autumns were wet and winters snowy, I bought a slew of Dollar Tree umbrellas in plastic sleeves. I stashed them all over the place … beside each door, in the side pockets of the cars, in my carry-ons such as my radio purse, in my shopping bags, etc. I went to move one of them a couple of days ago and the plastic sleeve crumbled to small pieces in my hand. I didn’t try to open the umbrella. Guess I should. I may need to get some new ones.


Newest on the amateur radio front is that we recently received communication from the City of Mt Shasta about emergency planning. Years ago, George had put together a list of hams and their equipment available for communication in case the south county has road closures due to snow (such as we used to have every couple of years), a massive freeway accident incident, a wildfire, or even if the Mountain blows. The list he had provided was drastically outdated!

I spoke with the “Mt Shasta Police Department Dispatch Records Manager” to determine their needs. Turns out they just want to know approximately how many hams would be available and who to call in order to activate them. I guess news reports about hams being first on the air following a disaster, as well as on the air when cell phones are useless, has been noted and more people are acknowledging that cell phones are not the end-all solution. Folks who run the summer events learned that a few years ago.

I gave the city (and through them the entire south county) our current membership list with contact officers noted. At the next club meeting the club will be determining our role as a club and individual roles as well.


The smoke situation had been much the same until the “rain” … light haze most days. The smoke had been traveling north up Hwy 3 from Trinity County through Etna and then northeast along the Klamath River, so Happy Camp and Yreka were the ones in the unhealthy air zone.


Water level in the reservoir continues to drop.Durney MillThe mill pilings are now clearly visible … and note the dead trees.


A few months ago, when George was really out-of-commission, the batteries in our power bank were allowed to go dry. That is DEATH for batteries.

When we discovered why we were having trouble maintaining adequate power (this was before the creek began to go dry because of the extended time without rain), the batteries were filled again and plans made to replace the ruined ones (at over $120 each). I know little or nothing about the power system. I now know to check the batteries regularly and keep the water level up.

But it wasn’t as bad as we initially thought. George began researching and discovered that the new generation of batteries can be renewed from such a catastrophe. It is called something like “desulphating” and involves applying a heavy charge to the affected units thereby blasting the accumulated sulphur off the battery walls (but don’t quote me on that since I am not a battery mavin).

For about three weeks George has had the generator running several hours each day zapping the battery bank. That cost a pretty penny in gasoline but not near as much as replacing all those batteries would have cost.

We are now back in optimum working condition … with new awareness of the importance of water to our power situation.


George is being careful with his back … but yesterday he felt able to drop a leaning tree for firewood. I was out there, ostensibly to take pictures.

Dropping a tree is always exciting. I listen for the first creak which means wood fibers are breaking.

I did take pictures …


the start of the cut …Break

the first creak …


and down …


Spinzilla is just around the corner … midnight 4-5 October through midnight 11-12 October. Donna at the WebSters in Ashland is again sponsoring a team. It costs ten dollars to register, but this year Donna paid for twenty-five spinners so I’m not sure whether she wants to collect from us or is writing it off to public relations.

Last year, the Woolery gave a BIG discount to any Spinzilla spinner who bought fiber from them (I still have some carded Merino which I want to use to experiment with shaded dyeing). This year more retailers are doing something similar, including Donna. So I wouldn’t mind paying the ten dollars. I’d probably get more than that back in discounts and have enough fiber to hold me clear through winter and into summer.

spinningSome of the fiber I will be spinning this year arrived yesterday. Getting it this early allows me plenty of time to get it all drafted and ready to spin.

It is more of that Blue-faced Leister with silk and bamboo from the Fiber Imp in Alberta, Canada. I have begun spinning it, but just a couple of ounces, in order to average the length I spin per ounce so I will have a handle on counting my yards spun during THE week. What I spin now won’t count toward my Spinzilla entry.

I have about a quarter pound and plan to get at least another half pound. Even if it doesn’t get used during Spinzilla, it won’t go to waste. I already have my eye on a shawl pattern for it. Maybe even an entry in next year’s county fair. 

My total for Spinzilla last year was about 3.5 miles (6,192 yards). I’ll do better this year and I’ll do it all on my own … without working long hours (there was one spinner back east who averaged 12 hours a day) or having others do the scut work like wrapping yarn onto a niddy noddy to count length. Can you tell I was a bit miffed at the spinner in Blue Lake who had her children doing all the additional stuff, including preparing meals, so all she had to do was spin?

Oh well …


Last week, On PBS’ “Great Performances”, we watched the summer concert of the Weiner Philharmoniker (the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra). It was heavy this year with Scandinavian composers, mainly Grieg and Sibelius. It must be some anniversary or other … I don’t know what.

We enjoyed the hour and a half. But as I listened, my mind wandered a bit and left me with several things to ponder.

Much of the music was familiar and that made me think how lucky I was to be exposed to “classical” music so early in my life. I was young during WW II when most of the men, including musicians and composers, were in the service (back then there was a universal draft … not a collection of volunteers … so most everyone went). As a result, movie music leaned heavily on the old reliables. I heard Tchaikovsky and Chopin and Grieg and Rachmaninoff and Bizet and Rossini and deFalla and Brahms and Lehar and Mozart and Rimsky-Korsakoff and Verdi and the Strausses and so many others. I even had to take a music appreciation class my first semester at Cal.

I was blessed.

Young people nowadays would have to look hard for that music (unless they have elders who force it on them). Classical music radio stations have almost entirely disappeared, so what the young hear day to day is rap and hiphop and Gaga and Beiber and Cyrus and so many others whose names and music I don’t know because I don’t appreciate their offerings … not that all of it is worthless, but a lot of it is degrading and dis-ing (and alarmingly misogynistic). The young are missing so much.

Another thought was … when performing a concerto for a single instrument and orchestra, who makes the final decision about style and meter etc, … the soloist or the conductor? One piece on last friday’s program was Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. The soloist was Rudoph Bukbinder. The conductor was Zubin Mehta. The pace was a bit different from the sound I carry in my head (it’s like when I hear Gershwin’s Rhapsody or the Concerto in F, I always compare it to the Oscar Levant recordings I played over and over and over and still love). and I wonder who decided … Bukbinder or Mehta?

Another thought (question?) … now that there are increasing numbers of women in the big orchestras, who decides how they dress for performance? In some orchestras they wear black formal dresses of any and all styles, in others their dresses are of a mix of colours. In the Weiner Philharmoniker, they were in black suits like the men, but with black shirts (blouses?) and without white ties. Interesting.

I didn’t miss a note, even though my thoughts shared space with the music.

And did I mention I was spinning?


Sunrise is getting later …Sunrise 2 Sept 2015

Eddy - 2 Sept 2015and the view is clear this morning.


Time for the thought for the week …


If you look for the light, you can find it.

If you look for the dark, that is all you will see.


So …

                ’til next week …

26 August 2015

A bit late, but …

Welcome to the new blog spot. Hope you like the new look.

Let’s get started …



On our way out to and back from the MSARC meeting last wednesday, a couple of things caught my eye.

All along the road there are climate stressed trees … both evergreen and deciduous. The evergreens have patches of brown and some have fallen victim to pine beetles. The deciduous, such as the dogwoods and birches, have begun to make the change to autumn colours early.

The reservoir water level has dropped dramatically in a very short time. We are already seeing the rock pilings for the old Durney Creek lumber mill. The reservoir will most likely be dry (again) in less than a month.

The waxing new moon was redder than any eclipse I’ve ever seen which made for a rather eerie sky.

Even the red wire swamp grass, which indicates water less than a foot below ground level, is dry and brown.


We learned the TinMan Triathlon, which has been a Labor Day fixture in the radio club summer schedule for too many years to remember (actually 30), has been cancelled. It is not clear whether that decision is a one-year thing or a from-now-on thing. I suspect, sadly, it is the latter.

The event was cancelled last year because the water level in Lake Siskiyou was too low to allow for the swimming part of the event. This year (with less than two and a half weeks to go) there have been only 11 sign-ups, the air quality has been mostly not good, and the water level is no better than it was last year.

Chalk up another loss to climate change.

Too bad. That was my yearly indulgence in hardcore black coffee (Navy style, i.e. peel the enamel off your teeth) and bad-for-you pastry. Poor me.

Oh well …


Last saturday we did the radio coverage for the Headwaters event. The air quality had been really awful for more than a week and I was afraid the event would go the way of the TinMan, but the air cleared (mostly) and the event went off well. It is still small (fewer than 100 runners overall), but every runner had nothing but praise … for support, for the feed, for the course … and word of mouth will spread.
There were 10 drop-outs during the long race. Only one was injured. The rest had just over-estimated their current ability. There was one finisher who said it was a more difficult run than he had anticipated. He was using this run as warm-up for another run next month and decided it should have been the other way around.

Brace Runner

One of the 10K “runners” was wearing a brace on one leg. He finished last (his wife ran the 50K), but he was smiling and was ahead of all us who didn’t even start.

At one point a herd of deer came out of the woods heading for a drink at the lake. As they were returning to the woods, there were three bucks (with rather impressive racks) strolling across the trail as a runner came around the corner. The runner decided challenging the bucks’ right-of-way was not a good idea and stopped to wait. Good decision, I think. Those racks really were impressive.

Two runners had brought dogs to run with them (with the approval of the organizers and with instructions to keep their dogs on leashes and carry “pick up” bags). As one runner-dog combo reached the High Divide station, the radio operators reported the runner’s number followed by number K-9. Gave me a giggle.

I guess I’m missing Darby. Sunday morning I dreamt about a pup choosing me.

The one dark spot in the day was that the opera was “Thais” … and I missed it. The Meditation is a favorite of mine.


We were in Medford last monday for a retinologist appointment. What an interesting day.

We saw a new doctor. The practice is so big they added a doctor trained at the NIH in Washington DC. He is YOUNG, skinny and tall (built like a runner) with big hands and feet (reminded me of a puppy not yet grown to match the size of his paws), soft spoken (but a bit distant), clear, ready to answer questions, and hyper-concerned about infection rates.

Once he had George’s eye prepped and propped open, ready for the injection, talking was forbidden. He had told George that once things were ready, he was not to talk. I thought the reason was movement of George’s head. I spoke aloud and was immediately hushed and an extra drop of antiseptic was put in George’s eye.

When the injection was complete, the doctor explained the majority of infections following this type of treatment were caused by agents found in the mouth and nose and he prefers no talking in order to reduce the risk of aerosol droplets. I apologized for speaking since I didn’t understand the instructions or the reason behind them. The doctor was gracious.

Seems a bit extreme to me. If that is a real concern, why weren’t we all wearing masks? But he’s young and enthusiastic. Only drawback that I can see is that George’s eye wept more than usual and was glued shut tuesday morning (probably the extra Betadine – I won’t speak out again). But George liked him, so all is well.

The smoke situation was quite varied. Here at home the air was clear … clearer than it has been in quite some time.

Smoke LayerAs we went north, we could see the layer of smoke.

By Yreka, visibility was about a mile, then it cleared slightly.

But as we dropped down into the Rogue Valley … bad air time. The smoke was so thick (probably coming up the Hwy 3 corridor from the fires in Trinity and other counties) we weren’t able to see the surrounding mountains in any direction. George commented that we might as well have been in Kansas.

Air quality in southern Oregon and Yreka has been in the “Dangerous” zone for many days.

One thing I noticed was that Oregon’s trees are having as hard a time as ours … stressed and dead. In the past, Oregon didn’t have a water problem. This year is different.


Still, here at Cold Comfort there are subtle signs of renewal (that’s a new tree growing in the heart of a tree burned out in the last big fire).


The anniversary of the birth of Ray Bradbury was last saturday. He would have been 95. What a mind! 

Once, when asked why he wrote science fiction, his reply was …

“The way to teach in this world is to pretend you’re not teaching. Science fiction offers the chance to pretend to look the other way while teaching. Science fiction is also a great way to pretend you are writing about the future when in reality you are attacking the recent past and the present. You can criticize any clear and present danger, and they can’t imagine you are writing about them.”
— Ray Bradbury, Playboy interview (1996)

A very good reason to read scifi … starting with Bradbury followed by Asimov.


Jimmy Carter is continuing to give us life lessons. His life since his “loss” to Reagan has been an example of real Christianity … do for others rather than make as much money as you can. I don’t begrudge him his pension at all, although I can’t say the same for the others.

Now he is sharing lessons in grace and acceptance. I see the notes on FaceBook asking for prayers for healing. He doesn’t need prayers for healing. He’s fine. He’s not worried about his credentials. I get the impression his only regret is leaving Rosalynn.

So … thank you, Mr. President. May you have a mercy journey.


26 August 2015

The morning sun on Mt Eddy and in the meadow was clear and lovely this morning …

Purple Beauties

and the beautiful, small, purple aster-like meadow flowers are in bloom.

So …

Feel a sense of awe by frequently contemplating the size and complexity of the universe.

‘Til next week …