August 1, 2015……the day that “Me and My Baby” usher in the beginning of our 6th year on the road.
In honor of the day, we’re re-releasing “Sunset Ride”, written during one of our stints in Florida and recorded at Rick Randlett’s Fox Run Studio back in March, 2011.
It tells the story of how we came to sell our homes and most of our belongings and take off on the road as traveling musicians.
And if you’d like to read the full backstory, click on our “About” link.
Happy anniversary to us!
Long live “The Sunset Ride”.
The earth is adorned with nature’s bounty and we rejoice in her fullness.
In the past sixteen months we have settled in to a lovely life in coastal Virginia. Our days ebbing and flowing with the tidal waters that ripple near our doorway.
Keith’s duties at the campground, precious moments with grandchildren, leisurely days off cruising The James on the Stella Marie, casual guitar sessions performed simply for the joy of making music. Our weekly ritual. Simple and delightful.
After a 30 year hiatus, Keith picked up his watercolors this Spring, and produced an impressive painting titled “Stella on The James” ~ a tribute to his “other woman” who resides at the James City County Marina.
These days we seem to be more inclined to live our lives than to report on them, and the few, devoted readers of “For Drinks and Tips” have too long waited for a word or two.
And so, today on this 2015 Summer Solstice, we break our silence and invite you to join us in taking stock of the good things in your life at this moment and set aside worrying about tomorrow for at least one day.
Relax and enjoy this season! “Me and My Baby”
A few weeks ago I was flipping through the pages of the local Williamsburg, Virginia, paper when a certain ad caught my eye.
The bold print words “Hatch Chile Fest” jumped from the page, and, upon further reading, I learned that the Fresh Market would be hosting a chile festival on August 16th, featuring the famous Hatch green chiles that we so enjoyed while living just 20 miles north the town of Hatch, New Mexico, where the chiles are grown.
I immediately made a note on my old school planner, and promised myself that I would attend.
Keith was on board at the campground that day, so I drove up to the market around 3 p.m. ~ windows wide open to catch the unmistakable aroma of fresh, roasting, Hatch chiles.
I scanned the entrance for chile roasting activity, parked, and headed toward a banner promoting the event.
And there, under the banner, was a smiling store employee manning the chile roaster.
I watched, mesmerized (yes, I am easily entertained), as the chiles rolled around in the roaster bin, their skins turning dark and blistering from the scorching heat.
It’s the simplest and best way to prepare the chiles. The roasting intensifies and sweetens the flavor, and the skins, once scorched, can be easily peeled from the soft and delectable meat of the chile.
Once I’d had my fill of watching the show, I wandered through the store in search of the roasted chiles for sale, and also the red and green chile wines that were advertised in the paper.
Chef Dave stood behind a sampling table, serving a wonderful green chile and chicken salad and the chile wines.
I chatted with Dave and then loaded my cart with two bottles of wine and enough chiles to last for many months.
A quick stop at the check-out and I was happily heading home so Keith and I could peel and freeze my precious cargo.
Thank you, Fresh Market, for bringing Hatch Chiles to “Me and My Baby”, and other New Mexico transplants here in Virginia!
Sometimes when you buy a used boat, she comes to you with a name that doesn’t seem to fit.
Such was the case with our new boat.
We decided to change her name.
Now, there are those who would just scrape off the old name and apply the new, but any seafaring body with even a small respect for marine lore would balk at that type of brazen action.
For, legend has it that a boat, once christened with its name, becomes an entity of sorts, and trouble looms on the horizon for those who change the name without the proper ceremony to pay respect to the old entity before retiring it, and to request the protection of Neptune and Co. for the new entity.
On land this might not be much of a big deal, but when you are out on the water all alone, it’s calming to think that you have done your best to appease the lord of the sea.
In fact, there are numerous online tales of folks who had boating disasters after neglecting to perform the appropriate ceremonies.
And so, Keith carefully scoured all records for any mention of our old boat’s name and erased it, then scraped her old name off, and sanded and polished the area so no shadow of the old name remained.
That done, we were ready for the denaming and renaming ceremonies.
On a recent bright and sunny Tuesday, Keith and I, and the “Evanhaug” family gathered on board ~ champagne in hand ~ to give thanks to the “old” boat for its service, and to request safe passage and protection for the newly named “Stella Marie”…our version of the Latin, “Stella Maris”, or Star of the Sea.
We toasted Neptune and the sea, placed a green leafy branch across her bow for safe return to land, and dowsed her down with a nice bottle of champagne.
After the festivities, we took Stella Marie out for her maiden voyage on the Chickahominy River, after which, Keith piloted her downstream to her new marina near Jamestown Island on the James River ~ a four hour adventure!
Stella Marie now sits happily at James City County Marina and we spend several days aboard each week, exploring the Virginia waterways, which should keep us busy for quite some time!
Picture this…..you’re whiling away a sunny Virginia Tuesday afternoon…your boat is tied up to the base of a huge cypress tree on the Chickahominy River, doing a little fishing and light reading. No cares in the world.
After a bit, the Chris Craft cabin cruiser of your dreams glides by. As it passes, you see the captain staring right at you ~ twisting his head right and left, to get a better view. Is he a pirate? On this river? Anything could happen. Who knows!
The Chris Craft passes on, and then backs up, turns around, and comes straight toward you.
You sit straight up in your seat and wait to see what happens.
It ties up right on the other side of the tree you are tethered to.
The captain walks onto the bow, and thankfully, waves a greeting.
You say “Hello, nice boat”.
He says “Wanna’ buy it?”.
The next few days are a bit of a blur. You request permission to come aboard, and inspect the boat.
She’s a classic old gal that could use a little teak oil and T.L.C…..a 1985 Chris Craft Catalina 280.
But, she’s in your price range.
AND – as was mentioned, she’s your dream boat.
Q. What do you do?
A. Make a deal to trade the “Sunset Ride” for the Catalina, whose name has yet to be determined.
Yesterday evening, we sat on her back deck and shared a bottle of Merlot.
It was hard not to pinch ourselves to be sure we weren’t simply dreaming!
After several months of focusing our lives on family…….births, weddings and reunions, Keith and I finally found ourselves back on stage over Memorial Day weekend at the Williamsburg, Virginia KOA Campground. Perfect weather, fun show, nice crowd, great night.
At times, even in the lives of bloggers, the act of living is so all-consuming that you just have to go with the flow, set the reporting aside, and see where it is that life takes you.
The past several months have been such a time, and it has been absolutely wonderful!
After my last post, we packed up and left Florida, to head north to Virginia ~ a gutsy thing to do at the first of February, with cold and snow nipping at our heels.
The occasion for our trip was the birth of my second grandchild, Cora Mae, who arrived swiftly and a bit unexpectedly, on February 9th.
Since her arrival, I have spent many hours entertaining her big brother, Bennett, who has mixed emotions about his little sister….playfully complaining about her crying and the shape of her head….but for the most part, accepting the small changes to his routine that having a little sister requires.
Bennett loves his Grammy and she feels much the same about him, as you can tell from the photos below.
We had just finished creating with homemade play dough that we call “Cook and Play”, as Bennett is an aspiring chef…
Somehow, in the midst of it all, we managed to take our first “Three Generations” photo ~ Grammy, daughter Laurie, and her daughter, Cora Mae!
And then, in Mid-March, I celebrated my 65th birthday, after successfully completing my quest for the appropriate Medicare supplement coverage, which in my book, was quite an accomplishment.
Of course, Cora was a major part of the celebration, gifting us with the opportunity to sit down and eat dinner together uninterrupted, as she slept quietly in our arms.
In addition to all the family-related excitement of the first several months of the year, Keith and I have been gifted with a new workamping opportunity, which will provide a place to park our home in the Williamsburg area, along with some much-appreciated supplemental income ~ more on this later~
The other day, Keith started a little contest on facebook to introduce our finished video for Jeff Dukatt, the “Tie-Dye King” of Truth or Consequences New Mexico.
We wrote a tribute song for him last year, finally recorded it live last week, and created a music video in his honor. We really enjoyed the project and hope you have fun with it, too.
Keith initiated the contest by posting the first of the videos that appear below on facebook, and announcing that when the second video was posted on our blog, the contest would begin.
There is just one difference in the two videos ~ one photo/frame that has been changed, and it’s your job to find it!
So, after viewing the two videos, and figuring out which single photo has changed, please visit our “Me and My Baby” facebook page and give us a Comment with your guess.
The first person to post the correct answer will win a signed copy of our “Smokin’ Oldies” CD, and a mention in an update to this post.
We’ll contact you for your address once you win, and send your CD ASAP.
Enjoy the challenge!
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!! In fact, within minutes of posting the contest, good friend, “Old Eagle Eye Jake”, from T or C nailed it! Congratulations, Jake, your CD will be on it’s way shortly. Thanks to everyone who took the time to watch the videos!
….and the answer is: the “hot rod hatchback car” that the “Tie-Dye King” drives around New Mexico.
After being in Florida, and away from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, for six months, Keith and I began to feel a little homesick for wide vistas and dear friends.
We used my desire to attend a Masterpath seminar in Albuquerque as the incentive for making the trip. I have been a chela (student) of Sri Gary Olsen for 18 years, and his teachings have been my inspiration and support through the years.
After recharging my spiritual batteries at the seminar, we planned to hitch a ride to T or C with our friend, GIselle, who had scheduled a few relaxing days stay at Riverbend Hot Springs.
But, before meeting up with Giselle, Keith and I gifted ourselves with a delightful brunch at our favorite Albuquerque restaurant, El Pinto. It is always delightful to relax on the patio and dine on fresh, well-prepared New Mexican dishes served by a friendly and attentive staff.
Giselle picked us up after we dropped off our rental car, and the two-hour drive to T or C just flew by. Before we knew it, we were walking through the gate at the Birch Street Retreat B&B of our friends, Ann and Roger Swanson.
We spent our first evening catching up with our hosts, and the next night they threw a party for all of our friends. Ann prepared a tasty buffet, and we ate, drank and caught up on the local news…
After dinner, we gathered in the living room for a drum circle……my grandson, Bennett would have been in his glory!
The evening included the unveiling of our friend, Doug “Ten” Rose’s new book, “Reincarnation Through Common Sense”, which I am currently reading, and will blog about soon.
It’s hard to be in such beautiful country without doing some hiking, so we spent two days under the desert sun, hiking an arroyo near home, and then to warm springs and a box canyon near Winston. The scenery is breathtaking and photos just don’t do it justice, but I’ll give it a shot here…
After a day of hiking, we decided to stop by the Winston Bar and Saloon for some liquid refreshment.
When you walk through the door you jump back to wild west saloon days. They have a couple of bottles of whiskey to choose from, and they serve your shots in tiny disposable cups. If you don’t want whiskey, you can have a beer. But, don’t ask for a mixer or ice – they will have to hike over to the general store for that!
Roger, Ann and Keith belly up to the bar.
Pool sharks Keith and Roger…
And, Keith and I added our signed dollar bill to the hundreds that decorate the walls and ceiling of the saloon.
After our excursion backwards in time, we drove back to Ann and Roger’s, for a light supper of Tony’s Clam Chowder before settling in for the night. We have been fans of Tony’s Chowder since we spent the summer in Cedar Key, Florida, and wrote this song, but this was the first time we tried the canned variety……we are here to testify that it’s as glorious from a can in New Mexico as it is in their Cedar Key restaurant!
No pics for the rest of our journey…the camera was already packed away…but we did spend a fun morning at the Albuquerque Zoo on Friday, dined with the locals at Garcia’s restaurant for lunch, supped with Ann, her daughter, Maia and friends at Socorro Springs Brewing Company, and ended the evening at a “Hot Club of Cowtown” concert.
Maia put us up for the night in the family home that Roger had built in the 70’s, and where she currently resides – a “way cool” place (wish we had some pics to share).
And, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, courageous Ann chauffeured us up to Albuquerque to catch our 8 a.m. flight.
We climbed aboard wearily, but ever so satisfied with our trip.
There’s just something about spending time in T or C that helps you put everything into perspective, so you can move on from a much better place.
Heartfelt hanks to our friends who feel like family, for sharing some time with us.