About Me

Hi, my name is Marsha Ingrao. I live in Central California, Tulare County, in the foothill community of Elderwood, north of Woodlake and east of Visalia.


I have a brother in Portland. He and his wife have no children. Our parents, both only children themselves, have both passed. Hal, my mother’s first cousin lives in Delaware, and his family, whom I met a few years ago is the extent of my blood relatives as far as I know.
I’ve had two husbands, both for over twenty years. My first one passed away at age 47 of a rare genetic disease.  His sister had passed at age thirty-six of the same illness. His mother, though senile, lived to be ninety. His father died before I met him.
At forty-three I remarried and became a mother, for the first time, of a twenty-five-year-old step-son. Through my second husband I also gained a brother and sister-in-law, niece, nephew and great-nephew, and a sister, and for a short time, parents. 
This is not my husband, Vince, by the way.


It was hard to retire after working for so long. My career spanned diverse jobs, everything from selling Parents Magazine door to door, selling real estate, working as dental assistant, managing offices and doing books, and teaching in elementary school, and finally earning a master’s degree and working as an educational consultant at Tulare County Office of Education. 
Since retiring, I have focused more on writing, blogging, traveling, and community service. I’m the secretary of our Kiwanis of Woodlake Club and maintain the website, social media accounts, and the monthly newsletter.

I’ve published two books.  

Fiction is still on my bucket list. I have written, but not published two NaNoWriMo novels:
  • Girls on Fire, a fiction novel about three women in their 50s and 60s who are looking for new love and a change in life.
  • Winning Jenny’s Smile, a middle school fiction about Jenny’s first months in a new school.


  • Hi Marsha! I stumbled upon your blog, but I think I’ll stick around. Good work! Pleased to meet you, Marina
  • Hello Marsha! I’ve decided to read and follow 15 interesting and new blogs a day every day for the first month of 2015, and yours is today’s #5! Jacob
  • You have a great life philosophy. Thanks so much for visiting my blog.🙂 Sue
  • Greetings! I’ve nominated you for the “Light of the World Award”! Congratulations!! Amreen
  • First and foremost I’m a teacher.

Welcome to Traveling and Blogging Near and Far

Tell me about yourself.

208 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. I love your bio and the pictures from your past! And I can just picture you laughing so hard as you were trying to read the Sideways story! You’ve learned and done so much in your years teaching. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hiya Marsha, not sure if im breaking the rules but ah who cares. i nominated you for the one lovely blog award back because i love your blog, i get your sense of humour and its great to meet someone as crazy as me!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what happened to my comment back to you, but I’ll reply again, so if you get two replies to this, you’ll understand – things happen to stuff. Do you lose things? I do! Thanks for nominating me. I have no idea what all this means, but it’s fun anyway. We can post our Lovely Blog award pictures front and center all over our blogs together!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ha ha yes i lose things!! i have a saying..you know you need glasses when you cant find your glasses!! and i walk upstairs a lot forgetting why im there once i get to the top..although that could just be dementia!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously??? Thanks so much. You are so sweet!!! Isn’t this totally fun? I am enjoying reading other people’s sites that I would never have known if I hadn’t started this. What an amazing hobby! Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Margaret,
    It was genuinely “nice” to meet you today. Thanks for visiting and commenting. In order for me to remember to keep visiting, I’m going to have to “stalk” you know by pressing the follow button. Otherwise, I may never find my way back.
    Be well,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is just too beautiful! I missed your about page before and am delighted to have found it now. What a plethora of inspiration here. I am too delighted. Me dad is hoping to become a teacher of highschoolers, middleschoolers, after thirty years of technical writing. He has long dreamed of being a teacher. Here, your story is just too inspirational, and fuels my hope that he will indeed achieve this goal. Definately in love with your blog.


    Autumn Jade

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Tanshree. Amazing to me that I achieved the career of my dreams. I have enjoyed it so much. Just as amazing I am retiring as of Thursday of this week! Now I hope to start my next career which will include writing and photography and blogging.


      1. wow.I am so impressed by your zest for life. Your second innings start from friday then. I wish you all the luck that can take you as far as you want to go in your life!
        All the best!


  6. hmmm just wanted to tell you that my mom was also a teacher before she decided to takecare of me and sis on fulltime basis…but even till today her students keep visiting our house and they have always shown a great respect to my mom…….this can happen only to teachers .My family actually is full of teachers (My 2 uncles, My mom, My sis along with her Management job, My cousin sister and many more are in to teaching profession) ….i can see a wonderful teacher with a great heart in you ……keep writing, teaching , experimenting with website ….I wish you and your family loads of happiness …..:-)

    I shall pick the tasty award in a day or two…please dont give it to anyone else its for meeeeeeee:-
    My mind has caught something new and unable to write or do anything on blog for today and tomorrow ….will be back with nominations and my articles shortly….


    1. What a nice reply! Thank you. The award is for YOU, I won’t give it away to someone else! I do love teaching, and amazingly today is my last full official day of my career. I will be officially retired tomorrow.


      1. I know that you know this truth that teacher will not have a retirement ….its a very meaningful life isn’t it to have brought light into many young brains…am sure all your students would miss seeing you in class but they will see you in their hearts forever with your teachings …..feeling lovely talking to you ……just logged in to see your reply and again am going back to my book not doing anything for the day on cimplicityrockss…

        Takecare mam …..
        Let me know how the day was on your last day of official teaching career …:-)

        i shall also check with my mom how she actually felt on the last day of teaching job…. 🙂


        1. You may have received TONS of these replies, but my computer kept hiding the REPLY button this morning, so when I scrolled down, all my writing disappeared. I see the button, now, so I’ll chance it this time! I wrote today’s post to tell YOU about my last day. It was MORE than awesome. I have some amazing friends. Hope you enjoy the post. Tell your mom hi for me.


      1. I have been retired for about 16 years. Seems like only yesterday. I taught 4th, 5th and 2nd grades.
        I know things have changed …. some for the better and some for….the other way. lol

        But one thing never changes. We would never be teaching and stay with it if
        we didn’t love the kids and think that we could really make a difference.

        But I’m kind of glad I am retired. 🙂


        1. Congratulations, and I agree with you. When I moved into consulting, my teaching changed to adults mostly, and I got to go back and teach in classes occasionally. Those days were like adrenaline highs. I just retired on Thursday


    1. Awwww Alistair Is this going to get embarrassing???? I’m honored though. It’s always amazing when people want to know more about me. l’il ole me!!!! WOW!!! Manny is hugging me and we are bouncing around the room. 🙂


    1. Hi Esenga,
      I wasn’t quite sure what to do about this, but it sounds like a challenge to write about Spain. That sounds interesting – broad topic!!! 🙂 Are you going to write about Spain? I’ve never been there, have you? My picture would have to be borrowed. 🙂


  7. I’m going to answer you here until my computer is fixed via Costco tech support. Notifications acts as if my replies to comments that I have made on other blogs is sitting there as the thingy goes round and round. I can’t access email either so I will get back to you re: all comments later today if not ssooner. IO have not eaten breakfast yet and it is not 1;25pm. Met with my nurse friends that all retired before or after I retired (4 of us worked on same unit) I had not eaten before I met with them., I had a long day yesterday traveling a total of 260 miles for my MD appt.. in the hill country of Texas. I live about 30 miles from where the hill country begins or ends- whatever you choose. I take the scenic route and not the main highway for most of the drive.



    1. It’s so frustrating to be hampered by technology. We wouldn’t be anywhere without it, but when it doesn’t do its end of the bargain, GRRRRRR. I hear you about breakfast. I finally got dressed at 11:00 because a friend called to go on a walk, and I also was going out for lunch. I had spent the entire morning on the computer doing various tasks and projects. I have not been to Texas except in the airport and in San Antonio for a week-end meeting. I loved San Antonio!!! 🙂 Marsha 🙂


    1. Hi Miss Mischievous,

      You are so sweet. You are the one who is Very Inspiring!! I accept your compliment even though I have received that award, I appreciate your thoughtfulness in naming me!!! 🙂 Marsha 🙂


  8. number one: your blog is so super cute 😀 I love the little bunnies at the end of the page,
    number two: I love the fact that you add pictures / visuals to your posts, I think they make the posts even more interesting.
    number three: Im so so glad to have someone as jolly and talented as you following my blog and commenting, I FEEL LIKE IM ON TOP OF THE WORLD 😀 hahah!
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences.

    Tell you something, I wanna be a teacher one day. Perhaps I could get some advice on THAT 😉


    1. I loved being a teacher, and I didn’t start until I was 37. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was 13, so it took me a long time, but I finally did it! Let me know how I can help. I will address your questions in my next week, “Ask Marsha” post. Lots of love 🙂 M


  9. Nice to see your blog. In your About page, ypu made a summary of life which most people will see as the part of their own’s life summary. If you want to save memories of your life with pictuers, audio, satellite views, travel account, etc. then have a look at my blog to see downloadable video presentations: http://mushtaqtariq.wordpress.com


        1. Even after you’ve seen how rough my first drafts are, you still nominated me!!! That makes me feel good! I’m afraid that now that I’ve settled into retirement, my blogging has been much blotchier than it was last year.
          However, the friends I’ve made on the Internet have become close friends now after a year and a half of blogging. We’ve all moved beyond the blogging platform to connect in different ways, 😀 Thanks again! ☺


  10. Hi Marsha, just wanted to say thanks for your comment–that was very nice!
    I thought our paths had crossed, maybe via Guapo! As big as the internet is, it’s still a small world isn’t it?
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, thanks again for your nice words,


  11. Hello newest Spikey! I know, a bit corny, eh, but that’s the term that has come to stick for those folk who are part of the clan known to be followers of Uncle Spike 🙂

    Thank you… I really appreciate that as I for one, know how many interesting and entertaining blogs are out there.

    My aim is to deliver an eclectic offering of posts, from my ‘point n shoot’ attempts at basic photography, to the sharing of my travel adventures over the decades, as well as day to day happenings here on the farm. Oh, plus a few observations on life as I see it, thrown in for good measure.

    My promise to you is not to be overbearing, just a couple of posts a day, maybe 3 at weekends if I have something special to share. But if you are at a loose end one day, maybe you’ll enjoy trawling through some of my older stuff too. I have added plenty of categories to help in said digging process.

    Thanks again and hope you have a great day…



    1. Welcome to my home, Uncle Spike. Hope you enjoyed browsing, and will come back. This is my streaming blog when I write whatever is floating by in my life at the time. Thanks for taking the time to check in and see what’s happening in my life. 🙂


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