January 29, 2018


What a good idea!

Annie of McGuffy's Reader is hosting Sparks, an inspirational and positive thought for the week!

 As she posts, The negative energy in the world has become thick and oppressive. Social media has become a part of the dark, negative storm. There is an obvious universal need for more positive energy. And, we can all be part of this affirmative change."

I agree!

My Spark for the day:

Good Day

Sun was shining. Temps got up to 70+ in the valley. We packed up and hit the road!

First, we headed to a couple of sites towards Whitmore, where there are good views of Mt. Shasta. We could have driven to the Mountain but it is an hour north and haze was moving in fast. As it was, we still missed the contrast of a clear blue sky as a backdrop. 

There was a contrail above the mountain that made it look like the old volcano was actually smoking. Kind of cool! It has 7 glaciers on it and erupts approximately every 600 years. According to records we have about 400 years to go until the next big boom. Projections are that it will probably erupt on the north side, good news for Redding, not so good for Weed and Yreka!

Then there is Lassen. Beautiful mountain about 70 miles east of Redding. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see some small, jagged peaks on the right of the major cone. That is what is left of a much larger cone, which was called Mount Tehama. The jagged remains are referred to as Brokeoff Mountain.

Some of Mt. Tehama's eruptions blasted volcanic rock 40, 50, even 60 miles! The remnants can be seen everywhere. Some very hard working ranchers and farmers have gathered the rocks and built gorgeous stone wall fences. Having gathered rocks from the fields at the ranch to help install culverts, I can honestly state that there is not enough Naproxen in the world to help me gather and build a rock wall around the entire ranch, let alone a small corral!

We turned away from Shasta, headed through Whitmore to Hwy 44.  There is a house along this road that we almost bought when the kids were all still at home. The view was fantastic, the house was okay, but it was right on the road. I don't want to live right on the road...but look at us now! We live in town! Who would have thought it could happen.

Anyway, the next photo is what the view would have been if we have purchased the house.

Fourteen years ago, The Guy talked me into moving into town. His promise was that if I would agree to sell the house in Palo Cedro and live in the city for 5 years, we could buy some property in Whitmore and build our own house. We have lived IN Redding, in this house for 14 years now!

As we drove through the mountains, I realized that we are never going to live in the mountains. We are taking care of aging parents now, can't move anywhere but closer to them. At our ages, mid '60's, and thinking of the needs of our folks could soon be our own needs,  I know that wherever we move needs to be more practical than a home hanging onto the side of a mountain with windy, icy roads to get in and out. The more we drove, the sadder I got but didn't realize why until this morning.  I am a country girl, living in a city.

Okay, enough of the self-pity stuff. Back to yesterday's drive.

Three weeks ago, we took a drive up to Lassen with son's family, grandson's family, The Guy and I. We had to search for snow to play in. This path to the bridge was a two inch sheet of slippery ice. Yesterday it was crunchy snow.

We had to search but we did find snow and we did have fun, especially the littles!  Luke and Brinley had a ball the first week of January.

Dad's worked hard pulling sleds and kids up the slope!

Yesterday, I discovered this sign. I'm trying to figure it out. Does it mean the snow if 'official'?
Does it mean the depth of the snow is 'official'?  Or is there an 'Official' buried in the snow?

 As the chip loaded the photos, I realized that I had not downloaded a little trip to Lake Siskiyou we had made in the fall. I caught this photo just as a leaf shower started. Every now and then a gust of wind would come through inspiring the forest to rain leaves. It was quite stunning but hard to capture on film.

Easier to see in black and white.

All in all, it was a good day.

January 28, 2018

Day of Rest

Can't wait to see her in her new dress of fresh snow!

It's Sunday, the sun is shining and there is fresh snow on our two volcanoes!

Grabbing cameras, a picnic lunch,  and breaking loose!

No painting today! Orders from the boss (as if...but he loves it when I call him that).

Mt. Shasta is beautiful all the time but especially on a clear day with fresh snow!

Adios Amigos. Getting out of Dodge!

January 27, 2018

Sometimes Silence Is Best

Worked really hard yesterday. Painted and cut in the top half of master bedroom, cut in lower half.

Back hurt, arm sore, hair in pony tail with fly-away ends,  just tired from painting...and it rained all day.

The Guy decided he would make dinner when he got home.

I sat at the bar watching him. He chopped Rosemary for sweet potato fries, sliced cherry tomatoes for a salad.

"I like watching you cook!" I commented, leaning on the counter.

"Oh yeah, why?" he responded.

"Because you're so handsome!"

He smiled. "I like looking at you!"

"Oh yeah! Why?" I asked.

"Beeeeecause you're smart!"

Funeral is Wednesday! I'm gonna miss him!

January 26, 2018

Today, I Celebrate Small Things

Joined a new-to-me Blog Hop hosted by self-proclaimed "certified nutcase", L.G. Kelter and Thriller/Horror writer, Lexa Cain in their I Celebrate Small Things blog circle.

Today, I am celebrating:

1. Committed to the colors for the bedroom walls. Always knew that Sherwin Williams Lazy Gray was going to be one of the wall colors to keep the consistency with the rest of the house, and that White Flour would be the trim color. Consistency, again. I just waffled between three different hues of blue for the lower half of walls.

2. When we moved in, many moons ago, I painted the master bedroom walls Cantalope and Adobe Sunrise. I truly celebrate how comforting these colors were, until they weren't. The Guy is a little hesitant in the color change. He says he loved the warmth the salmon hues gave the room.

3. Moved the bed and a chest of drawers and found a long lost earring and a gold chain necklace. Yay!

3. Celebrating the rain and dark skies. Good day to paint! No sunshine tempting me to take Rex or Lily for a walk. Though I can't promise that I won't grab a Dutch Bros Kicker later in day and take a drive to Whiskeytown Lake to clear my sinuses of the smell of paint!

Also discovered, while surfing the net, was Week 90 of Friendly Fill Ins. Oh what a procrastinator won't do to put off the cutting in part of painting. Might as well put in my 2 cents!

Here goes:

1. The flu shot is not something I would ever entertain the idea of. I worked in health care institutions for close to 35 years and ran the offices of two doctors. Both doctors strongly advised against getting a flu shot. Besides being a virtual roulette game of which strain to choose for the virus, the bonding agents used in the serum are questionable. Most people I know usually come down with the flu within weeks of getting the shot and almost always say, "Yes, but it could have been much worse if I hadn't had the shot!" p.s. I haven't had the flu in years and years but it could have been much worse if I'd had the shot!

2. I think everyone should take sublingual vitamin B12 daily.
3. I (almost) always tell the people around me that I love them and that I am proud of them, because one never knows when or if I might not have the opportunity to tell them tomorrow!
4. I (almost) never a) spit watermelon seeds, b) wear shoes or a bra because a) I can't get any force behind it, so a seed tends to just slide off my chin, b) shoes and bras suck!

Okay, I guess I am not going to join the "I Celebrate Small Things" blog hop. The Linky link code crashed my post. Nice idea but going to have to pass, though I am still celebrating those little things today.  

Time to stop procrastinating and cut in those edges and corners!

January 25, 2018

Shameless O'Leery's

Robin, Diane and I have decided on our own little  'supper club'!  Mostly just getting together for  Happy Hour once a month and, hey, might as well eat while were there!

First night, Shameless O'leery's!

Killer garlic fries! Incredible Blue Burger, blue for blue cheese and maybe blue ribbon winner!

I ordered a Gin & Tonic, then Diane ordered a Whiskey. Duh! I'm at "Redding's Only True Irish Pub" and I didn't order a Jameson! What the hell was I thinking?

Next time! Jameson with pint of 805!


Time Travel

Ever have those moments when an object, a scent, a word, blasts you off to a time long ago?

The smell of bread rising or vanilla pudding sends me to my grandmother's side. We are sitting next to each other in her kitchen, giggling, while she makes tortillas or kneads dough. Sometimes we are spreading butter on warm bread, fresh out of the oven.

Old Spice. I'm standing in the doorway of my bedroom watching Dad head down the hall to catch a ride to work with one of his carpool buddies, John Henneberry!

Today I watched the last Season 4 episode of Frankie and Grace. Frankie reached out and pulled her fondue pot off a shelf!  It was my fondue pot!!!

Bam!  Ken, Mike, John and I were sitting around the table in the kitchen on Morse Street; early '70's! Longhorn cheddar, diced green chili in the pot. We were playing poker and dipping!  To save my life, I can't remember what we were dipping into the fondue. Hmm, I was probably stoned! (Or maybe not!)

January 23, 2018


My father wants his car back! He is insisting (I'm sure at the insistence of my mom).

He can't drive it. He has Parkinson's and complains that it is hard to move his feet. He is never sure which foot will move when he walks.

I've had the car parked in my driveway since his heart attack in early December. My sister, The Guy or myself have drive the folks every where they want to go for the last two years.

Mom has a way of manipulating Dad. We discovered she had him drive into town several months ago! (Just a moment while I scream!)

Everyone agrees with me. Don't take the car back. Don't take the car back. DO NOT RETURN THE CAR.  I even had a doctor's appt last week. She asked about my blood pressure being up, only 135/86 but that's high for me.  I brought her up-to-date on the folks. Don't take the car back were her direct orders!  She just laughed when I asked if I could get a dr.'s note from her ordering not to return the car.

But my dad wants his car. It is hard not to honor my dad's wishes. I respect him more than any man I've ever met.

So, I'm thinking I may take the car back tomorrow. Freshly washed and vacuumed. Oil changed and tire pressure checked. Good as new!

I'm also thinking I might bring the distributor cap home with me. I really like that cap! Would look good on the mantle next to the fuel pump!

January 22, 2018

Monday's Random Musings

Women's Marches! Thank you to all the women who march these last few days. You are definitely heroes.

The Guy and I were out and about. The air was cold (no offense to Canadian friends or New Englanders but for California, it was cold!).

We were just getting back into the car when I noticed all the birds were gathered on one section of In & Out.

Turning to The Guy, I wondered out loud, "Do you think they are all on that part because it is over the kitchen, so maybe a little warmer?"

"No!" responded The Guy. He is so damn talkative, drives me insane!

"Then why do you suppose they are only gathered on the one roof?" 

"Because it's Wednesday!"

Yes, The Guy is supremely scientifically inclined!

Partisan Politics

If our congress was actually a marriage between two people, say the wife is (flip a coin: Heads) the Democrat and the husband is Republican (sorry, tails) in America today I would have to venture a guess that our divorce rate would be about 98%.

You see, there would be no listening with the goal of trying to learn or understand. If any listening was happening at all it would be with the intention of trying to find something to trip the other up with. Instead of rings our marriage ceremonies would consist of exchanging sticks to draw lines in the dirt....."Cross this line, Sucka!"

Supposedly, the first marriage was just such a marriage, Lilith and Adam, both wanted to be on top.  (Does that make Eve was the trophy wife?)  Winning and being on top was most important, no one cared to listen and learn to compromise.

Democrats and Republicans...oops, my mistake....Democrats vs Republicans.....what a circus.  Do any of the politicians today really care about helping the American people, do they care about making this a country where we can honor our roots and our future?  Is biased, emotional allegiance a solid foundation for good listening skills?  If we are engaged in harassing  or consumed with fighting or sabotaging instead of trying to understand and cooperate what is our future?

Maybe we should change the pledge to: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, divided and judgemental, with liberty and justice for everyone who agrees with me and screw the rest of you! 

Quilts and Good Friends, they really are very much alike. The longer they are around the more comfortable they are, we love them even if they have a little worn spot or get kinda lumpy!

Good Food, Good Music, Good Company. Yesterday was a pretty good day, all in all. Got most of the bedroom cleared for painting. Chose the colors for the chests and dressers and decided on the colors for the walls (mostly).

Took my car to get it washed and vacuumed it out. Skunk smell is finally gone (or I'm so used to it, I can't smell it anymore!)

In the evening, we met up with some good friends for margaritas and out-of-this-world good Mexican cuisine!  After dinner, the four of us headed for the Cascade Theater to be transported through decades of music from the '40's through today. Decades is the name of the band, their motto is 'From Chuck Berry to Katy Perry'! Katy Perry was missing from the line up of songs, but the show was excellent.
Was impossible to sit still in our chairs. I've never seen so many people dancing while sitting!

The young woman's voice was powerful, the drummer was incredible. Fun evening.

Afterwards, a glass of wine to top off the night.

Today? Painting the first chest of drawers! Fusion paint: Blue Whale! There goes my manicure!

Planting Mountains

Many think that I am riding this lifetime suspended in a purple basket under a giant air balloon of changing colors and in bold, bright letters the word IMAGINATION is written across my balloon. In spite of my horrible fear of heights, I love my floating home.  The world is a wonderful place and I have an awesome view!

My view is of magic, of fluctuation and in the changing tides of life.

I am accompanied on this voyage by some pretty remarkable beings not the least of whom are my grandchildren.

As many of you know I have spent hours and hours under our big blue blanket exploring the ocean depths with the girls.  Oh the magic we have seen!

We have, also, planted rocks to see if mountains will grow. Don't laugh, mountains grow very slow. Besides, the Rockies might have been planted millions of years ago by a Nana and her little munchkins.

We climb trees and walk the river trail. We observe the birds and the bugs and the changing of seasons.

I have supervised many recipes being created in our game of Worm Soup.  You never know what comes of mixing green grass and slightly wilted tulips with sunscreen, a pinch of furniture polish, a handful of wood chips and a cup of hand shredded gluten-free tortillas.  The results are not just the worm soup in these adventures but the stories that are woven as mixtures are being concocted and stirred or the holes dug and soiled tamped over the planted rocks.

We weave stories of discovery, we unlock doors into worlds yet to be explored and often find ourselves in spaces that are dusty and long-forgotten, having been abandoned long ago when the lights of creativity and  adventure have been extinguished.

Last week, as four of my granddaughters and I sat around the kitchen table doing homework we were faced with an incredible dilemma.  Alaina, she is the 7 year old who, as her mom recently discovered, is channeling a liberated Flapper entertainer of the 1930's, was working on an assignment her teacher created for the class. The lesson was designed to teach grammar, editing and sentence structure. Typically we fly through the grammar paper and get on to spelling and math.  We ran headlong into a concrete wall.  It was a simple statement followed by the question, "Real or Not"?

The statement:  The garden had fairies in it.

Excuse me?  How can we know?  We don't even know who's garden it is, how could we know if there are fairies in it?  Could the teacher, whom we really liked (up until now) think that Alaina or any other 7 year old could answer this question with the words "not real" and break the hearts of millions of fairies everywhere?

How to answer?  There are only two options given....Real or Not.  Is this how it starts? Is this how our children are forced into that tight little box of our culture? With a simple statement and limited only to two choices.

If she answers one way, (the way in which her soul just sings because it feels so right) it can be marked wrong  and Alaina wouldn't get her little Plus-sign or Happy Face at the top of the page, and she does love her Happy Faces.  Or she can answer the other way, the only other option and her spirit feels just a little pinch, the first of many to come if she lets herself be limited by another's belief in limitations.

I say, change the rules!  Write a question back:  Who's garden is this?  Are you counting glass or stone fairies? Are you counting the fairies that come and go or the fairies that actually live there? Tell the teacher there is not enough information to adequately answer the question.  Write "It is a Mystery!" in the blank space and move on.  Go out in Nana's front yard and ask the fairies that live at the base of the sycamore tree in the holly what they would say!

Do not let others' perceptions of a world of limitations get in the way of your creativity, your imagination or the abundance of options in the universe. Most important of all, don't let the need for the approval of others make you hide your light and your spirit.

Don't let someone else's happy face at the top of your paper become more important than dancing in the light of All There Is.

January 17, 2018

If you could...

Speaking of birthdays brings to mind the subject of age.

Age is one of those 'things' that is closely related to perception. I have a close friend who is six years older than me and routinely takes her bike on 50 mile rides, she hikes mountains and travels to Peru and Iceland and Norway for super adventurous  vacations.

Another dear friend, three years younger than I am, has never left California. She  visited Disneyland a million years ago but anything more than 50 miles from home freaks her out. Though she is one of the most well-read, intelligent and articulate women I know.

I have two friends, women, who are 3 and 4 years older than my soon-to-be 67.  Each of them owns her own Harley-Davidson and both make many long distance rides, with or without a group.

Personally, I wouldn't want to be any younger than 45, though I sure wish I had my 45 year old body; she was hot and her knees and shoulder worked just fine! (Silly grin).

Being in my 40's, 50's and 60's has been emotionally and psychologically liberating. I mostly don't care what other people think of me or my beliefs. I have boundaries based on personal values not cultural...finally, and I am not afraid to stand up for them. I'm not afraid to admit I don't know something. I am not afraid to say 'NO!'

Physically, though, not as good as I would like. Titanium knee and recent shoulder surgery has me feeling a little broken now and then.

My zest for life is still hardy! I want to learn, I want to do, I want to dance and draw and paint and sing and make love. Not necessarily in that order but I don't mind multi-tasking and doing a couple of the above at the same time, though paint does tend to get on everything!

It seems to me, that my finest year was 59! It was a good year. I was in top condition, could walk several miles, was far more social than I am today. Yeah, if I could be one age for the rest of my life, I would be 59!

If you could be any age, any at all, what age would you choose to be for the rest of your life? Why would you be that age? If you're pretty satisfied with the status quo, what was your favorite age?

As long as we are talking about age...what did you want to be when you grew up?

Photo courtesy of http://quotes.yourdictionary.com/author/satchel-paige/610985

January 16, 2018

Three Weeks, Starting Now

Happy Birthday To Me!

My birthday is in 2 days. A dear friend's birthday was four days ago. So we celebrate together on the the 15th.  We even have a Designated Driver...heaven forbid that two old ladies get out on the road after a couple of gin and tonics!

A woman who also shares January as a birth month shared a little known fact with me about birthdays and 'women of a certain age'!  When you get to be our age, birthdays last for three weeks!

Yesterday was the first day of my three weeks. The Guy's family had a birthday party a week ago for all of us January birthdays. It was really nice, the cake was delicious and company very agreeable. I'm not counting that as part of my three weeks (call me selfish if you want but, too bad,  I can't hear you).

What are your plans, you might ask?

1.  Happy hour with dear friend at Shameless O'Leery's. Excellent Time. Most delicious food, good drinks and stimulating conversation. Follow-up at my house for an hour or two.

2. Mani-Pedi...just because!

3. Lunch with my mountain friend at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works. Can't wait!

4. Dinner with friends on Sunday and then off to see Decades; music from Big Band sound of the '40's, old Standards then up through the decades to present tunes! Really looking forward to it. I've heard the music is superb.

5. Looking for a couple of pieces of furniture (large picture frames, tables, chests and benches to refinish with milk paint for resale) I'm headed for a little shopping trip to Chico. Going to check out Tuesday Morning, Home Goods and maybe TJ Maxx, and, of course, lunch at Italian Cottage. Can't be that close and not get a hot pastrami sandwich!

6. Painting and rearranging my bedroom (not work to me, I love painting and change).

7.Thought one morning I might head over to Barnes & Noble, grab a good book, a great coffee and do a little reading and people watching. I like to watch people and make up stories about their lives, jot down some notes and write a story or two.  Plus, there is something special about sitting alone, smelling coffee and new books while listening the the hum of conversations. Then there is the quiet whisper of all those books: "Pick me! Pick me!"

8. Driving to Jackson to deliver 50+ year old encyclopedia set to the man whose mother sold them to my mother.  His mother is passed and he is so excited to be getting the books. He was my first boyfriend during the Jurassic period. I was 14 and he was 16. I really loved him but he often told me he was going to be a priest when he grew up. We are still best buds. He never did become a priest. Joined the army during the Vietnam War and decided there was no God. Very nice man.

9. Leaving options open... for the other days! Definitely will include a new pair of Lapis earrings, so will be dropping in at the Beadman. Might as well pick up some sage, and a bottle of Sandlewood essential oil.

I know, you are probably all wondering, what about your parents! I will be in and out of parents home. There will be grocery shopping, hanging out, etc. But I am seriously taking time to release the pressure by taking care of me this month.

There is always next month to go back to being a stress-case!

Okay, got to pack up the books in the bookcase in bedroom. It is ridiculous how many books we have in this house. I should open up my own coffee shop and let people browse the books. The cost of a cup of coffee? You must take two books home with you when you leave (and promise to be very, very good to each volume).

January 12, 2018


Quiet morning, dogs, fresh juice and a good book.

At 10:00 AM, my cousin posts that the news this morning is so bad she already feels the need for a drink. Then my aunt responds with: "Cheeto Von Tweeto! Stupeedo Bandido!"

"Should I turn the television on and see what "Cheeto Von Tweeto" is up to?"  We play Paper, Rock, Scissors to see if we should!

My Paper beat the dogs' Rocks, so I won! We didn't turn the television on. (Sidenote: When playing R-S-P with pets, always go with Paper! It's almost always a sure thing).

Finished book, finished tea and juice. Decided to check the noon news before jumping in the shower.

What the Hell!

There is a SWAT team, guns drawn, across the street from The Guy's camera shop. The whole Promenade is on lock-down. 

F-bomb, f-bomb, f-bomb! Is my husband okay?

I imagine that the staff and customers are hunched behind the counters, safe from flying bullets.

 Should I call the store? What if the bad guy/guys are in the store?  

I call. Duane answers.

"Hi Duane, this is Toni, is Frank available?"

"He's just finishing up with a customer, can he call you back?"

Very professional. No trace of stress or emergency in his voice.

"No, Duane! I just saw the news about the SWA...."

Professional-Man's voice turns into Jubilant-Adolescent's voice! "Oh man! It was so cool. Frank and I ran out, pulled our phones out to take pictures and Frank says, Hey, let's grab a good camera and do this right!"

Yes, folks. Those two mature men forsook all for a good shot!  

Photographers! Men!  

Good God, what is wrong with them!

January 11, 2018


I've misplaced my phone this morning. Not in the kitchen, not in the bedroom. Not here or there or anywhere!  It's kind of nice. I checked the charging station. The Guy's is there. 

You might ask, "Did The Guy mistakenly take Toni's?" Nope. I have a case and screen protector, his is naked.

"Hey! They Guy's phone is here! I could call my phone!"  Hmm.

No, I think I'll pass.

Kind of nice not knowing where it is!

But what if someone important calls, you might ask!

Not going to happen. George Clooney and Ryan Reynolds are both married and the Pope doesn't have my number.

The case contains my driver's license and debit card, so if I get bowled over by the urge to hop over to Dairy Queen for a Banana Split Blizzard, I will call. Until then...of well!


Did I tell you about a day last week when I thought we had an earthquake?

I was in the kitchen preparing a late breakfast, had a little Kaleo playing so I was dancing while the hash browns browned and the fried eggs fried. I looked out the window and to see big waves in the pool. The water was roiling back and forth, even splashing over the side now and then!

No wind! No one in the pool!

I called out to The Guy.  "I think we might have just had an earthquake!  Did you feel anything?"

He came into the kitchen and stared at the water just as a large pine cone popped up to the surface!

Looking up into the neighbor's Monterey Pine he pointed to a big, fat, fluffy squirrel.  Late harvesting, I suppose!

The pine tree leans way over the fence and shades the pool in our three digit summers!


I was reading Debra's post this morning about her cat. It reminded me of our old house after all the kids moved out (for the last time). We had four dogs, two black labs and two yellow labs (Paco, Bear, Chablis and Cassie Moses). We also had five cats (Puffers, Neeka, Taters, Dawg and Boots).

All nine of the animals slept together. We had a couple of large cedar dog beds and the whole herd would squish up together. If you walked by the pile of fur, sometimes a head would lift, check out who was walking through and then tuck back into the fur.

Weird that we only have two dogs (Border Collie and Chihuahua/Terrier Mix (Rex & Lily).  No cats. Yet, everyday we sweep up enough dog hair to knit a new dog!


Dang, phone just rang! It's under the bed. Must be time for that Blizzard, maybe I'll ask for extra whipped cream!

January 09, 2018

Feeling It

Cancelled the appointment with the Realtor who had the perfect house for Mom and Dad.

Mom screamed at my Dad for an hour and half, slamming things around and slamming her hand on counter, table and wall!  When I called to confirm appointment, Mom screamed, "No, I'll start screaming again if you keep that appointment!'

Many of our friends are sympathizing with our circumstances.  They say things like, "Oh, I know. My mother/father/aunt got kind of mean when they got old too." OR "Our mother kind of lost it towards the end of her life, too."

Nobody gets that this is who our mother is. She is mean. She has always been mean. She has always been abusive. She has let it be known that her children and her husband, especially her husband are beneath her. We are and have always been a huge disappointment. She has always deserved better.

One Saturday afternoon when I was twelve, I had been reorganizing my closet. My clothes were all hung up and I was just stacking all the games in order of size to put back in when all three of us kids were summoned to the kitchen.

Mom made us stand by the television. She pointed to a large crocheted doily atop the doily and a pair of scissors laying on the doily.  One of the stitches had been snipped.  She demanded that the guilty kid step up and admit their vandalism.  My sister, brother and I just stood there, and stood there, and stood there. After a long stretch of time, she dismissed Mike and Sherree. She grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the tv.

"You did this!" she accused. When I denied it, she pinched my upper arm with her nails and twisted.

"Don't lie to me. I watched you do it!'

"Mom, I've been in my room cleaning my closet!"

She kept accusing me of ruining her (quite ugly) doily and of being a liar. After about 5 minutes of informing me of my incredible shortcomings, she told me she would make sure my dad heard about my indiscretion and sent me to my room.

I was so frustrated that she didn't believe me, (remember, I was 12) that when I walked into the room I kicked the stack of games that were sitting on the floor! BIG MISTAKE!

Mom had this beautiful belt, it buckled in the back and had a gorgeous bronze sculpture of a sun on the front. Mom loved to beat my brother and I with the brass sun.

Well, I got a pretty good beating that day. She said when I kicked the game boxes over, I was actually kicking her.

While we were in the same house, Mom came down with pneumonia. She was bed bound.  I thought I would clean the whole house for her as a surprise. I washed the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, dusted the living room and then begin to sweep the kitchen and dining room floor.

Now, her bedroom was at the far end of the hall from the kitchen and around a corner. I was not sweeping in an outlandish way but gentle sweeps to keep the sweepings close. Mom came barreling down the hall, looking like the grim reaper. She was screaming (again). "You're trying to kill me! You are raising all this dust just to kill me!"

Yup, another beating, this one not so bad because she was weak from pneumonia.

When I was raped at 9 years old, she told me that no one would like me anymore and that we needed to make up a lie about why I was in hospital. She said I was damaged goods. Who does that?

I love my mother but she has always been mean. She just doesn't have the stamina anymore to pretend that she isn't mean. Even The Guy has been shocked at her behavior in the past 3 months because she has always been very sweet and loving towards him. She used to be able to hide her meanness or jab us with passive-aggressive comments that only had meaning to us kids or Dad.

She is now 89. She is demanding that she and Dad stay in a house way out in BFE. It isn't safe for him and it is a 45 minute drive to get to them in case of emergency.  A third of the drive is on windy, unlit roads. Dad is afraid to drive. His Parkinson's has made it so that he looks down at his feet to move them but often doesn't know which foot will move. He needs a walker or cane but Mom still insists he climb a ladder to change bulbs, that he pick up the 25 pound water bottles. She has even insisted that he drive to town if Sherree or I are not available (which is rare).  (Sidenote: His car is parked in my driveway and I am not taking it back to them until I know that my dad can say 'NO!" Honestly, Captain America would find it hard to say NO to Mom!).

Today, I am taking Rex and Lily for a walk. I am going to juice some fresh veggies. I may even prep our bedroom for painting but I refuse to let...

 Dang! Must be time to revisit my therapist. She always reminds me that I am a Kick-Ass Warrior. I need some of that Kick-Ass Warrior energy right now.

Okay, wish me luck...I'm calling to check in with my folks. What was that story about the tiger behind a door.

January 08, 2018

Fair Warning

Remember 'The Plan" that sister, The Guy, and I had for folks? Remember the really good "attitude" I promised to have?

Out the window...Bam!

Horrible day. Started with Mom throwing a huge, loud wrench in the plan. It was ugly.

I talked with Sister, with Dad (3 times), with Mom and finally, with the Guy.

I ended up not going down to see them, but the guilt of not going to rescue my dad is overwhelming. He wants to be rescued but won't allow himself to be rescued. Last call to him was sad; he has resigned himself to continue to be a hostage.

Not a good day, all in all.

I would say that my mood is pretty foul. Good news is, I am alone with the dogs, getting some work done. Work is an excellent distraction, but still...

So, The Guy texts me. He is going to go grocery shopping after work and wants me to text him a list of what I need.

I tap out a list and woosh, text it to him.

List includes lots of veggies for juicing, ingredients for soups (it's winter, so big pots of soup).

Three minutes later, he texts me back:  One of the items on list with '?'  Beef Bones! Simple.

I text him back. "For bone soup for collagen for my shoulder and knee."

One minute later, he texts me about the item "Fresh Basil".

His text: "Fresh Basil? Are we out of dried basil?"

Hey, I was going to make him some Pho soup. Good Pho needs fresh basil.

I text back: "Forget the Basil"

He texts back: "No fresh basil?"

1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...deep breath.

I text back: "I love you a whole bunch! Really I do! But I think that my mood right now is pretty...(yes, I threw in an f-bomb!). Just talked to Dad. So, if you don't want to get something on list, don't get it."  I even emojied a bright red heart at the end of text.

Now, we've been married for 34 years. You would think that he would know that text is fair warning, right?

 My phone rings! It's The Guy!

Have you seen the video on FB of someone feeding a polar bear through their kitchen window? Yeah! Crazy! Would you do that? If you wouldn't, then you probably wouldn't call me to argue about Fresh Basil! In fact, you should probably choose to feed that fluffy white teddy bear before dialing my number to argue/plead your case about Fresh Basil.

All I said was, "You asked for a list, I sent a list. If you don't want to get anything on the list, don't get it!"  He hung up on me!

Fair Warning

I truly hope The Guy picks up a couple of cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup because Pho has left the building.

Going to have a bottle of 805 and go to bed.

I can already feel a good attitude creeping back in and it smells a lot like dried basil!

January 06, 2018


January 6th! The Epiphany. Isn't this the day the 3 wise men made their way to the manger with gifts of Gold, Frankenstein and Meth?

January 04, 2018

It's A New Day...

"...Fish in the sea, you know how I feel. River running free, you know how I feel, blossom on a tree, you know how I feel. It's a new dawn, it's a new day...and I'm feelin' good."

Michael Buble's Feeling Good is looping in the background today. I've made the resolution and solemn promise to Feel Good.

Yeah, shit happens, but it's not personal. Well some of it is personal but screw them!  Most is not about me, so I've decided to make 2018 a year of adventure, growth, peace and discovery.

Painting by John Clarke
Maybe I'm feeling at peace because I just spent the last 4 or 5 days with my sons and their families.

My tank is filled from:

Talks into the early morning with my granddaughter Katie. Gotta love my 17 year old young women, Katie and JP!

Gathering around the table, playing games, and laughing so hard at the antics of all, that my abdominal muscles are joyfully sore today!

Playing in the snow in Lassen Park at the foot of the volcano while the two three-year olds giggle and laugh and throw snowballs at Mommies and Daddies. 

Art courtesy of moziru.com

I'm brushing off all the political garbage (hell, he's not MY president)! My intention is to look forward to the GOP idiocy of the day because it makes Steven Colbert that much more funny at night! A good laugh or two helps me sleep!

Jeff Sessions doesn't even bother me because I know, like all bad elves, a fairy princess or good witch will eventually turn him into stone or a frog.

Life with my folks is still a daily issue, but thank the goddess for my sister who stepped in while the kids were here and took care of stuff. We also have a plan in place for getting them moved up here and, by god, we are sticking to it. (Easy for me to say, because I'm at home and Sherree is on the front line but we (sister, The Guy, and I) are a team with a mission. Having a plan gives us a foundation; doesn't feel like we're floating in the Artic on a 6x6 sheet of ice anymore.

There is a saying, can't remember where it came from or who said it first (sorry) but it says, "A good friend is someone who reminds you who you are when you forget!"

So, dear friends, I'm sending out a New Year's request. If I seem to slip and let my inner grump loose, remind me of my intentions for Peace of mind (and all that other stuff)!

To make this fair, I'm offering my support to you. What reminders would you like from me?  Do you prefer gentle nudges or in-your-face proclamations?

How do you inspire yourself to stay on your intended path?  How do you push yourself to get back on the trail when you've found that you have drifted?

It's 2018! Let's do this!

Photo from Yankee in King Arthur's Court
 Most important of all, let us enjoy this year, let us laugh, be true and live to our full potential!

Unknown artist...apologies.