10 February …


Last week was a bit out of kilter.  Sorry the blog was late.  I am hoping that time is past as I begin to plan for Spring.


I think I neglected to share a photo of this year’s under-tree train.

Holiday Train 2016

The engine is different.  The joy is the same.


The wheel of the year is certainly turning.  It seems just a few days ago that it was completely dark outdoors by 1530.  Now it is still light at 1800.  Soon twilight will last until 2300.  Time is going by soooooo fast.


3 January 2016We had snow again beginning on Groundhog Day and continuing, but not steadily, until the weekend. 

I missed my session at the Family History Center … again.  Our road wasn’t in deep snow, but what snow we had was on top of ice. I had to go out for mail and it took me thirty minutes to go the three miles to sanded pavement. 

The FHC used to expect this and just not schedule me from the middle of December until the end of February.  I am hoping we are getting back to “normal” in re snow pack, so that schedule may become the norm again as well.

I am getting antsy about starting the family history which involves non-US research.  Maybe I’ll have to find a way to upgrade my Ancestry membership to International for half a year.   Oh well …


Friday last, we received this notice from the local landowners’ group … 

“Today’s power outage lasted for one hour and sixteen minutes with ten thousand five hundred customers effected.”

Reminded me how lucky we are with our power set-up.  We didn’t know anything about the outage until we got the email.  Our lights and house equipment (such as the washer and fridge and telly) were working as usual.

Oh well …


Recently heard this report on NPR, and am still digesting the idea that we are funding both sides of the conflicts in the Middle East and the Ukraine.

The Pentagon is spending money to counter Russian aggression. And yet to launch top-secret military satellites, the Pentagon still relies almost entirely on rocket engines made in Russia.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, at a January hearing Sen. McCain held on the Russian rocket engines, told his armed services panel the U.S. would need to buy at least another 18 of them at $30 million apiece before an American-made replacement is ready.

Guess it is a good way to hedge your bet … i.e. whatever happens, you win … but is it ethical  (we’re killing “collateral damage” on both sides)?  Shouldn’t voting taxpayers have a say?

I remember when we MADE most of what we needed (our own space equipment, clothing, building supplies, food).  In those days most people had jobs at livable wages, children went to school at no cost for tuition or supplies (lunch did cost … a quarter), doctors were family docs and made house calls, and so on and so on …

Nowadays the unemployment rate is high and many of those who do have work don’t receive a livable wage, tuition is VERY high and students and teachers have to provide pencils and paper and all other supplies, doctors are specialists a lot of whom are millionaires, we ship our raw materials overseas and pay high prices for the returned finished products, people at the bottom of the fiscal profile are deemed worthless and those at the top are dis-proportionally rewarded merely for being at the top, and so on and so on …

This country, which was once a shining light in the world, is now an author of darkness and is becoming the prime example of ignorant wrong thinking.

I don’t have a solution to this problem, but I have no doubt it is a problem.

And that makes choosing for whom to vote a real conundrum.  Some candidates seem to think the process is a joke.  Other candidates appear to acknowledge the problems, but the government machinery is such that they may have little or no chance of making a difference.  Maybe electing a clown who will immediately destroy the country is the best choice.  Once destroyed, the way to rebuild is open.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again … this time without all the mistakes?

People don’t fail — they give up.

Pay attention to what is happening.  Make your choice.  Vote. Good luck.


This morning the melt has cleared the land …10 January 2016

the sun is shining …10 January 2016 Dawn

 and a new day has begun.


‘Til next week …



3 February …


Sorry I’m late …


Last wednesday evening we got an automated phone call from the Yreka police telling us of a missing boy … providing a physical description, clothing, place last seen, and asking for help locating him. That was the first time we’d ever received such a phone call.  I had heard the county was planning an Orange Alert program but hadn’t experienced it.  That call was followed within an hour by an all clear … the child had been found.  I guess the system works.

The event reminded me of times when we first moved out here.  We were the only ones this far out.  The nearest neighbor was about two miles away. 

During those days, among the lost souls arriving on our doorstep, in the middle of a blizzard, was a man looking like a Yeti … trying to take food to his dogs.  He was about a mile in the wrong direction.  At the time we were still using space in the barn as a living room.  He said he had seen the smoke from our wood stove and knew he could get warm there.

Another time it was a couple who had been hiking in the meadows northwest of us.  They had waited too long to start their return and got lost.  They were trying to get to Old Stage Road (which was not paved in those days) and got turned around.  They had been walking away from the road toward the mountains.  They spent the night in the trees and showed up at the barn when George went out to milk in the morning.

Another time the wife of the local California Highway Patrol Captain (I think that was his rank … anyway, he was the top dog) had come into our area to pick up her daughter and one of her daughter’s friends from a Brownie meeting.  It was late autumn and after dark.  She had her younger son with her and turned left at an intersection when she should have turned right.  They ended getting stuck in a mud hole on the road which runs along the far side of our property and spending the night huddled together on the back seat of the car.  The next morning they saw the barn and walked across the swampy meadow to ask if they could use our phone.  We didn’t have a phone in those days, so George put them in the Jeep and took them out to the road where they met a phalanx of CHiPs and Sheriffs looking for them.  Interesting follow-up is that about three years ago, when doing one of the radio club public service events, we met the wife of the now adult little boy involved in that adventure.  She called him to come meet us and take pictures.

There were at least three or four similar lost people events over those early years, but that’s enough to tell now.  You get the idea. 

And now, post-Silicon Valley money influx, there are lots of (too many) neighbors so no more lost souls.


During one of his BORED periods this winter, when he couldn’t get outdoors, George found a free television channel which shows old series from the 60s and 70s.  As a result he got into the habit of watching “Adam 12” weekday mornings.  What a trip …

It was filmed in Los Angeles and there is vista after vista of empty fields and nearly empty streets, a freeway under construction, housewives in aprons, lovely Chevrolet automobiles, and a police force the likes of which our younger son joined lo those many years ago only to have it morph out from under him into the kind of military force we see today.

Oh well …


Sunshine Eggs

For those who took HomeEc in middle school … did you learn to make Sunshine Eggs?

Breakfast this morning …



Weather has been in the if-you-don’t-like-it-wait mode.  Each day a new adventure.

29  January 2016

the 29th …

30 January 2016

the 30th …

31 Hanuary 2016

the 31st …

Before Dawn 2  February 2016


Groundhog Day dawned with a fresh layer of snow, but by 0900 the sun was out and shining.  Shadows were seen … six more weeks of winter.  Oh well …

~~~Out the Front Windows 2 February 2016

And this afternoon it is snowing and building again.  Here’s the current view out the windows.

So …


Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.


        …’til next week …





27 January …



Weather …

Thursday  –  warmer with wind, out after mail

Friday  –  rain all day with wind after dark

Saturday –  rain and snow with melt

24 January 2016

Sunday  –  light snow with no accumulation


Monday  –  cold sun with melt

Light Fog

Tuesday  –  fog at home … clear and sunny, but chilly, from paved road to  Medford and back … fog at home

27 January 2016

Wednesday  –  clear and cold  with light fog

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?    — John Steinbeck


The trip to Medford was interesting. 

The fog that we had at home stayed with us, but high, with a layer of wood smoke close to the ground.  The surrounding mountains were hidden.  We could have been in Kansas except for the rising elevation of the highway.

Low areas all along I-5 were muddy and brown with the cattle huddling on the high ground, and in a field north of Yreka someone was shower irrigating.

The railroad between Weed, California and Roseburg, Oregon is running again.  We were run over by a freight (railroad bridge) north of Hornbrook.  Wouldn’t it be nice if they could add a passenger car a couple times a week?

These are the things that keep travel over that route from getting monotonous.


Once again I missed my session at the Family History Center.  Our driveway and the section of road down the hill were not in the best of condition last thursday.  Guess I won’t be working on the genealogy for the neighbor until at least February.


We were able to watch the Met production of “Il Trovatore” on PBS friday evening.  It was interesting for a couple three reasons. 

I am not a Netrebko fan. Part of that may be because she pushed Fleming out of her place at the Met.  I also think her middle range is not as clear as Fleming’s.  In “Trovatore”, there were at least two places where she was obviously straining.  Her range seems to be getting lower, almost mezzo.  That made me wonder (another orchestra question here) if the key is ever shifted to accommodate a “star”.  In addition, age and pregnancies are not being kind to her.  She is looking more and more like Montserrat, still pretty but on the chunky side.

Second thought was that evidently I had never listened that closely to the nuances of the story.  George thinks Tosca is silly.  I think Leonora is simple … at best.  And I kept seeing Kitty Carlisle as Leonora.

But the capper was to learn that Dimitri (you remember Dimitri) had been diagnosed with a brain tumor early last summer.  It affects his balance but not cognition or speech.  As a result, he is limiting his performances while he has treatments in London. 


We had been looking forward to the Met opera saturday morning, as we do nearly every week.  Last week the incompetence of those currently running our Southern Oregon University NPR station made it impossible for us to hear and enjoy “Tannhauser”. 

Ever since we were first able to hear what was then KSOR back in the 80s, we have been members of that NPR service and its subsequent repeater stations which became JPR (Jefferson Public Radio).  For years, these stations were headed by a man named Ron Kramer.  Under his leadership the expansion to cover a broad area of southwestern Oregon and far northern California with quality programming occurred.  The original KSOR became three services … Rhythm and News, Classics and News, and News and Information (an AM provider of more local news).  Currently, all three supposedly serve this area.

With Ron at the helm, several attempts to cutback on this service, such as religious station incursions and a rival NPR outlet based to the south in Chico (without the variety of programming) which wanted exclusive access to Redding and northern California, were thwarted. 

Also under Ron’s leadership, a long abandoned Art Noveau movie theatre in Redding was renovated and turned into a profitable venue for a broad spectrum of art, and renovation on a similar theatre in Medford was begun (and has since been relegated to the back burner).

Then something happened … something BAD.

A couple of years ago, a new President took over at SOU.  I don’t know all the details, but what I have heard indicates she brought some new Board members with her …

and Ron was fired.

The reason given was that he held conflicting jobs as head of the radio system and as leader of the fund raising group for the system.

He was replaced by another who was given the exact same jobs … and both programming (the laughing car boys on Classics?) and service (reception has deteriorated big time) went out the door.

In the past, required fund-raising occurred twice a year with the rest of the time being clear of those incursions.  Now requests for funding is an every day, all day occurrence. 

NPR is supposed to be free of commercials.  We are now subjected to supporter commercials at the rate of at least four or more every hour (except during the opera).

In addition, outages when one or more, and sometimes all, of the services are off the air have increased exponentially.  We lived with occasional weather interruptions for years, but this is different. The interruptions are more frequent and last longer.  The latest one lasted 2 and a half days.

We have no other radio source for classical music (including the saturday operas).  We are old and live on a fixed income.  We can’t afford unlimited internet access or satellite radio.

We will not be renewing our membership until these situations, which seem to be based on someone’s need for personal power, have been corrected. 

End of rant.


Paul Michael turns four tomorrow.  We will call him and sing to him … poor kid.


Another fallout from the death of Bowie.


Sounds okay to me.

Be sorry for the things you were never brave enough to try rather than those you were.


If you ever want a lift, check out the Capeless Heroes Facebook site.



So … ’til next week …




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 …




13 January …


My volunteer session at the Family History Center last thursday didn’t happen.  The road outside the driveway was closed by the snow as was the church parking area in town.  Besides, who could be expected to be out for genealogy research when there was that much snow … 10″ new in the city. 

Next scheduled day will be the 21st.  I’m working on a family history line that needs access to European sources so I’m stuck with a mixed wish … no snow so I can use the LDS free sites or snow because we need it.  Guess I’ll  go with SNOW.

We haven’t seen the Mountain in a few days, but someone in town got this shot …10 January 2016


During one of the snowfalls last week, I spent a morning making fresh tomato sauce for pasta from frozen summer bounty … freezer to table with green salad and cheese toast.

Frozen TomatoesStarting to StewIn ProcessOn the Table


In addition to the movies to which we look forward at winter holiday time every year, there are two goopy items which come to the surface for me.  One I’ve written about before (and quoted to folks at dinners and potlucks) …

“Offer thanks for dirty dishes.  They have a tale to tell.  While other folks go hungry, we’re eating very well.”

The other is a radio clip I wait to hear.  I first heard it on NPR 30 or 35 years ago.  It makes George and our son roll their eyes.  It is sloppy sentimental, but it reminds me how blessed I am.

If that makes you wonder, you can hear it at …



A new year hasn’t improved people’s grammar any, not even on NPR.  The other day, within half an hour, I heard it announced that a man was refused a job because he had “… committed a felony on a job application,” and that the father of a convict had “… died while he was in prison.”

What kind of felony can be committed on a job application?  And it was notable that both father and son were in prison (eye roll here).

In addition, misplaced modifiers keep turning up … and they’re getting better all the time.

In a blurb for a tv show … “A hard-charging prosecutor in a loveless marriage is accused of murdering a colleague with whom he had an affair after she turned up dead.”

Facebook isn’t much better.  There was a post about successful people who had initially been failures which noted about one man that “his fiancé died, failed in business, had a nervous breakdown, and was defeated in eight elections.”  Tough luck for the fiancé.  I wonder what the man’s history was like.

I knew what was meant each time, but my kneejerk is to despair and wish schools still taught grammar.

There are occasional sparks of hope.  In an interview with an educator on PBS, a UCLA professor, he cited a school which INSISTS each and every teacher teach literacy regardless of their main subject, i.e. math teachers are required to teach grammar and art as well as math, etc. etc. etc.


On the subject of language …

For quite some time now, I have advocated that operas be translated into English.

For too long, opera has been owned by wealthy, show-off snobs or immigrants whose first languages were German, French, or Italian. As a result, Americans whose ONLY language is English did not learn or appreciate opera. 

If opera is ever to be appreciated in this country it needs to come to those people.  In my experience, I learned to appreciate opera through my introduction to a translated production … “Tales of Hoffman” … in 1951.  My grandchildren’s introduction was to a translation of “The Magic Flute” and then “Hansel and Gretel” both of which were holiday offerings at the Met.

There are great basic stories in opera but it is difficult, if not impossible, to enjoy them if you can’t understand what the characters are saying without pulling your attention away from the action in order to read printed translation.

I know I’ve been on this soap box before.  Watching our DVD of “Die Fledermaus” last New Year’s Eve highlighted the difference between Europe and America when it comes to language.  The Covent Garden production was in three languages (English, German, and French) with dialogue moving through them seamlessly.  Characters switch smoothly from one language to another within a single speech. We have watched it often, and we have snatches of both German and French, so we can enjoy the flow although there are still places I need to read the subtitles.  However, the European audience probably had little trouble since a lot, if not most, Europeans speak multiple languages.  That is most likely a result of European countries being small compared to the US, each with its own language.  Travel is easier which makes the need for more than one language a necessity.

I’m not sure what the purpose of this rant is.  I can think of many directions in which it might go … translate opera and stop looking down on bi-lingual people, or teach. really teach, English speakers some other language to the point of fluency rather than just enough to get a C,  or require immigrants be taught English.  I will undoubtedly return to this at some time in the future since it crops up fairly frequently … like every saturday when I listen to the Met.

Oh well …


It seems that in several cities there are businesses called something like “Party Bikes” which are bar-hopping tour parties on wheels defined by law as any purely pedal-powered and commercially owned “group cycle” with an independent driver and at least five passenger seats. The passengers can’t just sit there … at least some have to pedal.

Before new laws which went into effect 1 January, the passengers could drink only during the stops at pubs and bars.  Now, in some places, open container laws have been modified so that party bikes can allow, or even serve, beer and wine while en route between stops.

The news report made me think of the title Ray Bradbury gave the fourth chapter of his book, “Zen on the Art of Writing” … “Drunk and in charge of a Bicycle.”


Weather had a lot to do with the proposed trip out to the mail boxes (which George did on sunday) and to Yreka (which we did yesterday).

6 January 2016… the 6th

8 January 2016… the 8th

9 January 2016… the 9th


I posted the following on Facebook yesterday evening, but I’m repeating it here for those who don’t do Facebook …

Out and return for the mail had been no problem. The trip to Yreka on tuesday was not too much trouble going out, just a bit of slipping going down the curved hill. 

Coming in was no problem until the same spot in the curve just below the driveway entrance.  At one point, it took two tries to get back on the road out of the north side ditch.  However, the big adventure came when we tried to make the 90°plus turn into the driveway.  The temperature monday and tuesday had been above freezing so the drifts, what with melting,had gotten soft.  At the turn, the truck dug down to dirt but by then there was a berm of about 18″ of gloppy snow in front of each tire so traction didn’t help.

This is not the first time this has happened.  We talked, in the past, of putting a snow fence along the side of the drive where the wind blows the deep drifts into that intersection and a way down the hill.  Never got it done. 

It will be on the To Do list for next autumn!

George walked in to the house (about 500′) and brought the tractor back to pull the truck out.  It worked and we were home and unpacking by the time the news came on the telly at 1530.

And  … as an aside …

Yesterday, before we left home, I read that it was “Kiss a Ginger” day. In the produce section at the store I saw a young man with vivid red hair and beard. So I went up to him, told him to be careful because it was “Kiss a Ginger” day, and kissed him on the cheek. I walked away giggling. I heard him trying to explain to his buddy what had just happened.

We both had something to talk and laugh about the rest of the day. 

13 January 2016Here’s what it looks like this morning and it is snowing again.

Next scheduled trip out? … wednesday the 20th.


How can I finish without mentioning the death of David (Jones) Bowie?  A teacher to the end … Do not go gentle into that good night … “Look up here, I’m in heaven …”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JqH1M4Ya8


I am only a couple of weeks late offering a New Year’s wish for us all …


May we have enough happiness to make us sweet, enough trials to make us strong, enough sorrow to keep us human and enough hope to make us happy.


So … ’til next week …




 6 January …



Okay …

     Ready for another year ?

          Onward !!!


Blessings to all on Epiphany … the Twelfth Day of Christmas … the day the Wise Men finally found their way to the manger … the day “my” house overflowed with birds and trees and dancing Lords and milking maids and jewelry and who knows what else …

On Facebook, a friend in Hawai’i has been posting a variation of the song.  Each day he wrote “On the –th day of Christmas …” and leaves the rest for his followers/friends to complete.  The answers have been varied.  Some carried on with the original theme. Others posted wishes.  Others joked.

Guess what I did.


I have been thinking about the source of the “New Year” and the word “calendar” …

One story is that since, in the very first year of his life, Adam had no way of knowing the cyclical seasonal changes that occur in the lengths of the days (although Eden is supposedly in the Middle East where day lengths don’t vary that much).  Adam became very disturbed when the first winter began to approach and he saw that the days were getting shorter and the nights longer. He began to fear that the day was being consumed by a cosmic serpent, and that the pattern would persist indefinitely until daylight disappeared altogether.

This dread continued to trouble Adam until the arrival of the winter solstice when the pattern began to reverse itself and the days began to lengthen.  At this point, Adam exclaimed “Kalon dio, a Greek phrase which has been construed by assorted modern scholars as meaning, “Praise be to God,” or “Beautiful day.”

From that day onward, the winter holiday has been observed by Adam’s descendants, though the original reason may have been garbled in the transmission (and the assumption that Adam spoke Greek).

… and another though in re time …

Most “westerners” see time as having the past behind them and the future ahead.  Some natives peoples see it the other way … with the future behind and the past in front.

One group puts the past behind since they understand it as something unchangeable and site the future open before them.  The other puts the future where they can’t yet see their way into it and the past where they can study and learn from it.

On New Year’s Day I spent time thinking about this.  It would seem the basic difference is in the way people think about their place in the world.

Westerners tend to see themselves as actively moving through time while others see themselves as in the “now” with time moving around them.  One is concentrated on “control” in order to shape the future.  The other focuses on “acceptance” and “learning” in order to adapt the future.

… and still another thought …

The source of the name of the first month offers a bit of insight.  As a two-faced deity, Janus was believed to look simultaneously at the past and at the future.  Hence he was selected as the appropriate god for the new year.  The lesson in that choice of name would seem to be that each is important and worthy of attention. 

The lessons might be interpreted as …

Don’t ignore the past and spend all your energy trying to completely control the future.

Don’t spend all your time studying the past while facing the future passively.

Instead … Pay attention to the past, carry forward the knowledge of the results of decisions made, and use that knowledge to make better decisions and manifest a better future.


Every year we have a “DISASTER” at New Year’s.  It’s like clockwork.  We can count on it.  The well pump fails, the hydro gets plugged, the cow has trouble delivering in the middle of a blizzard, the roof develops a leak, etc. etc. etc.

This year it was the internet.  The modem provided by our ISP appeared to die sometime the evening of the 30th.  I had checked the mail and Facebook around 1700 and all was normal, but by the time I did a last check for the day, on my way to bed, the service was gone.  It was still gone the morning of the 31st.

When he checked with the server, George was told (after running some checks as directed by the service rep) the problem was indeed the modem and not something with the outdoor equipment (and if that tech talk is incorrect … oh well …).

It was necessary to send the needed part to the repair service in our area and it wouldn’t arrive until the 2nd.  The repair company doesn’t work on sundays, so the earliest we could get our service back was monday the 4th.  But service resumed without any interference and the tech call was cancelled. 

It is interesting how much use we make of a (for us) new technology.  It was also interesting to see how easy it was for us to get along without it although it did return intermittently for short periods of time. 

It was not so easy for family and friends who use the net to keep an eye on us.

The situation is resolved until next time.  All is back to normal.


The snow pack, both to the north, in the Sierras, and on the Mountain is above 100% … 130% to the east and 170% to the north.  The cloak on the Mountain is good.  Mt Shasta City got about a foot of new snow yesterday and it is snowing this morning.  We are grateful for what we have. 

Another blessing of this snow is that it is melting slowly from the bottom.  That means the water is going into the earth and hence to the water table rather than running off down the creeks to the Shasta River to the Klamath River and on to the sea.

6 January 2016

This morning it is snowing pretty heavy (even if you can’t see the flakes in the picture) and has been since before dawn.  Mt Shasta City is supposed to get a foot or so.  That means we may be in for two feet or more. The 7-11 is doing well and the wood supply is good.

There are at least two more months of winter.  We’ll see what they bring.


The young couple from up the road were to be here for dinner on the 1st.  They are much like us in that they don’t feel the need to go out EVERY day (as some of the other neighbors do whether or not they have to work).  Consequently, we see them at intervals rather than all the time.  That makes the times when we do get together enjoyable with a lot to share.

But they weren’t able to be here.  He had injured his knee a few months ago and it isn’t healing as expected so driving is difficult and snowshoeing is out of the question. 

George and I spent the day snugged in … alone together.

It was a good day.  Being without guests left it open for us to watch the new “Sherlock” without being rude.

Seeing the current Holmes and Watson in the 19th century after watching them in the 21st was great fun.  The actors must have spent time watching the Brett era films because they were on character. 

I was never a fan of Rathbone and Bruce but was captured by Brett and Hardwicke.

The current presentations are running nearly neck and neck with the Brett interpretation, so watching Cumberbatch and Freeman in the 19th century was a treat (even though the time switches had George a bit confused).

Now we can look forward to the next in the “Sherlock” series due in the US this spring.


And while I’m talking about television … we’re into the last season of Downton Abbey.  Will Lord Grantham slowly back out of running the estate now that he has acknowledged Mary’s capabilities?  Will Lady Mary give up her position as top dog at the Abbey by marrying again?  Will Lady Edith find happiness?  Will the Dowager Countess live into her 100s?  Will Tom bring Sibby back to Downton?  Will Carson and Hughes really marry and retire?  Will the Bates’ be able to settle down in peace and will there be children?  What is in store for Barrow and Daisy and Mosely and Mrs. Patmore and the servants at the Dower House? 

The montage published by Masterpiece to say “Happy New Year” raised some questions.  Notable by their absence were Lady Mary, Anna Bates, Marigold, Barrow, and Daisy. Interesting …

So many questions. 

I anticipate there won’t be a “wrap-up” but rather we will back out of the main hall leaving them around the 1925 Christmas tree, the main door will close and we will no longer have a way to peep into their lives.  It reminds me of the final episode of “Northern Exposure” when the day just ended and the door shut.

… Life went/goes on.


Our new daughter-in-law had a birthday last sunday.

Happy Day, Kamille.  We hope you enjoyed the serenade.  Maybe sometime we’ll be able to join the celebration.


We’ve had a few REALLY cold days.  Not as cold as over in Klamath County, but cold enough.  Nighttime temperatures got down as low as 10° and one morning the temp in the solarium was 33°, the lowest we can remember it being.

George and I have adjusted our outdoor chores.  Since he bundles up to go out to care for the cats in the morning, he now also does the chickens.  No sense both of us doing the “add layers” thing. 

I still collect eggs and bring in the waterer in the evening.  Gives me a chance to keep up the dialog with the ladies.



To begin the new year …



Friedrich Nietzsche put it well when he said …

“If you have a ‘why’ to live, you can bear with any ‘how’.”



Just remember to at least once a day give someone a full smile.


So, ’til next week …




30 December …


Well … it was a loverly Christmas.  First time in years and years that it was truly white.14 Dec 2015We’d been having snow on and off for several days,30 Dec 2015 Broken Birch Branch



and one of the birch branches got broken.



John and his partner Michael arrived near dusk Christmas Eve.  The house was warm, there were holiday lights on, and the fresh stuff they brought completed the pantry. 

John Decorating 2015

The Winter Tree was late this year and the train suffered a major disaster.  But Christmas Day, John helped decorate. 

Weather cooperated with lovely snow vistas and John and Michael were able to experience some of the magick I am unable to capture with a camera such as the meadow full of sun diamonds.25 Dec 2015 Icicles



However, the wonder of the icicles were one of the things they did see.


We watched some of the collected holiday movies … on Christmas Eve  Patrick Stewart’s “Christmas Carol” (a copy of which we received several years ago from younger son Mark), on Christmas Day  “Mister MaGoo’s Christmas Carol” (a family tradition from years and years ago when the boys were young), and on Christmas Night  “A Christmas Story” (full of nostalgia from when George and I were young).

Christmas Moon 2015

The Christmas Night Moon was lovely and bright.

John and Michael left saturday morning.  As always when family has been here and then left, the house seemed empty for a while. 

Oh well …


30 Dec 2015We had been scheduled to see the retinologist in Medford the 22nd but cancelled due to snow.  Instead we went yesterday.

29 Dec 2015 DawnIt was just barely showing signs of sunrise when we left.  The road was crunchy with overnight ice.  The sky was clear and crystal with reflections where there didn’t seem to be anything off of which to reflect.  Wonderous.

And COLD … but the passes were clear.

On the section of I-5 where you look down into the Colestin Valley it was hidden under a thick fog blanket. There was high fog on the Oregon side of the summit.  We tucked in under it and drove with no problem.

Results of the appointment were that the fluid in the retina is diminishing as is the fluid under the retina.  The delay in treatment due to the snow didn’t seem to have caused any problem.

At this stage of life, no change is a good thing.

Following the appointment (next one the 26th January) we did our regular circuit … Harbor Freight, WalMart (no tax in Oregon), Sizzler and Franz Outlet (where we get third day breadstuffs for the animals and second day loaves and bagels for us … we got one cart of animal feed and the clerk tried to get us to take two but due to a Harbor Freight purchase there was no room in the bed of the truck), CostCo (gas is always about 40¢ a gallon cheaper), and then home.

There had been “weather” predicted, but we had no trouble on the roads.

I always drive after the eye treatments and was dreading the turn from High Meadow into the driveway when we got home.  I had the truck in 4-wheel drive low and 1st gear and made it into the drive with only one scrape along the left side (the turn is sharp to the left and the depth of snow at the cut through was deep).

It was dark by the time we got supplies into the house and the woodstove lit.

George then got all the breadstuff out of the truck and down into the lower barn using a flashlight.  We couldn’t leave it in the back of the truck because our bears don’t seem to be hibernating this year.  They aren’t active up here but are quite active the other side of Old Stage Road and there is no reason to take chances.

We are now in and snug with no reason to go out again until the first thursday in January.

22 Dec 2015 Snow Depth

Good thing because it was snowing again when we got up this morning.

30 Dec 2015 Back Steps with Cat Tracks



About four inches new, and the cats have already been to the back door.




Remember I told you about the sandwich miracle last week?  Well here’s what those sandwiches look like …Sandwiches


Nearly twenty years ago I had a long discussion with a niece about whether it is easier to lose someone slowly or to have them gone in an instant.  She had just lost her husband to a long lingering series of illnesses as a result of the Nam war.  My middle son had recently died in a flaming vehicle accident.

As I recall, we agreed loss is loss however it comes.  You are never ready.

Now, all these years later, I find myself in a similar relationship except that this time I am the one on the LOOOOOOONG road due to age. 

What has the lesson been?    Loss is loss BUT love is love. 

One occurs … the other endures.


Got a note from a cousin in Florida …
I was rereading last weeks blog and you mentioned porcupine meatballs in the menu. Now you know I am a City Boy, and you got my interest. I was thinking that you went out and got some porcupines and made meat balls of them. I do know that they are eatable. I googled them and found out they are beef.  I thought you and your friends would get a laugh out this…
Cuz Don

2016 is imminent.  Day after tomorrow we will be in a new year … watching Sherlock in the evening …

Young neighbors will be here for dinner but probably get home before dark …

“Die Fledermaus” twice (the old one from Covent Garden on New Years’ Eve and the new one currently at the Met on saturday) …

Downton Abbey next sunday.  

Great start to a year.   I am sure it will be filled with much joy, some sadness, and adventures beyond imagining.

Here are my wishes courtesy of Abby Willowroot …New Year's Prayer   

May we all be Blessed!


So, ’til next week …






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 …