Four Things I’ve Loved in April

Life seems to be giving me the same message over and over lately.

I’ve written about this exact topic before, and when I wrote that post, I thought I was starting to get it. But then April happened.

You see, I’ve finally accepted that I can be a bit of a control freak. Anyone else? I think most of us are to some degree. We work hard, try to do the right things, and expect that because we put that stuff out into the world, we should get it back lickety-split.

Or at least, that’s how my brain seems to work. I’ll give you an example.

On some level, I seem to think things “should” turn out the way I want them to. People “should” behave the ways I think they should. My body “should” do what I demand of it – never get tired, run down, grumpy or sick. I “should” always be upbeat, and look at the positive. Finally, I most definitely “should” keep grabbing that bull by the horns, finding alternate ways to MAKE things happen if something doesn’t go the way I think it needs to. Basically, events, circumstances, and anything I want out of life should go exactly according to the plans I have in my own mind.

Well, shouldn’t they???

This is where the universe laughs.

Maybe I’m learning to laugh a bit here now too.

Don’t get me wrong. Plans and goals are good things. Ambition can be wonderful. Sometimes we need to knuckle down and push through in spite of all odds to get something done.

But that fine line is where the difficult part is. How do you balance going after what you want wholeheartedly, and knowing when you need to let go?

It’s a tough one isn’t it.

April was one of those months, where what could go wrong, went wrong, no matter how I tried to control it. Plans got cancelled at the last minute, screwed up somehow, or things got miscommunicated. Things that I thought would go a certain way went the complete opposite. I also had a few surprises –  not exactly the pleasant kind either. And out of the blue, my insomnia, which had been good for awhile, decided it needed to come back and pay me a visit.

Yeah….. April totally co-operated with the plans I had in mind.

Then there’s my most first worldy problem of all – my brand new laptop went nuts. Seriously. Like there was a ghost in it or something. Programs would pop up of their own accord. When I was working on a blog post it would just disappear off screen. The touch pad wouldn’t work. Then things started showing up in my Google calendar that apparently I had scheduled. Strange things like “Stay at Highbrook from April 17th-20th”…

Now, I know I definitely didn’t book a three day stay in my own B&B.

This was followed by many annoying hours on the phone with Dell trying to fix the problem, only to be told we had to send the laptop in after all. One thing they didn’t consider was that when you run two businesses out of your laptop, it’s absolutely impossible to be without it. Dell was completely unfazed by this, and glibly said that they TOTALLY understood our frustration. However, a tech would look at it in approximately 5-7 business days.

Really?????

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

So, yeah, it was kind of a strange month. But there were still some good things in it that I’m going to share with you. Even though this post is going up when we are well into May.

I guess I’m finally learning to flow with life a bit. Sometimes, blog posts CAN go up a few days later than I think they “should” right?

I’ll start off with telling you about the Konzelmann Easter junk food pairing.

I love seeing some of the creative things wineries are coming up with for tastings these days. I’ve been saying for years that wine is not just for fancy meals, but a junk food pairing? What a great idea. Wine snobs, cast all judgement aside. This was sheer fun, and the pairings worked really well.

Konzelmann gave us wine matches for Easter goodies like hot cross buns, carrot cake, Peeps, and the classic Cadbury’s creme Egg.

See? There really is a wine for everything.

One of my favourites was trying their Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine with the Cadbury creme egg. It was delicious. I also enjoyed having their Pinot Noir with the Carrot Cake, which was a bit of a surprise to me. I think it’s the spices from the carrot cake that make the Pinot such a good match for this.

And the other highlight?

It was the first time in my life that I ever tasted a Peep.

You should always be willing to try something once.

The second thing I enjoyed in April, was our trip to Burning Kiln Winery.

I’m an appassimento fan, so a visit to Burning Kiln had been on my to-do list for awhile. It’s a bit of a drive from Niagara-on-the-Lake, as it’s located in Norfolk County, but Ken and I enjoy road trips – and I will definitely travel for appassimento.

The interesting thing about Burning Kiln is that it is located in a repurposed and architecturally reconfigured tobacco pack barn. Norfolk and Elgin Counties have traditionally been known as part of the Ontario Tobacco Belt – and as demand for tobacco crops decreases, tobacco lands in the area are being regenerated for other uses. The winery pays tribute to the region’s agricultural history through the names of its wines, which are linked to old tobacco farming and curing terms. They also use repurposed bulk tobacco kilns for the appassimento process.

Their winemaker, Lydia Tomek, and her team were bottling the day I visited, so I got to watch them for a bit. I was also happy to have a toast with Lydia to her newly bottled 2016 Horse & Boat Riesling.

My personal favourites? The Cureman’s Chard of course, and oh, just about every red I sampled – and I think I tried them all. Especially if you’re an appassimento fan like me, get in your car and drive to Burning Kiln.

Like, right now.

The next April highlight was a quick evening’s trip to Buffalo with friends. I intended to not take any pictures and just enjoy an evening out, but when I saw this mural, I couldn’t resist. All good bloggers know that when there is a co-operative mural or other street art around, you must pose with effortless glamour in front of it.

I’m still working on the effortless glamour part.

But isn’t it a beautiful mural?

It was right nearby the restaurant we were meeting our friends at, which was Toutant. What an incredible meal we had there – we must have eaten about half of the entire menu, and everything was absolutely delicious. I don’t have any pictures of the food, but trust me here. If you love contemporary Southern food, you definitely must go.

And the last good bit about April that I’ll mention, is Lift the Stigma.

You guys, thank you so, so, very much for your support here. I truly appreciate all the shares, tweets, and personal messages I got, and an extra special thank you to those of you who donated. We raised over $2,000 and every penny went to Healthy Minds Canada.

Gotta tell you though, this was quite a workout. I’m used to heavy strength training, but the point of this event was to lift heavy and FAST. That’s a whole new level of bodybuilding – one I’m definitely not used to, and I was pretty sore and tired afterwards.

But it was all worth it.

And I hope my Dad was watching from somewhere.

So April, you were quite a month. Some good stuff, some annoying stuff, some mix-ups, and some sore muscles. A couple disappointments and a lot of sleepless nights. Finding more delicious wine and having good times with friends. But that’s kind of how my life really is, I guess – a mixed bag of everything. The key is finding and appreciating the good in spite of it all.

Now, what about you? How was April?