August 18, 2017

Kicking and Dragging

Off we go.

Headed to Idaho to Eclipse Totality.

Can't tell you how excited I am (sarcasm, just in case you didn't recognize it coming from me!!!!)

August 13, 2017

What a Day!

Yesterday was filled with woman power, meaningful conversations, and some damn good coffee!

It was a GOOD day...mostly.

Early solo swim to get the kinks out and the peace in.

Was joined by pregnant niece, sister-in-law and, later, mother-in-law.  We sculpted a baby bump belly for beautiful Mari.  Baby girl inside moved all around and settled in to mommy's left side, with head or tushie prominently protruding!

Is it possible that the newest member of our family was mooning us?  It's definitely in the DNA!

The final sculpture is true to Mari's belly; big curve and little bump to the left and flat on the right.

Next step in decorating baby girl's room? Mari will paint sculpture (will probably be dry enough to paint by the time baby is in middle school). Then we will do casings of mommy's and daddy's profiles, painting accordingly!

Wonderful 'village elder's" talk about birth, lactation, expectations and all that stuff that baby showers evolved from, only to go on to silly games of crossing legs, not saying 'baby', and worst of all, sniffing diapers smeared with candy bars and guessing which is a Mars bar and what if a Twixt. Very helpful for sharing the wealth of knowledge  that experienced mother's hold.

Best advice:
Listen to advice but trust your gut, mommy always knows best for her own child.
When you go into labor stay home as long as you can.
When in hospital, the nurses are going to make you lay on your back to place monitors.  Do what is best for you. Monitors only need to be checked every 15 minutes or so. If walking is best for you, walk. If standing in the shower relieves discomfort, shower. Take a strong-ass warrior into labor room with you who will make sure you have an delegate (especially 1st time mommies). After your first baby, you become your own kick-ass advocate.
Gently bounce on large yoga ball for weeks leading up to labor and after baby is born, Yoga ball is awesome tool for putting baby to sleep, burping, soothing, etc. Hold baby in arms and gently bounce...great for backs of mommies, daddies and nana's!

Some ideas we talked about for painting cast:

Later in afternoon, my best friend for the last 38 years, Julie, came over. She was my Maid-of-Honor at our wedding, truly the best friend anyone could have. I love her.

Best Maid of Honor ever!

We have been through some 'stuff' together and that makes us both thankful to all the gods above that there were no cell phone cameras or social media in the early days. Skinny dipping in Whiskeytown Lake on a cold summer's day, drinking bottles (many) of wine while we sat on the front planter wall at my old house in Palo Cedro. We moved her whole house of furniture, all by ourselves, years and years ago; hooked up the washer and dryer, moved the fridge, built the crib, packed and unpacked boxes. We then celebrated with a large bottle of Almaden French Colombard.

As we matured (no laughing, I'm serious) we stopped smoking (years and years ago!),  we drink far less wine (with a 'praise the Lord' from our livers), and Julie has cleaned up her language quite a bit more than I  have.  My f-bombs are probably thrown four or five times the amount of hers but I'm working on it (no, not really, that's a lie! ).

I threw her a baby shower a little more than 35 years ago. We moved her daughter to Oregon about 15 years ago to attend college. We actually even worked together for a short period of time at a home health care agency. I warned her, when she applied, that it was not a pleasant atmosphere. The administrator was a bit of a monster (Cruella DeVille of Health Care). She got the job therefore, we shared many liquid lunches.  We even introduced some of our workmates how glorious a 2 martini lunch was. The atmosphere in the workplace greatly least afternoons did!

Now that we live in town, Julie lives less than a quarter mile from us. We see each other often, talk lots and conversations are always deep, meaningful and totally loving.

Julie is moving! She had an offer she would be nuts to refuse in Oregon. She will head out October 1!  You may not understand this, after I've told you how much she means to me, but I am soooooo happy for her. The details of the move are out of this world. The home she will be living in is a little bit of paradise; spent a long weekend with Julie and a couple of friends a year ago in the house and DID NOT want to leave it.

We cried a little yesterday, had a little glass of ice cold Riesling to toast the new opportunities opening up for her (and the fact that I have a place to stay when I ever I go. I will be going often).

I guess we will both be getting very familiar with Facetime. Best part is, she has seen me at my worst, so she can call before I comb my hair and wash my face and probably won't even notice!!!

Life evolves, changes are inevitable.

Good luck, my friend. You will thrive in your new surroundings. I will miss you but you are only 1 speed dial away and a beautiful drive of canyons, mountains and vineyards to see you.  You will always be my Bestie!

Congratulations Portland! You are gaining an incredible woman! Welcome her with open arms.

August 12, 2017


"Travel implies a path, a way, a journey. We are always on a journey whether we know it or not. Our journey is to any place different from where we are now. This can be to a foreign or exotic land or just across town or outside… A journey can also be an inner journey or time travel back in time… We encounter many things along the way..."  Steve Maimes

We're headed to Idaho this week to declare our little spot of Totality. Excited but a little bit nervous about the predicted 'apocalyptic-traffic' of eclipse seekers.

Last time I was in Idaho, it was just a drive-thru on our way to Montana. It will be interesting to actually be there for 3 days. Hopefully not the last 3 days of my life! (Anxious much?)

Find myself on a wide path of journeys lately, sadly none of them exotic...okay, some of the inner ones are!

My shoulder is a bit of a disaster, so:

Driving to Chico to see an Ortho doc to make a plan. (Easy decision, don't want a Redding doctor).
Cut my hair so it will just curl and I don't have to use a blow dryer. (Tough decision, hair was just to mid-shoulder length. Now I am 100% my own white hair, no dye! Well, except for the lead in my brain and blood from years of coloring my hair!)
Learning to think before moving and not using left arm. (Not so successful but at my age the learning curve is substantial).

Total transparency: Not a real human, as there is little to no pockets of fat!

End of a life-long relationship with someone I dearly love, so:

Learning to create boundaries. I know, you'd think I would have clear ones by now, but, alas, I am truly a slow learner.

Repairing crack in heart. Taking collagen supplements and drinking lots of bone broth. Good for tendons and hearts!

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Phil website

Eclipse event, so:

Packing two coolers with ice and water bottles and bone broth. No dehydration for us while stuck in predicted traffic in a state where two out of three people are carrying a loaded weapon.

Packing lawn chairs, pillows and blankets:  We are staying with my husband's brother but one never knows, does one!

Buying a small box of Depends and taking a small shovel:  Traffic jams, water and bone broth!

Aging Parents that I dearly love, so:

Seriously considering selling house and moving closer to folks. They live 40 minutes from our house (25 minutes in emergencies). Husband suggested purchasing a motor home and parking it at the RV park a couple of miles from parents house.

Saying good-bye to my swimming pool. Swimming as much as I can this year to fill my tank!

Potential of living with a man (love you, honey!) in an RV.  Note to self: Ask doctor for increase in Xanax prescription!

What journeys are you on?  Are you sailing through or occasionally stumbling? Is there a journey you want to take but afraid of the first step?

Remember what Clarissa Pinkola Estes says: 
"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you and that you will work them, and water them, with your blood and tears and laughter ‘till they bloom, ‘till you yourself burst into bloom."

August 10, 2017

Poor Frank

Frank groaned a little as he climbed out of bed Tuesday morning. He complained that he felt he needed more sleep.

He jumped into the shower. I continued to lay in bed, throwing a ball for Rex. (Rex has got this down. He retrieves the ball and places it on the bed right where I can reach it).

Suddenly, Frank was getting violently ill in the shower. I mean violently. The vomiting continued off and on for at least five minutes.

He finished his shower and started dressing for work. As Alaina and three-year-old Brinley say, "What the heck!"

He looked grey. He was weak. He was totally Frank, and went to work.

He gave it a good go but apparently the vomiting continued at work. He stayed working until about noon.

He came home and was sound asleep by 12:30 and slept until dry heaves woke him about 8:30.

I offered him broth, tea, water. He refused it all and was back asleep by 8:45 and slept through the night.

Wednesday morning he slept until 8:30 a.m. Totally unheard of.  He stumbled to the living room, queasy and weak, landing on the sofa where he spent the day, in and out of sleep.

He did wake up for the Hang Gliding Nationals! Watched every launch, twist and turn, rise and fall, of each of the 129 (I think) pilots.  He fell asleep after the first 20 landings.

He ate a little chicken soup.

This morning, he is back at work.

If I ever start a business, I'm going to hire that man. He has a work ethic that doesn't quit!

August 02, 2017


Prediction for today's temperature is approximately 116 degrees, though it may only climb to 114, like yesterday.

Again, let me remind all, bad things can happen to anyone who responds to me with the ugly phrase, "yeah. but it's a dry heat!" I have a large array of cloth dolls and many, many long, sharp pins.

Will we be taking a long stroll on the River trail? No, we will not.

We will be working in the yard? Too late! It is only 9 a.m. and already 88 degrees.

We won't be riding bikes, picnicking in the park or strolling across the glass Sundial Bridge.

Photo Courtesy of Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Maybe we'll take the 45 minute drive up to Mt. Lassen and see if the roads are open yet. The record-breaking snow still has the road through the park closed. We could lay in the snow and pretend it is January. The photo below was taken on the weekend before July 4th!

Photo Courtesy of National Park Service

Frank says he needs a haircut and we need chlorine tabs for the pool. If I want to be with him, it means going in and out of air conditioned spaces and crossing hot asphalt parking lots. I want to be with him but walking through walls of hellishly hot air are so uninviting. What if the soles of our shoes melt?

I'm considering making him a deal. I'll match his two hours of errands together in hell town for four hours of swimming, a movie at the air conditioned dollar theater and a six pack of icy cold 805. I'll even have dinner delivered because this chick is not turning on any burners or ovens and absolutely not standing next to a lit gas BBQ. I'd even order pizza so it can be slid under the door, preventing a rapid loss of precious cooled air.

Better still, while he's getting his gorgeous silver wavy hair trimmed (which is a sin, I'm sure), I will run into Trader Joe's for a big, round watermelon. Juicy sweet melon with a bit of salt beats out pasta or steak on a day when it is just too hot to chew, right?

Graphic Courtesy of Deviant Art

If you don't hear from me in the next day or two, call the City of Redding Waste Management department and ask them to come scrape me off the sidewalk!

August 01, 2017

Hey, It's Okay Until It Ain't

(Yes, my daughter is the all-time grammar police chief! I am fully aware that the title above might make some jaws grind a little. Good news, my daughter doesn't read my blog, so, unless one of you is a grammar narc, I'm safe!)

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful visit with one of my Massachusetts' granddaughters and all California granddaughters and grandsons. We had a ball. Alaina made her own plans. She tried to max-out with cousins. She gave my parents a beautiful violin recital which included the theme to Pirates of the Caribbean, Vivaldi, and a wonderful bit of fiddling of an Irish drinking song!  Well-rounded repertoire!

We took off to L.A. for 4 days to meet my newest grandson and hang out of with the SoCal granddaughters. Alaina and Alli visited the Dollar Store and returned with $30 worth of cookies, candy and popcorn for movie night!

P.S. to  granddaughters' parents (and concerned readers):  We also ordered real food from Big Red's BBQ, drank lots and lots of water and brushed our teeth before bed!

No longer my hostage, Alaina spent her last day here, with local cousins and a cousin from Santa Cruz. They did some swimming, laughed and ate at Red Robin's.

Papa and I drove her to the airport at 2:00 a.m., hugged her a gazillion times then watched her board the shuttle to her boarding gate (barely visible through the tears).

She arrived home safely. After a day or two of rest, she accompanied her mom and sister to a local Comic Con!

Three days later, we discovered three-quarters of the Dollar Store goodies from L.A. still in a bag on the dresser in the guest room, next to the loaf of San Francisco Sour Dough bread that Papa was sending to our daughter (she complained that she couldn't find it anywhere in Massachusetts).

The bed in Alaina's room was made perfectly, the room in perfect order; pillows fluffed, quilt folded, tables clean.

Other than the semi-full bag of goodies and forgotten bread, there was no sign our granddaughter had even been there.

Hence...more tears.

Today, all is quiet. Grandchildren are living their lives, husband is at work, house is empty.

I guess it's back to swimming naked and reading good books...and since it's Tuesday, Hey It's Okay!

July 15, 2017

Nana's House

Days have been hot; perfect for hours and hours in the pool.

Alaina has re-introduced us to In and Out, Der Weinerschnitzel, Manhattan Bagel and Jamba Juice! (Yes, my stomach does hurt but not from the food but the laughing!)

Two of our other granddaughters have joined us and our great-granddaughter has spent time with her aunts and cousin.  There is actually a tent in our family room, a full size, honest-to-goodness tent, not your typical blankets and table tent!

Brinley was surprised by the mermaids that showed up.  The girls were very secretive about the changes but they did say, "If a mermaid was to magically show up in a pool, it would definitely by Nana's pool!"  (melt my heart)

She loved the mermaids but caught on that there was very little magic involved!

Got to go! We need to stop off for bagels and smoothies and then head out to my folks house.

We're taking the violin with us. Mom and Dad will love the personal concert.

Can a person have too much fun?

July 14, 2017

Mystery Blogger Award!

Can I just say, I love, love, love the bloggers in my neighborhood! I do, I really, really do.

Nick Wilford nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award (yay!)  Nick became one of my favorite bloggers to visit during the 2017 A to Z Challenge though I was familiar with him through the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Check him out!

This is the Mystery Blogger Award, which comes with a raft of rules.

Rule 1. Put the award/logo image on your blog. Did it!

Rule 2. List the rules. Don't rush me, I'm working on it.

Rule 3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Done-already-did-it, but just to make sure none of you readers missed it...Thank you, Nick Wilford, for nominating me.

Rule 4. Also mention the creator of the award and provide a link.

Oh, hey, did you know that the Mystery Blogger award was created by Okoto Enigma. Just thought I would mention it!

Rule 5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.

1) As a senior in high school, I was the captain of the girl's basketball team. We were undefeated champions. When it came to taking the President's Fitness Test, I couldn't make 1 free-throw basket. What can I say, I was a Guard!!!

2) One of my favorite things to do is wake up around 3:30 or 4 a.m. and read or write or whatever and go back to bed when the rest of the world is getting up and going to work. It feels decadent and delicious.

3) I can see auras.

Rule 6. Nominate other bloggers.

Debra @ She Who Seeks
Bob @ I Should Be Laughing
Baili @ Baili and I
anne marie @ From My Brain To My Mouth
Arlene @ Starting Over, Accepting Change

Martha @ Plowing Through Life and Miniaturopolis has been answering a gazillion questions or I would have nominated her. Play along if you so desire, Martha, no pressure! 

Rule 7. Nominate those people. Dang, Okoto Enigma is sure bossy!

Rule 8. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, plus one weird or funny question.

Remember what Carl Sagan said, "“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.”

1) What author would you want to write your biography?
2) If your life was a movie, what would the theme song be?
3) Destiny or Free Will?
4) Have you ever read a book that truly changed your life?
5) Who/What has had the greatest impact on your life?
Funny/weird question: If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Here's the questions I was asked:

1)  What made you decide to start blogging?

When I started my blog, a very close friend and I were working on a metaphysical manuscript on how we create time and space. I was also working on a book of a more autobiographical nature. Both books were heavy and intense, I wanted to write of lighter things. I am also an artist and was jonesing on creating my own backgrounds, so I started Wandering and Wondering.

2) Do you have any schedule for posting or is it spontaneous?

Other than the 2017 A to Z challenge, my posts are completely spontaneous, though I did promise myself several years ago to write a minimum of 2 hours a day. There are many days that I write but don't post it. Why? Too dark, too irreverent, too critical, too too!

3) Have you ever been in a situation that seemed bad but ended up leading to something positive?

If you only knew!!!  Every bad, scary or challenging situation teaches me something. I may not make the necessary changes in the first couple of lessons but eventually I 'get it'!

4) Ever given up on reading a book but then gone back to it later?

Many times. Once because just holding the book gave me the heebie-jeebies. Found out the previous owner had committed suicide shortly after reading it. A friend gave me a new copy and it was great. Sometimes my mood or frame of mind just isn't ready. I almost always go back, read it and enjoy it.

5) Name one main goal that you want to achieve in the next year.

2017 is the year of Purging. Several hundred books need new homes, unused decorative items, furnishings, stuff. My main goal? Lighten the load!

Funny/weird question: What would be your current protagonist's go-to song in karaoke? If you're not working on a book at the moment, name a song for your favourite book character.

My protagonist would probably be humming this song to herself quite often; Patty Griffin's Long Ride Home

Rule 9. Share a link to my blog's best post.

How do I go about vetting my posts for stand-out honors?  Relevance? Reverence? Comments? Views?

Hard to decide. I do, however, have two personal favorites.

I was blown away during the Superbowl Deflate-Gate scandal, hearing the phrase 'Chain of Custody' used in football. I enjoyed writing it, though it received absolutely no response. But I liked it, maybe it was the 11 year old in me using the word 'balls'!  Yes, I am just that immature!

Loving music, I like to compare who sings what song the best, so I also enjoyed writing and occasionally reading 'Saturday Night and I ain't got nobody' from 2008!

Looking forward to all your Mystery Blogger posts!

July 13, 2017

Oh Marquessa!

Did you read Simply Marquessa this morning?

She asks the question:

“Are you a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes?”

Sadly, this summer, I am neither. I am a happy little ant, going this way and that, surrounded by grandchildren, great-grandchild, parents and heat.

Digital dust is settling on my book, my blog and my art. 

Do I feel bad or guilty?  Uh, no! I'm having too much fun.

Winter is long, kids will be in school, the pool will be covered. Blogs can wait, children don't; they grow up way too fast. Books can wait, aging parents don't; hard to know how many days we have left.

But, to really answer Marquessa's question; I am a writer that blogs, but the summer of 2017, this writer is taking a vacation and getting a little Vitamin D and lots of love.

July 08, 2017

Quick Check In

Wedding went wonderfully. Bride and groom couldn't stop smiling!  The kiss at the end of the ceremony was hilarious because they couldn't hold the grins at bay long enough to smooch.

Their daughter walked away with the bride's shoes and announced to everyone that 'they' (all three of them) were getting married!

Returning to our car after the wedding, we discovered one of our tires was flat.  Low and behold, our little plastic donut spare tire which we have never used was also flat!

Reception activities included: tire changing, trying to locate a tire repair shop on a Sunday after 6:30, not locating a tire repair shop on a Sunday after 6:30, purchasing a tire pump for spare from Auto Zone.

Cole and Frank ended up rotating tires, placing good tire in front and spare in back. Then we drove in the dark through the mountains, dodging 7 dear and a cow, while I prayed and prayed and prayed.

We spent July 4th, swimming and watching movies. We live across the river from the fireworks, so Frank went out back and used the drone to photograph explosions and reflections. I spent the 22 minutes holding our fur babies, Rex and Lily, and singing the Barney song (I Love You) to them.

I now have new tires on car. Another hit to the budget, so again, probably no Massachusetts' trip, BUT my granddaughter, Alaina is arriving from Boston this evening...YAY!

In spite of the little adventure after the wedding, I have to say, July is turning out to be a great month.

All the grandkids have nicknames, Coleman, Pickles, JP, Dippin' Dots, Pinky Marie, etc. Alaina's nickname is 'The CEO' She is the Chief Entertainment Officer. She sings, dances, plays the violin, the piano (by ear) and is a superstar at Snapchat, and her Kung Fu skills are dang frightening!

We are going to have a super time.

Making this my motto for the month:

Have a great month!

June 29, 2017


Hey Kids! Have you ever noticed how life sometimes just comes up and swoops you away?

July is almost here and I don't know what the heck happened to June.  No time to write, well, actually, I could have been blogging but I got caught up in Netflix show, Bloodline! What a train wreck! I'm ashamed to say, I couldn't turn it off. Maybe it was because I kept waiting for someone to slap four of the characters.

July is booked.

This weekend our grandson and his Kate are getting married...long time coming! We're thrilled for them. Later, a granddaughter will be coming to visit from Massachusetts, then she and I will head to visit family in L.A.  (beach...beach...beach!)

August will be here before we know it.

I have a challenge for any of you photo-bloggers, or any one who just wants to play.  It's a 52 week photo challenge.

Photo Courtesy of TECHRADAR
Techradar has a suggestion for each week and advice on how to accomplish it.

I'm going to jump in and take the challenge.

The suggestions look like fun. Not #11! I have an instant gag-reflex if I look at it. Could be my astigmatism but the room starts spinning just taking a little peek.

Anyone want to play?