28 October …


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


The ladies are now up on the roost about 1800. 

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

Boo …



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


Had a couple of medical appointments this week …

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Will you be dressing up for Hallowe’en?


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


‘Til next week …





21 October …


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned.


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

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

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

Never a dull moment.


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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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


And on the subject of heroes …

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

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

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

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

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

Two heroes in one day … wow.

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

So we made it home and all is under control.


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

20 October 2015

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


So, ’til next week …


Great adventures begin each time you open the door …





14 October …


Spinzilla 2015   5966 yds


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



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

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

But …

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

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

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

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

Oh well …

~~~Run Morning

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

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

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

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

Wood Sorting


But now the chore is preparations for winter.  

Woodshed Inside


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Morning Sky

Clouds this morning so no overall dawn light. 

14 Oct 2015


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


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

Emeril Lagasse


So … ’til next week …





7 October …


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

(Underlining mine)


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


And that’s about all for now.

But here’s a great word to remember …

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


So … ’til next week …