Snakes, Quail, and Outhouse 1976

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July 6, 1976

9 p.m. Just got the children to bed. We have the lights on but it’s still quite light outside. Bob flew to Bakersfield this evening. He’ll get back to Weaverville Thursday night but won’t come here until Friday night.

July 13th
I’m writing this in Weaverville while waiting for Bob to come back from Redding with the car. We’re taking it to a Swiss man named Fritz in Palo Cedro. Bob left around 6:30 a.m. and it’s about 2:30 now.

I was just outside changing a sprinkler. Was dragging it over into the rose garden, below the big pine and madrone, when suddenly a bird squawked and flew up from under my feet! Really startled me. It was a quail, sitting on her nest and I’d nearly stepped on her. I came in and got the children so they could see too—There are ten eggs, cream colored with brown spots. I hope she’ll return and hatch them. The nest is just a slightly cleared area among the pine needles, with iris leaves lying close around it. She was snuggled down so that her back was almost level with the needles.

I had a strange dream last week. Bob was in Bakersfield and the children and I out at the ranch. I dreamed I was down by a small creek with steep bluffs on each side and, perched on either bluff were eagle-like shapes from gray driftwood. They belonged to Bob. It was heavily shaded there with just a glint of sunlight on the water. Then I was in an empty house whose walls were all cream colored—lots of light from the windows, no furniture. There was an envelope on the floor inside in front of a closed door. That particular room was much like the office at Castle Crags—a Dutch door with top half open, leading outside. I went in the next room and then went to turn a light switch on because suddenly I needed one. But the lights wouldn’t work (I don’t remember it being dark though). I went to get a flashlight and in another room there was a driftwood eagle shape attached to the wall and it was mine. On the opposite side of the room was a closed door and behind it I could hear some metallic noises and a whispering voice. I started running and yelled, “Help! Help! Help!” At which point I woke up and found Jeff standing by the bed. He had needed the light and was whispering to me about it. I guess I really scared him!

Sunday morning we had a little rain. I decided to tear down the outhouse. The ground squirrels were using it for a shelter and I was tired of seeing it there. Have done a lot of brushing to try to discourage them in that area. I sawed loose two of the front boards holding up the roof, wanting to get the roof off in one piece, thinking it might make a good tree house roof but have since decided that it’s too heavy and too rotten. I couldn’t tilt the roof back so wrapped a chain around the front edge, put a chain in the middle of that and, using the Come-Along, pulled the whole building over. It took the rest of the day to pry off the metal, dispose of the tacks and salvage a little of the wood. My muscles ached so that night that I could hardly go to sleep. We came into town yesterday afternoon.

I’ve been reading Irving Stone’s biography of Freud—thought there must have been a lot of hidden meanings to my frenzied tearing down of the outhouse!

The children and I went back out to the ranch on the 14th, ate lunch and then put a new liner in the pool. The children were happy to be able to have deeper water with the new, untorn liner. Bob called from Bakersfield.

We stayed in town again the day Bob had taken the car to Fritz. He wanted to stay in town to do some calculations on the small I-beams for the bridge and it turned out the children were able to help him for a while with that and I went outside later and held a light for him until about 11 p.m.

Bicentennial 1976

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Friday, July 2nd, Candie, Jim and Carin arrived in Weaverville a little after 9 p.m. I’d spent the day running all over getting stuff for the pack trip, etc. Also vacuumed most of the house. I had all the food ready before dinner time. Bob had flown with Lonny to Bakersfield Friday morning and got back about 7:30.

Saturday morning we drove to Big French Creek and were at the trailhead by 9:00. It was a partly cloudy day but mostly sunny. The kids traveled right along. We stopped for a snack at Oak Flat around 10:00. Someone had camped there since we were last there—had leveled off a place for their sleeping bag and left two blackened stone fireplaces. We got to Cherry Flat around 11:30 and it seemed to be just what we were looking for.

The camp is only about 30 feet off the main trail but since there’s no one else around it’s o.k. It’s covered with mossy -trunked oaks with an understory of poison oak and grass clumps. There are some Douglas Firs among the oaks. There is an established camp here with log rails, good for sitting on, and a small table- like structure suitable for kitchen use. Two areas are marked off as sleeping places, someone having taken thick chunks of moss from the trees or rocks (boulders here are moss covered) and put them on the ground for mattresses. Buckthorn Creek, which crosses the main trail just before the camp, is about 150 from here and Big French Creek about 100 yards. A small trail to Big French Creek leads to a nice pool near the mouth of Buckhorn Creek where the water is deep enough to swim a few feet—also very cold. All along the creek are large clumps of Indian Rhubarb, vine maple, alders, etc; a few tiger lilies and five-finger ferns.

We ate lunch at the pool and got briefly into the water. Bob went fishing. He got back around 6:00 with a limit of fish, having gone clear up to Willow Gulch. We ate macaroni and cheese, bread, fish, and chocolate pudding for dinner. As soon as the sun went down the mosquitoes moved in. It was very uncomfortable eating dinner. Candie and I got the dishes washed and dried. Bob played his harmonica and Jeff and Clarke stood up in their sleeping bags and swayed, bounced, and danced to the music, like two small elves or caterpillars with their hoods pulled up. Later I heard Bob and Jim singing after I’d gone to bed.

Slept off and on. In order to keep the mosquitoes out I had to have my hood zipped up. Then I sweated. Didn’t sleep much. Everyone else seemed to though.

Sunday morning of the 4th we sang Happy Birthday America, still lying in our sleeping bags—everyone except Jim who had gotten up early to go fishing. Bob was still more or less asleep.

We had hot instant cereal for breakfast, Tang and hot chocolate. I had coffee. I fixed a lunch for Bob and Jeff and they went upstream to fish. They aren’t back yet.

Candie and I talked and Rebecca, Carin and Clarke went down to Buckhorn Creek and to play. Later we took our lunches down to Big French Creek and ate, took pictures and “swam”. Lots of minnows in Big French Creek and yesterday Jim and Clarke found a salamander.

On the flat here there are a bunch of mountain mahogany trees out in the open, looking for all the world like a stunted orchard. We’re wondering if someone thought they were cherry trees and named the flat Cherry Flat for that reason. Lots of thrushes singing last evening. I called them hermit thrushes but am thinking maybe they were Swainson’s thrushes.

Bob and Jeff got back about 6:00 . I’d just started up the trail, hoping to meet them and did, just as I was going into the trees above the meadow. Jeffrey had caught 4 fish, his very first! The first one he caught was 10 inches long and the others smaller. Bob had caught 4 also and Jim 7 so we had fish with dinner again. Fortunately there was a little spot of sunlight left and I took several pictures of Jeff. He was really pleased with himself. It was good to see. Bob said they hadn’t pushed things too much, fooled around some and left when Jeff was ready to leave.

After dinner, when the kids were in bed they asked Bob to play his harmonica for them and pretty soon Rebecca, who had been playing her recorder, and he played some together. Then we all beat on plates and cups; Candie played the spoons and we sang some. Made a lot of noise. The mosquitoes weren’t quite as bad, maybe because it was a little cooler. Candie suggested that our noise drove then away as we celebrated the Bicentennial. Finally, around 10, things settled down.

Shortly after the adults crawled into our sleeping bags, one of the boys got up and Bob shined a light to help guide him back to his sleeping bag. Instead, he started farther into the woods, still being half asleep. Bob had to take him to his sleeping bag.

We had just settled down again when there was a horrible noise downstream a little way—a rather high-pitched scream followed by a lower snarling noise, very loud. We jumped—all we adults—and called back and forth in the dark, deciding it was a mountain lion. Bob and Jim moved Jeff and Clarke to between Bob and myself so if they had to get up it would hopefully wake us up and no one would wander off into the woods. The two girls were between some logs and also were not inclined to have to get up in the night to pee. It took a long time to go to sleep after that. I finally adjusted my bag so my ears were out so I could hear kids or cat!

The next morning I got up around 6:30 and headed up the trail. I went for about 45 minutes before I turned back. I passed two Shasta Lilies as tall as I am, very fragrant. The trail pitched steeply upward and came out through a rocky meadow area, green grass under oaks and dried grass in the open. The trail was very narrow and where it first emerged from the trees came out on a rocky point. I went to the edge and cautiously looked down, probably two or three hundred feet. It’s really a very wild place, steep, rugged and isolated. I found tracks in the dust about four inches across on this stretch of trail—perhaps mountain lion. This plus the sounds the night before made it seem even wilder. The sun was on Thurston Peaks, which I could just glimpse from this point, far ahead. Then I turned back. Got back to camp a little after 8:00.

Carin wasn’t feeling well and didn’t eat breakfast. Bob took Rebecca fishing. (Jim loaned her his pole). And they were to be gone only an hour. They didn’t have a watch but it was 11:30 before they got back. Rebecca had caught her first fish though. While they were gone I had taken camp down. Jeff helped fold up ground cloths. I had everything packed but Bob’s pack. Carin by now had a pretty high fever so Jim started out carrying her on his shoulders as well as carrying his pack. Candie followed him closely. Jeffrey and Clarke took off so I tried to catch up with them and did so where the trail gets narrow. Bob and Rebecca caught up with us at Oak Flat. We passed a young man coming in and Bob had met two people the day before, way up near Willow Gulch—they intended to get to Caribou Lakes—supposedly had enough food for three weeks). Other than that we saw no one else.

We caught up with Candie, Carin and Jim at Deep Creek. They’d been there about half an hour cooling Carin off. We ate lunch there and headed for the car. A short way down the road from the trailhead was a little creek and we stopped there for drinks (very hot day) and to cool Carin again. When we got to town Candie put her in the tub. They left around 5:30.

June-July 1976 Water

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June 30th, 1976

All of this traveling about, catching airplanes, renting cars, staying in motels and dining in restaurants basically on my own was new to me. Even more stimulating was studying agendas, asking questions of staff, helping make important decisions. This was a time when non-point sources were being looked at, when erosion from logging operations was being examined, and when cease and desist orders were applied to small communities for sewerage discharges so that they qualified for state assistance in funding for treatment plants. So much learning to be done, so much protection for the waters of the state. And when I first got appointed to the board there were no other women on the board although that was soon to change. At the time I was a registered Republican and was appointed by Democratic governor Jerry Brown.

On a late June Wednesday I drove to Crescent City, leaving Weaverville around 10:45. I ate a sack lunch at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and had three chipmunks and a Steller’s Jay begging for food. Got to Smith River just before 4:00, changed and went to the meeting.

After the meeting we adjourned to David Joseph’s room for drinks, went on to the dining room and had a delicious salmon dinner. We were out in the buffet area, because we needed a bigger table but we were pretty noisy so it probably helped that too. From there we went on up to the bar and tried to talk over the loud music of the singer; including an argument over Proposition 15. (Proposition 15 called for more stringent legislative regulation of the nuclear power industry. It was defeated.)

The next day’s hearings were quite interesting- we’d just started getting into the best one when the CDF man, who was testifying, had some sort of attack and fell to the floor on his back. My first thought was “I hope somebody besides me knows CPR.” I headed for him, feeling obligated because of my recent class. The room rapidly emptied as a couple of board staff people and I went to his aid. He’d bitten his tongue badly and was twitching quite a bit either from heart pain or epilepsy perhaps. Fortunately someone else took charge and all I had to do was put a folded tablet in his mouth when asked to do so. An ambulance was called and motel staff brought in oxygen.

That hearing was postponed. We were through by around 3:00. I left. Got gas and drove down the Northbank Road where we’d all agreed to meet for dinner at Jedediah Smith State Park. Most of the staff members were camped there with their families. I found the Kor’s camp and left my car and walked down to the river. Swam a little, floated on my back looking up at the redwoods. Baked in the sun.

Fortunately someone had purchased a steak for me, which I later paid for. I thought I might end up eating salami, which I had with me. We had a good time talking and laughing a lot. Got back to the motel about 10:30.

“I haven’t laughed as much as on this trip in ages.”

Friday we drove to Klamath and took the jet boat trip up the river to view the river’s edge and the mouths of streams running into the Klamath River. It was interesting but I wouldn’t do it again.Everything has been cut over. It has grown back but mostly to hardwoods. Every small stream had a huge deposit of gravel at its mouth with the stream coming in a little trickle off to one side. We did see osprey and their nests, hooded mergansers, Indian fishing nets (gill nets) off to the edge and many blue herons. I’ve never seen so many kingfishers before.

The boatman pointed out each and every summer home along the way. He also told us of a logging company that opens up a road for the fishermen every year by filling in a stream-bed and every winter the creek washes it out.

I got back to Weaverville around 6:30 and ate dinner at Florence and Leonard’s. Florence had saved some food for me. Bob was on his way out to the ranch but stopped for a few minutes.

Saturday Rebecca and Jeffrey were due at the Meyer’s for Anne Marie’s birthday party. We bought groceries, presents, etc. and I cleaned the bathroom. Then dropped them off on our way out of town a little after 2:00. When Clarke and I got to the creek Bob didn’t know what time it was, around 4:00, and hadn’t had lunch. Sunday Clarke and I drove into town to pick up Rebecca and Jeff and were back by noon.

Bob took Monday off so he could get some more work done down at the creek. I’ve been putting in long days and my muscles aren’t used to it. Monday I mowed the lawn. I’ve mowed the orchard twice already this summer. Yesterday I cut up two sections of firewood (Jeff loaded most if it and brought it down). Cleaned under the stairs, which took several hours and cleaned out the children’s part of the corner cupboard. Washed the outside and inside of one window. Monday I also cut the new linoleum for the bathroom, which took all morning. It needs to be fastened down now.

Bob has the two cross pieces in place between the I-beams and the middle one in place but not yet welded. It’s very slow work. He has borrowed Scoot Miller’s welder. He is going to stay in town tonight and go to Bakersfield tomorrow. He’ll be back Friday night. Saturday is our backpack trip with the Fields.

The garden is having its usual problems with bugs, mice and birds. Maybe next year I’ll skip it.

May-June 1976

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May 17th

As time went on my writing came at longer intervals. There was just too much to keep up with. It had been a whole month since I’d last written. The trip to Santa Rosa was very tiring. I left here at 8:30 a.m., got a rental car in Redding, a little Plymouth Valiant (?). Arrived at Candie and Jim’s in Willows about 12:00 and left at 1:30. Didn’t get to Santa Rosa until about 5:30. Stayed in the Los Robles motel which, although near the freeway, was quiet. The Clear Lake area was even worse than I’d imagined, very built up with lots of shacky houses, very crowded. I’d thought it was at a higher elevation also. Went through there once when I was in college—some other students and I were on our way to Crescent City to our family homes from Berkeley and dropping a student off. My father picked me up to go home to Jedediah Smith State Park.

That Thursday I drove around Coddington Center until I found the Water Quality Control office and, after dropping my car off, hitched a ride with the secretaries downtown to Rohnert Park where our meeting was being held. That afternoon we ate with the Farm Bureau and some of us went on a bus tour to look at dairy problems.
!Friday morning I got to the airport at 7:00 and was informed that Air West hadn’t confirmed my flight with Stohl so I couldn’t get on the first plane. I sent my luggage and took the next plane out, which had a female pilot! Got to S.F. about 10 minutes before they started loading passengers. Got home around 1:00.

Last Monday I took the boys and drove to Redding. Left the VW at the garage and took a cab to Cypress Square. Got new tennis shoes for both boys, ate pizza for lunch. To fill in time we visited the pet shop, floating gardens (a nursery), hobby hut, etc. went back to the car around 2:15 and then home. Then had to take some stuff down to Riker’s for Bob and pick Rebecca up from piano lessons.

One day we took the nursery school kids down to Caterson’s. They saw rabbits, cows, ducks and geese. Milked a goat.

Wednesday I tried to get stuff caught up at the house. Kim Hykas came over Wednesday evening and stayed with us until Sunday evening. Her parents were going to Monterey. They were back Saturday but she wanted to go out to the ranch and Rebecca wanted her to go out so she went with us. Bob left for Bakersfield Monday morning, and got back Thursday night. He came over to the CD Hall where the elementary school band was playing and met us there just before the program started. Rebecca was in the band, chorus and square dancing.

Friday morning I tried walking up East Weaver Creek. The creek was running across the road so I went up this side. Finally crossed over on a high log but, of course, there was another crossing to be made. I could have gone up on the original side through the tangles but hadn’t been feeling well and didn’t feel like fighting it. Went back and ate my lunch near the crossing log. As I was finishing, a young couple came up the other side. I went back on the same side as I came, finding a good deer trail, which contoured around nearly back to where I’d left the car.

Didn’t do much out at the ranch. Rested. Mowed part of the lawn and Bob finished it. He worked down at the creek a lot. Lots of stuff coming up in the garden.

Nursery school had a workday on Saturday. I didn’t do anything except go over a couple of times. Took Rebecca and Kim over to babysit. The mothers really did a good job.

Bob killed our first rattlesnake of the year; under the boom truck by the generator shed, and Jeff got bitten by an alligator lizard. The weather has been quite warm, sometimes up to 80 or 90 degrees.

Kinnik-Kinnick got hit by Mildred Giovanetti’s pick-up on Tuesday Morning. I dropped her off at the vet’s to have some cuts sewn up and picked her up late that afternoon. One cut is healing nicely but the bigger one she’s been licking a lot and seems to be opening up. I may have to take her to Redding as our vet won’t be here this weekend. While we were picking her up Elaine Livengood and her family were there. A female goat had gotten mauled by a bear and since they couldn’t save her, they were trying to save the unborn kids.

May 30th, 8:30 p.m. We’re out at the ranch and it’s raining. We came out yesterday afternoon. This morning, after a big breakfast of French toast, two eggs, bacon, milk and orange juice for all of us, we drove down to Big French Creek. I’d fixed a lunch and Bob brought his fishing pole. We got a late start but still it was a good day. Met a lot of people on the trail, most of them on their way out. It’s a beautiful trail, winds along above the creek. Lots of madrones, big Douglas Fir, vine maple, dogwood; two kinds of pyrolas, lots of Bachniakias—clusters of them– some delicate sprays of small white flowers of some kind, ginger in bloom. I’ve never seen so much poison oak—we couldn’t walk without being in it. Lots of big ferns (deer ferns?). Great, big pools in the creek, big mossy boulders and waterfalls. Looked like a water ouzel’s paradise.

We stopped for lunch near Oak Flat where the trail crosses the creek and eventually ends up at the Upper Ranch. Rebecca and Jeffrey and Bob walked across a log to the other side many times. I struggled across one log once and sat and hitched my way across another coming back. Oak Flat is filled with oaks and poison oak. Bob took the boys up the creek a way to fish while Rebecca and I stayed there to guard our stuff and the packs of two other people who had gone on up the trail (I did go look at Oak Flat for a few minutes). They didn’t catch any fish but had fun trying. We walked about four miles round trip. A good trip for Clarke. Cloudy but no rain until we got back to the ranch.

I did have to take the dog to Redding. She was there for almost a week. The vet discovered that she has heart-lung worms and they gave her injections twice a day for three days. I picked her up Monday. She is supposed to stay quiet for a month and we’re keeping her tied up and giving her tranquilizers. The heart-lung worms are a dog parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. If the parasites degrade locally it’s ok but if she gets excited they can create a blood clot and kill her.

Last Wednesday afternoon I left the children with Florence and Leonard and drove to Eureka. Stayed at a motel between northbound and southbound traffic. Very noisy. It was pretty on the way over—poppies and lupine on all the road cuts. Three other board members and I were supposed to fly to Ft. Bragg for our meeting. It was so foggy in the morning that the plane couldn’t leave and by then was too late to drive down so I came home and drove up to the ranch and changed a sprinkler–gave the garden a dampening. The mice have eaten the tops off all my pea plants. Ate lunch in Big Bar and went back to Weaverville, arriving about 2 o’clock. There was lots of traffic on the road—many logging trucks barreling along and empty lumber trucks. That road has been improved, just enough so that they go much faster than is safe.

Last Thursday was the last day of nursery school for the year. We had a picnic but fewer people than the previous year came. The mothers gave me a $15 gift certificate to Greenwood’s. I used most of it to pay for framing my bee picture.

Thursday night I had to take Jeff to Scouts. Bob had left Wednesday morning and didn’t get back until Friday noon so it was my job this time.

Rebecca had her 11th birthday in early June. Our 13th anniversary was a few days later. The children and I were out at the ranch. Bob was in Victorville and would get back the next night.

Rebecca was supposed to go to a Girl Scout camp Monday (although she’s not a scout) with Robin Meyer. We had bought the necessary clothes, made phone calls, she’d had a physical, marked all her clothes, etc. I’d even fixed little packages of things to be opened, one each day. It was to be for 12 days. Jeannie and I went together in the Meyer’s car all the way up to Medford with them. We drove up a winding road to Tomlin Forest—pines, oaks and lots of green grass, came around a turn and there was a burned building with a fire truck beside it. I hoped we’d taken a wrong turn but no, we were in the right place. The cookhouse had burned down the night before. There was nothing to do but head for home. We stopped in Medford and had a good lunch, then picked up a welding rod for Bob, which he’d phoned ahead about; then stopped at a park for a few minutes so the girls could get a little exercise and a snow cone. We got back to town around 7:00.

Rebecca’s sniffles had become rapidly worse so I had made her go lie down (combined with disappointment, relief and whatever else). Gave her dinner in bed and talked a little. Bob and the boys were still at Florence and Leonard’s and Bob made sure they stayed until we had a chance to unwind a little.

Tuesday did some ironing, some housecleaning, bought groceries, and went out to the ranch. We got there around 5:00 and Bob around 7:30 which was when we ate. Wednesday, after fixing breakfast, I hung out the clothes I’d washed the night before, washed dishes, planted the tomato plants, with Clarke’s help. Cut a lot of tall grass around the edge of the lawn, etc.

A day or two later Bob was in Victorville with a bad cold. The kids and I still at the ranch and planning to go to Patrick’s Point. We slept later than planned but I was awakened by the birds around 5:00 and went back to sleep for awhile. Rebecca and Jeff hung out the laundry. I made a lunch but left the breakfast dishes and we were at Patrick’s Point before noon. Ate lunch in a picnic area, which we had all to ourselves, then walked down a pretty, green- roofed trail to Mussel Rocks. The tide was in so we didn’t get to look at tide pools but we sat and watched the waves breaking, falling in big spouts of foam over the rocks. From there we walked about ½ mile up the Rim Trail to the trail that goes down to Agate Beach and spent a couple of hours down there. The children played in the water, the sand and the driftwood. It was clear and warm. The surf was high and rolled sand up with every wave, stinging our legs. By the time we got back to the car it was 4 o’clock. We had lemonade, iced tea for me, celery sticks and the boys had raisins. Then we drove down to Trinidad, planning to visit the Marine Biology Lab but it was closed. We drove down to the bay and walked out on the dock to look at the fishing boats. We ate dinner in Willow Creek and got home around 8 o’clock.

Lots of flowers in bloom—poppies still along the highway, azaleas, rhododendrons, purple asters and lupine along the coast. Skunk cabbage along a little creek on the Agate Beach Trail looked as if it would bloom soon. The children didn’t fight too much and seemed to think the long drive was worth it.


The next series will probably include a backpacking Bicentennial hike.

March-April 1976

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Wednesday, March 31st

A week ago I got up at 5 a.m. and left the house at 5:30. Drove to the Redding airport, got my tickets and ate breakfast. The plane left around 10 to 8:00 and, stopping briefly at Chico, arrived in a thick fog at S.F. around 9:00. We flew above fog for quite a while—looked as if one could get out of the plane and walk on it—beautiful! Unfortunately a woman sat next to me who insisted on talking non-stop most of the way down, despite my efforts to discourage her—family history, grandchildren’s pictures (she was only 44), etc. The boy on my right didn’t say a word.

At S.F. I went down stairs to wait for the Stohl plane. It was a six –passenger, two- engine plane. Three other people were going also. Planes run about every 45 minutes between Santa Rosa and San Francisco. The fog was breaking up and we would get glimpses of green, rolling hills beneath us—very pretty.

David Joseph and Ben Kor met me at the airport and we drove up to Ukiah where we had lunch with Al Beltrami, the chairman of the board. Then we went to our motel where I rested until it was time to go to a workshop meeting at 3:00 in the courthouse. Later we went to the chairman’s house for cocktails. He lives on a hill looking out over part of Ukiah, a fairly large two-story house. His wife teaches pre-school also. I talked to the 12-year old daughter about her white mouse for a while. She keeps it in a cage in her room. We then went to dinner in a local restaurant.

Thursday morning David, Ben and I walked up and down the street looking for a restaurant for breakfast. Eventually ended up having coffee and doughnuts in a bakery. Then we went to the courthouse again where the staff lawyer drew up an oath of office for me and we got it notarized.

At 9:00 our meeting started. The Water Basin Plans were discussed and voted upon. I didn’t vote because I hadn’t been involved in the hearings. Did vote on the rest of the issues though. Perhaps the most interesting one involved an oil company, which is drilling for geothermal sites on BLM land, is supervised by U.S.G.S., and wouldn’t file with the Water Quality Control Board. We had a divided vote to refer the case to the Attorney General’s Office. Apparently there are a lot of conflicts between the Federal and State Government right now over jurisdiction. Saw Eugene Wixon there (my memory is that he was a Trinity County Supervisor at the time).

After the meeting we drove to Geyserville where I had lunch with the staff members and secretaries. Then David and Ben dropped me off at the airport where my plane arrived after about a 45-minute wait. It was clear going to S.F. but windy. That is a beautiful area from the air. When we got across that branch of the Bay we flew down the Peninsula before crossing and flying up to S.F. Met Chris Bradley (former high school student when I worked in the high school library and also substituted) at the Redding airport and gave him a ride out to Cypress St. in Redding.

I got home about 8:45. No one was home because they were at Scouts. Jeannie called while I was fixing a sandwich and we talked until my family got home.

Saturday, Clarke went to Kelly Sheen’s birthday party. Rebecca got her hair cut. It’s much shorter and very wavy. Looks very nice but makes her look a lot older. Got Jeff’s hair cut Monday.

Scott worked here for awhile Sunday, taking out all the fallen barbed wire fence and hauled it to the dump. He cut brush along the fence until his chain saw broke. I took the children to the elementary school to fly Jeff’s kite but the string broke and it ended up in a tree in Lowden Park.

A week or so later, Clarke went to Redding with Clay Tucker and his parents. They left at 8:00 a.m. and didn’t get back until 7:00. It was Clay’s birthday. They watched Clay’s father fly airplanes, did some shopping, etc. Clarke brought home a bow and arrow water gun, which they bought for him. He walked in the door and threw up. I thought he was car sick but later discovered he had a fever of 102. I kept him home from School Monday.

Robin Meyer came to play with Rebecca while Fred and Jeanne took Jeff and Ann Marie on a hike up toward E. Weaver Lake.

Bob painted another coat on the metal box for Leonard’s generator. He also fixed the front and back doors so they open and close better, put weather stripping in the crack between the floor and fireplace, put the glass doors on the fireplace, and replaced the broken window in the front door.

Yesterday I decided to try to fix the sink trap and took all the pipes apart. Everything at the hardware store was too short but I got it back together. Would get it put together and a joint would leak. Would fix that and another would start. Finally, after about five hours of this, I asked Bob for help. Fortunately for my ego, he had just as much trouble. Finally he bought another section of heavy, two- inch pipe and pieced it together.

Another day I worked in the yard a lot: cut some more brush down by the redbud; transplanted some iris onto the road bank; hauled all the dead branches to the woodshed, after breaking them into firewood lengths; hauled one of Scott’s brush piles to the truck.

Friday I took a really nice walk—same route but it was warm. Took my camera and tripod and got some pictures of fawn lilies. Really could have stayed all day. Got home a little after 2:00. Fortunately Jeff didn’t have Scouts so I wasn’t needed there.

Monday had parent/teacher conferences. Both Rebecca and Jeffrey are doing well. Dale Kennedy and Betty Rourke seem pleased to know them.

April 1st the Scouts had a special magic program. I picked up Jeff after half an hour so he could go to piano lessons. He handed me a hand lotion jar and not even thinking about April Fool’s Day I opened it. Out jumped a large green thing about two-inches in diameter and about 2.5 feet long. Really startled me! He was delighted. He then used it on Mrs. Matthias at piano lessons as well as Jeannie Meyer and Bob, all with great success. He had borrowed it from Jim Ratliff.

The next week Clarke stayed with Linda Lindsey for part of two days and then a third day when Jeff joined him after school because I needed to take the car to Hostetter’s in Redding and took Rebecca to get some clothes. It was raining and the wind blowing in big gusts—made us a little late in dropping off the car. We took a taxi to get downtown to Wards. Mostly found things on sale. We’d just finished lunch at the pizza place when Doris, Linda and Lisa Ohde (Dave’s niece) came in. We visited with them while they ate and then Doris took us all to the mall. While she bought groceries the teens browsed and Rebecca and I looked for Easter toys. Then Doris took us down to the garage to get our car.

Friday night Peter and family arrived at Joneses. He was to be the guest speaker for the Forest Forum at the Gables. I’d gone down the day before to see what it was like and check to see where the outlets were. Also to see whether they had a microphone. The bartender assured me he wouldn’t need a mike and that the other diners would be kept at the far end of the room. It turned out to be a disaster from the noise and that’s all I’ll say here. It was a joint meeting with the Redding branch of the Society of American Foresters. The S.A.F. chair and the local state forester and I had all agreed it would be a good place. We had 39 people show up, not bad considering USFS had a retirement party that night that we hadn’t known about until too late to change. If that hadn’t been the case we could have rented the whole room. I was embarrassed and disappointed. Finally, the really rude table left and the questions and answers could be heard.

Rebecca went with Horace Jones and the grandchildren—Nick, Cedric and Jessica—to go fishing in the river near Douglas City. Alice brought Rebecca home afterwards. Peter had left a couple of days before that.

Rebecca had the job of feeding all the Meyer’s animals while they were gone for a week-twice a day. Two dogs, one rabbit, three ducks and about eight chickens and a cat. She got to keep the eggs.

All the insulation in the walls at the recreation building, for the new nursery school room, was put in wrong and has to be redone. The men were here to put in the sheetrock but couldn’t complete it because of that. I took the boys to the park while I went to see about that. Then took them to Brown’s for a snack. That afternoon I took the VW for a lube and Clarke and I walked home. I took my camera and got a few pictures on the way back. Walked down by myself to bring the car back.

Bob went to Big Bar the night before to attend a cutting plan meeting put on by the Forest Service.

That Thursday afternoon I went to a meeting put on by the Army Corps of Engineers. Supposedly they now have jurisdiction over all U.S. water. This meeting was to explain about permits, etc., for dumping fill or working in creeks. The miners turned out in full force and didn’t even allow the presentation to be finished. Those who wanted to hear how it affected timber and road building didn’t have a chance. I think enforcement by the Corps is totally unnecessary, at least in California, where Fish and Game and Water Quality Control are already strong and people like the miners shouldn’t have to file with both. However, the action of most of the miners seemed to be mostly to hear their own voices after the first half hour.

The boy cousins and our boys spent time coasting down the road in the wagons. Nick and Cedric also went down on Jeff’s bike so Jeff spent a lot of time today coasting down. Had a couple of good wrecks too!

One of the men at the Forum meeting Friday night was Hal Bowman, who used to work at the Castella mill and now works for Kimberly-Clark in Redding. Another, who works for the USFS in Redding at the Range and Experiment Station said they will be publishing this next year, a paper including our mother’s list of Castle Crags plants, to which they’ve added only a couple more. I gave him her address so they can send her a copy when it is published.

I took all the children out to the ranch on the 14th. They, and I until my voice gave out, sang all the way down, often two different songs at the same time. It was a pretty day, sunny and warm. Nick Twight was entranced by the bog and showed me all sorts of grubbies that he found in there: worms, leaches, water bugs, etc. He also discovered that the frogs hide in the muck. We found that where there was a bubble there was a frog to be scooped up. The others mostly played cowboys and Indians. I found an old bottle below the road below the barn.

I decided to rent a car to drive to Santa Rosa for the Water Board meeting and made a reservation to fly home.

February-March 1976

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Still recuperating from the bout of pneumonia, trying to get strength back to normal but was back to teaching nursery school children and the adult night class with a presentation about children’s literature. Kids home off and on with various ailments. One day I picked up Dale Kennedy’s (Rebecca’s teacher) homework at the school office. Florence brought up some granola she had made and then couldn’t get her car started. Bob couldn’t start it either. Leonard came up and got it started immediately. I wrote “That happens to me too.”

Bob came home with a big piece of chocolate cake left over from Roy Blair’s farewell party. I was delighted as that would be dessert that night. I’d fixed a cobbler the day before so we had the rest of that too.

On the 20th we awoke to find it snowing and accumulated about an inch but by 9:00 it had melted off the trees and sun was shining. Very pretty while it lasted. We were supposed to go to the scout dinner that night but Jeff was still sick The next evening I could hear frogs from toward West Weaver Creek.

Saturday evening I was reading John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charlie”. Bob left for Bakersfield late Sunday afternoon and would be home Thursday night. After lunch I hauled four wheelbarrows of wood from the woodshed to the porch and dumped the rotten apples over the edge of the lawn. Children’s coughs were getting better.

Monday. After cleaning our room for the first time in months, I took Clarke down to Greenwood’s so he could spend his allowance on an orange racing car. Bob called Wednesday night. He sounded exhausted but pretty well satisfied with what he had been able to accomplish. He had been staying up until midnight and getting up before six. Did three more loads of wood.

Tuesday had been a nursery school day. I was still taking medication so had to wait an hour before lunch. After Jeff came home I took him to Greenwoods to spend his allowance. He bought a racing car and a little truck. Scot Lindsey came home with Clarke on the bus. Around 4:15 I took him along and we went over to the elementary school to pick up Rebecca who had stayed after. She was catching up on some more that she had missed and helping some other children with a play. That night I stayed up too late watching TV—watching the Adams chronicles and another program.

Carol Benninghoven called at 9 a.m. to see if I wanted to go down to Heryford’s to look at some carpeting for the pre-school room. I didn’t want to but went down. This took about half an hour. Then we went to the post office and came home. Took Clarke down to the bus in the VW so he would have a warm, dry place to wait in the rain.

Picked Rebecca up again at school and Clarke from Kelly Sheen’s where he’d gone after school. Tuna sandwiches (with freshly made mayonnaise), soup and a little salad for dinner. There were a few crocuses, some grape hyacinths and violets blooming in the garden.

And suddenly it was March 1st, a Monday. I wrote that on Friday afternoon I went over to Rebecca’s room and watched the children put on a play. It was the group that gets extra help in reading. Rebecca and a couple of others helped them out. Rebecca had made several props for them and was a participant as the front end of a cow! I was pleased that she was able to get along with and communicate with so many different children. After their skit I went over to the scout hall and found Linda Covert with the boys making paper flags. They needed stars to stick on them so I took Ron Lindsey and we went to the dime store. This project kept the boys busy until 3:00.

Jeffrey and I got home just as Clarke was reaching the top of the driveway. Rebecca had stayed at school to practice her flute with Kim. Rebecca tried to call me for a ride but I was on the phone with Doris for a long time and Florence ended up taking both girls to her house. I was really embarrassed. I picked up the girls and went to Kim’s to meet her mother who works for David Hammer. Rebecca was going to stay overnight at Kim’s and we needed to at least meet ahead of time! “She was very pleasant and also reassuring about fires.” Now I guess parents ask about guns—then, for me at least, it was fires.

Friday night we were invited to Florence and Leonard’s for dinner, along with Dick and his family. I took a big green salad. Florence fixed bread and a fruit salad plus pies for dessert. “She makes such good soup!” Afterwards I took Rebecca to Kim’s. Then I went back to help Florence with dishes. Rebecca and Kim went to a Walt Disney movie.

Candie Fields and her mother came by. They were looking for a lantern as there was no electricity on at their Douglas City place and they needed to work down there. Bob loaned them Florence and Leonard’s generator and our light. Around 4:00 we went down to see how they were doing. We stayed about an hour. Sunday, Bob went down with Rebecca and stayed all day. He helped them quite a bit. They put subfloor over the tile in the kitchen and put new tile on top. Candie and Jim had gotten the subfloor in the bathroom Saturday. Sunday afternoon I took Jeffrey down to the theater to see Sasquach. Kim was there with her brother and sister and said she’d keep an eye on him. Then I went to pick up Kelly Sheen because Clarke felt lonesome. Got Jeffrey at 4:00 and took Kelly home. Then Bob and Rebecca got back a little after 6:00.

Sunday night we all watched Sound of Music on tv.The next day we woke up to an inch of snow. I took the camera and tripod out to take some pictures. It was the first time I used my new tripod. Went in and started French toast and came back out again. A loud bird called from the cedar tree and I discovered that it was a White Breasted Nuthatch, although I had to look it up. So different from the Red Breasted!

Jeff came up from the bus stop a little after 8:00 to say the bus hadn’t come so I took the two children to school. It was very cold out. We saw the driver in her VW so she may have been driving around telling people the bus wouldn’t start or something. Bob stayed home to make up for all the extra time he’d worked the previous week and I didn’t have to bundle Clarke up to take him with us. Later he walked Clarke down to the bus stop. There were snow flurries off and on all afternoon.

Bob went out to the ranch, leaving town around 3:00 and dropped Jeff off at Meyer’s on his way. When Clarke got home he was feeling unhappy and tired, had fallen at school, and the bus driver almost didn’t stop to let him off. I did some comforting and then put on the Pooh record and had him lie down on the couch. Got his stuffed frog and covered him with a blanket. Then went out and hauled about four wheelbarrows of wood. Then Clarke and I went in Bob’s car to get Rebecca from piano lessons. Bob had the VW van. Jeannie brought Jeffrey home.

Cleaned the boys’ room on Saturday. They stripped their own beds. “It was like working in a dust bowl.”

On the morning of the 10th I got a phone call from Buff McDonell saying that Governor Brown had signed my appointment to the Northwest Regional Water Quality Control Board. The news came at a good time as I was feeling rather low about my abilities.

The morning of the 11th, while I was in the middle of washing dishes, I got a phone call from Clyde Bentley, from the Redding Record Searchlight. “He started out by asking me if I was a conservationist or environmentalist, no other choices. I said an environmentalist. He then asked whether I was a member of the Sierra Club. I said no. H asked whether I belonged to any other local organizations of that type and I told him about the Forest Forum (which was a mixture of environmental, forestry, Fish and Game, loggers, all kinds of interests). Then he asked what I thought about the miners’ problems with the Water Quality Control Board. I told him I wouldn’t know until I’d been on the board for a while. Then he asked what I thought I could add to the board. I said well, I didn’t represent housing or industry.

Got home a little before 2:00, changed clothes went to the grocery store and got a snack for the cub scouts. Then went over to help Linda Covert with the scouts.This was a busy week. It is the Community Concert Drive so I’ve been on the phone a lot.

One of the miners called me and wanted me to go to Canyon Creek to view the area that is under discussion on Wednesday. I told him I’d try. I called David Joseph, the board executive director, and talked to him for a while. Called Stan Martin, wanting to see anything he decided to publish. Of course he couldn’t do that. Also, he hadn’t heard about the appointment. (I was learning so much in just a few days!)

I gathered some frog eggs from the ditch near Bob and Alan Young’s place. Took some to nursery school, gave some to Jeff for his class and some to Clarke for his class. I wanted to get some more for us and for Rebecca’s class.

The previous weekend we had a lot of trouble with our car. Ed Poole worked on it and got a lot of problems taken care of but thought there was still something wrong with the carburetor. I’d done a lot of walking. Even walked up to the CD Hall on Tuesday, to vote….in the snow, about an inch. After many frustrating starts and stops at inconvenient times it we finally discovered that a wire, which touched something hot and had the insulation burned off it, was shorting out.

Wednesday night I took Rebecca and Jeff to the CD Hall to hear the Shasta Symphony. We sat right up in front so the children could see the pianist during the first piece.

On the 13th I took our staple gun and a mask over to the recreation building so the volunteers working on the nursery school room could use them while putting in insulation. I didn’t help with that but ran errands for everyone else. We had to push the car to get it started from the house. When I went from the rec. building downtown to get more staples it was OK. Went back to the rec. building and was about to leave again and it wouldn’t start. Bob came down and towed me. I kept the car running as I went to Heryford’s to get more insulation and to Valley Pharmacy for gauze masks. Delivered that and then came home to call in my Community Concert memberships. Went back to the park and was getting Rebecca who had helped by watching children when the car died. Called Bob and a little while later he and Candie came by. He towed me again and then he and Rebecca and Candie took Candie to her car and Rebecca stayed with Candie to help her pick out carpet for her Douglas City place. I came home and vacuumed all the insulation fuzz out of the car and fixed lunch for everyone. Candie and Rebecca soon arrived. I received several phone calls and a note of congratulations on my Water Board appointment.

January-February 1976

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Saturday, January 24

Another cold day, some high clouds. Tuesday night Bob and I went to Hayfork. It was my first meeting as chairman of the Forest Forum– I was a little nervous and did a couple of dumb things—like saying dismissed instead of adjourned but otherwise I guess it was o.k. Audrey Bush was guest speaker and talked about the Trinity River Task Force. She seemed well received. Linda Ohde babysat.

Wednesday afternoon Clarke went on the bus to Linda Lindsey’s. I left the house at about quarter to 3, leaving Jeff to wait for Rebecca. Left her a note saying they could walk downtown, go to the library and go to Brown’s, which they did. Bob and I went, in separate cars, to a meeting of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. They had three members of the board, two staff members, and David Joseph, executive officer. Afterwards I went up to introduce myself to David Joseph. Before I could say anything he said, “I’ll bet you’re Susy Morris”. He said I looked like my brother Peter.

Thursday I got Sue Rose to work for me at Nursery School. I was really tired and wanted to get some stuff done at home. Also ended up being another one of those yucky feeling days. Got bread made though and chocolate chip cookies baked in the afternoon. That night I had a nursery school meeting. Bob took Jeffrey and Clarke to Scouts. I went to my meeting and Rebecca went to a movie with Linda Ohde. The movie was supposed to go from 7-9 but at 8:30 they came over and asked whether they could go to the later show since the theater had filled before they could get in, after standing out in the cold for nearly an hour. Doris fed them soup and loaned Rebecca one of Linda’s jackets. Rebecca didn’t get home until nearly midnight.

The scout meeting was successful. Jeff and Bob read the skit and the boys acted it out. It sounded as if Bob did better on the reading than I would have—probably helpful to have a man doing it.

Ken Wahl came (from Redding) to speak to the nursery school mothers. We had six absent but three brought husbands and two extra came. He was really very good with them I thought, brought his wife also. His topic was Parent Effectiveness Training.

Friday morning I took Clarke to Linda Lindsey’s and took a hike. It was cold and I ended up getting rained on but was probably good to get out. I came home early, ran a few errands and then went over to the scout house. No one was there but the boys so I stayed. Linda, the scout leader, got there 10 minutes later. The boys were wild and I scolded them some. We ended up taking them out to sell tickets for the Scout-orama. I took three of them and she took three.

By early February I was in bed with pneumonia. Bob had been gone the previous week. But, after a couple of shots in the rear from our doctor I was confined to bed—well, after running a few last-minute errands and washing and drying a lot of clothes so the children could go stay with grandparents. They were so excited about going that they charged out the door without saying goodbye. A couple of minutes later they were back in the house, with their father standing behind them, all in a row, all smiling, to say goodbye. I told Bob later that at that moment I thought, “Those can’t be my children. They are their own people!” It was really kind of exciting. I hope none of them get sick. Bob was really caring that weekend.

The next morning Bob left for Bakersfield and would be back Friday. I was supposed to stay in bed except for self-care. That morning I cheated a little. Washed my hair and typed up three pages for Sue Rose to use for the night class Thursday.

Florence left me a book called “Almost Home” about a family living on the Audubon Canyon Ranch near Tamale’s Bay. “I’m not really turned on by all the food raising but enjoyed the biological stuff. Beautiful photographs.”

Saturday Candie and Jim and Carin came by. They visited for about an hour and then took all of our children and went out to Douglas City for awhile. When they brought them back they stayed for a while too. Candie had called Tuesday at the precise minute I had been thinking about how I should be writing her a letter.

Florence and Leonard got back from a fishing trip on the Smith River. They stayed in a trailer park across from Jedediah Smith State Park –the RV park being where the motel cabins I cleaned one summer used to be when my parents first moved to Jedediah Smith after Castle Crags.

We received a one-pound can of homemade toffee from Nancy and David Adrian.

Last Tuesday, before my illness, we took the nursery school kids to Greg Olson’s (pottery maker) in two separate groups. Thursday I took Jeff down to Greg’s and he was spellbound. Sat right up there beside Greg and watched him make a planter.

Florence came up for a few minutes with Jeff at 2 and again with Rebecca and Clarke at 3. They took the kids’ bikes. Scott and Kathleen were sick too and Florence said Douglas City School was closed because of flu. She brought me a new hot water bottle because mine was leaking. I was enjoying good music on KKHI.

On Tuesday I discovered ants all over the open jar of honey in the cupboard under the stove counter. Fortunately they couldn’t get into it. I washed all of them off and cleaned out the cupboard, then fixed breakfast, than vacuumed some rooms. Spent some time cleaning junk out of the vaporizer.

Sue Rose came up around 11 bringing a pitcher of juice and a plant from the nursery school mothers. She also took my key to get the nursery school mail. Sue brought a book called “Mister God, This Is Anna”—really something! Anna was a 4-year old waif in England who ran away from home after being beaten and was taken in by an 18-year old and his family. A brilliant little girl and the book is movingly written.

Bob called around six. Said it was showering down there. The storm we were supposed to get bypassed us, just leaving cold air and wind.

Florence brought up our mail. Included was a letter from the National Wildlife Federation saying they had accepted my article and photos I’d sent and final acceptance and payment would arrive three months before Ranger Rick publication!

Children were up here for a few minutes with Florence. They’re excited about Valentine’s Day arriving, to be celebrated at school on the 11th.

To avoid forbidden exercise I was getting the Redding paper by driving down our driveway, turning around in Moon Lee’s driveway, and crossing to ours again.

Started re-reading the book “Yamsi”. It’s such a good book. What a hard life though.

Bob called Thursday night and we talked for a bout 20 minutes. “I feel as if he’s my only anchor right now.” San Francisco received three inches of snow.

Friday I gave the living room a quick vacuum. Found ants all over the bathmat at 2 a.m. and stuck it in the washing machine for a hot water rinse.

Sue Rose called and said the class went fine last night, which was good to know.

Doctor said I’m better but not well and need to spend another week in bed. Got another shot.

Amy Bancroft ate dinner with Rebecca at Florence and Leonard’s. Florence had them doing dishes afterwards.

Bob got home Friday night. The next day I fixed ingredients for French toast and cooked my own. Was eating when he got up. Bob bought groceries from my list. Then he picked up the boys, brought them here briefly and went out to the ranch. Rebecca stayed at the grandparent’s and read.

I prepared food for salad and spaghetti and was just sitting down to watch the news when Bob and children arrived. The boys were eating with us and staying the night but had to go back to Florence and Leonard’s for the rest of the week. Bob said there were no trees across the road and what rocks there were he was able to dodge. Florence and Leonard had Rotary Ladies Night dinner to go to. I think he must have picked up Rebecca to on his way back from the ranch. “It’s kind of nice to have people in the house again, messy and noisy though they may be.” I read to Clarke tonight.

I’d started reading a book called “Animal Architecture” by Karl Von Frisch. “It’s really interesting. Learned quite a bit about Garden Spiders and how they make their webs. It’s just the females that make the big webs like we have out at the ranch, and they use several different kinds of silk. I wish I could remember everything I read. I’d be an encyclopedia!”

I began doing more, whenever I had the energy. Housework of some kind was always waiting, it seemed. Over the next few days made a couple of necessary phone calls. We went over to Florence and Leonard’s to celebrate his birthday one evening. Kids all had colds but I read Clarke a bedtime story before we left. Florence brought the children up for a few hours the next day. Bob went over to see them after dinner a number of times. I would get some things done and then rest a few hours.

The children were home again and my schedule was pretty normal by the 20th. Had to miss the Forest Forum, which had a good turnout, put on by the Coastal Commission. Bob and Leonard went though.

I was so fortunate to have the help that I did—primarily from Florence, of course but others stepped up: Sue Rose took over on nursery school classes; Doris brought homemade clam chowder and a loaf of fresh bread; and others. Our little family wouldn’t have made it without Florence.

Took my Community Concert tickets to Virginia and Gordon Pierce. They wanted to hear Leonard Pennario, a pianist and composer. They also signed up for tickets to next year’s series.

January 1976

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Week ending Friday, January 9m 1976

This week went by very fast. Monday I vacuumed the whole house, got my hair cut and hauled about 8-10 loads of wood from the woodshed to the porch. Also developed an aching shoulder, which by tonight has extended down nearly to my wrist.

Tuesday there was nursery school. Wednesday I wrote a letter to my parents. Oh, and Monday morning I wrote thank you letters. Clarke and I went over to visit Sue Rose and children for about an hour. Drizzling all day. Ran some stuff off at the high school. Thursday, after nursery school, I went down to Heryfords to get some estimates for our new nursery school room and spent about an hour talking to George Halcomb about costs paid for and expenses still going on. Must appear before the Board of Supervisors Monday. Picked Jeff up from piano lessons about ½ hour late.

Thursday night was nursery school night class. It was snowing but not sticking. Out East Weaver there was snow on the ground. Marcia Lane and Shirley Bishop came in from Junction City but left early. Lorena Bassham came in from Trinity Center but we sent her right home again.

This morning I took Clarke over to Florence’s and took a walk. Sweated while I was walking but got cold sitting eating lunch. Weaver Bally is coated with snow—including the trees. There were places along the trail with a skim of snow on the ground and quite a solid skim where I ate lunch up on the cutover hill above Garden Gulch. Got a couple of lichen pictures.

I saw a hawk circling and calling–lovely. Saw some chickadees and a nuthatch in the same tree. Lots of deer tracks. Someone had gone up the trail but apparently taken the right-hand fork, thank goodness. They were back before I was. Heavy, sweet smell wherever there were manzanitas. They have clusters of flower buds, tightly closed, and yet individual leaves and individuals clusters seem to have no scent. Strange.

I got back to town about 1:30 and rushed to get ready to go to Cubs. I had to be there because Linda Covert had a wreck and wasn’t feeling up to it. Fortunately Jane Belden was there to help and I was bit late what with getting refreshments and getting poster board for a skit. We got the faces drawn for their skit and the boys made get well cards for Linda, which I later took to her.

My sister-in-law Charlotte Twight’s book arrived yesterday (I’d asked Hyatt’s to send up a copy). Bob is reading it tonight (“America’s Emerging Fascist Society”).

I’ve been reading some in ”The Forest Killers”, which Bob’s parents had given him for Christmas.

Florence and Leonard brought Nancy and David’s children back with them from Quincy after Christmas. So ours played some with them. Rebecca stayed over there one night with Noel and Clarke stayed one night. I wasn’t going to let Rebecca or Jeff stay over because they always stay awake too late but gave in with Rebecca and then it was too late in the week for Jeff. He really wasn’t that concerned about staying with Kent, just wanted to stay at Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s. Rebecca and Noel played in the attic room a lot with their dolls.

The day of Bob’s birthday we went over there for breakfast. Nancy and David had come over and were taking the children back to Quincy.

Bob has been reading “Gift of the Eagle” to Jeff. The Ohdes loaned it to us. He loves it and of course associates it with the little rubber eagle he got for Christmas.

On Saturday, 10th, I spent about an hour downtown buying groceries and running a few errands. Rebecca went over to the McMillens for the afternoon. I got Jeff to practice throwing a baseball for about 15 minutes before we went to pick her up.

Seems as if weekends are mostly cooking, washing dishes and yelling. Bob worked with Clarke on his airplane this morning. The children and I watched Tom Sawyer on TV.

I spent a lot of time working on my letter to the Board of Supervisors today. Difficult because the family expects me to be interruptible.

Now my other shoulder and side of neck are bothering. What a nuisance.

Monday morning I went to the Board of Supervisors to ask for more money to complete the proposed Nursery School Room. Took Clarke with me. Didn’t get much comment but have heard that there was further discussion which sounds promising.

A few days later I took Clarke to the new post office and to Brown’s for ice cream, as a bribe to get him to go to Linda’s so I could take a walk. It was very foggy but by noon I was up on the ridge out of it and it was all burned off by the time I got back to the car.

Saw a couple of deer. Arriving at Pinky Gulch, I startled what I think was a goshawk, which must have been preening by the water. It flew down the creek a little way, circled and lit on a large fir, which was beside the trail I’d just passed by on. It fluffed its feathers, sat for a minute, then circled back to a live oak near the stream crossing but on the opposite side. I wasn’t sure if it had perched or gone on and when I moved it flew down Pinky Gulch and across Garden Gulch. If I’d stayed still perhaps it would have gone down to the water again. It was big—about a 4-foot wing spread; curved, heavy bill with white streaks on the face and I could hear its wings whoosh as it flew. Probably the same bird I saw a year ago with the freshly killed rabbit in that area.

Got back to the car about 1:30, went home and changed out of my boots, went downtown and bought some balloons to use for the game for the Cubs and went over to the Scout House. Jane Belden arrived a few minutes later. The children were rowdy, as usual, but we got them to practice their skit a few times. Rebecca and Clarke arrived on the school bus a few minutes after we got home.

Saturday morning Rebecca went to play at Amy’s for a couple of hours. Then we all drove downriver to look at some land. Stopped at the footbridge across Jackass Gulch (?) and walked across. The children were delighted and bounced—especially Jeff. The opposite bank is steep and moss covered and I heard a beautiful bird song coming from near it. Turned out to be a water ouzel. I don’t remember having heard them sing before. Just when we arrived an elderly woman and her dog were going across. Must live in the little house we could see on the other side. It’s a U.S.F.S. trail and bridge. As we were leaving, her husband came along on a Honda and drove across, several boxes on the back. He used his feet to help the Honda get up the other side. We stopped further upriver and walked up a short road that leads to a meadow and trailhead (Ironside Mt. Trailhead I think). Got home around 5:30.

Bob and I were to eat dinner with Lucille Snyder at 6:30 so I fixed soup and toast for the kids, we changed and Bob got Linda Ohde. We got home from Lucille’s about 10:30. She seemed to be doing O.K.

The next Saturday afternoon I drove out to the ranch with Sue Rose. We had a lot of rocks to clear out but it was a beautiful day—grass was getting green in the meadow and rose hips are still a bright, shiny red. We got back about 4:30.

December 1975

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The last day of the year was clear an cold. Still no snow. We had a good Christmas except for illness.

On the afternoon of thed 24th the kids were bickering and at loose ends so we walked downtown and back. I was trying to make a wreath with the boughs all over the kitchen floor when Peter and Angenett and family came in. Bob came home from work early and we had a good visit and a mug of hot buttered rum.

After they left Rebecca complained of being sleepy. She had a temperature and a yucky throat. After dinner we went over to see Florence and Leonard for about an hour. I think it was their first Christmas Eve without grandchildren with them overnight. Christmas Day though they went over to Quincy.

We went home, read the Night Before Christmas, sang Christmas carols and got children to bed. Then I went over and got Linda Ohde and she helped me with all the Christmas things and I got her home around midnight. I was sort of keyed up and stayed up till one, reading.

Fortunately the children didn’ t wake up until almost 8:00. After doing their stockings (Rebecca hauled them into the boys’ room) they had to wait while Bob took a shower before opening gifts.

It was nearly 11 when I called the Ohdes who had invited us for breakfast. We ended up leaving Rebecca home where she admitted she’d be more comfortable. She was really miserable. We had a delicious breakfast and a good visit.

I took some pictures with my new Vivitar flash that Bob got me. He also gave me a tripod.

After we got home I took some things up to Dick’s and stayed there about an hour. Cheryl and others were there as well.

Saturday Rebecca seemed well enough to go to the ranch. We went with Jim Fields, Peter, Nick, Jessica, and Cedric. Angenett stayed home to study. Oh, and Friday Candie, Jim and Carin came and ate lunch with us and visited. Jim, Peter, Bob and Nick went up on the hill looking for a survey line. I stayed at the house with our three and Cedric and Jessica. The children played all over the meadow and then got out the badminton set. They (and I played a game with Cedric and Jeff till I got exhausted) played until it got too dark to see. The others got back around 5:30 and we were on our way home by 6:00.

Sunday I woke up sick with a sore throat and stayed in bed most of the day. That evening the Twights came over. Monday Peter and Angenett hiked up to Parker Creek. Monday I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with strep throat. We all had to have antibiotics.

And suddenly it was January, 1976.

Roll Out the Barrel, October-November 1975

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Went to Redding with Clarke, left the car at Hostetter’s VW repair shop. Doris met us there as she’d been shopping that morning. We went to the Stone Ground place and bought flour, etc. and then came home. Jeff had gone to piano lessons and then to Linda Lindsey’s. Rebecca had walked down to Bob’s office. Clarke and I got home at 5:00 and Bob brought the children shortly thereafter.

Friday we all went to Redding. Bob went down to a place where he could get generator brushes and we went to get some things—a Cub Scout shirt, hat, etc. for Jeff. Went to Sim Nathan’s and got rubber boots for the boys and new shoes for Clarke, tights for Rebecca. We got outside just as Bob was parking the car. We drove to the Shack and had dinner, then went to the VW place and got the VW. Got home about 8:30 with Clarke riding with their dad and the other two with me.

Jeff got sick Saturday and was ill for several days. I worked on Clarke’s Halloween costume all day. He was going to be a devil. It rained all day. Florence and Leonard got back from their fishing trip to Orleans that night. I called my mother on her birthday. She was practicing walking.

Jeanne Meyer and I took the kids trick-or-treating. We went to specific homes where they wanted to visit. Rebecca had gone to a birthday party for an hour at Amy Bancroft’s before that. Rebecca was a cat, Jeffrey a hobo, and Clarke a devil. There was a picture in an album, don’t know where it went.

Earlier that week Bob and I had gone to Redding to see the San Diego Ballet, part of the Community Concert series.

Got a walk in on Friday. It made me feel much better. It was foggy at first but cleared off later and was a beautiful day. “The forest floor is damp and spongy and warm sun on the pine needles made them smell so pungent. I ate up on the hill where I often do although I had walked over as far as Garden Gulch and up the old road. Lots of yellow maple leaves in Garden Gulch. Oak leaves are turning yellow, and some red or amber, elsewhere. “

I bought some carpeting to put on the living room floor (gold with a brown cast), putting backing down first. The children helped. We hauled the carpet in through the rain and put it down. Bob helped adjust it when he got home. It really helped absorb the noise from the piano and the children enjoyed playing on it.

November 16: The children and I went out to the ranch Saturday afternoon. Had to throw a lot of rocks out of the road. Bob and John Scott were down at the creek. They’d built a ramp up out of the rock and gravel and had just about finished.

The previous Tuesday was a school holiday. That morning I took the VW down to the Shell Station and got the snow tires on and new chains. Walked home after leaving the car there. Did some chores and then walked back down and got the car and drove over to Ohde’s to get Linda. Rebecca and I left for Redding. We left the car at Hostetter’s for a valve adjustment and received a ride from them to Cypress Square. We ate lunch at the pizza parlor; bought shoes for Rebecca and me; took a cab down to the mall. We left a copy of Charlotte’s resume and outline of her book at Hyatt’s Bookstore (my sister-in-law, brother Richard’s wife, had just published her first book on economics), and Dicker’s. I bought some boots at Alpine Outfitters. Cashed a check at Dobrowskie’s (they recognized my maiden name! so were willing to do so.) We took a taxi back to Hostetter’s and then went to Lim’s for dinner. From there we went to see the Hislop’s for an hour and then back to town to attend a Community Concert Board meeting and then home. Got home around 11:00 p.m.

Jeff had a week of a lot of illness—fever, etc. A few days later Scott Lindsey and Clay Tucker came over (I picked them up and brought them) to play with Clarke and eat lunch. They caught the bus with him.

Leonard and Vernon Ryan took our truck over to Eureka to get more cribbing. Bob met them at Prairie Creek and they went up to our creek and unloaded the concrete cribbing. This weekend Florence and Leonard went to get the rest of them. They brought the truck up to the house and Bob and Scott (Morris) will unload them tomorrow. I had invited them to stay for dinner and Rebecca started peeling apples for apple crisp while I drove down to the store to get whipped cream, French bread and tomatoes and avocados for the salad. We had spaghetti and wine, root beer for the kids and Bob, and coffee with dessert.

We had Thanksgiving at Florence and Leonard’s. We left Clarke and Jeff there for overnight and brought Noel and Rebecca to our house. David A. got seriously ill that night.

Clarke’s class had their powwow the previous Tuesday and we attended; a yearly kindergarten event. Wednesday I baked bread and made up enough dough for the refrigerator rolls I took to Thanksgiving.

Scott came out Saturday and stayed overnight, helping Bob Saturday and Sunday.

My dad was diagnosed with emphysema.

Saturday, December 6th: Bob was over at Ohde’s at 9:45 p.m. and the children were in bed. I had just watched the Mary Tyler Moore Show (“ I rarely watch T.V. these days.”). Clarke had been sick for several days. We finally got some wood. Bob had ordered it from someone in Hayfork. All they had was fir and about half of it was green but at least we had wood. We’re going to try to get some madrone from out at the ranch. “Two bearded men with longish hair but kind eyes, hauled it over, two pick-up loads at a time for $45 a cord. I made bread that day but managed to get almost two cords stacked in the woodshed. They brought their last load around 5:00 and I gave them the money plus a loaf of bread, which seemed to please them. One brought his wife, a full-bosomed, blond-haired woman wearing a long coat. They stood there in the light from the porch, smiling and looking as if they’d just stepped out of biblical days.” I was really tired and sore that night.

Doris loaned me a book called “Sexual Suicide”, which I read over a couple of days and was depressed by. It made me decide to scrap my lesson plan for the nursery school moms that week and we focused instead on the value of women in the home and in society, which ended up being very interesting.

An exchange of phone calls with Tom Quinn about the water board.

Took Jeff to Scot Muir’s birthday party.

Bob went out to the ranch and did some culvert cleaning. “He looks awfully tired. Has been working until almost 7:00 every night at the office and some time on weekends. He has to make a 20- minute presentation next week on all that he has been working on for the last 18 months. He’ll be gone all next week.”

I got a letter from my mother saying something about Dana (my niece) having won a contest sponsored by McDonald’s and having played her clarinet in New York. She is also going to play in Pasadena in the Rose Parade. I think this was with the high school band. My mother could type only with her left hand after her stroke. She did amazingly well but this was still early in the recovery process.

The previous weekend I went out to the ranch with Bob because Scott wasn’t feeling well. This hadn’t been in my plans. Jane Hicks babysat. We left around 10:00.

“First we unloaded some 2x4s at the creek. Then we went up to the woods with the boom truck, leaving the white truck at the house. We went up to where the empty tank (galvanized, 12x 8 feet) was lying on its side on a wooden frame. It was cloudy and very cold. Bob rigged the tank and frame to the truck while I operated the winch. Then he pulled up the hill a way and started backing down. He wanted me at the front of the truck with the tank to tell him if it was clearing trees, etc. When trying to back around a turn he swung too wide in order for the tank to have clearance. He got too close to the side of the narrow skid road and a rear wheel started going off. He was really upset. Got out and began swearing and unhitched the tank. He asked me to tell him what the rear wheels were doing but that was no help. Every time he tried to back on to the road the front wheels slid further off and the back one continued to slide. Finally he tied the cable from the boom truck to a tree so he wouldn’t tip over. That didn’t help much so he took it off of the boom after backing directly down the bank so the truck was now perpendicular to the road with the front wheels at the edge. Then he winched directly from the winch and got back on the road. I was so cold that my big toe on each foot was senseless and my hands could hardly bend to unhook the chains from the tree. Then he hitched up the tank again and I guided by walking behind him down the road. When we got to the main road he took the tank off the frame and lifted it up again with the boom and drove out to the flat in the meadow. Then he turned around again and backed down to the house with me guiding. By then it was 4:00 o’clock. We got in the big truck, turned the heater on full blast and ate lunch. Including some of the smoked salmon Scoot Miller had given Boband hot chocolate. From there he backed down to the last big turn above the creek with my guiding (a blessing because it kept me warm) and then he drove frontwards down to the creek. We quickly laid 2x4s on the cement piers for a floor. Then rolled the tank up the incline to the platform. It was heavy and wanted to roll back down but we made it. Bob used the boom truck to set it upright.

By then it was really dark. We went back to the house, put stuff away and drove to Big Bar where we called Jane Hicks and ate dinner at Big Bar Station. Got home around 8:00 p.m. Sunday Bob went back out to put the pipe into the spring, put some plumbing in and start filling the tank. .

The tank, full of water, would compress the fill soil at that end of the new bridge over the winter so that the bridge could be completed the next year.