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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Start on Steiner Spring Fling Wine Tasting

Start on Steiner is an association of nine wineries located on Steiner Road in the Shenandoah Valley. The group holds three annual Start on Steiner events.

Start on Steiner is an association of the nine wineries located on Steiner Road in the Shenandoah Valley in California’s gold country. As a group, these nine wineries hold three annual Start on Steiner events: Spring Fling in April, Summer Faire in August and Holiday Celebration in December. These events historically include complimentary tastings at each winery along with lite bites and wine specials. You can Start on Steiner at any of the wineries but, wherever you start at future events, be sure to pick up a passport. Once it is stamped by 5 of the 9 wineries, you can drop it off and be entered in the drawing for some great prizes. Sadly, none of us won anything. Members of our wine-loving Vineyard Vixens, a special interest…

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Which Type of Baby Boomer Are You?

Baby boomers seem to fall into one of two categories. Either you have decided to live or you have decided to begin dying. Whoa, what do I mean by that?

Baby boomers seem to fall into one of two categories. Either you have decided to live or you have decided to begin dying. Whoa, what do I mean by that? Astrologers call it the Chiron Return, which occurs around the age of 50. It is the point where we subconsciously decide to carry on living or give up and begin to die. Whether you believe in this or not, I think that any subconscious decision can be consciously changed at any time. Maybe you are sure you fit in the living category but consider these questions. What do you talk about when you are with your friends? Do you talk about your health or lack of it? How about who died recently or has some…

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Do You Love Craft Fairs?

Main Street in Jackson, CA, for Dandelion Days event with craft fair

Do you love craft fairs like I do? What is it about craft fairs that attracts us? Why do we go? I used to dabble in crafts and often think I’d like to get back into it, but then I tell myself, “Who are you kidding? You can barely keep up with what you already do.” So instead, I go to see what wonderful things other artists have created. Craft fairs range from small local events with a few crafters to huge events with hundreds of crafters that take over entire towns, like in the case of Candy Dance. These larger events usually include entertainment and lots of food. They are almost like going to the circus and are great fun for the whole family. The two-day…

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My Gold Country Spring Bucket List

If you are like me, you see something fun and interesting to do, talk about it, then forget about it. At least that’s what happens to me with a lot of things. I’ve been doing better so far this year, checking out event calendars at least a month ahead and actually scheduling them on my calendar. Things are pretty quiet here in the winter. Oh, there are always things to do, but things really start to hop in the spring. There are some things I missed last year that I definitely want to do this year. Here are the events on my agenda so far for spring. My Spring Bucket List Start on Steiner – 4/9 Start on Steiner is a wine tasting celebration of spring put…

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Cronan Ranch Trail Ride on Multi-Use Trails

We enjoyed a day of natural beauty a camaraderie on our Cronan Ranch trail ride. Cronan Ranch is part of the 25-mile South Fork American River Trail.

When it comes to getting up and getting out, the one thing I did a lot of in Southern California was horseback riding. My riding buddy, Nancy, was always ready to hitch up and trailer out so we were off on a different adventure almost every weekend. The eight weeks after my surgery, in the spring of 2014, was about the only time I didn’t ride and I couldn’t wait for my doctor to give me the go ahead to get back in the saddle. I had a lot of riding buddies in Southern California and at least someone in the group had been to almost every riding destination within a few hours’ drive and knew the trails. Trails were easy to find online and…

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Gold Country: What and Where Is It?

Northern CA's Gold Country encompasses ten counties that lie along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, reaching into the Sacramento Valley.

Northern California’s Gold Country, also known as the Mother Lode, encompasses ten counties that lie along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, reaching down to the Sacramento Valley. Its name comes from the famous, or infamous, California Gold Rush of 1849 that occurred here. The beauty and scenic variety of this area never ceases to amaze me, with its rivers and waterfalls, dense pine and cedar forests, rolling green hillsides dotted with cows and horses, sweeping vineyards, natural caverns and so much more. And, oh the history! I’m finding that the more I learn about the history of the area, the more I want to know. A Very Brief History of Gold Country The history of California and its Gold Country is fascinating and is…

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