First Sierra Snow


We’ve been out on some beautiful walks over the last couple of weekends. We were fortunate enough to head up to Sardine Lake in the Lakes Basin area, up the mountain from Graeagle, California. This is the best reflection of the Sierra Buttes that I have ever captured. It was still and silent at the lake, except for the sound of the distant waterfall that echoed from across the deep blue water. 


Reflection on Sardine Lake

We continued on to Sand Pond which is adjacent to Sardine Lake. We’ve never been there when you could walk through the first, fresh inches of snow. The road is usually closed all winter. The ice crystals were everywhere and I found that I couldn’t quite capture the diamond like effect that they were giving off.


Snowy Crystals at Sand Pond

As we were walking, I was thinking about my friend, Robbi, who is recovering from a fall and some broken bones. I felt like I was walking for her. She would have loved the sights and sounds during the off-season there. We’ve continued walking to other places too but you’ll have to come back to see where we’ve been. I hope you had a very Blessed Thanksgiving.

Beauty Fully


Last weekend we fled to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get out of the smoke in the valley. There was some smoke lingering there too, but it was a good reminder that a colorful Fall is here, the skies are still blue, and the air is breathable. The reflection on Sand Pond at Sardine Lake was still and peaceful with no mosquitos in sight. 


Peaceful Sand Pond

This last week we voluntarily moved all those things we thought were important to us but had to leave one very precious thing behind. The Atlas Fire was on the ridge, not terribly far from the neighborhood we live in. I said goodbye to this item I had to leave behind and said I would be back, but it made me realize how very much I take this piece for granted and what tremendous pleasure this thing has yielded me over the course of about thirty years. I hadn’t even given this prized possession a name. So before anymore time passes, here is the name; Beauty. You see, Beauty fully fills my life with joy, peace, and a tranquility that few other things can offer. My black Knabe grand piano has given me Beauty, fully for years and never asked for anything in return except a yearly tuning. Beauty fully was too large to pack in the car. You see, everything you need, or is very important to you, can fit in a car. It was a lightbulb moment for me. If my family were still living with us, we’d pack them in first and possibly leave everything else behind. All that is important to you, fits in your car. That means we have many creature comforts that don’t hold much value in our hearts. When it comes to what’s important, family is at the very top of my list, and I think it is at the top of yours too. Don’t forget to let those family members know the depth of the Beauty they fully bring to you.

Simply Still Serenity



It’s not often that I arrive at a lake to find it still and perfectly reflected upon itself. I was amazed to find this. I almost felt bad putting the kayak into the still waters. Once I was on the water, I didn’t feel bad anymore. It was quite serene. There wasn’t even any wind to push across the water and force the surface to move.


Still Morning at Salmon Lake

I don’t think about missing silence until I find myself submerged in it. It is completely calming. Fish and Game stopped stocking this lake with fish and word must have gotten out because there was hardly a fisherman to be found. Even the bald eagles were circling the lake and leaving. I loved being there because every little sound became apparent to me. The bees were buzzing, grasshoppers rubbing their wings, and when a person spoke, their voice was perfectly clear to everyone in the lake basin we were all residing in. There wasn’t much talking going on, though; I think everyone was simply enjoying the silence of the morning. 



Pine Cobs


Over the Labor Day weekend we headed to the mountains.  We found that the squirrels and chipmunks had been quite busy with the pine cones.  They left pine cobs scattered everywhere about the yard.  Some people say that they can tell if the Winter is going to be cold and long if the squirrels are especially busy in the Fall.  Our patio was a mess of pine cobs.  I’m hoping for a long, snow filled, Winter.

Pine Cobs on the Patio

Pine Cobs on the Patio

One of the things we like about the mountains is that the pace seems so much slower than the rest of our world.  There is a place where musical artists come to share their songs with the locals on the weekend evenings.  Friday night was one of those special events.  Karl Larson was singing.  He especially likes to sing Cat Stevens and Jim Croce.  He looks so happy when he is singing.  There is even a brighter spot to his performing though.  His daughter, Karlene, comes and sings with him too sometimes.  

Karl Larsen

Karl Larson

What makes this so special is that you then have everything from Operator to Girl Crush.  She keeps him up to date.  It is so much fun to listen and watch them interact.

Changing Colors on the Mill Pond

Changing Colors on the Mill Pond

Fall is certainly settling in and you can see it everywhere.

New Growth

New Growth

We hiked to Eureka Lake and found the water levels to be low but still amazingly beautiful.  As we sat out having lunch by the lake, we talked about how good our life is.

Lonely Stump

Lonely Stump Reflection

There is nothing better in life then getting older and realizing how good we have it in the USA.  It’s not perfect but it’s pretty grand.  We are the fortunate ones.

Life in the Wild Woods


Last weekend some friends of ours invited us up to Lake Wildwood outside of Grass Valley.  My parents had asked us for years, “when are you going to move this way?”  I always said, “never!”  What I didn’t know was what a little gem of a lake this place has.

Near the Landing and Looking a Bit Like Memories from Lake Como

Near the Landing and Looking a Bit Like Memories from Lake Como

We went out on their pontoon party boat to view the entire lake.  The homes were beautiful and everyone on the lake was very friendly, waves all around, (no pun intended.)

Sunset Ride for Security

Sunset Ride for Us and the Security Boat

We stopped for a bit at one of their friends houses and sat out by the lake.  It was such an easy pace and we talked and laughed until we needed to return back to the dock.

Deep Blues and Full Moon Rising

Deep Blues and Full Moon Rising

The full moon began to rise over the hills and the magic of the place completely set in on me.  There are experiences in your life that just seem easy.  This location has that peaceful easy feel to me.

Sunrise and Steam Over the Lake

Sunrise and Steam Rising Over the Lake

I couldn’t wait to see the sunrise on Lake Wildwood.  The air was still as the fine moving mist rose across and off the lake.

Lovely Reflection

Lovely Reflection

We had to leave early because we had a conflict with another event.  There are days when I wish I never had those sorts of conflicts.  I could have enjoyed this view for…..well…..forever!

In Tribute


(I have added another layer to my blog, with sound, and you can visit it at this vimeo site or on Facebook.)

John at Stinson Beach

John at Stinson Beach

Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the most remarkable man.  I had no idea at the time that he would become my father-in-law.  He was, in so many ways, a true father, mentor, and friend to me.  Mine, was not the only life he touched; he touched all the people he came in contact with.  He passed away in 1990 after a year-long battle with terminal cancer.  It seems a short time ago and a long time as well.  He had a brain tumor and was loving and brave through it all.  As much as cancer is a horrible disease, it gave us all the chance to tell him what he meant to us.  I remember sitting in the church during his funeral mass; I was sad in the reality that I had only known him for a short time.  I wished it had been longer.  The depth of all our grief was immeasurable.  It was felt by each of us individually and collectively.  A bit of that sadness still remains with each of us today.  Father’s Day, without your father, seems an unfamiliar thing, but for many of us, it is just that.  A day to remember your loss, and to celebrate with our own, new Father’s Day traditions. These are the days that our father’s would have so enjoyed watching.

The song that I wrote and played for him is embedded in the vimeo at the top of the page.  I have placed the poem I wrote to express my feelings for him at the end of this post.  He enjoyed them both, although he never heard the end of the poem, as I didn’t realize that it wasn’t finished until he passed away.  That is when I added the last  part to the poem.  I read it at the cemetery on that cold and windy Wednesday.  (I’ve never liked Wednesdays much since that day.)  We celebrated Thanksgiving the next day.  It didn’t seem much like a celebration to us.  It seems like there are times, when it would just be perfect if, the world would slow down for a moment, so you could take the time to grieve.  There was a time, not so long ago, when all people driving their cars would put their lights on and follow behind the mourners until they turned off toward their loved one’s burial place.  Those were respectful times.  Maybe that is why I feel like the world should slow down, not for all time, but just for a bit.  We should remember those precious souls that we have lost.  Remember too, all that they have taught us about becoming a better person.

I Think of You 

I often think of you

In the wee hours of the morning

I hope that you are resting well

Enraptured in fantasies, dreaming

I often think of you

Many times each day

I hope this life you have

Is kind in every way

I’ll often think of you

Someday when you are gone

Memories of your ways

Will fill me with a song

I’ll often think of you

As I watch your son

And all the ways he is like you

You never will be gone

I’ll often think of you

As I watch my son

He already is, quite like you

And so the cycle runs

I’ll often think of you

As I watch his son

It’s then I will remember

That I’m the lucky one

For I wasn’t born with your genes in me

But was fortunate to be

The vehicle to pass yours on

What an honor that was for me

I never want to make you sad

I just want to let you know

You are so very spectacular

You’ve helped us all to grow

So if you’re here, or if you’re gone

Every precious moment you give

Is filled with love and memories

Of the distinctive life you live


And so Dad,

Now that you are gone

I find I often think of you

As the days continue on

I think of you

And wear a heavy heart

In the fact that now

We are far apart

I know that someday soon

My eyes will dry from tears

Those precious memories of you

Will surround me through the years

I will always miss your presence

Though your essence has come to fill

My heavy and quite saddened heart

To help my soul be still


Written by:  Bonnie DiMichele 1990


Those things that Dad loved.


Growing Family

Growing Family


Wine Making with Friends

Wine Making with Friends


Sardine Lake View

Sardine Lake View

His angel

The Love of His Life

The Love of His Life

Love you Dad!  Thanks for making wonderful memories.





Going To The Dogs



Salmon Lake

Salmon Lake

Last weekend my husband and I went fishing at Salmon Lake in the Sierra’s.  It was a rather gusty day but the fishing was good.  It was quite still at times, and then the wind would pick up and you could hear it coming before it swept down and touched your face.  There weren’t many people out on the lake but there were quite a few dogs sitting in kayaks and canoes, looking as pleased to be there as their owners were to have them tagging along.

Cody Taking A Ride

Cody Taking A Ride

The first dog was Cody and I asked his name thinking that it would be the only dog that I would see out floating on the lake.  I have been there many times and have never seen a dog gliding across the water.  Often they are playing fetch or resting on the banks of the lake.  Not too long after Cody had passed by a few times, came two more dogs.

Dog Two and Dog Three

Dog Two and Dog Three

They stopped for some time at the cove next to ours.  They were having a wonderful time playing on the bank and in the water.  Fairly soon after these dogs and owners left, came two more dogs.

Dogs with LIfe Vests

Dogs with LIfe Vests

There were again two dogs, one in one kayak and one in another.  I was a little late in capturing a good photo of the other dog.  But I can tell you that they both looked as happy as they could be.  These two, each had a life vest on.  It was my initial thought that these dogs were the most loved, because they were wearing life vests.  Upon thinking further, wouldn’t it be hard to do the doggie paddle with a life vest on?  Not to worry, as no one tipped over and they all looked like they were having a great time.  If the lake is, “going to the dogs,” I’m happy to see it.  Their presence brought an extra bit of joy to my watery surroundings.

Spring on Salmon Creek

Spring on Salmon Creek

I should mention that it is an excellent time to go see the wildflowers.  They are everywhere, next to streams, springs, and sprouting from the crevices of the rocks.  It’s quite good viewing right now.  I hope you’ll have the time to go enjoy this springtime weather soon.