Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From Our House to Yours.
Jim and Annemieke

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Mo!!

Happy Birthday Monique!!
I am the middle of three sisters. Today is the birthday of my little sister.
Happy birthday to a wonderful, crazy lady!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Let It Rain

Although it was pouring down rain this past Saturday the intrepid travelers that we are headed to Napa for the annual holiday party at Chappellet.

These are from artichoke blossoms that have gone to seed.  Aren't they magical?
These next pictures are from  Joseph Phelps on Sunday after the rain.



These are from Domaine Carneros.

We recently tried some wine from Nicholson Ranch at the home of Liz and Larry and really enjoyed it.  Nicholson Ranch is just down the street from Domaine Carneros so we stopped in for a tasting.

We really enjoyed their Syrah.
We had a lovely weekend in Napa including a wonderful dinner at The Press in St. Helena.  Jim enjoys their steak and I enjoy their macaroni and cheese with truffle sauce and brussel sprouts.  And did I mention the pumpkin whoopie pies? 

Unfortunately we came home to a very messy backyard.

November is a rainy, stormy month for Sacramento but I do miss the thunder and lightening of Texas.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reflection of Pie

It has been three years since I have moved to California.   In those three years I have met many people and I can say that some have become good friends.  It is interesting that my parents immigrated to this country in November and Thanksgiving has always been an important holiday of welcoming others to our family celebration.  This year, as was last year,  Jim and I have been welcomed by another family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with them and their friends.  Life is full circle and I can only say thank you to all I have met and to all that have been so welcoming. 
Pecan chocolate chip pie and dutch apple pie have been made and are ready for tomorrow's feast.
My life is good and our children are all well.
I give thanks for all that life has given me and my family.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Women's Wellness Weekend

My friend Liz asked a few months ago if I was interested in going to the Women's Wellness Weekend at the Granlibakken.  I discussed it with Jim and thought it would be a great and informative weekend to attend.  Didn't really think much about it being in November. Remember I have lived my formative years in Texas.   The biggest weather issue might be some rain.  But this is not Texas and guess what? Tahoe City might be a mere hour and a half from home but a totally different elevation.  An elevation that started to get snow Thursday night.  Friday we headed out with our intrepid driver Carolyn into 
A normal 1 1/2 hour drive took 3 1/2 hours.
 Isn't it beautiful?
The high for both Friday and Saturday was 28 degrees.
 The lows around 14 degrees.

Needless to say I didn't spend much time outside. 
 The Women's Wellness Weekend was phenomenal with a great variety of speakers, local vendors and health  providers. 
They are planning another one again next year.
I'd love to go just don't know if I want to tackle the  weather.
It's cold up in them hills!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Green Olives

My oldest daughter, Rachel, came to visit us for a week.  While she was here we drove to Sonoma to check out the cheese trail, which I will rant about in another post, then continued on to San Francisco and spent the night in Japantown at the Hotel Kabuki.  We spent the next day wandering Japantown. My favorite place is the $1.50 store in Japantown.  We had more fun going up and down each aisle.  I managed to pick up a few stocking stuffers.
After a drive down Lombard Street, the very crooked street,  we headed to the Ferry Building and Saturday's farmers market.
Our first stop was for macaroons, Rachel's favorite, at Miette.  We got a bakers dozen.  Our only complaint was we wished they were color coded so we knew what flavor combination we were about to eat as we had purchased two of each with a chocolate extra.
We also picked up some sourdough for Jim from Acme Bread Company , a seeded wheat from Della Fattoria and some sausage from Boccalone to add to the cheese we had bought the day before in Sonoma. 
Along with some delicious Warren pears from one vendor we found green olives at another.  If you bought a pound from this vendor you also received a recipe to cure your own olives.
I LOVE olives, black or green, so we bought a pound.  Why only a pound I'm not sure. 
Today was brining day. 
To prepare the olives for brining I first slit them lengthwise.

Next I sliced jalapenos, lemon, celery and peeled some garlic.

I split up my pound of olives in to two pint jars layered between the lemon, celery, garlic and jalapeno.
To this I added brine, fresh lemon juice and red wine vinegar.

Now I have to wait three months for it to ferment. 
Check back February 2nd for the unveiling.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Millie says "Beeeee Happy".
 Hope you get lots of treats!!
Yes folks I am making hair bows and dressing up the dog now.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Latest Adventure

A few weeks ago Thursday I met up with Cathie who had driven down from Reno and we headed out for the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara. It is amazing how quickly the time flew between the vendors and the phenomenal quilts.  We spent five hours looking and enjoying and wishing we could spend another day but that was not possible because we had signed up to attend  the CogKnitive Fiber Retreat 2012 in Tehachapi.  After our fun day at the quilt festival we spent the night in Santa Nella and Friday we headed towards Tehachapi with a brief - okay it was a couple hours- stop in Bakersfield.  It had been suggested that a visit to  Sweet Surrender Bakery was not to be missed for their delicious cupcakes and baked goods.  We were driving by so we had to stop.   Oh my goodness, this place is just wonderful and the cupcakes are very tasty.  We found out they are open on Sundays.  Should I mention we stopped by again on the way back home.


From top left clockwise:  turtle, lemon raspberry, toffee crunch and red velvet
We also found a wonderful quilt shop Strawberry Patches which is a stones throw from Sweet Surrender.  We had a fun time wandering the store and I bought a pattern and some fabric that will become some Christmas presents hopefully.

From there we went onward to Tehachapi and the retreat - this is the fourth annual CogKnitive Fiber retreat put on by 'Dr. Gemma' of the CogKnitive podcast. Her idea for the retreat is to keep it small, affordable and give local vendors exposure for their fiber related products.

Welcome to Tehachapi, the middle of nowhere.
Friday night many of the attendees headed out to the King of Siam Thai Restaurant
It was a delightful evening of community and food.  I had ground chicken larb which had been suggested by another attendee and it was spicy and delicious.
The camaraderie of this retreat was stupendous.  After dinner everyone went to their rooms to collect their knitting, their spinning wheels, some munchies and assorted libations to share and headed to the general meeting room at the La Quinta of Tehachapi.  It was a wonderful evening of sharing which was to be duplicated again on Saturday evening.
Saturday morning started poolside with introductions and a raffle.  I won a lovely skein of BFL superwash fingerweight yarn from DyeForYarn in a deep forest green.
Afterwards we all headed inside to check out the vendors and some classes.
I tried spinning with a drop spindle.  I need a lot more practice but I did end up producing a small amount of yarn.  I'm still on the fence if this is a hobby for me to take on. 
 My raffle winnings.
Here is Tracie doing a much better job than I spinning with a drop spindle.

Here is our marvelous host 'Dr. Gemma'.
What I found most inviting were the spinning wheels.  I love the rhythmic and soothing sound they produce.

This is Minerva, a Jensen wheel.

This is a Matchless wheel.
Although I'm not certain I want to become a spinner I like the idea of hanging out with them.  Spinning to me is so zen.
Cathie and I had a wonderful time.  I do hope to be in California next year for the fifth annual CogKnitive fiber retreat.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


 This weekend was the Lambtown Festival in Dixon.
I have heard about the fiberiness of Lambtown since I came to California but unfortunately I have been working on Saturdays when it happened in October.  This year the festival had been expanded to include Sunday.  Although I'm not working now, Sunday was the better day for me to attend.
I did take a camera with me but managed to forget to take pictures.  The best part which I didn't photograph where the sheep.  I really need to learn more about the different sheep and what they actually produce wool wise. I loved the one's that had dread locks.  I really wanted to bring a sheep or two home but Jim had suggested we really did not have anywhere for them to graze plus I'm sure the HOA rules would forbid sheep although I could maybe refer to them as "sheep dogs", maybe?
While the majority of vendors were selling roving there were a few selling yarn.
My favorite was Fishknits.
I love the vibrancy of her colors and couldn't resist her self-striping fingering sock yarn, Panache, in the colorway Witch's Brew.

 It's really hard to see the little bit of bling the Stellina gives the yarn.
I got home and immediately wound up the skein.  I can't wait to get started on a pair of socks.
Don't tell the sheep but I also enjoyed a lamb gyro before heading home.  It was delicious!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

And The Winner is Me

I listen to pod casts and books on my ipod.  When I was working, I had a thirty minute drive each way and this kept me occupied along with my knitting at stop lights but that's a different post. I also listen when Jake and I walk as well as when I infrequently go to the gym.
One of the pod casts that I listen to and enjoy is the 2knitlitchicks.  Barb and Tracie are a mother and daughter team and talk about their knitting and also about the books they are reading.  They are the ones that had me reading  (actually listening) to  Defending Jacob and also The Devil in the White City  .  I have to give them credit for expanding my literary senses. 
In August they hosted a knit along for the Mother Bear Project.
 "The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear. "
  I knit for charity when I am stressed and August was a very stressful month. I managed to finish six bears.  Each bear was entered to win in a raffle and I won two prizes.  Both prizes were from Buffy Ann Designs.
Can I just say my stitch light is awesome.!! And it is purple.  What more could a girl ask for?   I originally saw these at Vogue Live LA and was impressed with their quality so I was excited when I found out I had won one.  I have used it several times in the evening and it has made knitting life better.
The yarn cozy's are also a great addition to my accoutrement's of knitting.  I normally work from the outside of my skeins but these yarn cozy's will enable me to work from the inside.

And this is the first group of winning bears.
From left to right: Ben, Martha, Hank, Amy, Annabelle and George.
Four more have been knitted but they need faces and names.
These bears have become somewhat of an addiction and my go to project.  It makes me sooooo happy to know through knitting I am giving a bit of comfort to a child.