April 10, 2019


Wow. Couldn't remember how to make a new post for a second there.

Life continues. Spring has sprung. FINALLY!

Ashes removed from yard from fire.

Snowed. Snow caused trees to fall on pergola and in pool.

Insurance claims filed.

Even more trees fell on grandson's new house, taking out cars, power, shop, fences.

More insurance claims filed.

Grandson and family moved in with us for 32 days while trees were cut, power poles reset, etc.

Get a new pool sweep, pool pump and filter and new pergola. Yay!

Received offer on folks' house.

Had Dad's funeral service with Patriot Guard procession, Military honors, gun salute, VFW presentation, U.S. Flag presented to me. Incredible. (remember we had to cancel first funeral because of Carr Fire).

Folks' House flooded ruining 4 month old floor.

Hi Insurance Adjuster! Remember us?

New floor being installed.

Buyer leaped out of escrow. Bye Bye, Felicia.

Spent yesterday at folks' house.

What a beautiful day. Spring actually was bursting around us as we worked in yard and did some tweaks to put house back on market.

My mom and dad had both talked about how Ted, a wonderful and loving family member who passed from cancer 20 years ago would often visit them in their backyard. When they thought of him a butterfly would show up within feet of them. Mom often said she would do the same if she was to visit us.

Yesterday as my sister and I worked in the backyard and talked about Mom and Dad, two butterflies came and hung out with us.

In spite of chaos, things are good. The Guy retired. We paid off out mortgage. We know the house will sell, but to the right buyer.

My Mother and Father are missed but we know they are in a good place.

The day before the funeral service, the Guy was washing the kitchen floor. He moved the refrigerator to wash underneath. Under the fridge there was an old, yellow clipping from a newspaper. It was crisp with age but couldn't have been under there any length of time because Frank always moves the fridge when washing the floor. (I know, a bit OCD but works for me!).

The clipping was of this poem, just in time for Dad's services.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die. 

We cried and cried but in our hearts we knew it was from Dad. He was generous like that. We also knew the message was for Frank because Dad knew damn well, I wasn't gonna be moving no refrigerator when I wash the floor.
Life is good. Busy. Crazy. But good.

Can't wait to catch up with everyone's blogs.

Thinking about you all! 

December 13, 2018

High Seas - Sunday Kind Of Love / We Go Together - DMG 4000 - 1960

This is the High Seas, on of my Uncle Adrian's bands. He is back row, second from the right, my Uncle Bill is far right (handsome dudes, right?) My Aunt Anita's brother John is back row, second from the left. Funny, both Uncle Adrian and John were called Sonny by their families. I saw the other Sonny (John) at Uncle Adrian's funeral. He kept telling me how beautiful my mom was (over and over and over)! He must have had a heavy duty crush on her "back in the day"!

My dad took these photos for them in our living room.

The band started out as Little Al and the Uniques. Then just the Uniques. When they started touring with Jan and Dean, they got a new manager who wanted them to change their name. They became the High Seas. Uncle Bill joined the army and left the group.

Uncle Bill continued to play guitar and he had a voice like Elvis. He sang all the old Elvis songs when ever we were around.

December 07, 2018

C'mon 2019!

Hi all.

Missed your blogs and comments and wondering what's been going on with you all. Will try to catch up on blogs soon.

Therapy is doing the job, only half a bubble off now!

Camp Fire was crazy scary. Can't believe the devastation and so many lives lost.

Air was bad but better than Carr Fire.

Two of The Guy's aunts lost their homes and everything else in the Camp Fire. Lots of friends and friends of friends are homeless but community is rising strong.

We lost two uncles in November. The Guy's uncle died on Veteran's Day. My uncle passed last week.

Saw incredible cousins and aunties and had our heart tanks filled up. Nothing like family misbehaving with cousins to make one feel young again!

My uncle was in a band in the late '50's and early '60's. His band opened for the first Jan & Dean Tour. He also sang back-up for Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. His voice was incredible.

The folk's house on the river is on the market. (Phew, that was a lot of work, but it shines!)

Almost tempted to live there ourselves. The folks owned it for over 42 years.

So life moves on, but, to be honest. 2018 was a bit of a shit-show and can't wait for 2019!

October 16, 2018

New Day

First day back in therapy.

Best cry I've had in years.

Felt like my brain had been scooped out of my skull but Patty says there's hope! I'm choosing to believe her.

Another fire on Sunday on the ridge in front of us. Fire out but tired of front row seats to such destruction.

Dad's house is almost ready for market.

Three rooms in my house are back to normal, only partly instead of mostly storage units!

Going to see my daughter and family in Massachusetts in November.

Seven sentences and I am ready for a nap (nap=code word for hiding under the covers).

September 28, 2018

Just a hint of what's beneath...

GOP rush to fill SCOTUS vacancy may not be about Roe. Check the docket for cases regarding pharmaceutical, energy, financial corporations. Roe is again being used as a shield so we can't see what is going on behind it. (or maybe not!)

p.s. Anyone else need a drink?

September 19, 2018

My Oh My!

Dad's house in Redding closed escrow last week.

The couple that bought it lost everything in the CARR Fire.

Title recorded, funds transferred and sis and I (Trustees) wrote checks for brother and selves.

October 1st, the Guy and I will be paying off our mortgage...oh man!

It sounds so good saying it, how good will it feel doing it?

Thank you, Mom and Dad! You can't know how much this means to us.

Can't wait to sign the payoff check to mortgage company...

Sincerely but no longer yours,
The Guy and Toni


September 18, 2018

Quote of the Day

Heard of Spike Dolomite Ward? She is a total political guard dog!

Loved this little goody from her post today:

"We need an investigation into the Trump administration to find out if any of them have any ties to America."


Remember my friend Lyn. She had knee surgery sometime in the spring, or winter; time is all running together like one big hammer! She also flew her Harley off Buckhorn Summit several years back.

She lives in the mountains. She was supposed to evacuate but has three cats and two very large, very old dogs so she stayed put. She's also a die-hard, don't-screw-with-me gal from the Bronx and absolutely does not scare easy. My god, I just love her.

Her cell reception is uber questionable up in them thar hills, so we have been out of communication; worried, but assured that Lyn can and will take care.

Finally talked with her yesterday. She confirmed she was at her house; she and fur-babies doing well in spite of smoke thicker than pea soup (cough-cough-cough).

While walking the dogs she discovered a man sleeping in his truck. When she approached him, and I can imagine she walked up, rapped on the window and shouted, "What the hell, man?"

Turns out he is a firefighter. He was sleeping in his truck because the roads were closed due to fire. Hotels are full anyway, so it wouldn't have helped if he came to town. So he spends his 24 hour break in his pickup truck, then goes back to fight fire for 24 hours.

In true Lyn fashion, she said, "Oh hell no!"

He has been staying at her house. Sleeping in a real bed, eating solid organic, healthy meals, getting showers, fur-baby love and true appreciation.

See why I love her? Heroes take care of heroes!

Saw Mt. Shasta again last night. Fires still burning but containment is growing.

September 17, 2018


What the hell?

A month has passed since I've posted, though, full-disclosure, I have lurked in the wee hours of some mornings.

Oxygen, or the lack thereof, has a lot to do with my absence. The air quality has been atrocious. Some days we couldn't see the house at the end of the cul-de-sac. Today there is a bear walking down one of our main streets and people are reporting mountain lions, bears and bob cats walking through their yards. We are discovering pets who survived, walking out of the ashes.

Two new fires got way out of control, even shut down Interstate 5 a couple of times. The detours are winding mountain roads and ended up with multiple traffic accidents or semi-trucks stuck in too sharp a curve, blocking roads for hours.

Today the skies are blue if one looks up or to the south. Was outside early this morning and north is still sucky BUT yesterday we actually saw a gray profile of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen for the first time in six weeks.

I am so proud of our community. Talk about spirit! People are taking care of the fire fighters, first responders, families who have lost their homes and the animals.

Discovered a couple of people who would sneak into their evacuated neighborhoods, check on neighbors homes, feed their neighbor's chickens. One guy (our contractor) actually ran out of feed for his neighbor's chickens, called animal control and asked for them to bring them some food! So our Animal Control person loaded up her truck with chicken feed and delivered, behind evacuation lines!

Same guy (I call him A-A-Ron) discovered a Meth-head standing in the front yard, checking out his house. He turned the gun in his pocket so the handle could be seen and warned the trespasser to stay away from his house and neighbors' homes. He then said, "I would probably shoot a looter or trespasser, which would be bad because this is an evacuated area. A body laying on the lawn probably wouldn't be discovered for at least 3 or 4 days, what was left of it in 100+ degree weather and all the hungry wild animals."  Suprisingly, none of the houses in his area were looted!

Dad's house in Redding has sold. Working on the house on the river.

Called my old therapist, who calls me a kick-ass warrior, to tell her that even Kick-Ass Warriors need tune-ups now and then. She's on an extended vacation but I think I'll be mentally okay (being a K-A-Warrior and all) for two more weeks.

In the meantime, I'm headed for Sedona. Going to sit in nature, energize my spirit, check out some art and, just maybe, find a beautiful Iolite pendant to bring home with me.

August 15, 2018

Blue Sky

Air quality is 78 this morning. The sky is blue, BLUE!

There are a couple of clouds and they are white, WHITE!

If you don't look to the west you would think it's a normal summer day.

Carr Fire containment is somewhere is 67 percent!

Fresh air is a good thing!

But even better than fresh air?

Firefighters, First Responders, Police Department, Utility Employees! Still kicking ash all over the west.

August 14, 2018

Album of 45's

My folks always had a huge collection of LP's. Nat King Cole, Johnny Coltrane, Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Frankie Lane, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis.  The list goes on and on. We listened to lots of music in the last couple of months with Dad.

When we moved him to Redding we discovered an album of old 45's! Elvis, Ritchie Valens, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, The Four Seasons, The High Seas.

My parents were Cool!

No breathing today...again!

Air quality was 336 this morning even though last night at midnight it actually dropped to 78. Drop was probably due to high winds; good for air, not so good for fires.

A contractor is going in to the folks house on the river. We're having the interior painted, the old carpet pulled and new flooring installed.

I'm still working on painting kitchen cabinets; then on to bathroom cabinets.

Sunday, The Guy and I went in and packed and packed more 'stuff' to clear the garage so that we can move the little bit of furniture left in the house into garage. Then we pulled down all the drapes, drapery rods, nails in walls and the last shelf in the house. Funny how bright and open a house is without heavy window coverings! Mom and Dad had all the drapes custom made for maximum warmth and privacy. Man, they were heavy!

Did well, with only three or four complete melt downs. Weird how grief just jumps up and slaps you!

Working on a couple of press releases for a radio interview show that I do research for. Two really interesting guest coming up. One is teacher of the year who just happens to be a music director and the conductor/director of our local symphony; both incredibly interesting men. Meeting with the show host and music director on Thursday. Really looking forward to it though, to be honest, I'd rather stay in bed and read a good book or maybe just pretend to read a good book!

Weird how much alone time a grieving introvert needs to recharge the batteries. Where is that frickin' little energizer bunny when he's needed?