July 1st, 2011

…GW and I are headed out for the July 4th weekend!

Going south and seeing friends I haven’t seen in 4 years!!! I’m so excited!

Details later…

Happy Fourth of July!

~Sandy

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March 1st, 2011

I am not much on playing games. I just don’t have the time. Oh, sure, I love having people over to cook out, visit, listen to music and play trivia pursuit and various board or card games etc. And, on the occasion, like to play PS3 against GW and whip the snot out of him. NOT! It’s very rare I beat him at anything, but I still talk smack that I will. One day I may surprise both of us.

But there is a game called Words with Friends that I love to play! It’s an app most smart phones have available and it is an online Scrabble game that is totally addicting. You can play against friends, enemies, children, spouses, bosses, employees…you get the drift…and you can even create a game with someone that the powers that be that run the game will link you up with. Sort of like a faceless, meaningless, online opponent that can’t get mad if you win or lose.

So picture this. GW and I sitting side by side in our chair watching TV. He on the iPad, me on the iPhone. Playing against each other. Trying to hide the game screen so there is no cheating. So of course, we accuse the other of cheating (I don’t, but he has to be. He wins ALL the time!) The other night we played a whole two games before calling it a night and putting the play toys away.

Right now, I am playing against six opponents. Like I said, I am so addicted.

~Sandy

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February 12th, 2011

…as so little time to do it!

There is so much I want to accomplish. Write, get published, manage two blogs, write, get published, learn more about networking and marketing, write, get published…

You get the drift.

Today I went to my local chapter RWA meeting and it felt so good to be back. We’re a small group and, being a charter member, I’ve known everyone for so many years. It is amazing how much we have grown and accomplished. So many in our group have become published authors. Although they are all very talented, they worked hard to get there.

We had two wonderful speakers, a husband and wife team, who spoke on E-marketing. Wow! Totally learned so much!

Now, I’m back home and writing and just finished a chapter that was given me a hard time. ‘Take that, difficult chapter! Eat my dust!’

Tonight, GW and I are going to stay home, fix pizza and drink wine. And maybe watch a movie. Or play on the PS3. Time to kick his butt in bowling and archery. I bet he was home practicing while I was at the meeting…

~Sandy

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January 5th, 2011

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”

~Plautus

Before leaving, we were able to tour the BR Cohn Winery whose owner, Bruce Cohn, used to be the manager of the Doobie Brothers. Needless to say, in the winery were lots of memorabilia regarding that time in his life.

We shot over to Domaine Chandon where we tasted several kinds of Sparkling Wine (not allowed to call it Champagne unless it comes from Champagne, Franceso be forewarned). They gave us the two champagne glasses (can I say that or are they sparkling wine glasses?) to take home with us.

Also, we covered the Provenance vineyards where we laughed until we cried at the taste testing. The woman behind the bar kept pouring GW more than the allotted amount for the tasting and shorting the other guys. She kept saying he reminded her of E.F. Hutton because when he spoke, everyone stopped to listen. P thought she was just flirting with him, but GW was not as impressed because he thought E.F. Hutton was no longer alive and wondered EXACTLY what she meant by that. We thought it was hilarious and are still laughing about that. Personally, I wouldn’t blame her as I think he is cute also, LOL! And it’s not just because he is my husband.

We also visited the Arrowood Vineyards in the Sonoma Valley and Nicholson Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Each place was beautiful and interesting and produced great wine. At the Nicholson Winery, they were setting up for a wedding so we didn’t travel far outside the testing room, but we got a great picture of the little church on the mountainside (see below).

Just so you know, we didn’t just travel from winery to winery.

We visited a wonderful little Irish pub in downtain Santa Rosa (name escapes me).

Ate at the famous and unique Willi’s Bar which was so different from anything I had ever had before. They served unique food on these ‘small international’ plates. Each one of us picked out about 3 or 4 ‘international plates’ and shared them – family style – with the whole group. I tried some dishes I have never had before and they were awesome!!!

The last night there, we had made reservations at the Culinary Institute of American (CIA) where the renowned school had their students cook for us. The menus are printed on paper as they change on a daily basis depending upon the availability and what the students are cooking that day.

Again, the food was top-notch and to die for! By all the special restaurants we visited, I was pretty spoiled by the time we got back home.


B R Cohen Entrance


Doobie Brothers Picture in the Winery


Domaine Chandon entrance


Small church in the Santa Cruz Mountains at the Nicholson Winery


Culinary Institute of America first course


Culinary Institute of America


Culinary Institute of America pastry chef

to be continued for wrap up….

~Sandy

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July 22nd, 2010

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about”

~Albert Einstein


..it’s been awhile since I posted. I fully intend on posting several times a week, but somehow life just gets in the way.

Things like…

…getting my iPhone (still happy dancing!) and having to spend HOURS getting it set up just the way I want. (so many apps, so little time!)

…planning a couple of trips we’re taking this summer. (the scoop when we get back)

…catching up with some old and dear friends. Meeting and getting to know some new friends. (A funny thing happened on the way to the Rangers/White Sox game…nah! Better not tell that one!)

…decorating the house. Still have tons to do. I’m very picky (maybe indecisive is a better word but I’ll deny it till I die) so it is slow going. But now I am SO addicted to HGTV! Cannot get enough of it. It gives me lots of ideas and many late nights watching it. I think GW is glad I haven’t figured out how to record on the DVR yet.

…watching the entire second season of True Blood. Oh. My. Gaw! Another thing that has kept us up late past our bedtime.

…not getting much writing done. Not sure why. Somehow, I have closed a vein and having trouble re-opening it. Hoping with all my heart the trip to Nationals will inspire, motivate, and just plain kick me in the butt. If not, I will find a scalpel and slice at it until it bleeds the words.

…and just generally staying so busy I have a heck of a time finding the time to get everything done. The older I get the faster my life whirls by.

~Sandy

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June 29th, 2010

“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.”

~W.C. Fields

Last week, GW and I were invited to attend a private dinner party for twelve hosted by the world renown chef Kent Rathbun.

At his private residence, no less. (Probably just one of his many if the truth be known, LOL).

But Wow!

What. A. Night!

Owner of the fabulous five star restaurant, Abacus, and Jasper’s “Gourmet Backyard Cuisine”, winner of The Iron Chef, and way too many accolades, accomplishments, and awards to mention here, he has created an outstanding culinary legacy all over the world.

And he is a pretty durn nice guy also!

We traveled via limo to Abacus where we met Kent and sat with him at reserved tables drinking cocktails and sampling his famous and signature ‘lobster shooters’ followed by chicken empanadas. Never had a lobster shooter before, but will definitely try them again. Think lobster ball cooked with some kind of sauce. Think shooters. Delish!

Back in the limo and off to his condo where we mingled on his humongous outdoor sitting area overlooking downtown Dallas. White wine flowed and servings of different kinds of sushi was served.

Sushi? you ask. Don’t like it? you say. Well you would this. GW and I both tried the salmon ones and the tuna and avocado ones and it rocked! We thought we were not fans of sushi, either. Silly us.

Next, we were escorted into the dining area and served a special recipe of salad, the most tender, tasty filet mignon this side of the universe, the best mashed potatoes we have ever eaten (even GW scarfed them down and he HATES mashed potatoes. I so wish I could get my hands on that recipe), seasonal veggies of various sorts, and then a dessert that literally melted in your mouth.

Unfortunately, I am not able to do the meal justice with my descriptions. But it truly was to die for.

And I cannot say enough nice things about Kent Rathbun. Besides being extremely supportive of the arts and other charities, he is nice, he is funny, he is sweet, and, judging by the wonderful five star meal he rustled up for us, he is definitely deserving of the national recognition as a chef who defines innovation in the world of fine dining.

I plan on visiting both his restaurants in the near future. Soon.

~Sandy

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April 29th, 2010

“It takes a long time to become young.”

~Pablo Picasso

…to GW!

I love ya, Babe!

~Sandy

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March 17th, 2010

“May you have all the happiness
And luck that life can hold
And at the end of all your rainbows
May you find a pot of gold.”

~Irish Blessings

Have a wonderful 2010 St. Patrick’s Day!

~Sandy

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March 14th, 2010

“A window of opportunity won’t open itself.”

~Dave Weinbaum

…saturday was my Yellow Rose chapter meeting and our guest speaker this month was Leanna Ellis. Leanna turned out to be wonderful and funny and smart and talented and so easy to get to know. I even broke down and went to lunch with the group and really enjoyed visiting with her! I bought her book ‘Elvis Takes a Back Seat’ and just the title made me smile so I can’t wait to dive into the first chapter. Leanna writes quirky women’s fiction and was a true joy to get to know. Check her out on her website at www.leannaellis.com (and no, Leanne didn’t pay me for the plug)

After the meeting and a lunch of blackened talapia (Yum!) and even bringing home some grilled pork chops for GW (see, Babe, always thinking about ya!) we ran to Home Depot for gardening supplies, light bulbs, and found some cool wrought iron planters that have legs on them which keeps the flower pots from leaving those unsightly stains on the patio (this post is starting to resemble an ongoing commercial today), and then on to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a few supplies.

I ‘heart’ BB&B! It is so much fun to go in there and pick up such neat kitchen, bath, and organizational items (there I go again). Our house is fairly organized, but always looking for better ways to store things so when GW asks where I put something, I can give him that puzzled look that says ‘um, hold on, I know I put that somewhere. Somewhere in a special place…’

By then the talapia and pork chops had worn off so we tried a place that Queenbee Brenda told us about. It was this small, 3 story pizza place located in the downtown square. All the way to the top floor we went where they have an ice bar which was the first time I’ve ever even heard of one much less seen one. Here’s a picture of it I pilfered off their website.

Pretty cool, huh? Pizza was okay, although they were kind of stingy with the ingredients. BUT, the cheese on the pizza is buffalo mozzarella all the way from Italy and it rocked! Me, who likes my pizza swimming in the red sauce, thought the cheese was the best part of the pizza. Totally worth it!

A few doors down on the square we slipped into this pretty little gift shop. Had tons of items that you don’t see just anywhere. We found something really unique we bought for the house. Just not sure where it looks best yet. Decisions, decisions.

Have a great weekend!

~Sandy

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February 25th, 2010

“A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.”

~Elbert Hubber

…what the ingredients are in Cocoa Roasted Almonds?

Well, Duh!

~Sandy

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