12 July …


We’ve been having hot weather … even for this time of year.  It was over 100° in Medford a couple of days, and that’s hot.  Highest here at Cold Comfort was 98°.

The corn is loving it.  Some is over six feet tall …

… so much for “A good crop requires knee high by the 4th of July.”


Resettling the families is going about as expected … i.e. not as smoothly as would be liked, but smoother than it might have.

Mark and family are settling in. George and I are adjusting.

Paul is actively exploring.


The other morning, as I was on my way out to water in the garden, the birch trees caught my eye.  The sun was hitting them just so and they really looked like silver birch. 


Another piece of eye magick.

And next year’s pine cones are becoming very visible.  The ground is covered with this year’s cones which have dropped the seeds for next year’s new trees.  These cones will be next year’s seed cones and the tree starts in 2019. 

And the cycle continues.


The radio club just received a request for help with the Dunsmuir “State of Jefferson Brewfest” in August.  George, Mark, and I will be attending a meeting this evening to discuss the needs and possibilities.

The events in which the club participates keep changing.  But a BREWfest?  I wonder what they want us to do … judge the brew taste contest? 

One can dream, can’t one?


Pictures from the 4th didn’t get posted last week … so …here’s a look at part of the crowd courtesy of the local paper. 

The city nearly doubles in size every 4th.


With an eye to personal, national, and worldwide events …


Hope means to keep going, thinking,    ‘We can do this.’


So … ‘til next week …




5 July …


To start the reading this month …


“At the Window”, 1881 by Hans Heyerdahl



Well … the Mt Shasta 4th of July festivities are over for another year.  

I was asked about  “security watches”.  It is really rather simple.  

For the holiday, vendors rent space on the main cross streets but do not spend the night in their booths/tents.  So we patrol, wearing official looking orange vests.  It deters trouble makers and earns a donation for the radio club.  We have backup from the local police and those in charge of the vendors.  Foot intensive, but not dangerous.

Kamille and I did the first shift (the night of the 1st-2nd from 2100 to 0230) and Mark and George did the final shift (the morning of the 4th from 0230 to 0800).

The shift Kamille and I did was interesting. 

The collection of drinkers on the sidewalk in front of the Vets’ Club (one of only three bars in town and the only one actually IN town) was noticeably smaller than in years past, even though it was a Saturday night, and there was no one gathering in the back alley.  The new owners seem to have added a muscled “bouncer” stationed at the door and the back door must be off limits now.

One vendor who had a great collection of crystals, both polished and uncut, was rather edgy.  He was afraid he had been scoped out during the day for a hit after dark.  Then he left the back of his tent open.  Oh well … we just went past his place more often.

A woman tried driving down the street blocked off for vendors trying to find a way to the hospital (probably using a GPS guide which didn’t know the street was full of tents).  She was a bit panicked by the man beside her who had an obviously dislocated shoulder.  They got to Kamille first and she called the PD who showed up in force (no pun intended) and they were set on their way to the Emergency Department quickly.

The PD officer (alone on duty after midnight) stopped by to chat and told us there had been a death in the city but he didn’t yet know where or cause.  He also told us to keep an eye out for a charming young lady on a bicycle who was a dumpster diver and a suspect in a series of small thefts.

A vendor who serves pulled pork sandwiches (for $12 each) had a man in their set-up all night minding the smoker.  The aroma caused inadvertent drooling on each security pass.

We had several interesting conversations with transients and drunks (sometimes both at once).

The weather was nice (70° with a slight breeze) and the first 4.5 hours went rather rapidly.  Things began to drag about 0130, as the bar was closing, so it was nice when our relief showed up and we could head for home.

Overall I must have walked close to 5 miles (5 miles in 5.5 hours … not bad for nearly 90).  Kamille probably did more.

George and Mark’s shift was most likely the quietest of all.  Most of the vendor tents had been taken down in preparation for the run/walk, and those participants started arriving early.

The radio club’s participation in the run/walk the morning of the 4th went very well in spite of a lack of planning.  Of course, as George reminded me, it was a great exercise in emergency radio coverage exactly because it wasn’t thoroughly planned. 

And during the raffle announcements, we paid our way by being alert for winners in the crowds not able to be close to the stage area. We found about half of the winners (and that’s probably confusing since you weren’t there).

Two 2017 events down.  Three to go.


The garden continues to enjoy the hot weather.  My watering time each morning has become more important. And the catalpa has come into bloom…

as have the Shasta daisies.


Last Sunday I was listening to the Moth radio hour and heard a story, told by a war journalist, which ended with a line something to the effect that in war the truth is you will lose a brother.

It reminded me that I was a charter member back in the 70s of a group called Another Mother for Peace whose motto was

 I am still another mother for peace.

And these thoughts led to a quote from the tv show “MASH” (spoken by Alan Alda in his role as Hawkeye Pierce) …

“There are only two rules in war … Rule #1 is that young men die.  Rule #2 is that you can’t change rule #1.”

The only change since that show is that now we’d have to say        “… young people” rather than “… young men.”


Another week starts.  Just remember …

 “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”                                         –  Voltaire

 So … ‘til next week …


30 June …


They arrived … 

… and this is one reason for the delay in posting the blog …



28 June …


This has not been a particularly good week for this extended family.

It has been very hot for all of us.  Both John and I react badly to temps over 90° or so.  And after a bout with near heat exhaustion, Paul may join our group.

Coming cross country to relocate in Siskiyou County, Mark and family hit record heat on I-40 (the old Route 66) at the Texas-New Mexico border where they had trouble with the trailer containing all their worldly goods.  Fortunately there is Dibelka family in Amarillo (George’s niece Janet and her family), so at least they weren’t completely alone and Janet’s son Gary was a great help.

There is always something good if you look for it …



The corn, squash,





and tomatoes are loving this weather.




Mark, Kamille, and Paul will get here (just not as soon as planned) after meeting family with whom they would never have come into contact otherwise.

John and I can pour water over our heads and pretend we’re kids playing in the sprinkler.

George isn’t subject to heat problems.

And there will be corn and tomatoes !!!


John gifted me with one of the original Inspector Morse novels by Colin Dexter which he found in a little “Take one, Leave one” library.  It was an old paperback with yellowed pages.  But it was a fun read.

Dexter starts each chapter with a summary of the story in that chapter, i.e. In which Morse is advised by a woman he would never meet in private life and the first corpse is found. or In which the investigation leads to Soho and we are given a glimpse into the sexual underside of London.

I’m told it is an old style.  I found it fun reading because I’d never run across it before.

Another fun thing was the revelation of some of Morse’s background.  At least it was interesting to me since I am an Inspector (Endeavour) Morse fan.

In addition to those treats, Dexter introduced me to some brand new words.  As least new to me, and you know how I love words.  One that caught me was “adumbrate” … defined as producing a faint image or resemblance; to outline or sketch; to foreshadow or prefigure; to darken or conceal partially; to overshadow.

What’s not to love about a word like that?  The challenge now will be to find a place in a conversation in which to use it.


Last Friday was our monthly trip to Medford.  The temperature reached 100°.  Because of the temperature, there wasn’t much to see this trip.  A lot of the green is gone, replaced by yellows and browns.

Fortunately we didn’t have much to do and so were able to head home early. 

And John’s car has air conditioning.




One of the current eye treats is the new growth tops in the tall pines.  When lit by early morning sun, they shine almost like candles.



Last Saturday was a treat day.  Cousins from southern California (Idyllwild to be exact) stopped to see us.

One of their stories has been added to my genealogy story collection …

On one of their trips, they had stopped by the cemetery where my parents are buried.  They went in to the office to inquire for location and when they asked where the Tyler graves were, the older man at the desk looked hard at Larry and then said “Yup, you look like a Tyler.”

It’s true.  Larry looks like both his grandfather and my Dad who were brothers.  Both Larry’s mother and I were and are identifiable as Tylers also.

What was interesting, as an aside, is that there is still someone who remembers Daddy who died nearly 50 years ago.


Another family story …

A few years ago, through genealogical research, I was able to locate the family of my maternal grandmother’s half-sister. I went down to San Luis Obispo to meet them and in the process formed a bond with one of them … a second cousin once removed named Roxana (for non-genealogists … her great-grandmother was my grandmother’s sister so we share an x-times great-grandfather).

Through that friendship, I’ve learned a lot about cooking in an area I’d never approached … low carb. Roxie had been overweight and through her change in eating patterns she lost about 100 pounds. 

With the thought there might be others of you out there who could use a noodge …  Roxie has become a low carb maven and has some sites where she shares what she has learned.

Aunt Rocky’s Recipes posted on Tasty Kitchen:

Aunt Rocky’s Pinterest Account (boards for my recipes and many boards related to low carb diet, menus, recipes from various bloggers):

Aunt Rocky’s Facebook Group (sharing low carb recipes, cooking tips, product reviews, etc.)

I’m not on a low carb diet, but some of the recipes are delicious for any diet.  Try ‘em.




The wild azaleas have come in to bloom …



and the intrepid moth chaser continues his patrol in the garden.


The coming week promises to be busy, chaotic, and a bit unsettling.  Life changes as big as this move, however welcome, are rarely smooth and easy.

So here is advice to close out the week …   


You basically have to keep moving forward as does a shark. There is no choice.


… ‘til next week …


21 June …


The Castle Crags bicycle event last Saturday started before dawn. 

The Moon was still out.

It was quite different that it had been.  There were far fewer riders.  There were only three rest stops.  The SAG wagons didn’t seem to know what was their role or where they should be.  We had to use different repeaters and there were mixups about frequencies and tones.

Although I was assigned a different station, I wound up working with the same volunteer group. 

                                  This year they were Girl Scouts.

My station was in Hoy Park in the Lake Shastina subdivision.  It was very green which was a change from the rather wild gravel roads, tall pines and firs, and the forest undergrowth of Mumbo.  That was nice since the day was a bit warm. 

After the station closed we returned to the City Park for dinner which consisted of comped IPA, delicious grilled chicken, hot bread, a mixed green salad, and the choice of two pasta salads.  Not a bad way to spend a day. 

We left home at 0530 and got back at 1815.  No tv, even for news.  Just basic unpacking, collect eggs, and off to bed.

Next event will be the Mt Shasta 4th.


Some time ago, during a “parlor” game, the question was “If you could have any other person’s job, either male or female, whose would it be?”

I don’t recall what I said at the time, but I do find myself thinking about the question occasionally and here are my answers (one for each sex) as of today.

Jeffrey Brown of PBS … because he gets to go so many really interesting places and talk with so many really interesting people in all walks of life and such a diversity of professions about such a broad range of subjects.  It would seem each day is an adventure.

And Meryl Streep … because in her profession she is allowed to be so many vastly different people, and in her personal life she seems so loved and content.  I get the impression she enjoys each day to its fullest.

Those are my choices.  How about you?


A few days ago, on baking day (does anyone remember the embroidered dish towels with day-chore indications … i.e. monday wash, tuesday iron, wednesday bake, etc.), along with a fresh batch of cookies …I baked a challah using my friend Faye Levy’s recipe (from one of her early cookbooks).  It came out great as always, and we had the fresh-out-of-the-oven bread plus a couple of “French” toast breakfasts, and ended with an apple-blueberry-challah bread pudding.

I run a “Depression” kitchen and the challah is a good example.  We eat a lot of “garbage” (i.e. leftover) soups, stews, pilafs, casseroles, etc.  Some items get recycled a couple of times.  And when it reaches the end of the road, it goes out to the chickens to come back in as eggs.

I know some folks will see this as a bit repugnant, but they didn’t grow up when every penny and bean counted (although we seem to be reaching that point once more).  And when either George or I see a doctor they comment on the quality of our diet.

It was a very good pudding.


One evening last week, George and I watched “The Pianist”, a Roman Polanski film.  I don’t recall what triggered me to put it in the NetFlix queue (do you put something “in” or “on” a queue?), and I didn’t know it was a Polanski film until I saw a note on the news about the charges which have kept him out of this country for so many years.

All that aside, it is an unsettling film.  It is set in Warsaw between 1939 and 2002, based on an autobiography.  The music is very good (I don’t know if the actor is actually a pianist, but if not he learned hand positions well) and the thought-provoking aspect of the film make it well worth watching.   

We rated it 5 stars.


The peonies are in bloom.  I plan  to add more over the next few years since they are deerproof.


And now it’s time for a thought to end the week …


“If one person calls you a donkey, ignore him; if two people call you a donkey, buy a saddle!”


So … ‘til week …



14 June …


 Soft rains last week made for a nice picture taken by John one day on his way out to Cold Comfort (which is in the area where the rainbow ends on the left) …

and there was a very interesting view out the window one morning.  There was bright sun at the house and the trees just across the drive, but anything past the trees, i.e. the meadow and beyond, was black black.  Just minutes later the close trees were greyed off, the meadow was ablaze with sun, and the mountains past the meadow were still black black.  Shortly all was back to sun and black.

Cloud patterns are great.


Last Monday, I went for a clinic appointment to have the MediCare physical exam.  It was interesting. 

It’s the first full exam I’ve had since I quit working.  They checked the normal stuff … ecg – no abnormality;  breathing – well within normal;  reflexes – no problem;  blood pressure etc. – nothing out of the ordinary.  In fact, the doctor said I’m in good shape for a 67-year-old, so that’s really good for an 87-year-old.

The interesting part came when they began examining my mental situation.  I was asked questions like “What year is it?”, “Where are you?”, and asked to repeat a list of words.  It was the same kind of test the doctors running the VITAL study do over the phone, although shorter.

The final item was for me to write a full sentence.  I wrote “My husband and I will have calzone for dinner today.”  That resulted in a couple of attention grabbers.  The examiner couldn’t read what I had written because it was in cursive … and George had thought to himself as I was writing … “We are having calzone for dinner.”

So now that’s done for this year.


While reviewing last week’s blog, I discovered another interesting thing about the “Women who Read …” book.

The name of the author is not on the cover of the book.  Instead the name of the woman who wrote the Foreword is featured. 

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …


George recently came across this painting …

That made me think about the role of fathers and wonder why I’d never seen a painting or other depiction of Joseph and the child without Mary.  It seems there are a lot of them out there.  To check them out, search


I was gobsmacked by the plethora (that’s a great word) and variety of depictions and really surprised I’d never seen one before. 

So far I’ve not been able to choose a favorite.

Happy Fathers’ Day …


It is an interesting Spring for the evergreens.  The ground is full of evergreen cones.

On one of my recent trips out I became aware of the large number of small trees along the road … pines and firs three to five feet tall.  That speaks well for a nice local forest in another twenty or so years.  George and I won’t see it, but our children and grandchildren will.

And the trees which result from this year’s crop of seeds will be a forest in forty, fifty, or sixty years.  I wonder if they will be allowed to become a forest, or if men (mankind) will have continued to expand to the detriment of nature. 

Maybe I’m not too sorry I won’t be here to see it.


The Castle Crags Bicycle Event will be different this year.  The wet winter has left the high areas still under snow.  Last year there had been traces of snow at Mumbo (my regular station), but it wasn’t enough to stop the bicycles.  This year access to Mumbo is closed from both directions by between three and four miles of snow which obscures the road … in some places the snow appeared to be about three feet deep.  As a result, the entire south route is closed.  The routes to be used go no where near the Crags. 

Oh well …

I will be working a station near Shastina, in Hoy Park, and George will again be doing net control.


We skipped RailRoad Days in Dunsmuir last weekend.  The mainstays which we enjoy didn’t seem to be part of the fun this year.  No speeder clubs were scheduled to be there, and the UP line isn’t as open to allowing others to use their tracks as SP used to be so there was no rolling stock to explore.  Add bad weather to that and the trip wasn’t worth the effort.

It might be that interest in trains is dropping off except for the old timers (like those of us who go ga-ga over steam) and die hards. 

Maybe things will be different next year.


Two thoughts to end this week …

When you want to feel rich, count the things you have that money can’t buy.

and …

When you say something (or someone) is beautiful, it (or they) are.


So … ’til next week …



7 June …


Rain a few nights last week. But on thursday, when I went out to collect eggs, the sky was nearly clear with a waxing Moon.

With the change in climate and the increased number of residences in this area, evenings are getting interesting in other ways as well.  On Saturday last there was a volley of semi-automatic gunfire to the northeast.  In the past there has always been occasional rifle fire.  After all, we lived in a “rural” area and people hunt for food.

Now things have changed. 


Last week there were wild lilacs in full bloom as we went down the canyon.  The red bud and dogwood are past bloom.  But the shades of green were eye-blowing … too numerous to calculate.

It made the trip a joy,


and the lilac at home is now past full.


The river of flowers out in the meadow is changing colour from the deep pink of the shooting stars to the white of wild garlic and yellow of monkey flowers.


Some time ago, knowing my fascination with pictures of women reading (probably because I am a woman who reads), my younger son gave me a book …

He mentioned the gift a few weeks ago when he had to post the blog for me.

I was able to really read it while I was restricted to lying on my back on the sofa.

It was an interesting book in several ways.



A picture of the tomb of Eleanor of Aquitaine was chronologically the earliest…




and of Marilyn reading “Ulysses” the latest.


That time spread was an interesting item.

Another was divisions the author made between readers … “Where the World Lives”, “Intimate Moments”, “Abodes of Pleasure”, “Hours of Delight”, “The Search for Oneself”, and “Little Escapes”.  I think that tells us more about the author (a man) than about the reading women.

The book began examination of the pictures with information about the artists or sculptors and the worlds in which they lived and worked.  However, a little more than half way through the collection, the tone changed to one of praise or criticism based on what the author “saw” in the picture.  In several cases, I “saw” something entirely different and so my evaluation was different.

The book was well worth the reading time.  I met some new artists, found new paintings by artists I know, learned about the history of reading, and met some interesting women with whom I think I could have enjoyed conversations … such as the woman on the cover.  Her name was Elena Vecchi.  She probably lived in Paris in the last decade of the 19th century.  Her picture is titled “Dreams 1896”.

I think any woman who reads and enjoys art will find something to learn and something to like in the collection.

Thank you, Mark.

And speaking of reading women …


here is the woman for June …


Girl Reading, painted by Edmund Charles Tarbell,1909.


A bit ago I commented on how noisy the mornings are becoming what with the creeks on either side, the breeze in the tree tops, the calls of the morning birds, the geese overhead, the sand cranes in the meadow, and the sounds from the chicken house.

This morning it was equally noisy but with the addition of a train to the east passing through.  The tracks are a good eight or ten miles away.  We can clearly hear the horns and often we hear even the sound of the wheels on the tracks, the swaying of the cars, and the brakes.

I love trains.


To end this week, a picture of AC with me in the evening …

and a share, the closing from a favorite tv show …

We cannot stand still because the world keeps turning. Every year gives way to the next. Stories from the past must be folded and tucked away, cherished and never quite forgotten.


So … ’til next week …


Had a problem with the program which I use to post the blog.  I’ve switched to a different computer and the site evidently didn’t want to recognize it.  So the blog is late.

The following is what I had ready to post before we went to Redding yesterday.

Oops …


31 May …

Today is George’s birthday, it is raining so I don’t need to water, and we will soon be off for a trip to see the cardiologist in Redding.  Walter Fletscher is a good doc and a good man, although a bit hyper.  We’ve been seeing him for twenty years now.  He often ends an appointment by saying something along the lines of “You kids get out of here now.”


And speaking of George …

Earlier this month when I was out of commission for a time, George had to do kitchen duty.  Mostly that consisted of opening cans. 


But one day when the problem was my hand, I stood by and helped him bake an apple cake.

Not too bad for a rank amateur.


The first iris of the year appeared just after I posted the blog last week.  It was beside the front door. They are now appearing everywhere.  Lovely.



The lilac aroma as you go out the boardwalk is almost overwhelming.  It is pervasive nearly all the way to the barn.



It is the season for yellow dust as the pine trees do their reproduction thing.




Tyler’s tree is bursting.  We may have enough fruit for jelly this year.



The wisteria is providing pleasure (I wish you could see the colours, but this is the best I could do).


And the sounds of the sand cranes are heard at dusk as they parade in the meadow.


One night last week when I went out (or as an endorser on a local auto dealer’s ad said “had went”) out to collect the eggs, the sky was a study in silhouette.


And AC was standing watch as I waited for the ladies to enter the coop for the night.



Earlier, on the trip up Shasta Valley to Yreka, there was a lot to see. 

The fields of alfalfa and hay are a mosaic.  Some had already had their first cutting and are lying spread to dry.  Some had been raked into rows awaiting the baler.  Some had been baled (into 3-string bales for family ranches and 7 string bales for commercial operations) and are ready for transport. 

Others have been all the way through that process and are being irrigated for a second cutting.

It would appear they will have an excellent harvest year.  Depending on the rains this summer, they will surely have at least three cuttings, maybe four.  But so far, none of the storage barns are being filled.


One evening last week, George and I watched Meryl Streep in the film “Florence Foster Jenkins”.  We had already seen the French version of that woman’s life.  It was an interesting study in how one set of “facts” can be seen so differently by different observers.

In the French film, Florence (there called Madeleine) was seen as a deluded object of ridicule and those around her as connivers.  I found myself feeling sorry for her.

In the British film, Florence is a strong woman with a dream, making the most of what life has dealt her.  And those around her, who foster her dream, are portrayed as actually caring for her enough to help her achieve her dream.  I did not feel sorry for her, even when she was being laughed at.

Florence‘s final words in the Streep film were a lesson in life which I find well worth remembering …


“People can say I could not sing … no one can say I did not sing.”


So … ’til next week …




24 May …


The Shooting Stars are doing their thing again …

(pictures by John, Michael, and me)


The bird population is swelling for summer.

As I was coming in from egg collection a few nights ago, a night bird swept across the path in front of me and all I heard was a soft “scree”.  John says it was an owl.  Probably.  There are one or two who call from the tall trees at dusk.

The ravens and jays are back as are the chickadees (the birds we called the one-two-three birds when the boys were little).

The sand cranes have fledged and the Canada geese chicks are learning to swim.

I was given a beautiful blue glass bird seed holder which I have hung in the courtyard, so I know juncos and wrens and swallows will be here soon.

Spring … season of beginnings.


At one time, before the plastic takeover, I used glass (Pyrex) for food storage.  Then I gradually fell under the spell of “modern” and switched to Tupperware and GladWare.

Now, after the word about dangers of plastic and teflon, i.e. chemical poly stuff in and pollution by, I am switching back to stainless and cast iron and glass.  One of the local groceries occasionally has glass storage items for sale, so I’m stocking up as I can.  There is a Pyrex seconds store just off I-5 in Oregon where we will make a stop soon on a trip north.  It feels sort of good to go back.  Too bad that in addition I can’t go back to the body and energy I had then.

Oh well …


The first of the summer events for which the radio club provides communication is less than a month away.  The Castle Crags bicycle event sponsored by the Mt Shasta Rotary (who use profits to provide books to children as well as other projects) will be in just a bit over three weeks.  I will be doing the rest stop at Mumbo (the highest point on the ride) for at least one more year.  I have no idea what the theme will be this year.  As you recall, it has been flower children, beach bingo bikinis, biker broads, and Star Wars over the last few years.  What can they do to top that?

The next event will be the Mt Shasta 4th, but we have planning time between the two.



On the last trip north, John commented that some folks have to pay dearly to take vacations in order to see and enjoy the views we live with and can enjoy every time we go outdoors or look out the windows.  Soooooooo true.


I started to write “especially in Spring”, but then thought of the plant growth, hot weather flowers, the birds and animals of Summer … and the burst of colour as the perennials drop foliage, the fields brown-off, and the late calves’ arrival in Autumn … and the soft. muted palette of Winter.

I therefore will not choose one season over the others, although all these pictures are current.

I am indeed blessed to live where I live.


Our other son, Mark, and his family will be arriving soon to take up residence back here where he grew up.  Another blessing.


And to end the week, a quote from a niece … 

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


So … ’til next week …

17 May …


The “celebration” of my natal day was good.  I slept in until 0530.  I had an appointment for a follow-up to the hand infection at 1000 and met the one who may well be my head medical care provider (whom I like as a result of that first exposure).  The hand is nearly healed, and the back situation is improving … however slowly.  I go to the clinic again next 12 June for my MediCare physical which is supposed to be annual.  I expect it will show that I’m in basically good condition … for my age.

At the finish of that follow-up, the doctor told me to wait in the exam room a minute.  That puzzled me a bit, but when he opened the door the entire clinic staff was in the hall and they all sang the Happy Birthday song.

For dinner, John and Michael took us to Penny’s Diner north of Dunsmuir.It’s a 50s style diner complete with aluminum siding, lots of chrome and neon, checkerboard linoleum, and atmosphere.  The cook is named Ronnie and serves a mean reuben!  It is part of a motel complex which mainly houses the railroad crews between shifts.  Rooms are not always available since railroad crews get dibs, but the diner is open to all.

We stopped in Mt Shasta for a short grocery shop and when we got home I found three more renditions of the birthday song on the phone.

I then took a short nap followed by some PBS shows.

It was a good day.

Today is the oldest I have ever been and nearly ninety looks good on me.


I am told AC missed me while I was relegated to the couch.  John said he saw a dead mouse outside the front door AC had left for me.

Now that I am once again on evening egg collection duty, AC sticks close to my feet, talking loudly.

He really is a handsome cat.


The lilacs are in bloom as are the dogwoods … finally.    




There are blossoms on the Granny Smith apple tree and fruit set on the Satsuma plum tree.

On the trip down to Dunsmuir monday, the patchwork of the vivid spring green on the tips of the firs against the darker greens of the pines and other evergreens was a real joy.  This time of year I may look a bit silly smiling so much of the time.

Oh well …


This summer, the garden won’t be as large as it has been in times past. 

Reasons ??? 

I’m older and have had to acknowledge I am less able and slower.  I’m recovering from a back problem.  The weather hasn’t been cooperating.  John is learning about our growing conditions (and if it weren’t for him there might not be a garden at all … much gratitude here).

But there will be tomatoes and corn and squash and pumpkins (Paul and his dad love Hallowe’en).  For the rest we’ll depend on the farmers’ markets in Dunsmuir and Mt Shasta.


Due to circumstances beyond my control …I failed earlier to show you this month’s reading woman.  She was painted in 1882 by Walter Launt Palmer who titled the picture “Afternoon Idle”.  Isn’t she lovely?

And on the subject of reading women, the book Mark referred to a couple of weeks ago when he covered for me because I couldn’t sit long enough to do the blog is titled “Women who Read are Dangerous”.  I’ll tell you more about it next week.


This morning there is a slight breeze and it promises a beautiful day.  I wish the same (a beautiful day) for all of you.


So …

No matter how dark the world around us seems to grow, no matter how dim humankind’s future may seem — never — never give up.

 … ’til next week …


10 May .,..


I’m baaacccckkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been out-of-commission for more than two weeks due to first … a cat scratch infection in my right hand which resulted in a rather large blood blister with accompanying swelling which greatly restricted the use of that hand, and second … a surprise “tear”, “strain”, possible side effect to the sulfa I was taking for the infection.  It was in a muscle in my lower right-side (sacro-iliac area) with resultant rather severe shooting, fiery pain with movement.

In the beginning it was difficult to know if it was muscle or possibly a kidney stone, so I drowned in water which was two-sided since I knew that would help a stone but it made getting to and from the loo a real challenge. 

Oh well …

The pain peaked on monday evening, the 1st, and I agreed to go to the Emergency Department about noon on tuesday.

A urinalysis was negative for any sign on a stone.

I left with the same level of pain I had when I arrived but with a diagnosis of back muscle strain, prescriptions for a muscle relaxant and an NSAID for the pain, and the prognosis of four to six weeks before I could expect a return to “normal”.

When I was working ED, we would have either hospitalized a patient with the level of pain I had, for observation, or sedated them to a comfort level and sent them home with a stronger pain reliever.  But medical charges have changed in the years since I retired and there is now a drug addiction pandemic which causes ED personnel to be highly suspicious of pain complaints with no overt, obvious cause.

Since that “visit”, things have been improving … slowly.  I can now go to the table for meals and navigate to the toilet with a bare minimum of discomfort (probably due as much to fear as to actual strain).

On the upside, being mostly immobile left me with a lot of reading time once I got over being “looped” by the relaxant.

Speaking of being “looped” …  That medication seemed to relax brain muscles as well as others.  I had a couple of “doozy” (apologies to the insurance salesman in “Groundhog Day”) dreams. 

One I’ll share was one in which I was upset with the “bridle” they were using while trying to bring a beef cow in from pasture to be milked.  I told them they had it on backward, so I put it on (in?) correctly and was able to ride the cow (wearing a skirt rather than jeans) in from the pasture and right up the front steps into the dining room of a resort.  I think the last time I rode a cow I was a preteen.

Urging me on was a rancher I’d know for at least 35 years (who died last fall). 

Many of the patrons in the dining room weren’t troubled by me and the cow, but were busy taking pictures.

I woke before I learned why it was necessary to get the cow into the dining room to be milked.

Oh well …


So now you are up-to-date on the adventures of the dowager of Cold Comfort Farm.  I am being well-cared-for by both George and son John.  And son Mark’s coverage for me here allowed me time.  I am truly blessed with their concern and care and offer grateful thanks several times a day.

I realize this is probably more than you wanted to know. 

Oh well …


Spring is arriving.  I noticed this morning the lilacs are coming into bloom. 

And the daffodils at the driveway entrance are lovely (thank you to Michael H. for the photo).


So …


If you are super brilliant, there is nothing holding you back from being silly.

… or from having silly dreams.


So … ’til next week …