18 October …


Fires are still a rather big problem in the middle of the state.  However, we in the far north continue to be okay and the winds are right so we don’t even have smoke.

We are truly blessed.


We are becoming quite the radio place.  Two new antennae have taken up residence.  Mark was the instigator since there are nets in which he enjoys participating.  Now we can communicate over a much greater distance.

Have I told you Paul is a good radio communicator although he does not yet have a license?  He can use the family frequency and his call is “P12”. He designated me as “Nuna22” on that frequency.

And as practice for when he will be able to get his license, he is a seasoned “third party” communicator.

The radio club meeting is this evening.  Items for discussion are reports on the last two summer events, the latest on the proposed radio class in the middle school, and planning for the winter potluck.  I already have the game planned for the potluck party.  Now I need to figure out what to do for door prizes.


Garden time is coming to a close.  Paul and I went to the garden at the elementary school last Saturday to help with the end-of-the-season clean-up. 


It was a bit nippy, but Paul kept busy harvesting the last of the cherry tomatoes.

Then Paul and I were out monday, after school, in our own garden gathering potatoes. 



The corn stalks have been harvested and there are some beside the front door.  We will add coloured corn cobs and pumpkins and be ready for Hallowe’en.

Hallowe’en advent begins tomorrow.  In the past, when Mikayla and Tyler were little, I would put together a box with tchotchkes, each with a string and date tag that the children would use to pull the whatever from the box each morning of the thirteen days leading up to the big night. 

Now, since Paul is living in the house with George and me instead of being clear across the country, I plan to just put something beside his breakfast each morning. 


Haven’t yet decided what I’ll use to start the countdown … maybe a drink container?



Sixty-five years ago tonight George and I went to the Biltmore Theatre in downtown Los Angeles to see the First Drama Quartet (Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Laughton, Charles Boyer, and Agnes Moorehead) do a reading.  That night they chose to read the “Don Juan in Hell” scene from George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman”. 


It all started okay … until they reached the part about marriage.

In those days one really dressed to go to the theatre, so I was in heels, hat, and gloves.  But I forgot a handkerchief and wound up using my gloves to catch tears and wipe my nose.

And by three the next afternoon, we were married.


Autumn moves along.

The reservoir is all but empty. 

The wisteria and the smoke tree are still colourfully decorated … 

as are the maple and birches …

and the carpet along the center drive is building with maple and cherry leaves.

However, the catalpa tree is a seasonal novelty.  It is the last tree to leaf out in Spring, and the first to go bare in Autumn.

The catalpa now wears only seed pods.  Such a short time to be “alive”.



Closing thought for this week …


Always look for beauty and kindness around you, and if you can’t find it … be it.


So … ‘til next week …


11 October …


I need to start this blog with information in re the California fires.

News reporters keep saying they are in “northern” California.  WRONG.  The fires are in the center (both horizontally and vertically) of the state as well as to the west over the mountains (the arrow points to our area).   

Not to say it isn’t a disaster.  

But we are okay except for the smoke brought to us on winds from the south.

Thank you and blessings to all of you who checked on us.


Nights are getting chilly and the leaf carpet has begun to form under the red maple tree …

The trees are beautiful.


The visit with the family on their holiday from Peru was great.  It was a bit like stepping back in time … I felt the way I felt about thirty years ago.  At that time both Helene and I were young mothers with young children …

This time Lisa was Helene and her son (Sam) and daughters (Lillian and Eleanor) were Helene’s Lisa and Adam.  The resemblance is remarkable.

My heart remembers.

But in addition to that, meeting Lisa’s children and her husband Mark was a joy.

Wednesday we all (George, Mark, Kamille, Paul, Lisa, Mark, Sam, Lillian, Eleanor, and I) went out to dinner together.  Get acquainted time.  The Mishkin children warmed quickly to all the absolute strangers.  Paul and Sam hit it off in spite of the age difference. 

Then thursday, on their way north, the Mishkins stopped by Cold Comfort for a few hours. 

The “Korn-Dibelka” family picture album Barry (Lisa’s dad) created for George and my fiftieth wedding anniversary provided fun memories …



I was able to create a memory for myself by beginning instructions in spinning (it cost a bit of fiber and was well worth it)…

then we had dinner under the pergaze-bollis (sort of a rural sukkot).


Memories to file away for a rainy day.


Ever since the Headwaters radio event, I’ve been working on standardized tracking sheets for the stations.  There were a couple of items that caused some confusion in the to-each-their-own approach. 

I’ve taken the handwritten reports from the stations and tried to put them into printable files so all operators are sort of on the same page.  So far the responses I’ve gotten have been helpful.  Next years we will be more organized and tracking individuals, when requested, will be easier.


Eleven days into the month and here is the painting for the month …

“Mrs. Duffee seated on a Striped Sofa Reading”

1876, Mary Stevenson Cassett


I didn’t do as well this year for Spinzilla as I did last year …

4,562 yards as opposed to 5,662 last year.  But I did get about half of the colours done for Paul’s requested sweater.


It is with deep regret that I have to tell you AC seems to have disappeared. 

It’s been a bit more than a week since I saw him last.

He had reached the “adult” stage and had been gone before … a foray from which he returned with a torn ear. 

But he has been gone longer this time.  I hold to the hope that this is just another growing up trip incited by hormones, but this is wild land and it’s been an extended absence … so who knows.

I just have to be grateful for the time I had with him.



This coming saturday, my chosen sister will turn 75 … and she is as beautiful as she was when I first met her. 


Blessings …


Saw this on Facebook and found it appropriate…



So … ‘til next week …


4 October …


 My chosen sister’s daughter and her family were in California for the High Holy Days (they are stationed in Lima, Peru with the diplomatic corps) and plan to drop by to see us on their trek between LA and Portland.

They are due here early this afternoon.  Report next week.


The final radio event for the season was last Saturday.  It is a running event featuring 10k, 30k, and 50k courses through the wild back areas of southern Siskiyou county.  We had stations at three hard-to-reach sites (that means you had to have good 4×4 trucks and know how to drive narrow, rutted roads). One area looks like this …

and this …

George and I are the “elders” so we got to do net control at the start/finish line.

Last year the weather had been chilly so we dressed for it.  I had on a shirt, a sweatshirt, a jacket, and my communicator vest.  I stayed pretty warm except for my legs.  But George was a layer short and the chilly wind got to him.

There were about 150 participants overall, and because they are running in rough territory, we have to keep a pretty close check on them.  We had some interesting things happen. 

Two runners in the 50k decided they weren’t up to the long run and so were switching to the 30k.  We changed their numbers from one tracking sheet to the other.  Then they must have gotten a second wind and decided to switch back to the 50k, but didn’t tell anyone and for a time we had no idea where they were.

A young woman decided to run even though she had badly strained her knee two weeks ago.  She made the first 13 miles and then had to sit with ice on her knee until the station closed and she could hitch a ride back in a volunteer vehicle (the course is so bad and narrow in places only runners or bicycles can navigate).  Turns out her folks are the ones who run the ambulance service.

Campers with trash and a campfire were seen in a closed, fire-not-allowed area and we teamed with the USFS providing lat and long location.

Two runners got lost but made it back onto the course without help.

The lasagna served was excellent, but it was not gluten free so Kamille had to do without as did Michael who has been put on a carbfree diet by the cardiologist.  There was lots of crisp green salad with a dressing concocted by the caterer which was a basic creamy with basil and just a touch of wasabi.  No garlic bread this year and I had to skip the beer because I was driving.

But by the end of the day everyone who had started had crossed the finish line.  We did our usual competent job and have been asked to do it again next year.

That is the end of the radio events for 2017.  Next one?  Spring Equinox 2018.


I am still having a bit of trouble with my throat.  My vocal range and decibel level is inconsistent.  I range from silent mouthing to almost normal with no way to tell before I open my mouth what will come out.

My baritone is very reminiscent of the femme fatales of the 40s and 50s … Marlene, Lauren, Lizabeth, Veronica …

Oh well …


Our forest is mostly evergreen so the colour display is not as vivid as those in the upper midwest and the northeast.  However, we do have enough of a variety of deciduous trees to make a trip down the road a pleasure.  It is sort of like the winter holiday season when some houses are lit with decorations.

The maple in front of the house is vivid red,  The catalpa is sparkling yellow.  The birches are a mix of deep green and neon yellow. 

Out back the smoke tree is whispy greybrown.  The dogwoods are varied between soft green and bright red.  The oaks are just beginning to turn, and the roadside bushes are full of colour.

A really nice time of year.


Speaking of colours … I am three days into Spinzilla with a collection of vivid colours …

all drafted and ready to go. 

What with family rearranging and visitors, I don’t expect to do as well as I have in the past. 

Oh well …


And a piece of advice from a friend …


If you cannot find a good companion with whom to walk, walk alone.


‘Til next week …



27 September …



Later this morning I have an appointment with the surgeon for my pre-surgery workup.  I hope to have that out of the way before winter holidays. 

Mark is having his right knee repaired the twenty-fifth of October and we can’t both be down at the same time (we’re the cooks), so further plans will await his results.


Last Saturday was the next to last radio event for the year.  It was the Biketoberfest over in McCloud.

Mark was in charge of the club’s participation.  He had a full complement of volunteers and stationed George at the boat dock, Kamille at the Lake McCloud dam, and me at the “airport” as usual.  Then the calls began to come in.  One came down with something Friday night.  The other woke up saturday with a uncontrolled nosebleed.  So George and I stayed the same but Mark took over the station at the Lake McCloud dam and Kamille took on the SAG position.  It was Michael’s first event on his own as a new ham and he covered the Lakin Dam station.

Kamille had the most excitement with a drastic need for salt and pepper at one station, an over-the-handlebars accident needing as soon as possible dental attention, and an overheated, over extended participant needing a ride back to the city.  The rest of us just did the same ole stuff.  However, we did it well and there were no lost participants.

Paul spent the day with Mark.

There was fresh snow on the Mountain … and the weather went without incident except that the smoke’s effect on my sinuses and lungs was very evident.  I had been swallowing. spitting, and coughing for two days and went mute thursday and friday.  Then I was understandable on the radio all day saturday … although I sounded a bit more like a baritone than a mezzo. 

The weather held.  We were home (recuperating) by time for the evening news … and I was again mute.  There was no need to cook having been given food chits at the event which provided dinner.

Next (and last) event will be next Saturday.


Yesterday was the monthly trip to Medford.  This time John and Michael took us.

It was a lovely time of morning when we made the trip north … crisp with shadows. 

The madrones were beautiful.  They are shedding their bark and so the trunks and larger limbs are a very bright burnt orange.  I really wish I could have at least one on the property, but I’m told they do not transplant and can be grown only from seed so they are not something I can have.  Guess I’ll just continue to enjoy them on the trips north.  Oh well …

The crop of autumn calves seems to be early this year.  The fields were alive with baby animals.  Fun to see.

I saw only one alfalfa field still working.  It had been freshly cut, but the cut was not very tall or plentiful.

And no one seems to be taking in bee hives yet.


The appointment with the retinologist went much as usual.  They have switched back to liquid lidocaine from gel for numbing George’s eyeball. The reason was something about the gel preventing the disinfectant from being as effective as they would like.  But the liquid didn’t really work as well as the gel.  George seemed more uncomfortable this time than I remember seeing him since the first injection.

His eye is holding steady.  It would be nice were there some improvement, but at least things are not getting worse.


Last Friday I was to have gone to lunch with a group of the nurses with whom I worked so many years ago.  It would have been an eye opener.  As one said when she called me with the invitation, she had pictures in her head of each of us left from the last time she saw us … in some cases more than five, six, or ten years ago. 

Ones who were newlyweds when I retired are now grandmothers.

On Friday my throat was raw and I had no voice and so I didn’t go. 

I wonder how many will be left the next time someone decides to get us together?


Last week, on their way out to the school bus before dawn, Mark and Paul saw the mist/fog on the reservoir and in the swampy meadow.  Paul and I talked about it on the way home from the afternoon school bus and he now knows about warm water and damp earth when the air turns cool. 

Sort of spoils the wonder?



For Doug, here is this week’s AC picture …



and for all a final thought …    

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

 So … ‘til next week …


 20 September …


 I need to start off with a mea culpa …

My real birthday is not the 9th of September.  It is in May.  The reason we celebrated in September is that was when all but one of the family was here in Siskiyou County.  So it was actually a celebration of me reaching 87 and not of the actual birth day anniversary.

To those of you who were confused I apologize for the confusion …

but not for reaching 87.


T.S.Eliot said … “In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing.”

In July, Paul and I listened to the corn grow and now in September we are looking forward to hearing the fir trees welcome the first snow.

There is a spider in the courtyard who will not give up.  It (she?) kept building her web across the pathway and we kept walking into it.  But finally she  built it in a spot where it can stay and I was able to take a picture.  Can you see it?



Weather turned quite chilly for a bit with rain showers tuesday and overnight.  There has been frost in the garden and tomatoes have been pulled and packed so the fruit (is tomato a fruit or a vegetable?) will continue to ripen. 


The plums have been gathered and the first of this year’s plum cakes was eaten to the last crumb.



The corn stalks have been pulled to dry for Hallowe’en decoration and later to be chipped and returned to the garden soil. There are three or four ears of the glass corn.  That’s okay for a first try and we’ll try again next year.

All around leaves are turning and falling.

I am taking in the hummer feeders one at a time forcing the hummers to leave for warmer climes.  Enticing them to stay might make me happy, but would not be good for them.

It is almost time to start thinking about next year’s garden so the seed order will be ready come Spring.  Or we may even make the order now for spring delivery.  Some of the seed strains are already sold out from the supplier I want to use … Siskiyou Seeds, who know this growing area and it’s worth using them until proven otherwise. 

However, I have been thinking about a nursery in Klamath Falls for plants. The ones here in Siskiyou and Medford seem to tend to a warmer zone and KFalls is frost prone like we are.  We’ll see …


I’ve also been thinking about the approach of in-the-house weather and the coming reading time.  NPR offered a list of books for winter.  I’ve chosen three for a start. 

The collection of essays about us, them, and the other by Toni Morrison …

“Stay with Me” by Adebayo …

“The Franchise Affair” by Tey (an old one) …

If you choose to read (re-read) any of them, maybe we can compare notes later.


It is nearly time for the annual Spinzilla.  I will again be spinning with the Web.sters team.  I can’t recall my yardage total from last year so I’ll just have to do the best I can and see what happens.

This year Paul had expressed an interest in having a school sweater of many colours.So I let him pick out some colours and will use that fiber for my Spinzilla effort.  I am spinning some of it in advance in order to determine about how much yardage I get from each ounce of fiber.  Then I can use that to compare my final output.  I will worry about a pattern for the sweater, using as many of the colours as possible, AFTER I get the yarn spun.

In the meantime, last year Tyler had chosen a fiber called Piedras (Stones … remember we are collectors of stones).  I finally have his sweater started.


The season is signalling its turning in many ways.  One which we have begun seeing in the mornings is mist on the meadow and the reservoir.  The land and water are warmer than the air and so …


Tonight is the monthly meeting of the radio club.  Main items on the agenda are planning for the final two events of the year … Biketoberfest next Saturday and the Headwaters Trail Runs the following Saturday.  Then we are done for this year.  Only other event on the calendar will be the potluck in December.


Sundown tonight is the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah, which is a time to ask forgiveness for any hurt we have caused.

In addition, one of the faith leaders I read advises … 

The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson taught about the transformative effect the simple act of blessing one another has on our interpersonal relations, and on the entire universe. Our heartfelt blessings to each other have the power to elicit deepest blessings to each of us individually, to all of us as one, and to the entirety of our universe. As Maimonides writes, one good deed has the potential to tip the balance of the entire world in the favor of merit and goodness.

Let us each take a few minutes to simply bless everyone we know once, twice and again, in advance of the new year

… let us all simply shower one another with blessings!


So … ‘til next week … I wish for everyone L’shana tova.



13 September …


The skies opened up last Thursday about noon.  It was a bit of a gully washer.  But all the thunder was to the northwest and we didn’t see any lightning.

The land was grateful, as were we.

The rain cleared the air of smoke for a few hours but the pall, in varying degrees, was back before long. 

It finally got to me on Friday.  My eyes were watering and my nose running almost non-stop.  I remember my Nana, when she was 100, sitting as she read her Bible with Kleenex plugs in her nostrils.  At the time I thought it was pretty gross. 

These last few days I’ve begun to think it might not be a bad idea.

The inner corner of my right eye is sore from being dabbed and my nostrils are nearly raw from blowing.  Oh well …


Tyler and Tiffany left today to go back to New York.  It will be nice next year when they are in far western Nebraska where they will be only eighteen hours away.

The weather was not-the-best while they were here but we did see clear blue sky at least three times.

The two of them made a trip to the Sundial Bridge and Tyler brought me a river rock full of sparkles.  I guess collecting stones is a family trait.

Tiffany and I talked fibers and spinning.  She took some of my homespun with her.  What she does with it will be interesting.

And one day Mark and Tyler walked the property perimeter assessing what has to be done so bummer calves can be put to pasture in spring and the family can once again raise our own beef.


Last Saturday we (Tyler, Tiffany, Paul, George and I) went into downtown Mt Shasta and gave away lollipops ( Mark and Kamille were doing a walk in Redding to raise funds for depression awareness).    

Last week I had written this to the local newspaper …

On Saturday the 9th of September I will be in Mt Shasta at the Plaza on the corner of Lake and Mt Shasta Blvd beginning at 10 o’clock to celebrate my 87th birthday.

If you remember me (or not) and want to wish me a Happy Birthday, I will be sharing gifts with the first 87 of you who show up.

I hope to see you there.              Wilma Dibelka

Mark told me one of his Lodge brothers, who had been a Siskiyou County Supervisor, told him he had seen the letter and planned to come by.

Kamille’s third grade class asked if anyone could come, even a father who was a cop.  However, none of them showed up.  The parents must have been distrustful.

One person asked “Why such a weird number?”  (Guess they didn’t read the letter.)

We had four kinds of lollipops … chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, and latte.  We made sure only adults got the latte.

I woke up that morning thinking “What if no one comes?”

But they did come.  One was a longtime friend who brought a card and an invitation for an afternoon together.

Some were strangers.

We gave lollipops to approximately 77 people.  We had aimed for 87 but I had to retire after only an hour and forty-five minutes due to the heat and smoke. 

Oh well …

Tyler suggested I put the remainder in my purse (two or three at a time) and pass them out as the occasion arises, maybe with an explanation.  Sounds like a good idea.  The first two are ready in my purse.

Four or five people declined to take the lollipop saying they don’t or can’t do sugars, and two ladies did the city thing of refusing eye contact and hurrying past as rapidly as they could.  Too bad for them.  We were giving away See’s lollipops … the best available. 

We gave each person two lollipops telling them one was for them and the other was to give away to someone else. Sort of a “pay-it-forward” deal.  A spoonful of sugar makes a lesson go down.

One young woman (the one who sang a birthday song for me) came back to tell me she gave her extra lollipop to the clerk in the music store who seemed depressed when she went in.  She says he was smiling when she left.

A man came up calling me “Darling”.  He said as he drove by he’d partially read the sign the kids were holding (telling it was a birthday celebration etc.), went until he found a parking place, and came back to get in on the celebration.

A group of four high school boys who were making a documentary film as a senior project accepted the lollipops and then interviewed me for their film.

Several people from the past showed up with items like birthday cards, stories about me caring for them in the Emergency Department, other memory gifts,

and an attorney friend returned a book that had been borrowed almost twenty years ago. 

Two (one who arrived on a bicycle with a card for me) said it was a great idea and they want to do something like it for their birthdays.

One lady laughed and said she was surprised she had come all the way from France just to receive my lollipop and give me a hug.

A couple of GREAT gifts were people who came to tell me how an interaction in the past had changed their lives.  That is a gift you think about but don’t often receive. One was a nurse who had been a patient of mine and the other was a retired Chief of Police.  Knowing you made a difference can make a difference.

And I collected hugs as well …

from complete strangers …

and from people with whom I worked and have called “friend” for years.

The smoke was moderate, but the event went off fine.

Now I am in the position of wondering what I can do next time to at least equal this. 

Such fun.


Saturday evening was family movie night and Tyler had asked to watch “Chicago”.  There were no objections so we did … and the evening proceeded with a lot of singalong.  We even watched the credits roll all the way through because the music is so good.

That movie is good fun.  Each musical number is my favorite until the next one begins. Still, I wish I could have seen Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera do it …


or Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking … 



Paul is making headway with one of the kindergarten requirements.  Every day until last Thursday he got off the bus with both shoelaces flapping.  Thursday only one was flapping.  The other was tied … in an interesting way … but tied.

Maybe by the end of the month he will have the “make-a-bunny-ear-now-push-the-other-lace-through-to-make-another-bunny-ear-now-pull” down pat.

Aaaahhhhhhh … challenges.




To end the week, here is a picture of AC taken by Tiffany.  I can’t get a good picture of him because when he sees me, he comes running and huddles around my feet;



and a reminder …

Don’t throw up your hands and say all is hopeless. If we start small and treat each individual better, then eventually we will build a society and a world of love and peace.

So … ‘til next week …


6 September …


Tonight is “Back to School” night and George and I will not be going with the family.  Everyone is so busy the schedule didn’t jell. 

Oh well …

Some day we’ll take a morning and visit.  Then we’ll get to meet his teacher and see his classroom so the stories I hear when I ask “What happened at school today?” will be more visual. 

The first search will be for his Gingerbread Man.  He had to memorize the story last week (which he repeated for us with facial and body emphasis) and then all the children made ones of their own.


The rejuvenated TinMan triathlon was last Sunday.   Poor Net Control for this event has to juggle two radios … one the regular amateur radio for connection with the stations and the other a family band for connection with the event organizers, so this year we added a transcriber to keep notes (that was me). 

George was out at his usual station on the bicycle route at the corner of Ream and Old Stage, Mark’ station was out on the road to Gumboot Lake at the first turnaround for the bicycles (South Fork of the Sacramento), and Kamille took my spot on the bicycle route at Ream and WABarr.  Paul was with his father and won the heart of the Rotary volunteer assigned to that station.

The weather wasn’t as warm (hot) as it could have been due to the sky full of smoke.  I don’t understand the physics, but smoke blocks sun (they tell me … as if I needed telling since we’ve been living in nearly perpetual dusk since the tenth of August) and that lowers the temperature.  Without smoke, the temperature would have been in three digits, so I guess the smoke was good for something.  Visibility was less than a mile.  From the bathing beach (where everything started and ended), you couldn’t see across the lake.  However, there was only one participant who had any trouble with the bad air and that wasn’t a danger.

The highlight of the event was a participant named Toby, a 60+ year old woman who was last all the way.  She would go through each station smiling, waving, and shouting “I’m still last.”  The first finisher did it in a bit over an hour.  Toby took nearly three hours, but she did it.  I’ll post a picture of her if I can find one.

The family, all seven of us, went out to dinner when we were done with the event.  We went to a fairly new Mexican place called Don Tito’s … not bad but nothing exceptional either.

We were home by late afternoon, all tired but content.

Next event (the next to last) will be the Biketoberfest in McCloud saturday the 23rd.


Tyler and Tiffany arrive tomorrow evening.  They will be here for only five days and I plan to take up two of them.  They will be helping me on Lollipop Day and they asked to go to Ashland with me one day.  Tyler wants some fiber so he can begin spinning again and wants to go to WebSters.  I’ll probably get some fiber as well (but you knew I’d do that, right?) to build a stash for Spinzilla which is only five weeks away.

I’ll need to share Tyler and Tiffany the rest of the time.  Oh well …


I am now the official picker-upper of Paul from the bus in the afternoon … at least until the snow flies.  With all the pressures of moving and preparing for winter and making places in the community and jobs and Kamille’s evening class at COS … time is precious and I’m the one with the freest afternoons.

Yesterday on the way to the bus stop I picked choke cherries.  This morning I will juice them and tomorrow will be jelly day. 

Paul and I have plans to go on a Treasure Hunt one afternoon.  He had a tourist map with Xs on it and one X was near Weed.  He reads phonetically well enough to read “Weed” and so is convinced there’s a treasure there just waiting for him to find it.  I agreed we’d go searching.  Sort of like geo-caching.  Now all I have to do is figure out where the treasure is so we can find it.

Oh well …



New month … new Reading Woman ..

“CMS Reading by Gaslight”, 1884, William Stott (a 19th century Englishman know mainly for landscapes).



The weather prediction is for maybe some showers in the next three days.  That would be nice.  It would cleanse the air and wash all the dust off the roadside vegetation.  Going out to pavement is like driving through a sepia landscape.

Only two photographs this week, and those taken on one of the better days.  Not much to see.


Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida.  I have a cousin in Tampa.  My candle is burning …


“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.

“So it is.”

“And freezing.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

― A.A. Milne


So … ‘til next week …

30 August …


Scary time.  There are fires to the west (Parks Creek), north (Dorris), and south (Mt Bradley).  Sleeping is difficult. 

Skies cleared yesterday afternoon, but I could smell smoke, and the smoke pall is back this morning.

This map is a copy off the net to show you what is happening here.  That’s why it is so blurry. 

We are just below the central green icon (approximately).




Trip to Medford last week was smoky when we left home, Smoky as we went north, and SMOKY when we got into Oregon.  It was interesting in that we knew we were in a valley but were unable to see any surrounding mountains.  Almost like being in Kansas.

As we went through Shasta Valley, I was able to see that some of the alfalfa fields have been left to brownover, some were still being irrigated, some had just been mowed for the third or even the fourth time, there were big stacks of 7-string bales in one, and the roadside barns were mostly full to overflowing.  It was a good year for those farmers.

And then, as we came around the reservoir heading home, I looked up from the book I was reading, and there was the Mountain.  I hadn’t seen Her in several days due to the smoke, but the wind must have been from the south that afternoon and had cleared our area.  Nice.


Mark, Paul, and Kamille are now into an early morning routine which means George and I are also into a new morning routine.  I’m up an hour earlier so that we can be out of the kitchen to make room for the other family to start their day.

They’re out of the house by 0645 and not back until afternoon.  So the main part of our day stays the same.

So far the new routine is working well.



Overnight last week the pergazebollis grapes came ripe.  The birds were after them so they had to be picked and we now have grape jelly.

The plums are almost there.  In a few days I’ll pit, cut, and freeze them for cobblers and later breakfast cakes.


Mornings are noticeably darker now and there is a cool crispness to night air no matter the daytime temperature.  The wild fruits are ripening.  The leaves on the maple tree and the Virginia Creeper are beginning to turn. The geese and ducks overhead are calling as they make their way south.  The local bears are getting bolder in their effort to fatten up for winter.  It will soon be time to pull up the bed comforter.


Further on the subject of food …

When my boys were in school in Mt Shasta, there were no cafeterias in any of the schools.  That sort of bothered me.  There had been cafeterias, I am told, but they were not incorporated into the plans when the schools were redone in the 60s.

Our schools in Hemet back in the 40s had cafeterias.

Now our grandson has just started kindergarten (not kindeegarden) and I discover that in the last years, since Mark graduated high school, all three schools now have lunch for everyone.

Paul brought home a printed menu and it looks as if they have a pretty good child nutritionist in charge what with at least two vegetables with every meal and things like fruit, graham crackers, and applesauce for dessert.


Another change that surprised me (since this is a poor, rural county and not usually leading) is that there is a teacher at the Elementary School whose job, other than teaching, is maintaining the school garden (but then that could include teaching as well).  Wow …

That explains the fresh vegetables prevalent on the menu.

I hope to get down there soon to see for myself and I will post pictures.


No stars … red moon … smoke …

Sounds like the start of a poem.


To end the week I am reminded that …


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Being a parent is the only job that by the time you are trained and experienced you are out of a job.


So … ‘til next week …


23 August …


The Eclipse was the BIG event last week.I had been afraid that the heavy smoke in our air would obscure the event.  Our view was about 90%.  We could still see the eclipse, but it never got really dark due to the smoke which scattered the sun’s rays. It did get dark enough that we heard some dusk birds call … and the sand cranes, who usually parade in the evening, joined us.

The temperature did drop some and a cool breeze came up.

Paul got some good looks at the event.

I had an interesting reaction.  After the eclipse I started feeling strange … not exactly depressed, but not comfortable either.  The feeling lasted until true dusk and told me maybe it was a good thing I wasn’t where you could experience the full eclipse.

Weird …


We had a good time as a family at the “Back to School” picnic last Wednesday.  It involved all the teachers for both the elementary and middle schools.  The elementary school principal was the first one to greet us on arrival.  That was a nice touch.

Paul got to meet his teacher for the coming year (Mrs. Hannon) and Kamille got to meet the teacher with whom she will be working as well as having a first meet with others.

We weren’t able to stay until they rolled up the tablecloths since we were due at the radio club meeting at 1900.  Fortunately, the clubhouse is only about five blocks from the park where the picnic was being held, so we were able to stay until 1845.

Then at the radio club meeting it was a bit of chaos.  Two of the members are leaving to spend a year in Israel and wanted to put all loose ends to rest before they leave.

Plus there are the three final events for the summer coming up which need arranging.  All three of those events need new leaders.  The first has been taken over by a fairly new member but he will need some help.  Mark has agreed to handle the second.  And it appears the third will be up to me this year. 

Oh well …

Just leaned our grandson and his lady will be here from the 7th to the 13th.  Kaloo Kalay !

After that, things will settle down until my chosen niece arrives with her family.  She has been important to me since before she was born, but I’ve never met her husband and children. 


Weather is still warm (no longer HOT) and the humidity is less.The air is still smoky to various degrees. In this picture you can barely see the outline of the Mountain just to the left of the furthest left tree.  Black Butte is closer and so more visible.

Some times the red sun is eye catching.  Other times it is scary.  But then, when you live in a forest, that’s just the way things are this time of year.  

However, autumn is in the air.  Not with temperatures, but mornings are shortening as the sun comes up later and later.  It seems it wasn’t too long ago that the sun was up before I got out of bed at 0530 each morning.  Now it is becoming light when I get up but not sunny until about 0800.  Soon it will be dark at 0530.

The garden is doing well.  We bring something into the house nearly every day such as a cucumber …



and there is a seed squash in the corn patch.


An interesting (!) thing happened with the pictures I took at the County Fair.  Remember I told you they had disappeared so I wasn’t able to share with you?

Well …

Last thursday morning, when I turned on my computer, there they were … a slew of icons on my desktop.  I have no idea how they got from my camera to the desktop without me being involved.  But then, I know so little about computers and am constantly amazed by what they do.

As a result, I now share pictures of the cattle judging …

the sheep and goat barn …

the chainsaw sculpting …

the snake at the “zoo” …

and the corn dog pause.

It was a fun day. 


Now it is time to leave for the appointment with the retinalogist in Medford.  Report will be posted next week.


In the meantime … from the Rebbe I read every week …


The Torah tells us that we are created b’tzelem Elokim (Gen. 1:27) — in the image of God. Since God has no corporeal form, it means that we are created with a soul and have intrinsic worth. The Zohar tells us that when the Almighty created Adam, He created him from dirt from all over the earth so that no one people could say that they are better people based on their geographical location. All people have value. All people need to be treated with respect.


Interesting thought …

So … ‘til next week …

16 August …


Word came just after I posted the blog last week that Paul Michael had been accepted into the Mt Shasta school system.  Cold Comfort is in the Butteville district, but it is a weird gerrymandered district which requires passing through the Weed school district to get to from here.  But that doesn’t matter.  Michael and Mark both went to MS schools and now so will Paul.  First day of school will be next tuesday.

Next item for solving … where does the school bus stop?


Weather took a turn for the worse last Wednesday afternoon.  A low pressure area settled over the area between us and the coast and all of a sudden we could have been in upstate New York.  The temperature wasn’t quite as hot, but the humidity was brutal for an area which is used to 20 or 30%.

Then an inversion layer set in and the air has been filled with smoke ever since. 

Last Monday, on my way to Yreka, I could barely see Goose Nest and Herd’s Peak.  Usually they are prominent on the northern skyline.

And at dawn and dusk, when the sun is low, the air turns brownish-red.


The family (but without John and Mike) went to the county fair last Friday.  We arrived early and headed for the animal barns. 

We watched a couple of the beef cattle judgings …

Then watched some of the chainsaw carvers …

Stopped by the wild animal zoo …

Ate curly fries …

Rode the Dizzy Dinosaurs …

I took a lot of pictures and had planned to overwhelm you with them … but something happened and my pictures of the cattle judging and the wood carving and the food and the carnival rides and all that jazz just disappeared.  Oh well … you will just have to use your memory and imagination.

We ended the day at the “Captain Jack Spareribs” show where I got to join the Captain for some of his magic stuff (this was the one photo that remained … go figure … and note the feather in my hair).

George figured out how he did his magic, but I just had fun.Altogether a good day.

Mark and Kamille went back Saturday night for the rodeo where the highlight of the evening was the performance by a toddler, obviously in the midst of potty training, who showed he had learned well the lesson about pulling down your pants before taking aim.


One of our new chores (not an unpleasant one) is baby-sitting (although Paul is no longer a baby) when Mark and Kamille want to or have to be gone.  I get to read the bedtime stories when that chore falls in the evening.

And another perq is being included in “family” for the “Back-To-School” potluck picnic.  That is this evening before the radio club meeting. 

Pictures and notes next week.


We’ve been picking the long, armenian (?) cucumbers every day for a week now.  Last week I tried a couple of jars of refrigerator pickles with mixed success.  They tasted good after 48 hours, but were strong on the vinegar.  Next batch I will use the brine recipe I have with which I pickle red onions. 

John brought me some regular cukes a few days ago with which I will try some dill recipes.

There is gooseberry juice waiting to make jelly and we are keeping our eyes on choke cherry and elderberry bushes.

The 7-11 will be well-stocked for winter.


A thought to end the week …



So … ‘til next week …