25 November …

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

Home 25 Nov 2014

Kaloo Kalay !!!


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

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

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


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

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

But necessity rules.

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

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


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

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

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


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

Road Kill



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




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

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


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

Snow Fog

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

Approaching the Summit

and snow.

Coming home 

Appoaching home 24 Nov 2015

this  awaited us …

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

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


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

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

I already have ham for New Year’s.

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

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

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

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


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

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


Rainbow Fiber

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




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

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

The ladies are up on the roost by 1645 nowadays.

25 Nov 2015  -  1

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


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


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


Anne Frank


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


Interesting, no???



So … ’til next week …








18 November …

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

Sorry …

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


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

PreDawnWe had to leave home before dawn …

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sunday Snow

And sunday morning it began to snow …

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

16 Nov 2015

Monday morning was lovely …

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


Last Apple


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


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

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

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

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

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

Things are changing … kvetch … kvetch … kvetch.


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

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

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

Solution for me is to stay well.





Yesterday there was a leftover in the backyard …





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

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

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

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

The rise of unthinking fundamentalism …

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

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

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

I realize these thoughts are negatively simplistic. 

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

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

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


And so … ’til next week …






10 November …


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


Weather has definitely turned.


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

Eddys' First Snow

and there is snow on the Eddys …

Green Rose


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


(These pictures are from last weekend)





Rake in the Fog

Then this morning is foggy …

George's Panthers foggy … 

Trees in Fogfoggy …


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

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

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

Nora's Lily



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


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


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

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

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

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

Maybe …

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

That made me realize I was judging.

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Point of view, perception, is everything.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Holiday Cactus 


Then saturday …





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

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

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

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


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


So, ’til next week …

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





4 November …


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

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

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


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

Golden Birch



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



Plum & Apricot

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

Eddys' First Snow

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

Mountain 3

and snow on the Mountain …

Mountain 4


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

However …

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


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

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

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

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

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


On the subject of birds …

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

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

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

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

Three ladies. Hooray …


And continuing with birds …Woodpecker

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

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

Nature at work.


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

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

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


I love words !!!



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

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

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


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

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

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

I am blessed.


The thought for the week …


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

Neil Gaiman


So, ’til next week …