Ways of the Washoe...

Hunga mi heshi. That means ‘hello’ in Washoe. I spent the day with three different classes of 3rd graders, helping them learn about those who were here before us.

For thousands of years, Tahoe was the place where these native people lived during the summer months. My partner, Martin, and I led the students through the Tallac Historic Site's Washoe Tending & Gathering Garden, a special place established for the Tribe to tend and gather culturally significant plants. Each of us enjoyed learning about new plants and their benefits. For the conclusion, the students found their favorite plant and did a rubbing of its leaves. This was a first for most of them, and afterward they were astonished to see the image of a leaf appear on the paper. What a great day of learning and sharing.

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The Long Weekend with the Kids...

Arriving at various stages, over a twelve hour period, the gang gathered for the Memorial Day weekend.

In addition to bowling, delicious meals were prepared, exciting games were played, a great deal of quality grandma time was had with Betty, and many wonderful memories were shared.
Karen came over and taught us a new bookbinding technique. How totally awesome was that!
Believe it or not, there were several walks to Safeway in pajamas. One time they ventured out in the rain to get a rental movie back by 9 PM. Oh youth!
The big goal was to find a spot to do some shooting! No one was disappointed by this picturesque location in 80° weather.

As far as this mom is concerned, it was a perfect weekend.
"When you look at your life,
the greatest happinesses are family happinesses."
~Joyce Brothers

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♫♪ I'm Gonna Party Like it's 2015 ♪♫

I've written about my AAUW writing group, Talking on Paper, often. This month's five minute prompt, created by the meeting's hostess, was "Tell us about an opinion that has changed from when you were younger." Here's mine:

When Prince's song, 1999, hit the airwaves, I was 19. At the time I thought, "When I get to Party Like it's 1999, I will be 37. I may not still be alive by then." My ignorant, teenage, opinion was that 37 was old and I had a great fear of growing old and dying.

A few, short years after the release of that awesome song, I lost both of my parents. Their early deaths greatly affected me. I have since embraced the adage, "Live as if today is your last because one day you will be right."

Growing old doesn't frighten me like it did during Prince's heyday. I look at each day as one to be savored and enjoyed. While no one promises us a tomorrow, today is a gift worth opening. My opinion has changed. I didn't die at age 37 and so I'm going to enjoy this here and now...  ♫♪ I'm gonna party like it's 2015. ♪♫

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Ike & Martin Thursdays... Woo!

We minions are excited...

From Ike and Martin's recent mailing:  "Thursdays are a fun run. Truly an afternoon of music at one of South Lake Tahoe’s hottest lake side locations. From 2-5, you can find us at Jimmy’s inside The Landing Resort & Spa. We played here a few months back and all we can say is wow! Swanky atmosphere, view of the lake, craft(y) cocktails by Tahoe Blue and a killer happy hour with everything priced under $9. It is probably one of the best happy hours around town with a side order of live music. We’re going to be here all Summer and we couldn't be happier about that. Put it in your calendars as the thing to do every Thursday afternoon."

Seeing these guys play, among friends, was the perfect kickoff for Summer. Oh, it's going to be awesome. Mark your calendars!

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Ambling Around Chico...

On the prettiest day yet, we set out to discover something new. We began by dining at the highest rated Mexican restaurant, as rated on tripadvisor.com. La Cocina Economica was quirky and fun.

We ran into people who were keeping the streets tidy. The Downtown Ambassadors is a citizen engagement opportunity, where volunteers from the community contribute to a clean and safe Downtown. How very cool.
When I read about the Luminary Art Benches, I knew I wanted to see some very specific ones. It's hard to believe that a place created for bottoms could be a lesson in local history and a work of art. Various artists created tributes to world-renowned persons who either lived in Chico, at one time and went on to become famous, or who contributed to the character of the town in a significant way. Armed with a map and my navigator, Steve, we discovered many interesting works.
This awesome, artist rendered (concrete) log bench, on 3rd and Wall St, is a perfect symbol for John Muir, a friend of the Bidwells. In 1877, Muir joined John and Annie on a guided trek up Mt. Shasta. It was the first of many trips during their lifelong friendship. I love this timeline of Muir's life on the rings of the tree.

Susan B. Anthony, a friend of Annie Bidwell, had a bench adorned with her quotes and a letter she had written to her fellow suffragette with the closing, "Organize, agitate and educate." Right on girlfriend!
Astronomer Carolyn Spellman-Shoemaker, the most successful 'comet hunter' to date, grew up in Chico and graduated from Chico State. Out of this world!
Julia Morgan was California's first female architect who designed well over 700 buildings, many in Chico including the Albert E. Warrens Reception Center, below.
This home is occasionally referred to as the Julia Morgan house, a Classical Revival style. It was built in 1923 for Chico physician Daniel H. Moulton and his family. Around every corner, there is history to be discovered.
We traversed the same route as this mail carrier, and at one point we even shouted across the street to him that he was very dapper. I had to photograph him in front of the card store. It was an irony I was particularly tickled by.

As our rambling adventure comes to an end, we delight in all the unique sights we've seen and all the knowledge we've gained... and it was super fun.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience
can never go back to its old dimensions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Our Diverse Day In & Around Chico

This trip seems to have been one very grand history lesson and each new thing we learn adds to our adventure novel. I love it all.

I have a thing for covered bridges so we had to visit this one, located just outside Chico.
The wooden Honey Run Bridge was originally built in 1886, and was later covered in 1894. The bridge was open to vehicular traffic until a car crashed into and damaged it in 1965. The covered bridge is now used as a pedestrian footbridge and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
The bridge spans Butte Creek Canyon, nicknamed "The Little Grand Canyon". The scenery was breathtaking and we agreed it was a pretty accurate moniker.
Another of my 'things' are pioneer cemeteries. Started during the Gold Rush, we found that the earliest burials here were gold miners who came to Butte Creek Canyon seeking their fortunes. In March of 1900, five pioneer families joined together to form the Centerville Cemetery.
I love this name: Friend Baker, a Native of England.
After Centerville, we took a long, winding dirt road, high above Butte Creek Canyon, back to town. As we traversed the mountain top, a young black bear ran across our path. He was too quick for us to stop and photograph him, sadly.
But in the town of Paradise, we glimpsed these cute bears and made a u-turn. We had to stop at Second Hand Sally's to see the extensive (and darling) selection of chainsaw carved bears created by World Famous Bear Carver, Daniel Forschler. This pair, according to Daniel, is 1 of 4,000 he has sold this year. We absolutely love them.
A picnic lunch and more local history lessons occurred at The Patrick Ranch Museum, a unique place dedicated to enhancing people’s understanding and appreciation of Chico's rich agricultural heritage through the presentation of its collection, rotating exhibits, and interpretive displays.
We couldn't remember the last time we were on a teeter-totter. This John Deere creation was pretty darn fun and a nice break from touring!
The gardens beckoned us to linger and explore.
This was the first time we have seen walnuts growing, up close.
The Ranch is a very bee-friendly place. They teach classes to help people learn how to make adjustments to gardens, using a variety of plants to provide food, water and shelter for bees. They also share an interactive children's story, about bees and why they are important. Got to love bees!
The Museum is home to the 1877 Glenwood Farmhouse, a Visitor Center and Gift Shop, as well as multiple barns, a priceless collection of artifacts, and is located on 28 picturesque acres between Chico and Durham. Our lessons were extensive, and included the history of how this all came to be and how uniquely tied with the Gold Rush it all is. Originally, this land was a Grant given to James Marshall (yes, the man who first discovered gold, 134 miles away). It was all so very interesting to learn, especially while exploring the fully restored and wonderfully furnished Farmhouse. Fabulous, almost overwhelming history!

Last time we were in Chico, we toured Bidwell Mansion. Today, we ended our day at Bidwell Park (1905). We only barely scratched the surface of the Park's 3,670 acres (nearly 11 miles). We definitely have a great deal more to explore!

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Left Shasta for Warm Chico...

As we prepared to move on from our current home at Lake Siskiyou, Mount Shasta finally revealed its majestic self... a parting gift of sorts. I was beginning to think it did not exist.

Before heading back to Tahoe's highs in the 50s, we have booked into a campground in Chico, whose temperature was 80° today... just perfect for dining at Scotty's Landing, located on the edge of the Sacramento River.
It was open mic night and we were excited to be warm and entertained! And $8.18 fish & chips was definitely part of the draw.
We had read about this place in Savor, Chico's dining and nightlife guide. We were up for getting out of town, being this is Graduation Weekend and we knew town would be packed.
The entrance was a bit scary but once inside Scotty's, along the river, we were transported. We didn't feel like we were here and now but in a different time and place. Was it the band playing Neil Young? Was it the former hippies? Was it the river setting? All we know is it was fun. It was unique. It was a different Chico than we had previously experienced. Four thumbs up!

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Mt. Shasta Historical Society Fundraiser

On our way to camping, we passed the Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum and saw a sign for their annual History Night fundraiser. I was intrigued and we popped in for the last two tickets available. We were so lucky to attend this sold out event.

Our tickets included an early admission so we took the opportunity to fully explore this extremely comprehensive museum.
The newest exhibit was entitled 'Round the Mountain' and presented the enthralling history of the railroad in these parts. Wow.

How perfect that the speaker was well-known railroad author/historican and former SP trainman, John Signor. John's engrossing talk was on the history of the Shasta Division and the evolution of rail in this part of the world.  It was incredible, worthwhile and entertaining- an evening to support the local museum! Extensive appetizers, a no-host beverage bar, raffles, silent auction, and live auction were the components of a truly unforgettable night.
We loved this opportunity to be a part of local history.

Seize every opportunity along the way,
for how sad it would be if the road you chose
became the road not taken.
~Robert Brault

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