All posts by admin

Schafer High School, Class of 1964 Gathering

The Waterfront, on the Detroit River, Wyandotte

The Waterfront, on the Detroit River, hosted the Schafer High School class of 1964 summer gathering. We were grateful to spend time with friends who roamed Schafer’s halls and sat eagerly and attentively (at least on our good days) with us in those classrooms over fifty years ago.

We shared stories of long ago and more recent adventures. Heartfelt smiles and more than a little laughter were the evening’s theme.

Susan Bentley, Grace (Koster) Hall & Nancy Presnell

Grace (Koster) Hall and Susan Bentley once again worked heroically to make this annual event a reality. A tip of the hat also goes to those who assisted our organizers and to all who attended. Thank you class of 1964.

If any of the photo captions have inaccuracies let myself, Grace or Sue know and we shall promptly take care of it. Keep checking your email Inbox for announcements from Grace and Sue regarding future events. 


Santa Barbara & LaFond Winery BBQ

Winemaker Bruce McGuire

Today, Gastil and I drove along the coast, through the Gaviota tunnel into the picturesque Santa Rita Hills ava. Many vineyards and wineries along Santa Rosa Road including the LaFond Vineyards. Their Annual Thank You BBQ for wine club members is a treat. Such a sweet gathering of people, food and wine (yes, plenty of wine). A lovely day with deep, crystal blue skies, row upon row of promising vines and special offerings from the cellars. 

Yes, we plan to return next year.


I Madonnari 2019

Featured artist: Sharyn Chan

The Santa Barbara Mission and the Children’s Creative Project hosted another fabulous 3-day street painting event. These photos are from the beginning of the third day (Monday). Plenty of festival veteran artists as well as newcomers. Stunning work. Sharyn Chan was this year’s featured artist…congratulations, Sharyn.


Wine Cabinet, door and more

Test fit of rear panel to case and legs.

With basic case joinery tested, I moved onto a number of other steps required such as refining the sides, making the H. Mahogany door and a pull of sinker Sapodilla.

The back panel slides downwards in side grooves and into the bottom groove. The top locks the panel in place. The order of glue up is rather critical. Hopefully, the numerous dry fitting will increase the likelihood of success.

The photo gallery (with captions) below shows number of other details.

Wine Cabinet – Case

Wine Cabinet of sinker H. Mahogany and cherry

I wanted to create a small wine cabinet compatible with the Book Cabinet made in 2016. This time I’ll use Honduras Mahogany salvaged from rivers in Belize complemented with domestic cherry.

Basic case is box with a top (half-blind dovetails), middle shelf and bottom (both use sliding dovetails). I had to use the sliding dovetails as I wanted the sides to extend past the case bottom. Another option would be basic dado, but the sliding dovetail gives a bit more resistance to lateral stresses. The sliding dovetails extend a bit past case box dimension so that they can be fitted into sockets in the legs.

Legs of 8/4 cherry are secured to the sides with floating tenons plus lots of glue surface. The top has a half-blind tail further locking the legs to the case. 

Family time in SoCal

Uncle Al Skidmore and Tom enjoying Sandi’s hospitality.

Uncle Al Skidmore and Nancy visited Sandi in La Vista, from their home in North Carolina. Uncle Al’s granddaughter, Amy, surprised him from Michigan, I came from Santa Barbara and of course, Sandi’s girls (plus Aaron) made it party time on a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning I took the AMTRAK Surfliner back to S.B. feeling gratified and grateful.

Italian Summer Salad

Collect the ingredients, most of which came from farmer’s market this morning.

Mussels are rinsed, beards cut off, placed in covered pot of boiling wine and water. [Normally I’ll sautee shallots, garlic and mushrooms before bringing liquid to boil, but this salad will provide plenty of zest and zing.] In about five minutes the shells open, the meat dug out and set aside.

Add juice of a meyer lemon (or lime) and olive oil in glass bowl. Minced garlic, thin Italian Tropea onion slices and cut up tomatoes are added along with herbs, pepper and red cayenne pepper. Lots of sweet basil is cut up and then the mussels added.

Italian Summer Salad from the Buhl kitchen

While the colorful mixture rests I’ll prepare pasta – whole grain rotini this evening. Mix and serve with a favored wine. The 2016 Stolpman Grenache was tonight’s choice. 

Instead of mussels I’ve also regularly used left over roast chicken. Another lovely choice is line-caught king salmon from Saturday market. 

Good times at the Gastil-Buhl table.

Quest for an Italian Summer Salad

Italian Summer Salad from the Buhl kitchen

This summer I’ve fallen in love with a delightful and simple Italian Summer Salad. It is perfect for a wide range of wines. This weekend we opened a 2016 Grenache from Stolpman Vineyards (Ballard Canyon, AVA). Perfect.

Patagonia (the largest Tom Buhl Typographers client for several years, back in the day) has added PROVISIONS to their offerings. That program shares recipes using their product(s). I appreciate their recipes are simpler than those found in the likes of Sunset Magazine. I am not using Patagonia’s tins of mussels, preferring fresh, local mussels, but I do appreciate the recipe.

Before we can go into the kitchen, we go to market. I look forward to Saturday’s farmers market every week. Below are images from the August 18th market adventure relevant to the salad preparations.

Piedrasassi’s Carbonic Sangiovese is another delightful complement to this salad. So many fine wines available to us these days. We are most fortunate.

In the next post(s) I’ll show staging of ingredients and then the construction. I’m getting hungry writing of it.

Stolpman Vineyards Hike

cluster of early summer grapes

In June Gastil and I took a hike of the Stolpman Vineyards and learned of their mission, strategies and passion to do things the right way. Way too many stories and lessons to share but I was taken by their efforts to develop most of their own root stock as well as experiment with “self” rooting which Syrah seems to be the best candidate for extensive success.

They give these guided hikes monthly so check out the web site for details. Highly recommended.

After the hike we sampled a selection of their fine wines at the Los Olivos Tasting Room. Yes, purchases were made in the name of further research.


Annual Wine Club BBQ & Tastings

Winemaker Bruce McGuire sharing treasures from the cellar.

LaFond Vineyards and Santa Barbara Winery (in the Santa Rita Hills AVA) hosted a lovely BBQ Saturday to thank their wine club members. Good food, fun music, gracious hosts, grateful guests and wide range of magnificent wines to explore and savor. Winemaker, Bruce McGuire, rummaged the cellar depths to find interesting wines to share. A delightful day in the valley. See ya’ll next year…or when my wine supply becomes uncomfortably low.