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Posts Tagged ‘Chateau St Croix Winery’

It’s after 9:00 p.m. and I should be in bed.  But you know how it is when you have all this stuff to do right when you come home from the day job and then spend some chatty time with your spouse or kids or partner or housemate or even yourself over dinner and then have a bunch of other stuff to do after that?  It’s 9:00 p.m. before you know it and there was no relaxing time at all.

I love relaxing time.  I need relaxing time.  I’m kind of lazy that way.

But tonight I was on a mission.  I can’t say too much about it because the person for whom this mission must be accomplished might read my blog and it’s a surprise for him/her.  Suffice it to say the mission involved technology, and with that I stink.

Stink, I say.

Needless to say the mission was not accomplished, but I haven’t lost hope yet.  When it comes to computers and digital devices I’m usually determined to figure it out even if it takes me months.  Unfortunately in this case I don’t have that long, so I better hop to it.  Tomorrow I’ll give it another whirl.

And tomorrow will be Wednesday already!  I had a nice, long weekend for Memorial Day, thanks to a government job that gives me national holidays off.  I wouldn’t say the weekend was particularly relaxing either, because I went to the family cottage and there was a lot to do to open the place up for the summer.  Charlotte did most of the work though, because she’s disciplined that way.  There were windows to wash, an outhouse to scrub, cobwebs to brush away, dusting to do, animal gnawings to repair and a bunch of other stuff that we all pitched in to accomplish.  It was a fun weekend though, spending time with everyone.

Because tomorrow is Wednesday I’ll be doing some craft work to get ready for the show at Chateau St. Croix next month.  (Wednesdays are devoted to craft work for me.)  There will be some candle pouring and product pricing done, and that always makes me feel productive.  I’ll also have to get back to that technology project and see if I can figure it all out.

Lazy days of summer?  I’d like proof of that, please.  I’m rarely lazy during the summer months because the summer months demand a lot of activity, especially in places like Minnesota where half the year we’re snowed in.  That’s when we’re supposed to be lazy, but it doesn’t seem like I am then either.

With that report I’m going to sign off and go to bed.  I hope the sleep is good because I have to be awake and pay attention for the next twelve weeks or so.  I’d probably sleep a lot better if I knew I could figure out this dang technology project.

I’ll keep you posted.

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It’s a misty evening, overcast and humid.  There was a bit of rain, and when I looked out the window I noticed the lily of the valley sprouts have shot up at least two inches since yesterday.  The hummingbirds have arrived with their shiny green and red feathers.  The snow is gone and the grass is green.  I believe spring has finally sprung.

I’m indulging in the leftovers of Mother’s Day.  I hosted a group of eight for the occasion including Charlotte (the mom of two wonderful nephews) and my mom (the mom of Charlotte, me, and Diggy) and everyone else in my immediate family.  Right now I have some champagne in my glass, a nice hostess gift from Charlotte, and a piece of red velvet cake.  Mike Oldfield and Jean Michel Jarre are on the stereo and I am just about as content as I can be.

My Etsy shop is now on vacation and the next couple of months loom before me.  They’ll be a busy couple of months, so I’m taking advantage of some down time until I need to be “on.”  Right now the craft business is secondary, family is first and foremost.  One thing I’m really looking forward to (and Husby is even more) is our upcoming getaway to Door County.  “What’s the big deal,” you may ask?  “You go to Door County at least once a year.”  This time our trip won’t include a craft show.  This is a good thing.  Husby and I are looking forward to a little R & R without one thought of Auntie B’s Wax.

After our trip to Door County we have a few events to attend, one of which is the spring festival at the Chateau St. Croix Winery.  It will be my first show of the season and we’re really looking forward to seeing the gang at the Chateau, as well as seeing returning customers and meeting new ones.

The summer is sprawled out in front of me, busy, as summertime in Minnesota usually is.  With all the activities and celebrations awaiting I look outside my window tonight and shrug my shoulders as sigh.  It’s a quiet night, one to relish in anticipation of an action-packed summer.  All is good.

And the night falls.

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What’s going on out there?  I’ve been so into my own thing these last few weeks I’ve inadvertently cut myself off from the outside world.  Except not really.  I’ve been out to a couple of winery festivals which put me in contact with a very specific cross-section of society.  Those winos have their own little subculture going you know.  They’re my kind of people.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the first ever Dancing Dragonfly Winery Grape Stomp and Rib Fest.  There were ribs, there was stomping, and there was even some music along with the artisans selling their wares.

It was a blustery weekend; perfect for some nicely seasoned ribs, or a highly stacked pulled pork sandwich.

Some of the staff at Dancing Dragonfly took to the grapes and did a little stomping. The lady at the far end is one of the owners of the winery. I don’t think she expected the stomping experience to be so…invigorating.

A fun group of guys playing winey music.

Last weekend I was at the Chateau St. Croix for another wine festival.  This year they had lots more food than they’ve had in the past, as well as a very good selection of artisans to peruse while sipping a glass of vino.  Of course they had music.  Everything from a thirty-five-piece German oompa band to some low-down blues.

The Bavarian Musik Meisters presented me with a pin for being such a good sport. I participated in learning a couple of their dances and showed dozens of people how uncoordinated I really am.

Croix Daddy – getting better and better every year.

There’s a clear shot between my craft canopy and the wine tent at the Chateau, and Dave over there is always ready to pour me a nice glass of wine.  A nice glass.  As in big.  It’s good wine too.

No, that’s not me chatting it up with Dave, but it looks like he’s ready to give her a nice glass of wine too.

I’m still trying recuperate from all the activity. One person can take only so much fun, right?

There’s another show on the horizon. I’m heading to Deer River for some more fun at Ruttger’s Oktoberfest in a few weeks. There’s no rest for the wicked.

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There’s a little break in my Wordless Wednesday tradition today.  In fact, I’m writing this on Tuesday night because, well, I just have to.

Things went fairly well at the Dancing Dragonfly Winery last weekend.  For a first time event and considering the fact that it started to rain pretty heavily on Saturday evening it was, as a whole, a good experience.  I made a little money too!  As you might know, I have another winery show coming up this coming weekend (Chateau St. Croix) and I’m doing my best to get restocked to full capacity this week.  I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to do it.

This evening I took a little time out to play some tennis with Charlotte, which was a very good thing because as it turns out I was completely depleted of endorphins.  The minute I pulled into the parking lot of the courts I saw a mist of rain on my windshield.  What?!  No way!  We decided to play anyway, at least until the balls were in danger of getting too wet.  Turns out we got in about forty-two minutes of play before the mist turned into actual rain.  I got some endorphins, which was a very good thing.  I hope Charlotte did too.

But there’s the issue of my hair.  I’m about a month past due on my quarterly hair cut, but had an appointment for tomorrow (Wednesday).  I found out tonight (Tuesday) that my stylist just went into the hospital with a nasty case of an infection and bursitis riddled arm.  I’m really sorry for her and hope she gets better, but I can’t help feeling very sorry for myself too.  I mean, my hair.  It’s enormous.  I was hoping for a very cute cut in time for the show this coming weekend (I made do last weekend because she couldn’t get me in last week) but it looks like that’s not going to happen.  Unless I go to someone else.

How horrible would that be?  I’ve been putting my hair in the hands of this woman for over twenty years.  I feel like I’d be cheating on her.  But my hair.  It’s enormous.  I can’t emphasize that enough.  Tomorrow I’ll know more regarding her condition and will have to make a decision then.  She may be back to work soon, but there’s the thing about her sculpting my hair while feeling less than 100%.  Would she be able to work her usual magic, or will my locks suffer?  The stress of the situation is nearly unbearable.

I’m trying to relax, listening to my twinkle bell station on Pandora, and sorting everything out through writing.  So much for Wordless Wednesday.

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After the semi-disasterous first show of 2013 (Hopkins Mainstreet Days) Husby and I set up camp at the Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard.  I’m a little late in keeping  you up to date on the show, but then again I’m a little behind in everything I’m undertaking these days.  The Fete des Fleurs took place on June 8th and 9th and was much more enjoyable than the first show we did in Hopkins.  For one thing it didn’t rain the entire time.  For another thing a lot of people like to visit the Chateau.  Sunny Skies + People + Wine = Respectable Sales for Auntie B.

Prior to the sunny day on Saturday the St. Croix Falls area had been having a lot of rain and the ground was completely saturated.  It was pretty squishy, but the water didn’t penetrate my shoes or threaten any of my wares.

A beautiful patch of grass became pretty muddy after a little traffic. My tennies needed a good hosing down when I got home.

Strolling along with a glass of wine, perusing the offerings by local artisans ~ a lovely way to spend a day.

One of the things that brightened our day was the fact that Dave Ybarra of the North Side Dukes came to our canopy and gave us a complimentary CD for being such an enthusiastic audience.  It’s not hard, as the band is one of the things we like best about the Chateau’s festivals.

Husby and I aren’t the only ones who like the North Side Dukes. Combine some bluesy music with good friends and good wine and you’ve got yourself a good time.

There’s another Dave at the Chateau I’ve come to adore – Dave the wine/beer guy. He teases me with the bottles of Chateau wine and thinks I should start drinking earlier than I do. Hey Dave, I’ve got a business to run! I usually have a glass about an hour before closing time. Dave likes to give me a very generous glass of wine.  He’s nice that way.

Look! Tiny little hipsters! You just never know what you’ll see at the Chateau.

It was a really good Saturday, but Sunday came around with more rain.  Despite that some brave people came out with their umbrellas to visited the artisans and listen to the music.  Good times can happen rain or shine.  Luckily the sun came out by the time we had to pack up for the weekend.  Anyone who sets up a booth at an outdoor event knows it’s a challenge to set up or tear down in the rain. 

All in all it was a good weekend and I was honored to be a part of the Chateau St. Croix’s 2013 Fete des Fleurs.  If you missed the spring festival remember there’s another festival at the Chateau St. Croix in September.  Keep in touch with my Events page for updates.

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You know how it is when you get so busy you don’t make time for fun?  Or you make time for fun and something comes up to thwart your attempts?  All summer long Husby and I wanted to taste some pizza from A Wandering Fire, and last Friday we finally did it.

The mighty Wandering Fire

Todd and Maaren Schweim started an adventure with a traveling wood fire oven and haven’t looked back.  They make regular appearances at the Chateau St. Croix Winery throughout the summer and autumn months and are available to cater your event with some of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had.

The pizzas have real ingredients that are fresh.  The dough, sauces and sausage are house made.  The herbs and shiitake mushrooms are grown by Todd and Maaren.  They had two basil plants on site, using the leaves straight from the plant to the pizza.  How cool is that?

Check out those healthy basil plants.  Maaren and Shannon are busy setting up some pizzas.

Shannon assembles a pizza like an artist.

Todd cooking a pizza in the wood fire oven.

Why do they call themselves A Wandering Fire?  Because the wood fire oven is portable!  It can travel to whatever location they’re called to easily.

OK, that’s all fine and cool, but you’re asking how good is the pizza?  Well, let me tell you.  The pizzas are personal-size, so Husby and I ordered two different flavors.  The first was the St. Croix pizza ~ a traditional pizza with red sauce, Italian fennel sausage, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and a mozzarella/provolone blend.  I love the cheese blend, and the sausage was extraordinarily flavorful.  Excellent!

The St. Croix Pizza

The second pizza we ordered was a bit of a surprise.  It’s called Sand Creek and is made with maple-roasted sweet potatoes, pancetta, a blend of bleu and Asiago cheeses and a maple syrup drizzle.  I’ll tell you right now I was a little nervous about this one.  Sweet potatoes have made me gag since I was a child.  Guess what?  I loved it!

The Sand Creek Pizza

We had such a nice time enjoying these delicious pizzas with a glass of Chateau St. Croix wine.  It isn’t often (read: never) I go out to eat and know the chefs so I felt like kind of a hot shot mingling with them while they assembled our pizzas and even joined us at our table for a while.  It’s fun being friends with such nice and talented people!

Shannon, Maaren and Todd ~ our hosts from A Wandering Fire

A Wandering Fire will be appearing at the Chateau St. Croix a couple of more weekends, so take a little drive to St. Croix Falls, WI and check them out.  Remember, they’re also available for catering.  Check out their website for more information.  You can also Like them on Facebook to keep up with the latest happenings.

I’m so glad Husby and I know some interesting people ~ who else would have ever served me a sweet potato pizza?!  Good job you guys!

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