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November 20th, 2009 | in Family | Leave a comment

Mark & Sean both have their birthdays in November. Now that they are older, we have a tendancy to celebrate them together instead of separately, definitely easier on their mother :)

 

Mark’s birthday is on the 12th and Sean’s is on the 17th. Mark was celebrating his 30th and Sean’s his 28th.

 

 

Johannah planned the party and put a lot of effort into it. The food was marvelous! and so much of it. I know I didn’t get to enjoy near enough of it that I wanted to. I brought a few bottles of wine and bubbly to celebrate with. Johannah asked me to make a carrot cake for Sean. Since I was making it in the RV and it was just a basic carrot cake, so I added a couple of dozen yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting to go along with it.

 

The party was lots of fun, I probably imbibed a little too much, but the boys say I didn’t embarrass them. That’s a good thing, especially since I was dancing at the end :) Hey, what can I say??? it was 80’s music, and Mark put together a great playlist using Pandora.

 

So, Happy Birthday Mark & Sean! and many more!

 

 

November 11th, 2009 | in Family | Leave a comment

I want to say thank you to all veterans on this day, celebrating those that have served in the past, those that have served and lost their lives and those that are currently now serving.

 

Thank You.

 

My dad, Monty Montgomery, Navy WWII

 

Monty Montgomery Navy WWII

 

My maternal grandfather, Ellis Knight WWII Army

 

Ellis Leroy Knight WWII Army

 

I don’t have a picture of Jim in his uniform handy, he served in the Navy in Vietnam.

November 8th, 2009 | in Family | Leave a comment

Many of you know that Jim and I decided to stay through the end of the year in the Portland, Ore area to spend the holidays with my family.  It was fated to be, because both of my parents have had some health issues since we hit the road.

 

My dad had a minor heart attack in the beginning of August, and then my mom had an issue and couldn’t breath at the end of August. They both spent some time in the hospital but they both came home after a few days.

 

Dad is on the mend, slowly but surely. He has to take it a little easier because he gets so out of breath easier now, but he still gets around fine. Mom is on the mend too, but there have been a few new issues come up since coming home. They diagnosed her as having acute emphysema (smoked for 30 years) and also COPD. She also had some pneumonia in her lungs which they took care of with antibiotics. But, the final diagnosis is that she has a very early stage 1 lung cancer nodule. She has actually started radiation treatment for it and will be done with the 3 treatments next week. They hope that will take care of it, but the other good thing is that it is a slow growing cancer, if there is a good thing about cancer.

 

They are both in great spirits, just frustrated in that they can’t do everything they use to, but still get around.

 

Here are a few pictures to share with you…

Sally Knight Sr. HS Picture

 Sally Marie Knight Montgomery HS Graduation picture

 

Monty Montgomery Sr HS

 Monty Leon Montgomery HS Graduation picture

 

Monty & Sally wedding

 Sally & Monty on their wedding day

 

50th Wedding Anniversary

 Celebrating their 50th wedding Anniversary at Cow Camp

 

60th Wedding Anniversary

Celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at Cow Camp

November 2nd, 2009 | in Wine & Wine Tasting | Leave a comment

What an experience! I want to thank Jim for being such a great sport while I had so much fun learning (he was working). I also want to thank my family & friends for voting for my video, even though I was the only entrant 😉 That’s enough of that for now…

 

I was so busy socializing, tasting, eating, tasting, and visiting that I did not take a lot of pictures, aren’t you lucky! So here are a few, just to give you an idea. It was hard work, really! Starting at 9:00am to 5:00pm, we judged flights and more flights of wine. Over 100 wines each day, we stopped long enough to discuss the wines between each flight and to have a little lunch. It’s a great thing that I had already learned how to spit, wine that is.

 

 

Friday night there was a potluck at Bob W’s house. That was a great way to meet many of the people involved in the Platinum judging and to share a lot of wine. I could have gone crazy, I did try many of them, but just small sips so that I could make it through the night and not be burned out for the weekend. It was a tough job, but I knew I could do it.

 

Saturday, I learned real fast the process of wine judging. The folks from the "backroom" bring in a flight of wine, place it in front of you and off you go. Sniff, swirl, sniff, slurp, swish, spit, savor… write notes and judge. You do that with each wine, up to 12 glasses in a flight. The moderator lets you know what the score is and writes up a profile for the wine.  If there is not a clear decision on the rating (based on 4 scores), then it is discussed until concensus is reached. It takes time and effort, but still, for me, very interesting. Then it starts all over again with the next flight. Oh darn… bring it on!

 

After Saturdays judging, we went out to Alexandria Nicole Cellars for dinner. Jerrod, owner/winemaker of ANC, was on the panel that I was a part of and he put on a spread! Kristine, she works in the tasting room at ANC, did an exceptional job to keep us all happy, well fed and provided with adult beverages. Jerrod has an exceptional employee in her. I want her job when I grow up… If you have never been out to ANC, you need to give it a try, if nothing else, try their wines. I bought several to bring home myself! I even snagged a prized bottle of Petit Syrah and a Syrah late harvest dessert wine, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Here’s what we had for dinner, and oh, BTW, the chef, Frank was awesome too. I need to go back and try out his restaurant in Prosser, WA.

 

Winemaker’s Dinner at Alexandria Nicole Cellars

(Chef Frank Magana of Picazo 717)

Haunted Beginnings:

Sardine Bruschetta

Chorizo Prawns with prosciutto

Olives & Marconi Almonds

Spooky Seconds:

Mixed Field Green Salad with

slivered almonds, apples & warm Chevre

Scary Seafood:

Herb crusted grilled Swordfish with

Mediterranean relish served over squid ink risotto

Monster’s Main Course:

Grilled pork tenderloin with

pomegranate sauce

Petit Fillet of beef tenderloin with

peppercorn sauce

Potato Napoleon

Frankenstein’s Finish:

Chocolate Decadence with

chocolate cherry sauce

 

Once again, there was a lot of great wine to drink with dinner, though I drank a beer too (it takes a lot of beer to make great wine and in this case, to clear the palate). ANC not only has wine, they have 2 rotating beer taps, so, hey, if your hubby would rather have beer than wine, you have it made in the shade at ANC!

 

Sunday was all about finishing up the judging, over 100 more wines to "get through", but in my case, to enjoy. Since I don’t do this for a living, it was a thrill to be able to taste through all of these wines, but remember, we did it blind! All we knew was what the varietal was (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, etc), and each wine was judged on it’s own, not against each other. I did very well, thank you very much. My scores (though they did not count) closely matched the "real" judges on the panel. Not all the time, but over 85% of the time I think, so hey, I too could be a judge 😉 Any one need a wine judge??? I work for wine…

 

All of the wines judged in this 10th Annual Platinum Judging have already won at least one gold medal in some other wine competition. All we did was judge the "already" best of the best and come up with the "Best of the Best" in each of the varietal categories. Here is a little info on how the wines faired:

 

Total wines judged: 451
Double platinums: 16
Platinums: 66
Double golds: 193
Golds: 149
No medals: 27

 

You can find out which wines won which rating in the December issue of Wine Press Northwest… more info on who participated in the judging:

 

Judges:
— Dan Berger, Wine Press Northwest columnist and international wine judge, Santa Rosa, Calif.
— Parks Redwine, director of the Northwest Wine Summit wine competition, Atlanta, Ga.
— Winnie Alberg, wine judge and vineyard manager, Ellensburg, Wash.
— Jay Drysdale, wine judge and VQA liaison, Oliver, British Columbia.
— Jarrod Boyle, owner/winemaker of Alexandria Nicole Cellars, Prosser, Wash.
— Bob Woehler, Wine Press Northwest tasting editor, Kennewick, Wash.
— Ken Robertson, Wine Press Northwest columnist, Kennewick, Wash.
— Coke Roth, international wine judge and vineyard owner, Richland, Wash.

Guest judges (nonvoting):
— Kim Waddle, Portland, Ore.
— Metiner Kimel, Yakima, Wash.

Moderators:
— Andy Perdue
— Eric Degerman

 

I want to thank everyone associated with the Platinum judging, for such a fabulous time. You can invite me back any time :) now it’s time to go enjoy a glass of wine…

November 2nd, 2009 | in Scenic | Leave a comment

Have camera, will travel… a few more fallish pictures from my camera…

 

More fall colors

fall colors in the yard of friends in Bellevue

 

 

Doe hiding in the fall follage

Doe hiding in the fall leaves in a neighborhood in Bellevue

 

Evening light on a bridge in Kennewick, WA

late afternoon light on the cable bridge in Kennewick, WA

 

Clouds alight at sunset in Kennewick, WA

sunset colors in the sky in Kennewick, WA

 

Kennewick, WA bridge at night

Same bridge, later that night from our room in Kennewick