Geez, Irene!  Why do you have to disappear all the time?  Can’t you hang out for a while even once?!?

When I started this several weeks ago – I’m embarrassed – there was a lot going on. I just added a word here and there and didn’t get to finish the most important posting of the year – the first one.

I’m going to go over a few events in 2010 that affected me, Vegas Wineaux, and the local wine scene in general.

First, the Vegas Wineaux Wine Club has absolutely exploded. New members, assistant organizers (I can’t do it by myself), a variety of events, both in home and public, have seen incredible participation and enthusiasm.  The club purchased a barrel from the Grape Expectations Nevada School of Winemaking, and we’re very excited about bottling our own wine this year!  We are also tentatively planning a meetup in May at the Paso Robles Wine Festival, and I can hardly wait!

The Vegas Wineaux site was selected as one of the Top 100 Wine Blogs for 2010.  We were number 70!  What an honor that was, and you can be sure that I will doing everything I can to make it even better.

On the personal front, losses have greatly affected the way I view life and the 2010 year. As many of you may know, I lost a couple of pets – the first, a kitten I’d only had for a couple of months before a congenital condition took his life.

In the summer, I lost Cooper, my Bernese Mountain Dog companion of many years, and was completely devastated.

And then my best friend lost her middle daughter to cancer in late October, and we’ve been grieving ever since because that pain went deeper and has lasted longer. I still tend to cry over her from time to time out of the blue. There’s a long history of over two and half decades of a long-lasting, deep friendship, and the effect from that loss has been profound.

My Kitchen Aid Architect II stove more or less almost exploded in my home – had something to do with it still spewing gas even after I turned it off – and the resulting battle royal between Kitchen Aid, the retailer, and me was epic. I now possess a GE Profile that, according to various consumer reviews, isn’t prone to explosive meltdowns.

But the year 2010 wasn’t all depressing and horrible, and the good far surpassed the bad.

The best thing of the year was the birth of my third grandchild and second granddaughter, Malina. She’s beautiful (of course) and my youngest son Matthew and his beautiful wife Mayumi are the proud parents. There’s not a lot that’s much better than that!  Malina joins her cousins Malia and Ray!

The Vegas Wineaux site went through a terrible period of Technology Gone Wild, and was able to come back in April, better and stronger than ever. The bad thing about this is that we were down for over a month and lost a lot of our old postings. The good is that we’re even better, and a little data mining has found some of those old postings, and they’ve been reintroduced to the site.

MirePoix Vegas is back up and running again, with even more recipes and food-related items.  I have new kitchen projects in the works and would love to share them with you.

The Wineaux Guy and I got to visit Paso Robles several times during the year, and those times were very relaxing for both of us. We didn’t always get to visit friends while we were there, but love the town and it’s a perfect getaway weekend for us. Paso Robles has that old-fashioned small town feel that is balm to a stressed out soul.

So what’s going on now?  What in the world is happening that I haven’t done my several posts a week?

The day job.  Our staff went from 8-1/2 people a little over a year ago to 2-1/2.  Guess who gets to do the work of two other people besides myself?  It’s not unusual for me to get home and just sit.  Here I am, the proverbial night owl, falling asleep at 8:30 or 9:00.  That’s insane!

With that being said, I have been very productive at work, being Administrator over several computer systems, administering technical e-learning, and creating a site for my department in addition to my regular duties.

I’m also doing a lot of research for a couple of Great American Novels I hope to finish writing by the end of 2012.

After my knee surgery last year, I have been working with my surgeon on what to do to make sure that I regain full use of my left knee.  The result is my upcoming purchase of a recumbent tricycle that I will be using to regain my health, vigor, and, hopefully, my waistline.

Now that my life has settled down into a predictable state of chaos, I can guarantee that there will be few, if any, lapses in updates.  I can’t stand lapses!

This morning, for instance, I had a breakfast consisting of a goat cheese brie omelet with a glass of 2007 Hug Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. Exquisite pairing.  I began the year with extraordinary wines, largely in memory of Deanna, celebrating life and how tenuous it can be sometimes. Bottles of 2000  and 2001 Robert Young Estates Winery Scion were shared with friends and loved ones, and made the transition into 2011 very special.

So a belated Happy New Year to you all.  May this be a great year for you!

And stay tuned … I’ve only just begun to write!

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