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September 2014

An evening with John Covert at Windmill Ranch

Fun(d)raiser at Windmill Ranch is an event you don't want to miss!

IMG_3270An eclectic collection of windmills and farm memorabilia, friends, good food, and some righteous music are the perfect recipe for an autumn evening. Wait, forgot to add good old-fashioned fun, if I may be so bold and corny to say. Plus, it's a good cause with all proceeds benefiting Stockton Pacific Rotary community projects.

Put a  big, red circle on your calendar - September 20, 2014 - an evening dining alfresco and entertainment provided by John Covert & the Crystal Image Band. Seating is limited and that's not just some idle threat. You couldn't ask for a more authentic setting than the Medina family's Windmill Ranch in Stockton. Dozens of windmills, antique farm equipment, wagons and kitschy collectibles set the mood.

Catered by Joe's Pomodoro Pizza Catering, no one will leave hungry promises owner Mike Rodarakis. He wants to keep a few surprises up his sleeve, but an array of starters will include bruchetta with fresh local tomatoes, Italian sausage, and chicken bites. Caesar salad with Mike's home-style dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar -- parmesan cheese and croutons, of course! Genova Bakery French bread, too! For Caesar salad diehard fans, anchovies will be available on request. Sizzling away on the grill, baby back ribs with Mike's Greek/American dry and wet rub marinade, roasted red potatoes with butter, garlic and lemon, rice pilaf, and fresh string beans with fresh tomato sauce and basil. And...yes, dessert. You'll just have to wait and see! If you're new to Joe's Pomodoro, with 116 reviews and 4.5-stars they are a Yelp big hitter!

Crystal Image with Dorothy Sills CoxSo, you’ve pushed away from the table. Now let’s get down to business of kickass entertainment. You tied your bib on at 5:00pm and at 7:15pm (more or less), Stockton native John Covert & the Crystal Image Band will rock your world until 9:15pm.  John Covert (keyboards/vocals) established Crystal Image in 1968. The band has opened for and performed with headline musicians including Tower of Power, Simon & Garfunkle, The Chiffons and more.  John’s songs have been featured on TV and cable stations including an episode of The Soprano’s.  I think we’ve set the stage for a great night of music – John & the band are well-credentialed.  Wear your dancing shoes and come prepared for a lot of finger-snapping and head bobbing. The band performs everything from classic rock ala the Stones and Bob Seger to CCR, Skynyrd and more. The Windmill Ranch event also features includes special guest artist Dorothy Sills Cox on the alto sax. Dorothy has opened for music legends Etta James, Los Lobos and regularly performs with bands throughout the region.

So the details are this:

What:  An Evening with John Covert
Date:  September 20, 2014
Time:  5:00pm to 9:30pm
Where: Windmill Ranch, 6553 Waterloo Road/Hwy. 88, Stockton, CA
Tickets:  $45 per person
For tickets contact: Gary Medina (209/607-2992 or Janice Gifford Medina (209/478-3543. Or members of the Stockton Pacific Rotary.

Personally, I'm counting on and hoping for Mean Woman Blues!


Stockton urban farm creating community and support

Wide range of vegetables and fruits are grown.
Wide range of vegetables and fruits are grown.
Photos:  Are You That Woman@California Travel Insider

House concert benefits oneTLC School for homeless children

Morada House ConcertMorada House Concert
Willow Art Salon in conjunction with Peace69Love Records
TAJology "A Meditative Sound Experience"
Saturday, August 16, 2014
4567 Morada Place
Stockton, CA  95212
5:30pm to 11:30pm

Join in t
his deep listening experience that will evoke joy and a peaceful mind.  Performance artist, Laura Rodriquez, will create mandalas inspired by a live performance of TAJology's meditative souMandaland experience. Paintings will be auctioned at the end of the performance.  All proceeds to benefit one.TLC School for Homeless Children.

Advance tickets $20. Day of the event, $25. Price includes specially prepared vegetarian dishes and an assortment of beverages or bring your own.

Enjoy TAJology's new CD Gaia's Dreaming
For more information:  209/992-1365 (Ata) or 650/580-5969 (Jim)

Sorelle Winery Stockton California a grape escape

How many times have you driven – well, perhaps speeding a bit – along the two-lane curves of Highway 88 through San Joaquin County? The road is framed in summer by golden fields interspersed with vineyard Sorelle Winery Tasting Room2014  Credit Barbara L Steinberg02greenery. Sometimes we all need to slow down and take in the view. Really see the place. Miles of Highway 88 include small unincorporated Stockton towns – Waterloo for one. There’s a longer story here for another time, but today the focus is wine. Yes, vino. Elixir of the gods by many standards. Got your attention now, right?

The “Open” flag fluttering in the wind reaches out to zooming motorists. Often I am among the speeding, hurrying on to some other more important destination. Or so I think. But not at the present. Today, “Open” is my destination and make the turn at Sorelle Winery. I have seen the sign before. Driving into the comforting sceDodge House Sorelle Winery Tasting Room2014  Credit Barbara L Steinberg25ne of a historic home, rolling lawns and vineyards the question of, “Why haven’t I stopped before?” resounds.

Signs directing to visitor parking wind past the historic Dodge House. Beautifully preserved, the expansive porch and whicker chairs leave me pining for my Southern roots and possibly a little more R&R on this warm summer day. Rounding the house and hedges, the 1800s-barn-style tasting room comes into full view. Black wrought-iron tables and chairs shaded by a festoon of black and white umbrellas – okay, it’s time to pull in and stop.

The tasting room belies its age. Newly built circa 2010, it’s old in every sense of the word having utilized salvaged wood and windows in the construction – truly a labor of love. You’ll feel welcomed and comforted by its rustic appeal. An old table and school benches are wonderfully chic. Salvage is so environmentally friendly and green – who knew wine tasting could be so PC.

Sorelle transSorelle Winery Tasting Room2014  Credit Barbara L Steinberg05lated from Italian means “sister” but this is clearly a family and friends affair. On a Monday afternoon you’ll find Lindy, a neighbor and Sorelle wine club member, volunteering behind the pour. “Eric (my husband) and I lived here 10 years and had never been wine tasting. The 2009 Sangiovese hooked us and is what brought us back. We have a once a week wine-tasting date, but Sorelle is our place!” The Dodge House property was purchased in 2007 by Mike Scott with his wife Joanne whose Italian lineage inspires their wines. Daughters Kim and Melissa are the Sorelle sisters. Vineyards were planted and the tasting room opened in September 2010. That’s hustling to get the job done. All the wines were Italian with estate varietals Sangiovese and Barbera grown at Sorelle. Then in 2013, Sorelle expanded their vino flights with a luscious Chardonnay. That same year, Sacramento’s Mike Dunne – wine critic to the gods – gave a nod to Sorelle Winery 2011 Lodi Sogno Dolce Sangiovese Rosato. High praise!
Sorelle Winery Tasting Room2014  Credit Barbara L Steinberg38
Boundaries are sometimes confusing. Just a stone’s throw from Waterloo and part of the Lodi-Woodbridge AVA, Sorelle’s address is unincorporated Stockton and they happily claim that moniker. Visit the Sorelle website for tasting room hours Thursday-Friday. The winery is also available for weddings and special events. Shaded picnic tables invite you to bring lunch or snacks and relax in your new backyard. Oh, yes, don’t forget to sample the wine slushies made with Pinot Grigio – a “fan favorite” according to Lindy. Perfect on a warm summer day. Well, any day if the truth be known.

The Rest of the story:  My Stockton: Mike Scott, Sorelle Winery, Owner & Winemaker and all around nice guy!


Are You That Woman magnet

Noel Design Studio debuts in Walnut Grove California

Noel openNoel -- not new to the art world -- is always on the creative edge and it's true once again. The eclectic town of Walnut Grove is lucky to welcome the newest creation at Noel Design Studio. A lifetime of gathering and collecting the most stunning heirloom beads, metals, and gems are transformed into incredible art -- not just jewelery -- but works of art to beautify your body and world. Exotic vintage textiles from around the world just waiting to find their way into your life. The studio itself is a visual feast.

Noel is just the latest in a growing world of artists finding their way to Walnut Grove. Looking for a day trip? Head down the River Road. Enjoy the view and then stroll this historic borough and its magic. First Fridays in Walnut Grove are the place to be. Call for details. Prices are incredibly reasonable for this level of talent.

Noel Michelsen, native San Franciscan, brings her world of 48 years of jewelry design and
fine textiles from Africa, India, and Nepal to the historic Japanese town of Walnut Grove
in the California Delta.  Take a beautiful 30-mile drive on the River Road, Highway 60 from
Freeport Avenue in Sacramento or Interstate 5 to Twin Cities Road exit turn left on the River Road to Walnut Grove.
Featured this coming First Friday August 1, 2014 are Fine Porcelain works from Sacramento
artist, Julie Diane. Noel Design Studio is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 4pm and by appointment.