A Note From Costco Photo Center...

Not only do I love taking photos, but I also like having them printed. My go to spot for processing is the Photo Center at Costco in Carson City, Nevada. I was very dismayed by the letter below.

As of April 24th, they will closing the Photo Center stating, "since the introduction of camera phone and social media, the need for printing photos has steeply declined, even though the number of pictures taken continues to grow."
Needless-to-say I'm bummed.

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely,
every hundredth of a second.”
– Marc Riboud

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Bently Heritage Estate Distillery...

Since moving to Tahoe in 2012, we have watched this amazing building go from looking abandoned to this amazing transition. Christopher Bently has invested millions into this more than 100-year-old Minden flour mill, which sits proudly on the National Register of Historic Places. Once the largest operating mill in the area, today it is restored to modern LEED-certified standards. The mill again processes grain — this time for the creation of some of the finest spirits in the world for Bently Heritage.

Our friends, Steve and Laura live just down the road from our new favorite place to go for a cocktail.

The estate journey begins in the Bently Heritage backyard: the peaks, valleys, and plains of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Owner Christopher Bently, Master Distiller John Jeffery, and Distiller Ryan Quinlan have extensively explored the Sierras and its surroundings, foraging and experiencing the sensory worlds of each local ecosystem.

"Love conquers all."

I love this statement, "Our first fully-forged expression was conceived from the scent of resin in the air emanating from the piñyon pine forests behind Bently Ranch. The final result of this inspiration is our Alpine Gin, which combines our Atrium gin with a distillate made from piñyon pinecones hand-collected in those same high-altitude forests. Getting from inspiration to end product, however, is an extensive process." Can't you just imagine the fabulousness of these flavors?

Like the distilleries of the old world they use only their own grains grown right on their ranch in Nevada. Bently Ranch sustainably grows and harvests winter rye, wheat, oats, and barley which they malt in-house, on their own malting floor.

I love experiencing new things close to home. We will so be back to Bently. Fun stuff.

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Tahoe Chamber Business Expo...

Every year this incredible event occurs on or around my birthday. I look at it as a gigantic party (for me) and I delight in it each and every time we attend. Tonight did not disappoint!

This once a year GO Local Business EXPO is a fabulous opportunity for us to get to know the most cutting-edge South Shore businesses. It is the largest business and networking event in the Lake Tahoe area.  And it is AWESOME.
The silent auction is incredible and I always seem to win something wonderful.
The evening highlights nearly 90 local businesses and their latest products, programs, and services to over 1,500 attendees. All members of the community are encouraged to attend and can expect a night of food tasting, beer and wine sampling, live music and vendor giveaways. The food far exceeded our expectations. The Landing provided these tasty tidbits. Man, so great.

Steve's favorite was the ribs crafted by the Kirkwood Inn.
The libations are always free flowing and incredibly refreshing!

Where else could I learn all about our City AND pretend to interview a policeman? So dang fun!

We connected with friends, met neat business people, learned about new businesses and dined exceptionally well. This was the only place to be on Day #29 of my birthday month! I 💙 South Lake Tahoe.

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It's My Birthday!

My actual day was a pretty easy going one. The morning was spent with coffee by the fire, presents being opened and greeting cards being read.

I'm so glad I was home, lounging about, as my friend, Kim stopped by. It has been ages since I've seen her. Her visit was a gift in of itself.
After chores (yes, even birthday girls have chores), Steve and I walked down to Heavenly Village for a dinner at Base Camp Pizza.
We were met by Chris and Jan.
The day concluded back at our house, playing games. Each day of my birthday month I've had memorable moments with friends. They are truly treasures- each and every one of them. What a fabulous month so far. Three more days to go!

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Tomorrow is My Birthday...

I truly love birthdays. I fully embrace the quote, "Do not regret growing older. It's a privilege denied to many."

A great deal of life has been lived in the 54+ years since this photo was taken. I'm just glad my sense of style has lasted all this time.

To commemorate the event here are some new, favorite birthday quotes:
“The universe wanted you to celebrate and appreciate your life
so every year she gave you a birthday.”
― Debasish Mridha

“I see birthdays as a reward for having shown up 365 days in a row.
It's like getting a badge for attendance.”
― Gina Barreca

“Today you are You; that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
– Dr. Seuss

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.
We grow old by deserting our ideals.
Years may wrinkle the skin,
but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”
– Samuel Ullman

“Some people, no matter how old they get,
never lose their beauty –
They merely move it from their faces into their hearts."
– Martin Buxbaum

“Count your age by friends, not years,
your life by smiles, not tears.”
– John Lennon

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'Naked' Garden Party in Santa Rosa...

I read about this event, which made me have to see it in person.

So it turns out that one of Jason Windus' neighbors reported him for having a fence that was too high, which caused a lack of visibility. The city then wrote a letter telling him it violated a local ordinance and threatened Jason with a $500 a day fine. In response he cut the fence down to the maximum of 36 inches and decided to give his neighbor something to look at... a naked garden party which has totally made the news.

Over time, the garden party has lost some participants. It turns out that someone stole three of the original attendees a few days ago.

Jason's high fence was built to keep his large dogs in the yard, and we so get that. I appreciate his humor in all of this and his compliance with the safety of the fence height issue. I hope that if he keeps the party going for a little while longer, the neighborhood can still come together and make amends. Life's too short to be angry for too long.

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Goodwill Outlet Yet Again...

With several babies coming on the scene, a shopping spree at our local awesome thrift store was in order.

My daughter-in-laws, my younger son's mother-in-law and I, were successful treasure hunters.
For those who aren't familiar with the concept of the 'Outlet', this store continues to amaze by its price-per-pound economics. We arrived early and were able to score a shopping cart (a difficult task at times). We then parked it along the wall and as loot was discovered, it was placed into the cart. After the day is done, we reevaluated, and purged what was not wanted. I should say, some people purge what they don't want. Then the cart is weighed, with the content in it. The #42 on the front is the weight of the cart, empty.
This was the largest of all previous hauls. Let's do the math. Full weight was 81.5 lbs minus 42 lbs, cart weight = 39.2 then times the cost per pound of $1.79 for a total spent of $70.16... all for a good cause. Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. Cool right?
We didn't inventory our shopping spree but know that we got some really needed items, some great adult clothing and this adorable set of Mickey Ears. It was a really great morning of girl fun, great finds and supply gathering. Fun stuff!

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My Men & Me...

It is a rare sighting that just me, my sons and Steve are alone for a photo. We had a great gathering on the patio of Russian River Brewing, delighting in a warm day and each other's company. I am a happy mommy.

"A man loves his sweetheart the most,
his wife the best,
but his mother the longest."
-Irish Proverb

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California Artisan Cheese Festival: Volunteering

For day 23 of my birthday month, I knew I wanted to be in Santa Rosa with my boys and their women. I also knew I wanted to do something unique. I was excited to find the California Artisan Cheese Festival and that there was an opportunity to volunteer. I 💗 volunteering and cheese. Win-win day!

This incredible week of formage fun is hosted by a nonprofit organization with the mission to educate people who want to learn more about artisan cheese, support the artisan cheesemaking community and its sustainability, and celebrate and enjoy the creations of the artisan cheesemakers.
Here is a rare opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s most knowledgeable experts – chefs, cheesemakers, authors and more - at a variety of interactive seminars and pairings. Topics range far and wide.
I chose to volunteer for Seminar #1: Red or White? Best wines for the Cheeses you love.
"Join the debate about whether red wine or white wine is a better match for cheese with author and educator extraordinaire Janet Fletcher. In this guided tasting, you’ll sample five cheeses in a range of styles with both a red and a white wine. You be the judge! Janet will share some of the sensory research into wine and cheese pairing to help you think more critically about what you are experiencing.  (Hint: there’s no wrong answer!)"
I arrived at 7:45 AM for my shift. My position was described as: "Assist in pouring wine/beer/cocktails during educational seminars. Duties may also include room set-up, plating cheese and pairing elements, pouring beverages during seminar, and room break-down. Must be able to lift at least 30 pounds, bend, kneel, walk without assistance, and move freely." Surprisingly, as a volunteer, we were allowed to join in the seminar and Janet was awesome! 
Five cheeses. Two wines. Six senses. Lots of great comments. Wonderful camaraderie. Unforgettable fun.

I thoroughly delighted in all the components of this day. I will be back next year.
“Life is great.
Cheese makes it better.”
― Avery Aames, The Long Quiche Goodbye

Post blog post note I had to share from the event coordinator dated 3/28):

Dear Denise,

As I emerge from the butterfat haze of Festival weekend, I want to say a big THANK YOU for volunteering to assist our educational seminars.  I am so grateful for your help setting-up, breaking down and keep those seminars humming along smoothly.  It takes a cheese village to execute all of the many many elements of Festival weekend and I'm beyond thrilled to have had your help with the seminars, which are so important to our educational mission.  Thanks again!  I hope to see you again next year!

AND, thank you for sharing those lovely photos with me!  It brightened my day to see everyone's smiles and hard work (and learning!) in action.

Cheers to cheese,

Anthea Stolz
Executive Director
California Artisan Cheese Guild
PO Box 40398
San Francisco, CA 94140

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