Posts Tagged With: wine

LOTTO FEVER

My neighbor, Brian, came over on Friday to fix my computer after I’d set a reset point and wiped out my internet connections back to factory settings, meaning zero ability to get on-line or get email. He was able to get me up and running and while we talked, he was jazzed about PowerBall, because the amount for the winning ticket was up to 600 million. He was going in with other neighbors with the idea that pooling increased the odds of winning. If anyone got three numbers a small pay off, but matched with the PowerBall number, could net a cool million or so.  Intrigued, I thought, what the heck. So I handed him $10 and the next thing you know, I’m mentally musing about what I would spend the money on. It was exciting.

Neighbor Jan had recruited 5 more people and asked if I could go buy the tickets on Saturday while on an errand. While buying the tickets, I met another excited neighbor who normally doesn’t buy into the lottery.  She chose the MegaBucks lottery then at 170 million. Excitement is contagious, and I got the “fever”. The next thing you know, I bought a ticket with my old winning Keeno numbers, I bought a second $10 Powerball ticket, and a MegaBucks ticket, totally unlatched from my former philosophy-its a sucker bet, don’t do it.

DSC07522 (Copy)The plan was, Brian and Attilla were going to watch the football game, and stop at 7:00 for the drawing. The rest of us would report to Brain’s, and after the numbers were revealed, we’d repair to my house for a Win Or Lose celebration with wine and cheese and a video. By the time we went to Brian’s house, Jan had recruited four more people. None of them wanted to party, they just wanted results. Here, then, Attilla, Brian, Attilla’s wife Patty, and Jan, happily holding a possible fortune, in that little glob of yellow paper.  Whoo, whoo.  The football game was forgotten. Brian had wine and hors d’oeuvres for us while we waited for the numbers. The PowerBall Website was so jammed, we didn’t get the numbers until almost 9:00 p.m. and, then from a youtube video. Silly me, I thought the numbers would be announced in a game type format on TV where a billion people would watch an official push the button on the official PowerBall machine, the balls would drop one by one, the numbers displayed before a hooting, expectant audience. Nope.

DSC07523 (Copy)Here,  the winning numbers on Brian’s computer. Among our pooled tickets, one ticket earned four dollars for getting the powerball number right. All hopes dashed. Before we left,  Brian was trying to find out if anyone had won, by then, $949 million dollars?

Jim called me this morning and told me nobody won. It goes up over a billion for next Saturday’s drawing. An obscene amount of money. Am, I going to buy a ticket?

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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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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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GRAPE STOMP AND BIRTHDAY DINNER.

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I thought it was very nice that Grape Stomp was put on for my birthday. It is always a fun time. I approached from the East end of Murphys, the first stop at Hovey’s tasting room. The old Victorian sits on a huge quarter acre lawn, and people, me too, were attracted by the music. This group was dressed for Halloween.

Gail Warren

The musician, Gail Warren. I’ve heard her play before and she has amazing licks and phrases that make her music distinctive and complex. I asked if she had a CD. No!

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I love listening to her and her repertoire is varied from hard rock, soul, gospel, jazz, pop, you name it, she does it.

Eddie Castro

Because she is all over the map when she pauses and lifts, her drummer, Eddie Castro, interprets her every nuance and intuitively hesitates when she does.

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Some listen and some like to get up and dance, grass didn’t stop them.

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I’ve gone on and on about Gail, but I expect to see her name in national recognition some day.

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From there, I hit the street to look into the booths to see if someone was selling something I couldn’t live without. This, from a person trying to down size. This guy was called the money man. He was selling rusting metal sculptures. I resisted.

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I’m always impressed with someone’s ability to creatively change an unwanted object into something people will pay for, like these former golf clubs.The street fair has over 100 booths, so there is a lot to choose from.

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This little girl was delighted with her newly acquired purple gecko. Her brother had a fuzzy dog bouncing on a leash. Her dad said it was okay to take her picture.

Jim Heryford

And here was Jimmy Heryford selling beer in front of the Native Sons Hall for the benefit of the hall. And, every so often, someone would bank this huge gong. Never did figure out why? I was sorry I’d eaten lunch before I went. I usually find great street food and a beer.

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People seemed to be avoiding this booth because the dog was taller than the table. Kind of intimidating to some.

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This woman had her own wine on ice on the back of her bike. I asked her if she was selling. “No”, she said, “If you have a glass I’ll pour you some.”  Neat lady. People are such a trip. Town was loaded, heavier crowds than I’ve ever seen before.

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I walked to the park and it was mobbed. Everyone was standing in line or eating and drinking what they stood in line for.

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But the main event is the grape stomp.The teams come from all over to compete. The initial competition has 10 barrels, and each team stomps 25 lbs. of grapes. The winner of each heat, one every half hour, goes to the finals.

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The crowds cheer on their teams.

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It is a messy and juicy affair. I stood quite a distance and still got a small splatter on my shoes.

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The stomper stays relatively clean compared to the juicer. I don’t know if this couple won the heat, but they worked hard, laughed a lot and if they get to the finals, they have to stomp 50 pounds of grapes. Fun.

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I went home and got ready for dinner. Ken and Laurie took us to Alchemy. They were busy, busy, busy with so many people in town.

half boneless chicken

Everything you eat here is good. Jim ordered a half boneless chicken…

pad thai

Laurie and I had the seafood pad thai. Delicious.

ribs

Ken likes ribs. They have good beers, too, though I can’t recall the name of the beer we drank. And, they brought us a decadent dessert to share because it was my birthday.

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I’ve wanted to blog the beautiful coffee table Laurie painted for me. She is soooo talented. Everyone helped me move the furniture around so the table is really a display piece. I’m going to get a glass top for it. It matches all my other Egyptian stuff and I’m just thrilled with it. I picked up the table at a yard sale years ago with the idea to paint it with an Egyptian theme but she has a talent that I don’t have. I love it!

 

 

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Kautz Ironstone Vineyards – Murphys, California

The motorhome is parked at Mary’s home in Murphys, California. She is busy with personal matters.

Last September during my eye exam at the Seattle, Washington VA Hospital I was told I have a large cataract in my right eye that should be attended to in the next year. My new doctor has made the necessary arrangements to have my eye problem corrected. I’m hoping to have my cataract surgery completed prior to Mary going to Turkey with her grandson on April 18th.

My new eye exam date is now March 19th.

Yesterday I drove to Bronco the four miles to the Kautz Ironstone Vineyards Daffodil Show. In addition to their wines, they are also known for their beautiful flowers and art. Here are some of the photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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To read about today’s photo album location, click this link… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironstone_Vineyards

To see the other 69 photos that I took…

CLICK ON THE BELOW PHOTO. ONCE YOU ARRIVE AT THE PHOTO ALBUM, SIMPLY CLICK “SLIDESHOW” AND ENJOY!

Kautz Ironstone Vineyards – Murphys, California

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS.

Yesterday was a sunny day at 77 degrees. Forecast for today is a sunny day at 65 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2014

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TAKING TIME TO CELEBRATE.

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A doctor’s appointment in Stockton with a cardiologist took five hours with driving time. As my leaving date gets closer, time seems to shrink. The whole week is devoted to medical necessities before I leave so my blog will be sporadic in the days ahead. The bright spot in yesterday was a birthday dinner with friends. Stuart Mast, his wife Delores Quyle, Margot Osborn and Pamela Quyle, friends I missed my last two visits home.

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Margot’s birthday was January 1st. She is known through out wine country as a wine expert, mistress, extraordinaire. She has that same cache when she visits Sonoma, Napa wine country and everybody loves her.

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Stuart and Delores are owners of Bryce Station Winery. They grow and bottle their own estate grapes.  Bryce Station is a young Winery. I’m not sure of the years, maybe  seven or eight, ten? Their wines are wonderful for such young grapes.  I’ve known them for a long time and didn’t think about who makes the wine?  As I was sipping and commenting on how good the wine,  Pamela said, “Of course, Stuart and Delores make their own wines. They sell out quickly.” I take them for granted. I always expect the best because this family is talented in so many ways. Delores and Pamela both paint and pot. Art is in the blood. Stuart’s, too.

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On the opposite side of the table Marlene and Dick Bradford and  Heidi and Malcom. Heidi was also celebrating a January birthday. It was fun to try out the newest restaurant in town, Tortuga, billing itself as serving  Mediterranean specialties.

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Marlene sculpts and pots and teaches classes at Quyle Kiln. Her work  adds a different spectrum of clay products at Quyle. She does figures and hands on sculpture that Pamela never attempts,  she readily admits. There is always something new and interesting going on at Quyle, either a wine event with food and music. Always potting and art shows. Wine and art, what a wonderful life. All they need is a bakery and cheese making to have what the poets insist is the best things in life. Well, along with love and friendship.

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Heidi was the other January birthday. I believe I met her once before. We were both unsure. She lives part-time U.S. and part-time Germany. She is allergic to cats but inherited one from a neighbor who moved and simply abandoned the cat. She is being very thoroughly trained by this cat and isn’t quite aware of it yet as she seeks to comfort its every need. Oh, my! Such fun. The local cupcakes for desert complete with candles? Wonderful.

It was a lovely dinner with lovely people, and when you bring good wine to the table? It is a celebration.

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