May Day Post (or is it MAYDAY!)

Hi everybody!

DIBELKA, Mark G.; PastorMark (the youngest son) here, and I’ve a note from Mom, received via email from Dad:
“Please post to blog page No Post this Week. Details ASAP. Thnx. ILY. Mom”

This is the kind of stuff in which conspiracy theories take root.  Cryptic messages, acronyms, and promises of information to come.  While I’ve been assured that they’ve not been taken to Lemuria or the Lost City of Mu, Mom is just not able to post this week.  Hopefully she’ll be back next week and you won’t have to deal with me again.

Personally, I think it’s because I sent her a book and she’s afraid to tell me she didn’t like it.

Shameless self promotion time: you can also check out my (sometimes spotty) blog presence at

So, ’til next week –

Peace out, yo!

 26 April …

Well, here we are … again on a wednesday … short blog week …only four days and a whopper of an infection in my right palm which makes typing (and a lot of other things) painful. Right Hand

I am taking an antibiotic with lots of water (had to get up three times last night) and yogurt.

Oh well …


This spring is filling up with medical appointments.  In May I go for a follow-up with my hand, George goes for his semi-annual check-up at the VA, he goes for his monthly stab in the eyeball, and he goes for a cardiac check-up.

I seem to be obsessed with appointments, right?

Closing in on 90 is      …

Oh well …


We recently watched the three part titled “The Great War” on PBS.  It was well done.  I think it should be part of high school history classes.

I learned from it. 

One thing which caught my attention was information about chlorine gas which was used extensively in WW I.  It seems it doesn’t just disappear.  It settles into (onto) the ground and soldiers running across a field which had been gassed stir it up in the dust and it is then like a new gassing.  It made me wonder about Sarin.  Does it hang around?  If so, how long? 

The other thing which caught my attention was the use of Choctaw “codetalkers” during that war.  Seems the Navajo codetalkers weren’t the first native Americans to serve.  In that earlier war they were recruited along with whites, unlike “negroes” who were recruited but segregated.

At one time the Germans were monitoring all allied communication so surprise was impossible until some savvy officer asked one of the Choctaw soldiers if he spoke Choctaw.  That did it and changed the path of war in France.

There was a difference between the codetalkers.  It seems the Choctaw just spoke their own language and that was enough to confuse the Germans.  The Navajo in WW II spoke Navajo but added code names such as the Navajo word for turtle to indicate tanks.

Clever …


No pictures this week other than the lead-off.  Holding the camera is difficult (George took the hand picture).

It’s been raining, sometimes pretty good, sometimes simply showers.  It is supposed to clear tomorrow for a week or so.  We shall see.


And so …  

The inevitable sad truth is that time is marching on for all of us, whether we like it or not, and we’re getting pushed to the front of the line.

That may seem as if I’m depressed.  Not so.  I realize most of the people I knew in my youth weren’t given the opportunity to fret over late life appointments and I am grateful.

So … ’til next week …



19 April …


A few more tears, a bit more rain, and then snow at the end of last week …

13 April 2017 Trees

13 April 2017


Our nephew, Eric, was here for a visit.  He arrived last monday and left wednesday morning.  He was on his way to the 50 year reunion of his college class down in Claremont.

It is always great to have him visit.


The trip to the retinologist had been delayed from the 11th to two days ago due to road conditions.  And we had to be in Yreka early yesterday for pre-exam blood draws. That’s why this post is late.

Between trips to the retinologist and to the cardiologist and the semi-annual VA appointment, the next month is full of trips.  Aging really isn’t for sissies.


Math has never been one of my “genius” subjects.  I can do simple math, but the “modern” math with its extra steps and diagrams and flow charts is way beyond me.  But I recently came across an article about an elementary school math teacher who listened to the students who did a rap in order to learn basic division.  No complex diagrams … just simple moves (both physical and vocal).  A student at the “black”board, while dancing in time with the rap, wrote the problem on the board.  Then, while the class rapped, that student pointed out the moves and wrote down the answers. 

The rap goes … First you divide, then you multiply, then you subtract and bring it on down.

Written down it seems a bit simple and abstract … but it works.  Turn on your visual imagination and give it a try, or watch this video.


There was a report on NPR last week about the impact of ritual on community.  Social psychologists report that if you participate in ritual with someone, you are more apt to trust them in other situations.

Religions are great at creating ritual, and at using the resulting trust.  But families can do the same. 

In the Far East, this is the time of tomb cleaning/clearing when families care for their own.  When I lived in the midwest I learned there were in those days (60+ years ago) a sunday in spring when families take a picnic to the cemetery and spend the day together scrubbing markers and mowing grass.  I have no idea if or how many midwest families still do that, but in the light of the recent report, it seems like a good idea for cementing family trust and values.  Can’t work for us however since we live too far away from the previous generations, and the current generations are opting for cremation.

Oh well …


I thought this was funny …

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. I can’t afford one. So I’m wearing my garage door opener.


On our way home from a shopping trip in Weed last week, I saw an eagle nest in a pine tree very close to the side of the road.  It surprised me since it was low enough for me to see and so close to traffic (although traffic in this area wouldn’t qualify as traffic most places).  I’ve seen golden eagles around here rather often, and once saw a bald eagle.  I don’t know what kind of eagle made this nest even though I am sure it is an eagle nest.  Their nests are rather easy to identify since they are mostly sticks.

I don’t often go past the place where I saw it.  We were going that way because of the effect of snow on the local dirt roads.  I may make it a point to go that way more often for a few weeks or so in order to keep track of events there.  I’ll try to get a picture next time.


Geese & DucksThere are returning geese and ducks on the reservoir …  Full Reservoir

which is fuller than I’ve seen it in a long time.

And as this week ends …Still Not Full Spring


As dark as our lives may seem, lost though the world may have become, we must still believe in the power of light.


So … ’til next week …

12 April …


 All  those years I lived in southern California I thought I knew what seasons were.  Now I really know, or I would if they would fall into order.  Last week (blog time, i.e. wednesday to tuesday) began with snow, rain, and wind on thursday. 

First RedThrough the rain streaking down the windows I saw the first signs of the red leaf buds on the maple tree out front.  There are more apricot and plum prunings in the house, but the trees in the courtyard are not yet in bloom (although they are hinting).  And the iris are showing all over the place.  

But here is how it has been …

6 April 2017 Evening

The evening of the 6th …

7 April 2017

the morning of the 7th …

8 April 2017

the 8th …

12 April 2017

and this morning …

Daffodils in Snow




The bulbs were hunkering in the snow …

AC Footsitter                                    and AC became a foot-sitter.

I am waiting for the dandelions in the back yard.  They are always good for salads and the “Spring” tonic.  I’ve tried jelly only once, but I may give it another go this year.

I am also rethinking the growing areas around the courtyard.  My nephew, who is King of the Hostas, will be here for a visit next week.  I plan to pick his knowledge for where I might place a hosta patch.  I’ve seen some hostas with incredible greens and greens are such a joy.

In Dunsmuir the seasons are (as I told you recently) Fishing, Tourists, Hunting, and Locals.  Here at Cold Comfort they are Buds and Blooms, Radio Events, Putting By, and Relax and Enjoy.  I’m told that in India there are five seasons.  And a friend in Louisiana says their seasons are Pollen, Summer, Football, and Tornado.


The radio club is already thinking about our involvement in summer events, both biking and running.  George and I will begin cutting back on our participation for a couple of reasons.  1.  We’re not as young as we used to be … and 2.  It’s time for younger hams to take over.

I really enjoy working with Joyce Zwanziger and her crew at Mumbo for the Castle Crags event, but this may be my last year because of making the drive up there. 

Mark and his family will be here in time for the 4th of July Security watches so he’ll share with George and I’ll take Kamille with me.

The Summit Century is not planned again this year and there is still no word about revitalizing the TinMan triathlon.  That leaves the BiketoberFest and the Headwaters marathon.  I’ll do my regular at the “airport” for the bike event but send Mark with George on the drive down to the lake.  George and I can do net control for the Headwaters. 

Even with cutting back it will be a busy summer.


I’ve been reading (and hearing) about the abandonment or destruction of those out-of-date malls from before the turn of the century.  Years ago I had an idea about how to use them rather than tear them down or let them sit and decay but never talked with anyone about it.

My thought was that they could be turned into education campuses serving children from pre-school through 12th grade, maybe even through the first two years of college or trade school depending on the physical size of the mall and the numbers and needs of the population served.

Children would be fed breakfast and lunch from the food courts which would also serve as the classroom for cooking classes in what used to be called domestic arts or for those interested in becoming cooks/chefs. 

Other “domestic arts” classes could include childcare by having older students help with the pre-schoolers and those in kindergarten.

Children would be integrated racially and economically.  Young children don’t make distinctions and once exposed to the “other” are less likely to accept prejudices.

Older students would mentor younger ones.  Smarter (?) students would help tutor those with problems. 

The center court would be physical education and recess areas with addition physical areas in parking lots.  There would be student-managed gardens on the roof, for both food and leisure, as well as solar and wind power arrays.

That was my basic thought.  There is more, but no room here to explain.  I still think it might work and be better than letting old malls sit and decay while schools also decay.

Oh well …


Passover began at sundown yesterday.  It is an interesting holiday highlighting the history of difficult demands and choices, in this case a cultural response to a “Sophie’s Choice” situation.

Chag Pesach Sameach to all those celebrating.


I was reading through an almanac last week and noticed there are several countries that celebrate a “Children’s Day” each April.  In Palestine it was the 5th.  In Bolivia, the 12th.  The Japanese have separate days for girls and boys. 

We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and even Grandparent’s Day … but no Children’s or Girl’s or Boy’s Days … at least I’m not aware of any.  I wonder why.


Juanita Barnett (Pritchett) High School

To end the week … my name niece died last weekend. She graduated high school in 1970.  She turned 65 last month and so was looking forward to relaxing and enjoying.

The last time I talked with her (on her birthday two weeks ago) our conversation ended with “I love you” .


“Don’t leave unsaid how you feel about those in your life,”


 So … ’til next week …



5 April …



Weather continues to refuse to behave normally (whatever normal is).

BulbsStill, the spring bulbs are doing their best to brighten the days through the winter debris …

Lilac Budsthe lilac is budding …

First Hummerand the first of the hummers has arrived.


The trip to see an optician last week was pleasant if tiring (but then at our age all daylong trips are tiring).  Nevertheless, there was a lot to keep me intrigued. 

It was overcast and foggy as we left home.  Then, as we moved north, we were in rain on and off.  A little over a mile from the summit (4,300″) the snow began.  That made for eye candy where snow was etching the lines of the rocks.  That area of I-5 shows off the cracks where the Pacific plate is slipping under the North American plate.

Then as we went down we seemed to move into Spring.  The madrone were in clear white bloom with the bright orange of their trunks showing through the glossy green of their leaves, the pear trees were on the very edge of bloom (the 64th annual Pear Blossom Festival in Medford will be this weekend), and  the plethora of greens was …

well … just provide your own over-the-top description here.

Some changes I had not noticed before caught my attention. One was an agricultural change.

Years ago a small family vineyard was started south of Ashland.  A friend and I used to stop in when we had been to a play at the Shakespeare Festival. It’s where I first tasted Gewürztraminer.  Now the valleys all around Ashland and Medford are showing new vineyards.  I guess this area is becoming the new Napa as temperatures and precipitation levels change.  Direct sale stores with tasting rooms are popping up with all the new family wineries.  Makes me think I may give wine another try.


As an aside …

I first saw these signs many years ago.  Peope


Other People

They are the loo signs in the Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland.


I recently realized I hadn’t made cornbread in a long time.  So I started looking through my recipe files (note the plural) and took out all the recipes I could find.  Found one for a pie tin and one for muffin tins and two for a cast iron skillet.

I decided to use one of the skillet recipes and as a result …Cornbread


April Fool’s Day didn’t produce any new tricks.  We don’t have young children around any more … and the world offers more and more fools and tricks daily. 

Oh well …


Last weekend we took down the winter tree and put away the lights and decorations until next winter.  That part of the living room looks a bit bare, but things are showing up outdoors so we no longer look out at only whites and greys. 

Buds on the fruit trees are swelling Forced Blooms(and I have been able to bring some pruned branches into the house to force bloom) …

bulbs are pushing the first of their foliage up … and the deciduous trees and bushes are greening.


In addition to the eye joy, our ears are doing well too.  The sand cranes are back in the high meadow  and the Canada geese are traveling …

      haiku time …

the sound of the geese

as they fly over our heads

provides song to spring


Last week one of the laying hens provided a laugh-snort moment.  The hens can hear the geese as well as we can, and one morning George heard a hen make a honking call like a goose rather than the usual cackle as she came off the nest where she had just laid her egg for the day.


And finally a thought for this week …

“To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and sing it to them when they have forgotten.”


So … be the reason someone smiles today.

                                     … ’til next week …




29 March …


Short blog this week.  Quiet time without much to tell. 

24 March 2017Friday the 24th …

25 March 2017Saturday the 25th …

29 March 2017Wednesday the 29th …


A cousin posted this on FB a few days ago and it struck a chord. 

I saw the queen with her diamonds
and laughed …

There are times after a rain when our trees are full of diamonds. 

Tree DiamondsI know I’ve mentioned this before, but this time (last thursday) I tried to get a picture to show you how that looks.  This is the best I could do.  You will have to take my word for it that were I to see a queen in her diamonds, I too would laugh. 

I have diamonds on trees when it rains and in the meadow when there is frost on snow. 

I am Blessed. 


Yesterday was weed appreciation day.  Made me think of dandelions.  Spring has been delayed this year, so there are no dandelions yet.  Guess we have to wait a bit longer for Spring Tonic salads and the eye pleasure of the bright yellow.




April’s reading woman is titled (appropriately) Reading Woman.  It was painted in 1907, oil on canvas, Yamashita Shintaro.


Nice Spring colours.


Tomorrow is our second trip to Medford this month.  Both George and I need to have our vision checked for new glasses.  There is a place in Yreka, but their prices seem as if they are gouging MediCare … so we’ll go north.

Of course, I wish I still had good sight.  But then I suppose I should be grateful to have any sight at all, right? 

I was once asked if I had to give up either seeing or hearing, which would I choose?  I think I’d choose to give up hearing.  I’ve had a lifetime of listening and can recall sounds …wind in the trees, my children laughing, good music, running water and surf, my husband’s soft breath when he is sleeping, bees in new blossoms, AC’s purring, the rustle of turning pages, family footsteps, and so much more.  But were I not able to see I’d really miss reading and spinning and knitting and watching children grow and seasons change. 

What about you? 

Which would you choose?


I loved this thought when I first saw it many years ago and when I saw this copy I knew I had to share …

Love Name

So ’til next week …



So … ’til next week …


22 March …


SpringWell, here we are … finally in Spring.  It has been raining since last wednesday.

John was scheduled to be here last week to help with the tree pruning.  Didn’t happen. Rain … so he will be here tomorrow.  A break in the rain pattern is predicted. 

We shall see.


During the last trip north, I was given a walkthrough of the WinCo in south Medford.  What a revelation.

When I was growing up, there were two kinds of grocery stores … the one in town and the one in the close neighborhood which was often a gas station, a farm supply, and a nosh spot as well.  Now there are the day-old, the surplus, and bulk, the gourmet, the organic, the farmers’, the ethnic, the super, and the quick as well as the neighborhood and the town.

Making a shopping list is getting complicated … where do I go for the best deal on that item?, can I get that someplace easy or do I need to go to a specialty store?,  will that be at the farmers’ market this week?, is the coupon price at the super market better than the regular price at the discount store?, are the savings worth the extra time and gas?,

Such a such.


Some time ago I wrote about how to turn a child into a reader.
A cousin told me her mother
 took her and her brothers to the city library every couple of weeks to peruse the children’s section and choose something that interested them in order to encourage them to read on their own.

She also offered the following … Our grammar school had a summer reading program where you earned stickers for every book read over the summer.  The kids with the most stickers (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) all got prizes of some sort.  And everyone who turned in a reading list signed by their parents got something, no matter how many/few books were on their list.  Parents could take this same concept and encourage reading that way.

Good ideas.  Our local library is quite small (I grew up with a Carnegie Library and a large school library, neither of which survive in today’s world) and I’m not sure what the local library does for reading children.

Maybe I should check.


The wheel of the year is actually turning.  The advent of warm weather is palpable. in spite of rain.

Iris Shoots


The first of the iris shoots are showing.


We no longer need to put the heated rice bags in the bed before we retire.  But we are not quite to the point where we can begin to shed comforters.

But with Spring comes the surprises.  As Years said …



And finally a thought from my grandson … 


And time slips away like ice cream melting off a spoon, leaving barely a trace behind as life seems to move on without you.


So … ’til next week …





15 March …


Yesterday was our monthly trip to the retinologist.  Nothing new.  Weather was fine.  Shopping went well with the exception of George’s failed “treasure” hunt for an obsolete heater part. 

Tonight is the monthly radio meeting. 

Keep moving and they’ll have trouble catching you.


Last weekend was Purim. My chosen sister used to be the pocket lady at her Temple’s celebration.  But with her children grown and grandchildren spread, I’m not sure she does that anymore. Guess I’ll ask.

Hamentaschen are a longtime part of Purim and I really like them … light, sweet, and short.  I baked some (although I was more careless with shaping than in the past) … prune Hamentaschen … yummy.

They disappeared before I got a picture so you will have to imagine how they looked. 


Last saturday as I listened to “La Traviata” by Verdi, listening triggered some thoughts.

George and I agree it is, in our opinion, the opera with the most listenable arias … “most” in that there are more of them as well as that the ones it has are pleasing.  It starts with the drinking song in the first act, rises with Alfredo’s paean at the beginning of Act II to their wonderful life , proceeds through the conversation between Violetta and Alfredo’s father, and continues on to the final act with the reunion and subsequent death. 

I left out so many.  I can only suggest you suspend your kneejerk reaction to opera (I had it once … I clearly remember wobbling my finger against my larynx while holding a high note pretending to be a diva) and just listen someday.

Another thought concerned Violetta’s profession … that of a courtesan, a traviata.  In Europe being a “courtesan” was a lot more than being a prostitute or mistress.  To hold that position one had to be educated and knowledgeable.  Great beauty was not a necessity as long as you met the cultural requirements. Like the geishas and flower women of the Far East, a courtesan had to be able to speak intelligently on any subject.  She had to show “class” by setting a perfect table and hosting “salons”.  She had to be an asset to her sponsor and compliment him by proving his intelligence as well as his social position and his cultural taste. 

And she had to be supportive as well as available.  These women were often more of everything than the women in arranged marriages.

America never had these women, thanks (in my opinion) to our Puritan ancestors.  There were dock women in every port and crib women on the frontier, but those women were un- or undereducated poor women with no choice who lived on the edges of society and whose only role was to be the means of relieving sexual tension.

Violetta was not a hooker.

And the last thought was about the current staging.  More years ago than I care to remember, I knew a woman who did design for a fairly well-known theatre in the San Francisco area.  Once she was doing a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”.  Her design was to have everything on stage, costumes as well as the set, in only black, white, and shades of grey.  The eye catchers were spots of the brightest yellow available … such as the lining showing through slashed sleeves (the setting was the Victorian era of balloon sleeves and bustles and HUGE hats), a bow tie, a large flower in a vase, a ribbon or a feather here and there … but you get the idea.  Not a lot.  Not more than two or three on stage at one time.  No overwhelming presence.  Small attention grabbers here and there.

I did not see that production, other than in my mind, but the idea impressed me.


Years later I was involved in a photographic project and suggested the same use of black-white-grey with splashes of colour. 

Most of the resulting photographs were real eye-catchers. 

One of me (which didn’t make it into the finished project) is a favorite of mine.

How this fits into this discussion of “La Traviata” is that the current Met production takes place in a modern time on a minimalist set in stark white relieved only by shadows.  The costumes are all white or black with the exception of Violetta who wears a simple dress in the brightest RED available. 

An eye-grabber. 

The current production is visually interesting.  However, I think I prefer a setting in the original time … the Paris of Alexander Dumas.

But that’s enough opera thoughts for now.

Next week is “Guillaume Tell” by Rossini … and I have a couple of stories about that.


My oh my … I seem to have blathered on at great length so here’s a final thought to ponder …  

 The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, it starts feeling like one.

… and a thought from Yeats …Yeats


.. so …’til next week …


 8 March …


The circle of the year is changing rapidly and AC continues his journey toward adulthood.AC

It is now light outdoors when I come up after breakfast to check my email. And it is staying light later in the evening.  It will be time to change the clocks (AGAIN) next saturday and that will lead to the twice yearly fuss over such changes.  I personally am in favor of choosing one plan or the other and sticking to it.  Since I do my best work in the morning, I guess I’m in favor of the plan that provides light mornings and earlier evenings.  Oh well …



Last week I forgot to share the Reading Woman for this month.  Oops … 

She is “Girl Reading on a Divan”, 1920, painted by Isaac Israëls.


How long has it been since you heard anyone refer to a “divan”?  Of course, a real reader will read anywhere.  The contents of my “reading pile” change, but there are still at least six books there, four on the active pile and two others for later.  My current choices are going to Rome for cocktails in the 1920s, watching the solving of a cultural mystery in Cambridge in 2011, joining Holmes and Watson in Edwardian London, or exploring imagination in horror authors’ minds.

And speaking of reading … the mother of a young child said she was advised to teach the value of reading by reading, but that when she sits down to read, her son wants her attention and is disruptive.  Suggestions?

I thought about always having a book appropriate for his age available and giving it to him when he shows up.  Maybe include time for him to read out loud with time for his shared reading vs time for her individual reading as a bargaining point, i.e. you read to me for 5 minutes, I read to you for 5 minutes, and then we read to ourselves for 20 minutes.   

Any other ideas?


Back to the subject of horror … the rash of anti-Semitic behavior has me upset.  I don’t agree with or approve of all that is done by the bebe, but that isn’t every Jew and is no excuse for hateful behavior.

I just learned there had once been a Jewish cemetery here in Siskiyou County which has disappeared (?).  Maybe a summer excursion will be to see if I can locate the site.  I have a friend who does genealogy in this county and has a fondness for cemeteries.  I may ask her to join me.

And bones have been found (via ground penetrating radar) in what had been the Chinese cemetery.  We thought all the bodies had been returned to China a long time ago.

This might be a place to use my friend Mary’s dowsing rods way to locate buried bodies and determine their sex.  That could be really interesting.

So many fascinating things to do and I’m running out of time.  Oh well …


Weather is following the weird pattern.  We had a couple of days when Spring didn’t seem out of the question.  Then saturday morning it began to snow.

Last year it looked like this …7 Mar 2016

Monday we woke up to a new coat of 3.5″ of new snow.  Here’s the view out the back door …Back Door 7 March 2017

and here’s the courtyard gate …Gate 7 March 2017

It snowed all day yesterday and we now have about 6″ on the ground.

Are you tired of snow pictures yet?


Father and Sons is at it again.  This time for St. Patrick’s Day …father and Sons


Studying nouns and articles in Spanish is this week’s assignment.  I don’t understand the requirement that nouns have a gender designation, but I’m practicing. 


I recently saw this and it hit a chord … 


Fate will break your heart … and break your heart … and break your heart … over and over again until it stays open.

— Sufi proverb


So … ’til next week …



1 March …


We have a new grocery store near us, closer than any of the others … less expensive, owned and run by someone I’ve know since he was in school with my sons.  I’ve never shopped in a brand new store before.

Guess where I’ll be doing a lot, if not most, of my shopping.

They held their grand opening last thursday.  I didn’t go.  I missed out on free food and chances in raffles … but I avoided a situation with too many people. 


We received word last week that another of the early Hammond Ranch folks died.  Her name was Barbara Allen.  Back before the turn of the century, there was a craft group here on the ranch to which a lot of us belonged.  One thing I remember clearly was that there was Barbara Allen who played the dulcimer, was a knitter, and loved books. Whenever something of mine was published, she would bring it to me to be signed.  And there was another Barbara (Stewart) whose maiden name was Allen. 

I may be the only one of that group left. 

Then last evening, I got an email from a high school classmate about the death of another Hemet High graduate.  Soon there will be only a handful of us from the 40s left alive.

One real drawback of reaching my age is looking at the newspaper or the mail and seeing that another one is gone.


26 Feb 2017

Weather is still winter although not as strong as earlier.  We’ve been having snow flurries almost daily, but the patches on the ground are slowly diminishing.


23 February 2017

The Mountain is looking her most beautiful (another photo of John’s).

Today we go to Yreka for some shopping, another load of firewood, chicken feed, and a meal at Subway (Black Forest ham and cheese).


Last week I offered you a look at an old time kitchen tool and asked if you know what it is.  Several said “no”.  But one friend (from high school days) said “ That’s an apple corer !!  I have one also that is just like yours !!  My mom used to core the apple, then stuff raisins and nuts in the hole and bake them, yum!!

Yup … it’s a corer, but not just an apple corer.  I use mine for pears and cling peaches and melons.  I have even used it to clean out squash centers.  I’d guess the thing is over a hundred years old and I use it nearly every day for something.  Thanks, Nana.


I recently set out on a new bread baking adventure.  I have enjoyed baguettes as long as I can remember … with only butter and salt or with tapenades.  But had never made my own.  King Arthur Flour had baguette pans on sale and I now own one which bakes three loaves at a time.  First try with sourdough tasted great but was a bit soft so they spread out too much.  I’ll try again next week.


Recently, on NPR, someone spoke about a teacher making reading so much fun that kids were “wallowing in books”.  It caught my attention.  I loved the visual.  It’s what I do … often … wallow in words. 

Currently there are four books on my reading table.


And just because I don’t have anything to do … I decided to attempt to relearn Spanish.  I have lectures on DVDs with a workbook.  Only problem is I will be looking for someone with whom to practice.  George has no interest in learning another language.

 I had this same problem a few years ago when I was studying ASL.   I still have enough signing to be able to communicate on a basic level and if Tyler moves closer I will be able to practice with him.

I’d like to be more proficient in both ASL and Spanish.  Maybe I’ll get us to eat out at Casa Ramos at least once a month and practice my Spanish there.


I haven’t been seeing as much of AC as in the past.  It can’t be weather since it was worse earlier and he spent time huddled at the backdoor waiting for me to come out.  Must be he is maturing.  He’s becoming a big boy and needs “mama” less.

That’s good … but I sort of miss him.  It’s a bit like when your kids fledge.


Today … I am Blessed

and tomorrow …

What’s past is past, nothing can change that. But the future can be different if we choose to make it so.  — Dalai Lama


So … ’til next week …