30 June …


They arrived … 

… and this is one reason for the delay in posting the blog …



28 June …


This has not been a particularly good week for this extended family.

It has been very hot for all of us.  Both John and I react badly to temps over 90° or so.  And after a bout with near heat exhaustion, Paul may join our group.

Coming cross country to relocate in Siskiyou County, Mark and family hit record heat on I-40 (the old Route 66) at the Texas-New Mexico border where they had trouble with the trailer containing all their worldly goods.  Fortunately there is Dibelka family in Amarillo (George’s niece Janet and her family), so at least they weren’t completely alone and Janet’s son Gary was a great help.

There is always something good if you look for it …



The corn, squash,





and tomatoes are loving this weather.




Mark, Kamille, and Paul will get here (just not as soon as planned) after meeting family with whom they would never have come into contact otherwise.

John and I can pour water over our heads and pretend we’re kids playing in the sprinkler.

George isn’t subject to heat problems.

And there will be corn and tomatoes !!!


John gifted me with one of the original Inspector Morse novels by Colin Dexter which he found in a little “Take one, Leave one” library.  It was an old paperback with yellowed pages.  But it was a fun read.

Dexter starts each chapter with a summary of the story in that chapter, i.e. In which Morse is advised by a woman he would never meet in private life and the first corpse is found. or In which the investigation leads to Soho and we are given a glimpse into the sexual underside of London.

I’m told it is an old style.  I found it fun reading because I’d never run across it before.

Another fun thing was the revelation of some of Morse’s background.  At least it was interesting to me since I am an Inspector (Endeavour) Morse fan.

In addition to those treats, Dexter introduced me to some brand new words.  As least new to me, and you know how I love words.  One that caught me was “adumbrate” … defined as producing a faint image or resemblance; to outline or sketch; to foreshadow or prefigure; to darken or conceal partially; to overshadow.

What’s not to love about a word like that?  The challenge now will be to find a place in a conversation in which to use it.


Last Friday was our monthly trip to Medford.  The temperature reached 100°.  Because of the temperature, there wasn’t much to see this trip.  A lot of the green is gone, replaced by yellows and browns.

Fortunately we didn’t have much to do and so were able to head home early. 

And John’s car has air conditioning.




One of the current eye treats is the new growth tops in the tall pines.  When lit by early morning sun, they shine almost like candles.



Last Saturday was a treat day.  Cousins from southern California (Idyllwild to be exact) stopped to see us.

One of their stories has been added to my genealogy story collection …

On one of their trips, they had stopped by the cemetery where my parents are buried.  They went in to the office to inquire for location and when they asked where the Tyler graves were, the older man at the desk looked hard at Larry and then said “Yup, you look like a Tyler.”

It’s true.  Larry looks like both his grandfather and my Dad who were brothers.  Both Larry’s mother and I were and are identifiable as Tylers also.

What was interesting, as an aside, is that there is still someone who remembers Daddy who died nearly 50 years ago.


Another family story …

A few years ago, through genealogical research, I was able to locate the family of my maternal grandmother’s half-sister. I went down to San Luis Obispo to meet them and in the process formed a bond with one of them … a second cousin once removed named Roxana (for non-genealogists … her great-grandmother was my grandmother’s sister so we share an x-times great-grandfather).

Through that friendship, I’ve learned a lot about cooking in an area I’d never approached … low carb. Roxie had been overweight and through her change in eating patterns she lost about 100 pounds. 

With the thought there might be others of you out there who could use a noodge …  Roxie has become a low carb maven and has some sites where she shares what she has learned.

Aunt Rocky’s Recipes posted on Tasty Kitchen:

Aunt Rocky’s Pinterest Account (boards for my recipes and many boards related to low carb diet, menus, recipes from various bloggers):

Aunt Rocky’s Facebook Group (sharing low carb recipes, cooking tips, product reviews, etc.)

I’m not on a low carb diet, but some of the recipes are delicious for any diet.  Try ‘em.




The wild azaleas have come in to bloom …



and the intrepid moth chaser continues his patrol in the garden.


The coming week promises to be busy, chaotic, and a bit unsettling.  Life changes as big as this move, however welcome, are rarely smooth and easy.

So here is advice to close out the week …   


You basically have to keep moving forward as does a shark. There is no choice.


… ‘til next week …


21 June …


The Castle Crags bicycle event last Saturday started before dawn. 

The Moon was still out.

It was quite different that it had been.  There were far fewer riders.  There were only three rest stops.  The SAG wagons didn’t seem to know what was their role or where they should be.  We had to use different repeaters and there were mixups about frequencies and tones.

Although I was assigned a different station, I wound up working with the same volunteer group. 

                                  This year they were Girl Scouts.

My station was in Hoy Park in the Lake Shastina subdivision.  It was very green which was a change from the rather wild gravel roads, tall pines and firs, and the forest undergrowth of Mumbo.  That was nice since the day was a bit warm. 

After the station closed we returned to the City Park for dinner which consisted of comped IPA, delicious grilled chicken, hot bread, a mixed green salad, and the choice of two pasta salads.  Not a bad way to spend a day. 

We left home at 0530 and got back at 1815.  No tv, even for news.  Just basic unpacking, collect eggs, and off to bed.

Next event will be the Mt Shasta 4th.


Some time ago, during a “parlor” game, the question was “If you could have any other person’s job, either male or female, whose would it be?”

I don’t recall what I said at the time, but I do find myself thinking about the question occasionally and here are my answers (one for each sex) as of today.

Jeffrey Brown of PBS … because he gets to go so many really interesting places and talk with so many really interesting people in all walks of life and such a diversity of professions about such a broad range of subjects.  It would seem each day is an adventure.

And Meryl Streep … because in her profession she is allowed to be so many vastly different people, and in her personal life she seems so loved and content.  I get the impression she enjoys each day to its fullest.

Those are my choices.  How about you?


A few days ago, on baking day (does anyone remember the embroidered dish towels with day-chore indications … i.e. monday wash, tuesday iron, wednesday bake, etc.), along with a fresh batch of cookies …I baked a challah using my friend Faye Levy’s recipe (from one of her early cookbooks).  It came out great as always, and we had the fresh-out-of-the-oven bread plus a couple of “French” toast breakfasts, and ended with an apple-blueberry-challah bread pudding.

I run a “Depression” kitchen and the challah is a good example.  We eat a lot of “garbage” (i.e. leftover) soups, stews, pilafs, casseroles, etc.  Some items get recycled a couple of times.  And when it reaches the end of the road, it goes out to the chickens to come back in as eggs.

I know some folks will see this as a bit repugnant, but they didn’t grow up when every penny and bean counted (although we seem to be reaching that point once more).  And when either George or I see a doctor they comment on the quality of our diet.

It was a very good pudding.


One evening last week, George and I watched “The Pianist”, a Roman Polanski film.  I don’t recall what triggered me to put it in the NetFlix queue (do you put something “in” or “on” a queue?), and I didn’t know it was a Polanski film until I saw a note on the news about the charges which have kept him out of this country for so many years.

All that aside, it is an unsettling film.  It is set in Warsaw between 1939 and 2002, based on an autobiography.  The music is very good (I don’t know if the actor is actually a pianist, but if not he learned hand positions well) and the thought-provoking aspect of the film make it well worth watching.   

We rated it 5 stars.


The peonies are in bloom.  I plan  to add more over the next few years since they are deerproof.


And now it’s time for a thought to end the week …


“If one person calls you a donkey, ignore him; if two people call you a donkey, buy a saddle!”


So … ‘til week …



14 June …


 Soft rains last week made for a nice picture taken by John one day on his way out to Cold Comfort (which is in the area where the rainbow ends on the left) …

and there was a very interesting view out the window one morning.  There was bright sun at the house and the trees just across the drive, but anything past the trees, i.e. the meadow and beyond, was black black.  Just minutes later the close trees were greyed off, the meadow was ablaze with sun, and the mountains past the meadow were still black black.  Shortly all was back to sun and black.

Cloud patterns are great.


Last Monday, I went for a clinic appointment to have the MediCare physical exam.  It was interesting. 

It’s the first full exam I’ve had since I quit working.  They checked the normal stuff … ecg – no abnormality;  breathing – well within normal;  reflexes – no problem;  blood pressure etc. – nothing out of the ordinary.  In fact, the doctor said I’m in good shape for a 67-year-old, so that’s really good for an 87-year-old.

The interesting part came when they began examining my mental situation.  I was asked questions like “What year is it?”, “Where are you?”, and asked to repeat a list of words.  It was the same kind of test the doctors running the VITAL study do over the phone, although shorter.

The final item was for me to write a full sentence.  I wrote “My husband and I will have calzone for dinner today.”  That resulted in a couple of attention grabbers.  The examiner couldn’t read what I had written because it was in cursive … and George had thought to himself as I was writing … “We are having calzone for dinner.”

So now that’s done for this year.


While reviewing last week’s blog, I discovered another interesting thing about the “Women who Read …” book.

The name of the author is not on the cover of the book.  Instead the name of the woman who wrote the Foreword is featured. 

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …


George recently came across this painting …

That made me think about the role of fathers and wonder why I’d never seen a painting or other depiction of Joseph and the child without Mary.  It seems there are a lot of them out there.  To check them out, search


I was gobsmacked by the plethora (that’s a great word) and variety of depictions and really surprised I’d never seen one before. 

So far I’ve not been able to choose a favorite.

Happy Fathers’ Day …


It is an interesting Spring for the evergreens.  The ground is full of evergreen cones.

On one of my recent trips out I became aware of the large number of small trees along the road … pines and firs three to five feet tall.  That speaks well for a nice local forest in another twenty or so years.  George and I won’t see it, but our children and grandchildren will.

And the trees which result from this year’s crop of seeds will be a forest in forty, fifty, or sixty years.  I wonder if they will be allowed to become a forest, or if men (mankind) will have continued to expand to the detriment of nature. 

Maybe I’m not too sorry I won’t be here to see it.


The Castle Crags Bicycle Event will be different this year.  The wet winter has left the high areas still under snow.  Last year there had been traces of snow at Mumbo (my regular station), but it wasn’t enough to stop the bicycles.  This year access to Mumbo is closed from both directions by between three and four miles of snow which obscures the road … in some places the snow appeared to be about three feet deep.  As a result, the entire south route is closed.  The routes to be used go no where near the Crags. 

Oh well …

I will be working a station near Shastina, in Hoy Park, and George will again be doing net control.


We skipped RailRoad Days in Dunsmuir last weekend.  The mainstays which we enjoy didn’t seem to be part of the fun this year.  No speeder clubs were scheduled to be there, and the UP line isn’t as open to allowing others to use their tracks as SP used to be so there was no rolling stock to explore.  Add bad weather to that and the trip wasn’t worth the effort.

It might be that interest in trains is dropping off except for the old timers (like those of us who go ga-ga over steam) and die hards. 

Maybe things will be different next year.


Two thoughts to end this week …

When you want to feel rich, count the things you have that money can’t buy.

and …

When you say something (or someone) is beautiful, it (or they) are.


So … ’til next week …



7 June …


Rain a few nights last week. But on thursday, when I went out to collect eggs, the sky was nearly clear with a waxing Moon.

With the change in climate and the increased number of residences in this area, evenings are getting interesting in other ways as well.  On Saturday last there was a volley of semi-automatic gunfire to the northeast.  In the past there has always been occasional rifle fire.  After all, we lived in a “rural” area and people hunt for food.

Now things have changed. 


Last week there were wild lilacs in full bloom as we went down the canyon.  The red bud and dogwood are past bloom.  But the shades of green were eye-blowing … too numerous to calculate.

It made the trip a joy,


and the lilac at home is now past full.


The river of flowers out in the meadow is changing colour from the deep pink of the shooting stars to the white of wild garlic and yellow of monkey flowers.


Some time ago, knowing my fascination with pictures of women reading (probably because I am a woman who reads), my younger son gave me a book …

He mentioned the gift a few weeks ago when he had to post the blog for me.

I was able to really read it while I was restricted to lying on my back on the sofa.

It was an interesting book in several ways.



A picture of the tomb of Eleanor of Aquitaine was chronologically the earliest…




and of Marilyn reading “Ulysses” the latest.


That time spread was an interesting item.

Another was divisions the author made between readers … “Where the World Lives”, “Intimate Moments”, “Abodes of Pleasure”, “Hours of Delight”, “The Search for Oneself”, and “Little Escapes”.  I think that tells us more about the author (a man) than about the reading women.

The book began examination of the pictures with information about the artists or sculptors and the worlds in which they lived and worked.  However, a little more than half way through the collection, the tone changed to one of praise or criticism based on what the author “saw” in the picture.  In several cases, I “saw” something entirely different and so my evaluation was different.

The book was well worth the reading time.  I met some new artists, found new paintings by artists I know, learned about the history of reading, and met some interesting women with whom I think I could have enjoyed conversations … such as the woman on the cover.  Her name was Elena Vecchi.  She probably lived in Paris in the last decade of the 19th century.  Her picture is titled “Dreams 1896”.

I think any woman who reads and enjoys art will find something to learn and something to like in the collection.

Thank you, Mark.

And speaking of reading women …


here is the woman for June …


Girl Reading, painted by Edmund Charles Tarbell,1909.


A bit ago I commented on how noisy the mornings are becoming what with the creeks on either side, the breeze in the tree tops, the calls of the morning birds, the geese overhead, the sand cranes in the meadow, and the sounds from the chicken house.

This morning it was equally noisy but with the addition of a train to the east passing through.  The tracks are a good eight or ten miles away.  We can clearly hear the horns and often we hear even the sound of the wheels on the tracks, the swaying of the cars, and the brakes.

I love trains.


To end this week, a picture of AC with me in the evening …

and a share, the closing from a favorite tv show …

We cannot stand still because the world keeps turning. Every year gives way to the next. Stories from the past must be folded and tucked away, cherished and never quite forgotten.


So … ’til next week …


Had a problem with the program which I use to post the blog.  I’ve switched to a different computer and the site evidently didn’t want to recognize it.  So the blog is late.

The following is what I had ready to post before we went to Redding yesterday.

Oops …


31 May …

Today is George’s birthday, it is raining so I don’t need to water, and we will soon be off for a trip to see the cardiologist in Redding.  Walter Fletscher is a good doc and a good man, although a bit hyper.  We’ve been seeing him for twenty years now.  He often ends an appointment by saying something along the lines of “You kids get out of here now.”


And speaking of George …

Earlier this month when I was out of commission for a time, George had to do kitchen duty.  Mostly that consisted of opening cans. 


But one day when the problem was my hand, I stood by and helped him bake an apple cake.

Not too bad for a rank amateur.


The first iris of the year appeared just after I posted the blog last week.  It was beside the front door. They are now appearing everywhere.  Lovely.



The lilac aroma as you go out the boardwalk is almost overwhelming.  It is pervasive nearly all the way to the barn.



It is the season for yellow dust as the pine trees do their reproduction thing.




Tyler’s tree is bursting.  We may have enough fruit for jelly this year.



The wisteria is providing pleasure (I wish you could see the colours, but this is the best I could do).


And the sounds of the sand cranes are heard at dusk as they parade in the meadow.


One night last week when I went out (or as an endorser on a local auto dealer’s ad said “had went”) out to collect the eggs, the sky was a study in silhouette.


And AC was standing watch as I waited for the ladies to enter the coop for the night.



Earlier, on the trip up Shasta Valley to Yreka, there was a lot to see. 

The fields of alfalfa and hay are a mosaic.  Some had already had their first cutting and are lying spread to dry.  Some had been raked into rows awaiting the baler.  Some had been baled (into 3-string bales for family ranches and 7 string bales for commercial operations) and are ready for transport. 

Others have been all the way through that process and are being irrigated for a second cutting.

It would appear they will have an excellent harvest year.  Depending on the rains this summer, they will surely have at least three cuttings, maybe four.  But so far, none of the storage barns are being filled.


One evening last week, George and I watched Meryl Streep in the film “Florence Foster Jenkins”.  We had already seen the French version of that woman’s life.  It was an interesting study in how one set of “facts” can be seen so differently by different observers.

In the French film, Florence (there called Madeleine) was seen as a deluded object of ridicule and those around her as connivers.  I found myself feeling sorry for her.

In the British film, Florence is a strong woman with a dream, making the most of what life has dealt her.  And those around her, who foster her dream, are portrayed as actually caring for her enough to help her achieve her dream.  I did not feel sorry for her, even when she was being laughed at.

Florence‘s final words in the Streep film were a lesson in life which I find well worth remembering …


“People can say I could not sing … no one can say I did not sing.”


So … ’til next week …