Sunday, February 10, 2013

without commercials!

I'm fed up!!!

Anymore I don't watch TV shows.  I usually listen to them while I am doing the dishes.  Folding laundry.  Or typing my blog entries.  But then a commercial comes along.  And I snatch the remote up and urgently push the button to mute the sound.

So why am I fed up with commercials?  They are annoying and LOUD!  I recall there was a TV being advertised that would lower the volume during commercials.  Bummer we didn't purchase one.  So, for now I will continue to reach for the remote and mute it.

Do commercial annoy you too?

without learning about wine making!

My husband and I learned a lot while we were in Napa.  Why the grape vines are trained to grow the way they are.  This is so the vines can have the maximum amount of sunlight.  It was amazing to see almost every single plant-able area containing rows and rows of vines.  Whether the land was flat or hilly.

Considering the hilly block of vines, the next question was how does one maintain the grass and other ground growth from over coming the vines.  Animals!  Yes, animals.  One winery said they invested in goats.  They not only eat the vegetation, but offer a great fertilization.  All natural.

Our next stop, was the extremely large machine that squeeze the grapes.  If you are as old as I am then you'll remember a scene from an entertaining red-headed-comedian stomping grapes in a barrel with her dear friend.  The senior wine educator shared that people really didn't what to drink wine that tasted of feet any longer.  Of course we all had a good chuckle after that.

He went on to explain that just the juice of white grapes is collected, while with red grapes the juice and skins are collected.  From there, the collections are taken to large tanks to be mixed with various yeasts.  And then after a specified number of days to weeks, the contents are then filtered and placed in barrels.

That's it, it does seem simple... and wine making has been going on for centuries upon centuries.  Would you attempt this?  You don't need much land.  But I would imagine you do need to learn a bit more about planting and the time one must put in to growing the grapes.  Then again, you can buy the grapes from someone else and start there.  Would you stomp them or would you find another way to squeeze the juice of the grapes.  Would you make white or red?  Sweet or dry?  The questions are endless...

without trying something new!

My husband gifted me with a trip to Napa, California.  I've mentioned this in a couple of previous blog entries.

It was wondrous.  I learned that California weather is an odd duck.  The two days while I was there with him, the day time temps were between 65-70; and the nights dipped into the 30s!  I could handle the 30s.  I'm from the East Coast.

Our time was short, due to work and family responsibilities, so he had a plan.  He researched for almost two months before we went out.  So in two days we visited ten wineries.  Yes, I tried wines I never had dreamed of tasting and some that were not to my liking.

I learned how the taste of a wine can change after eating certain foods.  Then made an observation to my husband after a wine tasting along with a specially prepared luncheon, "One should not just sit down and order a bottle of wine.  One should order their meal, then chose a wine that will be enhanced by the food ordered."

For instance, the butter flavors of a Chardonnay mellowed after eating seared tuna.  I had always refused to even taste tuna prepared this way.  Why?  Would you eat raw fish?  I did, but because I felt obligated to try it.  I found I liked it.  But keep in mind it was served with greens and light dressing.   

Will I try it again, perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Have you tried something new as of late?

without preparing for a trip!

Okay, I go away for for a few days... and now I owe myself eleven blog posts!  It would have been twelve, but in the middle of the getting back into the routine I was able to write one post.

Without further ado... The saga of the last day before my trip to Napa, California.  It started like any other day of the week.  I got the kids up and off to school, walked the dogs and fed them too... then I began to prepare for the arrival of my brother-n-law who was going to stay out our kids. 

In one of my many trips up and down the stairs to check on the status of the laundry, I began to smell dog food.  That's when I notice the small pile of dog food beside our girl Maeve.  She had thrown up.  I was not phased, I just went ahead and cleaned it up.  She seemed okay, she began to play with her sister Red.  So, I went back to running up and down the stairs doing what I needed to be done.

In about an hour though, I realized something was wrong.  On yet another trip through the kitchen, I was hit with that bad smell again.  She had tossed her cookies again, but it this time it was more like her entire breakfast.  It took me longer to clean up, but I persevered.  Maeve though, curled up and went to sleep under the kitchen table--I knew then she wasn't feeling good.  

Figuring she was wore out, I left her be.  It wasn't the end.   At the same moment I received a call from school nurse requesting I come pick up my youngest son because he was sick, Maeve threw up again.  This time she was so wore out, she laid still and didn't move.  I called the school back, asked them to keep my son comfortable while I had to handle the situation at home.  At this point, I was seriously feeling like fate wasn't going to let me go on my trip. 

Thanking Old Man Winter for giving me a 60 (yep, 60) degree day... I took Maeve outside and hosed her off.  Shampooing her and then rinsed her again.  Grabbing a towel, I dried her off; then I went back inside to tackle the mess again.  Once I was done, I hauled butt to the school to get my son.

Although, my day didn't end there.  Yes, Maeve was sick a fourth time.  But it was the text message telling me my brother-n-law's GPS had routed him through major city near us, that upset me.  I couldn't help him.  I began to feel truly at my wits-end.  But I plodded on, repeating a silent mantra... I am going on this trip!

The rest of that day is a blur... I survived and did make my flight the next day!  Have you ever gone through challenges similar to this, wondering why me?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

without taking a little trip now and then!

So, some may be wondering where my daily blog posts were over the past week... others probably didn't notice my absence.  That's okay.  Those that matter know where I disappeared too.

I was given one of the rare moments to share some quiet quality time with my spouse.  In the 22 years we've been married, there have been only a few times, where we have been able to get away without our children.

Last week, I joined my husband at the conclusion of a business meeting in Napa Valley.  I flew for the first time by myself and learned I can do it!  I was able to tolerate my flight being delayed for over an hour... reminding myself what awaited at the end of the six hour flight.  Peace and quiet.

When was the last time you traveled?  Do you like to fly or do you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the Earth?

Stay tuned for more entries this week to make up for last week's lack of... 
You don't want to miss out on the number of challenges thrown my way the day before my departure!