30 March …


Eric and Julie are due to arrive sometime saturday afternoon.  We have met Julie only once … when she visited us in Northridge on their honeymoon.  We are looking forward to establishing connections.

They are to be here for two days only.  Not a lot of time.  We will be doing some sightseeing.  Watch for photos.


FigI can’t recall (and don’t have time to go check) if I showed you the new growth on the fig …


the narcissus at the front door …Daffodills


and the blooms on the apricot.Apricot Buds


Clear-cutting in Oregon has become a controversy.  Those in charge of timbering want to clear cut last year’s fire areas. 

Environmentalists and native tribes say “no” since it would invite erosion and landslides and further endanger salmon spawning. 

At least the opposition is no longer being swept under the carpet.  It is being heard.  Maybe better land management will happen.

Coming home from Medford last monday, we could see clear cut areas because of the overnight snow.  They show up as large flat white areas inside forested areas.  And they are appearing in some areas of California as well.


The monday Medford trip to the retinologist started with snow.

28 March 2016

Overnight we had about 2″.Hummer Feeder 



The hummer feeders which I put out last week were decorated, and the truck needed to be cleared.Truck Monday Morning




However, it is spring and it was gone by the time we got home.

In the Ashland-Medford area, the plum trees are all blossoming.  Time for the Plum Blossom Festival and Run.


I’ve been having trouble with my oven.  I’ve had this range for quite some time and lately the oven has been taking a looooooooong time to heat (and more and more often it just doesn’t heat), the temperature is not always accurate when it does heat … and the whole process has gotten VERY frustrating.  So I began looking for a replacement. 

I remember the ranges when I was young … a small oven, a large oven, a broiler, a warming oven, four burners, maybe a pot storage drawer … a real cook’s range, and they cost about $200.

I thought I would like to have at least two ovens … one large for the holiday turkey and cookie sheets, and one small when all I want to bake is a pie or a small casserole for the two of us.


To get the basic range I wanted the price starts at $1,200 and goes up from there all the way to $6,000.

I’ve been thinking about the current expectations and wondering what changed.  I think it was the 60s and 70s when housewives started using prepared foods rather than cooking … just peel off the covering and put it in the microwave … just dump it into a bowl, add water, and heat … recipes began with “1 box of xxx or 1 package of xxx” … or just don’t bother with any of that, have someone pick up take-out on their way home.

What a loss. 

It appeared I would have to settle for a stove in my price range with just one big oven, four burners, and maybe a broiler.

Oh well …

But monday, while we were in Oregon for George’s monthly visit to the retinologist, we stopped by Sears to look at their ranges.  What we found was their annual sale of stoves had just begun. 

Surprise … Coincidence?  Or a gift?  Or both?

When we said we needed a new stove, the sales person said she needed a sale and we all laughed.  She showed us her range of ranges starting with the cheapest.  We looked, took her information, and told her we’d think about it and get back to her.

As we were walking out of the store we began comparing what we had seen with the two others we had been considering … advantages and prices.  Before we reached the outside door we agreed, turned around, and went back to the appliances department.

We bought a high price range for nearly 40% off which put it within our purse.  Still only one oven (with warm holding and dough rising settings, a window, a broiler, and self-cleaning), 5 burners (fast boil, simmer-slow cooker, oblong griddle, and two others), stainless at no added cost, and a three-year warranty including what they call a “lemon” clause (i.e. more than three service calls in the first year and you get an entirely new range).

We go get it next week.  I’ll be using it by the 8th.  Kaloo Kalay !!!


Tyler turned 19 last thursday.  As usual, we called to sing the birthday song to him.

30 March 2016

Today is lovely and we’ll be singing to Mark later (my younger son turns 46 today).

They never get too big or too old to be sung to.  And when family is here this summer, we’ll have birthday parties.


… following the fortuitous events of the last few days, this rings so true … 

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way.


So … ’til next week …





23 March …


Radio Club report …

16 March 2016 EveningThis was the view on the way into town that evening …

Then at the meeting we learned one of the members will be teaching a class for obtaining a tech license.  He plans on the first two saturdays in May and asked members to help.  George and I will be participating.  I’ll be talking about the importance (and fun) of public service events (surprised?). 

We still don’t know what George will be doing.

On another note, we may have only five public service events this year.  The use of bicycle events for fundraisers may be past. The TinMan Triathlon was cancelled two years ago due to smoke and the drought.  Now word is that the Mt Shasta Summit Century Bicycle Event in which riders climb four of our peaks (Parks Creek up to the Pacific Crest Trail in the Eddys, Mumbo Crest in back of Castle Crags, Castle Lake above Lake Siskiyou, and THE Mountain) may be cancelled.  It had been impacted by wildfire smoke the last two years and participation was down.  If it is indeed cancelled, that will leave our August free since I just got word that the Headwaters Run has moved from the end of August to the first of October.

The first planning meeting for the Castle Crags event was last monday so that event is still on track.  That event is sponsored by the Mt Shasta Rotary and they had a surprise for us.  They appreciate our help, especially in tracking participants and the SAG wagons, and wanted to help increase our efficiency.  They gave us enough money to create another GO Kit, i.e. a self-contained grab-it-and-go radio and location tracking kit.  The club now has three such kits available to members in case of participation in an event or, more importantly, an emergency.     WooHoo …

Even though the times in regard to bicycle events seem to be   a-changin’, the club will still have enough training chances, so we’re not worried.


I was at the Family History Center last thursday.  There were three people waiting for us when we arrived at 1100.

It turned out they are all working on the same project … a history of Catholics in south Siskiyou County.

Marty and I spent interesting time listening to the information they have so far as well as looking at some really interesting pictures of the area from as long ago as before the Civil War.  We did some brainstorming concerning where there might be more information available.

The first BIG problem we had to get them past was the one we run into a lot … “I looked and couldn’t find anything so there must not be anything to find.”

We did some encouraging, some suggesting, and even some teaching such as that asking for a “plOt” map is not the same as asking for a “plAt‘ map.  By the time they left they had three places to search further and seemed ready to do it. 

And two of them were showing interest in doing their own family history.

Marty and I were a bit proud of ourselves.


One evening last week.  George and I watched “Still Alice”. We’re both nearly 90, so chances of us developing Alzheimer’s is not great … it usually hits before this age. 

Years ago, during a discussion about death in which I cited my Nana, who lived to be within in week of 107, I decided I’d prefer to lose my memories before I became physically disabled rather than be clear thinking while trapped in an inert or unmanageable body.  Sort of like not remembering isn’t too bad as long as you don’t know that you don’t remember.

Nana spent the last several (maybe the last 5) of her years living back in 1916 when her husband was hale and hearty, she had a nice house which he had built for her, her mother and sisters lived nearby, and her daughters were 8 and 6 years old.  She no longer knew me other than as a nice grey-haired lady who came to visit.  But she was content.

“Still Alice” pointed out that ultimately Alzheimer’s may not be bad for the one with the disease, but it can be devastating for those who love them.  It is such a heartbreaker. 

At any rate, it is a well-acted film and well-done.  I was struck by the lead-in to the closing credits.  They were preceded by the film’s original title which gradually faded away.

No wonder it won awards.

For next week’s films we go back to Regency England (Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”) and to the roaring twenties (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”).


Here’s a bit of kitchen advice …

Don’t let limes sit too long before you try to slice them. 

I got a bag of Persian limes at CostCo last time we were in Medford.  I used some in salmon cooking.  I juiced some and froze the juice for summer drinks.  and I sort of forgot about the rest. 

A few days ago, I saw them and realized I needed to use them.  I decided to zest and juice them for a pie and some curd.  Things went well for the first five or so … then there was one with a more solid skin than the others. 

The peel on all the limes had gotten dry and hard, but this one was super hard. When I took it in my left hand to hold it while I sliced it, I was a bit more cautious … just not enough more cautious. 

My nice sharp chef’s knife bounced off and I now have a small nick near the nail on the long finger of my left hand … and a rather severe, uncomfortable  angled slice over the first joint of my left thumb.  It is a good thing that cut wasn’t straight on or I might have damaged a joint and/or tendon.

I managed to not bleed into the zest or juice, so if I give you any, you don’t need to worry.

George is rather awkward with bandaging but he was able to help get the thumb wound covered to stop the bleeding and push the flap down to seal.  It is healing nicely.

Lesson #1 … As when you break a small toe, you don’t realize how much you use any small digit until that digit is out of commission.

Lesson #2 … When you have a lot of limes, do something with them before their peel gets hard.


A young couple I know have been living through a normal part of existence which is one of the hardest parts of life … one which we normally need not face until we are much older than my friends.

I have not blogged about it at any length since it is not yet my journey.  However, she has been posting about their journey and I feel a need to share.

It is a heart-breaker which she is handling (and sharing) with grace and strength, so be aware that if you choose to read … you’ll need tear catchers.



Apricot Buds

Buds are showing on the lilacs, the red maple, and the apricot.  Iris leaves are popping up in the front and back yards, and out where the driveway meets the road, but it is way too early (and chilly) for iris buds … yet. 

The ladies are beginning to lay again. 

There is no longer appreciable snow in the meadow.  Canada geese are back on the reservoir.  No sign of robins or the sand cranes … yet.

Now that there are some daffodils showing, I think it might be time to put out the first of the hummer feeders and take up the stones in the walk between the back door and the courtyard so the path can can be redone … if we get a stretch without rain or snow.

Onward …

~~~23 March 2016

This morning the air is clear and the sun bright …


I recently saw this idea on the net and knew I have to plead guilty …

I am no racist. But I am prejudiced, if not bigoted, toward and against ignorant people regardless of race, religion, political, or sexual orientation. I do not tolerate fools well.



So … ’til next week …




16 March …


The plan had been for son John to be here this week.  Didn’t happen.

Original thought was to get a start on the garden.  Wrong.  Weather has been saying, forcefully, not yet!

We’ll give it a couple of weeks and reschedule.

Oh well …

In addition, mornings are dark again.  And it was still light enough last night to be outdoors without a flashlight at 1945.


George and I made a run to Yreka last week between snow and rain episodes. Instead we had some really strong winds.  Coming home while bucking the head wind was almost as if George had taken his foot off the gas we would have started moving backward.

Earlier, as we left home, something went wrong in the windshield wiper mechanism.  It was not raining at the time.  But on the way home, the rain started just as we crossed the Shasta River about seven miles from home.  That meant at least four miles on paved county road before we got onto private gravel road.  Fortunately the rain was light and we made it home with no problem. 

We have the darndest adventures.

Last time wipers failed was over 50 years ago on our way back to Milwaukee from St Sault Marie.  We were driving south through Michigan and planned to go around the lower tip of Lake Michigan and north through Chicago.  Instead we wound up taking a ferry across the lake and dining on candy bars for supper.


I had a genealogical adventure last week.  I was looking for information about an ancestor used by a relative as entree to a society (to which she left me a membership).  I did an Ancestry search and lo and behold … jackpot.  It was not the first time I’d done this search, but so much new information has been digitized in the last few years I wound up with 20 pages of information from old parish records and little known histories, and that was not all but I needed to go to bed. 

There is enough there to keep me busy for several evenings.

Tomorrow is my next day at the Family History Center.

Another chance for adventure …


As I’ve told you, George and I have been watching reruns of the old “Adam12” television shows.  They are fun, partly because I recognize so many of the locations.  One show started with the unit crossing the high bridge in Pasadena and then on to the beach front in Venice and back to ubiquitous bungalows which could have been one of a great many parts of the area including El Segundo where I used to vacation with my Nana or Long Beach where George’s sister and her family lived.

Interestingly, I doubt there are too many folks now who would recognize those sites.  A great many of them no longer exist.

And another event related to watching …  a week or so ago one of the story lines was about a recently widowed older man who opened his house to “hippies” who took advantage of him requiring police involvement (Jack Webb didn’t approve of hippies).

Then monday night, on the local news, there was a report of a house in south Medford found by Sheriffs to be full of drugs, drug paraphernalia, more than twenty young people, and one older man who had been widowed a year ago.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Rain and snow continued for several days.9 March 2016 Snow9 March …

10 March 2016

10 March …

12 March 201612 March …

16 March 2016This morning …

Total precipitation for the week was more than 6.5″.  It will take a bit of drying out before we can even consider prepping the garden area.  In the meantime, I need to get an area ready to start seeds. Today and tomorrow are days to start seeds for above ground plants (according to the Old Farmers Almanac).  I may do some peas and have them ready to set out asap.  Maybe some salad greens as well.

Also … the first of the Spring visitors is here …Early Visitor


“If you don’t produce garbage, you don’t exist to historians to a large extent.”

Just read this on an archaeological site.  It means George and I will probably disappear from history.  We have very little garbage.  There are few kitchen scraps due to leftover use and soup makin’s and some compost.  What remains goes out to the chickens to make eggs.  Egg shells are crushed and returned to the chickens as their calcium source or used in garden paths.  Cans, glass, and plastic bottles and bags are recycled through collection bins at the grocery stores or the recycling center.  Paper is recycled as scratch paper, weed mulch, packing material, or fire starter.

In spite of these efforts, maybe we will be noted.  The “collections” around here seem to grow in spite of efforts. 

Depression era youth vs. environmental concern.

Oh well …


Politics is getting more and more annoying … as well as scary.  We are reaping the dumbing down of the country … starting with the change in education so that no one is allowed to be left behind, i.e. move them through the grades even if they can’t read past second grade level and gawdforbid they be taught to write or do basic math or study history.

Then came the move from shows like “Omnibus” on television to shows like “The Name Game” which is also a dumbing down.  Now less than a twelfth grade education, part-time or unemployment, trailer park residence, segregation  advocacy (probably out of fear), limited vocabulary, profanity acceptance, etc. has become normal.  And if you read something other than Avenger style comics, know who Shakespeare was (and possibly even quote him), know where cities are on a map, understand the War of the Roses was not a farm disagreement, recognize the Bill of Rights, etc. you are noted as a snob or a nerd or both.



Now … after that … I need a positive thought, so …


“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”    ~ Edward Giobbi



’til next week …




9 March …


View out the front door at 0630 this morning …9 March 2016 Snow

It was light out but the flash made it look darker.


Scott Kelly is back on Earth.  We watched the PBS program and the wonder flowed almost like it did in the old days of space.  Even had goosebumps a couple of times.

Thoughts following the show …

As much as I am space oriented, I wonder how the denizens of the ISS avoid wrecking something with all those whatevers sticking out into that one path?

How does anyone get any work done with out-the-window views like that?

Who decided the optimum pose when in a conversation is with your arms folded across your chest?

Why is the light in the “garden” red?

All that fun and they get paid in the bargain !

I am going to work on finding a way to talk with the ISS sometime this year.

And did you know that since Congress defunded our space program, one qualification for a US astronaut is that they speak Russian?


Last thursday was my first session at the Family History Center since last autumn and it was quite a ride.

I had planned to do some work on a young friend’s lines since I could access International records at the Center (his tree is a mix of Chinese, Pilipino, German, Russian Jewish, Costa Rican and Polish).  Overall, I was left about 20 minutes for my own research.

First “client” was a woman who was stuck on a relative from Alsace-Lorraine. That was fun.  But we did find a birth town and a way to get help from a genealogy group dealing with that part of Europe (Germany-France-Belgium).  She will be back (I could tell she had been bitten by the genealogy bug) so I will be able to learn more about research in that area.

Then came a woman with quite a story.  She had been born in London to an English mother and a US Navy father who disappeared a month before she was born.  She found out her father was an adoptee, had two Social Security numbers, and the National Archives have no record of his military service.  Lot of work facing  her research, but guesses led to a couple of clues with which she will be working until her next trip to see us. 

I am sure she too will be back,  Besides, she was born in London and some of the research I’m doing for that neighbor involves a part of London and I want to ask her some questions.

Not a boring day at all.


Final finale (as opposed to a season finale) of Downton Abbey was last sunday (as you know if you’ve been following the series). 

I’d been wrong about Lady Mary (I thought she would not remarry but if she did, it would be to the one with whom she shared the pigs and the mud).

Fellowes seemed to be doing well with tying up all loose ends when we lost the signal.  We’d been having snow since about 1400 and, of course, I’d been hoping it would hold off loading up the satellite dish until after Downton was finished.  No such luck.  A heavy, wet snow had begun a little before 1500 and not quite half way through the finale we lost the signal.  So we spent some time before we went to bed guessing.

Tuesday morning we watched the last forty-five minutes on the internet.

Our reactions ???  (Spoilers here if you haven’t yet seen the final finale.)

Interesting that …
Edith is now married to a peer who outranks her father while Mary is married to a second-hand car salesman.  But they are sisters.  Made me value the sister I have (in spite of our lack of blood).  Did I ever tell you about the time we were traveling together and people kept raising eyebrows when we spoke of each other as “sister”?  There is not a modicum of physical resemblance between us.  We finally broke down and said (in unison) “We are sisters but we had different …”, and here we diverged.  As I said “mothers”, she said “fathers.”  Oh, I have told you before?  Oh well … old timers’.

But back to Downton Abbey …

Thomas now has the position he schemed to obtain for many years.  Good.  I’ve had trouble believing he was as bad as Lord Fellowes would initially have had us believe.  Barrow will fill Carson’s shoes well and see the family through the next changing decade with panache.  In addition he will become “Carson” to Master George’s “Lady Mary”.

Robert and Cora will settle into the comfort George and I enjoy … that of being right together and right where they belong.

I was interested in Carson’s “palsy”.  I have that “palsy” tremor, but it is in my left hand rather than my right and so is less of a problem.  It is not Parkinson’s.  In reading Lord Fellowes’ description, it seems he is describing an Essential Tremor and he has it as well.  I would bet that neither of us see it as really “Essential”.  But Carson, with Elsie Hughes’ help, will do well and be of continuing help to Barrow.

I’ll stop here since all of you may not have acquired this addiction.


Weather has been its usual unpredictable self.

Sunday …6 March 2016

Monday …7 March 2016 2

Tuesday …8 March 2016

Today …9 March 2016

(Blur due to the air full of snow or a slight fog on the lens due to temperature change as I stepped outdoors.)


John will be here next week.  He will be helping me get the garden area ready if possible.  It may be too early.  The earth is damp and we’ve been having rain and a bit of snow rather consistently.  That is no problem since we need the moisture and can’t plant outdoors until the end of May. 

I was told, when I first moved here, that we would not be able to plant outdoors until all the snow is gone off Black Butte.  In the beginning of my gardening in this area, that adage was true.  Then we entered the warming and drying times and were able to get things out a bit after May Day since there had been little or no snow during winter and Black Butte was bare early.

We now seem to be back to the beginning.  Snow pack is above 100% of normal.   

Our nephew and his wife, Eric and Julie Eggen, will be visiting over the first weekend in April (but they will miss April’s fools Day .. . Oh well …) and friend Liz is scheduled for early July.  Our older grandson and his girl friend later in July.  Then the New York family in August.

The schedule for radio events is one in June, one in July, two in August, two in September, and one in October.

2016 is shaping up to be a good year.  Get your reservations in early.


In closing for now, an interesting thought …


“Education is what you have left after you forget everything you’ve learned.”



So … ’til next week …



2 March …


It’s been a really quiet week … the blog may be short. 

No radio events (they begin in June), still not time to start outdoor work, just spinning and knitting and reading and those don’t make for too much news.

Oh well …


Still reading stories in “Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets”.  If you’re trying it, hang on until the story titled “The Adventure of the Speckled Bandana”.

The first couple of stories were lost on me.  Guess I am no longer hip (or whatever the current slang is).  And the one based on the Goon Show was a waste of time.  Monty Python I liked.  Not the Goon Show.

Also on the subject of books … recently read a review by a nephew of a book about political money … Dark money something.  I don’t anticipate an easy read, but I do plan to get a copy and read it.  Will most likely follow it with a fast moving no-brainer.


Interesting turn in genealogy a couple of days ago.

Back in 2011 I filled out an application form for recognition with the California branch of the First Families of the Pacific States.  I never received acknowledgement, that I remember or can find in my files, and just forgot it.

Then I got a call from a member of the County Genealogy Society who is compiling all the families recognized through their group.  She found my application and called to tell me how organized my information was.  That was really nice.  I try to keep good proofs, but it is difficult sometimes.

While we were talking, I told her about never receiving my “certificate” and she said she’ll see to it.  So soon the family of William Thurston Garrison, one of  my Mother’s great-grandfathers, will be on the list.

This is probably not of interest to anyone other than family researchers, but it was a validation of my research.

And I’ll buy a copy of the book.


Next sunday will be the two hour final finale for Downton Abbey.  I am sort of torn,  I have become so involved with the Crawleys (especially the Dowager) and the era that I will miss the yearly visits … most notably Violet’s one liners.


Speaking of television … our younger son told us about a Canadian mystery series titled “Murdock Mysteries”.  The stories take place in and around Toronto in the late 1800s. I’m not sure how Mark came across this series, but he lives just across the lake from Toronto so maybe he gets Canadian tv, eh?

First episode we watched had to do with Tesla.  The fourth involved Conan Doyle.

We’ve watched four so far and, while not as polished as some of the Brits’ work, they’re fun and worth the time.  The young detective works without the CSI paraphernalia of today and with Victorian manners.


Just got word that a friend from 60 years ago will be here for a too short visit the first part of July.  She was the first person to sleep in this house.  It was while we were in the first stages of building and George and I were still sleeping in the travel trailer.

I am anticipating her visit with joy.


Weather has moved toward Spring …


rain and wind a few days ago … heavy enough to form a veil over the north windows.

Iris Shoots


Temperatures during the day are mostly in the 50s.  Not real spring, but getting there.  First iris shoots showing.


This morning it is clear … with a breeze.

2 March 2016

I wish there were some way to not only share a photo, but to share the fresh smell and the sound of the wind in the tree tops.


To end this post, a note from a well-known author …Oscar Wilde



So … ’til next week …