A Favorite –

last Friday we headed over the mountain and through the woods to what is probably our favorite winery these days…


and from the looks of it, we’re certainly not alone!

The building is beautiful, their employees very friendly –

the inside very warm –

and the outside?!

Can it really get any better than this? Their logo “turning sunshine into wine” is PERFECT! So, if you ever get a chance, be sure to check Sunset Hills Vineyard out. You won’t be disappointed!

I don’t typically share this kind of info but our community has lost a lot of ‘young’ people this past year and while sitting here in the airport, alone, pondering, these words mattered to me….Thanks Aunt Dottie =)

The Dash (by Linda Ellis)

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matter not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?

Wicked Weather…

We have had some really, really weird weather lately. From the earthquake to the hurricane then Fall blasting in like winter for a few days. Just weird. I’m sure there’s someone out there that thinks the rapture is near, lol.

When the earthquake hit, I can honestly say I didn’t even feel it. Now granted, I was up and down on the bleachers at the fair but once everyone started talking about it, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t say I experienced it. But…I’m thankful we all survived.

And then there was Irene. Again, she skirted us at home and there was minimal damage at the beach.

Then last week…..this came –
You got it, HAIL! And once again I wasn’t home to experience it. I got the call from Ronnie, asking where I was. Telling me to take cover because it was heading my way. But it never came. I did get in heavy, heavy rain but no hail. Luckily everyone under our roof KNOWS that when something like this comes around, pictures are required, ha!

So what you see here are hail balls…a little bit bigger than marbles, almost looks like moth balls.

We have had some beautiful nights, too.


And I think one of the more interesting things is that for the past few months, it has been warmer in Minneapolis and Des Moines than at home. Wow. Even this week while I have been in Des Moines, it has been warm, sunny and nearly 80 while at home, cooler and rain.

So while I’m not really complaining, I just had to say it…..we have definitely had some ‘wicked’ weather patterns lately.

Reverse Directions…

Yesterday was our “Rookie Run” as “pourers” for Knob Hall Winery at the Maryland Wine Festival.  We had a great time, to say the least!

We took a crash course to learn about the wines then our three hour ‘duty’ began.  We originally thought we would be paired together but in order to keep up with the many people wanting to taste “The Jealous Mistress”,  we quickly separated, maning tables side by side.

and it actually worked out good for me….I was able to snap some pictures of him, hard at work =)

Without a doubt, it was Raven Country….Purple was EVERYWHERE!



After our shift came to an end, we hit the trail ourselves….

I’m not certain which wines won yesterday but we definitely tasted some winners!

The BB&T balloon was there – I don’t think they ever made it up because of the winds….

And after picking one of our fav’s, we had a seat and just watched…..These people were having some fun –

and these guys….well, looks like they packed their cases and chairs and were heading out, lol!

So as you can see and for those of you ‘fellow wine drinkers’, Wine Fests are lots of fun and we’re excited because the first three weekends in October hold fests for us!

Wondering yet why the post was titled “Reverse Directions”? Well, you guessed it. I printed directions to get there on time but neglected to print the reverse. I totally FAILED which resulted in us taking a route home which sent us out of our way quite a bit. I certainly learned a lesson but I still had a blast!

A week ago today –

I realized on my way to work that this little bit of water that ‘accidentally’ got in my purse

caused more damage that I realized :(.  Only after trying to call Ronnie numerous times and the call not going through then a call from him which I couldn’t hear did I figure out that something was wrong.  Ah ha!  I didn’t use my phone on Sunday except for texting but once I removed the cover, it was damp/wet/slippery.  Uh oh.

First stop?!  Verizon.  They were really nice and suggested before I file an insurance claim i get this –

I remembered seeing a Facebook friend the night before had a similar situation and was going to put her phone in rice over night.  Then I was reminded that my old boss posted something on the same lines.  A few e:mails later, I was hopeful.  So all day and all night my phone was buried in the rice bag.  Little by little I could feel the moisture dissipating and while I could see clearly through the camera now, I still didn’t have sound.  By Wednesday, knowing I had to travel this week, I bit the bullet and filed a claim.  And on Thursday?!  YAY, my new phone arrived and this was a wonderful sight!

I honestly didn’t realize how much I missed the new Verizon connection til it was gone, ha!  And some words of advice?!  1.  Have insurance  2.  Beware of water and 3.  Rice just might work unless the ‘hardware’ is damaged….definitely worth a try for a day or two.

Charles Town –


Earlier in the week (after Ash mentioned it), we decided to check out the historic festival being held in the streets of Charles Town.

Ugh! It was a little rainy and chilly but Ash, Kayden, Cierra, Damian and I decided to go anyway. All kinds of things where there….jewelry, bows, tie-dye, flowers…..even a man dressed in civil war clothes, playing a mandolin –



And of course once Kayden saw these –

She HAD to ride =)

I think she might have been a little confused why two people had to walk with her….I don’t think they realized she is a ‘pro’, lol!

Then there was face painting….she picked the butterfly then picked the color –


Then sat very still –
And now….all done!

Too cute!

After lunch we decided to hit the NEW Hobby Lobby!

We spent a couple of hours just looking around. We ended up with a few bags, some Christmas presents and a few Hello Kitty items!

It was a very fun day and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a free Saturday!

How How!

That’s what 4H’ers like to say when things are good and today Chase and Cierra are feelin’ pretty good! It was ‘payday’. Their checks were ready from the Jefferson County Fair 4H Livestock sale. It was another successful year for both, Bucky’s purchased Chase’s goat –

And Centra purchased Cierra’s lamb –

We patronize both Centra and Bucky’s….tend to not necessarily like having to go to Bucky’s, lol but have certainly spent our share of time with both. So while the kids say HowHow!, the parents are saying “WooHoo”! Way to go Cierra and Chase!

I hope you dance…

I have loved that song from the first time I heard it, even before Brittany and Cierra danced. That seems like so long ago. It seemed like we lived at the studio and Recital time….shew! Days in the high school auditorium. Snacks, drinks (but don’t spill) running to McDonalds, parents sharing bobby pins, safety pins, it didn’t matter who had it, if you needed it, consider it yours.

I guess looking back, those were the days –

And now, I have a new, favorite, precious dancer…..can’t claim her as my own but she is so sweet. She is going to the same studio, being taught by the same teacher….Love Ms. Kathy! This makes me smile.




And while I may not be spending days at practice, chatting with all the moms, you can bet we will be in the audience photographing and videoing every move little girl makes, and covering her with kissees and flowers at the end of the show! Can’t wait =)

One stepped down –

and one stepped up!

Cierra LOVES to be in charge and I have NO idea where she gets that from, hehe! But…whether it is at home with the chores or ordering around her brother, she loves to be in control. She is always very supportive of school activities, painting shirts, making school spirit ribbons or just simply coloring her hair maroon! She also loves 4H. She enjoys the activities and the members of her club so last night when we learned she is their new President, we too, were very excited!

Good luck Cierra – we know you’ll do your best =)