The Annual Fermentation Family Holiday Letter

Dear Family and Friends:

(As always, please pardon the form-letter)

Can you believe it? Another year is here and nearly gone. Of course, we are so thankful for all the people and good things in our life…including the chance to send off our annual report.

NastWhere to start? The garden was quite beautiful this year. Our Nasturtiums were particularly generous this year, overflowing their tubs there in the back yard. Aren't Nasturtiums lovely? And we learned you can eat the flowers too. Suffice to say….They were not planted to be eaten!! But it was so gratifying too when Cindy and Don came by for a visit from Southern California and so admired them…And by the way, those two brought our house a lovely wine barrel stave with the word's "With Home & Wine, Hope Springs Eternal" carved on it that now hangs over the entry way in the kitchen. (Thanks you two!) The tomatoes gave us a great deal of pleasure too. We planted three types, each a fancy "heirlooms" you can now get at the nursery. (I'm sorry to report that Old Billy from the Nursery finally passed. He'll be missed.) We loved all the new tomatoes much better than the Early Girls  we've always planted.

KathysnownyWe can also report being blessed with a good work year. Tom's clients continue to demand his services, filling his day with honest work. All wine related, as usual. He took on a few new clients too, for which he is always grateful. He continues to work out of his "plush" office at home, but enjoys the freedom and calm of it all. If you come and visit us (and you really must–you are all welcome) you'll hear him typing away in there at all hours and talking into that speakerphone.  Kathy too is very happy over at Failla where she enjoys her workmates and just loves doing the marketing and managing things. Kathy went on a number of trips with Ehren this year and don't you know he flew that little plane of his with her in it all over the place. He's something. Kathy enjoys the chance to fly in that little airplane too.

Sister Karen and Mom are still going strong, though poor mom is still in the managed care facility. But as many of you know she's a strong old bird, often going on about this and that when we visit. She's got spunk. And Karen is the same whirling dervish, traveling all over Europe for the museum. SKisshe even went back to Egypt after all that trouble they had over their, but tells us that the folks there are kind as usual to her and she came back with more tales of pyramids and crypts and Rosicrucians and all that history she loves. We'll be seeing her soon to celebrate Christmas. And for those of you who always ask the answer is "no". Sister Karen is not married yet.

Brother Andrew from Dallas and wife Soraya and their 5 beautiful children report continued bliss in their household. We saw Andrew twice in 2011, once at the wedding and when he visited and stayed with us while out on business.

But of course the big news for 2011 you all know about. Our wedding was a real smart event and something we'll  never forget. So many of you were here with us…it was a real blessed hoot. Kathy was like a queen in her beautiful dress and those of you who were there will surely recall what a great job the Rabbi did for us. Then there was Belizethe honeymoon in Belize, just the two of us….and, well, that's all that's going to be said about that!!!

Tom was still slaving away at the old blog in 2011. Can you believe it…7 years this year!! He still loves it though and he sported a real smile when he got the Blog Award over in Virginia in July. Kathy suggests topics for the blog sometimes and that's been very helpful. We are so grateful so many of you still read Fermentation and even commenCold napat on his articles on whine (LOL) wholesalers and wine critics and wine, wine, wine.

Speaking of wine, it was a nippy year here in Napa. Cold spring and a cold fall too. You probably heard that some of the grape growers didn't have the kind of year they like, but they all take it in stride…they are a firm bunch.

Hank and Donna were out this year for a couple weeks and they enjoyed the wine and vineyards too while they stayed with us. Hank's is his old self, getting all out of shape over politics and such. Donna is beautiful as ever too and we are so pleased they come all the way from San Antonio to visit. We are hoping to get out there sometime after the new year. When we do, Hankanddonnawe'll be sure to write up a report for you on the trip.

Tom's golf game continued to improve in 2011, if anyone hasn't already been told (by him!!) He gets out there pretty regularly and is scoring in the Tomgolfmid to low 80s. He's happy about that but wants to get better. If these sunny days hold, he thinks he'll be able to play through the winter.

Besides the honeymoon (Nope…no details!! LOL) Tom and Kathy took a few
lovely trips this year. New York in January was cold and snowy (I think you all got the letter with pictures). We were out there for a wine conference for Tom and Kathy for her Pig and Wine events. Oregon was also on the agenda for Kathy who again attended that International Pinot Noir Celebration she loves so much. And as mentioned, Tom was out in Virginia for the Blogging thing.

On a sad note, Old Baby passed this year. The old kitty just got swept up in disease and went very quickly. We will miss that fiesty feline. However, Ashes remains strong and is forever the nemesis of Louis B.

LouisAnd speaking of Louis B. Shrimperton III, that little dog is nothing but a loving handful. She's full grown now and still acting like a pup. She can jump and hop like a dear, nimble and strong. We've enclosed a photo. And for those of you who didn't hear, LIttle Louis B. got a ribbon for one of the top costumes at the local harvest parade!  This little one continues to sleep on the bed and has adopted our hours. What a sweety she is.

I'll end this annual report by saying we are all healthy here. No ailments to speak of besides a bit of stiffness from time to time. Kathy's bout with a terrible migraine that many of you heard about and called to comfort her (thank you for that!) was a one time event and she is back in great shape. Other than that, Tom is still bound to his early rising sleep patterns but it doesn't seem to have any effect on our lives other than he being the one that does the early morning chores.

Well, that's the Annual Report from Kathy and Tom in Napa. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season, a happy 2012, health, and happiness. As always, we extend an open invitation to our friends and family to visit us in 2012.  Until the next report…

With Love,

Kathy and Tom and Louis B and Ashes

Posted In: Personal


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