Mac

Some of you know the story of Mac, the incredible white German shepherd my ex-husband rescued for me when we lost our oldest son to cancer.

That dog brought me back to life and saved me when I was at my lowest, deepest point of suffering.

Mac died when he fell out my truck window onto Highway 80 when the boys and I were coming home from a camping trip.

I remember watching him fall in my rearview mirror and also seeing my 60 pound, 7 year old son desperately trying to hold on to him.

I thought that perhaps my son was falling out the window too.

You can’t imagine the horror I experienced.

My son stayed safely in the car but sadly, Mac was killed while getting off the freeway (10 years to the day after my oldest son died).

We’d just finished up a LOVELY vacation at the Yuba River with my Uncle Donald, Aunt Stacey, and my cousins Jennifer, Travis, Bella, Matt, and Nick.

It was amazing.

Today, I was reminded that when it was my turn to swing on the rope and fall 8 feet into the water, I was chicken.

I didn’t want to jump.

And Mac stood by my side and waited with me while I worked up the courage. . .

And JUMPED!

And only after I jumped did he follow suit and jump in with me.

He was an amazing dog.

And I feel lucky that I somehow managed to take this picture of him THE VERY MORNING OF THE DAY HE DIED.

The last picture I ever took of him.

And I’d like to think that in the afterlife, he is playing in the water, in the sun, surrounded by family.

I love you Mac.  You are not forgotten!

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Glamping

I love to camp, which is ironic considering my parents never took me camping.

My father actually thinks it’s a ridiculous past time.

Little does he know.

My first camping trip was with my friends Albert and Barry and my then BFF (now sister-in-law) Robin when I was in college.

I got busted for posing topless in the water, I remember.

In any case, I’ve sold my tent trailer Dolly so it’s time to pull out my super big Insta-tent Pete for UnSCruz.

The one thing I’ve never mastered with respect to camping is how to keep it cheap.  I know camping is SUPPOSED to be cheap, but somehow I always fall woefully short of it.

For instance, I have $567.89 worth of groceries in my Safeway online cart [the one thing you should know about me is that I don’t go grocery shopping myself if I can help it].

That’s for 3 – 4 people and includes a case of beer, 750 ml of single barrel whiskey, 750 ml of fine rum, 3.5 L of vodka, 3.5 L of gin, and a 3L box of red wine.

LOTSA BOOZE!

It also includes dinners of steak and potatoes and spaghetti with meatballs in a homemade pasts sauce.

I can honestly say I EAT BETTER CAMPING THAN I DO IN REAL LIFE.

It’s because I have all this time on my hands to plan things out and work on them.

And as if the food and drink isn’t enough, I’m planning a little surprise for my campmates:

A Bloody Mary bar with all the fixings!

But why stop there?

I figured out I could also make Aviator cocktails, Gin fizzes, Mimosas, French 75s, and Screwdrivers with just a few extra ingredients.

Have you heard of Amarena cherries?

OMG, they’re heavenly little spheres of happiness and make a delicious finish at the bottom of an Aviator cocktail!

Of course, all these cocktails require accessories:

  1. Measuring glasses
  2. Bar spoon
  3. Cocktail glasses (acrylic)
  4. Champagne flutes (acrylic)
  5. High ball glasses (acrylic)
  6. Plates and bowls to put the fixings in
  7. Tray for display purposes
  8. Stainless steel cocktail shaker
  9. Skewers
  10. Ice buckets

And OH SO MUCH MORE.

To the tune of $327.85 in my Amazon basket.

Of course I haven’t BOUGHT anything yet.

I’m waiting to see if my inner Martha Stewart/ Type A/ Overachiever settles down a little.

It also occurred to me that I could go to Goodwill to get all my accessories.

But that would require me to shop.  In a store.  In person.

And we all know I JUST DON’T DO THAT!

Camping at Stanislaus with my friends and my dog Mac (RIP sweet boy)

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A Good Night’s Sleep

I’m OBSESSED with UnSCruz!

Can’t wait for it to get here.

As it turns out, I am so impressed by UnSCruz, I’m inviting all my friends to come.

Toni, Kimberly, Tejas, Yvonne. . .

I have a BIG tent.

It says it’ll accommodate 8 people.

Not that I’d want to pack 8 people in my tent.

There’s a little matter of stuffing my queen size air mattress bed in it.

Hey, I like comfort!

It’s not EXACTLY glamping, but it’s close.

The tough part is, I think I’m going to have to share my bed.

I know, I know!

But WHO should I share it with?

My girlfriend?

My friend from Sweden?

Or my best friend?

If I had my way, it’d be my friend from Sweden.

Basically because I wouldn’t mind snuggling up to him.

But perhaps he doesn’t want to.

And that’s okay.

I’m fine sleeping by myself.

It’s been so long since I shared a bed with someone I’m afraid I really won’t get a good night’s sleep.

But that’s the whole point, isn’t it?!?!

🙂

 

2017 Adventures

glampingI’ve been thinking about what I want to do for 2017 (besides hide from our social media-challenged, egomaniac President). I’ve come up with a short list of 10 things I’d like to do over the next year (and more, of course):

  1. Go glamping in an Airstream trailer at the Russian River. Autocamp has drool-worthy Airstreams with walnut cabinetry and the fanciest bathrooms ever to grace an RV. FYI $200 – $350 per night.
  2. Visit Bodega Bay. Check out the views along Bodega Head and grab some fresh seafood along the coast. Can you say fresh crab, straight from the sea?
  3. Spend a few hours exploring Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma. Maybe stop at Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena for a fresh blueberry milkshake and a sushi-grade ahi tuna burger.
  4. Wine tasting trips with friends to Paso Robles, Sonoma, the South Bay and Livermore. Pick up some 2013 Malbec at Concannon Vinyards and Winery.
  5. Check out the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Maybe stop in to Cowgirl Creamery and get some delicious melted raclette cheese on pickles and bread.
  6. Apple picking at Apple Hill. Be sure to fill a growler with fresh apple cider, preferably the fermented variety. Visit my aunt and uncle and cousins at the cabin and have some family fun.
  7. Spend the weekend in Half Moon Bay and Pescadero. Eat at Duarte’s Tavern and be sure to order a cup of their cream of green chile soup. Also go to Harley Goat Farm to buy goat cheese and related goat milk products. Hit the Highway 1 Brewing Company for some brews and stop at the haunted Moss Beach Distillery for a sundowner on the patio watching the sunset.
  8. Go on the Napa Valley Wine Train with friends. Make a weekend of it and go on the Napa Art Walk the next day. Check out Napa’s funy, hip boutiques and art galleries. Saturate with wine. Repeat.
  9. Camping at Grover Springs Campground. Take a soak in one of their simmering hot springs tucked away in the middle of the pine forest.
  10. Hike to Feather Falls and see the three tiers of the falls plunge 640 feet into the Sierra foothills. Go in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom for maximum loss of breath.

So there’s my list, now who wants to do these things with me? My Facebook friends better be prepared for me to hit them up to go these adventures with me!

Now that I’ve made a list, it’s time to start checking off things.

But first, make the rain stop.

Farewell Dolly

IMG_0170I just sold my lovely little tent trailer, Dolly.

I’ve had her for 10 years and used her on numerous camping trips.

Sadly it’s time to say goodbye.

What with my son buying a car (he’s 17) there’s no place to park my tent trailer at home.

I have wonderful memories of Dolly.

  • Eating pancakes with Jay and Mac (my white GSD) at Coastanoa.
  • Taking my boys to the Delta with Luke and going tubing.
  • Camping with my family on the Yuba River.

So many memories are wrapped up in that tent trailer.  It’s hard to let go.

Just cleaning her up for sale reminded me how much fun I’ve had with her.

Check out my baby:

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Ren Faire Shenanigans

Last weekend, I packed up my camping gear, grabbed my friend Kimberly, and we drove to Casa de Fruta to camp out at the Renaissance Faire.

We had a blast.

 

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 It took all of 30 minutes to set up camp with our neighbors helping – two Ren Faire musicians names Kevin and JK.

We started in on the Rum and Cokes and before we knew it we were swallowing a bottle of white wine with our lobster ravioli dinner. Followed closely by Kimberly’s signature jello shots made with marshmallow and cotton candy flavored vodka. Mmmmm.

 

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We woke up the next morning slightly hung over but a breakfast set us straight. Then we got dressed in our Ren Faire finest and hit the festival.

 

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We went to the Ren Faire with some friends who are Ren Faire veterans and knew where to go, what to do, and what to watch.

 

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 We drank beer from sun up to sun down, people watched, and in general managed to get involved in a few shenanigans.

After the festival closed, we stayed late to listen to a musical performance by the Brick Top Blaggers. It was dancing to their music that I met Stephan, who managed to finagle an invitation back to my campsite for dinner – an invitation I later cancelled.

 

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But there you have it, one raucous weekend spent getting a little drunk and rowdy at the Nor Cal Ren Faire.

The Hunk spends the night

IMG_7832I saw The Hunk this morning before work. He was working on a job site close to me so upon invitation, I popped over for a hug and a snuggle.

For the first time since we started going out, I was not wearing heels and I have to admit, the man DWARFED me.

It was quite thrilling.

So, as it turns out, he will be coming to SoulFire on Saturday night and spending the night with me.

In case you didn’t get that, I said that there’s a hot, hunky guy who is going to spend the night in my tent.

Now, this has been a subject of debate among my friends.

I think he’s not that into me.

They think he’s being polite.

[NOTE: He did “jokingly” ask for a topless photo of me, but rescinded his request right after.]

I guess we will find out this weekend.

Because if he lets me go to bed without kissing the stars out of me, then there is no hope for us as and we are destined to be JUST FRIENDS.

But if he does, in fact, kiss all the stars out of me, then we’ll know that he likes to take his time and there is chemistry between us.

And who knows what might develop?!

Just me, The Hunk, a big tent, and hours upon hours of free time….

Holes in my education

Growing up, we never took camping trips.

Our “version” of a camping trip was a monthly stay at the Blue Dolphin Inn in Carmel where we’d go beaching and antiquing with my parents. Or another monthly trip to the St. Francis Hotel in Union Square in San Francisco where we’d go shopping and dining out.

I wasn’t aware of my lack of helpful camping skills* until I met my birth family who are all about camping, dirt bike riding, and four-wheeling.

I have no idea how to strap down a motorcycle. I over pack for camping trips ALL THE TIME. My menu choices are advanced culinary achievements.

I’m realizing, as I get ready to going to Burning Man, that I am missing vital parts of my education for things like packing a trailer.

Heavier items in front. Got it.

Lighter items in back Got it.

Strap your load down. What?

I have no idea how to use a ratchet strap. In fact, I’m so bad with ratchet straps I had to CUT ONE OFF MY TENT TRAILER that my ex-boyfriend had put on it.

Just because I couldn’t figure out how to get it off.

Not that I have a general problem figuring out how to get things off. 😉

And come to think of it, after wielding a hammer this weekend making some funhouse mirrors for the camp, I realized how shoddy my hammering skills were.

And I have serious doubts as to whether I can wield a sledgehammer and swing it with any sort of skill such that it lands on target and pounds my rebar stake into the ground. All 18 inches of it.

Not that I have a general problem with poundings. 😉

So there you have it. Serious gaps in my education leading me to worry about my ability to be self-reliant on the playa.

I may need a little help.

Sigh.

Burning Man, your 10 principles are challenging me.

*FYI, I can change my own oil, skin an abalone in under a minute, and change a flat tire, so I’m not totally helpless.  Also?  I own a sawzall.  ‘Nuff said.