Posts Tagged ‘lake tahoe’

Tahoe Traveling Tidbits

June 10, 2010

Somehow Crosby road trips never go down without a hitch… and I’m not talking about the trailer hitch.  What was supposed to be a 14 hour road trip turned into a 17 hour saga.  Of course, you are privy to the nitty-gritty details right here on MSJ! Lucky you.

Somewhere north of Coso Junction and south of Bartlett on Highway 395 in the interior of the great state of California we stopped for fuel and when I hopped out of the car, curious if I could still feel my feet, I heard a hissing noise.  Even though I needed to desperately visit the restroom, I silently investigated the sound until I determined that it was coming from the front left tire.  Not good.  No, not good at all.  I informed Captain, My Captain, and went inside.  My husband did indeed solve the problem somewhat temporarily with Fix-A-Flat …. and tire repair job in an aerosol can.  Amazing!  The hissing behind us, we ventured back onto the 395.

Sadly, a vibration began not long after the F-A-F was sprayed into the tire.  The vibrating increased until Bishop, CA.  We love Bishop, CA.  If you haven’t been there, you are missing not only the certified purest water in the nation, but an award-winning bakery with the Original Sheepherder Bread and a lovely park with a creek and baby duckies. We stop there every year… both directions.  It has remarkable views of the Sierra Nevadas to the west and another nameless mountain range to the east… and snow-covered peaks.  Lovely sight to behold.

A tire shop was needed… badly.  Rick decided to leave Larisa, Keeve, Trixie (the dog) and myself at the wonderful park and take Austin to go find a tire.  We didn’t really plan the park adventure very well.  We had no cell phone, no watch, no money, no knowledge of where Rick and Austin went, no food and we discovered later, no cardboard or sharpie pens to make signs that read “Stranded, Starving, Sad.”  We figured we could make a few bucks while we waited, but no.  We weren’t even prepared for that!  Larisa did have two water bottles, but at 91 degrees, they didn’t last long. 

At the park, we were resting peacefully (before the panic, the realization that we were indeed stranded, and the hunger set in) on a bench watching mothers and toddlers feed the ducks in a small lake.  The scene was right out of some romantic movie with Weeping Willow trees, a gazebo and everything, except I was on the park bench with my daughter, son, and our dog, not my lovable husband.  Anyway, Trixie was behaving quite nicely….. until a maintenance man drove by on a golf cart.  She took off like a shot, between my legs, under the bench and after the man.  Her leash is one of those retractable thin rope kind that only work on dogs less than 12 pounds.  Stupidly, I grabbed the rope and felt the burn on my pinky finger almost immediately, but not quite fast enough to let go and be free from rope burn.  Owwwie!  Stupid dog.  Now I was stranded and wounded.

We moved to the bakery patio on main street, hoping to see our van shortly… with a new tire.  The kind lady behind the counter, wearing the little Dutch white hat pinned to her hair, did fill our water bottles several times for us.  And there were samples put out every 20 minutes of sticky buns, chili cheese bread, the award-winning Sheepherder bread and shortbread cookies.  At least we wouldn’t go into a diabetic coma!  Well, come to find out.  It was while we were sitting at the bakery we realized the extent of our unpreparedness.  We did spy a cardboard box behind the store adjacent to the bakery that we could have used for a sign, but we still didn’t solve the no-sharpie pen problem.  We played “Name someone who has that car” for 90 minutes as each car drove by.  We named almost everyone we know, but in Bishop there are a LOT of truck drivers, so Pastor Dan and Regan won.

Eventually Rick did return and the tire with the hiss was not the vibrating problem at all.  The right front tire developed a bulge, probably because it was not receiving the same attention, love and care as the other front tire… so it caused the vibrating front end, hoping for some love.  So, two new tires later…. Rick came to save us and thankfully ended our bakery loitering situation.

See?  Crosby road trips are the BEST!

My Husband’s Cell Phone Photos

July 9, 2009

I’m not sure why it just happened.  I’m not sure how it happened.  I’m not even sure what happened.  But four years worth of pictures from my husband’s cell phone just appeared in our computer’s picture file.  It was an entertaining trip for me down memory lane.  A guy’s cell phone pictures really tell the heart of the man like no other.  Please try and stick it out to the end….  a photo montage of Rick’s most important moments, captured on his cell phone!  (Feel the excitement!)

First up, the plane he flies.  (You are being spared from the 47 pictures of clouds and props and other planes.)  Twin engine Turbo Commander.  “The belly dragger”.

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Our youngest son in a pot.  (This is OLD… probably four years old. I haven’t shaved his head in years.)

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Me on the phone.  I don’t know who added the words… I doubt it was Rick.

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Ok, had to put one landing strip on here to represent all the others…..  I have no idea where this is.  And shouldn’t he be holding the yoke with both hands???

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Rick’s mum at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia.  Cool Picture!

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A field of wild sunflowers.  (See!  He is a romantic at heart!)

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At a Capitals vs. Coyotes game.  Alexander Ovechkin leaving the ice… Keeve is the brown headed kid on the left side.  He got to TOUCH Ovie!

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And of course, Sidney Crosby holding up Lord Stanley’s cup in June…. the youngest captain in the history of the NHL to win the cup.  Made Rick proud…  obviously… he took a picture of the TV with his cell phone!

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Rick’s favorite place.. on Earth, I think.  Lake Tahoe.  There were MANY pictures of the lake! 

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And lastly, our three darling children in amongst the lupine at Lake Tahoe.  There were probably 10 of these… and THIS really is the best one.  Simultaneous smiles without squinty eyes are hard to come by with these three.

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There you have it, folks.  Out of 293 pictures, these pretty well sum it up.  The life of a pilot, hockey playing/coaching, husband and dad.  In less than ten minutes too!  Not bad.

I’m Back in the BFZ Groove

June 28, 2009

I’ve envisioned a shabby chic denim and pink floral Bag for Zaza for many months.  I made the flap tonight.  So cute… if you like shabby chic and denim…. with cutesy heart buttons and yellow chenille rick-rack.  I also have a little girls size 2 denim skirt to make into a little princess’ bag for her treasures.  AND Darla, my friend who wants a denim bag, came over and picked out all the coordinating fabric for her bag…. last November, maybe December.  Anyway, I don’t have a blinkin’ thing to do these days, so I’m on a roll, baby.  AND I’m playing my “Learn Spanish in Your Car” CDs while I’m sewing.  Oh, I feel so productive even typing that….. now to remember the words in el español.

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I didn’t comment much on our recent trip to Lake Tahoe, but there were, as per usual, entertaining stories that emerged.  My personal favorite came from garage saling, which we have continued the Saturday morning Tahoe tradition again this year.  Last year we came home to PHOENIX with such useful items as a snowboard, an orange butterfly quilt, a bee-bee gun, a $2 prom dress, a Beetles black wig, a purse shaped like a Chinese take-out box, butterfly sheets and a 1920 Singer sewing machine (minus the most important part to make it work).  I rolled my eyes as most of those purchases were made.  THIS year there was a higher level of eye rolling….. oh, Rick should be grounded from garage saling.  We came home with two pair of snowboarding boots (Rick and Larisa), an entry rug, a pink oriental little shirt (BFZ!), a green coat (Larisa), Vans tennis shoes, and Rick hit the jackpot:  a garage sale run by a sweet little widow who was selling her deceased husband’s clothing… ALL Rick’s sizes.  He got a really nice NEW pair of brown leather shoes.  No eye rolling there.  I kept pointing out other things to Rick like red plaid house slippers and white church shoes… with a matching belt.  He was satisfied with the brown shoes.

Anyway, Rick wore the shoes to church this morning and being the loving wife that I am, I pointed them out to one of his friends.  Of course I said they were a dead man’s shoes.  How could I pass that one up?

Back to the sewing machine y mis lecciones españolas. ¡Dios me ayuda!  (God, Help me!)

Patience is a V-v-v-virtue

June 17, 2009

My patience has been tried and tested many times throughout the years, especially when I met and fell in love with my husband.  He’s on his own clock (Indian time) and it runs about 5 seconds slower than mine.  With 22 years of marriage I have slowed down and he has sped up… but never will we be on the same time frame.  Just when I thought I was done getting my patience tested with my dear husband, our dear son Keeve was born.  He is even slower than Rick…. but like his father, worth waiting for.  For goodness sakes, the kid used to take a breath in the middle of “O  –  K!”  What in the world?  Just when I thought I was done getting my patience tested with my dear son, we took a road trip to Lake Tahoe from Phoenix, AZ., a 771.3 mile trek.  Can I just say that I LOATHE road construction! 

Getting out of town was like pulling a jack rabbit’s teeth.  First a stop for a necessary book  from the Christian book store for a reading assignment for son #1.  Then a necessary stop at Old Navy because their flip-flops are two-for-$5 for our daughter. Then came a necessary stop at Costco for gas.  Then a dark parking lot stop for a quick change of clothing for moi.  THEN Rick decided he needed his back-up driver to take over.  Sheesh.  We weren’t 12 miles from home, after 72 minutes, making our first driver switch.

It should have been a large red flag to me that road construction signs started in Phoenix.  They continued ALL the way to the cabin.  Seriously, June 10-17 is road construction week across I-10 and up the 395 in California.  There were miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep (take me back to high school poetry with Mrs. Clark) where one lane of the two lanes was blocked with cones…. for no apparent reason.  There was one particular 12 mile stretch where I was the third car behind the little old balding man, Mr. Fudd,  in his pristine butterscotch pudding colored 1972 Toyota Corolla who was out for his 40 MPH Tuesday stroll on the 75 MPH highway.

“Am I not being a patient person?” I started pondering.  “Am I supposed to be learning a lesson here at 40 MPH on Hwy 395?”  Considering that we just passed TWO years, SIX months, THREE weeks and TWO days of waiting for our little daughter from Colombia, I assumed I was a patient person.  However, Mr. Fudd brought out the worst in me.  I never said anything out loud.  OK, that was a lie.  I spewed a few turtle, molasses, snail and growing grass comments under my breath.

Tonight as I pray for the 3, 857th time for my son’s spouse, I will add an extra emphasis on her virtue of patience.  She will need it her whole married life, as I’m finding out I do.

Clean Air and Blue Water

June 14, 2009

The combination simply invigorates my soul.  Larisa and I returned from our Tall Ship adventure on Wednesday morning at 12:30 am.  Nine hours later I spoke on the phone with my friend, Connie, from California.  She told me they were driving up to their home in Tahoe and half jokingly said, “Why don’t you guys come?”  We usually go with them every summer, but we try to wait until late July or August when it is a sheer pleasure to leave Phoenix.  We didn’t plan on making the 14 hour trek this year because of our coming trip to Colombia to pick up Zaza, our little girl.

I hung up with Connie and phoned Rick, my pilot who is chained in a cubicle in the aeronautics department for the time being.  Let me just say, he wasn’t too hard to convince.  His only question was, “Do they get NBC?  The Stanley Cup final game in Friday night.”  He made a few calls and at 2:00 p.m. we decided to leave for Tahoe that night.

A bit of craziness followed the spontaneous decision and we were on the same road between AZ and CA that we had just traveled 20 hours previously, albeit in the other direction.  We pulled out at 8:30 p.m. and have been lounging in the cool air of Lake Tahoe for four days now.  It is chillier than August, but just as beautiful!  I love it here.  I’m pretty sure there will be huge pine cones in heaven along with blue jays and bushy tailed squirrels.

The Torture Chamber

July 31, 2008

Yes, it was the Torture Chamber, where Mr Popper’s Penguins (in audio form) was forced on my children during their confinement in the family minivan on the way home from Tahoe yesterday.  You would’ve thought we were pulling out their fingernails one by one.  They asked for Hawk Nelson, a Canadian band that does play semi-decent music even in my old-person’s opinion, but I said, “NO!”  And out of the cd case came Mr. Popper followed by sighs, grunts, groans, pishaws and corresponding eye rolling. 

The chanting began in the back of the van, but thanks to quality factory installed speakers, they could not out-shout Mr. Popper.  Everytime they yelled and interrupted Mr. Popper, my husband, who is a closet-literary-buff (OK, stop laughing) would start the cd over.  My children are quick studies.  It only took them five or six times to stop the barrage of noise.

Finally after chapter one, I paused the intellectually stimulating penguin story and informed my three homeschooled offspring that there would indeed be a quiz before dinner.  Flunkers would not be eating.  Amazing how the stupid penguin story got very interesting after that.  I asked really hard questions like “What is the Popper’s address?” and “Who was the admiral on the radio broadcast?” There was much cheating behind me, due to my children sincerely feeling empathy for a sibling who might go hungry.  Coughs with the answer embedded and barely audible whispers were detected.  Being full of grace and mercy, just like our Lord, I gave them all two chances and their answers proved they actually were listening. (One point for Mom and Mr. Popper.)

Funny thing was, the cd started skipping.  I LOATHE library cds that skip.  But that’s just another one of my shortcomings that don’t need mention here.  As the full length story was considerably shortened, Rick told the kids to be thankful it was Mr. Popper’s speed reading day.  Ha ha ha.  Very funny, hon.

My parents used to torture us with a single eight track tape of a gospel quartet called The Statesmen.  After a trip from California to Canada and back again with the sole Statesmen tape, we grew to appreciate good harmonies and men that could sing higher than Miss. Piggy.  If you ever need any of the lyrics from the Statesmen, please contact me or my siblings.  We know every single word…. in four part harmony, because we’re going to “see Saint Peter, Ol’ James and John, we’re gonna talk to the prophets one by one, when we move back into my Father’s house on Heaven Avenue.”  See, it’s a generational torture chamber.

Tahoe News from 6,225 Feet

July 29, 2008

The fires in Yosemite are still burning but the wind has shifted and we saw Lake Tahoe again today… even the east shore.  We aren’t feeling quite as “smoked” today and ventured out in the boat.  We dragged the kids around on a tube, which is really a game for the boat driver…. not the tube rider.  Figure eights make me laugh…. hard.  Well, when I’m not on the tube.  Every single blinkin’ time I ride in a boat on a lake I’m transported back to my teen years and water skiing on Anderson Reservoir above Morgan Hill, CA.  We always ate Arby’s beef n’ cheddars before we went and chewed wads of Hubba Bubba on the way.  It revives my dream of having a boat and teaching all of our kids to water ski.  I’m sure it kept me out of trouble… as it will them.  Some day.

Bags for Zaza has FIVE new bags posted this week raising funds for our adoption.  There is a darling pink surprise that was made from a NEW pattern.  Nothing but surprises over there.  And how is THAT news from Tahoe, you ask???  I got three bags cut out yesterday AT Lake Tahoe for next week.  And I was going to be all creative and make an animal print bag next week, but Jennie beat me to it and posted one yesterday.  It makes you want to roar and fluff your mane.  Check it out.

The Shack.  I’m fighting my way through the book.  I’m having a hard time with God being a fat black woman.  But my sister tells me that the guy in the story, Mack, had a problem with a white grandfatherly God, so she’s black and all that.  I’m drawn back to the book over and over, in hopes that it will grab my interest in another way.  My detailed book report with a ___ out of 10 star rating will follow.  Right now it’s leaning toward 3.  He does have flowery, imaginative verbiage, but the split infinitives are driving me crazy.  My apologies to W.P. Young. 

We head home tomorrow.  It’s sad, I know.  However the week was jammed full of the Settlers of Catan game that has become a new family fav.  Seriously, with two games in the house we probably played at least ten times.  I think what makes the game so enthralling is that it is different every single time.  The game board changes.  The shortage of building supplies changes.  The probability of the numbers being rolled on the dice changes every time, yet we still place out settlements according to the red numbers of high chances.  I think were grasping at an unattainable reality, but hey, it’s FUN!

Air Soft Wars Promote Well Rounded Kids

July 26, 2008

Funny that I found this picture on my computer from last year here at Lake Tahoe.  This is exactly where I’m sitting this minute enjoying this exact view…… well, in addition to our children and their friends running around the back yard dodging pellets, wearing eye protective goggles and shooting each other…. with smiles on their faces.

Now, some mothers would consider me less-than for promoting violence with guns… right in the backyard.  But I think there’s much to be learned from air soft wars.  Please read on.

#1.  Things are not always as they seem.  Take for instance air-SOFT.  If you have been hit in close range by ammo from such a gun, you know there is nothing soft about it.  Bruises will result.  A valuable life lesson for not believing everything you hear.  Test things out.  Go to the source.  Test drive.

#2.  Safety First.  Always.  I would consider myself a mother of ill repute if I indeed sent my children to shoot at each other WITHOUT eye protection.  Duh!  We all know you can shoot an eye out!  Always wear eye protection.  I mean really.  If you lose an eye, it will be much more difficult to perceive the depth and distant of those you are trying to shoot.  A definite disadvantage.

#3.  Friends don’t let friends get shot without backup.  Seriously.  Everyone needs friends…. those people you can truly count on to support you and yell, “I gotchyour back!” when you execute a strategic plan of attack.  You will need friends your whole life.  Make some now.  And pick the smaller, wiry ones who fit behind trees and can roll under bushes.  It never hurts to be picky when you choose friends.

#4.  Exercise is a necessity for life.  Chasing, hiding, running, dodging, tuck-n-rolling, belly-crawling are all highly aerobic activities to get your heart in the target zone to promote optimal health.  Air soft wars offer a sack-full of health smart activities that work large and small muscle groups, promote hand-eye coordination, provide heart rate training, add a little competition and an adrenaline rush or two and it’s bound to keep you in tip top shape.

#5.  Never shoot your mother.  Now this one should go without saying, but I find myself repeating it often during intense battle configurations.  This should be the 11th commandment.  Honestly, who will wash your clothes and cook your meals if mom is out of the picture….. or mad at you for shooting her out of the air soft game????

Long live mis-named, safe, friendly, healthy games where mom wins.  When mom wins everybody wins.

The Photo Essay………

July 25, 2008

Disappointingly, I’m here to tell you that I remembered quite a few things on our whirlwind trip to Tahoe.  The cord to download my photos from the camera to the computer was not one of them.  There will be no photos essay of Tahoe this week.  I can find google pictures and fake it, but it’s not the same.

On a brighter note, my sister-in-law, Jennie, the brains and beauty behind Bags for Zaza was interviewed!  Here is the blog:   Very cool, Jennie.

Back to Tahoe.  The sun is shining.  The air is a cool 82 degrees.  O.K. that IS cool for people who live in Phoenix.  The grass is green.  The lake is blue. We are relaxing and playing games and watching the children play in the freezing cold water.  Before we arrived here to see the hazy skies, I was unaware of all the fires burning in California.  Wow.  There’s LOTS. 

I am taking fabulous pictures that I am forced to wait to share.  Please stand by. The bag auctions end tomorrow morning.

Heaven on Earth……… well, close.

July 22, 2008

We are going on our annual trek to Lake Tahoe today.  I L-O-V-E  Lake Tahoe.  The smell of the pine trees.  The bright purple lupine swaying in the wind next to the crystal clear blue water.  The gigantic pine cones.  The paths of crunchy pine needles.  The brilliant blue jays.  The slow pace.  The laugh-til-you-hafta-run-to-the-bathroom games with our dear friends.  This year marks 30 years that we’ve been friends.  We’re officially old now.

Packing for Tahoe is like packing for no other destination on earth.  We pile the van with games, snack food, bathing suits, bikes, sunscreen, craft supplies, pellet guns, beach towels, DVDs, the dog and Christmas presents in July.  See.  Like no other.  Nothing comes in the van that involves business, school, church ministries (OK, the Bibles come) or thinking.  Nothing.  Only pleasure reading books too.  I’m taking The Shack.  I’ll give a book report later on.

It is pure relaxation for seven whole days.  No alarm clock.  No agenda.  No bedtime.  No worries…. unless Trixie gets out again.  Or Leonard Nimoy’s dog digs a hole under the fence again.

So don’t worry about us this next week.  We’ll be just fine.  I’m planning a photo essay for y’all of our daily sites and sounds.  Ooooooh, tantilizing, I know.  Hit the snooze button a few times for me this week, ok?

P.S.  New bags: