Monday, May 30, 2011

Animal Updates!

DSCF0693 Our two cats, Caruso and Kit-Kit have a love-hate relationship---mostly hate.  Caruso wants to get up close and personal with Kit but she will have nothing to do with him---that is, unless she wants something.  The other morning, it was the water bowl.  Never have I seen her that close to Caruso! DSCF1281 She glared at him to the point that he finally couldn’t stand it anymore and gave up the bowl! DSCF1282 Now doubt who is the top cat around here…(at least in HER mind).

DSCF1285 The “girls” seem calm and happy these days.  Fluffy is busy sitting on her clutch of eggs----and wants NO hands too close! DSCF1284 I have not seen her leave them AT ALL in several weeks.  She IS diligent.  On the other hand, the Rhode Island Reds are always on the move.  These two seem to stay togetherDSCF1288 and are always competing for any scrapes we bring them from the kitchen. DSCF1289 Their favorites?  Corn cobs, grapes, carrot and yam peels and melon rinds!

All seem content at the Lehmanville farm! DSCF1220

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuning at the CIA…

DSCF1279 Yeah, you read that right.  I got the strangest call from the CIA the other day and they wanted me to come tune their piano!  I didn’t know they even HAD a piano there, but went the other day and did the job. 

DSCF1277 It was an OLD piano---a Chickering grand---that was probably built in the late 1800 or early 1900s and in desperate need of help.  It was weird to tune in such a hard stone building with high ceilings---everything echoed so.  The halls seemed to go on forever DSCF1275 and looking over the balcony from the second floor, the flags were bright and colorful. DSCF1276 Everyone who walked by while I was there was thrilled that I’d come to tune their piano.  One person said it was RARELY used, but that they needed it tuned for something going on this coming weekend.

After packing up my tools and navigating the halls to the front entrance, I had to pause and take a couple more pics-DSCF1280 --especially of the ornate sign outside:  DSCF1278

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yesterday must have been Bad Neck Day…

 DSCF1127 It was not the best day for our animals:  especially Charlie and Gypsy Girl.

Charlie is to become a chicken stew today.  Yesterday, when he chose to again attack, he was hit along side his head, breaking his neck---entirely by accident.  His nasty attitude was finally his downfall.  I DO miss his crowing and his strutting around.  However, when I went into the yard later to check the girls’ food, it was a quiet, calm and peaceful place----for the first time in AGES.  The girls raced to meet me and eagerly took the vegetable scraps I gave them and I didn’t have to watch my back as I dished out their grain from the shed.  I can now walk peacefully in the yard, without having to carry a stick and be watchful every step of the way.  Will we get another rooster?  Don’t know, but expect we might.  I’m sure the girls will miss his protection.

DSCF1221 In the morning, yesterday, when I heard Gypsy barking across the neighbor’s fence (at their two small dogs who were also barking), I called to her.  She came on the dead run and, instead of leaping onto the porch (she always ignores the small steps up), she forgot to jump and ran smack dab into the side of the porch.  At first I thought she may have knocked herself out, but no.  She turned around and slowly jumped up onto the porch---with a dazed expression.  No whining, or crying…but she was subdued for several minutes in the house, before returning to her normal rambunctious self.  What a TOUGH dog!  That HAD to hurt, but she took it in stride, as always.  She was lucky not to have broken her own neck!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sean’s “Transformer“ Car!

DSCF1229 It was so nice to have Sean home for a longer stay!  He went to his new position in China Lake,last Wednesday.  We all had a blast while he was here:  the trampoline,DSCF1208 pool, movies, bowling, music, computer stuff, scrabble, poker, and just plain talking.  He took his “little” brother to Calistoga to see a vibes player one evening and took us all to the Castle winery for Mothers Day. 

DSCF1266 His new VW car is his latest “toy.”  It is more roomy than it looks---lots of room in the trunk,etc.  When he puts the top down it looks like one of those transformer toys!  DSCF1268   DSCF1269 DSCF1270 DSCF1271 DSCF1272 It automatically moves the sides out and the top folds neatly in part of the trunk area. 

Wednesday morning, after packing everything, he stacked it all in the living room.  “Bet you I can get all of this in my car!” he claimed.  And he DID!  In spite of the room that is needed for putting the top down, he managed to pack it full---using the back seats and the passenger spot too---and still fit nicely in his seat with room to spare!  It was truly amazing how he did that! 

We sure miss him---things are way too calm and quiet since he left…DSCF1265

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wow! What a Mothers Day!

DSCF1235 The title says it all!  Max played at the Lake County Orchestra’s concert in the Junior Orchestra on his double-bass beginning at 11:00 a.m. (for the dress rehearsal) and getting finished by 3:30 that afternoon. DSCF0965 They played the theme from Amadeus (from Symphony #25 by Mozart) and an interesting piece called, “M to the Third Power” which entails unusual meter changes.

71558_451261913863_742573863_5217099_7195219_n Then, we sped off over the hill to Calistoga to the “Castle” winery, Castello di Amorosa for a tour DSCF1234 [with our tour guide, Mark] and wine tasting, thanks to Sean!  I’ve always been fascinated by castles, so this was a real treat. DSCF1233 This castle is listed as a 12th century Tuscan castle-winery owned by Dario Satturi.  According to their brochure:  “The 121,000 square foot Castello includes 107 unique rooms, 8,000 tons of hand-squared stones, 8 levels (4 below ground), 900 feet of caves, a completely hand-painted Great HallDSCF1236   DSCF1237 , a drawbridge, moat, dungeon and torture chamber, a consecrated chapelDSCF1245 ,  and one of the most impressive wine barrel rooms in the U.S. constructed with ancient brick Roman cross-vaulted ceilings.

Yet, the Castle is merely a backdrop to showcase some of Napa Valley’s best wines.  The castle produces a tiny 15,000 cases which are sold only at the winery; directly to the consumer.”

They told us of the many celebrities who have partied at this castle, not to mention a few movies being filmed there as well.  They also take reservations for a spooky Halloween Party and festive New Years Eve masquerade ball they have yearly.  [Love to check out that Halloween event…]  We had fun on the tour and at the tasting---plus the gift shop at the end was a blast! DSCF1246 As we strolled back to the car, past the vineyard, I commented on how “Christmasy” it looked to have the red poppies among the green grape vines---a perfect photo moment!DSCF1238   DSCF1244

Then we grabbed some steaks for the grill, fresh asparagus and raced home to feast.  With Steve’s lemon butter atop the veggie, it was quite tasty!  The homemade brownies I’d made the day before topped it all off.  We all slept well that night! DSCF1247