Birding with the Famous Bob & Jenny

Recently our friends were featured in an article on Lake Tahoe News about their birding. It was a fabulous article and one that made us want to go out exploring with them again.

My comment on the article was, "Spending the morning with Bob & Jenny, birding, is almost zen-like. There is a peacefulness mixed with giddiness when a bird is spotted. Birding is addictive with these two and Tahoe is even more amazing when one looks beyond the trees and sees the beauty of the various birds."

Being at the shore, observing the vibrancy of nature, is a pretty special treat.
And to me, it's about the birds AND the bees!

"I go to Nature to be soothed and healed,
and to have my senses put in tune once more."
-John Burroughs

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Steve Hikes Mt. Tallac...

While I was out of town, Steve decided to take a hike. And oh what a hike it was.

Our highest mountain for hiking is Tallac and in three hours, Steve was on the summit.
Jenny was on the beach, birding, and she captured Steve on the top. Woo hoo.

And at the top he ran into friends, Chris and Jim. Two hours later he was back to 6,229' with a great sense of accomplishment. I'm proud of my happy hiker.

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Shane Dwight Rocks Minden

This week has been a series of lasts. Tonight we attended the final concert in Minden's park and it was a fine send off.

Native Californian Shane Dwight relocated to Nashville in 2009 to further his musical career. Within six months of arriving on the scene he swiftly attained a solid reputation as a “guitar slinger” in his newly adopted hometown.
Friends gathered. Good food shared. Awesome music playing. This was a pretty sweet set up. It was sad to see it end.
This was Bob and Jenny's first foray into the Minden music scene.
Summer nights are meant to be like this.

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12 Hours in Tahoe...

Christine is our friend, Karen's, sister from Ohio and when I learned she was coming to our town for the first time, we planned a fun day with her and her friend, Sally.

We began by touring the Tallac Historic Site. Some of Tahoe's unique history can be found while meandering through this scenic area.

The Pope Estate has a great vintage clothing exhibit... a glimpse into the glamorous lives of the wealthy tourists of yesteryear.

We then embarked on our California State Parks ADA Escort service and drove down to Vikingsholm. It could not have been a more beautiful day.
We met up for a delicious and scenic picnic under the pines.

Next stop was wine sipping on the back deck and food gathering for a dinner at the beach.
In addition to being the last of the Thursday night Live at Lakeview concerts, it was a birthday party for South Lake Tahoe's 50th. What a great, festive atmosphere. Wow.

 Great day. Great friends. Unforgettable memories!
 "There are no strangers here;
Only friends you haven't yet met."
William Butler Yeats

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James Garner's Tribute to Johnny Cash

For the final performance at Valhalla, there could not have been a better choice than James Garner as Johnny Cash.

When Bob and Jenny offered to transport us via their boat, it seemed the fitting finale.
Ride This Train: James Garner’s Tribute to Johnny Cash celebrates the life and music of the Man in Black with strong conviction and stunning accuracy. Garner and his band faithfully recreate Cash’s biggest hits, such as Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line and Ring of Fire, and incorporate historical accounts and personal anecdotes about America’s most beloved singing storyteller in this not-to-be-missed musical event. The show is a fun, classy and toe-tapping trip down memory lane honoring Johnny Cash’s life and music, and the boom-chicka-boom sound of his longtime backing band, the Tennessee Three.
This was the first time witnessing this amazing show and no one left the Boathouse without proclaiming "fandom". I felt I spent the evening with Johnny Cash! Wow.

And he was an incredibly nice guy.

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Our German Exchange Student Visits...

In 1997, we moved into our second, much larger Temecula home that actually had a guest room. At that time, we began an extended run as a host family. We had at least 30 guests from as short as a weekend, to as long as a high school semester. The countries included Japan, China, France, Holland, Montenegro, Spain, Italy and Germany. It was a way to bring diverse cultures into our home and our community.

Linda arrived in 2002. Flash forward to now. When I found that her three week California driving tour included San Francisco, I invited her and her sweet boyfriend, Matthias to come for a stay.
With only one day in Tahoe, a hike down to Vikingsholm Castle, in Emerald Bay, is a must.
Tour guide, Nancy gave us some great information about the Castle and she made us all feel like special visitors.
This is one of my favorite Ponderosas at Vikingsholm, so a shared hug seemed right.
Horseshoe playing just had to happen.
After a very traditional American dinner of barbecued hamburgers, we strolled to the lake for the sunset. We really enjoyed this visit and we made promises that it would last longer next time. Bis bald! Gute Fahrt Freunde!

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A Toast to Die For... Was!

Every other year, the Friends of the Library host a fundraiser and our theme today was An Evening of Mystery.

Authors Sue Owens Wright, Mark Bacon, Cindy Sample and Kathi Daley were there to share their books and tales of murder. Each was unique and entertaining.
They spoke in the pines.
Sue Owens Wright wrote me afterward, "I had such a great time.  What a wonderful event!  Really nicely done and such a lovely setting.  Your library is the nicest one I've seen.  Everything was perfect, and your staff and guests were so nice.  I was honored and delighted to participate.  Thank you so much for inviting me and giving me the best excuse I can think of to visit beautiful Lake Tahoe."
Besides intriguing authors, we had a scavenger hunt, mystery trivia and lots of amazing food and drinks. No one left hungry or thirsty.

The Silent Auction was a success (and fun) because of the outpouring of support from our community. 
One guest wrote, "Lovely event.  Kudos to you and all who put this together.  Informative speakers, great company, good food and drink, and challenging activities." What more could you ask for? Except for maybe a great team with whom to work and we totally had that. Awesome!

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A Surprise Find From Googling Myself

I was googling myself, as I sometimes do, and found us on the website The Paris Review in a post by Jesse Browner entitled, A sentence goes viral—why?

As most people know, I am a fan of quotes. Sometimes they can say what I'm thinking so precisely. One I used ages ago (and found on Good Reads) was Jesse Browner's, "Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared."

The post on The Paris Review, written by Mr. Browner, was one expressing surprise at how often his quote had been used, "I ran the sentence through Google and was stunned, bewildered, and a little appalled to get more than two thousand hits. As I read through a portion of those sites on which my sentence appeared, I made a number of discoveries. My sentence was known to people from Florida to Arizona to Washington State, and from Canada through Jamaica, Poland, Lebanon, Kenya, South Africa, and India to the Philippines and Indonesia."

Okay, this is the part that involves us: To their credit, almost every single quoter graciously cited me as the author of the sentence...whether my sentence was quoted by a Christian Web, by the Oldways organization, whose mission “is to guide people to good health through heritage” and which appended it to a recipe for orange-scented faro with figs and pistachios; by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Tourism Coalition; by Steve and Denise Haerr on their blog “Haerr Trippin’,” as an addendum to their post on “Our phenomenal weekend in Long Beach with Tom and Chris..."

Out of the two thousand hits that used Mr. Browner's quote, somehow he chose to name us. I found that pretty incredible and just had to share. It is a great quote and one in which we wholeheartedly believe. Fun stuff. To read the entire article:

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