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New author takes over Ruhenstroth Ramblings

We have a new house, new neighbors and a new life. You have a new columnist.

We just bought Dell Newport’s beautiful house at 1988 Palomino. You may have seen all the work going on. If not, please stop by and say hello. We are fortunate to already know several neighbors -the Francis family, the Ceglias, Spriggs, Clarks, Swifts and Littrell’s. We’ve had lovely visits with new neighbors Pam and Kim, Frank Murray, Kelly Joyner and her family, Kris and Tara and Frank. Frank Murray brought beautiful grapes from the Blackbird’s Roost vineyard and Tara and Frank shared the most beautiful peaches from their tree. The Francis family has been amazing about pitching in and helping with the house. Thank you to everyone for making us feel so welcome.

A little bit about the new inhabitants of the Brier Patch: There are five of us. My husband, Frederick, our son, Jacob, Scrappy and Sophie (our dogs) and Karen. That’s me.

We moved here last summer from Atlanta, Ga., relocating 2,500 miles for my new job with the software engineering group at Bently Nevada/GE Energy. Frederick is also in the software field, but he retired a few years ago to home school Jacob and now takes excellent care of all of us.

I’m not sure how he finds the time, but he has also become involved with the local Republican Party and is helping out Temple Bat Yam in South Lake Tahoe with their website.

Jacob is almost 11, and attends classes with the Faith Home School group in Carson and Hebrew School at the Temple. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but whenever I can, I read and write. I also love to cook, though I hate to clean. I’m lucky that Frederick takes pity on me and cleans up after me.

We have been terrifically busy with the move, but as soon as the dust settles we’re looking forward to bike riding, hiking and camping this fall. Frederick’s real love is skiing and even though Jacob and I went over to the dark side and are snowboarders, he lets us hang out with him anyway. We’ll all be praying for more snow this winter. Make that snow on the mountain – I confess that I like not digging out the car every morning.

In addition to work, school and getting settled, we’ll be working to get the gardens back to Dell’s high standards. Future plans include building a greenhouse, a chicken palace and putting in fence for a couple of goats.

Frederick and Jacob are both city boys, and I haven’t been on a farm for 30 years, so we expect that life will be pretty exciting for a while.

We’ve spent a lot of time at the house in the last few weeks and have enjoyed some spectacular sunrises over the pinons and sunsets over the Sierra.

We’ve seen an owl, several hawks, dozens of rabbits, hundreds of quail, and about a million lizards. It is a far cry from Atlanta where we could see office towers through the trees in our backyard. Everything is so beautiful that we sometimes feel as if we’ve stumbled onto a movie set.

On behalf of all my new neighbors, I want to thank Gail for doing such a great job on the column for so long – I know she will be missed.

I’ll be using the column as an excuse to get to know more neighbors, so please reach out if you have news or notes or events. Or just come sit on the porch with us; you’ll find us there for all the sunsets.

Reach Karen Brier at, or 790-0072.