Mysterious Gigantic Tire Appears in the Woods

In this episode of Twylalword, we go on an 11 mile hike in the beautiful foothills of Northern California near the town of Foresthill. This is a GREAT hike and has very nice ups and downs and is the perfect interval workout. This trail is shared with mountain bikes and horses. Beautiful in the Spring!

We come across a weird ode to Sesame Street, a GIANT tire in the middle of the woods, and we get to hear the story about a guy dubbed “sticky pants”!

Sit back and enjoy the scenery!


Dangling Upside Down from a Running Horse!

Suicide Drag

At 40, I decided I wanted to ride a galloping horse at full speed while hanging by one foot upside down.  This is called trick riding!

Mid life crisis?  Hells yes!   It all started when I saw a photo of a woman riding a galloping horse standing up on top of the saddle! I NEED TO LEARN TO DO THIS.  This sport was huge back in the 30s through 60s, with trick riders performing at all of the rodeos. But for some reason, it started to die out and there were only a handful of people doing this sport in the entire US! There was no one to teach me!   There were no YouTube videos, no DVDs, nothing in Google that showed me how to trick ride.  NOTHING!   The only thing that I found was a book called “Trick and Fancy Riding, 140 ways to break your neck” that was written about 50 years ago.  In this book were stunts that were done on a galloping horse with little stick figures showing the prospective lunatic how to get in and out of each trick!  NUTS!

Then one day, after searching and searching in Google about anything to do with horse stunt riding and finding zilch, I came upon a very crude personal webpage of a man named Rex Rossi about 20 pages deep in the dark reaches of Google.   Rex Rossi is in the Stunt Man Hall of Fame. His trick riding saddle is on display in the Gene Autry Museum in LA. He was a national Trick Riding Champion many times over and performed at Madison Square Garden for 19 consecutive years as a trick rider and trick roper. He had been in a zillion movies and had doubled for John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Clint Eastwood and many others. He was  also a stunt man on TV shows such as Bonanza. He was legendary. I about fainted when I clicked on his contact page and it said he lived only 45 minutes from my house!

I practically had to audition for the man in order to get lessons from him. Once I proved I was serious, he finally let me bring my horse to his ranch.  He was in his 80s at this time and I was lucky to find him when I did. He passed away a couple of years later!

I became a professional trick rider performing at fairs, rodeos and private events throughout the state. I started my own trick riding team called the radical riders. I gave lessons, filmed a trick riding documentary and started the website that had the first forum about the sport before Facebook was around. I have to say that my website brought so many people into this sport and trick riding has made huge comeback. I was also profiled in this fantastic book call Wild Women and Tricky Ladies by Jill Stanford about legendary  and present day trick riders!

In 2008, I broke my arm while trick riding at a rodeo and this led to the end of my performing because my doc said I had bone density issues and I didn’t need to be hanging upside down from a horse any longer.  However, I still gave lessons at my ranch and traveled to other states to give clinics and private lessons.

Today, my chapter in this wonderful world of trick and fancy riding has come to a complete end as I start another chapter in my life. My horse is old and I quit giving lessons at my ranch. The sand in my arena has washed away from the past two winters, and I’m selling my custom trick riding saddle that I had specially made in 2008. That was a hard decision. But, its just sitting in the barn and I need the funds to buy backpacking gear! My new chapter!

What will I do next?  Hike a few hundred miles? We shall call it my golden years crisis!


janfenderdragjan hippodromejanmendozafender2008

My Mother- The Woman Who Made Me

Letting Go

Have you ever heard the story someone being at the bedside of a dying loved one and telling them it’s time to go?  Then at that moment, the loved one takes their last breath?  Have you ever experienced this yourself?  I had always heard these stories and on February 3, this happened to me. My 92-year-old mother had been living in a memory care facility for the past 6 years. It was so very hard to see her deteriorate to the shell of a person that she once was. She eventually stopped talking and was completely bed ridden.  My mother was vibrant, lively and active and if there was a plug to pull, she would have pulled it herself!  She would have never, ever wanted this.  Who would?

When I got to her room, she was breathing pretty heavy and my dad, who is 96, hadn’t arrived yet. I went to my mother’s bedside, stroked her hair and said it was OK to get going on her next journey. It was time for her to leave her old and tired body and go see her parents, sister and other family.  Right then she took her last breath.

We had prayed for her to be let out of her prison, but when it actually happens, the reality sets in that our mother is GONE!  The woman who gave birth to me and my sister, raised us, and helped take care of my son was gone forever. Our mother.

If you had an awesome mom that you lost much too early, I am so very sorry. That sucks and has to be so freaking hard. My mom was 92 and it was still hard.

The American Dream

Eloyce M. Miller (later Cornett) was born in Shawnee Oklahoma in 1924.  When she was 2 years old, mom, dad and her baby sister, Lowetta took a  Model T car over a wooden plank road to California where there was promise of work. My grandfather Pete did many things to keep the family afloat during the depression.  He was a ditch digger, a baker, a miner, a gas station owner, a farmer, a house fixer-upper, you name it. My grandmother Thelma worked right along with him. They moved around a lot!  Northern California (Nevada City, North San Juan, Auburn) then to Arizona. They moved up and down the state of California from Los Angeles to Northern California, a couple of times.

My mom graduated from Nevada City High School in 1942.  After high school, she worked as waitress, a dime store clerk, a machine shop worker, and a telephone operator. She eventually joined the Army and was stationed in Ft. Benning Georgia as a parachute rigger with the 82nd Airborne Division. It was there where she met my paratrooper dad, Marvin Cornett who had just returned from the war.  He was a  Jump Master, teaching new recruits how to jump out of planes.  My dad owned an Army surplus Harley motorcycle and they rode in the rain to the courthouse in Phoenix City Alabama and got married by a Justice of the Peace, who by the way, had tobacco stains on his shirt!  In 1946 my sister Marleen was born.  My dad got out of the Army briefly to try his hand in the civilian world, then re-joined the Army and made a career of it. The Army moved them all over the place. They lived in France and various states. I was born in 1959 in Illinois where my dad was an Army recruiter. We lived in a mobile home and my mother hated every minute of the 9 years we lived in snow country.

My mom was very happy when my dad retired from the Army and we moved back to Northern California to be close to her family and out of the snow.

My mom worked at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento CA as a secretary, an avionics repair technician, and in a warehouse where she worked on a conveyor belt boxing and moving military supplies. She even drove a forklift.

When my mom and dad retired, they traveled.. They spent several years driving their motor home from Northern California to Mazatlan Mexico and would park there for six months out of the year. They took trips all over the US, Europe, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Alaska, Canada, Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. (I may be leaving out some spots)

She was a gifted artist (oil and acrylic), craft maker, seamstress, golfer, clogger, bowler, guitar player, belly dancer, world traveler and party hostess. (She loved to throw a party!)

Safe travels Mother!  See you on the other side!

To read my mom’s entire memoir in her own words, click here

There are a ton of pics and it’s a pretty awesome read.

Click here to see the music video to the song I wrote about her mom and dad. The lyrics were taken almost word for word out of her book.

It’s my Mountain Winter Wonderland Adventure at Donner Lake!

I have been a downhill skier for the past 43 years and I thought I’d never give that up!  Sadly its become so darned expensive (100+ dollars a day) to get a few runs in. I just don’t want to pay it.  Oh sure, I could get a season pass, but then I’d have to ski a boatload of times to make the pass pay for itself. Then, the pressure is ON to get up the hill once or twice a week in the 12 week ski window in Northern California. Then there are the winters where the snow is CRAP and I just paid a boatload of dollars for a worthless season pass.

I have now switched over to snowshoeing and possibly cross country skiing. I never understood the attraction of either until last Friday. For one thing, it’s FREE (other than $5.00 parking) and it’s beautiful.  No pressure to get up the hill and use a pass and deal with the crowds, lines and ridiculous price of a lift ticket!!

Take a walk through the winter wonderland of Donner Lake with my hiking buddy John and I.   WHO ELSE has been priced out of downhill skiing?

Don’t forget to click the follow or subscribe button on the right to get email updates from me, and if you head over to my youtube channel, you can subscribe there as well.  If you are one of my email followers, go to this link to see the video!



People of Earth. Stop being Stupid.

My message for you today is that this earth is a speck upon a speck upon a speck of dust in the universe.  All of our troubles here on this Earth have been going on since it’s beginning and will, unfortunately end with the demise of humans. So, while we are dancing upon this spinning orb, have FUN!

Go outside – Pet a Puppy – Help Someone – Be Happy – Laugh – Jump Rope – Play Cards with a Friend – Dance – Sing – Draw  – Whistle – Get a new Haircut – Go Thrift Store Shopping – See a new place – Visit a Neighbor – Call Someone you haven spoken to in a long time – Send a letter in the MAIL – BE a GREAT HUMAN!   In the meantime, take a look at my latest music Vid!



The Yo-Yo diet of Politics



In light of the recent election, it seems that the country is even more divided then ever before… or is it?  I think this country has always been divided since it’s inception!  We are just more socially connected than EVER before so it gives us that illusion. Thank you Internet.

YO-YO Diet

If you don’t know what a yo yo diet is, well, it’s when a person tries to lose weight and goes on a fad diet. They lose the weight then gain it right back when they stop dieting. Then they try another diet, lose a bunch of weight, then go back to their regular way of eating, gain the weight back, then try another diet! The diets differ, but they are all still diets. One thing for certain, the dieter (the American Public) are NEVER happy about their diet (President-Congress-Politics, etc.)

As you can see, it’s a volley back and forth. Even the parties themselves have changed their stances over the years.  However, nowadays it’s only the Republicans and Democrats that get to sit at the adult table and fling food at each other.   Each political party undoes what the prior did before them, back and forth and back and forth. Undo, redo, undo redo, undo redo.  And nobody is ever happy!  EVER! One side will blame, gripe moan and groan, then the other side gets a turn. Up and down, back and forth…………………….forever and ever Amen.


Will we ever get off this Yo-Yo Diet and all have the same way of thinking?  Probably not. We are human. We all have different values and beliefs. It comes from how we were raised, what part of the country we live it, how we are wired, how we are born.   We are who we are. Humans, People, all DIFFERENT.

Did I vote for Trump? Nope!  There I said it.. out loud.  I wonder how many of my republican friend will unfriend me on Facebook. Sigh…. Do, I hope for the best? Damn right I do. Just like I hoped for the best in every president I voted for. And, I didn’t always vote democrat! Who knows if I will vote Democrat the next time around!! I really don’t know. I’m so in the middle, it ain’t funny!

It’s all a roll of the dice.  We try and make the best decision in our voting with the information we have. We don’t know the presidents that we vote for personally! It’s not like we can call each candidate and have a few drinks, dinner, movie, or go bowling with them. You know, things you do when you want to really get-to-know a person.  They are all talking heads on TV making rules that may or may not change our lives for better or worse!   It’s like telling a random stranger on the street to hold your wallet full of money while you turn your back, close your eyes and count to 20.  You don’t know this person. He may run off with it, or be a really honest person and give it right back to you. We just HOPE they are good people!  I guarantee in the least they are thinking you are a complete dumbass for handing your wallet over to a perfect stranger!

Alternate Facts

As a media spokesperson for the government.  I withheld information, I twisted information, I downright told some FIBS. It was my job to keep the media at bay and the general public on a Need-to-Know basis.  Sometimes I felt like my soul was being sucked to the dark side of the universe. From professional experience,  I don’t 100%  (maybe 73.2%) trust what an elected official has to say, nor do I trust the news media. (32%)

So What Now?

Boy, I wish I knew the answer to that one. The world is more populated, more divided, more twisted, more connected and constantly evolving. Do the best you can. Help someone in need. Mentor a young person. Volunteer. Become more involved in your community. I don’t think us humans will EVER be on the same page. That will be our ultimate demise unfortunately.

Take a look at this chart. Then Google some of these fellas to see the types of things that happened during their presidency. Some had wars, depressions, recessions, domestic crises while some made good things happen. Some (and this one is subjective to the believer) did nothing but stall at the gate.

I just hope for each and every one of you to have a great life, good health and happiness.  I just hope for the best for all of us Americans, and planet Earth.

1. George Washington (1732-1799) None, Federalist 1789-1797 John Adams
2. John Adams (1735-1826) Federalist 1797-1801 Thomas Jefferson
3. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Democratic-Republican 1801-1809 Aaron Burr, George Clinton
4. James Madison (1751-1836) Democratic-Republican 1809-1817 George Clinton, Elbridge Gerry
5. James Monroe (1758-1831) Democratic-Republican 1817-1825 Daniel Tompkins
6. John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) Democratic-Republican 1825-1829 John Calhoun
7. Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) Democrat 1829-1837 John Calhoun, Martin van Buren
8. Martin van Buren (1782-1862) Democrat 1837-1841 Richard Johnson
9. William H. Harrison (1773-1841) Whig 1841 John Tyler
10. John Tyler (1790-1862) Whig 1841-1845 .
11. James K. Polk (1795-1849) Democrat 1845-1849 George Dallas
12. Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) Whig 1849-1850 Millard Fillmore
13. Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) Whig 1850-1853 .
14. Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) Democrat 1853-1857 William King
15. James Buchanan (1791-1868) Democrat 1857-1861 John Breckinridge
16. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Republican 1861-1865 Hannibal Hamlin, Andrew Johnson
17. Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) National Union 1865-1869 .
18. Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) Republican 1869-1877 Schuyler Colfax
19. Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) Republican 1877-1881 William Wheeler
20. James Garfield (1831-1881) Republican 1881 Chester Arthur
21. Chester Arthur (1829-1886) Republican 1881-1885 .
22. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) Democrat 1885-1889 Thomas Hendriks
23. Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) Republican 1889-1893 Levi Morton
24. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) Democrat 1893-1897 Adlai Stevenson
25. William McKinley (1843-1901) Republican 1897-1901 Garret Hobart, Theodore Roosevelt
26. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) Republican 1901-1909 Charles Fairbanks
27. William Taft (1857-1930) Republican 1909-1913 James Sherman
28. Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) Democrat 1913-1921 Thomas Marshall
29. Warren Harding (1865-1923) Republican 1921-1923 Calvin Coolidge
30. Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) Republican 1923-1929 Charles Dawes
31. Herbert C. Hoover (1874-1964) Republican 1929-1933 Charles Curtis
32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) Democrat 1933-1945 John Garner, Henry Wallace, Harry S. Truman
33. Harry S Truman (1884-1972) Democrat 1945-1953 Alben Barkley
34. Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) Republican 1953-1961 Richard Milhous Nixon
35. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) Democrat 1961-1963 Lyndon Johnson
36. Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) Democrat 1963-1969 Hubert Humphrey
37. Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) Republican 1969-1974 Spiro Agnew, Gerald R. Ford
38. Gerald R. Ford (1913- 2006) Republican 1974-1977 Nelson Rockefeller
39. James (Jimmy) Earl Carter, Jr. (1924- ) Democrat 1977-1981 Walter Mondale
40. Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911- 2004) Republican 1981-1989 George H. W. Bush
41. George H. W. Bush (1924- ) Republican 1989-1993 James Danforth (Dan) Quayle
42. William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton (1946- ) Democrat 1993-2001 Al Gore
43. George W. Bush (1946- ) Republican 2001-2009 Richard Cheney
44. Barack Obama (1961- ) Democrat 2009-2017 Joseph Biden
45. Donald Trump (1946- ) Republican 2017- Michael (Mike) Pence

Attention Pilots! Heavenly Landings!

A long time ago, I took flying lessons while I was working at a small airport in Redding CA.  I never did get my license because I ran out of money – Like soooo many.  However, I did spend many years flying in the back seat of a Piper Cherokee every day as a traffic reporter in the Sacramento area.  So, I eventually got paid to fly!

My husband is the pilot these days. He’s had his private license since 1996. He’s always talking about wanting to fly a float plane!

I’m in the process of putting together an entire wall of aviation for him in the master bedroom. Its going to be loaded with my artwork and other aircraft items such as a prop, shelves that are planes coming out of the wall, etc. Here is the BIG painting that I did yesterday.  It’s 24×30 on canvas. (HUGE) I call it Heavenly Landings. What a place to land a plane, on a mountain lake!  WOW!  I do call that heaven!

If you want this painting for yourself, you can purchase the print on canvas or framed here.  You can even order cards etc.