Posts Tagged ‘Tahoe’

Vera Wang, Where are You?

August 1, 2013

rick and linda tahoe 13

Hello from Lake Tahoe, one of our favorite relaxing places on planet earth.  It rocks! Do I look cold in this picture?  I am! Does my sweatshirt look too big?  Does it look like it is a Minnesota sweatshirt that I would never wear?  IT IS!  See my husband?  Doesn’t he look kind and thoughtful and fun.  It’s all a FRONT!  If we post more pictures from our adventures in Tahoe, be sure to notice my jeans…. because I will have them on in EVERY single photo.  WHY? you ask.

Our story begins last Wednesday when I emptied my suitcase from my trip to Nashville, only long enough to wash the clothes and re-pack into a carry-on for my high school girl’s road trip.  My family would be joining me in Tahoe after I flew to Los Angeles for the four day excursion with four of my high school friends.  Us girls had to pack light as there were five of us in a suburban and we needed room for our vintage/shabby/thrift store gems yet to be purchased.  And we used all that space too!

Knowing that I would need WARM clothes in Tahoe, I packed half of the big suitcase to share with my husband, as we have done for 27 years now.  Being the Phoenix girl that I am, I added wool socks, flannel jammies, three more pair of socks, a big Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, sweats, a wind-proof jacket, five pair of undies, my warm fur Vera Wang bling bling slippers, long sleeve shirts, a heating pad, the next book in the series that I am reading, Christmas-in-July gifts for two of our friends, etc. etc. etc.

When our family was re-united (and it feels so good) at the lake, I immediately went to the suitcase to layer up on my clothes and find my slippers.  I dug on one side.  I dug on the other side.  Then realization hit…. like a mosquito impacting the windshield at 75 mph…. MY STUFF WAS MISSING!  WHAT?  I almost couldn’t breathe for a few seconds.  I threw out a few games and a pillow that my sweet husband had packed in the suitcase and then with a slightly elevated voice I “kindly” asked, “WHERE ARE MY CLOTHES?”  His blank look of confusion on his handsome face confirmed that it was not a premeditated action taken to cause me mental anguish.  He replied after a few seconds, “I took out all the stuff that you left in the suitcase from Nashville.”  “IT WAS NOT FROM NASHVILLE!  IT WAS WOOL SOCKS AND A HEATING PAD SO I DON’T FREEZE TO DEATH HERE IN TAHOE!”

He told me that I could just wear the clothes over and over from the road trip…. yeah… NO!  It was a beach dress, shorts and a tank top and capris with a sleeveless shirt.  NOT TAHOE FRIENDLY at all.  I was wearing my jeans, thank God all mighty!  And a blue t-shirt.  And one of my three pair of underwear.  And one of my two pair of socks.  At that moment, I took Rick’s Minnesota sweatshirt from the suitcase and put it on.  He commented, “Well, I brought that so I could wear it.”  Too bad, Bucko.

slippers

My Vera Wang slippers have been temporarily replaced by these handmade Halloween slippers that are four sizes too large that I found in the cabin….  they ARE warm.  I’m almost speechless at this turn of events.  Almost.  OK, not really.  Several comments have been made ALL DAY LONG as to my clothes being the same as yesterday…. the stain on my blue t-shirt that appears to be growing… the outfit that I will have on for ALL the pictures this week…. a Bible verse about how we shouldn’t worry about what we wear…. and how I should really be choosing ONE outfit for my husband to also wear all week long next to me.  :o)  He is lucky that this is not a trip where I needed nice, dress-up clothes with matching jewelry and purses and shoes.  Oh, let me tell you how lucky he is!

Good grief!  Calm down.

The Countdown has Begun!

January 12, 2012

As I sat writing all the family birthdays in my new Greece calendar, filled with cerulean seas, cobalt domes and whitewashed walls, I realized that the countdown to nights away from home has begun!  It’s 15!  I know some people have to travel for work, and they don’t love it, but I work/live/breathe/sleep/teach in the same four walls day in and day out.  No mistaking it, I love it… but time away from home brings joy to my globetrotting soul.  I have imagined that the perfect job for me would be to travel the world and write reviews of far off lands for future vacationers.

There is a night coming this month… only one night.. but still, I look forward to it with my hubby.  The first of March there are four glorious days marked on the calendar for Scrapping in the Pines with my girlfriends.  It is supposedly a scrapbooking retreat… but less and less scrapbooking is accomplished as the years go by.  It should probably be renamed Being Lazy in the Pines….   THAT is a true holiday….. no kids, no cooking, no bedtime, no cleaning, no agenda (other than posted mealtimes)… no wonder it calls my name every six months!  Last September we watched 8 or 9 movies!  Couch Potatoes unite!  It was sublime.

Rick and I endured one of those time-share sales pitches to “win” a free cruise… with some strings attached, of course.  But the strings are cheap cheap cheap for the eight-day trip.  I like bunk beds!  We are awaiting to see if it will be the Western Caribbean in March or Alaska in June.  I’m REALLY hoping for white beaches and not white whales…. but alas, it is also my husband’s 25th wedding anniversary… so I was the nice wife (not the crabby wife) and let him choose one destination.  He’s a true Canadian with ice in his veins.

Our annual trip to Lake Tahoe has moved to August this year…. which is fantastic for us living in Phoenix, right next door to hell in the summer.  And our son, who is cycling again after the broken arm the week before Christmas, has a couple of races that may require over-night stays… can you see how high my hand is raised to volunteer to escort him???  I feel some mother-son bonding around the corner.  I’ll wear whatever t-shirt they want me to!

So, school drudgery is laid to rest each time I peer at the highlighted days in my purse daytimer.  By the end of February the kids will be wondering why I keep taking the daytimer into the bathroom so often.  It’s my own version of Calgon.

Can you say Haboob?

July 10, 2011

Our re-entry to Phoenix, after a cool and lovely trip to Northern California, was not only welcomed by the largest haboob (sand storm) in recent history… but HUMID heat.  Whatupwitdat?  It’s supposed to be a dry heat.  We’re famous for DRY heat.  We got into our van on the day after we arrived home and the thermometer was burning the number 118 into my sweaty eyeballs.  Nora, my 7-year-old, who is experiencing her first Phoenix summer, whined, “Why couldn’t we just stay in Tahoe?”  I wondered the same thing!  Dry 107 is NOT the same as humid 107.  Not even close.

Photo credit to Dan Z. http://www.flickr.com/photos/55358384@N04/5907025323/

My plan to have the garage cleared for my van’s shady shelter through the scorching months has not yet materialized.  It’s too hot to clean the garage.  Why didn’t I think of this in January???  I went out there quickly at 7:00 am and analyzed the situation.  Biggest obstacle: city-certified rolling trash AND recycle cans.  They are huge… and stinky on occasion.  All the other junk (hockey nets, weight bench, bicycles, hockey equipment, kayaks, huge alternative fuel gas tank, shop vac, etc.) can be put on the unseen side of the house in the backyard.  But the non-attractive rolling trash receptacles have to be accessed on different days and dragged to the road.  “Put them behind your side gate,” is the logical answer.  But we have Houdini, the escape dog, as a beloved pet.  Not only is our side gate double supported with plywood on the back (because of Houdini breaking the slats to escape) but there are cinderblocks on both sides of the gate, so Houdini won’t push through.  There is a 4×4 buried in the ground under the gate as well, to hinder dig-through escape attempts.  Houdini is only 11 pounds.  But she is a wily and surprising 11 pounds.

So, my plan is to keep the cans in the front yard on the side of the house that is least visible from the road.  AND, get this, put a huge pot with a prolific plant in front of them.  We have Nazis on our HOA board, but I think this might work.  Afterall, we haven’t received a letter from them in at least two months now.  The letters have come regularly… for six years…. every few months… for basketball hoops… wrecked cars in the driveway…. cars parked in the street… weeds…. garbage cans NOT behind the gate… and my personal favorite, 50 pink flamingos standing in our yard.  Hey, the pot-with-prolific-plant shield is worth a try so I can get the van in the garage.  I’ll keep you posted.

Tahoe Day 8: Hiking

June 16, 2010

Fallen Leaf Lake, just east of Emerald Bay, has a flat and easily hiked trail that leads from campsite 78 to the lake.  It wasn’t until 4:00 pm that we arrived… it was a bit further than it looked on the map.  Personally, I don’t think the map was drawn by anyone who understands perspective or proportions.  Anyway, despite the 45 minute drive, the scenery was spectacular.

There were two paths that diverged in the woods from which to choose, and yes, we quoted the Robert Frost poem.  Being a lover of safety rules and caution, we took the one most traveled… AND marked with orange and blue plastic streamers so we couldn’t get lost unless we really tried.

No matter where we go, or what we do together, there is always much laughter and frivolity… especially with these three giggly girls. Can you guess which one is a forest ranger?

With seven kids between our two families, we do much switching and swapping of children when traveling together.  We had the boys the first half of the day and then Austin moved to the other car, or so I thought.  The last time I saw him, he was heading to the bathroom (term used lightly) at the Fallen Leaf campground with his father.  I only witnessed his father’s return, but was informed the my eldest son did indeed trade vehicles.  Forty-five minutes later, we are in the Safeway parking lot in Tahoe City and I watch the other car drive by and I don’t see Austin.  As any good mother, I was sure that we had left him back at the campground.  I texted my friend to ask if they had Austin.  It didn’t go through.  Patiently I sat in the van awaiting my husband’s return from the grocery store…. to inform him that we are horrible, no good, very bad parents and left our 13-year-old son FORTY-FIVE miles back, and didn’t notice until now.  Then Austin came out of the store with his dad and all was well.  I’m still an OK mom, who has only left one child one time in the McDonald’s playland… but that was YEARS ago.  Don’t judge me.  It’s not like I drove away.  A kind lady came out of Micky D’s holding his 2-year-old hand and asking if he was mine.  I said yes, and tried to convince her that I would have figured it out when I did up all the car seats.  See!  Only once in 16.5 years.

“A Bear… Over There!”

June 15, 2010

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

This was half of our excitement last night here at Lake Tahoe.  I’ve seen bears on sheets, towels, mugs, rugs, paintings and every gimmicky trinket you can buy at souvenir shops in Tahoe…. but never in the YARD!  Eleven of us were gathered around the dinner table when one of the children pointed out the back door and yelled, “There’s a bear!” Sure enough.  Walking along the top of the six-foot fence that separates this yard from Leonard Nimoy’s yard was a black bear… although not the bear in the blurry photo above.  The bear on the fence looked to be a bit bigger than a cub…. maybe 200 pounds of black fluff.  All cuddly and huggable!  We all ran for cameras and headed for windows facing the back fence.  Sadly, for the photo-op, the bear jumped into Nimoy’s yard and we couldn’t see it any more.

However, another photo opportunity was available out the front door!  Yes, the bear above was captured on Kodak… about 30 feet from our van.  This bear, my Native Indian husband estimated, weighed about 600 pounds.  (Hopefully, mentioning his Native status will add some credibility to his weight guess…. not that he’s ever weighed a black bear, or any bear for that matter.)  Possibly she was the mama of the backyard bear.  Who knows?

There was another couple out in the front road also watching the bear roam through the brush leading to the next door park.  I told the children to stay inside the gated front yard while their father ventured out to get photo proof.  The female stranger said to me in a kind voice, “The bear won’t hurt you.”  WHAT?  She has obviously not watched Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom.  I have.  My children were not venturing out for a closer peak.  This was not the zoo.  I think she may have thought she was at the zoo, minus the protective barriers.  Yes, the bears at the zoo are this close.  But there are FENCES and MOATS in between us and the wild animals, not flat, clear ground easily and rapidly covered by a charging black bear.  Good grief.

TaHoe cRafTiNg

June 7, 2010

Those who know me well, know that I love crafts and crafting and being crafty…. and craftsy.  Trying new projects brings joy to my soul.  So, my current new-to-me idea is soldered charms/ornaments.  A friend of mine shared a link to her friend’s etsy.com site where she sells these darling handmade trinkets.  See more at:  www.MyMelodieDesigns.com.

Not knowing how to create these little gems, I did what all craft-direction-needing minds do… I went to YouTube.  Yes, I found many instructional videos and made my shopping list.  Today, I’m off to JoAnn’s to get the booty… with coupons, of course.  For the first time ever, I’m glad I saved my glittery scrapbooking paper scraps from my Christmas albums.  Sweet!  I knew I’d eventually find a reason to use them!  It has presented itself, much to my liking.

This week I’m getting together with my highschool bosom friend, Connie.  We are known for trying new and uncharted waters when it comes to crafting.  In March we covered the antique chair with vintage quilts and green piping.  I can’t remember if I blogged about that, so here is the finished product:

I also can’t remember if I ever showed a pictures of our Macramé beach bags???  I made mine about 1/2 a day ahead of Connie and figured out that I should have made the flowers all smaller.  So her bag has tidy, neat flowers in little rows and doesn’t look as spread out as mine does.  Here’s mine:

In a few weeks I’ll post our finished product pictures!  Please stay tuned!

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.

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.

Mystery Solved! Now what?

August 2, 2008

When in Tahoe a yearly ritual is to go garage sale-ing on Saturday morning.  You can find gems at Tahoe garage sales that aren’t available in Phoenix garage sales.  We have come home with a snow board (SOOOO useful in Phoenix), Calphalon pots, quilts, a purseshaped like Chinese take-out boxes, a Fiddler on the Roof DVD (“If I were a rich man, deedle diddle diddle deedle di da deedle di da dum”), a pink pooka shell necklace (Austin’s purchase), a BB gun and more, I’m sure.  I simply can’t remember all the nuggets of gold we’ve uncovered. 

THIS trip we found an antique Singer sewing machine.  I didn’t rapidly jump at the deal because, being a member of the BFZ sewing team, I know a bit about sewing machines and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make this one work.  There was no pedal foot.  There was no attachment port for a pedal foot.  There was no hand crank.  There was no foot treadle.  There was a motor.  But it was a mere $10, so Rick bought it while I stood there perplexed.  Here is the little beauty that we’ve named Agnes:

Thankfully, someone who works at Singer put all the serial numbers on the web so we were able to quickly date the ol’ girl… 1924.  Wow!  Agnes is 84 years old.  But, you ask, what good is an antique sewing machine if it doesn’t sew?  I know.  My thoughts exactly.  The internet came through AGAIN.  Thank God Al Gore invented the internet for such a time as this. Just yesterday someone here in Phoenix put Agnes’ cousin up for sale and there was a peculiar bar that was absent from Agnes’ side.  It was described as the knee control bar.  Look closely.  It’s the bent crowbar looking black thingy:

Mystery solved!  So now what?  Somehow I don’t think a want ad for “1924 Knee Control Bar” will do the trick.  Where’s my 1776 metal forging blacksmith when I need one?  If only Paul Revere were here, he would save the day AGAIN.  Rick’s answer, “We just need to make one!”   Yeah, right.  I’ve heard that before.  I am wide open for suggestions.  HELP!