Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Minnesota Summer








Wine and Werewolves











Wine and Werewoves was an EPIC NIGHT with Tyler Lyle who we hired to come play a house gig in our backyard.  We had been preparing for weeks.  The morning of the gig Matt awoke early to fire up Sharptooth's Inferno.  We baked about a dozen loaves for the gig.  Set up followed throughout the day and we were so happy the Janks were here to help us.  The guys picked Tyler up from the airport around 2 and took him back to our house where we promptly filled him full of our most authentic and delicious Tucson food- Guerro Canel carne asada tacos.  I served Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne and Monte Xanic Calixa red wine (cab/syrah blend) which is one of Mexico's finest.  After a leisurely lunch of getting to know Tyler we gave him some time to chill and get acquainted with Luke's guitar.  Jeff arrived late afternoon and helped us all with last minutes stuff around the yard and thankfully he also took photos throughout the night for us with his sweet camera.  See his awesome photos here.
Gates opened at 7:30 and Tyler was playing by about quarter after eight.  We had 40 people all together.  Tyler took a break a few songs in so people could get more wine and snacks.  We had a plethora of wine (Champbrule, Luc Pirlet Chardonnay, Summit Estates Riesling, Vasco Sassetti Sangiovese, Montecillo Rioja,  L.A. Cetto Cabernet Sauvignon, & Line Shack Cabernet Sauvingon).  Plus we had fresh baked bread from the brick oven, cheeses, a tray of dessert bars by Betsy and a big platter of strawberries from our neighbors.  Tyler played many more songs, including my favorite of his, By My Name, which he had to relearn for me as its one of his oldest songs, and Matt's favorite, A Journey of Infinite Recognition, another oldie.  Tyler ended and we demanded an encore so he took a bit of a break and then ended the show with One Legged Woman.  The concert was awesome!  We tried to record the audio and video but unfortunately it didn't work (Jeff recorded a few songs which you can watch on his photo page linked above). Tyler brought a bunch of copies of his new album to sell and even though no one who came to the gig had ever heard of him they loved him and he sold a slew of his CDs. For those who bought CDs they got entered into a raffle in which we raffled off an autographed bottle of one of Tyler's favorite bottles of Bourbon.  When the music was over we kicked people out within about a half an hour or so.  This was for two reason, number one we needed to quiet it down and get all the cars off the street before we got complaints from our home owners association and because there was an after hours high end whiskey tasting for just a few guys and Tyler.  All in all the night was AWESOME except that I got sick that night and had to go to bed soon after the show.  The next morning we filled Tyler full of coffee and Los Betos breakfast burritos before we hauled him back to the airport.  

I will never forget how I was walking around the corner into my backyard the afternoon of the gig when I heard a very familiar voice singing, live.  A voice I listen to almost everyday and here it was live in my own backyard.  Awesome.

Women's Wine 101 Night: Wines for Summer



Me and few girlfriends started a women's ministry at our church last year called Fourth Fridays where the women in the church get together on the fourth Friday of the month to fellowship as we learn something together.  We take turns hosting and teaching all different kinds of things.  Last year I did a bread baking 101 night and in June this year I taught a wine 101 class.  I had 12 ladies and we tasted through 8 different wines as we learned about wines for the summer season.  It was such a fun night that I am hoping to sneak in another wine 101 night- wines for the winter season- just before the Holidays.  I had the tables covered in different fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and the like for the ladies to smell in order to help them build up their sniff memory banks.  I also typed up a three page study guide for them to follow along and takes notes if they wanted to.  I served the last wine, which was a dessert wine of course, with a beautiful pastry cream and fruit tart on a shortbread crust that my good friend Betsy made especially for the evening- belissimo!

The Soul of la Hacienda McReynolds...


Before

After




San Diego

At the end of May we drove to San Diego for a long weekend.  While there we stayed at this really cool Victorian Guesthouse where we got the Gothic Room.  It was so awesome and creepy.  I really felt like I was sleeping in Dracula's lair!  It had beautiful stained glass windows and I even found a bat in one of them!  We toured Stone Brewery, Orfelia Vineyards, went to Balboa Park, to the beach on Coronado Island, walked around the Gas Lamp District, did some fun wine shopping and ate a spectacular dinner in the Italian Quarter where I had one of the best and most unique pizzas I've ever had- a Ligurian Pizza.  This was fresh creamy cow cheese melted between 2 super thin crusts and served with a piece of honey comb on top.  Amazing!






 The whole trip was taken in order to pick up our new Ragdoll kitten who hails from a wonderful breeder in El Cajon which is just outside of San Diego.  When the breeder opened the door she was holding the fuzziest little kitten with a bow tied around his neck.  She gave him to me and he was purring and never stopped purring all the way home.  Once home we set up his camp in our bedroom where he lived for the first few days before meeting Indi.  He immediately found the mirror and freaked himself out.  Oh, how I love the Halloween cat moves!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Getting Ready for Bandito...




 Matt built this cat tree about 10 years ago now and has already recovered it twice.  As you can tell by the top few pictures Indi has made good use of it, in fact she really loves it.  We thought since Bandito is about to join the family and we don't want to have him declawed, that Matt had better recover it again.  I can't imagine what it will look like after it belongs to two cats with claws!  I think the appropriate name for it will now be Indi and Bandito's Tower of Terror!





Friday, May 15, 2015

Indi has a surprise coming!



















Ladies Book Club

I recently started a ladies book club at my church.  I've named it  "Second Thursdays RMPCA Ladies Classics Book Club" because we meet on the second Thursday of the month to discuss a classic.  Last night was  our first meeting with eight ladies in attendence between the ages of 29-70.  Our first read was the famous classic East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  Though I do agree that Steinbeck was a very talented writer I did not care for this book.  But most of the group really liked it and the book easily provided a few hours worth of discussion.  Of course we enjoyed some treats and wine as well- a few California wines to go with the Salinas Valley theme of the book.


Here is our reading schedule for 2015.  All classics because I am a classics snob!




Reading for April: ALLEGORICAL NOVEL- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Meet and Discuss: Thursday May 14th, 7:00 PM

Reading for May: FANTASY- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
Meet and Discuss: Thursday June 11th, 7:00 PM

Reading for June: ADVENTURE/HISTORICAL NOVEL- The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy
Meet and Discuss: Thursday July 9th, 7:00 PM

Reading for July: COMING OF AGE/SOUTHERN GOTHIC- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Meet and Discuss: Thursday August 13th

Reading for August: SHORT STORIES/SOUTHERN GOTHIC- A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
Meet and Discuss: Thursday September 10th, 7:00 PM

Reading for September: SATIRE/ROMANCE/COMING OF AGE- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Meet and Discuss: Thursday October 8th, 7:00 PM

Reading for October: HORROR- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Meet and Discuss: Thursday November 12th, 7:00 PM

Reading for November: FAIRYTALE- A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, & Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens
Meet and Discuss: Thursday December 10th, 7:00 PM

Reading for December: DRAMA/COMEDY/SATIRE- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Meet and Discuss: Thursday January 14th, 7:00 PM