Starting the new year off right

With Howard and Ale Petite

We got to visit with Howard and Petite again this week – they came downstairs for happy hour with us on Thursday. It was so great to see Petite again, and to get to know Howard. Happy hour turned into happy hours with them!

Last Sunday was a lot of fun. We went with our manager Wendy and her husband Colin to visit two nearby wineries, Flam and Clos de Gat. They are boutique wineries and produce some good wine (yes, we came home with quite a bit of it!). I especially liked the setting at Clos de Gat – we sat on a huge covered patio made of Jerusalem stone, and overlooked the vineyard and kibbutz. There was a flock of guinea hens wandering around, as well as a rooster and resident dogs. There are huge rosemary plants around the yard that smelled wonderful – it was cool, but sunny, and just really beautiful. Click here for more photos.

Afterwards, we picked up our friend Brian and went to a nice party at our DCM’s house. We followed that up with dinner on the beach at Lalaland. You can’t beat eating and listening to the waves.

My biggest excitement this week was getting a housekeeper. I think she’ll work out well, and it’s just so nice to come home to a clean house.

Last night, we met several co-workers at a great Russian restaurant in a nearby neighborhood. They had great food – I had an appetizer sampler and John had lamb stew. Paired with good conversation and good wine, it was a good night!

We had some bad news this week: John’s wonderful Uncle Perk passed away on New Year’s Day, and my cousin Annette’s husband, Jimmy Ray, passed away. I have such great memories of banding hummingbirds with Perk at his house at Lakeside – what a great guy and what an interesting life he had. He was in his 90s.

Jimmy Ray was much younger, but had had health problems in recent years; my favorite memories of him were presiding over the catfish fries we used to have.

And we go on.

At Flam Winery

At Clos de Gat Winery

Dogs, wine and rosemary

With Brian

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