Sunday, November 01, 2009

October Outcomes

In England, the first week of October is Children's Book Week.  What a great idea.  Germany celebrates Unity Day and Canada has its Thanksgiving.  Columbus is the second Monday, Apple Day on the 21st and everyone's favorite, Halloween, is on the 31st.  It is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  October's birthstone is the opal and the flower is the calendula. 

The weather really started changing this month.  The mornings had that great crisp, clean, cold smell of fall.  We even had some snow.  The wind blew for days, but there's still some hardy leaves hanging on for dear life.  How can I rake them when they're still up there?  Guess I won't.  Here's what happened in my life.

2.  I mowed the lawn for the last time this year and I turned on the heater.  (This is going to be a really slow news month)
3-4.  General Conference.  Some really great talks as usual.  Sometimes it's nice to just on the couch in your pj's, eating breakfast and getting your spiritual cup filled. 
14-18.  Mom, Mark, Susan and I drove from Salt Lake City to Reno for our annual fall trip.  Luckily it was overcast on the drive west, and we saw some beautiful skies and interesting lights on the hills. 

With a low tank, we almost stopped in a little hamlet called Puckerbush, but Mark felt like going on to a bigger hamlet.  I'm not sure there is anything bigger between Winnemucca and Reno, but we did finally find a station before the tank was completely dry.  We checked into our rooms at Circus, Circus and ate dinner at The Smokin Gecko BBQ, located int the hotel.  I had barbecue chicken with baked beans and corn on the cob.  Mmmm.  We had such good luck with food on this trip, never a bad meal.  Except for the McDonalds breakfast the next morning.  That was probably our fault as we couldn't seem to get our orders straight.  We headed west to Donners Pass.  The visitor's center there was so interesting, reading about that ill-fated pioneer group, their courage and will to survive.  While driving over the pass, we saw the worse weather of the trip, some cold rain; but the pass is beautiful with great craggy rocks and cliffs.  Then down into sunny California.  We turned left at Auburn and went down a windy road toward Sutter's Mill, passing through Cool.  We had a good time boning up on our gold history at the Mill.  Lunch was at Mel's Original Diner in Placerville.  Great hamburgers.  Next came Lake Tahoe.  What a beautiful view as we traveled up the west side of the lake.

Mark and Susan climbed some rocks overlooking the lake but it was getting dark so we headed back to Reno.  A light night snack at an ice cream shop and we were ready for bed.  Friday we did the river walk in downtown Reno. What an amazing place to have right in the middle of the city. It was absolutely beautiful. There was a sculpture exhibit right off the river that we had a great time perusing. Next, it was south towards Carson City and the the capitol building. What beautiful fall colors that city had. The capitol building is completely surrounded by trees, you can barely see it. And it is very small. The legislature and judicial branches have separate buildings. We took a driving tour and looked at some historical houses around the city. The Governor's Mansion was completely decked out for Halloween. That's a big day for Nevada as it joined the nation on Halloween. However, I thought the Governor overdid it, very gaudy. Still it was fun to see everyone put so much effort into this holiday. We drove down to Gardnerville hoping to see some Basque culture, but missed it. Heading north and west, we came to Genoa (accent on the o since we are not in Italy) to see the first Mormon settlement in Nevada. It was closed for the season but we did walk around the fort and read some of the markers. We did some shopping and visited with some storeowners, very friendly and knowledgeable. There is a great candy store where we spent some time. The owner kept winking at me. What???? We tasted several samples of gelatto before realizing that several had alcohol in them. Annnnyway, it was a fun experience. We then drove back to Tahoe to see the eastern shore. It's a gorgeous lake but way over populated now. This is my favorite shot that I took of the lake. My camera with the zoom was acting so weird and took multiple shots every time I pushed the shutter. So I would have two or three pictures of the exact thing.

Coming back into Reno, we decided to visit the temple. It is not an easy building to find. We even called to get directions but that was just a little bit of help. The problem is that it was dark, you have turn on this certain road; and we just couldn't see the street sign, drove past it two or three times. Mark kept his cool but  it was hard.  Eventually, we made it up the hill and took some pictures of that. The temple sits on a hill overlooking Reno and has a great view. Here's Mom, Mark and Susan huddling up as it was a bit cold.

That night we ate at Louis' Basque Corner. You share a table with other diners and we hit the jackpot with the two couples we ate with. Bryan is of Basque origin and gave us great tips on what to eat. He is a government contractor.  He and his wife were in town opening a major highway. Very fun people. The other couple are college professors from a small town in Northeastern California. Very interesting and fun to talk to. We had a great time. We got up early on Saturday and headed to Virginia City. Since we got there early, we were able to get a good seat at a restaurant that had been restored to fit the Old West. Great breakfast in a great setting. The town itself is way overcommercialized. We were going to take a wagon trip around the town to see the sites, but the wait was just too long. We walked up and down the boardwalks and went into a few shops. I really would have liked to have bought a deck of cards for Nevada, but every deck I saw was a used casino deck. I already have one of those. Rats. We did see the picture of the bride with the silver dollar dress. She is huge and the dress is made up of silver dollars, gold dollars for the belt and her jewelry is dimes and nickels. Then we started the long trek to Ely on the Loneliest Highway in the country. It's pretty desolate and empty. Thank heavens Mark is such a good driver.  Our last night on the road saw us eating pizza in a hotel in Ely.  Pretty good pizza too.  The next morning we walked across the street from our motel  to a park to see paintings on the library wall, the duck pond and some statutes.  Then we headed north on a road even lonelier than the day before.  Needless to say Mark made great time.  It was great to see the Salt Lake and the Salt Flats coming in from the west.  And it was great to get home. Wonderful trip.
28.  Received word that my boss is retiring the end of November.  Big changes.  I'm not excited. 
29.  First snow of the season.  It melted quite quickly but I'm still not ready. 
31.  I went to Jeffery's baptism.  I can't believe he's eight already.  I was moved as John baptized and then Grandpa Myke confirmed him.  Jeff will always be able to remember that he was baptized on Halloween.  And he and Megan were my only trick-or-treaters.  Thanks for not forgetting your old aunt. 

Books:  I read or listened to eleven books.  I am finishing the last two of the Narnia chronicles this week and enjoying them very much.  No five ratings this month, but I gave three books 4.75:  Catching Fire, Stargazing, and A Rule Against Murder.  I spent hours on Halloween reorganizing my books.  I found I was missing eleven books that I showed I owned and haven't read.  Grrrr.  After thinking it over, I realized that my sister has one, two I had already read but didn't check off the TBR list, and one I thought I had bought but apparently didn't.  Don't know where the other eight are.  If you have my copy of Pippi Longstocking, it's time to give it back.  I also found six books that I really didn't want to read so I listed them on Bookmooch.  They were snatched up almost immediately.  Did I act too hastily?  There were ten double entries plus I deleted nine I didn't want to read after all from the list.  The list would be getting smaller except I found sixteen books that weren't even written down.  Maybe I need to quit playing with my lists and read more.  Get that thought behind me.  This is my hobby and I'll hobby it as I want to.  Besides I cleared up some room on the shelves so it was a good thing. 
TV and Movies.  I am totally into Dancing with the Stars, Castle and Gray's Anatomy.  Other than that, I rarely turn the TV on.  I'm sad that Louis Vito got voted off DWTS last week.  He can't dance at all, but he's so darn cute.  Castle just gets better and better.  Saw no movies. 
Overall Impression  The end of October means we're heading into the holiday season.  I'm not ready.  I love Thanksgiving but buying gifts for Christmas is so stressful.  I just want fall to last longer.