December 28, 2017

A Little Giggle

Yesterday was my dad's 89th birthday. We celebrated by going to DMV to renew his license.

He studied hard for his test and passed! He usually doesn't drive. My sister, the Guy or I drive him around but I think his ego just needed to know that there was a valid driver's license in his wallet.

We didn't have an appointment, so the wait was typical of DMV.

While he was taking the test, my mom and I were sitting in the waiting area. Two young men were sitting across from us. They both spoke a little Spanglish; a little Spanish mixed in with English.  They each had their cell phone out and it looked like they were checking out hot cars. No, not stolen cars, just cool cars which look hot! Oh hell, you know what I mean.

Anyway, they keep nudging each other to check out the next car and the next. One would say, "Mira!" The other one would nod or make a comment in a little bit of both languages.

There must have been an exceptional Chevy on the older guys phone (I'm thinking '69 Impala, but that's just me).  The older guy holds out his phone, "Mira!"

The younger guy grins, nodding his head and said something like, "Rojo caramelo, Spanish-Spanish-Spanish bad-ass!"

I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants.  Of all the things not to say in Spanish!  Don't you just love young men?


Photo courtesy of Janis Ian

Do you love Pandora? Any genre of music one's soul desires!  Today is 70's tunes because it's time to clean house and nothing inspires sorting, organizing and tossing things out like a little Donna Summers, Kool and the Gang, KC and the Sunshine Band, and, of course, Michael Jackson.

Bumping with the broom, Funky Chicken with the mop; it's a little hard folding laundry while doing the YMCA, but like the old saying goes, "Dance like no one is watching!"

Warning! Do not try the Hustle while emptying the dishwasher...fricken' shins!

Okay, caught my breathe again, back to cleaning...

America- Tin Man

One of those days that needs to be accompanied with good tunes.

What were you doing when you first heard Tin Man or America?

What is your favorite song by America?

If you ask me, America has always been great!       

December 23, 2017

La Befana

Long before Santa Claus flew through the sky in his shiny sleigh and eight wondrous reindeer it was a woman who flew on her broom, entering houses through chimneys to leave special goodies in the children's stockings.

A chimney was her only access, as all the houses were long houses of thick walls; no windows; no doors. Entry was made by climbing a ladder and entering the home through the roof. Then, to keep the inhabitants safe, the ladder was drawn up.
La Befana

La Befana is a loving woman. She is a good woman.

She has a broom.

We turned her image into a sinister icon...oh no.....a woman on a broom. Run, hide or burn her.

But, when Santa was created, they kept the cool idea about delivering gifts to good little boys and girls. Of course, the flying part is going to have to stay, too, because how else can all the children be reached in one evening, but not a broom! What then? A sleigh and reindeer?

Both links on images can take you to the story of La Befana. Both sites tell the story better than I can;.

I collect Santas. I have some incredibly beautiful dudes. Hand carved wood, cloth bodies and velvet robes, modern and old Saint Nicks!

Sitting on the sofa yesterday, admiring my guys, it dawned on me...Where was La Befana? How could I not have at least one beautiful, glorious flying woman on her magic broom and bag full of toys for the precious children?

I need her before Christmas. I need to tell her story to my granddaughters. If our culture doesn't accept a God that looks like my girls, then we sure as hell can have a Santa that looks like them!

So, on Christmas Eve don't forget to hang the stockings, leave milk and cookies for Santa and cheesecake and a glass of Cianti for La Befana!

The Christmas Witch

December 22, 2017

Death of Our Dreams

Photo courtesy of Paulo Coelho Facebook

Paulo Coelho's blog is one of my favorites.

Today he writes 'The 3 Symptoms of Killing Our Dreams'!

I think it is worth the read.

The Guy

Every person in town knows my husband or, at least, recognizes him.

The Guy

He is in the store commercials on television. His voice is on the radio. He teaches photography classes at the store and location classes. He makes presentations at local venues and for local clubs. He also judges photography entries for 4 county fairs and a couple of local clubs. He has been the face of the store for 28 years.

As you can imagine, we never have a 'quiet, romantic dinner' without someone coming over to talk. We never take a long walk on the river trail without someone tapping him on the shoulder. We can't go to the Mall, or Rite Aide of Lowes.

Hell, we couldn't even go to Idaho without someone walking up to talk to him about a problem they are having with their camera, flash, focus, or just to ask him what lens/camera/flash/filter would be best!

We have stopped for burgers two counties away and the server called him by his name.

I forbid him go with me to my doctor visits because I end up sitting on the exam table while Frank leans on one wall, arms across his chest; doctor (including my surgeon and my anesthesiologist and nurses in the hospital) mirroring Frank's stance against the opposite wall, while they discuss cameras/photography/flashes, etc.

Many call him by his name, but most just grab him by his shirt or arm and say,  "You're the Guy! I have a question!"  OR  "Hey, Crown-Guy, I'm headed to ___________ in the __________. What would be the best settings/filters/ lens to take with me?"

I have actually been teasingly calling him 'The Guy" for years, but recently someone asked me if I was Mrs. Guy! Really!

I have decided to start calling him The Guy, always!

Let it be known, that all references to my husband in this blog will henceforth be "The Guy"!

The Guy

The Guy

P.S I love you, The-Guy!

December 21, 2017

Done Enough For Now!

Worked on the final details of the bathroom today. I'm so happy with it, I could light some candles and take a bath!

Cabinets are a dark gray, walls a lighter gray, and trim is white.

After the new year, we will replace the counter top and faucets, but, for now, I'm pretty happy with the results. Side note: Frank. the faucets I want are on my Amazon wish list!

Okay, I bet you are all saying, "Hey, Toni! The mirrors are uneven!"

Yes, I know. That is exactly what I said to Frank when he hung them back on the wall. (Except I didn't call him Toni!)

He advised me that we have two three-year-olds in the family. A grandson and a great-granddaughter. They need to be able to see themselves in the mirror, especially when washing their hands or brushing their teeth or playing in the water!

"So bring the high one down!" I did ask politely, really, I did!.

He, again, advised me that we have very tall people in our family who like to see their whole face and head, not just their chins! Who knew that was a problem!

Frank is exactly 6 feet tall. He could only see to the bridge of his nose in the lower mirror. My daughter is 6 foot, my sons are 6' 2" and 6' 5 1/2" inches. A couple of my granddaughters are right on the edge of 6 feet.

Frank was right...dang, I hate that!

We decided to leave them the way the are but will be stenciling directions near the arrows.

I just need to cut the stencils and get 'er done.

The curtains are an old, old hand crocheted tablecloth. Hanging are a couple of glimmery bags filled with sea glass, shells and magic. The sun shining through makes them glow just a little.

Can you see the magic?

I love my new bathroom. Mostly!

After the first of the year, I plan on knocking out the wall surrounding the bathtub, and extending the shower head to a height that doesn't cause severe back pain when my kids or grandchildren visit. I hate that they have to bend over to get there heads wet! After the new wall board goes up my plan is to tile the wall all the way to the ceiling.

Now, someone said something about it being Christmas, so I guess I should go wrap some gifts. First, I want to see how the paint chips I picked up at Sherwin Williams look in our bedroom! I'm thinking a light gray and navy! What do you think?

Blessed Yule

Winter Solstice...we've made it! Another cycle.

The first official day of winter is much like a huge, carved magic door for me. As it opens on this long night, it invites us to the season of respite and recovery. It is inviting our spirits to withdraw from the outside world to enjoy and relish in our inner world.  In spite of the next two weeks of parties and hectic running around and loving chaos, the invitation is still there as the Times Square ball drops.

Time for bundling up in a big arm chair, wrapped in a cozy quilt, tea and book at hand.

Time for planning, flipping through catalogs and ordering seeds.

Time to spend entire days in pajamas, heavy socks over Vaseline slathered feet!

Time for inviting friends over for long chats over tea and fresh bread, but only the friends that don't mind your pajamas and the pile of books spread across the coffee table and beside your favorite chair.

Time for the smell of soups, stews and homemade bread.

Time for contemplation.

Blessed Yule, my friends.

December 19, 2017


I woke up this morning and there are four new age spots on my face. Big Ones. Overnight!

I had one little one for about ten years and overnight 4 show up.

Googled 'age spots' after I tried scrubbing them off (thinking they just might be dirt from scrubbing bathroom and painting).

Of course, we all know that all that sunbathing we did when we were younger catches up with us, but I was shocked to read that age spots can be caused by STRESS!  (f-bomb, f-bomb, f-bomb).  A couple of sites read that stress causes inflammation and decreases the skin's ability to heal. Might explain my increased knee pain and my shoulder taking a couple of steps backward in the pain department.

Sunday was one of those 'hell days' with my mom. She is losing it pretty quick and not is a nice way. My husband, sister and I are doing what we can to protect my dad but it's an uphill battle. With every emergency, it is a 45 minute drive of fear and anxiety to get to them. Dad wants to move up here but Mom won't budge!

You can't fight (or even talk) with crazy. 

So, good friends, what is a good concealer? It looks like I'm going to be needing a lot of it?

December 18, 2017


"Why, why, why," one would probably ask!

Why in the middle of all the chaos would a sane person decide to paint their bathroom?

"Frankly, Scarlett...," no wait, I don't think that quote is appropriate here, though it was the first one to pop into my head.

Maybe, because there is so much to be worried about and to try to figure out that I really, really, really want something to pop up that I don't "give a damn" about!

Yes, I am painting my bathroom! Cabinets, walls, door and window sill. In the middle of all this 'stuff''!

Several years ago, I painted an ocean bottom scene on the wall above the counter. One of my granddaughters wanted to help. She painted a lovely little mermaid (Millie) who has been swimming behind one of the mirrors. I didn't have the heart to paint over her. She will swim behind the mirrors as long as I live in this house!

Painted by Alaina!

I have paint in my hair, broke three nails and almost fell off of the toilet while cutting in the top of the wall and I am loving it! Nothing like working hard, sweating, climbing up and down, slipping on plastic, and adding more dabs to my painting clothes.

There are many choices we have for self-medicating. I could get drunk, get stoned, eat a pizza and cheesecake and a fried baloney sandwich or I can be creative.

Creative works for me! Pandora in the background, brush in hand, truly beats banging one's head against the wall, besides, I didn't have any baloney!

It's quite the mess right now, but pictures will follow (right after I clean it up and make myself a gin & tonic!).

December 13, 2017

Rays of Sunshine!

Sometimes, we need someone, anyone, to tell us 'it's going to be okay'!

Yesterday, was a day. Not only did you, my blog-friends, reassure me but I also received a gift from my daughter who lives in Massachusetts. She knows the dynamics of the present implosion our family finds ourselves in, which makes her gift that much more meaningful.

I love my cup and am going to keep it at my side, at least the photos of it and the idea of it!

Thank you, my beautiful Nicoley!

December 12, 2017

Connection Failed

Christmas? Making a list and checking it twice...NOT!

Do you think I can get away with a really pretty watercolor painting (copied 15 times) that simply states:  
Coming in January
Your Christmas Gift!

Maybe I'll just buy the whole family tickets to Jumanji and matching socks!

Somehow a real disconnect has occurred in my life. Makes me sad and extremely disappointed in myself.

Until the age of 9, I lived in Colorado, surrounded by a huge , loving family. Grandparents, Great-Uncles and Aunts, Aunts and Uncles, and Cousins...oh man, the cousins!

We spent weekends with grandparents or cousins. We were the family that had great family picnics at City Park, playing softball and chowing down on the best fried chicken and potato salad in the world...IN THE WORLD! We would caravan to campgrounds in the Rockies and set up a little town of tents. There were guitars and singing, jokes, lots and lots of love and laughter.

At 9 years old, Dad, Mom, brother and sister packed it all up and moved to California. We grew up with only occasional visits from the elderly people in our family. We were four states away as health failed them. All grandparents, as well as, the great-aunts and great uncles, and most of the aunts and uncles are gone. We attended funerals but not bedside vigils. I don't remember my parents struggling with healthcare decisions for their parents.  

As an adult, I worked in the health care field. Started in acute care but ended up as Public Relations Director and Field Supervisor for a skilled nursing facility and a home health private division nursing agency.

I truly believed I was in touch with our patients and residents, family members, too. I helped families in crisis make decisions and choices between home nursing or convalescent centers. I helped with end-of-life decisions. I believed I was good at it. I could read family members and know who could handle what. 

I held many a hand, or stroked a head, as patients without family passed, sometimes in the earliest hours of the day or late night. I loved them all.  It was hard work but rewarding, and I loved it. I thought I had a solid handle on the aging process. I thought I was helping, providing comfort and somehow easing the stresses.

My parents are now both 89, failing in health and in an ugly, emotional crisis. Hell, the whole family seems to be tumbling into the rabbit hole!  

While in the middle of this family implosion of frailties and emotions, I have discovered that I don't know anything.  There is a bottomless depth of emotion when it is your own parents. There is no clocking-out and going home.  If you do happen to be home, you lay awake, staring at the ceiling, waiting for the phone to ring.  Hell, I can't even have a drink because it is a 45 minute drive to the folks house and I need to get to them, not end up in the back of a police cruiser (though, at times, I have wished for exactly that).  When one family member yells 'Uncle" and bails because it is too hard, biting our lips, we pick up the pieces he dropped on the way out.

I owe a huge apology to all those family members, patients and residents. I am sincerely sorry for not recognizing the depth of your pain, frustration, stress, love, worry, and the seemingly thousands of emotions that lodge in one's brain during crisis and make themselves at home.  

I am so sorry!

December 11, 2017

Wanted: Faithkeeper

"In the Native American tradition, one member of the tribe assumes the role of "Faithkeeper." This person's role is to remain at peace, centered in spiritual vision, no matter what events befall the tribe. Even if everyone else in the tribe slips into pain, fear, or disention, the Faithkeeper is the one person the tribe can rely on as a lifeline to the Presence. This is our role now. There is a place within all of us that is always connected to our higher being. That is the place to go to now. Your greatest contribution is your clarity, sense of purpose and vision" ~ Alan Cohen

Big moves in our family right now. Parents are in crisis. Big changes for all of us. My sister, husband and myself are doing all we can... but we sure could use a Faithkeeper! 

Really, really want to go to that 'place within' but someone keeps knocking on the door.

Copyright: Mandala by Toni Tona

December 02, 2017


Do you remember in your college Ethics class the description of "Just War"?  It is defined as "a war that is deemed to be morally or theologically justifiable."

How does the GOP morally justify their new tax plan, their war on the middle class of America and national deficit?

The good news is, these 'christians' (note the lower case spelling) also have the biblical quote that states "... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Lucifer is smiling this morning!   He done collected himself some souls!

November 25, 2017

Black and White Challenge

Don't know if any of you have seen the B&W Photo Challenge on Facebook in the last month, the challenge is to post a B&W each day for 7 days and then to challenge another FaceBookie to do the same.

A friend posted some incredible photos and then challenged me. I sweated it out for a day, thinking I would never be able to post anything as beautiful as I had seen on some of the pages. Then I thought, what the heck. It's not a contest, I have to keep reminding myself that I am not about competition but collaboration! Though, that I have to keep repeating that mantra tells me there is probably a pretty hardy competition bone somewhere in my body, so I am just going to "fake it until I make it!"

I thought I would share the photos I posted.

(See, the way this works is: You tell me that my pictures are the best! Using the best (and most) superlatives you know. Then I will be all "shucks, they're just some old B&W's I had hanging around".)

Actually, I am pretty happy with the way a couple of them turned out, so I am challenging myself to doing more black and white photography this year. Still, to be quite honest, Ken, Frank, the other Frank and Fran kicked my butt. I discovered their secret for sharp, clear images:
1. Don't Drink Coffee Before A Shoot
2. If You Drank Coffee, Use A Tripod

My thoughts on the advice:
1. If I Haven't Had Coffee, I Wouldn't Be On A Photo Shoot.
2. Tripods Are Cumbersome and Pretentious
(and I look like a fool when one of the legs collapses and trips me up!)

Black and White Challenge 2017

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona

First image is the back side of Mt. Lassen, near sunset.  Great spot just passed Devastated Area Trail.

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona
 Front side of Mt. Lassen from Broke Off Meadow. Great place for a picnic and kicking back with a good book.

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona
The BLM land behind my folks home. They live on the Sacramento River and this area is about a quarter mile from them.  Incredible spot for Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Cranes and big fat Hawks. Even saw a dozen whooping cranes hanging out here a couple of years ago.

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona
Franks' tree in Millville Plains.  Most photographed tree in Shasta County!

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona
Trees! Some of my best friends! Do you ever sit in a cluster of trees and look up into the canopy? Love it!

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona
 West of Willows in the Spring. Wild flowers were everywhere. Beautiful Day for a drive.\

Photo Copyright  by Toni Tona
For fun, took a little fellow out to sit in the mushrooms. The clusters of 'shrooms in my yard are so amazing at times.

Anyone want to take up the challenge. Post a B & W photo for 7 days? 

November 22, 2017

Still Missing In Action

Sorry everyone for my somewhat extended absence; not from my blog but from visiting and commenting on your wonderful sites. I miss you all.

My brother told me that shoulder surgery was the most painful pain and he is so right. It hurts to sit up at the computer and type. I still can't lift more than two pounds...ever seen a two pound turkey? Me, neither.

A couple of family emergencies have caused a wee bit of havoc. Husband knew that we had a pulley for my physical therapy at home.  Rather than spend the $12 to buy a new one, he completely emptied the coat closet into the living room. We found it but all I can say is Oh My God!  Explosion! I desperately want to purchase a role of police crime-scene tape in the entry!

In defense of Frank, he has been a godsend. I actually threatened him about putting any of the 6000 pounds of stuff back into the closet. About 5980 pounds is getting tossed...Note to my beloved children: The three boxes of cassettes from the eighties and nineties are out of here if they are not claimed by December 31, yes, even Doctor Demento!

Any way, friends, range of motion is coming back good, taking my six ginormous Collagen pills every single day but throbbing pain has me grounded.

I do have some awesomely good news.

Our granddaughter, Three, performed for the Veteran's Day Commemoration at the Reagan Presidential Library. We drove down to attend. Incredibly brilliant day, so proud of her and her high school band. The next day, her band attended two band tournaments and were outstanding. Made enough points to join in the Regionals! Go Highlanders!

On the way home from Southern California, we stopped at the Sacramento Airport and picked up granddaughter Two. She flew in from Massachusetts. Don't know if she really missed up or was just missing the warmer weather.  She is marvelous and so much fun.

Our two local granddaughters, Four and Six, have come to visit, sleepovers, song fests and games.  We even had our great-granddaughter one night for sleep over.

Six and Two knew the words to every single Disney song from every animated cartoon since Pinocchio!
More good news: Granddaughter Four's high school just won their first championship game since 1988. Son-in-law, Coach Brian, has this incredible knack for turning football teams around. This year, the university he is coaching at, (his first year there) his team won the first championship game in 138 years, maybe 136! Division 1 schools, this man is worth his weight in gold!

Bad news, my grandson had an accident on his motocross bike. He ripped up his knee down to the bone. Pretty ugly. Not enough skin left over to suture it, so he has some elastic type stitches just to hold remaining skin in place and encourage growth to cover wound. Guess who's getting those shin guard thingies for Christmas?  Three weeks off of work!

Time for exercises. Ready? One...Two...Three...Wince!

November 06, 2017

Be Aware

Another horrendous shooting in the U.S.

Stay alert.
When my dad was teaching me to drive, he made it imperative that I know what was happening one block ahead and one block behind. He would quiz me often.

"Where is the yellow station wagon?" he'd ask. I'd better know that it just moved into the left lane.

He insisted that I knew the direction of the tires of the cars parked along the roadway; making me alert to someone suddenly pulling out.  Be aware of your surroundings.

My granddaughters and son are accomplished Kung Fu students. One of the important things they learned: Be aware of your surroundings.

Great article. Print and read often. Practice, practice, practice!

October 13, 2017

Thrity Days Post Op

Thirty days in a sling. The only thing I can think of to describe the pain, that doesn't start with an F is 'ow'!

Physical Therapy has started; Range of Motion only (again, "ow") but therapist is impressed. He says they threw the kitchen sink at me with the surgical procedures. Pretty much everything that could be wrong with a shoulder was wrong: torn tendons, detached tendons, torn ligaments, torn rotator cuff and a couple of ripped muscles and even a couple of little bone spurs and bumps that they sanded off (as long as they were in there!).

Trying to do therapy and recovery opoid-free but therapist says recovery is easier when one is not in a lot of pain, so hubby breaks a Percocet in half and I take it with a Hail Mary, an Our Father and light a candle for the Goddess! Covering all my bases!

Good news is I can't wear a bra...YAY!  Can't pull up my own pants, so, unless I am out of the house to visit folks, Physical Therapy or Barnes & Noble, I am in long skirt and commando! Reminds me of the '60's!

All in all, I think I am on the way to recovery.  Therapist is uber impressed with the shoulder's range of motion. I am uber impressed that he has moved my arm in so many positions and I haven't decked him with my right hand!  (See, I do have a bit of self-restraint!)

Recovery is an incredible experience. It is much the same as having a household of guests but without the appetizers! One sees all the things one is blind to unless you are seeing it through the eyes of company. You know, the closet door that is sorely in need of paint, the dust bunnies settling in and around the piano and dust! Lots and lots of dust!

I noticed an incredible number of globes. I guess I collect balls, glass balls mostly but other round items, many of them have their own collections started of dust. We are all collecting dust.

Glass globe, ceramic balls and turquoise beads, all round. (p.s. I read somewhere in the last month that gray walls were out of style, as is purple accessories such as my drapes. I say, "who cares!")

Then I realized that there were more glass globes on the piano. Unequal amount of dust, so I might have brush the feather duster over the space, or maybe thoughtful sister-in-law did it while I was in the bathroom, wrestling with my underwear!

Yes, I watered the plants! Right after taking this picture!

Yup, I do love me some round! Again, there is a large purple globe, so yesterday!  Keeping it, though. I usually have it in my bedroom with...yes, another collection of crystal balls and dust. Every time my granddaughter Katie comes to visit she always writes, "Hi Nana, I love you, Katie!" in the dust. One of the best things in my life.

So, my friends. Recovery is slow but sure but know that I am having a ball while re-cooping!

What do you think of my raw garnet? Grayish stone next to fluorite at top of photo! Cool, huh? Looks like one of the Sand People from Star Wars!!!
Got a great collection of Witches Balls hanging in the windows, too! Several Trees-on-a-globe balls hanging from ceilings here and there.

Sound like a harmless collection or do you think there's a call for a bit of therapeutic assist?

September 12, 2017

To Do List

The old To-Do List is only slightly whittled down.

I finished antiquing and waxing two tables. I didn't get to bathroom cabinets, only because I couldn't make a final decision on colors. I'm leaning towards grey but the bohemian in me is resisting.

The tables are done. First layer of Finishing Wax was natural, then used Dark Finishing Wax to give it a little age.

I love the look of both. Just enough dark to take the edge off of the glaringly flat look of chalk paint. A little bit of age and a little bit of satiny glow.

I was so overcome with enthusiasm to take photos that I didn't tuck away any of the electrical cords. Oh well, my photographic skills are not in interiors!!!

My little octopus table looks washed out in photo but it does have the look of aging.  I'm ordering a thick shelving glass top for it. Neither Frank nor I can be trusted to use coasters. We try but why take chances.

Today's list: Visit parents, swim.  Bathroom cabinets will have to wait. Frank is taking me out to dinner and a movie tonight. Sadly, no wine with dinner.

Tomorrow a torn rotator cuff and torn tendon will be repaired. I will be sent home with a great excuse to kick back and read, guilt free!

Life is good!

September 11, 2017


Well, kiddoes, surgery is in two days.

Nervous a little? I am.

I attended my granddaughter's high school football game Saturday evening. Exciting game, screaming, cheering and with her school scoring 61 (or was it 68) points, I raised my arms in support way too many times. Finally spent the last 10 minutes sitting on my left hand in an attempt to impede spontaneous and propitious encouragement. Let's just say my left arm, much like the rest of me, has authority issues!

I'm predicting there will be little, if any, activity at Wandering and Wondering for a little bit. One-handed typing is not my strong suit, just no patience for a one-handed search for letters. My typing skills are all muscle memory, so looking for a p or q just won't do.

I will be visiting your blogs, but again, may not type out responses...mostly because one never does know what pain-medication wisdom will float to the top, does one?

Need to clean out fridge today, paint bathroom cabinets and wax newly painted side tables. Painted them in turquoise and sea green hues of chalk paint. Much too bright...need antiquing wax coats.

Tomorrow I plan on making a couple of casseroles to freeze, or maybe just floating in the pool. Still not decided on being a responsible adult or locking the mature-adult-me in the pantry and taking my inner child on a last fling before short-term disability. To be honest, the pool is calling the loudest, and my inner child keeps whispering that we can over-power the mature adult. Comes from years of practice and, frankly, the mature-adult me has been exercised very little!

I'm sincerely hoping at the end of this surgery and accompanying physical therapy, I can take a class at the college and when the professor asks a question, I will be able to hysterically wave my left arm and yell, "I know, I know! Pick me, pick me!"

By Guys!

September 07, 2017

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Loving the smell of rain this morning. 

Windows open, air flowing through the house. 

Gonna wash my smokey clothes! 

Bye-bye fire smell.

Hello petrichor! Oh, how I have missed you.

September 05, 2017

Dang Gum Smoke

Whoa, da smoke!

My hair and clothes smell like I've been sitting around the campfire, which is not bad but it didn't come with Bailey's and coffee in the morning, charred hot dogs and cold beer at night!

We tried to dodge the smoke and ended up in even thicker clouds of it. We visited the Inter-Mountain Fair in McArthur. The folks there wanted Frank available for a couple of hours of Q & A about photography and why the photos that won, well, won!

Beautiful photography, super friendly people but high point of the fair (for me) is always the quilts. This year did not disappoint!  Such talent!

We drove to Tule Lake Refuge and tried to photograph birds.  The smoke proved to be an an enormous challenge, Visibility was probably just under a half mile.

Mountains virtually disappeared within half a mile of us.  The sun was actually red most of the late afternoon and evening.  In photo-speak that means color saturation is MIA.

I found some flowers along the edge of the lake that the butterflies were loving. I still have to identify the plant. If any of your recognize it, fill me in!

So that we were both on the side of the lake, Frank sat in the back seat of the car, I drove. I drove very, very slow so that we wouldn't scare off any birds, or other wildlife. Also a good idea because the roads through and around the lake are washboards...detrimental to kidneys at speeds higher than 2mph!

There were a flock of blackbirds (on the right side, of course). They seemed to be auditioning for Alfred Hitchcock photos. Who can resist scary?

We discovered a little family of Grebes. Two parents and three babies. When we first saw them two babies were riding on Mom and one was on Dad. The little ones were off and on, much like three year old humans!

After playtime, Mom dumped the babies off her back and took off to do some fishing.

It was so cool to watch as the parents took turns fishing, then returning with fish in bill (or beak?) to feed babes and partner.

Copyright Toni Tona 2017

Does this make you crave a sardine sandwich?

Sometimes the profile of Grebe made me think of Nessie in Scotland. Maybe she is just a big-ass Grebe!

Oops! Dinner just got away!

The geese started taking off in the later part of the evening. Was only 94 degrees so cool enough to make a couple of miles towards winter home. Had been 108 during the day.

As you can see, there was no blue in the sky, so no blue reflection in the water.  We can't wait to go back when the skies clear.

The sun started to set. In the two photos below, the sun is almost about to drop behind the mountains which are invisible through the smoke.  We took the last two photos and headed for Klamath Falls, and immediately got lost.

Getting lost is sometimes as much fun as photography!

How did you spend your three day weekend?