Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Dog Days Of Summer

Our Piedmont Wine Society leader, John Brooks, wrote the following thoughts on rose' wines.


"Give me wine to wash clean the weather stains of care." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"July means hot days, warm nights...afternoons by the pool and barbecues on the deck..sitting in the shade gorging on fresh corn and home-grown tomatoes. It's a time to enjoy life and friends and family. And when you enjoy life and friends and family you want a wine that goes with the occasion. But which wine? It's too hot for some of the big reds that we normally enjoy. And chardonnay doesn't stand up to heat very well. Sauvignon blanc is not a bad option. But increasingly, people are turning to rose'.

How much are they turning to rose'? In France, right now, one out of every five bottles of wine sold is rose'. That's a dramatic change in recent years.

Rose' has some of the crispness and acidity of good summer white wines but can be larger, with a little more substance. This summer I keep a bottle in the refrigerator pretty much all the time."

The photos above show the five kinds of rose' wine that John bought for us to sample with our dinner. Did you note the variety of red colors from pale pink to deep raspberry red? In fact, in England rose' is called pink. Now here is the info below on the five rose's we sampled in case you would like to try some very good rose'.

2007 Jean-Luc Colombo Cote Bleue (Provence in France)
About $12
2005 Fortitude (Napa Valley)
About $14
2007 Tegernseerhof Rose' Zweigelt (Austria)
About $14 ***
2007 Valle Reale Vigue Nuove Cerasuolo (D'Abruzzo in Italy)
About $15 *****
Domaine de la Mordoree Tavel (Provence in France)
About $22 ****
Notice that I gave the last three wine selections stars. Jack and I liked best the Italian rose' from the region of Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. And that last bottle of rose' from Provence was from the Tavel region of Provence which is the best known region in the world for rose'.

Summer Alliteration

Hazy, hot and humid is a summer alliteration that I don't like for the local weather prognosticators to say. Hazy, hot and humid means stay inside to avoid the code orange and code red days. Our Cape Cod guests got lucky. After a week of hazy, hot and humid days we got a nice weekend for their Virginia stay.But since Monday morning we have been back in the hazy, hot and humid weather and we probably have another week of this horrific weather to endure. Here's my advice to folks who want to come to Virginia to enjoy our attractions. This is a very beautiful and historic state with lots to see and do, but if I were you , I would avoid the last two weeks of July and the first week of August when our state goes into what I call the dreaded dog days of summer. Hazy, hot and humid. Hazy, hot and humid. Hazy, hot and humid. If that weather forecaster says that line one more time, I'm going to start barking like a dog howling at the moon. On a lighter note I must admit my rosa rugosa roses seem to thrive on this hazy, hot and humid weather.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Family Royalty!

Eliza, daughter of Joann's godson, Greg, and his wife Connie of Russia, won Little Miss Shelby County Fair.

The following photo and story appeared in The Sidney Daily Newspaper. According to the newspaper this little great niece of Joann beat out the older women in the contest (the four and five year old girls) to win the title. Congratulations, Eliza!

Contestants were judged on their poise and answers to questions. They were asked about their favorite color, song or poem, stuffed animal and pets.

Eliza, carrying a basket and a welcome to the fair sign, sang a rhyme for the audience. Her favorite colors are purple and pink and she has pets at home.

In addition to the trophy Eliza is holding, she received a $100 savings bond. Congratulations to Eliza and the whole family! We are proud of you.

If you would like to learn more about this fair event, click here:

Monday, July 28, 2008


It is always easy to have misconceptions about regions of our United States. For instance, I admit I have had a misconception about New England and New York State. I have always thought that no one in the far east corner of the U.S. listened to country and western music. Well, Baby Jack's first cousin, the other Jack, sure put me straight this weekend. Jack Mulcahy is only two and a half years old but he certainly is into country and western music. Samantha, his mother, said his first word after Momma and Dada was Brad. Short for Brad Paisley, the country singer. And when he is listening to his favorite country station up on Cape Cod he can tell you who is singing some of the songs. He recognizes and likes the country sounds of Trace Adkins, Kenny Chesney and Martina McBride. What a hoot that is! And this little guy is a real worker bee. Last fall when Jenn and Terry were in Cape Cod for Thanksgiving with the relatives they discovered that this Jack just loved to rake leaves. Well, on Sunday afternoon after church services he begged Jenn to let him sweep the floors in the house. So here he is sweeping with the broom and dustpan. Sweep on you cute little Cape Cod Country Boy.

Boston: Patriot and Red Sox Fan Heaven

Folks from Boston and Cape Cod are crazy about the Patriots and the Red Sox. And they can't leave the state of Massachusetts without bringing their fan regalia. Click on the second photo from the top to see Terry's Dad's little red socks on his shirt. Stroll down to the third photo to see an older Patriot logo on Samantha's son's baseball cap. By the way this little boy is also named Jack. In fact, this weekend found us with three Jacks in the house. Now stroll down to the bottom photo to see little Mia, Samantha's daughter, in her very pink Red Sox cap. Did you notice some boo boos on Mia's face? That is because she has just started walking and consequently has taken a few tumbles face first. Our rough brick patio Saturday night left an imprint on her sweet little face when she took off too fast to explore. And what do you do when you have more babies than high chairs in your home? You head to the Golden Corral in Manassas, Virginia for dinner. Did you notice that the two grandfathers were responsible for keeping Baby Jack in line at the dinner table?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cape Cod Visiters

This weekend our grandson's paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. K flew down from Cape Cod to see Jack Aidan get baptised at the Floris Methodist Church and to see their daughter, Samantha, and son-in-law, Jim, become Jack Aidan's Godparents. The baptismal service was lovely and later the Sunday sermon the pastor gave was unusual and poignant. The topic of the sermon was Jesus and Christian kindness and to get us all thinking he connected Christian kindness to the story of Horton Hears A Who. We got to watch a church youth group act out Horton's kindness to the Who. And then we got to watch a video of ultimate human kindness and unselfishness played out in a women's college softball game where two of the opposing team players helped an injured runner round the bases and make a home run after suffering a torn ACL in her knee. This story actually happened in Washington state between two state university teams in the college softball playoffs. Well, I don't think there was a dry eye in the church after watching that video. And that had to be the perfect Sunday sermon for Baby Jack's relatives from Massachusetts who are die hard Boston Red Sox fans! Tomorrow I'll post a photo or two of Samantha and Jim's little toddlers who are in training to be adult Boston Red Sox fanatics.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Still Some Blooms

In spite of the 90 degree days of July some blooms are still appearing on the American wisteria, the climbing pale pink French rose and the saucer magnolias. You will need to click and enlarge the photo to get a view. The twin saucer magnolias have produced blooms since April. The wisteria and climbing rose have been in bloom since the first of June. The wisteria has really grown but I don't want to give it a haircut just yet. For one, I kinda like that Angela Davis Afro look and two, the birds think it is a cool place to explore. The cardinals, finches, black shouldered black bird and mourning doves have really used it as a bird jungle gym. It is amazing how quickly they can fly thru the lattice then fly up into the green cover of the wisteria. And the knockout rose bushes are still knocking themselves out on each side of the swing. This is my favorite place to sit in my garden. If you were here, I would hand you an ice cold glass of tea and ask you to come sit a spell with me so we could talk and watch the my garden grow. I saw a newly fledged mourning dove walking along my rod (wrought) iron fence. It looked thru the breakfast window at me and seemed to say, don't worry, I'm walking slowly and carefully human momma. I wanted to say, ok, but watch out for our neighborhood cats and our resident Coopers hawk.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Blog Got Busted!!!!!!!!

Thursday's Washington Post reported on the very amusing but very disturbing story of the army lieutenant whose blog got busted. Apparently this blog got more hits per day than some small town newspapers. This witty guy called his outpost in Iraq Anu al-Verona in reference to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The Sunnis were the Capulets and the Shias were the Montagues. After six months of blogging he ruffled the feathers of his commanding officer in a blogpost and got busted. Well, there has been such an uproar over this that several things have occurred.

One, the blog's old post has been reinstated by an admiring reader. See here.

Two, the lieutenant's fiance has taken over writing the original blog. See here.

Three, the media is reporting on this story now. See here.

If you read the Washington Post article you will learn that this soldier had quite a following with kids who were reading and writing to him and saying things like " War is worse than math!"

I think if you go to the above sites that I have listed, you will find some very interesting stuff to read. On a lighter note, have a great summer weekend.

Something In Common With John McCain

Yesterday John McCain was in Columbus,Ohio and ate at Schmidts Sausage Haus. Jack programs our navigation system in our Honda to take us to the Sausage Haus every time we are cruising west on interstate #70 to Dayton, Ohio. So I guess we have one thing in common with John McCain. We like those German sausages with all the fixings in the old German Village. We also like to wash down the food with a Schmidts Beer on tap. I wonder if John McCain had a tall one? And I wonder if he had his photo op with the faceless Germans in the wooden cutout? Jack took this photo of the Sausage Haus in April of 2007 and as you can see I didn't pose with the faceless Germans in the wooden cutout.

Little Ohio Farmer

This little Ohio farm boy is Waylon, the great grandson of my brother Carl. His momma, Nicole, emailed me these precious photos. Waylon is six months old and already checking out the cars. The top photo was taken at the North Star Cruise-In where Waylon's uncle Chad had his souped up GTO. The bottom photo of Waylon in the stroller was snapped at the Great Shelby County Fair which is taking place this very week in Ohio. In the middle photo the little farmer is relaxing at home. This is the new generation of Ohio farmers. They still wear overalls but they dress up the look with a baseball cap from the Gap and footwear for the beach.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bryan Is Back!!!!!

Just want to say that Jeanine's beau, Bryan, is back in Northern Virginia. Our daughter went down on Sunday to get him at West Point High School. There was a very brief ceremony and then the all the Virginia Guard was released to meet their love ones. Bryan did the driving heading back up interstate #95. The kids are happy. Saturday they plan to go tubing on the James River with friends. Then Sunday Jeanine has been invited to go with Bryan's family to Orlando, Florida for a week of fun at DisneyWorld. If anyone deserves a week at Disneyworld it is Bryan who completed his second tour in Iraq. Want to end this post with a thought. Every day say a prayer for our fighting men and women who are giving their TODAYS for our TOMORROWS. Everyone should support our troops no matter what your political leanings in this presidential election are. And say many, many prayers for the families who cannot greet their loved ones because the soldiers gave their lives in support of the U.S. war effort in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Too Darn Hot Part 2

Look over to the right and you will see the heading LABELS. Look below LABELS to find the word ARIZONA (1). Click on ARIZONA (1) to see what I wrote in August of 2007 when it was this hot in Virginia. Then ask yourself what colors of the rainbow do you think of when it is HOT, HOT, HOT! I think of shades of red, orange and bright yellow like these flowers here.

On another note let me add that I will learn this coming Monday how to give glucose shots in case Jack has another very low blood sugar that renders him unable to give himself a shot. Oh, what fun! When our little life threatening event was over Sunday morning Alan, Leah, and I all agreed that Jack should have had a piece of that chocolate cake at the Saturday evening party. Then he wouldn't have had low blood sugar. But he may have had very high blood sugar.
Diabetes is a 24 hour tightrope balancing act between food intake and amount of body activity expended. The unknowns on the tightrope are what cause the falls. Unknowns like when the body is using up extra energy fighting disease or heat or cold or stress. The stress of being outside in 95 degree very humid weather was the culprit on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dance Song For Grandma In July

from the show "Kiss Me Kate" (1948)
(Cole Porter)
It's too darn hot
It's too darn hot
I'd like to sup with my baby tonight
and play the pup with my baby tonight
I'd like to sup with my baby tonight
and play the pup with my baby tonight
but I ain't up to my baby tonight
cause it's too darn hot
it's too darn hot
it's too darn hot

Learning The White Sock Stomp

Grandma showed me the dance moves and I watched and imitated her. I got my feet going and my hands moving and I threw a white sock to add some interest to the dance. Grandma said I could grow up and become another John Travolta. Who is John Travolta? The dance king I know is that tall and handsome Jason Taylor from Dancing With The Stars who just signed to play for the Washington Redskins. I wonder if he will wear jersey #99 if he wins the dance playoff with the Redskin player who wears #99 currently. I'm betting on Jason Taylor in that particular danceoff.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Big Big Thank You

I want to extend a big, big thank you to the folks at 911, the rescue squad from Gainesville and my next door neighbors, Alan and Leah, who helped me in the wee hours of Sunday morning when I discovered that Jack had slipped into a diabetic coma. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I will spare you all the details but simply state that the injection of glucose that the rescue team gave him brought him around and by mid morning he was returning to normal. Of course, I wasn't. That was when I realized how serious this was and went from an adrenalin rushed woman to an adrenalin zapped dishrag. But as the line goes, all is well that ends well and we are both back to our perky selves once more so we went over and played with our grandson, Baby Jack. I took some photos of him doing a little stomp dance. I will post them tomorrow.

Another Weekend Another Party

Another weekend brought another party to our neighborhood. This one was for Dave and Kris. Dave has just retired and these golf enthusiasts are leaving our local golf club and moving to the land of many golf courses: the greater Myrtle Beach metro area in South Carolina. By the way I guess Myrtle Beach is also the putt-putt golf capitol of the world. The party was in Dickie's beautiful backyard and all the neighbors brought yummy food to share. That one table that you see loaded down was just the appetizer table.
The beautiful lilies were from Dickie's gardens. Dickie is the strawberry blond in the top photo. She is a great hostess! Everyone had lots of fond memories to share of when they met Kris and Dave. And everyone wanted to celebrate the good news that Kris and Dave's house in our neighborhood sold in just one day inspite of the housing market being in the toilet. Invited to the party were our brand new neighbors two doors down from Kris and Dave who are Donna and Jim who just moved into the community in May. So farewell to Chris and Dave and welcome to Donna and Jim who are a retired military family.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Many years ago the nuns at Russia Local School taught us how to make these tissue paper flowers for decorative purposes. That's what these white hollyhocks in my garden remind of today. By the way Russia Local School may have been the only school or one of the few in the U.S.A. that had nuns and priests teaching in the public schools. When I attended it there were around 360 students in grades one thru twelve with no kindergarten.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Today At 5:30 P.M.

Over 100 Virginia National Guardsmen will be arriving at West Point High School in West Point, Virginia (not too far from Williamsburg) at 5:30 P.M. today. They are flying in from Fort McCoy in Wisconsin where they arrived on July 16 for demobilization exercises after leaving Iraq and flying out from Kuwait. Unfortunately four members of this 237'th Engineer Company who were activated last June will not be present. One died at Fort McCoy of bacterial meningitis and three died from injuries sustained in Iraq. Luckily our daughter's beau, Bryan, will be arriving at West Point and our daughter Jeanine will be driving down to greet him.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Crepe Myrtles Are In Bloom Now

In late July the crepe myrtles are in full bloom in the garden. They bloom for about three weeks and then if I cut them back I can get a second bloom for early fall. Have a safe and happy weekend everybody.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How Did This Happen?

How did this happen? Some of the blossoms on my white Madonna lilies that stand five feet tall are no longer pure white blossoms but the same shade of pink as some Asiatic lilies I planted next to them in this bed. Did the bees do some cross pollinating? I know I sure didn't do any. Years ago I had something similar happen with two kinds of hosta plants that were side by side. The white blooming hostas turned lilac and remained so. I wonder if this is what will happen now to all my white Madonna lilies. Anybody got a clue?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Daughter Is Blogging On New Site
Our daughter, Jennifer, is blogging now on a new site. If you click on this you can see our Baby Jack on his real birth day. And if you scroll down a bit you can find photos of her kitchen makeover. Jack and I spent one week painting the oak cupboards white. The rest she had professionally installed. We all felt like we were on one of those HGTV makeover shows. But luckily we all got along better than some on those shows.

VA Guard Is Back From Iraq!

The Virginia Guard is back from Iraq and now at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin for debriefing exercises. Hopefully they will all be back in Virginia within a week. Yeeeeeeeeeeh! They went to Iraq last September to be a part of Bush's surge. God bless them all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Book Club Buddies

Left side: empty chair, Maura, D.J., Lucille, Haelie, and Carol. Right side: yours truly, Connie, Cindy, Pat, Bev and Teresa. The empty chair belongs to Dickie who took the photo with D.J.'s camera.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008