Phew, this has been a busy week. The mountains were great--it was nice to get away and the dogs loved it. There was one small problem. Digory likes his privacy when going potty. He doesn't like to do it on a leash. Prior to our visit to the mountains, he'd only gone on leash once. Well of course the cabin doesn't have a nice fenced-in yard, and neither dog can be trusted to run free (plus there's a coyote problem) so it's on-leash or nothing. Poor Digory--the dog has an iron bladder. He kept scratching at the door but wouldn't go potty when Kevin took him out. It got really bad the second night. We had both crates in the bedroom because Scout wouldn't shut up if her crate was in the living room. I woke up several times to hear Digory whining and pacing back and forth in his crate. He clearly had to go, but every time Kevin took him out he'd refuse to do it. It was very frustrating (for Kevin, since he was the one who kept taking him outside). Finally at about 3:30 am, Digory went potty and we all got some sleep. But other than that, the mountains were great and very relaxing.
Last night we had our friends Dave and Chelsea over for dinner. We had Raclette which was so awesome. Dave is a classical guitarist and Chelsea is a singer so they played a few pieces for us and they were just gorgeous. Although one piece had Chelsea hitting some very high notes. So she's singing her heart out hitting these high notes and all of a sudden Digory comes trotting into the room right over to Daddy to hide under the table. Apparently he doesn't like the really high notes. It was hilarious!
I've spent today cutting glass. I need to go get one (maybe 2?) pieces of yellow glass for my project, and if they don't have the kind I've already cut, I'm going to need about 3 sheets of a different yellow glass to use. Which would suck. Our goal is to have everything cut and foil wrapped by class on Friday. We'll then start tacking and soldering. Since we're missing the following class this is going to cut it close, so we'd like to be as prepared as possible for Friday.
Howdy everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday--we sure did. Our dinner Wednesday was quite nice. The food at the Napa Rose was excellent--really top-notch. The service? Only so-so. I think part of the problem was going before Thanksgiving, but our waiter clearly had more tables than he could cover and we were off in a little nook (a very cute nook though, with a fireplace) so we got a bit overlooked. However, in his distraction, he forgot to charge us corkage, so that was cool. We drank our most wonderfully wonderful bottle of 2001 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. We bought this on our first visit to Kosta Browne and our bottle was signed and everything. It was absolutely DIVINE! We really should have purchased more. Ah, hindsight. And because it was our anniversary, we were presented with two small boxes of truffles. That was nice too. I'd return on a less crowded day, but for the price the service was definitely disappointing.
Yesterday was of course a big food fest. Aunt Sharon positively outdid herself this year! The food was absolutely incredible--the turkey moist, gravy thick, and Grandma Rosiak's stuffing recipe--well words cannot describe that one. Poor Aunt Sharon had a major crisis with her oven, which was not working as of Wednesday. She had the electricians out, and my brother Brad came over as well. Brad diagnosed the problem and then the electricians diagnosed the same problem, making them really respect Brad. He fixed it by messing with the circuit breaker, and let's just say that Aunt Sharon can no longer cook a turkey in the oven and run the Jacuzzi at the same time. But after all of that stress, Thanksgiving was a huge success. Thanks Aunt Sharon!
We also stopped by to see Grandpa Lee and Grandma Lola (Kevin's paternal grandparents) before the dinner at Aunt Sharon's, and stopped by afterwards just in time for a homemade peach pie. Yum! So that was our holiday--how was yours?
The holiday lull is officially over tonight. Let the craziness begin!
Wednesday--day before our anniversary--dinner at The Napa Rose
Thursday--Thanksgiving and our anniversary--dinner at Aunt Sharon's with a visit to the Hogan family
Saturday--Off to the Grandparent's cabin in the mountains
Monday--return from the mountains
Tuesday--dinner with our friends Dave and Chelsea
Saturday--packing for our cruise
Sunday the 4th through Saturday the 10th--Cruise to Mexico
Saturday the 10th--Small Christmas party with Shelby's friends (Shelby only--it's complicated)
Sunday the 11th--Going to see A Christmas Carol
And that takes us through a week and a half into December. Following that it's just a matter of time until Christmas and New Year's. And clear your calendars--we're having a New Year's Eve Party! Ring in the New Year at the Hogan's on or about Midnight--hard to say since we don't have any kind of TV reception so we're going to have to guesstimate on the time. Maybe we'll take the mean of everyone's watches and count down from there. Or not. That sounds too much like math.
Anyway, if you don't see many updates, you'll know why. I hope everyone has a full and wonderful Thanksgiving and the days following!
AT ONE MINUTE PAST MIDNIGHT on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns like Roman�che-Thorins, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Banners proclaim the good news: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arriv�! "The New Beaujolais has arrived!"
So what is Beaujolais, and what's the big deal? As you may have guessed, Beaujolais is a varietal of red wine. It's very light and fruity and hallmarked by the speed with which is is picked, fermented, bottled, and drunk. Made from the Gamay grape, Beaujolais is harvested in September and released with much fanfare on the third Thursday of November. Wow, that's fast! What's more, Nouveau should be enjoyed within the first few months of release. If you've still got a bottle sitting around in April, well, don't expect much.
This page has a cute overview of the Beaujolais Nouveau tradition. Why Beaujolais Nouveau? Beaujolais is probably the most accessible red wine for the beginning afficianado. It's light and fruity and doesn't require a lot from you to enjoy. You don't need any sophisticated vocabulary to describe the way it tastes (although if you want to look intelligent you can always say, "I love the lack of tannins"). It's perfect for enjoying with food or on its own. And I'll just let the above article speak for itself:
Apart from the fanfare, what makes Beaujolais Nouveau so popular? And especially in the U.S. where consumption of red wine is less than 30%? Simply put, Beaujolais Nouveau is as about as close to white wine as a red wine can get. Due to the way it is made�the must is pressed early after only three days�the phenolic compounds, in particular the astringent tannins, normally found in red wines, isn't there, leaving an easy to drink, fruity wine. This, coupled with the fact that it tastes best when chilled, makes for a festive wine to be gulped rather than sipped, enjoyed in high spirits rather than critiqued. As a side note, it makes a great transitional wine for anyone wanting to move from white to red wines.
I have a special attachment to Beaujolais Nouveau as it's the first wine I enjoyed as a
child teenager adult of drinking age. I highly recommend it for anyone, particularly for people who think they don't like wine (or don't in particular like red wine).
Georges DuBeouf is the most famous producer and brings out some lovely wines.
But where am I going with this? Like many around the world, my parents threw a Beaujolais Nouveau celebration on Thursday night. It was a wonderful little get-together. Everyone brought a lite appetizer (we brought apples with a caramel dipping sauce) and the main dinner was pizza. Unfortunately, Dad had what we call an NSS moment (NSS= Not So Smart--a term originating with the dogs but also applicable as a gentle description for when someone kinda sorta messes things up). He heated the oven for the pizza and threw pizza #1 in. And waited, and waited, and then finally served it. I noticed a certain sogginess of the crust but who am I to talk? And then we learned that someone had turned off the oven and the pizza had "baked" in a cooling oven. So he fixed it for the next pizza. We knew the problem had been solved when we heard the smoke detector go off. Fortunately the pizza was salvageable, but it was pretty funny.
Found this at Mom With Attitude. Here's the rules--go to Google and type in "[your name] needs." List your results in your blog. Come on--play! You know you want to!
Shelby needs a calendar Got one, thanks!
Shelby needs volunteers to be guinea pigs in my preliminary power play as I take over the earth.
Shelby needs to eat some food! why yes, as a matter of fact, I do!
Shelby needs caulk to stop his leaking Whoa, I'm not even going to GO there.
Shelby needs to take my two girls for the entire weekend Hey, this one's from my site! :D
Shelby needs to be involved here Of course I do--I need to be involved everywhere!
Shelby needs a lot of attention and a back yard to run Are you saying I'm high-maintenance? (this is actually one of a number of entries about dogs named Shelby. For some reason, Shelby is a very popular dog name)
Shelby needs a job to keep her happy. NOOOOOOOOO!
Shelby needs huggies(diapers),lot's, and lot's of huggies!!! Actually, I don't. But thank you for thinking of my continence needs.
Shelby needs a live in buddy!!! Got one, thanks!
Shelby needs to have a gentle, soft-spoken owner who will spend lots of time with her and help her develop her confidence through activities such as Canine agility or Rally Obedience. Another dog one
Shelby needs an inch more fabric behind her neck, a slightly smaller
chest measurement, and some excess fabric removed from the armhole. ummmmmm, okay
Shelby needs a husband Got one, thanks!
shelby needs to see a dr I see several, actually
Shelby needs me in her life. It's true! I need each and every one of you in my life. Well, maybe not EVERYONE--ha ha ha
Is the funnest board/card game I've played in a long time. If you've never heard of Apples to Apples then you're missing out. The game itself is very simple. You get 7 "red" cards, each of which have a noun or noun phrase, like "Hillary Rodham Clinton" or "My Refrigerator." The person who is the judge for that hand flips over a "green" card, which has an adjective or adjectival phrase, like "Beautiful," or "Disgusting." You then play the card which you feel best fits that adjective. The judge picks which card they like best and if it's yours you get to keep the card. Then the next person around the circle is the judge. Okay, it sounds strange, but it's REALLY fun.
We played Apples to Apples on Friday night with my cousin Rich, and then again on Saturday on our game night with my cousins Merny and Doug and Geoff and Tracy. We had a blast! Plus Kevin cooked a killer lasagna. What's there not to like?
Lots going on this weekend. Tonight my cousin Rich is coming into town from Chicago via Sacramento to hang out for dinner. My parents will be there too along with Brad and the girls. Katrina is working overtime so I'm not sure if she'll make it or not. Tomorrow night is our game night with some different cousins, Merny and Doug and Geoff and Tracy. We try to get together every couple of months to play games and this time we're hosting. It's always a blast with them so I can't wait.
Remember that special election that we just HAD to have RIGHT NOW? Well guess what? All 8 propositions on the ballot failed. Every. Last. One. So where are we after spending all that time and money? Exactly where we were before we wasted all of that time and money. Thank you Arnold. Thank you very much.
And did I predict it or what? All 4 of Arnold's propositions went down. Along with the other 4. Did I mention what a waste of time and money this has been?
If your state is having an election, go VOTE!
This election can't come a moment too soon. 3 more election-related phone calls yesterday. One was legit--a call reminding poll workers to pick up their polling stuff, but the other two? Ugh. The first was a partial message on the answering machine. It was a recording of an ad that was so jumbled we had to listen to it twice to understand it. Boy I hope whoever paid for that ad got their money back. It was an alarmist message about Proposition 73. Not too long later, my least favorite of my two senators, Barbara Boxer, called me. Okay, it was a recording of her voice too, but at least hers was clear and understandable. She was also pimping her side of Prop. 73 and a no vote on Prop. 77.
I know I should just hang up on these things, but I have to admit that much like the proverbial train wreck, I feel compelled to hear what people have to say and why. I'm fascinated by how they twist the truth and use alarmist tactics on both sides to further their own gain. And really, I understand why these things work. Who doesn't want to say yes to a teacher, or a senator, or--most importantly--Warren Beatty!
Okay, I'll be glad when the election is over.
Actually, I'm surprised Barbara doesn't call me more often. In the last several months I have been vigorously exercising my right as an American citizen and part of a representational government to write to both of my senators expressing my opinion on various extremely important issues.
When I was a senior in high school we had the option of writing to our senators or congressmen for extra credit. I was, of course, the only one who took my teacher up on the offer. I wrote to the esteemed former governer Pete Wilson, and in a timely manner, asked him to oppose the first Gulf War (this was 1991 after all). He wrote me a nice letter back--I have no recollection what it said but it was vague enough to give the impression that he listened to me. My teacher nearly danced a jig when I brought it in. He put it up on the bulletin board and bragged about me to several classes. Since this was high school, I was horribly embarrassed and wished the whole thing never happened. Especially since we went to war anyway.
I was perfectly happy with my government following that, until oh, say, 2000 or so (gee, what happened in 2000?). I mumbled my way along for the first 4 or so years, until this year when suddenly a fire has been lit under my butt. Yes, I have been the Queen of Participatory Government! I've been contacting my senators, the aforementioned Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and my congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez numerous times. Days have changed since 1991, when you sent a nice letter and got a nice letter in return. These days it's all done by email. And they email me back! Okay, well, a staffer sends off a form email back, but at least they respond. I would have thought that emails especially go into a dark vacuum since they're so easy to ignore but without fail, nearly every one of my emails have been answered. They even caution against writing letters because of the Anthrax problem, they're so carefully screened it takes a very long time to get to them, apparently. And personally I'd rather my tax dollars didn't go into postage.
So anyway, I'm surprised that Barbara and Dianne aren't calling me on a regular basis since they certainly hear from me quite often. I suppose the least I could do would be to listen to their phone messages in exchange for their responding to my emails.
So our esteemed Governator has called a special election--a complete and utter waste of voters' time and money, but noooooo, we have to have it right now instead of waiting until the next general election. My tax dollars at work. Thanks Arnold!
Anyway, there are 8 statewide propositions, four HEAVILY supported by Arnold (74 through 77). In addition there are a smattering of county measures. Meh. Here's my prediction: Arnold is going down in flames for this. The opposition is heavily out in force for most of these propositions.
In the last 2 days, we have received no fewer than 4 phone calls asking for our "no" vote. Three have been live calls from school teachers opposing 3 of the propositions that directly impact either schools or unions (props 74, 75, and 76). The fourth call was from none other than Warren Beatty. Yes, the actor Warren Beatty called me! Okay, it was a recording of his voice, but I'm so thrilled that Warren thought to call ME SPECIFICALLY. In addition to the three above, Warren is also advocating a "no" vote on 77. I have yet to receive one call in favor of any of the propositions. I understand that things are different on TV, but we don't watch TV so I can't speak to that. All I know is that people keep calling us!
And the irony? We already voted. We voted absentee ballot because Kevin is working at a polling place on election day (doing his civic duty--yay!) and because it's just easier. So when the school teachers call I tell them we already voted. And then they ask which way we voted. HELLO??? Don't you know that's RUDE??? I say, "I'd rather not discuss my vote, thank you." So far I'm being polite and talking to these poor teachers who obviously aren't professional telemarketers, but if this continues, I'm going to have to get nasty. It got to the point where today the phone rang and I was actually shocked to hear my friend Wendy's voice instead of someone trying to influence my vote. Humph.
And no, I'm not going to discuss the content of the propositions or my vote. Don't you know it's rude to ask? Hee hee. Plus there are websites for and against each prop. so if you're curious, look them up yourself.
Since I can't think of much else to say, here's a meme:
1. What's for breakfast today? A granola bar
2. When is the last time you left your state/country? two weeks ago, unfortunately under very sad circumstances
3. When is the last time you lied to someone? I lie to myself all the time. It's called denial.
4. If you celebrate Christmas, what is the day typically like for you? I do celebrate Christmas but there really isn't a typical day because it changes every year. However, my mom usually cooks our traditional Christmas breakfast--yum!
5. Describe the last time you felt truly content. Every day with Kevin
6. Would you rather stand upright for 7 days straight or lie flat on your back for 7 days? Well considering I have lain in bed for days upon end, I suppose I'd do that. You can still surf the net and talk to people, and you get a lot of sleep. My feet would get sore trying to stand up that long.
7. What is your favorite fruit? Raspberries
8. How many keys are on your keychain? Four--one for my car, one for Kevin's car, one for my house, and one for my parent's house. Not quite sure why I have the last one but it's convenient at times.
9. Brag about something. I went to Target and restrained myself to buying only the 3 items I walked in there for (brown socks, a sports bra, and gold hoop sleeper earrings)
10. Ask me something. Why do birds suddenly appear?