May 27, 2017

Thirty Three!

Frank and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary yesterday.

Hard to believe that we've come this far.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thirty three years. Who knew?

May 20, 2017

Busy Week Part II

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

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

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

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

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

Budgets. I hate them!

Should be spelled Butt-jets!

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

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

"Yeah, but it's a dry heat!" 

Busy Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mostly seafood. Shrimp Ceviche was to die for!

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

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

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

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

May 15, 2017

You Only Live Once


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

Northern California has it's own style.

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

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

Have you taken Exit 542 lately? 

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

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

How's it working out for you?

Posting Replies!!!

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

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

It's been happening for about 3 weeks.

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

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

May 12, 2017

Susceptible to...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evolution Of A Foul Mood

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

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

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

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


May 09, 2017

It's Okay Tuesday

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

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

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

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

Let's talk about what's okay today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week ya'll!

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

Have a great week, dudes!


Tuesday Coffee Chat

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

If I could go anywhere today...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 07, 2017

A to Z Challenge ~ Reflections

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

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

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

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

The pressure is not relieved.

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

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

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

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

The Reflection

I can't wait April  2018!

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

My vocabulary has increased a hundred-fold.

I discovered so many new blogs and outlooks on life.

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

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

Favorites in the A to Z Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will read her posts religiously.

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

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

May 06, 2017

Hunting Without A License!

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

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

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

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

He's cute, huh!

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

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

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

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

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

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

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

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

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

The stone walls follow roadways too.

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

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

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

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

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

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

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

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

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

Photo Copyright: Toni Tona

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

May 02, 2017

It's Okay Tuesday

Geez, how many Tuesdays have passed since I've participated in Hey, It's Okay?  Airing My Laundry got the idea from Glamour magazine. It's nice to have one day a week that you can just let things roll.

Hey, It's Okay:

That 20 minutes after I sweep the floors, dog hair is everywhere. It's going to be 95 degrees today and Rex needs to shed that coat.

See Rex Shed! Shed Rex, Shed!

That A to Z Challenge ended two days ago and I miss it already.

It's Okay that my granddaughter had to fly back to Massachusetts last week. We had soooo much fun. I started missing her as she walked into the airport!

Love her smile.
 It's Okay that my granddaughter doesn't like auntie kisses and auntie is okay with that!

It's Okay that we went to the Show and Shine at Riverview and paid more attention to the river view than the shiny cars!

It's Okay that the poppies in my yard don't last all year long. When they are blooming they are wonderful and bring joy (just like Jocilyn, my granddaughter).

It's Okay that Jocilyn cut her hair and she's not an elf anymore!

Photo Courtesy of Nicole Chelonis Photography

It's Okay that I'm going to make this short because, well, because it's okay!

May 01, 2017

Frank's Tree

Last week was crazy-wonderful;  filled with love, family and activity. While it was exhilarating it was also exhausting.

One evening the sky exploded in glory. My husband scrambled to get our cameras.

Camera bag, cameras and lenses were in my car, which our son-in-law and granddaughter were driving.

This is where being the general manager of a camera store really comes in handy! It is his job to use all the different cameras and lenses and filters, etc., so that he can advise customers.

We headed for the store, got two cameras and lenses and took off for one of our favorite spots, Frank's Tree.

Everyone in the community calls it Frank's Tree because he's been photographing it for over 25 years, maybe even longer.

The new cameras were excellent but the lens I used was awesome. (Dilemma: New paint and tile in front bathroom or new lens! I'm losing sleep!)

I thought I would share a couple of the shots I got:

Copyright: Photo by Toni Tona 
The tree was in the shadow of clouds but lit up every now and then.

Copyright: Photo by Toni Tona 

The tree is really huge as it sits in on the edge of Millville Plains but it is never lonely. Almost every morning or sunset, or thunderstorm or snowstorm, or just because, there is at least 1 photographer visiting it.

Copyright: Photo by Toni Tona
Happy in the warmth of the sun.

 Copyright: Photo by Toni Tona 
My husband stalking the tree! The man is on his belly or climbing fences more than anyone I know! 

Copyright: Photo by Toni Tona
As you can see, she has many moods!

Copyright: Photo by Toni Tona
The wildflowers were abundant, but, unlike my partner in crime, I don't climb fences! His wildflower photos are gorgeous! I can live with that!

Thank God for recording availability because I missed 20 minutes of Survivor for these photos!!!!

A to Z Challenge 'Z'

 A to Z 2017 Theme: Rocks to Throw At A Hero Who Is Up A Tree!

Robin Carr, a well-published author describes a talented author as "someone who chases her hero up a tree and then throws rocks at her."

The end of the challenge.

It only seems right that rocks slung today should begin or END with Z.  Don't you agree?

When ever I glimpse a 'Z', the slash of Zorro flashes into my mind, or I see a cute stripey Zebra chatting up a Giraffe in Zambia.

I'm not admitting to any form of  Zoanthropy, but can you just imagine yourself wearing those Zany stripes and sharing a watering hole with lions and cheetahs? Talk about a Zillion Zaps of shivers up and down one's banded back! Still, better than a Zoo, right?

What about Zorro and his Zestful disdain of Zealous Governors of the Territory of California?
Having to Zip and ZigZag from rooftop to rooftop in his black Zoot suit and cape?

Can you imagine his head abuzZ every time the writer forces poor handsome Zorro to hurdle from  Presidio walls onto a hard saddle?   Talk about a Zing! It's a wonder he ever had a child!

The Greeks zoned in on throwing Zeus at many unsuspecting heroes. Talk about a Zygomatic slap; that god could Zip in and administer a sharp one or a Zillion, depending on his mood and the last time he 'got some'!

We've come to the end of my suggestions for rocks to throw at your hero after you've written her up a tree.

Time for a quiZ beginning with 'A'! 

A to Z Challenge 'Y'

A to Z Challenge

A to Z 2017 Theme: Rocks to Throw At A Hero Who Is Up A Tree!

Robin Carr, a well-published author describes a talented author as "someone who chases her hero up a tree and then throws rocks at her."

Y is one of my favorite letters! My maiden name was Young. It's a good name! When your last name is Young, one never sits in the middle of a classroom. You end up against the wall or against the window. You always get to sit next to a Williams, a Yerkovich or a Zumwalt and they are truly fun characters...

Back to rocks to throw at Yon worthy heroes.

Possibly a 'damn Yankee' would be a good rock to toss, especially if the hero yearns for her home in York County, South Carolina or Yatesville, Georgia.

Imagine our hero hails from Yemen and has a habit of Yielding to sinful Yearnings, Yahweh would be an excellent stone to throw up the transgression tree. 

In either case, I'm sure the hero would be Yelling "Yikes!"

You know I would!