Thursday, September 30, 2010

Old Job, New Job

  It all started with one little phone call...


A got a call that his company wanted him to interview for a new position in Tampa, FL. We were excited. We were nervous. We were nervous AND excited all at once. He interviewed. He got the job (OF COURSE!). He was offered a sickeningly small sum of money to make the move. We thought it through very carefully. We spoke to our friends and our families. We made spreadsheets. We talked to realtors. In the end though, even though the fun in the sun was calling our name, we knew that it wasn't the right decision for our family at this time. Too much risk, very little possible reward (remind me I said this when it's snowing 5 feet in the middle of February, okok?).

In the meantime, when we found out that things were probably not going to work out, I went on craigslist and started looking for new opportunities. The day before A got the official offer for Tampa, he went on an interview with another company. It was just one of those "stars aligning" kind of things - he clicked right away with their folks and within 10 days had a job offer on the table.


In the end, it was the right thing. IS the right thing. Sure, there' s been some sadness at leaving a job that has served us well. Sure, there's uncertainty. It is a new job in a new undeveloped region. But there's excitement and confidence and hope, too. For me, Miss Stressy-Bessy when it comes to this kind of stuff - I've of course been nervous - the Tampa thing had me coming emotionally unhinged. But this new opportunity has been totally different. I've felt a lot of peace about it. A lot of peace.

And also, what I want to say (write) out loud and record, is how proud of A I've been as we've navigated this pretty difficult and emotional process. He isn't the "career go-getter" like I have always been. A does his job and does it well, and expects to get the recognition he deserves. He doesn't jump up and down and wave his hands in the arm to demand credit. I will freely admit that I've been so frustrated in the past with him for not moving "up the ladder" faster, for not demanding more. I found his patience maddening and sometimes ludicrous. But through this period of transition, he has been so confident. He navigated interviews and offers with such poise, and in situations where I am usually the one leading the charge, he took my hand and I followed him to where we needed to be. I am so proud of the way that he positioned our family to move forward into the next phase of our life. While sometimes it seems hard for me to give him any credit at all (remember the crazy recognition seeker - that's me), I am so glad to step out of the light and allow him to enjoy a few moments of applause.

Well done, A. Congratulations.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It turns out that I! use! a! lot! of! exclamation! points! in my writing. I've noticed it here and there but was sending a few emails today and it was very obvious. Seriously! Every! sentence! ended! with! an! exclamation! point! My elementary school grammar teacher would be ashamed.

So I went back and started revising. Ending sentences with plain old boring periods. But then, when I read my email, a period just didn't work. Who would write an email full of exclamations? Well - turns out it's ME! I went back through and changed back to exclamation points. I guess I'm just an exciting person. I just can't help myself!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Etsy Etsy Etsy

One of the things that I want to be able to chat about on this old (new) blog is my crafting endeavors. I'm sure we'll laugh and cry and occassionally stab ourselves in the eye with a needle.

ANYWAY - a big part of my life plan is to be able to make a little bit of lovin' on the side using some of my creative talents.

Also, I don't have room in my house for a girl greyhound.

Put all of these things together and what do you get? A new Etsy shop. I'm calling it Happiness By Design and we're starting with fancy schmancy dog collars and we'll see where it goes from there.

First collar is LIVE on the site. Here we go......

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Valenzano Winefest 2010

I was GOING to write this post as a Winery Review, but thought it was a little unfair because we are no strangers to Valenzano. The fact that we've only been drinking their wine for a year may lead you to believe that we are some kind of rookies but let me be clear - we have consumed A LOT of their wine over the course of this year.

We had our first exposure to Valenzano wine at their Winefest in 2009. Valenzano is located in the dirty Jersey - situated in the Pine Barrens in the lovely town of Shamong. (Hey, at least Jersey towns have funny names...). It is a little over an hour from our house, probably about the same distance from Philly. It is an easy drive, UNLESS you are going to Winefest, in which case it is likely that you will sit in Winefest traffic for at least 30 minutes and before you are rudely directed to your parking location by some power-hungry Jersey cop. Ahem.

We attended Winefest last year mainly because our greyhound group was holding a Meet & Greet there. Basically the equivalent of shaking hands and kissing babies - spreading the word about how awesome-possum greyhounds are. To do this + drink wine = pretty much heaven. So we went last year and were like WHOA this wine is delicious and didn't buy enough and had to have "buyers" in NJ hook us up for the next 11 months. Honestly we really like them as people too, but I'm not gonna lie that some conversations started with "OMG WE ARE OUT OF VALENZANO WINE, CALL OUR FRIENDS AND SEE IF THEY CAN BRING US MORE, AND OH, MAYBE HAVE DINNER AND HANG OUT WITH US?"

True story: They actually RAN OUT of Shamong White last year and sent us scrambling to alternate distribution sources. The market price skyrocketed and investors everywhere panicked. Did we have anything to do with that? Cannot be confirmed or denied.

At any rate, we were BACK for Winefest 2010 with Compass in tow - Mama ready for wine and Compass ready for loving from strangers. We kicked a couple of bottles of Shamong Red and worked though some Red White and Blueberry Sangria as we filled our donation jar and people everywhere fell in love with greyhounds. I also made a bazillion (read: 50) wine glass necklaces to sell for a fundraiser at Sharrott and sold a total of 2, and one was to my friend. Here at Valenzano, though, those things were selling like hotcakes. One lady bought TWELVE. I was so proud. $250 quick and easy in donations to help Compass' buddies still waiting for their forever homes. SWEET.

As the day wore on, we got a little frustrated with some of the L-O-N-G lines to purchase wines - seriously dudes, lines were CR-AZY. I hope that they can figure out a way to solve some of their execution issues because this event is seriously awesome and with some minor logistical improvements can continue to grow and be one of my personal favorite things about New Jersey. And we all know that I don't have a lot of terrific things to say about New Jersey.

After Winefest, we stopped by a lovely little BYOB Italian restaurant with outdoor seating and enjoyed dinner with our friends and our dogs. I feel thankful - once again - for Compass, and for all that he brought into my life when he joined it - including all the people that surrounded me. We toasted and drank, and ate and drank, and told stories and jokes and drank some more. By the time we had to go, I was full and giddy- from the wine, of course, but also drunk from the happiness that comes from a nearly perfect day. Can't wait for Winefest 2011.

PS about the wine -if you like sweet wine, this is the place for you. Shamong White, Blush and Red are all delicious. We also love their Red White and Blueberry Sangria, and for something a little different try their Blueberry Bubbly - an excellent sparkling Blueberry wine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why I'm a Crazy Cat Lady

Meet Oliver. He is really cute. He is also living in my garage right now. How do these things happen? Cats don't just blindly wander into stranger's garages. OR DO THEY?

The truth is that they don't. We first saw Oliver when A and C were on a walk this weekend. Of course, as soon as A got back he said "There's a KITTEN out there!" So of course he and I went on a quest to find this kitten. Of course, this is the first mistake. Any other sane person would say, "Ah, a kitten. Lovely." and carry on with their day. Not us. So we find Oliver literally PLAYING IN TRAFFIC. Bad kitty. Bad. We remove him from the road. Of course, now he follows us home. Once home, of course we feed him. WHAT? He looked hungry. He eats. Now what? I put a blanket and some water out on the porch. Luckily, a few hours later he was gone. Back to his house. We hoped.

Two days later A saw him again on his walk. This time he spoke to a guy who lives in a house on the corner a few blocks down. Guy asks A if it's his cat. Nope. Not the guy's either, but he's been feeding him. And trying to protect him from some neighboorhood punk ass bully pre-teens who have been harrassng him. As A is talking to this guy, aforementioned punk ass bully pre-teens throw a bottle bomb. Yeah - NOT COOL kids. When I get home, Art tells me all about it, getting a little teary in the right parts about this POOR BABY CAT LEFT ALL ALONE BEING TERRORIZED BY THESE PUNK ASS BULL PRE-TEENS. Well, I guess we should go get him then. We walk down the street and find him hiding under a bush. Scoop him up and carry him home.

And that's how cats end up living in your garage.

Of course, though, there's a little more to the story than that.

We lost a cat almost two years ago. To say we lost him, well, we didn't actually LOSE him like we accidently opened the door and he ran out. It just sounds better than "He died." which is what happened but doesn't quite capture the sense of loss - the missing, the hole that remained after he had gone. I always preface this discussion by saying that I know that the fact that my cat dying is the worst thing that has ever happened to me speaks to how amazing and blessed my life has been, I know this. But still. Sucks.

Grief is a funny thing. Even, or maybe especially, when you're grieving an animal companion. What surprised me at the time, being unfamiliar to loss - is that all that love you feel for someone or something - that love is still there, even if the thing you love is gone. When you love someone or something, you release that love in a million ways. Hugs and touches and even thoughts - loving is interactive. But when that something is gone - there's all this extra love that has no place to go and it just wells up under your chest with nowhere to go. And it HURTS. Like gas. I know, I'm writing this eloquent blog entry about loss and CATS, and now I talk about gas. But that's how it felt to me. I didn't know what to do with that love, I didn't know how to love something that was gone. I thought I would go crazy carrying it around with me, having no way to show it or express it or let it out. I needed a Beano for my grief.

I found it in a cat named Chewie. He was in trouble. A and I drove three hours in the pouring rain to get this cat out of a bad situation. The whole time I was so angry. I kept saying "We would NEVER have done this to Stitch! Why did we lose our cat and this cat is just TOSSED ASIDE LIKE GARBAGE." I was angry. I'll never forget when I finally made the hand off the sense of relief that I felt. At first I thought I was just happy the cat was out of trouble, but then I realized that had happened. It was like a big old grief FART. That love - that pent up love for my cat - I used it to help another cat. A few weeks later there was another "situation". The first garage cat. Again, I was angry. Thinking about what I would have done for my cat, how much I wished I could have saved him. But I used all that love and I saved this little cat instead.

Last night I sat in the garage with Oliver in my lap. He purred on and on like a little engine, rubbing himself against my legs and back and nuzzling into my chin and eventually settled himself into the crook of my arm and fell asleep. The garage steps were not comfortable. I could feel the nails digging into my leg as my arm started to fall asleep. I asked myself, what the hell am I doing? Sitting in a garage in the middle of the night with a cat you barely know. I knew it was something my mother would not approve of. But there I was, so I started sifting through memories, and of course thought of Stitch, his baby days when he would never EVER have taken a nap on my lap. I thought of the funny things he'd do to make us smile. I thought of how moody he could be. Of course, I thought about his last day with us, the horrible moments when we lost him. I thought of how hard the first few weeks and months were without him - how I missed him and loved him still. How I despreately wanted a way to honor him, to show that his life had made a difference, that he had changed me. And sitting in my garage last night as little Oliver's purr changed to a soft snore, I knew that I had done that.

And that is why I'm a crazy cat lady.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September Grass

Do you see those ants
dancing on a blade of grass?

Do you know what I know
that's you and me baby, yes it is.

We're so small and the world's so vast
we found each other down in the grass.

- James Taylor, September Grass

This song - this time of year - it takes me back. Eight years ago. I was in the middle of breaking up with a boy I had loved for years. I was dating another. And then another after that. Going back and forth between two, then three.

And then I met my husband.

It wasn't all rainbows and unicorns from that point forward, we had a lot of work between that day and any happily ever after. But when the leaves start to turn, I listen to James Taylor - as I had been during those first weeks and I think back- it was the start of everything, and I had no idea of what was ahead.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day in our Nation's Capital

Over Labor Day, the whole Yings family met up in our nation's capital to visit sister M and her boyfriend. Now, when you get all the Yings together, you are pretty much guaranteed a good time, and this trip was no exception.

In fact, the visit actually started on Friday when A drove to Baltimore to pick up H and bring her back to Delaware. We had a whirlwind evening of crafting where H managed to create from nothing a kick-ass wallet that would give Vera Bradley a run for her money. I stuck to key fobs and a new collar for Compass that is so sweet dude it deserves it's own post. So that was like a mini-Ying get together, and when we woke up on Saturday we grabbed a bagel before heading south to DC.

We all met at Eastern Market, which is a cool little market in DC. In fact, it is so cool I'm shocked they allow me to be there at all. Their cool-meter must be going nuts when all the Yings walked in. At any rate, they have all sorts of produce, plus local crafters and a flea market. We browsed the market and I picked up a pepper plant and a nice big planter with all kinds of different herbs for $20. Sweet. We also went inside and grabbed a canoli and some most delicious cupcakes. Afterwards we headed to see Top Chef Spike's burger joint, but it was CR-AZY there and instead headed to Matchbox for pizza. Although I was once again not a fan of the spicy meatball pizza, it was a pretty good meal.

After dinner, we went to check into the hotel - this time we stayed at Marriott's Fairfield Inn. Not only is the Fairfield a BEA-U-TIFUL hotel, they are the bee's knees in our book because they allow us to bring our puppernickel to stay with us. Only downside is that he isn't allowed in the room by himself in case he barks and disturbs other guests (this is foreshadowing and will come back to haunt us later...). So we got settled in our room and cracked open a bottle of Sharrott's Vignoles and toasted a lovely day. I got to spend some time with my brother, J, as my parents unpacked and walked to meet our sisters. It seems like I never really get to talk to him that much, and it was great to hear what's going on in his life - some pretty kick-ass awesome stuff that has me both jealous and goddamn proud of him. Not that anyone READS this blog yet, but one day when I have a bazillion blog readers who do whatever I say is cool, I'll throw out a link to some of his stuff. He is brave and talented, and I hope that someday some of that will rub off on me. (Whoa, that was a little bit of a sappy detour on the old (new) blog, sorry bout that.)


At any rate, by the time the rest of the fam got back we were well into our second bottle of wine (Shamong White, if you're interested) and it was officially time for YING FAMILY GAME NIGHT. Now here is the sweetest part of the whole trip. They were supposed to give my family a big two room suite so that we could all play games together, but there was a big wedding and they had overbooked the hotel. Instead, they gave us a CONFERENCE ROOM. Like a real conference room with notepads and pens and water glasses. Like this was a totally official hotel sanctioned YING FAMILY GAME NIGHT. We're seriously moving up in the world.

So we started playing games - first this impossible card game where you have to say a word that begins with the first letter of the number on the card you pull. Whoa, now that I'm trying to explain it I realize how damn confusing that actually is. But you get it? There are two people facing off, and you draw a card, and whatever number card it is, you race to say the a word with the same first letter as the first letter of the number on the card. That is not less confusing. An example: You pull a 6. Six begins with S so you race to say a word that starts with S. Whoever does it keeps the card and moves to challenge the next person. You go around the table til you're out of cards then count your cards and whoever has the most wins. Honestly, I sucked at this game and it is no surprise and it took me a half hour to figure out how to explain it to you and you still probably don't get it (sorry).

Next we played Smart Ass, another game that generally speaking I suck at. It was sometime during this game that we got a knock on our door that the dog in room 420 was barking like a crazy person and they'd already had several complaints. GRRREEAT. So that ended Ying Family Game Night In The Fancy Conference Room pretty quick and instead we went back and played in our room. Thanks Mr. Compass.

The next day we had breakfast at M and W's new apartment. They have a little basement apartment in a really nice neighborhood. It is still crazy to me how different city living is - their apartment is SO TINY! Seriously I know that most places look small with all the Yings piled in but it is pretty tiny. But it is so cool to see how they make the most of every. freaking. little. space. A very different way of living, that's for sure. Brunch was delish - it was M's first time cooking for all the Yings and she did a great job.

Afterwards we spent some time at the National Portrait Gallery where they had an awesome Norman Rockwell exhibit. We picked up sandwiches at Pot Belly and headed to a concert on the steps of the Capital. Aside from a hiccup when we discovered that Compass was not allowed into the concert area (BOOOOOOO TO YOOOUUUUU, DC!), we found a nice spot BEHIND the stage and enjoyed our sandwiches and the giant pickle that I had purchased along with my sandwich. I think that M was offended when I said it was the most wonderfully awesome thing I've eaten in days, but seriously. A giant pickle is amazing. Can you even hold that against me?

Monday morning brought much of the same, I would write here about a giant a-hole that gave us a ridiculously hard time about having breakfast at the Commissary, but I'll skip it and say we had a lovely brunch down the street at Logan Tavern and leave it at that. After brunch we headed home with just a quick stop to drop H back off at Towson.

Whew. I am exhausted just writing about it. On a meta-blogging note, I don't even know really why I wanted to write it all out - I guess that I am still struggling a little with what to blog and how to blog and what I'm trying to do/capture/record. On some level, I do want to record the details. On another level, I want to write an interesting entry and not just a collection of facts. On yet ANOTHER level (geez, I have a lot of levels), all I really want to say about this past weekend is that my family rocks. We all have our squabbles and our issues, but to be able to come together and spend time and share our lives - well, that's pretty much the best thing in my life right now. Or ever. The best thing in my life. Ever. And to get to hang out with everybody in DC over a 3 day weekend, well that's just icing on the cake.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Quote of the Day

"How long have you two been together?"

"It's been a long time - a really long time - kind of like when you just get really drunk and you kind of black out and you don't really know how much time has gone by..."

I think this quote is from a movie soon-to-be-released called Going The Distance - something lame staring Drew Barrymore but I caught it during a commercial and rewinded it three or four times to capture for posterity. Of course I didn't bother to capture the lame movie title, but you get the gist.

Moving forward with the new (old) blog, I do want to post some quotes - whether literary or poignant or funny - but to have this be the first one - well, that's just awesome. Totally awesome.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Last First Kiss

There is this country song - I know - please stop laughing at me for listening to country. It's not nice. Stay with me here. Generally speaking, most country songs are pretty uncomplicated. Country songs are about trucks and beer and dogs and loving America. They have a good beat and you can sing along and they don't bring up any moral issues that you'd rather not think about on Monday morning on your way into work.

So anyway - I'm driving along one day and I hear this song. It's called History In The Making. Lyrics go like this...

This could be one of those memories
We want to hold on to, cling to,
one we can’t forget
Baby, this could be our last first kiss
The door to forever
What if this was that moment
That chance worth taking
History in the making

So I'm singing along - in my car - in my uncomplicated Monday morning - lalala - and then WAIT - WHOA - what is this dude talking about?!

Last first kiss. So then I'm like wait. Being an old married lady as I am these days - my last first kiss - WHOA - it's OVER. Done with. I'll never again have a LAST FIRST KISS. (I mean - let me just pause and say, I hope this is the case. I hope I live to be an old old old cranky lady and die a few weeks before my husband. I know life doesn't always work this way - but man, that would be the bomb. But back to my Monday morning FREAKOUT). So as I'm be-bopping to the music remembering how AWESOME first kisses are - and well, take that off the bucket list cause it's over for me... I realize...

MY HUSBAND WASN'T MY LAST FIRST KISS. I mean, folks, let me honest with you. Not by a long shot. I kissed a LOT of people after I kissed my husband. Most were totally legit but some were... well... erm. I mean - seriously people. Was your husband YOUR last first kiss? It seems like you would really have to have your shit together for this to be true or at least be really forward-thinking which my 20 year old self surely wasn't. This song is MESSED UP.

So now this song - that I really actually liked - I hate. It is stupid. A stupid, stupid freaking stupid song about stupid people. So there.

But you know what else I was thinking. Aside from the fact that maybe I hate this song because I'm a hussy, I hate it for another reason too. It tells a lie. Moments like that - the moments when your life changes - it's so rare that you see them coming. It's so rare that you wake up one morning and say "TODAY IS THE DAY MY LIFE WILL CHANGE." You can see them looking back, but to see them before they arrive - well, that's a pretty tricky thing.


Now, not to be cryptic - but to be honest and record what I can how I can for posterity and for my children - today, it might be one of those days for us. I mean - who knows? But while that 20 year old wasn't smart enough to realize the man she was smooching was going to be the start of something awesome, I hope that this nearly 30 year old has learned at least a few lessons along the way. And if today is the day our life starts changing, well I want to know that I was smart enough to see it coming. SO - if this is what it might be - well, PUCKER UP.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Winery Review: Sharrott Winery

One of things I'd like to do on the old (new) blog here is to write about the wineries that we visit. In addition to generally being a little tipsy when we depart, it's usually hard to remember the specifics of each winery and their grapes. This should be a big help to us, and hopefully to other wine snobs as well.

We traveled to Sharrott Winery on Sunday, August 29 for their annual Wine Festival. Sharrott is located in Hammonton, New Jersey. For those of you who don't know - and most probably don't - the dirty Jersey is one of the main wine producing states in the US. Shocking. Even more shocking is that I actually drink wine produced there, despite my long-standing aversion of all things Jersey. But we should probably leave my feelings for Jersey for another post and stick to the topic at hand. Hammonton, New Jersey is in Southern NJ - probably about 3/4 of the way to Atlantic City from Philadelphia. It was an easy drive from Delaware - straight up to Philly and down the Atlantic City expressway. It might be harder to get there during certain times due to the infamous "shore traffic" but we left Delaware around 11:30 on a sunday and made it there in about 45 minutes.

Aside from the fact that it had the distinct Jersey odor - the Winery was simple but nice. They have one building that I only went inside to do lady things after quite a few glasses so I can't really speak to what I would have thought sober - suffice it to say that the toilet was in working order so hurray for that. The festival itself took place outside - they had a tent set up for tasting and a little stage for a band. They had a number of somewhat random vendors - there was a bank, cigars, a limo service? - set up along one side of the area and that's where we set up shop with our greyhound adoption group. They also had some totally delicious but somewhat non-sequitor food - hot dogs, funnel cakes, fried crab cake sandwiches - I mean, I love me a good hot dog but don't generally wash hot dogs down with a nice white. Usually. Not that it stopped me on Sunday. Ahem.

The tasting for the festival was $10 per person and was "all you can taste" and they also gave us a lovely glass. We have so many of these glasses for wineries all over and I just have to send a message to the winery people: If you like wine enough that you go to a lot of wine festivals - you already have wine glasses. In fact, chances are good that you have white wine glasses, red wine glasses, stemless glasses, plastic glasses for your intoxicated friends (not ME, I assure you...), etc etc. You don't need their silly glasses. Charge me $5 for the tasting and save your glass.

Onto what you (by you I mean I) really want to know. The wine.

I admit that I didn't try any dry wine. It was hot, I was cranky and I wanted to taste and purchase. Cut right to the chase.

We started with their sweet Riesling. For a sweet Riesling, I found it to be a bit on the drier side. Or maybe not dry, but it had quite an acidic taste that I didn't care for. I mean, I could have had a glass, and it might have been a good "middle of the road" wine for mixed company (when I say mixed company I mean people who like real wine and not grape juice), but it wasn't anything terribly special and was on the pricier side ($17ish a bottle?). Bottles purchased = 0

We moved on to the Vignoles. Their website describes this wine as having a "slight sweetness that compliments the natural fruit character with aromas of pineapple and honey". Now, sometimes I think that people who write these descriptions are smoking crack, but this was an excellent description. This wine was bright, fresh and perfect for a hot summer day (and trust me, folks, this was a HOT! SUMMER! DAY!) Bottles purchased = 3 Bottles consumed immediately upon purchase = 1

Make Me Blush is - duh - a Blush wine. Honestly, I must have been so underwhelmed by this wine that I don't remember much about it except that it was underwhelming. A bit surprising as I usually like Blush wines, but it wasn't anything I had to have. Bottles purchased = 0

Crimson Sky is described as "sweet with bright acidity, notes of candied cherry and a long, fruity, floral finish". Seriously whoever wrote these descriptions should have a job writing wine descriptions because this was another excellent call! This wine reminded us a lot of Valenzano Winery's Dangeruss Red, which just so happens to be a family favorite. Definitely a sweet wine, but not so sweet that it isn't drinkable. Bottles purchased = 3 Bottles consumed immediately upon purchase = 1

They also had a raspberry wine that sounded delicious but was not. It tasted very sour to me - the kind of wine that I can nearly guarantee would give me a belly ache. Bah.

Not available for tasting at this event was a Blueberry wine that I was dying to try as I am a usually a fan of Blueberry wine. So we purchased a bottle for our own tasting and when it was a big hit purchased an additional two bottles. It had an excellent blueberry flavor but wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. I was informed at some point in the afternoon that Hammonton is actually the blueberry capital of the world and while I cannot confirm or deny this, I can tell you that it was definitely after we'd kicked a bottle (or two...) but from the taste of this wine I'd probably believe it.

For my readers who might like things on the drier side, I can just offer that A liked the Dry Riesling and the Vidal Blanc. (You like that - how I just slipped in "my readers" - like I have readers. Ha!) He was also a fan of the Vignoles, though - so that might be a nice purchase if you and your better half face the struggle of incompatibility when it comes to your wine preferences.

I can also tell you that I tasted with my BFF who generally shares my palate, but on this day she preferred the Riesling to the Vignoles and wasn't a fan of the Blueberry at all. She was also wearing her cranky pants, so who knows?

I've also got to give a shout out to the winery for inviting Greyhound Angels Adoption to be a part of the event. It is always "greyt" to get out and spend the day with our greyhound friends and even better when we can spread awareness about greyhound adoption. We had about a dozen dogs there, including Nolan who is up for adoption and worked the crowd like he knew his future depended on it. We got a lot of interested folks and the dogs got a lot of pets and we raised $84 while downing a few bottles. Overall, a lovely day.

So... if you ever find yourself in Hammonton, NJ with some time to kill - find yourself a blueberry field OR Sharrott Winery and you won't be disappointed.