Scarlett’s Letter August 28, 2013

In the new consciousness it is easier to overlook the unconsciousness in others. Don’t strengthen it by dwelling on it. ~ Eckhart Tolle

My lesson, for myself, for today. Another way to put it, I need to learn to bite my tongue. Most of the time. There is no virtue in correcting others if there is no harm or danger in what they are saying. I am going to grow very quiet. Especially at home.

I spent the day with Mom. I am so emotionally spent I’m physically tired.

This is representative of how my whole day went:

Mom: Where do you want to go for dinner? Pizza and beer at the new place, Thai food at Mini Mango, or that Tacqueria (we’ve both heard amazing things about and both have stated, repeatedly, we’d like to try).

Me: Any of those are fine. (Giving her the opportunity to choose what she’d really like).

Mom: Well no one else is here to help decide! (I think she’s prompting me to be decisive).

Me: (Decisively) Pizza and beer is a little heavier than I’d like to eat tonight. I love Mini Mango, but we’ve been there a lot. How about the tacqueria?

Mom: But we had fish tacos last night!

Do I keep deciding until I decide on the restaurant she’s apparently already decided on? I’ve retreated upstairs. I hear the television on downstairs. I have an appointment for a two-hour massage in a couple of hours. I’m really looking forward to it.

Mom and I successfully made a donation of several boxes and bags of stuff at Community Projects, then another at Cope, according to a longstanding plan. We’d planned on enjoying a winery together, “wine-tasting Wednesday”, since I needed to go “Up Valley” to V. Sattui to purchase a special box designed for checking an entire case of wine as luggage, perfect for my trip to Alaska! On Mom’s winery bucket list was Cakebread Cellars in Rutherford on the St. Helena Winery. Like Trefethen, yesterday, Cakebread Cellars has been a family owned winery since the late 1960’s, producing their first vintage in 1973. They have 62 acres surrounding the winery, itself, and another 900 here and there around the Valley. They also purchase grapes, some, even, from Trefethen, as I learned yesterday. When visiting Cakebread Cellars, do call in advance for a tasting appointment. We were fortunate enough to be able to walk in and taste, but only because it was a Wednesday afternoon and most of the tourists coming from the Bay Area are deterred because the San Francisco Bay Bridge is closed, today, through September 3rd. They were gracious and also honor the Napa Neighbors Discount Program with their standard tasting of six wines, the “Select Wine Tasting”, normally $15, complimentary.

Nancy poured for us, and just for the two of us, as luck would have it. Tasting, in nice weather, occurs out under the sycamore trees by the flowerbeds, viewing the culinary center and the winery building. Nancy was a wealth of information on the wine, the winery, the family and the area. Having her to ourselves allowed us the chat and swap stories of lifetimes spent in the Bay Area and in Napa. It was like having wine with friends!

As I state, on nearly a daily basis, I prefer red wine. Cakebread does offer an exclusively red wine tasting, by appointment. It is $30 and is not available for the complimentary Napa Neighbors Discount. I will return for this tasting another time. The wines selected for the “Select Wine Tasting Menu” were comprised of three whites and three reds. I enjoyed them all, yes, whites included. We started with their 2012 Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc. They describe it in their accompanying brochure as every fruit in the market, except peach, and all I tasted was peach. It was delightful. The second wine was a 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay, also very good, followed by the 2011 Napa Valley Carneros Reserve Chardonnay, which was even better. Our first red was a 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. I am fast becoming quite a Pinot fan and this wine did not disappoint my amateur palate. Don’t tell Miles that I prefer Merlot to Pinot Noir, even still. My two favorite wines were the last, as the big, bold reds usually are last in the line up. First of my two favorites, and the one I could afford to bring a bottle of home, the 2011 Lake County Zinfandel. The best wine of the day, and a little out of my price range, at least with as much as I’ve been spending on wine lately, was the 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I envisioned both the Zin and the Cab accompanying a moose steak very nicely. The Zin being half the price of the Cab, Zin it is!

I am, at this point, starving. I’m not quite sure what to do about dinner; eat crow, cook for myself, or go to the tacqueria by myself, it is, after all, conveniently located in the same shopping center as my massage center!

Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.
Wine tasting under the sycamore tree at Cakebread Cellars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Me a Man

Show me a man who knows balance in life; a man who works very hard, but knows the value of a enjoying the stillness of morning. A man who can perform any task offered him, however daunting, however physical, however long. A man who cherishes a few moments swinging in the hammock on the porch in the early evening just as the ravens pass overhead on their ritual path. Show me a man skilled in many trades and who can grow a garden where many struggle. Show me a man that knows he could earn far more by working longer hours, days, weeks, months, years, but knows that money won’t buy back the time he spent in toil, and so chooses a simpler, less extravagant lifestyle.

Show me a man with integrity; a man who will quickly admit his mistakes, even if it means less money in his pocket at the end of the day. A man who is honest about his feelings at any moment in time. A man accountable for every thought, action and deed. Show me a man that will do today what he says he will. Show me a man known for his good word because he has always lived up to his word. Show me a man that makes no excuses. Show me a man who looks for the best deal, but only if it is fair and honest.

Show me a man with wealth beyond measure; not a man with a big paycheck, solid portfolio, an important title, pricey real estate, a luxury automobile, for these are not true measures of wealth. The fickle economy, changes in technology, the volatility of the markets, can bring a man with tangible wealth to his knees in a moment. Show me a man with true wealth; a man without debt, a home that is paid for, a man who lives within his means, a man that knows the value of a dollar earned and a dollar saved, a man with a practical outlook on the future, a man that values what he owns, a man that has long standing relationships and a good name in his community, a man that is able to do any job, work hard, and be proud of his work at the end of the day.

Show me a man with compassion; a man who will open his home to those in need. A man who will teach someone disadvantaged the value of earning their keep, of saving a portion of their pay, of developing themselves so that they may become independent. Show me a man who will represent his friend in front of someone who seeks to take advantage of them. Show me a man that will listen to the stories of the old, the ambitions of the young, the concerns of a friend, the tears of a lover.

Show me a man with respect; a man who can live off the land but doesn’t gloat for his conquests. A man who understands the balance of nature and when the balance is being tipped, realizes it is better to have less this year to hopefully have more in the next. Show me a man who maintains a friendship with his high school English teacher. Show me a man who will take an elderly man fishing so his wife won’t worry.

Show me a man who is handsome; a man who doesn’t look like he walked off the cover of a magazine, but a man with a genuine smile. A man who cares for himself, his hair, his skin, his teeth, but not out of vanity. Show me a man with kind, smiling eyes and a playful grin. Show me a man that takes pride in his appearance and even more pride in his character.

Show me a man who is strong; not a man who works out at the gym to create muscles that will rarely, if ever, be used, other than to impress others. Show me a man who is strong enough to work incredibly hard, physically, all day, every day. Show me a man who can swing an ax, who can build a shelter single-handedly, who can fix anything and fix it right, a man who can climb a steep hillside, a man who can hunt for his own food and manage what he has claimed.

Show me a man with patience; a man who develops lasting friendships, a man who meets a woman at the wrong time and waits until it’s the right time. Show me a man who will work, save, then buy. Show me a man who will do with less to enjoy life more. Show me a man who will do without rather than compromise his savings.

Show me a man that knows how to communicate; a man who will be honest about his past, his present and his plans for the future. Show me a man who will patiently tell his lover what he likes, what he doesn’t. Show me a man who will listen before he speaks, and speaks that which is worth listening to. Show me a man who likes a lively debate, but not for the sake of triumph. Show me a man who can express himself without the constant use of explicatives. Show me a man that knows his turn in conversation. Show me a man with a kind, even tone, a man that speaks softly that he will be listened to, not a man that yells to be heard.

Show me a man that is intelligent; not a man with an accumulation of diplomas and degrees hung upon the wall that demonstrate only the completion of some curriculum. Not an intelligence measured by an institution, but an intelligence demonstrated in how he conducts his life. Show me a man that understands life, understands people, understands the world, from paying careful attention, remembering valuable lessons, applying practical wisdom, knowledge and discernment. Show me a man that learns a lesson, remembers it and applies it. Show me a man that can educate himself in anything to accomplish what must be done. Show me a man that knows himself.

Show me a man unlike any other; a man who can, by himself, throw a dinner party for eight, a man who can bake not just bread, but brioche, a man who has a tidy home. Show me a man who puts thought into every task, a man who builds his home so that his bedroom window has a unique view, that he may someday share that view with someone he adores. Show me a man who is able to think of the creation and also build it. Show me a man that doesn’t expect more of people, but inspires them to expect more of themselves.

Show me this man, the rarest of rare, an unexpected treasure, the man of my dreams. My dream come true.