20 January …

We had feared El Niño would be confined to the southern part of the state.  It is not turning out that way.  We are having an old time winter. 

Kaloo Kalay !!!

Last week George had gone out after mail on sunday and we went to Yreka on monday.  I told you about those trips in the last blog.  On wednesday last it snowed a bit, just enough (about 2″) to put a deceptive top on the icy remnants.  Thursday the snow set in big time.

Snow on the windowIt stuck to the window screens …

During the Storm  14 Jan 2016and filled the air.

Sun adter the Storm  15 January 2016Then the sun came out.

By friday morning all trace of the mess made when we came home from Yreka was gone. 

Out the DriveBoth the drive …

Down the roadand the road were pristine … smooth as if no one had been that way for weeks.

Saturday we had a rain-snow mix.  Rain on deep snow means plowing is a don’t-even-think-about-it and this session of rain has been good. 

17th RainWhen it rains, it sheets down the front windows.

18 Jan 2016The melt began to show on monday.

Rain Melt 20 Jan 2016This morning it is really showing. 

The snow level had risen to over 6,000′, so the Eddys and the Mountain are still getting pack.     That’s good.


Death has been in the news a lot lately.  Must be the season.

Within a week … Bowie and Rickman, he of that impressive voice, and at least six others. 

Ever since his shift last week, I’ve been thinking about David (Bowie) Jones.  How can anyone avoid it with the continuing news reports?  The circumstances remind me of the death of a friend a year or so ago.

My friend was diagnosed with ALS, slow muscle degeneration, although his version of the disease wasn’t so slow.  When it reached the point where he couldn’t swallow anything solid and his speech had become slurred, he made his plans to move on. 

He had been active in a local festival and (with the help of friends) was asked to be the Marshal of that year’s event.  That had been a great day with most of the town’s attention focused on him. 

The following day was a gathering of family and close friends at his home with food and music and stories and love and laughter (sort of like a wake but with the guest of honor present).

After all the guests had left, his wife and son helped him to bed and stayed with him.  Before morning he had made his shift to whatever comes next.  The death certificate said “Cardiac Arrest”.

Bowie had been a storyteller/entertainer all his professional life.  He spent months after his cancer diagnosis preparing his tale of leaving using the character of Lazarus to tell the tale as he had used other characters, such as Ziggy and the Duke, to tell their stories.  That offering was released on the 8th of January, his birthday, to much acclaim. 

I’d bet the 9th was a day much like that of my friend … full of family, friends, memories, love, and joy.  I’d bet his family saw him to bed that night and sat with him while he made his shift.  The death certificate said “Liver Cancer”.

My guess is the physical cause in both instances was really a choice for dignity over slow, inevitable decay and the pain which that decay would cause both the persons and their loved ones.

Assisted Death doesn’t cause more deaths …

                                                          it prevents more suffering.


New officers were due to be elected at the radio club meeting this evening.  Based on the weather, I decided to cancel this evening’s meeting.  I know it isn’t the first time the club has done without a January meeting.  We’ll just do the election first thing at the February meeting.

I’ve been nominated to continue as Presiding Office.  I would kind of like that.  It gets George and me out at least one night a month.

We shall see …


One really interesting sidelight from last saturday’s opera, “Pearl Fishers”, was an insight into the magnificent duet between the tenor and baritone.  It is often performed as a concert/recital piece, but the entire opera isn’t produced that often.

The tenor currently singing Nadir (the tenor lead) at the Met, who has sung the duet often but only now in situ, said he had never before paid any attention to the fact that in the opera Nadir is lying through his teeth. 

Puts an interesting slant on how it is sung.


“Mercy Street” premiered last sunday. 

Gritty, dirty, bloody, incisive, some offensive characters, some sympathetic characters, prejudices, mercy, changes …

A bit hard to watch, especially for a nurse trained in the mid- and late-20th century. 

When I was in nurses’ training, one of my classmates had a Civil War surgeon’s instrument kit (one of her ancestors had been a Union doctor).  The tools were shocking.  Doctors got the job done with the best tools available at the time, but it was shocking.

I’ll be watching on sundays.


Politics is not something I discuss (in public) very often.  Differences of opinion are normal and should not lead to anger, but they do lead there often enough that I try not to be there … let alone be an instigator.

But something is happening which has given me pause … the question of what constitutes natural born

It seemed a bit silly in re Obama’s birth in Hawai’i since the islands’ history as part of the US predates their state status by quite a long time (why get so upset over the bombing of Pearl Harbor if Hawai’i wasn’t part of the US?). 

But tying eligibility for political office to a parent rather than to place of birth offers a conundrum.  If that is the test, anyone born to a US citizen anywhere in the world and raised in their birthplace having never seen the US or been exposed to its culture or educated in its schools, i.e. knowing nothing about the US, would be eligible to run for the position of President. 

Since US citizens travel and relocate extensively, eventually there would be people on every continent, who know nothing about this country and who, nonetheless, would be eligible.

I know that is way out at the end of probability, even sounding sort of silly, but unless the law defining a natural born citizen is clarified it remains a possibility.

It would seem knowledge of and a relationship with the US should matter more than parentage, i.e. maybe being born in and raised as a US citizen should be the test, not the citizenship of your parents.

Just thinking out loud …


I received another punch last week.

A friend of over 40 years was told a bit before Thanksgiving that her breast cancer had returned, stage 4.  She is currently in the chemo-radiation mode.

The day before Thanksgiving, another friend was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.  He is having radiation treatments.  

Then last week I learned that another friend was diagnosed (on her birthday) with stage 4 esophageal cancer.  She started the chemo-radiation this week.

All of these folks are younger than George or me.

At this stage of life, I expected that friends my age or older would be having these kinds of trouble, just not the younger ones.  I, selfishly, had been thinking they’d be around to worry about me.  So …

Pray hard for my friends in the best interest of all concerned, please.


Headline … “Dog tucks in baby with its nose”.  How did the baby get the dog’s nose?              


The holiday cactus in back of the Montserrat Madonna has finally chosen to bloom.Cactus


A word from Ray Bradbury …

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it’s your turn. Jump!”


So … ’til next week …