26 October …


Weather = wind and rain.26-november-2016



michaels-tree                                        Still a bit of eyecandy remaining.


Yreka last wednesday was interesting.  Temperature when we left home was 32° and there was ground fog over the reservoir and all along the pastures in the Shasta Valley. 

There is a good crop of autumn calves to admire this year.

As we went up old 99, it was not yet dawn at 0700, but we saw two school busses.  I remember taking the boys out to the school bus stop in the dark during winter months.  I don’t recall catching the bus in the dark when I was riding a school bus, but then I lived a lot further south.

While we were in Yreka, we did some shopping (there is a Grocery Outlet up there and although they don’t always have what I want, when they do have it the price is good).  And George needed to pick up medication at the WalMart.

At WalMart, I checked on the price of a shingles vaccination … again … to see if anything had changed.  Nope.  Still $230 not covered by MediCare.  And RiteAid is even more expensive.  Oh well …




The reason for the trip to Yreka was for George to get his semi-annual blood draw.  He goes for the check-up in a couple of weeks. 

As usual following those fasting blood draws, we went to Poor George’s for brunch. 

plaqueI really like the sign over one of the booths … it makes me remember being a kid and so makes me grin.

I suggested they put it on the menu someplace.

Might not be a bad idea for family kitchens.


While we were in Yreka, George and I delivered our ballots to the County Clerk’s office and collected our “I voted” stickers (saw in Facebook that women in the Rochester NY area are putting their “I voted” stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s gravemarker).

One year I went up to watch the vote count in Yreka.  Siskiyou’s clerk has it all set up openly and invites anyone to come watch.

If you’re bored, suspicious, or just curious … check out your precinct or clerk’s office. 

Too bad there aren’t civics classes in middle and high schools any more.  Vote count watching would make a good field trip.


Some time ago I asked about the position of a negative in a phrase… remember?  Is it “to NOT do” something or “NOT to do” something? 

Well … ran into another language situation a bit ago.  I saw the phrase “wrong mistake” and, going with the rule that a double negative makes a positive, I wondered if the speaker really intended to indicate a “mistake” which was actually a positive and therefore a lesson.

Wondering what others thought, I posed my thought as a question.

I am still convinced a “wrong mistake” is most likely not a mistake at all, and can indicate a hidden lesson.

I can, at this point in time, attribute my question only to the difference in the teaching of language and the value of words which say what you mean.

I need to work on using my words more carefully so my meaning or thoughts are more clear.

Oh well …


My grandkids brought me a tee for the holiday …



Our trip to Medford yesterday was good.  The rain held off until we were nearly home.  Several days of autumn wet ahead.  Time for baking, reading, spinning, and a new Murdock disc.



Found this a few days ago and think it is poetic enough to share.


Winter is an etching.

Spring is a watercolour.

Summer is an oil painting.

Autumn is a mosaic of them all.

…              J. Horowitz


So … ’til next week …


19 October …


george-wilma-wedding-cakeBy  this evening, George and I will have been married for sixty-four years.


I was told, last week, that the URL I’ve been putting in the blog email notice doesn’t act like a link.  Oops …

I thought it did.  So I started looking and I think I’ve cleared up the problem.  From now on the URL should also be a link. 

Let me know.


I didn’t give any explanation for the drop in spinning output for this year’s Spinzilla when I wrote last week’s blog.  I felt that had I done so, it would have sounded like whining.

However, I now wish to claim reasons, but not excuses. 

The weather was changing last week with rain on the incoming so the arthritis in my right thumb was fired up.  I have some cannabis salve which works fairly well, but I didn’t know if it would stain fiber so didn’t use it.

Then with only two days left, I got bitten on the pad of my right index finger.  That’s the finger (and thumb) with which I control the amount of fiber going into the twist.

I began using the arthritis salve as soon as spinning time was up, and homemade healing salve treated the bite.  I am finishing up my fiber stash and will have fun learning to gradient dye the yarn.

As a result of circumstances … I consider myself a winner … even if I am a whiner.


The blessings from John’s visit were many. 

He and George spent wednesday bringing in firewood.  His brother also made arrangements for the delivery of two cords of firewood next week.  I am feeling very loved and secure.

Two not so good incidents … while loading wood into the back of the mule for transportation to the house, John discovered a ground bees’ nest and was stung a couple of times.  Aloe and a soda paste to the rescue.  George misstepped and lost his balance once and wound up with a sensitive area over his left kidney.  Massage with arnica, chamomile, and yarrow helped.


And I had another flare-up of the facial thing.  It had been over a year since the last incident.

It began saturday and was in full bloom by monday morning.  I saw a Family Nurse Practitioner in Dunsmuir monday around noon.  He took my word for what had happened in the past and wrote me a script based on that.

By tuesday noon things were under control.

But his new eyes had an interesting take on cause and diagnosis.  We will be following up on that.


The first of the late Autumn storms arrived after dark thursday evening.  On the NOAA radar map you could see about four of them lined up to the west.

Totals so far are:

Thursday … 2.27″

Friday … 0.22″

Saturday … 2.33″

Sunday … 0.84″

Monday … 0.30″

18-oct-2016Total … 5.93″ and snow on the Mountain.



Here’s what it looked like last evening, through the backyard trees.



While John was here, we got a pullet surprise …

surprisefirst eggs.



And a thought for the week …


“Success is when you look back at your life and the  memories make you smile.”


So … ’til next week …



12 October …


Well … my Spinzilla total was 5,221 yards or 2.97 miles.production 


Last year I did 5,866 yards or 3.33 miles. That’s about a third of a mile less.  


I am still spinning “cobweb” according to the gauge in Meg Swanson’s lace book.gauge  





I do enjoy spinning and now my stash is reloaded.


AC has finally begun to grow.  For a long time I thought maybe he had been runted by being abandoned, but he is developing into a lovely cat. 

He has become friends with the rest of the cats at Cold Comfort.  In fact, he and the furry black panther seems to have developed a play partnership.  It’s fun to watch AC jump her and then the two of them roll and run.

He now waits for me at the front door.  He must be very aware of light levels because, at this time of year, dusk and dawn times are fluid and that’s when I go out to close in the hens and feed him

If only I weren’t so allergic to cat dander, he’d be a house companion.




And the pullets will start laying soon.



John arrived yesterday.  Heart-lifting …

I was getting a bit worried about heat for the winter.  Since neither George nor I are as young as we once were, getting wood cut and stacked is no longer an easy chore.  But John will be helping today, and he and Mark have arranged for some already cut and split to be delivered.  Blessed sons.

Rain is due to begin this evening so whatever is to be accomplished outdoors has to be done today.  This series of storms is predicted to be a doozy. We shall see.


Random thoughts early in the morning …

I think I have used the words “graveyard” and “cemetery” interchangeably.  Then a bit ago I learned they aren’t the same.  It seems graveyards are cemeteries, but not all cemeteries are graveyards.

Churches are the difference.  If the burial place is in church property near a church it is a graveyard.  Any place the dead are buried, entombed, or inurned is a cemetery.

Around here there are commercial cemeteries, historical cemeteries, municipal cemeteries, private family cemeteries, … but none connected directly with a church like ones back east and in Europe.  Hence … no graveyards in Siskiyou County.

Don’t ask how I got on this subject.


Another word thing came up just this morning.

I have always thought a “maze” and a “labyrinth” were two different forms … that a labyrinth was a single path in the form of a spiral and a maze was a walking puzzle with side paths and dead ends.  But according to www. dictionary.com, and my 1947 5th Edition of Websters, the words are interchangeable.

Learn something new every day …




One dinner last week, we opened the next to last bottle of wine given to us by our brother-in-law Don from his Oak Leaf Winery … some Concord from 1991.

Don died in February of last year, but he is still with us.  I contunie using some dried rosemary he gave me.


Another thing taking up mind time … negative verbs in English.

Is it better “not to do” something or “to not do” something?

But enough with word play already …


Autumn colours continue to please.

wisteria-and-smokethe wisteria and the smoke tree …

crabappleTyler‘s crabapple …

plumthe plum tree …

mapleand, as always, the maple …

I really enjoy this season.


As was said by Emily Bronte …

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

Fluttering from the autumn tree.



So … ’til next week …

5 October …


I am right in the middle of Spinzilla …

Spinzilla started the night after the radio event.  So last week went something like this:

Wednesday … wasted day as reported last week.

Thursday and Friday … chore catch-up and made sure everything was ready for saturday.

Saturday … radio event from 0830 to 1730 (report elsewhere).

Sunday … prepped Matilda for our spinning marathon and made sure easy meals were ready.  Had rain and snow.

Monday … spin.

Tuesday … spin.

Today … post the blog, then back to spinning.


Last friday evening we watched Great Performances (the Vienna Philharmonic Summer Concert) on PBS.  The program was all French music and didn’t last nearly long enough.

One thing which caught my attention, as have other televised European concerts in the past, was the size of the audience. 

Thousands …

In the US those numbers are possible only for rock or other pop concerts, and most of the “sold out” is due to scalpers. 

Oh well  …

My impressionable years were in the 40s when the music available was swing and classics.  How fortunate I was.


The Headwaters event this year was held in hell … after hell had frozen over.  I don’t recall being that cold and shivering for that long, at least not in the last twenty or thirty years.  I had layered, but not enough.  My hands were sooooo cold it was difficult to write the communication notes.  I plan to get some of those warmers you put in your pocket just in case next year gives the same.




And watching the runners in shorts and no sleeves … brrr.


The caterers served lasagna which was very tasty (with forks but no knives … fortunately, George carries a pocket knife), a fresh fresh green mixed salad, and COLD drinks.  It was 34° when we left home and 28° at the event base with a wind coming off the lake.  Next year I take a thermos of HOT something and add my black bear pelt coat to the layers (along with the pocket hand warmers) … unless the thermometer registers degrees vastly warmer. 

As for the communications, all went well.  We had enough operators although one told us at the last minute he had to leave at 1000.  A ham from Quail Valley filled in.

We had a total of 156 runners in 3 venues … 10k, 30k, and the Ultra Marathon of 50k (about 30 miles … a marathon is 26.219 miles) all over dirt trails more fit for goats and deer.  Nary a foot of pavement. 

The only physical disaster was one runner who was wearing brand new shoes.  Her feet looked like raw steak by the time she got back.  Hardy souls …

At the end of the event they were minus one runner, but because of our communication records we could tell the event directors where he was within 2-3 miles.  And we got a call sunday night because the sponsors didn’t have times for another runner.  Radio communication logs showed that runner #102 didn’t show up for the event so there was nothing to report or about which to fret.  Many points (and thanks) to amateur radio records

… my only comment in re our radio commitments is … Well, that’s done for this year.


Overall, weather has been beautiful.crabappleThe cherry tree, the crabapple, the red maple, the catalpa, the birches are all dressed for Autumn.  Eye candy …

seedsThere were soft winds and the evergreens shared seeds in abundance.  New forests to come …

snow-viewThen (as reported earlier) on sunday we had the first snow of the season.


I recently heard a report about rage incidents on airplanes and was reminded of a study done at McGill University back in the 70s.  A “paradise” was provided for four male and four female rats/mice.  They reproduced at rat rate (lots and lots of offspring) and in less than two years the milieu went from paradise to chaos. 

One evaluation comment was “… this behavior is shared by both mice and humans, can we escape [this] fate?”

This seems like an explanation in re increased anxiety, depression, and violence in the world today.  How long before human reproduction overcrowds available space on this planet to the point where it meets the same fate?  I know one woman whose descendants number over 200 in just four generations.

If you’re interested, a synopsis of the study can be found at  


In a similar study the conclusion was ” In humans, overcrowding appears to result in a decline in task performance and deterioration in social behaviour. … Studies of humans have suggested that social behaviour is adversely affected by higher population density. Altruistic behaviour tends to decline as crowding increases. Latane and Darley (1968) carried out a series of studies that demonstrate this. “.

Questions ???


Remember me talking about the Salton Sea and the Gulf of California trying to unite?  Well … 


… and it is still shaking down there.


Observation … when George was in college on the GI bill, we got $75 a month living allowance.  It is now $1,000 a month.


Ahead are three more days spent spinning and a day tabulating the result.  Then Spinzilla will be done for this year.  John will arrive next tuesday.

Onward …

Remember …

coloursThe best things in life are not things.


L’shana Tova … Happy New Year to ALL my friends wishing them a year full of health, light, and love. 


‘Til next week …