Happy Valentine’s Day…or not!

Valentine’s Day to the hopeless romantic is yet another day put aside to bathe in love. Subtle reminders are everywhere we look for weeks in advance. The anticipation of the day is overwhelming, giving us butterflies of what might transpire during the day. We will be showered with a gorgeous bouquet of fragrant flowers, hand written poetry, decedent chocolates, romantic candle lit dinner, and if we’re really lucky maybe a heart shaped pendent encrusted with diamonds!

If we live in a Harlequin Romance novel...(insert record scratching sound here) Hang on…reality check ~

Be honest, you’re annoyed by all the red heart decorations that got put up almost the same day the red Christmas ones came down. They’re just a reminder that you’re alone on a day meant for love. You don’t get flowers any other time of the year and now BECAUSE IT IS Valentine’s day and everyone looks at this day, not as a day to ‘express or find love’, but as a GINORMOUS marketing ploy to guilt your future love into buying you a 100 dollar bouquet of flowers that the day before cost 12 bucks, so there is no hope in hell of getting any today! (deep breath, ya I know a HUGE run on sentence) If you do get chocolates they’re picked up last minute at Shoppers and go straight to your butt and thighs, that you just got slimmed back down after bingeing on holiday squares and baileys coffee. Poetry? Does that include post it notes? Need I go on. That might very well be a HUGE exaggeration meant sarcastically to paint a clear picture of the two opposing sides of belief in dear cupid! There are those who believe in the chubby little cherub and those who just ignore the stabbing pain when they get hit by his cute little arrow! Believers (that’s me) love even the thought of him, non believers swat at him like a mosquito when he nears.

Real romance isn’t a $7.00 Hallmark Card, or any of the material things I listed above, it’s having your handsome beyond belief male energy look deep into your melting eyes as he tells you he can’t live without you…sigh. I’m holding my breathe for just that!

I am poking fun today because Valentine’s Day is my birthday and so many people seem to have lost the point of it. Some boycott it even. I happen to love it because I love romance! So much in fact I created our ‘Heart Inspired Halo Pendant‘ on our Treasures Page! I am a hopeless romantic and really do believe in love, love at first sight, love beyond marriage, romantic love, any way you put it! If it involves love I’m in!

So handsome, don’t follow the masses and marketers, make Valentine’s Day your own! ‘I love you’ shouldn’t be thrown around so loosely, if you are in love, tell her so. Today isn’t the day a dutch oven will go over very well, it’s a little more special for some of us. I am hoping that cupid doesn’t fall into the same category as Santa and the Tooth Fairy! If just one fairy tale creature could be real, this is the one I’d pick.

OMG! Gasp! Someone please tell me this picture was photo-shopped!

Guys you might have to hand in your ‘man card‘ for this movie, but if you do I bet there’s a huge payoff! Take a look at the list of chicks in this flick and you might actually go willingly! It’s definitely on my list to see. The Cast is amazing ~ Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey…win win!

Happy Valentine’s Day, I will now go eat some ‘snowball’ cupcakes from Big City Cupcakes that will hopefully send me into a sugar induced coma where my romantic fantasies all lay waiting. I hope I made you smile and think of love as it should be, real and raw and as simple as a few small meaningful words meant from the heart!

PS ~ Thanks Mom and Dad for sharing your love with one another so I was born on such a romantic day! You are my inspiration for true love!

Valentine’s Day the movie ~

Today would be a GREAT day for Canada to win a Gold Metal !! Go Canada Go!

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Too. Much. Chocolate.

Bonnie Johnson's PostWhen will the Halloween candy box (yes, I said box) finally be gone.  I’m almost down to the last few Kit Kat/Smarties/Aero bars.  Thank God!  My jeans are getting tight, my skin is getting blotchy and my insides are producing strange sounds and odours that are even offending the dog.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought the box of Halloween treats – knowing full well –  that kids NEVER come to our house on Halloween.  But you just never know right??  This year we did have two! Yep,  two very young children showed up.  “Only give them three little bars each” I hissed as John went to answer the door.  Then I actually suggested we turn all the lights off to discourage any more from showing up!  Of course he refused and threw me a disgusted look.  And that’s why I love him; he tries to make me a better person.

So here I am, days later, still ripping into the little miniature versions of my favourite chocolate bars.

woman-eating-chocolate

The miniatures give the illusion that I’m “just having a taste”, no big deal, hardly any calories in these little guys right?!  Last night and 15 little bars later, I heaved myself off the couch and caught a reflection of myself in the mirror.  Whoa!  When did I develop so many age sun spots on my chest?  Oh hang on, no, those are just bits of melted chocolate.  Phew!  So if you ever run into me and think “gee she should have used more sunscreen in her youth”, don’t worry, it’s probably just chocolate!

The crazy thing is I’m not even a big chocolate fan until this time of year.  Wait a minute, come to think of it, I must be a holiday chocoholic because the same thing happens at Easter (damn those little eggs) and again at Christmas (blasted boxes of Turtles and Ferrero Rocher).

On the bright side, my salty chip habit has taken a back seat lately.

*groan*

I really have to stop writing now and go for a very long fast walk with my dog (I need to try and make it up to her) and then I’ll hit the gym for a Zumba class or two or three.

I’ll just make sure that box is empty and done with before I go.  Better to remove all the temptation now right?  Right?

Bonnie

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My Okanagan Wine Tour

Bonnie Johnson's PostFinally.  I have been living in the Okanagan Valley officially for well over a year and unofficially for much longer but last weekend was the first local wine tour I’ve gone on.

It was a girl’s thang.  On  Saturday morning two girl friends and I drove through the mist and drizzle to Okanagan Falls.  What a great way to spend a grey and rainy Fall day – sipping wine!

see ya later ranchWe began our little self-determined tour just outside of Okanagan Falls at the See Ya Later Ranch Winery.  As we wound our way up Hawthorne Mountain we had our first hint at the whimsical nature of the winery when we past a road sign that read “Almost There!”  On the way up we talked about how one of us had heard the ranch originally got its name when the owner’s wife left him a note that said “See ya later” and then never came back.  We liked this story and kept it in our minds as we looked at all of the pictures of the owner and his dogs that were framed all over the stone heritage house that now serves as the tasting room.  A man and his dogs. Alone. No wife to be seen.  The original owner, Major Hugh Fraser was a big lover of canines.  The wines are all named after his pets, Rover, Ping, Nelly, Jimmy, to name a few.  The same beloved dogs were laid to rest in a small cemetery beside the house complete with headstones.  This made perfect sense to us.  Of course he was so distraught when his wife left him; he turned to his dogs for love.  “Should have been nicer to your wife!” we thought.  But then I read the true history of the ranch on their web site.  It turns out there never was a wife.  Instead the ranch got its name because he was “a prolific letter-writer, and would end each letter with the signature phrase, “see ya later,” which was shortened to the letters S.Y.L. and led to the naming of the property – SYL Ranch.”  Hmm.  I like our version better.

My purchase:
2008 Pinot Gris ~ Crisp and fresh. A true taste of Okanagan summer.
2008 Nelly Rose ~ A serious Rose – not overly sweet, it has more backbone and depth than the usual. (Not something I usually go for)

Our next stop was Sumac Ridge Winery.  One of the Okanagan’s leading sparkling wine makers.  They have launched major award winners like Stellars Jay, the only sparkling Shiraz in Canada and now a brand new 100% Chardonnay bubbly called Tribute.  Released and dedicated as a tribute to our Canadian Olympic athletes.  It was at this winery that I had my lesson in how to properly pronounce Gewürztraminer.  If I couldn’t say it I couldn’t taste it I was told. Gewürztraminer, Gewürztraminer, Gewürztraminer – now give me a sip.

My purchase:
2007 Gewürztraminer ~ This Gewürztraminer is abundant with rose petal and spicy aromas and lends bright flavours of lychee and muscat to the palate (mostly I bought it because I was so proud I could say it).

Greata Ranch WineryWorking our way north, our next stop was at the beautifully situated Greata Ranch Winery.  The winery looks down on Okanagan Lake nestled in the hillside just south of Peachland.  The Fitzpatrick family bought Greata Ranch in 1994 and planted a total of 40 acres of grapes.  The property is in full production and now produces about 2000 cases of wine annually.

My purchase: A Chardonnay and a Gewürztraminer

Mission Hill wine barrel cellarNext we headed into the Mt. Boucherie area and had just enough time to visit two more wineries.  First, we stopped at Mission Hill Winery.  It was almost 5 pm when we arrived and we were disappointed to discover that they were closing at 5.  No tasting for us.  They fell for our sad eyes and offered us each a small glass of one of their whites to sip while the other patrons were lining up with all of their purchases.  Missing this wine tasting didn’t break my heart because I’ve tasted Mission Hill wines many times and I know what they are all about.  The grounds are quite spectacular though and I am definitely going to come back next summer to experience the beautiful architecture, outdoor amphitheatre and their Dining Terrace which Travel and Leisure magazine have ranked as one of the top five winery restaurants in the world.

My purchase: Nada. Zilch. Zip.

The last winery on our tour was Quails Gate Winery.  This is another incredibly scenic vineyard that overlooks beautiful Okanagan Lake and some of the best of the valley.  We were able to just squeeze in before closing and enjoyed a wonderfully educational tasting of a wide variety of their wines.  The highlight for me, and the perfect finish to this perfect day, was sipping their Riesling ice wine in between melting pieces of dark chocolate on my tongue.  The chocolate truly enhanced the flavour of the ice wine and turned it into a heavenly experience.

My purchase:
Chasselas, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris blend ~ My favourite of the day! I walked away with 2 bottles but I may buy a case later.
Riesling Ice Wine ~ Oh ya, baby! Wine and chocolate together = heaven!

I’m not sure what the official number is but I counted 121 wineries listed in British Columbia on one web site.  So that means 5 down and 116 to go.  Oh, I just love living here!

Bonnie

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When it’s NOT OK to watch Oprah

Bonnie's PostUnless I have been watching my calendar closely,  PMS symptoms can sometimes sneak up on me.

I get all the usual signs like when I’m at my Zumba class and I’m jumping up and down (or walking down stairs or driving over pot holes in the road for that matter), I sooooo would-if-I-could hold onto my breasts with both hands to stop the bouncing and the pain that comes with it.  Don’t worry, I don’t.  I know that would look creepy. (Except to DUB)

Another sign is when I go on the hunt for salty foods (read chips) and I start ranting about the crappy health food that is taking up all the cupboard space where potato chips should really live!!!!

Then I start beginning every sentence with “What the hell…” or “Why the hell…” You can pretty much insert any thing you can think of after those words e.g.  …is that still doing on the floor! or, …do you have to drive like that, or …are you looking at me??  This is when, for some reason, my husband is hard to find.  “What the hell is up with that anyway?”

By the time my tongue has doubled its original size due to all the salt I’ve licked off every cracker I can find in the house,  I am ready for the chocolate.  Bring me chocolate.  NOW!  (Why the hell didn’t I save a few chocolate Easter eggs for times like these?)

The final palm-to-forehead, now I get it moment, arrived today while watching the Oprah show.  It was at the end of the show when I glanced at the 3 foot high mountain of completely soaked used tissues beside my chair that it hit me.  With puffy red eyes and a headache only a really good cry can offer, it finally occurred to me that my eggs must have dropped and are planning their escape.

There is some relief in the knowledge of what nature is up to, in the natural rhythm of the waxing and waning of the moon.  At least I think so anyway.  I’d ask my husband what he thinks but he’s disappeared on me again.

Bonnie

night sky

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