29 September …


This is being posted a day late because we left about 0145 wednesday morning to get to the Medford airport in time to put the kids on the plane for home.  I took a less-than-an-hour nap and spent the rest of tuesday-wednesday night visiting with the kids, so when George and I got back to Cold Comfort yesterday morning a bit after 0630 … I fed AC, let the hens and the pullets out, came back to the house and went to sleep.

It was essentially a lost day.

I am no longer able to stay up all night and function anywhere near normal the next day.

Oh well …


Short note in re the debate last monday … it made it a lot easier to decide for whom to vote.


The grandson and his intended t-thad a bit if a problem getting here … but they finally arrived last thursday morning. breakdownThey had been driving … with a stop in Ft Collins, Colorado to visit a friend. 

Just north of Salt Lake City their car gave up the ghost.  I’m not a vehicle expert so I can’t give details, but the upshot was that it needed a completely new engine.  It was not a new car (they’re young and just getting started so most stuff is second hand as it usually is at that age). 

After consulting with his Dad, it was decided that Tyler and Tiffany would pack up as much of the stuff from the car as they could carry and fly the rest of the way.  All the stuff remaining in the car, and the car itself were then donated to a charity.  Tax write-off time.

George and I drove up to Medford to get them and we got an extra couple of days with them, so it wasn’t all bad.

sunset-22-sept-2016There had been a sprinkling of powder snow on the Mountain tuesday. so she was lovely for their first sunset here.

George and I had committed for a radio event on saturday and the kids went with us.airport-station 


My station was much the same as usual … 





and the view of the eastside of the Mountain from George’s station was lovely.



We all did the tourist thing on monday.  Before dinner (at the local excellent Mexican restaurant), we drove up the Mountain to Bunny Flats.  hikersThe kids took a hike while George and I enjoyed the sun and air.

Then, while we were in town, Tyler wanted to show the town (all two blocks of it) to Tiffany.  George and I don’t do the walking thing so much any more.  While they went sightseeing and shopped, we went to the city park, found a place under a big oak, and napped. It was lovely.nap-site

The rest of the time was just being together at Cold Comfort with Tyler showing off the land where he spent summers for so many years.




While they were here, they got engaged. 



Other than that, things were mostly pretty laid back. 


28-sept-2016The maple has really coloured up for the season.  Temperatures are due to get cooler.  Days are shorter.  We were able to see all but one of the family this year.  Life is good.


The High Holy Days begin next sunday.

A person had to deliver a very important message to a man in a synagogue on Rosh Hashana.  The usher wouldn’t let him in because he didn’t have a ticket.  “No ticket, no entrance!”  “Please,” begs the man, “I promise … I won’t pray!”

Time to reflect on the past, correct our mistakes, plan for the future, and pray for a healthy and sweet year.

Blessings …


spinzilla-stash-2016My stash for Spinzilla is ready to start spinning.  I’m concentrating on white this year so I will have yarn to experiment with dyeing.

I’ll do better with blog timing next week.  I gar-on-tee.  

Only scheduled event between now and then is the Headwaters Ultra Marathon next saturday.


So … ’til next week …


21 September …

Last wednesday George and I went to a seminar to learn about creating a trust so when we die all the fuss of probate will be avoided. I went with a skeptical attitude expecting it would be a buy-it-now push, but also expecting to learn something about trusts. Both expectations were met.

It was a buy-it-now affair ($300 off if you buy now), but the fast-talking salesman didn’t object to being interrupted by questions (even seemingly antagonistic ones) and his responses were clear and understandable. My take-away objection was the insertion of political opinion into the spiel and I mentioned that to the contact person when we talked earlier this week.

Yes … we did buy at the seminar at a cost $600 below the local attorneys’ prices. The creation of the trust is in process.

Then at the Family History Center thursday, I heard a horror story about a trust created by a local attorney which contained additions by the husband about which the wife knew nothing, that the actual trust was never filed, and that the attorney is now billing her for consultations about the problems.

But on the pro side, an old friend (from when we first moved onto Hammond Ranch) had dealt with the company with whom we are dealing, and her experience has been good. So we feel we did okay.

Stay tuned …


Volunteer time at the Family History Center is becoming an iffy proposition.  My time was cancelled the first of the month due to the smoky air.  Then yesterday, the Sister I expected was ill and another showed up whose daughter was visiting and with whom she wished to go shopping. When there had been no takers for genealogy by 1230, we closed shop since I am not allowed to be there alone. I worry a little about what if someone plans to get there at 1300 or so.  Maybe we should ask those interested to call and tell us they plan on coming and when. However, I’m not on that committee. Oh well …

Next scheduled day … 6 October … right in the middle of Spinzilla.


21-sept-2016Seasonal report … the year is moving rapidly toward full Autumn and onward toward Winter.  Completely dark by 2000.  And not really light until after 0730.

Weather has been clear and moderate.




There are signs of Autumn both indoors (hummer feeders and drying chilies) …







and outdoors (dried grasses).



The Gap fire down river is under control.  No new ones.


The trip to Medford last monday was a busy one.  The list of things to get done looked daunting.  But it all got done (with one exception) and we were home a bit after 1600.  Weather was nice and there was very little traffic.

Not much new at the retinologist.  George’s right eye AMD is under control and we may be dropping back to every five weeks rather than every four.

We’re on a fish and chips meal trip.  We had gone to McGrath’s Fish House in Medford last month and went there again yesterday.  They post what seafood is fresh each day and its source.  Our fish and chips monday was wild caught cod from Washington state.  Next month we will be in Medford on a tuesday and plan to try the fish and chips at the Wharf in downtown Medford.

Comparison shopping …


Next to last radio event for 2016 will be the Biketoberfest in McCloud next saturday, 24 September. It was originally held in October.  Now that it is in September maybe it should be renamed Biketemberfest … but I’m not on that committee.

George and I will be manning our regular stations.

Other news for the radio club is that three members took on the job of sprucing up the exterior of the building.clubhouse-before It had been in deplorable shape. 

clubhouse-afterNow it looks soooooo good.

New eaves and roof. Obstructive trees taken down and antennas improved. Now a spruced up exterior.  Maybe the next step is to do something about the windows and interior.  We shall see.


I just finished reading “The Cursed Child”, the 8th of the Harry Potter stories … and I’d been having a hard time with it.  However, I think I figured out why.

There were two Wilmas reading.

Wilma #1 is the Potter fan who wants to know what is happening.

Wilma #2 is the Wilma who has been involved with live theatre, mainly in the role of audience, for over 70 years.

Wilma #2 keeps getting in the way of Wilma #1.

Just one “for instance” … there is a scene in which the boys disappear under an invisibility cloak and the headmistress of Hogwarts is unable to see them (of course), but is able to see things move as the boys move.

Wilma #1 can see this in her mind’s eye, but Wilma #2 says “How can you do that on stage? A black cloak, like Bunraku, and expect the audience to play along? Maybe.”

Wilma #1 moved into the lead telling Wilma #2 that she is not on that committee so sit back and enjoy the ride.

It would have made a very good novel.


Received a story (told by a lecturer) from our younger son which struck a sympathetic note.  After all, Mt Shasta is dormant, not extinct.

How about an Iceland story?
I was speaking recently in Iceland when suddenly the fire alarm goes off. And it isn’t one of those digital pulse ones, it’s an old school metal on metal clangy one that makes your head hurt. It’s so loud that I have to stop talking. Which is when I notice something interesting – no one is moving. They’re just sitting there calmly smiling at me. Which I take to mean, “no big deal, it will probably go off in a second.” But it doesn’t, the alarm just keeps ringing. We’ve been sitting this way for a bit when two people appear in the back of the venue, open the double doors to the parking lot, and start gesturing to us to come outside because there’s a fire. They actually say that – “There’s a fire. Get out!”
The audience? They slowly start standing up and gathering their things while they’re chatting casually with each other as they eventually make their way out of the venue. As I leave the room I smell smoke, which the others can smell, but it doesn’t speed them up at all. We all stand outside in the sun talking and then we’re told that the fire has been taken care of and we can go inside. So we file back in and when we’re all assembled I can’t stop laughing and I say, “Who are you people that you can be told there’s a fire in the building you’re currently in and you aren’t even remotely phased?”
Immediately a woman in the audience says, “What do you expect from people who live on a volcano?”


I had told you the reservoir is low.  Well, here’s how low.mill-1


That’s it for this week.  Tyler and Tiffany will arrive this evening. There will be a cheesecake on the table.


Lesson for us all:

Sometimes an email or phone call isn’t enough. Actually go see people.


So … ’til next week …


14 September …


The water level in the reservoir is dropping.  You can once again see the stone pilings of the old Durney Mill.  Chances are the reservoir will be down to the small spring-fed puddle by the end of the month.


Fire/weather report … the Gap fire to the north is coming under control.  There was a touch of smoke last sunday evening, but the wind has been with us.

A new fire broke out in Ft Jones but was under control rapidly.

We are under an almost constant red flag watch, but so far all is well.

~~~daddy-and-incle-edgar-abt-1905Last sunday was the 114th anniversary of my Daddy’s birth.  That is Daddy on the left with his brother, Edgar.  Daddy was about 4 when this picture was taken.  He was the youngest in the family and is still very present in my life.


Getting lost is an adventure which is being denied to the younger generations due to MapQuest and Google Maps and GPS and APRS etc. etc. etc.

George and I have gotten lost more than once during our travels.  One adventure that comes to mind was the time we were moving to Milwaukee because of George’s work.  We were passing through Joplin, Missouri and had an empty evening.  I had seem a tourist flier advertising the “Joplin Ghost Light” (also called the Hornet Spooklight, Hollis Light and Joplin Spook Light) and we ecided to go see if we could find it.

One story about the light is that it traces back to some boys lost during the Trail of Tears.  At any rate, it is said to be seen in the mountains between Missouri and Oklahoma.

We set out after dinner, following the map in the brochure, into an area we had never been in and of which we had no knowledge.

We found ourselves on narrow backroads (some gravel) with few or no signs of people.  We met no cars.

Eventually we came across a sign of people … a barn just off the road on the left.  But there was no one visible from whom we could ask directions.

We pulled a bit further down the road and a house up on the side of a hill to the right came into sight.  There was a light visible (of course it was after dark) and we decided to stop and ask directions to either the ghost light or back to Joplin.

Our oldest child was with us.  He was just fiveThe movie “Psycho” had recently been released. He had been with us at the drive-in when we saw “Psycho”, but I had made him lie down in the back seat and go to sleep.  “Deliverance” was still in the future.

After a short discussion, it was decided it would be best if were the one to go up the steps and walkway to ask for directions while George stayed in the car with John to keep the engine running … just in case we had to leave in a hurry.  Logical, right?

Well … I was not attacked by any deranged householders, we never did see the light, and we did get back to Joplin and then on to Milwaukee.

And that was just one of our “getting lost” adventures.


In this part of Siskiyou County there are two railroad lines.  The main one is Union Pacific which bought out Southern Pacific and which runs freight through the canyon north and south.  That line is also the one used by Amtrak.

The other is CORP … the California Oregon Pacific line which runs from Weed, through the Shasta Valley into southern Oregon.

There is lots of traffic on the UP line.  I hear trains and train whistles often.

CORP however, is a much smaller operation so it is rare to see trains in operation.  But last friday we were on our way north on old 99 when about halfway between Gazelle and Grenada we came upon an engine headed north with four flatcars of plywood, a box car, and a tanker car (contents of both unknown).

I was so surprised I almost forgot to wave to the engineer as we passed, but I did wave and received a short “toot” in return.

I do love trains … even diesels.


Last sunday I received a surprise phone call.  Ginger Mattos had been Mark’s third grade teacher.  She and I had met occasionally over the years, but did not maintain contact.  So when I heard her on the phone, it sort of startled me.

It turned out she had been trying to call a friend and had used a card on which was written my name and phone number.  But my name had been crossed out and the name of her friend written above.  Ginger had no memory of or reason for how that had happened.

We chatted for a few minutes during which I learned she had a fall a year ago resulting in a head injury which put her in the hospital for several days and now she is not allowed to drive, leaving her essentially housebound.  Ginger was calling her friend to ask when she would be coming next to take her to the store. 

Ginger invited me to stop by for a visit some time (I go past her place on my way into and back from Mt Shasta) and I said I would.

There is a connection between Ginger and me.  We share a birthday date.  The year Mark was in Ginger’s class he had money for just one pair of earrings and wanted to give gifts to both of us … so I got one earring and Ginger got the other.  I don’t think of her often.  The one time I for sure remember her is when I go to put on a pair of earrings and see that single bird earring,  I wonder if she still has hers.  Maybe I’ll stop by and ask.

But I am wondering at the coincidence of the alteration of that phone card

 … if it was a coincidence.   


I’ve signed up for Spinzilla again.  This year it is the first week in October.  I’ve ordered some fiber and will look for some more.  No way do I want to run out.

Reports to follow.


Autumn truly is in the air.plumThe yellow plum in the courtyard has changed ...

red-mapleAnd the first signs of red are on the maple.maple


And thinking back to getting lost … someone once said


A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.


So … ’til next week …


7 September …


Trip to the new doctor last wednesday began with a noticeable scent in the airWednesday 1 and the mountains to the southwest blue-grey behind a haze.

As we went out Dale Creek past the reservoir we had trouble seeing the Mountain.Wednesday 2 If we hadn’t known where She is, we would have missed Her.

Wednesday 3The depth of the smoke picked up as we went north.

Wednesday 4 By the time we got to Yreka, the haze had become a pall and it was difficult to see across the road.

Wednesday 5It wasn’t much better by the time we headed home.

This morning is much clearer although the Gap fire is still out of control.  Depends on the direction of the wind.


Aside from the smoke situation, my appointment with the new doc was interesting to say the least.  When he came in I said hello and that I didn’t need care, I was there to meet him.  His reply was that I had just deleted the first five minutes of his presentation.

I tried to be as open and honest about my situation as possible. We often don’t realize what we are not sharing. But I did the best I could and I think I answered his questions truthfully.

The outcome was that although he honors Dr. Kolpacoff, he wants to make his own assessment of my staph situation the next time it occurs, and white-coat-anxiety aside he wants to check on my blood pressure.  He said he would give me a one time script for the staph antibiotic I’ve been using, but not the prednisone. He wants me to start the antibiotic as soon as I recognize the symptoms next time and get in to see him asap.  I told him that cellulitis leaves me a blubbering mess and asked what trouble I would have getting an emergency appointment and he said he always leaves time in his schedule for just such events. We shall see. If I’m lucky, my body has decided to not do that thing any longer and I will never have to test the front office’s protective issues.

It was a normal appointment.  However, I still miss the days of going in, being met by a single front desk person (often the doc’s wife since there were very few female docs back then and office’s were often in the doctor’s home), having vitals checked by a back office person (often the same person as the front office person and even sometimes the doc himself),  and then talking with the doc.

And if for some reason you couldn’t make it to the office, the doc came to you.

Nowadays the front office consists of a receptionist, a transcriber of the required medical history information sheets, a telephone person, an insurance person, an appointment maker, and in some cases a door keeper even before you get to the front desk.

Once past that area, there is the information reviewer, the vitals taker who may or may not be the one to show you to the “exam” room, and once in the exam room, the reviewer of all that went before who is often the transcriber who stays in the room and notes every action and word. Then, during the “exam”, techs of various kinds and the keeper of the medical records may be involved.

Last wednesday I saw seven different people in addition to the doctor and that was without any diagnostic procedures being done.

It’s similar to the contrast between the Emergency “Room” when I first went to work and the Emergency “Department” now. 

Back in the “old” days, I was the only person in the “room” … receptionist, clerk, phone person, vitals taker, transcriptionist, etc. as well as the RN doing triage, initial care, collector of specimens, and implementer of any orders from the doctor. And after office hours or on weekends (I worked weekend nights), the RN had to call a general practice doc (at his home) if he was needed for orders or to actually come to the hospital.

Now that “department” has all the separate people noted earlier as well as in-house techs, an extra RN or LVN, and a 24-hour specialty doc.

Oh well …

End of rant-like observation.


My scheduled session at the Family History Center last thursday was cancelled due to the smoke. The amount of smoke was less (the wind had shifted a bit) but the Sister with whom I was scheduled to work has asthma and couldn’t go outdoors.

LDS Church rules don’t allow anyone to work alone, so I had the day free.


Seasons are changing.Daddy's Rose


I’ve picked the last of Daddy’s green roses.




Herbs and peppers are hung to dry and hummer feeders taken in.



AC no longer “herds” the ladies but sits with me and waits for them to herd themselves into the house in the evening.

I have begun the process of weaning him away from the chickens and introducing him to the barn cats. Not easy. He has never lived with cats, at least not since he was abandoned.

But there was an encouraging development last monday.  I’d begun giving him his breakfast at the barn door and monday morning I saw him with one of the barn cats. AC left him (or her) to come to me, but there had been no antagonism.

Things are as they are …


I had been getting antsy about firewood.  George said he couldn’t skid the logs for cutting into rounds without the tractor … and it was being recalcitrant. Thursday he got it running (carburetor) and so will skid in the next day or so.  Then into rounds and then (after a week or so) splitting followed by stacking.  We may stay warm this winter after all. 

Next year I’ll start getting antsy earlier and we may be ready earlier. 

Yea … right.

Oh well …


Picked up Mountain View Organic tomatoes on monday. I’ve been using their tomatoes for Ruby’s soup and sauce for several years.TomatoesThey give me the field runs (not so pretty) at a very good price.



They have been choppedIn the pot and stewed.  Soon, our winter 7-11 will be stocked with soup and sauces

Jelly & Grats

in addition to the Cold Comfort grape jelly. 


(That’s my “gratitude” jar beside the jelly)



The High Holy Days are coming and I recently saw a list of questions to ask yourself in preparation.  Three of them hit me as useful even if you aren’t Jewish.


What are my three most significant achievements?

What are the three biggest mistakes I’ve made?

What project or goal, if left undone, will I most regret?­­­­­­­­­


I’m working on my answers.

So … ’til next week …