Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent Review

I had the opportunity to try out a Kodiak Canvas truck tent on a recent horse camping trip. I share the pros and cons of the tent with you in this blog post.

Kelly and I just got back from a horse camping trip to Pt. Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco. Kelly usually stays in the back of her horse trailer when she camps, but for this trip, she decided to get a tent for her truck. I hadn’t heard of such a thing but it sounded like a great idea. She did some research and decided that the Kodiak Canvas truck tent had the best reviews and seemed like it had the features she wanted. The Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent The Kodiak Canvas truck tent comes in two sizes. The regular size fits 5.5 to 6.8 foot beds and the long bed size fits 8 to 8.5 foot beds, which is the size Kelly got for her dually with an 8-foot bed. The tent is made of Hydra-Shield 100% cotton duck canvas that is durable, watertight and breathable. Unlike tents treated with paraffin…

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Anje Olmstead Collage Artist

Local artist Anje Olmstead brought her collage art class to a lunch meeting of our Saucy Sisters cooking group. Learn more about Anje Olmstead and her art.

Every month I am amazed at how creative the hostesses of the Saucy Sister’s cooking group are with the monthly meeting activities. At one meeting, we made two kinds of liqueur and everyone got to take home a bottle of each. One time we made fudge and had lots of samples to take home. We have made recipes from around the world and even had an elegant tea party. Last month, we made lavender wands then cooked pizza in an outdoor oven. I hear sourdough is in our future. Anje Olmstead, Fine Artist We are very lucky to have so many talented women in our group including local artist Anje Olmstead. Anje and her husband have lived in Pioneer for five years. Her husband, Dennis, wanted to move from the Fair Oaks/Sacramento area to above the snow level. He missed the cold, snowy winters of Duluth. Anje’s art career began at the age of 30 when she…

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Lavender Crafts and Camaraderie

Jan, our gracious hostess for the July meeting of our Saucy Sisters cooking group, has a beautiful home with lots of lavender beds. She orchestrated a Day of Lavender for us that included lavender crafts and some lavender infused food. When we arrived, Jan had tea, coffee and scrumptious lavender scones waiting for us. While we enjoyed our refreshments, Jan explained the craft we were going to make — lavender wands. The finished product she showed us looked and smelled amazing. Making Our Lavender Wands We had been told via email to bring pruning shears to the meeting. Once we were finished with our coffee and scones, we headed out into the gardens with our shears to cut lavender for our wands — 11 stems. You can use more than 11 stems as long as you use an uneven number. Jan had a basket filled with satin ribbon in almost every color, including several shades…

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T.G.I.F. Summer Concert Series

Enjoy great music, picnicking and friends in a beautiful outdoor setting in gold country at a T.G.I.F. Summer Concert Series concert.

Last Friday I had one of the most fun evenings I can remember having since I moved to Amador County almost two years ago. A group of friends and I went to the concert in the park at Volcano Amphitheater, one of the concerts in the T.G.I.F. Summer Concert Series, and we had a blast. I went to one of these concerts last year and I wondered what made this one so different that it was so much more fun. It was in a beautiful outdoor setting among the trees, just like last year. The band was awesome and entertaining. Everyone brought food to share and a bottle of wine or other favorite beverage, same as last year. A lot of people turned out for the event. The amphitheater was full and there was an overflow crowd in the park next door. I think the main difference between this concert and last…

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Amador Flower Farm Daylilies

Amador Flower Farm daylilies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and bloom cycles. They are easy to grow and are just about the perfect perennial.

I’ve said it before, but I just have to say it again. I’m discovering that plants from bulbs have the most spectacular blooms. I guess this is becoming more apparent to me as I have more time to explore places like Amador Flower Farm, where the daylily reigns supreme. Although I think irises are my favorite bulbs, daylilies are right up there at the top of my list of flowers. Did you know that there are more than 35,000 daylily cultivars? Amador Flower Farm daylilies are stunning. With over 1200 of the most popular varieties available, you are sure to find something you love. Daylilies are said to be very easy to grow. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and bloom cycles, so you can have flowers all season long. They are easy to plant, drought tolerant, relatively pest-free and deer resistant, except perhaps in some places in the fall…

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Tea Party with My Saucy Sisters

A tea party is a great way to gather together friends for an afternoon of conversation and good food. Learn some tea party etiquette including the proper way to eat scones.

Did you serve afternoon tea to your imaginary friends when you were a child? Although I was more of an outdoorsy kid who played with plastic horses and cowboys, I’m sure I must have had a tea party or two. But tea parties aren’t just for kids. It is a wonderful way to gather together friends for an afternoon of conversation and good food. Saucy Sisters Springtime Tea Party Every month, the Saucy Sisters, the cooking group of the Mother Lode Newcomers, get together for some sort of culinary adventure. Usually we cook at someone’s house with everyone participating in the preparation, cooking and clean up. The hostess chooses a theme and menu and does all the advance work, like shopping. Often, members team up to co-host these undertakings. We were all excited when we learned co-hostesses Lora and Debbie were planning a tea party and began thinking about our outfits…

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Bluebird Haven Iris Garden

During the height of blooming season, you can see more than 100,000 irises at Bluebird Haven Iris Garden in Somerset, CA, in southern El Dorado County.

On our way back from Toogood Estate Winery in Fairplay, the Vineyard Vixens stopped at Bluebird Haven Iris Garden. We do have other interests besides wine! Bluebird Haven Iris Garden is located on Fairplay Rd. in Somerset, CA, just a few miles down the road from Toogood in southern El Dorado County. It is open year-round but if you are able to visit the garden at the height of the blooming season, usually during May, you’ll be greeted by more than 100,000 irises showing off their vibrant colors. As you drive through the big green gate, you begin to pass by row after row of beautiful blooms. Once you park, you can walk through the rows of cultivated iris to pick your favorites. This gorgeous Victorian show garden is set on a small knoll. The rows of iris surrounding the gazebo and picnic tables make this a very inviting place to enjoy…

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6 Ways to Meet New People

To meet new people, you have to get up and get out of your comfort zone. You have to make an effort to connect. Here are methods I've tried to meet people.

Have you moved to a new area and don’t know anyone? Maybe you’ve lived there a while and still have just not met anyone. I know how that goes. I lived in my condo in Southern California for over 13 years and knew only a couple of my neighbors. Or perhaps you have started a new hobby or other pastime and want to meet like-minded people. How do you meet new people? Meeting new people can be hard, especially if you are shy and introverted like me. As I was thinking about this post, I realized that all of my best friends, even my significant others, have always been the outgoing type. They dominate the conversation and everyone remembers them. I am the friend who came along with them. When I moved here to Northern California, I was lucky in the sense that my best friend had lived here for a…

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