27 April …


Last sunday a man I first saw when his mother brought him home from the hospital after his birth on the 4th of July in 1958 died.  We lived next door.  My oldest son was not quite two.

Six years later, we moved in order to be closer to my husband’s work.  We saw the neighboring family a couple of times after the move, but we lost touch as many families do when one moves.

I never completely forgot the family, but made no move to maintain contact.

Then about eight years ago, out of the blue, we heard a voice deliver some news on Morning Edition on our local NPR station and end with “This is Steve Julian … KPCC”.  George and I looked at each other and said “Is that Little Stevie?”

It was and the tie was reestablished.  He was then an adult and we became friends.

Last Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer.

Five months later he is gone.Steve

For me, he will always be the man with whom we shared a meal last September and who hugged and kissed me as he left … always tall, gentle, and smiling.


Things are warming up for the radio club.  We’ve been asked to share events with the Shasta Tehama ARES group.  Some of their people will be at our next meeting.  And we have been invited to participate in a couple of their events next month … a bicycle event and a rodeo parade.  George and I may volunteer (or just go down) to see how they work their events.

The first thing on our club’s calendar this year is a two session training class to help folks get licensed.  Those will also be next month.

Then things will get busy in June.  There has already been an initial planning meeting for the Castle Crags Bicycle Event and the first of the meetings for the Mt Shasta 4th of July will be this afternoon.


We’ve also been involved in medical stuff. 

Last week we went to an open house at the Fairchild Medical Group to see if I can select a new care giver.  I told you the doctor I’ve been seeing for years (seeing seldom, I don’t go to the doctor much, but I was part of his practice) closed his practice to become the VA provider.  That made me a “Kolpacoff refugee”.

The open house narrowed my choice to two … a FNP and an internal medicine MD.  There had been other providers there, but real contact didn’t happen.  I’ve never been to one of these events before.  It was strange.  The providers were just standing around and people would go up to talk with them.  Sort of like a dog show (here I am, come see me) … or a buffet table (something from table one or a serving from table two).

The FNP was pleasant and seemed to know her business.  George had really valued his FNP at the VA and mentioned her name.  “Mo” (maybe the use of a nickname is what threw me off a bit) knew Denise and seemed to admire her.  Mo said she had been an ED RN, does geriatric medicine, would not require any tests or treatments to which I did not agree, but did not have a non-emergency appointment available until mid-autumn.

The MD is just finishing his internship up in Portland and will not start private practice until September.  He said he expects to combine internal medicine with family practice and treat all ages (just not pediatrics or ob – but since I am not a child or likely to get pregnant that doesn’t matter).  I told him I am a staph carrier and don’t usually need a doc unless the staph flares up into cellulitis.  His response was that since he would know that, I’d not have any trouble getting seen right away.

Initially, I had expected to choose a female nurse practitioner.  However, the connection with the male MD seemed easier. I had revealed my past as an Emergency RN to both of them.  I wonder if that made a difference?

I guess I’ll wait until I have a real need and see which one will work me into their practice soonest … unless I decide earlier … oh well …


I have renewed my driving license.  As usual, I had a panic attack based on test anxiety but got 100% on the written test.  I had to take the written test because the computer couldn’t recognize my thumb print although I had just registered it as I signed in.

One thing I will probably need to do before the license expires again in five years is to have something done with my eyes. I passed the eye test okay, but I am noticing I need more light, in order to read clearly, than in the past.  Fifteen years ago I was told I had incipient cataracts which would need attention by the time I was seventy-five.  I reached that more than ten years ago, so it is probably nearing time to do a recheck.

But for now … I’m okay.


We had a stretch of almost-summer weather.  Then last week, wet spring returned.  In fact, on friday , sunday, and monday there was light snow in the heavy rain.

The maple tree has lost its red blush and is donning summer green. 

OR grape (2)

Everything is in bloom including the apple tree (those are clothes on the solar dryer to the left in the background).  

That is everything with the exception of the catalpa tree.  It is always later than any of the others.

It looks as if there will be a good Oregon grape harvest this year …OR grape (1)

Spring Tonic


and the spring tonic makin’s are appearing in the backyard and meadow.



However, with the rain the garden area is still on hold.



I tried another of the cast-iron strawberry recipes. 

It baked without a problem.  It looked quite nice and tasted okay.


We decided cinnamon rolls with bowls of fresh berries would suit us better.


And yesterday was another of the monthly trips to see the retinologist for George’s macular degeneration.

26 April 2016There was a slight haze in the air.  The Mountain looked lovely, as normal, and there was nothing new with George’s eyes.


Since Steve’s death, little notes have been making surprise appearances …

“No matter how long a loved one is with you, it is never long enough.”                         — Roy Orbison’s son

“May I try to tell you again where your only comfort lies?  It is not in forgetting the happy past.  People bring us well-meant but miserable consolation when they tell what time will do to help our grief.  We do not want to lose our grief, because our grief is bound up with our love and we could not cease to mourn without being robbed of our affections.”     — Unknown

“What have I learned …?  In short, the importance of our reminding each other repeatedly to be kind.”       — John Deacon

“Do you love and appreciate someone?  Have you told them why?  Don’t let them live in ignorance anymore.”     — Felicia Friesema

… maybe they are reminders that we need to tell those we love and cherish how valuable they are and to do it now while we have the chance.


 So … ’til next week …

20 April …


Big event last week was John’s visit.  Main reason for the visit this time was to get a look at what is needed to get this year’s garden underweigh and to get his scanner working correctly so he can eavesdrop on the trains running through Marysville.  The visit was greeted with rain and snow.

However, the weather cleared and the results of the visit were …

I enjoyed seeing, touching, and hearing my son.


The family now has 12 pints of strawberry jam, 5 pints of strawberry preserves, and 4 pints of strawberry syrup to see us all through the coming year.


My printer is functioning correctly once again.

George was able to get the scanner programmed and John can now track the trains while waiting for a photo shot.

The fruit trees got their initial pruning.  They will be tracked the rest of the year to guide future pruning.

Initial planning for the garden is in place (I have some chores I need to get done in the next week or two).

I found a couple of “repair” gifts after John left.

16 April 2016

He got a lovely shot of the Mountain.

I am Blessed.


Stove 2The picture of the new stove was a surprise.  The stainless is so polished the side of the stove disappeared because of the reflection.  Oh well …


More experimenting with the new oven resulted in several good things.  I found a magazine of recipes using cast iron cookware, so I tried the buttermilk biscuits baked in a cast iron skillet.  Wow …

I’ve been doing breakfast biscuits for many, many years but never had any as light and flaky as those last thursday morning.  In the magazine there was a hint about folding the dough over before cutting (the way you fold puff pastry but without the layers of butter).  I don’t know how much of the success was due to the dough folding and how much was due to baking in the skillet, but whatever the reason, those were really flaky biscuits.

I’ll do it again.

Then I did scones, also in cast iron, but the pan I used was too big.  The scones didn’t rise, they baked like crackers.  Tasted okay, but next time I will use a smaller pan.


Stars Across the MeadowThe Shooting Stars out in the meadow are coming into display.

In spots they look like a carpet …Meadow Stars

Stars and Garlic



and they share space with wild garlic.



I spent yesterday at the Family History Center for a training session.  I am now more comfortable with helping “clients” use the Church’s Family Search program.

Those of you who use RootsMagic for maintaining  your family pedigree … did you know you can connect straight to the LDS site so that any new information posted on Family Search can be shared to your records?     Yup …

Tools … File Options … Web Hints … Family Search Web Hints … fill in your info and wahla, you’re connected to a helpful source.

I’ll be attending another class tomorrow and possibly another on saturday.  If I learn any other good stuff, I’ll share.


Radio club meeting this evening.  Lots on the agenda as we start into the summer season.

Still no solid news about the Summit Century but new equipment and club house repair need to be discussed.


Just a side thought, but has anyone noticed that the diameter of the cardboard tube in the center of the toilet paper roll has increased?  

The roll looks the same size, but you’re getting less paper.  



Solar Dryer



Used the solar dryer last monday for the first time this season.  I have another load to go out as soon as this is posted.



20 April 2016

Sun this morning, but a bit of a snap in the air.

First Lilacs

Lilacs are coming into bloom.  Sorry the light (and my lack of expertise) doesn’t let me show you the colour, but the buds are there.  More (hopefully better) photos next week.



Lesson for this week from Carl Sagan …


” … it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don’t question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. … anything that’s truly real can stand up to scrutiny.”


So … ’til next week … keep asking questions.


 13 April …


Today would have been my Mama’s birthday anniversary … the 108th.



The new range is in place and being used. 

It is taking some getting used to … the knobs on the front turn on different burners than the old range, i.e. back instead of front.  Getting it in place led to reviewing storage which resulted in cleaning and setting aside stuff to go to the New-2-You store.  A good thing.

The stovetop oven fits on this range nicely … better than it did on the old one.

The electronics will take some getting-used-to.

First out of the oven was a batch of cookies.  Today I try a strawberry cake.

Onward …


While we were in Medford last wednesday, we went to the new In-N-Out Burger place at the Rogue Valley Mall.  Our Michael had been a fan of the one in Redding and we’d heard good things from other young relatives and friends.

However … we weren’t impressed.  Not that the food was bad.  Maybe our expectations were too high.  It was good food for the price and the service was very good.  It’s just that I had my mouth set for a BJB (big, juicy burger) and didn’t get it.



We do the BJB thing very seldom and want BIG and JUICY when we do.


As for In-N-Out … been there … done that.


The cherry tree is blooming.Cherry




The plum tree is in boisterous bloom.





The birch catkins are rampant.MapleThe maple is red-red-red.




Manzanita is in full flower.



But still no iris blooms and no sign of catalpa.


Record highs have been the norm in Medford.  Weather has been warm all over the area.  We’re getting close to outdoor time.

We did have  an interesting event very early (0233) saturday morning … a flash of lightning bright enough to light up the entire bedroom and wake both of us from sound sleep followed by a stupendous roll of thunder, which rattled windows, and a quick DOWNPOUR which lasted less than five minutes.  Then it was all over and we could see stars again.

Weather here is never dull.


We went to Yreka yesterday for the first of George’s three blood draws for this year.  His semi-annual physical exam will be the 27th. 

The Family Nurse Practitioner who had been his primary care provider for the last couple of years has moved on and George is back to the MD who had been our primary doc for several years.  Seems VA consolidated and the doc who backed up the FNPs is now the caregiver.  Works fine for George, but I have to find a new caregiver since mine is now the VA doc and has given up his private practice.

Oh well …

Mountain 12 April 2016It had been raining when we left in the morning.  The rain was done by the time we headed home, but the Mountain was still hiding.

ReservoirWith all the rain, the reservoir is fuller that it has been in quite some time … and the geese are loving it.


13 April 2016The front view is looking more like planting weather this morning …

Can't see me




and one of the panthers was playing “You can’t see me.”



Advice for this week …

“The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio. Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something.”   … Kurt Vonnegut,

So … ’til next week …





6 April …


31 March 2016I did a Family History Center session last week … and do one again tomorrow.  I signed up for odd numbered thursdays and when a month has five thursdays, I double back on the first one in the next month.

Last week, Mr. Garcia (who is doing the history of Catholics in south Siskiyou county) was there, with bells on, as the door was unlocked.  He had made quite a bit of headway on the Catholics including contacts with Priest historians and some early pictures.  One old photo shows how Lake Street got its name.  All this discovery since he was at the Center a couple of weeks ago.

In addition, the personal family history bug has him in its clutches.  So Sal and I had quite a time with him.  His grandmother, like one of my great-grandmothers, seemed to get younger every time a census was recorded.  Genealogy reveals all kinds of interesting secrets.

I’m betting he’ll be back this week.


Eric and Julie arrived mid-afternoon last saturday and it was like no time had passed since we were all together, although it had been years since we last saw Julie. 

When I think about it, I realize how lucky I am to have the family I have, both immediate as well as extended, even if we aren’t all physically close together.  Fun and laughs started over supper with planning for the tourist thing on sunday.

Sunday the weather was glorious.  Rain had been predicted, but it held off.  Julie was able to take a walk before breakfast and our part of the world gave her a welcome.New Fir Growth 

Deer are back and the firs are setting their bright growth buds.  No lilacs yet, but lots of daffodils and narcissus. 


Maple Glow



And the maple is budding so there is a slight red haze.





Our “tourist” trip went well.  Our first stop was in the City Park where the spring from the Mountain snow comes out of the rocks. 

TouristsOn the Mountain, we were able to get as far as Bunny Flat (6,942′).  The unplowed snow was close to 10′ deep and the road above there wasn’t open. 

Ski ParkAll the lifts were in operation at the Ski Park and the telemark slope looks even steeper than it did when I came down it on a toboggan.

Lake Siskiyou


Then out to Box Canyon to look at Lake Siskiyou


Box Canyon



and over the edge to the hydro power plant.


Then on to Castle Lake where the lake was topped with snow.Castle Lake

Final tourist stop, before a great Mexican dinner at Casa Ramos, was the train depot and turntable in Dunsmuir.

As I said, my family is great and we fit together well.  It was a comfortable visit.   They left early monday morning to catch a plane back home.  George and I are looking forward to their next trip west.


I caused a controversy last week over enhanced photos on the net. 

My horoscope had instructed me to avoid contentious conversation.  I should have paid attention.

For quite some time now there have been posts on Facebook which I find unsettling.  They usually consist of calming advice such as “Stress … go for a walk with nature.”  Good advice … BUT … it is then accompanied by a picture of woods (or ocean or lakeside or flower garden or …) in which the colours have been supersaturated to the point that lavender is a purple which temporarily dulls your sight, the blues are all electric, the various greens are acid green, the sun rays are BRIGHT BRIGHT white shaded to orange and the reds can make your eyes bleed.

I’ve reached the point where when I get a hint such a post is next, I just hurry past.  However, last week I posted a query asking if I was the only one who felt this way.  The problem was I phrased my question sloppily and wound up setting several sets of teeth on edge.  Seems there is a way to enhance the dulling sometimes present in photographs which is used by family and friends to get across what they see.

Interestingly, I see what they are trying to present in those photos without seeing the manipulation.  In fact, I sort of wish I knew how to do that because there are times what I see is not visible in the photos I take in my effort at sharing … such as the yellow sky preceding rain. 

Oh well …

At any rate, I still continue to zip past the overdone photos (and continue to wonder at the lack of appreciation of actual nature) and enjoy the ones in which I see what I am being shown without seeing overt manipulation.


Weather has yet to settle.  There was a shower with distant lightning and thunder sunday evening.  But otherwise clear and warming.

6 April 2016This morning … (photo unretouched).


My new stove is waiting for us to come get it.  As soon as I get the blog posted, we will be on our way to Medford.


As a final thought …

I have initiated a project which means a lot to me.  I am not able, at this time, to share … BUT I request your positive thoughts for its success. 

I am trying to remember that people with courage do not slay dragons, they ride them.

Blessings and Thank You.

So … ’til next week …