Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Harvest Art Contest

Lucky me.Last June, I won a poster contest at Summerfield winery and received a luncheon, tour and two bottles of premium wine (that I promptly gifted away).Recently,I entered another poster contest at the Castillo D' Amorosa. The harvest poster had to include a reference to grapes,wine, harvest and with the text "Harvest 2016" on it.No problem. I searched my computer for an appropriate image that I could use for a background and came up with the front entrance to the "Castle of Love". This would work because it is easily recognizable to anyone who has visited this property. Then I added and old grape wagon that was used for transporting grapes during the previous century. Lastly, I added two clusters of grapes to border the top end of the poster after adding text.The font I used was "Blackmoor" which looks like something right out of the renaissance. Lastly,I composed all the elements using Adobe Illustrator and saved it as a .pdf file. Well, wouldn't you know I made it into the top ten list and received a pass for a tour and tasting. Not bad for a fun project on a slow day.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Hot Jalapeno Omelet !


Okay, So you only see a stovetop with a bunch of different ingredients.I already scarfed down the delicious omelet and two multi-grained pieces of toast.Get over it.

Today, I went to the freezer and took out a Lyder's hash brown paddy, dropped it into the microwave where it was nuked for 30 seconds. Then I placed it in an iron skillet with sesame seed oil which was now at it's smoke point ( vent is turned on, so as to not set off the fire alarm).

Now,I flipped the taters, added salt and pepper and began mixing up a farm fresh organic brown egg in a cup.This was added to the frying pan.Then I sprinkled some shredded jalapeno pepper cheese into the pan along with diced onion and pickled jalapeno.You should be so lucky.

Lastly, I flipped the whole concoction over and let it fry until crispy brown.Lastly, it was placed on a plate with the two pieces of toast spread with Kerry Gold Irish butter.Final note: splash a little green El Pato sauce on top for good measure.

Now Shut up and eat!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

It works if you let it!

My mind can be a dangerous territory.I heard at an AA meeting that the alcoholic has a sick mind trying to cure a sick mind.That's a scary thought. Left to my own devices,my thought process can lead me back to drinking and using, unless I continue to work a spiritual program of recovery. Now what exactly is that, and what does it mean?

I've been sober over 39 years and somedays I wake up with a sense of impending doom.It is almost as if a vulture is sitting at the end of my bed saying,"I've been waiting for you to wake up, you degenerate!" Now where the hell did that come from? But I have to laugh. If I pay too much attention to this vulture and take what these voices tell me too seriously, I am doomed for sure! I have to remember that Bill Wilson suffered from depression for many years. I have too.

It has been an uphill climb for me throughout my sobriety.Although I've been sober way longer than I drank, it still occurs to me that I am still only one drink away from a drunk.The good news is the program will work US in our time of need. Stuff often happens that it out of our control. This has nothing to do with not "Working the program"per se. This is just about life in general.

It is my contention that the twelve steps will, at the most surprising times, take over when we least expect it. Lately, I have been saying following the Serenity prayer..."It works if you let it!" This is usually at the end of the meeting when most people will say, "It works if you work it!" Granted, one has to follow the twelve suggested steps in order for them to take hold, but once they do, we must get out of the way and let our Higher Power direct our thinking.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Moving Forward

Last week I posted a picture from a news article regarding my livelihood,painting rocks.This article has generated a lot of interest and compliments by those who saw my picture on the front of the Calistoga Tribune's inserted edition entitled,"Mud City Weekend".It was truly an honor how I was presented.Christine Plant is a talented columnist who puts those she writes about in the best possible light.This piece has generated new business for me and has encouraged me to grow my business even more.I've saved a few copies of the paper to show my relatives when I go to visit them this week

Now the question becomes... How do I top that? Well, after taking off for a few days and missing the last weekend of farmer's markets,there will be plenty of time to regroup and reflect on the past year.Perhaps I will have a better idea as to the direction my work is taking me,henceforth.

Dubuque,Iowa is where I will be traveling to visit my eldest sister, Mary Ann. The trip is a gift from my other elder sister,Rita.She is currently nursing a fractured bone in her foot,and recuperating from a bad case of the flu.I sincerely hope that she recovers soon,because our flight will be leaving from Oakland on Wednesday, July 27th.A few family members from the west coast contingency will be attending this celebration/family reunion.My brother's children and grandchildren will be there,along with my nephew Edward's wife and children.Expectations are kept to a minimum during these events,just to keep the peace.No one wants to start a row with these Leprachauns.

During my sister Mary Ann's Jubilee event several years ago, I got into a questionable Croquet game with my grand nephew, Seamus. It ended up where I was beaten,only because the little cheat made up his own rules!! Needless to say,it was an embarrassing moment enjoyed by the rest of the family who had been listening through a kitchen window as the whole thing came down.I was pissed, and am still reminded of that donnybrook to this day. Below is a picture of some of the people who will be there. (Mark,Brianna,Nicole and Noah) who recently visited the west coast to visit the folks out here.


Saturday, July 09, 2016

Hitting the big time

Today is Friday, July 8th and an article about me came out in the local paper ( i.e. The Calistoga Tribune ) I tried to find the hyperlink to this article but one has to be a subscriber to the paper to view the online version ... oh well. I scanned the front page, so you can see what the cover looks like. Everyone at the Farmer's Market has been calling me a celebrity. I just feel a little shy about that notion. I do like the publicity it has brought to my business however.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hearing and Vision

I drew this awhile ago, with no particular girl in mind.I think she is my dream girl. I modified it Photoshop to get the colors and effect I wanted. I scanned the drawing which was done on a thick textured Canson paper. My eyes are playing tricks on me lately, and my vision and hearing are not what they used to be. Ambient noise is bothersome, and objects that are further than two feet become blurry and fragmented.I find myself asking people to repeat what they said.Sometimes I smile stupidly like a foreign person that doesn't understand the language. I wear a pair of pharmacy magnifiers with 2.25 strength. Color has not been a problem though, nor has my hand to eye coordination. I don't know what I would do with myself if I couldn't draw or paint. Ahhh.. the things I used to take for granted as a youth.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Where I am right now

I am sitting here with a cup of coffee that was almost poured without my favorite organic half and half.Then I remembered the little amount left in the refrigerator. So I poured it thinking about how milk, cream (and ice cream in particular) has sugar in it, and will only add to a diet filled to overflowing with sugar.I need some balance here.As a former marathoner (with a 2:54:14 best, mind you) it has behoved me to think that I am still using non-nutritonal, empty carbohydrates as fuel when I am barely walking up to a mile a day.I fear heart disease and diabetes at this stage of life.It's time for a change.Other changes have to be made as well

Yesterday I unplugged from all electronic distractions. No Iphone, Ipad, computer, radio, TV,electric pencil sharpener, whatever... anything electronic except for the lights. The day was started taking a shower in the dark, however.This was done as an extreme measure to start the day off consciously and conscientiously (i.e.in a moral and responsible way).I also abstained from sugar, meat and coffee for good measure

These agreements were kept until after sunset.As the day progressed ,It made me think of the Jewish people during Rosh Hashanah.They wouldn't use elevators, shavers, electric lights etc.,in honor of the two holy days marking the beginning of the Jewish new year.These people fasted, prayed and observed times of silence.These are also days of repentance. Observations like this are common within the Jewish religion and are done as a way to cleanse the body, mind and spirit (consulting a rabbi however, would be necessary for more clarity surrounding this topic).

Although I don't espouse to be a convert to Judaism, I would comply with this practice if only to honor and respect my body, as a temple of the Holy Spirit,the God which governs all.