Apr 28, 2010


More on our trip.....

We took a group tour while we were in  Napa one day
 and the next day we went on a private tour. 
Our last day we went out on our own.
Both of tours were with the same company and
the itineraries were not set on either tour until the drivers talked with us and everyone
to find out what we wanted and where we wanted to go. 
We both thought the group tour was a lot of fun because we were able to meet people 
and our driver Kevin was great.

Probably the best part is that they do not cater or contract with the larger/touristy wineries,
but had great connections with the smaller family owned ones. 

This is Oakville Grocery,
a little general store where you can get great gourmet picnics and snacks. 

Some pictures of the different wineries we went to:

dipping a bottle in gold wax
This winery was releasing a special bottle of wine the next day and let our group help them dip the bottles.

down in a cave at a barrel tasting

They hung artificial grapes up for camera happy people like me! 

In reality, this is what the vines looked like.
They call this time of year "Bud Season".

I would love to go back in the fall and see all of the grapes hanging on the vines!

This is a little more elaborate winery.

There was italian opera playing, chandeliers and candles everywhere down in this cave.

The man that owns this winery imported every stone of this castle from Italy.
This was a little touristy and we didn't want to pay to go in, we just walked around the grounds
and enjoyed the views. 


Apr 27, 2010


Well, we are back from Napa and we had a wonderful time. Napa Valley is a beautiful place. I must say I wasn't expecting it to be so pretty. This was the first time in our vacation history that I haven't been ready to get back home. It was a was so much fun. We ate and drank our way through Napa  (and I am paying for it now).

The older girls took turns coming home from school and stayed with #3 and the dogs. They did a good job. This is the first time we have ever left them home alone. I don't tend to do things like this too easily.
I think they were very ready for us to be home. I think the dogs gave them a run for their money!

I am having a hard time deciding which of the 350+ pictures to post so I thought I'd break it down into several days.

We left Raleigh at 6:30 am and we landed in Sacramento a little after lunchtime. We had an hours drive to Napa and we drove straight Silver Oak Winery. The man of the house made a reservation for us  there. That was one of his "must see" places. We did a private wine tasting and food pairing.  We learned so much.  I am not a big drinker and we definitely are not big party people.  I would rather have a glass of wine over an all out party any day.

The main lobby was very impressive.

On our tour we walked through the barrel room, I wish you could smell all of the oak barrels.

We stayed at the Vintage Inn in Yountville. 

All of the rooms are in little cottages, down little landscaped paths. 
It was so nice and peaceful.

That night we went to eat at Redd. Of all of the restaurants we went to it was my least favorite.
The food was good, but overall it was a little too stuffy  and quiet for me.
Since we were still on east coast time, we could not wait to get back to our room and go to sleep.

We had to get up early for our hot air balloon trip the next morning. 

Another 5:30 am start to the day!

Two early mornings in a row does not equal good eyes!!!

The view.....

...another balloon...

Getting ready to land by opening up the top and letting the hot air out.

So glad this is not my job! 
They were wringing the air out of the balloon and it was a very intense job.

We went of a group tour after breakfast and saw four different wineries.
Those pictures are coming tomorrow!

Apr 20, 2010


In my next life I want to come back as my husband.

We (he and I) are leaving for Napa on Wednesday and  he evidently had nothing to do yesterday. Me? I lost count of the things I had to do.

Some of the things I did yesterday (afternoon):

  • washed EVERBODY'S clothes, including college student's things she left at home for me to do
  • put together school outfits, soccer practice uniforms, soccer game uniforms and PE clothes for #3 and laid them all out in an organized fashion on her bed including matching earrings and shoes
  • planned meals and bought groceries for the days I will be gone
  • made spaghetti sauce while making tonight's dinner to put in fridge to be eaten while I am gone
  • marinated chicken and am planning to grill tomorrow morning to store in fridge..... see above
  • made too many phone calls ironing out carpool details 
  • packed, unpacked after looking up weather forecast and repacked
  • went to Petsmart to have ID tags made for two little cute puppies
  • watered all of the plants
  • had a pedicure 
  • went to a soccer game
  • called out science questions and learned more than I ever wanted to know about the atmosphere

Some of the things he did yesterday:

  • went to soccer game
  • ate half of the spaghetti sauce that was supposed to be for the girls while we were gone
  • stood in kitchen and watched a hockey game
  • talked about packing
  • laid on bed and watched poker
  • decided to pack Tuesday night
  • asked me around 11:30 PM if there was anything I needed him to do
  • asked me around 11:45 PM if I was going to wash #3's soccer uniform before going to bed
I guess I will cut him some slack and give him bonus points for going to work yesterday. I had to stay home to wait for the lawnmower repairman. He was supposed to come between 8:00 and 1:00. He never showed and we have rescheduled him for next week. I wasted valuable time. 

Before we ever go anywhere, my To Do list always is overwhelming. The man of the house has the ability to just not do things and not worry about the things he doesn't do. He can pack his little bit of clothes in fifteen minutes (after asking me if navy and khaki go together one more time), leave the house and know that everything has been taken care of.  Me, I will need a vacation from all of the vacation prep! 

Next stop..... Napa Valley!

Apr 16, 2010


 I am working on updating my frontporch.

We have a white resin wicker furniture set that I would love to update  with some of the darker looks that are popular now, but I cannot see spending that money right now.  There are other things I want to do in the house too, so I will have to stick with the white furniture for now. But I am so tired of the dark green and white striped cushions. 

They are old and dingy and in desperate need of being replaced. Most importantly, last May I took the covers off and washed them  and the seams feel apart. All last summer I stitched, glued and pinned them together just to make due. I had planned for this to be my project over the winter, but when my got sick, everything else didn't get done.

 I thought I was going to have someone make new cushions, but  I have been calling and pricing it and was amazed at how much it was going to cost to have them made. For the most part, it would run about $90 for just the labor per cushion. I have 13 deep seating cushions, two rocking chairs, one swing and an ottoman. I would also have to buy the fabric and the new cushion inserts. By the time I do that I might as well by the new furniture! 

I did go yesterday and looked at outdoor fabrics and   brought home some samples to play with.

I did find some cushions in Ballard Design and they have some of the same fabrics that I have been looking at and the cushions are almost the exact measurements as mine.  

I love this one!

I think I want to do this black and white fabric on the sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman. On the swing, rockers and pillows I want to do something bright, maybe a bright apple green. I could also add a third color. 

I have to wooden rockers that I want to paint a high gloss black as well and a few plant stands. I also have always wanted to paint the front door a bright color. 

It is black now,

but, maybe one of these colors would be fun!



I love our porch and cannot wait to update it. 

We just might have to have a 
"porch party" when it is finished!

Apr 15, 2010


I have seen on several blogs the old
"What's in my purse"

I haven't changed out my purse in a while
and since I was in the process of doing that, 
I took some pictures. 

Exciting, I know. 

I got this purse for Christmas.
Sometimes it does pay to have three daughters
between the ages of 20 and 13 and a husband that will just obliviously go along for the ride
when they are shopping for mom at Christmas. 
It was surprise.
They were proud of themselves
and so was I.

There isn't anything too exciting inside. 

ugly wallet
Loft coupons
reading glasses
4 pink lip glosses.. i guess just in case I loose one or three
#3's lollipops she took to the movie last Friday
gum, breath strips and Altoids
a dog tag for Lola
lip balm
pencil (?)
a keychain with my gym card and other store savings cards on it
and a purse hanger that I have never used

I honestly keep more "stuff" in my car than I keep in my purse. 
That is where I keep a cosmetic bag, comb, hairspray, disposable toothbrushes....
all of the important things. 

Don't you love it when your purse is all cleaned out and organized?
I love it!
It just makes room for more stuff!

Apr 13, 2010


I always look forward to Friday afternoons. It just feels different. We usually either go to dinner or go to a movie. A lot of times we do both. This past Friday we went to see Date Night. I was so happy that we did because #3 and the man of the house wanted to go see Clash of the Titans. We take turns picking out the movies and since it was two against one I just knew I was going to be sitting at a movie I didn't really want to see. Anyways, Date Night was really good. It was funny. #3 leaned over during the movie and said that she was glad we decided to see it, so it passed with her too. 

This is what we left at home...... Bubbles in charge of the puppies! I am not sure if he is sitting with them out of kindness or if he taunting them with his freedom.  Either way, Charlie and Lola really didn't look too concerned or jealous.

Saturday morning was a disaster for me! #3 was taking the ACT and she was not happy at all that we had signed her up to take it. The test site was far away.... on another planet.... so we even had to get up extra extra early to allow time to get there. The man of the house took her but from there he had to go to a class all day, so I was to pick her up and get her to her soccer game. I left the house in plenty of time to drive the 25 miles to get her, but realized about five miles away from home that I had not brought my purse. I had my arms full of soccer equipment when I left my house so I didn't realize that I didn't have it. I had no money except for the change in the ashtray and my low fuel light had just come on. I also didn't have my license.  I had 50 miles to go before empty so at some point I would have to get gas. I called home and had #1 look for my purse and she didn't find it. I told her to quickly jump into her car and bring me some money and her credit card. While I waited for her, #3 called to say she was finished and standing "all alone" in front of the school.  She was at a school that was literally out in the middle of nowhere.  So then I starting  imagining all sorts of bad things, started to panic and called the man of the house. Luckily he was just starting a lunch break and was close enough to #3 that he could go get her and meet me somewhere. #1 finally showed up and I took her wallet, filled up my car and finally was on my way. I called the theater to see if a purse had been turned in from the previous night, but nothing had. I then called back home and had #1 "carefully" search for it. THANK GOODNESS - she found it under some towels on a chair in my room. 

The soccer team ended up losing their game and I got sunburned...... forgot my sunscreen too.

Saturday night, the hubs and I went out to eat.  We are going to Napa next week and we talked about our trip and made plans.  We are going on a private tour one day and we have to tell our driver what five wineries we would like to visit and we only know of two so far. We also are doing a hot air ballon ride one morning and I cannot wait! I am excited about our trip, but getting everything settled at home before we leave is really a hard job.  There will plenty of more about the trip later!!

Sunday, I stayed home while #3 and her dad went to an out of town soccer game. (Yes, that is all we do!) I was supposed to go shopping and get somethings for the trip, but I never made it past the laundry. 
So that is on my list of things to do this week. 

Yep, boring post. I am struggling with it today. 

Apr 9, 2010



#2 spent most of her week painting and decorating a cooler for her BF. His fraternity's formal is this weekend and like other fraternities and sororities at other schools there is a tradition of the girls decorating coolers. 

She was supposed to come home yesterday and pick up her dress, but she was "too busy" painting and sketching.  I had to take it to her last night along with some more white and black paint and paint brushes. 

She told me on the phone this morning that she was so tired because she stayed up "a really long time" working on it.

 I sure do wish she spent this amount of time on her design projects!!

I think she did a great job. I know it will be one of the most original ones there and I know she is proud of it.  She promises she will send me better pictures of it and will take a lot of pictures this weekend. 

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why all of these college boys need these coolers.....

I guess it must be for those picnic lunches and bologna sandwiches.

Silly me.

Apr 6, 2010


Spring has sprung,
but we aren't having typical springlike weather around here.
Today it is going to be hot.
For the third day in a row it is going to be 90' or more. 
Everything is blooming and the leaves showed up over night. 

This is my view from my front porch. 

The cherry trees were blooming last week, but the flowers quickly faded and now there are
leaves replacing those beautiful pink and white flowers.

My Camellias are blooming, but aren't lasting long because of the heat.
They don't like it.

The bumble bees are busy....busy as bees.

They have work to do.....

a lot of pollinating going on!

Critters have woken up and moved on to bigger and better things.

I too have a lot of work to do to......
unpollinating things.

This is the worst year that I can remember.
The pollen is thick and everywhere.

The pool is open and heated, but noone wants to swim because there is a green film floating on top. 

Someone that I know can't stop sneezing.......... 

probably because she can't keep her nose off of the ground.

I mopped yesterday afternoon..........

guess I should have waited.

Anyone know a raindance? 

I would love a "big ol fat rain",
but would settle for a "little bitty stingin rain"
right about now.

Do you know what movie that is from?


What gives?

I updated some of my settings on blogger.

I tried to email my post and the pictures wouldn't go through. All of the fonts ended up
 "CRAZY" and different sizes and 
I cannot fix them.
 I updated the the way I "insert images" and
it it took me forever to get the hang of it and get things in the right places.