Tuesday, October 26, 2010

THE Luckiest Person in the World

WOW- Or in the the vocabulary of today OMG. What a great weekend I had and I hope everyone else did too. I am home now in the quiet of stormy winds and rain but I can still hear the voices and laughter of everyone in my ears. There are no words to say how much fun it was to be together at the most special place to us- Canon Beach. I don't know where to begin.

Although I suspected we might be meeting in Oregon, I was not sure until we were in the car driving down the road. I know my family is a tricky bunch and they could always be leaving a false trail. The setting for a family enclave was perfect-The Inn at Arch Cape. Little cabins circled around with fireplaces, kitchens, cozy beds and a beach cove for walking. Windy October storms where the icing on the cake.

My family is so amazing and generous and loving I don't even know where to start or what to highlight. Just being together with EVERYONE was really the best. Great food in our cozy spaces together; getting up to share coffee and walk on the beach; playing games in front of television sports, great food and great wine- it is like putting all the year of holidays into on weekend...and I even got presents (which was totally too much!)

As I look at the wonderful book of memories and adventures, I can't help but worry that I will now be accountable for ALL of my words. It really is not fair, as I have left such a trail of them with the full and heartfelt believe that no one would notice. Now I see they might be hiding somewhere in corners, waiting to catch me out. From know on I will have to be cautious in parceling out my epiphanies. Still, I recently heard someone say that we are defined by our choices. I believe this is true but I also believe there is great luck in where we are set down to begin life. I got very, very lucky on all counts. Thank you to all my family and the universe that put us all together -you are the very best part of living.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A good time gone by

It is the beginning of a new week but I can't start it out before saying a fond farewell to the week past. You are going to have to image the great time because I have misplaced my camera so the great pictures will come later.Sitting in front of my loom finishing a blanket for my Bainbridge group, I  look up to appreciate the last vase of tiny rose buds with lavender picked before the rain began to fall in torrents. It is a good moment to look back on the week of road tripping, wine drinking and great food.

Kyrsa and I left Seattle in the rain and sped down I-5 with a truck packed tighter than either of us imagined possible. We stopped for a last coffee at Javista to energize the long drive to Medford. It was 7 plus hours which always feels like a long time sitting but we made it to our great little bed and breakfast between Jacksonville and Medford. It was across the road from the "for sale" organic farm Colin and Susan and I looked at when we were driving through the area. After setting up in a great little cottage, we headed to Jacksonville for a great dinner at the "Inn". We sat outdoors in the late evening and enjoyed feeling like we were on vacation- which I was! Such a nice evening really took the tension out of driving, although the trip back to the b&b added some excitement when a deer landed directly in front of the truck. Fortunately Kyrsa reacted quickly and we were still driving at in-town speed, so our journey was NOT marred by auto repair time.

After a great breakfast of waffles and strawberries, we headed south taking the back road to Grants Pass and on down 199 to 101. The road is gorgeous, windy and dramatic. That means slow as well but the traffic was light, for which we were thankful. We made it through the mountains gasping for a rest stop and coffee by the time we hit Crescent City. It was great to see the places and remember the drive with Colin and Susan just a short time earlier. It was still as great- maybe better for the extra memories. We pulled into Healdsburg around 6, tired and glad to be out of the truck. Dave had wine chilled and dinner ready for us- so as the evening set,  we drank wine on the porch and listened to the crickets chirp over the Russian River; another successful road trip!

Kyrsa and I  arrived Saturday evening and my flight out was Tuesday evening  which left a couple of days to explore the area Kyrsa and Dave will be calling home. It is a beautiful area! We drove through the beautiful vineyards, stopped at amazing wineries and learned more about wine that I ever expected to know. One of the most interesting wineries and vineyards was the Berzinger winery. It is a "biodynamic" winery which I know all about because I was recently on the agro-tour with Susan. The Berzinger Winery has:#1 great wines and #2 an interesting business plan using a diversified growing model that includes sheep, cows, chickens, cover crops and mulching. It is also a gorgeous spot for tasting and picnicking in the Glen Ellen Valley. On Sunday evening Dave and Kyrsa gave me a wonderful treat. The took me to dinner at the Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen- an extraordinary restaurant. We had a great meal with unusual offerings including ricotta ravioli dressed with watermelon in tomato bisque, a wonderfully flavored chicken over fresh corn polenta, cream corn soup dressed with truffle butter, duck confite and more! 

As well as wineries, Kyrsa and I checked out shops and towns throughout the area. In Sonoma we found a great consignment store and some good prices on kitchen goods (although there was NOT a Williams and Sonoma store). In Santa Rosa we found some great used furniture and outdoor/garden  shops as well as a wonderful spice shop where they have millions of spices and blended spices in small amounts or large. You can taste every spice there from the sample bottles and the prices are very reasonable. Of course we both left with a few to try out at home. That purchase encouraged me to redo my spice containers when I returned home. If my food doesn't taste good, it is not for the lack of spices to season it!!

Kyrsa and Dave have all the challenges of moving to a new area, finding a home and a place in the community, while dealing with a home in Seattle. It will be a challenging year but at least they can do it all from a beautiful, sunny area and maybe even get to see Colin and Susan a little bit.  

So, good by to the sunshine of California and hello to the rainy gray of Seattle. Fall is here, the garden needs to be cleaned and readied for winter and there are lots of indoor projects calling me."To everything there is a season..."  Have a wonderful week filled with miracles or at least unexpected good times.

Love you,
Mama Llama