December 24, 2016

Sad Day

Sitting by the campfire, as we took over June Lake Resort! What a Joy.
My husband's Uncle passed away in his sleep this morning.

He had been battling cancer for nearly a year.He had just turned 80 and decided to forego to the treatments and live life! And he did.

He was surrounded by loving family as he passed peacefully in his sleep early this morning.

You will be missed Uncle Francis, you will be missed.

We loved you very much.

December 22, 2016

Best Christmas Gift Ever

Spent the weekend in paradise. Oh my god, what a healing it was for my spirit.

I went up early in the day, spent some quality 'alone' time, surrounded by trees, mountains, quiet.

Watching the gust of wind play with the surface of the lake.

A good friend brought a bottle of wine in the afternoon. We sat on the southern exposure deck, shared some tales and laughs, good wine and chocolate. We watched the gusts of wind hitting the water of Lake Shasta as it traveled down the canyon. We were warm and cozy, sheltered by the house and mountain behind us. She headed home just before dusk.

Sunset does seriously tempt one to come out and play.

I sat on the deck and watched the shadows grow longer and longer; the mountains clothed in their sunset finest. Once the sun dropped below the western mountains, the temp dropped to about 40 degrees, so I wandered back into the gorgeous house.

Sunsets were beautiful but the temperature drops just as fast as the light.
My husband rarely, if ever, gets a day off of work during the Christmas season. He works seven days a week, 10 to 12 hour days from November 1 until Christmas day. He does get Thanksgiving day off (supposedly) but he is actually working on ads and Black Friday price changes on the computer most of the morning and again in the evening after dinner.

He actually got Sunday off. He said he was ordered to take it off because he was getting a little snarky!  Yay for Snarky.

He joined me on Saturday evening.

We stayed until Monday morning and left with completely renewed spirits. He is not snarky and I have my sanity back (mostly, on both counts).

The house was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The tree was cut fresh and filled the air with that wonderful pine scent.

Friends came up and shared dinner with us and stimulating conversation.

View from deck. Oh, did I mention the hot tub!

What a view.
 Looking up from my Kindle to this view was really breaking into my reading. I might have read the several paragraph over and over several times!

Surrounded by glass in dining room.


Can't wait to return. Even the food and wine tasted better in the peacefulness of the mountains.

December 16, 2016

It's Time

The line has been drawn.

Woke up at 3:00 a.m. (again), let the dogs out, cried, let the dogs back in, cried some more.

Absolutely could not wake up to wish Frank a good day but was wide awake 20 minutes later. Wrestled with the idea of staying in bed all day while I cried or if I should just get up and cry while I made my juice.

Let the doggies back out, still crying.

It's been a hard two years. I'm tired.

Time to return to the therapist.

The last round with her (maybe 4 years ago) she said I was a kick-ass warrior.

Well, this warrior's ass is being kicked. I'm calling the game because I am so tired of faking it, and, frankly, rubbing Preparation H on my eyes so I don't look like a cream puff is getting old.

Back to the therapist, which means closing down Wandering and Wondering for a little while longer. I don't want my posts to be downers. I want to bring smiles to your faces or to inspire readers to think.

Wishing you all a merry, merry Christmas, Winter Solstice, Yule, Jul, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Hogmanay, Chalica (oops, sorry for being late on that one, hope it was good for you). Most of all wishing you a happy and glorious new year.

December 14, 2016

Procrastination List

In spite of the rain and wind, it's going to be a busy day. My to-do list is a mile long all shoved onto an 8 x 11 sheet of paper. Staying true to my nature to procrastinate, I thought I would hop around the net and see what friends are up to. Lists were made to wait, right?

I discovered that Susan at Color Me Writing has a busy day scheduled but is procrastinating in much the same way I am. On her procrastination journey she visited Carole at Carole Knits and found a fun list of letting friends know what's up.

Call me a copy cat but I'm going to join them in What's Up!

Drinking: Fresh ginger and green tea.

Reading: Non-violent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg but seeking a really good novel. Anyone read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George? Yum.

Watching: My Rex and Lilly run around the backyard trying not to get their feet wet in the rain!

Listening: Mumford and Sons channel on Pandora

Knitting:  Sorry, Carole, no knitting here, but I am sewing a quilt (on the list).

Planting:  Goals for 2017. Get my studio back in order now that the grandkids have gotten their own home. Back to writing minimum of 2 hours a day. Paint guest room. Paint bedroom.

Buying: Yeah, that's right, remind me of the list!  Wrapping, ribbon, bows, a Dutch Bros coffee (I can hear it calling my name), a really good fingernail polish, some bubble wrap and a couple of shipping boxes. Maybe, if no one is looking, I'll slip in an Almond Joy!

Dropping: Really, really trying to ease my fear of the next four years. My New Year's Resolution might include investing in several cases of Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan to self-medicate myself through the nightmare of a Trump presidency.

Wrapping:  Nothing, hence the shopping list.

Anticipating:  My son and his family's visit after Christmas. my trip to Grand Canyon and Yosemite with girlfriends, shopping trip to Ashland with friends, spending Christmas day with my parents.

Baking:  Really? Got a couple of logs in the woodstove, does that count?

Have a great day, friends. Let us know what you're up to.

December 13, 2016


Do you listen to Ted Talks? Most are quite enjoyable and educational; some are just ehh!

Yesterday my email turned up with a couple of links to Talks inquiring the listener (or potential listener) to contemplate the question, "What did you learn about yourself in 2016?"

To be honest, I didn't listen to any of the videos, but the question got me thinking.

Did I discover anything about myself in 2016?  What DID I discover about myself in 2016? 

While ruminating, something may come to mind and I ask myself, "Self, is this a newly discovered trait or did you already know of it?  Is this a true strength or weakness or just a momentary rise or fall?"

Honestly, I discovered that I am a lot tougher than I thought I was. I can physically work harder than I thought I could. I discover I a vulnerability that I was totally aware of.

I discovered that my brother thinks I am the 'village idiot' because our president-elect scares the crap out of me.In spite of the my vulnerability, I discovered that being called the village idiot for speaking my mind doesn't hurt at all. In fact, I may get it tattooed on my ass right next to the 'kiss this' tat!

I discovered that I love my parents more than I ever knew I could. I discovered that I really like silence and stillness.

I discovered that there is a whole lot I don't know about a whole lot! I discovered that I can dance better than I thought I could. I discovered that I truly miss having a good old vanilla malt every now and then. I discovered that I love 805 beer, and that I was just fooling myself when I thought I liked lima beans, Lima beans suck!

There are still 18 days to search my inner workings for more but once 2017 gets here, it's going to be about learning new things and going on new adventures.

What have you, my friends, discovered about your selves in 2016?

December 04, 2016

'Get A Little Help From Our Friends'

Hi everyone! Been awhile and I really, really missed you all, though I have to admit that I did occasionally lurk around your blogs. I know, 'shame on me!'

Over the years of writing this blog, I have had visitors from every continent. I know that people from other countries actually read some of my posts and respond (thank you). So, today, I'm writing to ask you all a favor. Big favor.

The United States has been a powerhouse in international relations. We stand up on our mighty righteous soapbox, though lately it is showing some wear and a tad bit of dry rot. We make demands, impose sanctions, justify blockades.

Of course, all of our actions are totally justified...just ask us! Almost every sanction is rationalized (no matter what the back story is) with "human rights violations"! Yeah, that would be us, protecting the distressed and exploited from foreign tyrants.

Except in our own land. You see, we, Americans are really screwed up; not so much individually but as a group. We have treated each other (and some of you) in the most deplorable manner.

I'm sure many of you have heard of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest. If you have heard or read about the protest than you are surely aware of the Dakota Access Pipeline Abuses. Incredible abuses.

You don't need a history lesson to know that we, as a government, and even some of our more soulless citizens have abused, slaughtered, incarcerated and pretty much committed every human rights violation there is. We don't tell you about it because we are different from some of you other countries. Our freedom of speech is a little bit of a myth. In some of your countries, if you speak out about the abuses, some soldier or policeman slams you up against a wall, yells out to the crowd that you were talking too much and shoots you. In America, we get hit by trucks or get arrested for some sort of deviant behavior that we really never knew existed.

So, back to my favor. I am asking you to put your own sanctions on us. Don't come here on your next vacation. If you already bought the tickets and made the reservations, cancel them. Don't stay at American owned hotels in Europe or Asia or Africa. Write to your government and tell them you are sick of the way America is abusing these peaceful protesters. Demand that your government demand that we stop. Don't purchase anything manufactured in the United States (though you would be hard pressed to find such a product). Don't buy our wines, our whiskey or our corn (I've heard that France has some pretty decent wine, Ireland produces excellent whiskey and corn is truly over-rated).

Help us help ourselves. Demand that we stand up to what we preach.

Thank you!

November 28, 2016

Dark Day

“She had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach, like when you're swimming and you want to put your feet down on something solid, but the water's deeper than you think and there's nothing there”
 Julia Greggson

“When it comes to the crusty behavior of some people, give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be drowning right before your eyes, but you can't see it. And you'd never ask someone to drown with a smile on his face.”
                                                                                                                                Richelle E. Goodrich

October 28, 2016

Tunnel Vision

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel and there is a keyboard in the light!

August 25, 2016

All Good Things....

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for still visiting regularly. The visit register is still going up in spite of the lack of new posts, and I appreciate the loyalty.

Life is still hitting hard and fast. I find myself stretched pretty thin and living on the edge of sanity. There is little time to write and when I find myself sitting at the keyboard, I find my fingers 'backspace' more that any other key.

I am spending an extremely tremendous amount of time 'wondering' and not much time 'wandering'.

For this reason, Wandering and Wondering is taking a sabbatical. Thank you all for being you.

August 22, 2016

Bob and Jordan

Bob, over at I Should Be Laughing, shared a wonderful letter from an ex-slave to his former 'Master' this morning.

You should wander over and read it.

August 03, 2016

Cunumdrum #67

My folks are in their late 80's. They've been married for 67 years but have known each other much longer than the anniversaries log in.

I think they first met when they were perhaps 10 or 11. They lived in the same apartment complex in Denver. Dad lived upstairs and Mom lived downstairs. One day Dad dumped a bucket of water from a second story window over my mom's head.  She didn't like him much. The families moved soon after the bucket fiasco and lost track of each other.

Eight (or so) years later, they met again at a USO dance in San Francisco. Dad was in the Army Air Corp and Mom was a lead teller at Crocker Bank. They danced and had a great time. Mom thought Dad was handsome and she loved Dad's dance moves. He thought she was beautiful and loved that she could keep up with his boogie woogie steps. The music ended and they both went their own ways; Dad with his Army Air Corp buddies and Mom with her friend, Dora.

After the war ended they both returned to Denver. I'm not sure but I think they met each other at another dance. Dad went home that night and told his mother that he had met the woman he was going to marry.....and so.....they did. I like to think it was destiny. Depends on the day and their moods what they think about it.

Actually, the families knew each other way, way, way back in the days of ranchers and rustlers. Another story for another soon as they get it straight, because right now we don't know which family was rustlers and which family got rustled.

I've taken them grocery shopping several times, usually just Dad and I go but sometimes Mom tags along. Yesterday the three of us made the trip to Food-Max. If you are unfamiliar with the store, it is huge; each aisle seems to be a quarter of a mile long (can you tell I have bad knees!).

It's quite an experience to go with them. Both are a little unsteady on their feet. Dad holds onto the grocery cart and shops like it is a race, Mom meanders through the lanes of items like an alien who is unfamiliar with the products. She inspects fruits and vegetables, wondering what she can cook without an oven (3-digit temperatures in August). She also carries the list of what they need, but, my dad knows whats on the list...mostly.

In the first 5 minutes we are at they store, Dad has loaded up red potatoes, bananas, pears....he mumbles, "I think she needs tomatoes," and bags 4 or 5 good ones. Into the basket the tomatoes go and around the corner he goes.

In the meantime, Mom is still squeezing cantaloupes which are the on the first bay end by the entrance.She picks a good one and hands it to me and meanders off to check out the avocados. I have walked back and forth between them four times.

I take off to find Dad, make sure he's doing okay. He is already two aisles down. Has milk, chocolate chip cookies, Cheerios, creamer. The basket is half full of items. He seems to be doing okay so I drop the cantaloupe into the basket and head back to Mom.

She is at the end of the first aisle holding on to two or three things. She hands them to me, turns back to shopping. We pick two or three additional products and I head out to find Dad and deposit Mom's cache. Dad is now three aisles ahead of us.

This continues for about 45 minutes. Dad always in the lead, Mom methodically strolling. Both of them collecting items from the list that Mom is carrying.

 Somehow, we all end up at the ice cream at the same time, just before checkout.

At their house, we unload the groceries. Everything on the list has been purchased and, miraculously, there are no duplicates. Only one jar of creamy Jiff peanut butter, only one milk, only 1 bag of tomatoes. Absolutely no doubles of anything, well, except for tissues which were only 99 cents, so Dad picked up three boxes.

There were at least 9 bags of groceries, not including big items that don't fit in bags.

How can this be? Inquiring minds, you know!

"Okay you two, how do you do it?"

"Do what?" Mom asks.

"Dad is three aisles ahead at all times, you are trailing way behind with the list, both of you are collecting things from the list but you don't get two of anything? Is it some kind of telepathy you guys have got going on?"

They look across the kitchen table at each other and smile. Dad shrugs, "I don't know!" He sounds surprised!

Mom looks at Dad with love in her eyes. "I never thought of that. I don't know either!"

"Tom, how'd we do that?"

Frank and I have been married 32 years, only 34 more before we can shop like Mom and Dad.

A mere 34 years!

July 30, 2016

Question Of The Month

July's question passed me by, maybe even June's. Life is still slamming me from all directions but when I opened the email from Michael @ A Life Examined and read his question of the month, I slammed on the life-brakes and decided to take a break.

This question is so good because it does not have the tiniest bit of political, religious, racial or life & death impact. I really, really, really need that.

"What's your favorite beach?" That's it! Incredibly exhilarating in it's mundane-ness! Love, love, love it. What's best, there are two beaches that are totally awesome. My heart sings when I think of them.

First beach, is at Whiskeytown Lake in Shasta County. It is a fresh-water lake, surrounded by pines, mountains and wildlife. We've seen bears, deer, fish, osprey and eagles while floating on the crystal clear water. One can easily see the bottom of the lake at least 20 feel down.

Our whole family spends whole days on the beach. My kids were basically raised on the beach. When they were young, we would pack up breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hit the beach around 9 a.m and swim, go rock hopping up the creek, and, occasionally hike. My husband would come up after work, we would bbq hot dogs, hamburgers or chicken drumsticks and stay until it got dark.

The water is always perfect because summer days in Redding tend to hang around the three digit temperatures.

Now that our kids are grown up, we continue the joy by taking the grand-kids out and our great granddaughter loves it too. We toss the kids or they dive off of our shoulders. They still love to jump rocks in the creek or hike up to the falls.

My second favorite beach (again, fresh-water....I am a mountain girl....what can I say?) is in a remote area on an arm of Shasta Lake. It is called Chirpchatter Campground. There are only 3 campsites, though, you'll have to look hard to find them.

It's a must to bring rakes with you and gloves, so you can remove all the blackberry vines that have intruded into the camp sites. A snake kit is probably a good idea too, as well as, one of those scare-a-bear air horns. Once you've cleared your campground, grab a towel and hike downstream along the creek.

The water makes a 90 degree left turn at a huge granite boulder. Over the years the granite has been ground down and has formed a little beach. Just big enough for the five of us when the kids were young but now perfect for two of us.

Do not drive or ride your bike down the road past the campsite because it the road is usually washed out.

If you swim about 30 feet down from the little beach, you'll find a good size boulder in the middle of the stream. There is a long rope tied to a tree on the bank. You can swim to the edge of the water, grab the rope and swim back and climb the rock. Swinging out over the water and dropping in is loads of fun no matter what age you are but watch out for rope burn.

Sleeping in your tent at night is an awesome experience. You can hear the babbling of the creek, wind blowing in the pines and an occasional snort from a bear rustling around in the under brush.

There you have it. Two fantastic beaches and not one seagull or crab!

p.s. July's question of the month answer: Book series: Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys! Book: Tiger Tiger. Loved them both and read them all. 

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?

May 02, 2016

Lovin' D'Agostino

May 2nd! Yeah, it is. It is a new month and I had no clue.

Early onset Alzheimer's or just too dang busy, but thank goodness for Michael D'Agostino at A Life Examined and his Question of the Month. I happened across a couple of posts, shook my head that April had stumbled out the back door and let May in.

First of the month, May is here! Meaning? Pay the mortgage, pay utilities, get oil changed, get tires rotated, put the sheers up on the pergola, get chlorine tablets for pool and see if last years swim suit still fits (or is fit to wear). Mostly, it means a Question of the Month....Yay!

Chronological Query: "What are three pieces of advice you'd give to people starting their own blog?"

#1. Do It!  Don't put it off for another minute. Stop reading this and do it right now.

#2. Don't worry when you discover that you've abandoned your blog, haven't posted for six months or a year and all your links are bad. Cyber dust is invisible and won't make you sneeze.  Just get back to it. The second time around, your commitment will have sharper teeth. When you return, your ideas for what you want to say, and how to say, it will have be a tuned up a little. 

#3. Build relationships. Visit other blogs, comment, get to know your fellow bloggers. When you find a site you love, share it.  Post a link to their site on your pages.  Respond to their comments on your posts. Go back and read their replies, if any, to your comments. 

When you've built relationships, you have people you want to communicate with, an audience to write to. On the days you have nothing to say, or after you've had your say, you can stroll around Blogville.  Visit your friends and acquaintances, read what they have to share, respond, support and maybe be inspired!

Who knows, you might end up having a Question of the Month to look forward to or an It's Okay Tuesday!

p.s. #3.5 getting your oil changed and tires rotated are probably not the most newsworthy item to share!

May 01, 2016

If You Were...

Have you ever asked yourself....and my guess is that you haven't....have you ever asked yourself, if you were a piece of furniture, what item would you be?

In one of HGTV's property hunting programs, a sleek, red sofa was in one of the rooms. The couple doing the hunting were seeking a home for a woman who couldn't do the search herself. I can't remember the reason she was unable to accompany them.

When their eyes spotted the sleek red leather sofa, they both "oohed" and said, "Whoa, she'll love that couch. If she were a piece of furniture, that's what she would be!"

One the "searchers" was the woman's husband and, frankly, the sofa was pretty damn sexy. The design was contemporary with a low tufted red leather back, sleek edges and wide chaise off one side. Can you imagine someone comparing you to a sleek sexy item, even if it was a sofa?

Made me wonder what kind of furniture I would be.

The first picture to pop into my head was a window seat built into a bay window on the south side of a house. Warm sun streaming in, bookshelf built into sides; the seat able to be lifted up to hide and discover whimsical and magical items and books. Cushioned seat, lots of pillows, well-padded, comfy.

I realized I was visualizing a design element of a building. Thinking "Home Goods" and "Stickley" I returned to pieces of furniture!

I would be a comfy over-stuffed chair with high winged back and tall, well-rounded arms for snuggling into. I know in my heart that I would not be a single color nor would I be a buffalo plaid.

The deep seat cushion would be a bright purple, turquoise and sea green in swirls and capricious geometric shapes. The edges of the cushions would be vertical stripes in the same colors. The overstuffed wings would be covered in purple polka dot on a turquoise background, the arms in a reverse pattern with the turquoise dots of different sizes. There would be 3 pillows; one a bright orange, one a deep purple and one with stars and moons in a dark purple night sky.

I'm thinking there should be a skirt on the chair (to hide dust bunnies and books that don't fit on the two side tables. The skirt should probably be the same vertical stripes as the cushion edges; there should be some control, right?

Do I have any volunteers to be a puffy square ottoman with tufted top matching my chair cushion and the full skirting in vertical stripes though you could choose piping in the polka dot purple and turquoise textile!

Fabric? Now that is a little bit of a dilemma...let's see, cotton vs microfiber! 

Cotton is a natural fiber, it is soft and durable (sound like me) but it is not fade resistant, will wrinkle and is actually flammable (again, me!) I am already imaging some wrinkles in the cushion and a little natural wear on the arms.

Microfiber, on the other hand, is super comfy, forgiving, long-lasting and easy to clean (me!) Down side to microfiber; it is a synthetic!

I guess I'm going with cotton!

I asked my husband, "Honey,"    (you've always got to use sweet words or you won't get a response) "Honey, if I were a piece of furniture, what would I be?" He immediately got that scared, "Do-these- pants-make-my-butt-look-big trick question look on his face. I smiled and tried to look as non-threatening as I could.

Wavering just the tiniest bit, he ventured, "A rocking chair!"

"Upholstered or wood?" I asked.

"Yes!" he responded.

I think I'm okay with his answer. Let's be honest, I am not a sleek, sexy, red leather couch!!!

What piece of furniture are you? Are you a seven piece sectional with several layout options? Could you be a stately four-poster bed with a pillow-top mattress and silk canopy? Maybe you are a stained-glass lamp with gilded base and a purple-toned metal pull chain with a peacock on the chain's end.

April 28, 2016

Hanging Our With JP

Went for a drive with my granddaughter yesterday. We drove 'the back way' to my folks' house.

JP drove, we listened to music and shared thoughts about the music, the lyrics, moving, boys  and moving to the east coast.

She is going to be sixteen in just over two weeks and she astounds me.

She is honest (extremely honest), she is authentic and she is wise.

We took my dad grocery shopping and she carried on a wonderful, animated conversation with him. She helped transfer groceries out of the cart and onto the belt to the checker. She packed groceries into bags, loaded them into the car and helped unload when we got back to the folks' house.

She is an excellent artist and drew a picture for Mom and Dad. She joked with them, asked some questions and listened to the answers.

Not once did she pick up her smart phone and disengage. She was involved and she showed them how much she cared.

She also taught me about making venison sausage, she shared her thoughts that people need to dress for themselves and own their own look.

Basically, she told me, "No excuses! If people like me or don't like me, it's none of my business!"

I liked the message and I love her.


April 22, 2016

Room For Two?

A FB friend asked yesterday, "If you were stuck in an elevator with a rock star, who would it be?"

(To all my grammar nazi's out there, should that be "whom"?)

I ran my list of favorite songs through my head and visualized the artist behind it. Went a little like:



Steven Tyler....mmm, no.

Pharrel Williams.....hmm, maybe.

Cindy Lauper...another maybe.

Bob Marley....Oh Yeah, but that elevator might be on the way to heaven, so, uh, NO!

But when I do take that elevator to heaven, it would be nice if Bob Marley and Jim Croce come down to greet me and accompany me on the way up.

Still thinking.......Carlos that is an elevator that I could be stuck on for a long time.

I would definitely ask him if he was thinking of me when he wrote Black Magic Women!!!

If there is room for one more music artist on our little elevator, then I do think I'd like Sarah McClachlan to join us.  Can you imagine the angels that those two people would have in their company?

Which rock star would you choose to be in a stuck elevator with?

p.s. I would have preferred if we were sitting around a fire pit, drinking tequila but, hey, an elevator will have to do.

April 20, 2016

Dream Maps

Wow! What a dream I had this morning. I could feel the texture of the coat I was wearing, the breeze on my face. People's eyes could be read. Interesting selection of people to join me for such a lucid dream, too.

Three, no four, major players in the dream.

Person-one, who has a habit of "not showing up" was in the dream and, surprise, did not show up! But we were expecting her.

Person-two: I found her stuffed bunny and returned it to her. We chatted and danced while we waited for person-one to not show up. Person-two left on a school bus and took her bunny with her. They both seemed very happy to be reunited!

Person-three, had a heavy load and was headed to the laundromat, but eyes told me that maybe later.....(promises, promises).

Person-four - What are you doing in my dreams? I've never seen you here before; welcome! You look good at the head of the table! Your leadership skills are becoming very impressive!

I was wearing my pretty royal blue coat with the fur collar that I lost 45 years ago. All this time I thought it was stolen but I just left it in the land of dreams. What other items might be waiting there for me to rediscover?  It would be nice if my skate key is there. I don't have the skates anymore but I sure liked that skate key. It would look good on a 30" silver chain surrounded with Kyanite and Iolite beads.

The restaurant where I was having lunch with friends was built with thick redwood beams  and boards. Windows wrapped around three sides of the dining room. I could smell the vegetables roasted in rosemary and the ravioli (I'm pretty sure I brought the ravioli with me from watching Master Chef Canada last night. I could taste it too and all I have to say is "YUM"!)

I do hope my subconscious noted the location of the restaurant; the ambiance was remarkable and the black currant balsamic vinaigrette was literally out-of-this-world! I'm going to start sleeping with a  mason jar just in case I go back.

If I die in my sleep, please know that some uptight dream-realm official wouldn't let me transfer dimensions with a mason jar full of other-worldly salad dressing so I chose to stay with that divine nectar of the gods!

I found a folding laundry basket, returned it to person-two, returned to the curb to wait!  I looked down the street and knew that person-one was always going to not-show-up. I unbuttoned my coat, put my hands in my pockets and started walking in the direction of home. I made the choice not to wait but to show up for myself.

The walk felt good, the pace was brisk, even in an elegant pair of heels! I was smiling. The air brushed my face as I walked.  As I woke, I could still feel the breeze on my skin and I was still smiling.

I wonder if I can get a map back to that place and where do I get one if they exist?

Now, if you'll excuse me. My teapot is whistling and I have fresh ginger to peel and chop.

Do you have a place that you visit often in your dreams? 

Well, Hell!

You can build a fence out of wire or wood, steel or iron.

It can be four feet high or twelve feet tal.  It can reach the sky.

Signs, threatening trespassers with bodily harm or litigation, can be every six feet or every six inches.

Sooner or later, though, you are bound to leave the gate open.


April 16, 2016

In My Momma's and Dad's Backyard...Back-Back Yard!

Skies were pretty dramatic while we waited for sunset color.
My Mom and Dad live on the Sacramento River though the bank is pretty steep, so they don't see the river from their house unless there is serious water flowing.  Most of the time, we have to walk to the back of the yard to see the pretty little rapids.

Leaving Mom-and-Dad's place last Sunday, we decided to go around the back of the Bend to look for the whooping cranes we had heard. Cranes were gone (or napping) but the green was very much awake and singing.

Sunset color never did show up in the sky but the clouds were dancing.
 The sound of frogs, and a hundred different species of birds was fantastic. Isn't it strange how noisy peace and quiet can be?

Occasionally, the breeze would rise up, and the surface of the water would ripple and at other times the water was the perfect mirror.

Did you know that between 1950's and the 1990's, the clarity of the sky became so polluted that we lost 20% of our blue?

Scientists called it Global Dimming. Since we have become more aware of aerosols and other pollutants, we are getting our clear skies back. The vivid blues are returning. Of course, that means the sun's radiation and heat can reach earth more effectively, which makes it warmer.

All I can say, is I am thankful for the blue, which is the last color to be discovered by the human eye! Maybe nature saved the best for last!

We were not disappointed by the amount of birds. As usual, my husbands photos of moving targets are far more beautiful than mine will stay in the "much to be desired" file!

I have told you that he does have a better (fancier and more expensive) camera than mine, right?

We waited around to see if the sunset would treat us with some brilliant color. It only teased us of sunsets to come with bits of color. Soon....maybe soon!

I enjoyed the evening so much, I decided to make the Bend my Wondering and Wandering background for awhile. It is the perfect place for exactly that, a little wondering and a little wandering and a whole lot of appreciating.

April 13, 2016

Hard To Say Goodbye

The ashes of a dear friend returned home this weekend.

I've kept them for 10 years, debating where to spread them. He loved the ocean, he loved the ranch. Ten years of ocean? Ranch? Ocean? Ranch?

Last fall the ranch was in the middle of one of the biggest forest fires in northern California. Everything was burned to a crisp but the house and the tall Mount-Olympus cypress trees that surrounded it...or so we thought.

We took a drive to see what spring might have brought and took his ashes with us.

Yes, it is silly, "Hey, Mitch, want to go for a drive with us?" As silly as it sounds, he did want to go and we loaded him up.

Highway 20 wildflowers were almost non-existent. In years past the road was lined in bright pastels of lupine, poppies, bluebells, baby blue eyes, yarrow, violets and sweet peas. Some of the mountains were still black but several of the slopes were sporting green grass and a strange white flower that I've never noticed. The contrast of black tree skeletons against the bright green was startling.

We stopped at the ranch. So many ancient oaks completely dead, not the tiniest sign of life.

The blackberries surrounding one of the spring-fed ponds were completely obliterated but two hundred year old trees survived nearby, a huge fig tree and an gnarly pear tree. We cheered for their strong survival instinct to thrive through drought, fires and years of being munched on by cattle.

Walking along side the fence....ever seen melted barbed-wire....over the rise and there they were. All 250 almond trees adorned in green leaves. They lived! The last time we saw then they were the blackest of black, smoke still rising from the ground. Here they were, leaves, tiny buds of almonds. Life!

What a celebration! We left Mitch's ashes on his beloved ranch with his trees that had risen from their own ashes.

Rest In Peace, my friend. I miss you but I am glad to know that your ashes are home.

Ta Da!

Light at the end of the tunnel approaching! Everyone off of the tracks?

To Do list is close to becoming a Ta Da list...and never once did my hands leave my wrists!

GodParenting Book: Rough Draft finished and off to 4 editors, two for psychological/sociological editing, two for doctrinal editing.

Illness: Antibiotics finished. Ultra Sound today to confirm kidney stones, not back pain from lifting 22 month old and sitting on ground playing with Lego blocks and puzzles.

Logo:  Company in Auburn submitted two choices and the clerics are liking them....phew!

Bills: paid, at least for the next 17 days!

GodParenting Proposals: prepared, checked twice, edited, done.

Mom's Broken Hearing Aid: Replaced

Mom's Missing Replacement Hearing Aid: whole other story, but resolved!

Meeting with Deanery:  Presentation Prepared..."please, God, keep me from spraining my tongue while talking to a room full of priests, (but, yes, I understand,  'thy will be done')!  

Meeting with Diocese: Prepared...mostly....still praying for grace and no drooling when making presentation. (but, again, 'thy will be done')!  p.s. I am willing to bargain for a little mercy! I'm willing to give up Hostess cupcakes and Dutch Bros coffee for a whole month...or two!

Shower, Pee, Eat...maybe tomorrow! All in due time!

April 11, 2016

Addendum to 'Imagine If'

Yesterday's journey through the woods and the mysterious, inviting foundation of an old cottage reminds me of Neil Gaiman's Instructions, just in case you ever find your self in a fairy tale. We should always carry a copy of it. You never know when such instructions will be necessary.

"Instructions" By Neil Gaiman

"Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before.
Say “please” before you open the latch,
go through,
walk down the path.
A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted front door,
as a knocker,
do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat nothing.
if any creature tells you that it hungers,
feed it.
If it tells you that it is dirty,
clean it.
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can,
ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads to winter’s realm;
there is another land at the bottom of it.
If you turn around here,
you can walk back safely;
you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the wood.
The trees are old. Eyes peer from the undergrowth.
Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She may ask for something;
give it to her. She
will point the way to the castle.
Inside it are three princesses.
Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the caste the twelve months sit about a fire,
warming their feet, exchanging tales.
They may do favors for you, if you are polite.
You may pick strawberries in December’s frost.
Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-man will take you.
(The answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to leave the boat.
Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;

hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one’s lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.
Remember your name.
Do not lose hope—what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.

Favors will be returned, debts be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall)

Ride the silver fish (you will not drown)
Ride the gray wolf (hold tightly to his fur).
There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem much smaller than you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
Or rest."

          *    *     *     *     *     *     *

Now, I can tell you many of these items I have found to be profoundly true.

Dragons do have soft spots.
Hearts are easily betrayed (and most often betrayed) by tongues.
Most importantly, "Do Not Lose Hope!"

What advice do you have for someone who has found themselves in the middle of a fairy tale?

April 09, 2016

Imagine If...

You're hiking along a deserted forest path. Only the tiniest rays of light find their way to the forest floor. Ferns are thick and full, easily surpassing your belt in height. The path narrows, takes a twist and turn and another twist.  You find yourself traveling down hill. The trees' canopy thickens. There are no splashes of sun to light the way.  In the silent darkness, the path can only be made out by the separation of the undergrowth.

You know you are walking down hill only by the slight pull in your calves and upper thighs, so subtle is the descent. Another twist, another turn...looming before you is a mossy stone wall, steep steps invite you to approach...or do they warn the traveler to stay away?

Photo Courtesy of Wayne Grazio
Do you climb the stairs?

Do you sit on a step, with your back to the stone wall?

Do you sit on the ground and listen to the echos of life past?

Do you listen for gnomes and fairies to tell you the story of residents long gone?

April 06, 2016

Mille Femmes

While waiting for my handsome husband to get his soft, wavy curls get snipped away (sniff, sniff) at Supercuts, I picked up the closest magazine. I would have waited in the truck with my Kindle but the temperature was 94 degrees...I was seeking air conditioning in a major way.

Just a side note about Redding. Spring lasts about 8 hours, which I think happened Monday from about 10 a.m through 6 p.m.

The magazine was Good Housekeeping.  This is not your mother's Buick. Completely different from the last issue I read, which was probably 1988 or so.

This was March, 2016 issue, featuring an article regarding Mille Femmes, an art show of 1000 portraits of women who were asked to describe themselves in one word!

Talk about the self-examined life!

Photo Courtesy of Good Housekeeping March 2016
Curious, Passion, Genuine, would I describe myself in this moment of my life?

Brave....not even!

Aware...well, mostly.

Wry...probably not.

Gregarious?  Uh, with or without Tequila?

Seeker? Getting warm.


If I must narrow it down to one word, it can only be one.

I am blessed.

Can you describe yourself in one word? Gifted? Compassionate? Courageous?

Tell me, tell me, do!

April 05, 2016

Good News!

Good News Tuesday!

Just got some great news in my email!

The beautiful pastel blouse with embroidered petal on the pockets down by the hem that I ordered five weeks ago to wear on Easter shipped today!

Question of the Month

Mike Agostini's compelling Question of the Month is "What is your favorite thing that begins with a 'C'"!

Okay, I have to admit. As questions go this one might not be compelling but it is fun. Just check out all the links on his page of favorite C-things.

It's taken me a couple of days to think about it and I've felt a little bit like Dr. Suess while contemplating my favorite thing that begins with C.

Cake? It is not cake, "Sam I am, I do not like it here or there," I do not like cake anywhere.

Coal?  "Not in a house, not with a mouse."

Crayons? Nope, not my favorite but I do like them.

Crispy Cremes? Oops, that starts with a K, silly!

Cats? Not on a train or in a boat. Not in a car with a goat.

Cars? Nope, not that one either.

Coats? Carnivals? Castles?

"Oh! Oh! I know, I know!" (see hand raised and waving madly!)

Coconut cream pies! Oh my god! The rich cream filling, the thick whipped topping and a little toasted coconut sprinkled on top!

I hear Marie Callender's calling my name, my thighs and my wallet. A little like Bali Hai but no handsome man to see across the crowded room! Just me, a spoon and my pie!

It's Okay Tuesday

Missed last Tuesday's It's Okay and, in keeping with the spirit, I guess that's okay. Check out Airing My Laundry,  to get the gist of Hey, It's Okay.

It's Okay:

That my granddaughter had an allergic reaction that needed the application of her Epi Pen and a trip to the ER. She is doing fine and she is no longer afraid of the Epi Pen, so, if her trusted parents aren't around and she ever needs the Epi, she will not be afraid to use it.  She's going to be a great artist and designer one day!

It's okay to walk into the doctor's office without an appointment and beg to be seen. It works!

It's okay to empty the garage and toss out stuff you haven't thought about for a year.

It's okay to find something you've been looking for, for over a year, while cleaning the garage and bring it back into the house. (It's okay to scowl at handsome husband while doing so! It's okay to quote a presidential candidate and say, "He started it!")

It's okay to be sad for me and happy for my daughter and her family to get great jobs and be moving 3000 miles away.

It's okay that I am totally confused about what awesome scent to use in my new Scentsy warmer. I bought 7 scents and I love each one.  Sedona Sunset won out today.

It's okay that I'm blogging instead of working on the book today, yes it is, yes it is, yes it is!

Have a great day all of you, I think I should go work on the book!

(but first I'm going to do Question of the Month....and then the book....I swear!)

April 01, 2016

Note From My Mother

To Whom It May Concern.

Please excuse Toni for her absence from Blogville.  The Life Fairies delivered a three month package of events, duties and illnesses on her in a three week period.

She has answered comments, tried to catch up on reading and has missed all her Blogville friends.

Toni's Mom

p.s. Dang! Did it again, I'm supposed to sign it with her name instead of Toni's Mom, right! Will I ever learn?

March 21, 2016

Crazy Storm

Sunday was a crazy storm day! There were times when the rain came down in sheets so thick we couldn't see the trees in our yard. It sounded as if a train was going to burst through the windows at any moment!

There was thunder from far off but still rumbled through the house like a 4.2 earthquake; nothing to be afraid of in an earthquake but not reassuring during a lightening storm.

We sat down to a nice Sunday dinner. About 5 bites in to our meal the sun burst out from under the clouds in the western sky.

Frank looked out the windows behind him and bellowed, "heylskdjfalsdkfjioisnsky!" 

We all stared at him, puzzled that none of the food fell out of his mouth, but we all knew what he meant!

Sun is out, there's going to be rainbows!

We grabbed out rain gear, cameras, put our shoes on, apologized to Rex (the dog) and Brinley (the baby) that they couldn't go; thanked Kate for the nice dinner and ran out the door.

The sky was black in the east, but the sun was popping in and out of thinning clouds in the western sky. We drove west to Millville Plains; we drove to Frank's tree (that's what the photo-people call a magnificent tree that Frank has been photographing for 20 plus years.)
Photo by Toni Tona

We were the first car there, but soon the spot had several other local photographers pulling in their rigs and running out for a good spot to wait for the rainbow.

I brought a book. I wasn't going to get out in that rain and wind and get knocked around...or so I thought. Once you get to the spot and all the other photographers are running around like ants on a mission, you get caught up in it....and I forgot my glasses. No reading, might as well join the crazies!

Then the lightening started, more thunder, more wind....our photography just-in-case umbrella is safe at home in the garage...of course!

Frank caught some incredible photos. Then, drum roll please, the rainbow. Building slow, just a bright spot on the horizon, growing, growing. There it goes, almost half way across the sky. Just that quick a small cloud blew in front and hid all but a tiny section.

Photo by Toni Tona

Several cameras took the shots, jumped in their cars and headed home...probably to finish dinner!

We waited and were rewarded with a double rainbow. Not much of one but still a double. I am embarrassed to show you mine, Frank's put mine to shame.

The sun peaked back behind a low lying cloud in the west. The rest of the photographers bailed.

"Are we going?" I called out to him!

He shook his head and pointed to the west. He could see a tiny sliver of blue sky just above the mountains. "Nope!" he said, "The sun is going to peak under those clouds and light this tree up! I'm going to catch that picture!"

We do a lot of waiting!  Yup, a lot of waiting. Though this is one time that was just glorious. The sky changed by the seconds. Sometimes dark and gloomy and other times the color was orange and other-worldly.
Photo by Toni Tona

 Finally, a little flash of sunlight on the grass, climbing the hill and Kapow! The tree glowed, totally glowed. The drops of water in the leaves and branches reflected thousands of micro-rainbows. (again, his photo is so much better than mine, so here is his).

Photo by Frank Tona Copyright

 But I did get a photo of him gloating!

Yes, he was right! The sun was going to light up his tree!

Not only did we get a brightly lit tree but we were rewarded with an almost-full moon just above the clouds.

Photo by Toni Tona

All in all, it was a nice Sunday evening drive for dessert!