Posts Tagged With: food

AFFORDABLE ART

DSC07134 (Copy)Each year, our Calaveras County Arts Council hosts an affordable art show just in time for Christmas. Amador and Tuolumne Counties have similar open house events. Affordable is different for different folks. Patty Rayne does huge paintings of horses like this one in the $750 category. Her love for horses shows in her work.

DSC07140 (Copy)On a different budget, maybe for a child’s choice, are small mini paintings that are nice for a side table.

DSC07141 (Copy)I usually buy something at this event, but I have no room on my walls and I’m downsizing. I had a hard time passing up this rooster. I’ve had chickens in every house I’ve ever lived in and this one reminded me of a rooster we used to have that the kids named Fat King Crow.

DSC07142 (Copy)I enjoy getting my art “fix” even if I don’t buy anything. I admired Sonya Zeigler’s landscapes and so many others. But what is really incredible about artists in our own backyard is the amazing diversity of talent.

DSC07137 (Copy)Layered ceramics.

DSC07143 (Copy)Etched ceramics.

DSC07146 (Copy)Pots of every kind and shape.

DSC07147 (Copy)Beautiful wooden bowls, platters and honey servers.

DSC07156 (Copy)The things artists do with gourds… an art form that has become very popular in our neck of the woods.

DSC07161 (Copy)Unique one-of-a-kind pieces like this carved skull.

DSC07153 (Copy)Something new to me is photography on canvas from Gordy Long. I swear, Jim and I have been on this very beach in Washington State. I’m curious about how it is done? At $18 very affordable.

DSC07160 (Copy)The gallery has jewelry makers, paintings, and cards for all occasions year around. But at this event, you can find a Christmas card for a favorite friend that is a gift in itself.

DSC07165 (Copy)One table was given over to the feast of finger foods with cider and wine available to drink. Festive and fun because I always manage to see a friend, either in person, or on a canvas.

Enjoying the Christmas season is opening up to joy at every turn and I love it.  Merry Christmas.

 

 

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SIGNS OF HEALING FROM BUTTE FIRE

DSC06862 (Copy)The Resource and Recovery Center for the Butte Fire is all but closed. School children are still dropped off at the center where they can get a snack and wait for their parents to pick them up when they get off work. When we pulled in, this is what greeted us.

DSC06863 (Copy)Two kids on the left are 5th graders, two on the right are 6th graders, enjoying some chips and dip. They told me they were building houses out of cardboard boxes.

DSC06866 (Copy)A bit crowded to be sure. One girl held the flap open while I took the picture.

DSC06867 (Copy)This is a two room house, they bragged.  I was impressed.

DSC06868 (Copy)The 5th graders invited me into their house.

DSC06869 (Copy)Roomy and cozy.

DSC06870 (Copy)They had each made a cardboard bed with a cardboard stuffed pillow and an extra piece of cardboard for padding. Well done. I could see the signs of healing in their smiling faces.DSC06871 (Copy)As we walked away from the kids, I saw a woman watching them and she was hanging back. I told her they were building houses. She said, “I’m so glad my son is building a house. He needs that right now.”  We both got a bit emotional. I could not have predicted how much this fire affected me from my house burning down when I was about the same age as these kids.

DSC06873 (Copy)At the back of the Center is a tent city.

DSC06872 (Copy)A huge truck with washing machines provides laundry. I didn’t see it yesterday, but did the day I had volunteered. A sign also announces the showers are available between 8 am to 8 pm, every day. There are portable toilets on the grounds as well. Not the way you choose to live, but a welcome necessity.

DSC06874 (Copy)Stacks of rice straw are available to burn victims to distribute on their land to help prevent erosion during the coming rains of winter

DSC06893 (Copy)We drove up toward Railroad Flat. Jim got a first hand look at the devastation. One property had a sign, Looters Will Be Shot. Since my son’s place was burglarized during the fire, I could understand their fears.

DSC06880 (Copy)This picture really got to me. It was obvious at this site that the owners had gone through the wreckage and pulled things out and stacked them in painful little piles; a reminder of my folks doing the same thing. I remember searching for my rosary I’d just gotten for Christmas. My mother fascinated and tearful over a jar of change she’d been saving where coins and glass were melted together.

DSC06900 (Copy)We were beyond Mountain Ranch and here the power lines in two or more places were still on the ground. You can see the line temporarily attached to a tree to keep it up off the road so cars could pass under. Most of the power poles themselves survived the fire. Jim was amazed that so many trees were still standing. He thought they would be flat on the ground. Of course, many standing will die and have to be removed. Trees with an X on them scheduled for removal. I only saw one large tree with an L on it for leave.  Then we visited the local VFW and quaffed a beer and washed away the imaginary ashes in our mouths.

 

 

 

 

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BOUNCE BETWEEN OREGON AND MURPHYS

It has been long between blogs. I find when I’m busy, I’m really an activist at heart and am inspired to rant about the current incomprehensible political situation, which Jim dislikes.  I have not been traveling!  So I rant. Jim reminded me this morning it has been a year to the day (yesterday) since I left the motorhome and took up the business of building a new house and all that transpires both expected and unexpected.

I got news of the awful Butte Fire from that distance, chagrined that my friend Deborah Mullen,  a co-worker at the Calaveras Enterprise, was burned out. A devastating experience.

Today, after clearing through pounds of mail, I gathered clothing, shoes, tables, chairs, jackets, and stuff you think people will need in the aftermath of a complete loss of everything of a normal household. Deborah posted a picture on FB  of herself and Husband Steve; “We have each other,” she said. Always one to look on the bright side.

After connecting with several recovery, resource sights, it became very clear that the stuff I gathered was not what is needed right now. It is more on the order, of paper plates, paper towels, face soap, q-tips, wash cloths,  canned foods, powdered milk, peanut butter, fresh vegetables, flashlights, lanterns, batteries, ice chests, water carriers and so on. So, tomorrow, I’ll assemble a different set of household goods,and make my way to Mountain Ranch, then Valley Springs where daughter-in-law Laurie is holding much of my important paperwork taken at my request from my house during the voluntary evacuation order. I’ll start carrying my camera again, if I can find it.

My last day in Oregon, I went to a bridge repair meeting and met some neighbors from the private road we share, many of whom,  I’d never met previously.

I also invited 12 people to a wine and nibble about 4 p.m. Saturday,  before my expected leave on Sunday morning. I thought some of the neighbors might be curious about what my place looked like after watching the slow progress from the outside over eight months of building it. Four people showed up, three from one family. All but  four answered with some enthusiasm, suggesting they’d be glad to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed those that came.  I’m not a novice at entertaining guests, but I’ve never been so royally stood up in my life, and it makes me chuckle that I’ve had that experience at this time in my life. If I were a young bride, I’d have been hurt. Not one person bothered to tell me they could not or would not come. I thought it was strange but those that came,  more than made up for those that did not.

It has been fun furnishing a new house, with nearly all second-hand items and attempting to keep it neat and not over clutter it with stuff as I am wont to do.  I’ll eventually get pictures hung and curtains up and take photos; my goal to hopefully find this page a bit more often.

ciao-Mary

 

 

 

 

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GOING THE DISTANCE.

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In Oregon, on Thursday, my cabinets were delivered. They wait installation by another crew.

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I’m certain the delivery guys have to be careful. There was a tear in one box. I took a picture. They denied they had torn it. I could feel around inside and could detect no scratches. Two bugs came out of the hole. One was a  roach. Nope, they said, that bug must have just crawled in. One big cabinet barely fit through the sliding glass door. It scratched the paint on the door. Nope, that scratch must have been there. It was almost comic, but the scratch was no big deal.

On Friday morning, Jim drove north and I drove south. I arrived in Davis, about 330 miles later, to meet Cedric and Virginia. Cedric had just arrived after a five hour drive from Mendocino. We loaded into their Prius, the five of us, within about 15 minutes and hit the road for Reno to attend my oldest grandson’s graduation. Actually, not to attend it, but to be there for dinner and recognition.

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This is Momma Laurie who stated that her oldest son, Stewart,  is the first in her family to obtain a college degree. In my family and my husband’s family, my two daughters were the first to obtain college degrees. Seated next to Laurie is Cedric, his sons, Theo and Owen and Poppa Ken.

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On the other side of the table, Virginia and my two oldest grandsons, Mason and Stewart. Of course conversation all around table was much about what will you do with your life, from the youngest, Theo, who thinks he’ll probably be a vet, to our graduate, Stewart who wants to go to Japan and teach English as a second language, and, in the process learn to speak Japanese.

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After dinner, we spent some time in Ken and Laurie’s room, chatting. We drank a bit of wine and enjoyed our short time together after the long drives.

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On Saturday morning, while Stewart and family got ready to attend graduation, at his suggestion, we went to a local breakfast joint all the locals adore. It is Peg’s Glorified Eggs and Ham. The menu choices were wonderful and varied. The food delicious and the service excellent. Thanks, Stew.

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The boys had some variation of pancakes/waffle which came with has hash-browns and fruit or meat.

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I had a vegetarian eggs Benedict, that was delicious with spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomato, avocado and cheese. Yum.

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After breakfast we drove to the University of California Field Station for Virginia’s meeting on invasive plants.

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It was partly gravel road to get there. No fancy quarters, people pitch their tents.

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She reported to the office to join her peers.

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She noticed a nest of baby birds and took a picture for me. I love seeing baby birds and especially watching them fledge. She will get a ride home from a colleague.

Cedric drove us  back to Davis,  and for me, another two-hour drive back to Murphys. I guess  I can safely say, we went the distance. Laurie promised to take gobs of pictures of the graduation ceremony.  I hope to see all of my grandsons graduate college. Five more to go.

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SUPERBOWL PARTY BEGINS.

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The Super Bowl, I understand, can cost you $25,000 for a fancy box with tickets. On the low end, it costs $35 to park and food is expensive. All that money has given way to Tail Gate Parties and home style Super Bowl Parties. My oldest son, Ken,  began a tradition of super bowl parties with some of his high school buddies. He was the organizer and made artistic invitations, and kept the tradition going without missing a year for about 25 years now. Traditionally, no women are allowed. The guys have their irreverent pet names, and old raunchy stories and jokes that make it off limits. It begins on Friday before the game with a dinner and about five hours of poker. Saturday morning, they usually have breakfast and golf. Then Saturday afternoon is more poker and more food. Then Sunday, they watch the game together and eat a lot. Well, that used to be the case. In recent years, they return home to watch the game with their families. Each year is a bit different.

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Hosted at Ken’s this year, he barbecued five different kinds of sausage, Laurie made a quinoa salad and I brought some tamales and beans. But wait, why are we women present? Laurie is headed out for a girls gig with a Lodi friend, a Paint and Wine party in Sacramento. And, I just stopped in and joined them for dinner because I needed to deliver paper work to Doug, who will be headed back to Oregon on Monday. As the guys age, they are getting a bit more tolerant of we women. This is the first time I’ve seen the start of the “big game” even though it has been held at my house, while I’m not there, for at least 3 years that I know of.  They’ve gone to Las Vegas, Chico, Stockton, Farmington, Tacoma, Fremont, Murphys, Pleasanton, Livermore and Arizona, I think!

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Hoagie, who is Richard Hogan, used to live neighbors across the street from me. He now lives in Chico. He brought a growler from Des Chutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon.

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The handle is very creative and I love the bottle. I want one for my bottle collection!.

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Pinkett on the end, to the right is Ken. They are the only two originals. Added later, Darren. Brother Doug, on the opposite end, got invited into the game a couple of years after they started playing. Then, barely visible is Shane, and Hoagie. Shane, Darren and Hoagie are about five or six year newcomers. I had never met Shane and Darren before, though they have played at my house.

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They play for the fun and the money. It isn’t high stakes, but the food is good, the pots are nice and the conversation and fun a bit wild.  When Ken lived in Vegas I bought him a set of professional poker chips with his name on them. They are snazzy and look good enough to eat.

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The game isn’t so serious you can’t take a lick on the guitar. Or stop and watch some pregame jingles and jangles. Always fun to see the best and worst commercials. Or stuff from previous year relived with a nice big screen close by.

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I think in this game, everybody is a winner just for the camaraderie. Laurie and Me, too.

 

 

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ON-LINE SHOPPING RECIPE.

As I recall, on-line shopping was supposed to make life easier, convenient, less expensive. I guess it is true in some areas. But try and decide what type of heat pump you want, among the many styles and sizes that perform in various ways. Whole house? Or zonal mini-splits. Do ductless units have Seer ratings? What is that? Installers?  Another search.

There is lot to compare and I learned a lot, but over two days I probably spent 12 hours on-line. Geez. Too much sitting.

Doug returned to Oregon yesterday to find all the water had leaked from his temporary domicile, the 5th wheel. No cold or hot water. He couldn’t find where it had leaked. Good thing he has a hose from the well.  He had a good vacation, but things are just as problematic as usual. Now, hopefully his plumber knows how to fix a plumbing problem in a 5th wheel.

One thing you can’t buy on-line is daughter-in-law, Laurie’s, recipe for black bean coleslaw. Or, wait, I haven’t checked, maybe you can?  But here it is, anyway.

2 bags of mixed slaw
1 red bell pepper, chopped (can use orange or yellow too)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c chopped cilantro (or more if you want)
2 green onions, chopped
optional- sometimes I add fresh corn, about a cup.
Dressing:
2/3 c lime juice
4 T honey
6 T olive oil
1 t cumin
Cracked pepper to taste
Delicious and keeps well for a couple of days.
I wish there was a less tedious recipe for on-line shopping.
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