California Craft Beers- Snowshoe Brewery

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Sitting in First Street Alehouse in Livermore California sampling a couple of beers and getting my tri-tip fix!!!
First up was the Snowshoe Pale Ale. Snowshoe Brewing Company is in the town of Arnold in the Calaveras county area made famous by Mark Twain and the 1849 California gold rush. The beer had a nice hop aroma and just enough bitterness to let you know that the hops are there. It was a nice compliment to the tri-tip sandwich! The tri-tip was not as rare as I prefer but I still enjoyed every bite.
Next up was Snowshoe’s Grizzly Brown. A beautiful creamy tan colored head covered the brown ale. The flavor is creeping up toward the toasty roasty taste of a porter but just a ways short. Their website compared it to a Newcastle Brown – Newcastle is a bit on the puny side of the Grizzly but in the same broad category. I like this Grizzly better than the Newcastle.
As I sit here sipping this brown ale, and sip and savor is a must with this brew, I contemplate whether I should sample a Berkley California brew. The Pyramid Apricot Ale sounds interesting as does their Hefeweizen!
Nope, went with the Lost Coast Great White. I am concerned about the unnamed secret blend of Humboldt herbs!!!!! I hope I am not subject to random drug testing! Nice beer – my wife Kathy would love it- citrusy like a Blue Moon or Shocktop but a little more subtle flavor .

Through My Garden Gate

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One of my favorite additions to the garden in the past year was the “Garden Gate”! It was driven partially out of necessity….my son’s dog, Sierra prefers to dig up my vegetable rather than my wife’s flower beds, so keeping her out was a big concern! Secondly, and probably more pleasing to me, it is the sound of the hinges creaking & squeaking, the return spring stretching and that sound of the latch catching securing the gate. It has been reminded me of the gate sounds from pleasant times visiting my grandparents in Taft, California. The squeaky hinges on the gate going into the back of the yard where the chickens were kept are still vivid in my memories. The sounds of hinges and the sounds of a rusty pulley on the counterweight  used by grandpa to “automatically” close the wire and pipe door to the henhouse. The distinct clang of metal against metal as it rattled shut are still clear. The sounds transport me back into a simpler and quieter time, so distant from the clutter of our current times.

As I step through my gate those sounds of the gate singing closed behind me transport me into my into my own little world…..it’s alright, they like me here! Kidding aside, it is a bit like a refuge, a haven, a time capsule to the past and a decompression chamber. The sweet smell of damp earth, the gentle swaying of the plants on the wind and the subtle daily changes of the veggies drawing life from the garden soil and waiting to be harvested and passing  on the goodness to me and friends.

My cousin Sandi and her husband Jack are in the Houston area for some medical tests and treatments. Our schedules finally coincided so I picked them up and brought them up to our house north of downtown Houston and more importantly to share my garden with them. Sandi and Jack live in the Albuquerque area and have their own garden haven in their back yard. I was had so much fun sharing my garden with them….hearing their gardening stories along with mine. We all reveled in how much produce can come from such small but well-tended gardens.  So join me in my video clip below as I step into my sanctuary….it really isn’t a one way trip but there are times I wish the caress of the garden would never end. Trust me….I will and must come back…… and await my next trip back through my “Garden Gate”!



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