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Traveling, Pouring, and Having Fun

“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.” Henry David Thoreau

 

One reason why I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog is because I haven’t been able to keep up with my own life.

Honestly, I need a vacation!

Recently, I have been gone just about every weekend. A few weekends past, Sunni and I went to Los Angles. OMG! So, in Los Angles double yellow lines are only suggestions to the people that reside in the area. If you are a visitor in the area of Los Angles make sure that you remember that it is like driving in the wild, wild, west. If you’re in the fast lane, you better being doing at least 70 MPH. AT LEAST…wink, wink.

When I am done working at a venue, I like to take a little side trip to learn something. This particular time, it was going to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Sunni and I rented the head sets, and were off on our adventure through the Mission. It was so beautiful and informative. Here are some photos of our adventure…

 

 

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Turkey Roast

Owning a winery means working all the time. My husband and I work 7 days a week. We love good food and good wine, so we always make time (at least on Sunday) to share our meals together. Last Sunday, I made a turkey roast. Having a crock pot is like having a helper in the kitchen. I can’t even tell you how often I make use of mine.

I have the All Clad 7 Quart Deluxe I like this one because you can brown the food before slow cooking the food. With this one you will need some high quality olive utensils. You don’t want to scratch the inside of the crock pot.

Anyway, I start my process by adding all the herb and spices I want on a plate. IMG_9660

I use about a teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt, garlic powder, coarse ground, oregano, parsley leaves, cumin, and basil. Add your turkey on the top of the herbs and spices and roll it over them.

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Keep in mind that you can edit the herbs and spices that I have added, and add your favorites. After you are done, you want to brown the turkey, add olive oil in the crock pot, and the brown should be at 400 degrees. Make sure you give the crock pot time to preheat. Add your turkey roast, and wait for it to brown on each side. You will want to flip it around with your wooden utensils.

After it’s brown, you can add the gravy to a measuring cup, and add a cup of white wine. I usually add wine to my crock pot instead of water, because it adds more flavor. Now, you are going to leave it to cook. I set mine on low for 6 hours, and then it will automatically turn to “warm” for you.

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When I got home I made rice, and peas to go with the turnkey. We had a French Viognier to complement the meal. I was too hungry to take a photo of the plated food. LOL! Enjoy!

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Give Us The Gold

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination” Michael Phelps

We have been giving everything we have to the winery. San Marcos Creek Vineyard and Winery has not even been known to the people of the county of San Luis Obispo. We have attended events, entered contests, given blood sweat and tears to every single day.

We finally got a little pay off from this journey when we entered the Los Angles International Wine Competition. We got 2 gold medals!! We scored a 95 out of 100 points, and Best in Class. Our Cabernet Sauvignon has been described as velvety smooth, fruit forward with dusty tannins.

Here is our bottle wearing her hardware…IMG_9635

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You are the Result

“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” Linda Hogan

John Harris was my 14 great-grandfather, born in 1513 in Gloucestershire, England. His father was 38, and his mother, Johanna, was 38.

John Harris, a man of Hatherup, county of Gloucester, England, born as early as 1513 in England. He married Anne Annis about 1533. His will was dated October 22, 1553, and proved June 4, 1554. Left the lease of the house in which he dwelt to his daughter Alice Wynchcumbe (Winchkome, Winchcombe) and if she should die before it expired, the remainder of the term was to belong to her daughter. His two sons, William and John Harris, received seventy-two acres of land, a sheep pasture and also ten sheep and a bullock apiece. The residuary legatee and executrix was his wife Anne Harris. (Plus names of overseers and witnesses). The will of Annis Harris, widow, of Hatherup, was made June 17, 1585, and proved Feb. 5, 1585/6. She gave her daughter Alice Winchcombe a new gown, three sheets, etc. and made small personal gifts to Anne, James, John and Thomas Winchcombe, William, Anthony, and John Harris the younger and some friends. The residuary legatee and executor was Richard Harris. Note: Hatherup and Fairford, two neighboring parishes in the county of Gloucester, and the printed index of wills at Gloucester, containing references to several wills of Harrises of Hatherup brought the search to a satisfactory conclusion. Hatherup is situated on a hill rising from the valley of the river Coln in one of the most picturesque districts of Gloucestershire. The village itself is a mere appendage to the manorhouse, now called Hatherup Castle and the home of Sir Thomas Bazeley.

Created by: Marjorie Harris McLean Record added: Dec 07, 2013

 

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Pruning Time

The olive trees need maintenance, just like everything else. This is the time of the year we have to prune all those trees. Their silvery leaves that are billowing in the wind need some trimming. Sometimes, it is a little difficult to find people to do the running since this is also the season to prune for the vines. The climate in this are is perfect for Mediterranean food and faire. It is warm and dry during the day in the summer, and then up to 50 degrees cooler in the evening. Our overall temperatures are very close to southern France. When the averages are compared with the cool nights, our area is a little cooler.

Now, we have had so much rain, and it will impact the flavors of the olives and the grapes. The water from all the rain hasn’t yet soaked into the earth, it’s like a sponge that can’t pick up any more water. The water is just running off, and not being absorbed. This week, we are going to have warm, sunny days, which will allow the some drying before more rains come back to our area. No one is complaining about all the rain, since we really need it to completely recover from our four years of drought. I am so excited to taste the differences in the fruits this year! I’m sure they are ripe with possibilities!

So, what does our olive grove look like now? Here is a photo before the trimming of our Italian variety olive trees.

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Believing In Signs

One Big Sign

Before we found our farm, we looked for 7 years. It was a long seven years too. One gentleman promised we would have a house, and we stayed in escrow for 9 months. My husband was heartbroken. One day, on our way home from Santa Barbara we stopped to drive by the property in escrow. We saw the photo below, and I knew it was done. We were not going to get this property that was in escrow for 9 long months.

When I pray, I ask for big signs that I can’t ignore. I have even said out loud in my prayers…You know I don’t do subtle, so show me something unmistakable. I would say this sign was pretty clear. It looks like a giant foot to me. What do you think? On our drive home, I already started the mourning process for the property. IMG_3613

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Jeremy Mayes

I buy and commission work by artists that I enjoy viewing. I look all around the world instead of focusing in on one area. I try to find the best artist for the job that I envision. Jeremy had some paintings I saw of motorbikes that I just loved. The paintings had a depth that I was seeking. Does the muffler pipe look too hot to touch? Does the paint look fresh on the bike? Is there a personality that can be understood between the art and spectator?

At the time, I was looking for an artist that would paint one of the Lambretta bikes we own. It is a special bike that was a racer, and a favorite of Roberto. I wanted the painting to really showcase the bike, no background, this was all about the bike. The angle shows the piping of the bike beautifully. The light bouncing off the gas tank, the light on the fender, the nubs on the tires, and all that chrome.

Jeremy even painted the Lambretta in watercolor. Watercolor is the unforgiving media. Yet, when a master works with watercolor it is so beautiful. Nothing is taken from the painting. It is crisp, it is fresh, and it speaks to the viewer.

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Jeremy has done several pieces of art for me, and he has a great eye. Take a look at his some of his other works here.

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Diaries and Journals

I can’t even begin to tell you the thrill that I get when I find someone in our family that has a diary or a journal. I have read a few journals of family members, and honestly…once I start reading the journal, I can’t stop. Usually, before I have been handed a journal or diary there is a preface of “there are lots of misspelled words or something to that effect”. I am not reading about a slice of their life without knowing that this person that wrote these words was doing so with little light, some education, and who knows how tired they were. Let’s not kid ourselves reading and writing before 1930 was done at leisure time. Some people had very little, if any leisure time.

If they had a farm, they had to think about their crop. Their crop was their livelily hood, without it they could not sustain themselves. The work was grueling, they were up with the light, and sometimes worked until they had no light. Children had to be taken care of, and the water had to be brought in the house. Animals had to be taken care of, and sometimes there was a crop grown just for the animals.

It is remarkable to me when I stumble on to a person that has something that has been treasured from one generation to another, even with misspellings and bad grammar. In the end that doesn’t matter, its the time they took from their day to give us a glimpse of their life. People they mention, sometimes there are recipes. I have a blueberry lemon cake in one journal that is so wonderful. They took the time to measure all the ingredients for the recipe to hand over to a daughter in law. It was a favorite of her son.

There is one heart wrenching journal that tells of a mom that lost her son. He didn’t die, he went on to disguise himself as an Italian. He was mixed with Black, Native American, and White. He found a job with some Italians that excepted him as he was, but he was infatuated with a girl. He told her he was Italian, and he moved up north to work in construction. His mom got the letter that he would never come back to see her because he didn’t see himself as the mix he was, but as an Italian. He wanted her to know how much he loved her, but hoped that she would understand. Her journal told of her heartbreak, and how she felt betrayed by her son. She would also write how much she loved him, and how her retreat was going down to the river to cry for the son she lost.

Another relative wrote about her family building a town, and having a saw mill. They also had an inn, and one day they found a pregnant run away slave. It was just before the civil war, and they brought her into their home. She would have a little girl and her name was Hazel. Mary and Hazel lived in the house with the family, and my great aunt was named after Hazel. This same family had arguments at the table about how to help the slaves and not helping the slaves. One of the older sons wanted to buy slaves from the market, and then free them once they have worked off what he had paid for the slave. His thought was, if they purchased the slaves and educated them they could have a good life. The father did not agree with the son. He said if they purchased slaves they would be contributing to more slaves being sold. Mary would often tell the family of her days in bondage, and how she was treated before she ran away. If the family were caught harboring a slave, the family would have had to relinquish Mary, as well as pay a $500 fine. During the civil war Mary and Hazel were sent up north, so they would not have to endure the war.

When you are lucky enough to come upon a diary or journal, treasure it! It will transport you to a place that you’ve never dreamed.

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Hye Seong Yoon

I believe I own 5 pieces from Hye. I am sure this is my favorite painting I own of San Francisco. The painting screams “San Francisco”. There really is no other place in the world that looks likes this.

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I love the colors she uses in the painting. The blending of the colors to create such a warm mood. This painting ought to be a post card for S.F. The painting lures you into the painting with such a strong pull. The street car is full, as they usually are every day. There are people full of desire to ride the attraction that only S. F. can fulfill.
The rails tell their own story too. They may look bright and shiny in the sunset, but the rails are old. The rails have been there for more than 100 years. Transportation that was created to carry people up the steep hills. The horses could not take the repetition of the hills. The hills are way to steep, and the mud…the horses would slide back down the hill, some horses were hurt, yet others were not so lucky. Many horses lost their lives before the cable cars. The cable is what pulls the cable car up the hill. Just don’t call it a trolly car, the trolly cars run on electricity.

It is beautiful painting, and has so much heart and soul. What do you think about it?

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Rob Ijbema

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Instead of posters on the walls in the rooms of my children I allowed them to select art. One of the themes that my son loves is transportation. Green is his favorite color, and he loves races. The Bentley that he liked was an impressive choice. He really enjoyed the other paintings of Rob, so we purchased a few others.

The perceived motion of the car, the reflection of the windshield…it just looks powerful,  there better not be a human in the way of this car. With it’s broad stance, streamline look, it just sticks to the pavement as it travels across the finish line.

Would you like to see more of his work? Click here