Wine. This Time? A Sweet Red.

2016-02-02 19.15.09Okay, I know I promised you a blog about my pistol purchase permit, but something a bit more pressing has come up.

Wine.

Belle is still acting like her normal, pre-tumor self and I couldn’t be happier about this. I got lots of kisses when I got home from a hellacious day at the office, so that was super nice.

We bottled just over 3 cases of wine last weekend; 16 bottles of Hell Hath No Fury red, 18 bottles of Sweet Carlos & Tara Bianco (white) and 6 bottles of no-name blackberry, which is good, but I don’t like it more than I like a fresh blackberry, so I’ll be eating them, not pressing them, next summer. ;)

We went a little hog-wild in September/October during grape harvest season and pulled in enough to do two batches of Hell Hath No Fury, a batch of Sweet Carlos & Tara, saved the hulls from the whites to do a blush second, and a batch of sweet red.

The sweet red is what we started tonight. I am in the process of adjusting the acid levels so that I can hit close to .65% tartaric.

This sweet red is a blend of Nesbit and Supreme Muscadines and I need help coming up with a name.

Rob, over at The V Pub, gets the credit for naming Hell Hath No Fury, so I thought I would throw it out there to you guys. What can you come up with for this Nesbit/Supreme sweet red blend?

That said, our little winery goes by “The Grapes of Wrath Vineyards” in case that helps you.

Here are the labels we ordered for the red and white. (There were only six bottles of blackberry for our own consumption, so we got cheap and didn’t bother…)

Screenshot 2016-01-27 22.24.29Screenshot 2016-01-27 22.25.45

And yes, this label DOES say 16% alcohol by volume. It’s actually 17 and some change, but the yeast we used maxes at 16, so apparently there is some wiggle room, as our hydrometer doesn’t lie…especially after running the test THREE times.

I hope y’all will jump on board and reply with some killer name ideas! I was able to come up with Sweet Carlos & Tara all by myself, because a) it’s a sweet wine; b) one grape type was Carlos; and c) the other was Tara. ;) Bianco is Italian for White. I think. Whatever. Bianco didn’t fit on the label. Just sayin…

Thanks in advance, everyone!

Until next time (which really SHOULD be about my purchase permit, because that’s actually a timely, opinionated piece which should start a riot regarding gun control, ha ha…)

OMG! My Bestie Is A Survivor!

 

2016-01-15 15.17.52

Belle at the Vet’s just over 2 weeks ago.

I know I said my next post would be about my pistol purchase permit, but I have to vent.

 

My oldest Papillon, Belle (aka My Best Girl) had what we thought was a mast cell tumor removed from her underside two weeks ago.

We expected to hear from the vet regarding her pathology report within the first five days, but we didn’t. We made her follow-up appointment last week for today at four. They got her staples and sutures out and then dropped the bomb.

Belle’s mass wasn’t a mast cell tumor. It’s cancerous, and the doggie equivalent of breast cancer. Do what? Seriously? It acted like a mast cell tumor and her symptoms mimicked a mast cell tumor, but no. It’s cancer. :(

2016-01-19 21.59.16

Hope hanging out with Bell post-op day two.

Now, let me give you a little background on My Best Girl. We got her in April of 2005 (in fact, she just had her 11th birthday on Friday, 1/29). She has been my best friend ever since. I remember leash training her with treats, and taught her sit/stay, high five, and roll over when she was a puppy.

 

She had a couple of litters (the first was deliberate, because paps are hard to find around here) and the second by accident. We decided, after the first litter, that we couldn’t handle the puppies going away because we got too attached…Plus shelter dogs. We kept two from the first litter and three from the second.

At any rate…this little doggie has been my best friend for almost 11 years. When I left to go stay with my mom for a couple of surgeries, she moped the entire time I was gone. When I went to my God-daughter’s funeral in Texas for a week last summer? It took three days for her to come out of our bedroom. (As I’m typing this, she’s curled up in my office chair behind me, so I’m forced to sit forward.) So you get the picture.

2016-01-19 22.43.28

Belle in her size 2T hot pink tee.

Our vet recommended a chest x-ray to see if her chest cavity was clear of tumors. We agreed, and thankfully, she was clear. I was stunned, to say the least.

I won’t know how to do life without my best girl. I don’t know what it is about dogs, but I expect them to be with me forever.

Children grow up and move out, but dogs? Not so much. When they say that puppies are a 15 year commitment? I’m down with that. But what happens after 15 years? How do you let go of a fur-kid that you loved (and vice versa) for over a decade?

I can’t even (and don’t want to) imagine. I may be in denial, but I will be wrecked when Belle crosses the Rainbow Bridge. She is family, my best friend, and someone I hope to spend a few more years with, at least. <3

Dog lovers? Hit me up with a comment.

Until next time…

My Nails!

So I went down hard with a stomach bug last week and spent waaaay too much time on YouTube watching nail art how-to videos.


And I messed around with my daughter’s polish stash, as you can see above.
Then I broke my pinkie nail on Thursday night:

I don’t always break a nail to the quick, but when I do? It is right after my first mani in a year!

 

So I decided to take a cheat from one of my newly found YouTube nail gurus and glued on a fake.

I wanted to do a gradient, but had no latex cuticle barrier, so made nail decal, or ten. They came out like this: 

But then we bottled wine, I didn’t don gloves and had my nails in sanitizer all afternoon.

So I killed that mani and thought I would do a cool chevron patrern. Except that I purchased cheap vinyls and they opted not to sick (the few I was actually able to peel off the backing.) (These would be Kiss Design Perfection2, picked up at Walmart earlier today.) There is an email to them forthcoming.

So the chevron idea I had died on the vine, and I was able to get the French mani curves off of the paper backing an came up with the following, that I don’t love, but it is too late to change it now:  

So, as my designs evolve, I will share here.

Next time? I finally got around to getting my pistol purchase permit.