A Tale of Two Wineries

It was the best of vacations, it was the longest of vacations…

It was the age of wine-tasting, it was the age of not knowing what the heck you were tasting…

Red wine in glassI always wanted to visit Napa Valley, but when you’re the only wine drinker in the house, it can be a hard sell. The kids were always too young, and Husband’s drink of choice is Coke.

(Although if he feels he’s had too much, he might have a beer instead.)

I needed the perfect moment to suggest a trip to Napa. A time when everything came together – when there was something of interest for everyone – a masterful stroke when no opposition was possible. Continue reading

A Recipe Worthy of a Tattoo

You remember how I said I have a tattoo, right? And that I find tattoos fascinating?

I wanted to remind you, lest you think I’m being judgmental in this post.

I recently heard of a guy who had a cookie recipe tattooed on his leg, because he lost the recipe once and didn’t want to lose it again.

My first thought was, Wow! Those must be some incredible cookies if a guy got a tattoo for them!

plate of chocolate chip cookiesSo, naturally, I made them.

Are they good? Yeah, they’re good. They’re also remarkably similar to Nestle Toll House cookies, with one very slight deviation.

Instead of one teaspoon of baking soda, you use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

Seems like you could just remember that, couldn’t you? Do you have to sit through a tattoo for it?

(Did that sound judgmental? Just a bit?)

Here’s the tattoo. If you added coconut to the mix, you can better match the hairy leg.

Chocolate chip tattoo

Do you have a recipe worthy of a tattoo?

Pokemon GO to the Park!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of Pokémon GO. And if you do live under a rock, no offense meant.
(I mean, really, I find you fascinating. Please send me a picture of your rock. I bet you have a swell bug collection.)

Anyway. Back to the game. Daughter has been taking a lot of walks lately, so I’ve been keeping her company. Come to find out, our nearby park is a goldmine, Pokémon-wise. Continue reading

Shots of Portland

Including a recipe for chocolate shots — ooooh!:)

As I mentioned in a previous post, we took a trip in Portland. Several people have asked me about it, so I decided to share some thoughts. And pictures!

Old time motel sign

Please note, this place has free TV!

First up, I have to show you where we stayed.

We had a goal this trip – avoid chains whenever possible, both restaurants and hotels. Some of the hotels we stayed in had a lot of… shall we say… character? But the rooms were clean and the owners were happy, in some cases positively elated, to see us. Continue reading

My Day Off, Waiting for the Dog to Pee

Yesterday was Dog’s annual Day of Terror at the Vet, and I’m pleased to report she did very well. She was poked, prodded and groped, and she suffered the indignity of a thermometer up her butt with noble grace.

WP_20140305_15_53_40_Pro[1] True, the lower half of my jeans were covered in white fur as she circled me nervously, but all in all she did a marvelous job.

Only she didn’t pee.

Since Dog is nearly 11-years old and takes arthritis meds, Vet recommends their Senior Screening: full blood work and urine analysis. Drawing the blood was a snap. The urine, not so much.

The technician came back to the room with Dog and the empty cup. “We’re hoping you’ll have better luck at home,” she told me.


My mission – should I care to accept it – is to collect urine from Dog, put it in the little screw top jar, and drive it straight to the vet because, as the tech put it, “We prefer it fresh.” Continue reading

I Pretend to be Daring and All That

So I’m nearly recovered from our vacation jumpand I want to tell you about the uber-exciting thing I did.

This uber-exciting thing fulfilled a childhood fantasy of mine and made me feel gosh-darn giddy and… you know… uber-excited.

I’m going to tell you about it even though you won’t find it uber-exciting. In fact, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find it mildly exciting. You’ll probably read it, scratch your head and say, “huh?”

But I don’t care. I’m going to tell about it anyway because, 1) I remain uber-excited about it and, 2) I think you’re nice and will humor me.

Please don’t let me down.

Continue reading

Say What?

Here’s something you may not know about me: I love thrift stores. If I see one, I gotta stop. This includes on vacations.

Which is why I now know Oregon has some mighty nice thrift stores. Even their Goodwill stores border on classy. At one, the outside sign said, “Goodwill Boutique.”

You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

Navy blue womens sleeveless topAnyway, I just wanted to tell you about a sleeveless top I found, not in a thrift store but in a consignment shop. Yes, it was a good deal and it looks lovely on me, but what I really want to show you is its tag.

The top was made in Italy and was new, by which I mean it still had its original store tags.  Everything, including care instructions, is in Italian. But one tag included an English translation, and I’m guessing whoever wrote it relied on Google translator.

See for yourself:clothing tags from item made in Italy

“This is strands state decorated of stone crystal product to SWAROVSKI”

(Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?)

So yeah, the little shiny things down the front are Swarovski crystals. Pretty little top for $15, don’t you think?

It brought to mind another hot deal I came upon a few years back. It was for an espresso maker, also made in Italy, also suffering slightly in translation. My favorite part from the instructions:

“Screw strongly the top of the coffeepot on the little tank but don’t prize the handle.”

Words to live by.


I bet if we compiled our favorite mistranslations, we’d have the makings of a great book. Something worthy to be read in bathrooms everywhere.

Think about it, lovely readers. And remember — screw strongly.😉

Bloom Where You’re Planted

So far on our trip, we’ve been in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon & California, and in each state we’ve seen truly beautiful places. Places worthy to call home, should we ever care to move.

IMG_0322One such place is the coastal town of Crescent City, California. A charming place, just a stone’s throw from the redwood forest. Redwoods!

It’s not a fancy town. I doubt any millionaires will be building vacation homes there any time soon. This is an honest-to-goodness coastal town, with real working fishermen, shopkeepers and restaurant owners.

But gosh, even so, I couldn’t help thinking they must be happy people.

I even said it to Husband. I said, “Gosh, these people must be happy.”

I bet every morning they wake up, take a deep breath, smell the salt air and think to themselves, “I must be the luckiest person in the world, because I live in Crescent City, California.” Continue reading