sip and spell

Sip and spell? What in the world is a sip and spell? It sounds a lot like sit and spin…remember what a great dizzy inducing vertigo toy that was? Good times! Fun times! When America was once great, right?

Well sip and spell here in the Central Valley is the Great Valley Bookfest’s Sip and Spell Adult Spelling Bee where participants and spectators enjoy delicious wine and appetizers while participants spell words like synecdoche and pococurante because they can…or once did when they were elementary school and middle school spelling bee nerds back in the day.

Sipping wine and spelling. What could possibly be wrong with this?

Well, nothing really since it is all in good fun that will benefit the Sierra High 2017 Sober Grad.

I know!

Working with the Sierra High Class of 2014 Sober Grad, I can attest to the fact that the best fundraising events were the ones where adult beverages were consumed by adults. Go figure!

Still it is a fun event which supports a worthwhile local event for some kids I just happen to know and can say I watched grow up while living here in this community. So join me and my team, Thursday, October 6, 5:30 to 8 pm – or until the last team (our team) is standing! Tickets are $20/person and need to be purchased in advance here.

Until then, I’ll be here…studying.

romantic, sexy 33rd anniversary celebrations: a how to guide

Nothing screams romance and sexy time anniversary celebrations than…

picking up boxes and packing materials at the neighborhood Home Depot…

and taking down all the photographs and art and knick knacks…

and packing up all the things…

because yes, The Big Top is moving and moving The Big Top is most certainly no easy undertaking…with these circus clowns???

Are you kidding???

Celebrating 33 years together with a weekend getaway or wine tasting or `a day at the beach or even a kitchen remodel is just so unoriginal.

Honey please!

Celebrating 33 years married together, my darling husband and I spend together organizing and cleaning and packing and preparing to move all the things because, yes, the Big Top is officially moving across town by next weekend. And because we are moving and we are celebrating our wedding anniversary, of course there is wine…wine in Solo cups because we have been packing up all the things.

New discovery: a really good Cabernet paired with a perfectly grilled rib eye is absolutely delicious in a Solo cup because, yes, you have packed all the wine glasses, bar ware, Mason jars, coffee mugs….the more you know.

So here’s to thirty three wonderful, crazy, exhausting, maddening years and to making more memories under the new Big Top.

scenes from a Safeway

Some days it just is not possible to get in and get out quickly while running errands. Like today at my friendly, neighborhood Safeway.

Police officer to store clerk, bagger and me: Excuse me, but we are looking for this woman 

:::holds up photograph of a waif-like, elderly woman:::

Have any of you seen her here today?

Store clerk: She’s STILL missing?!

Police officer: Actually we found her yesterday. She’s been reported missing by the family again today. 

Bagger: Whenever she comes in here she has no money and tries to get alcohol.

Police Officer: Yeah, we’re thinking there is a problem going on with this family since she seems to turn up missing all the time.

Bagger: Haven’t seen her today, sorry. But I imagine she’ll show up soon looking to buy alcohol with no money.

:::muttering to myself::: Why does this sound like my future?

And everyone laughs just a little.

I DO hope they found that tiny, little old lady safe and sound.

the hardest parts

I have always said that my most favorite age and stage in the lives of each of my children is this one, the one they are in now…except for the adolescence of my first born. Don’t judge. She agrees. It was hard on both of us. And we both lived to tell the tale.

Thank gawd!

But yes, the best part in the lives of my individual children is this part right now when you are asking me what is the best part.

And it is often also the hardest part.

Sharing a moment with one of my grown circus clowns, we discussed just this. We talked about potty training and how she remembers the day I gave up and put her back in diapers because we both weren’t ready. I remember relief and later feeling vindicated when two months down the road she was ready and accident free. She remembers feeling so mad and sad that I put her back in diapers.

OMG, she was 2½! She remembers that!

And sharing a glass or two or more of wine, we recall each age and stage…the big sister worship, the picking on the baby sister, the silly times, the hard times, the scary times, the fun times.

And now here we are, sharing wine together…and she shares what’s going on in her life right now I am wishing we were back in the days of potty training battles because potty training was a lot easier than this is right now. This part where they are grown up and they make mistakes and they deal with consequences and tears and fears and heartbreak and mommy can’t fix it is hard. Too hard sometimes. I could easily dispense my wealth of wisdom telling her what she must do. But in spite of the wine…or because of the wine, I just listen because just listening is what she wants, what she needs the most right now…and hugs and wine and The Kitten Bowl that I dvr’d especially for her.

This parenting gig gets harder and harder I swear. What I wouldn’t give for a little potty training right now…seriously.

Sorry millennial parents! The hardest part of parenting, like the very best part, is the here and the now.

Hang in there.

I am.

 

 

a dining oasis

Married now for decades…decades…that sounds like a really long time, doesn’t it? Well, yes, 31 years and more is a long time to love and be loved and be stuck together like the old married folk that Bill and I are.

So what about Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day?

Really?

Truthfully, as an old married lady, I haven’t thought too much about it as Love Day was approaching. But my darling husband, on the other hand, was thinking about it a lot. Again, just when I think I know him and can predict almost anything about him he goes and does something like this.

I hate when he does that.

I love when he does that.

He does too because, yes, he loves catching me off guard.

So let’s get dressed up and go somewhere really nice for a Valentine’s dinner?

Around here?

Well, there is an oasis?

An oasis?

Yes, an oasis in the dining desert that is Manteca. It says so right here in Yelp.

So it does. Well, okay then. It’s a date.

And we waited this week for date night to finally arrive.

Ah, the romance of anticipation!

And…

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes, indeed Ernie’s Fine Foods & Spirits truly is an oasis in the desert that is Manteca’s dining offerings of endless fast food restaurants, taquerias and chain restaurants.

The appetizers, the 5 onions soup, the grilled to perfection steaks, the lobster, the spirits, the wine, the service, the ambiance all perfection.

But Bill impeccably dressed in his grey suit and me in a jersey column dress were definitely overdressed because this is Manteca.

Still, good food, good drink, great uninterrupted conversation…this was good. This was very good. My darling husband definitely hit this one out of the park.

We shall be back, Ernie’s!