Taking a “selfie” is hard enough…. but you try taking one with 3 people.
One of whom, likes to horse around.
((hug)) you Elise.

Anyhoo!!! Go Giants!!!
Tonight was Game 1 of the NLCS.
Which they won with style, and grace.
Much like my beloved Noles. (*notice the tshirt*)





So today I took a day trip with Tim. Just the two (2) of us. Elise really wasn’t up for going out. She has seemed more tired lately. I understand that need to just retreat into her shell, and hibernate. I get that way sometimes too. Other than taking trips to the store, or running errands, she is attached to Tim. She rarely has the house to herself, and gets to just vegetate.

So after being reassured by her, and Tim, that she was okay. That she really didn’t feel left out, in some regards. And that for her, she understood that I wasn’t upset at her not joining us. That I didn’t feel short-changed, that she didn’t want to come along. We headed off for a day trip adventure in the Foothills.

Tim had planned a route for us. 😀 We headed up, along the interstate 80, turning off onto SR49, into the foothills. More like mountains if you ask me. LoL We went up 1,000 feet above sea level. That’s pretty far up, for me. Especially considering that I’m the one doing the driving. And the roads along mountain, (okay hills) are not just straight lines. They are curvy things, that go back and forth. Hugging the side of the mountain.

We drove up to Auburn (not the SEC school 😉 ) and took a little tour of the town, before heading out on the winding road, that is SR49. I saw a winery, advertising, the way that they do, with a sign about hours, now open, etc. I missed the turn of course, so I made a U-Turn. Tim wasn’t sure that they would be open, but I said, let’s give it a shot. Who knows. It could be some undiscovered gem. It was.

Hart 2 Hart was one of those great little wineries. Complete with tasting room. Things for sale, which Elise would have loved. They had facilities that made it easy for Tim and I to get around. The patroness was very accommodating. We were having a lovely tasting of some interesting grapes that I don’t normally see in FL.

Then an RV of people came in. There was a group, traveling around for the day, complete with a couple of children. All, but 1, of the adults, doing some tastings. Having a good time. Then of course, did what tourists do… wanted something for free. 🙂 The elder of ladies stated, in that ‘I can’t believe this’ voice: “What do you mean there is a $5.00 tasting fee? We were just here a couple of months (meaning: a year) ago, I never had to pay before.”

Please note: That more and more wineries are going with such a fee. This particular place went beyond what is normally served, by not only giving you back your $5.00 towards any purchase; BUT also a snacking plate, with meats / cheeses / crackers / nuts. Heck, even the small wine shop, that I love to shop at, has a Tasting Fee, when they do their monthly tastings. That they, also return to you, against any purchase.

I have to hand it to the owners. They did the right thing. He kindly explained to the complaining woman, that unfortunately they were getting large groups of people in limos, (* He did good not to mention their RV *) who were coming in and just drinking for free. They were losing money, because they were ‘tasting’ more than they were selling. This offered to keep their wines at a lower fee, instead of having to increase the prices to cover such a loss.

We found a new grape that I like a great deal: Voignier. (*check spelling*). It’s very much like the Sauv Blanc that I like, with the citrus finish. So that bottle, along with a red blend, that I actually enjoyed, are coming to me later this week. Knowing that I am not a great big red drinker, to find one that I enjoy, I think make Tim’s day. He’s a big Merlot fan. I’m trying to expand my palate.

We had good time, then drove along the curvy road, and went to the place that Tim had destined would be our destination. Gold Hill Winery. Recent winners of the California State Faire. Which gave them a write-up in the local papers. Which is why Tim picked it for our adventure. Another winner, despite the crowds. I think half of the bay area had also picked this winery, for their destination. Probably because of the newspaper article.

The male half of their staff was great, the female, must have been having a bad day. (shrug) Noticing that we were unable to come inside to sample the mustards, he brought us our own sampling plate. She on the other hand, questioned me, as to the type of wine I had just sampled, when I asked for my next one. There was little room inside, so we were forced to stay out on the balcony. The noise level was deafening, in their room.

Despite the crowds, and overly stressed patroness, we sat upon their balcony and enjoyed the scenery of rows of grapes, on vines. The beautiful day. The wine. Although Tim enjoyed a local brewed beer. A treat for him. It was nice to just sit in quiet enjoyment of the day.

For Elise, she said that it was her greatest blessing. She didn’t have to worry about Tim; because she knew that I would take good care of him.

Another 4th of July – another cold day in Sacramento. LoL

It’s so funny, that people here think that it’s hot. And it is over 100*. But it feels chilly to me. The temps are only in the 80’s and 90’s at home, but it’s hotter there.

Elise and I did a great job today with our teamwork. We managed to get Tim dialyzed and still cooked up Macaroni salad and Potatoe salad. As well, as breakfast and some communications with people in the world, via email accounts. We rock!

Boogie and her entourage showed up around 7pm, just in time for our Shrimp and Chicken kabobs. Elise and I had fun with a countertop of veggies and skewers. Tim did his best to not laugh at us too much.

Colin, the master of fireworks gave us a spectacular show. I was part of the pre-show entertainment, by throwing on long pants, under my dress; and Tim’s large jacket. Hello… it was dropping down below 70*!

The piece de resistance – The Birthday Cake that Elise got for the occasion.

Love my friends' sense of humor.  And it was lemon... which is sooo yummy with the fresh raspberries.

Love my friends’ sense of humor. And it was lemon… which is sooo yummy with the fresh raspberries.

I love these new traditions that we are creating. My Western Family. *sigh*

So at Elise and Tim’s house, on Christmas morning, its a tradition to have a Waffle Breakfast. This was a tradition started by their girlfriend, Janice. Who shared it with them, and their children; Colin, Scott and Jennifer. Jennifer still keeps the tradition. 🙂

Jennifer came over on Christmas morning and began the ordeal of cooking. She made bacon, sausage, and waffles. We sliced fresh from the tree, oranges and squeezed some, for mimosas. She sets an amazing table.

It was great food! Its filling enough, that I’m sure I won’t have room for dinner tonight.

A feast fit for a King... Colin waiting patiently for his waffle.

A feast fit for a King… Colin waiting patiently for his waffle.

Yummmm.  Fresh from the griddle.  :)

Yummmm. Fresh from the griddle. 🙂

Jennifer:  The Waffle Queen.

Jennifer: The Waffle Queen.

I like this idea. Gifting all of the presents on the night before, so we can sleep in late. 🙂 LoL

Elise made a beautiful dinner of Prime Rib, Yorkshire pudding, and veggies. She is so sweet to accommodate me and my dietary desires; that she made my Yorkshire pudding in butter, instead of the meat drippings. I also got to have some Scallops. Which I Scampi’ed the way that Marvin showed me. He’d be proud of me.

I loved watching Boogie do all of the passing out of presents. Watching people’s faces light up, and the gratitude expressed for such a gift. Elise’s cross-word pajama pants fit perfectly. So did Tim’s new blue shirt. Colin liked his “Grill Master” ornament and commented that he really did have a hankering for Mountain Dew, about it being his favorite drink; on the vintage T-shirt I had gotten him.

When everything was eaten, and all cleaned up; the kisses exchanged and the presents packed away, I got to do my favorite part. Sit by a fire, watch the tree twinkle, and listen to caroles on the radio.

So while I was not with my kids tonight; nor will I be there tomorrow to see their faces over their Santa gifts; I did have a very nice holiday. Besides, I will get to sleep late. So there’s a plus.

I love this time of the year… the crisp nights, that make sitting by a fire even better. I like a good bonfire, and good friends around it. This year it was just my children, and their friends. Although, my parents showed up, they didn’t participate. They just wanted to give the children, the gifts that they had bought. Which is fine, I guess.

Between Momma’s main dish, of Chicken Enchiladas – the gift box that Tim and Elise sent – and the leftovers in my fridge… we put on quite a spread. I wish I had thought to take photos of the table. It was beautiful. Full of bright colors and things that make your mouth water. Everyone got enough to eat. Which is the important part.

Everyone loved their gifts. The girls oohhh and aaahhh over their Spa Gift Certificates. Russell had to finally be convinced to go to bed. He and Caleb were up for over an hour, after everything was put away, still playing with his new car track. LoL

Tomorrow is the Community Circle at Kelli’s. I am so looking forward to going. I love standing in the circle with my brothers and sisters. Singing our gratitude into the world. Our candles reminding me that we are all flames of love.

I wish that Bronwyn were joining us. She has decided to go to her friend Maddie’s family’s Christmas party, instead. It saddens me. I wish that she wanted to spend more time with her family. She is a princess and social butterfly; which won’t be contained.

Sunday I fly out to Dallas, then onto Sacramento. I’m excited to spend some time with my friends. I wasn’t so sure when Elise and Tim insisted that I come out for the holidays. After all, this is the time to spend with family; and I don’t want to be a bother. They insist that I am family.

It will definitely beat sitting here in FL, working overtime and doing what I can to NOT be at home; alone.

Elise knows how to cook!
She stopped by the Farmer’s market today and brought home the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes, and a lemon cucumber. Yummmmmmm