25 May …

 18 May 2016 PM

The summer season for the Radio Club got a boost last wednesday.  We had visitors from the Shasta-Tehama ARES group to tell us about their events and ask for help. 

As a result, George and I went down to Anderson last saturday to help with a bike event.  We were both assigned to ride along in SAG wagons, probably because we don’t know the area and it was safest to put us with others who did.

There were five ride routes from 28 to 126 miles.  They had a SAG wagon on each of the routes.  George got assigned to one of the shorter routes.  I got put on board the wagon tracking those on the longest ride.  We left the starting point about 0830.  Riders were already on the route.  We got back to the park after 1600 and there were still five riders out.  But we knew where they were and could have gone out after them if they didn’t show up in a reasonable amount of time.

The driver with whom I was riding was the President of the club sponsoring the rides.  He had been a transplant from Oakland back in the 80s, but since the move, he had become a historian in re the Redding area.  I saw a lot of great landscapes and heard a lot of stories about what I saw.

Saturday Clouds  At one point the clouds were magnificent in their threat.  However, it was a great ride in spite of the weather.

We left home about 0515 to get to the start of the rides by 0700 when we were expected.  There was fog in the canyon.  Not down on the roadway so driving was restricted, but along and among the mountains and cuts.  It resembled drawings from Japan or China.JapanMesmerizing.   This was the best I could do, in order to share the view, from a moving vehicle.  

It was misting most of the way south, but just past Mountain Gate we ran into a cloud burst.  The water was coming down so hard the wipers, even on high, were unable to keep the windshield clear.  But it didn’t last.

Then during the day there was occasional mist until we got to the lunch stop. While we were there the sky opened, including hail.  Fortunately, every rider with whom we came in contact had planned for the possibility of cold and wet.  No problems with hypothermia.

Rest Stop


One Rest Stop was interesting. 

It turned out the “Open” sign didn’t mean us.


Up in the mountains (I don’t know what range it is, but it is west of the Cascades and the highest point we reached was about 3,000′) there are HUGE ranches and estates.  One in the Ash Creek area, which has to be thousands of acres, is surrounded by a hand-build stone fence which appears to be 4 feet high and 4 feet wide.  It is built entirely with lava stones culled from the fields and everyone I met during the day asked what I thought of the “Stone Wall”?. You can see it clearly on Google World.  Just enter “Ash Creek Road, Anderson, CA” and look for it along the road.  Sorry I didn’t get a picture.

Another ranch, a bit higher, was also huge (just more like hundreds of acres rather than thousands).  It was surrounded by what looked like a Moorish fortification and named Bear Run Ranch, but I didn’t get any pictures there either.  Oh well …

There were Old Old houses (probably original homesteads) and ramshackle trailers mixed in with the new houses and estates.  Altogether a fascinating ride.

Oh yes … and there was odor in several places which spoke of pot farms of rather impressive size.

When I got back to the park, I had a good dinner of slaw, green salad, beans and bacon, hot bread, and grilled tri-tip with an Arnold Palmer and an ice cream sandwich.  There was plenty of food since they had planned for 125 riders and wound up with only 85.  That was a surprise since the events we usually work would consider 85 participants a failure.  Oh well … do your job, Wilma, and shut up.  Remember, you aren’t on that committee.


I met several interesting and friendly folks.  As usual, I was the only female ham.  George said I did well and that others were impressed that not only am I female, but I knew what I was doing.  High praise in spite of the one time I forgot and slipped back into Emergency lingo and said “10-4” which is an amateur radio no-no. 

As it was coming out of my mouth, I thought “Did I just say that?”   George says if that ever happens again, just follow it with “… good buddy” and laugh.

We got home at 1930.  A gift on the way out to Cold Comfort was a view of this year’s crop of geese on the reservoir.Geese

It was a long day.  We spent sunday quietly restoring energy levels and ate leftover meatloaf for dinner.


Our own local bicycle and run events are beginnings as well.  The final (?) planning meeting for the Castle Crags Bicycle Event was last thursday.  That event is scheduled for 18 June.

This year they added another rest stop and a fifth SAG wagon, both of which will require additional radio operators.  I will repeat my station at Mumbo Crest where I am done about noon, but I may have to double on a late shift at the new station in Grenada or possibly as Net Control relief.  George will be on one of the SAG wagons.  We will be busy all day whatever happens.

The post-ride meal this year promises to be interesting.  They are using a new caterer who does wood smoke bar-b-que pork.


Tuesday was our monthly trip to Medford.  It was overcast but we hit only slight showers.  There was a great view of the Mountain on the way north.  We could see 24 May2016Whaleback …     the Mountain …    Black Butte …    and the Eddys.

And remember the outhouses I told you about?OuthousesThey’re still there … out in the middle of nowhere. 


19 May 2016 - Weed Fire

A new fire started in Weed last thursday afternoon around 1530 close to where the BIG one burned through two years ago. 


20 May 2016There was rain and snow on friday which helped bring it under control without much damage other than to a dry area close to the old dump.  No residences involved.

Our younger son in New York gets CalFire Twitter tweaks (or whatever they are called) concerning events in this area and so usually knows about fires before we do.  Twice now we’ve learned about fires in the Weed area when he called to see how close they were to us and if we were okay.


And in closing, this adventure for friends we’ve know for a long time …


Life keeps presenting us with problems.  By deciding that they are gifts, we become beneficiaries.


So … ’til next week …



18 May …


John arrived last wednesday bearing presents …



home poured candles, handmade soap (actually made by Michael), chili bread-and-butter pickles, Siracha ketchup, stones … You’d have thought it was a holiday or something (like Mother’s Day and or a birthday).



Weather is holding in the guess-what-comes-next mode.  We’ve had showers and wind and sun and fog and …

Hide and Seek

on my way into town last monday, the mountain was playing hide-and-seek.


John got the straw bale section of the garden started.  Now, for the next week, I need to water twice a day.  Then it will be ready to plant.  We will be doing squash that way this year.  Seemed like a good choice for a first experiment.

I am in the process of getting another bed ready for potatoes.  The starts are cut and hardening-off.

However, weather is still teasing.  It will be in the 80s today, but down into the 60s tomorrow.


It is a really purple spring this year.  In the past, the season had been yellow and purple, but this year the yellow came early and is nearly done.





The purple is giving us lilacs …






and iris …




Shooting Stars

and shooting stars.  (Photos courtesy of son John)


Did I tell you the schedule for bicycle and running events this summer has been whittled down?  The TinMan Triathlon is no more and the Summit Century is now gone as well.

When we first started doing the amateur radio health-and-welfare thing there were only two events.  Two years ago, we did seven.  This year there will be five. 

Of course, as we get older, fewer events will be no problem.

Planning for the Castle Crags event is well under-weigh. I do the Mumbo rest stop for that event and the folks manning that stop always dress-up.  One year they were beach bikini bimbos. Another bikers.  I wonder what it will be this year?

With extra volunteer time available, I added a commitment to work with the County Tobacco Education Council at the County Golden Fair one day this coming August.  They have a facial morphing program which shows the changes to the face of a tobacco user as they age.  It seems to intrigue youngsters.  I’ll be the adult-in-charge for four hours on 12 August.  Mark and family will be here, so George will be occupied.


The Met season is over.  Next up on saturday mornings is the Lyric of Chicago.

I noted a couple of days ago that the music world seems to have discovered Czech composers in addition to Dvorak and Smetana. Interesting.  I wonder how big a part Renee Fleming’s success with the “Hymn to the Moon” from “Rusulka” had to do with that.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that Netrebko seems to be past her beautiful-young-thing era.  She won’t be opening the Met season this coming autumn. 

Dimitri (remember Dimitri?) hasn’t been heard in a while.  Too bad.  The throat situation seems to be taking one of the best baritones around.

But Placidisimo is now doing baritone roles (coming up … “Johnny Schiechi” with the LA Opera), so not all is lost.


18 May 2016Sun this morning with the panthers on guard.


I used the solar dryer yesterday.  Will do it again this morning.


Saw this a few days ago.  It seems quite appropriate this election season.


“Knowledge not applied is just information.”
-Nathan Curtis, inmate, Anamosa State Penitentiary.


And so … ’til next week …

11 May …



Good morning …

11 May 2016


Seems I did a no-no last week in not being more descriptive about a long-time friendship.   

“Wow! You make that visitor from (when you worked at) the New Mexico Insane Asylum 62 years ago sound like a long term lunatic you will have underfoot when you are on duty July 4th!!!  I’ll have to wear a sign that says ‘I wasn’t a patient, I WORKED with Wilma. ‘ ”

True, but I still like the ambiguity … who was the patient and who the attendant? 

Actually, we were part of an American Friends Service Committee group of young people spending the summer working as attendants.  That’s Liz in the middle row second from the left.

New Mexico 1954

George (center back row) was the “old man” of the group at 26.  I was 24 (that’s me in the front row second from right).  All the other were aged between 18 and 21.

My … how time flies.


Last week at the Family History Center was busy.

I have definitely proven that my forte is research, not use of the on-line Family Search World Tree.

A young Sister from Portland was here to help us learn how to use the Family Search program now that it is open to all.  As she explained it, it all seemed so easy … a no-brainer. 

Well, I guess I am a “no brainer”.  I’ll work at it.  Maybe I’ll get better.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to use RootsMagic as my main file and leave explaining the use of Family Search to the other volunteers.

The laugh of the session was when a researcher found a cousin whose given name was “Onion”.  I wonder what that new mother was thinking?


Still on the subject of genealogy … I spent time during the last rain finishing the notebook of information about my paternal grandmother, Anna Etta “Belle” Hall Tyler – 1866 to 1952.

That was an interesting few days.  I thought I knew my Grandma.  But as I organized what information I had, and added to it what had become available since I last collected, my picture of her expanded.

She had been 64 when I was born (same age as I was when my first grandchild was born), so I never knew her as “young” 

Now that I know the challenges she faced, I love her more than ever.  I had always seen her as strong, but now I know she was STRONG.

Next project … Grandpa, Laben Jehiel “Elmer” Tyler.

Want to know your grandparents better?  Genealogy …


We went after chicks (and straw for the garden) last monday.  The Mountain is looking beautiful …9 May 2016



and the chicks are settling in.





Lilacs are in almost full bloom.  I’ll be drying blossoms for potpourri.

IrisHowever, the iris are still reluctant.


I picked fresh asparagus and rhubarb yesterday.  The asparagus went into my salad (George doesn’t eat asparagus unless forced and I like it so …).  

The rhubarb went into an Eaglesmere Rhubarb-Nut Bread.  It is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law’s aunt sooooooo many years ago.  Still smells and tastes great.Rhubarb Bread


John is due to arrive this afternoon.  We had tentatively planned to start preparing the ground for planting.  However … rain began last wednesday with gully-washers (and flood warnings) on wednesday, thursday, and saturday.

It might be time for Plan B. 

We are rethinking straw bale gardening.  Seems the use of herbicides on straw and hay fields may have down-the-line results on garden plants, not only directly by the use of contaminated straw, but through manure contamination via feed given to manure producing animals.

Life does get complicated.

There was a report on NPR about the idea of a Secretary of the Future.  Sweden has one.  Her job is to evaluate the impact of whatever is happening on the coming generations. 

Indigenous peoples knew the value of this a long time ago with their appreciation of the phrase (translated to English) “To the Seventh Generation”. 

But then, maybe it’s too late for us already.  News report last week noted that five islands in the Solomons have already been lost to rising sea levels.  And the food situation is getting scary.


Finally, in re all the hooha over trans use of toilets … 


“The path to the dark side fear is. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda


So … ’til next week …




4 May …


Weather is still playing a guessing game.  The end of last week was on the cool side with even a dip below freezing one morning.

Julie arrived for a two day visit late saturday and the weather turned nice for her time here.


The lilacs came into bloom, there is fruit set on the plum, the Michael iris are blooming (but not the new ones yet)… and today it is raining.  I’ll be making a pot of chicken noodle soup for dinner.


The trip to Medford last week was an interesting ride.  Because those trips are to the eye doc, we switch driving responsibilities after the appointment.  That means I get to do the rubbernecking on the way north, but not on the way home.

Last week some observations were …

There was a light snow and rime on the meadow and trees as we drove out to Old Stage Road  …  There is a very good calf crop this spring … There were two porta-potties setting on a rise in the middle of a field north of Yreka with no indication of why … The dogwood, locust, madrone, and catalpa trees down lower in elevation than Cold Comfort Farm are in bloom … The oaks are blush red with buds … The sides of the freeway are dusted with lupine bloom … and Emigrant Lake is fuller than it has been in quite some time.

At one spot in Shasta Valley I saw a cowboy on horseback out with his herd.  I also saw a rather large coyote crossing the road away from him.
We don’t often see coyotes near the road nor in daylight.  Wish I had gotten a photo.  Oh well …

It was a nice drive.


The first of the 4th of July planning meetings was interesting in that there were fewer people in attendance but they seemed to be more involved than in the past.  The radio club will be doing security duty friday, saturday, and sunday nights and then working the walk-run and the awards on the 4th as usual.  A woman I first met sixty-two years ago while at the New Mexico State Insane Asylum will be visiting and so she will be with me on the 4th.  That should be fun.


Plans for this year’s garden are underweigh.  We will be doing two straw bales to grow the squash.  It is sort of an experiment.  John and I had read about straw bale gardening and both thought it sounded like a go.  We shall see.

The rest of the garden will be as usual … manure and mulch.  I have leads on both straw bales and horse manure. 

John will be here next week and we’ll get started.


As I said before, Julie (whose grandfather was my cousin Marvin) came for a visit.  We hadn’t seen her in a couple of years so it was good to see her again.

Julie & George


She was able to be here for two full days, but we just visited.  No tourist stuff this time.

She left yesterday morning and the house seemed a bit empty as it always does when company leaves.



Julie’s visit triggered a cooking adventure.  She is gluten sensitive and I had a whole lot of bread planned for meals.  But I switched to potatoes and rice and found a gluten-free cake mix left from when Kamille was here and so we had a chocolate cake (which was more like a cake-brownie … heavier than a regular chocolate cake) and I mixed amaranth flour with rice flour and a teeny bit of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour to make a blueberry buckle for breakfast one morning.  It smelled great and tasted good too.  It was a bit more like a crumble than a buckle, but satisfying.

Although both George and I are gluten tolerant, I guess I will learn some fundamentals to gluten-free cooking and baking.


The eye exam and treatment went as usual, and George’s semi-annual physical (the first since our Doc switched to VA) went well.  Next eye appointment is on the 24th.


I read an interesting thought in the Rebbe’s column this week.  Sort of ties in with the idea that what you put out is what you get.


“If you train yourself to respond to people who ask you how you are with ‘Quite well’ or some other positive thought, then many times a day you will focus on what you have to be thankful for and you will also hopefully bring joy to others by your uplifting example. If you say, ‘Can’t Complain’ you have fulfilled your social obligation of answering what is generally a social formality question of ‘How are you?’ — but you bring no joy to yourself or anyone else.”


So … ’til next week …