Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting Ready for the Hometown Parade

It's the Fourth of July and I'm with Cowboy Bob and Steve in Calistoga, California, the home of the famous hot springs in Napa Valley.
These brothers have been judging the competiton for years and years and enjoying every minute.

...........And the Good Times Did Roll

There was a whole slew of decorated vintage cars in the parade.
They keep well in the dry Mediterranean climate of Napa Valley.

Ever Faithful to the Fourth

Ann caught my attention with her fashionable and colorful Independance Day outfit!!
She told me she has dressed up for this parade for the past 21 years!
Now that's dedication.

Along the Parade Route

Here're Jon and Lily and their daughters, Clemmie and Bea, and Bobby waiting for the next entrant to pass by.
It was pretty hot and very bright, but still, lots of fun!

Looking Very Regal

There were several troops of horses in the parade. These riders from local law enforcement agencies were very polished and professional.
See the state flag in the middle? It has a big bear on it that's mostly hidden. I've always liked bears. Do you?

Who's Going to Get First Place?

Here's Emmett, another judge, watching the parade participants pass by.
(I was lucky he took a little time out to meet me!)

I Love the Fourth of July

Everyone's always so happy and full of goodwill on the Fourth------picnics, parades, patriotic music, and entertainment across the American landscape.
And I'm soooo glad I'm part of it!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Can You Guess What is Being Made?

Eric was showing me the Nadali "cooperage" where he works in Calistoga, California. Those oak boards will be be made into barrels. Follow me through the next four photographs and watch the process.

The First Step

Here we go........putting the boards, called staves, into the first hoop.

Fires are Burning, Whew, Lots of Smoke

Do you see the little campfires through the barrel staves. Look hard. The barrels are getting toasted!

The Final Touches

The barrel is almost finished. The boards against the wall remind me of foam surfboard blanks with lots of "rocker".

Ready for Market

Look at these gleaming, new barrels. They're almost as shiny as my nose!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Two Little Sisters in their Garden

These beautiful blondes are Clemmie (holding me) and Bea and they are picking sunflowers for the centerpiece of their dinnertable.
They showed me around their home in Napa Valley, California, which had a rescue goat, horses, 100 hens, kittens, and two new puppies. They are country girls all the way!

Pickin' Peas

The best way to get children to eat vegetables is to have them grow their own. Clemmie and Bea ate lots as they were collecting peas from their garden for dinner. Don't you just love their barefeet?

Can You Ever Love a Cat Too Much?

Clemmie's kitty loved big hugs and she sure was good at giving them!

Mom and Dad

Lily and Jon are the parents of Clemmie and Bea. Their property is full of wonderous adventures just perfect for a little dog like me; lots to look at, chase, and sniff. Perfect for little girls too. Behind them are their grape arbors.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

There are Surf Shops Everywhere

I'm north of San Francisco in Petaluma, California, the former "chicken capital" of the world and wouldn't you know it-------a surf shop with surfboards and gear and clothes, and it's pretty far from the ocean.
Look at the poster--- surf camps are popping up all over the place. The Beach Boys were right, "Catch a wave and you'll be sittin' on top of the world!"

Get Ready to Plant Your Garden

There was this great, big building on a streetcorner in the heart of Petaluma. It used to be a bank, but now it's a seed store. The rugs I'm standing on were crocheted by a 90-year old lady in Mansfield, Missouri. (Mom bought the one on which I'm standing.) I'm going to plant some tomatoes when I return to Hawaii.

Come------Read to Me!!

I found the best new and used bookstore in Petaluma-----Copperfield's Books. There are 9 stores north of San Francisco in the Santa Rosa area. Make sure you stop by one of the stores if you are ever nearby. In the meantime, go to their website:

I'm a Little Teapot.............

I had breakfast with fresh orange juice and homemade raspberry jam at TEA ROOM CAFE. Yum. Yum. Make sure you go there if you're ever in Petaluma.

Making Sure Everyone Does the Right Thing

Eddie was taking care of the parking lot at the entrance to Muir Woods. It's a park north of San Francisco that has really, really, really old trees. It's a primieval redwood forest. This is a summer job for Eddie who's a college student at UC Merced. I appreciated his friendliness and good humor.

Don't I Look Tiny Compared to the Tree

A tree's age can be found by looking at the rings in a slice of the trunk. This tree is over 1,000 years old! What do you think of that?

Take a Closer Look

Can you see the rings? Click on the photo and look hard. Wow, this tree was one of the oldest living things in the world.

Looking Up

It was like magic when I stood in the middle of a circle of trees and put my little doggie face to the sky!!
Muir Woods was a great place to take a hike and breathe deeply .

A 30-Mile Hike for Fun

I met Rick on the boardwalk trail in Muir Woods. He had walked on the Pacific Coast Trail from San Francisco that morning and was on his way to Point Reyes. I commented on his walking sticks----he told me that a famous Italian hiker always hikes with "two" sticks and so does he! He walks about 2 and a half miles an hour.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Out on the Farm

Just one hour east of San Francisco in Brentwood is one of the many farms in the San Joachin Valley which is also called the Great Central Valley. Look at the following photos and see what it's like at Frog Hollow Farm.

.....And He Started with Only 13 Acres

Farmer Al now owns a 130 acre farm. He sells his organic produce and products like conserves made of peaches, apricots, and plums. Yum!
He's one of the many farmers who sell at the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco every Saturday.

If Only You Could Smell the Sweet Scent

These plums are almost ready to go to market. They just need to be processed. See how.......go to the next photo.

What an Operation!!

The fruit comes in immediately after it is picked and tumbles onto a conveyor belt and goes for a rollercoaster ride---- spins around, drops down, gets packed, and moves outside boxed and ready for the market.

Tasty, Tasty Pastries

Farmer Al's wife is a pastry chef and makes wonderful desserts for his permanent shop in the Embarcadaro at the Port of San Francisco. Make sure if you are ever in the "City by the Bay", you drop by the Frog Hollow establishment for a delicious treat.

A Farmer's Most Precious Asset

Water is valuable to the farmers throughout California and around the world. At Frog Hollow Farm the water comes via an irrigation canal that was dug in l914. The only crop that grew there before was winter wheat. What a great tour I had around Farmer Al's!!