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My Coffee Bounced into the Street

Happy Saturday and almost Mother’s Day, everyone. 

Anyone want coffee? I have a good excuse for not offering you any. I have lots of MD flowers, though!

Six words describe my heartbreak when we pulled onto the road starting on the nine-hour trip headed for California and heard a thump.

Looking in the rearview mirror, Vince said, “That was your coffee.”

Have you ever put something on the roof of your car as you are loading things, and then driven off and forgotten it? Thank goodness it wasn’t my computer, but I did miss my coffee. I also forgot to take my Sony camera, so all my pictures are cell pics.

Weather Report

April could be characterized in Prescott as cool/cold and windy. One day I wore my winter coat zipped up, and my ears got so cold, I had an earache and had to put my hood on. True to form, California was sunny, warm, and flowery.

April in Prescott, Arizona

April in California

Last week Tina gave us a lesson on the Rule of Thirds in Lens Artist Photo Challenge # 197. I cropped all of these pictures to make them more interesting. the last picture is still super busy, but it is a nature preserve rather than a cultivated garden and my point was to show the difference in greenery between Prescott and California.

What’s on Your Bookshelf

This month I sort of fell down a hole as far as reading is concerned. Do you read well in the car? I used to, but I don’t do it much anymore. When I get engrossed, if we slow down or brake suddenly and I haven’t been paying attention, I look up and scream or suck in my breath really hard. Drivers don’t appreciate that! Here’s what I’m still working on:

  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor – I’m getting downright scholarly, LOL
  • Staying Alive by Yvette Prior
  • Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris given to me by my friend, Connie

I’ve also started watching the series, “Breaking Bad” after reading Yvette’s Story Chat from last month. It has a spin off, “Better Call Saul,” which Vince and I are watching together. The hero is definitely the “prodigal son.” The brothers have some major issues, but the younger one really loves the older one, and the older one seems to truly hate the younger one and will do almost everything to sabotage him.

WOTY – April Curating

Retired life is fantastic, so if you get jealous when you read my week’s-end month’s review, and you are not yet retired, I’m telling you it is worth working toward.  This post has some of my favorite pictures to review this month of curating efforts.

Last on the Card

Nothing fancy here on the side of the National Exchange Hotel

WWE in Scottsdale

To be honest, I relied on others this month to curate for me. Family members planned excursions. I especially want to thank Vince for curating our trip to Scottsdale where we went to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s learning compound.

He also took us out of our way to see Lake Havasu, AZ because I had never seen The London Bridge. I shared some of the pictures of these trips in the following posts:

CFFC Squiggly Lines and WWE at Lake Havasu

Water is so relaxing probably because in reflections, the lines are changed and are much more squiggly. The dragon did not relax me, but he was squiggly.

 The Sacramento trip, April 27-30, was beautifully curated by my (almost) daughter-in-law and son. Good news announcement!

  • Cosumnes River Preserve
  • Lunch at the Dancing Fox Winery and Brewery
  • House hunting (realtors do this everywhere they go) in a community that had wind machines. LOL Big red flag. The day we were there was average and we were blown away.
  • Crystal Hermitage Tulip Festival
  • Nevada City for lunch at the National Exchange Hotel with a not-too-friendly tour afterward.
  • Fancy dinner at the Firehouse Restaurant in Old Town Sacramento

#Thursday Doors at Crystal Hermitage

The people that run this place plant 17,000 new tulip bulbs each year! You may notice some squiggly lines on the door for Cee’s CFFC Challenge, too.

I’ll do a post for Still Restless Jo’s Monday Walk because I have a lot of pictures. Mostly we were on the hunt for the wild walrus that Jason jumped over, and the killer trees.

Water Water Everywhere, Lens Artist Photo Challenge #198

We found some of our best shadows for Patti’s Lens Artist Challenge #198 on our hike through this preserve. The last shadows and light in these last two pictures didn’t show up until I processed them in Adobe Bridge deepening the shadows to bring out the contrast. Now I love them. Thanks for the tip, Patti.

Which Way to the CFFC Squiggly Killer Trees?

The primary characteristic of our son is, “how far can I push their buttons before they snap?” We started out on this beautifu trail in the Cosumnes River Reserve and “the boy” started spinning the story that there is a walrus that hides out along the path. Did we believe him? Um, no comment. Then he started running away from us and jumped over a huge walrus-shaped root in the path.

We walked a bit farther and up popped these signs, “Detour, Killer Trees.” What does that mean anyway, Killer Trees? Nothing to J. He headed his beloved dad and I down the forbidden path. I kept my eyes open for killer trees. Maybe the squiggly one at the bottom? You be the judge!

CBWC Side Of

I loved the story Sideways Stories of Wayside School. One of my fourth graders literally fell out of his seat laughing at one part of it. It was hard to read because I would have done the same thing if I hadn’t been standing in front of the class. Reading about the potato tattoo one kid got for his birthday after months of debating with classmates about what to get for this important event, I had to had the book to one of my fourth graders to read outloud because I couldn’t catch my breath. Our J thinks he is that funny.

“I got you twice.” Riotous laughter spills onto the path over our reactions to his walrus story.

I cropped his girlfriend almost out of the picture to use the Rule of Thirds Tina taught us in LAPC #197. It made a much more telling photo.

More Sideways Pictures

Thursday Trios at the Dancing Fox Winery and Brewery in Lodi, CA

One of the guys working at the Dancing Fox invited me to take pictures throughout the winery while we waited for our lunch table. It was the perfect opportunity to scout for trios. The food there was delicious and I’d give it five stars if you ever go to Lodi, CA after a long walk through the Cosumnes River Preserve.

To look at more of our trip pictures, if you’re not bored yet, click any of the links below.

FOTD, CMMC, LAPC Mostly Macro Flowers from Crystal Hermitage

Sorry Cee. If you know Cee well, then you know she gets tired of insect macros. I couldn’t help it… really and besides I’m thrilled with them. There wasn’t much to curate on April 26-27 except driving, but my friend, Jean and I managed to sneak in a quick walk around Bravo Lake and the Woodlake Rose and Botanical Gardens.

WWE and LAPC in Woodlake, California

On May 2, I did a masterful job of curating visits with friends, If I do say so myself. AND, I did it without a car while Vince went to his former watering hole in Fresno to play poker with his old buds.

I want to thank my friend Sally Pace for driving me into Woodlake, and Exeter, and then Connie Smith for driving me from Exeter to Woodville to Elderwood. That was a relaxing and very busy social day.

My Vacation Is Over

Since I started hosting challenges, I hated to take a break from my challenges, PPAC (Photographing Public Art Challenge) and WQW (Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays) but I had spotty internet, little time, and I’m not good at posting on my phone.

It amazed and thrilled me that several people continued on with their posts for both PPAC (Photographing Public Art Challenge) and WQW (Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays) without me. How cool is that?

Challenges that Inspired Me This Week

I have learned a lot from Natalie the Explorer. She and Terri Webster Schrandt manage to squeeze in so much into a post and support many challenges in the process. This week I am playing in the following challenges.

Coming Up

  • Story Chat – Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch Literary Community shares her short story, “As Far as a Former Prisoner Can Go”
  • WQW May 11: Senses: Smell What are your favorite smells?
  • PPAC- Join me for the some of the unusual Public Art in Lake Havasu City, AZ

127 replies »

  1. How exciting Marsha – to feel
    So connected to you with this post!
    The “read lit like a professor” book and then to see mine!
    Oh my gosh was that super cool to read!

    I so look forward to hearing your take on the book.

    And then – what? You are checking out breaking bad and better call Saul?
    I must say that I couldn’t get into better call
    Saul until this last season – and was glad we watched the final

    Season (part 1) as a family – and we look forward to the second part in a couple months

    And with breaking bad…. are you starting from the beginning?

    Oh and lastly –
    I cannot read in the car either – no way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started Breaking bad at the beginning. Vince didn’t like it. We watched all of Better Call Saul. I’ve kind of taken a break from TV for a while since the weather got better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi – that was why I asked if you stated breaking bad from the start – I am not sure I would have liked it had I started from the beginning – I started mid way through and had my hubs explaining some things- so that changed the experience.

        With that said – I can see why Vince might not have found a groove with it.

        And yes, there is a time for TV and then “not” for TV –

        Liked by 1 person

          • Well I am not that up to date or current (hahaha) and did you know I only saw breaking bad when it was already over for a year!

            And my first episode of “game of thrones” was the very last episode – family was here visiting and put it on – so Imagine that- watching game of thrones knowing the very last episode – 🥺that would maybe drive some folks crazy but I like spoilers and sometimes read up on a book or a show and then dive in.

            Anyhow – cheers to a new season as 2022 seems to be going fast


          • I don’t know how I could be so uncultured in so many areas, but there is so much to know and experience that I’m sure no one knows very much in the broad scheme of things. Blogging helps keep me up to date with what goes on in the world as it matters to people – not as it is happening necessarily.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh I like the way you put that – “the world as it matters to people”

            And a while back, I took a few weeks off from blog and then came
            Back on and scrolled the reader one morning.
            I was delighted with what was in my feed and grabbed my notebook and wrote down about 15 to 20 things that I was exposed to — because it was enriching and reminded me that blogging (go e at least) exposed me
            To so much rich stuff – it qas a fun little journal page that day!

            In contrast, I have had times where my reader feed annoys and I unfollow (or on certain holidays stay off) and a lot of times my reader doesn’t have my revisit peeps at all and instead has folks I know I never followed – like this long weekend I unfollowed a few folks that I never want to see their stuff.

            Hope your month of May has a nice ending

            Liked by 1 person

          • So far so nice. We just had a wonderful evening with neighbors we haven’t socialized with before. They are only here part-time and we’ve just said hi before this. So much fun to meet new people. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post. I’ve been retired for a while, hubby more resently. Not having to get up at 6:30am has its benefits! Though this week we’ve had to take our grandson into school so …pardon my yawn.

    I really liked your flowers. I like taking head on fill the frame flower photos. I have an idea to take all the white and almost white ones and put them in frames on a hall wall…

    …anyway. Life is for enjoying! Cheers, Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that lovely comment that helps me know you better. I retired early and have been mostly retired for ten years. Vince worked as a realtor until we moved and he let his license expire two years ago, I think. Some of my blogger friends are getting together with Cee this September to go to the dahlia fields in Oregon. I’m so looking forward to that. I love visiting gardens.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t either, Jez. I think that artist is quite well known. Talisin West is no longer an art school, but I guess the state manages it, and has started to expand to include works from other artists. I think it adds so much. Their tours aren’t as good though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Marsha what a trip you’ve taken us on and so many great challenges you’ve fitted into your post! I enjoyed seeing the difference between Prescott and California. I realise you also have vast distances and changes in climates in your country just like we do. We can drive over 1000km north and be in almost summer temperatures while here it’s mid-winter – which is why we’re heading north next month (and to see our daughter and grandson). I love all your doors and the learning you are taking from the photography tips as in rule of thirds.
    Sorry to hear about the coffee but I couldn’t help but laugh at the same time! Retirement is wonderful and you’re selling it well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Deb, Retirement doesn’t need much selling, I think! Everyone wants to retire but so many don’t plan for it. Then they either have to rely on others and not have the freedom they desire, or work and not have the freedome they desire. Even retirement can be a busy time of working and socializing and traveling. Some people work hard in retirement because it’s their life choice and they can choose the work they do.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gracious Lady – you’ve been busy.

    Is this what I have to look forward to in retirement. . .?
    I may be too lazy to retire. . .

    Anyway – I’m so looking forward to this month’s story chat.
    A chance to read and interact with Charli – gold, almost solid gold.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful photos. Looks like a great trip to NorCal. I am going to have to check some of those places out next time I am up there. I love how you always tie into a lot of the photo challenges–very clever–way more than I came up with!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful photos. You’ve done so much in one month. I’ve been a slug…

    [I’d like to request a glossary of all these challenges you do. I have no idea what the capital letters mean. I’m a free spirit when it comes to blogging, so they seem like a foreign, albeit intriguing, language. Fascinating how you know them.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry about the acryonymns. They stand for specific challenges. If you click on the links, you will meet some of my favorite challenge hosts. I’ve always been somewhat of a challenge nerd since I started blogging in 2012, probably due to the fact I don’t have anything earthshaking to say. I jabber a lot and try to be funny sometimes. Posting to a challenge link insures that my friend at the other end will read and comment on my blog as will some of his or her friends. It also gets me out of my box to visit their posts, so that I’m not a hermit blogger. You tend not to be a hermit blogger, so you and your blog do great being a free spirit. However as a pitch for being a challenge nerd, I found you because of my fellow challenge blogger, Yvette, who said we would like each other. And I would have to say that from my end, at least, she was right. 🙂 Yvette is an unusual person, though, almost a networking manager. She is like the hostess with the mostest who goes out of her way to introduce all her guests to other guests who might have a mutual interest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against challenges. I did challenges early on when I first started my current blog. It was a good way to connect, but one day I woke up and decided to just do my thing– for better or worse. It’s worked for me– plus I like getting out to read/comment elsewhere. I’m proactive [nosy?] like that. I like Yvette’s approach to blogging, too. I try to connect people by encouraging comments, she does it more directly. That’s cool.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are great at writing meaningful comments. I do that too, maybe to a fault sometimes. One challenger told me, “If I get tired of it, I’ll quit.” It sounds like that’s what you did, and it worked for you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s exactly what happened. I still stay in touch with lots of bloggers who I met through challenges, so I think there can be a connection with other bloggers beyond the limits of a challenge. The thing about personal blogging is, my blog, my rules. Works for everyone!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Exactly! We are all the editors of our own blogs. I LOVE that. We publish what we want and make our own schedules to meet our life needs. We can get carried away and worn out by our self-imposed schedules, but we learn that as we go along.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, I’ve lost my coffee that way! Hasn’t happened with my phone though, probably because I always have a bag on my shoulder…or close to me, so my phone gets shoved in there!
    You have a great collection of photos there!
    My husband can’t wait to retire so he can travel more and play ‘yet more’ golf. He says I’m already retired! 🤣
    I agree. Writing is my favourite pastime!
    Gosh that’s a lot of challenges in one week. I try to do as many as I can. Sometimes I just forget, especially with my 100 day project going on at the moment.
    I’ve been saying for months now that I’ll participate in Thursday doors. I will……😁

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such an entertaining & engaging headline!!!! But so sad that you had to do without your coffee. And I love Vince’s stoic response – that really cracked me up! I think the most memorable thing (s) to fall off my car roof was my Vince’s spectacles (he only started needing glasses about 10 years ago, and he had such a trouble keeping them on) … not once but twice, they bounced off the roof because he had left them there while loading something in the back seat. Once he backed the car over them before he realised they were missing, the second time, thankfully, they were just on the ground.

    What a month you’ve had!!! Thank you for sharing April with us on The Changing Seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You covered a lot of ground in this post, Marsha (and so did your coffee)! I’m pleased for you that you had such a great response to your posts while you were on vacation. I can’t wait to chat with you when you can if not today then most any day this week. I’m sure California welcomed you back and showed you a great time. Up here in 9 Mile, we’ve had “weather” the kind that can’t be accurately predicted by anyone! Sunny and warm for 30 minutes then black clouds gather and dump rain or hail depending on its moods. Having just bought some large potted floral for our backyard last weekend, I had to set a timer each day for 7:30pm to remind me to put the three big pots in my she-shed overnight so they won’t freeze!! Glad you are back to “normal” and we all missed you in the blogosphere!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What fun, Marsha. Your hike with your son had me smiling. (He sounds like our son.). You have a lovely “collection” of shadows, too. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry about your coffee, fabulous photos! I once put my mobile on the boot of the car …then we drove off without it….I lost so many fabulous photos 💜 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that would be so much worse than coffee. I have all my photos in the clouds as well as on an external hard drive. That’s not to say I didn’t lose some of them for a while, though. Have a wonderful day, my friend. 🙂


      • Thank you Marsha, luckily the older photos were on the cloud but all those I had taken that day were lost! Then no phone for the rest of the holiday! Three weeks!!

        Liked by 1 person

          • I remember before we had cell phones and had to find pay phones, or knock on someone’s door to use a phone if we had an emergency. And banking was not a click taking a picture of a check to desposit it. If it was after 4:00 pm on Friday, you were out of luck getting or depositing money. 🙂


          • I remember all of that too, shops closed halfday on a Wednesday, and nothing was open on a Sunday…
            Letters were written and you had to wait weeks for a reply! Lol is it progress? 💜

            Liked by 1 person

          • How did we ever make it through life? I got lost a lot more. I ran out of cash and had to borrow money because I forgot to go to the bank. I couldn’t warn people when I got stuck in traffic and would be late to an appointment, or arrive at home by a curfew. One time driving home from a ride to Salem, Oregon with a blind friend who didn’t like a party any more than I did, I got tired. She couldn’t drive so I pulled off the two-lane highway and got stuck to my bumper in mud. No cell phone. No gas station, a few mobile homes across the highway and one with a light on. We walked across and knocked on the door at midnight. I was already well past my curfew. The person who answered the door LET US IN! I called Mom. She said, “You’d better be back before I have to go to work at 11:00 am.”
            I had no idea how I was going to be able to do that. As we walked back to the stuck car, a young kid and his girlfriend stopped and offered us a ride to his house to spend the night. WE GOT IN! He took his girlfriend home and then drove us to his house. His mom graciously put us up and asked us to go to church in the morning! I was still in my muddied-to-my-knees yellow bell-bottom double-knit pants. We turned her down. Her son and a friend got a tow truck and hauled us out of the mud. I’d drive into a cemetary driveway that wasn’t paved to get off the highway. We thanked them. I maybe had five dollars to give him. I don’t think he took it, and we were off. Mom got to work on time, but I was grounded. That’s what life was like without cell phones, credit cards, and open banking hours when I was young and poor, and lacking good judgement!


          • That’s quite an adventure you describe there. You were lucky that all the people who’s paths you crossed that night were kind and good souls.
            I can remember I had a 10.30 curfew about which my parents were very strict. My now husband was always being banned from our house!
            Life was so different then , I doubt our children could cope with it ….💜

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Lovely collection. But the “I got you twice” photo … mhm, you’d have to be careful with that in South Africa. That gesture is the equivalent of the finger in other parts of the world. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had no idea and of course he didn’t either. Customs and bad words and gestures are different around the world. My brother’s name is a bad word in Australia. Nearly 70 years ago if my parent’s had only known…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. An excellent six words, Marsha. Sorry about the coffee but forgetting your Sony is even sadder (I find it hard to go anywhere without mine) Though the cell pics are great.
    Have a Happy Mother’s Day (ours was weeks ago in the UK) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi, Marsha – I have also driven away with my coffee on the car roof top….more than once! In our defense, it is very easy to do! Your photos are fabulous. I’m delighted that you had a wonderful vacation. My PEI hiking vacation starts soon — I’m counting the sleeps! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It was great to see you – Sorry your visit could not have been longer. I want to see more Rose Garden and Bravo Lake photos.

    I hope you will return soon! We miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was sad that we didn’t have more time. It was a whirlwind. We really do need to find a place we can rent for a couple of months that are close to Sacramento. Then it would be a lot quicker to come down to Woodlake more often.
      I will try to post the pictures on FB tomorrow. I’ve been on my computer most of today writing this post. So once I get through my mail, I’m done for the day! I’ve walked a total of 818 steps, about the least I’ve done since hurting myself. Yikes! Lots of love. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂


  16. Marsha, I’m so impressed with your blog post and photos while on vacation with spotty internet and little time. You rock!!! I hope you got another really good coffee to make up for the one you lost. I love the flowers and the door at Crystal Hermitage. Thank you for the mention and for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I took a ton of pictures. I didn’t have too much time to post them, and I didn’t write too much for each picture while I was away. Today I spent most of the day on this post. My goal in the next two days is to follow up and read posts again, which is what I did more of when I was on vacation. That was relaxing. 🙂


    • Thanks, John. Well, the coffee didn’t bounce exactly. The cup bounced and the screw on lid came unscrewed and the coffee spilled. One good run through the dishwasher and it was good as new, but I missed the coffee the way I doctor it up. LOL I loved the Chihuly, too. I have pictures from several years ago and it was much plainer.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow Marsha, what a wrap up of so many challenges with fabulous photos. As for mine I’ll give you 100 for the National Exchange Hotel, a great Last Photo Thanks for joining in 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, BB. Did you notice it was the same picture I used for Cee’s B & W challenge only cropped and turned sepia? I was kind of disappointed that it was the last picture. I haven’t ever quite figured out how to time it so that I end with a fabulous one – a 1,000! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m just shaking my head at how much you get into one post and how much time it must take you!! I know I’ve said that before but still… Looks like you had a wonderful trip and you certainly got many, many lovely photos. Sorry about your coffee, though. I haven’t done that yet with anything thankfully, but I feel for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could say that was my first time driving off with something up there. It’s the perfect place to put stuff, only it isn’t! LOL We did have a wonderful trip. The post did take a lot of time probably 12-15 hours all together with time spent visiting all the links, processing the pictures. I had trouble with WordPress, too so I wrote it out in Google Docs first so I didn’t have to hassle with the + sign that came up in the middle of a paragraph instead of between paragraphs. Have you had issues with that?


      • I haven’t had that problem but I don’t use nearly as much writing in my posts as you do. I dislike that captions won’t go in the middle automatically the way they did “back in the day.” Who doesn’t have captions in the middle so why did they change that???

        Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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