“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
~Henri Cartier-Bresson



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Friends for Lunch and a New Scarf.

Yes! Flowers and a tablecloth. Company was coming.
On Monday and Tuesday I pulled out some stored Boxes of Christmas and did some decorating. A little here and a little there...
...to make our little house feel warm and holiday-ish.
Two friends arrived bearing good will and homemade apple butter.
One friend is in my gourd group and the other is in the goat club... and they have known each other for years... way before I knew either of them.
Both live in the valley and have farms. Sylvia has a garden (both vegetable and flower) that makes me want to move to the flat land of the central valley and dive into the wonderful soil down there. She grows gourds that are absolutely wonderful... all kinds and thick skinned. Her Dahlias are to die for and she saved us from an over population of GOPHERS a few years ago when she gave me some gopher purge. It worked.
Jane has goats,.. Alpines...lovely and sweet. I have posted about Dick and Jane's farm before, here. I wish you could stand in the middle of these goats in the field and watch them. They are really beautiful animals and some will be having BABIES next year. I hope I can go down and take pictures of the kids. Jane thinks I need some does. Wouldn't that be lovely. Goat milk to make cheese and ice cream with, and some babies... sweet little newborns. Oh yes, that sounds delightful.
So they braved the fog in the valley and our scary road, to come up for lunch.
Having them here was so nice. I made vegetable soup and salad with Pumpkin pie for dessert.
The Prospector disappeared to find paydirt in the hills and leave the afternoon to the women.
After lunch I showed them my newest felted scarf. I had tried to take some photos of it on a gourd Tuesday. No one has a neck like this but I just wanted to see how it wrapped.
Fluffy butt Carl didn't want to model it for me. He wanted to chew on it, so I tried the gourd.
 It was OK, but I got a real person to model it yesterday and it made such a big difference. Thank you Jane.

I could see how it wrapped and tied on someone.
This was a felting experiment that worked out rather well. I love using separate pieces of knitting and adding crochet for trim. I love to detail a scarf with old buttons and eye cords.
this will be a Christmas gift for someone.
We had such a good time yesterday. I love having friends up here.
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I'm having a quiet day today. There are a few things to do. Got to go to town this afternoon.
Tomorrow my sister is coming up for the weekend to help me celebrate another year of life. Oh lord. I guess I should be thankful... and I am... really, but I didn't think I was going to get THIS old. Guess you just have to go with it. It's better than the alternative.
My friend "C", from Sacramento, is coming up for the day too. I'm looking forward to her visit. She is the same age as I am. She understands. We can commiserate together. We knew each other when we were 16 years old. Where did the years go?
My birthday isn't until Sunday but, since I found myself alive when I woke up this morning, I might as well milk it for all it's worth (Life, not goats.) and stretch it out for as many days as possible.
Don't ya think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Delight

I kept the Prospector up past his bedtime this weekend.
We went to town... AFTER DARK. Unheard of.
I made him take a shower so he would stay awake. We met our neighbors at their gate and , together, we drove down to MEL & FAY'S restaurant and found a parking space... one of the last.
It was one of those wonderful California winter nights... not too cold, not too windy... a perfect night to walk up and down the main street of Jackson. A perfect evening to join Amador County for the annual CHRISTMAS DELIGHTS festival on Main Street.
All the stores were open for business. This is a town that usually (except for the bars) rolls up the sidewalks after dark. But this night, once a year, they open their doors and give out goodies and hospitality for everyone. All the stores were lit up with Christmas lights and decorations.
The tree in front of the fire station was lit,
 and SANTA arrived...  in an old fire truck covered with Christmas lights.
 Last year we brought our oldest grandson down here. How fast the year has gone.
This year our neighbors had their granddaughter with them. She is eight years old.
It made me really wish that The Bean and Little Bean (our grandchildren) were there too. Maybe we can plan better next year so Mommy and Daddy can come up with them for the weekend.

So.... We met a horse while we were walking around. This was a most beautiful horse.
 I can't remember the horse's name, but the lady who was driving the carriage said that this was a Percheron, from Canada. It's a draft horse breed. This gentle horse was so big and tall that my neighbor's granddaughter was afraid to go up and pet him. With our help, she finally touched his nose. Everyone was gathering around the horse and he was acting like "business as usual" because the driver said he has been doing this all of this life.
He was pulling this carriage.
Last year they were giving rides in this buggy but I didn't see anyone getting rides this year. I did see it later going down the street with some pretty elves in it.
We walked into stores that were so beautifully lit up and even our HOMETOWN RADIO station was open. They recently moved down to Main Street. And there was a wood stove in one store to warm yourself before moving on.

Just a quick note: The photo on the bottom left (above) was a wonderful store window depicting some the towns in Amador Co. There was Plymouth, Amador City, Ione, Sutter Creek, all with a name sign and a lovely old building... and Jackson, on the left with the balcony.
 Now, it's been a long time since Jackson was famous for.... How do I put this carefully, without putting my adopted town in a bad light. Jackson was famous for its LADIES OF THE NIGHT.... and guess who was sitting up there in that little balcony, in all their splendor? Yes... two lovely ladies of ill repute.
 It's blurry and not a very good picture but there they are. Two redheaded hussies waiting for a gentleman's favor.
That's our reputation here.
Not the gold,
or the wonderful weather...
or the quaintness of small town America.
Or the fact that Jackson produced more than half the gold mined in the Mother Lode.
 Oh no!  It's all about the ladies of the night.
I think it's time to take the redheads off of the balcony.

So...
The shops were looking their very best.
The National Hotel is being completely renovated and it's looking very nice.
It's has a new front door that's really beautiful.
The owner has bought quite a few buildings on Main Street. He has a vested interest in making Jackson a destination and attracting tourists again. I hope it works. We need a bright future, like the beautiful leaded windows and doors.
It's fun to say that we have a rip roaring reputation, but we also want folks to be comfortable here. Maybe all of this remodeling and a community effort will revitalize our town.  When we join our neighbors and spend an evening like this, together, we are reminded that this town is a wonderful place... to live in , to shop in and to celebrate in.
We left Main Street and walked back across the highway to our cars. This is a wonderful little town where it's safe to walk around at night. We were on our way to eat Chinese food at one of our local restaurants.
Up on the hill above the parking lot is a house that says it all, year after year.
HO,HO,HO!! 
Christmas is coming.
Santa's on his way.
Life is good
We are so fortunate to be living where we live. 
I make no excuses. 
I'm blessed
Thank God
Amen.