Saturday, November 05, 2011

Where Did My Spring and Summer Go?

How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.  ~John Burroughs

Hi Friends,

Where o' where did my Spring and Summer go?

I know it seems like everyone says the same thing as they get older, but man has this year gone by fast. It seems like we were just enjoying a wonderful Spring weekend in Ashland, marveling at the flowers budding after last Winter. Now the Sunny season has slammed it's door and we have entered the icebox of Fall and Winter.

I managed to get my work done early a week ago, so I thought it would be cool to have lunch with Brenda. I got to the park early so I took a walk and grabbed some Fall goodness to share with you. I wanted it for myself as well. I will look back after I have been frozen to the bone in a couple months to remind me of the light that is at the end of Winters tunnel.

Fall along the Truckee River in Reno is always a treat. The big Cottonwoods are full of golden leaves and the Truckee still runs strong along its path.  This day the air was still warm and the Sun was shining bright bringing everything to life, and adding a bit of sparkle.

What a wonderful fun filled year so far. I am looking forward to what the Winter will bring and to planning the fun for next Spring. Here is to what has been and to making the most of what is to come. Make the most of every day you have and don't fret the things that have passed.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Finally Made It. Galena Falls on Mt Rose

“Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a Divine mystery, or a waterfall.” ~Fulton J. Sheen

Hi Friends,

For years I have been trying (or at least thinking about) getting up on Mt Rose to see the Galena waterfall. Usually by the time I get up on the trail, it is long gone or a sliver at the most. This year with all the snow late in the season, I knew it was going to be amazing. So I kept reminding myself to get up on Mt Rose as soon as the snow had melted enough for the trail to be open. At one point I forgot about it , then remembered and thought I had probably missed the chance to see the falls at their peak.

On July 28th I again was reminded that i beauty was just a few miles away and luckily had an extra day off. I bounded out the door and in about 40 minutes was sitting at the Mt Rose summit parking area. Wow, there were alot of cars here today, I must not have been the only one with the idea of catching a waterfall that comes and then is gone so quickly.

On the trail the wildflowers were beautiful this year and the trail looked to be in good condition. Lot's of little critters running around, even one little chipmunk that stopped long enough for me to change lenses on my camera and get his picture. I was happy to hear the woodpeckers again. They are loud on this trail and seem to fly around you for quite a while.  They probably have nests here they are protecting, but I don't know for sure. I just know they always greet me and they make me smile.

Found something new on the trail this day ... snow! Yup still some pretty good amounts of snow covering the trail even in July. A reminder of the heavy snowfall this past Winter (and Spring). I managed to cross the snowy areas without falling, injuring myself or looking too much like a idiot so that was good.

Then I could finally hear Galena Falls. It was pretty loud as I rounded a bend in the trail. I have to admit, it was pretty exciting for me. I finally had made it to Galena Falls before it disappeared. Quite a few people were enjoying the meadow below the falls and snapping pictures while they chatted with friends. I tend to enjoy these things by myself. Don't know why, just have always been a solitary hiker using my hikes to clear my head and cleanse my Spirit. I always try to bring back a picture or video to share that captures what I found. I know they don't even come close, but at least there is something to share.

Now refreshed I start looking for my next adventure.  This one was pretty coolio so it will have to be something really different. But I have some ideas ... just might take a while to get to them.

If you find yourself needing to refresh you Spirit or need a break from the everyday life junk, this short hike has a great pot of gold waiting for you. But you have to time it just right.

Follow Your Bliss,


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Our 3rd Annual Medford Fireworks Spectacular

Everything is created from moment to moment, always new. Like fireworks, this universe is a celebration and you are the spectator contemplating the eternal Fourth of July of your absolute splendor.

~Francis Lucille 

Hi Friends,

Wow, I almost forgot to tell you about our trip to Medford for our annual fireworks fun and games.

Every year we celebrate the 4th with a trip to Medford, OR so we can visit with family and play with fireworks. In Reno if you even say the word "fireworks" you get a visit from the long arm of the law. Bushes seem to burst into flames at the slightest hint of fireworks of any kind.

So we packed up Christine and headed North. A pleasant ride made the trip fun with a bit of traffic but not to bad.  We arrived in Medford and were greeted by the big tents that sell our sparkly friends. I was told as we passed that I was not to enter the tent without supervision. Brenda knows that I am pretty much out of control in fireworks tents.

On Monday morning Brenda and I wondered down to the local fireworks tent to spend a little (or maybe a lot) on fireworks.  The staff was really helpful in helping us get the most for our money. We picked up some of our usual fireworks ... The Lava Light and the Clown Face are always part of our front yard show. This year we picked out some new and longer running fireworks to bring some freshness to our celebration.

The only thing we were missing this year were Ashley as she has moved across the country and Danny, who was in L.A. We had a BBQ and then waited for the fun to begin.

Here is a video of our 3rd Annual Fireworks Spectacular  ....

Ooh ... Ahh ...

But we always enjoy the neighborhood celebration around Bonnie and Danny's house. It runs from dusk to about 11:30 pm and puts our show to shame. But we wonder the streets and enjoy all the neighbors celebrations and fireworks. Many are far more spectacular than anything we can buy ... legally!

Here is the neighborhood celebration.

So we had a wonderful time this year and hope to be able to share the 4th Annual Fireworks Spectacular with you right here next year.

Have a Blissful Day!!

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Don and Brenda

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Refreshing at Lithia Park

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.  ~Anatole France

Hi Friends,

When you get to go back to one of your favorite places is it like going back to see an old friend?

During our Annual 4th of July Extravaganza, I managed to wander away and spend a couple hours walking and taking photo's again in Lithia Park.  Ashland was busy and people seemed to be everywhere but as you got further into the park it got quieter and the visitors were fewer.

I was just walking, discovering new spots that took my breath away and it was wonderful. I shot some video and took some pictures to share with you.

I hope you find a place that takes your breath away and brings you peace.

Picasa SlideshowPicasa Web AlbumsFullscreen

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Friday, July 08, 2011

Beauty All Around Me

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities. ~Theodore Geisel

Hi Friends,

Don't you think that vacations are amazing things? They have the ability to open up your mind and help you find creativity that is locked inside you. Work and the daily grind tend to bottle up my creative juices and that sucks. So when I am on vacation I try to do random little adventures, most without planning or much advance warning. It usually comes to to the surface as a *"blurtation" like ... I am off to see waterfalls or covered bridges.

On our current vacation in Medford I woke up wanting to see covered bridges. I had seen something on one of the travel websites about the large number of covered bridges in Oregon, so I just announced .. "I am going to see some covered bridges." I then jotted down a few very crude directions and wandered out the door.

I managed to accidentally, on purpose actually find the three bridges I was looking for. My notes included a strange drawing and some directions that looked like caveman scratch. But I did find the bridges and it was really pretty easy, even if I did wonder at one point just how lost I was.

It was after I stumbled across the first bridge in Eagle Point, Oregon that I was reminded that all around me every day is beauty. It is so much fun and gives me like a runners high to ponder things as I photograph them. I like to slow down my thinking and look at whatever I am going to photograph. Then I slow it down even further and look deeper, past the surface at the spirit of the object. Something comes out and attracts your attention, then draws you in further to help you get a better photo. I also like to take along my Flip video camera to capture the movement of the things around the object.

Yesterday I captured a moment in the lives of three covered bridges in Southern Oregon.

The Antelope Creek Bridge in Eagle Point, Oregon.

The Lost Creek Bridge

The Grave Creek Bridge.

I hope you have time for an adventure of your own soon. One that will help you open closed doors and see the beauty all around you everyday.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


*Blurtation... An occurance in which a person has a complete 'brain fart' and does not make sense in speaking. A person's brain is in high overdrive and suffers a temporary 'blonde' moment. Sometimes this burtation is heavy.
"Well a very very heavay - uh - heaveh burtation tonight. We had a very darist-darison, by, lets go hit teret taysan those to the bet who had the pet."

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Benefits of a Great Wet Winter

Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go. ~Blaise Pascal

Hi Friends,

This year are experiencing the wonderful benefits of a long and wet Winter. Everywhere we go in Nevada this Spring and Summer, the water is running high and with spirit. On Friday as June was coming to an end and July was getting started, I stopped along highway 88 on my way to Lake Tahoe to see just how beautiful water was in one of my favorite spots.

Here just off the busy road, the West Fork of the Carson River is running high on the banks. The sound of the water can be heard from the road. I love this pot and often use it as a meditative rest from a busy day of driving. The sound of water on rocks can take your mind off the jumble of daily non sense.

I put together this video for you. Just the sound of the water to help take you away for a couple minutes.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Fay Luther Trail Ride

Hi Friends,

On Sunday Brenda and I took the horses out to explore the Fay Luther Trail System near Gardnerville.

It has been one of our goals this year to be able to see new trails and share new adventures on horseback. So we got a used horse trailer the first part of the year. Then a few weeks ago we started practicing loading up our three horses. We made a short drive down to the South end of the lake to get Dually and Pete used to trailering again. It also allowed us to try some new trails in the hills at that end of Washoe Lake.

This Sunday we decided it was time to go a bit further. We decided that we would head South to the Fay Luther Trails in the hills near Gardnerville. We pre loaded the trailer with all our stuff plus a picnic lunch and drinks for the trip. It was our first all day drive and ride so far.

The Fay Luther Trailhead was very accommodating, dirt with gravel parking lot. Plenty of space for trucks with horse trailers and cars to park, even with the special event being held there this weekend. It looks like there are usually no facilities available at the trailhead. This weekend they did have a port a potty, but we assume it was brought in by the special event group. We used it anyway. We brought our own water as we read that none was available. There were some running streams so if we had needed, the horses could have got refreshment from them.

After we saddled up we headed for the hills. We really didn't know what to expect from Pete and Dually on the first trip from Washoe, but were pleasantly surprised by both of them. Pete stepped right out and took the lead on the way from the parking area. It looked like he was on a mission setting a great pace and enjoying the ride. Dually was right behind but a bit more apprehensive. The slope or climb is not too agressive so it is not too challenging for me. Brenda is an ace on hills and has little or no fear, but I am a bit more of wimp, so it turned out great for both of us.

The trail system took us up into the pines and brush. The sound of running streams greeted us around many turns, the smell of the fresh air with pine was amazing. We did need to cross a few small streams if we felt up to the challenge and did try one small crossing. Brenda got Dually over it but Pete was a bit more unsure, so I got off and walked him across. We both learned something we can use next time we need to cross a creek or other challenge. And neither of us beat our horse like the lady crossing in front of us.

There were some rock crossings to tackle as well. Nothing too big for most folks I am sure. But for me it offered something new. Pete impressed me by stopping and looking at his options before crossing and then picking his path across. Dually was great too making his way over the rocks with relative ease.

Back at the trailer we packed up and chatted about how much fun we had. The horse did great and we so enjoyed the ride together and recorded a new adventure for our memories. We really think you will enjoy the Fay Luther Trail System if you are thinking about trying it. Bring water and something to snack on and have fun.

Happy Trails...

Don and Brenda
Pete and Dually

Monday, May 30, 2011

Carmel Mission Adventure

We found on our journey, as well as in the place where we stopped, that they treated us with as much confidence and good-will as if they had known us all their lives.
Junipero Serra

Hi Friends & Family,

During our anniversary trip to Carmel we checked out the Carmel Mission. It was really beautiful, relaxing and educational. Just a short drive from our base camp at Carmel Country Inn, we found a nice quiet place to park so the dogs could sleep while we took the tour. Actually it is a self guided tour that allows you to enjoy/explore at your own pace. After entering through the little gift shop you pay and get your map of the grounds. The first part of the tour drops you into the garden area. From there we got a great feeling of the history and spirit that has made this Mission so special. Beautiful roses and statues surround the entrance to the Basilica. What a wonderful building. It looks like a post card from the courtyard. It makes it easy to imagine the same spot in the late 1770's with Blessed Junipero Serra making his way to the Basilica.

The Basilica Church is as beautiful inside as it is outside. The catenary ceiling, thirty foot reredos and 5 foot thick walls reminded me of times past, when buildings had charm and character. There were details in the details if that makes sense. In all there were 5 museums on the grounds, each one a story to tell about God, the Church and what it mean't to the people of 1771. It also showed me that history still matters to people today because so much care is taken to preserve the Mission.

For about 2 hours we wondered around the self guided tour checking out the Basilica and the museum areas of the carmel Mission. It was really cool seeing all the tools that were used to build (and rebuild) the mission. We were surprised to see that there is a active school on the grounds. It sort of made it living history with the sounds of children playing.

As we were leaving, just as we were getting in Christine (our truck) to leave, the bells chimed. It was a perfect end to our time at The Carmel Mission. We captured our tour and the bells in a video we share with you here.

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda
Rusty & Peppy Too!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Carmel Country Inn Review

Hi Friends and Family,

Still getting together all the videos and photo's from our Anniversary trip to Carmel. Wow, we took a bunch of photo's and just as much video.

In this post we thought we would share with you a wonderful place to stay in Carmel, just in case you are thinking about spending a few days there.

The Carmel Country Inn was a great oasis for us during our anniversary adventure in May. Brenda had made the reservations for us well in advance with our primary concern being someplace that would take our puppies and us together. It was a bonus for us when we found this beautiful Bed and Breakfast that charmed us with it's beauty and loves animals as much as we do. It is right in the middle of everything too. Just a short walk and you are in the heart of Carmel and all the neat little shops and restaurants. The ocean is just a few blocks away. You will be there in just a few minutes walking or a couple minutes if you need to drive.

We were in room #2 on the ground floor right next to the office. The steps leading to the room were lined with flowers and garden art that give this place it personality. It seemed like everything was in bloom. as we approached the room we thought for sure we had made a mistake, as the front door appeared to be opened. After checking with the office we learned they had opened the top half of the Mr Ed door to let the fresh air into the room in expectation of our arrival. Now that was charming, we loved the Mr Ed door!

The room we had was roomy with a gas fired fireplace and love seat as you enter. A King size bed promises a good nights sleep with beautiful linens to make it even more comfy. We love the fact that they ask for quiet time from about 9:00 pm till morning.

My favorite was the huge (really huge) bath tub with jets in all the right places. I did say huge didn't I? This was so big, when I got into it I could not reach the end with my feet. It was deep too. The bathroom was decorated in stone that set a very relaxing mood, and it had plenty of nice, fluffy towels and a vanity. The only thing missing was a nice candle or two to make it complete.

We love our dogs and travel everywhere with them. It was so nice to find that our new friends at the Carmel Country Inn loved dogs too. Actually they love all animals as evidenced by the resident cats that live at the inn. We were allowed to roam all over the inn's grounds and not even once got the evil eye that we sometimes get when we travel.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Carmel Country Inn and thank the entire staff for making us feel so comfortable. If you are planning a trip to Carmel,CA please give them a call and see if room number 2 is available. Bring your dogs along, after all they are part of your family. They will enjoy the Carmel Country Inn too.

As always, we took a short video of our stay at the Carmel Country Inn. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda
Rusty & Peppy Too!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anniversary Celebration and Adventures

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

Hi Friends and Family,

What a wonderful few weeks we have had. On the weekend of the 15th of May we celebrated our 29th Anniversary. To use a tired old phrase, "boy does time fly." It really is hard to believe that 29 years has already passed in our marriage.

We marked the occasion this year with a trip to Carmel, CA. It was our first experience with this wonderful little town and we totally loved it. Can't believe we have missed this oasis for so many years. Well actually I can because we have a habit of visiting a place over and over if we find one we like. Lately we have been thinking this through a bit more and have decided we would like to try new places to expand our adventures and experiences.

So it was off to Carmel and the adventure of someplace new. We drove from Reno to Sacramento and then down I5 a few miles then across CA152 into Carmel. The drive was great, no real problems with the navigation and it sure was beautiful. Miles and miles of farm land, green as far as you could see and good conversation. We did get a little lost in Carmel but that was corrected in short order and we soon found the Carmel Country Inn, our resting place for the weekend. The Carmel Country Inn was such a wonderful experience that I will have a whole article just about them so I can do them justice.

Carmel has small town charm and something we had not experienced in any other town ... total acceptance of people and their pets. Really they were welcome everywhere we went. The grocery store, the shops downtown, even the restaurants. It is so refreshing to visit a place that Loves animals as much as we Love ours.

We wandered on down to Carmel Beach and sat in the white sand soaking up the good vibes and sea air. The beach was another place we found animals of every kind wandering, running and playing with their owners. It was really a blast!

Along with the embracing pets, Carmel also does not have any parking meters, no loud music, no huge neon signs or billboards and no street numbers on the buildings. They don't blow up buildings when they get old and build ugly new ones and everyone seems really genuinely nice.

We came back totally relaxed and refreshed and excited about returning again someday to see more of the sights and experience more of the vibe of Carmel.

Here is to you finding a place to relax and refresh.

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Don & Brenda

Rusty & Peppy Too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Remnants of the Old V&T Railroad in Washoe Valley

We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it.
John F. Kennedy

Hi Friends,

I took a short hike after work today to capture some video of the remains of the old V&T railroad as it ran between Washoe Valley and Pleasant Valley. The V&T last ran from Carson City to Reno through the valley in 1950 and the rails and such have been collected and probably sold for scrap. What remains are a couple of trestles on the North end of Washoe Valley that someday will rot into nothing.

Just a short walk/hike off the freeway you will find the first trestle now covered by some fallen trees and such. It has wonderful rock work around it that looks like sandstone and maybe slate. Each piece cut and fitted by craftsmen from the past. The construction of the trestle shows bolts and timbers with marks made by hammers many years ago.

I sat in the sun and imagined the big engines and rail cars of the V&T rumbling through the narrow canyon, thinking about what that sound would have been as the canyon narrowed and the train puffed its way into Pleasant Valley. It must have been pretty loud.

The second of the trestles is just a few steps toward the North East. Easy to spot if you just follow the canyon. Watch for snakes, as this looks like prime ground for such varmits. There was also some sign that deer visited this area. Once I saw a bear in the valley below this one, so they probably roam around here as well.

I spent a few minutes wandering around and got the refreshing that I was looking for. Checked out a small piece of Nevada history and got some exercise. I also shot some video to share with you.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Monday, April 25, 2011

Thoughts About My First Colonoscopy

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~Chili Davis

Hi Friends,

Yay, I am 50 this year and am getting all the new things that age brings with it. First to come were all the comments from Brenda about being an old man.

Next to arrive was the appointment to get my first colonoscopy. I know, that word seems to bring fear into all who hear it.

The truth is that a colonoscopy is not too bad at all. Outside of the liquid diet that seems to last forever it is a breeze. The prep you have to do the day/afternoon before the actual procedure is trying but do-able. The day before the procedure you are to go on a liquid only diet to clear you out. It drove me crazy at times, but I did loose a few pounds. The night before the colonoscopy you start taking this crazy drink that tastes like way over sweetened bad lemon aid. Mine was called Movi Prep and it's primary purpose is to blow out everything hiding in your bum. It does it really well ...
The first couple hours you make frequent trips to the restroom, but after that it is just a pit stop to releve that feeling. Really it was not as bad as expected and I still got a full nights sleep.

The day of the procedure it was one more dose of the Movi Prep and then nothing more to drink until my appointment. Because there was nothing left on the inside, there was nothing more that really needed to come out.

At the Endoscopy center you just check in and they prep you for the event. An i.v. in the wrist and the usual monitors and then off to sleep you go. When you wake up, it is all done. And once you get your balance you can leave. Now I have to add that waking up and getting back the ability to stand up was the toughest for me. It probably took 30 to 45 minutes to regain my senses. I have to add here that I was out of it. Brenda I am sure will have some great stories about me waking up and trying to get on my feet. I am not sure but I think as I was going under I could hear her asking to see if they could find my head up there.

Anyway, I got to my feet with Brenda's help and took a long nap at home. Glad I did it as they found nothing at all (not even my head). So I am happy to know that there is nothing to worry about in there and won't have to visit for many years to come. I also found laughing about the colonoscopy helps. I spent some time at You Tube and found some great videos to make the evening before more fun. One I have shared with you below.

It also helps to have a great wife (Brenda) to make your journey easier.

Go get your Colonoscopy. It is a breeze and will do wonders for you mind, knowing you don't have to worry about colon cancer.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rest, Just What the Doctor Ordered

The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. ~Elbert Hubbard

Hi Friends,

Okay the Doctor did not order me to rest. I was just driving down the road and had been driving for a quite a few hours when I saw this beautiful spot along the Truckee River. It called me to stop and take a few deep breaths and relax a bit .. so I did.

It was a perfect day and the river was still lined with snow so it was wonderful to look at and imagine just how cold the water might be. Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful .... ahhh, bliss.

Have a wonderful day.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Monday, April 18, 2011

Relaxing Back at Home

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear

Hi Friends,

I had to attend a meeting in the bay area this last weekend. It does not take long when you travel to a place with such a fast pace and hurry up attitude that there is no place like home in Washoe Valley. I found some relaxing sights and sounds along Deadman's Creek Trail and it took all the buzz and static out of my head.

Deadman's Creek Trail is a nice short hike on the East side of Washoe Lake State Park. It is only about a mile in length and has a pretty good climb to it. The sounds of birds and running water will really bring peace to your soul.

There is no fee to park or use the trail. If you are lucky, like I was today, when you get to the top you might find areas where the water is just bubbling up out of the ground. What a beautiful sight.

I hope you have a place to go that releases all the stress in your body and mind.

Took the Flip camera along and captured some of the sights and sounds, maybe it will relax you a bit.

Peace, Love and Bliss


View Larger Map

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Has Sprung...

To find the universal elements enough;
to find the air and the water exhilarating;
to be refreshed by a morning walk
or an evening saunter;
to be thrilled by the stars at night;
to be elated over a bird's nest
or a wildflower in spring
- these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
~ John Burroughs, Naturalist (1837-1921) ~

Hi Friends,

Took a short break on my route Friday to check out the Spring run off starting in the Sierras. I love this spot along hwy 88 near Woodfords in CA. It is just off the road and has a nice big turn out so you can park and walk just a few steps to enjoy the beauty. In the Spring the water really gets rolling down this part of the creek and the waterfall that it creates is loud and powerful.

How many of you enjoy stopping along the road and enjoying what is just over the ridge or just a few steps away. It makes life surprising and wonderful and lessens the grind of the same old thing.

I took a short video to share and am adding a map to help you get started finding your own escape.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


View Larger Map

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Wanted to Share This Video

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hi Friends,

The weather has been really interesting this month. Sunshine and warm weather then cold windy days and some snow mixed in. Then on Thursday I drove through this neat hail storm on my way to Sacramento. It was on the hill at Alta in California and it really came down for a mile or so. Then just when I was thinking I should pull over and wait it out, it ended and the sun came out again.

It was short but fun and the video I made is sort of cool. So enjoy and have a great day.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Time of Refreshing. Spring Time in Ashland

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Hi Friends,

It is Spring time and it always seems like that is one of my key times of the year for refreshing my Spirit. Winter has almost let go and Spring is showing up just about everywhere ou look. It also means the end to another year of snow and with it chaining to get over Donner Pass. It seems like it will never end and then suddenly ... there you are facing Spring and sunshine full in the face and life is good again.

So we are refreshing our Spirits this week in Oregon. Today I wandered the streets of Ashland and soaked up some of the beauty and Spirit of this place. It was great! I wanted you all to be there with me, so I made a Flip video to share.

Peace, Love and Bliss...

Don & Brenda and the Critters.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Winter is Trying to Hold on a Bit Longer in Washoe Valley

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

Hi Friends,

With Spring about to take hold of our weather, we found Winter trying to hold on for just a bit longer this morning. Yesterdays wind and blue skies have changed to cold wind, grey skies and snow today. It has taken the horses by surprise and has left a pretty white covering on the plants and lawn ornaments. In addition, we were forced to postpone a trip to Medford to get away from work and all this weekend.

It sure is pretty and as we have discovered, it is not so bad to get snow in March because we know that next week or the week after it will be almost 70 degrees again.

And so we will venture out and enjoy all that this day has to offer us. Enjoy this little video we made, it makes for some fun looking back and saying, "wow, remember when it was cold and snowy?"

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Don & Brenda and The Critters

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Have You Seen Our Mailman?

Hi Friends,

Sure it snowed here at Casa Tucker and has been on and off since about the 18th. But it has been about a week since last we saw any new mail. It probably is not much, a couple of bills, maybe a magazine and then those wonderful paper things that we toss right into the trash. Still we do always have that outside chance that a check for a million dollars or free tires or a free soda coupon.

Today I took a walk out to the mailbox just to check and see if the mailman had stopped by. Nope, still nothing... our mailbox is still empty and cold... and lonely.

Have you seen the mailman in Washoe Valley? Actually, I did see the mailman yesterday. She drove down the road just passing our mailbox and then she stopped. Was she going to back up and fill our mailbox? Nope she paused looked around and then continued down the road. Oh well, maybe tomorrow I will mail myself a letter or card and see if she picks it up.

Stay tuned for more. But until we find out about tomorrow, enjoy this video I made today.

Peace, Love and Lost mail,


Friday, February 25, 2011

Trucking Over Donner Pass Again ... Big Snow Storm

Snowflakes are kisses sent from heaven.

Hi Friends,

We are in the middle of one of those late Winter almost Spring snow storms that seem to come around this time of year. It is leaving it's white fluffy goodness all over the place, and causing the usual backups and craziness.

Work caused me to make a slippery, slushy trip over Donner Pass on Thursday as well as in the Reno area on Friday. It was full of surprises and fun so I took the Flip video camera out to document the adventure.

I actually was stuck on Donner Pass on Thursday just before the summit. I had moved over to the hammer lane to pass a stuck truck and car and oops where did my traction go. I called for the Cal Trans pusher truck but got no answer. So I did my best working the truck back and forth looking for just a bit of traction, and there it was. Just a bit of traction but just enough to get me moving again. I was out of the fast lane and thankfully was not holding up traffic any longer.

It was a 7.5 hour trip from Reno to West Sacramento and just as long back to Reno. Got home late and warmed up just enough to get me through Friday.

So glad the week is over and I am sure looking forward to a view of the snow from inside the house where it is warm and dry. Hope you are warm and dry too.

Peace, Love and Bliss...


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Winter Wonderland?

Hi Friends,

We woke to more snow this morning. Brenda is really getting tired of it, but it does make things look pretty. Brenda is still reminding me that she hates the snow, but is either getting used to it or is starting to give up on my ability (or interest in) changing it. She would Love to live in a tropical place with year round warm sun and light breezes so she can ride horses every day.

The chihuahuas don't much like the snow either. They are so much shorter than the snow drifts that they just might get lost in the little trails Brenda builds for them.

I am sure we both dreamed of riding the horses last night and thought this snow might be a dream. We were disappointed when we woke up to find it still in the driveway, with mote added overnight.

Oh well we are off to the bookstore and some shopping and then we will see what develops.

Took another video this morning to share.

Peace, Love and Bliss,

Don and Brenda
and the critters!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Todays Snow Storm Follow Up

Hi Friends,

Just wanted to pop in and share this short video of the snow in Washoe Valley last night and today. Spent the morning plowing the driveway and then resting my sore back. Oh well it was sure pretty.

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don & Brenda

Snow Falling in the Valley

Hi Friends,

We have enjoyed a really warm and dry New Year so far. Or at least up until last night.

Old man Winter has added about a foot of snow in our driveway and the horse pastures. The horses are not grumbling yet, but I am. And Brenda has reminded me the last couple of days, how much she hates snow.

Well, back to shoveling the driveway. Thought I would share this picture I took before the shoveling started this morning.

Stay warm...

Peace, Love and Bliss

Don and Brenda
and the critters too!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Some Thoughts on Turning 50

Hi Friends,

50 years: here's a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love. Because if you find yourself 50 years old and you aren't doing what you love, then what's the point? ~ Jim Carrey

I just turned 50. Yup, that is pretty much what I thought of it too. But I did want to write down a few thoughts, mostly for me to look back on, but also to share these thoughts with you.

I started to get the AARP mailings when I was 49. They actually will sign you up when you are 49 1/2, so I did that early to get it out of the way. Mostly for the discounts, but every time I have showed my card I get a look like, "you are not a senior." No I am not a senior, but I get some of the nifty discounts.

So on December 29th I turned 50. I really don't feel 50 unless I need to get out of some work I don't wish to do at the moment. But I am now 50 nonetheless. I still feel about 20, younger at times and am accused by Brenda that I act no older than 14 and at times 5 years old. I feel like I have followed many of the dreams I that have appealed to me over the years. Talk about dreams, I have crewed for a balloon team, crewed for an air race team, been in a great band and am married to the most wonderful girl in the World. The other dreams have been passing fancies, but the girl is still here even after almost 29 years. I am looking forward to all the dreams yet to come. Those that I will have the benefit of years to appreciate more.

I enjoy friends more and their company if it uplifting.

I am finding it hard to remember many little thoughts and some big thoughts, and that drives me crazy at times. But that is fine, they migh not have been that important. And because I can't remember them, I won't miss them.

It seems like 50 is not really that big a deal, when you look at people living to be 80 or 90 years old. Betty White is going to be 89 and is still beautiful and full of life. I can see living to be 90 years old and living a wonderful life with Brenda at that age. Our neighbor was riding horses and living a pretty full life well into her 80's.

Brenda really spoiled me (and ribbed me quite a bit) on my birthday. Had a wonderful cake with fireworks candles that sparkled and popped. Brenda treated me to pizza (my favorite) as well as a Nook e-book reader and some cool stuff for Pete. She also got me a great book by Dr Seuss called "You're Only Old Once, A Book For Obsolete Children." It was a great day! Make no mistake, Brenda also got some good jabs in about me being an old man. I am sure she held back a bit because she will be turning 50 at some point in her journey and paybacks are a bitch.

I am still learning new things and enjoying life every day. I have the knowledge to skip housework if the opportunity arrises to take Pete out for a long ride instead of cleaning the bathroom. I enjoy the sunrises and sunsets more all the time. This year I am learning how to play the banjo and getting some new tools to help in my understanding of horses ... and people. I know there is probably more, but I probably forgot what it was.

Peace, Love and Bliss