Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Festivities!

What a GREAT weekend!

One of my besties came to visit me!

AND we went on a wine tasting tour!

Such fun!

My friend Heidi came to visit me for the Fall edition of the Roam the Rogue winery tour. You may recall that my friends Kelsey and Jennifer came to visit me in May for the spring edition of the Roam the Rogue tour. Heidi wasn't able to join us that weekend, but she came down for the Fall edition! YAY!

As usual, my darling hubby played chauffeur for us ladies! He is such a good sport!

So here's how it went down. Heidi headed down Friday evening; we ordered pizza from our favorite pizza joint, Kaleidoscope pizza. We hung out at the house and visited, watched the last couple innings of the world series (Congrats to the Cardinals!) and drank a little vino. A very lovely evening of catching up.

Saturday we drank a little coffee and then got ready to hit the wineries. We headed out to Butte Falls, Oregon to have breakfast at the Butte Falls Cafe. Chris and I had lunch there during his vacation week in July. Breakfast was delicious and then we headed out to our first stop.

LaBrasseur vineyard was the first stop. We tasted a 2010 Marli Joy white and a 2009 Ember red. We stopped at this winery on Chris' vacation in July, too. A lovely family owned winery; very friendly and worth the drive. There was a very nice chatty lady also on the tour that we had some good laughs with. Her name was Jolene.

Next up was Crater Lake Cellars in Shady Cove, Oregon. Most of the wineries were only tasting two or three of their varietals, but Crater Lake had several options. I tasted both a dry and a sweet Riesling, which probably were my favorites of the tour, and a spicy Syrah. Chris also had their 2009 Grenache. We bumped into Jolene again and had more good visits and laughs with her. Also, super funny in a "it's a small world" kind of way: Heidi ran into a client of hers that lives down here! So fun. This was our first time at Crater Lake Cellars.

Then we be bopped over to Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point, Oregon. This was also a first time visit for us. We tasted 2009 Marsanne and a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Heidi picked up some little trinkets from this winery. They had a great bunch of great little gifts in their tasting room. The tasting room is in an old farm house. Very cool. Beautiful scenery, too.

After that we headed across the highway to The Butcher Shop to pick up some steaks and 30% off fresh seafood! I got some rib eyes and some fresh, local salmon and some halibut! I had brought the cooler just for this purpose. I love the Butcher Shop!

Then we took off for Cliff Creek Cellars. This winery was on the Spring tour. There we tasted a 2010 Pink Pink Wine Rose and a 2005 Syrah. This is also a family owned winery and we got a chance to chat with the owner and get a lot of history about the winery. I ran into a classmate from the community college. We sat in the sun, sipped wine and told stories. It was very lovely. The sun was shining and it really was a great day.

Next to last stop was Folin Cellars. Folin Cellars is a very "Tuscan", California style winery. It is very beautiful, with a big colored concrete patio, gorgeous views of the north side of the Table Rocks, and just a lovely ambiance. We took a few fun pictures here. We also tasted a 2007 Tempranillo and a 2007 Syrah. I am NOT a fan of Tempranillo. It is just...I don't even know how to describe it. Chris does like it and he says it has an earthy flavor.

Our last stop of the day was Del Rio Vineyards. There we tasted a 2009 Chardonnay, a 2009 Pinot Noir and their signature Rose Jolee. I really enjoyed both the Chardonnay and the Rose Jolee. The Chardonnay is not oak-y at all and the Rose Jolee has a bit of carbonation and sweetness. Refreshing. Del Rio paired the Chardonnay with a Wild Mushroom Soup that was very tasty. I got the recipe and will be, as usual, adding my own little tweaks to it. I'll share it with you when I do!

We had an excellent day tasting many different lovely wines. We were good girls and didn't over imbibe. We skipped the last three wineries on the tour: Daisy Creek Vineyards, Ledger David Cellars and Roxy Ann Winery for a couple of reasons. First, when we did the Spring Tour we had a somewhat negative experience at the Daisy Creek tasting room. They were very unorganized, slow to pour and too busy chatting with (by appearances only) their *preferred* clientele. (We were dressed casually.) They also were a little militant about their snacks. So, we didn't really want to go back there. The other reason was that by the time we wrapped it up at Del Rio we had been tasting from about noon to 5, and the tour was over at 5. Whew! What a day! We skipped Roxy Ann because Heidi has gone tasting there with us before, and we can go back there anytime and taste for free!

The weather was fabulous for us. Dry and sunny, but not too hot. A really perfect fall day.

But wait! That is NOT all!!

After we got done with the wine tour we came home and did this:

Ha! Aren't they great?!

From left to right: Heidi's pumpkin, Chris' two pumpkins and then my two pumpkins!

After that we were ready for bed!

A lovely fun time was had by all! It was great to have Heidi visit for the weekend, as usual. We had lots of laughs and tons of fun. I'm already looking forward to our next visit!

In the meantime, today was spent cleaning house, doing homework and watching football, of course!

Sad day for the Seahawks and the Cowboys! Sheesh! Great day for the Rams and the Eagles!

I also made a yummy soup for dinner, but I have a few ideas for some tweaks, so will let you know about that one after I make it again.

Well, before I turn into a pumpkin, it's time to head to bed! Have a great week all!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Friday Five 2

I really didn't mean to disappear this week, but it is midterm week people! Is it difficult for anyone else to believe that we are already halfway through Fall 2011 Term at school??? In fact, just as I am typing this I am struggling with the way it looks because the sentences are not double spaced on the page, and I have been writing lots of papers and they all, of course, must be double spaced! This is causing me some brain trauma right now! lol!

Anyway, mid terms. I only had two tests, but it is about this point in the term that things get busy and we start having a lot of stuff DUE and have to be looking forward to the end of the term to be preparing for final papers and projects and whatnot. So, I've been a little busy with school.

PLUS we had a houseguest again this week for a couple of nights. Chris' friend/coworker Charlie (who we also go boating/camping with) was here in town for work for a couple of days! It was nice for them to hang out and for Chris to have someone to work with for a change.

So, I haven't had a lot of free time this week, and I haven't really felt 100% this week, either.

I have another houseguest coming tonight to spend the weekend, too! Crazy!

Onto the Friday Five!

1. What I am Reading:

Okay, I actually haven't started reading it yet, but it just came out this week and I had pre-ordered it on amazon, so I have it and am going to read it....just as soon as I have a spare 3-4 hours.

From the website:

In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa’s House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side – and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx’s gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow.
But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

Well, I for one, can't wait to find out if Zoey is really safe and if she truly knows those who are closest to her!

2. What I am Listening To:

I am still loving on Adele...although this week I have moved on to "Rumor Has It" and "Turning Tables"...both of which I will belt out with feeling while on the freeway to school. Doesn't everyone do that?

3. What I'm Watching:

Uhm...nothing? I don't have time for TV, and I only make time for football this time of year. Sunday and Monday nights are football night in America! Although I am intrigued by the two new shows: Grimm and Once Upon A Time. Both look interesting, but at this point I can't get involved with a new show. Chris is excited about Beavis and Butt Head coming back.

4. What I am Eating:

Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal

1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 c oats
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
2 teaspoons brown sugar
sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves

Bring coconut milk and pumpkin to a boil, add oats and reduce heat, stirring periodically to prevent sticking, for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, stir and serve!


5. What I am pinning Thinking:

I am loving all the inspiration for food I get off of all the blogs I read. It has really opened my eyes to some easy and interesting food combinations. I eat stuff (like the oatmeal) and think WHY didn't I think of this before? It is SO easy and good.

Alrighty gang...time for me to skedaddle...this was supposed to take about 5 minutes but due to an excruciatingly slow internet connection (for NO reason!) it has taken more than 20! GAH!

Have a great Friday everyone! Share your Friday Five in the comments!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Charter Fishing

Chris and I have talked about going Charter Fishing, oh, about a million times in the almost twenty years we have been together. Guess what!? We finally got around to it!

We left Friday afternoon and headed toward the coast. We got a much later start than anticipated because (of course) Chris' pager went off mid-morning and he had to drive EAST to Klamath Falls, which is about an hour and a half in the wrong direction. Then he had to fix an elevator, and then he had to drive an hour and a half back home. AND THEN we finally were able to get on the road heading the proper direction (WEST-which is where the ocean is located...well at least here on the "west" coast). Anyway, we had planned to have dinner at the beach, but our late start meant we were stopping somewhere along the way.

Let me interject here just for a moment that there really isn't much "along the way" between here and the beach. It is miles and miles of highway and "blink and you miss them" towns. In fact, the couple of times prior to this that we have stopped along the way, it was either really not good, or the places were all closed because it was Sunday afternoon and who on God's Geen Earth eats at a restaurant on a highway home from the beach on a Sunday Afternoon?!?!  Apparently no one, because the restaurants were all closed.

Anyway, just outside of Grants Pass there is a little, unassuming looking "house" that has been converted to a "restaurant". Chris drives by it every time he heads out to work at the beach and thinks" I wonder if that place is any good?" They always have Friday specials like Prime Rib or Rib eye steak dinners. Well, we decided to stop and check out the Rib Eye special.

At first, I must tell you I was a little concerned. We walked into a very dark bar, with a very small (4 tables) dining area. The actual bar was already full with patrons at 5:15 pm on a Friday night. We sat at one of the four empty tables. In the dark. The music was loud (Marvin Gaye!) and the crowd at the bar was boisterous.

After a moment or two the bartender woman came to our table to get our order. She was friendly. She took our drink order and left. She came back and I inquired as to the name of the establishment. She said "Kate's Redwood Bar and Grill, and I would be Kate."  She came back a minute or two later and asked if we were "new". LOL I told her we weren't "new people" but that it was our first time stopping in at the restaurant. She then proceeded to inquire as to where we were from, and we chatted a bit. Then she sent one of the bar patron locals over to say hi, introduce herself and make friendly. Then she sent her daughter, who works there with her, over to say hi, introduce herself and make friendly. It was the funniest, friendliest welcome I have ever had to a little hole in the wall place ever! It was great! We laughed and joked and then had a delicious dinner of Rib Eye, mashed potatoes with the fixin's mixed in, green beans and then dessert (all for $19!!). The desserts were awesome...a little tiramisu and a little carrot cake. YUM. Chris said he would go back there just for the desserts! So, even though from the outside it is a little uhm...questionable (really it is perfectly nice, but I always question little bars on the side of the highway), it is really a great, casual, fun place to go that also has great food! There were a ton of regulars that stopped by and everyone just ordered the special. No one was looking at a "menu". "We're gonna have the special, Kate!" Anyway, if you ever are driving to the beach outside of Grants Pass, Oregon and need to make a pit stop, check out Kate's Redwood Bar and Grill at 12235 Redwood Hwy, Wilderville Oregon. Tell Kate that Chris and Corrie sent you!

After that we headed off down the highway to Brookings. We stayed, as usual, at the Best Western Beach Front Inn. Every room has a balcony that looks out at the ocean. It was so gorgeous! Cool, but not cold. The sky was clear; we could see the stars and the Milky Way. We could hear the clanging of the bell on the bouys and the fog horns. We enjoyed a bottle of 4 buck chuck and headed to bed. Unfortunately, we hardly slept due to a variety of factors. It made for a long night, especially since we had to be up EARLY (5:30!) to get ready, have some breakfast and make it to the charter boat. Let's just say I was a little, uhm, grumpy first thing in the morning after a night of almost no sleep, which was preceeded by 3 nights of very little sleep. FUN FUN.

Don't I look lovely first thing in the morning after no sleep? Uh..Not.

Chris looks a bit more awake.
It was dark and chilly when we first boarded our vessel, the Super~Star. The sun was just rising and the sky getting light by the time we headed out to the ocean. There was about 20 people on the charter. We headed north out of Brookings-Harbor for about 20 minutes or so. The Super~Star was built in 1977 and is a fiberglass hull fishing boat, with a maximum speed of 16 knotts.

As we reached our first fishing hole the sun rose brilliantly above the coast range mountains and glittered like gold across the mostly calm (for the ocean) water. Speaking of, the water was gorgeous all day. It wasn't rough at all. We, of course, did experience a few unexpected swells, but mostly it was just a really beautiful day with gorgeous water, cloudless blue skies as far as the eye could see, and sun sun sun!

We had worn multiple layers of jackets and sweatshirts, brought gloves and hats, but forgot our sunglasses! We could have used them. We were quite thankful for the multiple layers, because we layered them on and off and on as the day went on and depending on if the side we were fishing off of was facing the sun or in the shade. There was a bit of a chilly breeze, so if we were in the shady side it could get pretty cool.

Now the important stuff! We were fishing for a variety of rock fish and ling cod primarily. We started fishing, poles in the water, by 7:45 or so. IMMEDIATELY people started getting bites and we started hauling in black snapper, some yellow tail and ling cod. BAM. Bam. Bam. People pulling them in all around us, and we were, too! A couple different people on the back of the boat immediately hauled in HUGE ling cod (which are UGLY!).

It was unfortunate that salmon season in the ocean was closed because 3 different big, beautiful salmon were caught yesterday. We had to let them all go! We didn't catch any sharks or other crazy things. One guy caught a "china". Not sure, but it was an unusal fish to be catching that time of year, according to one of the boat hands. A few people pulled in some mackeral, including Chris, which the boat guys told him to leave on his rig to use as bait. In all, I ended up catching 1 medium ling cod, a couple different black snapper and two yellow tail. Chris caught several black snapper, a yellow tail and the mackeral. He didn't catch a cod :( bummer.

The cool thing? The boat crew made sure that everyone reached their limit on rockfish. Basically, people like me got the benefit of the better fishermen on the boat, because they would keep everything, after their limit the boat crew divvied things up so everyone that was out there got a full limit of rockfish. That was awesome!

We were out there for about 6 hours. The weather was gorgeous, the seas were calm, the fishing was good. It was really a great time and we are excited to go try our hand at charter fishing again soon!

In all we ended up with about 8 lbs of fish, fileted by the lovely boat guys. We are looking forward to some yummy dinners, including fish tacos!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Friday Five

I have mentioned that I read a number of blogs pretty regularly. I find them to be interesting, informative, funny, heartwarming, and inspiring in many ways. Plus, when I read one blog it often links to another, or there is a guest post or something and I find MORE interesting people out there sharing their lives through blogging. That brings me to The Friday Five, introduced by Laura Virginia at Meet Virginia. Laura has come up with a fun little "friday five" post that I think I am going to incorporate into my blog on occassion. Like today!

1. What I'm Reading:

Okay, this week, what I am reading is text books. Text books for Interpersonal Conflict, Communications Across Cultures and Psychology (which oddly enough are all related in various ways).

I haven't had much free time to read for pleasure, other than blogs!

2. What I'm Listening To:

OMG. I am SO in love with this song. If you see me driving in my car you will see me singing my heart out to this song. I so BIG HEART this.

3. What I'm Watching:

I pretty much only have time for football...which is okay because I love football! Looking forward to always!

4. What I'm Eating:

Oatmeal with various toppings for breakfast; sandwiches, wraps or leftovers for lunch; dinner tonight was stuffed acorn squash. It was GOOD. I'll share the recipe soon.

5. What I'm Pinning Thinking:

I don't use pinterest, so instead I think I will post a quote, thought, idea, pet peeve or something along those lines. This week: I am thinking that I wish I was enjoying school more. I feel like it is sort of... boring! I feel there is a lot of "read the chapter" just for the sake of reading the chapter. There is a lot of "blah blah" lecturing and not a lot of LEARNING. This kinda bums me out. Plus, I seriously cannot believe we are halfway through the term....mid terms people! Craaazay.

What is your Friday Five?? Join in the fun in the comments!

Mid Week Mumbles

Did you know that I am named after an author? Anyone care to guess who? No fair cheating and using google. Also no fair for my mother, brother, husband or anyone else in my family who knows this to answer. Don't be a cheater! No one likes a cheater.

I do not really care for celery most of the time. I think it tastes yucky, except for sometimes, when it is really good. I do not know the difference, if it is how or where it is grown, or what. I also really dislike how it makes my hands smell like celery for the rest of the day, even if I wash them 80 trillion times.

Yesterday was a big day: My darling sweet neice turned 16!!!!!! I am going to make another post about that later, but Happy Birthday to Shanelle! Sheesh...I can't believe she is 16 already.

I am on track for my goal this week of at least 20 minutes of exercise at least 5 days of the week. 3 days down, two of them more than 20 minutes. This is really boiling down to effectively using my time well. I know it is a 3rd grade classroom cliche, but seriously, if I do some planning and pre-prep work for meals, lunches, make coffee at night, use my crock pot once or twice a week, meal plan, etc., I can get so much done in a really short period of time. If not, I guess I am just overwhelmed and there is too much to do, so I don't do anything.

We are having another GORGEOUS fall day today. Blue sky, white, thin puffy clouds here and there. Sunshine and lots of it. Forecast for mid 70's. I am sitting in the sun right now, enjoying some lunch, between classes.

Oh, what's for lunch, you ask? Nothing spectacular:

chipotle tortilla filled with mayo, ground mustard, cheese, turkey and sprouts all rolled up. Some carrots and celery (hence the "I don't like celery" remarks above). A colby cheese stick. I also have some almonds and a Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate granola bar in case of emergencies. And water.

Breakfast, since we are talking about it, was oatmeal with a very very ripe sliced banana and a scoop of peanut butter, with a generous shake of cinnamon.

Dinner will be: sausage/corn bread stuff acorn squash. I have never made this before. The sausage is defrosting. Tonight when I get home I will work on putting it all together. If it is good, I'll share it with you! Well, I'll share the recipe with you. I can't really share the meal with you because...well...A) I don't know who reads this and B) I can't invite all two of you over for dinner. HA!

I am going to leave you with this:

I had to explain to Chris why this was funny. So sad.

Do you know what author I am named after? Do you like celery? Do you understand the humor in the above photo??  Share in the comments!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bulk Bins

Have you been grocery shopping lately?

I go once every week or two. I hate grocery shopping and try to buy as much as I can each trip so that I don't have to go back so often. But it is expensive to get sustenance!

Basic necessities like coffee and peanut butter have increased significantly in price! It is time to perhaps reaquaint ourselves with the bulk bins. If your grocery store doesn't have bulk bins (like Safeway, Albertsons, Thriftway) it is probably worth your time to find one that does.

I really used to detest shopping at WinCo, but the truth is they have way better prices than several other stores. Here on the West Coast, Fred Meyer is a terrible place to buy groceries...very expensive. Here in S. Oregon, even though I really dislike shopping there, I shop at our local Food 4 Less. It really is food, for less. Both WinCo and Food 4 Less have bulk sections, as do most co-ops.

Today when I hit up the grocery store I decided to spend a little time in my bulk food and natural food sections. There are some crazy deals!

This is a 2 oz container of McCormicks Ground Cumin. It will cost you $2.49 at Food 4 Less. The little baggy? It is 2.5 oz of ground cumin from the bulk bin. I paid .70 cents for it.

Here is an even more crazy example:  little jar of white sesame seeds is 1 oz. It will cost you $4.98 (!!!!) at Food 4 Less. See that 16 oz (!!) bag of brown sesame seeds next to it??? $4.49. Is that racism against the brown seeds or what? I don't know! But seriously, 16 oz vs 1 oz for almost .50 cents LESS? Craaazay!

I didn't notice much difference in the price of coffee. I paid $4.48 for a large jar of Adams natural peanut butter today, but next time I am going to look and see how much it costs to get the same amount from the "grind you own" machine in the bulk section.

If you haven't been to a WinCo, or Food 4 Less or some other warehouse style grocery store lately, and you are feeling the pinch of your grocery bill, it might be worth your while to stop by one, look around and check out the prices.

Remember, buying in bulk, like meat, really does cost you less! Buy the huge family pack of chicken breasts, and separate them and individually freeze them. Don't pay for convenience and packaging if you don't have to. Take a little bit of time and save yourself real money!

What do you do to cut down on your grocery costs? Do you shop in the bulk section?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Totally 80's Part Two

Okay, after I went to bed last night, I thought of a bunch more movies I should have included in my "totally 80's" classics or great movies.

Who can forget Sally's orgasm scene??

I don't know how I forgot this one....this was a favorite of mine that I would watch over and over.

BIG! Tom Hanks! Shimmie Shimmie Cocoa Puff! Awesome.

Here ya go, Mar! E.T. I didn't put it on the first list because I thought it was kinda like the Star Wars movies...not necessary... :-)


Chevy Chase, Christie Brinkley, Beverly DeAngelo....what a hilarious movie! Probably my favorite of the National Lampoon's series.

Chris reminded me of this one. DUDE!

Friday Night Slumber Party CLASSIC horror movies. (btw-I am not listing all of the sequels of movies, because 1-most of them weren't as good, and 2-you get the idea!)

NEEEERRRRRDDDDDSSSS!! <---say in Ogre voice!

HAHAHAHAHA! Oh..I still remember the Steve Guttenberg scene at the podium. Nice.

They're heeeereee! Creepiest movies EVER.

Another classic sleepover movie.

Well...what can we say about this one? Every high school kids dream!

Robot movies are cool. Robot movies with Ally Sheedy are extra cool. Just sayin'.

There are tons of other great movies from the 80's but these are some of our favorites, or most memorable.

I know as soon as I hit send I will think of another one I should have posted!

What movie did I forget? What movie are you hitting your forehead and saying How Could She Forget THAT movie???  Share in the comments!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Totally 80's

In honor of the "Footloose" re-make out in theaters this weekend (which I do not plan on seeing, by the way), I am going to list some of our all time favorite 80's movies. These are not in any particular order.

I never saw this, but Chris did and he remembers it. ??


I STILL love this movie, and watched it within the last year!

Chris told me tonight he has never seen this movie! Damn you netflix for not having it on streaming! A must watch movie!

My mom loved Arnie. I loved this movie. It is SO cheesy...but I still love it!

Confession: when I had a birthday party at Uncle Milts Pizza Parlor and Pipe Organ in Vancouver Washington between 2nd and 3rd grade, my friends and I got on the stage and sang "Tomorrow". Yes, we did. Awesome movie! Carol Burnett rocked it!

This ranks as one of my favorite all time movies. Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. Excellent movie!

What can one say about this classic? Still love it!

John Hughes was an incredible movie maker....

Fiction and fantasy combine for an epic story!

Confession: I had never seen the original until just a couple of years ago.

Who didn't want a Delorian??

Wax on, Wax off, Danielson!

I have never seen Spaceballs...this is one of Chris' faves.

Oh man...I SO love this movie! I do not want them to remake this and ruin it.

I watch this movie every year at least once, usually around Easter. I call it the Easter movie. I cry every single time I watch it.

This movie freaked me out as a kid, but I totally loved it, too.

I didn't see this until just recently. It is a good movie, but kinda sad.

Well of course...Sixteen Candles is another John Hughes classic!

Yes, Goonies. Still watch it, still love it!

Another of Chris' movies....I've never seen it. Seems weird.

The movie that made us all want to be fighter pilots! Excellent film.

The movie that started my love affair with Kelly LeBrock! I was so pissed with Steven Segal left her for the babysitter! This movie rocks...who can forget Chet as a pile of $hit??

A movie I didn't see in the 80's, but still awesome.

What a story! Towanda!!

I love Cher. This movie freakin' rocked! I still love it.


Still a total classic! I watch this regularly, too.

What are you favorite 80's movies? What classics of the 80's did I forget??
(Besides Star Wars, which is obviously included!! I just didn't think I needed to specify it.)