Friday, May 27, 2011


Baby GrapesNine A.M. on Friday morning in Napa.  It’s cool and cloudy outside; inside, the aroma of breakfast is in the air, the little electric heater keeps us warm and cozy, and NPR is our entertainment.  Thus begins another laid-back day in Napa while we await a change in the weather in Oregon.

The Napa Elks Lodge (click here to read our review) has just twelve spaces, shoehorned onto a small plot behind the lodge.  With a central – but quiet - location, easy access to an adjacent paved trail next to the river, full-hookups, cable TV and WiFi ($10 for Napa Elks Lodge members, $20 for those of us from other Lodges) these are highly desirable spots.  Two sites are permanently occupied (one filled by the host), leaving 10 sites available for travelers.  Part of the entertainment for us is watching the turnover of sites. 

Most nights we have been here, all sites have been full, though we’ve seen up to three empty sites for a couple nights.  Yesterday, two sites next to us opened up around 9 am.  By 11 am, one was full – and around noon, we had new next-door neighbors, Gisela and Bill, Boomer friends!   Like us, they plan to wait out the Memorial Day campers here in Napa, and it is good to have them next door.

Red BottlebrushYesterday was Weight Watcher weigh-in day for me.  Since we’ve left Sacramento, I don’t plan on continuing to go to meetings.  Each time I attend a meeting, I pay $13 to get weighed, pick up a short brochure with a recipe and inspiration for the upcoming week, and listen to the leader and other group members discuss challenges and triumphs of the week past.  I liked the meetings when I was learning the new Points Plus system and going with Sydney, but it’s not so much fun when you have to find a meeting, pay $13, and “meet” with a group of people you don’t know and won’t be meeting again.

So, I just haul out my own scale and weigh myself on Thursday morning.  Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised (shocked, actually) to find I had lost .2 (note: that is zero point two, not two pounds) pounds since last week, which had also shown a small loss.  Considering the amount of socializing we have been doing in the past two weeks – and our current location in one of California’s well-known “foodie” destinations – I was thrilled. 

Then I sat myself down for a little motivational talk of my own, reminding myself that – especially in this lifestyle – there are ALWAYS “special” occasions to blow off the structure of Weight Watchers.  Friends park next door or, like Pat and Becky did on Wednesday, drive over to visit.  Or the weekly farmer’s market has great BBQ.  Or winetasting is everywhere your turn.  Or, or, or…  So, for at least a couple more months, I just have to remind myself that I really want to fit more comfortably into my clothes, and practice restraint!

Balloons over NapaThus motivated, I pulled out my WW cookbooks, planned meals for the next few days, and Odel and I headed to the nearby Nob Hill Market.  The new recipe I tried last night is a winner: Pork Chops with Asian Pineapple Salsa.  It was a delicious meal (I ate one WW-sized serving, Odel cleaned up the rest), but the Asian Pineapple Salsa was the star – incredibly simple to make, and it would be delicious on fish, chicken or tofu as well as pork (which could have been pork tenderloin as easily as chops).

I have three more new recipes to try this over this long holiday weekend.  We’ll hit the farmer’s market again tomorrow morning, and see what else his happening in Napa or Sonoma for the holiday.  Odel continues to work on his knee, which now includes two walks a day along the adjacent paved riverside trail.  My allergy has diminished significantly; the cause is still unknown, but we are beginning to believe it is NOT a result of the renovations.  Only time will tell, I guess –  I am simply happy that I no longer need steroid cream to feel human.  :) 


  1. Weight loss is always on my mind. On March 28th I said I was going to try real hard to loose some weight. Like you I like to cook and I like to eat. But by cutting out evening delights (Toffee and Ice cream) and not drinking any wine or soda I have lost 10 pounds. It took two months. Now of the next ten and forty more after that!

    It goes on so easy and it is a torture to take it off. But we have to keep up the fight don't we.

  2. Beautiful picture of the hot air balloons. Have a great Memorial weekend!

    Glad to hear everyone is improving health wise. Keep it up!

  3. Life does hold its challenges. Glad to hear you are making positive steps to tackle yours. :)

  4. Merikay, my most difficult time is between dinner and bedtime. I LOVE to settle down with a good book (now, with my Kindle) and a snack (preferably nuts) beside me! That is out, out out. Good for you for giving up wine... I cut down from two glasses to one instead of cutting it out entirely. What I miss most? A hunk of delicious fresh bread with a chunk of fabulous cheese. :(

  5. Weight - been losing that battle all my life. And I know how hard it can be to lose that .2 lbs and I think that's wonderful. Wish we were in Napa with you. We're in WY and it still thinks it is winter here. But we're in one spot for the long week-end and I doubt if we have much company because it's so cold.

  6. Losing weight is SO HARD. We too love to eat -- have thought about trying WW but never have. We are in Branson, MO and the weather has been downright cold the last couple of days -- not to mention the rain:( OH WELL, it could be worse!

  7. Great to hear the allergy thing is under control, and that Odel is walking so far. His golf game will be back in shape before he knows it!!!

  8. Great that Odel is improving. My neighbor has to have his knee done again, he says it is his own fault, as he overdid it, too soon.

    My allergy went on for about four months, and even the allergist (big waste of money) couldn't suggest or pin point what caused it.

    I think the antibiotics for my sinusitis set up some kind of reaction in me, and it seemed to be worse when I ate beef out. I would break out, and feel terrible in about 15 minutes.

    As I eat organic grass fed beef at home, I was double dosing on the antibiotics fed to factory farmed beef. As soon as I stuck to my beef, the allergy went away.

    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  9. LOVE that area of the country! Your pics are making me miss wine country!

  10. The clothes fit VS delicious food battle. I know it well too. But even though I know it, I love your recipes!! Thanks for posting them. You ramp up my enthusiasm for meal planning and preparing.