Lessons for a New Year

We just returned from two weeks on the road around northern California and Nevada, and I thought I’d share the highlights of this journey in bite-sized nuggets of wisdom, easily applied to your own life as you venture forward into a new year. Because I’m thoughtful like that. And way too fond of my own opinion.

But first off, big ups to Art.com for giving me the time off between Christmas and New Year’s, paid. Company holiday — holla! I was off for 12 days straight. Ahhhhhh.

Here goes!

LESSON 1: Technology really is doing less for us all than we think, so unplug as often as you can.

Christmas morning snow at Lake Almanor.

What they call a “White Christmas.”

When we arrived at Trent’s parents’ house on Lake Almanor, they were already buried under, oh, about six feet of snow. And the power was out. And there were 11 of us slated to be there. For a week.

The power stayed out for four days.

Now, they live in BFE, so they have a generator. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit we had select access to power around the house. However, I literally had not a speck of internet or phone service the entire time I was there. And it. was. AWESOME. Basically, I read People Magazine, played word games, and put together a giant puzzle. And talked to people (real, live people!). And played with my dog.

Also, if you think we need technology to do “convenient” things like freeze our food, you’re wrong — that’s what we have Mother Nature for.

Icicle in drink.

But where will I get ice for my beermosa???!!! Wait…

LESSON 2: Everyone in this world deserves a second chance.

Sam and Icarus the cat.

Your butt-smell tells me nothing in the way of love or hate.

Or maybe even a third. Or a fourth.

My dog hates cats. Seriously, he is such a dick about/around/with/near cats. First he cries like a baby, then he wants to eat them. Make up your mind, furbaby.

My sister-in-law brought her tiny new kitten to the lake for Christmas. Yes — that means that Tiny Kitten and Dick Dog were also trapped in the house together with no power (we just like to keep things interesting).

Dick Dog (who’s real name is Sam, in case you forgot) tried countless times to bite Tiny Kitten’s (who real name is Icarus) head off. Poor Tiny Kitten even peed himself on the spot during one attempted “introduction.” Yet that sweet little guy just kept putting up with it, as we tried again and again to get them to be “friends.”

Kelly, Icarus, and Sam.

Let’s try this again…

And if he can make repeated attempts to work it out with my ridiculous furbaby (emphasis on the baby part), then surely the people I complain about can’t really be that bad. I mean, no one’s ever tried to literally bite my head off.

LESSON 3: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

You can waste a lot of time in this day and age trying to make yourself look good. But you look best when you don’t try so hard.


Lisa and Trent at Miguel's.


Lisa and Trent at Miguel's.

Better. Way better.

(BTW, these were taken at Miguel’s, our favorite Mexican place in Reno. Another lesson: there is no such thing as a margarita with no tequila in it. No matter how certain you are that you can’t taste any).

LESSON 4: If you’re happy, let it show.

Lisa singing along.

80s? Classic soul? Who the heck knows.

I like to sing along to music — all music. Even bad pop music. In public places. Bars, restaurants, stores, on the street. Loudly. And dance. And make out with my husband. Because it makes me happy.

I am not embarrassed. Even when other people look at us sideways. I know they’re secretly wishing they felt it, too. An uninhibited groove of life.

Music makes me happy. My husband makes me happy. And when I’m happy, I don’t hold back. Even if pictures like this end up on the internet (shortly before midnight, at the Reno Public House lock-in). Embrace them. Be proud of them.

Don’t hold back.

LESSON 5: Hair of the dog works.

Sorry, but it’s true.

New Year's Day beers in Reno.

Medicinal treats at the Brewer’s Cabinet in Reno, New Year’s Day.

Always has been, always will be. And thank God something works.


See all our pics of the Whitest Christmas at Lake Almanor here.

See all our pics of Reno New Year’s Eve here.

See Carla’s pics of Reno New Year’s Eve here.


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3 thoughts on “Lessons for a New Year

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    LMAO!!! Dick dog can’t help the fact that he wants to bite kitty’s head off. I guess if you have to be trapped in a house with no power for four days, having a cat and a dog around can keep it interesting. The grandparents and I enjoy the breathtaking scenery, where the icicles appear to touch the tree tops, and that Christmas tree bathed in candlelight, with an ornament carefully hung on every branch looks like a Christmas card.

    But I especially appreciate the fact that you were able to detach from technology for so long! I envy you. That is so healthy, and reading magazines and playing with your dog is truly therapeutic. Dick dog never seems to tire of playing in the snow either, which seems strange for an “Australian” cattle dog.

    You all look truly happy in Reno, regardless of the fact that adult beverages were involved. I think that you and Trent have discovered the secret to happiness. It’s no secret. Just be happy! And wear blue more often. It becomes you.

    What a truly happy start to this new year! Never let it go!


    MI Mom

  2. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    P.S. Love the necklace too! New Year’s Resolution: Wear big jewelry more often!

  3. lisatemp says:

    REGARDLESS of the fact that adult beverages were involved? It’s BECAUSE of the fact, Munga.

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