Helen would of turned 86 tomorrow, December 19. I miss her more than words can express. I mentioned here how she had just returned from spinal surgery.
Here I am with her, shortly after she came home from the Garberville hospital.
Sadly, it was a short lived reprieve, and her pain came back with a vengeance. She was in and out of hospitals and had full on 24/7 care by local angels of mercy, with Ascha maintaining what ever kind of balance could be found.
Helen died on August 18, 2013 at 9:49am, surrounded by loved ones.
I know she wanted to leave her tired worn out and painful body, and the last few weeks had been especially hard. I hope now she is resting in peace and laughing till tears run down her face.
I will always love you Helen, thanks for being my friend.
We had some snow in December 2013, but only one or 2 small rain events since. Humboldt County is now (Feb 2014) in a full on drought. This is going to be a very water-less spring-summer. We may not even do any gardening.
In November we took a weekend and spent some time in sunny Arcata, and visited Trinadad Beach just a bit north. Another beautiful warm and sunny day.
That evening we went to Tony’s birthday (65) and retirement party at Kim & Tony’s, as usual wonderful food and company.
This fall I had all my cast iron re-seasoned, and I am starting to use again for most cooking.
Some pieces I need to re-do as they still stick, but I am waiting for the time when the seasoning is robust enough to handle most things.
I also treated myself to an enameled dutch oven, which I had wanted forever. This Moroccan Stew was the christening dish:
The dutch oven is great, but it wasn’t a Le Cruset.. and I may have to go that route as this one seems to be failing on the interior rather quickly. But at least I know I will use it and therefore can spend the money on something that should last a lifetime.
We made the trek down to Santa Cruz to see Bruce on Friday July 12 at the Rio Theatre. It’s a good 7 hour drive from here without stops.. good thing we went a day early so we had some energy recovery time!
We cruised by the Rio on Friday afternoon to check it out.
I was hoping to catch sound check, but that didn’t happen. I did talk to Russ Cole, who did sound for Bruce, who said he did a very long sound check.
It was a sunny bright day in Santa Cruz and I was very excited to see Bruce as it has been 14 months since the last time at the Van Duzer Theater.
Look How Far:
We were told by someone inside to come back at 6pm for will call, so of course we got there even earlier to find out that Will Call wasn’t until 7pm! So there was one line for General Admission and one line for Gold Circle (first 15 rows) and most everyone in those lines had to also get in the will call line to get the actual tickets.. quite a little tense fiasco by the time the doors got open. But I love talking to fans in line, meeting new people, re-meeting others from meets at other shows, and of course connecting with good friends, like Riley and Kathy (who we first met at the Arcata Theater Lounge show. And Paul from the 2002 Kate Wolf Festival.
There were a few surprises in the setlist this time around,
and Russel snagged the original and had Bruce sign it after the show.
There is always so much energy at these shows, the banter back and forth with the crowd.. the calling of songs to be played, often with Bruce commenting on them. Someone asked for Tropic Moon, he said, “that’s a good song and I don’t think I have ever had anyone ask for it” (paraphrased). Someone also asked for Lord of the Starfields, which I believe he said ‘was a great song and very close to his heart, but now he was not going to play that one now’.
Here is something that he did play though: When You Give It Away
Bruce also did a meet and greet and signage after the show. The line was long and Bruce was visibly tired, but he graciously signed and spoke with his adoring fans.
Once again I had the photo from the last time we met and he signed it for me. We chatted for a couple of seconds, he said he had thought he would see me at the Grass Valley show, and I said I had planned to go there, but when the chance of guaranteed close to the stage seating was offered with the Rio show, how could I refuse? He said, “I hear you on that” and we laughed.. older bodies, ya know??
I knew he was driving back to San Fransisco that evening and leaving the next day for Grass Valley for his WorldFest gig on Sunday the 14th at around 6pm.. (3 hours from now as I write this wishing I could be there as well), so I threw him a heart kiss and we left.
I didn’t get a photo of us taken this time, so I guess the run of signing photos from past shows is over, but it was a good run. One day I will gather them all and make another blog post about that.
The past 2 months have been filled with taking care of lots of little things, like after 2 years of not detailing my 4 Runner, getting it done. Looks almost like it did when I bought it, and ‘Partners in Grime’ saved the paint job!
Russel got a canopy and a rack installed on his Tundra and now can haul his Aikido mats without wrapping in a tarp, keep things secure in the back and haul lumber or his canoe.. maybe we will actually get to Ruth Lake this year for some fishing for him and swimming for me.
I have been going into town way more often than is normal, mainly to sit with and help out my friend Helen, who is in constant pain and confused much of the time. At this point she is getting almost 24/7 paid support and volunteers to help with taking care of her, but the time to move her into assisted living is drawing close. It pains me to see this happen to her. She is / was such an independent person and really wanted to be able to spend her last years in her sweet home.
The garden is doing great, although the last few days we had rain, yes you heard me, RAIN at the end of June! The area is close to drought so this is good, but the lettuce is having a hard time standing up!
We are still having a good crop of sugar snap peas, lettuce and beets (so so sweet), summer squash is coming on strong.
I have been making Pesto from my basil and freezing it up as I always do.
We bought organic raspberries that ended up in a new tart recipe with a cream fraiche filling.
And I did 8oz jars of organic blueberry jam, 22 jars in fact.
I am contemplating buying a pressure canner, Russel has wanted one for awhile, but I am a bit ‘afraid’ of them. And we don’t grow enough of the crops to pressure can, and buying them at our Farmers Market is cost prohibited … so?? We will see.
I would love to put up fresh beets (no pickling) and garnet yams (in the fall when you can get them for good price).
I am sure once the pressure canner is here, I will find all kinds of things to can up.. like maybe batches of my great chili and pototo leek soup. Our freezer is tiny, so can’t stock up that way.
We just had a heatwave week, very hot here and hotter in town. Fried up a lot of the flowers in the garden, time to start pulling them and find something for color that needs little to no water. Water may be an issue here and is an issue for the community at large.
I am feeling great! So glad that the gall bladder removal was the ticket to being able to eat without fear! Potlucks — no problem.
I am also anxiously awaiting a Bruce Cockburn show in July in Santa Cruz.. it has been 25 years since I been to Santa Cruz, and way too long since I had a Bruce fix.