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?

August 10, 2018


Breathing has become an extreme sport in Redding.

This is a middle of the day photo, though the sun is a big red ball in the sky.

August 10

My middle child is 47 today!

He is a really good man. Qualities that come to mind when I think of him are integrity, courage, gentleness, loving, intelligent, successful, happy and tall (he is 6' 5.5").

But he is 47!

My oldest is 49 and youngest is 45.

Time to tell strangers that they are children from The Guy's first marriage! Not the truth but what the hell! I'm way too young to have 'old' kids!

August 09, 2018

On The Lighter Side

The evening of our evacuation, many vehicles needed gas to leave the area. People were cutting each other off, intimidating little cars with larger vehicles. It was totally insane.

My great-granddaughter is a powerhouse of self-confidence.

She was sitting in the back seat of her daddy's truck while they waited patiently for their turn at the pumps knowing they had to empty truck and get back to my house and help us. Just as they were ready to pull in a smaller car squeaked in to their space.

Four year old Miss B leans towards the jerk and yells out the window, "Don't make me get out of this truck!"


Sold Dad's new house today, well, at least, accepted an offer on it.

A married couple, 85 and 90, lost their home in the Carr fire. Beautiful home in the foothills near Old Shasta. They've had to stay in two area hotels since evacuation. Lost everything.

Escrows are not closing in the area until the Carr fire is 100% contained because insurance companies are refusing to grant policies. Our granddaughter has a stack of escrows on her desk that were ready to close the second day of our evacuation but insurance companies pulled the coverage on them all. Thank goodness she works for escrow company and not a real estate agent. She'll still get paid but lots of real estate agents tightening their belts this month (and maybe more).

Full asking price, cash offer, and asked to include all furnishing. They'll be renting it until escrow closes. They move in tomorrow!


Weird saying good-bye to the house as I signed the offer and handed over the keys. Dad was only in it for two months but it was a powerful two months. Incredibly emotional memories in almost every square inch.

Incredible isn't it, that there is so much 'business of death'? Bankers, notaries, more bankers, brokerage firms, real estate, mortuary, cemetery, Veterans Administration, Social Security, etc.


Being made Trustee is not necessarily a good thing! Unless, maybe, one can make an appointment with the universe for occasional hours to just grieve!

Fire Update: 47% Contained. Air quality still unhealthy. Lots of people wearing masks, not enough children wearing masks. Red eyes, coughs and sneezes are everywhere. Many of the evacuations are being lifted and re-population going on. Hotels still full from Sacramento to Yreka. Lots and lots of pets being found and rescued. Community coming together and feeding the firefighters, helping each other out. Looters not being tolerated so everyone watching out for each other's homes. (Lots of CCW's in area, we are a Red County in a Blue State, so many potential looters pissing in their pants!).

#Redding Strong

August 06, 2018

One Of The Lucky Ones

Thursday, July 27, the Carr fire headed for town, nearly burning French Gulch, having destroyed a marina (and boats) and campground at Whiskeytown Lake, decimated hundreds of homes in the towns of Old Shasta and Keswick.  The smoke and ash were other-worldy, turning the outside to sepia. Ash and embers were falling all over our house. Large ash that would explode into 20 or 30 small ashes when they landed.

We received a reverse-911 mandatory evacuation call about an hour before a 143 mph fire tornado hit our neighborhood. We were prepared, had things stacked by front door, just in case (but we really never imagined the flames would jump the river). I left to be with granddaughters, their parents were out of town for an Ironman Triathlon in Ohio. The Guy and our grandson finished loading and left just as tornado hit. As they drove away from the house, the entire hill across from our house erupted in giant flames.

Our house is standing. Most in neighborhood are not. It looks and smells like a war zone. The houses that weren't burned to the ground had huge trees uprooted, roofs torn off, windows shattered. 

It was a crazy time. Air quality was and is often 220+, evening reaching as high as 335. Our grandson and his little family were evacuated from 4 different locations. We, my sister, and granddaughters only had to evacuate from different locations 3 times (once not because of fire but lack of electricity in 113 degree weather).

We (granddaughters (14 and 17), grandson, his wife and 4 year old daughter, my sister, the Guy and I and six dogs, ended up camping out in my folks house in Red Bluff on the bank of the Sacramento River 35 miles south of our home. Air quality still fluctuating between unhealthy to hazardous.

Evacuations were lifted for all but The Guy and me. The neighborhood was deemed unsafe but luckily our homes were being guarded by Redding Police and National Guard.

After a week, The Guy and I bailed. We headed for San Francisco to be with his sister. Fresh Air! Nice!

Better still, we attended the Electric Light Orchestra concert in Oakland. OMG, incredible. One of The Guys all-time favorite bands. If ELO is touring near you, see them. You won't regret it.

We spent two more days walking and driving through San Francisco. Fell in love with the Mission District all over again (p.s. don't bother with the Haight district. It is so gentrified that it is actually boring!).

The day before we came home, we received notice there was a 'soft lift' on mandatory evacuation. We could return to our house with ID. Our grandson had our address on his license so he Facetimed a walk through with us. House was totally fine, even the houseplants survived the 100+ degree heat without the relief of air conditioning.

We returned home Saturday night, looking forward to being home but not to cleaning out the rotting food. Surprise! Our grandson had cleaned out and dumped all the waste.

We were unsure of bringing stuff back in the first night; the fire had taken a turn on Saturday and was reported heading back towards town but the firefighters held the line. We finally brought computer and photos back in last night.

We have seen firefighters and equipment from almost every state in the union, even as far away as New Jersey and New York. There are 7 deaths and over a thousand homes destroyed, another half of that with heavy damage. Immense outpouring of gratitude to all the firefighters and first responders.

There is a huge banner over I-5 for the crews at work:

 "Thank you for Kicking Ash"