Saturday, November 30, 2013


Meeting a cousin, Bob Moore, his poosslq, Leslie Nolan,  (or her poosslq depending on your point of view) and Leslie’s mother, Marilyn. at a coffee shop yesterday was so much fun, I forgot to take pictures. We talked about family members current, as in my sister suffering from brain cancer showing an improvement after a scary malaise from the radiation, to Bob’s wedding, so many years ago, how his brother Jim, met his wife, to other cousins, aunts, uncles and surprising stories in our family genealogy. Grandma Moore had her fist baby at age 15?  Did Uncle Leonard really take the first tank across the bridge at Remoggin, during WWII?
We don’t know all the answers, but aging gives a great perspective of the past. And I KNOW you are wondering about that poosslq word.
I worked the census for many years and during the 1970′s that word was used to describe …persons of opposite sex sharing living quarters.
Isn’t that a hoot?  Now we accept the normalcy of significant other. As, in my significant other, Jim Jaillet.
Later, I cooked a turkey breast so we could enjoy one of the best part’s of the feast, turkey sandwiches.  I must thank the Earl of Sandwich for that great repast.
Note:  working on a new computer after wirelessly loading every thing from my motor home computer and my home computer, to this one. It took forty-eight hours. Glitches are in store. It will take time to work them out but…I made the page.

Friday, November 29, 2013


My daughter-in-law, like her mother before her, is an excellent cook. The bird was succulent, the dressing and gravy likewise. She is gluten sensitive and both were made with that in mind. Virginia brought the desserts and made a special pumpkin pie for Laurie, gluten free.
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The day was so balmy, we spent part of the day outside. We had two games of bocce ball going, with two teams on different parts of the lawn. Laurie cooked the bird, and Ken roasted precooked sweet potatoes with rosemary and a tri-tip on the barbeque. Doug made an 8 pound lasagna with turkey meat.
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We began munching at noon and continued right on up until dinner was served. Everyone ate too much, which I suppose, in a way, is the usual ritual.
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Ken and Laurie recently moved to Valley Springs. It was an opportunity to showcase the "new" house.
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While his parents couldn't make it, Austin got to spend time over the Thanksgiving Holiday school break with his cousins.
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Through the wonders of technology, we skyped and talked to daughter Kristanne who has a new job and couldn't get enough time off to attend.  Austin skyped his dad in Southern California, so we all got to communicate our good will and love to those missing from the celebration.
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Doug taught Stewart and Mason how to part out a turkey and put the bones in a bag for soup. He is ever the educator, completely at home in the kitchen and likes to interact with his nephews. Mason seems a bit less interested in the process judging from his body language. Mason is doing really well in his first year of college and is especially good at French and math. Stewart is now firmly aimed at a major in his sophomore year, teaching English as a second language. He is recently published in a small literary magazine with a piece of his fiction. Both boys are gifted students and enjoy playing their musical instruments.
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As night came on, nearly everyone got into the card game, elevator, a bidding game.
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The little guys watched this time, but they usually get in the games, too.
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Clark and Theresa had multiple commitments and came late. Another excellent cook, everyone looks forward to what she will add to the table. Oh, my! And Clark is another whiz on the barbeque.
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The sign on the kitchen wall says it all.  Life Is Good.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


From Benjamin Franklin:

“For my part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen representative of our country: he is a bird of bad moral character…For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird withal, a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey is peculiar to ours:…he is besides (though a little vain and silly, it is true) a bird of courage who would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guard who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on.”

Ole Ben did some smart things, but this opinion, (in my opinion) wasn’t  one of them. But, worth a chuckle.
“Thanksgiving Day”, from Lydia Marie Child 

“Over the river and through the wood,
Now grandmother’s cap I spy,
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”
And, from William Dean Howells, 1837 -1920
“Thanksgiving day, I fear,
If one the solemn truth must touch,
Is celebrated, not so much
To thank the Lord for blessings o’er,
As for the sake of getting more!”

Hey, I think  that describes a bunch of us as we load up our overburdened plates!

But my favorite I think is this one from  “Mr. Dooley’s Opinions ” written in 1900. Presented by Finley Peter Dunne.

“Twas founded be the’ Puritans to give thanks f’r being’ presarved fr’m th’ Indyans...we keep  it to  give thanks we are presarved fr’m th’ Puritans.”

Now that’s a thought to mull.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I spent last night going through pictures of Anne and friends for her service. Have more to go through, but it is time to prepare for our yearly feast. My job this year is easy since my daughter-in-law, Laurie,  and son Ken are hosting Thanksgiving.   I'll do the cranberries,  a dip and the breads.

I remember as a young wife, it was the cranberry relish, a 16 oz bag of cranberries ground up with an orange an apple with the skins on them and a cup of sugar. Yum.  (Now the bags hold 12 oz.) Then the  morning after we put cranberry relish in the pancake batter, smothered in butter and powdered sugar to serve. Still my favorite pancake. Plus  that slippery jellied glob, pushed from the can whole onto a plate and sliced like a work of art.

I still make the relish, and for son-in-law Cedric, still the slippery glob on a plate and we enjoy  teasing him about it. I like my own home-made jellied cranberries better. Here goes:
To one bag of cranberries, use two 3 oz. packages of jello, one raspberry and one orange flavor. Use 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water and 1/4 cup of sugar. Grind the cranberries and mold with the jellos. This year I'm adding a bit of crushed pineapple because I like to experiment with recipes. Anyway, good stuff.
Tomorrow is the big day, free from cares to spend time with family, no matter what you eat. Happy, Happy!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


At 89 years old, my friend Anne Williams enjoyed the good years. I planned to visit her yesterday. She was moved from the hospital to her house under hospice care to spend her final days at home. That wonderful organization; whoever devised it I do not know. Her caretaker, Tynna, was relieved to have help. Within three days,  before I could make that visit,...she died in Tynna's loving arms. There are angels in life, and Tynna is one of them.
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I'm thankful we had those last visits, a few laughs, remembrances of a long friendship. Her hands were always warm and she would hold my cold ones to warm them. I'm thankful she was not in pain. We do not choose our time, but we choose how we live.  Anne always did good things for others with a smile on her face. A life well lived. She was her husband's partner as Square Dance Caller and Tau 25-30 years. After retiring to Toulumne County, she took joy in gardening, making quilts for needy people, volunteering at the Tuolumne County Museum, and always caring for a pound dog.
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With Tynna, she was much loved. What the heart has once known, it shall never forget.

Monday, November 25, 2013


WE ARE MORE ALIVE WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE CONSCIOUS OF OUR TREASURES.  I think that is a quote from Thornton Wilder.

I'm thinking of that Norman Rockwell Cover of the family with a big fat turkey on the table. I'm going to enjoy Thanksgiving at my son's house in Valley Springs. As a family we always count our blessings and give thanks for what we have. And we will have that fat turkey at our table. People are generous at Thanksgiving and Christmas; Americans are very giving in general.
"Freedom From Want"  March 6 1943
Hunger in America is very high this year. People are hungry all year-long, not just over the holidays. I'm told by church members that food boxes at Thanksgiving cannot supply enough turkeys for every family in need this year in both counties, Tuolumne and Calaveras. I hope you dig deep and can help out  in your community.

With all the talk, (if they haven't already done it,) about cutting food stamps, here is how the food stamp program works. It is a debit card and can't be used for anything but food. It provides $7 a day. Remember that a half-gallon of milk is $3.50. Seven dollars does not go very far. The link below has information about the food stamp program, how it works, the myths and facts about people who use food stamps and so on.

Here from my Friend Dominic Torchia is a somewhat personal perspective:
!. Extremely efficient.
2. Grossly underfunded.
3. Insufficient benefits for the millions of poverty stricken Americans.
4. Hunger a crisis in America - "1 in 7 families is now considered food insecure.
(the highest it has been in America in recorded history)

5. Food banks are not able to keep up with the demands - and congress is set to cut the program amounts.

Let me tell you what it is like - information from friends and
family who are actually receiving food stamps. (by the way) they
get no welfare, disability, workman's comp - nothing but
CMSP (if they are lucky) and $7 a day - $7 a day!! in food
stamps. Can they work? For many, no - for others, if someone
would hire them they would be on the job in the morning.

Members of congress make $90 an hour. In one hour a
member of congress makes what a hungry American
receives for food for 13 days. Who are the true "welfare

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I've heard people say, "I hate funerals," I've said it myself. We don't like to face the sadness of a life ending.

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Eleanor Darby, (left) lost her best friend and husband Dan,  November 9th, and, a good friend Betty Fitzgerald, November 7th. Eleanor is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. I took this picture as she stood outside the church yesterday, with her niece, Pam. She and Dan were married 56 years, they lived in Angels Camp their entire lives;  they were married in St. Patricks Catholic Church where the funeral mass was performed. Those necessary rites and rituals have meaning for all of us.
I can identify with the feelings losing a spouse can bring. I lost my husband of 40 years in 2000 and was numb for a year. I couldn't recall later what I had done for Thanksgiving, or Christmas. I couldn't remember some people who attended his service or much of what went on, though I seemed to be in control. With distance, we recognize that death is a part of life. An ending, but much more.
This morning and yesterday, I thought much about Eleanor and Dan, their boys, Mike and Robbie, who shared such wonderful and humorous remembrances of their Dad, from learning to say I Love You, his  dreams, and careers, and his famous chili beans that were cooked for the reception.  Dan's brothers that I knew, Earl and Elda, Jack and Ida, Lloyd and Ruth.  (Eleanor and Elda are sisters who married brothers.) His nephew Rod and Kristi, his grandniece, Nicole and Larry. Friends, Don and Betty Fitzgerald, and so many more from every walk of life.

Relationships have so many patterns and pathways. I met his grandniece, Nicole, first, when she was about three years old and in the same dance class as my daughter, Virginia. We both lived in Fremont at the time, It was 1972 or 3. Her mother Kristi Darby divulged to me that our planned retirement in Murphys was very near where she had liived in Vallecito. Her mother had been the Postmaster there and she and Rod had a house they rented there. Not long after we built our house in Murphys, she ended up my next door neighbor,  two parcels over.

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Kristi with son-in-law, Larry, daughter Nicole, grandchildren, Shannon and Garrett. Nicole and Virginia then attended High School together. At the reception, we got to catch up on each other's lives.
I met Eleanor and Dan, and Betty and Don Fitgerald through the high school sports programs, and Quarterback Club. Their kids attended High School with ours.

Dan's father, "Chub" Darby, was a Murphys fixture, and all around character in his nineties, when we met. He participated in the Homecoming Parades, and his cabins are now part of a vacation rental. Darbys hale from gold rush days, two roads are named after them. I remember Chub whenever I cook his watercress potato salad. If I buy the cress in the store it never tastes as good as picking it in a local creek.

Our friendship was strengthened when all of us became a part of AFS, American Field Service, A student exchange program, along with Dutton  and Ben Smith, Carol and Clark many memories and faces, if dis-remembered names.

Nicole went on an exchange to Austrailia. Virginia went to France. Eleanor and Betty took in multiple exchange students over the years.  Betty ran the program with the help of many others, as Kristi and I did in later years.

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Linda Djamaludin from Indonesia was our exchange student in 1986-7. They always say you get more from the program than you give, and it is so true. The support at AFS meetings was wonderful. Our girls went in different years.  At each meeting we would read Virginia's and Nicole's letters from their temporarily adopted country.

Eleanor, and Kristi, and I, with all the county exchange students, loaded into our Motor Home and traveled to Pasadena for a special opportunity to work on the floats for the Rose Bowl Parade.  We did it two years in a row with kids representing probably twelve different countries.

Eleanor and Dan visited students they had hosted in Italy, France, Switzerland and Sweden. They are really life changing events.

At the reception, we didn't talk about death and loss. We were witnessing the continuation of life around us. Children, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews with the DNA and blood of their special inheritance of life everlasting. 
And, then there is always Dan's beans, Chub's salad...Mike's paintings...

Saturday, November 23, 2013


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Yesterday, I complained about a bonfire on the parcel next to me. I went to the Murphys Fire Department, Cal Fire, talked with the Prevention Officer, Breton Brown on the phone. I learned that a fire permit is given for two years. When winter sets in, anyone can burn without a permit. During the iffy season, dates set by the state,  you must have a permit. The permit must be with you when you burn and you are restricted to a four by four-foot burn pile. You can have multiple piles, but not anything bigger. The above fire was over 25 feet wide, and definitely against the law. The fire constituted a misdemeanor crime.

Now, let us discuss country mentality. Cal Fire responded to the fire,  it was a criminal act,  but no one was cited or fined. Why?

Because the Prevention Officer is the only one allowed to issue a citation. He is the Prevention Officer for three counties and he has to be called and witness the fire himself to issue a citation. Small county budgets must share one officer.

My questions to the agencies and Brown. Who set the fire, the owner or the construction company working on the property? Who has the permit? Was there a permit?

Nobody seems to have a clear record of who has a permit, and if they knew, they couldn’t give me the name because I might retaliate and go shoot that person.

You can publish the names of child molesters, their address, records of arrests made in the county, the suspected perpetrators of a crime, but you cannot have a list of people in the county with fire permits. Whaaa?

Well, it seems that a fire permit for Calaveras County can be obtained in San Diego? So, who knows who has them?  According to Murphys Fire Department, they don’t know.

Are fires monitored?

Well, yes,  after the event. Then they are given a warning, if they are in violation,  unless the prevention officer happens to be on the scene. and can issue a citation. So, the answer is, no. Neighbors must monitor by calling in.

Do they have to notify the local department when they intend to burn? Are there any restrictions on a burn permit for an occasion with 30 and 40 mile per hour winds having been announced on television, radio and on-line for the evening?

No. They expect people to use common sense.

Why can’t other responders with Cal Fire issue a citation?

Because they have to go to a 6 month class to do so and they are unmotivated to do that.

Seems to me an over sized fire doesn’t take that much education to judge, but, hey, you have to be able to distinguish between a crime, intentionally set, etc. etc. and etc.

Why can’t each station  have one person able to make a simple fire-permit violation citation?  I mean, how hard is that?

Well, the county board of supervisors cannot do that because all fire law is set at the State Senate level. And the fire laws have gone unchanged since the 1920′s and can’t properly address today’s issues of heavy equipment in our forests, etc. etc.

Does the person burning have to have a source of water to burn on a five acre parcel?

No!  Unless they are agricultural. (There is no water on the parcel where the bonfire was set. They have vineyard fencing, over six foot high wire with barbwire on top. But, no grapes are planted, yet.)

Do people with burn permits have to qualify with at least some knowledge of the proper way to burn?

There are instructions with the permit
Fire laws have been on the books unchanged since the 1920′s, according to Brown.  For instance, the loggers have to have a fire tool box to lumber, but what is contained in it is absolutely inadequate to stop even a small fire in the middle of the woods.

If the parcel is over five acres, air pollution control issues the permit. Another layer of disorganization. Surely other communities are affected by this?

When I looked at the assessors map to find the owners name, it was blocked by the owner. I didn’t know that could be done. Isn’t that a public record?

This property has a nuisance owner who has kids who come up on weekends with ATV’s, and do wheelies in the dust scraped up by the heavy equipment on the property. A construction contractor has to have a water wagon to keep the dust down. I have dust drifting onto my deck, I have to close the windows when the dust cloud blows my way. My clothing hanging on the line, one time,  had to be rewashed. From my car, I could not distinguish my friend’s driveway just two lots away one morning. My renters are threatening to move, because the peaceful Big Valley is no longer peaceful. These people use the property as a firing range and shoot at night with loud, loud guns. You can be sure, I will find out who the owner is and make it known that we would like some consideration on their part.

Friday, November 22, 2013


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Is there such a thing as City Mentality?  As in complete disregard for common sense? Probably not, but you can't remove the stupid from some people. Yesterday, wind storm warnings on the radio, television and on-line for the Mother Lode, as predicted, began about 4:00 p.m. The winds came on with a vengeance and continued on through a power failure that lasted until 10:30. Winds continued on past midnight. The wooded five acres next to me was recently purchased by someone and they are in the process of preparing the property for building.
They speed on our one-way road with complete disregard to walkers or people on horseback.  They target practice at night. They run ATV's on the property sending up clouds of dust so thick I couldn't discern my neighbor's driveway from my car. I've had to close windows against the drifting dust. I've never had a chance to speak to anyone. Other neighbors have called the police numerous times over the target practice. Last night, around 6 p.m. they started a gigantic twelve feet wide bonfire. It rained the previous day and it is legally a burn day. I don't know about a burn night. All I know, is people from up the hill came down to see, worried about a forest fire. There is only one road out.  My renters are talking about moving. Their once quiet household has been repeatedly disturbed by imbecilic actions like starting a bonfire in the middle of gale force winds and constant shooting.
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I can only imagine what they think living in the country is like? They seem to think their five acres is a vacuum and doesn't affect anyone else, nor do they seem to care. Now I understand why people live in communities with Homeowners Associations and rules to make sure one party doesn't disregard the comfort and peace of another. Okay, I've had my personal rant. I will write a polite letter today, but I don't have much hope for change given the issues of such inconsiderate disregard for others. Jim always says, one good thing about living in a motor home, when you don't like your neighbors, you can easily move.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I’m busy with so many projects, there is little time for blogging. But, I did appreciate from Green America, the list of the ten most cost effective things to grow in your garden.

Top ten most cost-effective plants for your garden to save money on your grocery bill? (Answer: Cilantro, arugula, salad mix, chives, dill, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, turnips, large tomatoes, winter squash.

I’m grateful to my neighbor who grows winter squash, cherry tomatoes, large tomatoes. He also grows basil, zucchini, eggplant, chard and various peppers. Lucky me. Arugula, dill, lettuce and chives can be grown in pots.  I am thankful I have such  sharing neighbors in Ron and Suzy Hayes.

I am hoping to have a garden again, someday, when I retire from the road.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I have more paperwork, unfinished from yesterday. It is always more complicated than we think.
I subscribe to a poem a day. If you like poetry, it is a nice way to start the day.  Some, like the one below, are in the public domain. Others not. Poetry soothes the soul. For me, anyway. You decide.  The link:


How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air;
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,
Breaks the serene of heaven;
In full-orb’d glory, yonder moon divine
Rolls through the dark blue depths.
Beneath her steady ray
The desert-circle spreads
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.
How beautiful is night!
By Robert Southey

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


TIS THE SEASON FOR MIRTH AND MISCHEIF AT Murphys Creek Theatre's final show of the 2013 season!
The Santaland Diaries is the outlandish, and true, chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as a worker in Macy’s SantaLand display. This compact, one-character comedy is a hilarious cult classic, featuring comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. NPR humorist and best-selling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers. Call the theatre to book tickets or inquire on how to schedule a staff holiday party.Join us for a glass of wine from a local winery before each show and leave drunk with merriment.Recommended for mature elves only.At The Black Bart Playhouse 580 S. Algiers St. Murphys Ca 209-728-8422

I'm working  a complicated project, readying and sending my medical bills from the accident into my insurance company. Medical billing, the liens from insurance and medicare and double billings...its a mess. So, I'm posting two plays I hope I get to see. Above, is one. The other is It's a Wonderful Life at Sierra Repertory Theatre's  East Sonora location, starting November 15th and playing through Dec. 22. Sierra Rep is noted for its plays and it is well worth traveling to the Mother Lode to see them. Their phone number for reservations is"209-532-3120.  Have a good Tuesday.

Monday, November 18, 2013


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The goldrush town of Jamestown is near enough to Murphys to stroll and spend an hour or two. We walked the town and took some pictures. The light was bright and imposing and warming for a coldish November day. Casting long shadows on flagstones. When I moved to the motherlode, both ends of town still had remnants of their old boardwalk. Gone, now.
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The town wasn't exactly proud of its entrepreneur founder, but finally decided to recognize John James for whom the town is named. Something everyone smiles about now. At least he didn't get run out of town with tar and feathers. (Double click the photo)
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The town burned down in 1885 so the oldest buildings date from 1887.
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This tree, the owner of the building behind it, told me  was in an old picture of when his building was being built in 1887.
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It is an evergreen that I don't recognize. He didn't know either.
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Don't you just love that there was a time when people found it desirable and worth the time to make utilitarian objects, like door handles, so beautiful?
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Jamestown is well known for its antique stores, there are many, and we poked around looking for a small table I would like to place next to my living room window. I found two I liked, but wasn't bright enough to bring accurate measurements. They looked to be the right size?
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One store had this line of hanging animal traps with the sign at the bottom unreadable until I loaded my pictures into the computer. Not much of a deterrent to theft if you can't see it.
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Economic recovery is slower in the mother lode than the cities. And we all worry about it. The Antiques stores are holding well, but several restaurants were gone. The Willow has been a landmark in Jamestown since before I arrived. I used to like their fondue, but I haven't eaten there in years, and we didn't stop for lunch because neighbor Jan was having a pot luck celebrating new beginnings, thanking her helpful friends.DSC01970 (Copy)
It was afternoon of a day with a new moon, a new housemate for Jan, new opportunities for Leslie chance, a new heart for a neighbor. The transplant was the day before yesterday.
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Jan's friend, Dixie, is a Wiccan believer and she lit a sage smoker and gave voice to a spell for all of us, for new beginnings, prosperity and good health.
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I was wearing a necklace that assumes any shape you put it in. Leslie turned it into the ying/yang life sign for me.  Dixie read an invocation and we all said a prayer for our hospitalized neighbor. Heart transplants seem common, but when it happens to someone you know, you suddenly realize how miraculous it is. We also remembered the person who donated a heart that someone else may live. Amen!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


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Over the last two days, I guided, and even helped my yard worker do fire suppression work on my property. Sometimes makes me wonder why I own this place that naturally produces an excess of brush, leaves and weeds that need attending. He removed four double loads of brush to the land fill where it is chipped into mulch the county sells.  It was good exercise, but my favorite exercise is cruising through my online magazines for treats.

Some come from Scientific American, Scientists for Biological Diversity, Smithsonian, Gizmag, (and blog, Gas. 2.0.) and others I subscribe to.  A recent entry from Scientific American detailed that tamarind monkeys huddled and whispered in the presence of a certain zookeeper. Hmmm. I thought that was pretty interesting. It notes intelligence. The zookeeper was one who helped put them in positions for medical treatments, like shots. And, he was also instrumental in their unloading and housing after capture, a process they apparently didn't like. Understandable.

And, from one of my favorites, Gizmag, always about innovative technology, comes this nugget: Joining photovoltaic cells with a rainwater collection system, can generate 340KWh of electricity which led to why not recirculate stored water to generate electricity? Hey, we could someday all be our own power companies. Rainwater collection is my next project here on the "ranch".

Today is play day. Ciao.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


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It gets dark so early, the sky was already delivering a peachy sunset as I drove to town to attend a fundraising dinner for Ugandan Children with Aids.
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I arrived early and the drum circle was practicing rhythms on some beautiful African Drums.
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Three area churches joined in this humanitarian effort to raise money for aids afflicted children, most of them in orphanages, having lost their parents to aids. People lined up for a buffet dinner.
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The authentic East African dinner was bunyaro beef and onion stew, braised chicken with curry and coconut milk, chorako sauce made with mung beans and peppers, and stewed spicey greens with tomatoes and onions.  The food was delicious and they had extra spice for those of us who like it that way. Dessert of coconut cookies and peach pudding with pomegranate berries. It was served on bamboo plates with a wooden fork and spoon. (Plastic is so unrecyclable.) Wine went with the dinner, donated by local wineries. Lovely.
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I knew Tami Chestnut and her sister Teddi and husband, Joe Jackson, and the girls' mother, Melva Anderson, would be there.  They were so busy I didn't get a picture, but I was surprised at how many old friends I met. Joanne and Bob Reagan, above, I know through Community Club, and CCTV, just two organizations they  volunteer for.
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Dianne and Fred Kett, old friends from American Field Service. Our kids went to High School together. Dianne and Fred had a student from Columbia at the same time as my student from Indonesia.DSC01937 (Copy)
Carol and Nancy Burton, also AFSers.
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I don't know the woman on the left, but she was with two good friends, Christyne Mollet and Pastor Jo Siders. Jo and I promised to meet for coffee, soon.
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After the dinner, Pastor Hollenbach  (we've never met and I don't know that I have the name right) had the drummers pass out drums through the crowd so we could participate in an interactive drum circle. Hollenbach, I heard, did missionary work  in Africa.
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Here, my friend, Nancy Stehura, who I met in an Investors Club I once belonged to, gets a chance to play one of the beautiful drums.
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The drums are interesting because they come in many different sizes and shapes. They're made from an exotic wood we don't normally see. Each size and shape produces a unique sound.
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Not only drums, but sticks, marimba and maracas were passed around.  Here, Amanda, who I met for the first time, has a go at the sticks. She was my dinner partner.DSC01950 (Copy)
The pastor taught some African phrases in a song. Everyone seemed to enjoy it as did my friends Dave and Pastor Meg Self. I didn't get to talk to them, just a wave from across the room. Dave in the red jacket, Meg in the blue dress. Meg was my Vice President when we both served on the board of the East Calaveras Democrats Club. Dave served on the board at one time as well. Murphys is a very friendly community and volunteerism in our county is huge. A big part of why I love Murphys.

There was also a silent auction, with items donated. One necklace exactly matched a bracelet I was wearing. It seemed a shame to have them separated, so I donated my bracelet to the cause. It was a fun night and I very much enjoyed running into old friends, most of whom I hadn't seen in several years.

Friday, November 15, 2013


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November weather has been unusually warm. My Christmas cactus decided to bloom a month early. They really are beautiful; the blossoms exquisite up close.
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And, then there is my partner. Whenever he solves a computer problem for me he does this little dance, just to hear me laugh. Another bright spot.
I spent all day on paperwork, the final medical stuff to ship off to the insurance company since my neck is almost back to normal.  I didn’t actually finish it. But, I’m close.