Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at our house..........

It's a quiet day at our house today. No store (s) to rush and open, no yoga class to get to, the dishes are already done and the house is all picked up. Thanksgiving is a day of rest at our home, and as we sat here this morning and had our coffee, what we did do was plan out the family phone calls, webcam visits and thoughts for the weeks ahead.

We are blessed with a wonderful family, but unfortunate on days like today, they are spread out all over. We will make a phone call to Robert's Mom & Dad in Brunswick, Ga. here in the next few minutes, and then one to my brother David and his family in Ft. Lauderdale. Then we will call his brother Ralph and his family in Homestead, Fl. The phone call to his sister Lisa in South Carolina was enjoyed last night. We will finish up the morning with our most anticipated, a webcam visit with our daughter Sara, and grandson Cash. You might have seen one of the commercials on TV for webcams, or enjoyed a visit on one yourself, but if you don't know what a webcam is, it is a small camera that attaches to your computer. It allows you to "dial up" the person on another computer in real time, and visit. It is as close as we get to visits with our children when they are at their home in Maine. Cash is now at the age, 17 months, that he understands and remembers who we are, so he is anxious to get up close to the screen and "talk" to us. He shows us his newest book, his latest feat on his play truck, how he can carry a chair across the room, and occasionally he trys to get to the back of the computer screen with a "hey....where did they go" look. We look forward to these calls and it keeps us connected in a way we would not have with phone calls alone.

The one phone call/webcam visit we can't make this year on Thanksgiving is to our son-in-law Travis. He is overseas at the moment, but I know he reads these posts when he gets a chance, so this is to you......."I know they don't celebrate Thanksgiving where you are, but we want you to know how thankful we are that you are in our lives, and the father of our grandson. Come home quickly and safely, we can't wait to see you in December, love Sue & Bob."

Yesterday as Lucia and I spent the day at Red Zinnia, it filled my heart with joy as time after time the door opened and in came a family from Fallon with visitors from out of town. The usual "teasing" from one relative to the other, the family histories and recipes that were shared. The swapping of tales of Thanksgiving's past. The new memories that will be created by one family as they planned a new family tradition, the simple act of taking a small book in our shop called "Gratitude" to place on the table for everyone to write in. The phone call from my daughter asking for my Mom's recipe for Green Bean Casserole and Waldorf Salad .It is one of the wonderful parts of living in a small town when you know most of your customers, and they become in a small way, your family also. These "visits" at the store mean so much to me. So even though our family is spread out all over the world, we are thankful for our friends that are close by, and we will joining with some of them around the table this evening.

We are blessed with good health and great family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving, to one and all! Susan

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fall gardening in my world

Living in a yard with huge cottonwood trees surrounding you can be a joy in the summer and a "much avoided" task in the fall. This year we didn't get hit with the leaf minor bugs to bad so all our leaves held on through the entire summer. But they certainly have lost their grip now. The entire front yard, side yard, back yard and flower beds are filled with brownness. This morning I headed outside to start on some of the fall clean-up chores that should have been done weeks ago. Opening a new store, and vacationing with the kids in Maine has put me behind by at least a month but as someone who always tries to see a silver lining in the cloud, at least all the leaves have fallen now. No raking twice this year!

The flowers on the mums have all turned a nice shade of cocoa, but the plants themselves are still very green. The tomato and pepper plants have all been composted and I have pruned back some things, but not to many. I am of the "leave it alone until late winter" group of people regarding pruning. I think that the layer of protection afforded by the remainder of the plant will keep the roots warm in the cold, cold days coming. Think of it as a little warm chenille blanket, comfy and soft, protecting your young roots from the cold. One question we have received many calls on at the nursery this last month though has been about roses. If you have just moved here from warmer locals, now is NOT the time to prune back your roses. Tax Day, April 15th is the earliest recommend date for heavy pruning. We still have many warm sunny days left in the fall, and pruning encourages growth that would just freeze and set your plants back come spring.

I am not at the point yet that I start browsing through the seed catalogs, or planning my early spring garden. I am still trying to get through the bulbs that sit un-planted in the garage, the late fall fertilizer that never found it's way to the lawn, and the drip lines that need to be blown out. I am way behind this year, but I have a new store to appreciate, and memories of an amazing vacation to fill my thoughts. It's back out to the leaf pile for me. Take care, Susan

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We dance with the wind

Softly the wind carries our arms
round and round our circles form
the breeze we long for to carry our words
our elders reach farther with their thoughts
the children play but leave no mark
winter is coming, and with it our silence
until spring brings us warmth- to continue, circling, circling

One of the many special moments of our trip back east was a walk on the beach at Cape Cod. My Aunt Sue parked at the lighthouse, and settled into her front seat with a book and the warm sun peaking through her windshield. Kathy, Charmaine and I set out through the sand, shoes shed at the long steep stairs that led down to the beach. Looking out to the horizon, Charma and I headed straight to the waters edge, the surf loud and inviting. Kathy set out for the upper area of the beach, sand dunes calling her with her photographers eye. We met up about an hour later, many many photos taken by all of us, but Kathy says to us "Did you see the circles in the sand?", we looked at her with a small amount of puzzlement........circles in the sand? No, we were busy looking at the sailboats, the pebbles, the shells........"No, look at this photo I got, the plants, they make circles in the sand from the wind." she tells us with the childlike amazement that only a true photographer can display. We walk back up to the dunes with her, and study the different patterns the native grasses have made. I had walked by at least a 1000 of these same grasses.........before.....but never noticed them, as she had. Makes me want to slow down a little......and enjoy...the patterns in the sand, the pattern in my life. Thank you Kathy, for bringing them to my, and everyones, attention,
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Friday, November 14, 2008

America's Stonehenge

Now that the Red Zinnia is finally open ~ my life has taken on a small amount of normalcy. I wanted to try and get caught up on some of my latest life's adventures.

America's Stonehenge October 2008

This picture was to amazing not to share. While on our trip back east we planned a day at America's Stonehenge. Charmaine and I had been extremely fortunate to visit England's Stonehenge while in Europe back in 2001. We wanted to see what Salem, New Hampshire had to offer. She had found out about it while searching for things to "See & Do" in the area before we left. We traveled down a winding tree lined road, filled with detours and entered a wooded parking lot. While we realized that it would not have the same huge formations that we had seen in England, we weren't really prepared for the magnitude of this one. We entered through the gift shop, oh no, another gift shop, and got our tickets, sat through a short film about the area and what we would see and then headed out through the forest. It was a very cool rainy day, and the trails were slick with dew. The scent of the forest rose up all around us and as we were the only ones on the trail that morning it was all ours to enjoy. The guidebook that they had given us pointed out the different rock formations to look for, and their significance in monitoring the days of the year. We spent the better part of the morning here, lost in thoughts, taking at least a hundred photos between us, and just sitting in the forest. This photo was taken inside one of the many "caves" that were built out of rocks. It was just to awesome not to post. Kathy captured Charmaine and I was we walking out of the darkness. The rest of the day, our last full one on the east coast, was spent in quiet reflection of the enormous accomplishment of whoever had built this beautiful wonder.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Someone has to do it!

I would have to say that one of the best benefits of owning a new wine shop is taking the opportunity to educate myself whenever possible. Every year Silver State, one of the largest wine distributors in Nevada, invites all of the wineries that they represent to Reno for a gala tasting event. We arrived not really knowing what to expect and we were greeted with a lovely book to keep track of our tastings, and a nice crystal glass. We entered the huge ballroom at the Silver Legacy and stopped to take it all in. Posted by Picasa With the assistance of our Fine Wine Sales Rep, Calen, we set off for the tables to see what we would like to sample. I was accompanied by Jaime, her husband Kevin, Michelle, and Robert. We thought that if we each tried different things we might be able to get a good feel for what we wanted to order for the shop. Michelle started out with the whites, while Jaime and I hit the reds, Bob and Kevin following us, just picking from their favorites. What we ended up with was 5 books full of tasting notes, a HUGE bottle of Klinker Brick to take home, thanks to Bob's winning raffle ticket, and a night full of memories. Jaime and Kimmie went to Southern Wine's Tasting Gala Event the following week. Me - I was in Maine, trying out some East Coast varieties, and believe it or not, found some great California wines while I was there. Our next project is more classes like the one Michelle and I took through Truckee Meadows Community College, on wines and regions where the grapes are grown. My latin from The Flower Tree will come in handy! We will keep you updated as we find out about them. Perhaps a carpool from Fallon is in order. Stop by the Red Zin Cellar, we would love to show you are favorites. See ya soon, Susan

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Wow, what a wild ride this last two weeks have been. While we were been busy putting all the last touches on the Red Zinnia, my life seems to have flown by me. Without the grounding force of a great husband, daily updates and smiles from my amazing daughter, and an incredible circle of friends.......I am sure you would have seen my head rolling down Williams Avenue by now. So here is what I learned in the last two weeks.....

No matter how much planning you is never enough.

Don't think that you have all your bases covered until you actually open the door.

Computers will play havoc in your life...just count on...plan for it....and go with the flow.

There is not nearly as much daylight in the day as they promised you in kindergarten. it or not, sometimes you really must stop for some of this stuff.

We had an amazing opening day. The rooms were filled with wonderful energy and excitement. Words are never enough, but it is what I this moment in time........Thank you, thank you to all of you that helped me make this next dream of mine a reality, and I promise, I won't try and think of any new project...........for at least a year ... : }

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

George's Fans

With all the excitement of leaving for my trip back east, somehow I never got all these photos posted. I flew out at 6pm the night of our annual Harvest Festival. After a full day of fun, music and kid's activities, I grabbed my already packed bag and headed for the airport.

Absolutely !!!! Without a doubt !!! the hit of the day was George, the Giant Turkey! Kevin and Jaime Sammons have raised George to be a polite and very friendly turkey. He lives at the ranch with his mate, and when called upon to do duty as the official greeter for the Harvest Festival, he was only to happy to oblige. Jaime and Kevin patiently visited with each child, describing George's home, his habits ~ and the kids loved him! I hope that he will join us for years to come. As the sign said, "Hi, My name is George, and I live in a Vegetarian Household."

Donna and Eleanor thrilled the children with stories, Michelle helped them create a special painted pumpkin to take home of their very own, and for the adults ~ we were entertained by the soothing sounds of Jim Moore, a lovely wine tasting by Bill, and the great beer basted brat's by Bob. And George, we will see you again next year I hope!


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