26 July …



There is no special reason to open this week’s blog with this except that it is an amazing picture, taken by son John, of the beautiful area in which we live.


Well, the radio club decided they/we will do the security watch for the Dunsmuir Rotary at their Brewfest the night of 5-6 August.  There will be six members involved in this fund-raiser on three shifts between 9 in the evening and 8 the following morning.

The donation of $350 will help the club’s bottom line, but I was unable to promote passes for the beer tasting.  Instead we get            t-shirts.

Oh well …

Next event will be the TinMan triathlon the first Sunday in September.


The garden continues to do well.  Paul often goes out with me to do the watering and weeding, and yesterday he learned how to choose ripe vegetables and how to pick them with as little damage as possible.

The other garden chore he has learned this past week is how to shovel horse manure.  We make a good team.  Last week it took two sessions to move the load.  This week we did it all in one day.  Start them young.

In the process, he learned the difference between a stone and a horse t—   even thought they resemble each other.  I’m not real sure what his mother thinks of that accomplishment, but Paul was pretty excited over his new knowledge and learning the value of poo.

We are building a big manure pile so that next year we will have fertilizer waiting when it comes time to get the garden ready to plant.


Weather has been pretty warm this past week. There are several fires in northern California, but we have a full 5,000 gallon water tank and knowledge of firefighting, so we are better prepared than most.

In fact, both Mark and Kamille are considering joining the local volunteer fire company.  Mark has talked about upgrading his drivers’ license so he can handle the water tender.  That is a vital piece of equipment in this area. 

George was a member of this group when it was first formed a long time ago. 

What goes around, comes around.


Last week’s Medford trip was uneventful.  The scenery has changed with the season and the weather, but is still captivating.

One thing which caught my eye is the spot where last winter’s rain brought down a slice of the hillside along I-5.


John’s birthday wasn’t much this summer.  The entire family is so busy, what with the resettling, but there was a surprise waiting for him in the courtyard under the pergazebollis.

Maybe we can have an all-family birthday party later when the press of chores gets lighter.  I haven’t done a Forrest Gump cake in a long time.


John’s partner, Michael, will be home tomorrow.  We have missed him a lot and will be glad to see him safely home.


It has been a chaotic and not completely comfortable week … but all things pass and we anticipate better times.


The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.

So … ‘til next week …

19 July …


Well, the deal about the Brewfest was they want us to do an eleven hour security watch gig in return for a donation to the club and free admission to the fest.

I’ll be presenting the deal to the club at the meeting this evening.


Weather continues to be warm.  We are thankful for the fact that the humidity is low, although that isn’t really good for fire hazard.  The local CDF has responded to more than 150 fires this week, mostly grass fires and none too damaging … so far.

                                  Of course, the garden is doing very well.


A controversy has risen over the identification of some roads on Hammond Ranch.  All the roads here are privately owned and maintained,  BUT Google has been directing travelers over them to access points not part of Hammond Ranch.

A local has taken on the job of getting Google to change its posting, but there is not (so far) a consensus on which roads to change.

Roads have always been a sore spot here.  Newcomers assume that since they own property on the Ranch, they have access to ALL Ranch roads to use however they please.  The original plot maps showed the roads as access to driveways which would preclude their general use. 

So far, those of us who bought here as rural country property are losing to the transplanted city folks moving here and wanting it to change.  Some people just up High Meadow from us are mansion building and so far they have had at least three or four loads of sod trucked in.

Oh well …


Last Monday George and Mark dropped one of the tall pines near the barn.  It will be firewood.  But in the process of dropping it, an interesting thing happened.  The wedge on the drop side had been cut and the opposite side was being levered to break the hinge.  At the last minute a wind came up, the tree twisted, and dropped 180° away from the planned area.  We have never heard of this phenomena.

If you know about dropping trees, you can look closely and see the way the cuts were made, where the fall intent was, and how the tree twisted and fell in the wrong direction.

They are good lumbermen and no one was hurt.  Only problem is the limbing and moving of the trunk since it fell across the fenceline and is partially on the neighbors’ property.

Not exactly the way it had been planned.


The resettling of Mark and family is going slowly, but that is not unexpected.  George and I did it nearly 41 years ago and it wasn’t any easier then.  However, things are beginning to settle.

Today my morning begins as soon as this is posted.  I am due at a neighbor’s to pick up a load of horse manure for the garden.


As I know from many situations such as knitting and/or trying a new recipe …


“All beginnings are difficult.”


So … ‘til next week …



12 July …


We’ve been having hot weather … even for this time of year.  It was over 100° in Medford a couple of days, and that’s hot.  Highest here at Cold Comfort was 98°.

The corn is loving it.  Some is over six feet tall …

… so much for “A good crop requires knee high by the 4th of July.”


Resettling the families is going about as expected … i.e. not as smoothly as would be liked, but smoother than it might have.

Mark and family are settling in. George and I are adjusting.

Paul is actively exploring.


The other morning, as I was on my way out to water in the garden, the birch trees caught my eye.  The sun was hitting them just so and they really looked like silver birch. 


Another piece of eye magick.

And next year’s pine cones are becoming very visible.  The ground is covered with this year’s cones which have dropped the seeds for next year’s new trees.  These cones will be next year’s seed cones and the tree starts in 2019. 

And the cycle continues.


The radio club just received a request for help with the Dunsmuir “State of Jefferson Brewfest” in August.  George, Mark, and I will be attending a meeting this evening to discuss the needs and possibilities.

The events in which the club participates keep changing.  But a BREWfest?  I wonder what they want us to do … judge the brew taste contest? 

One can dream, can’t one?


Pictures from the 4th didn’t get posted last week … so …here’s a look at part of the crowd courtesy of the local paper. 

The city nearly doubles in size every 4th.


With an eye to personal, national, and worldwide events …


Hope means to keep going, thinking,    ‘We can do this.’


So … ‘til next week …




5 July …


To start the reading this month …


“At the Window”, 1881 by Hans Heyerdahl



Well … the Mt Shasta 4th of July festivities are over for another year.  

I was asked about  “security watches”.  It is really rather simple.  

For the holiday, vendors rent space on the main cross streets but do not spend the night in their booths/tents.  So we patrol, wearing official looking orange vests.  It deters trouble makers and earns a donation for the radio club.  We have backup from the local police and those in charge of the vendors.  Foot intensive, but not dangerous.

Kamille and I did the first shift (the night of the 1st-2nd from 2100 to 0230) and Mark and George did the final shift (the morning of the 4th from 0230 to 0800).

The shift Kamille and I did was interesting. 

The collection of drinkers on the sidewalk in front of the Vets’ Club (one of only three bars in town and the only one actually IN town) was noticeably smaller than in years past, even though it was a Saturday night, and there was no one gathering in the back alley.  The new owners seem to have added a muscled “bouncer” stationed at the door and the back door must be off limits now.

One vendor who had a great collection of crystals, both polished and uncut, was rather edgy.  He was afraid he had been scoped out during the day for a hit after dark.  Then he left the back of his tent open.  Oh well … we just went past his place more often.

A woman tried driving down the street blocked off for vendors trying to find a way to the hospital (probably using a GPS guide which didn’t know the street was full of tents).  She was a bit panicked by the man beside her who had an obviously dislocated shoulder.  They got to Kamille first and she called the PD who showed up in force (no pun intended) and they were set on their way to the Emergency Department quickly.

The PD officer (alone on duty after midnight) stopped by to chat and told us there had been a death in the city but he didn’t yet know where or cause.  He also told us to keep an eye out for a charming young lady on a bicycle who was a dumpster diver and a suspect in a series of small thefts.

A vendor who serves pulled pork sandwiches (for $12 each) had a man in their set-up all night minding the smoker.  The aroma caused inadvertent drooling on each security pass.

We had several interesting conversations with transients and drunks (sometimes both at once).

The weather was nice (70° with a slight breeze) and the first 4.5 hours went rather rapidly.  Things began to drag about 0130, as the bar was closing, so it was nice when our relief showed up and we could head for home.

Overall I must have walked close to 5 miles (5 miles in 5.5 hours … not bad for nearly 90).  Kamille probably did more.

George and Mark’s shift was most likely the quietest of all.  Most of the vendor tents had been taken down in preparation for the run/walk, and those participants started arriving early.

The radio club’s participation in the run/walk the morning of the 4th went very well in spite of a lack of planning.  Of course, as George reminded me, it was a great exercise in emergency radio coverage exactly because it wasn’t thoroughly planned. 

And during the raffle announcements, we paid our way by being alert for winners in the crowds not able to be close to the stage area. We found about half of the winners (and that’s probably confusing since you weren’t there).

Two 2017 events down.  Three to go.


The garden continues to enjoy the hot weather.  My watering time each morning has become more important. And the catalpa has come into bloom…

as have the Shasta daisies.


Last Sunday I was listening to the Moth radio hour and heard a story, told by a war journalist, which ended with a line something to the effect that in war the truth is you will lose a brother.

It reminded me that I was a charter member back in the 70s of a group called Another Mother for Peace whose motto was

 I am still another mother for peace.

And these thoughts led to a quote from the tv show “MASH” (spoken by Alan Alda in his role as Hawkeye Pierce) …

“There are only two rules in war … Rule #1 is that young men die.  Rule #2 is that you can’t change rule #1.”

The only change since that show is that now we’d have to say        “… young people” rather than “… young men.”


Another week starts.  Just remember …

 “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”                                         –  Voltaire

 So … ‘til next week …