Monday, November 22, 2010

The Bird

Today is November 22nd... but on November 14th it was my big sissy's birthday. I called and sang her a beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday. I will spare your ears and not share. I'm sure she loved it though ;) I also sent her a gift.. it still hasn't arrived. I'm awesome. When it does arrive I have asked her to take pictures though so I can share with you. I'm hoping it gets there today. Fingers crossed!!

Even though its 8 days after the fact... again, I'm awesome.. I was going through old pictures I can't help but share with you what an amazing girl entered this world just a few, short, years ago ;)

 This bird, as she, first was affectionately called by her Grandpa, was the first grandchild on my mom's side- setting the bar extremely high for the 5 of us that followed... show-off!

She wasn't allowed to wear pigtails because they turned her into the evil spawn of Satin... poor kitty, I hope she didn't need those whiskers!

She was a great Christmas card model... Christmas by the pool, the joy of being a California girl!

 She had incredible fashion. Sweet legwarmers! Wait.... this is happening again isn't it?

She had an Afro in the 80's that could go down in history books.. Don't worry Kalee-Bird!! I'll spare you here!

Then, after many birthday cake wishes, just after her 7th birthday,

she got the little sister she THOUGHT she always wanted (insert evil, little sister, maniacal, laugh here... hehehehe) and she has been stuck with this

 ever since!

We have had our battles. I wasn't always the most adorable little sister. I may or may not have put melted Gak in her hair, made 'new' make-up for her by blending all of her compacts together, used her whole jar of Aveda Confixor in my hair (which later had to be cut out), stolen her feather ticking for 6-ish years before telling her, spied on her through my window when she would come home from dates and then made her pay me to keep quiet, or have given her the worst case of chicken pox this world has ever seen... hypothetically of course. No one can prove that any of this happened.

But she DEFINITELY had her moments of torturing me by absolutely cutting my hair into hideous creations. She irrefutably tied a string to my tooth (that wasn't loose) and slammed the bathroom door to see if she could pull it. Undoubtedly there was a time when she made me eat dog food. Without question, she let our neighbor flush my goldfish down the toilet, alive. And she 100%, don't even try to deny it, got me drunk in Venice for the first time ever, with the Canadian volleyball team.

But all of that aside, the really undeniable moments are the ones when she was the best big sister that could ever be dreamed up. She used to pull me into her bedroom on weekends and make a floor nest for us to watch movies in while we ate raw cookie dough and Chocolate Resins. She would sleep with me on Christmas and we would listen to the radio all night and when Wham's Last Christmas would come on, we would sing it to each other..

and she always got me the best Christmas gifts.. (and she may have gotten me an Ariel fish bowl and replacement goldfish years later..) She took me to Europe for a non-planned adventure when I was 16.. (did I mention we have amazing parents?!) She tells me the hard things even when I don't want to hear them, answers the phone at all hours of the night, listens to my tears and then wipes them away when the time is right, is the voice of reason when I can't see straight, and is my very, very best friend..

 Now she lives all the way on the other side of the country from me and I miss her so much it physically hurts.

It's OK though. She is over there being the best mother

 and wife

I have ever seen.

She has so many incredible adventures ahead of her and she is going to nail all of them! Because that is just the kind of person she is. Strong, wise, beautiful, compassionate, adventurous, faithful, admirable... and a little bit fiery ;) We were all blessed with an amazing daughter, sister, mother, wife, person, the day she came into the world.

I love you Kalee-Bird. More and more each year.

 Dang! Where did that Afro picture come from?!?

You're adorable little sis :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Think I See The Light!!!

It has been 83 days since we started this harvest- and 83 days without a day off- but I think I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! There is a rumor going around that we will be finished receiving grapes on Wednesday! Granted this same rumor went around last week but I have faith it is actually going to come true this week ;)

Excuse the iPhone photos, but I thought I would give you all a peek at what I am anxious to say farewell to until next harvest rolls around...

 Receiving truck loads of grapes...

 Processing 36,000 tons of grapes...

 Dodging tank water falls. That can really ruin your day, let me tell ya....

Walking the catwalks for two hours every morning smelling fermentations...

 Watching the dig crew shovel thousands of tons of grapes skins out of tanks...

Sporting my grape stained Sperry's everyday...

 Playing the Mad Chemist... oh wait! I still get to do that one :)

So there is just a glimpse into the crazy, hectic, busy, aromatic, grape-filled, 2010 harvest. I'm not sad to see you go because I know you'll always come around again next year. But I am really excited that in a few more weeks I'll get my first day off!! What do you think the final tally of days will be?

Happy (end of) harvesting!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can I be friends with these people?

Oh, wait, I AM!!!!

It was my friend's birthday yesterday! Birthdays are so fun :) I called her to wish her a "Happy Birthday Boo!" and while we were chatting she told me about a blog they had started. Its called, Rack Love! These two do everything on their bike, as they should since Amber works for Specialized and makes these amazing bikes! Check out some of my favorite things they have done or carried on their bikes recently:

guy in truck: "hey! are you delivering that pizza?!?!"
me: "um, to my house"
guy in truck: "sweet!! what pizza place are you from? who delivers pizza on a bike?!"
me: "well, none that i know of..."

when invited to a friend's house, a good guest never shows up empty handed. a great guest shows up with ice cream.

when you go to a quinceanera, you must bring a pinata, and you must put lots of candy in it, and everyone will be your friend.

If you need a smile today please check out Sam and Amber up to their daily antics at

Don't you want to be their friend? ;)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Having a little fun this Fall!

Harvest is in full swing!

Grapes are pouring into the winery, the smell of carbon dioxide is swirling through the air as our little grapes work themselves through fermentation and the 2010 crop is slowly turning into a delicious lip smacking vintage! But that means things are BUSY here! We are working every single day to get all the grapes in before the rains hit. So I haven't been around the ol' blog very much.

Funny thing though, with all the stress that goes along with this time of year I needed to find a way to let it out gracefully ;) Usually I clean, but my house is pretty sparkling at the moment! (how does that happen?) So I knit a few scarves, but a girl can only have so many scarves.... so I set off in search of other things to make and calm my nerves before bed and this is what I came up with! What do you think?

Fabric Flowers!

You can wear them in your hair...

The puppies like to wear them in their hair ;)

They can be grouped together like a large broach or hair piece...

 I like to pop mine on my sweater...

Or my beanie!

I love these for Fall. I have been putting them on everything lately from my scarves to my purse handle. They make me feel so girlie and are a pretty little touch to make me feel special when I'm covered in grape juice and trudging around in work boots at the winery ;)

I made so many that I started an Etsy shop!! I would love if you would stop by and let me know what you think :D The shop is called The Frog and The Owl. Browse around. I would love to hear your thoughts. I also just placed a huge Dupioni silk order so there will be TONS more to see very soon. I hope you guys like it; its certainly been keeping me sane!

Although, my clean house has now transformed into a work space and might possibly be covered in flowers ;) ooops guess I'll have to clean again!

So happy harvest to everyone and hopefully we are out of the storm soon so I can check in more here on Vantage Point.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bar Stool Makeover

In the process of having my sassy roommate move in, I had some rearranging and reorganizing that needed to be done. While cleaning out one of my closets I ran across two bar stools that I forgot I had! They were stuffed in a closet because at one time I had a larger dining room table and they didn't fit at the kitchen bar. Well now I have a smaller table and they fit again so I brought them out of hiding!

Hi Gucci!!

The bar stools look ok... but the black upholstery just doesn't go with my house. So up to my fabric stash I went. I quickly stripped the old upholstery, got out my staple gun and gave myself a whole bunch of fresh blisters ;)

So much better!

I love the big Poppy print. It makes me smile :)

The great thing was I already had all of the material so it didn't cost me anything and it only took about 20 minutes of my time. Perfect quick and cute update!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yogi - Not the bear

Now that I have kept everyone waiting it is time to share my new adventure!!

I am not one of those people that really likes to exercise. I get bored at the gym and the thought of cardio machines kinda makes me want to stab my eyes out with a dull pencil. Quite a few years ago my mom introduced me to Bikram yoga and that opened up a path of new exercising experiences for me. I have continued to practice different types of yoga throughout the years and find it really helps keep me sane when 'life happens' and I don't get bored with it.

Now, let me say I was home-schooled for my middle school years (another story for another time) and while that whole experience was wonderful it made me realize that I NEVER EVER wanted to be a teacher. I didn't have the patience for it or the personality. I just wasn't good at grasping why someone couldn't understand a concept that I just 'got', let alone teach them how to 'get' it like me... So here I am 16 years later completely in love with yoga, finding that it brings such relief to my life, and finding that I want to share it with people. Do you get what I'm saying here? I have found myself wanting to TEACH yoga! What the what? Who am I?

For a little over a year I have been looking into yoga teacher certification programs. I don't live in the most populated, hip area of California so what I have been finding is that, 1) everything is far away from me and 2) that yoga teaching programs take place in the Fall. Well being a winemaker the Fall is kinda, like, not applicable to me! Well, after my trip to Ohio and a daily, morning, yoga practice I came home with a freshly renewed spirit to give it another go and look for programs again. Guess what? I found one!! 20 minutes south of my house starting at the end of October and they were willing to work around my schedule!! I found out I got accepted to the program a few weeks ago and I could have died happy right then!!

But let me tell you, my happiness a few weeks ago was nothing compared to my elation this past weekend. Since, harvest takes up my whole Fall I have to make up some classes that I am going to miss during my training. So this past weekend I made up my first class in Valencia at another training facility. I am doing my training through a company called YogaWorks. Holy cow what a comprehensive and ah-mazing program!

I went down to Valencia on Friday night after work and we had an info session for 2 hours. The teachers were two of the most inspiring ladies with stories of loss and a true understanding of everything happening for a reason at the right time! We all shared our stories of what brought us to yoga and wouldn't you know we all found such peace in our practice! Then we went over the teaching manuals, yes plural. There are 5 teaching manuals that are incredibly in depth and illustrated. Then we went over the required books/DVDs:

My yoga library is getting huge! There is so much information in these books. I can feel my brain smiling at me and cursing me all at once. So after our info session on Friday I drove back to my sister's house to try and catch a few hours of sleep before 2 yoga packed days.

Class resumed on Saturday at noon and we did a 3 hour yoga practice with the teachers physically adjusting us and explaining the reasons for the alignment cues and the injuries that can come from doing something improperly. After we ate a quick snack it was back into the studio for 2 hours of 'lecture' and hands on 'posture clinics'. Saturday was a tough day for me. It had been a very stressful week at work (to say the least!) and all of that stress and frustration makes its way out during an intense workout. I returned to my sister's house completely wiped that night but so ready for more!! On Sunday we started at 12 again but we did 2 hours of yoga and 3 hours of 'student teaching' and lecture.

I felt like I learned so much just in those 2 days I can't even imagine what the next 5 months hold for me! The only thing I am a little sad about is that I won't be continuing my classes down in Valencia. What an amazing group of women I met. They were all so genuine and kind and really made me feel like a part of their group. Thank goodness for Facebook! There have already been friend requests flying back and forth!

I hope you all will stay with me on this journey. I am beyond excited and I hope I can share that with all of you without completely boring you!

So until my next session, Namaste
("That which is of God in me greets that which is of God in you.")

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Catch up Ketchup

These last few months life happened.

Lets do a quick recap and move on with things.

I last left off right before my trip to Ohio. I spent 10 days there and was able to start to feel human again. I got to laugh with my family, do yoga everyday, play in the lake,

eat delicious food,

 ... mmmm deep fried corn...

play with my nephews, catch up on some sleep, and completely forget about work. It was a much needed break and I did not want to leave!

Since coming home it has been a long waiting game for harvest to start. We had late rains this year and it just wasn't as hot as it usually gets. That means we haven't had enough heat index days to ripen the grapes. Sooo.... here we sit... waiting... Last year we started receiving grapes on August 18th and we didn't stop or get a day off until Thanksgiving. Pretty typical year. This year it is September 21st and I haven't worked a weekend yet! But we are all taking our supplements and trying to catch up on sleep because I think starting as early as tomorrow we are going to get SLAMMED. Pretty soon I won't know what my name is or what language I speak. Wish us luck. We are getting ready for a grape tsunami.

The new happenings since I returned from Ohio are that I got 2 roommates! The sweetest girl you have ever met that is a Jacqueline of all trades and her adorable bundle of love, Olive, a black Golden Doodle. My, so ugly she's cute, 5 pound Chihuahua, is having fun learning how to play with a dog 100 times her size :) They are so cute. They lay on the floor facing each other and pound their paws on the floor at each other. I think they will become great friends!

I have also embarked on a new adventure. One that has me jumping out of my skin with excitement. I actually have a lot to share about this one so I will save the news for its own post ;)

I'm such a tease! Stay tuned.

On a frowny note; I had to say goodbye to my sister, brother-in-law, and the munchkins this past weekend. They are packing up their belongings and moving ALL the way to the other coast. I can't stand missing a moment of those little boys lives. Kalee, please don't let them forget me!! Also, scope out the Polo events and find me a hot horseman to ogle when I come visit you :) Thanks sis, you're the best!

I think that about wraps things up. Well, until I fill you all in on my BIG news :)

So here's to a fast Fall, surviving harvest, safe travels, new adventures, and living life to the fullest and happiest!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Today is a beautiful day and a sad day all at once. It is sad because a year ago today we lost one of the pillars of our family; but beautiful because, today, we get to celebrate and remember a man that made us the family we are today. Oh, and what a truly amazing man he was. Let me introduce you to Papa!

Could he be any more handsome? Hearts had to break all over Ohio the day these two married. And they were just pups! Would you believe me if I told you 63 years later they were just as happy, no, happier than in this wedding picture? Its true and in those 63 years they made a beautiful life and started a family that keeps getting better with each year that passes. Papa left us a legacy of people and memories:

He married this stunning woman who can run after my speed demon nephew just as fast today as she could after my sister in this picture

He gave me these two kooky uncles:

How fun are Christmas' in our family?!? When these two are around bring a tissue because you will laugh so hard you can't help but cry.

Best of all he gave me this woman... hmmm how does that work? Maybe she gave me him.. she gave him me.. whatever, genes crossed and we all ended up here. The end.

How sassy and gorgeous is this lady?? I'm sure I'll get scolded for putting this up because she's holding a cigar. But HELLO! Hottie alert! And yes that other hottie is my grandma in the background. I guess those genes I was talking about crossing were GOOD genes.

Guess what? Those kooky uncles I showed you and that sassy mama... they gave my grandpa six darling grand kids. My sister was the first grandchild and she turned around and made Papa a GREAT grandpa!

He could lay on the floor for hours with this little bean on his tummy. But she didn't just do it once, she did it twice!

That newest little nemo has Papa's big blue eyes; crystal clear and the wisdom that lurks in them gives me goosebumps.

In a few days all of these people I have introduced you to are going to be spending a week together getting in trouble, telling stories, reminiscing, and remembering how blessed we are. Most of all we will be celebrating this wonderful family that Papa gave us, the love he showed us, and the wisdom he left us.

Oh, and there might be a few gin martinis passed around... because Papa also gave great advice. His nightcap of choice was a gin martini with an olive. But when ordering a gin martini in public he always ordered it with a twist because an olive 'takes up too much damn space'! :)

So today is not going to be a sad day. We are going to give each other hugs, share how much we love each other, and smile and thank Papa for the beautiful life he gave us. Because we are all truly blessed.

So Papa here's to you, we love you more each day!

Now lets go mix up the martinis and don't forget the garlic stuffed olives!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mi Casa


Anybody out there??

Bueller? Anyone?....

I've been neglectful of my little blog for a while and I'm afraid I've lost you all. I have been working on a project, so I somewhat have an excuse. Its not finished yet but I just can't wait to show you all any more!

Almost 4 years ago I moved into a brand new home :) Very white. One of the modern, little cookie cutter, homes with wall cutouts, tan carpeting, and sod. I have slowly been working to add COLOR to it and make it mine. I'm not really a cookie cutter home girl...

Hi casa Kamee!! its changed so much in 4 years!!

The main project I have been obsessing over, without resolution, is the area over my fireplace. The cutouts where the TV is supposed to go has always been an eyesore for me.

I've always wanted to cover it up but its the only place that has outlets and is wired for cable... what to do? This is what it looked like when I bought it.

This was a week ago.. I got a new flat screen for my birthday so I wall mounted it and then I hated my cutouts even more!!!! But how do I cover them and not lose the function of them? Oh, did I mention that my house is concrete and there are no studs in the wall to screw in to? Yup.

So in all the productive hours that I have stared at that TV, and hated that wall, I kept coming back to a giant canvas to cover the cutouts. Do you know how expensive an 8 foot long and 5 foot high painting is? Yeah, you don't want to go there. Not to mention its not really a standard size ;) So I decided I would make one. But then, how do you still access the cutouts when you need to reset the DVR (I can't miss my Glee episodes!) My handy dandy Dad suggested I put hinged 'doors' on my canvas. Yes! Brilliant. So I set out. Want to see?

So here's what I started with;

  • left over  lumber from my patio project
  • a painters drop cloth, from my many painting projects, that I cut to fit
  • and about 5,000 staples

I made the frame and fitted each end with a 28 inch 'door' so I could access the cutouts. Then I stretched the canvas. 2 hours later and very blistered hands, from tugging at the canvas, I had a blank work surface!! One that took up my entire living room!

Sorry its kinda dark. It was getting late and I was losing my light.

Then I ordered buttons. Buttons, buttons, buttons!!!!


It still needs a wooden frame, to break up the WHITENESS!

I like the character the old paint drips give the canvas.

I also like peonies and sweet peas. They make me smile.

Oh, and I'm on an owl kick. I think they bring wisdom and I'll take all the wisdom I can get these days!!

What do you think?

P.S. It was suggested to me, by a new found blog friend, that I should submit this to Metamorphosis Monday on Between Naps On The Porch. So I'll give it a try. The link is below (If I know how to follow directions ;) ) Check it out next Monday and see if it worked!