Monday, August 31, 2009

Wine Friday - Pepperwood Grove Cabernet Sauvignon

As I browsed the wine aisle of my local Harris Teeter I spotted one bottle left of this Pepperwood Grove Cab Sauvignon. It is a 2006 vintage and imported from the Valle Central... somewhere in the circled regions of this map:

The label does not give ANY description of what the wine might taste like... but it fit the wine picking requirements Mr. Wonderful gave me:

1. Must come from the Central Valle or California
2. Must be mostly gone
3. Not too expensive


Mr Wonderful, I have a question for you:

1. Does anyone else have good wines?
2. What if they just stocked the wines?
3. Have I told you how much I love you?

Mr. Wonderful's responses... no I did not bother asking again... I know the answers:

1. Yes, but you're not likely to pick the right one
2. I can't help you there.
3. Yes, yes you have.

Oh! Back to the review...

Pepperwood Grove did not bother to give a description of the wine so I went into it blindly. Had I gone to their website I would have found this:
"Dark ruby color with a nose full of raspberries, cedar, and subtle savory herbs. After the inviting nose entices you to take a sip, you will experience the flavors of rich blackberry cobbler, fresh raspberry jam, and caramel oak tones with integrated hints of basil and fresh figs."

It is very woody and makes me feel like I should be sitting in a country side farm eating some sort of pot roast. Yes, Mr. Wonderful, I do remember that I do not consume meat from cows... but that seriously is what this wine makes me think of. It would be a perfect wine for cooking some sort of roast (not poultry). At first I was against this wine... I mean I do not consume red meat and I'm not so sure I have ever come across a fresh fig... but the after the bitter sharpness when you first take a sip there is a pleasant raspberry aftertaste that is to die for. It is like you just ate a handful of fresh raspberries minus the seeds. While I probably will not buy this again (Mr. Wonderful does not care too much for raspberries), I would be willing to try some more Pepperwood Grove wines.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hard day for a secret agent

Today started off as a wonderful day. Everyone was excited over my fabulous vintage find of a skirt... went out to lunch with some of the other agents. Generally excited over being told by my jefe that they are, in fact, going to keep me on as an agent and not to bother about asking about part time benefits as they were going to see about making me full time next week.

Then was the blow.

The agency manager took me aside and said that not only was I not part time, I was still listed as a seasonal agent. I apparently should not have been given that PTO I had applied for (and had been approved for), nor should I have received holiday pay for the 4th.

BUT they decided to "gift" me that time... yeah... that's the word they used. Instead, they said they're not allowing me to do admin work anymore while I wait for more missions to work on. I must just go home. That's going to cut me back at least 10 hours a week. I'm a rather smart agent... that's about $200 every pay I will no longer be getting. Personally, I would rather just pay them back for the time, but apparently seasonal employees don't have that option.

AND they won't hire me part time as they are on a hiring freeze... even though they hired two new people a month and a half ago... just not me I guess...

Should I seek a new agency? I don't know. I LOVE what I do, who I work with, overall my job. But I'm already squeaking by with all of my bills and I want to go venture off and find a home. I need benefits and steady pay. What do I do?


Monday, August 17, 2009

Wine Friday

Mr. Wonderful and I went to Carrabba's with his parents and we were in the mood for some Sangria.

At Carabba's you have 3 choices for sangria:

and Berry

... no joke... I think the Italian restaurant is being patriotic or something... wait that's not Italian colors... hmmm....

Mr. Wonderful's Mom, Summers, was excited to try the Berry. It wasn't bad. It tasted like grape juice with black berries in it... overall not too Sangria-ish... I think it was lacking alcohol.

The Red tasted like cinnamon... I mean... you must LOVE (I don't think I can stress that enough) cinnamon.

The white... the waitress said it was made with white wine... then made a face. If it is that good, why do they even offer it?


Oh yeah... I forgot about that. :)

The results... if you're going to get Sangria at Carraba's go for the Berry.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Try Something New Tuesday

Try something new Monday... what was I thinking... Try something new Tuesday sounds better.

Good Earth Cocoa Chai Tea

At first I tried it with Sweeten Low... as that is what we have at work as the standard... it was not that great.

So then I mixed it with the Splenda I have hiding in my desk and some coffee mate creamer... yum.

Totally worth it. It does not have as much as a strong Cocoa Nib taste as I would have liked, but it is still worth a try... :)


Monday, August 10, 2009

It might be time for a new navigator

On my way to a mission this morning my current navigation unit, Mio, had no idea where the street was that I was headed to. Google maps was for some reason convinced the building did not exist, but the street was there... just empty. I borrowed the bro's Navigon, Navi, and we got there okay... it just was not the same.

I missed Mio's soothing voice... Navi is just all robotic.

Mr. Wonderful says we might get matching navigation units in December. It's been 5 years with Mio now... I understand that he cannot be updated and is no longer very good at getting me... well... to most places... but at the same time...

I do not want a new "unit" I need a new "navigator." My companion as I ride along on my missions trying to get places and what not.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Post office Closed on Saturday?

What? The one day when I actually have time to get to the post office and it is now closed on Saturdays... what in hell am I supposed to do with these packages I have to mail?

Anyways... Mr. Wonderful and I went to Kings Dominon with his sister, Blue Eyed Educator (Bee for short). Here are some shots of our adventures:

Mr. Wonderful it turns out is almost too tall to ride some rides... he's about one inch away from being too tall.

Some of the rides looked really really scary... maybe Bee could demonstrate the fear better... Bee?

Yep, the rides were pretty scary.

We had some adventures...

There were bears and everything.

Actually it was a beautiful park and they have 13 (seriously) roller coasters... soon to be 14. I'm generally okay with most thrill rides... I mean I take on most of them at Busch Gardens all the time. I do not ride the Big Bad Wolf or the Loch Ness Monster anymore... they shake me up too much. Save for the Volcano and the Stunt Track I was beat up. My ear took a pounding on Mr. Wonderful's shoulder. Not since I was little did I come off of a roller coaster crying. Thank goodness there's no bone in the ear, it is still killing me...

Mr. Wonderful and I have decided to not return to the park until we've forgotton how bad we hurt the day after from such violent rides. Beautiful park... expensive food... no signage anywhere... lots of rollar coasters to choose from, and most of them hurt (11/13... that would be approx. 85% waiting to cause you pain).

Perhaps it would have been cooler if we had children. I mean there were tons of little kid rides, costumed characters, etc for kids to have fun with.

Perhaps it would have been cooler if Mr. Wonderful and clorine got along better.

Perhaps it would have been cooler if it wasn't the start of ragweed season.

Perhaps it would have been cooler if it wasn't 95 out.

Perhaps it would have been cooler if we were all able to fly and could live without sleep for weeks on end so we could actually accomplish everything that we had to accomplish this weekend.

Yeah it was one of those kind of weekends. So... long story short... go to Busch over Kings if you're looking for value of money. You'll have a far more enjoyable time... that is... unless you find this girl:

Sometimes I wonder what possesses people to wear certain things and decide they look good enough to walk out among the general populous... :)


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hump-day Musings

While I do enjoy the joy I get from assisting others as a secret agent, but it makes me anxious sometimes to connect my work to actual people. Hmmm... but still... for some reason I think I want to switch to maybe the IRS or something... at least if people did not like me, then I would still be getting government pay and benefits... that would make me one happy agent.

On today's adventures, my handy dandy sidekick (Mio) decided to take me through a college campus instead of to the correct destination. At least this time he understood that the place I wanted to existed... just was slightly confused on how to get there.

THEN! Between missions I stopped at Subway. Don't get me wrong, I am usually pretty excited about getting a 6-inch sub. This time I was pretty excited to get a salad. I've been sick for awhile so craving a salad is pretty good for me...

... Clue #1... there was no one in there... I know right... no one in a subway? I'll let you figure out the clue numbers from here.

Kid behind counter is confused as to what I would want other than lettuce in my grilled chicken salad. After convincing her that I would, in fact, prefer the chicken hot as to cold... she starts sniffing and rubbing her nose up and down her arm.

I'm a little grossed out, but hey, I'm already on antbiotics...

After removing the chicken from the microwave she has serious issues with holding the (presumably) hot chicken and tosses it off the wax paper and onto the counter to cut it instead. I am assuming the counter has magical cooling properties.

After it is eventually dressed with complicated requests like: tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, and cheese; I am asked if I would like salad dressing.

"Yes." Of course I want salad dressing, it is the only thing that can make me forget that I'm eating iceburg lettuce, which, while tasty, has no nutritional value.

I am then informed that it only comes on the side. I'm not sure how many people want the sniffling lady touch any more of their food than she already has, so I confirm that it's okay and ask for ranch.

I pay by card. "You problem want a receipt with that." She glares and hands it to me (still wearing the gloves!).

The manager comes out from somewhere and informs me as I am putting the receipt into my purse: "You can leave now."

Oh, did I mention... there is NO ONE but me in line... let alone needing service just hanging out in the restaruant. I guess they figure I'm like some evil secret agent or something.

So I get to the next mission (5 minutes away) and I sit down to have my lovely salad. The chicken is cold like it had been sitting on ice... magical countertop I guess... the cheese is not melted so it never really was hot.

Then I notice they have given me Fat Free Ranch. I know I need to shed a few pounds and all (10 more to target weight and all), but how rude to assume. USUALLY... I'd go for regular Ranch... it has less sugar so it's better for me. So I put on this salad dressing to cover my cold chicken salad. The only thing worse than Fat Free Ranch dressing...


... Fat Free Ranch dressing that has gone bad... as in... EXPIRED! Though I could not find an expiration date at all on the package that was the worst tasting anythng that I have put in my mouth in awhile...

... sad to say salad found its way into the garbage... and this secret agent went hungry...

... Emme (sad)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Try something new Monday

Now let me start off by saying I usually do not eat pre-made meals. Usually if I don't have the time or energy to throw together a lunch at home I have an Atkins shake. What? A shake? Yes. I drink shakes, but only the Atkins shakes. They are low in sugar so I do not have to worry about getting sick from drinking them as I cannot tolerate sugar. I am such a lucky person you see. My body does not have a clue how to process sugar. So first I get queezie then if I continue to eat more or don't come into contact with some allergy meds I can develop fun things like uriniary tract infections, kidney stones. Yeah... I tried telling it what to do with sugar, but it still can't seem to get it right. I'm about up to 6 grams at a time now. Yeah, I'm excited to. Although whatever was in my burritto earlier is not cool with my tummy. Damn you yummy burritto.

Back to trying something new. My mother picked me up a ZATARAIN'S® Ready-to-Serve Blackened Chicken with Yellow Rice. As I was sure it wouldn't look anything like the picture on the front it sat in my desk drawer before I got up the nerve to try it. Yeah... I needed to get some nerve for this. Picture myself... the fearless secret agent... hesitantly opening this package. One of my fellow co-agents came up to me and said: "What's wrong Emme?"

And I'm all: "I am just so afraid this will end up tasting like catfood just as that Hormel ready to eat meal did."

She's all: "It's Zatarains it can't be that bad."

So I got some curage from that and made myself some Ready-to-serve Blackened Chicken with Yellow Rice... which that name, by the way, is wrong. If it is ready-to-serve I just need to take it out and eat it, but no... you have to microwave it first... though I guess ready-to-serve sounds better than hope-you-have-a-microwave-or-you're-going-hungry. That's a lot of letters... it would have cost them a fortune in advertising.

So I made my meal.

And I took a bite...

Sorry Zatarains I would rather eat some fast food than eat that again. The texture was gummy. The taste... horindous... and if you didn't like it when eating it... I so wished I had a toothbrush or a Whisp or something. It took 2 sugar-free cinnamon candies, a sugar-free pepermint, some over-steeped chai tea I made myself... AND a burritto and an iced-tea...




Oh yeah... I'm still tasting that stuff. So if you're looking for something quick for lunch as you head out the door grab an Atkins shake! They're pretty good, low in sugar, and they don't linger with you... forever.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday Musings

So I spent last night sick (again) with this whole "Montezuma's revenge" business.

Then I was munching on some stale saltines and I thought to myself... "I bet my little Fuzzy would like some."

And yes, I did give my hamster the name Fuzzy... he is, after all, fuzzy. Fuzzy is a little "Robo" hamster and as such has a brown coloring. He also refuses to be touched, the little bugger, is for some reason afraid of hands. He is okay with feet, they are relatively fun to run all over in the tub, but hands... super scary. They are not as scary when food is being handed to him through the cage bars, they're okay then.

Quickly I slide half of my cracker into the cage. Fuzzy quickly runs out of his hiding spot and starts shoving the cracker into his little mouth. Fabulous! I'm pretty sure the response would have been the same if it was a dog biscuit, some meal worms, or a bit of an apple... but it was just too cute!