David Russo's 90th Birthday...

The Tahoe Art League is a group of incredibly talented local artisans and tonight they honored one of their own- David Russo.

David is a very famous man in town for his art and his teaching. He also has an incredible history. In 1948, he won the Stephen David Epstein Memorial Art Scholarship which included a year with Pablo Picasso, in Paris. When asked about his year as National Boy of the Year, he said, “I met a lot of great people: governors, senators, movie stars, even the President of the United States, but to be the pupil of Picasso, now that’s the greatest of all.”

To get to know David Russo, through his art and the words of his friends, was a pretty magical way to spend our afternoon. He is a treasure. Happy birthday David. Here's to many more!

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Sugar Pine Story Time...

Everyone knows how much I love the Sugar Pine Foundation and when I heard they were launching a new children's book, I knew they had to do it at the South Lake Tahoe Library as part of our Friends' Programs.

The Happiest Tree in the Forest is a darling book about the sugar pine trees of Lake Tahoe. Read a loud with colorful and playful illustrations, the book told the story of Lambe, a lonely little sugar pine seedling who grows up to be a very happy tree. Almost 80 attentive listeners followed Lambe as he grew from ‘a little seed into a big pine cone’ into the biggest sugar pine in all the forest. So dang cute!

Everyone had fun while supporting the Sugar Pines.

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'Flat Denise' Friday... Part 2

Continuing to share my travels, as Flat Denise, while I was gone in Italy, I have to share Keri's as a single post. This was the only way I was to get to Vietnam, and what a trip. Keri's comments are below, explaining each of my adventures. What a hoot!

We’re on Day 4 of our adventure and we “took” you on the Mekong River today.

Anyways, you picked up a new friend as you can see in the photos – a guy named, Greg Mertz. He’s hilarious and he told me he wants to email me his picture so I’ll take him on trips around the world.  He’s a very cheeky guy and I told him how you’re in Italy.  Greg told me that he’d make your husband jealous.
By the way, the kids all got involved by either being in the photos or by designing it (e.g. Jack wanted to take photos of you in the coconuts).  It was fun to take you along and it definitely made for a funny conversation.
You stopped off a brick making place, a rice field, a coconut processing area.  We actually took you to many more places including to a “Cao Dai” temple (pronounced “cow die”) and it was really interesting – a culmination of 5 religions (Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and Confucianism), a longan processing center and a market place in a little rinky tink town but I didn’t take pictures of you there.

What a fun way for me to see Vietnam and to be remembered.

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Mardi Gras Comes Early...

While we may be a couple of weeks early, and on a Friday, our Mardi Gras in Tahoe was quite festive. And our Senior Center knows how to celebrate.

There was a joie de vivre (a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit) here as dancers of various ages moved and grooved to the Tahoe Dance Band. This was a fun night of celebration and a great way to start the weekend. Bring out the beads! 

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Creative Cards with Karen...

Some people are so creative, they truly inspire. Thankfully, I have many friends like that who love to share their talents. Today was Karen's turn.

Karen took her love of quilting and began making fabric greeting cards.
All us ladies came to her house with our sewing machines and got artistic, with much assistance. It was a morning of camaraderie and creativity.

"Good friends are like quilts -
they age with you yet never lose their warmth."

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Hard Rock Tahoe Opening... I was Media!

My friend, Kae Reed, is also the online news source Lake Tahoe News. When she was invited to the Grand Opening of the new Hard Rock, she asked me to come along as her official photographer. I was not only honored but incredibly excited. Wow!

"After a $60 million investment and six months of extensive renovation, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe opens to the public on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.  Tahoe’s newest resort casino celebrates its grand opening in true Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe style by smashing an ice guitar in lieu of a more traditional ribbon-cutting."
"A Media Preview event is scheduled for 3 p.m. on the 28th which will provide one-on-one interviews with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Chief Operations Officer Don Marrandino and a high-level property tour. This will be your only opportunity to get photos and video of the property prior to the grand opening."
We arrived when the crew was doing all the finishing touches. It was a pretty amazing opportunity, and I was digging it all.
Kae wrote a thorough article, with even more of my photos included. It's a 'must read'- Hard Rock Launches New Era.
This is the ice sculpture that was smashed in lieu of a ribbon cutting.

Warwick Stone, the memorabilia curator, gave us an informative tour of the incredible collection this Hard Rock houses.
Extra incredible to me, was the finalizing of this exhibit of Michael Jackson's glove that happened just a few hours before the Grand Opening. The attention to details, here, is exceptional.
We even toured a room. The colors, styles and little 'details' really impressed.
Media was wined and dined. The Oyster Bar had some treasures from the sea...
...Including a mermaid!
Ike and Martin, our favorite local band, could not come tonight because they had a gig elsewhere. However, they were represented by Flour Girl's guitar pick, logo decorated, cookies. I picked up some to share with those minions left outside.
After the Media event was over (4.5 hours of great hospitality) I met up with Steve and Cyndi for the public's opening. We meandered with the masses!
This was a rather poignant pause. The gentleman looking at the Woodstock display, and wearing a Woodstock patch, served four years in Vietnam. Right when he got out, he went to Woodstock. Oh the stories he could tell!
Oh, and did I mention the diverse group of people attending tonight's event?
Sharing this historical Tahoe event with friends made it that much more fun.

We were so surprised when we actually found Jan and Chris.
We ended the night in Vinyl for a free concert with the very entertaining band, Mojo Green.
What a night! I found myself overwhelmed with a sense of hopefulness for Tahoe. There was a vibe here that reminded me of what I've heard about the "Good Old Days" in South Shore. Hard Rock has blown me away with this place. It is one in which I would feel very proud to take guests and hang out in. Let's ROCK, Tahoe!

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My Hair Donation 'because I said I would'

Because I said I would is a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity. Their mission is to strengthen humanity’s will. Because I said I would encourages and supports making and keeping promises to end suffering, establish peace and build happiness.  They created the Promise Card to help hold people accountable to their commitments.

For my first Promise Card, I am doing my, most likely, final donation to "Locks of Love". My friend/hairdresser, Cyndi, also used her first Promise Card by donating this haircut. I have been growing my hair, as a promise I made, since my last donation in 2011. To read more click here "Locks of Love".

Interestingly, right after I donated my hair the first time in 2002, I bumped into a girlfriend I hadn't seen in ages.  She was with a group of friends and asked, "What did you do to your hair?"  I explained and then one of the ladies came up to me and gave me the biggest hug. She said that her daughter had a "Locks of Love" wig and it made all the difference in her life.  She had never met anyone who had donated and was so happy to have the opportunity to thank someone.  I still get choked up when I think of it.  Today's cut makes for a total of 36 inches of hair I have donated. I gleefully envision some sweet child, on a swing, with beautiful flowing locks. I'm smiling all because I said I would.

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Reno Road Trip #2...

One of the errands, yesterday, was to drop off Karen's Mac for repairs, so today we headed out to retrieve it.

Wouldn't you know, it was the only day where we actually had snow and we had to go over 7100' Spooner Summit. Thankfully, Karen invested in snow tires, and while a bit scary at times, we loved the drive. This was Karen's first drive in the snow and she did great!

This was a day of checking off the shopping list. My goal was to find new fabric to cover our dining table chairs. When I asked the clerk, "Do you have fabric that will hide Olive Oil?" she later told me she was wondering why I put oil on our chairs. I had to explain it was one of our primary food sources and we were messy!
One really fun stop was the Carson City Friends of the Library's Browser's Corner Book Store. It's an entire house of used books. We were in bibliophile heaven. Quilt stores, lunch, and a visit to the Goodwill rounded out our very full Carson/Reno day.

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