Halloween Writing...

For our Halloween meet-up of our AAUW Talking on Paper Writing Group, I found a prompt that I felt was ideal... Write an acrostic poem using the word HALLOWEEN. Fun right?

Happy memories of Halloween were made as a child
Always trick or treating in outfits that were wild
Laughing, delighting, dressed as a bat
Lions, and tigers and sometimes a cat
Oh how we gathered wonderful candy and treats
Wandering the dark, somewhat scary streets
Envying the great costumes- a witch or a gnome
Eating the goodies while we did roam
Never eating it all, hiding it at home.

Wishing you a spooktacular day!

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South Tahoe High School Concert...

After Dick's Memorial, we stole Joan and brought her to Tahoe for a few days. When trying to find an event we could attend, I discovered the Choir, Jazz, Orchestra and Band extravaganza entitled Movies of the Fall.

The opening choir number was 'Cups' from the movie Pitch Perfect.
What began was a duet grew to include the entire choir. Fun stuff.
 While each piece was good, the timely finale was phenomenal... In the Fading Light of Autumn, a tone poem representing the beauty and serenity of the early autumn evenings in the western provinces of Canada. A number of tranquil effects are enhanced with the addition of wind and percussion instruments. However, it's just as engaging for strings alone. A very moving musical experience and these students did it incredibly well. What a great choice and night.

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Joan, Betty & Me... History Lessons

For those who don't know, Joan and her husband, Dick, were our first friends in Tahoe. She has introduced us to so many interesting things and intriguing people of Tahoe.

Since Joan was going to be in town, one of the people she really wanted to connect with was Betty Mitchell. Betty is a living legend in here in Tahoe and I was on the edge of my seat, learning more about her.

She was born June 4, 1922, in Yosemite National Park, where her father and mother worked for the company that became the Yosemite Park and Curry Co., a concession business within the park.

She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree in social welfare and worked for Merced, San Joaquin and El Dorado counties and the state of California.

She and Tom Mitchell were married Dec. 5, 1943 and always wanted to wanted to live in the mountains. Fortunately, Tom was offered a job as a teacher, with the Lake Tahoe Unified School District, so they relocated to the area in 1958.

She was very involved with everything in her new hometown and I became acquainted with her from my volunteerism for the Lake Tahoe Historical Society. What a neat Tahoe Treasure Betty is.

The history lesson, also known as lunch, just wasn't long enough. What a treat to spend so much time in the company of two amazing and inspiring women.

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Celebrating Dick Young, Part 2

Wanting to join in the family celebration of our friend's life, we did a road trip to Yuba City.

We pre-celebrated with our friends, Lee and Margaret, who came from their home in Benicia.
Lunch was at the ├╝ber cool restaurant Sierra Butte Brewing.

When we arrived at St. Andrew's, we delighted in learning even more about Dick at a table decorated with memorabilia of a life well lived.
And what was the poem read that made me think of you? The Train of Life.

At birth, we boarded the train of life and met our parents, and we believed that they would always travel by our side. However, at some station, our parents would step down from the train, leaving us on life's journey alone.

As time goes by, some significant people will board the train: siblings, other children, friends, and even the love of our life.

Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum.  Others will go so unnoticed that we won't realize that they vacated their seats! This train ride has been a mixture of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.

A successful journey consists of having a good relationship with all passengers, requiring that we give the best of ourselves. The mystery that prevails is that we do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. Thus, we must try to travel along the track of life in the best possible way -- loving, forgiving, giving, and sharing.

When the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty -- we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who continue to travel on the train of life.

I close by thanking you for being one of the passengers on my train!
Grandson Casey made our eyes tear with Amazing Grace.

I took over 100 photos as the 'official' photographer. Most were of people we didn't know so I'm sharing this one, which Steve described as the Sadie Hawkins Dance.
I had to include images of the amazing sunset. These are views out my back window, hence the defrost lines. It seemed the fitting end to our day.

“I never really thought about how when I look at the moon,
it's the same moon as Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette
and George Washington and Cleopatra looked at.” 
-Susan Beth Pfeffer

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Scenes of Bob & Jenny's House...

Due to crazy schedules and some cooties, I haven't spent any time with my friends, so today, it was just a hang out and catch up afternoon.

When I arrived, I found Geppetto I mean Bob busily at work.
I have mentioned before the fabulous Whimsical Cottages he carves. 

Next stop was tea and bird watching on the back deck.
This grebe was illusive, but if you look closely, you can see his head under the water.
And how about this bird? How odd to watch a plane taxi to its boat dock. Wild stuff here in Lake Tahoe and fun to have shared it with friends.
While Fall appears to be here still, it isn't going to last. The weather is calling for 5 inches of snow next Saturday. Winter is definitely on its way.

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The Painted Rock CRAZE...

According to an article in the Tahoe Daily Tribune, there is a craze sweeping Tahoe (and the world actually).

I happen to know that artists have been painting stones for years. This cat was given to me, two decades ago, by my very talented friend, Leslie.
What makes this current art movement so unique is that people are painting these rocks and either hiding them or placing them places, everywhere. We began seeing them in Alaska, actually. While driving along, we would see them out the corner of our eyes, second guessing what we saw.
Now there are facebook pages devoted to this social media craze. Steve spotted this creation at the foot of the wooden sculpture at our local Safeway.
Temecula Rox, in our old hometown, has over 3,400 members on its facebook page. It's a public group, which makes it super fun to peruse. They not only show the rocks they have painted, but the ones they have found as well. One lady discovered some stone art in the bottom of a Christmas stocking, hanging for sale at WalMart. Oh I do love a treasure hunt.
When I mentioned my discovery, my friend, Mary Jo sent this photo of her contribution to the craze.
Today, I found this cute guy at the post office. I'm going to hold on to him for a bit and then move him along. They are meant to travel. We were left a lovely rock on our truck, in Alaska, from Oregon. Who knew!? I'm feeling some creativity brewing. Watch for more about this from me.

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Taylor Creek's Salmon

A Fall tradition here in Tahoe is to observe the salmon spawning at Taylor Creek.

We missed the exodus upstream. We did catch a pool of fish trapped behind a beaver dam, as did some smart ducks.
I have a favorite duck, the Merganser. These beautiful birds are fairly common on small ponds and rivers, where they dive for fish, crayfish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills. They nest in tree cavities; the ducklings depart with a bold leap to the forest floor when only one day old. Aren't they gorgeously unique?
They are quite surprising as well. They hung out with the trapped salmon and much to the excitement of the crowd watching, they devoured the fish whole (I saw this act but it was Jenny who captured this amazing image).
Life in Tahoe continues to surprise us!

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Celebrating Dick Young's Life...

In February, Steve and I traveled to Yuba City, to be a part of our friend's 85th birthday celebration. While we were in Alaska, Dick had a fall and for various reasons, the world lost a pretty cool guy.

Today, in Tahoe, we attended the first of two Celebrations of Life. While there, the poem The Dash by Linda Ellis was read. If you haven't read it before, or in awhile, I'm sharing it with you here and I want you to know that I'm so happy you're a part of my dash!

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile

Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

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Hockey Fundraiser for Santa Rosa...

The Santa Rosa Flyers, the amateur youth hockey teams based at Snoopy’s Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, came to South Lake Tahoe this weekend for games against the Tahoe Grizzlies.

Thirteen families from the Santa Rosa hockey organization lost their homes in the recent wildfires. And how wonderful is this? To help support the families, South Tahoe Amateur Hockey Association, the South Lake Tahoe Icemen, and the Tahoe Ice Arena hosted a fundraiser for the GoFundMe account that was started by a Santa Rosa hockey mom to provide interim support to these families. All proceeds from the rink operations during this weekend’s games went directly to the fund. This included ticket sales, pizza, beer, soda, snacks, and Icemen swag purchases. In addition, cash donations were accepted.
This was the first time I attended an ice hockey game, even though the arena is just blocks from our house. It was fun, exciting, and quite interesting (note the referee, she's a girl)
I bought a hot pretzel, put money in the donation jar, and spent the next hour being thoroughly entertained. Wow.
I love jersey #17 which belongs to Lucas Happy. Cool last name.
I think it was okay for me to root for the Visiting Team, just this time. And boy did the Flyers kick butt! What an exhilarating Sunday in Tahoe.

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WordWave One-Act Play Competition

How can we not attend a production described so intriguingly? "This spectacular event is the culmination of a three-month playwriting competition where the top three plays are selected to be showcased as a performance reading on stage in the Boathouse Theatre. The winning writers are invited to attend the performance and provide a short question & answer period at the end of the evening to allow audience members a glimpse into the creative process. Be the first to discover new talent and enjoy an unforgettable evening of raw theater."

While each of the pieces were very well done, my favorite was Gallery Talk, the winner of this year's competition. The playwright is Peter Orvetti, an intelligence analyst and writer who resides in Washington, D.C. He has been performing in professional and community productions throughout the region since 2012. Gallery Talk has three pieces of art who communicate when no museum patrons are around. It totally made us rethink how we view art and act when in museums. It was very humorous. I would love it to become a full-length play. So well done.
Gabriella Giocomo's piece, Locked In, was entertaining due to the clever writing but also because Gabriella is only 21 years of age. Wow. Actor Dave Hamilton (far left) blew us away with his comedic talents.
The Q & A with the actors, writers and directors added extra insight that one doesn't usually get with a night of theater. This was the perfect end to the theater season in the Boathouse. Bravi to all involved.

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Day 2 of our Sacramento Sojourn...

Since last night's trip to the cemetery was guided and dark, we returned today with dowsing rods for ghost talks and photographing.

The Sacramento Historic City Cemetery (or Old City Cemetery), is the oldest existing cemetery in Sacramento (1849). It is located at the highest point in the City and was designed to resemble a Victorian garden. The sections that are not located in level areas are surrounded by brick or concrete retaining walls to create level terraces.The cemetery grounds are noted for their roses which are said to be among the finest in California. And how cool is the A.A. Van Voorhies mausoleum, built in 1894?
I am always sad to see the graves of children. Poor James and Eliza Fountain outlived six of their sons and daughters so very, very tragic.
We found this marker to be quite interesting. In the Mohammedan Cemetery there are several gravesites dedicated to members of Sacramento's early Muslim community. There are several other areas in the cemetery where Muslims are buried, but this portion (in the famous Crocker Section) is the earliest identified for its association with them.

As we strolled, we were so impressed by the statuary. All the symbols mean something so I had to know what significance is the palm frond in this woman's arms. According to a very informative website, the Palm symbolizes "spiritual victory over death, martyrdom, peace". Now I wish I knew the departed's story. History lessons abound in cemeteries.
What I love about this particular place is that it is full of life among all the death. To sit and listen to bird song or to frolic in all the foliage, it is more park than cemetery. It really is an exceptional space in which to explore. Every time I return, I discover so much more.

Located on our path home, I wanted to share Folsom State Prison (1878) with Cyndy by visiting the Museum, located on the grounds. Being the exceptional tour guide that I am, I called yesterday to get the hours. However, when we showed up, it was closed due to a lack of a docent. Next time, we will call the day of.
Even though we couldn't explore the history through the museum, we wandered the grounds and made promises to return.

It was a diverse, exciting, informative two days that I would gleefully repeat anytime soon. I love our local history and I am delighted even more as I go along.

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