24 May …


The Shooting Stars are doing their thing again …

(pictures by John, Michael, and me)


The bird population is swelling for summer.

As I was coming in from egg collection a few nights ago, a night bird swept across the path in front of me and all I heard was a soft “scree”.  John says it was an owl.  Probably.  There are one or two who call from the tall trees at dusk.

The ravens and jays are back as are the chickadees (the birds we called the one-two-three birds when the boys were little).

The sand cranes have fledged and the Canada geese chicks are learning to swim.

I was given a beautiful blue glass bird seed holder which I have hung in the courtyard, so I know juncos and wrens and swallows will be here soon.

Spring … season of beginnings.


At one time, before the plastic takeover, I used glass (Pyrex) for food storage.  Then I gradually fell under the spell of “modern” and switched to Tupperware and GladWare.

Now, after the word about dangers of plastic and teflon, i.e. chemical poly stuff in and pollution by, I am switching back to stainless and cast iron and glass.  One of the local groceries occasionally has glass storage items for sale, so I’m stocking up as I can.  There is a Pyrex seconds store just off I-5 in Oregon where we will make a stop soon on a trip north.  It feels sort of good to go back.  Too bad that in addition I can’t go back to the body and energy I had then.

Oh well …


The first of the summer events for which the radio club provides communication is less than a month away.  The Castle Crags bicycle event sponsored by the Mt Shasta Rotary (who use profits to provide books to children as well as other projects) will be in just a bit over three weeks.  I will be doing the rest stop at Mumbo (the highest point on the ride) for at least one more year.  I have no idea what the theme will be this year.  As you recall, it has been flower children, beach bingo bikinis, biker broads, and Star Wars over the last few years.  What can they do to top that?

The next event will be the Mt Shasta 4th, but we have planning time between the two.



On the last trip north, John commented that some folks have to pay dearly to take vacations in order to see and enjoy the views we live with and can enjoy every time we go outdoors or look out the windows.  Soooooooo true.


I started to write “especially in Spring”, but then thought of the plant growth, hot weather flowers, the birds and animals of Summer … and the burst of colour as the perennials drop foliage, the fields brown-off, and the late calves’ arrival in Autumn … and the soft. muted palette of Winter.

I therefore will not choose one season over the others, although all these pictures are current.

I am indeed blessed to live where I live.


Our other son, Mark, and his family will be arriving soon to take up residence back here where he grew up.  Another blessing.


And to end the week, a quote from a niece … 

Be kinder than necessary, because everyone is fighting some kind of battle.


So … ’til next week …

17 May …


The “celebration” of my natal day was good.  I slept in until 0530.  I had an appointment for a follow-up to the hand infection at 1000 and met the one who may well be my head medical care provider (whom I like as a result of that first exposure).  The hand is nearly healed, and the back situation is improving … however slowly.  I go to the clinic again next 12 June for my MediCare physical which is supposed to be annual.  I expect it will show that I’m in basically good condition … for my age.

At the finish of that follow-up, the doctor told me to wait in the exam room a minute.  That puzzled me a bit, but when he opened the door the entire clinic staff was in the hall and they all sang the Happy Birthday song.

For dinner, John and Michael took us to Penny’s Diner north of Dunsmuir.It’s a 50s style diner complete with aluminum siding, lots of chrome and neon, checkerboard linoleum, and atmosphere.  The cook is named Ronnie and serves a mean reuben!  It is part of a motel complex which mainly houses the railroad crews between shifts.  Rooms are not always available since railroad crews get dibs, but the diner is open to all.

We stopped in Mt Shasta for a short grocery shop and when we got home I found three more renditions of the birthday song on the phone.

I then took a short nap followed by some PBS shows.

It was a good day.

Today is the oldest I have ever been and nearly ninety looks good on me.


I am told AC missed me while I was relegated to the couch.  John said he saw a dead mouse outside the front door AC had left for me.

Now that I am once again on evening egg collection duty, AC sticks close to my feet, talking loudly.

He really is a handsome cat.


The lilacs are in bloom as are the dogwoods … finally.    




There are blossoms on the Granny Smith apple tree and fruit set on the Satsuma plum tree.

On the trip down to Dunsmuir monday, the patchwork of the vivid spring green on the tips of the firs against the darker greens of the pines and other evergreens was a real joy.  This time of year I may look a bit silly smiling so much of the time.

Oh well …


This summer, the garden won’t be as large as it has been in times past. 

Reasons ??? 

I’m older and have had to acknowledge I am less able and slower.  I’m recovering from a back problem.  The weather hasn’t been cooperating.  John is learning about our growing conditions (and if it weren’t for him there might not be a garden at all … much gratitude here).

But there will be tomatoes and corn and squash and pumpkins (Paul and his dad love Hallowe’en).  For the rest we’ll depend on the farmers’ markets in Dunsmuir and Mt Shasta.


Due to circumstances beyond my control …I failed earlier to show you this month’s reading woman.  She was painted in 1882 by Walter Launt Palmer who titled the picture “Afternoon Idle”.  Isn’t she lovely?

And on the subject of reading women, the book Mark referred to a couple of weeks ago when he covered for me because I couldn’t sit long enough to do the blog is titled “Women who Read are Dangerous”.  I’ll tell you more about it next week.


This morning there is a slight breeze and it promises a beautiful day.  I wish the same (a beautiful day) for all of you.


So …

No matter how dark the world around us seems to grow, no matter how dim humankind’s future may seem — never — never give up.

 … ’til next week …


10 May .,..


I’m baaacccckkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been out-of-commission for more than two weeks due to first … a cat scratch infection in my right hand which resulted in a rather large blood blister with accompanying swelling which greatly restricted the use of that hand, and second … a surprise “tear”, “strain”, possible side effect to the sulfa I was taking for the infection.  It was in a muscle in my lower right-side (sacro-iliac area) with resultant rather severe shooting, fiery pain with movement.

In the beginning it was difficult to know if it was muscle or possibly a kidney stone, so I drowned in water which was two-sided since I knew that would help a stone but it made getting to and from the loo a real challenge. 

Oh well …

The pain peaked on monday evening, the 1st, and I agreed to go to the Emergency Department about noon on tuesday.

A urinalysis was negative for any sign on a stone.

I left with the same level of pain I had when I arrived but with a diagnosis of back muscle strain, prescriptions for a muscle relaxant and an NSAID for the pain, and the prognosis of four to six weeks before I could expect a return to “normal”.

When I was working ED, we would have either hospitalized a patient with the level of pain I had, for observation, or sedated them to a comfort level and sent them home with a stronger pain reliever.  But medical charges have changed in the years since I retired and there is now a drug addiction pandemic which causes ED personnel to be highly suspicious of pain complaints with no overt, obvious cause.

Since that “visit”, things have been improving … slowly.  I can now go to the table for meals and navigate to the toilet with a bare minimum of discomfort (probably due as much to fear as to actual strain).

On the upside, being mostly immobile left me with a lot of reading time once I got over being “looped” by the relaxant.

Speaking of being “looped” …  That medication seemed to relax brain muscles as well as others.  I had a couple of “doozy” (apologies to the insurance salesman in “Groundhog Day”) dreams. 

One I’ll share was one in which I was upset with the “bridle” they were using while trying to bring a beef cow in from pasture to be milked.  I told them they had it on backward, so I put it on (in?) correctly and was able to ride the cow (wearing a skirt rather than jeans) in from the pasture and right up the front steps into the dining room of a resort.  I think the last time I rode a cow I was a preteen.

Urging me on was a rancher I’d know for at least 35 years (who died last fall). 

Many of the patrons in the dining room weren’t troubled by me and the cow, but were busy taking pictures.

I woke before I learned why it was necessary to get the cow into the dining room to be milked.

Oh well …


So now you are up-to-date on the adventures of the dowager of Cold Comfort Farm.  I am being well-cared-for by both George and son John.  And son Mark’s coverage for me here allowed me time.  I am truly blessed with their concern and care and offer grateful thanks several times a day.

I realize this is probably more than you wanted to know. 

Oh well …


Spring is arriving.  I noticed this morning the lilacs are coming into bloom. 

And the daffodils at the driveway entrance are lovely (thank you to Michael H. for the photo).


So …


If you are super brilliant, there is nothing holding you back from being silly.

… or from having silly dreams.


So … ’til next week …


May Day Post (or is it MAYDAY!)

Hi everybody!

DIBELKA, Mark G.; PastorMark (the youngest son) here, and I’ve a note from Mom, received via email from Dad:
“Please post to blog page No Post this Week. Details ASAP. Thnx. ILY. Mom”

This is the kind of stuff in which conspiracy theories take root.  Cryptic messages, acronyms, and promises of information to come.  While I’ve been assured that they’ve not been taken to Lemuria or the Lost City of Mu, Mom is just not able to post this week.  Hopefully she’ll be back next week and you won’t have to deal with me again.

Personally, I think it’s because I sent her a book and she’s afraid to tell me she didn’t like it.

Shameless self promotion time: you can also check out my (sometimes spotty) blog presence at www.dibelka.us

So, ’til next week –

Peace out, yo!