27 October …


I know … I know … I’m late. 

I’ve been busy. 

The big event this week was Mark’s surgery.  He has had a bum knee ever since high school football.  It has now been repaired. 

He is handling the no-weight-on-that-knee restrictions pretty well.  And as soon as it is completely healed, they’ll fix the other one which wasn’t as bad.


Tuesday was the monthly trip to the retinologist in Medford.

Weather was good so we didn’t need to bundle up.  However, as we left about 0800 it was still cool and there was mist over the spots where there is water … as in this picture where the Shasta River wends toward the Klamath northwest of Montague.

It was interesting to really look at the landscape.  This year we watched it turn from fresh green to thousand tint green to flowering to lush to beginning to fade to now …glorious colour. 

Frost and/or snow next month?  Won’t matter … we have plenty of firewood.

The madrones are part of the change.  Last month their bark was bright orange.  This month it is shredding and peeling off.  I had never before given a thought to the way madrones reproduce … but this trip it was very obvious that there are male trees and females trees … some trees with loads of bright red berries and other bare.

Nature never fails to amaze and entertain.

We did have some rain last week.  Not very much, but any is welcome.

With the rain came some gusty wind and overnight the red maple was striped nearly bare.  The leaves were blown all over and are a bit of eye candy.  Nice …

The clotie tree in the courtyard is eye candy as well …


At the radio club meeting last week the summer events were wrapped up and the year’s activities are drawing to a close.  Next event will be the swap meet and potluck tomorrow.

As Presiding Officer, I have never had a gavel.  Whenever the meeting threatened to get out of hand, I had to speak louder than the rest to get things back on track (the whisper ploy didn’t always work).  But one of the members handmade me a set. The gavel itself is of Port Orford cedar and the base piece (I can’t recall its proper name) is a beautiful piece of oak.  Now all I have to do is learn how to use it.


AC is not dead!  He came home three days ago … more rotund that he had been so wherever he was, he was eating well.

Our first encounter after his return was a rub-the-feet greeting with purring so loud you could hear it without bending down.

It is nice to have him home even if it is only until the next time he decides to roam.


Last Saturday I was able to plant some perennial bulbs to brighten next spring … daffodils and narcissus and fritillaries. I’ll keep an eye out for more bulbs, mainly lily-of-the-valley.  But no tulips.  The deer love them and will go out of their way to get at them to eat.


Events around here the last few days/weeks have led to the thought …

Don’t leave unsaid how you feel about those in your life.

So … ‘til next week …



18 October …


Fires are still a rather big problem in the middle of the state.  However, we in the far north continue to be okay and the winds are right so we don’t even have smoke.

We are truly blessed.


We are becoming quite the radio place.  Two new antennae have taken up residence.  Mark was the instigator since there are nets in which he enjoys participating.  Now we can communicate over a much greater distance.

Have I told you Paul is a good radio communicator although he does not yet have a license?  He can use the family frequency and his call is “P12”. He designated me as “Nuna22” on that frequency.

And as practice for when he will be able to get his license, he is a seasoned “third party” communicator.

The radio club meeting is this evening.  Items for discussion are reports on the last two summer events, the latest on the proposed radio class in the middle school, and planning for the winter potluck.  I already have the game planned for the potluck party.  Now I need to figure out what to do for door prizes.


Garden time is coming to a close.  Paul and I went to the garden at the elementary school last Saturday to help with the end-of-the-season clean-up. 


It was a bit nippy, but Paul kept busy harvesting the last of the cherry tomatoes.

Then Paul and I were out monday, after school, in our own garden gathering potatoes. 



The corn stalks have been harvested and there are some beside the front door.  We will add coloured corn cobs and pumpkins and be ready for Hallowe’en.

Hallowe’en advent begins tomorrow.  In the past, when Mikayla and Tyler were little, I would put together a box with tchotchkes, each with a string and date tag that the children would use to pull the whatever from the box each morning of the thirteen days leading up to the big night. 

Now, since Paul is living in the house with George and me instead of being clear across the country, I plan to just put something beside his breakfast each morning. 


Haven’t yet decided what I’ll use to start the countdown … maybe a drink container?



Sixty-five years ago tonight George and I went to the Biltmore Theatre in downtown Los Angeles to see the First Drama Quartet (Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Laughton, Charles Boyer, and Agnes Moorehead) do a reading.  That night they chose to read the “Don Juan in Hell” scene from George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman”. 


It all started okay … until they reached the part about marriage.

In those days one really dressed to go to the theatre, so I was in heels, hat, and gloves.  But I forgot a handkerchief and wound up using my gloves to catch tears and wipe my nose.

And by three the next afternoon, we were married.


Autumn moves along.

The reservoir is all but empty. 

The wisteria and the smoke tree are still colourfully decorated … 

as are the maple and birches …

and the carpet along the center drive is building with maple and cherry leaves.

However, the catalpa tree is a seasonal novelty.  It is the last tree to leaf out in Spring, and the first to go bare in Autumn.

The catalpa now wears only seed pods.  Such a short time to be “alive”.



Closing thought for this week …


Always look for beauty and kindness around you, and if you can’t find it … be it.


So … ‘til next week …


11 October …


I need to start this blog with information in re the California fires.

News reporters keep saying they are in “northern” California.  WRONG.  The fires are in the center (both horizontally and vertically) of the state as well as to the west over the mountains (the arrow points to our area).   

Not to say it isn’t a disaster.  

But we are okay except for the smoke brought to us on winds from the south.

Thank you and blessings to all of you who checked on us.


Nights are getting chilly and the leaf carpet has begun to form under the red maple tree …

The trees are beautiful.


The visit with the family on their holiday from Peru was great.  It was a bit like stepping back in time … I felt the way I felt about thirty years ago.  At that time both Helene and I were young mothers with young children …

This time Lisa was Helene and her son (Sam) and daughters (Lillian and Eleanor) were Helene’s Lisa and Adam.  The resemblance is remarkable.

My heart remembers.

But in addition to that, meeting Lisa’s children and her husband Mark was a joy.

Wednesday we all (George, Mark, Kamille, Paul, Lisa, Mark, Sam, Lillian, Eleanor, and I) went out to dinner together.  Get acquainted time.  The Mishkin children warmed quickly to all the absolute strangers.  Paul and Sam hit it off in spite of the age difference. 

Then thursday, on their way north, the Mishkins stopped by Cold Comfort for a few hours. 

The “Korn-Dibelka” family picture album Barry (Lisa’s dad) created for George and my fiftieth wedding anniversary provided fun memories …



I was able to create a memory for myself by beginning instructions in spinning (it cost a bit of fiber and was well worth it)…

then we had dinner under the pergaze-bollis (sort of a rural sukkot).


Memories to file away for a rainy day.


Ever since the Headwaters radio event, I’ve been working on standardized tracking sheets for the stations.  There were a couple of items that caused some confusion in the to-each-their-own approach. 

I’ve taken the handwritten reports from the stations and tried to put them into printable files so all operators are sort of on the same page.  So far the responses I’ve gotten have been helpful.  Next years we will be more organized and tracking individuals, when requested, will be easier.


Eleven days into the month and here is the painting for the month …

“Mrs. Duffee seated on a Striped Sofa Reading”

1876, Mary Stevenson Cassett


I didn’t do as well this year for Spinzilla as I did last year …

4,562 yards as opposed to 5,662 last year.  But I did get about half of the colours done for Paul’s requested sweater.


It is with deep regret that I have to tell you AC seems to have disappeared. 

It’s been a bit more than a week since I saw him last.

He had reached the “adult” stage and had been gone before … a foray from which he returned with a torn ear. 

But he has been gone longer this time.  I hold to the hope that this is just another growing up trip incited by hormones, but this is wild land and it’s been an extended absence … so who knows.

I just have to be grateful for the time I had with him.



This coming saturday, my chosen sister will turn 75 … and she is as beautiful as she was when I first met her. 


Blessings …


Saw this on Facebook and found it appropriate…



So … ‘til next week …


4 October …


 My chosen sister’s daughter and her family were in California for the High Holy Days (they are stationed in Lima, Peru with the diplomatic corps) and plan to drop by to see us on their trek between LA and Portland.

They are due here early this afternoon.  Report next week.


The final radio event for the season was last Saturday.  It is a running event featuring 10k, 30k, and 50k courses through the wild back areas of southern Siskiyou county.  We had stations at three hard-to-reach sites (that means you had to have good 4×4 trucks and know how to drive narrow, rutted roads). One area looks like this …

and this …

George and I are the “elders” so we got to do net control at the start/finish line.

Last year the weather had been chilly so we dressed for it.  I had on a shirt, a sweatshirt, a jacket, and my communicator vest.  I stayed pretty warm except for my legs.  But George was a layer short and the chilly wind got to him.

There were about 150 participants overall, and because they are running in rough territory, we have to keep a pretty close check on them.  We had some interesting things happen. 

Two runners in the 50k decided they weren’t up to the long run and so were switching to the 30k.  We changed their numbers from one tracking sheet to the other.  Then they must have gotten a second wind and decided to switch back to the 50k, but didn’t tell anyone and for a time we had no idea where they were.

A young woman decided to run even though she had badly strained her knee two weeks ago.  She made the first 13 miles and then had to sit with ice on her knee until the station closed and she could hitch a ride back in a volunteer vehicle (the course is so bad and narrow in places only runners or bicycles can navigate).  Turns out her folks are the ones who run the ambulance service.

Campers with trash and a campfire were seen in a closed, fire-not-allowed area and we teamed with the USFS providing lat and long location.

Two runners got lost but made it back onto the course without help.

The lasagna served was excellent, but it was not gluten free so Kamille had to do without as did Michael who has been put on a carbfree diet by the cardiologist.  There was lots of crisp green salad with a dressing concocted by the caterer which was a basic creamy with basil and just a touch of wasabi.  No garlic bread this year and I had to skip the beer because I was driving.

But by the end of the day everyone who had started had crossed the finish line.  We did our usual competent job and have been asked to do it again next year.

That is the end of the radio events for 2017.  Next one?  Spring Equinox 2018.


I am still having a bit of trouble with my throat.  My vocal range and decibel level is inconsistent.  I range from silent mouthing to almost normal with no way to tell before I open my mouth what will come out.

My baritone is very reminiscent of the femme fatales of the 40s and 50s … Marlene, Lauren, Lizabeth, Veronica …

Oh well …


Our forest is mostly evergreen so the colour display is not as vivid as those in the upper midwest and the northeast.  However, we do have enough of a variety of deciduous trees to make a trip down the road a pleasure.  It is sort of like the winter holiday season when some houses are lit with decorations.

The maple in front of the house is vivid red,  The catalpa is sparkling yellow.  The birches are a mix of deep green and neon yellow. 

Out back the smoke tree is whispy greybrown.  The dogwoods are varied between soft green and bright red.  The oaks are just beginning to turn, and the roadside bushes are full of colour.

A really nice time of year.


Speaking of colours … I am three days into Spinzilla with a collection of vivid colours …

all drafted and ready to go. 

What with family rearranging and visitors, I don’t expect to do as well as I have in the past. 

Oh well …


And a piece of advice from a friend …


If you cannot find a good companion with whom to walk, walk alone.


‘Til next week …