17 January …


Another week …

Weather has been all over the place.  Snow, rain, fog, cold, nice … you name it. 

Mark dropped three trees last week so the chicken house gets some winter sun again and there is a bit more sun on the front of the house as well.


John and I spent last saturday in the local cemetery photographing grave markers.  I have a friend who used to work there and did all the photo requests from genealogists who use the “Find a Grave” site, but he moved to Idaho and the list of requests had gotten rather long.  So, list in hand, John and I went grave tracking.

We were able to find six of the requested ten and I am following up on the others.

But now I find there are requests for at least five other cemeteries in this area.  Guess I’ve better get back to driving myself again. 

This activity gets me out in the fresh air with a purpose and there is a friend from a bit ago who may want to go cemetery hopping with me.


Yesterday was a Medford day.

As usual, the drive was an adventure.  The scenery is different each time we go.  Yesterday a lot was brown with occasional bursts of red-orange.  And at the rest stop there were raindrops on the trees.  From where we parked the light was just so and there was one tree which appeared to be decorated with wee lights.

We did some shopping.  There is a new, bigger CostCo near the airport.  The layout of the store is very close to that of the older store with just enough variation that when you think you know where you are and which direction to go to get where you want to be next … you find you are lost.

Oh well …

I was surprised that the book section had shrunk and that several grocery items are cheaper at the local Grocery Outlet less than five miles away.

We made a stop at the retinologist office, where George and I had been going once a month, to leave them a gratitude gift of a box of premium See’s chocolates.  I know it is a cliché gift, but I couldn’t think of anything else. 

The staff had always been kind and thoughtful with us and I wanted to let them know I had appreciated it.  It was a bit awkward … it seemed to surprise them and left some in tears. 

I’m glad I did it however.  Those visits could have been awful (after all, who enjoys having a needle stuck in their eye?), but their attitude helped and I wanted them to know.


I’ve been doing the breakfast and dinner cooking and dishwashing thing for the family for over a week now.  It is more of a challenge than when it was just George and me.  Different people, different tastes … and Kamille has a gluten sensitivity so I’m learning new recipes such as that gluten free flour seems more “glutinous” and requires extra liquid to reach the same consistency for pancakes and waffles.

Another lesson in the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same … standing at the sink, washing the dishes, just like I’ve done for 40 years or more and crying because nothing is actually the same.

But there are smiles as well such as when Paul ends grace with   “… and make sure Papa is having a good time.”


Did I tell you I’ve returned to spinning? We have been changing the arrangement of the living room and I abandoned my rocker place beside the wood stove for a more central location on the other side of the room.  It took some rearranging but I think things are now in working order so it feels “normal” (there’s that word again).

I have two sweaters in the works and planning for next winter holiday gifts has begun.

Can anyone say THERAPY?


Radio club tonight. Several items to discuss.  The club, like so many things in my life, is changing.


… and a thought related to chocolates …


Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.


So … ‘til next week …



10 January …

These past few weeks have been (insert your choice of adjective here and you are probably correct) …

Kamille and Paul were here for Christmas Day and then they flew east to be with the Plociniks in Baltimore.  They got back home last Thursday and normal school/work routine resumed last monday. 

I have etched out a role (however temporary) for myself as cook and bottle washer.  Mark has enough to do and fret about, so I make breakfast and their dinner.  They eat at 1700 and I have my big meal at noon, so I get for my dinner what they have the night before.  I plan it that way and it seems to be working.

Positive side effect is that I once again feel that I have a role, if not yet a purpose.  

Another current step is getting back into the radio club.  It is time for election of officers and I’ve been nominated to run as Presiding Officer again.  I think I will.  Not that my technical knowledge is great, but I do know how to run a meeting.

And I’m working on getting back into genealogy.  The friend who used to fill photo requests for the local cemetery has moved to Idaho and the requests are piling up.  Once the weather clears, I plan to tackle that.  A morning outdoors followed by lunch sounds okay.


We’ve been having rain on and off.

This morning we have fog and a slight sprinkling of snow. 

This winter is nothing like last year (in oh so many ways) …  at least not so far.


Late last year the oil painted animation film “Loving Vincent” was released.  George and I were both impressed.  It is a miracle … each frame hand-painted in the style of Van Gogh.

As a result, I decided to explore the lesser know works of Van Gogh as my art project this coming year.  

I begin with a work titled “Self-portrait with Pallette”. 

All in all, Van Gogh painted 36 self-portraits.  This one was painted in 1889 when he was 36, the year before his death.  He painted himself when he was unable to pay someone to sit for him, which was often.  This was painted after he cut off the lower part of his left ear but since he was painting what he saw in a mirror, it is actually his right ear we see in this painting.

The colours are what grabbed me … the many blues, the contrast with the ginger hair and beard, the death-like shadows on the flesh, the eyes, the blue halo …

So … what do you think?


There are still unexpected knocks-upside-the-jaw which leave me in tears, but there are also glimpses of sun …  

Omni fine initium novum.

So … ‘til next week …


3 January  …


A milestone was reached last New Year’s Eve.  It has been exactly seventy years since the fateful party I gave which ended with my Daddy sticking his head in my bedroom at 0500 (as George left with a roar in his “Frankenstein” Ford) asking why George didn’t stay for breakfast. 

This is the first New Year’s Eve without him since 1949-50.  My how rapidly that time flew …


Healing continues at the two forward, one back pace making it difficult to write an upbeat blog.

So  …

For all of you, here is my end-of-the-year prayer …


May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.

Apache Prayer


… ‘til next week …