September 30, 2020

Here We Go Again

 You may have read about our fires...again. 

It's just too much on top of everything-else-2020!

We had one day of blue sky and that was the day the Zogg Fire blew up. PTSD blew up to. 

I'm thinking really hard that I'm done living in California. We have a swimming pool that we keep up all year long but can't swim in half the summer because the air quality from smoke keeps us inside. Swimming with N95 mask kind of defeats the purpose of swimming. The temperatures are in the triple digits so going outside and not swimming is crazy!

We are seriously considering relocating to North Carolina; more specifically Pfafftown or Lewisville. Away from the triple digit heat and fires for hurricanes doesn't appeal to either of us.

Anyone familiar with North Carolina? 

Hope you are doing well. Will catch up when done fretting and pacinge!!!

Meanwhile some photos The Guy took this past couple of days.

Photo by Frank Tona

Train trestle over Sacramento River at 9 a.m. Sun was bright red for two weeks, dull orange a bit longer.

Photo by Frank Tona

Big Boy dropping fire retardant. The mountains behind are scarred from Carr Fire of 2018.

Photo by Frank Tona

Photo taken from east side of town, we live on the west side but are not in the fire's path as of this morning's fire brief.

Final photo, smoke at Lassen National Park. Nice to get above it when we've got the chance!

Photo by Frank Tona

August 13, 2020

Romance At 7000'

 Tuesday evening The Guy and I had a romantic date scheduled to watch the sunset at Lassen Park.

We missed the sunset. Romantic Man fell asleep around 4 and didn't wake up until 7. Then there is packing the cameras, tripod, chairs, etc. We left the house about 7:30. 

We didn't actually miss the sunset, it happened all around us while we were driving. No cuddling or smooching but there were a couple of ooh-aah sights.

We got up to the meadow that we wanted to set up for the meteor shower. Frank set up his camera and tripod. I didn't want to take pictures, so I just settled myself in a lawn chair prepared to stare at the sky.

It was awesome. At 7000' we were above smoke layering the valley. The air was crisp and clean. 

Then it got really, really, really dark. 

We were near a small stream and could hear the moving water as it flowed through the rocks and made twists and turns. A couple of deer came to hang out with us. Probably figured that there was less of a chance of being chased by a mountain lion if humans are around. Maybe they figured they could outrun us if a big cat wasn't above chowing down on a of slow clumsy human.

The night was awesome. Between the two of us, we saw at least 28 shooting stars. I ran out of wishes after the 6th one so defaulted to World Peace for the remainder of meteors. 

I couldn't believe how many satellites are flying around up there! Who does the air traffic control? Must be a nightmare!

We cuddled under a blanket...not because it was romantic but because it got cold. Really cold. Almost an hour past midnight, the moon rose above the mountains behind us. Lit up the sky a bit. The Milky Way was incredible and intimidating. We packed up and headed home. Left the park about 1:30, got into town about 2:30 a.m. 

We are not usually doughnut kind of people (I've lost 85 pounds this last year having changed to a keto lifestyle...pastries are not on the menu). As Highway 44 rolls into town there is a 24-hour doughnut shop on the left hand side of the road. We crossed all three lanes, ordered giant apple fritters in the drive-thru and giggled like teenagers as we chomped on forbidden fruit! It was great!

Frank couldn't wait until morning to see his photos, insisting that it was morning! He got some awesome shots and a lot of plain old gorgeous starlight. 

I'm so thankful for They Guy. He makes life an adventure!

We had our eyes checked today. I go back in two weeks to have some measurements taken, then will be scheduled for cataract surgery. I'm not nervous! It's 2020...what could go wrong!

Speaking of doughnuts, we visited our daughter and her family in Massachusetts last year. Some of you east-coasters probably already have this bit of trivia in your head but we discovered that in the great state of MA, directions are given using Dunkin' Donuts (Dunks). "Turn right at the first Dunks, then take the third left after the second Dunks!"

Any of you able to get your hair cut by a professional lately? Frank is starting to go crazy with his bushy curls but he doesn't trust me to trim it!

We're bushy twins! I still need to buy some blouses that fit but as long as we're social-distancing, I'm holding off...maybe I'll lose more!!! (not eating ginormous apple fritters in the wee hours of morning).

Have a great weekend everyone.

August 10, 2020

Lightning and other stuff!

 The Guy talked me into loading a lightning detector app. His cell provider reception is crappy. My cell phone provider is awesome (can you hear me now)! We were in the Marble Mountains on Friday, chasing lightning, got caught in a torrential rain and hail. The storm moved off  but we didn't know whether to head north or jump I-5 and go east. He batted his puppy-dog eyes and made a couple of epic promises; so I downloaded the app.

Every day since then my phone is going off with little synthesizer lightning strikes! Then The Guy tells me where it is and how many miles away; how quick we could make it there. Yet, here we sit!

Not that I'm antsy but I didn't get out of my pajamas to just sit around the house.

As it was, we didn't get any lightning photos because rain and hail aren't camera-friendly. We did get some great sunset photos. Well, to be honest, Frank got the great photos, I was reading a truly hard-to-put-down book. I did put the book down now and then to click off a couple of just-okay pics with my phone (so sad to have a killer camera in the backseat and be too lazy to reach back and grab it, but that's how good the book was!).

We were south of Yreka before the storm let up and, to be honest I took this from the car window. Couldn't get out of car...can you spell "lazy"?

Missed sunset on Mt. Shasta but the clouds gave the impression of a mini-eruption!

Our high temp today was 109! We spent the afternoon in the pool with our fur-babies. Rex and Lily got a great bath; both smell like tea tree this evening...nice!

I snapped a photo of Rex after his bath and sent it in to our local news. KRCR broadcast our beautiful boy on the 5:30 news!  Cool!

He is usually much fluffier but soaking wet he looks a little like a mop with eyes. I told him he was a local celeb but he seems completely unimpressed. Humble baby!

The Guy is sooooo romantic. He has invited me to go to Whiskeytown Lake to watch the sunset tonight! Don't anyone say "ahhh!"  "As long as we're there" he is going to practice videoing the meteor showers tonight so he knows what adjustments to make when he heads to Mt. Lassen tomorrow night!

Honestly, I don't mind being part of a practice date night! There will be at least an hour between sunset and meteors to make out under the stars!

August 06, 2020

Old Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need I Say More

August 05, 2020

The Waiting Game

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

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

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

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

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

So proud of her!

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

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

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

Have a good Wednesday, Friends!

August 04, 2020

What The?


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

What a year, right?

How are you all?

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

What to say about this year?

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

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

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

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

Photography by Frank Tona

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

Milky Way from Lassen Park!

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

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

Can you believe the frost on on those feathers?

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

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

In the meantime, Friends,remember to