July 15, 2017

Nana's House

Days have been hot; perfect for hours and hours in the pool.

Alaina has re-introduced us to In and Out, Der Weinerschnitzel, Manhattan Bagel and Jamba Juice! (Yes, my stomach does hurt but not from the food but the laughing!)

Two of our other granddaughters have joined us and our great-granddaughter has spent time with her aunts and cousin.  There is actually a tent in our family room, a full size, honest-to-goodness tent, not your typical blankets and table tent!

Brinley was surprised by the mermaids that showed up.  The girls were very secretive about the changes but they did say, "If a mermaid was to magically show up in a pool, it would definitely by Nana's pool!"  (melt my heart)





She loved the mermaids but caught on that there was very little magic involved!

Got to go! We need to stop off for bagels and smoothies and then head out to my folks house.

We're taking the violin with us. Mom and Dad will love the personal concert.

Can a person have too much fun?


July 14, 2017

Mystery Blogger Award!

Can I just say, I love, love, love the bloggers in my neighborhood! I do, I really, really do.

Nick Wilford nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award (yay!)  Nick became one of my favorite bloggers to visit during the 2017 A to Z Challenge though I was familiar with him through the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Check him out!

This is the Mystery Blogger Award, which comes with a raft of rules.








Rule 1. Put the award/logo image on your blog. Did it!

Rule 2. List the rules. Don't rush me, I'm working on it.

Rule 3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Done-already-did-it, but just to make sure none of you readers missed it...Thank you, Nick Wilford, for nominating me.

Rule 4. Also mention the creator of the award and provide a link.

Oh, hey, did you know that the Mystery Blogger award was created by Okoto Enigma. Just thought I would mention it!

Rule 5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.

1) As a senior in high school, I was the captain of the girl's basketball team. We were undefeated champions. When it came to taking the President's Fitness Test, I couldn't make 1 free-throw basket. What can I say, I was a Guard!!!

2) One of my favorite things to do is wake up around 3:30 or 4 a.m. and read or write or whatever and go back to bed when the rest of the world is getting up and going to work. It feels decadent and delicious.

3) I can see auras.

Rule 6. Nominate other bloggers.

Debra @ She Who Seeks
Bob @ I Should Be Laughing
Baili @ Baili and I
anne marie @ From My Brain To My Mouth
Arlene @ Starting Over, Accepting Change

Martha @ Plowing Through Life and Miniaturopolis has been answering a gazillion questions or I would have nominated her. Play along if you so desire, Martha, no pressure! 

Rule 7. Nominate those people. Dang, Okoto Enigma is sure bossy!

Rule 8. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, plus one weird or funny question.

Remember what Carl Sagan said, "“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.”

1) What author would you want to write your biography?
2) If your life was a movie, what would the theme song be?
3) Destiny or Free Will?
4) Have you ever read a book that truly changed your life?
5) Who/What has had the greatest impact on your life?
Funny/weird question: If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Here's the questions I was asked:

1)  What made you decide to start blogging?

When I started my blog, a very close friend and I were working on a metaphysical manuscript on how we create time and space. I was also working on a book of a more autobiographical nature. Both books were heavy and intense, I wanted to write of lighter things. I am also an artist and was jonesing on creating my own backgrounds, so I started Wandering and Wondering.

2) Do you have any schedule for posting or is it spontaneous?

Other than the 2017 A to Z challenge, my posts are completely spontaneous, though I did promise myself several years ago to write a minimum of 2 hours a day. There are many days that I write but don't post it. Why? Too dark, too irreverent, too critical, too too!

3) Have you ever been in a situation that seemed bad but ended up leading to something positive?

If you only knew!!!  Every bad, scary or challenging situation teaches me something. I may not make the necessary changes in the first couple of lessons but eventually I 'get it'!

4) Ever given up on reading a book but then gone back to it later?


Many times. Once because just holding the book gave me the heebie-jeebies. Found out the previous owner had committed suicide shortly after reading it. A friend gave me a new copy and it was great. Sometimes my mood or frame of mind just isn't ready. I almost always go back, read it and enjoy it.

5) Name one main goal that you want to achieve in the next year.

2017 is the year of Purging. Several hundred books need new homes, unused decorative items, furnishings, stuff. My main goal? Lighten the load!




Funny/weird question: What would be your current protagonist's go-to song in karaoke? If you're not working on a book at the moment, name a song for your favourite book character.


My protagonist would probably be humming this song to herself quite often; Patty Griffin's Long Ride Home


Rule 9. Share a link to my blog's best post.

How do I go about vetting my posts for stand-out honors?  Relevance? Reverence? Comments? Views?


Hard to decide. I do, however, have two personal favorites.


I was blown away during the Superbowl Deflate-Gate scandal, hearing the phrase 'Chain of Custody' used in football. I enjoyed writing it, though it received absolutely no response. But I liked it, maybe it was the 11 year old in me using the word 'balls'!  Yes, I am just that immature!


Loving music, I like to compare who sings what song the best, so I also enjoyed writing and occasionally reading 'Saturday Night and I ain't got nobody' from 2008!


Looking forward to all your Mystery Blogger posts!

July 13, 2017

Oh Marquessa!

Did you read Simply Marquessa this morning?

She asks the question:

“Are you a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes?”

Sadly, this summer, I am neither. I am a happy little ant, going this way and that, surrounded by grandchildren, great-grandchild, parents and heat.



Digital dust is settling on my book, my blog and my art. 

Do I feel bad or guilty?  Uh, no! I'm having too much fun.

Winter is long, kids will be in school, the pool will be covered. Blogs can wait, children don't; they grow up way too fast. Books can wait, aging parents don't; hard to know how many days we have left.

But, to really answer Marquessa's question; I am a writer that blogs, but the summer of 2017, this writer is taking a vacation and getting a little Vitamin D and lots of love.


July 08, 2017

Quick Check In

Wedding went wonderfully. Bride and groom couldn't stop smiling!  The kiss at the end of the ceremony was hilarious because they couldn't hold the grins at bay long enough to smooch.



Their daughter walked away with the bride's shoes and announced to everyone that 'they' (all three of them) were getting married!



Returning to our car after the wedding, we discovered one of our tires was flat.  Low and behold, our little plastic donut spare tire which we have never used was also flat!

Reception activities included: tire changing, trying to locate a tire repair shop on a Sunday after 6:30, not locating a tire repair shop on a Sunday after 6:30, purchasing a tire pump for spare from Auto Zone.



Cole and Frank ended up rotating tires, placing good tire in front and spare in back. Then we drove in the dark through the mountains, dodging 7 dear and a cow, while I prayed and prayed and prayed.

We spent July 4th, swimming and watching movies. We live across the river from the fireworks, so Frank went out back and used the drone to photograph explosions and reflections. I spent the 22 minutes holding our fur babies, Rex and Lily, and singing the Barney song (I Love You) to them.


I now have new tires on car. Another hit to the budget, so again, probably no Massachusetts' trip, BUT my granddaughter, Alaina is arriving from Boston this evening...YAY!

In spite of the little adventure after the wedding, I have to say, July is turning out to be a great month.

All the grandkids have nicknames, Coleman, Pickles, JP, Dippin' Dots, Pinky Marie, etc. Alaina's nickname is 'The CEO' She is the Chief Entertainment Officer. She sings, dances, plays the violin, the piano (by ear) and is a superstar at Snapchat, and her Kung Fu skills are dang frightening!



We are going to have a super time.


Making this my motto for the month:



Have a great month!

June 29, 2017

Challenge

Hey Kids! Have you ever noticed how life sometimes just comes up and swoops you away?

July is almost here and I don't know what the heck happened to June.  No time to write, well, actually, I could have been blogging but I got caught up in Netflix show, Bloodline! What a train wreck! I'm ashamed to say, I couldn't turn it off. Maybe it was because I kept waiting for someone to slap four of the characters.

July is booked.

This weekend our grandson and his Kate are getting married...long time coming! We're thrilled for them. Later, a granddaughter will be coming to visit from Massachusetts, then she and I will head to visit family in L.A.  (beach...beach...beach!)

August will be here before we know it.

I have a challenge for any of you photo-bloggers, or any one who just wants to play.  It's a 52 week photo challenge.

Photo Courtesy of TECHRADAR
Techradar has a suggestion for each week and advice on how to accomplish it.

I'm going to jump in and take the challenge.

The suggestions look like fun. Not #11! I have an instant gag-reflex if I look at it. Could be my astigmatism but the room starts spinning just taking a little peek.

Anyone want to play?

June 20, 2017

It's Okay Tuesday


Amber got the It's Okay idea from Glamour magazine. Amber is the host at Airing My Laundry, One Post At A Time,

Lots of OKAY going on this week, personally. Lots of 'not okay' going on in the bigger world, but It's Okay, if this one day, I choose to shut it out.


It's Okay that it only cooled down to 80 degrees last night.  Uber hot weather today means the sidewalks and asphalt are too hot to walk the dogs. That's Okay because it's too hot for me to be out there, too.


It's Okay that it's supposed to be 111 degrees today because I have a pool and ice cold beer. It's Okay that my personal goal is to resemble a drunk prune at the end of the day. A cool drunk prune.

It's Okay that being in the water causes our fingers to 'prune up'! Our bodies designed it so it is easier to grip things...like bottles of 805 and a good summer novel.

It's Okay if I sit in the pool and read for awhile. I've got a hat, my phone will be in reach and the beer will be in a cooler across the pool, so I can call it exercise!

It's Okay that we will be eating a salad for dinner. It's good for us and the cook may be too sloshed and pruney to use a gas stove. It's Okay that it will be too dang hot to turn on the oven.

Photo Courtesy of Pitara


It's Okay to float on my back, every part of my body immersed in cool water except my mouth and nose, because I can hear nothing but my heart beat and my lungs at work.

If anyone needs me today, you can find me here.


 Have an Okay Day, ya'll!



June 19, 2017

Too Hot To Type

104 in my front yard. The huge tree shades the entire front of house.

108 in my backyard by noon.

78 in my pool. Guess where I'll be this afternoon!

Too hot to type. Projected high temperature for the day is 112....Got. To. Get. To. Pool.






June 17, 2017

One Of Those Good Days






The weatherman is warning that we may reach 112 degrees tomorrow, the low tonight is supposed to be 78; 77 if you choose to believe the weather app on my IPhone.

Let's not talk about tomorrow. Today was only 103 degrees approximately 4 miles east of home. Up the hill from home it was 101 and home (Home Sweet Home) was only 100! The low last night was 72 here at the house. Good for heating up the pool water but those temps demand the folding and putting away of the top quilt. Washing and storing of the bottom quilt along with the flannel sheets...bye flannel sheets. Welcome back bamboo sheets, welcome back.

We hit the highway early this morning, headed to the mountains. Frank taught a photography class way, way up where the temperature dare not exceed high 80's. Wonderful. Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta were bright and shiny, still wearing most of their winter white coats. The snow melt has the rivers flowing fast and high. The Pit River was just barely missing the bottom of one of the bridges. So good to see after such a long, dreadful drought.

His class was huge, almost 30 people! That's big for small town classes.  I passed on the class. Shot some flowers, did some reading in the cool-ish mountain air and painted my nails!

The drive home was beautiful. There is absolutely nothing better for the soul than a ride in the mountains, unless, of course, it's camping or living in the mountains!

Coming back to the furnace that is Redding, we ran into an old friend. She is now the manager of one of the large chain stores in town. She trained under Frank when he managed a Thrifty's another lifetime ago.  What a treat to see her and catch up on life. 

We made a quick stop at home to let Lily and Rex out for a quick potty break. Redding is not a town where pets can be outside in the middle of the day. 

Headed to our great-granddaughter's birthday party. Three years old! Yes, Really!  Good party. Lots of Littles, lots of Bigs, even some In-Betweeners! Some old friends and some new friends. Best of all, there were misters. Glorious, cooling misters.

Screw all the blow drying it took to get my hair straight this morning! The mist and bubble blower made it seem like it was only 80 degrees. It was heaven.





Also, my sister-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday JT!

Yup, it was a good day.



Tomorrow? Well, we'll see!








June 10, 2017

Rules

Sisters, are you tired of being told what we should and shouldn't do, especially when the rules are directly related to our age or weight? Me, too!

It's the hardest when the person who thinks they are the 'boss of me' is a woman who is thirty years younger than I am. It's bad enough that there are a whole lot of rich old white men who want to rule my body, but, women (?), really?


A friend sent me the following link. I think most of you will love it. I concur with her philosophy 100%.



Warning: Curves Ahead


To be honest, I did visit the post referred to in the link above. I was appalled when it advised women over 30 not to wear non-matching socks! Is there any other kind?  I immediately shut it down and refuse to link to such a shallow-minded article.

June 08, 2017

All I Really Need To Know...

By Linda Harris

What About You



Yesterday I was sitting in a waiting room; magazines were all a hundred years old. Almost bored to tears, I decided to clear my IPhone of ancient stuff.

As I cleared my 'Notes' which frankly consisted mostly of grocery lists and things to take my folks in 2015 and 2016, this little item jumped out.

An article, Mille Femmes, from the March 2016 edition of Good Housekeeping, which I probably read in some other waiting room. The note I have asks,

"How do you see yourself in one single word?"

"Is there one single moment of your life that encapsulates your core being?"

Wheels started turning.

Then, this morning on Facebook, Janis Ian asks this question?


Let's send some happy energy to dear old Socrates and practice a little self-examination.

For me:

Single word: Mother

I choose 'Mother' because it is not just a word, there is a depth to it, a meaning that does not just relate to my relationship with my three children, but to the world.

Single moment: WARNING: CRAZY LADY AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Many years ago, sitting in the kitchen at the ranch, my friend asked me a question. I didn't have an answer. I don't even recall the question, but I do remember walking down to one of the dams to think.

Sitting on a large stone, looking out at the valley, a small village appeared where there were only cows and oaks. The village kind of vibrated in and out of vision, each time it appeared it was a little different. In between appearances, the valley itself changed, evolved.

I'm not sure how long I sat there but I was overcome with the knowledge that linear Time really is just an illusion. I have (rarely) been able to astral travel but never forward or backward in time, only to other places experiencing a horizontal time. (Yes, I have had my medication today!)  The feeling that 'All' was happening at the same 'time' was overwhelming, if not happening at the same time, at least past and future events were accessible.

Encapsulating my core being? Yes, my friends, you can answer, 'WooWoo'!

Now, having written that, I am sure I will never qualify for a concealed weapons permit, or to run for public office.  Crap!

How old would I be if I didn't know how old I am?

As old as the universe, an infant and, oh, let's say 41!

So, before the guys with the white jacket get here, share with us your single word, single moment and your inner age!




June 06, 2017

It's Okay Tuesday!



Amber at Airing My Laundry discovered this idea in Glamour magazine.

I don't post every Tuesday. Not because things are not okay but sometimes things are so okay that there is no time to post!  Other times, things are not okay.

This past two weeks have been a bit of both, but that's life, isn't it?

It's Okay that almost every waking moment is full and demanding. We are trying to make plans for the care of our parents. That's okay because we love them and want them to have quality in their lives and a certain degree of independence.

It's Okay that we are planning the Great Coffee Table Conspiracy of 2017. The folks coffee table is dangerous. It doesn't bite or anything like that, it's just a falling hazard. Mom agreed to having it go but she doesn't like change (that's okay, too) but this time we are going to 'act', not just "think about it!"

It's Okay that I am spending the money and time I would typically pay for therapy to transform the backyard.

It's Okay that I have stripped the backyard of lawn,  moved thousands of rocks, placed weed cloth down and moved thousands of rocks (plus some) onto weed cloth.

Dirt on pool deck is from capping off sprinkler head.  Yay!


It's okay that I dug a ditch, lined it with weed cloth, filled it with good soil (bye-bye crabgrass) and planted Agapanthas to line the rocks.


It's Okay that I built a hill in the curve and filled it with succulents.



It's Okay that the work is going slow. It is not okay to work in the yard when the temperature is 95 plus.



It's Okay that I drove a friend up to an Ashland hospital last week for a total knee replacement. Once we were there, IV in arm, all prepped, the surgery was cancelled! We ended up having a wonderful day wandering through beautiful Ashland, enjoyed a great lunch.





















It's Okay that the drive, both back and forth, through the mountains was beautiful and the conversation stimulating (and filled with good humor).






It's Okay, no matter what, that I have good friends, who are there for me and make some tough times easier to march through and don't mind when things are not okay.

Laughs, tears, celebrations or stresses, they are there to say, "It's Okay!" (Tuesday or not!)




May 27, 2017

Thirty Three!

Frank and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary yesterday.

Hard to believe that we've come this far.

We met at Shasta Dam in 1980. I was a tour guide. He flew over the top of a tour I was leading and yelled, "Look up!"

Poor picture of a picture. In original, Mt. Shasta is in the background.
Everyone on the tour looked up and became enthralled with the handsome hang glider pilot. All the questions for the rest of the tour were about hang gliding, landing zone, launch, etc.

After the tour, and Frank's flight, he came to visit me in the tower. We talked for an hour. He was a fireman, interesting and flirty. I was also married (though my husband of 13 years was still dating).

Frank would come to the dam and seek me out. If he was alone, we would have good conversations full of bantering and laughing. If he had someone with him, he was an asshole and I would do my best to hide out until he left.




I was riffed by President Reagan, so returned to health care. Lost communication with the handsome pilot.

Two years later, I was divorced and working a booth at a health fair, I looked up from spinning blood for hematocrit tests, and saw this handsome man looking at me from the line of another booth. He was in full color and everyone else in the mall, in fact the mall itself, was in black and white! Yup. When the universe gives one that kind of a message, one should listen.

We tried to figure out where we knew each other from, both of us thinking the other looked familiar. When we finally remembered, he waited until the fair was over, then we went out for a pizza. We've basically been together since then.

When we decided to marry, we had the ceremony at Shasta Dam, where we first met.



Thirty three years. Who knew?





May 20, 2017

Busy Week Part II

Two concerts, several birthdays, Rodeo week, some concerns with parents, and, oh yeah, the swimming pool blew up!

Yup! The pressure built up while I was at folks' house and kapow!

The water in the pool was down about 1 1/2 feet and still dropping. The metal strap that holds the pump together is missing. It was either blown to pieces or blew over the fence!

Thankfully, no one was in the yard, so no shrapnel wounds. Hopefully, no one was behind the fence. We haven't looked for bodies, we figured what we don't know, won't hurt us!!!

So, new pump for pool or trip to Massachusetts to visit daughter and family in September.

Budgets. I hate them!

Should be spelled Butt-jets!

Today is supposed to be 101 and tomorrow is supposed to be hotter.

Going to get a t-shirt printed with the most often repeated phrase in Redding from May to October:

"Yeah, but it's a dry heat!" 

Busy Week

Our family grew this week. Son-2 and his wife are fostering the cutest little fellow. It is apparently a foster-to-adopt program. Joy! We now have 8 grandchildren, six young women in the middle sandwiched by boys on the ends. Oldest is a 25 year old young man with a family of his own, and now, the youngest is 3! Yay Us!!!

We spent part of Mother's Day in the Bend with Mom and Dad. Had a nice lunch. Then headed out for the 2 hour drive to Sacramento for dinner with Son-2, his wife and her folks. Awesome dinner. They drove up from L.A., which is easily a 7 hour drive.

Daughter-in-law was being presented with a State of California college employee of the year award in the morning! Yes, we are very proud of all the kids and their spouses!

While leaving the folk's house we took a couple of quick picks of the Bend. Rain was in the mountains, sun shining on the river. Storm moved in pretty quick though.



We actually had heard from the local Birders that there were several Whooping Cranes and a Giant Blue Heron hanging out in the ponds. Found the Heron but the Crane had moved on.  Being afraid of snakes, I didn't walk through the high grass to get the big bird photo...hmm, don't think Frank did either because he was wearing dress pants and dress shoes.

The wind was howling. I'm surprised there was as much body to the clouds.



We headed south, missing the storm, for the most part.

We ate dinner at Station 16. Delicious food, great service.


Mostly seafood. Shrimp Ceviche was to die for!



There is a cultural richness in downtown Sacramento that is so absent from Redding.

We also were in the middle of the last day of the Women's Amgen Tour  Bike Race. Big crowds, streets closed off, great vibes.

Dinner was wonderful. Great company, great conversation, great food! 

We got home just a little after midnight, ready to do it all over again...but first, a good sleep!

May 15, 2017

You Only Live Once

YOLO!

Have you hollered "YOLO" before stepping off one of your bucket list cliffs?

Northern California has it's own style.

We have a physical Yolo. It is off Interstate 5. If someone squeaked out Yolo, others would ask you if you're going to Yuba City or headed for Marysville?

There is no yelling "YOLO" in the north state, when trying to fly or dying our hair purple, we just tell concerned family members and friends,  "I am taking Exit 542!







Have you taken Exit 542 lately? 

If you worked up the nerve, what would you do right now, today, that you haven't done?

If you truly believe that You Only Live Once, and you're working it, what are you doing?

How's it working out for you?


Posting Replies!!!

Are any of the rest of you having difficulties posting replies and comments?

It seems I am allowed (by the cyber gawds) to reply to maybe 4 or 5 comments and then my replies are launched into the ethers (archaic definition, not chemistry).

It's been happening for about 3 weeks.

So, not being able to reply to comments, I go visiting. It seems the comment police follow me and none of my comments will post.

Is this a Blogger issue or should I take it up with the angels and fairies?

May 12, 2017

Susceptible to...


As much as the full moon influences me, my moods, my energy, my libido, which is quite a bit; that's how much a waning moon affects me. 

Most women are familiar with moon cycles. As the moon's light grows narrower and dimmer, a woman withdraws more and more into herself (generally speaking). It is a time of introversion; a time for self-reflection, creative thought, silence. These 14-ish days are for spiritual retreat. It is a time when we don't have much patience with stupidity, interruptions, bad drivers, rude people...well, hell, we just plain don't have patience for much outside influence.

The new moon, or dark moon is for epiphanies or setting intentions. Grand ideas pop into existence after two weeks of emotionally/spiritually withdrawing from the world.

As the moon grows in breadth and brightness, our grand ideas take shape. We become more extroverted, which for me means I will be more likely to join friends for coffee, be a pleasant and courteous driver, and create really delicious meals. I am nicer and nicer and nicer to my husband. I am REALLY nice to him on the full moon.

The day after the full moon...I'm not so nice!

I am a true introvert, so all that waxing-moon socializing wears me out. Like clockwork, the moon loses the slightest crescent of light and I"m tempted to put a sign around my neck that says:



This month, I found that my mood flipped as if there was a switch. It didn't help that it was the third day of a north wind. If you just thought, "Geez, she's got a lot of excuses for her moodiness!" you just made THE LIST! (In Orange-Psycho speak, "Not Good!")

Hey, I'm still nice, I just don't want anybody around to interrupt my niceness!

Does that happen to you? 
Do your moods follow a cycle? 
What are your moods susceptible to
Does it piss you off when a person ends a sentence with a preposition? 




Evolution Of A Foul Mood

Hate seems to be rampant the longer Orange-Psycho is in office.

I'm trying to be positive but the only thing that comes to mind is that I am getting really good at swearing. Not that I've ever been a slouch at foul language but 2017 has really helped me polish it up.

I still can't spit. No matter how hard I try, I just dribble. It seems to me, that to really make a potent emphasis, one should be able to spew a bit of liquid disgust onto the sidewalk.

If impeachment efforts are obstructed and RESIST is impeded, I better be able to extravasate moisture from between my lips or my head might explode!


 

May 09, 2017

It's Okay Tuesday



It's Tuesday again! This past week must have been turbo-charged because it flew by.

We worked in our parents yard, we took a couple of photo tours to snap some pictures of beautiful Shasta County. We attended a school musical in which one of our granddaughters performed in the orchestra. (I bet you're asking yourself, "How many granddaughters do these people have!!!!)

We have six! Each of our kids has two daughters!  Six gorgeous, talented, strong, courageous young women. We also have a grandson, the oldest of our grandchildren.  I used to say that one boy was enough but there is a chance that we might be adding to our family in the next month or so. It looks like one of my sons (not the one with a son already) is probably going to foster-to-adopt a young fella, about 3 years old. We are excited for them, him and us!

So Amber got the It's Okay idea from Glamour magazine. Amber is the host at Airing My Laundry, One Post At A Time.

Let's talk about what's okay today.

Most of my murals in my home are gone, painted over by a delicious gray (lazy gray from Sherwin-Williams or Four White, also Sherwin-Williams) and THAT'S OKAY! The house is so serene.

We have been re-doing the back yard. We have burned, piled up wood for the winter, and got the pool in summer shape. I have also picked up all 332 gazillion rocks in borders, am in the middle of widening borders, replacing weed cloth, and putting 332 gazillion rocks back with the addition of another 42 million black and white rocks.  So, IT'S OKAY that all my nails are broken, there is black crap under what nails are left in spite of wearing gloves!

IT'S OKAY that Rex laid in my poppies and smashed some. It prompted me to put a little fence around the poppy bed.

IT'S OKAY that Rex pouted under the peach tree for an hour after I yelled at him. Time out did him some good!

IT'S OKAY that I have showered twice a day for four days because working in direct sun and high temps make me sweat and that is a good thing.

IT'S OKAY that I have been getting up and down and up and down and up and down because after a week of it, I find that it is now easier to get up and down.

IT'S OKAY  that it is Tuesday and I have all week to work on yard, move rock and shower!

Have a great week ya'll!

Wait, that's not right. I'm from California...I should have said,


Have a great week, dudes!

 

Tuesday Coffee Chat






Ink Interrupted's host, Rory, asked the readers of her Tuesday Coffee Chat to finish this sentence:

If I could go anywhere today...


If I could go anywhere today, I would split myself in two. Half of me would fly to Massachusetts to visit my daughter and granddaughters. They moved from a five minute drive from my house to what seems like a whole world away.

My daughter has always been a bit of a gypsy, traveling and living in various parts of the country.  When the girls were born in California, Daughter stayed put. I saw those girls almost everyday of their lives. I quit my job to stay with them when their mom had to return to work. 

I knew the move was coming, they've been looking for awhile for the perfect jobs and place. Frankly, I was hoping for Oregon! The girls are almost grown and have wings to spread, much as their mother has done.  I'm happy for them but they did take a bit of my heart with them.

The other half of me would head straight to SoCal, to be with my younger son, his wife and two daughters. Damn, I miss them something awful and that is where the other half of my heart is.

The thing is, even if I showed up at the homes of either child, it would be hit and miss if I would see them. They're lives are incredibly busy; they are the literally most social people I know and the most involved with community and church and fostering cats and dogs and fund raisers for this and that.

I could, at least, wave to them as they ran out of the house in the morning and be around to say goodnight in the late, late evening.

NOW, If I got two days and could go anywhere tomorrow, I would grab Frank and head to a hidden beach we discovered in Kauai! We would share peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and swim and snorkel all day (kissing and hugging would be involved).

May 07, 2017

A to Z Challenge ~ Reflections





I sit, trying to remember how I became aware of the A to Z Challenge and failing the how of it but I certainly remember the trepidation.

A post every day? A theme? Can I make a commitment and stick to it with all that is going on personally?

A couple of years ago, I resolved to write a minimum of two hours a day. I've kept to that personal commitment...mostly! There have been those days when I get on a roll; the words rapidly flowing as I sip my morning coffee. Totally unaware of the passing of time, it is dark outside, dinner is not planned let alone cooked and I am still in my pajamas.  (yeah, but who will ever know that I didn't shower until 6 p.m.)

Then there are those days...yes, t h o s e   d a y s. Minutes turn into hours, all the words I have ever known have jumped ship. My fingers cramp as they float, poised above the keyboard, waiting for the tiniest bit of vocabulary to return to me.  I jump to Facebook to relieve the pressure.

The pressure is not relieved.

I Google "ideas to blog about"! Done it, done it, done it, no, that one's stupid, done it, don't want to do it.

Hey! The A to Z Challenge will give me something to write everyday in April, it will also give me an excellent excuse not to work on 'the book'.  I am so addicted to procrastination! Therefore, apprehension was short-lived.

Choosing a theme was easy. I read a Robin Carr quote about writers. She said (paraphrasing), "A good writer is someone who chases the hero up a tree and then throws rocks at them."

It's true for every good book I've ever read! Some rocks are bigger than others, some trees are taller but the fact is there is a tree and there are rocks. It was a blast thinking up heroes and making up big ol' rocks to throw. The sadist in me thrived!

The Reflection

I can't wait April  2018!

The A to Z Challenge was exactly that; a challenge, but what a lovely challenge.

My vocabulary has increased a hundred-fold.

I discovered so many new blogs and outlooks on life.

I've been exposed to other cultures and places to add to my bucket list.

I've discovered that I have a flare for alliteration.



Favorites in the A to Z Challenge

Mrs. Dash Says. Her Theme: A piece of me or APOM.
Her posts were personal. We really did get to know bits and pieces of her.

Natasha Musing. Her Theme: Travel Epiphanies. Like Mrs. Dash, Natasha's posts are personal and filled with wisdom, amusements and, yes, epiphanies! The things that she notices, the feelings that certain colors or items bring up are enlightening. I enjoyed getting to know her and think her's will be a blog that I visit often.

Pen In Her Hand. Her Theme: Young Adult Novels. Might not be up everyone's alley but with 6 granddaughters from the age of almost 13 to 19 years old, this theme was extremely informative. I can share with granddaughters; read a book or two and talk about them! We grandmother's need all the help we can get to make them put down those phones and actually have a discussion!

Patricia Lynne. Her Theme: Strange Feelings. Remarkable theme. My love affair with words had me addicted to this theme and her words. So strange to actually put a word to things I have also felt or known!

Ever experienced Xeno? What about Vellichor? Surely you've experienced Onism!

My Ordinary Moments. Theme: Arti writes that she is 'theme less' She understated that her posts were about words. There was so much more than mere words. She wrote of emotions, experiences, how those words made her feel, about travels, architecture, culture, and more.

I will read her posts religiously.

hdhstory, Storyteller blog: Theme: What if...a great place to make your brain itch.



Is it cheating if I start creating next years posts tomorrow morning?


May 06, 2017

Hunting Without A License!

Yesterday the clouds were building and shape-shifting all day. It was one of those days that promised treasures, especially in the DSLR realm.

I kidnapped my husband. We loaded up the cameras and headed out.

"Where we going?" he asked as I headed the car east on 44.

"Ash Creek Road. I can hear it calling to us!"

He's cute, huh!


First we stopped at Millville Plains to get a shot of Mt. Lassen which was popping in and out of shadows.

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


It's nice having our own volcanoes. This is Mt. Lassen which is about 40 minutes from us.To the right of Mt. Lassen are two humps. They are what is left of Broke Off Mountain which exploded many, many eons ago, spreading rocks all over our county!

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

The rocks were everywhere. Settlers of the area gathered the rocks out of the fields and built walls. We have hundreds of stone walls throughout the valley. My back hurts just to see them.

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


The walls follow the terrain and are great for keeping cattle in and photographers out!  Not so effective with Mountain Lions and Bears, oh my! If you want to see miles and miles of rock walls, take a drive down Wildcat Road. You will also see, 27 different types of birds, including eagles, osprey and hawks, also, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, and cows (lots of cows). Hopefully, you won't spy a bear, cougar or skunk.

The photo above is a good example of what the wind does to gorgeous, giant clouds; it turns them into cream of sky soup.


Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

The stone walls follow roadways too.

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


And waterways! This is Ash Creek and Black Butte in the background. This photo is actually a photographic no-no. When taking a photo, one should create a grid 3 squares by 3 squares on the subject. The middle square should actually have the main interest in it. Otherwise, the viewers eye keeps traveling around the photo and doesn't rest. This middle grid has a big square of nothing but green. Frankly, I don't care!

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona
 I found half a tree before the wind melted all the clouds into one big sky quilt.

Mt. Lassen eventually disappeared in the shadow of clouds, so I turned the car around and headed east. We knew there was still a promise of a showy sunset but it would be a west side show.

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

That little line under the clouds promised to let the sun shine through at the most brilliant moment.

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

The potential started to build. Frank climbed a rock wall and set up his tripod.  I walked down the road a little, spread out the quilt I always carry in the trunk of my car (one never knows when the perfect spot for reading or thinking might jump out).

Ready...set...it started to happen.

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona



Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


Photo Copyright: Toni Tona


There is always the time when you just need to put the camera down and enjoy the view.  It just got better and better. I have about 200 photos from the evening but my favorite part was sitting on the quilt, watching one of the best sunsets in a long, long time.