Targetted Constitutional Amendments

Reviewing a copy of West Virginia’s 2014 mid-term election ballot printed in the local paper, I noticed that there is a state consitutional amendment proposal waiting for my “Yes” or “No”.  While I am in favor of citizens being involved the formation and enactment of government, this amendment smells like a manure pile of favoritism and potential manipulation.  But, who could be so heartless to vote against the Boys Scouts? Continue reading

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Farm Life: Snake in the Grass

IMG_3039Snakes are part of nature that many people bristle at.  They prefer to not know that snakes are about, or how they are useful in the garden.  The question is what type of snake do you want to have sunning itself between the rows of vegetables.  The simple answer is snakes that are not poisonous. Continue reading

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Farm Life: Not-So-Itsy-Bitsy Spider

P1070762Spiders creep people out.  All those legs and eyes.  Fliamenty webs stretch across the garden pathway, usually right across one’s nose.  Insect body parts tangle into those webs, while the spiders digest the soft abdomens with toxic saliva.  But, spider are harmless to humans for the most part, if we leave them to their task of policing other creepy-crawling critters.  Most spiders keep themselves hidden and run as quickly as possible from our monstrous size.  In our region, only the black widow and brown recluse spiders are worrisome because of their venomous bites.  This brightly colored spider on the side of our garden was just plumping up prior to laying an egg sack of hundreds of more spiders.  Of those, a few will survive the elements and birds.

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From the Bookshelf: Fairest Picture, David C. Antonucci

DP1080193uring our stay at the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, we noticed a statue of Mark Twain sitting on a bench outside of restaurant near some shops. I pondered what Mark Twain had to do with Lake Tahoe, while using Linda’s new iPad mini to document her and her mother sitting next to Twain. An e-mail to her sister, with the photo, confirmed that during Twain’s days in Carson City and Virginia City, Nevada, he had traveled up to Lake Tahoe, as a destination in it’s self (mostly with speculation on a fortune from a timber claim), or passed it on the way to Sacramento and San Francisco. Continue reading

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Brown Sign: Tahoe Queen

IMG_3327After our recent visit to the California State Railroad Museum, turning to another mode of 18th century transportation seemed logical.  Staying in South Shore Lake Tahoe, we were only a dock away from the paddle boat, Tahoe Queen.  I’m not quite sure how a paddle boat got up to Lake Tahoe, but get our your dusty edition of Mark Twain’s story, Roughing It, and enjoy the ride through time.  I will not bore you with the 90 minute time-share sales pitch that we endured to get four free passes… just get out your credit card… your time is worth more than $49 to pay for the tickets. Continue reading

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Brown Signs: Accessible Walks near South Shore Lake Tahoe, CA

P1080130Vacationing at Lake Tahoe, we think of outdoor activities (yes, there are casinos a mile down the road, but that is not on our list).  Being in the middle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, outdoors mostly means steep inclines.  The lake shore is a bit above 6,200 ft above sea-level.  Many of the mountains peaks are between 9,000 and 10,000.  Traveling with family who have some mobility limitations, our challenge was to find outdoor spaces with accessibility.  We found three locations near the south shore of Lake Tahoe: Lam Watah Nature Trail, Taylor Creek Rainbow Trail, and Vikingsholm on Emerald Bay. Continue reading

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Brown Sign: California State Railroad Museum

IMG_3251We left Napa valley with plans to meet up with my parents at a friend’s home outside of Sacramento.  Our destination would be Lake Tahoe for the week.  We were packed up and ready to go early, so we had an extra hour before our appointed meeting time.  What can you do for an hour between Napa valley and a Sacramento suburb?  Looking at the map, we thought we would head in to see the state capitol.  Instead, highway construction and a fund-raising run had enough exits and bridges closed, that we ended up crossing the Sacramento River and seeing the sign for “Old Sacramento” to the left.  Sounded good to us. Continue reading

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