Sunday, August 22, 2010


Going into this past weekend, our white board check-list was starting to get long.  After this weekend, I am singing the Hallelujah chorus. 

That's because the Schram crew showed up at Schram Vineyards.

And when the Schram's come into town...

work gets done!

Aaron's Aunt Diane and Uncle Don came in on Thursday afternoon.  While Aaron and I were still at work, they mowed the lawn, fixed the Adirondack chairs where the dogs had chewed and were trying to figure out how to repair the shed doors by the time we got home.  Check, check, check off of our list of things to do! 

Don even made sure not to leave for the weekend without fixing my shoe closet door.  It's been on my to-do list for Aaron since April and it finally got done!  Hallelujah! 

And everyone else started rolling in throughout the weekend.  Aunts and Uncles, Grandma Millie, his step-mom, Candy, his three sisters, Angie, Candie, and Lisa, brother-in-laws, nieces and nephews, distant cousins, and some relatives from South Dakota who happened to be in town came out for a grueling day of hard labor.  Even some neighbors were out to help us at 7:30am!  I wish I had gotten pictures of everyone, but realized going through them all now that I didn't and I am sorry for that.  Then again, many of them didn't really want their pictures taken when they were all hot and sweaty. 

But I am posting them on the internet anyway! 

I had planned to get up early on Saturday and make an egg bake for the crew.  Instead I woke up at 7am to the smell of bacon wafting into my bedroom. 

I guess Don and Rich were one step ahead of me and had a little cook-out on the deck. 

I forgot I was dealing with a bunch of farmers and early for them is not the same "early" for me.  Not to mention they are self-sustaining campers and ended up bringing tons of food.  And they insisted on using paper plates for our meals all weekend.  Minimal dishes for me!  Hallelujah! 

It was foggy and comfortably breezy in the morning...

The wagon got good use as a spiral for all the trellis wire. 

Everyone was hammering away...

They had a system down!

And after a break for some zucchini lasagna for lunch, it was hot, sunny and humid in the afternoon...

But that didn't stop anyone from working...

Except me.

And this precious 5 month old Mastiff, who rivals our dogs in sweetness.  Being pregnant or being a big dog don't mix well with hard labor in heat and humidity, so I took it easy with the puppy. 


And since we had so many hard workers out in the vineyard, I didn't feel at all guilty pulling the pregnant card and staying in the air conditioning keeping the house tidy and getting food ready most of the day.  In fact, when I did go out to help, they told me not to. 

I didn't argue. 

It gave me an opportunity to hang out with Aaron's Grandma Millie under the shade in the Adirondack chairs.  She'll be 94 in just a few weeks and will become a great-GREAT grandmother in October.  That's two "greats" in case you didn't catch that.  Her vision is fuzzy, her hearing goes in and out, but her mind is lucid, and her sense of humor sharp.  She shared with me some of her gardening tips, her cucumber recipes, reminisced from when she was pregnant, and told me stories of Aaron as a little boy when she looked after him after his mom died when he was three. 

And she still gets around the kitchen like a pro.  She baked about 10 different types of cookies for the weekend and has this amazing capability of keeping track of what type of dessert each member in her family likes.  I ate three molasses cookies for breakfast, so I think I know what I like best!

And when the work was done for the day, Doug took her out for a spin on the 4-wheeler so she could get a good look at the vineyard up close since she said it was all blurry from afar. 



Then Aaron told her he had a surprise for her and told her take off her shoes.  And she did-without question.

And Grandma Millie officially did our inaugural grape stomp at Schram Vineyards. 

And she was giggling like little girl the whole time. 

It was so fun to watch!

So a few others jumped in for a little grape juice between the toes.

It is pretty cool when you can find a novel activity that a 94-year old woman, teenage girls, and an 8-year old boy can enjoy just the same. 

We worked hard, ate well, talked a lot, had some fun, drank some wine, and most importantly, worked really hard. 

THANK YOU to all the Schram and extended Schram clan for all of your grueling hard work in hot weather this weekend.  We got a lot of trellis work done and you helped check an enormous item off of our evergrowing list of "to-dos".  Even with 20 people out working on Saturday, we didn't even get all of the wiring done, just to give you a gage of how much work there is in putting up a vineyard.  But to knock out as much as we did will be a huge help to Aaron when he finishes it up this fall. 

We feel so grateful to have two large families on each side supporting us in this venture.  We couldn't do this without all of you!  XOXOXO

***Check back Wednesday!  If Schrambino cooperates during our ultrasound, we'll be able to reveal whether we are having a son or daughter that day!  We can't wait!  In the meantime, any guesses?