Valhalla Renaissance Faire... Huzzah!

For the fourth summer in a row, I've been fortunate enough to be a volunteer at this extravaganza in the forest at Camp Richardson. 

Some of the most fun is the fact that many of our friends volunteer with us or are at the Faire as guests.

Naughty Steve!

It was an 80°+ day. I can only imagine how this knight felt. Regardless, he looked awesome!
The Queen and her court are always interesting to watch.

Séan Cummings, the Tahoe Bagpiper, serenaded us with a wonderful tune.
The thing I love the most about the Renaissance Faire is its carefree ambiance. One can be whomever one wants and no one passes judgement. It is a pageant of creativeness. I know of no other place quite so accepting and fun. Until next year!

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“Growing Up Muir” at the Library...

I have always been a fan of John Muir- the naturalist, conservationist and writer. Today, I learned about a different John Muir- the farmer, inventor, and amazing family man from someone who should know... his great-great grandson!

In a highly anticipated Friends of the Library presentation, Robert Hanna shared an intimate family portrait of John Muir.
Robert said that many believe John Muir was always an older man. He wanted us to know more. He began at Muir's birth, describing his long, interesting life. We learned of the many sides of Muir through family stories, never-before-seen photographs, and personal writings. Most of the 90 attendees listened with rapt attention.
What an afternoon of getting to know such a unique individual. I feel like I met John Muir today. It was an unbelievable opportunity, one for which I am beyond grateful.

“I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.”
-John Muir

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GE Family Concert Series in Minden, NV

I love magical moments. Those events that come together and just make you realize how totally awesome life is. This concert. This place. These people. Magical.

Garratt Wilkin & the Parrotheads (a Jimmy Buffett tribute band) opened the Minden Park 2015 GE Family Concert Series with grand style and "changes in attitude".

What a perfect place for Mitch to celebrate his #65.

Great music in an exceptional locale, warm temperatures, fabulous food and fantastic friends- Welcome to Summer... it is going to be amazing!

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Pontoon Launch with Bob & Jenny...

Nothing says summer quite like the launching of a boat!

"And we live here!"
On the pontoon
Makin' waves and catchin' rays up on the roof
Jumpin' out the back, don't act like you don't want to
Party in slow motion
Out here in the open
-Song by Little Big Town

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Round Hill Round Up BAHM

We rounded up our friends for the first summer Business After Hours Mixer (BAHM) at Round Hill Pines Beach Resort.

Tonight was a sweet, sweet introduction to the fun that summer promises to be. I am so thoroughly excited by the possibilities! 

Summer: Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Water gets warmer.
Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Nights get longer.
Life gets better.

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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 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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