Sugar Pete Gift Boutique is a small shop full of unique jewelry, art, vintage items, candles, scarves, and a lot of other wonderful things.
My mom first told me about the shop and during a trip through town, we stopped. I have been back one time and found that the owner, Melissa, had some great new inventory.
What a fun, small town find!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
We had a nice time. Our tour guide was a hoot. She easily had to be 90 years old and was fully decked out with a well coiffed hairdo, perfect make up and stylish clothes. She gathered us for the tour and then took us behind the main building to load into the trolley for a trip to the main house. The trolley was a converted cattle trailer with benches, pulled by an old pick up. This little wisp of a woman jumped behind the wheel and expertly carted us to the next stop.
She was also a task master. She would brief us on a portion of the exhibit, set a meeting spot and then give us time updates. She would push us along and tell us there was more to see before we moved on to the next stop. She also told my husband that he was "out of bounds" for walking an extra 10 yards down a path. The meadow was not "on today's tour."
I had a lot of fun with the "out of bounds" phrase for the rest of the trip. Anytime it was even remotely appropriate, I told my husband that he was "out of bounds." I may have to resurrect that joke.
One of my favorite things was the peacocks on the grounds. Our guide called them "pea fowl." What amazing birds! Check out the display - what a show. Worth the price of admission.
Friday, May 3, 2013
The Farmstead restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena was easily one of the best meals of the trip. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was casual and fun.
One of the first things we spotted when we pulled into the drive was this beautiful green Ford. We felt at home already.
We also loved that there was so much to do at one stop - a great restaurant with delicious food, olive oil and wine tastings, and educational activities, a farmers market and more that were not happening that afternoon, but were part of the offerings.
The beautiful white farmhouse had the olive oil and wine tasting room, along with a little retails space.
I really loved the use of the galvanized water tanks for planters near the restaurant entrance.
It was cool and rainy, so we couldn't dine in the outdoor area. I loved the overhead lights and the great fireplace! The bar stools are also some of my favorite style.
The interior had some vintage farm equipment and those great teal green metal chairs. I would take a whole set of those chairs in a heartbeat. I also loved the cow head hung high on the wall.
Near the front of house area, the open kitchen sits as a backdrop. It was a very, very cool place. And, the food...wonderful! There point of view is a true farm to table experience. They also don't have a large corkage fee, instead charging a very modest $2 per bottle which they donate to a local non-profit. We noticed that the corkage fee when we were visiting went to the local FFA chapter.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
We were still highly motivated to fix our coat problem. Our previous "coat closet" was also the closet in one of our guest rooms in the back of the house. The proximity of the closet to the front door caused us to just drop our coats on the backs of chairs around the house.
What to do?
We took a closer look at our catalog solution and discovered that it was metal square tubing and angle iron. If we could find a good welder, we chould replicate the design. We did some asking around and found one of parents in my husband's school district. He took a look at our pictures, took the dimensions we had in mind for the space, and talked to us about price. He was going to charge about as much as the shipping cost of the catalog piece. Sold!
My husband bought the wood for the bench and storage shelf. Our neighbor helped him glue and plane them. My husband put on the finish and spray painted the metal frame.
And, we have a completed project!
I added a leather storage box with a lid for all of our scarves, hats and gloves. I am thinking of adding another for umbrellas.
We are super happy with how this turned out and look forward to paring down our coats since now we can see them all at once.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
This weekend was that gardening moment.
We actually had the chance to put some plants in the ground and to do some weeding. I also got to set out the plant markers I made this winter.
Inspired by a blog post by Pam on Simple Details, I thought I would try to make these plant markers. We have a ton of bricks - literally a ton - left from replacing the sidewalk at a rental property. We dug them all out of the old sidewalk, stacked them, loaded them, moved them to our house, unloaded them and stacked them again. During the whole process, I kept wondering what to do with all of those bricks.
I still have two that I would like to make - rosemary and parsley. And, maybe I should make a few sets to give away. We would still have just shy of a ton of bricks left.
We also planted our tomatoes and peppers. See? Doesn't everything look right in the gardening world. Now, give it three weeks and we will have all sorts of weed pulling to do.
And, these little beauties are the volunteer violas that pop up around our grill each spring. My husband moved them to a planter to protect them from the first lawn mowing of the season. He's a good guy to humor his plant geek.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Last Tuesday, we were scheduled to join our friends on their farm for shearing day. This is always a much anticipated day and involves a lot of logistics to trailer our animals back and forth. I had to work and we made arrangements for my mom and dad to help my husband. They are experienced alpaca shearing day helpers and really generous with their time.
At 5 a.m., we started prepping. I needed to be in the shower by 6 a.m., so we got an extra early start. We haltered all of the animals and put them in the trailer in the middle of a wintery mix of precipitation. We were hoping that the snow would pass us by and if not, the trailer would keep everyone dry. Worse case scenario? We would get everyone sheared and put all of their fiber out to dry on tarps in our garage.
I left for work and called my husband to say that the roads were wet and starting to get slushy. By the time he left, the roads were really slick. He saw several car accidents and decided that he needed to turn around. We ended up postponing shearing until the next day.
What to do with the alpacas? If we took them back to the barn, they were going to need to somehow dry out. I was too cold to use the fan that we use during the summer to keep them cool. My husband sent me a text to say that he had a plan! He built a makeshift pen in our garage and put them up there for the night. They ended up drying out and staying out of trouble.
The next morning, we loaded everyone up again. The day was cold in the morning, but the sunshine warmed us up. I am still a wimp; I wore three layers of pants and three layers on top, including my huge winter chore jacket.
Once we got there, everything fell into place.
Four farms came together for this shearing day. Read about last year's shearing for more about the process.
This year we had three guys on the shearing crew from New Zealand. They work very quickly and do a great job. It is an added bonus to get to hear their accents.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
I would have called it "Orange You Glad It's Friday?!" day, but we all had to work the next day. Seriously, it's April in higher education and no one has a standard work week.
For "Orange You Glad" day, I bought several different orange items and spread them out on the table. To kick off the meeting, we went around and said something that made us glad. Then, everyone got to take a few things with them for the day.