Friday, August 22, 2014

August 6

The first of our guests arrived: 
David and Donna

Jo and Louis

Jim and Rori 

Gil and Jill

Maureen and Scott 
Stanley and I took a turn for the camera.

Rosie and Yuma had prepared a delicious paella for us, and I was so glad they could join us for dinner. 

We had a beautiful sunset and new drapes for the palapa thanks to Jo. What more could a person hope for?!?

What about cake for the birthday girl?!?
 Happy Birthday, Rori! 
What a treat to share this special day with you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Few Days of August

It was a mad dash to the finish line, but when the first guests arrived on August 6th, we were ready!

l do have to admit the construction crew/gardeners left only a short while before the visitors arrived. Like would you believe about half an hour?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Art Contest - August 2, 2014

The art contest was a smashing success in spite of some unanticipated scheduling conflicts. We had three times as many contestants this year as we had with our first contest in 2013 and many many more interested observers for the announcement of winners.

One of the conflicts was an exhibition of photography by Adolfo Perales Huerta. It was such a pleasure to meet him and see his work! He only added to the joy of the occasion. 

Thanks to Lily for the pictures. What would I do without friends to keep me on track? The following is just a sample of the ones she sent me.

To all those who participated, encouraged, judged, coordinated and helped in any of a thousand ways - THANK YOU! BTW: For those who don't know, the lovely young woman on the right is Valeria Narro, daughter of Eduardo, one of our partners in Alianza.

Monday, August 18, 2014

July 2014

What better way to start the month of July than with a fully bloomed fish hook cactus?!?! Beautiful, but absolutely not appropriate for a cut flower bouquet.

The Texas Ranger was dressed in all its glory and alive with bees! 

Thanks to my friend Estela, the Alianza Art Contest Announcement was finished and ready for posting. 

And progress was being made in the new winery. All the sink needs at this point is a water supply and a drain. We are hoping to move all the winery equipment and barrels to the new facility before crushing the red grapes. Fingers crossed!

The candelilla plant lit all its candles at once

And as the Texas Ranger faded, the creosote bushes came to life.

Omar and Pancho began work on the garden remodel. 

Ernesto brought in another toy for the winery, a bladder press. We can't wait to try it out.
On July 5th, harvest began with the Sauvignon Blanc. Looking good!

This is the last picture I was to take from the old palapa. If I had known then it would be the last, I might have done it a little differently.

We went to town one afternoon and when we came back, the palapa had collapsed! Thank goodness no one was hurt.

Stanley had the mess dismantled in short order and even before the last viga was stacked we had another job in mind for Omar.

A beautiful sunset and a glass of wine . . . we soon had the details worked out!

Two more new toys for the winery . . . a bottle filler and filter. 

Homero brought in the tractor to smooth out the roughest places.

And with great effort huge plants were weeded out of the fountain garden. Some were replanted in different spots, and some were rolled down the arroyo.

Materials for the new palapa were being delivered.

With way more rain than we needed, the mountains were turning a whole new shade of green, beautiful sunsets were a dime a dozen, and the grapes were fighting all kinds of issues. Just two days after I took this picture of near perfect grapes, we discovered signs of ripe rot. Most of the grapes in this photo were discarded. Agriculture! She can be a real bitch sometimes!

The cacti in the fountain garden thought all the rain was lovely. 

The mad scientist at work! Complete with audience!

In a winery, there is always something to clean!

And in a desert garden there are always rocks to rake!

My job is pretty much limited to generate ideas, taste wine, and cook. 

And speaking of generating new ideas, wonder what will become of this beautiful plate of figs. Who could have left this sopresa? Could it be Estela?

Well, it didn't take long to do something with the figs. They were a real hit with Ernesto and Alida and their friends. Sharing a treat always makes it more special!

By the 24th of July, we were in countdown mode for finishing the new palapa. Company would be arriving on August 6th and we wanted it finished. This was a watershed day. By sunset all the support structure was in place! Yeah! Unless something completely unforeseen happens - we will be ready for the gringos when they arrive in 13 days!

I fully realize this blog post is a mishmash of unconnected activities, but it is indeed my life's story July 2014. With the move of the winery to Jardin Botanico, the garden remodel, the construction of a new palapa, helping Valeria with vendimia fiesta planning, the occasional drop-in guest, planning for the Alianza Art Contest, our own grape harvest plus trying to help Stanley as he made wine for the other partners, and knowing 14 friends from the US would be arriving within a few days, it was a hectic time, to say the least. But worth every last little bit of stress! Viva julio!