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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Wine Lovers Vino de Mocca Fudge

Vino de mocca is a luscious dessert wine infused with natural coffee, chocolate and orange flavors and makes this fudge recipe especially decadent.

Kelly and I were headed back up the hill after a day at Horse Expo in Sacramento. Since it was still early, we decided to stop off at Drytown Cellars. I had been wanting to get some of their Vino de Mocca ever since I first tasted it a few months ago and just kept forgetting to stop and get it. Kelly tasted it at the Divine Affair fundraising event we attended at Jackson Rancheria recently and she liked it too. It is a luscious dessert wine infused with natural coffee, chocolate and orange flavors that pairs deliciously with chocolate. Almost Local Vino de Mocca I’m going to be heading to a pet blogging conference in about a week and I thought it would be fun to take a local wine to share with some of my blogging friends that I’ll be meeting up with. Turns out, the Vino de Mocca is not as local as I…

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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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Toogood Estate Winery in Fairplay

In May 2001, Toogood Estate Winery was established on a 40-acre parcel of rolling hills with microclimates perfect for the varietals hand selected for it. www.goldcountrycowgirl.com

Wine Tasting When I was in my 20s and married, my former spouse and I visited north coast region wineries quite often when we traveled to see friends in Petaluma. In Southern California, we had wineries in Temecula which I visited. Somehow, in later years, wine tasting became something I no longer did even though I really enjoyed it. I hadn’t been wine tasting in probably 20 years when I moved to Gold Country, so I was pleased to learn that the area has many award winning wineries. I have heard that wine tasting in the north coast region, as well as their wines, has gotten very expensive. Some wineries there charge as much as $60 for tasting with the average being $40. Here, wine tasting is like I remember it in the 70s. It is low key, with friendly hospitality. Wine tastings are rarely more than $5 and the…

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Not Your Mother’s Oatmeal

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet up in Santa Rosa with a friend from Southern California. It’s almost a three hour drive for me but a lot closer than Southern California so I was excited to get together with her. It was her 65th birthday and she was having to spend it at a work conference. She came up a couple of days early to do a little celebrating and asked me to join her for part of the weekend. After a rocky start, including a three hour wait to get a taxi from the airport and a less then suitable room at the hotel, she finally had accommodations she was happy with, had been out on the town for the evening, and had a good night’s sleep by the time I arrived. She needs two hip replacements as well as a knee replacement and it’s hard for her…

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Volcano, CA: Perfect for a Walking Tour

Volcano, CA is an amazing little town in the Sierra Foothills. It is a living history lesson and is the perfect place for a walking tour.

How Volcano Got its Name When I first moved to Pine Grove in beautiful Gold Country and learned there was a town nearby called Volcano, I immediately wondered if there was an extinct volcano in the area. That, however, is not the case. The town of Volcano sits in a crater-like valley surrounded by small hills. Sometimes there is a mist that sits in or rises from the valley floor resembling a volcano. When the new settlers began arriving in their search for gold, they dubbed the town Volcano and the name stuck. History of Volcano Mi-Wok Indians inhabited the area prior to the arrival of the first white men during the winter of 1848. When the soldiers of Jonathan Stevenson’s New York 7th Regiment arrived and found a few flakes of gold, they decided to make camp until spring when finding gold would be easier. This led to the town’s first…

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