Woodchuck Part Deux and Spiced Wine

So the barn is getting walls and a ceiling this week. I almost feel like calling it a winery, but I’m not there yet. I worked evening shifts, so I wasn’t able to go out and look at it after work. Scott kindly took pictures for me. As I scrolled through, I saw:



I love the ceiling. Awesome!


What’s this hole?…




Scott says “Honey that’s what I call woodchuck part deux”.

This thing has no fear. Apparently it just stared at him from that hole.

I don’t even know what to say about it at this point. I’m trying to ignore it but I still know it’s out there.

The strangest part is that on Monday I picked out a bunch of color samples for the wall, and the ones I was leaning toward were…


Can you see that?

Woodchuck and Spiced Wine. Really?

Grandpa Fritz’s Post Hole Digger

So it seems that every time I feel like blogging something, it’s either ridiculous enough that I can’t believe I was part of it, or it could be perceived as negative.

So I’ve decided to get that out of my system first: It’s possible a gopher cut through our electrical line and we have no power to the winery building. Woe is me.

And now I will switch gears. I was going to be a really awesome wife and attempt to help Scott tweak some insulation and move some things (shovels, etc) tonight because we are having the winery building finished off next week (pending inspection of course). I hung my head walking back from the unlit building this evening wondering how many extra shifts I am going to have to work to pay for the electrician. To prevent myself from cursing,  I used a variance of a little trick that I have to use with our toddler sometimes when he is being naughty.

Instead of yelling, you are supposed to count to 10 and calm yourself down.

I started to count, and then I looked down at what I was carrying.  I thought “Hey there’s Grandpa’s post hole digger”. Which then led to some nice flashbacks of fishing and picking butternuts with my Grandpa Fritz. We were gifted this digger from my Dad who thought we might need it “on the plantation”. He was right, because the rented digger couldn’t break through some of our toughest soil this fall to get the posts in.

So what did we do? Used Grandpa’s post hole digger. Turns out it works pretty good and is a darn good workout for your arms.

Anyone know a good electrician?


Snow and Sinks

Well, I’m sick of talking about snow so let’s move on.


Never in a million years did I expect sinks to give me panic attacks.

Scott’s brilliant idea to have a newspaper interview us. Wait a minute, no…2 newspapers interview us prompted a friendly call from our county food inspector. Sir if you read this, in no way is it meant to be offensive to you. We both understand you are doing your job. Clearly you are doing it well since we now have 5 sinks, yes 5 sinks in the barn/winery (Scott keeps calling it the winery, I think it still looks like a barn). Kudos to you sir because most people don’t do their job well and it’s usually frustrating when they don’t. In this case, it’s been a little frustrating because you DO. There have been countless emails and phone calls between Scott and this diligent food inspector. He is very detailed. Which he should be. He is doing a great job.

We now have
1. A 3 compartment stainless steel sink with 2 things on the sides that I can’t remember what he called them but they were imperative. (That in my mind counts as 3 sinks)

2. A handwashing sink. Being a nurse/germaphobe I really can’t argue with this one. Handwashing is the “most effective way to prevent transmission of communicable disease”.

It really is, I’m not kidding. I’m happy to also abide by the requirement that we educate our volunteers about proper handwashing procedures and post a hard copy near said sink. Trust me Mr. Food Inspector, I’m a pro. If any germs, bugs, dust, unpurified air or someone even sneezes near my delicious Marquette someone’s going to pay.

3. A mop sink. The only problem with this one is now I need to buy a mop. Does anyone still have a mop? I have a Swiffer, a Shark and a bucket with which I go through a lot of old cut up T-shirts as rags and scrub floors on my hands and knees with carcinogenic bleach water, but I’m pretty sure a mop would not be very sanitary. I guess we’ll dump my carcinogenic bleach water down it.

But, I will still buy a mop.

Why you ask? Because we HAVE to do all of these things in order to reach our final goal of making good wine and sharing it with our friends, family, and whomever decides they want to hop off Hwy 94 for a few minutes of good wine and good company.

We didn’t know about it, but we still have to do it.

So Bravo Mr. Food Inspector. We have met the requirements and will have 1 entire wall of our winery dedicated to the appropriate sinks.

Thank God for Craigslist and someone in Woodbury who decided they no longer wanted to make and sell cupcakes.

So you want me to do a newspaper interview after working a night shift?

Let me give you some background:

I am a nurse. I like to think I’m a pretty good nurse. But, I will be the first to admit that I’m a terrible night nurse.

It’s not that I make any mistakes or hurt any of my patients, I just forget that it’s the middle of the night and turn lights on in the room. I drop equipment in the room and wake up my patients.  I forget that it’s the middle of the night and my patient doesn’t want to tell me about their cute dog or the pretty quilt they have on their bed. Also, my bedtime is typically around 9:30 so even an evening shift ending at 11:30pm can even be painful. So once in awhile I get this fleeting moment where the charge nurse says “we’re short on nights, want to double”? and I say “sure”.

So after working 3pm until 7:30am the next morning, I come home at 8:30 to a wide-eyed toddler and a husband.

Scott: How was your night?

Me: I’m tired.

Cute toddler: Mama, mama, mama, mama!

Scott: So Sarah from the New Richmond News will be here at 11.

Me: (Blank Stare)

Scott: Ok?

Me: “S*it that’s today?”

Scott: Yes

Me: So I can sleep for about an hour then?

Scott: Sure

Me: K.

About 45 minutes into my hour:

Cute toddler: Mama wake up? Mama wake up? Mama WAKE UP!!

Me: Ok honey.

I somehow managed to remain conscious through the interview. There were periods of time where I’m pretty sure my brain completely turned off and I’m lucky the question that was being asked wasn’t directed toward me.

Somehow, dear dear Sarah from the New Richmond News felt I was still charming enough to mention my existence in the article and it turned out great!! We very much appreciated her visit and were happy to share the story with our neighboring town.

Here’s a link to the article:


The next week we had Gretta from the River Falls Journal came to visit. My level of consciousness was much improved for that interview. The only thing that happened during that one was:

Cute toddler:  Hi Miss Gretta. Gretta, Hi!  Hi! Hi! Here’s the link to that one.


Thanks to everyone who has been following along and supporting us. It’s going to be an exciting year!