27 September …



Later this morning I have an appointment with the surgeon for my pre-surgery workup.  I hope to have that out of the way before winter holidays. 

Mark is having his right knee repaired the twenty-fifth of October and we can’t both be down at the same time (we’re the cooks), so further plans will await his results.


Last Saturday was the next to last radio event for the year.  It was the Biketoberfest over in McCloud.

Mark was in charge of the club’s participation.  He had a full complement of volunteers and stationed George at the boat dock, Kamille at the Lake McCloud dam, and me at the “airport” as usual.  Then the calls began to come in.  One came down with something Friday night.  The other woke up saturday with a uncontrolled nosebleed.  So George and I stayed the same but Mark took over the station at the Lake McCloud dam and Kamille took on the SAG position.  It was Michael’s first event on his own as a new ham and he covered the Lakin Dam station.

Kamille had the most excitement with a drastic need for salt and pepper at one station, an over-the-handlebars accident needing as soon as possible dental attention, and an overheated, over extended participant needing a ride back to the city.  The rest of us just did the same ole stuff.  However, we did it well and there were no lost participants.

Paul spent the day with Mark.

There was fresh snow on the Mountain … and the weather went without incident except that the smoke’s effect on my sinuses and lungs was very evident.  I had been swallowing. spitting, and coughing for two days and went mute thursday and friday.  Then I was understandable on the radio all day saturday … although I sounded a bit more like a baritone than a mezzo. 

The weather held.  We were home (recuperating) by time for the evening news … and I was again mute.  There was no need to cook having been given food chits at the event which provided dinner.

Next (and last) event will be next Saturday.


Yesterday was the monthly trip to Medford.  This time John and Michael took us.

It was a lovely time of morning when we made the trip north … crisp with shadows. 

The madrones were beautiful.  They are shedding their bark and so the trunks and larger limbs are a very bright burnt orange.  I really wish I could have at least one on the property, but I’m told they do not transplant and can be grown only from seed so they are not something I can have.  Guess I’ll just continue to enjoy them on the trips north.  Oh well …

The crop of autumn calves seems to be early this year.  The fields were alive with baby animals.  Fun to see.

I saw only one alfalfa field still working.  It had been freshly cut, but the cut was not very tall or plentiful.

And no one seems to be taking in bee hives yet.


The appointment with the retinologist went much as usual.  They have switched back to liquid lidocaine from gel for numbing George’s eyeball. The reason was something about the gel preventing the disinfectant from being as effective as they would like.  But the liquid didn’t really work as well as the gel.  George seemed more uncomfortable this time than I remember seeing him since the first injection.

His eye is holding steady.  It would be nice were there some improvement, but at least things are not getting worse.


Last Friday I was to have gone to lunch with a group of the nurses with whom I worked so many years ago.  It would have been an eye opener.  As one said when she called me with the invitation, she had pictures in her head of each of us left from the last time she saw us … in some cases more than five, six, or ten years ago. 

Ones who were newlyweds when I retired are now grandmothers.

On Friday my throat was raw and I had no voice and so I didn’t go. 

I wonder how many will be left the next time someone decides to get us together?


Last week, on their way out to the school bus before dawn, Mark and Paul saw the mist/fog on the reservoir and in the swampy meadow.  Paul and I talked about it on the way home from the afternoon school bus and he now knows about warm water and damp earth when the air turns cool. 

Sort of spoils the wonder?



For Doug, here is this week’s AC picture …



and for all a final thought …    

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

 So … ‘til next week …


 20 September …


 I need to start off with a mea culpa …

My real birthday is not the 9th of September.  It is in May.  The reason we celebrated in September is that was when all but one of the family was here in Siskiyou County.  So it was actually a celebration of me reaching 87 and not of the actual birth day anniversary.

To those of you who were confused I apologize for the confusion …

but not for reaching 87.


T.S.Eliot said … “In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing.”

In July, Paul and I listened to the corn grow and now in September we are looking forward to hearing the fir trees welcome the first snow.

There is a spider in the courtyard who will not give up.  It (she?) kept building her web across the pathway and we kept walking into it.  But finally she  built it in a spot where it can stay and I was able to take a picture.  Can you see it?



Weather turned quite chilly for a bit with rain showers tuesday and overnight.  There has been frost in the garden and tomatoes have been pulled and packed so the fruit (is tomato a fruit or a vegetable?) will continue to ripen. 


The plums have been gathered and the first of this year’s plum cakes was eaten to the last crumb.



The corn stalks have been pulled to dry for Hallowe’en decoration and later to be chipped and returned to the garden soil. There are three or four ears of the glass corn.  That’s okay for a first try and we’ll try again next year.

All around leaves are turning and falling.

I am taking in the hummer feeders one at a time forcing the hummers to leave for warmer climes.  Enticing them to stay might make me happy, but would not be good for them.

It is almost time to start thinking about next year’s garden so the seed order will be ready come Spring.  Or we may even make the order now for spring delivery.  Some of the seed strains are already sold out from the supplier I want to use … Siskiyou Seeds, who know this growing area and it’s worth using them until proven otherwise. 

However, I have been thinking about a nursery in Klamath Falls for plants. The ones here in Siskiyou and Medford seem to tend to a warmer zone and KFalls is frost prone like we are.  We’ll see …


I’ve also been thinking about the approach of in-the-house weather and the coming reading time.  NPR offered a list of books for winter.  I’ve chosen three for a start. 

The collection of essays about us, them, and the other by Toni Morrison …

“Stay with Me” by Adebayo …

“The Franchise Affair” by Tey (an old one) …

If you choose to read (re-read) any of them, maybe we can compare notes later.


It is nearly time for the annual Spinzilla.  I will again be spinning with the Web.sters team.  I can’t recall my yardage total from last year so I’ll just have to do the best I can and see what happens.

This year Paul had expressed an interest in having a school sweater of many colours.So I let him pick out some colours and will use that fiber for my Spinzilla effort.  I am spinning some of it in advance in order to determine about how much yardage I get from each ounce of fiber.  Then I can use that to compare my final output.  I will worry about a pattern for the sweater, using as many of the colours as possible, AFTER I get the yarn spun.

In the meantime, last year Tyler had chosen a fiber called Piedras (Stones … remember we are collectors of stones).  I finally have his sweater started.


The season is signalling its turning in many ways.  One which we have begun seeing in the mornings is mist on the meadow and the reservoir.  The land and water are warmer than the air and so …


Tonight is the monthly meeting of the radio club.  Main items on the agenda are planning for the final two events of the year … Biketoberfest next Saturday and the Headwaters Trail Runs the following Saturday.  Then we are done for this year.  Only other event on the calendar will be the potluck in December.


Sundown tonight is the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah, which is a time to ask forgiveness for any hurt we have caused.

In addition, one of the faith leaders I read advises … 

The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson taught about the transformative effect the simple act of blessing one another has on our interpersonal relations, and on the entire universe. Our heartfelt blessings to each other have the power to elicit deepest blessings to each of us individually, to all of us as one, and to the entirety of our universe. As Maimonides writes, one good deed has the potential to tip the balance of the entire world in the favor of merit and goodness.

Let us each take a few minutes to simply bless everyone we know once, twice and again, in advance of the new year

… let us all simply shower one another with blessings!


So … ‘til next week … I wish for everyone L’shana tova.



13 September …


The skies opened up last Thursday about noon.  It was a bit of a gully washer.  But all the thunder was to the northwest and we didn’t see any lightning.

The land was grateful, as were we.

The rain cleared the air of smoke for a few hours but the pall, in varying degrees, was back before long. 

It finally got to me on Friday.  My eyes were watering and my nose running almost non-stop.  I remember my Nana, when she was 100, sitting as she read her Bible with Kleenex plugs in her nostrils.  At the time I thought it was pretty gross. 

These last few days I’ve begun to think it might not be a bad idea.

The inner corner of my right eye is sore from being dabbed and my nostrils are nearly raw from blowing.  Oh well …


Tyler and Tiffany left today to go back to New York.  It will be nice next year when they are in far western Nebraska where they will be only eighteen hours away.

The weather was not-the-best while they were here but we did see clear blue sky at least three times.

The two of them made a trip to the Sundial Bridge and Tyler brought me a river rock full of sparkles.  I guess collecting stones is a family trait.

Tiffany and I talked fibers and spinning.  She took some of my homespun with her.  What she does with it will be interesting.

And one day Mark and Tyler walked the property perimeter assessing what has to be done so bummer calves can be put to pasture in spring and the family can once again raise our own beef.


Last Saturday we (Tyler, Tiffany, Paul, George and I) went into downtown Mt Shasta and gave away lollipops ( Mark and Kamille were doing a walk in Redding to raise funds for depression awareness).    

Last week I had written this to the local newspaper …

On Saturday the 9th of September I will be in Mt Shasta at the Plaza on the corner of Lake and Mt Shasta Blvd beginning at 10 o’clock to celebrate my 87th birthday.

If you remember me (or not) and want to wish me a Happy Birthday, I will be sharing gifts with the first 87 of you who show up.

I hope to see you there.              Wilma Dibelka

Mark told me one of his Lodge brothers, who had been a Siskiyou County Supervisor, told him he had seen the letter and planned to come by.

Kamille’s third grade class asked if anyone could come, even a father who was a cop.  However, none of them showed up.  The parents must have been distrustful.

One person asked “Why such a weird number?”  (Guess they didn’t read the letter.)

We had four kinds of lollipops … chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, and latte.  We made sure only adults got the latte.

I woke up that morning thinking “What if no one comes?”

But they did come.  One was a longtime friend who brought a card and an invitation for an afternoon together.

Some were strangers.

We gave lollipops to approximately 77 people.  We had aimed for 87 but I had to retire after only an hour and forty-five minutes due to the heat and smoke. 

Oh well …

Tyler suggested I put the remainder in my purse (two or three at a time) and pass them out as the occasion arises, maybe with an explanation.  Sounds like a good idea.  The first two are ready in my purse.

Four or five people declined to take the lollipop saying they don’t or can’t do sugars, and two ladies did the city thing of refusing eye contact and hurrying past as rapidly as they could.  Too bad for them.  We were giving away See’s lollipops … the best available. 

We gave each person two lollipops telling them one was for them and the other was to give away to someone else. Sort of a “pay-it-forward” deal.  A spoonful of sugar makes a lesson go down.

One young woman (the one who sang a birthday song for me) came back to tell me she gave her extra lollipop to the clerk in the music store who seemed depressed when she went in.  She says he was smiling when she left.

A man came up calling me “Darling”.  He said as he drove by he’d partially read the sign the kids were holding (telling it was a birthday celebration etc.), went until he found a parking place, and came back to get in on the celebration.

A group of four high school boys who were making a documentary film as a senior project accepted the lollipops and then interviewed me for their film.

Several people from the past showed up with items like birthday cards, stories about me caring for them in the Emergency Department, other memory gifts,

and an attorney friend returned a book that had been borrowed almost twenty years ago. 

Two (one who arrived on a bicycle with a card for me) said it was a great idea and they want to do something like it for their birthdays.

One lady laughed and said she was surprised she had come all the way from France just to receive my lollipop and give me a hug.

A couple of GREAT gifts were people who came to tell me how an interaction in the past had changed their lives.  That is a gift you think about but don’t often receive. One was a nurse who had been a patient of mine and the other was a retired Chief of Police.  Knowing you made a difference can make a difference.

And I collected hugs as well …

from complete strangers …

and from people with whom I worked and have called “friend” for years.

The smoke was moderate, but the event went off fine.

Now I am in the position of wondering what I can do next time to at least equal this. 

Such fun.


Saturday evening was family movie night and Tyler had asked to watch “Chicago”.  There were no objections so we did … and the evening proceeded with a lot of singalong.  We even watched the credits roll all the way through because the music is so good.

That movie is good fun.  Each musical number is my favorite until the next one begins. Still, I wish I could have seen Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera do it …


or Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking … 



Paul is making headway with one of the kindergarten requirements.  Every day until last Thursday he got off the bus with both shoelaces flapping.  Thursday only one was flapping.  The other was tied … in an interesting way … but tied.

Maybe by the end of the month he will have the “make-a-bunny-ear-now-push-the-other-lace-through-to-make-another-bunny-ear-now-pull” down pat.

Aaaahhhhhhh … challenges.




To end the week, here is a picture of AC taken by Tiffany.  I can’t get a good picture of him because when he sees me, he comes running and huddles around my feet;



and a reminder …

Don’t throw up your hands and say all is hopeless. If we start small and treat each individual better, then eventually we will build a society and a world of love and peace.

So … ‘til next week …


6 September …


Tonight is “Back to School” night and George and I will not be going with the family.  Everyone is so busy the schedule didn’t jell. 

Oh well …

Some day we’ll take a morning and visit.  Then we’ll get to meet his teacher and see his classroom so the stories I hear when I ask “What happened at school today?” will be more visual. 

The first search will be for his Gingerbread Man.  He had to memorize the story last week (which he repeated for us with facial and body emphasis) and then all the children made ones of their own.


The rejuvenated TinMan triathlon was last Sunday.   Poor Net Control for this event has to juggle two radios … one the regular amateur radio for connection with the stations and the other a family band for connection with the event organizers, so this year we added a transcriber to keep notes (that was me). 

George was out at his usual station on the bicycle route at the corner of Ream and Old Stage, Mark’ station was out on the road to Gumboot Lake at the first turnaround for the bicycles (South Fork of the Sacramento), and Kamille took my spot on the bicycle route at Ream and WABarr.  Paul was with his father and won the heart of the Rotary volunteer assigned to that station.

The weather wasn’t as warm (hot) as it could have been due to the sky full of smoke.  I don’t understand the physics, but smoke blocks sun (they tell me … as if I needed telling since we’ve been living in nearly perpetual dusk since the tenth of August) and that lowers the temperature.  Without smoke, the temperature would have been in three digits, so I guess the smoke was good for something.  Visibility was less than a mile.  From the bathing beach (where everything started and ended), you couldn’t see across the lake.  However, there was only one participant who had any trouble with the bad air and that wasn’t a danger.

The highlight of the event was a participant named Toby, a 60+ year old woman who was last all the way.  She would go through each station smiling, waving, and shouting “I’m still last.”  The first finisher did it in a bit over an hour.  Toby took nearly three hours, but she did it.  I’ll post a picture of her if I can find one.

The family, all seven of us, went out to dinner when we were done with the event.  We went to a fairly new Mexican place called Don Tito’s … not bad but nothing exceptional either.

We were home by late afternoon, all tired but content.

Next event (the next to last) will be the Biketoberfest in McCloud saturday the 23rd.


Tyler and Tiffany arrive tomorrow evening.  They will be here for only five days and I plan to take up two of them.  They will be helping me on Lollipop Day and they asked to go to Ashland with me one day.  Tyler wants some fiber so he can begin spinning again and wants to go to WebSters.  I’ll probably get some fiber as well (but you knew I’d do that, right?) to build a stash for Spinzilla which is only five weeks away.

I’ll need to share Tyler and Tiffany the rest of the time.  Oh well …


I am now the official picker-upper of Paul from the bus in the afternoon … at least until the snow flies.  With all the pressures of moving and preparing for winter and making places in the community and jobs and Kamille’s evening class at COS … time is precious and I’m the one with the freest afternoons.

Yesterday on the way to the bus stop I picked choke cherries.  This morning I will juice them and tomorrow will be jelly day. 

Paul and I have plans to go on a Treasure Hunt one afternoon.  He had a tourist map with Xs on it and one X was near Weed.  He reads phonetically well enough to read “Weed” and so is convinced there’s a treasure there just waiting for him to find it.  I agreed we’d go searching.  Sort of like geo-caching.  Now all I have to do is figure out where the treasure is so we can find it.

Oh well …



New month … new Reading Woman ..

“CMS Reading by Gaslight”, 1884, William Stott (a 19th century Englishman know mainly for landscapes).



The weather prediction is for maybe some showers in the next three days.  That would be nice.  It would cleanse the air and wash all the dust off the roadside vegetation.  Going out to pavement is like driving through a sepia landscape.

Only two photographs this week, and those taken on one of the better days.  Not much to see.


Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida.  I have a cousin in Tampa.  My candle is burning …


“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.”

― A.A. Milne


So … ‘til next week …