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November 2008

November 27, 2008  Thanksgiving at Monan's Rill
Linda and I braved the traffic on highway 80 and joined the family at the Rill just in time for Thanksgiving supper.  The gang had spent the day with sunny skys - having fun climbing trees and hiking around the hills while Linda and I had taken our time and enjoyed a morning of trail riding before setting out.  
Supper was a feast and we all enjoyed each other's company in what is turning out to be a great tradition.  After supper we watched a slide show of Josh and BranDee's honneymoon; then were treated to a performance (on the Wii gaming system) of a famous local rock band.    

Click above for the movie of the
famous "Luke Warm Cchilli Peppers"

November 17 - 20, 2008 
When Walt learned he was going to an entomology conference in Reno he invited Linda and me to spend a few days with him (and Hedda) at Lake Tahoe. After about two hours we arrived at the condo and were pleasantly surprised to find that Walt and Hedda had arrived ten minutes before.

We immediately began exploring the little cabin and the shore line. Linda went to the lake and perfected her rock skipping while I tried to find an open connection for the internet (no luck). Walt was due back to Reno later that night for the University of Wisconsin centennial celebration so we got in a quick visit before sending him off.

Before he left he told us he had charged the entire party on their personal charge card - and had to phone the bank to get them to allow him to exceed the card's limit. We didn't really think about it again until shopping for supper at the local supermarket when Hedda was informed that her charge card was "maxed out".

It was a simple matter to pay cash for the salmon and salad fixings but the card would haunt us for the rest of the trip. Supper was prepared using the ancient pots and pans supplied by the condo; it turned out GREAT. After cleaning up we broke out the Rummy-cub game and played until Walt returned (about 10:00 PM). I had recorded my favorite TV program (Top Gear - from BBC) and we were able to watch it on our laptop.

The next morning we feasted on salmon omelets, then Walt, Linda and I took a walk along the shore while Hedda cleaned up. We drove through Carson City and set out for Virginia City where we strolled up and down the historic city and enjoyed the hundred mile views.  We had good ole fashioned hamburgers for lunch, then stopped to buy some trinkets in support of the wild horses that roam the Nevada desert.  

When Walt and Hedda's charge card still didn't work we scrambled to find cell phone reception so Hedda could call the bank. Don't worry they said, it will work later today (it didn't).

On the way back we stopped at Sand beach to enjoy the sunset over the lake. The sand makes the clear water almost glow with clarity. The long distance views of the lake included lots of smoke because Tahoe residents were making sure not to repeat the Angora file experience of last year and were burning and clearing lots of forest.

After returning to the condo Walt convinced us that he wanted salmon again so he and Linda took off for another run to the grocery store. After they returned with their shopping (and more charge card stories), oil was drained off our Paul Newman salad dressing so the (used to be) non stick pans would work.

Walt fired up the oven and set off the smoke detector (three times). The salmon was again wonderful and we proceeded to enjoy the evening with a fire in the fire place, some good wine and another episode of Top Gear.

In the morning, after salmon omelets, we decided to circumnavigate the lake. We drove to Emerald Bay and took a look at Mrs. Knight's tea house (a small castle looking structure on Fannette island).

On around the lake to Nevada we stopped to ride the tram, but it was closed until ski season. We went into the casino for lunch at the food court where Hedda learned the charge card still didn't work - so there were more phone calls. I wanted to take pictures at Sand Beach so we drove on and dropped me off for a hike.

Linda took Hedda and Walt to another casino where they could use their now (they hoped) working charge card to get some cash (success). I was able to scramble over some boulders and get my pictures before we headed back to the condo. Once there we cleaned up and headed to Jake's restaurant (in Tahoe City). As usual the food was excellent. The charge card wasn't working again but Walt was ready with cash. We all had a good chuckle and retired to the condo where the sunset put on a nice show.

Walt left to spend the night in Reno so he could catch a 7:00 AM flight the next morning while the three of us watched yet another episode of Top Gear.

The next morning we loaded up early and drove to Cedar Ridge (near Grass Valley) where Hedda had an appointment. The drive was amazing and we were happy to have GPS guiding the way. Linda and I drove to Grass Valley and had breakfast at Ihop. After returning and picking up Hedda we chauffeured her to the train station in Sacramento and said goodbye.

November 10, 2008  (snapshots)
We decided to abandon the horses for the day to snap pictures of birds.  The Cosumnes Nature Preserve seemed the logical first stop.  The first bird is a blue heron (we think) with an unusual mask.  Next we saw sandhill cranes jumping and dancing.  Since we were next to the horses we made a quick stop and Linda tried to teach her horse Zany to do the Spanish walk.  The last picture is one from Mexico that I've been enhancing in the computer.  The vulture was sitting in a tree on the way to the San Pancho village.     

November 1, 2008:
                                    more PICTURES HERE!!!    Follow the link & click upper right for slide show.
     The (first Saturday of each month for November) get-together at Mokelumne River Ranch Equestrian Center started off very slowly with only three riders showing up for the 10am start time. The rain fell steadily as Dave, Melissa and Linda rode around the arena practicing games. Dave on Tango (having a horse laugh) and Linda (riding Zanzibar) dressed up as cowpokes and Melissa disguised Dillon in scrubs.
     People began trickling in about 11:30 and Wendy dressed up Einstein with a witch in his tail. We broke for a delicious lunch with John's Famous Hamburgers and many pot-luck dishes to choose from. Even the ranch dog Sophie came in costume. The games finally began around 2pm when John got his cowbell and rounded up the afternoon riders.
     We played the slow walking game, egg and spoon, musical stalls, ribbon race and delivering the mail. Alicia was the winner in most of the games. We'll have to have gaming lessons from her before the next playday. The visiting children were given rides by Sue on Cupid the pony who looked soaked throughout his session. Sue must have walked a few miles leading Cupid with his tiny riders and I'm sure that all the little ones had a wonderful time.   
Linda & Zany  

Dave & Tango


Spoon egg contest
Pony rides  

Ribbon contest

Feeding the giant

Never ending energy

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November 2008
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