Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bees: Bad News, Good News

       The bad news: Because of a wet winter, this summer we have had swarms of yellow-jacket, meat-eating bees. Makes it hard to eat outside on the deck sometimes. Remember what we had to do at a lake side restaurant the other night? 

Covering our food with our napkins was our solution then. At home on the deck meals include a lot of swatting, flailing of napkins, muttered curses and placing a tiny portion of the meat far away from the table itself. None of this works completely. They are aggressive and a tad vicious. We set traps and they fill up and the bees still come. Lots of bees this summer. 

The good news: Because of a wet winter, this summer we are seeing a lot more little round, yellow and black pollinating bees. They are buzzing around the wild flowers on the trail and by the lake. They are enjoying the squash blossoms in Dean's garden. They have no regard for humans or the meat we eat. They are very happy finding pollen and spreading it from one plant to another.

This was a plant next to my chair at the lake the other day. I ate my lunch while they ate theirs and neither one of us disturbed the other. I'm sure that the few bees I have seen around our home are not enough to take them off the endangered list, and it is good to have them back and active. Live long and prosper, little bees.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Random Summer Pictures Continue

Really good friends, Jim and Mary Catherine, came to Tahoe to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Rex, my first husband, and I were in their wedding. They are my daughters' Godparents. They have adopted Dean. 

Among other activities was a picnic on the beach before Shakespeare at Sand Harbor.

We were joined by wandering feathered friend. 

We saved our dessert to eat during intermission. 

The set for Comedy of Errors. 

We went to the Donner museum.

They joined us for the Tahoe/Truckee Fly Fishers barbecue. 
Mary Catherine pitched right in and went to work ~ it is my job
to organize the food lines.

Jim and I had time to visit as he made his way through the crowd.

The lunch line: my usual crew plus Mary Catherine and Aiden,
grandson of friends. It is fun when young people are willing to pitch in and help.

We ended their visit with dinner on the lake.

Dean's halibut.

My crab cakes.

Silly ~ and yes, we were there early enough that the meat-eating bees
were still out and about. We had to cover our plates with napkins between bites.

The moon was rising over the water as we departed after a lovely
evening and a lovely week together. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pneumonia Rock Star

When grandson Akira had pneumonia, little did he know it would make him a rock star. Because of the excellent care that he received in the pediatric unit at Asante in Medford, OR, he and his mom have spoken often at fund raisers for The Children's Miracle Network. Although Akira is over talking about this because it seems a long time ago in the life of a 14 year old, opportunities do arise for him to once again help other parents and children know they have world-class pediatric care at the Medford hospital.

Please, watch the attached video. It is a short news story that includes interviews with Akira and Michelle. I even took some of the snapshots they use to illustrate the healthy Akira. And once again, I will add a PSA and say that if you are looking for a charity to support The Children's Miracle Network helps pediatric units in many regional hospitals and is worthy of your support.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Random Summer Pictures

Family summer fun in Tahoe. Although we had company before
Michelle and her family arrived, here's where the summer saga really begins.

Dean smoked ribs for the grand arrival.

Trinity cooked her signature stir-fry for us one night. 

Trinity and Grandpa transplanting squash. She loves to garden.


In goes the squash.

Looking good and so far still looking good. No critters have eaten it.

Gardening makes you hungry. Especially for Grandpa's smoked pork.

14 year old Akira appreciates Grandpa's pork too even
though he hasn't gardened.

The night cousin Carly came, we had fondu. Unfortunately, Carly's plane
was very late so she didn't have any. She did get to watch Marc take leftovers
and make amazing fried rice for breakfast the next day.

It was so good -

~ and Carly and Trinity loved it. As did we all.

Surprise! Meredith and David ended up in Reno so David could fight
one of the myriad of northern California fires. Michelle saw her on
their way out on Tuesday.

We saw both of them for dinner on Wednesday night
before they left again on Friday.  

Carly and Grandpa brave the windy waters of Lake Tahoe in a kayak.

Both days on the beach were perfect.

Picnic on the beach. 

It was a little chilly and I was glad Dean had brought along his sweatshirt.

Once again a grand took over the kitchen as Carly made her
signature bacon/cheddar/turkey burger with roasted veggies. 
I do love it when my grands are old enough to cook.

Thanks to neighbor Dianne, Carly and I played a Lot of Rummy Cube
while she was here. We had fun. It's been a fun summer all around and
we anticipate more fun when more company arrives on Tuesday.
The doors on the guest rooms keep revolving. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Review: The Nazi Officer's Wife

When asked by Amazon to review a book, the first question is how many stars do you give it? How do you rate a person’s true life story any less than a 5? “The Nazi Officer’s Wife” by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin is Edith’s life story of a young Jewish woman in Nazi Germany. That fact is enough to give it 5 stars. 

Edith finally lived under the Nazi radar as an Aryan Christian including marrying a Nazi officer. Even though you know her outcome, after all she lived to write her story, the tension is high and I found myself eager to know what happened next. 

I was fascinated with the little details of life under the Nazis and following the war under the Russians. I am not sure how people lived with all the tension of watching every word you said, every step you took. It is hard to imagine having to think about the answer to every question: was it asked by a friend who was just curious about your life or was it asked by someone  who was going to turn you in to the Gestapo? 

The story is Edith’s narrative and because it is true, it may not be written with the dramatic flourishes a fictional account would have. That doesn’t matter. Her story is amazing and incredible and tells itself in all its wonder and intensity. I highly recommend “The Nazi Officer’s Wife” for anyone interested in the ordinary life of Nazi Germany. 

That's A Fresh Orange!

Last week Dean spent several nights at our daughter's home in San Jose while she and her family were out of town. They have lemon and orange trees in the back yard and the fruit was ripe and dropping while he was there. He brought home bags of both. Thank you, Mindy!!

This morning we had fresh squeezed orange juice. Wow!! Oh we have it from oranges we buy at Costco and this time of year even at the grocery store. And this batch was literally right off the tree. I'm not sure I need to say more. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Akira's Ad

Well, it's not really Akira's ad. It's an ad featuring Akira. And I post it for you with permission from the Asante Medical Facilities in Ashland and Medford, OR.
If you remember, our Akira in the spring of 2015 had a Very Serious bout of pneumonia - very serious. It took hospitalization and dedicated respiratory professionals to pull him through. And he made it. Several times since, he and his mom have made appearances at fund raisers for The Children's Miracle Network. In that process, someone did a photo shoot and made an ad. 

I am very pleased that Akira is in the ad and even more that he is well and healthy, playing in three bands and singing in school musicals. Good lungs ~ and for a while we were really worried. 
I will take this opportunity to say, if you are wondering where to make a charitable donation, you might consider the Children's Miracle Network. As Akira says, "next time it might be your son or daughter."