The Business Expo: A Perfect Finale

There is pretty much nowhere better to conclude one's birthday month than at the Tahoe Chamber's Business EXPO! Each year, it is one of the highlights of our March.

Tonight, we were provided with the opportunity to discover new products, promotions, and services offered by exhibiting businesses. We networked among the local community and discovered new resources available on the South Shore. Over 80 businesses were there with great giveaways, delicious food and generous drink samples!
The Beacon's Rum Runners are always a 'must'. They are sweet treats!

These are samples provided by the new company Glazed n Confused Tahoe Donut. They were a hit. I loved the bacon banana one. Wow.
While ceviche isn't my thing, I found these to be rather beautiful cups of raw seafood.
And we are always fans of photo booths!
Friends gathered, businesses shined and great treats were had by all. This really was a fantastic end to a really fantastic month.
"Keep calm and be crazy,
Laugh, love and live it up
Because this is the oldest you've been
And the youngest you'll ever be again!"

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The Moon by Bob & Jenny

I am a huge fan of the moon and our friends do an exceptional job of capturing its beauty in various stages. I really appreciate this image.

And how wonderful there was a new moon on my birthday.

"The moon was reigning over their world,
glowing its full splendor to all those willing to look up."
-Irina Serban

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Day #29 Part 2: Electroswing Burlesque

When I read this description, I knew what we were doing on Day #29:

Electroswing Burlesque, Tahoe’s hottest music and dance revue, performs in The Loft Theatre-Lounge-Dining, a saucy speakeasy-style lounge, restaurant and gorgeous live theatre - every last Wednesday of the month. This stylistic and original show features the smooth, strong, and jazzy vocals of Ashley Kepler, as well as the wildly talented dance artists of The Dame Doll Dancers.
Seven of us gathered for drinks before the show.
Bob had been here for his birthday in October and really wanted to sit in the first row. Steve wasn't on board until he sat there, front and center, not missing a darn thing.

This was a fabulous production. Ashley and her troupe are incredibly talented and we all loved the entire night. To hear some of our favorite songs (Single Ladies, Moves Like Jagger, Toxic) sung in a burlesque, smoky way, was beyond surprisingly enjoyable. And to sing along with the classics like Minnie the Moocher made us all part of the show. For the final number Funk You Up, we were all asked to get up and dance. There could not have been a better ending. This is something Tahoe needed and we were so pleased we were there for it. We'll be back- WOW.

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Day #29 Part 1: Fire Station Dinner

Today was a day of firsts... Dinner in a fire station... BEYOND AWESOME.

Len and Cyndy won a dinner for six at our local fire station. The usual suspects were gleefully included. What a treat!

Okay, so this video is me going down the fire pole. Not glamorous but not nearly as bad as Bridget Jones. Definitely a first!

Dinner was absolutely delicious and they even made Gluten Free brownies for Jenny. So neat!

Right as everything came out of the oven, the station got a call. They did their duty and returned to finish dinner with us. It so far exceeded our expectations. Wow.
Len, Cyndy, Bob, Jenny, Steve, Kevin, me, Holt & Al... what an incredible dinner party with exceptional hosts.

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The Genes of Jeans at SLT Library

When looking for ideas for programming for our Friends of the Library presentations, quite often I steal other's already successful events that happened elsewhere. That is how I discovered Kathleen P. Clemence's Riveting Tale about the creation of Levi's®.

For over an hour, I was mesmerized by genealogist Kathleen P. Clemence's presentation J.W. and Annie Davis: Their Riveting Lives. As the inventor of riveted work pants, much has been written about Jacob William “JW” Davis, some fact and some fiction. The fact that the world’s favorite item of clothing was invented and patented in Reno by him is unknown to most locals and denim fans worldwide…but not for long. Having followed numerous paper trails, Kathleen presented the true story of Davis and his family, based on documented evidence.
Weaving the intricate threads of Davis’ compelling life story, she shared with the intrigued audience his journey from Russia through the Canadian wilderness and on to the American West, as well as his many business ventures along the way. This is the stuff fictional books are made of- an interesting family history, including his marriage to Annie Packscher, who may be the missing link in this story that changed the future of the fashion industry. Through the course of Kathleen's thorough presentation we learned who really wore the pants in the Davis family (Annie). This was an exceptional evening of local history full of colorful characters. I loved it all.

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My Brother & Me: 'Twins'

Starting today, and for the next 37 days, my middle brother, Larry, and I are both 55! I still don't know how our mother did it- yikes.

 "It is impossible to keep a small boy in the house,
even in the worst weather,
unless he has a sister to torment."
~Mary Wilson Little
We may have not always seen eye-to-eye, but it's nice to know that he's around.

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Birthday Weekend...

My birthday wishes came early this year as both my sons and their girls came for the weekend.

It was a weekend of normalcy. We made fun meals together, watched movies, strolled to the Lake, hit a couple of thrift stores, checked out a new brewery- Sidellis, and just delighted in being together as a family. It was comfortable fun.

"Keep calm and be crazy,
Laugh, love and live it up
Because this is the oldest you've been
And the youngest you'll ever be again!"

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12th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival

At 4 PM, 11 of us gathered here for a pre-Film Festival Potluck dinner. Oh man, what fun.

The wine was provided by David & Karen in SoCal so it was like they were here, too.
A little pre-party happened in the Arctic Fox!

After a delicious dinner, we headed to MontBleu for the film festival, which combines award winning environmental and adventure films with the energy of local activism. Each year, they choose powerful films so that we are inspired to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world. This year's lineup was a lot less adventure and more environmental than previously, yet it was interesting and we all chose our favorites. The subjects were as diverse as hiking with a dog to a scary film about antiquated oil lines in the Great Lakes.
I think my favorite was the last film shown, Operation Moffat. Its inspiration and wit came from the colorful climbing life of Britain’s first female mountain guide, Gwen Moffat. Grappling with her preference for mountains over people, adventure over security and wilderness over checklists, writer Claire Carter and filmmaker Jen Randall climb, run, scramble and swim their way through Gwen’s most cherished British landscapes. Including candid interviews with 90 1/2 year old Gwen, previously unseen archive material and unashamedly real action sequences, this film captures Gwen’s infectious excitement for a life constantly seeking something strange or beautiful around the next bend. Oh and she climbed in a bikini and barefoot!
It's Gwen's life that is absolutely mesmerizing. In 1945, when she was 21, she deserted her Army post to live rough in Wales and Cornwall, climbing and living on practically nothing. She hitchhiked her way around, with all her possessions on her back, although these amounted to little more than a rope and a sleeping bag. When the money ran out, she worked as a forester, went winkle-picking on the Isle of Skye, acted as the helmsman of a schooner, and did a stint as an artist's model. And always there were the mountains, drawing her away from a "proper" job.Through interviews, Gwen shared her amazing life with us as Britain's leading female climber—and the first woman to qualify as a mountain guide. The big takeaway was when she was asked "Do you miss it?" She replied, "How can I miss it? I have it still. Those memories are mine and that is my life." What an amazing woman and film sharing her incredible 90 1/2 years. Operation Moffat was worth going to the festival for- completely.

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Meeting My Deductible...

Sticking with the "do something good (and/or fun) for me everyday" plan, I just went to Sierra Nevada Eye Center to see an ophthalmologist for my first real eye exam. He said that I had the best eyes that he will probably see today and I said, "Yeah and probably the youngest!" Ha, ha. BUT a clean bill of health for my eyes is a check off my 55 Year Check Up list. Next week my teeth, next month my ears, boobs already done. Woo hoo.

The day ended by having dinner out with friends. I'm seeing a pattern here, a meal after a medical event. Hmm. I like it.
It never hurts your eyesight
to look on the bright side of things.
-Barbara Johnson

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Burger Night for Aktion Club...

Several of our bighearted friends are members of the Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra and tonight they hosted a fundraiser for the Aktion Club.

While two of those friends (Bob & Jenny) treated us to dinner, two others (Jan & Chris) served us while we dined. Fun stuff.
Aktion Club allows adults, living with disabilities, to participate in community service projects, gain leadership skills and become more involved in society. The mission is:
  • to provide adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills
  • to serve their community
  • to be integrated into society
  • to demonstrate the dignity and value of citizens living with disabilities
What a wonderful night of supporting a worthwhile cause, while eating delicious food and hanging with some pretty neat people.

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Pat Sajak & Me...

I don't know if you follow entertainment news, but I'm a big fan, and today's headline made me remember my chance encounter with Mr. Pat Sajak.

A decade ago, I was a guide for the Japanese guests our Sister City organization would host. We frequented Rodeo Dr. where I met the host of Wheel of Fortune. The show is in the news today because one of its contestants made the most ultimate blunder. Contestant Kevin only had to guess one missing letter in “A Streetcar Na_ed Desire." He said, "K". Pat said that he would much rather see a play with that name instead of the one Tennessee Williams wrote. So that's my tie-in to today's thrilling news story! Funny stuff.

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Boob Smash Day...

Not everyone would look at a Mammogram on Day #21 of their birthday month as something worth celebrating but the whole idea of 31 days of festivities is doing something special for me everyday. Since early detection is the key to surviving Breast Cancer, I think this was the perfect thing to do today. In addition, Steve took me out to lunch afterward for delicious Mexican food.¡Olé!

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Marjorie Russell Clothing & Textile Center

We have heard the curator of the Nevada State Museum’s Marjorie Russell Clothing and Textile Center speak on two separate occasions and both times the topic was underwear. Wanting to know more, I organized a tour through the Lake Tahoe Historical Society.

The curator, Jan Loverin, took us on an amazing two hour, behind the scenes journey through this facility dedicated to storing and preserving the historic costume and textile collections. The goal is to take clothes that have survived and make them come alive. This collection includes garments that are over 100 years old, including one stunning dress that was crafted in 1760. Also included are hats, shoes, quilts, flags, and accessories.
Due to collection privacy issues, I was not allowed to take photographs but you must know that the gowns we were shown were extraordinaire. And while looking at dresses from 1760, 1844 and several from the 1860s and beyond, we were given a history lesson of Nevada. 
We saw a dress (circa 1820) which was from the Regency era. With its Empire Waist and loose, gauzy material, its design was influenced by the discovery of Pompeii- inspired by the Greek and Roman cultures.
The shoes and hats would make any fashionista envious. Also, in the collection was a vintage flowered swimming cap. We all commented on how we had to wear them when we were kids. What a flashback!

In addition to seeing historic and beautiful gowns, we learned about various fabrics, we met some of the people who made Nevada happen and we were given the opportunity to learn the ins & outs of preservation and display.
We were surprised by how truly incredible this tour was. We learned a great deal and everyone walked away very impressed by it all. I found and loved this quote by Isabel Wolff:
What I really love about them is the fact that they contain someone's personal history. I find myself wondering about their lives. I can never look at a garment without thinking about the woman who owned it. How old was she? Did she work? Was she married? Was she happy? I look at these exquisite shoes, and I imagine the woman who owned them rising out of them or kissing someone. I look at a little hat, I lift up the veil, and I try to imagine the face beneath it... Vintage clothing is not just fabric and thread - it's a piece of someone's past.

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Love Sick @ the College...

Oh man, I love live theater and today's matinee was exceptional! "The dual sides of love and relationships get a comedic treatment in the play Love/Sick by John Cariani", presented by the Theatre Department at Lake Tahoe Community College.

Through a series of nine vignettes, we met various couples in varying states of "love". While described as a comedy, we were affected emotionally and at times cried.
In "The Singing Telegram", Louise thinks she is getting a marriage proposal in song. Instead, she was serenaded with the Meatloaf classic (lyrics that every woman never wants to hear), "I want you, I need you. But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you. Now don't be sad. 'Cause two out of three ain't bad." I cried on this one!
All nine couples were so talented and the stories were rich, entertaining and at times surprising. We thoroughly enjoyed them all. However, Steve and I both had our favorites. Some of the tales were just more poignant to us. I believe this play will do that to people. It will spark conversations. It will have people pick their favorites. I enjoyed "Destiny" (above) not only because we know the actress, Aletha, but because I felt it was realistic and ended right.
We have seen many productions at LTCC and we both agreed this was one of our ultimate favorites. Bravo to all!

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