Friday, December 31, 2010

Great Holiday Greetings to You!

Hi Friends,

It sure has been a great couple of weeks and we are having a great holiday season this year. Hope you are too.

We were home in Washoe Valley for Christmas and spent some time with family and friends. Tried to get some thoughtful gifts for all of those that are in our lives, but totally failed by forgetting to pick up any Christmas cards this year. Sorry about that, it was not because we didn't care, it just slipped past us until it was too late. maybe we will think of something for early next year and mail cards for no apparent reason to make it up.

After a nice evening with our neighbors and Christmas at Tucker Dome with Don's folks we are now in Medford visiting with Bonnie and Danny. The ride up was nice, lot's of snow on the road and along the sides most of the trip. In one snowy stretch we were passed by a bunch of cars and one rude truck driver. We caught up with them down the road and watched as a little Toyota pick up spun out and crashed into the snow along the road. All of the drivers from the pack that passed us kept driving. We did and helped this nice man from Washington out of the snow bank. It was really sad to see about 100 cars and trucks pass us by and not offer any assistance. I thought your conscience and basic decency would cause you to stop for another person to help. I kept thinking, what if that man had had some sort of heart problem that caused him to loose control? What might have happened if no one had stopped? Well we are still thinking about him, hoping he has mad it back to Tacoma safe and sound and that maybe he will pay it forward sometime when the opportunity presents itself.

So that catches you up with us. We are parked in Medford. Hoping to get to Ashland to soak up the coolness of that town and finishing off this holiday season. Watch your mailbox if you are on our usual mailing list and we might just drum up some reason to send you all cards to celebrate some strange season or occasion.

We are lucky to have all of you in our lives and hope this coming year is full of fun and many blessings.

Oh yeah, I turned 50 ... but still feel 20. And Brenda says I act 14, so I got that going for me.

Peace Love and Bliss,

Don & Brenda
And All the Critters!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Driving Around Reno, Carson City and Minden in the Snow

Hi Friends,

On Friday December 17th it was snowing and the roads were a little slick, but it was fun to drive around delivering my carpet and such. I thought it might be fun to allow the dash cam to capture a few minutes of my adventures. I didn't get any video of the cars and trucks that forgot the dirty side/shiny side rule, they were all over the place. You would have thought we lived in some place that never saw snow.

It was a long day but it was sort of refreshing. Don't get me wrong, I am already tired of the snow and can't wait until Spring.

Peace, Love and Bliss


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Protect Yourself When Making Room Reservations

Hi Friends,

We do a bit of traveling and most of our experiences have been really exciting and fun. We have had some rooms that were not really the greatest, but for the most part we have been happy in the end. Recently we had an experience with the Creekside Inn in Cambria that we thought we would share and maybe save you some heartache and money.

We had made reservations to stay for a couple nights at the Creekside Inn in Cambria to attend a family reunion. The little inn seemed like a nice place and they let us bring our Chihuahua's. The reservation process was easy enough, had to call them and go through the steps ... address, phone and all that. Credit card to hold the room.

The problem we had with the Creekside Inn in Cambria came when we needed to cancell our reservation because we were not going to be able to make the trip. Reservation had to be cancelled by phone, okay no problem. Then we looked at our account for the card used for the reservation. Bingo a charge for one room night by the Creekside Inn in Cambria. Called the inn and was told that we cancelled within the required (48 hour) limit. Not true so I asked them to remove the charge. Nope they said ... they would not return the money and we were free to dispute the charge, but we wouldn't win.

I called our Bank and they agreed to look into it. They received just a summary of what the Creekside Inn in Cambria had told me on the phone and said they could not reverse the charge. The explanation they gave was that the Creekside Inn in Cambria had provided enough evidence that the charge was justified. They also told us that when you make a reservation and give your card number to hold the room, that constitutes authorization to charge the card. After that you can not stop payment on the charge even if you are charged like we were.

The Creekside Inn in Cambria falsely charged our card based on false information given to our bank and us. We just wanted you to know this before you book any rooms for this Inn. The lady that cancelled our reservations was very rude and they wrongly took money from us. If you are travelling to Cambria, CA, stay someplace else. And when you give your credit card info out for a room reservation, understand that this might happen to you.

Our lesson learned...

We will probably avoid the small Mom and Pop Inns and stay at major brand Hotels and such to avoid the problems we had here. Mom and Pop can be sweet and nice, but can really be greedy in order to make a buck. Avoid the Creekside Inn in Cambria.

Happy Trails,

Don & Brenda

Wild Horses in Washoe Valley

Hi Friends,

We were headed out to get some last minute Christmas gifts yesterday. Right there along East Lake Blvd in Washoe Valley was a small group of Wild Horses. We just had to stop and get this short video while they grazed and watched us watch them. They were beautiful and we both wished we could have got just a bit closer. But had we opened the truck door or made any move towards them they probably would have vanished. It made our day, so we thought we would share it with you. Maybe it will brighten your day as well.

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Don and Brenda

Thursday, December 02, 2010

No Photo Christmas Card This Year

The Thanksgiving Letter

Looking through the Awkward Family Photo's website has pretty much convinced us not to send photo Christmas cards this year. Wow, some of these are really bad. Makes you wonder what folks have thought of our in years past. It is a real art or maybe it is just luck when you get the perfect car photo. In the past we have had Ashley to help us out when we were on an adventure, but now we are on our own... and that can be dangerous.

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda

Monday, July 12, 2010

One of My "Best Places in the World"

Hi Friends,

I see that CNN and Money Magazine have published their best places to live again. And like most other times I have not visited any of them yet. I am sure that these places are amazing and that all the good things written about them are true and the people that live there are amazing.

Again, I noticed some of my favorite places are left off of the list. One of my favorite places to spend time in is Ashland, Oregon. Just off of Interstate 5 about 15 miles North of the California border, this little town has so much personality and charm that it keeps me wanting to spend more and more time there.

Ashland is home to Oregon Shakespeare Festival where you can watch some wonderful plays live in the most beautiful theaters anywhere. We have seen a few with our Niece and had a great time.

One of our favorite places to wander in Ashland is Lithia Park a 93 acre park right in the heart of town. It's natural beauty and unique little zen spots are what make it so special to us.

On our last vacation we got a chance to wander around Lithia Park and Ashland again, making more memories and discovering new corners we had not seen in the past. This time we were lucky enough to listen to an amazing Cello player as he played for anyone that cared to listen. He had great talent, and I found myself wondering about his history. Was he a performer for a famous symphony in his past? Or was he still performing, just taking some time to practice his art before returning to work? We watched as he played 2 songs perfectly, the sound of the Cello filling the park and the minds with music.

Maybe next time there is a listing for best places to live or visit, the writers they will have visited Ashland. But then again, perhaps it is better that they don't, as it might spoil the Spiritual feeling you get when you visit.

Here are a couple of videos we made on our last visit. Hope you enjoy them.

Peace, Love and Bliss...

Don & Brenda (and Ashley too)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Another Medford Style 4th of July

Hi Friends,

We are on vacation and have journeyed to Medford, Oregon to celebrate the 4th of July in style.

At home the powers that be will lock you up for even talking about fireworks including sparklers. In Medford we discovered last year that they have this agreement with the residents called, "Safe and Sane Fireworks." There are these amazing fireworks superstores set up around town that sell approved fireworks, and let me tell you the approved fireworks are great. During the 2009 4th we bought $35.00 worth of the bombs and had a great time. This year we spent ... well let's just say more the $35.00 we spent last year as the credit card bill has not yet made it's way to Brenda. We got Brenda's brother Danny involved this year so the fun meter was even higher.

We bought all our fireworks on Saturday and we all found it hard to actually wait until Sunday night to launch into the fun. By Sunday morning we were all wanting to just test a few to see what we had. But we managed to last until dusk, but just until dusk before we started with the small stuff.

The neighborhood Bonnie, Danny and Ashley live in is very active on the 4th of July. I took a walk around the little community about 3 pm and found the neighbors already putting chairs and coolers outside their garages in preparation for the evening fun. What a neat place to live! Some of the families had blocked off entire blocks and were playing in the streets with their kids and anyone else that came by. So cool.

We had a blast with our fireworks. We managed to get about an hour and half of excitement out of them and then took a stroll around the neighborhood again because the neighbors found a source for those fireworks you weren't supposed to have. The fireworks they had would have Disney proud. They launched about 100 to even 200 feet into the sky and were amazing to watch. Many were single tubes launched from the street, but many were in boxes (cakes) that launched multiple shells in short shows. It was really great and we had so much fun.

By 11:30pm the last of the neighborhood fireworks were launched and we were back trying to calm the dogs down. They must have thought the World was ending they were so upset. We took a couple of videos to capture the evening and share with you. Hope we will be back here next year again on the 4th. Already trying to find a source for one of those boxes (cakes) of fireworks to light off for the evening. So far no luck, but I have a whole year to locate them.

Until next time ....

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Brenda & Don (and Ashley too)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer is Here, Refreshing the Spirit

Hi Friends,

Summer has arrived and with it comes a fresh outlook on life and the World. Gone now are those grumblings I get towards the end of Winter, the result of way too many chain ups to get over Donner Pass and the never ending cold. It is not that I can't see the beauty in a snow storm or find the Spirit lifting things along my path that make me say ahhhh, it is just that it seems like it goes on and on and on.

It is in Spring and the early part of Summer that my Spirit finds a lift around every corner and behind those things you see every day. Have you noticed that the longer you look at something the more you you can see? Or that the longer you listen quietly, bending your ear to listen past the jumble the more small sounds you can hear?

In my travels behind the wheel of a truck going 55 mph or more, it would be easy to get tired of the same route, roads or sights and become bitter about being stuck in the driving rut. Instead I make notes to myself that when I get a chance, and am running ahead of schedule, I will stop and take my break investigating something that I have seen. It doesn't take long and rewards can be a feeling or sight that you may never forget. You might have one of those aha moments that people speak about that change your life.

So Summer is here and I am exploring and listening and taking the time to grab hold of those moments that might change my life ... are you?

I hope so, and wish you a Spirit filling Summer too.

Here are a couple videos that I made this Summer, from spots that are just off the side of the road or around a corner that I passed every day. Listen to the water and the birds and think about someplace you might explore, and then share it.

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Don & Brenda

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enjoyed a Wonderful Spring Day on Horseback

Hi Friends,

If there is any better way to spend a Spring day then on horseback we don't know what it is.

We took out 'Pete' and 'Dually' today for a long ride in the warm sun and calm winds. The only drawback was the bugs along the beach that swarmed us every time we stopped for a second. The horses handled it really well and we just kept the pace up to keep the biting to a minimum. Next ride we have to remember the fly/bug spray so we can enjoy it a bit more.

It looked like there may have been a couple endurance riders getting in shape on the hills to the East of the lake and plenty of trail riders were soaking in the sunshine and fresh air.

I really feel that 'Pete" and I are getting a huge boost from our riding lessons and it is making our rides more fun every time out. I am still looking forward to the harmony that I think will be waiting for us at some point that will make our rides even more amazing.

Brenda is having fun too. Dually is a handful sometimes but it is still fun to take off for a few hours and forget about all the things that hold you down during the week. I think they look amazing together and seem to work so well together.

So we had a great weekend and we hope you did too. Thanks for stopping by and checking in.

Peace, Love and Bliss,,

Don & Brenda

View 4252010 Ride in a larger map

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trucking Over Luther Pass

Hi Friends,

Winter is finally making it's exit and the Spring weather is making it possible to use some mountain passes that were closed when I needed them earlier in the year. One of my favorite drives is the highway 88 and 89 route to South Lake Tahoe over Luther Pass. It winds it's way through some of the prettiest mountain valleys and rocks and there is very little traffic.

The Spring run off will be starting soon and with it the stream that follows the road will fill the banks and make amazing waterfalls will dot the roadsides. I can't wait to rush through my deliveries so I can stop to have a bite to eat and meditate on the beauty while taking in the sounds of rushing water.

Here is a short video I took this last Friday on my first run up and over Luther Pass in 2010.

Peace, Love and Bliss


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weird Places Johannesburg, California

Hi Friends & Family,

When we are on one of our adventures, we sometimes drive by strange things or strange places. Most of the time we just laugh a little and keep driving.

One of those un-usual places we have driven through is Johannesburg and it's neighbor Randsburg on 395 in California, We might have just driven right past without a second thought had it not had moving pavement the first time we drove through. We were on our way to Disneyland a few years ago heading South on 395 when we drove up on this little town in the middle of no where. It seems to just pop right out of the desert, a little shanty looking town, and then vanish just as quickly. We rarely see anyone moving around the town except the occasional stranded driver changing a flat tire.

Once while driving through Johannesburg we were both thinking we had been on the road way too long as it looked to us like the road was moving. Not like a earthquake, but more like the blacktop was moving from our right to our left, like liquid. As we got closer we saw that the movement was thousands of taratula's migrating across Hwy 395. It was spooky beyond beleif, like something out of a horror movie.

Now when we drive through, we make up stories about this little town. We pretend to tell stranded drivers that the taratula's are coming and we seem to think now that Zombies might just live there. Of course these things just happen in our imagination and the folks in Johannesburg and Randsburg are probably great people. But we won't be stopping to find out.

We made this short video last time through....

And just to be fair. Here is a link to find out more about Johannesburg.

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Riding Lesson Today

Hi Friends,

I was finally able to start my riding lessons today. I got a big package of riding lessons for my Birthday but have not been able to get them under way because of the Winter weather and all the messiness that it brings. Pete (my horse buddy) are looking forward to communicating better and thus having more fun on the trail over the next weeks.

Today we started with rein position and communicating correctly with Pete so that I don't confuse him on rides. We also started working on side passing. This is going to take a while as I am aware that Pete walks all over me and I allow him to stop trying too often.

So we are under way, Pete and I on a journey to better communicate and have more fun.

Until next time. Peace, Love and find your bliss...


Our Disneyland Adventure Photo's Are Here!

Hi Friends & Family,

I have finally transferred our vacation pictures to one album so we can share them. Okay this may be self serving and really boring to many, but we are those family members that will invite you over then spend the whole evening showing you slides from all of our vacations.

So enjoy these now and it will be a lot easier for you later ..

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Don & Brenda

Take a Stroll Around Disneyland With Us

Hi Friends & Family,

Finally getting used to not waking up to go spend the day at Disneyland. And getting used to the days not being as warm. Here is another video we made on our trip. It is sort of a 10 minute tour with us around Disneyland. Hope you enjoy it.

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Our Matterhorn Adventure

Hi Friends and Family,

On the first day of our vacation (Monday) at Disneyland we rode the Matterhorn bobsleds and had a really great ride. The crowds were light all week and that mixed with perfect weather made the experience even better.

More video of our Matterhorn ride on Monday ...

Peace, Love and Bliss

Our Disneyland Adventure "Tender Ride"

Hi Friends and Family,

As we get them we are sharing our videos and photo's from our latest adventure. This trip took us to Disneyland and we had an amazing time. One highlight was a ride on the Disneyland Railroad right up front on the tender. I have wanted to ride up there for years and for one reason or another have not been able to get this wish granted. This trip we made a point of checking to see if the tender rides were available and then waiting until the right train came through at the right time. One bonus I did not think about was that 2 can ride on the tender and I thought just one seat was available. This was great as I can now share this memory with Brenda forever.

Brenda asked the best questions on this ride and I pretty much sat there with my mouth open. Oh well I had been looking forward to this for so long, just never thought to get a couple questions ready to ask.

If you get a chance to take the "tender ride" on the Disneyland Railroad, make the extra effort to hop right up there with the engineer and fireman, you will never forget it.

Peace, Love and Bliss..

Don & Brenda

Friday, March 19, 2010

Disneyland Adventure 2010 Recap Begins!!

Hi Friends and Family,

We are just back from our latest adventure to Disneyland and have started to upload some of the hours of video we took. This first video is from our Grizzly River Rapids ride at DCA. It was a really hot day and we really enjoyed the soak we got from the falls and splashing. It was really great getting out of the snow and cold and enjoying the hot Sun for a week. So without further delay ...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Strike a Pose

Hi Friends,

Made a sort Flip Video of a visit to Lens Crafters from Lindseys visit last weekend. Brenda had to stop by the glasses super store to get her specs checked and that left way too much time for Lindsey and I to get in trouble ... er, have fun.

Thanks for sharing your sunshine with us Lindsey, and you are right ... you are awesome!

Find your bliss and be happy,

Don, Brenda and Lindsey

Monday, March 08, 2010

Off to See Alice in Wonderland

Hi Friends,

We were lucky enough to spend a couple days this weekend with Amazing Niece, Lindsey. We had not seen her for quite a while so it was good to have her around the house again. She has such a great smile and shares it with everyone at the house. Her happiness seems contagious and we seem to get a rush of energy when she comes to visit.

On Saturday we went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D and it was great. We got to the theatre early (way too early as we were the only ones in the parking lot at first), and we had a few minutes to waste ... so we made a quick movie.

Be Happy, Find Your Bliss!

Don & Brenda

Sunday, February 28, 2010

And at The End of The Day

Hi Friends,

So the weekend is coming to a close and it was a wild ride weather wise. We have come through snow and rain to some wild hail and thunder storms on Saturday. But now as we transition back to the work week, we had a wonderful sun filled day today (Sunday).

Now I look out the window and see this wonderful show in the sky.

What is life? It is the flash of the firefly in the night. It is the breath of the buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

-- Crowfoot

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Change to The Road Less Traveled

Hi Friends,

This week I was able to change my route to Lake Tahoe so that I could deliver a few rolls of carpet to customers before a storm hit. But really I was excited to be able to travel on a road less traveled so I could see some new highway and take in some new sights while trucking down the road.

On Thursday, I was running an errand for my boss and was trying to stay ahead of a good sized snow/rain storm headed to Lake Tahoe. I had 2 customers that were getting carpet on Friday, so I bumped them to Thursday and headed up highway 50 to Lake Tahoe. I usually drive highway 80 over Donner Pass, but this gave me the ability to take in new vistas and get the job done better.

I left Sacramento and traveled East through Placerville and some amazing little towns like Apple Hill, Pollock Pines, Myers and then along the American River to Echo Pass. Once over the pass you descend down in the Tahoe Valley on the Southern Shore all the while taking in the vistas on this 2 lane mountain road (It starts out as a four lane highway in Sacramento and eventually turns into the 2 lane road).

Driving a truck is so cool and the country I get to see from behind the wheel is amazing. I loved this trip, but was sorry I missed Bridal Veil Falls along the way for a photo op. Sometimes I get in too much of a hurry to get down the road and forget to take five to see something beautiful. But there is always next time!

Here is a short slide show from this road for you.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

It is Still Winter .. But We Are Getting Close to Spring

Hi Friends,

We had about a week of Spring like sunshine and beautiful days, now we are back to the Wintery snowy but still beautiful Nevada weather. Last week we took the horses out for a wonderful long ride at the equestrian park and this week we had big plans to get my riding lessons under way. Oh well we can get that started next week is the sun returns. This morning I took some video to share of the morning storm. At the time of the video, it was about inches deep, but has increased to about 8 inches this afternoon.

Life is indeed good in the valley ......

Until next time, make every day a great day and share a smile.

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda

Saturday, January 30, 2010

We Are in the Middle of a Great Winter!

Hi Friends,

We are smack dab in the middle of an amazing Winter so far. The last couple weeks have made some major inroads towards having plenty of water for all the lakes in the Reno area. Of course we can always use more, and with all the crazy growth that has been allowed the past few years, now we need considerably more water than before.

Winter and all that it brings is amazing and at times a bit challenging too. I made a couple videos of my experiences chaining up and crossing over Donner Pass in a big storm a week or so back. Hope you enjoy the video and come back from time to time to see what new adventure we are in the middle of.

Enjoy the rest of the Winter and share a story or two if you have a chance.

Peace, Love and Bliss!

Don & Brenda

Friday, January 08, 2010

A New Addition to the Blog

Hi Friends,

I got this cool Flip Video camera for my Birthday and have started to use it to document coolio things that happen in my travels. So the first trip out of the bag was a work day at North Lake Tahoe on Tuesday the 5th of January. It was a really pretty day and I just had to try out the new toy. So here it is....

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda