Thursday, April 28, 2011

This and that...April in Grass Valley

The weather is getting better and better, though I shouldn't complain with all the carnage in the South.

I think these are trillium - I'm used to white flowers - these were really striking.
Lovely evening in downtown Grass Valley yesterday.  A drink at the beautiful Owl Tavern bar and then on my way to the Holbrooke Hotel for live music I saw this building.  I just stood there and admired it, wow!
Yes, that is wisteria trained so artfully all over the building.  The contrast between the lavender flowers and the peachy wall color was stunning.

Good day!  Off we go for various adventures!  Walks and some shooting today, then back into the studio, getting lots done there too.  And, maybe some truck washing, badly needed.

I love you all.  The disastrous tornadoes make me want to hug all my loved ones, ease the heartache, pour the cool water of love over us.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great Hike

FINALLY!  The sun came back today so we headed up to the Independence Trail for a really good hike.  I've been trying to find the connection from Jones' Bar back up to the trail and actually did today.  It's a pretty nice four miles loop with some fairly challenging ups and downs but it finishes on the handicap accessible trail which is ever so much easier on tired legs.

The best part is the quick, steep quarter mile down to Jones' Bar.  There are beautiful pools everywhere and lots of water for the boys to wade around in.

Saw some pretty wildflowers.
A pretty view from the road we were hiking up.
It wasn't until we'd walked under this downed tree that I turned and saw it was hanging in the air.  Jeez, quite the balancing act.  (Remember you can click on these photos and see them much bigger.)
Of course the two tick magnets managed to haul back twenty or thirty of the nasty little critters.  I picked them off, brushed them off and squished them, hope we got them all.

It was a great day, sunny and beautiful.  The dogs are still zonked out and I'm looking forward to a great night's sleep.  I also sat on my deck with a glass of wine and watched the sun set, it was glorious.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

This and that...

The wildflowers down at Bridgeport are still beautiful.  These pics aren't that great but you get the idea.

Lupine, fairy or globe lily, pretty flower and canyon dudleya.

A rare sighting of the elusive canyon Corgi.
Yesterday's trip to Anderson to purchase a project Bronco, not for me, I was riding shotgun.  If you ever get a chance to head up to the Chico area it's worth it.  The geological formations are fantastic, Butte County, the Table Mountain and the Feather River are all worth exploring.  California is so rich in places to explore, you could spend a lifetime in just this one state.  I am thankful every day that I live here, fabulous wilderness, exciting cities, great people, superb weather.

I've got to head back to Minnesota this next month to arrange to ship the remainder of my furniture out here.  I'm so looking forward to seeing old friends and perhaps there will be an iris or two blooming for me.  I probably won't have a house of my own for a few more months but you never know.  I have such a good feeling about the little Treehouse I'm trying to buy.  It felt right the first time I saw it.  I can see me and the boys there so clearly.  I see friends too, laughing and drinking and eating simple things prepared with love.  I can see warm nights with the windows open and cool nights with a flickering fire.  I can feel the peaceful bliss of spending time with someone special, whispering, laughing, loving.

It will be very good, I know it.

Peaceful dreams to you too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sunset Series

It was a very pretty night.  The food, wine and company was good.  I took this series with the different modes on my Droid.
Regular - It was incredibly beautiful and looked like this.

Looking at these reminds me that I can look at something and see it many different ways.  Often I forget that. Of course it all depends on my mood at that minute or on that day, just as these photos seem Beautiful, Somber, Frenetic, Disjointed and Melancholy.  I learn something each day, sometimes in painful, sometimes in joyful ways, sometimes a little of both.  The process of interacting with the world means there will inevitably be disappointments because we cannot be all things to all people.  But I think that disappointment, pain and sadness are like clouds, they will clear and leave a bright sunny day.  The sun dries our tears, warms our heart and leaves us with another beautiful sunset to cherish.

Peace to you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baby Face and Flowers

I found this photo of bode when he was a baby. He was about three months old and we were still taping his ears.
Some iris from my garden in Minnesota.  I'll be going back there in June so maybe I'll see some of them again.  I wish I could bring some to California but it's not allowed.

This is called Batik, they always come out in wildly different patterns.
This is a Beverly Sills (the pink) and another which I don't remember.
And this is called Throb, perfect name isn't it?
I hope you know that you can click on most of these photos and they will get much bigger.

Rainy day today, still, gotta head out with the boys for a little walk.

May your day be warm and filled with the beauty of nature and the laughter of friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Miscellaneous Fun Stuff

Monday night is pistol shooting league, which is both thrilling and nerve wracking for me.  I love the shooting but my uber competitive streak has set in.  Last night I shot a 177 on the front sequence and 162 on the back sequence.  The best you can do is 180 so that's not bad.  We change the requirements every two weeks, last night was complicated, strong hand, weak hand, standing and kneeling.  Fun stuff.

Today I went in for a echocardiogram and  while I have to wait for the Cardiologist to read it the tech did say she thought both he and I would be pleased with the results.  This is a non-invasive procedure but I've still  been really stressed about it.  The last one I had sent me into the Cath lab.  I can't help but remember that day in shards of glass detail.

Then I had lunch with my beloved Sister and did a little browsing in Nevada City, always a good place to eat and wander.

AND, after that I signed the papers to put in an offer on my first house!  It's going to be a long haul but the house feels right so we shall see.  I can see myself in the sunny studio which is through french doors from the kitchen, while the boys wander around the small yard.  I will paint the rooms in golds, maybe have the living room ceiling raised and covered with white painted car siding.  My bedroom will get a set of french doors that open out onto the flower filled patio.  I will fill it with the laughter and love of those who mean the most to me.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lovely Weekend

Ok, yeah, I may say I live in the mountains but really Grass Valley is just the foothills.  I plead innocent though, 23 years in Minnesota has skewed my perception just a little.

This weekend my great good friend took me up to his beloved mountains.  He dazzled me with lakes and rivers, foamy waterfalls and peaks still covered in snow.
He drove me through sleepy towns where we discovered beautiful old barns and searched out houses old and new and dreamed of places to live.
We found wildflowers everywhere, lupine is one I knew and this little beauty.
Then he scared the living daylights out of me (not hard to do) with nasty, narrow, stinking, crumbling little roads overlooking endless drops.
Here I pleaded mercy and we didn't climb any higher.  It got worse later, a simple mountain road which he drove skillfully and well while I sat in a miserable little huddle and tried not to cry.  But all in all it was glorious, good company and great to get away and enjoy some new scenery.  I'm looking forward to going again, mostly, thanks D!

Heights are not my thing.  I've never been to the Grand Canyon, the mere thought of standing on the edge gives me the willies.  I don't even like ladders, though I have managed to conquer them up to about 12 feet, reluctantly.  Flying I've come to terms with (barely) because traveling is one of my great loves. Enclosed spaces are pretty bad too.  Beets and sauerkraut are nasty.

Things I'm good at:  Animals, tackling life on a daily basis, loving my friends and family, torching metal, planning large events, learning new things, meeting new people, shooting holes in targets and cooking a lot of great things.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Albert Schweitzer

There are a very few people in my life who are always there for me.  I'm pleased and privileged to be there for them too.  Deep and satisfying bonds like these are good for body and soul.

Who knows what we'll find up in the mountains?  It doesn't really matter, it's just all good.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quote for Wednesday

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace to you and yours from me and mine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Touch My Heart

Things that have touched my heart so far this week:

Eating pie with my Mom and Dad.

Seeing the twinkle in my Dad's eyes.

Bode and Dandy kissing my face.

Talking about an old kitty.

A few words from someone I lost but still miss.

Early morning phone calls.

Crazy future ocean dreams.

Feeling the deep bonds of trust and friendship grow and strengthen.

Knowing I'm home in my mountains.

Springtime weather.

Peaceful, magical dreams.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Believe...

I believe that there is good in people, it's not always easy to find but you have to keep looking.

I believe you can't hold back on what's in your heart, otherwise you are less than whole.

I believe that when you feel like you've been burned it's just the tempering process and it will make you stronger.

I believe using strong sunscreen will keep your nose from peeling.

I believe we meet some people for a reason, beats the hell out of me exactly what sometimes.

I believe a glass of wine and a good cry are essential every now and then.

I believe blood oranges, raspberries and lemon curd make a damn good dessert.

I believe a woman has the right to go and do whatever she pleases and that she should be allowed anything that makes her feel safe doing so.

I believe a smart phone kicks ass.

I believe you have to go for what you want, waiting for it to come to you takes too long.

I believe we aren't getting any younger, but we are wiser, more sensual, funnier and less concerned with silly stuff.

I believe age and treachery will always win out over youth and skill.

I believe life is not worth living without pets.

I believe if you find a man who isn't afraid, one who will face your fear, your anger, your passion and your love with kindness, courage, understanding and openness of heart you'd better keep him close forever.

I believe it's important to have a place to call your own.

I believe if you're gonna have a beer, have a good one.

I believe you have to take a good long look at what you think you want, could be it's hiding the thing you really need.

I believe you have to have a dream.

I believe you need to be thankful everyday, grateful to the one, caring to the many, thoughtful to those close and open to it all.

I believe that this day is mine to make of it what I will.

I believe a long walk in the sunshine may be the most important thing I do today.

I believe I'll make it.

I believe.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Popcorn snow

WTF?  I've never seen such weird stuff, little balls of soft snow come plopping down on your head and car and EXPLODE!  It's like hail only not, hard to imagine.  This morning is blue and clear.

Searching for houses, some poor derelicts, some not bad.  Out here everything is either a short sale or a foreclosure, when you find a real house being sold by a real owner it's quite a treat.  I found one that seems perfect but we're looking at three more this next week.

Today I get to spend the whole day at the Range taking the concealed carry class.  It should be fun.  At least in my goofy world, last weekend race fuel, this weekend gunsmoke and oil.  If I could find horses to ride next weekend I would call it winning the trifecta, with lots of outdoor time in  between.

Peace to you

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Working or Playing?

Yesterday I got back into my studio and found my passion and my joy waiting there, what an incredible feeling!

In the last few years my art has sheltered me in the midst of pain and uncertainty.  It's given me an outlet for my passion, love and creativity.  It's been my focus and my anchor.  It's kept me from flying apart in a million little pieces.

It's who I am.

I need to create and if I don't I become less.

I tend to forget.

Yesterday I whipped up a pretty little piece to donate to a fundraising event here in Grass Valley.
And I tore apart my favorite piece - Warrior's Heart - yet again to fix the balance.  Here's a shot of it after I applied the patina.
And after I polished off most of it - I prefer the silvery look.
I've also got a bigger project brewing and need some words for it.  Think of the people in your life.  Think of the one word that describes their character.  Tell me.  I've got Integrity, Compassion, Creative, Courageous....need more.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Signs of Spring

I suppose the first sign of spring is that it's not freaking raining, which is good because I'm sure I was growing moss between my toes.

Now the only rain is pollen, always nice for the companies who makes Claritin, Zyrtec or Flonase, bless them.  Otherwise there would be no breathing going on at all.

Yesterday we headed out for the Empire Mine loop.  It was beautiful and the dogs got a little more sniffing time as I'm gingerly walking on a least two large blisters from this weekend.  Any aches and pains are well worth it, it couldn't have been more fun or satisfying.

I found this little beauty down by Little Wolf Creek.  I love salamanders.
Down by the Mine entrance I saw this.
The color is just beautiful, the car is kinda cute too.

AND, then I shot 177 on the first sequence at league last night, woot!  Of course, the second sequence wasn't so great but I'll get there, it was only my fourth night of league.

These days and this weather make me almost giddy.  The breezes are cool and soft, lifting and rearranging the crazy strands of my hair, cooling my skin as we walk down sunny paths and through dense, quiet forests, wrapping the scents of the plants and the tangy dirt smells around me, it's heavenly. The dogs lift their heads and flare their nostrils to suck in the scent too and every now and then will circle and circle from one side of the road to the other, catching the meanderings of an animal gone quietly back into the woods.

Last night about 3am I woke up and opened the curtain so I could see the night sky from my bed. The stars were blazing and it was dark and still, no noises, all thoughts stilled in sleep, dogs wuffling softly.

I slept well and deeply, peacefully.

I wish the same to you.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Infineon Weekend or...

...I love the smell of race fuel in the morning!

Wow!  What a great weekend in each and every way.  I started by blasting my way through a couple of shops in Berkeley, my wine closet is now FULL and ready for some great dinners on the deck.

Then I met up with a very great friend and helped him celebrate his birthday with a margarita or two, Happy Birthday D!  Saturday morning bright and early we got to the track.  It was a CSRG - Classic Sport Racing Group weekend so it was impossible not to drool on most of the cars in the paddock.  Of course, the best are the Corvette's.
Warm up.  The man who keeps them moving fast.  He's really not as scary as he looks, that's his concentrating face.
Saturday night was more excellent fun and on Sunday my Mom and Dad came down for the day.
My Dad getting ready for a ride.
A good friend getting ready to go zoom too.  The best part is seeing their faces when they get back, BIG SMILES!
The weather was fabulous, sunny with a cool breeze.  I need more sunscreen and maybe a hat. The ZoomZoom noises are incredible.  I can't wait to go again.
So, today I'm back, happy to be in my Treehouse again.  This afternoon I'll be looking at some houses for sale, wish me luck!