Finding purpose

There are few things more frustrating to me than having a plan change. I am a person who likes a plan. I like a plan like my dog likes a nap (which is all the time). The plan I started forming back in September was that I’d enroll in a viticulture certificate course online through Washington State University.* I’d heard the enology certificate was generally at full capacity with a long waitlist. Plus it involved chemistry and compounds and all those other chemically scientific things I don’t really understand.

dscn3037Viticulture –  (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production, and study of grapes. It deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. It is a branch of the science of horticulture.

I’m a behind the scenes kind of gal anyway, so viticulture seemed more my speed. The support crew of the wine making process. I’d rather learn about the soil that grows the vine, and the vine that grows the grapes, than actually learning how to make the grape into the wine.

Sign me up for the viticulture certificate. Deposit paid to join the certificate waitlist ($50). Classes would start February 2017.

With that enthusiasm for the process, and the idea that once I completed the 18 month certificate, I’d try for a job at one of the hundreds of wineries around Seattle. There’s even a tasting room 5 minutes from our house in Seattle. With a certificate I would at least have some knowledge of the wine industry, even if all I ended up doing was working in a tasting room pouring wines and discussing the nuances of the cabernet sauvignon or resiling.

Dreamy times, my friends.

That was until Tuesday evening when I received an email saying that they had filled the certificate course from the waitlist. And I would be kept in the queue for the certificate class in 2018. High demand and all that.


I’ve been interested in this program for years, and interested in anything in the wine industry for quite awhile but I became very intrigued after The Husband took me to Sonoma 5 years ago (?). I couldn’t get enough, of not just tasting wines, but learning about the process. At that point I’d already decided in the future I’d earn the certificate.

Now I feel a bit lost as to what to do. I’d been looking forward to this course, terrior, getting down and dirty (so to speak), plant diseases, and the best fertilizers, and pruning. I was excited about all that.


I’m interested in lots of things, history – especially anything revolutionary war era, mid 1500-1900’s England, civil war and reconstruction, I’ve even started watching lectures on the middle ages {and I am finding it weirdly fascinating}. I even did two classes on religion {and am about as unreligious and skeptical as they come}. I even read most of the books discussed in the American Novel Since 1945 class as well.

All of these are lectures you can watch via Yale Online, for free, whenever you want, for no credit. The viticulture certificate would have given me an official piece of fancy paper that would show I took the classes – papers, participation, tests, wine knowledge weekends and all – with proper grades and merit and all of that, rather than just something I had been doing for fun. {and I know how weird that is to most people, furiously scribbling notes about the middle ages or the American revolution while watching college lectures by choice. my dearest wish has always been to get locked into a bookstore or a library for a night. maybe I’m beyond weird?}

It would have been something I could build a second career on. I am still on the waitlist for the next session in 2018. 2018? That’s a long way away at this point, and who knows where I’ll be then, especially since there are several required winery learning weekends in Washington you have to attend.

I’m feeling restless, and rather down about the whole thing. Yesterday I watched this documentary on Gerhard Richter, a fantastic German abstract painter. I think today it’s time for me to finally break into my oil paints and get creative on a piece of canvas. No more nice little landscapes. Today might be time to create a good piece of abstract expression.

Death on the Vine perhaps…. What are you up to on this cold December Thursday?



*this is after I was enrolled in a BS degree at WSU for English/Art History, which was to start last summer. deposit (non-refundable be the way) paid, classes selected, advisor talked to. at which point in trying to decide my classes for fall semester my advisor let me know they really weren’t running the art history classes/major. they didn’t have enough interest. which sucks since that was why I was going to go to school there. so when tuition came due – $6,500 for 3 classes – I decided not to go forward. I was going to finish my degree for me, so what’s the point of spending ALL that money if it would be in a subject that wasn’t what I wanted? plans change.

Things I don’t know

Last week, I did a post on Things I Know. Today it’s all the things I don’t know. It has the makings of a bit of bitch fest at the moment because I am utterly annoyed/irritated/having-an-Anger-from-Inside-Out-head-exploding-moment with my kids school intranet system (and really, the school in general).

Let’s get started, shall we?

  • I can’t log into the school grade book, aka PowerSchool. It says my account does not exist. It existed last year. I have 3 logins, for 3 separate school-related websites, none of which exist in one place, or work on a regular basis. I’ve had it with this school. Their ‘technology’ is crap, and repeated emails to someone in their tech department simply go unanswered. So this has been me for the last two weeks trying to find out if my kids are flunking out of school:io_anger_standard2


  • The teachers would email me if they were flunking out right? Right??
  • School field trips should only be initiated by teachers who know what they are doing. Especially when it involves a trip finishing at 6:30 on the night before the school play when half of said teenagers are IN the school play and need to be at the final rehearsal that starts at 4.
  • Especially when the said teenagers idea (and initially teacher approved idea) is to ‘just get an Uber’ from the film studio back to school. On what planet I would ever go along with that plan, I do not know. The teacher finally sorted out transportation after parent complaints.
  • And by the way, Monday afternoon, I’ll let you know that the kids need to have a proper government issued ID – aka passport, drivers license – to get into the field trip at the film studio {because they are shooting Star Wars there and all}. Nothing like notice! Especially when your teenagers passport is with the UK Home Office in the visa renewal process.
  • Good thing you kept a copy of the passport on your laptop. {time for another Anger moment}
  • The line at the post – which on a good day takes 20 minutes minimum – has now stretched to epic proportions because it’s ‘the holidays’. 40 minutes. For-ty minutes the other day. And I wasn’t even mailing anything Christmas related {yet}.
  • The construction/design company we met with this past summer for our kitchen remodel, has now said (when we asked to set up a measurement/estimate meeting) that they don’t do ‘the eastside’, where our house is located, which we told them this summer. That’s an Anger moment times a million because I had actually been planning to just get two estimates and go with this company because I liked them better. Now, back to square one (and do I really even want to bother at this point? I may have to regroup on the ‘kitchen remodel’ next week, because right now I’m not feeling particularly charitable, in case you hadn’t guessed. see ANGER)

I could go on and on, the things I don’t know this week seem to be pretty big. Instead, I think I’ll get on the tube and spend the morning starting at abstract art at the RA, and lose myself in the drips of Jackson Pollock and the paint swathes of Clyfford Still.