Monday, April 30, 2012

Dinora and Andres’ wedding

What a beautiful day it was last Saturday. My neighbors(Vecinos in Spanish) are great people who have waited to have a church wedding for a long time now. Their son, Kevin is three now, and I guess they wanted him baptized, so they sanctified their marriage to raise the family in the Catholic tradition. It was a rather modest wedding with around fifty attendees in total. Fr. Adam, who is the interim pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help conducted the ceremony and blessed the faithful. After the completion of the ceremony, a fiesta took place at a small winery just north of Calistoga. A lot more people attended what was a grand feast, with plenty of Mexican food, sodas and drinks for everyone. The music played, but few people danced until later on in the day. I stayed from two until six, but was told that the party didn’t really get going until after a Mariachi band showed up unannounced. This was a surprise gift for the couple who had a wonderful day that they will remember always.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Salt Point

I went out to the coast the other day to go “Shrooming” with my pal, Don Freeland. This was a trip we had taken before, but not of the psychedelic variety. We drove past Jenner up the coast toward Ft. Ross to Salt Point State park. We pulled the car just off to the side of the road and walked in about a quarter of a mile. The streams were filled and the ground was moist, so it was good to have a pair of water resistant boots on my feet.The forest was rich with new growth and everything was very green.

After looking around for the various types of mushrooms that grow in the area, we came across some we were unfamiliar with; and naturally left them alone. Last year, we had travelled here with a Mycologist named Chester who knew a lot about what was safe to pick. Chester has passed on since (no,not from ingesting poisonous mushrooms), but left us with a basic knowledge, so we could at least tell the difference between a Chanterelle and a Yellow foot. Don had left at home an Audibon Society guide of mushrooms that grow in Northern California. We hiked to a few different spots hoping to find an abundance of different species, but determined that it was still too early on in the season which hasn’t produced much rainfall this year.The mushroom crop was slim picking this year.

Don said that it was usually a week or two after early Spring rains drench the ground when mushrooms start to appear. Perhaps too, some pickers had gotten the jump on us, but I doubt it. Anyway, we came home with a small bag of Chanterelles ( no black ones, though ) and had a positive experience and adventure.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Silvia’s Birthday

My neighbors are the sweetest people I know and today was Silvia’s birthday. She is the mother of Cesar, Monica and Jessica and the wife of Raphael Ayala. Today was a very pleasant early April day. No rain, but still a little on the cool side. Whenever I hear a knock on my apartment door, it is usually the Ayalas or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is rare that anyone comes by to visit. Tonight however, it was Raphael presenting me with a wonderful plate of food which included two tacos, rice, beans and vegetables. The tacos were fantastic. One chicken and one carne asada. After finishing those up, I went downstairs to celebrate with the rest of the family. Lucky me, because cake and Ice cream were on the menu after everyone joined in singing Silvia the Happy Birthday song. The kids are a little shy, but you would hardly know it with all the soccer games banging off the building walls during the day. Everytime Cesar scores a goal he shouts a long winded “ GOOOOOOAAAAAAL ! “ just like they do during the televised games." He is also a Giant’s Fan. He hopes someday to attend a Giant’s game in San Francisco at ATT park. All in all, this is a great place to live.