23 December …


15 Dec 2015  Dawn                                Last wednesday began cold and clear. 

As I go out to care for the ladies, I have the opportunity to admire my surroundings and give thanks.Ladies' ViewEach chore trip turns into a Blessing.  I am so fortunate.


The radio club’s holiday potluck went well.

I know I promised pictures and I did remember to take my camera … but the batteries were dead.  So no pictures. 

Too bad because the club house was decorated beyond extravagant.  The lighting was exceptional.  The food was chef level.  The drinks flowed like the proverbial wine.  The music and singing sounded professional.  The dreidle games and their payoffs were on a par with Vegas.   Fabulous !

And you have no way to prove I may be exaggerating ’cause there are no pictures.  Oh well …

But honestly folks, we did have a good time.  George and another ham put tinsel and lights around the front door.  The food tables held trail mix as a starter; porcupine meatballs, spinach linguini, A-1 homemade mac and cheese,  slow-cooker yams and apples, and grilled tri-tip as main dishes; two green mixed salads and a jello salad; wine; and a berry pie plus pumpkin cream cheese moussè to end the meal.  And that (as Edith Ann would say) is the trooth.

One member showed up in a Santa hat and proceeded to lead the singing.

Before dinner stories about radio mis-adventures were shared.  After dinner there were three dreidle games going.  All three prizes (sets of crocheted pot holders in holiday colours) were won by men.

It was cold, but a member had gone by early and turned on the heaters.  And, of course, when folks started arriving their body warmth kept it all cozy.

As far as I could tell, a good time was had by all.


However … my volunteer session at the Family History Center scheduled for thursday didn’t go so well.  It was cancelled. 

The Sister with whom I had been scheduled to work needed the day for holiday preparations and she was concerned about me having to drive home late in the snowy dark. 

Neither of us really believed any genealogists were going to show up that close to the holidays requesting aid in research.  So we didn’t open. 

Next scheduled session … 7 January.


I went into Weed early saturday to finish off the holiday shopping and to mail the two packages … and  that trip was a story. 

The post office opens at 0930, so I left home about 0900.  It was snowing lightly.  Getting out of the drive was a bit iffy since we hadn’t been out since the snows began in earnest.  By the time I got down the road to the KBar hill, the snow had picked up.  I thought “I used to drive this all the time. I can do it … but it’s been years since this was habitual.  Can I still do it?”

My decision was that the worst of going out was past so I might as well go on into town.  Of course, once I was on pavement I was on roads which had been plowed and sanded.

The post office wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be.  I did meet a couple of people I know and so spent time chatting.  Small town post offices and grocery stores are like that.  I then dropped off the library book (a Kellerman mystery) and went on to the grocery store. 

Four bags and forty minutes later I was in the truck on my way home.  The sun was shining in Weed but I saw the on ramps to the freeway were blocked.  I still don’t know what that was all about.

By the time I got to Old Stage Road it had begun to snow and home looked to be under a dark cloud.  Just before I got off the paved road, I stopped and put the truck into 4-wheel high.  I took it slow and had no problem, not even going up the KBar hill. 

Thinking about the upcoming turns and the slope of our hill, I put it down to 4-wheel low and started up in 1st gear.  No problem … until …

The turn off High Meadow into our driveway is a fraction more than a 90° angle.

I made it.  It took a couple of tries and left the drive entrance in a sorry state, but I was home.

Oh well …

By sunday noon, every trace of my trip was gone under a new layer of snow.

Monday we had the first blizzard we’ve seen in years.DSCF3199Nice.


Monday night, Solstice Eve, was interesting.

Everything was going well … until I put the rice bag in the microwave to heat.  Evidently the fridge and the water pump came on at the same time and the reserve power in the battery bank was challenged.  Instant blackout.

The system has a reset feature, so we decided to just wait rather than suit up and go out to the pump house to do a manual reset.  Besides, it was bedtime.

Next thing I knew it was after 0100 and the power was still off. That raised thoughts of a snow plug in the hydro system or some other catastrophe and I began to worry about the pressures on George.

However, knowing there was nothing to be done until it got light, I was able to go back to sleep. When I awoke again it was 0500 and the power was on … lights, radio, everything. 

George had gotten up at his usual 0400, started the day’s fire, and went out to see what was going on.  The failure was the automatic reset, not the hydro system. 

All is well … batteries up to normal charge, hydro output normal, NPR coming in as clear as usual.

Conclusion … no more reliance on the automatic system until warmer weather facilitates repair.  We’re still in better shape than neighbors on the grid.  They’ve had a series of outages over the last couple of weeks lasting as much as eight hours at a time.  We slept through ours.


One nice thing about this time of year is the memories. Remember Christmases on the radio (radio? what’s that?) …


Climate change has been making weird with things around here.  So far we haven’t seen any invasion, but bears have taken out chickens to the east (Dogwood Drive), north (Ponderosa Drive), and northwest (Rocky Road) of us and three cougars were seen to the northwest (also Rocky Road). Bears have also been tracked onto porches (Dogwood Drive and Maple Drive).  No housing break-ins however.

Bears should be hibernating and cougars should be higher on the mountainside mating.

Our hens are very old for layers so if something takes them it will be no big loss.  I’m toying with the idea of getting one of those metal storage units and turning it into a winter hen house … add doors, light sources, and insulation.


Here’s a Christmas story to warm all hearts …

A pair of young friends are going through a REALLY tough time right now.  Friends and family are rallying around so things are mostly under control.

One of their friends knew of a new sandwich shop in their area which was run by a young couple who were naming their sandwiches after known folks.  The friend approached them and asked them to create a sandwich named after my ill young friend  and donate half the cost of the sandwich to his medical fund (I apologize if this is a bit confusing but I don’t have permission to use names). The sandwich folks agreed and the friend put out the word.

Then the miracle occurred.

Folks started ordering the sandwich at such a rate the sandwich shop began running out of supplies.  They are a very small walk-in (made of two portable storage units) and they had folks lined up down the block.  In a few days they had to post a request that orders of 10 or more sandwiches be made 24 hours in advance. 

Real financial help for my friend and advertising they couldn’t buy for the sandwich shop.

An “admiration” of heroes creating ripples.


Only one more sunday until season 6 of Downton Abbey.


’twas the night before …


 In spite of the commercialism, if you celebrate Christmas … May this be one of the best you will ever have.


.. and here’s a memory from years ago.  Michael did the sketch and Mark wrote the poem.1981 Card


 ‘Til next week …








 16 December …


Tonight is the radio club potluck.  We will get to the clubhouse about 1700 in order to get everything arranged so we can eat at 1800.

Pictures to follow.


I was going through some old pictures and found these taken the first holiday season we lived on the farm.

Christmas 1978


Watched a film “documentary” last week which brought back memories of the 60s.  It claimed to be the “Last Testament” of George Harrison and was the tale of how Paul actually died in a car accident in 1966 and was replaced with the aid of plastic surgery.

The first part dealing with the cover-up was a bit dotty (the MI-5 agent involved was named “Maxwell” but not a mention in the entire film about “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”).  The section dealing with the “hints” in photos, albums covers, lyrics, etc. could be quite convincing.  The section about the stress between the remaining three and the newcomer was interesting as was the part about the changes in the attitude of  “Faul” (Fake Paul) toward the “remaining” three and the reasoning behind the marriages to Linda and Heather.

The reviews were also interesting.  Seems the critics were either fully convinced or wrote off the whole idea as bonkers.

What do I think?  I think the possibility is a real long-shot mainly because of the exceptional work done by Sir Paul since.  Of course, the “original” Paul may have been only a rock-and-roll genius and the “Fake” Paul an overall musician.

It occurs to me that DNA could provide an answer.

Anyone out there have an opinion?


Weather report …

Last wednesday – rain and clouds but a bit warmer

Thursday – overnight rain (1.64″)

Friday – overnight light snow continuing through the day without accumulation

13 Dec 2015

Saturday – light snow all day

14 Dec 2015

Sunday – Snow

11 Dec 2015

Monday – Cold with light snow and icy roads

Dawn 15 Dec 2015

Yesterday – Repeat of Monday

115 Dec 2015  Icicles

This morning –  Still beautiful.


Only two more sundays until the start of the final Downton Abbey season.

I dislike seeing “spoilers” about what will happen next in a series.  They have been nearly impossible to avoid with the upcoming Downton Abbey season.  I wonder why I should bother to watch if I can see all the important plot lines by watching the “coming” announcements.


Modifiers …

Friday morning a report on NPR was that some students somewhere had been suspended for wearing what looked like KKK headdresses with eye holes cut out on their heads.

And from a newspaper bulletin … Deputy Shot in Head While Responding to Call in Critical Condition.

Educators should be ashamed that even those who depend on words for their livelihood don’t have the tools to say what they mean and leave the listener to decipher what that meaning might be.


New book is “The Witches  Salem 1692” by S. Schiff.  Pretty dull read, but with some interesting information and opinions about the Salem Village area at the time.

Genealogical research has shown me that, in my paternal line, I have “ancestors” in that area on both sides of the event, i.e. accusers as well as witches.  Some were both.  Through Schiff’s research, I understand the situations and motivations a bit better.

But I also need some light reading, so I will be entering the world of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency again.


Opera last weekend was “Rigoletto”.  The current Met production is set in 60s Vegas.  I am looking forward to its appearance on PBS’s Great Performances.  It would be nice if the filmed performance was one in which Dimitri (remember Dimitri?) sang Rigoletto.

Listening last saturday left me with a couple of thoughts …

Last saturday was the 100th anniversary of Sinatra’s birth and it was in 60s Vegas that the Sinatra this nearly 90-year-old still enjoys, as she did when she was 13-years-old, was replaced by the Rat Pack and mobsters and EGO to become a you-lucky-people-here’s-me singer.  Oh well …

Fortunately I never saw that Sinatra, and except for the Vegas heavy recordings, I still have the floppy tied young man with whom I fell in “crush”  via the original recordings.

The other thought was that Anna Netrebko better look to her laurels.  She has been the Queen of the Met for a few years, but her title is under attack. The newcomer who sang Gilda is well worth following               (Nadine Sierra  –  in rehearsal  http://www.metopera.org/Season/2015-16-Season/rigoletto-verdi-tickets  scroll down to the Cara nome clip).


In conclusion …

from a young woman I know who is living a love filled nightmare 

“So yes, live  Live  LIVE.  If you get nothing else from this entire tragedy, let the one thing be that you LIVE.”


 and courtesy of Cotton Mather as per the introduction to “Witches …” Chapter 2 

“But who can tell what miraculous things I may see before (the coming) year be out!”



So, ’til next week …







 9 December …


Volunteer session at the Family History Center last week was cancelled. 

It started raining tuesday night.  There was a lot of strong wind.  When the wind is blowing, and is high up in the air, the trees sound like surf. 

By thursday 0930 it was snowing, so I let them know I wasn’t coming in … better to be snowed in than snowed out, even though I know I’d have a bed at either Laura’s or Marty’s.  By noon there was about 2′ of new snow.

3 Dec 2015 - 1200

Not going to the Center was sort of a disappointment. I’m doing some research for a friend and am at the place which requires access to international records, so I was counting on using the Center’s International Ancestry connection.  Oh well … next time. 

By dark we were approaching 4″.

3 Dec 2015 - 1600

The scene when I went out to take care of the ladies was beginning to resemble a calendar photo …

View from the chicken House

Lovely … but the phone was out and the ISP connection was out as well.  We were set back on our own devices … and were even forced to read !!!

Don’t throw me in the briar patch …


Speaking of reading …

I finished the Rowling mystery.  Once I got past not caring what colour the wallpaper was, it wasn’t a bad read.  In fact, I had narrowed the possible killer to two, then thought I might have missed something and expanded that to three, then finished reading and found my third choice was hers.  I like it when I can’t anticipate ahead of the author.

But, like many authors nowadays, there was way to much c—, and f—, and other unsavory words for my taste.  I guess I’m too old fashioned and the current looseness with that kind of language annoys me.  It doesn’t necessarily “offend” me.  I just wish the culture hadn’t deteriorated so.  The language is so full of a wonder of words, it is a shame the language isn’t being taught so people have full use of its expressiveness.  The overuse of those words require the reader or listener to make assumptions about which inference is actually meant so you might not be hearing what the speaker actually had in mind.

Oh well …

Haven’t yet decided if I’ll go any further with the Galbraith novels.

Next up … further English history with an emphasis on women, a Kellerman mystery, and something off the NPR reading list.


Every day one or more mass shootings. 

At least two fairly close “neighbors” have rapid fire weapons.  For what purpose?  You can’t hunt with them … any animal would be rendered such a mess there would be no edible meat left. 

I remember the time Daddy took Mama hunting and her first shot brought down a really nice buck with a shot through the eye.  Lots of meat available there. 

And in a roundabout way related to the original subject … if you have been following me, you know I come unhinged over misplaced modifiers such as “I spoke with him on the phone in his office.”  If I was using his office phone, where was he?  If we were in his office, why did I need to speak on the phone?

… and sometimes the modifier comes first as in the much quoted and often misunderstood Second Amendment …


My younger sister-in-law had an 80th birthday last week.  I remember clearly when she was 20 and I had just given birth to my first son.  We were so young.

I cherish a life which provides me with such memories.


We watched “Awakenings” last thursday evening.  Robin Williams was a better actor than he was ever given credit for being.  And De Niro was amazing.  I’ve worked in a mental care facility (in fact, spent my honeymoon in one … but I’ve told you that story already) and his physicality in the role of Leonard demonstrated pretty good understanding and was worth an Academy Award. 

Too bad money or sentiment or something else bought that year’s awards for others.

As I finished watching, I was wondering what has followed that research and if it proved to be replicable and useful.


Seems the grave marker discussion isn’t done yet.

I received this from a high school mate last week.  I was in the same class as both of these folks.Anderson Grave Marker

This is the marker atop what will be their shared grave in the hometown cemetery … (the strange colours in the center are their son taking the picture).

George reminded me, when he saw the picture, that Irene was one of two people who were friendly when he first came to Hemet.  The other was my friend Nora Mae.

Not me.  It took me a couple of years … but he didn’t like me either back then.

Oh well …


There is an outdoor theatre on the coast of Cornwall which I look at every day and wish I had been able to visit, the Minack Theatre.  It is built into the cliffs (with the English Channel as a backdrop) and that reminds me of the Ramona Bowl where I grew up.

Since those days as a dancer in the Ramona Pageant, I’ve taken speaking classes and been involved in little theatre … so when I look at that stage I fantasize about what monologue I should prepare for the chance that some day I might stand in front of those rows of seats and take my turn.  Maybe the straw-in-my-hair speech from “Three Tall Women” or one of the funeral memoirs from a three short play collection the name of which I have forgotten or maybe the opening scene (rewritten for one) from Stoppard’s “Rosenkranz and Guilderstern Are Dead” (the one with the pennies) or maybe something from Shakespeare. 

I will never have that experience (although I will continue to fantasize about it) but a few days ago I smiled broadly.  As I looked at the video feed from the theatre at about 1400 their time, there was a young man, facing an empty theatre, emoting his way through who knows what monologue (there is no sound with the video). But it didn’t matter …

I felt like cheering …


This morning it is raining and promises to do so all day.  The snow is mostly gone.

9 December 2015

We will be off to Yreka in a bit.  Property taxes are due tomorrow. We’ll do some shopping and have dinner out.  It will be a good day.


Thanksgiving Day is past, but …


Let’s all be grateful for the Blessings to come.



‘Til next week …




2 December …


Thanksgiving Eve was a full moon and the moon on the breast of the new fallen snow …

Thanksgiving was cold and beautiful. 

T'giving Morning 2015  -  2


Last night we had rather heavy rain for most of the night … but there is still a bit of snow …

2 Dec 2015


I had not wanted to go out on Black Friday, but I had a couple of things which needed to go into the mail … so out I went.

I was glad I did.

Everything had been touched by magick. 

Windshield  27 Nov 2015


The ice sparkles on the windshield before I scraped it were beautiful.  

The meadow was full of diamonds.

I had my camera with me, but it is not top-of-the-line and wasn’t able to capture what I was seeing. 

The sparkles on the ground were every colour you can imagine.  When soft snow globs fell from the tree limbs, they became glitter clouds.  The snow on top of the pick-up cab became sparkles I could see in the rear view mirror as it blew off.  

And for the first time in many years, there were vehicles parked at the top of driveways where they met the paved road … prepared for additional snow so they could get out easily.

Our road(s) were okay.  The only possible problem was on what we call the K-Bar hill (I’ve mentioned it before).  It is a pretty good slope and, although it had been plowed, it was icy going down.  I put the truck into 4-wheel low coming home so I was safe all the way.

The trip was a joy.  There’s a section of road on the way to Cold Comfort which pleasures me every trip.  Friday it was … choose your own adjective.

Down our hill



On the way out …




and on the way back in …Up our hill

And the view of the Mountain from College Avenue was lovely …

Into town  27 Nov 2015


While I was out last week, I checked the weekly grocery ads and was impressed by all the things on sale which I am able to make for us without chemical preservatives …dinner rolls, gravy from a mix, pie crust, mash potatoes, cranberry sauce.  I realize I have the time that a lot of others don’t.  But it makes me happy to work from “scratch”… especially when the cardiologist tells George his diet must be pretty darn good.


It has been a while since I mentioned the earthquakes along the faults between the Gulf of California and the Salton Sea area.  There haven’t been any big ones along there lately, but every day there are swarms of small ones.

In fact, the entire southern part of California is quietly rocking and rolling.

I wonder if that means anything?


I am still thinking on the morbid subject of grave markers.  I posted my bit last week and did get a response.  It was interesting that there has been only one response and that was about my choice, not about what they would choose.

I guess I’d better let it go … but as a genealogist, I find it quite interesting.


Tomorrow is a session at the Family History Center … this time with a “Sister”.

I have started doing some research for a neighbor which is turning into a fun !!! challenge.  There are Hispanic names and German names and Chinese names and Jewish names and … and … who knows what I’ll find.  Being at the FHC tomorrow will be good, if the traffic is light, because I’ll be able to use the international data bases.


Just a touch of nepotism …  http://www.oldcountrydeli.biz/

Try it! You’ll like it !!


One last thought about Thanksgiving …



So, ’til next week …


Books are your ticket to anywhere you want to go …







 25 November …

While we were in Oregon yesterday, about 4″ of snow fell here at Cold Comfort.  We’re into three-comforter nights.

Home 25 Nov 2014

Kaloo Kalay !!!


This has been a difficult month … occasionally it has been a task to find something for which to be grateful … a task but not impossible.

I am overwhelmingly grateful for life, family, friends, food, shelter, warmth, hope, snow, and a slew of small things like bacon and books and morning sun and stars and season changes and the smell of soft rain and snow and …

I have a gratitude jar and seeing it reminds me how blessed I am.


Last week, at the Family History Center was interesting … but don’t tell the LDS folks. 

Some time ago we were told church rules forbid men and women working together unless they are a married couple, and that no non-member was to have access to the church without the presence of a member (i.e. not have a key).  Two hard and fast requirements.

But necessity rules.

Last thursday the “Sister” with whom I usually work was in Texas for the wedding of a grandchild. Harry Hall from Dunsmuir and I worked the shift.  We are both married, but not to each other, and neither of us belong to the LDS Church. But we were there, doing our bit.  Oh well …

It was an uneventful session, so no harm done.  Just don’t tell.


I am currently reading the first of the mystery novels by JKRowling.  The beginning three chapters were difficult.  I’m a story person and those chapters seemed to be focused on how a place looked. 

There is another mystery novelist who spends paragraph after paragraph on how the characters are dressed.  I’ve learned to selectively scan those paragraphs for clues and get on with the story.  Once I made the connection in re style, reading “the Cuckoo’s Calling” got easier. 

I will wait on an evaluation until I’m further into the novel. 


With winter holding off for such a long time, we had been seeing abnormal amounts of road kill of all sizes (I’m not sure what a “normal” amount is, but this has been abnormal).  As a result, the crow population has grown and hawks are everywhere.

Road Kill



It also made me think of a book I received from a cousin years ago.




The amateur radio club has begun planning its holiday potluck.  So far the “guest” list is approaching twenty.  The club house main room is not very big … about 20’x20′ and there are cabinets and shelving on two walls.

I doubt we will need the heater and it will probably be a good thing we are all friends.


As you know, we made a trip to Medford for another eye injection yesterday.  Rain and snow had been predicted for monday night.  It hadn’t really begun by the time we left home, but we had allowed extra time to get over Siskiyou Pass.

Snow Fog

On the Oregon side of the  pass we ran into fog …

Approaching the Summit

and snow.

Coming home 

Appoaching home 24 Nov 2015

this  awaited us …

Appointment results were much the same as always … the injections are maintaining the condition of George’s eye, but there is no real cure.  

Next appointment … 22 December with the caveat that if weather interferes, we can call and have priority for rescheduling depending on our ability to travel.


I was able to find a nice turkey for a dollar a pound in spite of the scare over bird flu decimating flocks.  It is a well-rounded, 13 pound hen.

Turkeys had been on sale last week ($9 for a 10 to 14 pounder), but that was only with a $25 purchase, so this hen was a good deal.  We are counting on finding another for Christmas. 

I already have ham for New Year’s.

The turkey went into the brine this morning.  The bread for stuffing is torn and ready to season.Cranberry Sauce 

I made the cranberry sauces last weekend (while listening to “Candide”). 

And this year we decided I should make pimento stuffing for the celery instead of buying it.  It turned out pretty good thanks to the pimento stuffed olives John brought us from the Olive Pit.

Our young (55) neighbor, who is a home health care nurse, may be here depending on the condition of his patients.  At the very least, he’ll share some leftovers.


A few weeks ago I discussed the question of what each of us wants on their grave marker. Interestingly, I didn’t get any replies.

I’ve given it a bit of thought, and although there will be no grave for me which will allow marking, if there were I would like it to say something along the lines of …
She was not perfect, but she loved and she tried.


Rainbow Fiber

Latest spinning was this “Rainbow” fiber from a wool producer in New Zealand.  Not sure (yet) what I will do with it.  Maybe a Rainbow Shawl. 




Last saturday morning, as I sat at the computer, I noticed that the sun was hitting the west wall in front of me.  That made me think about the sun shifting from north to south and back again. 

The windows out of which I look while at the computer are on the south side of the house.  It is only during a few weeks in mid-winter the sun comes in through them.  And in mid-summer, sunshine comes in the north windows in the dining room.

The ladies are up on the roost by 1645 nowadays.

25 Nov 2015  -  1

Winter Solstice is nearly here.  Aaahhhhh, the Holly and the Ivy.


Overall, I find Anne Frank may have had it right …


Caring and love come from sharing with others and discovering our common humanity.


Anne Frank


Were you aware the Frank family had been among the Jews seeking asylum early during Hitler’s reign who were refused entry into the US? 


Interesting, no???



So … ’til next week …








18 November …

Second week in a row the blog has been impacted by medical appointments. 

Sorry …

Maybe I should switch the post day to a weekend.  Offices aren’t open on weekends.


Medical appointment last wednesday was for George’s annual cardiac checkup. 

PreDawnWe had to leave home before dawn …

Exam results were that all is as well as we can expect at our age.

George’s caffeine intake was cut off 24 hours before the appointment and he wasn’t allowed to eat for the 12 hours preceding it … I don’t eat when he can’t eat … by the time we got out of the office, we were really hungry. 

It was Veterans’ Day and some restaurants were offering free meals to vets … so we went to Applebee’s.  He had a big plateful of double crusty shrimp with slaw and fries.  I had a surprisingly good plate of fish and chips (except that the chips were actually fresh crisps) with slaw.

The place was packed with some folks waiting outside … weather was pleasant.

Parties with a vet were seated before others without.  And if we heard “Thank you for your service” once, it must have been at least twenty or thirty times.  Young people without a vet in their group were going out of their way to greet the vets.  There were a lot of “old fogies” there (we saw two other WW II vets) so we were right in tune.

Had we not been in Redding for the medical appointment, we probably would not have gone out … even for a free meal … too many people.  But it worked out okay.


Weather has turned winter. I’ve had to break the ice on the ladies’ water for the last few mornings.

Sunday Snow

And sunday morning it began to snow …

It seems like it has been ages since I was able to sit in my rocker by the wood stove, spin, sip my cuppa, and watch it snow.  Bliss …

16 Nov 2015

Monday morning was lovely …

Thanks to everyone who has been thinking snow. Keep up the good work.


Last Apple


You have all heard of the “Last Rose of Summer” … well, last week, before the snow and during the rain, I found the last apple of summer.  I don’t know how I missed it, but a worm and some birds obviously found it.


Lately I’ve been waking up with a feeling of disconnect, as if the world is going past me and I no longer have a reason.  I would guess that more “old” folks feel that way than are willing to admit it.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to do.  There is a lot to do and I’m busy and content.  Just that there is so much about the world to which I no longer relate or even understand. 

People buried in cell phones while the world goes past is one. 

Jingoistic patriotism is another (a recent post pointed out that it has been more than seventy years since we fought a war which was actually about “defending freedom” rather than supporting a political “friend” or defending corporate rights or taking revenge or … choose your own reason).

Corporate profit running the world regardless of who is harmed or how is another.

Things are changing … kvetch … kvetch … kvetch.


The latest change to set us back on our heels is a radical change in our medical provider situation.  Our GP is closing his practice as of 31 December.  He has referred us to a Medical Group which we will be checking out at a future open house.  This effects (and affects) me more than George, since our MD will continue as the VA doc.  My  choice appears to be between a female MD, a male MD, a male FNP, and an Egyptian trained male MD.

But the big blow for George (and me as well) is that the VA FNP he has come to respect and appreciate (dare I say love) will also be gone.  She has family in South Dakota so I guess she’ll be transferring there. 

One plus is that his retinologist is young, new to the area (and seems to be liking southwestern Oregon), and George likes him.  Another is that his cardiologist shows no signs of slowing.

Solution for me is to stay well.





Yesterday there was a leftover in the backyard …





And finally … my thoughts are filled with the events of the past week.

My Nana was zeroed in on Armageddon.  She was years early, but it is looking more and more as if humankind is determined to destroy the Earth and in the process destroy itself. 

Word about the destruction of rain forests in South America and Indonesia all in the name of profit …

Ethnic, cultural, racial, or religious tribalism causing the killing of each other to “protect” ourselves leading to constant fear of the “other” …

The rise of unthinking fundamentalism …

Even hate behavior within tribes if someone dare disagree or in some way deviate from the “norm” … 

… all leading to what would appear to be the beginning of the third World War, a war which holds the potential to actually be the war to end all wars since there might be nothing and no one left.

What happened to “unto one of the least of these”, and “those with whom discussion is not possible should be passed by in peace” and “you shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you” ???

I realize these thoughts are negatively simplistic. 

I realize the kneejerk reaction is to blame the “other”. 

I realize I live a simple, protected life in that I am not part of a large metropolitan area or of an active tribe.

I am unsettled and concerned about the “seventh generation”.


And so … ’til next week …






10 November …


I’m a day early this week because our next medical appointment was changed from monday to wednesday at 0830 in Redding.  We will be leaving the house at 0615 tomorrow.


Weather has definitely turned.


The tree in the courtyard which was given to me when Michael died is glorious …

Eddys' First Snow

and there is snow on the Eddys …

Green Rose


however, Daddy’s green rose is still in bloom …


(These pictures are from last weekend)





Rake in the Fog

Then this morning is foggy …

George's Panthers foggy … 

Trees in Fogfoggy …


Many years ago (actually more than 70) my BFF was Nora Mae Smith.  She was an artist.  She loved jewelry.  She introduced me to George (but that’s beside the point of this memory).

I don’t recall the art teacher’s name (I posed for the figure drawing class and dated the teacher’s son … once … however, those are stories for another time), but at one time she taught the students how to use metal for jewelry.  Don’t ask for details. Nora was the artist, not me.

I clearly remember a pair of earrings Nora made.  She rolled a piece of metal around a very small elongated piece of a second metal.  They hung from a wire for pierced ears.  I loved them. I have no idea whatever happened to them.

Nora's Lily



Imagine my surprise when I saw this for sale on the net. 


I guess good ideas, like good musical phrases, never occur just once.


My post about “Do” vs. “Don’t” elicited responses indicating others have the same type of questions.

The initial reason for the post was that I was pondering the question because of the upsurge in some quarters of sometimes rather hateful anti-Islamic rhetoric and other “anti-” positions … anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-law enforcement, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-you pick it.  It seemed that society is becoming increasingly “us vs. them” with us and them being defined quite narrowly.

The secondary reason was to see if others have ever pondered the subject and what conclusions they formulated.

For instance … because the Islamic version of the “Golden Rule” is one of the Do versions and extremists want to be brought into the fold of what they perceive as truth and ultimately arrive in paradise, what does that do to our perception of their actions?  Is it possible at least some of them think they are doing others a favor?  Maybe if it were a Don’t, there would be fewer beheadings. 

Maybe …

And another for instance … someone I have known for a long time and know to be a good man began posting rather hate-filled items on Facebook against Muslims and Arabs as stereotyped, undifferentiated units.  I know he is a proponent of one of the “Do” groups and I was having trouble aligning the “do it if you want it done to you” with the teaching to honor, love, and not judge others.

That made me realize I was judging.

Some of the responses point out that I am being judged. 

Maybe that is inherent in being human.  We can’t help making judgments.  Nor can we avoid being upset by, hurt by, or resentful of what we perceive as the judgments of others.

That line of thought led to thoughts of how often what is intended is not what is perceived. 

There was a post on Facebook about an experiment in which six photographers were asked to do portraits of a man.  Before each photographer was introduced to the man, each was given a backstory about the man.  No two of the stories were the same and none were true.  When the resulting portraits were lined up side by side it was the same man, dressed in the same clothes, yet the pictures could have been of six different men. 

Being a philosopher may be one of the most difficult of occupations. Even thinking about it is difficult.   I am not a philosopher, but I realize I will be thinking about this for some time to come.


Downton Abbey will begin their recap of season five on PBS next sunday.  George and I plan to watch season 4 via Netflix to be ready for the season 5 recap leading into the final season which begins in January.  That gives us less than a week.  Binge time … followed by three months of sundays in Yorkshire and London.


Recently, when sorting a pile of papers, I came across a photograph which I knew was taken somewhere around here, but was unable to place.Kay's Photo 1

On the back was written “Mark and I took a walk on Sat   Mt Shasta ’85”  I recognized the handwriting of my sister-in-law who died nearly three years ago.  Back in the days of the photo she would come to Cold Comfort to stay for a couple of weeks every year.  Yet, even with that hint I wasn’t able to place the view.

Then, for some unknown reason, I rotated the photoKay's Photo 2

and instantly knew where it had been taken … in spite of the changes which have occurred in the thirty intervening years.

Point of view, perception, is everything.


I had avoided the mystery novels by JKRowling writing as Robert Galbraith.  I’m not real sure why but it probably had something to do with Harry Potter.  In addition, I have a “stable” of mystery writers on whom I can depend for a good light read.

Then, last week, I heard an interview with Rowling on NPR in which she said she used the AKA precisely so the mysteries wouldn’t be compared to Harry.  So, feeling a bit “caught”, I asked for the first of the books at the library.  It had to be ordered for me and is waiting now.

Since ordering it I’ve been told that in the opinion of someone whose opinions I value, Rowling is a great story teller but only a mediocre writer.

I will pick up the book later this week and I’ll let you know what I find.

In the meantime I am reading a James Patterson and a history of the Tudors.


I had a nice surprise last week.  I have a white holiday cactus which was given to me as a cutting years ago.  Each year since it has been a nice contrast to the fuchsia one.

Last week I watered it on thursday.  It looked healthy but nothing special caught my eye.

Holiday Cactus 


Then saturday …





I have read about small, for free libraries which are popping up in neighborhoods.  Someone revamps an old phone booth, or builds a box to hold books which someone has read and is ready to pass along to other readers.

I would welcome something like that here … maybe out at the mail boxes on the paved road.  It would need to be weatherproof and not too small. 

I am not a carpenter, so I will have to wait to see if the idea catches someone who is.

In the meantime, I donate books to the local library. 


Please … everyone continue to affirm lots of deep, wet snow on all the Sierra Nevadas.  Thank you.


So, ’til next week …

If you help someone and expect something, anything, in return … you’re doing business, not a random act of kindness.





4 November …


Last sunday, on her Facebook line, a young friend wrote the following … 

November begins with “no”, but feels like a thousand yeses. It’s the pause in the cold, sycamore leaves crunching underfoot. It’s the possibility of days spent curled under blankets with hot cocoa, watching the rain. It’s the calm after a summer of going, going, gone. It’s when I get to be my best introvert while, oddly, cooking some of the biggest celebration meals of the year. I was born here. I love here. Because it can be anything.  

Couldn’t have said it any better (except I’m a May baby).


We’ve been having rain on and off … usually light but occasionally hard enough to get through the pine needles.  It is nice and we are grateful.

Golden Birch



The birch has become a golden candle, especially in the morning sun …



Plum & Apricot

and the plum and apricot in the courtyard are lovely (those lines lower right are the solar dryer).

Eddys' First Snow

There was snow on the Eddys monday morning which glimmered as the first sun hit it …

Mountain 3

and snow on the Mountain …

Mountain 4


which was heart filling … (pictures courtesy of a walk Michael took)

However …

       we are still affirming snow !  Snow !!  SNOW !!!  SNOW !!!!


I Recently met a friend in a local store (as you often do when you live in a small town).   I used to work with her (we are both retired now), and we are both into genealogy.  She is also a bird watcher and she had a story to tell. 

Their family shares a vacation house on the mid-Oregon coast in Yachats, and they had been up there a couple of weeks ago closing the house for the winter when she spotted a bird in the yard which she had never seen before.  She immediately got out her bird book and identified the bird.  It seemed to belong further south so it was a real prize for her sighting book (or whatever birders call their list of the birds they’ve seen).

She then called a friend to brag and the friend called the top birder in Oregon who put out the word and within a day my friend was over run with people wanting to add the bird to their lists as well.  People came from as far away as Kansas!

She said the street in front of the house was packed full of cars for several days.  She had to keep track of the bird so she could tell people where to look … “around that side”, “under the bush by the garage”, “behind those rocks”.  Otherwise they were tramping all over the yard.

We were laughing together by the time she finished her story.  Other shoppers may have wondered at our behavior, but a laugh is always good.  And she finished by saying she was relieved when the bird decided to move on.


On the subject of birds …

When I went out friday evening to put the ladies to bed, it was dark dark and there were only two hens in the house.  I made a tour, by flashlight, of the chicken area and found a whole lot of feathers and the remains of one of the rock hens.  No sign of the other red hen.  It was too dark to do much investigating in spite of how detectives on tv use only their flashlights all the time and are able to make fantastic evidence collections that way.

Saturday morning, when I went out to feed the ladies, there was no talking as there usually is and when I opened the door the two of them were reluctant to come out. So I spread their food and made a check of the yard. It would appear, from the condition of the remains, the predator was one of the dogs allowed to run loose around here, although that is illegal ( after all … we’re in the country and laws don’t apply, right?)

The two remaining hens finally came out of the house but stuck close to me until I turned to leave and they went under the potting table.  As I opened the gate, I heard talking outside the fence. There was the other red coming down the drive … talking softly. Evidently she went over the fence as the attack was occurring and spent the night in a tree.

The chicken yard has two parts. The inner part is surrounded by a 6′ high fence. The outer fence is only 4′.  So for the rest of their time out there (until they move back near the house for the winter) they will be limited to the inner sanctum.

Three ladies. Hooray …


And continuing with birds …Woodpecker

Tuesday evening, John came in to tell us there was a red-headed woodpecker working on the apple tree in the courtyard.  It was so intent and unconcerned that we could get what seemed much closer than usual to take pictures.

There are now three perfect rings of pecker holes in that branch meaning there are a lot fewer of whatever the bird was after.

Nature at work.


I seem to have forgotten to tell you the details of the “Rules” at Poor George’s.  There is a plaque on the wall which admonishes …

Give thanks for your meal  Sit up straight  No elbows on the table  Napkins belong in your lap  Use your utensils, not your fingers  Don’t play with your food  Eat all your vegetables  Chew with your mouth closed  Don’t talk with food in your mouth  Use your indoor voice  Say Please and Thank You  Excuse yourself if you burp or need to leave the table  Clear your dishes 

That last one reminded me of the time the family went out to dinner and, as we finished, the boys got up to carry their plates to the kitchen.


I love words !!!



There was a request on one of the genealogy sites I frequent asking that we each write what we would expect to see on our grave marker.  There were some interesting ones about family history or war records or charitable things done or religious activities or philosophy or …

I plan to be cremated and have my ashes scattered on this land that I have lived on and loved for going on forty years already, so there will be no grave marker.  Maybe something can be etched on one of the big stones on this land.  I have the words in mind …

You tell me yours and I’ll post mine in a week or two.


It is cold this morning … below 32° at breakfast time.  It warmed a bit by the time John and Michael left.

This trip was nice, as are they all.  John checked my computer completely while he was here.  I am now good to go for the winter.

I cherish the times I get to touch, see, and hear my children.

I am blessed.


The thought for the week …


Adventures are all very well in their place, but there is a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.

Neil Gaiman


So, ’til next week …





28 October …


The chill of autumn has set in … as has the dark of the year.  According to the ancient Celts (Keltoi as some call them), the end of the year is coming.  What we call Hallowe’en or All Hallows Eve, they called Samhain (pronounced sow’ wen … which in Gaelic, the language of the Celts, means “Summer’s End”) and celebrated it as the end of the harvest and so the end of the year.  These peoples divided the year into halves … light and dark.  This makes sense if you live above the Tropic of Cancer (as they did and as I do).

I never understood the Robert Louis Stevenson poem (In winter I get up by night and dress by golden candle light. In summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.) until I moved north.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but each autumn I understand anew.  

So the growing season is ended … why not the “year” … and we enter the dark half of the year which will end with the bonfires of May Day (Beltane) and the start of the new growing season.

Of course, south of the Tropic of Capricorn those two holidays are reversed.

Another find … the words “ghost” and “guest” have the same origin.  They both derive from the Germanic “geist” which meant the benevolent spirit of a deceased ancestor invited to attend a special event.

Isn’t research interesting?  Thank you, Mr. Edgar.


The meeting of the radio club last week was productive. We received kudos from all the events we worked last summer (only six this year) and t-shirts from five of them.  Everyone in the club has a well stocked t-shirt drawer. 

There will now be a six month hiatus during which we won’t be planning or doing  anything like those events.

We will, however, be planning the holiday dinner.  I have no idea what I’ll take.  I guess I’ll wait and see what is needed.  We have members who are gluten sensitive, diabetic, vegetarian, and some with allergies.  So it looks as if some accommodation is needed.  I recently came across a pumpkin dessert recipe which was touted as diabetic friendly.  And a cousin who has gotten into proper food with a vengeance posted a month long menu plan with recipes which should contain some gems.  I’ll get to learn new recipes. 


The ladies are now up on the roost about 1800. 

Last night I watched a program about the history of vampires on PBS and so didn’t go out to close the ladies in until after 1900.  It was REALLY dark with no moon (although it is full) because of rain clouds and noisy wind.  Of course … as I headed back into the house with the eggs, the wind knocked a dead limb out of a tree behind me.

Boo …



I am now spinning, knitting, and crocheting for pleasure rather than for total yardage.  Current fiber is the lavender which didn’t get used during Spinzilla.  No rush … just relaxation and meditation.


Had a couple of medical appointments this week …

Monday was another fasting blood draw followed by George’s semi-annual check up with the VA.  I had taken orange juice along for George since we didn’t have a chance to eat between appointments.   We went back to Poor George’s for brunch.  Thought to give it a second chance in their new place.

This time we had juicy burgers ordered with fries.  After all, it was nearly 1030. Well … the cook was alone, the place was busy, he couldn’t find the fries so would we take hash browns instead?  I said okay.  George opted for potato salad.  The hash browns were greasy and not quite cooked through.  The potato salad was heavy on the mayo.  But the burgers were good and I got extra pickles.

Our next time for this situation (fasting blood draw) won’t be until April (semi-annual VA check up).  We’ll make the decision about another chance for Poor George’s then.

Then tuesday we were off to Medford to see the retinologist.  Appointment was at 0945, so for the second day in a row we fed animals and left before dawn.

Monday Morning

We didn’t see any sign of dawn until we were nearly in Oregon.

Eye results were good.  George’s right eye (the one with wet degeneration) is seeing more clearly.

George really likes the new eye doctor.  He is very young (I doubt he is much more than 28 or 30) and just off his specialty training.  He is as unsure of himself as we all were at that age, but his technique with patients (at least with this patient) and with actual treatment is good.  I feel he is a little obsessed with infection, but that could be a good thing.

He’s been in Oregon (from DC) just three months.  I asked how he was liking Oregon.  He stopped what he was doing, turned to me and smiled as he told me his family was liking it a lot.  He then added “Thank you for asking.”

And there was another interaction which pleased me.  Last visit, George’s blood pressure was high (it’s back to nearly normal now) and there were fluid spots noted in his right retina.  I asked if the increased blood pressure could have anything to do with the new fluid bubbles.  The doctor said he had not heard of any research about that.  I said something to the effect that maybe he’d have a subject for a paper.  The scheduled treatment was finished and that was that. 

This appointment he had George’s blood pressure checked and told us there was no research indication of blood pressure having any relationship to fluid bubbles in rather than under the retina, but that his limit for treatment was 180 systolic.  That told me he had heard me and done some homework.  Clever young man. 

The fluid bubbles had diminished this visit.  And, as I said, George really likes him.


I failed to tell you our younger son is getting married next saturday.  That’s right … Hallowe’en.  Everyone, including the congregation at his new pastorate, will be in costume for the ceremony and the reception will be sort of a “Trick or Treat” affair.Dibelkas 1  

The parents of the groom will be present as a portrait on the main table.


George says Mark made a wise decision.  He’ll never forget his anniversary.

Will you be dressing up for Hallowe’en?


So … give every one you meet next saturday a BIG smile, enjoy the ghosts and ghoulies, and don’t eat too much candy.


‘Til next week …





21 October …


Well … we have now moved up a year on the marriage longevity list. The only couple in the last four generations in either of our families to have been married longer than us are George’s maternal grandparents, George and Gertrude Shaffer. They lasted 67 years until Grandmother’s death in 1954.

For celebration this year we did absolutely nothing. We’ve been traveling so much lately, staying quiet at home was nice.  

Oh well … four years to go and we’ll tie Grandfather and Grandmother.


Do vs Don’t … you knew you hadn’t heard the last of it.

My son, the police lieutenant, wrote … In policing, we do not train via negative example.  When training, we demonstrate the right way to do something and then have the recruit display that s/he can do it correctly.  Failure to carry out correct action is routed to remedial training and a failure to respond to training is washed out.  At no time is negative example used because a police officer is expected to make a split second judgment … and s/he does not have the time to rule out actions, only to respond correctly and definitively.

Of course, that got me thinking … and the first thought was that his example is a clear demonstration of the “Because that’s what I was taught” reasoning. That is valid when the teaching is valid.  I’d been thinking about ethical/moral decisions in regard to actions, not possible harmful (don’t touch the woodstove) or life threatening situations (don’t try to pet that BIG cat). 

Further thought on the general question led to … if you do what you think is right, but society in general sees your thinking as flawed or immoral or just plain wrong, then what?  However, if you refrain from doing something because you wouldn’t want it done to you even if the intent of the other is positive, is that better?

Seems I’ll be dealing with this question for some time to come. 

Stay tuned.


I did another day at the Family History Center last week.  It was a quiet day.  I had failed to take my genealogy thumb drive with me, so I made notes the old way … by hand.

There was one interesting event there.  A gentleman came in asking for help and told us he was confused because he was named James Brown (!) and there was at least one James Brown in every generation back to the early 1800s.

When I got over the covert giggles (the man was tall, nearly bald, and very white), we went to work.

Never a dull moment.


The time at the FHC led to another possible involvement … a return to the DAR.

Some years ago I had joined the Daughters of the American Revolution in order to make scholarships available to my grandchildren.  The member who served (and still serves … ?) as Registrar raised road blocks.  I was not the only one facing this situation, but I’m a pushy broad and she finally had to admit me but by then the rules in regard to scholarships had changed.

I then found out she was only one of an old guard who resisted any change.  Every time I would suggest something it was deemed out of order because I was not an officer or committee member.

Another member and I talked one day and I found she was as dissatisfied with situation as I was, so we contacted the State chapter to ask for help.  They responded, but did not really mean to do anything so I made my membership inactive and stopped going to meetings.

The woman with whom I share days at the FHC is a DAR member. She told me the old guard is gone (cancer, stroke, etc.) except for the Registrar and meeting attendance is anemic.  She asked me to come back and help restore the chapter since their choices now are to dissolve, merge with another chapter, or somehow rebuild.

I went to their meeting yesterday and am still undecided regarding what I will do.  I think the chapter can be a positive scene if it can get past that one member.  Oh well …



We’ve been having short bursts of soft rain for several days.  Monday night, when I went out to put the ladies in, it was dark so I was carrying a flashlight and moisture on the ground was sparkling … ice.  I went out the next morning to gather the last of the Granny Smith apples.


For sometime I’ve been watching for heroes without capes … common folks who step up under unexpected circumstances and do the “right” thing.  When I came across a report of such a person, I’d post it on my Facebook timeline (look, I’m speaking social network-ese).

In conversations with FB friends I decided to build a special place to share what I was finding.  Of course, I didn’t have a clue as to how to do that.  I blundered on and set up a page which was not what I wanted or intended.

Fortunately, I have two sons who are computer wise and got some help. 

John helped me set up the site I wanted.  If you are on Facebook, look for the Capeless Heroes site.


And on the subject of heroes …

On my way home from the DAR meeting, I had a tire problem on the side of I-5 at the south Yreka on ramp.  It was a bit scary.  Those big rigs raise quite a suction wind as they roar past.

I needed to call George and had started to walk down the ramp to get to a phone when a car pulled in back of my car.  She was young, well-groomed, and on her way home to Davis from a visit with a friend in Seattle.  She let me use her smart phone to call George who then left to come take care of me and the car. 

Her name was Katey and she offered to take me into town to have coffee and  wait, or said she would stay with me until George arrived.  I declined both offers since I wanted to stay with the car and it was going to be an hour before George could get to me.  I didn’t get her full name or address (I was a bit shook), but Katey is a real capeless hero.

And about half an hour after Katey went on her way, reluctantly, a second capeless hero appeared.  I was parked on the side of the freeway headed south.  He had been headed north and made a u-turn through the center area (which is technically illegal) to come check on me.  He was not a typical hero … scruffy beard, dirty work clothes, long braid down his back, and tattoos … but said he’d want someone to help his mother if she needed it and so came to help me.

We determined help was on the way and I was okay alone waiting, so he made another center u-turn and was on his way.

Two heroes in one day … wow.

Shortly after George arrived, a CHP officer drove up and was there to help George do the tire thing.

So we made it home and all is under control.


Yesterday (a very busy day) we were treated to a view of snow on the Mountain …

20 October 2015

not much, just a dusting.  But most everyone around here is grateful and hoping.


So, ’til next week …


Great adventures begin each time you open the door …