Wednesday, August 16, 2017

crankbaits & real estate...

Friday evening my BIL & SIL took me on a boat ride up river.  Beautiful evening, water cold, air perfect, salmon jumping.  We saw several flocks of turkeys, a few mergansers, one bald eagle, a couple deer herds, and very few people or boats.  I love the river up here, it's clear, wild and free.  50 ft holes and shallow riffles abound. 

My brother in law fished as we drifted the eight miles back down river.  My sister in law and I were more than content to just be on the water.
I asked my BIL what his favorite lure was. He said the "old" Wiggle Wart, but he said they are hard to find these days and he lost his last one a few years back.  I'd never heard of a Wiggle Wart (what a fun name). The next morning I did a little research and found this:
The "old" Wiggle Warts are Storm pre-Rapala. The dogma is the older ones hunt better, have a louder rattle, and more erratic action, and are less likely to get hung up. Far as I can gather one of the ways to tell old Warts is they have Wiggle Wart printed on the underside of the bill, and newer ones have Storm printed there. I found a few old ones in online auctions, and will give them to my BIL, he has been so good to me.

The house is in escrow! Monday morning my realtor called to ask if the lady that looked at the house on Thursday and loved it, could do another walk through. Yes, of course. She came, we did the whole house/garden tour in more detail. They left, and my realtor called about a half hour later. She wants the house and is paying cash, (so no inspections needed) with a 60 day escrow. We signed the papers that day.  Never even had to put the for sale sign up!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Enjoying my seventy first trip around the sun...

Friday, August 11, 2017


Finally, got the assessors report and the go ahead from my attorney to put the house on the market. Didn't think my realtor would have the papers ready til today. But, he texted me yesterday morning and said they were ready.  He's a go getter! I went by his office, saw the photos that the pro had taken (pleased with them) and we mapped out the plan, and the asking price. I signed, and signed, and signed some more.
We talked about what I could do going forward, after the house is sold. He is very supportive and encouraging about my options up North, to the point of vetting a good realtor up there, and has gallery contacts there that would offer me at a minimum part time employment, in a heart beat, if I was interested.
I got back home and two hours later he called me to laughingly say, "be careful what you ask for!" (He's aware of how anxious I am about getting this estate settled.) He had gone out to lunch and ran into a RB native that has been seriously looking to move back to the area. He wanted to know if I was up for showing the house in 15 minutes. I looked around me and thought, what the heck, in for a penny... "Sure, see you in 15."
He brought the lady, and it was a friend of The Cowman's family.  After hugs, and so good to see you again, we did the home & garden tour.  She seemed to like the house, the yard, the neighborhood, and kept saying "It's gorgeous, the whole thing is simply gorgeous". They left, and I settled back into sorting through all the stuff. Twenty minutes later my realtor called to say, "She absolutely loves the house, has the where with all to buy, and will definitely get back to us." "Oh, and so you will quit worrying about it... She said she has never seen such a clean & turn key house, and she has looked at more than a few!"  
We will see what comes of this, very early days, but encouraging so far.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Hank and I got another big load of trimmings to the landfill today. My tarping skills leave a lot to be desired, and I've had to relearn the Truckie hitch.  Hank and I have made so many trips to the landfill that the nice lady in the scale house weight station, slides open her window, and before I can say anything, says "Good Morning, Red Bluff, yard waste, OK, pull through". LOL, I don't even have to give her my info any more.


As Sean and I were talking the other day, he mentioned that he had gotten a ski boat so he and Amy could take the kids out.  He said they had it on the water last weekend, and it ran, but not well, and he needed a new project anyway. So a tune up is in it's immediate future, and they plan to be back on the water this weekend. Sean doesn't know the meaning of small project, and always has to be working on something. Amy sent a photo of his project! 

(I think, it's time for me to dig out the Maherajah slalom and hit the water while I'm up there!)


Granddaughter Ali has posted a bunch of photos from the wedding. I won't show all 581 of them, just a few.

Ali and Tyler's wedding reception

two of my favorite kids (by other mothers)

my nieces, Marymine, me, my brother in laws, and sister in laws

Monday, August 7, 2017


It was a beautiful evening last night, much cooler, slight breeze, with a few thunder boomers in a Vivaldi sky.

My grandson has been taking some great night photos. You can check out his photos on his website.

photo by

No assessors report yet, so everything else is in a holding pattern. Hopefully it will be at my attorney's this week. I'm just kinda trudging along waiting for the next bomb to drop. I really have to be on point, cause sure as the sun is going to come up, my brother and/or his wife are going to launch another knife to the back. Even my attorney has said he's glad he doesn't have people like this in his family. Well, that's comforting as all get out. Enough whining already.

There will be a gathering of the clan, My Sean is getting married the end of this month. 

To see him happy,  and with someone that we all love, is so good. He's been through a lot the last few years.  I'm looking forward to driving up and spending a few days with them, the rest of the extended family, and possibly will get in some house hunting, as well. 
Just got a call from him, he has been head hunted again, so a new job starts two days after the wedding, to start with a 20% increase in salary, 40% increase in benefits, doesn't have to move, and doing something he loves. Yay Sean!

The plan is for T to fly Dad & I up to hunt'n camp late in Sept.  Dad has been pretty quiet about being stuck in the den all this time, but then he's surrounded by flight logs, maps, pictures, and airplanes. Sure miss his hugs, quick mind, dry humor zingers, and advise.

Marymine called the other day, and as we were chatting away, she said to someone in the background. "It's nanny."  Then said, "here mom someone needs to talk to you." 

The masculine voice of a 26 year old came on and simply said, "I love you."  I am so humbled and blessed by those around me.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017


It's going to be another hot one today, weather guesser says 114.
 Found a yard service that will prune down the long hedges, for less money than the others quoted. They came by recommendation from a neighbor that is very particular about her landscaping. Hopeful they will get it done in the next week or so.

 Up at 4:30AM to watch the sunrise over the Sierras.

sunrise in Red Bluff,  photo courtesy Natalie Peterson

Then off to the airport cafe for an early breakfast gathering with my neighbors. 

With a very full belly, I went on to my dentist appt for a filling.  I have been experimenting with mindfully lowering my blood pressure for a while now, but can't quite get to the point where I can do it consistently. (I had read that monks can do this consistently, although they don't live in this stressful environment.) Part of it is that I don't take my BP, so the only time I get the numbers are at the blood bank, doctors, dentist, etc. I don't have high BP, and don't take any meds for anything, just wanted to see if I could mindfully make it change.  This morning as I'm waiting for my dentist to drill'n fill, I concentrated on lowering my BP about five minutes before she went to work on my tooth.  I got it down to 95/58, which works for me. 

My little Sally Holmes rose start has recovered from my stupidity. Right after I transplanted it into a pot it got infested with aphids. Instead of just squirting them off with water, I sprayed it with an old aphid spray that had been in the garage for only God knows how long.  The poor thing's leaves started to curl immediately.  Quickly washed as much off as possible, which didn't help much as the spray had an oil base.  Treated it to intensive care for a couple weeks, and  watched it continue to decline... It's a cutting from a Sally Holmes that lives at an abandoned homestead near the coast, so I really didn't want to lose it.  This last week it has rallied and even bloomed.  A tough little rose.  

Small successes, I'll take them. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Well shoot...

The photo shoot for the house went well, I think. The young guy that shot the photos was friendly and interesting to talk to. He's a professional real estate photographer and brings all his own lighting, and flies a drone for the aerial photos. He liked the house's open floor plan and all the natural light from the big skylights and windows. I hope to get to see the photos soon.
The waterfall & small pool is one of the features in the back patio area. But it was closed in by hedges and a handrail. 
half way through the removal of the hedges

So the day before the photo shoot I decided to take out the hedges, borrow a friend's sawzall

 to remove the handrail, and then re-rock the area. Finished at 9:30pm.  Have some tweaking to do to get it closer to what I want, but it was done enough for the photos. 

Pruned, replaced tiles, and cleaned up the little patio on top of the big berm between the house and the street.

 Two of the leylandii cypress that were removed have been replaced with redwoods. They will eventually hide the neighbors houses and provide more shade. 
 The realtor said to just make sure the beds were made when the photographer came. No problem for my bedroom as I always make my bed.  But it meant putting the king size bed back in the big master bedroom and putting bedding on it.  Somewhere along the way any bedding for that bed got misplaced or tossed. But I found a deal on a bundled: dust ruffle, comforter, pillow shams, and throw pillows.  Totally not my style, but so what if it looks early whorehouse to me, it works in that room, and everyone else seems to like it!?!

Sorry if I'm boring you with all this, I just want to keep a record of what has been done around the place.

I met a dear friend and her daughter for lunch today. Can't believe that it's been a year since we got together. Lots of laughter, tall tales, and memories shared. We have history. You would like her, she's cute as a button, one of the true unsung heros of caring for others, and a kick to boot.  Made my whole week to get to see her & her daughter again.  
Then on the way home I stopped in a small town to get a cold drink.  An elderly gentleman was in front of me at the register, and after a moment he turned around, looked me up and down, and as I'm putting my hand on the CCW in my purse, he said, "You, lady are exquisite!"  I stammered a "Thank You, sir". He drove away in a black suburban with Colorado plates, and I drove home with a smile. It was an all around good day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The pine tree lives after I trimmed the heck out of it.  My radio flyer and I will haul some more rock to put in that border and that project will be finished.

The personal property inventory for Dad's estate was finished yesterday and turned in to the attorney today.  Now I'm waiting for the co assessor's appraisal to be submitted, so I can put the place on the market.
Last weekend I hit the wall, from trying to get things done around here, by my lonesome. I just can't go like I could when I was younger, and it frustrates me. Saturday I was just plum exhausted. So Sunday, I made myself just take it easy for the whole day. No doing chores, no worries, went to breakfast with friends, took a long nap, read, texted with the kids, and grandkids.  Just what I needed to recharge.
This Friday the photographer comes to take photos for the real estate listing. There is still a lot that needs to happen in the yard before he gets here. Most of the front is done, dry creek cleaned out, pine planted, just a couple loads of prunings to haul off.


Today was cooler weather by far, only got to 93. Had a gardening service come last week and give me an estimate on trimming the long hedge around the driveway. They said it would take 2 guys at least four hours and be $375 and $35/hr/man after that. Ouch, I will do it myself, thanks!  Got the hedge face all done, and 1/3 of the top done today, should be able to finish it tomorrow.

 Pretty tuckered out from going up and down that ladder all day, and trimming by hand. I have an electric hedge trimmer, but I didn't want it to look scalped, so did it with the loppers and pruning shears.  My arms are a little sore, but nothing a nice hot shower won't fix.
PS:  I don't know what I'm trying to prove to myself, but doing this by myself is not the brightest thing, so I will try to find a landscaper to help me finish it up.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

late night...

Saturday late night humor.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Just Country Folk..

The old saying is, "You can take the gal out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the gal."
There is no clothesline here, there really isn't much of a place to put one.  I asked Dad why that was and he said, "Your mother hated them, and thought they made a place look like poor white trash lived there!"  What!?!  I wondered if he was pulling my leg, but then thought back on it, and she never put one in at any of the houses she built. 
Guess I take after my granny Mid (who was far from being poor white trash), because I love a clothes line. (I even had a defunct ol hot walker as one for a while on the home ranch.) Not only is a clothesline much cheaper than running the dryer, it gets you outside, and it makes your clothes & sheets smell like sunshine. 
Pretty sure that Mother is spinning every time I do laundry and put this up...

Give me clean clothes, a clothesline, and some ice cold Luzianne in my travel mug

and I'm doing just fine...

Oh, and boots, specifically Lucchese boots!  Their sweet new polo boots are out. At $1,295 a pop, I won't be getting any, but I can still admire them from afar...  


Last, but certainly not least, I received this certificate from the POTUS yesterday. I think Dad would be pleased.

Sure miss Dad, the ol guy with mischief in his eyes...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Willie, Hank, and me...

Willie and I are back from taking the last pickup load of the day to the green waste dump site.  Where Willie supervises the unloading from inside Hank's air conditioned cab. I am hot, dirty, & tired, but still smiling. Of course, Willie is none of the above, because he is in a management position.

We are glad that the bank is almost done, so we can move on to the hedges.  I say we because Willie supervises, from the safety of his fenced yard.  This is important as the neighbor's cat, Pebbles, has eat'n Willie's lunch once already, and we don't need another trip to the vet.

There is one lone sunflower on the bank, and I didn't have the heart to cut it down. Took it's picture instead.

Willie and I received an invite to dinner. Thank goodness for friends that cook and say "come as you are". 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Bank notes...

While friends are off to one of the lakes in Lassen Volcanic National Park for a day of kayaking, 

I'm home weed eating the high bank on the street side of the house. It's a steep bank, which could use a terraced pathway to make it easier to work on. 
I've had four different realtors come and give me their thoughts on what needs to be done here, and what the place should be listed for. The one I'm using is a go getter, has the right contacts, likes the place, and thinks we can get $30,000 more for it than the other three quoted. He is having the photographer come later in July, and this place needs to be in pristine shape for that. The house is behind the bank, a bunch of redwoods and a hedge. So the bank, is the first thing you see.  
 Have been dreading the headache of putting all the household stuff in a garage sale or on Craig's list.  The realtor reminded me about a good North state online auction outfit that does all the work for you, (for a price), but they get better prices for things than I would get on my own. Something to consider.
I'm so dang into simple, and the littlest things make me happy... like restringing the weed eater this morning (without my neighbor's help), and figuring out how to adjust the idle on it. Geez, sure doesn't take much.  Got most of the bank done and needed to go to town for some parts for another project.  There wasn't time to get showered, and cleaned up, go to town, and get back to work on the bank before it got too hot, so what the heck! Blew off most of the grass, and brush with the compressor, left my dark blue Cabela's ball cap on backwards, put on my mirrored aviator sunglasses, and drove Hank up town. This is a small town, and very seldom do you not run into someone that knows you.  But, the incognito look seems to have worked, nary a soul has texted or called me to say, "saw you cruse'n Main in that lowlife getup". 
And I'm pretty sure several of them would have told me to "turn that damn ballcap around, young lady"!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

No country for ol women...

Spa girl job at my brother & sister-in-law's ends today, 

as well as veggie pick'n, strawberry eating, garden weeding,

 and chicken feeding. 

"Little Brick Chick House"

 Hank & I are going to miss our daily trips out to Ft McCoy. 

"Always looking for Adventure"

This is only one of many wood stacks.  My BIL is a former Marine and retired SO detective, can you tell he is also a neat fanatic! It's one of the many things we all love about him.

Still trying to get a handle on the yard here, was out there bright and early the other morning fixing irrigation lines and brush whacking. Kept telling myself, if I get this one more thing done then I'll go in... couple hours later, sweat was pouring off me, and I realized the occasional drink from the hose wasn't cutting it so I went inside. It was 10:30 AM and the temp read 103. Have had a bad heat headache for the last couple days, my own fault, I know better.

My RB weather forecast for the next week:

Weather forecast up at MySean's for next week:

Just a couple hundred more things to take care of here, and I'm on my way North for a visit.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Just putting this out there for consideration, or how we can move forward in a rapidly changing world...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day...

Happy Independence Day
the back of beyond!

Remember how we got here, be thankful for your freedoms.

Also I want to wish my crazy, wonderful, red headed, twin cousins a Very Happy Birthday. Two firecrackers born on the fourth of July!

Dad and the twins 2014

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Burn'n daylight...

Spa girl spent an hour in the swim spa the other evening trying to remember about all the settings and testing. A couple friends went with me because they are thinking they want one, and to help getting the covers back on after we swam. Those suckers are heavy. It is nice to get into after a long day in the yard, and I'm enjoying this treat. I still like my stock tank pool with a grandkid or two,

photo courtesy of

Max the wonder cowdog, Gus the Scotty dog, and Maude my pet chicken all piled in, best. 
After I went to early mass this morning, cousin Jess and his dad came by to drop off plums so a friend can make her plum butter. 
After they left, I spent the rest of the day pruning and removing candles from an over grown black pine by the front walk. 

before photo
 I will take an after photo (if it lives). It's not the ideal time of year to be doing this but it had suffered from years of neglect on top of prior bad pruning.  Picked up another pine to put in where I removed the two big junipers that died last winter. I will use it to hide the juniper stumps, and wire it to drape over a big boulder. I'm not digging the juniper stumps out, I did saw them off as close to the ground as possible without wreaking my chainsaw.
Cleaned out the dry creek bed in the front yard yesterday, now to clean out under the sidewalk that goes over it. Not looking forward to that, but it needs doing.  The gardener that mother had just blew leaves and crap under there. You can't see it unless you get in the dry creek, but I know it's full of stuff.
After I get a couple more chapters read of the book I'm beta reading for a friend, I'm calling it a day, as I've been burn'n daylight since 4:30 this morning...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Catching up...

Wednesday already!  
Let's see,  Sunday morning at oh dark thirty cousin Jess and I went up to the range so he could participate in an Outlaw Handgun Shootout that my local shoot'n club was putting on. It was rather warm, but we had fun and Jess did well, considering the last ones he shot in were in Texas.  I just watched because I wanted to see what it was all about.  It was also a good opportunity to pick Jess's brain, meet other members of the Assn. and learn some new skills. 
Jess's last stage of the shootout:


Came home and worked all afternoon in the yard. Was pretty tuckered out, but that evening I got an invite to my SIL's new swim spa. Dang but that thing is sweet.  Swam against strong current, but didn't last very long before retreating to the corner with the message jets and a big glass of wine.  There isn't much that thing doesn't have... all kinds of lights, fountains, jets, etc.  

Going back out tonight to fix their DVD player, dinner, a swim, and to get all my orders as I'm going to be the spa girl while they are on vacation!  And suddenly I have friends, that want to help me take care of the spa... hmmm

We have had a few days were the weather was nice enough that I could spend most of the day working on getting this yard in shape to put the house on the market. Still hauling brush and mother's dang yard chachkies to the landfill.  
More time with the attorney, and paper work, and banks, and all the rest.  My brother is questioning every move I make as executor. I don't understand why he is taking that path, but I'm pretty sure Dad would not be happy about the attitude.  Can only do my best to settle the estate per Dad's wishes, get the house sold, and move on. 
Ok, break time is over, back to brush whacking, and the weed eater, and showing a friend how to make hollyhock dolls.  When my granddaughters were little little I showed them how to make them. They would spend hours playing with their hollyhock dollies.  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

You've come a long way, baby...

He is one of the lights of my life, & the best son! Though he does seem to have forgotten that he constantly said, as a little guy, that he wanted to buy his mom a red sports car when he got big.

It has been an amazing journey, here's to many more adventures...

 Happy 47th Birthday, Sean
Love, mom