Friday, August 30, 2019

Harvest Day at Perissos

Harvest day at Perissos for the Tempranillo and Touriga dawned very early...we had almost a carbon copy repeat of the night before:  Shower and change clothes, eat dinner, hit the road for Highlands, and sit out in the yard there admiring the stars until bedtime.
 Walking to the pump house in the morning I hear this guy hooting - looking for breakfast?
Perissos is a little further from Highlands so by the time we got there and got started the sun was fully up!
Sign the waiver, grab your clippers, and head out!  No speeches from Seth and Laura - everyone pretty much knew the drill.  She rode an ATV with a little trailer attached giving us water , Gatorade, granola bars, and bananas - so appreciated.  No one looked ready to pass out though the heat and humidity were intense!
 The fruit was gorgeous!
 We found a nest or two among the vines; this one was empty.  
And no bees, thank goodness!
 TWELVE TONS of fruit was harvested!!
It will be a couple of years before we get to enjoy it.  About the time we all looked ready to pass out, Laura announced we were done picking for the day!  Time to head up to the tasting room for a glass of wine and some group pics.
 Then MORE wine and some sandwiches.
We hung out in the main tasting room enjoying our wine.  Laura came by for a bit and chatted with us.  They are such a nice family and their wine is excellent.  One of our favorite places!
And with that, our harvest volunteering comes to an end for the summer...but we are always up for helping in other ways!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Moving Day

Moving day for Bubbie to Texas State has come and gone.  Really, I thought the day would never get here -longest summer ever.  Probably for him, too.  It started off with his longtime girlfriend breaking up with him, was punctuated by not getting into his first choice college, and ended with quitting his job at REI and getting packed and ready in the Texas summer heat.
But, we were organized!  We used a basic dorm checklist to craft a list of things he needed.  He will be sharing a 4 BR/4 BA apartment with separate kitchen and living area with three other guys, so  mostly we just focused on things for his bedroom and bathroom.  And since Firstborn left most of his apartment supply at home, Bubbie had everything he needed for the kitchen, too.
Along with accumulating the stuff he needed, we also had necessary repairs done to the 2005 Baja - tires, axle work, air conditioning repaired.  Pricey, but now he has a safe vehicle to get around San Marcos.
 We hit the road early, and it was a good thing, as Austin traffic had already cranked up.
The traffic in San Marcos is NOTHING....
...even though all the students were descending on the university area.

I wish I had taken more photos - the university is actually really pretty, and growing!  Its about an hour from our house, so it will be fairly easy for him to visit home now and again. We signed a one year lease, so he will basically live here for a year:
It was a church in its former life and is now student housing, located on the west side of campus and within walking distance of the grocery store, places to eat, and the engineering building.  Plus, it has covered parking!
His room isn't gigantic, and the walls are mostly bare, but we gt his bed and desk all set up, and after a quick trip to Wal-Mart, we also got blackout curtains hung and a side table and rug for next to the bed.  My mother sent him a quilt for college - he loves it.
 He and Hubby got the computer all set up and ready to roll,
 while I put together the bathroom, which connects to his closet:
 Lots of storage in the apartment, so he might keep the bike in here as well.
 We took a break for lunch and on the advice of the parking garage guy, went to Gumby's for a pizza.  We were just a teensy bit hungry...
Leftovers were packed up and placed in his fridge for an easy dinner.  I had wanted to take him grocery shopping, but to his credit, he really wanted to take care of that himself.  And we were all started to feel the heat.  Having your parent around while you move gets old after 5 hours, so we said our goodbyes with big hugs.  Time for Bubbie to get on with life...
After we left, Hubby and I headed over to a craft brewery near campus and had a couple of cold beers while we played cards and listened to music.
It was a really nice way to cool off, but it was time to make dinner and relax.  The summer of waiting is OVER.
So back to Austin we headed.
And now its time to dream of  and plan for Fall...

Monday, August 26, 2019

Empty Nest Menu Monday #2

Monday - Chicken thigh skillet with carrots and potatoes, kale salad (errands and grocery shop)
Tuesday - Link sausage with BBQ beans (touch up paint in Bubbie's room)
Wednesday - Stir Fry Beef and Broccoli (do a once over with the carpet cleaner in the hall and Bubbie's room)
Thursday - Rosemary Chicken Caesar Salads (catch up on chores day)
Friday - OUT to eat.  I want to try Fat Dragon or Garbo's
Saturday - Ravioli alfredo with butternut squash at Highlands (after a trip to Red Wing Dove in Hamilton to celebrate their 6th anniversary)
Sunday - Salmon, twice baked potatoes, mustard greens (spray paint a patio set we bought for Highlands)


Friday, August 23, 2019

5 thing Friday - eating out, eating in, phone woe, fiddle leaf, Arnold

One recent Sunday Hubby and I found a fun place very close to his new office - Westwood Gastropub.  (I'm happy that Hubby's office is moving - I'm pretty sure the old building is full of mold)
 We split a basket of fish and chips that featured duck fat fries- it was definitely not on the diet plan but very delightful!
 I might have also had a mango avocado margarita.  Eating out is something we are scaling back on but every now and then it is fun to find new places to try!
Cooking for two is going to be a challenge for me - I'm just not used to it!  I made my own version of shrimp and grits for dinner one night and we enjoyed it for for lunch the next day, too.  So if I cook too much, at least we can pack up the leftovers.
I'm still reading, as per my bucket list.  How ironic is this book since Bubbie lost his phone on his second day up at Texas State?  Maybe I should send him the book when I'm done...
 I promise I am going to buckle down and not be so spendy with a kid in college, but I had been eyeballing this fiddle leaf fig from Pottery Barn for a while and they put it on sale and gave me free shipping.  I love the look of it in our bedroom and its high quality PLUS I can't kill it.  Winning.
THE VAN IS GONE.  All that's left is built up silt underneath it from when it rained in the spring.  Goodbye, Arnold.  You were a trusty (if not crusty) and faithful way to get four kids and their mom everywhere we needed to go.  I hope the junk dealer who picked you up will restore you and you get a few more years on the road.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Harvest day at Torr Na Loch

Last year I replied a little too late to the call for volunteers at one of our favorite wineries, Torr Na Lochs.  I had waited for Hubby to reply yes or no to the email.  When I told that to Karen, one of the owners, she said to just say yes next time - you can always say no if you can't make it.  Slots for volunteer harvesters are limited because its something a lot of people enjoy doing, including us!
We spent the night at Highlands and were up at the break of dawn, heading to the winery with our gloves and clippers, just a few miles away.  
  Once it gets light enough to see and we get our instructions, we can get started!
There were about 40 volunteers - most of us have done this gig before and we knew to wear sturdy tennies and a hat!
 We signed our waivers, grabbed a banana or two, got our instructions from Karen and Blake, and got started on the harvest - Malbec, today.
 The fruit was beautiful!  We harvested a little over 5 tons of it in 3 1/2 hours.
These pics don't show how thick the bees were!  Its the first harvest they've descended on harvesters like that.  Mostly you were fine if you didn't swat at them, but several folks got stung.  Thankfully, not Hubby or I!  Luckily, a couple of the volunteers were also bee keepers and they were able to help us work around them.
You work one row at a time, someone on either side of the vines, then move to the next row.  Blake comes along with his tractor to dump your bucket of grapes in giant bins, giving you back an empty bucket and you keep going!  One of the wheels actually fell off the tractor! (Funny, but not funny.  Guess he's getting a new tractor!)
Just when I thought it was just about too hot to continue, we were done!  I guess folks who work outside get heat acclimated.  But I noticed several volunteers that were struggling.  The winery owner's grandchildren were handing out bottles of water until one of them got stung, then all of them were sent the last couple of hours, no one was handing out water.  A snag they probably need to work on for next time!  At least no one cut themselves with the clippers, which is something Blake says always happens.
 The bins are loaded into the winery in prep for the crush.
There were still bees everywhere!  But isn't all of that fruit gorgeous?  They get started on processing it right away.
Lunch was wine and pizza on the patio, followed by group photos and a t-shirt pick-up.  Hubby and I were fairly worn out, but it was fun and rewarding!  We both work in comfy A/C, so we aren't exactly used to farm life, and I think we will keep our Monday through Friday jobs!  We ate our pizza and headed over to Highlands to rest up.  Next weekend: Perissos is harvesting Tempranillo and Touriga and we will be there!


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