July 22, 2016

Womens' Weekend Away!

Portland bound.

Gonna love the Oregon scenery.

Gonna love the conversation.

Gonna love the wine tasting.

Gonna love the shopping.

Gonna love the photo ops!

Bye bye Redding heat! See you on Monday!

July 20, 2016

Well, That Was Fun!

Have I mentioned that life is definitely keeping me in the fast lane of late?

The exits from the fast lane are often quite scary. I took one of the exits last week and, despite the title of this post...the merge was not fun.

Saturday evening, I was working on my Catechesis Certification class. Not actually working, just reading the assigned readings. The house was quiet and I was alone. During the third reading an incredible feeling, much like an angry bull, rushed up from my chest and was trying to bust through the area just below my right jaw. The pain almost knocked me out.

I sat wondering what the hell was happening, when my chest became totally constricted by what seemed a girdle that kept tightening and tightening. My heart beat was racing. I became a little light headed and was holding my chest as my husband walks in from work, actually about 15 minutes earlier than usual.

We raced to the hospital where two teenagers (why does everyone under 30 look like a teenager when one is over 60?)  did a trauma review of my symptoms. They gave each other those raised eyebrow looks and sent me back to the waiting room for 5 minutes. The waiting room that had no one in it.

After our 5 minute wait, someone brought out a wheelchair to take me in, stating they didn't want me to walk since it appeared I was having a heart attack. Okay to die in waiting room but not while walking back to ER....hmm.

In the ER, all the beds were empty. There were seven or eight personnel sitting around the nurses station. The RN who met us at the door told the wheelchair driver to push me to Trauma Room 3.

Begin Questions: Same 11 questions asked and answered by me or my husband to about 14 different people.

Chest is getting tighter, bull under my jaw has been joined by the rest of the herd.

So, I would share with you the whole sordid details, describe the bruises from shots in my stomach and collapsed IV's and blood draws but I'm going to pass.

What I am going to tell you is that after every heart test, scan, contrast-thingy things, including an angiogram and full body scan for blood clots, I am 100% okay!  The cardiologist even asked me to trade arteries with him because mine are so clear (that deserves some Ben & Jerry's, right?)

I have a bundle blockage from a past heart attack, which everyone said could not in anyway have caused this 'event'!

So, I am home. No new meds, no new diet (blood work was awesome, even dropped 4 points in my cholesterol!) No new anything except advice to bring the stress level in my life down.

Really? Ya think?

July 07, 2016

ISO and Monet

A week ago we took a drive out to Mom and Dad's house. They live along the Sacramento River in a fairly remote area. We forgot to take our cameras. (What's that you say? Photographers who don't carry their camera bag in the trunk of the car....!)

We took the 'back-way' on the return trip and saw 3 osprey nests with big chicks peeking over the sides, a giant blue heron standing on a rock in the river, several hawks, a woodpecker, rabbits and an incredible build up of bright white clouds over Mt. Lassen.

"Never again!" cried my husband.

Sunday, Frank had his camera. He pulled it from the bag sitting on the desk since our vacation to June Lake near Mammoth.

We visited with folks and headed home, the back way.

Osprey, here we come.

Oh my god! It was incredible. We actually saw 5 huge osprey nests. One had four birds in it, all staring straight into Frank's lens. Three nests had three birds in and one nest had only two. One of the birds of a trio clutched onto the edge of the nest and gave us an incredible show of his wings. Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click. Frank's Nikon takes about 12 shots per second and he was going for every one of those shots.

Around one of the bends in the road we spotted the largest hawk either of us had ever seen. He was standing on a fence post.  Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click. The hawk was not bashful. He wasn't going to leave his perch. Then we realized he was eating a fresh catch and he realized we weren't going anywhere. He grasped his squirrel in both claws and flew away. Awesome shots, wings spread, clutching his prey.

We discovered a couple more bunnies and snapped their portraits. We've been searching for a Western King Bird and found a guy who would not only sit for his portrait but sang to us as  Frank snapped away.

We rode home into the sunset, talking about the incredible photos that we can submit to this and that contest, talked about printing on metal or canvas.

We skipped dinner and headed right for the computer to load the pictures....

Here's where Monet comes in!

It appears that the last time we used the camera was at twilight up in the mountains for family group shots. Flash was wiping everyone out so the ISO was set up high....very, very high.

Those perfect photos at unbelievable close range? Not so sharp! Claude Monet would have been extremely envious of our osprey. Superb impressionism!

Sidenote: Check your ISO!


LIFE! Dang, it does have it's moments.

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post.

Catch up time:

Book is done: went to layout 3 times but is now awaiting diocese approval for imprimatur before publishing

Proposal at diocese went well: going to start pilot program at three parishes

Class Handout is done:

Still working on Syllabus

Daughter is moving to east coast with her two daughters and husband....3000 miles away
(thrilled for them, dreams come true but I know the minute they leave I will crawl into a dark corner and suck on my thumb for a month or two)

Taking an online catechesis certification class through Notre Dame....dang, a lot of reading but really, really good class. Love the discussions.

First day of vacation I took a bad fall and landed on both knees, titanium one and one that needs titanium.  Bruised and ugly but was a great excuse to sit along the river and read while everyone went hiking at 8000 foot elevation.

So, basically, been running (or falling) as my blog gathers dust.

I miss you all.

Secret Love

Imaginary Garden with Real Toads is having a little poetry contest about secret loves.

While I wish I had time to write a poem, I do not, but many, many, many years ago I memorized a poem that touched my heart. I didn't however memorize the author, for that I am sorry and will try and find out who to give credit to.

"In secret we met,
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
In silence and tears."

Memorized it in high school, there was no secret love.....or was there?

June 03, 2016

Question Of The Month

What a crazy two months have just flown by. There hasn't been time to just sit and think, sit and be still or, frankly, just sit.

Today I am calling a personal time out. It is Michael D'Agostino's Question of the Month time. I've locked my bedroom door, turned off my cell's ringer and have turned the Mumford Brothers on Pandora really, really loud.

I am declaring the next 20 minutes "Free Play" time to answer this question. Is it a question that requires deep thinking? Nope. Is it a question who's answer is going to change your world. Not even the slightest bit. It is a question that requires nothing from me nor can I be wrong.

It is even an inquiry whose response can be changed by me three minutes after I have posted it, if I care to. Yup, though I can (almost) guarantee you that it won't change.

For Michael at A Life Examined, I thank you for the respite and the question:

Of all the places in the world that you haven’t yet been to, where would you like to go next?”

Having either lived in or traveled to 37 states and 3 countries, I realize that there is still so much world to see. Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Italy, Costa Rica...even the moon, the list seems endless.

I want to see them all. Not so crazy about landing ON the moon but sailing through outer space and watching a sunrise or sunset over the big blue marble in the sky would turn me on more than cheesecake.

In this moment, though, at this stage of my life, my dream destination would be a nice cabin in the woods, miles and miles and miles away from towns, freeways, cellular reception and (not that there's anything wrong with them) people! Of course, you know that means no television. I will bring a couple of CD's if I need music other than the wind in the trees, the flowing of the river and an occasional call of a hawk or an eagle.

Maybe a nice single story house with a view of the pine trees, a river, the ridges across the river. Montana would be good, even Kentucky or those little tiny hills they call mountains in West Virginia.

When I said 'no people' I did not include my handsome husband. It would be wonderful, if after 3 days or so, he would come join me. I would probably need more wine by then and a little wedge of cheesecake!

May 13, 2016

Listen To Your Intuition

Kate is my grandson's significant other. They have a brilliant two year old daughter. They both work very hard at their jobs and their work ethic is extremely strong.

Kate, as you know, works at a credit union. She is a teller and she loves, loves, loves her job.

Tuesday afternoon she looked up from her paperwork to see two people walk through the door. The one in front walked straight to a teller, the one in back sat in one of the waiting chairs.

Her thoughts were that he was probably going to sit while the first person got his transaction done, so she continued her work.

The 1st person finished up, walked out and the young man was still sitting. Kate took a little time to study him and found a huge knot building up in her gut. "Something is wrong," she thought.

She left her station and walked over to him and asked him if there was something she can help him with. He stood up, answering, "I'm waiting for a teller."

"I'm a teller," she replied. "I can help you."

"No, not yet. In five minutes." he replied.

The knot in Kate is growing but knowing that something was seriously wrong, she studied him. Height, haircut, facial features, black jeans, black hooded sweatshirt (in 88 degree temps) and a black handkerchief around his neck.

She went back to the bank manager. Shared her feeling of impending trouble. The manager walked over to the stranger, asking again, "May we help you?"

"I'm waiting for a teller."

"There is a teller open at that station," he said, pointing at Kate.

"No, I am waiting for her." The man in black points to the older teller who has a customer.

"Okay! She should be available soon."

The manager walks back to Kate to tell her that the guy must know one of the other teller's older kids and is specifically waiting for her.

Kate doesn't buy it! She takes all but the minimum amount of cash from her drawer to the vault. As she is starting to walk out of the vault, she sees the stranger walk to the older teller and say, "I'm sorry for what's about to go down!"

Kate stops in the doorway and takes a step back into the vault. As she was telling us the story she says, "I've watched enough cop shows to know that the phrase, "I'm sorry for what's about to go down" is almost always followed by bodies and blood. Well, it wasn't going to be mine, I have a two year old who needs me."

She stayed in the vault the whole two minutes the robbery took place. Robber didn't even put his hankie over his face as he had been siting in the back for at least 10 minutes, so cameras had a good record of his features.

Panic buttons hit, police showed up within 3 minutes. They searched the area around bank but could not find the 'bad guy'! He actually took the money her had stolen and handed it out to homeless people in town. He turned himself in the next morning.

Kate was rewarded for her intuition and perception with a $10 Starbucks gift card! (Nice job trying to save our butts, go have some coffee!)

I tell you, there is nothing like the intuition of a young mom with a kid to live for. Not one other person in the credit union had any clue that something was wrong, even after her warning.

The saddest part of the whole story is that for the past two days, customers at the credit union have been abusive, rude and cruel.  They accuse the tellers of not standing their ground and refusing to hand over the money, accuse them of being cowards, etc, etc.

One aggressive woman customer "He didn't even have a gun, you should have just told him 'NO!'"
"We didn't know that he didn't have a gun." was Kate's answer.
"Well, you should have been able to tell!"

So, the 'bad guy' steals $800 and gives it away to homeless people on the streets and the upstanding 'good' citizens are being nasty.

What a world!

May 11, 2016

Bad News and More Bad News!


Bad News #1:

Our grandson's girlfriend's bank was held up yesterday!

What a story!

Bad News #2:

I don't have time to write it down today....dang gum!

But tomorrow, am I going to have a story for you!!!!

May 09, 2016

Canadian Friends

"The end of the Republican party...."

After last week's Primary results, I read on one of the blogs that Trump's nomination was going to be the end of the Republican Party.

Normally, that wouldn't sound too bad! The extreme religious conservatives have tweaked my butt, if you know what I mean. Also, the party drawing a line in the sand, crossing their arms across their heartless chests and refusing to play Operation Government is foul! Everyone of those jerks needs a red card and to be thrown off of the playing field.

Yet, the thought of no Republicans is also very scary.

I am a Democrat (like you didn't know!). I would say I'm halfway between moderate and woo-woo! I probably even stand on the conservative side on some issues (but none come to mind!).

Many of my friends, including my husband and two of my children lean towards conservative thinking. Actually, my hubby is very conservative, even though he is a registered Democrat. (Boy, some of our 'discussions' have been doozies!).

Most of my closest friends are liberal, very liberal, in fact.

In spite of our differences, together, we know how to communicate, collaborate, cooperate! Even when we agree to disagree, there is (for the most part) a peacefulness about it. 

We need at least two political parties, though I wish the people of this nation were more open to allowing some of the other parties on the playing field instead of just running up and down the sidelines.

We need a Republican party. We need a Democratic party. We need people with conservative thoughts and ideas and we also need liberal thinkers.

Most important is the need for balance, integrity, for cooperation.

We, also, need to climb out of the labeled boxes we have stuffed ourselves into, release the egotistical desire to be called the 'Winner' and just be people who want the world to work for the betterment of people, animals, and earth.

Sidenote: If any of you sight the Mother ship, let them know I am packed and waiting. 

May 05, 2016

From Paulo Coehlo

An excerpt from the book Like The Flowing River, posted on Coehlo's blog today:

"I was talking to a Catholic priest and a young Muslim man over lunch. When the waiter came by with a tray, we all helped ourselves, except the Muslim, who was keeping the annual fast prescribed by the Koran.
When lunch was over, and people were leaving, one of the other guests couldn’t resist saying:
“You see how fanatical these Muslims are! I’m glad to see you Catholics aren’t like them.”
“But we are,” said the priest. “He is trying to serve God just as I am. We merely follow different laws.”
And he concluded: “Its a shame that people only see the differences that separates them. If you were to look with more love, you would mainly see what we have in common, then half the world’s problems will be solved.”

Have you ever met someone of a different religion, ethnicity, culture, region or nation and made an instant judgement about them only to find that they were more like you than different from you?

May 03, 2016

It's Tuesday and that means It's Okay!

Over at Airing My Laundry, it is Hey, It's Okay Tuesday! That's a good thing and it comes just in time because there are a whole bunch of things that are NOT OKAY on Mondays!

Here's what's okay at Wondering and Wandering today:

The city we live in is offering rebates to pull out our lawn (drought) and replace our old toilets (drought)! Yeah, no watering except for drip tips here and there and I get to toss the bricks in the toilet tank away!

My car needs to get a smog certificate this year before registration but low smog prevents global dimming.

I get to go shop for toilets and rocks! Hmm, I wonder what one wears for such auspicious events! I suppose heels are out.

Thunder clouds are moving in....was that a rumble I just heard? Yummy!

There are five gum drops in a bag on the counter and I am going to eat them, every last one of them! I might even drink a soda because I am the boss of me and I do what I want, especially on Tuesdays!!!!

Short list for this Tuesday, though there is a host of Okay stuff. Mostly, It's Okay not to have to share it all.

Wish me luck on the toilet hunt! Oh, and, just for the record....oval or round?