Yes, when I was a little kid, I thought the paper hearts we made were "vallums" and February 14 was the special time of the year for vallums, ergo Vallum Time Day.
Life is actually kind of interesting when you're hard-of-hearing.
Anyone wanna hear about my Vallum Time weekend? If not, go read another blog. 'Cause you'll be sadly disappointed if you keep reading this one. It's really long and basically rambles about my Vallum Time weekend.
Friday Night was social night. We had a big fancy banquet to go to for the Hubster's job. There are two men that work closely with the Hubster, and their wives, like me, generally get dragged along to the Social Functions. Only one of the wives (Melissa) was dragged along on Friday night, so I sat next to her. Because we are both introverts who, quite honestly, would rather stay home and work on our respective creative endeavors (she's a painter) than go to Social Functions, we get along pretty well when thrust into these situations. We really should be friends and do friend-things together, like go for coffee or watch chick flicks, but this pesky job limits my ability to do friend-things with anyone, seeing as I leave for work before sunrise and get home after dark every day. Grumble, grumble.
We celebrated the Time of the Vallums on Saturday, the Hubster and I did. Spent part of the morning relaxing at my favorite coffee shop, then headed to the Biltmore. I'd been to the Biltmore once, but Hubster had never been there, and we had tickets he'd bought at an auction last year.
It was a beautiful day. At first, we regretted that we weren't going hiking, but those regrets ended soon enough. The Biltmore was very cool. We rented the little headphones for the "audio tour," and they were well worth the $7 apiece. And it was fun being a tourist.
Next we headed over to the Biltmore winery. Now, Biltmore wine is available just about everywhere in western North Carolina, from high-end wine shops to the gas stations at the I-40 exits. The Hubster and I have never been particularly fond of the Biltmore wines we've tasted, so we weren't sure what to expect of the winery.
The tour wasn't much. We thought it would be more of a "tour," you know, something like the house tour, but on a smaller scale. No. Most of our time at the winery was spent standing in line for the wine-tasting room.
"Hubster ... we're standing in a really long, slow-moving line to taste wine that you can buy at the gas station."
But we stayed in line. And when we finally got to taste the wines, we discovered that there were several Biltmore wines that we really like. Of course, they are the higher-end wines that are only available at the winery (and not the gas station). We ended up buying a few bottles and stocking up our mini-wine rack at home. The best wines (in my opinion) were Cardinal's Crest, Biltmore Estate Syrah, and the Sangiovese. I am not a big fan of white wines, rose' wines, or dessert wines, so I can't give you an opinion on those.
So then we went to Olive Garden and had a yummy meal, with more wine. We spent our one-hour wait in the bar, drinking merlot (ah, vino) and talking about our upcoming PCT thru-hike.
Yesterday I started The Artist's Way (again), along with a tentative blog for that "journey." It probably won't be interesting to anyone but (1) me, and (2) people who are interested in this book. I'm not sure if I'll ever find time to post very much to it ... like I said, it's a tentative blog.
Then we went to church where, afterward, the pastor lent me his copy of Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. I think this is the only book by Jon Krakauer that I haven't read yet, so I'm looking forward to reading it, once I finish the other books I'm reading.
I spent most of the afternoon planning a fun trivia game for the Sunday night class that I help teach (elementary kids), then went to the library to run some copies of handouts. When I got to church Sunday night, a guy who has a degree in music composition brought up the idea of collaborating on and composing all of the music for a Sunday service. Wow. Talk about something that will motivate my lately-lazy composer/arranger-wanna-be self. We talked a bit about it and were very excited as the prospect. We have a first-rate violinist in the church, and I already have some ideas in my head for music that will incorporate the violin.
Got home last night and practiced piano. My fingers are finally starting to un-knot (they felt very arthritic last week with the nasty medication reaction), so I had my first decent piano practice in over a week.
Woke up this morning, wrote, worked out, and made it to work. Already it's been a very productive morning. Speaking of productive, I'd better head back to work. Life is good on this Vallum Time Day.