Crafternoon at Cyndy's...

For our second foray into being creative, we gathered at Cyndy's for an incredible afternoon of artistic endeavors.

These were the prototypes for today's adventure. We were to adorn darling wooden boxes with spectacular embellishments mounted into polymer clay that Cyndy then baked. Wow right? I must admit, I felt a tad overwhelmed but with Cyndy's expertise, we all were very pleased when we finished.
I must tell you, besides being an exceptional and generous host, Cyndy is an impressive artist. And she has an impressive stash of supplies!

We each crafted something so unique. I absolutely loved this afternoon of camaraderie.
This was the adornment I created to top my wooden box. ♫ It was once a little green slab of clay.♬
Aren't these pieces gorgeous? Oh to be in the company of friends who encourage each other to try something new and delight in the discovery. Super fun indeed!
 "There is something special
when creative people get together."
-Joy Mangano

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Tahoe Big Year Continues...

Bob, Jenny and I had errands to do in Carson, but we decided to do a little birding on the way. What would normally take 25 minutes took three hours. It was awesome.

I was delighted to see this Northern Mockingbird, perched out in the open just waiting for me.

It is a successful birding day for Bob and Jenny if they find at least one new species. Today's treasure was this Williamson's Sapsucker. What a beautiful bird.
This one is a male based on this description: upper parts, head, and breast iridescent black. White stripe up side. Rump white. Eyestripe and mustache stripe white. Throat red. Belly yellow. Tail all black.
Not all the beauty has feathers.

There is so much to love about Tahoe! Every day I discover something new.

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I ♥ A Good Deal...

The other day, while we were out and about birding, we needed to make some stops in Carson City. Bob and Jenny had never been to the new Salvation Army so off we went. Oh my gosh!

Never have I seen such a sale. Any item with a red price tag was buy 2 for 99¢. Incredible, right? If you look at the original pricing, I bought items that were anywhere from $2.99 to $10.99. And they were quality goods: DKNY jeans, a down jacket, several sweaters, and fun travel clothes... SCORE!
Just to show you that I'm not the only one with this thrift problem, I'm sharing some fun images I have found from kindred spirits.

 I always knew I loved Helen Mirren for a reason!

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Snowshoe Thompson Celebration...

This was my inaugural Snowshoe Thompson Day. For 18 years, the Friends of Snowshoe Thompson (FOST) have been celebrating "The Viking of the Sierra". I have never been able to attend. I so picked the right one for my first ever. Wow!

When John A. Thompson responded to an ad in the Sacramento Union which read, “People Lost to the World; Uncle Sam Needs a Mail Carrier”, he had no idea he was to become a living legend. Jon Torsteinson–Rue (his real Norwegian name) is one of the most intriguing heroes in California’s history. From 1856 to 1876, he made legendary 90 mile treks over snowdrifts up to 50 feet high and through blizzards with up to 80 mile per hour winds, to deliver mail to those living in isolation. He was the sole link between California and the Atlantic states during the long winter months. And in these parts, he's worth having a DAY for!

Let me introduce these incredible individuals (l to r). A living legend here is Martin Hollay. I've written about this long time Tahoan before. He arrived in 1958, originally from Hungary, and was an important guy in the construction of the cross-country course in 1960 Squaw Olympics. The other character is Steve Hale as Snowshoe Thompson. You met Mr. Hale in this blog in November when we saw him do a Chautauqua of Albert Johnson (the man who really owned Scotty's Castle) in Death Valley. And the lovely lady is Nina McCleod, the dynamo behind this event since its inception. She is the liaison between Genoa's FOST and the Norwegian group in Snowshoe's hometown of Austbygdi, Tinn in Telemark, Norway. She's awesome, truly.
And you know it's a party when Margaret and Lee come along.
The day began with a hike and history lesson with Snowshoe.

Martin shared his intriguing history with a very intrigued audience.
Even Channel 2 News wanted to hear the stories.
Frank Tortorich, author of the book John A. “Snowshoe” Thompson Pioneer Mail Carrier of the Sierra, shared some historical secrets. So cool.
And rounding out the diverse day was Truckee musician Richard Blair who celebrates his town's colorful history in unique songs including the apropos Snowshoe Thompson, which fully captured the legacy of our day's subject with a lovely melody and lyrics.
The event was held in partnership with the Lake Tahoe Historical Society. A surprise treat was the donation, by Martin, of his historic skis and trophies which showcase his life of AWESOME. I can't wait to see the display at the Museum.
Today was just one of those days... one with amazing, unforgettable memories being made. Definitely a day worth sharing.
"A people without the knowledge
of their past history, origin and culture
is like a tree without roots."
-Marcus Garvey

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Birding Around Lake Tahoe...

For twelve hours, I was in the delightful company of Bob and Jenny. What a day to play in Tahoe!

We spotted this Crossbill before we even left Jenny's driveway. I knew then that it was going to be an awesome birding day!
I mean, look at this weather!

The birds were in full force. It was fun to spend some time watching our favorites doing what they do.

I actually got to add seven new birds to my Tahoe Big Year list!
My successes were a Northern Harrier (my favorite), a precious Song Sparrow,  a Red Shoulder Hawk, several Mourning Doves, that first Crossbill, one Starling and several Eared Grebes. What treasures!

It was a day full of complete fun! I have the best friends.
"The bird a nest,
the spider a web,
man friendship."
-William Blake

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