22 February …


Well … the meeting of the radio club went as expected … I am President for another year, and now my daughter is to be the Secretary as soon as they get relocated to this area.  Nepotism???


A week or so ago I saw pictures of a mama panda playing with her cub.  They were rolling and tugging at each other and appeared to be having a great time.  It was the kind of a scene you wish your kids could see when you take them to the zoo.

The baby would grab the mama’s leg.  Then the mama would roll the baby over and step away.  Then the baby would run off and the mama would run after and roll the baby over. Then the baby would climb on the mama’s back and appear to nuzzle her neck. 

It was fun to watch … until the baby did something that either made no sense to me (not being a mama panda) or that I just didn’t see, because the mama sat down hard, reached out and pushed the baby into the moat surrounding their enclosure as if to say “That’s enough for now.”

I wonder what it was that ended that romp.


In my kitchen there are several tools which were inherited from my maternal grandmother.  I use at least one of them daily.

And on the net I often see pictures of old things asking “Do you know what this is?”

DSCF4352Sooooo … do you know what this is?DSCF4351







John and Michael, who now reside in Dunsmuir, have noted the four seasons in that town starting with what the rest of the world calls Spring.  They are Fishing, Tourist, Hunting, and Locals Only.

Sounds right …


Weather has been weird as it has been all along this season.  Morning snowWe’ve had snow overnight several times with the snow being gone by the end of the day.  We are now in another below-freezing spell.  But we do have firewood with the prospect of more soon.  And the 7-11 is still stocked to overflowing.

Twenty-six days ’til Equinox.


Every time you hold a child, walk or talk with someone, see a sunrise or sunset, feel a breeze or sprinkle of rain, smell a flower, hear the wind in the trees — you should be living your life thankfully.


So … ’til next week …



15 February …


Tonight is the radio club meeting.  Report next week …

Yesterday was our first trip “out” since the first of the year.  I replenished my supply of flour and butter. 

It was a good day, with one exception.  It had been seven weeks since we saw the retinologist rather than the regular four and there had been a bit of regression in George’s AMD, i.e. an increase in fluid under his retina.  We will be on a strict four week schedule from now on so things should improve.

Weather was good and all we needed to get done got done.

Today we go to Yreka after firewood and the rest of the grocery list.  I also have to pay the second installment of property taxes.  In the past, tax payments were due on 10 December and 10 April.  This tax year the dates were moved to 1 November and 1 February.  Next year (this year?) I will try to pay the entire bill in November.


A bit ago, I got a really surprising contact from a woman in Portland, Oregon.  She said she had an aunt whose maiden name had been Wilma Dibelka.  Wow !  Floored me.  I had been told my name, which I inherited from my aunt, was a female form of my grandfather’s name (he was Charles William called Will) and I had known only two Wilmas, my aunt and I, until I went to college where I met a Wilma and then here to Mt Shasta where I worked with another Wilma for twenty years.

The woman in Portland said her aunt had been a Czech and gave me her married name.  My first thought was this might be a lead-in to Dibelka research in the old country so, of course, I started looking. I still have a long way to go with this search, but I have already found a Wilma Diabelko, born in Czechoslovakia in 1923, who applied for a US Social Security number in 1941.  War refugee? 

This is going to be fun.


Does anyone remember high jumps before the Fosbury flop?  I remember the first time I saw a flop and that there was a way to get over the bar before, but I couldn’t recall exactly what it looked like.  Then I found this picture from the Olympics …Fosbury

But my point in bringing up this obscure item is that last week I learned the flop first saw light in Medford just a few miles up the road.  It is a technique which shifted the jumper’s center of gravity to a spot below his body (even below the bar) allowing a higher jump.

Dick Fosbury failed to clear 5′ to qualify for a meet while in high school because he couldn’t master the then favored technique in order to get his 6’4″ over the bar.  So he (and his coachs at Medford High School and the University of Oregon) fine-tuned the back-first style and won a gold medal in the 1968 Olympics at 7′ 4 1/4″.

The name came from an article in the Medford Mail -Tribune in which the reporter said he looked like a fish flopping in a boat.

What triggered this trip into useless trivia?  Last week Dick Fosbury was in Medford at a sports fundraising event and caught my attention on a tv news report because he stood head and shoulders (almost head and torso) over the young man reporting the event.

And now you too are an owner of this trivia.


The roads out here on Hammond Ranch are in pretty sad condition.  Rain 9 Feb 2017The road subsurface is supersaturated with rain and snow-melt runoff.  As a result the road surface has been breaking down creating rather large mud holes. 

Sugar Pine Road is essentially impassable at one point.  Wreckers have been coming out routinely to pull vehicles out of the mud.  Maybe it wasn’t as much of a problem as we thought that our driveway and the immediately adjacent road weren’t passable.

In forty years of residence out here we have never seen this much road damage.  However, that isn’t so surprising since for the majority of that time the road was used by comparatively few families.  Now there are, at a minimum, close to a hundred families in which at least one member needs to go out and in every day.  No wonder the roads break down.

Weather has been iffy …10 February 2017 melt one day,

11 February 2017 then a light snow,

15 February 2017then more melt.

AC and Fluffy



AC and Fluffy were on the boardwalk this morning.



But spring is on the way …Here Comes Spring

All-in-all, Milne had it right when he wrote … 

”It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.

“So it is.”

“And freezing.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”


So … ’til next week …

8 February …


Spent last thursday morning watching “Groundhog Day”.

Deja vu …



Remember last week I told you about the book with geezers and the only thing I could remember was the author had three names?  Well, I found it.




Last friday we watched “Live From Lincoln Center” on PBS.  It was the 50th annual “Mostly Mozart” and was notable for a couple of reasons;

The men in the orchestra were all dressed like the conductor …black trousers with black, long-sleeved shirts open at the neck, i.e. no ties.  It looked good.  It would have looked nicer had the women foregone the lace and glitter in order to blend.   One female violinist was wearing a black pants suit and looked good. 

IMHO, when you are part of a unit, try to blend.  Individuality has its place, but not in this sort of a situation.  I will admit, the way the orchestra looked didn’t do any harm to the way they sounded even though it was a bit distracting (I noticed it, didn’t I?).

Another eye-opener was that the audience really knew the score(s).  There were no inappropriate “bravo”s and the applause was in appropriate places, i.e. not interrupting the flow..  Wow … audience critic here.

Lincoln Center is one big plus to living in New York City.


Last monday Queen Elizabeth II marked 65 years as Queen. 

I remember when her father took the throne in the mid-30s.  I can still see the picture in Life magazine of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

I’ve been around a loooooong time.


Another note in re “Live at Lincoln Center” last week … the solo pianist was Richard Goode. His technique was good (no pun intended) and I enjoyed listening to his work with the Piano Concerto No. 12 …  but I was captivated by his resemblance to an actor who played supporting roles during the 40s named SZ Sakall (called “Cuddles”). 

Deja vu all over again.


Weather has been changing.  Temperatures have finally gotten above freezing and we’re getting rain.  George has been able to clear the water out of the oil in the backhoe, and to free the pick-up from where it had been high-centered.

See the car 6 Feb 2017There has been significant melt.  Remember the last picture of the Toyota?  The snow in the backyard is down to about a foot.

The heavy snow has done some damage in the courtyard, but that will be repaired by summer.

8 Feb 2017

And here’s the view toward the barn this morning.

Just a bit over five weeks until Equinox.


The first-year hens have been providing six or seven eggs a day.  At one point I had five dozen in the fridge.  I’ve been giving them to John and the neighbors and am currently down to three dozen in the fridge Eggswith another dozen in the ceramic hen awaiting use and several in a basket waiting for an empty carton.  I’ve been baking bread puddings and lemon custards and making waffles and sourdough pancakes and hard-boiling for salad garnish and sandwich spreads. 

I have also been concentrating on clearing out the freezers so we can defrost and clean.  I had concentrated last year on stocking up so we could survive with good food through any situation such as being snowed in.  Now it is time to clear out and start over.

Last week we had turkey-veggie pasties, topped-with-everything (including extra mozzarella) pizza, turkey and dumplings, beef-chili beans with rice, bacon-cheese topped twice baked potatoes, pasta-e-fagiol (all with good side dishes, salads, and sweet-and-sours), and several types of breakfast breads such as muffins and scones.  Too bad we don’t eat very well. 

We will reach the bottom of the freezers by summer and then, once they are defrosted and cleaned, I can start restocking.


L Wrist 4 Feb 2017 (2)



My favorite local tv ad (Father and Sons Jewelry) now features Bob as Bluebeard.



Something to remember …


Do unto others … as though you were the others.


So … ’til next week …

1 February ..,.


February already ???

29 Jan 2017

Here’s what the Mountain looks like from Dale Creek Road (photo taken by John on a trip to check our road conditions).


This winter, which is a lot like the winters when we first moved here nearly 40 years ago, has been a bit of a challenge. We always seem to have a crisis the first of any year.  This year the main problem is the water heater. It stopped working.                               

We use a flash heater, i.e. one that does not use a holding tank but which heats the water as it flows across a heating element.  Ours works on propane.

I first learned of this type of heater in a book I read when I was in high school.  The book was about two young American girls on holiday in Europe written by a woman who I remember only in that she had three names.  She said that these heaters were used widely in hotels and hostels on the continent in those days and were called “geezers”.  You put in a coin and got hot water.

My next encounter with them was many years later when we visited a friend on Cole Street in San Francisco.  His apartment had one and I found it fascinating.

Then when we moved here, energy became an issue since we would be making our own.  This type of heater uses energy only when in operation.  One ad highlighted the idea you could run the water unrestricted and not run out of hot water.  We have done that more than once when family is here.  Shower after shower after shower and still hot water.

But this year I’ve been heating water for dishes on the wood stove and it has been several days since either George or I have had a shower.  Don’t come visit. 

George was able to locate a new flash heater on the net and it was delivered last monday.  We are now awaiting an adaptor and when it arrives … paradise.

I’ll let you know when we are clean and it is safe to visit.


Reading ???  Still working my way through the Holmes stories.  Giggled at “The Blue Carbuncle”.

And going back and forth to and from Elizabethan  England.

And now rereading “Cabala” written by Thornton Wilder in the 1920S.  Wow.


February Reading Woman


This month’s  Reading Woman is taken from an oil on canvas by Edmund Charles Tarbell titled “Girl Reading” which was painted in 1909.  Rather stark, but calm don’t you agree?



A change in weather seems to be coming.  We are scheduled for rain and warmer temperatures for at least the next week.  That would be good for us.  It would make opening the plug in the road easier.  But enough warmth and rain to do that could be a problem for all those downstream. 

However, we need to get out (it’s been a full month now and I’ve had to reschedule George’s eye appointment twice) so I’m affirming rain.

Here are some comparisons …29 Jan 2017 north window

29 January – out the north window …

30 Jan 2017 out front 1

30 January – out the front door …

30 Jan 2017 Out front 2

30 January – the birches …

1 Feb 2017 to the barn1 February – out the front door toward the barn …



AC waiting for me to bring in firewood …


High last night was 39° and the snow depth in the backyard is down to 42 inches.


Last week I received a note from a cousin’s friend who is an amateur radio operator.  My license is as a tech operator which means I’m not very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of radio.  So arranging a QSO will take some interaction with those in the club who hold general or extra licenses.  This will be instructive and could be fun.


For the coming month …


Do what you feel in your heart to be right … you’ll be criticized anyhow.

– Eleanor Roosevelt


So … ’til next week …