So apparently it’s been more than a year since I’ve updated, but I guess it’s been more than a year for a lot of things so I’m not going to let that get to me. And what a year, right?! Here in Nevada, it seems like we are moving in the right direction. Lots of vaccinations (I was able to get my second just this past Saturday!) and the state has been steadily opening up. In fact, the Mustang Ranch—one of Reno’s infamous brothels—recently reopened. You know things must be getting better when brothels are considered “safe” again!
Personally, the past year has been a mental struggle as much as anything else. My kids finished up last year with distance learning but then went back to in-person learning last fall. And even though they were in school, there was always the chance their classes would be excluded due to positive cases (as happened several times for us). My preschooler had it tough, too: Her school shut entirely for three weeks last fall when several teachers and one or two older preschoolers tested positive.
Between Covid and four kids, I haven’t been writing. It’s felt strange not writing for Tahoe Quarterly, and a little heart-breaking to turn down assignments, especially for the Mountain Home issue, which is my favorite of all. I did find time (eventually) to read the issue and it was fabulous. Difficult to put together, I’m sure, as most of the projects weren’t available to physically tour, but a great read nonetheless, so big shoutout to my editor Sylas and the very resilient TQ writers!
I am heartened by the fact that—between vaccinations, schools staying open and reopened brothels—we seem to be at a turning point. I’m very hopeful that things continue to look up… and that there’s writing in my future again soon!
The Summer 2018 issue is in! The magazine is huge—at 240 pages, it’s tied for the largest issue of TQ ever—and I’m really loving the cover shot. I’ve got two articles in the issue. One is a piece about Truckee-based birdhouse-maker Greg Zirbel, who creates his one-of-a-kind creations based on historic buildings or places of interest. So fun to see the photos of his Thunderbird Lodge (emphasis on the ThunderBIRD) in front of George Whittell Jr.’s 1930s-era version. Likewise, he’s created birdhouses based on the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, Truckee diner Jax at the Tracks, and many other local buildings.
My other article is a Home Design piece about a spectacular 8,600-square-foot Martis Camp estate, complete with curving copper roofs and a meticulously executed streamscape. Designed by MWA’s Kristi Thompson, the home was built by NSM Construction, with interiors by JJH Interior Design. It’s a stunning piece of architecture, and I always love getting to explore the area’s best home designs.
I’ve only just started browsing the rest of the issue. I have to admit, for a magazine this size, it really is a relief to not be on the proofing side and to be able to enjoy, story by story!
I love new magazine day! Just got my copy of TQ’s Winter 2017-18 edition in the mail. I wrote two articles, one on an area mapmaker and another on the history of Mt. Rose’s Reindeer Lodge. I loved working on them both: I really enjoyed the wooden maps designed by Joe Inabinett, and it was fascinating to learn about the old lodge, which I’ve passed by a hundred times (questioning what on earth it was every time). Huge thanks to Kim Henrick, who lived in the lodge briefly as a child in the late 1950s, for her help on the lodge’s history.
There are a lot of other fun reads, as well, including a special section delving into Tahoe’s ties to the upcoming Olympic Games in South Korea, to include a look at some of the area’s possible athletic contenders, such as Jamie Anderson, David Wise and Maddie Bowman. Grab a copy or subscribe online!
The 2016–17 issue of TQ is on stands now! It’s a beautiful issue: a nice feature on Woodward Tahoe up by Boreal (which brought back fond memories, as I went to gymnastics camp at the Pennsylvania Woodward when I was a teenager), a great piece about Tahoe’s smaller ski resorts and a couple of tear-jerkers—one about how the North Lake Tahoe community rallied around a toddler with cancer, another about a writer who lost his four-legged best friend.
I wrote about quilt designer Karen Colbert, who is based in Incline. She creates these beautiful and intricate designs out of fabric that are so much more than just quilts—they’re art. She was really interesting because she never considered herself an artist growing up. She worked in an engineering firm and later got her degree in business administration from Sierra Nevada College. It wasn’t until she was pregnant with her daughter that she took up quilting was a hobby and yet, somehow, it became her livelihood. I think it’s fascinating the different routes people take in life, and a reminder that even though you may think you know and understand the track you’re on, things can always change.
Anyway, great issue, so pick one up if you’re around Tahoe or subscribe online!
TQ‘s Ski & Ride issue is on stands and it looks great! This is our issue to get hyped up for the snow season, which (thanks to El Nino, read more about it in the issue!) may be shaping up to be the first good year since 2010. Lots of fun stories, including an interview with the founders of Coalition Snow, a for women by women ski company, an article about managing avalanches and a historical piece about the 10th mountain division and it’s impact on Tahoe-Reno region in the 1940s.
I wrote an article about Tesla choosing to locate its Gigafactory in Reno, and the expected impacts the electric car maker’s presence is expected to have in the fields of education, employment and housing. It’ll be exciting to watch Reno’s growth over the next few years as more and more companies are drawn to America’s Biggest Little City.
I was in the office on Thursday for the first proof of the Winter issue and return for second proof next week. As excited as I am for the issue, I also can’t wait to knock it out of the way and get started on Mountain Home!
It’s my favorite time of the year: TQ Mountain Home tours! I’m constantly amazed by the amount of talent displayed by local architects, builders and interior designers. On Tuesday, we had our first set of tours: a house in Alpine Meadows, a property at Squaw Valley and a remodel at Sugar Bowl. All very impressive (and make me want to remodel my own home).
Since we ended at Sugar Bowl, I used the opportunity to hike Mt. Judah, my favorite Tahoe trail. The best part, I think, is scrambling on the boulders that are just off the trail; there are some amazing views of Donner Lake and the mountains to the east.
I couldn’t make the tours today, but I have two more days of touring next week. Very excited to see the rest of the homes and can’t wait to hear what the experts on our tour panel make of them all!
As always, I’m ridiculously behind on blogging. It’s been a busy summer, but the absolute highlight was my brother’s wedding. A beautiful ceremony and so wonderful to spend so much time with my siblings (above), who are five of my favorite people in the world, as well as so many of my East Coast family and friends.
Now that fall is here, I’m trying to get back into work mode: I’ve already been to the TQ office twice, once to go through the Home Award applications, once for Ski & Ride proofing, and I have another day of proofing next week.
I’m sending the girls to school twice a week, with the hopes that I can be more efficient with my freelance work, but also make time for my personal writing. I’m currently halfway done with a major revision for my novel, and am hopeful that a few child-free days a week will help me make significant progress in the next few months!
I just finished up two days of proofing for TQ’s Best of Tahoe issue. It’s a beautiful issue, and I’ve cried editing it twice now—once for a moving Through the Lens photo, again for the very sweet feature piece written by Jen Schmidt. The magazine looks great and will be on stands around Tahoe/Reno in early May.
And, if I didn’t love proofing days enough already, Jen came by the office with a four-pack of beer that Kyle and I split. Really, getting to write and edit and being thanked in beer… I’m pretty happy with my job!
Well, I’ve had about three weeks of absolute summer—days at the beach, the pool, the park, playing with friends and just snuggling with my girls—and now things are slowly starting back up. I spent this morning editing articles for TQ’s Ski + Ride issue, and I’ve already been emailing back and forth about my latest TQ story and am now just waiting on contact information for my interviewees. I’m pretty psyched about this story, in part because I don’t really know what the actual story is, but in my head it’s the local version of the Von Trapp family.
The morning was busy, but I had some time this afternoon so I took my dog and we did a three-mile hike up a Galena trail that led into Mt. Rose Wilderness. I’d never taken the trail this direction before (before, it was always too steep and I was too pregnant) but it was a great climb and absolutely beautiful. I’d just watched Pocahontas with my daughters, so I felt very one with nature as I sang with all the voices of the mountains and painted with all the colors of the wind. The trail had been a last-minute decision—I’d planned to do a shorter hike and I didn’t even bring water—so I still have a lot of exploring to do. While I’m lovign summer, this is one of the benefits of real life starting back up: When kids are in daycare and I spend a morning editing, this is the way I like to reward myself!
While daughter 1 is on summer vacation from preschool, it feels like I’m on summer break, too. And not the kind of summer break where I’m pulling out my hair trying to figure out what to do: This is like summer break when I was little, when there’s nothing on the calendar and weeks of long, warm, wonderful days ahead! I know that, for a freelancer, an empty calendar should be a terrible thing, but I sent the monthly newsletter for Star Resort Group this week, I just got my Summer issue of Tahoe Quarterly in the mail and I don’t have another TQ deadline for awhile. I know time will fly and things will start back up again before I know it so so I’m enjoying this time while I have it… days on the beach, walks in the woods, playing with kiddos and plenty of time with friends. And with that, time to log off and get back to summer time and easy living!