Thursday, July 24, 2008

Geeks on Parade

So Staycation Day #3 is coming up on Monday, an all-day workshop for grape varieties and trellising. Hence the title of this post. But being the uberdorks that we are, we are quite excited! Baby-sitting arrangements have been arranged (thanks grammy & dapaw!), and we're taking the geek-show on the road!

You see, we are growing grapes. Lots of them. Well, lots of them when you're doing everything without mechanization. 90 grapevines in a spot high on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. It's sweet. This is a project that was begun prior to the coalescence of Team Nugget. Hubby Nugget was an avid winemaker when we met, and I was an avid wine drinker. It was a match made in heaven! No really, in his eHarmony profile, he said that one of his hobbies was winemaking, and I was smitten! What an unusual hobby, I thought! I must get to know this man! The rest is histoire.

So when we first started dating, he was clearing a 1/4 acre to start a trial plot. Many wonderful dates were spent up on that hill, clearing brush! The story of Team Nugget is intimately tied to that vineyard.

Work sessions were punctuated with wine or champagne breaks, a sure way to rest our tired backs and indulge in the very products that we hoped to someday produce.

Future Hubby Nugget skillfully wielded the chainsaw while I demonstrated my OCD tendencies in stacking the fallen brush.

Grapevines were planted, several varieties that we hoped could tolerate the cold Midwestern winters and dry, humid summers: Frontenac, Vignoles, Norton, Chardonelle, Chamborcin, Foche. We even created a mnemonic to remember: (F)abulous (V)ines, (N)ot (C)rappy (C)oncord (F)uckers (no offense to you Concord growers out there, really, we're not haters).

A couple of summers have gone by since then, and grapevines have been pruned, trained, nurtured and even eaten by local wildlife. We've experienced poison ivy outbreaks, chigger attacks, territorial wasps, and best of all, breathtaking nature:

This summer, we've placed grow tubes on the grapevines to protect the new growth from grazing deer looking for a tasty treat:

The tubes are supposed to encourage growth so that they can reach the trellising.

But I'm not so sure that we haven't just created a massive deer buffet.

Time will tell, I guess.

All for now,

Monday, July 21, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

So I was in the kitchen, doing dishes while the Little Nugget watched The View in the living room, as she is rather fond of Whoopi and the ladies. I hear my cell ring, so I walk in there, and Babygirl hands me the phone, all innocent and such, because after all she is a sweet angelpie of goodness.

My dad is on the other end, and says "Well we've just had an interesting conversation..." Now dad has had some health issues, and in fact went to the doctor last week to check up on his heart, so I'm thinking Oh Crap what's wrong, when he says "with your daughter!"

Seems the Little Nugget has developed a skill, no, a Talent for calling grammy and grampy on my cell phone. This is no easy feat as she has to press the contact button, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, send. And she does it consistently, never calls anyone else. In these phone calls, she just usually stares at the phone, pushes the buttons, then gets bored and walks away. But today, well, lets just say the Babygirl has embraced phone etiquette. She had a full on conversation with grammy and grampy, most of it in Nuggetspeak, then said "bye-bye!" and hung up!
Wow, what's next? Text messaging?

(as I write this, she's in the background going "a shoe! a shoe!" What a sweet babygirl!)

All for now,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sometimes You Just Want a Dirty Screw

Provocative title, eh? Well get your mind out of the gutter, people, I'm talkin' drinks here, not whatever you're thinkin. :-)

We were getting a little tired of our usual tasty beverage so I did a little trip back down memory lane and recreated the drink recipe that Team Nugget, pre-Little Nugget, invented. At least we think we invented it. I will share the recipe with you, but first, indulge me in a retelling of the drink's inception.

The nuptials of Team Nugget were quite an affair, done up on a lake with an awesome pig roast, and tons of food and drink. To ensure no guest went without, we purposely overestimated amounts. Now Hubby Nugget's friends are whiskey drinkers, so we made sure their needs were met. In spades. I don't remember how many 1.5 liter bottles we bought, but I'm sure it was at least 3 (Hubby Nugget remembers it as 5, and that could very well be correct). It was a lot of booze!

However, at the reception, turns out everyone was in a wine/beer mood, and only one bottle of whiskey was consumed. Which left us with A LOT of leftover alcohol. What to do with 4 super-sized bottles of liquor? Get creative and play bartender! Viola! The Dirty Screw is born!

We generally don't measure, so you may want to experiment to adjust it to your own taste:

The Dirty Screw

1 part whiskey (bourbon works too)
1 part triple sec (or cointreau if you want to get all fancy and french)
2 parts orange juice

Pour ingredients in a glass, add ice, stir and drink it up! (makes one drink)

Yummy! The name comes from the fact that it's a variation on a Screwdriver. But I think it's a little tastier, especially with bourbon.

I will refrain from making any lame sex jokes. But you can fill in your own blank.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Shout-out to My Nugget

The blog bug finally bit Hubby Nugget (he is the English major in the family, after all!), and he succumbed big time! Check it out! It's called the Nerdist Colony, I think that says it all!


All for now,

Friday, July 11, 2008

Only 10 Minutes Left... this CRAZY hour! So here's how it went down:

Earlier, Little Nugget settled in for a nap, I was working on photoshopping images, and thought, what are you, nuts?! Take a nap! So I did. THEN, at 4:00 I was awaken by some russling noises. Now I'm super paranoid at this point that the Babygirl is going to get all Olga Corbett on us and do some somersault out of her crib and ransack the house while we're sleeping. Any day, people, it could happen. Seriously.

So I open my eyes, and what should I see? A birdie staring right back at me! Holy Crap, there's a bird in the house!!! I've had other experiences with wildlife in the house (birds, squirrels, oh, and the raccoon, remind me and I'll tell you that story some time--it's a good one!), and birds usually don't do too well confined. Back in the day when I was a single Nugget, I had a starling go medieval on my apartment while I was at work, and when I got home, I thought I had been robbed, except for all the BIRDSHIT everywhere. I didn't eat in that house for a week (it took FOREVER to clean)! So when I saw little birdie staring back at me, I panicked, to say the least. I immediately called Hubby Nugget at work, and he rushed home to the rescue. Lickedy split, he had the bird situation contained and freed it in the front yard, and then back to work! Wow!

So by then, the Little Nugget was awake, and the weirdness continued. After all that excitement, I fixed her a sippy of milk, then settled in to read some of my favorite blogs to wind down. So I look over at Babygirl, and she's talking on my cellphone (!!!), and SOMEONE'S TALKING BACK!!! I grab the phone, look at the display, and she's talking to my parents!!! She called my dad!!! How freaky is that!

So I was chatting with my Mom, you know, talkin' bout how smart my girl is, etc (her comment was to the effect, "oh boy, you're in for it!"), and I walk over to check on the Little Nugget, who says to me, "I pee-pee" and hands me a diaper, then says "dipo".

Oh what a sweet Babygirl!!!!!

That's what I call an eventful 50 minutes!

All for now,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Respect My Authoritay!!!

Hijinks ensued at work yesterday. I happened into my copystand room (where I keep the copystand camera & various other office supplies/crap I don't use any much anymore) just down the hall from my office. I had been sorting and organizing (two of my faves) so the place was a bit messy when I left it. HOWEVER, when I unlocked the door and peeked in, IT HAD BEEN CLEANED (read: my space was VIOLATED). Nothing gets the Nugget riled faster than 1) people messing with my shit, and 2) colleagues disrespecting my authoritay. So OK, I get #2 a lot, and I deal, but DON'T MESS WITH MY SHIT! There is a place for my sticky notes, and my sticky notes go in THAT place, not some arbitrary place that some student assistant decides is a better place. There IS no better place. I am the queen of organizing.

Oh yes, did I mention pillaging of office supplies was involved? Oh yes it was. Storage boxes, my beloved Pilot G2 gel roller pens to name a few things (read: some of my favorite things!).

Although I have to say that I'm a little excited that I get to make a trip to the most awesome Depot in the world to replenish my sad little office supply stash.

Take that, little offender! I told you, right upside the head!

All for now,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It Vexes Me So - Doh!

So this garden thing has still been on my mind (read: obsessed), and the drenching rain we got the other day hasn't helped. More soil erosion, and not too much progress in terms of the creepy thyme doing its job. Hubby Nugget to the rescue! Using his mad internet skillz, he found the reason my plants are shrively: I planted them under a tree that emits toxins!!!!! Way to go Nugget! Yes friends, my rock garden is under a walnut tree, which even without the toxins is a pain in the ass what with all the garbage it spits out. Dirty tree! So now I find that my tree is a trained assassin, slowly but surely killing my groundcover with its evil juglone. Bastard.

Emergency thyme removal is planned for this afternoon, as soon as the Little Nugget takes a nap. And apologies to the creepy thyme for saying it was a lazy ass.

You know what that means? More plant shopping!!!!! Sweet!!!!

All for now,

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ode to Visual Resources Equipment

A haiku composed in honor of my trusty work companion:

My scanner, Scooby
Digitizing all day long
Go little Scoob, go!

(is it time to go home yet?)

A River Runs Through It

I guess you could say that I'm not the most patient person. I'm becoming more painfully aware of that now that the Little Nugget squawks at me when I don't fetch her milk in a timely fashion more to her liking.

So maybe gardening isn't the best hobby for me. True confessions of an impatient, short-attention-spanned gardener!!!

Here's how I roll. Spring comes and I get an irresistible urge to buy plants. Lots of them. I plant them. And they just sit there. And sit there. Now I know that plants have their own growth patterns, likes and dislikes (picky bastards), but why is it that if you have a bare patch of dirt, uninvited guests such as wild violets can set up shop in less than 5 minutes and my god-forsaken creepy thyme just sits there on its lazy ass doing nothing for months?!!! You're groundcover--cover something for the love of God!!!! The weeds are covering the dirt, why can't you???

So here's what I want the garden to look like: (oh yeah, I also built that rock wall this spring--that ROCKS! he-he!)

Aaand, here's what it looks like now:

I had to let the weeds take over to keep the remaining soil in place (yes, I HAD to! Saves time on weeding too--oh I HAVE to leave that weed there!). So here was the plan, the dream, the vision: eliminate a large chunk of yard (thereby reducing our mowing duties) by creating a large rock wall with groundcover/lawn replacement. I wanted Irish moss originally, but jeez that's expensive, so we went with creeping/creepy thyme seeds. NOTHING!!! I think I've gotten maybe 5 plants from that batch, and they are about 1inch long now--woo-hoo! So much for ground cover. In a desperate attempt to prevent further soil erosion, I broke down and bought the plants. They are happy, but SLOW. Team Nugget Gardening Tip # 562: never trust the internet for plant research. EVERYTHING I thought was sacred and true about the info I found on my plants has been WRONG!!! I digress. The rose moss is doing well, I'm happy with that, though some flowers would be nice so we can ensure we have pretty flowers next year and I don't have to repeat this mess.

The tree proved to be a bit of a problem during rain storms, which we have been getting our fair share of the drenching rain, so I slowed the water rushing down the trunk with some mulch, rocks, sedum, scottish moss and the occasional well-placed weed. It's better, but still eroding the precious soil that I painstakingly dug up and hauled into that spot--with the silly assumption that it would stay there.

To quote the wise words of the Bug, "Grrrr."

I wanted to give the groundcover a chance to cover, but I may just have to mulch. Fiddly-foo.

All for now,