Friday, April 30, 2010

Goodie goodie!

Spending a long weekend with good friends and hot air balloons...the perfect time for Grape Hill.  Cannot believe that it has been six months.  But the back is feeling good and I am so ready for joy!  Dinner at jimgermanbar Thursday, hanging out and taking walks Friday, then art walk and dinner at Brasserie and a play at Whitman College.  Saturday, dinner is at Big Table with fifteen of us, paella by John of Graze, good guy, appetizers by Sue and dessert is all mine.  Great wine, friends, hopefully nice evening weather.  Bliss.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It takes all sorts.

Maybe all showers should be outdoors?  Showers can be really enjoyable, yet most often they seem to be a utilitarian purpose.  An outdoor shower is an event.  Baths, too.  Add a candle and bubbles and a good bath is a nice activity.  Haven't tried watching TV from in the bath...does this add to the experience or detract?  Multi-tasking is a lot like too many things inside a room...less is so often more.  I just saw a car commercial that shows two separate flip-down lcd screens so each child in the back seat can watch a separate program.  Is that good? 

This is probably heresy, since hand-held devices are certainly the newest and baddest religion of all these days, but a device-free sit down dinner each night might save more than one American family from implosion.  I still maintain...we should have dropped off-the-grid laptops into Afghanistan and offered free HBO for everyone.  Hulu, too.  Let the Taliban try to stop that momentum!  Don't know what is more compelling and more dangerous, too, the heroin coming out from Afghanistan or the 24/7 electrified existences that we are doing to ourselves?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Odd stuff.

I'm still losing weight, on purpose, which is great. But after having been on diets so many times in my life, it seems unreal that I am losing lots of weight without really dieting at all. With the back still recovering from surgery, I cannot even attribute this to exercising like mad. In fact, I have not exercised since December and still am down 42 pounds.

All that I have been doing is eating differently. Fewer second helpings. Spiced popcorn or fruit for snacks. Generally avoiding fatty foods, processed sugars, processed flours.  Definitely missing great cheeses if I am missing anything.  Not missing most meats.  Easily going for brown rice and whole wheat flours except during sushi.  Frozen yogurt rather than ice cream.  Considering the benefits, this is it for the rest of my life.  Looking to get pretty doggone slender and take the strain off my well-worn back. 

The saddest part of all this is the notable higher cost of these foods.  Healthy eating is so much more expensive than just filling up. Fish costs are insane.  Quality veggies, too.  This is not right!  I'm not any zealot, but my own body is now telling me, every day, that  everyone should have access to affordable healthy foods.  When I think of the societal expenses of shitty foods versus the lower medical costs of reducing diabetes and heart ailments, possibly vision problems, sexual problems, and even cancer...we should be taxing the crap out of sugar and fat-laden processed foods until healthy alternatives are cheaper.  Did North Carolina tobacco ever kill as many people as New Jersey food science?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Curse you, Red Baron!

Actually, this "Red Baron" is my bad back, which, I hope has been shot from the skies to never return! Four months of pain that flat out knocked me down and shut me up...groans aside.  Surgeons are a good thing.  Even if we go broke getting Liliana through med school, having a surgeon in the family sounds very reassuring.
Grape Hill has been renting so often again that we need to reserve time to get there. I have not been over since November, but still wonder if my back can take the four hour drive? At least others are enjoying my beautiful spot! We are going to need to treat Grape Hill differently and reserve our own times months in advance.  It's so sad having to tell people who really Get It and love Grape Hill that there isn't any time available for them.  At this rate, it may become necessary to reserve many months in advance.  I suppose we could raise the rental fees, but I hate that! It isn't about that at all.
So, I barrel-tasted the wines from two syrahs and a one cab this week.  Totally glyceral with bright cherries on the cab along with hints of mint and cedar. The syrahs were divergent and they should not have been different.  I have so much to learn.  One was brooding and backward, the other was much more inviting, with smoked meats and both blue and black fruit.  Damn me if I turn into a winemaker, and damn me if I don't.