August 06, 2020

Old Friends

The only time I've ever been able to get close to a Giant Blue Heron! Apparently it was just too cold to fly away!
Do you remember the old Wonderful World of Color show on Sunday evening television (dating myself)?

Sometimes it would show an elegant, proud eagle flying in, wings stretched out in regal glide over a frozen lake. Landing appears to be pure perfection until regal eagle slips onto its tush and slides on ice for 15 feet. That's what it's like on Tule Lake!

This one was not so happy after such a humiliating landing!

Don't laugh at them. They get mad and leave!

Assured of less humiliating landing. Eagles are fun to photograph but they're very thin-skinned when it comes to humor.

Maybe if the hawks didn't laugh so loud, the mighty eagles could have a little chuckles now and again at their own expense!

Need I Say More

August 05, 2020

The Waiting Game

Good news! We finally got our new roof! Been waiting for 18 months!

So, we were in the Carr Fire, had some minor roof damage, but didn't discover it until 6 months later when we had a severe snow storm which took out our pergola, swimming pool filter, and various trees and bushes. Then we (Redding) had tornado warnings and an incredible hail storm which damaged all the roofs that weren't destroyed in the Carr Fire or snow.

We needed a new roof but we still had shingles and gutters (and a house, which, sadly many didn't even have that). We got put on a waiting list. We could have had one installed by a bay area roofer but they wanted an average of $14,000 more than the local super roofer. We waited.

Poor guys finally got to our house in triple digit weather! Felt bad for them but am so happy to look up and see light gray shingles and white rain gutters! No to repair the ceiling by the chimney and we're good!

Really, really, really good news! Our daughter just earned her PhD! She is the Director of Distance Learning at an East Coast University, has directed the whole university to distance learning in this pandemic, trained faculty and staff and finished her dissertation! I can;t imagine the stress! She did it!

So proud of her!

We interrupted a coyote on his hunt for breakfast when we were in Klamath Wildlife Refuge. I didn't get the "Best" photo of a coyote but I did get the First one (extra points for first) of the day!  Not a sharp focus but can't win them all!

It was a cold foggy morning. My birthday, and this was the best present I could imagine. We were up at 4;30 to get to the spot we wanted. Kind of mystical!

Also took The Guy's mom to Oregon last fall to photograph the color in Lithia Park, oops, too late. Leaves dropped early last year! So we went up to Roseburg to check out another Wildlife park.

Have a good Wednesday, Friends!

August 04, 2020

What The?


I can't believe I haven't been here for over a year! 

What a year, right?

How are you all?

I've missed you all tremendously, though I do check in on Bob Statten's Twitter! ( Thank god for you, Bob! I've needed the voice of righteous reason so much!)

What to say about this year?

Ups. Downs. Haven't choked, killed or slapped anyone so I guess I;m ahead of some! I also think I deserve a "Good Job" sticker for not slapping or choking people...I do live in a Red county! I guess I could tell you all that I've been working on my tolerance, patience and self-control but really, I've just been sitting on my hands a lot and swearing quietly behind my covid mask.

Made rainbow masks for my husband and me. My own little passive-aggressive  act to all the shitheads fine people of Shasta County!

What have you been doing during this global social distancing? Vodka, Tequila, Zanax?

The Guy and I have been taking off to take pictures of nature about 3 or 4 days a week. Neowise comet actually had us up at 2 or 3 a.m. to drive up to Lassen Park (6000 to 7000 ft elevation to photograph it in mornings. Then we were all over the place to catch it in the evenings. 

Photography by Frank Tona

Here's a shot the Guy took at Whiskeytown Lake; Glory Hole in foreground!

Milky Way from Lassen Park!

In January we took of to Klamath Wildlife Refuge and caught some awesome photos of gloriousbirds and wildlife.

Goose bumps when one of these guys is staring at you through the lens!

Can you believe the frost on on those feathers?

Not as sharp on the focus but I was so excited I might have been shaking! Or, it could have been the cold; it was 10 degrees F.

I'm hoping it won;t be another year before I remember there is more to life than cameras and audio books!

In the meantime, Friends,remember to 

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.