Worst Hour of My Life – Petrilla Fire in Reno Nevada

June 16 2021

Just spent one of the worst hours of my life. I was getting a massage (thank goodness I was nice and relaxed), and when done I had texts from Thomas and Lillian. A fire right across Mt Rose Hwy, from our place. Couldn’t tell if the mandatory evacuation applied to our address.

Took me an hour to get home due to road closures, usually takes 15 minutes. I was near hysterical at the Mt Rose Hwy roadblock, letting them know my kids were home alone. We’re all okay now. Ready to evacuate if it looks like it’s gonna jump the highway, and they order an evacuation. 😱🔥😱

Good thing Thomas has experience with Lillian having a meltdown. Because, let me tell you. She had one. Lots of screaming in the background, as he and I stayed on the phone the entire time. Whew!

I was on the verge of parking my car and walking/running home. Momma bears don’t play! Everyone is calm now. Whew!

I didn’t even get to enjoy the immediate effects of it! I was about to pay my massage therapist and saw all the texts from Thomas and Lillian. I texted her when I got home, and she said, “Now you need another massage.” Gurl! You got that right! I’m trying to relax into it now. Whew!

Helicopter dropping water.

So grateful that Thomas remained calm. The fire is contained now. Two helicopters continue to drop water. All of Team TLC are calm now. Momma Bear may have been on the verge of hysterics, but I was ready to park my car, and walk/run the rest of the way home to my kids. Whew!!

June 17 2021

We are just fine. All is calm. The fire was 40% contained as of 3 hours ago. We don’t have tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme weather (often), and usually only mild earthquakes. What we get starting about this time every year, are fires. We are used to having them. However, this is the first time one has been this close.

As a family, we learned a few things we still need to work on. I think Lillian may always have a meltdown during these times. This is a girl who had to be forewarned about fire alarms/drills when she was in school. Hopefully, we can shorten the duration, and/or have them be less intense. She was calm by the time I finally made it home! That was good on her part! She was texting with friends, and I think that helped.

I’ve just added to my “to do” list to create an evacuation checklist to hang on the cork board, should this ever happen again. We already have an emergency backpack loaded with supplies.

An interesting thing that happened for me, perhaps highlighting the cords between a mother and her children. Before we began the massage, I asked my massage therapist to get my phone out of purse and put it next to it so we could hear it if it vibrated, in case my kids need me. She did that. Neither one of us heard it vibrating for some reason.

During the session, near the end, I began to have something like a panic attack. My anxiety levels were high, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I nearly screamed, but kept myself calm thinking perhaps I was releasing some crud lodged in my muscles. That would have been the exact time that Thomas and Lillian were texting me. Interesting. And next time, that phone is going to be on the table with me!

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments and concerns, and to those who have reached out (that live close) so that I will have backup helpers should we need it in the future. 😍 (Photo of Team TLC from November 2018)

Smothered by the Smoke With New Fires and More Smoke to the Tipping Point

August 20 2020

We’re getting smothered by the smoke from the California fires. This was yesterday. Looks about the same today. Sending much love to the people and animals whose homes this is affecting.

September 6 2020

The sky yesterday, looking the same today. We were finally clearing, with no new fires in California. That changed yesterday. New fires, more smoke.

September 12 2020

I’m so glad I went for that hike on Wednesday; which was the only clear blue sky day this week. Yesterday we were in the orange and red. Woke up this morning to very unhealthy. I added a black arrow to the satellite image showing where Reno is located. I’ve heard from a friend in Australia, that some of their firefighters are on the way to help.

My arrow points to Reno. Except I overshot it a bit. We’re actually closer to the state border.

September 14 2020

I stepped out to go pick up dinner ….

September 15 2020

I ask Thomas what he wants for dinner. He tells me, then after I let him know there are leftovers, he says he will have the leftovers instead.

I then walk into the kitchen and make him both dinners. I made two dinners for one person. I’m losing my mind! Is anyone else doing weird stuff like this? 😳😂🤪 The smoke, the pandemic, and people acting like fools are beginning to get to me. 🤣🥴😂 … The smoke has been the tipping point for me.

Wild Horses with Huge Clouds

February 25 2020

Lovely hour long walk yesterday. Passed by a gorgeous family of wild horses that had been lounging in the construction area mess. It’s such a treat to get to see them. 🙏♥️♥️♥️🙏

February 28 2020

From yesterday’s walk …. 💙💚

February 29 2020

Huge cloud yesterday afternoon. 💙💙💙

Throwback Post: An Amazing Food and Culinary Experience

**THROWBACK POST**

May 11 2014:

This was THE MOST AMAZING food and culinary experience I have ever had!! This is what food is supposed to taste like! Good golly!! I got to take a trip to Seregno, Lombardia in Italy on Sunday night with some very beautiful and loving friends … Brenda, Glenna and Noreen!!

arte italia is delighted to welcome renowned Italian chef Giancarlo Morelli of Ristorante Pomiroeu for three culinary and wine pairing classes May 11 – May 13, 2014. Pomiroeu is located in an old courtyard in Seregno, Lombardia, just outside Milano. The restaurant sits on a quiet corner and combines classic and contemporary charm with a cosmopolitan spirit and welcoming atmosphere, much like Chef Morelli and the cuisine he prepares.

After graduating from the Institute Hotelier of San Pellegrino Terme, Chef Giancarlo embarked upon his career as head chef on the cruise line The Pacific Princess. In 1981, Morelli began consulting for various Italian restaurants throughout the world until he decided to focus on his own culinary creations and opened Pomiroeu.

Over the years, Chef Morelli has won many awards including the “Riso Gallo Risotto of the Year.” Risotto has always held a special place for Giancarlo. “Rice is the food of my heart,” he says. “I consider rice, with its elemental elegance, a valuable raw material that is a bit like a beautiful, rough stone, and when expertly crafted, reveals its potential and value.” It is with that passion and spirit that Pomiroeu has earned the coveted Michelin Star.

The cuisine at Pomiroeu is varied and follows the traditions and authentic flavors of the Lombardia region infused with Chef Morelli’s creative genius. His kitchen is part laboratory and part innovation. The Chef maintains a deep respect for seasonal, raw products of the highest quality in order to preserve the authenticity of the dish’s origins.

When conceiving a menu, ingredients are evaluated in relation to one another and their ability to create emotions. Says Chef Morelli of his process: “I do not think the plate. I feel it.”

The culinary class schedule for each day will include the demonstration and preparation of an authentic Italian dinner beginning with antipasto, primo piatto, secondo piatto and dolce. In addition, fine Italian wine will be paired with each dish.

Our menu for the evening. Chef Morelli only speaks Italian so Chef Ivano from La Strada was the interpreter for us.

Dolce: Sbrisolona tart Bavarese with coffee mascarpone and creme anglaise gelato …. I have honestly never had gelato this freakin amazing! The PERFECT meal. Did not leave feeling bloated and over full. Just perfect!! xoxo

Chef Morelli only speaks Italian so Chef Ivano from La Strada was the interpreter for us.

Secondo: Sea salt crusted rack of veal with shallot confit, sage scented pineapple gelato, honey, and mint … The sage came straight from Chef Morelli’s home garden! He brought it with him! Oh My Word!!! This was so very delicious paired with the gelato!

Checking the secondo! Chef Morelli only speaks Italian so Chef Ivano from La Strada was the interpreter for us.

Primo: Carnaroli risotto with saffron, bone marrow and a white wine glaze

We had a ball cheering on the tossing of the risotto!! Look how high he got it!

A little lesson on butter and clarified butter!

Antipasto … Goat cheese terrine with sardines, slightly smoked smashed tomatoes, and crispy garlic chips

This is what Chef Morelli is famous for … I see why! Words cannot describe how yummy this risotto was … Oh My Gosh!!

Nevada Humane Society Duck Races – River Rats

August 18 2019:

Although Thomas and I haven’t been able to volunteer at the Humane Society in quite a while, he was adamant he wanted to volunteer at the duck races …. as a river rat. (The duck races are an annual fundraising event put on by the Nevada Humane Society. People adopt a rubber duck for $5 each and the winners, first ducks to the finish line, win things!!)

The river rat volunteers get in the river and line the “race” section so as to help any ducks that get sidetracked. 20,000 rubber ducks is a huge load of ducks!!! Once the race was over, we helped get the 20,000 ducks out of the river. That’s a lot of work!! Thomas is in the photo across the river from me. 😃

I’m so glad Thomas suggested this. I didn’t want to go. I’ve got so much to do and I’m not a fan of crowds. Yet …. I had so much fun!!!! Watching the kids and their excitement about it was heartwarming. And, I loved swooshing the water around the ducks who were headed for the side, to help them back into the race. Cool!

Amazing and Beauty and Colors

October 17 2018:

Sunset walk with Lillian Darnell tonight. Oh my gosh! Such amazing beauty and colors. 🍁🍁

October 18 2018:

Hour long walk this morning in which I used the time to love the discomfort that had risen to the surface. It went deep. Ahhhh … Grateful for the beauty and innocence of nature and for facilitating feeling and releasing. 💚🌏💙 … Writing a more in depth post to share more …

Where Would You Fly at Reno Barnes & Noble

October 19 2018:

On Saturday, Nov 10th, Lillian and I will be at the Reno Barnes & Noble for a “Where Would You Fly” book signing from 11-5. We’d love to see you there!! xoxo

Team TLC on Plush Life TV Show – Better Pictures

June 2 2018:

That time a couple of months ago when we were invited for a segment on The Plush Show in Reno. We talked about being a family of authors. Thank you Jen!!

Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #1 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #2 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #3 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #4 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #5 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #6 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #7 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #8 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #9 Team TLC on The Plush Life TV Show 2018 Better Pictures #10

To learn more about each of our books you can go here ….

Where Would You Fly by Lillian Darnell

Biggest Little Photographer by Thomas Darnell

D iz for Different by Camilla Downs

Mesmerizing and Love and Angels and Snow Melt and Spring and Peaceful and Beautiful

March 6 2018:

Thomas and I went for a walk this afternoon. The clouds and sun were incredibly mesmerizing. He and I still mourn the beautiful and majestic tree that stood where Thomas is standing. He’s imagining that it’s still there and he’s climbed it. Love nature and trees deeply.

Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #1 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #2 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #3 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #4 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #5 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #6 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #7 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #8 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #9 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #10 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #11 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #12 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #13 Thomas and Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 3.6.18 #14

March 7 2018:

Spotted while walking the cute Yonce yesterday (a wee little French bulldog I get to take for walks). Lots of love and angels floating around. xoxo

Walk with Yonce Vintage 3.7.18 #1 Walk with Yonce Vintage 3.7.18 #3 Walk with Yonce Vintage Heart 3.7.18 #2 Walk with Yonce Vintage Heart 3.7.18 #4

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March 7 2018:

Just the sound of melting snow filling the little lake. Love this sound! On the walk with Thomas yesterday afternoon.

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March 9 2018:

Spotted on Wednesday!! I see you Spring!! Yay!!

First Spring Flowers 3.9.18

March 11 2018:

Solo walk this afternoon. Incredibly peaceful with beautiful birdsong floating through air. I love trees!

Camilla Solo Walk Vintage Lake 3.11.18 #1 Camilla Solo Walk Vintage Lake 3.11.18 #2 Camilla Solo Walk Vintage Lake 3.11.18 #3