One thing to love about ND

ND allows direct to adult consumer wine shipments... gotta love this. Only 26 of the 50 states allow it, and ND is one of them. After a visit to Napa Valley this summer I've become enamoured with wine from Miner Family Vineyards. I don't drink wine very often but when I do, I want something that I enjoy! I really enjoyed their 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, but alas it is no longer available and I will have to wait until next year. I did order a few bottles of their Rosato though, I loved the crispness of this wine at the tasting and anxiously await what next year will bring. As far as I have been able to tell there isn't anyone that carries their wines locally so I've placed an order online in time for Christmas. I also sent a bottle of their 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon to my parents as part of their Christmas present. My parents had some sent home when we were out there so I know they'll love it.

If your state doesn't allow direct shipment of wine and you want information you can go to Free the Grapes... States currently allowing shipments: AK, CA, CO, CT, FL, HI, IA, ID, IL, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI


I took Wednesday - Friday off this week, so I have a 5 day weekend... woohoo!

Feeding 20 people on Thursday, so I decided rather than rush and stress, I'd the take off the day before and after and relax and enjoy the holiday.

For all the foodies that might care, here's the menu...
Turkey, brined and basted with a sage orange butter
Ham, with a brown sugar glaze
Mashed Potatoes
Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes
Egg Noodles
Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry Sauce
a variety of salads
Veggie and Relish platter
Dinner Rolls

and for dessert...
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Ice Cream

Thursday Thirteen - Children

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Favorite Children

From oldest to youngest... my nieces and nephews and 1 greatnephew (and godson)

Will (due in less than a month)

New Addition to the Family

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law had a little boy yesterday. So I have another nephew, Sebastian. He was a month early so I was pretty shocked to hear he's here already. He's in the NICU so I can't hold him yet. He's not on the nursery net yet, so I'll link in an image later.

My brother's son, Will, is due in a month, hopefully he sticks it out. My mom is hoping he'll be born on her birthday, but he's due a few days before that.

Thursday Thirteen - Favorite Smells

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Favorite Smells

In no particular order...

1. After a rainstorm
2. Fresh brewed Millstone coffee
3. Wood fire pits or campfires
4. Just baked breads
5. Just laundered linens
6. Box of new crayons or playdoh
7. Lemon or lime
8. Fresh cut grass
9. Jasmine
10. Just cut cedar
11. Drakkar on men
12. Tuscany Per Donna
13. Johnson's baby powder


I love lightening and thunderstorms. The way the air smells just after a lightening storm. Everything smells "fresh". Maybe it's the ozone giving me a buzz, but I love it. We've had a few here lately, and had one last night, and we're having one again tonight. I don't mind though, I love the patter of rain as I'm trying to sleep and love leaving windows open when it's raining. Provided the wind isn't blowing rain in them, of course. When I was younger I used to love going outside whenever it rained, twirling in it holding my face up to the sky. It's by far my favorite weather, what's yours?

Plus, my tomato plants can always use the rain.

Netflix Stalkers?

Sam Anderson has an article on Slate regarding NetFlix voyeurism. It's actually quite interesting, because I'm always interested in the types of movies people watch, books they read or music they listen to. I feel it gives a little insight into their personality. However, as a Netflix friend, you would get to see not only what they say they like, but what they actually rent. It would be like giving people a peek at my Amazon purchases and wish lists but without all the gifts purchased (since you don't rent gifts, I hope). So, the sample is a little more pure or uncontaminated. Of course, there are always the movies that you watch because everyone is talking about them and you want to be "in the know". However, when you rent the cheesy dreck 5 times, your friends would be "in the know". Do you like sharing so much information with everyone or do you keep your privacy a bit?

Thursday Thirteen - Favorite Authors

I thought I'd start with an easy one for me...

Thursday Thirteen

My Favorite Thirteen Authors

In no particular order...
1. Nick Bantock
2. Ken Follett
3. Enid Blyton
4. C.S. Lewis
5. J.R.R. Tolkien
6. Louisa May Alcott
7. Douglas Coupland
8. Jane Austin
9. Barbara Kingsolver
10. Clive Barker
11. Tom Robbins
12. J.K. Rowling
13. Madeleine L'Engle


One of the blogs that I read had a post recently referring to mixtapes. Which reminded me of a challenge, per se, that my sister put forth about a month ago. A friend of hers issued the challenge of creating a soundtrack to her life. My sister sent me her mixtape song choice compilation a few days after telling me about it. I've mulled it over off and on for about a month now and have chosen a few must have favorites. However, I still have quite a bit to choose. Mixtapes that go beyond a specific mood are always such a process for me.

So I'm just a bit curious now, what songs would you include as must have's on your life's soundtrack? Which approach would you take, a birth to current list of favorites? or songs that illustrate what you've gone through in life? pick favorite artists and find appropriate songs to fit, even if they aren't song favorites? or an entirely different approach?

I've got about half of my songs chosen, and I've been working on the rest this weekend. I'll post it when I have it done.

Vagina Monologues

My darling sister gave me tickets to the Vagina Monologues for Christmas. So, tonight a friend from work joined me at the Empire downtown. I think it was the perfect venue for it, small and cozy enough to feel more personally connected, but big enough to seat quite a few people. It was interesting, hilarious, sad, and riveting. I think Paul even would have enjoyed at least half of it, though there were a few that I think would have made him feel uncomfortable. He's a bit conservative in general. The one that touched me the most was the one regarding the Bosnian refugee women. I was just about crying. Have you seen it? Do you intend to?

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10 years ago...

On January 19th, 1996, I met the most wonderful man, and tried to blow him off. I'm truly thankful that he didn't get it, and kept talking to me anyway! He turned out to be pretty amazing and I can't imagine my life without him. Yes, this is sappy; no, I don't care. Tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Here's to another 10 years with the love of my life, the man of my dreams.

Christmas Decorations Coming Down

You ever have one of those waking dreams? The kind where something happens in your dream that causes you to become half awake and incorporate your surroundings into your dream. It's not lucid dreaming, since you have no control until you have fully awaken. I have been known to ask my husband utterly bizarre questions in this state. Often getting a bit indignant when he doesn't answer me or seem to know what on earth I'm talking about; that is until I'm fully awake. I had one of those last night. In a half-awake state I asked him several times how we were going to get out. Well in the dream I had somehow become trapped in a room, and of course in reaching in front of me to escape in my dream I encountered the headboard of my bed. Confused and perhaps a bit scared I did what any reasonable person would do, I turned to my darling (who wasn't in my dream and magically appeared) how we were going to get out. Eventually during our conversation which probably lasted about a minute, I woke up enough to realize that my surroundings were my bedroom and I was in fact not trapped. I stated as much and he promptly went back to sleep. Realistically, these are probably usually nightmares, because it always seems that something scares me or startles me into becoming half-awake. However, I can distinctly think of one where I woke up asking my hubby where we were going to keep the deer, and I can't for the life of me imagine that being a nightmare.

Oh well, since I'm fairly awake and it's the weekend after Epiphany, I figured I should go ahead and get out of bed and start gathering the Christmas decor from around the house so I can pack it away. Epiphany is the day that the Wise Men came and marks the end of Christmas in our household. Growing up the decorations went up on Christmas Eve and came down on January 6th, for my hubby they went up the weekend after Thanksgiving and came down the day after Christmas (or thereabouts). So, we melded the two a bit and put them up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but don't take them down until the weekend after Epiphany. It makes for a long Christmas season, good thing it's my favorite time of year! January 5th was Twelfth Night, perhaps when I have children I'll think of something special to mark the occasion. Right now, it simply marks the day that the Christmas decor comes down for me traditionally and the magic of winter and Christmas turns into the long wait for Spring.

So, I'm starting my morning with Peppermint Coffee and Alison Krauss and feeling very serene and excited at the same time.


When do you put your decorations up? When do you take them down? Have you ever had a "waking dream" or am I crazy? Well, maybe you shouldn't answer that last one.