by CJ on THE VINE
posted Aug 27 2013 3:59PM
What's for lunch at school today?
If you’re a parent of school-age kids do you still pack them a lunch? There are so many more options today than there back when I was growing up. I attended mostly small private schools, and for the most part, offering school lunches was not in the curriculum. Lunch could be one of the most social and welcomed times of the day, or the most dreaded, depending on where you fit in to pecking order of friends. Your social status could rise however, at lunch if you brought appealing foods to either share or trade. Sadly, that was never the case for me, since my mom had a penchant for packing healthy lunches. The kids who brought twinkies, chips and soda always had a group vying to be their best friend, if only for a day, hoping to score a bite or more of the much sought-after sugar and carb-filled treats.
Now, of course, more schools offer hot lunches, and they’re even suppose to be healthier too. I was reminded recently that back in the day the radio station would announce the lunch menu so parents would know what their kids were eating. That was obviously before the internet, but at the time, it was one of the more popular segments throughout the week. Out of curiosity I decided to check online just to see if the lunch menu was posted, and sure enough! Right on the Napa Valley Unified School District home page there’s a link to school menus! Parents can check out the menu for the entire month – and apparently the menu is the same for each public school in the district. If I’m wrong about that, do let me know in the comment section after this blog!
So while we may not broadcast “What’s For Lunch” every day anymore, here’s a reminder that the information is still out there and yours for the checking - just click HERE!
by CJ on THE VINE
posted Aug 15 2013 9:45AM
It's back to school in the Napa Valley
I know a new school year has started when I try to find parking near the coffee shop where I stop in every morning in St. Helena to get my morning jolt. It’s only confirmed when I walk in and the line is 5-7 people deep. I have enjoyed the lazy, or at least slower days of summer which I gauge by the way locals and tourists would wander in or maybe not at all in the early mornings. On the other hand, there’s something charming and sweet about seeing all of the moms and dads come in with their kids to order coffees and hot chocolate at the start of the day, before the kids head to school. I know that as the school year begins to settle in, the bustle will only increase, and the buzz of conversation will rise up around me as parents exchange anecdotes about their kids, or various parent groups meet to discuss upcoming events.
For instance this morning, a mom behind me in line was telling her friend about her daughter’s attempt to take a driver’s test at the DMV. She was all set to go, when the officer checked the car, and found the right blinker not working. And that was the end of the test! Having seen three of my own through the experience, I could hear and feel the frustration of the mom, especially when her husband checked the car and found that the bulb for the blinker was loose and needed only to be pushed in. Knowing the backup for driver’s tests at the DMV, I suspect the daughter has a few weeks to wait until she can try again.
I always enjoy seeing the tweens come in to the coffee shop on a school morning to order food and something to drink. You just know they feel so grown up, doing this all by themselves, but they act so nonchalant and cool about it. It’s sweet to see how the grownups all around them go with it, and treat them with the proper respect the kids think (and desperately hope) they deserve, thus keeping their self-esteem and confidence intact.
This is the first week of my empty nest and every day I get new reminders of the new normal. Like when a dad tells me not to think about what’s really going on in the apartment that my 18-year-old is sharing with two other teenage college girls five hours away, because it will just make me crazy. Or that I don’t need to call her to see when she’s coming home every night anymore, because she won’t be coming home at all. And, seeing parents getting their kids off to school after a little stop at the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company in St. Helena at 7:45 in the morning, now realizing those days are gone forever. And the VINE VIDEO I took as we left her last weekend … she’s waving goodbye, but more importantly a new hello to a new phase of her life.
So parents of the Napa Valley, enjoy this new school year with your kids. Despite the challenges you’re bound to face this year, these days won’t last forever and before you know it, you too will look back with some nostalgia to what may someday feel like simpler times.
by CJ on THE VINE
posted Aug 5 2013 8:58PM
Comfort Food For A Cause
I love the opportunity to get involved with community events and working at 99.3 The Vine gives me the chance to support some amazing organizations. This past weekend was one of those times when 99.3 The Vine could be present for the 5th Annual Napa Chili Cook-off. We met some enthusiastic chili chefs who brought their favorite spices and meats to the parking lot on Main Street near Downtown Joe's. As the crowds rolled in to taste some incredible chili they were also supporting the Napa Food Bank with their admission price. So hats off to the Napa Real Estate Community for putting this together for the fifth year with a vision to leave no family hungry in the Napa Valley ... and many thanks for giving 99.3 The Vine and me a voice to that vision. More pictures are posted on the home page of the station website under Fun Vine Photo's. Check them out and keep listening to us as we continue to support some incredible non-profits in Napa County.