18 January …


This evening was to have been radio club meeting. I cancelled it due to weather.  There are big, frozen berms in front of the clubhouse where the city plowed the streets.  The parking spaces are full of snow.  And getting home would have been a challenge for George and me.  I think I’ll suggest that the January meeting be cancelled every year.  Give us all a holiday.

Officers are usually elected at the January meeting.  This year we did it via the net. I was asked to stay as Presiding Officer so I’ll be planning the holiday potluck next December.


Opera to the fore … again …

Last week we watched the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s premier production of a brand new opera called “Belle Canto, the Opera”.  What a few hours.  It was not BEL CANTO and there was nothing that left you with something to hum. 

But the composer, lyricist, and singers created something that drew us in and left us thinking. 

Great Performances: Bel Canto from Chicago Lyric OperaThe story was based on an actual event in Peru some years ago and dealt with people in crisis with little hope of escape.  And the fact that it was written in eight or nine languages was mind-blowing (I could identify only 6 of the languages … interesting … maybe Incan was one).  The explanation was that there were that many “native”  languages among the singers.  That left me wondering if the libretto had been translated en toto into each of the languages so the singer was able to really understand what the others were singing (saying) when they sang in a “foreign” language.

Another surprise was that in spite of a long-standing aversion to contratenors, I was captivated by the contratenor who sang about learning who he was by spending time listening to the trees.  The music line matched the lyrics and the atmosphere was gentle.  The lead soprano’s character was captivated.  So was I.

Lyric Opera of Chicago World Premier  Bel Canto © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015

I will most likely never watch it again, but I’m glad I watched last friday.


I just finished reading a novel by an author new to me (the first of a trilogy … does anyone write just a single novel anymore?).  It was a pleasant surprise. 

I love words and when someone can surprise me wih an idea wrapped in words … loverly.

This author did it.  Here are three examples …

“an acute outbreak of testosterone poisoning”

“the sustenance school of crisis management”

“turn to me with all your heart … do not refuse me because I am dark and shadowed or because my substance is hidden … watch for me, see me, and if you find me I will give you the morning star”

Am now awaiting volumes two and three.


As I looked out one of the east facing windows early one morning last week I realized that a full moon in winter makes me feel blessed.  Regardless of the weather, it is eye candy. 

With fresh snow it reminds me of “The Night Before Christmas”.  You know … “The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow …”

When there is ice, it’s like being in a room full of crystals. 

Rain? The echo of moonlight makes the sheets of rain shimmer. 

And under any condition, there are shadows … lovely shadows.


Weather …

Snow pack in the mountains is 125% – 150% of normal (depending on the information source).  That speaks well for the water situation in this part of California.  Here in the High Meadow the rain did not wash away the snow, and the low temperatures at night have keep us well supplied with ice.

The road is closed below the driveway entrance and has been for several days.  Cars can get all the way to Elderberry, but the plug on our hill is about 4′ (average) deep, goes all the way across he road, and extends about ten feet down the hill.  John was able to bring in the mail and some shopping on monday.  He brought it as far in the car as the drift allowed and hiked it over the drift.  George brought it the rest of the way to the house on a sled.  It looks like we will be cancelling the trip to the retinologist in Medford scheduled for next tuesday and rescheduling.

18 Jan 2017 Front Window


Last night a new storm moved in and this morning there is less than an inch of new snow but we are being buffeted by high winds. 

That makes windows interesting since they get a scattering of snow which impacts the view between us and the outdoors.

18 Jan 2017 Front DoorSeems like old times.


Finally, on the subject of words, last thursday I got this from a cousin … thank you, Jean.

The other day, a not so elderly (60) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy & he looked at her quizzically & said what the heck is a Jalopy?

OMG (new phrase!) – he had never heard of the word jalopy!!

She knew she was old, but not that old. Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this & chuckle –
About a month ago, I flashed on some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a Broken record” and “Hung out to dry.”
Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right – Heavens to Betsy!

Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley and a regular guy could never accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill.

Not for all the tea in China!
Back in the olden days, life used to be swell but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A, of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes & pedal pushers.

Oh, my aching back.

Kilroy was here but he isn’t anymore.
We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap and before we can say, Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! or This is a fine kettle of fish! we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished from our tongues, our pens and our keyboards with scarcely a notice.
Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink and they’re gone. Where have all those phrases gone?
Pshaw,The milkman did it,  Hey! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain, Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any Wooden nickels, & Heavens to Murgatroyd!
It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff!

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeful times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age.

We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist, there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory.

It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging.
See ya later, alligator!

To which I respond … After while, crocodile.


And so ’til next week …