Friday, December 22, 2006

My Journey, Learning From Things and People and Events

Hi Friends,

For some reason I have been drawn to the news accounts of the lost Father and climbers in Oregon the last few weeks. It is not just because they were the local and National news top stories, it was like there was something deeper that was trying to get into my mind and heart.

First there was James Kim who took a turn en route to the Oregon Coast and died trying to find help for his family. Then last week and this week I listened to the story of the three friends that decided to climb Mt Hood in Oregon and got caught in a snowstorm that ended in tragedy.

The one thing that really got my attention was the strength of the families as they faced the press, the daily not knowing and eventually the fact that their loved ones were not coming back. I looked on my own to find some answers and find out what it was that was gnawing at me like metal to a magnet.

One of the first places I looked was for the source of the strength of the family of Kelly James. It seemed that much of what help them together was their faith in God and a simple belief that what was happening was in Gods hands not theirs. I found a church in Texas that Kelly James was a member of and downloaded the Podcast of the past weeks sermons by his Pastor Gary Brandenburg of Fellowship Dallas. They were simple and not filled with catch phrases or fancy speaking techniques like some TV Evangelists. It was Gods message delivered like pure milk and it was very good. Pastor Brandenburg is now one of my favorites on my iPod and his Podcasts are on my must hear list each week.

Then came the interview of Kelly James wife on CBS News. It was full of emotion and was at times difficult to watch. She described what Kelly's family had gone through the two weeks as they went from missing to lost and the recovery of the body of their beloved father and husband. As this drama comes to an end and Christmas/New Years comes our way here are the things I have learned and what I hope to keep from all of this.

God still has a plan for me and has not given up on me no matter where I might be of what I might have become. He has and is using things in this world to get my attention and touch my heart so that I will sit quietly and listen to His voice.

I want to be one that touches others especially my wife, so that when I am gone they look back and can talk about how I made their days a bit brighter or their life a bit fuller. When Kelly James wife talked about how he "...took her to the moon and back." it made me want to be a better husband. I don't know just what that means yet, but I am sure the journey will be exciting as I try to figure out what I can do to make a positive difference in the life of my beautiful wife and others.

Thanks for stopping by today.... May God bless you this Christmas and bring new adventures your way in the coming year.

Lots of Love,


Monday, November 13, 2006

Missing My Friend, Looking Back at The Worst Day Ever

Our Blog today is more for my therapy than for entertainment so adjust your viewing/reading to reflect that. This has turned into one of the hardest blog entries to write, taking more than two weeks so far.

Recently we lost our 4 1/2 year old Chihuahua, Pee-Wee, to a heart defect he had all his life. Even though Pee Wee had lived with this health problem, his sudden passing has left our house with a deep sadness that has not been easy to overcome. For the first time in my life, my heart hurt, the sadness was so intense, and i think we cried for a week. Our little friend had lived with what the vets call a reverse shunt, a heart defect that maybe could have been helped if detected anytime in the first 4 years of his life. We are very quick to get all of our animals to the vet if they need any kind of medical attention, and we have had Pee Wee to many different vets in his life that had not seen anything like this shunt at all.

Pee Wee was our constant companion, traveling with us on all of our trips, occupying the little open space between the front seats that seemed to be made by Honda just for him. Our last trip with him was to Cambria, CA for the family reunion where he walked on the beach and barked at other dogs, an generally had a great time. Always ready to relax on your lap in the afternoon or share a bit of ice cream with you (vanilla was his favorite) Pee Wee more than any other dog I can remember was happy to be part of every move you made. One of my favorite things was the way he would lay down on your legs in the evening while we watched TV and got caught up on our days events at work. He would sleep so sound and occasionally look up at you before going back to sleep where no doubt he would dream of chasing the cat or eating dandelions.

Pee Wee went with Brenda to work (she was so lucky). He sat just a few inches from her keyboard and when he needed a drink of water or something he would very lightly touch her hand and she would get him just what he needed. I am sure the fact that she was him more than me, means she will miss him even more.

So now we are trying to come to grips with the fact that we will never hold him again or hear his little bark when we leave the room (his way of asking, why he was sitting there all alone). We are asking if the vet that saw Pee Wee on his last night really knew what was wrong with him, or if he was just doing a job and had to get things settled before the next round of emergency room dogs needed the space that Pee Wee was occupying.

Pee Wee was buried under the flowering plum tree where he will be able to enjoy the shade on hot Summer afternoons and where the dandelions will always be within reach. In his box we buried his favorite toys ... a old snake that he had for ever even though we had tried to replace it with a new one. We also left him with frog toy and one of his favorite yogurt drops. He looked forward to bedtime because he would get one of these yogurt drops and maybe be able to con Brenda or me into a second.

Thanksgiving and Christmas this year will be less than fun for us. It seems that decorating for Christmas just doesn't seem appropriate since we won't have Pee Wee around. I am sure that we will shed a few tears thinking of him as Christmas approaches and maybe take a moment to think of him healthy again, running in a field and maybe pausing once in a while to look to see if Brenda and I are there to pick him up.

We love you Pee Wee and think about you every day.

Don, Brenda and Rusty

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Family Reunion, What a Blast!

Hi Friends,

Brenda and I are just back from the Heiden Family Reunion in Cambria, California. This is only the second one of these that we have attended (don't ask why we have held off for so many years, it would take too much time and too many hours of counseling).

This year we were off to beautiful Cambria in Central California right on the coast between Heaven and breathtaking. This alone was worth the drive and the money as Cambria is now one of our favorite places to visit and relax. We stayed at the Moonstone Beach Inn, an amazing place to stay with animals (or without). They treated our little puppies just like they treated us and that was amazing. I don't know what it is about the people of Cambria, but they seemed like some of the neatest people in the World. You could even find them out at night after they baked fresh cookies and brownies for the guests, visiting and having a nice evening beverage while sharing the sunset. I hope you get to visit this wonderful place some day and that it is a weekend to remember for you too.

On saturday we visited with family at the Heiden family reunion. The setting this year was a quaint little park just down the street from out room and full of beauty. It backed right up to the Ocean so we were forced to take a short walk from time to time on the beach listening to the sea or searching for the elusive Moonstones that have made this place very special.

After a full day at the park we went back to our room for a quiet evening with Rusty and PeeWee (the Chihuahuas) before we had to be on the road again towards Casa Tucker the next morning.

We have plenty of pictures to share if you have a few minutes. Just stop by and check out our Flickr page right cheer! I hope we are not turning into those relatives that would invite themselves over and bring their slide projector and screen. At least with us you can just Google away from here if you want.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing our adventure. We look forward to sharing our next big fun with you.

Lots of Love

Don and Brenda & Rusty & PeeWee Too!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

The first snow has fallen in the mountains, not much, but just enough to remind us that Winter and all that it brings with it are just around the corner. Now is the time we look back at 2006 so far.... what we have done and what we didn't get done.

We really made some amazing memories this year during our many adventures. They will be with us forever and remind us of this time in our life. This particular time in our life is one that moves us away from being young and towards what is called mid-life. I guess that is what it is but I don't feel that much different now than I did when I was 17 or 18. Oh well, I would rather be 46 and act like a teenager than be 46 and act like I was 70. I am not ready to give up any of my dreams or adventures to age as some have done.

Looking back at 2006 so far, we started the year off right with Spring vacation at the beach again. Gold Beach is just a wonderful place to unwind and bring things into focus. I think this should be a twice a year adventure, but companies being what they are, 2 weeks vacation seems to be all you get until you have been with them for 10 years. So we have to make the best of what we are allowed until we can find something else to do that gives a bit more for the effort you put in. But back to Gold Beach, it is truly one of Gods greatest works, and one of our favorite adventures.

Disneyland in July. They said we were a bit crazy, but it worked and it was fun and we are ready to do it again.

The TruckerFest truck show in August. Lots of work and even more fun. This year we put more effort into getting the truck ready than in the past and it paid off by shining brighter and we are looking forward to next year already.

The Rare Bear air race team and the Reno Air Races. Again worth all th effort and we look forward to next year.

A hike to the top of the World, or at least to the top of the mountain we look out on every day from the front yard. Mount Rose summit was a blast if not hard work. It was so beautiful and peaceful and well, it was everything that life and the World should be. Note to self ... more time spent like this!

So now we welcome this Winter and make plans for some adventures in the midst of the snow and cold and general yuckyness (my word) that Winter brings. Maybe with a little work and imagination we can turn this Winter into something just as exciting as this Summer has been. I have always wanted to snowshoe and there are plenty of places within driving distance that don't have snow. Then again maybe there are some adventures that can be done in doors.

Stay tuned as we look for more family adventures this Winter.

Lots of Love,

Don & Brenda

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Goal Accomplished!

I can scratch off one more item from my list of things that I just had to do. Today I hiked to the top of Mount Rose and looked out over Northern Nevada and California.

I really enjoy getting out and going for a good walk in the woods now and then and today I finally got off my rear and began hiking to the summit of Mount Rose. It was a bit more than any hikes I have taken in the past with a good 2000' rise in elevation in about 2.5 miles. Luckily I had read a bit about this hike or I might have been too intimidated by the trail in a couple of spots. Monday night I took a few minutes to read in the Tahoe Rim Trail Book and found that it was an amazing hike but the last few hundred feet rise towards the end was a real test.

I was on the trail at about 11:00 am and it took all of 3 hours to reach the summit. I rested and of course called Brenda at work to tell her where I was. She was really not too excited but listened to my adventure story anyway.

It took about 2 hours to fall .... I mean walk the 2.5 miles back to the car before returning home. This is going to be remembered as one of my favorite hikes because of the beauty of the Mount Rose wilderness and the views from the top of the hill. I hope to return sometime early next Spring to see the falls when they are really running and to check out the Spring Flowers.

So check out our Flickr photo's from this adventure, I know I will look at them this Winter when I am cold and stuck in the house. It will warm me up for sure!

Talk to ya soon...


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quality Time!

I had the amazing opportunity to spend some quality time with my Neice Lindsey a couple of weeks back. We wanted to do something really different and fun so ... we made a movie! Lindsey came up with the idea and directed the whole thing. We had so much fun that day, I hope we get to spend a special day like this again soon.

Here we present our finished product... the movie, 'Big Croc, Little Croc'

Time to Look Back, Relax and Find Myself Again

Hi Friends and Family,

It has been a busy couple of months after Disneyland. When we got home it was back to work and as you know that is always tough. I am looking for answers to making the return from vacation back to work a enjoyable experience, but I think that will take some looking inside to discover just what that requires.

We spent a couple of very hard weeks getting the 'Magic Carpet Ride' truck ready for TruckerFest 2006. It was one of our best efforts to date with a lot of extra attention to detail we have never done before. We sprayed the frame rails and polished things we hadve missed in the past and generally were very happy with the results. You can see all the pictures from our efforts on our Flickr page. We also added some neat elements this year with a theme. We picked a very cool Mohawk logo that was designed by Disney in the late '50's, Tommy Mohawk. With lots of help from friends and Ebay we set up a very cool display.

After TruckerFest it was time to put our full efforts into getting the Hauler ready for the Rare Bear Air Racing Team and the Reno National Championship Air Races. It was quite an effort as this Hauler has been in a field for the past 5 to 10 years and really was showing the signs of being a tired old trailer instead of a very cool piece of air race history.

We got the trailer/hauler ready just in time for the races and took it out to the air field for the races. Then we shifted into another gear to help the team get the Rare Bear ready for another shot at history. The week went well until the Bear lost a cylinder and our race week was over. Now we have the trailer back home and it dreams of the coming race season and a new paint job and interior to show off next year.

Finally... How cool is the picture on the right? I had the extreme cool opportunity to ride a Seguay. I have been wanting to ride this amazing two wheel marvel for years and finally got to spend some time on it. It was everything I dreamed it would be and more. Now I am trying to convince Brenda that this is what we need even above food and power. More pictures of our Rare Bear Hauler and the Seguay can be found on our Flickr photo pages so check em out if you have a minute.

I finally had a day that allowed me to catch my breath and think about my future adventures. It felt good to just sit and relax and contemplate my navel. Tomorrow if the sun is shining and I have another short day .... the mountains are calling me to come back and explore and dream.

More later...


Could This Be True?

Just talking so far, but you know me ... it's never too early to start thinking and counting down to the next adventure.

So with that in mind, I am adding a countdown ticker for our next Disneyland Adventure. Looks like it may happen during Spring Break 2006 so it is really right around the corner. March 26th, 2007 here we come, now if we can just get past Winter and Christmas and New Years and .... oh well, it still seems right around the corner.

Ta Da .... Here it is!

Just Do It!

I plan alot. Probably way too much it seems to create some excitement and help make whatever I am planning come around just a bit faster. As soon as I have something penciled in, a vacation or show or whatever, I make a countdown clock and start my planning.

I read in Outside magazine the other day this little bit of wisdom.

"If you wait until you have everything ready, every detail dialed, every piece of worst-case-scenario gear squared away, you'll never leave. Instead, learn to master the elusive art that makes adventure possible: the ill-planned, under-financed departure..."

It caused me to recall the early days of our marriage and dating when we would just jump in the old VW and off we would go. Disneyland on a shoestring, no problem. Even if the tires were flat on the car because they were so bald the day after a trip, we still went out and did and had a ball doing it.

Lord help me to be spontaneous and willing to try new things at a moments notice. To not become as those that have become set in their ways with no room for adventure. Amen...

Peace to you and Love,


A Hike...

I needed some time to un-wind and just be. So on Thursday July 13th I took a walk. I journeyed to the Mount Rose Wilderness at @ 9000' to collect my thoughts and get a little fresh air.

It is always amazing how good you feel after you take a walk in all the beauty that nature has to offer. It makes you happy to see the critters and get away from the pavement and work and, well the list could go on. If you want to get away from the World for a few minutes, check out our pictures from the hike or just get up, get out and take a walk yourself. If you live in Northern Nevada you probably could use a few minutes away from the cars and sprawl to catch your breath. Our pictures from the hike are on our Flickr page here.

More Later...


Our Disneyland Rose

When we returned to the little house in the valley, we were happy to find that our Disneyland Rose had bloomed. Of course we were also happy that the rabbitts had not devoured it yet too!

Here it is in all it's glory for to ooh and aah over...

Have a wonderful day!

Don & Brenda

Finally...Our Disneyland Video

I finally got around to editing some video from our vacation to Disneyland to share. We had an amazing time and wish we could have taken all of you with us ...... um ..... strike that, back up. We had an amazing time.

Our Disneyland Adventure 2006 on Vimeo

The Adventure Ends...The Ride Home

Well here we are at home again. Back in Reno at Casa Tucker un-winding and I think all of us are playing movies of this trip from our memory over and over in our heads.

I learned a lot and hopefully did not ruffle too many feathers. I have never had much experience working with young people and I learned from them more than they know during this little one week adventure.

The ride home was as expected longer than the trip down even though the time and distance was the same. Have you ever noticed that it seems to take forever coming home from a trip and going takes no time at all? It also seems that it is easier getting your body in gear when planning and leaving for a trip/adventure. When coming home we all struggled to get going.

So we all said goodbye to Disneyland for a while, maybe we will be able to return next year ... maybe it will be a while. You never know how those things are going to go. The trip home was smooth and we made good time arriving at about 9:00 pm full of stories to share with Bonnie and Severin and ready for nice nights sleep in our own bed.

Looking back it seems that we are so caught up in the daily grind that we neglect times and adventures like these for the grown up things and daily responsibilities of this world. Then before you know it ... you are old and the wonders of this life we are given are gone, and we are left to grow old quietly. I have learned from this trip to enjoy the company of others (even those that I don't know) and to enjoy each day like it is your last... because you never know when your last day is.

I thank those that shared this amazing adventure and am looking forward to the next great Tucker Family (and friends) Adventure.

As always there are plenty of pictures to share with you on the Flickr Page. Just look for the box on the side of this page. Talk to you all real soon!

Love From,

Don, Brenda, Rusty, PeeWee, Will & Terra oh yes ... and Ashley!

Our Disneyland Adventure Day 3

I can't believe we have one more day to enjoy Disneyland!

We are having so much fun on this adventure, but it seems we are running out of gas (not just the older folks, but the kids as well). Today takes us back to Disneyland for all the things we missed and to go again on the rides we loved.

Again we took the puppies to the Casa Puppy at Disneyland Kennels and got them situated. I guess they are okay with it. Sometimes I wish I could read thier minds so I could know if they are happy of if they think we treat them awfully. Heck most of the time I wish I had that ability to check out what humans are thinking about me.

Into the park early and we jumped right in with both feet hitting everything we wanted to do before lunch. Our food adventure today was off to The Rainforest Cafe for another celebration in honor of Ashley. It was a bunch of fun and the food was good, but we are thinking this might be the last time we go there. Everyone seemed rushed and not as polite as we remembered, so maybe next trip we will find somewhere else to explore and experience.

Next we were going to go right back into Disneyland for some ride cramming but realized we were running low on energy so we returned for our mid afternoon ciesta at the Hotel. zzzzzzzzzz!!

Back at Disneyland we shopped a bit and walked alot and rode some more rides before getting great seats for the Fantasmic show. It was amazing as expected and we totally enjoyed just resting and hanging out before the show. The kids got a bit restless waiting so they ventured off and took in The Haunted Mansion again.

After Fantasmic we wanted to take in one more ride that would stay with us in our memories as the perfect cap to a wonderful trip. We decided on It's a Small World! It was a great end to a perfect night and amazing adventure.

Shopping until the stores closed and then pick up the puppies and back to the Hotel.

Can it be that this adventure is just about over? Now to get a few hours of sleep before heading back to Reno and all that awaits us in the normal world.

G' Night!

Don, Brenda, Rusty, PeeWee, Will, Terra and Ashley

Our Disneyland Adventure Day 2

Our second day at Disneyland was going to be a jam packed one. It started just as the other days would, up early and off to get a jump on the others visiting on this day.

We checked Rusty & PeeWee in to the Doggy Hotel and got them settled in. The service at the Disneyland Kennel is outstanding and the accomodations are nice so we did not feel too bad leaving them for a few hours.

Because Disney's California Adventure did not open until 10:00 am we decided to check back into Disneyland for a couple of hours of rides there before going to the sister park. Again the park seemed pretty quiet so we were able to get on most rides without much wait time.

At 10:30 am we were off to Goofy's Kitchen for a Birthday celebration in honor of Ashley. We dined with Goofy, The Mad Hatter and Pricess Jasmine and had a wonderful Birthday cake at out table. Good food and good friends at Disneyland, what more could you ask for?

Filled up and re-charged, we were now off to Disney's California Adventure (DCA) for a full day of fun there. First off it was Grizzly River Rapids and a good soaking there. We all really enjoyed this ride and had wanted to get on it again but never got to it. Off next to California Screamin' a great roller coaster and a wild ride. Again the wait time was not bad at all and in just minutes we were screamin' with the rest of the riders. Brenda is not really fond of the coasters and tends to get a little turned around on them, so she filmed us taking off and laughed at us a bunch.

We all watched and loved the Alladin show at DCA's Hyperion Theatre and then off for our mid-day rest at the hotel. I think we all managed to catch some zzz's and catch our breath before heading back over.

This afternoon, Will, Terra and I checked out The Tower of Terror and really loved it. Ash and Brenda were not so excited to try it and stayed in the shade to wait for us. Short lines again so we were back as a group and off to stake our claim to a choice sopt on the Parade route next. The Electrical Parade was great and then the younguns' wanted to try screamin' one more time before we retired. As they did that Brenda and I took a minute for ourselves and walked and talked a bit. We even managed to catch a bit of the fireworks from Disneyland.

Now we are beat once again and all are looking forward to climbing onto the bed to crash for the night. I say onto the bed because we may not have the strength to get under the covers. Boy are we getting old...

Tomorrow, back to Disneyland and our final day of this adventure. But for now must get some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ........

Us (and the puppies too!)

Our Disneyland Adventure Day 1

We're going to Disneyland!

Well actually we were just across the street but it seemed like the thing to say. We wre up early today @ 5 AM ready to get the puppies checked into Disneylands version of the Disneland Hotel for Dogs and Cats. Today was our early admission day, and we were waiting at the gate when they opened the turnstyles. It was great to see how the park had changed and how beautiful it was. Just as we imagined I guess, but even better I than I remembered.

This was a day that we had been warned about for months. Traveling to Disneyland on the 4th of July was just not recommended. But our travel plans and days off had been requested and we wre looking forward to this and the 4th of July was when we would be at Disneyland. Now we were here and .... well .... where were all the people? This was one of the slowest morings we could remember at the park. In the first hour we rode on maybe 6 rides and on one, Space Mountain,' we rode twice without leaving the ride vehicle. In the first two hours we rode more rides than we expected to ride during the whole day. It was hot and humid and maybe that was going to keep folks away but we still were going from ride to ride without any crush or people at all.

Each day we have planned a food adventure and today we were going to the Blue Bayou restaurant to enjoy one of my favorites, the Monte Cristo. Our reservations were for 11:30 am making us part of the first group of diners to get in. It looked just as I remembered it and the food was wonderful.

We took a break during the hottest part of the day, going back to our Hotel room for a little nap and to plan our afternoon.

Returning, we rode some more rides and then found a spot to watch the 50th anniversary parade and then the fireworks. Being the 4th of July we knew there would be moe fireworks than just the normal amazing fireworks show. What a wonderful day!

Now everybody is just beat and just about to fall over ... so it's off to sleep and get a bit of rest before we hit it again tomorrow.


The Group (and puppies too!)

Our Disneyland Adventure Begins!

These are days that you look forward to for months, the first day of a new vacation adventure. A chance to forget about all the things that bother you at home and at work and an opportunity to relax and enjoy life. To step back and think about the future and most of all to have fun.

It was mostly with fun in mind that we have started our vacation adventure to Disneyland today. Ashley joined us with two of her frinds Will and Terra so this was going to be a different type of adventure. Brenda and I have almost always shared our vacations as a pair, then we added Ashley when she wanted to join us, now with 3 young people it would be something new again. This morning we started rising at 3:15am for the journey. You know it is funny just how early you can get moving when you have something you are looking forward to just ahead of you. Anyway, we hit the road about 4:30am and pointed the Pilot in the direction of the Disneyland. Even writing that sounds fun.

Our route took us along 395 south from Reno through Bishop, California and taking us through Adalonto, Beach Cities and other cool places along highway 15 and 91.
It was a great ride with one stop along the route to get some fresh sweets at Erik Schat's Bakkery (that's how they spell it) and then pressing on to our final destination.... The Anahiem Plaza Hotel next to Disneyland.

Now we are relaxing in some really comfy rooms and will probably get some pizza to get us through the afternoon. The excitement is so thick you can cut it with a knife as we can see just outside our windows is what we have all been looking forward to for months.

Tomorrow.... off to Disneyland and our adventure kicks into high gear.


Don, Brenda, Ashley, Rusty, PeeWee and Will & Terra

What a Show!

While Brenda enjoyed some quality time with her Mom, Ashley treated me to a fun trip to Ashland. During the morning and early afternoon we toured the town checking out shops and looking for some music that I have not seen in many years. The little shops and beautiful downtown of Ashland were alot of fun ... and I did find one of the CD's I was looking for. Thanks to "2 CD or not 2 to CD' for having a Brewer and Shipley CD on the shelf.

In the evening, Ashley took me to see a Shakespere play, 'The Winters Tale.' It featured William Langan in the lead role and was really fantastic. The actors were spot on delivering performances that transported you from the audience right into the story.

I picked up some 'Heartsong' chai and am now drinking it on special occasions so that it will last. It is made in Jacksonville, OR and is not available anywhere outside the immediate area. So until next trip or until I can get someone to bring me a few bottles ... yum!

Back in Medford, we enjoyed some BBQ prepared by Danny and visited. It was a great weekend away, made even more enjoyable because we were informed that it was snowing in parts of the Reno area. It is always great to run away from a Spring/Summer snow storm. Oh yes, and to laugh at those still stuck in it.

As always, there are some pictures from this adventure on our Flickr page. Just look for the Flickr display on the right side of this page and click away...

Unless we can find a new 'mini adventure' we are waiting for Disneyland in July!


Don & Brenda

Adventure...In Search of the Perfect Mate'

Ahoy friends and welcome to our mini adventure.

We are in Medford Oregon this Memorial Day weekend visiting with family and still buzzing about our upcoming Disneyland adventure. In addition, I have decided to make an extra effort to find the perfect Mate' drink. You have to understand that I just love a good glass of mate' and have almost completely replaced most other drinks with my new obsession.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and I am off to beautiful Ashland to find someone that will make me the finest glass of mate' I have ever had. I am fully ready to make a scene or create a fuss or whatever comes out of me when I taste this perfect brew.

I have been looking around Medford and it seems that most here either don't know what mate' is or don't care. I have found that even though it is just a few miles down the road, Ashland is a world apart from Medford and quite the funky little town (and you know how I love those funky little towns).

For more information about my quest, check out Heartsong and see why I need to taste this stuff for myself.

There is also a CD shop in Ashland that said to be the coolest in the country. According to Linda Ronstadt, it is "The greatest independent record store in the World." (and you know how much I like Linda Ronstadt.) So anyway, I hope to find a couple of CD's I have benn looking for there.

Then Ash and I may go to a play, maybe even something by Shakespeare!

So tomorrow, lot's of pictures of our adventure and the results of our search. See you then!



Just a Note...

Just a short note to say hi and share this beautiful picture of Slide Mountain with just bit of snow left from this amazing Winter.

The Spring has brought lots of water to Washoe Valley and some surprises too. We got to see two baby Owls grow up and out grow thier nest before leaving from a neighborhood tree. Have not seen them for a couple weeks now, so it seems they have found safer and more comfortable digs.

We also have a unwanted visitor to our little patch of land. A coyote has been eating the rabbits that make our grass thier home. To protect our kids, the Chihuahuas, we have borrowed a paint ball gun from a friend and are laying in wait for his or her next visit. We would not want to kill this visitor, we are just looking to make his visits very uncomfortable and this seems the best option. Stay tuned and we will let you know how this turns out.

Until next time, take care and enjoy this shot from our front yard.


New Adventure Plans Underway

Just back and still recovering from our Gold Beach Adventure, we have started our countdown for the next trip. It will be our Disneyland Adventure 2006, and it looks like it will be a blast.

We will be traveling to Disneyland in July for a visit over the 4th of July holiday. Taking 3 little(r) ones with us... Ash & 2 of her friends.

More as we set this adventure into motion!



Last Full Day

Welcome to Friday March 31st...
It really does seem like this adventure has just begun, and it seems we have just enjoyed our last full day at Gold Beach this Spring. It has been an exciting ride and one Brenda, Ash & I will not soon forget. Brenda thinks the week went by way too fast and I am still trying to process all of the feelings and stimuli from this beautiful part of the World.
Today we explored the jetty area of Gold Beach and enjoyed the way the waves bounce off the rocks on the man made jetty. We also caught the playful otters playing in the surf and looking for food. A visit to Grant's restaurant was also part of this last day at the beach. They serve really good food and have a unique style of service. You will have to check it out for yourself to see if you have the same take as we did.

The weather alternated between sun and rain and today we really had a treat. We watched waves of storms come in off the Ocean and onto the beach. It was a really inspiring experience to see those waves of black coming from way out on the horizon towards us. As they got closer, the sun would be turned out and the rain would begin...then just as soon as it had started, it was gone and the sun returned to warm us agan.

With our this trip now behind us and those wonderful memories coming back to make us smile, we look forward to our next adventure. Where will it be and what new things will we see? We can't wait to find out!!

All of our pictures are on-line on the Flickr pages, so go and enjoy. And if you happen to go on a exciting adventure we would love to hear about it.


Don, Brenda & Ash

And the Rain, Rain, Rain

It's Thursday March 30th...
We are well into our Spring Adventure at Gold Beach, OR and today it rained. It actually rained a lot, and what is better to do when it rains than get a roaring fire going in the fireplace and read a good book. It was a moment of Zen for me and I think very refreshing for Brenda & Ash too. I chose Among Grizzlies as my book to enjoy this vacation. It is a really great account of Timothy Treadwell, he turns out to be one of the most passionate people I have studied. You might want to pick this coolio book if you like Bears and folks that really get excited about things they love.

We interupted our day periodically with trips to DQ for some refreshing and very addictive, ice creme treats. Very yummy!

Okay not much exciting to write about today.... maybe tomorrow will bring something for us to share.


Don, Brenda & Ash

A Gold Beach Sunset 'Video'

As promised, here is a sunset video filmed March 29th on the beach just outside our little bugalow. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Ashley, Brenda & Don

The Perfect Day

It's Wednesday March 29th and it seemed like the perfect day at Gold Beach. The Weatherman is well.... an idiot. It has been forcast to be rainy all week long, and every time he has said that, it has been perfect. Today was to be a day of nothing but rain and it turned into one of the best days imaginable on the beach and sightseeing in Gold Beach. The Sun has been shining all day and it has been very warm, I guess about 60+ degrees. So I guess I hope the Weatherman forcasts crappy weather for the rest of the week.

We got going pretty early, or it seemed early for us this week, at about 8:00 am. I skipped the morning shower and journeyed out to the beach to get some more pictures. The pictures we took today will be so much better than yesterday because we had that beautiful Sun and blue sky.

We (Brenda, Ash and I) hung out at the beach enjoying the Sun and tide coming in until about noon. Then we joined Dan and Bonnie for lunch and then some shopping. Now back at the room energy sucked out of us by the Sun we wait for a chance at another Sunset and maybe this time the video camera will record it. Strange thing, the last trip I had the same problem with the Sunset I recorded, but everything else came out fine.

Of course we have a bunch of new pictures for you to check out in the Flickr page, and as usual the link is on the left side of this page. Enjoy... wish you were here...blah blah blah.


Don Ash and Brenda

At The Beach ... Ahhhhhhhhhh!

Tuesday March 28th,,,,
At the beach at last. We are checked in and have been enjoying the Ocean all day. The weather has been a blast... It was beautiful this morning and then it turned rainy then sunny again and then..... Well you get the idea about what our vacation at the beach has been like so far.

This afternoon has been fantastic, we enjoyed a light rain while at the same time a rainbow covered all of Gold Beach and on the opposite side of town... There was a beautiful sunset. It was the perfect ending to another beautiful day.

Plenty of new pictures on the Flickr page as always and maybe a video sometime tonight or tomorrow.


Don & Brenda (and Ashly too)

On to Gold Beach

Monday March 27th....
We are off, leaving Medford at about 9:30 am and heading towards Gold Beach. We travled through Grants Pass and a few cool little towns along the way and the ride was wonderful. Smooth and well... a bit windy for the girls on the trip. We stopped in the redwoods to walk a bit and to check out all the beauty that those big trees hold. We walked into the redwoods along a well built trail with benches and bridges that took you into the forest about 1/2 mile. The amazing thing about the walk was... we only walked a bit into the woods when all you could hear were birds and bugs and the sounds of the trees. It was really cool and offered us some beautiful scenery as well as welcome walk away from the car for a few minutes.

After leaving the redwoods it was on to Gold Beach and our first sight of the ocean after about a year. It was just as we remembered it and just beautiful.

After checking in to our lodge, Brenda made a fire in the fireplace and then we journeyed down to the beach. It was amazing! There was a crab boat picking up it's pods/pots don't know what exactly they are. The Coast Guard was flying around and the sound was awsome as usual.

Now we are getting ready to cook some hot dogs over the fire and then roast some marshmallows to top off a great day. I may walk down to watch a storm com in tonight, not sure yet.

There are plenty of pictures of the trip up on our Flickr page. The link is on the left side of the page as usual. Tomorrow there will be the first of the Ocean pictures.

Yes Mom, I am wearing the hat!


Don & Brenda

Day Two ... Transition

It's Sunday March 26th and we are visiting Bonnie, Ashley and Danny in Medford. Today was a bit of a transition day as we are really getting excited about seeing the ocean and Gold Beach again. Brenda, Asley and I went shopping (surprise!) and then we settled in as Brenda helped her Mom get ready for the trip, and tried to help her get her Medicare in order. I could not figure it out and it took Brenda quite a while, good thing I don't have to worry about that mess yet.

More pictures in the Flickr folder for you to check out.

Tomorrow we make our last jump to Gold Beach.

Don & Brenda

On The Road Again, 'Spring Break 2006'

We are off on a new adventure. One that will take us far from work and the Winter that has been getting on our nerves for the past couple of months. We have been planning and looking forward to this for quite a while and to say this is just what the doctor ordered would be an understatement.

Our adventure began on Saturday March 25th with our travel to Medford, Oregon and a few last minute visits to stores for those little things we forgot to get in Reno.

March 25th "The Adventure Begins"
We left Reno about 10:00 am and buckled in for our adventure. The weather had been just what we expected, snow and wind, as old man Winter gave us one more reminder of the past couple of months at home. I waved one last time to the snow (with one finger extended) and we are off.
Travel got a bit slippery as we traveled past Susanville and into the mountains just south of I-5 and the Shasta area. About 2 inches of snow covered the roads but the Pilot did not loose any traction at all.
As we exited the mountains and began the trip on I-5 the weather cleared and we were in sunny skies and warm sun on into Medford.

We have pictures of our trvaels as we go, on our Flickr page. Just click the Flickr box to the left and you can travel along with us.

Resting comfortably in Medford...

Don & Brenda

New Apple Store in Reno

We are just back from our first visit to the new Apple Store in Reno. It was just as expected... beautiful store and amazing machines. We did not buy anything this visit, but there will be plenty of time for that in the weeks and months to come.

We checked out all the new iMac's and oggled all the different ways to play music with you iPod. There was also every imaginable accessory and software for the Mac all of it you could play with to your hearts content.

This was also our first visit to the new Sierra Summit shopping center. The best part of the mall so far is the Apple Store. The other stores we visited included one that sells over priced candles, one that sells really over priced t-shirts and a few more that sell just plain over priced everything. I can see where some people will just love buying all those over priced things without driving to San Francisco or Sacramento. And, I can see where some folks with way too much money will go crazy buying all those fancy labels they can brag about to thier friends. But for me, the Apple Store will probably be my only stop until the Nestle Toll House cafe' opens in a couple of months.

Okay, who wants to go back to the Apple Store with me tomorrow? Until then, check out our pictures from the visit on our Flickr page. The link is on the left side of this page.



Heiden Family Reunion 'The Video'

The Heiden Family Reunion is now a happy memory. We have posed a video that might help you relive some of the good times you had during the annual trek. Thanks for sharing the day with us. We are already looking forward to next year in Cambria.

Something New!

I just found this really cool map that keeps track of where all of our friends and family are located. Go ahead and add your information so that your city/state will be represented. Just jump off here to check it out.

Check out our Frapper!

We're Back!

We are just back from the 'Heiden Family' reunion, the 2005 edition. It was held in Paradise California this year, the place I spent the first 10 years in the World. It was great visiting with relatives we had not seen in many years and seeing all the new additions to the clan. I took lot's of pictures and have posted them on the Walgreen's web page (because the price is right....'FREE.') You will have to log in to view them but go ahead they won't sell your info to pirates or taxi drivers. A video is in the making, and we will post the link as soon as we are finished with it.

That just about does it for today.... See you soon!


Saturday, March 25, 2006

On The Road Again, 'Spring Break 2006'

We are off on a new adventure. One that will take us far from work and the Winter that has been getting on our nerves for the past couple of months. We have been planning and looking forward to this for quite a while and to say this is just what the doctor ordered would be an understatement.

Our adventure began on Saturday March 25th with our travel to Medford, Oregon and a few last minute visits to stores for those little things we forgot to get in Reno.

March 25th "The Adventure Begins"
We left Reno about 10:00 am and buckled in for our adventure. The weather had been just what we expected, snow and wind, as old man Winter gave us one more reminder of the past couple of months at home. I waved one last time to the snow (with one finger extended) and we are off.
Travel got a bit slippery as we traveled past Susanville and into the mountains just south of I-5 and the Shasta area. About 2 inches of snow covered the roads but the Pilot did not loose any traction at all.
As we exited the mountains and began the trip on I-5 the weather cleared and we were in sunny skies and warm sun on into Medford.

We have pictures of our trvaels as we go, on our Flickr page. Just click the Flickr box to the left and you can travel along with us.

Resting comfortably in Medford...

Don & Brenda