Happy Last Day of 2011...

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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Barbecues and bonfires...
We spent our day shopping for cabin supplies and then went to Christy's parents' (the Guys) home for dinner.  What a great day.
We spent hours in IKEA looking for cabin furnishings after eating our favorite meal, fifteen meatballs served with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberries all for $3.99. YUM.
The sunset, viewed from the Guys' front patio, was spectacular.
Christy's brother, Dan, is opening a brewery (Fezziwig's Brewery) and we were all treated to samples while waiting for the barbecued burgers to be cooked to the usual perfection.
Dessert was around the campfire... S'mores (sometimes spelled smore) a traditional nighttime campfire treat popular in the US and Canada consisting of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.
S'more appears to be a contraction of the phrase, "some more." While the origin of the dessert is unclear, the first recorded version of the recipe can be found in the publication "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts" of 1927.  Steve thinks this was his first s'more even though his mom says that's not true.  It was a fantastic day of some of my favorite things.

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Our Tahoe Cabin...

Excitedly, Steve and I have entered into escrow on our dream Tahoe cabin.  The entire process has been a learning experience for me.  Escrow: What is it?  Very simply defined, an escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed or other instrument by one party for the delivery to another party upon completion of a particular condition or event.

As long as everything goes as planned we will be the proud owners of a home in South Lake Tahoe.

Welcome to a place with enough around-the-clock awesomeness to keep you playing all day and partying all night, all on the shore of the largest alpine lake in North America, its clear water surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains. Jaw-dropping vistas, stately groves of pines, and ludicrously gorgeous sunsets await.  When it comes to wild life, we've got both kinds. In spades. South Lake Tahoe is a combination of many things:  the great outdoors, as well as tasty restaurants, hopping dance clubs and kaching-ing casinos (a little Lake history- Lady Luck arrived at the Lake and unpacked her bags in 1944, when Harvey's Wagon Wheel Saloon and Gambling Hall opened as one of the area's first gaming establishments. But competition soon sprang up and so did the need for more permanent accommodations. By the 1950s, roads began to be plowed year-round, enabling access to permanent residences. When the 1960 Winter Olympics came to Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe was put firmly on the map as the skiing center of the western United States).

I thought this description answered the "Why Tahoe?" question perfectly, "South Lake Tahoe is really a senses overload of aesthetic resplendence. It's the photo you cannot get free from your mind, the look the thing is whenever you close your vision and think about natural splendor, and also the epitome of other nutritional foods we attempt to determine once within our lives. The benefit South Lake Tahoe offers may be the ease of access of this stuff, in other words, how easy it's to have the ability to fill the mind, camera and post office box with reminiscences, photos and postcards. 

Many people refer to it as the wow factor yet others simple shrug and let you know it's indescribable. But whatever term you decide to dub it under, it's the essence of South Lake Tahoe, CA."
Please keep your fingers crossed that all goes as well.  We'll let you know when we start taking reservations.

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Happy #2 Brenton & Christy...

Today is the second anniversary of my baby, Brenton, marrying the girl of his dreams, Christy.  We are so happy they are in town so we can celebrate their happily-ever-after, too!
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.
~Mignon McLaughlin

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Enjoying the holiday at home...
Fred and Brady dropped by for Christmas afternoon on the front deck of the in-law's home.  There is such a mountain feel here that makes us feel away from it all...
The 70°+  weather made it feel very summery but Brady's very perfect gift, of a Nepalese hat, made me feel Christmasy anyway!
Matt joined Kegan and Steve in their new hiking boots (complete with his new bear killing knife) for a hike on the Santa Rosa Plateau.  Since all Haerr men refused to carry a camera, I captured the spirit of the day before they left.  It could not be a more perfect December day.

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Celebrating Christmas....

Twas the day before Christmas and all through the Haerr house,
And each of us celebrated with family and/or spouse.

After a brunch of delicious food lovingly prepared,
"I'm so excited about Christmas!" was suddenly declared.

The beautiful gifts were scattered about,
"Let's open presents", was the unanimous shout.

Each person was delighted with all they received,
Another successful Christmas for Santa was achieved.

May your holidays be ones of much love and delight,
Wishing you the best.  Sweet dreams and good night!

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Day 2 in Tahoe...AWESOME!

We spent our Saturday, touring cabins and enjoying the warmer weather.  Breakfast was at my favorite spot- The Red Hut.

After house hunting, we drove around the lake viewing the beauty of Tahoe.  What a great day.

Dinner was back at The Brewery!  We're becoming 'locals' already.

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Greetings from Tahoe...

Steve, Kegan and I have escaped to South Lake Tahoe for two nights of exploring.  Steve and I have spoken of purchasing a small cabin home here and we are using these two days to look around and also just have some fun before Christmas.

We are spending the weekend at an incredible inn, The Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa.  Our room has a private balcony overlooking the lake.  I can't wait until morning to see it.  Dinner was a delectable meal at The Brewery.

The skies are a glorious clear blue and the crispness in the air (36
°) makes it feel like Christmas.

Mark Twain sees the Sierra's sapphire lake:
"...at last the Lake burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! ... As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords."

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A holiday gathering of Chick Flick friends...

Once a month, for the last few years, an eclectic and fabulous group of ladies have met for lunch and a movie.  Today we gathered for great food and exceptional conversation at my mother-in-law's home.  We reminisced, shared and mostly laughed and felt grateful for the friendships.

At Christmas play and make good cheer,
for Christmas comes but once a year.
-- Thomas Tusser

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From Tehachapi to SLO to home...

I left Leslie's before the snow fell and picked up Kegan on my way home.  For those who aren't up on California geography, I actually drove 165 miles out of my way and added 6 hours to my drive home, but it was worth hugging on Monica and seeing Kegan's new digs.  In addition, we had over six hours to get caught up.  What a great end to my weekend away.

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A day of celebrating Leslie...

Our day began with an invigorating two mile walk at the local park under a beautiful sky and in warm sunshine.  It was a gorgeous day (with threats of snow looming in the background however).  As I type this, I don't know if I will really be going home tomorrow or not.  Tehachapi is known as "The Land of Four Seasons" - sometimes all in one day.  Fingers are crossed that we have the same glorious weather as the last three days.

I prepared Leslie's birthday dinner at her mom, Barbara's house.
Pasta à la Checca is one of my favorite dishes to prepare, share and eat. 

Tradition dictates that Leslie's cake shall be a 'yule log'.  I was not disappointed because it was a delicious chocolate chip mint ice cream cake and I believe my first ever "log".

After presents, hot tea and an exciting game of Scrabble
® (which I won by one point) the party, which included Leslie's son, Ivan and her boyfriend, Dwight, gathered in the 30° weather for sparklers.  Nothing says "birthday" like sparklers.  This day was a delightful ending to a fantastic weekend of friendship!

A birthday is just the first day of another
365-day journey around the sun.
Enjoy the trip.

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