Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wine Tasting in Sonoma

I went to Sonoma this weekend to visit my friend Diane and her family for a wine tasting. This is part of the spread put out by VJB Winery.
Here is the table of wine with the gorgeous gorgeous green gladiola that Diane said she got for me because I love them. Um, yes, we did enjoy ALL the wine.
Diane on the right with one of her friends.
Diane's daughter, Jen, on the right with some other guests.The hostess with the mostest with me! ;))
I have wine coming my way to Arizona in the near future. Thanks for a great evening. (The two hour wine tasting ended 7 hours later. The sign of a good party.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Birthday Continues

Birthday presents in the morning. I am not sure how this happened but we seem to open birthday presents in the morning. Simon opened a gift that had a self inflating balloon which he thought was cool.
"I know this one is books"...yeah, yeah, yeah but he is excited to read them.
Bugs, must have bugs for a 6 year old boy.
Oh, and webkinz tiger snake. Um, I thought I bought the boa constrictor. Oh well, still a snake. ;))
And a gift going in the mail. A quilted water bottle holder off to a friend for her birthday!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A pirate birthday

Simon's 6th birthday is tomorrow so I took a long weekend and we had his kid party today. I took a few of his friends and some of Hannah's too (older sister's of Simon's friend) to see Wall-E. It was ok but I was really ready for it to be done. ;))

Here is Simon and his friend waiting for lunch.

The girl side of the table.
The boy side...
plus one.

Blowing out the candles on his "cupcake" cake.

And the requisite present opening.
He got some good gifts!


Hannah went to a birthday party where they fixed her hair all fancy...
and with sparkles!We met some friends and went to a local city park that has a fun pool with a lazy river,
and lots of water shooters and a great water slide.
A gratuitous kitty photo.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hay and bathrooms

The kids & I have a joke about hay. If we see it in the field or on a truck or anywhere, someone yells "hey". If you say "WHAT" you have lost the contest.

I was driving back to the airport in Arkansas and had to take a picture of all this "hay".

I also rate how I travel by the bathroom. The worst bathroom I have ever encountered was in Siberia...did not take a photo but I do see it in my head. Still ick.

Anyway, the first time I saw these "rotating" toilet seat covers was in Louisville , Kentucky in about 1996. I was in a restaurant with some friends and we had a few adult beverages.

I was laughing so hard when I came back from the bathroom I could hardly speak because I had never seen a toilet seat cover that rotated when you pushed a button. I still laugh now.
I had not seen one since until the bathroom at the Northwest Arkansas Airport. Seeing the cover brought it all back to me and I am still laughing. Hmmm...maybe you should not ask a former microbiologist about toilet seat covers since the dirtiest place in the bathroom is probably the door handle on the way out and not the toilet seat.

Only in the south???? If anyone in the north has seen these, please let me know where. ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scenic Bentonville, AR

I was trying to find the Wal-Mart Visitor's Center and while circling I found this barber located in a "house" (aka shed) that looked like it must have only 1 chair.
I got lost during the detour on this tree lined street. Gorgeous, no??
Here is the first store Sam Walton & his brother Bud bought.
It is located on the town square. Ah, reminds me of my small town upbringing in Minnesota.
Sam's desk in the 1950's complete with guest chair aka a fruit crate. His receipt penal is the top of a fruit box.
His office in 2003 although they said he worked really hard to not actually BE in his office very much. He felt it was more important to meet and learn about people.
His wife's wedding dress from 1943.
His 1978 (I think) pick up truck he drove all the time. I guess you can take the boy out of the farm but not the farm out of the boy.
Me, outside the five and dime...just to prove I was here! ;))
P.S. Can I say I have a great neighborhood?? One of my neighbors on the next street noticed I have had a box on my porch for 2 days and called me to see if I needed her to take it in. Wow, that is a nice feeling.


This is the view within 3 minutes of driving away from the airport. Rolling VERY GREEN hills and fields. They remind me of growing up in Minnesota. You just do not see that kind of green in Arizona.
Funny thing about the Northwest Arkansas Regional can park your car right outside in the drop off and pick up zone to wait for whomever you are picking up. I don't think that is true all day but later in the evening, around 8 pm, there were probably 20 cars parked out front waiting and no airport security to make them move. That would never happen in Phoenix.

I had a late dinner at this steak restaurant. The food was good, there were peanuts on the table to shell and then you could throw your shells on the floor. Reminds me of a restaurant when I was growing up.

I had some of the best fried okra in my life at this restaurant! Light and crunchy!

Now, here is a quiz for you. What does that look like? Um, to me it looks like a wet bar in my room.
That might be a wet bar but I'd have to drive to the next county over if I wanted to put anything stronger than a soft drink in it. I kinda figured that was the case so I asked my waitress what their liquor laws were like at dinner. Not surprisingly, this is a dry county, and even if you drive to the next county, you have to go to the municipal liquor store and it is NOT open on Sunday.

Oh, and the restaurants can serve alcohol becuase they are "designated" as clubs so they can get a special license to serve alcohol.

Ah, the south. We are definitely not in Arizona anymore where you can buy adult beverages at the grocery store and even wine & beer at Target....even on Sunday but not until after 10 am.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I have been making things over the weeken.

First, black bean salsa.

1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
2 tomato (chopped and drained of seeds)
1 onion chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
2 ears of corn, cooked & cut off cob
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes
salt to taste
1 tsp minced garlic

Mix together.

I also made a sundress/beach cover over the weekend. I bought fabric that was already smocked and just sewed it together, cut off the bottom and made a tie for around her neck.
Off to the home of the home of Wal-Mart tomorrow, Bentonville, AR. I hear there is a Wal-Mart museum. Maybe you will all get a tour.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I don't know why I LOVE gladiola but I do......
They had bunches at the grocery store for $3.99 a bunch so, I bought two bunches.
Hapy Friday!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Well, Simon always seems to think he is TINY. Last night was no exception...he thinks he fits well into the IKEA cat tent. He does but not for much longer.
Knitting...I am over 1/2 way done with the flutter scarf pattern. Birdsong is such an enabler!!! ;))
Not really....blogland exposes me to many patterns I might never find otherwise. It is an easy knit and I am looking forward to finishing soon.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


My children like to cook...and I sure do love it! Simon is mixing his very impressive Mac & Cheese for dinner. He thinks he made a whole meal and we all need to start somewhere.

Finally bought some cordial glasses for the Limoncello. Cost Plus for $1.79 each. Reminds me of drinking Samuca.
I have been asked for the Limoncello recipe so here it is....

8 thick-skinned lemons (Eureka, Lisbon or Citron) 1 bottles (750 ml each) 100-proof vodka or Everclear Grain Alcohol 2.25 cups sugar 2.5 cups water
INSTRUCTIONS: Wash the lemons in hot water before you start. Remove the peel with a vegetable peeler, removing all the white pith on the back of the peel by scraping with a knife, and put the peels in a 4-quart Mason jar.
Add 1 bottle of vodka and stir. Cover the jar, date it, and put it to rest in a dark cabinet at room temperature.
After 20 days, take out the vodka-lemon mixture. In a saucepan set over high heat, stir the sugar and water together and boil for 5 minutes. Let the sugar syrup cool completely in the pan, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar syrup to the vodka-lemon mixture along with the second bottle of vodka. Stir well to combine. Replace the cover on the jar and note the finish date.
Return it to the dark cabinet and store for 20 more days.
At Day 40, remove the limoncello from the cabinet. Strain the mixture and discard the lemon peel. Pour into clean bottles with caps or decorative corked bottles. Put one bottle in the freezer, and store the other in the pantry until the one in the freezer is used up.