Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Never Walk Alone

because I am in the company of "the Beautiful one" and what a pleasure that is.

Unless it is Friday -- the day of the garbage trucks!  Yes, once every week those MONSTERS arrive, spitting and fuming, squeaking and clanging.  Lights flashing wildly and right up to our garage door they DARE come?  On Friday one better be at the ready, as Ralle would like to GET those monsters:-) So, I better be on my toes!

We made a short drive to San Juan Bautista last Sunday!  The quaint little town was packed with people.

We had a "date" with Anne-Lisa of +Planet Blue Dog to pick up some dog food.  What a sweet deal that is!  As we feed Ralph Lauren a rather hard to find dog food named Orijen.  We have a very special arrangement with a very special pet store owner who meets us for a delivery when she goes from Carmel to San Jose.  We don't have to drive all the way to Carmel Valley to pick it up.

That is a WIN-WIN situation!  Last time we were treated to home made Lemon Bars.  This time Ralle and Mister Kitty were gifted some dried Icelandic fish treats.  Talk about convenience, efficiency, and kindness rolled into one!  Oh these service minded people.

 Now Easter is upon us.

Plans for Sunday dinner in the making..... what to choose?  What to cook?  So many alternatives;-)

Ham, Lamb, Turkey, or Salmon?  Asparagus with Balsamic Glazed Tomatoes and  sprinkled with Goat Cheese or with Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette?

Decadent Easter Egg Nest Cake, recipe from Nigella Lawson or the Pretty and Colorful Fruit Salad with Orange Sauce...... to be served with Vanilla Ice Cream ... Gosh, we can't have it be TOO healthy (the fruit salad) you think?
Cockadoodledoo and Happy Happy Easter - to YOU!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's a Small World After All It's a Small Small World

How to begin?

When we first bought the feed store we looked for someone to help us design a logo.  There was a graphics artist down the road from us, who as so many of us up in the mountains, double tasked.  He,  Bob, and his wife Carol owned, operated and managed a small Bed & Breakfast.  Carol, in addition,  also had a hair salon.  She cut Maria's, our daughters, hair a few times.

Bob advertised in the Mariposa Yellow Pages and as we were adamant from the start about doing business locally we contacted Bob who did design the logo we used during our 16 plus years as the proprietors of Oakhurst Feed and Pet Supply.

By the time we were leaving Mariposa for our adventure in Sweden Bob and Carol had changed their lifestyle and had become Antique Art and Design Dealers in Mariposa.

We brought them some of our furnishings to sell as at that time we had some precious things needing more attention than a flea market deal.  As they sold our things they would  faithfully put money into our bank account.

Now.....  back in Hollister many years later we walk, as you know, with Ralle everyday often several times a day and Ralle has become somewhat of a celebrity in our "hood".  There is a young woman who lives not far from our house whom we see often and she has told us of her a special affinity with Great Pyrenees.  Her family dog when she grew up was a Pyr.  She waves if she drives by and if she is out walking her adorable little Pug we have walked together.  She likes to get her "Ralle Fix" and we truly enjoy her friendliness.

This evening as I take Ralle for the last walk before snuggling in for the night, heading down the dirt road across The Diablo (one of the golf courses) I see in the distance two people walking with two small dogs and a BLACK CAT!  Getting closer I realize it is the friendly "I love your Pyr" lady. And.... And ... Oh My God....  CAROL!  It turns out that Carol is the Mother of this oh so friendly Pyrenees loving lady.

So, our walk ended at Cindy's house....after a brief stop at the pond surrounded by reeds and loaded with birds both on the water and in the reeds "one of my favorite spots"  Cindy tells us as she  invited me for  a glass of wine... talking memories, catching up and oh so totally proving that we need to be GOOD to each other!  What a delightful surprise.  We will get together again soon....... Aaaaah...  Small World!  I would like to add that it feels good knowing these relationships are in tact!  Not damaged by distrust, or "burned bridges" nor time, fear or envy.

I like it like that;-)     Friends!     REAL friends.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring and SOON the Pyrenees Specialty

Yes it is.  Spring that is.

First off we celebrated Saint Patrick's Day the 17th of March like so many Americans.  A great "boiled dinner" Corned Beef (not that there was Corned Beef on many Irish tables of yore... if they were fortunate to have meat at all it was probably mutton), Cabbage, Carrots, Soda Bread, Mashed Rutabaga and Apple Amber.  Family gathered, green table cloth, a shillelagh up David's green sleeve all having fun pretending to be Irish for the day.  Reminisced of our time in Ireland when David was teaching there,  during the "electronic revolution" ...... Kilroanan House, Mrs. Murray, Dublin, The Grey Door, Maud, Francis, Maria and my Mother.. what a time we had... what a marvelous place it is!  It would be fun to do it again.

Just arrived back home after my last Ralle walk of the day!  It is close to 7:30 PM,  around +17 degrees C with the sun setting.  There was fragrance of new mown grass wafting in the air as we trekked back home across the Diablo!

It has been quite a day.

My Dear Dear friend Cathy from Mariposa dropped by.  Short but nice visit with Cathy.  Love the fact that she took the time (next time Ralle and Mene will meet;-)

Then I heard from a long lost X customer friend with whom we had such rapport,  a friend from our Oakhurst Feed Store days who "fell off the map" a person we have worried so about.......... she is back in touch!  Whooooot.  Delight.  Trumpets.

Finally it seems, we have ALL the information regarding how to proceed with Therapy Dog Certification for Ralle, the beautiful one.  First step is a Canine Good Citizen Certificate, and yea he already has one of those.  Next a six week course in Monterey on Wednesday nights.  We can do that. Then testing.  There is NO doubt in my mind of passing.... he is amazing this guy.

But before that, TEXAS!  Maria and I will be doing a marathon trip to the National Pyrenees Specialty at the Tanglewood Resort close to Dallas.  We will have three full days of driving just to get there. Yikes!!  Hope after that we can still stand up!

While we are there we will connect with our Great Pyrenees mentor Oneida Acres Brigitte and Denver Doxtator, Una and Ronto's breeder.  They, for the LOVE of the breed who I/we  have never met, yet love so whole heartedly, they have agreed to not only "show", but also to groom, to sculpt, to tease, and trim Vi'Skaly's Ralph Lauren for us and for Ingela and Pernilla.  He is going to be more awesome than awesome!  What a trip it will be!

Maria, Ralle, and I are going on a ROAD TRIP!  Posts to follow.  Too bad the "bacon earner", the photographer, is not going to "record" the event.... we, Maria and I, will do the best we can.... we will not measure up in the picture making department, we know, but heck one can't be good at EVERYTHING?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nice Days Keep Coming

Cherry Blossom Time!  All sorts of fruit trees are ablaze with color and fragrance.

The willow trees are turning green.  It seems to happen "overnight" - one day there is no green at all, then BOOM!

The future Chef is working at the Harker School as an intern.  A private school where you can enroll students from first grade through high school at a price per year that rivals an academic year at a good university. It is hard for me to comprehend  that people have that much money,  yet so many do;-)   The first weeks she will be working in the "cold kitchen" preparing salads and salsas of various kinds for about 800 students.  She likes it!

Meanwhile we are all enjoying lots of sun and sweet warm days.  We have tulips blooming in our court yard.  Nasturtium seeds were planted and marjoram, basil, thyme and tomato plants are sunning themselves stuck in some planters.  The rosebushes that were pruned to "nothingness"  are full of new leaves and will soon yield loads of rosebuds. The photo above a view from our window.

This image of  bright  red branches  will soon change also,  to be hidden by new foliage  as we detect sprouting buds ready to explode.

Lovely sunset!
Field and fence.
Blooming Bird of Paradice.... so exotic,
more cherries,
some lime green clusters of blossoms "without a name".

 This a bit of what is going on in our world... What about yours?  Aaaah SPRING!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Bit of the Old West

A frosty morning, a couple of weeks ago, Linnea was a working cowgirl at a cattle ranch nearby as she assisted the veterinarian by inoculating the calves while David tagged along to record the event with the help of his camera.  Calves must be separated from the cows.  Shots administered by Linnea!  One hundred and fifty calves!

We  lived in South San Jose when the kids were growing up and John, Maria and Fredrik used to hang on the fence when they were too young to help the Joice family with their semi-annual cattle round ups,  so for us it is a familiar event.

An event so Western.  So California!  Maria's first horse Chiquita used to help out.....

After the bison were gone the Spaniards introduced cattle ranching to California and with it a very special life style,

a life style that still endures.

The "round up"

the penning,

team roping,

the iconic American image....

The hard work,

the smoke,

the brand,

true athletes both horse and man.


calf wrestling.

A Doctors hands.

Team roping,


chaps and spurs,


sweat and dirt,

a team effort to say the least!

Calves and Mama cows reunited.  Back to grazing the beautiful California hills!

The hard working crew to be fed.  Around thirty strong!  Steak, beans, escalloped potatoes, salad, beer,  soda and wine, topped off with home made ice cream and some pie!  Chuck Wagon Style!